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Geosciences, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The movement direction and the area of aeolian relief forms in the Lake Baikal depression according [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle An Improved Strength Reduction-Based Slope Stability Analysis
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010055
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Slope uncertainty predominantly originates from the imperfect analysis model and the inaccuracy and imprecision of the observations. The strength reduction method (SRM) is widely used to attain the safety factor (SF) of the slopes, which is similar to interpretation of the limit state [...] Read more.
Slope uncertainty predominantly originates from the imperfect analysis model and the inaccuracy and imprecision of the observations. The strength reduction method (SRM) is widely used to attain the safety factor (SF) of the slopes, which is similar to interpretation of the limit state (LS). In this paper, the spectral element method (SEM), using an elasto-plastic Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion, is employed to project the plausible LS of the soil slopes. An iterative SRM search method is proposed to evaluate the SF of the slopes regardless of the LS interpretation. The proposed SRM paradigm encompasses the design trigger to trace the uncertain parameters in decision-making. This method is applied to three numerical examples: (1) a homogeneous dry slope, (2) a dry slope with a weak layer, and (3) a partially-wet slope with a weak layer. It is shown that for the case study examples, the proposed SRM reasonably converges to the required precision. Results further are compared and contrasted with some of the conventional and standard techniques in slope stability. This hybrid procedure paves the road for fast and safe stability analysis of man-made and natural slopes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Earthquakes on Energy Security in the Eurasian Economic Union: Resilience of the Electricity Transmission Networks in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010054
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
In our research, we focus on the reliability of the interconnected electricity supply system of three countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)—Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. We apply a mathematical model to evaluate the reliability of the electricity supply system under the threat [...] Read more.
In our research, we focus on the reliability of the interconnected electricity supply system of three countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)—Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. We apply a mathematical model to evaluate the reliability of the electricity supply system under the threat of earthquakes. Earthquakes can damage elements of electricity grids and, considering the interconnectivity of electricity supply systems in the EAEU, effects in the aftermath of earthquakes can be far-reaching and even transboundary. This necessitates the development of coordinated policies and risk management strategies to deal with electricity outage risks in the EAEU. In our study, the earthquake probability is derived from seismic zone maps, while damage events are computed using maps of energy power systems. In addition, we determine which elements of the system are susceptible to failure due to an earthquake of a given magnitude. We conduct a scenario analysis of earthquakes and their impacts on the reliability of the power supply system, considering potential energy losses and threats to energy security. An analysis of the resilience of electricity transmission grids allows us to determine the critical interconnection lines in terms of exposure to earthquake risk, as well as exposure to total systemic loss. We also identify the most critical interconnection lines where power outages can lead to the destabilization of the entire power supply system. Some examples of such lines are at the border of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where power outages can lead to serious economic costs and electricity outages. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Source Based Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Snow in a Semi-Arid Headwater Catchment of Northern Mongolia
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010053
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
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Abstract
Knowledge of the duration and distribution of seasonal snow cover is important for understanding the hydrologic regime in mountainous regions within semi-arid climates. In the headwater of the semi-arid Sugnugur catchment (in the Khentii Mountains, northern Mongolia), a spatial analysis of seasonal snow [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the duration and distribution of seasonal snow cover is important for understanding the hydrologic regime in mountainous regions within semi-arid climates. In the headwater of the semi-arid Sugnugur catchment (in the Khentii Mountains, northern Mongolia), a spatial analysis of seasonal snow cover duration (SCD) was performed on a 30 m spatial resolution by integrating the spatial resolution of Landsat-7, Landsat-8, and Sentinel-2A images with the daily temporal resolution of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow products (2000–2017). Validation was achieved using in situ time series measurements from winter field campaigns and distributed surface temperature loggers. We found a mean increase of SCD with altitude at approximately +6 days/100 m. However, we found no altitude-dependent changes in snow depth during field campaigns. The southern exposed valley slopes are either snow free or covered by intermittent snow throughout the winter months due to high sublimation rates and prevailing wind. The estimated mean SCD ranges from 124 days in the lower parts of the catchment to 226 days on the mountain peaks, with a mean underestimation of 12–13 days. Snow onset and melt dates exhibited large inter-annual variability, but no significant trend in the seasonal SCD was evident. This method can be applied to high-resolution snow mapping in similar mountainous regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Snow and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle First Macro-Colonizers and Survivors Around Tagoro Submarine Volcano, Canary Islands, Spain
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010052
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
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Abstract
Tagoro, the youngest submarine volcano of the Canary Islands, erupted in 2011 South of El Hierro Island. Pre-existing sea floor and inhabiting biological communities were buried by the newly erupted material, promoting the appearance of new habitats. The present study pursues to describe [...] Read more.
Tagoro, the youngest submarine volcano of the Canary Islands, erupted in 2011 South of El Hierro Island. Pre-existing sea floor and inhabiting biological communities were buried by the newly erupted material, promoting the appearance of new habitats. The present study pursues to describe the first metazoans colonizing different new habitats formed during the eruption and to create precedent on this field. Through dredge and remote operated vehicle samplings, five main habitat types have been detected based on the substrate type and burial status after the eruption. Inside the Tagoro volcanic complex (TVC), two new habitats are located in and around the summit and main craters—hydrothermal vents with bacterial mats and sulfurous-like fields mainly colonized by small hydrozoan colonies. Two other habitats are located downslope the TVC; new hard substrate and new mixed substrate, holding the highest biodiversity of the TVC, especially at the mixed bottoms with annelids (Chloeia cf. venusta), arthropods (Monodaeus couchii and Alpheus sp.), cnidarians (Sertularella cf. tenella), and molluscs (Neopycnodonte cochlear) as the first colonizers. An impact evaluation was done comparing the communities of those habitats with the complex and well-established community described at the stable hard substrate outside the TVC, which is constituted of highly abundant hydrozoans (Aglaophenia sp.), antipatharians (Stichopates setacea and Antipathes furcata), and colonizing epibionts (e.g., Neopycnodonte cochlear). Three years after the eruption, species numbers at Tagoro were still low compared to those occurring at similar depths outside the TVC. The first dominant species at the TVC included a large proportion of common suspension feeders of the circalittoral and bathyal hard bottoms of the area, which could have exploited the uncolonized hard bottoms and the post eruptive fertilization of water masses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Submarine Volcanic Hazards: Ancient and Modern Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle Climate Change-Induced Migration in Coastal Bangladesh? A Critical Assessment of Migration Drivers in Rural Households under Economic and Environmental Stress
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010051
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Discussions of climate migration have recognized the need for probabilistic, systematic, and empirical analyses. We examine the importance of environmental stressors in migration using a multi-leveled analysis of a household survey of the climate-stressed rural communities of coastal Bangladesh. We find that a [...] Read more.
