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Sample records for aeolian sand deposits

  1. Modeling grain size variations of aeolian gypsum deposits at White Sands, New Mexico, using AVIRIS imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ghrefat, H.A.; Goodell, P.C.; Hubbard, B.E.; Langford, R.P.; Aldouri, R.E.

    2007-01-01

    Visible and Near-Infrared (VNIR) through Short Wavelength Infrared (SWIR) (0.4-2.5????m) AVIRIS data, along with laboratory spectral measurements and analyses of field samples, were used to characterize grain size variations in aeolian gypsum deposits across barchan-transverse, parabolic, and barchan dunes at White Sands, New Mexico, USA. All field samples contained a mineralogy of ?????100% gypsum. In order to document grain size variations at White Sands, surficial gypsum samples were collected along three Transects parallel to the prevailing downwind direction. Grain size analyses were carried out on the samples by sieving them into seven size fractions ranging from 45 to 621????m, which were subjected to spectral measurements. Absorption band depths of the size fractions were determined after applying an automated continuum-removal procedure to each spectrum. Then, the relationship between absorption band depth and gypsum size fraction was established using a linear regression. Three software processing steps were carried out to measure the grain size variations of gypsum in the Dune Area using AVIRIS data. AVIRIS mapping results, field work and laboratory analysis all show that the interdune areas have lower absorption band depth values and consist of finer grained gypsum deposits. In contrast, the dune crest areas have higher absorption band depth values and consist of coarser grained gypsum deposits. Based on laboratory estimates, a representative barchan-transverse dune (Transect 1) has a mean grain size of 1.16 ??{symbol} (449????m). The error bar results show that the error ranges from - 50 to + 50????m. Mean grain size for a representative parabolic dune (Transect 2) is 1.51 ??{symbol} (352????m), and 1.52 ??{symbol} (347????m) for a representative barchan dune (Transect 3). T-test results confirm that there are differences in the grain size distributions between barchan and parabolic dunes and between interdune and dune crest areas. The t-test results

  2. Late Quaternary aeolian sand deposition sustained by fluvial reworking and sediment supply in the Hexi Corridor - An example from northern Chinese drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nottebaum, Veit; Lehmkuhl, Frank; Stauch, Georg; Lu, Huayu; Yi, Shuangwen

    2015-12-01

    Aeolian deposits are frequently used for palaeoenvironmental change studies. Their formation depends on an array of requirements: the supply of material suitable for aeolian transport and favorable conditions of sediment availability and wind strength. In order to infer palaeoenvironmental information from aeolian sand deposits these factors need to be carefully evaluated. We present a study from northern Chinese Hexi Corridor, based on 11 optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dated sediment sections. These represent interchanging aeolian and alluvial deposits under gravel surfaces and aeolian sand in dune fields interrupted by interdunal flood deposits. Investigations in two subareas reveal contrasting geomorphologic and sedimentary histories: (1) sediment deposition during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (~ 12 ka) followed by deflation during the Holocene and (2) frequent sediment recycling revealed by a wide spectrum of ages throughout the Holocene. The late glacial sediment pulse recorded in the western Hexi Corridor is attributed to high sediment supply, generated by efficient (peri-)glacial sediment production during glacial times in the adjacent Qilian Shan (< 5700 m asl) and a moisture increase inducing the reworking of those (glacio-)fluvial deposits during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. The absence of a powerful reworking agent preserved these late glacial deposits in the western Hexi Corridor in contrast to moister eastern parts where Holocene sediment reworking prevailed. Geomorphological and hydrological preconditions of the subareas are discussed and reveal the controlling influence of fluvial processes on sand supply for the aeolian system. While a perennial drainage is missing in the drier western part, the Hei River drainage is fed by higher monsoonal precipitation in the central Hexi Corridor. It maintains a sediment recycling system and has ensured a sufficient sediment supply throughout the Holocene. The study promotes closer

  3. Inland aeolian deposits of the Iberian Peninsula: Sand dunes and clay dunes of the Duero Basin and the Manchega Plain. Palaeoclimatic considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernat Rebollal, M.; Pérez-González, A.

    2008-12-01

    This paper describes the latest research on the geomorphological characteristics, formation environment and chronology of the main inland aeolian deposits from the south-eastern Duero Basin (DB) and the Manchega Plain (MP) of the Iberian Peninsula. Similarities and differences between the aeolian deposits of these two locations are summarised. Wind deflation from the Guadiana and Júcar alluvial systems created the aeolian deposits of the MP. These deposits are mainly composed of quartz sands. However, in the San Juan alluvial plain (MP) there is a large extent of clay dunes formed by exposure to prevalent winds of seasonal playa-lakes with salt and clay sediments. In the DB, wind remobilisation of the small particles from Quaternary terraces and Tertiary arkosic sediments left aeolian deposits of quartz-feldspar sands. Textural parameters of the aeolian deposits show large variations depending on the location and the original deposit. Thus, in the DB the aeolian sands derived from the deflation of fluvial sediments are better sorted and smaller in grain size than those created by the deflation of arkosic sediments. Morphologically, simple and compound parabolic dunes (U-V forms, hemicyclic, lobate and elongate), crescentic and linear dunes, climbing dunes and blowout dunes have been recognized at both sites. Barchan and dome dunes are present only in the DB while "lunette lunette-clay dunes" are found only in the MP. In both locations, the large extent of aeolian sand sheets and the predominance of simple and compound parabolic dunes indicates the active role of sparse vegetation cover in the formation of this aeolian system. In the DB, dunes were formed by southwest and west winds, while in the MP the aeolian morphologies indicate that the prevalent winds were west and northwest. The chronology of the dune deposits is being determined with luminescence (TL-OSL) dating and Mass Spectrometry Analysis ( 14C-AMS). In this way, the aeolian activity and stabilisation

  4. A bedload trap for aeolian sand transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swann, C.; Sherman, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    This paper describes a bedload trap designed to separate bedload from saltation load in aeolian environments. The trap is installed below the sand surface and features a chimney that can be adjusted to the height of the surface. The chimney houses an internal wall to separate saltation load from bedload. Bedload particles are funneled to a piezo-electric sensor that converts grain impacts to voltages that can be sampled at very high frequencies (44,000 Hz in this example). Grains are then collected in a container that is easily retrieved so that sand samples can be obtained for weighing and subsequent grain size analysis. An algorithm to isolate single grain impacts is described. The version of the trap presented here is intended for the study of the initiation of grain motion.

  5. Aeolian Sand Transport by Boundary Layer Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baas, A. C.

    2007-12-01

    The erratic and intermittent nature of wind-driven sand transport challenges our current transport models, which lack physical mechanisms for explaining and taking into account this spatio-temporal variability. This paper presents a collective overview of results from investigations into the nature of spatio-temporal variability in sand transport generally, and the formation and behaviour of aeolian streamers specifically. This includes three principal studies. First, the results of field investigations into the formation and behaviour of aeolian streamers in coastal and desert environments, where spatio-temporal transport variability and associated turbulence characteristics were assessed with an extensive instrument array. Streamers were measured with a transverse array of Safires, while the wind field and associated turbulent structures were monitored with cup-anemometry and a rake of hot-film probes. Second, these field data were used to assess the statistical trends in transport variability as a function of spanwise scale of measurement and the temporal scale of time-averaging transport rates. Third, spectral wavelet analysis of high-frequency collocated wind speed (hot- film probes) and transport flux (Safires) time-series revealed distinct forcing-response regimes at different temporal scales. The transitions between these regimes and their ranges compare favourably with physically meaningful scales, such as the minimum temporal scale of saltation response to wind speed fluctuations, and the integral time-scale of the observed internal boundary layer turbulence dynamics. The paper concludes with a tentative conceptual framework that attempts to integrate the results and insights from these studies towards an improved understanding of aeolian sediment transport processes.

  6. Aeolian Sand Transport with Collisional Suspension

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, James T.; Pasini, Jose Miguel; Valance, Alexandre

    2004-01-01

    Aeolian transport is an important mechanism for the transport of sand on Earth and on Mars. Dust and sand storms are common occurrences on Mars and windblown sand is responsible for many of the observed surface features, such as dune fields. A better understanding of Aeolian transport could also lead to improvements in pneumatic conveying of materials to be mined for life support on the surface of the Moon and Mars. The usual view of aeolian sand transport is that for mild winds, saltation is the dominant mechanism, with particles in the bed being dislodged by the impact of other saltating particles, but without in-flight collisions. As the wind becomes stronger, turbulent suspension keeps the particles in the air, allowing much longer trajectories, with the corresponding increase in transport rate. We show here that an important regime exists between these two extremes: for strong winds, but before turbulent suspension becomes dominant, there is a regime in which in-flight collisions dominate over turbulence as a suspension mechanism, yielding transport rates much higher than those for saltation. The theory presented is based on granular kinetic theory, and includes both turbulent suspension and particle-particle collisions. The wind strengths for which the calculated transport rates are relevant are beyond the published strengths of current wind tunnel experiments, so these theoretical results are an invitation to do experiments in the strong-wind regime. In order to make a connection between the regime of saltation and the regime of collisional suspension, it is necessary to better understand the interaction between the bed and the particles that collide with it. This interaction depends on the agitation of the particles of the bed. In mild winds, collisions with the bed are relatively infrequent and the local disturbance associated with a collision can relax before the next nearby collision. However, as the wind speed increases, collision become more frequent

  7. The contribution of micrometeorites to the iron stocks of buried podzols, developed in Late-glacial aeolian sand deposits (Brabant, The Netherlands)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Mourik, Jan; de Vet, Sebastiaan

    2015-04-01

    The surface geology of an extensive part of NW-Europe is dominated by coversands (Late-glacial chemical poor aeolian sand deposits). The geomorphology of coversand landscapes is dominated by ridges and planes. Podzolation is the dominant soil forming process in coversands under moderate humid climatic conditions. Umbric Podzols developed on the ridges under Quercetum-mixtum, Gleyic and Histic Podzols developed in the planes under Alnetum. Even in chemical poor coversands, iron will be released by hydrolysis from iron containing silicate minerals (such as feldspars). It is well known that the vertical iron distribution in Podzols is effected by translocation of active iron from eluvial to illuvial horizons and that iron is leaching to the aquifer. Iron stocks of Podzols, in contrasts, have not been widely studied for comparison purposes of individual soil horizons or between soils. We determined the stocks of active and immobile iron in the horizons of buried xeromorphic Podzols (soils that developed without any contact with groundwater). The results show that the total amount of iron exceeds the potential amount which can be released by hydrolysis from the parent material. Furthermore, to amount of iron that leached to the groundwater is unknown. It is evident that we must find an additional source to explain the total iron stocks in buried Podzols. It is known from analysis of ice cores that the earth atmosphere is subjected to a continuous influx of (iron rich) micrometeorites. The precipitation of micrometeorites (and other aerosols) on the earth surface is concentrated in humid climatic zones with (intensive) rain fall. We analyzed minerals, extracted from the ectorganic horizon of the Initial Podzols, developed in driftsand that stabilized around 1900 AD, overlying Palaeopodzols, buried around 1200 AD. Among blown in quartz grains, we could determine also micrometeorites, embedded in the organic skeleton of the fermentation horizon of the Initial Podzol

  8. Clear cutting (10-13th century) and deep stable economy (18-19th century) as responsible interventions for sand drifting and plaggic deposition in cultural landscapes on aeolian sands (SE-Netherlands).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Mourik, Jan; Vera, Hein; Wallinga, Jakob

    2013-04-01

    The landscape in extensive areas in SE-Netherlands is underlain by coversand, deposited during the Late Glacial of the Weichselian. In the Preboreal, aeolian processes reduced soil formation. From the Preboreal to the Atlantic a deciduous climax forest developed. The geomorphology was a coversand landscape, composed of ridges (umbric podzols), coversand plains (gleyic podzols), coversand depressions (histic podzols) and small valleys (gleysols). The area was used by hunting people during the Late Paleolithic and Mesolithic. During the Bronze and Iron Ages the area was populated by people, living from forest grazing, shifting cultivation and trade. The natural deciduous forest gradually degraded into Calluna heath. The deforestation accelerated the soil acidification and affected the hydrology, which is reflected in drying out of ridges and wetting of depressions, promoting the development of histic podzols and even histosols. Aeolian erosion was during this period restricted to local, small scale sand drifting, related to natural hazards as forest fires and hurricanes and shifting cultivation. Sustainable crop productivity on chemically poor sandy substrates required application of organic fertilizers, composed of a mixture of organic litter and animal manure with a very low mineral compound, produced in shallow stables. At least since 1000 AD, heath management was regulated by a series of rules that aimed to protect the valuable heat lands against degradation. During the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries there was an increasing demand for wood and clear cutting transformed the majority of the forests in driftsand landscapes. The most important market was formed by the very wealthy Flemish cities. The exposed soil surface was subjected to wind erosion and sand drifting which endangered the Calluna heath, arable land and even farmhouses. As a consequence, umbric podzols, the natural climax soil under deciduous forests on coversand, degraded into larger scale driftsand

  9. Recent advances in research on the aeolian geomorphology of China's Kumtagh Sand Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Z.; Lv, P.

    2014-02-01

    The Kumtagh Sand Sea in the hyper-arid region of northwestern China remained largely unexplored until the last decade. It deserves study due to its significance in understanding the evolution of the arid environments in northwestern China, and even central Asia. Aeolian geomorphology in the sand sea has received unprecedented study in the last decade. Encouraging advances have been made in types of aeolian landforms, geological outlines, wind systems, the formation of aeolian landforms, several unique aeolian landforms, aeolian geomorphic regionalization, aeolian geomorphological heritages and tourism development, and aeolian sand hazards and their control. These advances expand our knowledge of aeolian geomorphology.

  10. Modelling aeolian sand transport using a dynamic mass balancing approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayaud, Jerome R.; Bailey, Richard M.; Wiggs, Giles F. S.; Weaver, Corinne M.

    2017-03-01

    Knowledge of the changing rate of sediment flux in space and time is essential for quantifying surface erosion and deposition in desert landscapes. Whilst many aeolian studies have relied on time-averaged parameters such as wind velocity (U) and wind shear velocity (u*) to determine sediment flux, there is increasing field evidence that high-frequency turbulence is an important driving force behind the entrainment and transport of sand. At this scale of analysis, inertia in the saltation system causes changes in sediment transport to lag behind de/accelerations in flow. However, saltation inertia has yet to be incorporated into a functional sand transport model that can be used for predictive purposes. In this study, we present a new transport model that dynamically balances the sand mass being transported in the wind flow. The 'dynamic mass balance' (DMB) model we present accounts for high-frequency variations in the horizontal (u) component of wind flow, as saltation is most strongly associated with the positive u component of the wind. The performance of the DMB model is tested by fitting it to two field-derived (Namibia's Skeleton Coast) datasets of wind velocity and sediment transport: (i) a 10-min (10 Hz measurement resolution) dataset; (ii) a 2-h (1 Hz measurement resolution) dataset. The DMB model is shown to outperform two existing models that rely on time-averaged wind velocity data (e.g. Radok, 1977; Dong et al., 2003), when predicting sand transport over the two experiments. For all measurement averaging intervals presented in this study (10 Hz-10 min), the DMB model predicted total saltation count to within at least 0.48%, whereas the Radok and Dong models over- or underestimated total count by up to 5.50% and 20.53% respectively. The DMB model also produced more realistic (less 'peaky') time series of sand flux than the other two models, and a more accurate distribution of sand flux data. The best predictions of total sand transport are achieved using

  11. Sand ripple dynamics in the case of out-of-equilibrium aeolian regimes.

    PubMed

    Misbah, C; Valance, A

    2003-12-01

    From a phenomenological hydrodynamical model, we analyze the aeolian sand ripple evolution in an out-of-equilibrium aeolian regime where erosion exceeds accretion (and vice versa). We find, in particular, that the ripple structure can be destroyed in favor of a flat sand bed. In the ripple regime we report on a new class of generic dynamics described by the Benney equation. This equation reveals either order or disorder depending on whether wave dispersion is strong or weak. In both cases, the average wavelength of the pattern is fixed in time. This markedly contrasts with the regime of equilibrium aeolian regime -reached when erosion balances deposition- where ripples undergo a coarsening process at long time (i.e., the wavelength increases indefinitely with time).

  12. Measuring aeolian sand transport using acoustic sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poortinga, Ate; van Rheenen, Hans; Ellis, Jean T.; Sherman, Douglas J.

    2015-03-01

    Acoustic sensors are frequently used to measure aeolian saltation. Different approaches are used to process the signals from these instruments. The goal of this paper is to describe and discuss a method to measure aeolian saltation with acoustic sensors. In a laboratory experiment, we measured the output from an advanced signal processing scheme on the circuit board of the saltiphone. We use a software implementation of this processing scheme to re-analyse data from four miniphones obtained during a field experiment. It is shown that a set of filters remove background noise outside the frequency spectrum of aeolian saltation (at 8 kHz), whereas signals within this frequency spectrum are amplified. The resulting analogue signal is a proxy of the energy. Using an AC pulse convertor, this signal can be converted into a digital and analogue count signal or an analogue energy signal, using a rectifier and integrator. Spatio-temporal correlation between field deployed miniphones increases by using longer integration times for signal processing. To quantify aeolian grain impact, it is suggested to use the analogue energy output, as this mode is able to detect changes in frequency and amplitude. The analogue and digital count signals are able to detect an increase in frequency, but are not able to detect an increase in signal amplitude. We propose a two-stage calibration scheme consisting of (1) a factory calibration, to set the frequency spectrum of the sensor and (2) a standardized drop-test conducted before and after the experiment to evaluate the response of the sensor.

  13. Mars aeolian sand: Regional variations among dark-hued crater floor features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edgett, K. S.; Christensen, P. R.

    1994-01-01

    Different regions on Mars appear to have low-albedo intracrater deposits that have distinct regional thermophysical and/or aeolian dune characteristics. Thermal inertia derived from a carefully selected set of Viking infrared thermal mapper observations of the dark features obtained in 1977-1978 supports this conclusion. The observed similarities and differences among dark intracrater features on Mars is probably a function of the combined influences of sand availability and regional wind conditions.

  14. The composition of Martian aeolian sands: Thermal emissivity from Viking IRTM observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.; Christensen, Philip R.

    1992-01-01

    Aeolian sands provide excellent surfaces for the remote determination of the mineralogic composition of Martian materials, because such deposits consist of relatively well-sorted, uniform particle sizes and might consist of chemically unaltered, primary mineral grains derived from bedrock. Dark features on the floors of Martian craters are controlled by aeolian processes and many consist largely of unconsolidated, windblown sand. Measurement of the thermal emissivity of geologic materials provides a way to identify mid-infrared absorption bands, the strength and positions of which vary with mineral structure and composition. The Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper (IRTM) had four surface-sensing mid-IR bands, three of which, the 7, 9, and 11 micron channels, correspond to absorption features characteristic of carbonates, sialic, and mafic minerals, respectively. In this study, the highest quality IRTM data were constrained so as to avoid the effects of atmospheric dust, clouds, surface frosts, and particle size variations (the latter using data obtained between 7 and 9 H, and they were selected for dark intracrater features such that only data taken directly from the dark feature were used, so as to avoid thermal contributions from adjacent but unrelated materials. Three-point emissivity spectra of Martian dart intracrater features were compared with laboratory emission spectra of minerals and terrestrial aeolian sands convolved using the IRTM response function to the four IRTM spectral channels.

  15. A preliminary source-to-sink sediment budget for aeolian sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebe, Krisztina; Csillag, Gábor; Timár, Gábor; Jámbor, Áron

    2015-04-01

    constituted dominantly by the Upper Miocene sediments, subordinately by older clastics. The final amount of sand possibly eroded by the wind from the area was calculated by reducing this volume through estimating the portion of sand in the lacustrine succession and the ratio of aeolian and fluvial erosion. Aeolian sand volumes of the sink were calculated using borehole data from publications and original borehole documentations. This approach contains several error sources, including uncertainties in the position of the envelope surface, varying quality of borehole documentations or the distribution of sampling points. As a result, the estimated error margin of the missing volume computation is up to 50% and the provided value is rather a minimum estimation. A similar value can be valid for the sink area. The calculations showed that sand volumes of the source and sink areas are comparable, with the eroded material being about one third to a half of that of the deposited amount (somewhere below 150 km3 and between 300-400 km3, respectively). This result supports the idea that Transdanubia is an important source area of the Kiskunság blown sand field. The portion of sand in the sink not accounted for by the present estimation can be derived from two sources. Probably more blown sand had been delivered to the sink from areas even more upwind from the Transdanubian Range (Danube Basin), now not included in the calculations. The floodplain of the Danube may have also provided sediments, but mostly only in the Late Pleistocene, when the river had already occupied its modern course upwind of the Kiskunság area. Work has been supported by the OTKA projects K 106197 and NK83400.

  16. Particle-size fractionation of aeolian sand along a climatic and geomorphic gradient of the Sinai-Negev erg

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Katra, Itzhak; Blumberg, Dan G.

    2015-04-01

    This study examines changes in the aeolian sand fractions along the west-east aeolian transport path of the northern Sinai Peninsula - northwestern (NW) Negev erg of Egypt and Israel. This erg originates from the Nile Delta and is composed of currently active linear (seif) dunes in northern Sinai (its western part), and currently stabilized vegetated linear dunes (VLDs) in the NW Negev dunefield (its eastern part). Sand samples from the Nile Delta, northern Sinai and NW Negev were analyzed for particle-size distribution and sand grain morphology in accordance to their Eastern Mediterranean INQUA Dunes Atlas luminescence and radiocarbon chronologies. Linear seif dunes differ from VLDs in their vegetation cover, linearity, and dynamics. Although both are continuous landforms with similar orientations and sand-grain roundness values, the linear dunes of Sinai are coarser-grained than the Negev VLDs. The VLDs have a significantly higher proportion of very fine sand (125-50 μm) content and a varying but lower sand fining ratio defined as the ratio of fine sand percentage to very fine sand percentage. Very fine sands are suggested to have been winnowed by saltation and low suspension from source deposits and sand sheets. Detailed semi-quantitative examinations of sand grains by a SEM of a Negev VLD shows that most grains do not exhibit features that can be attributed to aeolian abrasion by sand grain-grain collisions. From these observations we infer that fractionation of sand was a major process leading to downwind fining along the studied aeolian transport path. We suggest that the very fine sand fraction of Nile Delta and Sinai sands has been transported downwind since the late middle Pleistocene. In the late Pleistocene, sand reached the NW Negev in the form of VLDs due to last-glacial period windiness of intensities unprecedented today and probably larger sediment supply. Generally current and inferred past decreasing wind velocities and increasing precipitation

  17. Field measurements on spatial variations in aeolian sediment availability at the Sand Motor mega nourishment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoonhout, Bas; de Vries, Sierd

    2017-02-01

    Spatial variations in aeolian sediment transport were measured at the Sand Motor mega nourishment in The Netherlands during a six week field campaign in the fall of 2014. A consistent significant increase in sediment transport in downwind direction (positive gradient) was measured over the intertidal beach area, indicating that the intertidal beach is a primary source of aeolian sediment, despite the high soil moisture contents. A small positive increase in transport in downwind direction was measured over the dry beach, indicating that local aeolian sediment supply was hampered. A consistent decrease in sediment transport in downwind direction (negative gradient) was measured at the transition between intertidal and dry beach, indicating local deposition of sediment. The negative gradients coincide with the berm edge and the onset of a shell pavement. Therefore deposition might be promoted by morphological feedback between a berm and the wind and the entrapment of sediment in the beach armor layer. The local sediment deposits cause the sediment supply to the dunes to be continued even during high water, resulting in a phased process. The influence of the beach armor layer reduces during storm events as the armor layer itself is being mobilized.

  18. A high-efficiency, low-cost aeolian sand trap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherman, D. J.; Swann, C.; Barron, J. D.

    2014-06-01

    We present a design for an aeolian sand trap that is based on the streamer trap concept used in sediment transport studies. The trap is inexpensive, has excellent trapping efficiency, is durable, and easy to use. It is fabricated from stainless steel that is cut and bent to form a frame to support a fine nylon mesh. Typical trap openings are 100 mm wide and 25, 50, or 100 mm high. Traps are 250 mm long, and are stackable to measure vertical characteristics of saltation. The nylon mesh has 64 μm openings that comprise 47% of the area of the material. Aerodynamic efficiency was tested in a wind tunnel, and sediment trapping efficiency evaluated in field deployments. Both evaluations support the use of this trap for short-term measurements.

  19. Aeolian cliff-top deposits and buried soils in the White River Badlands, South Dakota, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rawling, J. E.; Fredlund, G.G.; Mahan, S.

    2003-01-01

    Aeolian deposits in the North American Great Plains are important sources of Holocene palaeo-environmental records. Although there are extensive studies on loess and dune records in the region, little is known about records in aeolian cliff-top deposits. These are common on table (mesa) edges in the White River Badlands. These sediments typically have loam and sandy-loam textures with dominantly very fine sand, 0.5-1% organic carbon and 0.5-5% CaCO3. Some of these aeolian deposits are atypically coarse and contain granules and fine pebbles. Buried soils within these deposits are weakly developed with A-C and A-AC-C profiles. Beneath these are buried soils with varying degrees of pedogenic development formed in fluvial, aeolian or colluvial deposits. Thickness and number of buried soils vary. However, late-Holocene soils from several localities have ages of approximately 1300, 2500 and 3700 14C yrs BP. The 1300 14C yr BP soil is cumulic, with a thicker and lighter A horizon. Soils beneath the cliff-top deposits are early-Holocene (typically 7900 but as old as 10000 14C yrs BP) at higher elevation (???950 m) tables, and late-Holocene (2900 14C yrs BP) at lower (???830 m) tables. These age estimates are based on total organic matter 14C ages from the top 5 cm of buried soils, and agreement is good between an infrared stimulated luminescence age and bracketing 14C ages. Our studies show that cliff-top aeolian deposits have a history similar to that of other aeolian deposits on the Great Plains, and they are another source of palaeoenvironmental data.

  20. Optically stimulated luminescence dating of aeolian sand in the otindag dune field and holocene climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhou, Y.L.; Lu, H.Y.; Mason, J.; Miao, X.D.; Swinehart, J.; Goble, R.

    2008-01-01

    The dune system in Otindag sand field of northern China is sensitive to climate change, where effective moisture and related vegetation cover play a controlling role for dune activity and stability. Therefore, aeolian deposits may be an archive of past environmental changes, possibly at the millennial scale, but previous studies on this topic have rarely been reported. In this study, thirty-five optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages of ten representative sand-paleosol profiles in Otindag sand field are obtained, and these ages provide a relatively complete and well-dated chronology for wet and dry variations in Holocene. The results indicate that widespread dune mobilization occurred from 9.9 to 8.2 ka, suggesting a dry early Holocene climate. The dunes were mainly stabilized between 8.0 and 2.7 ka, implying a relatively wet climate, although there were short-term penetrations of dune activity during this wet period. After ???2.3 ka, the region became dry again, as inferred from widespread dune activity. The "8.2 ka" cold event and the Little Ice Age climatic deterioration are detected on the basis of the dune records and OSL ages. During the Medieval Warm Period and the Sui-Tang Warm Period (570-770 AD), climate in Otindag sand field was relatively humid and the vegetation was denser, and the sand dunes were stabilized again. These aeolian records may indicate climate changes at millennial time scale during Holocene, and these climatic changes may be the teleconnection to the climate changes elsewhere in the world. ?? Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008.

  1. Intricately Rippled Sand Deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for Intricately Rippled Sand Deposits (QTVR)

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit welcomed the beginning of 2006 on Earth by taking this striking panorama of intricately rippled sand deposits in Gusev Crater on Mars. This is an approximate true-color rendering of the 'El Dorado' ripple field provided by Spirit over the New Year's holiday weekend. The view spans about 160 degrees in azimuth from left to right and consists of images acquired by Spirit's panoramic camera on Spirit's 708th and 710th Martian days, or sols, (Dec. 30, 2005 and Jan. 1, 2006). Spirit used the Pancam's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 430-nanometer filters to capture the colors on Mars. Scientists have eliminated seams between individual frames in the sky portion of the mosaic to better simulate the vista a person standing on Mars would see. Spirit spent several days acquiring images, spectral data, and compositional and mineralogical information about these large sand deposits before continuing downhill toward 'Home Plate.'

  2. Extensive Quaternary aeolian deposits in the Drakensberg foothills, Rooiberge, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Telfer, M. W.; Mills, S. C.; Mather, A. E.

    2014-08-01

    Deposits of aeolian sand are known to have accumulated in periglacial environments during the cold phases of the late Quaternary. In many instances, however, they form low-relief topographic units which may not be readily identified without detailed field survey. This study aims to use a multidisciplinary approach, combining remotely sensed data analysis and field survey, to investigate the extent and palaeoenvironmental significance of sand ramps in the Drakensberg/Rooiberge foothills of South Africa. Analysis of Google Earth™ imagery has demonstrated that gully systems are a common component of the landscape, and heterogeneously distributed across the landscape. Field investigation confirmed the hypothesis that the gullies are mainly eroding into sand ramps of fine sands and very coarse silts which mantle many of the lower hillslopes of the region. These sand units include palaeosols and occasional gravel lags, but are otherwise remarkable for their homogenous composition, cross-bedding and the complete absence of clasts. Much of the sediment is thus interpreted as aeolian in origin. The deposits are sufficiently similar in many respects to the Masotcheni Formation, a late Quaternary colluvium which outcrops abundantly in the Drakensberg, to propose an assignation to this unit. However, an aeolian component in the Masotcheni has not previously been described. The distribution of aeolian accumulation in the region is consistent with southward transport during late Quaternary cold phases from a source on the Highveld to the north of the study area. The low relief and complex fluvial network in this region would concentrate sediment eroded from the Drakensberg/Rooiberge, which would subsequently be available for deflation when the balance between fluvial flow regime, seasonally frozen ground and north-westerly trade winds were optimal for aeolian entrainment. Deposition is primarily topographically controlled, and is in places sufficiently extensive that it may be

  3. Measurements of wind, aeolian sand transport, and precipitation in the Colorado River corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona; January 2005 to January 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Rubin, David M.

    2006-01-01

    This report presents measurements of aeolian sediment-transport rates, wind speed and direction, and precipitation records from six locations that contain aeolian deposits in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Aeolian deposits, many of which contain and preserve archaeological material, are an important part of the Grand Canyon ecosystem. This report contains data collected between January 2005 and January 2006, and is the second in a series; the first contained data that were collected between November 2003 and December 2004 (Draut and Rubin, 2005; http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1309/). Analysis of data collected in 2005 shows great spatial and seasonal variation in wind and precipitation patterns. Total annual rainfall can vary by more than a factor of two over distances ~ 10 km. Western Grand Canyon received substantially more precipitation than the eastern canyon during the abnormally wet winter of 2005. Great spatial variability in precipitation indicates that future sedimentary and geomorphic studies would benefit substantially from continued or expanded data collection at multiple locations along the river corridor, because rainfall records collected by NPS at Phantom Ranch (near river-mile 88) cannot be assumed to apply to other areas of the canyon. Wind velocities and sand transport in 2005 were greatest during May and June, with maximum winds locally as high as ~25 m s-1, and transport rates locally >100 g cm-1 d-1. This represents a later peak in seasonal aeolian sand transport compared to the previous year, in which transport rates were greatest in April and May 2004. Dominant wind direction varies with location, but during the spring windy season the greatest transport potential was directed upstream in Marble Canyon (eastern Grand Canyon). At all locations, rates of sand transport during the spring windy season were 5–15 times higher than at other times of year. This information has been used to

  4. Investigating Effects of the November 2004 High-Flow Release From Glen Canyon Dam on Aeolian Sand-Transport Rates in the Colorado River Corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draut, A. E.; Rubin, D. M.

    2005-12-01

    In November, 2004, a 60-hour experimental flood release from Glen Canyon Dam held the Colorado River flow through Grand Canyon, Arizona, above 1,160 m3 s-1 (41,000 ft3 s-1). This high-flow experiment was designed to rebuild fluvial sand deposits, restoring a component of the ecosystem that had declined since closure of the dam in 1963. Transport and deposition of aeolian sand has important implications for archaeological resources in the river corridor, many of which are located in and covered by aeolian deposits. This study presents aeolian sediment-transport data collected in the river corridor during the year before and in the months after the flood experiment. At each of the six study locations, substantial new deposition of fluvial sand occurred as a result of the 2004 flood, which temporarily increased the amount of sand available for aeolian entrainment. However, high daily fluctuations (142 to 566 m3 s-1; 5,000 to 20,000 ft3 s-1) of the river flow from January to March 2005 removed much of the new sand before the start of the 2005 windy season. The greatest potential for aeolian re-distribution of flood-deposited sand occurred during the April-May windy season, during which the highest measured winds can locally exceed 25 m s-1, with sand-transport rates ~5 kg cm-1 day-1. These data may be used to guide decisions regarding future experimental floods and subsequent flow schedules, if maximizing sand redistribution by wind is a management objective.

  5. Element geochemical analysis of the contribution of aeolian sand to suspended sediment in desert stream flash floods.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xiaopeng; Wang, Haibing

    2014-01-01

    The interaction of wind and water in semiarid and arid areas usually leads to low-frequency flash flood events in desert rivers, which have adverse effects on river systems and ecology. In arid zones, many aeolian dune-fields terminate in stream channels and deliver aeolian sand to the channels. Although aeolian processes are common to many desert rivers, whether the aeolian processes contribute to fluvial sediment loss is still unknown. Here, we identified the aeolian-fluvial cycling process responsible for the high rate of suspended sediment transport in the Sudalaer desert stream in the Ordos plateau of China. On the basis of element geochemistry data analysis, we found that aeolian sand was similar to suspended sediment in element composition, which suggests that aeolian sand contributes to suspended sediment in flash floods. Scatter plots of some elements further confirm that aeolian sand is the major source of the suspended sediment. Factor analysis and the relation between some elements and suspended sediment concentration prove that the greater the aeolian process, the higher the suspended sediment concentration and the greater the contribution of aeolian sand to suspended sediment yield. We conclude that aeolian sand is the greatest contributor to flash floods in the Sudalaer desert stream.

  6. Element Geochemical Analysis of the Contribution of Aeolian Sand to Suspended Sediment in Desert Stream Flash Floods

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haibing

    2014-01-01

    The interaction of wind and water in semiarid and arid areas usually leads to low-frequency flash flood events in desert rivers, which have adverse effects on river systems and ecology. In arid zones, many aeolian dune-fields terminate in stream channels and deliver aeolian sand to the channels. Although aeolian processes are common to many desert rivers, whether the aeolian processes contribute to fluvial sediment loss is still unknown. Here, we identified the aeolian-fluvial cycling process responsible for the high rate of suspended sediment transport in the Sudalaer desert stream in the Ordos plateau of China. On the basis of element geochemistry data analysis, we found that aeolian sand was similar to suspended sediment in element composition, which suggests that aeolian sand contributes to suspended sediment in flash floods. Scatter plots of some elements further confirm that aeolian sand is the major source of the suspended sediment. Factor analysis and the relation between some elements and suspended sediment concentration prove that the greater the aeolian process, the higher the suspended sediment concentration and the greater the contribution of aeolian sand to suspended sediment yield. We conclude that aeolian sand is the greatest contributor to flash floods in the Sudalaer desert stream. PMID:25089295

  7. Anatomy and controlling factors of a Late Cretaceous Aeolian sand sheet: The Marília and the Adamantina formations, NW Bauru Basin, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilici, Giorgio; Führ Dal'Bó, Patrick Francisco

    2010-04-01

    Few previous studies have given significant consideration to the palaeosols in aeolian sand sheet sedimentary successions and, mainly, to their palaeoenvironmental and stratigraphic meaning in interaction with the deposits. These themes are considered in this study that deals with the depositional architecture and the factors controlling the construction, accumulation and preservation of an ancient aeolian sand sheet, that forms part of the Adamantina and Marília formations, in the Bauru Basin (Late Cretaceous, Brazil). In the NW portion of the Bauru Basin, these two units, ca 220 m thick, consist of sandstone, and secondarily of sandy conglomerate and mudstone, and are characterised by vertically alternated palaeosols and deposits. Facies analyses of the deposits and macroscopic characterisation of the palaeosols in 45 outcrops were integrated with laboratory analyses that consisted in descriptions of slabs of rock samples, petrographic analyses, clay mineralogy determination, geochemical analyses of the major oxides, and micromorphological characterisation of the palaeosols. Three architectural elements were recognised: palaeosols, wind-ripple-dominated aeolian sand sheet deposits, and ephemeral river deposits. The palaeosols constitute 66% of the entire sedimentary succession, and consist principally of Aridisols and, subordinately, of Alfisols, Vertisols, and Entisols. The wind-ripple-dominated aeolian sand sheet deposits (25%) are composed of sandstone, organised in translatent climbing wind-ripple strata, and secondarily of sandstone and mudstone deposited by infrequent floods. The ephemeral river deposits (9%) consist of sandy conglomerates 4 m thick and ca 2 km wide. Wind-ripple-dominated aeolian sand sheet deposits formed during relatively dry climate period on an unstable topographic surface of an aeolian sand sheet, where aeolian deposition or erosion prevailed. Palaeosols and ephemeral river deposits formed in a more humid climate period on a stable

  8. Aeolian sedimentation in the middle buntsandstein in the eifel north-south depression zone: Summary of the variability of sedimentary processes in a buntsandstein erg as a base for evaluation of the mutual relationships between aeolian sand seas and fluvial river systems in the mid-european buntsandstein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mader, Detlef

    The spectrum of aeolian depositional subenvironments in the upper Middle Buntsandstein Karlstal-Schichten sequence in the Eifel North-South-zone at the western margin of the Mid-European Triassic Basin comprises trains of larger and higher narrowly-spaced dunes in sand seas, isolated smaller and lower widely-spaced dunes in floodplains and interdune playas, dry interdune sheet sands, damp interdune adhesive sandflats, wet interdune playa lakes, rainfall runoff watercourses and ephemeral channels cutting through the dune belt, and deflation gravel lag veneers. Distinction of aeolian and fluvial sediments within the succession of closely intertonguing wind- and water-laid deposits is possible by independent analysis of the conventional criteria and the more modern stratification styles. Thick cross-bedded aeolian sand sequences originate as barchanoid-type dunes which accumulate and migrate in the regime of narrow to wide unimodal southeasterly to southwesterly trade winds in low northern palaeolatitude in summer when the intertropical convergence zone is shifted to the north. The predominantly transverse-ridge dunes accrete mainly by grainfall and subcritical climbing of wind ripples, subordinately also by grainflow interfingering with grainfall. Horizontal-laminated aeolian sands form as sand sheets in dry interdune playas by subcritical migration of wind ripple trains, rarely also by plane bed accretion. Thin cross-bedded dune sands or horizontal-laminated aeolian sands capping fluvial cyclothems originate by deflation of emerged alluvial bar sands during low-water stages and subsequent accumulation of the winnowed sand as widely-spaced dunelets or chains of wind ripples in desiccated parts of the adjoining floodplain. The aeolian sand layers at the base of lacustrine cyclothems record migration of isolated little dunes across the dry playa floor at the beginning of a wetting-upwards cyclothem, with the sand deriving from deflation of fluvial incursions or

  9. 2008 Weather and Aeolian Sand-Transport Data from the Colorado River Corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Sondossi, Hoda A.; Hazel, Joseph E.; Andrews, Timothy; Fairley, Helen C.; Brown, Christopher R.; Vanaman, Karen M.

    2009-01-01

    This report presents measurements of weather parameters and aeolian (windblown) sand transport made in 2008 near selected archaeological sites in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon, Ariz. The quantitative methods and data discussed here form a basis for monitoring ecosystem processes that affect archeological-site stability. Combined with forthcoming work to evaluate landscape evolution at nearby archaeological sites, these data can be used to document the relationship between physical processes, including weather and aeolian sand transport, and their effects on the physical integrity of archaeological sites. Data collected in 2008 reveal event- and seasonal-scale variations in rainfall, wind, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Broad seasonal changes in aeolian sediment flux are also apparent at most study sites. The continuation of monitoring that began in 2007, and installation of equipment at several new sites in early 2008, allowed evaluation of the effects of the March 2008 high-flow experiment (HFE) on aeolian sand transport. At two of the nine sites studied, spring and summer winds reworked 2008 HFE sandbars to form new aeolian dunes, at which sand moved inland toward larger, well-established dune fields. At the other seven study sites, neither dune formation nor enhanced sand transport after the HFE were observed. At several of those sites, dominant wind directions in spring 2008 were not oriented such that much HFE sand would have moved inland; at other sites, lack of increased inland sand flux is attributable to lack of sandbar enlargement near the study sites or to inhibition of sand movement by vegetation or local topography.

  10. Natural and human controls of the Holocene evolution of the beach, aeolian sand and dunes of Caesarea (Israel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, J.; Sivan, D.; Shtienberg, G.; Roskin, E.; Porat, N.; Bookman, R.

    2015-12-01

    The study focuses on the Holocene appearance, chronology and drivers of beach sand deposition and inland aeolian sand transport around the Roman-Byzantine ruins of Caesarea, Israel. Beach sand, sand sheets, nebkha, linear and transverse dunes as well as parabolic and transverse interdunes along two transects were sampled in the current study down to their substrate. Sixteen new optically stimulated luminescence ages cluster at ∼5.9-3.3 ka, ∼1.2-1.1 ka (800-900 AD) and ∼190-120 years ago (1825-1895 AD) indicating times of middle and late Holocene sand sheet depositions and historical dune stabilization. The first age cluster indicates that beach sand accumulated when rates of global sea level rise declined around 6-5 ka. Until ∼4 ka sand sheets encroached up to 2.5 km inland. Historical and archaeological evidence points to sand mobilization since the first century AD. Sand sheets dating to 1.2-1.1 ka, coevally found throughout the dunefield represent sand stabilization due to vegetation reestablishment attributed to gradual and fluctuating decline in human activity from the middle Early Islamic period until the 10th century. Historical and chronological evidence of the existence of transverse and coppice dunes from the 19th century suggest that dunes only formed in the last few centuries. The study illustrates the initial role of natural processes, in this case decline in global sea level rise and the primary and later role of fluctuating human activity upon coastal sand mobility. The study distinguishes between sand sheets and dunes and portrays them as sensors of environmental changes.

  11. Simulation of aeolian sand saltation with rotational motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Ning; Wang, Cong; Pan, Xiying

    2010-11-01

    In this work, we propose a theoretical model based on the distribution functions of initial liftoff velocity and angular velocity of sand grains to describe a sand saltation process in which both wind field-sand grain coupling and the Magnus force experienced by saltating sand grains have been incorporated. The computation results showed that the Magnus force had significant effects on sand grain saltation. In particular, when the Magnus force was incorporated, the calculated sand transport fluxes and sand transport rate per unit width were closer to the experimental value than when this force was excluded. The sand transport flux is enhanced because the Magnus force owing to particle rotation causes the particles to have higher and longer trajectories, so the particles can get more speed and energy from the wind, which leads to a larger sand transport flux. In addition, it was found that when taking the Magnus force into account, the probability density of the impact velocity and angular velocity of saltating sand grains followed an exponential distribution and a unimodal asymmetric distribution, respectively. Moreover, the sand energy flux increased with the height above the sand surface until the energy flux reached its maximum and then decreased. Furthermore, the energy flux near the ground surface decreased as the grain diameter increased, but beyond a specific height the energy flux increased with the grain diameter. Finally, for the same sand grain diameter, the energy flux increased with the friction velocity.

  12. 2007 Weather and Aeolian Sand-Transport Data from the Colorado River Corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Andrews, Timothy; Fairley, Helen C.; Brown, Christopher R.

    2009-01-01

    Weather data constitute an integral part of ecosystem monitoring in the Colorado River corridor and are particularly valuable for understanding processes of landscape change that contribute to the stability of archeological sites. Data collected in 2007 are reported from nine weather stations in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon, Ariz. The stations were deployed in February and March 2007 to measure wind speed and direction, rainfall, air temperature, relative humidity, and barometric pressure. Sand traps near each weather station collect windblown sand, from which daily aeolian sand-transport rates are calculated. The data reported here were collected as part of an ongoing study to test and evaluate methods for quantifying processes that affect the physical integrity of archeological sites along the river corridor; as such, these data can be used to identify rainfall events capable of causing gully incision and to predict likely transport pathways for aeolian sand, two landscape processes integral to the preservation of archeological sites. Weather data also have widespread applications to other studies of physical, cultural, and biological resources in Grand Canyon. Aeolian sand-transport data reported here, collected in the year before the March 2008 High-Flow Experiment (HFE) at Glen Canyon Dam, represent baseline data against which the effects of the 2008 HFE on windblown sand will be compared in future reports.

  13. Aeolian Sand Transport in the Planetary Context: Respective Roles of Aerodynamic and Bed-Dilatancy Thresholds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, J. R.; Borucki, J.; Bratton, C.

    1999-01-01

    The traditional view of aeolian sand transport generally estimates flux from the perspective of aerodynamic forces creating the airborne grain population, although it has been recognized that "reptation" causes a significant part of the total airborne flux; reptation involves both ballistic injection of grains into the air stream by the impact of saltating grains as well as the "nudging" of surface grains into a creeping motion. Whilst aerodynamic forces may initiate sand motion, it is proposed here that within a fully-matured grain cloud, flux is actually governed by two thresholds: an aerodynamic threshold, and a bed-dilatancy threshold. It is the latter which controls the reptation population, and its significance increases proportionally with transport energy. Because we only have experience with terrestrial sand transport, extrapolations of aeolian theory to Mars and Venus have adjusted only the aerodynamic factor, taking gravitational forces and atmospheric density as the prime variables in the aerodynamic equations, but neglecting reptation. The basis for our perspective on the importance of reptation and bed dilatancy is a set of experiments that were designed to simulate sand transport across the surface of a martian dune. Using a modified sporting crossbow in which a sand-impelling sabot replaced the bolt-firing mechanism, individual grains of sand were fired at loose sand targets with glancing angles typical of saltation impact; grains were projected at about 80 m/s to simulate velocities commensurate with those predicted for extreme martian aeolian conditions. The sabot impelling method permitted study of individual impacts without the masking effect of bed mobilization encountered in wind-tunnel studies. At these martian impact velocities, grains produced small craters formed by the ejection of several hundred grains from the bed. Unexpectedly, the craters were not elongated, despite glancing impact; the craters were very close to circular in planform

  14. Aeolian Sand Transport in the Planetary Context: Respective Roles of Aerodynamic and Bed-Dilatancy Thresholds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, J. R.; Borucki, J.; Bratton, C.

    1999-09-01

    The traditional view of aeolian sand transport generally estimates flux from the perspective of aerodynamic forces creating the airborne grain population, although it has been recognized that "reptation" causes a significant part of the total airborne flux; reptation involves both ballistic injection of grains into the air stream by the impact of saltating grains as well as the "nudging" of surface grains into a creeping motion. Whilst aerodynamic forces may initiate sand motion, it is proposed here that within a fully-matured grain cloud, flux is actually governed by two thresholds: an aerodynamic threshold, and a bed-dilatancy threshold. It is the latter which controls the reptation population, and its significance increases proportionally with transport energy. Because we only have experience with terrestrial sand transport, extrapolations of aeolian theory to Mars and Venus have adjusted only the aerodynamic factor, taking gravitational forces and atmospheric density as the prime variables in the aerodynamic equations, but neglecting reptation. The basis for our perspective on the importance of reptation and bed dilatancy is a set of experiments that were designed to simulate sand transport across the surface of a martian dune. Using a modified sporting crossbow in which a sand-impelling sabot replaced the bolt-firing mechanism, individual grains of sand were fired at loose sand targets with glancing angles typical of saltation impact; grains were projected at about 80 m/s to simulate velocities commensurate with those predicted for extreme martian aeolian conditions. The sabot impelling method permitted study of individual impacts without the masking effect of bed mobilization encountered in wind-tunnel studies. At these martian impact velocities, grains produced small craters formed by the ejection of several hundred grains from the bed. Unexpectedly, the craters were not elongated, despite glancing impact; the craters were very close to circular in planform

  15. Surface moisture feedback in modelled aeolian rippled sand strip and dune field patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nield, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Surface moisture plays a key role in controlling sediment availability and transport in aeolian systems which leads to the development of a diverse range of spatial patterns including transient sand strips on beaches with small temporal and spatial scales, and large-scale dune patterns dominated by wet interdune areas. By altering feedback response times between surface moisture and transport dynamics, these different patterns can be explored and modelled using a cellular automaton-based algorithm. This algorithm includes stochastic transport and mimics real-world behaviour, where surface moisture limits aeolian erosion, but a modest amount of moisture hardens the surface, increasing the elasticity of rebounding grains. Simulations allow for examination of different sediment availability scenarios which can be related to the developed internal stratigraphy of the modeled landscape. Results elucidate the controlling mechanism of surface moisture in sediment availability and highlight the importance of mutual feedback for developing diverse aeolian landscape patterns at different spatial and temporal scales.

  16. Aeolian environments and sand damage along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Kecun; Qu, Jiaunjun; Han, Qingjie; An, Zhishan

    2016-04-01

    The Qinghai-Tibet Railway (QTR), with a total length of 1956 km, is the word's longest high-altitude railway. Located in the Tibet Plateau, the QTR is frequently damaged by windblown sand because of strong winds and abundant sand. Based on the detailed wind data, in situ observation of wind blown sand and field wind tunnel simulations along the QTR, the aeolian sand environment, involving sand-laden wind, drift potential, sand transport and their spatial variation were investigated. Sand-laden wind presents unidirectional characteristics along the QTR and its prevailing direction is westerly. The annual drift potential along the QTR reaches 970.54 Vector Units (VU), which belongs to a high-energy wind environment. In cold-high environments, sand transport rate increases with increasing wind velocity, but decreases exponentially with increasing height in the wind stream. As the altitude increases, the threshold velocity for sand movement linearly increases with altitude, and the sand transport per unit width decreases gradually. The results can be used to guide the design of sand-control structures both in the study area and in other areas that experience threats from windblown sand.

  17. 2009 weather and aeolian sand-transport data from the Colorado River corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Sondossi, Hoda A.; Dealy, Timothy P.; Hazel, Joseph E.; Fairley, Helen C.; Brown, Christopher R.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents measurements of weather parameters and aeolian sand transport made in 2009 near selected archeological sites in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon, Ariz. The quantitative methods and data discussed here form a basis for monitoring ecosystem processes that affect archeological-site stability. Combined with forthcoming work to evaluate landscape evolution at nearby archeological sites, these data can be used to document the relation between physical processes, including weather and aeolian sand transport, and their effects on the physical integrity of archeological sites. Data collected in 2009 reveal event- and seasonal-scale variations in rainfall, wind, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Broad seasonal changes in aeolian sediment flux are also apparent at most study sites. Differences in weather patterns between 2008 and 2009 included an earlier spring windy season, greater spring precipitation even though 2009 annual rainfall totals were in general substantially lower than in 2008, and earlier onset of the reduced diurnal barometric-pressure fluctuations commonly associated with summer monsoon conditions. Weather patterns in middle to late 2009 were apparently affected by a transition of the ENSO cycle from a neutral phase to the El Ni?o phase. The continuation of monitoring that began in 2007, and installation of additional equipment at several new sites in early 2008, allowed evaluation of the effects of the March 2008 high-flow experiment (HFE) on aeolian sand transport. As reported earlier, at 2 of the 9 sites studied, spring and summer winds in 2008 reworked the HFE sandbars to form new aeolian dunes, where sand moved inland toward larger, well-established dune fields. Observations in 2009 showed that farther inland migration of the dune at one of those two sites is likely inhibited by vegetation. At the other location, the new aeolian dune form was found to have moved 10 m inland toward older, well

  18. Facies architecture and stratigraphic evolution of aeolian dune and interdune deposits, Permian Caldeirão Member (Santa Brígida Formation), Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Fábio Herbert; Scherer, Claiton Marlon dos Santos; Kuchle, Juliano

    2016-05-01

    The Permian Caldeirão Member (Santa Brígida Formation), located in the Tucano Central Basin, northeast region of Brazil, is characterized by a sandstone succession of aeolian origin that comprises the preserved deposits of dunes and interdunes. Grainflow and translatent wind-ripple strata, and frequent presence of reactivation surface, compose the cross-bedding of crescent aeolian dune deposits. The aeolian cross-strata show a mean dip toward the ENE. In places, interlayered with dune cross-beds, occur interdune units composed of facies indicative of dry, damp and wet condition of the substrate, suggesting spatial and/or temporal variations in the moisture content of the interdune accumulation surface. The presence of NNW current ripple cross-lamination in wet interdune areas indicates streamflows confined to interdune corridors and oriented perpendicular to aeolian transport direction. Lenses of damp and wet interdune strata exhibit mainly interdigitated and transitional relationships with the toe-sets of overlying aeolian dune units in sections parallel to aeolian transport, indicating that dune migration was contemporaneous with accumulation in adjacent interdunes. Lateral variations in the preserved thickness of the interdune units and the associated rare occurrence of abrupt and erosive contacts between interdune and overlying dune sets, suggest temporal variations in the angle of dune and interdune climb that may be related to high-frequency changes in water table position. Four stratigraphic intervals in the Caldeirão Member can be identified, two intervals showing cross-bedding of aeolian dunes without wet interdune areas and two intervals exhibiting aeolian dunes separated by wet interdune areas, marking the transition between dry aeolian systems (Intervals I and III) and wet aeolian systems (Intervals II and IV). The temporal alternations between dry and wet aeolian systems reflect changes in the availability of dry sand and/or the rate in the water

  19. Explaining the surprisingly poor correlation between turbulent surface wind and aeolian sand flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R. L.; Barchyn, T. E.; Hugenholtz, C.; Jerolmack, D. J.; Kok, J. F.

    2012-12-01

    Existing models of aeolian sand transport, derived theoretically and from wind-tunnel experiments, often disagree substantially with field observations. Despite advancements in anemometry and sediment flux detection technologies, even very high-resolution observations of aeolian sand transport show only weak correlation with concurrent surface wind speeds and model predictions. Unlike in experiments and numerical models, winds in natural environments exhibit turbulent fluctuations over a broad range of length scales extending from individual grains to the top of the atmospheric boundary layer and over a similarly large range of time scales. Here, we present simultaneous high-resolution (10 Hz) measurements of surface wind and saltation sand transport over a ~5 m tall barchan dune (median grain diameter = 0.35 mm) collected at White Sands Dune Field, New Mexico, USA. Studying aeolian transport in the field offered a natural experiment for understanding how the rate of aeolian saltation responds to turbulent changes in wind and frequent crossings of the threshold for particle motion. In agreement with past observations, our data indicate that: (1) saltation flux lags wind fluctuations by about 1 second, (2) the threshold for initiation of particle motion ("entrainment") exceeds the threshold for cessation ("distrainment") by about 20%, (3) concurrent instantaneous wind and sediment flux measurements are poorly correlated. Based on our data, we show how lagged transport and threshold hysteresis are related to inertia in the transport system arising from ballistic particle trajectories and non-instantaneous momentum transfers among grains and wind. We argue that this nonlinear and lagged response of saltation to turbulent wind fluctuations accounts for the poor correlation between wind and transport as well as the poor performance of existing saltation models.

  20. Regional aeolian dynamics and sand mixing in the Gran Desierto: Evidence from Landsat thematic mapper images

    SciTech Connect

    Blount, G.; Greeley, R.; Christensen, P.R. ); Smith, M.O.; Adams, J.B. )

    1990-09-10

    Spatial variations in sand composition were mapped on a regional scale in a terrestrial sand sea, the Gran Desierto of Sonora, Mexico. Mesoscale mapping on a satellite image base allowed quantitative interpretation of the dynamic development of sand sheets and dunes. The results were used to interpret the Quaternary geologic history of the tectonically active region at the mouth of the Colorado River. Landsat thematic mapper multispectral images were used to predict the abundance of different mineralogies of sand grains in a mixed aeolian terrain. A spectral mixing model separated the effects of vegetation and topographically induced shading and shadow from the effects produced by different mineral and rock types. Compositions determined remotely agreed well with samples from selected areas within the spectral limitations of the thematic mapper. A simple discrimination capability for active versus inactive sand surfaces is demonstrated based upon differences in the percentage of low-albedo accessory grains occurring on dormant aeolian surfaces. A technique for discriminating between low-albedo materials and macroscopic shade is implemented by combing thermal images with the results of the spectral mixing model. The image analysis revealed important compositional variations over large areas that were not readily apparent in the field.

  1. Regional aeolian dynamics and sand mixing in the Gran Desierto: Evidence from Landsat thematic mapper images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blount, Grady; Smith, Milton O.; Adams, John B.; Greeley, Ronald; Christensen, Phillip R.

    1990-09-01

    Spatial variations in sand composition were mapped on a regional scale in a terrestrial sand sea, the Gran Desierto of Sonora, Mexico. Mesoscale mapping on a satellite image base allowed quantitative interpretation of the dynamic development of sand sheets and dunes. The results were used to interpret the Quaternary geologic history of the tectonically active region at the mouth of the Colorado River. Landsat thematic mapper multispectral images were used to predict the abundance of different mineralogies of sand grains in a mixed aeolian terrain. A spectral mixing model separated the effects of vegetation and topographically induced shading and shadow from the effects produced by different mineral and rock types. Compositions determined remotely agreed well with samples from selected areas within the spectral limitations of the thematic mapper. A simple discrimination capability for active versus inactive sand surfaces is demonstrated based upon differences in the percentage of low-albedo accessory grains occurring on dormant aeolian surfaces. A technique for discriminating between low-albedo materials and macroscopic shade is implemented by combining thermal images with the results of the spectral mixing model. The image analysis revealed important compositional variations over large areas that were not readily apparent in the field.

  2. Preservation of hanging aeolian deposits in insular karst depressions: Sediment sources and implications for the Pleistocene palaeogeography of the SE Adriatic archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babić, Ljubomir; Zupanič, Jožica; Vidović, Jelena; Razum, Ivan; Lužar-Oberiter, Borna; Crnjaković, Marta

    2013-12-01

    This study examines how and why the accumulation and preservation of aeolian sands are influenced by the character of karstic basement landforms. The studied examples are Late Pleistocene aeolian sands and underlying karstified carbonates of Southeastern Adriatic islands. To address this issue the spacial relationship between karstified bedrock and aeolian cover, aeolian and associated fluvial facies, as well as the petrography of sands, including heavy minerals and bioclasts (especially foraminifera) have been studied. Specific landforms of the carbonate basement originated as a consequence of deformation, karstification and locally with additional influence of fluvial processes. They are located at different elevations above today’s sea-level, as well as above ancient sand pathways towards the islands, which are now below sea-level. The karst depressions critically influenced the accumulation and preservation of aeolian sands. The depressions represented traps for accumulation and shelters for preservation of these sands. The closed type karst depressions include large examples which contain successions displaying the most complete stratigraphic record, located in the approximate centre of the depression. The open type karst depression is characterised by a partial removal of sands which were exported down-valley. The complex arrangement of the islands and closely located mainland coasts governed the location of primary sand transport paths. They included both aeolian and marine transport depending on the extent of exposed land versus submerged areas related to sea-level fluctuation. Marine settings along the sand pathways included shallow, sandy sea bottoms partly covered by sea-grass, as well as sand beaches and restricted environments. From low inter-island areas which hosted the primary sand pathways, the sands were uplifted and deposited over the islands by wind action thus producing hanging aeolian accumulations. The most influential Pleistocene winds

  3. Turbulent Flow and Sand Dune Dynamics: Identifying Controls on Aeolian Sediment Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, C. M.; Wiggs, G.

    2007-12-01

    Sediment transport models are founded on cubic power relationships between the transport rate and time averaged flow parameters. These models have achieved limited success and recent aeolian and fluvial research has focused on the modelling and measurement of sediment transport by temporally varying flow conditions. Studies have recognised turbulence as a driving force in sediment transport and have highlighted the importance of coherent flow structures in sediment transport systems. However, the exact mechanisms are still unclear. Furthermore, research in the fluvial environment has identified the significance of turbulent structures for bedform morphology and spacing. However, equivalent research in the aeolian domain is absent. This paper reports the findings of research carried out to characterise the importance of turbulent flow parameters in aeolian sediment transport and determine how turbulent energy and turbulent structures change in response to dune morphology. The relative importance of mean and turbulent wind parameters on aeolian sediment flux was examined in the Skeleton Coast, Namibia. Measurements of wind velocity (using sonic anemometers) and sand transport (using grain impact sensors) at a sampling frequency of 10 Hz were made across a flat surface and along transects on a 9 m high barchan dune. Mean wind parameters and mass sand flux were measured using cup anemometers and wedge-shaped sand traps respectively. Vertical profile data from the sonic anemometers were used to compute turbulence and turbulent stress (Reynolds stress; instantaneous horizontal and vertical fluctuations; coherent flow structures) and their relationship with respect to sand transport and evolving dune morphology. On the flat surface time-averaged parameters generally fail to characterise sand transport dynamics, particularly as the averaging interval is reduced. However, horizontal wind speed correlates well with sand transport even with short averaging times. Quadrant

  4. Sand Flux Results for Aeolian Dunes at Current and Candidate Landing Sites on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chojnacki, M.; Urso, A.; Yingling, W.

    2015-12-01

    It is now known unambiguously that wind-driven bedform activity is occurring on Mars today. It has also been demonstrated the rapid aeolian abrasion of sedimentary deposits that potentially host ancient habitable environments may provide the best mechanism for exposing samples containing relatively undegraded organics (Farley et al. 2014). Thus, current processes operating on the surface of Mars are highly relevant to our understanding of the past. Here, we discuss new sand flux results of active dune across Mars, including several current and candidate landing sites with Meridiani Planum, Gale crater, Valles Marineris, and Mawrth Vallis. For this task, we have utilized multi-temporal images acquired annually by the HiRISE camera (25 cm/pixel) along with co-located HiRISE Digital Terrain Models. Falling dunes in Coprates Chasma (Mars 2020 candidate landing site) measuring 6-10 meters in height were detected migrating on average 0.5 m per Earth year, yielding crest fluxes of 3.1 m3 m-1 yr-1 (units hereafter assumed). Barchans near the MSL rover at Gale crater have slightly lower fluxes of 1.2, while earlier work in Endeavour crater, the current site of the Opportunity Rover, showed dome dunes with fluxes as high as 13 (average of 6.8; Chojnacki et al. 2015). New results of Mawrth Vallis (Mars 2020 candidate) dunes suggest these high rates are not uncommon, as barchans there possess average fluxes of 11.5. Assuming ripple reptation rates are 1/10th that of crest fluxes, total flux (saltation plus reptation) would range 3.2 to 12.7 m3 m-1 yr-1 for all sites studied herein. Active dunes and the abrasion susceptibility (Sa) of local rocks are relevant to assess how sand fluxes modify the landscape. Using the methodology and assumptions (Sa for basalt, mean trajectory height etc.) described in Bridges et al. (2012), we estimated abrasion rates of local basaltic bedrock. For example, sand blasting at Mawrth Vallis is estimated to produce 2-8 μm/yr for flat ground and 15

  5. Have the northwest Negev dunefield sands reddened since their deposition?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Tsoar, Haim; Blumberg, Dan G.; Porat, Naomi; Rozensten, Ofer

    2010-05-01

    older sand source but not to reddening in situ with time. Remotely sensed RI calculated from Landsat TM 5 (30 m pixel) RGB bands of bare Sinai sands also portrays the spatial RI difference between the central and southern sands. To summarize, we find no direct connection between dune sand deposition age and sand grain coating redness in the Negev dunes. It seems that stable aeolian sand and dune sections in the Negev have not reddened since their deposition. Sand grain coating redness was probably inherited during an earlier diagenetic stage in an environment different than today's. References Ben-Dor, E., Levin, N., Singer, A., Karnieli, A., Braun, O. & Kidron, G.J., 2006. Quantitative mapping of the soil rubification process on sand dunes using an airborne hyperspectral sensor. Geoderma, 131:1-21. Tsoar, H., Wenkart, R. & Blumberg, D.G., 2008. Formation and geomorphology of the north-western Negev sand dunes. In (Breckle, S.W., Yair, A.& Veste, M.) eds., Arid dunes ecosystems: The Nizzana sands in the Negev Desert. Springer pub. 475 pp.

  6. Granulometric profiling of aeolian dust deposits by automated image analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varga, György; Újvári, Gábor; Kovács, János; Jakab, Gergely; Kiss, Klaudia; Szalai, Zoltán

    2016-04-01

    Determination of granulometric parameters is of growing interest in the Earth sciences. Particle size data of sedimentary deposits provide insights into the physicochemical environment of transport, accumulation and post-depositional alterations of sedimentary particles, and are important proxies applied in paleoclimatic reconstructions. It is especially true for aeolian dust deposits with a fairly narrow grain size range as a consequence of the extremely selective nature of wind sediment transport. Therefore, various aspects of aeolian sedimentation (wind strength, distance to source(s), possible secondary source regions and modes of sedimentation and transport) can be reconstructed only from precise grain size data. As terrestrial wind-blown deposits are among the most important archives of past environmental changes, proper explanation of the proxy data is a mandatory issue. Automated imaging provides a unique technique to gather direct information on granulometric characteristics of sedimentary particles. Granulometric data obtained from automatic image analysis of Malvern Morphologi G3-ID is a rarely applied new technique for particle size and shape analyses in sedimentary geology. Size and shape data of several hundred thousand (or even million) individual particles were automatically recorded in this study from 15 loess and paleosoil samples from the captured high-resolution images. Several size (e.g. circle-equivalent diameter, major axis, length, width, area) and shape parameters (e.g. elongation, circularity, convexity) were calculated by the instrument software. At the same time, the mean light intensity after transmission through each particle is automatically collected by the system as a proxy of optical properties of the material. Intensity values are dependent on chemical composition and/or thickness of the particles. The results of the automated imaging were compared to particle size data determined by three different laser diffraction instruments

  7. Analysis of an optical gate device for measuring aeolian sand movement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etyemezian, V.; Nikolich, G.; Nickling, W.; King, J. S.; Gillies, J. A.

    2017-02-01

    Movement of sand in response to wind is the most important feature of aeolian sediment transport on Earth and other planets. Through sand blasting during saltation, large amounts of dust are ejected into the atmosphere and transported long distances, impacting climate and human health. Despite continuing improvements, currently available devices for field measurement of sand movement have limitations. An optical gate device (OGD) for detecting the movement, size, and possibly speed of individual sand grains during aeolian sediment transport was analyzed. The approach uses the highly time resolved signal from these sensors, which consist of a light emitter and a photosensitive sensor. A specific OGD that is manufactured by Optek (Carrollton, Texas, USA) was tested in a sediment transport wind tunnel alongside trap-style devices. The OGD device provided particle counts and total signal response that were well correlated with sand trap data (R2 between 0.66 and 0.88). Inter-comparison among eight identical units of the OGD showed excellent repeatability (R2 > 0.98 for 7 of 8 units). Subsequent tests revealed that the response of the phototransistor (light sensor) can be linear when operated within certain workable limits. Practical implications of this are that there is potential for extracting size distribution information. Limits imposed by noise levels in the signal and interferences from extraneous light sources were also identified. Despite the results presented being specific to the OGD model tested, much of the approach outlined is applicable to any OGD-type device (including Wenglor®) if the signal of the photo detector can be accessed directly.

  8. Numerical study of turbulent flow over complex aeolian dune fields: the White Sands National Monument.

    PubMed

    Anderson, William; Chamecki, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    The structure and dynamics of fully developed turbulent flows responding to aeolian dune fields are studied using large-eddy simulation with an immersed boundary method. An aspect of particular importance in these flows is the downwind migration of coherent motions associated with Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities that originate at the dune crests. These instabilities are responsible for enhanced downward transport of high-momentum fluid via the so-called turbulent sweep mechanism. However, the presence of such structures and their role in determining the bulk characteristics of fully developed dune field sublayer aerodynamics have received relatively limited attention. Moreover, many existing studies address mostly symmetric or mildly asymmetric dune forms. The White Sands National Monument is a field of aeolian gypsum sand dunes located in the Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico. Aeolian processes at the site result in a complex, anisotropic dune field. In the dune field sublayer, the flow statistics resemble a mixing layer: At approximately the dune crest height, vertical profiles of streamwise velocity exhibit an inflection and turbulent Reynolds stresses are maximum; below this, the streamwise and vertical velocity fluctuations are positively and negatively skewed, respectively. We evaluate the spatial structure of Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities present in the dune field sublayer (shear length L(s) and vortex spacing Λ(x)) and show that Λ(x)=m(dune)L(s), where m(dune)≈7.2 in the different sections considered (for turbulent mixing layers, 7

  9. A numerical study of turbulent flow over complex aeolian dune fields: the White Sands National Monument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, W. W.; Chamecki, M.; Kocurek, G.; Mohrig, D. C.

    2013-12-01

    The structure and dynamics of fully-developed turbulent flows responding to aeolian dune fields are studied using large-eddy simulation with an immersed boundary method. An aspect of particular importance in these flows is the downwind migration of coherent motions associated with Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities which originate at the dune crests. These instabilities are responsible for enhanced downward transport of high momentum fluid via the so-called turbulent sweep mechanism. However, the presence of such structures and their role in determining the bulk characteristics of fully developed dune field sublayer aerodynamics has received relatively limited attention. Moreover, many existing studies address mostly symmetric or mildly asymmetric dune forms. The White Sands National Monument is a field of aeolian gypsum sand dunes located in the Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico. Aeolian processes at the site result in a complex, anisotropic dune field. In the dune field sublayer, the flow statistics resemble a mixing layer: at approximately the dune crest height, vertical profiles of streamwise velocity exhibit an inflection and turbulent Reynolds stresses are maximum; below this, the streamwise and vertical velocity fluctuations are positively and negatively skewed, respectively. We evaluate the spatial structure of Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities present in the dune field sublayer -- shear length, Ls, and vortex spacing, Lambda_x -- and show that Ls = m Lambda_x, where m is approximately 8 in the different sections considered (for turbulent mixing layers, 7 < m < 10, Rogers and Moser, 1994: Phys. Fluids A, 6, 903-922). These results guide discussion on the statistics of aerodynamic drag across the dunes; probability density functions of time-series of aerodynamic drag for the dunes are shown to exhibit skewness and variance much greater than values reported for turbulent boundary layer flow over an homogeneous roughness distribution. Thus, we propose that

  10. Sedimentology of coastal chevron deposits - tsunamigenic versus aeolian origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia Garcia, A.; Spiske, M.; Tsukamoto, S.; Schmidt, V.

    2012-12-01

    The genesis of v-shaped coastal chevrons is currently controversially discussed. So far, chevrons are only described regarding their morphology, but not in terms of their origin. Two possible origins of chevrons are proposed: both aeolian transport and tsunami inundation are discussed as depositing processes. We present initial results of a detailed sedimentological survey of Holocene coastal chevrons from the American and Australian west coasts. The chevrons were measured and levelled using a differential GPS system. Large scale internal structures were recorded by ground penetrating radar imaging. Trenches were dug for sampling and analyzing small scale internal structures. The sediment samples were used for the analysis of grain-size distributions, mineral composition and content of marine microorganisms. Additional samples were taken for optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon dating. Furthermore, we took reference samples from beaches, cliffs and rivers, which could act as potential sediment sources for the surveyed chevrons. Tsunami deposits are commonly polymodal, exhibit a grain-size decrease and tend to show better sorting in landward direction. Such trends are not present in the surveyed chevrons. Most samples are well to moderately well sorted and unimodal. The OSL ages decrease in transport direction and indicate a long term generation process, such as dune migration, rather than a short term event like a tsunami. This fact is additionally underlined by land snails found in different stratigraphic levels within the Australian chevrons. Furthermore, the occurrence of intercalated soil horizons implies a change of stable and active migration phases. The initial results of this study point out to an aoelian origin of coastal chevrons and do not support the previously supposed thesis of a tsunamigenic origin.

