• Volume 126, Issue 4

June 2017

• Size distribution and roundness of clasts within pseudotachylytes of the Gangavalli Shear Zone, Salem, Tamil Nadu: An insight into its origin and tectonic significance

Gangavalli (Brittle) Shear Zone (Fault) near Attur, Tamil Nadu exposes nearly 50 km long and 1–3 km wide NNE–SSW trending linear belt of cataclasites and pseudotachylyte produced on charnockites of the Southern Granulite Terrane. Pseudotachylytes, as well as the country rock, bear the evidence of conjugate strike slip shearing along NNE–SSW and NW–SE directions, suggesting an N–S compression. The Gangavalli Shear Zone represents the NNE–SSW fault of the conjugate system along which a right lateral shear has produced seismic slip motion giving rise to cataclasites and pseudotachylytes. Pseudotachylytes occur as veins of varying width extending from hairline fracture fills to tens of meters in length. They carry quartz as well as feldspar clasts with sizes of few mm in diameter; the clast sizes show a modified Power law distribution with finer ones (<1000 μm2) deviating from linearity. The shape of the clasts shows a high degree of roundness (<0.4) due to thermal decrepitation. In a large instance, devitrification has occurred producing albitic microlites that suggest the temperature of the pseudotachylyte melt was >1000∘C. Thus, pseudotachylyte veins act as a proxy to understand the genetic process involved in the evolution of the shear zone and its tectonic settings.

• A comparison of outer electron radiation belt dropouts during solar wind stream interface and magnetic cloud driven storms

Energetic electrons are trapped in the Earth’s radiation belts which occupy a toroidal region between 3 and 7 RE above the Earth’s surface. Rapid loss of electrons from the radiation belts is known as dropouts. The source and loss mechanisms regulating the radiation belts population are not yet understood entirely, particularly during geomagnetic storm times. Nevertheless, the dominant loss mechanism may require an event based study to be better observed. Utilizing multiple data sources from the year 1997–2007, this study identifies radiation belt electron dropouts which are ultimately triggered when solar wind stream interfaces (SI) arrived at Earth, or when magnetic clouds (MC) arrived. Using superposed epoch analysis (SEA) technique, a synthesis of multiple observations is performed to reveal loss mechanism which might, perhaps, be a major contributor to radiation belt losses under SI and MC driven storms. Results show an abrupt slower decaying precipitation of electron peak (about 3000 counts/sec) on SI arrival within 5.05 <L < 6.05, which persist till 0.5 day before gradual recovery. This pattern is interpreted as an indication of depleted electrons from bounce lost cone via precipitating mechanism known as relativistic electron microburst. On the other hand, MC shows a pancake precipitating peak extending to lower L (Plasmapause); indicating a combination of electron cyclotron harmonic (ECH) and whistler mode waves as the contributing mechanisms.

• Joint pattern of seasonal hydrological droughts and ﬂoods alternation in China’s Huai River Basin using the multivariate L-moments

Under the current condition of climate change, droughts and floods occur more frequently, and events in which flooding occurs after a prolonged drought or a drought occurs after an extreme flood may have a more severe impact on natural systems and human lives. This challenges the traditional approach wherein droughts and floods are considered separately, which may largely underestimate the risk of the disasters. In our study, the sudden alternation of droughts and flood events (ADFEs) between adjacent seasons is studied using the multivariate L-moments theory and the bivariate copula functions in the Huai River Basin (HRB) of China with monthly streamflow data at 32 hydrological stations from 1956 to 2012. The dry and wet conditions are characterized by the standardized streamflow index (SSI) at a 3-month time scale. The results show that: (1) The summer streamflow makes the largest contribution to the annual streamflow, followed by the autumn streamflow and spring streamflow. (2) The entire study area can be divided into five homogeneous sub-regions using the multivariate regional homogeneity test. The generalized logistic distribution (GLO) and log-normal distribution (LN3) are acceptable to be the optimal marginal distributions under most conditions, and the Frank copula is more appropriate for spring-summer and summer-autumn SSI series. Continuous flood events dominate at most sites both in spring-summer and summer-autumn (with an average frequency of 13.78% and 17.06%, respectively), while continuous drought events come second (with an average frequency of 11.27% and 13.79%, respectively). Moreover, seasonal ADFEs most probably occurred near the mainstream of HRB, and drought and flood events are more likely to occur in summer-autumn than in spring-summer.

