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Sample records for earth times microfossils

  1. Time-resolved 2-million-year-old supernova activity discovered in Earth's microfossil record.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, Peter; Bishop, Shawn; Egli, Ramon; Chernenko, Valentyna; Deneva, Boyana; Faestermann, Thomas; Famulok, Nicolai; Fimiani, Leticia; Gómez-Guzmán, José Manuel; Hain, Karin; Korschinek, Gunther; Hanzlik, Marianne; Merchel, Silke; Rugel, Georg

    2016-08-16

    Massive stars ([Formula: see text]), which terminate their evolution as core-collapse supernovae, are theoretically predicted to eject [Formula: see text] of the radioisotope (60)Fe (half-life 2.61 Ma). If such an event occurs sufficiently close to our solar system, traces of the supernova debris could be deposited on Earth. Herein, we report a time-resolved (60)Fe signal residing, at least partially, in a biogenic reservoir. Using accelerator mass spectrometry, this signal was found through the direct detection of live (60)Fe atoms contained within secondary iron oxides, among which are magnetofossils, the fossilized chains of magnetite crystals produced by magnetotactic bacteria. The magnetofossils were chemically extracted from two Pacific Ocean sediment drill cores. Our results show that the (60)Fe signal onset occurs around 2.6 Ma to 2.8 Ma, near the lower Pleistocene boundary, terminates around 1.7 Ma, and peaks at about 2.2 Ma.

  2. Identifying early Earth microfossils in unsilicified sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javaux, Emmanuelle J.; Asael, Dan; Bekker, Andrey; Debaille, Vinciane; Derenne, Sylvie; Hofmann, Axel; Mattielli, Nadine; Poulton, Simon

    2013-04-01

    The search for life on the early Earth or beyond Earth requires the definition of biosignatures, or "indices of life". These traditionally include fossil molecules, isotopic fractionations, biosedimentary structures and morphological fossils interpreted as remnants of life preserved in rocks. This research focuses on traces of life preserved in unsilicified siliciclastic sediments. Indeed, these deposits preserve well sedimentary structures indicative of past aqueous environments and organic matter, including the original organic walls of microscopic organisms. They also do not form in hydrothermal conditions which may be source of abiotic organics. At our knowledge, the only reported occurrence of microfossils preserved in unsilicified Archean sediments is a population of large organic-walled vesicles discovered in shales and siltstones of the 3.2 Ga Moodies Group, South Africa. (Javaux et al, Nature 2010). These have been interpreted as microfossils based on petrographic and geochemical evidence for their endogenicity and syngeneity, their carbonaceous composition, cellular morphology and ultrastructure, occurrence in populations, taphonomic features of soft wall deformation, and the geological context plausible for life, as well as lack of abiotic explanation falsifying a biological origin. Demonstrating that carbonaceous objects from Archaean rocks are truly old and truly biological is the subject of considerable debate. Abiotic processes are known to produce organics and isotopic signatures similar to life. Spheroidal pseudofossils may form as self-assembling vesicles from abiotic CM, e.g. in prebiotic chemistry experiments (Shoztak et al, 2001), from meteoritic lipids (Deamer et al, 2006), or hydrothermal fluids (Akashi et al, 1996); by artifact of maceration; by migration of abiotic or biotic CM along microfractures (VanZuilen et al, 2007) or along mineral casts (Brasier et al, 2005), or around silica spheres formed in silica-saturated water (Jones and

  3. Proterozoic microfossils revealing the time of algal divergences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moczydlowska-Vidal, Malgorzata

