Geology Research Works

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    Stabilizing Effect of High Pore Fluid Pressure on Fault Growth During Drained Deformation
    (Wiley, 2023-07-21) Zega, Zachary; Zhu, Wenlu
    Dilatant hardening is an accepted model for the stabilizing effect of high pore fluid pressure on fault slip and operates when deformation is undrained. To test whether high pore fluid pressure impedes fault propagation under drained conditions, we deformed highly permeable Darley Dale sandstone using strain rates of 10−4 s−1, 10−5 s−1, and 10−6 s−1, respectively. For each strain rate, we compared the inelastic behaviors and faulting styles among rocks deformed under different pore fluid pressures (Pf) (2–180 MPa). The confining pressure (Pc) was attuned to the pore fluid pressure throughout deformation to maintain a constant differential pressure (Pc − Pf) of 10 MPa. In samples deformed at 10−4 s−1 and 10−5 s−1, faulting behaviors were similar regardless of the magnitude of pore fluid pressure. However, when the strain rate was lowered to 10−6 s−1, we observed prolonged stress drops and slower slip velocities in samples deformed under high pore fluid pressures. In samples deformed at 10−6 s−1, we demonstrate that chemically assisted subcritical crack growth played an important role during faulting. A quantitative microstructural analysis revealed that slow faulting at slow strain rates was accompanied by pervasive microcracking and diffuse shear bands, which suggests pervasive subcritical cracking enabled slow faulting under drained conditions at the sample length scale. High pore fluid pressure may have facilitated slow faulting chemically by increasing the rate of subcritical cracking, mechanically via localized dilatant hardening, or both. Our results provide insight into the mechanics of faulting in natural settings where subcritical cracking is prevalent.
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    182W and HSE constraints from 2.7 Ga komatiites on the heterogeneous nature of the Archen mantle
    (Elsevier, 2018-03-02) Puchtel, I.S.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Touboul, M.; Walker, Richard J.
    While the isotopically heterogeneous nature of the terrestrial mantle has long been established, the origin, scale, and longevity of the heterogeneities for different elements and isotopic systems are still debated. Here, we report Nd, Hf, W, and Os isotopic and highly siderophile element (HSE) abundance data for the Boston Creek komatiitic basalt lava flow (BCF) in the 2.7 Ga Abitibi greenstone belt, Canada. This lava flow is characterized by strong depletions in Al and heavy rare earth elements (REE), enrichments in light REE, and initial e143Nd = +2.5 ± 0.2 and initial e176Hf = +4.2 ± 0.9 indicative of derivation from a deep mantle source with time-integrated suprachondritic Sm/Nd and Lu/Hf ratios. The data plot on the terrestrial Nd-Hf array suggesting minimal involvement of early magma ocean processes in the fractionation of lithophile trace elements in the mantle source. This conclusion is supported by a mean mu142Nd = -3.8 ± 2.8 that is unresolvable from terrestrial standards. By contrast, the BCF exhibits a positive 182W anomaly (mu182W = +11.7 ± 4.5), yet is characterized by chondritic initial g187Os = +0.1 ± 0.3 and low inferred source HSE abundances (35 ± 5% of those estimated for the present-day Bulk Silicate Earth, BSE). Collectively, these characteristics are unique among Archean komatiite systems studied so far. The deficit in the HSE, coupled with the chondritic Os isotopic composition, but a positive 182W anomaly, are best explained by derivation of the parental BCF magma from a mantle domain characterized by a predominance of HSE-deficient, differentiated late accreted material. According to the model presented here, the mantle domain that gave rise to the BCF received only ~35% of the present-day HSE complement in the BSE before becoming isolated from the rest of the convecting mantle until the time of komatiite emplacement at 2.72 Ga. These new data provide strong evidence for a highly heterogeneous Archean mantle in terms of absolute HSE abundances and W isotopic composition, and also indicate slow mixing, on a timescale of at least 1.8 billion years. Additionally, the data are consistent with a stagnant-lid plate tectonic regime in the Hadean and Archean, prior to the onset of modern-style plate tectonics.
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    Oceanic and continental lithospheric mantle in the 1.95 Ga Jormua Ophiolite Complex, Finland: implications for mantle and crustal evolution
    (Oxford, 2023-10-31) Finlayson, Valerie; Haller, Mitchell; Day, James M.D.; Ginley, Stephen; O'Driskoll, Brian; Kontinen, Asko; Hanski, Eero; Walker, Richard J.
