Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Integrating Towed Underwater Video and Multibeam Acoustics for Marine Benthic Habitat Mapping and Fish Population Estimation
Geosciences 2021, 11(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040176 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
The west Florida shelf (WFS; Gulf of Mexico, USA) is an important area for commercial and recreational fishing, yet much of it remains unmapped and unexplored, hindering effective monitoring of fish stocks. The goals of this study were to map the habitat at [...] Read more.
The west Florida shelf (WFS; Gulf of Mexico, USA) is an important area for commercial and recreational fishing, yet much of it remains unmapped and unexplored, hindering effective monitoring of fish stocks. The goals of this study were to map the habitat at an intensively fished area on the WFS known as “The Elbow”, assess the differences in fish communities among different habitat types, and estimate the abundance of each fish taxa within the study area. High-resolution multibeam bathymetric and backscatter data were combined with high-definition (HD) video data collected from a near-bottom towed vehicle to characterize benthic habitat as well as identify and enumerate fishes. Two semi-automated statistical classifiers were implemented for obtaining substrate maps. The supervised classification (random forest) performed significantly better (p = 0.001; α = 0.05) than the unsupervised classification (k-means clustering). Additionally, we found it was important to include predictors at a range of spatial scales. Significant differences were found in the fish community composition among the different habitat types, with both substrate and vertical relief found to be important with rock substrate and higher relief areas generally associated with greater fish density. Our results are consistent with the idea that offshore hard-bottom habitats, particularly those of higher vertical relief, serve as “essential fish habitat”, as these rocky habitats account for just 4% of the study area but 65% of the estimated total fish abundance. However, sand contributes 35% to total fish abundance despite comparably low densities due to its large area, indicating the importance of including these habitats in estimates of abundance as well. This work demonstrates the utility of combining towed underwater video sampling and multibeam echosounder maps for habitat mapping and estimation of fish abundance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Habitat Mapping: Selected Papers from "GeoHab 2021")
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Article
Dynamics of Stone Habitats in Coastal Waters of the Southwestern Baltic Sea (Hohwacht Bay)
Geosciences 2021, 11(4), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040171 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
Cobbles and boulders on the seafloor are of high ecological value in their function as habitats for a variety of benthic species, contributing to biodiversity and productivity in marine environments. We investigate the origin, physical shape, and structure of habitat-forming cobbles and boulders [...] Read more.
Cobbles and boulders on the seafloor are of high ecological value in their function as habitats for a variety of benthic species, contributing to biodiversity and productivity in marine environments. We investigate the origin, physical shape, and structure of habitat-forming cobbles and boulders and reflect on their dynamics in coastal environments of the southwestern Baltic Sea. Stone habitats are not limited to lag deposits and cannot be sufficiently described as static environments, as different dynamic processes lead to changes within the physical habitat structure and create new habitats in spatially disparate areas. Dynamic processes such as (a) ongoing exposure of cobbles and boulders from glacial till, (b) continuous overturning of cobbles, and (c) the migration of cobbles need to be considered. A distinction between allochthonous and autochthonous habitats is suggested. The genesis of sediment types indicates that stone habitats are restricted to their source (glacial till), but hydrodynamic processes induce a redistribution of individual cobbles, leading to the development of new coastal habitats. Thus, coastal stone habitats need to be regarded as dynamic and are changing on a large bandwidth of timescales. In general, wave-induced processes changing the physical structure of these habitats do not occur separately but rather act simultaneously, leading to a dynamic type of habitat. Full article
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Article
Coseismic Ground Displacement after the Mw6.2 Earthquake in NW Croatia Determined from Sentinel-1 and GNSS CORS Data
Geosciences 2021, 11(4), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040170 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
At the very end of the year 2020, on 29 December, a hazardous earthquake of Mw = 6.2 hit the area of Petrinja and its surroundings, in the NW of Croatia. The earthquake was felt across the area of 400 km, leaving [...] Read more.
At the very end of the year 2020, on 29 December, a hazardous earthquake of Mw = 6.2 hit the area of Petrinja and its surroundings, in the NW of Croatia. The earthquake was felt across the area of 400 km, leaving an inconceivable damage in the vicinity of the epicenter, devastated towns and ruined lives. In order to map the spreading of earthquake waves and to determine the coseismic ground displacement after the mainshock, we have analyzed open satellite radar images of Sentinel-1 and the GNSS data from the nearest CORS station related to the epicenter, along with the seismic faults. In this paper, we addressed and mapped the displacement linear surface ruptures detected by the SAR interferometry. The results show the vertical ground displacement to the extent of −12 cm in the southern area and up to 22 cm in the north-western part of a wide area struck by the earthquake impact, related to the epicenter. Subsidence and uplift in a range of ±5 cm over a wider affected area indicate a spatial extent and hazardous impact made by the earthquake. The ground displacement of 30 cm to the West and 40 cm to the East has been identified considering the intersection of Pokupsko and Petrinja strike-slip fault system in the seismic zone of Pannonian basin. Accordingly, we obtained matching results of 5 cm south-easting shift and −3 cm subsidence on Sisak GNSS CROPOS station, addressing the tectonic blocks movement along the activated complex fault system. The results compared with the geology data confirm the existence of two main faults; the Pokupsko and the Petrinja strike-slip faults and interpret the occurrence of secondary post-seismic events over the observed area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geophysics)
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Article
Constraining the Passive to Active Margin Tectonics of the Internal Central Apennines: Insights from Biostratigraphy, Structural, and Seismic Analysis
Geosciences 2021, 11(4), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040160 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 6
Abstract
The polyphase structural evolution of a sector of the internal Central Apennines, where the significance of pelagic deposits atop neritic carbonate platform and active margin sediments has been long debated, is here documented. The results of a new geological survey in the Volsci [...] Read more.
The polyphase structural evolution of a sector of the internal Central Apennines, where the significance of pelagic deposits atop neritic carbonate platform and active margin sediments has been long debated, is here documented. The results of a new geological survey in the Volsci Range, supported by new stratigraphic constraints from the syn-orogenic deposits, are integrated with the analysis of 2D seismic reflection lines and available wells in the adjacent Latin Valley. Late Cretaceous syn-sedimentary faults are documented and interpreted as steps linking a carbonate platform to the adjacent pelagic basin, located to the west. During Tortonian time, the pelagic deposits were squeezed off and juxtaposed as mélange units on top of the carbonate platform. Subsurface data highlighted stacked thrust sheets that were first involved into an initial in-sequence propagation with top-to-the-ENE, synchronous to late Tortonian foredeep to wedge-top sedimentation. We distinguish up to four groups of thrust faults that occurred during in-sequence shortening (thrusts 1–3; about 55–60 km) and backthrusting (thrust 4). During Pliocene to recent times, the area has been uplifted and subsequently extended by normal faults cross-cutting the accretionary wedge. Beside regional interest, our findings bear implications on the kinematic evolution of an orogenic wedge affected by far-traveled units. Full article
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Article
Territorial Assessment of the East Kazakhstan Geo/Ecotourism: Sustainable Travel Prospects in the Southern Altai Area
Geosciences 2021, 11(4), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040156 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 4
Abstract
In spite of picturesque landscapes, natural beauties and authentic traditional lifestyles to be seen in East Kazakhstan, tourism is far from being developed. The Kazakh Altai (called the Kazakh Switzerland) is one the most colourful parts of the country and, indeed, all Central [...] Read more.
In spite of picturesque landscapes, natural beauties and authentic traditional lifestyles to be seen in East Kazakhstan, tourism is far from being developed. The Kazakh Altai (called the Kazakh Switzerland) is one the most colourful parts of the country and, indeed, all Central Asia. The attractiveness of this geographically isolated region (formerly a part of the Imperial Russia), consisting of rocky semi-deserts, vast parkland-steppes, and rugged mountain terrains, is reflected in its distinctive geological and geomorphological character, its pristine nature, and its extraordinary geodiversity and biodiversity. This study presents a roster of geotourism and ecotourism loci for the broader Altai area within a framework of sustainable development. The modelled assessment of the tourism and recreation potential is based upon multi-proxy analyses of GIS, DEM, and cartographic data. It integrates the most appealing natural (biotic and abiotic) site-specific natural features across all physiographic zones within a broad region. The most significant and representative geosites fall within three geographic sectors suitable for geo- and ecotourism. Prospects for travel to these places are enhanced by the presence of numerous prehistoric archaeological sites and historical monuments, which document the rich, multi-ethnic background of Kazakhstan and the ancient Silk Road that traverses it. These geological, environmental and cultural resources, and the regional geoheritage and environmental conservation concepts have been figured into strategies for economic growth of rural Kazakhstan. Visitors travelling to this most appealing region are constrained by climate of pronounced continentality, seasonality, geographic accessibility, the international border-zone regulations and a lack of services of an international standard. Full article
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Article
Site Amplification Analysis of Dushanbe City Area, Tajikistan to Support Seismic Microzonation
Geosciences 2021, 11(4), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040154 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Being a country exposed to strong seismicity, the estimation of seismic hazard in Tajikistan is essential for urbanized areas, such as the rapidly growing capital city Dushanbe. To ensure people’s safety and adequate construction work, a detailed seismic microzonation is the key to [...] Read more.