    2010-05-01

    Proterozoic microfossils revealing the time of algal divergences Małgorzata Moczydłowska-Vidal Uppsala University, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology, Villavägen 16, SE 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden (malgo.vidal@pal.uu.se) Morphological and reproductive features and cell wall ultrastructure and biochemistry of Proterozoic acritarchs are used to determine their affinity to modern algae. The first appearance datum of these microbiota is traced to infer a minimum age of the divergence of the algal classes to which they may belong. The chronological appearance of microfossils that represent phycoma-like and zygotic cysts and vegetative cells and/or aplanospores, respectively interpreted as prasinophyceaen and chlorophyceaen microalgae, is related to the Viridiplantae phylogeny. These divergence times differ from molecular clock estimates, and the palaeontological evidence suggests that they are older. The best examples of unicellular, organic-walled microfossils (acritarchs) from the Mesoproterozoic to Early Ordovician are reviewed to demonstrate features, which are indicative of their affinity to photosynthetic microalgae. The first indication that a microfossil may be algal is a decay- and acid-resistant cell wall, which reflects its biochemistry and ultrastructure, and probably indicates the ability to protect a resting/reproductive cyst. The biopolymers synthesized in the cell walls of algae and in land plants ("plant cells"), such as sporopollenin/algaenan, are diagnostic for photosynthetic taxa and were inherited from early unicellular ancestors. These preservable cell walls are resistant to acetolysis, hydrolysis and acids, and show diagnostic ultrastructures such as the trilaminar sheath structure (TLS). "Plant cell" walls differ in terms of chemical compounds, which give high preservation potential, from fungal and animal cell walls. Fungal and animal cells are fossilized only by syngenetic permineralization, whereas "plant cells" are fossilized as body

  4. Archean microfossils: a reappraisal of early life on Earth.

    PubMed

    Altermann, Wladyslaw; Kazmierczak, Józef

    2003-11-01

    The oldest fossils found thus far on Earth are c. 3.49- and 3.46-billion-year-old filamentous and coccoidal microbial remains in rocks of the Pilbara craton, Western Australia, and c. 3.4-billion-year-old rocks from the Barberton region, South Africa. Their biogenicity was recently questioned and they were reinterpreted as contaminants, mineral artefacts or inorganic carbon aggregates. Morphological, geochemical and isotopic data imply, however, that life was relatively widespread and advanced in the Archean, between 3.5 and 2.5 billion years ago, with metabolic pathways analogous to those of recent prokaryotic organisms, including cyanobacteria, and probably even eukaryotes at the terminal Archean.

  5. A hypothesis linking chrysophyte microfossils to lake carbon dynamics on ecological and evolutionary time scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfe, Alexander P.; Siver, Peter A.

    2013-12-01

    Chrysophyte algae are common in the plankton of oligotrophic lakes and produce a rich microfossil record of siliceous cysts and scales. Paleolimnological investigations and phytoplankton records suggest that chrysophyte populations are increasing in a wide range of boreal and arctic lakes, ultimately representing one component of the limnological response to contemporary global changes. However, the exact mechanisms responsible for widespread increases of chrysophyte populations remain elusive. We hypothesize that recent increases in chrysophytes are related to rising pCO2 in lakes, in part because these algae lack carbon concentrating mechanisms and therefore rely on diffusive entry of CO2 to Rubisco during photosynthesis. We assessed the abundance of modern sediment chrysophyte microfossils in relation to summer CO2 relative saturation in 46 New England (USA) lakes, revealing significant positive relationships for both cysts and scales. These observations imply that correlations between chrysophytes and limnological conditions including low pH, oligotrophy, and elevated dissolved organic matter are ultimately underscored by the high pCO2 associated with these conditions. In lakes where chrysophyte populations have expanded over recent decades, we infer that increasingly heterotrophic conditions with respect to CO2 have stimulated production by these organisms. This linkage is supported by the remarkable abundance and diversity of chrysophytes from middle Eocene lake sediments, deposited under atmospheric CO2 concentrations significantly higher than present. The Eocene assemblages suggest that any chrysophyte-CO2 connection borne out of results from modern and sub-recent sediments also operated on evolutionary time scales, and thus the absence of carbon concentrating mechanisms appears to be an ancient feature within the group. Chrysophyte microfossils may potentially provide important insights concerning the temporal dynamics of carbon cycling in aquatic

