• Volume 126, Issue 6

      August 2017

    • Editorial

      Editors

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    • The role of boundary layer momentum advection in the mean location of the ITCZ

      Vishal Dixit J Srinivasan

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      The inter-tropical convergence zones (ITCZ) form closer to the equator during equinoxes while they form well away from the equator during the boreal summer. A simple three-way balance between the pressure gradients, Coriolis force and effective Rayleigh friction has been classically used to diagnose the location of maximum boundary layer convergence in the near equatorial ITCZ. If such a balance can capture the dynamics of off-equatorial convergence was not known. We used idealized aqua planet simulations with fixed, zonally symmetric sea surface temperature boundary conditions to simulate the near equatorial and off-equatorial ITCZ. As opposed to the convergence of inter-hemispheric flows in the near equatorial convergence, the off-equatorial convergence forms due to the deceleration of cross-equatorial meridional flow. The detailed momentum budget of the off-equatorial convergence zone reveals that the simple balance is not sufficient to capture the relevant dynamics. The deceleration of the meridional flow is strongly modulated by the inertial effects due to the meridional advection of zonal momentum in addition to the terms in the simple balance. The simple balance predicts a spurious near equatorial convergence and a consistent off-equatorial convergence of the meridional flow. The spurious convergence disappears when inertial effects are included in the balance. As cross equatorial meridional flow decelerates to form convergence, the inertial effects cancel the pressure gradient effects near the equator while they add away from the equator. The contribution to the off-equatorial convergence induced by the pressure gradients is significantly larger than the contribution due to the inertial effects and hence pressure gradients appear to be the primary factor in anchoring the strength and location of the off-equatorial convergence.

    • Satellite-based technique for nowcasting of thunderstorms over Indian region

      Suman Goyal Ashish Kumar M Mohapatra L S Rathore S K Dube Rahul Saxena R K Giri

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      India experiences severe thunderstorms during the months, March–June. But these systems are not predicted well, mainly due to the absence of mesoscale observational network over Indian region and the expert system. As these are short lived systems, the nowcast is attempted worldwide based on satellite and radar observations. Due to inadequate radar network, satellite plays the dominant role for nowcast of these thunderstorms. In this study, a nowcast based algorithm ForTracc developed by Vila et al. (Weather Forecast 23:233–245, 2008) has been examined over the Indian region using Infrared Channel (10.8 μm) of INSAT-3D for prediction of Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCS). In this technique, the current location and intensity in terms of Cloud Top Brightness Temperature (CTBT) of the MCS are extrapolated. The purpose of this study is to validate this satellite-based nowcasting technique for Convective Cloud Clusters that helps in optimum utilization of satellite data and improve the nowcasting. The model could predict reasonably the minimum CTBT of the convective cell with average absolute error (AAE) of <7 K for different lead periods (30–180 min). However, it was underestimated for all the lead periods of forecasts. The AAE in the forecasts of size of the cluster varies from about 3×104 km2 for 30-min forecast to 7×104 km2 for 120-min forecast. The mean absolute error in prediction of size is above 31–38% of actual size for different lead periods of forecasts from 30 to 180 min. There is over estimation in prediction of size for 30 and 60 min forecasts (17% and 2.6% of actual size of the cluster, respectively) and underestimation in 90 to 180-min forecasts (–2.4% to –28%). The direct position error (DPE) based on the location of minimum CTBT ranges from 70 to 144 km for 30–180-min forecast respectively.

    • Spatial hydrological drought characteristics in Karkheh River basin, southwest Iran using copulas