Discussions of climate migration have recognized the need for probabilistic, systematic, and empirical analyses. We examine the importance of environmental stressors in migration using a multi-leveled analysis of a household survey of the climate-stressed rural communities of coastal Bangladesh. We find that a relatively small share (6.5%) of rural coastal people have migrated, overwhelmingly domestically and on a temporary basis. The main motives are better employment opportunities in urban areas, marriage/family reunification, and education. About a third are displaced by flooding that created loss of arable land. Being male, younger, and working outside of agriculture facilitate migration, and also those with greater human and horizontal social capital are more likely to migrate. Exposure to severe river erosion, residing closer to major waterways and in saltwater shrimp farming zones spur migration. Climate migration is in its first instance economic-induced with environmental stress contributing as a secondary factor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards)
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Open AccessArticle Biogeochemical Characterization of Metal Behavior from Novel Mussel Shell Bioreactor Sludge Residues
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010050
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Acid mine drainage (AMD) remediation commonly produces byproducts which must be stored or utilized to reduce the risk of further contamination. A mussel shell bioreactor has been implemented at a coal mine in New Zealand, which is an effective remediation option, although an [...] Read more.
Acid mine drainage (AMD) remediation commonly produces byproducts which must be stored or utilized to reduce the risk of further contamination. A mussel shell bioreactor has been implemented at a coal mine in New Zealand, which is an effective remediation option, although an accumulated sludge layer decreased efficiency which was then removed and requires storage. To understand associated risks related to storage or use of the AMD sludge material, a laboratory mesocosm study investigated the physio-chemical and biological influence in two conditions: anoxic storage (burial deep within a waste rock dump) or exposure to oxic environments (use of sludge on the surface of the mine). Solid phase characterization by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and selective extraction was completed to compare two environmental conditions (oxic and anoxic) under biologically active and abiotic systems (achieved by gamma irradiation). Changes in microbial community structure were monitored using 16s rDNA amplification and next-generation sequencing. The results indicate that microbes in an oxic environment increase the formation of oxyhydroxides and acidic conditions increase metal mobility. In an oxic and circumneutral environment, the AMD sludge may be repurposed to act as an oxygen barrier for mine tailings or soil amendment. Anoxic conditions would likely promote the biomineralization of sulfide minerals in the AMD sludge by sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB), which were abundant in the system. The anoxic conditions reduced the risk of trace metals (Zn) associated with oxides, but increased Fe associated with organic material. In summary, fewer risks are associated with anoxic burial but repurposing in an oxic condition may be appropriate under favorable conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biomineralization)
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Open AccessTechnical Note Review of Approval of Flexible Rockfall Protection Systems According to ETAG 027
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010049
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
In 2009, the European Guideline for Flexible Rockfall Protection Kits European Technical Approval Guideline 027 (ETAG 027) became valid. The aim of the guideline was to approve and certify steel barriers available on the market according to a common standard. In 2018, ETAG [...] Read more.
In 2009, the European Guideline for Flexible Rockfall Protection Kits European Technical Approval Guideline 027 (ETAG 027) became valid. The aim of the guideline was to approve and certify steel barriers available on the market according to a common standard. In 2018, ETAG 027 was replaced by a so-called European Assessment Document (EAD). This contribution summarizes results and experiences that were obtained through the type testing, approval and assessment procedures of 66 protection systems evaluated between 2009 and 2018. Apart from the common main task of the barriers to stop falling blocks successfully, the different test conditions and constructions of barriers result in different performance characteristics. Some of these characteristics follow certain trends, whereas others show a wide range without any trend. In such a case, this contribution helps to classify a single system compared to the others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards)
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Open AccessEditorial Geotourism
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010048
Received: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Geotourism is one of the newest concepts within the field of tourism, and primarily focuses on promoting geological and geomorphological features in landscapes as tourist attractions. This new niche market segment within tourism is based on the conservation of geoheritage and geodiversity through [...] Read more.
Geotourism is one of the newest concepts within the field of tourism, and primarily focuses on promoting geological and geomorphological features in landscapes as tourist attractions. This new niche market segment within tourism is based on the conservation of geoheritage and geodiversity through appropriate sustainability measures and management. Geotourism is, however, a broad concept which encompasses many aspects of a range of tourism activities, such as transport, accommodation, destination amenities, recreation, planning, and management. A testament to the rapid growth of geotourism worldwide is the expansion of membership of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network, from 20 geoparks when it was founded in 2004 to 140 in 2018. Concurrent with the growth of geotourism, there has been an explosion in the number of scientific publications on issues related to the subject over the past few years. To date, the major focus of these publications has been on geotourism as an economic driver with respect to rural development. This special issue of Geotourism presents a collection of 11 scientific contributions that underpin the intimate connection between geotourism and its geological resources, while at the same time highlighting the broad scope of geotourism. These contributions increase our understanding of how geotourism has evolved over time, as well as its setting out what challenges it faces in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geotourism)
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Open AccessArticle Intrusion of Saline Water into a Coastal Aquifer Containing Palaeogroundwater in the Viimsi Peninsula in Estonia
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010047
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
The Viimsi peninsula is located north-east of Tallinn, capital of Estonia. The Cambrian-Vendian (Cm-V) aquifer system is a sole source of drinking water in the area. Historically, the groundwater exploitation has led to freshening of groundwater in the peninsula, but in recent years [...] Read more.
