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Sample records for africa showing desert

  1. Last interglacial semi-desert expansions in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urrego, D. H.; Sanchez Goni, M.; Lechevrel, S.; Daniau, A.

    2013-05-01

    While our understanding of the effects of orbital-scale variability on the vegetation has grown during the past decades, empirical data from some climatically important periods and regions are still lacking. Scarce data exist for instance for deep-time glacial-interglacial cycles that could provide suitable analogs for current climate change. Recent global-scale syntheses of vegetation responses to rapid events during the last glacial have been useful, however, these global compilations clearly show that some regions, namely the southern tropics and subtropics, remain understudied. We use pollen analysis of marine sediments from core MD96-2098 to produce a paleoenvironmental record from southern Africa spanning MIS 6 to 3. Our interpretations are supported by an analysis of present-day pollen-vegetation-climate relationships for the region. We applied canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) on pollen spectra from terrestrial surface samples to investigate these relationships and to identify pollen taxa that are suitable bioclimatic indicators for the different South African biomes. Semi-desert vegetation dominated southern Africa during the MIS 5 interglacial. Expansion of the semi-desert biome into the Namib desert likely resulted from the reduction of the Benguela upwelling and a relative decrease in aridity. In its eastern boundary, the semi-desert likely expanded at the expense of grasslands as a result of increased subtropical high pressure and reduced summer precipitation. Semi-desert expansion in its southern boundary probably resulted from reduced influence of the southern westerlies and decreased winter precipitation. This atmospheric configuration was probably exacerbated during the three warm substages of MIS 5. During glacial isotopic stages MIS 6, 4 and 3 grasslands gained area over the semi-desert as summer precipitation increased. The area occupied by Fynbos vegetation was particularly large at the

  2. Desert dust impacts on human health: an alarming worldwide reality and a need for studies in West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Longueville, Florence; Ozer, Pierre; Doumbia, Seydou; Henry, Sabine

    2013-01-01

    High desert dust concentrations raise concerns about adverse health effects on human populations. Based on a systematic literature review, this paper aims to learn more about the relationship between desert dust and human health in the world and to analyse the place of West Africa as a study area of interest. Papers focussing on the potential relationship between dust and health and showing quantitative analyses, published between January 1999 and September 2011, were identified using the ISI Web of Knowledge database ( N = 50). A number of adverse health effects, including respiratory, cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary diseases, are associated with dust. This survey highlights obvious dust impacts on human health independently of the study area, health outcomes and method. Moreover, it reveals an imbalance between the areas most exposed to dust and the areas most studied in terms of health effects. None of these studies has been conducted in West Africa, despite the proximity of the Sahara, which produces about half of the yearly global mineral dust. In view of the alarming results in many parts of the world (Asia, Europe, America), this paper concludes by stressing the importance of carrying out impact studies of Saharan dust in West Africa, where dust events are more frequent and intense than anywhere else.

  3. Holocene Paleoecology of the Western Tenere Desert, Niger, Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sereno, P. C.; Caran, S. C.; Housh, T. B.

    2007-12-01

    Multiple paleontological, sedimentological, and isotopic/ionic geochemical indicators permit reconstruction of the Holocene ecology of the western Tenere Desert (southern Sahara hyper-desert). Modern precipitation is highly erratic, averaging 25 mm yearly, and vegetative cover is negligible. From the early to middle Holocene, however, grassland-shrublands and seasonal to permanent lakes and wetlands predominated, supporting diverse limnic, riparian, and upland communities. Annual precipitation probably was comparable to that of the modern southern Sahel, exceeding 350 mm. Coarse-grained sediment washed into the large lacustrine basin from exposures of metamorphic, plutonic, and volcanic rocks in the nearby Air Massif highland. Lake margins fluctuated in response to runoff and limited ground-water discharge. The water was non-saline and there is no evidence of evaporite deposition. Aquatic and riparian macrophytes thrived, as did an extensive lacustrine-palustrine macrofauna. A Sahelian flora of mixed grasses, thorn shrubs, and perhaps some larger woodland species occupied the contiguous uplands, supporting resident and migratory mammalian and avian faunas. Lake levels were high until 6300 to 5200 BP, possibly as late as 4800 BP locally. Deflation of lacustrine deposits during a subsequent dry period provided finer-grained eolian sediment accreting as proximal dunes. The composition of mineral sediment within the middle to late Holocene dunes is different from, but clearly a subset of the lacustrine deposits. Organic matter reworked from the lake sediment was deposited in the dunes and oxidized in situ, generating CO2 that dissolved in soil moisture, producing bicarbonate. The bicarbonate reacted with calcium from weathered minerals, producing calcic cementation about 5100 BP. The resulting petrocalcic horizon was later exposed, weathered, and colonized by sparse terrestrial vegetation for one or more brief periods. A late phase of pedogenesis concurrent with or

  4. What is the impact of Harmattan surges on desert dust emission in North Africa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiedler, Stephanie; Kaplan, Michael L.; Knippertz, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Desert dust aerosols have important implications in the Earth system, but their emission amount has a large model uncertainty. Improving the most important meteorological processes for dust-emitting winds helps to reduce this uncertainty. However, the dominant meteorological mechanisms for the large dust emission during spring remain unclear. This time of year is characterized by mobile, long-lived cyclones and Harmattan surges which are capable to uplift dust aerosol for long-range atmospheric transport. Emission near to the centre of mobile, long-lived cyclones are associated with a small mass of dust emission over the northern Sahara in spring, despite their most frequent occurrence in this season. Harmattan surges are proposed to be more efficient in emitting dust aerosol in spring. These events manifest themselves as a postfrontal strengthening of near-surface winds with a continental impact on dust emission. The present study shows the first long-term climatology of dust emission associated with Harmattan surges over North Africa. Using a newly-developed automated identification, Harmattan surges are statistically analysed in 32 years of ERA-Interim re-analysis from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. The results show 34 events per year in the annual mean. Spring is herein the most active season with the largest mean number and duration of Harmattan surges, in contrast to summer with virtually no activity. The offline dust emission model by Tegen et al (2002) is used to calculate emissions with ERA-Interim data. Combining these results with the Harmattan surges allows a first quantitative estimate of the associated emission mass. The results highlight that a fraction of 32 % of the total emission is associated with these events, annually and spatially averaged across North Africa. This amount exceeds the annual mean contribution of nocturnal low-level jets to dust emission, which is known as one of the most important drivers for North

  5. Remote sensing experiment in West Africa. [drought effects on desert agriculture and vegetation in Niger

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macleod, N. H.

    1974-01-01

    There are substantial needs of the Sahelien Zone to detail the state of regional agricultural resources in the face of a sixth year of serious drought conditions. While most of the work has been done in the Republic of Niger, the principles which have emerged from the analysis seem to be applicable to much of the Sahel. The discussion relates to quite specific rehabilitation and development initiations under consideration in Niger which are based in part upon direct analysis of ERTS imagery of the country, in part on field surveys and on discussions with Nigerian officials and technicians. Again, because the entire Sahelien Zone (including Niger) has large zones of similar ecologic characteristics, modificiations of the approaches suggested for Niger are applicable to the solution of rehabilitation of the desert, the savannah and the woodlands of West Africa in general.

  6. A study of morphology, provenance, and movement of desert sand seas in Africa, Asia, and Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckee, E. D. (Principal Investigator); Breed, C. S.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Recent acquisition of generally high quality color prints for most of the test sites has enabled the project to make significant advances in preparing mosaics of sand desert areas under study. Computer enhancement of imagery of selected sites, where details of complex dune forms need to be determined, has been achieved with arrival of computer-compatible ERTS-1 tapes. Further, a comparator, recently received, gives precise visual measurements of width, length, and spacing of sand bodies and so improves comparison of patterns in various test sites. Considerable additional meteorological data recently received on sand-moving winds in China, Pakistan, Libya and other areas enabled much progress to be made in developing overlays for the dune mosaics. These data show direction, speed, and frequency of winds. Other new data for use in preparing overlays used with ERTS-1 image mosaics include ground truth on moisture control, geologic settings, and plant distribution. With the addition of visual observation data and prints from hand-held photography now being obtained by the Skylab mission, much progress in interpreting the patterns of sand seas for 17 desert sites is anticipated.

  7. A study of morphology, provenance, and movement of desert sand seas in Africa, Asia, and Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckee, E. D. (Principal Investigator); Breed, C. S.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Recent acquisition of generally high quality color prints for most of the test sites has enabled this project to make significant advances in preparing mosaics of sand desert areas under study. Computer enhancement of imagery, where details of complex dune forms need to be determined, has been achieved with arrival of computer-compatible ERTS-1 tapes. Further, a comparator, recently received, gives precise visual measurements of width, length, and spacing of sand bodies and so improves comparison of patterns in various test sites. Considerable additional meteorological data recently received on sand-moving winds in China, Pakistan, Libya, and other study areas enabled much progress to be made in developing overlays for the dune mosaics. These data show direction, speed, and frequency of winds. Other new data for use in preparing overlays used with ERTS-1 image mosaics include ground truth on moisture control, geologic settings, and plant distribution. With the addition of visual observation data and prints from hand-held photography now being obtained by the Skylab 4 mission, much progress in interpreting the patterns of sand seas for 17 desert sites is anticipated.

  8. Combining sky and earth: desert ants (Melophorus bagoti) show weighted integration of celestial and terrestrial cues.

    PubMed

    Legge, Eric L G; Wystrach, Antoine; Spetch, Marcia L; Cheng, Ken

    2014-12-01

    Insects typically use celestial sources of directional information for path integration, and terrestrial panoramic information for view-based navigation. Here we set celestial and terrestrial sources of directional information in conflict for homing desert ants (Melophorus bagoti). In the first experiment, ants learned to navigate out of a round experimental arena with a distinctive artificial panorama. On crucial tests, we rotated the arena to create a conflict between the artificial panorama and celestial information. In a second experiment, ants at a feeder in their natural visually-cluttered habitat were displaced prior to their homing journey so that the dictates of path integration (feeder to nest direction) based on a celestial compass conflicted with the dictates of view-based navigation (release point to nest direction) based on the natural terrestrial panorama. In both experiments, ants generally headed in a direction intermediate to the dictates of celestial and terrestrial information. In the second experiment, the ants put more weight on the terrestrial cues when they provided better directional information. We conclude that desert ants weight and integrate the dictates of celestial and terrestrial information in determining their initial heading, even when the two directional cues are highly discrepant.

  9. Characterization of aerosolized bacteria and fungi from desert dust events in Mali, West Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, C.A.; Griffin, Dale W.; Garrison, V.H.; Peak, K.K.; Royall, N.; Smith, R.R.; Shinn, E.A.

    2004-01-01

    Millions of metric tons of African desert dust blow across the Atlantic Ocean each year, blanketing the Caribbean and southeastern United States. Previous work in the Caribbean has shown that atmospheric samples collected during dust events contain living microbes, including plant and opportunistic human pathogens. To better understand the potential downwind public health and ecosystem effects of the dust microbes, it is important to characterize the source population. We describe 19 genera of bacteria and 3 genera of fungi isolated from air samples collected in Mali, a known source region for dust storms, and over which large dust storms travel.

  10. A study of morphology, provenance, and movement of desert sand seas in Africa, Asia, and Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckee, E. D. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The most significant result to date is recongition that complexes are indeed visible on ERTS-1 images, and that the extent and nature of dune fields in many remote areas of the world can, for the first time, be observed almost simultaneously and directly compared. The primary scientific problem is to determine accurately the relationships among certain patterns, trends, and boundaries clearly revealed on ERTS-1 imagery to true surface configurations of desert landforms, and further, to relate the defined features to controlling factors such as wind direction and intensity, moisture in the air and on the ground and barriers to sand movement. It is hoped to produce, by photographic and cartographic extraction from ERTS-1 images, a set of thematic maps that will illustrate the relationships of optical appearance of various materials and effects of the color of various sand bodies upon ERTS-1 images.

  11. Availability of water controls Crassulacean acid metabolism in succulents of the Richtersveld (Namib desert, South Africa).

    PubMed

    von Willert, D J; Brinckmann, E; Scheitler, B; Eller, B M

    1985-05-01

    Features of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) were studied in a variety of different succulents in response to climatic conditions between March 1977 and October 1983 in the southern Namib desert (Richtersveld). A screening in 1977 and 1978 revealed that nearly all investigated succulents performed a CAM, but overnight accumulation of malate declined gradually with decreasing soil water potential, tissue osmotic potential, and leaf water content. This was further substantiated by an extended period of insufficient rainfall in 1979 and 1980 which damaged the evergreen CAM succulents between 80 and 100%. In most of the species still living, neither CO2-gas exchange nor diurnal acid fluctuation, indicative of CAM, could be detected unless an abundant rainfall restored both CAM features. Plants persisted in a stage of latent life.Water supply is one necessary prerequisite for CAM in the Richtersveld. But even well-watered plants with CAM were sensitive to short-term water stress caused by high water-vapour partialpressure deficit (VPD) in the night, which reduced or prevented CO2 uptake and resulted in a linear relation between overnight accumulated malate and VPD. The results do not support the opinion that, for the Namib succulents, CAM is an adaptive mechanism to water stress since long-term and short-term water stress stopped nocturnal malate synthesis, but instead lead to the conclusion that nocuturnal CO2 fixation is only performed when the water status of the plant can be improved simultaneously.

  12. Map showing areas of visible land disturbances caused by two military training operations in the Mojave Desert, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prose, D.V.

    1986-01-01

    Land disturbances caused by these training exercises are still evident today throughout the designated training areas (Lathrop, 1983; Prose, 1985; Prose and Metzger, 1985). The World War II base-camp locations are easily identified because the networks of dirt roads are still used by campers, hunters, artifact seekers, and other visitors. Vehicle trails and single tracks remain on many relatively stable surfaces and are most conspicuous on surfaces composed of a veneer of stones (desert pavement).

  13. Genetic analysis shows low levels of hybridization between African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) and domestic cats (F. s. catus) in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Le Roux, Johannes J; Foxcroft, Llewellyn C; Herbst, Marna; MacFadyen, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    Hybridization between domestic and wild animals is a major concern for biodiversity conservation, and as habitats become increasingly fragmented, conserving biodiversity at all levels, including genetic, becomes increasingly important. Except for tropical forests and true deserts, African wildcats occur across the African continent; however, almost no work has been carried out to assess its genetic status and extent of hybridization with domestic cats. For example, in South Africa it has been argued that the long-term viability of maintaining pure wildcat populations lies in large protected areas only, isolated from human populations. Two of the largest protected areas in Africa, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier and Kruger National Parks, as well as the size of South Africa and range of landscape uses, provide a model situation to assess how habitat fragmentation and heterogeneity influences the genetic purity of African wildcats. Using population genetic and home range data, we examined the genetic purity of African wildcats and their suspected hybrids across South Africa, including areas within and outside of protected areas. Overall, we found African wildcat populations to be genetically relatively pure, but instances of hybridization and a significant relationship between the genetic distinctiveness (purity) of wildcats and human population pressure were evident. The genetically purest African wildcats were found in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, while samples from around Kruger National Park showed cause for concern, especially combined with the substantial human population density along the park's boundary. While African wildcat populations in South Africa generally appear to be genetically pure, with low levels of hybridization, our genetic data do suggest that protected areas may play an important role in maintaining genetic purity by reducing the likelihood of contact with domestic cats. We suggest that approaches such as corridors between protected areas

  14. Genetic analysis shows low levels of hybridization between African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) and domestic cats (F. s. catus) in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Le Roux, Johannes J; Foxcroft, Llewellyn C; Herbst, Marna; MacFadyen, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    Hybridization between domestic and wild animals is a major concern for biodiversity conservation, and as habitats become increasingly fragmented, conserving biodiversity at all levels, including genetic, becomes increasingly important. Except for tropical forests and true deserts, African wildcats occur across the African continent; however, almost no work has been carried out to assess its genetic status and extent of hybridization with domestic cats. For example, in South Africa it has been argued that the long-term viability of maintaining pure wildcat populations lies in large protected areas only, isolated from human populations. Two of the largest protected areas in Africa, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier and Kruger National Parks, as well as the size of South Africa and range of landscape uses, provide a model situation to assess how habitat fragmentation and heterogeneity influences the genetic purity of African wildcats. Using population genetic and home range data, we examined the genetic purity of African wildcats and their suspected hybrids across South Africa, including areas within and outside of protected areas. Overall, we found African wildcat populations to be genetically relatively pure, but instances of hybridization and a significant relationship between the genetic distinctiveness (purity) of wildcats and human population pressure were evident. The genetically purest African wildcats were found in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, while samples from around Kruger National Park showed cause for concern, especially combined with the substantial human population density along the park's boundary. While African wildcat populations in South Africa generally appear to be genetically pure, with low levels of hybridization, our genetic data do suggest that protected areas may play an important role in maintaining genetic purity by reducing the likelihood of contact with domestic cats. We suggest that approaches such as corridors between protected areas

  15. Tectonic and provenance history of the Neotethyan margin in NE Africa recorded by detrital zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronometry from a borehole in the Western Desert, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockli, D.; Glauser, T.; Bosworth, W.; Maher, T.; Clare, A.

    2009-04-01

    The subsurface of the Western Desert of Egypt contains multiple stacked sedimentary basin deposits separated by major unconformities reflecting the long-lived tectonic evolution of the Neotethyan continental margin in eastern North Africa. In this study, zircon (U/Th)/He (ZHe) data were collected from cuttings from a ~15000 ft borehole that penetrated Tertiary and Cretaceous strata and a major erosional unconformity at 13000 ft that juxtaposes Cretaceous and Cambro-Ordovician strata. A total of 56 samples spanning the borehole from 750-15400 ft yielded >200 single-grain ZHe ages in order to elucidate the thermal evolution of the borehole and constrain the thermal history of detrital provenance. ZHe ages above the unconformity are significantly older than the depositional age, suggesting detrital ZHe ages that were not reset subsequent to deposition. ZHe ages from Cambro-Ordovician strata below the unconformity are substantially younger than the minimum depositional age suggesting major cooling and resetting of zircon (>200C) during the Hercynian orogeny. In detail, ZHe ages form Cretaceous strata above the unconformity show the following trends. (1) ZHe ages from 6000-9000 ft (Aptian-Early Cenomanian) are characterized by a ZHe age peak at ~450 Ma and a minor Albian peak, (2) samples from 9000-12000 ft (Late Hauterivian-Barremian) show two major detrital ZHe age peaks at ~450 and 350 Ma, while (3) samples from 12000-13000 ft (Early Hauterivian) exhibit three dominant ZHe age components at ~450 Ma, 350 Ma, and 170-200 Ma. Additional cuttings from an offset containing complete stratigraphy yielded ZHe ages that mainly represent a strong Hercynian input as well as Late Triassic and Early Jurassic components of Tethyan related input. These ZHe age peaks display provenance characteristics typical for cooling signatures of rocks from the eroding Arabian-Nubian Shield, a North-African Hercynian source, and eroded material from exhumed fault blocks along the Triassic

  16. Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martz, Carlton

    2001-01-01

    This publication explores issues related to Africa. It examines the U.S. response to the Barbary pirate states (Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli) in the early 19th century; the current AIDS crisis in Africa; and 14th century Mali and other Islamic lands through the eyes of Ibn Battuta, who traveled throughout the Muslim world. Each article…

  17. Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Happel, Sue; Loeb, Joyce

    Although the activities in this unit are designed primarily for students in the intermediate grades, the document's text, illustrations, and bibliographic references are suitable for anyone interested in learning about Africa. Following a brief introduction and map work, the document is arranged into six sections. Section 1 traces Africa's history…

  18. Desert Survivors!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horton, Jessica; Friedenstab, Steve

    2013-01-01

    This article describes a special third-grade classroom unit based on the reality show "Survivor." The goal of this engaging and interactive unit was to teach students about physical and behavioral adaptations that help animals survive in various desert biomes. The activity combines research, argument, and puppet play over one week of…

  19. Immune indexes of larks from desert and temperate regions show weak associations with life history but stronger links to environmental variation in microbial abundance.

    PubMed

    Horrocks, Nicholas P C; Hegemann, Arne; Matson, Kevin D; Hine, Kathryn; Jaquier, Sophie; Shobrak, Mohammed; Williams, Joseph B; Tinbergen, Joost M; Tieleman, B Irene

    2012-01-01

    Immune defense may vary as a result of trade-offs with other life-history traits or in parallel with variation in antigen levels in the environment. We studied lark species (Alaudidae) in the Arabian Desert and temperate Netherlands to test opposing predictions from these two hypotheses. Based on their slower pace of life, the trade-off hypothesis predicts relatively stronger immune defenses in desert larks compared with temperate larks. However, as predicted by the antigen exposure hypothesis, reduced microbial abundances in deserts should result in desert-living larks having relatively weaker immune defenses. We quantified host-independent and host-dependent microbial abundances of culturable microbes in ambient air and from the surfaces of birds. We measured components of immunity by quantifying concentrations of the acute-phase protein haptoglobin, natural antibody-mediated agglutination titers, complement-mediated lysis titers, and the microbicidal ability of whole blood. Desert-living larks were exposed to significantly lower concentrations of airborne microbes than temperate larks, and densities of some bird-associated microbes were also lower in desert species. Haptoglobin concentrations and lysis titers were also significantly lower in desert-living larks, but other immune indexes did not differ. Thus, contrary to the trade-off hypothesis, we found little evidence that a slow pace of life predicted increased immunological investment. In contrast, and in support of the antigen exposure hypothesis, associations between microbial exposure and some immune indexes were apparent. Measures of antigen exposure, including assessment of host-independent and host-dependent microbial assemblages, can provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying immunological variation.

  20. Ash from the Toba supereruption in Lake Malawi shows no volcanic winter in East Africa at 75 ka.

    PubMed

    Lane, Christine S; Chorn, Ben T; Johnson, Thomas C

    2013-05-14

    The most explosive volcanic event of the Quaternary was the eruption of Mt. Toba, Sumatra, 75,000 y ago, which produced voluminous ash deposits found across much of the Indian Ocean, Indian Peninsula, and South China Sea. A major climatic downturn observed within the Greenland ice cores has been attributed to the cooling effects of the ash and aerosols ejected during the eruption of the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT). These events coincided roughly with a hypothesized human genetic bottleneck, when the number of our species in Africa may have been reduced to near extinction. Some have speculated that the demise of early modern humans at that time was due in part to a dramatic climate shift triggered by the supereruption. Others have argued that environmental conditions would not have been so severe to have such an impact on our ancestors, and furthermore, that modern humans may have already expanded beyond Africa by this time. We report an observation of the YTT in Africa, recovered as a cryptotephra layer in Lake Malawi sediments, >7,000 km west of the source volcano. The YTT isochron provides an accurate and precise age estimate for the Lake Malawi paleoclimate record, which revises the chronology of past climatic events in East Africa. The YTT in Lake Malawi is not accompanied by a major change in sediment composition or evidence for substantial temperature change, implying that the eruption did not significantly impact the climate of East Africa and was not the cause of a human genetic bottleneck at that time.

  1. Ash from the Toba supereruption in Lake Malawi shows no volcanic winter in East Africa at 75 ka

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Christine S.; Chorn, Ben T.; Johnson, Thomas C.

    2013-01-01

    The most explosive volcanic event of the Quaternary was the eruption of Mt. Toba, Sumatra, 75,000 y ago, which produced voluminous ash deposits found across much of the Indian Ocean, Indian Peninsula, and South China Sea. A major climatic downturn observed within the Greenland ice cores has been attributed to the cooling effects of the ash and aerosols ejected during the eruption of the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT). These events coincided roughly with a hypothesized human genetic bottleneck, when the number of our species in Africa may have been reduced to near extinction. Some have speculated that the demise of early modern humans at that time was due in part to a dramatic climate shift triggered by the supereruption. Others have argued that environmental conditions would not have been so severe to have such an impact on our ancestors, and furthermore, that modern humans may have already expanded beyond Africa by this time. We report an observation of the YTT in Africa, recovered as a cryptotephra layer in Lake Malawi sediments, >7,000 km west of the source volcano. The YTT isochron provides an accurate and precise age estimate for the Lake Malawi paleoclimate record, which revises the chronology of past climatic events in East Africa. The YTT in Lake Malawi is not accompanied by a major change in sediment composition or evidence for substantial temperature change, implying that the eruption did not significantly impact the climate of East Africa and was not the cause of a human genetic bottleneck at that time. PMID:23630269

  2. Desert Communities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Provides: (1) background information on desert communities, their similarities, and differences; (2) student activities on this topic; and (3) ready-to-copy student pages with pictures of desert animals and plants. Each activity includes objective(s), recommended age level(s), subject area(s), list of materials needed, and procedures. (DH)

  3. Isolation and characterization of a radiation-resistant bacterium from Taklamakan Desert showing potent ability to accumulate Lead (II) and considerable potential for bioremediation of radioactive wastes.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xuesong; Zeng, Xian-Chun; He, Zhancan; Lu, Xiaolu; Yuan, Jie; Shi, Jingjing; Liu, Ming; Pan, Yunfan; Wang, Yan-Xin

    2014-12-01

    Radioactive wastes always contain radioactive substances and a lot of Pb compound and other heavy metals, which severely contaminate soils and groundwater. Thus, search for radiation-resistant microorganisms that are capable of sequestering Pb contaminants from the contaminated sites is urgently needed. However, very few such microorganisms have been found so far. In the present study, we discovered a novel Gram-negative bacterium from the arid Taklamakan desert, which can strongly resist both radiation and Pb(2+). Phylogenetic and phenotypic analysis indicated that this bacterial strain is closely affiliated with Microvirga aerilata, and was thus referred to as Microvirga aerilata LM (=CCTCC AB 208311). We found that M. aerilata LM can effectively accumulate Pb and form intracellular precipitations. It also keeps similar ability to remove Pb(2+) under radioactive stress. Our data suggest that M. aerilata LM may offer an effective and eco-friendly in situ approach to remove soluble Pb contaminants from radioactive wastes.

  4. West Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    With its vast expanses of sand, framed by mountain ranges and exposed rock, northwestern Africa makes a pretty picture when viewed from above. This image was acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. The Canary Islands can be seen on the left side of the image just off Africa's Atlantic shore. The light brown expanse running through the northern two thirds of the image is the Sahara Desert. The desert runs up against the dark brown Haut Atlas mountain range of Morocco in the northwest, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the semi-arid (light brown pixels) Sahelian region in the South. The Sahara, however, isn't staying put. Since the 1960s, the desert has been expanding into the Sahelian region at a rate of up to 6 kilometers per year. In the 1980s this desert expansion, combined with over cultivation of the Sahel, caused a major famine across west Africa. Over the summer months, strong winds pick up sands from the Sahara and blow them across the Atlantic as far west as North America, causing air pollution in Miami and damaging coral reefs in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys. The white outlines on the map represent country borders. Starting at the top-most portion of the map and working clockwise, the countries shown are Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Fasso, Nigeria, Mali (again), and Algeria. Image by Reto Stockli, Robert Simmon, and Brian Montgomery, NASA Earth Observatory, based on data from MODIS

  5. Desert Dermatoses (Thar Desert, India)

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Col Manas

    2017-01-01

    Desert dermatology describes the cutaneous changes and the diseases affecting those living in the desert. Diurnal variation in temperature is high and is characteristic of the deserts. The lack of water affects daily activities and impacts dermatological conditions. Adaptation to the desert is, therefore, important to survival. Infections are the most common conditions seen among this population, and among them, fungal infections are the most common. The high incidence of these infections would be accounted for by the poor hygienic conditions due to lack of bathing facilities due to scarcity of water and the consequent sweat retention and overgrowth of cutaneous infective organisms. Pigmentary disorders, photodermatoses, leishmaniasis, and skin tumors are found to be more prevalent in this region. Desert sweat dermatitis was another specific condition found to have an increased incidence. The environment of the desert provides for a wide variety of dermatoses that can result in these regions with few of these dermatoses found in much higher incidence than in other regions. PMID:28216726

  6. Desert Dermatoses (Thar Desert, India).

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Col Manas

    2017-01-01

    Desert dermatology describes the cutaneous changes and the diseases affecting those living in the desert. Diurnal variation in temperature is high and is characteristic of the deserts. The lack of water affects daily activities and impacts dermatological conditions. Adaptation to the desert is, therefore, important to survival. Infections are the most common conditions seen among this population, and among them, fungal infections are the most common. The high incidence of these infections would be accounted for by the poor hygienic conditions due to lack of bathing facilities due to scarcity of water and the consequent sweat retention and overgrowth of cutaneous infective organisms. Pigmentary disorders, photodermatoses, leishmaniasis, and skin tumors are found to be more prevalent in this region. Desert sweat dermatitis was another specific condition found to have an increased incidence. The environment of the desert provides for a wide variety of dermatoses that can result in these regions with few of these dermatoses found in much higher incidence than in other regions.

  7. Thar Desert

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    This ASTER sub-scene covers an area of 12 x 15 km in NW India in the Thar Desert. The sand dunes of the Thar Desert constantly shift and take on new shapes. Located in northwestern India and eastern Pakistan, the desert is bounded on the south by a salt marsh known as the Rann of Kutch, and on the west by the Indus River plain. About 800 kilometers long and about 490 kilometers wide, the desert's terrain is mainly rolling sandhills with scattered growths of shrub and rock outcroppings. Only about 12 to 25 centimeters of rain fall on the desert each year, and temperatures rise as high as 52 degrees Celsius. Much of the population is pastoral, raising sheep for their wool. The image is located at 24.4 degrees north latitude and 69.3 degrees east longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  8. Discovering Deserts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braus, Judy, Ed.

    1985-01-01

    Ranger Rick's NatureScope is a creative education series dedicated to inspiring in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural world while developing the skills they will need to make responsible decisions about the environment. The topic of this issue is "Discovering Deserts." Contents are organized into the following…

  9. Dust storm off Western Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The impacts of Saharan dust storms reach far beyond Africa. Wind-swept deserts spill airborne dust particles out over the Atlantic Ocean where they can enter trade winds bound for Central and North America and the Caribbean. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image shows a dust storm casting an opaque cloud of cloud across the Canary Islands and the Atlantic Ocean west of Africa on June 30, 2002. In general it takes between 5 and 7 days for such an event to cross the Atlantic. The dust has been shown to introduce foreign bacteria and fungi that have damaged reef ecosystems and have even been hypothesized as a cause of increasing occurrences of respiratory complaints in places like Florida, where the amount of Saharan dust reaching the state has been increasing over the past 25 years.

  10. Atmospheric transport of mold spores in clouds of desert dust.

    PubMed

    Shinn, Eugene A; Griffin, Dale W; Seba, Douglas B

    2003-08-01

    Fungal spores can be transported globally in clouds of desert dust. Many species of fungi (commonly known as molds) and bacteria--including some that are human pathogens--have characteristics suited to long-range atmospheric transport. Dust from the African desert can affect air quality in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Asian desert dust can affect air quality in Asia, the Arctic, North America, and Europe. Atmospheric exposure to mold-carrying desert dust may affect human health directly through allergic induction of respiratory stress. In addition, mold spores within these dust clouds may seed downwind ecosystems in both outdoor and indoor environments.

  11. Atmospheric transport of mold spores in clouds of desert dust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shinn, E.A.; Griffin, Dale W.; Seba, D.B.

    2003-01-01

    Fungal spores can be transported globally in clouds of desert dust. Many species of fungi (commonly known as molds) and bacteria--including some that are human pathogens--have characteristics suited to long-range atmospheric transport. Dust from the African desert can affect air quality in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Asian desert dust can affect air quality in Asia, the Arctic, North America, and Europe. Atmospheric exposure to mold-carrying desert dust may affect human health directly through allergic induction of respiratory stress. In addition, mold spores within these dust clouds may seed downwind ecosystems in both outdoor and indoor environments.

  12. Sharptooth catfish shows its metal: a case study of metal contamination at two impoundments in the Olifants River, Limpopo river system, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Jooste, Antoinette; Marr, Sean M; Addo-Bediako, Abraham; Luus-Powell, Wilmien J

    2015-02-01

    Clarias gariepinus is increasing in importance as a global aquaculture species with a 100 fold increase in production over the past decade but this species still remains one of the most important wild harvested freshwater food fish throughout rural Africa. However, this species has been shown to accumulate metals from contaminated inland waters. In this paper, the metal concentrations in muscle tissue of C. gariepinus from two main-stem impoundments in the Olifants River, Limpopo Basin, were measured and a desktop risk assessment based on the US-EPA methodology completed to evaluate whether long-term consumption of C. gariepinus from these impoundments may pose a health risk to rural communities. Our results show that metals are accumulating in the muscle tissue of C. gariepinus and have appeared to have increased in the last two decades. Risk assessment generated Hazard quotients (HQ) greater than 1 indicate that long term consumption of fish from these impoundments may cause adverse health impacts. We found that lead (HQ=9), antimony (HQ=14), cobalt (HQ=2) and chromium (HQ=1) at one impoundment and lead (HQ=2) at the other impoundment were above acceptable levels for weekly consumption of 150 g C. gariepinus muscle tissue.

  13. South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image of South Africa was acquired on May 14, 2000, by NASA's Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS. The image was produced using a combination of the sensor's 250-m and 500-m resolution visible wavelength bands. As part of the opening ceremony to begin the joint U.S.-South Africa SAFARI Field Experiment, NASA presented print copies of this image as GIFts to Dr. Ben Ngubane, Minister of Arts, Science and Technology, and Honorable Advocate Ngoaka Ramathlodi, Premier of the Northern Province, South Africa. The area shown in this image encompasses seven capital cities and a number of the region's distinctive geological features can be seen clearly. Toward the northern (top) central part of the image, the browns and tans comprise the Kalahari Desert of southern Botswana. The Tropic of Capricorn runs right through the heart of the Kalahari and the Botswanan capital city of Gaborone sits on the Limpopo River, southeast of the Kalahari. Along the western coastline of the continent is the country of Namibia, where the Namib Desert is framed against the sea by the Kaokoveld Mountains. The Namibian capital of Windhoek is obscured by clouds. Looking closely in the center of the image, the Orange River can be seen running from east to west, demarcating the boundary between Namibia and South Africa. On the southwestern corner of the continent is the hook-like Cape of Good Hope peninsula and Cape Town, the parliamentary capital of South Africa. Running west to east away from Cape Town are the Great Karroo Mountains. The shadow in this image conveys a sense of the very steep grade of the cliffs along the southern coast of South Africa. Port Elizabeth sits on the southeasternmost point of South Africa, and a large phytoplankton bloom can be seen in the water about 100 miles east of there. Moving northward along the east coast, the Drakensberg Mountains are visible. The two small nations of Lesotho and Swaziland are in this region, completely

  14. Southwestern desert resources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halvorson, William L.; van Riper, Charles; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

    2010-01-01

    The southwestern deserts stretch from southeastern California to west Texas and then south to central Mexico. The landscape of this region is known as basin and range topography featuring to "sky islands" of forest rising from the desert lowlands which creates a uniquely diverse ecology. The region is further complicated by an international border, where governments have caused difficulties for many animal populations. This book puts a spotlight on individual research projects which are specific examples of work being done in the area and when they are all brought together, to shed a general light of understanding the biological and cultural resources of this vast region so that those same resources can be managed as effectively and efficiently as possible. The intent is to show that collaborative efforts among federal, state agency, university, and private sector researchers working with land managers, provides better science and better management than when scientists and land managers work independently.

  15. The Impact of Desert Dust Aerosol Radiative Forcing on Global and West African Precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, A.; Zaitchik, B. F.; Gnanadesikan, A.; Dezfuli, A. K.

    2015-12-01

    Desert dust aerosols exert a radiative forcing on the atmosphere, influencing atmospheric temperature structure and modifying radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and surface. As dust aerosols perturb radiative fluxes, the atmosphere responds by altering both energy and moisture dynamics, with potentially significant impacts on regional and global precipitation. Global Climate Model (GCM) experiments designed to characterize these processes have yielded a wide range of results, owing to both the complex nature of the system and diverse differences across models. Most model results show a general decrease in global precipitation, but regional results vary. Here, we compare simulations from GFDL's CM2Mc GCM with multiple other model experiments from the literature in order to investigate mechanisms of radiative impact and reasons for GCM differences on a global and regional scale. We focus on West Africa, a region of high interannual rainfall variability that is a source of dust and that neighbors major Sahara Desert dust sources. As such, changes in West African climate due to radiative forcing of desert dust aerosol have serious implications for desertification feedbacks. Our CM2Mc results show net cooling of the planet at TOA and surface, net warming of the atmosphere, and significant increases in precipitation over West Africa during the summer rainy season. These results differ from some previous GCM studies, prompting comparative analysis of desert dust parameters across models. This presentation will offer quantitative analysis of differences in dust aerosol parameters, aerosol optical properties, and overall particle burden across GCMs, and will characterize the contribution of model differences to the uncertainty of forcing and climate response affecting West Africa.

  16. Desert Voices: Southwestern Children's Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polette, Keith

    1997-01-01

    Examines three books with different ways of writing about the desert. Discusses: "Here Is the Southwestern Desert" by Madeline Dunphy, "The Desert Is My Mother" by Pat Mora, and "The Desert Mermaid" by Alberto Blanco. (PA)

  17. Aridification of the Sahara desert caused by Tethys Sea shrinkage during the Late Miocene.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhongshi; Ramstein, Gilles; Schuster, Mathieu; Li, Camille; Contoux, Camille; Yan, Qing

    2014-09-18

    It is widely believed that the Sahara desert is no more than ∼2-3 million years (Myr) old, with geological evidence showing a remarkable aridification of north Africa at the onset of the Quaternary ice ages. Before that time, north African aridity was mainly controlled by the African summer monsoon (ASM), which oscillated with Earth's orbital precession cycles. Afterwards, the Northern Hemisphere glaciation added an ice volume forcing on the ASM, which additionally oscillated with glacial-interglacial cycles. These findings led to the idea that the Sahara desert came into existence when the Northern Hemisphere glaciated ∼2-3 Myr ago. The later discovery, however, of aeolian dune deposits ∼7 Myr old suggested a much older age, although this interpretation is hotly challenged and there is no clear mechanism for aridification around this time. Here we use climate model simulations to identify the Tortonian stage (∼7-11 Myr ago) of the Late Miocene epoch as the pivotal period for triggering north African aridity and creating the Sahara desert. Through a set of experiments with the Norwegian Earth System Model and the Community Atmosphere Model, we demonstrate that the African summer monsoon was drastically weakened by the Tethys Sea shrinkage during the Tortonian, allowing arid, desert conditions to expand across north Africa. Not only did the Tethys shrinkage alter the mean climate of the region, it also enhanced the sensitivity of the African monsoon to orbital forcing, which subsequently became the major driver of Sahara extent fluctuations. These important climatic changes probably caused the shifts in Asian and African flora and fauna observed during the same period, with possible links to the emergence of early hominins in north Africa.

  18. Lake Chad, Chad, Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The fluctuating water levels of Lake Chad, (13.0N, 15.0E) at the intersection of the borders of Chad, Niger and Cameroon in the Sahara Desert, is an index of the drought in Africa. The lake level continues to decrease as indicated by the growing number and extent of emerging islands as previously submerged ancient sand dunes become visible. The water impounded between the dunes is probably because of local rainfall rather than a reversal of desertification.

  19. Metaviromes of Extracellular Soil Viruses along a Namib Desert Aridity Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Zablocki, Olivier; Adriaenssens, Evelien M.; Frossard, Aline; Seely, Mary; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Namib Desert in southwest Africa is hyperarid and composed of distinct microbial communities affected by a longitudinal aridity gradient. Here, we report four soil metaviromes from the Namib Desert, assessed using deep sequencing of metavirome libraries prepared from DNA extracted from gravel plain surface soils. PMID:28082503

  20. Simulated distribution of an invasive grass, Lehmann lovegrass, in the Chihuahuan Desert under future climate scenarios

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background/Question/Methods Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana), a perennial grass introduced to the Southwest US in the 1930s from South Africa, has had a limited distribution in the Chihuahuan Desert while it has dominated many grassland sites in the Sonoran Desert.  Previous observational ...

  1. Test of Continental Drift by Comparison of Radiometric Ages: A pre-drift reconstruction shows matching geologic age provinces in West Africa and Northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Hurley, P M; Rand, J R; Pinson, W H; Fairbairn, H W; de Almeida, F F; Melcher, G C; Cordani, U G; Kawashita, K; Vandoros, P

    1967-08-04

    1) The distribution of age values obtained by potassium-argon determinations and whole-rock rubidium-strontium determinations appears to be almost identical for West African rocks of the pervasive Eburnean Orogenic Cycle and basement rocks at opposite locations in South America. 2) There is also a close correlation, with respect to potassium-argon age determinations on micas, rubidium-strontium determinations on total-rock samples, and the extent to which these two sets of values differ, between rocks of the Pan-African Orogenic Cycle and rocks of the Caririan Orogenic Cycle in Brazil, where these two groups of rocks lie opposite each other in the two continents. 3) When Africa and South America are "fitted together," the sharply defined boundary between the Eburnean and the Pan-African age provinces in West Africa strikes directly toward the corresponding age boundary in northeast Brazil. 4) The transition from the 550-million-year Pan-African age province to the 2000-million-year age province in the Congo Craton in Cameroun-Gabon is matched in the rocks near the corresponding part of the east coast of Brazil. However the geological and age data are insufficient to do more than suggest the possibility of another age-boundary correlation here. 5) The evidence reported here supports the hypothesis of continental drift.

  2. Estimating agricultural yield gap in Africa using MODIS NDVI dataset

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luan, Y.; Zhu, W.; Luo, X.; Liu, J.; Cui, X.

    2013-12-01

    Global agriculture has undergone a period of rapid intensification characterized as 'Green Revolution', except for Africa, which is the region most affected by unreliable food access and undernourishment. Increasing crop production will be one of the most challenges and most effectual way to mitigate food insecurity there, as Africa's agricultural yield is on a much lower level comparing to global average. In this study we characterize cropland vegetation phenology in Africa based on MODIS NDVI time series between 2000 and 2012. Cumulated NDVI is a proxy for net primary productivity and used as an indicator for evaluating the potential yield gap in Africa. It is achieved via translating the gap between optimum attainable productivity level in each classification of cropping systems and actual productivity level by the relationship of cumulated NDVI and cereal-equivalent production. The results show most of cropland area in Africa have decreasing trend in cumulated NDVI, distributing in the Nile Delta, Eastern Africa and central of semi-arid to arid savanna area, except significant positive cumulated NDVI trends are mainly found between Senegal and Benin. Using cumulated NDVI and statistics of cereal equivalent production, we find remarkable potential yield gap at the Horn of East Africa (especially in Somalia), Northern Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia). Meanwhile, countries locating at the savanna area near Sahel desert and South Africa also show significant potential, though they already have a relatively high level of productivity. Our results can help provide policy recommendation for local government or NGO to tackle food security problems by identifying zones with high potential of yield improvement.

  3. Occurrences and Effects of Drought across Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mwangi, M. N.

    2009-12-01

    Drought is a common occurrence in Africa and its effects vary temporally and spatially across the continent. The objective of this paper is to synthesize available information on droughts in Africa in order to discern emerging trends vis-à-vis spatiotemporal occurrences, impacts and adaptation. Drought forcings in the Sahelian region and southern Africa are predominately related to the passage of mid-latitude air masses while in locations near the equator is strongly linked to the position of ITCZ, except perhaps in the deserts where albedo may predominate. The review shows that drought occurrences have increased both temporally and spatially; its effects on the society vary across scales, and are influenced by political, economic, social, cultural, and ecological factors. The drought occurrence and its impacts varied spatially and temporally. The effect of drought also varied with socioeconomic sector; agriculture and pastoralism were the widely reported. The greater horn of Africa, specifically Kenya, has the most continuous record of droughts. The synthesis also reveals that a suite of drought adaptation strategies exists at the local scale; in contrasts, at the aggregate scale, coping strategies are scarce. Drought management tailored for specific livelihood system or societies are non-existent. The study found that occurrence of drought alongside issues related to the multiscale political economy affect the viability of most adaptation strategies used by societies across Africa. Drought management has been silent on the social, political, and economic dimensions that reasonably aggravate the vulnerability of lives and livelihood systems to this climatic hazard. The effect of drought and social pressures is relational and simultaneous to such a degree that differential vulnerability among communities across Africa is to be expected. Although scenarios about rainfall and drought vis-à-vis Africa are largely contested there is a general indication that most

  4. Endolithic microbial life in hot and cold deserts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedmann, E. I.

    1980-01-01

    Endolithic microorganisms (those living inside rocks) occur in hot and cold deserts and exist under extreme environmental conditions. These conditions are discussed on a comparative basis. Quantitative estimates of biomass are comparable in hot and cold deserts. Despite the obvious differences between the hot and cold desert environment, survival strategies show some common features. These endolithic organisms are able to 'switch' rapidly their metabolic activities on and off in response to changes in the environment. Conditions in hot deserts impose a more severe environmental stress on the organisms than in the cold Antarctic desert. This is reflected in the composition of the microbial flora which in hot desert rocks consist entirely of prokaryotic microorganisms, while under cold desert conditions eukaryotes predominate.

  5. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, Ludolf (Editor); Franchi, Ian A. (Editor); Reid, Arch M. (Editor); Zolensky, Michael E. (Editor)

    2000-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalogue of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modem falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  6. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, Ludolf (Editor); Franchi, Ian A. (Editor); Reid, Arch M. (Editor); Zolensky, Michael E. (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalog of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modern falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  7. Role of remote sensing in desert locust early warning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cressman, Keith

    2013-01-01

    Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria, Forskål) plagues have historically had devastating consequences on food security in Africa and Asia. The current strategy to reduce the frequency of plagues and manage desert locust infestations is early warning and preventive control. To achieve this, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations operates one of the oldest, largest, and best-known migratory pest monitoring systems in the world. Within this system, remote sensing plays an important role in detecting rainfall and green vegetation. Despite recent technological advances in data management and analysis, communications, and remote sensing, monitoring desert locusts and preventing plagues in the years ahead will continue to be a challenge from a geopolitical and financial standpoint for affected countries and the international donor community. We present an overview of the use of remote sensing in desert locust early warning.

  8. Quantifying the Worldwide Digital Divide: The Emergence of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cottrell, Roger

    2011-04-01

    Africa is huge with over 1 billion people, speaking over 1000 languages, with huge rainforests and vast deserts. Yet as we shall show it badly lags behind the rest of the world in its Internet performance. This talk will show how we measure the Internet Performance. These measurements cover countries of the world containing over 99% of the world's Internet connected population. Using these measurements we illustrate the overall Internet performance for the world in particular for: throughput, losses, jitter, Round Trip Times, availability etc. We will demonstrate the performance trends for the last 13 years, in particular illustrating how Africa is not only behind all other regions and one to two decades behind developed regions, but worse is falling further behind. We also compare our results with the International Telecommunications Union's ICT Development Index (IDI) that measures the development for over 150 countries. We then focus on the promising emerging situation in Africa following the dramatic increases in performance due to submarine fibre connectivity that was driven partially by soccer's 2010 World Cup in South Africa. We conclude that despite the many challenges in Africa, there is promising potential for a dramatic improvement in the near future, but there is still a long way to go.

  9. Operational Aspects of Desert Shield and Desert Storm

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-03-12

    Battalion (MIB), 3d Armored Division leading up to and during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. This paper represents the personal assessment of the author...DESERT SHIELD A$DDESERT STORM ...J BY Lieutenant Colonel Henry C. Shirah United States Army DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public release...Classification) OPERATIONAL ASPECTS OF DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) 13a. TYPE OF REPORT 13b. TIME COVERED 14. DATE OF REPORT (Year

  10. A cross-cultural comparison of high school students' responses to a science centre show on the physics of sound in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Fish, Derek; Allie, Saalih; Pelaez, Nancy; Anderson, Trevor

    2016-04-25

    We report on the attitudes and ideas developed by students from three distinct school groups to a science show about sound. We addressed two research questions: (1) How do the students compare with respect to their (a) attitudes to the sound show and to science in general and (b) changes in conceptual understanding as a result of the show and (2) what changes could be made to the show, and to science shows in general, that would be sensitive to the cultural and language differences of the groups? These were addressed by multiple-choice, pre- and post-tests comprising both attitudinal and conceptual questions. Our results pointed to a common enjoyment of the show but a different understanding of concepts and consequent learning, which suggest that science shows (and science teaching) need to be adjusted to accommodate different cultural groups for maximum impact.

  11. Deserts : geology and resources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walker, Alta S.

    1996-01-01

    Approximately one-third of the Earth's land surface is desert, arid land with meager rainfall that supports only sparse vegetation and a limited population of people and animals. Deserts stark, sometimes mysterious worlds have been portrayed as fascinating environments of adventure and exploration from narratives such as that of Lawrence of Arabia to movies such as "Dune." These arid regions are called deserts because they are dry. They may be hot, they may be cold. They may be regions of sand or vast areas of rocks and gravel peppered with occasional plants. But deserts are always dry. Deserts are natural laboratories in which to study the interactions of wind and sometimes water on the arid surfaces of planets. They contain valuable mineral deposits that were formed in the arid environment or that were exposed by erosion. Because deserts are dry, they are ideal places for human artifacts and fossils to be preserved. Deserts are also fragile environments. The misuse of these lands is a serious and growing problem in parts of our world.

  12. Potential for deserts to supply reliable renewable electric power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labordena, Mercè; Lilliestam, Johan

    2015-04-01

    To avoid dangerous climate change, the electricity systems must be decarbonized by mid-century. The world has sufficient renewable electricity resources for complete power sector decarbonization, but an expansion of renewables poses several challenges for the electricity systems. First, wind and solar PV power are intermittent and supply-controlled, making it difficult to securely integrate this fluctuating generation into the power systems. Consequently, power sources that are both renewable and dispatchable, such as biomass, hydro and concentrating solar power (CSP), are particularly important. Second, renewable power has a low power density and needs vast areas of land, which is problematic both due to cost reasons and due to land-use conflicts, in particular with agriculture. Renewable and dispatchable technologies that can be built in sparsely inhabited regions or on land with low competition with agriculture would therefore be especially valuable; this land-use competition greatly limits the potential for hydro and biomass electricity. Deserts, however, are precisely such low-competition land, and are at the same time the most suited places for CSP generation, but this option would necessitate long transmission lines from remote places in the deserts to the demand centers such as big cities. We therefore study the potential for fleets of CSP plants in the large deserts of the world to produce reliable and reasonable-cost renewable electricity for regions with high and/or rapidly increasing electricity demand and with a desert within or close to its borders. The regions in focus here are the European Union, North Africa and the Middle East, China and Australia. We conduct the analysis in three steps. First, we identify the best solar generation areas in the selected deserts using geographic information systems (GIS), and applying restrictions to minimize impact on biodiversity, soils, human heath, and land-use and land-cover change. Second, we identify

  13. Neogene desertification of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senut, Brigitte; Pickford, Martin; Ségalen, Loïc

    2009-08-01

    Throughout the Neogene, the faunas and floras in Africa recorded global climatic changes. We present an overview of Neogene desertification in Africa by tracing stable isotopes in eggshells and mammalian enamel, by faunal (changes in hypsodonty, etc.) and floral changes in sequences at the latitudinal extremities of the continent and the equator. This work reveals that desertification started in the southwest ca 17-16 Ma, much earlier than the region of the present-day Sahara (ca 8-7 Ma) and long before the deserts in East Africa (Plio-Pleistocene). A consequence of this history is that animals and plants inhabiting the South of the continent had a long period of time in which to adapt to arid, unstable climatic conditions. When parts of East Africa became arid during the Late Miocene and Plio-Pleistocene, several of these lineages expanded northwards and occupied developing arid niches before local lineages could adapt. Several of the latter became extinct, while others withdrew westwards as the tropical forest diminished in extent. It is proposed that the history of desertification in Africa was related to that of the polar ice caps (Antarctic, Arctic).

  14. What is Desert RATS?

    NASA Video Gallery

    The mission manager and test coordinators for the 2011 mission explain why Desert RATS was started 14 years ago, questions being studied in this year's activities, technologies being tested and the...

  15. Origin of desert loess from some experimental observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalley, W. B.; Smith, B. J.; Marshall, J. R.

    1982-01-01

    The aeolian attrition of angular quartz grains previously produced by weathering in deserts has been simulated, yielding abrasion products which show that both coarse and fine silt sizes are produced by this process. These results suggest that desert aeolian processes can produce loess, and it is speculated that while much of this material from many deserts has been deposited in the sea, the Chinese loess could have been produced in the Gobi desert. The finest of the particles produced by such attrition may serve as a source of silica for silcrete formation.

  16. A Chlorfenapyr Mixture Net Interceptor® G2 Shows High Efficacy and Wash Durability against Resistant Mosquitoes in West Africa

    PubMed Central

    N’Guessan, Raphael; Odjo, Abibatou; Ngufor, Corine; Malone, David

    2016-01-01

    community protection over the normal lifespan of long lasting nets where standard pyrethroid LN show signs of failing due to resistance. PMID:27851828

  17. South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Pale green vegetation and red-brown deserts dominate this MODIS image of Namibia (left), Botswana (upper right), and the Republic of South Africa (bottom) acquired on June3, 2002. In central Namibia the mountainous terrain of Namaqualand is sandwiched between the Namib Desert on the Atlantic Coast and the Kalahari Desert to the interior, where white dots mark the location of small, impermanent lakes and ponds. Namaqualand is home to numerous rare succulent plants that can survive on the region.s scant rainfall as well as fog that blows in off the ocean. Namaqualand extends south of the Orange River, which runs along the border of Namibia and South Africa and into that country.s Northern Cape region. The Orange River extends almost all the way back through the country, and where it makes a sharp southward dip in this image (at lower right), it runs through the Asbestos Mountains, names for the naturally-occurring asbestos they contain. In southwestern South Africa, high plateaus, such as the Great Karoo become mountain ridges near the coast, and the city of Cape Town is visible as a grayish area of pixels on the north shores of the horseshoe-shaped False Bay at the Cape of Good Hope. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

  18. View of east Africa ravaged by drought

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    A near vertical view of a portion of east Africa revaged by drought for the past five years is seen in this Skylab 3 Earth Resources Experiments Package S190-B (five-inch earth terrain camera) photograph taken from the Skylab space station in Earth orbit. The semi-desert scene is in southwestern Niger.

  19. Desert Shield/Storm Logistics

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-15

    Wc This document may not be retee for open publiarion until it has bm deaed by the Vproprnite military service or gmeanen agency. DESERT SHIELD /STORM...capture what had occurred during Operations DESERT SHIELD and STORM, the commanders of the Division Support Command of the 24th Infantry Division...Mechanized) held a ful. day of discussion centering on what occurted during Operation DESERT STORM and its preceding operation, DESERT SHIELD . The entire

  20. Desert Shield and Desert Storm Emerging Observations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-10-07

    becomes much more apparent over relatively flat terrain. d. Recommended or Ongoing Action. The M577 CPV is scheduled to yo through a system conversion to...STORM Vehicle exchange policy at maintenanfce points. 9? 40115 4f996 (0017?) DESERT STORM Fretracide, peor ommunication. poor flank ceerdihutien. 24...02413 fll% yo (00M) DEIil SIONM Distribut ion of Wcom arM Iaf amon units 4??44 INAI8 (002 n) TILSll STORM Pro-combat trainfig V4 14145 U’,411 (00276

  1. Lessons from the Desert

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-14

    involvement in Operations DESERT SHIELD and STORM. The 498th was a unique unit, well-suited for the gamut of operations conducted by the 2AD (FWD) during its...Division (Forward), during that unit’s involvement in Operations DESERT SHIELD and STORM. The 498th was a unique unit, well-suited for the gamut of...well-suited fir the gamut of operations conducted by 2AD (FWD) during its stay in Southwest Asia (SWA) . I commanded the 498th Support Battalion from

  2. Atmospheric Movement of Microorganisms in Clouds of Desert Dust and Implications for Human Health

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, Dale W.

    2007-01-01

    Billions of tons of desert dust move through the atmosphere each year. The primary source regions, which include the Sahara and Sahel regions of North Africa and the Gobi and Takla Makan regions of Asia, are capable of dispersing significant quantities of desert dust across the traditionally viewed oceanic barriers. While a considerable amount of research by scientists has addressed atmospheric pathways and aerosol chemistry, very few studies to determine the numbers and types of microorganisms transported within these desert dust clouds and the roles that they may play in human health have been conducted. This review is a summary of the current state of knowledge of desert dust microbiology and the health impact that desert dust and its microbial constituents may have in downwind environments both close to and far from their sources. PMID:17630335

  3. Atmospheric movement of microorganisms in clouds of desert dust and implications for human health

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffin, Dale W.

    2007-01-01

    Billions of tons of desert dust move through the atmosphere each year. The primary source regions, which include the Sahara and Sahel regions of North Africa and the Gobi and Takla Makan regions of Asia, are capable of dispersing significant quantities of desert dust across the traditionally viewed oceanic barriers. While a considerable amount of research by scientists has addressed atmospheric pathways and aerosol chemistry, very few studies to determine the numbers and types of microorganisms transported within these desert dust clouds and the roles that they may play in human health have been conducted. This review is a summary of the current state of knowledge of desert dust microbiology and the health impact that desert dust and its microbial constituents may have in downwind environments both close to and far from their sources.

  4. The Late Miocene climate response to a modern Sahara desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Micheels, Arne; Eronen, Jussi; Mosbrugger, Volker

    2009-06-01

    The climate cooling and vegetation changes in the Miocene/Pliocene are generally well documented by various proxy data. Some important ecosystem changes occurred at that time. Palaeobotanical evidence suggests that the Sahara desert first appeared in the Pliocene, whereas in the Miocene North Africa was green. In the present study, we investigate the Late Miocene climate response to the appearance of the Sahara desert from a climate modelling sensitivity experiment. We compare a model experiment, which includes a full set of Late Miocene boundary conditions, with another one using the same boundary conditions except that the North African vegetation refers to the present-day situation. Our sensitivity study demonstrates that the introduction of the Sahara desert leads to a cooling and an aridification in Africa. In addition, we observe teleconnection patterns related to the North African desertification at around the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. From our sensitivity experiment, we observe that the Sahara contributes to a cooling in Central Asia and in North America. As compared to hypsodonty data for Central Asia, an increased aridity is underestimated in the Sahara experiment. Finally, we observe that the introduction of the Sahara leads to a cooling in the northern high latitudes. Hence, our sensitivity experiment indicates that the appearance of the Sahara desert is one piece to better understand Late Cenozoic climate cooling being most pronounced in the high latitudes.

  5. Mojave Desert Diary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breed, Allen F.

    1974-01-01

    This is an account of a trip to the Mojave Desert sponsored by the California Youth Authority's Community Parole Center for wards who are selected on the basis of their potential for growth and their ability to make a connection between what they do in the wilderness and what they do on the streets. (PD)

  6. Fog-aerosol interactions in the coastal Namib Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soderberg, K.; Swap, R. J.; Macko, S. A.

    2009-12-01

    The hyper-arid coastal Namib Desert in southern Africa is characterized by frequent morning fog, which is an important water supply for certain desert organisms. The fog is climatologically driven by both the cool upwelling Benguela Current and the general stability of the lower atmosphere at tropical latitudes. High dimethyl sulfide (DMS) concentrations associated with the productive upwelling zone suggest DMS as the major source of condensation nuclei for fog formation. However, the few available chemical analyses of fog water show a strong relationship between dissolved calcium and sulfur in the fog. A likely source of these ions is the gypsum (CaSO4) crust common across the gravel plains of the Namib. The current study exploits the isotopic difference between sulfur of the gypsum crusts (δ34S = +12‰) and that of marine sulfur (δ34Sseasalt = +20‰, δ34SDMS = +18‰) to determine sources of sulfur in size-segregated aerosols collected before, during, and after a fog event in the Central Namib, 56 km from the coast. Any significant contribution from the relatively infrequent releases of H2S (δ34S = -20‰) from the organic-rich Benguela sediments will also be apparent. A previous study of bulk chemical concentrations in Namib aerosols from the same study area found a biogenic marine signal in the fine fraction (<1 micron), whereas the coarse fraction (>1 micron) had a mixed inorganic marine (sea salt) and terrestrial signature. The implications of the aerosol-fog chemistry relationships are explored, including a possible feedback between aridity and fog formation.

  7. A study of Desert Dermatoses in the Thar Desert Region

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Manas; Vasudevan, Biju

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Desert dermatology describes the cutaneous changes and the diseases affecting those living in the desert. Diurnal variation in temperature is high and is characteristic of the deserts. The lack of water affects daily activities and impacts dermatological conditions. Adaptation to the desert is therefore important to survival. This original article focuses on dermatoses occurring in a population in the Thar desert of India, predominantly located in Rajasthan. Materials and Methods: This is a descriptive study involving various dermatoses seen in patients residing in the Thar desert region over a duration of 3 years. Results: Infections were the most common condition seen among this population and among them fungal infections were the most common. The high incidence of these infections would be accounted for by the poor hygienic conditions due to lack of bathing facilities due to scarcity of water and the consequent sweat retention and overgrowth of cutaneous infective organisms. Pigmentary disorders, photodermatoses, leishmaniasis and skin tumors were found to be more prevalent in this region. Desert sweat dermatitis was another specific condition found to have an increased incidence. Conclusion: The environment of the desert provides for a wide variety of dermatoses that can result in these regions with few of these dermatoses found in much higher incidence than in other regions. The concept of desert dermatology needs to be understood in more details to provide better care to those suffering from desert dermatoses and this article is a step forward in this regard. PMID:25657392

  8. Ennedi Plateau, Chad/Sudan Border, Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This view of the Ennedi Plateau (18.0N, 24.0E) shows the effects of severe wind erosion on this desert landscape in the far eastern portion of the Sahara Desert. The dark areas are lava flows, the calderas have long ago been eroded by the desert winds. The red toned surrounding surfaces are thick tropical soils, remnants of much earlier times when this region was a much greener savanna landscape that have also been severly eroded.