  6. Meteorites, Microfossils and Exobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    1997-01-01

    The discovery of evidence for biogenic activity and possible microfossils in a Martian meteorite may have initiated a paradigm shift regarding the existence of extraterrestrial microbial life. Terrestrial extremophiles that live in deep granite and hydrothermal vents and nanofossils in volcanic tuffs have altered the premise that microbial life and microfossils are inconsistent with volcanic activity and igneous rocks. Evidence for biogenic activity and microfossils in meteorites can no longer be dismissed solely because the meteoritic rock matrix is not sedimentary. Meteorite impact-ejection and comets provide mechanisms for planetary cross-contamination of biogenic chemicals, microfossils, and living microorganisms. Hence, previously dismissed evidence for complex indigenous biochemicals and possible microfossils in carbonaceous chondrites must be re-examined. Many similar, unidentifiable, biological-like microstructures have been found in different carbonaceous chondrites and the prevailing terrestrial contaminant model is considered suspect. This paper reports the discovery of microfossils indigenous to the Murchison meteorite. These forms were found in-situ in freshly broken, interior surfaces of the meteorite. Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) and optical microscopy images indicate that a population of different biological-like forms are represented. Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy reveals these forms have high carbon content overlaying an elemental distribution similar to the matrix. Efforts at identification with terrestrial microfossils and microorganisms were negative. Some forms strongly resemble bodies previously isolated in the Orgueil meteorite and considered microfossils by prior researchers. The Murchison forms are interpreted to represent an indigenous population of the preserved and altered carbonized remains (microfossils) of microorganisms that lived in the parent body of this meteorite at diverse times during the past 4.5 billion

  7. A morphogram for silica-witherite biomorphs and its application to microfossil identification in the early earth rock record.

    PubMed

    Rouillard, J; García-Ruiz, J-M; Gong, J; van Zuilen, M A

    2018-05-01

    Archean hydrothermal environments formed a likely site for the origin and early evolution of life. These are also the settings, however, were complex abiologic structures can form. Low-temperature serpentinization of ultramafic crust can generate alkaline, silica-saturated fluids in which carbonate-silica crystalline aggregates with life-like morphologies can self-assemble. These "biomorphs" could have adsorbed hydrocarbons from Fischer-Tropsch type synthesis processes, leading to metamorphosed structures that resemble carbonaceous microfossils. Although this abiogenic process has been extensively cited in the literature and has generated important controversy, so far only one specific biomorph type with a filamentous shape has been discussed for the interpretation of Archean microfossils. It is therefore critical to precisely determine the full distribution in morphology and size of these biomorphs, and to study the range of plausible geochemical conditions under which these microstructures can form. Here, a set of witherite-silica biomorph synthesis experiments in silica-saturated solutions is presented, for a range of pH values (from 9 to 11.5) and barium ion concentrations (from 0.6 to 40 mmol/L BaCl 2 ). Under these varying conditions, a wide range of life-like structures is found, from fractal dendrites to complex shapes with continuous curvature. The size, spatial concentration, and morphology of the biomorphs are strongly controlled by environmental parameters, among which pH is the most important. This potentially limits the diversity of environments in which the growth of biomorphs could have occurred on Early Earth. Given the variety of the observed biomorph morphologies, our results show that the morphology of an individual microstructure is a poor criterion for biogenicity. However, biomorphs may be distinguished from actual populations of cellular microfossils by their wide, unimodal size distribution. Biomorphs grown by diffusion in silica gel can

  8. Microfossil measures of rapid sea-level rise: Timing of response of two microfossil groups to a sudden tidal-flooding experiment in Cascadia

    Horton, B.P.; Milker, Yvonne; Dura, T.; Wang, Kelin; Bridgeland, W.T.; Brophy, Laura S.; Ewald, M.; Khan, Nicole; Engelhart, S.E.; Nelson, Alan R.; Witter, Robert C.

    2017-01-01

    Comparisons of pre-earthquake and post-earthquake microfossils in tidal sequences are accurate means to measure coastal subsidence during past subduction earthquakes, but the amount of subsidence is uncertain, because the response times of fossil taxa to coseismic relative sea-level (RSL) rise are unknown. We measured the response of diatoms and foraminifera to restoration of a salt marsh in southern Oregon, USA. Tidal flooding following dike removal caused an RSL rise of ∼1 m, as might occur by coseismic subsidence during momentum magnitude (Mw) 8.1–8.8 earthquakes on this section of the Cascadia subduction zone. Less than two weeks after dike removal, diatoms colonized low marsh and tidal flats in large numbers, showing that they can record seismically induced subsidence soon after earthquakes. In contrast, low-marsh foraminifera took at least 11 months to appear in sizeable numbers. Where subsidence measured with diatoms and foraminifera differs, their different response times may provide an estimate of postseismic vertical deformation in the months following past megathrust earthquakes.

  9. Pellet microfossils: Possible evidence for metazoan life in Early Proterozoic time

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, Eleanora Iberall; Porter, Karen Glaus; Haberyan, Kurt A.

