Volume 121, Issue 5
October 2012, pages 1105-1364
pp 1105-1112 October 2012
Glaciers are widely recognized as sensitive indicators for regional climate change. Very few studies have been conducted to investigate the long term deglaciation status in the Himalaya. In the present study, glaciers in the Beas basin, Himachal Pradesh, India were mapped by interpretation of various glaciomorphological features using the Landsat and IRS images. The mapping of 224 glaciers during the period 1972–2006 reveals that the glacier cover reduced from 419 to 371 km2, witnessing approximately 11.6% deglaciation in the Beas basin. A higher rate of retreat of the glaciers was observed during 1989–2006 as compared to the retreat during 1972–1989. Also, the loss has been more prominent in the glaciers with an areal extent of 2–5 km2. The number of glaciers increased from 224 to 236 due to fragmentation in this period. The average elevation of the ablation zone basin showed an upward shift from 3898 m (1972) to 4171 m (2006) which may be a consequence of a shift in Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) reflecting imbalance.
pp 1113-1123 October 2012
The INSAT Multispectral Rainfall Algorithm (IMSRA) technique for rainfall estimation, has recently been developed to meet the shortcomings of the Global Precipitation Index (GPI) technique of rainfall estimation from the data of geostationary satellites; especially for accurate short period rainfall estimates. This study evaluates the 3-hourly precipitation estimates by this technique as well as the rainfall estimates by the GPI technique using data of the Kalpana-1 satellite, over the Indian region for the south-west monsoon season of 2010 to understand their relative strengths and weaknesses in estimating short period rainfall. The gridded 3 hourly accumulated TRMM satellite (3B42 V6 product or TMPA product) and surface raingauge data for stations over the Indian region for the same period is used as the standard measure of rainfall estimates. The Method for Object-based Diagnostic Evaluation (MODE) utility of the METv3.0 software, has been used for the evaluation purpose. The results show that the new IMSRA technique is closer to the TMPA rainfall estimate, in terms of areal spread, geometric shape and location of rainfall areas, as compared to the GPI technique. The overlap of matching rainfall areas with respect to TMPA rainfall patches is also higher for the IMSRA estimates as compared to the GPI values. However, both satellite rainfall estimates are observed to be generally higher compared to the TMPA measurements. However, the values for the highest 10% of the rainfall rates in any rainfall patch, is generally higher for rainfall measured by the IMSRA technique, as compared to the estimates by the GPI technique. This may partly be due to the capping maximum limit of 3 mm/hr for rainfall measured by the GPI technique limits the total 3-hour accumulation to 9 mm even during heavy rainfall episodes. This is not so with IMSRA technique, which has no such limiting value. However, this general overestimation of the rainfall amount, measured by both techniques, and the greater error in case of IMSRA estimates, is also validated independently with respect to surface raingauge observations. Hence the observed overestimation by the IMSRA technique for the highest 10th percentile rainfall rates in rainfall episodes, is real. This overestimation by the latter technique may become a significant source of error, if the IMSRA estimate is used for monitoring very heavy rainfall episodes. In all other respects, since the IMSRA method shows significant improvement over the GPI, the rainfall estimates by the IMSRA method may be used for operational short period rainfall estimation.
pp 1125-1143 October 2012
India Meteorological Department has implemented Polar WRF model for the Maitri (lat. 70° 45′S, long. 11° 44′E) region at the horizontal resolution of 15 km using initial and boundary conditions of the Global Forecast System (GFS T-382) operational at the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Main objective of this paper is to examine the performance skill of the model in the short-range time scale over the Maitri region. An inter-comparison of the time series of daily mean sea level pressure and surface winds of Maitri for the 24 hours and 48 hours forecast against the corresponding observed fields has been made using 90 days data for the period from 1 December 2010 to 28 February 2011. The result reveals that the performance of the Polar WRF is reasonable, good and superior to that of IMD GFS forecasts. GFS shows an underestimation of mean sea level pressure of the order of 16–17 hPa with root mean square errors (RMSE) of order 21 hPa, whereas Polar WRF shows an overestimation of the order of 3–4 hPa with RMSE of 4 hPa. For the surface wind, GFS shows an overestimation of 1.9 knots at 24 hours forecast and an underestimation of 3.7 knots at 48 hours forecast with RMSE ranging between 8 and 11 knots. Whereas Polar WRF shows underestimation of 1.4 knots and 1.2 knots at 24 hours and 48 hours forecast with RMSE of 5 knots. The results of a case study illustrated in this paper, reveal that the model is capable of capturing synoptic weather features of Antarctic region. The performance of the model is found to be comparable with that of Antarctic Meso-scale Prediction System (AMPS) products.