  11. Adaptation to life in aeolian sand: how the sandfish lizard, Scincus scincus, prevents sand particles from entering its lungs

    PubMed Central

    Vihar, Boštjan; Günther, Mathias; Huemer, Michaela; Riedl, Martin; Shamiyeh, Stephanie; Mayrhofer, Bernhard; Böhme, Wolfgang; Baumgartner, Werner

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The sandfish lizard, Scincus scincus (Squamata: Scincidae), spends nearly its whole life in aeolian sand and only comes to the surface for foraging, defecating and mating. It is not yet understood how the animal can respire without sand particles entering its respiratory organs when buried under thick layers of sand. In this work, we integrated biological studies, computational calculations and physical experiments to understand this phenomenon. We present a 3D model of the upper respiratory system based on a detailed histological analysis. A 3D-printed version of this model was used in combination with characteristic ventilation patterns for computational calculations and fluid mechanics experiments. By calculating the velocity field, we identified a sharp decrease in velocity in the anterior part of the nasal cavity where mucus and cilia are present. The experiments with the 3D-printed model validate the calculations: particles, if present, were found only in the same area as suggested by the calculations. We postulate that the sandfish has an aerodynamic filtering system; more specifically, that the characteristic morphology of the respiratory channel coupled with specific ventilation patterns prevent particles from entering the lungs. PMID:27852763

  12. Optical dating of tufa via in situ aeolian sand grains: A case example from the Southern High Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rich, J.; Stokes, S.; Wood, W.; Bailey, R.

    2003-01-01

    Precipitated carbonates (commonly termed tufas or travertines) maybe of considerable utility for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Their potential, however, for such reconstruction is commonly limited by difficulties associated with their absolute age control. Attempts to date such deposits via uranium series techniques have been complicated by their chemically open behaviour. Here we describe an alternative approach to date tufa deposits associated with ephemeral saline lake basins from the Southern High Plains, USA. We have optically dated sand grains of a mixed aeolian/fluvial (spring fed) origin as the integrating dosimeter. We assume that the grains are fully resetting prior to their incorporation into the tufa deposits and employ a time-dependent disequilibrium dosimetric model to account for the build-up of uranium series daughter products. The approach was applied to a set of four samples with known stratigraphic association. We obtained stratigraphically sensible optical ages ranging from 78??8 to 56??4ka. These data are consistent with existing palaeoenvironmental models of regional recharge. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 2010 weather and aeolian sand-transport data from the Colorado River corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dealy, Timothy P.; East, Amy E.; Fairley, Helen C.

    2014-01-01

    Measurements of weather parameters and aeolian sand transport were made in 2010 near selected archeological sites in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon, Arizona. Data collected in 2010 indicate event- and seasonal-scale variations in rainfall, wind, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Differences in weather patterns between 2009 and 2010 included a slightly later spring windy season, greater spring precipitation and annual rainfall totals, and a later onset and length of the reduced diurnal barometric-pressure fluctuations commonly associated with summer monsoon conditions. The increase in spring precipitation was consistent with the 2010 spring El Niño conditions compared to the 2009 spring La Niña conditions, whereas the subsequent transition to an El Niño-Southern Oscillation neutral phase appeared to delay the reduction in diurnal barometric fluctuations.

  14. Laser particle counter validation for aeolian sand transport measurements using a highspeed camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duarte-Campos, Leonardo; Wijnberg, Kathelijne M.; Oyarte-Gálvez, Loreto; Hulscher, Suzanne J. M. H.

    2017-04-01

    Measuring aeolian sand transport rates in the field has been a long-standing challenge. In this paper, we present the results of a laboratory experiment to test the ability of a laser particle counter sensor (Wenglor) to accurately count sand grains of various grain size classes and stainless steel beads. We compared the count data collected by the Wenglor with images from a Highspeed camera which revealed the actual number of grains passing the laser beam. A Silicon photodiode was used to record the laser intensity reduction induced by the sand grain passage through the laser beam to derive the minimal necessary reduction for the Wenglor to count grains. For the two possible settings of the Wenglor, i.e., Minimal Teach-in or Normal Teach-in, a minimum of 18% and 78% blocking of the laser beam was required for recording a count. This implies that the minimum grain size that can be observed by the Wenglor is 210 ± 3 μm and 495 ± 10 μm for the two settings respectively, which is considerably coarser than previously assumed. Due to the non-uniform power distribution of the laser sensor intensity, at the detection limit of 210 μm, only grains passing through the centre of the beam will be counted.

  15. Aeolian sands and buried soils in the Mecklenburg Lake District, NE Germany: Holocene land-use history and pedo-geomorphic response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Küster, Mathias; Fülling, Alexander; Kaiser, Knut; Ulrich, Jens

    2014-04-01

    The present study is a pedo-geomorphic approach to reconstructing Holocene aeolian sand dynamics in the Mecklenburg Lake District (NE Germany). Stratigraphical, sedimentological and soil research supplemented by morphogenetic interpretations of the genesis of dunes and aeolian sands are discussed. A complex Late Holocene aeolian stratigraphy within a drift sand area was developed at the shore of Lake Müritz. The results were confirmed using palynological records, archaeological data and regional history. Accelerated aeolian activity was triggered by the intensification of settlement and land-use activities during the 13th and in the 15th to 16th century AD. After a period of stability beginning with population decline during the ‘Thirty Years War' and continuing through the 18th century, a final aeolian phase due to the establishment of glassworks was identified during the 19th century AD. We assume a direct link between Holocene aeolian dynamics and human activities. Prehistoric Holocene drift sands on terrestrial sites have not been documented in the Mecklenburg Lake District so far. This might be explained either by erosion and incorporation of older aeolian sediments during younger aeolian phases and/or a lower regional land-use intensity in older periods of the Holocene. The investigated drift sands are stratigraphically and sedimentologically characterised by a high degree of heterogeneity, reflecting the spatial and temporal variability of Holocene human impact.

  16. Quantifying the effects of European beach grass on aeolian sand transport over the last century: Bodega Marine Reserve, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cesmat, R.; Werner, S.; Smith, M. E.; Riedel, T.; Best, R.; Olyarnik, S.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction of European beach grass (Ammophila arenaria) to coastal dune systems of western North America induced significant changes to the transport and storage of sediment, and consequently the nesting habitat of the western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus). At the Bodega Marine Reserve and Sonoma Coast State Park, Ammophila was introduced within the ~0.5 km2 dune area in the 1920's to limit the flux of sand through Bodega Harbor and agricultural land. To assess the potential impact of restoration efforts (Ammophila removal) on aeolian sediment flux, we measured sediment flux as a function of wind speeds and ground cover, and used these measurements to parameterize a spatial model for historical sand deposition Fine- to coarse-grained lithic to sub-lithic sand is delivered to the Bodega dune system from Salmon Creek beach, the down-shore terminus of a littoral system fed by the 3846 km2 Russian River catchment, several small (<100 km2) coastal catchments, and seacliff erosion. Littoral sediment traverses the 1.8 km wide dune system from NW to SE via aeolian transport. Ammophila colonization occurred initially adjacent to the shoreface, inducing deposition of a ~10 meter-high foredune and has subsequently encroached the ~0.5 km2 region between the foredune and Bodega Harbor. Comparison of historical topographic maps via raster subtraction indicates rapid construction of both the foredune and a ~15 meter-high transverse dune (Gaffney ridge) at the edge of the planted region. An average accumulation rate of ~4,000 m3/yr is indicated within the study swath by the preserved sediment volumes. Within the modern dune system, unvegetated areas exhibit 2-3 meter wavelength, ~1/2 meter amplitude mega-ripples, and the uppermost 2-10 cm consists of coarse-sand to granule-sized armor layer. In contrast, grain-sizes in vegetated areas are largely vertically homogenous. Open areas are typically 2-8 meters lower than adjacent vegetated areas, and show evidence for

  17. Regional aeolian dynamics and sand mixing in the Gran Desierto - Evidence from Landsat Thematic Mapper images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blount, Grady; Greeley, Ronald; Christensen, Phillip R.; Smith, Milton O.; Adams, John B.

    1990-01-01

    Mesoscale mapping of spatial variations in sand composition of the Gran Desierto (Sonora, Mexico) was carried out on multispectral Landsat TM images of this region, making it possible to examine the dynamic development of sand sheets and dunes. Compositions determined from remote imagery were found to agree well with samples from selected areas. The sand populations delineated were used to describe the sediment source areas, transport paths, and deposition sites. The image analysis revealed important compositional variations aver large areas that were not readily apparent in the field data.

  18. Modeling surficial sand and gravel deposits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bliss, J.D.; Page, N.J.

    1994-01-01

    Mineral-deposit models are an integral part of quantitative mineral-resource assessment. As the focus of mineral-deposit modeling has moved from metals to industrial minerals, procedure has been modified and may be sufficient to model surficial sand and gravel deposits. Sand and gravel models are needed to assess resource-supply analyses for planning future development and renewal of infrastructure. Successful modeling of sand and gravel deposits must address (1) deposit volumes and geometries, (2) sizes of fragments within the deposits, (3) physical characteristics of the material, and (4) chemical composition and chemical reactivity of the material. Several models of sand and gravel volumes and geometries have been prepared and suggest the following: Sand and gravel deposits in alluvial fans have a median volume of 35 million m3. Deposits in all other geologic settings have a median volume of 5.4 million m3, a median area of 120 ha, and a median thickness of 4 m. The area of a sand and gravel deposit can be predicted from volume using a regression model (log [area (ha)] =1.47+0.79 log [volume (million m3)]). In similar fashion, the volume of a sand and gravel deposit can be predicted from area using the regression (log [volume (million m3)]=-1.45+1.07 log [area (ha)]). Classifying deposits by fragment size can be done using models of the percentage of sand, gravel, and silt within deposits. A classification scheme based on fragment size is sufficiently general to be applied anywhere. ?? 1994 Oxford University Press.

  19. Recent seasonal variations in arid landscape cover and aeolian sand mobility, Navajo Nation, southwestern U.S.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Redsteer, Margaret Hiza; Amoroso, Lee; Giosan, Liviu; Fuller, Dorian Q.; Nicoll, Kathleen; Flad, Rowan K.; Clift, Peter D.

    2013-01-01

    The socioeconomic impacts of climate change pose problems not only in devel- oping countries but also to residents of arid lands in the United States among marginalized societies with limited economic means. In the Navajo Nation, warming temperatures and recent drought have increased aeolian sediment mobility such that large, migrating sand dunes affect grazing lands, housing, and road access. Dust derived from this region also affects albedo and longevity of the Rocky Mountains snowpack, located downwind. We present initial results from a study that monitors sand transport and vegetation within a 0.2 km2 site in the Navajo lands, measuring the effects of drought on landscape stability since 2009. Sand mobility decreased substantially as 1 year with near-normal monsoon rainfall (2010) somewhat abated a decade-long drought, temporarily doubling vegetation cover. Vegetation that grew during 2010, with adequate rain, died off rapidly during dry conditions in 2011. Short-term increases in rainfall that promote annual, but not perennial, plant growth will not improve landscape stability in the long term. Climate projections suggest that a warmer, drier climate and potentially enhanced sediment supply from ephem- eral washes will further increase aeolian sand transport and dune activity, worsening the present challenges to people living in this region. Connections among climate, vegetation, and aeolian sediment erodibility in this region are highly relevant to other areas of the world with similar environmental problems.

  20. Aeolian dust deposition during the Eocene-Oligocene in central to eastern Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandenberghe, Jef; Abels, Hemmo; van Cappelle, Marijn

    2015-04-01

    Aeolian dust deposition during the Eocene-Oligocene in central to eastern Asia Jef Vandenberghe1, Hemmo Abels2 and Marijn van Cappelle3 1Dept. of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2Dept. of Earth Sciences, Universiteit Utrecht, 3584 CD, Utrecht, The Netherlands 3Dept. of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, U.K. The deposition of loess is generally attributed to a monsoonal climate system. Recently it has been shown that such a system existed already at the end of the Eocene on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau (Licht et al., 2014). One of the main arguments to prove the supply of loess by monsoonal winds is the use of grain size properties. The lower part of the Shuiwan section (Eocene) consists of metre-scale alternations of mudstone and gypsum beds; the upper part (Oligocene) is mainly mudstone (Dupont-Nivet et al., 2007; Abels et al., 2010). Sediments are categorized in six grain-size types based on the grain-size distribution and the mode of the silt grain sizes as measured using laser diffraction. Sediments of type 1, the only type with a unimodal grain-size distribution, consist exclusively of clay-sized particles (modal value of 2-2.5 µm). Types 2-6 have a multimodal composition. They contain an additional silt-sized fraction with a modal size of c. 16 µm in type 2; c. 26 µm in type 3 and c. 31 µm in type 4. Type 5 is a mixture of previous types, and type 6 contains in addition a slight amount of sand. Similar bimodal grain-size distributions occur in the Neogene Red Clay and in the Pleistocene loess of the Chinese Loess Plateau. All three silt fractions (with modal sizes 16, 26 and 31 µm) represent typical loess sediments, transported by dust storms in suspension at different altitudes. Their exact grain size depends on wind velocity, source material and transport distance. The 'clay component' may have settled from high suspension clouds in the air down to dry ground or to

  1. The contribution of aeolian sand and dust to iron fertilization of phytoplankton blooms in southwestern Ross Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winton, V. H. L.; Dunbar, G. B.; Bertler, N. A. N.; Millet, M.-A.; Delmonte, B.; Atkins, C. B.; Chewings, J. M.; Andersson, P.

    2014-04-01

    Iron is a limiting micronutrient for primary production in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Recent observations reveal low dissolved Fe (dFe) concentrations in the Ross Sea polynya following high initial rates of primary production in summer, after the dFe winter reserve has been consumed. Significant new sources of dFe are therefore required to further sustain phytoplankton blooms. Iron from aeolian sand and dust (ASD) released from melting sea ice is one potential source. To constrain aeolian Fe inputs, we determined ASD mass accumulation rates and the total and soluble Fe content of ASD on sea ice in McMurdo Sound, southwestern (SW) Ross Sea. The mean mass accumulation rate was ~1.5 g m-2 yr-1, total Fe content of this ASD was 4 ± 1 wt %, and the percentage of soluble Fe was 11 ± 1%. Our mean estimate of the bulk aeolian dFe flux of 122.1 µmol m-2 yr-1 for the McMurdo Sound region suggests that aeolian Fe can support between 9.0 × 109 and 4.1 × 1011 mol C yr-1 (0.1-4.9 Tg C yr-1) of new primary production. This equates to only ~15% of new primary production in the SW Ross Sea, suggesting that aeolian dFe is a minor component of seasonal Fe supply. The very high ASD accumulation on sea ice in McMurdo Sound compared to other regions of Antarctica suggests that our results represent the upper limit of dFe supply to the ocean from this source in the Ross Sea.

  2. Aeolian dust deposition rates in Northern French forests and inputs to their biogeochemical cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lequy, Émeline; Legout, Arnaud; Conil, Sébastien; Turpault, Marie-Pierre

    2013-12-01

    This study describes the Aeolian dust deposition (ADD) in 4 sites of Northern France. Between December 2009 and March 2012, we sampled (i) Aeolian dust every four weeks, and (ii) 6 episodes of forecasted high atmospheric dust load mainly from the Saharan desert, the largest source of Aeolian dust in the world. These samples were treated with oxygen peroxide to remove organic matter so as to only compare the mineral fraction of the samples in the 4 sampling sites and to analyze their mineralogy. The solid samples contained the hardly soluble part of Aeolian dust (H-ADD). Its deposition was of 1.9 ± 0.3 g m-2 year-1 with a seasonal pattern of high deposition from spring to early autumn and a low deposition in winter. H-ADD deposition during the forecasted episodes of high atmospheric load did not systematically exceed the deposition rate during the rest of the sampling period. This indicates that such episodes little contributed to the annual H-ADD rate. The mineralogy revealed a heterogeneous set of minerals dominated by silicates with a common basis of major types (quartz, feldspars, mica, chlorite, kaolinite and interlayered clay minerals in every sample) with randomly trace minerals (Fe-oxides, sulfates, amphibole, talc, gibbsite and carbonates). The chemistry of H-ADD led to a dominant input of Si (up to 4.4 kg ha-1 year-1), while the nutrients inputs of Ca, K, Mg and P from ADD and the atmospheric organics (APD) in openfield were together of 1.5 ± 0.5 kg ha-1 year-1 with a high contribution of soluble minerals and organic matter of ca. 40% for Mg and K, and of ca. 80% for Ca and P. Nutrient inputs from APD are especially an interesting source of P for forests developed on acidic soils.

  3. Temperature and humidity measurements within desert barchan sand dunes, relation to dune aeolian mobility and microbial growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louge, Michel; Hay, Anthony; Richer, Renee; Valance, Alexandre; Ould el Moctar, Ahmed; Xu, Jin; Abdul-Majid, Sara

    2013-04-01

    We present diurnal variations of temperature and humidity profiles below the surface of hyper-arid aeolian crescent-shaped "barchan" dunes in Qatar and Mauritania, measured using a thermal probe and a new ultra-sensitive capacitance instrument that we developed for this purpose. We also report long-term measurements from a probe sunk on the downwind avalanche face of a mobile Qatar barchan, recording temperature and humidity until it emerged on the upwind slope 15 months later. We interpret the data by modeling heat and moisture transfer at the surface in terms of measured net surface radiation, wind, and atmospheric conditions. We demonstrate the presence of microbes on sand grains within these mobile dunes using microscopic observations, fluorescence counts, metagenomic sequencing, and C12/C13 isotope analysis of carbon dioxide sampled below the surface. By determining how water activity grows with moisture adsorbed on these sands, we delimit regions within the dune where our instruments recorded humidity conducive to microbial growth. Finally, we compare the mobility of two adjacent Mauritania barchans having distinct surface grain size, shape, and depth humidity profiles. Armored by large grains on its surface, the smaller dune was more oblong. As a result, it lacked flow recirculation in its wake, trapped less aeolian sand downwind, and was much less mobile than its smaller size would suggest. This slower mobility led to greater humidity and cohesion at depth than the larger dune exposed to the same atmospheric and wind conditions.

  4. Cosmic iron, a new factor in podsolization in aeolian sandy deposits in NW-Europe (part 1, senior)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Mourik, Jan; de Vet, Sebastiaan

    2013-04-01

    In Netherlands is podzolization is the dominant soil forming process in medium fine sand deposits as Late-glacial coversand and Holocene driftsand. The natural soil evolution in such deposits tended to cambic podzols in xeromorphic and gleyic podzols in hydromorphic field conditions. Historical land use accelerated the soil acidification and transferred the majority of the cambic podzols in carbic podzols. The natural free iron content of coversand and driftsand deposits is very low (< 0,05 %). Before deposition the sand grains survived a long history of weathering, fluvial, glacial and finally aeolian transport. Consequently, the mineral composition is dominated by Quartz and the fraction of hydrolysable minerals is very low. However, the presence of iron is very clear in the spodic B horizons of cambic and carbic podzols. Sometimes carbic podzols and acid gleyic podzols show placic properties, due to the formation of iron crusts. If a soil profile is affected by iron rich groundwater, originating from fluvial, glacial or periglacial sediments which a higher free iron content, (the situation in brook valleys and some depressions) the concentrations of iron are probably sufficient to explain the presence of iron cutans in the Bs horizon and iron-rich gleyic mottles in the Cg horizon of a podzolic soil. However, if a soil profile is not affected by iron-rich groundwater (the situation in coversand ridges) the iron concentrations of the sand deposits are insufficient to explain the iron cutans in the Bs horizon. After abolition of the plaggic agriculture around 1900 AD, extensive parts of the Calluna heath have been reforested with Scotch pine. The mormoder humus forms, developed under these Pine plantations, are excellent soil records of the last century. Soil micromorphological analyses of thin sections of mormoder profiles indicate the presence of olivinic and other heavy mineral and opaque particles that have not received much attention in studies. Their presence

  5. Late Quaternary geoarchaeology and geochronology of stratified aeolian deposits, Tar River, North Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Christopher R.

    Recent geoarchaeological work on relict aeolian deposits in the North Carolina Coastal Plain has shown the potential for understanding prehistoric hunter-gatherer adaptations to changing environmental conditions likely related to Holocene climate change. Archaeological surveys and testing along the Tar River has revealed numerous sites with stratified Early Archaic through Woodland occupations. Geophysical, archeostratigraphic and sedimentological analysis along with chronometric dating (OSL and 14C) of source-bordering aeolian sediments along the Tar River in North Carolina indicate dune drapes (˜1 meter thick) accreted throughout much of the Holocene. Aeolian burial events along the Tar River appear to reflect Holocene millennial-scale climatic cyclicity (e.g., Bond Events) and its related effects on the fluvial system. These events likely influenced both hunter-gatherer adaptation and site preservation along the Tar River. Combined radiocarbon and OSL ages from lower paleo-braidplain sites, indicate incision of the lower paleo-braidplain and initiation of dune deposition just before or during the Younger Dryas stadial. The presence of stratified archaeological remains in these sediments preserves a record of both prehistoric human adaptations to local conditions and changes in depositional processes marking large-scale climatic change in the southeastern United States.

  6. Vertical structure of aeolian turbulence in a boundary layer with sand transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Zoe S.; Baas, Andreas C. W.

    2016-04-01

    originating from the top of the boundary layer, indicating a downwards direction of eddy motion. While directionality of turbulence cannot be definitively determined, our results indicate that the top-down turbulence model is a suitable explanation, further supported by the presence of 'incomplete' eddies which originate at higher elevations but fail to extend to the surface. This provides the first evidence in support of a top down turbulence model as observed in aeolian geomorphology, and we present preliminary findings on its relationship to sand transport activity. Lee, Z.S., Baas, A.C.W. (2016) Variable and conflicting shear stress estimates inside a boundary layer with sediment transport. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms; DOI: 10.1002/esp.3829

  7. The north-eastern aeolian 'European Sand Belt' as potential record of environmental changes: A case study from Eastern Latvia and Southern Estonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalińska-Nartiša, Edyta; Thiel, Christine; Nartišs, Māris; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Murray, Andrew S.

    2016-09-01

    The Latvian and Estonian inland dunes belong to the north-eastern part of the 'European Sand Belt' (ESB). These dunes are widely distributed over broad glaciolacustrine plains and Late Glacial alluvial deltas, considered to be potential sources for the aeolian material. Little is known about these aeolian sediments and their substratum; here we present a detailed sedimentary structural and textural characterisation together with a luminescence-based chronology. Through a comparison between grain-size, rounding of quartz grains and surface characteristics in medium/coarse (0.5-0.8 mm) sand, and the light mineral content, we found an alternation of aeolian and periglacial components. Further, short-lasting aeolian abrasion and/or transportation periods, and a significant contribution of a nearby sediment source are suggested. Luminescence dating points to aeolian sand accumulation and dune formation between ∼16 ka and ∼9 ka. However, we also observed some presumably watertable controlled environmental conditions at ∼13 ka; this corresponds with the occurrence of an ice-dammed/proglacial lake.

  8. Increasing aeolian dust deposition to snowpacks in the Rocky Mountains inferred from snowpack, wet deposition, and aerosol chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clow, David W.; Williams, Mark W.; Schuster, Paul F.

    2016-12-01

    Mountain snowpacks are a vital natural resource for ∼1.5 billion people in the northern Hemisphere, helping to meet human and ecological demand for water in excess of that provided by summer rain. Springtime warming and aeolian dust deposition accelerate snowmelt, increasing the risk of water shortages during late summer, when demand is greatest. While climate networks provide data that can be used to evaluate the effect of warming on snowpack resources, there are no established regional networks for monitoring aeolian dust deposition to snow. In this study, we test the hypothesis that chemistry of snow, wet deposition, and aerosols can be used as a surrogate for dust deposition to snow. We then analyze spatial patterns and temporal trends in inferred springtime dust deposition to snow across the Rocky Mountains, USA, for 1993-2014. Geochemical evidence, including strong correlations (r2 ≥ 0.94) between Ca2+, alkalinity, and dust concentrations in snow deposited during dust events, indicate that carbonate minerals in dust impart a strong chemical signature that can be used to track dust deposition to snow. Spatial patterns in chemistry of snow, wet deposition, and aerosols indicate that dust deposition increases from north to south in the Rocky Mountains, and temporal trends indicate that winter/spring dust deposition increased by 81% in the southern Rockies during 1993-2014. Using a multivariate modeling approach, we determined that increases in dust deposition and decreases in springtime snowfall combined to accelerate snowmelt timing in the southern Rockies by approximately 7-18 days between 1993 and 2014. Previous studies have shown that aeolian dust emissions may have doubled globally during the 20th century, possibly due to drought and land-use change. Climate projections for increased aridity in the southwestern U.S., northern Africa, and other mid-latitude regions of the northern Hemisphere suggest that aeolian dust emissions may continue to increase

  9. Increasing aeolian dust deposition to snowpacks in the Rocky Mountains inferred from snowpack, wet deposition, and aerosol chemistry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clow, David W.; Williams, Mark W.; Schuster, Paul F.

    2016-01-01

    Mountain snowpacks are a vital natural resource for ∼1.5 billion people in the northern Hemisphere, helping to meet human and ecological demand for water in excess of that provided by summer rain. Springtime warming and aeolian dust deposition accelerate snowmelt, increasing the risk of water shortages during late summer, when demand is greatest. While climate networks provide data that can be used to evaluate the effect of warming on snowpack resources, there are no established regional networks for monitoring aeolian dust deposition to snow. In this study, we test the hypothesis that chemistry of snow, wet deposition, and aerosols can be used as a surrogate for dust deposition to snow. We then analyze spatial patterns and temporal trends in inferred springtime dust deposition to snow across the Rocky Mountains, USA, for 1993–2014. Geochemical evidence, including strong correlations (r2 ≥ 0.94) between Ca2+, alkalinity, and dust concentrations in snow deposited during dust events, indicate that carbonate minerals in dust impart a strong chemical signature that can be used to track dust deposition to snow. Spatial patterns in chemistry of snow, wet deposition, and aerosols indicate that dust deposition increases from north to south in the Rocky Mountains, and temporal trends indicate that winter/spring dust deposition increased by 81% in the southern Rockies during 1993–2014. Using a multivariate modeling approach, we determined that increases in dust deposition and decreases in springtime snowfall combined to accelerate snowmelt timing in the southern Rockies by approximately 7–18 days between 1993 and 2014. Previous studies have shown that aeolian dust emissions may have doubled globally during the 20th century, possibly due to drought and land-use change. Climate projections for increased aridity in the southwestern U.S., northern Africa, and other mid-latitude regions of the northern Hemisphere suggest that aeolian dust emissions may continue to

  10. Effects of river regulation on aeolian landscapes, Colorado River, southwestern USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draut, Amy E.

    2012-06-01

    Connectivity between fluvial and aeolian sedimentary systems plays an important role in the physical and biological environment of dryland regions. This study examines the coupling between fluvial sand deposits and aeolian dune fields in bedrock canyons of the arid to semiarid Colorado River corridor, southwestern USA. By quantifying significant differences between aeolian landscapes with and without modern fluvial sediment sources, this work demonstrates for the first time that the flow- and sediment-limiting effects of dam operations affect sedimentary processes and ecosystems in aeolian landscapes above the fluvial high water line. Dune fields decoupled from fluvial sand supply have more ground cover (biologic crust and vegetation) and less aeolian sand transport than do dune fields that remain coupled to modern fluvial sand supply. The proportion of active aeolian sand area also is substantially lower in a heavily regulated river reach (Marble-Grand Canyon, Arizona) than in a much less regulated reach with otherwise similar environmental conditions (Cataract Canyon, Utah). The interconnections shown here among river flow and sediment, aeolian sand transport, and biologic communities in aeolian dunes demonstrate a newly recognized means by which anthropogenic influence alters dryland environments. Because fluvial-aeolian coupling is common globally, it is likely that similar sediment-transport connectivity and interaction with upland ecosystems are important in other dryland regions to a greater degree than has been recognized previously.

  11. Effects of river regulation on aeolian landscapes, Colorado River, southwestern USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.

    2012-01-01

    Connectivity between fluvial and aeolian sedimentary systems plays an important role in the physical and biological environment of dryland regions. This study examines the coupling between fluvial sand deposits and aeolian dune fields in bedrock canyons of the arid to semiarid Colorado River corridor, southwestern USA. By quantifying significant differences between aeolian landscapes with and without modern fluvial sediment sources, this work demonstrates for the first time that the flow- and sediment-limiting effects of dam operations affect sedimentary processes and ecosystems in aeolian landscapes above the fluvial high water line. Dune fields decoupled from fluvial sand supply have more ground cover (biologic crust and vegetation) and less aeolian sand transport than do dune fields that remain coupled to modern fluvial sand supply. The proportion of active aeolian sand area also is substantially lower in a heavily regulated river reach (Marble–Grand Canyon, Arizona) than in a much less regulated reach with otherwise similar environmental conditions (Cataract Canyon, Utah). The interconnections shown here among river flow and sediment, aeolian sand transport, and biologic communities in aeolian dunes demonstrate a newly recognized means by which anthropogenic influence alters dryland environments. Because fluvial–aeolian coupling is common globally, it is likely that similar sediment-transport connectivity and interaction with upland ecosystems are important in other dryland regions to a greater degree than has been recognized previously.

  12. Aeolian sand as a tool for understanding Mars: Thermal infrared remote sensing of volcaniclastic Mars-analog sand dunes in Christmas Lake Valley, Oregon, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.

    1996-10-01

    INTRODUCTION: On Earth, aeolian sand dunes are used as tools of scientific inquiry. Holocene and Pleistocene dunes preserve clues about Quaternary climate variations and human activities ranging from Ice Age hunting practices to Twentieth Century warfare. Modern dunes contain the sedimentary textures and structures necessary for interpreting ancient sandstones, and they provide natural laboratories for investigation of aeolian physics and desertification processes. The dunes of Mars can likewise be used as scientific tools. Dunes provide relatively dust-free surfaces. From a remote sensing perspective, martian dunes have much potential for providing clues about surface mineralogy and the interaction between the surface and atmosphere. Such information can in turn provide insights regarding crust composition, volcanic evolution, present and past climate events, and perhaps weathering rates. The Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) is expected to reach the planet in September 1997. TES will provide 6 to 50 micrometer spectra of the martian surface at ground resolutions of 3 to 9 km. Sandy aeolian environments on Mars might provide key information about bedrock composition. To prepare for the TES investigation, I have been examining a thermal infrared image of a Mars-composition analog dune field in Christmas Lake Valley, Oregon. COMPOSITION AND GEOLOGIC SETTING: The "Shifting Sand Dunes" dune field is located at the eastern end of Christmas Lake Valley, in what was once the Pleistocene Fort Rock Lake [1]. Much of the sand that makes up the Shifting Sand Dunes dune field is reworked Mt. Mazama airfall from its terminal eruption 6,800 years ago, plus material deflated from the lake bed [1, 2]. The main constituents of the dunes are volcanic glass and devitrified glass fragments, plagioclase crystals, basalt lithic fragments, aggregates of silt and clay-size volcanic ash, pyroxenes, opaque oxide minerals (mostly magnetite), and trace occurrences of

  13. Environmental history recorded in aeolian deposits under stone pavements, Mojave Desert, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietze, Michael; Dietze, Elisabeth; Lomax, Johanna; Fuchs, Markus; Kleber, Arno; Wells, Stephen G.

    2016-01-01

    Reconstructing the evolution of arid landscapes is challenged by limited availability of appropriate environmental archives. A widespread surface feature - stone pavement - traps aeolian fines and forms a special accretionary archive. Seven stone pavement-covered sections on basalt flows in the eastern Mojave Desert are condensed into a composite section, comprising five sedimentological units supported by an OSL-based chronology. Three of the units are of accretionary nature and each is covered by a stone pavement. They were deposited > 50.9-36.6 ka, < 36.6-14.2 ka and < 14.2 ka, and they are intimately coupled with the history of nearby Lake Mojave, which advances the current understanding of regional aeolian activity. End-member modeling analysis of grain-size distributions yielded seven sediment transport regimes. The accretionary system operates in two modes: A) episodic formation of a stone pavement by lateral processes once a vesicular horizon has formed on a barren surface; and B) accretion of dust and eventual burial of the clast layer. These findings improve current concepts about stone pavement evolution and their environmental proxy function in arid landscapes. Stone pavement-covered accretionary deposits are a new key archive that allows quantifying the relative importance of dust accretion, slope processes, soil formation and vegetation cover.

  14. Aeolian processes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1989-01-01

    This review assesses the potential aeolian regime on Venus as derived from spacecraft observations, laboratory simulations, and theoretical considerations. The two requirements for aeolian processes (a supply of small, loose particles and winds of sufficient strength to move them) appear to be met on Venus. Venera 9, 10, 13, and 14 images show particles considered to be sand and silt size on the surface. In addition, dust spurts (grains 5 to 50 microns in diameter) observed via lander images and inferred from the Pioneer-Venus nephalometer experiments suggest that the particles are loose and subject to movement. Although data on near surface winds are limited, measurements of 0.3 to 1.2 m/sec from the Venera lander and Pioneer-Venus probes appear to be well within the range required for sand and dust entrainment. Aeolian activity involves the interaction of the atmosphere, lithosphere, and loose particles. Thus, there is the potential for various physical and chemical weathering processes that can effect not only rates of erosion, but changes in the composition of all three components. The Venus Simulator is an apparatus used to simulate weathering under venusian conditions at full pressure (to 112 bars) and temperature (to 800 K). In one series of tests, the physical modifications of windblown particles and rock targets were assessed and it was shown that particles become abraded even when moved by gentle winds. However, little abrasion occurs on the target faces. Thus, compositional signatures for target rocks may be more indicative of the windblown particles than of the bedrock. From these and other considerations, aeolian modifications of the venusian surface may be expected to occur as weathering, erosion, transportation, and deposition of surficial materials. Depending upon global and local wind regimes, there may be distinctive sources and sinks of windblown materials. Radar imaging, especially as potentially supplied via the Magellan mission, may enable the

  15. Concentration and grain-size distribution of aeolian sands in peat bogs as an indicator of past storminess in coastal areas of Estonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandel, Egert; Vaasma, Tiit; Tõnisson, Hannes; Sugita, Shinya; Vilumaa, Kadri; Anderson, Agnes; Terasmaa, Jaanus; Kangur, Mihkel; Pensa, Margus; Küttim, Martin; Umbleja, Liisa; Puusepp, Liisa

    2016-04-01

    Storminess in the Baltic Sea region has significantly increased over the last 50 years. As we do not have meteorological data beyond 20th century, therefore the long-term changes in storminess (e.g., frequency and magnitude of the storms) and its impact on the coastal evolution are mostly unknown. This study aims to reconstruct the extreme storm events along the coast of Estonia in late Holocene, inferred from changes in grain-size distribution and concentration of aeolian sands preserved in peat deposits. Four cores in total were collected from bogs of coastal Estonia; three from west Estonian archipelago (Hiiumaa Island and Saaremaa Island); one from the northern coast of the mainland (Juminda Peninsula). Core from Saaremaa (166 cm) covers the last 2700 years, cores from Hiiumaa (171 cm and 330 cm) cover ca 4000 years, and core from Juminda (465 cm) covers ca 8500 years. All AMS dates (77) are converted to cal yrs BP. Analyses of LOI and grain size are carried out at every centimetre in order to obtain data for mineral matter content and concentration of sand particles. The Juminda core shows a consistently low content of mineral matter (LOI < 2%) without clear peaks over the last 8000 years. The LOI results at both Hiiumaa sites show that mineral matter content gradually decreases from 4000 to 1500 cal yrs BP and then becomes the lowest in the period of 1500-1000 cal yrs BP; since then, it becomes higher (up to 10%) with fluctuations and has a clear peak around 700 cal yrs BP. At Saaremaa, the overall trend of mineral matter content is similar to that at the Hiiumaa sites: gradual decline from 2700 to 1500 cal yrs BP, lowest in 1500-1000 cal yrs BP, and relatively high over the last millennium. Concentration of mineral particles reveal clear peaks of aeolian sands at each site. At northern Hiiumaa, concentration has peaks around 3500, 3000 and 2500 cal yrs BP and is relatively high over the last 700 years. At Saaremaa, concentration has peaked at 2100, 1600 and

  16. Aeolian Morphodynamics of Loess Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, J. A.; Hanson, P. R.; Sweeney, M.; Loope, H. M.; Miao, X.; Lu, H.

    2012-12-01

    Striking aeolian landforms characterize loess landscapes of the Great Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley, USA, shaped in Late Pleistocene environments with many characteristics of modern deserts including large active dunefields. Similar aeolian morphodynamics are evident in northern China and the Columbia Basin, USA, and are clearly important for interpreting the paleoenvironmental record of loess. Four zones spanning the upwind margin of thick loess can be defined from landforms and surficial deposits. From upwind to downwind, they are: A) A largely loess-free landscape, with patchy to continuous aeolian sand mantling bedrock. B) Patchy loess deposits, often streamlined and potentially wind-aligned, intermingled with dunes and sand sheets; interbedding of loess and sand may be common. C) Thick, coarse loess with an abrupt upwind edge, with troughs, yardang-like ridges, and/or wind-aligned scarps recording large-scale wind erosion. D) Thinner, finer loess with little evidence of post-depositional wind erosion. The degree of development and spatial scale of these zones varies among the loess regions we studied. To explain this zonation we emphasize controls on re-entrainment of loess by the wind after initial deposition, across gradients of climate and vegetation. The role of saltating sand in dust entrainment through abrasion of fine materials is well known. Using the Portable In situ Wind Erosion Laboratory (PI-SWERL), we recently demonstrated that unvegetated Great Plains loess can also be directly entrained under wind conditions common in the region today (Sweeney et al., 2011, GSA Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 251). Rainfall-induced crusts largely prevent direct entrainment in fine loess, but appear less effective in coarse loess. We propose that in zone A, any loess deposited was both abraded by saltating sand and directly re-entrained, so none accumulated. Sparse vegetation in this zone was primarily an effect of climate, but the resulting

  17. Magnetic fabric and remanent magnetization of pyroclastic surge deposits from Vulcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanella, E.; De Astis, G.; Dellino, P.; Lanza, R.; La Volpe, L.

    1999-11-01

    Tufi di Grotte dei Rossi Inferiori are unwelded, fine-grained pyroclastic deposits of hydromagmatic origin emplaced between 21 and 11-8.6 ka at Vulcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy) by deposition through surges spreading laterally from inside the La Fossa caldera. In this study, the deposit's magnetic properties were investigated and interpreted in terms of eruptive and emplacement dynamics. Rock-magnetism data were supplemented by grain size and textural characteristic analyses as well as scanning electron microscope (SEM) investigations. Curie point measurements, isothermal remanent magnetization and microprobe analyses showed that magnetization is carried by low-Ti titanomagnetite. The size of the grains ranges from about 20 to 300 micrometres, their shape from equidimensional to highly elongated. The magnetic fabric is typical of fine-grained pyroclastics. Foliation is well developed and in most sites lineation is directed towards the source area of the La Fossa caldera. The remanent magnetization consists of two components whose blocking temperature spectra partially overlap. The direction of the low-temperature component is close to that of the axial dipole, and consistent with the palaeosecular variation curve for the Aeolian Islands. The high-temperature component is systematically shallowed and close to the direction of the magnetic lineation. The overall results suggest that the high-temperature component was acquired before, and the low-temperature component after, the actual deposition of grains. Immediately after eruption, the grains cooled and moved as free particles in the turbulent cloud during the expansion of the surge flows. Those particles with high blocking temperatures acquired a thermal remanence. They were then deposited and shear at the very base of the flow oriented them and imprinted the rock's fabric and high-temperature magnetization component. Volcanological and magnetic data suggest turbulent transportation and traction deposition of

  18. The sensitivity of the southwest monsoon phytoplankton bloom to variations in aeolian iron deposition over the Arabian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggert, Jerry D.; Murtugudde, Raghu G.

    2007-05-01

    A coupled, 3-D biophysical ocean general circulation model is used to investigate how aeolian iron deposition affects the Arabian Sea ecosystem. Two separate aeolian iron deposition fields, derived from the GISS and GOCART atmospheric transport models, have been applied as surface boundary conditions. The model results exhibit widespread biogeochemical sensitivity to the choice of deposition field. With GOCART deposition, SW Monsoon phytoplankton blooms in the western and central Arabian Sea are enhanced and exhibit greater realism. The central Arabian Sea bloom is supported by supplemental input of horizontally advected iron from a pool that undergoes a yearlong progression that begins in the Gulf of Oman, where the difference in aeolian iron enrichment between the two deposition fields is most prevalent. The GOCART-enhanced blooms result in a more pronounced shift toward netplankton, an increase in euphotic zone export flux of up to a 20% during the SW Monsoon and an additional annual biogenic export of 3.5 TgC. The potential ramifications of regional N-cycle alteration through stimulation of N2-fixation that is promoted by significant aeolian mineral flux needs to be explored. The canonical thinking that the northern Arabian Sea is invariably iron replete is now being challenged by both our model results and recent observational studies. As well, our results indicate that Arabian Sea iron concentrations are strongly modulated by the specific nature of aeolian mineral deposition. Thus climate or land use influences on dust mobilization could exercise leading-order controls on regional biogeochemical variability, metabolic status and air-sea exchanges of CO2.

  19. Aeolian deposition change in the Peruvian central continental shelf during the last millennium and its relationship with atmospheric conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briceño, F. J., Sr.; Sifeddine, A.

    2015-12-01

    We present a record of laminated sediment cores retrieved in the Pisco region (14 °S) characterized by local aeolian inputs. This record covers the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) to Little Ice Age (LIA) and the Current Warm Period (CWP) at centennial to sub-decadal resolution. The aim of the study is to reconstruct the patterns of aeolian sedimentation as well as the most important processes that control the input of this material to understand how these components reflect atmospheric climate variability during the last millennium. Assuming that the mineral fraction of the sediment is composed of several lognormally distributed particle populations, we applied an iterative least-square fitting routine to determine the number and the characteristics of the individual particles populations. This allows inferring the spatial and temporal variation of particles populations and thus transport mechanisms involved. Two components with grain size modes at 54±11 μm and 90±11 μm related with local aeolian erosion over the Pisco region were found. Our results showed active aeolian erosion during the second half of the MCA and rapid decrease from the MCA to the LIA. During the LIA the aeolian deposition exhibited a decreasing activity. During the CWP the aeolian deposition increased progressively. Comparison with others South American records indicates that those changes are linked to change in the meridional position of the Intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and South Pacific Subtropical High (SPSH) at the centennial time resolution. Finally the CWP period showed an increase in the aeolian deposition and thus in the wind intensity over the past two centuries. This likely represents the result of the modern position of the ITCZ-SPSH system and the associated intensification of the local and regional winds. Nevertheless, the aeolian deposition and in consequence the wind intensity and variability of the last 100 yr are stronger than during the second sequence of the MCA

  20. Abrasion resistance of muscovite in aeolian and subaqueous transport experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Calvin J.; Struble, Alexander; Whitmore, John H.

    2017-02-01

    Complementary aeolian and subaqueous transport experiments showed a trend in muscovite abrasion that may be useful for identifying ancient sandstones as aeolian or subaqueous in origin. We found that our experimental aeolian processes pulverized the micas quickly, while our subaqueous processes did not. In a pair of abrasion resistance experiments conducted with micaceous quartz sand, it was found that large muscovite grains were (1) reduced by aeolian processes to less than 500 μm in just 4 days, and (2) preserved by subaqueous processes to 610 ± 90 μm even after 356 days. At 20 days of aeolian transport no loose micas could be found even under the microscope, but after a year of subaqueous transport loose muscovite grains could still be seen with the naked eye. Thus, the occurrence and character of micas in a sandstone, particularly muscovite, may be helpful in determining the ancient depositional process.

  1. Timing for aeolian deposits and paleo high lake levels in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau in China using OSL dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Z.

    2008-12-01

    It has been reported that mega-lakes with much higher lake level existed throughout the Tibetan Plateau and its adjacent areas. In the Qaidam basin lake levels up to c 140 m higher than present have been observed. 14C dating results indicate that there was a high lake level during the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 in the Qaidam basin, where it is now a flat salt lake playa. It implies that dramatic climate change occurred during or after MIS 3, and that the Qaidam basin soon became an arid place with the formation of halite. The lacustrine deposits contain records of these environmental changes. When the climate shifted from warm-humid to cold-dry conditions, the associated desiccation will result in occurrence of aeolian activity, due to the exposure of vast lacustrine deposits. Aeolian deposits transported by northwest wind started to accumulate in the southeast of the Qaidam basin. As a result, the timing and the spatial distribution of the aeolian sediments in the Qaidam basin will facilitate our understanding of environmental changes. Chronology will play a key role in understanding the evolution of geomorphology and the driving force of the dramatic environmental change. Luminescence dating is using the sediment itself, quartz or feldspars, as dating materials, so to date directly the climate event. Studies of its application to the dating of aeolian and lacustrine deposits in this area has been limited by far. Recently, we undertake a multi-discipline project which aims: (a) to reconstruct the palaeoenvironment in the Qaidam basin; (b) to better understand the timing of aeolian accumulation and salt lake evolution; (c) to understand the timing of the human inhabitation/migration to the Tibetan Plateau. We will report here the up- to-date results of the on-going project, especially the chronological progress from the luminescence dating work.

  2. Effects of particle optical properties on grain size measurements of aeolian dust deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varga, György; Újvári, Gábor; Kovács, János; Szalai, Zoltán

    2015-04-01

    Particle size data are holding crucial information on the sedimentary environment at the time the aeolian dust deposits were accumulated. Various aspects of aeolian sedimentation (wind strength, distance to source(s), possible secondary source regions and modes of sedimentation and transport) can be reconstructed from proper grain size distribution data. Laser diffraction methods provide much more accurate and reliable information on the major granulometric properties of wind-blown sediments compared to the sieve and pipette methods. The Fraunhofer and Mie scattering theories are generally used for laser diffraction grain size measurements. () The two different approaches need different 'background' information on the medium measured. During measurements following the Fraunhofer theory, the basic assumption is that parcticles are relatively large (over 25-30 µm) and opaque. The Mie theory could offer more accurate data on smaller fractions (clay and fine silt), assuming that a proper, a'priori knowledge on refraction and absorption indices exists, which is rarely the case for polymineral samples. This study is aimed at determining the effects of different optical parameters on grain size distributions (e.g. clay-content, median, mode). Multiple samples collected from Hungarian red clay and loess-paleosol records have been analysed using a Malvern Mastersizer 3000 laser diffraction particle sizer (with a Hydro LV unit). Additional grain size measurements have been made on a Fritsch Analysette 22 Microtec and a Horiba Partica La-950 v2 instrument to investigate possible effects of the used laser sources with different wavelengths. XRF and XRD measurements have also been undertaken to gain insight into the geochemical/mineralogical compositions of the samples studied. Major findings include that measurements using the Mie theory provide more accurate data on the grain size distribution of aeolian dust deposits, when we use a proper optical setting. Significant

  3. Relations between rainfall–runoff-induced erosion and aeolian deposition at archaeological sites in a semi-arid dam-controlled river corridor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collins, Brian; Bedford, David; Corbett, Skye; Fairley, Helen; Cronkite-Ratcliff, Collin

    2016-01-01

    Process dynamics in fluvial-based dryland environments are highly complex with fluvial, aeolian, and alluvial processes all contributing to landscape change. When anthropogenic activities such as dam-building affect fluvial processes, the complexity in local response can be further increased by flood- and sediment-limiting flows. Understanding these complexities is key to predicting landscape behavior in drylands and has important scientific and management implications, including for studies related to paleoclimatology, landscape ecology evolution, and archaeological site context and preservation. Here we use multi-temporal LiDAR surveys, local weather data, and geomorphological observations to identify trends in site change throughout the 446-km-long semi-arid Colorado River corridor in Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, where archaeological site degradation related to the effects of upstream dam operation is a concern. Using several site case studies, we show the range of landscape responses that might be expected from concomitant occurrence of dam-controlled fluvial sand bar deposition, aeolian sand transport, and rainfall-induced erosion. Empirical rainfall-erosion threshold analyses coupled with a numerical rainfall–runoff–soil erosion model indicate that infiltration-excess overland flow and gullying govern large-scale (centimeter- to decimeter-scale) landscape changes, but that aeolian deposition can in some cases mitigate gully erosion. Whereas threshold analyses identify the normalized rainfall intensity (defined as the ratio of rainfall intensity to hydraulic conductivity) as the primary factor governing hydrologic-driven erosion, assessment of false positives and false negatives in the dataset highlight topographic slope as the next most important parameter governing site response. Analysis of 4+ years of high resolution (four-minute) weather data and 75+ years of low resolution (daily) climate records indicates that dryland erosion is dependent on short

  4. Comparison of mineral resources calculation methods for different genetic types of gravel and sand deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patašova, Tatjana; Jurgaitis, Algirdas

    2008-01-01

    Calculation of mineral resources and their proper assessment is relevant, since the stock of resources determines the economic independence of the state. The present work discusses gravel and sand deposits of different genetic type (kames, eskers, marginal glaciofluvial ridges, sandurs, glaciofluvial deltas and redrifted glaciofluvial aeolian formations). Their geological structure and formation conditions have been assessed; quality characteristics of mineral resources have been analysed; calculation of resources has been performed by applying old methods used in Lithuania up to now, such as those of geological blocks, profiles and isolines, as well as the up-to-date GRID method created on the basis of the triangle method in GIS environment. Comparison of resources assessed by different methods has revealed their advantages and disadvantages.

  5. Comparison of mineral resources calculation methods for different genetic types of gravel and sand deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patashova, T.

    2009-04-01

    Calculation of mineral resources and their proper assessment is relevant, since the stock of resources determines the economic independence of the state. I would like present the work wherein discusses gravel and sand deposits of different genetic type (kames, eskers, marginal glaciofluvial ridges, sandurs, glaciofluvial deltas and redrifted glaciofluvial aeolian formations). Their geological structure and formation conditions have been assessed; quality characteristics of mineral resources have been analysed; calculation of resources has been performed by applying most popular resources calculating methods used in Lithuania up to now, such as those of geological blocks, profiles and isolines, as well as the up-to-date GRID method created on the basis of triangle method in GIS environment. Comparison of resources assessed by different methods has revealed their advantages and disadvantages, their availability subject to deposits‘genetic types.

  6. Aerolian erosion, transport, and deposition of volcaniclastic sands among the shifting sand dunes, Christmas Lake Valley, Oregon: TIMS image analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.; Ramsey, Michael S.; Christensen, Philip R.

    1995-01-01

    Remote sensing is a tool that, in the context of aeolian studies, offers a synoptic view of a dune field, sand sea, or entire desert region. Blount et al. (1990) presented one of the first studies demonstrating the power of multispectral images for interpreting the dynamic history of an aeolian sand sea. Blount's work on the Gran Desierto of Mexico used a Landsat TM scene and a linear spectral mixing model to show where different sand populations occur and along what paths these sands may have traveled before becoming incorporated into dunes. Interpretation of sand transport paths and sources in the Gran Desierto led to an improved understanding of the origin and Holocene history of the dunes. With the anticipated advent of the EOS-A platform and ASTER thermal infrared capability in 1998, it will become possible to look at continental sand seas and map sand transport paths using 8-12 mu m bands that are well-suited to tracking silicate sediments. A logical extension of Blount's work is to attempt a similar study using thermal infrared images. One such study has already begun by looking at feldspar, quartz, magnetite, and clay distributions in the Kelso Dunes of southern California. This paper describes the geology and application of TIMS image analysis of a less-well known Holocene dune field in south central Oregon using TIMS data obtained in 1991.

  7. Sedimentary cycles in a Mesoproterozoic aeolian erg-margin succession: Mangabeira Formation, Espinhaço Supergroup, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bállico, M. B.; Scherer, C. M. S.; Mountney, N. P.; Souza, E. G.; Reis, A. D.; Raja Gabaglia, G. P.; Magalhães, A. J. C.

    2017-03-01

    Aeolian systems were abundant and widespread in the early Proterozoic, post-2.2 Ga. However, the majority of aeolian successions of such great age are intensely deformed and are preserved only in a fragmentary state meaning that, hitherto, few attempts have been made to apply a sequence stratigraphic approach to determine mechanisms of aeolian construction, accumulation and preservation in such systems. The Mangabeira Formation is a well preserved Mesoproterozoic erg successions covering part of the São Francisco Craton, northeastern Brazil. The lower unit of the Mangabeira Formation ( 500 m thick) comprises aeolian deposits of dune, interdune, and sand-sheet origin, as well as some of waterlain origin. These deposits are organized into vertically stacked depositional cycles, each 6 to 20 m thick, and characterized by aeolian sandsheet and waterlain deposits succeeded by aeolian dune and interdune deposits indicative of a drying-upward trend. Aeolian cross-strata exhibit a mean dip direction to the north. Each of these cycles likely arose in response to climatic oscillation from relatively humid to arid conditions, possibly related to orbital forcing. The lower unit of the Mangabeira Formation comprises up to 14 erg sequences. The accumulation and preservation of each was determined by the relative rate of water-table rise and the availability of sand for aeolian transport, both of which changed through time, resulting in the preservation of a succession of repeated drying-upward cycles.

  8. A model to study the grain size components of the sediment deposited in aeolian-fluvial interplay erosion watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiang; Li, Zhanbin; Li, Peng; Cheng, Shengdong; Zhang, Yang; Tang, Shanshan; Wang, Tian

    2015-12-01

    Aeolian-fluvial interplay erosion areas with complex dynamics and physical sources are the main suppliers of coarse sediment in the Yellow River. Understanding the composition, distribution, and sources of deposited sediments in such areas is of great importance for the control of sediment transport in rivers. In this paper, a typical aeolian-fluvial interplay erosion watershed - the Dongliu Gully - was studied and the frequency distribution curves of sediments deposited in the stream channel were fitted using the Weibull function. Sources of deposited sediment in the stream channel were analyzed based on the law of the conservation of matter. Results showed that the hilly zone accounted for 78% of deposited sediments, which were dominated by material with a median grain size (d50) of 0.093 mm, and the desert zone accounted for 22% of deposited sediments, which were dominated by material with a d50 of 0.01 mm. Wind erosion dynamics accounted for 72% of deposited sediments, while water erosion dynamics accounted for only 28%. This research provides a theoretical basis for the control and management of rivers with high sediment content.

  9. Synthesis on Quaternary aeolian research in the unglaciated eastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markewich, Helaine W.; Litwin, Ronald J.; Wysocki, Douglas A.; Pavich, Milan J.

    2015-06-01

    Late-middle and late Pleistocene, and Holocene, inland aeolian sand and loess blanket >90,000 km2 of the unglaciated eastern United States of America (USA). Deposits are most extensive in the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV) and Atlantic Coastal Plain (ACP), areas presently lacking significant aeolian activity. They provide evidence of paleoclimate intervals when wind erosion and deposition were dominant land-altering processes. This study synthesizes available data for aeolian sand deposits in the LMV, the Eastern Gulf Coastal Plain (EGCP) and the ACP, and loess deposits in the Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain (MACP). Data indicate: (a) the most recent major aeolian activity occurred in response to and coincident with growth and decay of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS); (b) by ∼40 ka, aeolian processes greatly influenced landscape evolution in all three regions; (c) aeolian activity peaked in OIS2; (d) OIS3 and OIS2 aeolian records are in regional agreement with paleoecological records; and (e) limited aeolian activity occurred in the Holocene (EGCP and ACP). Paleoclimate and atmospheric-circulation models (PCMs/ACMs) for the last glacial maximum (LGM) show westerly winter winds for the unglaciated eastern USA, but do not resolve documented W and SW winds in the SEACP and WNW and N winds in the MACP. The minimum areal extent of aeolian deposits in the EGCP and ACP is ∼10,000 km2. For the LMV, it is >80,000 km2. Based on these estimates, published PCMs/ACMs likely underrepresent the areal extent of LGM aeolian activity, as well as the extent and complexity of climatic changes during this interval.

  10. Synthesis on Quaternary aeolian research in the unglaciated eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Markewich, Helaine Walsh; Litwin, Ronald J.; Wysocki, Douglas A.; Pavich, Milan J.

    2015-01-01

    Late-middle and late Pleistocene, and Holocene, inland aeolian sand and loess blanket >90,000 km2 of the unglaciated eastern United States of America (USA). Deposits are most extensive in the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV) and Atlantic Coastal Plain (ACP), areas presently lacking significant aeolian activity. They provide evidence of paleoclimate intervals when wind erosion and deposition were dominant land-altering processes. This study synthesizes available data for aeolian sand deposits in the LMV, the Eastern Gulf Coastal Plain (EGCP) and the ACP, and loess deposits in the Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain (MACP). Data indicate: (a) the most recent major aeolian activity occurred in response to and coincident with growth and decay of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS); (b) by ∼40 ka, aeolian processes greatly influenced landscape evolution in all three regions; (c) aeolian activity peaked in OIS2; (d) OIS3 and OIS2 aeolian records are in regional agreement with paleoecological records; and (e) limited aeolian activity occurred in the Holocene (EGCP and ACP). Paleoclimate and atmospheric-circulation models (PCMs/ACMs) for the last glacial maximum (LGM) show westerly winter winds for the unglaciated eastern USA, but do not resolve documented W and SW winds in the SEACP and WNW and N winds in the MACP. The minimum areal extent of aeolian deposits in the EGCP and ACP is ∼10,000 km2. For the LMV, it is >80,000 km2. Based on these estimates, published PCMs/ACMs likely underrepresent the areal extent of LGM aeolian activity, as well as the extent and complexity of climatic changes during this interval.

  11. Physical abrasion of mafic minerals and basalt grains: application to Martian aeolian deposits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cornwall, Carin; Bandfield, Joshua L.; Titus, Timothy N.; Schreiber, B. C.; Montgomery, D.R.

    2015-01-01

    Sediment maturity, or the mineralogical and physical characterization of sediment deposits, has been used to locate sediment source, transport medium and distance, weathering processes, and paleoenvironments on Earth. Mature terrestrial sands are dominated by quartz, which is abundant in source lithologies on Earth and is physically and chemically stable under a wide range of conditions. Immature sands, such as those rich in feldspars or mafic minerals, are composed of grains that are easily physically weathered and highly susceptible to chemical weathering. On Mars, which is predominately mafic in composition, terrestrial standards of sediment maturity are not applicable. In addition, the martian climate today is cold, dry and sediments are likely to be heavily influenced by physical weathering rather than chemical weathering. Due to these large differences in weathering processes and composition, martian sediments require an alternate maturity index. Abrason tests have been conducted on a variety of mafic materials and results suggest that mature martian sediments may be composed of well sorted, well rounded, spherical basalt grains. In addition, any volcanic glass present is likely to persist in a mechanical weathering environment while chemically altered products are likely to be winnowed away. A modified sediment maturity index is proposed that can be used in future studies to constrain sediment source, paleoclimate, mechanisms for sediment production, and surface evolution. This maturity index may also provide details about erosional and sediment transport systems and preservation processes of layered deposits.

  12. Aeolian Sediment Transport Pathways and Aerodynamics at Troughs on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bourke, Mary C.; Bullard, Joanna E.; Barnouin-Jha, Olivier S.

    2004-01-01

    Interaction between wind regimes and topography can give rise to complex suites of aeolian landforms. This paper considers aeolian sediment associated wit11 troughs on Mars and identifies a wider range of deposit types than has previously been documented. These include wind streaks, falling dunes, "lateral" dunes, barchan dunes, linear dunes, transverse ridges, sand ramps, climbing dunes, sand streamers, and sand patches. The sediment incorporated into these deposits is supplied by wind streaks and ambient Planitia sources as well as originating within the trough itself, notably from the trough walls and floor. There is also transmission of sediment between dneTsh. e flow dynamics which account for the distribution of aeolian sediment have been modeled using two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics. The model predicts flow separation on the upwind side of the trough followed by reattachment and acceleration at the downwind margin. The inferred patterns of sediment transport compare well with the distribution of aeolian forms. Model data indicate an increase of wind velocity by approx. 30 % at the downwind trough margin. This suggests that the threshold wind speed necessary for sand mobilization on Mars will be more freqentmlye t in these inclined locations.

  13. Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars

    PubMed Central

    Stern, Jennifer C.; Sutter, Brad; Freissinet, Caroline; Navarro-González, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.; Archer, P. Douglas; Buch, Arnaud; Brunner, Anna E.; Coll, Patrice; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Fairen, Alberto G.; Franz, Heather B.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Kashyap, Srishti; McAdam, Amy C.; Ming, Douglas W.; Steele, Andrew; Szopa, Cyril; Wray, James J.; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Zorzano, Maria-Paz; Conrad, Pamela G.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; - Torres, F. Javier Martín; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d’Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2015-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has detected oxidized nitrogen-bearing compounds during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled sedimentary deposits within Gale crater. Total N concentrations ranged from 20 to 250 nmol N per sample. After subtraction of known N sources in SAM, our results support the equivalent of 110–300 ppm of nitrate in the Rocknest (RN) aeolian samples, and 70–260 and 330–1,100 ppm nitrate in John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) mudstone deposits, respectively. Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and, specifically, for the potential evolution of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The detection of nitrate in both wind-drifted fines (RN) and in mudstone (JK, CB) is likely a result of N2 fixation to nitrate generated by thermal shock from impact or volcanic plume lightning on ancient Mars. Fixed nitrogen could have facilitated the development of a primitive nitrogen cycle on the surface of ancient Mars, potentially providing a biochemically accessible source of nitrogen. PMID:25831544

  14. Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars.

    PubMed

    Stern, Jennifer C; Sutter, Brad; Freissinet, Caroline; Navarro-González, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P; Archer, P Douglas; Buch, Arnaud; Brunner, Anna E; Coll, Patrice; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Fairen, Alberto G; Franz, Heather B; Glavin, Daniel P; Kashyap, Srishti; McAdam, Amy C; Ming, Douglas W; Steele, Andrew; Szopa, Cyril; Wray, James J; Martín-Torres, F Javier; Zorzano, Maria-Paz; Conrad, Pamela G; Mahaffy, Paul R

    2015-04-07

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has detected oxidized nitrogen-bearing compounds during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled sedimentary deposits within Gale crater. Total N concentrations ranged from 20 to 250 nmol N per sample. After subtraction of known N sources in SAM, our results support the equivalent of 110-300 ppm of nitrate in the Rocknest (RN) aeolian samples, and 70-260 and 330-1,100 ppm nitrate in John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) mudstone deposits, respectively. Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and, specifically, for the potential evolution of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The detection of nitrate in both wind-drifted fines (RN) and in mudstone (JK, CB) is likely a result of N2 fixation to nitrate generated by thermal shock from impact or volcanic plume lightning on ancient Mars. Fixed nitrogen could have facilitated the development of a primitive nitrogen cycle on the surface of ancient Mars, potentially providing a biochemically accessible source of nitrogen.

  15. Paleoenvironment and depositional environment of Miocene Olcese Sand, Bakersfield, California

    SciTech Connect

    Olson, H.C.

    1986-04-01

    The Olcese Sand near Bakersfield, California, contains evidence of a range of paleoenvironments including nonmarine, estuarine, and outer shelf depositional settings. Foraminifera from surface and subsurface samples place the Olcese in the Saucesian and Relizian of the California benthic stages. A pumice bed in the Olcese has been dated by fission track methods at 15.5 Ma. The Olcese Sand interfingers with the underlying Freeman Silt and the overlying Round Mountain Silt. In the type area, in Round Mountain oil field, the Olcese is 300-360 m thick. The Olcese is subdivided into three environmental facies. In the Knob Hill Quadrangle, the lower Olcese consists of (1) thinly bedded to blocky white tuffaceous silt and sand, or (2) planar cross-bedded fine to coarse-grained sand with pumice pebbles lining the bedding surfaces. Fossil mollusks and skate teeth indicate a shallow marine environment for the lower Olcese. Although the Olcese is predominantly a marine unit, the middle Olcese is nonmarine, with lenses of marine deposition. The middle Olcese is well exposed in the Knob Hill, Oil Center, and Rio Bravo Ranch Quadrangles, and is characterized by fine to coarse sand with occasional gravel lenses, strong cross-bedding, and a blue-gray color. The upper Olcese is a very fine to medium-grained, marine sand that fines upward into a sandy siltstone southward toward the Kern River. Foraminifera and mollusks from outcrops in the Rio Bravo Ranch Quadrangle indicate outer shelf to estuarine environments for the upper Olcese. The varying environments in the Olcese Sand reflect slight but frequent fluctuations in water depth and can be used to interpret the basin-margin history.

  16. Flood Induced Increases in Aeolian Transport Along the Missouri River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benthem, A. J.; Strong, L.; Schenk, E.; Skalak, K.; Hupp, C. R.; Galloway, J.

    2014-12-01

    In 2011, heavy winter snow melt combined with extensive spring rains caused the Missouri River to experience the most extensive flooding since the river was dammed in the 1950s. Large sections of the river banks, islands, and floodplains experienced weeks of prolonged inundation, resulting in extensive sand deposition as up to1 km inland from the established channel. Though locally variable, deposits of up to 3m of loose sand were deposited on the floodplain and extensive areas of shrub, grasslands, and agricultural fields were completely buried or had vegetation washed away in the inundation zone. The flooding also created a number of new unvegetated islands which provide important habitat for endangered species including the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). These newly created sand surfaces are unconsolidated and have very little vegetation to prevent aeolian transport. Strong sustained regional winds of up to 20m/s (45mph) cause substantial sediment fluxes which modify landscape topography, shift river morphology, and increase regional dust levels. Our study monitors and quantifies the increase in aeolian transport that occurred following flooding along the Garrison Reach, a 110 km section of free flowing Missouri River in North Dakota. In 2012 and 2013 we measured sand transport and accumulation rates using Leatherman style sand traps and erosion pins to at 9 sites of varying vegetation densities. We apply these flux rates to a high resolution remote sensing vegetation map to estimate the total flux of sand for this segment of the river. We also quantify total available new sand for transport using repeat Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) coverage from before and after the flood and examine the relationship between sand deposition and the rate of reestablishment of vegetation. All of these results are used to estimate the scale of flood induced aeolian processes and predict where they may continue to influence the landscape.

  17. Alluvial Fans on Dunes in Kaiser Crater Suggest Niveo-Aeolian and Denivation Processes on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bourke, M. C.

    2005-01-01

    On Earth, cold region sand dunes often contain inter-bedded sand, snow, and ice. These mixed deposits of wind-driven snow, sand, silt, vegetal debris, or other detritus have been termed Niveo-aeolian deposits. These deposits are often coupled with features that are due to melting or sublimation of snow, called denivation features. Snow and ice may be incorporated into dunes on Mars in three ways. Diffusion of water vapour into pore spaces is the widely accepted mechanism for the accretion of premafrost ice. Additional mechanisms may include the burial by sand of snow that has fallen on the dune surface or the synchronous transportation and deposition of snow, sand and ice. Both of these mechanisms have been reported for polar dunes on Earth. Niveo-aeolian deposits in polar deserts on Earth have unique morphologies and sedimentary structures that are generally not found in warm desert dunes. Recent analysis of MOC-scale data have found evidence for potential niveo-aeolian and denivation deposits in sand dunes on Mars.

  18. Abundances and implications of volatile-bearing species from evolved gas analysis of the Rocknest aeolian deposit, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, Paul Douglas; Franz, Heather B.; Sutter, Brad; Arevalo, Ricardo D.; Coll, Patrice; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; McAdam, Amy C.; McKay, Christopher P.; Ming, Douglas W.; Morris, Richard V.; Navarro-González, Rafael; Niles, Paul B.; Pavlov, Alex; Squyres, Steven W.; Stern, Jennifer C.; Steele, Andrew; Wray, James J.

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity detected evolved gases during thermal analysis of soil samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit in Gale Crater. Major species detected (in order of decreasing molar abundance) were H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2, all at the µmol level, with HCl, H2S, NH3, NO, and HCN present at the tens to hundreds of nmol level. We compute weight % numbers for the major gases evolved by assuming a likely source and calculate abundances between 0.5 and 3 wt.%. The evolution of these gases implies the presence of both oxidized (perchlorates) and reduced (sulfides or H-bearing) species as well as minerals formed under alkaline (carbonates) and possibly acidic (sulfates) conditions. Possible source phases in the Rocknest material are hydrated amorphous material, minor clay minerals, and hydrated perchlorate salts (all potential H2O sources), carbonates (CO2), perchlorates (O2 and HCl), and potential N-bearing materials (e.g., Martian nitrates, terrestrial or Martian nitrogenated organics, ammonium salts) that evolve NH3, NO, and/or HCN. We conclude that Rocknest materials are a physical mixture in chemical disequilibrium, consistent with aeolian mixing, and that although weathering is not extensive, it may be ongoing even under current Martian surface conditions.

  19. Integrated Results from Analysis of the Rocknest Aeolian Deposit by the Curiosity Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leshin, L. A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Blake, D. F.; Edgett, K. S.; Gellert, R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Malin, M. C.; Wiens, R. C.; Treiman, A. H.; Ming, D. W.; Eigenbrode, J.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover spent 45 sols (from sol 56-101) at an area called Rocknest (Fig. 1), characterizing local geology and ingesting its aeolian fines into the analytical instruments CheMin and SAM for mineralogical and chemical analysis. Many abstracts at this meeting present the contextual information and detailed data on these first solid samples analyzed in detail by Curiosity at Rocknest. Here, we present an integrated view of the results from Rocknest - the general agreement from discussions among the entire MSL Science Team.

  20. Geochronology of initial soils in Late-Holocene polycyclic drift-sand deposits (Weerterbergen, S.E. Netherlands)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van mourik, J. M.; Wallinga, J.

    2012-04-01

    Late glacial aeolian coversand dominates the surface geology of the eastern part of the province Noord-Brabant (Netherlands). During prehistoric and early historic time, forest grazing, wood cutting and shifting cultivation gradually transformed natural forest into heath land. During the 11th - 13th century, commercial clear cutting of forests caused sand drifting. Farmers protected the heath against drift sand and continued till 1750 AD with shallow stable management. In the course of the 18th century deep stable management was introduced and farmers started with sod digging on the heath to increase the total amount of manure. Sod digging resulted in a second period of extension of driftsand landscapes with characteristic 'cultural' landforms and soils. Polycyclic driftsand deposits are paleoecological records of alternating instable (sand drifting) and stable (soil formation) phases in landscape development. Interpretation of paleoecological information, derived from these records, requires accurate knowledge of the geochronology. Radiocarbon dating, applied on extracted soil organic matter from humic buried AE horizons is not reliable. Calibrated 14C ages of seven selected buried 'micropodzols' range from 340 - 1950 AD. To understand the geochronology of polycyclic sequences, we applied soil micromorphology to improve our knowledge about the organic matrix of micropodzols and OSL dating. Micromorphological analysis of thin sections of micropodzols provide more information about the composition of SOM of the humic horizons. SOM consists of post sedimentary compounds, related to soil formation. We can identify soil fungi, fragmented litter and fecal pellets as the results of litter decomposition. But SOM contains also sin sedimentary compounds, related to sand drifting. We can identify transported and rounded organic aggregates, mineral grains with organic cutans and charcoal fragments, originating from eroded (older) soil horizons. Consequently, the 14C dates of

  1. Effects of River Regulation on Aeolian Landscapes, Grand Canyon National Park, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draut, A. E.

