• Volume 123, Issue 7

October 2014,   pages  1451-1738

• Radiation and energy balance dynamics over young chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) system in Doon of western Himalayas

The regional impacts of future climate changes are principally driven by changes in energy fluxes. In this study, measurements on micrometeorological and biophysical variables along with surface energy exchange were made over a coniferous subtropical chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) plantation ecosystem at Forest Research Institute, Doon valley, India. The energy balance components were analyzed for two years to understand the variability of surface energy fluxes, their drivers, and closure pattern. The period covered two growth cycles of pine in the years 2010 and 2011 without and with understory growth. Net short wave and long wave radiative fluxes substantially varied with cloud dynamics, season, rainfall induced surface wetness, and green growth. The study clearly brought out the intimate link of albedo dynamics in chir pine system with dynamics of leaf area index (LAI), soil moisture, and changes in understory background. Rainfall was found to have tight linear coupling with latent heat fluxes. Latent heat flux during monsoon period was found to be higher in higher rainfall year (2010) than in lower rainfall year (2011). Higher or lower pre-monsoon sensible heat fluxes were succeeded by noticeably higher or lower monsoon rainfall respectively. Proportion of latent heat flux to net radiation typically followed the growth curve of green vegetation fraction, but with time lag. The analysis of energy balance closure (EBC) showed that the residual energy varied largely within ±30% of net available energy and the non-closure periods were marked by higher rainspells or forced clearance of understory growths.

• Analysing land and vegetation cover dynamics during last three decades in Katerniaghat wildlife sanctuary, India

The change in the tropical forests could be clearly linked to the expansion of the human population and economies. An understanding of the anthropogenic forcing plays an important role in analyzing the impacts of climate change and the fate of tropical forests in the present and future scenario. In the present study, we analyze the impact of natural and anthropogenic factors in forest dynamics in Katerniaghat wildlife sanctuary situated along the Indo-Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh state, India. The study site is under tremendous pressure due to anthropogenic factors from surrounding areas since last three decades. The vegetation cover of the sanctuary primarily comprised of Shorea robusta forests, Tectona grandis plantation, and mixed deciduous forest; while the land cover comprised of agriculture, barren land, and water bodies. The classification accuracy was 83.5%, 91.5%, and 95.2% with MSS, IKONOS, and Quickbird datasets, respectively. Shorea robusta forests showed an increase of 16 km2; while Tectona grandis increased by 63.01 km2 during 1975–2010. The spatial heterogeneity in these tropical vegetation classes surrounded by the human dominated agricultural lands could not be addressed using Landsat MSS data due to coarse spatial resolution; whereas the IKONOS and Quickbird satellite datasets proved to advantageous, thus being able to precisely address the variations within the vegetation classes as well as in the land cover classes and along the edge areas. Massive deforestation during 1970s along the adjoining international boundary with Nepal has led to destruction of the wildlife corridor and has exposed the wildlife sanctuary to interference like grazing and poaching. Higher rates of forest dynamics during the 25-year period indicate the vulnerability of the ecosystem to the natural and anthropogenic disturbances in the proximity of the sanctuary.

• Satellite image based quantification of invasion and patch dynamics of mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) in Great Rann of Kachchh, Kachchh Biosphere Reserve, Gujarat, India