    The ca. 1.95 Ga Jormua Ophiolite Complex (JOC), Finland, is a rare Paleoproterozoic ophiolite that preserves a record of diverse upper mantle materials and melting processes. Meter-scale grid sampling of four JOC outcrops, as well as non-grid samples, permits evaluation of meter- to kilometer-scale mantle heterogeneity within the JOC. Significant heterogeneity is observed between the four grids, and also among a number of the non-grid samples examined. Variations in the concentrations of fluid-mobile elements are particularly large among different samples and locations. New whole-rock major, lithophile trace, and highly siderophile element data (HSE: Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, Re), including 187Re-187Os isotopic data, for serpentinized harzburgites indicate the presence of two distinct compositional types and probable modes of origin within the JOC. This is consistent with prior findings. Type 1 is similar to modern refractory abyssal-type mantle. Type 2 is more highly refractory than Type 1, and most likely represents samples from sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). Type 1 mantle is moderately heterogeneous with respect to chemical and Os isotopic compositions at both the meter and kilometer scales. By contrast, Type 2 mantle is considerably more homogeneous than Type 1 grids at the meter scale, but is more heterogeneous at the kilometer scale. The median initial γOs value for Type 1 mantle, calculated for 1.95 Ga, is ~-2.0 (where γOs is the % deviation in 187Os/188Os relative to a chondritic reference calculated for a specified time). This isotopic composition is consistent with a moderate, long-term decrease in Re/Os relative to the estimate for Primitive Mantle, prior to JOC formation. The similarity in this γOs value to the value for the modern abyssal mantle, as well as the initial values for several Phanerozoic ophiolites suggests that the upper mantle achieved a Re/Os ratio similar to the chondritic reference by ~2 Ga, then evolved along a subparallel trajectory to the chondritic reference since then. For this to occur, only limited Re could have been permanently removed from the upper mantle since at least the time the JOC formed. A localized secondary metasomatic event at ~2 Ga, concurrent with the estimated obduction age for the JOC and subsequent Svecofennian Orogeny, affected the HSE systematics of some Type 1 samples. By contrast, late Archean Os TRD model ages for Type 2 rocks indicate a depletion event superimposed upon the long-term Re depletion of the abyssal mantle. This event was established no later than ~2.6 Ga and may have occurred during a period of significant, well-documented crustal production in the Karelia craton at ~2.7 Ga.
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    In Search of Late-Stage Planetary Building Blocks
    (Elsevier, 2015-07-03) Walker, Richard J.; Bermingham, Katherine; Liu, Jingao; Puchtel, Igor S.; Touboul, Mathieu; Worsham, Emily A.
    Genetic contributions to the final stages of planetary growth, including materials associated with the giant Moon-forming impact, late accretion, and late heavy bombardment are examined using siderophile elements. Isotopic similarities between the Earth and Moon for both lithophile and siderophile elements collectively lead to the suggestion that the genetics of the building blocks for Earth, and the impactor involved in the Moon-forming event were broadly similar, and shared some strong genetic affinities with enstatite chondrites. The bulk genetic fingerprint of materials subsequently added to Earth by late accretion, defined as the addition of ~0.5 wt.% of Earth's mass to the mantle, following cessation of core formation, was characterized by 187Os/188Os and Pd/Ir ratios that were also similar to those in some enstatite chondrites. However, the integrated fingerprint of late accreted matter differs from enstatite chondrites in terms of the relative abundances of certain other HSE, most notably Ru/Ir. The final ≤0.05 wt.% addition of material to the Earth and Moon, believed by some to be part of a late heavy bombardment, included a component with much more fractionated relative HSE abundances than evidenced in the average late accretionary component. Heterogeneous 182W/184Wisotopic compositions of some ancient terrestrial rocks suggest that some very early formed mantle domains remained chemically distinct for long periods of time following primary planetary accretion. This evidence for sluggish mixing of the early mantle suggests that if late accretionary contributions to the mantle were genetically diverse, it may be possible to isotopically identify the disparate primordial components in the terrestrial rock record using the siderophile element tracers Ru and Mo.
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    High-Precision Tungsten Isotopic Analysis by Multicollection Negative Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry Based on Simultaneous Measurement of W and 18O/16O Isotope Ratios for Accurate Fractionation Correction
    (American Chemical Society, 2016-01-11) Trinquier, Anne; Touboul, Mathieu; Walker, Richard J.