    2010-12-01

    Sediment deposits in the Colorado River corridor include fluvial sandbars and aeolian dune fields, and the fluvial deposits are the primary sediment source for sand in the aeolian dunes. This 7-year study examined the effects of river regulation at Glen Canyon Dam (alteration of flow regime, sediment-supply reduction, and consequent loss of fluvial sandbars) on aeolian landscapes downstream in Grand Canyon National Park. A comparative study was developed between aeolian landscapes in Grand Canyon, Arizona, and Cataract Canyon, Utah, upstream of Glen Canyon Dam and its reservoir (Lake Powell), where hydrology and sediment supply of the Colorado River are affected substantially less by artificial river regulation than occurs in Grand Canyon. Before closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, sediment-rich floods (mean annual peak 2400 m3/s) formed sandbars from which wind moved sand inland to form aeolian dunes. After dam operations reduced the amplitude and frequency of high flows, and eliminated the mainstream fluvial sediment supply, Grand Canyon’s fluvial sandbars lost open sand area owing to erosion by river flows and the spread of riparian vegetation. Two types of aeolian landscapes now occur in Grand Canyon: (1) modern fluvial sourced, those downwind of post-dam sandbars; and (2) relict fluvial sourced, whose primary sediment source was deposits from pre-dam floods that were larger than any post-dam flows have been. Sediment supply has been reduced to type (1) dune fields because post-dam sandbars are smaller than in the pre-dam era; new sediment supply to type (2) dune fields essentially has been eliminated. Type 1 aeolian landscapes can receive new windblown sand from sandbars formed by controlled floods (1160 m3/s), which occurred in 1996, 2004, and 2008. Type 1 dune fields, being downwind and within 100 m of controlled-flood sandbars, have significantly higher aeolian sand-transport rates, more open sand, and less biologic soil crust than relict type 2 dune

  2. Postdam evolution of aeolian landscapes in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draut, A. E.; Collins, B. D.; Fairley, H. C.; Rubin, D. M.

    2009-12-01

    Sediment deposits within the Colorado River corridor in Grand Canyon, USA, include fluvial sandbars and aeolian dune fields; fluvial deposits are the primary sediment source for the dune fields. We present a conceptual model describing evolution of aeolian landscapes in Grand Canyon, based upon field measurements of wind and sand transport and on surveys of vegetation and substrate properties. The data indicate that Glen Canyon Dam operations can affect geomorphic evolution above the elevation reached by river flows because of the link between fluvial deposition and aeolian transport of sediment. Evolution of aeolian landscapes, in turn, can affect the stability and preservation of archaeological material that occurs in numerous dune fields. Before closure of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in 1963, sediment-rich floods (mean annual flood 2400 m3/s) formed sandbars from which wind moved sand inland to form aeolian dunes. After dam operations reduced the amplitude and frequency of high flows, and eliminated the mainstream fluvial sediment supply, fluvial sandbars lost open sand area owing to erosion by river flows and the spread of riparian vegetation. Two types of aeolian landscapes now occur: (1) modern fluvial sourced, those downwind of postdam sandbars; and (2) relict fluvial sourced, which are not downwind of postdam sandbars and whose primary sediment source was deposits from predam floods that were larger than any postdam flows have been. Sediment supply has been reduced to type (1) dune fields because postdam sandbars are smaller than in the predam era; new sediment supply to type (2) dune fields has been essentially eliminated. Decreased aeolian sediment supply leads to increased vegetation and biologic soil crust in dune fields, and can result in greater susceptibility to gully formation during rainfall due to lack of infilling aeolian sand. Modern-fluvial-sourced dunes can receive new windblown sand from sandbars formed by controlled

  3. Liquefaction potential of sand deposits under low levels of excitation

    SciTech Connect

    Carter, D.P.

    1988-01-01

    Many researchers currently believe that liquefaction will not occur at a site unless the ground surface accelerations exceed some value between about 0.05g and 0.1g. It seems probable however, that levels of earthquake shaking significantly less than this value have induced liquefaction in the past. In addition, it also seems likely that non-seismic sources of low level vibration such as trains have caused several large scale liquefaction failures over the last forty years. Therefore, the aims of this investigation were as follows: (1) to determine whether train induced ground vibrations might be capable of inducing liquefaction, and (2) to determine the minimum level of earthquake shaking required to liquefy sand deposits in-situ. Train-induced ground motions were recorded at 4 different sites. These records show that trains appear to be capable of generating peak ground surface accelerations significantly in excess of 0.10g at distances closer than about 6 meters from the tracks. The liquefaction potential of sand sites shaken by trains is evaluated by following both the shear strain and the shear stress approaches. It is found that while trains are probably incapable of liquefying the sands underlying level sites, they appear to be capable of triggering liquefaction in sloping deposits under some conditions. On the basis of available data and analytical techniques, the minimum level of earthquake shaking required to cause liquefaction is shown to be heavily dependent on the magnitudes of both the initial static shear stresses, and any artesian pore pressures, present within the deposit. As the magnitudes of the initial shear stress/normal stress ratios increase, the level of shaking required to liquefy loose sand sites becomes extremely low.

  4. Late Pleistocene and Holocene aeolian sedimentation in Gonghe Basin, northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: Variability, processes, and climatic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiang, Mingrui; Jin, Yanxiang; Liu, Xingxing; Song, Lei; Li, Hao; Li, Fengshan; Chen, Fahu

    2016-01-01

    Although stratigraphic sequences of aeolian deposits in dryland areas have long been recognized as providing information about past environments, the exact nature of the environmental processes they reflect remains unclear. Here, we report the results of a detailed investigation of eight outcrop sections in the Gonghe Basin, northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Measurements of sediment grain-size and chemical composition indicate that the deposits are primarily of aeolian origin, consisting of interbedded, well-sorted sand, silty sand, loess and/or palaeosol; however, their occurrence varies from site to site. Fossil dune sands mainly occur in or close to the currently stabilized or semi-stabilized dune fields, whereas loess is distributed along the downwind marginal areas. This pattern of basin-scale differentiation was controlled mainly by spatial variability of sediment supply due to the antecedent sedimentary patterns within the basin. Together with previously-published optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages, 24 new OSL dates are used to elucidate the history of aeolian activity and its relationship to climatic changes. There is no apparent relationship between past dune activity and downwind loess deposits. Deposition of silty sand probably occurred during past phases of windy, dry and cold climate in the Late Pleistocene. However, climatic factors alone cannot explain the occurrence of silty sand deposition. This is because the deposition of silty sand was always preceded by episodes of fluvial deposition prior to river incision, thereby indicating the importance of an 'activated' sediment supply associated with fluvial processes. Deposition of well-sorted sand occurred episodically, not only during the Late Pleistocene, but also during the early- to mid-Holocene. Vegetation conditions, controlled either by the occurrence of intervals of moisture deficit during the Late Pleistocene or by changes in the balance between precipitation and

  5. Seismites in continental sand sea deposits of the Late Cretaceous Caiuá Desert, Bauru Basin, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Luiz Alberto; de Castro, Alice Bonatto; Basilici, Giorgio

    2007-07-01

    Two large-scale sediment deformation structures, minor fold occurrences in cross-bedded sand dune deposits and complex convolute folds, are observed in red sandstones, in a zone about 1.5 km long in floodway cuts at the Sérgio Motta/Porto Primavera dam, São Paulo state, Brazil. The most important structures are confined to planar zones, up to 10 m thick, in undeformed dune foreset strata were they can be traced laterally for about 50-60 m. The sandstones are part of the Rio Paraná Formation, Caiuá Group, which accumulated in a great sand sea of about 100,000 km 2. The Caiuá Desert developed during the Late Cretaceous in the southern part of the Bauru Basin, an intracontinental subsiding area in the central-southern part of the South-American Platform. The basin was filled by a sandy sequence about 300 m thick. The sand sea deposits correspond to the Caiuá Group and comprise: a) deposits of dry sand sheets (Santo Anastácio Formation), b) deposits of medium-sized dunes and humid interdunes of the sand sea peripheral zones (Goio Erê Formation), and c) deposits of large-sized complex aeolian dunes and draas, that correspond to the central part of the inland sand sea (Rio Paraná Formation). The deformations in the sediments are attributed to the effects of fluidization, liquefaction and shear stress, which are interpreted as being earthquake-induced structures, mainly because: (1) the deformed horizons are confined between undeformed cross-bedded strata, (2) the complex convolute folds sometimes include nappe-like structures that overlie foreset facies, (3) during the Bauru Basin infilling there was tectonic activity associated with alkaline volcanism on the borders of the basin and related silicification in the central-southern part. The main silicification zones are aligned to regional lineaments that cross the area near the large-scale sedimentary deformation structures.

  6. Predictive Tools for Evaluating Aeolian Sediment Redistribution After Experimental Floods: Monitoring Studies in the Colorado River Corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draut, A. E.; Rubin, D. M.; Fairley, H. C.; Melis, T. S.

    2004-12-01

    The Colorado River through Grand Canyon is subject to complex river management protocols and multi-faceted geomorphic research through the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program. Predicting aeolian redistribution of sediment following experimental floods is important for assessing the potential of controlled flooding to help preserve archaeological sites by replenishing sediment deposits above the flood-stage elevation. We present initial results of an ongoing instrumentation program supported by the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center in which aeolian sediment transport rates, wind magnitude and direction, and precipitation are measured at multiple locations along the river corridor. These data allow resolution of seasonal and regional variability in wind intensity and direction, and resultant aeolian sediment transport, as well as precipitation patterns. Data collected since Fall 2003 indicate that wind velocities and sand transport were greatest during April and May 2004 at all locations studied (with winds locally >25 m/s, and transport rates locally >9 kg/m/day). Dominant wind direction during strong wind intervals varies with location, but during the April-May windy season the greatest transport potential was directed upstream in Marble Canyon (upper Grand Canyon). Such information can be used to evaluate the potential for aeolian reworking of new fluvial sand deposits, and restoration of higher-elevation aeolian deposits, following experimental beach/habitat building flows. These aeolian deposits, many of which contain and preserve archaeological material, comprise a critical part of the Grand Canyon ecosystem.

  7. Possible Aeolian megaripples on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, S. H.

    1990-01-01

    Viking orbiter image frames 442B01-10, at 8 m/pxl resolution show that valley floors are not smooth at all, but rather are covered with mounds of material interpreted as dunes. Striations oriented perpendicular to the valley axis can be seen in several locations. The striations are here interpreted to be aeolian megaripples formed from debris weathered from the yardangs. Terrestrial aeolian megaripples have wavelengths up to 25 m; it is not unreasonable that larger megaripples might form under favorable Martian conditions, given the wind speeds available and the lower Martian gravity. If the megaripple interpretation is correct, then by terrestrial analog the deposit in which they occur has a bimodal particle size distribution. One size will undergo saltation; the other, concentrated at the crests of the megaripples, is too large/and or too dense to be put into saltation. For Mars the former is sand-sized, the latter gravel-sized, provided the materials have typical densities.

  8. A 37,000-year environmental magnetic record of aeolian dust deposition from Burial Lake, Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorfman, J. M.; Stoner, J. S.; Finkenbinder, M. S.; Abbott, M. B.; Xuan, C.; St-Onge, G.

    2015-11-01

    Environmental magnetism and radiocarbon dating of Burial Lake sediments constrain the timing and magnitude of regional aeolian deposition for the Noatak region of western Arctic Alaska for the last ∼37,000 years. Burial Lake (68.43°N, 159.17°W, 21.5 m water depth) is optimally located to monitor regional dust deposition because it is perched above local drainage and isolated from glacial processes. Cores collected in the summer of 2010 were studied through the application of magnetizations and progressive alternating field (AF) demagnetization of u-channel samples, with additional data provided by computed tomography (CT) derived density, hysteresis measurements, isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) acquisition experiments, organic carbon content, biogenic silica, physical grain size, radiocarbon dating of wood, seeds, and plant macrofossils, point source magnetic susceptibility, and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). With similar magnetic properties to regional Alaskan loess deposits, low coercivity, highly magnetic material deposited during the late-Pleistocene contrasts with a high coercivity, weakly magnetic component found throughout the record, consistent with locally-derived detritus. The relative proportion of low coercivity to high coercivity magnetic material, defined by the S-Ratios, is used to reconstruct the regional input of dust to the basin over time. A four-fold decrease in the low coercivity component through the deglacial transition is interpreted to reflect diminished dust input to the region. Comparisons with potential sources of dust show that the timing of deposition in Burial Lake is largely consistent with general aridity, lack of vegetative cover, and increased windiness, rather than glacial advances or retreats. The influence from subaerial exposure of continental shelves cannot be ruled out as a significant far-field source of dust to interior Alaska during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), but is unlikely to have been the sole source, or to

  9. Sulfur-bearing phases detected by evolved gas analysis of the Rocknest aeolian deposit, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McAdam, Amy C.; Franz, Heather B.; Sutter, Brad; Archer, Paul D.; Freissinet, Caroline; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Ming, Douglas W.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Bish, David L.; Blake, David F.; Bower, Hannah E.; Brunner, Anna; Buch, Arnaud; Glavin, Daniel P.; Grotzinger, John P.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; McLennan, Scott M.; Morris, Richard V.; Navarro-González, Rafael; Rampe, Elizabeth B.; Squyres, Steven W.; Steele, Andrew; Stern, Jennifer C.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Wray, James J.

    2014-02-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite detected SO2, H2S, OCS, and CS2 from ~450 to 800°C during evolved gas analysis (EGA) of materials from the Rocknest aeolian deposit in Gale Crater, Mars. This was the first detection of evolved sulfur species from a Martian surface sample during in situ EGA. SO2 (~3-22 µmol) is consistent with the thermal decomposition of Fe sulfates or Ca sulfites, or evolution/desorption from sulfur-bearing amorphous phases. Reactions between reduced sulfur phases such as sulfides and evolved O2 or H2O in the SAM oven are another candidate SO2 source. H2S (~41-109 nmol) is consistent with interactions of H2O, H2 and/or HCl with reduced sulfur phases and/or SO2 in the SAM oven. OCS (~1-5 nmol) and CS2 (~0.2-1 nmol) are likely derived from reactions between carbon-bearing compounds and reduced sulfur. Sulfates and sulfites indicate some aqueous interactions, although not necessarily at the Rocknest site; Fe sulfates imply interaction with acid solutions whereas Ca sulfites can form from acidic to near-neutral solutions. Sulfides in the Rocknest materials suggest input from materials originally deposited in a reducing environment or from detrital sulfides from an igneous source. The presence of sulfides also suggests that the materials have not been extensively altered by oxidative aqueous weathering. The possibility of both reduced and oxidized sulfur compounds in the deposit indicates a nonequilibrium assemblage. Understanding the sulfur mineralogy in Rocknest materials, which exhibit chemical similarities to basaltic fines analyzed elsewhere on Mars, can provide insight in to the origin and alteration history of Martian surface materials.

  10. Sulfur-Bearing Phases Detected by Evolved Gas Analysis of the Rocknest Aeolian Deposit, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcadam, Amy Catherine; Franz, Heather Bryant

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite detected SO2, H2S, OCS, and CS2 from approx.450 to 800 C during evolved gas analysis (EGA) of materials from the Rocknest aeolian deposit in Gale Crater, Mars. This was the first detection of evolved sulfur species from a Martian surface sample during in situ EGA. SO2(approx. 3-22 micro-mol) is consistent with the thermal decomposition of Fe sulfates or Ca sulfites, or evolution/desorption from sulfur-bearing amorphous phases. Reactions between reduced sulfur phases such as sulfides and evolved O2 or H2O in the SAM oven are another candidate SO2 source. H2S (approx.41-109 nmol) is consistent with interactions of H2O, H2 and/or HCl with reduced sulfur phases and/or SO2 in the SAM oven. OCS (approx.1-5 nmol) and CS2(approx.0.2-1 nmol) are likely derived from reactions between carbon-bearing compounds and reduced sulfur. Sulfates and sulfites indicate some aqueous interactions, although not necessarily at the Rocknest site; Fe sulfates imply interaction with acid solutions whereas Ca sulfites can form from acidic to near-neutral solutions. Sulfides in the Rocknest materials suggest input from materials originally deposited in a reducing environment or from detrital sulfides from an igneous source. The presence of sulfides also suggests that the materials have not been extensively altered by oxidative aqueous weathering. The possibility of both reduced and oxidized sulfur compounds in the deposit indicates a nonequilibrium assemblage. Understanding the sulfur mineralogy in Rocknest materials, which exhibit chemical similarities to basaltic fines analyzed elsewhere on Mars, can provide insight in to the origin and alteration history of Martian surface materials.

  11. Identifying Tsunami Deposits in the Absence of Sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chague-Goff, C.; Judd, K.; Goff, J. R.; Gadd, P.; Fierro, D.; Zawadzki, A.

    2015-12-01

    Tsunamis originating in South America are known to have affected Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand, in the recent past. However, while there was clear evidence of inundation, in particular in 1960 and 2010, there was no report of any sand left behind. Our study aimed to search for evidence of these small historical tsunamis, in the absence of any visible sand layer. Shallow trenches revealed discontinuous layers of small grey mud clasts at various depths across the study area, most likely transported from the nearby harbour. The origin of these mud clast layers was investigated using sedimentological, geochemical and diatom analyses complemented by dating from 137Cs activity profiles and historical data. Subtle variations consistent with inclusions of marine mud such as a decrease in organic content and magnetic susceptibility and increases in geochemical markers (e.g. Ca, K, K/Rb, Si/Rb and Sr/Rb) were found in the sediment profile. Variations in diatom assemblages suggesting a marine influence were also recorded at similar depths, aligning with layers of mud clasts. Based on 137Cs activity profiles and historical data, these deposits were attributed to the 1960 Chile and 1964 Alaska tsunamis, and we also found evidence for an older deposit, possibly associated with the 1868 Arica tsunami. Sedimentary evidence for the 2010 Chile tsunami was not found at the study site, but our study revealed spatial variations in Ca, Cl and Sr concentrations that were inversely related to Ti concentrations. This was used to identify the landward extent of inundation by the 2010 event. We show that a broad multi-proxy analysis can distinguish even the subtle signatures of an inconspicuous deposit laid down by a small tsunami.

  12. On the origin and post-depositional history of widespread massive ash deposits: The case of Intermediate Brown Tuffs (IBT) of Lipari (Aeolian Islands, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rosa, Rosanna; Donato, Paola; Scarciglia, Fabio

    2016-11-01

    We analysed a widespread, massive ash unit outcropping on the island of Lipari, which belongs to the Intermediate Brown Tuffs (IBT) succession of the Aeolian Islands, Italy. The use of a multidisciplinary approach that integrates textural, petrological and pedological methods, allows us to discriminate between syn-eruptive and post-depositional features. The deposits are dominated by uncrystallised blocky glass fragments of homogeneous shoshonitic composition, confirming a provenance from hydromagmatic eruptions on the island of Vulcano. Many glass fragments are surrounded by a coating separated by a thin void of syn-eruptive origin due to alteration by aggressive acid gases in the eruptive cloud. The lack of this coating in the northern part of Lipari can be explained as a progressive dispersion of the gases far from the vent and/or to post-depositional processes. The degree of soil development significantly increases from south (soil profiles P1 and P2 at Valle Muria) to north (P3 and P4, at Madoro and Chiesa Vecchia sites, respectively) as a response to a decrease in slope steepness, which has brought about a progressive deepening of the pedogenetic front on gentler landforms and conversely its rejuvenation on steep slopes. The relatively poor to moderate degree of pedogenic evolution of the studied IBT unit is consistent with its emplacement during part of the last glacial period.

  13. Evidence for Perchlorates and the Origin of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons Detected by SAM at the Rocknest Aeolian Deposit in Gale Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Miller, Kristen E.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Brunner, Anna E.; Buch, Arnaud; Sutter, Brad; Archer, P. Douglas, Jr.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Cabane, Michael; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela G.; Coscia, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Franz, Heather B.; Grotzinger, John P.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Martin, Mildred G.; McKay, Christopher; Ming, Douglas W.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Pavlov, Alexander; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.; Szopa, Cyril; Teinturier, Samuel; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2013-01-01

    Four individual sample portions from a single scoop of the Rocknest aeolian deposit were sieved ( 150 m) and delivered to the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument by the Mars Science Laboratory rover's sample acquisition system. The samples were analyzed separately by the SAM pyrolysis evolved gas and gas chromatography mass spectrometry analysis modes. Several chlorinated hydrocarbons including chloromethane, dichloromethane, trichloromethane, a chloromethylpropene, and chlorobenzene were identified by SAM above background levels with abundances of 0.01 to 2.3 nanomole.The evolution of the chloromethanes observed during pyrolysis is coincident with the increase in O2 released from the Rocknest sample and the decomposition of a product of N-methyl-N- (tert-butyldimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA), a chemical that leaked from a derivatization cup inside SAM.The best candidate for the oxychloride phase in Rocknest is a hydrated calcium perchlorate (Ca(ClO4)2nH2O), based on the temperature release of O2 that correlates with the release of the chlorinated species measured by SAM, although other chlorine bearing phases are being considered. Laboratory pyrolysis experiments suggest that reaction of martian chlorine with organic carbon from MTBSTFA can explain the presence of the chloromethanes and a chloromethylpropene also detected by SAM.However, we cannot exclude the possibility that traces of organic carbon of either martian or exogenous origin contributed to some of the chloromethanes measured by SAM. Although the alteration history and exposure age of the Rocknest deposit is unknown, it is possible that oxidative degradation of complex organic matter by ionizing radiation or other chemical processes in Rocknest has occurred.

  14. Sulfur Biogeochemistry of an Oil Sands Composite Tailings Deposit

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Lesley A.; Kendra, Kathryn E.; Brady, Allyson L.; Slater, Greg F.

    2016-01-01

    Composite tailings (CT), an engineered, alkaline, saline mixture of oil sands tailings (FFT), processed sand and gypsum (CaSO4; 1 kg CaSO4 per m3 FFT) are used as a dry reclamation strategy in the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR). It is estimated that 9.6 × 108 m3 of CT are either in, or awaiting emplacement in surface pits within the AOSR, highlighting their potential global importance in sulfur cycling. Here, in the first CT sulfur biogeochemistry investigation, integrated geochemical, pyrosequencing and lipid analyses identified high aqueous concentrations of ∑H2S (>300 μM) and highly altered sulfur compounds composition; low cell biomass (3.3 × 106– 6.0 × 106 cells g−1) and modest bacterial diversity (H' range between 1.4 and 1.9) across 5 depths spanning 34 m of an in situ CT deposit. Pyrosequence results identified a total of 29,719 bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences, representing 131 OTUs spanning19 phyla including 7 candidate divisions, not reported in oil sands tailings pond studies to date. Legacy FFT common phyla, notably, gamma and beta Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi were represented. However, overall CT microbial diversity and PLFA values were low relative to other contexts. The identified known sulfate/sulfur reducing bacteria constituted at most 2% of the abundance; however, over 90% of the 131 OTUs identified are capable of sulfur metabolism. While PCR biases caution against overinterpretation of pyrosequence surveys, bacterial sequence results identified here, align with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and geochemical results. The highest bacterial diversities were associated with the depth of highest porewater [∑H2S] (22–24 m) and joint porewater co-occurrence of Fe2+ and ∑H2S (6–8 m). Three distinct bacterial community structure depths corresponded to CT porewater regions of (1) shallow evident Fe(II) (<6 m), (2) co-occurring Fe(II) and ∑H2S (6–8 m) and (3) extensive ∑H2S (6–34 m) (Uni

  15. Holocene aeolian sediments on the NE Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauch, G.; Lehmkuhl, F.; Hilgers, A.; Zhao, H.

    2012-04-01

    The semiarid climate of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau supports the formation of different types of aeolian sediments and landforms during the Holocene. Aeolians silts and sands in the catchment of the Donggi Cona in an elevation above 4000m to 4800 m asl reflect variable climate conditions during that time as well as different sediment sources. Based on 51 OSL datings and catchment wide geomorphological mapping a complex pattern of long and short distance sediment transport has been reconstructed. Only few aeolian archives are preserved from the late Pleistocene in this mountain environment indicating cold and dry climate conditions which prevented a continuous accumulation. During the early Holocene a phase of increased aeolian sedimentation of sand at the slopes of the mountains has been reconstructed. The sand originated from a large alluvial fan which was highly active during the Pleistocene. In addition, a thin loess cover is preserved at a few sites in the neighboring mountains ranges. The sedimentation of the loess started around 2000 years later than the sedimentation of the sand at the foot slope. Both archives are related to an increase in precipitation at the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau which was related to a strengthening of the Asian Monsoon during that time. The wetter climate conditions favored the development of a vegetation cover which leads to the trapping and fixation of the aeolian sediments. However, with a further strengthening of the Monsoon systems these archives subsequently eroded due to higher run off and accumulated as colluvial and fluvial deposits in the basins. These phase lasted until 6 ka. A second aeolian period started at around 3 ka with the formation new dunes in the basins. This period can be associated with dry and cold climate of the late Holocene supporting the reactivation of the sand in the area. This might be further enhanced by an increased human impact by grazing during the late Holocene and resulting

  16. Quantifying surface moisture influences on aeolian transport (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nield, J. M.; Wiggs, G. F.

    2010-12-01

    Surface moisture plays an important role in determining sediment availability and aeolian transport in beach systems but is heterogeneous both spatially and temporally. The development of rippled aeolian sand strips and protodunes are particularly influenced by surface moisture and are inherently transient and therefore difficult to quantify using traditional point based sampling methods. Furthermore, these structures are influenced by saltation cloud formation and mutual feedback associated with surface characteristics and transport dynamics. Here we utilise terrestrial laser scanning (ground-based LiDAR) to accurately decipher beach surface moisture during transport events, elucidating the switch between erosivity and erodibility as the surface dries and saltation intensity increases. This technology is particularly useful at identifying surface moisture within 0-10%, precisely the range over which the aeolian transport threshold is found. The resolution of the instrument allows millimeter accuracy of surface topography, percent accuracy of surface moisture with short (minutes) data collection periods, enabling the examination of multiple relationships at unprecedented detail. Surface roughness and saltation cloud height increase over moist areas, particularly as saltation intensity increases, whilst deposition on the wet/dry boundary is a function of feedback between the surface properties and aerodynamic attributes which ultimately contributes towards protodune formation. These observed feedback mechanisms are incorporated into a cellular automaton-based algorithm to examine sand strip development and surface moisture interaction. Simulations suggest the development of differing mobility between small-scale ripples and larger sand strip is a function of the response of the surface moisture to sediment deposition and erosion. Our findings highlight the inherent complexity of surface moisture and sediment transport interactions, and the need to incorporate their

  17. Evidence for Perchlorates and the Origin of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons Detected by SAM at the Rocknest Aeolian Deposit in Gale Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Miller, Kristen E.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Brunner, Anna E.; Buch, Arnaud; Sutter, Brad; Archer, P. Douglas, Jr.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Cabane, Michel; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela G.; Coscia, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Franz, Heather B.; Grotzinger, John P.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Martin, Mildred G.; McKay, Christopher; Ming, Douglas W.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Pavlov, Alexander; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.; Szopa, Cyril; Teinturier, Samuel; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2013-01-01

    A single scoop of the Rocknest aeolian deposit was sieved (less than 150 micrometers), and four separate sample portions, each with a mass of approximately 50 mg, were delivered to individual cups inside the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument by the Mars Science Laboratory rover's sample acquisition system. The samples were analyzed separately by the SAM pyrolysis evolved gas and gas chromatograph mass spectrometer analysis modes. Several chlorinated hydrocarbons including chloromethane, dichloromethane, trichloromethane, a chloromethylpropene, and chlorobenzene were identified by SAM above background levels with abundances of approximately 0.01 to 2.3 nmol. The evolution of the chloromethanes observed during pyrolysis is coincident with the increase in O2 released from the Rocknest sample and the decomposition of a product of N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA), a chemical whose vapors were released from a derivatization cup inside SAM. The best candidate for the oxychlorine compounds in Rocknest is a hydrated calcium perchlorate (Ca(ClO4)2·nH2O), based on the temperature release of O2 that correlates with the release of the chlorinated hydrocarbons measured by SAM, although other chlorine-bearing phases are being considered. Laboratory analog experiments suggest that the reaction of Martian chlorine from perchlorate decomposition with terrestrial organic carbon from MTBSTFA during pyrolysis can explain the presence of three chloromethanes and a chloromethylpropene detected by SAM. Chlorobenzene may be attributed to reactions of Martian chlorine released during pyrolysis with terrestrial benzene or toluene derived from 2,6-diphenylphenylene oxide (Tenax) on the SAM hydrocarbon trap. At this time we do not have definitive evidence to support a nonterrestrial carbon source for these chlorinated hydrocarbons, nor do we exclude the possibility that future SAM analyses will reveal the presence of organic compounds native to the

  18. Evidence for perchlorates and the origin of chlorinated hydrocarbons detected by SAM at the Rocknest aeolian deposit in Gale Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Miller, Kristen E.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Brunner, Anna E.; Buch, Arnaud; Sutter, Brad; Archer, P. Douglas; Atreya, Sushil K.; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Cabane, Michel; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela G.; Coscia, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Franz, Heather B.; Grotzinger, John P.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Martin, Mildred G.; McKay, Christopher; Ming, Douglas W.; Navarro-González, Rafael; Pavlov, Alexander; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.; Szopa, Cyril; Teinturier, Samuel; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2013-10-01

    A single scoop of the Rocknest aeolian deposit was sieved (< 150 µm), and four separate sample portions, each with a mass of ~50 mg, were delivered to individual cups inside the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument by the Mars Science Laboratory rover's sample acquisition system. The samples were analyzed separately by the SAM pyrolysis evolved gas and gas chromatograph mass spectrometer analysis modes. Several chlorinated hydrocarbons including chloromethane, dichloromethane, trichloromethane, a chloromethylpropene, and chlorobenzene were identified by SAM above background levels with abundances of ~0.01 to 2.3 nmol. The evolution of the chloromethanes observed during pyrolysis is coincident with the increase in O2 released from the Rocknest sample and the decomposition of a product of N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA), a chemical whose vapors were released from a derivatization cup inside SAM. The best candidate for the oxychlorine compounds in Rocknest is a hydrated calcium perchlorate (Ca(ClO4)2·nH2O), based on the temperature release of O2 that correlates with the release of the chlorinated hydrocarbons measured by SAM, although other chlorine-bearing phases are being considered. Laboratory analog experiments suggest that the reaction of Martian chlorine from perchlorate decomposition with terrestrial organic carbon from MTBSTFA during pyrolysis can explain the presence of three chloromethanes and a chloromethylpropene detected by SAM. Chlorobenzene may be attributed to reactions of Martian chlorine released during pyrolysis with terrestrial benzene or toluene derived from 2,6-diphenylphenylene oxide (Tenax) on the SAM hydrocarbon trap. At this time we do not have definitive evidence to support a nonterrestrial carbon source for these chlorinated hydrocarbons, nor do we exclude the possibility that future SAM analyses will reveal the presence of organic compounds native to the Martian regolith.

  19. Soil heterogeneity of an East and West facing ridge above timberline due to differences in snow and aeolian deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Traver, E.

    2015-12-01

    Hans Jenny's soil forming factors—time, parent material, climate, topography, and organisms—represent the major components of his system to describe and quantify soil development. In almost all situations, it is difficult to hold even one of these factors constant while focusing on another factor; however, in our study site—the East and West side of a narrow North-South running ridge, above timberline in SE Wyoming—we can hold three factors nearly constant (time, parent material, and climate) and focus on how topography, in particular, has influenced the soil differences on the two sides. The East side is the leeside of prevailing and strong westerly winds and receives a large snow pack while the West is consistently snow-free during winter creating a very different moisture and soil temperature regime. The East receives aeolian dust deposition while the West loses surface material from wind scour. A standard chemical and physical analysis found that while the two sides are nearly identical textually, with a similar pH and low electrical conductivity, the East side is richer in minerals. During the short growing season, soil moisture results show that the West side is holding more water than the East side; however, the East side has a higher percentage of organic matter and is more shrub and forb rich. An isotope analysis shows that the C:N ratios are very similar on the two sides. Microbial biomass and functional groups will be analyzed in the soil samples as well as a seismic study conducted to quantity depth of soil to bedrock. Using all these results will help quantify the differences on the two sides of this narrow ridge and add to our understanding of fine-scale soil heterogeneity and its relationship to watershed hydrology.

  20. Holocene deposits of reservoir-quality sand along the Central South Carolina coastline

    SciTech Connect

    Sexton, W.J.; Hayes, M.O.

    1996-06-01

    The Holocene coastal sand deposits of the central South Carolina coastline were investigated to estimate volumes of reservoir-quality (RQ) sediments. These sand bodies, which vary considerably in size, thickness, shape, and continuity, were deposited in a variety of depositional settings including barrier islands, ebb-tidal deltas, exposed sand flats, tidal sand ridges, and tidal point bars. To identify the RQ sediment for each sand-body type, a conservative mud cutoff value of 15% was chosen. Average thickness values ranged from 6 m for barrier island deposits to 15 m for ebb-tidal deltas. Of the six most significant RQ sand depositional environments on the central portion of the South Carolina coast, ebb-tidal delta complexes accounted for 77% of all RQ sediments. This dominance of the ebb-tidal delta deposits is attributed to the relatively large tidal range in the area (up to 3 m) and to the presence of a number of large, incised alluvial valleys, which are host to estuarine complexes with large tidal prisms. If the Holocene sand deposits along the central 115 km of the South Carolina coast were preserved in the rock record, a total of 1.3 X 10{sup 6} ac-ft of RQ sands would be present, a significant amount considering the short time interval of approximately 5000 yr.

  1. Aeolian processes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.

    1984-01-01

    Many of the questions regarding aeolian processes on Venus and the subsequent implications for surface history involve understanding the physics of particle motion in the venusian environment. The surface environment of Venus is simulated as closely as practicable using the Venus Wind Tunnel and to determine threshold wind speeds, particle flux, particle velocities, and the characteristics of various aeolian bedforms. Despite the relatively low wind speeds on Venus, the flux of windblown material on Venus is potentially high. A high fraction of material is transported as surface creep by rolling, estimates yield rates up to 100 kg per cm lane width per year depending upon the availability of material and wind frequency, suggesting that the formation of lowland plains by aeolian processes and the burial of various landforms such as impact craters could occur on short geological time-scales. Wind tunnel simulations demonstrate that aeolian processes may be very effective in modifying the surface through erosion and deposited and may have an important influence on the composition of the atmosphere.

  2. Rock magnetism and compositional investigation of Brown Tuffs deposits at Lipari and Vulcano (Aeolian Islands — Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cicchino, Alex M. P.; Zanella, Elena; De Astis, Gianfilippo; Lanza, Roberto; Lucchi, Federico; Tranne, Claudio A.; Airoldi, Giulia; Mana, Sara

    2011-11-01

    A rock-magnetic investigation was carried out on the nonwelded ash deposits of the Brown Tuffs (Aeolian Islands, southern Tyrrhenian Sea) to improve the stratigraphic correlation between the deposits cropping out on Lipari and Vulcano islands and locate their source area. The study was supplemented by petrographical and geochemical analyses on selected strata, with the intent to compare the Brown Tuffs to other rocks emplaced at Vulcano in the same time span. More than 30 levels were sampled in the intermediate (56 ± 4 ka > IBT > 21-22 ka) and upper (21-22 ka > UBT) parts of the Brown Tuffs sequences on the two islands. Their characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) directions were derived from stepwise thermal demagnetization, and the magnetic fabric from measurements of the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility. The levels with indistinguishable ChRM directions were regarded as coeval and to form an individual stratigraphic unit. The units were referred to the Brown Tuffs sequence of Lucchi et al. (2008) on the grounds of their emplacement age, provided by comparison of their mean paleomagnetic direction with the paleosecular variation curves of the southern Tyrrhenian region, as well as the field constraints. The closer correlation between the sequences of Lipari and Vulcano contributes to a better understanding of the volcanic activity that produced the Brown Tuffs, and shows that most of the IBT and the oldest UBT levels were emplaced in a short time span, between ≈ 24 and 20-17 ka. The magnetic fabric is typically well developed, but at most sites the magnetic foliation is very close to horizontal and no imbrication is defined. The source area of the Brown Tuffs parent pyroclastic flows, as constrained from the intersection of the magnetic lineations, falls in the northeastern part of La Fossa Caldera structure. Although limited to major elements, compositional data provide further indication about the parent plumbing system and its behaviour. Magma

  3. Sand deposition in shoreline eddies along five Wild and Scenic Rivers, Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andrews, E.D.; Vincent, K.R.

    2007-01-01

    Sand bars deposited along the lateral margin of a river channel are frequently a focus of recreational activities. Sand bars are appealing sites on which to camp, picnic, fish and relax because they are relatively flat, soft, non-cohesive sand, free of vegetation and near the water's edge. The lack of vegetation and cohesion make sand bars easily erodible. Without appreciable deposition of new material, number and size of bars through a given reach of river will decline substantially over a period of years. We studied 63 beaches and their associated eddies located throughout 10 selected reaches within the designated Wild and Scenic River sections of the Lochsa, Selway, Middle Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Salmon and Salmon Rivers in Idaho to determine the relation of beaches to the frequency and magnitude of streamflows that deposit appreciable quantities of sand. At present, these rivers have been altered little, if at all, by flow regulation, and only the Salmon River has substantial diversion upstream of a study reach. The river reaches studied have an abundance of sand bar beaches of appreciable size, in spite of suspended sand concentrations that rarely exceeded a few hundred milligrams per litre even during the largest floods. Calculated mean annual rates of deposition in an eddy vary from 5.8 to more than 100 cm depending primarily on: (1) the duration of streamflows that inundate the eddy sand bar depositions; (2) the rate of the flow exchange between the channel and an eddy and (3) the concentrations of suspended sand in the primary channel. The annual thickness of sand deposition in an eddy varies greatly from year to year depending on the duration of relatively large streamflows. Maximum annual sand depositions in an eddy are three to nine times the estimated long-term mean values. Relatively large, sustained floods deposit an appreciable portion of total deposition over a period of years. For the period of record, 1930-2002, the seven largest annual

  4. Vertebrate Tracks in Pleistocene Eolian Sand-Sheet Deposits of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lea, Peter D.

    1996-03-01

    Deformation structures interpreted as vertebrate hoof- and foot-tracks occur within upper-Pleistocene eolian sand-sheet deposits in the stabilized Kantishna sand sea of central Alaska and in the Nushagak lowland of southwestern Alaska. Exposures of tracks are generally limited to cross sections, which reveal concave-up deformation structures in which displacement of preexisting strata diminishes downward. Deposits in both areas contain tracks that are 6 to 16 cm in diameter and are divided by a central ridge, reflecting formation by artiodactyl (even-toed) ungulates. Larger (21-34 cm) tracks without a central ridge, observed in the Nushagak lowland, were formed by proboscideans, probably woolly mammoth. Large vertebrate tracks occur within irregularly stratified sand and silty sand that accumulated upon partially vegetated sand sheets, and within thin, even wind-ripple laminae of unvegetated sand sheets. The presence of tracks at multiple stratigraphic levels and preservation of roots and rhizocretions within the eolian deposits suggest that vegetated sand sheets may have formed a locally important grazing habitat for large herbivores during at least part of the last glaciation. Recognition that vertebrate tracks are preserved in eolian sand-sheet deposits, and in deposits of other environments as well, opens a new source of stratigraphic and paleoecological data to aid reconstruction of the vanished ecosystems of Beringia.

  5. Sand transport and deposition in horizontal multiphase trunklines of subsea satellite developments

    SciTech Connect

    Oudeman, P. )

    1993-11-01

    Gravel packing is unattractive as a way to protect against the effects of sand production in subsea wells because it involves additional completion costs, loss of productivity, and difficulties in subsequent recompletion/well servicing operations. On the other hand, omitting gravel packs means that subsea developments must be designed and operated so that they can tolerate sand production. An experimental study was carried out on sand transport and deposition in multiphase flow in modeled subsea flowlines to address the problem and sand collection in horizontal trunklines, which could lead to reduced line throughput, pigging problems, enhanced pipe-bottom erosion, or even blockage. This study led to the definition of a new model for sand transport in multiphase flow, which was used to establish the risk of sand deposition in trunklines connecting a subsea development to nearby production platform.

  6. Observed particle sizes and fluxes of Aeolian sediment in the near surface layer during sand-dust storms in the Taklamakan Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huo, Wen; He, Qing; Yang, Fan; Yang, Xinghua; Yang, Qing; Zhang, Fuyin; Mamtimin, Ali; Liu, Xinchun; Wang, Mingzhong; Zhao, Yong; Zhi, Xiefei

    2016-08-01

    Monitoring, modeling and predicting the formation and movement of dust storms across the global deserts has drawn great attention in recent decades. Nevertheless, the scarcity of real-time observations of the wind-driven emission, transport and deposition of dusts has severely impeded progress in this area. In this study, we report an observational analysis of sand-dust storm samples collected at seven vertical levels from an 80-m-high flux tower located in the hinterland of the great Taklamakan Desert for ten sand-dust storm events that occurred during 2008-2010. We analyzed the vertical distribution of sandstorm particle grain sizes and horizontal sand-dust sediment fluxes from the near surface up to 80 m high in this extremely harsh but highly representative environment. The results showed that the average sandstorm grain size was in the range of 70 to 85 μm. With the natural presence of sand dunes and valleys, the horizontal dust flux appeared to increase with height within the lower surface layer, but was almost invariant above 32 m. The average flux values varied within the range of 8 to 14 kg m-2 and the vertical distribution was dominated by the wind speed in the boundary layer. The dominant dust particle size was PM100 and below, which on average accounted for 60-80 % of the samples collected, with 0.9-2.5 % for PM0-2.5, 3.5-7.0 % for PM0-10, 5.0-14.0 % for PM0-20 and 20.0-40.0 % for PM0-50. The observations suggested that on average the sand-dust vertical flux potential is about 0.29 kg m-2 from the top of the 80 m tower to the upper planetary boundary layer and free atmosphere through the transport of particles smaller than PM20. Some of our results differed from previous measurements from other desert surfaces and laboratory wind-dust experiments, and therefore provide valuable observations to support further improvement of modeling of sandstorms across different natural environmental conditions.

  7. Hydrogeology of sand and gravel deposits near Nepaug Reservoir, New Hartford and Burlington, Connecticut

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, Janet Radway; Starn, J. Jeffrey; Morrison, Jonathan

    2001-01-01

    Sand and gravel deposits near the Nepaug Reservoir in New Hartford and Burlington, Connecticut, were studied to provide a basis for ongoing investigations that will evaluate water-quality conditions in the watershed and the effects of sand and gravel mining on the quality of water in the reservoir. In the Nepaug area, surficial glacial materials overlie crystalline bedrock that is predominantly schist and gneiss. Along the western side of Nepaug Reservoir, glacial stratified deposits were laid down as ice-marginal deltas in a series of small glacial lakes that formed sequentially as the ice margin retreated northeastward through the area. These deposits are as much as 250 feet thick and are subdivided into coarse-grained units (gravel, sand and gravel, and sand deposits) and fine-grained units (very fine sand, silt, and clay deposits). Approximately 954 million cubic feet of sand and gravel is contained in four delineated deposits in two areas near the reservoir. The sand and gravel deposits adjacent to the Nepaug Reservoir can affect the physical and chemical responses of the watershed. Removal of the sand and gravel would likely result in increased streamflow peaks associated with storms and decreased streamflow during low-flow periods. Streamflow during floods and droughts at Burlington Brook and Clear Brook, a tributary to the Nepaug Reservoir, were compared to determine how the volume of sand and gravel in a watershed affects ground-water storage and the way water is released from storage. Removal of unsaturated deposits also may affect chemical interactions between water and sediment and cause changes in the amount of dissolved constituents in the water.

  8. The Icelandic volcanic aeolian environment: Processes and impacts - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnalds, Olafur; Dagsson-Waldhauserova, Pavla; Olafsson, Haraldur

    2016-03-01

    Iceland has the largest area of volcaniclastic sandy desert on Earth or 22,000 km2. The sand has been mostly produced by glacio-fluvial processes, leaving behind fine-grained unstable sediments which are later re-distributed by repeated aeolian events. Volcanic eruptions add to this pool of unstable sediments, often from subglacial eruptions. Icelandic desert surfaces are divided into sand fields, sandy lavas and sandy lag gravel, each with separate aeolian surface characteristics such as threshold velocities. Storms are frequent due to Iceland's location on the North Atlantic Storm track. Dry winds occur on the leeward sides of mountains and glaciers, in spite of the high moisture content of the Atlantic cyclones. Surface winds often move hundreds to more than 1000 kg m-1 per annum, and more than 10,000 kg m-1 have been measured in a single storm. Desertification occurs when aeolian processes push sand fronts and have thus destroyed many previously fully vegetated ecosystems since the time of the settlement of Iceland in the late ninth century. There are about 135 dust events per annum, ranging from minor storms to >300,000 t of dust emitted in single storms. Dust production is on the order of 30-40 million tons annually, some traveling over 1000 km and deposited on land and sea. Dust deposited on deserts tends to be re-suspended during subsequent storms. High PM10 concentrations occur during major dust storms. They are more frequent in the wake of volcanic eruptions, such as after the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption. Airborne dust affects human health, with negative effects enhanced by the tubular morphology of the grains, and the basaltic composition with its high metal content. Dust deposition on snow and glaciers intensifies melting. Moreover, the dust production probably also influences atmospheric conditions and parameters that affect climate change.

  9. Vegetation and substrate properties of aeolian dune fields in the Colorado River corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.

    2011-01-01

    This report summarizes vegetation and substrate properties of aeolian landscapes in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon, Arizona, in Grand Canyon National Park. Characterizing these parameters provides a basis from which to assess future changes in this ecosystem, including the spread of nonnative plant species. Differences are apparent between aeolian dune fields that are downwind of where modern controlled flooding deposits new sandbars (modern-fluvial-sourced dune fields) and those that have received little or no new windblown sand since river regulation began in the 1960s (relict-fluvial-sourced dune fields). The most substantial difference between modern- and relict-fluvial-sourced aeolian dune fields is the greater abundance of biologic soil crust in relict dune fields. These findings can be used with similar investigations in other geomorphic settings in Grand Canyon and elsewhere in the Colorado River corridor to evaluate the health of the Colorado River ecosystem over time.

  10. Source-to-sink cycling of aeolian sediment in the north polar region of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, R. C.; Kocurek, G.

    2012-12-01

    Aeolian sand dunes are prominent features on the landscapes of Earth, Mars, Venus and Titan and sedimentary deposits interpreted as aeolian in origin are found in the rock records of Earth and Mars. The widespread occurrence of aeolian dunes on the surface of these worlds and within their deep-time depositional records suggests that aeolian systems are and likely have been a default depositional environment for the Solar System. Within an aeolian source-to-sink context, we hypothesize that planet-specific boundary conditions strongly impact production, transport, accumulation and preservation of aeolian sediment, whereas dunes and dune-field patterns remain largely similar. This hypothesis is explored within the north polar region of Mars, which hosts the most extensive aeolian dune fields and aeolian sedimentary deposits yet recognized on Mars and appears to be a region of dynamic source-to-sink cycling of aeolian sediments. The Planum Boreum Cavi Unit rests beneath north polar ice cap of Mars and is composed of several hundred meters of niveo-aeolian dune cross-stratification. The overall architecture of the unit consists of sets of preserved dune topography with an upward increase in the abundance of ice. Dune sets are defined by stabilized, polygonally fractured bounding surfaces, erosional bounding surfaces and typical internal lee foresets made of sediment and ice. The accumulation of the Cavi Unit is interpreted as occurring through freezing and serves as an example of a cold temperature boundary condition on aeolian sediment accumulation. Preservation of the Cavi Unit arises because of deposition of the overlying ice cap and contrasts with preservation of aeolian sediment on Earth, which is largely driven by eustasy and tectonics. The Cavi Unit is thought to be one source of sediment for the north polar Olympia Undae Dune Field. The region of Olympia Undae near the Cavi Unit shows a reticulate dune field pattern composed of two sets of nearly orthogonal

  11. Complex systems in aeolian geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baas, Andreas C. W.

    2007-11-01

    Aeolian geomorphology provides a rich ground for investigating Earth surface processes and landforms as complex systems. Sand transport by wind is a classic dissipative process with non-linear dynamics, while dune field evolution is a prototypical self-organisation phenomenon. Both of these broad areas of aeolian geomorphology are discussed and analysed in the context of complexity and a systems approach. A feedback loop analysis of the aeolian boundary-layer-flow/sediment-transport/bedform interactions, based on contemporary physical models, reveals that the system is fundamentally unstable (or at most meta-stable) and likely to exhibit chaotic behaviour. Recent field-experimental research on aeolian streamers and spatio-temporal transport patterns, however, indicates that sand transport by wind may be wholly controlled by a self-similar turbulence cascade in the boundary layer flow, and that key aspects of transport event time-series can be fully reproduced from a combination of (self-organised) 1/ f forcing, motion threshold, and saltation inertia. The evolution of various types of bare-sand dunes and dune field patterns have been simulated successfully with self-organising cellular automata that incorporate only simplified physically-based interactions (rules). Because of their undefined physical scale, however, it not clear whether they in fact simulate ripples (bedforms) or dunes (landforms), raising fundamental cross-cutting questions regarding the difference between aeolian dunes, impact ripples, and subaqueous (current) ripples and dunes. An extended cellular automaton (CA) model, currently under development, incorporates the effects of vegetation in the aeolian environment and is capable of simulating the development of nebkhas, blow-outs, and parabolic coastal dunes. Preliminary results indicate the potential for establishing phase diagrams and attractor trajectories for vegetated aeolian dunescapes. Progress is limited, however, by a serious lack of

  12. Self-Boring Pressuremeter in Pluvially Deposited Sands.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-06-01

    OF TABLES TABLE 1: SUMMARY OF INSTALLATION CONDITIONS DURING SELF-BORING TABLE 2: SUMMARY OF GENERAL CALIBRATION CHAMBER CONDITIONS AFTER SAMPLE...CANKOMETER MARK VIII FIG. 4: GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TICINO AND HOKKSUND SAND FIG. 5: SCHEMATIC OUTLINE OF SAND SPREADER FIG. 6: SCHEMATIC OUTLINE...COMPARISON OF CALCULATED #Ps ROM SBPT AND EQUIVALENT O FROM TRIAXIAL TESTS 04 LIST OF APPENDIXES APP. I : EXAMPLE OF COMPUTER GENERATED PLOTS FOR

  13. Statistical analysis of sand and gravel aggregate deposits of late Pleistocene Lake Bonneville, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bliss, James D.; Bolm, K.S.

    2001-01-01

    Sedimentary deposits of pluvial Lake Bonneville are an important source of sand and gravel suitable for aggregate and construction in Utah. Data on Lake Bonneville basin sand and gravel deposit thickness, volume, grain size, percent of fines, and durability were statistically analyzed to detect variations associated with geologic domains, geographic location, Lake Bonneville shorelines, and sand and gravel deposit type, and to construct quantitative deposit models. Analysis showed several trends; (1) sand and gravel in younger shorelines was slightly more durable and the deposits considerably larger in volume, (2) younger shorelines are also more likely to contain more than one genetic deposit type, (3) the volume of terrace deposits is larger than beach deposits, (4) terraces and beaches are generally thicker than spits and bars, (5) the northern part of the Bonneville Basin contains slightly more durable sand and gravel than the southern part of the basin and is more likely to contain deposits composed of more than one genetic deposit type, and (6) the Wasatch domain deposits are composed of more than one genetic deposit type more often than deposits of the Basin and Range domain. Three additional conclusions with immediate economic significance are; (1) the median sand and gravel deposit in the Wasatch domain, 360,000 m3 (275,000 yd3), is three times larger than that of the Basin and Range domain (120,000 m3 [90,000 yd3]), (2) the median deposit thickness in the Wasatch domain, 5.8 m (19.0 ft), is nearly twice that of the Basin and Range domain (3 m [10 ft]), and (3) the Wasatch domain also contains slightly larger diameter gravel. These three conclusions are significant because the trend for sand and gravel development in the Bonneville Basin is to move from the Wasatch domain to the Basin and Range domain. Smaller, thinner deposits with smaller diameter gravel will require more surface area to mine than would have been necessary in the Wasatch domain. The

  14. The aeolian sedimentary system in the northern Qilian Shan and Hexi Corridor (N-China) - geomorphologic, sedimentologic and climatic drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nottebaum, Veit; Lehmkuhl, Frank; Stauch, Georg

    2015-04-01

    The formation of aeolian deposits depends on the influence of climatic factors but also on non-climatic controls, such as local geomorphological setting and tectonic activity. Unravelling the environmental history needs a careful consideration of a set of sections to capture spatial variability and a detailed investigation of depositing processes and chronology. Along the northern margin of the Qilian Shan mountain range 22 OSL-dated loess and aeolian sand sections and additional surface samples reveal the interactions between climatic, geomorphologic and sedimentologic factors. Thin loess covers (~1-2 m) occur in elevations of 2000 to 3800 m asl, which were mainly accumulated during the Holocene. End-member modelling of loess grain size data exhibits three dominant aeolian transport pathways representing local transport from fluvial storages, dust storm contribution and background dust deposition. Their relative contributions show a clear dependence on geomorphological setting, and additionally, synchronous trends throughout the Holocene. Their relative changes allow conclusions about Holocene environmental conditions. Discontinuous archives (aeolian sand, lacustrine, and alluvial deposition) in the lower forelands of the Qilian Shan show a distinct spatial pattern contrasting western and eastern forelands. The comparison of OSL ages exhibits high sediment accumulation (~2 m/ka) in the drier western part during the Late Glacial, while the lack of Holocene ages indicates sediment discharge / deflation. In contrast, moister areas in the eastern foreland yield scattered Holocene ages. This indicates high sediment dynamics, benefiting from fluvial reworking and thus provided sediment availability. Fluvial sediment supply plays an important role in sediment recycling. Meanwhile, western forelands lack efficient sand sources and fluvial reworking agents. The study exemplifies the complex sedimentary systems acting along mountain to foreland transects which often host

  15. Aeolian sedimentary processes at the Bagnold Dunes, Mars: Implications for modern dune dynamics and sedimentary structures in the aeolian stratigraphic record of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, Ryan C.; Bridges, Nathan T.; Sullivan, Rob; Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.; Fischer, Woodward W.; Lamb, Mike P.; Rubin, David M.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Gupta, Sanjeev

    2016-04-01

    Wind-blown sand dunes are ubiquitous on the surface of Mars and are a recognized component of the martian stratigraphic record. Our current knowledge of the aeolian sedimentary processes that determine dune morphology, drive dune dynamics, and create aeolian cross-stratification are based upon orbital studies of ripple and dune morphodynamics, rover observations of stratification on Mars, Earth analogs, and experimental and theoretical studies of sand movement under Martian conditions. In-situ observations of sand dunes (informally called the Bagnold Dunes) by Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater, Mars provide the first opportunity to make observations of dunes from the grain-to-dune scale thereby filling the gap in knowledge between theory and orbital observations and refining our understanding of the martian aeolian stratigraphic record. We use the suite of cameras on Curiosity, including Navigation Camera (Navcam), Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), to make observations of the Bagnold Dunes. Measurements of sedimentary structures are made where stereo images are available. Observations indicate that structures generated by gravity-driven processes on the dune lee slopes, such as grainflow and grainfall, are similar to the suite of aeolian sedimentary structures observed on Earth and should be present and recognizable in Mars' aeolian stratigraphic record. Structures formed by traction-driven processes deviate significantly from those found on Earth. The dune hosts centimeter-scale wind ripples and large, meter-scale ripples, which are not found on Earth. The large ripples migrate across the depositional, lee slopes of the dune, which implies that these structures should be present in Mars' stratigraphic record and may appear similar to compound-dune stratification.The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Team is acknowledged for their support of this work.

  16. Aeolian Processes and Features on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Bender, Kelly C.; Saunders, Stephen; Schubert, Gerald; Weitz, Catherine M.

    1997-01-01

    Aeolian features on Venus include dune fields, eroded hills (yardangs), wind streaks, (miniature dunes of 10 to 30 cm wavelength). Although and possibly microdunes (in repetitive imaging by Magellan did show changes in the appearance of the surface, these changes are attributed to radar artifacts as a consequence of look direction rather than to physical changes of the surface. Nonetheless, measurements of wind speeds near the surface of Venus and wind tunnel simulations suggest that aeolian processes could be currently active on Venus. Study of radar images of terrestrial analogs shows that radar wavelength, polarization, and viewing geometry, including look direction and incidence angle, all influence the detection of dunes, yardangs, and wind streaks. For best detection, dune crests and yardangs should be oriented perpendicular to look direction. Longer wavelength systems can penetrate sand sheets a meter or more thick, rendering them invisible, especially in arid regions. For wind streaks to be visible, there must be a contrast in surface properties between the streak and the background on which it occurs. Nonetheless, more than 6000 aeolian features have been found on Magellan images of Venus, the most common of which are various wind streaks. Mapping wind streak orientations enables near-surface wind patterns to be inferred for the time of their formation. Type P streaks are associated with parabolic ejecta crater deposits and are considered to have formed in association with the impact event. Most Type P streaks are oriented westward, indicative of the upper altitude superrotation winds of Venus. Non Type P streaks have occurrences and orientations consistent with Hadley circulation. Some streaks in the southern hemisphere are oriented to the northeast, suggesting a Coriolis effect.

  17. Aeolian Processes at Meridiani Planum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watters, W. A.; Fike, D. A.; Greeley, R.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Jerolmack, D. J.; Malin, M. C.; Soderblom, L.; Squyres, S.; Sullivan, R.; Thompson, S.

    2004-12-01

    The Opportunity Rover has observed a variety of aeolian features at Meridiani Planum. These features imply wind-related processes that operate on a range of time-scales, so that at least a relative time-scale of formation and modification can be assigned to many. (a) Features forming and changing in the shortest time include probable impact ripples (cm-scale) that occur in dark basalt sand on the floors of local depressions throughout the plains. Also in this category are deposits of bright airfall dust (in the form of streaks) that are not removed downwind of topographic features such as crater rims. Analysis of MOC imagery indicates that streaks change orientation after intense dust storms. The similar orientations of impact ripples and bright streaks are thought to indicate the prevailing direction of the most-recent vigorous wind regime. (b) Forming and changing on a longer, intermediate time-scale (and hence older) are deflationary ripples armored with well-sorted mm-sized hematitic grains that likely propagate by creep (i.e., pushed by the impacts of smaller saltating grains). The removal of dust from the plains during storms implies saltation of sand ( ˜ 100 μ m) which indicates shear velocities approaching what is required to roll the ˜ 1 mm hematitic grains. The ``plains ripples'' rarely occupy local depressions and cover the plains at Meridiani Planum ( ˜ 1 cm tall, ˜ 10 cm wide, up to ˜ 1 m long). Plains ripples indicate two prominent orientations: the orientation of individual bedforms as well as that of en-echelon ripple trains. As deflationary structures that form by the winnowing of small grains, these features require relatively long periods to form. The presence of multiple orientations indicates that, once formed, multiple episodes of vigorous winds may be required to change markedly the orientations of these features. (c) Requiring probably the longest formation times are tails of protected rock downwind of hematite spherules embedded in

  18. Influence of Perfluorooctanoic Acid on the Transport and Deposition Behaviors of Bacteria in Quartz Sand.

    PubMed

    Wu, Dan; Tong, Meiping; Kim, Hyunjung

    2016-03-01

    The significance of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) on the transport and deposition behaviors of bacteria (Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis) in quartz sand is examined in both NaCl and CaCl2 solutions at pH 5.6 by comparing both breakthrough curves and retained profiles with PFOA in solutions versus those without PFOA. All test conditions are found to be highly unfavorable for cell deposition regardless of the presence of PFOA; however, 7%-46% cell deposition is observed depending on the conditions. The cell deposition may be attributed to micro- or nanoscale roughness and/or to chemical heterogeneity of the sand surface. The results show that, under all examined conditions, PFOA in suspensions increases cell transport and decreases cell deposition in porous media regardless of cell type, presence or absence of extracellular polymeric substances, ionic strength, and ion valence. We find that the additional repulsion between bacteria and quartz sand caused by both acid-base interaction and steric repulsion as well as the competition for deposition sites on quartz sand surfaces by PFOA are responsible for the enhanced transport and decreased deposition of bacteria with PFOA in solutions.

  19. Investigations in Martian geology. Part 1: Nature of the mantling deposit in the heavily cratered terrain of northeastern Arabia, Mars. Part 2: Experimental studies of clean and dust-or-sand-covered ice sublimation under Mars-like conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, J.M.

    1990-01-01

    This dissertation consists of two parts. Part 1 describes the geomorphology of a portion of northeastern Arabia, Mars. This surface is covered by an extensive, layered deposit which has been, in places, substantially eroded. Speculative origins for the deposit include formation as a differentially welded pyroclastic tuff, or a differentially compacted, zonally indurated aeolian dust deposit. Part 2 is an experimental study of the sublimation rate of H{sub 2}O ice, both from clean surfaces and from under thin layers of dust or sand, in a Mars-like environment. The major conclusions drawn from the results of this experiment are: (1) even very thin layers of dust greatly lower the sublimation rate of an underlying ice substrate being heated from above, whereas thin layers of sand suppress the sublimation rate of underlying ice being heated from above to a significantly lesser extent; (2) thin layers of dust or sand only mildly suppress the sublimation rate of an underlying ice substrate when sample is wholly isothermal; (3) even a low-flux, desiccated gas flow over the sample surface significantly increases the sublimation rate of any given sample; (4) dry sublimation of ice underlying thin layers of dust or sand may modify the surface texture as a function of particle cohesion and as the ratio of particle layer thickness to the amount by which the surface was lowered; and (5) the actual sublimation rate of clean ice is several factors lower than the sublimation rate predicted by a commonly used formula.

  20. Heterotrophic Potentials and Hydrocarbon Biodegradation Potentials of Sediment Microorganisms Within the Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit

    PubMed Central

    Wyndham, R. C.; Costerton, J. W.

    1981-01-01

    Techniques for the enumeration and the determination of the potential activity of disturbed sediment mixed populations at control sites and sites within the Athabasca oil sands formation were applied to August and December samples. These techniques included the determination of general heterotrophic potential for the assimilation and respiration of glutamate, which indicated no oil sand-related changes in the sediments but which indicated a significant seasonal change. Enumeration by epifluorescence direct counts, oil sand hydrocarbon plate counts, and most-probable-number determinations of [14C]hexadecane and [14C]-naphthalene degraders indicated that only the plate count was sensitive to increased numbers of oil sand-related hydrocarbon-oxidizing microorganisms within the oil sands deposit. Unlike the most probable number determinations of [14C]hexadecane and [14C]naphthalene degraders, however, the biodegradation potential results of these substrates indicated a significant increase in activity at oil sands sites. These biodegradation potentials also showed a marked seasonal fluctuation. Although the biodegradation potentials and the endogenous hydrocarbon plate counts indicated an oil sand-adapted mixed sediment population, the results of these techniques did not correlate well with the concentrations of bituminous hydrocarbons in the sediments. The results suggest that a general capability for hydrocarbon oxidation exists in the Athabasca River system and that this capability is enhanced within the natural bounds of the Athabasca oil sands. Images PMID:16345737

  1. Deposit model for heavy-mineral sands in coastal environments: Chapter L in Mineral deposit models for resource assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Fey, David L.; Shah, Anjana K.; Verplanck, Philip L.; Hoefen, Todd M.

    2014-01-01

    Regional exploration for deposits of heavy-mineral sands can utilize the analyses of stream sediment samples for Ti, Hf, the rare earth elements, Th, and U, and geophysical surveys, particularly radiometric (gamma-ray spectrometry for K, U, and Th) and magnetic methods. Geophysical anomalies may be small, and surveys are generally more successful when conducted close to sources of interest.

  2. Anomalous sand deposit associated with evidence of late Holocene uplift near Bremerton, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, M. E.; Maxcia, C.; Gerardi, F.; Bourgeois, J.

    2007-12-01

    The origins of a puzzling sand unit at the head of Sinclair Inlet likely include a Puget Sound tsunami and its return flow but may also include sand volcanoes, debris flows, or both.. The inlet, a branch of Puget Sound 22 km west of Seattle, contains at its head an intertidal mudflat that is fringed by partly urbanized tidal marshes and alder swamps. Cores and pits in these remnant wetlands reveal an abrupt upward change from tidal flats to freshwater forest that probably resulted from uplift during the Seattle fault earthquake of A.D. 900-930 or during slip of similar age on the Tacoma fault. The puzzling sand unit formed at or about the time of this uplift. The unit consists of silty fine sand commonly 1 m in thickess. It has a sharp contact with shelly mudflat deposits below and a sharp to gradational contact with overlying peat. The lower part of this peat contains the growth-position roots of western red cedar (Thuja placata), and the upper part forms the soil of modern salt marshes. We found the sand unit, 1.1 m thick in areas, along 0.5 km of the upper inlet's shoreline, beneath modern tidal marshes and alder swamps. The unit contains at least three parts: a basal subunit that fines upward from medium and coarse sand to fine sand and silt; a thin (less than 1 cm thick) clay bed, commonly with flame structures; and a capping subunit up to 50 cm thick that is dominated by silty fine to medium sand but which also contains pebbles derived from rock and glacial outwash. Preliminary diatom analysis shows the unit contains diatoms from a brackish environment. A possibly related sand unit lies 0.8 km inland, up the valley of Gorst Creek. Its thickness is in the range 0.2-1.0 m as observed thus far in creek banks and in pits at a nearby park. Unlike the sand that borders the inlet, it contains trough cross-bedding. We are investigating the relationship between this deposit and the silty sand deposit in the tide flats. Preliminary diatom analysis did not find any

  3. Aeolian features and processes at the Mars Pathfinder landing site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greeley, Ronald; Kraft, Michael; Sullivan, Robert; Wilson, Gregory; Bridges, Nathan; Herkenhoff, Ken; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Malin, Michael; Ward, Wes

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder landing site contains abundant features attributed to aeolian, or wind, processes. These include wind tails, drift deposits, duneforms of various types, ripplelike features, and ventifacts (the first clearly seen on Mars). Many of these features are consistant with formation involving sand-size particles. Although some features, such as dunes, could develop from saltating sand-size aggregates of finer grains, the discovery of ventifact flutes cut in rocks strongly suggests that at least some of the grains are crystalline, rather than aggregates. Excluding the ventifacts, the orientations of the wind-related features correlate well with the orientations of bright wind steaks seen on Viking Orbiter images in the general area. They also correlate with wind direction predictions from the NASA-Ames General Circulation Model (GCM) which show that the strongest winds in the area occur in the northern hemisphere winter and are directed toward 209°. Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.

  4. Do dune sands redden with age? The case of the northwestern Negev dunefield, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Blumberg, Dan G.; Porat, Naomi; Tsoar, Haim; Rozenstein, Offer

    2012-08-01

    The redness index of aeolian sand has been shown to be a promising qualitative spectroscopic method to define sand grain redness intensity, which reflects the extent of iron-oxide quartz grain coatings. This study investigates the relationship between redness intensity and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) based depositional ages of sand samples taken from exposed and fully-drilled vegetated linear dunes in the northwestern Negev dunefield, Israel. Sand redness intensity did not vary greatly along the Negev sand transport paths and dune sections dated to be active during the Late Pleistocene (˜18-11.5 ka), Late Holocene, and modern times. No correlation was found between RI intensity (i.e., redness) and the depositional age of the sand. The relatively uniform RI values and sedimentological properties along most of the dunes suggest that sand grain coating development, and consequent rubification, have probably been minimal since the Late Pleistocene. Although it is possible that RI developed rapidly following deposition in a wetter Late Pleistocene climate, the drier and less stormy Holocene does not seem conducive to sand-grain rubification. Based on analyses of northern Sinai sand samples, remote sensing, and previous studies, we suggest that the attributes of the sand grain RI have been inherited from upwind sources. We propose that the sand grain coatings are early diagenetic features that have been similarly red since their suggested aeolian departure from the middle and upper Nile Delta.

  5. Sand rubification with time? The case of the Sinai - Negev erg

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, J.; Rozenstein, O.; Tsoar, H.; Blumberg, D. G.; Porat, N.

    2012-04-01

    The redness index (RI) (RI = R2/(B*G3) of aeolian sand has been shown to be a promising qualitative spectroscopic method to define sand grain redness intensity, which reflects the extent of iron-oxide quartz grain coatings(1,2). Using the RI, this study investigates the relationship between redness intensity and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) based depositional ages of sand samples taken from exposed and fully-drilled vegetated linear dunes in the northwestern Negev dunefield, Israel at the downwind end of the Sinai Negev erg. Sand redness intensity did not vary greatly along the Negev sand transport paths and dune sections dated to be active during the Late Pleistocene, late Holocene, and modern times. No correlation was found between RI intensity (i.e., redness) and the depositional age of the sand. The relatively uniform RI values and sedimentological properties along most of the dunes suggest that sand grain coating development, and consequent rubification, have probably been minimal since the Late Pleistocene. Although it is possible that RI developed rapidly following deposition in a wetter Late Pleistocene climate, the drier and less stormy Holocene does not seem conducive to sand-grain rubification. Based on analyses of northern Sinai sand samples, remote sensing, and previous studies, we suggest that the attributes of the sand grain RI have been inherited from upwind sources. We propose that the sand grain coatings are early diagenetic features that have been similarly red since their suggested aeolian departure from the middle and upper Nile Delta.

  6. The chemistry of Saudi Arabian sand: A deposition problem on helicopter turbine airfoils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smialek, James L.

    1991-01-01

    Recent operations in the Persian Gulf have exposed military helicopter turbines to excessive amounts of ingested sand. Fine particles, less than 10 microns, are able to bypass the particle separators and enter the cooling and combustion systems. The initial sand chemistry varies by location, but is made up of a calcium aluminum silicate glass, SiO2 low quartz (Ca,Mg) CO3 dolomite, CaCO3 calcite, and occasionally CaCl rocksalt. The sand reacts in the hot combustion gases and deposits onto the turbine vanes as CaSO4, glass, and various crystalline silicates. Deposits up to 0.25 in. thick have been collected. Although cooling hole plugging is a considerable problem, excessive corrosion is not commonly observed due to the high melting point of GaSO4.

  7. The chemistry of Saudi Arabian sand - A deposition problem on helicopter turbine airfoils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smialek, James L.; Archer, Frances A.; Garlick, Ralph G.

    Operations in the Persian Gulf have exposed military helicopter turbines to excessive amounts of ingested sand. Fine particles, less than 10 microns, are able to bypass the particle separators and enter the cooling and combustion systems. The initial sand chemistry varies by location, but is made up of a calcium aluminum silicate glass, SiO2 low quartz, (Ca,Mg)CO3 dolomite, CaCO3 calcite, and occasionally NaCl rocksalt. The sand reacts in the hot combustion gases and deposits onto the turbine vanes as CaSO4, glass, and various crystalline silicates. Deposits up to 5 mm thick have been collected. Although cooling hole plugging is a considerable problem, excessive corrosion is not commonly observed due to the high melting point of CaSO4.

  8. The Chemistry of Saudi Arabian Sand - A Deposition Problem on Helicopter Turbine Airfoils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smialek, James L.; Archer, Frances A.; Garlick, Ralph G.