The invasion of alien species is a significant threat to global biodiversity and the top driver of climate change. The present study was conducted in the Great Rann of Kachchh, part of Kachchh Biosphere Reserve, Gujarat, India, which has been severely affected by invasion of Prosopis juliflora. The invasive weed infestation has been identified using multi-temporal remote sensing datasets of 1977, 1990, 1999, 2005 and 2011. Spatial analyses of the transition matrix, extent of invasive colonies, patchiness, coalescence and rate of spread were carried out. During the study period of three and half decades, almost 295 km2 of the natural land cover was converted into Prosopis cover. This study has shown an increment of 42.9% of area under Prosopis cover in the Great Rann of Kachchh, part of the Kachchh Biosphere Reserve during 1977 to 2011. Spatial analysis indicates high occupancy of Prosopis cover with most of the invasion (95.9%) occurring in the grasslands and only 4.1% in other land cover types. The process of Prosopis invasion shows high patch initiation, followed by coalescence, indicating aggressive colonization of species. The number of patches within an area of &gt; 1 km2 increased from 1977 to 2011, indicating the formation of new Prosopis habitats by replacing the grasslands. The largest patch of Prosopis cover increased from 144 km2 in 1977 to 430 km2 in 2011. The estimated mean patch size was 7.8 km2 in 1977. The mean patch size was largest during 2011, i.e., 9 km2. The annual spread rate for Prosopis has been estimated as 2.1% during 2005–2011. The present work has investigated the long term changes in Prosopis cover in the Great Rann of Kachchh, part of Kachchh Biosphere Reserve. The spatial database generated will be useful in preparing strategies for the management of Prosopis juliflora.

• Analysis of the microclimate and CO2 flux characteristics in arid desert wetland ecosystem in summer: A case study in Xihu desert wetland, Dunhuang, China

Xihu desert wetland is an important and unusual environment in China or even in the world. However, until now, little research has been focused on the microclimate and CO2 flux characteristics in this area. This paper reports the characteristics of daily variations of microclimate and CO2 flux in the Dunhuang Xihu desert wetland, based on data observed in the desert wetland during a period of continuous fine weather in summer 2012. Results indicate that the characteristics of the micrometeorology were significantly affected by the land–lake breeze during the study period, and updrafts were prevalent in this region. The friction wind speed and the vertical velocity were much greater than those in the Maqu grasslands. The energy budget was strongly imbalanced: the latent heat flux was significantly higher than the sensible flux. The daily mean values of total solar radiation and net radiation were larger than those in Maqu grasslands and Jinta oasis. There was a temperature inversion and inverse humidity gradient in the atmospheric surface layer at night. The desert wetland ecosystem was a carbon sink during the whole of the observation period, and the maximum rate of carbon absorption usually occurred at about 11:00 hr each day in this region.

• Morphometric analysis of Suketi river basin, Himachal Himalaya, India

Suketi river basin is located in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It encompasses a central inter-montane valley and surrounding mountainous terrain in the Lower Himachal Himalaya. Morphometric analysis of the Suketi river basin was carried out to study its drainage characteristics and overall groundwater resource potential. The entire Suketi river basin has been divided into five sub-basins based on the catchment areas of Suketi trunk stream and its major tributaries. Quantitative assessment of each sub-basin was carried out for its linear, areal, and relief aspects. The analysis reveals that the drainage network of the entire Suketi river basin constitutes a 7th order basin. Out of five sub-basins, Kansa khad sub-basin (KKSB), Gangli khad sub-basin (GKSB) and Ratti khad sub-basin (RKSB) are 5th order subbasins. The Dadour khad sub-basin (DKSB) is 6th order sub-basin, while Suketi trunk stream sub-basin (STSSB) is a 7th order sub-basin. The entire drainage basin area reflects late youth to early mature stage of development of the fluvial geomorphic cycle, which is dominated by rain and snow fed lower order streams. It has low stream frequency (Fs) and moderate drainage density (Dd) of 2.69 km/km2. Bifurcation ratios (Rb) of various stream orders indicate that streams up to 3rd order are surging through highly dissected mountainous terrain, which facilitates high overland flow and less recharge into the subsurface resulting in low groundwater potential in the zones of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order streams of the Suketi river basin. The circulatory ratio (Rc) of 0.65 and elongation ratio (Re) of 0.80 show elongated nature of the Suketi river basin, while infiltration number (If) of 10.66 indicates dominance of relief features and low groundwater potential in the high altitude mountainous terrain. The asymmetry factor (Af) of Suketi river basin indicates that the palaeo-tectonic tilting, at drainage basin scale, was towards the downstream right side of the drainage basin. The slope map of Suketi river basin has been classified into three main zones, which delineate the runoff zone in the mountains, recharge zone in the transition zone between mountains and valley plane, and discharge zone in the plane areas of Balh valley.

