• S K Bhattacharya

Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

• Oxygen and hydrogen isotopic ratios in groundwaters and river waters from India

A comprehensive set of measurements of oxygen and hydrogen isotopic ratios in groundwaters as well as waters from rivers, lakes, hot springs etc. taken from a variety of locations in India has been carried out for the first time. Isotopically the most depleted samples occur in the high altitude precipitations in the Himalayas e.g. in the lakes of Bhutan and the source water of the Ganga. The shallow groundwater data display a continental effect where the heavy isotope content decreases with distance from the coast (about 4 to 6 per mil decrease in δ18O per 1000 km). The δ D and δ18O of these fresh waters are linearly related and an analysis of this relation vis-a-vis the meteoric water line shows the unambiguous effect of enrichment due to evaporation from soils.

• Palaeomonsoon and palaeoproductivity records of δ18O, δ{13}C and CaCO3 variations in the northern Indian Ocean sedimentsC and CaCO3 variations in the northern Indian Ocean sediments

δ18 O and δ13C of G.sacculifer have been measured in five cores from the northern Indian Ocean. In addition, high resolution analysis (1 to 2 cm) was performed on one core (SK-20-185) for both δ18O and gd13C in five species of planktonic foraminifera. CaCO3 variation was measured in two cores. The results, presented here, show that

• the summer monsoon was weaker during 18 ka and was stronger during 9 ka, relative to modern conditions;

• δ13C variations are consistent with independent evidence that shows that during the last glacial maximum (LGM; 18 ka) the upwelling was reduced while during 9 ka it was vigorous;

• calculation of CaCO3 flux shows that the LGM was characterized by low biogenic productivity in the Arabian Sea while during the Holocene productivity increased by ∼65%, as a direct consequence of the changes in upwelling. Similar changes (of lesser magnitude) are also seen in the equatorial Indian Ocean. The amount of terrigenous input into the Arabian Sea doubled during LGM possibly due to the higher erosion rate along the west coast.

• δ18O values indicate that the Arabian Sea was saltier by 1 to 2%o during LGM. The northern part was dominated by evaporation while in the equatorial part there was an increased precipitation.

• Trace element and isotopic studies of Permo-Carboniferous carbonate nodules from Talchir sediments of peninsular India: Environmental and provenance implications

Syngenetic carbonate nodules constitute an interesting feature of the glaciogene sediments of various Talchir basins in peninsular India. Petrographic, cathodoluminescence and sedimentary results suggest that many of these nodules contain primary carbonate precipitates whose geochemical signatures can be used for determining environment of deposition and provenance of the sediments and drainage source. Several nodules were collected from Gondwana basins of east-central India and analyzed for stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios, REE and trace element composition, and Sr isotope ratio. The mean 𝛿18O and 𝛿13C values of the calcites in the nodules are — 19.5‰ and -9.7‰ (w.r.t. PDB) respectively suggesting a freshwater environment (probably lacustrine) for formation of these objects. Trace element ratios (Eu/Eu and La/Yb) of the nodule samples show that the source of the sediments in the Damodar valley basin was the granites, gneisses and intrusives in the Chotanagpur region. The sediments in the Mahanadi valley were derived from granulites, charnockites and granites of the eastern ghat region. The Sr concentration of the carbonate phase of the nodules is low, ranging from 10-60 ng/g . The 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the samples from the west Bokaro basin and Ramgarh basin vary from 0.735 to 0.748 (mean: 0.739) and from 0.726 to 0.733 (mean: 0.730) respectively. These values are consistent with our proposition that water of these basins drained through the granitic rocks of the Chotanagpur region. In contrast, the 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the samples from the Talchir basin (Type area) of Mahanadi valley vary from 0.718 to 0.723 (mean: 0.719). These 87Sr/86Sr ratios are close to those of the granulites in the adjoining eastern ghat belt suggesting that area as the drainage source.

• Isotopic and sedimentological clues to productivity change in Late Riphean Sea: A case study from two intracratonic basins of India

Enriched13C/12C ratios with δ13C ∼3%0 (w.r.t PDB) of two Late Riphean (∼ 700-610 Ma) intracratonic carbonate successions viz., Bhander Limestone of Vindhyan Basin and Raipur Limestone of Chattisgarh Basin suggest higher organic productivity during this period. This view is supported by sedimentological evidence of higher biohermal growth and consequent increase in depositional relief in the low gradient ramp settings inferred for these basins. Oxygen isotope analysis of these carbonates show distinct segregation between enriched deeper water carbonate mudstone and depleted shallow water stromatolite facies that received fresh water influx. This shows that facies-specific analyses can be useful in understanding the depositional setting of these sediments.