    1992-01-01

    Operations in the Persian Gulf have exposed military helicopter turbines to excessive amounts of ingested sand. Fine particles, less than 10 microns, are able to bypass the particle separators and enter the cooling and combustion systems. The initial sand chemistry varies by location, but is made up of a calcium aluminum silicate glass, SiO2 low quartz, (Ca,Mg)CO3 dolomite, CaCO3 calcite, and occasionally NaCl rocksalt. The sand reacts in the hot combustion gases and deposits onto the turbine vanes as CaSO4, glass, and various crystalline silicates. Deposits up to 5 mm thick have been collected. Although cooling hole plugging is a considerable problem, excessive corrosion is not commonly observed due to the high melting point of CaSO4.

  9. Analysis of Bacterial Deposition on Metal (Hydr)oxide-Coated Sand Filter Media.

    PubMed

    Truesdail; Lukasik; Farrah; Shah; Dickinson

    1998-07-15

    The aim of this study was to investigate the importance of surface potential in microbial deposition onto modified granular surfaces. Recent experimental and theoretical work has indicated that surfaces coated with metal oxides and hydroxide rich oxide/hydroxide mixtures ((hydr)oxides) have the potential to increase the capture efficiencies of commercial filtration systems. This study quantitatively compared different metal (hydr)oxide coatings in their abilities to enhance bacterial deposition. Specifically, the deposition rates of bacterial strains Streptococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, and Escherichia coli were compared for Ottawa sand and surface coatings consisting of aluminum (hydr)oxide, iron (hydr)oxide, and mixed iron and aluminum (hydr)oxide. The metal-(hydr)oxide-modified granular media enhanced bacterial deposition relative to the noncoated Ottawa sand. The electropositive surfaces, the aluminum and the mixed (hydr)oxides, had similar average kinetic rate constants, five times larger than the rate constants observed for the untreated Ottawa sand. The measured kinetic rate constants for the positively charged systems of aluminum (hydr)oxide and mixed (hydr)oxide collectors suggested that the overall rate of deposition was limited by the transport of bacteria to the granular surface rather than the rate of attachment. For systems where the collector surfaces were negatively charged, as in the cases of Ottawa sand and the iron (hydr)oxide coating, large energy barriers to attachment were predicted from DLVO theory but these barriers did not totally inhibit bacterial deposition. The deposition results could not be fully explained by DLVO theory and suggested the importance of other factors such as collector charge heterogeneity, motility, and bacterial surface appendages in enhanced deposition. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  10. Maps showing characteristics of the Cabo Rojo West offshore sand deposit, southwestern Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trumbull, James V.A.; Trias, Juan L.

    1982-01-01

    This report presents detailed information on a deposit of well-sorted coarse calcareous sand in water depths of 10-20 m in an area between 1 and 6 km west and southwest fo the promontory of Cabo Rojo, the southwesternmost corner of Puerto Rico. 

  11. Deflated rims along the Xiangshui River on the Xiliaohe Plain, Northeast China: A case of active fluvial-aeolian interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Guang; Zhang, Guifang; You, Li; Wang, Yong; Yang, Lin; Yang, Ji; Zhou, Liang; Yuan, Minghuan; Zou, Xueyong; Cheng, Hong

    2016-03-01

    Riverine source-bordering sand dunes, as a result of active fluvial-aeolian interactions, are a pronounced feature on the semiarid Xiliaohe Plain, Northeast China. By means of satellite imagery analysis, and both field survey and observation, this paper presents a new type of riverine source-bordering sand dunes - deflated rims, on the downwind margins of the Xiangshui River. They largely result from the deflation of escarpments on the downwind side of valley by local prevailing winds of NW direction, not from the reworking of point bars on floodplain by wind. In general, a rim is primarily composed of three distinct zones: 1) the upwind frontal escarpment zone with variable plan-form shape, gradient and relief, which is formed by either active lateral erosion by river or significant erosion by wind and transient slope runoff; 2) the deflation zone with gentle slopes of 8-18° and small-scale aeolian bedforms, i.e. ripples of fine sand, ridges of coarse sand; and 3) the downwind dynamic deposition zone with distinctive bedforms with variable superficial texture and slip faces. The sand mass on rims derives overwhelmingly from underlying loose late Quaternary sediments, is sufficient and sustainable by successive retreats of the escarpment, and is gradually transported downwind by pulse motions of bedforms, coupled with high wind events. Essentially, deflated rims are a starting point and the incipient phase of mature riverine dunefields. The superimposed bedforms on rims are fundamentally governed by windflow dynamics, sand sediments and antecedent bedform, exhibiting in turn the manner and intensity of rim development. Consequently, the upwind river valley and downwind deflated rim can jointly stimulate marked wave-like motion of both windflow and aeolian bedforms at different scales, especially when high wind events occur. This study sheds some light on the understanding of the origin and development of riverine source-bordering dunefields, and offers new

  12. Semiarid landscapes response to Aeolian processes during Holocene in Baikal Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dan'ko, Lidia; Opekunova, Marina

    2010-05-01

    Arid and semiarid landscapes play a significant role in global climate, biogeochemical, and hydrological processes. Regional analysis of the past aeolian processes is essential for improve our understanding of how various landscape and ecosystems responded to climate change in the past. Our investigation presents details on sand dunes and on loess-like sediments. The study areas are situated in the northern part of Baikal Region (Eastern Siberia). In its depressions, the so-called Barguzinskaya and Tunkinskaya Valley surrounded mountain ranges local dunefieds and loess-like sediments have developed. Present climate in the study areas is continental, characterized by low precipitation(mean annual 250-450 mm) and wide annual range of temperature. Field investigations indicate that the Holocene deposits of the Barguzinskaya and Tunkinskaya Valley are sealed the pedo-sedimentary interface. The analytical results suggest that one's represents a changeover from intensified soil formation to accelerated aeolian dust accumulation. The original content of calcium carbonate and gypsum at the base of some sections of loess-like sediments indicates the aeolian origin of these sediments. In whole, the soil horizons are a proof for humid phases. The change was forced by climatic aridity. Absolute dating of the organogenic components of soils (14C) indicate the age positions of the arid and humid climate phases. Our results indicate not only 1-4 long-time episodes of aeolian dust accumulation during the Holocene, but shot-time aeolian accumulation episodes, that were specific for Late Holocene. For example, in the Tunkinskaya Valley the Late Holocene soil formation replaced by aeolian deposit at 1700 - 1900, 800 and 200-250 years ago, in the Barguzinskaya Valley - about 3100 - 2900, 2300 and 600 years ago. It can be concluded that a periodical formation of the aeolian deposits in the semiarid landscapes during Holocene can be postulated. Aeolian and loess-like sediments of the

  13. Discovery of laterally extensive drape of siliciclastic silt in the Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria: Late-glacial to ?early Holocene aeolian deposition.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gild, Charlotte; Geitner, Clemens; Haas, Jean Nicolas; Sanders, Diethard

    2016-04-01

    Field surveys in the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA, a nappe stack of Triassic carbonate rocks) revealed a drape, or drapes, typically 20-40 cm in thickness of siliciclastic silt over extensive landscape areas, from valley floors to LGM (Last Glacial Maximum) nunataks. The drape veneers substrates ranging from country rocks to diverse post-LGM deposits - the latter with depositional and/or erosional topographies. The drape mostly is overlain by vegetated organic material and, in turn, tops inactive/abandoned post-LGM successions of fluvial (including kame terrace), alluvial fan, scree slope, LGM basal till, and rock-avalanche origin. The drape extends over kilometers at least (limit of field investigation in specific areas), up to LGM nunatak plateaus. Deposystems (e.g., scree slopes, alluvial fans) on carbonate-rocky terrain that remained active until the Holocene are not topped by the drape; a level of siliciclastic silt, however, was spotted within a few of these successions. The possibility that several levels of silt are intercalated within or top post-glacial deposits cannot be excluded at present; the large lateral extent and the stratigraphic position, however, suggest that at least most locations pertain to a single widespread level (with that reservation, we prefer to speak in singular of the drape). Over the inspected area (~ 90 x 20 km), the drape consists mainly of silt-sized grains of quartz, feldspars, micas, and amphiboles; at a few sites, calci- or dolosilt are admixed. Most of the grains are angular to subrounded, some grains show features of corrosion. Preliminary palynological analyses of this silt - seven locations from LGM nunataks to kame terrace and alluvial fans - suggest vegetation types that, together, may be assigned to palaeoclimates ranging from the late-glacial (Younger Dryas?) to the middle Holocene. A few of the pollen spectra appear to record sparse vegetation cover allowing for enhanced aeolian deposition, but other spectra (e

  14. Assessment of the sand and gravel resources of the Lower Boise River Valley area, Idaho: part one: geological framework of the sand and gravel deposits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bliss, James D.; Moyle, Phillip R.

    2001-01-01

    The USGS has undertaken a first order evaluation of sand & gravel resources in the Lower Boise River Valley in response to rapid urban expansion in the Boise-Nampa-Caldwell corridor in southwest Idaho. The study is intended to provide land-use planners and managers, particularly in the Bureau of Land Management, with a foundation of knowledge that will allow them to anticipate and plan for demand for and development of sand and gravel resources on public lands in response to the urban growth. Attributes under study include: regional geology of both alluvial source areas as well as deposits; fluvial processes that led to deposition of the sand and gravel deposits; spatial distribution of the deposits; quantity and quality of materials in the deposits; and the suitability of the deposits for a range of applications. The study will also examine and attempt to model the association between fluvial processes, deposit characteristics, and physical specifications for various applications of sand and gravel. The results will be presented in a series of sand and gravel assessment reports of which this is the first.

  15. Hydrodynamic implications of textural trends in sand deposits of the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morton, R.A.; Goff, J.R.; Nichol, S.L.

    2008-01-01

    Field observations and sediment samples at a coastal-plain setting in southeastern Sri Lanka were used to document the erosional and depositional impacts of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and to interpret the hydrodynamic processes that produced an extensive sand-sheet deposit. Tsunami deposit thicknesses ranged from 6 to 22??cm with thickness being controlled partly by antecedent topography. The deposit was composed of coarse to medium sand organized into plane-parallel laminae and a few laminasets. Vertical textural trends showed an overall but non-systematic upward fining and upward thinning of depositional units with an upward increase in heavy-mineral laminations at some locations. Repeated patterns in the vertical textural trends (upward fining, upward coarsening, uniform) were used to subdivide and correlate the deposit into five hydro-textural stratigraphic units. The depositional units were linked to hydrodynamic processes and upcurrent conditions, such as rates of sediment supply and composition of the sediment sources. Vertical changes in grain-size distributions recorded the depositional phases associated with flow acceleration, initial unsteady pulsating flow, relatively stable and uniform flow, flow deceleration, slack water, and return flow or flow redirection. Study results suggest that vertical textural trends from multiple cross-shore sections can be used to interpret complex tsunami flow histories, but at the location examined, interpretation of the lateral textural trends did not provide a basis for identifying the correct sediment transport pathways because flow near the landward boundary was multidirectional.

  16. Reconciling historical and contemporary evidence of aeolian-based, gully annealing processes in Glen, Marble, and Grand Canyon, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankey, J. B.; Draut, A. E.

    2013-12-01

    In the absence of large Colorado River floods in Glen, Marble, and Grand Canyons since the completion of Glen Canyon Dam, the geomorphic process most able to counteract the effects of gully incision on terraces and slopes above the contemporary active Colorado River channel is aeolian sand transport that can partially or entirely fill (anneal) small gullies. Whereas gully-formation processes have been much studied, relatively little is known about processes of gully annealing. Aeolian-based annealing has been observed in several instances in the modern Colorado River corridor operating on time scales of months. However, individual, short-term occurrences of aeolian deposition that counteract gully erosion have not yet been expanded into a landscape-scale evaluation of the prevalence of gully-annealing processes over longer time scales (years-decades) along the post-dam corridor. The extent that aeolian or other annealing processes might slow, or temporarily reverse, gully incision and erosion is important in this system because of the propensity for erosion damage to locations of cultural significance that are extensive on terraces and slopes above the contemporary active Colorado River channel. Moreover, the reduction of mainstem fluvial sediment inputs to the system since completion of Glen Canyon Dam might impact the potential of aeolian redistribution of Colorado River-derived sediment as an effective gully annealing mechanism on upper slopes and terraces. We present an investigation of the extent that observations of (i) historical annealing and (ii) contemporary annealing potential, reconcile with (iii) literature and/or model-based estimates of relative rates of gully formation and aeolian deposition in this system. The central question of this work is whether these complimentary lines of evidence support aeolian infilling as a viable mechanism for annealing gullies in Glen, Marble, and Grand Canyons, and analogous systems. We examine the evidence for

  17. Debris Flow Gullies at the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, Alaska: Implications for Analogous Features on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, D. M.; Dinwiddie, C. L.; Mcginnis, R. N.; Smart, K. J.; Roberts, M.

    2011-12-01

    Debris flows with fresh-appearing gullies or erosion tracks occur on the slopes of several mid- to high-latitude dune fields in both Martian hemispheres. These features originate in alcoves near dune crests, become channelized down lee faces, and terminate with depositional fans. They bear a striking resemblance to small meltwater-induced debris flows observed on the lee slopes of large dunes at the 67 degrees N latitude Great Kobuk Sand Dunes (GKSD), Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska. The high-latitude, cold-climate GKSD are an optimal terrestrial system within which to conduct a Mars analog study focused on understanding the integrated factors that cause alluvial debris flows to initiate on the lee slopes of aeolian dunes. Debris flow processes in the GKSD are activated by seasonal thawing and consist of a mixture of sand and liquid water cascading down the dune slipface. A distinguishing environmental attribute that separates cold-climate dune fields from temperate and warm-climate dune fields is the seasonal and prolonged occurrence of snow and ice. Cold region dunes often include niveo-aeolian deposits composed of interbedded sand, snow, and ice. The GKSD are variably affected by snowcover for ~70% of each year, which likely has direct analogy to hydrocryospheric factors that influence debris flow development on Mars. Melting and/or sublimation of snow and ice during warm periods cause distinctive morphologic and sedimentologic phenomena ascribed as denivation features or forms, including spongy and hummocky surfaces, tensional cracks, deformed strata, slumping, and compressional structures. We observed small debris flows, niveo-aeolian deposits, and denivation features in the GKSD during fieldwork in March 2010. Wind-transported sand and snow accumulated on the lee slopes of large transverse, longitudinal, and barchanoid dunes. Snow banks with intercalated sand layers are especially prominent and thickest near the top of westward-facing lee slopes at the

  18. Sands at Gusev Crater, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cabrol, Nathalie A.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Knoll, Andrew H.; Farmer, Jack D.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Grin, E.A.; Li, Ron; Fenton, Lori; Cohen, B.; Bell, J.F.; Yingst, R. Aileen

    2014-01-01

    Processes, environments, and the energy associated with the transport and deposition of sand at Gusev Crater are characterized at the microscopic scale through the comparison of statistical moments for particle size and shape distributions. Bivariate and factor analyses define distinct textural groups at 51 sites along the traverse completed by the Spirit rover as it crossed the plains and went into the Columbia Hills. Fine-to-medium sand is ubiquitous in ripples and wind drifts. Most distributions show excess fine material, consistent with a predominance of wind erosion over the last 3.8 billion years. Negative skewness at West Valley is explained by the removal of fine sand during active erosion, or alternatively, by excess accumulation of coarse sand from a local source. The coarse to very coarse sand particles of ripple armors in the basaltic plains have a unique combination of size and shape. Their distribution display significant changes in their statistical moments within the ~400 m that separate the Columbia Memorial Station from Bonneville Crater. Results are consistent with aeolian and/or impact deposition, while the elongated and rounded shape of the grains forming the ripples, as well as their direction of origin, could point to Ma'adim Vallis as a possible source. For smaller particles on the traverse, our findings confirm that aeolian processes have dominated over impact and other processes to produce sands with the observed size and shape patterns across a spectrum of geologic (e.g., ripples and plains soils) and aerographic settings (e.g., wind shadows).

  19. Heavy and tar sand oil deposits of Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Cornelius, C.D.

    1984-09-01

    Several hundred heavy and extra-heavy oil and natural bitumen occurrences from 26 European countries (including European Turkey and the western borderlands of the USSR) were compiled. The definitions used for heavy crude oils and natural bitumens, as proposed by or prepared with the UNITAR/UNDP information center, were applied. Information on stratigraphy, lithology, and depth as well as on gravity, viscosity, and gas and water content, is given. Deposits are characteristically distributed along the flanks of the basins or within the separating uplifts. Nevertheless, they are found from the surface down to depths of 3000 m (9800 ft). Up to now, big accumulations have been exploited in Albania and Sicily, but they have been discovered also in the British North Sea, France, Spain, and West Germany. In carbonates, they were mostly encountered in fractures of synsedimentary or tectonic origin. The accumulations are the result of either intrusion of immature heavy oil from a source rock or of the immigration of mature oil, which was biodegraded afterward. In many cases, there have been at least two separate migration/accumulation events. In some cases paleoseepages did supply a source rock with asphaltic material or became an effective seal of a later hydrocarbon accumulation.

  20. Robotic Measurement of Aeolian Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, S.; Duperret, J. M.; Jerolmack, D. J.; Lancaster, N.; Nikolich, G.; Shipley, T. F.; Van Pelt, R. S.; Zobeck, T. M.; Koditschek, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    Local and regional measurements of sand transport and dust emission in complex natural settings presently lack spatiotemporal resolution adequate to inform models relevant for land management, climate policy, and the basic science of geomorphology. Deployments of wind, sand and dust sensors sophisticated enough to begin unpacking the complex relations among wind turbulence, surface roughness, sand flux and dust emission remain largely stationary. Aerial observations from satellites, planes and even UAVs help fill in, but none of these modalities offer the hope of "capturing the action" by being at the right place at the right time relative to the highly localized nature of sediment transport during wind storms. We have been developing a legged robot capable of rapidly traversing desert terrain, and are now adapting it to serve as a platform for scientific instrumentation. We aim to field a semi-autonomous, reactive mobile sensory package suited to the needs of aeolian science that can address the limitations of existing alternatives. This presentation reports on early trials in the Jornada LTER and White Sands National Monument aimed at gathering measurements of airflow and rates of sand transport on a dune face, assessing the role of roughness elements such as vegetation in modifying the wind shear stresses incident on the surface, and estimating erosion susceptibility in a natural arid soil. We will solicit ideas from the audience about other potentially interesting and viable measurement targets. Future close collaboration between aeolian, cognitive and robotics scientists such as we hope to promote through this presentation may yield machines with scientifically relevant sensory suites possessing sufficient autonomy to operate in-situ at the most intense episodes of wind and sediment movement under conditions far too uncomfortable and hazardous for human presence.

  1. Initial insights into the age and origin of the Kubuqi sand sea of northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xiaoping; Forman, Steven; Hu, Fangen; Zhang, Deguo; Liu, Ziting; Li, Hongwei

    2016-04-01

    The Kubuqi Desert is the only active sand sea in the semiarid regions of northern China and occurs along the southern margin of the Yellow River. Little is known about the age and origin of this large (17,000 km2) sand sea with a present annual precipitation of 200-480 mm. Sand drift potentials indicated net capable winds for aeolian transport are from the northwest, though winds are stronger to north beyond the dune field than within the sand sea. Geomorphic and stratigraphic observations indicate that Holocene aeolian sand often drapes over bedrock and river terraces as a palimpsest landscape. Field investigations identified four stratigraphic sections with multiple aeolian sand units and palaeosols, with age control by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz grains. Palaeosols are weakly developed, mostly accumulative A horizon with organic carbon content < 1% and reflect sand sheet deposition possibly in a steppe environment. Although sediments near river channels or former lakes might give old ages, the initial formation and age of the Kubuqi sand sea should be judged from the occurrence of the sandy palimpsest of the landscape that is OSL dated to the Holocene in general. The latest period of aeolian reactivation may be related to human activity associated with grazing and farming from lost cities in the Kubuqi Desert during the Han (206 B.C. - A.D. 220) and the Tang (A.D. 608 - 907) Dynasties. Also, variable discharge of the Yellow River with local diversions for irrigation and throughout the catchment resulted in possibly an increased supply of aeolian particles for dune field expansion in the past 2 ka.

  2. Snowpack deposition of trace elements in the Athabasca oil sands region, Canada.

    PubMed

    Guéguen, C; Cuss, C W; Cho, S

    2016-06-01

    The total recoverable and dissolved concentrations of 29 metals and metalloids were analyzed in snowpack collected at 91 sites in the Athabasca oil sands region, Canada in winter 2011. Based on deposition pattern from geographical centre, three groups were found: Type-1 metals (i.e. dissolved and total recoverable V; Mo) showed a significant exponential decrease with distance, suggesting oil sands development sources; Type-2 elements (e.g. Al, Sb, As, Ba, Fe, Ni, Tl, and Ti and Zn) showed exponentially decline patterns but with some local point sources; Type-3 elements (e.g. Cd, Cl, Cr, Mn, Sr and Th) deposition pattern represented local sources. A self-organizing map showed that sites with the highest elemental concentrations (Cluster I) were mainly located in the vicinity of upgrading facilities and along the north-south transects. The lowest elemental concentration sites (Cluster III) were the most distal sites or located in the western region of the study area.

  3. Mid to late Holocene aeolian activity revealed by a multiproxy peat record in continental CE Europe (Northern Romania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panait, Andrei Marian; Feurdean, Angelica; Hutchinson, Simon Mark; Tanţǎu, Ioan

    2016-04-01

    Peat bogs, and especially ombrogenous mire, are increasingly used as continental archives of aeolian dust and sand deposition. Since ombrogenous peat is formed above ground water level all the inputs are atmospheric. Dust is more influenced by regional climatic patterns due to its small size, whereas sand tends to record local patterns in storm frequency and intensity reflecting its larger particle size. However, both size fractions are significantly underused proxies of past climate variability. Here, an ombrogenous peat profile from Tǎul Muced in the Rodnei Mountains (Northern Romanian Carpathians), located in a temperate continental climate, with Atlantic and Baltic influences, provides the very first record of mid to late Holocene aeolian activity from Romania highlighting the interplay between local and regional controls in a continental area of CE Europe. We use a multiproxy approach combining radiocarbon dating, the physical properties of the peat (loss-on-ignition, bulk density), mineral magnetic measurements (ARM, SIRM), geochemical (Ti and Zr) and particle size analysis (via both laser diffraction and the manual counting of sand particles under a steromicroscope) to determine changes in: i) atmospheric dust deposition and ii) wind velocities during the last 7800 years. We found that the aeolian particles are mainly silt (3.9-63 μm) (dust) and sand (63-1200 μm). The mineralogical composition of the aeolian sediment in peat is mainly quartz, more rarely calcite and very rarely other minerals such as feldspar, sulphur, mica (biotite and muscovite), magnetite and other melanocrate minerals. The roundness of the sand particles varies from well-rounded to sub-angular and angular, and suggests that the sand particles have different source areas. Results from this study show that over the last 7600 years the pattern of wind frequency changed several times: there are periods characterised by a low aeolian input around 6950-6550, 5000-3900, 3500-2900, 1650

  4. Eolian sand deposition during th Medieval Climatic Anomaly in Playa San Bartolo, Sonora, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortega, B.; Schaaf, P. E.; Murray, A.; Caballero, M.; Lozano Garcia, S.; Ramirez, A.

    2012-12-01

    Records of past climatic changes in desert environments are scarce due to the poor preservation of biological proxies. To overcome this lack we consider the paleoenvironmental significance and age of a lunette dune in the eastern rim of the Playa San Bartolo (PSB) in Sonoran Desert (Mexico). Rock magnetism, mineralogical, and geochemical analysis (major, trace and REE) allow assessment of sediment provenance and changes in the composition of the PSB dune over time. Thermoluminiscence and optical stimulated luminescence (TL and OSL) provide the chronology of lunette dune development. Dune sediments are composed by intercalated layers of sand beds and sandy silt strata. Variability in composition of dune sediments is attributed to changes in sediment sources. Mineralogical, geochemical and magnetic data show clear differences between the sand and the sandy silt of the PSB dune deposits, which suggest different sediment sources. Sand sized deposits, characterized by coarse magnetite grains, are mainly eroded from granitoids from nearby outcrops. Sandy silt deposits, rich in fine grained magnetite and evaporative minerals, resulted after the erosion of volcanic rocks and their soils from sierras at the NE of PSB during heavy rainfall episodes, the flooding of PSB and later deflation and accumulation in the dune of both detritic and authigenic components. The upper 6 m of dune accumulation occurred largely during AD 500 to 1200, a period that correlates with the Medieval climatic anomaly (AD 300 to 1300). These findings suggest that main dune accretion occurred during regionally extended drought conditions, disrupted by sporadic heavy rainfall.

  5. Aeolian sediment transport and landforms in managed coastal systems: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Nancy L.; Nordstrom, Karl F.

    2011-11-01

    Humans modify beaches and dunes and aeolian transport potential by building structures, walking or driving, extracting resources, accommodating recreation, increasing levels of protection, removing storm deposits, or restoring landforms and habitats. The effects of human adjustments are reviewed here in terms of cross-shore zones because humans tend to compartmentalize landforms and habitats through their actions and regulations. Common human modifications in the beach zone include nourishing beaches, constructing shore protection structures and raking to remove litter. Modifications affecting the dune zone include altering the location, size and stability of dunes using sand-trapping fences, vegetation plantings and bulldozers or replacing dunes with shore-parallel structures. Modifications affecting the landward zone include buildings, roads, and parking lots. Landform and habitat resilience requires levels of dynamism and geomorphic complexity not often found in managed systems. Preserving or enhancing dynamism and complexity requires emphasis on innovative designs rooted in geomorphological and aeolian research. Future studies are suggested for: (1) quantifying the effect of small and large scale beach nourishment designs and sediment characteristics on dune initiation, development, and evolution; (2) quantifying the extent to which size and spacing of human structures and landform alterations inhibit sediment transfers alongshore or onshore; (3) identifying the advantages or disadvantages of "niche" dunes formed by structures; (4) providing quantitative data on the effects of raking or driving on the beach; (5) identifying the role of aeolian landforms on private properties; and (6) identifying alternative ways of employing sand fences and vegetation plantings to increase topographic and habitat diversity.

  6. S reactivity of an oil sands composite tailings deposit undergoing reclamation wetland construction.

    PubMed

    Reid, Michelle L; Warren, Lesley A

    2016-01-15

    This study is the first to characterize the S stability of a composite tailings (CT) deposit undergoing pilot wetland reclamation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR, Alberta, Canada). As CT is sulfur, organic carbon and bacterially rich, the goal of this study was to characterize the in situ aqueous distribution of sulfur compounds across the wetland, sand cap and underlying CT zones of the deposit, in an effort to establish the potential for microbial sulfur cycling and generation of H2S, an explosive, corrosive and toxicity risk. Porewater samples from three depths spanning the different layers of the deposit, as well as wetland surface ponded water samples were collected for geochemical analyses (July and Sept 2013), and for microbial enrichments (both S reducing and S oxidizing bacteria) in June 2014. While porewater ΣH2S(aq) was detected at all depths across the three zones of the deposit, results identify that the sand cap layer required for construction, acts as a mixing zone generating the highest solution H2S concentrations (>500 uM or 18 mg/L) and H2S gas levels (over 100 and up to 180 ppm) observed. Porewater dissolved sulfate concentrations (0.14-6.97 mM) were orders of magnitude higher and did not correlate to the observed distribution of ΣH2S concentrations throughout the deposit. Unique to the sandcap, dissolved organic carbon positively correlated with the observed maxima of ΣH2S(aq) seen in this layer. The water management of the deposit is a critical factor in the observed S trends. Active dewatering of the CT resulted in migration of S rich water up into the sandcap, while downwelling labile organic carbon from the developing wetland acted in concert to stimulate microbial generation of the H2S in this structural layer to the highest levels observed. Functional enrichments identified that diverse S reducing and oxidizing microbial metabolisms are widespread throughout the deposit, indicating that these waste materials are

  7. Atmospheric deposition of mercury and methylmercury to landscapes and waterbodies of the Athabasca oil sands region.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Jane L; Muir, Derek C G; Gleason, Amber; Wang, Xiaowa; Lawson, Greg; Frank, Richard A; Lehnherr, Igor; Wrona, Fred

    2014-07-01

    Atmospheric deposition of metals originating from a variety of sources, including bitumen upgrading facilities and blowing dusts from landscape disturbances, is of concern in the Athabasca oil sands region of northern Alberta, Canada. Mercury (Hg) is of particular interest as methylmercury (MeHg), a neurotoxin which bioaccumulates through foodwebs, can reach levels in fish and wildlife that may pose health risks to human consumers. We used spring-time sampling of the accumulated snowpack at sites located varying distances from the major developments to estimate winter 2012 Hg loadings to a ∼20 000 km(2) area of the Athabasca oil sands region. Total Hg (THg; all forms of Hg in a sample) loads were predominantly particulate-bound (79 ± 12%) and increased with proximity to major developments, reaching up to 1000 ng m(-2). MeHg loads increased in a similar fashion, reaching up to 19 ng m(-2) and suggesting that oil sands developments are a direct source of MeHg to local landscapes and water bodies. Deposition maps, created by interpolation of measured Hg loads using geostatistical software, demonstrated that deposition resembled a bullseye pattern on the landscape, with areas of maximum THg and MeHg loadings located primarily between the Muskeg and Steepbank rivers. Snowpack concentrations of THg and MeHg were significantly correlated (r = 0.45-0.88, p < 0.01) with numerous parameters, including total suspended solids (TSS), metals known to be emitted in high quantities from the upgraders (vanadium, nickel, and zinc), and crustal elements (aluminum, iron, and lanthanum), which were also elevated in this region. Our results suggest that at snowmelt, a complex mixture of chemicals enters aquatic ecosystems that could impact biological communities of the oil sands region.

  8. Aeolian processes and the bioshpere: Interactions and feedback loops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aeolian processes affect landform evolution, biogeochemical cycles, regional climate, human health, and desertification. The entrainment, transport and deposition of aeolian sediments are recognized as major drivers in the dynamics of the earth system and there is a growing interest in the scientif...

  9. Downslope coarsening in aeolian grainflows of the Navajo Sandstone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loope, David B.; Elder, James F.; Sweeney, Mark R.

    2012-07-01

    Downslope coarsening in grainflows has been observed on present-day dunes and generated in labs, but few previous studies have examined vertical sorting in ancient aeolian grainflows. We studied the grainflow strata of the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone in the southern Utah portion of its outcrop belt from Zion National Park (west) to Coyote Buttes and The Dive (east). At each study site, thick sets of grainflow-dominated cross-strata that were deposited by large transverse dunes comprise the bulk of the Navajo Sandstone. We studied three stratigraphic columns, one per site, composed almost exclusively of aeolian cross-strata. For each column, samples were obtained from one grainflow stratum in each consecutive set of the column, for a total of 139 samples from thirty-two sets of cross-strata. To investigate grading perpendicular to bedding within individual grainflows, we collected fourteen samples from four superimposed grainflow strata at The Dive. Samples were analyzed with a Malvern Mastersizer 2000 laser diffraction particle analyser. The median grain size of grainflow samples ranges from fine sand (164 μm) to coarse sand (617 μm). Using Folk and Ward criteria, samples are well-sorted to moderately-well-sorted. All but one of the twenty-eight sets showed at least slight downslope coarsening, but in general, downslope coarsening was not as well-developed or as consistent as that reported in laboratory subaqueous grainflows. Because coarse sand should be quickly sequestered within preserved cross-strata when bedforms climb, grain-size studies may help to test hypotheses for the stacking of sets of cross-strata.

  10. Accumulation and erosion of aeolian sediments in the northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and implications for provenance to the Chinese Loess Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiang-Jun; Xiao, Guoqiao; E, Chongyi; Li, Xiangzhong; Lai, Zhongping; Yu, Lupeng; Wang, Zhong

    2017-03-01

    The northern and northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is regarded as one important source region of the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). However, how the fine grain sediments in this region were transported to the CLP remains debatable. In this study, we dated aeolian sediments, alluviums, beach sediments, and sand wedges in the northeastern QTP using optical dating, combined with previously reported ages, explored the aeolian sediment deposition patterns in this region. The dating results shown that aeolian sediments mainly accumulated during the marine isotope stage (MIS) 3 and since the last deglaciation, alluvial sediments mainly deposited during the middle to late MIS 3 (between ∼40 ka and 22 ka), and sand wedges formed during the MIS 4 and MIS 2 cold intervals. Based on the sedimentary stratigraphic characteristics and existing optical dating chronologies, we propose that fine grain sediments in the northern and northeastern QTP were eroded and carried to the CLP by westerly wind during last glacial and stadial cold stages. However, during last interglacial and interstadial warm stages, aeolian sediments deflated from western barren lands and deserts were mainly trapped in the northeastern QTP, and some were transported to the Alax arid zone or Yinchuan-Hetao plain by rivers that flow out of QTP, then transported to the CLP by northwesterly Asian winter monsoon (AWM). This cold stage westerly wind transport, warm stage rivers plus AWM transport pattern has existed at least since the late middle Pleistocene.

  11. Processes of deposition of interlaminated sand-and-mud at a temperate tidewater glacier

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, E.A.; Duncker, J.D.; Powell, R.D.

    1985-01-01

    Interlaminated sand-and-mud is the most common lithofacies deposited proximal (<1km) to McBride Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska. Two main sediment sources are a subglacial melt-water stream discharging at 100m depth that rises to form turbid overflow plumes and subaqueous sediment gravity flows. Traps collected sediment settling from turbid overflows within 300m of the glacier face at an average rate of 780mg dry sediment cm/sup -2/ day/sup -1/ (about. 06 cm/sup -2/ day /sup -1/). Very-fine sand or silt laminae (0.5mm to a few grains thick) trapped over several days, have sharp basal contacts and grade into thicker mud laminae. These couplets, termed cyclopels, are produced about twice daily, and result from plume interaction with diurnal tidal currents, fluctuations in melt water discharge and variations in spatial distribution of the overflow. Short cores from McBride Inlet include: sediment gravity flow deposits, cyclopels, ice-rafted debris, and homogeneous mud. Sediment gravity flow deposits predominate in cores from ice-proximal locations, and cyclopels are observed primarily in cores from distal locations (>1km) where they are not obscured by sediment gravity flow deposits. Ice-rafted debris is found as laminae in cores throughout the inlet because of high calving rates of debris-rich ice and the wide areal dispersal of bergs.

  12. Deposition and remaining productive capabilities of the Upper Cretaceous Eutaw sands of East-Central Mississippi

    SciTech Connect

    Greer, B.R.

    1995-10-01

    Nearing the close of the Cretaceous, there were several transgressions and regressions of the epicontinental seas. These rapid changes in sea level played a large part in the depositing and reworking of the Eutaw sands of East-Central Mississippi. The study area includes Jasper, Jones, Clarke and Wayne Counties. The Eutaw sands of this area are described as fine to very fine grained sand which are glauconitic, micaceous and sometimes fossiliferous. This indicates that the environment of deposition was in the neritic zone of the continental shelf. Its high porosities and permeabilities along with its prolific nature makes this formation one of the most sought after reservoirs of the state of Mississippi. All of the 18 Eutaw fields in the study area are closely reaching their economic limits for primary production. Four of these fields have undergone successful waterfloods which have greatly enhanced their ultimate recoveries. The remaining fields in the study area have the potential of yielding millions of barrels of oil from secondary and tertiary recovery methods.

  13. Aggradation and degradation of alluvial sand deposits, 1965 to 1986, Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, J.C.; Graf, J.B.

    1990-01-01

    Alluvial sand deposits along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park are used as campsites and are substrate for vegetation. During high flows, both separation and reattachment deposits are initially scoured but are subsequently redeposited during flow recession. Sand is also exchanged between the main channel and recirculation zones. The rate of recession of high flows can affect the elevation of alluvial deposits that are left exposed after a flood has passed. Fluctuating flows that follow a period of steady discharge cause initial erosion of separation and reattachment deposits. A part of this eroded sand is transported to the main channel. Therefore, sand is exchanged between the main channel and recirculation zones and redistributed within recirculation zones over a broad range of discharges. Comparison of aerial photographs and reinterpretation of published data concerning changes of alluvial sand deposits following recession of high flows in 1983 and 1984 indicate that sand was eroded from recirculation zones in narrow reaches. In wide reaches, however, aggradation in recirculation zones may have occurred. In all reaches, the percentage of separation deposits that maintained a constant area was greater than for other deposits. Separation deposits, therefore, appear to be the most stable of the deposit types. Fluctuating flows between October 1985 and January 1986, which followed the higher and steadier flows of 1983 to 1985, caused erosion throughout the park. For separation deposits, erosion was greatest at those sites where deposition from the 1983 high flows had been greatest. The existing pattern of low campsite availability in narrow reaches and high campsite availability in wide reaches was thus accentuated by the sequence of flows between 1983 and 1985.

  14. Coastal deposits of heavy mineral sands; Global significance and US resources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Bleiwas, Donald I.; Bedinger, George M.; Ellefsen, Karl J.; Shah, Anjana K.

    2016-01-01

    Ancient and modern coastal deposits of heavy mineral sands (HMS) are the principal source of several heavy industrial minerals, with mining and processing operations on every continent except Antarctica. For example, HMS deposits are the main source of titanium feedstock for the titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigments industry, obtained from the minerals ilmenite (Fe2+TiO3), rutile (TiO2) and leucoxene (an alteration product of ilmenite). HMS deposits are also the principal source of zircon (ZrSiO4), from which zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) is obtained for uses mostly in refractory products. Sometimes monazite [(Ce,La,Nd,Th)PO4] is recovered as a byproduct mineral, sought for its rare earth elements and thorium (Ault and others, 2016; Sengupta and Van Gosen, 2016; Van Gosen and Tulsidas, 2016). 

  15. Modeling Cape- and Ridge-Associated Marine Sand Deposits; A Focus on the U.S. Atlantic Continental Shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bliss, James D.; Williams, S. Jeffress; Bolm, Karen S.

    2009-01-01

    Cape- and ridge-associated marine sand deposits, which accumulate on storm-dominated continental shelves that are undergoing Holocene marine transgression, are particularly notable in a segment of the U.S. Atlantic Continental Shelf that extends southward from the east tip of Long Island, N.Y., and eastward from Cape May at the south end of the New Jersey shoreline. These sand deposits commonly contain sand suitable for shore protection in the form of beach nourishment. Increasing demand for marine sand raises questions about both short- and long-term potential supply and the sustainability of beach nourishment with the prospects of accelerating sea-level rise and increasing storm activity. To address these important issues, quantitative assessments of the volume of marine sand resources are needed. Currently, the U.S. Geological Survey is undertaking these assessments through its national Marine Aggregates and Resources Program (URL http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/aggregates/). In this chapter, we present a hypothetical example of a quantitative assessment of cape-and ridge-associated marine sand deposits in the study area, using proven tools of mineral-resource assessment. Applying these tools requires new models that summarize essential data on the quantity and quality of these deposits. Two representative types of model are descriptive models, which consist of a narrative that allows for a consistent recognition of cape-and ridge-associated marine sand deposits, and quantitative models, which consist of empirical statistical distributions that describe significant deposit characteristics, such as volume and grain-size distribution. Variables of the marine sand deposits considered for quantitative modeling in this study include area, thickness, mean grain size, grain sorting, volume, proportion of sand-dominated facies, and spatial density, of which spatial density is particularly helpful in estimating the number of undiscovered deposits within an

  16. A wintertime investigation of atmospheric deposition of metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Canada.

    PubMed

    Bari, M A; Kindzierski, W B; Cho, S

    2014-07-01

    With planned expansion of oil sands facilities, there is interest in being able to characterize the magnitude and extent of deposition of metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of Alberta. A study was undertaken using a bulk collection system to characterize wintertime atmospheric deposition of selected inorganic and organic contaminants in the AOSR. The study was carried out from January to March 2012 at two sampling sites near (within a 20 km circle of oil sands development) and two sampling sites distant (>45 km) to oil sands development. Triplicate bulk samplers were used to estimate precision of the method at one distant site. Monthly deposition samples were analyzed for 36 metals, ultra-low mercury, and 25 PAHs (including alkylated, and parent PAH). At the two sites located within 20 km of oil sands development, 3-month wintertime integrated deposition for some priority metals, alkylated and parent PAH were higher compared to distant sites. Deposition fluxes of metals and PAH were compared to other available bulk deposition studies worldwide. Median bulk measurement uncertainties of metals and both PAH classes were 26% and within ±15%, respectively suggesting that the bulk sampling method is a potential alternative for obtaining future direct measures of wintertime metals and PAH deposition at locations without access to power in the AOSR.

  17. Aeolian beach ridges and their significance for climate and sea level: Concept and insight from the Levant coast (East Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauz, B.; Hijma, M. P.; Amorosi, A.; Porat, N.; Galili, E.; Bloemendal, J.

    2013-06-01

    Relict beach ridges of aeolian origin and associated soils are often used for inferring relative sea level and climate with contrasting results. Most studies link the aeolian coastal deposits to regressive phases, some to high sea-level stands, and a few to intermediate relative sea-level positions. We interpret the apparent contradictions as indicating the lack of an over-arching concept and the inconsistent usage of sea level-related terms. In this paper we present an integrated morpho-sedimentological concept for a microtidal, mid-latitudinal coast and review existing data from the Levant (East Mediterranean) coast to evaluate the concept and to eliminate nomenclatural confusion. A coastal depositional environment in a semi-arid environment consists of shallow-marine, aeolian and alluvial facies which together form an aeolian beach-ridge complex as a package of strata which respond simultaneously to sea-level change. A transgressive complex forms through reworking or overstepping of the coastal foredune and a regressive complex forms by downstepping. Under transgression the aeolian beach ridge represents the highstand deposit and its adjacent shallow marine sediment is the transgressive deposit. Under regression the complex represents the falling stage and the associated downdip surface marks the lowstand. On the Levant coast we find chronologically well-constrained, offlapping aeolian beach ridges as parts of six downstepping beach ridge complexes formed between ~ 200 ka and 10 ka. The complexes represent the falling stage systems tract (FSST) of a short-lived (5th-order) depositional sequence when the shoreline shifted from a position close to the modern coastline to the shelf or below the shelf edge. Three of these FSSTs and their up dip and down dip super bounding surface together form the 4th order (~ 100 ka) sequence of the last interglacial/glacial cycle. The absence of transgressive, highstand and lowstand systems tract is explained by the poor

  18. Dynamics of sediment storage and release on aeolian dune slip faces: A field study in Jericoacoara, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, Jon D.; Sherman, Douglas J.; Ellis, Jean T.; Farrell, Eugene J.; Jackson, Nancy L.; Li, Bailiang; Nordstrom, Karl F.; Maia, Luis Parente; Omidyeganeh, Mohammad

    2015-09-01

    Sediment transport on the lee sides of aeolian dunes involves a combination of grain-fall deposition on the upper portion of the slip face until a critical angle is exceeded, transport of a portion of those sediments down the slip face by grain flows and, finally, deposition at an angle of repose. We measured the mean critical and repose angles and the rate of slip-face avalanching using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on two barchans of different size in Jericoacoara, Brazil. Wind speeds and sand fluxes were measured simultaneously at the dune crests. We found that the mean critical decreased with increasing wind speed. We attribute this effect to turbulent shear stresses, the magnitude of which we quantified using 3-D large eddy simulation modeling, that randomly act down the slip face (i.e., in the direction of gravity) to trigger grain flows at lower angles than would be possible with gravity stresses alone. We developed and tested a new predictive model for the frequency of avalanching that depends on both the sediment flux delivered to the slip face and changes in the critical angle with time. In this model, increasing turbulent shear stresses drive avalanching even in the absence of sand flux delivered to the slip face if the critical angle decreases below the slope angle. We also document that the mean critical angle decreases slightly with increasing slip-face height. These results have important implications for aeolian dune evolution, interpretations of aeolian stratigraphy, and granular mechanics.

  19. Sedimentary processes associated with sand and boulder deposits formed by the 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami at Sabusawa Island, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goto, Kazuhisa; Sugawara, Daisuke; Ikema, Satoko; Miyagi, Toyohiko

    2012-12-01

    This paper reports on the sedimentary processes of sand and boulder deposition at Sabusawa Island, Japan as a result of the 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami. Boulders were composed of tuffaceous rocks and sourced from an earthquake-triggered slope failure as well as concrete fragments of seawall. They were scattered over the ground surface and did not form boulder ridges, although there was some local imbrication. The boulders were deposited on top of a sand layer indicating that the latter, possibly deposited from bed load, covered the ground surface first. This sand layer probably reduced friction allowing boulders to be transported more easily than might be expected across a hard ground with a high bottom friction. Sand deposits showed landward thinning and fining features, while the boulders showed a landward coarsening (tuffaceous boulders) or a landward fining (concrete boulders), indicating that large clasts were not necessarily scattered randomly but rather might have a clast size gradient with distance inland. These features are explained by the local topographic setting that constrained the directions of incoming and returning tsunami flows. Some clasts at the inland extent of the boulder field were covered by an upward fining sand layer. This feature suggests that the boulders were deposited prior to the suspended sands, with the latter subsequently laid down before the water level dropped below the top of the boulders. Such modern investigations of the sedimentary features of various sizes of grains and clasts immediately after a tsunami provide invaluable data for the reconstruction of inundation processes.

  20. Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars: Characterization and Analysis of the Rocknest Sand Shadow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blake, David F.; Morris, Richard V.; Kocurek, G.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Bish, D.; Ming, D. W.; Edgett, K. S.; Rubin, D.; Goetz, W.; Madsen, M. B.; Sullivan, R.; Gellert, R.; Campbell, I.; Treiman, A. H.; McLennan, S. M.; Yen, A. S.; Grotzinger, J.; Vaniman, D. T.; Chipera, S. J.; Achilles, C. N.; Rampe, E. B.; Sumner, D.; Meslin, P. -Y.; Maurice, S.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Fisk, M.; Schmidt, M.; Mahaffy, P.; Leshin, L. A.; Glavin, D.; Steele, A.; Freissinet, C.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Yingst, R. A.; Kah, L. C.; Bridges, N.; Lewis, K. W.; Bristow, T. F.; Farmer, J. D.; Crisp, J. A.; Stolper, E. M.; DesMarais, D. J.; Sarrazin, P.

    2013-01-01

    The Rocknest aeolian deposit is similar to aeolian features analyzed by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity. The fraction of sand <150 micron in size contains approx. 55% crystalline material consistent with a basaltic heritage, and approx. 45% X-ray amorphous material. The amorphous component of Rocknest is Fe-rich and Si-poor, and is the host of the volatiles (H2O, O2, SO2, CO2, and Cl) detected by the Surface Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument and of the fine-grained nanophase oxide (npOx) component first described from basaltic soils analyzed by MER. The similarity between soils and aeolian materials analyzed at Gusev crater, Meridiani Planum and Gale crater implies locally sourced, globally similar basaltic materials, or globally and regionally sourced basaltic components deposited locally at all three locations.

  1. Curiosity at Gale crater, Mars: characterization and analysis of the Rocknest sand shadow.

    PubMed

    Blake, D F; Morris, R V; Kocurek, G; Morrison, S M; Downs, R T; Bish, D; Ming, D W; Edgett, K S; Rubin, D; Goetz, W; Madsen, M B; Sullivan, R; Gellert, R; Campbell, I; Treiman, A H; McLennan, S M; Yen, A S; Grotzinger, J; Vaniman, D T; Chipera, S J; Achilles, C N; Rampe, E B; Sumner, D; Meslin, P-Y; Maurice, S; Forni, O; Gasnault, O; Fisk, M; Schmidt, M; Mahaffy, P; Leshin, L A; Glavin, D; Steele, A; Freissinet, C; Navarro-González, R; Yingst, R A; Kah, L C; Bridges, N; Lewis, K W; Bristow, T F; Farmer, J D; Crisp, J A; Stolper, E M; Des Marais, D J; Sarrazin, P

    2013-09-27

    The Rocknest aeolian deposit is similar to aeolian features analyzed by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) Spirit and Opportunity. The fraction of sand <150 micrometers in size contains ~55% crystalline material consistent with a basaltic heritage and ~45% x-ray amorphous material. The amorphous component of Rocknest is iron-rich and silicon-poor and is the host of the volatiles (water, oxygen, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and chlorine) detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument and of the fine-grained nanophase oxide component first described from basaltic soils analyzed by MERs. The similarity between soils and aeolian materials analyzed at Gusev Crater, Meridiani Planum, and Gale Crater implies locally sourced, globally similar basaltic materials or globally and regionally sourced basaltic components deposited locally at all three locations.

  2. Aerodynamics and morphodynamics of sand fences: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Bailiang; Sherman, Douglas J.

    2015-06-01

    This paper reviews literature on the aerodynamics and morphodynamics of sand fences. We consider both wind fences for reducing wind erosion, and sand-trapping fences for controlling sand deposition. There has been substantial trial-and-error research based upon installations of sand fences, but only limited research on the fence and site attributes that provide the main aerodynamic and morphodynamic controls of interactions between aeolian systems and the fences. Such attributes include: fence porosity, height, length, width, opening size and geometry, porosity distribution, and external factors such as incoming flow characteristics, roughness length, atmospheric stability, grain size and local landform change. Considerations for the optimal design for both wind fences and sand-trapping fences are presented.

  3. Size-differentiated chemical characteristics of Asian paleo dust: records from aeolian deposition on Chinese Loess Plateau.

    PubMed

    Wu, Feng; Chow, Judith C; An, Zhisheng; Watson, John G; Cao, Junji

    2011-02-01

    The Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) receives and potentially contributes to Asian dust storms that affect particulate matter (PM) concentrations, visibility, and climate. Loess on the CLP has experienced little weathering effect and is regarded as an ideal record to represent geochemical characteristics of Asian paleo dust. Samples were taken from 2-, 9-, and 15-m depths (representing deposition periods from approximately 12,000 to approximately 200,000 yr ago) in the Xi Feng loess profile on the CLP. The samples were resuspended and then sampled through total suspended particulates (TSP), PM10, PM2.5, and PM1 (PM with aerodynamic diameters < approximately 30, 10, 2.5, and 1 microm, respectively) inlets onto filters for mass, elemental, ionic, and carbon analyses using a Desert Research Institute resuspension chamber. The elements Si, Ca, Al, Fe, K, Mg, water-soluble Ca (Ca2+), organic carbon, and carbonate carbon are the major constituents (> 1%) in loess among the four PM fractions (i.e., TSP, PM10, PM2.5, and PM1). Much of Ca is water soluble and corresponds with measures of carbonate, indicating that most of the calcium is in the form of calcium carbonate rather than other calcium minerals. Most of the K is insoluble, indicating that loess can be separated from biomass burning contributions when K+ is measured. The loess has elemental abundances similar to those of the upper continental crust (UCC) for Mg, Fe, Ti, Mn, V, Cr, and Ni, but substantially different ratios for other elements such as Ca, Co, Cu, As, and Pb. These suggest that the use of UCC as a reference to represent pure or paleo Asian dust needs to be further evaluated. The aerosol samples from the source regions have similar ratios to loess for crustal elements, but substantially different ratios for species from anthropogenic sources (e.g., K, P, V, Cr, Cu, Zn, Ni, and Pb), indicating that the aerosol samples from the geological-source-dominated environment are not a "pure" soil product as compared

  4. Understanding early-stage dune development: morphodynamics of aeolian protodunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baddock, Matthew; Wiggs, Giles; Nield, Joanna

    2016-04-01

    For such a fundamental aspect of bedform development, the initiation and early-stage growth of sand dunes remain poorly understood. Protodunes are bedforms within the continuum of early-stage depositional aeolian features that exist between flat sand patches and small dunes. As transitory bedforms with the potential to develop into dunes, the detailed study of protodune morphodynamics can provide significant insights into nascent dune development. As part of a multi-annual study investigating bedform change through repeat morphological surveys of bedforms with differing maturity, measurements of near-surface airflow and sand transport were conducted over a protodune in a small Namibian barchan dune field. The protodune was approximately 85 m in length and 1 m high, and was without a slipface. Data show that over the course of a week, patterns of airflow and transport flux variation were linked with accretion at the crest, and erosion of the leeside edge showing an increase in protodune height, and providing evidence of the dune's vertical development. Surveys reveal the longer term evolution of the protodune, in the context of changes exhibited by nearby, fully developed barchan dunes, and long term monitoring of wind regime at the site.

  5. Debris flows on the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, Alaska: Implications for analogous processes on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, Donald M.; Dinwiddie, Cynthia L.

    2014-02-01

    We observed niveo-aeolian deposits, denivation features, and small meltwater-induced debris flows that had formed at the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, northwestern interior Alaska in late March 2010. This high-latitude, cold-climate dune field is being studied as a planetary analog to improve our understanding of factors that may trigger debris flows on the lee slopes of martian aeolian dunes. Debris flows consisted of a sand and liquid water mixture that cascaded down the lee slopes of two barchanoid dunes on days when measured ground surface temperatures were below freezing. We hypothesize that relatively dark sand on snow caused local hot spots where solar radiation could be absorbed by the sand and conducted into the underlying snow, enabling meltwater to form and sand to be mobilized. This investigation provides insights into the interactions between niveo-aeolian deposition, slope aspect and insolation, thawing, and initiation of alluvial processes. These debris flows are morphologically similar to those associated with seasonal gullies or erosion tracks visible on the slopes of mid- to high-latitude dune fields in both martian hemispheres. Localized heating and thawing at scales too small for orbital sensors to identify may yield martian debris flows at current climate conditions.

  6. A new modelling concept for aeolian sediment transport on beaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vries, S.; Arens, S. M.; Stive, M. J. F.; Ranasinghe, R.

    2012-04-01

    This paper presents a new modelling concept for aeolian transport on beaches. Many research is invested in describing aeolian sediment transport for desert situations. Some of the principles of aeolian sediment transport in deserts are valid for application at the coastal zone but, where in deserts abundant sand is available for transport, in coastal situations sediment availability is limited. Sediment availability (or supply) is limited due to supply limiting factors such as moisture content of the bed, fetch effects and armouring of the surface. We propose a new sediment transport concept where we quantify aeolian sediment transport while quantifying the sediment availability rather than the more conventional (Bagnold, 1954) wind driven transport capacity. The concept is illustrated using field data. The field data is collected during a measurement campaign which has been designed to measure aeolian transport with special focus on sediment availability. Wind and sediment transport rates are measured on a beach for a period of 1 week. During this week onshore wind occurred allowing the analysis of aeolian transport across the beach towards the dunes. A total of 5 sediment transport gauges are dynamically placed over the cross section of the beach from locations in the intertidal zone (at low tide) until the dunefoot. The observations show that the amount of aeolian transport is very much dependent on the tidal phase. Low tides correspond to large aeolian transport and high tides to significantly lower aeolian transport across the beach. Wind conditions during the experiment were relatively constant implying that the specific variability in time of the measured aeolian transport is caused by variability with respect to the source rather than variability in wind conditions. Additional to this specific case, existing data of similar experiments (Arens, 1996) are analysed. Re-analysing this data, from experiments covering larger timespans, more evidence is found for

  7. Aggradation and degradation of alluvial sand deposits, 1965 to 1986, Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, John C.; Graf, Julia B.

    1990-01-01

    Alluvial sand deposits along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park are used as campsites and are substrate for vegetation. The largest and most numerous of these deposits are formed in zones of recirculating current that are created downstream from where the channel is constricted by debris fans at tributary mouths. Alluvial sand deposits are classified by location and form. Separation and reattachment deposits are downstream from constrictions within recirculation zones. Separation deposits are near the point of flow separation and typically mantle large debris fans. Reattachment deposits are near the point of flow reattachment and project upstream beneath much of the zone of recirculating current. Upper-pool deposits are upstream from a constriction and are associated with backwaters. Channel-margin deposits line the channel and have the form of terraces. Some are created in small recirculation zones. Reattachment and channel-margin deposits are largest and most numerous in wide reaches, although small channel-margin deposits are used as campsites in the narrow Muav Gorge. Separation deposits are more uniformly distributed throughout Grand Canyon National Park than are other types of deposits. In some narrow reaches where the number of alluvial sand deposits used as campsites is small, separation deposits are a high percentage of the total. During high flows, both separation and reattachment deposits are initially scoured but are subsequently redeposited during flow recession. Sand is also exchanged between the main channel and recirculation zones. The rate of recession of high flows can affect the elevation of alluvial deposits that are left exposed after a flood has passed. Fluctuating flows that follow a period of steady discharge cause initial erosion of separation and reattachment deposits. A part of this eroded sand is transported to the main channel. Therefore, sand is exchanged between the main channel and recirculation zones and redistributed

  8. Recent Aeolian Dune Change on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bourke, M. C.; Edgett, K. S.; Cantor, B. A.

    2007-01-01

    Previous comparisons of Martian aeolian dunes in satellite images have not detected any change in dune form or position. Here, we show dome dunes in the north polar region that shrank and then disappeared over a period of 3.04 Mars years (5.7 Earth years), while larger, neighboring dunes showed no erosion or movement. The removal of sand from these dunes indicates that not only is the threshold wind speed for saltation exceeded under present conditions on Mars, but that any sand that is available for transport is likely to be moved. Dunes that show no evidence of change could be crusted, indurated. or subject to infrequent episodes of movement.

  9. Sand Deposition in the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon from Flooding of the Little Colorado River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiele, S. M.; Graf, J. B.; Smith, J. D.

    1996-12-01

    Methods for computing the volume of sand deposited in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park by floods in major tributaries and for determining redistribution of that sand by main-channel flows are required for successful management of sand-dependent riparian resources. We have derived flow, sediment transport, and bed evolution models based on a gridded topography developed from measured channel topography and used these models to compute deposition in a short reach of the river just downstream from the Little Colorado River, the largest tributary in the park. Model computations of deposition from a Little Colorado River flood in January 1993 were compared to bed changes measured at 15 cross sections. The total difference between changes in cross-sectional area due to deposition computed by the model and the measured changes was 6%. A wide reach with large areas of recirculating flow and large depressions in the main channel accumulated the most sand, whereas a reach with similar planimetric area but a long, narrow shape and relatively small areas of recirculating flow and small depressions in the main channel accumulated only about a seventh as much sand. About 32% of the total deposition was in recirculation zones, 65% was in the main channel, and 3% was deposited along the channel margin away from the recirculation zone. Overall, about 15% of the total input of sand from this Little Colorado River flood was deposited in the first 3 km below the confluence, suggesting that deposition of the flood-derived material extended for only several tens of kilometers downstream from the confluence.

  10. Sand deposition in the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon from flooding of the Little Colorado River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiele, S.M.; Graf, J.B.; Smith, J.D.

    1996-01-01

    Methods for computing the volume of sand deposited in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park by floods in major tributaries and for determining redistribution of that sand by main-channel flows are required for successful management of sand-dependent riparian resources. We have derived flow, sediment transport, and bed evolution models based on a gridded topography developed from measured channel topography and used these models to compute deposition in a short reach of the river just downstream from the Little Colorado River, the largest tributary in the park. Model computations of deposition from a Little Colorado River flood in January 1993 were compared to bed changes measured at 15 cross sections. The total difference between changes in cross-sectional area due to deposition computed by the model and the measured changes was 6%. A wide reach with large areas of recirculating flow and large depressions in the main channel accumulated the most sand, whereas a reach with similar planimetric area but a long, narrow shape and relatively small areas of recirculating flow and small depressions in the main channel accumulated only about a seventh as much sand. About 32% of the total deposition was in recirculation zones, 65% was in the main channel, and 3% was deposited along the channel margin away from the recirculation zone. Overall, about 15% of the total input of sand from this Little Colorado River flood was deposited in the first 3 km below the confluence, suggesting that deposition of the flood-derived material extended for only several tens of kilometers downstream from the confluence.

  11. Studies in Aeolian geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1988-01-01

    The objective of the research was to assess the significance of aeolian (windblown) processes in the evolution of planetary surfaces. The approach was to use wind tunnel simulations, field studies of possible analogs, and analyses of spacecraft data.

  12. Vertical ground motion and its effects on liquefaction resistance of fully saturated sand deposits.

    PubMed

    Tsaparli, Vasiliki; Kontoe, Stavroula; Taborda, David M G; Potts, David M

    2016-08-01

    Soil liquefaction has been extensively investigated over the years with the aim to understand its fundamental mechanism and successfully remediate it. Despite the multi-directional nature of earthquakes, the vertical seismic component is largely neglected, as it is traditionally considered to be of much lower amplitude than the components in the horizontal plane. The 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence in New Zealand is a prime example that vertical accelerations can be of significant magnitude, with peak amplitudes well exceeding their horizontal counterparts. As research on this topic is very limited, there is an emerging need for a more thorough investigation of the vertical motion and its effect on soil liquefaction. As such, throughout this study, uni- and bidirectional finite-element analyses are carried out focusing on the influence of the input vertical motion on sand liquefaction. The effects of the frequency content of the input motion, of the depth of the deposit and of the hydraulic regime, using variable permeability, are investigated and exhaustively discussed. The results indicate that the usual assumption of linear elastic response when compressional waves propagate in a fully saturated sand deposit does not always hold true. Most importantly post-liquefaction settlements appear to be increased when the vertical component is included in the analysis.

  13. Vertical ground motion and its effects on liquefaction resistance of fully saturated sand deposits

    PubMed Central

    Kontoe, Stavroula; Taborda, David M. G.; Potts, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Soil liquefaction has been extensively investigated over the years with the aim to understand its fundamental mechanism and successfully remediate it. Despite the multi-directional nature of earthquakes, the vertical seismic component is largely neglected, as it is traditionally considered to be of much lower amplitude than the components in the horizontal plane. The 2010–2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence in New Zealand is a prime example that vertical accelerations can be of significant magnitude, with peak amplitudes well exceeding their horizontal counterparts. As research on this topic is very limited, there is an emerging need for a more thorough investigation of the vertical motion and its effect on soil liquefaction. As such, throughout this study, uni- and bidirectional finite-element analyses are carried out focusing on the influence of the input vertical motion on sand liquefaction. The effects of the frequency content of the input motion, of the depth of the deposit and of the hydraulic regime, using variable permeability, are investigated and exhaustively discussed. The results indicate that the usual assumption of linear elastic response when compressional waves propagate in a fully saturated sand deposit does not always hold true. Most importantly post-liquefaction settlements appear to be increased when the vertical component is included in the analysis. PMID:27616931

  14. Publication trends in aeolian research: An analysis of the Bibliography of Aeolian Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, John E.; Warren, Andrew; Gill, Thomas E.

    2009-04-01

    An analysis of the Bibliography of Aeolian Research has provided information regarding publication trends in aeolian research. Results suggest that there has been a significant increase in the number of publications per year since the first aeolian-research publication appeared in 1646. Rates of publication have increased from only three publications in the 17th Century to nearly three publications per day in the 21st Century. The temporal distribution of publications follows a complex pattern that is influenced by many factors. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, publications appear as isolated clusters indicating limited interest in aeolian research and limited opportunities for individuals to contribute to scientific literature. With time, many new scientific societies are formed and many new scientific journals are established, opening new opportunities for scientists to contribute to scientific discourse. Landmark publications open up new research areas and define new directions for aeolian research. General advances in science and technology provide new techniques for sampling blowing sand and dust. In addition, clear signs exist that publication rates respond to major environmental and climatic events, especially large-scale disasters that focus attention on wind erosion and blowing dust. The Sirocco dust events of 1901-1903, the North American Dust Bowl of the1930s, and the recent sand and dust storm problems in China have all led to significant increases in the number of publications in aeolian research. Rates of publication are negatively influenced by major political and social upheavals, especially global conflicts such as World Wars I and II. Sudden shifts in government structure and support can also influence publication rates. A good example is the increased publication rates in China following the end of the Cultural Revolution, a trend that continues today.

  15. Bursts in discontinuous Aeolian saltation

    PubMed Central

    Carneiro, M. V.; Rasmussen, K. R.; Herrmann, H. J.

    2015-01-01

    Close to the onset of Aeolian particle transport through saltation we find in wind tunnel experiments a regime of discontinuous flux characterized by bursts of activity. Scaling laws are observed in the time delay between each burst and in the measurements of the wind fluctuations at the fluid threshold Shields number θc. The time delay between each burst decreases on average with the increase of the Shields number until sand flux becomes continuous. A numerical model for saltation including the wind-entrainment from the turbulent fluctuations can reproduce these observations and gives insight about their origin. We present here also for the first time measurements showing that with feeding it becomes possible to sustain discontinuous flux even below the fluid threshold. PMID:26073305

  16. A review of the chronologies and geomorphology of the aeolian landforms in the northwestern Negev dunefield (Israel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel

    2015-04-01

    The northwestern (NW) Negev Desert dunefield covering an area of only 1,300 km2, comprises the eastern end of the northern Sinai Peninsula - NW Negev erg and is probably the most densely dated dune body in the INQUA Dunes Atlas chronologic database. Over 230 luminescence ages (TL, IRSL, and mainly OSL) and radiocarbon dates have been retrieved over the past course of 20 years from calcic and sandy palaeosols serving as dune substrates, sand sheets, vegetated linear dunes (VLDs), fluvial deposits, and archaeological sites. Despite being from different deposit types and aeolian morphologies, and based on different methodologies, the chronologies usually show good compatibility. By reviewing and reassessing the significance of the Eastern Mediterranean INQUA Dunes Atlas chronologies, along with detailed stratigraphic, structural and geomorphologic data and understandings, the major, and possibly extreme, episodes of aeolian activity and stability are outlined. Repetitive chronostratigraphic sequences in VLDs indicate that this dune type, at least in the Negev, comprises a reliable recorder of main dune mobilization periods. This presentation demonstrates that certain combinations of research finds, using different OSL dating strategies and other regional and local late Quaternary records and in particular aeolian ones, are required assets for providing for acceptable local and regional palaeoclimatic interpretations. The distribution of the VLD chronologies points to rapid mobilization during the Heinrich 1 and Younger Dryas, characterized by powerful winds, though VLDs also form in late Holocene palaeoenvironments. Time slices illustrate the different sensitivities of the studied aeolian landforms to the source, availability, and supply of sediment; long- and short-term climate change, local human-induced environmental changes and also their joint effects, that enable evaluation of aeolian responses to future environmental and climate changes.

  17. Dry deposition of polycyclic aromatic compounds to various land covers in the Athabasca oil sands region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Leiming; Cheng, Irene; Wu, Zhiyong; Harner, Tom; Schuster, Jasmin; Charland, Jean-Pierre; Muir, Derek; Parnis, J. Mark

    2015-09-01

    A framework was developed to estimate dry deposition of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), including 17 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 21 alkylated PAHs, and 5 parent and alkylated dibenzothiophenes (DBTs), to various land covers surrounding three monitoring sites in the Athabasca oil sands region. Modeled dry deposition velocities for various gaseous PACs and over various land covers were mostly in the range of 0.01-0.5 cm s-1 with median and annual mean values between 0.08 and 0.24 cm s-1, comparable with literature values obtained from field studies. Annual dry deposition of the sum of PAHs was estimated to range from 330 to 560 μg m-2 over forested canopies surrounding the three sites and from 270 to 490 μg m-2 over grass and shrubs. The corresponding values are 3920-5380 and 2850-4920 μg m-2 for the sum of 21 alkylated PAHs, and are 230-1120 and 450-930 μg m-2 for the sum of 5 DBTs. The three monitoring sites are situated nearby the Athabasca River, and the direct annual atmospheric dry deposition to water surface was estimated to range from 350 to 500, 3170 to 4530, and 170 to 840 μg m-2 for PAHs, alkylated PAHs, and DBTs, respectively. Alkylated PAHs contributed 80% of the total dry and 60% of the total wet deposition budget, suggesting the importance of including this group of PAHs in the atmospheric deposition budget estimation for subsequent ecosystem impact studies.

  18. The Halekulani Sand Channel and Makua Shelf sediment deposits: Are they a sand resource for replenishing Waikiki's beaches?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hampton, M.A.; Fletcher, C. H.; Barry, J.H.; Lemmo, S.J.; ,

    2000-01-01

    The Halekulani Sand Channel and the Makua Shelf off the south shore of Oahu contain at least 1.3 million m3 of sediment that is a possible resource for nourishing degraded sections of Waikiki Beach. A sidescan sonar survey indicates continuous sediment cover within the channel and on the shelf, and samples from the top and bottom of vibracores from the channel and shelf contain from 29% to 77% of grains between 0 to 2.5 phi (1 to 0.177 mm), the size range of four samples from Waikiki Beach. Compositional analyses indicate high variability, but the vibracore samples normally have relatively high Halimeda content compared to beach sand samples. Laboratory tests show a positive correlation of abrasion with Halimeda content, suggesting that the offshore sediment would abrade more than beach sediment under nearshore wave action. The common gray color of the offshore sediment can be aesthetically undesirable for sand on popular tourist beaches such as Waikiki; however, visual observation of native beach sand indicates that a significant component of gray color is endemic to many Hawaiian beaches. The gray color was removed in the laboratory by soaking in heated hydrogen peroxide. The geological properties of the offshore sediment indicate potential as a resource for beach nourishment, but industrial treatment might be necessary to remove excess fine and coarse grains, and possibly the gray color. Further, the abrasion potential might have to be considered in calculating beach sand losses over time.

  19. Holocene environment changes around the Sara Us River, northern China, revealed by optical dating of lacustrine-aeolian sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Hui; Sheng, Yongwei; Li, Bo; Fan, Yuxin

    2016-04-01

    The Sara Us River is located along the boundary of the Mu Us Desert and the Chinese Loess Plateau in northern China. The river has cut down through Quaternary sediments creating 70-80 m deep valleys with thick lacustrine/aeolian sequences exposed. We applied optical stimulated luminescence on sediments from a Holocene section of aeolian sand/lacustrine deposits in the top of the river valley. The dating results show that a humid period existed from 7.1 to 2.0 ka ago as evidenced by two layers of peat and lacustrine sediments. However, compared to other published Holocene sections in the Sara Us River valleys close to the section under studying, the local environment experienced very complicated changes during the Holocene. All of the sections recorded a period with drought and/or cold before the Holocene at around 13 ka, and an episode of aridity after about 2 ka ago as evidenced by the layers of aeolian sand. However, the ages of the lacustrine and peat layers in these sections are substantially different. Geomorphological analysis by digital elevation models does not support the existence of a mega lake covering the study area at 2 ka. The intricate environmental changes may have been caused by the meandering of the Sara Us River. Environmental changes also strongly affected human migration in this area, which is documented by Chinese historical records.

  20. Aeolian processes in Proctor Crater on Mars: Sedimentary history as analyzed from multiple data sets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fenton, L.K.; Bandfield, J.L.; Ward, A.W.