• Spatial distribution of soil erosion and suspended sediment transport rate for Chou-Shui river basin

In this study, a Physiographic Soil Erosion–Deposition Model (PSED) is applied for better management of a watershed. The PSED model can effectively evaluate the key parameters of watershed management: surface runoff discharge, suspended sediment transport rate, quantity of soil erosion, and spatial distribution of soil erosion and deposition. A basin usually contains multiple watersheds. These watersheds may have complex topography and heterogeneous physiographic properties. The PSED model, containing a physiographic rainfall-runoff model and a basin scale erosion–deposition model, can simulate the physical mechanism of the entire erosion process based on a detailed calculation of bed-load transportation, surface soil entrainment, and the deposition mechanism. With the assistance of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the PSED model can handle and analyze extremely large hydrologic and physiographic datasets and simulate the physical erosion process without the need for simplification. We verified the PSED model using three typhoon events and 40 rainfall events. The application of PSED to Chou-Shui River basin shows that the PSED model can accurately estimate discharge hydrographs, suspended sediment transport rates, and sediment yield. Additionally, we obtained reasonable quantities of soil erosion as well as the spatial distribution of soil erosion and deposition. The results show that the PSED model is capable of calculating spatially distributed soil erosion and suspended sediment transport rates for a basin with multiple watersheds even if these watersheds have complex topography and heterogeneous physiographic properties.

• Impact of over-exploitation on groundwater quality: A case study from WR-2Watershed, India

The WR-2 watershed is located in the Deccan trap basaltic terrain of Maharashtra State, India. The watershed area incorporates a rich orange orchard belt that requires a huge quantity of water for irrigation. This requirement is mostly met through groundwater, extracted from the shallow aquifers of the WR-2 watershed. However, over the years, excess withdrawal of groundwater from these aquifers has resulted in depletion of groundwater level. The declining trends of groundwater level, both long term and short term, have had a negative impact on the groundwater quality of the study area. This effect can be gauged through the rising electrical conductivity (EC) of groundwater in the shallow aquifers (dug wells) of the WR-2 watershed. It is observed that the long term declining trend of groundwater level, during 1977–2010, varied from 0.03 to 0.04 m per year, whereas the corresponding trend of rising EC varied from 1.90 to 2.94 𝜇S/cm per year. During 2007–2010, about 56% dug wells showed a positive correlation between depleting groundwater level and rising EC values. The groundwater level depletion during this period ranged from 0.03 to 0.67 m per year, whereas the corresponding trend of rising EC ranged from 0.52 to 46.91 𝜇S/cm per year. Moreover, the water quality studies reveal that groundwater from more than 50% of the dug wells of the WR-2 watershed is not suitable for drinking purpose. The groundwater, though mostly suitable for irrigation purpose, is corrosive and saturated with respect to mineral equilibrium and shows a tendency towards chemical scale formation.

• Hydrologic factors controlling groundwater salinity in northwestern coastal zone, Egypt

The aim of this article is to assess the main factors influencing salinity of groundwater in the coastal area between El Dabaa and Sidi Barani, Egypt. The types and ages of the main aquifers in this area are the fractured limestone of Middle Miocene, the calcareous sandstone of Pliocene and the Oolitic Limestone of Pleistocene age. The aquifers in the area are recharged by seasonal rainfall of the order of 150 mm/year. The relationship of groundwater salinity against the absolute water level, the well drilling depth, and the ability of aquifer to recharge has been discussed in the present work. The ability of aquifer to locally recharge by direct rainfall is a measure of the vertical permeability due to lithological and structural factors that control groundwater salinity in the investigated aquifers. On the other hand, the fracturing system as well as the attitude of the surface water divide has a prime role in changing both the mode of occurrence and the salinity of groundwater in the area. Directly to the west of Matrouh, where the coastal plain is the narrowest, and east of Barrani, where the coastal plain is the widest, are good examples of this concept, where the water salinity attains its maximum and minimum limits respectively. Accordingly, well drilling in the Miocene aquifer, in the area between El Negila and Barrani to get groundwater of salinities less than 5000 mg/l is recommended in this area, at flow rate less than 10m3/hr/well. In other words, one can expect that the brackish water is probably found where the surface water divide is far from the shore line, where the Wadi fill deposits dominate (Quaternary aquifer), acting as a possible water salinity by direct rainfall and runoff.