Being a country exposed to strong seismicity, the estimation of seismic hazard in Tajikistan is essential for urbanized areas, such as the rapidly growing capital city Dushanbe. To ensure people’s safety and adequate construction work, a detailed seismic microzonation is the key to proper hazard planning. Existing estimations of seismic hazard date back to 1978; they are based on engineering geological investigations and observed macroseismic data. Thereupon relies the Tajik Building Code, which considers seismic intensities according to the Medvedev–Sponheuer–Karnik Scale, MSK-64. However, this code does not accurately account for soil types, which vary considerably in Dushanbe—not only by their nature, but also due to increasing anthropogenic influences. In this study, we performed a series of analyses based on microtremor array measurements, seismic refraction tomography, and instrumental data recording from permanent stations for standard spectral ration and from mobile seismic stations for the horizontal to vertical spectral ratio in order to provide a comprehensive full-cover microzonation of Dushanbe accounting for soil types. Our results identify several critical areas where major damage is likely to occur during strong earthquakes. Full article
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Article
Hydrogen Emanations in Intracratonic Areas: New Guide Lines for Early Exploration Basin Screening
Geosciences 2021, 11(3), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11030145 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 4
Abstract
Offshore the emissions of dihydrogen are highlighted by the smokers along the oceanic ridges. Onshore in situ measurements in ophiolitic contexts and in old cratons have also proven the existence of numerous H2 emissive areas. When H2 emanations affect the soils, [...] Read more.
Offshore the emissions of dihydrogen are highlighted by the smokers along the oceanic ridges. Onshore in situ measurements in ophiolitic contexts and in old cratons have also proven the existence of numerous H2 emissive areas. When H2 emanations affect the soils, small depressions and vegetation gaps are observed. These depressions, called fairy circles, have similarities with the pockmark and vent structures recognized for long time in the sea floor when natural gas escapes but also differences. In this paper we present a statistic approach of the density, size, and shape of the fairy circles in various basins. New data from Brazil and Australia are compared to the existing database already gathered in Russia, USA, and again Brazil. The comparison suggests that Australia could be one of the most promising areas for H2 exploration, de facto a couple of wells already found H2, whereas they were drilled to look for hydrocarbons. The sum of areas from where H2 is seeping overpasses 45 km2 in Kangaroo Island as in the Yorke Peninsula. The size of the emitting structures, expressed in average diameter, varies from few meters to kilometers and the footprint expressed in % of the ground within the structures varies from 1 to 17%. However, globally the sets of fairy circles in the various basins are rather similar and one may consider that their characteristics are homogeneous and may help to characterize these H2 emitting zones. Two kinds of size repartitions are observed, one with two maxima (25 m and between 220 m ± 25%) one with a simple Gaussian shape with a single maximum around 175 m ± 20%. Various geomorphological characteristics allow us to differentiate depressions of the ground due to gas emissions from karstic dolines. The more relevant ones are their slope and the ratio diameter vs. depth. At the opposite of the pockmark structures observed on the seafloor for which exclusion zones have been described, the H2 emitting structures may intersect and they often growth by coalescence. These H2 emitting structures are always observed, up to now, above Archean or Neoproterozoic cratons; it suggests that anoxia at the time the sedimentation and iron content play a key role in the H2 sourcing. Full article
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Article
Remote Sensing of Snow Cover Variability and Its Influence on the Runoff of Sápmi’s Rivers
Geosciences 2021, 11(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11030130 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
The boreal winter 2019/2020 was very irregular in Europe. While there was very little snow in Central Europe, the opposite was the case in northern Fenno-Scandia, particularly in the Arctic. The snow cover was more persistent here and its rapid melting led to [...] Read more.
The boreal winter 2019/2020 was very irregular in Europe. While there was very little snow in Central Europe, the opposite was the case in northern Fenno-Scandia, particularly in the Arctic. The snow cover was more persistent here and its rapid melting led to flooding in many places. Since the last severe spring floods occurred in the region in 2018, this raises the question of whether more frequent occurrences can be expected in the future. To assess the variability of snowmelt related flooding we used snow cover maps (derived from the DLR’s Global SnowPack MODIS snow product) and freely available data on runoff, precipitation, and air temperature in eight unregulated river catchment areas. A trend analysis (Mann-Kendall test) was carried out to assess the development of the parameters, and the interdependencies of the parameters were examined with a correlation analysis. Finally, a simple snowmelt runoff model was tested for its applicability to this region. We noticed an extraordinary variability in the duration of snow cover. If this extends well into spring, rapid air temperature increases leads to enhanced thawing. According to the last flood years 2005, 2010, 2018, and 2020, we were able to differentiate between four synoptic flood types based on their special hydrometeorological and snow situation and simulate them with the snowmelt runoff model (SRM). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring of the Seasonal Snow Cover)
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Article
The Gavorrano Monzogranite (Northern Apennines): An Updated Review of Host Rock Protoliths, Thermal Metamorphism and Tectonic Setting
Geosciences 2021, 11(3), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11030124 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
We review and refine the geological setting of an area located nearby the Tyrrhenian seacoast, in the inner zone of the Northern Apennines (southern Tuscany), where a Neogene monzogranite body (estimated in about 3 km long, 1.5 km wide, and 0.7 km thick) [...] Read more.
We review and refine the geological setting of an area located nearby the Tyrrhenian seacoast, in the inner zone of the Northern Apennines (southern Tuscany), where a Neogene monzogranite body (estimated in about 3 km long, 1.5 km wide, and 0.7 km thick) emplaced during early Pliocene. This magmatic intrusion, known as the Gavorrano pluton, is partially exposed in a ridge bounded by regional faults delimiting broad structural depressions. A widespread circulation of geothermal fluids accompanied the cooling of the magmatic body and gave rise to an extensive Fe-ore deposit (mainly pyrite) exploited during the past century. The tectonic setting which favoured the emplacement and exhumation of the Gavorrano pluton is strongly debated with fallouts on the comprehension of the Neogene evolution of this sector of the inner Northern Apennines. Data from a new fieldwork dataset, integrated with information from the mining activity, have been integrated to refine the geological setting of the whole crustal sector where the Gavorrano monzogranite was emplaced and exhumed. Our review, implemented by new palynological, petrological and structural data pointed out that: (i) the age of the Palaeozoic phyllite (hosting rocks) is middle-late Permian, thus resulting younger than previously described (i.e., pre-Carboniferous); (ii) the conditions at which the metamorphic aureole developed are estimated at a temperature of c. 660 °C and at a depth lower than c. 6 km; (iii) the tectonic evolution which determined the emplacement and exhumation of the monzogranite is constrained in a transfer zone, in the frame of the extensional tectonics affecting the area continuously since Miocene. Full article
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Article
The Mw = 5.6 Kanallaki Earthquake of 21 March 2020 in West Epirus, Greece: Reverse Fault Model from InSAR Data and Seismotectonic Implications for Apulia-Eurasia Collision
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110454 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
We identify the source of the Mw = 5.6 earthquake that hit west-central Epirus on 21 March 2020 00:49:52 UTC. We use Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar interferograms tied to one permanent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) station (GARD). We model the source by [...] Read more.
We identify the source of the Mw = 5.6 earthquake that hit west-central Epirus on 21 March 2020 00:49:52 UTC. We use Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar interferograms tied to one permanent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) station (GARD). We model the source by inverting the INSAR displacement data. The inversion model suggests a shallow source on a low-angle fault (39°) dipping towards east with a centroid depth of 8.5 km. The seismic moment deduced from our model agrees with those of the published seismic moment tensors. This geometry is compatible with reverse-slip motion along the west-verging Margariti thrust fault that accommodates part of the convergence within the collision zone between Apulia and Eurasia. We also processed new GNSS data and estimate a total convergence rate between Apulia and Eurasia of 8.9 mm yr−1, of which the shortening of the crust between the Epirus coastal GNSS stations and station PAXO in the Ionian Sea (across the Ionian Thrust) is equivalent to ~50% of it or 4.6 mm yr−1. By back-slip modelling we found that a 60-km wide deformation zone takes up nearly most of the convergence between Apulia-Eurasia, trending N318°E. Its central axis runs along the southwest coast of Corfu, along the northeast coast of Paxoi, heading toward the northern extremity of the Lefkada island. The island of Paxoi appears kinematically as part of the Apulian plate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismotectonics, Active Deformation, and Structure of the Crust)
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Chinyero Volcanic Landscape Trail (Canary Islands, Spain): A Geotourism Proposal to Identify Natural and Cultural Heritage in Volcanic Areas
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110453 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
The Chinyero Special Nature Reserve is located on the NW rift zone of Tenerife, between 600 and 1500 m above sea level. This natural setting is distinguished by a significant concentration of monogenetic basaltic volcanoes that have erupted in recent and historical times, [...] Read more.