      Esmaeel Dodangeh Kaka Shahedi Jenq-Tzong Shiau Maryam MirAkbari

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      Investigation on drought characteristics such as severity, duration, and frequency is crucial for water resources planning and management in a river basin. While the methodology for multivariate drought frequency analysis is well established by applying the copulas, the estimation on the associated parameters by various parameter estimation methods and the effects on the obtained results have not yet been investigated. This research aims at conducting a comparative analysis between the maximum likelihood parametric and non-parametric method of the Kendall $\tau$ estimation method for copulas parameter estimation. The methods were employed to study joint severity–duration probability and recurrence intervals in Karkheh River basin (southwest Iran) which is facing severe water-deficit problems. Daily streamflow data at three hydrological gauging stations (Tang Sazbon, Huleilan and Polchehr) near the Karkheh dam were used to draw flow duration curves (FDC) of these three stations. The Q75 index extracted from the FDC were set as threshold level to abstract drought characteristics such as drought duration and severity on the basis of the run theory. Drought duration and severity were separately modeled using the univariate probabilistic distributions and gamma–GEV, LN2–exponential, and LN2–gamma were selected as the best paired drought severity–duration inputs for copulas according to the Akaike Information Criteria (AIC), Kolmogorov–Smirnov and chi-square tests. Archimedean Clayton, Frank, and extreme value Gumbel copulas were employed to construct joint cumulative distribution functions (JCDF) of droughts for each station. Frank copula at Tang Sazbon and Gumbel at Huleilan and Polchehr stations were identified as the best copulas based on the performance evaluation criteria including AIC, BIC, log-likelihood and root mean square error (RMSE) values. Based on the RMSE values, nonparametric Kendall-$\tau$ is preferred to the parametric maximum likelihood estimation method. The results showed greater drought return periods by the parametric ML method in comparison to the nonparametric Kendall $\tau$ estimation method. The results also showed that stations located in tributaries (Huleilan and Polchehr) have close return periods, while the station along the main river (Tang Sazbon) has the smaller return periods for the drought events with identical drought duration and severity.

    • Probable existence of a Gondwana transcontinental rift system in western India: Implications in hydrocarbon exploration in Kutch and Saurashtra offshore: A GIS-based approach

      S Mazumder Blecy Tep K K S Pangtey K K Das D S Mitra

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      The Gondwanaland assembly rifted dominantly during Late Carboniferous–Early Permian forming several intracratonic rift basins. These rifts were subsequently filled with a thick sequence of continental clastic sediments with minor marine intercalations in early phase. In western part of India, these sediments are recorded in enclaves of Bikaner–Nagaur and Jaisalmer basins in Rajasthan. Facies correlatives of these sediments are observed in a number of basins that were earlier thought to be associated with the western part of India. The present work is a GIS based approach to reconnect those basins to their position during rifting and reconstruct the tectono-sedimentary environment at that time range. The study indicates a rift system spanning from Arabian plate in the north and extending to southern part of Africa that passes through Indus basin, western part of India and Madagascar, and existed from Late Carboniferous to Early Jurassic. Extensions related to the opening of Neo-Tethys led to the formation of a number of cross trends in the rift systems that acted as barriers to marine transgressions from the north as well as disrupted the earlier continuous longitudinal drainage systems. The axis of this rift system is envisaged to pass through present day offshore Kutch and Saurashtra and implies a thick deposit of Late Carboniferous to Early Jurassic sediments in these areas. Based on analogy with other basins associated with this rift system, these sediments may be targeted for hydrocarbon exploration.

    • Hydrodynamic control of microphytoplankton bloom in a coastal sea

      K Narasimha Murty Nittala S Sarma Sudarsana Rao Pandi Gundala Chiranjeevulu Rayaprolu Kiran R Muralikrishna

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      The influence of hydrodynamics on phytoplankton bloom occurrence/formation has not been adequately reported. Here, we document diurnal observations in the tropical Bay of Bengal’s mid-western shelf region which reveal microphytoplankton cell density maxima in association with neap tide many times more than what could be accounted for by solar insolation and nutrient levels. When in summer, phytoplankton cells were abundant and the cell density of Guinardia delicatula reached critical value by tide caused zonation, aggregation happened to an intense bloom. Mucilaginous exudates from the alga due to heat and silicate stress likely promoted and stable water column and weak winds left undisturbed, the transient bloom. The phytoplankton aggregates have implication as food resource in the benthic region implying higher fishery potential, in carbon dioxide sequestration (carbon burial) and in efforts towards improving remote sensing algorithms for chlorophyll in the coastal region.