  9. Aerosol Optical Depth over Africa retrieved from AATSR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sogacheva, Larisa; de Leeuw, Gerrit; Kolmonen, Pekka; Sundström, Anu-Maija; Rodriques, Edith

    2010-05-01

    Aerosols produced over the African continent have important consequences for climate. In particular, large amounts of desert dust are produced over the Sahara and transported across the North Atlantic where desert dust deposition influences the eco system by iron fertilization, and further North over Europe with outbreaks as far as Scandinavia. Biomass burning occurs in most of the African continent south of the Sahara and causes a net positive radiating forcing resulting in local warming of the atmosphere layers. These effects have been studied during large field campaigns. Satellites can systematically provide information on aerosols over a large area such as Africa and beyond. To this end, we retrieved the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) at three wavelengths (555nm, 670nm, and 1600nm) over Africa from the reflectance measured at the top of the atmosphere by the AATSR (Advances Along Track Scanning Radiometer) flying on ENVISAT, for one year (1 May 2008 to 30 April 2009) to obtain information on the seasonal and spatial behaviour of the AOD, episodes of high AOD events and connect the retrieved AOD with the ground-based aerosol measurements. The AOD retrieval algorithm, which is applied to cloud-free pixels over land, is based on the comparison of the measured and modeled reflectance at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). The algorithm uses look-up-tables (LUTs) to compute the modeled TOA reflectance. For AOD retrieval, an aerosol in the atmosphere is assumed to be an external mixture of fine and coarse mode particles. The two aerosol types are mixed such that the spectral behavior of the reflectance due to aerosol best fits the measurements. Comparison with AERONET (Aerosol Roboric NETwork), which is a network of ground-based sun photometers which measure atmospheric aerosol properties, shows good agreement but with some overestimation of the AATSR retrieved AOD. Different aerosol models have been used to improve the comparison. The lack of AERONET stations in Africa

  10. Deserts of China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walker, Alta S.

    1982-01-01

    Improving arid land quality requires an understanding of the original state of the land and its relationship to wind, water, and plant regimes, as well as understanding of interactions within the present ecosystem.  Chinese scientists and local residents have made significant advances in improving arid environments in gobi and sandy deserts and in less arid sandy lands.  Wind patterns are being changed by planting forest belts to protect oases and sandy lands, and on a smaller scale by planting grasses and shrubs or constructing straw grids.  Research on reclamation of deserts is now focusing on how sand-fixing plants may be adapted to local environments, and how the resources of grazing land and water may be effectively exploited without being overused.

  11. Aquaporins in desert rodent physiology.

    PubMed

    Pannabecker, Thomas L

    2015-08-01

    Desert rodents face a sizeable challenge in maintaining salt and water homeostasis due to their life in an arid environment. A number of their organ systems exhibit functional characteristics that limit water loss above that which occurs in non-desert species under similar conditions. These systems include renal, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, nasal, and skin epithelia. The desert rodent kidney preserves body water by producing a highly concentrated urine that reaches a maximum osmolality nearly three times that of the common laboratory rat. The precise mechanism by which urine is concentrated in any mammal is unknown. Insights into the process may be more apparent in species that produce highly concentrated urine. Aquaporin water channels play a fundamental role in water transport in several desert rodent organ systems. The role of aquaporins in facilitating highly effective water preservation in desert rodents is only beginning to be explored. The organ systems of desert rodents and their associated AQPs are described.

  12. Jeeps Penetrating a Hostile Desert

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Herb

    2009-01-01

    Several jeeps are poised at base camp on the edge of a desert aiming to escort one of them as far as possible into the desert, while the others return to camp. They all have full tanks of gas and share their fuel to maximize penetration. In a friendly desert it is best to leave caches of fuel along the way to help returning jeeps. We solve the…

  13. Peoples of Africa, Topic 1. Africa South of the Sahara: A Program of Study for Secondary School Social Studies Students. (Teaching and Student Guides).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA. Project Africa.

    This teaching guide and student text for Project Africa's curriculum program, "Africa South of the Sahara," deal with how four typical contemporary African peoples acquired their present way of life: (1) the Hausa of Northern Nigeria, (2) the Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, (3) the Mech'a Galla of Ethiopa, and (4) the Kikuyu of…

  14. Africa as source and sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branchu, P.; Faure, H.; Ambrosi, J.-P.; van Zinderen Bakker, E. M.; Faure-Denard, L.

    1993-05-01

    Comparison of a set of paleogeographic maps of Africa for the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the Holocene Climatic Optimum (HCO) allows us to discuss the contribution of paleocontinental proxy-data in paleobiomass calculations and their accuracy. Maps show considerable shifts in the area covered by the main ecosystems. In this study we have quantified these areal changes, from the LGM to the HCO, in terms of variations in carbon storage. Each biome has been assigned a carbon density in living and soil organic matter. From desert to tropical forest the mean carbon densities vary from 0 to 20 kg m -2 for phytomass and from 0 to 13 kg m -2 for soil (peat excluded). During the world deglaciation Africa was a sink for 154 Gt (standard deviation 42 Gt) of atmospheric carbon. Since the HCO Africa has been a source of carbon. More recently human deforestation is responsible for a carbon flux towards the atmosphere which is ten times the mean annual flux due to vegetation change in response to climate change. Extended to a global scale this regional test shows that the paleoenvironmental approach is more appropriate for paleobiomass estimates than calculations based only on oceanic data.

  15. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    PubMed Central

    Aranda-Rickert, Adriana; Diez, Patricia; Marazzi, Brigitte

    2014-01-01

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant–plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. PMID:25381258

  16. Unearthing the molecular phylodiversity of desert soil green algae (Chlorophyta).

    PubMed

    Lewis, Louise A; Lewis, Paul O

    2005-12-01

    Deserts are not usually considered biodiversity hotspots, but desert microbiotic crust communities exhibit a rich diversity of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic life forms. Like many communities dominated by microscopic organisms, they defy characterization by traditional species-counting approaches to assessing biodiversity. Here we use exclusive molecular phylodiversity (E) to quantify the amount of evolutionary divergence unique to desert-dwelling green algae (Chlorophyta) in microbiotic crust communities. Given a phylogenetic tree with branch lengths expressed in units of expected substitutions per site, E is the total length of all tree segments representing exclusively desert lineages. Using MCMC to integrate over tree topologies and branch lengths provides 95% Bayesian credible intervals for phylodiversity measures. We found substantial exclusive molecular phylodiversity based on 18S rDNA data, showing that desert lineages are distantly related to their nearest aquatic relatives. Our results challenge conventional wisdom, which holds that there was a single origin of terrestrial green plants and that green algae are merely incidental visitors rather than indigenous components of desert communities. We identify examples of lineage diversification within deserts and at least 12 separate transitions from aquatic to terrestrial life apart from the most celebrated transition leading to the embryophyte land plants. [Bayesian phylogenetics; biodiversity; exclusive molecular phylodiversity; microbiotic crusts.].

  17. Evolution and Functional Classification of Vertebrate Gene Deserts

    SciTech Connect

    Ovcharenko, I; Loots, G; Nobrega, M; Hardison, R; Miller, W; Stubbs, L

    2004-07-14

    Gene deserts, long stretches of DNA sequence devoid of protein coding genes, span approximately one quarter of the human genome. Through human-chicken genome comparisons we were able to characterized one third of human gene deserts as evolutionarily stable - they are highly conserved in vertebrates, resist chromosomal rearrangements, and contain multiple conserved non-coding elements physically linked to their neighboring genes. A linear relationship was observed between human and chicken orthologous stable gene deserts, where the human deserts appear to have expanded homogeneously by a uniform accumulation of repetitive elements. Stable gene deserts are associated with key vertebrate genes that construct the framework of vertebrate development; many of which encode transcription factors. We show that the regulatory machinery governing genes associated with stable gene deserts operates differently from other regions in the human genome and relies heavily on distant regulatory elements. The regulation guided by these elements is independent of the distance between the gene and its distant regulatory element, or the distance between two distant regulatory cassettes. The location of gene deserts and their associated genes in the genome is independent of chromosomal length or content presenting these regions as well-bounded regions evolving separately from the rest of the genome.

  18. Browning in desert boundaries in Asia in recent decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Su-Jong; Ho, Chang-Hoi; Brown, Molly E.; Kug, Jong-Seong; Piao, Shilong

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the changes in desert boundaries in Asia (Gobi, Karakum, Lut, Taklimakan, and Thar deserts) during the growing season (April-October) in the years 1982-2008 were investigated by analyzing the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), precipitation, and temperature. In the desert boundary regions, the domain mean NDVI values increased by 7.2% per decade in 1982-1998 but decreased by 6.8% per decade thereafter. Accordingly, the bare soil areas (or nonvegetated areas) of the inside of the desert boundaries contracted by 9.8% per decade in the 1990s and expanded by 8.7% per decade in the 2000s. It is noted that the five deserts experience nearly simultaneous NDVI changes although they cover a very diverse area of Asia. In contrast, changes in temperature and precipitation in the deserts show rather diverse results. In desert boundaries located along 40°N (Gobi, Taklimakan, and Karakum), the decadal changes in vegetation greenness were mainly related to regional climate during the entire analysis period. Precipitation increased in the 1990s, providing favorable conditions for vegetation growth (i.e., greening), but precipitation reduced (19 mm per decade) and warming intensified (0.7°C per decade) in the 2000s, causing less moisture to be available for vegetation growth (i.e., browning). In desert boundaries below 40°N (Lut and Thar), although an increase in precipitation (8 mm per decade) led to greening in the 1990s, local changes in precipitation and temperature did not necessarily cause browning in the 2000s. Observed multidecadal changes in vegetation greenness in the present study suggest that under significant global and/or regional warming, changes in moisture availability for vegetation growth in desert boundaries are an important factor when understanding decadal changes in areas vulnerable to desertification over Asia.

  19. Browning in Desert Boundaries in Asia in Recent Decades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeong, Su-Jong; Ho, Chang-Hoi; Brown, Molly E.; Kug, Jong-Seong; Piao, Shilong

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the changes in desert boundaries in Asia (Gobi, Karakum, Lut, Taklimakan, and Thar deserts) during the growing season (April October) in the years 1982 2008 were investigated by analyzing the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), precipitation, and temperature. In the desert boundary regions, the domain mean NDVI values increased by 7.2% per decade in 1982 1998 but decreased by 6.8% per decade thereafter. Accordingly, the bare soil areas (or nonvegetated areas) of the inside of the desert boundaries contracted by 9.8% per decade in the 1990s and expanded by 8.7% per decade in the 2000s. It is noted that the five deserts experience nearly simultaneous NDVI changes although they cover a very diverse area of Asia. In contrast, changes in temperature and precipitation in the deserts show rather diverse results. In desert boundaries located along 40 N (Gobi, Taklimakan, and Karakum), the decadal changes in vegetation greenness were mainly related to regional climate during the entire analysis period. Precipitation increased in the 1990s, providing favorable conditions for vegetation growth (i.e., greening), but precipitation reduced (19 mm per decade) and warming intensified (0.7 C per decade) in the 2000s, causing less moisture to be available for vegetation growth (i.e., browning). In desert boundaries below 40 N (Lut and Thar), although an increase in precipitation (8 mm per decade) led to greening in the 1990s, local changes in precipitation and temperature did not necessarily cause browning in the 2000s. Observed multidecadal changes in vegetation greenness in the present study suggest that under significant global and/or regional warming, changes in moisture availability for vegetation growth in desert boundaries are an important factor when understanding decadal changes in areas vulnerable to desertification over Asia.

  20. Desert Dust and Monsoon Rain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lau, William K. M.; Kim, Kyu-Myong

    2014-01-01

    For centuries, inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent have know that heavy dust events brought on by strong winds occur frequently in the pre-monsoon season, before the onset of heavy rain. Yet scientists have never seriously considered the possibility that natural dust can affect monsoon rainfall. Up to now, most studies of the impacts of aerosols on Indian monsoon rainfall have focused on anthropogenic aerosols in the context of climate change. However, a few recent studies have show that aerosols from antropogenic and natural sources over the Indian subcontinent may affect the transition from break to active monsoon phases on short timescales of days to weeks. Writing in Nature Geoscience, Vinoj and colleagues describe how they have shown that desert dust aerosols over the Arabian Sea and West Asia can strenghten the summer monsoon over the Indial subcontinent in a matter of days.

  1. Active sand dunes are largest dust source in the Sahara Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Atreyee

    2012-09-01

    Dried up lakebeds and playas in the Sahara Desert of North Africa are large sources of dust in the atmosphere. The Bodélé Depression at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, for example, is the single largest source of dust in the world; on average, 100 dust storms a year originate from the Bodélé Depression. A new study by Crouvi et al., however, finds that active sand dunes could be even bigger sources of desert dust in the atmosphere. Atmospheric dust plays active roles in climate and biological processes in the ocean: It regulates heating at the surface of the Earth; modifies cloud properties that affect rainfall; and acts as the only source of iron, a critical nutrient for microorganisms in the ocean. Little is known about types of dust sources in the Sahara Desert, which alone accounts for more than 50% of the dust in the atmosphere.

  2. Living on the edge: timing of Rand Flora disjunctions congruent with ongoing aridification in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Pokorny, Lisa; Riina, Ricarda; Mairal, Mario; Meseguer, Andrea S.; Culshaw, Victoria; Cendoya, Jon; Serrano, Miguel; Carbajal, Rodrigo; Ortiz, Santiago; Heuertz, Myriam; Sanmartín, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    The Rand Flora is a well-known floristic pattern in which unrelated plant lineages show similar disjunct distributions in the continental margins of Africa and adjacent islands—Macaronesia-northwest Africa, Horn of Africa-Southern Arabia, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa. These lineages are now separated by environmental barriers such as the arid regions of the Sahara and Kalahari Deserts or the tropical lowlands of Central Africa. Alternative explanations for the Rand Flora pattern range from vicariance and climate-driven extinction of a widespread pan-African flora to independent dispersal events and speciation in situ. To provide a temporal framework for this pattern, we used published data from nuclear and chloroplast DNA to estimate the age of disjunction of 17 lineages that span 12 families and nine orders of angiosperms. We further used these estimates to infer diversification rates for Rand Flora disjunct clades in relation to their higher-level encompassing lineages. Our results indicate that most disjunctions fall within the Miocene and Pliocene periods, coinciding with the onset of a major aridification trend, still ongoing, in Africa. Age of disjunctions seemed to be related to the climatic affinities of each Rand Flora lineage, with sub-humid taxa dated earlier (e.g., Sideroxylon) and those with more xeric affinities (e.g., Campylanthus) diverging later. We did not find support for significant decreases in diversification rates in most groups, with the exception of older subtropical lineages (e.g., Sideroxylon, Hypericum, or Canarina), but some lineages (e.g., Cicer, Campylanthus) showed a long temporal gap between stem and crown ages, suggestive of extinction. In all, the Rand Flora pattern seems to fit the definition of biogeographic pseudocongruence, with the pattern arising at different times in response to the increasing aridity of the African continent, with interspersed periods of humidity allowing range expansions. PMID:25983742

  3. Nubian Complex strategies in the Egyptian high desert.

    PubMed

    Olszewski, Deborah I; Dibble, Harold L; McPherron, Shannon P; Schurmans, Utsav A; Chiotti, Laurent; Smith, Jennifer R

    2010-08-01

    Systematic survey by the Abydos Survey for Paleolithic Sites project has recorded Nubian Complex artifact density, distribution, typology, and technology across the high desert landscape west of the Nile Valley in Middle Egypt. Our work contrasts with previous investigations of Nubian Complex settlement systems in Egypt, which focused on a small number of sites in the terraces of the Nile Valley, the desert oases, and the Red Sea Mountains. Earlier research interpreted the Nubian Complex, in particular, as a radiating settlement system that incorporated a specialized point production. Our high desert data, however, indicate that the Nubian Complex associated with early modern humans in this region of the high desert reflects a circulating, rather than a radiating, settlement system, and that point production has been over-emphasized. Data available from our work, as well as sites investigated by others, do not conclusively identify Nubian Complex behavioral strategies as modern. These data, however, do contribute to the understanding of landscape use by early modern human populations living along the Nile Valley Corridor route out of Africa.

  4. Aerosol direct radiative forcing in desert and semi-desert regions of northwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xin, Jinyuan; Gong, Chongshui; Wang, Shigong; Wang, Yuesi

    2016-05-01

    The optical properties of dust aerosols were measured using narrow-band data from a portable sun photometer at four desert and semi-desert stations in northwestern China from 2004 to 2007. Ground-based and satellite observations indicated absorbing dust aerosol loading over the region surrounded by eight large-scale deserts. Radiation forcing was identified by using the Santa Barbara DISORT Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (SBDART) model. The ranges of annual mean aerosol optical depth (AOD), Angström exponents, and single-scattering albedo (SSA) were from 0.25 to 0.35, from - 0.73 to 1.18, and from 0.77 to 0.86, respectively. The ranges of annual mean aerosol direct radiative forcing values at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), mid-atmosphere, and on the surface were from 3.9 to 12.0, from 50.0 to 53.1, and from - 39.1 to - 48.1 W/m2, respectively. The aerosols' optical properties and radiative characteristics showed strong seasonal variations in both the desert and semi-desert regions. Strong winds and relatively low humidity will lead dust aerosols in the atmosphere to an increase, which played greatly affected these optical properties during spring and winter in northwestern China. Based on long-term observations and retrieved data, aerosol direct radiative forcing was confirmed to heat the atmosphere (50-53 W/m2) and cool the surface (- 39 to - 48 W/m2) above the analyzed desert. Radiative forcing in the atmosphere in spring and winter was 18 to 21 W/m2 higher than other two seasons. Based on the dust sources around the sites, the greater the AOD, the more negative the forcing. The annual averaged heating rates for aerosols close to the ground (1 km) were approximately 0.80-0.85 K/day.

  5. Desert landscape irrigation

    SciTech Connect

    Quinones, R.

    1995-06-01

    Industrialization can take place in an arid environment if a long term, overall water management program is developed. The general rule to follow is that recharge must equal or exceed use. The main problem encountered in landscape projects is that everyone wants a lush jungle setting, tall shade trees, ferns, with a variety of floral arrangements mixed in. What we want, what we can afford, and what we get are not always the same. Vegetation that requires large quantities of water are not native to any desert. Surprisingly; there are various types of fruit trees, and vegetables that will thrive in the desert. Peaches, plums, nut trees, do well with drip irrigation as well as tomatoes. Shaded berry plans will also do well, the strawberry being one. In summary; if we match our landscape to our area, we can then design our irrigation system to maintain our landscape and grow a variety of vegetation in any arid or semiarid environment. The application of science and economics to landscaping has now come of age.

  6. Water capture by a desert beetle.

    PubMed

    Parker, A R; Lawrence, C R

    2001-11-01

    Some beetles in the Namib Desert collect drinking water from fog-laden wind on their backs. We show here that these large droplets form by virtue of the insect's bumpy surface, which consists of alternating hydrophobic, wax-coated and hydrophilic, non-waxy regions. The design of this fog-collecting structure can be reproduced cheaply on a commercial scale and may find application in water-trapping tent and building coverings, for example, or in water condensers and engines.

  7. Southern Africa

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    ... tip of South Africa is at the bottom of the image, and Zambia is at the top. Distinctive features about a third of the way from the ... MISR Team. Aug 25, 2000 - South Africa to Zambia including the Okavango Delta. project:  MISR ...

  8. Inferences about winter temperatures and summer rains from the late Quaternary record of C4 perennial grasses and C3 desert shrubs in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmgren, Camille A.; Norris, Jodi; Betancourt, Julio L.

    2007-02-01

    Late Quaternary histories of two North American desert biomes - C4 grasslands and C3 shrublands - are poorly known despite their sensitivity and potential value in reconstructing summer rains and winter temperatures. Plant macrofossil assemblages from packrat midden series in the northern Chihuahuan Desert show that C4 grasses and annuals typical of desert grassland persisted near their present northern limits throughout the last glacial-interglacial cycle. By contrast, key C3 desert shrubs appeared somewhat abruptly after 5000 cal. yr BP. Bioclimatic envelopes for select C4 and C3 species are mapped to interpret the glacial-interglacial persistence of desert grassland and the mid-to-late Holocene expansion of desert shrublands. The envelopes suggest relatively warm Pleistocene temperatures with moist summers allowed for persistence of C4 grasses, whereas winters were probably too cold (or too wet) for C3 desert shrubs. Contrary to climate model results, core processes associated with the North American Monsoon and moisture transport to the northern Chihuahuan Desert remained intact throughout the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Mid-latitude effects, however, truncated midsummer (July-August) moisture transport north of 35° N. The sudden expansion of desert shrublands after 5000 cal. yr BP may be a threshold response to warmer winters associated with increasing boreal winter insolation, and enhanced El Niño-Southern Oscillation variability. Published in 2006 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Inferences about winter temperatures and summer rains from the late Quaternary record of C4 perennial grasses and C3 desert shrubs in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holmgren, Camille A.; Norris, Jodi; Betancourt, Julio L.

    2007-01-01

    Late Quaternary histories of two North American desert biomes—C4 grasslands and C3 shrublands—are poorly known despite their sensitivity and potential value in reconstructing summer rains and winter temperatures. Plant macrofossil assemblages from packrat midden series in the northern Chihuahuan Desert show that C4 grasses and annuals typical of desert grassland persisted near their present northern limits throughout the last glacial-interglacial cycle. By contrast, key C3 desert shrubs appeared somewhat abruptly after 5000cal.yrBP. Bioclimatic envelopes for select C4 and C3 species are mapped to interpret the glacial-interglacial persistence of desert grassland and the mid-to-late Holocene expansion of desert shrublands. The envelopes suggest relatively warm Pleistocene temperatures with moist summers allowed for persistence of C4 grasses, whereas winters were probably too cold (or too wet) for C3 desert shrubs. Contrary to climate model results, core processes associated with the North American Monsoon and moisture transport to the northern Chihuahuan Desert remained intact throughout the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Mid-latitude effects, however, truncated midsummer (July-August) moisture transport north of 35° N. The sudden expansion of desert shrublands after 5000cal.yrBP may be a threshold response to warmer winters associated with increasing boreal winter insolation, and enhanced El Niño-Southern Oscillation variability.

  10. Military Review: Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-09-01

    stunrm by Lieutenant General William G. Pagonts, US Army and Major Harod E Raugh Jr., US Army OW61 6.3r -- 40 Moving an Army: Movement Control for Desert...headquarters to the controlling headquarters for three armies in one: the Army compo-~nent, the theater army nd a number d field army. Viwtory in the Desert...contingency, had just completed Central was bleak. Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait Command Exercise INTERNAL on 2 August, gaining control of that

  11. Ecological and evolutionary physiology of desert birds: a progress report.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joseph B; Tieleman, B Irene

    2002-02-01

    The adaptive significance of mechanisms of energy and water conservation among species of desert rodents, which avoid temperature extremes by remaining within a burrow during the day, is well established. Conventional wisdom holds that arid-zone birds, diurnal organisms that endure the brunt of their environment, occupy these desert climates because of the possession of physiological design features common to all within the class Aves. We review studies that show that desert birds may have evolved specific features to deal with hot desert conditions including: a reduced basal metabolic rate (BMR) and field metabolic rate (FMR), and lower total evaporative water loss (TEWL) and water turnover (WTO).Previous work on the comparative physiology of desert birds relied primarily on information gathered on species from the deserts of the southwestern U.S., which are semi-arid habitats of recent geologic origin. We include data on species from Old World deserts, which are geologically older than those in the New World, and place physiological responses along an aridity axis that includes mesic, semi-arid, arid, and hyperarid environments.The physiological differences between desert and mesic birds that we have identified using the comparative method could arise as a result of acclimation to different environments, of genetic change mediated by selection, or both. We present data on the flexibility of BMR and TEWL in Hoopoe Larks that suggest that phenotypic adjustments in these variables can be substantial. Finally, we suggest that linkages between the physiology of individual organism and its life-history are fundamental to the understanding of life-history evolution.

  12. Desert speleothems reveal climatic window for African exodus of early modern humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaks, Anton; Bar-Matthews, Miryam; Ayalon, Avner; Matthews, Alan; Halicz, Ludwik; Frumkin, Amos

    2007-09-01

    One of the first movements of early modern humans out of Africa occurred 130-100 thousand years ago (ka), when they migrated northward to the Levant region. The climatic conditions that accompanied this migration are still under debate. Using high-precision multicollector-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) U-Th methods, we dated carbonate cave deposits (speleothems) from the central and southern Negev Desert of Israel, located at the northeastern margin of the Saharan-Arabian Desert. Speleothems grow only when rainwater enters the unsaturated zone, and this study reveals that a major cluster of wet episodes (the last recorded in the area) occurred between 140 and 110 ka. This episodic wet period coincided with increased monsoonal precipitation in the southern parts of the Saharan-Arabian Desert. The disappearance at this time of the desert barrier between central Africa and the Levant, and particularly in the Sinai-Negev land bridge between Africa and Asia, would have created a climatic “window” for early modern human dispersion to the Levant.

  13. Late Quaternary faulting in the Sevier Desert driven by magmatism.

    PubMed

    Stahl, T; Niemi, N A

    2017-03-14

    Seismic hazard in continental rifts varies as a function of strain accommodation by tectonic or magmatic processes. The nature of faulting in the Sevier Desert, located in eastern Basin and Range of central Utah, and how this faulting relates to the Sevier Desert Detachment low-angle normal fault, have been debated for nearly four decades. Here, we show that the geodetic signal of extension across the eastern Sevier Desert is best explained by magma-assisted rifting associated with Plio-Pleistocene volcanism. GPS velocities from 14 continuous sites across the region are best-fit by interseismic strain accumulation on the southern Wasatch Fault at c. 3.4 mm yr(-1) with a c. 0.5 mm yr(-1) tensile dislocation opening in the eastern Sevier Desert. The characteristics of surface deformation from field surveys are consistent with dike-induced faulting and not with faults soling into an active detachment. Geologic extension rates of c. 0.6 mm yr(-1) over the last c. 50 kyr in the eastern Sevier Desert are consistent with the rates estimated from the geodetic model. Together, these findings suggest that Plio-Pleistocene extension is not likely to have been accommodated by low-angle normal faulting on the Sevier Desert Detachment and is instead accomplished by strain localization in a zone of narrow, magma-assisted rifting.

  14. Late Quaternary faulting in the Sevier Desert driven by magmatism

    PubMed Central

    Stahl, T.; Niemi, N. A.

    2017-01-01

    Seismic hazard in continental rifts varies as a function of strain accommodation by tectonic or magmatic processes. The nature of faulting in the Sevier Desert, located in eastern Basin and Range of central Utah, and how this faulting relates to the Sevier Desert Detachment low-angle normal fault, have been debated for nearly four decades. Here, we show that the geodetic signal of extension across the eastern Sevier Desert is best explained by magma-assisted rifting associated with Plio-Pleistocene volcanism. GPS velocities from 14 continuous sites across the region are best-fit by interseismic strain accumulation on the southern Wasatch Fault at c. 3.4 mm yr−1 with a c. 0.5 mm yr−1 tensile dislocation opening in the eastern Sevier Desert. The characteristics of surface deformation from field surveys are consistent with dike-induced faulting and not with faults soling into an active detachment. Geologic extension rates of c. 0.6 mm yr−1 over the last c. 50 kyr in the eastern Sevier Desert are consistent with the rates estimated from the geodetic model. Together, these findings suggest that Plio-Pleistocene extension is not likely to have been accommodated by low-angle normal faulting on the Sevier Desert Detachment and is instead accomplished by strain localization in a zone of narrow, magma-assisted rifting. PMID:28290529

  15. Late Quaternary faulting in the Sevier Desert driven by magmatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stahl, T.; Niemi, N. A.

    2017-03-01

    Seismic hazard in continental rifts varies as a function of strain accommodation by tectonic or magmatic processes. The nature of faulting in the Sevier Desert, located in eastern Basin and Range of central Utah, and how this faulting relates to the Sevier Desert Detachment low-angle normal fault, have been debated for nearly four decades. Here, we show that the geodetic signal of extension across the eastern Sevier Desert is best explained by magma-assisted rifting associated with Plio-Pleistocene volcanism. GPS velocities from 14 continuous sites across the region are best-fit by interseismic strain accumulation on the southern Wasatch Fault at c. 3.4 mm yr‑1 with a c. 0.5 mm yr‑1 tensile dislocation opening in the eastern Sevier Desert. The characteristics of surface deformation from field surveys are consistent with dike-induced faulting and not with faults soling into an active detachment. Geologic extension rates of c. 0.6 mm yr‑1 over the last c. 50 kyr in the eastern Sevier Desert are consistent with the rates estimated from the geodetic model. Together, these findings suggest that Plio-Pleistocene extension is not likely to have been accommodated by low-angle normal faulting on the Sevier Desert Detachment and is instead accomplished by strain localization in a zone of narrow, magma-assisted rifting.

  16. Keeping the desert at bay

    SciTech Connect

    El-Kassas, M.

    1981-02-01

    Man-made desert (areas that are no longer productive) has increased the world's deserts from 36.3 to 43% of the land surface. Desertification involves ecological degradation that makes the land less productive or allows an uneconomic type of vegetation, such as mesquite, to replace an economic plant. The process was first thought to be an encroachment by expanding deserts, but, except for the movement of sand dunes, desertification is now viewed as productive land that deteriorated and was added to the desert. Land is lost to agriculture by erosion, loss of nutrients, compaction, salination, urban development, and pollution. The interacting biosphere, technosphere, and social sphere form the framework of man's existence. An understanding of this framework is crucial to those offering technological assistance to developing countries. (DCK)

  17. Simulation of bulk aerosol direct radiative effects and its climatic feedbacks in South Africa using RegCM4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, M.; Botai, J.; Sivakumar, V.; Mengistu Tsidu, G.; Rautenbach, C. J. deW.; Moja, Shadung J.

    2016-05-01

    In this study, 12 year runs of the Regional Climate Model (RegCM4) have been used to analyze the bulk aerosol radiative effects and its climatic feedbacks in South Africa. Due to the geographical locations where the aerosol potential source regions are situated and the regional dynamics, the South African aerosol spatial-distribution has a unique feature. Across the west and southwest areas, desert dust particles are dominant. However, sulfate and carbonaceous aerosols are primarily distributed over the east and northern regions of the country. Analysis of the Radiative Effects (RE) shows that in South Africa the bulk aerosols play a role in reducing the net radiation absorbed by the surface via enhancing the net radiative heating in the atmosphere. Hence, across all seasons, the bulk aerosol-radiation-climate interaction induced statistically significant positive feedback on the net atmospheric heating rate. Over the western and central parts of South Africa, the overall radiative feedbacks of bulk aerosol predominantly induces statistically significant Cloud Cover (CC) enhancements. Whereas, over the east and southeast coastal areas, it induces minimum reductions in CC. The CC enhancement and RE of aerosols jointly induce radiative cooling at the surface which in turn results in the reduction of Surface Temperature (ST: up to -1 K) and Surface Sensible Heat Flux (SSHF: up to -24 W/m2). The ST and SSHF decreases cause a weakening of the convectively driven turbulences and surface buoyancy fluxes which lead to the reduction of the boundary layer height, surface pressure enhancement and dynamical changes. Throughout the year, the maximum values of direct and semi-direct effects of bulk aerosol were found in areas of South Africa which are dominated by desert dust particles. This signals the need for a strategic regional plan on how to reduce the dust production and monitoring of the dust dispersion as well as it initiate the need of further research on different

  18. Living in biological soil crust communities of African deserts-Physiological traits of green algal Klebsormidium species (Streptophyta) to cope with desiccation, light and temperature gradients.

    PubMed

    Karsten, Ulf; Herburger, Klaus; Holzinger, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Green algae of the genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical members of biological soil crusts (BSCs) worldwide. The phylogeny and ecophysiology of Klebsormidium has been intensively studied in recent years, and a new lineage called superclade G, which was isolated from BSCs in arid southern Africa and comprising undescribed species, was reported. Three different African strains, that have previously been isolated from hot-desert BSCs and molecular-taxonomically characterized, were comparatively investigated. In addition, Klebsormidium subtilissimum from a cold-desert habitat (Alaska, USA, superclade E) was included in the study as well. Photosynthetic performance was measured under different controlled abiotic conditions, including dehydration and rehydration, as well as under a light and temperature gradient. All Klebsormidium strains exhibited optimum photosynthetic oxygen production at low photon fluence rates, but with no indication of photoinhibition under high light conditions pointing to flexible acclimation mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus. Respiration under lower temperatures was generally much less effective than photosynthesis, while the opposite was true for higher temperatures. The Klebsormidium strains tested showed a decrease and inhibition of the effective quantum yield during desiccation, however with different kinetics. While the single celled and small filamentous strains exhibited relatively fast inhibition, the uniserate filament forming isolates desiccated slower. Except one, all other strains fully recovered effective quantum yield after rehydration. The presented data provide an explanation for the regular occurrence of Klebsormidium strains or species in hot and cold deserts, which are characterized by low water availability and other stressful conditions.

  19. Epifluorescent direct counts of bacteria and viruses from topsoil of various desert dust storm regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gonzalez-Martin, Cristina; Teigell-Perez, Nuria; Lyles, Mark; Valladares, Basilio; Griffin, Dale W.

    2013-01-01

    Topsoil from arid regions is the main source of dust clouds that move through the earth's atmosphere, and microbial communities within these soils can survive long-range dispersion. Microbial abundance and chemical composition were analyzed in topsoil from various desert regions. Statistical analyses showed that microbial direct counts were strongly positively correlated with calcium concentrations and negatively correlated with silicon concentrations. While variance between deserts was expected, it was interesting to note differences between sample sites within a given desert region, illustrating the 'patchy' nature of microbial communities in desert environments.

  20. Ancient watercourses and biogeography of the Sahara explain the peopling of the desert.

    PubMed

    Drake, Nick A; Blench, Roger M; Armitage, Simon J; Bristow, Charlie S; White, Kevin H

    2011-01-11

    Evidence increasingly suggests that sub-Saharan Africa is at the center of human evolution and understanding routes of dispersal "out of Africa" is thus becoming increasingly important. The Sahara Desert is considered by many to be an obstacle to these dispersals and a Nile corridor route has been proposed to cross it. Here we provide evidence that the Sahara was not an effective barrier and indicate how both animals and humans populated it during past humid phases. Analysis of the zoogeography of the Sahara shows that more animals crossed via this route than used the Nile corridor. Furthermore, many of these species are aquatic. This dispersal was possible because during the Holocene humid period the region contained a series of linked lakes, rivers, and inland deltas comprising a large interlinked waterway, channeling water and animals into and across the Sahara, thus facilitating these dispersals. This system was last active in the early Holocene when many species appear to have occupied the entire Sahara. However, species that require deep water did not reach northern regions because of weak hydrological connections. Human dispersals were influenced by this distribution; Nilo-Saharan speakers hunting aquatic fauna with barbed bone points occupied the southern Sahara, while people hunting Savannah fauna with the bow and arrow spread southward. The dating of lacustrine sediments show that the "green Sahara" also existed during the last interglacial (∼125 ka) and provided green corridors that could have formed dispersal routes at a likely time for the migration of modern humans out of Africa.

  1. "The Show"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gehring, John

    2004-01-01

    For the past 16 years, the blue-collar city of Huntington, West Virginia, has rolled out the red carpet to welcome young wrestlers and their families as old friends. They have come to town chasing the same dream for a spot in what many of them call "The Show". For three days, under the lights of an arena packed with 5,000 fans, the…

  2. Mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beissinger, S.R.; Snyder, N.F.R.

    1988-01-01

    Mate desertion during the breeding cycle was documented at 28 of 36 (78%) snail kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis nests in Florida between 1979 and 1983. Offspring mortality occurred at only one deserted nest, however. Parents that were deserted by their mates continued to care for their young until independence (3?5 additional weeks) and provided snails at a rate similar to that of both parents combined before desertion. Males and females deserted with nearly equal frequency, except in 1982 when more females deserted. No desertion occurred during drought years, whereas desertion occurred at nearly every nest during favourable conditions. The occurrence of mate desertion was generally related to indirect measures of snail abundance: foraging range, snail delivery rates to the young and growth rates. Small broods were deserted more frequently by females than by males and tended to be deserted earlier than large ones. After desertion, deserters had the opportunity to re-mate and nest again since breeding seasons were commonly lengthy, but whether they did so was impossible to determine conclusively in most cases. The deserted bird sometimes incurred increased energetic costs and lost breeding opportunities during periods of monoparental care.

  3. Quaternary climate change on the northern margins of Saharo-Arabian Desert with possible impact on human evolution, evidence from Negev Desert speleothems, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaks, A.; Bar-Matthews, M.; Ayalon, A.; Matthews, A.; Halicz, L.; Frumkin, A.

    2006-12-01

    The Saharo-Arabian Desert belt is the largest and driest desert in the world and its margins are vulnerable to climatic change. The paleoclimate of the northern margins of Saharo-Arabian Desert is not yet fully understood, and it is the subject of our study. The Negev Desert, southern Israel, located in the northern part of the Saharo-Arabian Desert is ideal for paleoclimate research, because of its very steep north-south precipitation gradient and numerous caves rich with carbonate cave deposits (speleothems). Speleothems grow only when precipitation is high enough to enable meteoric water to reach the caves. No present day speleothem deposition occurs in the Negev Desert. The aims of the study were: timing of the humid periods by U-Th dating of the speleothem deposition periods; origin of the rainfall by speleothem δ18O and fluid inclusions δ2H; correlations between local and global climate changes and between the climate changes to out of Africa dispersals of Early Modern Humans (EMH). Speleothems were collected from 7 caves located on the north-south transect of the Negev Desert, between 300 mm to 30 mm isohyets. Whereas in the Mediterranean climate zone (>350 mm) of central and northern Israel the speleothem deposition was continuous, in the Negev Desert periods of speleothem deposition alternated with multiple hiatuses. In the mildly arid transition zone of northern Negev (300 to 150 mm) speleothem deposition occurred most of the time during the last 210 ka, with hiatuses at 150-144 ka, ~140 ka, 117-96 ka, 93-85 ka, 25- 23 ka, and 14-0 ka. In present-day arid and hyper-arid zone of central and southern Negev (150 to 30 mm) no speleothem deposition occurred most of the last 350 ka, with humid intervals at 350-290 ka, 220-190 ka, 137- 110 ka, and ~85 ka. The origin of the precipitation in the Negev Desert during these intervals was from Eastern Mediterranean Sea, i. e. mid-latitude cyclones (as present day). The latter conclusion is based on three evidences

  4. Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Produced and Directed by Wessells, Stephen

    2003-01-01

    'Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes' shows how biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey work with other scientists in an effort to better understand native plants and animals such as desert tortoises, saguaro cacti, and Gila monsters. Much of the program was shot in and around Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona. Genetic detective work, using DNA, focuses on understanding the lives of tortoises. Studies of saguaros over many decades clarify how these amazing plants reproduce and thrive in the desert. Threats from fire, diseases in tortoises, and a growing human population motivate the scientists. Their work to identify how these organisms live and survive is a crucial step for the sound management of biological resources on public lands. This 28-minute program, USGS Open-File Report 03-305, was shot entirely in high definition video and produced by the USGS Western Ecological Research Center and Southwest Biological Science Center; produced and directed by Stephen Wessells, Western Region Office of Communications.

  5. 75 FR 61467 - Desert Southwest Power, LLC; Notice of Filing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-05

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Desert Southwest Power, LLC; Notice of Filing September 27, 2010. Take notice that on September 24, 2010, Desert Southwest Power, LLC (Desert Southwest) supplemented the... Commission's July 28, 2010 letter regarding Desert Southwest's petition for declaratory order...

  6. Desert and desertification in Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahrami, M.

    2009-04-01

    One of the greatest environmental concerns in Iran as in other arid and semiarid countries is the transformation of once productive, or marginally productive, land to deteriorated land and soil unable to support plants and animals. Because the land becomes barren and dry, the process is described as desertification, which occurs as a sequence of events. The area of deserts in Iran is about 340,000 Km2 (less than one fifth of its total area), of which 100,000 Km2 is being used for some cultivation, 120,000 Km2 is subjected to moving sands about 40 % of which is active sand dunes. Most of features and processes usual in world famous deserts are also observed in Iran: low precipitation, high evaporation, poor or lack of vegetation, saline and alkaline soils, low population and small and sparse oases. The deserts of Iran are generally classified in the subtropical, warm, arid and semiarid group, but the effect and presence of some geographical and geoclimatical factors such as height, vicinity to Indian Ocean and so on do some changes in climatic conditions and geographical features causing some local and regional differences in them. Geographically, two groups of deserts have been known in Iran: (1) Coastal deserts which, like a ribbon with variable width, stretch from extreme southeast to extreme southwest, at the north parts of Oman Sea and Persian Gulf. One important feature of these deserts is relatively high humidity which differentiates them from other deserts. This causes an increase in vegetation coverage and hence a decrease in eolian erosion and also a dominance of chemical weathering to that of physical. (2) internal deserts, which rest in central, eastern and southeastern plateau of the country and in independent and semi dependent depressions. This situation, which is due to the surrounding high mountains, blocks humidity entry and causes the aridity of these deserts. Wind as a dominant process in the area causes deflated features such as Reg (desert

  7. Enhancing and restoring habitat for the desert tortoise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abella, Scott R.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat has changed unfavorably during the past 150 y for the desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii, a federally threatened species with declining populations in the Mojave Desert and western Sonoran Desert. To support recovery efforts, we synthesized published information on relationships of desert tortoises with three habitat features (cover sites, forage, and soil) and candidate management practices for improving these features for tortoises. In addition to their role in soil health and facilitating recruitment of annual forage plants, shrubs are used by desert tortoises for cover and as sites for burrows. Outplanting greenhouse-grown seedlings, protected from herbivory, has successfully restored (>50% survival) a variety of shrubs on disturbed desert soils. Additionally, salvaging and reapplying topsoil using effective techniques is among the more ecologically beneficial ways to initiate plant recovery after severe disturbance. Through differences in biochemical composition and digestibility, some plant species provide better-quality forage than others. Desert tortoises selectively forage on particular annual and herbaceous perennial species (e.g., legumes), and forage selection shifts during the year as different plants grow or mature. Nonnative grasses provide low-quality forage and contribute fuel to spreading wildfires, which damage or kill shrubs that tortoises use for cover. Maintaining a diverse “menu” of native annual forbs and decreasing nonnative grasses are priorities for restoring most desert tortoise habitats. Reducing herbivory by nonnative animals, carefully timing herbicide applications, and strategically augmenting annual forage plants via seeding show promise for improving tortoise forage quality. Roads, another disturbance, negatively affect habitat in numerous ways (e.g., compacting soil, altering hydrology). Techniques such as recontouring road berms to reestablish drainage patterns, vertical mulching (“planting” dead plant material

  8. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    PubMed

    Yosef Friedjung, Avital; Choudhary, Sikander Pal; Dudai, Nativ; Rachmilevitch, Shimon

    2013-01-01

    Plants exchange signals with other physical and biological entities in their habitat, a form of communication termed allelopathy. The underlying principles of allelopathy and secondary-metabolite production are still poorly understood, especially in desert plants. The coordination and role of secondary metabolites were examined as a cause of allelopathy in plants thriving under arid and semiarid soil conditions. Desert plant species, Origanum dayi, Artemisia sieberi and Artemisia judaica from two different sources (cultivar cuttings and wild seeds) were studied in their natural habitats. Growth rate, relative water content, osmotic potential, photochemical efficiency, volatile composition and vital factors of allelopathy were analyzed at regular intervals along four seasons with winter showing optimum soil water content and summer showing water deficit conditions. A comprehensive analysis of the volatile composition of the leaves, ambient air and soil in the biological niche of the plants under study was carried out to determine the effects of soil water conditions and sample plants on the surrounding flora. Significant morpho-physiological changes were observed across the seasons and along different soil water content. Metabolic analysis showed that water deficit was the key for driving selective metabolomic shifts. A. judaica showed the least metabolic shifts, while A. sieberi showed the highest shifts. All the species exhibited high allelopathic effects; A. judaica displayed relatively higher growth-inhibition effects, while O. dayi showed comparatively higher germination-inhibition effects in germination assays. The current study may help in understanding plant behavior, mechanisms underlying secondary-metabolite production in water deficit conditions and metabolite-physiological interrelationship with allelopathy in desert plants, and can help cull economic benefits from the produced volatiles.

  9. 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

  10. Simulated climate and biomes of Africa during the late quaternary: comparison with pollen and lake status data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolly, D.; Harrison, S. P.; Damnati, B.; Bonnefille, R.

    New compilations of African pollen and lake data are compared with climate (CCM1, NCAR, Boulder) and vegetation (BIOME 1.2, GSG, Lund) simulations for the last glacial maximum (LGM) and early to mid-Holocene (EMH). The simulated LGM climate was ca 4°C colder and drier than present, with maximum reduction in precipitation in semi-arid regions. Biome simulations show lowering of montane vegetation belts and expansion of southern xerophytic associations, but no change in the distribution of deserts and tropical rain forests. The lakes show LGM conditions similar or drier than present throughout northern and tropical Africa. Pollen data indicate lowering of montane vegetation belts, the stability of the Sahara, and a reduction of rain forest. The paleoenvironmental data are consistent with the simulated changes in temperature and moisture budgets, although they suggest the climate model underestimates equatorial aridity. EMH simulations show temperatures slightly less than present and increased monsoonal precipitation in the eastern Sahara and East Africa. Biome simulations show an upward shift of montane vegetation belts, fragmentation of xerophytic vegetation in southern Africa, and a major northward shift of the southern margin of the eastern Sahara. The lakes indicate conditions wetter than present across northern Africa. Pollen data show an upward shift of the montane forests, the northward shift of the southern margin of the Sahara, and a major extension of tropical rain forest. The lake and pollen data confirm monsoon expansion in eastern Africa, but the climate model fails to simulate the wet conditions in western Africa.

  11. Estimation of saltation emission in the Kubuqi Desert, North China.

    PubMed

    Du, Heqiang; Xue, Xian; Wang, Tao

    2014-05-01

    The Kubuqi Desert suffered more severe wind erosion hazard. Every year, a mass of aeolian sand was blown in the Ten Tributaries that are tributaries of the Yellow River. To estimate the quantity of aeolian sediment blown into the Ten Tributaries from the Kubuqi Desert, it is necessary to simulate the saltation processes of the Kubuqi Desert. A saltation submodel of the IWEMS (Integrated Wind-Erosion Modeling System) and its accompanying RS (Remote Sensing) and GIS (Geographic Information System) methods were used to model saltation emissions in the Kubuqi Desert. To calibrate the saltation submodel, frontal area of vegetation, soil moisture, wind velocity and saltation sediment were observed synchronously on several points in 2011 and 2012. In this study, a model namely BEACH (Bridge Event And Continuous Hydrological) was introduced to simulate the daily soil moisture. Using the surface parameters (frontal area of vegetation and soil moisture) along with the observed wind velocities and saltation sediments for the observed points, the saltation model was calibrated and validated. To reduce the simulate error, a subdaily wind velocity program, WINDGEN was introduced in this model to simulate the hourly wind velocity of the Kubuqi Desert. By incorporating simulated hourly wind velocity, and model variables, the saltation emission of the Kubuqi Desert was modeled. The model results show that the total sediment flow rate was 1-30.99 tons/m over the last 10years (2001-2010). The saltation emission mainly occurs in the north central part of the Kubuqi Desert in winter and spring. Integrating the wind directions, the quantity of the aeolian sediment that deposits in the Ten Tributaries was estimated. Compared with the observed data by the local government and hydrometric stations, our estimation is reasonable.

  12. Military Review: Desert Shield/Desert Storm

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-04-01

    In our future versatile, deployable, lethal Army, logistics will play an evcn greater roic. The image used for the cover of our issue on logistics...without equal, showing, as one editorialist put it, "the American genius for supply and support." In this issue , we offer a few thoughts by...World War II-related topics as possible while still covering current Army issues . World War II Almanac will be presented as brief essays (1,5C0 to

  13. Should I stay or should I go? Dispersal and population structure in small, isolated desert populations of West African crocodiles.

    PubMed

    Velo-Antón, Guillermo; Godinho, Raquel; Campos, João Carlos; Brito, José Carlos

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of both spatial and genetic connectivity is paramount to the long-term persistence of small, isolated populations living in environments with extreme climates. We aim to identify the distribution of genetic diversity and assess population sub-structuring and dispersal across dwarfed desert populations of Crocodylus suchus, which occur in isolated groups, usually less than five individuals, along the mountains of Mauritania (West Africa). We used both invasive and non-invasive sampling methods and a combination of mitochondrial DNA (12 S and ND4) and microsatellite markers (32 loci and a subset of 12 loci). Our results showed high genetic differentiation and geographic structure in Mauritanian populations of C. suchus. We identified a metapopulation system acting within four river sub-basins (high gene flow and absence of genetic structure) and considerable genetic differentiation between sub-basins (FST range: 0.12-0.24) with rare dispersal events. Effective population sizes tend to be low within sub-basins while genetic diversity is maintained. Our study suggests that hydrographic networks (temporal connections along seasonal rivers during rainy periods) allow C. suchus to disperse and maintain metapopulation dynamics within sub-basins, which attenuate the loss of genetic diversity and the risk of extinction. We highlight the need of hydrographic conservation to protect vulnerable crocodiles isolated in small water bodies. We propose C. suchus as an umbrella species in Mauritania based on ecological affinities shared with other water-dependent species in desert environments.

  14. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Dispersal and Population Structure in Small, Isolated Desert Populations of West African Crocodiles

    PubMed Central

    Campos, João Carlos; Brito, José Carlos

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of both spatial and genetic connectivity is paramount to the long-term persistence of small, isolated populations living in environments with extreme climates. We aim to identify the distribution of genetic diversity and assess population sub-structuring and dispersal across dwarfed desert populations of Crocodylus suchus, which occur in isolated groups, usually less than five individuals, along the mountains of Mauritania (West Africa). We used both invasive and non-invasive sampling methods and a combination of mitochondrial DNA (12 S and ND4) and microsatellite markers (32 loci and a subset of 12 loci). Our results showed high genetic differentiation and geographic structure in Mauritanian populations of C. suchus. We identified a metapopulation system acting within four river sub-basins (high gene flow and absence of genetic structure) and considerable genetic differentiation between sub-basins (FST range: 0.12–0.24) with rare dispersal events. Effective population sizes tend to be low within sub-basins while genetic diversity is maintained. Our study suggests that hydrographic networks (temporal connections along seasonal rivers during rainy periods) allow C. suchus to disperse and maintain metapopulation dynamics within sub-basins, which attenuate the loss of genetic diversity and the risk of extinction. We highlight the need of hydrographic conservation to protect vulnerable crocodiles isolated in small water bodies. We propose C. suchus as an umbrella species in Mauritania based on ecological affinities shared with other water-dependent species in desert environments. PMID:24740183

  15. Saharan Desert Dust Sources: New Insights Based on Aerosol Vertical Profiles Retrieved from Thermal Infrared Measurements by IASI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandenbussche, S.; Kumps, N.; Vandaele, A. C.; De Maziere, M.

    2015-11-01

    Desert dust is a major actor in the climate and one of the least characterized with respect to its radiative forcing, both direct and indirect. Studies of dust atmospheric load and sources are therefore of great scientific interest. In the last years, we have developed and improved a retrieval strategy to obtain desert dust aerosols vertical profiles, from thermal infrared measurements by IASI. This strategy has been used to process significant amount of IASI data above North Africa. This dataset allows a new insight in the study of Saharan desert dust sources: it provides twice a day, at interesting times considering the dust emission diurnal cycle, vertical profiles of desert dust (not only optical depth), making possible to distinguish local emissions from transported dust.

  16. Phytoremediation for Oily Desert Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radwan, Samir

    This chapter deals with strategies for cleaning oily desert soils through rhizosphere technology. Bioremediation involves two major approaches; seeding with suitable microorganisms and fertilization with microbial growth enhancing materials. Raising suitable crops in oil-polluted desert soils fulfills both objectives. The rhizosphere of many legume and non-legume plants is richer in oil-utilizing micro-organisms than non-vegetated soils. Furthermore, these rhizospheres also harbour symbiotic and asymbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and are rich in simple organic compounds exuded by plant roots. Those exudates are excellent nutrients for oil-utilizing microorganisms. Since many rhizospheric bacteria have the combined activities of hydrocarbon-utilization and nitrogen fixation, phytoremediation provides a feasible and environmentally friendly biotechnology for cleaning oil-polluted soils, especially nitrogen-poor desert soils.

  17. 75 FR 52776 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-27

    ... Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project and Possible California Desert...) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Draft California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan Amendment for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC Desert Sunlight Solar Farm...

  18. Evidence for photochemical production of reactive oxygen species in desert soils.

    PubMed

    Georgiou, Christos D; Sun, Henry J; McKay, Christopher P; Grintzalis, Konstantinos; Papapostolou, Ioannis; Zisimopoulos, Dimitrios; Panagiotidis, Konstantinos; Zhang, Gaosen; Koutsopoulou, Eleni; Christidis, George E; Margiolaki, Irene

    2015-05-11

    The combination of intense solar radiation and soil desiccation creates a short circuit in the biogeochemical carbon cycle, where soils release significant amounts of CO2 and reactive nitrogen oxides by abiotic oxidation. Here we show that desert soils accumulate metal superoxides and peroxides at higher levels than non-desert soils. We also show the photogeneration of equimolar superoxide and hydroxyl radical in desiccated and aqueous soils, respectively, by a photo-induced electron transfer mechanism supported by their mineralogical composition. Reactivity of desert soils is further supported by the generation of hydroxyl radical via aqueous extracts in the dark. Our findings extend to desert soils the photogeneration of reactive oxygen species by certain mineral oxides and also explain previous studies on desert soil organic oxidant chemistry and microbiology. Similar processes driven by ultraviolet radiation may be operating in the surface soils on Mars.

  19. Water use sources of desert riparian Populus euphratica forests.

    PubMed

    Si, Jianhua; Feng, Qi; Cao, Shengkui; Yu, Tengfei; Zhao, Chunyan

    2014-09-01

    Desert riparian forests are the main body of natural oases in the lower reaches of inland rivers; its growth and distribution are closely related to water use sources. However, how does the desert riparian forest obtains a stable water source and which water sources it uses to effectively avoid or overcome water stress to survive? This paper describes an analysis of the water sources, using the stable oxygen isotope technique and the linear mixed model of the isotopic values and of desert riparian Populus euphratica forests growing at sites with different groundwater depths and conditions. The results showed that the main water source of Populus euphratica changes from water in a single soil layer or groundwater to deep subsoil water and groundwater as the depth of groundwater increases. This appears to be an adaptive selection to arid and water-deficient conditions and is a primary reason for the long-term survival of P. euphratica in the desert riparian forest of an extremely arid region. Water contributions from the various soil layers and from groundwater differed and the desert riparian P. euphratica forests in different habitats had dissimilar water use strategies.

  20. Quantifying dust emissions from desert landforms, eastern Mojave Desert, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sweeney, Mark R.; McDonald, Eric V.; Etyemezian, Vicken

    2011-12-01

    The measurement of natural dust emissions from desert landforms is crucial in environmental hazard assessment and field checking the accuracy of global dust models. More than 500 individual dust measurements from eight common desert landforms in southern California were collected using the PI-SWERL (Portable In Situ Wind Erosion Lab). The largest emitters of dust are dry washes (13.787 to 0.007 mg m - 2 s - 1 ), dunes, playa margins, distal alluvial fans, and lacustrine beaches. Low emitters include salt-crusted playas (0.692 to 0.002 mg m - 2 s - 1 ), silt-clay-crusted playas, and desert pavements. High emissions are a function of saltating sand that bombards the surface, liberating dust-sized particles for entrainment. Low dust emissions are primarily a function of surface crusting, gravel armoring, and vegetation density. PI-SWERL measurements reveal that emission rates can vary by at least three orders of magnitude, reflecting local variability in soil texture and continuity of surface crusts. Shear-stress partitioning models can be applied to dust data measured by the PI-SWERL to account for large surface roughness features, such as vegetation. The results presented here give an approximation of the contributions to atmospheric dust loading by landforms in the Mojave Desert, and can potentially be used to improve atmospheric dust models.

  1. Exercise Desert Rock, Staff Memorandums. Army, Camp Desert Rock, Nevada.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1957-01-01

    activities with the Safety Program. (2) Notifying the Exercise Safety Director of all fire@ involving government prcperty and equipment and for... Exercise Safety Director to the organization or activity conc- erned. o _ . _ . - : : , _ : ... .. ... .. . - _ . . .. . , ... .. .. ... ... . . ..7 memo...Nr 1, Exercise Desert Rocc4.WIVn’d VIII, 17 May 57 (Contd) (4) The officer in charge of the activity shall, within ten days after receiving the

  2. Path integration in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Martin; Wehner, Rüdiger

    1988-01-01

    Foraging desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, continually keep track of their own posotions relative to home— i.e., integrate their tortuous outbound routes and return home along straight (inbound) routes. By experimentally manipulating the ants' outbound trajectories we show that the ants solve this path integration problem not by performing a true vector summation (as a human navigator does) but by employing a computationally simple approximation. This approximation is characterized by small, but systematic, navigational errors that helped us elucidate the ant's way of computing its mean home vector. PMID:16593958

  3. Comparison of US Antarctic Meteorite Collection to Other Cold and Hot Deserts and Modern Falls

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McBride, K. M.; Righter, K.

    2010-01-01

    The US Antarctic meteorite collection has grown close to 18,000 specimens, over 16,000 of which have been classified. Because of this growth, the parallel growth of Antarctic meteorite collections by Japan and China, and also the hot desert collections (from Africa and Australia), we will update the statistical overview of the US collection (last done in 1990 [1]), and make comparisons to other collections and modern falls.

  4. Microclimatic measurements in neotropical forest, grassland and desert, with faunal observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloudsley-Thompson, J. L.; Cloudsley, A.

    1984-12-01

    Air temperatures and relative humidities were recorded at a height of about 2 m above ground, at ground level and under fallen leaves, rocks, or down holes in rainforest, montane forest, grassland and desert in Central and tropical South America, during August and September, 1983. The results are compared with similar results previously obtained in tropical Africa. Measurements were also made down the burrows of tarantulas in Panama; and the influence of radiation on the activities of leaf-cutting ants was noted.

  5. Growth responses of five desert plants as influenced by biological soil crusts from a temperate desert, China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    In almost all dryland systems, biological soil crusts (biocrusts) coexist alongside herbaceous and woody vegetation, creating landscape mosaics of vegetated and biocrusted patches. Results from past studies on the interaction between biocrusts and vascular plants have been contradictory. In the Gurbantunggut desert, a large temperate desert in northwestern China, well-developed lichen-dominated crusts dominate the areas at the base and between the sand dunes. We examined the influence of these lichen-dominated biocrusts on the germination, growth, biomass accumulation, and elemental content of five common plants in this desert: two shrubs (Haloxylon persicum, Ephedra distachya) and three herbaceous plants (Ceratocarpus arenarius, Malcolmia africana and Lappula semiglabra) under greenhouse conditions. The influence of biocrusts on seed germination was species-specific. Biocrusts did not affect percent germination in plants with smooth seeds, but inhibited germination of seeds with appendages that reduced or eliminated contact with the soil surface or prevented seeds from slipping into soil cracks. Once seeds had germinated, biocrusts had different influences on growth of shrub and herbaceous plants. The presence of biocrusts increased concentrations of nitrogen but did not affect phosphorus or potassium in tissue of all tested species, while the uptake of the other tested nutrients was species-specific. Our study showed that biocrusts can serve as a biological filter during seed germination and also can influence growth and elemental uptake. Therefore, they may be an important trigger for determining desert plant diversity and community composition in deserts.

  6. Modeling Soil Moisture in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, David M.; Hughson, Debra; Schmidt, Kevin M.

    2008-01-01

    The Mojave Desert is an arid region of southeastern California and parts of Nevada, Arizona, and Utah; the desert occupies more than 25,000 square miles (fig. 1). Ranging from below sea level to over 5,000 feet (1,524 m) in elevation, the Mojave Desert is considered a ?high desert.? On the west and southwest it is bounded by the Sierra Nevada, the San Gabriel, and the San Bernardino Mountains. These imposing mountains intercept moisture traveling inland from the Pacific Ocean, producing arid conditions characterized by extreme fluctuations in daily temperatures, strong seasonal winds, and an average annual precipitation of less than six inches. The Mojave Desert lies farther south and at a lower elevation than the cooler Great Basin Desert and grades southward into the even lower and hotter Sonoran Desert.

  7. The water economy of South American desert rodents: from integrative to molecular physiological ecology.

    PubMed

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Gallardo, Pedro

    2006-01-01

    Rodents from arid and semi-arid habitats live under conditions where the spatial and temporal availability of free water is limited, or scarce, thus forcing these rodents to deal with the problem of water conservation. The response of rodents to unproductive desert environments and water deficits has been intensively investigated in many deserts of the world. However, current understanding of the cellular, systemic and organismal physiology of water economy relies heavily on short-term, laboratory-oriented experiments, which usually focus on responses at isolated levels of biological organization. In addition, studies in small South American mammals are scarce. Indeed xeric habitats have existed in South America for a long time and it is intriguing why present day South American desert rodents do not show the wide array of adaptive traits to desert life observed for rodents on other continents. Several authors have pointed out that South American desert rodents lack physiological and energetic specialization for energy and water conservation, hypothesizing that their success is based more on behavioral and ecological strategies. We review phenotypic flexibility and physiological diversity in water flux rate, urine osmolality, and expression of water channels in South American desert-dwelling rodents. As far as we know, this is the first review of integrative studies at cellular, systemic and organismal levels. Our main conclusion is that South American desert rodents possess structural as well as physiological systems for water conservation, which are as remarkable as those found in "classical" rodents inhabiting other desert areas of the world.

