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Geosciences, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This paper uses combined remote sensing and advanced numerical modeling methods to investigate the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
High Resolution Characterization of Lithological Heterogeneity of the Paaratte Formation, Otway Basin (Australia), a Coastal to Shallow-Marine Deposit
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060278
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
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Abstract
Coastal to shallow-marine deposits are inherently highly heterogeneous in sediment composition due to variable depositional conditions. Representation of heterogeneity at sub-seismic scales is required for understanding flow and geochemical processes and poses two challenges: Firstly, the representation of different rock types in geological [...] Read more.
Coastal to shallow-marine deposits are inherently highly heterogeneous in sediment composition due to variable depositional conditions. Representation of heterogeneity at sub-seismic scales is required for understanding flow and geochemical processes and poses two challenges: Firstly, the representation of different rock types in geological models requires high resolution sampling vertically and laterally. Secondly, the heterogeneity in petrophysical, flow and mineralogical properties within each rock type needs to be sufficiently characterized in order to support (multiphase) flow and reactive transport simulations. This study addresses these challenges for the Paaratte Formation, Otway Basin (Australia), at the CO2CRC’s Otway Research Facility to enable detailed simulations of CO2 flow and reactions. Based on the analysis of wireline logs, hyperspectral core logs and discrete samples from wells CRC-2 and CRC-3, five rock types are defined and characterized for two coastal to shallow-marine parasequences comprising four depositional facies. A combination of wireline logs is used to derive rock type logs for the wells CRC-2 and CRC-3 at 10 cm vertical resolution and allows high resolution cross-well correlation providing insights into the lateral extent of deposits. Findings of this study will inform future desktop and field studies at the CO2CRC’s Otway Research Facility requiring information on sub-seismic lithological heterogeneity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemical and associated Changes with Gas-Water-Rock Reactions)
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Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue on Remote Sensing of Snow and Its Applications
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060277
Received: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
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Abstract
Snow cover is an essential climate variable directly affecting the Earth’s energy balance. Snow cover has a number of important physical properties that exert an influence on global and regional energy, water, and carbon cycles. Remote sensing provides a good understanding of snow [...] Read more.
Snow cover is an essential climate variable directly affecting the Earth’s energy balance. Snow cover has a number of important physical properties that exert an influence on global and regional energy, water, and carbon cycles. Remote sensing provides a good understanding of snow cover and enable snow cover information to be assimilated into hydrological, land surface, meteorological, and climate models for predicting snowmelt runoff, snow water resources, and to warn about snow-related natural hazards. The main objectives of this Special Issue, “Remote Sensing of Snow and Its Applications” in Geosciences are to present a wide range of topics such as (1) remote sensing techniques and methods for snow, (2) modeling, retrieval algorithms, and in-situ measurements of snow parameters, (3) multi-source and multi-sensor remote sensing of snow, (4) remote sensing and model integrated approaches of snow, and (5) applications where remotely sensed snow information is used for weather forecasting, flooding, avalanche, water management, traffic, health and sport, agriculture and forestry, climate scenarios, etc. It is very important to understand (a) differences and similarities, (b) representativeness and applicability, (c) accuracy and sources of error in measuring of snow both in-situ and remote sensing and assimilating snow into hydrological, land surface, meteorological, and climate models. This Special Issue contains nine articles and covers some of the topics we listed above. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Snow and Its Applications)
Open AccessArticle
Microstratigraphic Records as Tools for the Detection of Climatic Changes in Tana di Badalucco Cave (Liguria, NW Italy)
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060276
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
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Abstract
Tana di Badalucco cave is located in Imperia (Liguria, Italy), not far from the French border. This site is scarcely known and it has never been studied accurately, even though different archaeological excavations have returned really important elements, both in the archaeological and [...] Read more.
Tana di Badalucco cave is located in Imperia (Liguria, Italy), not far from the French border. This site is scarcely known and it has never been studied accurately, even though different archaeological excavations have returned really important elements, both in the archaeological and the paleoenvironmental aspects. Its stratigraphy ranges from Middle Paleolithic to Metal Ages, thus it has registered important climate and environmental variations specific to the Upper Pleistocene and Holocene. From 2012, the Soprintendenza Archeologia della Liguria, the Museo di Archeologia Ligure, and DiSTAV (University of Genova) have been collaborating in order to finally study this promising and complex stratigraphy, trying to reconstruct the paleoenvironmental context of the region. In this work, we present what we were able to assess thanks to the use of micromorphology, the study of undisturbed thin soil sections. This technique has proven useful in recognizing the alternating of cold and warmer conditions during the Quaternary, as well as in identifying primitive signs of human and animal occupation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoarchaeology: A Review of Case Studies in the Mediterranean Sea)
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Open AccessCommunication
Tectonics-Related Geosites: Towards Accurate Nomenclature
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060275
Received: 9 June 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
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Abstract
Accurate nomenclature of geological heritage sites (geosites) is necessary to facilitate their description and territorial geodiversity evaluation (both important for sustainable development and efficient land-use planning). As suggested by previous geological heritage studies, tectonics-related geosites are termed differently and, chiefly, provisionally (e.g., as [...] Read more.
Accurate nomenclature of geological heritage sites (geosites) is necessary to facilitate their description and territorial geodiversity evaluation (both important for sustainable development and efficient land-use planning). As suggested by previous geological heritage studies, tectonics-related geosites are termed differently and, chiefly, provisionally (e.g., as tectonic geosites or structural geosites). Moreover, the nomenclature should take into account modern advances in the understanding of some basic tectonic phenomena. We propose abandoning the separation of structural, neotectonic, and seismic types of geosites and replacing with a single tectonic type. This can be further subdivided into subtypes, although one should consider the complexities in the links between tectonic and other geological phenomena (e.g., unique seismic features are essentially tectonic, but these can be expressed via geomorphological or sedimentary features—a geosite retains tectonic and geomorphological/sedimentary types in this case). The development of accurate nomenclature of tectonics-related geosites requires debates by experts in geological heritage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Hydraulic and Tracer Tomography for Discrete Fracture Network Inversion
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060274
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract
Fractures serve as highly conductive preferential flow paths for fluids in rocks, which are difficult to exactly reconstruct in numerical models. Especially, in low-conductive rocks, fractures are often the only pathways for advection of solutes and heat. The presented study compares the results [...] Read more.