    2003-01-01

    Proctor Crater is a 150 km diameter crater in Noachis Terra, within the southern highlands of Mars. The analysis leading to the sedimentary history incorporates several data sets including imagery, elevation, composition, and thermal inertia, mostly from the Mars Global Surveyor mission. The resulting stratigraphy reveals that the sedimentary history of Proctor Crater has involved a complex interaction of accumulating and eroding sedimentation. Aeolian features spanning much of the history of the crater interior dominate its surface, including large erosional pits, stratified beds of aeolian sediment, sand dunes, erosional and depositional streaks, dust devil tracks, and small bright bed forms that are probably granule ripples. Long ago, up to 450 m of layered sediment filled the crater basin, now exposed in eroded pits on the crater floor. These sediments are probably part of an ancient deposit of aeolian volcaniclastic material. Since then, some quantity of this material has been eroded from the top layers of the strata. Small, bright dune forms lie stratigraphically beneath the large dark dune field. Relative to the large dark dunes, the bright bed forms are immobile, although in places, their orientations are clearly influenced by the presence of the larger dunes. Their prevalence in the crater and their lack of compositional and thermal distinctiveness relative to the crater floor suggests that these features were produced locally from the eroding basin fill. Dust devil tracks form during the spring and summer, following a west-southwesterly wind. Early in the spring the dust devils are largely restricted to dark patches of sand. As the summer approaches, dust devil tracks become more plentiful and spread to the rest of the crater floor, indicating that the entire region acquires an annual deposit of dust that is revealed by seasonal dust devils. The dark dunes contain few dust devil tracks, suggesting that accumulated dust is swept away directly by saltation

  1. Aeolian processes in Proctor Crater on Mars: Sedimentary history as analyzed from multiple data sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenton, Lori K.; Bandfield, Joshua L.; Ward, A. Wesley

    2003-12-01

    Proctor Crater is a 150 km diameter crater in Noachis Terra, within the southern highlands of Mars. The analysis leading to the sedimentary history incorporates several data sets including imagery, elevation, composition, and thermal inertia, mostly from the Mars Global Surveyor mission. The resulting stratigraphy reveals that the sedimentary history of Proctor Crater has involved a complex interaction of accumulating and eroding sedimentation. Aeolian features spanning much of the history of the crater interior dominate its surface, including large erosional pits, stratified beds of aeolian sediment, sand dunes, erosional and depositional streaks, dust devil tracks, and small bright bed forms that are probably granule ripples. Long ago, up to 450 m of layered sediment filled the crater basin, now exposed in eroded pits on the crater floor. These sediments are probably part of an ancient deposit of aeolian volcaniclastic material. Since then, some quantity of this material has been eroded from the top layers of the strata. Small, bright dune forms lie stratigraphically beneath the large dark dune field. Relative to the large dark dunes, the bright bed forms are immobile, although in places, their orientations are clearly influenced by the presence of the larger dunes. Their prevalence in the crater and their lack of compositional and thermal distinctiveness relative to the crater floor suggests that these features were produced locally from the eroding basin fill. Dust devil tracks form during the spring and summer, following a west-southwesterly wind. Early in the spring the dust devils are largely restricted to dark patches of sand. As the summer approaches, dust devil tracks become more plentiful and spread to the rest of the crater floor, indicating that the entire region acquires an annual deposit of dust that is revealed by seasonal dust devils. The dark dunes contain few dust devil tracks, suggesting that accumulated dust is swept away directly by saltation

  2. Mega-ripples in Iran: A new analog for transverse aeolian ridges on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foroutan, M.; Zimbelman, J. R.

    2016-08-01

    A new terrestrial analog site for transverse aeolian ridges (TARs) is described in this study. The Lut desert of Iran hosts large ripple-like aeolian bedforms, with the same horizontal length scales and patterns of TARs on Mars. Different classes of TARs and different types of other aeolian features such as sand dunes, zibars, dust devil tracks and yardangs can be found in this area, which signify an active aeolian region. This area represents a unique site to study the formation and evolution of these enigmatic features, with potential relevance toward a better understanding of TARs on Mars.

  3. Hydraulic fracturing for control of sand production and asphaltene deposition in deep hot wells

    SciTech Connect

    Ortega, L.; Brito, L.; Ben-Naceur, K.

    1996-12-31

    The North of Monagas giant field in Venezuela has been produced since the late 80-s. Depth ranges from 12000 to 20000 ft (3,600 to 6,000 in). Wells in the field have experienced early in the production cycle both problems of sand production and asphaltene flocculation. A multi-disciplinary team was created to define ways to optimize production from the field The paper first addresses the methodology used to identify the source of the sanding problem, including extensive mechanical analysis of the formation, with tri-axial testing and sanding critical flow gradient analysis. The effectiveness of the initial strategies of optimization of choke size, and selection of perforated intervals and gun sizes is evaluated. The onset of asphaltene deposition was analyzed, and it was determined that most occurring problems were related to drilling and production practices. To solve both problems, by modifying pressure drop and flow profiles, a hydraulic fracturing strategy was implemented in the field. Special care was given to the particular well conditions (close-by dual tubing completion, with potential risk of communication, thick and multi-layered geometry), in addition to expected high treating pressures and sensitivity of formation fluids to thermal shocks. A detailed pre- and post-fracturing well testing procedure was adopted which allows for an optimization of the fracture length, and comparison of results with predictions. Prior to the main fracture, calibration treatments were performed; calculated fracture heights were compared to the ones determined from temperature logs. A new technique to determine permeability from mini-fracs using the theory of impulse testing was also applied. Finally, production logging after the frac and a build-up were used to assess the validity of the predictions.

  4. Enriching acid rock drainage related microbial communities from surface-deposited oil sands tailings.

    PubMed

    Dean, Courtney; Xiao, Yeyuan; Roberts, Deborah J

    2016-10-01

    Little is known about the microbial communities native to surface-deposited pyritic oil sands tailings, an environment where acid rock drainage (ARD) could occur. The goal of this study was to enrich sulfur-oxidizing organisms from these tailings and determine whether different populations exist at pH levels 7, 4.5, and 2.5. Using growth-based methods provides model organisms for use in the future to predict potential activities and limitations of these organisms and to develop possible control methods. Thiosulfate-fed enrichment cultures were monitored for approximately 1 year. The results showed that the enrichments at pH 4.5 and 7 were established quicker than at pH 2.5. Different microbial community structures were found among the 3 pH environments. The sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms identified were most closely related to Halothiobacillus neapolitanus, Achromobacter spp., and Curtobacterium spp. While microorganisms related to Chitinophagaceae and Acidocella spp. were identified as the only possible iron-oxidizing and -reducing microbes. These results contribute to the general knowledge of the relatively understudied microbial communities that exist in pyritic oil sands tailings and indicate these communities may have a potential role in ARD generation, which may have implications for future tailings management.

  5. Acid deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region: a policy perspective.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, Colin J; Watmough, Shaun A

    2015-12-01

    Industrial emissions of sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) to the atmosphere associated with the oil sands industry in north-eastern Alberta are of interest as they represent the largest localized source in Canada (with potential for future growth) and the region features acid-sensitive upland terrain. Existing emission management policy for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, where the industry is located, is based on a time-to-effect approach that relies on dynamic model simulations of temporal changes in chemistry and features highly protective chemical criteria. In practice, the policy is difficult to implement and it is unlikely that a scientifically defensible estimate of acidification risk can be put forward due to the limitations primarily associated with issues of scale, chemical endpoint designation (selection of chemical limit for ecosystem protection from acidification) and data availability. A more implementable approach would use a steady-state critical load (CL) assessment approach to identify at-risk areas. The CL assessment would consider areas of elevated acid deposition associated with oil sands emissions rather than targeted political jurisdictions. Dynamic models should only be (strategically) used where acidification risk is identified via CL analysis, in order to characterize the potential for acidification-induced changes that can be detrimental to sensitive biota within the lifespan of the industry.

  6. Could Poor Fens BE More Sensitive than Bogs to Elevated N Deposition in the Oil Sands Region of Northern Alberta?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, R. K.; Vile, M. A.; Scott, K. D.

    2015-12-01

    Bogs and fens cover 29% of the 140,000 km2 Oil Sands Administrative Area (OSAA) in northern Alberta, a region characterized by quite low background N deposition (1-2 kg/ha/yr). However, development of the oil sands resource has led to increasing emission of nitrogen oxides, which are then returned to regional ecosystems as elevated atmospheric N deposition. Given the nutrient deficient nature of bogs and poor fens, elevated N deposition from oil sands development could potentially affect peatland ecosystem structure and function. To evaluate the ecosystem-level effects of N deposition, since 2011, we have experimentally applied N to a bog and a poor fen near Mariana Lakes, Alberta, located far enough from the OSAA to be unaffected by oil sands emissions. Treatments include simulated rainfall equivalent to N deposition of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 kg/ha/yr, plus control plots receiving no added water (3 replicate plots per site per N treatment). Concentrations of NH4+-N, NO3- N, and DON at the top of the peatland water table did not increase with increasing N deposition, averaging 0.61, 0.09, and 1.07 mg/L, respectively, in the bog, and 0.53, 0.10, and 0.81 mg/L, respectively, in the poor fen. Ericaceous shrub abundance increased with increasing N deposition in both the bog and the poor fen, although plot-scale greenness (hand-held spectral measurement of the Normalized Difference Red Edge (NDRE) index) increased with N deposition in the poor fen, but not in the bog. Segmented regression indicated that in the poor fen, at N deposition above 14-16 kg/ha/yr, total microbial, bacterial, and fungal biomass in the top 5 cm of peat increased with N deposition, with no effect at lower N deposition. No effect of N deposition on microbial, bacterial, or fungal biomass was observed at 5-10 cm in the poor fen, or at either 0-5 or 5-10 cm in the bog. In the poor fen, microbial, bacterial, and fungal biomass increased with NDRE, but the effect was not significant in the bog

  7. Liquefaction Potential Assessment Of Silty And Silty-Sand Deposits: A Case Study

    SciTech Connect

    Lo Presti, Diego C. F.; Squeglia, Nunziante

    2008-07-08

    The paper shows a case study concerning the liquefaction potential assessment of deposits which mainly consist of non plastic silts and sands (FC>35 %,I{sub p}<10%, CF negligible). The site under study has been characterized by means of in situ tests (CPTU, SPT and DPSH), boreholes and laboratory tests on undisturbed and remolded samples. More specifically, classification tests, cyclic undrained stress-controlled triaxial tests and resonant column tests have been performed. Liquefaction susceptibility has been evaluated by means of several procedures prescribed by codes or available in technical literature. The evaluation of liquefaction potential has been carried out by means of three different procedure based on in situ and laboratory tests.

  8. Elevated Nitrogen Deposition from Alberta Oil Sands Development Stimulates Phosphatase Activity in Dominant Sphagnum Moss Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashi, N. N.; Wieder, R.; Vile, M. A.

    2013-12-01

    Emissions of NOx associated with Alberta oil sands (AOS) development are leading to locally elevated atmospheric N deposition, in a region where background N deposition has been historically quite low (< 1 kg/ha/yr). This elevated N deposition has the potential to alter the ecosystem structure and function of nutrient-poor boreal peatlands. Nitrogen enrichment may alter soil microbial activity, which could be manifested in changes in extracellular enzyme activities. Since 2011, we have been experimentally adding N as NH4NO3 in simulated precipitation at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 kg N ha/yr/ plus no-water controls to a boreal bog and a poor fen (3 replicate plots per treatment). In 2013, acid phosphatase activities in living plant capitulum of Sphagnum angustifolium, Sphagnum fuscum, and Sphagnum magellanicum were quantified in June and July using 4-methyumbelliferylphosphate and fluorescence detection of the enzymatically released methylumbelliferone (MUF). Phosphatase activities did not differ with N treatment for S. angustifolium in the bog (p=0.3409) or the poor fen (p=0.0629), or for S. fuscum in the bog (p=0.1950), averaging 35.0 × 0.7, 61.6 × 1.2, and 41.6 × 0.9 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr, respectively. For S. fuscum in the poor fen, phosphatase activities differed between N treatments (p=0.0275), ranging 40.6 × 1.1 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in the control plots to 73.7 × 2.0 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in the 5 kg/ha/yr N treatment plots; increasing N deposition did not result in a gradual change in enzyme activity. On the other hand, S. magellanicum phosphatase activities differed between N treatments (p=0.0189) and showed a pattern of generally increasing activity with increasing N deposition (37.4 × 0.5 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in control plots; 97.9 × 4.5 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in the 25 kg/ha/yr N treatment plots). The differing phosphatase responses between these dominant Sphagnum species suggest unique differences in nutrient balance and/or microbial activity. Combining the

  9. Spatial differences of aeolian desertification responses to climate in arid Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xunming; Hua, Ting; Lang, Lili; Ma, Wenyong

    2017-01-01

    Most areas of arid Asia are covered by aeolian dunes, sand sheets, gravels, and desert steppes, and may jeopardize nearly 350 million people if climate change increases aeolian desertification. Although the aeolian desertification is mainly triggered by climate changes are extensively acknowledged, the responses of aeolian desertification to various climate scenarios are poorly understood. Based on the tight combinations of dune activity index (DAI) trends and of aeolian desertification, here the spatial differences of aeolian desertification responses on various climate scenarios were reported. The analyzed results show that the variations in temperature, precipitation and wind regime have no significant contributions on aeolian desertification in the extremely arid Asia. From the early to blooming periods of vegetation growth, although temperature rise may benefit vegetation growths in some high latitudes and altitudes, the temperature rise may increase aeolian desertification in most arid Asia regions such as Mongolia, West and Central Asia. In arid Asia, although precipitation increases may benefit the rehabilitation, decreases in precipitation is not the key role on aeolian desertification occurrences in extremely arid regions. From the early to blooming periods of vegetation growths, spatial trends of the sensitivity of aeolian desertification to wind regime varied. Generally, at the regional scales there are relative high sensitivities for aeolian desertification to climate changes in the eastern and western regions of arid Asia, and the climate changes may not play important roles on aeolian desertification occurrence in the central regions. The spatial differences of aeolian desertification responses to climate changes indicate various strategies for aeolian desertification combating are needed in different regions of arid Asia.

  10. The significance of discharge in the replenishment of sand bar deposits along the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiele, S.; Hazel, J.; Schmidt, J. C.; Melis, T.

    2002-12-01

    Topographic sandbar surveys, recovered scour chains, analysis of aerial photos, and modeling of sand deposition demonstrate that releases from Glen Canyon Dam greater than power-plant capacity (PPC; about 900 cubic meters per second) are significantly more effective than PPC-limited releases at redistributing sand from the channel bed to higher elevations along the channel margin. A release of 1,270 m3/s (1.4 times the PPC) for 7 days in 1996 tested the effectiveness with which sandbars could be restored by the manipulation of dam releases aimed at redistributing a limited sand supply. This high flow generally resulted in substantial increases in bar size, although some sandbars close to the dam eroded. Since 1996, releases for bar building and habitat maintenance (a 2-day release in 1997 and two 4-day releases in 2000) have been limited to PPC. Field measurements indicate that the 1996 release of 1,270 m3/s significantly increased the area and volume of sand deposits at elevations greater than the stage reached during typical post-dam flows. Minor aggradation occurred during the PPC flows. In 1996, the relative extent of erosion and deposition changed longitudinally downstream as evidenced by the area of substantial deposition exceeding that of erosion at sites further downstream. The number of bars that were substantially reworked, as measured by the number of bars that significantly increased or decreased in area at the elevation range of normal dam operations, was much greater at 1,270 m3/s than at 900 m3/s. Deposition from the 1,270 m3/s release persisted at many sites on a multi-year scale whereas deposition resulting from the PPC flows only lasted a few months. Minor deposition during PPC flows in 1997, however, was greatest in upstream reaches where bar erosion during normal flows had been more extensive. These observations show that deposition is sensitive to flow magnitude and depth of inundation as well as sand supply. Flow, sand transport, and bed

  11. Modeling of flood-deposited sand distributions in a reach of the Colorado River below the Little Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiele, S.M.

    1998-01-01

    A release from Glen Canyon Dam during March-April 1996 was designed to test the effectiveness with which the riparian environment could be renewed with discharges greatly in excess of the normal powerplant-restricted maximum. Of primary concern was the rebuilding of sand deposits along the channel sides that are important to the flora and fauna along the river corridor and that provide the only camp sites for riverside visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park. Analysis of the depositional processes with a model of flow, sand transport, and bed evolution shows that the sand deposits formed along the channel sides early during the high flow were affected only slightly by the decline in suspended-sand concentrations over the course of the controlled flood. Modeling results suggest that the removal of a large sand deposit over several hours was not a response to declining suspended-sand concentrations. Comparisons of the controlled-flood deposits with deposits formed during a flood in January 1993 on the Little Colorado River that contributed sufficient sand to raise the suspended-sand concentrations to predam levels in the main stem show that the depositional pattern as well as the magnitude is strongly influenced by the suspended-sand concentrations.

  12. Centrifuge modeling of surface structure on normally consolidated silty sand deposited in layers under water and subjected to seismic excitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutierrez, Aurelio Manuel

    1998-09-01

    The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of strong earthquake shaking on small earth embankments on water saturated loose silty sand deposits---such the existing 5 to 6 meters high dykes along Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela---using centrifuge modeling and simplified but realistic representation of both layered sandy soil and earth structure. The effects studied included the liquefaction of the sandy soil and the permanent settlement of the crest of the dyke due to the earthquake shaking. Fourteen centrifuge tests were conducted with the soils from Lake Maracaibo and a model of foundation on top of the soil. A soil deposit about 9 meters thick was modeled. Parameters studied included shaking acceleration, frequency and duration, sand type, sand fabric, and soil permeability. A curve of vertical displacement of the top of foundation or dyke versus number of cycles of shaking is proposed, which can be used to calibrate computer codes for more general numerical evaluations.

  13. Luminescence dating of Middle Stone Age deposits at Die Kelders.

    PubMed

    Feathers, J K; Bush, D A

    2000-01-01

    Luminescence dating of sediments has not been used extensively for dating Middle Stone Age deposits in South Africa, despite its potential for contributing to a poorly dated record. Such deposits at Die Kelders cave, on the southern South African coast, consist of narrow bands of occupation debris separated by thicker layers of aeolian sands containing much less evidence of occupation. Homogeneous, aeolian sediments are usually considered ideal for luminescence dating. Here we report luminescence analyses of five samples from these sands that demonstrate sufficient bleaching prior to burial to validate dating and that yield ages of about 60-70 ka, in agreement with other evidence from sedimentology, archaeology and electron spin resonance. Lack of significant differences in the ages suggests the deposits accumulated fairly rapidly during the early part of the Last Glaciation.

  14. Highstand shelf fans: The role of buoyancy reversal in the deposition of a new type of shelf sand body

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steel, Elisabeth; Simms, Alexander R.; Warrick, Jonathan; Yokoyama, Yusuke

    2016-01-01

    Although sea-level highstands are typically associated with sediment-starved continental shelves, high sea level does not hinder major river floods. Turbidity currents generated by plunging of sediment-laden rivers at the fluvial-marine interface, known as hyperpycnal flows, allow for cross-shelf transport of suspended sand beyond the coastline. Hyperpycnal flows in southern California have deposited six subaqueous fans on the shelf of the northern Santa Barbara Channel in the Holocene. Using eight cores and nine grab samples, we describe the deposits, age, and stratigraphic architecture of two fans in the Santa Barbara Channel. Fan lobes have up to 3 m of relief and are composed of multiple hyperpycnite beds ∼5 cm to 40 cm thick. Deposit architecture and geometry suggest the hyperpycnal flows became positively buoyant and lifted off the seabed, resulting in well-sorted, structureless, elongate sand lobes. Contrary to conventional sequence stratigraphic models, the presence of these features on the continental shelf suggests that active-margin shelves may locally develop high-quality reservoir sand bodies during sea-level highstands, and that such shelves need not be solely the site of sediment bypass. These deposits may provide a Quaternary analogue to many well-sorted sand bodies in the rock record that are interpreted as turbidites but lack typical Bouma-type features.

  15. An Introduction to Using Surface Geophysics to Characterize Sand and Gravel Deposits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lucius, Jeffrey E.; Langer, William H.; Ellefsen, Karl J.

    2007-01-01

    This report is an introduction to surface geophysical techniques that aggregate producers can use to characterize known deposits of sand and gravel. Five well-established and well-tested geophysical methods are presented: seismic refraction and reflection, resistivity, ground penetrating radar, time-domain electromagnetism, and frequency-domain electromagnetism. Depending on site conditions and the selected method(s), geophysical surveys can provide information concerning areal extent and thickness of the deposit, thickness of overburden, depth to the water table, critical geologic contacts, and location and correlation of geologic features. In addition, geophysical surveys can be conducted prior to intensive drilling to help locate auger or drill holes, reduce the number of drill holes required, calculate stripping ratios to help manage mining costs, and provide continuity between sampling sites to upgrade the confidence of reserve calculations from probable reserves to proved reserves. Perhaps the greatest value of geophysics to aggregate producers may be the speed of data acquisition, reduced overall costs, and improved subsurface characterization.

  16. An Introduction to Using Surface Geophysics to Characterize Sand and Gravel Deposits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lucius, Jeffrey E.; Langer, William H.; Ellefsen, Karl J.

    2006-01-01

    This report is an introduction to surface geophysical techniques that aggregate producers can use to characterize known deposits of sand and gravel. Five well-established and well-tested geophysical methods are presented: seismic refraction and reflection, resistivity, ground penetrating radar, time-domain electromagnetism, and frequency-domain electromagnetism. Depending on site conditions and the selected method(s), geophysical surveys can provide information concerning aerial extent and thickness of the deposit, thickness of overburden, depth to the water table, critical geologic contacts, and location and correlation of geologic features. In addition, geophysical surveys can be conducted prior to intensive drilling to help locate auger or drill holes, reduce the number of drill holes required, calculate stripping ratios to help manage mining costs, and provide continuity between sampling sites to upgrade the confidence of reserve calculations from probable reserves to proved reserves. Perhaps the greatest value of geophysics to aggregate producers may be the speed of data acquisition, reduced overall costs, and improved subsurface characterization.

  17. Method and apparatus for producing tar sand deposits containing conductive layers

    SciTech Connect

    Glandt, C.A.; Vinegar, H.J.; Gardner, J.W.

    1991-08-27

    This patent describes a process for recovering hydrocarbon from tar sand deposits containing high conductivity layers and a hydrocarbon rich zone. It comprises selecting a thin high conductivity target layer near the hydrocarbon rich zone; installing at least one pair of horizontal production wells that are horizontal electrodes during an electrical heating stage, and are production wells during a production stage, wherein the horizontal electrodes, when electrically excited, span the high conductivity target layer and divide the target layer into electrically heated zones and non-electrically heated zones; providing at least one injection well for hot fluid injection into the hydrocarbon rich zone; electrically exciting the horizontal electrodes during the electrical heating stage to electrically heat the high conductivity target layer to form a thin preheated hydrocarbon rich zone immediately adjacent to the target layer; injecting a hot fluid into the deposit adjacent to the high conductivity target layer and within the thin preheated hydrocarbon rich zone to displace the hydrocarbons to the production wells; and recovering hydrocarbons from the production wells.

  18. Abrasion by aeolian particles: Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; Marshall, J. R.; White, B. R.; Pollack, J. B.; Marshall, J.; Krinsley, D.

    1984-01-01

    Estimation of the rate of aeolian abrasion of rocks on Mars requires knowledge of: (1) particle flux, (2) susceptibilities to abrasion of various rocks, and (3) wind frequencies on Mars. Fluxes and susceptibilities for a wide range of conditions were obtained in the laboratory and combined with wind data from the Viking meteorology experiment. Assuming an abundant supply of sand-sized particles, estimated rates range up to 2.1 x 10 to the minus 2 power cm of abrasion per year in the vicinity of Viking Lander 1. This rate is orders of magnitude too great to be in agreement with the inferred age of the surface based on models of impact crater flux. The discrepancy in the estimated rate of abrasion and the presumed old age of the surface cannot be explained easily by changes in climate or exhumation of ancient surfaces. The primary reason is thought to be related to the agents of abrasion. At least some sand-sized (approx. 100 micrometers) grains appear to be present, as inferred from both lander and orbiter observations. High rates of abrasion occur for all experimental cases involving sands of quartz, basalt, or ash. However, previous studies have shown that sand is quickly comminuted to silt- and clay-sized grains in the martian aeolian regime. Experiments also show that these fine grains are electrostatically charged and bond together as sand-sized aggregates. Laboratory simulations of wind abrasion involving aggregates show that at impact velocities capable of destroying sand, aggregates from a protective veneer on the target surface and can give rise to extremely low abrasion rates.

  19. Cyclicity concept in a deltaic to shallow-marine environment of deposition concerning an oil-sand setting

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, A.

    1984-04-01

    The need to accurately define sand trend and quality in a deltaic to shallow-marine environment of deposition where facies changes take place over a short distance is widely recognized. In an oil-sand environment, such as the Cerro Negro area of the Orinoco Petroliferous Belt, this need is more evident because enhanced recovery projects are necessary. Facies variability and correlation problems in such a setting have led many workers to apply indiscriminately the cyclicity concept as an exploration/exploitation tool. According to this concept, a cycle begins with a transgressive sand and ends with a marsh facies represented by a coal bed. Subdivision of the rock column into cycles allow delineation of sand geometry. Recent works have demonstrated that rooted coal beds can be formed in different coastal environments, ranging from the upper delta plain to the back-barrier lagoon facies. Therefore, it is obvious that the association of these facies will differ from one another and from the standard cycle concept. In the Cerro Negro area, the process-controlled genetic unit concept was of great help in defining sand geometry and quality. The rock column of cored wells can be subdivided according to the presence of physical and biological parameters into 4 units, differentiated by the occurrence of rooted coal, limestone, sand, shale, Ophiomorpha-type burrows (Fositextura figurativa), bioturbation structures (Fositextura deformativa), and shell fragments.

  20. Building of tropical beach ridges, northeastern Queensland, Australia: Cyclone inundation and aeolian decoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, Toru; Nicholas, William; Brooke, Brendan; Oliver, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Processes associated with tropical cyclones are thought responsible for building coarse sand beach ridges along the northeastern Queensland coast, Australia. While these ridges are expected to be geological records of the past cyclone, they question the general consensus of the aeolian genesis of sandy beach ridges. To explore the ridge-forming process, we carried out the GPR survey, auger drilling, pit excavation, grain-size analysis, and OSL dating for coarse sand beach ridges at the Cowley Beach, northeastern Queensland. The Cowley Beach is a mesotidal beach characterized by a low-tide terrace and steep beach face. Ten beach ridges are recognized along the survey transect that extends 700 m inland from the shore. 37 OSL ages are younger seawards, indicating the seaward accretion of the ridge sequence over the last 2700 years. The highest ridge is +5.1 m high above AHD (Australian Height Datum). Two GPR units are bounded by a groundwater surface at c. +1.5 m AHD. The upper unit is characterized by horizontal to hummocky reflectors punctuated by seaward dipping truncation surfaces. These reflectors in places form dome-like structure that appears to be the nucleus of a beach ridge. The shape and level (+2.5 m AHD) of the dome are similar to those of the present swash berm. The lower unit shows a sequence of reflectors that dip at an angle of present beach face. The sequence is dissected by truncation surfaces, some of which are continuous to those in the upper unit. Coarse sand mainly forms beach ridge deposits below +4.0 m AHD, while a few higher ridges have an upward fining layer composed of medium sand above +4.0 m, which is finer than aeolian ripples found on the backshore during the survey. In addition, pumice gravel horizons underlie the examined ridge crests. The sequence of seaward dipping reflectors indicates that the Cowley Beach, like other many sandy beaches, has prograded during onshore sand accretion by fairweather waves and has been eroded by storms

  1. Gully annealing by aeolian sediment: field and remote-sensing investigation of aeolian-hillslope-fluvial interactions, Colorado River corridor, Arizona, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankey, Joel B.; Draut, Amy E.

    2014-09-01

    Processes contributing to development of ephemeral gully channels are of great importance to landscapes worldwide, and particularly in dryland regions where soil loss and land degradation from gully erosion pose long-term land-management problems. Whereas gully formation has been relatively well studied, much less is known of the processes that anneal gullies and impede their growth. This study of gully annealing by aeolian sediment, spanning 95 km along the Colorado River corridor in Glen, Marble, and Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, employed field and remote sensing observations, including digital topographic modelling. Results indicate that aeolian sediment activity can be locally effective at counteracting gully erosion. Gullies are less prevalent in areas where surficial sediment undergoes active aeolian transport, and have a greater tendency to terminate in active aeolian sand. Although not common, examples exist in the record of historical imagery of gullies that underwent infilling by aeolian sediment in past decades and evidently were effectively annealed. We thus provide new evidence for a potentially important interaction of aeolian-hillslope-fluvial processes, which could affect dryland regions substantially in ways not widely recognized. Moreover, because the biologic soil crust plays an important role in determining aeolian sand activity, and so in turn the extent of gully development, this study highlights a critical role of geomorphic-ecologic interactions in determining arid-landscape evolution.

  2. Sand transport on Mars: Preliminary results from models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; Anderson, F. S.; Blumberg, D.; Lo, E.; Xu, P.; Pollack, J.

    1993-01-01

    Most studies of active aeolian processes on Mars have focused on dust, i.e., particles approximately 1 micron in diameter that are transported in suspension by wind. The presence of sand dunes on Mars indicates that larger grains (approximately greater than 60 microns, transported primarily in saltation) are also present. Although indirect evidence suggests that some dunes may be active, definitive evidence is lacking. Nonetheless, numerous studies demonstrate that sand is substantially easier to transport by wind than dust, and it is reasonable to infer that sand transportation in saltation occurs under present Martian conditions. In order to assess potential source regions, transportation pathways, and sites of deposition for sand on Mars, an iterative sand transport algorithm was developed that is based on the Mars General Circulation Model of Pollack et al. The results of the dust transport model are then compared with observed surface features, such as dune field locations observed on images, and surficial deposits as inferred from Viking IRTM observations. Preliminary results suggest that the north polar dune fields in the vicinity of 270 degrees W, 70 degrees N originated from weathered polar layered plains centered at 280 degrees W, 85 degrees N, and that Thaumasia Fossae, southern Hellas Planitia, and the area west of Hellespontus Montes are sand depositional sites. Examples of transportation 'corridors' include a westward pathway in the latitudinal band 35 degrees N to 45 degrees N, and a pathway southward from Solis Planum to Thaumasia Fossae, among others.

  3. The sand-deposition impact of artificial gravel beds on the protection of the Mogao Grottoes.

    PubMed

    Li, Guo Shuai; Qu, Jian Jun; Li, Xu Zhi; Wang, Wan Fu

    2014-03-11

    Gravel beds can prevent sand-dust emission and weaken sand-dust flux. We used wind-tunnel experiments and field observations on artificial gravel beds above the Mogao Grottoes to quantify their impact. In the report, we identified a significant correlation between gravel roughness and its ability to trap wind-transported sand. The optimal combinations of gravel diameter and coverage were determined. The greatest roughness is achieved when small gravel coverage is 75%, medium 40% and large 45%. We found that initial wind speed and gravel coverage are the key factors controlling the amount of sand trapped by the gravel beds.

  4. Effect of different-sized colloids on the transport and deposition of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in quartz sand.

    PubMed

    Cai, Li; Peng, Shengnan; Wu, Dan; Tong, Meiping

    2016-01-01

    Colloids (non-biological and biological) with different sizes are ubiquitous in natural environment. The investigations regarding the influence of different-sized colloids on the transport and deposition behaviors of engineered-nanoparticles in porous media yet are still largely lacking. This study investigated the effects of different-sized non-biological and biological colloids on the transport of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nTiO2) in quartz sand under both electrostatically favorable and unfavorable conditions. Fluorescent carboxylate-modified polystyrene latex microspheres (CML) with sizes of 0.2-2 μm were utilized as model non-biological colloids, while Gram-negative Escherichia coli (∼ 1 μm) and Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis (∼ 2 μm) were employed as model biological colloids. Under the examined solution conditions, both breakthrough curves and retained profiles of nTiO2 with different-sized CML particles/bacteria were similar as those without colloids under favorable conditions, indicating that the copresence of model colloids in suspensions had negligible effects on the transport and deposition of nTiO2 under favorable conditions. In contrast, higher breakthrough curves and lower retained profiles of nTiO2 with CML particles/bacteria relative to those without copresent colloids were observed under unfavorable conditions. Clearly, the copresence of model colloids increased the transport and decreased the deposition of nTiO2 in quartz sand under unfavorable conditions (solution conditions examined in present study). Both competition of deposition sites on quartz sand surfaces and the enhanced stability/dispersion of nTiO2 induced by copresent colloids were found to be responsible for the increased nTiO2 transport with colloids under unfavorable conditions. Moreover, the smallest colloids had the highest coverage on sand surface and most significant dispersion effect on nTiO2, resulting in the greatest nTiO2 transport.

  5. Aeolian processes and dune morphology in the Gobi and Badain Jaran Desert using LandSat Imagery.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardinale, Marco; Cannito, Arturo; Marinangeli, Lucia

    2014-05-01

    The Gobi and Badain Jaran Deserts are parts of the vast sand sea of the Alashan Region, one of the greatest dunefield in China [1]. They lie between the southern Mongolia and the northern China (latitude 37° 06'N - 41°50'N; longitude 99°10'E - 107°09'E) [2]. The studied area is characterized by an arid climate with low average annual rainfall between 50-60mm, extreme fluctuation in temperature, very strong winds and by the occurrence of mega dunes and permanent lakes within the dunefield [3]. According to our morphological analysis, wind action has been one of the main factors that have shaped the surface features inside the investigated area. We produce a detailed geomorphological map of the desertic zone, highlighting the aeolian morphologies, in order to characterize aeolian deposits and processes. The LandSat ETM+ data [4], providing a continuous coverage of the dune fields with no gaps, were processed using ENVI software and then ingested in a GIS project. We also used DTMs (30m / pixel) from Aster data [5]. The dune morphology was classified using McKee criteria [6] and we interpreted the pattern of the complex ergs as the result of self - organization within complex systems [7]. Compound transverse mega dunes and barchanoid dunes developed under a variable wind regime, star dunes in the northern area near the mountain have been formed under a multi directional wind regime. The area covered by mega dunes suggests a complex evolution of these features dominated by the wind activity. Different episodes of deposition, erosion and motion, could explain the height of these dunes measured by the DTMs. The diverse aeolian features identified in the investigated area suggest that aeolian activity play a key role for the evolution of the surface morphologies of the Gobi Desert. To understand the local dynamics of aeolian processes, we are currently comparing these features with meteorological data from mesoscale wind models. References: [1] E. D.McKee. A Study of

  6. Retention in treated wastewater affects survival and deposition of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in sand columns.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiuyi; Zhao, Xiaokang; Tian, Xiujun; Li, Jin; Sjollema, Jelmer; Wang, Aimin

    2015-03-01

    The fate and transport of pathogenic bacteria from wastewater treatment facilities in the Earth's subsurface have attracted extensive concern over recent decades, while the impact of treated-wastewater chemistry on bacterial viability and transport behavior remains unclear. The influence of retention time in effluent from a full-scale municipal wastewater treatment plant on the survival and deposition of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli strains in sand columns was investigated in this paper. In comparison to the bacteria cultivated in nutrient-rich growth media, retention in treated wastewater significantly reduced the viability of all strains. Bacterial surface properties, e.g., zeta potential, hydrophobicity, and surface charges, varied dramatically in treated wastewater, though no universal trend was found for different strains. Retention in treated wastewater effluent resulted in changes in bacterial deposition in sand columns. Longer retention periods in treated wastewater decreased bacterial deposition rates for the strains evaluated and elevated the transport potential in sand columns. We suggest that the wastewater quality should be taken into account in estimating the fate of pathogenic bacteria discharged from wastewater treatment facilities and the risks they pose in the aquatic environment.

  7. Approach to Assessing the Effects of Aerial Deposition on Water Quality in the Alberta Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Dayyani, Shadi; Daly, Gillian; Vandenberg, Jerry

    2016-02-01

    Snow cover forms a porous medium that acts as a receptor for aerially deposited polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals. The snowpack, acting as a temporary storage reservoir, releases contaminants accumulating over the winter during a relatively short melt period. This process could result in elevated concentrations of contaminants in melt water. Recent studies in the Alberta oil sands region have documented increases in snowpack and lake sediment concentrations; however, no studies have addressed the fate and transport of contaminants during the snowmelt period. This study describes modelling approaches that were developed to assess potential effects of aerially deposited PAHs and metals to snowpack and snowmelt water concentrations. The contribution of snowmelt to freshwater PAH concentrations is assessed using a dynamic, multi-compartmental fate model, and the contribution to metal concentrations is estimated using a mass-balance approach. The modelling approaches described herein were applied to two watersheds in the Alberta oil sands region for two planned oil sands developments. Accumulation of PAHs in a lake within the deposition zone was also modelled for comparison to observed concentrations.

  8. Depositional models of sandy debrites and turbidites of Palaeogene reservoir sands in deep-lacustrine environments, South China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y.; Chen, G.

    2013-12-01

    Two depositional models are proposed for deep-lacustrine petroleum reservior sands (Palaeogene) in the Fushan Sag, Beibuwan Basin, South China. This facies trend is used as a template for predicting the distribution of reservoir facies of the Fushan oilfield. Based on examination of 150m of conventional cores from 13 drilled wells, four depositional facies have been interpreted: (1) fine-grained massive sandstone with floating mudstone clasts and planar clast fabric (sandy debrite); (2) fine-grained sandstone and siltstone showing contorted bedding, sand injection, and ptygmatic folding (sandy slump), (3) fine-grained sandstone with thin layers of normal grading and flute casts (turbidite), and (4) mudstone with faint laminae (suspension fallout). Combined with multiple seismic attributes, two depositional models are characterized by (1) sublacustrine fan: thick turbidite units occur at the bottom of the western sag beneath a series of normal faults slope. (2) Thinner deposition of sandy debrites mainly distribute at the bottom of eastern sag far from sandy slump at the lake margin slope, which interpreted to be controlled by "two-step" flexure slope break. The transfer zone located in the centre area is confirmed to be the primary origin for such differential depositions. In our study area, sandy debrites constitute the producing petroleum reservoirs, but turbidites are non reservoirs. This dramatic understanding will well account for "eastern much more than western" distribution of proven petroleum reserves and be applicable to predicting reservoir distribution.

  9. Contemporary research in aeolian geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, B. O.

    2009-04-01

    The first International Conference on Aeolian Geomorphology (ICAR) was held in 1986, and every four years since then, aeolian geomorphologists from around the world have assembled to discuss their research and to showcase recent advancements in understanding and modeling of aeolian processes. A content analysis of the "Bibliography of Aeolian Research" [Stout, J.E., Warren, A., Gill, T.E., 2009. Publication trends in aeolian research: An analysis of the Bibliography of Aeolian Research. Geomorphology 105, 6-17 (this volume)] shows that the number of publications on aeolian topics has increased exponentially from the mid-20th Century with approximately 50 publications per year to about 500 publications per year when the first ICAR was held, to almost 1000 publications per year currently. Areas of focus have shifted historically from initial concerns with aeolian erosion and dust events as isolated phenomenon of localized curiosity or only regional importance, to comprehensive physically-based investigations and modeling of the mechanics of aeolian transport. Recently, more applied studies have been motivated by the recognition of the importance of aeolian processes to dust emissions into the atmosphere (with relevance for human health and for meteorological conditions and climate change) and within regional management contexts (especially on coasts where impending sea-level rise is of great concern and in arid and semi-arid environments given the dependence of sediment surface stability and remobilization on meteorological and ecological conditions). Aeolian geomorphology is a rapidly growing sub-discipline of Geomorphology that offers rich opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues from the Atmospheric Sciences, Climatology, Sedimentology, Quaternary Geology, Fluid Mechanics, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Physical Geography, Ecology, and Agricultural Sciences, as well as our counterparts in fluvial, coastal, and arid

  10. Structure, stratigraphy, and depositional environment of the Heterostegina limestone and overlying sands in the Lake Pontchartrain Area of southeast Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Street, S.B. III

    1994-09-01

    The Heterostegina zone of the Oligocene Anahuac Formation in southeastern Louisiana occurs in the subsurface as an extensive shelf reef complex. The Heterostegina limestone is overlain by strata associated with the Oligocene Discorbis and lower Miocene Robulus (43) biostratigraphic zones. Examination of electric logs and drill cuttings from wells in the Lake Pontchartrain area of southeastern Louisiana reveal the importance of the Heterostegina reef as a paleoenvironmental punctuation marking a significant shift in regional depositional patterns that occurred between the generally transgressive Oligocene seas and the generally regressive Miocene seas. Fauna identified in thin section from the Heterostegina reef interval suggest deposition in a warm, shallow marine environment relatively free of significant elastic influx. An eastward migration of late Oligocene-early Miocene stream systems introduced an influx of elastic sediments onto the ancient shelf of the Lake Pontchartrain area, which influenced the termination of favorable conditions for Heterostegina reef growth. The Robulus (43) zone strata are characterized by a cyclic sequence of lime, shale, and sand. Within this interval, two general lithofacies are identified. Lithofacies I is characterized by thick, shore-parallel sand deposits, and is interpreted to have been deposited in association with a barrier-beach/tidal-inlet channel environment. Lithofacies II is characterized by shaleprone sand intervals, which are immediately overlain by calcareous shales and limestones deposited in the offshore inner-middle neritic environment. Five oil and gas fields in the study area have produced hydrocarbons from the interval of interest. The occurrence of hydrocarbons at these locations with respect to mechanisms of entrapment and areal extent of the reservoirs is characterized through detailed subsurface mapping.

  11. Primary sedimentary structures and the internal architecture of a Martian sand body in search of evidence for sand transport and deposition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Basu, Abhijit

    1988-01-01

    Lunar experiences show that unmanned sample return missions, despite limitations on sample size, can produce invaluable data to infer crustal processes, regolith processes, regolith-atmosphere/ionosphere interaction processes, etc. Drill cores provide a record of regolith evolution as well as a more complete sample of the regolith than small scoops and/or rakes. It is proposed that: (1) a hole be drilled in a sand body to obtain continuous oriented cores; a depth of about 10 m would be compatible with what we know of bed form hierarchy of terrestrial stream deposits; (2) two trenches, at right angles to each other and close to the drill-hole, be dug and the walls scraped lightly such that primary/internal sedimentary structures of the sand body become visible; (3) the walls of the trenches be made gravitationally stable by impregnation techniques; (4) acetate or other peels of a strip on each wall be taken; and (5) appropriately scaled photographs of the walls be taken at different sun-angles to ensure maximum ease of interpretation of sedimentary structures; and, to correlate these structural features with those in the core at different depth levels of the core.

  12. A playa deposit of pre-Yellow Sands age (upper Rotliegend/Weissliegend) in the Permian of northeast England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Brian R.; Smith, Denys B.

    1997-12-01

    A complexly interbedded thin succession of sandstone, siltstone and mudstone beneath the Permian Yellow Sands Formation (upper Rotliegend/Weissliegend) was cored in a borehole 11 km off the coast of northeast England. The cored strata rest unconformably on fissured Westphalian B mudstone and mainly comprise low-dipping fine- to coarse-grained grey sandstone with unevenly spaced thinner dark-red to grey mudstone beds and laminae. Most of the sandstone beds are moderately to poorly sorted, fine- to very fine-grained subarkoses, with some sublitharenites, and are weakly to strongly cemented by dolomite (predominant), kaolinite and illite; sedimentary structures include subhorizontal plane to wavy lamination, ripple lamination, salt ridges and soft-sediment deformation. The siltstones and mudstones are more uniform in lithology and primary thickness; they contain sandstone-filled desiccation cracks, mudstone saucers and narrow sandstone dykes. Traces of possible former evaporite minerals are concentrated in the sandstones. By comparison with modem desert depositional environments, these strata are interpreted as the deposits of a playa occupying a depression on a stony, deflationary desert surface on a rock pediment or peneplain flanking the ancestral Pennines. The floor of the depression, which probably lay in the capillary fringe just above the contemporary water table, was periodically flooded so as to form a shallow playa lake. Comparable successions beneath the Yellow Sands have not been recorded from surface exposures in northeast England but mudstone beds at this stratigraphical level have been recorded in four other cored offshore boreholes and are presumed to be of similar origin to those described in this study. The stratigraphical position of these deposits suggests that they may be of pre-Yellow Sands age and coeval with or younger than the Basal Permian Breccia. Palynological analysis of mudstone samples from the core reveal the presence of plant material

  13. Gravel and sand resources of the New England-New York region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Currier, Louis W.

    1955-01-01

    Deposits of sand and gravel are widespread in the New England-New York regions and constitute one of its principal mineral resources. Most of the pits are operated intermittently to supply local needs. Because of the great number and variety of known deposits, and because they have been worked at countless points it is impracticable to describe in detail either the deposits or the individual pits. On the other hand, a broad description of the geologic modes of occurrence with relation to the regional geology will serve adequately to indicate the importance of the resource in the regional economy and development. Except for some special sands, such as "glass sand", certain molding and foundry sands, et. al., for which restrictive textural, compositional and physical properties are required, sand and gravel are used chiefly for local construction and are not commonly transported for long distances. Sand and gravel deposits of the region fall into four principal genetic categories - e.g., glacial, alluvial, marine, and aeolian. Of these, deposits of glacial origin are by far the most widespread and important.

  14. Conditions and processes affecting sand resources at archeological sites in the Colorado River corridor below Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    East, Amy E.; Collins, Brian D.; Sankey, Joel B.; Corbett, Skye C.; Fairley, Helen C.; Caster, Joshua

    2016-05-17

    We conclude that most of the river-corridor archeological sites are at elevated risk of net erosion under present dam operations. In the present flow regime, controlled floods do not simulate the magnitude or frequency of natural floods, and are not large enough to deposit sand at elevations that were flooded at annual to decadal intervals in predam time. For archeological sites that depend upon river-derived sand, we infer elevated erosion risk owing to a combination of reduced sand supply (both fluvial and aeolian) through (1) the lower-than-natural flood magnitude, frequency, and sediment supply of the controlled-flooding protocol; (2) reduction of open, dry sand area available for wind redistribution under current normal (nonflood) dam operations, which do not include flows as low as natural seasonal low flows and do include substantial daily flow fluctuations; and (3) impeded aeolian sand entrainment and transport owing to increased riparian vegetation growth in the absence of larger, more-frequent floods. If dam operations were to increase the supply of sand available for windblown transport—for example, through larger floods, sediment augmentation, or increased fluvial sandbar exposure by low flows—and also decrease riparian vegetation, the prevalence of active aeolian sand could increase over time, and the propensity for unmitigated gully erosion could decrease. Although the evolution of river-corridor landscapes and archeological sites has been altered fundamentally by the lack of large, sediment-rich floods (flows on the order of 5,000 m3/s), some combination of sediment-rich flows above 1,270 m3/s, seasonal flows below 226 m3/s, and riparian-vegetation removal might increase the preservation potential for sand-dependent archeological resources in the Colorado River corridor.

  15. Gully annealing by aeolian sediment: field and remote-sensing investigation of aeolian-hillslope-fluvial interactions, Colorado River corridor, Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sankey, Joel B.; Draut, Amy E.

    2014-01-01

    Processes contributing to development of ephemeral gully channels are of great importance to landscapes worldwide, and particularly in dryland regions where soil loss and land degradation from gully erosion pose long-term land-management problems. Whereas gully formation has been relatively well studied, much less is known of the processes that anneal gullies and impede their growth. This study of gully annealing by aeolian sediment, spanning 95 km along the Colorado River corridor in Glen, Marble, and Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, employed field and remote sensing observations, including digital topographic modelling. Results indicate that aeolian sediment activity can be locally effective at counteracting gully erosion. Gullies are less prevalent in areas where surficial sediment undergoes active aeolian transport, and have a greater tendency to terminate in active aeolian sand. Although not common, examples exist in the record of historical imagery of gullies that underwent infilling by aeolian sediment in past decades and evidently were effectively annealed. We thus provide new evidence for a potentially important interaction of aeolian–hillslope–fluvial processes, which could affect dryland regions substantially in ways not widely recognized. Moreover, because the biologic soil crust plays an important role in determining aeolian sand activity, and so in turn the extent of gully development, this study highlights a critical role of geomorphic–ecologic interactions in determining arid-landscape evolution.

  16. Granulometry and geochemistry of aeolian dust during emission from Owens (dry) Lake, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojo, A.; Gill, T. E.; Gillette, D. A.; Emmert, S. P.; Barnes, M. A.

    2005-12-01

    We utilize a variety of methods to correlate particle size distributions (PSD) with the geochemistry of aeolian dusts being generated at Owens (dry) Lake, California. Elemental analysis of dust samples was performed via proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and inductively coupled plasma - atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). PSD (submicron through coarse sand) of dust (in air and water, dispersed and undispersed) were determined via laser diffraction to evaluate dust grain sizes (percent volume) as a function of time, height above the playa surface, and distance downwind of the initiation point of dust emission, as well as the effect of precipitation and soluble salts on overall dust loading. Aeolian sediments were collected at up to six heights up to 1m above the playa surface at up to seven sites along a 1.5 km long upwind-downwind transect during the Lake Owens Dust Experiment (LODE) I in March 1993. The initial dust event on March 11, 1993 was characterized by the wind erosion of an efflorescent playa surface rich in sodium sulfates and other evaporites deposited by saline groundwater discharge during late winter and early spring. Dust from this event was rich in clays as well as evaporites. The proportion of the finest (respirable) and coarsest (saltating) airborne particles decreased with distance downwind, while the proportion of mid-sized grains (silt) increased downwind. The proportion of clay and silt sized particles consistently increased with height and sand (saltating particle) content decreased with height above the playa at each site during LODE I. Percent volume of sand peaked in the fine sand (100-250 micrometers) range. The proportion of particles in any given size fraction had no clear pattern from one dust storm to another. PIXE analyses revealed the presence of at least 20 elements; several additional trace elements were detected at ppm levels by ICP-AES. Na, Si, and Ca were present at the highest concentrations (tens of weight percent

  17. Braidplain, floodplain and playa lake, alluvial-fan, aeolian and palaeosol facies composing a diversified lithogenetical sequence in the permian and triassic of South Devon (England)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mader, Detlef

    flat seaming the toes of the fan chain. Sedimentation is characterized by flashy discharge with many episodic flood pulses of short periodicity and mainly rapid waning of high-water phases with quick underrunning of the threshold velocity for keeping the large clasts rolling. Pronounced slack water episodes allow occasionally the draping of gravel sheets with thin veneers of waning-flow and stagnant-water fines. Spectacular invertebrate burrows in finer breccias underline the flashy nature of most of the flood and flow events, allowing the colonization of the sediments with ground-living invertebrates during interruptions of transport and accumulation. Some peculiar dewatering structures being infilling of crack systems in breccias with wash-load sand are probably induced by earthquake shocks thus pointing to the active tectonic setting of the depositional area. Aeolian sands originate as transverse dune ridges in restricted dune fields and extensive sand seas and as sheet sands in interdune playa depressions. Associated mudstones and ventifact gravel form in wet interdunes or in playa lakes and in deflationary interdunes, respectively. Accumulation of aeolian dunes and interdune sheet sands takes place by both spreading out of drapes on flats and infilling of abandoned fluvial channels which enhance the trapping of sand by topographical effects. The dunes and wind ripple trains migrate across dry interdune floors under predominantly unidirectional winds. Sedimentary processes are grainfall and grainflow on the lee slope of dunes and subcritical climbing of wind ripples. Episodical wetting and dampening of dry interdune flats by intermittent rainfall, periodical dew and even ephemeral fluvial or alluvial-fan incursions allow formation of adhesion-rippled sands on damp surfaces and origin of sandy and silty-clayey lacustrine sediments in shallow water veneers of the flooded playa. Aquatic modification of aeolian sands by invading flood surges of atmospheric or alluvial

  18. A linear dune dam - a unique late Pleistocene aeolian-fluvial archive bordering the northwestern Negev Desert dunefield, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Bookman, Revital; Friesem, David; Vardi, Jacob

    2016-04-01

    Interactions between aeolian and fluvial processes, known as aeolian-fluvial (A-F) interactions, play a fundamental role in shaping the surface of the Earth especially in arid zones. The blocking of wadis by dunes (dune-damming) is an A-F interaction that is perceived to be an archive of periods of aeolian 'superiority' on fluvial transport power and has had a strong impact on arid landscapes and prehistoric man since the late Quaternary. The southern fringes of the northwestern Negev dunefield are lined with discontinuous surfaces of light-colored, playa-like, low-energy, fine-grained fluvial deposits (LFFDs). Abundant Epipalaeolithic camp sites mainly border the LFFDs. The LFFDs are understood to be reworked loess-like sediment deposited in short-lived shallow water bodies during the late Pleistocene. These developed adjacently upstream of hypothesized dune dams of wadis that drain the Negev highlands. However, no dune dam structures by the LFFDs have been explicitly identified or analyzed. This paper presents for the first time the morphology, stratigraphy and sedimentology of a hypothesized dune dam. The studied linear-like dune dam structure extends west-east for several hundred meters, has an asymmetric cross-section and is comprised of two segments. In the west, the structure is 3-5 m high, 80 m wide, with a steep southern slope, and is covered by pebbles. Here, its morphology and orientation resembles the prevailing vegetated linear dunes (VLDs) of the adjacent dunefield though its slope angles differ from VLDs. To the south of the structure extends a thick LFFD sequence. In the east the structure flattens and is covered by nebkhas with its southern edge overlapped by LFFD units. The structures' stratigraphy is found to be comprised of a thick LFFD base, overlaid by aeolian and fluvially reworked sand, a thin middle LFFD unit, and a crest comprised of LFFDs, fluvial sand and pebbles. Carbonate contents and particle size distributions of the sediments easily

  19. Mineral Resource Assessment of Marine Sand Resources in Cape- and Ridge-Associated Marine Sand Deposits in Three Tracts, New York and New Jersey, United States Atlantic Continental Shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bliss, James D.; Williams, S. Jeffress; Arsenault, Matthew A.

    2009-01-01

    Demand is growing in the United States and worldwide for information about the geology of offshore continental shelf regions, the character of the seafloor, and sediments comprising the seafloor and subbottom. Interest in locating sand bodies or high quality deposits that have potential as sources for beach nourishment and ecosystem restoration is especially great in some regions of the country. The Atlantic coast, particularly New York and New Jersey, has been the focus of these studies for the past 40 years with widely varying results. This study is the first attempt at applying probability statistics to modeling Holocene-age cape-and ridge-associated sand deposits and thus focuses on distinct sand body morphology. This modeling technique may have application for other continental shelf regions that have similar geologic character and late Quaternary sea-level transgression history. An estimated volume of 3.9 billion m3 of marine sand resources is predicted in the cape-and ridge-associated marine sand deposits in three representative regions or tracts on the continental shelf offshore of New York and New Jersey. These estimates are taken from probabilistic distributions of sand resources and are produced using deposit models and Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) techniques. The estimated sand resources presented here are for only three tracts as described below and for Holocene age sand resources contained in cape-and ridge-associated marine sand deposit types within this area. Other areas may qualify as tracts for this deposit type and other deposit types and geologic ages (for example, paleo-stream channels, blanket and outwash deposits, ebb-tide shoals, and lower sea level-stand deltas), which are present on the New Jersey and New York continental shelf area but are not delineated and modeled in this initial evaluation. Admittedly, only a portion of these probable sand resources will ultimately be available and suitable for production, dependent largely on

  20. Size- and concentration-dependent deposition of fluorescent silica colloids in saturated sand columns: transport experiments and modeling.

    PubMed

    Vitorge, Elsa; Szenknect, Stéphanie; Martins, Jean M F; Gaudet, Jean-Paul

    2013-08-01

    This study investigates the size and concentration effects on the transport of silica colloids in columns of sandy aquifer material. Colloid transport experiments were performed with specifically developed fluorescent labeled silica colloids in columns of a repacked natural porous medium under hydro-geochemical conditions representative of sandy aquifers. Breakthrough curves and vertical deposition profiles of colloids were measured for various colloid concentrations and sizes. The results showed that for a given colloid concentration injected, deposition increased when increasing the size of the colloids. For a given colloid size, retention was also shown to be highly concentration-dependent with a non-monotonous pattern presenting low and high concentration specificities. Deposition increases when increasing both size and injected concentration, until a threshold concentration is reached, above which retention decreases, thus increasing colloid mobility. Results observed above the threshold concentration agree with a classical blocking mechanism typical of a high concentration regime. Results observed at lower colloid concentrations were not modeled with a classical blocking model and a depth- and time-dependent model with a second order kinetic law was necessary to correctly fit the experimental data in the entire range of colloid concentrations with a single set of parameters for each colloidal size. The colloid deposition mechanisms occuring at low concentrations were investigated through a pore structure analysis carried out with Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry and image analysis. The determined pore size distribution permitted estimation of the maximal retention capacity of the natural sand as well as some low flow zones. Altogether, these results stress the key role of the pore space geometry of the sand in controlling silica colloids deposition under hydro-geochemical conditions typical of sandy aquifers. Our results also showed originally that colloid

  1. Variation of Atmospheric Deposition of Acid Species and Yellow Sand Particles From 1987 to 1999 Through Modeling Studies and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z.; Uno, I.; Zhang, M.; Akimoto, H.

    2002-05-01

    Acid deposition is of serious environmental concern in East Asia. Wet and dry deposition monitoring datasets have been collected for long enough to understand the deposition distribution and its variation in time and space in this region Field observations indicate that acid precipitation often occurs in the southern part of China, even though emissions of the precursors are stronger in the north, where such high levels of strong acids in precipitation have not been widely. The acidity of rainwater is heavily influenced and modified by natural soil dust from desert and semi-arid areas. This soil aerosol, or _gKOSA", is lifted from Asian deserts and the Loess plateau, and then carried by the prevailing wind over East Asia. A comprehensive Air Quality Prediction Modeling System (AQPMS) is used to perform year-long, quantitative simulation of rainwater pH in East Asia for 1987 and 1999, respectively with emissions of Akimoto et al.(1987) and Street et al.(2000), to discuss the variation of deposition of acid species and yellow sand particles due to the emission change in the past dozen years. Monitoring data at 17 sites of EANET (the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia) in addition to the field observation data of SEPA(State Environmental Protection Agency) of China are used to evaluate the model, and a reasonable agreement is obtained. Emission in Sichuan province has decreased and emission in central China including Hubei province and Hunan province has increased. Model simulation shows the change of emission pattern caused the serious acid-rain-hit area moving southeastward as observed. In the west part of Sichuan province, the pH value increased, this is partly due to the success of countermeasures against acid rain in China since 1996, which reduce the emission in Sichuan area much more than expected. The variations of annual distribution of rain pH, sulfate, nitrite and yellow sand particles deposition are also discussed in detail, so do the

  2. Chronology and geochemistry of late Holocene eolian deposits in the Brandon Sand Hills, Manitoba, Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolfe, S.A.; Muhs, D.R.; David, P.P.; McGeehin, J.P.

    2000-01-01

    Accelerator mass spectrometry and conventional radiocarbon age determinations of organic matter from paleosols indicate that the Brandon Sand Hills area of southern Manitoba has been subjected to recurrent intervals of eolian activity in the past 5000 years. Although precise regional correlations are precluded by dating uncertainties, periods of most notable paleosol development occurred around 2300 to 2000, 1400 to 1000, and 600 to 500 cal yr BP with eolian activity occurring before and after each of these periods. Episodes of eolian activity may correspond to periods of regional drought, whereas paleosols mark periods of increased moisture availability and stabilization by vegetation. The geochemistry of the eolian sands, paleosols and source sediments indicates that partial leaching of carbonates occurs from pedogenesis during humid climatic phases, and that this is probably the primary mechanism of carbonate depletion of eolian sands in this area. Recent trends in sand dune activity from historic aerial photography and early explorers' accounts indicate that the few active dunes that presently exist have stabilized at a rate of 10-20% per decade, despite several severe droughts in the 20th century. This may be attributed to pre-settlement droughts that were more severe than those in historic times although regional dune stabilization may also be related, in part, to the spread of forest cover in the past few hundred years. Crown copyright (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Use of radar to assess aeolian processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Lancaster, N.; Gaddis, L.; Blumberg, D.; Debrovolskis, A.; Saunders, R. S.; Wall, S.; Iversen, J. D.; White, B.; Rasmussen, K. R.

    1991-06-01

    The interaction between wind and desert surfaces has important implications for sediment transport on Earth, Mars, and Venus, and for understanding the relationship between radar backscatter and aerodynamic roughness. Here, researchers report results from measurements of atmospheric boundary layer profiles, assessment of radar backscatter at P, L, and C wavelengths, and surface roughness in Death Valley, the Mojave Desert, and Lunar Lake, NV, and discuss the implications for aeolian process. The sites include playas, gravel and sand regs, alluvial fans, and lava flows. Boundary layer wind profiles were measured using anemometers at heights of 0.75, 1.25, 2.07, 3.44, 5.72, and 9.5 m; temperature sensors at heights of 1.3 and 9.6 m; and wind vanes at 9.7 and 1.5 m. Microtopographic measurements were made using a template and a laser-photo device to obtain RMS height. This study demonstrates that radar backscatter coefficients obtained from airborne and perhaps orbiting instruments could permit the derivation of aerodynamic roughness values for large areas. Such values, when combined with wind frequency data, could enable assessment of aeolian processes on a regional scale.

  4. Use of radar to assess aeolian processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Lancaster, N.; Gaddis, L.; Blumberg, D.; Debrovolskis, A.; Saunders, R. S.; Wall, S.; Iversen, J. D.; White, B.; Rasmussen, K. R.

    1991-01-01

    The interaction between wind and desert surfaces has important implications for sediment transport on Earth, Mars, and Venus, and for understanding the relationship between radar backscatter and aerodynamic roughness. Here, researchers report results from measurements of atmospheric boundary layer profiles, assessment of radar backscatter at P, L, and C wavelengths, and surface roughness in Death Valley, the Mojave Desert, and Lunar Lake, NV, and discuss the implications for aeolian process. The sites include playas, gravel and sand regs, alluvial fans, and lava flows. Boundary layer wind profiles were measured using anemometers at heights of 0.75, 1.25, 2.07, 3.44, 5.72, and 9.5 m; temperature sensors at heights of 1.3 and 9.6 m; and wind vanes at 9.7 and 1.5 m. Microtopographic measurements were made using a template and a laser-photo device to obtain RMS height. This study demonstrates that radar backscatter coefficients obtained from airborne and perhaps orbiting instruments could permit the derivation of aerodynamic roughness values for large areas. Such values, when combined with wind frequency data, could enable assessment of aeolian processes on a regional scale.

  5. Pesticide and transformation product detections and age-dating relations from till and sand deposits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Warner, K.L.; Morrow, W.S.

    2007-01-01

    Pesticide and transformation product concentrations and frequencies in ground water from areas of similar crop and pesticide applications may vary substantially with differing lithologies. Pesticide analysis data for atrazine, metolachlor, alachlor, acetochlor, and cyanazine and their pesticide transformation products were collected at 69 monitoring wells in Illinois and northern Indiana to document occurrence of pesticides and their transformation products in two agricultural areas of differing lithologies, till, and sand. The till is primarily tile drained and has preferential fractured flow, whereas the sand primarily has surface water drainage and primary porosity flow. Transformation products represent most of the agricultural pesticides in ground water regardless of aquifer material - till or sand. Transformation products were detected more frequently than parent pesticides in both the till and sand, with metolachlor ethane sulfonic acid being most frequently detected. Estimated ground-water recharge dates for the sand were based on chlorofluorocarbon analyses. These age-dating data indicate that ground water recharged prior to 1990 is more likely to have a detection of a pesticide or pesticide transformation product. Detections were twice as frequent in ground water recharged prior to 1990 (82%) than in ground water recharged on or after 1990 (33%). The highest concentrations of atrazine, alachlor, metolachlor, and their transformation products, also were detected in samples from ground water recharged prior to 1990. These age/pesticide detection relations are opposite of what would normally be expected, and may be the result of preferential flow and/or ground-water mixing between aquifers and aquitards as evident by the detection of acetochlor transformation products in samples with estimated ground-water ages predating initial pesticide application. ?? 2007 American Water Resources Association.

  6. Method and apparatus for producing tar sand deposits containing conductive layers having little or no vertical communication

    SciTech Connect

    Glandt, C.A.; Vinegar, H.J.; Gardner, J.W.

    1991-10-29

    This patent describes a process for recovering hydrocarbons from hydrocarbon-bearing deposits containing thin highly conductive layers adjacent to at least one hydrocarbon rich zone. It comprises selecting a hydrocarbon-bearing deposit which contains a thin highly conductive layer within the deposit; installing at least one pair of horizontal electrodes spanning the highly conductive layer and dividing the layer into electrically heated and non-electrically heated zones; providing at least one vertical injection well for hot fluid injection into the hydrocarbon rich zone; providing at least one vertical production well for production of hydrocarbons; electrically heating the thin highly conductive layer to form a preheated zone immediately adjacent to the thin highly conductive layer while simultaneously stimulating the wells with steam; injecting the hot fluid into the deposit adjacent to the thin highly conductive layer and within the thin preheated zone to displace the hydrocarbons to the production wells; and recovering hydrocarbons from the production wells. This patent also describes an apparatus for recovering hydrocarbons from tar sand deposits containing highly conductive layers. It comprises at least two pairs of horizontal electrodes which span the highly conductive layer and divide the highly conductive layer into at least two horizontally displaced electrically heated zones separated by non-electrically heated zones; at least one vertical injection well; and at least one vertical production well.

  7. Acid fog Deposition of Crusts on Basaltic Tephra Deposits in the Sand Wash Region of Kilauea Volcano: A Possible Mechanism for Siliceous-Sulfatic Crusts on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiffman, P.; Zierenberg, R.; Marks, N.; Bishop, J. L.

    2004-12-01

    Although the presence of sulfate minerals in martian outcrops may imply the prior existence of standing bodies of surface water, in terrestrial volcanic settings, sulfatic alteration may also occur above the water table within the vadose zone. On the summit of Kilauea volcano, sulfur dioxide, which is continuously emitted from Halemaumau crater and rapidly sequestered into sulfuric acid-rich aerosol entrained in the prevailing trade winds, is subsequently precipitated as acid-fog immediately downwind from the caldera in the Kau Desert. The characteristic pH of surface tephra deposits is < 4.0 in Sand Wash, a region of continuous, acidic aerosol fall-out immediately SW of the caldera. The upper portion of the Keanakakoi Ash tephra in Sand Wash, deposited in the late 18th century, has a ubiquitous, 0.1-0.2 mm-thick coating of amorphous silica. Conversely, vertical walls of unconsolidated tephra, exposed within small, dry gullies eroded into the ca. 3-4 m-thick Keanakakoi section at Sand Wash, are coated with ca. 0.5-1.0 mm-thick, mixed amorphous silica and jarosite-bearing crusts. Since these crusts are denuded from their outcrops during ephemeral, but probably annual flooding events in Sand Wash, we believe that they must accumulate rapidly. These crusts are apparently formed via an evaporative mechanism whereby acidic pore fluids, circulating in the upper few m's within the highly porous tephra, are wicked towards the walls of the gullies. Geochemical modeling of the crust-forming process implies that the sulfate formation via evaporation occurs subsequent to minimal interaction of acidic pore fluids with the basaltic tephra. This also suggests that the cycle from acid-fog fall-out to precipitation of the siliceous-sulfatic crusts must occur quite rapidly. Production of siliceous-sulfatic crusts via acid-fog alteration may also be occurring on Mars. The occurrence of evaporitic sulfate and silica at Sand Wash in Kilauea may serve as an example of how the jarosite

  8. Coal occurrence and characteristics as related to environment of deposition in Cerro Negro area of Orinoco Tar Sands, Venezuela

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, A.

    1983-03-01

    Sedimentological analysis of cores taken in the Cerro Negro area of the Orinoco Tar Sands have provided lithological, textural, mineralogical, and paleontological data which have enabled facies identification. These facies have been interpreted as belonging from an upper delta plain to a semi-restricted shallow marine environment of deposition. Coal beds occur in all the wells analyzed. These occurrences are closely associated with specific facies, such as the back-barrier lagoonal facies of the semirestricted environment of deposition and the backswamp facies of the delta plain. More importantly these coal beds present very distinguishable characteristics, such as variation in thickness from few inches in the back-barrier facies to 5 ft (1.5 m) in the delta plain facies. Their organic composition also ranges from micrite/atrinite to vitrinite and exinite in different proportions. Therefore, it is believed that variations in thickness and perhaps in organic composition are related to facies changes.

  9. Early Pliocene Hiatus in Sand Output by the Colorado River: Evidence From Marine Deposits in the Salton Trough, Southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorsey, R. J.; Bykerk-Kauffman, A.

    2015-12-01

    Early Pliocene deposits in the western Salton Trough preserve a high-fidelity record of sediment dispersal into the marine realm during initiation and early evolution of the Colorado River (CR). Grain-size fractionation, sediment routing, and transport dynamics of the early CR delta are recorded in sediments of the Fish Creek - Vallecito basin, which was located ~100 km south of Yuma along the transform plate boundary at 5 Ma. Early Pliocene delivery of CR sand to the basin took place in two distinct pulses: (1) deposition of sandy turbidites (Wind Caves Mbr of the Latrania Fm) in a restricted submarine canyon at Split Mt Gorge between ~5.3 and 5.1 Ma; and (2) progradation of a thick, widespread, coarsening-up deltaic sequence of marine mudstone, sandstone, and coquinas (Deguynos Fm) between ~4.8 and 4.2 Ma. Estimated flux of CR sediment during Wind Caves deposition was weak (~3-5 Mt/yr) compared to the long-term average (172±64 Mt/yr). The two pulses of CR sand input are separated by the Coyote Clay (CC, ~5.1-4.8 Ma), a regionally correlable, greenish-yellow-weathering marine claystone unit at the base of the Deguynos Fm. CC gradationally overlies Wind Caves turbidites in the area of the paleocanyon. In contrast, in the Coyote Mts 15-23 km to the south and SE, CC rests on coarse-grained locally-derived late Miocene sedimentary rocks, Alverson volcanics, and metamorphic basement rock along a regional unconformity. Identical claystone facies occur in the NW Indio Hills (restores to Yuma at the mouth of the CR at 5 Ma), and Sierra Cucapa in Mexico (~200 km south of Yuma at 5 Ma). Marine localities outside of the Wind Caves paleocanyon experienced slow to negligible sedimentation along a rugged rocky shoreline until abrupt arrival of CR-derived clay. CC accumulated in a sand-starved, pro-delta marine setting (Winker, 1987) over an inferred N-S distance of ~200 km. We therefore reject an alternate hypothesis that CC accumulated on the muddy slope of the prograding CR

  10. Eolian depositional phases during the past 50 ka and inferred climate variability for the Pampean Sand Sea, western Pampas, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripaldi, Alfonsina; Forman, Steven L.

    2016-05-01

    The Pampean Sand Sea, which occurs from the Argentinian Pampas to the eastern Andean piedmont, hosts presently stabilized dune fields spanning the late Quaternary. This study integrates previous results and presents new geomorphic, stratigraphic, sedimentological, and chronologic data for nineteen >2 m-thick eolian successions for the San Luis paleo-dune field, western Pampas, to better constrain the depositional history. Six eolian depositional phases are identified spanning the past 50 ka, interposed with paleosols and/or bounded by erosive surfaces. Age control was from 61 OSL ages of small aliquots of quartz grains from eolian stratigraphic units. The inferred timing of eolian phases are at ca. 70 ± 10 yr, 190 ± 20 yr, 12 to 1 ka, 22 to 17 ka, 29 to 24 ka, and 40 to 32 ka. A maximum span for periods of pedogenesis at ca. 12 to 17 ka, 22 to 24 ka, and 29 to 32 ka was provided by bounding OSL ages, which broadly overlap with high stands of pluvial lakes and glacier advances in the central Andes. We infer that the added precipitation may reflect expansion of the Southern Hemisphere monsoon, associated with Northern Hemisphere Heinrich events, leading to episodes of significantly wetter conditions (>350 mm MAP) to at least 35° S. Most of the Holocene (12 ka to 0.8 ka) was characterized by sand sheet deposit under drier than present conditions (100-450 mm MAP), associated with Monte-type vegetation (shrub steppe). The latest two eolian depositional phases, occurred at ca. 190 and 70 yr ago, during the historic period with European settlement and are related to anthropogenic landscape disturbance, though the youngest phase was concomitant with 1930s drought. Wet conditions dominated since ca. AD 1970 with new lakes and rivers forming across this eolian terrain; an incongruous environmental response in reference to drier conditions for most of the Holocene.