• Comparison of surrogate models with different methods in groundwater remediation process

Surrogate modelling is an effective tool for reducing computational burden of simulation optimization. In this article, polynomial regression (PR), radial basis function artificial neural network (RBFANN), and kriging methods were compared for building surrogate models of a multiphase flow simulation model in a simplified nitrobenzene contaminated aquifer remediation problem. In the model accuracy analysis process, a 10-fold cross validation method was adopted to evaluate the approximation accuracy of the three surrogate models. The results demonstrated that: RBFANN surrogate model and kriging surrogate model had acceptable approximation accuracy, and further that kriging model’s approximation accuracy was slightly higher than RBFANN model. However, the PR model demonstrated unacceptably poor approximation accuracy. Therefore, the RBFANN and kriging surrogates were selected and used in the optimization process to identify the most cost-effective remediation strategy at a nitrobenzene-contaminated site. The optimal remediation costs obtained with the two surrogate-based optimization models were similar, and had similar computational burden. These two surrogate-based optimization models are efficient tools for optimal groundwater remediation strategy identification.

• Artificial neural network coupled with wavelet transform for estimating snow water equivalent using passive microwave data

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is an important parameter in hydrologic engineering involving the stream-flow forecasting of high-elevation watersheds. In this paper, the application of classic Artificial Neural Network model (ANN) and a hybrid model combining the wavelet and ANN (WANN) is investigated in estimating the value of SWE in a mountainous basin. In addition, k-fold cross validation method is used in order to achieve a more reliable and robust model. In this regard, microwave images acquired from Spectral Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) are used to estimate the SWE of Tehran sub-basins during 1992–2008 period. Also for obtaining measured SWE within the corresponding Equal-Area Scalable Earth-Grid (EASE-Grid) cell of SSM/I image, approach of Cell-SWE extraction using height–SWE relations is applied in order to reach more precise estimations. The obtained results reveal that the wavelet-ANN model significantly increases the accuracy of estimations, mainly because of using multi-scale time series as the ANN inputs. The Nash–Sutcliffe Index (NSE) for ANN and WANN models is respectively 0.09 and 0.44 which shows a firm improvement of 0.35 in NSE parameter when WANN is applied. Similar trend is observed in other parameters including RMSE where the value is 0.3 for ANN and 0.07 for WANN.

• Assessment of climate change impacts on rainfall using large scale climate variables and downscaling models – A case study

Many of the applied techniques in water resources management can be directly or indirectly influenced by hydro-climatology predictions. In recent decades, utilizing the large scale climate variables as predictors of hydrological phenomena and downscaling numerical weather ensemble forecasts has revolutionized the long-lead predictions. In this study, two types of rainfall prediction models are developed to predict the rainfall of the Zayandehrood dam basin located in the central part of Iran. The first seasonal model is based on large scale climate signals data around the world. In order to determine the inputs of the seasonal rainfall prediction model, the correlation coefficient analysis and the new Gamma Test (GT) method are utilized. Comparison of modelling results shows that the Gamma test method improves the Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient of modelling performance as 8% and 10% for dry and wet seasons, respectively. In this study, Support Vector Machine (SVM) model for predicting rainfall in the region has been used and its results are compared with the benchmark models such as K-nearest neighbours (KNN) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). The results show better performance of the SVM model at testing stage. In the second model, statistical downscaling model (SDSM) as a popular downscaling tool has been used. In this model, using the outputs from GCM, the rainfall of Zayandehrood dam is projected under two climate change scenarios. Most effective variables have been identified among 26 predictor variables. Comparison of the results of the two models shows that the developed SVM model has lesser errors in monthly rainfall estimation. The results show that the rainfall in the future wet periods are more than historical values and it is lower than historical values in the dry periods. The highest monthly uncertainty of future rainfall occurs in March and the lowest in July.