Fractures serve as highly conductive preferential flow paths for fluids in rocks, which are difficult to exactly reconstruct in numerical models. Especially, in low-conductive rocks, fractures are often the only pathways for advection of solutes and heat. The presented study compares the results from hydraulic and tracer tomography applied to invert a theoretical discrete fracture network (DFN) that is based on data from synthetic cross-well testing. For hydraulic tomography, pressure pulses in various injection intervals are induced and the pressure responses in the monitoring intervals of a nearby observation well are recorded. For tracer tomography, a conservative tracer is injected in different well levels and the depth-dependent breakthrough of the tracer is monitored. A recently introduced transdimensional Bayesian inversion procedure is applied for both tomographical methods, which adjusts the fracture positions, orientations, and numbers based on given geometrical fracture statistics. The used Metropolis-Hastings-Green algorithm is refined by the simultaneous estimation of the measurement error’s variance, that is, the measurement noise. Based on the presented application to invert the two-dimensional cross-section between source and the receiver well, the hydraulic tomography reveals itself to be more suitable for reconstructing the original DFN. This is based on a probabilistic representation of the inverted results by means of fracture probabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subsurface Thermography and the Use of Temperature in Geosciences)
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Open AccessArticle
Classification of Red-Bed Rock Mass Structures and Slope Failure Modes in South China
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060273
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract
Red beds are Meso–Cenozoic continental sedimentary strata that are mainly composed of gravel stone, sandstone, siltstone, mudstone, and shale and occasionally have interlayers of limestone, halite, and gypsum. As a typical rock mass, red beds are widely distributed throughout South China. In a [...] Read more.
Red beds are Meso–Cenozoic continental sedimentary strata that are mainly composed of gravel stone, sandstone, siltstone, mudstone, and shale and occasionally have interlayers of limestone, halite, and gypsum. As a typical rock mass, red beds are widely distributed throughout South China. In a typical tropical and subtropical continental environment, red beds are the product of multiple sedimentary cycles, which have resulted in complicated rock mass structures that play an important role in rock mass stability. It is thus of great significance to investigate the influence of different rock mass structures on the stability of red-bed slopes. In this paper, the geological formation history of red beds in South China is described. The main features of red-bed rock mass slopes in South China are discussed. The main combinations of inner geomechanical structures comprise: (1) mega-thick soft rock structures; (2) mega-thick hard rock structures; (3) thick hard rock structures with weak intercalation; and (4) soft–hard interbedded structures. In addition, the features of slope failure are analyzed, and four common failure modes are identified from the statistical data: (a) weathering spalling and scouring; (b) rock falls; (c) landslides; and (d) tensile dumping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards)
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Open AccessArticle
Geomorphological Evolution of the Sena Gallica Site in the Morpho-Evolutive Quaternary Context of the Northern-Marche Coastal Sector (Italy)
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060272
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract
The Sena Gallica Roman town was settled on the Adriatic coast in the 5th to 4th century BC. The choice of the site was largely influenced by the geomorphological and physiographic conditions near the Misa river mouth. The interactions among climate variation, river [...] Read more.
The Sena Gallica Roman town was settled on the Adriatic coast in the 5th to 4th century BC. The choice of the site was largely influenced by the geomorphological and physiographic conditions near the Misa river mouth. The interactions among climate variation, river dynamics, and marine oscillation determined the anthropic development. At the same time, the new settlement strongly influenced the evolution of this sector in both medieval and in recent times. This work aims to highlight the geological setting and geomorphological evolution of the Senigallia area within the Northern Marche region, taking into account the main scientific literature and new studies to propose a new interpretation of the Holocene history. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoarchaeology: A Review of Case Studies in the Mediterranean Sea)
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Open AccessArticle
Earthquake Environmental Effects of the 1992 MS7.3 Suusamyr Earthquake, Kyrgyzstan, and Their Implications for Paleo-Earthquake Studies
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060271
Received: 20 May 2019 / Revised: 15 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract
Large pre-historical earthquakes leave traces in the geological and geomorphological record, such as primary and secondary surface ruptures and mass movements, which are the only means to estimate their magnitudes. These environmental earthquake effects (EEEs) can be calibrated using recent seismic events and [...] Read more.
Large pre-historical earthquakes leave traces in the geological and geomorphological record, such as primary and secondary surface ruptures and mass movements, which are the only means to estimate their magnitudes. These environmental earthquake effects (EEEs) can be calibrated using recent seismic events and the Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale (ESI2007). We apply the ESI2007 scale to the 1992 MS7.3 Suusamyr Earthquake in the Kyrgyz Tien Shan, because similar studies are sparse in that area and geological setting, and because this earthquake was very peculiar in its primary surface rupture pattern. We analyze literature data on primary and secondary earthquake effects and add our own observations from fieldwork. We show that the ESI2007 distribution differs somewhat from traditional intensity assessments (MSK (Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik) and MM (Modified Mercalli)), because of the sparse population in the epicentral area and the spatial distribution of primary and secondary EEEs. However, the ESI2007 scale captures a similar overall pattern of the intensity distribution. We then explore how uncertainties in the identification of primary surface ruptures influence the results of the ESI2007 assignment. Our results highlight the applicability of the ESI2007 scale, even in earthquakes with complex and unusual primary surface rupture patterns. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Different Pooling Methods to Establish a Multi-Century δ18O Chronology for Paleoclimate Reconstruction
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060270
Received: 19 April 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
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Abstract
To develop multi-century stable isotope chronologies from tree rings, pooling techniques are applied to reduce laboratory costs and time. However, pooling of wood samples from different trees may have adverse effects on the signal amplitude in the final isotope chronology. We tested different [...] Read more.