  11. Paleo-Environment and C-14 Dating: The Key to the Depositional Age of the Tha Chang and Related Sand Pits, Northeastern Thailand

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Putthapiban, P.; Zolensky, M.; Jull, T.; Demartino, M.; Salyapongse, S.

    2012-01-01

    Tha Chang sand pits, Nakhon Ratchasima Province and many other sand pits in the area adjacent to the Mun River are characterized by their fluviatile environment in association with mass wasting deposits, along the paleo-river channel and the flood plain of the Mun River. Sediments of these deposits are characterized by clasts of various rock types especially the resistant ones with frequent big tree trunks, logs and wood fragments in different sizes and various stages of transformation from moldering stage to lignification and petrification. Widespread pyritization of the lower horizon suggests strongly reducing environment during burial. The Tha Chang deposits have been received much attention from geoscientists especially paleontologist communities, as they contain fragments of some distinct vertebrate species such as Stegadon sp., hominoid primate, rhinoceros Aceratherium and others. Based on the associated mammal fauna and hominoid fossils, the late Miocene ( 9 - 6 Ma) was given for the time of deposition of this sand and gravel unit. Some other reports believed that sediments and materials of these sand and gravel quarries (pits) were deposited by high-energy flood pulses contemporaneous with the tektites forming event during mid-Pleistocene at c. 0.8 Ma. Interpretation from Palynostratigraphical study suggested that the lower horizon of Tha Chang sand pit was deposited during Pliocene/Pleistocene period and the upper horizons are Pleistoncene/Holocene. It is crystal clear that all the fluviatile sediments including tektites and almost all fossil fragments being deposited in these sand pits were, likely a multiple times reworked materials. Only some old bamboo trees, some old crowling trees and fossils grasses observed on the old river bank are considered in situ. C-14 dating of 5 old wood specimens from Tha Chang Sand Pits, 15 old wood specimens from Chumpuang Sand Pits and one sample of old pottery from a Chumpuang Sand Pit were carried out in the NSF

  12. Radar-aeolian roughness project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Dobrovolskis, A.; Gaddis, L.; Iversen, J. D.; Lancaster, N.; Leach, Rodman N.; Rasnussen, K.; Saunders, S.; Vanzyl, J.; Wall, S.

    1991-01-01

    The objective is to establish an empirical relationship between measurements of radar, aeolian, and surface roughness on a variety of natural surfaces and to understand the underlying physical causes. This relationship will form the basis for developing a predictive equation to derive aeolian roughness from radar backscatter. Results are given from investigations carried out in 1989 on the principal elements of the project, with separate sections on field studies, radar data analysis, laboratory simulations, and development of theory for planetary applications.

  13. Geochemical characterization of a Holocene aeolian profile in the Zhongba area (southern Tibet, China) and its paleoclimatic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Tuoyu; Wu, Yongqiu; Du, Shisong; Huang, Wenmin; Hao, Chengzhi; Guo, Chao; Zhang, Mei; Fu, Tianyang

    2016-03-01

    The Zhongba area lies in the valley of the Maquan River in southern Tibet, where there are both strong modern aeolian activities and ancient aeolian sand sediments. A Holocene aeolian sand and paleosol profile in the Zhongba area was selected for study and termed (Zhuzhu (ZZ) profile). The chronology of the ZZ profile was established by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C dating. Based on the grain size and geochemical elements of the ZZ profile, the geochemical characterization was analyzed, the Holocene aeolian activity processes were reconstructed in the study area, and the paleoclimatic implications were discussed. The major elements and the chemical indicators are highly correlated with different grain-sizes in the ZZ profile. The evolutionary sequence of the aeolian activities and the paleoclimate in Holocene reveal four stages: before 7.3 ka BP, the climate was warm and wet with weak winds when the sand paleosol developed; at 7.3-3.8 ka BP, the climate turned dry, with strong aeolian activities; at 3.8-0.7 ka BP, the climate became wetter and the winds weakened when the silt paleosol developed; and since 0.7 ka BP, it was cold and dry with strong aeolian activities.

  14. Comparison of core control and geophysical investigations, silica sand deposits, Dawmat Al Jandal, Al Jawf at Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alsulaimani, Ghassan Salem

    This thesis is a summary of a comprehensive geophysical investigation in southern Dawmat Al Jandal, Al Jawf in Saudi Arabia. This research demonstrates that the acquisition of both core control and geophysical data is superior to the acquisition of core control alone. Coring is expensive and is limited in subsurface coverage. Geophysical surveying, however, is a relatively rapid and cost-effective means of deriving information about the subsurface between core holes. Ground penetrating radar (GPR), Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW), and Seismic Refraction methods were used as exploration techniques to locate surficial mineral deposits within the study area. During the course of these investigations, the author tries to review the acquired 1620 meters of ground penetrating radar (GPR) data to image internal reflections (if any) within the sand and the top of the underlying sandstone; 27 MASW field records were acquired at each core hole location, which generated 1-D and 2-D shear wave velocity profiles, and 27 seismic refraction profiles were acquired, which did not image the top of the sandstone. The purpose was to estimate the thickness of the sand and to map bedding planes within the sand to better understand depositional environments under the same conditions, based on the high-resolution 2-D surveys, mostly performed in mining areas. The Geophysical investigations were successful and proved to be useful methods for the exploration of shallow subsurface areas where the results are equal to, or slightly different from, the corresponding with of the core holes' values. Therefore, geophysical surveying does not remove the need for core control, but when it is properly applied it can optimize exploration rating programs by maximizing the rate of ground coverage and minimizing the amount of core drilling that is required.

  15. Meso-scale modelling of aeolian sediment input to coastal dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado-Fernandez, Irene

    2011-07-01

    The collection of a time series coupling hourly wind data (speed and direction) with sand transport over months has provided new insights into the dynamics of transport events that input sediment to the foredune at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, Canada. This paper summarises the key aspects of aeolian sediment movement for a period of 9 months and presents a modelling approach for resolving aeolian transport to coastal dunes at the meso-scale. The main hypothesis of the modelling approach is that a small number of key factors control both the occurrence and the magnitude of transport events. Thresholds associated with these factors may be used to filter the time series and isolate potential transport periods over the year. The impacts of nearshore processes are included in the approach as part of the dynamics of coastal dunes, as are supply-limiting factors and trade-offs between fetch distances, angle of wind approach, and beach dimensions. A simple analytical procedure, based on previously published equations, is carried out to assess the general viability of the conceptual approach. Results show that the incorporation of moisture and fetch effects in the calculation of transport for isolated potential transport periods result in improved predictions of sediment input to the dune. Net changes, measured with three different techniques, suggest that survey data with coarse temporal resolution underestimates the amount of sand input to the dune, because sediment is often removed from the embryo dune and foredune by other processes such as wave scarping. Predictions obtained by the proposed modelling approach are of the same order of magnitude as measured deposition and much less than predicted by models based solely on wind speed and direction. Areas for improvement and alternative modelling approaches, such as probabilistic approaches similar to weather forecasting, are covered in the discussion.

  16. Effects of sand burial on dew deposition on moss soil crust in a revegetated area of the Tennger Desert, Northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Rong-liang; Li, Xin-rong; Liu, Li-chao; Pan, Yan-xia; Gao, Yan-hong; Wei, Yong-ping

    2014-11-01

    Sand burial and dew deposition are two fundamental phenomena profoundly influencing biological soil crusts in desert areas. However, little information is available regarding the effects of sand burial on dew deposition on biological soil crusts in desert ecosystems. In this study, we evaluated the effects of sand burial at depths of 0 (control), 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 mm on dew formation and evaporation of three dominant moss crusts in a revegetated area of the Tengger Desert (Northern China) in 2010. The results revealed that sand burial significantly decreased the amount of dew deposited on the three moss crust types by acting as a semi-insulator retarding the dew formation and evaporation rates. The changes in surface temperature cannot fully explain the variations of the formation and evaporation rates of dew by moss crusts buried by sand. The extension of dew retention time was reflected by the higher dew ratios (the ratio of dew amount at a certain time to the maximum value in a daily course) in the daytime, and may to some extent have acted as compensatory mechanisms that diminished the negative effects of the reduction of dew amount induced by sand burial of moss crusts. The resistances to reduction of dewfall caused by sand burial among the three moss crusts were also compared and it was found that Bryum argenteum crust showed the highest tolerance, followed by crusts dominated by Didymodon vinealis and Syntrichia caninervis. This sequence corresponds well with the successional order of the three moss crusts in the revegetated area, thereby suggesting that resistance to reduction of dewfall may act as one mechanism by which sand burial drives the succession of moss crusts in desert ecosystems. This side effect of dew reduction induced by sand burial on biological soil crusts should be considered in future ecosystem construction and management of desert area.

  17. Laboratory Simulations of Martian and Venusian Aeolian Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1999-01-01

    With the flyby of the Neptune system by Voyager, the preliminary exploration of the Solar System was accomplished. Data have been returned for all major planets and satellites except the Pluto system. Results show that the surfaces of terrestrial planets and satellites have been subjected to a wide variety of geological processes. On solid- surface planetary objects having an atmosphere, aeolian processes are important in modifying their surfaces through the redistribution of fine-grained material by the wind. Bedrock may be eroded to produce particles and the particles transported by wind for deposition in other areas. This process operates on Earth today and is evident throughout the geological record. Aeolian processes also occur on Mars, Venus, and possibly Titan and Triton, both of which are outer planet satellites that have atmospheres. Mariner 9 and Viking results show abundant wind-related landforms on Mars, including dune fields and yardangs (wind-eroded hills). On Venus, measurements made by the Soviet Venera and Vega spacecraft and extrapolations from the Pioneer Venus atmospheric probes show that surface winds are capable of transporting particulate materials and suggest that aeolian processes may operate on that planet as well. Magellan radar images of Venus show abundant wind streaks in some areas, as well as dune fields and a zone of possible yardangs. The study of planetary aeolian processes must take into account diverse environments, from the cold, low-density atmosphere of Mars to the extremely hot, high- density Venusian atmosphere. Factors such as threshold wind speeds (minimum wind velocity needed to move particles), rates of erosion and deposition, trajectories of windblown particles, and aeolian flow fields over various landforms are all important aspects of the problem. In addition, study of aeolian terrains on Earth using data analogous to planetary data-collection systems is critical to the interpretation of spacecraft information and

  18. Exploring how sand ramps respond to Quaternary environmental change in Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowell, Alex; Thomas, David; Bailey, Richard

    2014-05-01

    The current climate of southern Africa is particularly complex and interesting due to the interaction of several climatic systems. However, reconstructions of how these systems behaved in the past, and how the environment responded, have been hampered by a general paucity of records and poor chronological control. Sand ramps may provide the potential to improve palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of southern Africa (and beyond). Formed against a topographic barrier, sand ramps include a combination of aeolian, fluvial and colluvial deposits in varying proportions. Therefore, they have the potential to record changes in moisture availability, circulation patterns and sediment supply which can be independently dated using luminescence dating. Nevertheless relatively little attention has been paid to these features and thus the environmental controls on their formation are not yet fully understood. In particular, there is debate as to whether they reflect deposition during a 'window of opportunity' in which high-magnitude, low-frequency events are recorded (Bateman et al. 2012) or whether they record more gradual, cyclic climate change (Bertram, 2003) or even if there is a uniform control on their formation. This research aims to investigate how sand ramps respond to environmental change and what they can tell us about the paleoenvironment of southern Africa. This poster displays preliminary results based on initial field investigation. This confirmed sand ramps to be ubiquitous in southern Africa and that they record a complex interaction of aeolian, fluvial and colluvial deposits which appears to differ between sand ramps. Preliminary luminescence dating results and sedimentology are displayed for two sand ramps, one from south west Namibia the other from the Karoo region of South Africa.

  19. Facies control on seismites in an alluvial-aeolian system: The Pliocene dunefield of the Teruel half-graben basin (eastern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liesa, Carlos L.; Rodríguez-López, Juan Pedro; Ezquerro, Lope; Alfaro, Pedro; Rodríguez-Pascua, Miguel Ángel; Lafuente, Paloma; Arlegui, Luis; Simón, José L.

    2016-10-01

    The recognition of seismically induced soft-sediment deformation structures (SSDS) in sedimentary successions characterized by different facies, and hence by different rheology, is challenging. This is the case for high porosity and high permeability aeolian facies interbedded with muddy wet interdune deposits and alluvial conglomerates and sandstones. Several types of SSDS have been studied in two exposures of the Upper Pliocene (2.9-2.6 Ma) sediments of a fault-bounded intracontinental aeolian dune field in the Teruel Basin (Iberian Chain, eastern Spain). Among SSDS, load and fluid-escape structures, apart from several animal tracks, have been recognized. Those structures show an irregular distribution through the studied stratigraphic sections, being scarce in homogenous aeolian sands and frequent in water-related facies. A detailed study of the distribution and geometry of SSDS and their relationships with respect to the stratigraphic architecture and facies has allowed a critical discrimination of trigger mechanisms, i.e. biological or physical overloading vs. earthquakes. The seismically induced structures are concentrated into seven deformed beds, showing an uneven lateral distribution and geometry closely controlled by the hosting sedimentary facies and their rheology. These seismites resulted from liquefaction during moderate earthquakes (estimated magnitude from 5.0 to 6.8). The most probable seismogenic source was the Sierra del Pobo normal fault zone, located 2 km to the East. Results show how an appropriate recognition of sedimentary facies is crucial to understand the lateral variability of seismites in sedimentary environments characterized by sharp facies changes.

  20. Techniques for assessing sand and gravel resources in glaciofluvial deposits; an example using the surficial geologic map of the Loudon Quadrangle, Merrimack and Belknap counties, New Hampshire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sutphin, David M.; Drew, Lawrence J.; Fowler, Brian K.; Goldsmith, Richard

    2002-01-01

    A method for estimating the sand and gravel resources in glaciofluvial systems has been developed based on surficial mapping techniques that use the morphosequence concept and geographic information systems (GIS). Two different strategies are used to estimate gravel resources. One strategy estimates the sand and gravel resources contained in esker deposits; the other, which is more dependent on GIS, estimates resources in non-esker deposits. An attempt has been made to determine which deposits are sterilized; that is, those beneath the water table, adjacent to streams or roads, or encroached on by urbanization. Preliminary estimates using these methods indicate that about 158,000,000 m3 (206,000,000 yd3) of sand and gravel are present in the Soucook River valley part of the Loudon, N.H., 7.5-minute quadrangle. About 64,500,000 m3 (84,400,000 yd3) of these materials are in deposits above the water table. About 26 percent of the sand and gravel resources above the water table are unlikely to be mined because they have been sterilized. Of the remaining resources, 479,000 m3 (627,000 yd3) of gravel and 1,120,000 m3 (1,460,000 yd3) of sand are in esker deposits, and 9,400,000 m3 (12,300,000 yd3) of gravel and 38,300,000 m3 (50,100,000 yd3) of sand are in stratified non-esker deposits. With the addition of new well data, newer and more accurate estimates are possible.

  1. Biodiversity impact of the aeolian periglacial geomorphologic evolution of the Fontainebleau Massif (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiry, M.; Liron, M. N.

    2009-04-01

    erosion of the sand beneath the bordering sandstone benches, resulting in overhangs. These structures are the most common in the western district of the Fontainebleau Massif. Ponds develop on the tightly silicified and impermeable sandstone pans that form the "platières". There are permanent ponds and temporary wet zones, formed of interconnected or isolated depressions. The origin of these ponds has to be questioned with regard to the landscape shaping. Their origin is directly bound to the hollowing of uncemented, sandy zones, within the sandstone pans forming the "platières". Erosion by runoff cannot be considered; the only way to hollow them out is by deflation processes. No direct dating of the Quaternary dune and loess deposits of the Fontainebleau Massif exists. Nevertheless, dating of paleopodzols interlayered between drift sands, pond deposits and bones within congelifracts allow relating these periglacial features with the end of the last glacial period. For now, there is no dating to assess what belongs to older glacial periods. Distribution of the aeolian patterns The Fontainebleau Massif displays noteworthy morphological diversities in the various districts of the forest. Some of these differentiations result from geological features, but most of them are related to erosion processes, and among them deflation processes leaved different imprints in the western and eastern districts of the Fontainebleau Massif. The topography played an important role controlling the aeolian processes. Deflation was important in the westerly upwind district. In the westerly front face, aeolian erosion was activated by turbulences around the topographic obstacles. The reliefs funneled the winds and gave rise to swirls that hollow the blowouts. This area displays the sharpest and more chiseled landforms of the massif. Moreover, the sandstone scarps at the edge of the "platières" are high and uncovered, with frequent overhangs. The collapsed sandstone blocks of the "chaos" are

  2. Induced liquefaction experiment in relatively dense, clay-rich sand deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzor, Yossef H.; Gvirtzman, Haim; Wainshtein, Ilia; Orian, Itay

    2009-02-01

    In this paper we report results from a controlled blast-induced liquefaction experiment at the field scale. The physical and mechanical properties of the materials at the subsurface are characterized by a suite of in situ and laboratory tests, including the Standard Penetration Test (SPT); downhole and cross-hole seismic velocity tests; density, porosity, and gradation tests; and direct shear tests. Since the blast experiment was performed above groundwater table, the subsurface was saturated by a sequence of controlled infiltration tests. A 50-kg TNT charge was detonated at a depth of 10 m, and seismic ground motions were recorded in a vertical geophone array positioned at a horizontal distance of 30 m from the blast borehole. Obtained liquefaction features include a water fountain that erupted from the blast borehole, prolonged bubbling of the water surface inside the infiltration trench (a process equivalent to "sand boils" typically observed at sites which have experienced liquefaction), lateral spreading, and surface settlement. We argue that in contrast to conventional predictions, liquefaction may be induced in relatively dense silty and clayey sands (shear wave velocity >300 m s-1; relative density = 63-89%) relatively rich in clays (fines content >30%) and that the driving mechanism should not necessarily be restricted to cyclic shear stress loading.

  3. Ichnological assemblages as depositional environmental indicators in McMurray Formation: Athabasca oil sands of northeastern Alberta

    SciTech Connect

    Mattison, B.W.; Pemberton, S.G.

    1987-05-01

    Detailed study of over 100 drill core from an area of extreme core control within the surface mining area of the McMurray Formation of the Athabasca oil sands reveals that trace fossil assemblages may be extremely useful both in interpreting the depositional history of the deposits and ultimately in developing an effective mining strategy based on the prediction of high-grade reservoir trends. Distinct trace fossil suites characterize distinct environmental facies within all but the lowermost sections of the McMurray Formation and indicate deposition within a marginal marine setting. The formation itself may be divided into three members, reflecting a depositional evolution from primarily paludal and fluviatile into estuarine (containing intimately associated estuarine channel, channel margin, and tidal flat sediments) and finally into highly bioturbated shoreface sediments. Environmental microfacies breakdown of this broad three-fold division is based primarily on an understanding of trace fossil dynamics in tidally influenced marginal marine depositional systems. Highest-grade reservoirs are restricted to the middle unit of the McMurray within estuarine channels. Prediction of the trends of these channels is accomplished through highly detailed mapping made possible by close core control. In this way, the channelized reservoirs may be exploited with the mining of as little waste rock (typically channel margin and tidal flat silts and muds) as possible. An understanding of trace fossils (which may at first glance seem to be rather innocuous structures) may thus prove to be an extremely powerful aid in the delineation and profitable development of this immensely important resource.

  4. Temporal variation in the deposition of polycyclic aromatic compounds in snow in the Athabasca Oil Sands area of Alberta.

    PubMed

    Manzano, Carlos A; Muir, Derek; Kirk, Jane; Teixeira, Camilla; Siu, May; Wang, Xiaowa; Charland, Jean-Pierre; Schindler, David; Kelly, Erin

    2016-09-01

    Atmospheric deposition of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) via and onto snow, and their releasing during spring snowmelt has been a concern in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of Alberta. This study was designed to evaluate the concentrations, loadings, and distribution of PACs in springtime snowpack and how they have changed since the first study in 2008. Snowpack samples were collected in late winters 2011-2014 at varying distances from the main developments. PAC concentration and deposition declined exponentially with distance, with pyrenes, chrysenes, and dibenzothiophenes dominating the distribution within the first 50 km. The distribution of PACs was different between sites located close to upgraders and others located close to mining facilities. Overall, PAC loadings were correlated with priority pollutant elements and water chemistry parameters, while wind direction and speed were not strong contributors to the variability observed. Total PAC mass deposition during winter months and within the first 50 km was initially estimated by integrating the exponential decay function fitted through the data using a limited number of sites from 2011 to 2014: 1236 kg (2011), 1800 kg (2012), 814 kg (2013), and 1367 (2014). Total loadings were estimated to have a twofold increase between 2008 and 2014, although the increase observed was not constant. Finally, kriging interpolation is presented as an alternative and more robust approach to estimate PAC mass deposition in the area. After a more intensive sampling campaign in 2014, the PAC mass deposition was estimated to be 1968 kg.

  5. Stability of kaolin sand from the Vyšný Petrovec deposit (south Slovakia) in an acid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Pentrák; Jana, Madejová; Slávka, Andrejkovičová; Peter, Uhlík; Peter, Komadel

    2012-12-01

    Comprehensive characterization of kaolin sand from the Vyšný Petrovec (VP) deposit in Slovakia by a variety of experimental methods was performed. The quantitative XRD analysis (RockJock software) revealed that the acid-untreated sample contained mainly kaolinite (~60 wt. %), a considerable amount of dioctahedral micas (~32 wt. %) and quartz (~ 7 wt. %). The Hinckley index (HI) and Aparicio-Galán-Ferrel index (AGFI) calculated from the 02l and 11l reflections showed medium-defect kaolinite to be present in the VP kaolin. The influence of the mineral composition of VP kaolin on its stability in 6 mol · dm-3 HCl at 95 °C was investigated. The solid reaction products were examined by chemical analysis; XRD and infrared spectroscopy in both middle (MIR) and near (NIR) regions. Considerably higher dissolution rate of Fe compared to Al indicated that Fe was bounded in a readily soluble phase rather than in kaolinite. While the MIR spectra confirmed the gradual release of the central atoms from the clay minerals layers and creation of amorphous silica upon acid treatment, the NIR spectra revealed the formation of Si-OH groups in the solid reaction product. Relatively high dissolution rate of VP kaolin resulted from the presence of small-grains of mediumdefect kaolinite and clay admixtures in VP kaolin sand.

  6. Field, Laboratory and Imaging spectroscopic Analysis of Landslide, Debris Flow and Flood Hazards in Lacustrine, Aeolian and Alluvial Fan Deposits Surrounding the Salton Sea, Southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, B. E.; Hooper, D. M.; Mars, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution satellite imagery, field spectral measurements using a portable ASD spectrometer, and 2013 hyperspectral AVIRIS imagery were used to evaluate the age of the Martinez Mountain Landslide (MML) near the Salton Sea, in order to determine the relative ages of adjacent alluvial fan surfaces and the potential for additional landslides, debris flows, and floods. The Salton Sea (SS) occupies a pluvial lake basin, with ancient shorelines ranging from 81 meters to 113 meters above the modern lake level. The highest shoreline overlaps the toe of the 0.24 - 0.38 km3 MML deposit derived from hydrothermally altered granites exposed near the summit of Martinez Mountain. The MML was originally believed to be of early Holocene age. However, AVIRIS mineral maps show abundant desert varnish on the top and toe of the landslide. Desert varnish can provide a means of relative dating of alluvial fan (AF) or landslide surfaces, as it accumulates at determinable rates over time. Based on the 1) highest levels of desert varnish accumulation mapped within the basin, 2) abundant evaporite playa minerals on top of the toe of the landslide, and 3) the highest shoreline of the ancestral lake overtopping the toe of the landslide with gastropod and bivalve shells, we conclude that the MML predates the oldest alluvial fan terraces and lake sediments exposed in the Coachella and Imperial valleys and must be older than early Holocene (i.e. Late Pleistocene?). Thus, the MML landslide has the potential to be used as a spectral endmember for desert varnish thickness and thus proxy for age discrimination of active AF washes versus desert pavements. Given the older age of the MML landslide and low water levels in the modern SS, the risk from future rockslides of this size and related seiches is rather low. However, catastrophic floods and debris flows do occur along the most active AF channels; and the aftermath of such flows can be identified spectrally by montmorillonite crusts forming in

  7. Interfingering sand-rich aprons and Var Fan lobe deposits off Corsica: Analog for thick and laterally extensive turbidite petroleum reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, C.H.; Escutia, C. ); Savoye, B. ); Rehault, J.P. )

    1996-01-01

    The sand-rich Var submarine fan initiates off Nice, France, extends 230 km to the southeast, and then deposits a distal lobe (80 x 40 km) that parallels the northwestern base of the Corsican continental slope. Interfingering with the lobe deposits are base-of-slope, sand-rich aprons derived from Corsica. Both the fan lobe and aprons onlap the outcropping steep (6-110) slopes of Corsica. The fan lobe is characterized by generally flat-bedded layers with the total percentage of sand beds in cores ranging from 60-94% of the Holocene deposits. The aprons are characterized by feeder canyons exhibiting common sediment failures and proximal regions with numerous chaotic layers. With increasing distance from the apron apexes, high amplitude wedging reflectors grade laterally to flatter ones, reflector continuity increases, chaotic layers thin, and some incipient channels form. Chaotic layers are the dominant deposit shown on seismic profiles of the aprons. The layers extend as much as 15 km laterally onto the fan lobe and maximum thicknesses of single layers reach 35-70 m, The prolonged echo character with poor penetration, together with irregular surfaces and possible large blocks seen in sidescan sonar records, suggest that apron deposits are coarse grained. Gravel is found in apron layers that extend 21 km onto the fan lobe and the total percentage of sand beds in cores ranges from 37-79% of the Holocene deposits. Because the estimated sand : shale ratio averages 8.6:1 in the Holocene highstand deposits of the interfingering Corsican aprons and Var Fan lobe, this combined environment is an intriguing setting that could provide large continuous reservoirs if it occurred in a suitable ancient petroleum province.

  8. Interfingering sand-rich aprons and Var Fan lobe deposits off Corsica: Analog for thick and laterally extensive turbidite petroleum reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, C.H.; Escutia, C.; Savoye, B.; Rehault, J.P.

    1996-12-31

    The sand-rich Var submarine fan initiates off Nice, France, extends 230 km to the southeast, and then deposits a distal lobe (80 x 40 km) that parallels the northwestern base of the Corsican continental slope. Interfingering with the lobe deposits are base-of-slope, sand-rich aprons derived from Corsica. Both the fan lobe and aprons onlap the outcropping steep (6-110) slopes of Corsica. The fan lobe is characterized by generally flat-bedded layers with the total percentage of sand beds in cores ranging from 60-94% of the Holocene deposits. The aprons are characterized by feeder canyons exhibiting common sediment failures and proximal regions with numerous chaotic layers. With increasing distance from the apron apexes, high amplitude wedging reflectors grade laterally to flatter ones, reflector continuity increases, chaotic layers thin, and some incipient channels form. Chaotic layers are the dominant deposit shown on seismic profiles of the aprons. The layers extend as much as 15 km laterally onto the fan lobe and maximum thicknesses of single layers reach 35-70 m, The prolonged echo character with poor penetration, together with irregular surfaces and possible large blocks seen in sidescan sonar records, suggest that apron deposits are coarse grained. Gravel is found in apron layers that extend 21 km onto the fan lobe and the total percentage of sand beds in cores ranges from 37-79% of the Holocene deposits. Because the estimated sand : shale ratio averages 8.6:1 in the Holocene highstand deposits of the interfingering Corsican aprons and Var Fan lobe, this combined environment is an intriguing setting that could provide large continuous reservoirs if it occurred in a suitable ancient petroleum province.

  9. The origin of transverse instability of aeolian megaripples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yizhaq, Hezi; Katra, Itzhak; Schmerler, Erez; Silvestro, Simone

    2016-04-01

    Two different kinds of sand ripples, normal ripples and megaripples which differ in their sizes, grain-size compositions and morphology are observed in nature. While normal ripples form almost straight lines, megaripples have greater sinuosity due to their transverse instability, a property that causes small undulations to grow in time. The physical origin of this pronounced transverse instability has remained elusive. We studied ripple development in a series of wind tunnel experiments with different mixtures of sand. For unimodal fine sand, initial differences in height diminished in time leading to straight ripples. In contrast, for bimodal sand initial perturbations in height remained and even grew in time resulting in more wavy patterns. The results indicate that the differences in sinuosity between normal and megaripples are due to grain size segregation at three dimensions with a positive feedback between coarse grains and ripples height. The accumulations of coarse particles at the crest allow further growth of the ripples at these locations thus decreasing their migration rate. This in turn allows further accumulation of coarse grains. This mechanism leads to variations of the thickness of the armoring layer along the ripple crest which correlates with crest height. Field measurements of grain size distribution and sinuosity index along megaripple crests support the findings. In addition, the sinuosity of megaripples and TARs (Transverse Aeolian Ridges) on Mars at several locations was calculated from images taken from High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE). These images provide the capability of obtaining orbital images of Mars with a resolution down to 25 cm/pixel. The preliminary results show that due to their bimodal grain-size distribution megaripples are more undulated than TARs. This new look at aeolian bedforms on Mars can help in a better classification of them and improve the understanding of the aeolian processes involved in their

  10. Effects of aeolian erosion on microbial release from solids.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gustan, E. A.; Olson, R. L.; Taylor, D. M.; Green, R. H.

    1972-01-01

    This study was initiated to determine the percentage of spores that would be expected to be released from the interior of solid materials by aeolian erosion on a planetary surface. Methyl methacrylate and Eccobond disks were fabricated so that each disk contained approximately 40,000 Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores. The disks were placed in a specially designed sandblasting device and eroded. Exposure periods of 0.5, 2 and 24 hours were investigated using filtered air to accelerate the sand. A series of tests was also conducted for a 0.5 hour period using carbon dioxide. Examination of the erosion products showed that less than 1% of the spores originally contained in the solids was released by aeolian erosion.

  11. Character and provenance of aeolian sediments in northeast Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichol, Janet E.; Nichol, Douglas W.

    2015-12-01

    Aeolian activity is not generally associated with the humid tropics, and although reports of loess-like soils in various locations in southeast Asia exist, these mainly lack the detailed analysis to set them in meaningful spatial or historical context. This paper examines the red and yellow sandy sediments of the Khorat Plateau in northeast Thailand which have been variously referred to as 'cover sands', 'loessial soils' or 'loess'. The sediments are referred to as having alluvial, biological as well as aeolian origin, and a date of 9-35 ka is reported. The study compares the Khorat sediments physically and geochemically with loess and aeolian sediments from other regions, as well as with other sites in southeast Asia which are reported here. The moderate degree of particle sorting and unimodal sizes of the sediments along with a sub-spherical sub-rounded form, supports previous diagnoses of an aeolian origin. Geochemical analysis of the Khorat sediments indicates severe depletion in both mobile and immobile elements, which are even more depleted than other southeast Asian loessic soils examined. This depletion, along with the only moderate particle sorting, suggests the source of the sediments to be the local weathered sandstones outcropping around the edge of the Khorat Plateau. The dissimilarity of the Khorat sediments from Upper Continental Crust (UCC) elemental values supports this, as homogenisation would occur if diverse source areas were involved. The study suggests that aeolian sediments of humid tropical regions warrant more attention as climate proxy markers, due to the dissimilarity between the present climate and conditions required for their formation.

  12. Modeling colloid deposition on a protein layer adsorbed to iron-oxide-coated sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, X.; Flynn, R.; von der Kammer, F.; Hofmann, T.

    2012-11-01

    Our recent study reported that conformation change of granule-associated Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) may influence the role of the protein controlling colloid deposition in porous media (Flynn et al., 2012). The present study conceptualized the observed phenomena with an ellipsoid morphology model, describing BSA as an ellipsoid taking a side-on or end-on conformation on granular surface, and identified the following processes: (1) at low adsorbed concentrations, BSA exhibited a side-on conformation blocking colloid deposition; (2) at high adsorbed concentrations, BSA adapted to an end-on conformation promoted colloid deposition; and (3) colloid deposition on the BSA layer may progressively generate end-on molecules (sites) by conformation change of side-on BSA, resulting in sustained increasing deposition rates. Generally, the protein layer lowered colloid attenuation by the porous medium, suggesting the overall effect of BSA was inhibitory at the experimental time scale. A mathematical model was developed to interpret the ripening curves. Modeling analysis identified the site generation efficiency of colloid as a control on the ripening rate (declining rate in colloid concentrations), and this efficiency was higher for BSA adsorbed from a more dilute BSA solution.

  13. The potential scale of aeolian structures on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, J. R.; Greeley, Ronald

    1991-01-01

    Simulations of the Venusian aeolian environment with the Venus Wind Tunnel have shown that microdunes are formed during the entrainment of sand-sized material. These structures are several tens of centimeters long (2-3 cm high) and combine the morphological and behavioral characteristics of both full-scale terrestrial dunes and current ripples formed in subaqueous environments. Their similarity to both reflects the fact that the Venusian atmosphere has a density intermediate between air and water. Although the development of microdunes in the wind tunnel experiments was limited by tunnel dimensions, it is possible to make some predictions about their potential size on Venus, and the potential size of related aeolian structures. Microdunes are fluid-filled structures (as are dunes and current ripples) and as such have no theoretical upper limit to their size from a fluid dynamics viewpoint. Limitations to size observed in subaqueous structures are set by, for example, water depth; limitations to the size of dunes are set by, for example, sand supply. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that the microdunes on Venus could evolve into much larger features than those observed in experiments. In addition, the researchers note that current ripples (which are closely related to microdunes) are often found in association with giant ripples that have dimensions similar to aeolian dunes. Thus, it may be reasonable to assume that analogous large scale structures occur on Venus. Both (terrestrial) aeolian and subaqueous environments generate structures in excess of one hundred meters in wavelength. Such dimensions may therefore be applicable to Venusian bedforms. Analysis of Magellan data may resolve the issue.

  14. Avalanche grainflow on a simulated aeolian dune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutton, S. L. F.; McKenna Neuman, C.; Nickling, W.

    2013-09-01

    Avalanches maintain the slipface of aeolian dunes, which alters their airflow characteristics and sediment dynamics, and results in the development of grainflow cross-bedding. We report on a series of experiments in which avalanches were observed on a 1:1 replica of a small (1.2 m brink height) transverse dune in the Dune Simulation Wind Tunnel under wind velocities of 8-11 m s-1. Changes in slipface topography were observed photographically and measured utilizing a 3-D laser scanner with 1 mm2 spatial resolution. Avalanches in noncohesive sands were observed to progress through scarp recession from the point of initiation and continue until the slope angle is reduced. Changes in local slope confirm that the steep, pre-avalanche mean slope relaxes to a uniform value equal to the angle of repose of the test sand (32°) over all involved portions of the slipface. Avalanche volumes are measured, and demonstrate that avalanche magnitude is independent of wind speed over the range of velocities observed. This independence provides the potential to significantly simplify the modeling of grainflow as a function of only the total cross brink sediment transport.

  15. Differential Effects of High Atmospheric N and S Deposition on Bog Plant/Lichen Tissue and Porewater Chemistry across the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Wieder, R Kelman; Vile, Melanie A; Scott, Kimberli D; Albright, Cara M; McMillen, Kelly J; Vitt, Dale H; Fenn, Mark E

    2016-12-06

    Oil extraction and development activities in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of northern Alberta, Canada, release NOx, SOx, and NHy to the atmosphere, ultimately resulting in increasing N and S inputs to surrounding ecosystems through atmospheric deposition. Peatlands are a major feature of the northern Alberta landscape, with bogs covering 6-10% of the land area, and fens covering 21-53%. Bulk deposition of NH4(+)-N, NO3(-)-N, dissolved inorganic N (DIN), and SO4(2-)-S, was quantified using ion-exchange resin collectors deployed at 23 locations, over 1-6 years. The results reveal maximum N and S deposition of 9.3 and 12.0 kg ha(-1) yr(-1), respectively, near the oil sands industrial center (the midpoint between the Syncrude and Suncor upgrader stacks), decreasing with distance to a background deposition of 0.9 and 1.1 kg ha(-1) yr(-1), respectively. To assess potential influences of high N and S deposition on bogs, we quantified N and S concentrations in tissues of two Sphagnum species, two lichen species, and four vascular plant species, as well as surface porewater concentrations of H(+), NH4(+)-N, NO3(-)-N, SO4(2-)-S and dissolved organic N in 19 ombrotrophic bogs, distributed across a 3255 km(2) sampling area surrounding the oil sands industrial center. The two lichen species (Evernia mesomorpha and Cladonia mitis), two vascular plant species (Rhododendron groenlandicum and Picea mariana), and to a lesser extent one moss (Sphagnum fuscum), showed patterns of tissue N and S concentrations that were (1) highest near the oil sands industrial center and (2) positively correlated with bulk deposition of N or S. Concentrations of porewater H(+) and SO4(2-)-S, but not of NH4(+)-N, NO3(-)-N, DIN, or dissolved inorganic N, also were higher near the oil sands industrial center than at more distant locations. The oil sands region of northern Alberta is remote, with few roads, posing challenges to the monitoring of oil sands-related N and S deposition. Quantification of N

  16. Heterogeneous Chemical Transformation on Mineral Aerosol Surfaces during Long Range Transport and its Implications in Understanding Aeolian Dust Deposits in Antarctic Dry Valleys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaheen, R.; Bao, H.; Thiemens, M. H.

    2010-12-01

    Mineral dust aerosols comprise ~ 60% of aerosol dry mass and link the atmosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere in complex ways. The µm sized mineral dust particles can be transported over long distances (> 1000 km) and have ample opportunity en-route to interact with trace gases such as O3, NOx, SOx, VOC’s , thus not only affecting gas phase chemistry by serving as chemical sink but also providing reactive surfaces for the formation of secondary compounds. Defining these pathways is important for understanding chemical budgets of trace gases and to assess the role of mineral aerosols on hydrological, biogeochemical cycle, and climate change through direct/ indirect radiative forcing. These processes are recognizably important but difficult to measure due to the lack of relevant analytical techniques to trace secondary transformation on aerosol surfaces. Here we show that stable isotopes of C and O in the carbonate fractions of secondary mineral dust aerosols can be used to fingerprint the heterogeneous chemical transformations and reaction mechanism at a molecular level. Soil samples were collected from McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. CO2 was obtained by phosphoric acid digestion from the carbonate fractions of mineral dust. Purified CO2 gas was analyzed for δ13C and subsequently fluorinated to produce O2 gas thus enabling the measurement of triple oxygen isotopic composition of the CO2. Data indicated significant variations in δ13C (+3 to -34 ‰) and δ18O (+2 to 26‰) of the carbonate fractions of the soil samples. Intriguingly, we found distinct 17O anomalies (Δ17O = δ17O - 0.524 δ18O) in some of the soils, ranging from +0.52 to +1.60‰. On the other hand, carbonate crusts formed underneath surface pebbles in Dry Valleys are significantly enriched in the δ13C(+11‰) but do not bear a 17O anomaly. To understand the origin and variation in the C and O isotopic composition of dust deposits in Antarctica, controlled laboratory experiments using various

  17. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Martian Aeolian and Mass Wasting Processes: Blowing and Flowing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session Martian Aeolian and Mass Wasting Processes: BLowing and Flowing included the following topics: 1) Three Decades of Martian Surface Changes; 2) Thermophysical Properties of Isidis Basin, Mars; 3) Intracrater Material in Eastern Arabia Terra: THEMIS, MOC, and MOLA Analysis of Wind-blown Deposits and Possible High-Inertia Source Material; 4) Thermal Properties of Sand from TES and THEMIS: Do Martian Dunes Make a Good Control for Thermal Inertia Calculations? 5) A Comparative Analysis of Barchan Dunes in the Intra-Crater Dune Fields and the North Polar Sand Sea; 6) Diluvial Dunes in Athabasca Valles, Mars: Morphology, Modeling and Implications; 7) Surface Profiling of Natural Dust Devils; 8) Martian Dust Devil Tracks: Inferred Directions of Movement; 9) Numerical Simulations of Anastomosing Slope Streaks on Mars; 10) Young Fans in an Equatorial Crater in Xanthe Terra, Mars; 11) Large Well-exposed Alluvual Fans in Deep Late-Noachian Craters; 12) New Evidence for the Formation of Large Landslides on Mars; and 13) What Can We Learn from the Ages of Valles Marineris Landslides on Martian Impact History?

  18. The effects of sorting by aeolian processes on the geochemical characteristics of surface materials: a wind tunnel experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xunming; Lang, Lili; Hua, Ting; Zhang, Caixia; Li, Hui

    2017-03-01

    The geochemical characteristics of aeolian and surface materials in potential source areas of dust are frequently employed in environmental reconstructions as proxies of past climate and as source tracers of aeolian sediments deposited in downwind areas. However, variations in the geochemical characteristics of these aeolian deposits that result from near-surface winds are currently poorly understood. In this study, we collected surface samples from the Ala Shan Plateau (a major potential dust source area in Central Asia) to determine the influence of aeolian processes on the geochemical characteristics of aeolian transported materials. Correlation analyses show that compared with surface materials, the elements in transported materials (e.g., Cu, As, Pb, Mn, Zn, Al, Ca, Fe, Ga, K, Mg, P, Rb, Co, Cr, Na, Nb, Si, and Zr) were subjected to significant sorting by aeolian processes, and the sorting also varied among different particle size fractions and elements. Variations in wind velocity were significantly correlated with the contents of Cr, Ga, Sr, Ca, Y, Nd, Zr, Nb, Ba, and Al, and with the Zr/Al, Zr/Rb, K/Ca, Sr/Ca, Rb/Sr, and Ca/Al ratios. Given the great variation in the geochemical characteristics of materials transported under different aeolian processes relative to those of the source materials, these results indicate that considerable uncertainty may be introduced to analyses by using surface materials to trace the potential source areas of aeolian deposits that accumulate in downwind areas.

  19. Effects of Seismological and Soil Parameters on Earthquake Energy demand in Level Ground Sand Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    nabili, sara; shahbazi majd, nafiseh

    2013-04-01

    Liquefaction has been a source of major damages during severe earthquakes. To evaluate this phenomenon there are several stress, strain and energy based approaches. Use of the energy method has been more focused by researchers due to its advantages with respect to other approaches. The use of the energy concept to define the liquefaction potential is validated through laboratory element and centrifuge tests as well as field studies. This approach is based on the hypothesis that pore pressure buildup is directly related to the dissipated energy in sands which is the accumulated areas between the stress-strain loops. Numerous investigations were performed to find a relationship which correlates the dissipated energy to the soil parameters, but there are not sufficient studies to relate this dissipated energy, known as demand energy, concurrently, to the seismological and the soil parameters. The aim of this paper is to investigate the dependency of the demand energy in sands to seismological and the soil parameters. To perform this task, an effective stress analysis has been executed using FLAC finite difference program. Finn model, which is a built-in constitutive model implemented in FLAC program, was utilized. Since an important stage to predict the liquefaction is the prediction of excess pore water pressure at a given point, a simple numerical framework is presented to assess its generation during a cyclic loading in a given centrifuge test. According to the results, predicted excess pore water pressures did not closely match to the measured excess pore water pressure values in the centrifuge test but they can be used in the numerical assessment of excess pore water pressure with an acceptable degree of preciseness. Subsequently, the centrifuge model was reanalyzed using several real earthquake acceleration records with different seismological parameters such as earthquake magnitude and Hypocentral distance. The accumulated energies (demand energy) dissipated in

  20. Microbial Nitrogen and Sulfur Cycles at the Playa and Playa-lake Deposits of White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glamoclija, M.; Fogel, M. L.; Steele, A.

    2011-12-01

    A deflationary basin, Alkali Flat, of White Sands National Monument holds active playas and a playa lake, which allows for an excellent comparison of these different (hyper)saline habitats. Playa lakes are commonly studied as extreme hypersaline environments, however from our data, less studied playa sediments and coarse selenite crystals showed to be more biologically challenging environments. The Flat contains dome structures composed of coarse selenites, an alternative newly discovered microbial habitat. A comparison of environmental physicochemical conditions and molecular biology was used to determine the characteristics of microbial habitats and communities and to decipher nodes of nitrogen and sulfur cycles. On Mars, the presence of sulfate rich playa deposits has been suggested for the deposits discovered by the Opportunity rover at Meridiani Planum. Recently, it has been suggested that the playa settings extended to a larger, Arabia Terra, zone of groundwater upwelling. The study of terrestrial analogue site with playa settings, such as Alkali Flat from New Mexico, provides an analogue system to explore and characterize the proposed habitable zones and their potential biosignatures. At White Sands, playa lake deposits held up to 55wt.% of water within the surface mirabilite crust, bottom layers composed of sulfates, clay, halite, and carbonates had less water. The lake deposits hold the only setting with reducing chemistry that was detected in the layers beneath the crust (with 3.42:1 ammonium (NH4) over nitric oxides (NO)). Playa sediments were 10 times drier than the playa lake deposits and had patchy surface crust of halite and gypsum. Selenite crystals were the driest among studied habitats (0.16wt.% H2O). Playa sediments and selenites contained 9.49 and 3.9 times more NO than NH4, suggesting importance of nitrification processes in these settings. Nitrogen fixation genes were detected only in playa lake deposits. A variety of ammonium oxidation genes

  1. Water in sand and gravel deposits in McHenry County, Illinois

    SciTech Connect

    Nicholas, J.R.; Krohelski, J.T.

    1984-01-01

    Two general types of sand and gravel occur in McHenry County - unconfined aquifers, which are at or near the land surface, and semiconfined aquifers, which are overlain by one or more till members. Water levels in both types of aquifers are mapped from measurements made in the spring of 1979. The water-level configuration roughly parallels the land surface. Moraines and other topographically high features coincide with ground-water divides of local flow systems. Flow paths from divides to low-lands are relatively short - a few miles or less. Recharge predominates in uplands, whereas discharge predominates in lowlands. Water levels change seasonally in response to variations in recharge and discharge conditions. The highest water levels occur during spring and decline during the rest of the year. Ground water is of the calcium magnesium bicarbonate type and is of acceptable quality for most uses. However, for domestic and some industrial uses, treatment may be required to reduce hardness and to remove iron. Hardness ranged from 130 to 600 milligrams per liter as calcium carbonate, and dissolved iron concentrations ranges from less than 10 to 6200 micrograms per liter. The specific conductance of ground water ranged from 260 to 1170 micromhos per centimeter. Specific conductance exceeded 1000 micromhos per centimeter near Huntley and Hebron. Nitrate concentration was generally less than 0.68 milligrams per liter. 22 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs.

  2. Compositional Variations of Rocknest Sand, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goetz, Walter; Madsen, Morten B.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Clark, Benton C.; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Blaney, Diana L.; Bridges, Nathan; Fisk, Martin; Hviid, Stubbe F.; Kocurek, Gary; Lasue, Jeremie; Maurice, Sylvestre; Newsom, Horton; Renno, Nilton; Rubin, David M.; Sullivan, Robert; Wiens, Roger C.; MSL Science Team

    2013-04-01

    The Curiosity rover spent over 40 sols at an aeolian deposit (termed Rocknest sand shadow deposit) that is several meters long (oriented north-south), 15-20 cm high (at crest) and about 50 cm wide. Material was scooped up from the subsurface to a depth of about 40 mm at five different locations on the deposit. Part of the sampled material was delivered to the analytical laboratories CheMin (x-ray diffraction) and SAM (pyrolysis, evolved gas analysis, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, tunable laser spectroscopy) in the rover body. Scoop troughs and walls were imaged extensively by cameras onboard the rover (Mastcam, Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), Remote Microscopic Imager (RMI)) and probed by Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) as provided by the ChemCam instrument. Images show that the top surface of the deposit is armored by a layer 1-3 grains thick of mm-sized, subrounded, dust-mantled grains. The bulk of the deposit is composed of particles smaller than 150 microns (fine and very fine sand and likely silt and dust). Furthermore, there are bright bands in the subsurface, a narrow one and a broad one at depths 2-4 mm and 20-30 mm, respectively. The images also provide evidence for crust formation and cementation as the scoop trough floors are littered by platy angular fragments and cemented clods. Many of the clods contain numerous sub-mm sized bright (sulfate rich?) inclusions. Chemical profiles (as provided by ChemCam data) do not clearly support the type of subsurface layering inferred from the images. However, chemical abundances (Li, Na, K, Mn, Fe, Ca, Mg, and Si) significantly deviating from average values are found at two different depths (respectively 15 and 25 mm). It is unclear when (and over which time scale) the Rocknest sand deposit in Gale Crater formed. In any case, mm-sized particles cannot be moved efficiently in the current aeolian regime. If the deposit has been immobile for an extended period of time, it is conceivable that Martian

  3. Terrestrial sensitivity to abrupt cooling recorded by aeolian activity in northwest Ohio, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, M.C.; Fisher, T.G.; Goble, R.J.

    2011-01-01

    Optically stimulated luminescence dated sand dunes and Pleistocene beach ridges in northwest Ohio are used to reconstruct landscape modification more than 5000. yr after deglaciation. Four of the OSL ages (13.3-11.1. ka) cluster around the Younger Dryas cold event, five ages (10.8-8.2. ka) cluster around the Preboreal, one young age (0.9-0.7. ka) records more recent aeolian activity, and one age of 15.1-13.1. ka dates a barrier spit in Lake Warren. In northwest Ohio, both landscape instability recorded by aeolian activity and a vegetation response recorded by pollen are coeval with the Younger Dryas. However, the climate conditions during the Preboreal resulting in aeolian activity are not recorded in the available pollen records. From this, we conclude that aeolian dunes and surfaces susceptible to deflation are sensitive to cooler, drier episodes of climate and can complement pollen data. Younger Dryas and Preboreal aged aeolian activity in northwestern Ohio coincides with aeolian records elsewhere in the Great Lakes region east of the prairie-forest ecotone. ?? 2011 University of Washington.

  4. Monte Carlo path sampling approach to modeling aeolian sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardin, E. J.; Mitasova, H.; Mitas, L.

    2011-12-01

    Coastal communities and vital infrastructure are subject to coastal hazards including storm surge and hurricanes. Coastal dunes offer protection by acting as natural barriers from waves and storm surge. During storms, these landforms and their protective function can erode; however, they can also erode even in the absence of storms due to daily wind and waves. Costly and often controversial beach nourishment and coastal construction projects are common erosion mitigation practices. With a more complete understanding of coastal morphology, the efficacy and consequences of anthropogenic activities could be better predicted. Currently, the research on coastal landscape evolution is focused on waves and storm surge, while only limited effort is devoted to understanding aeolian forces. Aeolian transport occurs when the wind supplies a shear stress that exceeds a critical value, consequently ejecting sand grains into the air. If the grains are too heavy to be suspended, they fall back to the grain bed where the collision ejects more grains. This is called saltation and is the salient process by which sand mass is transported. The shear stress required to dislodge grains is related to turbulent air speed. Subsequently, as sand mass is injected into the air, the wind loses speed along with its ability to eject more grains. In this way, the flux of saltating grains is itself influenced by the flux of saltating grains and aeolian transport becomes nonlinear. Aeolian sediment transport is difficult to study experimentally for reasons arising from the orders of magnitude difference between grain size and dune size. It is difficult to study theoretically because aeolian transport is highly nonlinear especially over complex landscapes. Current computational approaches have limitations as well; single grain models are mathematically simple but are computationally intractable even with modern computing power whereas cellular automota-based approaches are computationally efficient

  5. Holocene aeolian sedimentation and episodic mass-wasting events recorded in lacustrine sediments on Langøya in Vesterålen, northern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Pål Ringkjøb; Dahl, Svein Olaf; Jansen, Henrik Løseth; Støren, Eivind N.

    2016-09-01

    In this study, the frequency of mass-wasting events and past storminess has been reconstructed throughout the Holocene (11,500 cal yr BP to present) from lacustrine sediments in lake Trehynnvatnet (33 m a.s.l.), which is located in a glacially carved valley at Nykvåg on the outmost coast of western Langøya, Vesterålen, northern Norway. Sediment cores (∼2-5 m long) have been examined by use of high-resolution magnetic susceptibility and XRF-scanning as well as grain size and loss-on-ignition analysis. In total 35 episodic event layers have been identified throughout the Holocene. The majority of these events are characterized as discrete coarse-grained sediment layers followed by normal grading, and are related to past mass-wasting activity within the catchment. Periods with high mass-wasting activity are dated to 11,000-10,500, 5500-4500, 4000-3500, 3000-2500, 2000-1000 and 500-0 cal yr BP. The continuous input of sand grains (>250 μm) has been systematically investigated throughout the sediment cores. The sand grains are related to catchment samples from the sandy beach deposits in Sandvikbukta c. 750 m away in SW direction, and are suggested to indicate (niveo-) aeolian influx to the lake. The content of sand grains varies greatly throughout the record, although there is a clear increase in influx of sand during the last 2800 years. Periods with high aeolian influx are proposed to indicate increased storminess, which occurred between 1600 and 1550 (350-400 CE), 1400-1300 (450-550 CE), 750-550 (1200-1400 CE) and 250-20 cal yr BP (1700-1930 CE), which to some degree coincides with periods of increased storminess and winter precipitation recorded in other studies around the North Eastern Atlantic region.

  6. Ancient wet aeolian environments on Earth: Clues to presence of fossil/live microorganisms on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahaney, W.C.; Milner, M.W.; Netoff, D.I.; Malloch, D.; Dohm, J.M.; Baker, V.R.; Miyamoto, H.; Hare, T.M.; Komatsu, G.

    2004-01-01

    Ancient wet aeolian (wet-sabkha) environments on Earth, represented in the Entrada and Navajo sandstones of Utah, contain pipe structures considered to be the product of gas/water release under pressure. The sediments originally had considerable porosity allowing the ingress of living plant structures, microorganisms, clay minerals, and fine-grained primary minerals of silt and sand size from the surface downward in the sedimentary column. Host rock material is of a similar size and porosity and presumably the downward migration of fine-grained material would have been possible prior to lithogenesis and final cementation. Recent field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and EDS (energy-dispersive spectrometry) examination of sands from fluidized pipes in the Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone reveal the presence of fossil forms resembling fungal filaments, some bearing hyphopodium-like structures similar to those produced by modern tropical leaf parasites. The tropical origin of the fungi is consistent with the paleogeography of the sandstone, which was deposited in a tropical arid environment. These fossil fungi are silicized, with minor amounts of CaCO3 and Fe, and in some cases a Si/Al ratio similar to smectite. They exist as pseudomorphs, totally depleted in nitrogen, adhering to the surfaces of fine-grained sands, principally quartz and orthoclase. Similar wet aeolian paleoenvironments are suspected for Mars, especially following catastrophic sediment-charged floods of enormous magnitudes that are believed to have contributed to rapid formation of large water bodies in the northern plains, ranging from lakes to oceans. These events are suspected to have contributed to a high frequency of constructional landforms (also known as pseudocraters) related to trapped volatiles and water-enriched sediment underneath a thick blanket of materials that were subsequently released to the martian surface, forming piping structures at the near surface and

  7. Preliminary report on deposit models for sand and gravel in the Cache la Poudre River valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langer, W.H.; Lindsey, D.A.

    1999-01-01

    The stratigraphy, sedimentary features, and physical characteristics of gravel deposits in the Cache la Poudre River valley were studied to establish geologic models for these deposits. Because most of the gravel mined in the valley is beneath the low terraces and floodplain, the quality of these deposits for aggregate was studied in detail at eight sites in a 25.5-mile reach between Fort Collins and Greeley, Colorado. Aggregate quality was determined by field and laboratory measurements on samples collected under a consistent sampling plan. The Broadway terrace is underlain by Pleistocene alluvium and, at some places, by fine-grained wind-blown deposits. The Piney Creek terrace, low terraces, and floodplain are primarily underlain by Holocene alluvium. Pleistocene alluvium may underlie these terraces at isolated locations along the river. Gravels beneath the Piney Creek terrace, low terraces, and floodplain are divisible into two units that are poorly distinguishable at the upstream end of the study area, but are readily distinguishable about 7 miles downstream. Where distinguished, the two gravel units are separated by a sharp, locally erosional, contact. The upper gravel is probably of Holocene age, but the lower gravel is considered to be Holocene and Pleistocene. The primary variation in particle size of the gravels beneath the floodplain and low terraces of the Cache la Poudre River valley is the downstream decrease in the proportion of particles measuring 3/4 inch and larger. Above Fort Collins, about 60 pct of the gravel collects on the 3/4 inch sieve, whereas about 50 pct of gravel collects on the same sieve size at Greeley. For 1.5-inch sieves, the corresponding values are about 50 pct for Fort Collins and only about 30 pct for Greeley. Local differences in particle size and sorting between the upper and lower gravel units were observed in the field, but only the coarsest particle sizes appear to have been concentrated in the lower unit. Field

  8. Quantifying the provenance of aeolian sediments using multiple composite fingerprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Benli; Niu, Qinghe; Qu, Jianjun; Zu, Ruiping

    2016-09-01

    We introduce a new fingerprinting method that uses multiple composite fingerprints for studies of aeolian sediment provenance. We used this method to quantify the provenance of sediments on both sides of the Qinghai-Tibetan Railway (QTR) in the Cuona Lake section of the Tibetan Plateau (TP), in an environment characterized by aeolian and fluvial interactions. The method involves repeatedly solving a linear mixing model based on mass conservation; the model is not limited to spatial scale or transport types and uses all the tracer groups that passed the range check, Kruskal-Wallis H-test, and a strict analytical solution screening. The proportional estimates that result from using different composite fingerprints are highly variable; however, the average of these fingerprints has a greater accuracy and certainty than any single fingerprint. The results show that sand from the lake beach, hilly surface, and gullies contribute, respectively, 48%, 31% and 21% to the western railway sediments and 43%, 33% and 24% to the eastern railway sediments. The difference between contributions from various sources on either side of the railway, which may increase in the future, was clearly related to variations in local transport characteristics, a conclusion that is supported by grain size analysis. The construction of the QTR changed the local cycling of materials, and the difference in provenance between the sediments that are separated by the railway reflects the changed sedimentary conditions on either side of the railway. The effectiveness of this method suggests that it will be useful in other studies of aeolian sediments.

  9. The distribution of velocity and energy of saltating sand grains in a wind tunnel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Xue-Yong; Wang, Zhou-Long; Hao, Qing-Zhen; Zhang, Chun-Lai; Liu, Yu-Zhang; Dong, Guang-Rong

    2001-02-01

    Sand transport by wind is a special case of two-phase flow of gas and solids, with saltating grains accounting for about 75% of the transport rate. This form of flow is not only the main external agent moulding aeolian landforms but also the motive force responsible for transport, sorting and deposition of aeolian sediments. High-speed multiflash photography is an effective method of studying the distribution of velocity and energy of saltating grains within the boundary layer of wind tunnel. The experimental wind shear velocities were set at 0.63, 0.64, 0.74 and 0.81 ms -1. The statistical study of the results showed that there is a power function relation between mean velocity and height of saltating grains. As the height is divided into 0.5-cm intervals, the sand grain velocities at various levels are consistent with the Pearson VII distribution pattern. The variations in kinetic energy and total energy of sand grains with height accord with the pulse peak modified with power term (Pulsepow) law; the maximum values occur at heights of 6 cm or so and tend to shift upward with increasing wind velocity.

  10. The geomorphology and evolution of aeolian landforms within a river valley in a semi-humid environment: A case study from Mainling Valley, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Na; Zhang, Chun-Lai; Wu, Xiao-Xu; Wang, Xun-ming; Kang, Li-qiang

    2014-11-01

    This paper systematically analyzes a valley's aeolian landforms in a semi-humid region and presents a model of its contemporary evolution. Mainling Valley of the Yarlung Zangbo River on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was chosen as the case study for the analysis of morphometric characteristics and the evolution sequence of aeolian landforms via field data and remote sensing images. The aeolian landforms were primarily composed of aeolian sand belts on river terraces and dunes (sheets) on hillside slopes. Three types of aeolian sand belts were identified based on their dune types. In type I belts, an erosive air stream combined with relatively high vegetation cover (10%) produced sparsely distributed parabolic dunes with a high variability of dune heights; in type II belts, the continual reworking by the erosive air stream in combination with low vegetation cover (3%) formed more densely distributed barchans and transitional dunes with a moderate variability of dune heights; and in type III belts, the gradual evolution from an erosive sand-laden air stream to a saturated sand-laden air stream in combination with low vegetation cover (2%) produced the densest crescentic dunefields but with the least variability in dune heights. Dune sizes increase, dune shapes become uniform, and dune distribution becomes close from type I to III belts. Lateral linking and merging of the dunes were also observed within the belts. Together this evidence indicates that an evolution sequence may exist. Aeolian dunefields in the belt appear to evolve from embryonic parabolic dunefields to adolescent barchan dunefields and, subsequently, to mature compound crescentic dunefields. As the aeolian sand belt evolves into the mature stage, sand accumulations at the foot of the mountain valley can be steps for sand accumulation on valley-side slopes.

  11. Studies in Martian Aeolian Geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    2001-01-01

    This report gives the results from the investigation through March 15, 1999 for the first two years of the three year investigation (year 3 runs from March 1, 1999 to February 27, 2000). The investigation included three tasks, all involving windblown dust (particles a few micrometers in diameter) to simulate the aeolian regime on Mars. Experiments were conducted primarily in the Mars Surface Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT) at NASA-Ames Research Center.

  12. Earth and planetary aeolian streaks: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen-Zada, Aviv Lee; Blumberg, Dan Gabriel; Maman, Shimrit

    2016-03-01

    Wind streaks are abundant aeolian features that have been observed on planetary surfaces by remote sensing means. They have been widely studied, particularly on Mars and Venus and to a much lesser extent on Earth. In imagery, these streaks appear as elongated features that are easily distinguishable from their surroundings. Geomorphologically, these streaks have, thus far, been interpreted as the presence or absence of small loose particles on the surface, deposited or eroded, respectively, by wind. However, the use of different (optical and radar) remote-sensing tools to study wind streaks has led to uncertain interpretations of these features and has hindered their geomorphological definition. Since wind streaks indicate the prevailing wind direction at the time of their formation, they may be used to map near-surface winds and to estimate atmospheric circulation patterns. The aim of this article is to review the main studies focusing on wind streaks and to present the most up-to-date knowledge on this topic. Moreover, a new perspective for wind streak research is suggested: As 'wind streak' is a collective term for a variety of aeolian features that when viewed from above appear as distinctive albedo surface patterns, we suggest that the term should not be used to refer to a geomorphological feature. Since the definition of wind streaks is constrained to remote sensing rather than to geomorphology and is affected by the inherent biases of remote sensing methods, we suggest that 'wind streaks' should be used as a collective term for aeolian surfaces that are discernable from above as bright and dark patterns due to alterations in the characteristics of the surface or to the presence of bedforms. To better understand the mechanisms, time-frames, climate compatibility of wind streaks and the influences of remote sensing on their appearance, we have compiled a new database containing more than 2,900 Earth wind streaks. A comprehensive study of these Earth wind

  13. Publication trends in Aeolian research: An analysis of the biblography of Aeolian research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An analysis of the Bibliography of Aeolian Research has provided information regarding publication trends in aeolian research. Overall, results suggest that there has been a significant increase in the number of publications per year since the first aeolian-research publication appeared in 1646. P...

  14. 10 years of aeolian geomorphology at the EGU: past achievements and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baas, Andreas C. W.; Wiggs, Giles F. S.; Claudin, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    On this tenth anniversary of the Aeolian Processes & Landforms session at the EGU the original conveners review and reflect on the recent achievements and expansion in aeolian geomorphological research, focussing on advances in our understanding of sand transport processes, dune development and dynamics, and the mechanisms and scalings involved. This talk will highlight the variety and impact of the dramatic increase in the extent and interest of research on aeolian processes and landforms in the last ten years, including the increasingly strong community presence at international meetings, the diversity and extent of collaborations across subject boundaries, and the application of new measurement technologies and mathematical approaches. We conclude with a forward-looking prospectus of exciting future challenges and open research questions.

  15. Aeolian system dynamics derived from thermal infrared data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheidt, Stephen Paul

    Thermal infrared (TIR) remote-sensing and field-based observations were used to study aeolian systems, specifically sand transport pathways, dust emission sources and Saharan atmospheric dust. A method was developed for generating seamless and radiometrically accurate mosaics of thermal infrared data from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument. Using a combination of high resolution thermal emission spectroscopy results of sand samples and mosaic satellite data, surface emissivity was derived to map surface composition, which led to improvement in the understanding of sand accumulation in the Gran Desierto of northern Sonora, Mexico. These methods were also used to map sand transport pathways in the Sahara Desert, where the interaction between sand saltation and dust emission sources was explored. The characteristics and dynamics of dust sources were studied at White Sands, NM and in the Sahara Desert. At White Sands, an application was developed for studying the response of dust sources to surface soil moisture based on the relationship between soil moisture, apparent thermal inertia and the erosion potential of dust sources. The dynamics of dust sources and the interaction with sand transport pathways were also studied, focusing on the Bodele Depression of Chad and large dust sources in Mali and Mauritania. A dust detection algorithm was developed using ASTER data, and the spectral emissivity of observed atmospheric dust was related to the dust source area in the Sahara. At the Atmospheric Observatory (IZO) in Tenerife, Spain where direct measurement of the Saharan Air Layer could be made, the cycle of dust events occurring in July 2009 were examined. From the observation tower at the IZO, measurements of emitted longwave atmospheric radiance in the TIR wavelength region were made using a Forward Looking Infrared Radiometer (FLIR) handheld camera. The use of the FLIR to study atmospheric dust from the Saharan is a

  16. A preliminary comparison of mineral deposits in faults near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, with possible analogs

    SciTech Connect

    Vaniman, D.T.; Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.

    1988-05-01

    Several faults near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, contain abundant calcite and opal-CT, with lesser amounts of opal-A and sepiolite or smectite. These secondary minerals are being studied to determine the directions, amounts, and timing of transport involved in their formation. Such information is important for evaluating the future performances of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository beneath Yucca Mountain. This report is a preliminary assessment of how those minerals were formed. Possible analog deposits from known hydrothermal veins, warm springs, cold springs or seeps, soils, and aeolian sands were studied by petrographic and x-ray diffraction methods for comparison with the minerals deposited in the faults; there are major mineralogic differences in all of these environments except in the aeolian sands and in some cold seeps. Preliminary conclusions are that the deposits in the faults and in the sand ramps are closely related, and that the process of deposition did not require upward transport from depth. 35 refs., 25 figs.

  17. River terrace sand and gravel deposit reserve estimation using three-dimensional electrical resistivity tomography for bedrock surface detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chambers, J. E.; Wilkinson, P. B.; Penn, S.; Meldrum, P. I.; Kuras, O.; Loke, M. H.; Gunn, D. A.

    2013-06-01

    We describe the application of 3D electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) to the characterisation and reserve estimation of an economic fluvial sand and gravel deposit. Due to the smoothness constraints used to regularise the inversion, it can be difficult to accurately determine the geometry of sharp interfaces. We have therefore considered two approaches to interface detection that we have applied to the 3D ERT results in an attempt to provide an accurate and objective assessment of the bedrock surface elevation. The first is a gradient-based approach, in which the steepest gradient of the vertical resistivity profile is assumed to correspond to the elevation of the mineral/bedrock interface. The second method uses an intrusive sample point to identify the interface resistivity at a location within the model, from which an iso-resistivity surface is identified that is assumed to define the interface. Validation of these methods has been achieved through direct comparison with observed bedrock surface elevations that were measured using real-time-kinematic GPS subsequent to the 3D ERT survey when quarrying exposed the bedrock surface. The gradient-based edge detector severely underestimated the depth to bedrock in this case, whereas the interface resistivity method produced bedrock surface elevations that were in close agreement with the GPS-derived surface. The failure of the gradient-based method is attributed to insufficient model sensitivity in the region of the bedrock surface, whereas the success of the interface resistivity method is a consequence of the homogeneity of the mineral and bedrock, resulting in a consistent interface resistivity. These results highlight the need for some intrusive data for model validation and for edge detection approaches to be chosen on the basis of local geological conditions.

  18. Giant aeolian dune size determined by the average depth of the atmospheric boundary layer.

    PubMed

    Andreotti, Bruno; Fourrière, Antoine; Ould-Kaddour, Fouzia; Murray, Brad; Claudin, Philippe

    2009-02-26

    Depending on the wind regime, sand dunes exhibit linear, crescent-shaped or star-like forms resulting from the interaction between dune morphology and sand transport. Small-scale dunes form by destabilization of the sand bed with a wavelength (a few tens of metres) determined by the sand transport saturation length. The mechanisms controlling the formation of giant dunes, and in particular accounting for their typical time and length scales, have remained unknown. Using a combination of field measurements and aerodynamic calculations, we show here that the growth of aeolian giant dunes, ascribed to the nonlinear interaction between small-scale superimposed dunes, is limited by the confinement of the flow within the atmospheric boundary layer. Aeolian giant dunes and river dunes form by similar processes, with the thermal inversion layer that caps the convective boundary layer in the atmosphere acting analogously to the water surface in rivers. In both cases, the bed topography excites surface waves on the interface that in turn modify the near-bed flow velocity. This mechanism is a stabilizing process that prevents the scale of the pattern from coarsening beyond the resonant condition. Our results can explain the mean spacing of aeolian giant dunes ranging from 300 m in coastal terrestrial deserts to 3.5 km. We propose that our findings could serve as a starting point for the modelling of long-term evolution of desert landscapes under specific wind regimes.

  19. Giant aeolian dune size determined by the average depth of the atmospheric boundary layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claudin, P.; Fourrière, A.; Andreotti, B.; Murray, A. B.

    2009-12-01

    Depending on the wind regime, sand dunes exhibit linear, crescent-shaped or star-like forms resulting from the interaction between dune morphology and sand transport. Small-scale dunes form by destabilization of the sand bed with a wavelength (a few tens of metres) determined by the sand transport saturation length. The mechanisms controlling the formation of giant dunes, and in particular accounting for their typical time and length scales, have remained unknown. Using a combination of field measurements and aerodynamic calculations, we show here that the growth of aeolian giant dunes, ascribed to the nonlinear interaction between small-scale superimposed dunes, is limited by the confinement of the flow within the atmospheric boundary layer. Aeolian giant dunes and river dunes form by similar processes, with the thermal inversion layer that caps the convective boundary layer in the atmosphere acting analogously to the water surface in rivers. In both cases, the bed topography excites surface waves on the interface that in turn modify the near-bed flow velocity. This mechanism is a stabilizing process that prevents the scale of the pattern from coarsening beyond the resonant condition. Our results can explain the mean spacing of aeolian giant dunes ranging from 300 m in coastal terrestrial deserts to 3.5 km. We propose that our findings could serve as a starting point for the modelling of long-term evolution of desert landscapes under specific wind regimes.

