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      Volume 126, Issue 5

      July 2017

    • Meteorological features associated with unprecedented precipitation over India during 1st week of March 2015

      Naresh Kumar M Mohapatra A K Jaswal

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      Unprecedented precipitation along with heavy falls occurred over many parts of India from 28th February to 2nd March 2015. Many of the stations of northwest and central India received an all time high 24 hr cumulative precipitation of March during this period. Even the national capital, New Delhi, broke all the previous historical 24 hr rainfall records of the last 100 years to the rainfall record in March 2015. Due to this event, huge loss to agricultural and horticultural crops occurred in several parts of India. In the present study, an attempt is made to understand the various meteorological features associated with this unprecedented precipitation event over India. It occurred due to the presence of an intense western disturbance (WD) over Afghanistan and neighbouring areas in the form of north–south oriented deep trough in westerlies in middle and upper tropospheric levels with its southern end deep in the Arabian Sea, which pumped huge moisture feed over Indian region. Also, there was a jet stream with core wind speed up to 160 knots that generated high positive divergence at upper tropospheric level over Indian region; along with this there was high magnitude of negative vertical velocity and velocity convergence were there at middle tropospheric level. It caused intense upward motion and forced lower levels air to rise and strengthen the lower levels cyclonic circulations (CCs)/Lows. Moreover, the induced CCs/Lows at lower tropospheric levels associated with WD were more towards south of its normal position. Additionally, there was wind confluence over central parts of India due to westerlies in association with WD and easterlies from anticyclone over north Bay of Bengal. Thus, intense WD along with wind confluence between westerlies and easterlies caused unprecedented precipitation over India during the 1st week of March 2015.

    • First discovery of fossil winged seeds of Pinus L. (family Pinaceae) from the Indian Cenozoic and its palaeobiogeographic significance

      Mahasin Ali Khan Subir Bera

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      The occurrences of Pinus L. (family Pinaceae) megafossils (cones and leaf remains) have been abundantly documented from the Cenozoic sediments of eastern Asia (Japan and China), but none has been confirmed from the Indian Cenozoic till date. Here, we describe Pinus arunachalensis Khan and Bera, sp. nov. on the basis of seed remains from the middle to late Miocene Siwalik sediments of the Dafla Formation exposed around West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalaya. Seeds are winged, broadly oblong to oval in outline, 1.3–1.5 cm long and 0.4–0.6 cm broad (in the middle part), located basipetally and symmetrically to wing, cellular pattern of wing is seemingly undulatory and parallel with the long axis of the wing. So far, this report provides the first ever fossil record of Pinus winged seeds from India. This record suggests that Pinus was an important component of tropical-subtropical evergreen forest in the area during the Miocene and this group subsequently declined from the local vegetation probably because of the gradual intensification of MSI (monsoon index) from the Miocene to the present. We also review the historical phytogeography and highlight the phytogeographic implication of this genus.

    • Geochemistry and geochronology of the mafic dikes in the Taipusi area, northern margin of North China Craton: Implications for Silurian tectonic evolution of the Central Asian Orogen

      Jing-Hua Wu Huan Li Xiao-Shuang Xi Hua Kong Qian-Hong Wu Neng-Li Peng Xi-Ming Wu Jing-Ya Cao Jillian Aira S Gabo-Ratio