  8. Serologic and molecular evidence for Testudinid herpesvirus 2 infection in wild Agassiz's desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Elliott R; Berry, Kristin H; Wellehan, James F X; Origgi, Francesco; Childress, April L; Braun, Josephine; Schrenzel, Mark; Yee, Julie; Rideout, Bruce

    2012-07-01

    Following field observations of wild Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) with oral lesions similar to those seen in captive tortoises with herpesvirus infection, we measured the prevalence of antibodies to Testudinid herpesvirus (TeHV) 3 in wild populations of desert tortoises in California. The survey revealed 30.9% antibody prevalence. In 2009 and 2010, two wild adult male desert tortoises, with gross lesions consistent with trauma and puncture wounds, respectively, were necropsied. Tortoise 1 was from the central Mojave Desert and tortoise 2 was from the northeastern Mojave Desert. We extracted DNA from the tongue of tortoise 1 and from the tongue and nasal mucosa of tortoise 2. Sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products of the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene and the UL39 gene respectively showed 100% nucleotide identity with TeHV2, which was previously detected in an ill captive desert tortoise in California. Although several cases of herpesvirus infection have been described in captive desert tortoises, our findings represent the first conclusive molecular evidence of TeHV2 infection in wild desert tortoises. The serologic findings support cross-reactivity between TeHV2 and TeHV3. Further studies to determine the ecology, prevalence, and clinical significance of this virus in tortoise populations are needed.

  9. Biparentally deserted offspring are viable in a species with intense sexual conflict over care.

    PubMed

    Pogány, Ákos; Kosztolányi, András; Miklósi, Ádám; Komdeur, Jan; Székely, Tamás

    2015-07-01

    Desertion of clutch (or brood) by both parents often leads to breeding failure, since in vast majority of birds care by at least one parent is required for any young to fledge. Recent works in a highly polygamous passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus), suggest that biparental clutch desertion is due to intense sexual conflict over care. However, an alternative yet untested hypothesis for biparental desertion is low offspring viability so that the parents abandon the offspring that have poor prospect for survival. Here we test the latter hypothesis in a common garden experiment by comparing the viability of deserted and cared for eggs. We show that embryonic development does not differ between deserted and cared for eggs. Therefore, sexual conflict over care remains the best supported hypothesis for biparental clutch desertion in penduline tits. Our work points out that conflict over care is a potential - yet rarely considered - cause of biparental nest desertion, and a strong alternative for the traditional explanations of low offspring viability, human disturbance or deteriorating ambient environment. Apart from a handful of species, the intensity of sexual conflict has not been quantified, and we call for further studies to consider sexual conflict as a cause of nest desertion.

  10. Morphodynamics of Planetary Deserts: A Laboratory Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, A.; Courrech Du Pont, S.; Rodriguez, S.

    2014-12-01

    Earth deserts show a rich variety of dune shapes from transverse to barchan, star and linear dunes depending on the history of wind regimes (strength and variability) and sand availability [1]. In desert, exposed to one wind direction, dunes perpendicular to the wind direction are found to be transverse or barchans, only sand availability plays a key role on their formation and evolution. However, the evolution time scale of such structures (several years) limits our investigation of their morphodynamics understanding. We use here, a laboratory experiment able to considerably reduce space and time scales by reproducing millimeter to centimeter subaqueous dunes by controlling environmental parameters such as type of wind (multi-winds, bimodal, quasi-bimodal or unidirectional wind) and amount of sediment [2,3]. This set up allows us to characterize more precisely the different modes of dune formation and long-term evolution, and to constrain the physics behind the morphogenesis and dynamics of dunes. Indeed, the formation, evolution and transition between the different dune modes are better understood and quantified thanks to a new setting experiment able to give a remote sediment source in continuous (closer to what happens in terrestrial desert): a sand distributor that controls the input sand flow. Firstly, in a one wind direction conditions, we managed to follow and quantify the growth of the instability of transverse dunes that break into barchans when the sand supply is low and reversely when the sand supply is higher, barchan fields evolve to bars dunes ending to form transverse. The next step will be to perform experiments under two winds conditions in order to better constrain the formation mode of linear dunes, depending also only on the input sand flux. Previous experiments shown that linear "finger" dunes can be triggered by the break of transverse dunes and then the elongating of one barchan's arm [4]. These studies can farther explain more precisely in

  11. Exercise Desert Rock Letter Orders. Army, Camp Desert Rock, Nevada.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1957-08-01

    WILF.iED J MSGT A19032i3 HJ;,ŕWAY, ELLafGzJN 8FC Xf,37791267 INOZ W, P. 1. PVT2 US52401808 KELLEY, JESSIE J SFC R1� EVaS, LOUIS PFC .,53073109...Ord Co (HAM) Camo Desert Rock, Nevada You will preeeed to Reynolds Funeral Vome, Sigourney, Iowa 0/a 24 AU ist 1957 for apprx fourteen (14) days to

  12. The drought of the 1890s in south-eastern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pribyl, Kathleen; Nash, David; Klein, Jorgen; Endfield, Georgina

    2016-04-01

    During the second half of the 1890s south-eastern Africa, from modern day Zimbabwe and Botswana down to South Africa, was hit by a drought driven ecological crisis. Using instrumental observations and previously unexploited documentary records in the form of British administrative sources, reports and letters by various Protestant mission societies and newspapers, the extent, duration and severity of the drought are explored. Generally the period was marked by a delayed onset of the rainy season of several months; rainfall totals dropped and perennial rivers such as the Limpopo dried up. The delay of the rainy season negatively impacted the rain-fed agriculture. Recurrent drought conditions during the rainy season frequently withered the young crops. In the interior of southern Africa, on the border of the Kalahari desert, the drought was more severe and continuous than towards the coast of the Indian Ocean. The prolonged dry conditions furthered the outbreak of locust plagues and cattle disease, which in the 1890s took the disastrous form of Rinderpest. A model is established showing how the drought as the original driver of the crisis, triggered a cascade of responses from harvest failure to famine and finally leading to profound socio-economic change.

  13. Ancient watercourses and biogeography of the Sahara explain the peopling of the desert

    PubMed Central

    Drake, Nick A.; Blench, Roger M.; Armitage, Simon J.; Bristow, Charlie S.; White, Kevin H.

    2011-01-01

    Evidence increasingly suggests that sub-Saharan Africa is at the center of human evolution and understanding routes of dispersal “out of Africa” is thus becoming increasingly important. The Sahara Desert is considered by many to be an obstacle to these dispersals and a Nile corridor route has been proposed to cross it. Here we provide evidence that the Sahara was not an effective barrier and indicate how both animals and humans populated it during past humid phases. Analysis of the zoogeography of the Sahara shows that more animals crossed via this route than used the Nile corridor. Furthermore, many of these species are aquatic. This dispersal was possible because during the Holocene humid period the region contained a series of linked lakes, rivers, and inland deltas comprising a large interlinked waterway, channeling water and animals into and across the Sahara, thus facilitating these dispersals. This system was last active in the early Holocene when many species appear to have occupied the entire Sahara. However, species that require deep water did not reach northern regions because of weak hydrological connections. Human dispersals were influenced by this distribution; Nilo-Saharan speakers hunting aquatic fauna with barbed bone points occupied the southern Sahara, while people hunting Savannah fauna with the bow and arrow spread southward. The dating of lacustrine sediments show that the “green Sahara” also existed during the last interglacial (∼125 ka) and provided green corridors that could have formed dispersal routes at a likely time for the migration of modern humans out of Africa. PMID:21187416

  14. Episodic death across species of desert shrubs.

    PubMed

    Miriti, Maria N; Rodríguez-Buriticá, Susana; Wright, S Joseph; Howe, Henry F

    2007-01-01

    Extreme events shape population and community trajectories. We report episodic mortality across common species of thousands of long-lived perennials individually tagged and monitored for 20 years in the Colorado Desert of California following severe regional drought. Demographic records from 1984 to 2004 show 15 years of virtual stasis in populations of adult shrubs and cacti, punctuated by a 55-100% die-off of six of the seven most common perennial species. In this episode, adults that experienced reduced growth in a lesser drought during 1984-1989 failed to survive the drought of 2002. The significance of this event is potentially profound because population dynamics of long-lived plants can be far more strongly affected by deaths of adults, which in deserts potentially live for centuries, than by seedling births or deaths. Differential mortality and rates of recovery during and after extreme climatic events quite likely determine the species composition of plant and associated animal communities for at least decades. The die-off recorded in this closely monitored community provides a unique window into the mechanics of this process of species decline and replacement.

  15. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vandergast, Amy G.; Inman, Richard D.; Barr, Kelly R.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Wood, Dustin A.; Medica, Philip A.; Breinholt, Jesse W.; Stephen, Catherine L.; Gottscho, Andrew D.; Marks, Sharyn B.; Jennings, W. Bryan; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic diversity within species provides the raw material for adaptation and evolution. Just as regions of high species diversity are conservation targets, identifying regions containing high genetic diversity and divergence within and among populations may be important to protect future evolutionary potential. When multiple co-distributed species show spatial overlap in high genetic diversity and divergence, these regions can be considered evolutionary hotspots. We mapped spatial population genetic structure for 17 animal species across the Mojave Desert, USA. We analyzed these in concurrence and located 10 regions of high genetic diversity, divergence or both among species. These were mainly concentrated along the western and southern boundaries where ecotones between mountain, grassland and desert habitat are prevalent, and along the Colorado River. We evaluated the extent to which these hotspots overlapped protected lands and utility-scale renewable energy development projects of the Bureau of Land Management. While 30–40% of the total hotspot area was categorized as protected, between 3–7% overlapped with proposed renewable energy project footprints, and up to 17% overlapped with project footprints combined with transmission corridors. Overlap of evolutionary hotspots with renewable energy development mainly occurred in 6 of the 10 identified hotspots. Resulting GIS-based maps can be incorporated into ongoing landscape planning efforts and highlight specific regions where further investigation of impacts to population persistence and genetic connectivity may be warranted.

  16. Scorpions and scorpionism in Iran's central desert.

    PubMed

    Nejati, Jalil; Saghafipour, Abedin; Mozaffari, Ehsan; Keyhani, Amir; Jesri, Nahid

    2017-02-01

    Venomous scorpions have extreme importance in field of medicine and public health. This descriptive - analytic study was done to identify scorpion fauna, their ecological aspects as well as scorpionism for risk management and prevention of this health problem in Iran's central desert. Four urban and fifteen rural areas with various climates and topography locations were selected for monthly scorpion collection through a randomly cluster sampling in 2013. The clinical data was obtained from questionnaires provided in 2009-2014. Totally, 1481 scorpion sting cases were recorded. The majority were treated less than 6h after the sting. Statistical tests showed significant difference between season, scorpion's color, living place of patients and scorpionism cases. Plain areas had the most occurrence of scorpionism followed by foothills. Moreover, 311 scorpion samples belonged to 7 species of Buthidae were collected. Mesobuthus eupeus was the dominant species in both rural and urban areas. Most of the collected samples were from indoors, yards and around the houses. The most scorpion activity was recorded in the summer. The studied areas had rich scorpion fauna due to various climates and topography locations. Scorpion stings can be important and fatal in this area, particularly in the plain regions with semi-desert climate. An investigation for assessment of peoples' awareness on prevention methods of scorpionism and also the determination and the assessment of effective factors on reducing the elapsed time between scorpion stings and receiving medical care are here recommended.

  17. The Solar Spectrum in the Atacama Desert

    PubMed Central

    Cordero, R. R.; Damiani, A.; Seckmeyer, G.; Jorquera, J.; Caballero, M.; Rowe, P.; Ferrer, J.; Mubarak, R.; Carrasco, J.; Rondanelli, R.; Matus, M.; Laroze, D.

    2016-01-01

    The Atacama Desert has been pointed out as one of the places on earth where the highest surface irradiance may occur. This area is characterized by its high altitude, prevalent cloudless conditions and relatively low columns of ozone and water vapor. Aimed at the characterization of the solar spectrum in the Atacama Desert, we carried out in February-March 2015 ground-based measurements of the spectral irradiance (from the ultraviolet to the near infrared) at seven locations that ranged from the city of Antofagasta (on the southern pacific coastline) to the Chajnantor Plateau (5,100 m altitude). Our spectral measurements allowed us to retrieve the total ozone column, the precipitable water, and the aerosol properties at each location. We found that changes in these parameters, as well as the shorter optical path length at high-altitude locations, lead to significant increases in the surface irradiance with the altitude. Our measurements show that, in the range 0–5100 m altitude, surface irradiance increases with the altitude by about 27% in the infrared range, 6% in the visible range, and 20% in the ultraviolet range. Spectral measurements carried out at the Izaña Observatory (Tenerife, Spain), in Hannover (Germany) and in Santiago (Chile), were used for further comparisons. PMID:26932150

  18. Desert Studies - A Global View

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-08-23

    Exploration, Dec. 6-10, 1982, Ft. Worth, TX, p. 39-40. 1983: 2 abs. published, 2 papers submitted for publication Breed, C. S., 1983, Subsurface imaging with...2-10 (in Chinese). Elachi, C., Roth, L. E., and Schaber, G. G., 1984, Spaceborne radar subsurface imaging in hyperarid regions, 1984: IEEE...are 55) km o. 18t BIBLIOGRAPHY (CITED REFERENCES) Breed, C. S., 1983, Subsurface imaging with SIR-A in the Egyptian Desert (abs.): Summaries, 17th

  19. Dynamic response of desert wetlands to abrupt climate change

    PubMed Central

    Springer, Kathleen B.; Manker, Craig R.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

    Desert wetlands are keystone ecosystems in arid environments and are preserved in the geologic record as groundwater discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits are inherently discontinuous and stratigraphically complex, which has limited our understanding of how desert wetlands responded to past episodes of rapid climate change. Previous studies have shown that wetlands responded to climate change on glacial to interglacial timescales, but their sensitivity to short-lived climate perturbations is largely unknown. Here, we show that GWD deposits in the Las Vegas Valley (southern Nevada, United States) provide a detailed and nearly complete record of dynamic hydrologic changes during the past 35 ka (thousands of calibrated 14C years before present), including cycles of wetland expansion and contraction that correlate tightly with climatic oscillations recorded in the Greenland ice cores. Cessation of discharge associated with rapid warming events resulted in the collapse of entire wetland systems in the Las Vegas Valley at multiple times during the late Quaternary. On average, drought-like conditions, as recorded by widespread erosion and the formation of desert soils, lasted for a few centuries. This record illustrates the vulnerability of desert wetland flora and fauna to abrupt climate change. It also shows that GWD deposits can be used to reconstruct paleohydrologic conditions at millennial to submillennial timescales and informs conservation efforts aimed at protecting these fragile ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic warming. PMID:26554007

  20. Dynamic response of desert wetlands to abrupt climate change.

    PubMed

    Springer, Kathleen B; Manker, Craig R; Pigati, Jeffrey S

    2015-11-24

    Desert wetlands are keystone ecosystems in arid environments and are preserved in the geologic record as groundwater discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits are inherently discontinuous and stratigraphically complex, which has limited our understanding of how desert wetlands responded to past episodes of rapid climate change. Previous studies have shown that wetlands responded to climate change on glacial to interglacial timescales, but their sensitivity to short-lived climate perturbations is largely unknown. Here, we show that GWD deposits in the Las Vegas Valley (southern Nevada, United States) provide a detailed and nearly complete record of dynamic hydrologic changes during the past 35 ka (thousands of calibrated (14)C years before present), including cycles of wetland expansion and contraction that correlate tightly with climatic oscillations recorded in the Greenland ice cores. Cessation of discharge associated with rapid warming events resulted in the collapse of entire wetland systems in the Las Vegas Valley at multiple times during the late Quaternary. On average, drought-like conditions, as recorded by widespread erosion and the formation of desert soils, lasted for a few centuries. This record illustrates the vulnerability of desert wetland flora and fauna to abrupt climate change. It also shows that GWD deposits can be used to reconstruct paleohydrologic conditions at millennial to submillennial timescales and informs conservation efforts aimed at protecting these fragile ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic warming.

  1. Dynamic response of desert wetlands to abrupt climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Springer, Kathleen; Manker, Craig; Pigati, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    Desert wetlands are keystone ecosystems in arid environments and are preserved in the geologic record as groundwater discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits are inherently discontinuous and stratigraphically complex, which has limited our understanding of how desert wetlands responded to past episodes of rapid climate change. Previous studies have shown that wetlands responded to climate change on glacial to interglacial timescales, but their sensitivity to short-lived climate perturbations is largely unknown. Here, we show that GWD deposits in the Las Vegas Valley (southern Nevada, United States) provide a detailed and nearly complete record of dynamic hydrologic changes during the past 35 ka (thousands of calibrated 14C years before present), including cycles of wetland expansion and contraction that correlate tightly with climatic oscillations recorded in the Greenland ice cores. Cessation of discharge associated with rapid warming events resulted in the collapse of entire wetland systems in the Las Vegas Valley at multiple times during the late Quaternary. On average, drought-like conditions, as recorded by widespread erosion and the formation of desert soils, lasted for a few centuries. This record illustrates the vulnerability of desert wetland flora and fauna to abrupt climate change. It also shows that GWD deposits can be used to reconstruct paleohydrologic conditions at millennial to submillennial timescales and informs conservation efforts aimed at protecting these fragile ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic warming.

  2. Desert dust suppressing precipitation: a possible desertification feedback loop.

    PubMed

    Rosenfeld, D; Rudich, Y; Lahav, R

    2001-05-22

    The effect of desert dust on cloud properties and precipitation has so far been studied solely by using theoretical models, which predict that rainfall would be enhanced. Here we present observations showing the contrary; the effect of dust on cloud properties is to inhibit precipitation. Using satellite and aircraft observations we show that clouds forming within desert dust contain small droplets and produce little precipitation by drop coalescence. Measurement of the size distribution and the chemical analysis of individual Saharan dust particles collected in such a dust storm suggest a possible mechanism for the diminished rainfall. The detrimental impact of dust on rainfall is smaller than that caused by smoke from biomass burning or anthropogenic air pollution, but the large abundance of desert dust in the atmosphere renders it important. The reduction of precipitation from clouds affected by desert dust can cause drier soil, which in turn raises more dust, thus providing a possible feedback loop to further decrease precipitation. Furthermore, anthropogenic changes of land use exposing the topsoil can initiate such a desertification feedback process.

  3. Desert dust suppressing precipitation: A possible desertification feedback loop

    PubMed Central

    Rosenfeld, Daniel; Rudich, Yinon; Lahav, Ronen

    2001-01-01

    The effect of desert dust on cloud properties and precipitation has so far been studied solely by using theoretical models, which predict that rainfall would be enhanced. Here we present observations showing the contrary; the effect of dust on cloud properties is to inhibit precipitation. Using satellite and aircraft observations we show that clouds forming within desert dust contain small droplets and produce little precipitation by drop coalescence. Measurement of the size distribution and the chemical analysis of individual Saharan dust particles collected in such a dust storm suggest a possible mechanism for the diminished rainfall. The detrimental impact of dust on rainfall is smaller than that caused by smoke from biomass burning or anthropogenic air pollution, but the large abundance of desert dust in the atmosphere renders it important. The reduction of precipitation from clouds affected by desert dust can cause drier soil, which in turn raises more dust, thus providing a possible feedback loop to further decrease precipitation. Furthermore, anthropogenic changes of land use exposing the topsoil can initiate such a desertification feedback process. PMID:11353821

  4. The age of the Taklimakan Desert.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jimin; Liu, Tungsheng

    2006-06-16

    The Taklimakan Desert is located in the foreland basin of the Tibetan Plateau. We report here the results of stratigraphic investigations of a 1626-meter-thick sequence with interbedded wind-blown silt from the southern marginal Taklimakan Desert. Because the studied section is located downwind of the desert, the eolian silt accumulation is closely linked to desert formation. Our new evidence indicates that shifting sand dunes prevailed in the Tarim Basin by at least 5.3 million years ago, as they do today. We attribute this event to late Cenozoic climatic deterioration, as well as to changes in atmospheric circulation induced by Tibetan Plateau uplift.

  5. Alternate Energy from the Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malek, E.

    2003-12-01

    Due to rapid growth of the world's population and more demands for energy, and due to limited amount of fossil fuels (which provide 95 % of the world's energy needs), harnessing of alternate energy sources such as solar and wind power should be considered. In addition to the mountain passes with usually high wind, vast and flat desert areas could be good candidates for harvesting both solar and wind power. We set up a weather station in the middle of a desert, approximately 65 km east-west by 130 km north-south, located at Dugway (40\\deg 08' N, 113\\deg 27' W, 1124 m above mean sea level) in northwestern Utah, USA, in 1999. This station measured the incoming (Rsi) and outgoing (Rso) solar or shortwave radiation using two CM21 Kipp & Zonen pyranometers (one inverted), the incoming (Rli or atmospheric) and outgoing (Rlo or terrestrial) longwave radiation, using two CG1 Kipp & Zonen pyrgeometers (one inverted), and the net (Rn) radiation using a Q*7 net radiometer (Radiation Energy Balance System, REBS). We also measured the 3-m wind speed (U3) and direction (R.M. Young wind monitor) and precipitation (Campbell Sci., Inc.) and some other weather parameters. The measurements were taken every two seconds, and averaged into 20-min, continuously, throughout the year. The two-year (January 2000 - December 2001) period comparisons of global or solar radiation and windiness with two other stations in central (Hunter) and northern (Logan) Utah, indicate higher average solar radiation [Rsi,Dugway = 601 MJ / (m2-month) vs. Rsi, Hunter = 5371 MJ /(m2-month) and Rsi, Logan = 516 MJ /(m2-month)] and much higher 10-m average wind (UDugway = 478 km/d vs. UHunter = 323 km/d and ULogan = 275 km/d) throughout the period over the desert. These data reveal the possibility of simultaneously harvesting these two sources of clean energies at this vast and uniform desert area. Keywords: Desert, energy, radiation balance, solar and wind energies, windiness.

  6. Aerobiology and the global transport of desert dust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Griffin, Dale W.

    2006-01-01

    Desert winds aerosolize several billion tons of soil-derived dust each year, including concentrated seasonal pulses from Africa and Asia. These transoceanic and transcontinental dust events inject a large pulse of microorganisms and pollen into the atmosphere and could therefore have a role in transporting pathogens or expanding the biogeographical range of some organisms by facilitating long-distance dispersal events. As we discuss here, whether such dispersal events are occurring is only now beginning to be investigated. Huge dust events create an atmospheric bridge over land and sea, and the microbiota contained within them could impact downwind ecosystems. Such dispersal is of interest because of the possible health effects of allergens and pathogens that might be carried with the dust.

  7. Erosion resistance of bionic functional surfaces inspired from desert scorpions.

    PubMed

    Zhiwu, Han; Junqiu, Zhang; Chao, Ge; Li, Wen; Ren, Luquan

    2012-02-07

    In this paper, a bionic method is presented to improve the erosion resistance of machine components. Desert scorpion (Androctonus australis) is a typical animal living in sandy deserts, and may face erosive action of blowing sand at a high speed. Based on the idea of bionics and biologic experimental techniques, the mechanisms of the sand erosion resistance of desert scorpion were investigated. Results showed that the desert scorpions used special microtextures such as bumps and grooves to construct the functional surfaces to achieve the erosion resistance. In order to understand the erosion resistance mechanisms of such functional surfaces, the combination of computational and experimental research were carried out in this paper. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method was applied to predict the erosion performance of the bionic functional surfaces. The result demonstrated that the microtextured surfaces exhibited better erosion resistance than the smooth surfaces. The further erosion tests indicated that the groove surfaces exhibited better erosion performance at 30° injection angle. In order to determine the effect of the groove dimensions on the erosion resistance, regression analysis of orthogonal multinomials was also performed under a certain erosion condition, and the regression equation between the erosion rate and groove distance, width, and height was established.

  8. Prospects and constraints of desert agriculture: lessons from West Omdurman.

    PubMed

    El Gamri, Tarig

    2004-12-01

    Sudan is the largest country in Africa with an area of about 2.5 million km2; the country hosts a population of about 31 million people. About two-thirds of the country area is located within arid and semi-arid regions. Recently, especially during the last half of the previous century, these regions were subject to various forms of land degradation. This paper discusses the general prospects and constraints of desert agriculture. It also presents a detailed case study of West Omdurman, which is located in a semi-desert climatic zone. The ambitious plans to utilise the area for agricultural production were initiated because of the relatively fertile soil, availability of water and the proximity of the area to marketing and export centres. The paper discusses the different land use systems experienced in the area, reasons for failure are identified and possible remedies discussed. In addition, constraints facing the proposed West Omdurman Canal Project are also discussed. Finally, the paper reviews the major research findings of Rawakeeb Dryland Research Center with regard to promoting agricultural productivity.

  9. The Dragon Enters Africa

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-05-04

    1950s. China’s establishment of modern relations with Africa started with the 1955 Bandung Conference where 29 developing nations, including China and a...few Af1ican nations, met to show solidarity by denouncing neocolonialism and pledging to stand up to the western powers. 2 The Bandung Conference ...problems; The report caused western banks and loan agencies to bail on a donor’s conference scheduled for July of 2002. The collapse of the donor’s

  10. Searching for Life in Death Valley (and Other Deserts) - Microchemical Investigations on Desert Varnish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreae, M. O.; Al-Amri, A. M.; Jochum, K. P.; Kappl, M.; Kilcoyne, A. D.; Macholdt, D.; Müller, M.; Pöhlker, C.; Weber, B.; Weigand, M.

    2014-12-01

    Desert varnishes are thin, shiny, blackish to brown coatings frequently found on the surfaces of exposed rocks in deserts around the globe. They have been proposed as terrestrial analogues of superficial hematite enrichments observed on Mars. While the first scientific studies of such varnishes go back to Darwin and von Humboldt, and intensive studies by a variety of techniques have been conducted over the last few decades, their origin is still a matter of debate. Microscopic and molecular studies have shown the presence of fungi and bacteria, but it is still unclear whether they are involved in the formation of the varnish material or just opportunistic colonizers on available surfaces. We have analysed samples of desert varnish from sites in Death Valley, the Mojave Desert, the Negev of Israel, Central Saudi Arabia, and the Succulent Karoo by a variety of microanalytical techniques. Measurements by UV-femtosecond Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry show enrichments of manganese, iron, barium and other elements. Isotopic and trace chemical signatures show that these enriched elements cannot originate from the rocks that form the substrate on which the crusts have been deposited, but most likely are the result of (bio?)chemical transformation of windblown material. For a more detailed investigation of the internal structure of the crusts, we prepared ultra-thin sections (~100 nm) using focused ion beam slicing and analysed them by Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy with Near-Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure spectroscopy (STXM-NEXAFS). This technique revealed layered or chaotic structures consisting of alternating Mn and Fe-rich zones. Some of these layers are enriched in organic carbon with spectral features dominated by aromatic and carboxylate functionalities, indicating a biological origin of some of the crust material. Some crusts also show cavities that are lined with similar organic material. Since the age of these crusts is

  11. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buchanan, Paul C.

    1999-01-01

    The workshop was held July 6-8, 1999 before the Meteoritical Society meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. The venue was Kwa Maritane Resort in the Pilanesburg Game Reserve. Conveners were Ludolf Schultz (Chair, MPI fur Chemie), Ian Franchi (Open University), Arch Reid (University of Houston), and Mike Zolensky (NASA JSC). Extended abstracts will be published as an LPI Technical Report. In the first session, Marvin discussed three African iron meteorites: Cape of Good Hope, Gibeon, and Hoba. Grady presented a statistical analysis of meteorites from hot and cold deserts. Wasson discussed types of Antarctic iron meteorites. Several presentations characterized populations of meteorites from individual desert areas: Libyan Desert (Weber et al.), Nullarbor Region (Bevan et al.), and Mojave Desert (Kring et al. and Verish et al). Pairing among EET87503-group howardites was discussed by Buchanan et al. Based on 14C terrestrial ages of Allan Hills ordinary chondrites, Bland et al. suggested that ice flow may be the principal sink for Antarctic meteorites. The effects of preterrestrial and terrestrial alteration were considered in the second session. Nakamura et al. and Lipschutz discussed asteroidal metamorphism of carbonaceous chondrites. Zolensky presented evidence for preterrestrial halide and sulfide in meteorites. Crozaz and Wadhwa described terrestrial alteration of Dar al Gani 476. Welten and Nishiizumi discussed terrestrial weathering of chondrites from Frontier Mountain, Antarctica. Most of the third session dealt with terrestrial meteorite ages. Based on 14C-10Be ages, Jull et al. discussed the exponential decay in numbers of meteorites with increased age. Nishiizumi et al. concluded that some Allan Hills meteorites have much older terrestrial ages than any meteorites from Lewis Cliffs. Welten et al. discussed terrestrial ages determined by 41Ca/36CI of metal separates from hot desert meteorites. Based on a comparison with large IDPs, Flynn et al. suggested that

  12. Properties of Desert Sand and CMAS Glass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bansal, Narottam P.; Choi, Sung R.

    2014-01-01

    As-received desert sand from a Middle East country has been characterized for its phase composition and thermal stability. X-ray diffraction analysis showed the presence of quartz (SiO2), calcite (CaCO3), gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O), and NaAlSi3O8 phases in as-received desert sand and showed weight loss of approx. 35 percent due to decomposition of CaCO3 and CaSO4.2H2O when heated to 1400 C. A batch of as-received desert sand was melted into calcium magnesium aluminosilicate (CMAS) glass at approx. 1500 C. From inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, chemical composition of the CMAS glass was analyzed to be 27.8CaO-4MgO-5Al2O3-61.6SiO2-0.6Fe2O3-1K2O (mole percent). Various physical, thermal and mechanical properties of the glass have been evaluated. Bulk density of CMAS glass was 2.69 g/cc, Young's modulus 92 GPa, Shear modulus 36 GPa, Poisson's ratio 0.28, dilatometric glass transition temperature (T (sub g)) 706 C, softening point (T (sub d)) 764 C, Vickers microhardness 6.3 +/- 0.4 GPa, indentation fracture toughness 0.75 +/- 0.15 MPa.m (sup 1/2), and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 9.8 x 10 (exp -6)/degC in the temperature range 25 to 700 C. Temperature dependence of viscosity has also been estimated from various reference points of the CMAS glass using the Vogel-Fulcher-Tamman (VFT) equation. The glass remained amorphous after heat treating at 850 C for 10 hr but crystallized into CaSiO3 and Ca-Mg-Al silicate phases at 900 C or higher temperatures. Crystallization kinetics of the CMAS glass has also been investigated by differential thermal analysis (DTA). Activation energies for the crystallization of two different phases in the glass were calculated to be 403 and 483 kJ/mol, respectively.

  13. Desert Farming Benefits from Microbial Potential in Arid Soils and Promotes Diversity and Plant Health

    PubMed Central

    Köberl, Martina; Müller, Henry; Ramadan, Elshahat M.; Berg, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    Background To convert deserts into arable, green landscapes is a global vision, and desert farming is a strong growing area of agriculture world-wide. However, its effect on diversity of soil microbial communities, which are responsible for important ecosystem services like plant health, is still not known. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied the impact of long-term agriculture on desert soil in one of the most prominent examples for organic desert farming in Sekem (Egypt). Using a polyphasic methodological approach to analyse microbial communities in soil as well as associated with cultivated plants, drastic effects caused by 30 years of agriculture were detected. Analysing bacterial fingerprints, we found statistically significant differences between agricultural and native desert soil of about 60%. A pyrosequencing-based analysis of the 16S rRNA gene regions showed higher diversity in agricultural than in desert soil (Shannon diversity indices: 11.21/7.90), and displayed structural differences. The proportion of Firmicutes in field soil was significantly higher (37%) than in the desert (11%). Bacillus and Paenibacillus play the key role: they represented 96% of the antagonists towards phytopathogens, and identical 16S rRNA sequences in the amplicon library and for isolates were detected. The proportion of antagonistic strains was doubled in field in comparison to desert soil (21.6%/12.4%); disease-suppressive bacteria were especially enriched in plant roots. On the opposite, several extremophilic bacterial groups, e.g., Acidimicrobium, Rubellimicrobium and Deinococcus-Thermus, disappeared from soil after agricultural use. The N-fixing Herbaspirillum group only occurred in desert soil. Soil bacterial communities were strongly driven by the a-biotic factors water supply and pH. Conclusions/Significance After long-term farming, a drastic shift in the bacterial communities in desert soil was observed. Bacterial communities in agricultural soil showed a higher

  14. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    PubMed

    Buehlmann, Cornelia; Hansson, Bill S; Knaden, Markus

    2012-01-01

    The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

  15. On carbon sequestration in desert ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlesinger, W.H.; Belnap, J.; Marion, G.

    2009-01-01

    Recent reports of net ecosysytem production >100 g C m-2 yr-1 in deserts are incompatible with existing measurements of net primary production and carbon pools in deserts. The comparisions suggest that gas exchange measurements should be used with caution and better validation if they are expected to indicate the magnitude of carbon sink in these ecosysytems. ?? 2009 Blackwell Publishing.

  16. Magnetic Analysis Techniques Applied to Desert Varnish

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidgall, E. R.; Moskowitz, B. M.; Dahlberg, E. D.; Kuhlman, K. R.

    2003-01-01

    Desert varnish is a black or reddish coating commonly found on rock samples from arid regions. Typically, the coating is very thin, less than half a millimeter thick. Previous research has shown that the primary components of desert varnish are silicon oxide clay minerals (60%), manganese and iron oxides (20-30%), and trace amounts of other compounds [1]. Desert varnish is thought to originate when windborne particles containing iron and manganese oxides are deposited onto rock surfaces where manganese oxidizing bacteria concentrate the manganese and form the varnish [4,5]. If desert varnish is indeed biogenic, then the presence of desert varnish on rock surfaces could serve as a biomarker, indicating the presence of microorganisms. This idea has considerable appeal, especially for Martian exploration [6]. Magnetic analysis techniques have not been extensively applied to desert varnish. The only previous magnetic study reported that based on room temperature demagnetization experiments, there were noticeable differences in magnetic properties between a sample of desert varnish and the substrate sandstone [7]. Based upon the results of the demagnetization experiments, the authors concluded that the primary magnetic component of desert varnish was either magnetite (Fe3O4) or maghemite ( Fe2O3).

  17. Notes from the Great American Desert

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grady, Marilyn L.; LaCost, Barbara Y.

    2005-01-01

    In the good old days, the state that is Nebraska was identified as part of the Great American Desert. In many ways, in climate and terrain, it still bears a resemblance to a desert. As a frontier or a land of pioneers, it deserves recognition. Invisibility may be one of the greatest challenges women face. One of the great flaws in the writing of…

  18. Diversity and Ecology of Viruses in Hyperarid Desert Soils.

    PubMed

    Zablocki, Olivier; Adriaenssens, Evelien M; Cowan, Don

    2015-11-20

    In recent years, remarkable progress has been made in the field of virus environmental ecology. In marine ecosystems, for example, viruses are now thought to play pivotal roles in the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and to be mediators of microbial evolution through horizontal gene transfer. The diversity and ecology of viruses in soils are poorly understood, but evidence supports the view that the diversity and ecology of viruses in soils differ substantially from those in aquatic systems. Desert biomes cover ∼ 33% of global land masses, and yet the diversity and roles of viruses in these dominant ecosystems remain poorly understood. There is evidence that hot hyperarid desert soils are characterized by high levels of bacterial lysogens and low extracellular virus counts. In contrast, cold desert soils contain high extracellular virus titers. We suggest that the prevalence of microbial biofilms in hyperarid soils, combined with extreme thermal regimens, exerts strong selection pressures on both temperate and virulent viruses. Many desert soil virus sequences show low values of identity to virus genomes in public databases, suggesting the existence of distinct and as-yet-uncharacterized soil phylogenetic lineages (e.g., cyanophages). We strongly advocate for amplification-free metavirome analyses while encouraging the classical isolation of phages from dominant and culturable microbial isolates in order to populate sequence databases. This review provides an overview of recent advances in the study of viruses in hyperarid soils and of the factors that contribute to viral abundance and diversity in hot and cold deserts and offers technical recommendations for future studies.

  19. Diversity and Ecology of Viruses in Hyperarid Desert Soils

    PubMed Central

    Zablocki, Olivier; Adriaenssens, Evelien M.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, remarkable progress has been made in the field of virus environmental ecology. In marine ecosystems, for example, viruses are now thought to play pivotal roles in the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and to be mediators of microbial evolution through horizontal gene transfer. The diversity and ecology of viruses in soils are poorly understood, but evidence supports the view that the diversity and ecology of viruses in soils differ substantially from those in aquatic systems. Desert biomes cover ∼33% of global land masses, and yet the diversity and roles of viruses in these dominant ecosystems remain poorly understood. There is evidence that hot hyperarid desert soils are characterized by high levels of bacterial lysogens and low extracellular virus counts. In contrast, cold desert soils contain high extracellular virus titers. We suggest that the prevalence of microbial biofilms in hyperarid soils, combined with extreme thermal regimens, exerts strong selection pressures on both temperate and virulent viruses. Many desert soil virus sequences show low values of identity to virus genomes in public databases, suggesting the existence of distinct and as-yet-uncharacterized soil phylogenetic lineages (e.g., cyanophages). We strongly advocate for amplification-free metavirome analyses while encouraging the classical isolation of phages from dominant and culturable microbial isolates in order to populate sequence databases. This review provides an overview of recent advances in the study of viruses in hyperarid soils and of the factors that contribute to viral abundance and diversity in hot and cold deserts and offers technical recommendations for future studies. PMID:26590289

  20. Rb-Sr And Sm-Nd Ages, and Petrogenesis of Depleted Shergottite Northwest Africa 5990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shih, C. Y.; Nyquist, L. E.; Reese, Y.; Irving, A. J.

    2011-01-01

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 5990 is a very fresh Martian meteorite recently found on Hamada du Draa, Morocco and was classified as an olivine-bearing diabasic igneous rock related to depleted shergottites [1]. The study of [1] also showed that NWA 5990 resembles QUE 94201 in chemical, textural and isotopic aspects, except QUE 94201 contains no olivine. The depleted shergottites are characterized by REE patterns that are highly depleted in LREE, older Sm-Nd ages of 327-575 Ma and highly LREE-depleted sources with Nd= +35+48 [2-7]. Age-dating these samples by Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr methods is very challenging because they have been strongly shocked and contain very low abundances of light rare earth elements (Sm and Nd), Rb and Sr. In addition, terrestrial contaminants which are commonly present in desert meteorites will compromise the equilibrium of isotopic systems. Since NWA 5990 is a very fresh meteorite, it probably has not been subject to significant desert weathering and thus is a good sample for isotopic studies. In this report, we present Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic results for NWA 5990, discuss the correlation of the determined ages with those of other depleted shergottites, especially QUE 94201, and discuss the petrogenesis of depleted shergottites.

  1. Taxonomy of the water beetle genus Limnebius Leach in southern Africa (Coleoptera:  Hydraenidae).

    PubMed

    Perkins, Philip D

    2015-04-20

    The southern African species of the water beetle genus Limnebius Leach, 1815, are revised. Eleven new species are described, based on the examination and databasing of 6,201 specimens from 96 localities/events. Male genitalia are illustrated, and high resolution habitus images of the holotypes are provided. Distribution maps are provided for the eleven species now known from southern Africa, including Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the extreme southern part of Angola. New species of Limnebius are: L. capensis (South Africa: Western Cape Province, W. Cape, Hawequas); L. convexus (South Africa: Western Cape Province, Little Karroo, Raubenheimer Dam); L. endroedyi (Namibia: C. Namib desert, Numis Wasser); L. kavango (Namibia: Kavango: Mahango Game Reserve); L. masculinus (South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Province, Hluhluwe Game Reserve); L. probus (South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Province, Zululand, Dukuduku Forest Station); L. quantillus (South Africa: Limpopo Province, N. Transvaal, Mmabolela estate); L. retiolus (South Africa: Northern Cape Province, Cape Farm Ezelsfontein); L. speculus (South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Province, Hluhluwe Game Reserve); L. suaviculus (South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Province, Tugela River near Olivershoek road); L. transversus (South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Province, Mtubatuba).

  2. Sexual conflict and consistency of offspring desertion in Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The trade-off between current and future parental investment is often different between males and females. This difference may lead to sexual conflict between parents over care provisioning in animals that breed with multiple mates. One of the most obvious manifestations of sexual conflict over care is offspring desertion whereby one parent deserts the young to increase its reproductive success at the expense of its mate. Offspring desertion is a wide-spread behavior, and its frequency often varies within populations. We studied the consistency of offspring desertion in a small passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus, that has an extremely variable breeding system. Both males and females are sequentially polygamous, and a single parent (either the male or the female) incubates the eggs and rears the young. About 28–40% of offspring are abandoned by both parents, and these offspring perish. Here we investigate whether the variation in offspring desertion in a population emerges either by each individual behaving consistently between different broods, or it is driven by the environment. Results Using a three-year dataset from Southern Hungary we show that offspring desertion by females is consistent between nests. Male desertion, however, depends on ambient environment, because all males desert their nests early in the season and some of them care late in the season. Therefore, within-population variation in parental care emerges by sexually different mechanisms; between-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern of offspring desertion in females, whereas within-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern in males. Conclusion To our knowledge, our study is the first that investigates repeatability of offspring desertion behavior in nature. The contrasting strategies of the sexes imply complex evolutionary trajectories in breeding behavior of penduline tits. Our results raise an intriguing question

  3. Desert Test Site Uniformity Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerola, Dana X.; Bruegge, Carol J.

    2009-01-01

    Desert test sites such as Railroad Valley (RRV) Nevada, Egypt-1, and Libya-4 are commonly targeted to assess the on-orbit radiometric performance of sensors. Railroad Valley is used for vicarious calibration experiments, where a field-team makes ground measurements to produce accurate estimates of top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiances. The Sahara desert test sites are not instrumented, but provide a stable target that can be used for sensor cross-comparisons, or for stability monitoring of a single sensor. These sites are of interest to NASA's Atmospheric Carbon Observation from Space (ACOS) and JAXA's Greenhouse Gas Observation SATellite (GOSAT) programs. This study assesses the utility of these three test sites to the ACOS and GOSAT calibration teams. To simulate errors in sensor-measured radiance with pointing errors, simulated data have been created using MODIS Aqua data. MODIS data are further utilized to validate the campaign data acquired from June 22 through July 5, 2009. The first GOSAT vicarious calibration experiment was conducted during this timeframe.

  4. Behavior of geladas and other endemic wildlife during a desert locust outbreak at Guassa, Ethiopia: ecological and conservation implications.

    PubMed

    Fashing, Peter J; Nguyen, Nga; Fashing, Norman J

    2010-07-01

    Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) outbreaks have occurred repeatedly throughout recorded history in the Horn of Africa region, devastating crops and contributing to famines. In June 2009, a desert locust swarm invaded the Guassa Plateau, Ethiopia, a large and unusually intact Afroalpine tall-grass ecosystem, home to important populations of geladas (Theropithecus gelada), Ethiopian wolves (Canis simensis), thick-billed ravens (Corvus crassirostris), and other Ethiopian or Horn of Africa endemics. During the outbreak and its aftermath, we observed many animals, including geladas, ravens, and a wolf, feeding on locusts in large quantities. These observations suggest surprising flexibility in the normally highly specialized diets of geladas and wolves, including the potential for temporary but intensive insectivory during locust outbreaks. To our knowledge, Guassa is the highest elevation site (3,200-3,600 m) at which desert locusts, which require temperatures >20 degrees C for sustained flight, have been reported. Continued monitoring will be necessary to determine whether the June 2009 outbreak was an isolated incident or part of an emerging pattern in the Ethiopian Highlands linked to global warming. The intensive consumption of desert locusts by geladas, wolves, and ravens during the outbreak at Guassa raises concerns about pesticide-based locust control strategies and potential unintended adverse effects on endemic and endangered wildlife.

  5. Mitochondrial DNA variability in Giraffa camelopardalis: consequences for taxonomy, phylogeography and conservation of giraffes in West and central Africa.

    PubMed

    Hassanin, Alexandre; Ropiquet, Anne; Gourmand, Anne-Laure; Chardonnet, Bertrand; Rigoulet, Jacques

    2007-03-01

    The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) still survives in four countries of West and central Africa. The populations of Niger and Cameroon are generally assigned to the subspecies peralta, but those of Chad and the Central African Republic are taxonomically problematic, as they are referred to as either peralta, or antiquorum, or congoensis. In this study, a mitochondrial fragment of 1765 nucleotide sites, covering the complete cytochrome b gene, three transfer RNAs and a large part of the control region, was sequenced to assess the relationships between several populations of giraffe. The phylogenetic analyses performed on the 12 identified haplotypes indicate that northern giraffes constitute a natural group, distinct from that of southern giraffes. Surprisingly, the giraffes of Niger are found to be more closely related to the giraffes of East Africa (subspecies rothschildi and reticulata) than to those of central Africa. We conclude therefore that the subspecies peralta contains only the Niger giraffes, whereas the subspecies antiquorum includes all populations living in Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, and southwestern Sudan. We suggest that the ancestor of the Nigerian giraffe dispersed from East to North Africa during the Quaternary period and thereafter migrated to its current Sahelian distribution in West Africa, in response to the development of the Sahara desert. This hypothesis implies that Lake Mega-Chad acted as a strong geographical barrier during the Holocene, preventing any contact between the subspecies peralta and antiquorum. Our study has direct implications for conservation management, as we show that no subspecies peralta is represented in any European zoos, only in Niger, with a small population of less than 200 individuals.

  6. Drought in West Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    Drought settled over West Africa's Ivory Coast region when wet season rains came late in 2007. Instead of beginning in February, the rainy season didn't start until March, and steady rains didn't start until late March, said the Famine Early Warning System Network. Though the rain had started to alleviate the drought, vegetation was still depressed in parts of Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) between March 22 and April 6, 2007, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured the data used to make this image. The image shows current vegetation conditions compared to average conditions recorded since 2000. Areas where plants are growing more slowly or more sparsely than average are brown, while areas where vegetation is denser than average are green. The brown tint that dominates the image indicates that plants through most of the country are more sparse than normal. Among the crops affected by the lack of rain was West Africa's cocoa crop. About 70 percent of the world's cocoa comes from West Africa, and Cote d'Ivoire is a top grower, said Reuters. Cocoa prices climbed as the crop fell short. Farmers called the drought the worst in living memory, Reuters said. The delay in rainfall also led to water shortages in parts of Cote d'Ivoire, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

  7. Effects of aerosols and surface shadowing on bidirectional reflectance measurements of deserts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowker, David E.; Davis, Richard E.

    1987-01-01

    Desert surfaces are probably one of the most stable of the Earth's natural targets for remote sensing. The bidirectional reflectance properties of the Saudi Arabian desert was investigated during the Summer Monsoon Experiment (Summer Monex). A comparison of high-altitude with near-surface measurements of the White Sands desert showed significant differences. These discrepancies have been attributed to forward scattering of the dust-laden atmosphere prevalent during Summer Monex. This paper is concerned in general with modeling the effects of atmospheric aerosols and surface shadowing on the remote sensing of bidirectional reflectance factors of desert targets, and in particular with comparing the results of these models with flight results. Although it is possible to approximate the latter, it is felt that a surface reflectance model with a smaller specular component would have permitted using a more realistic set of atmospheric conditions in the simulations.

  8. 75 FR 57761 - Desert Southwest Power, LLC; Notice of Filing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-22

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Desert Southwest Power, LLC; Notice of Filing September 14, 2010. Take notice that on September 10, 2010, Desert Southwest Power, LLC (Desert Southwest) filed responses to the... Commission's July 28, 2010 letter regarding Desert Southwest's petition for declaratory order...

  9. Infiltration Through Desert Pavements, Mojave Desert, CA, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, M. H.; McDonald, E. V.; Caldwell, T. C.; Benner, S. G.

    2003-04-01

    Desert pavements consist of a surface layer of closely packed gravel that overlies thin, gravel-poor vesicular A (Av) soil horizon. Pavements are prominent features in arid and semi-arid environments and can be found on a variety of landforms of significantly diverse ages ranging from Holocene to Tertiary. Well-developed Av profiles form distinct and highly structured prismatic peds. These fine-grained, structured soils can exhibit drastically reduced infiltration rates, rendering some localized areas nearly impermeable and greatly impacting soil development, plant and biota diversity, and groundwater recharge. We sought to study how desert pavement development can impact the hydraulic conductivity characteristics in localized areas (order of 10s of cm). Field sites were chosen at the Mojave Natural Preserve, near Kelso Dunes, CA, USA, which has been the location of considerable prior research by the second author. The sites vary by parent material, clay and silt content, surface age, and variable degree of surface clast cover. Transects were chosen that traversed pavement surfaces of variable development (well developed to poorly developed). Hydraulic conductivity was determined with a tension infiltrometer conducted at different tensions and initial water contents (to better estimate the potential for preferential flow). Sites with dry initial conditions were first analyzed at zero tensions to promote inter-ped flow. After allowing soil peds to hydrate and expand, the tests were run again at a range of soil tensions to promote matrix flow. Differences in saturated conductivities (measured and fitted) were attributed to preferential flow around desiccated peds. Soil texture and structure were measured and described, respectively, allowing for the correlation of conductivity functions to soil surface age and physical characteristics.

  10. Thermal and water relations of desert beetles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloudsley-Thompson, J.

    2001-11-01

    The physical problems that living organisms have to contend with in hot deserts are primarily extremes of temperature, low humidity, shortage or absence of free water, and the environmental factors that accentuate these - such as strong winds, sand-storms, lack of shade, rocky and impenetrable soils. Climatic factors are particularly important to smaller animals such as arthropods on account of their relatively enormous surface to volume ratios. Nevertheless, beetles (especially Tenebrionidae and, to a lesser extent, Chrysomelidae) are among the most successful animals of the desert, and are often the only ones to be seen abroad during the day. Similar physical problems are experienced by insects in all terrestrial biomes, but they are much enhanced in the desert. Although climatic extremes are often avoided by burrowing habits coupled with circadian and seasonal activity rhythms, as well as reproductive phenology, several species of desert beetle are nevertheless able to withstand thermal extremes that would rapidly cause the death of most other arthropods including insects. The reactions of desert beetles to heat are largely behavioural whilst their responses to water shortage are primarily physiological. The effects of coloration are not discussed. In addition to markedly low rates of transpiration, desert beetles can also withstand a considerable reduction in the water content of their tissues. The study of desert beetles is important because it illustrates many of the solutions evolved by arthropods to the problems engendered, in an extreme form, by life in all terrestrial environments.

  11. Thermal and water relations of desert beetles.

    PubMed

    Cloudsley-Thompson, J L

    2001-11-01

    The physical problems that living organisms have to contend with in hot deserts are primarily extremes of temperature, low humidity, shortage or absence of free water, and the environmental factors that accentuate these--such as strong winds, sand-storms, lack of shade, rocky and impenetrable soils. Climatic factors are particularly important to smaller animals such as arthropods on account of their relatively enormous surface to volume ratios. Nevertheless, beetles (especially Tenebrionidae and, to a lesser extent, Chrysomelidae) are among the most successful animals of the desert, and are often the only ones to be seen abroad during the day. Similar physical problems are experienced by insects in all terrestrial biomes, but they are much enhanced in the desert. Although climatic extremes are often avoided by burrowing habits coupled with circadian and seasonal activity rhythms, as well as reproductive phenology, several species of desert beetle are nevertheless able to withstand thermal extremes that would rapidly cause the death of most other arthropods including insects. The reactions of desert beetles to heat are largely behavioural whilst their responses to water shortage are primarily physiological. The effects of coloration are not discussed. In addition to markedly low rates of transpiration, desert beetles can also withstand a considerable reduction in the water content of their tissues. The study of desert beetles is important because it illustrates many of the solutions evolved by arthropods to the problems engendered, in an extreme form, by life in all terrestrial environments.

  12. Mineralogical maturity in dunefields of North America, Africa and Australia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.

    2004-01-01

    Studies of dunefields in central and western North America show that mineralogical maturity can provide new insights into the origin and evolution of aeolian sand bodies. Many of the world's great sand seas in Africa, Asia and Australia are quartz-dominated and thus can be considered to be mineralogically mature. The Algodones (California) and Parker (Arizona) dunes in the southwestern United States are also mature, but have inherited a high degree of mineralogical maturity from quartz-rich sedimentary rocks drained by the Colorado River. In Libya, sediments of the Zallaf sand sea, which are almost pure quartz, may have originated in a similar fashion. The Fort Morgan (Colorado) and Casper (Wyoming) dunefields in the central Great Plains of North America, and the Namib sand sea of southern Africa have an intermediate degree of mineralogical maturity because their sources are large rivers that drained both unweathered plutonic and metamorphic rocks and mature sedimentary rocks. Mojave Desert dunefields in the southwestern United States are quite immature because they are in basins adjacent to plutonic rocks that were their sources. Other dunefields in the Great Plains of North America (those in Nebraska and Texas) are more mature than any possible source sediments and therefore reflect mineralogical evolution over time. Such changes in composition can occur because of either of two opposing long-term states of the dunefield. In one state, dunes are stable for long periods of time and chemical weathering depletes feldspars and other weatherable minerals in the sediment body. In the other state, which is most likely for the Great Plains, abrasion and ballistic impacts deplete the carbonate minerals and feldspars because the dunes are active for longer periods than they are stable. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Ecosystem responses to warming and watering in typical and desert steppes.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhenzhu; Hou, Yanhui; Zhang, Lihua; Liu, Tao; Zhou, Guangsheng

    2016-10-10

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two years, whereas warming manipulation had no significant effect. The soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and the soil respiration (SR) were increased by watering in both steppes, but the SR was significantly decreased by warming in the desert steppe only. The inorganic nitrogen components varied irregularly, with generally lower levels in the desert steppe. The belowground traits of soil total organic carbon (TOC) and the MBC were more closely associated with the ANPP in the desert than in the typical steppes. The results showed that the desert steppe with lower productivity may respond strongly to precipitation changes, particularly with warming, highlighting the positive effect of adding water with warming. Our study implies that the habitat- and year-specific responses to warming and watering should be considered when predicting an ecosystem's functional responses under climate change scenarios.

  14. Ecosystem responses to warming and watering in typical and desert steppes

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Zhenzhu; Hou, Yanhui; Zhang, Lihua; Liu, Tao; Zhou, Guangsheng

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two years, whereas warming manipulation had no significant effect. The soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and the soil respiration (SR) were increased by watering in both steppes, but the SR was significantly decreased by warming in the desert steppe only. The inorganic nitrogen components varied irregularly, with generally lower levels in the desert steppe. The belowground traits of soil total organic carbon (TOC) and the MBC were more closely associated with the ANPP in the desert than in the typical steppes. The results showed that the desert steppe with lower productivity may respond strongly to precipitation changes, particularly with warming, highlighting the positive effect of adding water with warming. Our study implies that the habitat- and year-specific responses to warming and watering should be considered when predicting an ecosystem’s functional responses under climate change scenarios. PMID:27721480

  15. Ecosystem responses to warming and watering in typical and desert steppes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhenzhu; Hou, Yanhui; Zhang, Lihua; Liu, Tao; Zhou, Guangsheng

    2016-10-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two years, whereas warming manipulation had no significant effect. The soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and the soil respiration (SR) were increased by watering in both steppes, but the SR was significantly decreased by warming in the desert steppe only. The inorganic nitrogen components varied irregularly, with generally lower levels in the desert steppe. The belowground traits of soil total organic carbon (TOC) and the MBC were more closely associated with the ANPP in the desert than in the typical steppes. The results showed that the desert steppe with lower productivity may respond strongly to precipitation changes, particularly with warming, highlighting the positive effect of adding water with warming. Our study implies that the habitat- and year-specific responses to warming and watering should be considered when predicting an ecosystem’s functional responses under climate change scenarios.

  16. Hydrological projections under climate change in the near future by RegCM4 in Southern Africa using a large-scale hydrological model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Lu; Diallo, Ismaïla; Xu, Chong-Yu; Stordal, Frode

    2015-09-01

    This study aims to provide model estimates of changes in hydrological elements, such as EvapoTranspiration (ET) and runoff, in Southern Africa in the near future until 2029. The climate change scenarios are projected by a high-resolution Regional Climate Model (RCM), RegCM4, which is the latest version of this model developed by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). The hydrological projections are performed by using a large-scale hydrological model (WASMOD-D), which has been tested and customized on this region prior to this study. The results reveal that (1) the projected temperature shows an increasing tendency over Southern Africa in the near future, especially eastward of 25°E, while the precipitation changes are varying between different months and sub-regions; (2) an increase in runoff (and ET) was found in eastern part of Southern Africa, i.e. Southern Mozambique and Malawi, while a decrease was estimated across the driest region in a wide area encompassing Kalahari Desert, Namibia, southwest of South Africa and Angola; (3) the strongest climate change signals are found over humid tropical areas, i.e. north of Angola and Malawi and south of Dem Rep of Congo; and (4) large spatial and temporal variability of climate change signals is found in the near future over Southern Africa. This study presents the main results of work-package 2 (WP2) of the 'Socioeconomic Consequences of Climate Change in Sub-equatorial Africa (SoCoCA)' project, which is funded by the Research Council of Norway.

  17. Organic Matter Analysis of the Hyper-Arid Peruvian Desert in comparison to other Hyper-Arid Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valdivia-Silva, J. E.; Fletcher, L. E.; Navarro-González, R.; McKay, C. P.; Pérez Montano, S.; Condori Apaza, R.; Conley, C. A.

    2005-12-01

    The Peruvian Desert is located along the Pacific coast of southern Peru and is a continuation of the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Peruvian Desert at the Pampas of La Joya has extreme environmental conditions, such as hyperaridity, and a complete absence of macroscopic life. La Joya contains volcanic soils with the presence of magnetite and quartz. Furthermore, the El Niño phenomena, centralized directly off the coast-line near La Joya, provides stronger climactic effects on this desert, resulting in higher levels of precipitation which should allow for the development of microscopic life. Taking into account that life is based on carbon, here we search for relationships between soil organic matter detected by oxidation versus pyrolisis (pyr-GC-MS) techniques. Our preliminary results showed similar levels of organic compounds to Yungay, the hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert, similar levels of organic compounds to the Antarctic Dry Valleys, and direct correlation between oxidation and pyrolitic techniques.

  18. Serologic and molecular evidence for testudinid herpesvirus 2 infection in wild Agassiz’s desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jacobson, Elliott R.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wellehan, James F. X.; Origgi, Francesco; Childress, April L.; Braun, Josephine; Schrenzel, Mark; Yee, Julie; Rideout, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Following field observations of wild Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) with oral lesions similar to those seen in captive tortoises with herpesvirus infection, we measured the prevalence of antibodies to Testudinid herpesvirus (TeHV) 3 in wild populations of desert tortoises in California. The survey revealed 30.9% antibody prevalence. In 2009 and 2010, two wild adult male desert tortoises, with gross lesions consistent with trauma and puncture wounds, respectively, were necropsied. Tortoise 1 was from the central Mojave Desert and tortoise 2 was from the northeastern Mojave Desert. We extracted DNA from the tongue of tortoise 1 and from the tongue and nasal mucosa of tortoise 2. Sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products of the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene and the UL39 gene respectively showed 100% nucleotide identity with TeHV2, which was previously detected in an ill captive desert tortoise in California. Although several cases of herpesvirus infection have been described in captive desert tortoises, our findings represent the first conclusive molecular evidence of TeHV2 infection in wild desert tortoises. The serologic findings support cross-reactivity between TeHV2 and TeHV3. Further studies to determine the ecology, prevalence, and clinical significance of this virus in tortoise populations are needed.

  19. 76 FR 50493 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-15

    ... Bureau of Land Management Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert Sunlight Solar Farm (DSSF) and California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment... Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan, the applicable Resource Management...

  20. Effects of desert wildfires on desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and other small vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Esque, T.C.; Schwalbe, C.R.; DeFalco, L.A.; Duncan, R.B.; Hughes, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    We report the results of standardized surveys to determine the effects of wildfires on desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and their habitats in the northeastern Mojave Desert and northeastern Sonoran Desert. Portions of 6 burned areas (118 to 1,750 ha) were examined for signs of mortality of vertebrates. Direct effects of fire in desert habitats included animal mortality and loss of vegetation cover. A range of 0 to 7 tortoises was encountered during surveys, and live tortoises were found on all transects. In addition to desert tortoises, only small (<1 kg) mammals and reptiles (11 taxa) were found dead on the study areas. We hypothesize that indirect effects of fire on desert habitats might result in changes in the composition of diets and loss of vegetation cover, resulting in an increase in predation and loss of protection from temperature extremes. These changes in habitat also might cause changes in vertebrate communities in burned areas.

  1. Microphytic crusts: 'topsoil' of the desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne

    1990-01-01

    Deserts throughout the world are the home of microphytic, or cryptogamic, crusts. These crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria, previously called blue-green algae, and also include lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria. They are critical components of desert ecosystems, significantly modifying the surfaces on which they occur. In the cold deserts of the Colorado Plateau (including parts of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico), these crusts are extraordinarily well-developed, and may represent 70-80% of the living ground cover.

  2. Impact and monitoring of dust storms in Taklimakan desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, G. G.; Li, X.; Zheng, Z.

    2012-12-01

    determined that the horizontal dust flux was 0.6 to 4.3 kg/m. Dust clouds are formed when the friction from high surface wind speeds (>6 m/s) lifts loose dust particles into the atmospheric boundary layer or above. Analysis shows that a dust storm in the Taklimakan desert on April 23th produced a huge atmospheric dust cloud, it was transported across the Pacific Ocean to reach the West Coast of North America 12 days later, corresponding to 6 m/s average transport speed. The observations in the Pacific Coast indicated that aerosol concentrations were elevated which resulted in Air Quality Index (AQI) to the yellow moderate category.