The Viimsi peninsula is located north-east of Tallinn, capital of Estonia. The Cambrian-Vendian (Cm-V) aquifer system is a sole source of drinking water in the area. Historically, the groundwater exploitation has led to freshening of groundwater in the peninsula, but in recent years an increase in chloride concentrations and enrichment in δ18O values has been detected, but in recent years hydrochemical parameters indicate an increasing influence of a saline water source. The exact origin of this saline water has remained unclear. The aim of the current study is to elucidate whether the increase in Cl concentrations is related to seawater intrusion or to the infiltration of saline water from the underlying crystalline basement. To identify the source of salinity, chemical composition of the groundwater and the isotope tracers (e.g., δ18O and radium isotopes) were studied in the Viimsi peninsula in the period from 1987 to 2018. Our results show that chemical composition of Cm-V groundwater in the peninsula is clearly controlled by three-component mixing between glacial palaeogroundwater, saline water from the underling crystalline basement and modern meteoric water. The concentrations of Ra are also significantly affected by the mixing, but the spatial variation of radium isotopes (226Ra and 228Ra) suggests the widespread occurrence of the U in the surrounding sedimentary sequence. Our hypothesis is that, in addition to U originating from the crystalline basement, some U could be associated with secondary U deposits in sedimentary rocks. The formation of these secondary U deposits could be related to glacial meltwater intrusion in the Pleistocene. Although the results suggest that the infiltration of saline groundwater from the underlying crystalline basement as the main source of salinity in the study area, the risk of seawater intrusion in the future cannot be ruled out. It needs to be highlighted that the present groundwater monitoring networks may not be precise enough to detect the potential seawater intrusion and subsequent changes in water quality of the Cm-V aquifer system in the Viimsi peninsula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isotope Geochemistry of Meteoric Waters)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling the Natural Drainage Network of the Grand River in Southern Ontario: Agriculture May Increase Total Channel Length of Low-Order Streams
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010046
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
The Grand River watershed is an important agricultural area in southern Ontario, with several large and growing municipalities. Based on digital elevation models (DEMs), the natural drainage network was modelled to predict flow paths. Channel lengths and locations of the predicted network were [...] Read more.
The Grand River watershed is an important agricultural area in southern Ontario, with several large and growing municipalities. Based on digital elevation models (DEMs), the natural drainage network was modelled to predict flow paths. Channel lengths and locations of the predicted network were compared with a ground-truthed channel network to determine efficacy of the models. Approximately 5% of predicted channels lay >40 m from actual channel locations. This amounted to 388 km of channel that had no corresponding channels in reality. The model was unable to predict, based on topography, 2535 km of actual channel present in the watershed. Channels not anticipated by topography were mostly first-order, with low sinuosity, were most common in areas with high agricultural land use, and are likely excavated extensions to headwater streams to facilitate drainage. In addition, this study showed that Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) models produced using different DEM resolutions did not predict significantly different stream flows, even when resolution was as low as 200 m. However, these low resolution DEMs did result in under-prediction of sediment export entering Lake Erie, most likely because the low resolution maps failed to account for small localized areas of high slope that would have relatively higher rates of erosion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Constrained Full Waveform Inversion for Borehole Multicomponent Seismic Data
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010045
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 25 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Full-waveform inversion for borehole seismic data is an ill-posed problem and constraining the problem is crucial. Constraints can be imposed on the data and model space through covariance matrices. Usually, they are set to a diagonal matrix. For the data space, signal polarization [...] Read more.
Full-waveform inversion for borehole seismic data is an ill-posed problem and constraining the problem is crucial. Constraints can be imposed on the data and model space through covariance matrices. Usually, they are set to a diagonal matrix. For the data space, signal polarization information can be used to evaluate the data uncertainties. The inversion forces the synthetic data to fit the polarization of observed data. A synthetic inversion for a 2D-2C data estimating a 1D elastic model shows a clear improvement, especially at the level of the receivers. For the model space, horizontal and vertical spatial correlations using a Laplace distribution can be used to fill the model space covariance matrix. This approach reduces the degree of freedom of the inverse problem, which can be quantitatively evaluated. Strong horizontal spatial correlation distances favor a tabular geological model whenever it does not contradict the data. The relaxation of the spatial correlation distances from large to small during the iterative inversion process allows the recovery of geological objects of the same size, which regularizes the inverse problem. Synthetic constrained and unconstrained inversions for 2D-2C crosswell data show the clear improvement of the inversion results when constraints are used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Methods of Geophysical Fields Inversion)
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Open AccessArticle Advances in Snow Hydrology Using a Combined Approach of GNSS In Situ Stations, Hydrological Modelling and Earth Observation—A Case Study in Canada
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010044
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
The availability of in situ snow water equivalent (SWE), snowmelt and run-off measurements is still very limited especially in remote areas as the density of operational stations and field observations is often scarce and usually costly, labour-intense and/or risky. With remote sensing products, [...] Read more.