• Metal contamination of agricultural soils in the copper mining areas of Singhbhum shear zone in India

The study was intended to investigate the heavy metal contamination in the agricultural soils of the copper mining areas in Singhbhum shear zone, India. The total concentrations of the metals were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICPMS). Pollution levels were assessed by calculating enrichment factor (EF), geo-accumulation index (Igeo), contamination factors (CF), pollution load index (PLI), Nemerow index and ecological risk index (RI). The metal concentrations in the soil samples exceeded the average shale values for almost all the metals. Principal component analysis resulted in extraction of three factors explaining 82.6% of the data variability and indicated anthropogenic contribution of Cu, Ni, Co, Cr, Mn and Pb. The EF and Igeo values indicated very high contamination with respect to Cu followed by As and Zn in the agricultural soils. The values of PLI, RI and Nemerow index, which considered the overall effect of all the studied metals on the soils, revealed that 50% of the locations were highly polluted with respect to metals. The pollution levels varied with the proximity to the copper mining and processing units. Consequently, the results advocate the necessity of periodic monitoring of the agricultural soils of the area and development of proper management strategies to reduce the metal pollution.

• Provenance of coastal dune sands along Red Sea, Egypt

Texture, mineralogy, and major and trace element geochemistry of 26 coastal dune sand samples were studied to determine the provenance and tectonic environment of two dune fields close to the beaches of Safaga (SF) and Quseir (QS) at the Egyptian Red Sea coast. Onshore winds generate fine, moderate, moderately-well to well-sorted, coarse-skewed to near-symmetrical dune sands with mesokurtic distributions. Winds pick up and transport grains from nearby beach sands and alluvial deposits into a wide Red Sea coastal plain at the border of the beach. The mineralogical (Qt–Ft–Lt) and geochemical composition of the sands, indicate that SF and QS coastal dune sands are mature and influenced by quartz-rich sands. The average CIA values in SF and QS coastal dune sands are low relative to the range of the PAAS, suggesting an arid climate and a low intensity of chemical weathering. The SF and QS coastal dune sand samples are plotted in the recycled orogen and partly in craton interior fields suggesting recycled older sedimentary and partly metamorphic-plutonic sources. The high content of quartz with shell debris and carbonates in coastal dune sands support the recycled sedimentary beach and alluvial sand sources. The dominance of heavy minerals like amphiboles (hornblende) and biotite in the coastal dune sands also supports the effect of metamorphic-plutonic source rocks. The new tectonic discriminant-function diagrams suggest that the coastal dune sands were deposited in a passive margin of a synrift basin. The results provide a good evidence for the extension in the Red Sea rift system during Oligocene-post Pliocene, which is consistent with the general geology of Egypt.

• Effect of solar flare on the equatorial electrojet in eastern Brazil region

The effect of solar flare, sudden commencement of magnetic storm and of the disturbances ring current on the equatorial electrojet in the Eastern Brazil region, where the ground magnetic declination is as large as 20W is studied based on geomagnetic data with one minute resolution from Bacabal during November–December 1990. It is shown that the mean diurnal vector of the horizontal field was aligned along 2E of north at Huancayo and 30W of north at Bacabal during the month of December 1990. Number of solar flares that occurred on 30 December 1990 indicated the direction of solar flare related $\Delta H$ vector to be aligned along 5E of north at Huancayo and 28W of north at Bacabal. This is expected as the solar flare effects are due to the enhanced conductivity in the ionosphere. The SC at 2230 UT on 26 November 1990 produced a positive impulse in $\Delta X$ and negative impulse in $\Delta Y$ at Bacabal with $\Delta H$ vector aligned along 27W of north. At Huancayo the $\Delta H$ vector associated with SC is aligned along 8E of north, few degrees east to the alignment of the diurnal vector of H. The magnetic storm that followed the SC had a minimum Dst index of –150 nT. The corresponding storm time disturbance in $\Delta X$ at Huancayo as well as at Bacabal were about –250 nT but $\Delta Y$ at Bacabal was about +70 nT and very small at Huancayo, that give the alignment of the H vector due to ring current about 16∘W of north at Bacabal and almost along N–S at Huancayo. Thus alignment of the $\Delta H$ vector due to ring current at Bacabal is 14E of the mean direction of $\Delta H$ vector during December 1990. This is consistent with the direction of ring current dependent on the dipole declination at the ring current altitude which is about 5W of north over Bacabal and the deviation of declination due to the ring current during disturbed period given by the angle $(\psi-D)$.