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      The Taipusi area in the Bainaimiao Arc Belt is located in the northern margin of the North China Craton, at the southern margin of the middle Central Asian Orogenic Belt. It is characterized by large exposures of mafic dikes. In this contribution, we present first-hand whole-rock major and trace elements, zircon U–Pb geochronology and in situ trace element geochemistry data for these mafic rocks, which reveal their petrogenesis and tectonic evolution. These mafic dikes display varied compositions of SiO2 (49.42–54.29%), TiO2 (0.63–1.08%), Al2O3 (13.94–17.60%), MgO (4.66–10.51%), Fe2O3 (1.59–3.07%), FeO (4.60–6.90%), CaO (4.57–8.91%), Na2O (1.61–4.26%), K2O (0.92–2.54%) and P2O5 (0.11–0.29%). They are mainly of high-K calc-alkaline series with indistinct Eu anomalies, enriched in large ion lithophile elements (e.g., Rb, Ba, K and Sr) but depleted in high field strength elements (e.g., Nb, P and Ti). These suggest that the crystallizing magma was derived from enriched mantle altered by metasomatic fluids in a subduction setting with imprints of active continental margin features. The high concentrations of Hf, U, Th, Pb and Y, pronounced positive Ce but slightly negative Eu anomalies in zircons indicating that the magma underwent a fractional crystallization and crustal contamination process, with medium to high $f\hbox {O}_{2}$. Zircon LA–ICP–MS U–Pb dating yielded concordant ages of 437–442 Ma for these mafic dikes, which is consistent with the early Paleozoic volcanic arc magmatic activity in the Bainaimiao area. Hence, we conclude that the Bainaimiao Arc Belt is a continental arc formed by the southward subduction of the Paleo-Asian ocean during early Paleozoic.

    • Pre-processing data using wavelet transform and PCA based on support vector regression and gene expression programming for river flow simulation

      Abazar Solgi Amir Pourhaghi Ramin Bahmani Heidar Zarei

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      An accurate estimation of flow using different models is an issue for water resource researchers. In this study, support vector regression (SVR) and gene expression programming (GEP) models in daily and monthly scale were used in order to simulate Gamasiyab River flow in Nahavand, Iran. The results showed that although the performance of models in daily scale was acceptable and the result of SVR model was a little better, their performance in the daily scale was really better than the monthly scale. Therefore, wavelet transform was used and the main signal of every input was decomposed. Then, by using principal component analysis method, important sub-signals were recognized and used as inputs for the SVR and GEP models to produce wavelet-support vector regression (WSVR) and wavelet-gene expression programming. The results showed that the performance of WSVR was better than the SVR in such a way that the combination of SVR with wavelet could improve the determination coefficient of the model up to 3% and 18% for daily and monthly scales, respectively. Totally, it can be said that the combination of wavelet with SVR is a suitable tool for the prediction of Gamasiyab River flow in both daily and monthly scales.

    • Percolation pond as a method of managed aquifer recharge in a coastal saline aquifer: A case study on the criteria for site selection and its impacts

      Raicy Mani Christy Elango Lakshmanan

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      Percolation ponds have become very popular methods of managed aquifer recharge due to their low cost, ease of construction and the participation and assistance of community. The objective of this study is to assess the feasibility of a percolation pond in a saline aquifer, north of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, to improve the storage and quality of groundwater. Electrical resistivity and ground penetrating radar methods were used to understand the subsurface conditions of the area. From these investigations, a suitable location was chosen and a percolation pond was constructed. The quality and quantity of groundwater of the nearby area has improved due to the recharge from the pond. This study indicated that a simple excavation without providing support for the slope and paving of the bunds helped to improve the groundwater quality. This method can be easily adoptable by farmers who can have a small pond within their farm to collect and store the rainwater. The cost of water recharged from this pond works out to be about 0.225 Re/l. Cleaning the pond by scrapping the accumulated sediments needs to be done once a year. Due to the small dimension and high saline groundwater, considerable improvement in quality at greater depths could not be achieved. However, ponds of larger size with recharge shafts can directly recharge the aquifer and help to improve the quality of water at greater depths.