pp 1145-1161 October 2012
There was a solar event around 1850 UT on 9th November 2004, associated with an abnormally large solar wind flow pressure and large southward interplanetary magnetic field, causing an abnormally large prompt penetration electric field between 1850 and 2100 UT. Abnormally large vertical F-region drifts by Jicamarca backscatter radar were reported associated with the event. The F-region over Jicamarca, Peru (14–16 LT) and Sao Luis, Brazil (16–18 LT) was lifted upward, broken into two portions and the upper one was blown out of the range of the ionosonde. At Fortaleza, an off-equatorial station in Brazil, the F-region was also lifted up but later the $f_\circ F_2$ increased due to the flow of ionization from upper layer blown up over the equatorial region. The F-region at Ascension Island (19–21 LT), an off-equatorial station, was lifted up without any deformations till 1915 LT but descended at 1930 LT due to reversal of electric field polarity. At Indian stations, Trivandrum and Waltair (00–02 LT), the F-region was pushed down and later disappeared as a consequence of enhanced westward ionospheric electric field in the night sector. The ionosonde did not receive any echo for a couple of hours till the next sunrise. The F-region at Kototaban (03–05 LT), Indonesia also disappeared after a rapid descend. At Kwajelien (06–08 LT) there was no equatorial type of sporadic-E at 07 to 09 LT due to the westward electric field.
pp 1163-1175 October 2012
This paper summarizes the results of year long (December 2009 to January 2011) continuous measurements of daytime (0700–1745) ozone (O3) in the ambient air and related meteorological parameters at Bhubaneswar (21° 15′N–85° 15′E), Odisha. The seasonal variation shows distinct daytime ozone maxima during winters with a peak in January (∼85 ppbv), a slight increase (∼38 ppbv) in June and lowest in August (∼20 ppbv). The backward trajectory analysis during winter months suggests long distance transport of airmass from mainly Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) and western part of Indian peninsula, a major industrial hub. In other seasons, wind reaches the observation site from less polluted landmasses and the Bay of Bengal, thereby considerably reducing the pollution load. On the contrary, ozone build-up was found to be maximum and minimum in pre-monsoon and monsoon, respectively. An anti-weekend ozone effect (∼5 ppbv) was observed in winter. Paired t-test and F-test along with principal component analysis (PCA) were done to determine significance between various components (ozone, precursors and meteorological parameters). The t- and F-test showed significant monthly variation of ozone mixing ratio. The PCA showed that three components explained 79.1% of variances.
pp 1177-1184 October 2012
Near-subsurface temperatures have signatures of climate change. Thermal models of subsurface have been constructed by prescribing time dependent Dirichlet type boundary condition wherein the temperature at the soil surface is prescribed and depth distribution of temperature is obtained. In this formulation it is not possible to include the relationship between air temperatures and the temperature of soil surface. However, if one uses a Robin type boundary condition, a transfer coefficient relates the air and soil surface temperatures which helps to determine both the temperature at the surface and at depth given near surface air temperatures. This coefficient is a function of meteorological conditions and is readily available. We have developed such a thermal model of near subsurface region which includes both heat conduction and advection due to groundwater flows and have presented numerical results for changes in the temperature–depth profiles for different values of transfer coefficient and groundwater flux. There are significant changes in temperature and depth profiles due to changes in the transfer coefficient and groundwater flux. The analytical model will find applications in the interpretation of the borehole geothermal data to extract both climate and groundwater flow signals.