• Occurrence of wagnerite in Mg–Al granulites of Sonapahar, Meghalaya

We report for the first time the occurrence of rare phosphate wagnerite as a stable phase from the Mg–Al granulites of Sonapahar. The wagnerite bearing assemblages consist of the spinel, phlogopite, brucite and corundum. The wagnerite appears in the Mg–Al granulites due to the break-down of spinel and fluorapatite. The mineral chemistry of the phases has been discussed from the EPMA data, which reveals that the fluorine content of the wagnerite is relatively low due to the exchange of F to coexisting phases. The major oxide analysis of the rocks show the low content of Ca, which is the requisite for the occurrences of wagnerite.

• Downward continuation and tilt derivative of magnetic data for delineation of concealed coal fire in East Basuria Colliery, Jharia coal field, India

The present study deals with the characterization of subsurface coal fires of East Basuria colliery in Jharia coal field, India using tilt derivative and downward continuation of magnetic data. Magnetic data processing methods such as diurnal correction, noise removal, reduction to pole, tilt derivative and downward continuation have been used to process the data and for the interpretation of results on the basis of magnetic properties of overlying materials which change with the temperature variation above or below the Curie temperature. Most of the magnetic anomalies are associated with coal fire and non-coal fire regions which are correlated with tilt-derivative anomaly and corresponding downward-continued anomaly at different depths. The subsequent surface and subsurface characteristics are explained with good agreement. Approximate source depth of principal anomaly inferred from tilt derivatives method are corroborated with multi-seam occurrences, mine working levels and surface manifestation which are also correlated well with 3D model of downward continued anomaly distribution.

• Deep learning for predicting the monsoon over the homogeneous regions of India

Indian monsoon varies in its nature over the geographical regions. Predicting the rainfall not just at the national level, but at the regional level is an important task. In this article, we used a deep neural network, namely, the stacked autoencoder to automatically identify climatic factors that are capable of predicting the rainfall over the homogeneous regions of India. An ensemble regression tree model is used for monsoon prediction using the identified climatic predictors. The proposed model provides forecast of the monsoon at a long lead time which supports the government to implement appropriate policies for the economic growth of the country. The monsoon of the central, north-east, north-west, and south-peninsular India regions are predicted with errors of 4.1%, 5.1%, 5.5%, and 6.4%, respectively. The identified predictors show high skill in predicting the regional monsoon having high variability. The proposed model is observed to be competitive with the state-of-the-art prediction models.

• Reconstruction of specific mass balance for glaciers in Western Himalaya using seasonal sensitivity characteristic(s)

Seasonal sensitivity characteristics (SSCs) were developed for Naradu, Shaune Garang, Gor Garang and Gara glaciers, Western Himalaya to quantify the changes in mean specific mass balance using monthly temperature and precipitation perturbations. The temperature sensitivities were observed high during summer (April–October) and precipitation sensitivities during winter months (November–March), respectively. The reconstructed mass balance correlates well with the field and remote sensing measurements, available between 1980 and 2014. Further, SSCs were used with the monthly mean temperatures and precipitation estimates of ERA 20CM ensemble climate reanalysis datasets to reconstruct the specific mass balance for a period of 110 years, between 1900 and 2010. Mass balance estimates suggest that the Shaune Garang, Gor-Garang and Gara glaciers have experienced both positive and negative mass balance, whereas the Naradu glacier has experienced only negative mass balance since 1900 AD. Further, a cumulative loss of −133±21.5 m.w.e was estimated for four glaciers during the observation period. This study is the first record from Indian Himalaya in evaluating the mass balance characteristics over a century scale.