The availability of in situ snow water equivalent (SWE), snowmelt and run-off measurements is still very limited especially in remote areas as the density of operational stations and field observations is often scarce and usually costly, labour-intense and/or risky. With remote sensing products, spatially distributed information on snow is potentially available, but often lacks the required spatial or temporal requirements for hydrological applications. For the assurance of a high spatial and temporal resolution, however, it is often necessary to combine several methods like Earth Observation (EO), modelling and in situ approaches. Such a combination was targeted within the business applications demonstration project SnowSense (2015–2018), co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), where we designed, developed and demonstrated an operational snow hydrological service. During the run-time of the project, the entire service was demonstrated for the island of Newfoundland, Canada. The SnowSense service, developed during the demonstration project, is based on three pillars, including (i) newly developed in situ snow monitoring stations based on signals of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS); (ii) EO snow cover products on the snow cover extent and on information whether the snow is dry or wet; and (iii) an integrated physically based hydrological model. The key element of the service is the novel GNSS based in situ sensor, using two static low-cost antennas with one being mounted on the ground and the other one above the snow cover. This sensor setup enables retrieving the snow parameters SWE and liquid water content (LWC) in the snowpack in parallel, using GNSS carrier phase measurements and signal strength information. With the combined approach of the SnowSense service, it is possible to provide spatially distributed SWE to assess run-off and to provide relevant information for hydropower plant management in a high spatial and temporal resolution. This is particularly needed for so far non, or only sparsely equipped catchments in remote areas. We present the results and validation of (i) the GNSS in situ sensor setup for SWE and LWC measurements at the well-equipped study site Forêt Montmorency near Quebec, Canada and (ii) the entire combined in situ, EO and modelling SnowSense service resulting in assimilated SWE maps and run-off information for two different large catchments in Newfoundland, Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Snow and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Morphological Variability of Submarine Mass Movements in the Tectonically–Controlled Calabro–Tyrrhenian Continental Margin (Southern Italy)
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010043
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
The analysis of high resolution morpho–bathymetric data on the Calabro Tyrrhenian continental margin (Southern Italy) enabled us to identify several morphological features originated by mass–wasting processes, including shallow gullies, shelf–indenting canyons and landslides. Specifically, we focus our attention on submarine landslides occurring from [...] Read more.
The analysis of high resolution morpho–bathymetric data on the Calabro Tyrrhenian continental margin (Southern Italy) enabled us to identify several morphological features originated by mass–wasting processes, including shallow gullies, shelf–indenting canyons and landslides. Specifically, we focus our attention on submarine landslides occurring from the coast down to −1700 m and affecting variable areas from thousands of square meters up to few tens of square kilometers. These landslides also show a large variability of geomorphic features which seems strictly related to the physiographic/morphological domains where the landslide formed. Tectonically–controlled scarps and canyon flanks are typically characterized by several coalescent and nested landslides, with diameters ranging from hundreds to a few thousands of meters. Canyon headwalls are commonly characterized by a cauliflower shape due to an array of small (diameters of tens of meters) and coalescent scars. In all these sectors, disintegrative–like landslides dominate and are generally characterized by a marked retrogressive evolution, as demonstrated by their morphology and comparison of repeated bathymetric surveys at the canyon headwall. Only in the lower part of tectonically–controlled scarps, a few cohesive–like and isolated landslides are present, indicating the main role of slope gradients and height drop in controlling the post–failure behavior of the mobilized material. Open slopes are generally characterized by large–scale (diameters of thousands of meters) and isolated scars, with associated landslide deposits. A peculiar case is represented by the Capo Vaticano Scar Complex that affected an area of about 18 km2 and is characterized by an impressive variability of landslide morphologies, varying also at short distance. The large extent and variability of such scar complex are thought to be associated with the occurrence of a mixed contouritic–turbidite system. By integrating the high–resolution morpho–bathymetric dataset with the results of previous studies, we discuss the main factors controlling the variability in size and morphology of submarine landslides developed in a tectonically–controlled setting and provide preliminary considerations on their potential geohazard in a densely populated coastal area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Submarine Landslides – Assessing the Stability of Submerged Slopes)
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Open AccessArticle Petrological and Mineralogical Aspects of Epithermal Low-Sulfidation Au- and Porphyry Cu-Style Mineralization, Navilawa Caldera, Fiji
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010042
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
The Navilawa caldera is the remnant of a shoshonitic volcano on Viti Levu, Fiji, and sits adjacent to the low-sulfidation Tuvatu epithermal Au–Te deposit. The caldera occurs along the Viti Levu lineament, approximately 50 km SW of the Tavua caldera, which hosts the [...] Read more.
The Navilawa caldera is the remnant of a shoshonitic volcano on Viti Levu, Fiji, and sits adjacent to the low-sulfidation Tuvatu epithermal Au–Te deposit. The caldera occurs along the Viti Levu lineament, approximately 50 km SW of the Tavua caldera, which hosts the giant low-sulfidation Emperor epithermal Au–Te deposit. Both calderas host alkaline rocks of nearly identical age (~5.4–4.6 Ma) and mineralization that occurred in multiple stages. The gold mineralization in these locations is spatially and genetically related to monzonite intrusions and low-grade porphyry Cu-style mineralization. Potassic, propylitic, phyllic, and argillic alteration extends from the Tuvatu Au–Te deposit towards the central, northern, and eastern parts of the Navilawa caldera where it is spatially associated with low-grade porphyry Cu–Au mineralization at the Kingston prospect and various epithermal Au–(Te) vein systems, including the Banana Creek and Tuvatu North prospects. Chalcopyrite, and minor bornite, occurs in quartz–calcite–(adularia) veins in the Kingston deposit associated with weak propylitic and phyllic alteration, whereas NE-trending epithermal gold veins at the Banana Creek and Tuvatu North prospects are associated with weak potassic alteration that is overprinted by propylitic and phyllic alteration. Gold is accompanied by chalcopyrite, galena, and sphalerite in quartz–pyrite veins that also have a Ag–As–Hg–Te signature. The temperature range for phyllosilicates in the phyllic alteration (chlorite ± smectite ± corrensite ± illite) is in good agreement with temperatures recorded from previous fluid inclusion studies of quartz at the Banana Creek Au prospect (~260 °C) and the nearby Tuvatu Au–Te deposit (205 to 382 °C). Sulfur isotope compositions of pyrite (−6.2 to +0.4‰) from the Banana Creek prospect indicate a likely magmatic source of sulfur. Oxidation of the ore fluids or a direct addition of volatiles to the hydrothermal fluids may account for the lighter isotopic values. The similarities of the igneous rock types and compositions, transition from porphyry- to epithermal-style mineralization, alteration assemblages, paragenetic relationships, and stable isotope data suggest a common origin for the porphyry- and epithermal-style mineralization within the Navilawa and between the Navilawa and Tavua calderas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magmatic-Hydrothermal Ore Deposits)
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Open AccessArticle Aeolian Material Migration in Transbaikalia (Asian Russia)
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010041
Received: 25 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
We revealed regional features of functioning of a large Transbaikalian aeolian morphodynamic system. Natural pre-conditions, current realities and factors of development of aeolian processes are investigated. The paper considers regularities of spatial distribution of deflation, transit, and aeolian accumulation zones. Main directions of [...] Read more.