pp 1185-1200 October 2012
An electrical imaging tomography survey was carried out to identify the lateral and vertical salinity distribution in the oasis shallow aquifers of the Nefzaoua region located in southwestern Tunisia. In addition, hydrochemical and isotopic data were examined to determine the main factors and mechanisms controlling the groundwater chemistry and salinity. Locally, with respect to salinization processes, electrical imaging tomography results show that the storage basins of irrigation excess-water contribute to the increase of the salinity for the major part of the oasis nearby these basins. Major elements distribution and saturation indices indicate that dissolution of evaporites (halite, anhydrite and gypsum) is the main process controlling the groundwater mineralization. Isotopic data highlighted the effect of evaporation in the salinization of these waters. The correlation between the oxygen 18 and the chlorides data confirms the importance of evaporation effect and dissolution as main processes controlling the groundwater mineralization.
pp 1201-1213 October 2012
Suspended sediment transport in the Gulf of Kachchh is simulated utilizing the suspended sediment concentration (SSC) derived from Oceansat OCM imagery, as the initial condition in MIKE-21 Mud Transport model. Optimization of the model mud parameters, like settling velocity and critical shear stress for erosion are realized with respect to the sediment size distribution and the bottom bed materials observed in the Gulf. Simulated SSCs are compared with alternate OCM derived SSC. The results are observed to be impetus where the model is able to generate the spatial dynamics of the sediment concentrations. Sediment dynamics like deposition, erosion and dispersion are explained with the simulated tidal currents and OCM derived sediment concentrations. Tidal range is observed as the important physical factor controlling the deposition and resuspension of sediments within the Gulf. From the simulation studies; maximum residual current velocities, tidal fronts and high turbulent zones are found to characterise the islands and shoals within the Gulf, which results in high sediment concentrations in those regions. Remarkable variability in the bathymetry of the Gulf, different bed materials and varying tidal conditions induces several circulation patterns and turbulence creating the unique suspended sediment concentration pattern in the Gulf.
pp 1215-1227 October 2012
The distribution and accumulation of the rare earth elements (REE) in the sediments of the Cochin Estuary and adjacent continental shelf were investigated. The rare earth elements like La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu and the heavy metals like Mg, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, U, Th were analysed by using standard analytical methods. The Post-Archean Australian Shale composition was used to normalise the rare earth elements. It was found that the sediments were more enriched with the lighter rare earth elements than the heavier ones. The positive correlation between the concentrations of REE, Fe and Mn could explain the precipitation of oxyhydroxides in the study area. The factor analysis and correlation analysis suggest common sources of origin for the REEs. From the Ce-anomalies calculated, it was found that an oxic environment predominates in all stations except the station No. 2. The Eu-anomaly gave an idea that the origin of REEs may be from the feldspar. The parameters like total organic carbon, U/Th ratio, authigenic U, Cu/Zn, V/Cr ratios revealed the oxic environment and thus the depositional behaviour of REEs in the region.
pp 1229-1237 October 2012
Palaeoclimate, palaeoecological and palaeoshoreline studies were carried out for a 2.5 m deep sediment core deposited since ∼3700 yrs BP in the central part of Pichavaram mangrove wetland, Cauvery river delta. Presently, the study area is dominated by Avicennia officinalis, A. marina and Suaeda sp. with fringes of Rhizophora sp. along the backwater channel. Based on sedimentology, palynological and thecamoebian analysis, it is inferred that since 2100 yrs BP the climate amelioration took place from warm and humid with strengthened monsoon to a dry and arid climate coupled with weakened monsoon condition inducing changes in ecology vulnerable for mangroves. Consequently, the vegetation too evolved from moist deciduous/evergreen forest to mixed deciduous forest and a reduction in mangrove diversity. The qualitative and quantitative study show a decline in the mangroves since the last millennium which may be attributed to the increased salinity along with enhanced anthropogenic activities in Pichavaram estuary. This is reflected by the dominance of salt tolerant mangrove associates since the last millennium.