    Determination of the 182W/184W ratio to a precision of ±5 ppm (2σ) is desirable for constraining the timing of core formation and other early planetary differentiation processes. However, WO3 − analysis by negative thermal ionization mass spectrometry normally results in a residual correlation between the instrumental-mass-fractionation-corrected 182W/184W and 183W/184W ratios that is attributed to mass-dependent variability of O isotopes over the course of an analysis and between different analyses. A second-order correction using the 183W/184W ratio relies on the assumption that this ratio is constant in nature. This may prove invalid, as has already been realized for other isotope systems. The present study utilizes simultaneous monitoring of the 18O/16O and W isotope ratios to correct oxide interferences on a per-integration basis and thus avoid the need for a double normalization of W isotopes. After normalization of W isotope ratios to a pair of W isotopes, following the exponential law, no residual W−O isotope correlation is observed. However, there is a non-ideal mass bias residual correlation between 182W/iW and 183W/iW with time. Without double normalization of W isotopes and on the basis of three or four duplicate analyses, the external reproducibility per session of 182W/184W and 183W/184W normalized to 186W/183W is 5−6 ppm (2σ, 1−3 μg loads). The combined uncertainty per session is less than 4 ppm for 183W/184W and less than 6 ppm for 182W/184W (2σm) for loads between 3000 and 50 ng.
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    Widespread tungsten isotope anomalies and W mobility in crustal and mantle rocks of the Eoarchean Saglek Block, northern Labrador, Canada: Implications for early Earth processes and W recycling
    (Elsevier, 2016-08-15) Liu, Jingao; Touboul, Mathieu; Ishikawa, Akira; Walker, Richard J.; Pearson, D. Graham
    Well-resolved 182W isotope anomalies, relative to the present mantle, in Hadean–Archean terrestrial rocks have been interpreted to reflect the effects of variable late accretion and early mantle differentiation processes. To further explore these early Earth processes, we have carried out W concentration and isotopic measurements of Eoarchean ultramafic rocks, including lithospheric mantle rocks, metakomatiites, a layered ultramafic body and associated crustal gneisses and amphibolites from the Uivak gneiss terrane of the Saglek Block, northern Labrador, Canada. These analyses are augmented by in situ W concentration measurements of individual phases in order to examine the major hosts of W in these rocks. Although the W budget in some rocks can be largely explained by a combination of their major phases, W in other rocks is hosted mainly in secondary grain-boundary assemblages, as well as in cryptic, unidentified W-bearing ‘nugget’ minerals. Whole rock W concentrations in the ultramafic rocks show unexpected enrichments relative, to elements with similar incompatibilities. By contrast, W concentrations are low in the Uivak gneisses. These data, along with the in situ W concentration data, suggest metamorphic transport/re-distribution of W from the regional felsic rocks, the Uivak gneiss precursors, to the spatially associated ultramafic rocks. All but one sample from the lithologically varied Eoarchean Saglek suite is characterized by generally uniform ∼+11 ppm enrichments in 182W relative to Earth’s modern mantle. Modeling shows that the W isotopic enrichments in the ultramafic rocks were primarily inherited from the surrounding 182W-rich felsic precursor rocks, and that the W isotopic composition of the original ultramafic rocks cannot be determined. The observed W isotopic composition of mafic to ultramafic rocks in intimate contact with ancient crust should be viewed with caution in order to plate constraints on the early Hf–W isotopic evolution of the Earth’s mantle with regard to late accretionary processes. Although 182W anomalies can be erased via mixing in the convective mantle, recycling of 182W-rich crustal rocks into the mantle can produce new mantle sources with anomalous W isotopic compositions that can be tapped at much later times and, hence, this process should be considered as a mechanism for the generation of 182W-rich rocks at any subsequent time in Earth history.
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    Age, genetics, and crystallization sequence of the group IIIE iron meteorites
    (Elsevier, 2023-06-14) Chiappe, Emily M.; Ash, Richard; Walker, Richard J.