We revealed regional features of functioning of a large Transbaikalian aeolian morphodynamic system. Natural pre-conditions, current realities and factors of development of aeolian processes are investigated. The paper considers regularities of spatial distribution of deflation, transit, and aeolian accumulation zones. Main directions of aeolian migration of matter are determined. Pulsating nature of aeolian processes development in Holocene has been established. Identified are intrasecular cycles and Holocene dynamics of aeolian processes. We identified intrasecular (11, 27–35 years old), secular (80 year old) and Holocene (500, 2000 year old) cycles of aeolian process dynamics. The paper shows the influence of anthropogenic activity on the activation of aeolian migration of material for the historical period. It presents an overview of extreme aeolian events. Regionalization of Transbaikalia was carried out according to the degree of probable desertification of the territory due to development of aeolian processes. Areas of catastrophic manifestation of processes are highlighted. The results of long-term experimental observations of deflation and aeolian accumulation are presented. Particular attention is paid to the characteristics of the aeolian corridors. The important role of aeolian processes in the intensive material transport from Transbaikalia to the south and southeast to neighboring regions of Mongolia and China is shown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aeolian Processes and Geomorphology)
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Open AccessArticle The Taphonomy of Proterozoic Microbial Mats and Implications for Early Diagenetic Silicification
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010040
Received: 1 December 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
The complex nature of growth and decomposition in microbial mats results in a broad range of microbial preservation. Such taphonomic variability complicates both the description of microbial elements preserved within geologic materials and the potential interpretation of microbial biomarkers. This study uses a [...] Read more.
The complex nature of growth and decomposition in microbial mats results in a broad range of microbial preservation. Such taphonomic variability complicates both the description of microbial elements preserved within geologic materials and the potential interpretation of microbial biomarkers. This study uses a taphonomic assessment to explore the preservation of different microbial components within silicified microbial mats of the late Mesoproterozoic (~1.0 Ga) Angmaat Formation, Bylot Supergroup, Baffin Island. The Angmaat Formation consists of unmetamorphosed and essentially undeformed strata that represent intertidal to supratidal deposition within an evaporative microbial flat. Early diagenetic silicification preserved microbial communities across a range of environments, from those episodically exposed to persistently submerged. Here, we present the development of a new methodology involving the use of high-resolution image mosaics to investigate the taphonomy of microfossils preserved in these mats. A taphonomic grade is assigned using a modified classification that accounts for both the taphonomic preservation state (good, fair, poor) of individual microfossils, as well as the degree of compaction of the overall mat. We show that although various taphonomic states occur within each of the silicified mats, the overall taphonomic assessment differentiates between well-preserved mats that are interpreted to have been silicified during active growth, to highly degraded and compacted mats that are interpreted to represent preservation during later stages of biological decomposition. These data indicate that even small changes in the timing of silicification may have substantial implications on our identification of microbial biomarkers and, therefore, our interpretation of early Earth ecosystems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dynamics of Socioeconomic Exposure, Vulnerability and Impacts of Recent Droughts in Argentina
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010039
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
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Abstract
During the last 20 years, Argentina experienced several extreme and widespread droughts in many different regions, including the core cropland areas. The most devastating recent events were recorded in the years 2006, 2009 and 2011. Reported impacts of the main events induced losses [...] Read more.
During the last 20 years, Argentina experienced several extreme and widespread droughts in many different regions, including the core cropland areas. The most devastating recent events were recorded in the years 2006, 2009 and 2011. Reported impacts of the main events induced losses of more than 4 billion U.S. dollars and more than 1 million persons were reported to be directly or indirectly affected. In this paper, we analyse the drought risk in Argentina, taking into account recent information on drought hazard, exposure and vulnerability. Accordingly, we identified the most severe droughts in Argentina during the 2000–2015 period using a combination of drought hazard indicators and exposure layers. Three main events were identified: (1) during spring 2006 droughts peaked in the northeast of Argentina, (2) in 2009 precipitation deficits indicated a drought epicenter in the central Argentinian plains, and (3) in 2011 the northern Patagonia region experienced a combination of natural disasters due to severe drought conditions and a devastating volcanic eruption. Furthermore, we analysed the dynamics of drought exposure for the population and the main economic sectors affected by municipality, i.e., agriculture and livestock production. Assets exposed to droughts have been identified with several records of drought impacts and declarations of farming emergencies. We show that by combining exposure and vulnerability with drought intensity it is feasible to detect the likelihood of regional impacts in different sectors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle On Contraction of Three-Dimensional Multiple Shear Mechanism Model for Evaluation of Large Scale Liquefaction Using High Performance Computing
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010038
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
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Abstract
For more reliable evaluation of liquefaction, an analysis model of higher fidelity should be used even though it requires more numerical computation. We developed a parallel finite element method (FEM), implemented with the non-linear multiple shear mechanism model. A bottleneck experienced when implementing [...] Read more.
For more reliable evaluation of liquefaction, an analysis model of higher fidelity should be used even though it requires more numerical computation. We developed a parallel finite element method (FEM), implemented with the non-linear multiple shear mechanism model. A bottleneck experienced when implementing the model is the use of vast amounts of CPU memory for material state parameters. We succeeded in drastically reducing the computation requirements of the model by suitably approximating the formulation of the model. An analysis model of high fidelity was constructed for a soil-structure system, and the model was analyzed by using the developed parallel FEM on a parallel computer. The amount of required CPU memory was reduced. The computation time was reduced as well, and the practical applicability of the developed parallel FEM is demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Computational Geomechanics)
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Open AccessCommunication Insights into the Oroville Dam 2017 Spillway Incident
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010037
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
In February 2017, a failure occurring in Oroville Dam’s main spillway risked causing severe damages downstream. A unique aspect of this incident was the fact that it happened during a flood scenario well within its design and operational procedures, prompting research into its [...] Read more.