• Growth of cyclone Viyaru and Phailin – a comparative study

The tropical cyclone Viyaru maintained a unique quasi-uniform intensity during its life span. Despite being in contact with sea surface for &lt; 120 hr travelling about 2150 km, the cyclonic storm (CS) intensity, once attained, did not intensify further, hitherto not exhibited by any other system over the Bay of Bengal. On the contrary, the cyclone Phailin over the Bay of Bengal intensified into very severe cyclonic storm (VSCS) within about 48 hr from its formation as depression. The system also experienced rapid intensification phase (intensity increased by 30 kts or more during subsequent 24 hours) during its life time and maximum intensity reached up to 115 kts. In this paper, a comparative study is carried out to explore the evolution of the various thermodynamical parameters and possible reasons for such converse features of the two cyclones. Analysis of thermodynamical parameters shows that the development of the lower tropospheric and upper tropospheric potential vorticity (PV) was low and quasi-static during the lifecycle of the cyclone Viyaru. For the cyclone Phailin, there was continuous development of the lower tropospheric and upper tropospheric PV, which attained a very high value during its lifecycle. Also there was poor and fluctuating diabatic heating in the middle and upper troposphere and cooling in the lower troposphere for Viyaru. On the contrary, the diabatic heating was positive from lower to upper troposphere with continuous development and increase up to 6°C in the upper troposphere. The analyses of cross sections of diabatic heating, PV, and the 1000–500 hPa geopotential metre (gpm) thickness contours indicate that the cyclone Viyaru was vertically tilted (westward) and lacked axisymmetry in its structure and converse features (axisymmetric and vertical) that occurred for the cyclone Phailin. In addition, there was a penetration of dry air in the middle troposphere of Viyaru, whereas high moisture existed in the middle troposphere of Phailin. The vertical wind shear (5–10 $ms^{−1}$) near the core of the storm region between 850 and 200 hPa was favourable for both the systems but was higher in the northern region of the cyclone Viyaru. The divergent development of these thermodynamic features conspired to produce converse characteristic of the two cyclones.

• Forecasting of cyclone Viyaru and Phailin by NWP-based cyclone prediction system (CPS) of IMD – an evaluation

An objective NWP-based cyclone prediction system (CPS) was implemented for the operational cyclone forecasting work over the Indian seas. The method comprises of five forecast components, namely (a) Cyclone Genesis Potential Parameter (GPP), (b) Multi-Model Ensemble (MME) technique for cyclone track prediction, (c) cyclone intensity prediction, (d) rapid intensification, and (e) predicting decaying intensity after the landfall. GPP is derived based on dynamical and thermodynamical parameters from the model output of IMD operational Global Forecast System. The MME technique for the cyclone track prediction is based on multiple linear regression technique. The predictor selected for the MME are forecast latitude and longitude positions of cyclone at 12-hr intervals up to 120 hours forecasts from five NWP models namely, IMD-GFS, IMD-WRF, NCEP-GFS, UKMO, and JMA. A statistical cyclone intensity prediction (SCIP) model for predicting 12 hourly cyclone intensity (up to 72 hours) is developed applying multiple linear regression technique. Various dynamical and thermodynamical parameters as predictors are derived from the model outputs of IMD operational Global Forecast System and these parameters are also used for the prediction of rapid intensification. For forecast of inland wind after the landfall of a cyclone, an empirical technique is developed. This paper briefly describes the forecast system CPS and evaluates the performance skill for two recent cyclones Viyaru (non-intensifying) and Phailin (rapid intensifying), converse in nature in terms of track and intensity formed over Bay of Bengal in 2013. The evaluation of performance shows that the GPP analysis at early stages of development of a low pressure system indicated the potential of the system for further intensification. The 12-hourly track forecast by MME, intensity forecast by SCIP model, and rapid intensification forecasts are found to be consistent and very useful to the operational forecasters. The error statistics of the decay model shows that the model was able to predict the decaying intensity after landfall with reasonable accuracy. The performance statistics demonstrates the potential of the system for improving operational cyclone forecast service over the Indian seas.

