• Volume 123, Issue 2

      March 2014,   pages  247-443

    • Improvements in medium range weather forecasting system of India

      V S Prasad Saji Mohandas Surya Kanti Dutta M Das Gupta G R Iyengar E N Rajagopal Swati Basu

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      Medium range weather forecasts are being generated in real time using Global Data Assimilation Forecasting System (GDAFS) at NCMRWF since 1994. The system has been continuously upgraded in terms of data usage, assimilation and forecasting system. Recently this system was upgraded to a horizontal resolution of T574 (about 22 km) with 64 levels in vertical. The assimilation scheme of this upgraded system is based on the latest Grid Statistical Interpolation (GSI) scheme and it has the provision to use most of available meteorological and oceanographic satellite datasets besides conventional meteorological observations. The new system has an improved procedure for relocating tropical cyclone to its observed position with the correct intensity. All these modifications have resulted in improvement of skill of medium range forecasts by about 1 day.

    • Impact of cloud microphysics and cumulus parameterization on simulation of heavy rainfall event during 7–9 October 2007 over Bangladesh

      M Mahbub Alam

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      In the present study, the Advanced Research WRF (ARW) version 3.2.1 has been used to simulate the heavy rainfall event that occurred between 7 and 9 October 2007 in the southern part of Bangladesh. Weather Research and Forecast (WRF–ARW version) modelling system with six different microphysics (MP) schemes and two different cumulus parameterization (CP) schemes in a nested configuration was chosen for simulating the event. The model domains consist of outer and inner domains having 9 and 3 km horizontal resolution, respectively with 28 vertical sigma levels. The impacts of cloud microphysical processes by means of precipitation, wind and reflectivity, kinematic and thermodynamic characteristics of the event have been studied. Sensitivity experiments have been conducted with the WRF model to test the impact of microphysical and cumulus parameterization schemes in capturing the extreme weather event. NCEP FNL data were used for the initial and boundary condition. The model ran for 72 h using initial data at 0000 UTC of 7 October 2007. The simulated rainfall shows that WSM6–KF combination gives better results for all combinations and after that Lin–KF combination. WSM3–KF has simulated, less area average rainfall out of all MP schemes that were coupled with KF scheme. The sharp peak of relative humidity up to 300 hPa has been simulated along the vertical line where maximum updraft has been found for all MPs coupled with KF and BMJ schemes. The simulated rain water and cloud water mixing ratio were maximum at the position where the vertical velocity and reflectivity has also been maximum. The production of rain water mixing ratio depends on MP schemes as well as CP schemes. Rainfall depends on rain water mixing ratio between 950 and 500 hPa. Rain water mixing ratio above 500 hPa level has no effect on surface rain.

    • Trend analysis and change point detection of annual and seasonal precipitation and temperature series over southwest Iran

      Mohammad Zarenistanak Amit G Dhorde R H Kripalani

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      This paper presents results of trend analysis and change point detection of annual and seasonal precipitation, and mean temperature (TM), maximum temperature (TMAX) and minimum temperature (TMIN) time series of the period 1950–2007. Investigations were carried out for 50 precipitation stations and 39 temperature stations located in southwest Iran. Three statistical tests including Pettitt’s test, Sequential Mann–Kendall test (SQ-MK test) and Mann–Kendall rank test (MK-test) were used for the analysis. The results obtained for precipitation series indicated that most stations showed insignificant trends in annual and seasonal series. Out of the stations which showed significant trends, highest numbers were observed during winter season while no significant trends were detected in summer precipitation. Moreover, no decreasing significant trends were detected by statistical tests in annual and seasonal precipitation series. The analysis of temperature trends revealed a significant increase during summer and spring seasons. TMAX was more stable than TMIN and TM, and winter was stable compared to summer, spring and autumn seasons. The results of change point detection indicated that most of the positive significant mutation points in TM, TMAX and TMIN began in the 1990s.

