• Volume 116, Issue 2

      April 2007,   pages  81-169

    • Impact cratering – fundamental process in geoscience and planetary science

      J K Pati W U Reimold

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      Impact cratering is a geological process characterized by ultra-fast strain rates, which generates extreme shock pressure and shock temperature conditions on and just below planetary surfaces. Despite initial skepticism, this catastrophic process has now been widely accepted by geoscientists with respect to its importance in terrestrial – indeed, in planetary – evolution. About 170 impact structures have been discovered on Earth so far, and some more structures are considered to be of possible impact origin. One major extinction event, at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, has been firmly linked with catastrophic impact, but whether other important extinction events in Earth history, including the so-called “Mother of All Mass Extinctions” at the Permian–Triassic boundary, were triggered by huge impact catastrophes is still hotly debated and a subject of ongoing research. There is a beneficial side to impact events as well, as some impact structures worldwide have been shown to contain significant (in some cases, world class) ore deposits, including the gold– uranium province of the Witwatersrand basin in South Africa, the enormous Ni and PGE deposits of the Sudbury structure in Canada, as well as important hydrocarbon resources, especially in North America. Impact cratering is not a process of the past, and it is mandatory to improve knowledge of the past-impact record on Earth to better constrain the probability of such events in the future. In addition, further improvement of our understanding of the physico–chemical and geological processes fundamental to the impact cratering process is required for reliable numerical modeling of the process, and also for the correlation of impact magnitude and environmental effects. Over the last few decades, impact cratering has steadily grown into an integrated discipline comprising most disciplines of the geosciences as well as planetary science, which has created positive spin-offs including the study of paleo-environments and paleo-climatology, or the important issue of life in extreme environments. And yet, in many parts of the world, the impact process is not yet part of the geoscience curriculum, and for this reason, it deserves to be actively promoted not only as a geoscientific discipline in its own right, but also as an important life-science discipline.

    • Quasi-static deformation due to two-dimensional seismic sources embedded in an elastic half-space in welded contact with a poroelastic half-space

      Sunita Rani Sarva Jit Singh

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      The Biot linearized theory of fluid saturated porous materials is used to study the plane strain deformation of a two-phase medium consisting of a homogeneous, isotropic, poroelastic half-space in welded contact with a homogeneous, isotropic, perfectly elastic half-space caused by a twodimensional source in the elastic half-space. The integral expressions for the displacements and stresses in the two half-spaces in welded contact are obtained from the corresponding expressions for an unbounded elastic medium by applying suitable boundary conditions at the interface. The case of a long dip-slip fault is discussed in detail. The integrals for this source are solved analytically for two limiting cases: (i) undrained conditions in the high frequency limit, and (ii) steady state drained conditions as the frequency approaches zero. It has been verified that the solution for the drained case (𝜔 → 0) coincides with the known elastic solution. The drained and undrained displacements and stresses are compared graphically. Diffusion of the pore pressure with time is also studied.

    • Neotectonic aspects of the northern margin of the Adana–Cilicia submarine basin, NE Mediterranean

      E Ozel A Ulug B Pekcetinoz

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      The sedimentary basins that dominate the north-eastern Mediterranean (Adana–Cilicia basins in the west and Iskenderun basin in the east) are located on the flanks of a partly submerged positive structure (a part of the Africa–Eurasia convergence zone) along which strike-slip faults are evident. This study summarizes the findings of two seismic surveys carried out in the Alanya– Mersin offshore region. Some 850 km of geophysical survey lines were compiled on these cruises. Based on the results determined from these surveys, the north and central part of Adana–Cilicia basin can be subdivided into eastern, central and western structural sub-basins separated by the Ecemiş fault complex in the east and the Anamur–Kormakiti structural high in the west at the same time. Results of this study also indicate that Ecemiş and Anamur–Kormakiti faults are active. Late Miocene regional compression was responsible for the compartmentation of this complex into the present arrangement and has initiated the rotational regime which has governed subsequent tectonic developments, notably the extensional behaviour of the NE–SW trending Ecemiş and Anamur–Kormakiti faults and the transpressive behaviour of the NNE–SSW trending border fault complex.

    • Depositional conditions of the coal-bearing Hirka Formation beneath Late Miocene explosive volcanic products in NW central Anatolia, Turkey

      Mehmet Şener

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      This work focuses on the relationship between the coal deposition and explosive volcanism of the Miocene basin, NW central Anatolia, Turkey. The coal-bearing Hirka Formation was deposited over the Galatian Andesitic Complex and/or massive lagoonal environments during the Miocene. The investigated lignite is a high ash (from 32 to 58%) and sulphur (from 1.43 to 3.03%) lignite which is petrographically characterised by a high humunite content. The mineral matter of the studied lignite samples is made up of mainly clay minerals (illite–smectite and kaolinite), plagioclase and quartz in Bolu coal field, clay minerals (illite–smectite, smectite and illite), quartz, calcite, plagioclase and gypsum in Seben coal field, quartz, K-feldspar, plagioclase and clay minerals (kaolinite and illite) in Kıbrıscık, and dolomite, quartz, clinoptilolite, opal CT and gypsum in C¸ amlıdere coal field. The differences in these four types of lignite with specific mineralogical patterns may be due to the explosive volcanic events and depositional conditions which changed from one coal field to the others. There is a zonation from SW to SE in the studied area for zeolites such as Opal CT+smectite-clinoptilolite-analcime-K-feldspar. Carbonate minerals are commonly calcite in Seben and Kıbrıscık coal fields. In Bolu, coal samples are devoid of calcite and dolomite. These analyses show that there is an increase in the amount of Mg and a decrease in the amount of Na from the northwestern part to the southern part in the study area.