    • Seismic profile analysis of the Kangra and Dehradun re-entrant of NW Himalayan Foreland thrust belt, India: A new approach to delineate subsurface geometry

      Joyjit Dey R Jayangonda Perumal Subham Sarkar Anamitra Bhowmik

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      In the NW Sub-Himalayan frontal thrust belt in India, seismic interpretation of subsurface geometry of the Kangra and Dehradun re-entrant mismatch with the previously proposed models. These procedures lack direct quantitative measurement on the seismic profile required for subsurface structural architecture. Here we use a predictive angular function for establishing quantitative geometric relationships between fault and fold shapes with ‘Distance–displacement method’ (D–d method). It is a prognostic straightforward mechanism to probe the possible structural network from a seismic profile. Two seismic profiles Kangra-2 and Kangra-4 of Kangra re-entrant, Himachal Pradesh (India), are investigated for the fault-related folds associated with the Balh and Paror anticlines. For Paror anticline, the final cut-off angle β=35∘ was obtained by transforming the seismic time profile into depth profile to corroborate the interpreted structures. Also, the estimated shortening along the Jawalamukhi Thrust and Jhor Fault, lying between the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) and the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) in the frontal fold-thrust belt, were found to be 6.06 and 0.25 km, respectively. Lastly, the geometric method of fold-fault relationship has been exercised to document the existence of a fault-bend fold above the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT). Measurement of shortening along the fault plane is employed as an ancillary tool to prove the multi-bending geometry of the blind thrust of the Dehradun re-entrant.

    • Structural mapping based on potential field and remote sensing data, South Rewa Gondwana Basin, India

      Swarnapriya Chowdari Bijendra Singh B Nageswara Rao Niraj Kumar A P Singh D V Chandrasekhar

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      Intracratonic South Rewa Gondwana Basin occupies the northern part of NW–SE trending Son–Mahanadi rift basin of India. The new gravity data acquired over the northern part of the basin depicts WNW–ESE and ENE–WSW anomaly trends in the southern and northern part of the study area respectively. 3D inversion of residual gravity anomalies has brought out undulations in the basement delineating two major depressions (i) near Tihki in the north and (ii) near Shahdol in the south, which divided into two sub-basins by an ENE–WSW trending basement ridge near Sidi. Maximum depth to the basement is about 5.5 km within the northern depression. The new magnetic data acquired over the basin has brought out ENE–WSW to E–W trending short wavelength magnetic anomalies which are attributed to volcanic dykes and intrusive having remanent magnetization corresponding to upper normal and reverse polarity (29N and 29R) of the Deccan basalt magnetostratigrahy. Analysis of remote sensing and geological data also reveals the predominance of ENE–WSW structural faults. Integration of remote sensing, geological and potential field data suggest reactivation of ENE–WSW trending basement faults during Deccan volcanism through emplacement of mafic dykes and sills. Therefore, it is suggested that South Rewa Gondwana basin has witnessed post rift tectonic event due to Deccan volcanism.

    • Geomorphic and lithologic characteristics of Wadi Feiran basin, southern Sinai, Egypt, using remote sensing and field investigations

      Ayman A Ahmed Mohamed Abdelkareem Asran M Asran Tawfig M Mahran

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      Wadi Feiran is an important drainage basin in southern Sinai Peninsula covering an area of about 1785 km2, its streams drain into the Gulf of Suez crossing variety of rocks and sedimentary units varied in age from Precambrian to Quaternary. Field investigations, geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing studies including Landsat-7 ETM+, Radarsat-1, and SRTM DEM were integrated to reveal its lithologic, geologic and geomorphic features. Besides the field investigations, rock units including basement and pre- and syn-rift sedimentary units were discriminated using band ratios and principal component analysis techniques (PCA). Such techniques revealed that the crystalline rocks covering W. Feiran are unaltered rocks lacking OH-bearing minerals. Radar data successfully displayed the structures and geomorphic features related to topography. Moreover, the techniques allowed the extraction of the dyke-like structures along faults and shear zones. This also characterized the topographic variations through analysis of the shaded terrain and the altitudinal profiles. The results of data integration, lineament analysis and lineament density maps revealed that the structural grain in the present study has four different trends: N20–45E, N30–45W, N–S and E–W. Based on analysis of radar data and geomorphic indices, W. Feiran is an asymmetrical basin, its left side occupies ∼34% of the total area that leads to a supposedly massive tilt towards the south which caused the southwestward slope.

