• Volume 125, Issue 1

      February 2016,   pages  1-216

    • Reconstruction of the paleo-coastline of Santorini island (Greece), after the 1613 BC volcanic eruption: A GIS-based quantitative methodology

      Dimitrios Oikonomidis Konstantinos Albanakis Spyridon Pavlides Michael Fytikas

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      A catastrophic volcanic explosion took place in Thera/Santorini island around 1613 BC, known as the `Minoan' eruption. Many papers have dealt with the shape of the shoreline of the island before the eruption, but none with the shape of the shoreline exactly after it, assuming that it would be the same with the contemporary one. However, this is not correct due to the wave erosion. In this paper, a new DEM was constructed, covering both land and submarine morphology, then topographic sections were drawn around the island. Using these sections, the `missing parts' (sea-wave erosion) were calculated, the shoreline was reconstructed as it was one day after the eruption and finally the erosion rate was calculated.

    • Late quaternary sea level changes of Gabes coastal plain and shelf: Identification of the MIS 5c and MIS 5a onshore highstands, southern Mediterranean

      Maher Gzam Noureddine El Mejdoub Younes Jedoui

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      The continental shelf of the Gulf of Gabes is outlined, during the MIS 5c and MIS 5a onshore highstands, by the genesis of forced regressive beach ridges situated respectively at –19 m b.s.l/100 ka and –8 m b.s.l/80 ka. This area, considered as a stable domain since at least the last 130 ka (Bouaziz et al. 2003), is a particular zone for the reconstruction of the late quaternary sea-level changes in the region. Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data and field observations are highlighted to deduce interaction between hydrodynamic factors and antecedent topography. Variations in geomorphology were attributed to geological inheritance. Petrography and sedimentary facies of the submerged coastal ridges reveal that the palaeocoastal morphology was more agitated than today and the fluvial discharges are consistent. Actual morphologic trend deduced from different environment coasts (sandy coasts, sea cliffs and tidal flat) is marked by accumulation of marine sands and progradation.

    • Prediction and error growth in the daily forecast of precipitation from the NCEP CFSv2 over the subdivisions of Indian subcontinent

      Dhruva Kumar Pandey Shailendra Rai A K Sahai S Abhilash N K Shahi

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      This study investigates the forecast skill and predictability of various indices of south Asian monsoon as well as the subdivisions of the Indian subcontinent during JJAS season for the time domain of 2001–2013 using NCEP CFSv2 output. It has been observed that the daily mean climatology of precipitation over the land points of India is underestimated in the model forecast as compared to observation. The monthly model bias of precipitation shows the dry bias over the land points of India and also over the Bay of Bengal, whereas the Himalayan and Arabian Sea regions show the wet bias. We have divided the Indian landmass into five subdivisions namely central India, southern India, Western Ghat, northeast and southern Bay of Bengal regions based on the spatial variation of observed mean precipitation in JJAS season. The underestimation over the land points of India during mature phase was originated from the central India, southern Bay of Bengal, southern India and Western Ghat regions. The error growth in June forecast is slower as compared to July forecast in all the regions. The predictability error also grows slowly in June forecast as compared to July forecast in most of the regions. The doubling time of predictability error was estimated to be in the range of 3–5 days for all the regions. Southern India and Western Ghats are more predictable in the July forecast as compared to June forecast, whereas IMR, northeast, central India and southern Bay of Bengal regions have the opposite nature.

    • Simulation of CO2 concentrations at Tsukuba tall tower using WRF-CO2 tracer transport model

      Srabanti Ballav Prabir K Patra Yousuke Sawa Hidekazu Matsueda Ahoro Adachi Shigeru Onogi Masayuki Takigawa Utpal K De

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      Simulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) at hourly/weekly intervals and fine vertical resolution at the continental or coastal sites is challenging because of coarse horizontal resolution of global transport models. Here the regional Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with atmospheric chemistry is adopted for simulating atmospheric CO2 (hereinafter WRF-CO2) in nonreactive chemical tracer mode. Model results at horizontal resolution of 27 × 27 km and 31 vertical levels are compared with hourly CO2 measurements from Tsukuba, Japan (36.05°N, 140.13°E) at tower heights of 25 and 200 m for the entire year 2002. Using the wind rose analysis, we find that the fossil fuel emission signal from the megacity Tokyo dominates the diurnal, synoptic and seasonal variations observed at Tsukuba. Contribution of terrestrial biosphere fluxes is of secondary importance for CO2 concentration variability. The phase of synoptic scale variability in CO2 at both heights are remarkably well simulated the observed data (correlation coefficient >0.70) for the entire year. The simulations of monthly mean diurnal cycles are in better agreement with the measurements at lower height compared to that at the upper height. The modelled vertical CO2 gradients are generally greater than the observed vertical gradient. Sensitivity studies show that the simulation of observed vertical gradient can be improved by increasing the number of vertical levels from 31 in the model WRF to 37 (4 below 200 m) and using the Mellor–Yamada–Janjic planetary boundary scheme. These results have large implications for improving transport model simulation of CO2 over the continental sites.