    1985-01-01

    Microfossils resembling fecal pellets occur in acid-resistant residues and thin sections of Middle Cambrian to Early Proterozoic shale. The cylindrical microfossils average 50 × 110 μm and are the size and shape of fecal pellets produced by microscopic animals today. Pellets occur in dark gray and black rocks that were deposited in the facies that also preserves sulfide minerals and that represent environments analogous to those that preserve fecal pellets today. Rocks containing pellets and algal microfossils range in age from 0.53 to 1.9 gigayears (Gyr) and include Burgess Shale, Greyson and Newland Formations, Rove Formation, and Gunflint Iron-Formation. Similar rock types of Archean age, ranging from 2.68 to 3.8 Gyr, were barren of pellets. If the Proterozoic microfossils are fossilized fecal pellets, they provide evidence of metazoan life and a complex food chain at 1.9 Gyr ago. This occurrence predates macroscopic metazoan body fossils in the Ediacaran System at 0.67 Gyr, animal trace fossils from 0.9 to 1.3 Gyr, and fossils of unicellular eukaryotic plankton at 1.4 Gyr. Images PMID:16593599

  10. Microfossils' diversity from the Proterozoic Taoudeni Basin, Mauritania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beghin, Jérémie; Houzay, Jean-Pierre; Blanpied, Christian; Javaux, Emmanuelle

    2014-05-01

    Prokaryotes and microscopic eukaryotes are known to have appeared well before the Cambrian's adaptative radiation which flourished perceptibly as a generalized macroscopic world. What do we know about the trigger events which stimulated eukaryotic diversification during the Proterozoic? Biological innovations or environmental changes, and indeed probably both (Knoll et al., 2006), played a fundamental role controlling this important step of life's evolution on Earth. Javaux (2011), proposed a diversification pattern of early eukaryotes divided into three steps and focusing on different taxonomic levels, from stem group to within crown group, of the domain Eukarya. Here, we present a new, exquisitely preserved and morphologically diverse assemblage of organic-walled microfossils from the 1.1 Ga El Mreiti Group of the Taoudeni Basin (Mauritania). The assemblage includes beautifully preserved microbial mats comprising pyritized filaments, prokaryotic filamentous sheaths and filaments, microfossils of uncertain biological affinity including smooth isolated and colonial sphaeromorphs (eukaryotes and/or prokaryotes), diverse protists (ornamented and process-bearing acritarchs), as well multicellular microfossils interpreted in the literature as possible xanthophyte algae. Several taxa are reported for the first time in Africa, but are known worldwide. This study improves microfossil diversity previously reported by Amard (1986) and shows purported xanthophyte algae contrary to a previous biomarker study suggesting the absence of eukaryotic algae, other than acritarchs, in the basin (Blumenberg et al., 2012). This new microfossil assemblage and others provide, all together, evidences of early and worldwide diversification of eukaryotes. Thereby, those first qualitative results also provide a basis for further and larger quantitative studies on the Taoudeni Basin. To better understand the palaeobiology (stem or crown group, aerobic or anaerobic metabolism) and

  11. Imaging of Vanadium in Microfossils: A New Potential Biosignature

    SciT

    Marshall, Craig P.; Marshall, Alison Olcott; Aitken, Jade B.

    Being able to distinguish unambiguously the biogenicity of microfossil-like structures in the ancient rock record is a fundamental predicament facing Archean paleobiologists and astrobiologists. Therefore, novel methods for discriminating biological from non-biological chemistries of microfossil-like structures are of the utmost importance in the search for evidence of early life on Earth. This too, is important for the search for life on Mars; either by in situ analyses via rovers, or sample return missions for future analysis here on Earth. Here, we report the application of synchrotron X-ray fluorescence imaging of vanadium, within thermally altered organic-walled microfossils of bona fide biologicalmore » origin. From our data, we demonstrate that vanadium is present within microfossils of undisputable biological origin. It is well known in the organic geochemistry literature, that elements such as vanadium are enriched and contained within crude oils, asphalts, and black shales that have been formed by diagensis of biological organic material. It has been demonstrated that the origin of vanadium is due to the diagenetic alteration of precursor chlorophyll and heme porphyrin pigment compounds from living organisms. Here, we propose that taken together, microfossil-like morphology, carbonaceous composition, and the presence of vanadium could be used in tandem as a biosignature to ascertain the biogenecity of putative microfossil-like structures.« less

  12. Imaging of Vanadium in Microfossils: A New Potential Biosignature

    DOE PAGES

    Marshall, Craig P.; Marshall, Alison Olcott; Aitken, Jade B.; ...