    • Condensation of water vapour on moss-dominated biological soil crust, NW China

      Xin-Ping Wang Yan-Xia Pan Rui Hu Ya-Feng Zhang Hao Zhang

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      Characteristics of water vapour condensation, including the onset, duration, and amount of water vapour condensation on moss-dominated biological soil crust (BSC) and dune sand were studied under simulated conditions with varying air temperature and relative humidity. The simulations were performed in a plant growth chamber using an electronic balance recording the weight of condensation. There was a positive linear correlation between the water vapour condensation and relative humidity while the mean temperature was negatively linearly related to amounts of water vapour condensation for both soil surfaces. The amount of water vapour condensation on BSC and dune sand can be described by the difference between air temperature and dew point with an exponential function, indicating that when the difference of air temperature and dew point exceeds a value of 35.3°C, there will be zero water vapour condensed on BSC. In contrast, when the difference of air temperature and dew point exceeds a value of 20.4°C, the water vapour condensation will be zero for dune sand. In general, when the air is fully saturated with water and the dew point is equal to the current air temperature, the water vapour condensed on BSC attained its maximum value of 0.398 mm, whereas it was 0.058 mm for dune sand. In comparison, water vapour condensed on BSC was at a relatively high temperature and low relative humidity, while we did not detect water vapour condensation on the dune sand under the similar conditions. Physical and chemical analyses of the samples pointed to a greater porosity, high content of fine particles, and high salinity for BSC compared to the dune sand. These results highlight that soil physicochemical properties are the likely factors influencing the mechanism of water vapour condensation under specific meteorological conditions, as onset was earlier and the duration was longer for water vapour condensation on BSC in comparison with that of dune sand. This contributed to the greater amount of vapour absorbed on BSC compared to the dune sand under an identical meteorological condition. The feedback of water vapour condensation on BSC formation and its contribution to sustain the revegetation desert ecosystems was discussed.

    • Predictive accuracy of backpropagation neural network methodology in evapotranspiration forecasting in Dédougou region, western Burkina Faso

      S Traore Y M Wang W G Chung

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      The present study evaluates the predictive accuracy of the feed forward backpropagation artificial neural network (BP) in evapotranspiration forecasting from temperature data basis in Dédougou region located in western Burkina Faso, sub-Saharan Africa. BP accuracy is compared to the conventional Blaney–Criddle (BCR) and Reference Model developed for Burkina Faso (RMBF) by referring to the FAO56 Penman–Monteith (PM) as the standard method. Statistically, the models accuracies were evaluated with the goodness-of-fit measures of root mean square error, mean absolute error and coefficient of determination between their estimated and PM observed values. From the statistical results, BP shows similar contour trends to PM, and performs better than the conventional methods in reference evapotranspiration (ET_ref) forecasting in the region. In poor data situation, BP based only on temperature data is much more preferred than the other alternative methods for ET_ref forecasting. Furthermore, it is noted that the BP network computing technique accuracy improves significantly with the addition of wind velocity into the network input set. Therefore, in the region, wind velocity is recommended to be incorporated into the BP model for high accuracy management purpose of irrigation water, which relies on accurate values of ET_ref.

    • Dynamic monitoring of landscape patterns and ecological processes using HJ-1 and SPOT satellite data over Hulunbeier grassland, China

      Feng Zhang Ying Li Sihan Liu Shaohua Zhao Yanting Wu

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      Landscape patterns and ecological processes have been in long-term research focus in the field of landscape ecology, but how to measure their quantitative relations is still open. This work chooses the Hulunbeier grassland as the study area where ecosystem shows high vulnerability, frequent evolvement of landscape patterns and ecological processes. With remote sensing technology, the relationships between landscape patterns and ecological processes were analyzed quantitatively from multi-scale, multitemporal and time series perspective. Firstly, the information about the current situation and change of landscape patterns and ecological processes are obtained from HJ-1 (Environmental and Disaster Small Satellite) and LANDSAT TM (Thermal Mapper) data. Secondly, SPOT NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) data during 2000–2008 are used to analyze the dynamic changes of ecological processes, and to simulate its inter-annual variety at pixel scale. Finally, the dynamic change trends of ecological processes of grassland vegetation are described. The results indicate that the unchanged ecosystem types account for most of the study area, unused land in the central part expands continuously which results in the increase of desertification, and most ecosystem types in the eastern part are changed to grassland and woodland. Furthermore, the vegetation vulnerability is the highest in the grassland-dominated region, the second in grassland–farmland–woodland transition, and the smallest in the woodland-dominated region, where the stability is enhanced in turn. Due to the dynamic change of vegetation, it can be concluded that the study area underwent ecological processes of vegetation cover with a negative trend and a changed phenology.

    • Shallow geological environment of Krishna–Godavari offshore, eastern continental margin of India as inferred from the interpretation of high resolution sparker data

      G Anitha M V Ramana T Ramprasad P Dewangan M Anuradha

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      Krishna–Godavari offshore basin, a part of the eastern continental margin of India is a proven petroliferous basin. Recent drilling in this area in search of gas hydrates reveals that the upper ∼300 m thick Quaternary–Recent strata comprised of nannofossil bearing rich clays and, fractures/faults are the suitable zones for gas hydrates accumulation. Therefore, the knowledge about the shallow geological environments and its architecture are significantly important in assessing the gas hydrates potential of this area. In order to enhance the geological understanding, the newly acquired high resolution seismic (HRS) reflection data in this gas hydrates prone area is interpreted. The processed seismic sections show a maximum penetration of 562 ms TWT (∼450 m) underneath the seabed with high resolution stratification. An attempt has been made to: (i) deduce the shallow geological environment from the reflection characteristics, and, (ii) assign tentative ages under the constraints of drilling/coring results. We further explained the observed folded structures on the surface and subsurface through a mechanism linked to shale tectonism and neotectonic activity.