    • Decadal variation of ocean heat content and tropical cyclone activity over the Bay of Bengal

      Sankar Nath S D Kotal P K Kundu

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      The upper ocean heat content up to 700 m depth (OHC700) is an important climatic parameter required for atmospheric and oceanographic studies like a cyclone. In this study, therefore, an attempt has been made to examine the inter-decadal variations of tropical cyclone (TC) activity and OHC700 over the Bay of Bengal (BOB) for the post-monsoon season (October–December) during 1955–2013 periods. The sea-surface temperature (SST), geopotential height at 500 hPa, low-level vorticity at 850 hPa, vertical wind shear between 200 and 850 hPa, middle tropospheric humidity at 500 hPa and outgoing long-wave radiation are also being studied using seasonal mean data. The results show a significant inter-decadal variation during 1955–2013, with two distinct decadal periods: active decadal period (ADP) (1955–1988) and inactive decadal period (IDP) (1989–2013). The anomalies of these parameters are opposite in phase for two periods. It is found that the large scale atmospheric features and oceanic parameters have significant inter-decadal variability, but frequency of the tropical cyclone is attributed to the variation in the atmospheric dynamic and thermodynamic conditions rather than the variation of oceanic parameters OHC700 and SSTs during the post-monsoon season.

    • Century scale climate change in the central highlands of Sri Lanka

      J De Silva D U J Sonnadara

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      In this study, an analysis of century scale climate trends in the central highlands of Sri Lanka is presented. Monthly rainfall and temperature records of the period 1869–2006 from five climatological stations were analyzed. The trend is calculated by the least square regression analysis and the significance of the observed trend is estimated using the Mann–Kendall statistic. The results clearly show that there is a statistically significant decrease in annual rainfall in the western slopes of the central highlands. Throughout the last century, the annual reduction of rainfall in Nuwara Eliya which is at an altitude of 1895 m was 5.2 mm/year. The decrease is largely due to the reduction in southwest monsoon rainfall which contributes to 75% of the total reduction. No significant change was observed on the eastern side of the central highlands which receives rainfall predominantly from the northeast monsoons. The mean annual temperature in the mountainous region shows a uniform increasing trend which is in line with the 100-year global temperature increase of 0.8 ± 0.2°C. Kandy, which is at an altitude of 477 m and closely linked with the rainfall climatology of Nuwara Eliya, showed no significant change in the mean annual temperature. If the current trend continues, in another 100 years, western and eastern slopes of central highlands will receive the same amount of rainfall from the southwest monsoon and the northeast monsoon which will have far reaching consequences for Sri Lanka’s economy and the ecology of the hill country.

    • Heat islands over Mumbai as revealed by autorecorded thermograph data

      A K Srivastava James Voogt S R Kshirsagar Kavita Srivastava

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      This study examined hourly temperature data of two locations of Mumbai metropolitan city. One data point (Coloba, Mumbai) is in centre of the city and the other one (Santacruz, Mumbai) is at the airport. The study finds that there were many occasions when night-time hourly temperatures over the city centre were considerably higher than that of the airport, even though temperature at the time of sunset at both the places was nearly same. In this study, the occasions, when hourly night-time temperature over city was more than that of the airport by objectively defined threshold value (3.0°C in this study) for most of the hours in the night, were termed as heat island events. Analysis of the study reveals that these events are mostly confined to November–February months. The study also found that frequency of such events has doubled in recent two decades in comparison to the earlier two decades.

    • Comparison of diurnal dynamics in evaporation rate between bare soil and moss-crusted soil within a revegetated desert ecosystem of northwestern China

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

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      Effects of biological soil crusts (BSCs) on soil evaporation is quite controversial in literature, being either facilitative or inhibitive, and therein few studies have actually conducted direct evaporation measurements. Continuous field measurements of soil water evaporation were conducted on two microlysimeters, i.e., one with sand soil collected from bare sand dune area and the other with moss-crusted soil collected from an area that was revegetated in 1956, from field capacity to dry, at the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert. We mainly aimed to quantify the diurnal variations of evaporation rate from two soils, and further comparatively discuss the effects of BSCs on soil evaporation after revegetation. Results showed that in clear days with high soil water content (Day 1 and 2), the diurnal variation of soil evaporation rate followed the typical convex upward parabolic curve, reaching its peak around midday. Diurnal evaporation rate and the accumulated evaporation amount of moss-crusted soil were lower (an average of 0.90 times) than that of sand soil in this stage. However, as soil water content decreased to a moderately low level (Day 3 and 4), the diurnal evaporation rate from moss-crusted soil was pronouncedly higher (an average of 3.91 times) than that of sand soil, prolonging the duration of this higher evaporation rate stage; it was slightly higher in the final stage (Day 5 and 6) when soil moisture was very low. We conclude that the effects of moss crusts on soil evaporation vary with different evaporation stages, which is closely related to soil water content, and the variation and transition of evaporation rate between bare soil and moss-crusted soil are expected to be predicted by soil water content.