    2017-11-01

    Being able to distinguish unambiguously the biogenicity of microfossil-like structures in the ancient rock record is a fundamental predicament facing Archean paleobiologists and astrobiologists. Therefore, novel methods for discriminating biological from non-biological chemistries of microfossil-like structures are of the utmost importance in the search for evidence of early life on Earth. This too, is important for the search for life on Mars; either by in situ analyses via rovers, or sample return missions for future analysis here on Earth. Here, we report the application of synchrotron X-ray fluorescence imaging of vanadium, within thermally altered organic-walled microfossils of bona fide biologicalmore » origin. From our data, we demonstrate that vanadium is present within microfossils of undisputable biological origin. It is well known in the organic geochemistry literature, that elements such as vanadium are enriched and contained within crude oils, asphalts, and black shales that have been formed by diagensis of biological organic material. It has been demonstrated that the origin of vanadium is due to the diagenetic alteration of precursor chlorophyll and heme porphyrin pigment compounds from living organisms. Here, we propose that taken together, microfossil-like morphology, carbonaceous composition, and the presence of vanadium could be used in tandem as a biosignature to ascertain the biogenecity of putative microfossil-like structures.« less

  13. Imaging of Vanadium in Microfossils: A New Potential Biosignature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Craig P.; Marshall, Alison Olcott; Aitken, Jade B.; Lai, Barry; Vogt, Stefan; Breuer, Pierre; Steemans, Philippe; Lay, Peter A.

    2017-11-01

    The inability to unambiguously distinguish the biogenicity of microfossil-like structures in the ancient rock record is a fundamental predicament facing Archean paleobiologists and astrobiologists. Therefore, novel methods for discriminating biological from nonbiological chemistries of microfossil-like structures are of the utmost importance in the search for evidence of early life on Earth. This, too, is important for the search for life on Mars by in situ analyses via rovers or sample return missions for future analysis here on Earth. Here, we report the application of synchrotron X-ray fluorescence imaging of vanadium, within thermally altered organic-walled microfossils of bona fide biological origin. From our data, we demonstrate that vanadium is present within microfossils of undisputable biological origin. It is well known in the organic geochemistry literature that elements such as vanadium are enriched and contained within crude oils, asphalts, and black shales that have been formed by diagenesis of biological organic material. It has been demonstrated that the origin of vanadium is due to the diagenetic alteration of precursor chlorophyll and heme porphyrin pigment compounds from living organisms. We propose that, taken together, microfossil-like morphology, carbonaceous composition, and the presence of vanadium could be used in tandem as a biosignature to ascertain the biogenicity of putative microfossil-like structures.

  14. Fourteen Times the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-08-01

    ESO HARPS Instrument Discovers Smallest Ever Extra-Solar Planet Summary A European team of astronomers [1] has discovered the lightest known planet orbiting a star other than the sun (an "exoplanet"). The new exoplanet orbits the bright star mu Arae located in the southern constellation of the Altar. It is the second planet discovered around this star and completes a full revolution in 9.5 days. With a mass of only 14 times the mass of the Earth, the new planet lies at the threshold of the largest possible rocky planets, making it a possible super Earth-like object. Uranus, the smallest of the giant planets of the Solar System has a similar mass. However Uranus and the new exoplanet differ so much by their distance from the host star that their formation and structure are likely to be very different. This discovery was made possible by the unprecedented accuracy of the HARPS spectrograph on ESO's 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, which allows radial velocities to be measured with a precision better than 1 m/s. It is another clear demonstration of the European leadership in the field of exoplanet research. PR Photo 25a/04: The HARPS Spectrograph and the 3.6m Telescope PR Photo 25b/04: Observed Velocity Variation of mu Arae (3.6m/HARPS, 1.2m Swiss/CORALIE, AAT/UCLES) PR Photo 25c/04: Velocity Variation of mu Arae Observed by HARPS (3.6m/HARPS) PR Photo 25d/04: "Velocity Curve" of mu Arae A unique planet hunting machine ESO PR Photo 25a/04 ESO PR Photo 25a/04 The HARPS Spectrograph and the 3.6m Telescope [Preview - JPEG: 602 x 400 pix - 211k] [Normal - JPEG: 1202 x 800 pix - 645k] Caption: ESO PR Photo 25a/04 represents a montage of the HARPS spectrograph and the 3.6m telescope at La Silla. The upper left shows the dome of the telescope, while the upper right illustrates the telescope itself. The HARPS spectrograph is shown in the lower image during laboratory tests. The vacuum tank is open so that some of the high-precision components inside can be seen. Since the first