    Chemical and isotopic data were obtained for ten iron meteorites classified as members of the IIIE group. Nine of the IIIE irons exhibit broadly similar bulk siderophile element characteristics. Modeling of highly siderophile element abundances suggests that they can be related to one another through simple crystal-liquid fractionation of a parent melt. Our preferred model suggests initial S, P, and C concentrations of approximately 12 wt%, 0.8 wt %, and 0.08 wt%, respectively. The modeled IIIE parent melt composition is ~4 times more enriched in highly siderophile elements than a non-carbonaceous (NC) chondrite-like parent body, suggesting a core comprising ~22% of the mass of the parent body. Although chemically distinct from the other IIIE irons, formation of the anomalous IIIE iron Aletai can potentially be accounted for under the conditions of this model through the nonequilibrium mixing of an evolved liquid and early formed solid. Cosmic ray exposure-corrected nucleosynthetic Mo, Ru, and W isotopic compositions of four of the bona fide IIIE irons and Aletai indicate that they originated from the non-carbonaceous (NC) isotopic domain. Tungsten-182 isotopic data for the IIIE irons and Aletai yield similar model metal-silicate segregation ages of 1.6 ± 0.8 Myr and 1.2 ± 0.8 Myr, respectively, after calcium aluminum-rich inclusion (CAI) formation. These ages are consistent with those reported for other NC-type iron meteorite parent bodies. The IIIE irons are chemically and isotopically similar to the much larger IIIAB group. Despite some textural, mineralogical, and chemical differences, such as higher C content, the new results suggest they may have originated from a different crystallization sequence on the same or closely-related parent body.
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    Geodynamic implications of ophiolitic chromitites in the La Cabaña ultramafic bodies, Central Chile
    (Taylor & Francis, 2014-07-18) González-Jiménez, José María; Barra, Fernando; Walker, Richard J.; Reich, Martin; Gervilla, Fernando
    Chromitites (>80% volume chromite) hosted in two ultramafic bodies (Lavanderos and Centinela Bajo) from the Palaeozoic metamorphic basement of the Chilean Coastal Cordillera were studied in terms of their chromite composition, platinum group element (PGE) abundances, and Re-Os isotopic systematics. Primary chromite (Cr# = 0.64–0.66; Mg# = 48.71–51.81) is only preserved in some massive chromitites from the Centinela Bajo ultramafic body. This chemical fingerprint is similar to other high-Cr chromitites from ophiolite complexes, suggesting that they crystallized from arc-type melt similar to high-Mg island-arc tholeiites (IAT) and boninites in supra-subduction mantle. The chromitites display enrichment in IPGE (Os, Ir, Ru) over PPGE (Rh, Pt, Pd), with PGE concentrations between 180 and 347 ppb, as is typical of chromitites hosted in the mantle of supra-subduction zone (SSZ) ophiolites. Laurite (RuS2)-erlichmanite (OsS2) phases are the most abundant inclusions of platinum-group minerals (PGM) in chromite, indicating crystallization from S-undersaturated melts in the subarc mantle. The metamorphism associated with the emplacement of the ultramafic bodies in the La Cabaña has been determined to be ca. 300 Ma, based on K-Ar dating of fuchsite. Initial 187Os/188Os ratios for four chromitite samples, calculated for this age, range from 0.1248 to 0.1271. These isotopic compositions are well within the range of chromitites hosted in the mantle section of other Phanaerozoic ophiolites. Collectively, these mineralogical and geochemical features are interpreted in terms of chromite crystallization in dunite channels beneath a spreading centre that opened a marginal basin above a supra-subduction zone. This implies that chromitite-bearing serpentinites in the metamorphic basement of the Coastal Cordillera are of oceanic-mantle origin and not oceanic crust as previously suggested. We suggest that old subcontinental mantle underlying the hypothetical Chilenia micro-continent was unroofed and later altered during the opening of the marginal basin. This defined the compositional and structural framework in which the protoliths of the meta-igneous and meta-sedimentary rocks of the Eastern and Western Series of the Chilean Coastal Cordillera basement were formed.
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    Preservation of Earth-forming events in the W isotopic 1 composition of modern flood basalts
    (Science Magazine, 2016-05-13) Rizo, Hanika; Walker, Richard J.; Carlson, Richard W.; Horan, Mary F.; Mukhopadhyay, Sujoy; Manthos, Vicky; Francis, Don; Jackson, Matthew G.
    How much of Earth's compositional variation dates to processes that occurred during planet formation remains an unanswered question. High-precision tungsten isotopic data from rocks from two large igneous provinces, the North Atlantic Igneous Province and the Ontong Java Plateau, reveal preservation to the Phanerozoic of tungsten isotopic heterogeneities in the mantle. These heterogeneities, caused by the decay of hafnium-182 in mantle domains with high hafnium/tungsten ratios, were created during the first ~50 million years of solar system history, indicating that portions of the mantle that formed during Earth’s primary accretionary period have survived to the present.