The Chinyero Special Nature Reserve is located on the NW rift zone of Tenerife, between 600 and 1500 m above sea level. This natural setting is distinguished by a significant concentration of monogenetic basaltic volcanoes that have erupted in recent and historical times, including Garachico (1706) and Chinyero (1909). The volcanic landscapes of this protected area are part of the Canary Island pine forest ecosystem and, therefore, also feature beautiful forests colonising the newly formed layers of volcanic materials. The aim of this paper is to design a geographical route through the landscape for geotourism purposes, based on a global and coherent interpretation of the original physiognomy of a landscape that has been decisively shaped by volcanic phenomena. This nature trail represents a proposal for a new tourism product as an alternative to the traditional “sun and beach” coastal tourism product. This paper comprises a first stage, dedicated to the geographical study of the landscape, and a second stage focused on designing a geotourism route, which will identify and characterise the elements of the natural and cultural heritage of the area and its unique landforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geomorphology, Geoheritage, Geoparks and Geotourism in Volcanic Areas)
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Article
Detailed Geophysical Mapping and Hydrogeological Characterisation of the Subsurface for Optimal Placement of Infiltration-Based Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110446 - 08 Nov 2020
Abstract
The continuous growth of cities in combination with future climate changes present urban planners with significant challenges, as traditional urban sewer systems are typically designed for the present climate. An easy and economically feasible way to mitigate this is to introduce a Sustainable [...] Read more.
The continuous growth of cities in combination with future climate changes present urban planners with significant challenges, as traditional urban sewer systems are typically designed for the present climate. An easy and economically feasible way to mitigate this is to introduce a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) in the urban area. However, the lack of knowledge about the geological and hydrogeological setting hampers the use of SUDS. In this study, 1315 ha of high-density electromagnetic (DUALEM-421S) data, detailed lithological soil descriptions of 614 boreholes, 153 infiltration tests and 250 in situ vane tests from 32 different sites in the Central Denmark Region were utilised to find quantitative and qualitative regional relationships between the resistivity and the lithology, the percolation rates and the undrained shear strength of cohesive soils at a depth of 1 meter below ground surface (m bgs). The qualitative tests enable a translation from resistivity to lithology as well as a translation from lithology to percolation rates with moderate to high certainty. The regional cut-off value separating sand-dominated deposits from clay-dominated deposits is found to be between 80 to 100 Ωm. The regional median percolation rates for sand and clay till is found to be 9.9 × 10−5 m/s and 2.6 × 10−5 m/s, respectively. The quantitative results derived from a simple linear regression analysis of resistivity and percolation rates and resistivity and undrained shear strength of cohesive soils are found to have a very weak relationship on a regional scale implying that in reality no meaningful relationships can be established. The regional qualitative results have been tested on a case study area. The case study illustrates that site-specific investigations are necessary when using geophysical mapping to directly estimate lithology, percolation rates and undrained shear strength of cohesive soils due to the differences in soil properties and the surrounding environment from site to site. This study further illustrates that geophysical mapping in combination with lithological descriptions, infiltration tests and groundwater levels yield the basis for the construction of detailed planning maps showing the most suitable locations for infiltration. These maps provide valuable information for city planners about which areas may preclude the establishment of infiltration-based SUDS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Geophysics)
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Article
Discovery of Ancient Volcanoes in the Okhotsk Sea (Russia): New Constraints on the Opening History of the Kurile Back Arc Basin
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110442 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Here we present the first radiometric age and geochemical (major and trace element and isotope) data for samples from the Hydrographer Ridge, a back arc volcano of the Kurile Island Arc, and a newly discovered chain of volcanoes (“Sonne Volcanoes”) on the northwestern [...] Read more.
Here we present the first radiometric age and geochemical (major and trace element and isotope) data for samples from the Hydrographer Ridge, a back arc volcano of the Kurile Island Arc, and a newly discovered chain of volcanoes (“Sonne Volcanoes”) on the northwestern continental slope of the Kurile Basin on the opposite side of the arc. The 40Ar/39Ar age and geochemical data show that Hydrographer Ridge (3.2–3.3 Ma) and the “Sonne Volcanoes” (25.3–25.9 Ma) have very similar trace element and isotope characteristics to those of the Kurile Island Arc, indicating derivation from a common magma source. We conclude that the age of the “Sonne Volcanoes” marks the time of opening of the Kurile Basin, implying slow back arc spreading rates of 1.3–1.8 cm/y. Combined with published data from the Kurile fore arc, our data suggest that the processes of subduction, Kurile Basin opening and frontal arc extension occurred synchronously and that extension in the rear part and in the frontal part of the Kurile Island Arc must have been triggered by the same mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tectonics and Morphology of Back-Arc Basins)
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Foraminifer and Ostracod Occurrence in a Cool-Water Carbonate Factory of the Cape Adare (Ross Sea, Antarctica): A Key Lecture for the Climatic and Oceanographic Variations in the Last 30,000 Years
Geosciences 2020, 10(10), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10100413 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Foraminifers and ostracods were studied in a gravity-core recovered near Cape Adare (Ross Sea, Antarctica) with the aim of identifying the climatic and oceanographic variations during the last 30 ka. The sedimentary sequence represents conditions of a cool-water carbonate factory, which evidences that [...] Read more.
Foraminifers and ostracods were studied in a gravity-core recovered near Cape Adare (Ross Sea, Antarctica) with the aim of identifying the climatic and oceanographic variations during the last 30 ka. The sedimentary sequence represents conditions of a cool-water carbonate factory, which evidences that during the Marine Isotope Stage 2 (MIS2) the area was ice-free and very productive. The overall preservation of delicate skeletal remains such as bryozoans and molluscs indicated moderate bottom currents. This carbonate factory was interrupted by some terrigenous levels, representing conditions of instability/retreat of the ice shelves southward. The younger levels were referred to the meltwater pulse (MWP)-1A and 1B events. The Holocene sequence comprised more terrigenous sediments, reflecting high bottom-currents similar to the present-day conditions. Very abundant and well preserved foraminifers and ostracods, representative of shelf-upper slope paleoenvironments, were recovered. Epistominella exigua, among the foraminifers, suggested the influence of the Circumpolar Deep Water during some periods of the late Quaternary. Heavy-test taxa, such as Cibicides refulgens, indicated strengthening bottom hydrodynamics. As for the ostracods, peaks in the presence of Australicythere devexa, Bairdoppilata simplex and Pseudocythere aff. caudata together with significant values of Polycope spp. allowed us to identify environments rich in nutrients with the influence of cold and deep water upwelling phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quaternary Sedimentary Successions)
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Structural and Stratigraphic Setting of Campagna and Giffoni Tectonic Windows: New Insights on the Orogenic Evolution of the Southern Apennines (Italy)
Geosciences 2020, 10(10), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10100405 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
We present a structural study on the tectonic windows of Giffoni and Campagna, located in the western sector of the southern Apennines (Italy). We analyzed thrusts, folds, and related minor deformation structures. Here, a major in-sequence E-verging thrust fault juxtaposes Meso-Cenozoic successions of [...] Read more.
We present a structural study on the tectonic windows of Giffoni and Campagna, located in the western sector of the southern Apennines (Italy). We analyzed thrusts, folds, and related minor deformation structures. Here, a major in-sequence E-verging thrust fault juxtaposes Meso-Cenozoic successions of the Apennine Platform (Picentini Mts unit) and the Lagonegro-Molise Basin (Frigento unit). However, out-of-sequence thrusts duplicated the tectonic pile with the interposition of the upper Miocene wedge-top basin deposits of the Castelvetere Group. We reconstructed the orogenic evolution of these two tectonic windows, including five deformation phases. The first (D1) was related to the in-sequence thrusting with minor thrusts and folds, widespread both in the footwall and the hanging wall. A subsequent extension (D2) has formed normal faults crosscutting the D1 thrusts and folds. All structures were subsequently affected by two shortening stages (D3 and D4), which also deformed the upper Miocene wedge top basin deposits of the Castelvetere Group. We interpreted the D3–D4 structures as related to an out-of-sequence thrust system defined by a main frontal E-verging thrust and lateral ramps characterized by N and S vergences. Low-angle normal faults were formed in the hanging wall of the major thrusts. Out-of-sequence thrusts are observed in the whole southern Apennines, recording a crustal shortening event that occurred in the late Messinian–early Pliocene. Finally, we suggest that the two tectonic windows are the result of the formation of an E–W trending regional antiform, associated with a late S-verging back-thrust, that has been eroded and crosscut by normal faults (D5) in the Early Pleistocene. Full article
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Cemented on the Rock. A Pleistocene Outer Shelf Lithobiont Community from Sicily, Italy
Geosciences 2020, 10(9), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10090343 - 29 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The lithobiont community encrusting an early Pleistocene palaeocliff cropping out north of Augusta (SE Sicily, Italy) was investigated based on field observations and laboratory inspection of two rocky samples. Bryozoans, serpulids, brachiopods and bivalves encrusted part of the exposed surfaces that were bored [...] Read more.