pp 1239-1255 October 2012
The Early Permian Gondwana regime succession of the Nilawahan Group is exposed only in the Salt Range of Pakistan. After a prolonged episode of non-deposition that spanned much of the Palaeozoic, the 350 m thick predominantly clastic sequence of the Nilawahan Group records a late glacial and post-glacial episode in which a range of glacio-fluvial, marine and fluvial environments evolved and accumulated. The Early Permian succession of the Salt Range has been classified into four formations, which together indicates a changing climatic regime during the Early Permian in the Salt Range region. The lower-most, Tobra Formation unconformably overlies a Cambrian sequence and is composed of tillite, diamictite and fresh water facies, which contain a floral assemblage (Gangamopteris and Glossopteris) that confirms an Asselian age. The Tobra Formation is overlain by marginal marine deposits of the Dandot Formation (Sakmarian), which contain an abundant brachiopods assemblage (Eurydesma and Conularia). Accumulation of the Dandot Formation was terminated by a regional sea-level fall and a change to the deposition of the fluvial deposits of the Warchha Sandstone (Artinskian). The Warchha Sandstone was deposited by high sinuosity meandering, avulsion prone river with well developed floodplains. This episode of fluvial sedimentation was terminated by a widespread marine transgression, as represented by the abrupt upward transition to the overlying shallow marine Sardhai Formation (Kungurian). The Early Permian Gondwana sequence represented by the Nilawahan Group is capped by predominantly shallow shelf carbonate deposits of the Tethyan realm. The sedimentologic and stratigraphic relationship of these four lithostratigraphic units in the Salt Range reveals a complex stratigraphic history for the Early Permian, which is mainly controlled by eustatic sea-level change due to climatic variation associated with climatic amelioration at the end of the major Gondwana glacial episode, and the gradual regional northward drift to a lower latitude of the Indian plate.
pp 1257-1285 October 2012
Palynological investigations of five borecores, viz., GAM-3, GAM-6, GAM-7, GAM-8 and GAM-10 from Mailaram area have suggested the occurrence of complete Lower Gondwana succession in Mailaram area. Total nine palynozones have been identified on the basis of dominance, sub-dominance and appearance of various palynotaxa. These palynozones belong to Talchir, Upper Karharbari and Barakar (Early Permian), Raniganj (Late Permian) and Panchet (Early Triassic) palynofloras of Indian Gondwana. The oldest Palynozone-1 demonstrated in borecore GAM-6 (331.4–500 m) and borecore GAM-10 (505.66–581.55 m), is characterized by the dominance of Parasaccites and sub-dominance of Plicatipollenites belongs to Talchir Palynoflora; Palynozone-2 identified in borecore GAM-7 (667–749 m) and borecore GAM-8 (89.75 m) is characterized by the dominance of Parasaccites and sub-dominance of Scheuringipollenites which belongs to Upper Karharbari Palynoflora. Palynozone-3, identified in borecore GAM-6 (149.7–240.05 m) and borecore GAM-8 (84.95 m), is characterized by the dominance of Scheuringipollenites akin to Scheuringipollenites zone of Barakar palynoflora; Palynozone-4, recorded in borecores GAM-3 (294–437.98 m), GAM-7 (453–640.5 m) and GAM-8 (35.35 m) is characterized by the dominance of Faunipollenites and sub-dominance of Striatopodocarpites along with certain stratigraphically significant taxa, viz., Weylandites, Guttulapollenites, Corisaccites, Aurangapollenites and Osmundacidites. Palynozone-5, demarcated in borecore GAM-3 (144.86–221.3 m) and borecore GAM-10 (35.35 m), is distinguished by the dominance of striate disaccates along with at least 30% pollen assigned to Striasulcites; Palynozone-6, identified in borecore GAM-3 (35.1–73.08 m) and borecore GAM-7 (231–423 m), is characterized by the dominance of striate disaccates along with 20–30% of Densipollenites; Palynozone-7, recorded in borecore GAM-7 (206 m), is distinguished by the dominance of Crescentipollenites along with striate disaccates; Palynozone-8, identified in borecore GAM-7 (178.4 m), is characterized by the distinguished presence of taeniate pollen Guttulapollenites. Palynozones 4–8 belong to Raniganj Palynoflora. Palynozone-9, identified in borecore GAM-7 (166 m), is discriminated by the dominance of trilete spore Verrucosisporites and sub-dominance of taeniate pollen Lunatisporites which belongs to Triassic palynoflora. On the basis of palynological data Palynozone-1 (= Talchir palynoflora), Palynozone-2 and Palynozone-3 have been assigned to Early Permian age; Palynozones 4–8 (= Raniganj palynoflora) have been assigned to Late Permian age and Palynozone-9 (= Triassic palynoflora) has been assigned to Early Triassic age. With the aim of correlating the Permian and Triassic sediments of Mailaram area palynological investigations of five borecores were carried out.