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    Using Satellite Data to Represent Tropical Instability Waves (TIWs)-Induced Wind for Ocean Modeling: A Negative Feedback onto TIW Activity in the Pacific
    (MDPI, 2013-05-24) Zhang, Rong-Hua; Li, Zhongxian; Min, Jinzhong
    Recent satellite data and modeling studies indicate a pronounced role Tropical Instability Waves (TIW)-induced wind feedback plays in the tropical Pacific climate system. Previously, remotely sensed data were used to derive a diagnostic model for TIW-induced wind stress perturbations (τTIW), which was embedded into an ocean general circulation model (OGCM) to take into account TIW-induced ocean-atmosphere coupling in the tropical Pacific. While the previous paper by Zhang (2013) is concerned with the effect on the mean ocean state, the present paper is devoted to using the embedded system to examine the effects on TIW activity in the ocean, with τTIW being interactively determined from TIW-scale sea surface temperature (SSTTIW) fields generated in the OGCM, written as τTIW = αTIW·F(SSTTIW), where αTIW is a scalar parameter introduced to represent the τTIW forcing intensity. Sensitivity experiments with varying αTIW (representing TIW-scale wind feedback strength) are performed to illustrate a negative feedback induced by TIW-scale air-sea coupling and its relationship with TIW variability in the ocean. Consistent with previous modeling studies, TIW wind feedback tends to have a damping effect on TIWs in the ocean, with a general inverse relationship between the τTIW intensity and TIWs. It is further shown that TIW-scale coupling does not vary linearly with αTIW: the coupling increases linearly with intensifying τTIW forcing at low values of αTIW (in a weak τTIW forcing regime); it becomes saturated at a certain value of αTIW; it decreases when αTIW goes above a threshold value as the τTIW forcing increases further. This work presents a clear demonstration of using satellite data to effectively represent TIW-scale wind feedback and its multi-scale interactions with large-scale ocean processes in the tropical Pacific.
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    Urban Evolution: The Role of Water
    (MDPI, 2015-07-27) Kaushal, Sujay S.; McDowell, William H.; Wollheim, Wilfred M.; Newcomer Johnson, Tamara A.; Mayer, Paul M.; Belt, Kenneth T.; Pennino, Michael J.
    The structure, function, and services of urban ecosystems evolve over time scales from seconds to centuries as Earth’s population grows, infrastructure ages, and sociopolitical values alter them. In order to systematically study changes over time, the concept of “urban evolution” was proposed. It allows urban planning, management, and restoration to move beyond reactive management to predictive management based on past observations of consistent patterns. Here, we define and review a glossary of core concepts for studying urban evolution, which includes the mechanisms of urban selective pressure and urban adaptation. Urban selective pressure is an environmental or societal driver contributing to urban adaptation. Urban adaptation is the sequential process by which an urban structure, function, or services becomes more fitted to its changing environment or human choices. The role of water is vital to driving urban evolution as demonstrated by historical changes in drainage, sewage flows, hydrologic pulses, and long-term chemistry. In the current paper, we show how hydrologic traits evolve across successive generations of urban ecosystems via shifts in selective pressures and adaptations over time. We explore multiple empirical examples including evolving: (1) urban drainage from stream burial to stormwater management; (2) sewage flows and water quality in response to wastewater treatment; (3) amplification of hydrologic pulses due to the interaction between urbanization and climate variability; and (4) salinization and alkalinization of fresh water due to human inputs and accelerated weathering. Finally, we propose a new conceptual model for the evolution of urban waters from the Industrial Revolution to the present day based on empirical trends and historical information. Ultimately, we propose that water itself is a critical driver of urban evolution that forces urban adaptation, which transforms the structure, function, and services of urban landscapes, waterways, and civilizations over time.
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    Mesozoic subduction shaped lower mantle structures beneath the East Pacific Rise
    (2024) Wang, Jingchuan; Lekic, Vedran; Schmerr, Nicholas; Gu, Yu Jeffrey; Guo, Yi; Lin, Rongzhi; Lekic, Vedran; Schmerr, Nicholas
    The morphology of the Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) has been a subject of debate for decades. Large-scale features of the Pacific LLSVP, as revealed by cluster analysis of global tomographic models, suggest three distinct portions. Notably, the East Pacific Anomaly and the Superswell Anomaly are characterized by a ~20 deg wide gap. The cause of the structural gap remains unclear, and there has been no direct evidence for a subduction episode beneath the region. In this study, we take advantage of an up-to-date SS precursor data set that samples the Nazca Plate and investigate the high-resolution seismic structure at mantle transition zone (MTZ) depths. We find that much of the southern East Pacific Rise is underlain by a thin MTZ due to the depressed 410 by up to 15 km, which suggests along-ridge temperature variations extending into the MTZ. East of the East Pacific Rise, the MTZ is characterized by anomalous thickening and fast seismic velocities from seismic tomography, consistent with the presence of cold subducted slab material intersecting the MTZ. Furthermore, recent global tomographic models reveal a slab-like structure throughout the MTZ and lower mantle, which is also evidenced by tomographic vote maps, albeit with less visibility. The observations reconcile with Mesozoic intraoceanic subduction beneath the present-day Nazca Plate, which is predicted by an earlier plate reconstruction model of proto-Pacific Ocean. The subduction initiated ~250 Myr ago and ceased before 120 Myr ago. The implications of this discovery are that the shape of the eastern portion of the Pacific LLSVP was separated by downwelling associated with this ancient subducted slab.