In February 2017, a failure occurring in Oroville Dam’s main spillway risked causing severe damages downstream. A unique aspect of this incident was the fact that it happened during a flood scenario well within its design and operational procedures, prompting research into its causes and determining methods to prevent similar events from reoccurring. In this study, a hydroclimatic analysis of Oroville Dam’s catchment is conducted, along with a review of related design and operational manuals. The data available allows for the comparison of older flood-frequency analyses to new alternative methods proposed in this paper and relevant literature. Based on summary characteristics of the 2017 floods, possible causes of the incident are outlined, in order to understand which factors contributed more significantly. It turns out that the event was most likely the result of a structural problem in the dam’s main spillway and detrimental geological conditions, but analysis of surface level data also reveals operational issues that were not present during previous larger floods, promoting a discussion about flood control design methods, specifications, and dam inspection procedures, and how these can be improved to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Kriging with a Small Number of Data Points Supported by Jack-Knifing, a Case Study in the Sava Depression (Northern Croatia)
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010036
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
The semivariogram and the ordinary kriging analyses of porosity data from the Sava Depression (Northern Croatia), are presented relative to the Croatian part of the Pannonian Basin system. The data are taken from hydrocarbon reservoirs of the Lower Pontian (Upper Miocene) age, which [...] Read more.
The semivariogram and the ordinary kriging analyses of porosity data from the Sava Depression (Northern Croatia), are presented relative to the Croatian part of the Pannonian Basin system. The data are taken from hydrocarbon reservoirs of the Lower Pontian (Upper Miocene) age, which belong to the Kloštar Ivanić Formation. The original datasets had been jack-knifed with the purpose of re-sampling and calculating the more reliable semivariograms. The results showed that such improvements can assist in the interpolation of more reliable maps. Both sets, made by the original and re-sampled data, need to be compared using geological recognition of isoline’s shapes (such as “bull-eye” or “butterfly” effects) as well as cross-validation results. This comparison made it possible to select the most appropriate porosity interpolation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistical Applications in Petroleum Geology)
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Open AccessArticle Mineralogy of Eocene Fossil Wood from the “Blue Forest” Locality, Southwestern Wyoming, United States
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010035
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
Central Wyoming, USA, was the site of ancient Lake Gosiute during the Early Eocene. Lake Gosiute was a large body of water surrounded by subtropical forest, the lake being part of a lacustrine complex that occupied the Green River Basin. Lake level rises [...] Read more.
Central Wyoming, USA, was the site of ancient Lake Gosiute during the Early Eocene. Lake Gosiute was a large body of water surrounded by subtropical forest, the lake being part of a lacustrine complex that occupied the Green River Basin. Lake level rises episodically drowned the adjacent forests, causing standing trees and fallen branches to become growth sites for algae and cyanobacteria, which encased submerged wood with thick calcareous stromatolitic coatings. The subsequent regression resulted in a desiccation of the wood, causing volume reduction, radial fractures, and localized decay. The subsequent burial of the wood in silty sediment led to a silicification of the cellular tissue. Later, chalcedony was deposited in larger spaces, as well as in the interstitial areas of the calcareous coatings. The final stage of mineralization was the precipitation of crystalline calcite in spaces that had previously remained unmineralized. The result of this multi-stage mineralization is fossil wood with striking beauty and a complex geologic origin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Insights into the Short-Term Tidal Variability of Multibeam Backscatter from Field Experiments on Different Seafloor Types
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010034
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
Three experiments were conducted in the Belgian part of the North Sea to investigate short-term variation in seafloor backscatter strength (BS) obtained with multibeam echosounders (MBES). Measurements were acquired on predominantly gravelly (offshore) and sandy and muddy (nearshore) areas. Kongsberg EM3002 and EM2040 [...] Read more.
Three experiments were conducted in the Belgian part of the North Sea to investigate short-term variation in seafloor backscatter strength (BS) obtained with multibeam echosounders (MBES). Measurements were acquired on predominantly gravelly (offshore) and sandy and muddy (nearshore) areas. Kongsberg EM3002 and EM2040 dual MBES were used to carry out repeated 300-kHz backscatter measurements over tidal cycles (~13 h). Measurements were analysed in complement to an array of ground-truth variables on sediment and current nature and dynamics. Seafloor and water-column sampling was used, as well as benthic landers equipped with different oceanographic sensors. Both angular response (AR) and mosaicked BS were derived. Results point at the high stability of the seafloor BS in the gravelly area (<0.5 dB variability at 45° incidence) and significant variability in the sandy and muddy areas with envelopes of variability >2 dB and 4 dB at 45° respectively. The high-frequency backscatter sensitivity and short-term variability are interpreted and discussed in the light of the available ground-truth data for the three experiments. The envelopes of variability differed considerably between areas and were driven either by external sources (not related to the seafloor sediment), or by intrinsic seafloor properties (typically for dynamic nearshore areas) or by a combination of both. More specifically, within the gravelly areas with a clear water mass, seafloor BS measurements where unambiguous and related directly to the water-sediment interface. Within the sandy nearshore area, the BS was shown to be strongly affected by roughness polarization processes, particularly due to along- and cross-shore current dynamics, which were responsible for the geometric reorganization of the morpho-sedimentary features. In the muddy nearshore area, the BS fluctuation was jointly driven by high-concentrated mud suspension dynamics, together with surficial substrate changes, as well as by water turbidity, increasing the transmission losses. Altogether, this shows that end-users and surveyors need to consider the complexity of the environment since its dynamics may have severe repercussions on the interpretation of BS maps and change-detection applications. Furthermore, the experimental observations revealed the sensitivity of high-frequency BS values to an array of specific configurations of the natural water-sediment interface which are of interest for monitoring applications elsewhere. This encourages the routine acquisition of different and concurrent environmental data together with MBES survey data. In view of promising advances in MBES absolute calibration allowing more straightforward data comparison, further investigations of the drivers of BS variability and sensitivity are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Seafloor Mapping)
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Open AccessArticle Structural Control of a Dissolution Network in a Limestone Reservoir Forced by Radial Injection of CO2 Saturated Solution: Experimental Results Coupled with X-ray Computed Tomography
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010033
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
This study was conducted in the framework of the PILOT CO2-DISSOLVED project, which provides an additional approach for CO2 sequestration, with the aims of capturing, injecting, and locally storing the CO2 after being dissolved in brine. The brine acidity [...] Read more.