The lithobiont community encrusting an early Pleistocene palaeocliff cropping out north of Augusta (SE Sicily, Italy) was investigated based on field observations and laboratory inspection of two rocky samples. Bryozoans, serpulids, brachiopods and bivalves encrusted part of the exposed surfaces that were bored mostly by clionaid sponges. Bryozoans, with at least 25 species detected on the rocky samples, are the most diversified skeletonized lithobionts also accounting for the highest number of colonies/specimens and highest coverage. Brachiopods, with the only species Novocrania anomala and a few but large cemented valves, cover wide surfaces. Serpulids, with two species identified on the sampled rocks and further two on the outcrop, were intermediate. A multiphase colonization is present, including a final epilithobiont community locally formed on eroded surfaces exposing a network of pervasive borings. The co-occurrence of very sciaphilic species having circalittoral to bathyal distributions suggests that the studied community thrived on a rocky substratum located near or at the shelf break, probably belonging to the shelf break (or RL) biocoenosis, also in agreement with observations on the fossil content of neighboring marly sediments. The observed relationships among colonizers largely represent mere superimpositions, and real interactions are not enough to state species competitiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quaternary Sedimentary Successions)
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Article
Validating Structural Styles in the Flysch Basin Northern Rif (Morocco) by Means of Thermal Modeling
Geosciences 2020, 10(9), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10090325 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Vitrinite reflectance and a micro-Raman spectroscopy parameters data set have been acquired on dispersed organic matter of the Maghrebian flysch basin and the Tangiers unit across a NE-SW section in the north-western Rif belt (North Morocco). Thermal maturity shows increasing values from the [...] Read more.
Vitrinite reflectance and a micro-Raman spectroscopy parameters data set have been acquired on dispersed organic matter of the Maghrebian flysch basin and the Tangiers unit across a NE-SW section in the north-western Rif belt (North Morocco). Thermal maturity shows increasing values from the hinterland to the external unit (from NE to SW). Paleo-thermal indicators show that the internal flysch basin (i.e., the Mauretanian unit) is less mature than the external one, (i.e., the Massylian unit), with Ro% and Ro eq. Raman values ranging from 0.64% to 1.02% (from early mature to late mature stages of hydrocarbon generation). 1D thermal modeling estimates the overburden now totally eroded ranging from 3.1 km to 6.0 km, and has been used as constraint to reconstruct the complete thrust wedge geometry in Miocene times. The reconstructed geometry accounts for high shortening (about 63%) due to the development of an antiformal stack in the frontal part of the wedge made up by the flysch succession. This stacking is interpreted as a consequence of the western translation of the Alboran Domain in the core of the Betic-Rif orogenic system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature in Sedimentary Basins)
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Article
Sedimentation Patterns of Multiple Finnish Lakes Reveal the Main Environmental Stressors and the Role of Peat Extraction in Lake Sedimentation
Geosciences 2020, 10(8), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080313 - 13 Aug 2020
Abstract
Human land-use activities, especially in the peatlands, are under consideration as the mitigation and lowering of CO2 emissions from land-use practices is needed to address climate change. In Finland, approximately one third of the land surface is covered by peatlands, and around [...] Read more.
Human land-use activities, especially in the peatlands, are under consideration as the mitigation and lowering of CO2 emissions from land-use practices is needed to address climate change. In Finland, approximately one third of the land surface is covered by peatlands, and around 50% of peatlands are ditched for forestry. Another 3% of peatlands are used for agriculture and approximately 1% for peat extraction. The effects of these different land-use practices, including changes in sediment depositional rates and sediment quality, need to be identified. This study analyzed 51 lakes that were subdivided into two groups: (1) a group of impacted lakes in which peat was recently extracted from the catchments and (2) a reference group consisting of lakes where peat had not been extracted from the basin, but in which other land-use activities had occurred. The overall aim of the study was to investigate if peat extraction caused excessive delivery and deposition of dry and organic matter in lakes that are located in their immediate downstream catchment areas. Differences in sediment accumulation were defined by comparing the overall sediment thickness and recent (post 1986) sedimentation levels to identify if there were differences in the sediment chemical composition or rate of organic matter deposition between groups and to identify possible land-use stressors that could explain the possible differences in sediment chemical assemblages or sedimentation rates. The results show moderate (cm scale) sedimentation rates in both impacted and reference lakes after 1986, while sediment chemical assemblages indicated the erosion and input of mineral soils to all of the studied lakes, rather than the input of organic materials. No statistically significant correlations were observed between selected environmental variables and the recent accumulation rates of carbon and dry matter. Moreover, significant changes in the stressors potentially affecting the chemical assemblages of pre- and post-disturbance sediments were not observed. Full article
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Article
Late Miocene-Early Pliocene Out-of-Sequence Thrusting in the Southern Apennines (Italy)
Geosciences 2020, 10(8), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080301 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
We present a structural study on late Miocene-early Pliocene out-of-sequence thrusts affecting the southern Apennine orogenic belt. The analyzed structures are exposed in the Campania region (southern Italy). Here, thrusts bound the N-NE side of the carbonate ridges that form the regional mountain [...] Read more.
We present a structural study on late Miocene-early Pliocene out-of-sequence thrusts affecting the southern Apennine orogenic belt. The analyzed structures are exposed in the Campania region (southern Italy). Here, thrusts bound the N-NE side of the carbonate ridges that form the regional mountain backbone. In several outcrops, the Mesozoic carbonates are superposed onto the unconformable wedge-top basin deposits of the upper Miocene Castelvetere Group, providing constraints to the age of the activity of this thrusting event. Moreover, a 4-km-long N-S oriented electrical resistivity tomography profile, carried out along the Caserta mountains, sheds light on the structure of this thrust system in an area where it is not exposed. Further information was carried out from a tunnel excavation that allowed us to study some secondary fault splays. The kinematic analysis of out-of-sequence major and minor structures hosted both in the hanging wall (Apennine Platform carbonates) and footwall (Castelvetere Group deposits and Lagonegro-Molise Basin units) indicates the occurrence of two superposed shortening directions, about E-W and N-S, respectively. We associated these compressive structures to an out-of-sequence thrusting event defined by frontal thrusts verging to the east and lateral ramp thrusts verging to the north and south. We related the out-of-sequence thrusting episode to the positive inversion of inherited normal faults located in the Paleozoic basement. These envelopments thrust upward to crosscut the allochthonous wedge, including, in the western zone of the chain, the upper Miocene wedge-top basin deposits. Full article
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Article
Multi-Proxy Characterisation of the Storegga Tsunami and Its Impact on the Early Holocene Landscapes of the Southern North Sea
Geosciences 2020, 10(7), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10070270 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Doggerland was a landmass occupying an area currently covered by the North Sea until marine inundation took place during the mid-Holocene, ultimately separating the British landmass from the rest of Europe. The Storegga Event, which triggered a tsunami reflected in sediment deposits in [...] Read more.
Doggerland was a landmass occupying an area currently covered by the North Sea until marine inundation took place during the mid-Holocene, ultimately separating the British landmass from the rest of Europe. The Storegga Event, which triggered a tsunami reflected in sediment deposits in the northern North Sea, northeast coastlines of the British Isles and across the North Atlantic, was a major event during this transgressive phase. The spatial extent of the Storegga tsunami however remains unconfirmed as, to date, no direct evidence for the event has been recovered from the southern North Sea. We present evidence of a tsunami deposit in the southern North Sea at the head of a palaeo-river system that has been identified using seismic survey. The evidence, based on lithostratigraphy, geochemical signatures, macro and microfossils and sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA), supported by optical stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon dating, suggests that these deposits were a result of the tsunami. Seismic identification of this stratum and analysis of adjacent cores showed diminished traces of the tsunami which was largely removed by subsequent erosional processes. Our results confirm previous modelling of the impact of the tsunami within this area of the southern North Sea, and also indicate that these effects were temporary, localized, and mitigated by the dense woodland and topography of the area. We conclude that clear physical remnants of the wave in these areas are likely to be restricted to now buried, palaeo-inland basins and incised river valley systems. Full article
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Article
The Zagreb (Croatia) M5.5 Earthquake on 22 March 2020
Geosciences 2020, 10(7), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10070252 - 01 Jul 2020
Cited by 20
Abstract
On 22 March 2020, Zagreb was struck by an M5.5 earthquake that had been expected for more than 100 years and revealed all the failures in the construction of residential buildings in the Croatian capital, especially those built in the first half of [...] Read more.