• Implication of surface modified NZVI particle retention in the porous media: Assessment with the help of 1-D transport model

Retention of surface-modified nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) particles in the porous media near the point of injection has been reported in the recent studies. Retention of excess particles in porous media can alter the media properties. The main objectives of this study are, therefore, to evaluate the effect of particle retention on the porous media properties and its implication on further NZVI particle transport under different flow conditions. To achieve the objectives, a one-dimensional transport model is developed by considering particle deposition, detachment, and straining mechanisms along with the effect of changes in porosity resulting from retention of NZVI particles. Two different flow conditions are considered for simulations. The first is a constant Darcy’s flow rate condition, which assumes a change in porosity, causes a change in pore water velocity and the second, is a constant head condition, which assumes the change in porosity, influence the permeability and hydraulic conductivity (thus Darcy’s flow rate). Overall a rapid decrease in porosity was observed as a result of high particle retention near the injection points resulting in a spatial distribution of deposition rate coefficient. In the case of constant head condition, the spatial distribution of Darcy’s velocities is predicted due to variation in porosity and hydraulic conductivity. The simulation results are compared with the data reported from the field studies; which suggests straining is likely to happen in the real field condition.

• The sensitivity to the microphysical schemes on the skill of forecasting the track and intensity of tropical cyclones using WRF-ARW model

The Advanced Research WRF (ARW) model is used to simulate Very Severe Cyclonic Storms (VSCS) Hudhud (7–13 October, 2014), Phailin (8–14 October, 2013) and Lehar (24–29 November, 2013) to investigate the sensitivity to microphysical schemes on the skill of forecasting track and intensity of the tropical cyclones for high-resolution (9 and 3 km) 120-hr model integration. For cloud resolving grid scale (<5 km) cloud microphysics plays an important role. The performance of the Goddard, Thompson, LIN and NSSL schemes are evaluated and compared with observations and a CONTROL forecast. This study is aimed to investigate the sensitivity to microphysics on the track and intensity with explicitly resolved convection scheme. It shows that the Goddard one-moment bulk liquid-ice microphysical scheme provided the highest skill on the track whereas for intensity both Thompson and Goddard microphysical schemes perform better. The Thompson scheme indicates the highest skill in intensity at 48, 96 and 120 hr, whereas at 24 and 72 hr, the Goddard scheme provides the highest skill in intensity. It is known that higher resolution domain produces better intensity and structure of the cyclones and it is desirable to resolve the convection with sufficiently high resolution and with the use of explicit cloud physics. This study suggests that the Goddard cumulus ensemble microphysical scheme is suitable for high resolution ARW simulation for TC’s track and intensity over the BoB. Although the present study is based on only three cyclones, it could be useful for planning real-time predictions using ARW modelling system.

• Remote sensing monitoring the spatio-temporal changes of aridification in the Mongolian Plateau based on the general Ts-NDVI space, 1981–2012

This paper has developed a general Ts-NDVI triangle space with vegetation index time-series data from AVHRR and MODIS to monitor soil moisture in the Mongolian Plateau during 1981–2012, and studied the spatio-temporal variations of drought based on the temperature vegetation dryness index (TVDI). The results indicated that (1) the developed general Ts-NDVI space extracted from the AVHRR and MODIS remote sensing data would be an effective method to monitor regional drought, moreover, it would be more meaningful if the single time Ts-NDVI space showed an unstable condition; (2) the inverted TVDI was expected to reflect the water deficit in the study area. It was found to be in close negative agreement with precipitation and 10 cm soil moisture; (3) in the Mongolian Plateau, TVDI presented a zonal distribution with changes in land use/land cover types, vegetation cover and latitude. The soil moisture is low in bare land, construction land and grassland. During 1981–2012, drought was widely spread throughout the plateau, and aridification was obvious in the study period. Vegetation degradation, overgrazing, and climate warming could be considered as the main reasons.