    • Environmental isotope investigation for the identification of source of springs observed in the hillock on the left flank of Gollaleru Earthen Dam, Andhra Pradesh, India

      J Noble MD Arzoo Ansari

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      A hydrometric, hydrochemical and environmental isotopic study was conducted to identify the source and origin of observed springs on the foot of the hillock abutting the left flank of the Gollaleru earthen dam, Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh, India. Water samples (springs, reservoir water and groundwater) in and around the dam area were collected and analyzed for environmental isotopes (δ18O, δ2H and 3H) and hydrochemistry. Reservoir level, spring discharges and physico-chemical parameters (temperature, electrical conductivity, pH, etc.) were monitored in-situ. Isotopic results indicated that the source of springs is from the Owk reservoir and groundwater contribution to the springs is insignificant. Based on hydrometric observations, it is inferred that the springs might be originated from the reservoir level of 209 m amsl. It is found that the lower spring discharges were derived from diffuse sources (seepage) which could be a mixture of reservoir water and the groundwater, while the relatively higher spring discharges were resulted from concentrated sources (leakage) from the reservoir. Thus, the study portraits the usefulness of isotope techniques in understanding the dam seepage/leakage related problems.

    • Magnetotelluric impedance tensor analysis for identification of transverse tectonic feature in the Wagad uplift, Kachchh, northwest India

      G Pavan Kumar Virender Kumar Mehul Nagar Dilip Singh E Mahendar Pruthul Patel P Mahesh

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      The 2001 Bhuj earthquake (Mw 7.7) occurred in northwestern region of Indian peninsula has reactivated a couple of transverse faults to its surroundings. Intermediate to moderate magnitude earthquakes are occurring along these faults which includes recent Dholavira earthquake (Mw 5.1, 2012) suggesting distinct tectonic scenario in the region. We present the results of magnetotelluric (MT) impedance tensors analyses of 18 sites located along a profile cutting various faults in the uplifted Wagad block of the Kachchh basin. The MT time series of 4–5 days recording duration have been processed and the earth response functions are estimated in broad frequency range (0.01–1000 s). The observed impedance tensors are analyzed by using three decomposition techniques as well as by the phase tensor method constraining with the induction arrows. The analyses suggest distinct tectonic feature within the block bounded by the South Wagad Fault (SWF) and the North Wagad Fault (NWF) particularly in the period band of 1–10 s. In the south of NWF, the telluric vectors and the major axes of the phase ellipses are aligned in the NNW–SSE to NW–SE direction where as a dominant E–W strike is obtained for northern side of the NWF. The transverse geo-electric strike coincides with the prominent clustering of seismicity after the Bhuj earthquake and trend of the Manfara transverse fault is located in close vicinity of the study area. We therefore suggest the presence NNW–SSE trending transverse structural feature in the Wagad uplift of the basin appears to play significant role in the current seismicity of the active intraplate region.

    • Assessment of large aperture scintillometry for large-area surface energy fluxes over an irrigated cropland in north India

      Abhishek Danodia V K Sehgal N R Patel R Dhakar J Mukherjee S K Saha A Senthil Kumar

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      Amount of available net energy and its partitioning into sensible, latent and soil heat fluxes over an agricultural landscape are critical to improve estimation of evapotranspiration and modelling parse (ecosystem modelling, hydrological and meteorological modelling). Scintillometry is a peculiar and robust methodology to provide structure parameter of refractive index and energy balance. Scintillometer has proven for assessment of sensible and latent heat flux, which is based on the principle of Monin–Obukhov similarity theory. Scintillometer has been installed in the agricultural experimental farm of ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, with a spatial covering path length of 990 m of irrigated and cultivable agricultural landscape. This paper discusses the patterns of energy flux as diurnal and seasonal basis at scintillometer path which was mainly covered by maize in Kharif and wheat in Rabi season during a crop growing seasons of 2014–2015. The biophysical parameters (leaf area, soil moisture, crop height) were recorded at a temporal resolution of fortnight basis along the path length at usual sampling distance. The Bowen ratio value for both Kharif and Rabi season was 0.76 and 0.88, respectively by scintillometer. Leaf area index had a significantly positive correlation with latent heat flux ($R^{2} =0.80$) while a significantly negative correlation with sensible heat flux ($R^{2}{=}-0.79$). Soil moisture had a significant negative correlation with sensible heat flux ($R^{2}{=}-0.68$). The average evapotranspiration from crop land was 1.58 mm d−1 and total evapotranspiration was 543 mm over the 12 months study period. This study defines that large aperture scintillometer is robust instrument which can evaluate energy flux over a large area with a long term series time domain. Moreover, further studied should be conducted to use in crop simulation modelling, developing of new model with calibration and validation of remote sensing energy balance algorithm, etc.