On 22 March 2020, Zagreb was struck by an M5.5 earthquake that had been expected for more than 100 years and revealed all the failures in the construction of residential buildings in the Croatian capital, especially those built in the first half of the 20th century. Because of that, extensive seismological, geological, geodetic and structural engineering surveys were conducted immediately after the main shock. This study provides descriptions of damage, specifying the building performances and their correlation with the local soil characteristics, i.e., seismic motion amplification. Co-seismic vertical ground displacement was estimated, and the most affected area is identified according to Sentinel-1 interferometric wide-swath data. Finally, preliminary 3D structural modeling of the earthquake sequence was performed, and two major faults were modeled using inverse distance weight (IDW) interpolation of the grouped hypocenters. The first-order assessment of seismic amplification (due to site conditions) in the Zagreb area for the M5.5 earthquake shows that ground motions of approximately 0.16–0.19 g were amplified at least twice. The observed co-seismic deformation (based on Sentinel-1A IW SLC images) implies an approximately 3 cm uplift of the epicentral area that covers approximately 20 km2. Based on the preliminary spatial and temporal analyses of the Zagreb 2020 earthquake sequence, the main shock and the first aftershocks evidently occurred in the subsurface of the Medvednica Mountains along a deep-seated southeast-dipping thrust fault, recognized as the primary (master) fault. The co-seismic rupture propagated along the thrust towards northwest during the first half-hour of the earthquake sequence, which can be clearly seen from the time-lapse visualization. The preliminary results strongly support one of the debated models of the active tectonic setting of the Medvednica Mountains and will contribute to a better assessment of the seismic hazard for the wider Zagreb area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geophysics)
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Article
Sea Level Trend and Fronts in the South Atlantic Ocean
Geosciences 2020, 10(6), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10060218 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The understanding of the physical drivers of sea level trend is crucial on global and regional scales. In particular, little is known about the sea level trend in the South Atlantic Ocean in comparison with other parts of the world. In this work, [...] Read more.
The understanding of the physical drivers of sea level trend is crucial on global and regional scales. In particular, little is known about the sea level trend in the South Atlantic Ocean in comparison with other parts of the world. In this work, we computed the South Atlantic mean sea level (SAMSL) trend from 25 years of satellite altimetry data, and we analyzed the contributions of steric height (thermosteric and halosteric components) and ocean mass changes for the period 2005–2016 when all the source data used (Argo, GRACE and satellite altimetry) overlap. The SAMSL trend is 2.65 ± 0.24 mm/yr and is mostly explained by ocean mass trend, which is 2.22 ± 0.21 mm/yr. However, between 50° S–33° S, the steric height component constitutes the main contribution in comparison with the ocean mass component. Within that latitudinal band, three regions with trend values higher than the SAMSL trend are observed when considering 25 years of satellite SLA. In the three regions, a southward displacement of the Subtropical, Subantarctic, and Polar Fronts is observed. The southward shift of the fronts is associated with the strengthening and polar shift of westerly winds and contributes to a clear thermosteric trend that translates to the SLA trend observed in those regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Observations of Sea Level and Ocean Circulation)
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Article
Ground Deformation and Seismic Fault Model of the M6.4 Durres (Albania) Nov. 26, 2019 Earthquake, Based on GNSS/INSAR Observations
Geosciences 2020, 10(6), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10060210 - 01 Jun 2020
Cited by 18
Abstract
We identify the source of the Mw = 6.4 earthquake that rocked north-central Albania on November 26, 2019 02:54 UTC. We use synthetic aperture radar interferograms tied to the time series of coordinates of two permanent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations [...] Read more.
We identify the source of the Mw = 6.4 earthquake that rocked north-central Albania on November 26, 2019 02:54 UTC. We use synthetic aperture radar interferograms tied to the time series of coordinates of two permanent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations (DUR2 and TIR2). We model the source by inverting the displacement data. Assuming in our model a half-space elastic medium and uniform slip along a rectangular fault surface, we invert the 104 picked measurements on a couple of ascending and descending interferograms to calculate the parameters of the fault. All inversions made with different input parameters converge towards a stable and robust solution with root mean square (r.m.s.) residual of 5.4 mm, thus ~1/5 of a fringe. They reveal that the earthquake occurred deep in the crust on a low-angle fault (23°) dipping towards east with a centroid at 16.5 km depth. The best-fitting length and width of the fault are 22 and 13 km, and the reverse slip, 0.55 m. The seismic moment deduced from our model agrees with those of the published seismic moment tensors. This geometry is compatible with a blind thrust fault that may root on the main basal thrust, i.e., along the thrust front that separates Adria–Apulia from Eurasia. It is notable that there is a 123 ns yr−1 active shortening of the crust between the GNSS stations DUR2-TIR2 (equivalent to a shortening rate of 3.6 mm yr−1), and roughly in the east–west direction. Given this amount of strain the recurrence time of M6+ earthquakes along this fault should be of the order of 150 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismotectonics, Active Deformation, and Structure of the Crust)
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Article
Mainshock Anticipated by Intra-Sequence Ground Deformations: Insights from Multiscale Field and SAR Interferometric Measurements
Geosciences 2020, 10(5), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10050186 - 15 May 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
The 2016 Central Italy seismic sequence was characterized by two main events: 24 August, Mw 6, and 30 October, Mw 6.5. We carried out high-resolution field sampling and DInSAR analysis of the coseismic and intra-sequence ground deformations along the Mt Vettore-Mt Bove causative [...] Read more.
The 2016 Central Italy seismic sequence was characterized by two main events: 24 August, Mw 6, and 30 October, Mw 6.5. We carried out high-resolution field sampling and DInSAR analysis of the coseismic and intra-sequence ground deformations along the Mt Vettore-Mt Bove causative fault (VBF). We found that during the intra-sequence period (24 August–30 October), the ground experienced some deformations whose final patterns seemed to be retraced and amplified by the following mainshock. We interpreted that (i) immediately after the 24 August earthquake, the deformation observed in the southern VBF expanded northwards and westwards over a Length of Deforming Ground (LDG) ranging between 28.7 and 36.3 km, and (ii) it extended to the whole portion of the hanging wall that was later affected by mainshock coseismic deformation. Assuming the LDG to be an indicator for an expected (=coseismic) surface rupture length and using known scaling functions, we obtained 6.4 ≤ Mw ≤ 6.7 for a possible incoming earthquake, which is consistent with the mainshock magnitude. We suggest that the evolution of the ground deformations after a significant seismic event might provide insights on the occurrence of new earthquakes with magnitudes comparable to or larger than the former. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Sequence in Mediterranean Region)
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Article
A Gas-Emission Crater in the Erkuta River Valley, Yamal Peninsula: Characteristics and Potential Formation Model
Geosciences 2020, 10(5), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10050170 - 08 May 2020
Cited by 12
Abstract
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and the abrupt degassing events that recently have formed large craters on the Russian Arctic Yamal and Gydan Peninsulas have caused major concern. Here we present field data on cover sediments and evolution of a gas-emission crater [...] Read more.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and the abrupt degassing events that recently have formed large craters on the Russian Arctic Yamal and Gydan Peninsulas have caused major concern. Here we present field data on cover sediments and evolution of a gas-emission crater discovered in the Erkuta–Yakha River valley in the southern Yamal Peninsula in June 2017. The crater is located south of other similar craters discovered over the past decade in northern West Siberia. Data were collected during a field trip to the Erkuta crater in December 2017 which included field observations and sampling of permafrost soil and ground ice from the rim of the crater. All soil and ice samples were measured for contents of methane and its homologs (ethane and propane) and carbon dioxide. The contents of carbon dioxide in some samples are notably higher than methane. The strongly negative δ13С of methane from ground ice samples (−72‰) is typical of biogenic hydrocarbons. The ratio of methane to the total amount of its homologs indicate a component of gases that have migrated from a deeper, thermogenic source. Based on obtained results, a potential formation model for Erkuta gas-emission crater is proposed, which considers the combined effect of deep-seated (deep gas migration) and shallow (oxbow lake evolution and closed talik freezing) causes. This model includes several stages from geological prerequisites to the lake formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Emissions and Crater Formation in Arctic Permafrost)
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Article
Soil–Structure Interaction Assessment of the 23 November 1980 Irpinia-Basilicata Earthquake
Geosciences 2020, 10(4), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10040152 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
This paper aimed to present a systematic study of the effects caused by the strong earthquake that struck southern Italy on 23 November 1980 (Ms = 6.9) and affected the Campania and Basilicata regions. Two aspects are discussed here: The broadening of the [...] Read more.