    • Neotectonic activity and parity in movements of Udaipur block of the Arvalli Craton and Indian Plate

      Harsh Bhu Ritesh Purohit Joga Ram Pankaj Sharma S R Jakhar

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      We report site motion of a permanent GPS site at Udaipur (udai), Rajasthan on the Udaipur block of Aravalli Craton. The GPS measurements of 2007–2011 suggest that the site moves at a rate of about 49 mm/year towards northeast. As the site motion is consistent with the predicted plate motion using the estimated euler pole of rotation for the Indian Plate, it implies that there is insignificant internal deformation/strain in the region. Such a deformation is consistent with very low seismic activity in the region. The epicenters of the infrequent low magnitude earthquakes are located on the Precambrian lineaments on the west of Udaipur Block, and on the NW–SE striking younger lineament in the south of the block.

    • Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) studies of Campanian–Maastrichtian sediments of Ariyalur Group, Cauvery Basin, Tamil Nadu, India: An appraisal to Paleocurrent directions

      G Papanna M Venkateshwarlu V Periasamy R Nagendra

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      Oriented samples of sediments from Ariyalur Group, Cauvery Basin, south India, were studied for low field anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) measurements to unravel the magnetic fabrics and paleocurrent directions. The results of AMS parameters of the sediments indicate primary depositional fabrics for Sillakkudi, Ottakovil and Kallamedu sandstone formations and secondary fabric for Kallankurichchi limestone formation. The obtained low degree of anisotropy ($P_j$), oblate shape AMS ellipsoid and distribution of maximum ($K_1$) and minimum ($K_3$) susceptibility axes on equal area projection confirm the primary sedimentary fabric for Sillakkudi, Ottakovil and Kallamedu Formations. In the case of ferruginous, lower arenaceous, Gryphaea limestone and upper arenaceous limestone beds of Kallankurichchi Formation have recorded more than one fabric. The observed AMS parameters like shape factor (𝑇) (prolate to oblate), 𝑞 value and random distribution of minimum ($K_3$) and maximum ($K_1$) susceptibility axes are supported for secondary fabrics in Kallankurichchi Formation as a result of post-depositional processes. Based on petrographic studies, it can be established that $K_1$ AMS axis of biotite mineral could represent the flow direction. The established paleocurrent direction for Sillakkudi is NW–SE direction while Ottakovil and Kallamedu Formations recorded NE–SW direction. Overall the paleoflow directions observed for Ariyalur Group is NE–SW to NW–SE.

    • Numerical evaluation of seismic response of shallow foundation on loose silt and silty sand

      Ali Asgari Aliakbar Golshani Mohsen Bagheri

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      This study includes the results of a set of numerical simulations carried out for sands containing plastic/non-plastic fines, and silts with relative densities of approximately 30−40% under different surchargeson the shallow foundation using FLAC 2D. Each model was subjected to three ground motion events, obtained by scaling the amplitude of the El Centro (1940), Kobe (1995) and Kocaeli (1999) earthquakes. Dynamic behaviour of loose deposits underlying shallow foundations is evaluated through fully coupled nonlinear effective stress dynamic analyses. Effects of nonlinear soil structure interaction (SSI) were also considered by using interface elements. This parametric study evaluates the effects of soil type, structure weight, liquefiable soil layer thickness, event parameters (e.g., moment magnitude of earthquake (\tetit {M_w}), peak ground acceleration PGA, PGV/PGA ratio and the duration of strong motion (\tetit {D}_{5−95})and their interactions on the seismic responses. Investigation on the effects of these parameters and their complex interactions can be a valuable tool to gain new insights for improved seismic design and construction.

    • City of Bingöl in May 2003: Assessment of strong ground motion records

      U Çeken G Beyhan H H Selim

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      The main shock of Bingöl earthquake ($M_W$ = 6.4) recorded by six accelerometers in the area occurred at 03:27 local time on May 1, 2003. The largest acceleration value of north–south component was recorded as 545.5 cm/$s^2$ at the nearest station which is 12 km away from the epicenter of earthquake. Especially, 0.15 s short period was observed when high spectral acceleration value occurred. An acceleration value greater than 50 gal was recorded at the BNG (Bingöl) station and structural damage occurred within 6.5 s was very important for the near source and strong ground motion seismology. The recorded peak acceleration values were greater than the estimated empirical acceleration values. However, the structural damage was not as high and widespread as expected. This occurrence was explained by considering the factors of earthquake source, frequency content, effective duration, effective acceleration value, local soil conditions, rupture direction and attenuation.