    • Ocean sea-ice modelling in the Southern Ocean around Indian Antarctic stations

      Anurag Kumar Suneet Dwivedi D Ram Rajak

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      An eddy-resolving coupled ocean sea-ice modelling is carried out in the Southern Ocean region (9–78E; 51–71S) using the MITgcm. The model domain incorporates the Indian Antarctic stations, Maitri (11.7E; 70.7S) and Bharati (76.1E; 69.4S). The realistic simulation of the surface variables, namely, sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface salinity (SSS), surface currents, sea ice concentration (SIC) and sea ice thickness (SIT) is presented for the period of 1997–2012. The horizontal resolution of the model varies between 6 and 10 km. The highest vertical resolution of 5 m is taken near the surface, which gradually increases with increasing depths. The seasonal variability of the SST, SSS, SIC and currents is compared with the available observations in the region of study. It is found that the SIC of the model domain is increasing at a rate of 0.09% per month (nearly 1% per year), whereas, the SIC near Maitri and Bharati regions is increasing at a rate of 0.14 and 0.03% per month, respectively. The variability of the drift of the sea-ice is also estimated over the period of simulation. It is also found that the sea ice volume of the region increases at the rate of 0.0004 km3 per month (nearly 0.005 km3 per year). Further, it is revealed that the accumulation of sea ice around Bharati station is more as compared to Maitri station.

    • E–W strike slip shearing of Kinwat granitoid at South East Deccan Volcanic Province, Kinwat, Maharashtra, India

      R D Kaplay T Vijay Kumar Soumyajit Mukherjee P R Wesanekar Md Babar Sumeet Chavan

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      We study the margin of South East Deccan Volcanic Province around Kinwat lineament, Maharashtra, India, which is NW extension of the Kaddam Fault. Structural field studies document ∼E–W strike-slip mostly brittle faults from the basement granite. We designate this as ‘Western boundary East Dharwar Craton Strike-slip Zone’ (WBEDCSZ). At local level, the deformation regime from Kinwat, Kaddam Fault, micro-seismically active Nanded and seismically active Killari corroborate with the nearby lineaments. Morphometric analyses suggest that the region is moderately tectonically active. The region of intense strike-slip deformation lies between seismically active fault along Tapi in NW and Bhadrachalam in the SE part of the Kaddam Fault/lineament. The WBEDCSZ with the surface evidences of faulting, presence of a major lineaments and intersection of faults could be a zone of intraplate earthquake.

    • Stable carbon and oxygen isotope study on benthic foraminifera: Implication for microhabitat preferences and interspecies correlation

      Ajoy K Bhaumik Shiv Kumar Shilpi Ray G K Vishwakarma Anil K Gupta Pushpendra Kumar Kalachand Sain