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    Nutrient Retention in Restored Streams and Rivers: A Global Review and Synthesis
    (MDPI, 2016-03-25) Newcomer Johnson, Tamara A.; Kaushal, Sujay S.; Mayer, Paul M.; Smith, Rose M.; Sivirichi, Gwen M.
    Excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from human activities have contributed to degradation of coastal waters globally. A growing body of work suggests that hydrologically restoring streams and rivers in agricultural and urban watersheds has potential to increase N and P retention, but rates and mechanisms have not yet been analyzed and compared across studies. We conducted a review of nutrient retention within hydrologically reconnected streams and rivers, including 79 studies. We developed a typology characterizing different forms of stream and river restoration, and we also analyzed nutrient retention across this typology. The studies we reviewed used a variety of methods to analyze nutrient cycling. We performed a further intensive meta-analysis on nutrient spiraling studies because this method was the most consistent and comparable between studies. A meta-analysis of 240 experimental additions of ammonium (NH4+), nitrate (NO3−), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) was synthesized from 15 nutrient spiraling studies. Our results showed statistically significant relationships between nutrient uptake in restored streams and specific watershed attributes. Nitrate uptake metrics were significantly related to watershed surface area, impervious surface cover, and average reach width (p < 0.05). Ammonium uptake metrics were significantly related to discharge, velocity, and transient storage (p < 0.05). SRP uptake metrics were significantly related to watershed area, discharge, SRP concentrations, and chl a concentrations (p < 0.05). Given that most studies were conducted during baseflow, more research is necessary to characterize nutrient uptake during high flow. Furthermore, long-term studies are needed to understand changes in nutrient dynamics as projects evolve over time. Overall analysis suggests the size of the stream restoration (surface area), hydrologic connectivity, and hydrologic residence time are key drivers influencing nutrient retention at broader watershed scales and along the urban watershed continuum.
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    Satellite Climate Data Records: Development, Applications, and Societal Benefits
    (MDPI, 2016-04-15) Yang, Wenze; John, Viju O.; Zhao, Xuepeng; Lu, Hui; Knapp, Kenneth R.
    This review paper discusses how to develop, produce, sustain, and serve satellite climate data records (CDRs) in the context of transitioning research to operation (R2O). Requirements and critical procedures of producing various CDRs, including Fundamental CDRs (FCDRs), Thematic CDRs (TCDRs), Interim CDRs (ICDRs), and climate information records (CIRs) are discussed in detail, including radiance/reflectance and the essential climate variables (ECVs) of land, ocean, and atmosphere. Major international CDR initiatives, programs, and projects are summarized. Societal benefits of CDRs in various user sectors, including Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Energy, Heath, Water, Transportation, and Tourism are also briefly discussed. The challenges and opportunities for CDR development, production and service are also addressed. It is essential to maintain credible CDR products by allowing free access to products and keeping the production process transparent by making source code and documentation available with the dataset.
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    Phosphorus Retention in Stormwater Control Structures across Streamflow in Urban and Suburban Watersheds
    (MDPI, 2016-09-09) Duan, Shuiwang; Newcomer-Johnson, Tamara; Mayer, Paul; Kaushal, Sujay
    Recent studies have shown that stormwater control measures (SCMs) are less effective at retaining phosphorus (P) than nitrogen. We compared P retention between two urban/suburban SCMs and their adjacent free-flowing stream reaches at the Baltimore Long-Term Ecological Study (LTER) site, and examined changes in P retention in SCMs across flow conditions. Results show that, when compared with free-flowing stream reaches, the SCMs had significantly lower dissolved oxygen (%DO) and higher P concentrations, as well as lower mean areal retention rates and retention efficiencies of particulate P (PP). In all the SCMs, concentrations of total dissolved phosphorus (TDP) consistently exhibited inverse correlations with %DO that was lower during summer base flows. Particulate phosphorus (PP) concentrations peaked during spring high flow period in both streams and in-line pond/SCMs, but they were also higher during summer base flows in suburban/urban SCMs. Meanwhile, PP areal retention rates and retention efficiencies of the SCMs changed from positive (indicating retention) during high flows to negative (indicating release) during low flows, while such changes across flow were not observed in free-flowing stream reaches. We attribute the changing roles of SCMs from a PP sink to a PP source to changes in SCM hydrologic mass balances, physical sedimentation and biogeochemical mobilization across flows. This study demonstrates that in suburban/urban SCMs, P retained during high flow events can be released during low flows. Cultivation of macrophytes and/or frequent sediment dredging may provide potential solutions to retaining both P and nitrogen in urban SCMs.