pp 1287-1303 October 2012
The entire 606 m-thick sedimentary sequence in borecore MCP-7 from Chintalapudi area, Chintalapudi sub-basin has been lithologically designated as Kamthi Formation. However, the palynological investigation revealed five distinct palynoassemblages, which essentially fall under two groups, one group (Palynoassemblage-I, II and III) having dominance of striate disaccates along with presence of some stratigraphically significant taxa, belongs to Late Permian (Raniganj) palynoflora, while the other group (Palynoassemblages IV and V) shows sharp decline in percentage of characteristic taxa of first group, i.e., striate disaccates, and consequent rise or dominance of taeniate and cingulate cavate spores, belongs to Early Triassic (Panchet) palynoflora. Palynoassemblage-I, II and III (Group I) are characterized by dominance of striate disaccates chiefly, Striatopodocarpites spp. and Faunipollenites spp. Along with presence of rare but stratigraphically significant taxa, viz., Gondisporites raniganjensis, Falcisporites nuthaliensis, Klausipollenites schaubergeri, Chordasporites sp., Striomonosaccites, ovatus, Crescentipollenites multistriatus, Verticipollenites debiles, Strotersporites crassiletus, Guttulapollenites hannonicus, G. gondwanensis, Hamiapollenites insolitus, Corisaccites alutus, Lunatisporites ovatus, Weylandites spp. and Vitreisporites pallidus. Palynoassemblage-I is distinguished by significant presence of Densipollenites spp. while Palynoassemblage-II shows significant presence of Crescentipollenites spp. and Palynoassemblage-III differs from the above two assemblages in having significant presence of Guttulapollenites hannonicus. Palynoassemblage-IV (Group II) is characterized by high percentage of taeniate disaccates chiefly Lunatisporites spp., while Palynoassemblage-V (Group II) is characterized by cingulate-cavate trilete spores chiefly, Lundbladispora spp. and Densoisporites spp. Striate disaccates show a sharp decline in these two assemblages.
In Chintalapudi area Late Permian and Early Triassic palynoflora has been recorded for the first time indicating existence of Raniganj and Panchet sediments as well. The study further supports the earlier studies of Jha and Srivastava (1996) that Kamthi Formation represents Early Triassic (=Panchet Formation) overlying Raniganj equivalent sediments with a gradational contact.
pp 1305-1315 October 2012
Toxic gases evolving from the soil in urbanized peatland regions constitute a serious hazard since buildings may be subject to the direct ingress of volatiles into the structures. Peat formed in swamp and rarely exposed to subaerial conditions has been associated with the development of the folded foreland of the Quaternary Kayseri pull-apart basin. The peat deposit is extensively urbanized but so far no studies have evaluated the extent of the ground gas hazard. In this paper, the geology, petrography and chemical variation of the Kayseri peat deposit have been studied in order to predict the public health risk from the land gases’ behaviour, especially in soil gases. The main volatile species detected are methane (CH4), hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2), all of which are highly toxic. The primary means of gas entry is directly from the ground through the floors, walls, and especially subsurface telephone cable pipes. Indoor vents emit 1000–70,000 ppm CH4, 330–49,000 ppm CO2 and 3.8–6.5 ppm H2S in soil and subsurface pipes; concentrations high enough to present an acute respiratory hazard to persons close to the vents.
pp 1317-1336 October 2012
The geochemical characteristics of abyssal peridotite samples from one dredge station (27° 49.74′S, 65° 02.14′E, water depth 4473 m) on the super slow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) near 65°E were investigated. Abyssal peridotites recovered from this site were comprised mainly of lizardite, chlorite, carbonate and magnetite with minor amounts of talc, pyroxene phenocrysts and sparse olivines.