  3. Education, Democracy and Poverty Reduction in Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harber, Clive

    2002-01-01

    Authoritarian rule in Africa has exacerbated poverty levels in six ways. Achievement of greater democracy depends upon political culture and civil society in Africa becoming more democratic; education must play a part in teaching democratic values and behaviors. Examples show how education has not furthered democracy in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and…

  4. North Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Nicod, M.A.

    1981-10-01

    The total area covered by petroleum rights in the six countries described in this paper increased by more than 17% in 1980 compared to 1979. Joint venture agreements were finalized for 19 blocks over 94,000 km/sup 2/ in the Algerian venture. Although official information is scarce for Algeria and Libya, seismic activity probably increased in 1980 compared to 1979. Exploration drilling activity increased with 121 wildcats drilled compared to 93 during the previous year. This effort led to 40 discoveries, a 34.5% success ratio. Chevron was especially successful in wildcatting, with 6 oil discoveries for 8 wells drilled in the interior basins of Sudan. One Moroccan discovery can be considered as a highlight: the BRPM Meskala 101 well in the Essaouira basin found an apparently large amount of gas in Triassic sandstones. This discovery deserves special attention, since the gas has been found in Triassic pays rather than in the usual Jurassic pays in the Essaouira basin. Oil production in North Africa decreased from about 13.5% in 1980, with about 3,405,000 barrels of oil per day compared to 3,939,500 barrels of oil per day in 1979. When oil output strongly decreased in Algeria (-16.4%) and Libya (-15.6%), Tunisian production peaked at 116,287 barrels of oil per day and Egypt production also peaked at 584,148 barrels of oil per day. Total gas production in 1980 strongly declined from 44%, mostly due to the decline of the Algerian gas production. 8 figures, 40 tables.

  5. Desert Dust Satellite Retrieval Intercomparison

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carboni, E.; Thomas, G. E.; Sayer, A. M.; Siddans, R.; Poulsen, C. A.; Grainger, R. G.; Ahn, C.; Antoine, D.; Bevan, S.; Braak, R.; Brindley, H.; DeSouza-Mchado, S.; Deuze, J. L.; Diner, D.; Ducos, F.; Grey, W.; Hsu, C.; Kalashnikova, O. V.; Kahn, R.; North, P. R. J.; Salustro, C.; Smith, A.; Tanre, D.; Torres, O.; Veihelmann, B.

    2012-01-01

    This work provides a comparison of satellite retrievals of Saharan desert dust aerosol optical depth (AOD) during a strong dust event through March 2006. In this event, a large dust plume was transported over desert, vegetated, and ocean surfaces. The aim is to identify and understand the differences between current algorithms, and hence improve future retrieval algorithms. The satellite instruments considered are AATSR, AIRS, MERIS, MISR, MODIS, OMI, POLDER, and SEVIRI. An interesting aspect is that the different algorithms make use of different instrument characteristics to obtain retrievals over bright surfaces. These include multi-angle approaches (MISR, AATSR), polarisation measurements (POLDER), single-view approaches using solar wavelengths (OMI, MODIS), and the thermal infrared spectral region (SEVIRI, AIRS). Differences between instruments, together with the comparison of different retrieval algorithms applied to measurements from the same instrument, provide a unique insight into the performance and characteristics of the various techniques employed. As well as the intercomparison between different satellite products, the AODs have also been compared to co-located AERONET data. Despite the fact that the agreement between satellite and AERONET AODs is reasonably good for all of the datasets, there are significant differences between them when compared to each other, especially over land. These differences are partially due to differences in the algorithms, such as as20 sumptions about aerosol model and surface properties. However, in this comparison of spatially and temporally averaged data, at least as significant as these differences are sampling issues related to the actual footprint of each instrument on the heterogeneous aerosol field, cloud identification and the quality control flags of each dataset.

  6. Desert potholes: Ephemeral aquatic microsystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chan, M.A.; Moser, K.; Davis, J.M.; Southam, G.; Hughes, K.; Graham, T.

    2005-01-01

    An enigma of the Colorado Plateau high desert is the "pothole", which ranges from shallow ephemeral puddles to deeply carved pools. The existence of prokaryotic to eukaryotic organisms within these pools is largely controlled by the presence of collected rainwater. Multivariate statistical analysis of physical and chemical limnologic data variables measured from potholes indicates spatial and temporal variations, particularly in water depth, manganese, iron, nitrate and sulfate concentrations and salinity. Variation in water depth and salinity are likely related to the amount of time since the last precipitation, whereas the other variables may be related to redox potential. The spatial and temporal variations in water chemistry affect the distribution of organisms, which must adapt to daily and seasonal extremes of fluctuating temperature (0-60 ??C), pH changes of as much as 5 units over 12 days, and desiccation. For example, many species become dormant when potholes dry, in order to endure intense heat, UV radiation, desiccation and freezing, only to flourish again upon rehydration. But the pothole organisms also have a profound impact on the potholes. Through photosynthesis and respiration, pothole organisms affect redox potential, and indirectly alter the water chemistry. Laboratory examination of dried biofilm from the potholes revealed that within 2 weeks of hydration, the surface of the desiccated, black biofilm became green from cyanobacterial growth, which supported significant growth in heterotrophic bacterial populations. This complex biofilm is persumably responsible for dissolving the cement between the sandstone grains, allowing the potholes to enlarge, and for sealing the potholes, enabling them to retain water longer than the surrounding sandstone. Despite the remarkable ability of life in potholes to persist, desert potholes may be extremely sensitive to anthropogenic effects. The unique limnology and ecology of Utah potholes holds great scientific

  7. Historical and future trends of the Sahara Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Ping; Washington, Warren M.; Meehl, Gerald A.; Wu, Guoxiong; Potter, Gerald L.

    The Parallel Climate Model (PCM) Version 1.1 simulates a reasonable twentieth century climatology in the Sahara Desert. From late 1940s to the end of 1980s, the simulated Sahara Desert, bounded by the 50 mm mean annual rainfall isoline, becomes larger and shifts eastward. The model produces a decreasing rainfall trend while the surface temperature and meridional boundaries are almost stable. In the usual scenario with increasing greenhouse gases from the 1980s to the 2090s the Sahara becomes smaller, moves north and west and continues to dry. Both the size change and latitudinal shift show a century long trend. Compared to 1961-90 climatology, the average northward shift is around 1° and the surface temperature about 2.8°C warmer to the end of 21st century. The local greenhouse effect may cause such warming trend.

  8. Desert wetlands—Archives of a wetter past

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pigati, Jeffery S.; Springer, Kathleen B.; Manker, Craig R.

    2015-12-16

    Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are finding evidence of a much wetter past in the deserts of the American Southwest using a most unlikely source—wetlands. Wetlands form in arid environments where water tables approach or breach the ground surface. Often thought of as stagnant and unchanging, new evidence suggests that springs and wetlands responded dynamically to past episodes of abrupt climate change. Multiple cycles of deposition, erosion, and soil formation show that wetlands in the southwestern United States expanded and contracted many times during the past 35,000 years or so, before disappearing altogether as the last glacial period came to a close. USGS scientists are now studying the deposits to determine how closely conditions in the desert were tied to regional and global climate patterns in the past, and what it might mean for the fragile ecosystems in light of anticipated climate change in the future.

  9. Biological effects of desert dust in respiratory epithelial cells and a murine model.

    PubMed

    Ghio, Andrew J; Kummarapurugu, Suryanaren T; Tong, Haiyan; Soukup, Joleen M; Dailey, Lisa A; Boykin, Elizabeth; Ian Gilmour, M; Ingram, Peter; Roggli, Victor L; Goldstein, Harland L; Reynolds, Richard L

    2014-04-01

    As a result of the challenge of recent dust storms to public health, we tested the postulate that desert dust collected in the southwestern United States imparts a biological effect in respiratory epithelial cells and an animal model. Two samples of surface sediment were collected from separate dust sources in northeastern Arizona. Analysis of the PM20 fraction demonstrated that the majority of both dust samples were quartz and clay minerals (total SiO₂ of 52 and 57%). Using respiratory epithelial and monocytic cell lines, the two desert dusts increased oxidant generation, measured by Amplex Red fluorescence, along with carbon black (a control particle), silica, and NIST 1649 (an ambient air pollution particle). Cell oxidant generation was greatest following exposures to silica and the desert dusts. Similarly, changes in RNA for superoxide dismutase-1, heme oxygenase-1, and cyclooxygenase-2 were also greatest after silica and the desert dusts supporting an oxidative stress after cell exposure. Silica, desert dusts, and the ambient air pollution particle NIST 1649 demonstrated a capacity to activate the p38 and ERK1/2 pathways and release pro-inflammatory mediators. Mice, instilled with the same particles, showed the greatest lavage concentrations of pro-inflammatory mediators, neutrophils, and lung injury following silica and desert dusts. We conclude that, comparable to other particles, desert dusts have a capacity to (1) influence oxidative stress and release of pro-inflammatory mediators in respiratory epithelial cells and (2) provoke an inflammatory injury in the lower respiratory tract of an animal model. The biological effects of desert dusts approximated those of silica.

  10. Biological effects of desert dust in respiratory epithelial cells and a murine model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ghio, Andrew J.; Kummarapurugu, Suryanaren T.; Tong, Haiyan; Soukup, Joleen M.; Dailey, Lisa A.; Boykin, Elizabeth; Gilmour, M. Ian; Ingram, Peter; Roggli, Victor L.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Reynolds, Richard L.

    2014-01-01

    As a result of the challenge of recent dust storms to public health, we tested the postulate that desert dust collected in the southwestern United States imparts a biological effect in respiratory epithelial cells and an animal model. Two samples of surface sediment were collected from separate dust sources in northeastern Arizona. Analysis of the PM20 fraction demonstrated that the majority of both dust samples were quartz and clay minerals (total SiO2 of 52 and 57%). Using respiratory epithelial and monocytic cell lines, the two desert dusts increased oxidant generation, measured by Amplex Red fluorescence, along with carbon black (a control particle), silica, and NIST 1649 (an ambient air pollution particle). Cell oxidant generation was greatest following exposures to silica and the desert dusts. Similarly, changes in RNA for superoxide dismutase-1, heme oxygenase-1, and cyclooxygenase-2 were also greatest after silica and the desert dusts supporting an oxidative stress after cell exposure. Silica, desert dusts, and the ambient air pollution particle NIST 1649 demonstrated a capacity to activate the p38 and ERK1/2 pathways and release pro-inflammatory mediators. Mice, instilled with the same particles, showed the greatest lavage concentrations of pro-inflammatory mediators, neutrophils, and lung injury following silica and desert dusts. We conclude that, comparable to other particles, desert dusts have a capacity to (1) influence oxidative stress and release of pro-inflammatory mediators in respiratory epithelial cells and (2) provoke an inflammatory injury in the lower respiratory tract of an animal model. The biological effects of desert dusts approximated those of silica.

  11. Desert date (Balanites aegyptiaca) as an arid lands sustainable bioresource for biodiesel.

    PubMed

    Chapagain, Bishnu P; Yehoshua, Yariv; Wiesman, Zeev

    2009-02-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of Desert date (Balanites aegyptiaca L. Delile) as an oil crop in arid lands for large-scale sustainable industrial biodiesel production. Characterization of the Desert date plant material showed that using proper cultivation practices with emphasis on low quality irrigation water trees can be extremely well developed in hyper-arid conditions of the Israeli Arava desert and yield oil-rich fruits. Best selected trees can yield date fruits up to 52 kg/trees. Desert date kernels oil content may reach up to 46.7% (based on dry weight). The oil is consisted on four major fatty acids: palmitic (16:0), stearic (18:0), oleic (18:1), and linoleic (18:2), constituting 98-100% of the total fatty acids in the oil of all tested genotypes. Linoleic acid was the most prevalent fatty acid, ranging from 31% to 51% of the fatty acids profile, very similar to soybean oil profile. In situ biodiesel production directly from oil-enriched powder was successfully developed. Yield efficiency for both conventional and in situ biodiesel production was about 90%. The qualities of the produced biodiesel well meet the international biodiesel standards. The present study clearly demonstrated Desert date as a model for the utilization of bioresources in the Israeli Arava desert and potentially other similar areas for cost-effective biodiesel production.

  12. Effects of short photoperiod on energy intake, thermogenesis, and reproduction in desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xueying; Zhao, Zhijun; Vasilieva, Nina; Khrushchova, Anastasia; Wang, Dehua

    2015-03-01

    Desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii) are the least known species in the genus Phodopus with respect to ecology and physiology, and deserve scientific attention, particularly because of their small body size. Here, the responses of energy metabolism and reproductive function to short photoperiods in desert hamsters were investigated. Male and female desert hamsters were acclimated to either long day (LD) (L:D 16:8 h) or short day (SD) photoperiods (L:D 8:16 h) for three months, and then the females were transferred back to an LD photoperiod for a further five months, while at the end of the SD acclimation the males were killed and measurements were taken for serum leptin as well as molecular markers for thermogenesis. We found that like the other two species from the genus Phodopus, the desert hamsters under SD decreased body mass, increased adaptive thermogenesis as indicated by elevated mitochondrial protein content and uncoupling protein-1 content in brown adipose tissue, and suppressed reproduction compared to those under LD. However, different from the other two species, desert hamsters did not show any differences in energy intake or serum leptin concentration between LD and SD. These data suggest that different species from the same genus respond in different ways to the environmental signals, and the desert adapted species are not as sensitive to change in photoperiod as the other two species.

  13. Gradient analysis and environmental interpretation of desert-oasis ecotone vegetation in Fukang, Xinjiang

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yuandong; Gu, Fengxue; Pan, Xiaoling

    2003-07-01

    A multivariate analysis of desert-oasis ecotone vegetation in Fukang with 55x42 (plots x species) species matrix,55x4 environment matrix and 55x5 spatial coordinates surveyed in Fukang is presented. The results show:1) eight communities are identified from the 55 plots (Haloxylon ammodendron desert, Reaumuria soongorica +Haloxylon ammodendron desert, Reaumuria soongorica desert, Woody halophyte desert, Tamarix spp. shrub, Petrosimonia sibirica community, Suaeda corniculata community, Bassia sedoides + Bassia dasyphylla community). 2)plant species are classified into 5 ecotypes: arid type, osculant type, Halophyte I, Halophyte II,and secondary type. 3) DCA ordination is superior to CCA and DCCA on desert-oasis ecotone vegetation. 4) Variation of ecotone vegetation explained by environmental and spatial factors reaches 23.4%, among these the species matrix explained by non-spatial soil factors accounts for up to 11.5% of variation, spatial variation that is not shared by soil factors explains up to 11.6%, spatial variation interacted with soil factors up to 0.3%, 76.6% of undetermined variation remains due to biological and random factors.

  14. Fires in Central Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Hundreds of fires are set every year during the dry season in Central Africa. This true color image from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) shows dozens of smoke plumes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on June 29, 2000. Residents burn away scrub and brush annually in the woody savanna to clear land for farming and grazing. For more information, visit the SeaWiFS Home Page, Global Fire Monitoring Fact Sheet, and 4km2 Fire Data Image Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

  15. A review on Balanites aegyptiaca Del (desert date): phytochemical constituents, traditional uses, and pharmacological activity

    PubMed Central

    Chothani, Daya L.; Vaghasiya, H. U.

    2011-01-01

    Balanites aegyptiaca Del. (Zygophyllaceae), known as ‘desert date,’ is spiny shrub or tree up to l0 m tall, widely distributed in dry land areas of Africa and South Asia. It is traditionally used in treatment of various ailments i.e. jaundice, intestinal worm infection, wounds, malaria, syphilis, epilepsy, dysentery, constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoid, stomach aches, asthma, and fever. It contains protein, lipid, carbohydrate, alkaloid, saponin, flavonoid, and organic acid. Present review summarizes the traditional claims, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of B. aegyptiaca Del reported in scientific literature. PMID:22096319

  16. Fasting-induced daily torpor in desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii).

    PubMed

    Chi, Qing-Sheng; Wan, Xin-Rong; Geiser, Fritz; Wang, De-Hua

    2016-09-01

    Daily torpor is frequently expressed in small rodents when facing energetically unfavorable ambient conditions. Desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii, ~20g) appear to be an exception as they have been described as homeothermic. However, we hypothesized that they can use torpor because we observed reversible decreases of body temperature (Tb) in fasted hamsters. To test this hypothesis we (i) randomly exposed fasted summer-acclimated hamsters to ambient temperatures (Tas) ranging from 5 to 30°C or (ii) supplied them with different rations of food at Ta 23°C. All desert hamsters showed heterothermy with the lowest mean Tb of 31.4±1.9°C (minimum, 29.0°C) and 31.8±2.0°C (minimum, 29.0°C) when fasted at Ta of 23°C and 19°C, respectively. Below Ta 19°C, the lowest Tb and metabolic rate increased and the proportion of hamsters using heterothermy declined. At Ta 5°C, nearly all hamsters remained normothermic by increasing heat production, suggesting that the heterothermy only occurs in moderately cold conditions, perhaps to avoid freezing at extremely low Tas. During heterothermy, Tbs below 31°C with metabolic rates below 25% of those during normothermia were detected in four individuals at Ta of 19°C and 23°C. Consequently, by definition, our observations confirm that fasted desert hamsters are capable of shallow daily torpor. The negative correlation between the lowest Tbs and amount of food supply shows that heterothermy was mainly triggered by food shortage. Our data indicate that summer-acclimated desert hamsters can express fasting-induced shallow daily torpor, which may be of significance for energy conservation and survival in the wild.

  17. News Almost dry but never dull: ASE 2014 EuroPhysicsFun shows physics to Europe Institute of Physics for Africa (IOPfA) South Sudan Report October 2013 Celebrating the centenary of x-ray diffraction The Niels Bohr Institute—an EPS Historical Site Nordic Research Symposium on Science Education (NFSUN) 2014: inquiry-based science education in technology-rich environments Physics World Cup 2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2014-03-01

    Almost dry but never dull: ASE 2014 EuroPhysicsFun shows physics to Europe Institute of Physics for Africa (IOPfA) South Sudan Report October 2013 Celebrating the centenary of x-ray diffraction The Niels Bohr Institute—an EPS Historical Site Nordic Research Symposium on Science Education (NFSUN) 2014: inquiry-based science education in technology-rich environments Physics World Cup 2013

  18. Sampling and handling of desert soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blank, G. B.; Cameron, R. E.

    1969-01-01

    Report on sampling and handling desert soils includes sections on selection, characterization, and photography of area, site, and soil, sterilization of sampling equipment and containers, and soil sample collection, transport, storage, and dispersal.

  19. Desert R.A.T.S. 2011

    NASA Video Gallery

    Desert Research And Technology Studies (D-R.A.T.S) kicks off an exciting new year of field testing. The crew is back in action, testing communication scenarios for near-Earth asteroids, and two new...

  20. Giant viruses of the Kutch Desert.

    PubMed

    Kerepesi, Csaba; Grolmusz, Vince

    2016-03-01

    The Kutch Desert (Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India) is a unique ecosystem: in the larger part of the year it is a hot, salty desert that is flooded regularly in the Indian monsoon season. In the dry season, the crystallized salt deposits form the "white desert" in large regions. The first metagenomic analysis of the soil samples of Kutch was published in 2013, and the data were deposited in the NCBI Sequence Read Archive. At the same time, the sequences were analyzed phylogenetically for prokaryotes, especially for bacteria. In the present work, we identified DNA sequences of recently discovered giant viruses in the soil samples from the Kutch Desert. Since most giant viruses have been discovered in biofilms in industrial cooling towers, ocean water, and freshwater ponds, we were surprised to find their DNA sequences in soil samples from a seasonally very hot and arid, salty environment.

  1. 2011 Desert RATS Sights and Sounds

    NASA Video Gallery

    Watch scenes from the 2011 Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) analog field test, as NASA scientists and engineers drive the Space Exploration Vehicle, assemble equipment in the Habitat D...

  2. Exploring Our Cosmic Dawn from South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, Aaron; PAPER; Kilimetre Array South Africa, Square

    2014-01-01

    The Precision Array to Probe the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER) is a dedicated experiment for using radio emission from neutral hydrogen to access one of the last major phase transitions in our Universe --- the epoch when the first luminous objects ionized the bulk of the hydrogen in the universe. PAPER has been deployed in the Karoo desert of South Africa since 2009, and has been co-developed with the help of Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKASA), students and researchers at the University of Cape Town, and many interns from local technical colleges. Shared efforts between SKASA and UC Berkeley developing digital signal processing hardware for PAPER helped begin the Collaboration for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER), which now includes hundreds of organizations around the world who use CASPER technology in a wide range of astronomy applications. We discuss the history and current status of collaboration between PAPER and organizations in South Africa, its numerous synergistic benefits, and the prospects for broadening and enriching this collaboration as part of a next-generation instrument to succeed PAPER: the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA).

  3. Africa: Prosperous times

    SciTech Connect

    1996-08-01

    Political instability and corruption is the rule, rather than the exception, in Africa`s main producing regions, but exploration and production prospects there are bright and attractive to foreign operators. The paper discusses exploration, drilling, resource development, and production in Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Angola, Congo, Gabon, and Tunisia. The other countries of Africa are briefly mentioned, i.e., Cameroon, Cote D`Ivoire, South Africa, Sudan, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Zaire, Mozambique, Ghana, Niger, and Seychelles.

  4. Spatial and temporal changes in desertification in the southern region of the Tengger Desert from 1973 to 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, Qingyu; Guan, Wenqian; Yang, Jing; Zhao, Shilei; Pan, Baotian; Wang, Lei; Song, Na; Lu, Min; Li, Fuchun

    2016-04-01

    The sandy land in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is adjacent to cities and towns, and land desertification poses a threat to the livelihood and production of local residents. To determine dynamic changes in local desertification, five periods (1973, 1987, 1992, 2001, and 2009) of remote sensing data are studied by remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS). The desert contraction area is primarily centered around three units (Wuwei, Gulang, and Jingtai) and nearby regions of Zhongwei City. The primary desert expansion areas include the west side of Helan Mountain (WSHM), the Central Mountainous Area (CMA), and the eastern and western Zhongwei units far from towns. From 1973 to 2009, the degree of change in the contracting part of the primary desert expansion unit showed an increasing trend; in brief, most of the desert (especially after 2001) has been developing in a direction in which desertification has been gradually controlled. The primary desert expansion areas are less affected by human activity, but they are primarily controlled by natural factors (especially wind and terrain). The desert contraction areas occur around the towns and nearby regions with frequent human activity; desertification is primarily controlled by human factors. With rapid economic development (especially after 2000), the scale of the cultivated area, town, and ecological protection engineering has gradually expanded, and the latter two are primarily built on a previous desert, which is the root cause of the reduction in the desert areas around the towns and the shrinkage toward north of border. Therefore, reasonable and effective human activity in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is playing a crucial role in preventing desertification.

  5. Forecasting droughts in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mwangi, E.; Wetterhall, F.; Dutra, E.; Di Giuseppe, F.; Pappenberger, F.

    2014-02-01

    The humanitarian crises caused by the recent droughts (2008-2009 and 2010-2011) in East Africa have illustrated that the ability to make accurate drought forecasts with sufficient lead time is essential. The use of dynamical model precipitation forecasts in combination with drought indices, such as the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), can potentially lead to a better description of drought duration, magnitude and spatial extent. This study evaluates the use of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) products in forecasting droughts in East Africa. ECMWF seasonal precipitation shows significant skill for March-May and October-December rain seasons when evaluated against measurements from the available in situ stations from East Africa. The forecast for October-December rain season has higher skill than for the March-May season. ECMWF forecasts add value to the consensus forecasts produced during the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF), which is the present operational product for precipitation forecast over East Africa. Complementing the original ECMWF precipitation forecasts with SPI provides additional information on the spatial extent and intensity of the drought event.

  6. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Latorre, Claudio; Betancourt, Julio L.; Rech, Jason A.; Quade, Jay; Holmgren, Camille; Placzek, Christa; Maldonado, Antonio; Vuille, Mathias; Rylander, Kate A.; Smith, Mike; Hesse, Paul

    2005-01-01

    Of the major subtropical deserts found in the Southern Hemisphere, the Atacama Desert is the driest. Throughout the Quaternary, the most pervasive climatic influence on the desert has been millennial-scale changes in the frequency and seasonality of the scant rainfall, and associated shifts in plant and animal distributions with elevation along the eastern margin of the desert. Over the past six years, we have mapped modern vegetation gradients and developed a number of palaeoenvironmental records, including vegetation histories from fossil rodent middens, groundwater levels from wetland (spring) deposits, and lake levels from shoreline evidence, along a 1200-kilometre transect (16–26°S) in the Atacama Desert. A strength of this palaeoclimate transect has been the ability to apply the same methodologies across broad elevational, latitudinal, climatic, vegetation and hydrological gradients. We are using this transect to reconstruct the histories of key components of the South American tropical (summer) and extratropical (winter) rainfall belts, precisely at those elevations where average annual rainfall wanes to zero. The focus has been on the transition from sparse, shrubby vegetation (known as the prepuna) into absolute desert, an expansive hyperarid terrain that extends from just above the coastal fog zone (approximately 800 metres) to more than 3500 metres in the most arid sectors in the southern Atacama.

  7. Ancient Leishmaniasis in a Highland Desert of Northern Chile

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Maria Antonietta; Matheson, Carney; Iachetta, Lucia; Llagostera, Agustín; Appenzeller, Otto

    2009-01-01

    Background Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease endemic today in many areas of South America. Methodology We discovered morphologic and molecular evidence of ancient infections in 4 female skulls in the archaeological cemetery of Coyo Oriente, in the desert of San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile. The boney facial lesions visible in the skulls could have been caused by a number of chronic infections including chronic Leishmaniasis. This diagnosis was confirmed using PCR-sequenced analyses of bone fragments from the skulls of the affected individuals.Leishmaniasis is not normally found in the high-altitude desert of Northern Chile; where the harsh climate does not allow the parasite to complete its life cycle. The presence of Leishmaniasis in ancient skulls from the region implies infection by the protozoan in an endemic area–likely, in our subjects, to have been the lowlands of North-Eastern Argentina or in Southern Bolivia. Conclusions We propose that the presence of the disease in ancient times in the high altitude desert of San Pedro de Atacama is the result of an exogamic system of patrilocal marriages, where women from different cultures followed their husbands to their ancestral homes, allowing immigrant women, infected early in life, to be incorporated in the Atacama desert society before they became disfigured by the disease. The present globalization of goods and services and the extraordinary facile movement of people across borders and continents have lead to a resurgence of infectious diseases and re-emergence of infections such as Leishmaniasis. We show here that such factors were already present millennia ago, shaping demographic trends and the epidemiology of infections just as they do today. PMID:19746163

  8. Patton's tracks in the Mojave Desert, USA: An ecological legacy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Warren, S.D.

    2002-01-01

    Recovery of soil properties from World War II-era military training exercises in the Mojave Desert was measured approximately 55 years following disturbance. Tracks from military vehicles were still visible, particularly in areas of desert pavement. Soil penetrability was much lower in visible tracks than outside the tracks. Soils in tracks had fewer rocks in the top 10 cm of the soil profile than adjacent untracked soils. Larger particles (> 4.8 mm) formed a moderately well-developed pavement outside of the tracks, while smaller, loose particles (???4.8 mm) dominated the surface of the tracks. The time required to restore the desert pavement is likely to be measured in centuries. Based on biomass estimates, the cyanobacterial component of biological soil crusts had recovered 46-65% in tracks, compared to outside the tracks. Overall recovery of lichen cover has been much slower. Under plant canopies, cover of Collema tenax was not significantly different between areas inside and outside the tracks; however, recovery of Catapyrenium squamulosum was only 36%. In plant interspaces with less favorable moisture and temperature conditions, C. tenax showed a 6% recovery and C. squamulosum a 3% recovery. Assuming recovery of the biological soil crust is linear, and complete only when the most sensitive species (C. squamulosum) has fully recovered in the most limiting microhabitats (plant interspaces), it may require almost two millennia for full recovery of these areas.

  9. Hf-Nd-Sr isotopic fingerprinting of mineral dust from Asian and North African deserts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, J.; Zhao, W.; Balsam, W.

    2015-12-01

    Mineral dust accounts for more than 50% of the atmospheric dust loading and plays an important role in the marine and terrestrial geochemical cycles. The deserts in North Africa, Northern China and Southern Mongolia are the major sources of mineral dust and have been studied intensively over past decades, especially with Sr, Nd and recently Hf isotopes which are seen as powerful tools to identify source areas. However, the isotopic compositions of dust are highly dependent on particle size hindering the ability to accurately identify dust provenance. The clay fraction (<2 μm) comprises about half of all mineral dust and has unique minerals phases dominanted by clay minerals. Once the clay-sized particles are deflated to the upper troposphere, they are transported over long distances and are removed from the atmosphere mainly by wet deposition. Thus, the clay-sized isotopic fingerprints from deserts may be ideal targets not only for tracking the provenance tracing of long-distance transported mineral dust, but also to provide an unparalleled window for understanding the global dust cycle, especially eolian dust preserved in deep-sea sediments and ice cores. In this work we investigate multivariate joint radiogenic Sr, Nd, and Hf isotopic compositions obtained from complete dissolution of clay-sized fractions of surface sediments from Asian and North African deserts. Asian dust source samples included the ten Northern China deserts and sandy lands - the Taklimakan, Gurbantunggut, Qaidam, Badaim Jaran, Tengger and Mu Us deserts, and the Hobq, Hulun Buirm, Onqin Daga and Horqin sandy land - and Mongolian Gobi desert. North African dust samples were from four transects in the Sahara and Sahel from Mali, Togo, Egypt and Morocco . Our results on the clay-sized isotopic measurements of these samples describe (1) the general characteristics of dusts from the Asian with ɛNd from -17.3 to 0.98, ɛHf from -5.95 to 3.68 and 87Sr/86Sr from 0.710113 to 0.73306, and North

  10. Observed 20th Century Desert Dust Variability: Impact on Climate and Biogeochemistry

    SciTech Connect

    Mahowald, Natalie; Kloster, Silvia; Engelstaedter, S.; Moore, Jefferson Keith; Mukhopadhyay, S.; McConnell, J. R.; Albani, S.; Doney, Scott C.; Bhattacharya, A.; Curran, M. A. J.; Flanner, Mark G.; Hoffman, Forrest M; Lawrence, David M.; Lindsay, Keith; Mayewski, P. A.; Neff, Jason; Rothenberg, D.; Thomas, E.; Thornton, Peter E; Zender, Charlie S.

    2010-01-01

    Desert dust perturbs climate by directly and indirectly interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation, thereby changing precipitation and temperature, in addition to modifying ocean and land biogeochemistry. While we know that desert dust is sensitive to perturbations in climate and human land use, previous studies have been unable to determine whether humans were increasing or decreasing desert dust in the global average. Here we present observational estimates of desert dust based on paleodata proxies showing a doubling of desert dust during the 20th century over much, but not all the globe. Large uncertainties remain in estimates of desert dust variability over 20th century due to limited data. Using these observational estimates of desert dust change in combination with ocean, atmosphere and land models, we calculate the net radiative effect of these observed changes (top of atmosphere) over the 20th century to be -0.14 {+-} 0.11 W/m{sup 2} (1990-1999 vs. 1905-1914). The estimated radiative change due to dust is especially strong between the heavily loaded 1980-1989 and the less heavily loaded 1955-1964 time periods (-0.57 {+-} 0.46 W/m{sup 2}), which model simulations suggest may have reduced the rate of temperature increase between these time periods by 0.11 C. Model simulations also indicate strong regional shifts in precipitation and temperature from desert dust changes, causing 6 ppm (12 PgC) reduction in model carbon uptake by the terrestrial biosphere over the 20th century. Desert dust carries iron, an important micronutrient for ocean biogeochemistry that can modulate ocean carbon storage; here we show that dust deposition trends increase ocean productivity by an estimated 6% over the 20th century, drawing down an additional 4 ppm (8 PgC) of carbon dioxide into the oceans. Thus, perturbations to desert dust over the 20th century inferred from observations are potentially important for climate and biogeochemistry, and our understanding

  11. Internal and External Adaptation in Army Families: Lessons from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pittman, Joe F.; Kerpelman, Jennifer L.; McFadyen, Jennifer M.

    2004-01-01

    This study examined 1,064 Army families reunited after a member's deployment for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Postdeployment outcomes were conceptualized in terms of the "fit" between the family and the demands of Army life, especially the stress of deployment. A structural model was used to test the hypothesized effects of…

  12. HIGH FOLIAR NITROGEN IN DESERT SHRUBS: AN IMPORTANT ECOSYSTEM TRAIT OR DEFECTIVE DESERT DOCTRINE?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen concentrations in green and senesced leaves of perennial desert shrubs were compiled from a worldwide literature search to test the validity of the doctrine that desert shrubs produce foliage and leaf litter much richer in nitrogen than that in the foliage of plants from...

  13. AIDS in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Ijsselmuiden, C; Evian, C; Matjilla, J; Steinberg, M; Schneider, H

    1993-01-01

    The National AIDS Convention in South Africa (NACOSA) in October 1992 was the first real attempt to address HIV/AIDS. In Soweto, government, the African National Congress, nongovernmental organizations, and organized industry and labor representatives worked for 2 days to develop a national plan of action, but it did not result in a united effort to fight AIDS. The highest HIV infection rates in South Africa are among the KwaZulu in Natal, yet the Inkatha Freedom Party did not attend NACOSA. This episode exemplifies the key obstacles for South Africa to prevent and control AIDS. Inequality of access to health care may explain why health workers did not diagnose the first AIDS case in blacks until 1985. Migrant labor, Bantu education, and uprooted communities affect the epidemiology of HIV infection. Further, political and social polarization between blacks and whites contributes to a mindset that AIDS is limited to the other race which only diminishes the personal and collective sense of susceptibility and the volition and aptitude to act. The Department of National Health and Population Development's voluntary register of anonymously reported cases of AIDS specifies 1517 cumulative AIDS cases (October 1992), but this number is low. Seroprevalence studies show between 400,000-450,000 HIV positive cases. Public hospitals cannot give AIDS patients AZT and DDI. Few communities provided community-based care. Not all hospitals honor confidentiality and patients' need for autonomy. Even though HIV testing is not mandatory, it is required sometimes, e.g., HIV testing of immigrants. AIDS Training, Information and Counselling Centers are in urban areas, but not in poor areas where the need is most acute. The government just recently developed in AIDS education package for schools, but too many people consider it improper, so it is not being used. The poor quality education provided blacks would make it useless anyhow. Lifting of the academic boycott will allow South African

  14. Three climate cycles of millennial-scale vegetation change in Africa (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupont, L. M.

    2010-12-01

    Marine sediments can deliver long well-dated continuous sequences of environmental change, not only of the ocean but also of the continents. Vegetation records from these archives are often the only land-cover records to encompass several climate cycles. Comparing vegetation development during several cycles uncovers the structural and systematic differences between glacial and interglacial vegetation. Such data may help with the validation of the current earth system models including dynamic vegetation modules. A number of marine pollen records from the East Atlantic (ODP658, GIK16415, GIK16776, GIK16867, GeoB1016) and a new one from the Indian Ocean (MD96-2048) register the vegetation development in West and South Africa over a period of more than 300 thousand years covering at least three full glacial-interglacial cycles. From these dataset typical patterns of vegetation change in Africa are inferred and differences between cycles are discussed. Both latitudinal and altitudinal shifts in the vegetation have been recorded by pollen of e.g. Chenopods, Asteraceae (daisies), Ericaceae (heath), Podocarpus (yellow wood), Poaceae (grass), and lowland forest. While latitudinal shifts in the area of desert and savannah are typical in West Africa, altitudinal changes of the belt with mountainous forest and mountainous shrubs are more common in Southern Africa. During glacial times, vegetation includes ericaceous shrubs in Southern Africa, while desert shrubs expand in West Africa, and the area of the lowland forests is strongly reduced on the whole continent.

  15. Space Radar Image of Namib Desert in Southern Namib

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This is a C-band, VV polarization radar image of the Namib desert in southern Namibia, near the coast of South West Africa. The image is centered at about 25 degrees South latitude, 15.5 degrees East longitude. This image was one of the first acquired by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) when it was taken on orbit 4 from the shuttle Endeavour on April 9, 1994. The area shown is approximately 78 kilometers by 20 kilometers. The dominant features in the image are complex sand dune patterns formed by the prevailing winds in this part of the Namib desert. The Namib desert is an extremely dry area formed largely because of the influence of the cold Benguela ocean current that flows northward along the coast of Namibia. The bright areas at the bottom of the image are exposed outcrops of Precambrian rocks. This extremely barren area is a region rich in diamonds that through the centuries have washed down from the mountains. The town of Luderitz is located just to the south of the area shown. Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X-Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. The radars illuminate Earth with microwaves allowing detailed observations at any time, regardless of weather or sunlight conditions. SIR-C/X-SAR uses three microwave wavelengths: L-band (24 cm), C-band (6 cm) and X-band (3 cm). The multi-frequency data will be used by the international scientific community to better understand the global environment and how it is changing. The SIR-C/X-SAR data, complemented by aircraft and ground studies, will give scientists clearer insights into those environmental changes which are caused by nature and those changes which are induced by human activity. SIR-C was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. X-SAR was developed by the Dornier and Alenia Spazio companies for the German space agency, Deutsche Agentur fuer Aumfahrtangelegenheiten (DARA), and the Italian space agency, Agenzia

  16. Dating climatic change in hot deserts using desert varnish on meteorite finds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, M. R.; Bland, P. A.

    2003-01-01

    A thin coating of desert varnish occurs on Forrest 009 and Nurina 004, both equilibrated ordinary chondrite (L6) finds from the Nullarbor Plain, Australia. This finely laminated deposit is chemically and petrographically comparable to the varnish found on terrestrial rocks. Forrest 009, which has a terrestrial age of 5.9 kyr, has a 100-130 μm thick coating of desert varnish that has a laterally consistent chemical microstratigraphy comprising a narrow Ba- and Mn-poor lower region, a thick Ba- and Mn-rich central area and a narrow outer zone almost devoid of both cations. The interior of the meteorite contains Fe-oxide and oxyhydroxide veins that have formed by chemical weathering of metals and sulphides. As these veins do not cross-cut the varnish, it must have accreted rapidly relative to the weathering rate of the meteorite. The ≤70 μm thick varnish on Nurina 004, which has a terrestrial age of 33.4 kyr, lacks a consistent chemical microstratigraphy, but it is cross-cut by Fe-oxide and oxyhydroxide veins, some of which have supplied Fe to the varnish. This implies that the chemical weathering rate of Nurina 004's interior was slow in comparison to the accretion rate of the varnish. The petrography and chemical composition of varnish on Forrest 009 indicates that this meteorite may have resided in a relatively humid environment for most of its 5.9 kyr terrestrial history and that the Nullarbor recently became more arid. This conclusion supports results from an analysis of Fe-bearing weathering products in the interior of the meteorite by Mössbauer spectroscopy, which also indicate that Forrest 009 experienced an early period of rapid weathering under relatively humid conditions. The petrography of varnish on Nurina 004 shows that the interior of the meteorite weathered relatively slowly, probably because it fell during an arid time, which is again in agreement with previous Mössbauer spectroscopy results. Results from both meteorites are in agreement with

  17. The influence of biological soil crusts on successional vegetation patterns in a revegetated desert area in the Tengger Desert, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Huang; Zhi-shan, Zhang; Xin-rong, Li

    2014-05-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an important cover in arid desert landscapes, and have a profound effect on the soil water redistribution, plant growth and vegetation succession. Although a large number of studies have focused on the single-process of BSCs experimentally, relatively few studies have examined the eco-hydrological mechanisms of BSCs influence on successional vegetation patterns in revegetated desert areas. In this study, based on the long term monitoring and focused research on sand-binding vegetation in the Shapotou region (southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert, China) since the 1950s, the characteristics of plant community and BSCs at different successional stages, and the soil water dynamics were investigated. Then a simplified mathematical model describing the coupled dynamics of soil moisture and vegetation in drylands was developed. And finally the role of BSCs on soil water dynamics and vegetation patterns were discussed. Results have showed that BSCs was closely associated with the vegetation succession, such as in the Caragana korshinskii community, moss crusts were the dominate species and in the Artemisia ordosica community, algae crusts were the dominate species. BSCs had a significant effect on soil water infiltration and it was one of the main driving forces to vegetation pattern formations, as algae crusts would induced the tiger bush stripes and moss crusts would lead to the leopard bush spots in arid ecosystems.

  18. Remote sensing of desert dust aerosols over the Sahel : potential use for health impact studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deroubaix, A. D.; Martiny, N. M.; Chiapello, I. C.; Marticorena, B. M.

    2012-04-01

    Since the end of the 70's, remote sensing monitors the desert dust aerosols due to their absorption and scattering properties and allows to make long time series which are necessary for air quality or health impact studies. In the Sahel, a huge health problem is the Meningitis Meningococcal (MM) epidemics that occur during the dry season : the dust has been suspected to be crucial to understand their onsets and dynamics. The Aerosol absorption Index (AI) is a semi-quantitative index derived from TOMS and OMI observations in the UV available at a spatial resolution of 1° (1979-2005) and 0.25° (2005-today) respectively. The comparison of the OMI-AI and AERONET Aerosol Optical thickness (AOT) shows a good agreement at a daily time-step (correlation ~0.7). The comparison of the OMI-AI with the Particle Matter (PM) measurement of the Sahelian Dust Transect is lower (~0.4) at a daily time-step but it increases at a weekly time-step (~0.6). The OMI-AI reproduces the dust seasonal cycle over the Sahel and we conclude that the OMI-AI product at a 0.25° spatial resolution is suitable for health impact studies, especially at a weekly epidemiological time-step. Despite the AI is sensitive to the aerosol altitude, it provides a daily spatial information on dust. A preliminary investigation analysis of the link between weekly OMI AI and weekly WHO epidemiological data sets is presented in Mali and Niger, showing a good agreement between the AI and the onset of the MM epidemics with a constant lag (between 1 and 2 week). The next of this study is to analyse a deeper AI time series constituted by TOMS and OMI data sets. Based on the weekly ratios PM/AI at 2 stations of the Sahelian Dust Transect, a spatialized proxy for PM from the AI has been developed. The AI as a proxy for PM and other climate variables such as Temperature (T°), Relative Humidity (RH%) and the wind (intensity and direction) could then be used to analyze the link between those variables and the MM epidemics

  19. Desert dust hazards: A global review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Middleton, N. J.

    2017-02-01

    Dust storms originate in many of the world's drylands and frequently present hazards to human society, both within the drylands themselves but also outside drylands due to long-range transport of aeolian sediments. Major sources of desert dust include the Sahara, the Middle East, central and eastern Asia, and parts of Australia, but dust-raising occurs all across the global drylands and, on occasion, beyond. Dust storms occur throughout the year and they vary in frequency and intensity over a number of timescales. Long-range transport of desert dust typically takes place along seasonal transport paths. Desert dust hazards are here reviewed according to the three phases of the wind erosion system: where dust is entrained, during the transport phase, and on deposition. This paper presents a synthesis of these hazards. It draws on empirical examples in physical geography, medical geology and geomorphology to discuss case studies from all over the world and in various fields. These include accelerated soil erosion in agricultural zones - where dust storms represent a severe form of accelerated soil erosion - the health effects of air pollution caused by desert aerosols via their physical, chemical and biological properties, transport accidents caused by poor visibility during desert dust events, and impacts on electricity generation and distribution. Given the importance of desert dust as a hazard to human societies, it is surprising to note that there have been relatively few attempts to assess their impact in economic terms. Existing studies in this regard are also reviewed, but the wide range of impacts discussed in this paper indicates that desert dust storms deserve more attention in this respect.

  20. The Response of Aboveground Net Primary Productivity of Desert Vegetation to Rainfall Pulse in the Temperate Desert Region of Northwest China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Fang; Zhao, Wenzhi; Liu, Hu

    2013-01-01

    Rainfall events can be characterized as “pulses”, which are discrete and variable episodes that can significantly influence the structure and function of desert ecosystems, including shifts in aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP). To determine the threshold and hierarchical response of rainfall event size on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a proxy for ANPP) and the difference across a desert area in northwestern China with two habitats – dune and desert – we selected 17 independent summer rainfall events from 2005 to 2012, and obtained a corresponding NDVI dataset extracted from MODIS images. Based on the threshold-delay model and statistical analysis, the results showed that the response of NDVI to rainfall pulses began at about a 5 mm event size. Furthermore, when the rainfall event size was more than 30 mm, NDVI rapidly increased 3- to 6-fold compared with the response to events of less than 30 mm, suggesting that 30 mm was the threshold for a large NDVI response. These results revealed the importance of the 5 mm and 30 mm rainfall events for plant survival and growth in desert regions. There was an 8- to 16-day lag time between the rainfall event and the NDVI response, and the response duration varied with rainfall event size, reaching a maximum of 32 days. Due to differences in soil physical and mineralogical properties, and to biodiversity structure and the root systems' abilities to exploit moisture, dune and desert areas differed in precipitation responses: dune habitats were characterized by a single, late summer productivity peak; in contrast, deserts showed a multi-peak pattern throughout the growing season. PMID:24019888

  1. The response of aboveground net primary productivity of desert vegetation to rainfall pulse in the temperate desert region of northwest China.

    PubMed

    Li, Fang; Zhao, Wenzhi; Liu, Hu

    2013-01-01

    Rainfall events can be characterized as "pulses", which are discrete and variable episodes that can significantly influence the structure and function of desert ecosystems, including shifts in aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP). To determine the threshold and hierarchical response of rainfall event size on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a proxy for ANPP) and the difference across a desert area in northwestern China with two habitats - dune and desert - we selected 17 independent summer rainfall events from 2005 to 2012, and obtained a corresponding NDVI dataset extracted from MODIS images. Based on the threshold-delay model and statistical analysis, the results showed that the response of NDVI to rainfall pulses began at about a 5 mm event size. Furthermore, when the rainfall event size was more than 30 mm, NDVI rapidly increased 3- to 6-fold compared with the response to events of less than 30 mm, suggesting that 30 mm was the threshold for a large NDVI response. These results revealed the importance of the 5 mm and 30 mm rainfall events for plant survival and growth in desert regions. There was an 8- to 16-day lag time between the rainfall event and the NDVI response, and the response duration varied with rainfall event size, reaching a maximum of 32 days. Due to differences in soil physical and mineralogical properties, and to biodiversity structure and the root systems' abilities to exploit moisture, dune and desert areas differed in precipitation responses: dune habitats were characterized by a single, late summer productivity peak; in contrast, deserts showed a multi-peak pattern throughout the growing season.

  2. Distribution of Natural Perchlorate in a Desert Landscape-Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andraski, B. J.; Jackson, A.; Welborn, T.; Stonestrom, D. A.; Bohlke, J. K.

    2011-12-01

    Knowledge of perchlorate (ClO4-) occurrence is important due to health concerns, evolving groundwater-protection regulations, and for forensic investigations. The distribution of natural ClO4- is being studied at the U.S. Geological Survey's Amargosa Desert Research Site to improve understanding of factors that influence its accumulation and cycling in a desert landscape. The first part of the study evaluated the effect of plants on shallow (0-30 cm) soil concentrations in three settings-shoulder slope, footslope, and valley floor; samples were collected adjacent to plants and in interspaces 2.5-5 m from plants. For the valley-floor, there was a 17-fold decrease between interspace (5.0 μg/kg) and plant-adjacent (0.3 μg/kg) ClO4- concentrations. Chloride (Cl-) concentrations also showed large differences and indicated salt accumulation beneath the interspace desert pavement, but localized leaching adjacent to plants. For the shoulder and footslope, differences between interspace and plant-adjacent ClO4- concentrations were smaller (two fold on average) and inverted (interspace 2.0 μg/kg; plant-adjacent 3.8 μg/kg), and differences between interspace and plant-adjacent Cl- were negligible. Shoulder and footslope indications of a localized increase in ClO4- adjacent to plants suggest a cyclic mechanism of plant uptake, bioaccumulation, and leaf drop. The second part of the study examined ClO4- variability across a 9-ha hillslope. Data first were analyzed by assigning each sampling point to one of three elevation bands-upper, middle, or lower. Soil and plant data both showed trends of increasing ClO4- with decreasing elevation. Concentrations were, for soil (μg/kg): upper (1.6) < middle (2.7) < lower (4.9); for plants: upper (17,330) < middle (20,320) < lower (38,800). Soil Cl-, however, decreased with decreasing elevation, but differences were negligible (mg/kg): upper (4.2) > middle (3.9) > lower (3.6). Multiple-linear regression analyses also were used to

  3. Contributions of sandy lands and stony deserts to long-distance dust emission in China and Mongolia during 2000 2006

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Baolin; Tsunekawa, Atsushi; Tsubo, Mitsuru

    2008-02-01

    More than 400 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images of dust storm events were collected and analyzed, and individual events were tracked back to their origins. Dust tracks were determined from color composite images, brightness temperature difference (BTD) and the NOAA Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model. The results showed that five regions (sandy lands in central Inner Mongolia and the adjacent area of Mongolia; the Gobi Desert in Xinjiang and Gansu provinces, western Inner Mongolia, and the adjacent southwestern area of Mongolia; the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia and the adjoining area of northern Inner Mongolia; sandy lands and deserts around the middle reaches of the Yellow River; and the area rimming the Taklimakan Desert) were the main contributors to long-lived mineral dusts in northern China and Mongolia. Of these dust production areas, sandy lands and stony deserts, rather than the sandy deserts of Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, were found to be the dominant dust sources, accounting for more than 75% of regional dust emission events. Dust events in the Taklimakan Desert were often local phenomena, although they could also be transported eastward if they were uplifted high enough to escape the enclosing topographic highs. Dust sources in northwestern China are mainly alluvial fans and dry lake and river beds. Success in identifying the sources and trajectories of Asian dust storms would guide future ground-based research and steppe degradation countermeasures and help reduce the uncertainties in modern modeling of Asian dust.

  4. Multiple factors affect a population of Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the Northwestern Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berry, Kristin H.; Yee, Julie L.; Coble, Ashley A.; Perry, William M.; Shields, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous factors have contributed to declines in populations of the federally threatened Agassiz's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and continue to limit recovery. In 2010, we surveyed a low-density population on a military test facility in the northwestern Mojave Desert of California, USA, to evaluate population status and identify potential factors contributing to distribution and low densities. Estimated densities of live tortoises ranged spatially from 1.2/km2 to 15.1/km2. Although only one death of a breeding-age tortoise was recorded for the 4-yr period prior to the survey, remains of 16 juvenile and immature tortoises were found, and most showed signs of predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and mammals. Predation may have limited recruitment of young tortoises into the adult size classes. To evaluate the relative importance of different types of impacts to tortoises, we developed predictive models for spatially explicit densities of tortoise sign and live tortoises using topography (i.e., slope), predators (Common Raven, signs of mammalian predators), and anthropogenic impacts (distances from paved road and denuded areas, density of ordnance fragments) as covariates. Models suggest that densities of tortoise sign increased with slope and signs of mammalian predators and decreased with Common Ravens, while also varying based on interaction effects involving these predictors as well as distances from paved roads, denuded areas, and ordnance. Similarly, densities of live tortoises varied by interaction effects among distances to denuded areas and paved roads, density of ordnance fragments, and slope. Thus multiple factors predict the densities and distribution of this population.

  5. Desert Amplification in a Warming Climate

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Here I analyze the observed and projected surface temperature anomalies over land between 50°S-50°N for the period 1950–2099 by large-scale ecoregion and find strongest warming consistently and persistently seen over driest ecoregions such as the Sahara desert and the Arabian Peninsula during various 30-year periods, pointing to desert amplification in a warming climate. This amplification enhances linearly with the global mean greenhouse gases(GHGs) radiative forcing and is attributable primarily to a stronger GHGs-enhanced downward longwave radiation forcing reaching the surface over drier ecoregions as a consequence of a warmer and thus moister atmosphere in response to increasing GHGs. These results indicate that desert amplification may represent a fundamental pattern of global warming associated with water vapor feedbacks over land in low- and mid- latitudes where surface warming rates depend inversely on ecosystem dryness. It is likely that desert amplification might involve two types of water vapor feedbacks that maximize respectively in the tropical upper troposphere and near the surface over deserts, with both being very dry and thus extremely sensitive to changes of water vapor. PMID:27538725

  6. Desert Amplification in a Warming Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Liming

    2016-08-01

    Here I analyze the observed and projected surface temperature anomalies over land between 50°S-50°N for the period 1950–2099 by large-scale ecoregion and find strongest warming consistently and persistently seen over driest ecoregions such as the Sahara desert and the Arabian Peninsula during various 30-year periods, pointing to desert amplification in a warming climate. This amplification enhances linearly with the global mean greenhouse gases(GHGs) radiative forcing and is attributable primarily to a stronger GHGs-enhanced downward longwave radiation forcing reaching the surface over drier ecoregions as a consequence of a warmer and thus moister atmosphere in response to increasing GHGs. These results indicate that desert amplification may represent a fundamental pattern of global warming associated with water vapor feedbacks over land in low- and mid- latitudes where surface warming rates depend inversely on ecosystem dryness. It is likely that desert amplification might involve two types of water vapor feedbacks that maximize respectively in the tropical upper troposphere and near the surface over deserts, with both being very dry and thus extremely sensitive to changes of water vapor.

  7. Desert Amplification in a Warming Climate.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Liming

    2016-08-19

    Here I analyze the observed and projected surface temperature anomalies over land between 50°S-50°N for the period 1950-2099 by large-scale ecoregion and find strongest warming consistently and persistently seen over driest ecoregions such as the Sahara desert and the Arabian Peninsula during various 30-year periods, pointing to desert amplification in a warming climate. This amplification enhances linearly with the global mean greenhouse gases(GHGs) radiative forcing and is attributable primarily to a stronger GHGs-enhanced downward longwave radiation forcing reaching the surface over drier ecoregions as a consequence of a warmer and thus moister atmosphere in response to increasing GHGs. These results indicate that desert amplification may represent a fundamental pattern of global warming associated with water vapor feedbacks over land in low- and mid- latitudes where surface warming rates depend inversely on ecosystem dryness. It is likely that desert amplification might involve two types of water vapor feedbacks that maximize respectively in the tropical upper troposphere and near the surface over deserts, with both being very dry and thus extremely sensitive to changes of water vapor.

  8. Leaf epidermal appendages of desert plant: an ecological perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yubing; Li, Xinrong; Li, Mengmeng

    2014-05-01

    Desert plant often have few, tiny or no leaves, which reduces transpiration. The epidermis of their leaves is often ornamented outgrowths called trichomes or hairs and a thick waxy cuticle. Hairs on the leaf surface trap humidity in dry climates and waxy leaf surfaces reduce water loss. Our present study is to investigate the characteristics of trichomes and waxy cuticle in leaf surface of desert plant, which in the long term acclimation in semi-humid, semi-arid and arid ecosystems of Northern China, from east (Zhangwu county, Liaoning province) to west (Korla city, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region), passing through several provinces including the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Shanxi province, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Gansu province. 68 shrubs and 7 trees were selected in the natural habitats which were artificial sand fixing vegetation and the adjacent natural vegetation in sandy areas. The leaf epidermis was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the cuticle thickness was calculated in the leaf cross-section by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results indicated that the epidermis of selected materials was divided into five categories: (1) Trichomes with different forms covered completely on the adaxial and abaxial surfaces of leaf, and any other epidermal appendages could not been observed. (2) Epicuticular wax crystals with different forms almost completely covered in the epistomatal chambers as well as on the surrounding epidermis, and there were no other appendages on the leaf surface. (3) A lot of warty hairs arranged neatly on the surface and the stomatal index was too low. (4) Several or even dozens of papillary epidermal cells covered with waxy crystals enclosed a sunken stomata chamber, therefore the stomatal density is very low. (5) Like ordinary terrestrial plants, epidermal cells and cell outline are clear, with epidermal hairs or not, and the stomata and waxy crystals are visible. TEM showed that desert plants

  9. Soil seed bank in different habitats of the Eastern Desert of Egypt.

    PubMed

    Gomaa, Nasr H

    2012-04-01

    The floristic composition and species diversity of the germinable soil seed bank were studied in three different habitats (desert salinized land, desert wadi, and reclaimed land) in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Moreover, the degree of similarity between the seed bank and the above-ground vegetation was determined. The seed bank was studied in 40 stands representing the three habitats. Ten soil samples (each 25 × 20 cm and 5 cm depth) were randomly taken per stand. The seed bank was investigated by the seedling emergence method. Some 61 species belonging to 21 families and 54 genera were identified in the germinable seed bank. The recorded species include 43 annuals and 18 perennials. Ordination of stands by Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) indicates that the stands of the three habitats are markedly distinguishable and show a clear pattern of segregation on the ordination planes. This indicates variations in the species composition among habitats. The results also demonstrate significant associations between the floristic composition of the seed bank and edaphic factors such as CaCO3, electrical conductivity, organic carbon and soil texture. The reclaimed land has the highest values of species richness, Shannon-index of diversity and the density of the germinable seed bank followed by the habitats of desert wadi and desert salinized land. Motyka's similarity index between the seed bank and the above-ground vegetation is significantly higher in reclaimed land (75.1%) compared to desert wadi (38.4%) and desert salinized land (36.5%).

  10. Remobilization of southern African desert dune systems by twenty-first century global warming.

    PubMed

    Thomas, David S G; Knight, Melanie; Wiggs, Giles F S

    2005-06-30

    Although desert dunes cover 5 per cent of the global land surface and 30 per cent of Africa, the potential impacts of twenty-first century global warming on desert dune systems are not well understood. The inactive Sahel and southern African dune systems, which developed in multiple arid phases since the last interglacial period, are used today by pastoral and agricultural systems that could be disrupted if climate change alters twenty-first century dune dynamics. Empirical data and model simulations have established that the interplay between dune surface erodibility (determined by vegetation cover and moisture availability) and atmospheric erosivity (determined by wind energy) is critical for dunefield dynamics. This relationship between erodibility and erosivity is susceptible to climate-change impacts. Here we use simulations with three global climate models and a range of emission scenarios to assess the potential future activity of three Kalahari dunefields. We determine monthly values of dune activity by modifying and improving an established dune mobility index so that it can account for global climate model data outputs. We find that, regardless of the emission scenario used, significantly enhanced dune activity is simulated in the southern dunefield by 2039, and in the eastern and northern dunefields by 2069. By 2099 all dunefields are highly dynamic, from northern South Africa to Angola and Zambia. Our results suggest that dunefields are likely to be reactivated (the sand will become significantly exposed and move) as a consequence of twenty-first century climate warming.

  11. The heat is on: desert tortoises and survival

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wessells, Stephen M.; Schwarzbach, Steven E.

    2010-01-01

    To highlight USGS scientists' research and build support for the work being done to help with desert tortoise recovery. To educate people about desert tortoises, their habitat needs, and what people might do to help. Length: 30 minutes

  12. Slope Deposits and (Paleo)Soils as Geoarchives to Reconstruct Late Quaternary Environments of Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huerkamp, K.; Voelkel, J.; Heine, K.; Bens, O.

    2009-04-01

    Although it is clear that large, rapid temperature changes have occurred during the last glacial-interglacial cycle and the Holocene in southern Africa, we have only limited, and often imprecise, knowledge of how the major moisture-bearing atmospheric circulation systems have reacted to these changes. Using slope deposits and soils as palaeoclimatic geoarchives we will overcome these constraints. The role of many geoarchives in the reconstruction of the Quaternary climate in southern Africa remains controversial, since the paleoclimate data are based on evidence from marine cores, lake sediments, speleothems and spring sinter, fluvial sediments, aeolian sands and dust, colluvium, and coastal sediments. To elucidate climate controls on Quaternary landscape evolution and to use these data for palaeoclimatic reconstructions, thus far slope deposits and soils have been investigated. Climatic controls on these cycles are incompletely known. The availability of results from earlier fieldwork, micromorphology, Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL), 14C dating and stable carbon isotope analysis will permit a thorough assessment of slope deposits and soils in terms of their palaeoenvironmental potential. The knowledge of suitable areas and sites in different climatic zones of southern Africa where slope deposits and soils have already been found document the late Quaternary climatic history and even climatic anomalies (e.g. Younger Dryas period at Eksteenfontein, 8.2 ka event at Tsumkwe, 4 ka event in the Auob valley, Little Ice Age in the Namib Desert). The findings will show the late Quaternary history of precipitation fluctuations, of the shifting of the ITCZ (and the ABF - Agulhas-Benguela Front), of wind intensities and directions, and of extreme precipitation events. The project will employ state-of-the-art geoscience methodology to interpret the record of precipitation changes of the late Quaternary, including the shifting of the summer and winter rain belts, the

  13. Desert basins of the Southwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leake, Stanley A.; Konieczki, Alice D.; Rees, Julie A.H.

    2000-01-01

    Ground water is among the Nation’s most important natural resources. It provides drinking water to urban and rural communities, supports irrigation and industry, sustains the flow of streams and rivers, and maintains riparian and wetland ecosystems. In many areas of the Nation, the future sustainability of ground-water resources is at risk from overuse and contamination. Because ground-water systems typically respond slowly to human actions, a long-term perspective is needed to manage this valuable resource. This publication is one in a series of fact sheets that describe ground-water-resource issues across the United States, as well as some of the activities of the U.S. Geological Survey that provide information to help others develop, manage, and protect ground-water resources in a sustainable manner. Ground-water resources in the Southwest are among the most overused in the United States. Natural recharge to aquifers is low and pumping in many areas has resulted in lowering of water tables. The consequences of large-scale removal of water from storage are becoming increasingly evident. These consequences include land subsidence; loss of springs, streams, wetlands and associated habitat; and degradation of water quality. Water managers are now seeking better ways of managing ground-water resources while looking for supplemental sources of water. This fact sheet reviews basic information on ground water in the desert basins of the Southwest. Also described are some activities of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that are providing scientific information for sustainable management of ground-water resources in the Southwest. Ground-water sustainability is defined as developing and using ground water in a way that can be maintained for an indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental, economic, or social consequences.

