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Geosciences, Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Despite many of years of research effort, only a small fraction of the world ocean’s seafloor has [...] Read more.
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Open AccessTechnical Note Examples of Application of GASAKe for Predicting the Occurrence of Rainfall-Induced Landslides in Southern Italy
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020078
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
GASAKe is an empirical-hydrological model aimed at forecasting the time of occurrence of landslides. Activations can be predicted of either single landslides or sets of slope movements of the same type in a homogeneous environment. The model requires a rainfall series and
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GASAKe is an empirical-hydrological model aimed at forecasting the time of occurrence of landslides. Activations can be predicted of either single landslides or sets of slope movements of the same type in a homogeneous environment. The model requires a rainfall series and a set of dates of landslide activation as input data. Calibration is performed through genetic algorithms, and allows for determining a family of optimal kernels to weight antecedent rainfall properly. As output, the mobility function highlights critical conditions of slope stability. Based on suitable calibration and validation samples of activation dates, the model represents a useful tool to be integrated in early-warning systems for geo-hydrological risk mitigation purposes. In the present paper, examples of application to three rock slides in Calabria and to cases of soil slips in Campania are discussed. Calibration and validation are discussed, based on independent datasets. Obtained results are either excellent for two of the Calabrian rock slides or just promising for the remaining case studies. The best performances of the model take advantage of an accurate knowledge of the activation history of the landslides, and a proper hydrological characterization of the sites. For such cases, GASAKe could be usefully employed within early-warning systems for geo-hydrological risk mitigation and Civil Protection purposes. Finally, a new release of the model is presently under test: its innovative features are briefly presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Hazard: Analysis and Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle Simulating the Influence of Buildings on Flood Inundation in Urban Areas
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020077
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Two-dimensional hydraulic modeling is fundamental to simulate flood events in urban area. Key factors to reach optimal results are detailed information about domain geometry and utility of hydrodynamic models to integrate the full or simplified Saint Venant equations in complex geometry. However, in
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Two-dimensional hydraulic modeling is fundamental to simulate flood events in urban area. Key factors to reach optimal results are detailed information about domain geometry and utility of hydrodynamic models to integrate the full or simplified Saint Venant equations in complex geometry. However, in some cases, detailed topographic datasets that represent the domain geometry are not available, so approximations—such as diffusive wave equation—is introduced whilst representing urban area with an adjusted roughness coefficient. In the present paper, different methods to represent buildings and approximation of the Saint Venant equations are tested by performing experiments on a scale physical model of urban district in laboratory. Simplified methods are tested for simulation of a real flood event which occurred in 2013 in the city of Olbia, Italy. Results show that accuracy of simulating flow depth with a detailed geometry is comparable to the one achieved with an adjusted roughness coefficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Hazard: Analysis and Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle A Risk-Based Approach to Shelter Resilience following Flood and Typhoon Damage in Rural Philippines
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020076
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
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Abstract
The Philippines is exposed to numerous typhoons every year, each of which poses a potential threat to livelihoods, shelter, and in some cases life. Flooding caused by such events leads to extensive damage to land and buildings, and the impact on rural communities
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The Philippines is exposed to numerous typhoons every year, each of which poses a potential threat to livelihoods, shelter, and in some cases life. Flooding caused by such events leads to extensive damage to land and buildings, and the impact on rural communities can be severe. The global community is calling for action to address and achieve disaster risk reduction for communities and people exposed to such events. Achieving this requires an understanding of the nature of the risks that flooding and typhoons pose to these communities and their homes. This paper presents the findings from a field based case study assessment of three rural settlements in the Philippines, where typhoons and associated flooding in recent years has caused significant damage to houses and livelihoods, leading to the reconstruction of homes that more often than not reproduce similar structural vulnerabilities as were there before these hazards occurred. This work presents a methodology for risk assessment of such structures profiling the flood and wind hazards and measuring physical vulnerability and the experience of communities affected. The aim of the work is to demonstrate a method for identifying risks in these communities, and seeks to address the challenge faced by practitioners of assisting communities in rebuilding their homes in more resilient ways. The work set out here contributes to the discussion about how best to enable practitioners and communities to achieve the sought for risk reduction and especially highlights the role that geoscience and engineering can have in achieving this ambition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle Integrated Study of Lithofacies Identification—A Case Study in X Field, Sabah, Malaysia
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020075
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 20 February 2018
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Abstract
Understanding subsurface geology is essential for oil and gas exploration. Seismic facies interpretation is very useful in investigating this concept. The interpretation of the depositional setting of the X Field is achieved by integrating the seismic facies characteristics on 3D seismic data and
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Understanding subsurface geology is essential for oil and gas exploration. Seismic facies interpretation is very useful in investigating this concept. The interpretation of the depositional setting of the X Field is achieved by integrating the seismic facies characteristics on 3D seismic data and well log data. Both the seismic and well log data are widely used in hydrocarbon exploration to map the subsurface, as they complement each other. Well logs yield the vertical resolution of the subsurface geology at the drilled well, whereas seismic data reveal the lateral continuity. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the integration of 3D seismic data and well log data for lithofacies identification. Interpretation and analysis of lithofacies is carried out through the integration of the characteristics of seismic reflections with well information (logs). Horizons are interpreted based on the variation in seismic reflections on the seismic section, which is caused by the change in geology within seismic sequences. Well logs give detailed information at the points where the wells were drilled. Interpolating between these points and extrapolating away from the points into undrilled areas can be helpful in providing a better geological knowledge of an area. The result of this integrated study depicts the lithofacies in the area. This integrated study will provide a better insight with higher degree of reliability to the facies distribution and depositional setting of the X Field. The geological and geophysical aspects of the field will be documented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Diffraction Enhancement Through Pre-Image Processing: Applications to Field Data, Sarawak Basin, East Malaysia
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020074
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 18 February 2018
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Abstract
The future exploration plans of the industry is to find a small-scale reservoir for possible economic hydrocarbon reserves. These reserves could be illuminated by the super-resolution of full seismic data, including fractured zones, pinch-outs, channel edges, small-scale faults, reflector unconformities, salt flanks, karst,
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The future exploration plans of the industry is to find a small-scale reservoir for possible economic hydrocarbon reserves. These reserves could be illuminated by the super-resolution of full seismic data, including fractured zones, pinch-outs, channel edges, small-scale faults, reflector unconformities, salt flanks, karst, caves and fluid fronts, which are generally known as small scattering objects. However, an imaging approach that includes the diffraction event individually and images it constitutes a new approach for the industry; it is known as diffraction imaging. This paper documents results of a seismic processing procedure conducted to enhance diffractions in Sarawak Basin, using datasets from the Malaysian Basin to which no diffraction processing has been applied. We observed that the diffraction amplitude achieves maximum value when the detector is positioned vertically above the end point of the reflector, but drops off with increasing offset-distance from the point. Furthermore, the rate of attenuation of the diffracted wave energy is greater than that of the normal reflected wave energy in the same medium. In addition, the results indicate that the near offset and far angle stack data provide better diffraction events. In the other hand far offset and near angle stack provides the poor diffraction response. These results were revealed by angle-stacking of near-, mid-, and far-offsets data (4.5, 22.5 and 31.5 degrees) that was conducted to study amplitude and phase change of the diffraction curve. The final imaged data provides better faults definition in the carbonate field data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Miocene Slănic Tuff, Eastern Carpathians, Romania, in the Context of Badenian Salinity Crisis
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020073
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 18 February 2018
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Abstract
New geochronological investigations for the Slănic Formation, correlated with previous bio- and lithostratigaphical information, allow for a better succession of events for the Middle Miocene, including the absolute age of the Badenian salinity crisis in the bend sector of the Eastern Carpathians. Within
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New geochronological investigations for the Slănic Formation, correlated with previous bio- and lithostratigaphical information, allow for a better succession of events for the Middle Miocene, including the absolute age of the Badenian salinity crisis in the bend sector of the Eastern Carpathians. Within the green Slănic Tuff, white tuff layers were in evidence. The main element distribution of the white and green tuffs indicates a dacitic composition, with higher SiO2 content for the white tuff. The white tuff has a distinct mineralogical composition with quartz, plagioclase, biotite and clinoptilolite. From such a tuff layer a biotite concentrate gives a 40Ar/39Ar age of 13.7 ± 0.2 Ma. As above these tuff layers discrete levels of gypsum occur, the age documents the beginning of the restrictive circulation and formation of evaporites in this sector of Carpathians during Badenian times. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Vadose Zone Modeling in a Small Forested Catchment: Impact of Water Pressure Head Sampling Frequency on 1D-Model Calibration
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020072
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 18 February 2018
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Abstract
The characterization of vadose zone processes is a primary goal for understanding, predicting, and managing water resources. In this study, the issue of soil water monitoring on a vertical profile in the small forested Strengbach catchment (France) is investigated using numerical modeling with
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The characterization of vadose zone processes is a primary goal for understanding, predicting, and managing water resources. In this study, the issue of soil water monitoring on a vertical profile in the small forested Strengbach catchment (France) is investigated using numerical modeling with the long-term sequences 1D-Richards’ equation and parameter estimation through an inverse technique. Three matric potential sensors produce the observation data, and the meteorological data is monitored using an automatic weather station. The scientific questions address the selection of the calibration sequence, the initial starting point for inverse optimization and monitoring frequency used in the inverse procedure. As expected, our results show that the highly variable data period used for the calibration provides better estimations when simulating the long-term sequence. For the starting point of the initial parameters, handmade iterative initial parameters estimation leads to better results than a laboratory analysis or set of ROSETTA parameters. Concerning the frequency of monitoring, weekly and daily datasets provide efficient results compared to hourly data. As reported in other articles, the accuracy of the boundary conditions is important for estimating soil hydraulic parameters and accessing water stored in the layered profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology and Erosion)
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Open AccessArticle A Database for Climatic Conditions around Europe for Promoting GSHP Solutions
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020071
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract
Weather plays an important role for energy uses in buildings. For this reason, it is required to define the proper boundary conditions in terms of the different parameters affecting energy and comfort in buildings. They are also the basis for determining the ground
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Weather plays an important role for energy uses in buildings. For this reason, it is required to define the proper boundary conditions in terms of the different parameters affecting energy and comfort in buildings. They are also the basis for determining the ground temperature in different locations, as well as for determining the potential for using geothermal energy. This paper presents a database for climates in Europe that has been used in a freeware tool developed as part of the H2020 research project named “Cheap-GSHPs”. The standard Köppen-Geiger climate classification has been matched with the weather data provided by the ENERGYPLUS and METEONORM software database. The Test Reference Years of more than 300 locations have been considered. These locations have been labelled according to the degree-days for heating and cooling, as well as by the Köppen-Geiger scale. A comprehensive data set of weather conditions in Europe has been created and used as input for a GSHP sizing software, helping the user in selecting the weather conditions closest to the location of interest. The proposed method is based on lapse rates and has been tested at two locations in Switzerland and Ireland. It has been demonstrated as quite valid for the project purposes, considering the spatial distribution and density of available data and the lower computing load, in particular for locations where altitude is the main factor controlling on the temperature variations. Full article
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Gliß, J.; et al. Pyplis–A Python Software Toolbox for the Analysis of SO2 Camera Images for Emission Rate Retrievals from Point Sources. Geosciences 2017, 7, 134
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020070
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
The Geosciences Editorial Office would like to make the following change to this paper [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact of the Rainfall Duration and Temporal Rainfall Distribution Defined Using the Huff Curves on the Hydraulic Flood Modelling Results
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020069
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 10 February 2018 / Published: 11 February 2018
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Abstract
In the case of ungauged catchments, different procedures can be used to derive the design hydrograph and design peak discharge, which are crucial input data for the design of different hydrotechnical engineering structures, or the production of flood hazard maps. One of the
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In the case of ungauged catchments, different procedures can be used to derive the design hydrograph and design peak discharge, which are crucial input data for the design of different hydrotechnical engineering structures, or the production of flood hazard maps. One of the possible approaches involves using a hydrological model where one can calculate the design hydrograph through the design of a rainfall event. This study investigates the impact of the design rainfall on the combined one-dimensional/two-dimensional (1D/2D) hydraulic modelling results. The Glinščica Stream catchment located in Slovenia (central Europe) is used as a case study. Ten different design rainfall events were compared for 10 and 100-year return periods, where we used Huff curves for the design rainfall event definition. The results indicate that the selection of the design rainfall event should be regarded as an important step, since the hydraulic modelling results for different scenarios differ significantly. In the presented experimental case study, the maximum flooded area extent was twice as large as the minimum one, and the maximum water velocity over flooded areas was more than 10 times larger than the minimum one. This can lead to the production of very different flood hazard maps, and consequently planning very different flood protection schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Hazard: Analysis and Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle Ozone Depletion in Tropospheric Volcanic Plumes: From Halogen-Poor to Halogen-Rich Emissions
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020068
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
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Abstract
Volcanic halogen emissions to the troposphere undergo a rapid plume chemistry that destroys ozone. Quantifying the impact of volcanic halogens on tropospheric ozone is challenging, only a few observations exist. This study presents measurements of ozone in volcanic plumes from Kīlauea (HI, USA),
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Volcanic halogen emissions to the troposphere undergo a rapid plume chemistry that destroys ozone. Quantifying the impact of volcanic halogens on tropospheric ozone is challenging, only a few observations exist. This study presents measurements of ozone in volcanic plumes from Kīlauea (HI, USA), a low halogen emitter. The results are combined with published data from high halogen emitters (Mt Etna, Italy; Mt Redoubt, AK, USA) to identify controls on plume processes. Ozone was measured during periods of relatively sustained Kīlauea plume exposure, using an Aeroqual instrument deployed alongside Multi-Gas SO2 and H2S sensors. Interferences were accounted for in data post-processing. The volcanic H2S/SO2 molar ratio was quantified as 0.03. At Halema‘uma‘u crater-rim, ozone was close to ambient in the emission plume (at 10 ppmv SO2). Measurements in grounding plume (at 5 ppmv SO2) about 10 km downwind of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō showed just slight ozone depletion. These Kīlauea observations contrast with substantial ozone depletion reported at Mt Etna and Mt Redoubt. Analysis of the combined data from these three volcanoes identifies the emitted Br/S as a strong but non-linear control on the rate of ozone depletion. Model simulations of the volcanic plume chemistry highlight that the proportion of HBr converted into reactive bromine is a key control on the efficiency of ozone depletion. This underlines the importance of chemistry in the very near-source plume on the fate and atmospheric impacts of volcanic emissions to the troposphere. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Landslides and Subsidence Assessment in the Crati Valley (Southern Italy) Using InSAR Data
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020067
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
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Abstract
In this work, we map surficial ground deformations that occurred during the years 2004–2010 in the Crati Valley (Southern Italy). The valley is in one of the most seismically active regions of the Italian peninsula, and presents slope instability and widespread landslide phenomena.