  15. Time-resolved 2-million-year-old supernova activity discovered in Earth’s microfossil record

    PubMed Central

    Ludwig, Peter; Bishop, Shawn; Egli, Ramon; Chernenko, Valentyna; Deneva, Boyana; Faestermann, Thomas; Famulok, Nicolai; Fimiani, Leticia; Gómez-Guzmán, José Manuel; Hain, Karin; Korschinek, Gunther; Hanzlik, Marianne; Merchel, Silke; Rugel, Georg

    2016-01-01

    Massive stars (M≳10 M⊙), which terminate their evolution as core-collapse supernovae, are theoretically predicted to eject >10−5M⊙ of the radioisotope 60Fe (half-life 2.61 Ma). If such an event occurs sufficiently close to our solar system, traces of the supernova debris could be deposited on Earth. Herein, we report a time-resolved 60Fe signal residing, at least partially, in a biogenic reservoir. Using accelerator mass spectrometry, this signal was found through the direct detection of live 60Fe atoms contained within secondary iron oxides, among which are magnetofossils, the fossilized chains of magnetite crystals produced by magnetotactic bacteria. The magnetofossils were chemically extracted from two Pacific Ocean sediment drill cores. Our results show that the 60Fe signal onset occurs around 2.6 Ma to 2.8 Ma, near the lower Pleistocene boundary, terminates around 1.7 Ma, and peaks at about 2.2 Ma. PMID:27503888

  16. Microfossils in Carbonaceous Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2009-01-01

    Microfossils of large filamentous trichomic prokaryotes have been detected during in-situ investigations of carbonaceous meteorites. This research has been carried out using the Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) to examine freshly fractured interior surfaces of the meteorites. The images obtained reveal that many of these remains are embedded in the meteorite rock matrix. Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) studies establish that the filamentous microstructures have elemental compositions consistent with the meteorite matrix, but are often encased within carbon-rich electron transparent sheath-like structures infilled with magnesium sulfate. This is consistent with the taphonomic modes of fossilization of cyanobacteria and sulphur bacteria, since the life habits and processes of these microorganisms frequently result in distinctive chemical biosignatures associated with the properties of their cell-walls, trichomes, and the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) of the sheath. In this paper the evidence for biogenicity presented includes detailed morphological and morphometric data consistent with known characteristics of uniseriate and multiseriate cyanobacteria. Evidence for indigeneity includes the embedded nature of the fossils and elemental compositions inconsistent with modern biocontaminants.

  17. Microfossils, a Key to Unravel Cold-Water Carbonate Mound Evolution through Time: Evidence from the Eastern Alboran Sea

    PubMed Central

    Stalder, Claudio; Vertino, Agostina; Rosso, Antonietta; Rüggeberg, Andres; Pirkenseer, Claudius; Spangenberg, Jorge E.; Spezzaferri, Silvia; Camozzi, Osvaldo; Rappo, Sacha; Hajdas, Irka

    2015-01-01

    Cold-water coral (CWC) ecosystems occur worldwide and play a major role in the ocean's carbonate budget and atmospheric CO2 balance since the Danian (~65 m.y. ago). However their temporal and spatial evolution against climatic and oceanographic variability is still unclear. For the first time, we combine the main macrofaunal components of a sediment core from a CWC mound of the Melilla Mounds Field in the Eastern Alboran Sea with the associated microfauna and we highlight the importance of foraminifera and ostracods as indicators of CWC mound evolution in the paleorecord. Abundances of macrofauna along the core reveal alternating periods dominated by distinct CWC taxa (mostly Lophelia pertusa, Madrepora oculata) that correspond to major shifts in foraminiferal and ostracod assemblages. The period dominated by M. oculata coincides with a period characterized by increased export of refractory organic matter to the seafloor and rather unstable oceanographic conditions at the benthic boundary layer with periodically decreased water energy and oxygenation, variable bottom water temperature/density and increased sediment flow. The microfaunal and geochemical data strongly suggest that M. oculata and in particular Dendrophylliidae show a higher tolerance to environmental changes than L. pertusa. Finally, we show evidence for sustained CWC growth during the Alleröd-Younger-Dryas in the Eastern Alboran Sea and that this period corresponds to stable benthic conditions with cold/dense and well oxygenated bottom waters, high fluxes of labile organic matter and relatively strong bottom currents PMID:26447699

  18. Lessons from Earth's Deep Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soreghan, G. S.

    2005-01-01

    Earth is a repository of data on climatic changes from its deep-time history. Article discusses the collection and study of these data to predict future climatic changes, the need to create national study centers for the purpose, and the necessary cooperation between different branches of science in climatic research.