  14. Sexual conflict over care: antagonistic effects of clutch desertion on reproductive success of male and female penduline tits.

    PubMed

    Szentirmai, I; Székely, T; Komdeur, J

    2007-09-01

    A fundamental tenet of sexual conflict theory is that one sex may increase its reproductive success (RS) even if this harms the other sex. Several studies supported this principle by showing that males benefit from reduced paternal care whereas females suffer from it. By investigating penduline tits Remiz pendulinus in nature, we show that parental conflict may be symmetric between sexes. In this small passerine a single female (or male) cares for the offspring, whereas about 30% of clutches are deserted by both parents. Deserting parents enhance their RS by obtaining multiple mates, and they reduce the RS of their mates due to increased nest failure. Unlike most other species, however, the antagonistic interests are symmetric in penduline tits, because both sexes enhance their own RS by deserting, whilst harming the RS of their mates. We argue that the strong antagonistic interests of sexes explain the high frequency of biparental desertion.

  15. Establishing food site vectors in desert ants.

    PubMed

    Bolek, Siegfried; Wittlinger, Matthias; Wolf, Harald

    2012-02-15

    When returning to the site of a successful previous forage, where does one search for the goodies? Should one rely on experience from the previous homebound journey, or should one consider the outbound journey as well, or even exclusively? Desert ants are particularly well suited for pursuing this question because of their primary reliance on path integration in open and featureless desert habitats. Path integration has been studied particularly with regard to homing after lengthy foraging trips. The ants also use path integration to return to plentiful feeding sites, but what is memorised for revisiting the feeder remains controversial. Here, we demonstrate that desert ants consider, and indeed linearly average, both outbound and inbound travel for their return to a familiar feeder. This may be interpreted as a strategy to reduce navigation errors.

  16. Erosion Resistance Index (ERI) to Assess Surface Stability in Desert Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Hamada, Yuki; Grippo, Mark A.

    2015-11-01

    A new spectral index—erosion resistance index (ERI)—was developed to assess erosion risks in desert landscapes. The index was developed by applying trigonometry to the combination of the green/red band-ratio and the red/near infrared band-ratio from very high spatial resolution imagery. The resultant ERI maps showed spatially cohesive distributions of high and low index values across the study areas. High index values were observed over areas that were resistant to erosion (such as desert pavement and dense vegetation), while low index values overlapped with areas likely dominated by loose sandy soils, such as stream beds and access roads. Although further investigation is warranted, this new index, ERI, shows promise for the assessment of erosion risks in desert regions.

  17. Oxalosis in wild desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jacobson, Elliott R.; Berry, Kristin H.; Stacy, Brian; Huzella, Louis M.; Kalasinsky, Victor F.; Fleetwood, Michelle L.; Mense, Mark G.

    2009-01-01

    We necropsied a moribund, wild adult male desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) with clinical signs of respiratory disease and elevated plasma biochemical analytes indicative of renal disease (blood urea nitrogen [415 mg/dl], uric acid [11.8 mg/dl], sodium >180 mmol/l] and chloride [139 mmol/l]). Moderate numbers of birefringent oxalate crystals, based on infrared and electron microscopy, were present within renal tubules; small numbers were seen in colloid within thyroid follicles. A retrospective analysis of 66 additional cases of wild desert tortoises was conducted to determine whether similar crystals were present in thyroid and kidney. The tortoises, from the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, were necropsied between 1992 and 2003 and included juveniles and adults. Tortoises were classified as healthy (those that died due to trauma and where no disease was identified after necropsy and evaluation by standard laboratory tests used for other tortoises) or not healthy (having one or more diseases or lesions). For all 67 necropsied tortoises, small numbers of crystals of similar appearance were present in thyroid glands from 44 of 54 cases (81%) and in kidneys from three of 65 cases (5%). Presence of oxalates did not differ significantly between healthy and unhealthy tortoises, between age classes, or between desert region, and their presence was considered an incidental finding. Small numbers of oxalate crystals seen within the kidney of two additional tortoises also were considered an incidental finding. Although the source of the calcium oxalate could not be determined, desert tortoises are herbivores, and a plant origin seems most likely. Studies are needed to evaluate the oxalate content of plants consumed by desert tortoises, and particularly those in the area where the tortoise in renal failure was found.

  18. The Punitive Paradox: Desert and the Compulsion to Punish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clear, Todd R.

    1996-01-01

    Explores the concept of a "just deserts" justice paradox in which carrying out a deserved penalty breaches the values that undergird the theory of just deserts. Examines whether it might ever be proper, from a desert perspective, to choose not to impose a deserved punishment. (KW)

  19. An Economic View of Food Deserts in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bitler, Marianne; Haider, Steven J.

    2011-01-01

    Considerable policy and academic attention has been focused on the topic of food deserts. We consider this topic from an economic perspective. First, we consider how the components of a standard economic analysis apply to the study of food deserts. Second, using this economic lens, we revisit the empirical literature on food deserts to assess the…

  20. Desert Dust Properties, Modelling, and Monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaskaoutis, Dimitris G.; Kahn, Ralph A.; Gupta, Pawan; Jayaraman, Achuthan; Bartzokas, Aristides

    2013-01-01

    This paper is just the three-page introduction to a Special Issue of Advances in Meteorology focusing on desert dust. It provides a paragraph each on 13 accepted papers, most relating to the used of satellite data to assess attributes or distribution of airborne desert dust. As guest Associate Editors of this issue, we organized the papers into a systematic whole, beginning with large-scale transport and seasonal behavior, then to regional dust transport, transport history, and climate impacts, first in the Mediterranean region, then India and central Asia, and finally focusing on transport model assessment and the use of lidar as a technique to constrain dust spatial-temporal distribution.

  1. Carrion insects of the Egyptian western desert.

    PubMed

    Hegazi, E M; Shaaban, M A; Sabry, E

    1991-09-01

    A general survey was made on the zoosaprophagous insects and their associates in a natural ecosystem in the Egyptian western desert (80 km west of Alexandria, 12 km from the Mediterranean Sea shore). Two types of traps were used, one for flying insects and the other for soil-burrowing insects. Two types of decaying media were used as baits: the common freshwater fish (Tilapia zilii Gerv.) and the desert snail (Eremina desertorum). More than 30 insect species were trapped. The following orders and families were represented: Diptera (Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae); Coleoptera (Histeridae, Scarabaeidae, Dermestidae, Tenebrionidae); Hymenoptera (Chalcididae, Pteromalidae, Eulophidae, Formicidae). Monthly totals of numbers trapped in each of these groups are presented.

  2. Airborne desert dust and aeromicrobiology over the Turkish Mediterranean coastline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffin, Dale W.; Kubilay, Nilgün; Kocak, Mustafa; Gray, Mike A.; Borden, Timothy C.; Shinn, Eugene A.

    2007-01-01

    Between 18 March and 27 October 2002, 220 air samples were collected on 209 of 224 calendar days, on top of a coastal atmospheric research tower in Erdemli, Turkey. The volume of air filtered for each sample was 340 liters. Two hundred fifty-seven bacterial and 2598 fungal colony forming units (CFU) were enumerated from the samples using a low-nutrient agar. Ground-based dust measurements demonstrated that the region is routinely impacted by dust generated regionally and from North Africa and that the highest combined percent recovery of total CFU and African dust deposition occurred in the month of April (93.4% of CFU recovery and 91.1% of dust deposition occurred during African dust days versus no African dust present, for that month). A statistically significant correlation was observed (peak regional African dust months of March, April and May; rs=0.576, P=0.000) between an increase in the prevalence of microorganisms recovered from atmospheric samples on dust days (regional and African as determined by ground-based dust measurements), versus that observed on non-dust days. Given the prevalence of atmospherically suspended desert dust and microorganisms observed in this study, and that culture-based studies typically only recover a small fraction (

  3. Airborne desert dust and aeromicrobiology over the Turkish Mediterranean coastline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, Dale W.; Kubilay, Nilgün; Koçak, Mustafa; Gray, Mike A.; Borden, Timothy C.; Shinn, Eugene A.

    Between 18 March and 27 October 2002, 220 air samples were collected on 209 of 224 calendar days, on top of a coastal atmospheric research tower in Erdemli, Turkey. The volume of air filtered for each sample was 340 liters. Two hundred fifty-seven bacterial and 2598 fungal colony forming units (CFU) were enumerated from the samples using a low-nutrient agar. Ground-based dust measurements demonstrated that the region is routinely impacted by dust generated regionally and from North Africa and that the highest combined percent recovery of total CFU and African dust deposition occurred in the month of April (93.4% of CFU recovery and 91.1% of dust deposition occurred during African dust days versus no African dust present, for that month). A statistically significant correlation was observed (peak regional African dust months of March, April and May; rs=0.576, P=0.000) between an increase in the prevalence of microorganisms recovered from atmospheric samples on dust days (regional and African as determined by ground-based dust measurements), versus that observed on non-dust days. Given the prevalence of atmospherically suspended desert dust and microorganisms observed in this study, and that culture-based studies typically only recover a small fraction (<1.0%) of the actual microbial population in any given environment, dust-borne microorganisms and other associated constituents (organic detritus, toxins, etc.) may play a significant role in the regional human and ecosystem health.

  4. Forecasting droughts in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mwangi, Emmah; Wetterhall, Fredrik; Dutra, Emanuel; Di Giuseppe, Francesca; Pappenberger, Florian

    2014-05-01

    The humanitarian crisis caused by the recent droughts (2008-2009 and 2010-2011) in East Africa have illustrated that the ability to make accurate drought predictions with sufficient lead time is essential. The use of dynamical model forecasts in combination with drought indices, such as the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), can potentially to lead to a better description of drought duration, magnitude and spatial extent. This study evaluates the use of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) products in forecasting droughts in East Africa. ECMWF seasonal precipitation shows significant skill for both rain seasons when evaluated against measurements from the available in-situ stations from East Africa. The forecast for October-December rain season has higher skill than for the March-May season. ECMWF forecasts add value to the statistical forecasts produced during the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forums (GHACOF), which is the present operational product. Complementing the raw precipitation forecasts with SPI provides additional information on the spatial extent and intensity of the drought event.

  5. East Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This image shows the East African nations of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, as well as portions of Kenya, Sudan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Dominating the scene are the green Ethiopian Highlands. With altitudes as high as 4,620 meters (15,157 feet), the highlands pull moisture from the arid air, resulting in relatively lush vegetation. In fact, coffee-one of the world's most prized crops-originated here. To the north (above) the highlands is Eritrea, which became independent in 1993. East (right) of Ethiopia is Somalia, jutting out into the Indian Ocean. The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) captured this true-color image on November 29, 2000. Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

  6. Genetic connectivity across marginal habitats: the elephants of the Namib Desert.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Yasuko; Van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Leggett, Keith E A; Putnam, Andrea S; Fox, Virginia E; Lai, Jesse; Boag, Peter T; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Roca, Alfred L

    2016-09-01

    Locally isolated populations in marginal habitats may be genetically distinctive and of heightened conservation concern. Elephants inhabiting the Namib Desert have been reported to show distinctive behavioral and phenotypic adaptations in that severely arid environment. The genetic distinctiveness of Namibian desert elephants relative to other African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) populations has not been established. To investigate the genetic structure of elephants in Namibia, we determined the mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region sequences and genotyped 17 microsatellite loci in desert elephants (n = 8) from the Hoanib River catchment and the Hoarusib River catchment. We compared these to the genotypes of elephants (n = 77) from other localities in Namibia. The mtDNA haplotype sequences and frequencies among desert elephants were similar to those of elephants in Etosha National Park, the Huab River catchment, the Ugab River catchment, and central Kunene, although the geographically distant Caprivi Strip had different mtDNA haplotypes. Likewise, analysis of the microsatellite genotypes of desert-dwelling elephants revealed that they were not genetically distinctive from Etosha elephants, and there was no evidence for isolation by distance across the Etosha region. These results, and a review of the historical record, suggest that a high learning capacity and long-distance migrations allowed Namibian elephants to regularly shift their ranges to survive in the face of high variability in climate and in hunting pressure.

  7. Ubiquity, diversity and physiological characteristics of Geodermatophilaceae in Shapotou National Desert Ecological Reserve.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hong-Min; Zhang, Tao; Yu, Li-Yan; Sen, Keya; Zhang, Yu-Qin

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to gain insight into the diversity of culturable actinobacteria in desert soil crusts and to determine the physiological characteristics of the predominant actinobacterial group in these crusts. Culture-dependent method was employed to obtain actinobacterial strains from desert soil samples collected from Shapotou National Desert Ecological Reserve (NDER) located in Tengger Desert, China. A total of 376 actinobacterial strains were isolated and 16S rRNA gene sequences analysis indicated that these isolates belonged to 29 genera within 18 families, among which the members of the family Geodermatophilaceae were predominant. The combination of 16S rRNA gene information and the phenotypic data allowed these newly-isolated Geodermatophilaceae members to be classified into 33 "species clusters," 11 of which represented hitherto unrecognized species. Fermentation broths from 19.7% of the isolated strains showed activity in at least one of the six screens for antibiotic activity. These isolates exhibited bio-diversity in enzymatic characteristics and carbon utilization profiles. The physiological characteristics of the isolates from different types of crusts or bare sand samples were specific to their respective micro-ecological environments. Our study revealed that members of the family Geodermatophilaceae were ubiquitous, abundant, and diverse in Shapotou NDER, and these strains may represent a new major group of potential functional actinobacteria in desert soil.

  8. Habitat drives dispersal and survival of translocated juvenile desert tortoises

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nafus, Melia G.; Esque, Todd; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.

    2017-01-01

    5.Synthesis and applications. Resource managers using translocations as a conservation tool should prioritize acquiring data linking habitat to fitness. In particular, for species that depend on avoiding detection, refuges such as burrows and habitat that improved concealment had notable ability to improve survival and dispersal. Our study on juvenile Mojave desert tortoises showed that refuge availability or the distributions of habitat appropriate for concealment are important considerations for identifying translocation sites for species highly dependent on crypsis, camouflage, or other forms of habitat matching.

  9. Geomorphic control of radionuclide diffusion in desert soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, Jon D.; Harrington, Charles D.; Whitney, John W.; Cline, Michael; DeLong, Stephen B.; Keating, Gordon; Ebert, K. Teryn

    2005-12-01

    Diffusion is a standard model for the vertical migration of radionuclides in soil profiles. Here we show that diffusivity values inferred from fallout 137Cs profiles in soils on the Fortymile Wash alluvial fan, Nye County, Nevada, have a strong inverse correlation with the age of the geomorphic surface. This result suggests that radionuclide-bound particles are predominantly transported by infiltration rather than by bulk-mixing processes such as wetting/drying, freeze/thaw, and bioturbation. Our results provide a preliminary basis for using soil-geomorphic mapping, point-based calibration data, and the diffusion model to predict radionuclide transport in desert soils within a pedotransfer-function approach.

  10. The Geology of the Ka'u Desert, Hawaii as a Mars Analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craddock, R. A.; Irwin, R. P.; Williams, R.; Swanson, D.; Howard, A. D.; Quantin, C.; Kuzmin, R.; Zimbelman, J. R.

    2005-12-01

    The Ka'u Desert is located on the western flank of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is a desert because it receives little annual rainfall (about 150 mm/yr) but also because it is subjected to constant outgassing from Kilauea, which creates a harsh, acidic environment. Near the summit of Kilauea the Ka'u Desert is characterized by the Keanakako'i tephra deposit, which is several meters deep thinning out to a discontinuous deposit 1.5 km (1 mile) towards the center of the desert. The deposit itself has been incised by a number of gullies that are flat-floored and terminate in a series of amphitheater-shaped plunge pools. Most of the interior desert contains undulating weathered lava flows, extensive deposits of sand, and several more recent lava flows and volcanic edifices. The southern portion of the desert is bounded by the Hilina Pali fault scarp, which is 500 m (1,500 ft) above the nearby Pacific Ocean and contains a complex series of outwash plains, alluvial fans, and debris flows. We will present a summary of the geology of the Ka'u Desert. Contrary to published interpretations, we will present evidence that the Keanakako'i was not emplaced by two separate catastrophic eruption events but rather by two distinct eruption episodes that included multiple eruption events often interrupted by long hiatuses. Despite the morphology of the gullies contained on the Keanakako'i we will present evidence that the gullies were formed exclusively by surface runoff and not groundwater sapping, including quantitative estimates about the large amounts of discharge that occur during extreme storms. We will also present analyses of the sand deposits and determine the likely provenance of these materials. For the first time, we will also describe alluvial fans and mass wasting features on Hilina Pali and show evidence that they are part of poorly integrated channel system that originates in the Keanakako'i tephra. The Ka'u Desert represents a good Mars analog

  11. Distribution, habitat and habits of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the eastern Mojave Desert

    SciTech Connect

    Esque, T.C.; Bury, R.B. ); Medica, P.A. )

    1990-01-01

    The desert tortoise is widely distributed across most of southern Nevada below 1500 meters elevation and then ranges northeast into the Arizona Strip and southwestern Utah. There are several large populations, but also many isolated groups of desert tortoises due to the rugged topography and, possibly, unsuitable soils. We suggest that the greatest threats to tortoises in the eastern Mojave Desert are with peripheral populations. Tortoises in the eastern Mojave Desert occupy a wide variety of habitats from flats and bajadas in lower elevation to rocky slopes bordering on blackbrush and juniper woodland. In winter they use shallow burrows near Las Vegas but frequent deep caves in the northeast edge of their range. Tortoises in all areas may occur in steep, rocky habitats. Climatic extremes are frequent in this region and rainfall can be spotty due to several major mountain ranges that cause rain shadows. Forage is highly variable and this species can be an opportunistic herbivore. 11 refs., 13 figs.

  12. A mathematical model on the optimal timing of offspring desertion.

    PubMed

    Seno, Hiromi; Endo, Hiromi

    2007-06-07

    We consider the offspring desertion as the optimal strategy for the deserter parent, analyzing a mathematical model for its expected reproductive success. It is shown that the optimality of the offspring desertion significantly depends on the offsprings' birth timing in the mating season, and on the other ecological parameters characterizing the innate nature of considered animals. Especially, the desertion is less likely to occur for the offsprings born in the later period of mating season. It is also implied that the offspring desertion after a partially biparental care would be observable only with a specific condition.

  13. Field Verification of the Prediction Model on Desert Locust Adult Phase Status From Density and Vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Cissé, S.; Ghaout, S.; Babah Ebbe, M. A; Kamara, S; Piou, C.

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies investigated the effect of vegetation on density thresholds of adult Desert Locust gregarization from historical data in Mauritania. We examine here the prediction of locust phase based on adult density and vegetation conditions using the statistical model from Cisse et al. compared with actual behavior of Desert Locust adults observed in the field in Mauritania. From the 130 sites where adult locusts were found, the model predicted the phase of Desert Locust adults with a relatively small error of prediction of 6.1%. Preventive locust control should be rational, based on a risk assessment. The staff involved in implementation of the preventive control strategy needs specific indicators for when or where chemical treatment should be done. In this respect, we show here that the statistical model of Cisse et al. may be appropriate. PMID:27432351

  14. Field Verification of the Prediction Model on Desert Locust Adult Phase Status From Density and Vegetation.

    PubMed

    Cissé, S; Ghaout, S; Babah Ebbe, M A; Kamara, S; Piou, C

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies investigated the effect of vegetation on density thresholds of adult Desert Locust gregarization from historical data in Mauritania. We examine here the prediction of locust phase based on adult density and vegetation conditions using the statistical model from Cisse et al. compared with actual behavior of Desert Locust adults observed in the field in Mauritania. From the 130 sites where adult locusts were found, the model predicted the phase of Desert Locust adults with a relatively small error of prediction of 6.1%. Preventive locust control should be rational, based on a risk assessment. The staff involved in implementation of the preventive control strategy needs specific indicators for when or where chemical treatment should be done. In this respect, we show here that the statistical model of Cisse et al. may be appropriate.

  15. On the longevity of desert plants and the production of new fine roots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas, R.; Czimczik, C. I.; Bullock, S.; Xu, X.; Djuricin, S.

    2012-12-01

    There is evidence that some plants in arid regions can live for several hundreds of years suggesting a strong resilience to climate variability including drought events. Therefore, an important question is: Which are the physiological mechanisms of survival that are present in long-lived plants? Recent studies have shown that plants are able to store nonstructural carbon (NSC) for several years and then allocate them for production of new structures such as fine roots. We established an experiment to measure the radiocarbon age of new fine roots of desert plants between 150 and 400 years old. The study site was located at the Central Desert of Baja California, Mexico and included individuals of Brahea armata, Washingtonia robusta, and Pachycereus pringlei. Our results showed that on average all the plant species were able to use stored old carbon for production of new fine roots. These results suggest that NSC pools are important in determining belowground responses of long-lived desert plants.

  16. Differentiating volcanic rock assemblages using Landsat Thematic Mapper data - Influence of petrochemistry and desert varnish

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spatz, D. M.; Taranik, J. V.; Hsu, L. C.

    1989-01-01

    An investigation has been conducted of the composition, distribution, spectral properties, and Landsat TM influences of desert varnish from three sites in southern Nevada. It is established that the TM signatures of diverse volcanic rock assemblages primarily depend on primary petrochemical characteristics. Desert varnish is found to exert a minimal influence on TM imagery at longer wavelengths, but absorbs the higher frequency radiation of TM bands 1-3, thereby leading to high TM band 5/2 values and dark contrast on 5/2 images over units with high rock-varnish albedo difference; highly evolved volcanic deposits show steep positive spectral slopes in the TM band 5-7 region.

  17. Desert Culture Area. Native American Curriculum Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Cathy; Fernandes, Roger

    One in a series of Native American instructional materials, this booklet introduces elementary students to the history and culture of the Navajo, Pueblo, and other Indian tribes of the southwest desert. Written in simple language, the booklet provides background information, activities, legends, and illustrations. Topics include the climate of the…

  18. Habitat selection by juvenile Mojave Desert tortoises

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Todd, Brian D; Halstead, Brian J.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Peaden, J. Mark; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Tuberville, Tracey D.; Nafus, Melia G.

    2016-01-01

    Growing pressure to develop public lands for renewable energy production places several protected species at increased risk of habitat loss. One example is the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a species often at the center of conflicts over public land development. For this species and others on public lands, a better understanding of their habitat needs can help minimize negative impacts and facilitate protection or restoration of habitat. We used radio-telemetry to track 46 neonate and juvenile tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA, to quantify habitat at tortoise locations and paired random points to assess habitat selection. Tortoise locations near burrows were more likely to be under canopy cover and had greater coverage of perennial plants (especially creosote [Larrea tridentata]), more coverage by washes, a greater number of small-mammal burrows, and fewer white bursage (Ambrosia dumosa) than random points. Active tortoise locations away from burrows were closer to washes and perennial plants than were random points. Our results can help planners locate juvenile tortoises and avoid impacts to habitat critical for this life stage. Additionally, our results provide targets for habitat protection and restoration and suggest that diverse and abundant small-mammal populations and the availability of creosote bush are vital for juvenile desert tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert.

  19. Microflora in soils of desert regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cameron, R. E.

    1970-01-01

    Desert soil samples, collected using aseptic techniques, are low in organic matter and cation exchange capacity. Aerobic and microaerophilic bacteria are most abundant, next are algae and molds. Chemical and physical properties are determined by standard procedures, including the Kjeldahl method and the use of Munsell soil color charts.

  20. Reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sabo, John L.; Sinha, Tushar; Bowling, Laura C.; Schoups, Gerrit H.W.; Wallender, Wesley W.; Campana, Michael E.; Cherkauer, Keith A.; Fuller, Pam L.; Graf, William L.; Hopmans, Jan W.; Kominoski, John S.; Taylor, Carissa; Trimble, Stanley W.; Webb, Robert H.; Wohl, Ellen E.

    2010-01-01

    Increasing human appropriation of freshwater resources presents a tangible limit to the sustainability of cities, agriculture, and ecosystems in the western United States. Marc Reisner tackles this theme in his 1986 classic Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. Reisner's analysis paints a portrait of region-wide hydrologic dysfunction in the western United States, suggesting that the storage capacity of reservoirs will be impaired by sediment infilling, croplands will be rendered infertile by salt, and water scarcity will pit growing desert cities against agribusiness in the face of dwindling water resources. Here we evaluate these claims using the best available data and scientific tools. Our analysis provides strong scientific support for many of Reisner's claims, except the notion that reservoir storage is imminently threatened by sediment. More broadly, we estimate that the equivalent of nearly 76% of streamflow in the Cadillac Desert region is currently appropriated by humans, and this figure could rise to nearly 86% under a doubling of the region's population. Thus, Reisner's incisive journalism led him to the same conclusions as those rendered by copious data, modern scientific tools, and the application of a more genuine scientific method. We close with a prospectus for reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert, including a suite of recommendations for reducing region-wide human appropriation of streamflow to a target level of 60%.

  1. Modelling emergent patterns of dynamic desert ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many desert ecosystems vegetation is both patchy and dynamic: vegetated areas are interspersed with patches of bare ground, and both the positioning and the species composition of the vegetated areas exhibit change through time. These characteristics lead to the emergence of multi-scale patterns ...

  2. Metagenomes from the Saline Desert of Kutch

    PubMed Central

    Pandit, A. S.; Joshi, M. N.; Bhargava, P.; Ayachit, G. N.; Shaikh, I. M.; Saiyed, Z. M.; Saxena, A. K.

    2014-01-01

    We provide the first report on the metagenomic approach for unveiling the microbial diversity in the saline desert of Kutch. High-throughput metagenomic sequencing of environmental DNA isolated from soil collected from seven locations in Kutch was performed on an Ion Torrent platform. PMID:24831151

  3. Antioxidant Activity of Sonoran Desert Bee Pollen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bee products have been consumed by mankind since antiquity and their health benefits are becoming more apparent. Bee pollen (pollen collected by honey bees) was collected in the high intensity ultraviolet (UV) Sonoran desert and was analyzed by the anti-2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) assay and...

  4. The Desert Tortoise: A Delicate Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This award winning program looks at the efforts to preserve the desert tortoise in and around the Edwards Air Force Base, CA area. It also explains what people should do if they come in contact with a tortoise. This video was produced in cooperation with Edwards Air Force Base.

  5. Gopherus agassizii (desert tortoise). Burrow collapse

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Loughran, Caleb L.; Ennen, Joshua; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    In the deserts of the southwestern U.S., burrows are utilized by the Desert Tortoise to escape environmental extremes (reviewed by Ernst and Lovich 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada. 2nd ed. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, Maryland. 827 pp.). However, the potential for mortality through burrow collapse and entrapment is poorly documented. Nicholson and Humphreys (1981. Proceedings of the Desert Tortoise Council, pp. 163−194) suggested that collapse due to livestock trampling may cause mortality. In addition, Lovich et al. (2011. Chelon. Cons. Biol. 10[1]:124–129) documented a Desert Tortoise that used a steel culvert as a burrow surrogate. The culvert filled completely with sediment following a significant rain event, entombing the animal and ultimately resulting in its death. We note that this mortality was associated with an anthropogenic structure; because tortoises are prodigious diggers, one might hypothesize that they have the ability to dig out of collapsed natural burrows in most situations. Circumstances described here presented us with an opportunity to test this hypothesis.

  6. Desert Research and Technology Studies 2008 Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Romig, Barbara; Kosmo, Joseph; Gernhardt, Michael; Abercromby, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    During the last two weeks of October 2008, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) Advanced Extravehicular Activity (AEVA) team led the field test portion of the 2008 Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) near Flagstaff, AZ. The Desert RATS field test activity is the year-long culmination of various individual science and advanced engineering discipline areas technology and operations development efforts into a coordinated field test demonstration under representative (analog) planetary surface terrain conditions. The 2008 Desert RATS was the eleventh RATS field test and was the most focused and successful test to date with participants from six NASA field centers, three research organizations, one university, and one other government agency. The main test objective was to collect Unpressurized Rover (UPR) and Lunar Electric Rover (LER) engineering performance and human factors metrics while under extended periods of representative mission-based scenario test operations involving long drive distances, night-time driving, Extravehicular Activity (EVA) operations, and overnight campover periods. The test was extremely successful with all teams meeting the primary test objective. This paper summarizes Desert RATS 2008 test hardware, detailed test objectives, test operations, and test results.

  7. Reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert

    PubMed Central

    Sabo, John L.; Sinha, Tushar; Bowling, Laura C.; Schoups, Gerrit H. W.; Wallender, Wesley W.; Campana, Michael E.; Cherkauer, Keith A.; Fuller, Pam L.; Graf, William L.; Hopmans, Jan W.; Kominoski, John S.; Taylor, Carissa; Trimble, Stanley W.; Webb, Robert H.; Wohl, Ellen E.

    2010-01-01

    Increasing human appropriation of freshwater resources presents a tangible limit to the sustainability of cities, agriculture, and ecosystems in the western United States. Marc Reisner tackles this theme in his 1986 classic Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. Reisner's analysis paints a portrait of region-wide hydrologic dysfunction in the western United States, suggesting that the storage capacity of reservoirs will be impaired by sediment infilling, croplands will be rendered infertile by salt, and water scarcity will pit growing desert cities against agribusiness in the face of dwindling water resources. Here we evaluate these claims using the best available data and scientific tools. Our analysis provides strong scientific support for many of Reisner's claims, except the notion that reservoir storage is imminently threatened by sediment. More broadly, we estimate that the equivalent of nearly 76% of streamflow in the Cadillac Desert region is currently appropriated by humans, and this figure could rise to nearly 86% under a doubling of the region's population. Thus, Reisner's incisive journalism led him to the same conclusions as those rendered by copious data, modern scientific tools, and the application of a more genuine scientific method. We close with a prospectus for reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert, including a suite of recommendations for reducing region-wide human appropriation of streamflow to a target level of 60%. PMID:21149727

  8. An Ecosystem Services Framework for Desert Landscapes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Governments, tribal leaders and citizens of the deserts in North America are facing unprecedented pressures from population growth and climate change. The dominant environmental and economic issue is to ensure that people have access to clean water and sanitation while vital ecos...

  9. Generation 2030/Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    You, Danzhen; Hug, Lucia; Anthony, David

    2014-01-01

    Until relatively recently, much of Africa has been among the economically least developed and least densely populated places on earth, replete with villages and rural communities. Africa is changing rapidly, in its economy, trade and investment; in climate change; in conflict and stability; in urbanization, migration patterns, and most of all in…

  10. Islam in Africa

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-05-09

    orders as well as followers in West Africa and Sudan, and, like other orders, strives to know God through meditation and emotion. Sufis may be Sunni or...Shi’ite, and their ceremonies may involve chanting, music, dancing, and meditation . West Africa and Sudan have various Sufi orders regarded

  11. Language in South Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mesthrie, Rajend, Ed.

    This collection of 24 papers focuses on language and society in South Africa. Part 1, "The Main Language Groupings," includes (1) "South Africa: A Sociolinguistic Overview" (R. Mesthrie); (2) "The Khoesan Languages" (A. Traill); (3) "The Bantu Languages: Sociohistorical Perspectives" (Robert K. Herbert and…

  12. Teaching about Francophone Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merryfield, Mary; Timbo, Adama

    Lessons and resources for Social Studies and French courses are included in this document. The major goals of these materials are to help students (1) explore the history and geography of Francophone Africa, (2) examine French influences in contemporary Africa, (3) recognize and appreciate cultural differences and similarities in values and…

  13. Wood decay in desert riverine environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andersen, Douglas; Stricker, Craig A.; Nelson, S. Mark

    2016-01-01

    Floodplain forests and the woody debris they produce are major components of riverine ecosystems in many arid and semiarid regions (drylands). We monitored breakdown and nitrogen dynamics in wood and bark from a native riparian tree, Fremont cottonwood (Populus deltoides subsp. wislizeni), along four North American desert streams. We placed locally-obtained, fresh, coarse material [disks or cylinders (∼500–2000 cm3)] along two cold-desert and two warm-desert rivers in the Colorado River Basin. Material was placed in both floodplain and aquatic environments, and left in situ for up to 12 years. We tested the hypothesis that breakdown would be fastest in relatively warm and moist aerobic environments by comparing the time required for 50% loss of initial ash-free dry matter (T50) calculated using exponential decay models incorporating a lag term. In cold-desert sites (Green and Yampa rivers, Colorado), disks of wood with bark attached exposed for up to 12 years in locations rarely inundated lost mass at a slower rate (T50 = 34 yr) than in locations inundated during most spring floods (T50 = 12 yr). At the latter locations, bark alone loss mass at a rate initially similar to whole disks (T50 = 13 yr), but which subsequently slowed. In warm-desert sites monitored for 3 years, cylinders of wood with bark removed lost mass very slowly (T50 = 60 yr) at a location never inundated (Bill Williams River, Arizona), whereas decay rate varied among aquatic locations (T50 = 20 yr in Bill Williams River; T50 = 3 yr in Las Vegas Wash, an effluent-dominated stream warmed by treated wastewater inflows). Invertebrates had a minor role in wood breakdown except at in-stream locations in Las Vegas Wash. The presence and form of change in nitrogen content during exposure varied among riverine environments. Our results suggest woody debris breakdown in desert riverine ecosystems is primarily a microbial process with rates determined by landscape position

  14. Cryophenomena in the Cold Desert of Atacama

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchroithner, Dr.; Trombotto, Dr.

    2012-04-01

    The study area of the Valle de Barrancas Blancas in the High Atacama Andes of Chile (68°39' W, 27°02' S), a kind of Patagonian "bajo sin salida", shows well preserved landforms resulting from a combination of slope, eolian, lacustrine/litoral, fluvial, glacial and periglacial regimes. They permit the reconstruction of geomorphological processes within this isolated catchment of approximately 160 km2. The mean annual air temperature varies between -2 and -4 °C and the precipitation is approximately 150 mm/a. Snowfall is frequent but the snow is quickly sublimated, redeposited and/or covered by cryosediments, i.e. mainly pumice pebbles. Water bodies present icings, even in summer. Regarding its climatic conditions the study area represents an extremely cold desertic region. Extremophile microfauna was also found. The area displays both in situ mountain permafrost and creeping permafrost. The active layer is 30 to 45 cm thick. It is a periglacial macro-environment where interdependent processes, and not only cryogenic processes but also erosion and eolian deposition and the action of fluvial washout mainly caused by precipitation, accumulation, retransportation/redeposition and melting of snow, play an important role. The cryogenic geomorphology of the Valle de Barrancas Blancas is varied and contains microforms such as patterned ground and microforms caused by cryoturbation, as well as mesoforms like rockglaciers and cryoplanation surfaces. Slopes are strongly affected by gelifluction. New cryoforms in South America and in the Southern Hemisphere like the Atacama Pingo (Pingo atacamensis) and Permafrosted Dunes ("Dunas heladas") were found. Intense niveo-eolian processes participate in the erosion of preexisting landforms, in the formation of subterraneous ice layers, and the retransportation/redeposition of snow and sediments. Studies of this periglacial environment are crucial for the understanding of Tundrean paleoenvironments and Martian conditions.

  15. Hot bats: extreme thermal tolerance in a desert heat wave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bondarenco, Artiom; Körtner, Gerhard; Geiser, Fritz

    2014-08-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase temperature extremes and thus thermal stress on organisms. Animals living in hot deserts are already exposed to high ambient temperatures ( T a) making them especially vulnerable to further warming. However, little is known about the effect of extreme heat events on small desert mammals, especially tree-roosting microbats that are not strongly protected from environmental temperature fluctuations. During a heat wave with record T as at Sturt National Park, we quantified the thermal physiology and behaviour of a single free-ranging little broad-nosed ( Scotorepens greyii, henceforth Scotorepens) and two inland freetail bats ( Mormopterus species 3, henceforth Mormopterus) using temperature telemetry over 3 days. On 11 and 13 January, maximum T a was ˜45.0 °C, and all monitored bats were thermoconforming. On 12 January 2013, when T a exceeded 48.0 °C, Scotorepens abandoned its poorly insulated roost during the daytime, whereas both Mormopterus remained in their better insulated roosts and were mostly thermoconforming. Maximum skin temperatures ( T skin) ranged from 44.0 to 44.3 °C in Scotorepens and from 40.0 to 45.8 °C in Mormopterus, and these are the highest T skin values reported for any free-ranging bat. Our study provides the first evidence of extensive heat tolerance in free-ranging desert microbats. It shows that these bats can tolerate the most extreme T skin range known for mammals (3.3 to 45.8 °C) and delay regulation of T skin by thermoconforming over a wide temperature range and thus decrease the risks of dehydration and consequently death.

  16. Hot bats: extreme thermal tolerance in a desert heat wave.

    PubMed

    Bondarenco, Artiom; Körtner, Gerhard; Geiser, Fritz

    2014-08-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase temperature extremes and thus thermal stress on organisms. Animals living in hot deserts are already exposed to high ambient temperatures (T a) making them especially vulnerable to further warming. However, little is known about the effect of extreme heat events on small desert mammals, especially tree-roosting microbats that are not strongly protected from environmental temperature fluctuations. During a heat wave with record T as at Sturt National Park, we quantified the thermal physiology and behaviour of a single free-ranging little broad-nosed (Scotorepens greyii, henceforth Scotorepens) and two inland freetail bats (Mormopterus species 3, henceforth Mormopterus) using temperature telemetry over 3 days. On 11 and 13 January, maximum T a was ∼45.0 °C, and all monitored bats were thermoconforming. On 12 January 2013, when T a exceeded 48.0 °C, Scotorepens abandoned its poorly insulated roost during the daytime, whereas both Mormopterus remained in their better insulated roosts and were mostly thermoconforming. Maximum skin temperatures (T skin) ranged from 44.0 to 44.3 °C in Scotorepens and from 40.0 to 45.8 °C in Mormopterus, and these are the highest T skin values reported for any free-ranging bat. Our study provides the first evidence of extensive heat tolerance in free-ranging desert microbats. It shows that these bats can tolerate the most extreme T skin range known for mammals (3.3 to 45.8 °C) and delay regulation of T skin by thermoconforming over a wide temperature range and thus decrease the risks of dehydration and consequently death.

  17. Colonization patterns of soil microbial communities in the Atacama Desert

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Atacama Desert is one of the driest deserts in the world and its soil, with extremely low moisture, organic carbon content, and oxidizing conditions, is considered to be at the dry limit for life. Results Analyses of high throughput DNA sequence data revealed that bacterial communities from six geographic locations in the hyper-arid core and along a North-South moisture gradient were structurally and phylogenetically distinct (ANOVA test for observed operating taxonomic units at 97% similarity (OTU0.03), P <0.001) and that communities from locations in the hyper-arid zone displayed the lowest levels of diversity. We found bacterial taxa similar to those found in other arid soil communities with an abundance of Rubrobacterales, Actinomycetales, Acidimicrobiales, and a number of families from the Thermoleophilia. The extremely low abundance of Firmicutes indicated that most bacteria in the soil were in the form of vegetative cells. Integrating molecular data with climate and soil geochemistry, we found that air relative humidity (RH) and soil conductivity significantly correlated with microbial communities’ diversity metrics (least squares linear regression for observed OTU0.03 and air RH and soil conductivity, P <0.001; UniFrac PCoA Spearman’s correlation for air RH and soil conductivity, P <0.0001), indicating that water availability and salt content are key factors in shaping the Atacama soil microbiome. Mineralization studies showed communities actively metabolizing in all soil samples, with increased rates in soils from the southern locations. Conclusions Our results suggest that microorganisms in the driest soils of the Atacama Desert are in a state of stasis for most of the time, but can potentially metabolize if presented with liquid water for a sufficient duration. Over geological time, rare rain events and physicochemical factors potentially played a major role in selecting micro-organisms that are most adapted to extreme desiccating

  18. A Combined Observational and Modeling Approach to Study Modern Dust Transport from the Patagonia Desert to East Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gasso, S.; Stein, A.; Marino, F.; Castellano, E.; Udisti, R.; Ceratto, J.

    2010-01-01

    presence of dust at approx.1500 km SW of South Africa five days after, the limited capabilities of existing satellite platforms to differentiate between aerosol types do not permit a definitive conclusion. In addition, the model simulations show dust lifting to the free troposphere as it travels south but it could not be confirmed by the satellite observations due to cloudiness. This work demonstrates that complementary information from existing transport models, satellite and surface data can yield a consistent picture of the dust transport from the Patagonia desert to Antarctica. It also illustrates the limitation of using any of these approaches individually to characterize the transport of dust in a heavily cloudy area.

  19. Hybrid engineered materials with high water-collecting efficiency inspired by Namib Desert beetles.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Hai; Guo, Zhiguang

    2016-05-21

    Inspired by Namib Desert beetles, a hybrid superhydrophobic surface was fabricated, showing highly efficient fog harvesting with a water collection rate (WCR) of 1309.9 mg h(-1) cm(-2). And, the surface possessed an excellent robustness and self-cleaning property.

  20. Multiscale drivers of spatially variable grass production and loss in the Chihuahuan Desert

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historic regime shifts from grass- to shrub-dominated states have been widespread in the Chihuahuan Desert and other arid and semiarid regions globally. These patterns of grass production and shifts to shrub dominance are spatially variable, and show a weak correlation with precipitation, suggesting...

  1. Mass spectral determination of phenylacetonitrile (PAN) levels in body tissues of adult desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    : Wings and legs of the gregarious desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria have been shown to be release sites of phenylacetonitrile (PAN), the major adult male-produced pheromone. However, there is limited information on the distribution of PAN within the locust. Here we show, using gas chromatograph...

  2. Geomorphology of MODIS-Visible Dust Plumes in the Chihuahuan Desert - Preliminary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, T. E.; Mbuh, M. J.; Dominguez, M. A.; Lee, J. A.; Baddock, M. C.; Lee, C. E.; Whitehead, S. C.; Rivera Rivera, N. I.; Peinado, P.

    2009-12-01

    We identified 28 days since 2001 when blowing dust impacted El Paso, Texas and dust plumes were visible on NASA MODIS Terra/Aqua satellite images in the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. Initiation points of >270 individual plumes were located on the MODIS images. Land use/land cover for each point was determined by field work, aerial photography, and/or soil/geological maps, and points were assigned to the geomorphic classes proposed by Bullard et al. (this session). Although dust plume identification is subjective (weak plumes, plumes obscured by clouds, and plumes occurring when the satellites are not overhead will be missed), these data provide preliminary information on the relationship between geomorphology and the initiation of major dust storms in the Chihuahuan Desert. Ephemeral lakes and alluvial low-relief non-incised lands are roughly equal producers of satellite-visible dust plumes in the Chihuahuan Desert. Anthropogenic modification of alluvial floodplains for cropping (primarily in the Casas Grandes and Del Carmen river basins) impacts dust generation, since about 2/3 of alluvial low-relief sites show evidence of agriculture. These agricultural fields are generally fallow during the November- April windy season. Not including agricultural lands, playas represent ~2x the number of sources as low-relief alluvial deposits. Aeolian sand deposits (predominantly coppice dunes and sand sheets overlaying alluvial or lacustrine sediments) account for about 1/7 of the points. These sands may act as erosional agents, providing saltating particles for sandblasting and bombardment of other sediments exposed nearby. Edges of ephemeral lakes are proportionally important sources (~10% of the points), likely due to the convergence of saltating sand, fine lacustrine sediments, and low roughness lengths of playa surfaces. Alluvial fans and alluvial uplands are minor dust sources compared to their overall prevalence in the region. Gobi/gibber/stony deposits are known dust

  3. Cyanobacterial composition and spatial distribution based on pyrosequencing data in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwestern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bingchang; Li, Renhui; Xiao, Peng; Su, Yangui; Zhang, Yuanming

    2016-03-01

    Cyanobacteria are the primary colonizers and form a dominant component of soil photosynthetic communities in biological soil crusts. They are crucial in improving soil environments, namely accumulating soil carbon and nitrogen. Many classical studies have examined cyanobacterial diversity in desert crusts, but relatively few comprehensive molecular surveys have been conducted. We used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to investigate cyanobacterial composition and distribution on regional scales in the Gurbantunggut Desert. The relationship between cyanobacterial distribution and environmental factors was also explored. A total of 24,973 cyanobacteria partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained, and 507OTUs were selected, as most OTUs had very few reads. Among these, 347 OTU sequences were of cyanobacteria origin, belonging to Oscillatoriales, Nostocales, Chroococcales, and uncultured cyanobacterium clone, respectively. Microcoleus vaginatus, Chroococcidiopsis spp. and M. steenstrupii were the dominant species in most areas of the Gurbantunggut Desert. Compared with other desert, the Gurbantunggut Desert differed in the prominence of Chroococcidiopsis spp. and lack of Pseudanabaenales. Species composition and abundance of cyanobacteria also showed distinct variations. Soil texture, precipitation, and nutrients and salt levels affected cyanobacterial distribution. Increased precipitation was helpful in improving cyanobacterial diversity. A higher content of coarse sand promoted the colonization and growth of Oscillatoriales and some phylotypes of Chroococcales. The fine-textured soil with higher nutrients and salts supported more varied populations of cyanobacteria, namely some heterocystous cyanobacteria. The results suggested that the Gurbantunggut Desert was rich in cyanobacteria and that precipitation was a primary regulating factor for cyanobacterial composition on a regional scale.

  4. Radiation, multiple dispersal and parallelism in the skinks, Chalcides and Sphenops (Squamata: Scincidae), with comments on Scincus and Scincopus and the age of the Sahara Desert.

    PubMed

    Carranza, S; Arnold, E N; Geniez, Ph; Roca, J; Mateo, J A

    2008-03-01

    Phylogenetic analysis using up to 1325 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA from 179 specimens and 30 species of Chalcides, Sphenops, Eumeces, Scincopus and Scincus indicates that Sphenops arose twice independently within Chalcides. It is consequently synonymized with that genus. Chalcides in this broader sense originated in Morocco, diversifying into four main clades about 10 Ma, after which some of its lineages dispersed widely to cover an area 40 times as large. Two separate lineages invaded the Canary Islands and at least five main lineages colonized southern Europe. At least five more spread across northern Africa, one extending into southwest Asia. Elongate bodies with reduced limbs have evolved at least four times in Chalcides, mesic 'grass-swimmers' being produced in one case and extensive adaptation to life in loose desert sand in two others. In clade, Chalcides striatus colonized SW Europe from NW Africa 2.6 Ma and C. chalcides mainland Italy 1.4 Ma, both invasions being across water, while C. c. vittatus reached Sardinia more recently, perhaps anthropogenically, and C. guentheri spread 1200km further east to Israel. C. minutus is a composite, with individuals from the type locality forming a long independent lineage and the remaining ones investigated being most closely related to C. mertensi. In the Northern clade, C. boulengeri and C. sepsoides spread east through sandy habitats north of the Sahara about 5 Ma, the latter reaching Egypt. C. bedriagai invaded Spain around the same time, perhaps during the Messinian period when the Mediterranean was dry, and shows considerable diversification. Although it is currently recognized as one species, the C. ocellatus clade exhibits as much phylogenetic depth as the other main clades of Chalcides, having at least six main lineages. These have independently invaded Malta and Sardinia from Tunisia and also southwest Arabia C. o. humilis appears to have spread over 4000 km through the Sahel, south of the Sahara quite

  5. Estimates of primary productivity over the Thar Desert based upon Nimbus-7 37 GHz data - 1979-1985

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudhury, B. J.

    1987-01-01

    An empirical relationship has been determined between the difference of vertically and horizontally polarized brightness temperatures noted at the 37 GHz frequency of the Nimbus-7 SMMR and primary productivity over hot arid and semiarid regions of Africa and Australia. This empirical relationship is applied to estimate the primary productivity over the Thar Desert between 1979 and 1985, giving an average value of 0.271 kg/sq m per yr. The spatial variability of the productivity values is found to be quite significant, with a standard deviation about the mean of 0.08 kg/sq m per yr.

  6. Geometeorological data collected by the USGS Desert Winds Project at Desert Wells, Sonoran Desert, central-west Arizona, 1981 - 1996

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Helm, Paula J.; Breed, Carol S.; Tigges, Richard; Creighton, Shawn

    1998-01-01

    The data in this report were obtained by instruments deployed on a GOES-satellite data collection station operated by the U.S. Geological Survey Desert Winds Project at Desert Wells (latitude 33° 42' 08" N, longitude 113° 48' 40" W), La Paz County, west-central Arizona. The elevation is 344 m (1,130 ft). From January 9, 1981 through May 31, 1995 the station recorded eight parameters: wind direction, wind speed, peak gust, air temperature, precipitation, humidity, barometric pressure, and soil temperature. On June 1, 1995, the station was upgraded by adding a SENSIT sand-flux sensor, which records grain impacts concurrently with wind speed and wind direction measurements. Included with the data is descriptive text on the geology, soils, climate, vegetation, and land use at the site, as well as text on data format, date retrieval software and instructions, and metadata

  7. Biogeochemical inferences of mobility of early Holocene fisher-foragers from the Southern Sahara Desert.

    PubMed

    Stojanowski, Christopher M; Knudson, Kelly J

    2011-09-01

    North Africa is increasingly seen as an important context for understanding modern human evolution and reconstructing biocultural adaptations. The Sahara, in particular, witnessed a fluorescence of hunter-gatherer settlement at the onset of the Holocene after an extended occupational hiatus. Subsequent subsistence changes through the Holocene are contrary to those documented in other areas where mobile foraging gave way to settled agricultural village life. In North Africa, extractive fishing and hunting was supplanted by cattle and caprine pastoralism under deteriorating climatic conditions. Therefore, the initial stage of food production in North Africa witnessed a likely increase in mobility. However, there are few studies of paleomobility in Early Holocene hunter-gatherer Saharan populations and the degree of mobility is generally assumed. Here, we present radiogenic strontium isotope ratios from Early Holocene fisher-forager peoples from the site of Gobero, central Niger, southern Sahara Desert. Data indicate a relatively homogeneous radiogenic strontium isotope signature for this hunter-gather population with limited variability exhibited throughout the life course or among different individuals. Although the overall signature was local, some variation in the radiogenic strontium isotope data likely reflects transhumance into the nearby Aïr Massif. Data from Gobero were significantly less variable than in other worldwide hunter-gatherer populations, including those thought to be fairly sedentary. Strontium data from Gobero were also significantly different from contemporaneous sites in southwestern Libya. These patterns are discussed with respect to archaeological models of community organization and technological evolution.

  8. Snow, the Great River, and the Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rango, A.

    2005-12-01

    While many major rivers around the world originate from alpine snowpacks in mountain regions, some experience the extreme contrast of flowing through harsh desert environments downriver. One such stream is the Rio Grande which rises in the San Juan and the Sangre de Christo mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Eventually, the snow fed Rio Grande flows through North America's largest desert, the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, and simultaneously becomes part of the border between the United States and Mexico. As is often true, urban areas develop along the river corridors rather than in more inaccessible mountain regions. This demographic preference tends to isolate the vast majority of population in the Rio Grande, who are dependent on water for their livelihoods, from the mountain snowpacks where the flow is generated. Ironically then, snow is seldom viewed as the source of the much needed water flowing through the desert by the majority of the basin's population. In arid regions of the western U.S., water demand far exceeds the water supply, and water use is apportioned under the doctrine of prior appropriation with the oldest right getting the first use of water. The increasing population in urban areas does not usually have a right to use the water flowing through the desert unless water rights have been purchased by municipalities from the major category of water user in these basins, namely, irrigated agriculture. In the entire Rio Grande basin, irrigation makes up 80% of the consumptive use of water. Additionally, basin compacts and international treaties apportion water between states and countries. Because these formal agreements were based on above average runoff years, there is little flexibility in changing the use of water, particularly in dry to normal runoff years. Most of the older water rights in the Rio Grande, especially the upper basin, are supplied by snowmelt. This leaves the lower basin to depend upon

  9. Deriving Polarization Properties of Desert-Reflected Solar Spectra with PARASOL Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Wenbo; Baize, Rosemary R.; Lukashin, Constantine

    2015-01-01

    Reflected solar radiation from desert is strongly polarized by sand particles. To date, there is no reliable desert surface reflection model to calculate desert reflection matrix. In this study, the PARASOL data are used to retrieve physical properties of desert. These physical properties are then used in the ADRTM to calculate polarization of desert-reflected light for the whole solar spectra.

  10. 76 FR 21402 - Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-15

    ... Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert Sunlight Solar Farm and Proposed California Desert Conservation... Impact Statement (EIS) for the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm (DSSF) project and by this notice is announcing.../st/en/fo/palmsprings/Solar_Projects/Desert_Sunlight.html . All protests must be in writing and...

  11. 43 CFR 2524.6 - Desert-land entryman may proceed independently of Government irrigation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Desert-land entryman may proceed... (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.6 Desert-land... that a desert-land entryman who owns a water right and reclaims the land embraced in his entry...

  12. 43 CFR 2524.6 - Desert-land entryman may proceed independently of Government irrigation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Desert-land entryman may proceed... (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.6 Desert-land... that a desert-land entryman who owns a water right and reclaims the land embraced in his entry...

  13. 43 CFR 2524.6 - Desert-land entryman may proceed independently of Government irrigation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Desert-land entryman may proceed... (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.6 Desert-land... that a desert-land entryman who owns a water right and reclaims the land embraced in his entry...

  14. 43 CFR 2524.6 - Desert-land entryman may proceed independently of Government irrigation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Desert-land entryman may proceed... (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.6 Desert-land... that a desert-land entryman who owns a water right and reclaims the land embraced in his entry...

  15. Poverty reduction in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Collier, Paul

    2007-01-01

    Poverty in Africa has been rising for the last quarter-century, while it has been falling in the rest of the developing world. Africa's distinctive problem is that its economies have not been growing. This article attempts to synthesize a range of recent research to account for this failure of the growth process. I argue that the reasons lie not in African peculiarities but rather in geographic features that globally cause problems but that are disproportionately pronounced in Africa. These features interact to create three distinct challenges that are likely to require international interventions beyond the conventional reliance on aid. PMID:17942702

  16. Poverty reduction in Africa.

    PubMed

    Collier, Paul

    2007-10-23

    Poverty in Africa has been rising for the last quarter-century, while it has been falling in the rest of the developing world. Africa's distinctive problem is that its economies have not been growing. This article attempts to synthesize a range of recent research to account for this failure of the growth process. I argue that the reasons lie not in African peculiarities but rather in geographic features that globally cause problems but that are disproportionately pronounced in Africa. These features interact to create three distinct challenges that are likely to require international interventions beyond the conventional reliance on aid.

  17. The quest for safe drinking water: an example from Guinea-Bissau (West Africa).

    PubMed

    Bordalo, Adriano A; Savva-Bordalo, Joana

    2007-07-01

    While humans require water for life, one-sixth of our species lives without access to safe water. In Africa, the situation is particularly acute because of global warming, the progression of the Sahara desert, civil unrest and poor governance, population growth, migration and poverty. In rural areas, the lack of adequate safe water and sanitary infrastructures leaves millions with doubtful water quality, increasing the harshness of daily life. In this paper, a pilot study was conducted during the wet season on Bolama Island (Guinea-Bissau, West Africa), a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. Twenty-eight shallow wells, supplying water to most of the population, were sampled for microbiological, physical and chemical water quality characteristics. A ten-parameter water quality index (WQI) adapted to tropical conditions was applied to compare the different wells. About 79% of the wells showed moderate to heavy fecal contamination. From the surveyed parameters, it was found that chemical contamination was less important, although all samples were acidic, with the pH averaging 5.12+/-0.08. The WQI was 43+/-4% (0%-worst; 100%-best quality), showing that the water from the majority of wells was polluted but should be suitable for domestic use after appropriate treatment. At the onset of the wet season, diarrhea represented 11.5% of all medical cases, 92.5% of which were children aged <15. This paper suggests inexpensive steps to reduce the fecal contamination and control the pH in order to increase the potability of the well water and, concomitantly, to raise the living standards of the population in one of the poorest countries of the world.

  18. Slow recovery in desert perennial vegetation following prolonged human disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guo, Q.

    2004-01-01

    Questions: How long may it take for desert perennial vegetation to recover from prolonged human disturbance and how do different plant community variables (i.e. diversity, density and cover) change during the recovery process? Location: Sonoran Desert, Arizona, USA. Methods: Since protection from grazing from 1907 onwards, plant diversity, density and cover of perennial species were monitored intermittently on ten 10 m x 10 m permanent plots on Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Arizona, USA. Results: The study shows an exceptionally slow recovery of perennial vegetation from prolonged heavy grazing and other human impacts. Since protection, overall species richness and habitat heterogeneity at the study site continued to increase until the 1960s when diversity, density and cover had been stabilized. During the same period, overall plant density and cover also increased. Species turnover increased gradually with time but no significant relation between any of the three community variables and precipitation or Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) was detected. Conclusions: It took more than 50 yr for the perennial vegetation to recover from prolonged human disturbance. The increases in plant species richness, density, and cover of the perennial vegetation were mostly due to the increase of herbaceous species, especially palatable species. The lack of a clear relationship between environment (e.g. precipitation) and community variables suggests that site history and plant life history must be taken into account in examining the nature of vegetation recovery processes after disturbance.

  19. Seismic origin of the Atacama Desert boulder fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matmon, A.; Quade, J.; Placzek, C.; Fink, D.; Arnold, M.; Aumaître, G.; Bourlès, D.; Keddadouche, K.; Copeland, A.; Neilson, J. W.

    2015-02-01

    Extensive fields of large boulders are common around the base of hills in the Atacama Desert. How these boulders are transported from nearby hillslopes is unclear given the lack of rainfall of the region. Here we document the central role of seismicity, not runoff, in transporting and smoothing > 1 ton boulders all across the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert. The generally granitoid boulders emerge as corestones on hillslopes at an erosion rate of 0.1-1 m Ma- 1. Thereafter, physical and cosmogenic isotopic evidence suggests that boulders slide and bounce rather than roll down hills and onto adjacent flats. In the transport process, the largest boulders are split and the smaller ones are weathered to grus, narrowing average boulder mass to ~ 2 tons (< 1 m3). At the base of hills, the boulders bunch together and rub during the frequent earthquakes in the region, producing distinctive smoothing around boulder mid-sections, and silt moats around the boulder bases. Our measurements show a strong correlation between boulder field density and rubbing, and only when the density exceeds 60-70% does rubbing become common. Except for slow removal by rubbing, the boulders seem to undergo no further erosion while in the flats. Exposure times for some boulders are > 12 Ma, making them among the oldest continuously exposed features on the Earth. Boulder rubbing is just one geologic feature among many in the Atacama that underscore the role that seismicity probably plays in shaping landscapes of the waterless worlds of the solar system.

  20. Highly specialized microbial diversity in hyper-arid polar desert

    PubMed Central

    Pointing, Stephen B.; Chan, Yuki; Lacap, Donnabella C.; Lau, Maggie C. Y.; Jurgens, Joel A.; Farrell, Roberta L.

    2009-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are a cold hyperarid polar desert that present extreme challenges to life. Here, we report a culture-independent survey of multidomain microbial biodiversity in McKelvey Valley, a pristine example of the coldest desert on Earth. We demonstrate that life has adapted to form highly-specialized communities in distinct lithic niches occurring concomitantly within this terrain. Endoliths and chasmoliths in sandstone displayed greatest diversity, whereas soil was relatively depauperate and lacked a significant photoautotrophic component, apart from isolated islands of hypolithic cyanobacterial colonization on quartz rocks in soil contact. Communities supported previously unreported polar bacteria and fungi, but archaea were absent from all niches. Lithic community structure did not vary significantly on a landscape scale and stochastic moisture input due to snowmelt resulted in increases in colonization frequency without significantly affecting diversity. The findings show that biodiversity near the cold-arid limit for life is more complex than previously appreciated, but communities lack variability probably due to the high selective pressures of this extreme environment. PMID:19850879

  1. Tolerance of Photosynthesis to High Temperature in Desert Plants 1

    PubMed Central

    Downton, W. John S.; Berry, Joseph A.; Seemann, Jeffrey R.

    1984-01-01

    Winter- and summertime-active desert annual species were grown at different temperatures to assess their capacity for photosynthetic acclimation. Thermal stability of photosynthesis was determined from responses of chlorophyll fluorescence to increased temperature. Photosynthesis in winter ephemerals grown at 28°C/21°C became unstable close to 41°C in contrast to the summer annuals which were stable up to about 46°C. Growth at higher temperature (43°C/32°C) resulted in increases in thermal stability of 5 to 7°C for the winter annuals and 3 to 4°C for the summer annuals, showing that temperature can provide the primary stimulus for acclimation of the photosynthetic apparatus. The magnitude of these changes was very similar to the range of field values observed for the respective floras, indicating that the thermal acclimation response under field conditions was qualitatively similar to that occurring under controlled growth conditions. Perennial species, co-existing with these annuals in the desert, were on average more thermostable. The cacti were exceptionally heat stable, the threshold for fluorescence increase averaging 55°C. PMID:16663510

  2. Hybridogenesis through thelytokous parthenogenesis in two Cataglyphis desert ants.

    PubMed

    Eyer, P A; Leniaud, L; Darras, H; Aron, S

    2013-02-01

    Hybridogenesis is a sexual reproductive system, whereby parents from different genetic origin hybridize. Both the maternal and paternal genomes are expressed in somatic tissues, but the paternal genome is systematically excluded from the germ line, which is therefore purely maternal. Recently, a unique case of hybridogenesis at a social level was reported in the desert ant Cataglyphis hispanica. All workers are sexually produced hybridogens, whereas sexual forms (new queens and males) are produced by queens through parthenogenesis. Thus, only maternal genes are perpetuated across generations. Here, we show that such an unusual reproductive strategy also evolved in two other species of Cataglyphis belonging to the same phylogenetic group, Cataglyphis velox and Cataglyphis mauritanica. In both species, queens mate exclusively with males originating from a different genetic lineage than their own to produce hybrid workers, while they use parthenogenesis to produce the male and female reproductive castes. In contrast to single-queen colonies of C. hispanica, colonies of C. velox and C. mauritanica are headed by several queens. Most queens within colonies share the same multilocus genotype and never transmit their mates' alleles to the reproductive castes. Social hybridogenesis in the desert ants has direct consequences on the genetic variability of populations and on caste determination. We also discuss the maintenance of this reproductive strategy within the genus Cataglyphis.