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    Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources—Global Stages of Interaction
    (MDPI, 2017-10-24) Kaushal, Sujay S.; Gold, Arthur J.; Mayer, Paul M.
    Land use and climate change can accelerate the depletion of freshwater resources that support humans and ecosystem services on a global scale. Here, we briefly review studies from around the world, and highlight those in this special issue. We identify stages that characterize increasing interaction between land use and climate change. During the first stage, hydrologic modifications and the built environment amplify overland flow via processes associated with runoff-dominated ecosystems (e.g., soil compaction, impervious surface cover, drainage, and channelization). During the second stage, changes in water storage impact the capacity of ecosystems to buffer extremes in water quantity and quality (e.g., either losses in snowpack, wetlands, and groundwater recharge or gains in water and nutrient storage behind dams in reservoirs). During the third stage, extremes in water quantity and quality contribute to losses in ecosystem services and water security (e.g., clean drinking water, flood mitigation, and habitat availability). During the final stage, management and restoration strategies attempt to regain lost ecosystem structure, function, and services but need to adapt to climate change. By anticipating the increasing interaction between land use and climate change, intervention points can be identified, and management strategies can be adjusted to improve outcomes for realistic expectations. Overall, global water security cannot be adequately restored without considering an increasing interaction between land use and climate change across progressive stages and our ever-increasing human domination of the water cycle from degradation to ecosystem restoration.
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    The Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) Monthly Analysis (New Version 2.3) and a Review of 2017 Global Precipitation
    (MDPI, 2018-04-07) Adler, Robert F.; Sapiano, Mathew R. P.; Huffman, George J.; Wang, Jian-Jian; Gu, Guojun; Bolvin, David; Chiu, Long; Schneider, Udo; Becker, Andreas; Nelkin, Eric; Xie, Pingping; Ferraro, Ralph; Shin, Dong-Bin
    The new Version 2.3 of the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) Monthly analysis is described in terms of changes made to improve the homogeneity of the product, especially after 2002. These changes include corrections to cross-calibration of satellite data inputs and updates to the gauge analysis. Over-ocean changes starting in 2003 resulted in an overall precipitation increase of 1.8% after 2009. Updating the gauge analysis to its final, high-quality version increases the global land total by 1.8% for the post-2002 period. These changes correct a small, incorrect dip in the estimated global precipitation over the last decade given by the earlier Version 2.2. The GPCP analysis is also used to describe global precipitation in 2017. The general La Niña pattern for 2017 is noted and the evolution from the early 2016 El Niño pattern is described. The 2017 global value is one of the highest for the 1979–2017 period, exceeded only by 2016 and 1998 (both El Niño years), and reinforces the small positive trend. Results for 2017 also reinforce significant trends in precipitation intensity (on a monthly scale) in the tropics. These results for 2017 indicate the value of the GPCP analysis, in addition to research, for climate monitoring.