To develop multi-century stable isotope chronologies from tree rings, pooling techniques are applied to reduce laboratory costs and time. However, pooling of wood samples from different trees may have adverse effects on the signal amplitude in the final isotope chronology. We tested different pooling approaches to identify the method that is most cost-efficient, without compromising the ability of the final chronology to reflect long-term climate variability as well as climatic extreme years. As test material, we used δ18O data from juniper trees (Juniperus polycarpus) from Northern Iran. We compared inter-tree and shifted 5-year blocks serial pooling of stable isotope series from 5 individual trees and addition of one single series to a shifted serial pooled chronology. The inter-tree pooled chronology showed the strongest climate sensitivity and most synchronous δ18O variations with the individual tree ring analyses, while the shifted block chronologies showed a marked decline in high-frequency signals and no correlations with climate variables of the growth year. Combinations of block-pooled and single isotope series compensated the high-frequency decline but added tree-individual climatic signals. Therefore, we recommend pooling calendar synchronous tree rings from individual trees as a viable alternative to individual-tree isotope measurements for robust paleoclimate reconstructions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Climate Change and Geological Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemostratigraphy of the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Smackover Formation for Little Cedar Creek and Brooklyn Fields, Alabama
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060269
Received: 2 June 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
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Abstract
The Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian Age) Smackover Formation is a significant source for hydrocarbon production in southwest Alabama. Brooklyn Field is in southeast Conecuh County, Alabama, and has been a major producer of oil and natural gas for the state. The Smackover is a [...] Read more.
The Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian Age) Smackover Formation is a significant source for hydrocarbon production in southwest Alabama. Brooklyn Field is in southeast Conecuh County, Alabama, and has been a major producer of oil and natural gas for the state. The Smackover is a carbonate formation that has been divided into seven distinct lithofacies in the Brooklyn and Little Cedar Creek fields. In southwest Alabama, the facies distribution in the Smackover Formation was influenced by paleotopography of the underlying Paleozoic rocks of the Appalachian system. The goal of this study is to determine elemental ratios in rock core within the Smackover Formation using an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) handheld scanner and to correlate these elemental characteristics to the lithofacies of the Smackover Formation in the Brooklyn and Little Cedar Creek fields. Eight wells were used for the study within Brooklyn Field and Little Cedar Creek fields. Cores from the eight wells were scanned at six-inch intervals. Chemical logs were produced to show elemental weights in relation to depth and lithofacies. The chemical signatures within producing zones were correlated to reservoir lithofacies and porosity. Aluminum, silicon, calcium, titanium, and iron were the most significant (>95% confidence level) predictors of porosity and may be related to the depositional environment and subsequent diageneses of the producing facies. The XRF data suggests relative enrichments in iron, titanium, and potassium. These elements may be related to deposition in relatively restricted marine waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Landslide Susceptibility Assessment at the Basin Scale for Rainfall- and Earthquake-Triggered Shallow Slides
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060268
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
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Abstract
The hydrographic basin of Ribeira Grande (S. Miguel Island, Azores) has a set of characteristics that enhance the occurrence of shallow slides that have been triggered by rainfall and earthquakes. Two landslide inventories were built according to the landslide triggers: Landslide Inventory 2 [...] Read more.
The hydrographic basin of Ribeira Grande (S. Miguel Island, Azores) has a set of characteristics that enhance the occurrence of shallow slides that have been triggered by rainfall and earthquakes. Two landslide inventories were built according to the landslide triggers: Landslide Inventory 2 (LI 2), which includes 174 earthquake-triggered shallow slides occurred in 2005; and Landslide Inventory 1 (LI 1), which includes 442 shallow slides triggered by rainfall in several periods from 2005 to 2016. Both landslide inventories were characterized and compared from the morphometric point of view and were used individually to produce susceptibility models to failure using a simple bivariate state-of-the-art statistical method (the Information Value). The landslide susceptibility Models were validated using success rates, prediction rates, and Kappa statistics. The results show that shallow slides triggered by rainfall and earthquakes in the study area have different morphometric characteristics. It was verified that models produced with LI 1 are very effective in predicting the spatial location of LI 2, but the same does not happen in the inverse situation. Finally, landslide susceptibility models developed with LI 1 and LI 2 for the upper sector of the hydrographic basin (where most landslides occurred), and latter applied to the complete watershed, present more modest predictive results but are more reliable to characterize the landslide susceptibility in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimates of Soil Renewal Rates: Applications for Anti-Erosion Arrangement of the Agricultural Landscape
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060266
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
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Abstract
Engineering and geographic substantiation of the anti-erosion organization of agricultural landscapes requires not only differentiated estimations of erosion losses, but also commensurate (in terms of space–time scales) estimations of the soil loss tolerance. The main approaches for determining the participation of estimations of [...] Read more.
Engineering and geographic substantiation of the anti-erosion organization of agricultural landscapes requires not only differentiated estimations of erosion losses, but also commensurate (in terms of space–time scales) estimations of the soil loss tolerance. The main approaches for determining the participation of estimations of soil formation in the substantiation of erosion tolerance have been defined. This study is aimed at justifying the methods of incorporating the results of pedogenesis modeling into computational methods for organizing agricultural landscapes. This paper presents the results of a study of the process of formation of the humus horizon and the accumulation of organic carbon in soils, based on soils from archaeological sites in the Crimean Peninsula over a period from 25 to 2000 years ago, with differences in climate and parent rock, in a region with a thousand-year history of human activity. The patterns of variation in the thickness of the humus horizons over time and the accumulation of carbon were determined, and estimates for the rate of the pedogenesis were obtained. In connection with the slowing of the rate of pedogenesis over time, the chronofunction of the change in the thickness of soils (of both exponential and logistic types) may be applied and, on this basis, it is possible to calculate the rates of the formation of the humus horizon depending on the morphological status of the soils. During re-naturation of highly degraded soils, maximum renewal rates may take place only with a very high input of organic matter, which is crucial to take into account in the development and implementation of programs for the rehabilitation of degraded lands. Under the conditions of slope agriculture, the rationale for T-values should be linked to many factors of the input and consumption of organic carbon, which provides a logical mathematical model of the formation of soil quality. For soil quality management on agricultural lands, a formula for calculating T-values, using an equation where the rate of pedogenesis is associated with a variety of changes in soil organic carbon, is proposed in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biogeosciences)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Olive Orchards Copper-Based Fungicide Use, in Soils and Sediments—The Case of Aetoliko (Etoliko) Lagoon Western Greece
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060267
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
In this study, soil and aquatic sediments were sampled in the Aetoliko Lagoon and its catchment area, which is exclusively dominated by olive orchards. For the first time in Greece, soil as well as sediments samples of one coherent protected aquatic ecosystem were [...] Read more.