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      Stable isotopes of benthic foraminifera have widely been applied in micropalaeontological research to understand vital effects in foraminifera. Isotopic fractionations are mainly controlled by ontogeny, bottom/pore water chemistry, habitat preference, kinetic effect and respiration. Discontinuous abundance of a species for isotopic analysis has forced us to select multiple species from down-core samples. Thus standardisation factors are required to convert isotopic values of one species with respect to other species. The present study is pursued on isotopic values of different pairs of benthic foraminifera from the Krishna–Godavari basin and Peru offshore to understand habitat-wise isotopic variation and estimation of isotopic correction factors for the paired species (Cibicides wuellerstorfi–Bulimina marginata, Ammonia spp.–Loxostomum amygdalaeformis and Bolivina seminuda–Nonionella auris). Infaunal species (B. marginata, Ammonia spp. and N. auris) show a lighter carbon isotopic excursion with respect to the epifaunal to shallow infaunal forms (C. wuellerstorfi, L. amygdalaeformis and B. seminuda). These lighter δ13C values are related to utilisation of CO2 produced by anaerobic remineralisation of organic matter. However, enrichment of δ18O for the deeper microhabitat (bearing lower pH and decreased CO32−) is only recorded in case of B. marginata. It is reverse in case of N. auris and related to utilisation of respiratory CO2 and internal dissolve inorganic carbon pool. Estimation of interspecies isotopic correction factors for the species pairs (δ13C of C. wuellerstorfi–B. marginata, L. amygdalaeformis–Ammonia spp., N. auris–B. seminuda) and δ18O of C. wuellerstorfi–B. marginata are statistically reliable and may be used in palaeoecological studies.

    • Occurrence of submarine canyons, sediment waves and mass movements along the northern continental slope of the South China Sea

      Hongjun Chen Wenhuan Zhan Liqing Li Ming-ming Wen

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      In this study, we reveal a series of newly discovered submarine canyons, sediment waves, and mass movements on a flat and smooth seafloor using high-resolution, multi-beam bathymetry and shallow seismic surveys along the northern slope of the South China Sea. We also describe their geomorphology and seismic stratigraphy characteristics in detail. These canyons display U-shaped cross sections and are roughly elongated in the NNW–SSE direction; they are typically 8–25 km long, 1.2–7 km wide, and form incisions up to 175 m into Pliocene–Quaternary slope deposits at water depths of 400–1000 m. Slide complexes and the sediment wave field are oriented in the NE–SW direction and cover areas of approximately 1790 and 926 km2, respectively. Debris/turbidity flows are present within these canyons and along their lower slopes. Detailed analysis of seismic facies indicates the presence of six seismic facies, in which Cenozoic strata located above the acoustic basement in the study area can be roughly subdivided into three sequences (1–3), which are separated by regional unconformities (Tg, T4, and T3). By combining these data with the regional geological setting and the results of previous studies, we are able to determine the genetic mechanisms used to create these canyons, sediment wave field, and mass movements. For example, frontally confined slide complexes could have been influenced by high sedimentation rates and high pore pressures. A series of very large subaqueous sediment waves, which record wavelengths of 1.4–2 km and wave heights of 30–50 m, were likely produced by interactions between internal solitary waves and along-slope bottom (contour) currents. Canyons were likely initially created by landslides and then widened laterally by the processes of downcutting, headward erosion, and active bottom currents and debris/turbidity flows on canyon floors. We therefore propose a three-dimensional model to describe the development of these mass movements, the sediment wave field, and canyons. The four stages of this model include a stable stage, followed by the failure of the slope, and subsequent formations of the sediment wave field and canyons.

    • Estimation of earthquake source parameters in the Kachchh seismic zone, Gujarat, India, using three component S-wave spectra