• Flash-flood potential assessment and mapping by integrating the weights-of-evidence and frequency ratio statistical methods in GIS environment – case study: Bâsca Chiojdului River catchment (Romania)

Given the significant worldwide human and economic losses caused due to floods annually, reducing the negative consequences of these hazards is a major concern in development strategies at different spatial scales. A basic step in flood risk management is identifying areas susceptible to flood occurrences. This paper proposes a methodology allowing the identification of areas with high potential of accelerated surface run-off and consequently, of flash-flood occurrences. The methodology involves assessment and mapping in GIS environment of flash flood potential index (FFPI), by integrating two statistical methods: frequency ratio and weights-of-evidence. The methodology was applied for Bâsca Chiojdului River catchment (340 km2), located in the Carpathians Curvature region (Romania). Firstly, the areas with torrential phenomena were identified and the main factors controlling the surface run-off were selected (in this study nine geographical factors were considered). Based on the features of the considered factors, many classes were set for each of them. In the next step, the weights of each class/category of the considered factors were determined, by identifying their spatial relationships with the presence or absence of torrential phenomena. Finally, the weights for each class/category of geographical factors were summarized in GIS, resulting the FFPI values for each of the two statistical methods. These values were divided into five classes of intensity and were mapped. The final results were used to estimate the flash-flood potential and also to identify the most susceptible areas to this phenomenon. Thus, the high and very high values of FFPI characterize more than one-third of the study catchment. The result validation was performed by (i) quantifying the rate of the number of pixels corresponding to the torrential phenomena considered for the study (training area) and for the results’ testing (validating area) and (ii) plotting the ROC (receiver operating characteristics) curve.

• Key pluvial parameters in assessing rainfall erosivity in the south-west development region, Romania

Located in the south-western part of Romania, the south-west development region overlaps the main relief forms: the Carpathians mountains, the Getic Subcarpathians, the Getic piedmont, the Romanian plain and the Danube valley. The study aims at providing an overview on the main pluvial parameters and their role in assessing rainfall erosivity in the study area. The authors assessed the occurrence, frequency and magnitude of some of the most significant pluvial parameters and their impact on the climatic aggressiveness in the study area. Thus, the monthly and annual mean and extreme climatic values for different rainfall related parameters (e.g., maximum amounts of precipitation/24 hr, heavy rainfall), as well as relevant indices and indicators for pluvial aggressiveness (Fournier, Fournier Modified, Angot) were calculated. The rainfall erosivity was assessed in order to provide both the spatial distribution of the triggering extreme weather phenomena and the resulted intensity classes for the analysed indices and indicators. The authors used long-term precipitation records (1961–2010) for the selected relevant meteorological stations distributed throughout all analysed relief units.

• Phenomena and characteristics of barrier river reaches in the middle and lower Yangtze River, China

Alluvial river self-adjustment describes the mechanism whereby a river that was originally in an equilibrium state of sediment transport encounters some disturbance that destroys the balance and results in responses such as riverbed deformation. A systematic study of historical and recent aerial photographs and topographic maps in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River (MLYR) shows that river self-adjustment has the distinguishing feature of transferring from upstream to downstream, which may affect flood safety, waterway morphology, bank stability, and aquatic environmental safety over relatively long reaches downstream. As a result, it is necessary to take measures to control or block this transfer. Using the relationship of the occurrence time of channel adjustments between the upstream and downstream, 34 single-thread river reaches in the MLYR were classified into four types: corresponding, basically corresponding, basically not corresponding, not corresponding. The latter two types, because of their ability to prevent upstream channel adjustment from transferring downstream, are called barrier river reaches in this study. Statistics indicate that barrier river reaches are generally single thread and slightly curved, with a narrow and deep cross-sectional morphology, and without flow deflecting nodes in the upper and middle parts of reaches. Moreover, in the MLYR, barrier river reaches have a hydrogeometric coefficient of <4, a gradient >1.2‰, a silty clay content of the concave bank >9.5%, and a median diameter of the bed sediment >0.158 mm. The barrier river reach mechanism lies in that can effectively centralise the planimetric position of the main stream from different upstream directions, meaning that no matter how the upper channel adjusts, the main stream shows little change, providing relatively stable inflow conditions for the lower reaches. Regarding river regulation, it is necessary to optimise the benefits of barrier river reaches; long river reaches without barrier properties should be systematically planned and regulated; drastic bank collapse and sandbar shrinking should be urgently controlled to prevent the loss of barrier effects.

• # Journal of Earth System Science

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Volume 127 | Issue 1
February 2018