    • Assessment and monitoring of long-term forest cover changes (1920–2013) in Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot

      C Sudhakar Reddy C S Jha V K Dadhwal

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      Western Ghats are considered as one of the global biodiversity hotspots. There is an information gap on conservation status of the biodiversity hotspots. This study has quantified estimates of deforestation in the Western Ghats over a period of past nine decades. The classified forest cover maps for 1920, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2013 indicates 95,446 (73.1%), 63,123 (48.4%), 62,286 (47.7%), 61,551 (47.2%), 61,511 (47.1%) and 61,511 km2 (47.1%) of the forest area, respectively. The rates of deforestation have been analyzed in different time phases, i.e., 1920–1975, 1975–1985, 1985–1995, 1995–2005 and 2005–2013. The grid cells of 1 km2 have been generated for time series analysis and describing spatial changes in forests. The net rate of deforestation was found to be 0.75 during 1920–1975, 0.13 during 1975–1985, 0.12 during 1985–1995 and 0.01 during 1995–2005. Overall forest loss in Western Ghats was estimated as 33,579 km2 (35.3% of the total forest) from 1920's to 2013. Land use change analysis indicates highest transformation of forest to plantations, followed by agriculture and degradation to scrub. The dominant forest type is tropical semi-evergreen which comprises 21,678 km2 (35.2%) of the total forest area of Western Ghats, followed by wet evergreen forest (30.6%), moist deciduous forest (24.8%) and dry deciduous forest (8.1%) in 2013. Even though it has the highest population density among the hotspots, there is no quantifiable net rate of deforestation from 2005 to 2013 which indicates increased measures of conservation.

    • Development of roughness updating based on artificial neural network in a river hydraulic model for flash flood forecasting

      J C Fu M H Hsu Y Duann

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      Flood is the worst weather-related hazard in Taiwan because of steep terrain and storm. The tropical storm often results in disastrous flash flood. To provide reliable forecast of water stages in rivers is indispensable for proper actions in the emergency response during flood. The river hydraulic model based on dynamic wave theory using an implicit finite-difference method is developed with river roughness updating for flash flood forecast. The artificial neural network (ANN) is employed to update the roughness of rivers in accordance with the observed river stages at each time-step of the flood routing process. Several typhoon events at Tamsui River are utilized to evaluate the accuracy of flood forecasting. The results present the adaptive n-values of roughness for river hydraulic model that can provide a better flow state for subsequent forecasting at significant locations and longitudinal profiles along rivers.

    • Geochemical evolution of groundwater in southern Bengal Basin: The example of Rajarhat and adjoining areas, West Bengal, India

      Paulami Sahu P K Sikdar Surajit Chakraborty

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      Detailed geochemical analysis of groundwater beneath 1223 km2 area in southern Bengal Basin along with statistical analysis on the chemical data was attempted, to develop a better understanding of the geochemical processes that control the groundwater evolution in the deltaic aquifer of the region. Groundwater is categorized into three types: `excellent', `good' and `poor' and seven hydrochemical facies are assigned to three broad types: `fresh', `mixed' and `brackish' waters. The `fresh' water type dominated with sodium indicates active flushing of the aquifer, whereas chloride-rich `brackish' groundwater represents freshening of modified connate water. The `mixed' type groundwater has possibly evolved due to hydraulic mixing of `fresh' and `brackish' waters. Enrichment of major ions in groundwater is due to weathering of feldspathic and ferro-magnesian minerals by percolating water. The groundwater of Rajarhat New Town (RNT) and adjacent areas in the north and southeast is contaminated with arsenic. Current-pumping may induce more arsenic to flow into the aquifers of RNT and Kolkata cities. Future large-scale pumping of groundwater beneath RNT can modify the hydrological system, which may transport arsenic and low quality water from adjacent aquifers to presently unpolluted aquifer.

