• Ashok Kumar

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Cooling age record of domal uplift in the core of the Higher Himalayan Crystallines (HHC), southwest Zanskar, India

      Rasoul B Sorkhabi Arvind K Jain Tetsumaru Itaya Shiro Fukui Nand Lal Ashok Kumar

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      The cooling and tectonic history of the Higher Himalayan Crystallines (HHC) in southwest Zanskar (along the Kishtwar-Padam traverse) is constrained by K-Ar biotite and fission-track (FT) apatite and zircon ages. A total of nine biotite samples yields ages in the range of 14–24 Ma, indicating the post-metamorphic cooling of these rocks through ∼ 300°C in the Miocene. Overall, the ages become younger away from the Zanskar Shear Zone (ZSZ), which marks the basement-cover detachment fault between the HHC and the Tethyan sedimentary zone, towards the core of the HHC. The same pattern is also observed for the FT apatite ages, which record the cooling of the rocks through ∼ 120°C. The apatite ages range from 11 Ma in the vicinity of the ZSZ to 4 Ma at the granitic core of the HHC. This pattern of discordant cooling ages across the HHC in southwest Zanskar reveals an inversion of isotherms due to fast uplift-denudation (hence cooling) of the HHC core, which is, in turn, related to domal uplift within the HHC. The Chisoti granite gneiss is the exposed domal structure along the studied traverse. Cooling history of two granite gneisses at the core of the HHC is also quantified with the help of the biotite, zircon and apatite ages; the time-temperatures thus obtained indicate a rapid pulse of cooling at ∼ 6 Ma, related to accelerated uplift-denudation of the HHC core at this time. Long-term denudation rates of 0.5–0.7 mm/yr are estimated for the high-grade rocks of the Higher Himalaya in southwest Zanskar over the past 4.0–5.5 m.yr.

    • MOS guidance using a neural network for the rainfall forecast over India

      Ashok Kumar Sridevi Ch Durai V R Singh K K Mukhopadhyay P Chattopadhyay N

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      In the present study, a model output statistics (MOS) guidance model was developed by using the neural network technique for a bias-corrected rainfall forecast. The model was developed over the Indian window (0–40$^{\circ}$N and 60–100$^{\circ}$E) by using the observed and global forecast system (GFS) T-1534 model output (up to 5 days) at a 0.125$^{\circ} \times$ 0.125$^{\circ}$ regular grid during the summer monsoon (June–September) 2016. The skill of the developed MOS model forecast against the observed 0.125$^{\circ} \times$ 0.125$^{\circ}$ grid rainfall data is obtained for the summer monsoon (June–September) 2017. The skill of the MOS model rainfall forecast is found to show good improvement over the T-1534 model’s direct forecast over the Indian window. In general, the T-1534 model’s direct forecast shows high skill but the forecast obtained by using the MOS model shows better skill than the direct model’s forecast, although a major improvement is seen for the Day 1 forecast at the national level. So the skill of the bias-corrected rainfall forecast by using the MOS guidance and the T-1534 model output is high and has the potential of being used as an operational forecast over the Indian region.

    • Noise characteristics of GPS time series and their influence on velocity uncertainties

      Jagat Dwipendra Ray Sithartha Muthu Vijayan M Ashok Kumar

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      Accurate geodetic crustal deformation estimates with realistic uncertainties are essential to constrain geophysical models. A selection of appropriate noise model in geodetic data processing based on the characteristics of the geodetic time series being studied is the key to achieving realistic uncertainties. In this study, we report noise characteristics of a 12-yr long global positioning system (GPS) geodetic time series (2002–2013) obtained from 22 continuous mode GPS stations situated in north-east India, Nepal and Bhutan Himalayas which are one of the most complex tectonic regimes influenced by the largest hydrological loading and impacted with a load of the largest inland glaciers. A comparison of the maximum log likelihood estimates of three different noise models – (i) white plus power law (WPL), (ii) white plus flicker law (WFL) and (iii) white plus random walk noise – adopted to process the GPS time series reveals that among the three models, $\sim$74% of the time series can be better described either by WPL or WFL model. The results further showed that the horizontals in Nepal Himalayas and verticals in north-east India are highly correlated with time. The impact analysis of noise models on velocity estimation shows that the conventional way of assuming time uncorrelated noise models (white noise) for constraining the crustal deformation of this region severely underestimates rate uncertainty up to 14 times. Such simplistic assumption, being adopted in many geodetic crustal deformation studies, will completely mislead the geophysical interpretations and has the potential danger of identifying any inter/intra-plate tectonic quiescence as active tectonic deformation. Furthermore, the analysis on the effect of the time span of observations on velocity uncertainties suggests 3 yr of continuous observations as a minimum requirement to estimate the horizontal velocities with realistic uncertainties for constraining the tectonics of this region.

    • Estimation of gas hydrate saturation using isotropic and anisotropic modelling in the Mahanadi basin

      Uma Shankar Ashok Kumar Pandey

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      A base of gas hydrate stability zone was established after coring and drilling under the National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition-01 in the Mahanadi basin. At two sites, logging-while-drilling log data, and, at one site, wireline log data, were acquired during the NGHP Expedition-01. Gas hydrate reservoirs modelling can be performed in two different ways. One way is isotropic (load bearing) and, on the other hand, anisotropic media (fracture filling with gas hydrate). Here, we have performed anisotropic modelling and estimated gas hydrate saturation using P-wave velocity, assuming an incidence angle of 75$^{\circ}$ represents the vertical fracture. The estimated gas hydrate saturation at sites NGHP-01-08 and NGHP-01-09, assuming anisotropic media, reduces the estimate by half compared to the saturation estimation by assuming isotropic media. The saturation at site NGHP-01-19 estimated from the isotropic and anisotropic P-wave velocity models are more or less similar except in the zone (175–210 m) just above the bottom simulating reflector depth, and this zone shows similar reduction in saturation as estimated at sites NGHP-01-08 and NGHP-01-09. Observations show that average gas hydrate saturations are relatively low (up to 5% of the pore space). The saturation of a gas hydrate estimated from an isotropic P-wave model varies from 5% to 20%. However, the saturation estimated from the anisotropic P-wave model shows a variation up to 10% of the pore spaces at three sites.

    • Geo-engineering classiBcation with deterioration assessment of basalt hill cut slopes along NH 66, near Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India


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      Western Ghats (WG) in India is endowed with one of the most distinctive and picturesque mountainous landscapes. The region encounters unprecedented rain and non-engineered excavations (especially along highway cut slopes), that turns out to be detrimental to the stability of rock and soil slopes. The present research focuses on accounting the vulnerability condition of rock slopes of differential deterioration intensities along National Highway corridor 66 (NH 66) at Ratnagiri–Sangameshwar (RS) stretch. Rock mass and associated slope stability condition were encapsulated, and studied locations were classified using different geo-engineering classification (GEC) systems such as RMR (Rock Mass Rating), SMR(Slope Mass Rating), CSMR (Continuous Slope Mass Rating), GSI (Geological Strength Index) and RDA (Rock slope Deterioration Assessment). The study introduces a new class in RDA for igneous rocks that are susceptible to high deterioration. Some useful insights have been added and discussed in the light of deterioration-induced block failures which have been integrated with detailed kinematic analysis. The present study recommends that RDA would prove more efficient and informative in the preliminary stage of slope stability investigation for high deterioration susceptible igneous rock masses as compared to other geo-engineering systems.

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