• Effect of some climatic parameters on tropospheric and total ozone column over Alipore (22.52°N, 88.33°E), India

The paper presents the nature of variations of tropospheric and total ozone column retrieved from the Convective Cloud Differential (CCD) technique, Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), and Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) data, National Aeronautics and Space Administrations (NASA), USA, respectively; surface temperature, relative humidity, total rainfall, ozone precursors (non-methane hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide) that are collected from India Meteorological Department (IMD), Alipore, Kolkata; solar insolation obtained from Solar Geophysical Data Book and El-ñ index collected from National Climatic Data Center, US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA. The effect of these climatic parameters and ozone precursors on ozone variations is critically analyzed and explained on the basis of linear regression and correlation. It has been observed that the maximum, minimum and mean temperature, relative humidity, solar insolation, tropospheric, and total ozone column (TOC) showed slight increasing tendencies from October 2004 to December 2011, while total rainfall and El-ñ index showed little decreasing tendencies for the same period. Amongst selected climatic parameters and ozone precursors, the solar insolation and the average temperature had a significant influence on both, the tropospheric ozone and total ozone column formation. The solar insolation had contributed more in tropospheric ozone than in total ozone column; while El-ñ index had played a more significant role in total ozone column build up than in tropospheric ozone. Negative correlation was observed between almost all ozone precursors with the tropospheric and total ozone. The tropospheric ozone and total ozone column were also significantly correlated. The level of significance and contribution of different climatic parameters are determined from correlation technique and Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) method. The related chemical kinetics for ozone production processes has been critically described.

• Species diversity variations in Neogene deep-sea benthic foraminifera at ODP Hole 730A, western Arabian Sea

Deep-sea benthic foraminifera are an important and widely used marine proxy to understand paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic changes on regional and global scales, owing to their sensitivity to oceanic and climatic turnovers. Some species of benthic foraminifera are sensitive to changes in water mass properties whereas others are sensitive to organic fluxes and deep-sea oxygenation. Benthic faunal diversity has been found closely linked to food web, bottom water oxygen levels, and substrate and water mass stability. The present study is aimed at analyzing species diversity trends in benthic foraminifera and their linkages with Indian monsoon variability during the Neogene. Species diversity of benthic foraminifera is examined in terms of number of species (S), information function (H), equitability (E) and Sanders’ rarefied values, which were combined with relative abundances of high and low productivity benthic foraminifera at Ocean Drilling Program Hole 730A, Oman margin, western Arabian Sea. The Oman margin offers the best opportunity to understand monsoon-driven changes in benthic diversity since summer monsoon winds have greater impact on the study area. The species diversity was higher during the early Miocene Climatic Optimum (∼17.2–16.4 Ma) followed by a decrease during 16.4–13 Ma coinciding with a major increase in Antarctic ice volume and increased formation of Antarctic Bottom Water. All the diversity parameters show an increase during 13–11.6 Ma, a gradual decrease during 11.6–9 Ma and then an increase with a maximum at 7 Ma. Thereafter the values show little change until 1.2 Ma when all the parameters abruptly decrease. The benthic foraminiferal populations and diversity at Hole 730A were mainly driven by the Indian monsoon, and polar waters might have played a minor or no role since early Neogene period as the Arabian Sea is an enclosed basin.