    • Run-off analyses using isotopes and hydrochemistry in Yushugou River basin, eastern Tianshan Mountains

      Xiaoyan Wang Zhongqin Li Chanwen Jiang

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      Yushugou River basin of East Tianshan Mountains receives water from melting glaciers. In recent years, the glaciers retreated strongly due to global warming which intensified the water cycle in the river basin. For this reason, the relation of water bodies based on hydrochemistry and isotope in the summer flood was carried out. Hydrochemistry research showed that there was frequent hydraulic interaction between river water and groundwater. Studying the isotopes and Cl of river water, glacier meltwater, groundwater and precipitation, indicated that Yushugou River was recharged by the glacier meltwater, groundwater and precipitation during the summer flood period. The analysis result based on the three-component mixing model showed that Yushugou River was recharged by 54.9% of glacier meltwater, 37.6% of the run-off came from groundwater, while less than 8% was contributed by precipitation. The study suggests that the role of glacier meltwater and groundwater, especially glacier meltwater, should be specially concerned in water resource protection and reasonable utilization, and the injection of glacier meltwater is the main reason for run-off variation in this alpine basin during the summer flood period.

    • Indian summer monsoon forcing on the deglacial polar cold reversals

      Virupaxa K Banakar Sweta Baidya Alexander M Piotrowski D Shankar

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      The deglacial transition from the last glacial maximum at $\sim$20 kiloyears before present (ka) to the Holocene (11.7 ka to Present) was interrupted by millennial-scale cold reversals, viz., Antarctic Cold Reversal ($\sim$14.5–12.8 ka) and Greenland Younger Dryas ($\sim$12.8–11.8 ka) which had different timings and extent of cooling in each hemisphere. The cause of this synchronously initiated, but different hemispheric cooling during these cold reversals (Antarctic Cold Reversal $\sim$3C and Younger Dryas $\sim$10C) is elusive because CO2, the fundamental forcing for deglaciation, and Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, the driver of antiphased bipolar climate response, both fail to explain this asymmetry. We use centennial-resolution records of the local surface water $\delta ^{18}\hbox {O}$ of the Eastern Arabian Sea, which constitutes a proxy for the precipitation associated with the Indian Summer Monsoon, and other tropical precipitation records to deduce the role of tropical forcing in the polar cold reversals. We hypothesize a mechanism for tropical forcing, via the Indian Summer Monsoons, of the polar cold reversals by migration of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone and the associated cross-equatorial heat transport.

    • Near InfraRed Imaging Spectrograph (NIRIS) for ground-based mesospheric OH(6-2) and O2(0-1) intensity and temperature measurements

      Ravindra P Singh Duggirala Pallamraju

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      This paper describes the development of a new Near InfraRed Imaging Spectrograph (NIRIS) which is capable of simultaneous measurements of OH(6-2) Meinel and O2(0-1) atmospheric band nightglow emission intensities. In this spectrographic technique, rotational line ratios are obtained to derive temperatures corresponding to the emission altitudes of 87 and 94 km. NIRIS has been commissioned for continuous operation from optical aeronomy observatory, Gurushikhar, Mount Abu (24.6N, 72.8E) since January 2013. NIRIS uses a diffraction grating of 1200 lines mm−1 and 1024×1024 pixels thermoelectrically cooled CCD camera and has a large field-of-view (FOV) of 80 along the slit orientation. The data analysis methodology adopted for the derivation of mesospheric temperatures is also described in detail. The observed NIRIS temperatures show good correspondence with satellite (SABER) derived temperatures and exhibit both tidal and gravity waves (GW) like features. From the time taken for phase propagation in the emission intensities between these two altitudes, vertical phase speed of gravity waves, $c_{z}$, is calculated and along with the coherent GW time period ‘$\tau$’, the vertical wavelength, $\lambda _{z}$, is obtained. Using large FOV observations from NIRIS, the meridional wavelengths, $\lambda _{y}$, are also calculated. We have used one year of data to study the possible cause(s) for the occurrences of mesospheric temperature inversions (MTIs). From the statistics obtained for 234 nights, it appears that in situ chemical heating is mainly responsible for the observed MTIs than the vertical propagation of the waves. Thus, this paper describes a novel near infrared imaging spectrograph, its working principle, data analysis method for deriving OH and O2 emission intensities and the corresponding rotational temperatures at these altitudes, derivation of gravity wave parameters ($\tau$, $c_{z}$, $\lambda _{z}$, and $\lambda _{y}$), and results on the statistical study of MTIs that exist in the earth’s mesospheric altitudes.