In this study, soil and aquatic sediments were sampled in the Aetoliko Lagoon and its catchment area, which is exclusively dominated by olive orchards. For the first time in Greece, soil as well as sediments samples of one coherent protected aquatic ecosystem were directly compared. In order to determine the influence that the usage of copper-based fungicides have on the lagoon sediments and on the soils of the surrounding area, twenty five (25) soil samples from different olive orchards that are bordering the water body and ten (10) sediment samples from the bottom of the lagoon were taken. The samples were analyzed for total copper content (total digestion) and extractable copper (diethylenetriaminepenta acetic acid, DTPA, extraction method). Furthermore, soil/sedimentological and geochemical analyses such as pH, grain size, total organic carbon, total sulfur, total nitrogen, and calcium carbonate content were carried out. The results show that the total copper in soils ranges from 58.37 to 671.33 mg kg−1. In addition the DTPA-extractable copper in soils has an average value of 45.00 mg kg−1. The average value of total copper in soils (286.24 mg kg−1) is higher than the threshold value for the Cu concentration (100 mg kg−1) set by the EU countries. Total copper content in the lagoon sediments is lower than in soils and varies between 43.85 mg kg−1 and 71.87 mg kg−1. The DTPA-extractable copper in sediments is in low ranges from 0.14 to 0.60 mg kg−1. On average, the total copper value for the lagoon sediments (55.93 mg kg−1) exceeds the Toxicity Screening Value (25.20 mg kg−1) for Cu in freshwater sediments. From the present study, it is clear that, although the copper in soils of the surrounding lagoon area exceeds the threshold limit for ecological risk, the lagoon sediments are influenced in a smaller degree. Our study can be used as a valuable reference and baseline for future studies on the environmental monitoring of the Aetoliko lagoon, as well as for studies in similar ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Multiple Impacts of Extreme Hurricanes in Southern New England, USA
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060265
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
The southern New England coast of the United States is particularly vulnerable to land-falling hurricanes because of its east-west orientation. The impact of two major hurricanes on the city of Providence (Rhode Island, USA) during the middle decades of the 20th century spurred [...] Read more.
The southern New England coast of the United States is particularly vulnerable to land-falling hurricanes because of its east-west orientation. The impact of two major hurricanes on the city of Providence (Rhode Island, USA) during the middle decades of the 20th century spurred the construction of the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier (FPHB) to protect the city from storm surge flooding. Although the Rhode Island/Narragansett Bay area has not experienced a major hurricane for several decades, increased coastal development along with potentially increased hurricane activity associated with climate change motivates an assessment of the impacts of a major hurricane on the region. The ocean/estuary response to an extreme hurricane is simulated using a high-resolution implementation of the ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) model coupled to the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS). The storm surge response in ADCIRC is first verified with a simulation of a historical hurricane that made landfall in southern New England. The storm surge and the hydrological models are then forced with winds and rainfall from a hypothetical hurricane dubbed “Rhody”, which has many of the characteristics of historical storms that have impacted the region. Rhody makes landfall just west of Narragansett Bay, and after passing north of the Bay, executes a loop to the east and the south before making a second landfall. Results are presented for three versions of Rhody, varying in the maximum wind speed at landfall. The storm surge resulting from the strongest Rhody version (weak Saffir–Simpson category five) during the first landfall exceeds 7 m in height in Providence at the north end of the Bay. This exceeds the height of the FPHB, resulting in flooding in Providence. A simulation including river inflow computed from the runoff model indicates that if the Barrier remains closed and its pumps fail (for example, because of a power outage or equipment failure), severe flooding occurs north of the FPHB due to impoundment of the river inflow. These results show that northern Narragansett Bay could be particularly vulnerable to both storm surge and rainfall-driven flooding, especially if the FPHB suffers a power outage. They also demonstrate that, for wind-driven storm surge alone under present sea level conditions, the FPHB will protect Providence for hurricanes less intense than category five. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Compound Hydrological Hazards or Extremes)
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Open AccessArticle
Petrographic and Mechanical Characteristics of Concrete Produced by Different Type of Recycled Materials
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060264
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 15 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
This paper examined three different types of recycled materials, such as beer green glass, waste tile, and asphalt, which will be used in different mixtures in order to prepare concrete specimens and, more specifically, their effect on concrete strength and how the petrographic [...] Read more.
This paper examined three different types of recycled materials, such as beer green glass, waste tile, and asphalt, which will be used in different mixtures in order to prepare concrete specimens and, more specifically, their effect on concrete strength and how the petrographic characteristics of various recycled materials influenced the durability of C25/30 strength class concrete. Particular emphasis was placed on the effect of artificial microroughness of glassy and smooth surfaces of recycled materials on their final concrete strength. The concrete strength values do not show great variance, but their limited differences have been qualitatively interpreted by a new promising petrographic methodology, including the study of the surface texture of the used aggregate materials. Concretes are produced with constant volume proportions, workability, mixing, and curing conditions while using different sizes of each aggregate type. The aggregates were mixed both in dry and water saturated states in concretes. Concretes that are made by a mixture of beer green glass with quartz primer, as well as of tile with quartz primer, presented the optimum possible results of the compressive strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoscience of the Built Environment 2019 Edition)
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Open AccessArticle
First Calibration and Application of Leaf Wax n-Alkane Biomarkers in Loess-Paleosol Sequences and Modern Plants and Soils in Armenia
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060263
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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Abstract
Interpreting paleoenvironmental conditions by means of n-alkane biomarker analyses is challenging because results depend on different influencing factors. Thus, regional calibration of n-alkane patterns is needed because of different plant chemo-taxonomic behavior. We investigated for the first-time leaf wax-derived n-alkane [...] Read more.