This paper aimed to present a systematic study of the effects caused by the strong earthquake that struck southern Italy on 23 November 1980 (Ms = 6.9) and affected the Campania and Basilicata regions. Two aspects are discussed here: The broadening of the knowledge of the response site effects by considering several soil free-field conditions and the assessment of the role of the soil–structure interaction (SSI) on a representative benchmark structure. This research study, based on the state-of-the-art knowledge, may be applied to assess future seismic events and to propose new original code provisions. The numerical simulations were herein performed with the advanced platform OpenSees, which can consider non-linear models for both the structure and the soil. The results show the importance of considering the SSI in the seismic assessment of soil amplifications and its consequences on the structural performance. Full article
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Article
‘Silent’ Dome Emplacement into a Wet Volcano: Observations from an Effusive Eruption at White Island (Whakaari), New Zealand in Late 2012
Geosciences 2020, 10(4), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10040142 - 14 Apr 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
The 2012–2016 White Island (Whakaari) eruption sequence encompassed six small explosive events that included one steam driven and five explosive phreato-magmatic eruptions. More enigmatic, a dome was observed at the back of the vent and crater lake in November 2012. Its emplacement date [...] Read more.
The 2012–2016 White Island (Whakaari) eruption sequence encompassed six small explosive events that included one steam driven and five explosive phreato-magmatic eruptions. More enigmatic, a dome was observed at the back of the vent and crater lake in November 2012. Its emplacement date could not be easily determined due to persistent steam from the evaporating crater lake and because of the very low levels of discrete volcanic earthquakes associated with its growth. During this period, seismicity also included persistent tremor with dominant frequencies in the 2–5 Hz range. Detailed assessment of the tremor reveals a very slow evolution of the spectral peaks from low to higher frequencies. These gliding spectral lines evolved over a three-month time period beginning in late September 2012 and persisting until early January 2013, when the tremor stabilised. As part of the dome emplacement episode, the crater lake progressively dried, leaving isolated pools which then promoted persistent mud/sulphur eruption activity starting in mid-January 2013. We interpret the emplacement of the dome as a non-explosive process where the hot, mostly degassed, magma intruded slowly through the hydrothermal system in late September 2012 and cooled in a relatively quiet state. The tremor evolution might reflect the slow contraction of subsurface resonant cavities, which increased the pitch of the peak resonant frequency through time. Alternatively, spectral evolution might reflect a ‘comb function’ due to clockwork beating of the slowly cooling dome, although direct evidence of clockwork beats is not seen in the waveform data. Finally, it might represent frothing of the hydrothermal system ahead of the slowly propagating magma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring and Modeling the Magma-Hydrothermal Regime)
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Article
Spatial Landslide Risk Assessment at Phuentsholing, Bhutan
Geosciences 2020, 10(4), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10040131 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 20
Abstract
Landslides are one of the most destructive and most recurring natural calamities in the Himalayan region. Their occurrence leads to immense damage to infrastructure and loss of land, human lives, and livestock. One of the most affected regions is the Bhutan Himalayas, where [...] Read more.
Landslides are one of the most destructive and most recurring natural calamities in the Himalayan region. Their occurrence leads to immense damage to infrastructure and loss of land, human lives, and livestock. One of the most affected regions is the Bhutan Himalayas, where the majority of the landslides are rainfall-induced. The present study aims to determine the hazard and risk associated with rainfall-induced landslides for the Phuentsholing region located in the southwestern part of the Bhutan Himalayas. The work involves developing a landslide risk map using hazard and vulnerability maps utilizing landslide records from 2004 to 2014. The landslide hazard map was generated by determining spatial and temporal probabilities for the study region. The spatial probability was computed by analyzing the landslide contributing factors like geology, slope, elevation, rainfall, and vegetation based on comprehensive field study and expertise about the area. The contributing factors were divided into various classes and the percentage of landslide occurrence under each class was calculated to understand its contributing significance. Thereafter, a weighted linear combination approach was used in a GIS environment to develop the spatial probability map which was multiplied with temporal probabilities based on regional rainfall thresholds already determined for the region. Consequently, vulnerability assessment was conducted using key elements at risk (population, land use/land cover, proximity to road, proximity to stream) and the weights were provided based on expert judgment and comprehensive field study. Finally, risk was determined and the various regions in the study area were categorized as high, medium, and low risk. Such a study is necessary for low-economic countries like Bhutan which suffers from unavailability of extensive data and research. The study is conducted for a specific region but can be extended to other areas around the investigated area. The tool can serve as an indicator for the civil authorities to analyze the risk posed by landslides due to the rapid infrastructure development in the region. Full article
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Article
Evaluating Rockfall Risk: Some Critical Aspects
Geosciences 2020, 10(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030098 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 27
Abstract
Rockfalls evolve rapidly and unpredictably in mountain environments and can cause considerable losses to human societies, structures, economical activities, and also natural and historical heritage. Rockfall risk analyses are complex and multi-scale processes involving several disciplines and techniques. This complexity is due to [...] Read more.
Rockfalls evolve rapidly and unpredictably in mountain environments and can cause considerable losses to human societies, structures, economical activities, and also natural and historical heritage. Rockfall risk analyses are complex and multi-scale processes involving several disciplines and techniques. This complexity is due to the main features of rockfall phenomena, which are extremely variable over space and time. Today, a considerable number of methods exists for protecting land, as well as assessing and managing the risk level. These methodologies are often very different from each other, depending on the data required, the purposes of the analysis, and the reference scale adopted, i.e., the analysis level of detail. Nevertheless, several questions still remain open with reference to each phase of the hazard and risk process. This paper is devoted to a general overview of existing risk estimation methodologies and a critical analysis of some open questions with the aim of highlighting possible further research topics. A typical risk assessment framework is exemplified by analyzing a real case study. Each step of the process is treated at both the detailed and the large scale in order to highlight the main characteristics of each level of detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Article
The Effects of Slope Initialization on the Numerical Model Predictions of the Slope-Vegetation-Atmosphere Interaction
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020085 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
Deep slope movements and, eventually, slope failure, have been often interpreted to be due to slope-vegetation-atmosphere interaction on slopes formed of clayey materials in the Italian Southern-Eastern Apennines, as reported in the literature. Such slopes are generally formed of flysch, within which clay [...] Read more.
Deep slope movements and, eventually, slope failure, have been often interpreted to be due to slope-vegetation-atmosphere interaction on slopes formed of clayey materials in the Italian Southern-Eastern Apennines, as reported in the literature. Such slopes are generally formed of flysch, within which clay is the main lithotype. Such clays are characterized by a disturbed meso-fabric, as an effect of the intense tectonics. The paper presents the results of coupled hydromechanical numerical analyses of the slope-vegetation-atmosphere interaction for a clay slope representative for the geomechanical scenario where such climate-induced deep slope movements have been repeatedly recorded. In the analyses, different model initialization procedures and parameter values were adopted. The comparison of the numerical results with the site data is aimed at assessing the effects of the soil-vegetation-atmosphere interaction taking place in the top strata of the slope, on the stress-strain conditions across the whole slope, and on the slope stability. The comparison between the numerical results of the analyses carried out entailing different initialization stages are intended to evaluate the influence of such a stage on the model predictions. It is found that only when the slope model initialization accounts for the slope loading history, developed over geological time, the numerical predictions get close to the site observations. In such case, the numerical results confirm that deep movements consequent to progressive failure may take place in clay slopes due to the slope-vegetation-atmosphere interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Article
Morphotectonic Kinematic Indicators along the Vigan-Aggao Fault: The Western Deformation Front of the Philippine Fault Zone in Northern Luzon, the Philippines
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020083 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Vigan-Aggao Fault is a 140-km-long complex active fault system consisting of multiple traces in the westernmost part of the Philippine Fault Zone (PFZ) in northern Luzon, the Philippines. In this paper, its traces, segmentation, and oblique left-lateral strike-slip motion are determined from [...] Read more.
The Vigan-Aggao Fault is a 140-km-long complex active fault system consisting of multiple traces in the westernmost part of the Philippine Fault Zone (PFZ) in northern Luzon, the Philippines. In this paper, its traces, segmentation, and oblique left-lateral strike-slip motion are determined from horizontal and vertical displacements measured from over a thousand piercing points pricked from displaced spurs and streams observed from Google Earth Pro satellite images. This work marks the first instance of the extensive use of Google Earth as a tool in mapping and determining the kinematics of active faults. Complete 3D image coverage of a major thoroughgoing active fault system is freely and easily accessible on the Google Earth Pro platform. It provides a great advantage to researchers collecting morphotectonic displacement data, especially where access to aerial photos covering the entire fault system is next to impossible. This tool has not been applied in the past due to apprehensions on the positional measurement accuracy (mainly of the vertical component). The new method outlined in this paper demonstrates the applicability of this tool in the detailed mapping of active fault traces through a neotectonic analysis of fault-zone features. From the sense of motion of the active faults in northern Luzon and of the major bounding faults in central Luzon, the nature of deformation in these regions can be inferred. An understanding of the kinematics is critical in appreciating the distribution and the preferred mode of accommodation of deformation by faulting in central and northern Luzon resulting from oblique convergence of the Sunda Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate. The location, extent, segmentation patterns, and sense of motion of active faults are critical in coming up with reasonable estimates of the hazards involved and identifying areas prone to these hazards. The magnitude of earthquakes is also partly dependent on the type and nature of fault movement. With a proper evaluation of these parameters, earthquake hazards and their effects in different tectonic settings worldwide can be estimated more accurately. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards)
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Article
Distinguishing between Deep-Water Sediment Facies: Turbidites, Contourites and Hemipelagites
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020068 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 39
Abstract
The distinction between turbidites, contourites and hemipelagites in modern and ancient deep-water systems has long been a matter of controversy. This is partly because the processes themselves show a degree of overlap as part of a continuum, so that the deposit characteristics also [...] Read more.
