• Volume 104, Issue 4

      December 1995,   pages  539-706

    • The underdetermined Earth

      B L N Kennett

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      In the endeavour to achieve the goal of understanding the structure of the Earth in three dimensions, the limitations of the seismological probe for Earth structure have to be recognised. In geo-seismology there are high quality observations of a wide range of information on the seismic wavefield but only at a limited number of observation points around the globe. In contrast for the Sun, the other body for which seismological techniques have been routinely applied, there is the equivalent of a very high concentration of seismometers on one-hemisphere but very limited data quality. The restriction imposed by data quality is easily recognised but the restrictions imposed by the limited sampling of the globe are more subtle and have to be borne in mind in the interpretation of any images of seismic structure.

      A wide range of studies has demonstrated the presence of heterogeneity in Earth-structure on a wide range of scales from planet-wide variations in the degree 2 spherical harmonics to the intensity of variations on the micro-scale in intensely deformed rock belts. Whatever scale of structure is being examined, the potential influence of other classes of heterogeneity has to be recognised and so an effort made to minimise the transfer of information from different scales which may contaminate the picture.

      An important class of questions which must be faced in the development of threedimensional models is the nature of the reference model (or group of models) from which the model is to be derived, and also whether it is likely that limitations in the starting state will map into final images of structure. Further, are the various classes of data being used, compatible within the class of models which is being imposed?

    • 26Al as a heat source for early melting of planetesimals: Results from isotopic studies of meteorites

      S Sahijpal M A Ivanova L L Kashkarov N N Korotkova L F Migdisova M A Nazarov J N Goswami

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      Ion microprobe studies of magnesium isotopic composition in igneous components from several chondritic meteorites have been carried out to look for26Mg excess that may be attributed to the presence of the now-extinct radionuclide26Al(τ ∼ 1 Ma) at the time of formation of these objects. A positive evidence for the presence of26Al in the analysed objects will strengthen its case as the primary heat source for the early thermal metamorphism/melting of meteorite parent bodies. Based on calculated temperature profiles inside chondritic objects of different sizes and initial26Al/27Al ratios, we have estimated the initial abundances of26Al needed to provide the heat necessary for the wide range of thermal processing seen in various types of meteorites. The magnesium isotopic data obtained by us do not provide definitive evidence for the presence of26Al at the time of formation of the analysed igneous phases in different chondritic meteorites. Experimental evidence for a planetary scale distribution of26Al in the early solar system to serve as a significant heat source for the thermal metamorphism and melting of meteorite parent bodies (planetesimals) remains elusive.

    • Rare earth element studies of surficial sediments from the southwestern Carlsberg Ridge, Indian Ocean

      J N Pattan N C Higgs

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      The rare earth element (REE) contents of sixteen surficial calcareous sediments from the southwestern Carlsberg Ridge, Indian Ocean, have been determined. The total REE vary from 35 ppm to 126 ppm and are inversely related to the calcium carbonate content. REEs show a strong positive correlation with Al + Fe + K + Mg + Na (r2= 0.98) and Mn + Fe + Cu + Ni (r2= 0.86) suggesting that the REE is associated with a combined phase of clays (mainly illite) and Mn-Fe oxyhydroxides. The aeolian input into these sediments is suggested from the weak positive Eu/Eu* anomaly. Shale-normalized (NASC) pattern along with La(n)/Yb(n) ratio suggest enrichment of heavy REE (HREE) relative to the light REE (LREE) with a negative Ce/Ce* anomaly implying retention of a bottom water REE pattern.

    • Sensitivity of the tropical nonlinear stationary Kelvin and Rossby waves to the vertical structure of heating

      R Krishnan S V Kasture

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      Idealized experiments using linear (LM) and nonlinear (NM) multilevel global spectral models have been carried out to investigate and understand the impact of nonlinearities on the stationary wave response in the tropical atmosphere and its sensitivity to the vertical profile of heating. It is found that nonlinearities exert a dominant influence on the low-latitude stationary Kelvin and Rossby waves particularly in the vicinity of the forcing region. Our study shows that nonlinear effects on the upper tropospheric response produce prominent eastward displacement of the anticyclonic vorticity and horizontal shifts of the maximum equilibrium divergence relative to the prescribed heating. These changes due to nonlinear terms are found to be quite sensitive to the vertical structure of diabatic heating. The strongest nonlinear effects are found to occur when the vertical level under consideration is strongly forced from below. Detailed vorticity budget calculations indicate that stronger nonlinear contributions from stretching and horizontal advection of relative vorticity favour the generation of upper tropospheric anticyclonic circulation and its eastward displacement. Larger vertical advection and twisting terms appear to oppose the generation of upper tropospheric anticyclonic vorticity. It is found that the nonlinear terms which affect the vorticity generation in the upper levels are crucially controlled by the vertical profile of heating.