    • Geochemical characteristics of Kırka (Sarıkaya) borate deposit, northwestern Anatolia, Turkey

      İ Koçak Ş Koç

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      The Kırka borate deposit was deposited in a Miocene lacustrine basin which is closely associated with volcanic activity which lasted from Paleogene to the beginning of Quaternary. Borate mineralization alternates with claystone, mudstone, tuff and fine-layered limestone and mostly shows a lenticular structure. The mineral paragenesis is composed of borax, tincalconite, ulexite, kurnakovite, probertite, tunellite, colemanite, dolomite, smectite group minerals, illite and some firstly reported minerals for the Kırka deposit including hydrochloroborite, brianroulstonite, hilgardite-4M and searlesite minerals. In comparison to average values of earth crust, concentrations of Cs, Sr, Li, As and Se were significantly enriched with respective rates of 21, 15, 14, 3 and 188 folds. Regarding KY, KS1 and KS2 locations, there are differences in both element abundances and their geochemical tendencies which are attributed to variations in discharge regime and physico-chemical conditions of the depositional environment. Independent behaviour of B2O3 might indicate that boron is not associated with clays and carbonates and, therefore, most part of boron must be derived from volcanic activity (hydrothermal solutions, gases). REE data indicate that the Kırka borate deposit was formed in a sedimentary environment where highly alkaline (high pH) hydrothermal solutions also took part in borate precipitation process.

    • Coal fire mapping of East Basuria Colliery, Jharia coalfield using vertical derivative technique of magnetic data

      S K Pal Jitendra Vaish Sahadev Kumar Abhay Kumar Bharti

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      The present study deals with the coal fire mapping of East Basuria Colliery, Jharia coalfield, India, using the magnetic method. It is based on the fact that rise in temperature would result significant changes in magnetic susceptibility and thermo-remanent magnetization (TRM) of the overlying rocks. Magnetism increases slowly with the rise of temperature until the Curie temperature. Generally, rock/overburden loses magnetization and becomes paramagnetic due to heating to Curie temperature, which results with significant reduction in magnetic susceptibility. However, magnetism increases significantly after cooling below the Curie temperature. Several data processing methods such as diurnal correction, reduction to pole (RTP), first and second vertical derivatives have been used for analysis of magnetic data and their interpretation. It is observed that the total magnetic field intensity anomaly of the area varies approximately from 44850 to 47460 nT and the residual magnetic anomaly varies approximately from −1323 to 1253 nT. The range of the magnetic anomaly after RTP is approximately 1050–1450 nT. About 20 low magnetic anomaly zones have been identified associated with active coal fire regions and 11 high magnetic anomaly zones have been identified associated with non-coal fire regions using vertical derivative techniques.

    • Transpressional granite-emplacement model: Structural and magnetic study of the Pan-African Bandja granitic pluton (West Cameroon)

      A F Yakeu Sandjo T Njanko E Njonfang E Errami P Rochette E Fozing

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      The Pan-African NE–SW elongated Bandja granitic pluton, located at the western part of the Pan-African belt in Cameroon, is a K-feldspar megacryst granite. It is emplaced in banded gneiss and its NW border underwent mylonitization. The magmatic foliation shows NE–SW and NNE–SSW strike directions with moderate to strong dip respectively in its northern and central parts. This mostly, ferromagnetic granite displays magnetic fabrics carried by magnetite and characterized by

      1. magnetic foliation with best poles at 295/34, 283/33 and 35/59 respectively in its northern, central and southern parts and

      2. a subhorizontal magnetic lineation with best line at 37/8, 191/9 and 267/22 respectively in the northern, central and southern parts.

      Magnetic lineation shows an `S' shape trend that allows to

      1. consider the complete emplacement and deformation of the pluton during the Pan-African D2 and D3 events which occurred in the Pan-African belt in Cameroon and

      2. reorganize Pan-African ages from Nguiessi Tchakam et al. (1997) compared with those of the other granitic plutons in the belt as: 686 ±17 Ma (Rb/Sr) for D1 age of metamorphism recorded in gneiss; and the period between 604–557 Ma for D2–D3 emplacement and deformation age of the granitic pluton in a dextral ENE–WSW shear movement.

    • Favourable uranium–phosphate exploration trends guided by the application of statistical factor analysis technique on the aerial gamma spectrometric data in Syrian desert (Area-1), Syria

      J Asfahani R Al-Hent M Aissa

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      A scored lithological map including 10 radiometric units is established through applying factor analysis approach to aerial spectrometric data of Area-1, Syrian desert, which includes Ur, eU, eTh, K%, eU/eTh, eU/K%, and eTh/K%. A model of four rotated factors F1, F2, F3, and F4 is adapted for representing 234,829 data measured points in Area-1, where 86% of total data variance is interpreted. A geological scored pseudo-section derived from the lithological scored map is established and analyzed in order to show the possible stratigraphic and structural traps for uranium occurrences associated with phosphate deposits in the studied Area-1. These identified traps presented in this paper need detailed investigation and must be necessarily followed and checked by ground validations and subsurface well logging, in order to locate the anomalous uranium occurrences and explore with more confidence and certitude their characteristics as a function of depth.

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