  20. Rapid anthropogenic response to short-term aeolian-fluvial palaeoenvironmental changes during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the northern Negev Desert, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Katra, Itzhak; Agha, Nuha; Goring-Morris, A. Nigel; Porat, Naomi; Barzilai, Omry

    2014-09-01

    Archaeological investigations along Nahal Sekher on the eastern edge of Israel's northwestern Negev Desert dunefield revealed concentrations of Epipalaeolithic campsites associated respectively with ancient water bodies. This study, aimed at better understanding the connections between these camps and the water bodies, is concerned with a cluster of Natufian sites. A comprehensive geomorphological study integrating field mapping, stratigraphic sections, sedimentological analysis and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages was conducted in the vicinity of a recently excavated Natufian campsite of Nahal Sekher VI whose artifacts directly overlay aeolian sand dated by OSL to 12.4 ± 0.7 and 11.7 ± 0.5 ka. Residual sequences of diagnostic silty sediments, defined here as low-energy fluvial fine-grained deposits (LFFDs), were identified within the drainage system of central Nahal Sekher around the Nahal Sekher VI site. LFFD sections were found to represent both shoreline and mid-water deposits. The thicker mid-water LFFD deposits (15.7 ± 0.7-10.7 ± 0.5 ka) date within the range of the Epipalaeolithic campsites, while the upper and shoreline LFFD units that thin out into the sands adjacent to the Nahal Sekher VI site display slightly younger ages (10.8 ± 0.4 ka-7.6 ± 0.4 ka). LFFD sedimentation by low-energy concentrated flow and standing-water developed as a result of proximal downstream dune-damming. These water bodies developed as a result of encroaching sand that initially crossed central Nahal Sekher by 15.7 ± 0.7 ka and probably intermittently blocked the course of the wadi. LFFD deposition was therefore a response to a unique combination of regional sand supply due to frequent powerful winds and does not represent climate change in the form of increased precipitation or temperature change. The chronostratigraphies affiliate the Natufian sites to the adjacent ancient water bodies. These relations reflect a rapid, but temporary anthropogenic response to a

  1. An integrated coastal model for aeolian and hydrodynamic sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baart, F.; den Bieman, J.; van Koningsveld, M.; Luijendijk, A. P.; Parteli, E. J. R.; Plant, N. G.; Roelvink, J. A.; Storms, J. E. A.; de Vries, S.; van Thiel de Vries, J. S. M.; Ye, Q.

    2012-04-01

    Dunes are formed by aeolian and hydrodynamic processes. Over the last decades numerical models were developed that capture our knowledge of the hydrodynamic transport of sediment near the coast. At the same time others have worked on creating numerical models for aeolian-based transport. Here we show a coastal model that integrates three existing numerical models into one online-coupled system. The XBeach model simulates storm-induced erosion (Roelvink et al., 2009). The Delft3D model (Lesser et al., 2004) is used for long term morphology and the Dune model (Durán et al., 2010) is used to simulate the aeolian transport. These three models were adapted to be able to exchange bed updates in real time. The updated models were integrated using the ESMF framework (Hill et al., 2004), a system for composing coupled modeling systems. The goal of this integrated model is to capture the relevant coastal processes at different time and spatial scales. Aeolian transport can be relevant during storms when the strong winds are generating new dunes, but also under relative mild conditions when the dunes are strengthened by transporting sand from the intertidal area to the dunes. Hydrodynamic transport is also relevant during storms, when high water in combination with waves can cause dunes to avalanche and erode. While under normal conditions the hydrodynamic transport can result in an onshore transport of sediment up to the intertidal area. The exchange of sediment in the intertidal area is a dynamic interaction between the hydrodynamic transport and the aeolian transport. This dynamic interaction is particularly important for simulating dune evolution at timescales longer than individual storm events. The main contribution of the integrated model is that it simulates the dynamic exchange of sediment between aeolian and hydrodynamic models in the intertidal area. By integrating the numerical models, we hope to develop a model that has a broader scope and applicability than

  2. Searching for greasewood on sand dunes: A remote sensing spectral data model to predict intact pre-middle Holocene archaeological deposits in southwest Wyoming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heiner, Price B.

    Archaeological research in the central Green River Basin and especially the Moxa Arch area of southwest Wyoming has been an on-going effort for many years. Early research efforts focused on establishing culture histories and overall cultural chronologies of the area, as well as learning about the paleoecology and surface geology of the area. However, by the mid to late 1990's large gaps in what was known of the archaeological record in the Green River Basin were becoming apparent. One of the gaps identified was the lack of excavated intact pre-Middle Holocene cultural deposits. Additional information regarding Early Archaic and Paleoindian lifeways, subsistence patterns, and overall landscape use is required in order to further archaeological research in the Green River Basin. Unfortunately, these data cannot be obtained without locating the proper aged intact stratigraphic deposits. As such, my research goal is to locate pre-Middle Holocene intact deposits with the hope of furthering archaeological knowledge of Paleoindian and Early Archaic lifeways in the Green River Basin of southwest Wyoming. Research demonstrates that greasewood on the surface may indicate the locations of buried pre-Middle Holocene deposits. Sand dune complexes and especially sand shadows seem to display the most promising locations for intact buried cultural deposits. Finding where these two variables intersect is the purpose of my research. A remote sensing spectral data model using ArcMap 9.3 and extension software Feature Analyst are used to predict greasewood locations within sand dune complexes. One meter ground resolution color infrared imagery was used as the base GIS layer. My study analyzed these variables for the Granger, Church Butte, and Verne quadrangles in southwest Wyoming. The results of this analysis were then overlaid with previously recorded archaeological site locations to predict which archaeological sites are located in sand deposits/complexes that also have greasewood

  3. Southern high latitude dune fields on Mars: Morphology, aeolian inactivity, and climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fenton, L.K.; Hayward, R.K.

    2010-01-01

    In a study area spanning the martian surface poleward of 50?? S., 1190 dune fields have been identified, mapped, and categorized based on dune field morphology. Dune fields in the study area span ??? 116400km2, leading to a global dune field coverage estimate of ???904000km2, far less than that found on Earth. Based on distinct morphological features, the dune fields were grouped into six different classes that vary in interpreted aeolian activity level from potentially active to relatively inactive and eroding. The six dune field classes occur in specific latitude zones, with a sequence of reduced activity and degradation progressing poleward. In particular, the first signs of stabilization appear at ???60?? S., which broadly corresponds to the edge of high concentrations of water-equivalent hydrogen content (observed by the Neutron Spectrometer) that have been interpreted as ground ice. This near-surface ground ice likely acts to reduce sand availability in the present climate state on Mars, stabilizing high latitude dunes and allowing erosional processes to change their morphology. As a result, climatic changes in the content of near-surface ground ice are likely to influence the level of dune activity. Spatial variation of dune field classes with longitude is significant, suggesting that local conditions play a major role in determining dune field activity level. Dune fields on the south polar layered terrain, for example, appear either potentially active or inactive, indicating that at least two generations of dune building have occurred on this surface. Many dune fields show signs of degradation mixed with crisp-brinked dunes, also suggesting that more than one generation of dune building has occurred since they originally formed. Dune fields superposed on early and late Amazonian surfaces provide potential upper age limits of ???100My on the south polar layered deposits and ???3Ga elsewhere at high latitudes. No craters are present on any identifiable dune

  4. Aeolian Coastal Landscapes in changes (a study from Tahkuna, Estonia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, A.

    2012-04-01

    The openness of the coast to the winds and storm waves has an important part in changing aeolian coastal landscapes as well as anthropogenic factor. The aeolian coastal landscapes are probably the most dynamic areas. Occurrence of aeolian coastal landscapes in Estonia is limited. They consist of sandy beaches, sandy beach ridges and dunes. The coastal ecosystems are strongly affected by their topography, based on the character of deposits and moisture conditions. The majority of their ecosystems are quite close to the specific natural habitat. These ecosystems are represented in the list of the European Union Habitats (Natura 2000). In recent decades human influence has changed the landscape over time in different activities (recreation, trampling, off-road driving) and their intensities, which has led to destruction or degradation of various habitats. Previously coastal landscapes were used for forestry and pasture. Nowadays one of the most serious threats to open landscape is afforestation. This study examines the relationships between landscape components during last decades. Trying to find out how much aeolian coastal landscapes are influenced by natural processes or human activities. The results are based on cartographic analysis, fieldwork data. The method of landscape complex profile was used. The profiles show a cross-sections of landforms and interrelationships between landscape components, most frequently describing the relations between soils and vegetation. In each sample point the mechanical composition of sediments, vegetation cover and soil is determined. Results show that changes in landscapes are induced by their own development as well as changes in environmental factors and human activities. Larger changes are due to increase of coastal processes activity. These processes can be observed in sandy beaches, which are easily transformed by waves. Higher sea levels during storm surges are reaching older beach formation, causing erosion and creating

  5. History of development and depositional environment and upper Cherokee Prue Sand, Custer and Roger Mills counties, Oklahoma

    SciTech Connect

    Baumann, D.K.; Peterson, M.L.; Hunter, L.W.

    1983-03-01

    In western Oklahoma the uppermost sand member of the Cherokee Group, the True sand, was first drilled and found productive in two discoveries, completed in 1980, in west-central Custer County and in central Roger Mills County, Oklahoma. For 1 1/2 to 2 years these two discoveries, some 18 mi (29 km) apart, were thought to be stratigraphic equivalents of two separate sand bodies occurring parallel to the classic northwest-southeast-trending systems of the Anadarko basin. At present, some 40 productive wells will ultimately produce more than 100 bcf of gas and 3 million bbl of condensate from an average depth of 11,500 ft (3500 m). Sand porosities range from 3 to 18% with most producing wells having porosities in the 12 to 15% range. Because Prue sand is slightly overpressured (a pressure gradient of .53 psi/foot), the reserves are generally better than normal-pressured wells at this depth. The sand body is over 40 mi (64 km) in length, 1 to 1.5 mi (1.6 to 2.4 km) wide, and 60 ft (18 m) thick. Study of the core shows the interval to grade from a medium to fine-grained sand, highly laminated and cross-bedded with black shale, to a slightly coarser grained nonstructured interval and back into a highly laminated cross-bedded sandy black shale interval. The interval is topped by a 10 ft (3 m) thick black shale layer that is a predominant bed throughout the whole area. These conclusions have implications that may assist in the exploration of other Pennsylvanian sands in this area.

  6. New chronology for Pleistocene shoreline deposits on the central US Atlantic Coast: implication for relative sea level during MIS 5 and 7

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Z.; Wright, E. E.; Mauz, B.

    2015-12-01

    Emerged shoreline deposits are the most important records for studying relative sea level (RSL) of previous interglacial and understanding glacial/hydro isostasy. The Lower Atlantic Coastal Plain in the U.S. is characterized by coast-parallel barrier beaches and back-barrier deposits formed during maximum Pleistocene marine transgressions. Thus, they offer an opportunity to investigate RSL changes of multiple Pleistocene interglacials. However, the chronology of these deposits has been controversial due to the lack of reliable numerical ages, especially in South Carolina. Here we present stratigraphy and OSL dating results for both the late Pleistocene barrier and the back-barrier deposits between Georgetown and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and discuss their sea-level implications. The barrier ridge near Georgetown is covered by about 1 m aeolian deposits dated to ~20 ka. The aeolian deposits overlie humic sand and laminated beach sand that is dated to ~80 ka, corresponding to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5a. Stratigraphy of back-barrier deposits exposed along the Intracoastal Waterway near Myrtle Beach reveals a unit of back-barrier deposits separated from underlying shallow marine deposits by a paleosol. The back-barrier deposits are dated to MIS 5a while the lower shallow marine deposits yielded OSL ages corresponding to MIS 7 (~200 ka). The beach sand near Georgetown and the back-barrier deposits near Myrtle Beach together suggest that MIS 5a RSL was up to about 5 m above present sea level while the shallow marine deposits near Myrtle Beach indicate a MIS 7 RSL at or above present sea level along the northeastern South Carolina coast. The MIS 5a and MIS 7 RSL are in agreement with previous studies along other U.S. Atlantic coast. However, the missing of MIS 5e deposits between MIS 5a and MIS 7 deposits at the exposure near Myrtle Beach needs be confirmed with additional work.

  7. Investigation into the Origin and Character of Surficial Sedimentary Deposits at the Midshore Regional Solid Waste Facility near Easton, Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smoot, Joseph P.; Newell, Wayne L.; DeJong, Benjamin D.

    2009-01-01

    A temporary exposure at the Midshore Regional Solid Waste Facility near Easton, MD, provided an opportunity to document the characteristics of the complex assemblage of surficial facies in that area. This unusually large cross section allowed interpretation of the changing processes that shaped the landscape in response to climate change through the late Pleistocene. Eight stratigraphic units were recognized: (1) gray, fossiliferous, muddy silt of the marine Miocene Choptank Formation; (2) coarse, crossbedded conglomerate of the late Miocene to Pliocene fluvial Pensauken Formation; (3) bioturbated muddy conglomerate interpreted as deposits of small colluvial fans; (4) pebbly, quartzose sand overlying a planar erosional surface reflecting a marine transgression; (5) irregular pods and lenses of sand and gravel deformed into bowl-shaped folds and faulted, which are interpreted as wind deposits over a semipermanent snow cover (niveo-aeolian deposits); (6) crossbedded sand and conglomerate with abundant mud partings indicating tidal influences on sinuous stream channels; (7) heavily bioturbated silt and sand with abundant root casts and flattened vesicles interpreted as aeolian loess deposits in marshy fens; and (8) pebbly sand and mud with scattered boulders and cobbles that reflect modern infill of the excavation by the operators. Soils formed on units 3, 4, and 7. Superimposed on units 4, 5, and 7 is evidence of deep freezing and permafrost development and subsequent thermokarst development after thawing, which includes large, complexly filled wedge-shaped cracks, deformed bedding and faults, fluid-injection structures, and spherical blobs of sand and mud. Each of the stratigraphic units has irregular distributions and lateral changes. The results of this study provide a unique insight into the geometry of surficial deposits that will help facilitate mapping of units, interpretation of cored intervals, and understanding of ground-penetrating radar profiles. The

  8. Study of a Martian Aeolian Sand Analog with MECA Microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, J.; Kuhlman, K.; Stevens, R.; Meyyappan, M.

    2001-01-01

    MECA microscopy (built for Mars '01) is simulated to show the potential of in situ microscopic analyses of surface materials on Mars. In particular, the value of nanotechnology is demonstrated. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  9. Transverse Aeolian Ridges on Mars: Sediment sources, volumes, and ages.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman, D. C.; Balme, M. R.

    2014-12-01

    Transverse Aeolian Ridges (TARs) are aeolian bedforms that are morphologically and dimensionally distinct from Large Dark Dune (LDD) fields, being generally brighter than, or of similar albedo to, the surrounding terrain. These features are significantly smaller than the LDDs, appear to form normal to local winds, and tend to have simple, transverse, ripple-like morphologies. Whether these small martian bedforms represent large granule ripples, small transverse dunes, or something else entirely is currently under debate. The spatial distribution of TARs provides important information about where on Mars aeolian sediments are concentrated, and determining their volume can help us constrain the sediment transport regime on Mars. Also, if we can determine if TARs were active only in the past, or whether TARs are mobile under today's wind conditions, then we can begin to assess when and where TARs are/were active over Mars' recent geological history. Thus TARs have the potential for being indicators/records of climate change on Mars. In this work we build on previous work [1,2] and focus on the local/regional scale. We have identified six regional study areas, each 5° by 5°, to investigate the behavior of TARs in detail; one in the northern hemisphere, three in the equatorial band, and two in the southern hemisphere. We have systematically mapped TAR and LDD deposits in each study area to constrain sediment transport pathways and identify sediment sources. In general, TAR sediments appear to be tied to local sources such as LDDs or layered terrains. HiRISE DTMs were utilized to measure TAR heights, widths, wavelengths, and lengths to calculate sediment volumes and estimate volumes over entire study areas based on mapping. Crater count analyses on contiguous TAR fields in the equatorial regions, where the bedforms appear more lithified, reveal ages of several million years. Mid-latitude TAR fields do not show any superposed craters, suggesting much younger deposits

  10. Environmental, health, safety, and socioeconomic concerns associated with oil recovery from US tar-sand deposits: state-of-knowledge

    SciTech Connect

    Daniels, J.I.; Anspaugh, L.R.; Ricker, Y.E.

    1982-01-08

    Tar-sand petroleum-extraction procedures undergoing field testing for possible commercial application in the US include both surface (above-ground) and in situ (underground) procedures. The surface tar-sand systems currently being field tested in the US are thermal decomposition processes (retorting), and suspension methods (solvent extraction). Underground bitumen extraction procedures that are also being field tested domestically are in situ combustion and steam-injection. Environmental, health, safety, and socioeconomic concerns associated with construction and operation of 20,000-bbl/d commercial tar-sand surface and in situ facilities have been estimated and are summarized in this report. The principal regulations that commercial tar-sand facilities will need to address are also discussed, and environmental control technologies are summarized and wherever possible, projected costs of emission controls are stated. Finally, the likelihood-of-occurrence of potential environmental, health, and safety problems that have been determined are reviewed, and from this information inference is made as to the environmental acceptability of technologically feasible 20,000-bbl/d commercial tar-sand oil-extraction procedures.

  11. The developmental trend and influencing factors of aeolian desertification in the Zoige Basin, eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Guangyin; Dong, Zhibao; Lu, Junfeng; Yan, Changzhen

    2015-12-01

    The Zoige Basin is located in the northeastern region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and covers an area of 19,400 km2. At a mean altitude of 3500 m, the basin is highly sensitive to global environmental change and human disturbance due to its high elevation and fragile cold environment. The process of aeolian desertification in the basin can be clearly recognized in Landsat images that show the development of sand sheets and dunes over time. To monitor the spatial and temporal changes of aeolian desertification in the Zoige Basin, we analyzed Landsat images recorded in 1975, 1990, 2000, 2005, and 2010. Results showed that aeolian desertification increased rapidly from 1975 to 1990, was stable from 1990 to 2000, decreased slightly from 2000 to 2005, and decreased sharply from 2005 to 2010. Increasing temperature, overgrazing, rodent damage, and drainage of wetlands were considered the key driving factors of the expansion of aeolian desertification. A number of political measures were initiated in the 1990s to slow desertification, but the countermeasures of grazing prohibition, enclosures, and paving straw checkerboard barriers were not implemented until around 2005. These measures resulted in a dramatic recovery of aeolian desertified land between 2005 and 2010. Based on the cause analysis, anthropogenic factors were identified as the dominant driving force for both development and recovery of aeolian desertified land.

  12. Deposition of a Jurassic ooid sand shoal - Smackover A zone of Buckner Formation, Corney Bayou field, Union Parish, Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Tye, E.N.; Moore, C.H.

    1986-09-01

    The Smackover A zone of the Buckner Formation in northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas is lithologically similar to the more thoroughly studied upper Smackover Formation. However, in contrast to the regionally occurring thick, blanket-like ooid sands of the upper Smackover, the Smackover A zone carbonates occur as strike-parallel, individual carbonate sand bodies isolated within the clays, muds, and evaporites of the upper Buckner. This isolation and its potential effects on fluid movement, diagenetic processes, and ultimate porosity evolution in similar sequences across northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas emphasize the importance of a well-constrained core-based field study.

  13. The physics of wind-blown sand and dust.

    PubMed

    Kok, Jasper F; Parteli, Eric J R; Michaels, Timothy I; Karam, Diana Bou

    2012-10-01

    The transport of sand and dust by wind is a potent erosional force, creates sand dunes and ripples, and loads the atmosphere with suspended dust aerosols. This paper presents an extensive review of the physics of wind-blown sand and dust on Earth and Mars. Specifically, we review the physics of aeolian saltation, the formation and development of sand dunes and ripples, the physics of dust aerosol emission, the weather phenomena that trigger dust storms, and the lifting of dust by dust devils and other small-scale vortices. We also discuss the physics of wind-blown sand and dune formation on Venus and Titan.

  14. Observations of an aeolian landscape: From surface to orbit in Gale Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary

    2016-12-01

    Landscapes derived solely from aeolian processes are rare on Earth because of the dominance of subaqueous processes. In contrast, aeolian-derived landscapes should typify Mars because of the absence of liquid water, the long exposure times of surfaces, and the presence of wind as the default geomorphic agent. Using the full range of available orbital and Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity images, wind-formed features in Gale Crater were cataloged and analyzed in order to characterize the aeolian landscape and to derive the evolution of the crater wind regime over time. Inferred wind directions show a dominance of regional northerly winds over geologic time-scales, but a dominance of topography-driven katabatic winds in modern times. Landscapes in Gale Crater show a preponderance of aeolian features at all spatial scales. Interpreted processes forming these features include first-cycle aeolian abrasion of bedrock, pervasive deflation, organization of available sand into bedforms, abundant cratering, and gravity-driven wasting, all of which occur over a background of slow physical weathering. The observed landscapes are proposed to represent a spectrum of progressive surface denudation from fractured bedrock, to retreating bedrock-capped mesas, to remnant hills capped by bedrock rubble, to desert pavement plains. This model of landscape evolution provides the mechanism by which northerly winds acting over ∼3 Ga excavated tens of thousands of cubic kilometers of material from the once sediment-filled crater, thus carving the intra-crater moat and exhuming Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons). The current crater surface is relatively sand-starved, indicating that potential sediment deflation from the crater is greater than sediment production, and that most exhumation of Mount Sharp occurred in the ancient geologic past.

  15. The coal deposits of the Alkali Butte, the Big Sand Draw, and the Beaver Creek fields, Fremont County, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thompson, Raymond M.; White, Vincent L.

    1952-01-01

    Large coal reserves are present in three areas located between 12 and 20 miles southeast of Riverton, Fremont County, central Wyoming. Coal in two of these areas, the Alkali Butte coal field and the Big Sand Draw coal field, is exposed on the surface and has been developed to some extent by underground mining. The Beaver Creek coal field is known only from drill cuttings and cores from wells drilled for oil and gas in the Beaver Creek oil and gas field.These three coal areas can be reached most readily from Riverton, Wyo. State Route 320 crosses Wind River about 1 mile south of Riverton. A few hundred yards south of the river a graveled road branches off the highway and extends south across the Popo Agie River toward Sand Draw oil and gas field. About 8 miles south of the highway along the Sand Draw road, a dirt road bears east and along this road it is about 12 miles to the Bell coal mine in the Alkali Butte coal field. Three miles southeast of the Alkali Butte turn-off, 3 miles of oiled road extends southwest into the Beaver Creek oil and gas field. About 6 miles southeast of the Beaver Creek turn-off, in the valley of Little Sand Draw Creek, a dirt road extends east 1. mile and then southeast 1 mile to the Downey mine in the Big Sand Draw coal field. Location of these coal fields is shown on figure 1 with their relationship to the Wind River basin and other coal fields, place localities, and wells mentioned in this report. The coal in the Alkali Butte coal field is exposed partly on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Tps. 1 and 2 S., R. 6 E., and partly on public land. Coal in the Beaver Creek and Big Sand Draw coal fields is mainly on public land. The region has a semiarid climate with rainfall averaging less than 10 in. per year. When rain does fall the sandy-bottomed stream channels fill rapidly and are frequently impassable for a few hours. Beaver Creek, Big Sand Draw, Little Sand Draw, and Kirby Draw and their smaller tributaries drain the area and flow

  16. Aeolian geomorphology from the global perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.

    1985-01-01

    Any planet or satellite having a dynamic atmosphere and a solid surface has the potential for experiencing aeolian (wind) processes. A survey of the Solar System shows at least four planetary objects which potentially meet these criteria: Earth, Mars, Venus, and possibly Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn. While the basic process is the same among these four objects, the movement of particles by the atmosphere, the aeolian environment is drastically different. It ranges from the hot (730 K), dense atmosphere of Venus to the extremely cold desert (218 K) environment of Mars where the atmospheric surface pressure is only approximately 7.5 mb. In considering aeolian processes in the planetary perspective, all three terrestrial planets share some common areas of attention for research, especially in regard to wind erosion and dust storms. Relevant properties of planetary objects potentially subject to aeolian processes are given in tabular form.

  17. Technology assessment: environmental, health, and safety impacts associated with oil recovery from US tar-sand deposits

    SciTech Connect

    Daniels, J.I.; Anspaugh, L.R.; Ricker, Y.E.

    1981-10-13

    The tar-sand resources of the US have the potential to yield as much as 36 billion barrels (bbls) of oil. The tar-sand petroleum-extraction technologies now being considered for commercialization in the United States include both surface (above ground) systems and in situ (underground) procedures. The surface systems currently receiving the most attention include: (1) thermal decomposition processes (retorting); (2) suspension methods (solvent extraction); and (3) washing techniques (water separation). Underground bitumen extraction techniques now being field tested are: (1) in situ combustion; and (2) in situ steam-injection procedures. At this time, any commercial tar-sand facility in the US will have to comply with at least 7 major federal regulations in addition to state regulations; building, electrical, and fire codes; and petroleum-industry construction standards. Pollution-control methods needed by tar-sand technologies to comply with regulatory standards and to protect air, land, and water quality will probably be similar to those already proposed for commercial oil-shale systems. The costs of these systems could range from about $1.20 to $2.45 per barrel of oil produced. Estimates of potential pollution-emisson levels affecting land, air, and water were calculated from available data related to current surface and in situ tar-sand field experiments in the US. These data were then extrapolated to determine pollutant levels expected from conceptual commercial surface and in situ facilities producing 20,000 bbl/d. The likelihood-of-occurrence of these impacts was then assessed. Experience from other industries, including information concerning health and ecosystem damage from air pollutants, measurements of ground-water transport of organic pollutants, and the effectiveness of environmental-control technologies was used to make this assessment.

  18. Dune-like dynamic of Martian Aeolian large ripples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silvestro, S.; Vaz, D. A.; Yizhaq, H.; Esposito, F.

    2016-08-01

    Martian dunes are sculpted by meter-scale bed forms, which have been interpreted as wind ripples based on orbital data. Because aeolian ripples tend to orient and migrate transversely to the last sand-moving wind, they have been widely used as wind vanes on Earth and Mars. In this report we show that Martian large ripples are dynamically different from Earth's ripples. By remotely monitoring their evolution within the Mars Science Laboratory landing site, we show that these bed forms evolve longitudinally with minimal lateral migration in a time-span of ~ six terrestrial years. Our observations suggest that the large Martian ripples can record more than one wind direction and that in certain cases they are more similar to linear dunes from a dynamic point of view. Consequently, the assumption of the transverse nature of the large Martian ripples must be used with caution when using these features to derive wind directions.

  19. Late Amazonian aeolian features, gradation, wind regimes, and Sediment State in the Vicinity of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenton, Lori K.; Michaels, Timothy I.; Chojnacki, Matthew

    2015-03-01

    The 2° × 2° region surrounding the landing site and traverse of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity is richly blanketed with several generations and classes of aeolian features, including coarse-grained ripples, large dark dunes (LDDs), transverse aeolian ridges (TARs), erosional scars, depositional wind streaks of two types, and a new class of wind streak comprised entirely of coarse-grained ripples. The extensive observation campaigns from orbiting spacecraft in support of the MER and 2016 ExoMars missions, as well as in situ data from Opportunity, have provided unprecedented coverage of the region, permitting further interpretation of the local aeolian history than is typically possible on Mars. We present an analysis of bedform construction, sediment-transporting wind patterns, crater gradation and resulting erosion rate, sand provenance, and sediment state resulting from surficial mapping and geomorphic backstripping of aeolian features. Coarse-grained ripples on the intercrater plains formed from local sediments, with induration and low wind speeds preventing them from migrating more than roughly one bedform wavelength from their source region. Limited migration and a likely local, planar sand source of plains bedforms suggests their provenance is previously-eroded layers within the underlying Burns Formation. Although the bedform stabilization process is different from that of Earth, these ripples appear to be analogous to coarse-grained ripples that form and quickly stabilize on the Argentinean Puna. Some small craters (<100 m) exhibit inverted topography as high as ∼1 m, produced by an armoring effect of the indurated coarse-grained ripples. The erosion rate leading to this relief is ∼0.014 m/Myr over the past 71 ± 2 Ma, falling between values estimated for younger and older surfaces. Present-day winds are not represented uniformly in the region, with most active sandy wind streaks on the plains formed by a southeasterly wind and intracrater

  20. Depositional environments of the Permo-Triassic sediments from the Moesian Platform (Romania)

    SciTech Connect

    Constantin, P.

    1995-08-01

    The analysis of lithostratigraphic and geophysics data suggest that during Permian-Lower Triassic and Upper Triassic at least in the northern part of the Moesian Platform has been developed a failed continental rift. This structogenetical evolution of the Moesian Platform has performed a continental environment during of the Permian-Lower Triassic and Upper Triassic as well as predominantly marine one during of the Middle Triassic. The depositional model for the Permian-Lower Triassic and Upper Triassic consists of facies belts of fluviatile, aeolian, evaporite/lacustrine deposits roughly paralleling the main uplifts of the Moesian Platform. The facies belts pass from alluvial fan facies, best developed in proximity to the main uplifts, through fluviatile sands, dune and inter-dune aeolian sands and finally into evaporite/lacustrine facies at the center of the main depressions. The facies associations consist predominantly of the fining-up type sequences. The marine environments for the Middle Triassic consist predominantly of carbonate facies. The best reservoir types consists of conglomerate-, sand- and carbonate-dominated facies associations located at the bottom of Permian-Lower Triassic, Upper Triassic and Middle Triassic respectively. In the north-western part of the Moesian Platform there are twelve oil and gas fields stored into these reservoir types.

  1. A Fuzzy Cognitive Model of aeolian instability across the South Texas Sandsheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houser, C.; Bishop, M. P.; Barrineau, C. P.

    2014-12-01

    Characterization of aeolian systems is complicated by rapidly changing surface-process regimes, spatio-temporal scale dependencies, and subjective interpretation of imagery and spatial data. This paper describes the development and application of analytical reasoning to quantify instability of an aeolian environment using scale-dependent information coupled with conceptual knowledge of process and feedback mechanisms. Specifically, a simple Fuzzy Cognitive Model (FCM) for aeolian landscape instability was developed that represents conceptual knowledge of key biophysical processes and feedbacks. Model inputs include satellite-derived surface biophysical and geomorphometric parameters. FCMs are a knowledge-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) technique that merges fuzzy logic and neural computing in which knowledge or concepts are structured as a web of relationships that is similar to both human reasoning and the human decision-making process. Given simple process-form relationships, the analytical reasoning model is able to map the influence of land management practices and the geomorphology of the inherited surface on aeolian instability within the South Texas Sandsheet. Results suggest that FCMs can be used to formalize process-form relationships and information integration analogous to human cognition with future iterations accounting for the spatial interactions and temporal lags across the sand sheets.

  2. Aeolian dust in Colorado Plateau soils: Nutrient inputs and recent change in source

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, R.; Belnap, Jayne; Lamothe, Paul; Luiszer, Fred

    2001-01-01

    Aeolian dust (windblown silt and clay) is an important component in arid-land ecosystems because it may contribute to soil formation and furnish essential nutrients. Few geologic surfaces, however, have been characterized with respect to dust-accumulation history and resultant nutrient enrichment. We have developed a combination of methods to identify the presence of aeolian dust in arid regions and to evaluate the roles of this dust in ecosystem processes. Unconsolidated sandy sediment on isolated surfaces in the Canyonlands region of the Colorado Plateau differs greatly in mineralogical and chemical composition from associated bedrock, mainly aeolian sandstone. Detrital magnetite in the surficial deposits produces moderately high values of magnetic susceptibility, but magnetite is absent in nearby bedrock. A component of the surficial deposits must be aeolian to account for the abundance of magnetite, which formed originally in far-distant igneous rocks. Particle-size analysis suggests that the aeolian dust component is typically as much as 20a??30%. Dust inputs have enriched the sediments in many elements, including P, Mg, Na, K, and Mo, as well as Ca, at sites where bedrock lacks calcite cement. Soil-surface biologic crusts are effective dust traps that apparently record a change in dust sources over the past several decades. Some of the recently fallen dust may result from human disturbance of land surfaces that are far from the Canyonlands, such as the Mojave Desert. Some land-use practices in the study area have the potential to deplete soil fertility by means of wind-erosion removal of aeolian silt.

  3. Norphlet Formation (Upper Jurassic) sand erg: depositional model for northeastern De Soto salt basin, eastern Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Kemmer, D.A.; Reagan, R.L.

    1987-05-01

    Available well control, seismic reflection geometries, and seismic modeling suggest the interpretation of a Norphlet Formation (Upper Jurassic) sand erg in the northeastern De Soto salt basin. Ranging in thickness from less than 100 ft to nearly 1000 ft, the Norphlet erg encompasses an area of approximately 700 mi/sup 2/. Separated from the major gas accumulation in the Norphlet in the Mobile Bay area by the offshore extension of the Pensacola arch, the Norphlet erg appears to be oriented transverse to the axis of the De Soto salt basin. Seismic signatures for the Smackover carbonate, Norphlet sand, and Louann Salt intervals are investigated using synthetic seismograms generated from six wells in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. General characteristics about the reflection coefficients from the major units in the interval are noted. The reflection coefficient information and synthetic seismograms are used to interpret seismic data on a regional basis. Two-dimensional, vertical-incidence, ray-trace modeling of the seismic data is done to aid the interpretation on a detailed basis. Interpreted Norphlet sandstone thicknesses and Louann Salt structures are combined to support the Norphlet Formation sand erg hypothesis.

  4. The variety of shelf sand bodies within the transgressive systems tract as illustrated by the high-resolution sequence stratigraphy of Late Wisconsin/Holocene deposits from the continental shelf of Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Bartek, L.R.; Anderson, J.B.; Thomas, M.A.; Siringan, F.P. )

    1990-05-01

    An ongoing investigation of the high-resolution sequence stratigraphy of the Texas continental shelf indicates that a variety of shelf sand bodies formed during the late Wisconsinan-Holocene transgression. Episodic variations in eustasy and sediment supply have apparently caused the formation of backstepping parasequences (bayhead delta progradational units bounded by flooding surfaces) within the incised valley systems of the continental shelf. The Trinity/Sabine incised valley systems contain isolated sand bodies within the dip-aligned incised valleys whereas the Brazos/Colorado incised valley systems apparently contain broad sheetlike sand bodies. Sabine Bank is also associated with the Trinity/Sabine incised valley systems. The Sabine Bank is thought to be comprised of either reworked, overstepped shoreline sands or sand that was mined from the incised valley system and reworked into a strike-aligned sand body as the shoreface migrated across the shelf during the transgression. Transgressed wave-dominated deltas are another important type of shelf sand body in the transgressive systems tract of the Texas continental shelf. Sediment texture maps and high-resolution seismic data suggest that strike-aligned sand bodies lying offshore of the modern Brazos delta are modified remnants of ancestral Brazos and Colorado river deltas. These delta deposits may have been isolated on the shelf during intervals when eustatic rise was more rapid. Seismic data indicate that the upper part of these deltaic deposit was reworked into strike-aligned shelf sand bodies whereas the lower portion was preserved in place. The relative significance of storms in both sourcing and altering shelf sand bodies in this setting is still being addressed. Two hurricanes struck the study area during the past summer and post-storm surveys were conducted.

  5. Characterizing subsurface complexity of aeolian morphotypes with georadar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bentley, Andrew Phillip Keller

    Aeolian landforms are classified based on their plan morphology, which is a function of sediment transport volume, wind direction, and vegetation. In the case of compound landforms or two-dimensional exposures (outcrops), there is insufficient information for discriminating between 3D morphotypes (e.g., barchans vs. parabolic dunes). To characterize the dip-section architecture of near end-member morphologies (interacting barchans and sparsely vegetated parabolics), a series of axial transects were selected from >25 km of high-resolution (500 MHz) ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data from the gypsum dune field of White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. For dunes of comparable size (6-7 m high), a series of attributes were analyzed for unsaturated portions along the thickest (axial) radargram sections. Given the limitations in vertical resolution (7 cm in dry sand), the average measureable slipface thickness in barchans ranged between 10-22 cm, whereas parabolic slipfaces were thinner at 10-14 cm. High-amplitude diffractions produced by buried vegetation, semi-lithified pedestals, and bioturbation structures were rare within barchans (point-source diffraction density = 0.03/m2; hyperbolics per 1-m-wide cross-sectional area of the image), in contrast to a point-source density of 0.07/m2 in parabolics. An aeolian internal complexity threshold (pi) is proposed, which incorporates standardized scores of slipface thickness, point-source diffraction density, and continuity of major bounding surfaces at mesoscale range determined through semivariogram analysis. For the study region, these variables were sufficient for discriminating barchans (pi = -2.39 to -0.25; pib= -1.65) from parabolic (pi = 0.13 to 2.87; pip= 1.65) dunes. This threshold has the potential for differentiating dune morphotypes in areas where surface morphology is masked and for identifying compound landforms (e.g., a re-activated parabolic dune converted into a barchan in situ ). Ultimately

  6. Aeolian Abrasion at the Curiosity Landing Site: Clues to the Role of Wind in Landscape Modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridges, N. T.; Le Mouélic, S.; Hallet, B.; Newman, C. E.; Rice, M. S.; Blaney, D. L.; Calef, F. J.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Langevin, Y.; Lewis, K. W.; Maurice, S.; Pinet, P. C.; Wiens, R. C.; de Pablo, M.; Renno, N. O.

    2013-12-01

    The broad scale geomorphology of Gale Crater reflects diverse aeolian processes, from airfall settling that likely deposited much of the upper and some of the lower units of Mt. Sharp, to evidence of extensive wind exhumation and removal of material exterior to the mound, to active dunes on the crater floor. The integrated effect of aeolian sand transport can also be examined on a much smaller scale by the study of ventifacts, rocks that have been abraded by windborne particles. A diversity of ventifacts are found along Curiosity's traverse through the upper 'hummocky' (HY) geomorphic unit and the lower Yellowknife Bay (YKB) sedimentary rocks. The textures are analogous to abrasion features found on Earth and include cm-scale facets, keels, elongated pits, grooves, flutes, and basal sills. High-resolution images from ChemCam's Remote Micro-Imager also show mm-scale lineations. Evidence of differential erosion is common, with HY conglomerates (e.g., Hottah, Link) and the YKB Sheepbed mudstone unit containing distinct wind tails in the lee of resistant pebbles, and bedding features within Rocknest 3, the YKB Shaler sandstone unit, and other layered rocks displaying prominent ridge-groove topography. ChemCam LIBS depth profile data so far show no strong evidence for chemical differences in the elemental composition between abraded and non-abraded surfaces (as determined from qualitative assessment), as might be expected if there were rock coatings or weathering rinds undergoing active abrasion. Preliminary measurements of ventifact texture and wind tail orientations indicate sandblasting in HY and YKB from predominantly southwesterly and northerly directions, respectively. Based on meso-scale models of current winds and REMS results, SW flow is uncommon whereas N winds are frequent. Compositional and textural information from the suite of MSL instruments indicate that HY rocks are dominated by various types of basalt (either as whole rocks or the resistant clasts in

  7. A new turbulence-based model for sand transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayaud, Jerome; Wiggs, Giles; Bailey, Richard

    2016-04-01

    Knowledge of the changing rate of sediment flux in space and time is essential for quantifying surface erosion and deposition in desert landscapes. While many aeolian studies have relied on time-averaged parameters such as wind velocity (U) and wind shear velocity (u*) to determine sediment flux, there is increasing evidence that high-frequency turbulence is an important driving force behind the entrainment and transport of sand. However, turbulence has yet to be incorporated into a functional sand transport model that can be used for predictive purposes. In this study we present a new transport model (the 'turbulence model') that accounts for high-frequency variations in the horizontal (u) and vertical (w) components of wind flow. The turbulence model is fitted to wind velocity and sediment transport data from a field experiment undertaken in Namibia's Skeleton Coast National Park, and its performance at three temporal resolutions (10 Hz, 1 Hz, 1 min) is compared to two existing models that rely on time-averaged wind velocity data (Radok, 1977; Dong et al., 2003). The validity of the three models is analysed under a variety of saltation conditions, using a 2-hour (1 Hz measurement resolution) dataset from the Skeleton Coast and a 5-hour (1 min measurement resolution) dataset from the southwestern Kalahari Desert. The turbulence model is shown to outperform the Radok and Dong models when predicting total saltation count over the three experimental periods. For all temporal resolutions presented in this study (10 Hz-10 min), the turbulence model predicted total saltation count to within at least 0.34%, whereas the Radok and Dong models over- or underestimated total count by up to 5.50% and 20.53% respectively. The strong performance of the turbulence model can be attributed to a lag in mass flux response built into its formulation, which can be adapted depending on the temporal resolution of investigation. This accounts for the inherent lag within the physical

  8. Tracking aeolian transport patterns across a mega-nourishment using video imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wijnberg, Kathelijne; van der Weerd, Lianne; Hulscher, Suzanne

    2014-05-01

    Coastal dune areas protect the hinterland from flooding. In order to maintain the safety level provided by the dunes, it may be necessary to artificially supply the beach-dune system with sand. How to best design these shore nourishments, amongst others with respect to optimal dune growth on the long-term (decadal scale), is not yet clear. One reason for this is that current models for aeolian transport on beaches appear to have limited predictive capabilities regarding annual onshore sediment supply. These limited capabilities may be attributed to the lack of appropriate input data, for instance on moisture content of the beach surface, or shortcomings in process understanding. However, it may also be argued that for the long-term prediction of onshore aeolian sand supply from the beach to the dunes, we may need to develop some aggregated-scale transport equations, because the detailed input data required for the application of process-scale transport equations may never be available in reality. A first step towards the development of such new concepts for aggregated-scale transport equations is to increase phenomenological insight into the characteristics and number of aeolian transport events that account for the annual volume changes of the foredunes. This requires high-frequency, long-term data sets to capture the only intermittently occurring aeolian transport events. Automated video image collection seems a promising way to collect such data. In the present study we describe the movement (direction and speed) of sand patches and aeolian bed forms across a nourished site, using video imagery, to characterize aeolian transport pathways and their variability in time. The study site is a mega-nourishment (21 Mm3 of sand) that was recently constructed at the Dutch coast. This mega-nourishment, also referred to as the Sand Motor, is a pilot project that may potentially replace current practice of more frequently applying small scale nourishments. The mega

  9. Energy- and momentum-conserving model of splash entrainment in sand and snow saltation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comola, Francesco; Lehning, Michael

    2017-02-01

    Despite being the main sediment entrainment mechanism in aeolian transport, granular splash is still poorly understood. We provide a deeper insight into the dynamics of sand and snow ejection with a stochastic model derived from the energy and momentum conservation laws. Our analysis highlights that the ejection regime of uniform sand is inherently different from that of heterogeneous sand. Moreover, we show that cohesive snow presents a mixed ejection regime, statistically controlled either by energy or momentum conservation depending on the impact velocity. The proposed formulation can provide a solid base for granular splash simulations in saltation models, leading to more reliable assessments of aeolian transport on Earth and Mars.

  10. Aeolian transport of biota with dust: A wind tunnel experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivas, J. A., Jr.; Gill, T. E.; Van Pelt, R. S.; Walsh, E.

    2015-12-01

    Ephemeral wetlands are ideal sources for dust emission, as well as repositories for dormant stages of aquatic invertebrates. An important component of invertebrate dispersal and colonization to new areas is the ability to be entrained into the atmosphere. Aquatic invertebrate eggs fall within the size of dust and sand grains (30-600μm), are less dense and aerodynamically shaped. We have shown previously that aquatic invertebrates can be dispersed long distances in dust storms but the extent of transport of taxa based on diapausing egg size/morphology has not been investigated. Here, we control the wind erosion process in a wind tunnel to test entrainment of diapausing stages of brine shrimp, clam shrimp, tadpole shrimp, fairy shrimp, Daphnia, and the rotifers Brachionus plicatilis and B. calyciflorus into the air by saltation. Diapausing eggs were mixed with sterilized wind-erodible soil. The soil/egg mixture was moistened with distilled water and air dried to form a crust. Dust was generated in a wind tunnel by releasing sand grains that act as saltator material similar to wind-entrained natural sands. Maximum wind velocity was 10m/s and entrained particles were sampled through an isokinetic horizontal intake opening. Aeolian sediment was collected from three points in the system; transfer section for coarse sediment, the pan subtending a settling chamber for finer saltation-sized sediment, and two paper filters for suspension-sized sediment. Samples were then passed through 250 and 350 μm sieves to remove abrader sand and rehydrated with various sterile media depending on the type of organism. We retrieved viable brine, fairy, and tadpole shrimp, ostracods, Daphnia, and diapausing eggs of the rotifers after hydration. This experiment demonstrates that resting stages of many invertebrates can be wind-eroded due to size and egg morphology and remain viable under controlled conditions mimicking dust emission.

  11. In Vitro Microbial Degradation of Bituminous Hydrocarbons and In Situ Colonization of Bitumen Surfaces Within the Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit

    PubMed Central

    Wyndham, R. C.; Costerton, J. W.

    1981-01-01

    Bituminous hydrocarbons extracted from the Athabasca oil sands of north-eastern Alberta were adsorbed onto filter supports and placed at sites in the Athabasca River and its tributaries where these rivers come in contact with the oil sands formation. Colonization of the hydrocarbon surfaces at summer and winter ambient temperatures was examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy as well as by epifluorescence microscopy of acridine orange-stained cross sections. Ruthenium red and alkaline bismuth stains visualized an association of bacteria with the hydrocarbon surface which was mediated by bacterial polysaccharides. Bacteria apparently lacking a glycocalyx were also found closely associated with the surface of the hydrophobic substrate and in channels within the substrate. A solvent precipitation and column chromatographic fractionation of the bitumen was followed by cross-tests for growth on the fractions by various isolated sediment microorganisms, as determined by epifluorescence count. All fractions except the asphaltenes supported the growth of at least two of the isolates, although fractionation of degraded bitumen revealed that the saturate, aromatic, and first polar fractions were preferentially degraded. Images PMID:16345738

  12. Geochemical investigation of dry- and wet-deposited dust during the same dust-storm event in Harbin, China: Constraint on provenance and implications for formation of aeolian loess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Yuanyun; Chi, Yunping

    2016-04-01

    A strong dust-storm event occurred in Harbin, China on May 11, 2011. The dry- and wet-deposited dust depositions in this dust-storm event, together with the surface sediments from the potential sources, were collected to study grain size distributions, carbonate content and carbon isotopic composition of carbonate, major element, trace element and rare earth elements (REE), and Sr-Nd isotopic compositions. The results indicate as follows. The dry-deposited dusts are characterized by bimodal grain-size distributions with a fine mode at 3.6 μm and a coarse mode at 28 μm whereas the wet-deposited dusts are indicative of unimodal grain-size modes with a fine mode at 6 μm. The dust-storm depositions are influenced to a certain extent by sedimentary sorting and are of a derivation from the recycled sediments. Based on identifying the immobility of element pairs before constraining sources of dust-storm deposits using geochemical elements, in conjunction with REE and especially Sr-Nd isotopic compositions, the primary and strengthening sources for the dust-storm event were detected, respectively. The Hunsandake Sandy Land as the primary source and the Horqin Sandy Land as the strengthening source were together responsible for the derivation of dust depositions during dust-storm event. The Hunsandake Sandy Land, however, contributes less dust to the dust-storm event in Harbin compared to the Horqin Sandy Land, and the Hulun Buir Sandy Land is undoubtedly excluded from being one of the sources for dust-storm depositions in Harbin. There are not notable differences in geochemical (especially Sr-Nd isotopic) compositions between dry- and wet-deposited dusts, indicating that the wet-deposited dust is of identical derivation to the dry-deposited dust. Based on our observations, it is of interest to suggest that fine and coarse particles in the CLP (Chinese Loess Plateau) loess possibly have the same sources.

  13. A review of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) airflow modelling over aeolian landforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Thomas A. G.

    2016-09-01

    Aeolian landforms occur on all earths' continents as well as on Mars, Titan and Venus and are typically formed where sediment is eroded and/or deposited by near surface wind flow. As wind flow approaches an aeolian landform, secondary flow patterns are created that cause wind to deviate in both speed and direction, producing complex patterns of sediment erosion, deposition and transportation. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling of wind flow has become a common tool to predict and understand secondary wind flow and resulting sediment transport. Its use has progressed from simulating wind flow over simple two dimensional dune shapes, to calculating a multitude of flow parameters over a range of increasingly complex landforms. Analysis of 25 peer reviewed journal articles, found that CFD has been crucial to providing additional insight to flow dynamics on the stoss slope of dunes, the structure and nature of wind flow separation in the lee of landforms and information on localised wind flow variations in large-scale dune fields. The findings of this assay demonstrate that further research is required regarding the parameterisation and modelling of surface roughness, the incorporation of accurate sediment transport to wind flow models, and the prediction of topographic surface changes. CFD is anticipated to be increasingly utilised in aeolian geomorphology and this work aims to be a starting point for aeolian geomorphologists wishing to better understand and review the utilisation of the technique to date.

  14. Seasonally Active Slipface Avalanches in the North Polar Sand Sea of Mars: Evidence for a Wind-Related Origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horgan, Briony H. N.; Bell, James F., III

    2012-01-01

    Meter-scale MRO/HiRISE camera images of dune slipfaces in the north polar sand sea of Mars reveal the presence of deep alcoves above depositional fans. These features are apparently active under current climatic conditions, because they form between observations taken in subsequent Mars years. Recently, other workers have hypothesized that the alcoves form due to destabilization and mass-wasting during sublimation of CO2 frost in the spring. While there is evidence for springtime modification of these features, our analysis of early springtime images reveals that over 80% of the new alcoves are visible underneath the CO2 frost. Thus, we present an alternative hypothesis that formation of new alcoves and fans occurs prior to CO2 deposition. We propose that fans and alcoves form primarily by aeolian processes in the mid- to late summer, through a sequence of aeolian deposition on the slipface, over-steepening, failure, and dry granular flow. An aeolian origin is supported by the orientations of the alcoves, which are consistent with recent wind directions. Furthermore, morphologically similar but much smaller alcoves form on terrestrial dune slipfaces, and the size differences between the terrestrial and Martian features may reflect cohesion in the near-subsurface of the Martian features. The size and preservation of the largest alcoves on the Martian slipfaces also support the presence of an indurated surface layer; thus, new alcoves might be sites of early spring CO2 sublimation and secondary mass-wasting because they act as a window to looser, less indurated materials that warm up more quickly in the spring.

  15. Aeolian sediment reconstructions from the Scottish Outer Hebrides: Late Holocene storminess and the role of the North Atlantic Oscillation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orme, Lisa C.; Reinhardt, Liam; Jones, Richard T.; Charman, Dan J.; Barkwith, Andrew; Ellis, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    Northern Europe can be strongly influenced by winter storms driven by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), with a positive NAO index associated with greater storminess in northern Europe. However, palaeoclimate reconstructions have suggested that the NAO-storminess relationship observed during the instrumental period is not consistent with the relationship over the last millennium, especially during the Little Ice Age (LIA), when it has been suggested that enhanced storminess occurred during a phase of persistent negative NAO. To assess this relationship over a longer time period, a storminess reconstruction from an NAO-sensitive area (the Outer Hebrides) is compared with Late Holocene NAO reconstructions. The patterns of storminess are inferred from aeolian sand deposits within two ombrotrophic peat bogs, with multiple cores and two locations used to distinguish the storminess signal from intra-site variability and local factors. The results suggest storminess increased after 1000 cal yrs BP, with higher storminess during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) than the LIA, supporting the hypothesis that the NAO-storminess relationship was consistent with the instrumental period. However the shift from a predominantly negative to positive NAO at c.2000 cal yrs BP preceded the increased storminess by 1000 years. We suggest that the long-term trends in storminess were caused by insolation changes, while oceanic forcing may have influenced millennial variability.

  16. Aeolian Slipface Processes on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornwall, Carin; Jackson, Derek; Bourke, Mary; Cooper, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    The surface of Mars is dominated by aeolian features and many locations show ripple and dune migration over the past decade with some sediment fluxes comparable to terrestrial dunes. One of the leading goals in investigating aeolian processes on Mars is to explore the boundary conditions of sediment transport, accumulation, and dune mor-phology in relation to wind regime as well as to quantify migration rates and sediment flux. We combine terrestrial field observations, 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and remote sensing data to investigate com-plex, small scale wind patterns and grainflow processes on terrestrial and martian dunes. We aim to constrain grain flow magnitudes and frequencies that occur on slipface slopes of dunes in order to improve estimates of martian dune field migration and sediment flux related to wind velocity and flow patterns. A series of ground-based, high resolution laser scans have been collected in the Maspalomas dune field in Gran Canaria, Spain to investigate grainflow frequency, morphology and slipface advancement. Analysis of these laser scans and simultaneous video recordings have revealed a variety of slipface activity. We identify 6 different grain-flow morphologies including, hourglass shape (classic alcove formation with deposit fan below), superficial flow (thin lenses), narrow trough (vertical lines cm in width), sheet, column (vertical alcove walls), and complex (combi-nation of morphologies triggered simultaneously in the same location). Hourglass grainflow morphologies were the most common and occurred regularly. The superficial and narrow trough morphologies were the second most com-mon and frequently occurred in between large grain flows. Sheet grainflows were rare and unpredictable. These flows involved large portions of the slipface (metres across) and mobilized a substantial amount of sediment in one event. We have compared these grainflow morphologies from Maspalomas to those in martian dune fields and

  17. Central Asian sand seas climate change as inferred from OSL dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maman, Shimrit; Tsoar, Haim; Blumberg, Dan; Porat, Naomi

    2014-05-01

    Luminescence dating techniques have become more accessible, widespread, more accurate and support studies of climate change. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) is used to determine the time elapsed since quartz grains were last exposed to sunlight, before they were buried and the dune stabilized. Many sand seas have been dated extensively by luminescence, e.g., the Kalahari, Namib the Australian linear dunes and the northwestern Negev dune field, Israel. However, no ages were published so far from the central Asian sand seas. The lack of dune stratigraphy and numerical ages precluded any reliable assessment of the paleoclimatic significance of dunes in central Asia. Central Asian Sand seas (ergs) have accumulated in the Turan basin, north-west of the Hindu Kush range, and span from south Turkmenistan to the Syr-Darya River in Kazakhstan. These ergs are dissected by the Amu-Darya River; to its north lies the Kyzylkum (red sands) and to its south lies the Karakum (black sands). Combined, they form one of the largest sand seas in the world. This area is understudied, and little information has been published regarding the sands stabilization processes and deposition ages. In this study, OSL ages for the Karakum and Kyzylkum sands are presented and analysis of the implications of these results is provided. Optical dates obtained in this study are used to study the effects climatic changes had on the mobility and stability of the central Asian sand seas. Optically stimulated luminescence ages derived from the upper meter of the interdune of 14 exposed sections from both ergs, indicate extensive sand and dune stabilization during the mid-Holocene. This stabilization is understood to reflect a transition to a warmer, wetter, and less windy climate that generally persisted until today. The OSL ages, coupled with a compilation of regional paleoclimatic data, corroborate and reinforce the previously proposed Mid-Holocene Liavliakan phase, known to reflect a warmer

  18. The characteristic of aeolian environment and its impact on engineering construction in the Gurbantonggut Desert, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Jiaqiang; Zhao, Congju

    2003-07-01

    Gurbantonggut Desert, located at the center of Jungar Basin, has an area of 48,800km2, which is the biggest immovable and semi-immovable desert in China. There is profuse oil-gas resource. Along with the oil-gas resource exploiting, more and more engineering has been built in the center of the desert, such as the desert highway and the oil fields and so on. However, aeolian environment in the Gurbantonggut Desert has a great impact on the engineering building and engineering safety. There are more than 20 gale-days per year in the center of the desert, and the main directions of the effective sand-moving winds are NE and NW, and sometimes the strong SE winds occur in the east part of the desert. The effective sand-moving winds appear mainly between April and September, which occupies 80% of whole year. It is obvious that the huge transport potential formed by the strong wind force badly endangers the engineering construction. Primary shapes of sand dunes in the desert are longitudinal and dendritic dunes, which occupy 80% of total area of the immovable and semi-immovable desert. The sand grains of the desert are coarser, and the average grain size is 0.2~0.22mm and 0.15~0.17mm in the southern and the northern part of the desert respectively. The vegetation coverage is 15~50%, and also there is about 85% of the total sand surface to be covered by the microbial crust. In this case, most dunes are fixed or semi-fixed, only on the top of the dunes existing about 30m mobile or semi-mobile sand belts. That indicates that the fixed or semi-fixed sand surfaces are dominant in desert, which prevents blown sand from doing harm to the engineering construction. Meanwhile, with the engineering construction, the fixed or semi-fixed sand surfaces are easy to be destroyed in the desert, which threatens the engineering construction and safety greatly. In general, there are about 1m thick moist sand layers in the desert and the moisture content has great changes in time and space

  19. Abstracts for the Planetary Geology Field Conference on Aeolian Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R. (Editor); Black, D. (Editor)

    1978-01-01

    The Planetary Geology Field Conference on Aeolian Processes was organized at the request of the Planetary Geology Program office of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to bring together geologists working on aeolian problems on earth and planetologists concerned with similar problems on the planets. Abstracts of papers presented at the conference are arranged herein by alphabetical order of the senior author. Papers fall into three broad categories: (1) Viking Orbiter and Viking Lander results on aeolian processes and/or landforms on Mars, (2) laboratory results on studies of aeolian processes, and (3) photogeology and field studies of aeolian processes on Earth.

  20. Origin and Depositional Processes of Coastal Sands Revealed by Grain-Size Analysis (golfe du Lion, Mediterranean Sea, France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barusseau, J. P.; Braud, R.

    2014-12-01

    The study focused on the lower beach and nearshore zone of the Golfe du Lion (northwestern Mediterranean Sea -France). We looked at grain-size distribution in the berm, collision zone, inner and outer bars, lower shoreface applying parametric methods, grain-size modal analysis and a deconvolution program (LNDoGS).Results indicate a mixture of three recognizable sedimentary types (ST1 - ST3 - ST4) and explain grain-size distribution (GSD) of the sands in both multimodal and apparently unimodal GSDs. ST1 flows from the River Rhone, ST3 and 4 are local components originating from either fluvial input or nearshore reworking of Quaternary sediments.A fourth component (ST2), derived in situ from ST1, is found far from the overwhelming footprint of the Rhone river sands, westward in the lower shoreface.The mixing process entails significant variations in grain-size indices and skewness appears as a very sensitive and meaningful parameter. Skewness and bimodality, generated in all zones, are two aspects of the mixing process, depending on the relative proportions of STs.Using LNDoGS makes deciphering the STs a lot easier. It also reveals that some GSDs can result from a combination of 3 sedimentary variants (SVs) belonging to the same ST (monotype grain-size distributions). Monotype mixtures are very abundant on the lower shoreface, significantly present on the berm and inner bar but rare in the most dynamic zones. On the berm they tend towards a lognormal model for only bedload is present in the swash. This trend towards a lognormal model can also be observed on the lower shoreface, possibly indicating the occurrence of suspension as a dominant process.Thus, each segment of the nearshore - foreshore profile can be characterized using coarseness, skewness sign, the presence of locally generated ST2, abundance of bimodalities, occurrence of SVs. Finally, a more detailed description of the spatial properties of grain-size distributions could help explore possible mechanisms

  1. Roughness configuration matters for aeolian sediment flux

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The parameterisation of surface roughness effects on aeolian sediment transport is a key source of uncertainty in wind erosion models. Roughness effects are typically represented by bulk drag-partitioning schemes that scale the threshold friction velocity (u*t) for soil entrainment by the ratio of s...

  2. Asian Winter Monsoons in the Eocene: Evidence from the Aeolian Dust Series of the Xining Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Licht, A.; Adriens, R.; Pullen, A. T.; Kapp, P. A.; Abels, H.; van Cappelle, M.; Vandenberghe, J.; Dupont Nivet, G.

    2014-12-01

    The aeolian dust deposits of the Chinese Loess Plateau are attributed to spring and winter monsoonal storms sweeping clastic material from the deserts of the Asian interior into central China and are reported to begin 25-22 million years (Myr) ago. The beginning of aeolian dust sedimentation has been attributed to the onset of central Asia desertification and winter monsoonal circulation, and are commonly linked to development of high topographic relief associated with the Tibetan-Himalayan orogenic system. However, recent papers suggest that the core of the Tibetan Plateau may have reached significant elevation since the earliest phases of the India-Asia collision 55 Myr ago. Here, we extend the sedimentary record of the Chinese Loess Plateau at its western margin to include the late Eocene - late Oligocene deposits of the Xining Basin, which were deposited between 41 and 25 Myr ago based on detailed magnetostratigraphy. The particle size, shape, and surface microtexture of quartz grains in these deposits display textures indicative of prolonged aeolian transport; grain-size distributions show a bimodal distribution similar to Miocene through Quaternary deposits of the Chinese Loess Plateau. The clay mineralogy of the finer fraction and U/Pb zircon ages of the coarser fraction from Xining Loess sediments sampled along three sections spanning the whole studied interval are also similar to those observed in Quaternary and Neogene aeolian deposits of the Chinese Loess Plateau and thus suggest similar sources located in central China. However, slight differences in Eocene U/Pb zircon ages, such as the lack of Cenozoic ages or the scarcity of zircons older than 2000 Myr, suggest that the Tibetan Plateau may have contributed little to the aeolian dust deposition, in favor of sources located further north and west (Kunlun and Tian Shan Ranges). The Xining deposits are thus the first direct evidence that winter monsoonal winds were active 15 Myr earlier than previously

  3. Quaternary palaeoenvironments in Namibia: new records from optically stimulated dating of Kalahari linear dune accumulation and northern Namib Sand Sea interdune deposits.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Abigail; Thomas, David; Viles, Heather; Bailey, Richard

    2010-05-01

    deposition between 12.8 ± 0.8 ka and 12.0 ± 0.8 ka and between 11.5 ± 0.6 ka and 10.5 ± 0.5 ka. Together the three sites provide a new estimate for the timing of the progressive desiccation of the Tsondab River. We conclude that larger datasets of linear dune accumulation (1000s not 100s of OSL ages) are needed, and also to demonstrate that altering sampling strategy within this dataset does not bias the combined-core results, before we have a reliable dataset of dune accumulation in this region. This is before tackling the additional issue of interpreting the palaeoenvironmental significance of the dune accumulation record. For the Namib Sand Sea we conclude that the revised timing for increased moisture availability to the catchment of the Tsondab River still reinforces the idea that changes in moisture availability are driven by precipitation changes over the catchments in the Great Escarpment and further inland. Finally, we make some brief observations regarding how these two new records compare with the current regional palaeoclimatic syntheses.

  4. Deposition and Release Behaviour of ZnO Nanoparticles in Saturated Quartz Sand: Role of Biofilm, Ionic Strength, and pH

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Gukhwa; Han, Yosep; Kim, Donghyun; Bradford, Scott A.; Lee, Byoungcheun; Eom, Igchun; Kim, Pil Je; Choi, Siyoung Q.; Lee, Youngsoo; Kim, Hyunjung

    2015-04-01

    The influence of biofilm, ionic strength, and pH on the deposition and release behavior of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) was systematically investigated in well-controlled saturated sand column. The results for the initial transport of the ZnO-NPs at pH 9 showed significant retention at the inlet of the column with hyper-exponential retention profiles regardless of solution ionic strength investigated (0.1 and 10 mM) and Pseudomonas putida biofilm coating; however, the increase in solution ionic strength and the presence of biofilm onto quartz sand tended to increase the retention of ZnO-NPs. The trend was likely attributed to more favorable NPs-NPs interaction and greater surface roughness, respectively. The results were well supported by the DLVO interaction energy profiles and Electron Microscopic observations. For the release tests, particle free solution at pH 6 was continuously injected into the column with the ZnO-NPs retained during the initial transport tests. The results for breakthrough curves and time-lapsed retention profiles showed that reducing solution pH led to the release of large amount of the initially retained ZnO-NPs, and the release rate was observed to be greater for bare silica than biofilm-coated sand. The release of ZnO-NPs was likely attributed to the dissolution of Zn2+ due to the change of pH. The proposed mechanism was further verified by conducting additional column tests at higher pHs (pH 9 and 10), which showed significantly reduced release of ZnO-NPs, and even nearly no release at pH 10. The findings from this study suggests that there exists high potential of complete transport of ZnO-NPs into groundwater in that the pH of various soil environments typically ranges from 5 to 9. This work was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Research, Ministry of Environment and the Energy Efficiency & Resources Core Technology Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP), granted

  5. Cenozoic record of aeolian sediment accumulation and aridification from Lanzhou, China, driven by Tibetan Plateau uplift and global climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yuebao; Sun, Donghuai; Li, Zaijun; Wang, Fei; Wang, Xin; Li, Baofeng; Guo, Feng; Wu, Sheng

    2014-09-01

    Previous work has shown that aeolian Red Clay first appears at around 8 Ma in the main Chinese Loess Plateau and at 25-22 Ma in the western Loess Plateau; however, records of aeolian deposition in the North Pacific suggest that aeolian accumulation occurred throughout the Cenozoic, and that changes in aeolian flux occurred in distinct stages. Tracing the Cenozoic aeolian history of the interior of the Asian continent may help us to understand the history of Asian aridification and its driving forces. In the Lanzhou area on the western margin of the Loess Plateau and the northeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, the Cenozoic stratigraphic sequence consists of fluvial-lacustrine sediments in the lower part, aeolian Red Clay with intercalated fluvial layers in the middle part, and predominantly aeolian loess in the upper part. We use high resolution paleomagnetic measurements of this sequence to construct a time scale, and measurements of sediment rock magnetic properties, grain-size, and color reflectance and sedimentary facies analysis to reconstruct the paleoenvironment. The results show that prior to 33 Ma the area was dominantly a fluvial-lacustrine environment, and that subsequently an aridification trend commenced, as indicated by the appearance of aeolian sediment. This change coincided with, and is thus explained as the environmental response to global cooling. A significant increase in aeolian sediments occurred at ~ 26 Ma, suggesting that a large scale arid environment had formed in the Asian interior since the late Oligocene. Stepwise increases of aeolian sediment, and decreases in sediments of hydraulic origin, occurred at ~ 22, ~ 14, ~ 8 and 2.6 Ma and represent important stages in the aridification process. This long-term trend was interrupted by intervals dominated by fluvial sedimentation at 23.6-22 Ma and 17.1-14.1 Ma and which were probably associated with warming of the global climate and the tectonic uplift of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau

  6. Kentucky tar sand project

    SciTech Connect

    Kelley, M.N.; Jones, H.D. II; Lewis, F.W.

    1985-03-01

    Engineering details and pilot-plant results from a pioneering investigation based on a Kentucky tar-sand reserve are presented. The tar sand deposits of Kentucky are generally situated in the southeastern rim of the Illinois Basin along the southern boundary of the Western Coal Field region. In a recent study of US tar sand reserves, it was reported that over 3.4 billion barrels of oil are in Kentucky tar sand deposits alone. In the 22,000 acres, estimated reserves are over 100 million barrels of recoverable heavy oil. The oil-impregnated section of the deposit ranges in heavy oil content from five gallons per ton to over fifteen gallons per ton. The ore body is up to thirty-five feet thick and the overall stripping ratio for a commercial plant is estimated to be one cubic yard of undisturbed overburden material per ton of tar sand ore. A shovel and truck-type strip mining operation would be used to provide feedstock to the plant.

  7. The birth and death of transverse aeolian ridges on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geissler, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

    Transverse aeolian ridges (TARs) are small bright windblown deposits found throughout the Martian tropics that stand a few meters tall and are spaced a few tens of meters apart. The origin of these features remains mysterious more than 20 years after their discovery on Mars. This paper presents a new hypothesis, that some of the TARs could be indurated dust deposits emplaced millions of years ago during periods of higher axial obliquity. It suggests that these TARs are primary depositional bed forms that accumulated in place from dust carried by the winds in suspension, perhaps in a manner comparable to antidunes on Earth, and were subsequently indurated and eroded to their current states by eons of sandblasting. It points out examples of modern dust drifts and dune-like features that appear to have been recently formed by dust accumulating directly onto the surface from atmospheric suspension. It shows how these pristine dust deposits could evolve to explain the range of morphologies of the TARs. Finally, it explains how the known properties of many TARs are consistent with this hypothesis, including their composition, thermal behavior, and distribution.

  8. Groundwater influence on the aeolian sequence stratigraphy of the Mechertate-Chrita-Sidi El Hani system, Tunisian Sahel: Analogies to the wet-dry aeolian sequence stratigraphy at Meridiani Planum, Terby crater, and Gale crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Essefi, Elhoucine; Komatsu, Goro; Fairén, Alberto G.; Chan, Marjorie A.; Yaich, Chokri

    2014-05-01

    A multidisciplinary study of the watershed and depressions of the Mechertate-Chrita-Sidi El Hani (MCSH) system in eastern Tunisia shows that groundwater upwelling and/or seepage toward the modern surface is important in the shaping of its geomorphologic features and sediment outcrops. Along the watershed of the system, groundwater is downward enriched with evaporitic minerals. These minerals precipitate as cement and protect the sediment outcrops from aeolian erosion. The water table is the limiting control on erosion and deposition, and also influences the succession of sediment along the system. The water table further determines the local base level, which controls the deposition within depressions. With increasing humidity at the limit of the capillary fringe, the landscape of the evaporative system is organized according to three sedimentary types: (1) unconsolidated sediment of aqueous and/or aeolian origin that is eroded and transported toward depressions (away from groundwater interactions), (2) consolidated sediment that is also aqueous and/or aeolian in origin and is protected from aeolian erosion by groundwater influence, and (3) sedimentary filling of depressions located within accumulation zones. These sediments are organized along a lateral, basinward profile. Here we show that during periods of relative water table fall, sediments from the watershed prograde to cover the sabkha basin fill. The rise and fall of the water table and the connected base level result in the deposition of genetically-related progradational and retrogradational sequences. We propose that these genetic sequences can be useful to interpret the sequence stratigraphy at three locations on Mars where sedimentary formations were probably controlled by direct groundwater influence: Meridiani Planum, Terby crater, and Gale crater. At Meridiani Planum, the exposed stratigraphic sequence of the Burns formation starts with deposition of dry aeolian sediment derived from a former

  9. Direct comparison of recent cyclone and tsunami deposits from the Tamil Nadu coastline, south-eastern India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouramanis, C.; Karthikeyan, A.; Seshachalam, S.; Switzer, A.; Pham, D. T.