Interpreting paleoenvironmental conditions by means of n-alkane biomarker analyses is challenging because results depend on different influencing factors. Thus, regional calibration of n-alkane patterns is needed because of different plant chemo-taxonomic behavior. We investigated for the first-time leaf wax-derived n-alkane biomarkers from modern plants, litter, top soils, and two recently discovered loess-paleosol sequences (LPSs) in Armenia (Lesser Caucasus). Our results on modern samples show a promising discrimination power based on n-alkane chain length nC33 (probably nC31)) for grasses and herbs versus nC29 for deciduous trees, despite the large interplant variability within vegetation groups. In contrast with other Loess records in Europe, where Late Pleistocene environments are ranging from tundra-like (glacial) to deciduous forest habitats (interglacial), our results from two Armenian LPSs suggest a transition from humid-steppe biome or forest-steppe vegetation dominating during interglacial periods, to semi-desert shrubs species more adapted to the enhanced aridity during glacial periods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Deforestation on Streamflow in the Amur River Basin
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060262
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 8 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
In the basin of the Amur River in the Russian Far East, the influence of watershed areas covered by forests on the river basin has a complex nature, and no strict functional dependency has been established yet between these two factors. A study [...] Read more.
In the basin of the Amur River in the Russian Far East, the influence of watershed areas covered by forests on the river basin has a complex nature, and no strict functional dependency has been established yet between these two factors. A study of the Amur River watershed in the current conditions, between 2000 and 2016 (climate, forest coverage, fires, and felling), has been conducted using the ground and satellite observations. The purpose of the study was to identify their influence on the river behaviour (flow, flooding, and levels of water). The study of hydrological regime of rivers was conducted in conjunction with the analysis of the dynamics of forest and burns areas over the synchronised periods of time. A special attention was given to the changing nature of the species composition of the forests (coniferous and deciduous forests separately) from 2000 to 2016, and climatic parameters over thirty years (atmospheric temperature, dew point, precipitation). New facts have been obtained, which provide an explanation of the reasons for predominant prolonged trends in the dynamics of the summer streamflow. In the view of the general tendency toward increased forest coverage combining all species of forest stand, the trend in the dynamics of the coniferous species areas is negative. Therefore, a conclusion can be made, that one of the major factors in the increase of the river flood flow (alongside the atmospheric precipitation), is deforestation of primary coniferous forests on the watershed areas, in contrast with the deciduous forests, where the trend is positive. Practicability of such conclusions can be justified, as different types of forests have different root systems, which mellow the ground and facilitate partial loss of the atmospheric precipitation and its transformation into the groundwater flow. Besides, coniferous forests attract more frequent and intensive fires, more subjected to felling, have longer regeneration period, and also, use larger volumes of ground waters for growing and functioning. Consequently, with their disappearance, an increase in streamflow should be expected. No changes in surface temperature and humidity of the forest cover in the watersheds during 1980-2016 despite global warming. Therefore, annual variability of forested areas of watersheds is greatly influenced by fires and felling. There are reasons to assume, that because of the tendency for decreasing areas of coniferous forests, the conditions contributing to the increases in rivers’ flood flow and flood risks during monsoon and frontal cyclonic rainfalls will remain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing used in Environmental Hydrology)
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Open AccessReview
Variability and Trends in Dust Storm Frequency on Decadal Timescales: Climatic Drivers and Human Impacts
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060261
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 8 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
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Abstract
Dust storms present numerous hazards to human society and are particularly significant to people living in the Dust Belt which stretches from the Sahara across the Middle East to northeast Asia. This paper presents a review of dust storm variability and trends in [...] Read more.
Dust storms present numerous hazards to human society and are particularly significant to people living in the Dust Belt which stretches from the Sahara across the Middle East to northeast Asia. This paper presents a review of dust storm variability and trends in frequency on decadal timescales from three Dust Belt settlements with long-term (>50 years) meteorological records: Nouakchott, Mauritania; Zabol, Iran, and Minqin, China. The inhabitants of each of these settlements have experienced a decline in dust storms in recent decades, since the late 1980s at Nouakchott, since 2004 at Zabol, and since the late 1970s at Minqin. The roles of climatic variables and human activities are assessed in each case, as drivers of periods of high dust storm frequency and subsequent declines in dust emissions. Both climatic and human variables have been important but overall the balance of research conclusions indicates natural processes (precipitation totals, wind strength) have had greater impact than human action, in the latter case both in the form of mismanagement (abandoned farmland, water management schemes) and attempts to reduce wind erosion (afforestation projects). Understanding the drivers of change in dust storm dynamics at the local scale is increasingly important for efforts to mitigate dust storm hazards as climate change projections suggest that the global dryland area is likely to expand in the twenty-first century, along with an associated increase in the risk of drought and dust emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Observing Atmospheric Dynamics and Dust Activity)
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Open AccessArticle
Metal Distribution and Short-Time Variability in Recent Sediments from the Ganges River towards the Bay of Bengal (India)
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060260
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
The Ganges River receives inputs from highly populated cities of India (New Delhi, Calcutta, among others) and a strong influence of anthropogenic activities until reaching the Bay of Bengal. It is a seasonal river with 80% of discharges occurring between July and October [...] Read more.