    • Volatile displacement of Meghalaya coals – A pointer to explore low sulphur coals

      P Behera

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      Volatile displacement, which measures the difference between calculated and experimental volatile matter, is indicative of abnormality in coals which may be related to petrological or chemical parameters. The volatile displacement (𝛿 $v$) values of Meghalaya coals were calculated from their chemical analyses. Correlations of volatile displacement ($\delta v$) with parameters such as carbon, hydrogen, moisture, oxygen, oxygen plus sulphate sulphur, oxygen plus pyritic sulphur, oxygen plus organic sulphur and total sulphur were studied. An approximately linear relationship exists only between $\delta v$ and moisture, and $\delta v$ and total sulphur, and not between other parameters. Plots on Seyler’s chart indicate the coals as perhydrous to orthohydrous. The linear relationship with total sulphur indicates that the coals may have become abnormal mainly due to the marine environment of deposition and weathering.

    • Vesuvianite–wollastonite–grossular-bearing calc-silicate rock near Tatapani, Surguja district, Chhattisgarh

      S C Patel

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      This paper reports the occurrence of vesuvianite + wollastonite + grossular + diopside + microcline + quartz assemblage in an enclave of calc-silicate rocks occurring within quartzofeldspathic gneiss near Tatapani in the western part of Chhotanagpur Gneissic Complex. The enclave contains phlogopite-absent and phlogopite-bearing calc-silicate rocks, the latter being much more abundant than the former. The above assemblage occurs in the phlogopite-absent rock. Phlogopite-bearing rock contains the assemblage phlogopite + salite + microcline + plagioclase + quartz. A strong schistosity is developed in both the calc-silicate rocks and the minerals are syntectonic with the major foliation-forming event in the area. The vesuvianite-bearing assemblage is formed by amphibolite facies regional metamorphism of a calcareous protolith at pressure > 4 kbar and $X_{CO_2}$ (fluid) > 0.15.

    • The role of low-frequency intraseasonal oscillations in the anomalous Indian summer monsoon rainfall of 2002

      S Sajani S Naseema Beegum K Krishna Moorthy

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      We analyze the dynamical features and responsible factors of the low-frequency intraseasonal time scales which influenced the nature of onset, intensity and duration of active/break phases and withdrawal of the monsoon during the anomalous Indian summer monsoon of 2002 – the most severe drought recorded in recent times. During that season, persistent warm sea surface temperature anomalies over the equatorial Indian Ocean played a significant role in modulating the strength of the monsoon Hadley circulation. This in turn affected the onset and intense break spells especially the long break during the peak monsoon month of July. Strong low-frequency intraseasonal modulations with significant impact on the onset and active/break phases occurred in 2002 which were manifested as a good association between low-frequency intraseasonal oscillations and the onset and active/break spells. Further, SST anomalies over the equatorial Indo-Pacific region on low-frequency intraseasonal time scales were found to affect the equatorial eastward and thereby off-equatorial northward propagations of enhanced convection over the Indian region. These propagations in turn modulated the active/break cycle deciding the consequent severity of the 2002 drought.

    • Sensitivity of surface radiation budget to clouds over the Asian monsoon region

      S Balachandran M Rajeevan

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      Using the ISCCP–FD surface radiative flux data for the summer season (June to September) of the period 1992 to 1995, an analysis was done to understand the role of clouds on the surface radiation budget over the Asian monsoon region. At the top of atmosphere (TOA) of convective regions of the Asian monsoon region, the short wave radiative forcing (SWCRF) and long wave radiative forcing (LWCRF) do not cancel each other resulting in occurrence of the net cloud radiative forcing values exceeding $−$30W/m2. This type of imbalance between SWCRF and LWCRF at TOA is reflected down on the earth surface–atmosphere system also as an imbalance between surface netcloud radiative forcing (NETCRF) and atmospheric NETCRF.

      Based on the regression analysis of the cloud effects on the surface radiation budget quantities, it has been observed that generally, the variance explained by multiple type cloud data is 50% more than that of total cloud cover alone. In case of SWCRF, the total cloud cover can explain about 3% (7%) of the variance whereas the three cloud type descriptions of clouds can explain about 44% (42%) of the variance over oceanic (land) regions. This highlights the importance of cloud type information in explaining the variations of surface radiation budget. It has been observed that the clouds produce more cooling effect in short-wave band than the warming effect in long-wave band resulting in a net cooling at the surface. Over the oceanic region, variations in high cloud amount contribute more to variations in SWCRF while over land regions both middle and high cloud variations make substantial contributions to the variations in both SWCRF and NETCRF.

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