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    Maximizing the Information Content of Ill-Posed Space-Based Measurements Using Deterministic Inverse Method
    (MDPI, 2018-06-22) Koner, Prabhat K.; Dash, Prasanjit
    For several decades, operational retrievals from spaceborne hyperspectral infrared sounders have been dominated by stochastic approaches where many ambiguities are pervasive. One major drawback of such methods is their reliance on treating error as definitive information to the retrieval scheme. To overcome this drawback and obtain consistently unambiguous retrievals, we applied another approach from the class of deterministic inverse methods, namely regularized total least squares (RTLS). As a case study, simultaneous simulated retrieval of ozone (O3) profile and surface temperature (ST) for two different instruments, Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES), are considered. To gain further confidence in our approach for real-world situations, a set of ozonesonde profile data are also used in this study. The role of simulation-based comparative assessment of algorithms before application on remotely sensed measurements is pivotal. Under identical simulation settings, RTLS results are compared to those of stochastic optimal estimation method (OEM), a very popular method for hyperspectral retrievals despite its aforementioned fundamental drawback. Different tweaking of error covariances for improving the OEM results, used commonly in operations, are also investigated under a simulated environment. Although this work is an extension of our previous work for H2O profile retrievals, several new concepts are introduced in this study: (a) the information content analysis using sub-space analysis to understand ill-posed inversion in depth; (b) comparison of different sensors for same gas profile retrieval under identical conditions; (c) extended capability for simultaneous retrievals using two classes of variables; (d) additional stabilizer of Laplacian second derivative operator; and (e) the representation of results using a new metric called “information gain”. Our findings highlight issues with OEM, such as loss of information as compared to a priori knowledge after using measurements. On the other hand, RTLS can produce “information gain” of ~40–50% deterministically from the same set of measurements.
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    Hydrological Evaluation of Flow Diversion Terraces Using Downhill-Slope Calculation Method for High Resolution and Accuracy DEMs
    (MDPI, 2018-07-11) Qi, Junyu; Liang, Kang; Li, Sheng; Wang, Lichun; Meng, Fan-Rui
    Slope is an important topographical parameter in hydrological models. Dramatic changes in slope are produced due to micro variations of topography in flow diversion terrace (FDT) systems. Assessing the effectiveness of FDT on soil conservation yields different results using different slope calculation methods with different resolution and accuracy digital elevation models (DEMs). In this study, the ArcGIS built-in average-neighborhood-slope (ANS) method and a downhill-slope (DHS) method were used to calculate slopes for a small agricultural watershed in New Brunswick, Canada. Six DEMs were used, i.e., 1, 5 and 10 m resolution DEMs generated with conventional photogrammetric techniques, and 1, 5, and 10 m resolution DEMs derived from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data. Calculated slopes were summarized for the whole watershed, a patch of FDT systems, and grassed flow channels in front of embankments in the patch. Results indicated that the DHS method produced smaller slopes than the ANS method with LiDAR-1m DEM along grasses flow channels. Furthermore, the mean L-factor derived from the DHS method was smaller than that derived from the ANS in terraces and grassed flow channels for the LiDAR-1m DEM. Finally, soil loss estimated from the DHS method using RUSLE was more consistent with measurement for the watershed than that from the ANS method when the LiDAR-1m DEM was used. The DHS method can provide accurate slopes along grassed flow channels and can be used to assess FDT systems using USLE-based models with high resolution and accuracy DEMs.
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    The VIIRS Sea-Ice Albedo Product Generation and Preliminary Validation
    (MDPI, 2018-11-17) Peng, Jingjing; Yu, Yunyue; Yu, Peng; Liang, Shunlin
    Ice albedo feedback amplifies climate change signals and thus affects the global climate. Global long-term records on sea-ice albedo are important to characterize the regional or global energy budget. As the successor of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) started its observation from October 2011 on S-NPP (Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership). It has improved upon the capabilities of the operational Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and provides observation continuity with MODIS. We used a direct estimation algorithm to produce a VIIRS sea-ice albedo (VSIA) product, which will be operational in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) S-NPP Data Exploration (NDE) version of the VIIRS albedo product. The algorithm is developed from the angular bin regression method to simulate the sea-ice surface bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) from physical models, which can represent different sea-ice types and vary mixing fractions among snow, ice, and seawater. We compared the VSIA with six years of ground measurements at 30 automatic weather stations from the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) and the Greenland Climate Network (GC-NET) as a proxy for sea-ice albedo. The results show that the VSIA product highly agreed with the station measurements with low bias (about 0.03) and low root mean square error (RMSE) (about 0.07) considering the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) requirement is 0.05 and 0.08 at 4 km scale, respectively. We also evaluated the VSIA using two datasets of field measured sea-ice albedo from previous field campaigns. The comparisons suggest that VSIA generally matches the magnitude of the ground measurements, with a bias of 0.09 between the instantaneous albedos in the central Arctic and a bias of 0.077 between the daily mean albedos near Alaska. The discrepancy is mainly due to the scale difference at both spatial and temporal dimensions and the limited sample size. The VSIA data will serve for weather prediction applications and climate model calibrations. Combined with the historical observations from MODIS, current S-NPP VIIRS, and NOAA-20 VIIRS observations, VSIA will dramatically contribute to providing high-accuracy routine sea-ice albedo products and irreplaceable records for monitoring the long-term sea-ice albedo for climate research.