  3. Effect of desertification on productivity in a desert steppe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Zhuangsheng; An, Hui; Deng, Lei; Wang, Yingying; Zhu, Guangyu; Shangguan, Zhouping

    2016-06-01

    Desertification, one of the most severe types of land degradation in the world, is of great importance because it is occurring, to some degree, on approximately 40% of the global land area and is affecting more than 1 billion people. In this study, we used a space-for-time method to quantify the impact of five different desertification regimes (potential (PD), light (LD), moderate (MD), severe (SD), and very severe (VSD)) on a desert steppe ecosystem in northern China to examine the relationship between the productivity of the vegetation and soil properties and to determine the mechanism underlying the effects of desertification on productivity. Our results showed that the effects of desertification on TP (total phosphorus) and AP (available phosphorus) were not significant, and desertification decreased productivity in the desert steppe as a result of direct changes to soil physical properties, which can directly affect soil chemical properties. Therefore, intensive grassland management to improve soil quality may result in the long-term preservation of ecosystem functions and services.

  4. In Brief: New atlas of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2008-07-01

    A newly revised atlas of Africa features more than 300 satellite images that show striking before and after photographs of environmental changes spanning about 35 years. Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment, compiled by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), provides visual evidence of how development choices, population growth, climate change, and, in some cases, conflicts affect Africa, often negatively. The book includes photographs of shrinking glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro as well as on Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains; deforestation along an expanding road system in the Congo; the drying up of Lake Chad; and the expansion of urban areas such as Cape Town, South Africa, and Dakar, Senegal. Satellite images also indicate some positive signs of environmental management, including action to stop overgrazing in a Tunisian national park, the effects of a management plan for a dam in Zambia that has helped restore seasonal flooding, and positive impacts of wetlands expansion around a national park in Mauritania. For more information, visit http://www.unep.org/dewa/africa/AfricaAtlas.

  5. Al Eskan disease: Desert Storm pneumonitis.

    PubMed

    Korényi-Both, A L; Korényi-Both, A L; Molnár, A C; Fidelus-Gort, R

    1992-09-01

    The authors observed an acute desert-related disease when the mixture of the fine Saudi sand dust and pigeon droppings triggered a hyperergic lung condition. It was further aggravated by various kinds of organic pathogenic components contributing to an opportunistic infection of the lung. These all lead to the recognition of a new clinicopathological entity, Desert Storm pneumonitis or Al Eskan disease. For the first time, the Saudi sand dust's elemental composition was studied by ultrastructural and microanalytical means. The authors concluded that, contrary to previous beliefs, sand particles less than 1 microns (0.1 microns to 0.25 microns) in diameter are present in substantial quantities in the Saudi sand and are pathogenic, causing hyperergia. Pathogenesis of the sand dust, induced hyperergia, and its immunopathologic background are highlighted.

  6. Desert tortoise annotated bibliography, 1991-2015

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berry, Kristin H.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Brand, L. Arriana; Wood, Dustin A.

    2016-03-01

    Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise (hereinafter called desert tortoise) is a state- and federally-listed threatened species (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1990; California Department of Fish and Game, 2015). The first population federally listed as threatened occurred on the Beaver Dam Slope, Utah (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1980). In 1990, the entire geographic range north and west of the Colorado River was federally listed as threatened (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1990), with the exception being a small population in northwestern Arizona. The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to support recovery efforts for the species, because populations have continued to decline in spite of designation of critical habitat and publication of a recovery plan (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1994). For example, between 2005 and 2014, populations in critical habitats declined about 50% (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2015).

  7. High performance robotic traverse of desert terrain.

    SciTech Connect

    Whittaker, William

    2004-09-01

    This report presents tentative innovations to enable unmanned vehicle guidance for a class of off-road traverse at sustained speeds greater than 30 miles per hour. Analyses and field trials suggest that even greater navigation speeds might be achieved. The performance calls for innovation in mapping, perception, planning and inertial-referenced stabilization of components, hosted aboard capable locomotion. The innovations are motivated by the challenge of autonomous ground vehicle traverse of 250 miles of desert terrain in less than 10 hours, averaging 30 miles per hour. GPS coverage is assumed to be available with localized blackouts. Terrain and vegetation are assumed to be akin to that of the Mojave Desert. This terrain is interlaced with networks of unimproved roads and trails, which are a key to achieving the high performance mapping, planning and navigation that is presented here.

  8. Contemporary Problems in Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Meara, Patrick; Winchester, N. Brian

    1987-01-01

    Provides a brief overview of political and economic developments of the past 25 years in Africa. Maintains this was a period of experimentation with vast differences in the ways in which governments dealt with human and natural problems. (JDH)

  9. Child Labour in Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonnet, Michel

    1993-01-01

    The question of child labor in Africa is complicated by the failures of the educational system, family relations, traditional forms of apprenticeship, proliferation of the informal economic sector, and continuing existence of a rural economy. Hazardous working conditions prevail. (SK)

  10. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pigati, Jeff S.; Rech, Jason A.; Quade, Jay; Bright, Jordon; Edwards, L.; Springer, A.

    2014-01-01

    Desert wetlands support flora and fauna in a variety of hydrologic settings, including seeps, springs, marshes, wet meadows, ponds, and spring pools. Over time, eolian, alluvial, and fluvial sediments become trapped in these settings by a combination of wet ground conditions and dense plant cover. The result is a unique combination of clastic sediments, chemical precipitates, and organic matter that is preserved in the geologic record as ground-water discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits contain information on the timing and magnitude of past changes in water-table levels and, therefore, are a potential source of paleohydrologic and paleoclimatic information. In addition, they can be important archeological and paleontological archives because desert wetlands provide reliable sources of fresh water, and thus act as focal points for human and faunal activities, in some of the world's harshest and driest lands. Here, we review some of the physical, sedimentological, and geochemical characteristics common to GWD deposits, and provide a contextual framework that researchers can use to identify and interpret geologic deposits associated with desert wetlands. We discuss several lines of evidence used to differentiate GWD deposits from lake deposits (they are commonly confused), and examine how various types of microbiota and depositional facies aid in reconstructing past environmental and hydrologic conditions. We also review how late Quaternary GWD deposits are dated, as well as methods used to investigate desert wetlands deeper in geologic time. We end by evaluating the strengths and limitations of hydrologic and climatic records derived from GWD deposits, and suggest several avenues of potential future research to further develop and utilize these unique and complex systems.

  11. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Rech, Jason A.; Quade, Jay; Bright, Jordon

    2014-05-01

    Desert wetlands support flora and fauna in a variety of hydrologic settings, including seeps, springs, marshes, wet meadows, ponds, and spring pools. Over time, eolian, alluvial, and fluvial sediments become trapped in these settings by a combination of wet ground conditions and dense plant cover. The result is a unique combination of clastic sediments, chemical precipitates, and organic matter that is preserved in the geologic record as ground-water discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits contain information on the timing and magnitude of past changes in water-table levels and, therefore, are a potential source of paleohydrologic and paleoclimatic information. In addition, they can be important archeological and paleontological archives because desert wetlands provide reliable sources of fresh water, and thus act as focal points for human and faunal activities, in some of the world's harshest and driest lands. Here, we review some of the physical, sedimentological, and geochemical characteristics common to GWD deposits, and provide a contextual framework that researchers can use to identify and interpret geologic deposits associated with desert wetlands. We discuss several lines of evidence used to differentiate GWD deposits from lake deposits (they are commonly confused), and examine how various types of microbiota and depositional facies aid in reconstructing past environmental and hydrologic conditions. We also review how late Quaternary GWD deposits are dated, as well as methods used to investigate desert wetlands deeper in geologic time. We end by evaluating the strengths and limitations of hydrologic and climatic records derived from GWD deposits, and suggest several avenues of potential future research to further develop and utilize these unique and complex systems.

  12. Operation Desert Sweep: The Restoration of Kuwait

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-08-01

    of ordnance and other contaminations. A CMS proprietary software system called Minefield and Ordnance Recovery System (MORS) was used to collate...Operation Desert Sweep The Restoration of Kuwait Author: Fred Dibella VP Planning and Coordination CMS , Inc. 4904 Eisenhower Boulevard Tampa...NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) CMS , Inc,4904

  13. Integrated Desert Terrain Forecasting for Military Operations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-15

    of methods including Terrestrial In-Situ Cosmogenic Nuclides (TCN), luminescence dating , and radiocarbon dating . Furthermore, because much soil...REPORT DATE (DD-MM-YYYY) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 15-02-2013 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are...775-673-7302 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 1-Jul-2003 Standard Form 298 (Rev 8/98) Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 - 30-Jun-2012 Integrated Desert

  14. Optical and Image Transmission through Desert Atmospheres

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-01-25

    McDonald, Principal Investigator and Professor of Electrical Engineering Graduate Students: Carlos Becera" Jesus Carbajal Gonzalo Romero * Carmen ...C McDonald, G. Romero , C. Ortiz, J. Carbajal. "Measurement of the aerosol component of the modulation transfer function in the desert atmospheres... Romero * Completed B.S.E.E. Completed M.S.E.E. 41 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. N. S. Kopika, "Overview of imaging through the atmo- sphere," In proceedings of SPIE

  15. Consumption of atmospheric methane by desert soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Striegl, R.G.; McConnaughey, T.A.; Thorstenson, D.C.; Weeks, E.P.; Woodward, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    ATMOSPHERIC concentrations of methane, a greenhouse gas, are increasing at a rate of about 1% yr-1 (refs 1-4). Oxidation by methylotrophic bacteria in soil is the largest terrestrial sink for atmospheric CH4, and is estimated to consume about 30?? 1012 g CH4 yr-1 (refs 4-6). Spatial and temporal variability in the rate of soil CH4 consumption are incompletely understood6-19, as are the apparent inhibitory12,13,18 or enhancing20 effects of changes in land use. Dry deserts, which constitute 20% of total land surface, are not currently included in global soil uptake estimates. Here we describe measurements of the rate of uptake of atmospheric CH4 by undisturbed desert soils. We observed rates as great as 4.38 mg CH4 m-2 day-1; 50% of the measured rates were between 0.24 and 0.92 mg CH4 m2 d-1. Uptake of CH4 by desert soil is enhanced by rainfall after an initial soil-drainage period - opposite to the response of temperate forest soils12. Methane is consumed to a depth of about 2 m, allowing for deep removal of atmospheric CH4 if near-surface conditions are unfavourable for consumption. On the basis of an annual average CH4 consumption rate of 0.66 mg CH4 m-2 d-1, we estimate that the global CH4 sink term needs to be increased by about 7 ?? 1012 g yr-1 to account for the contribution of desert soils.

  16. Ultraviolet radiation-induced limitation to epilithic microbial growth in arid deserts--dosimetric experiments in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S; McKay, Christopher P; Warren-Rhodes, Kim; Horneck, Gerda

    2008-02-27

    Experiments were conducted during November 2003 in the dry core of the Atacama Desert, Yungay, Chile to test the hypothesis that UV radiation, in environments where liquid water is not available, and thus enzymatic repair of UV-induced damage is inhibited, can prevent epilithic colonization. Novel dosimeters made from the cryptoendolithic, desiccation and radiation-resistant cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis sp. isolated from the dry Negev desert, Israel, showed that monolayers of this organism were killed within one day. The diurnal profile of microbial loss of viability was investigated with dosimeters of Bacillus subtilis, which similarly showed cell death within one day. Soil grains obtained from south of Yungay where liquid water is more abundant and transported to the hyperarid core showed killing of indigenous vegetative organisms within one day. Gypsum and mineral grain coverings of 1mm were sufficient to prevent measurable UV-induced damage of Chroococcidiopsis and B. subtilis after 8d exposure. These results show that under extreme desiccation and an ambient UV flux the surface of rocks can potentially be rendered sterile, but that millimetre thick mineral coverings can protect organisms from UV-induced killing, consistent with the observed patterns of lithophytic colonization in the Atacama Desert. These data further show that UV radiation can be an important limiting factor in surface biological rock weathering in arid regions.

  17. Anthropocene changes in desert area: Sensitivity to climate model predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahowald, Natalie M.

    2007-09-01

    Changes in desert area due to humans have important implications from a local, regional to global level. Here I focus on the latter in order to better understand estimated changes in desert dust aerosols and the associated iron deposition into oceans. Using 17 model simulations from the World Climate Research Programme's Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 multi-model dataset and the BIOME4 equilibrium vegetation model, I estimate changes in desert dust source areas due to climate change and carbon dioxide fertilization. If I assume no carbon dioxide fertilization, the mean of the model predictions is that desert areas expand from the 1880s to the 2080s, due to increased aridity. If I allow for carbon dioxide fertilization, the desert areas become smaller. Thus better understanding carbon dioxide fertilization is important for predicting desert response to climate. There is substantial spread in the model simulation predictions for regional and global averages.

  18. Astronomy Landscape in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemaungani, Takalani

    2015-01-01

    The vision for astronomy in Africa is embedded in the African Space Policy of the African Union in early 2014. The vision is about positioning Africa as an emerging hub for astronomy sciences and facilities. Africa recognized the need to take advantage of its natural resource, the geographical advantage of the clear southern skies and pristine sites for astronomy. The Pan African University (PAU) initiative also presents an opportunity as a post-graduate training and research network of university nodes in five regions of Africa and supported by the African Union. The Southern African node based in South Africa concentrates on space sciences which also includes astronomy. The PAU aims to provide the opportunity for advanced graduate training and postgraduate research to high-performing African students. Objectives also include promoting mobility of students and teachers and harmonizing programs and degrees.A number of astronomy initiatives have burgeoned in the Southern African region and these include the Southern Africa Largest Optical Telescope (SALT), HESS (High Energy Stereoscopic System), the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) and the AVN (African Very Long Baseline Interferometer Network). There is a growing appetite for astronomy sciences in Africa. In East Africa, the astronomy community is well organized and is growing - the East African Astronomical society (EAAS) held its successful fourth annual conference since 2010 on 30 June to 04 July 2014 at the University of Rwanda. Centred around the 'Role of Astronomy in Socio-Economic Transformation,' this conference aimed at strengthening capacity building in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Science in general, while providing a forum for astronomers from the region to train young and upcoming scientists.

  19. AIDS in Africa

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-09

    have recommended that Africans infected with HIV be treated with an antibiotic/ sulfa drug combination known as cotrimoxazole in order to prevent...response is the subject of much debate. An estimated 500,000 Africa AIDS patients were being treated with antiretroviral drugs in mid-2005, up from 150,000...whether drugs can be made widely accessible without costly health infrastructure improvements. U.S. concern over AIDS in Africa grew in the 1980s, as the

  20. Profile of South Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, G.J.; Tonneson, L.C.

    1996-08-01

    A broad overview of the Republic of South Africa`s nuclear energy program is presented. Economic aspects are the main focus of the article, and numerical data is provided for electricity generation and use and uranium production. The role of the molecular laser isotope process for enrichment is discussed. The research reactor program, waste disposal and decommissioning, mining history, uranium production, and nonproliferation policy are other highlighted topics.

  1. Water regime history drives responses of soil Namib Desert microbial communities to wetting events

    PubMed Central

    Frossard, Aline; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Seely, Mary; Cowan, Don A.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the dominance of microorganisms in arid soils, the structures and functional dynamics of microbial communities in hot deserts remain largely unresolved. The effects of wetting event frequency and intensity on Namib Desert microbial communities from two soils with different water-regime histories were tested over 36 days. A total of 168 soil microcosms received wetting events mimicking fog, light rain and heavy rainfall, with a parallel “dry condition” control. T-RFLP data showed that the different wetting events affected desert microbial community structures, but these effects were attenuated by the effects related to the long-term adaptation of both fungal and bacterial communities to soil origins (i.e. soil water regime histories). The intensity of the water pulses (i.e. the amount of water added) rather than the frequency of wetting events had greatest effect in shaping bacterial and fungal community structures. In contrast to microbial diversity, microbial activities (enzyme activities) showed very little response to the wetting events and were mainly driven by soil origin. This experiment clearly demonstrates the complexity of microbial community responses to wetting events in hyperarid hot desert soil ecosystems and underlines the dynamism of their indigenous microbial communities. PMID:26195343

  2. Albedo indicating land degradation around the Badain Jaran Desert for better land resources utilization.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fengshan; Chen, Ying; Lu, Haiying; Shao, Hongbo

    2017-02-01

    Surface albedo is an easy access parameter in reflecting the status of both human disturbed soil and indirectly influenced area, whose characteristic is an important indicator in sustainable development under the background of global climate change. In this study, we employed meteorological data, MODIS 8-day BRDF/Albedo and LAI products from 2000 to 2014 to show the amelioration and mechanism around the Badain Jaran Desert. Results showed that the human-dominated afforestation activities significantly increased the leaf area index (LAI) in summer and autumn. Lower reflectance at visible band was sensed inside the desert compared with the ecozone and the lowest albedo at forested area. The contribution of soil and vegetation reflectance to surface albedo determined the linear sensitivity of albedo to LAI variation. Decreased albedo dominated the spatial-temporal pattern of the Badain Jaran Desert. This study suggested that surface albedo can be regarded as a useful index in indicating the change process and evaluating the sustainable development of biological management around the Badain Jaran Desert.

  3. Water regime history drives responses of soil Namib Desert microbial communities to wetting events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frossard, Aline; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Seely, Mary; Cowan, Don A.

    2015-07-01

    Despite the dominance of microorganisms in arid soils, the structures and functional dynamics of microbial communities in hot deserts remain largely unresolved. The effects of wetting event frequency and intensity on Namib Desert microbial communities from two soils with different water-regime histories were tested over 36 days. A total of 168 soil microcosms received wetting events mimicking fog, light rain and heavy rainfall, with a parallel “dry condition” control. T-RFLP data showed that the different wetting events affected desert microbial community structures, but these effects were attenuated by the effects related to the long-term adaptation of both fungal and bacterial communities to soil origins (i.e. soil water regime histories). The intensity of the water pulses (i.e. the amount of water added) rather than the frequency of wetting events had greatest effect in shaping bacterial and fungal community structures. In contrast to microbial diversity, microbial activities (enzyme activities) showed very little response to the wetting events and were mainly driven by soil origin. This experiment clearly demonstrates the complexity of microbial community responses to wetting events in hyperarid hot desert soil ecosystems and underlines the dynamism of their indigenous microbial communities.

  4. Linking Populus euphratica Hydraulic Redistribution to Diversity Assembly in the Arid Desert Zone of Xinjiang, China

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiao-Dong; Zhang, Xue-Ni; Lv, Guang-Hui; Ali, Arshad

    2014-01-01

    The hydraulic redistribution (HR) of deep-rooted plants significantly improves the survival of shallow-rooted shrubs and herbs in arid deserts, which subsequently maintain species diversity. This study was conducted in the Ebinur desert located in the western margin of the Gurbantonggut Desert. Isotope tracing, community investigation and comparison analysis were employed to validate the HR of Populus euphratica and to explore its effects on species richness and abundance. The results showed that, P. euphratica has HR. Shrubs and herbs that grew under the P. euphratica canopy (under community: UC) showed better growth than the ones growing outside (Outside community: OC), exhibiting significantly higher species richness and abundance in UC than OC (p<0.05) along the plant growing season. Species richness and abundance were significantly logarithmically correlated with the P. euphratica crown area in UC (R2 = 0.51 and 0.84, p<0.001). In conclusion, P. euphratica HR significantly ameliorates the water conditions of the shallow soil, which then influences the diversity assembly in arid desert communities. PMID:25275494

  5. The Palm Desert renewable [hydrogen] transportation system

    SciTech Connect

    Chamberlin, C.E.; Lehman, P.

    1998-08-01

    This paper describes the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) progress on the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project for the period June 1997 through May 1998. The project began in March 1996. The goal of the Palm Desert Project is to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community. The project demonstrates the practical utility of hydrogen as a transportation fuel and the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell as a vehicle power system. The project includes designing and building 4 fuel cell powered vehicles, a solar hydrogen generating and refueling station, and a fuel cell vehicle diagnostic center. Over this last year, SERC has built a fuel cell powered neighborhood electric vehicle and delivered it to the City of Palm Desert. The design of the hydrogen refueling station is near completion and it is anticipated that construction will be complete in the fall of 1998. The vehicles are currently being refueled at a temporary refueling station. The diagnostic center is being designed and maintenance procedures as well as computer diagnostic programs for the fuel cell vehicles are being developed. City employees are driving the vehicles daily and monitoring data are being collected. The drivers are pleased with the performance of the vehicles.

  6. Wind modeling of Chihuahuan Desert dust outbreaks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera Rivera, Nancy I.; Gill, Thomas E.; Gebhart, Kristi A.; Hand, Jennifer L.; Bleiweiss, Max P.; Fitzgerald, Rosa M.

    The Chihuahuan Desert region of North America is a significant source of mineral aerosols in the Western Hemisphere, and Chihuahuan Desert dust storms frequently impact the Paso del Norte (El Paso, USA/Ciudad Juarez, Mexico) metropolitan area. A statistical analysis of HYSPLIT back trajectory residence times evaluated airflow into El Paso on all days and on days with synoptic (non-convective) dust events in 2001-2005. The incremental probability—a measure of the areas most likely to have been traversed by air masses arriving at El Paso during dusty days—was only strongly positively associated with the region west-southwest of the city, a zone of known dust source areas. Focused case studies were made of major dust events on 15 April and 15 December 2003. Trajectories approached the surface and MM5 (NCAR/Penn State Mesoscale Model) wind speeds increased at locations consistent with dust sources observed in satellite imagery on those dates. Back trajectory and model analyses suggested that surface cyclones adjacent to the Chihuahuan Desert were associated with the extreme dust events, consistent with previous studies of dust storms in the Southern High Plains to the northeast. The recognition of these meteorological patterns serves as a forecast aid for prediction of dust events likely to impact the Paso del Norte.

  7. Adsorption of dyes on Sahara desert sand.

    PubMed

    Varlikli, Canan; Bekiari, Vlasoula; Kus, Mahmut; Boduroglu, Numan; Oner, Ilker; Lianos, Panagiotis; Lyberatos, Gerasimos; Icli, Siddik

    2009-10-15

    Sahara desert sand (SaDeS) was employed as a mineral sorbent for retaining organic dyes from aqueous solutions. Natural sand has demonstrated a strong affinity for organic dyes but significantly lost its adsorption capacity when it was washed with water. Therefore, characterization of both natural and water washed sand was performed by XRD, BET, SEM and FTIR techniques. It was found that water-soluble kyanite, which is detected in natural sand, is the dominant factor affecting adsorbance of cationic dyes. The sand adsorbs over 75% of cationic dyes but less than 21% for anionic ones. Among the dyes studied, Methylene Blue (MB) demonstrated the strongest affinity for Sahara desert sand (Q(e)=11.98 mg/g, for initial dye solution concentration 3.5 x 10(-5)mol/L). The effects of initial dye concentration, the amount of the adsorbent, the temperature and the pH of the solution on adsorption capacity were tested by using Methylene Blue as model dye. Pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order and intraparticle diffusion models were applied. It was concluded that adsorption of Methylene Blue on Sahara desert sand followed pseudo-second order kinetics. Gibbs free energy, enthalpy change and entropy change were calculated and found -6411 J/mol, -30360 J/mol and -76.58 J/mol K, respectively. These values indicate that the adsorption is an exothermic process and has a spontaneous nature at low temperatures.

  8. Range and habitats of the desert tortoise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Germano, D.J.; Bury, R.B.; Esque, T.C.; Fritts, T.H.; Bury, R.B.; Germano, D.J.

    1994-01-01

    We determined the current range of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) based on the available latest data from government agencies, the literature, and our experience. We developed the first detailed range map of this species and summarized information about habitat preferences. New records of occurrences were incorporated, and some peripheral localities of questionable authenticity were deleted. The distribution oCG. agassizii covers the broadest range of latitude, climatic regimes, habitats, and biotic regions of any North American tortoise. The northern portion ofits range is in the Mojave Desert of sDuth"eastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, and northwestern Arizona. The central portion of the range consists of several subdivisions of the Sonaran Desert in southeastern California, western and southern Arizona, and western Sonora, Mexico. The southern edge of its range is in the semitropical Sinaloan thornscrub and Sinaloan deciduous forest of eastern Sonora and northern Sinaloa, Mexico. This species has marked geogi-aphic differences but seems to construct burrows throughout its range.

  9. Forecasting droughts in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mwangi, E.; Wetterhall, F.; Dutra, E.; Di Giuseppe, F.; Pappenberger, F.

    2013-08-01

    The humanitarian crisis caused by the recent droughts (2008-2009 and 2010-2011) in the East African region have illustrated that the ability to make accurate drought predictions with adequate lead time is essential. The use of dynamical model forecasts and drought indices, such as Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), promises to lead to a better description of drought duration, magnitude and spatial extent. This study evaluates the use of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) products in forecasting droughts in East Africa. ECMWF seasonal precipitation shows significant skill for both rain seasons when evaluated against measurements from the available in-situ stations from East Africa. The October-December rain season has higher skill that the March-May season. ECMWF forecasts add value to the statistical forecasts produced during the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forums (GHACOF) which is the present operational product. Complementing the raw precipitation forecasts with SPI provides additional information on the spatial extend and intensity of the drought event.

  10. Decolonizing Bioethics in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Macaulay-Adeyelure, O.C.

    2017-01-01

    The global spread of bioethics from its North-American and European provenance to non-Western societies is currently raising some concerns. Part of the concern has to do with whether or not the exportation of bioethics in its full Western sense to developing non-Western states is an instance of ethical imperialism or bioethical neocolonialism. This paper attempts an exploration of this debate in the context of bioethics in sub-Saharan Africa. Rather than conceding that bioethics has a colonial agenda in Africa, this paper defends the position that the current bioethics trend in sub-Saharan Africa is an unintended imperialistic project. It argues that its colonizing character is not entirely a product of the Western programmed goals of training and institution building; rather, it is a structural consequence of many receptive African minds and institutions. Though bioethics in Africa is turning out as a colonizing project, one serious implication of such trend, if unchecked urgently, is that bioethics’ invaluable relevance to Africa is being incapacitated. This paper, therefore, attempts a decolonizing trajectory of bioethics in Africa. Contrary to the pretense of ‘African bioethics,’ which some African scholars are now defending, this paper through the logic of decolonization makes case for ‘bioethics in Africa’. In such logic, the principle of existential needs is prioritized over the principle of identity and authenticity that define African voice in bioethics. PMID:28344985

  11. Operation Desert Shield/Storm after Action Report

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-05-01

    ARI Research Note 92-34 Operation Desert Shield /Storm After Action Report AD- A25 1 212 Plans, Programs, and Operations Office James A. Bynum, Chief...DATES COVERED 1992, May Final Report Aug 1990 - Mar 1991 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Operation Desert Shield /Storm After Action Report n/a 6...chronicles ARI’s response to the challenges of Operation Desert Shield /Storm, and reports on the programs brought forward to assist our own and allied

  12. An experimental analysis of granivory in desert ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, D.W.

    1988-01-01

    In our studies of desert granivore ecology, we have outlined the network of interaction pathways linking granivore and resource species in a Chihuahuan Desert Ecosystem. Here, a major fraction of the primary productivity takes the form of the seeds of annual plants. These seeds support two major resident taxa of desert granivores, ants and rodents. Population responses to removal of various taxa of granivores or seasonal classes of resource species are described.

  13. Apparent Brecciation Gradient, Mount Desert Island, Maine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkins, A. T.; Johnson, S. E.

    2004-05-01

    Mount Desert Island, Maine, comprises a shallow level, Siluro-Devonian igneous complex surrounded by a distinctive breccia zone ("shatter zone" of Gilman and Chapman, 1988). The zone is very well exposed on the southern and eastern shores of the island and provides a unique opportunity to examine subvolcanic processes. The breccia of the Shatter Zone shows wide variation in percent matrix and clast, and may represent a spatial and temporal gradient in breccia formation due to a single eruptive or other catastrophic volcanic event. The shatter zone was divided into five developmental stages based on the extent of brecciation: Bar Harbor Formation, Sols Cliffs breccia, Seeley Road breccia, Dubois breccia, and Great Head breccia. A digital camera was employed to capture scale images of representative outcrops using a 0.5 m square Plexiglas frame. Individual images were joined in Adobe Photoshop to create a composite image of each outcrop. The composite photo was then exported to Adobe Illustrator, which was used to outline the clasts and produce a digital map of the outcrop for analysis. The fractal dimension (Fd) of each clast was calculated using NIH Image and a Euclidean distance mapping method described by Bérubé and Jébrak (1999) to quantify the morphology of the fragments, or the complexity of the outline. The more complex the fragment outline, the higher the fractal dimension, indicating that the fragment is less "mature" or has had less exposure to erosional processes, such as the injection of an igneous matrix. Sols Cliffs breccia has an average Fd of 1.125, whereas Great Head breccia has an average Fd of 1.040, with the stages between having intermediate values. The more complex clasts of the Sols Cliffs breccia with a small amount (26.38%) of matrix material suggests that it is the first stage in a sequence of brecciation ending at the more mature, matrix-supported (71.37%) breccia of Great Head. The results of this study will be used to guide isotopic

  14. Television Quiz Show Simulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Jonnie Lynn

    2007-01-01

    This article explores the simulation of four television quiz shows for students in China studying English as a foreign language (EFL). It discusses the adaptation and implementation of television quiz shows and how the students reacted to them.

  15. 77 FR 47536 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert, Northern Sierra, Sacramento...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-09

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert, Northern... to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD), Northern Sierra ] Air Quality... Desert Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 1116, ``Automotive Refinishing Operations,'' amended...

  16. Nationwide desert highway assessment: a case study in China.

    PubMed

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-07-01

    The natural environment affects the construction of desert highways. Conversely, highway construction affects the natural environment and puts the ecological environment at a disadvantage. To satisfy the variety and hierarchy of desert highway construction and discover the spatio-temporal distribution of the natural environment and its effect on highway construction engineering, an assessment of the natural regional divisions of desert highways in China is carried out for the first time. Based on the general principles and method for the natural region division, the principles, method and index system for desert highway assessment is put forward by combining the desert highway construction features and the azonal differentiation law. The index system combines the dominant indicator and four auxiliary indicators. The dominant indicator is defined by the desert's comprehensive state index and the auxiliary indicators include the sand dune height, the blown sand strength, the vegetation coverage ratio and the annual average temperature difference. First the region is divided according to the dominant indicator. Then the region boundaries are amended according to the four auxiliary indicators. Finally the natural region division map for desert highway assessment is presented. The Chinese desert highways can be divided into three sections: the east medium effect region, the middle medium-severe effect region, and the west slight-medium effect region. The natural region division map effectively paves the way for the route planning, design, construction, maintenance and ongoing management of desert highways, and further helps environmental protection.

  17. America's Atomic Army: The Historical Archaeology of Camp Desert Rock

    SciTech Connect

    Susan R. Edwards

    2007-11-02

    Established in 1951, Camp Desert Rock served as the training ground for America's 'Atomic Army'. For the next six years, U.S. ground troops traveled to the Nevada desert to participate in military maneuvers during atmospheric atomic weapons testing. Nearly 60,000 soldiers received physical and psychological training in atomic warfare. Abandoned when atmospheric testing ended, Camp Desert Rock was dismantled and its buildings moved to other locations. Today, the camp appears as a sterile expanse of desert marked by rock-lined tent platforms, concrete foundations, and trash scatters. Although visually unimposing, the site is rich with the history of America's nuclear testing program.

  18. The Use of Water During the Crew 144, Mars Desert Research Station, Utah Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Well. from November 29th to December 14th, 2014, the author conducted astrobiological and geological surveys, as analog astronaut member of the international Crew 144, at the site of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station, located at a remote location in the Utah desert, United States. The use of water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, etc., in the crew was a major issue for consideration for a human expedition to the planet Mars in the future. The author would like to tell about the factors of the rationalized use of water.

  19. Role of the biosphere in the mid-Holocene climate of West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irizarry-Ortiz, Michelle M.; Wang, Guiling; Eltahir, Elfatih A. B.

    2003-01-01

    In previous studies, a zonally symmetric, synchronously coupled biosphere-atmosphere model (ZonalBAM), which includes explicit representation of ecosystem dynamics, has been developed and validated based on current conditions over the region of West Africa. Here, we use ZonalBAM to study the response of the coupled biosphere-atmosphere system to changes in the Earth's orbital forcing during the Middle Holocene (6K yrs BP) and the relative contribution of vegetation feedbacks. Simulations in which vegetation conditions were fixed to the current distribution, show that an orbitally induced increased seasonality in insolation for the Middle Holocene, by itself, results in a 1.1° northward shift in the location of the southern margin of the Sahara as compared to current solar forcings. When vegetation is allowed to be dynamic, a 2.4° northward shift is simulated. However, when dynamic vegetation is initialized to palaeovegetation, a 5.1° northward shift is simulated, bringing results more consistent with palaeoevidence. Based on previous studies on the role of the gradient of moist static energy on the dynamics of large-scale tropical circulations, a mechanism for the enhancement of the summer monsoon circulation has been developed. Our results suggest that multiple equilibria could have coexisted over the region of West Africa during the Middle Holocene. Furthermore, based on previous studies on the current climate over the region, we hypothesize that transitions between the different equilibria could have taken place during the Middle Holocene causing the southern desert margin to migrate between 18.1°N and 21.4°N and shaping climate variability.

  20. Age and isotopic constraints on pleistocene pluvial episodes in the Western Desert, Egypt.

    SciTech Connect

    Crombie, M. K.; Arvidson, R. E.; Sturchio, N. C.; El Alfy, Z.; Abu Zeid, K.; Environmental Research; Washington Univ.; Egyptian Geological Survey and Mining Authority

    1997-01-01

    North Africa has undergone drastic climatic changes over the past several hundred thousand years. The timing of humid intervals called pluvials was investigated by uranium-series disequilibrium dating of travertines from the Kurkur Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt. The youngest and best dated travertines (70-160 ka) are found in Wadi Kurkur and include spring and lacustrine units exposed as 2 to 3 m high terraces. Travertines having an age of approximately 191-220 ka are exposed by differential erosion as linear mounds produced by spring systems over fracture zones in ancient wadis. The oldest travertines, having ages >260 ka, are extensive, cap limestone units above the oasis, and were deposited in paludal and lacustrine environments. Oxygen isotope ratios were measured for the wadi travertines ({delta}{sup 18}O values ranging from 16.7 to 19.1{per_thousand} SMOW) and for spring mound travertines (18.5-20.5{per_thousand}). Equilibrium oxygen isotope fractionation calculations indicate that the Kurkur travertines were deposited from waters having {delta}{sup 18}O values similar to ancient Western Desert groundwaters ({approx} -11{per_thousand}). The ages of the travertines correspond to times of monsoonal maxima, eustatic sea level high stands and interglacial maxima. Rainfall producing these groundwaters (and travertines) was significantly fractionated during atmospheric transport, in contrast to modern meteoric waters (-2.09{per_thousand}), implying a distant source for the pluvial waters. Increased precipitation, recharge of Western Desert groundwaters, and resultant travertine deposition are interpreted to be consequences of Milankovitch insolation cycle forcing, through enhanced Atlantic and Indian Ocean monsoons during interglacial time periods.

  1. Translocation as a conservation tool for Agassiz's desert tortoises: survivorship, reproduction, and movements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nussear, K.E.; Tracy, C.R.; Medica, P.A.; Wilson, D.S.; Marlow, R.W.; Corn, P.S.

    2012-01-01

    We translocated 120 Agassiz's desert tortoises to 5 sites in Nevada and Utah to evaluate the effects of translocation on tortoise survivorship, reproduction, and habitat use. Translocation sites included several elevations, and extended to sites with vegetation assemblages not typically associated with desert tortoises in order to explore the possibility of moving animals to upper elevation areas. We measured survivorship, reproduction, and movements of translocated and resident animals at each site. Survivorship was not significantly different between translocated and resident animals within and among sites, and survivorship was greater overall during non-drought years. The number of eggs produced by tortoises was similar for translocated and resident females, but differed among sites. Animals translocated to atypical habitat generally moved until they reached vegetation communities more typical of desert tortoise habitat. Even within typical tortoise habitat, tortoises tended to move greater distances in the first year after translocation than did residents, but their movements in the second or third year after translocation were indistinguishable from those of resident tortoises. Our data show that tortoises translocated into typical Mojave desert scrub habitats perform well; however, the large first-year movements of translocated tortoises have important management implications. Projects that employ translocations must consider how much area will be needed to contain translocated tortoises and whether roads need fencing to prevent the loss of animals.

  2. Leaf nitrogen and phosphorus of temperate desert plants in response to climate and soil nutrient availability.

    PubMed

    He, Mingzhu; Dijkstra, Feike A; Zhang, Ke; Li, Xinrong; Tan, Huijuan; Gao, Yanhong; Li, Gang

    2014-11-06

    In desert ecosystems, plant growth and nutrient uptake are restricted by availability of soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). The effects of both climate and soil nutrient conditions on N and P concentrations among desert plant life forms (annual, perennial and shrub) remain unclear. We assessed leaf N and P levels of 54 desert plants and measured the corresponding soil N and P in shallow (0-10 cm), middle (10-40 cm) and deep soil layers (40-100 cm), at 52 sites in a temperate desert of northwest China. Leaf P and N:P ratios varied markedly among life forms. Leaf P was higher in annuals and perennials than in shrubs. Leaf N and P showed a negative relationship with mean annual temperature (MAT) and no relationship with mean annual precipitation (MAP), but a positive relationship with soil P. Leaf P of shrubs was positively related to soil P in the deep soil. Our study indicated that leaf N and P across the three life forms were influenced by soil P. Deep-rooted plants may enhance the availability of P in the surface soil facilitating growth of shallow-rooted life forms in this N and P limited system, but further research is warranted on this aspect.

  3. Has climatic warming altered spring flowering date of Sonoran Desert shrubs?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.

    2007-01-01

    With global warming, flowering at many locations has shifted toward earlier dates of bloom. A steady increase in average annual temperature since the late 1890s makes it likely that flowering also has advanced in the northern Sonoran Desert of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. In this study, phenological models were used to predict annual date of spring bloom in the northern Sonoran Desert from 1894 to 2004; then, herbarium specimens were assessed for objective evidence of the predicted shift in flowering time. The phenological models were derived from known flowering requirements (triggers and heat sums) of Sonoran Desert shrubs. According to the models, flowering might have advanced by 20-41 d from 1894 to 2004. Analysis of herbarium specimens collected during the 20th century supported the model predictions. Over time, there was a significant increase in the proportion of shrub specimens collected in flower in March and a significant decrease in the proportion collected in May. Thus, the flowering curve - the proportion of individuals in flower in each spring month - shifted toward the start of the calendar year between 1900 and 1999. This shift could not be explained by collection activity: collectors showed no tendency to be active earlier in the year as time went on, nor did activity toward the end of spring decline in recent decades. Earlier bloom eventually could have substantial impacts on plant and animal communities in the Sonoran Desert, especially on migratory hummingbirds and population dynamics of shrubs.

  4. Satellite-based estimates of groundwater depletion in the Badain Jaran Desert, China.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Jiu Jimmy; Zhang, Xiaotao; Wang, Xusheng

    2015-03-11

    Despite prevailing dry conditions, groundwater-fed lakes are found among the earth's tallest sand dunes in the Badain Jaran Desert, China. Indirect evidence suggests that some lakes are shrinking. However, relatively few studies have been carried out to assess the regional groundwater conditions and the fate of the lakes due to the remoteness and severity of the desert environment. Here we use satellite information to demonstrate an ongoing slow decrease in both lake level and groundwater storage. Specifically, we use Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite altimetry data to quantify water levels of the lakes and show overall decreases from 2003 to 2009. We also use water storage changes from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment and simulated soil and water changes from the Global Land Data Assimilation System to demonstrate long-term groundwater depletion in the desert. Rainfall increase driven by climate change has increased soil water and groundwater storage to a certain degree but not enough to compensate for the long-term decline. If countermeasures are not taken to control the pumping, many lakes will continue to shrink, causing an ecological and environmental disaster in the fragile desert oases.

  5. Variations in water balance and recharge potential at three western desert sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gee, G.W.; Wierenga, P.J.; Andraski, B.J.; Young, M.H.; Fayer, M.J.; Rockhold, M.L.

    1994-01-01

    Radioactive and hazardous waste landfills exist at numerous desert locations in the USA. At these locations, annual precipitation is low and soils are generally dry, yet little is known about recharge of water and transport of contaminants to the water table. Recent water balance measurements made at three desert locations, Las Cruces, NM, Beatty, NV, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in the state of Washington, provide information on recharge potential under three distinctly different climate and soil conditions. All three sites show water storage increases with time when soils are coarse textured and plants are removed from the surface, the rate of increase being influenced by climatic variables such as precipitation, radiation, temperature, and wind. Lysimeter data from Hanford and Las Cruces indicate that deep drainage (recharge) from bare, sandy soils can range from 10 to >50% of the annual precipitation. At Hanford, when desert plants are present on sandy or gravelly surface soils, deep drainage is reduced but not eliminated. When surface soils are silt loams, deep drainage is eliminated whether plants are present or not. At Las Cruces and Beatty, the presence of plants eliminated deep drainage at the measurement sites. Differences in water balance between sites are attributed to precipitation quantity and distribution and to soil and vegetation types. The implication for waste management at desert locations is that surface soil properties and plant characteristics must be considered in waste site design in order to minimize recharge potential.

  6. Observation (Geomorphology) of the largest mega sand of central Iran Desert, Lut, Using Remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdollhai, A.; Yamani, M.

    2009-04-01

    It is believed that the Lut desert features, in elevation and volume, are unique (even in the world) in central Iran. These huge morphological features will be an excellent Sedimentary Archive in quaternary explaining the climate condition and distribution of desert surface features on the earth, meanwhile the attention less has gone on the Aeolian features in the area of interest because it is hard to access. This papers aims to present these unique features by remote sensing data. Remote sensing data including, Irs Aster, Srtm and Arial photograph data were used to measure the dune migration and other aspects of desert environment. Sand dune morphology encompasses almost all typical desert features including single, linear, pyramid, star sand and others. compressing remote sensing data between 1955 and 2000 approves the single Barkhan is being migrated at the rate of 22.65 M per year and accelerate at the last period between 2000 and 2008. A large part of scarce vegetation represents active and rapid migration creating huge morphological features. Linear dune elevation reaches more than 430 M and shows the highest elevation of dune activity on Earth. To evaluate surface temperature Aster 08 production were used. The surface temperature on the sand is probably the highest temperature received by solar energy around 84 Celsius degrees resulting High thermal cell in central Iran. This causes to create huge morphological features in central Iran reaching more than 400 m high due to repetition and reactivation under closed circumstance system.

  7. Leaf nitrogen and phosphorus of temperate desert plants in response to climate and soil nutrient availability

    PubMed Central

    He, Mingzhu; Dijkstra, Feike A.; Zhang, Ke; Li, Xinrong; Tan, Huijuan; Gao, Yanhong; Li, Gang

    2014-01-01

    In desert ecosystems, plant growth and nutrient uptake are restricted by availability of soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). The effects of both climate and soil nutrient conditions on N and P concentrations among desert plant life forms (annual, perennial and shrub) remain unclear. We assessed leaf N and P levels of 54 desert plants and measured the corresponding soil N and P in shallow (0–10 cm), middle (10–40 cm) and deep soil layers (40–100 cm), at 52 sites in a temperate desert of northwest China. Leaf P and N:P ratios varied markedly among life forms. Leaf P was higher in annuals and perennials than in shrubs. Leaf N and P showed a negative relationship with mean annual temperature (MAT) and no relationship with mean annual precipitation (MAP), but a positive relationship with soil P. Leaf P of shrubs was positively related to soil P in the deep soil. Our study indicated that leaf N and P across the three life forms were influenced by soil P. Deep-rooted plants may enhance the availability of P in the surface soil facilitating growth of shallow-rooted life forms in this N and P limited system, but further research is warranted on this aspect. PMID:25373739

  8. Mesozoic rift basins in western desert of Egypt, their southern extension and impact on future exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Taha, M.A. )

    1988-08-01

    Rift basins are a primary target of exploration in east, central, and west Africa. These intracratonic rift basins range in age from the Triassic to the Neogene and are filled with lagoonal-lacustrine sand-shale sequences. Several rift basins may be present in the Western Desert of Egypt. In the northeastern African platform, the Mesozoic Tethyan strand lines were previously interpreted to have limited southern extension onto the continent. This concept, based upon a relatively limited amount of subsurface data, has directed and focused the exploration for oil and gas to the northernmost 120 km of the Western Desert of Egypt. Recent well and geophysical data indicate a southerly extension of mesozoic rift basins several hundred kilometers inland from the Mediterranean Sea. Shushan/Faghur and Abu Gharadig/Bahrein basins may represent subparallel Mesozoic basins, trending northeast-southwest. Marine Oxfordian-Kimmeridgian sediments were recently reported from wells drilled approximately 500 km south of the present-day Mediterranean shoreline. The link of these basins with the Sirte basin to the southwest in Libya is not well understood. Exploration is needed to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of such basins.

  9. Groundwater potential for irrigation in the East Oweinat area, Western Desert Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nour, S.

    1996-04-01

    The Nubia Sandstone aquifer system is one of the most extensive groundwater systems in North Africa, covering an area of about 2,000,000 km2, including parts of Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and Chad. In the Western Desert of Egypt, the Nubian formation has a thermal gradient of 1.1 5°C 100 m-1 with the exception of the East Oweinat area, located in the southern part of the Western Desert. This is the only part of this huge system where ground-water occurs under unconfmed conditions in an area where the Nubian sandstone crops out and is underlain by shallow basement rocks; in this area groundwater has no thermal characteristics. The aquifer system in the East Oweinat area attains a relatively high hydraulic conductivity. The direction of groundwater flow is generally northeastwards but is distorted at faults and fracture zones. Chemical analyses of groundwater in the area indicate a low salt content and suitability for irrigation purposes. As the estimated recharge to the area is low compared with the foreseen irrigation water requirement, the development of groundwater in the East Oweinat should be based on groundwater mining. Although the evaluation of the groundwater resources in East Oweinat has indicated that groundwater can be extracted at a rate of 4.7×106 m3 d-1, the long-term economics of extraction that can sustain large-scale development projects has to be assessed.

  10. Modeled global effects of airborne desert dust on air quality and premature mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannadaki, D.; Pozzer, A.; Lelieveld, J.

    2014-01-01

    Fine particulate matter is one of the most important factors contributing to air pollution. Epidemiological studies have related increased levels of atmospheric particulate matter to premature human mortality caused by cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer. However, a limited number of investigations have focused on the contribution of airborne desert dust particles. Here we assess the effects of dust particles with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 2.5 μm (DU2.5) on human mortality for the year 2005. We used the EMAC atmospheric-chemistry general circulation model at high resolution to simulate global atmospheric dust concentrations. We applied a health impact function to estimate premature mortality for the global population of 30 yr and older, using parameters from epidemiological studies. We estimate a global cardiopulmonary mortality of about 402 000 in 2005. The associated years of life lost are about 3.47 million per year. We estimate the global fraction of the cardiopulmonary deaths caused by atmospheric desert dust to be about 1.8%, though in the 20 countries most affected by dust this is much higher, about 15-50%. These countries are primarily found in the so-called "dust belt" from North Africa across the Middle East and South Asia to East Asia

  11. Modeled global effects of airborne desert dust on air quality and premature mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannadaki, D.; Pozzer, A.; Lelieveld, J.

    2013-09-01

    Fine particulate matter is one of the most important factors contributing to air pollution. Epidemiological studies have related increased levels of atmospheric particulate matter to premature human mortality caused by cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer. However, a limited number of investigations have focused on the contribution of airborne desert dust particles. Here we assess the effects of dust particles with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 2.5 μm (DU2.5) on human mortality for the year 2005. We used the EMAC atmospheric chemistry general circulation model at high resolution to simulate global atmospheric dust concentrations. We applied a health impact function to estimate premature mortality for the global population of 30 yr and older, using parameters from epidemiological studies. We estimate a global cardiopulmonary mortality of about 402 thousand and about 10 thousand by lung cancer in 2005. The associated years of life lost are about 3.47 million and 96 thousand per year due to cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer, respectively. We estimate the global fraction of the cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths caused by atmospheric desert dust to be about 1.7%, though in the 20 countries most affected by dust this is much higher, about 15-50%. These countries are primarily found in the so-called "dust belt" from North Africa across the Middle East and South Asia to East Asia.

  12. Direct radiative effects induced by intense desert dust outbreaks over the broader Mediterranean basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gkikas, Antonis; Obiso, Vincenzo; Vendrell, Lluis; Basart, Sara; Jorba, Oriol; Pérez Garcia-Pando, Carlos; Hatzianastassiou, Nikos; Gassó, Santiago; Baldasano, Jose Maria

    2016-04-01

    Throughout the year, under favorable conditions, massive loads of mineral particles originating in the northern African and Middle East deserts are transported over the Mediterranean basin. Due to their composition and size, dust aerosols perturb the Earth-Atmosphere system's energy budget interacting directly with the shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) radiation. The present study aims to compute the Mediterranean dust outbreaks' direct radiative effects (DREs) as well as to assess the effect of including dust DREs in numerical simulations of a regional model. To this aim, 20 intense dust outbreaks have been selected based on their spatial coverage and intensity. Their identification, over the period 2000-2013, has been achieved through an objective and dynamic algorithm which utilizes as inputs daily satellite retrievals derived by the MODIS-Terra, EP-TOMS and OMI-Aura sensors. For each outbreak, two simulations of the NMMB/BSC-Dust model were made for a forecast period of 84 hours, with the model initialized at 00 UTC of the day when the dust outbreak was ignited, activating (RADON) and deactivating (RADOFF) dust-radiation interactions. The simulation domain covers the northern Africa, the Middle East and Europe at 0.25° x 0.25° horizontal resolution, for 40 hybrid sigma pressure levels up to 50 hPa. The instantaneous and regional DREs have been calculated at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), into the atmosphere (ATMAB), and at surface, for the downwelling (SURF) and the absorbed (NETSURF) radiation, for the SW, LW and NET (SW+LW) radiation. The interaction between dust aerosols and NET radiation, locally leads to an atmospheric warming (DREATMAB) by up to 150 Wm-2, a surface cooling (DRENETSURF) by up to 250 Wm-2 and a reduction of the downwelling radiation at the surface (DRESURF) by up to 300 Wm-2. At TOA, DREs are mainly negative (down to -150 Wm-2) indicating a cooling of the Earth-Atmosphere system, although positive values (up to 50 Wm-2) are encountered

  13. Identifying Vulnerability Regions of Dust Outbreaks in East Asian Desert Areas: using SMOS, MODIS, and GLDAS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, M.; Kim, H.; Cho, E.

    2015-12-01

    It is now well understood that water, carbon, and energy fluxes at the surface/atmosphere interface are highly dependent on soil moisture (SM). In addition, SM is required to be used as realistic initial states for the SM variables, for climate predictions and weather forecasting. As satellite remote-sensing have developed greatly, global surface SM datasets have been produced based on several satellites. Three satellites-based SM datasets were inter-compared under different land-cover over East Asia to select most reliable satellite for retrieving SM datasets in dust source regions. We estimated satellite sensors with 1) Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS), 2) Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT), and 3) Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) and Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) was used as reference datasets. In case of arid areas (desert and semi-desert), SMOS-retrieved SM products showed best accuracy (radiometers have generally exhibited a better performance than scatterometers in dry areas). For this reason, SMOS SM products were utilized to retrieve SM over desert areas. The regions that are susceptible to dust outbreaks were investigated using the dust outbreak probability functions (DOPF). Based on DOPF, about 58% of the total number of dust events occurred in regions with a high level of vulnerability where dust outbreaks were predicted with a probability higher than 60%. The SMOS-based DOPF was calculated to be about 62.4% of the dust outbreak vulnerability (DOV) level of the desert areas. Interestingly, East Asian deserts showed an increasing tendency for a high level of DOV during the study period. Those areas were judged to be sources from which dust could be transported to neighboring countries (e.g., Korea and Japan) which can lead to Asian dust storms. These results may allow us to predict trends of dust outbreaks in order to prepare the corresponding disaster response systems.

  14. Consistency of dimensional distributions and refractive indices of desert dust measured over Lampedusa with IASI radiances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liuzzi, Giuliano; Masiello, Guido; Serio, Carmine; Meloni, Daniela; Di Biagio, Claudia; Formenti, Paola

    2017-02-01

    In the context of the ChArMEx campaign, we present here some results concerning the quantitative comparison between simulated and observed radiances in the presence of atmospheric desert dust, between June and July 2013 in the southern Mediterranean Basin, in the air mass above the island of Lampedusa. In particular, comparisons have been performed between radiances as observed by the Infrared Atmospheric Sounder Interferometer (IASI) and those simulated using the σ-IASI-as radiative transfer model, which takes into account aerosol extinction effect through a set of fast parameterizations. Simulations have been carried out using different sets of input complex refractive indices, which take into account the parent soils of the aerosols. Their accuracy also relies on the quality of the characterization of desert dust microphysical properties, achieved through direct measurements in the ChArMEx experiment. On the one hand, the fact that the model can ingest such a variable input proves its feasibility. On the other hand, this work goes through a direct validation of different refractive index sets for desert dust in the thermal infrared, and pursues an assessment of the sensitivity of IASI data with respect to the dimensional distribution of desert dust particles. Results show a good consistency between calculations and observations, especially in the spectral interval 800-1000 cm-1; further, the comparison between calculations and observations suggests that further efforts are needed to better characterize desert dust optical properties in the shortwave (above 2000 cm-1). Whatever the case, we show that it is necessary to properly tune the refractive indices according to the geographical origin of the observed aerosol.

  15. Education Rights, Education Policies and Inequality in South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spreen, Carol Anne; Vally, Salim

    2006-01-01

    In this article we explore education policy changes in South Africa through a rights-based framework. We situate our analysis in the context of deepening poverty and inequality arguing that progress (or the lack thereof) in schools cannot be divorced from poverty and its consequences. We show that education reform in South Africa has been situated…

  16. A vectorial capacity product to monitor changing malaria transmission potential in epidemic regions of Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ceccato, Pietro; Vancutsem, Christelle; Klaver, Robert; Rowland, James; Connor, Stephen J.

    2012-01-01

    Rainfall and temperature are two of the major factors triggering malaria epidemics in warm semi-arid (desert-fringe) and high altitude (highland-fringe) epidemic risk areas. The ability of the mosquitoes to transmit Plasmodium spp. is dependent upon a series of biological features generally referred to as vectorial capacity. In this study, the vectorial capacity model (VCAP) was expanded to include the influence of rainfall and temperature variables on malaria transmission potential. Data from two remote sensing products were used to monitor rainfall and temperature and were integrated into the VCAP model. The expanded model was tested in Eritrea and Madagascar to check the viability of the approach. The analysis of VCAP in relation to rainfall, temperature and malaria incidence data in these regions shows that the expanded VCAP correctly tracks the risk of malaria both in regions where rainfall is the limiting factor and in regions where temperature is the limiting factor. The VCAP maps are currently offered as an experimental resource for testing within Malaria Early Warning applications in epidemic prone regions of sub-Saharan Africa. User feedback is currently being collected in preparation for further evaluation and refinement of the VCAP model.

  17. Palynological evidence for climatic and oceanic variability off NW Africa during the late Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouimetarhan, Ilham; Dupont, Lydie; Schefuß, Enno; Mollenhauer, Gesine; Mulitza, Stefan; Zonneveld, Karin

    2009-09-01

    Pollen and organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst assemblages from core GeoB 9503-5 retrieved from the mud-belt (˜ 50 m water depth) off the Senegal River mouth have been analyzed to reconstruct short-term palaeoceanographic and palaeoenvironmental changes in subtropical NW Africa during the time interval from ca. 4200 to 1200 cal yr BP. Our study emphasizes significant coeval changes in continental and oceanic environments in and off Senegal and shows that initial dry conditions were followed by a strong and rapid increase in humidity between ca. 2900 and 2500 cal yr BP. After ca. 2500 cal yr BP, the environment slowly became drier again as indicated by slight increases in Sahelian savannah and desert elements in the pollen record. Around ca. 2200 cal yr BP, this relatively dry period ended with periodic pulses of high terrigenous contributions and strong fluctuations in fern spore and river plume dinoflagellate cyst percentages as well as in the fluxes of pollen, dinoflagellate cysts, fresh-water algae and plant cuticles, suggesting "episodic flash flood" events of the Senegal River. The driest phase developed after about 2100 cal yr BP.

  18. Hantaviruses in Africa.

    PubMed

    Witkowski, Peter T; Klempa, Boris; Ithete, Ndapewa L; Auste, Brita; Mfune, John K E; Hoveka, Julia; Matthee, Sonja; Preiser, Wolfgang; Kruger, Detlev H

    2014-07-17

    This paper summarizes the progress in the search for hantaviruses and hantavirus infections in Africa. After having collected molecular evidence of an indigenous African hantavirus in 2006, an intensive investigation for new hantaviruses has been started in small mammals. Various novel hantaviruses have been molecularly identified not only in rodents but also in shrews and bats. In addition, the first African hantavirus, Sangassou virus, has been isolated and functionally characterized in cell culture. Less is known about the ability of these hantaviruses to infect humans and to cause diseases. To date, no hantavirus genetic material could be amplified from patients' specimens collected in Africa. Serological studies in West Africa, based on a battery of screening and confirmatory assays, led to the detection of hantavirus antibodies in the human population and in patients with putative hantavirus disease. In addition to this overview, we present original data from seroepidemiological and field studies conducted in the Southern part of Africa. A human seroprevalence rate of 1.0% (n=1442) was detected in the South African Cape Region whereas no molecular evidence for the presence of hantavirus was found in 2500 small animals trapped in South Africa and Namibia.

  19. Summary of along-track data from the Earth radiation budget satellite for several major desert regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brooks, David R.; Fenn, Marta A.

    1988-01-01

    For several days in January and August 1985, the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, a component of the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE), was operated in an along-track scanning mode. A survey of radiance measurements is given for four desert areas in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Australia, and the Sahel region of Africa. Each overflight provides radiance information for four scene categories: clear, partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and overcast. The data presented include the variation of radiance in each scene classification as a function of viewing zenith angle during each overflight of the five target areas. Several features of interest in the development of anisotropic models are evident, including day-night differences in longwave limb darkening and the azimuthal dependence of short wave radiance. There is some evidence that surface features may introduce thermal or visible shadowing that is not incorporated in the usual descriptions of the anisotropic behavior of radiance as viewed from space. The data also demonstrate that the ERBE scene classification algorithms give results that, at least for desert surfaces, are a function of viewing geometry.

  20. Genetic structure and differention of Suaeda acuminata population in oasis-desert transitional zone in Fukang, Xinjiang, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xumai; Xu, Li; Zhang, Linjing; Yue, Ming; Zhao, Guifang; Gu, Fengxue; Pan, Xiaoling

    2003-07-01

    RAPD technique was applied to study intraspecific genetic polymorphism and differentiation of Suaeda acuminata populations in oasis-desert transitional zone in Fukang, Xinjiang. By analysis of RAPD data, higher genetic variability was found in the populations of S. acuminata, with a percentage of polymorphic loci of 98.9%. Both estimations by Shannon diversity index and by Nei's gene diversity index from RAPD data, it was found identically that about 72% of molecular variation existed within the subpopulations, while about 28% of which existed among subpopulations. Analysis of genetic identity, genetic distance and cluster analysis showed that genetic differentiation has taken place in the populations of Suaeda acuminata in oasis-desert transitional zone in Fukang, Xinjiang, China. The correlation analytical result between the soil factures and the genetic diversity indicted that there was a significant positive relation between genetic diversity and concentrations of Mg++, conductivity (CO) and absorbed water(W) in soil, while there was no significant relation between genetic distance among subpopulations and geographical distance. Analysis of genetic identity, genetic distance and cluster analysis between the five subpopulations showed that genetic differentiation has taken place in the population of Suaeda acuminata in oasis-desert transitional zone in Fukang, Xinjiang. No correlation existed between genetic distance among subpopulations and their locations in oasis-desert transitional zone. Adaptation to its habitats and restricted gene flow among subpopulations may be a cause of genetic differentiation of Suaeda acuminata population in oasis-desert transitional zone in Fukang, Xinjiang.

  1. Plague in Africa from 1935 to 1949

    PubMed Central

    Davis, D. H. S.