• Facies, dissolution seams and stable isotope compositions of the Rohtas Limestone (Vindhyan Supergroup) in the Son valley area, central India

The early Mesoproterozoic Rohtas Limestone in the Son valley area of central India represents an overall shallowing-upward carbonate succession. Detailed facies analysis of the limestone reveals outer- to inner-shelf deposition in an open marine setting. Wave-ripples, hummocky cross stratifications and edgewise conglomerates argue against a deep marine depositional model for the Rohtas Limestone proposed earlier. Stable isotope analysis of the limestone shows that δ13C and δ18O values are compatible with the early Mesoproterozoic open seawater composition. The ribbon limestone facies in the Rohtas Limestone is characterized by micritic beds, each decoupled in a lower band enriched and an upper band depleted in dissolution seams. Band-wise isotopic analysis reveals systematic short-term variations. Comparative enrichment of the heavier isotopes in the upper bands is attributed to early cementation from sea water and water derived from the lower band undergoing dissolution because of lowering of pH at depth. The short-term positive shifts in isotopic compositions in almost every upward gradational transition from a seamed band to a non-seamed band support the contention that dissolution seams here are of early diagenetic origin, although their formation was accentuated under overburden pressure.

• Carbon and oxygen isotope compositions of the carbonate facies in the Vindhyan Supergroup, central India

The Vindhyan sedimentary succession in central India spans a wide time bracket from the Paleoproterozoic to the Neoproterozoic period. Chronostratigraphic significance of stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of the carbonate phase in Vindhyan sediments has been discussed in some recent studies. However, the subtle controls of facies variation, depositional setting and post-depositional diagenesis on stable isotope compositions are not yet clearly understood. The Vindhyan Supergroup hosts four carbonate units, exhibiting a wide variability in depositional processes and paleogeography. A detailed facies-specific carbon and oxygen isotope study of the carbonate units was undertaken by us to investigate the effect of these processes and to identify the least altered isotope values. It is seen that both carbon and oxygen isotope compositions have been affected by early meteoric water diagenesis. The effect of diagenetic alteration is, however, more pronounced in case of oxygen isotopes than carbon isotopes. Stable isotope compositions remained insensitive to facies only when sediments accumulated in a shallow shelf setting without being exposed. Major alteration of original isotope ratios was observed in case of shallow marine carbonates, which became exposed to meteoric fluids during early diagenetic stage. Duration of exposure possibly determined the magnitude of alteration and shift from the original values. Moreover, dolomitization is found to be accompanied by appreciable alteration of isotope compositions in some of the carbonates. The present study suggests that variations in sediment depositional settings, in particular the possibility of subaerial exposure, need to be considered while extracting chronostratigraphic significance from δ13C data.

• Carbon isotopic composition of fossil leaves from the Early Cretaceous sediments of western India

Stable carbon isotope analysis of fossil leaves from the Bhuj Formation, western India was carried out to infer the prevailing environmental conditions. Compression fossil leaves such as Pachypteris indica, Otozamite kachchhensis, Brachyphyllum royii and Dictyozamites sp. were recovered from three sedimentary successions of the Bhuj Formation, Early Cretaceous in age. A chronology was established based on faunal assemblage and palyno-stratigraphy and further constrained by carbon isotope stratigraphy. The three sampling sites were the Karawadi river bank near Dharesi; the Chawad river bank near Mathal; and the Pur river section near Trambau village in Gujarat. The Dharesi sample was also analyzed to investigate intra-leaf 𝛿13C variability. The mean 𝛿13C of the leaf was $−24.6$ ± 0.4‰ which implied negligible systematic change along the leaf axis. The Mathal sample was fragmented in nature and showed considerable variation in carbon isotopic composition. The Trambau sample considered to be the oldest, dating to the middle of Aptian (ca. 116 Ma), shows the most depleted value in 𝛿13C among all of them. The overall 𝛿13C trend ranging from mid Aptian (ca. 116 Ma) to early Albian (ca. 110 Ma) shows a progressive increase in 𝛿13C from −26.8 to −20.5‰. Based on these measurements the carbon isotopic composition of atmospheric carbon dioxide of the Aptian–Albian period is estimated to be between −7.4 and −1.7‰. The ratio of the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in leaf to that of the ambient atmosphere calculated based on a model is estimated to be similar to that of the modern plants. This indicates that the Early-Cretaceous plants adapted to the prevailing high carbon dioxide regime by increasing their photosynthetic uptake.

• 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.

• # Journal of Earth System Science

Current Issue
Volume 128 | Issue 5
July 2019

• # Journal of Earth System Science | News

© 2017-2019 Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru.