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Geosciences, Volume 11, Issue 2 (February 2021) – 69 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): How do you tell the story of ancient volcanoes in Ireland when the surviving outcrops have no obvious volcanic geomorphology and may be relatively inaccessible? This paper gives an overview of a selection of primarily Palaeozoic volcanic County Geological Sites, some located within UNESCO Global Geoparks, in the Republic of Ireland. With reference to Northern Ireland’s volcanic Palaeogene features that are so clearly visible in the iconic Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site, storytelling methods are explored, from information panels to apps, and the most effective messages, from geoscience to mythology, to capture public imagination in Ireland’s older volcanic sites. View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
An Open-Source Code for Fluid Flow Simulations in Unconventional Fractured Reservoirs
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020106 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 452
Abstract
In this article, an open-source code for the simulation of fluid flow, including adsorption, transport, and indirect hydromechanical coupling in unconventional fractured reservoirs is described. The code leverages cutting-edge numerical modeling capabilities like automatic differentiation, stochastic fracture modeling, multicontinuum modeling, and discrete fracture [...] Read more.
In this article, an open-source code for the simulation of fluid flow, including adsorption, transport, and indirect hydromechanical coupling in unconventional fractured reservoirs is described. The code leverages cutting-edge numerical modeling capabilities like automatic differentiation, stochastic fracture modeling, multicontinuum modeling, and discrete fracture models. In the fluid mass balance equation, specific physical mechanisms, unique to organic-rich source rocks, are included, like an adsorption isotherm, a dynamic permeability-correction function, and an Embedded Discrete Fracture Model (EDFM) with fracture-to-well connectivity. The code is validated against an industrial simulator and applied for a study of the performance of the Barnett shale reservoir, where adsorption, gas slippage, diffusion, indirect hydromechanical coupling, and propped fractures are considered. It is the first open-source code available to facilitate the modeling and production optimization of fractured shale-gas reservoirs. The modular design also facilitates rapid prototyping and demonstration of new models. This article also contains a quantitative analysis of the accuracy and limitations of EDFM for gas production simulation in unconventional fractured reservoirs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantitative Fractured Rock Hydrology)
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Open AccessCommunication
Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Measurements in a Loam Soil Covered by Native Vegetation: Spatial and Temporal Variability in the Upper Soil Layer
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020105 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) of soil, especially of the upper soil layer, is a basic parameter for modeling water infiltration and solute transport in the soil. In the present study, spatial and temporal variability of Ks in the upper soil [...] Read more.
Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) of soil, especially of the upper soil layer, is a basic parameter for modeling water infiltration and solute transport in the soil. In the present study, spatial and temporal variability of Ks in the upper soil layer of a loam soil, which was covered by native vegetation for 20 years and had not undergone any cultivation treatment, is investigated. Saturated hydraulic conductivity of 76 undisturbed soil samples, taken twice a year at the dry (37 soil samples) and rainy periods (39 soil samples), was measured using a constant head method. The study reveals that Ks values exhibit significant spatial variability over the two time periods of measurement and follow a lognormal distribution with a coefficient of variation greater than 70%. On the contrary, there was no statistically significant seasonal variability of Ks between summer (dry period) and winter (rainy period) sampling (p > 0.05), and, therefore, there was no significant temporal variability of Ks. The outcome of this study indicated that hydrological models have to include more process understanding in terms of natural variability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology and Erosion Volume 2)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Magma Type in the Continental Collision Zone. The Case of Capraia Island (Tuscany, Italy)
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020104 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 435
Abstract
The Tuscany Magmatic Province consists of a Miocene to Pleistocene association of a wide variety of rock types, including peraluminous crustal anatectic granites and rhyolites, calcalkaline and shoshonitic suites and ultrapotassic lamproites. In addition to the magma types already recognised, the occurrence of [...] Read more.
The Tuscany Magmatic Province consists of a Miocene to Pleistocene association of a wide variety of rock types, including peraluminous crustal anatectic granites and rhyolites, calcalkaline and shoshonitic suites and ultrapotassic lamproites. In addition to the magma types already recognised, the occurrence of a new, distinct magma type at Capraia and Elba islands and in mafic enclaves in the San Vincenzo rhyolites has been suggested by recent studies. This particular type of magma, represented by intermediate to acidic calcalkaline rocks showing high Sr, Ba, and LREE, is restricted to the northwestern sector of the province and to a time interval of about 8 to 4.5 Ma. New data obtained on rocks from Capraia Island have allowed for the verification of the occurrence of this new magma type, the exploration of its origin and a discussion of its possible geodynamic significance. The high-Sr-Ba andesite-dacite rocks occurring in the Laghetto area at Capraia display a composition that is intermediate between adakitic and calcalkaline rocks. It is suggested that they represent a distinct type of magma that originated at mantle pressure by melting of the lower continental crust, followed by mixing with other Capraia magmas. The geodynamic model that best explains the composition of the studied rocks is the thickening of the continental crust during continental collision, followed by extension that favoured melting of the lower crust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geomorphology, Geoheritage, Geoparks and Geotourism in Volcanic Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Gold in Mineralized Volcanic Systems from the Lesser Khingan Range (Russian Far East): Textural Types, Composition and Possible Origins
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020103 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 452
Abstract
While gold partitioning into hydrothermal fluids responsible for the formation of porphyry and epithermal deposits is currently well understood, its behavior during the differentiation of metal-rich silicate melts is still subject of an intense scientific debate. Typically, gold is scavenged into sulfides during [...] Read more.
While gold partitioning into hydrothermal fluids responsible for the formation of porphyry and epithermal deposits is currently well understood, its behavior during the differentiation of metal-rich silicate melts is still subject of an intense scientific debate. Typically, gold is scavenged into sulfides during crustal fractionation of sulfur-rich mafic to intermediate magmas and development of native forms and alloys of this important precious metal in igneous rocks and associated ores are still poorly documented. We present new data on gold (Cu-Ag-Au, Ni-Cu-Zn-Ag-Au, Ti-Cu-Ag-Au, Ag-Au) alloys from iron oxide deposits in the Lesser Khingan Range (LKR) of the Russian Far East. Gold alloy particles are from 10 to 100 µm in size and irregular to spherical in shape. Gold spherules were formed through silicate-metal liquid immiscibility and then injected into fissures surrounding the ascending melt column, or emplaced through a volcanic eruption. Presence of globular (occasionally with meniscus-like textures) Cu-O micro-inclusions in Cu-Ag-Au spherules confirms their crystallization from a metal melt via extremely fast cooling. Irregularly shaped Cu-Ag-Au particles were formed through hydrothermal alteration of gold-bearing volcanic rocks and ores. Association of primarily liquid Cu-Ag-Au spherules with iron-oxide mineralization in the LKR indicates possible involvement of silicate-metallic immiscibility and explosive volcanism in the formation of the Andean-type iron oxide gold-copper (IOCG) and related copper-gold porphyry deposits in the deeper parts of sub-volcanic epithermal systems. Thus, formation of gold alloys in deep roots of arc volcanoes may serve as a precursor and an exploration guide for high-grade epithermal gold mineralization at shallow structural levels of hydrothermal-volcanic environments in subduction zones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Morphotectonic Analysis along the Northern Margin of Samos Island, Related to the Seismic Activity of October 2020, Aegean Sea, Greece
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020102 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1054
Abstract
On 30 October 2020, a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.0 occurred north of Samos Island at the Eastern Aegean Sea, whose earthquake mechanism corresponds to an E-W normal fault dipping to the north. During the aftershock period in December 2020, a hydrographic survey [...] Read more.
On 30 October 2020, a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.0 occurred north of Samos Island at the Eastern Aegean Sea, whose earthquake mechanism corresponds to an E-W normal fault dipping to the north. During the aftershock period in December 2020, a hydrographic survey off the northern coastal margin of Samos Island was conducted onboard R/V NAFTILOS. The result was a detailed bathymetric map with 15 m grid interval and 50 m isobaths and a morphological slope map. The morphotectonic analysis showed the E-W fault zone running along the coastal zone with 30–50° of slope, forming a half-graben structure. Numerous landslides and canyons trending N-S, transversal to the main direction of the Samos coastline, are observed between 600 and 100 m water depth. The ENE-WSW oriented western Samos coastline forms the SE margin of the neighboring deeper Ikaria Basin. A hummocky relief was detected at the eastern margin of Samos Basin probably representing volcanic rocks. The active tectonics characterized by N-S extension is very different from the Neogene tectonics of Samos Island characterized by NE-SW compression. The mainshock and most of the aftershocks of the October 2020 seismic activity occur on the prolongation of the north dipping E-W fault zone at about 12 km depth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismotectonics, Active Deformation, and Structure of the Crust)
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Open AccessArticle
Fracture Kinematics and Holocene Stress Field at the Krafla Rift, Northern Iceland
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020101 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
In the Northern Volcanic Zone of Iceland, the geometry, kinematics and offset amount of the structures that form the active Krafla Rift were studied. This rift is composed of a central volcano and a swarm of extension fractures, normal faults and eruptive fissures, [...] Read more.
In the Northern Volcanic Zone of Iceland, the geometry, kinematics and offset amount of the structures that form the active Krafla Rift were studied. This rift is composed of a central volcano and a swarm of extension fractures, normal faults and eruptive fissures, which were mapped and analysed through remote sensing and field techniques. In three areas, across the northern, central and southern part of the rift, detailed measurements were collected by extensive field surveys along the post-Late Glacial Maximum (LGM) extension fractures and normal faults, to reconstruct their strike, opening direction and dilation amount. The geometry and the distribution of all the studied structures suggest a northward propagation of the rift, and an interaction with the Húsavík–Flatey Fault. Although the opening direction at the extension fractures is mostly normal to the general N–S rift orientation (average value N99.5° E), a systematic occurrence of subordinate transcurrent components of motion is noticed. From the measured throw at each normal fault, the heave was calculated, and it was summed together with the net dilation measured at the extension fractures; this has allowed us to assess the stretch ratio of the rift, obtaining a value of 1.003 in the central sector, and 1.001 and 1.002 in the northern and southern part, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Evolution in Tectonically Active Regions)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
When Individual Geosites Matter Less—Challenges to Communicate Landscape Evolution of a Complex Morphostructure (Orlické–Bystrzyckie Mountains Block, Czechia/Poland, Central Europe)
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020100 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 406
Abstract
This paper explores problems associated with explanation of geoheritage at the landscape scale and argues that focus on individual geosites that show rock outcrops or small-scale landforms may not be sufficient to tell the story. The area of Orlické–Bystrzyckie Mountains Block in Central [...] Read more.
This paper explores problems associated with explanation of geoheritage at the landscape scale and argues that focus on individual geosites that show rock outcrops or small-scale landforms may not be sufficient to tell the story. The area of Orlické–Bystrzyckie Mountains Block in Central Europe lacks spectacular landforms or large rock outcrops, and yet has a most interesting geological history that involved Mesozoic planation, Cretaceous marine transgression and the origin of sedimentary cover, Cenozoic differential uplift and the origin of tectonic topography, resultant fluvial incision and Quaternary periglaciation. Individual geosites documented in the area fail to show this complexity and give an incomplete picture. Therefore, viewpoint geosites, allowing for in situ interpretation of regional landscapes, have a role to play and they collectively illustrate the effects of the main stages of geological and geomorphological evolution. In addition, the potential of simple visualization technologies is investigated, as these 3D visualizations may enhance ground views, putting things into even broader perspective. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Impact of a Tsunami on Data-Driven Earthquake Relief Zone Planning in Los Angeles County via Multivariate Spatial Optimization
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020099 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 403
Abstract
Post-earthquake relief zone planning is a multidisciplinary optimization problem, which required delineating zones that seek to minimize the loss of life and property. In this study, we offer an end-to-end workflow to define relief zone suitability and equitable relief service zones for Los [...] Read more.
Post-earthquake relief zone planning is a multidisciplinary optimization problem, which required delineating zones that seek to minimize the loss of life and property. In this study, we offer an end-to-end workflow to define relief zone suitability and equitable relief service zones for Los Angeles (LA) County. In particular, we address the impact of a tsunami in the study due to LA’s high spatial complexities in terms of clustering of population along the coastline, and a complicated inland fault system. We design data-driven earthquake relief zones with a wide variety of inputs, including geological features, population, and public safety. Data-driven zones were generated by solving the p-median problem with the Teitz–Bart algorithm without any a priori knowledge of optimal relief zones. We define the metrics to determine the optimal number of relief zones as a part of the proposed workflow. Finally, we measure the impacts of a tsunami in LA County by comparing data-driven relief zone maps for a case with a tsunami and a case without a tsunami. Our results show that the impact of the tsunami on the relief zones can extend up to 160 km inland from the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami Volume 3)
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Open AccessReview
Enhanced Oil Recovery Using CO2 in Alaska
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020098 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Alaska holds more than 68 billion barrels of proved oil reserves and more than 36.7 trillion cubic feet of proved natural gas reserves with some special conditions such as proximity to permafrost, making Alaskan petroleum reserves unique. The low temperature in shallow reservoirs [...] Read more.
Alaska holds more than 68 billion barrels of proved oil reserves and more than 36.7 trillion cubic feet of proved natural gas reserves with some special conditions such as proximity to permafrost, making Alaskan petroleum reserves unique. The low temperature in shallow reservoirs prohibited hydrocarbons’ ideal maturation, thereby generating several heavy and viscous oil accumulations in this state. This also limits the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) options, leaving the thermal methods off the table to avoid permafrost thawing, which can cause wellbore collapse. Several solutions have been attempted for improving oil production from heavy and viscous oil in Alaska; however, they have not yielded the desired recovery, and ultimate recovery factors are still less than the global average. One solution identified as a better alternative is using CO2 as an injecting fluid, alternated by water or mixed with other injectants. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of all studies on using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery purposes in Alaska and highlights common and unique challenges this approach may face. The suitability of CO2-EOR methods in the Alaskan oil pools is examined, and a ranking of the oil pools with publicly available data is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical Integrity of CO2 Storage Sites)
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Open AccessArticle
Timing of Contractional Tectonics in the Miocene Foreland Basin System of the Umbria Pre-Apennines (Italy): An Updated Overview
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020097 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 379
Abstract
A large dataset of lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic data, concerning the Early-Late Miocene turbidite succession of the Umbria pre-Apennines, is presented and analyzed. The data come from the study of 24 sections that are representative of all the main tectonic units cropping out between [...] Read more.
A large dataset of lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic data, concerning the Early-Late Miocene turbidite succession of the Umbria pre-Apennines, is presented and analyzed. The data come from the study of 24 sections that are representative of all the main tectonic units cropping out between the front of the Tuscan allochthon and the Umbria-Marche calcareous chain. The sections have been dated using quantitative calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy and, wherever possible, they were correlated through key-beds recognition. Such a multidisciplinary approach allowed us to reconstruct the evolution of the Umbria foredeep over time and to unveil the chronology of compressive deformations by defining: (i) the onset of the foredeep stage in each structural unit, (ii) the age of depocenter-shifting from a unit to the adjacent one, (iii) the progressive deactivation of the western sector of the foredeep due to the emplacement of allochthon units, and (iv) the internal subdivisions of the basin due to the presence of foreland ramp faults or thrust-related structures. A further original outcome of our study is having brought to light the Late Burdigalian “out-of-sequence” reactivation of the Tuscan allochthon which bounded westward the foredeep, and the subsequent protracted period of tectonic stasis that preceded the deformations of the Umbrian parautochthon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Impact Faulting of the Holfontein Granophyre Dike of the Vredefort Impact Structure, South Africa, Inferred from Remote Sensing, Geophysics, and Geochemistry
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020096 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Better characterization features borne from long-term crustal modification processes is essential for understanding the dynamics of large basin-forming impact structures on Earth. Within the deeply eroded 2.02 Ga Vredefort Impact Structure in South Africa, impact melt dikes are exposed at the surface. In [...] Read more.
Better characterization features borne from long-term crustal modification processes is essential for understanding the dynamics of large basin-forming impact structures on Earth. Within the deeply eroded 2.02 Ga Vredefort Impact Structure in South Africa, impact melt dikes are exposed at the surface. In this study, we utilized a combination of field, remote sensing, electrical resistivity, magnetic, petrographical, and geochemical techniques to characterize one such impact melt dike, namely, the Holfontein Granophyre Dike (HGD), along with the host granites. The HGD is split into two seemingly disconnected segments. Geophysical modeling of both segments suggests that the melt rock does not penetrate below the modern surface deeper than 5 m, which was confirmed by a later transecting construction trench. Even though the textures and clast content are different in two segments, the major element, trace element, and O isotope compositions of each segment are indistinguishable. Structural measurements of the tectonic foliations in the granites, as well as the spatial expression of the dike, suggest that the dike was segmented by an ENE–WSW trending sinistral strike-slip fault zone. Such an offset must have occurred after the dike solidified. However, the Vredefort structure has not been affected by any major tectonic events after the impact occurred. Therefore, the inferred segmentation of the HGD is consistent with long-term crustal processes occurring in the post-impact environment. These crustal processes may have involved progressive uplift of the crater floor, which is consistent with post-impact long-term crustal adjustment that has been inferred for craters on the Moon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Validation of an Index for Susceptibility to Earthquake-Induced Landslides Derived from Helicopter-Borne Electromagnetic Resistivity and Digital Elevation Data
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020095 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 326
Abstract
Catastrophic earthquake-induced landslides can occur on slopes composed of loosened and fractured rock masses. Although it is impossible to prevent such landslides, estimation of the susceptibility of slopes to earthquake-induced landslides is useful for risk management. An index of susceptibility to earthquake-induced landslides [...] Read more.
Catastrophic earthquake-induced landslides can occur on slopes composed of loosened and fractured rock masses. Although it is impossible to prevent such landslides, estimation of the susceptibility of slopes to earthquake-induced landslides is useful for risk management. An index of susceptibility to earthquake-induced landslides (ISEL) was developed by using helicopter-borne electromagnetic resistivity data. However, the ISEL has not yet been validated through the analysis of pre-earthquake data. In this study, ISEL values were estimated from resistivity and digital elevation data obtained in 2013 around Mt. Aso, Kyushu, before the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake. Although most of the landslides around Mt. Aso during the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake were mass movements of volcanic tephra layers, some of them occurred on loosened rock masses. Landslide susceptible areas at loosened rock masses are the target for ISEL value estimation. Our results validated the effectiveness of the ISEL as a predictor of earthquake-induced rock mass landslides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Analysis for Disaster Risk Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessReview
Paleoceanographic Perturbations and the Marine Carbonate System during the Middle to Late Miocene Carbonate Crash—A Critical Review
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020094 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 570
Abstract
This study intends to review and assess the middle to late Miocene Carbonate Crash (CC) events in the low to mid latitudes of the Pacific, Indian, Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans as part of the global paleoceanographic reorganisations between 12 and 9 Ma with [...] Read more.
This study intends to review and assess the middle to late Miocene Carbonate Crash (CC) events in the low to mid latitudes of the Pacific, Indian, Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans as part of the global paleoceanographic reorganisations between 12 and 9 Ma with an emphasis on record preservation and their relation to mass accumulation rates (MAR). In the Eastern Pacific the accumulation changes in carbonate and opal probably reflect an El-Niño-like state of low productivity, which marks the beginning of the CC-event (11.5 Ma), followed by decreased preservation and influx of corrosive bottom waters (10.3 to 10.1 Ma). At the same time in the Atlantic, carbonate preservation considerably increases, suggesting basin-to-basin fractionation. The low-latitude Indian Ocean, the Pacific and the Caribbean are all characterised by a similar timing of preservation increase starting at ~9.6–9.4 Ma, while their MARs show drastic changes with different timing of events. The Atlantic preservation pattern shows an increase as early as 11.5 Ma and becomes even better after 10.1 Ma. The shallow Indian Ocean (Mascarene plateau) is characterised by low carbonate accumulation throughout and increasing preservation after 9.4 Ma. At the same time, the preservation in the Atlantic, including the Caribbean, is increasing due to enhanced North Atlantic deep-water formation, leading to the increase in carbonate accumulation at 10 Ma. Moreover, the shoaling of the Central American Isthmus might have helped to enhance Caribbean preservation after 9.4 Ma. Lower nannoplankton productivity in the Atlantic should have additionally contributed to low mass accumulation rates during the late CC-interval. Overall, it can be inferred that these carbonate minima events during the Miocene may be the result of decreased surface ocean productivity and oceanographically driven increased seafloor dissolution. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Using Geomembrane Liners to Reduce Seepage through the Base of Tailings Ponds—A Review and a Framework for Design Guidelines
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020093 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Geomembranes are used worldwide as basin liners in tailings ponds to decrease the permeability of the foundation and prevent further transportation of harmful contaminants and contaminated water. However, leakage into the environment and damage to the geomembrane have been reported. This paper reviews [...] Read more.
Geomembranes are used worldwide as basin liners in tailings ponds to decrease the permeability of the foundation and prevent further transportation of harmful contaminants and contaminated water. However, leakage into the environment and damage to the geomembrane have been reported. This paper reviews available literature and recommendations on geomembrane structures for use as a basal liner in tailings ponds, and presents a framework to achieve early involvement and an integrated approach to geomembrane structure design. Cohesive planning guidelines or legislative directions for such structures are currently lacking in many countries, which often means that the structure guidelines for groundwater protection or landfill are applied when designing tailings storage facilities (TSF). Basin structure is generally unique to each mine but, based on the literature, in the majority of cases the structure has a single-composite liner. The type of liner system used depends mainly on the material to be used on top of the structure, local hydraulic pressure gradient, and climate conditions. More practical information and scientific knowledge on the use of base liners in various cases are needed. A sustainable approach could be risk-based design, where the life cycle of the basin is taken into consideration. To this end, this paper proposes geomembrane-lined tailings pond to be assessed as a stakeholder. Emphasis on this, early enough, can ensure critical factors for tailings ponds to be considered from the outset in the design of mines and reduces the environmental footprint of the mining industry. More holistic project management and early involvement and integration are recommended to improve construction quality during the entire life cycle of the pond. In the long term, use of dry stacking or other alternative methods should be encouraged, despite the higher costs for operators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety Assessment of Tailing Dams)
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Open AccessArticle
Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Analysis of Inundated Buildings Following a Subaqueous Volcanic Explosion Based on the 1716 Tsunami Scenario in Taal Lake, Philippines
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020092 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 467
Abstract
A probabilistic hazard analysis of a tsunami generated by a subaqueous volcanic explosion was performed for Taal Lake in the Philippines. The Taal volcano at Taal Lake is an active volcano on Luzon Island in the Philippines, and its eruption would potentially generate [...] Read more.
A probabilistic hazard analysis of a tsunami generated by a subaqueous volcanic explosion was performed for Taal Lake in the Philippines. The Taal volcano at Taal Lake is an active volcano on Luzon Island in the Philippines, and its eruption would potentially generate tsunamis in the lake. This study aimed to analyze a probabilistic tsunami hazard of inundated buildings for tsunami mitigation in future scenarios. To determine the probabilistic tsunami hazard, different explosion diameters were used to generate tsunamis of different magnitudes in the TUNAMI-N2 model. The initial water level in the tsunami model was estimated based on the explosion energy. The tsunami-induced inundation from the TUNAMI-N2 model was overlaid on the distribution of buildings. The tsunami hazard analysis of inundated buildings was performed by using the maximum inundation depth in each explosion case. These products were used to calculate the probability of the inundated building given the occurrence of a subaqueous explosion. The results from this study can be used for future tsunami mitigation if a tsunami is generated by a subaqueous volcanic explosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami Volume 3)
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Open AccessArticle
Crustal Structure of the Eastern Anatolia Region (Turkey) Based on Seismic Tomography
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020091 - 15 Feb 2021
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Here, we investigated the crustal structure beneath eastern Anatolia, an area of high seismicity and critical significance for earthquake hazards in Turkey. The study was based on the local tomography method using data from earthquakes that occurred in the study area provided by [...] Read more.
Here, we investigated the crustal structure beneath eastern Anatolia, an area of high seismicity and critical significance for earthquake hazards in Turkey. The study was based on the local tomography method using data from earthquakes that occurred in the study area provided by the Turkiye Cumhuriyeti Ministry of Interior Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate Earthquake Department Directorate of Turkey. The dataset used for tomography included the travel times of 54,713 P-waves and 38,863 S-waves from 6355 seismic events. The distributions of the resulting seismic velocities (Vp, Vs) down to a depth of 60 km demonstrate significant anomalies associated with the major geologic and tectonic features of the region. The Arabian plate was revealed as a high-velocity anomaly, and the low-velocity patterns north of the Bitlis suture are mostly associated with eastern Anatolia. The upper crust of eastern Anatolia was associated with a ~10 km thick high-velocity anomaly; the lower crust is revealed as a wedge-shaped low-velocity anomaly. This kind of seismic structure under eastern Anatolia corresponded to the hypothesized existence of a lithospheric window beneath this collision zone, through which hot material of the asthenosphere rises. Thus, the presented results help to clarify the deep structure under eastern Anatolia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Flume Experiments on Flow Analysis and Energy Reduction through a Compound Tsunami Mitigation System with a Seaward Embankment and Landward Vegetation over a Mound
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020090 - 15 Feb 2021
Viewed by 331
Abstract
As a countermeasure against tsunami inundation, the present study conducted a series of laboratory experiments using a compound mitigation system in which a seaward embankment (E) followed by landward coastal vegetation (V) over a mound (M) (EMV) was investigated in supercritical [...] Read more.
As a countermeasure against tsunami inundation, the present study conducted a series of laboratory experiments using a compound mitigation system in which a seaward embankment (E) followed by landward coastal vegetation (V) over a mound (M) (EMV) was investigated in supercritical flow conditions. The changes of flow around the mitigation system and energy reduction were clarified under varying conditions of mound height and vegetation density. Cases of an embankment followed by only a mound (EMNV) were also considered for comparison. Experimental results showed that three basic types of flow structures were observed within the mitigation system in EMV cases. A water cushion was created within the mitigation system mainly due to the combined effects of the mound and vegetation. It significantly reduced the maximum total energy in EMV cases by approximately 41–66%, whereas in EMNV cases, the maximum energy reduction was found to be 23–65%. Increments in both mound height and vegetation density increased the intensity of the water cushion within the mitigation system by offering more drag and reflecting the flow, and hence, significantly reduced the energy of the flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tsunami Science and Future Mitigation Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Degree of Saturation (DOS) on Dynamic Behavior of Unbound Granular Materials
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020089 - 15 Feb 2021
Viewed by 336
Abstract
The extensive application of natural unbound granular materials (UGMs) motivates studies into the mechanical properties of alternatives such as processed crushed rocks employed commonly as base or subbase layers. The rutting and settlement generated in base and subbase layers is widely restricted in [...] Read more.
The extensive application of natural unbound granular materials (UGMs) motivates studies into the mechanical properties of alternatives such as processed crushed rocks employed commonly as base or subbase layers. The rutting and settlement generated in base and subbase layers is widely restricted in many specifications and standards. In this research, the dynamic behavior including the resilient modulus (Mr) and the plastic strain (εεp) of the crushed rocks collected from Queensland in Australia will be tested by a series of repeated load triaxial test (RLT) tests to investigate the behavior of UGMs under the fluctuation of the degree of saturation (DOS) (59%–100%). In particular, the RLT specimens were prepared in the laboratory through proper gradation under optimum moisture content (OMC) and 100% standard proctor maximum dry unit weight. Results from the RLT tests showed that UGM specimens soaked at higher DOS generated lower resilient modulus and weaker resistance to heavy traffic volumes with significant accumulation of plastic strain. The Mr and εεp of the tested aggregates under different cyclic deviator stresses of 425 kPa and 625 kPa approximately linearly decreased and approximately linearly increased as the DOS increased with a certain number of cycles up to 50,000, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil-Structure Interaction)
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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Modeling of Rockfall Runout: Definition of the Input Parameters for the QGIS Plugin QPROTO
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020088 - 14 Feb 2021
Viewed by 599
Abstract
The identification of the most rockfall-prone areas is the first step of the risk assessment procedure. In the case of land and urban planning, hazard and risk analyses involve large portions of territory, and thus, preliminary methods are preferred to define specific zones [...] Read more.
The identification of the most rockfall-prone areas is the first step of the risk assessment procedure. In the case of land and urban planning, hazard and risk analyses involve large portions of territory, and thus, preliminary methods are preferred to define specific zones where more detailed computations are needed. To reach this goal, the QGIS-based plugin QPROTO was developed, able to quantitatively compute rockfall time-independent hazard over a three-dimensional topography on the basis of the Cone Method. This is obtained by combining kinetic energy, passing frequency and detachment propensity of each rockfall source. QPROTO requires the definition of few angles (i.e., the energy angle ϕp and the lateral angle α) that should take into account all the phenomena occurring during the complex block movement along the slope. The outputs of the plugin are a series of raster maps reporting the invasion zones and the quantification of both the susceptibility and the hazard. In this paper, a method to relate these angles to some characteristics of the block (volume and shape) and the slope (inclination, forest density) is proposed, to provide QPROTO users with a tool for estimating the input parameters. The results are validated on a series of case studies belonging to the north-western Italian Alps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rock Fall Hazard and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Thoracic Fraction (PM10) of Resuspended Urban Dust: Geochemistry, Particle Size Distribution and Lung Bioaccessibility
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020087 - 13 Feb 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
A fluidized bed aerosol generator was connected to a 13-stage cascade impactor (nanoMOUDI) for the size fractionation of urban dust (<10 µm), followed by the gravimetric analysis of loaded PTFE filter samples. This method was used to characterize the PM10 (thoracic) fraction [...] Read more.
A fluidized bed aerosol generator was connected to a 13-stage cascade impactor (nanoMOUDI) for the size fractionation of urban dust (<10 µm), followed by the gravimetric analysis of loaded PTFE filter samples. This method was used to characterize the PM10 (thoracic) fraction of road dust sampled from expressways, arterial roads and local roads in Toronto, Canada. The fine particle fractions (<1.8 µm) of all the studied samples accounted for 51–72% of the resuspended PM10 (by weight). Elemental analysis using ICP-MS and ICP-OES revealed an overall trend of element enrichment in the <1.8 µm fraction compared to the coarse fraction (1.8–10 µm) of the road dust. By contrast, archived house dust samples displayed the reverse trend for most elements. The lung bioaccessibility of target elements (Al, B, Ba, Co, Cr, Fe, La, Mn, Mo, Sb, Sr, Ti, V and Zn) was assessed for each road dust fraction using 0.1 M ammonium citrate (pH 4.4) to simulate intracellular fluid and Gamble solution (pH 7.2) to simulate interstitial lung fluid. The <1.8 µm fraction of local road dust displayed significantly higher bioaccessibility (p < 0.05) for Zn when using Gamble solution, and for seven out of the 14 target elements when using ammonium citrate. These results show the importance of characterizing the fine fraction of road dust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology in the Urban Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Stability of Embankments Resting on Foundation Soils with a Weak Layer
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020086 - 13 Feb 2021
Viewed by 313
Abstract
The presence of weak layers in geotechnical systems, including soil or rock masses, both natural and man-made, is more frequent than is normally believed. Weak layers can affect both failure mechanisms, in drained and in undrained conditions, as well as in static and [...] Read more.
The presence of weak layers in geotechnical systems, including soil or rock masses, both natural and man-made, is more frequent than is normally believed. Weak layers can affect both failure mechanisms, in drained and in undrained conditions, as well as in static and seismic conditions, and the safety factor. In the present study, conducted numerically using the finite-element method (FEM) Plaxis 2D code, the influence of a horizontal thin weak layer on stress and strain distribution, on failure mechanisms and on the overall stability of an embankment was evaluated. The results obtained prove that when the weak layer is located at a significant depth from the foundation plane, the failure mechanisms are normally mixtilinear in shape because the shear strains largely develop on the weak layer. As a result, the safety factor highly decreases compared to the same case without a weak layer. Then, in the presence of weak layers, even embankments that, if founded on homogeneous soils, would have very high global safety factors (higher than 2) can become unstable, i.e., the safety factor can become unitary. So particular attention must be paid during detail ground investigations to finding thin weak layers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Modeling in Geotechnical Engineering)
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Open AccessReview
The First 40 Million Years of Planktonic Foraminifera
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020085 - 13 Feb 2021
Viewed by 504
Abstract
We provide a biochronology of Jurassic planktonic foramininfera, using first order linkage to ammonite and nannofossil stratigraphy and geochronology. This enigmatic and understudied group of microfossils occurred from middle Toarcian through Tithonian time, from ~180 to ~143 Ma; its origin is unknown. There [...] Read more.
We provide a biochronology of Jurassic planktonic foramininfera, using first order linkage to ammonite and nannofossil stratigraphy and geochronology. This enigmatic and understudied group of microfossils occurred from middle Toarcian through Tithonian time, from ~180 to ~143 Ma; its origin is unknown. There are three genera: Globuligerina, Conoglobigerina and Petaloglobigerina. The genus Globuligerina, with a smooth to pustulose test surface texture appeared in Toarcian (late Early Jurassic) and Conoglobigerina, with a rough reticulate test surface texture in Oxfordian (early Late Jurassic) time. The genus Petaloglobigerina, having a petaloid last whorl with one or more claviform and twisted chambers evolved in early Kimmeridgian time from Globuligerina balakhmatovae. Biochronologic events for Jurassic planktonic foraminifera are most like First Common Appearance or Last Common Appearance events. The very first or very last appearance levels of taxa are not easily sampled and detected. We recognize stratigraphic events from eleven species across four postulated evolutionary lineages, calibrated to Geologic Time Scale 2020. A faunal change, which is not well documented led to the survival of only one taxon, most likely Gobuligerina oxfordiana in the Tithonian. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Foraminifera in Biochronology)
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Open AccessArticle
Reconsidering the Variscan Basement of Southern Tuscany (Inner Northern Apennines)
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020084 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 268
Abstract
The Pre-Mesozoic units exposed in the inner Northern Apennines mostly consist of Pennsylvanian-Permian successions unconformably deposited on a continental crust consolidated at the end of the Variscan orogenic cycle (Silurian-Carboniferous). In the inner Northern Apennines, exposures of this continental crust, Cambrian?-Devonian in age, [...] Read more.
The Pre-Mesozoic units exposed in the inner Northern Apennines mostly consist of Pennsylvanian-Permian successions unconformably deposited on a continental crust consolidated at the end of the Variscan orogenic cycle (Silurian-Carboniferous). In the inner Northern Apennines, exposures of this continental crust, Cambrian?-Devonian in age, have been described in Northern Tuscany, Elba Island (Tuscan Archipelago) and, partly, in scattered and isolated outcrops of southern Tuscany. This paper reappraises the most significant succession (i.e., Risanguigno Formation) exposed in southern Tuscany and considered by most authors as part of the Variscan Basement. New stratigraphic and structural studies, coupled with analyses of the organic matter content, allow us to refine the age of the Risanguigno Fm and its geological setting and evolution. Based on the low diversification of palynoflora, the content of sporomorphs, the structural setting and the new field study, this formation is dated as late Tournaisian to Visean (Middle Mississippian) and is not affected by pre-Alpine deformation. This conclusion, together with the already existing data, clearly indicate that no exposures of rocks involved in the Variscan orogenesis occur in southern Tuscany. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Characterization of Organic Matter of the Laptev Sea Eroded Coastal Sediments: A Case Study from the Cape Muostakh, Bykovsky Peninsula
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020083 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 420
Abstract
The article provides new data about characteristics of the organic matter and mineralogical composition of the Cape Muostakh sediments related to intense permafrost degradation (thermoerosion processes). The sedimentary material has been investigated by X-ray diffraction, GC-MS, IRM-GC-MS, pyrolysis–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (Py–GC–MS), and Rock-Eval [...] Read more.
The article provides new data about characteristics of the organic matter and mineralogical composition of the Cape Muostakh sediments related to intense permafrost degradation (thermoerosion processes). The sedimentary material has been investigated by X-ray diffraction, GC-MS, IRM-GC-MS, pyrolysis–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (Py–GC–MS), and Rock-Eval pyrolysis. Variable distribution of the total organic carbon content over the coast cliff is established. The minimum content of the organic carbon occurs at the cliff level of 5 m above sea level, and the maximum is located on the top of the cape cliff. The practical absence of unsaturated compounds indicates the intense destruction of the ice complex deposits that occurred at the level of 5 m of the Cape Muostakh cliff. The minimum organic carbon, aliphatic compounds, and the increase of the δ13C indicates the loss of hydrogen-enriched organic matter, while condensed carbon structures remain in sediment. Aromatic compounds of both plant and petroleum origin were identified in all sediments, except in the sediment sample collected at the cliff level of 5 m. Unsaturated fatty acids were detected only in the sediments of the upper cliff levels. The novel hopenes and hopane were detected and they predominantly occur in the upper layers of the cape cliff. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
A Framework for Risk-Based Cost–Benefit Analysis for Decision Support on Hydrogeological Risks in Underground Construction
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020082 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 515
Abstract
Construction below the ground surface and underneath the groundwater table is often associated with groundwater leakage and drawdowns in the surroundings which subsequently can result in a wide variety of risks. To avoid groundwater drawdown-associated damages, risk-reducing measures must often be implemented. Due [...] Read more.
Construction below the ground surface and underneath the groundwater table is often associated with groundwater leakage and drawdowns in the surroundings which subsequently can result in a wide variety of risks. To avoid groundwater drawdown-associated damages, risk-reducing measures must often be implemented. Due to the hydrogeological system’s inherent variability and our incomplete knowledge of its conditions, the effects of risk-reducing measures cannot be fully known in advance and decisions must inevitably be made under uncertainty. When implementing risk-reducing measures there is always a trade-off between the measures’ benefits (reduced risk) and investment costs which needs to be balanced. In this paper, we present a framework for decision support on measures to mitigate hydrogeological risks in underground construction. The framework is developed in accordance with the guidelines from the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and comprises a full risk-management framework with focus on risk analysis and risk evaluation. Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) facilitates monetization of consequences and economic evaluation of risk mitigation. The framework includes probabilistic risk estimation of the entire cause–effect chain from groundwater leakage to the consequences of damage where expert elicitation is combined with data-driven and process-based methods, allowing for continuous updating when new knowledge is obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geo-Hydrological Risks Management)
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Open AccessArticle
LLUNPIY Simulations of the 1877 Northward Catastrophic Lahars of Cotopaxi Volcano (Ecuador) for a Contribution to Forecasting the Hazards
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020081 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 330
Abstract
LLUNPIY (lahar modeling by local rules based on an underlying pick of yoked processes, from the Quechua word “llunp’iy“, meaning flood) is a cellular automata (CA) model that simulates primary and secondary lahars, here applied to replicate those that occurred during the huge [...] Read more.
LLUNPIY (lahar modeling by local rules based on an underlying pick of yoked processes, from the Quechua word “llunp’iy“, meaning flood) is a cellular automata (CA) model that simulates primary and secondary lahars, here applied to replicate those that occurred during the huge 1877 Cotopaxi Volcano eruption. The lahars flowing down the southwestern flanks of the volcano were already satisfactorily simulated in previous investigations of ours, assuming two possible different triggering mechanisms, i.e., the sudden and homogeneous melting of the summit ice and snow cap due to pyroclastic flows and the melting of the glacier parts hit by free-falling pyroclastic bombs after being upwardly ejected during the volcanic eruption. In a similar fashion, we apply here the CA LLUNPIY model to simulate the 1877 lahars sprawling out the Cotopaxi northern slopes and eventually impacting densely populated areas. Our preliminary results indicate that several important public infrastructures (among them the regional potable water supply system) and the Valle de Los Chillos and other Quito suburban areas might be devastated by northward-bound lahars, should a catastrophic Cotopaxi eruption comparable to the 1877 one occur in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events)
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Open AccessArticle
Tectonic Setting of the Kenya Rift in the Nakuru Area, Based on Geophysical Prospecting
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020080 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 508
Abstract
In this paper, we present results of tectonic and geophysical investigations in the Kenya Rift valley, in the Nakuru area. We compiled a detailed geological map of the area based on published earlier works, well data and satellite imagery. The map was then [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present results of tectonic and geophysical investigations in the Kenya Rift valley, in the Nakuru area. We compiled a detailed geological map of the area based on published earlier works, well data and satellite imagery. The map was then integrated with original fieldwork and cross sections were constructed. In key areas, we then performed geophysical survey using Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT), Hybrid Source Audio MagnetoTelluric (HSAMT), and single station passive seismic measurements (HVSR). In the study area, a volcano-sedimentary succession of the Neogene-Quaternary age characterized by basalts, trachytes, pyroclastic rocks, and tephra with intercalated lacustrine and fluvial deposits crops out. Faulting linked with rift development is evident and occurs throughout the area crosscutting all rock units. We show a rotation of the extension in this portion of the Kenya rift with the NE–SW extension direction of a Neogene-Middle Pleistocene age, followed by the E–W extension direction of an Upper Pleistocene-Present age. Geophysical investigations allowed to outline main lithostratigraphic units and tectonic features at depth and were also useful to infer main cataclasites and fractured rock bodies, the primary paths for water flow in rocks. These investigations are integrated in a larger EU H2020 Programme aimed to produce a geological and hydrogeological model of the area to develop a sustainable water management system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structural Geology and Tectonics)
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Open AccessCommunication
Rill Erosion in Unpaved and Rock-Paved Roads after Wildfire in a Mediterranean Forest
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020079 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Forest roads are often subject to intense runoff and erosion, and the rates can be increased by other disturbance factors, such as wildfires. Since scarce literature exists on the effects of wildfires on rill erosion of forest roads, this study presents the first [...] Read more.
Forest roads are often subject to intense runoff and erosion, and the rates can be increased by other disturbance factors, such as wildfires. Since scarce literature exists on the effects of wildfires on rill erosion of forest roads, this study presents the first results of a wider research, evaluating rill erosion in four different types of roads on a forest in Hellìn (Castilla-La Mancha, Central-Eastern Spain): unpaved roads made of native materials (soil found at the study site) and rock-paved roads, both built in unburned areas as well as unpaved and rock-paved roads, in fire-affected areas. In general, the unpaved roads are more subject to rill erosion compared to the rock-paved roads. In particular, the road of burned areas shows an erodibility that is higher by more than 200% compared to the unpaved and unburned roads, and even by about 400% compared to rock-paved roads (in both burned and unburned areas). A modeling approach based on distance linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis has identified the slope of road surface and upstream hillslope as well as the percent bare soil over the road surface as important input variables to predict rill erosion in future modeling experiences. All these variables may be easily measured by quick field surveys. Although the analytical approach of this study is limited to the geometric characteristics of erosion features, the results and the methods developed are useful to support the activity of land managers to better understand the magnitude of road erosion and to develop efficient measures for its control and mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards)
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Open AccessArticle
Mass Balance of Austre Grønfjordbreen, Svalbard, 2006–2020, Estimated by Glaciological, Geodetic and Modeling Aproaches
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020078 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 403
Abstract
Glacier mass balance measurements, reconstructions and modeling are the precondition for assessing glacier sensitivity to regional climatic fluctuations. This paper presents new glaciological and geodetic mass balance data of Austre Grønfjordbreen located in the western part of Nordenskiöld Land in Central Spitsbergen. The [...] Read more.
Glacier mass balance measurements, reconstructions and modeling are the precondition for assessing glacier sensitivity to regional climatic fluctuations. This paper presents new glaciological and geodetic mass balance data of Austre Grønfjordbreen located in the western part of Nordenskiöld Land in Central Spitsbergen. The average annual mass balance from 2014 to 2019 was −1.59 m w.e. The geodetic mass balance from 2008 to 2017 was −1.34 m w.e. The mass balance was also reconstructed by the temperature-index model from 2006 to 2020 and by spatially-distributed energy-balance models for 2011–2015 and 2019. We found a cumulative mass balance of −21.62 m w.e. over 2006–2020. The calculated mass-balance sensitivity to temperature was −1.04 m w.e. °C−1, which corresponds to the highest glacier mass balance sensitivity among Svalbard glaciers. Sensitivity to precipitation change was 0.10 m w.e. for a 10% increase in precipitation throughout the balance year. Comparing the results of the current study with other glacier mass balance assessments in Svalbard, we found that Austre Grønfjordbreen loses mass most rapidly due to its location, which is mostly influenced by the warm West Spitsbergen Current, small area and low elevation range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glacier Characteristic Variability in Polar Regions)
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Open AccessReview
The Use of Submerged Speleothems for Sea Level Studies in the Mediterranean Sea: A New Perspective Using Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020077 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 478
Abstract
The investigation of submerged speleothems for sea level studies has made significant contributions to the understanding of the global and regional sea level variations during the Middle and Late Quaternary. This has especially been the case for the Mediterranean Sea, where more than [...] Read more.
The investigation of submerged speleothems for sea level studies has made significant contributions to the understanding of the global and regional sea level variations during the Middle and Late Quaternary. This has especially been the case for the Mediterranean Sea, where more than 300 submerged speleothems sampled in 32 caves have been analysed so far. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the results obtained from the study of submerged speleothems since 1978. The studied speleothems cover the last 1.4 Myr and are mainly focused on Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 1, 2, 3, 5.1, 5.3, 5.5, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.5. The results reveal that submerged speleothems represent extraordinary archives providing accurate information on former sea level changes. New results from a stalagmite collected at Palinuro (Campania, Italy) and characterized by marine overgrowth are also reported. The measured elevations of speleothems are affected by the local response to glacial and hydro-isostatic adjustment (GIA), and thus might significantly deviate from the global eustatic signal. A comparison of the ages and altitude values of the Mediterranean speleothems and flowstone from the Bahamas with local GIA provides a new scenario for MIS 5 and 7 sea level reconstructions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Quaternary Environment in the Mediterranean)
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