      The mid-tropospheric response due to deep convective heating in the NM is characterized by anomalous equatorial westerlies in the low-latitude Rossby regime and exhibits prominent ageostrophic motions. Such nonlinear effects appear probably because of a vertical shift of the low level circulation anomalies in the NM. In the case of shallow convective heating the occurrence of anomalous zonal flows and ageostrophic motions in the low latitude regions of the NM takes place near the level of the maximum heating. Our study shows that large heating amplitudes and small vertical gradient of heating at a given vertical level together favour generation of anomalous zonal flows and ageostrophic motions in the near equatorial regions. These anomalous basic flows in the low-latitudes have implications on the propagation of transients from the tropics to midlatitudes. Non-linear effects on the lower tropospheric stationary waves are prominently seen in the case of strong low level heating which produces a large strengthening of the lower tropospheric cyclonic anomalies that exhibit distinct eastward shifts in the NM relative to the LM.

    • The value ofCefor the Arabian Sea during summer monsoon

      A Suryachandra Rao Y Sadhuram V V Gopala Krishna

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      We estimate, from the moisture budget the bulk aerodynamic coefficient for latent heat flux (Ce) during the monsoon season over the central Arabian Sea. The average value ofCeunder active monsoon conditions was found to be 2.25 × 10−3 which is nearly 60% higher than those previously used.

    • Upper and lower tropospheric energetics of standing and transient eddies in wave number domain during summer monsoon of 1991

      S M Bawiskar M D Chipade D K Paul S S Singh

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      Kinetic energy exchange equations (Saltzman 1957) in wave number domain are partitioned into standing, transient and standing-transient components following Murakami (1978, 1981). These components are computed for the 1991 summer monsoon using dailyu andv grid point data at 2.5° latitude-longitude interval between the equator and 40°N at 200 hPa and 850 hPa levels for the period June through August. The data are obtained from NCMRWF, New Delhi.

      The study shows that at 200 hPa wave number 1 over Region 3 (30°N to 40°N), wave number 2 over Region 2 (15°N to 30°N) and wave number 3 over Region 1 (equator to 15°N) dominate the spectrum of transport of momentum and wave to zonal mean flow interaction. Wave number 1 over Region 1 and Region 3 and wave number 2 over Region 2 are the major sources of kinetic energy to other waves via wave-to-wave interaction. At 850 hPa wave number 1 over Region 3 has maximum contribution in the spectrum of transport of momentum and kinetic energy and more than 90% of its contribution is from the standing component. This indicates that standing wave number 1 over Region 3 plays a very important role in the dynamics of monsoon circulation of the lower troposphere.

      The study further shows that although the circulation patterns at 200 hPa and 850 hPa levels are opposite in character, a number of energy processes exhibit a similar character at these levels. For example, (i) transport of momentum by most of the waves is northward, (ii) small scale eddies intensify northward, (iii) eddies are sources of kinetic energy to zonal mean flow over Region 1 and (iv) standing eddies are sources of kinetic energy to transient eddies. Besides the above similarities some contrasting energy processes are also observed. Over Region 2 and Region 3 standing and transient eddies are sources of kinetic energy to zonal mean flow at 200 hPa, while at 850 hPa the direction of exchange of kinetic energy is opposite i.e. zonal mean flow is a source of kinetic energy to standing as well as transient eddies. L(n) interaction indicates that at 200 hPa waves over R2 maintain waves over R1, while at 850 hPa waves over R1 maintain waves over R2.

      It has been found that the north-south gradient of zonal mean of zonal wind is the deciding factor of wave to zonal mean flow interaction.

    • Simulation of cyclones using synthetic data

      K Roy Abraham U C Mohanty S K Dash

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      A number of sensitivity experiments have been conducted to investigate the influence of using synthetic data on cyclone forecasts by a global spectral model. Some well known vortices have been used and the generated wind and pressure profiles are compared. It is found that the Rankine vortex and Holland’s vortex show the best representation of cyclonic circulation. Hence these two vortices are used in the sensitivity studies to simulate two cyclones, one of May 1979 and the other of August 1979. For this purpose the FGGE level-III b data set, produced at ECM WF, UK is used. Synthetic temperature and humidity data are also introduced to make the cyclones more realistic.