    1953-01-01

    The history of plague in Africa during the period 1935-49 is reviewed. Much of the information derives from a questionnaire sent to all African territories in 1950. The annual incidence of plague in Africa declined, particularly from 1946 onwards. In 1949, under 400 cases were reported, as compared with over 6,000 in 1935. By the end of 1949, plague was still active in the Belgian Congo, Kenya and Tanganyika, Madagascar, and southern Africa. No cases were reported from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, or Uganda during 1949. A comparison of the seasonal incidence of plague with prevailing atmospheric conditions (temperature and rainfall) in African territories shows that human plague is more frequent in warm moist weather—60°-80°F (15°-27°C)—than in hot dry, or cold, weather—over 80°F (27°C) or under 60°F (15°C). The highlands of equatorial Africa and of Madagascar appear to provide the optimum environment for the persistence of plague on the domestic (murine) plane and the high-veld and Kalahari of southern Africa on the sylvatic plane. The rat (Rattus rattus) and the multimammate mouse (R. (Mastomys) natalensis) and their fleas Xenopsylla brasiliensis and X. cheopis appear to be mainly responsible for the persistence of the reservoir in the East African highlands; R. rattus and X. cheopis play this role in Madagascar. The gerbils (Tatera and Desmodillus) and their burrow fleas X. philoxera and X. piriei are the main reservoirs of plague in southern Africa. Within these areas, Pasteurella pestis finds an environment suitable for its continued survival; the conditions seem to be comparable to those defined as obtaining in endemic centres in India. Elsewhere in Africa such endemic centres do not appear to exist. PMID:13115987

  2. Extensional collapse along the Sevier Desert reflection, northern Sevier Desert basin, western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coogan, James C.; Decelles, Peter G.

    1996-10-01

    Newly released and previously published seismic reflection data from the northern Sevier Desert basin provide a complete seismic transect between the tilted western margin of the basin and the eastern breakaway zone. When tied to well and surface age data, the transect delineates a continuum of extensional fault and basin fill geometries that developed between late Oligocene and Pleistocene time across the basin. A minimum of 18 km of top-to-the-west normal displacement is estimated across the Sevier Desert from only the most conspicuous growth geometries and offsets across listric normal faults that sole downward into the Sevier Desert reflection (SDR). The SDR clearly marks a normal fault zone beneath the entire basin, where stratal truncations are imaged for 50% of the 39 km length of the reflection east of the Cricket Mountains block. Restoration of extensional displacement along this entire 39 km fault length is necessary to reconstruct the pre-Oligocene configuration and erosion level of Sevier thrust sheets across the Sevier Desert area. The SDR normal fault zone underlies the former topographic crest of the Sevier orogenic belt, where it accommodated extensional collapse after cessation of regional contractile tectonism.

  3. Characterization of Morphology, Volatile Profiles, and Molecular Markers in Edible Desert Truffles from the Negev Desert.

    PubMed

    Kamle, Madhu; Bar, Einat; Lewinsohn, Dalia; Shavit, Elinoar; Roth-Bejerano, Nurit; Kagan-Zur, Varda; Barak, Ze'ev; Guy, Ofer; Zaady, Eli; Lewinsohn, Efraim; Sitrit, Yaron

    2017-03-28

    Desert truffles are mycorrhizal, hypogeous fungi considered a delicacy. On the basis of morphological characters, we identified three desert truffle species that grow in the same habitat in the Negev desert. These include Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.), Tirmania nivea (Desf.) Trappe, and Terfezia boudieri (Chatain), all associated with Helianthemum sessiliflorum. Their taxonomy was confirmed by PCR-RFLP. The main volatiles of fruit bodies of T. boudieri and T. nivea were 1-octen-3-ol and hexanal; however, volatiles of the latter species further included branched-chain amino acid derivatives such as 2-methylbutanal and 3-methylbutanal, phenylalanine derivatives such as benzaldehyde and benzenacetaldehyde, and methionine derivatives such as methional and dimethyl disulfide. The least aromatic truffle, P. lefebvrei, contained low levels of 1-octen-3-ol as the main volatile. Axenic mycelia cultures of T. boudieri displayed a simpler volatile profile compared to its fruit bodies. This work highlights differences in the volatile profiles of desert truffles and could hence be of interest for selecting and cultivating genotypes with the most likable aroma.

  4. Retinitis pigmentosa in southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, J; Bartmann, L; Ramesar, R; Beighton, P

    1993-11-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogeneous group of inherited retinal disorders which are a common cause of genetic blindness. The relative frequencies of the different forms of RP in South Africa, as determined from the register at the DNA banking centre for RP at the Department of Human Genetics, University of Cape Town, are presented and discussed. Of the 125 families analysed, 29 (23%) showed autosomal dominant, 33 (27%) autosomal recessive and 3 (3%) X-linked inheritance. In 10 families the pedigree data were insufficient to allow accurate genetic subtyping and a further 50 patients were sporadic without a family history of RP or other syndromic features which would allow categorization.

  5. Productivity responses of desert vegetation to precipitation patterns across a rainfall gradient.

    PubMed

    Li, Fang; Zhao, Wenzhi; Liu, Hu

    2015-03-01

    The influences of previous-year precipitation and episodic rainfall events on dryland plants and communities are poorly quantified in the temperate desert region of Northwest China. To evaluate the thresholds and lags in the response of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) to variability in rainfall pulses and seasonal precipitation along the precipitation-productivity gradient in three desert ecosystems with different precipitation regimes, we collected precipitation data from 2000 to 2012 in Shandan (SD), Linze (LZ) and Jiuquan (JQ) in northwestern China. Further, we extracted the corresponding MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a proxy for ANPP) datasets at 250 m spatial resolution. We then evaluated different desert ecosystems responses using statistical analysis, and a threshold-delay model (TDM). TDM is an integrative framework for analysis of plant growth, precipitation thresholds, and plant functional type strategies that capture the nonlinear nature of plant responses to rainfall pulses. Our results showed that: (1) the growing season NDVIINT (INT stands for time-integrated) was largely correlated with the warm season (spring/summer) at our mildly-arid desert ecosystem (SD). The arid ecosystem (LZ) exhibited a different response, and the growing season NDVIINT depended highly on the previous year's fall/winter precipitation and ANPP. At the extremely arid site (JQ), the variability of growing season NDVIINT was equally correlated with the cool- and warm-season precipitation; (2) some parameters of threshold-delay differed among the three sites: while the response of NDVI to rainfall pulses began at about 5 mm for all the sites, the maximum thresholds in SD, LZ, and JQ were about 55, 35 and 30 mm respectively, increasing with an increase in mean annual precipitation. By and large, more previous year's fall/winter precipitation, and large rainfall events, significantly enhanced the growth of desert vegetation, and desert ecosystems

  6. Heterogeneous ice nucleation on dust particles sourced from nine deserts worldwide - Part 1: Immersion freezing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boose, Yvonne; Welti, André; Atkinson, James; Ramelli, Fabiola; Danielczok, Anja; Bingemer, Heinz G.; Plötze, Michael; Sierau, Berko; Kanji, Zamin A.; Lohmann, Ulrike

    2016-12-01

    by earlier studies for monomineral dusts. The airborne samples show on average a lower ice nucleation activity than the surface-collected ones. Furthermore, we find that under certain conditions milling can lead to a decrease in the ice nucleation ability of polymineral samples due to the different hardness and cleavage of individual mineral phases causing an increase of minerals with low ice nucleation ability in the atmospherically relevant size fraction. Comparison of our data set to an existing desert dust parameterization confirms its applicability for climate models. Our results suggest that for an improved prediction of the ice nucleation ability of desert dust in the atmosphere, the modeling of emission and atmospheric transport of the feldspar and quartz mineral phases would be key, while other minerals are only of minor importance.

  7. The Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System

    SciTech Connect

    Lehman, P.

    1996-10-01

    The present paper describes, for purposes of the Department of Energy (DoE) Hydrogen Program Review, Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) progress on the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project for the period January through June 1996. This period represents the first six months of the three year project. The estimated cost over three years is $3.9M, $1.859M of which is funded by the DoE ($600 k for fiscal year 1996). The goal of the Palm Desert Project is to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community. The project will demonstrate the practical utility of hydrogen as a transportation fuel and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells as vehicle power plants. This transportation system will be developed in the City of Palm Desert in southern California and will include a fleet of 8 fuel cell powered vehicles, solar and wind powered hydrogen generating facilities, a consumer-ready refueling station, and a service infrastructure. The system holds the promise of a clean environment and an energy supply that is predictable, domestic, safe, and abundant. During, the first part of 1996 SERC has nearly completed building a fuel cell powered personal utility vehicle, which features an upgraded safety and computer system; they have designed and built a test bench that is able to mimic golf cart loads and test fuel cell system auxiliary components; they have begun the design of the solar hydrogen generating station; they have worked with Sandia National Laboratory on an advanced metal hydride storage system; they have increased the power density of the SERC fuel cell by as much as 50%; and they have reached out to the rest of the world with a new fact sheet, world wide web pages, a press release, video footage for a television program. and instruction within the community.

  8. Geomorphic control of radionuclide diffusion in desert soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pelletier, J.D.; Harrington, C.D.; Whitney, J.W.; Cline, M.; DeLong, S.B.; Keating, G.; Ebert, T.K.

    2005-01-01

    Diffusion is a standard model for the vertical migration of radionuclides in soil profiles. Here we show that diffusivity values inferred from fallout 137CS profiles in soils on the Fortymile Wash alluvial fan, Nye County, Nevada, have a strong inverse correlation with the age of the geomorphic surface. This result suggests that radionuclide-bound particles are predominantly transported by infiltration rather than by bulk-mixing processes such as wetting/ drying, freeze/thaw, and bioturbation. Our results provide a preliminary basis for using soil-geomorphic mapping, point-based calibration data, and the diffusion model to predict radionuclide trans desert soils within a pedotransfer-function approach. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. Distribution of calcium carbonate in desert soils: A model

    SciTech Connect

    Mayer, L.; McFadden, L.D.; Harden, J.W.

    1988-04-01

    A model that describes the distribution of calcium carbonate in desert soils as a function of dust flux, time, climate, and other soil-forming factors shows which factors most strongly influence the accumulation of carbonate and can be used to evaluate carbonate-based soil age estimates or paleoclimatic reconstructions. Models for late Holocene soils have produced carbonate distributions that are very similar to those of well-dated soils in New Mexico and southern California. These results suggest that (1) present climate is a fair representation of late Holocene climate, (2) carbonate dust flux can be approximated by its Holocene rate, and (3) changes in climate and/or dust flux at the end of the Pleistocene effected profound and complex changes in soil carbonate distributions. Both higher carbonate dust flux and greater effective precipitation are required during the latest Pleistocene-early Holocene to explain carbonate distributions in latest Pleistocene soils. 21 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  10. Increasing of Mechanical Parameters of Desert Sand Using Pozzolanic Materia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahdi Sajjadi, Seyed; Fakhraldin Sajjadi, Seyed; Beheshti, Seyed Mohammad; Mehmannavaz, Taha

    2016-04-01

    Research on roads to increase the resistance of weak soils to build structures on it has been increased in recent years. The present article provide the effects of different mixtures containing microsilica, cement, polypropylene waste fiber and dune sand on mechanical parameters such as, compressibility, compressive strength, bending strength and durability characteristic. In this study also is investigated evaluation the effect of road subgrade based on proposed material. The used dune sand in this research was obtained from Kashan city where is located in central desert of Iran. The obtained results show that the microsilica and cement could play a major role in reducing the cost and required time for building roads and also building foundation on these types of soils.

  11. Genomic insights into salt adaptation in a desert poplar

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Tao; Wang, Junyi; Zhou, Gongke; Yue, Zhen; Hu, Quanjun; Chen, Yan; Liu, Bingbing; Qiu, Qiang; Wang, Zhuo; Zhang, Jian; Wang, Kun; Jiang, Dechun; Gou, Caiyun; Yu, Lili; Zhan, Dongliang; Zhou, Ran; Luo, Wenchun; Ma, Hui; Yang, Yongzhi; Pan, Shengkai; Fang, Dongming; Luo, Yadan; Wang, Xia; Wang, Gaini; Wang, Juan; Wang, Qian; Lu, Xu; Chen, Zhe; Liu, Jinchao; Lu, Yao; Yin, Ye; Yang, Huanming; Abbott, Richard J.; Wu, Yuxia; Wan, Dongshi; Li, Jia; Yin, Tongming; Lascoux, Martin; DiFazio, Stephen P.; Tuskan, Gerald A.; Wang, Jun; Jianquan, Liu

    2013-01-01

    Despite the high economic and ecological importance of forests, our knowledge of the genomic evolution of trees under salt stress remains very limited. Here we report the genome sequence of the desert poplar, Populus euphratica, which exhibits high tolerance to sa lt stress. Its genome is very similar and collinear to that of the closely related mesophytic congener, P trichocarpa. However, we find that several gene families likely to be involved in tolerance to salt stress contain significantly more gene copies within the P euphratica lineage. Furthermore, genes showing evidence of positive selection are significantly enriched in functional categories related to salt stress. Some of these genes, and others within the same categories, are significantly upregulated under salt stress relative to their expression in another salt-sensitive poplar. Our results provide an important background for understanding tree adaptation to salt stress and facilitating the genetic improvement of cultivated poplars for saline soils.

  12. Detectability of minerals on desert alluvial fans using reflectance spectra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Hugh; Adams, John B.

    1987-01-01

    The visible and near-infrared reflectance spectra of soil samples collected from desert alluvial and colluvial surfaces in the Cuprite mining district, Nevada, were analyzed. These surfaces are downslope from hydrothermally altered volcanic rocks that contain spectrally characteristic minerals such as alunite and kaolinite. Coarse fractions of the soils on the alluvial fans are mineralogically variable and express the upslope lithologies; fine fractions are remarkably similar mineralogically and spectrally in all samples because of dilution of local mineral components by regionally derived windblown dust. Theoretical models for spectral mixing and for particle-size effects were used to model the observed spectral variations. Diagnostic mineral absorption bands in the spectra of fan materials were enhanced by computationally removing the spectrum of the homogeneous fine-soil component. Results show that spectral mixing models are useful for analyzing data with high spectral resolution obtained by field and aircraft spectrometers.

  13. 7 CFR 925.304 - California Desert Grape Regulation 6.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false California Desert Grape Regulation 6. 925.304 Section 925.304 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING... GROWN IN A DESIGNATED AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA Assessment Rates § 925.304 California Desert...

  14. 7 CFR 925.304 - California Desert Grape Regulation 6.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false California Desert Grape Regulation 6. 925.304 Section 925.304 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING... GROWN IN A DESIGNATED AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA Assessment Rates § 925.304 California Desert...

  15. Food Deserts and Overweight Schoolchildren: Evidence from Pennsylvania

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schafft, Kai A.; Jensen, Eric B.; Hinrichs, C. Clare

    2009-01-01

    The concept of the "food desert", an area with limited access to retail food stores, has increasingly been used within social scientific and public health research to explore the dimensions of spatial inequality and community well-being. While research has demonstrated that food deserts are frequently characterized by higher levels of…

  16. 7 CFR 925.304 - California Desert Grape Regulation 6.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false California Desert Grape Regulation 6. 925.304 Section 925.304 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING... GROWN IN A DESIGNATED AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA Assessment Rates § 925.304 California Desert...

  17. 7 CFR 925.304 - California Desert Grape Regulation 6.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false California Desert Grape Regulation 6. 925.304 Section 925.304 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING... GROWN IN A DESIGNATED AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA Assessment Rates § 925.304 California Desert...

  18. 7 CFR 925.304 - California Desert Grape Regulation 6.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false California Desert Grape Regulation 6. 925.304 Section 925.304 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING... GROWN IN A DESIGNATED AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA Assessment Rates § 925.304 California Desert...

  19. Mauna Iki and the Kaju Desert: Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, D. P.

    1974-01-01

    The Ka'u Desert lies southwest of Kilauea Volcano. The region contains some of the most interesting and best preserved volcanic features found in the islands. The structural setting and synopsis of recent volcanic activity on the Ka'u Desert are discussed here, and a field guide to Mauna Iki is provided.

  20. Spreading Deserts--The Hand of Man. Worldwatch Paper 13.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eckholm, Erik; Brown, Lester R.

    The report identifies regions in which deserts and arid zones are increasing; discusses social and climatic causes of deserts; and suggests ways to cope with and reverse problems of famine, malnutrition, and drought. Increasingly, land is being sapped of its ability to sustain agriculture and human habitation north and south of the Sahara, in…

  1. Book review: A natural history of the Sonoran Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, Matthew L.

    2000-01-01

    Review info: A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert. Edited by S. J. Phillips and P. W. Comus. 2000. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press, Tucson AZ, and University of California Press, Berkeley CA. 628 pp. Cloth ISBN 0-520-22029-3 Paper ISBN 0-520-21980-5.

  2. Negev: Land, Water, and Life in a Desert Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Back, William

    In view of the continuing increased concern about the extreme fragility of deserts and desert margins, Negev provides a timely discussion of land-use practices compatible with the often conflicting goals of preservation and development. The success o f agricultural and hydrologic experiments in the Negev desert of Israel offers hope to the large percentage of the world's population that lives with an unacceptably low quality of life in desert margins. Deserts are the one remaining type of open space that, with proper use, has the potential for alleviating the misery often associated with expanding population.In addition to the science in the book, the author repeatedly reinforces the concept that “western civilization is inextricably bound to the Negev and its environs, from which it has drawn, via its desert-born religions—Judasium, Christianity, and Islam—many of the mores and concepts, and much of the imagery and love of the desert, including man's relation to nature and to ‘God’.” Deserts often are erroneously perceived to be areas of no water: In reality, these are areas in which a little rainfall occurs sporadically and unpredictably over time. This meager water supply can be meticulously garnered to produce nutritious crops and forage.

  3. Carbon and nitrogen contents in Desert Plants and Soil in the Yanqi basin of Northwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, J.; Wang, X.; Wang, J.

    2011-12-01

    Carbon and nitrogen are two main elements in plant-soil systems. Here, we present a study of carbon and nitrogen contents in several typical desert plants and underlying soil, which was conducted in Yanqi basin, Xinjiang province of China. Our results show that carbon (C) content is around 30% in both aboveground tissues and belowground roots. Nitrogen (N) content in desert plants has a range of 0.5%-3.5%, and the aboveground tissue has higher nitrogen content (~2%) than the belowground root (~1%). As a result, the belowground root has higher C/N ratio (~35) than the aboveground tissue (~25). Especially, the C/N values in belowground roots are twice as much as their aboveground tissues in Acroption repens, Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb. and Halostachys caspica. In desert soils, the contents of soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN) with depth 0-50cm are range of 12.5-4.6 and 3.2-1.4 g/kg, respectively, different . As expected, the SOC and TN contents are declined with the depth increase. Meanwhile, our result indicated the soil TN is followed the SOC dynamic, as both elements are bond into the organic compounds. However, unlike the C/N ratios in aboveground tissue and roots, there is no significant difference of C/N ratios (2.95-3.46) in the soils within the 0-50 cm depth. The results inferred that in the desert plant C mainly storage in roots, but the C, N allocation between desert plant and soil has no significantly related.

  4. A dynamic state variable model of mate desertion in Cooper's Hawks

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly, E.J. ); Kennedy, P.L. )

    1993-03-01

    In a 4-yr study of the reproductive strategies of Cooper's Hawks (Accipiter cooperii) nesting in north-central New Mexico, >50% of the females deserted during the fledgling-dependence period and did not renest. A dynamic state variable model was developed to study the females' brood-rearing strategies. In this model a strategy consisted of combinations of staying at the nest, hunting, and deserting. The modeling assumptions were: a female's strategy during brood rearing maximizes her reproductive fitness, defined as the weighted average of the expected probability of survival of her current offspring and her expected future reproduction; and the reproductive fitness function depends on the physical condition of the female and nestlings, the risks to the nestlings associated with each strategy, and the male's foraging capabilities. The model predictions were compared to the observations of female strategies in Cooper's Hawks. The best match between observations and predictions (84-96%) was obtained when the nestlings' survival and the female's future reproductive potential were equally weighted during the nestling stage, but weighted in favor of the female's reproductive potential during the fledgling stage. A sensitivity analysis showed that the model predictions corresponded well with the observations of staying and hunting. However, those combinations of parameter values that reflected conditions with the least pressure to desert missed 70-85% of the desertions. The sensitivity analysis also indicated that a key factor influencing the female's choise of strategy was the interaction between the threat to her future reproduction due to her poor physical condition and the nestlings' risk of death from predation and exposure. The agreement of model predictions and observed strategies supported the modeling assumptions. Dynamic state variable modeling is an excellent tool for studying mate desertion. 54 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs.

  5. Desert tortoise use of burned habitat in the Eastern Mojave desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drake, Karla K.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; DeFalco, Lesley; Scoles, Sara; Modlin, Andrew T.; Medica, Philip A.

    2015-01-01

    Wildfires burned 24,254 ha of critical habitat designated for the recovery of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in southern Nevada during 2005. The proliferation of non-native annual grasses has increased wildfire frequency and extent in recent decades and continues to accelerate the conversion of tortoise habitat across the Mojave Desert. Immediate changes to vegetation are expected to reduce quality of critical habitat, yet whether tortoises will use burned and recovering habitat differently from intact unburned habitat is unknown. We compared movement patterns, home-range size, behavior, microhabitat use, reproduction, and survival for adult desert tortoises located in, and adjacent to, burned habitat to understand how tortoises respond to recovering burned habitat. Approximately 45% of home ranges in the post-fire environment contained burned habitat, and numerous observations (n = 12,223) corroborated tortoise use of both habitat types (52% unburned, 48% burned). Tortoises moved progressively deeper into burned habitat during the first 5 years following the fire, frequently foraging in burned habitats that had abundant annual plants, and returning to adjacent unburned habitat for cover provided by intact perennial vegetation. However, by years 6 and 7, the live cover of the short-lived herbaceous perennial desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) that typically re-colonizes burned areas declined, resulting in a contraction of tortoise movements from the burned areas. Health and egg production were similar between burned and unburned areas indicating that tortoises were able to acquire necessary resources using both areas. This study documents that adult Mojave desert tortoises continue to use habitat burned once by wildfire. Thus, continued management of this burned habitat may contribute toward the recovery of the species in the face of many sources of habitat loss.

  6. Elevation Derivatives for Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Gass, Leila

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the methods used to derive various elevation-derivative grids that were inputted to the Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat model (L. Gass and others, unpub. data). These grids, which capture information on surface roughness and topographic characteristics, are a subset of the environmental datasets evaluated for the tortoise habitat model. This habitat model is of major importance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with management of this threatened population, including relocating displaced tortoises to areas identified as suitable habitat.

  7. Latest European coelacanth shows Gondwanan affinities.

    PubMed

    Cavin, Lionel; Forey, Peter L; Buffetaut, Eric; Tong, Haiyan

    2005-06-22

    The last European fossil occurrence of a coelacanth is from the Mid-Cretaceous of the English Chalk (Turonian, 90 million years ago). Here, we report the discovery of a coelacanth from Late Cretaceous non-marine rocks in southern France. It consists of a left angular bone showing structures that imply close phylogenetic affinities with some extinct Mawsoniidae. The closest relatives are otherwise known from Cretaceous continental deposits of southern continents and suggest that the dispersal of freshwater organisms from Africa to Europe occurred in the Late Cretaceous.

  8. Interannual variability of photosynthesis across Africa and its attribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Christopher A.; Hanan, Niall P.; Baker, Ian; Collatz, G. James; Berry, Joseph; Denning, A. Scott

    2008-12-01

    Africa is thought to be a large source of interannual variability in the global carbon cycle, only vaguely attributed to climate fluctuations. This study uses a biophysical model, Simple Biosphere, to examine in detail what specific factors, physiological (acute stress from low soil water, temperature, or low humidity) and biophysical (low vegetation radiation use), are responsible for spatiotemporal patterns of photosynthesis across the African continent during the period 1982-2003. Acute soil water stress emerges as the primary factor driving interannual variability of photosynthesis for most of Africa. Southern savannas and woodlands are a particular hot spot of interannual variability in photosynthesis, owing to high rainfall variability and photosynthetic potential but intermediate annual rainfall. Surprisingly low interannual variability of photosynthesis in much of the Sudano-Sahelian zone derives from relatively low vegetation cover, pronounced humidity stress, and somewhat lower rainfall variability, whereas perennially wet conditions diminish interannual variability in photosynthesis across much of the Congo Basin and coastal West Africa. Though not of focus here, the coefficient of variation in photosynthesis is notably high in drylands and desert margins (i.e., Sahel, Greater Horn, Namib, and Kalahari) having implications for supply of food and fiber. These findings emphasize that when considering impacts of climate change and land surface feedbacks to the atmosphere, it is important to recognize how vegetation, climate, and soil characteristics may conspire to filter or dampen ecosystem responses to hydroclimatic variability.

  9. Showing What They Know

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cech, Scott J.

    2008-01-01

    Having students show their skills in three dimensions, known as performance-based assessment, dates back at least to Socrates. Individual schools such as Barrington High School--located just outside of Providence--have been requiring students to actively demonstrate their knowledge for years. The Rhode Island's high school graduating class became…

  10. The Ozone Show.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathieu, Aaron

    2000-01-01

    Uses a talk show activity for a final assessment tool for students to debate about the ozone hole. Students are assessed on five areas: (1) cooperative learning; (2) the written component; (3) content; (4) self-evaluation; and (5) peer evaluation. (SAH)

  11. What Do Maps Show?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geological Survey (Dept. of Interior), Reston, VA.

    This curriculum packet, appropriate for grades 4-8, features a teaching poster which shows different types of maps (different views of Salt Lake City, Utah), as well as three reproducible maps and reproducible activity sheets which complement the maps. The poster provides teacher background, including step-by-step lesson plans for four geography…

  12. Show Me the Way

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dicks, Matthew J.

    2005-01-01

    Because today's students have grown up steeped in video games and the Internet, most of them expect feedback, and usually gratification, very soon after they expend effort on a task. Teachers can get quick feedback to students by showing them videotapes of their learning performances. The author, a 3rd grade teacher describes how the seemingly…

  13. Chemistry Game Shows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Susan; Muzyka, Jennifer

    2002-04-01

    We present a technological improvement to the use of game shows to help students review for tests. Our approach uses HTML files interpreted with a browser on a computer attached to an LCD projector. The HTML files can be easily modified for use of the game in a variety of courses.

  14. Honored Teacher Shows Commitment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ratte, Kathy

    1987-01-01

    Part of the acceptance speech of the 1985 National Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year, this article describes the censorship experience of this honored social studies teacher. The incident involved the showing of a videotape version of the feature film entitled "The Seduction of Joe Tynan." (JDH)

  15. Talk Show Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Mitzi Ruth

    1992-01-01

    Proposes having students perform skits in which they play the roles of the science concepts they are trying to understand. Provides the dialog for a skit in which hot and cold gas molecules are interviewed on a talk show to study how these properties affect wind, rain, and other weather phenomena. (MDH)

  16. Stage a Water Show

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frasier, Debra

    2008-01-01

    In the author's book titled "The Incredible Water Show," the characters from "Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster" used an ocean of information to stage an inventive performance about the water cycle. In this article, the author relates how she turned the story into hands-on science teaching for real-life fifth-grade students. The author also…

  17. Health effects of particulate air pollution and airborne desert dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lelieveld, J.; Pozzer, A.; Giannadaki, D.; Fnais, M.

    2013-12-01

    Air pollution by fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has increased strongly with industrialization and urbanization. In the past decades this increase has taken place at a particularly high pace in South and East Asia. We estimate the premature mortality and the years of human life lost (YLL) caused by anthropogenic PM2.5 and airborne desert dust (DU2.5) on regional and national scales (Giannadaki et al., 2013; Lelieveld et al., 2013). This is based on high-resolution global model calculations that resolve urban and industrial regions in relatively great detail. We apply an epidemiological health impact function and find that especially in large countries with extensive suburban and rural populations, air pollution-induced mortality rates have been underestimated given that previous studies largely focused on the urban environment. We calculate a global premature mortality by anthropogenic aerosols of 2.2 million/year (YLL ≈ 16 million/year) due to lung cancer and cardiopulmonary disease. High mortality rates by PM2.5 are found in China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia. Desert dust DU2.5 aerosols add about 0.4 million/year (YLL ≈ 3.6 million/year). Particularly significant mortality rates by DU2.5 occur in Pakistan, China and India. The estimated global mean per capita mortality caused by airborne particulates is about 0.1%/year (about two thirds of that caused by tobacco smoking). We show that the highest premature mortality rates are found in the Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions (about 25% and 46% of the global rate, respectively) where more than a dozen of the most highly polluted megacities are located. References: Giannadaki, D., A. Pozzer, and J. Lelieveld, Modeled global effects of airborne desert dust on air quality and premature mortality, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. (submitted), 2013. Lelieveld, J., C. Barlas, D. Giannadaki, and A. Pozzer, Model calculated global, regional and megacity premature mortality due to air pollution by ozone

  18. Atmospheric Optical Properties and Spectral Analysis of Desert Aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yvgeni, D.; Karnieli, A.; Kaufman, Y. J.; Andreae, M. O.; Holben, B. N.; Maenhaut, W.

    2002-05-01

    Scientific background Aerosols can interact directly with solar and terrestrial radiation by scattering as well as absorption. In addition, they can indirectly alter the planetary albedo by modifying the properties of clouds. Objectives Investigations have been devoted to two main areas: (1) Aerosol climatology situation in the Negev desert, investigations of physical and chemical characteristics of aerosols, and study of the local and long-range transport trajectory of polluted air masses over the Negev desert; and (2) An estimation of the optical properties throughout the atmospheric column by surface measurements via performance of spectral and statistical analysis of the data received from two measurement systems. Results and conclusions Analyzed data from the Sede Boker site, in the Negev Desert of Israel, shows an increase in aerosol optical depth during the summer seasons and a decrease during winter. One of the possible reasons for this characteristic is an increase of the precipitable water (reaches 3.0-3.5 cm) due to a constant wind stream from the Mediterranean Sea in same time. The highest probability distribution of the aerosol optical depth is in the range of 0.15-0.20; and of the Angstrom parameter is in range of 0.83 - 1.07. During dust storm events, the scattering coefficient range at 670 nm and 440 nm wavelengths were inverted. It was discovered that the dust particles in this case had non-spherical character. Comparison between optical depth, measured through all atmospheric column, and scattering coefficient from surface measurements provides correlation coefficient (r) equal to 0.64. The Angstrom parameter, calculated via optical depth and via scattering coefficient, provides a correlation coefficient of 0.66. Thus we can obtain an estimate of the influence of the surface aerosol situation on column optical properties. The combined analysis of dust cloud altitude and optical depth as a function of the time indicates long-term transport and

  19. NASA Desert RATS 2011 Education Pilot Project and Classroom Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gruener, J. E.; McGlone, M.; Allen, J.; Tobola, K.; Graff, P.

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of tests of hardware and operations carried out annually in the high desert of Arizona, as an analog to future exploration activities beyond low Earth orbit [1]. For the past several years, these tests have occurred in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, north of Flagstaff. For the 2011 Desert RATS season, the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) at NASA headquarters provided support to develop an education pilot project that would include student activities to parallel the Desert RATS mission planning and exploration activities in the classroom, and educator training sessions. The development of the pilot project was a joint effort between the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate and the Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP), managed at Penn State University.

  20. Country Energy Profile, South Africa

    SciTech Connect

    1995-08-01

    This country energy profile provides energy and economic information about South Africa. Areas covered include: Economics, demographics, and environment; Energy situation; Energy structure; Energy investment opportunities; Department of Energy (DOE) programs in South Africa; and a listing of International aid to South Africa.

  1. Family Planning Programmes in Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pradervand, Pierre

    The countries discussed in this paper are the francophone countries of West Africa and the Republic of Congo, with comparative references made to North Africa (mainly Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia). Obstacles to the adoption of family planning in the countries of tropical Africa are a very high mortality rate among children; a socioeconomic…

  2. Emergency nursing in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Brysiewicz, Petra; Bruce, Judy

    2008-04-01

    The role of the emergency nurse in South Africa is a challenging one due to a variety of reasons. This article describes the healthcare system of South Africa with particular attention to the emergency medical system as well as the reason why most emergency clients present to the emergency departments. The actual experience of working as an emergency nurse in South Africa is highlighted.

  3. Central and southern Africa

    SciTech Connect

    McGrew, H.J.

    1981-10-01

    Exploration in central and southern Africa continued to expand during 1980. The greatest concentration of activity was in Nigeria. However, there was considerable increase in the level of exploratory work in Cameroon and Congo. Significant new finds have been made in Ivory Coast. Geological and geophysical activity was carried out in 18 of the countries, with those in the western part having the largest share. Seismic work involved 225 party months of operation. Most of this time was spent on land, but marine operations accounted for 73,389 km of new control. Gravity and magnetic data were recorded during the marine surveys, and several large aeromagnetic projects were undertaken to obtain a total of 164,498 line km of data. Exploratory and development drilling accounted for a total of 304 wells and 2,605,044 ft (794,212 m) of hole. The 92 exploratory wells that were drilled resulted in 47 oil and gas discoveries. In development drilling 89% of the 212 wells were successful. At the end of the year, 27 exploratory wells were underway, and 34 development wells were being drilled for a total of 61. Oil production from the countries that this review covers was 918,747,009 bbl in 1980, a drop of about 9% from the previous year. Countries showing a decline in production were Nigeria, Gabon, Cabinda, and Zaire. Increases were recorded in Cameroon, Congo, and Ghana. A new country was added to the list of producers when production from the Belier field in Ivory Coast came on stream. 33 figures, 15 tables.

  4. 76 FR 66354 - DesertXpress Enterprises, LLC and DesertXpress HSR Corporation-Construction and Operation...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-26

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board DesertXpress Enterprises, LLC and DesertXpress HSR Corporation-- Construction... under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 for...

  5. Agreement: Desert Community College District, College of the Desert Faculty Association CTA/NEA, January 13, 1989-June 30, 1989.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Desert Community Coll. District, Palm Desert, CA.

    The collective bargaining agreement between the Desert Community College District and the College of the Desert Faculty Association/California Teachers Association/National Education Association is presented. This contract, covering the period from January 13, 1989 through June 30, 1989, deals with the following topics: bargaining agent…

  6. Relationship Between Job Burnout and Neuroendocrine Indicators in Soldiers in the Xinjiang Arid Desert: A Cross-Sectional Study.

    PubMed

    Tao, Ning; Zhang, Jianjiang; Song, Zhixin; Tang, Jinhua; Liu, Jiwen

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between job burnout and neuroendocrine indicators in soldiers living in a harsh environment. Three hundred soldiers stationed in the arid desert and 600 in an urban area were recruited. They filled in the Chinese Maslach Burnout Inventory questionnaire. One hundred soldiers were randomly selected from each group to measure their levels of noradrenaline, serotonin, heat shock protein (HSP)-70, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and serum cortisol. Job burnout was more common in soldiers from urban areas than those from rural areas. Job burnout was significantly higher among soldiers stationed in the arid desert than those in urban areas. For soldiers in the arid desert, the levels of HSP-70, serum cortisol, and adrenocorticotropic hormone were significantly higher than in soldiers in urban areas. Correlation analyses showed that the degree of job burnout was weakly negatively correlated with the level of HSP-70. Being an only child, HSP-70 levels, cortisol levels, and ACTH levels were independently associated with job burnout in soldiers stationed in the arid desert. A higher level of job burnout in soldiers stationed in arid desert and a corresponding change in neuroendocrine indicators indicated a correlation between occupational stress and neurotransmitters.

  7. Quantitative PCR method for detection of mycoplasma spp. DNA in nasal lavage samples from the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii).

    PubMed

    duPre', S A; Tracy, C R; Hunter, K W

    2011-08-01

    Mycoplasma agassizii and M. testudineum have been associated with upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) in the threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Because microbiological culture methods have proven difficult to employ in wild desert tortoises, our goal was to develop a sensitive and specific qPCR method for detecting and quantifying mycoplasma DNA in nasal lavage fluid collected in the field. Primers for 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences specific for M. agassizii and M. testudineum were designed, together with primers that recognize conserved sequences of both microorganisms. Standard curves generated with DNA extracted from known numbers of mycoplasma cells revealed a lower detection limit of approximately 5fg. The qPCR method did not recognize normal flora DNA, and nasal lavage fluid contained no interfering substances. Nasal lavage samples collected from 20 captive desert tortoises housed at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center (Clark County, Nevada, USA) revealed the presence of M. agassizii DNA in 100% of the tortoises. Concentrations ranged from a low of 6pg ml(-1) to a high of 72,962pg ml(-1). Only one of the tortoises was positive for M. testudineum. Interestingly, not all of the qPCR positive tortoises showed evidence of seroconversion, suggesting that they were colonized but not infected. This new quantitative method will provide a critical tool for managing threatened populations of the desert tortoise.

  8. Desert tortoise hibernation: Temperatures, timing, and environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Haines, D.F.; Tracy, C.R.

    2007-01-01

    This research examined the onset, duration, and termination of hibernation in Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) over several years at multiple sites in the northeastern part of their geographic range, and recorded the temperatures experienced by tortoises during winter hibernation. The timing of hibernation by Desert Tortoises differed among sites and years. Environmental cues acting over the short-term did not appear to influence the timing of the hibernation period. Different individual tortoises entered hibernation over as many as 44 days in the fall and emerged from hibernation over as many as 49 days in the spring. This range of variation in the timing of hibernation indicates a weak influence at best of exogenous cues hypothesized to trigger and terminate hibernation. There do appear to be regional trends in hibernation behavior as hibernation tended to begin earlier and continue longer at sites that were higher in elevation and generally cooler. The emergence date was generally more similar among study sites than the date of onset. While the climate and the subsequent timing of hibernation differed among sites, the average temperatures experienced by tortoises while hibernating differed by only about five degrees from the coldest site to the warmest site. ?? 2007 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

  9. Desert ecosystems: similarities, characteristics, and health benefits.

    PubMed

    Carpio-Obeso, M P; Shorr, M; Valdez-Salas, B

    1999-01-01

    Salty bodies of water in desert zones are known worldwide. The Salton Sea in California, USA, and the Dead Sea between Israel and Jordan are located in arid areas at approximately the same latitude, which might explain some similarities. Both the Salton and Dead Seas have ecosystems consisting of a singular saline sea/hot desert interface. The Salton Sea, the largest inland body of water in California, is a saline lake in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys. The Imperial Valley is one of the 10 top agricultural areas in the United States. Several thermoelectric plants exploiting geothermal wells operate around the Salton Sea, and some areas comprise a National Wildlife Refuge. The Dead Sea (Sea of Salt in Hebrew), the lowest saline lake on earth, contains high concentrations of salts and is a reservoir of minerals with a unique evaporation regime. The Dead Sea salts are the raw materials for the production of several chemical and health products. Magnesium salts and sulfur-containing mud are used for treating human skin disorders, allergies, arthritis, and respiratory diseases. After visiting both zones, we recorded, analyzed, and compared the similarities and differences between the areas. Some differences were found in the geographic, orographic, hydraulic, and climatic properties, but the main difference is in the economic-industrial aspect. The characteristics and health aspects are described in this report.

  10. Dew condensation on desert beetle skin.

    PubMed

    Guadarrama-Cetina, J; Mongruel, A; Medici, M-G; Baquero, E; Parker, A R; Milimouk-Melnytchuk, I; González-Viñas, W; Beysens, D

    2014-11-01

    Some tenebrionind beetles inhabiting the Namib desert are known for using their body to collect water droplets from wind-blown fogs. We aim to determine whether dew water collection is also possible for desert insects. For this purpose, we investigated the infra-red emissivity, and the wetting and structural properties, of the surface of the elytra of a preserved specimen of Physasterna cribripes (Tenebrionidæ) beetle, where the macro-structure appears as a series of "bumps", with "valleys" between them. Dew formation experiments were carried out in a condensation chamber. The surface properties (infra-red emissivity, wetting properties) were dominated by the wax at the elytra surface and, to a lower extent, its micro-structure. We performed scanning electron microscope on histological sections and determined the infra-red emissivity using a scanning pyrometer. The emissivity measured (0.95±0.07 between 8-14 μm) was close to the black body value. Dew formation occurred on the insect's elytra, which can be explained by these surface properties. From the surface coverage of the condensed drops it was found that dew forms primarily in the valleys between the bumps. The difference in droplet nucleation rate between bumps and valleys can be attributed to the hexagonal microstructure on the surface of the valleys, whereas the surface of the bumps is smooth. The drops can slide when they reach a critical size, and be collected at the insect's mouth.

  11. Microbiology and Moisture Uptake of Desert Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kress, M. E.; Bryant, E. P.; Morgan, S. W.; Rech, S.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-12-01

    We have initiated an interdisciplinary study of the microbiology and water content of desert soils to better understand microbial activity in extreme arid environments. Water is the one constituent that no organism can live without; nevertheless, there are places on Earth with an annual rainfall near zero that do support microbial ecosystems. These hyperarid deserts (e.g. Atacama and the Antarctic Dry Valleys) are the closest terrestrial analogs to Mars, which is the subject of future exploration motivated by the search for life beyond Earth. We are modeling the moisture uptake by soils in hyperarid environments to quantify the environmental constraints that regulate the survival and growth of micro-organisms. Together with the studies of moisture uptake, we are also characterizing the microbial population in these soils using molecular and culturing methods. We are in the process of extracting DNA from these soils using MoBio extraction kits. This DNA will be used as a template to amplify bacterial and eukaryotic ribosomal DNA to determine the diversity of the microbial population. We also have been attempting to determine the density of organisms by culturing on one-half strength R2A agar. The long-range goal of this research is to identify special adaptations of terrestrial life that allow them to inhabit extreme arid environments, while simultaneously quantifying the environmental parameters that enforce limits on these organisms' growth and survival.

  12. Temporal 222Rn distributions to reveal groundwater discharge into desert lakes: Implication of water balance in the Badain Jaran Desert, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Xin; Jiao, Jiu Jimmy; Wang, Xu-sheng; Liu, Kun

    2016-03-01

    How lake systems are maintained and water is balanced in the lake areas in the Badain Jaran Desert (BJD), northeast of China have been debated for about a decade. In this study, continuous 222Rn measurement is used to quantify groundwater discharge into two representative fresh and brine water lakes in the desert using a steady-state mass-balance model. Two empirical equations are used to calculate atmospheric evasion loss crossing the water-air interface of the lakes. Groundwater discharge rates yielded from the radon mass balance model based on the two empirical equations are well correlated and of almost the same values, confirming the validity of the model. The fresh water and brine lakes have a daily averaged groundwater discharge rate of 7.6 ± 1.7 mm d-1 and 6.4 ± 1.8 mm d-1, respectively. The temporal fluctuations of groundwater discharge show similar patterns to those of the lake water level, suggesting that the lakes are recharged from nearby groundwater. Assuming that all the lakes have the same discharge rate as the two studied lakes, total groundwater discharge into all the lakes in the desert is estimated to be 1.59 × 105 m3 d-1. A conceptual model of water balance within a desert lake catchment is proposed to characterize water behaviors within the catchment. This study sheds lights on the water balance in the BJD and is of significance in sustainable regional water resource utilization in such an ecologically fragile area.

  13. Mastomys natalensis and Lassa fever, West Africa.

    PubMed

    Lecompte, Emilie; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Daffis, Stéphane; Koulémou, Kékoura; Sylla, Oumar; Kourouma, Fodé; Doré, Amadou; Soropogui, Barré; Aniskin, Vladimir; Allali, Bernard; Kouassi Kan, Stéphane; Lalis, Aude; Koivogui, Lamine; Günther, Stephan; Denys, Christiane; ter Meulen, Jan

    2006-12-01

    PCR screening of 1,482 murid rodents from 13 genera caught in 18 different localities of Guinea, West Africa, showed Lassa virus infection only in molecularly typed Mastomys natalensis. Distribution of this rodent and relative abundance compared with M. erythroleucus correlates geographically with Lassa virus seroprevalence in humans.

  14. Africa Adult Education. Chronologies in Commonwealth Countries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Draper, James A., Ed.

    In this document, leading educators from 12 African Commonwealth countries trace the development of adult education in Africa and show how providers of adult education outside the formal education system (including government and nongovernment organizations, trade unions, women's groups, and religious organizations) have met the needs of their…

  15. Out of Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilbert, Nancy Corrigan

    2009-01-01

    Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), author of "Out of Africa," said, "God made the world round so people would never be able to see too far down the road." The author embraced this wonderful thought by venturing on a three-week journey to Kenya and Tanzania in search of grand adventure. In this article, the author shares her adventure…

  16. Anglicising Postapartheid South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Louw, P. Eric

    2004-01-01

    The apartheid state deliberately encouraged linguistic diversity and actively built cultural infrastructures which impeded Anglicisation. With the end of apartheid has come "de facto" Anglicisation. So although South Africa has, since 1994, had 11 official languages, in reality, English is swamping the other 10 languages. Afrikaans has,…

  17. Who Speaks for Africa?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nealy, Michelle

    2005-01-01

    Judging by the press coverage, it would seem that Europeans are the only ones concerned about conditions in Africa, but perhaps the media is not telling the whole story. According to Mark P. Fancher, chair of the National Conference of Black Lawyers' Section on International Affairs & World Peace and the author of "The Splintering of…

  18. South Africa's Constitutional Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getman, Thomas

    1987-01-01

    Describes the striking dichotomy of South Africa's beauty and the squalor resulting from the apartheid policies of the government. Reviews reactions of black South Africans to recent constitutional changes and details efforts to secure more sweeping reform. Includes stories of several individuals who have taken actions which oppose the system of…

  19. West and Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Lydie, N; Robinson, N J

    1998-01-01

    This article reviews scientific and other literature during the 1990s that links migration and mobility with the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS. The focus is on key population groups linked to the spread of HIV and STDs in West and Central Africa: migrant laborers, truck drivers, itinerant traders, commercial sex workers (CSWs), and refugees. Countries with high emigration and immigration tend to have high levels of HIV infection, with the exception of Senegal. The main destination of immigrants are Senegal, Nigeria, and Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa and Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, and Congo in Central Africa. The risk of infection and the spread of HIV is variable among migrants. There is little in the literature that substantiates hypotheses about the strong association between migration and HIV-positive status. Information is needed on the duration, frequency of return visits, living conditions, sexual activities with multiple partners, and information before departure, along the routes, at final destination, and at the time of returns. Action-based research in five West African countries (Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, and Senegal) should produce results in late 1998. Comparable studies in Central Africa are unknown. Regional studies should be complemented by local studies. Prevention would benefit from studies on the relative size of these five population groups by geographic location.

  20. AED in Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Academy for Educational Development, 2004

    2004-01-01

    Founded in 1961, the Academy for Educational Development (AED) is an independent, nonprofit, charitable organization that operates development programs in the United States and throughout the world. This directory presents an overview of the AED programs in Africa since 1975. Current AED Programs include: (1) HIV/AIDS Prevention and Impact…

  1. AED in Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC.

    For 30 years, the Academy for Educational Development (AED) has worked to support African development. In Uganda, Tanzania, and Botswana AED promoted some of Africa's first AIDS prevention programs. AED is funding research in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and perhaps Zambia that will target stigma and its role in AIDS prevention. Working with governments…

  2. Africa: Myth and Reality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Barbara B.

    1994-01-01

    Reports on the Third International Social Studies Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1994. Discusses democracy, educational reform efforts, and the importance of tourism to the Kenyan economy. Asserts that U.S. teachers must use accurate and nonstereotypical instructional materials in teaching about Africa. (CFR)

  3. Topical Research: Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynn, Karen

    This lesson plan can be used in social studies, language arts, or library research. The instructional objective is for students to select a topic of study relating to Africa, write a thesis statement, collect information from media sources, and develop a conclusion. The teacher may assign the lesson for written or oral evaluation. The teacher…

  4. Africa and Applied Linguistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Makoni, Sinfree, Ed.; Meinhof, Ulrike H., Ed.

    2003-01-01

    This collection of articles includes: "Introducing Applied Linguistics in Africa" (Sinfree Makoni and Ulrike H. Meinhof); "Language Ideology and Politics: A Critical Appraisal of French as Second Official Language in Nigeria" (Tope Omoniyi); "The Democratisation of Indigenous Languages: The Case of Malawi" (Themba…

  5. Trends Abroad: South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Varley, Douglas H.

    1970-01-01

    In South Africa today there is a complex structure of laws and regulations which impose a variety of restrictions on individual liberties including the freedom to publish and read literary material. The successive steps by which this state of affairs has been reached are briefly described. (NH)

  6. Anatomy: Spotlight on Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, Beverley; Pather, Nalini; Ihunwo, Amadi O.

    2008-01-01

    Anatomy departments across Africa were surveyed regarding the type of curriculum and method of delivery of their medical courses. While the response rate was low, African anatomy departments appear to be in line with the rest of the world in that many have introduced problem based learning, have hours that are within the range of western medical…

  7. Not a "reality" show.

    PubMed

    Wrong, Terence; Baumgart, Erica

    2013-01-01

    The authors of the preceding articles raise legitimate questions about patient and staff rights and the unintended consequences of allowing ABC News to film inside teaching hospitals. We explain why we regard their fears as baseless and not supported by what we heard from individuals portrayed in the filming, our decade-long experience making medical documentaries, and the full un-aired context of the scenes shown in the broadcast. The authors don't and can't know what conversations we had, what documents we reviewed, and what protections we put in place in each televised scene. Finally, we hope to correct several misleading examples cited by the authors as well as their offhand mischaracterization of our program as a "reality" show.

  8. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  9. The Holocene Geoarchaeology of the Desert Nile in Northern Sudan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodward, Jamie; Macklin, Mark; Spencer, Neal; Welsby, Derek; Dalton, Matthew; Hay, Sophie; Hardy, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    Invited Paper Forty years ago Colin Renfrew declared that "every archaeological problem starts as a problem in geoarchaeology" (Renfrew, 1976 p. 2). With this assertion in mind, this paper draws upon the findings from field research in two sectors of the Nile Valley of Northern Sudan dedicated to the exploration of human-environment interactions during the middle and late Holocene. This part of the Nile corridor contains a rich cultural record and an exceptionally well preserved Holocene fluvial archive. A distinctive feature of these records is the variety of evidence for interaction between desert and river over a range of spatial and temporal scales. This interaction presented both challenges and opportunities for its ancient inhabitants. This paper will present evidence for large-scale landscape changes driven by shifts in global climate. It will also show how we have integrated the archaeological and geological records in the Northern Dongola Reach and at Amara West - where long-term field projects led by archaeologists from the British Museum have recognised the importance of a sustained commitment to interdisciplinary research to achieve a fully integrated geoarchaeological approach across a range of scales. The former project is a large-scale landscape survey with multiple sites across an 80 km reach of the Nile whilst the latter has a strong focus on a single New Kingdom town site and changes in its environmental setting. By combining multiple archaeological and geological datasets - and pioneering the use of OSL dating and strontium isotope analysis in the Desert Nile - we have developed a new understanding of human responses to Holocene climate and landscape change in this region. Renfrew, C. (1976) Archaeology and the earth sciences. In: D.A. Davidson and M.I. Shackley (eds) Geoarchaeology: Earth Science and the Past, Duckworth, London, 1-5.

  10. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-09-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  11. Abiotic Factors Shape Microbial Diversity in Sonoran Desert Soils

    PubMed Central

    Fitak, Robert R.; Munguia-Vega, Adrian; Racolta, Adriana; Martinson, Vincent G.; Dontsova, Katerina

    2012-01-01

    High-throughput, culture-independent surveys of bacterial and archaeal communities in soil have illuminated the importance of both edaphic and biotic influences on microbial diversity, yet few studies compare the relative importance of these factors. Here, we employ multiplexed pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to examine soil- and cactus-associated rhizosphere microbial communities of the Sonoran Desert and the artificial desert biome of the Biosphere2 research facility. The results of our replicate sampling approach show that microbial communities are shaped primarily by soil characteristics associated with geographic locations, while rhizosphere associations are secondary factors. We found little difference between rhizosphere communities of the ecologically similar saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and cardón (Pachycereus pringlei) cacti. Both rhizosphere and soil communities were dominated by the disproportionately abundant Crenarchaeota class Thermoprotei, which comprised 18.7% of 183,320 total pyrosequencing reads from a comparatively small number (1,337 or 3.7%) of the 36,162 total operational taxonomic units (OTUs). OTUs common to both soil and rhizosphere samples comprised the bulk of raw sequence reads, suggesting that the shared community of soil and rhizosphere microbes constitute common and abundant taxa, particularly in the bacterial phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, and Acidobacteria. The vast majority of OTUs, however, were rare and unique to either soil or rhizosphere communities and differed among locations dozens of kilometers apart. Several soil properties, particularly soil pH and carbon content, were significantly correlated with community diversity measurements. Our results highlight the importance of culture-independent approaches in surveying microbial communities of extreme environments. PMID:22885757

  12. Scaling properties of rainfall and desert dust in the Canary Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peñate, I.; Martín-González, J. M.; Rodríguez, G.; Cianca, A.

    2013-12-01

    Precipitation and desert dust event occurrence time series measured in the Canary Islands region are examined with the primary intention of exploring their scaling characteristics as well as their spatial variability in terms of the island's topography and geographical orientation. In particular, the desert dust intrusion regime in the islands is studied in terms of its relationship with visibility. Analysis of dust and rainfall events over the archipelago exhibits distributions in time that obey power laws. Results show that the rain process presents a high clustering and irregular pattern on short timescales and a more scattered structure for long ones. In contrast, dustiness presents a more uniform and dense structure and, consequently, a more persistent behaviour on short timescales. It was observed that the fractal dimension of rainfall events shows an important spatial variability, which increases with altitude, as well as towards northern latitudes and western longitudes.

  13. Alternate non-stop migration strategies of pied flycatchers to cross the Sahara desert

    PubMed Central

    Both, Christiaan

    2016-01-01

    Each year more than two billion songbirds cross the Sahara, but how they perform this formidable task is largely unknown. Using geolocation tracks from 27 pied flycatchers, a nocturnally migrating passerine, we show that most birds made diurnal flights in both autumn and spring. These diurnal flights were estimated to be part of non-stop flights of mostly 40–60 h. In spring, birds flew across the Sahara, while autumn migration probably circumpassed part of the desert, through a long oversea flight. Our data contradict claims that passerines cross the Sahara by intermittent flight and daytime resting. The frequent occurrence of long non-stop flights to cross the desert shows migrants' physiological abilities and poses the question why this would not be the general migration strategy to cross the Sahara. PMID:27072404

  14. Observation of local cloud and moisture feedbacks over high ocean and desert surface temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chahine, Moustafa T.

    1995-01-01

    New data on clouds and moisture, made possible by reanalysis of weather satellite observations, show that the atmosphere reacts to warm clusters of very high sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific Ocean with increased moisture, cloudiness, and convection, suggesting a negative feedback limiting the sea surface temperature rise. The reverse was observed over dry and hot deserts where both moisture and cloudiness decrease, suggesting a positive feedback perpetuating existing desert conditions. In addition, the observations show a common critical surface temperature for both oceans and land; the distribution of atmospheric moisture is observed to reach a maximum value when the daily surface temperatures approach 304 +/- 1 K. These observations reveal complex dynamic-radiative interactions where multiple processes act simultaneously at the surface as well as in the atmosphere to regulate the feedback processes.

  15. Bioremediation of Crude Oil Contaminated Desert Soil: Effect of Biostimulation, Bioaugmentation and Bioavailability in Biopile Treatment Systems.

    PubMed

    Benyahia, Farid; Embaby, Ahmed Shams

    2016-02-15

    This work was aimed at evaluating the relative merits of bioaugmentation, biostimulation and surfactant-enhanced bioavailability of a desert soil contaminated by crude oil through biopile treatment. The results show that the desert soil required bioaugmentation and biostimulation for bioremediation of crude oil. The bioaugmented biopile system led to a total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) reduction of 77% over 156 days while the system with polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate (Tween 80) gave a 56% decrease in TPH. The biostimulated system with indigenous micro-organisms gave 23% reduction in TPH. The control system gave 4% TPH reduction. The addition of Tween 80 led to a respiration rate that peaked in 48 days compared to 88 days for the bioaugmented system and respiration declined rapidly due to nitrogen depletion. The residual hydrocarbon in the biopile systems studied contained polyaromatics (PAH) in quantities that may be considered as hazardous. Nitrogen was found to be a limiting nutrient in desert soil bioremediation.

  16. Bioremediation of Crude Oil Contaminated Desert Soil: Effect of Biostimulation, Bioaugmentation and Bioavailability in Biopile Treatment Systems

    PubMed Central

    Benyahia, Farid; Embaby, Ahmed Shams

    2016-01-01

    This work was aimed at evaluating the relative merits of bioaugmentation, biostimulation and surfactant-enhanced bioavailability of a desert soil contaminated by crude oil through biopile treatment. The results show that the desert soil required bioaugmentation and biostimulation for bioremediation of crude oil. The bioaugmented biopile system led to a total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) reduction of 77% over 156 days while the system with polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate (Tween 80) gave a 56% decrease in TPH. The biostimulated system with indigenous micro-organisms gave 23% reduction in TPH. The control system gave 4% TPH reduction. The addition of Tween 80 led to a respiration rate that peaked in 48 days compared to 88 days for the bioaugmented system and respiration declined rapidly due to nitrogen depletion. The residual hydrocarbon in the biopile systems studied contained polyaromatics (PAH) in quantities that may be considered as hazardous. Nitrogen was found to be a limiting nutrient in desert soil bioremediation. PMID:26891314

  17. 43 CFR 2524.5 - Assignment of desert-land entries in whole or in part.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Assignment of desert-land entries in whole... (Continued) BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR LAND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.5 Assignment of desert-land entries...

  18. 43 CFR 2524.1 - Conditions excusing entrymen from compliance with the desert-land laws.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... compliance with the desert-land laws. 2524.1 Section 2524.1 Public Lands: Interior Regulations Relating to... (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.1 Conditions excusing entrymen from compliance with the desert-land laws. (a) By section 5 of the Act of June 27, 1906 (34...

  19. 43 CFR 2524.5 - Assignment of desert-land entries in whole or in part.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Assignment of desert-land entries in whole... (Continued) BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR LAND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.5 Assignment of desert-land entries...

  20. 43 CFR 2524.5 - Assignment of desert-land entries in whole or in part.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Assignment of desert-land entries in whole... (Continued) BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR LAND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.5 Assignment of desert-land entries...

  1. 43 CFR 2524.5 - Assignment of desert-land entries in whole or in part.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Assignment of desert-land entries in whole... (Continued) BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR LAND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.5 Assignment of desert-land entries...

  2. 43 CFR 2524.1 - Conditions excusing entrymen from compliance with the desert-land laws.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... compliance with the desert-land laws. 2524.1 Section 2524.1 Public Lands: Interior Regulations Relating to... (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.1 Conditions excusing entrymen from compliance with the desert-land laws. (a) By section 5 of the Act of June 27, 1906 (34...

  3. 43 CFR 2524.1 - Conditions excusing entrymen from compliance with the desert-land laws.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... compliance with the desert-land laws. 2524.1 Section 2524.1 Public Lands: Interior Regulations Relating to... (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.1 Conditions excusing entrymen from compliance with the desert-land laws. (a) By section 5 of the Act of June 27, 1906 (34...

  4. 43 CFR 2524.1 - Conditions excusing entrymen from compliance with the desert-land laws.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... compliance with the desert-land laws. 2524.1 Section 2524.1 Public Lands: Interior Regulations Relating to... (2000) DESERT-LAND ENTRIES Desert-Land Entries Within a Reclamation Project § 2524.1 Conditions excusing entrymen from compliance with the desert-land laws. (a) By section 5 of the Act of June 27, 1906 (34...

  5. Landscape histories, livestock management, and mesquite expansion in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During the past 125 years the northern Chihuahuan Desert has undergone a significant shift from desert grasslands to desert scrub conditions, with mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) dramatically increasing in dominance during this period. The transition from desert grasslands is viewed as deleterious, ...

  6. Public medical shows.

    PubMed

    Walusinski, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    In the second half of the 19th century, Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) became famous for the quality of his teaching and his innovative neurological discoveries, bringing many French and foreign students to Paris. A hunger for recognition, together with progressive and anticlerical ideals, led Charcot to invite writers, journalists, and politicians to his lessons, during which he presented the results of his work on hysteria. These events became public performances, for which physicians and patients were transformed into actors. Major newspapers ran accounts of these consultations, more like theatrical shows in some respects. The resultant enthusiasm prompted other physicians in Paris and throughout France to try and imitate them. We will compare the form and substance of Charcot's lessons with those given by Jules-Bernard Luys (1828-1897), Victor Dumontpallier (1826-1899), Ambroise-Auguste Liébault (1823-1904), Hippolyte Bernheim (1840-1919), Joseph Grasset (1849-1918), and Albert Pitres (1848-1928). We will also note their impact on contemporary cinema and theatre.

  7. Conquering the Sahara and Arabian deserts: systematics and biogeography of Stenodactylus geckos (Reptilia: Gekkonidae)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The evolutionary history of the biota of North Africa and Arabia is inextricably tied to the complex geological and climatic evolution that gave rise to the prevalent deserts of these areas. Reptiles constitute an exemplary group in the study of the arid environments with numerous well-adapted members, while recent studies using reptiles as models have unveiled interesting biogeographical and diversification patterns. In this study, we include 207 specimens belonging to all 12 recognized species of the genus Stenodactylus. Molecular phylogenies inferred using two mitochondrial (12S rRNA and 16S rRNA) and two nuclear (c-mos and RAG-2) markers are employed to obtain a robust time-calibrated phylogeny, as the base to investigate the inter- and intraspecific relationships and to elucidate the biogeographical history of Stenodactylus, a genus with a large distribution range including the arid and hyper-arid areas of North Africa and Arabia. Results The phylogenetic analyses of molecular data reveal the existence of three major clades within the genus Stenodactylus, which is supported by previous studies based on morphology. Estimated divergence times between clades and sub-clades are shown to correlate with major geological events of the region, the most important of which is the opening of the Red Sea, while climatic instability in the Miocene is hypothesized to have triggered diversification. High genetic variability is observed in some species, suggesting the existence of some undescribed species. The S. petrii - S. stenurus species complex is in need of a thorough taxonomic revision. New data is presented on the distribution of the sister species S. sthenodactylus and S. mauritanicus. Conclusions The phylogenetic hypothesis for the genus Stenodactylus presented in this work permits the reconstruction of the biogeographical history of these common desert dwellers and confirms the importance of the opening of the Red Sea and the climatic oscillations of the

  8. Parameterized desert/clear atmosphere limb-darkening model derived from earth radiation budget satellite along-track measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brooks, David R.; Fenn, Marta A.