The Ganges River receives inputs from highly populated cities of India (New Delhi, Calcutta, among others) and a strong influence of anthropogenic activities until reaching the Bay of Bengal. It is a seasonal river with 80% of discharges occurring between July and October during monsoon. The land-based activities next to the shore lead to discharges of untreated domestic and industrial effluents, inputs of agricultural chemicals, discharges of organic matter (cremations), and discharges of chemicals from aquaculture farms. In spite of the UNESCO declaring Human Patrimony the National Park Sundarbans, located in the delta, contamination has increased over time and it dramatically intensifies during the monsoon period due to the flooding of the drainage basin. Vertical element distribution (Cd, Co, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn) was studied in sediments collected in different stations towards the Hügli Estuary. Results determined no vertical gradient associated with the analyzed sediment samples, which informs about severe sediment dynamic in the area that probably relates to tidal hydrodynamics and seasonal variation floods. The multivariate analysis results showed different associations among metals and in some cases between some of them (Co, Zn, Pb, and Cu) and the organic carbon. These allow the identification of different geochemical processes in the area and their relationship with the sources of contamination such as discharge of domestic and industrial effluents and diffuse sources enhanced by the monsoons. Also, an environmental risk value was given to the studied area by comparing the analyzed concentrations to quality guidelines adopted in other countries. It showed an estimated risk associated with the concentration of the metal Cu measured in the area of Kadwip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Sediments and Marine Environments)
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Open AccessArticle
Glacier Dynamics in Changme Khangpu Basin, Sikkim Himalaya, India, between 1975 and 2016
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060259
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
This study provides a high resolution glacier database in the Changme Khangpu Basin (CKB) using LANDSAT 8 (2014) and Sentinel-2A image (2016), mapping of 81 glaciers that cover a 75.78 ± 1.54 km2 area. Composite maps of land surface temperature, slope and [...] Read more.
This study provides a high resolution glacier database in the Changme Khangpu Basin (CKB) using LANDSAT 8 (2014) and Sentinel-2A image (2016), mapping of 81 glaciers that cover a 75.78 ± 1.54 km2 area. Composite maps of land surface temperature, slope and Normalized differential Snow Index have been successfully utilized in delineating near accurate debris cover boundary of glaciers. The cumulative controlling parameters of aspect, elevation, slope, and debris cover have been assessed to evaluate the nature of glacier distribution and dynamics. The local topographic settings seem to have significantly determined the glacier distribution in the CKB. Almost 20% area erstwhile under glacier cover has been lost since 1975 at an average rate of −0.453 ± 0.001 km2a−1. The recent decade (2001–2016) has witnessed a higher rate of area shrinkage (−0.665 ± 0.243 km2a−1), compared to a relatively lower rate of recession (−0.170 ± 0.536 km2a−1) between 1988 and 2001. The lower rates of glacial recession can most likely be induced regionally due to relatively cooler decadal late summer temperatures and peak in the monsoon spell. Glaciers with western and north-western aspects showed more vulnerability to area loss than the rest of the aspects. Lower altitude glaciers have receded faster than ones perched up on higher elevations. The rate of glacier area recession has been nearly twice that on clean glaciers as compared to debris-covered glaciers in the CKB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryosphere II)
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Open AccessArticle
Consumption of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide through Weathering of Ultramafic Rocks in the Voltri Massif (Italy): Quantification of the Process and Global Implications
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060258
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
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Abstract
Chemical weathering is the main natural mechanism limiting the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on geologic time scales (>1 Ma) but its role on shorter time scales is still debated, highlighting the need for an increase of knowledge about the relationships between chemical weathering [...] Read more.
Chemical weathering is the main natural mechanism limiting the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on geologic time scales (>1 Ma) but its role on shorter time scales is still debated, highlighting the need for an increase of knowledge about the relationships between chemical weathering and atmospheric CO2 consumption. A reliable approach to study the weathering reactions is the quantification of the mass fluxes in and out of mono lithology watershed systems. In this work the chemical weathering and atmospheric carbon dioxide consumption of ultramafic rocks have been studied through a detailed geochemical mass balance of three watershed systems located in the metaophiolitic complex of the Voltri Massif (Italy). Results show that the rates of carbon dioxide consumption of the study area (weighted average = 3.02 ± 1.67 × 105 mol km−2 y−1) are higher than the world average CO2 consumption rate and are well correlated with runoff, probably the stronger weathering controlling factor. Computed values are very close to the global average of basic and ultrabasic magmatic rocks, suggesting that Voltri Massif is a good proxy for the study of the feedbacks between chemical weathering, CO2 consumption, and climate change at a global scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Simulation of Deformation Band Occurrence and the Associated Stress Field during the Growth of a Fault-Propagation Fold
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060257
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
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Abstract
Knowledge of the paleo-stress distribution is crucial to understand the fracture set up and orientations during the tectonic evolution of a basin, and thus the corresponding fluid flow patterns in a reservoir. This study aims to predict the main stress orientations and evolution [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the paleo-stress distribution is crucial to understand the fracture set up and orientations during the tectonic evolution of a basin, and thus the corresponding fluid flow patterns in a reservoir. This study aims to predict the main stress orientations and evolution during the growth of a fold by using the limit analysis method. Fourteen different steps have been integrated as 2D cross sections from an early stage to an evolved stage of a schematic and balanced propagation fold. The stress evolution was followed during the time and burial of syn tectonic layers localized in front of the thrust. Numerical simulations were used to predict the occurrence and orientation of deformation bands, i.e., compaction and shear bands, by following the kinematic of a fault-propagation fold. The case study of the Sant-Corneli-Boixols anticline was selected, located in the South Central Pyrenees in the Tremp basin, to constrain the dimension of the starting models (or prototypes) used in our numerical simulations. The predictions of the numerical simulations were compared to field observations of an early occurrence of both pure compaction- and shear-enhanced compaction bands in the syn-tectonic Aren formation located in front of the fold, which are subjected to early layer parallel shortening during the burial history. Stress magnitude and stress ratio variations define the type of deformation band produced. Our results show that the band occurrence depends on the yield envelope of the host material and that a small yield envelope is required for these shallow depths, which can only be explained by the heterogeneity of the host rock facies. In our case, the heterogeneity can be explained by a significant contribution of carbonate bioclasts in the calcarenite rock, which change the mechanical behavior of the whole rock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Quantification in Sedimentary Basins)
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Open AccessArticle
A Preliminary Investigation on the Role of Brittle Fracture in the Kinematics of the 2014 San Leo Landslide
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060256
Received: 11 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
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Abstract
The stability of high rock slopes is largely controlled by the location and orientation of geological features, such as faults, folds, joints, and bedding planes, which can induce structurally controlled slope instability. Under certain conditions, slope kinematics may vary with time, as propagation [...] Read more.