    2013-12-01

    Storm and tsunami deposits have been identified and described from many siliciclastic coastlines globally. However, as storm and tsunami deposits are both the result of inundation by ocean waves, they can have similar sedimentological and geomorphological signatures. To demarcate storm and tsunami deposits in the geological record, a number of criteria have been proposed to distinguish the two types of deposits. However, these criteria have been assembled from storm and tsunami deposits from coastlines of markedly different onshore and offshore geomorphologies, sedimentary characteristics and sediment sources. Thus, a primary goal for coastal hazard scientists is to define a suite of characteristics that can be used to discern storm from tsunami deposits. This can only be accomplished by identifying recent, known tsunami and storm deposits from the same coastline to directly compare the sedimentary characteristics deposited by these types of events. Here we compare the sedimentology, microfauna and sedimentary structures of two recent events, the 26th December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 31st December 2011 Cyclone Thane, from three sites along the Tamil Nadu coastline, south-east India and categorise the similarities and differences between the two deposits. Three sites were investigated, two (SB-1 and SB-2) at Silver Beach, Cuddalore and a third (Pit DPM-3a) at the now blocked Pennai River Mouth north of Cuddalore. At all sites the sedimentary deposits of Cyclone Thane overlie aeolian sands which in turn overly the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami deposits. In SB-1 the tsunami deposits have been partially reworked by mangroves that fringed the blocked river. The tsunami deposit found in pit SB-2 overlays a marine intertidal - beach sequence. Pit DPM-3a contains the upper part of the2004 tsunami. In each pit, heavy mineral-rich layers characterise the tsunami and the cyclone deposit, whereas the intervening aeolian sands have only a minor heavy mineral content. Also

  10. Characterization of magnetic spherical fractions in sand deposits for interpretation of environmental change around the El- Zayyan temple, Kharga Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Makiko; Koizumi, Natsuko; Kato, Sayuri; Kikuchi, Ryohei; Kamei, Hiroyuki

    2014-05-01

    Desertification in North Africa has rapidly advanced over the last 6,000 years. Such environmental changes began in the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt (4200 - 3150 BC), and the occupation of Achaemenid Persian and Roman cultures in Egypt occurred under even drier climates. Kharga is the largest oasis of the five oases, located in the western desert of Egypt that contains a treasure trove of archaeological resources. This oasis has been highlighted to promote resource exploration and development of archaeological tourism since the 1980's. The El-Zayyan temple is located 27 km south of the central Kharga oasis. Zayyan was once called 'Tchonemyris', which has connection with the means of 'huge well' in Greek. Although major portions of the temple were rebuilt in 140 AD during the rule of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, this temple is considered to be originally built in the Ptolemaic period (4c-1c BC). It is likely that the area had a sufficient water supply in the past as the El-Zayyan temple stands at the lowest point (-18 m a.s.l.) in the Kharga oasis. Furthermore, the El-Ghueita temple that stands on a hill top at 68.5 m a.s.l., 4 km northward from the El-Zayyan temple, has given name that means 'beautiful garden' in Greek. From these facts, we can imagine that the past landscape of this area contained green surroundings. The El-Ghueita temple was well known as a production centre of high quality wine since the mid-Dynastic age (2050 -1786 BC). As this area is currently arid, it is expected that there were irrigation facilities to maintain the vast farm land during the ancient period. To deepen our knowledge of how people developed their technologies and conducted their life within the natural environment of a drastic drying period, understanding the process of environmental change on a region scale is necessary. The aim of this study was to extract proxies from sand deposits in the western desert area to estimate the change in the environment. We examined the

  11. Why do sand furrow distributions vary in the North Polar latitudes on Mars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourke, Mary; McGaley-Towle, Zoe

    2014-05-01

    Sand dunes on Mars display geomorphic evidence of an active and dynamic sediment flux. Barchan dunes migrate, ripples move and the slipface morphology changes annually. Aeolian sediment transport is seasonally constrained and linked to cryogenic processes. Sand furrows are geomorphic features that are eroded into the surface of dunes. They form during sublimation of the seasonal carbon dioxide deposit which moves gas and sand through vents in the ice (cryo-venting) (Bourke, 2013). They are visible on the surface of dunes using the highest resolution images available for Mars. Previous work has noted that the distribution of furrows varies spatially both on individual dunes and at different Polar locations. Here we report on the preliminary findings of a mapping project that seeks to confirm this previous qualitative observation. In addition, we aim to explain the observed spatial and temporal variation in sand furrows on North Polar dunes. Ten polar sites that reflect a latitudinal range of 9.5º are being analysed. The HiRISE images were acquired between 16/2/2012 and 31/05/2012, over a period of 105 Earth days or 102 Sols. We have completed mapping of 1711 sand furrows in an 84 km2 area of sand dunes, i.e. at four of the ten sites. The data confirm that there is variability in the distribution of sand furrows in the Polar Region. While data from all ten sites will be required to fully test the assertion of a latitudinal control, it is worth noting that the two most northerly sites have a significantly higher density of furrows compared to the two lower latitude sites. As the seasonal ice thickness is known to increases pole-ward on Mars, our data suggest that effective furrow formation may be linked to ice deposit thickness. In particular, it suggests that a threshold in ice thickness must be crossed in order for effective cryo-venting to occur. Bourke, M.C., 2013. Sand Furrows: A new surface feature on Martian dunes, EGU, EGU2013-11859, Vienna.

  12. Aeolian Processes at the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity Landing Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sullivan, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Calvin, W.; Fike, D.; Golombek, M.; Greeley, R.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Jerolmack, D.; Malin, M.

    2005-01-01

    The traverse of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity across its Meridiani Planum landing site has shown that wind has affected regolith by creating drifts, dunes, and ubiquitous ripples, by sorting grains during aeolian transport, by forming bright wind streaks downwind from craters seen from orbit, and by eroding rock with abrading, wind-blown material. Pre-landing orbiter observations showed bright and dark streaks tapering away from craters on the Meridiani plains. Further analysis of orbiter images shows that major dust storms can cause bright streak orientations in the area to alternate between NW and SE, implying bright wind streak materials encountered by Opportunity are transient, potentially mobilized deposits. Opportunity performed the first in situ investigation of a martian wind streak, focusing on a bright patch of material just outside the rim of Eagle crater. Data from Pancam, the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), the Alpha-Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), and the Mossbauer spectrometer either are consistent with or permit an air fall dust interpretation. We conclude that air fall dust, deposited in the partial wind shadow of Eagle crater, is responsible for the bright streak seen from orbit, consistent with models involving patchy, discontinuous deposits of air fall dust distributed behind obstacles during periods of atmospheric thermal stability during major dust storms.

  13. Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, Alaska: A Terrestrial Analog Site for Polar, Topographically Confined Martian Dune Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinwiddie, C. L.; Hooper, D. M.; Michaels, T. I.; McGinnis, R. N.; Stillman, D.; Bjella, K.; Stothoff, S.; Walter, G. R.; Necsoiu, M.; Grimm, R. E.

    2010-12-01

    , infiltration of relatively warm summer precipitation, and the insulative properties of longlived snowcover. We hypothesize that the seasonally frozen layer and niveoaeolian deposits combined with a shallow aqueous reservoir are responsible for the low migration rate of the GKSD (i.e., ~1.3 m/yr over a recent 5-year period). Just as migration of the GKSD is affected by partial to full snowcover for 70% of the year, Martian polar dunes are affected by partial to full frost mantling for 70% of the year, significantly limiting the duration of aeolian transport. Thin water films surrounding sand grains at the GKSD make moist sand cohesive and structurally stable, like a solid. The partially saturated sand above the capillary fringe of an unconfined aquifer in the GKSD will limit sand available for aeolian transport, potentially similar to effects of permafrost within a Martian dune. We will present our geophysical, geomorphologic, and meteorologic field data and modeling analyses.

  14. Origin of basaltic soils at Gusev crater, Mars, by aeolian modification of impact-generated sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGlynn, Ian O.; Fedo, Christopher M.; McSween, Harry Y., Jr.

    2011-04-01

    Textural properties of soils including grain size, sorting, modality, skewness, shape (quantified as sphericity and qualified as form), roundness, and grain size distribution, have been measured and calculated from Microscopic Imager (MI) high-resolution images from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit in Gusev crater. Soil targets were classified by grain size into five groups: fine to medium sand dark soil, medium sand to very fine pebble bed form armor, and very fine to medium pebble lithic fragments, a bimodal mixed soil, and an excavated soil trench. The abundance of submature, very poorly sorted, bimodal mixed soils indicates incomplete sorting by soil type. Probability distributions of excavated subsurface soil match crushed sediment analogs, indicating impact comminution, while all other soils show no direct evidence of an impact origin. If soils were produced primarily by impacts, then the evidence from probability distributions, angular shapes, and agglutinates have been reworked by postimpact surface activity. Soils in Gusev crater are continuously modified, reworked, and sandblasted. Textures of surface sediments are disconnected from subsurface textures and only reflect modern surficial aeolian processes. Models to reconstruct physical and chemical soil formation properties should not assume a static three-dimensional structure. A three-step model, initiated by the formation of basaltic crust and its alteration, followed by bolide impact, and finally modification by aeolian reworking is envisioned for the formation of soils. Such a scenario accounts for the potential that surface sediments may be compositionally and texturally distinct from the subsurface.

  15. Sand Volcano Following Earthquake

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    Sand boil or sand volcano measuring 2 m (6.6 ft.) in length erupted in median of Interstate Highway 80 west of the Bay Bridge toll plaza when ground shaking transformed loose water-saturated deposit of subsurface sand into a sand-water slurry (liquefaction) in the October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake. Vented sand contains marine-shell fragments. Sand and soil grains have faces that can cause friction as they roll and slide against each other, or even cause sticking and form small voids between grains. This complex behavior can cause soil to behave like a liquid under certain conditions such as earthquakes or when powders are handled in industrial processes. Mechanics of Granular Materials (MGM) experiments aboard the Space Shuttle use the microgravity of space to simulate this behavior under conditions that carnot be achieved in laboratory tests on Earth. MGM is shedding light on the behavior of fine-grain materials under low effective stresses. Applications include earthquake engineering, granular flow technologies (such as powder feed systems for pharmaceuticals and fertilizers), and terrestrial and planetary geology. Nine MGM specimens have flown on two Space Shuttle flights. Another three are scheduled to fly on STS-107. The principal investigator is Stein Sture of the University of Colorado at Boulder. (Credit: J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey)

  16. Adhesion and abrasion of surface materials in the Venusian aeolian environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, John R.; Greeley, Ronald; Tucker, David; Fogleman, Guy; Hixon, Raymond

    1991-01-01

    In laboratory simulations of the Venusian environment, rock and mineral 'target' surfaces struck by aeolian particles develop a thin layer of accretionary material derived from the particles' attrition debris. Accretion may be (in part) a manifestation of 'cold welding', a process well known in engineering, where bonding occurs between metals at a tribological interface. Accretion on geological materials was found to occur at all Venusian surface temperatures and for all types of materials tested. First-order variations in the amount deposited by particles are related to relative attrition susceptibilities. Second-order variations relate to properties of the particle-target interface. Variations in accretion volume are apparently independent of mineral chemistry and are only weakly dependent on crystallography. The results suggest that accretion should be a fairly universal phenomenon in areas of Venus subject to aeolian activity.

  17. Adhesion and abrasion of surface materials in the Venusian aeolian environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, J. R.; Fogleman, G.; Greeley, R.; Hixon, R.; Tucker, D.

    1991-02-01

    In laboratory simulations of the Venusian environment, rock and mineral 'target' surfaces struck by aeolian particles develop a thin layer of accretionary material derived from the particles' attrition debris. Accretion may be (in part) a manifestation of 'cold welding', a process well known in engineering, where bonding occurs between metals at a tribological interface. Accretion on geological materials was found to occur at all Venusian surface temperatures and for all types of materials tested. First-order variations in the amount deposited by particles are related to relative attrition susceptibilities. Second-order variations relate to properties of the particle-target interface. Variations in accretion volume are apparently independent of mineral chemistry and are only weakly dependent on crystallography. The results suggest that accretion should be a fairly universal phenomenon in areas of Venus subject to aeolian activity.

  18. Orbital radar, imagery, and atmospheric modeling reveal an aeolian origin for Abalos Mensa, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brothers, T. C.; Holt, J. W.; Spiga, A.

    2013-04-01

    Icy deposits surrounding Planum Boreum, Mars, contain crucial information for deciphering paleoclimate and past geologic processes at the martian north pole. One such deposit, Abalos Mensa, is an enigmatic wedge of material located near the ~ 1 km high Rupes Tenuis. Its unique location and lobate morphology have fostered formation hypotheses that assume either fluvial or aeolian erosion of a once-larger ice deposit. The aeolian scenario posed previously requires impact shielding of ancient basal unit material to provide an erosional remnant which seeds later deposition, while the fluvial hypotheses invoke cryovolcanism beneath the younger north polar layered deposits (NPLD) and associated outflow to erode the adjacent chasmata. Here we combine newly available radar sounding data, high-resolution imagery, digital elevation models, and atmospheric modeling to examine internal structure and infer both the mechanisms for, and timing of, Abalos Mensa formation. From this integrative approach, we conclude that Abalos Mensa formed as a distinct feature via atmospheric deposition following erosion of Rupes Tenuis and grew concurrently with the rest of Planum Boreum as the NPLD accumulated. The required processes are consistent with those observed today: no exotic phenomena (cryovolcanism, fluvial activity, or impact shielding) appear necessary to explain the formation of Abalos Mensa.

  19. The provenance of Taklamakan desert sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rittner, Martin; Vermeesch, Pieter; Carter, Andrew; Bird, Anna; Stevens, Thomas; Garzanti, Eduardo; Andò, Sergio; Vezzoli, Giovanni; Dutt, Ripul; Xu, Zhiwei; Lu, Huayu

    2016-03-01

    Sand migration in the vast Taklamakan desert within the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, PR China) is governed by two competing transport agents: wind and water, which work in diametrically opposed directions. Net aeolian transport is from northeast to south, while fluvial transport occurs from the south to the north and then west to east at the northern rim, due to a gradual northward slope of the underlying topography. We here present the first comprehensive provenance study of Taklamakan desert sand with the aim to characterise the interplay of these two transport mechanisms and their roles in the formation of the sand sea, and to consider the potential of the Tarim Basin as a contributing source to the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Our dataset comprises 39 aeolian and fluvial samples, which were characterised by detrital-zircon U-Pb geochronology, heavy-mineral, and bulk-petrography analyses. Although the inter-sample differences of all three datasets are subtle, a multivariate statistical analysis using multidimensional scaling (MDS) clearly shows that Tarim desert sand is most similar in composition to rivers draining the Kunlun Shan (south) and the Pamirs (west), and is distinctly different from sediment sources in the Tian Shan (north). A small set of samples from the Junggar Basin (north of the Tian Shan) yields different detrital compositions and age spectra than anywhere in the Tarim Basin, indicating that aeolian sediment exchange between the two basins is minimal. Although river transport dominates delivery of sand into the Tarim Basin, wind remobilises and reworks the sediment in the central sand sea. Characteristic signatures of main rivers can be traced from entrance into the basin to the terminus of the Tarim River, and those crossing the desert from the south to north can seasonally bypass sediment through the sand sea. Smaller ephemeral rivers from the Kunlun Shan end in the desert and discharge their sediment there. Both river run

  20. Assessment of multi-trophic changes in a shallow boreal lake simultaneously exposed to climate change and aerial deposition of contaminants from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Canada.

    PubMed

    Summers, Jamie C; Kurek, Joshua; Rühland, Kathleen M; Neville, Erin E; Smol, John P

    2017-03-18

    The Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) has been intensely developed for industrial bitumen extraction and upgrading since the 1980s. A paucity of environmental monitoring prior to development raises questions about baseline conditions in freshwater systems in the region and ecological responses to industrial activities. Further, climatic changes prompt questions about the relative roles of climate and industry in shaping aquatic ecosystems through time. We use aquatic bioindicators from multiple trophic levels, concentrations of petrogenic contaminants (dibenzothiophenes), and spectrally-inferred chlorophyll-a preserved in well-dated sediments of a closed-basin, shallow lake ~50km away from the main area of industry, in conjunction with climate observations, to assess how the biotic assemblages of a typical AOSR lake have changed during the past ~75years. We examine the contributions of the area's stressors in structuring aquatic communities. Increases in sedimentary measures of petrogenic contaminants provide clear evidence of aerial contaminant deposition from local industry since its establishment, while climate records demonstrate consistent warming and a recent period of reduced precipitation. Quantitative comparisons of biological assemblages from before and after the establishment of regional industry find significant (p<0.05) differences; however, the magnitude and overall timing of the changes are not consistent with a threshold-type shift in response to the onset of regional industry. Rather, biotic assemblages from multiple trophic levels suggest transitions to an increasingly complex benthic environment and relatively warmer waters, which, like the increasing trends in inferred primary production, are consistent with a changing climate. These findings highlight the important role of climate conditions in regulating primary production and structuring aquatic communities in these shallow systems.

  1. Late Quaternary aeolian and fluvial interactions on the Cooper Creek Fan and the association between linear and source-bordering dunes, Strzelecki Desert, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, T. J.; Nanson, G. C.; Larsen, J. R.; Jones, B. G.; Price, D. M.; Coleman, M.; Pietsch, T. J.

    2010-02-01

    The Innamincka Dome and associated low-gradient fan in the Strzelecki Desert is the product of Cenozoic crustal warping that has aided formation of an extensive array of palaeochannels, source-bordering transverse dunes and superimposed linear dunes. These dunes have impeded the course of Cooper Creek and provided a repository of evidence for Quaternary climate change as well as the interactive processes between transverse and linear dune formation. At Turra, Gidgealpa and sites nearby are extensive fluvial and aeolian sand bodies that date from marine isotope stages (MIS) 8-3 and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and are now surrounded or buried by overbank mud. The sandy alluvium was deposited on the downstream slope of the dome by large channels transporting abundant bedload, subsequently blown northward to form transverse dunes from what were probably seasonally-exposed bars in a palaeo-Cooper system. Thermoluminescence (TL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages demonstrate that the base of the dune complex is at least MIS 7 in age (˜250 ka) but that it has been subsequently reworked by wind with additional sand blown from the river. Source-bordering dunes formed during a period of enhanced river flow and sand supply from ˜120 to 100 ka, with another short episode of the same at ˜85-80 ka and from ˜68 to 53. The LGM was associated with enhanced flows and the supply of dune sediment, from 28 to 18 ka. Pronounced river flow and dune activity occurred in the early to mid Holocene, but there is no evidence of dunes being supplied from Cooper Creek since the LGM. The dunes forming the oldest basal sand units appear to be largely transverse in form and are aligned roughly parallel to adjacent east-west trending palaeochannels. Linear dunes have formed from and over these, and yield basal ages ranging from MIS 5 or MIS 4 but continuing to accrete and rework through to the Holocene. The study results in one of the few detailed chronological investigations

  2. The Lilesville Gravels: A Neogene Strath Terrace Deposit from the Piedmont/Coastal Plain Boundary of North Carolina, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diemer, J. A.; McLean, R.; Bobyarchick, A. R.; Xanthos, G.

    2015-12-01

    The Lilesville "gravels" are discontinuous Neogene cobble, sand and silt deposits exposed in gravel quarries in an area covering ~100 km2 where the Pee Dee River crosses the Fall Line of North Carolina. These deposits unconformably overlie the western edge of the Inner Coastal Plain, and parts of the saprolitized Paleozoic Lilesville pluton, and are interpreted as strath terrace deposits. In the Bonsal quarry, the Lilesville "gravels" comprise channel fills, channel bars, pebble lags, trough cross bedding, mud clasts, and mud drapes. These features define several facies including: 1) an imbricated clast-supported conglomerate with a medium- to coarse-grained lithic arenite matrix; 2) a lenticular silt- to medium-grained lithic arenite partly interbedded with the conglomerate; 3) a pebbly cross-bedded medium- to coarse-grained lithic arenite; and 4) a mottled medium- to coarse-grained lithic arenite. Paleoflow indicators suggest southerly transport, parallel to the modern Pee Dee River. GPR profiles and 3D models document facies boundaries on the quarry face and behind the high-wall. The tops of the Lilesville "gravels" are commonly marked by a pebble lag (deflation) horizon disconformably overlain by a medium- to coarse-grained, well-sorted quartz arenite interpreted as an aeolian deposit (Pinehurst Fm?). C14 dates from charcoal in the aeolian sand are 1638 +/- 46 calendar years BP (or 312 AD +/- 46). The age of the Lilesville "gravels" remains uncertain. However, by using regional curves for ages of terrace deposits relative to their heights above river level (Mills 2000), it is suggested here that the Lilesville gravels are 7 to 12 Ma (Upper Miocene). It is likely that the Lilesville "gravels" were deposited by the ancestral Pee Dee River when it was a braided stream flowing in a southerly direction. This suggests that a combination of regional uplift and a wetter paleoclimate in the Late Miocene may have been responsible for a larger discharge and coarser

  3. Dune ages in the sand deserts of the southern Sahara and Sahel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bristow, Charlie; Armitage, Simon

    2015-04-01

    In this paper we aim to document the history of aeolian processes within the southern Sahara as part of the INQUA Dune Atlas. We review available luminescence ages for sand dunes across the southern Sahara and attempt to correlate periods of sand accumulation and to develop an improved understanding of the dune chronology on a regional basis. This was achieved by analysing dune age by country, as well as by latitude and longitude. The results show a very patchy spatial distribution of dune ages with large gaps that encompass some of the largest sand seas. Despite these gaps, some related patterns in dune morphology and stratigraphy appear to be consistent between northern Nigeria and southern Mali where older linear dunes are distinct from younger Late Holocene transverse and barchanoid dunes. Elsewhere in Mauretania linear dunes with different orientations appear to have accumulated at different times, most likely in response to changes in atmospheric circulation. Regional climatic changes are identified where dunes are transgressed by lake deposits within endorehic basins. We identify four locations where dune accumulation is terminated by lacustrine transgressions, two of which, in Lake Chad and the Bodélé Depression, occur shortly after the last glacial maximum (LGM). The third example at Gobiero in Niger occurred later, in the early Holocene, around 8.4 ka and a fourth marks a later transgression of Palaeolake MegaChad after 4.7 ka. Larger-scale latitudinal and longitudinal distributions in dune ages across the southern Sahara do not show any consistent patterns, though this may due to the small sample size relative to the study area. In addition, local variations in external controls such as wind regime, rainfall, vegetation and sand supply need to be considered, sometimes on a site by site basis. Limiting the analysis to dune ages determined using the single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) protocol indicates a lack of dune preservation during the LGM and

  4. The Origin of Transverse Aeolian Ridges on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissler, P.

    2015-12-01

    Transverse aeolian ridges, or TARs, are found throughout the tropics of Mars and typically appear as rows of bright ripples that are several meters tall and spaced semi-regularly several tens of meters apart. The origin of these features remained mysterious for decades after their discovery in Viking and Mars Global Surveyor images. A new hypothesis (Geissler, 2014, 10.1002-2014JE004633) suggests that TARs might be deposits left behind by dusty turbidity currents in the Martian atmosphere. The hypothesis assumes that the micron-sized dust particles are transported in suspension in turbulent flows, driven both by the winds and by gravity. The dust is concentrated near the surface, much like turbidity currents on Earth. Because of the difference in density, however, the dust clouds behave as a fluid distinct from the clear sky above. In particular, waves can appear at the surface of the dense "fluid" when the flows encounter topographic obstacles along their paths. Such gravity waves travel at speeds that are determined by gravity and the thickness of the flow, much like waves in shallow water on Earth. When the wave propagation speed matches the speed of the flow, stationary waves are produced that persist in fixed locations. The bedforms deposited by such stationary waves are called "antidunes" (Gilbert, 1914, USGS Prof. Paper 86) because, unlike dunes, they can migrate upstream in a supercritical flow. Antidunes are commonly seen in shallow, high energy fluvial deposits on Earth. They are usually destroyed as quickly as they form, and are rarely preserved. The Martian TARs survive because the dust is sticky; TARs are deposited by currents that are much slower than the wind speeds needed to lift the dust again. Subaerial antidunes are much rarer on Earth and less well studied, and so the giant subaerial stationary antidunes of Mars, if that is what the TARs turn out to be, may teach us much about a geological process that is poorly known on our planet.

  5. Sands-on Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandervoort, Frances S.

    1989-01-01

    Provides information for the development of a lesson which teaches students about sand, discusses facts about sands, sand studies, life in the sands, and sand activities. Includes diagrams showing the range in sand grain shape, formation of sand ripples, and sand samples from around the world. (RT)

  6. Compositional trends in aeolian dust along a transect across the southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldstein, H.L.; Reynolds, R.L.; Reheis, M.C.; Yount, J.C.; Neff, J.C.

    2008-01-01

    Aeolian dust strongly influences ecology and landscape geochemistry over large areas that span several desert ecosystems of the southwestern United States. This study evaluates spatial and temporal variations and trends of the physical and chemical properties of dust in the southwestern United States by examining dust deposited in natural depressions on high isolated surfaces along a transect from the Mojave Desert to the central Colorado Plateau. Aeolian dust is recognized in these depressions on the basis of textural, chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical characteristics and comparisons of those characteristics to the underlying bedrock units. Spatial and temporal trends suggest that although local dust sources are important to the accumulated material in these depressions, Mojave Desert dust sources may also contribute. Depth trends in the depressions suggest that Mojave sources may have contributed more dust to the Colorado Plateau recently than in the past. These interpretations point to the important roles of far-traveled aeolian dust for landscape geochemistry and imply future changes to soil geochemistry under changing conditions in far-distant dust source areas. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  7. Mars sampling strategy and aeolian processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1988-01-01

    It is critical that the geological context of planetary samples (both in situ analyses and return samples) be well known and documented. Apollo experience showed that this goal is often difficult to achieve even for a planet on which surficial processes are relatively restricted. On Mars, the variety of present and past surface processes is much greater than on the Moon and establishing the geological context of samples will be much more difficult. In addition to impact hardening, Mars has been modified by running water, periglacial activity, wind, and other processes, all of which have the potential for profoundly affecting the geological integrity of potential samples. Aeolian, or wind, processes are ubiquitous on Mars. In the absence of liquid water on the surface, aeolian activity dominates the present surface as documented by frequent dust storms (both local and global), landforms such as dunes, and variable features, i.e., albedo patterns which change their size, shape, and position with time in response to the wind.

  8. Airflow and sand transport variations within a backshore parabolic dune plain complex: NE Graham Island, British Columbia, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Jeffrey L.; Walker, Ian J.

    2006-07-01

    Onshore aeolian sand transport beyond the beach and foredune is often overlooked in the morphodynamics and sediment budgets of sandy coastal systems. This study provides detailed measurements of airflow, sand transport (via saltation and modified suspension), vegetation density, and surface elevation changes over an extensive (325 × 30 m) "swath" of a backshore foredune-parabolic dune plain complex. Near-surface (30 cm) wind speeds on the backshore ranged from 4.3 to 7.3 m s - 1 , gusting to 14.0 m s - 1 . Oblique onshore flow is steered alongshore near the incipient foredune then landward into a trough blowout where streamline compression, flow acceleration to 1.8 times the incident speed, and increasing steadiness occur. Highest saltation rates occur in steady, topographically accelerated flow within the blowout. As such, the blowout acts as a conduit to channel flow and sand through the foredune into the foredune plain. Beyond the blowout, flow expands, vegetation roughness increases, and flow decelerates. Over the foredune plain, localized flow steering and acceleration to 1.6 times the incident speed occurs followed by a drop to 40% of incident flow speed in a densely vegetated zone upwind of an active parabolic dune at 250 m from the foredune. Sediment properties reflect variations in near-surface flow and transport processes. Well-sorted, fine skewed backshore sands become more poorly sorted and coarse skewed in the blowout due to winnowing of fines. Sorting improves and sands become fine skewed over the foredune plain toward the parabolic dune due to grainfall of finer sands winnowed from the beach and foredune. During the fall-winter season, significant amounts of sand (up to 110 kg m - 2 ) are transported via modified suspension and deposited as grainfall up to 300 m landward of the foredune. No distinct trend in grainfall was found, although most fell on the depositional lobe of the blowout and at 200 m near an isolated, active parabolic dune. Grainfall

  9. Laboratory studies of aeolian sediment transport processes on planetary surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasmussen, Keld R.; Valance, Alexandre; Merrison, Jonathan

    2015-09-01

    , but not all, older or recent wind tunnel observations. Similarly some measurements performed with uniform sand samples having grain diameters of the order of 0.25-0.40 mm indicate that ripple spacing depends on friction velocity in a similar way as particle jump length. The observations are thus in agreement with a recent ripple model that link the typical jump length to ripple spacing. A possible explanation for contradictory observations in some experiments may be that long observation sequences are required in order to assure that equilibrium exists between ripple geometry and wind flow. Quantitative understanding of saltation characteristics on Mars still lacks important elements. Based upon image analysis and numerical predictions, aeolian ripples have been thought to consist of relatively large grains (diameter > 0.6 mm) and that saltation occurs at high wind speeds (> 26 m/s) involving trajectories that are significantly longer than those on Earth (by a factor of 10-100). However, this is not supported by recent observations from the surface of Mars, which shows that active ripples in their geometry and composition have characteristics compatible with those of terrestrial ripples (Sullivan et al., 2008). Also the highest average wind speeds on Mars have been measured to be < 20 m/s, with even turbulent gusts not exceeding 25 m/s. Electrification is seen as a dominant factor in the transport dynamics of dust on Mars, affecting the structure, adhesive properties and detachment/entrainment mechanisms specifically through the formation of aggregates (Merrison et al., 2012). Conversely for terrestrial conditions electric fields typically observed are not intense enough to significantly affect sand transport rates while little is known in the case of extra-terrestrial environments.

  10. Aeolian Abrasion, a Dominant Erosion Agent in the Martian Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridges, N.; Cooper, G.; Eddlemon, E.; Greeley, R.; Laity, J.; Phoreman, J.; Razdan, A.; van Note, S.; White, B.; Wilson, G.

    2004-12-01

    Aeolian abrasion is one of the predominant erosion mechanisms on Mars today. Martian ventifacts record the climate under which the rocks were modified (wind direction, wind speeds and particle flux) and therefore tie into the overall climatic regime of the planet. By better understanding the rates at which rocks abrade and the features diagnostic of specific climatic conditions, we can gain insight into past climates. Herein we report on numerical models, wind tunnel experiments, and field work to determine 1) Particle and kinetic fluxes on Earth and Mars, 2) the degree to which these parameters control abrasion, and 3) how, in detail, rocks of various shapes and compositions erode over time. Kinetic energy generally increases with height, whereas flux decreases, and impact angles, which affect energy transfer, and rebound effects are functions of the rock facet angle. This results in a non-linear relationship between abrasion potential and height that is a function of wind speed, planetary environment, and target geometry. We have computed the first three of these parameters numerically using a numerical saltation code, combined with published flux calculations These results have been compared to wind tunnel tests of flux vs. height, abrasion of erodible targets, and high speed video analysis under terrestrial and Martian pressures. We are also using high resolution laser scanning to characterize textures, shapes, and weathering changes for terrestrial and Martian rocks at the 100s of microns scale. We find that facet angle, texture, and rock heterogeneity are of critical importance in determining the rate and style of abrasion. Field and theoretical results demonstrate that high speed winds, not the integrated flux of lower speeds, and sand, not dust, produce most rock abrasion. On Mars, this requires sustained winds above 20-25 m/s at the near surface, a challenge in the current environment.

  11. Aeolian removal of dust from photovoltaic surfaces on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Marabito, Mark

    1990-01-01

    It is well documented that Mars is totally engulfed in huge dust storms nearly each Martian year. Dust elevated in these global dust storms, or in any of the numerous local dust storms could settle on photovoltaic surfaces and seriously hamper photovoltaic power system performance. Using a recently developed technique to uniformly dust simulated photovoltaic surfaces, samples were subjected to Martian-like winds in an attempt to determine whether natural aeolian processes on Mars would sweep off the settled dust. The effects of wind velocity, angle of attack, height off the Martian surface, and surface coating material were investigated. Principles which can help to guide the design of photovoltaic arrays bound for the Martian surface were uncovered. Most importantly, arrays mounted with an angle of attack approaching 45 deg show the most efficient clearing. Although the angular dependence is not sharp, horizontally mounted arrays required significantly higher wind velocities to clear off the dust. From the perspective of dust-clearing it appears that the arrays may be erected quite near the ground, but previous studies have suggested that saltation effects can be expected to cause such arrays to be covered by sand if they are set up less than about a meter from the ground. Providing that the surface chemistry of Martian dusts is comparable to our test dust, the materials used for protective coating may be optimized for other considerations such as transparency, and chemical or abrasion resistance. The static threshold velocity is low enough that there are regions on Mars which experience winds strong enough to clear off a photovoltaic array if it is properly oriented. Turbulence fences proved to be an ineffective strategy to keep dust cleared from the photovoltaic surfaces.

  12. Incident angle of saltating particles in wind-blown sand.

    PubMed

    Fu, Lin-Tao; Bo, Tian-Li; Gu, Hai-Hua; Zheng, Xiao-Jing

    2013-01-01

    Incident angle of saltating particles plays a very important role in aeolian events. In this paper, the incident angles of sand particles near the sand bed were measured in wind tunnel. It reveals that the incident angles range widely from 0° to 180° and thereby the means of angles are larger than published data. Surprisingly, it is found the proportion that angles of 5°-15° occupy is far below previous reports. The measuring height is probably the most important reason for the measurement differences between this study and previous investigations.

  13. Mid-Holocene stabilization of the Karakum and Kyzylkum sand seas, central Asia - evidence from OSL ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maman, Shimrit; Tsoar, Haim; Blumberg, Dan G.; Porat, Naomi

    2013-04-01

    Sand seas (ergs) are large areas of deserts covered by wind-swept sand with varying degrees of vegetation cover. The Kyzylkum and Karakum ergs have accumulated in the Turan basin, northwest of the Hindu Kush range, and span from south Turkmenistan to the Syrdarya River in Kazakhstan. These ergs are dissected by the Amudarya River; To the north lies the Kyzylkum (red sands) and to the south the Karakum (black sands). This area is understudied, and little information has been published regarding the sands stabilization processes and deposition ages. This research focuses on identifying and mapping the ergs of Central Asia and analyzing the climate factors that set the dunes into motion and that stabilized them. A variety of spaceborne imagery with varying spectral and spatial resolutions was used. These images provide the basis for mapping sand distribution, dune forms, and vegetation cover. Wilson (1973) defined these ergs as active based on precipitation. Our results show that they are mostly stabilized, with an estimated area of ~260,000 sq. Km for Kara-Kum , and ~195,500 sq. Km for the Kyzyl-Kum . Meteorological analysis of wind and precipitation data indicate a low wind energy environment (DP<200) and sufficient rainfall (>100 mm) to which is essential for vegetation cover. We present the first optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from the upper meter of 14 exposed sections from both ergs. The age of the sand samples was determined as ~Mid-Holocene by OSL, which provides an insight into past climate characteristics. These ages indicate extensive sand and dune stabilization during the Mid-Holocene. GIS analysis was performed in parallel with field work to validate and verify the results. The OSL ages, coupled with a compilation of regional palaeoclimatic data, corroborate and reinforce the previously proposed Mid-Holocene Liavliakan phase, known to reflect a warmer, wetter, less windy climate than persists today and that resulted in dune stabilization

  14. Constraints on aeolian sediment transport to foredunes within an undeveloped backshore enclave on a developed coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaplan, Kayla L.; Nordstrom, Karl F.; Jackson, Nancy L.

    2016-10-01

    Landforms present in undeveloped beach enclaves located between properties developed with houses and infrastructure are often left to evolve naturally but are influenced by the human structures near them. This field study evaluates how buildings and sand-trapping fences change the direction of wind approach, reduce wind speed, and restrict fetch distances for sediment entrainment, thereby reducing the potential for aeolian transport and development of dunes in enclaves. Field data were gathered in an 80 m long, 44 m deep beach enclave on the ocean shoreline of New Jersey, USA. Comparison of wind characteristics in the enclave with a site unaffected by buildings revealed that offshore winds in the enclave are reduced in strength and altered in direction by landward houses, increasing the relative importance of longshore winds. Vertical arrays of anemometers on the foredune crest, foredune toe and berm crest in the enclave revealed increasing wind speed with distance offshore, with strongest winds on the berm crest. Vertical cylindrical traps on the foredune crest, foredune toe, mid-backshore, berm crest and upper foreshore revealed the greatest rate of sediment transport on the berm crest. Sediment samples from the beach and from traps revealed limited potential for aeolian transport because of coarse grain sizes. Strong oblique onshore winds are common in this region and are normally important for transporting sand to dunes. The length of an enclave and the setback distance on its landward side determine the degree to which sediment delivered by oblique winds contributes to dune growth. The landward edge of the enclave (defined by a sand fence near the dune toe) is sheltered along its entire length from winds blowing at an angle to the shoreline of 25° or less. A foredune set back this distance in an enclave the length of an individual lot (about 20 m) would be sheltered at an angle of 57° or less, reducing the opportunity for dune building by onshore winds

  15. Omissions about the sources of contaminant emissions and depositions - A reply to comments on Taylor, M.P., Davies, P.J., Kristensen, L.J., Csavina, J., 2014. Licenced to pollute but not to poison: The ineffectiveness of regulatory authorities at protecting public health from atmospheric arsenic, lead and other contaminants resulting from mining and smelting operations. Aeolian Research, 14, 35-52

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, M. P.; Kristensen, L. J.; Davies, P. J.; Csavina, J.; Mackay, A. K.; Munksgaard, N. C.; Hudson-Edwards, K. A.

    2015-06-01

    We would like to thank Dr Wilson for increasing the interest in our 2014 Aeolian Research study along with our other articles that he referred to in his letter to the journal. Before we tackle the specifics of his letter, we would like to inform the readers that our response is inclusive of several other authors whose Mount Isa research was referred to in Dr Wilson's letter.

  16. Development of the Gran Desierto sand sea, northwestern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blount, Grady; Lancaster, Nicholas

    1990-08-01

    Three major eolian sand populations can be recognized in the Gran Desierto sand sea of northwestern Mexico by using spectral data from the Landsat thematic mapper in conjunction with textural and mineralogical studies of surface sands. Each sand population has distinct textural, mineralogic, and spectral properties that can be related to sand-dune morphology and position with reference to source areas and transport paths of the sands. The oldest eolian sediment in the sand sea was derived from the early to middle Pleistocene Colorado River that flowed through the area of the western Gran Desierto. Subsequent inputs of eolian sands came from the area of the present Colorado River valley and the coast south of the sand sea. The spatial and temporal pattern of eolian deposition in the region has been controlled by Quaternary tectonic and climatic changes, resulting in the episodic input and deposition of sand.

  17. Discrimination of active and inactive sand from remote sensing - Kelso dunes, Mojave Desert, California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paisley, Elizabeth C. I.; Lancaster, Nicholas; Gaddis, Lisa R.; Greeley, Ronald

    1991-01-01

    Landsat TM images, field data, and laboratoray reflectance spectra were examined for the Kelso dunes, Mojave Desert, California to assess the use of visible and near-infrared (VNIR) remote sensing data to discriminate aeolian sand populations on the basis of spectral brightness. Results show that areas of inactive sand have a larger percentage of dark, fine-grained materials compared to those composed of active sand, which contain less dark fines and a higher percentage of quartz sand-size grains. Both areas are spectrally distinct in the VNIR, suggesting that VNIR spectral data can be used to discriminate active and inactive sand populations in the Mojave Desert. Analysis of laboratory spectra was complicated by the presence of magnetite in the active sands, which decreases their laboratory reflectance values to those of inactive sands. For this application, comparison of TM and laboratory spectra suggests that less than 35 percent vegetation cover does not influence the TM spectra.

  18. Geographical Detector-Based Identification of the Impact of Major Determinants on Aeolian Desertification Risk

    PubMed Central

    Du, Ziqiang; Xu, Xiaoming; Zhang, Hong; Wu, Zhitao; Liu, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Arid and semi-arid areas in North China are facing the challenge of a rising aeolian desertification risk (ADR) due to the intertwined effects of complex natural processes and intensified anthropogenic activities. An accurate quantitative assessment of the relationship between ADR and its determinants is beneficial for understanding the driving mechanisms of aeolian desertification and for controlling future desertification. Previous studies have failed to quantify the relative role of determinants driving ADR and have been limited in assessing their interactive impacts. In this study, a spatial variance analysis-based geographical detector methodology is used to quantify the effects of geological, physical, and human factors on the occurrence of ADR in an area characterized by mountains and hills in northern China. It is found that soil type, precipitation, and wind velocity are the major determinants of ADR, which implies that geological and physical elements (e.g., soil attribute) and climatic factors (e.g., precipitation and wind velocity) rather than human activities have played a greater role in the incidence of ADR. Particularly, the results show that the interaction of various determinants causes significant non-linearly enhanced impacts on the ADR. The findings of our study will assist local inhabitants and policy makers in developing measures for wind prevention and sand control to mitigate the effects of desertification in the region. PMID:26987114

  19. Measurement uncertainties in quantifying aeolian mass flux: evidence from wind tunnel and field site data.

    PubMed

    Poortinga, Ate; Keijsers, Joep G S; Maroulis, Jerry; Visser, Saskia M

    2014-01-01

    Aeolian sediment traps are widely used to estimate the total volume of wind-driven sediment transport, but also to study the vertical mass distribution of a saltating sand cloud. The reliability of sediment flux estimations from such measurements are dependent upon the specific configuration of the measurement compartments and the analysis approach used. In this study, we analyse the uncertainty of these measurements by investigating the vertical cumulative distribution and relative sediment flux derived from both wind tunnel and field studies. Vertical flux data was examined using existing data in combination with a newly acquired dataset; comprising meteorological data and sediment fluxes from six different events, using three customized catchers at Ameland beaches in northern Netherlands. Fast-temporal data collected in a wind tunnel shows that the median transport height has a scattered pattern between impact and fluid threshold, that increases linearly with shear velocities above the fluid threshold. For finer sediment, a larger proportion was transported closer to the surface compared to coarser sediment fractions. It was also shown that errors originating from the distribution of sampling compartments, specifically the location of the lowest sediment trap relative to the surface, can be identified using the relative sediment flux. In the field, surface conditions such as surface moisture, surface crusts or frozen surfaces have a more pronounced but localized effect than shear velocity. Uncertainty in aeolian mass flux estimates can be reduced by placing multiple compartments in closer proximity to the surface.

  20. Geographical Detector-Based Identification of the Impact of Major Determinants on Aeolian Desertification Risk.

    PubMed

    Du, Ziqiang; Xu, Xiaoming; Zhang, Hong; Wu, Zhitao; Liu, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Arid and semi-arid areas in North China are facing the challenge of a rising aeolian desertification risk (ADR) due to the intertwined effects of complex natural processes and intensified anthropogenic activities. An accurate quantitative assessment of the relationship between ADR and its determinants is beneficial for understanding the driving mechanisms of aeolian desertification and for controlling future desertification. Previous studies have failed to quantify the relative role of determinants driving ADR and have been limited in assessing their interactive impacts. In this study, a spatial variance analysis-based geographical detector methodology is used to quantify the effects of geological, physical, and human factors on the occurrence of ADR in an area characterized by mountains and hills in northern China. It is found that soil type, precipitation, and wind velocity are the major determinants of ADR, which implies that geological and physical elements (e.g., soil attribute) and climatic factors (e.g., precipitation and wind velocity) rather than human activities have played a greater role in the incidence of ADR. Particularly, the results show that the interaction of various determinants causes significant non-linearly enhanced impacts on the ADR. The findings of our study will assist local inhabitants and policy makers in developing measures for wind prevention and sand control to mitigate the effects of desertification in the region.

  1. Measurement uncertainties in quantifying aeolian mass flux: evidence from wind tunnel and field site data

    PubMed Central

    Keijsers, Joep G.S.; Maroulis, Jerry; Visser, Saskia M.

    2014-01-01

    Aeolian sediment traps are widely used to estimate the total volume of wind-driven sediment transport, but also to study the vertical mass distribution of a saltating sand cloud. The reliability of sediment flux estimations from such measurements are dependent upon the specific configuration of the measurement compartments and the analysis approach used. In this study, we analyse the uncertainty of these measurements by investigating the vertical cumulative distribution and relative sediment flux derived from both wind tunnel and field studies. Vertical flux data was examined using existing data in combination with a newly acquired dataset; comprising meteorological data and sediment fluxes from six different events, using three customized catchers at Ameland beaches in northern Netherlands. Fast-temporal data collected in a wind tunnel shows that the median transport height has a scattered pattern between impact and fluid threshold, that increases linearly with shear velocities above the fluid threshold. For finer sediment, a larger proportion was transported closer to the surface compared to coarser sediment fractions. It was also shown that errors originating from the distribution of sampling compartments, specifically the location of the lowest sediment trap relative to the surface, can be identified using the relative sediment flux. In the field, surface conditions such as surface moisture, surface crusts or frozen surfaces have a more pronounced but localized effect than shear velocity. Uncertainty in aeolian mass flux estimates can be reduced by placing multiple compartments in closer proximity to the surface. PMID:25071984

  2. Numerical modeling of wind-blown sand on Mars.

    PubMed

    Huang, HaoJie; Bo, TianLi; Zheng, XiaoJing

    2014-09-01

    Recent observation results show that sand ripples and dunes are movable like those on Earth under current Martian climate. And the aeolian process on Mars therefore is re-attracting the eyes of scientific researchers in different fields. In this paper, the spatial and temporal evolution of wind-blown sand on Mars is simulated by the large-eddy simulation method. The simulations are conducted under the conditions of both friction wind speed higher and lower than the "fluid threshold", respectively. The fluid entrainment of the sand particles, the processes among saltation sand particles and sand bed, and the negative feedback of sand movement to flow field are considered. Our results show that the "overshoot" phenomenon also exists in the evolution of wind-blown sand on Mars both temporally and spatially; impact entrainment affects the sand transport rate on Mars when the wind speed is smaller or larger than the fluid threshold; and both the average saltation length and height are one order of magnitudes larger than those on Earth. Eventually, the formulas describing the sand transport rate, average saltation length and height on Mars are given, respectively.

  3. Sedimentological characteristics of the surficial deposits of the Jal Az-Zor area, Kuwait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Bakri, D.; Kittaneh, W.; Shublaq, W.

    1988-10-01

    The purpose of this article is to discuss the nature and characteristics of the surface geology of the Jal Az-Zor escarpment and the adjacent area, to better understand the sedimentology of desert landforms, and the main factors controlling depositional and diagenetic processes active in this environment. The oldest outcrops along the face of the escarpment are the sand and sandstone sequences of the Mutla and Jal Az-Zor Formations of the Kuwait Group (Neogene). Gravelly deposits of the upper member of the Kuwait Group, Dibdibba Formation (Pleistocene) are restricted to a few hillocks and ridges in the summit area of the escarpment. The Neogene deposits in most of the study area are overlain by a veneer of unconsolidated Holocene sediments. These were classified, according to their morphological setting and field occurrence, into: coastal deposits (intertidal mud, sabkha deposits, and sand dunes) and inland deposits (sand drifts, slope deposits, wadi fills, residual deposits and playa deposits). Wind-born quartzitic sand is the most common Holocene sediment in the study area indicating the dominance of the aeolian processes. Gypsum and carbonate present as cementing materials or in the form of gypcrete and calcrete, respectively, are characteristic sedimentological features of the pre-Holocene deposits. Gypcrete and gypsum cement are abundant in the upper section of the escarpment and decreases downward, whereas the carbonate (calcrete) shows a reverse pattern, i.e., it becomes more dominant in the lower section of the escarpment. The source of sulphate ions in the groundwater that is responsible for the development of gypcrete is believed to be the evaporites in the lower section of the Neogene sequence. The source of ions for the formation of calcrete and calcite cement is less understood due to the lack of significant primary carbonates in the near-surface deposits. It is believed that the nature and distribution of the chemically precipitated material (gypsum

  4. 3D numerical simulation of the evolutionary process of aeolian downsized crescent-shaped dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xiaosi; Zhang, Yang; Wang, Yuan; Li, Min

    2016-06-01

    A dune constitutive model was coupled with a large eddy simulation (LES) with the Smagorinsky subgrid-scale (SGS) model to accurately describe the evolutionary process of dunes from the macroscopic perspective of morphological dynamics. A 3D numerical simulation of the evolution of aeolian downsized crescent-shaped dunes was then performed. The evolution of the 3D structure of Gaussian-shaped dunes was simulated under the influence of gravity modulation, which was the same with the vertical oscillation of the sand bed to adjust the threshold of sand grain liftoff in wind tunnel experiments under the same wind speed. The influence of gravity modulation intensity on the characteristic scale parameter of the dune was discussed. Results indicated that the crescent shape of the dune was reproduced with the action of gravity during regulation of the saturation of wind-sand flow at specific times. The crescent shape was not dynamically maintained as time passed, and the dunes dwindled until they reached final decomposition because of wind erosion. The height of the dunes decreased over time, and the height-time curve converged as the intensity of modulation increased linearly. The results qualitatively agreed with those obtained from wind tunnel experiments.

  5. Distinguishing aeolian signature from lacustrine sediments of the Qaidam Basin in northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and its palaeoclimatic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, FuYuan; Ma, HaiZhou; Wei, HaiCheng; Lai, ZhongPing

    2012-06-01

    Qarhan playa is located in the eastern-central Qaidam Basin in the northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. As a lake-depocenter since the Pleistocene and surrounded by Gobi and yardang fields, it might have deposited abundant aeolian materials. Distinguishing its aeolian signature from lacustrine sediments is important for understanding the landform processes and environmental changes, which is the focus of the current study. Based on major-elements analysis, microtextures of quartz grains, and features of grain-size frequency curves and other grain-size parameters, we demonstrate the existence of aeolian component in the lacustrine sequences of a 102 m core (ISL1A). Grain-size distribution curve statistics on 60 samples from two extreme palaeoclimate environments (hyperarid and humid), as well as multi-proxies records comparison, indicate that the mode at about 40 μm represents the aeolian component and the 10-70 μm fraction of grain-size is a valid proxy of East Asian winter monsoon, and that the 70-650 μm fraction represents the intensity of dust storms. The erosive lacustrine sediments in the western Qaidam Basin and the alluvial/fluvial fans in nearby piedmont are probably important sources for these aeolian materials. The similarities of major-element data for samples from the Qaidam Basin (both lacustrine and loess), Qinghai Lake (loess), and the Chinese Loess Plateau (loess) indicate that the Qaidam Basin is a dust source for the loess in Qinghai Lake and the Chinese Loess Plateau.

  6. Meso-scale aeolian sediment input to coastal dunes: The nature of aeolian transport events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado-Fernandez, Irene; Davidson-Arnott, Robin

    2011-03-01

    Observations of aeolian transport in coastal areas have focused on short-term experiments because of limitations imposed by instrumentation. This paper uses a case study at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, Canada, to analyze how sediment transport takes place at the beach over periods of weeks to months. A monitoring station provided hourly time series of vegetation cover, shoreline position, fetch distances, surficial moisture content, presence of ice and snow, wind speed and direction and transport processes over nine months. Analysis shows that high wind speeds may not generate any net transport into the dunes because of the limitations imposed by snow/ice cover, moisture, and short fetch distances. Despite extreme winds during intense storms, such events often lead to wave scarping rather than aeolian sediment input to the foredunes. When sediment was transported on the beach, the magnitude was regulated by a combination of factors including: angle of wind approach, fetch distance, moisture content, and duration of the wind event. In particular, angle of wind approach (and therefore fetch distance) may demote a high magnitude wind event with strong transport potential to one with no transport at all, which poses challenges for predicting the effects of individual storms over the course of several months. A significant proportion of sediment delivery to the foredunes was associated with wind events of low to medium magnitude. It is suggested here that large magnitude wind events have low probabilities of resulting in transport towards the foredune because factors such as wave inundation play an increasing role in preventing sediment movement across the beach. This has implications for modelling and management, and highlights differences between the magnitude and frequency of aeolian transport events in the coastal environment compared to those in deserts and to fluvial sediment transport.

  7. A Global Digital Database and Atlas of Quaternary Dune Fields and Sand Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lancaster, N.; Halfen, A. F.

    2012-12-01

    Sand seas and dune fields are globally significant sedimentary deposits, which archive the effects of climate and sea level change on a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Dune systems provide a valuable source of information on past climate conditions, including evidence for periods of aridity and unique data on past wind regimes. Researchers have compiled vast quantities of geomorphic and chronological data from these dune systems for nearly half a century, however, these data remain disconnected, making comparisons of dune systems challenging at global and regional scales. The primary goal of this project is to develop a global digital database of chronologic information for periods of desert sand dune accumulation and stabilization, as well as, pertinent stratigraphic and geomorphic information. This database can then be used by scientists to 1) document the history of aeolian processes in arid regions with emphasis on dune systems in low and mid latitude deserts, 2) correlate periods of sand accumulation and stability with other terrestrial and marine paleoclimatic proxies and records, and 3) develop an improved understanding of the response of dune systems to climate change. The database currently resides in Microsoft Access format, which allows searching and filtering of data. The database includes 4 linked tables containing information on the site, chronological control (radiocarbon or luminescence), and the pertinent literature citations. Thus far the database contains information for 838 sites world wide, comprising 2598 luminescence and radiocarbon ages, though these numbers increase regularly as new data is added. The database is only available on request at this time, however, an online, GIS database is being developed and will be available in the near future. Data outputs from the online database will include PDF reports and Google Earth formatted data sets for quick viewing of data. Additionally, data will be available in a gridded format for

  8. Growth pattern research on the modern deposition of Ganjiang delta in Poyang lake basin by spatio-temporal remote sensing images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Hongying; Yuan, Xuanjun; Zhang, Youyan; Dong, Wentong; Liu, Song

    2016-11-01

    It is of great importance for petroleum exploration to study the sedimentary features and the growth pattern of shoal water deltas in lake basins. Taking spatio-temporal remote sensing images as the principal data source, combined with field sedimentation survey, a quantitative research on the modern deposition of Ganjiang delta in the Poyang Lake Basin is described in this paper. Using 76 multi-temporal and multi-type remote sensing images acquired from 1973 to 2015, combined with field sedimentation survey, remote sensing interpretation analysis was conducted on the sedimentary facies of the Ganjiang delta. It is found that that the current Poyang Lake mainly consists of three types of sand body deposits including deltaic deposit, overflow channel deposit, and aeolian deposit, and the distribution of sand bodies was affected by the above three types of depositions jointly. The mid-branch channels of the Ganjiang delta increased on an exponential growth rhythm. The main growth pattern of the Ganjiang delta is dendritic and reticular, and the distributary channel mostly arborizes at lake inlet and was reworked to be reticulatus at late stage.

  9. Quantifying wind blown landscapes using time-series airborne LiDAR at White Sands Dune Field, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, R. C.

    2011-12-01

    Wind blown landscapes are a default geomorphic and sedimentary environment in our solar system. Wind sand dunes are ubiquitous features on the surfaces of Earth, Mars and Titan and prevalent within the aeolian rock records of Earth and Mars. Dunes are sensitive to environmental and climatic changes and a complete understanding of this system promises a unique, robust and quantitative record of paleoclimate extending to the early histories of these worlds. However, our understanding of how aeolian dune landscapes evolve and how the details of the wind are recorded in cross-strata is limited by our lack of understanding of three-dimensional dune morphodynamics related to changing boundary conditions such as wind direction and magnitude and sediment source area. We use airborne LiDAR datasets over 40 km2 of White Sands Dune Field collected from June 2007, June 2008, January 2009, September 2009 and June 2010 to quantify 1) three-dimensional dune geometries, 2) annual and seasonal patterns of erosion and deposition across dune topography, 3) spatial changes in sediment flux related to position within the field, 4) spatial changes in sediment flux across sinuous crestlines and 5) morphologic changes through dune-dune interactions. In addition to measurements, we use the LiDAR data along with wind data from two near-by weather stations to develop a simple model that predicts depositional and stratigraphic patterns on dune lee slopes. Several challenges emerged using time series LiDAR data sets at White Sands Dune Field. The topography upon which the dunes sit is variable and rises by 16 meters over the length of the dune field. In order to compare individual dune geometries across the field and between data sets a base surface was interpolated from local minima and subtracted from the dune topography. Co-registration and error calculation between datasets was done manually using permanent vegetated features within the active dune field and structures built by the

  10. Cordão Formation: loess deposits in the southern coastal plain of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Renato P; Dillenburg, Sergio R; Schultz, Cesar L

    2016-01-01

    Loess consists of silt-dominated sediments that cover ~10% of the Earth's surface. In southern South America it occurs in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, and its presence in southern Brazil was never studied in detail. Here is proposed a new lithostratigraphic unit, Cordão Formation, consisting of loess deposits in the southern Brazilian coastal plain. It consists of fine-very fine silt with subordinate sand and clay, found mostly in lowland areas between Pleistocene coastal barriers. These sediments are pale-colored (10YR hue) and forms ~1,5-2,0 meter-thick stable vertical walls. The clay minerals include illite, smectite, interstratified illite/smectite and kaolinite, the coarser fraction is mostly quartz and plagioclase. Caliche and iron-manganese nodules are also present. The only fossils found so far are rodent teeth and a tooth of a camelid (Hemiauchenia paradoxa). Luminescence ages indicate that this loess was deposited in the latest Pleistocene, between ~30 and 10 kyrs ago, and its upper portion was modified by erosion and accumulation of clay and organic matter in the Holocene. The estimated accumulation rate was ~630 g/m2/year. The probable source of this loess is the Pampean Aeolian System of Argentina and it would have been deposited by the increased aeolian processes of the last glacial.

  11. NEARSHORE SAND SOURCES FOR AMERICAN SAMOA: AN ALTERNATIVE TO USING BEACH SAND.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dingler, John R.; Reiss, Thomas E.

    1987-01-01

    Using a combination of geophysical techniques, in situ observations, and sampling by scuba divers, we investigated along the south shore of Tutuila Island, American Samoa, for nearshore sand deposits. To minimize the impact of future sand dredging on the island's littoral sediments, the search took place in a narrow zone between the outside of the fringing reef and the 30-m bathymetric contour. Because the sand will be used by the Samoans in a variety of ways, an area high in siliciclastic sand - Nua-Se'etaga Bay - and two areas containing only carbonate sand - Faga'itua Bay and Nafanua Bank - were inspected in detail. Results of the exploration program are discussed.

  12. Windblown sand on Venus - Preliminary results of laboratory simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; Iversen, J.; Leach, R.; Marshall, J.; Williams, S.; White, B.

    1984-01-01

    Small particles and winds of sufficient strength to move them have been detected from Venera and Pioneer-Venus data and suggest the existence of aeolian processes on Venus. The Venus wind tunnel (VWT) was fabricated in order to investigate the behavior of windblown particles in a simulated Venusian environment. Preliminary results show that sand-size material is readily entrained at the wind speeds detected on Venus and that saltating grains achieve velocities closely matching those of the wind. Measurements of saltation threshold and particle flux for various particle sizes have been compared with theoretical models which were developed by extrapolation of findings from Martian and terrestrial simulations. Results are in general agreement with theory, although certain discrepancies are apparent which may be attributed to experimental and/or theoretical-modeling procedures. Present findings enable a better understanding of Venusian surface processes and suggest that aeolian processes are important in the geological evolution of Venus.

  13. The extraction of bitumen from western tar sands. Annual report, July 1990--July 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Deo, M.D.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1992-04-01

    Contents of this report include the following: executive summary; characterization of the native bitumen from the Whiterocks oil sand deposit; influence of carboxylic acid content on bitumen viscosity; water based oil sand separation technology; extraction of bitumen from western oil sands by an energy-efficient thermal method; large- diameter fluidized bed reactor studies; rotary kiln pyrolysis of oil sand; catalytic upgrading of bitumen and bitumen derived liquids; ebullieted bed hydrotreating and hydrocracking; super critical fluid extraction; bitumen upgrading; 232 references; Appendix A--Whiterocks tar sand deposit bibliography; Appendix B--Asphalt Ridge tar sand deposit bibliography; and Appendix C--University of Utah tar sands bibliography.

  14. Feedbacks between aeolian processes and ecosystem change in a degraded desert grassland in the southwestern US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junran

    2015-04-01

    The desert grassland in the southwestern US has undergone dramatic vegetation changes with many areas of grassland becoming shrublands in the last 150 years. A principle manifestation of such a land degradation is the wide distribution of fertile islands in once-homogenous landscapes, which changed soil resource redistributions through the movement of resources from plant interspaces to the area beneath plant canopies. A great deal of work has examined the role of water in nutrient reduction and enforcement of islands of fertility in the semiarid landscapes. However, little is known on the role of wind in the removal or redistribution of soil resources, and further the feedbacks between wind and ecosystem change in this area. In spring 2004, a vegetation removal experiment was established in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, southern New Mexico, where vegetation cover on the experimental plots were manually reduced to various levels to study the entire suite of aeolian processes, including erosion, transport, and deposition in creating and enforcing patchy distribution of vegetation. This experiment has been continually maintained for more than ten years, with the sampling and observation of vegetation cover, soil nutrients, sediment flux, topography, and plant physiology. The experimental results highlighted that the aeolian processes in the Chihuahuan Desert are able to change soil properties and community composition in as short as 3 three years. Further, the removal of grasses by 75% may trigger a very substantial increase of wind erosion and the removal of grass by 50% could cause significant amount of C and N loss due to wind erosion. Last but not least, the change of the spatial distribution of soil C and the micro-topography both point to the fact that aeolian processes contribute substantially to the dynamics of fertile islands in this desert grassland.

  15. Industrial sand and gravel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dolley, T.P.

    2011-01-01

    Domestic production of industrial sand and gravel in 2010 was about 26.5 Mt (29.2 million st), a 6-percent increased from 2009. Certain end uses of industrial sand and gravel, such as sand for container glass, golf course sand, recreational sand, specialty glass and water filtration, showed increased demand in 2010.

  16. Aeolian Dust Dynamics and Synoptic Atmospheric Circulation Patterns in the Black Sea Region Since Marine Isotope Stage 15

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markley, C.; Machalett, B.; Oches, E. A.; Markovic, S.; Endlicher, W.

    2010-12-01

    The aeolian dust record of the loess sequences in the Dobrogea, Romania, provides a unique terrestrial climate archive in proximity to the Black Sea, enabling us to reconstruct glacial-interglacial climate variability and past atmospheric circulation patterns from marine oxygen-isotope stage (MIS) 15 to the last glacial period. During the Pleistocene aeolian mineral dust was mainly derived from the floodplain of the Danube and the (exposed) coastal shelf of the Black Sea, and got deposited on the pseudo-plain of the upheaval complex of the Dobrogea. Presently located at the interface between Mediterranean and continental climates of central and eastern Europe, the loess record of Dobrogea offers insight into long-term paleoenvironmental oscillations triggered by the reciprocity of Mediterranean and continental atmospheric circulation patterns across central and eastern Europe. The 35m thick loess sequence at Mircea Voda shows a well exposed sequence of loess-paleosol couplets that can be traced laterally across a few hundred meters, suggesting a semi-continuous paleoclimate record since MIS 15. In order to assess the loess record of aeolian dynamics and associated past-synoptic atmospheric circulation modes, high resolution particle size analyses have been carried out using a Beckman-Coulter LS 13320 laser analyzer. With support of amino acid geochronology data the highly resolved proxy record of the SE European loess sequences reveals clear shifts in the aeolian dust dynamics and a general paleoclimatic trend from subtropical (MIS 15) to more continental climates (MIS 1). In consideration of the modern synoptic atmospheric circulation patterns and aeolian dust transport across the Eurasian landmass, we propose that the observed long trends in the aeolian dust record and the general tendency of a progressive aridification since the Middle Pleistocene reflect a long term signal of seasonality, triggered by changes in duration and permanency of the seasonal shift of

  17. Aeolian dust dynamics and synoptic atmospheric circulation patterns in the Black Sea Region since marine isotope stage 15

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markley, C.; Machalett, B.; Oches, E. A.

    2011-12-01

    The aeolian dust record of the loess sequences in the Dobrogea, Romania, provides a unique terrestrial climate archive in proximity to the Black Sea, enabling us to reconstruct glacial-interglacial climate variability and past atmospheric circulation patterns from marine oxygen-isotope stage (MIS) 15 to the last glacial period. During the Pleistocene aeolian mineral dust was mainly derived from the floodplain of the Danube and the (exposed) coastal shelf of the Black Sea, and got deposited on the pseudo-plain of the upheaval complex of the Dobrogea. Presently located at the interface between Mediterranean and continental climates of central and eastern Europe, the loess record of Dobrogea offers insight into long-term paleoenvironmental oscillations triggered by the reciprocity of Mediterranean and continental atmospheric circulation patterns across central and eastern Europe. The 35m thick loess sequence at Mircea Voda shows a well exposed sequence of loess-paleosol couplets that can be traced laterally across a few hundred meters, suggesting a semi-continuous paleoclimate record since MIS 15. In order to assess the loess record of aeolian dynamics and associated past-synoptic atmospheric circulation modes, high resolution particle size analyses have been carried out using a Beckman-Coulter LS 13-320 laser analyzer. With support of amino acid geochronology data the highly resolved proxy record of the SE European loess sequences reveals clear shifts in the aeolian dust dynamics and a general paleoclimatic trend from subtropical (MIS 15) to more continental climates (MIS 1). In consideration of the modern synoptic atmospheric circulation patterns and aeolian dust transport across the Eurasian landmass, we propose that the observed long trends in the aeolian dust record and the general tendency of a progressive aridification since the Middle Pleistocene reflect a long term signal of seasonality, triggered by changes in duration and permanency of the seasonal shift of

  18. Records of human occupation from Pleistocene river terrace and aeolian sediments in the Arneiro depression (Lower Tejo River, central eastern Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunha, Pedro P.; Almeida, Nelson A. C.; Aubry, Thierry; Martins, António A.; Murray, Andrew S.; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Sohbati, Reza; Raposo, Luis; Rocha, Leonor

    2012-09-01

    In the uppermost reach of the Lower Tejo River (eastern central Portugal), where the river crosses two quartzite ridges that separate the Ródão (upstream) and Arneiro (downstream) depressions, Palaeolithic artefacts have been recovered from three lower river terrace levels and a cover unit of aeolian sands. This paper presents data on the discovery of archaeological artefacts from the terrace levels and the aeolian sands that can be linked to Middle and Upper Palaeolithic industries from new field sites at Tapada do Montinho and Castelejo. The archaeological data when placed in a geomorphological, sedimentary and chronological framework, contribute new information on the understanding of human occupation in western Iberia during cold-climate episodes of the last 62 to 12 ka; and especially during the cooler and driest conditions that occurred between 32 and 12 ka, when the climate favoured aeolian sediment transport. In the Lower Tejo River, the integration of absolute age datasets with archaeological, geomorphological and sedimentary data indicate that in westernmost Iberia the first appearance of artefacts in river terrace sediments suggests that the earliest marker for human occupation dates from the lower Acheulian (Lower Palaeolithic), probably corresponding to an age of ~ 340 ka. Data also suggest, for the first time, that Acheulian lithic industries were replaced by Middle Palaeolithic ones (namely the Levallois stone knapping technique) by ~ 160 ka (~ MIS6). Middle Palaeolithic industries were later replaced by Upper Palaeolithic industries at 32 ka. The post 32 ka period, dominated by aeolian sediment transport, is related to the onset of cold-dry climate conditions which resulted in low river flow discharges, floodplain exposure and reworking by NW winds. This cold-dry period is coeval with the disappearance of Megafauna and associated Neanderthal communities, and the replacement of the Middle Palaeolithic industries by Upper Palaeolithic ones in this

  19. Identifying sources of aeolian mineral dust: Present and past

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, Daniel R; Prospero, Joseph M; Baddock, Matthew C; Gill, Thomas E

    2014-01-01

    Aeolian mineral dust is an important component of the Earth’s environmental systems, playing roles in the planetary radiation balance, as a source of fertilizer for biota in both terrestrial and marine realms and as an archive for understanding atmospheric circulation and paleoclimate in the geologic past. Crucial to understanding all of these roles of dust is the identification of dust sources. Here we review the methods used to identify dust sources active at present and in the past. Contemporary dust sources, produced by both glaciogenic and non-glaciogenic processes, can be readily identified by the use of Earth-orbiting satellites. These data show that present dust sources are concentrated in a global dust belt that encompasses large topographic basins in low-latitude arid and semiarid regions. Geomorphic studies indicate that specific point sources for dust in this zone include dry or ephemeral lakes, intermittent stream courses, dune fields, and some bedrock surfaces. Back-trajectory analyses are also used to identify dust sources, through modeling of wind fields and the movement of air parcels over periods of several days. Identification of dust sources from the past requires novel approaches that are part of the geologic toolbox of provenance studies. Identification of most dust sources of the past requires the use of physical, mineralogical, geochemical, and isotopic analyses of dust deposits. Physical properties include systematic spatial changes in dust deposit thickness and particle size away from a source. Mineralogy and geochemistry can pinpoint dust sources by clay mineral ratios and Sc-Th-La abundances, respectively. The most commonly used isotopic methods utilize isotopes of Nd, Sr, and Pb and have been applied extensively in dust archives of deep-sea cores, ice cores, and loess. All these methods have shown that dust sources have changed over time, with far more abundant dust supplies existing during glacial periods. Greater dust supplies in

  20. Mechanics of aeolian processes: Soil erosion and dust production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehrabadi, M. M.

    1989-01-01

    Aeolian (wind) processes occur as a result of atmosphere/land-surface system interactions. A thorough understanding of these processes and their physical/mechanical characterization on a global scale is essential to monitoring global change and, hence, is imperative to the fundamental goal of the Earth observing system (Eos) program. Soil erosion and dust production by wind are of consequence mainly in arid and semi arid regions which cover 36 percent of the Earth's land surface. Some recent models of dust production due to wind erosion of agricultural soils and the mechanics of wind erosion in deserts are reviewed and the difficulties of modeling the aeolian transport are discussed.

  1. The photovoltaic-aeolian plant at Passo Mandrioli /Italy/

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calzolari, P. U.; Garulli, A.; Nobili, D.; Sardo, A.

    1980-12-01

    The use of aeolian-photovoltaic power generation to supply the needs of an isolated farm house in Northern Italy is presented, noting the experimental character of the project. Estimated energy consumption is 1650 kWh for lighting and various appliances. The system includes two power generators (aeolian and photovoltaic) connected in parallel, battery storage, regulation and control circuit, inverter, supplementary generator and a complete data acquisition subsystem. Design characteristics such as the tower height, electrical output and lightning protection are given, together with the parameters to be continuously monitored including meteorological data, wind speed and the angular speed of the propeller.

  2. Mineral resource of the month: industrial sand and gravel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dolley, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    With many diverse uses, industrial sand and gravel, also known as silica sand, is one of the most important nonmetallic minerals in the world. Industrial sand and gravel is a mining industry term used for sands that have a very high percentage of silicon dioxide, or greater than 95 percent quartz. Deposits of industrial sand and gravel can be found virtually everywhere on Earth, but are less widespread than deposits of common construction sand and gravel. Industrial sand and gravel is distinctive in grain size, hardness, inertness and resistance to high temperature and chemical action. Beverage containers, fiberglass insulation, fiber-optic cables and light bulbs are just some of today’s many products produced from industrial sand and gravel.

  3. Tar sand

    SciTech Connect

    McLendon, T.R.; Bartke, T.C.

    1990-01-01

    Research on tar sand is briefly discussed. The research program supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) includes a variety of surface extraction schemes. The University of Utah has process development units (PDU) employing fluidized bed, hot, water-assisted, and fluidized-bed/heat-pipe, coupled combustor technology. Considerable process variable test data have been gathered on these systems: (1) a rotary kiln unit has been built recently; (2) solvent extraction processing is being examined; and (3) an advanced hydrogenation upgrading scheme (hydropyrolysis) has been developed. The University of Arkansas, in collaboration with Diversified Petroleum, Inc., has been working on a fatty acid, solvent extraction process. Oleic acid is the solvent/surfactant. Solvent is recovered by adjusting processing fluid concentrations to separate without expensive operations. Western Research Institute has a PDU-scale scheme called the Recycle Oil Pyrolysis and Extraction (ROPE) process, which combines solvent (hot recycle bitumen) and pyrolytic extraction. 14 refs., 19 figs.

  4. Altitude of the top of the Sparta Sand and Memphis Sand in three areas of Arkansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pugh, Aaron L.; Westerfield, Paul W.; Gonthier, Gerard J.; Poynter, David T.

    1998-01-01

    The Sparta Sand and Memphis Sand form the second most productive aquifer in Arkansas. The Sparta Sand and Memphis Sand range in thick- ness from 0 to 900 feet, consisting of fine- to medium-grained sands interbedded with layers of silt, clay, shale, and minor amounts of lignite. Within the three areas of interest, the top surface of the Sparta Sand and Memphis Sand dips regionally east and southeast towards the axis of the Mississippi Embayment syncline and Desha Basin. Local variations in the top surface may be attributed to a combination of continued development of structural features, differential compaction, localized faulting, and erosion of the surface prior to subsequent inundation and deposition of younger sediments.

  5. The Relationship of Land Cover to Aeolian Dust Production at the Jornada Basin, New Mexico, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Floyd, K. W.; Gill, T. E.; Gillette, D. A.

    2007-12-01