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In this work, we map surficial ground deformations that occurred during the years 2004–2010 in the Crati Valley (Southern Italy). The valley is in one of the most seismically active regions of the Italian peninsula, and presents slope instability and widespread landslide phenomena. We measured ground deformations by applying the small baseline subset (SBAS) technique, a multi-temporal synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) methodology that is used to process datasets of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. Ground displacements are only partially visible with the InSAR technique. Visibility depends on the geometry of the acquisition layout, such as the radar acquisition angle view, and the land use. These two factors determine the backscattering of the reflected signal. Most of the ground deformation detected by InSAR can be attributed to the gravitational mass movements of the hillslopes (i.e., landslides), and the subsidence of the quaternary deposits filling the valley. The movements observed along the valley slopes were compared with the available landslide catalog. We also identified another cause of movement in this area, i.e., ground subsidence due to the compaction of the quaternary deposits filling the valley. This compaction can be ascribed to various sources, such as urban population growth and sprawl, industrial water withdrawal, and tectonic activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Behaviour of Metals during Bioheap Leaching at the Talvivaara Mine, Finland
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020066
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
Abstract: The behaviour of base metals Ni, Zn, Cu, Co, Fe, and Mn, potentially toxic metals Pb, Cr, and Cd, and the radioactive elements, U and Th, in the Talvivaara mining process, Finland has been studied by tracing metal concentrations from the
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Abstract: The behaviour of base metals Ni, Zn, Cu, Co, Fe, and Mn, potentially toxic metals Pb, Cr, and Cd, and the radioactive elements, U and Th, in the Talvivaara mining process, Finland has been studied by tracing metal concentrations from the black schist ore, through ores subjected to bioheap leaching of varying duration, to pregnant leach solution (PLS), and solid process waste material deposited on site in gypsum waste ponds. It is apparent that Zn, Cu, Co, and Cd are leached from the ore in a similar manner and recovered efficiently in the PLS; however, Ni, though leached, was also found in the gypsum pond at relatively high concentrations. Relatively little Pb is released from the ore, but the small fraction that is mobilised accumulates in the gypsum pond. Of the radioactive constituents, Th is essentially immobile, whereas U is readily leached from the ore, again accumulating in gypsum pond waste. In addition, a laboratory-based sequential leach test was applied to assess the future leaching potential of metals from residual ore and process waste material under different environmental conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle MinInversion: A Program for Petrophysical Composition Analysis of Geophysical Well Log Data
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020065
Received: 16 December 2017 / Revised: 3 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
Knowledge of the composition (mineral and fluid proportions) of rock formation lithologies is important for petrophysical and rock physics analysis. The mineralogy of a rock formation can be estimated by solving a system of linear equations that relate a class of geophysical log
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Knowledge of the composition (mineral and fluid proportions) of rock formation lithologies is important for petrophysical and rock physics analysis. The mineralogy of a rock formation can be estimated by solving a system of linear equations that relate a class of geophysical log measurements to the petrophysical properties of known minerals and fluids. This method is useful for carbonate rocks with complex mineralogies and a wide range of other lithologies. Although this method of linear inversion for rock composition is well known, there are no interactive, open-source programs for routinely estimating rock mineralogy from standard digital geophysical wireline logs. We present an interactive open-source program, MinInversion, for constructing a balanced system of linear equations from digital geophysical logs and estimating the rock mineralogy as an inverse problem. MinInversion makes use of a library of petrophysical properties that can be easily expanded and modified by the users. MinInversion also provides several options for solving the system of linear equations and executing the linear matrix inversion including least squares, LU-decomposition and Moore-Penrose generalized inverse methods. In addition, MinInversion enables the estimation of the joint probability distributions for constituent minerals and measured porosity. The joint probability distributions are useful for revealing and analyzing depositional or diagenetic composition trends that affect porosity. The program introduces ease and flexibility to the problems of rock formation composition analysis and the study of the effects of rock composition on porosity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle ENSO Index-Based Insurance for Agricultural Protection in Southern Peru
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020064
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
Agricultural operations in southern Peru are particularly vulnerable to climate variability due to water resource scarcity. In general, the response to drier than normal conditions in this region is reactive and fairly limited due to challenges associated with climate forecasting and administrative capacity
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Agricultural operations in southern Peru are particularly vulnerable to climate variability due to water resource scarcity. In general, the response to drier than normal conditions in this region is reactive and fairly limited due to challenges associated with climate forecasting and administrative capacity to distribute resources. To shift this paradigm, we investigate the potential for an El Niño–Southern Oscillation index-based insurance product. The article presents a demonstration of methodology and application for one specific crop in a department of southern Peru. The purpose of this product is to streamline the ability of decision makers to provide financial relief to affected farmers during, and perhaps before, drought; extending the lead-time of the index that is used to trigger product payouts produces results of similar skill to a product trained on concurrent conditions. Issues explored in this work include basis risk, initial endowment requirements, product longevity, and the potential crossover from index-based insurance to forecast-based financing. The ability of such products to mitigate losses during and after drought may be advantageous in Peru and other regions with notable interannual climate variability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Monitoring and Prediction)
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