• Upper Cisuralian palynology and palaeoclimate of Manuguru area Godavari basin, and their global correlation

The Permian system of the Palaeozoic Erathem is divided into three series, the Early Permian Cisuralian Series, the Middle Permian Guadalupian Series, and the Late Permian Lopingian Series. The Cisuralian Series encompasses the Asselian to Kungurian stages which constitute the basal part of the Gondwana supersequence I. In India, they are represented lithostratigraphically by the Talchir, Karharbari, and Barakar formations. This paper presents the palynological results from the Barakar Formation of the Upper Cisuralian Series from Manuguru which lies in the southeastern part of the Godavari basin. The succession studied comprises 35 subsurface samples from bore hole 1007 represented by clay, shale, sandstone, and coal. The palynofloras in this sequence have a homogenous composition demonstrating that not many significant floral changes took place through the considered stratigraphic range. The entire sequence is characterized by the dominance of nonstriate bisaccate genus Scheuringipollenites and subdominance of striate bisaccate genus Faunipollenites (=Protohaploxypinus). The other pollen genera among the nonstriate bisaccates are Rhizomaspora, Primuspollenites, Ibisporites, and Platysaccus. The striate bisaccates include Striatites, Striatopodocarpites, and Stroterosporites. The taeniate taxa are represented by Lueckisporites and Lunatisporites. The common monosaccate genera include Caheniasaccites, Potoniesporites, and Barakarites. Spores are less common and include Latosporites, Brevitriletes, Horriditriletes, Microbaculispora, and Callumispora. They characterize the palynofloral composition of the Lower Barakar Formation. The correlation of this assemblage with some of the biostratigraphic palynozones proposed previously for the Cisuralian sequences of the Paraná Basin of South America, Kalahari Karoo Basin of South Africa, Ruhuhu Basin of Tanzania, East Africa as well as palynoassemblages from South Victoria Land and Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica and Collie Basin of west Australia point out to their Early Permian (Late Sakmarian–Early Artinskian) age. Palynomorphs such as Botryococcus sp., Tetraporinia sp., Balmeela sp. and Leiosphaeridia sp. are also recorded which suggest that these sediments were deposited during post-glacial near shore, cool and humid environment.

• ‘Indicator’ carbonaceous phyllite/graphitic schist in the Archean Kundarkocha gold deposit, Singhbhum orogenic belt, eastern India: Implications for gold mineralization vis-a-vis organic matter

Carbonaceous rocks in the form of graphitic schist and carbonaceous phyllite are the major host rocks of the gold mineralization in Kundarkocha gold deposit of the Precambrian Singhbhum orogenic belt in eastern India. The detection of organic carbon, essentially in the carbonaceous phyllite and graphitized schist within the Precambrian terrain, is noted from this deposit. A very close relationship exists between gold mineralization and ubiquitous carbonaceous rocks containing organic carbon that seems to play a vital role in the deposition of gold in a Precambrian terrain in India and important metallogenetic implications for such type of deposits elsewhere. However, the role played by organic matter in a Precambrian gold deposit is debatable and the mechanism of precipitation of gold and other metals by organic carbon has been reported elsewhere. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) results and total organic carbon (TOC) values suggest that at least part of the organic material acted as a possible source for the reduction that played a significant role in the precipitation of gold. Lithological, electron probe analysis (EPMA), fluid inclusions associated with gold mineralization, Total Carbon (TC), TOC and FTIR results suggest that the gold mineralization is spatially and genetically associated with graphitic schist, carbonaceous phyllite/shale that are constituted of immature organic carbon or kerogen. Nano-scale gold inclusions along with free milling gold are associated with sulfide mineral phases present within the carbonaceous host rocks as well as in mineralized quartz-carbonate veins. Deposition of gold could have been facilitated due to the organic redox reactions and the graphitic schist and carbonaceous phyllite zone may be considered as the indicator zone.