    • Determining shallow aquifer vulnerability by the DRASTIC model and hydrochemistry in granitic terrain, southern India

      C Mondal S Adike V S Singh S Ahmed K V Jayakumar

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      Shallow aquifer vulnerability has been assessed using GIS-based DRASTIC model by incorporating the major geological and hydrogeological factors that affect and control the groundwater contamination in a granitic terrain. It provides a relative indication of aquifer vulnerability to the contamination. Further, it has been cross-verified with hydrochemical signatures such as total dissolved solids (TDS), $\hbox {Cl}^{-},\, \hbox {HCO}_{3}^{-},\, \hbox {SO}_{4}^{2-}$ and $\hbox {Cl}^{-}/\hbox {HCO}_{3}^{-}$ molar ratios. The results show four zones of aquifer vulnerability (i.e., negligible, low, moderate and high) based on the variation of DRASTIC Vulnerability Index (DVI) between 39 and 132. About 57% area in the central part is found moderately and highly contaminated due to the 80 functional tannery disposals and is more prone to groundwater aquifer vulnerability. The high range values of TDS (2304–39,100 mg/l); Na+(239– 6,046 mg/l) and Cl (532–13,652 mg/l) are well correlated with the observed high vulnerable zones. The values of $\hbox {Cl}^{-}/\hbox {HCO}_{3}^{-}$ (molar ratios: 1.4–106.8) in the high vulnerable zone obviously indicate deterioration of the aquifer due to contamination. Further cumulative probability distributions of these parameters indicate several threshold values which are able to demarcate the diverse vulnerability zones in granitic terrain.

    • Continental rift-setting and evolution of Neoproterozoic Sindreth Basin in NW-India

      Stefan Schöbel Kamal K Sharma Thorsten Hörbrand Theresa Böhm Ines Donhauser Helga de Wall

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      The Neoproterozoic Sindreth Basin, NW India, and its surrounding area represent a half graben structure situated between the undeformed Malani Igneous Suite (MIS) in the west and a corridor of coeval Cryogenian ductile deformation, anatexis and granite intrusion in the east. The main lithologies observed in the basin are conglomerate, fanglomerate, debris flow and lake deposits derived from a nearby continental provenance, intercalated with concurrent mafic and felsic lava flows. Based on geological traverses across the strike of the basin, we propose a three-fold classification comprising Lower Clastic Unit and an Upper Clastic Unit and a Bimodal (basalt–rhyolite) Volcanic Unit separating the two. Tilting due to basin inversion and faulting has been observed; however, the rocks are unmetamorphosed and show undisturbed primary sedimentary features. The stratigraphic record of the basin is characteristic for deposition and magmatism in a fault-related continental setting. Implications of the findings have been discussed in the context of Neoproterozoic crustal dynamics in NW India. This study provides conclusive evidence for a continental setting for Sindreth Basin evolution and contests the recent models of active subduction setting (either back-arc basin or accretionary sediments over a subduction zone).

    • Vertical electrical sounding to delineate the potential aquifer zones for drinking water in Niamey city, Niger, Africa

      Joy Choudhury K Lohith Kumar E Nagaiah S Sonkamble Shakeel Ahmed Venay Kumar

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      Niger is a landlocked African country and the only source of surface water is the Niger River which flows in the western part of Niger and only few villages near to the river gets benefited from it, leaving most of the areas dependent on groundwater solely. The groundwater resources in Niger are mainly used for drinking, livestock and domestic needs. It can be observed that the water exploitation is minimal there due to several factors like undeveloped areas, less population, limited wells, rain-fed irrigation, etc. The delineation of potential aquifer zones is an important aspect for groundwater prospecting. Hence, the direct current (DC) resistivity soundings method also known as vertical electrical sounding (VES) is one of the most applied geophysical techniques for groundwater prospecting that was used in the capital city, Niamey of Niger. Twelve VES surveys, each of AB spacing 400 m were carried out in lateritic and granitic rock formations with a view to study the layer response and to delineate the potential zones. Potential aquifer zones were at shallow depth ranging from 10 to 25 m for the drilled borehole depth of 80–85 m in every village. Analysis of the result showed a good correlation between the acquired data and the lithologs.

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