The distinction between turbidites, contourites and hemipelagites in modern and ancient deep-water systems has long been a matter of controversy. This is partly because the processes themselves show a degree of overlap as part of a continuum, so that the deposit characteristics also overlap. In addition, the three facies types commonly occur within interbedded sequences of continental margin deposits. The nature of these end-member processes and their physical parameters are becoming much better known and are summarised here briefly. Good progress has also been made over the past decade in recognising differences between end-member facies in terms of their sedimentary structures, facies sequences, ichnofacies, sediment textures, composition and microfabric. These characteristics are summarised here in terms of standard facies models and the variations from these models that are typically encountered in natural systems. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that clear distinction is not always possible on the basis of sedimentary characteristics alone, and that uncertainties should be highlighted in any interpretation. A three-scale approach to distinction for all deep-water facies types should be attempted wherever possible, including large-scale (oceanographic and tectonic setting), regional-scale (architecture and association) and small-scale (sediment facies) observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interacting Alongslope and Downslope Sedimentary Processes)
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Article
Constraints on Entrainment and Deposition Models in Avalanche Simulations from High-Resolution Radar Data
Geosciences 2020, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10010009 - 25 Dec 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Depth-integrated simulations of snow avalanches have become a central part of risk analysis and mitigation. However, the common practice of applying different model parameters to mimic different avalanches is unsatisfying. In here, we analyse this issue in terms of two differently sized avalanches [...] Read more.
Depth-integrated simulations of snow avalanches have become a central part of risk analysis and mitigation. However, the common practice of applying different model parameters to mimic different avalanches is unsatisfying. In here, we analyse this issue in terms of two differently sized avalanches from the full-scale avalanche test-site Vallée de la Sionne, Switzerland. We perform depth-integrated simulations with the toolkit OpenFOAM, simulating both events with the same set of model parameters. Simulation results are validated with high-resolution position data from the GEODAR radar. Rather than conducting extensive post-processing to match radar data to the output of the simulations, we generate synthetic flow signatures inside the flow model. The synthetic radar data can be directly compared with the GEODAR measurements. The comparison reveals weaknesses of the model, generally at the tail and specifically by overestimating the runout of the smaller event. Both issues are addressed by explicitly considering deposition processes in the depth-integrated model. The new deposition model significantly improves the simulation of the small avalanche, making it starve in the steep middle part of the slope. Furthermore, the deposition model enables more accurate simulations of deposition patterns and volumes and the simulation of avalanche series that are influenced by previous deposits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snow Avalanche Dynamics)
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Article
Early Observations of the Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120519 - 17 Dec 2019
Abstract
2I/Borisov is the second ever interstellar object (ISO). It is very different from the first ISO ’Oumuamua by showing cometary activities, and hence provides a unique opportunity to study comets that are formed around other stars. Here we present early imaging and spectroscopic [...] Read more.
2I/Borisov is the second ever interstellar object (ISO). It is very different from the first ISO ’Oumuamua by showing cometary activities, and hence provides a unique opportunity to study comets that are formed around other stars. Here we present early imaging and spectroscopic follow-ups to study its properties, which reveal an (up to) 5.9 km comet with an extended coma and a short tail. Our spectroscopic data do not reveal any emission lines between 4000–9000 Angstrom; nevertheless, we are able to put an upper limit on the flux of the C2 emission line, suggesting modest cometary activities at early epochs. These properties are similar to comets in the solar system, and suggest that 2I/Borisov—while from another star—is not too different from its solar siblings. Full article
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Article
Formation of the Yamal Crater in Northern West Siberia: Evidence from Geochemistry
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120515 - 14 Dec 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
In the framework of this work, studies on the Yamal crater formed as a result of a cryogenic eruption of a water-gas fluid were carried out. The structure and variations of the composition of the geochemical field along the section of the upper [...] Read more.
In the framework of this work, studies on the Yamal crater formed as a result of a cryogenic eruption of a water-gas fluid were carried out. The structure and variations of the composition of the geochemical field along the section of the upper horizons of permafrost are considered on the basis of field work, including the drilling of boreholes near the crater. The obtained regularities of the distribution of chemical elements, and gases between the mineral component of the soil and meltwater, suggest that permafrost at the site of the funnel are the remains of a sub-lake paleo-talik, from which mineralized water and gases were expulsed into the yet unfrozen reservoir that previously existed at this place. The component composition of gases suggests that they are products of biochemical processes similar to those that occur in modern peatlands. The δ13C value for methane extracted from the sediments of the near-contact zone of the Yamal crater was found to be −76‰. The predominance of high molecular weight normal alkanes in frozen bitumen indicates that the original organic substrate which was buried contained remains of higher vegetation. The Yamal funnel was formed by the sediment’s “explosion” while the water-gas fluid was released. The volume of the ejected sediment amounted to about 220 thousand m3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas and Gas Hydrate in Permafrost)
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Article
Undrained Cyclic Laboratory Behavior of Sandy Soils
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120512 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The complex cyclic shear stress path experienced by the soil during an earthquake, which could also induce liquefaction phenomena, can be approximated in the laboratory only by using sophisticated testing apparatuses. Cyclic triaxial tests have been widely used, especially for coarse grained soils, [...] Read more.
The complex cyclic shear stress path experienced by the soil during an earthquake, which could also induce liquefaction phenomena, can be approximated in the laboratory only by using sophisticated testing apparatuses. Cyclic triaxial tests have been widely used, especially for coarse grained soils, as in this study. In the framework of the design for the seismic retrofitting of the ‘‘Ritiro viaduct’’ foundations along the A20 motorway connecting Messina with Palermo (Italy), a soil liquefaction study was also carried out. With this aim, a detailed geological and geotechnical characterization of the area was performed by in situ and laboratory tests, including seismic dilatometer Marchetti tests (SDMTs), the combined resonant column (RCT) and cyclic loading torsional shear tests (CLTSTs), and undrained cyclic loading triaxial tests (CLTxTs). In particular, the paper presents the results of cyclic triaxial tests carried out on isotropically consolidated specimens of a sandy soil. The seismic retrofitting works include the reinforcement of the foundation and replacement of the decks with newly designed type and structural schemes, mixed steel, and concrete with continuous girder. During the investigation, data were acquired for the characterization of materials, for the definition of degradation phenomena with the relative identification of possible causes, and for the estimation of the residual performance characteristics of the building. The structural campaign of investigations necessary to determine all of the key parameters useful for a correct definition of the residual performance capabilities of the work was divided into two phases: One in situ and one in the laboratory. Full article
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Article
Improvement of an Operational Forecasting System for Extreme Tidal Events in Santos Estuary (Brazil)
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120511 - 10 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Forecasting estuarine circulation is a hot topic, especially in densely populated regions, like Santos (Brazil). This paper aims to improve a water-level forecasting system for the Santos estuary, particularly the physical forcing determining the residual tide, which in extreme cases increase the predicting [...] Read more.
Forecasting estuarine circulation is a hot topic, especially in densely populated regions, like Santos (Brazil). This paper aims to improve a water-level forecasting system for the Santos estuary, particularly the physical forcing determining the residual tide, which in extreme cases increase the predicting errors. The MOHID hydrodynamic model was implemented with a nested downscaling approach. All automatic procedures to provide a high-resolution real-time forecast system are managed by the AQUASAFE software. Water-level observation and prediction datasets (2016–2017) of five tide gauges in the Santos channel were analyzed, resulting in distinct model configurations, aiming to minimize forecasting inaccuracies. Current MOHID open boundary reference solutions were modified: the astronomical solution was updated from FES2012 to FES2014 whereas the meteorological component (Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) global solution) time resolution was altered from daily to hourly data. Furthermore, the correlation between significant wave height with positive residual tide events was identified. The model validation presented a minimum Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 12.5 cm. Despite FES2014 solution improvements at the bay entrance, errors increase in inner stations were maintained, portraying the need for better bathymetric data. The use of a CMEMS hourly resolution decreased the meteorological tide errors. A linear regression method was developed to correct the residual tide through post-processing, under specific wave height conditions. Overall, the newest implementation increased the water-level forecast accuracy, particularly under extreme events. Full article
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Article
Late Orogenic Heating of (Ultra)High Pressure Rocks: Slab Rollback vs. Slab Breakoff
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120499 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
Some (ultra)high-pressure metamorphic rocks that formed during continental collision preserve relict minerals, indicating a two-stage evolution: first, subduction to mantle depths and exhumation to the lower-crustal level (with simultaneous cooling), followed by intensive heating that can be characterized by a β-shaped pressure–temperature–time (P–T–t) [...] Read more.