    • A novel and generalized approach in the inversion of geoelectrical resistivity data using Artificial Neural Networks (ANN)

      A Stanley Raj Y Srinivas D Hudson Oliver D Muthuraj

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      The non-linear apparent resistivity problem in the subsurface study of the earth takes into account the model parameters in terms of resistivity and thickness of individual subsurface layers using the trained synthetic data by means of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). Here we used a single layer feed-forward neural network with fast back propagation learning algorithm. So on proper training of back propagation networks it tends to give the resistivity and thickness of the subsurface layer model of the field resistivity data with reference to the synthetic data trained in the appropriate network. During training, the weights and biases of the network are iteratively adjusted to make network performance function level more efficient. On adequate training, errors are minimized and the best result is obtained using the artificial neural networks. The network is trained with more number of VES data and this trained network is demonstrated by the field data. The accuracy of inversion depends upon the number of data trained. In this novel and specially designed algorithm, the interpretation of the vertical electrical sounding has been done successfully with the more accurate layer model.

    • First perissodactyl footprints from Flysch deposits of the Barail Group (Lower Oligocene) of Manipur, India

      Hemanta Singh Rajkumar Hendrik Klein

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      Two pes imprints of a perissodactyl mammal constituting a single step of a trackway have recently been discovered in Oligocene Flysch deposits of the Barail Group in Manipur, India. The tridactyl, mesaxonic imprints (∼7 cm in length) show strong similarities to footprints known from the Paleogene of China and can be attributed to a tapiroid, rhinocerotoid or equoid trackmaker. This is the first record of perissodactyl footprints from the Lower Oligocene of India and the first evidence of mammals in the Barail Group of the age. Remarkable is the occurrence in a marginal marine setting, whereas other known perissodactyl footprints from the Eocene–Oligocene in particular from North America, Europe and China come from fluvio-lacustrine strata.

    • Ichnofauna from the Harbans Bed of the Badhaura Formation (Sterlitmakian), Rajasthan, India

      Kantimati G Kulkarni Vidyadhar D Borkar

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      In the first ever systematic study of trace fossils from the Badhaura Formation, the authors described a nesting burrow, which they ascribed to a stomatopod. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: primarily, to document ichnofauna from (post-glacial marine late Palaeozoic rocks of peninsular India) the Badhaura Formation (Sterlitmakian) representing marine rocks deposited following the Late Palaeozoic glaciation and secondly to contribute to the data on post-glacial ichnofauna from constituent continents of the Gondwanaland. Trace fossils described here are from the Harbans Bed, the topmost lithounit of the Badhaura Formation. The ichnofauna includes Arenicolites tenuis, Beaconites isp., Curvolithus isp., Cylindrichnus concentricus, Didymaulichnus lyelli, Ophiomorpha isp., Palaeophycus tubularis, Planolites beverleyensis, P. montanus, Rosselia chonoides, R. socialis, Skolithos linearis, Taenidium cameronensis, Thalassinoides paradoxicus, Thalassinoides isp. and a flask-shaped brood chamber assigned to a stomatopod crustacean. This mixed assemblage is assigned to distal Skolithos ichnofacies and is suggestive of a period of relatively quiet, shallow water conditions of deposition. The ichnofauna, when viewed in context of peri-gondwanic ichnofaunas, mainly consisting of simple tracks and trails, from late Palaeozoic post-glacial deposits of other Gondwanan continents, is interesting due to dominance of domichnia. Profusion of brood chambers along with Thalassinoides in the Badhaura Formation validates the concept of pre-Mesozoic Thalassinoides being non-decapod in origin and suggestive of adaptive convergence.

    • Study of equatorial regions of Moon with the help of backscattering coefficient obtained from LRO data

      O P N Calla Shubhra Mathur Monika Jangid

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      The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has a miniature radio-frequency (Mini-RF) payload, i.e., the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that has provided very fundamental information about the lunar surface and subsurface which was not known inspite of many manned and unmanned missions. Microwave sensors are used for analyzing the equatorial region of the Moon (60°N to 60°S) which is covered with many well-known craters like Kopff, Taylor, Maunder, Descartes, Jackson and Santos Dumont, each having different topography. The LRO data in terms of the scattering coefficient (𝜎°LH and 𝜎°LV) with incidence angle of 49° has been used for computing physical and electrical parameter of lunar surface and to learn more about the impact cratering process. Most of the lunar surface shows small Circular Polarization Ratio (CPR), i.e., the reversal of polarization is normal, but some targets have high CPR. In this paper we have discussed the scattering behaviour of lunar equatorial region where the value of CPR < 1. Studies say that the LV intensity is always greater than LH but from the data obtained from LRO, it is observed that it varies at each pixel depending upon the target properties under radar view.

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