This study was conducted in the framework of the PILOT CO2-DISSOLVED project, which provides an additional approach for CO2 sequestration, with the aims of capturing, injecting, and locally storing the CO2 after being dissolved in brine. The brine acidity is expected to induce chemical reactions with the mineral phase of the host reservoir. A set of continuous radial CO2 flow experiments was performed on cylindrical carbonate rock samples under geological storage conditions. The objective was to interpret the dissolution network morphology and orientation involved. To explore the three-dimensional architecture of dissolution arrays and their connection integrity within core samples, we used computed tomography. A structural investigation at different scales revealed the impact of the rock heterogeneity on the dissolution pathways. The initial strike of the observed mesoscopic wormholes appears to be parallel to dilatational fractures, with a subsequent change in major trends of dissolution along master shears or, more specifically, a combination of synthetic shears and secondary synthetic shears. Antithetic shears organize themselves as slickolitic surfaces, which may be fluid-flow barriers due to different mineralogy, thus affecting the permeability distribution-wormhole growth geometry induced by CO2-rich solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Storage of Gases as a Tool for Energy Transition)
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Geosciences in 2018
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010032
Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part of the publication process, which ensures that Geosciences maintains high quality standards for its published papers [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Plutonium Migration during the Leaching of Cemented Radioactive Waste Sludges
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010031
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
One of the most challenging components of the UK nuclear legacy is Magnox sludge, arising from the corrosion of Mg alloy-clad irradiated metallic U fuel that has been stored in high pH ponds. The sludges mainly comprise Mg hydroxide and carbonate phases, contaminated [...] Read more.
One of the most challenging components of the UK nuclear legacy is Magnox sludge, arising from the corrosion of Mg alloy-clad irradiated metallic U fuel that has been stored in high pH ponds. The sludges mainly comprise Mg hydroxide and carbonate phases, contaminated with fission products and actinides, including Pu. Cementation and deep geological disposal is one option for the long-term management of this material, but there is a need to understand how Pu may be leached from the waste, if it is exposed to groundwater. Here, we show that cemented Mg(OH)2 powder prepared with Pu(IV)aq is altered on contact with water to produce a visibly altered ‘leached zone’, which penetrates several hundred microns into the sample. In turn, this zone shows slow leaching of Pu, with long-term leaching rates between 1.8–4.4 × 10−5% of total Pu per day. Synchrotron micro-focus X-ray fluorescence mapping identified decreased Pu concentration within the ‘leached zone’. A comparison of micro-focus X-ray absorption spectroscopy (µ-XAS) spectra collected across both leached and unleached samples showed little variation, and indicated that Pu was present in a similar oxidation state and coordination environment. Fitting of the XANES spectra between single oxidation state standards and EXAFS modeling showed that Pu was present as a mixture of Pu(IV) and Pu(V). The change in Pu oxidation from the stock solution suggests that partial Pu oxidation occurred during sample ageing. Similarity in the XAS spectra from all samples, with different local chemistries, indicated that the Pu oxidation state was not perturbed by macro-scale variations in cement chemistry, surface oxidation, sample aging, or the leaching treatment. These experiments have demonstrated the potential for leaching of Pu from cementitious waste forms, and its underlying significance requires further investigation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Use of Geogrids and Recycled Rubber in Railroad Infrastructure for Enhanced Performance
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010030
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Railway tracks are conventionally built on compacted ballast and structural fill layers placed above the natural (subgrade) foundation. However, during train operations, track deteriorations occur progressively due to ballast degradation. The associated track deformation is usually accompanied by a reduction in both load [...] Read more.
Railway tracks are conventionally built on compacted ballast and structural fill layers placed above the natural (subgrade) foundation. However, during train operations, track deteriorations occur progressively due to ballast degradation. The associated track deformation is usually accompanied by a reduction in both load bearing capacity and drainage, apart from imposing frequent track maintenance. Suitable ground improvement techniques involving plastic inclusions (e.g., geogrids) and energy absorbing materials (e.g., rubber products) to enhance the stability and longevity of tracks have become increasingly popular. This paper presents the outcomes from innovative research and development measures into the use of plastic and rubber elements in rail tracks undertaken at the University of Wollongong, Australia, over the past twenty years. The results obtained from laboratory tests, mathematical modelling and numerical modelling reveal that track performance can be improved significantly by using geogrid and energy absorbing rubber products (e.g., rubber crumbs, waste tire-cell and rubber mats). Test results show that the addition of rubber materials can efficiently improve the energy absorption of the structural layer and also reduce ballast breakage. Furthermore, by incorporating the work input parameters, the energy absorbing property of the newly developed synthetic capping layer is captured by correct modelling of dilatancy. In addition, the laboratory behavior of tire cells and geogrids has been validated by numerical modelling (i.e., Finite Element Modelling-FEM, Discrete Element—DEM), and a coupled DEM-FEM modelling approach is also introduced to simulate ballast deformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Computational Geomechanics)
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Open AccessArticle Hybrid Fixed-Point Fixed-Stress Splitting Method for Linear Poroelasticity
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010029
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Efficient and accurate poroelasticity models are critical in modeling geophysical problems such as oil exploration, gas-hydrate detection, and hydrogeology. We propose an efficient operator splitting method for Biot’s model of linear poroelasticity based on fixed-point iteration and constrained stress. In this method, we [...] Read more.