Some (ultra)high-pressure metamorphic rocks that formed during continental collision preserve relict minerals, indicating a two-stage evolution: first, subduction to mantle depths and exhumation to the lower-crustal level (with simultaneous cooling), followed by intensive heating that can be characterized by a β-shaped pressure–temperature–time (P–T–t) path. Based on a two-dimensional (2D) coupled petrological–thermomechanical tectono-magmatic numerical model, we propose a possible sequence of tectonic stages that could lead to these overprinting metamorphic events along an orogenic β-shaped P–T–t path: the subduction and exhumation of continental crust, followed by slab retreat that leads to extension and subsequent asthenospheric upwelling. During the last stage, the exhumed crustal material at the crust–mantle boundary undergoes heating from the underlying hot asthenospheric mantle. This slab rollback scenario is further compared numerically with the classical continental collision scenario associated with slab breakoff, which is often used to explain the late heating impulse in the collisional orogens. The mantle upwelling occurring in the experiments with slab breakoff, which is responsible for the heating of the exhumed crustal material, is not related to the slab breakoff but can be caused either by slab bending before slab breakoff or by post-breakoff exhumation of the subducted crust. Our numerical modeling predictions align well with a variety of orogenic P–T–t paths that have been reported from many Phanerozoic collisional orogens, such as the Variscan Bohemian Massif, the Triassic Dabie Shan, the Cenozoic Northwest Himalaya, and some metamorphic complexes in the Alps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Deformation and Rheology of the Continental Lithosphere)
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Article
Landslide Susceptibility Assessment of Mauritius Island (Indian Ocean)
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120493 - 23 Nov 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
This work is focused on the landslide susceptibility assessment, applied to Mauritius Island. The study area is a volcanic island located in the western part of the Indian Ocean and it is characterized by a plateau-like morphology interrupted by three rugged mountain areas. [...] Read more.
This work is focused on the landslide susceptibility assessment, applied to Mauritius Island. The study area is a volcanic island located in the western part of the Indian Ocean and it is characterized by a plateau-like morphology interrupted by three rugged mountain areas. The island is severely affected by geo-hydrological hazards, generally triggered by tropical storms and cyclones. The landslide susceptibility analysis was performed through an integrated approach based on morphometric analysis and preliminary Geographical Information System (GIS)-based techniques, supported by photogeological analysis and geomorphological field mapping. The analysis was completed following a mixed heuristic and statistical approach, integrated using GIS technology. This approach led to the identification of eight landslide controlling factors. Hence, each factor was evaluated by assigning appropriate expert-based weights and analyzed for the construction of thematic maps. Finally, all the collected data were mapped through a cartographic overlay process in order to realize a new zonation of landslide susceptibility. The resulting map was grouped into four landslide susceptibility classes: low, medium, high, and very high. This work provides a scientific basis that could be effectively applied in other tropical areas showing similar climatic and geomorphological features, in order to develop sustainable territorial planning, emergency management, and loss-reduction measures. Full article
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Article
An Analysis Applying InSAR of Subsidence Caused by Nearby Mining-Induced Earthquakes
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120490 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Earthquake occurrence is usually unpredictable apart from sites in the vicinity of volcanoes. It is not easy to measure displacements caused by seismic phenomena using classical geodetic methods, which are based on point survey. Therefore, the surveying of ground movements caused by seismic [...] Read more.
Earthquake occurrence is usually unpredictable apart from sites in the vicinity of volcanoes. It is not easy to measure displacements caused by seismic phenomena using classical geodetic methods, which are based on point survey. Therefore, the surveying of ground movements caused by seismic events should be carried out continuously. Nowadays, remote sensing data and InSAR are often applied to monitor ground displacements in areas affected by seismicity. The effects of severe nearby mining-induced earthquakes have been discussed in the paper. The earthquakes occurred in 2017 and had a magnitude of 4.7 and 4.8. The distance between the epicenters of the mining-induced earthquakes was around 1.6 km. The aim of the investigation has been to analyze the spatio-temporal distribution of ground movements caused by the two tremors using the InSAR technique. Superposition of surface displacement has been studied in time and space. The main scientific aim has been to prove that in the areas where high-energy tremors occur, ground movements overlap. Due to proximity between the epicenters, the mining-induced earthquakes caused the formation of a large subsidence trough with the dimension of approximately 1.2 km × 4.2 km and total subsidence of ca. 116 mm. Two-time phases of subsidence were determined with temporal overlapping. The subsidence analysis has enhanced the cognition of the impact of mining-induced seismicity on the kinematics of surface changes. Moreover, the present work supports the thesis that InSAR is a valuable and adequately accurate technique to monitor ground displacements caused by mining induced earthquakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geophysics)
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Article
Spatio-Temporal Relationships between Fumarolic Activity, Hydrothermal Fluid Circulation and Geophysical Signals at an Arc Volcano in Degassing Unrest: La Soufrière of Guadeloupe (French West Indies)
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110480 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Over the past two decades, La Soufrière volcano in Guadeloupe has displayed a growing degassing unrest whose actual source mechanism still remains unclear. Based on new measurements of the chemistry and mass flux of fumarolic gas emissions from the volcano, here we reveal [...] Read more.
Over the past two decades, La Soufrière volcano in Guadeloupe has displayed a growing degassing unrest whose actual source mechanism still remains unclear. Based on new measurements of the chemistry and mass flux of fumarolic gas emissions from the volcano, here we reveal spatio-temporal variations in the degassing features that closely relate to the 3D underground circulation of fumarolic fluids, as imaged by electrical resistivity tomography, and to geodetic-seismic signals recorded over the past two decades. Discrete monthly surveys of gas plumes from the various vents on La Soufrière lava dome, performed with portable MultiGAS analyzers, reveal important differences in the chemical proportions and fluxes of H2O, CO2, H2S, SO2 and H2, which depend on the vent location with respect to the underground circulation of fluids. In particular, the main central vents, though directly connected to the volcano conduit and preferentially surveyed in past decades, display much higher CO2/SO2 and H2S/SO2 ratios than peripheral gas emissions, reflecting greater SO2 scrubbing in the boiling hydrothermal water at 80–100 m depth. Gas fluxes demonstrate an increased bulk degassing of the volcano over the past 10 years, but also a recent spatial shift in fumarolic degassing intensity from the center of the lava dome towards its SE–NE sector and the Breislack fracture. Such a spatial shift is in agreement with both extensometric and seismic evidence of fault widening in this sector due to slow gravitational sliding of the southern dome sector. Our study thus provides an improved framework to monitor and interpret the evolution of gas emissions from La Soufrière in the future and to better forecast hazards from this dangerous andesitic volcano. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring and Modeling the Magma-Hydrothermal Regime)
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Article
On-Site Water and Wind Erosion Experiments Reveal Relative Impact on Total Soil Erosion
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110478 - 14 Nov 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
The relative impact of water and wind on total erosion was investigated by means of an experimental-empirical study. Wind erosion and water erosion were measured at five different sites: (1) Mediterranean fallow, (2) Mediterranean orchard, (3) wheat field, (4) vineyard and (5) sand [...] Read more.
The relative impact of water and wind on total erosion was investigated by means of an experimental-empirical study. Wind erosion and water erosion were measured at five different sites: (1) Mediterranean fallow, (2) Mediterranean orchard, (3) wheat field, (4) vineyard and (5) sand substrate. Mean erosion rates ranged from 1.55 to 618 g·m−2·h−1 for wind and from 0.09 to 133.90 g·m−2·h−1 for rain eroded material over all tested sites. Percentages (%) of eroded sediment for wind and rain, respectively, were found to be 2:98 on Mediterranean fallow, 11:89 on Mediterranean orchard, 3:97 on wheat field, 98:2 on vineyard and 99:1 on sand substrate. For the special case of soil surface crust destroyed by goat trampling, the measured values emphasize a strong potential impact of herding on total soil erosion. All sites produced erosion by wind and rain, and relations show that both erosive forces may have an impact on total soil erosion depending on site characteristics. The results indicate a strong need to focus on both wind and water erosion particularly concerning soils and substrates in vulnerable environments. Measured rates show a general potential erosion depending on recent developments of land use and climate change and may raise awareness of scientist, farmers and decision makers about potential impact of both erosive forces. Knowledge about exact relationship is key for an adapted land use management, which has great potential to mitigate degradation processes related to climate change. Full article
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Article
Atmospheric Dynamics from Synoptic to Local Scale During an Intense Frontal Dust Storm over the Sistan Basin in Winter 2019
Geosciences 2019, 9(10), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9100453 - 22 Oct 2019
Cited by 18
Abstract
The Sistan Basin has been recognized as one of the most active dust sources and windiest desert environments in the world. Although the dust activity in Sistan maximizes during the summer, rare but intense dust storms may also occur in the winter. This [...] Read more.
The Sistan Basin has been recognized as one of the most active dust sources and windiest desert environments