      Durgada Nagamani Prantik Mandal

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      Earthquake source parameters and crustal $Q_{0}$ values for the 138 selected local events of ($\hbox {M}_{\mathrm{w}}{:}2.5{-}4.4$) the 2001 Bhuj earthquake sequence have been computed through inversion modelling of S-waves from three-component broadband seismometer data. SEISAN software has been used to locate the identified local earthquakes, which were recorded at least three or more stations of the Kachchh seismological network. Three component spectra of S-wave are being inverted by using the Levenberg–Marquardt non-linear inversion technique, wherein the inversion scheme is formulated based on $\omega ^{2}$ source model. SAC Software (seismic analysis code) is being utilized for calculating three-component displacement and velocity spectra of S-wave. The displacement spectra are used for estimating corner frequency (in Hz) and long period spectral level (in nm-s). These two parameters play a key role in estimating earthquake source parameters. The crustal ${Q}_{0}$ values have been computed simultaneously for each component of three-component broadband seismograph. The estimated seismic moment (M0) and source radius (r) using S-wave spectra range from 7.03E+12 to 5.36E+15 N-m and 178.56 to 565.21 m, respectively. The corner frequencies for S-wave vary from 3.025 to 7.425 Hz. We also estimated the radiated energy ($E_{S}$) using velocity spectra, which is varying from 2.76E+06 to 4.07E+11 Joules. The estimated apparent stress drop and static stress drop values range from 0.01 to 2.56 and 0.53 to 36.79 MPa, respectively. Our study also reveals that estimated $Q_{0}$ values vary from 119.0 to 7229.5, with an average $Q_{0}$ value of 701. Another important parameter, by which the earthquake rupture process can be recognized, is Zuniga parameter. It suggests that most of the Kachchh events follow the frictional overshoot model. Our estimated static stress drop values are higher than the apparent stress drop values. And the stress drop values are quite larger for intraplate earthquakes than the interplate earthquakes.

    • Comparison of two intelligent models to estimate the instantaneous global solar radiation in semi-arid climate conditions: Application in Iran

      Mostafa Zamani Mohiabadi Mohsen Mirzaei

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      Solar radiation incident on the earth’s surface is a fundamental input for many aspects of climatology, hydrology, biology, and architecture. In addition, it is an important parameter in solar energy applications. Due to the high cost of the measuring instruments of solar radiation, many researchers have suggested different empirical methods to estimate this essential parameter. In this study, with the help of fuzzy systems and neural networks, two models have been designed to estimate the instantaneous global solar radiation in Rafsanjan city which has a typical climatic conditions of semi-arid region of middle eastern countries. In fuzzy and neural network model, the inputs are the number of the given day in the year, time, ambient temperature and cloudiness, The comparison between the results of the models and the measurements, shows that the estimated global radiation is similar to the measurement; for fuzzy model, statistical indicators RMSE, MBE and t-test are 103.4367 (w/m2), 4.1169 (w/m2) and 9.1318, respectively and for ANN, they are 85.46 (w/m2), 3.08 (w/m2) and 5.41, respectively. As the results indicate, both models are able to estimate the amount of radiation well, while the neural network has a higher accuracy. The output of the modes for six other cities of Iran, with similar climate conditions, also proves the ability of the proposed models.

    • Variability of the date of monsoon onset over Kerala (India) of the period 1870–2014 and its relation to sea surface temperature

      P N Preenu P V Joseph P K Dineshkumar

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      Monsoon onset over Kerala (India) which occurs every year is a major climatic phenomenon that involves large scale changes in wind, rainfall and sea surface temperature (SST). Over the last 150 years, the date of monsoon onset over Kerala (DMOK) has varied widely, the earliest being 11 May, 1918 and the most delayed being 18 June, 1972. DMOK has a long term (1870–2014) mean of 01 June and standard deviation of 7–8 days. We have studied the inter-annual and decadal time scale variability of DMOK and their relation with SST. We found that SST anomalies of large spatial scale similar to those in El Nino/La Nina are associated with the inter-annual variability in DMOK. Indian Ocean between latitudes 5S and 20N has two episodes of active convection associated with monsoon onset over Kerala (MOK), one around DMOK and the other about six weeks earlier (called pre-monsoon rain peak or bogus monsoon onset) and in between a two week period of suppressed convection occurs over north Indian Ocean. A prominent decadal time scale variability was found in DMOK having large and statistically significant linear correlation with the SST gradient across the equator over Indian and Pacific oceans, the large correlation persisting for several months prior to the MOK. However, no linear trend was seen in DMOK during the long period from 1870 to 2014.

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