Serpentinites exhibit talc veins and major serpentine derived from serpentinization with relict olivine granuloblasts. Olivine grains in serpentinites display exsolution lamellae, indicating the occurrence of talc reduction or decompression during seawater–rock interaction. Pyroxene shows clear cleavage in two directions, with clinopyroxene or orthopyroxene exsolution lamellae. By contrast, bulk rock trace element patterns of serpentinites reveal depletion in most incompatible elements, similarly to the depleted midocean ridge basalt mantle composition, indicating that the SWIR peridotites originated from a depleted mantle source magma and have experienced partial melting. Meanwhile, Rb, Ba, U, Pb, Sr, Li anomalies and the Ce/Pb ratio suggest that these serpentinites have been strongly altered by seawater.
pp 1337-1350 October 2012
This paper reports the use of a GIS based Probabilistic Certainty Factor method to assess the geo-environmental factors that contribute to landslide susceptibility in Tevankarai Ar sub-watershed, Kodaikkanal. Landslide occurrences are a common phenomenon in the Tevankarai Ar sub-watershed, Kodaikkanal owing to rugged terrain at high altitude, high frequency of intense rainfall and rapidly expanding urban growth. The spatial database of the factors influencing landslides are compiled primarily from topographical maps, aerial photographs and satellite images. They are relief, slope, aspect, curvature, weathering, soil, land use, proximity to road and proximity to drainage. Certainty Factor Approach is used to study the interaction between the factors and the landslide, highlighting the importance of each factor in causing landslide. The results show that slope, aspect, soil and proximity to roads play important role in landslide susceptibility. The landslide susceptibility map is classified into five susceptible classes – low, very low, uncertain, high and very high − 93.32% of the study area falls under the stable category and 6.34% falls under the highly and very highly unstable category. The relative landslide density index (R index) is used to validate the landslide susceptibility map. R index increases with the increase in the susceptibility class. This shows that the factors selected for the study and susceptibility mapping using certainty factor are appropriate for the study area. Highly unstable zones show intense anthropogenic activities like high density settlement areas, and busy roads connecting the hill town and the plains.
pp 1351-1364 October 2012
Earthquakes are known to have occurred in Indian subcontinent from ancient times. This paper presents the results of seismic hazard analysis of India (6°–38°N and 68°–98°E) based on the deterministic approach using latest seismicity data (up to 2010). The hazard analysis was done using two different source models (linear sources and point sources) and 12 well recognized attenuation relations considering varied tectonic provinces in the region. The earthquake data obtained from different sources were homogenized and declustered and a total of 27,146 earthquakes of moment magnitude 4 and above were listed in the study area. The sesismotectonic map of the study area was prepared by considering the faults, lineaments and the shear zones which are associated with earthquakes of magnitude 4 and above. A new program was developed in MATLAB for smoothing of the point sources. For assessing the seismic hazard, the study area was divided into small grids of size 0.1° × 0.1° (approximately 10 × 10 km), and the hazard parameters were calculated at the center of each of these grid cells by considering all the seismic sources within a radius of 300 to 400 km. Rock level peak horizontal acceleration (PHA) and spectral accelerations for periods 0.1 and 1 s have been calculated for all the grid points with a deterministic approach using a code written in MATLAB. Epistemic uncertainty in hazard definition has been tackled within a logic-tree framework considering two types of sources and three attenuation models for each grid point. The hazard evaluation without logic tree approach also has been done for comparison of the results. The contour maps showing the spatial variation of hazard values are presented in the paper.