• Genesis of some tertiary Indian coals from the chemical composition of ash – a statistical approach: Part 1

In the present investigation, 37 numbers of high sulphur tertiary coal samples from Meghalaya, India have been studied on the basis of proximate and ash analysis. Various statistical tools like Bivariant Analysis, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Hierarchical Clustering Analysis (HCA), and also the geochemical indicators were applied to determine the dominant detrital or authigenic affinity of the ash forming elements in these coals. The genetic interpretation of coal as well as the coal ash has been carried out based on chemical compositions of high temperature ash (HTA) by using Detrital/Authigenic Index. X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis was also carried out to study the mineralogy of the studied coal ashes. Both statistical tools and geochemical indicators have confirmed the detrital nature of these coals as well as the ash forming elements.

• Palaeoweathering characteristics of an intrabasaltic red bole of the Deccan Flood Basalts near Shrivardhan of western coast of India

An intrabasaltic red bole horizon is studied for its weathering characteristics with respect to the underlying and overlying basalts. The study indicates that all the three units have been considerably weathered; the red bole unit, however shows some distinctive characteristics. The red boles show a higher cation exchange capacity (CEC) and lower sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) and organic carbon (OC) as compared to the weathered basalts. The lower values of Al2O3, TiO2 and Fe2O3(T) in red boles indicate their lesser weathering than the underlying and overlying basalts, which is further corroborated by the weathering intensity measured by the indices like chemical index of alteration (CIA) and statistical empirical index of chemical weathering (W). It is also evident that the red bole samples show more retention of original mafic and felsic components. While K2O exhibits an erratic behaviour, the MgO and CaO do not show much leaching in red boles. Lesser leaching and salinity in the red boles is indicated by the higher values of calcification and lower values of salinization. The SiO2-Al2O3-Fe2O3 plot indicates that red bole samples are close to the basalt field, while the weathered upper basalt is more kaolinized than the weathered lower basalt. These observations reveal that the post-formational weathering processes have least affected the original palaeoweathering characters of the red bole horizon and hence the intrabasaltic palaeosols (weathering horizons) can effectively be used to constrain the palaeoweathering and palaeoclimates during the continental flood basalt episodes in the geologic past.

• An integral-free expression for short-term changes in fault stability due to pore pressure induced when a point load is placed on the pervious boundary of a porous elastic half space containing a fault

A concentrated load with step-function time behaviour is placed normal to the planar, pervious boundary of a porous elastic half space (PEHS) with compressible constituents. A planar fault exists in the PEHS in such a way that the poroelastic behaviour of the medium is unhindered. We derive an approximate but integral-free expression for CFSCPP, i.e., changes in fault stability due to changes in pore pressure, at a point not too far off the line along which the load acts. But, in the interest of simplicity, the main discussion is focussed on a consideration of CFSCPP at a point 𝑃 located on the fault at depth 𝑧 directly beneath the load. It is convenient to introduce dimensionless time $t_D$ directly proportional to real time 𝑡. The constant of proportionality is 4c/z2, where 𝑐 is hydraulic diffusivity. The derived approximate expression gives results with an accuracy of greater than 99% for limited values of $t_D$ after the load is imposed. We learn from the derived expression that, for a given 𝑧, fault stability undergoes an initial sudden decrease commensurate with the undrained pore pressure induced in the PEHS. This is followed by a more gradual decrease in fault stability with increasing $t_D$ until a minimum is reached. The real time 𝑡 to minimum fault stability increases with 𝑧. The magnitude of CFSCPP decreases with 𝑧 as $z^{−2}$ for a given $t_D$ in the permissible range. The derived expression and the inferences based on it should be useful during earth science investigations of the possible hazards due to reactivation of a pre-existing shallow fault when a civil engineering project involving imposition of a heavy load on the earth’s surface is to be executed nearby. They should be useful also for investigations if a shallow earthquake occurs near such a project soon after its execution.

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