      With the use of Holland’s vortex the system is found to move faster than with the Rankine vortex. Also, the tracks of the cyclones simulated with Rankine vortex are found to be on the left side of the observed track while that of Holland’s vortex is on the right side of the observed track. However, substantial filling up of the systems are noticed with introduction of diabatic initialization of the mass and velocity fields and the forecasts of both the vortices behave differently. It is suggested that proper selection of synthetic vortex, initialization scheme and resolution of the model are very important for better forecast of cyclones.

    • Propagation of tides in the Mandovi-Zuari estuarine network

      S R Shetye A D Gouveia S Y Singbal C G Naik D Sundar G S Michael G Nampoothiri

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      Located in Goa on the west coast of India and joining the Arabian Sea, the Mandovi and the Zuari are two estuaries, each about 50 km long, connected by a narrow canal. A number of small rivers join the two estuaries, forming a network of channels, whose cross-sectional area decreases rapidly in the upstream direction. They receive large freshwater influx during the southwest monsoon and little during the rest of the year. During April (dry season) and August (wet season) 1993, the water level and salinity at 15 locations in the network were monitored for 3 days to determine characteristics of tidal propagation in the network. Analysis of the data shows that the speed of propagation of both the diurnal and the semi-diurnal tide through the main channels of the network is approximately 6 m/s. Amplitudes of these tides in the channels remain unchanged over a distance of about 40 km from the mouth and then decay rapidly upstream over the next 10 km. The undamped propagation is a consequence of the balance between geometric amplification, due to decrease in the cross-sectional area in the upstream direction, and frictional dissipation. The rapid decay near the upstream end of the channels appears to result primarily from freshwater influx.

    • On the aftershock sequence of a 4.6 mb earthquake of the Garhwal Himalaya

      Irene Sarkar Ramesh Chander Dalia Chatterjee

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      Locally recorded data for eighteen aftershocks of a magnitude(mb) 4.6 earthquake occurring near Ukhimath in the Garhwal Himalaya were analysed. A master event technique was adopted to locate seventeen individual aftershock hypocentres relative to the hypocentre of the eighteenth aftershock chosen as the master event. The aftershock epicentres define an approximately 30 km2 rupture zone commensurate with the magnitude of the earthquake. The distribution of epicentres within this zone and the limited amount of first motion data support the view that a group of parallel, sub-vertical, sinistral strike-slip faults oriented N46°, transverse to the regional NW-SE trend of the Garhwal Himalaya, was involved in this seismic episode. Since the estimated focal depth range for aftershocks of this sequence is 3–14 km, we infer that this transverse fault zone extends through the upper crustal layer to a depth of 14 km at least.

    • Seismic moment release along selected major transforms on the Central Indian Ridge, Western Indian Ocean, and its tectonic implications

      M Radha Krishna

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      A detailed seismicity map of the Central Indian Ridge for the period 1912–1993 is presented, and the earthquakes pertaining to four major transforms offsetting the ridge are utilized to study the moment release pattern. The scalar moment release for the period 1912–1993, and the summed moment rate tensors for both short period (1977–1993) and long period (1912–1993) bring out a unified picture of moment release pattern.

      The fraction of seismic slip calculated based on depths of 100°C and 400°C limiting temperatures suggests that the Marie-Celeste transform requires a slip almost to a depth of 400°C isotherm to account for the observed moment, and the Argo transform requires depth of faulting much above the 400°C isotherm. A very small fraction of slip is accounted seismically for Vema (53%) and 12° 12′S (23%) even to depths of 100°C isotherm, suggesting a very low order of moment release along these transforms.

      The horizontal plate velocities and the corresponding strain rates obtained from moment tensor summation of long period data (82 years) give rise to (Vyy; Vyx mm. yr−1) of 6.0 and 6.1 along Marie-Celeste, 1.3 and 0.50 along Argo, 0.06 and 0.06 along 12° 12′S, 1.6 and 0.25 along Vema transforms. The corresponding strain rates (εyyyx× 10−15 S−1) are 12.7 and 6.8 along MarieCeleste, 6.9 and 1.4 along Argo, 0.27 and 0.14 along 12° 12′S, 7.3 and 0.58 along Vema transforms.

      These results suggest that the strain rates were highest and almost all predicted motion is taken up seismically along the Marie-Celeste transform. The strain rates are lower along Argo transform and the observed moment release require shallower depth of faulting in order to slip to be accounted seismically. The Vema and 12° 12′S transforms are characterized by low strain rates and less than 15 per cent of motion is accommodated seismically within the seismogenic layer. It is proposed that the deficiency of moment release along the Vema and 12° 12′S multiple transform system may be due to most of the plate motion occurring aseismically.

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