Efficient and accurate poroelasticity models are critical in modeling geophysical problems such as oil exploration, gas-hydrate detection, and hydrogeology. We propose an efficient operator splitting method for Biot’s model of linear poroelasticity based on fixed-point iteration and constrained stress. In this method, we eliminate the constraint on time step via combining our fixed-point approach with a physics-based restraint between iterations. Three different cases are considered to demonstrate the stability and consistency of the method for constant and variable parameters. The results are validated against the results from the fully coupled approach. In case I, a single iteration is used for continuous coefficients. The relative error decreases with an increase in time. In case II, material coefficients are assumed to be linear. In the single iteration approach, the relative error grows significantly to 40% before rapidly decaying to zero. This is an artifact of the approximate solutions approaching the asymptotic solution. The error in the multiple iterations oscillates within 10 6 before decaying to the asymptotic solution. Nine iterations per time step are enough to achieve the relative error close to 10 7 . In the last case, the hybrid method with multiple iterations requires approximately 16 iterations to make the relative error 5 × 10 6 . Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Computational Geomechanics)
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Open AccessArticle Gas Hydrate Estimate in an Area of Deformation and High Heat Flow at the Chile Triple Junction
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010028
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 8 December 2018 / Accepted: 31 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Large amounts of gas hydrate are present in marine sediments offshore Taitao Peninsula, near the Chile Triple Junction. Here, marine sediments on the forearc contain carbon that is converted to methane in a regime of very high heat flow and intense rock deformation [...] Read more.
Large amounts of gas hydrate are present in marine sediments offshore Taitao Peninsula, near the Chile Triple Junction. Here, marine sediments on the forearc contain carbon that is converted to methane in a regime of very high heat flow and intense rock deformation above the downgoing oceanic spreading ridge separating the Nazca and Antarctic plates. This regime enables vigorous fluid migration. Here, we present an analysis of the spatial distribution, concentration, estimate of gas-phases (gas hydrate and free gas) and geothermal gradients in the accretionary prism, and forearc sediments offshore Taitao (45.5°–47° S). Velocity analysis of Seismic Profile RC2901-751 indicates gas hydrate concentration values <10% of the total rock volume and extremely high geothermal gradients (<190 °C·km−1). Gas hydrates are located in shallow sediments (90–280 m below the seafloor). The large amount of hydrate and free gas estimated (7.21 × 1011 m3 and 4.1 × 1010 m3; respectively), the high seismicity, the mechanically unstable nature of the sediments, and the anomalous conditions of the geothermal gradient set the stage for potentially massive releases of methane to the ocean, mainly through hydrate dissociation and/or migration directly to the seabed through faults. We conclude that the Chile Triple Junction is an important methane seepage area and should be the focus of novel geological, oceanographic, and ecological research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Hydrate: Environmental and Climate Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle Neptunium Reactivity During Co-Precipitation and Oxidation of Fe(II)/Fe(III) (Oxyhydr)oxides
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010027
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Fe(II) bearing iron (oxyhydr)oxides were directly co-precipitated with Np(V)O2+ under anaerobic conditions to form Np doped magnetite and green rust. These environmentally relevant mineral phases were then characterised using geochemical and spectroscopic analyses. The Np doped mineral phases were then oxidised [...] Read more.
Fe(II) bearing iron (oxyhydr)oxides were directly co-precipitated with Np(V)O2+ under anaerobic conditions to form Np doped magnetite and green rust. These environmentally relevant mineral phases were then characterised using geochemical and spectroscopic analyses. The Np doped mineral phases were then oxidised in air over 224 days with solution chemistry and end-point oxidation solid samples collected for further characterisation. Analysis using chemical extractions and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) techniques confirmed that Np(V) was initially reduced to Np(IV) during co-precipitation of both magnetite and green rust. Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) modelling suggested the Np(IV) formed a bidentate binuclear sorption complex to both minerals. Furthermore, following oxidation in air over several months, the sorbed Np(IV) was partially oxidised to Np(V), but very little remobilisation to solution occurred during oxidation. Here, linear combination fitting of the X-Ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) for the end-point oxidation samples for both mineral phases suggested approximately 50% oxidation to Np(V) had occurred over 7 months of oxidation in air. Both the reduction of Np(V) to Np(IV) and inner sphere sorption in association with iron (oxyhydr)oxides, and the strong retention of Np(IV) and Np(V) species with these phases under robust oxidation conditions, have important implications in understanding the mobility of neptunium in a range of engineered and natural environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Tsunami Recovery Strategies in Small Communities in Japan and Chile
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010026
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 31 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction emphasizes the need to rebuild better after a disaster to ensure that the at-risk communities can withstand a similar or stronger shock in the future. In the present work, the authors analyzed the reconstruction paths through [...] Read more.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction emphasizes the need to rebuild better after a disaster to ensure that the at-risk communities can withstand a similar or stronger shock in the future. In the present work, the authors analyzed the reconstruction paths through a comparative analysis of the perspective of a community in Japan and another in Chile, and their respective local governments. While both countries are at risk to tsunamis, they follow different reconstruction philosophies. Data was gathered through key informant interviews of community members and local government officials, by adapting and modifying the Building Resilience to Adapt to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) 3As framework to a tsunami scenario. The 3As represent anticipatory, adaptive, and absorptive capacities as well as transformative capacities and respondents were asked to rate this according to their perspectives. It was found that while both communities perceive that much is to be done in recovery, Kirikiri has a more holistic and similar perspective of the recovery with their government officials as compared to Dichato. This shows that community reconstruction and recovery from a disaster requires a holistic participation and understanding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue River, Urban, and Coastal Flood Risk)
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