    1989-01-01

    A parameterized desert/clear atmosphere limb-darkening model was derived using longwave measurements from the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite operating in a unique along-track mode that allows all points along the ground track to be viewed over an entire range of viewing zenith angles at essentially constant solar zenith angle. Application of the model to radiances for scenes defined as clear desert by the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment data analysis algorithms shows that this parameterized model reflects the geographical and diurnal behavior expected for the limb-darkening phenomenon.

  9. The Great Cometary Show

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-01-01

    its high spatial and spectral resolution, it was possible to zoom into the very heart of this very massive star. In this innermost region, the observations are dominated by the extremely dense stellar wind that totally obscures the underlying central star. The AMBER observations show that this dense stellar wind is not spherically symmetric, but exhibits a clearly elongated structure. Overall, the AMBER observations confirm that the extremely high mass loss of Eta Carinae's massive central star is non-spherical and much stronger along the poles than in the equatorial plane. This is in agreement with theoretical models that predict such an enhanced polar mass-loss in the case of rapidly rotating stars. ESO PR Photo 06c/07 ESO PR Photo 06c/07 RS Ophiuchi in Outburst Several papers from this special feature focus on the later stages in a star's life. One looks at the binary system Gamma 2 Velorum, which contains the closest example of a star known as a Wolf-Rayet. A single AMBER observation allowed the astronomers to separate the spectra of the two components, offering new insights in the modeling of Wolf-Rayet stars, but made it also possible to measure the separation between the two stars. This led to a new determination of the distance of the system, showing that previous estimates were incorrect. The observations also revealed information on the region where the winds from the two stars collide. The famous binary system RS Ophiuchi, an example of a recurrent nova, was observed just 5 days after it was discovered to be in outburst on 12 February 2006, an event that has been expected for 21 years. AMBER was able to detect the extension of the expanding nova emission. These observations show a complex geometry and kinematics, far from the simple interpretation of a spherical fireball in extension. AMBER has detected a high velocity jet probably perpendicular to the orbital plane of the binary system, and allowed a precise and careful study of the wind and the shockwave

  10. Gopherus agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Non-native seed dispersal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ennen, J.R.; Loughran, Caleb L.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    Sahara Mustard (Brassica tournefortii) is a non-native, highly invasive weed species of southwestern U.S. deserts. Sahara Mustard is a hardy species, which flourishes under many conditions including drought and in both disturbed and undisturbed habitats (West and Nabhan 2002. In B. Tellman [ed.], Invasive Plants: Their Occurrence and Possible Impact on the Central Gulf Coast of Sonora and the Midriff Islands in the Sea of Cortes, pp. 91–111. University of Arizona Press, Tucson). Because of this species’ ability to thrive in these habitats, B. tournefortii has been able to propagate throughout the southwestern United States establishing itself in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. Unfortunately, naturally disturbed areas created by native species, such as the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), within these deserts could have facilitated the propagation of B. tournefortii. (Lovich 1998. In R. G. Westbrooks [ed.], Invasive Plants, Changing the Landscape of America: Fact Book, p. 77. Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds [FICMNEW], Washington, DC). However, Desert Tortoises have never been directly observed dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds. Here we present observations of two Desert Tortoises dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds at the interface between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in California.

  11. Stretched View Showing 'Victoria'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Stretched View Showing 'Victoria'

    This pair of images from the panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity served as initial confirmation that the two-year-old rover is within sight of 'Victoria Crater,' which it has been approaching for more than a year. Engineers on the rover team were unsure whether Opportunity would make it as far as Victoria, but scientists hoped for the chance to study such a large crater with their roving geologist. Victoria Crater is 800 meters (nearly half a mile) in diameter, about six times wider than 'Endurance Crater,' where Opportunity spent several months in 2004 examining rock layers affected by ancient water.

    When scientists using orbital data calculated that they should be able to detect Victoria's rim in rover images, they scrutinized frames taken in the direction of the crater by the panoramic camera. To positively characterize the subtle horizon profile of the crater and some of the features leading up to it, researchers created a vertically-stretched image (top) from a mosaic of regular frames from the panoramic camera (bottom), taken on Opportunity's 804th Martian day (April 29, 2006).

    The stretched image makes mild nearby dunes look like more threatening peaks, but that is only a result of the exaggerated vertical dimension. This vertical stretch technique was first applied to Viking Lander 2 panoramas by Philip Stooke, of the University of Western Ontario, Canada, to help locate the lander with respect to orbiter images. Vertically stretching the image allows features to be more readily identified by the Mars Exploration Rover science team.

    The bright white dot near the horizon to the right of center (barely visible without labeling or zoom-in) is thought to be a light-toned outcrop on the far wall of the crater, suggesting that the rover can see over the low rim of Victoria. In figure 1, the northeast and southeast rims are labeled

  12. Relationship between desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål), infestation, environmental factors and control measures in Gazan and Makkah Regions, Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al-Ajlan, Abdulaziz M

    2007-10-15

    Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål), is one of the most important insect pests in Saudi Arabia. Cultivated crops and the range lands are heavily affected by desert locust in some regions of Saudi Arabia. The objective of this study was to determine the extent of damage by the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) to the range lands being used for grazing range animals in Gazan and Makkah regions of Saudi Arabia. However, it is very difficult to estimate accurately the total infested areas, which were sprayed with insecticides to control upsurges, outbreaks and plagues over the last five decades. Records of Desert Locust control are kept in the National Desert Locust Control and Research Center in Jeddah. Meteorological data was obtained from the Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration (MEPA), Saudi Arabia. The data shows that the Desert Locust infestation was associated partially with the rainfall intensity in Gazan and Makkah regions. There was found a good relationship between Desert Locust infestation (Solitary phase), temperature and the relative humidity. The locust infestation was heavy during 1986-88, 1992-95 and 1997-98 and about 1.8 million ha were treated with insecticides. Out of the total breeding/infested area, 43% was treated in winter months (October-February) and the remaining 57% was treated in spring season (March-June). The infested area was sprayed with Marshall, Carbosulfan (20%), Malathion (96%, Clorpyrifos; (48%) Fipronil (12.5%), Sumithion (100%) and Decis (12.5%). The study showed an excellent potential to determine the active locust infestation period in relation to the environmental factors for its effective control with insecticide sprays to minimize crop damage. The study highlighted the needs for further investigations in other locust infested areas with different environmental factors for planning future desert locust control programs.

  13. Climatological analysis of aerosol optical properties over East Africa observed from space-borne sensors during 2001-2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boiyo, Richard; Kumar, K. Raghavendra; Zhao, Tianliang; Bao, Yansong

    2017-03-01

    The present study is aimed at analyzing spatial and temporal characteristics of aerosols retrieved from MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) sensors over East Africa (EA). Data spanning for a period of 15 years during 2001-2015 was used to investigate aerosol optical depth (AOD550), Ångstrom exponent (AE470-660) and absorption aerosol Index (AAI) over EA and selected locations within EA. Validation results of MODIS-Terra versus the Aerosol Robotic NETwork (AERONET) AOD550 revealed that the former underestimated aerosol loading over the studied regions due to uncertainties in surface reflectance. The annual mean AOD550, AAI, and AE470-660 were found to be 0.20 ± 0.01, 0.81 ± 0.03, and 1.39 ± 0.01, respectively with peak values observed during the local dry seasons. The spatial seasonal distributions of mean AOD550 suggested high (low) values during the local dry (wet) periods. The high AOD values found along the borders of southwest of Uganda were attributed to smoke particles; while higher (lower) values of AE470-660 (AAI) dominated most parts of the study domain. Low AOD (0.1-0.2) centers were located in high-altitude regions with relatively high vegetation cover over western and central parts of Kenya, and central and northern parts of Tanzania. Furthermore, latitudinal and longitudinal gradients in AOD550 showed a "southern low and northern high" and a "western low and eastern high" profile, respectively during JJA, as other seasons showed heterogeneous variations. Trend analysis revealed a general increase in AOD and AAI and a decrease in AE; while impact factors significantly affected AOD distribution over EA. HYSPLIT back trajectory analyses revealed diverse transport pathways originated from the Arabian Deserts, central Africa, and southwest of Indian Ocean along with locally produced aerosols during different seasons.

  14. Cholera outbreaks in Africa.

    PubMed

    Mengel, Martin A; Delrieu, Isabelle; Heyerdahl, Leonard; Gessner, Bradford D

    2014-01-01

    During the current seventh cholera pandemic, Africa bore the major brunt of global disease burden. More than 40 years after its resurgence in Africa in 1970, cholera remains a grave public health problem, characterized by large disease burden, frequent outbreaks, persistent endemicity, and high CFRs, particularly in the region of the central African Great Lakes which might act as reservoirs for cholera. There, cases occur year round with a rise in incidence during the rainy season. Elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, cholera occurs mostly in outbreaks of varying size with a constant threat of widespread epidemics. Between 1970 and 2011, African countries reported 3,221,050 suspected cholera cases to the World Health Organization, representing 46 % of all cases reported globally. Excluding the Haitian epidemic, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 86 % of reported cases and 99 % of deaths worldwide in 2011. The number of cholera cases is possibly much higher than what is reported to the WHO due to the variation in modalities, completeness, and case definition of national cholera data. One source on country specific incidence rates for Africa, adjusting for underreporting, estimates 1,341,080 cases and 160,930 deaths (52.6 % of 2,548,227 estimated cases and 79.6 % of 209,216 estimated deaths worldwide). Another estimates 1,411,453 cases and 53,632 deaths per year, respectively (50 % of 2,836,669 estimated cases and 58.6 % of 91,490 estimated deaths worldwide). Within Africa, half of all cases between 1970 and 2011 were notified from only seven countries: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, and South Africa. In contrast to a global trend of decreasing case fatality ratios (CFRs), CFRs have remained stable in Africa at approximately 2 %. Early propagation of cholera outbreaks depends largely on the extent of individual bacterial shedding, host and organism characteristics, the likelihood of people coming into contact with

  15. Geomorphometirc Segmentation of Shield Deserts by Self-Organizing Maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foroutan, M.; Kompanizare, M.; Ehsani, A. H.

    2015-12-01

    Shield deserts have developed on ancient crystalline bedrocks and mainly composed of folded and faulted rocks hardened by heat and pressure over millions of years. They were unearthed by erosion and form steep-sided hills and basins filled with sediments. The Sahara, Arabian, southern African, central Kavir and Australian deserts are in this group. Their ranges usually supply groundwater resources or in some regions contain huge oil reservoirs. Geomorphological segmentation of shield deserts is one of the fundamental tools in their land use or site investigation planning as well as in their surface water and groundwater management. In many studies the morphology of shield deserts has been investigated by limited qualitative and subjective methods using limited number of simple parameters such as surface elevation and slope. However the importance of these regions supports the need for their accurate and quantitative morphologic classification. The present study attempts to implement a quantitative method, Self-Organizing Map (SOM), for geomorphological classification of a typical shield desert within Kavir Desert, Iran. The area is tectonically stable and characterized by flat clay pans, playas, well-developed pediments around scattered and low elevation ranges. Twenty-two multi-scale morphometric parameters were derived from the first- to third-orders partial derivatives of the surface elevation. Seven optimized parameters with their proper scales were selected by Artificial Neural Networks, Optimum Index Factor, Davies-Bouldin Index and statistic models. Finally, the area was segmented to seven homogeneous areas by SOM algorithm. The results revealed the most distinguishing parameter set (MDPS) for morphologic segmentation of shield deserts. The same segmentation results through using MDPS for another shield deserts in Australia proves the applicability of MDPS for shield deserts segmentation.

  16. Nephrology in Africa--not yet uhuru.

    PubMed

    Swanepoel, Charles R; Wearne, Nicola; Okpechi, Ikechi G

    2013-10-01

    Nephrology is a 'Cinderella speciality', a disregarded area of health care, in Africa. Other health issues have relegated the treatment of kidney diseases to a low priority status, and the cost of treating the more common and widespread communicable diseases, financial mismanagement and corruption in many countries has sounded the death knell for expensive therapies such as dialysis. The communicable diseases that have devastated the health systems around Africa are tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Until recently, very little information was available on the impact of HIV on acute and chronic dialysis admissions. Patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) in most of Africa are seldom treated because of great distances to travel, lack of expertise, poverty and poor sustainable funding for health matters. An acute peritoneal dialysis (PD) programme has now been initiated in Tanzania but the sustainability of this project will be tested in the future. The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) has developed a training programme for nephrologists from developing countries, which may now be bearing fruit. A report from the sub-Saharan Africa region shows that the numbers of patients on dialysis and those diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) has increased significantly. Other ISN-sponsored programmes such as Continuing Medical Education activities for physicians and community screening projects have had far-reaching positive effects. Government funding for a dialysis programme is well established in South Africa, but this funding is limited so that the numbers accepted for public dialysis are restricted. Consequently in the Western Cape province of South Africa, a 'category system' has been formulated to attempt to cope with this unacceptable and restrictive ruling.

  17. A study of morphology, provenance, and movement of desert sand seas in Africa, Asia, and Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckee, E. D.; Breed, C. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The regional studies of sand seas made possible by analysis of ERTS-1 imagery have established that widespread patterns of eolian sand deposition exist in many places and that similarities and differences in these patterns can be measured and compared, on a worldwide scale. Analysis of the relationships of depositional patterns to controlling factors will require completion of the color mosaics of the test sites, and acquisition of adequate supporting ground truth data, especially wind data. Once analyses are complete, the results will be applicable to the regional study of ancient eolian sandstones. Such sandstones were formed many millions of years ago under conditions believed to be identical to those under which the sand seas that are observed being formed today. The understanding of the deposition of eolian sands provided by analysis of ERTS-1 imagery will be applicable to an understanding of the structure and distribution of ancient eolian sandstones and their potential as reservoirs of oil and water.

  18. A study of morphology, provenance, and movement of desert sand seas in Africa, Asia, and Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckee, E. D.; Breed, C. S.

    1973-01-01

    A description and classification of major types of sand seas on the basis of morphological pattern and lineation are discussed. The steps involved in analyzing the patterns of deposits on ERTS-1 imagery, where the visible forms are mostly dune complexes rather than individual dunes are outlined. After completion of thematic maps portraying the pattern and lineation of the sand bodies, data on directions and intensity of prevailing and other winds are plotted on corresponding bases, as a preliminary to determination of internal structures through ground truth.

  19. Desert Research and Technology Studies 2005 Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Amy J.; Kosmo, Joseph J.; Janoiko, Barbara A.; Bernard, Craig; Splawn, Keith; Eppler, Dean B.

    2006-01-01

    During the first two weeks of September 2005, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) Advanced Extravehicular Activity (AEVA) team led the field test portion of the 2005 Research and Technology Studies (RATS). The Desert RATS field test activity is the culmination of the various individual science and advanced engineering discipline areas year-long technology and operations development efforts into a coordinated field test demonstration under representative (analog) planetary surface terrain conditions. The purpose of the RATS is to drive out preliminary exploration concept of operations EVA system requirements by providing hands-on experience with simulated planetary surface exploration extravehicular activity (EVA) hardware and procedures. The RATS activities also are of significant importance in helping to develop the necessary levels of technical skills and experience for the next generation of engineers, scientists, technicians, and astronauts who will be responsible for realizing the goals of the Constellation Program. The 2005 Desert RATS was the eighth RATS field test and was the most systems-oriented, integrated field test to date with participants from NASA field centers, the United States Geologic Survey (USGS), industry partners, and research institutes. Each week of the test, the 2005 RATS addressed specific sets of objectives. The first week focused on the performance of surface science astro-biological sampling operations, including planetary protection considerations and procedures. The second week supported evaluation of the Science, Crew, Operations, and Utility Testbed (SCOUT) proto-type rover and its sub-systems. Throughout the duration of the field test, the Communications, Avionics, and Infomatics pack (CAI-pack) was tested. This year the CAI-pack served to provide information on surface navigation, science sample collection procedures, and EVA timeline awareness. Additionally, 2005 was the first

  20. Geolab 2010: Desert Rats Field Demonstration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Cindy A.; Calaway, M. J.; Bell, M. S.

    2009-01-01

    In 2010, Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS), NASA's annual field exercise designed to test spacesuit and rover technologies, will include a first generation lunar habitat facility, the Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU). The habitat will participate in joint operations in northern Arizona with the Lunar Electric Rover (LER) and will be used as a multi-use laboratory and working space. A Geology Laboratory or GeoLab is included in the HDU design. Historically, science participation in Desert RATS exercises has supported the technology demonstrations with geological traverse activities that are consistent with preliminary concepts for lunar surface science Extravehicular Activities (EVAs). Next year s HDU demonstration is a starting point to guide the development of requirements for the Lunar Surface Systems Program and test initial operational concepts for an early lunar excursion habitat that would follow geological traverses along with the LER. For the GeoLab, these objectives are specifically applied to support future geological surface science activities. The goal of our GeoLab is to enhance geological science returns with the infrastructure that supports preliminary examination, early analytical characterization of key samples, and high-grading lunar samples for return to Earth [1, 2] . Figure 1: Inside view schematic of the GeoLab a 1/8 section of the HDU, including a glovebox for handling and examining geological samples. Other outfitting facilities are not depicted in this figure. GeoLab Description: The centerpiece of the GeoLab is a glovebox, allowing for samples to be brought into the habitat in a protected environment for preliminary examination (see Fig. 1). The glovebox will be attached to the habitat bulkhead and contain three sample pass-through antechambers that would allow direct transfer of samples from outside the HDU to inside the glovebox. We will evaluate the need for redundant chambers, and other uses for the glovebox

  1. South Africa as seen from STS-63 Discovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The southwest coast of southern Africa from St. Helena Bay (large bay at center), to Table Bay at Cape Town (bottom, with Robben Island near entrance). The pier at the naval base and fishing port of Saldhanaha Bay can be seen in the small bay (center). False Bay is cut off by the bottom edge of the frame. What NASA scientists think to be a phytoplankton bloom appears offshore in the cold upwelled water off the Atlantic coast. Farmland, especially that used for wine growing, is found near the coast occupying the Mediterranian-like climate of the Southwest Cape Province; but inland of the mountains of the Karroo Desert is home to sheep farmers and little agriculture.

  2. 'Africa Alive Corridors': Forging a new future for the people of Africa by the people of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felix Toteu, Sadrack; Malcolm Anderson, John; de Wit, Maarten

    2010-11-01

    design of one Corridor (AAC 4 - through Cameroon and Nigeria) that we have named the ' African Pole of Rotation' Corridor. We outline its significance in Africa, and the world, and formulate an approach in forging its reality in the countries through which it passes. We show how the uniqueness of this and other Corridors, as "global heritage trails", might translate into holistic lasting benefit for all. AAC aims to draw all 900 million Africans of every background and persuasion into co-curating, co-documenting and together keeping alive their continent's unmatched heritage - an epic and unfolding story.

  3. Desert disturbance assessments of regional oil exploitation by Aster and ETM+ images in Taklimakan Desert China.

    PubMed

    Ouyang, Wei; Hao, Fang-Hua; Fu, Yongshuo; Zhang, Jiaxun

    2008-09-01

    To feed its rapidly growing energy demand, oil exploitation in China has never been more intensive. The most obvious characteristics of oil exploitation are progressive and regional, which can be monitored by remote sensing, such as land use and cover change, either perpetual or temporary, during oil field development such as construction of oil well, roads, transportation systems and other facilities. In this paper, the oil field located on the north edge of Taklimakan Desert, in the Tarim River watershed in northwest of China. The disturbance effects of regional oil exploitation were the main content of regional environmental managements and monitoring. Based on Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Aster images, analyzed regional land use and landscape change from 2001 to 2003. By the comparison, it can be concluded that the ecological quality was deteriorating in these 3 years. The woodland was degrading to grass and desert. The area of woodland dropped from 9.06 km(2) in 2001 to 3.24 km(2) in 2003 with a 64.23% decrease. At the same time, the area of shrubbery lessened 18.23%. On the other hand, the whole area of desert and Saline soils inflated from 15.08 km(2) in 2001 to 25.36 km(2) in 2003. The patch number of bare land did climb dramatically, but single patch area increased. The research demonstrated that desert and Saline soils patches were activated by the human behavior and climate change. The information from the ETM+ and Aster images was proved be an effective and efficient way to be applied in regional environmental managements.

  4. Intercomparison of MODIS-Aqua C051 and C006 Level 3 Deep Blue AOD and Ångström exponent retrievals over the Sahara desert and the Arabian Peninsula during the period 2002-2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gkikas, Antonis; Basart, Sara; Korras-Carraca, Marios; Papadimas, Christos; Hatzianastassiou, Nikos; Sayer, Andrew; Hsu, Christina; Baldasano, Jose Maria

    2015-04-01

    Dust loads emitted from the arid regions of Northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula account for the major portion of the global dust aerosol burden. Depending on prevailing atmospheric circulation they can be transported far away from their source areas. Considering the key role of dust aerosols to weather and climate a better description of their spatial and temporal variability it is an issue of great importance. The main target of the present study is to describe aerosols' regime over Northern Africa and Arabian Peninsula using Deep Blue aerosol optical depth (AOD550nm) and Ångström exponent (α412-470nm) measurements. Given the applied changes to the retrieval algorithm, emphasis is also given to the inter-comparison between the data from Collections 051 and 006. The analysis is performed using MODIS-Aqua daily Level 3 data at 1°x1° spatial resolution over the period 2002-2014. The study region extends from 20°W to 60°E and from 0° to 40°N. The obtained long-term geographical distributions reveal many similarities between C051 and C006 AOD retrievals. They both indicate a zone of high AODs along the parallel of 15°N, extending from the western coasts of Africa to Chad where the maximum values (~1.3) are recorded. In the Arabian Peninsula, the maximum AODs (up to 0.6) are found in Iraq. On the contrary, more apparent differences between the two collections are found for α412-470nm. It is evident a reduction of C006 retrievals, which is more pronounced across the Sahara desert. In C006, the α412-470nm values over the deserts of Northern Africa and Middle East mostly vary from 0 to 0.6 while higher values (up to 1.5) are observed in sub-sahel regions, west coasts of Saudi Arabia and Iran. During the study period, in both collections, AOD has decreased by up to 93% in N. Africa (northern parts of Algeria) while it has increased by up to 70% in the Middle East (northern parts of Iraq). Reversed tendencies are found for the α412-470nm retrievals. For

  5. The Challenge of Modeling the Meteorology of Dust Emission: Lessons Learned from the Desert Storms Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knippertz, P.; Marsham, J. H.; Cowie, S. M.; Fiedler, S.; Heinold, B.; Jemmett-Smith, B. C.; Pantillon, F.; Schepanski, K.; Roberts, A. J.; Pope, R.; Gilkeson, C. A.; Hubel, E.

    2015-12-01

    Mineral dust plays an important role in the Earth system, but a reliable quantification of the global dust budget is still not possible due to a lack of observations and insufficient representation of relevant processes in climate and weather models. Five years ago, the Desert Storms project funded by the European Research Council set out to reduce these uncertainties. Its aims were to (1) improve the understanding of key meteorological mechanisms of peak wind generation in dust emission regions (particularly in northern Africa), (2) assess their relative importance, (3) evaluate their representation in models, (4) determine model sensitivities with respect to resolution and model physics, and (5) explore the usefulness of new approaches for model improvements. Here we give an overview of the most significant findings: (1) The morning breakdown of nocturnal low-level jets is an important emission mechanism, but details depend crucially on nighttime stability, which is often badly handled by models. (2) Convective cold pools are a key control on summertime dust emission over northern Africa, directly and through their influence on the heat low; they are severely misrepresented by models using parameterized convection. A new scheme based on downdraft mass flux has been developed that can mitigate this problem. (3) Mobile cyclones make a relatively unimportant contribution, except for northeastern Africa in spring. (4) A new global climatology of dust devils identifies local hotspots but suggests a minor contribution to the global dust budget in contrast to previous studies. A new dust-devil parameterization based on data from large-eddy simulations will be presented. (5) The lack of sufficient observations and misrepresentation of physical processes lead to a considerable uncertainty and biases in (re)analysis products. (6) Variations in vegetation-related surface roughness create small-scale wind variability and support long-term dust trends in semi-arid areas.

  6. The Challenge of Modelling the Meteorology of Dust Emission: Lessons Learned from the Desert Storms Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knippertz, Peter; Marsham, John H.; Cowie, Sophie; Fiedler, Stephanie; Heinold, Bernd; Jemmett-Smith, Bradley; Pantillon, Florian; Schepanski, Kerstin; Roberts, Alexander; Pope, Richard; Gilkeson, Carl; Hubel, Eva

    2016-04-01

    Mineral dust plays an important role in the Earth system, but a reliable quantification of the global dust budget is still not possible due to a lack of observations and insufficient representation of relevant processes in climate and weather models. Five years ago, the Desert Storms project funded by the European Research Council set out to reduce these uncertainties. Its aims were to (1) improve the understanding of key meteorological mechanisms of peak wind generation in dust emission regions (particularly in northern Africa), (2) assess their relative importance, (3) evaluate their representation in models, (4) determine model sensitivities with respect to resolution and model physics, and (5) explore the usefulness of new approaches for model improvements. Here we give an overview of the most significant findings: (1) The morning breakdown of nocturnal low-level jets is an important emission mechanism, but details depend crucially on nighttime stability, which is often badly handled by models. (2) Convective cold pools are a key control on summertime dust emission over northern Africa, directly and through their influence on the heat low; they are severely misrepresented by models using parameterized convection. A new scheme based on downdraft mass flux has been developed that can mitigate this problem. (3) Mobile cyclones make a relatively unimportant contribution, except for northeastern Africa in spring. (4) A new global climatology of dust devils identifies local hotspots but suggests a minor contribution to the global dust budget in contrast to previous studies. A new dust-devil parameterization based on data from large-eddy simulations will be presented. (5) The lack of sufficient observations and misrepresentation of physical processes lead to a considerable uncertainty and biases in (re)analysis products. (6) Variations in vegetation-related surface roughness create small-scale wind variability and support long-term dust trends in semi-arid areas.

  7. [The paths get shorter. Pastoral nomadism as an adapted way of life in deserts].

    PubMed

    Schwartz, H J; Schwartz, S

    1981-11-27

    Pastoral nomadism, as a way of life adapted to marginally exploitable land and climatic conditions, is the sole chance for using the desert to support people. Nonetheless, this lifestyle has suffered great harm in the last 2 decades and has come under fire from experts as a non-productive and environmentally damaging type of economy. This attitude however ignores the historical viability of this system which has been used for thousands of years. It is estimated that 350 million individuals worldwide live in the so-called savannah-ecosystem, i.e. on natural grassland. Roughly 1/5 are nomadic herders; half of them, 45 million, live in Africa south of the Sahara, and use more than 1/3 of the total area of the continent. Losses of available land since the late 1940s due to growth of agriculturally-oriented population groups, the concomitant increase in cultivated land, and establishment of natural parks and wildlife preserves have greatly restricted seasonal migration of nomads and their herds. This in turn has degraded pasturage from overgrazing. The final result is a deadly spiral of shrinking pasture and increasing usage of the remaining land. Ultimately vegetation is totally destroyed by this kind of pressure. Although land regeneration potential is high, it cannot withstand continuous burdens of this magnitude. Thus pastoral nomadism in Africa is almost extinct in its mature and intact forms. This reduced system is self-destructive and is no longer viable. In view of the critical food shortage in Africa, efforts should be made to re-establish a more viable, fully nomadic system linked to national markets and social services.

  8. Mapping perennial vegetation cover in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.

    2011-01-01

    Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Geographic Science Center have recently created a regional map of perennial vegetation cover for the Mojave Desert. The scientists used existing field data collected for a variety of previous studies and satellite data available for free through USGS archives to create a calibrated model of percent vegetation cover, an important attribute of desert ecosystems. This map is being used to inform ongoing scientific investigations and land-management efforts, including endangered species habitat mapping and vulnerability and recoverability studies of desert landscapes in the arid Southwest.

  9. Human origins: Out of Africa

    PubMed Central

    Tattersall, Ian

    2009-01-01

    Our species, Homo sapiens, is highly autapomorphic (uniquely derived) among hominids in the structure of its skull and postcranial skeleton. It is also sharply distinguished from other organisms by its unique symbolic mode of cognition. The fossil and archaeological records combine to show fairly clearly that our physical and cognitive attributes both first appeared in Africa, but at different times. Essentially modern bony conformation was established in that continent by the 200–150 Ka range (a dating in good agreement with dates for the origin of H. sapiens derived from modern molecular diversity). The event concerned was apparently short-term because it is essentially unanticipated in the fossil record. In contrast, the first convincing stirrings of symbolic behavior are not currently detectable until (possibly well) after 100 Ka. The radical reorganization of gene expression that underwrote the distinctive physical appearance of H. sapiens was probably also responsible for the neural substrate that permits symbolic cognition. This exaptively acquired potential lay unexploited until it was “discovered” via a cultural stimulus, plausibly the invention of language. Modern humans appear to have definitively exited Africa to populate the rest of the globe only after both their physical and cognitive peculiarities had been acquired within that continent. PMID:19805256

  10. Potential Climate Effects of Dust Aerosols' over West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    JI, Z.; Wang, G.; Pal, J. S.; Yu, M.

    2014-12-01

    Climate in West Africa is under the influence of the West African monsoon circulation and mineral dust emitted from the Sahara desert (which is the world's largest source of mineral dust emission). Dust aerosols alter the atmospheric radiative fluxes and act as cloud condensation nuclei in the process of emission, transportation and deposition. However, our understanding regarding how dust aerosols influence the present-day and future climate of West Africa is very limited. In this study, a regional climate model RegCM4.3.4-CLM4.5 is used to investigate the potential climatic effects of dust aerosols both in present (1981-2000) and future (2081-2100) periods over WA. First, the model performance and dust climatic effects are evaluated. The contribution of dust climatic effects under RCP8.5 scenario and their confounding effects with land use change are assessed. Our results indicate that the model can reproduce with reasonable accuracy the spatial and temporal distribution of climatology, aerosol optical depth and surface concentration over WA. The shortwave radiative forcing of dust is negative in the surface and positive in the atmosphere, with greater changes in JJA and MAM compared to those in SON and DJF. Over most of West Africa, cooling is the dominant effect on temperature. Their impact on precipitation features a dipole pattern, with decrease in the north and increase in the south of West Africa. Despite the dust-induced decrease of precipitation amount, dusts cause extreme precipitation to increase. To evaluate the uncertainties surrounding our modeling results, sensitivity experiments driven by ICBC from MIROC-ESM and CESM and their dynamic downscaling results are used for comparisons. Results from these sensitivity experiments indicate that the impact of dust aerosols on present and future climate is robust.

  11. Transport of desert dust mixed with North African industrial pollutants in the subtropical Saharan Air Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, S.; Alastuey, A.; Alonso-Pérez, S.; Querol, X.; Cuevas, E.; Abreu-Afonso, J.; Viana, M.; Pérez, N.; Pandolfi, M.; de La Rosa, J.

    2011-07-01

    An analysis of chemical composition data of particulate matter samples (TSP, PM10 and PM2.5) collected from 2002 to 2008 in the North Atlantic free troposphere at the Izaña Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) observatory (Tenerife, Canary Islands) shows that desert dust is very frequently mixed with particulate pollutants in the Saharan Air Layer (SAL). The study of this data set with Median Concentrations At Receptor (MCAR) plots allowed the identification of the potential source regions of the dust and particulate pollutants. Areas located at the south of the southern slope of the Atlas mountains emerge as the most frequent source of the soil desert dust advected to the northern edge of the SAL in summer. Industrial emissions occurring in Northern Algeria, Eastern Algeria, Tunisia and the Atlantic coast of Morocco appear as the most important source of the nitrate, ammonium and a fraction of sulphate (at least 60 % of the sulphate <10 μm transported from some regions) observed in the SAL. These emissions are mostly linked to crude oil refineries, phosphate-based fertilizer industry and power plants. Although desert dust emissions appear as the most frequent source of the phosphorous observed in the SAL, high P concentrations are observed when the SAL is affected by emissions from open mines of phosphate and phosphate based fertilizer industry. The results also show that a significant fraction of the sulphate (up to 90 % of sulphate <10 μm transported from some regions) observed in the SAL may be influenced by soil emissions of evaporite minerals in well defined regions where dry saline lakes (chotts) are present. These interpretations of the MCAR plots are consistent with the results obtained with the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF2) receptor modelling. The results of this study show that North African industrial pollutants may be mixed with desert dust and exported to the North Atlantic in the Saharan Air Layer.

  12. Transport of desert dust mixed with North African industrial pollutants in the subtropical Saharan Air Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, S.; Alastuey, A.; Alonso-Pérez, S.; Querol, X.; Cuevas, E.; Abreu-Afonso, J.; Viana, M.; Pandolfi, M.; de La Rosa, J.

    2011-03-01

    The chemical composition of particulate matter samples (TSP, PM10 and PM2.5) collected from 2002 to 2008 in the North Atlantic free troposphere at Izaña Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) observatory (Tenerife, The Canary Islands) was studied. The analysis of the samples collected in the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) shows that soil desert dust is very frequently mixed with particulate pollutants. An analysis of this data set with Median Concentrations At Receptor (MCAR) plots allowed to identify the potential source regions of the dust and particulate pollutants. Areas located at the south of the Southern slope of Atlas emerge as the most frequent source of the soil desert dust advected to the northern edge of the SAL in summer. Industrial emissions occurring along the Atlantic coast of Morocco, Northern Algeria, Eastern Algeria and Tunisia appear as the most important source of the nitrate, ammonium and a fraction of sulphate (at least a 60% of the sulphate <10 μm transported from some regions) observed in the SAL. These emissions are mostly linked to crude oil refineries, phosphate-based fertilizer industry and power plants. Although desert dust emissions appear as the most frequent source of the phosphorous observed in the SAL, high P concentrations are observed when the SAL is affected by emissions from open mines of phosphate and phosphate based fertilizer industry. The results also show that a significant fraction of the sulphate (up to 90% of sulphate <10 μm transported from some regions) observed in the SAL is linked to soil emissions of evaporite minerals in well defined regions where dry saline lakes (chotts) are present. These interpretations of the MCAR plots are consistent with the results obtained with the Positive Matrix Factorization receptor modelling. The results of this study show that North African industrial pollutants may be mixed with desert dust and exported to the North Atlantic in the Saharan Air Layer.

  13. Black Beauty's Rainbow: Hyperspectral Imaging of Northwest Africa 7034

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannon, K. M.; Mustard, J. F.; Agee, C. B.; Wilson, J. H.; Greenberger, R. N.

    2014-07-01

    Hyperspectral imaging is used to characterize the first basaltic breccia from Mars, Northwest Africa 7034. Initial results show the spectral character of NWA 7034 is unlike other SNC meteorites and may be more representative of average martian crust.

  14. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billi, D.; Ghelardini, P.; Onofri, S.; Cockell, C. S.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.

    2008-09-01

    The environment in space and on planets such as Mars, can be lethal to living organisms and high levels of tolerance to desiccation, cold and radiation are needed for survival: rock-inhabiting cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Chroococcidiopsis can fulfil these requirements [1]. These cyanobacteria constantly appear in the most extreme and dry habitats on Earth, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica) and the Atacama Desert (Chile), which are considered the closest terrestrial analogs of two Mars environmental extremes: cold and aridity. In their natural environment, these cyanobacteria occupy the last refuges for life inside porous rocks or at the stone-soil interfaces, where they survive in a dry, dormant state for prolonged periods. How desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis can dry without dying is only partially understood, even though experimental evidences support the existence of an interplay between mechanisms to avoid (or limit) DNA damage and repair it: i) desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis mend genome fragmentation induced by ionizing radiation [2]; ii) desiccation-survivors protect their genome from complete fragmentation; iii) in the dry state they show a survival to an unattenuated Martian UV flux greater than that of Bacillus subtilis spores [3], and even though they die following atmospheric entry after having orbited the Earth for 16 days [4], they survive to simulated shock pressures up to 10 GPa [5]. Recently additional experiments were carried out at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of Cologne (Germany) in order to identify suitable biomarkers to investigate the survival of Chroococcidiopsis cells present in lichen-dominated communities, in view of their direct and long term space exposition on the International Space Station (ISS) in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE, EXPOSEEuTEF, ESA). Multilayers of dried cells of strains CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica), and CCMEE 123 (costal desert, Chile ), shielded by

  15. Seedling emergence on Sonoran desert dunes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.

    1996-01-01

    Seedling emergence of psammophiles (plants restricted to active dunes) was examined with germination experiments and with field observations at the Algodones Dunes, California, U.S.A., and the Sierra del Rosario Dunes, Sonora, Mexico. In the field, perennial psammophiles germinated in response to smaller rainfall triggers (??? 10mm) than other woody desert plants (??? 16mm). In germination experiments, seedlings of three perennial psammophiles, Astragalus magdalenae var. peirsonii, Helianthus niveus subsp. tephrodes, and Palafoxia arida var. gigantea, emerged in larger numbers from greater soil depths than those of three nonpsammophiles, Cercidium microphyllum, Fouquieria splendens, and Palafoxia arida var. arida. Seed size for these six species did not correlate in any consistent fashion with emergence depth, suggesting that food reserves are not the only variable that ensures emergence of deeply buried psammophile seeds.

  16. Fog deposition to the Atacama desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Griessbaum, F.; Sträter, E.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Cereceda, P.

    2010-07-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. We estimated the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determined the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of liquid water. Between 31 July and 19 August, 2008, measurements were realized in a 31 ha large Tillandsia carpet at Cerro Guanaco, located 15 km south of Iquique, northern Chile. Several data quality assurance procedures were applied. For the values in compliance with the applied criteria, the mean total deposition per hour was determined (0.04 L per m2) for foggy periods. This number was applied to estimate the amount of water deposited during the measuring period, during the entire month of August 2008, and throughout a whole year. For August 2008, a frequency of fog of 16 %, as established during the measuring period, was assumed. The frequency for a whole year was estimated from the differences of the collected amount of water obtained with standard fog collectors installed at Cerro Guanaco in an earlier study. Calculations resulted in an amount of 2.5 L per m2 of deposited fog water for the measuring period. During the entire August, 4.4 L per m2 have likely been available, and for a whole year, a total of 25 L per m2 was estimated to have reached the surface. Inaccuracies could have been caused by the low amount of data applied, and by a possible underestimation of the deposition due to additional formation of radiation fog during the fog events. Three days were used for further analysis because

  17. Impact Assessment of Watershed in Desert Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhava Rao, V.; Hermon, R. R.; Kesava Rao, P.; Phanindra Kumar, T.

    2012-07-01

    Change detection from different temporal images usually based on reflectance on natural and human activity impact, using integrated GIS, Remote Sensing and image processing technologies enable impact assessment of watershed in desert region. A time series analysis of seasonal NDVI have been used to estimate net primary productivity, phonological characteristic of vegetative surface, length of growing season and dry drown periods (Ramsey et al., 1995). The study is designed to achieve the objectives to Study the changes in vegetation for selected watershed in a desert districts of Bhilwara, Barmer & Jaisalmer in Rajastan State of India, to identify the changes in density of vegetation, to assess the temporal changes and to assess the impact of the watershed, with an objective to conserve the soil erosion and harvest the rainwater in order to increase the ground water table, to improve the socio economic condition of the people and to stop the migration of the people from the villages in search of livelihood. These activities will have a direct impact on the crop production. The Changes in density of vegetation indicates the quantity of crop production and the growth of vegetation apart from crops and the conservation of land with out scrub/barren land to land with scrub. This gives an picture about the impact of watershed programme in increasing the vegetative cover. The temporal changes help in understanding the changes taken place in the watershed, and facilitate understand the positive as well as negative impacts of any decisions taken in the implementation. The extent and density and type of vegetation for the years, 2000,2004,2005,2007 and 2008, was studied and vegetation growth was analysed using GIS and Digital Image Processing techniques.

  18. Tele-Education in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mars, Maurice

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Telemedicine includes the use of information and communication technology for education in the health sector, tele-education. Sub-Saharan Africa has an extreme shortage of health professionals and as a result, doctors to teach doctors and students. Tele-education has the potential to provide access to education both formal and continuing medical education. While the uptake of telemedicine in Africa is low, there are a number of successful and sustained tele-education programs. The aims of this study were (i) to review the literature on tele-education in South Africa, (ii) describe tele-education activities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZ-N) in South Africa, and (iii) review the development of these programs with respect to current thinking on eHealth project implementation. Method: A literature review of tele-education in South Africa was undertaken. The development of the tele-education services at UKZ-N from 2001 to present is described. The approaches taken are compared with current teaching on eHealth implementation and a retrospective design-reality gap analysis is made. Results: Tele-education has been in use in South Africa since the 1970s. Several forms of tele-education are in place at the medical schools and in some Provincial Departments of Health (DOH). Despite initial attempts by the National DOH, there are no national initiatives in tele-education. At UKZ-N, a tele-education service has been running since 2001 and appears to be sustainable and reaching maturity, with over 1,400 h of videoconferenced education offered per year. The service has expanded to offer videoconferenced education into Africa using different ways of delivering tele-education. Conclusion: Tele-education has been used in different forms for many years in the health sector in South Africa. There is little hard evidence of its educational merit or economic worth. What it apparent is that it improves access to education and training in resource constrained

  19. [Study on estimation of deserts soil total phosphorus content from thermal-infrared emissivity].

    PubMed

    Hou, Yan-jun; Tiyip, Tashpolat; Zhang, Fei; Sawut, Mamat; Nurmemet, Ilyas

    2015-02-01

    Soil phosphorus provides nutrient elements for plants, is one of important parameters for evaluating soil quality. The traditional method for soil total phosphorus content (STPC) measurement is not effective and time-consuming. However, remote sensing (RS) enables us to determine STPC in a fast and efficient way. Studies on the estimation of STPC in near-infrared spectroscopy have been developed by scholars, but model accuracy is still poor due to the low absorption coefficient and unclear absorption peak of soil phosphorus in near-infrared. In order to solve the deficiency which thermal-infrared emissivity estimate desert soil total phosphorus content, and could improve precision of estimation deserts soil total phosphorus. In this paper, characteristics of soil thermal-infrared emissivity are analyzed on the basis of laboratory processing and spectral measurement of deserts soil samples from the eastern Junggar Basin. Furthermore, thermal-infrared emissivity based RS models for STPC estimation are established and accuracy assessed. Results show that: when STPC is higher than 0.200 g x kg(-1), the thermal-infrared emissivity increases with the increase of STPC on the wavelength between 8.00 microm and 13 microm, and the emissivity is more sensitive to STPC on the wavelength between 9.00 and 9.6 microm; the estimate mode based on multiple stepwise regression was could not to estimate deserts soil total phosphorus content from thermal-infrared emissivity because the estimation effects of them were poor. The estimation accuracy of model based on partial least squares regression is higher than the model based on multiple stepwise regression. However, the accuracy of second-order differential estimation model based on partial least square regression is higher than based on multiple stepwise regression; The first differential of continuous remove estimation model based on partial least squares regression is the best model with R2 of correction and verification are up to

  20. 2D Size Distribution of Chondrules and Chondritic Fragments of an Ordinary Chondrite from Lut Desert (Iran)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourkhorsandi, H.; Mirnejad, H.

    2014-09-01

    2D size measurement of chondrules and chondiritic fragments of a meteorite from Lut desert of Iran is conducted. Chondrules exhibit a size range of 55-1800 µm (average 437 µm). Chondiritic fragments show a size range of 46-1220 µm (average 261 µm).

  1. Impacts of off-road vehicles on nitrogen cycles in biological soil crusts: Resistance in different U.S. deserts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.

    2002-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are an important component of desert ecosystems, as they influence soil stability and fertility. This study examined and compared the short-term vehicular impacts on lichen cover and nitrogenase activity (NA) of biological soil crusts. Experimental disturbance was applied to different types of soil in regions throughout the western U.S. (Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Mojave deserts). Results show that pre-disturbance cover of soil lichens is significantly correlated with the silt content of soils, and negatively correlated with sand and clay. While disturbance appeared to reduce NA at all sites, differences were statistically significant at only 12 of the 26 sites. Cool desert sites showed a greater decline than hot desert sites, which may indicate non-heterocystic cyanobacterial species are more susceptible to disturbance than non-heterocystic species. Sandy soils showed greater reduction of NA as sand content increased, while fine-textured soils showed a greater decline as sand content increased. At all sites, higher NA before the disturbance resulted in less impact to NA post-disturbance. These results may be useful in predicting the impacts of off-road vehicles in different regions and different soils. ?? 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  2. Perennial plant mortality in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts in response to severe, multi-year drought

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Severe drought that began in late 1998 caused considerable mortality of shrubs in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. A region-wide survey in 2003 of 15 sites in southwestern Arizona, southern California, and southern Nevada showed that in some places, mortality of the small, drought-deciduous shrubs A...

  3. Regional and Global Aspects of Aerosols in Western Africa: From Air Quality to Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chin, Mian; Diehl, Thomas; Kucsera, Tom; Spinhime, Jim; Palm, Stephen; Holben, Brent; Ginoux, Paul

    2006-01-01

    Western Africa is one of the most important aerosol source regions in the world. Major aerosol sources include dust from the world's largest desert Sahara, biomass burning from the Sahel, pollution aerosols from local sources and long-range transport from Europe, and biogenic sources from vegetation. Because these sources have large seasonal variations, the aerosol composition over the western Africa changes significantly with time. These aerosols exert large influences on local air quality and regional climate. In this study, we use the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) model to analyze satellite lidar data from the GLAS instrument on the ICESat and the sunphotometer data from the ground-based network AERONET taken in both the wet (September - October 2003) and dry (February - March 2004) seasons over western Africa. We will quantify the seasonal variations of aerosol sources and compositions and aerosol spatial (horizontal and vertical) distributions over western Africa. We will also assess the climate impact of western African aerosols. Such studies will be applied to support the international project, Africa Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) and to analyze the AMMA data.

  4. Internet Performance to Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Cottrell, L

    2003-10-01

    We report the first results ever for real-time Internet performance to Africa using the PingER methodology. Multiple monitoring hosts were used to enable comparisons with performance from different parts of the world. From these preliminary measurements, we have found that Internet packet losses to some African sites in recent months range from very poor to bad (> 12%), some getting better, others are holding steady or getting worse. This, together with the average monthly Round Trip Times, imply end-to-end maximum TCP throughputs that are order of magnitudes different between countries in the region. Africa is shown to be far from the Internet performance in industrialized nations due to the poor infrastructure in place today. These monitoring efforts can provide valuable information to analyze the relative rates of future improvement and today they help us to quantify the digital divide and can provide quantitative information to policy makers.

  5. Tuberculosis in tropical Africa

    PubMed Central

    Roelsgaard, E.; Iversen, E.; Bløcher, C.

    1964-01-01

    Up to the end of the nineteenth century the tubercle bacillus apparently had little opportunity of disseminating among the rather isolated tribes of tropical Africa. With the creation of large centres of trade and industry in the wake of European colonization, tuberculosis seems to have spread rapidly over the continent and is today found everywhere. In a number of tuberculosis prevalence surveys conducted by WHO during 1955-60, randomly selected population groups were tuberculin tested, X-rayed and had sputa examined by direct microscopy. The three methods of examination were applied independently of one another. Data collected during the surveys have been analysed with a view to discovering common epidemiological features of tuberculosis in tropical Africa, assessing the reliability of the diagnostic methods employed and discussing their usefulness in future tuberculosis control programmes. PMID:14178027

  6. 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.

  7. A genetic assessment of the recovery units for the mojave population of the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, R.W.; Berry, K.H.; Edwards, T.; McLuckie, A.M.

    2007-01-01

    In the 1994 Recovery Plan for the Mojave population of the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, the US Fish and Wildlife Service established 6 recovery units by using the best available data on habitat use, behavior, morphology, and genetics. To further assess the validity of the recovery units, we analyzed genetic data by using mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (mtDNA) sequences and nuclear DNA microsatellites. In total, 125 desert tortoises were sampled for mtDNA and 628 for microsatellites from 31 study sites, representing all recovery units and desert regions throughout the Mojave Desert in California and Utah, and the Colorado Desert of California. The mtDNA revealed a great divergence between the Mojave populations west of the Colorado River and those occurring east of the river in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Some divergence also occurred between northern and southern populations within the Mojave population. The microsatellites indicated a low frequency of private alleles and a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distance among 31 sample sites, which was consistent with an isolation-by-distance population structure. Regional genetic differentiation was complementary to the recovery units in the Recovery Plan. Most allelic frequencies in the recovery units differed. An assignment test correctly placed most individuals to their recovery unit of origin. Of the 6 recovery units, the Northeastern and the Upper Virgin River units showed the greatest differentiation; these units may have been relatively more isolated than other areas and should be managed accordingly. The Western Mojave Recovery Unit, by using the new genetic data, was redefined along regional boundaries into the Western Mojave, Central Mojave, and Southern Mojave recovery units. Large-scale translocations of tortoises and habitat disturbance throughout the 20th century may have contributed to the observed patterns of regional similarity. ?? 2007 Chelonian Research

  8. Terrorism in South Africa.

    PubMed

    MacFarlane, Campbell

    2003-01-01

    The Republic of South Africa lies at the southern tip of the African continent. The population encompasses a variety of races, ethnic groups, religions, and cultural identities. The country has had a turbulent history from early tribal conflicts, colonialisation, the apartheid period, and post-apartheid readjustment. Modern terrorism developed mainly during the apartheid period, both by activities of the state and by the liberation movements that continued to the time of the first democratic elections in 1994, which saw South Africa evolve into a fully representative democratic state with equal rights for all. Since 1994, terrorist acts have been criminal-based, evolving in the Cape Town area to political acts, largely laid at the feet of a predominantly Muslim organisation, People against Gangsterism and Drugs, a vigilant organisation allegedly infiltrated by Muslim fundamentalists. Along with this, has been terrorist activities, mainly bombings by disaffected members of white, right-wing groups. In the apartheid era, a Draconian series of laws was enacted to suppress liberation activities. After 1994, most of these were repealed and new legislation was enacted, particularly after the events of 11 September 2001; this legislation allows the government to act against terrorism within the constraints of a democratic system. Disaster management in South Africa has been largely local authority-based, with input from provincial authorities and Civil Defence. After 1994, attempts were made to improve this situation, and national direction was provided. After 11 September 2001, activity was increased and the Disaster Management Act 2002 was brought into effect. This standardized disaster management system at national, provincial, and local levels, also facilites risk assessment and limitation as well as disaster mitigation. The potential still exists for terrorism, mainly from right-wing and Muslim fundamentalist groups, but the new legislation should stimulate disaster

  9. Mozambique Coast, Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    The serene coastline of Mozambique (17.0S, 39.5E) Africa and the Indian Ocean offer some of the best beaches and recreational diving water in the world. Offshore reefs provide interesting coral formations that host a wide variety of marine life. Inland, the coastal savannas of this tropical nation are filled with a wide range of wildlife in some of the last animal refuges on the African continent.

  10. Islamic Militancy in Africa

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-11-01

    has also actively resisted Western influences—seen as negatively affecting Muslims ’ religiosity .3 Both al Shabaab and Boko Haram have their roots in...focused on local concerns. u Islamic militant organizations in Africa generally only command the support of small minorities within Muslim communities...educated activist, inspired by the Islamist Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria1 (MSSN), formed in 1954, and in particular Ibrahim al Zakzaki, as

  11. France in Black Africa,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-01-01

    disease and the lack of support from the metropole (mother 4 France Acquires and Adninisters an Empire country), French rule over the small...as socially 9 France in Black Africa undesirable in an officer corps still dominated by the aristocracy; they were apt to be republicans, anticler- ics ...the interior. Endemic tropical diseases like yellow fever and malaria claimed a high proportion of Europeans who attempted to live in this region up to

  12. Epilepsy: Asia versus Africa.

    PubMed

    Bhalla, Devender; Tchalla, Achille Edem; Marin, Benoît; Ngoungou, Edgard Brice; Tan, Chong Tin; Preux, Pierre-Marie

    2014-09-01

    Is epilepsy truly an "African ailment"? We aimed to determine this, since international health agencies often refer to epilepsy as an African disease and the scientific literature has spoken the same tone. Various published materials, mainly reports, articles, were used to gather Asian and African evidence on various aspects of epilepsy and many of its risk and associated factors. Our results suggest that in no way can epilepsy be considered as an African ailment and such characterization is most likely based on popular beliefs rather than scientific evidence. In comparison to Africa, Asia has a 5.0% greater burden from all diseases, and is 17.0% more affected from neuropsychiatric disorders (that include epilepsy). Given that more countries in Asia are transitioning, there may be large demographic and lifestyle changes in the near future. However these changes are nowhere close to those expected in Africa. Moreover, 23 million Asians have epilepsy in comparison to 3.3 million Africans and 1.2 million sub-Saharan Africans. In comparison to Africa, Asia has more untreated patients, 55.0% more additional epilepsy cases every year, because of its larger population, with greater treatment cost and possibly higher premature mortality. Of several associated factors discussed herein, many have more importance for Asia than Africa. The current state of epilepsy in Asia is far less than ideal and there is an urgent need to recognize and accept the importance of epilepsy in Asia. In no way can epilepsy be considered as an African ailment. This is most likely based on popular beliefs rather than scientific evidence. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.

  13. [The campaign against AIDS in Africa: the potential role of South Africa].

    PubMed

    Van Der Ryst, E

    1996-01-01

    The political transformation of South Africa in 1992 and its enthusiastic reception by the international community have created possibilities for a new role in the struggle against HIV and AIDS in Africa. South Africa is probably the most developed African country, with enormous potential for economic growth. The country should take the lead in coordinating cooperative African programs to study and prevent AIDS. The HIV epidemic is spreading rapidly in the country. A 1995 study in prenatal clinics showed over 12% of pregnant women to be seropositive. The epidemic has especially affected the most impoverished sectors of the population. Political instability in the country and its northern neighbors over the past 15-20 years, distrust by the non-White population of programs backed by White government officials, the large number of uneducated young people, the great cultural diversity, and the influx of refugees from the north are probably all factors in the spread of AIDS. The excellent medical facilities in South Africa, including seven well-equipped medical schools, offer a unique opportunity for study of HIV. Means should be found to promote HIV research, including collaborative projects with neighboring countries, phase 3 vaccine trials, and clinical trials of new antiretroviral and antitubercular products. Large industrial concerns and international donors should be encouraged to support research on HIV control in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent, emphasizing studies of potential benefit to Africa. Support for HIV research in Africa might contribute to retaining medical school graduates in the country who currently seek research opportunities abroad. A medical scholarship program and the South African AIDS control program should be extended to other African countries.

  14. Astrophysics in Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitelock, Patricia

    2008-03-01

    The government of South Africa has identified astronomy as a field in which their country has a strategic advantage and is consequently investing very significantly in astronomical infrastructure. South Africa now operates a 10-m class optical telescope, the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), and is one of two countries short listed to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), an ambitious international project to construct a radio telescope with a sensitivity one hundred times that of any existing telescope. The challenge now is to produce an indigenous community of users for these facilities, particularly from among the black population which was severely disadvantaged under the apartheid regime. In this paper I briefly describe the observing facilities in Southern Africa before going on to discuss the various collaborations that are allowing us to use astronomy as a tool for development, and at the same time to train a new generation of astronomers who will be well grounded in the science and linked to their colleagues internationally.

  15. Astronomy Across Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Ted

    2014-01-01

    African astronomy is growing rapidly. The Southern African Large Telescope is the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere, MeerKat and the Square Kilometer Array will revolutionize radio astronomy in the coming decade, and Namibia hosts HESS II, the world’s largest gamma-ray telescope. A growing community of observational and theoretical astronomers utilizes these multi-wavelength observational facilities. The largest concentrations of researchers are in southern Africa, but the community is now expanding across the continent. Substantial resources are being invested in developing the next generation of African astronomers. The African Astronomical Society was formed in 2011 to foster and coordinate the growth of the science in Africa. The IAU has located its global Office of Astronomy for Development in South Africa, with the mandate to find innovative ways of using astronomy to promote social and educational development around the world. African astronomy offers abundant opportunities for collaborative research with colleagues from across the globe. This special session will introduce many of the aspects of African astronomy to the US community, with the aim of engendering new partnerships and strengthening existing ones.

  16. Dermatophytosis in northern Africa.

    PubMed

    Nweze, E I; Eke, I

    2016-03-01

    Infections caused by dermatophytes are a global problem and a major public health burden in the world today. In Africa, especially in the northern geographical zone, dermatophytic infections are being reported at an alarming rate. This is mostly because of some local but unique cultural practices, socioeconomic and environmental conditions, lack of reliable diagnostic personnel and facilities and ineffective treatment. Interestingly, the pathogen spectrum and the clinical manifestation are most times different from what is seen in other continents. Several epidemiological studies have been performed on the incidence and aetiology of dermatophytoses in northern Africa. However, there is currently no review article with up-to-date information on the relevant findings reported so far in this region. This information is necessary for clinicians who treat dermatophytic infections all over the world since agents of dermatophytes are no longer restricted because of the rapid mobility of humans from one part of the world to another. Moreover, the epidemiology of dermatophytoses is known to change over time, thus requiring the update of information from time to time. A review of relevant studies published on dermatophytoses in northern Africa is presented. This covers all of old Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco.

  17. [Epidemic typhus in Africa].

    PubMed

    Ndihokubwayo, J B; Raoult, D

    1999-01-01

    Epidemic typhus is caused by a small strictly intracellular virus named Rickettsia prowazekii, a member of the Rickettsial family. It is transmitted to man by the body louse, Pediculus humanus. Although now rare in Western countries, exanthematic typhus remains common in the Southern hemisphere due to poverty, inadequate clothing hygiene, and poor socioeconomic conditions. In Africa, outbreaks have historically occurred in Burundi, Rwanda, southwest Ouganda, and Ethiopia. The largest outbreak of epidemic typhus since the World War II was reported in Burundi where ongoing civil war since October 1993 has forced 10 p. 100 of the population of Burundi to live in cold, promiscuity, and malnutrition of makeshift refugee camps. The purpose of this report based on our two-year experience working with this unfortunate population is to describe the characteristics of this disease in Africa where the epidemic form had become rare until recently. Indeed political unrest as well as numerous civil wars are now epidmiological factors favorizing outbreaks of epidemic typhus at any time. This overview also provides an opportunity to recall epidemiological, bacteriological, and clinical aspects of typhus as well as diagnosis and treatment of the disease in the context of Africa.

  18. Pitted and fluted rocks in the Western Desert of Egypt - Viking comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccauley, J. F.; Breed, C. S.; Grolier, M. J.; El-Baz, F.; Whitney, M. I.; Ward, A. W.

    1979-01-01

    The Western Desert of Egypt is one of the most arid regions on earth and is probably the closest terrestrial analog to the surface of Mars. An expedition to the area in 1978 revealed an abundance of quartzite and basalt rocks that have been pitted and fluted by wind erosion and deflation of the desert surface. These pitted rocks are internally homogeneous, show no internal holes or vesicles, and are considered an important but neglected type of ventifact. They bear a striking resemblance to the pitted and fluted rocks seen by the Viking Landers, rocks that have generally been interpreted as vesicular basalts only slightly modified by wind erosion. Wind tunnel studies of the air flow over and around nonstreamlined hand specimens from the Western Desert show that windward abrasion coupled with negative flow, secondary flow, and vorticity in a unidirectional wind can explain the complex arrays of pits and flutes. These field and laboratory observations suggest that the pitted rocks at the Viking Lander sites are also ventifacts, and thus the Martian surface may be far more wind eroded than previously thought.

  19. Vertebrate paleontological exploration of the Upper Cretaceous succession in the Dakhla and Kharga Oases, Western Desert, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sallam, Hesham M.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Kora, Mahmoud; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Seiffert, Erik R.; Faris, Mahmoud; Ouda, Khaled; El-Dawoudi, Iman; Saber, Sara; El-Sayed, Sanaa

    2016-05-01

    The Campanian and Maastrichtian stages are very poorly documented time intervals in Africa's record of terrestrial vertebrate evolution. Upper Cretaceous deposits exposed in southern Egypt, near the Dakhla and Kharga Oases in the Western Desert, preserve abundant vertebrate fossils in nearshore marine environments, but have not yet been the focus of intensive collection and description. Our recent paleontological work in these areas has resulted in the discovery of numerous new vertebrate fossil-bearing localities within the middle Campanian Qusier Formation and the upper Campanian-lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation. Fossil remains recovered from the Campanian-aged Quseir Formation include sharks, rays, actinopterygian and sarcopterygian fishes, turtles, and rare terrestrial archosaurians, including some of the only dinosaurs known from this interval on continental Africa. The upper Campanian/lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation preserves sharks, sawfish, actinopterygians, and marine reptiles (mosasaurs and plesiosaurs). Notably absent from these collections are representatives of Mammalia and Avialae, both of which remain effectively undocumented in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Africa and Arabia. New age constraints on the examined rock units is provided by 23 nannofossil taxa, some of which are reported from the Duwi Formation for the first time. Fossil discoveries from rock units of this age are essential for characterizing the degree of endemism that may have developed as the continent became increasingly tectonically isolated from the rest of Gondwana, not to mention for fully evaluating origin and diversification hypotheses of major modern groups of vertebrates (e.g., crown birds, placental mammals).

  20. ANOTHER VIEW FROM HILL 58.2, SHOWING BNSF RAILROAD MAIN TRACK ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    ANOTHER VIEW FROM HILL 58.2, SHOWING BNSF RAILROAD MAIN TRACK 1 AND THE UNION PACIFIC TRACK ABOVE AT RIGHT PASSING THROUGH THE HIGH DESERT LANDSCAPE. VIEW TO THE WEST. 22 - Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Cajon Subdivision, Between Cajon Summit and Keenbrook, Devore, San Bernardino County, CA