The stability of high rock slopes is largely controlled by the location and orientation of geological features, such as faults, folds, joints, and bedding planes, which can induce structurally controlled slope instability. Under certain conditions, slope kinematics may vary with time, as propagation of existing fractures due to brittle failure may allow development of fully persistent release surfaces. In this paper, the progressive accumulation of brittle damage that occurred prior to and during the 2014 San Leo landslide (northern Italy) is investigated using a synthetic rock mass (SRM) approach. Mapping of brittle fractures, rock bridge failures, and major structures is undertaken using terrestrial laser scanning, photogrammetry, and high-resolution photography. Numerical analyses are conducted to investigate the role of intact rock fracturing on the evolution of kinematic freedom using the two-dimensional Finite-discrete element method (FDEM) code Elfen, and the three-dimensional lattice-spring scheme code Slope Model. Numerical analyses show that the gradual erosion of clay-rich material below the base of the plateau drives the brittle propagation of fractures within the rock mass, until a fully persistent, subvertical rupture surface form, causing toppling of fault-bounded rock columns. This study clearly highlights the potential role of intact rock fracturing on the slope kinematics, and the interaction between intact rock strength, structural geology, and slope morphology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Landslides: Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation)
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Open AccessReview
Back to the Future: Using Long-Term Observational and Paleo-Proxy Reconstructions to Improve Model Projections of Antarctic Climate
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060255
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
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Abstract
Quantitative estimates of future Antarctic climate change are derived from numerical global climate models. Evaluation of the reliability of climate model projections involves many lines of evidence on past performance combined with knowledge of the processes that need to be represented. Routine model [...] Read more.
Quantitative estimates of future Antarctic climate change are derived from numerical global climate models. Evaluation of the reliability of climate model projections involves many lines of evidence on past performance combined with knowledge of the processes that need to be represented. Routine model evaluation is mainly based on the modern observational period, which started with the establishment of a network of Antarctic weather stations in 1957/58. This period is too short to evaluate many fundamental aspects of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate system, such as decadal-to-century time-scale climate variability and trends. To help address this gap, we present a new evaluation of potential ways in which long-term observational and paleo-proxy reconstructions may be used, with a particular focus on improving projections. A wide range of data sources and time periods is included, ranging from ship observations of the early 20th century to ice core records spanning hundreds to hundreds of thousands of years to sediment records dating back 34 million years. We conclude that paleo-proxy records and long-term observational datasets are an underused resource in terms of strategies for improving Antarctic climate projections for the 21st century and beyond. We identify priorities and suggest next steps to addressing this. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Spatially Explicit Comparison of Quantitative and Categorical Modelling Approaches for Mapping Seabed Sediments Using Random Forest
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060254
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 6 June 2019
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Abstract
Seabed sediment composition is an important component of benthic habitat and there are many approaches for producing maps that convey sediment information to marine managers. Random Forest is a popular statistical method for thematic seabed sediment mapping using both categorical and quantitative supervised [...] Read more.
Seabed sediment composition is an important component of benthic habitat and there are many approaches for producing maps that convey sediment information to marine managers. Random Forest is a popular statistical method for thematic seabed sediment mapping using both categorical and quantitative supervised modelling approaches. This study compares the performance and qualities of these Random Forest approaches to predict the distribution of fine-grained sediments from grab samples as one component of a multi-model map of sediment classes in Frobisher Bay, Nunavut, Canada. The second component predicts the presence of coarse substrates from underwater video. Spatial and non-spatial cross-validations were conducted to evaluate the performance of categorical and quantitative Random Forest models and maps were compared to determine differences in predictions. While both approaches seemed highly accurate, the non-spatial cross-validation suggested greater accuracy using the categorical approach. Using a spatial cross-validation, there was little difference between approaches—both showed poor extrapolative performance. Spatial cross-validation methods also suggested evidence of overfitting in the coarse sediment model caused by the spatial dependence of transect samples. The quantitative modelling approach was able to predict rare and unsampled sediment classes but the flexibility of probabilistic predictions from the categorical approach allowed for tuning to maximize extrapolative performance. Results demonstrate that the apparent accuracies of these models failed to convey important differences between map predictions and that spatially explicit evaluation strategies may be necessary for evaluating extrapolative performance. Differentiating extrapolative from interpolative prediction can aid in selecting appropriate modelling methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Seafloor Mapping)
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Open AccessArticle
Possible Mechanism for the Tsunami-Related Fires That Occurred at Aonae Harbor on Okushiri Island in the 1993 Hokkaido Nansei-Oki Earthquake
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060253
Received: 28 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the mysterious tsunami fires that occurred at Aonae Harbor on Okushiri Island during the 1993 Hokkaido Nansei-Oki earthquake. Specifically, five fishing boats moored separately from each other in the harbor suddenly caught fire and burned nearly simultaneously with [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate the mysterious tsunami fires that occurred at Aonae Harbor on Okushiri Island during the 1993 Hokkaido Nansei-Oki earthquake. Specifically, five fishing boats moored separately from each other in the harbor suddenly caught fire and burned nearly simultaneously with the arrival of the first tsunami wave. However, the ignition mechanism of those fires has, until now, remained largely unknown. At the time the earthquake occurred, an NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) crew that was on the island to report on its scenic natural attractions just happened to capture video footage of those tsunami-related fires. Using that NHK video footage in combination with eyewitness accounts, this study investigates the spatio-temporal process leading to those tsunami-related fires. For example, one witness said, "There was whitish bubbling in the offshore area and I saw five burning fishing boats moored on the seawall being blown about by the strong winds. The burning boats were swept ashore with the tsunami and ignited the gasoline of a car that was rolling in the waves. The fire eventually spread to the center of the Aonae District." The NHK video footage confirmed flames arising from the five fishing boats almost simultaneously and the shimmering white color of the tsunami waters striking the seawall, which were consistent with the eyewitness testimony. Based on these spatio-temporal data, we propose the following hypothetical model for the origin of tsunami fires. Combustible methane gas released from the seabed by the earthquake rose toward the surface, where it became diffused into the seawater and took the form of whitish bubbles. The tsunami strike on the Aonae Harbor seawall resulted in the generation of large electrical potential differences within the seawater mist, which quickly developed sufficient electrical energy to ignite the methane electrostatically. The burning methane bubbles accumulated on the boat decks, which then burned violently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami Volume 2)
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Open AccessArticle
Geotectonic Controls on CO2 Formation and Distribution Processes in the Brazilian Pre-Salt Basins
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060252
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 14 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
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Abstract
Exploratory work for hydrocarbons along the southeastern Brazilian Margin discovered high concentrations of CO2 in several fields, setting scientific challenges to understand these accumulations. Despite significant progress in understanding the consequences of high CO2 in these reservoirs, the role of several [...] Read more.
Exploratory work for hydrocarbons along the southeastern Brazilian Margin discovered high concentrations of CO2 in several fields, setting scientific challenges to understand these accumulations. Despite significant progress in understanding the consequences of high CO2 in these reservoirs, the role of several variables that may control such accumulations of CO2 is still unclear. For example, significant differences in the percentages of CO2 have been found in reservoirs of otherwise similar prospects lying close to each other. In this paper, we present a hypothesis on how the rifting geodynamics are related to these CO2-rich accumulations. CO2-rich mantle material may be intruded into the upper crustal levels through hyper-stretched continental crust during rifting. Gravimetric and magnetic potential methods were used to identify major intrusive bodies, crustal thinning and other geotectonic elements of the southeastern Brazilian Margin. Modeling based on magnetic, gravity, and seismic data suggests a major intrusive magmatic body just below the reservoir where a high CO2 accumulation was found. Small faults connecting this magmatic body with the sedimentary section could be the fairway for the magmatic sourced gas rise to reservoirs. Mapping and understanding the crustal structure of sedimentary basins are shown to be important steps for “de-risking” the exploration process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Hydrate: Environmental and Climate Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Permafrost–Hydrate System and Associated Methane Releases in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060251
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 14 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
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Abstract
This paper summarizes current understanding of the processes that determine the dynamics of the subsea permafrost–hydrate system existing in the largest, shallowest shelf in the Arctic Ocean; the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). We review key environmental factors and mechanisms that determine formation, [...] Read more.
This paper summarizes current understanding of the processes that determine the dynamics of the subsea permafrost–hydrate system existing in the largest, shallowest shelf in the Arctic Ocean; the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). We review key environmental factors and mechanisms that determine formation, current dynamics, and thermal state of subsea permafrost, mechanisms of its destabilization, and rates of its thawing; a full section of this paper is devoted to this topic. Another important question regards the possible existence of permafrost-related hydrates at shallow ground depth and in the shallow shelf environment. We review the history of and earlier insights about the topic followed by an extensive review of experimental work to establish the physics of shallow Arctic hydrates. We also provide a principal (simplified) scheme explaining the normal and altered dynamics of the permafrost–hydrate system as glacial–interglacial climate epochs alternate. We also review specific features of methane releases determined by the current state of the subsea-permafrost system and possible future dynamics. This review presents methane results obtained in the ESAS during two periods: 1994–2000 and 2003–2017. A final section is devoted to discussing future work that is required to achieve an improved understanding of the subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas and Gas Hydrate in Permafrost)
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Open AccessEditorial
Preservation of Cultural Heritage and Resources Threatened by Climate Change
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060250
Received: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
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Abstract
With a wide spectrum of data, case studies, monitoring, and experimental and numerical simulation techniques, the multidisciplinary approach of material, environmental, and computer science applied to the conservation of cultural heritage offers several opportunities for the heritage science and conservation community to map [...] Read more.
With a wide spectrum of data, case studies, monitoring, and experimental and numerical simulation techniques, the multidisciplinary approach of material, environmental, and computer science applied to the conservation of cultural heritage offers several opportunities for the heritage science and conservation community to map and monitor the state of the art of the knowledge referring to natural and human-induced climate change impacts on cultural heritage—mainly constituted by the built environment—in Europe and Latin America. The special issue “Preservation of Cultural Heritage and Resources Threatened by Climate Change” of Geosciences—launched to take stock of the existing but still fragmentary knowledge on this challenge, and to enable the community to respond to the implementation of the Paris agreement—includes 10 research articles. These papers exploit a broad range of data derived from preventive conservation monitoring conducted indoors in museums, churches, historical buildings, or outdoors in archeological sites and city centers. Case studies presented in the papers focus on a well-assorted sample of decay phenomena occurring on heritage materials—e.g., surface recession and biomass accumulation on limestone, depositions of pollutant on marble, salt weathering on inorganic building materials, and weathering processes on mortars in many local- to regional-scale study areas in the Scandinavian Peninsula, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, and Panama. Besides monitoring, the methodological approaches that are showcased include, but are not limited to, original material characterization, decay product characterization, and climate and numerical modelling on material components for assessing environmental impact and climate change effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Follow the High Subcritical Water
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060249
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
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Abstract
The expression “follow the water” is used to recognize inside the universe, life as it exists on Earth. It is shown here that the expression “follow the high subcritical water” can be used to recognize the components of life that formed prior to [...] Read more.
The expression “follow the water” is used to recognize inside the universe, life as it exists on Earth. It is shown here that the expression “follow the high subcritical water” can be used to recognize the components of life that formed prior to the emergence of life. It is also shown that this particular water leaves signatures inside rocks that are produced during high subcritical water–rock interactions. These signatures are ferric minerals, which are currently explained by the presence of microorganisms. The consideration of water in the high subcritical domain may lead to postpone the date of the existence of FeII-oxidizing and O2-producing microorganisms, and consequently the date of the appearance of oxygen in the atmosphere. Alkaline water at pH ~9.5 to 14 and in the specific domain of temperature ~300–350 °C, pressure ~10–25 MPa, and density ~700–600 kg/m3, allows us to understand the formation of silica and ferric minerals, and the synformation of components of life in anoxic geological terrains such as the banded iron formations on early Earth and extraterrestrial objects such as Enceladus. The high subcritical water lets appear the continuity between rocks and life, which is conceptualized by the word “geobiotropy”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planetary Evolution and Search for Life on Habitable Planets)
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