  19. a Walk Through Earth's Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turrin, B. D.; Turrin, M.

    2012-12-01

    After "What is this rock?" the most common questions that is asked of Geologists is "How old is this rock/fossil?" For geologists considering ages back to millions of years is routine. Sorting and cataloguing events into temporal sequences is a natural tendency for all humans. In fact, it is an everyday activity for humans, i.e., keeping track of birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, meetings, AGU abstract deadlines etc… However, the time frames that are most familiar to the non scientist (seconds, minutes, hours, days, years) generally extend to only a few decades or at most centuries. Yet the vast length of time covered by Earth's history, 4.56 billion years, greatly exceeds these timeframes and thus is commonly referred to as "Deep Time". This is a challenging concept for most students to comprehend as it involves temporal and abstract thinking, yet it is key to their successful understanding of numerous geologic principles. We have developed an outdoor learning activity for general Introductory Earth Science courses that incorporates several scientific and geologic concepts such as: linear distance or stratigraphic thickness representing time, learning about major events in Earth's history and locating them in a scaled temporal framework, field mapping, abstract thinking, scaling and dimensional analysis, and the principles of radio isotopic dating. The only supplies needed are readily available in local hardware stores i.e. a 300 ft. surveyor's tape marked in feet, and tenths and hundredths of a foot, and the student's own introductory geology textbook. The exercise employs a variety of pedagogical learning modalities, including traditional lecture-based, the use of Art/Drawing, use of Visualization, Collaborative learning, and Kinesthetic and Experiential learning. Initially the students are exposed to the concept of "Deep Time" in a short conventional introductory lecture; this is followed by a 'field day'. Prior to the field exercise, students work with

  20. Chiral Biomarkers and Microfossils in Carbonaceous Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2010-01-01

    Homochirality of the biomolecules (D-sugars of DNA and RNA and L-amino acids of proteins) is a fundamental property of all life on Earth. Abiotic mechanisms yield racemic mixtures (D/L=1) of chiral molecules and after the death of an organism, the enantiopure chiral biomolecules slowly racemize. Several independent investigators have now established that the amino acids present in CI1 and CM2 carbonaceous meteorites have a moderate to strong excess of the L-enantiomer. Stable isotope data have established that these amino acids are both indigenous and extraterrestrial. Carbonaceous meteorites also contain many other strong chemical biomarkers including purines and pyrimidines (nitrogen heterocycles of nucleic acids); pristine and phytane (components of the chlorophyll pigment) and morphological biomarkers (microfossils of filamentous cyanobacteria). Energy dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis reveals that nitrogen is below the detectability level in most of the meteorite filaments as well as in Cambrian Trilobites and filaments of 2.7 Gya Archaean cyanobacteria from Karelia. The deficiency of nitrogen in the filaments and the total absence of sugars, of twelve of the life-critical protein amino acids, and two of the nucleobases of DNA and RNA provide clear and convincing evidence that these filaments are not modern biological contaminants. This paper reviews the chiral, chemical biomarkers morphological biomarkers and microfossils in carbonaceous meteorites. This paper reviews chiral and morphological biomarkers and discusses the missing nitrogen, sugars, protein amino acids, and nucleobases as ?bio-discriminators? that exclude modern biological contaminants as a possible explanation for the permineralized cyanobacterial filaments found in the meteorites.

  1. Diversity of Microfossils and Preservation of Thermally Altered Stromatolites from Anomalous Precambrian Paleoenvironments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterhout, Jeffrey Thomas

    Studies of Precambrian life on Earth have been dominated by those of shallow marine deposits, and in order to gain a more complete picture of life's early evolution it is important to consider a wider range of inhabited environments, including deep marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Evidence for early microbial life comes primarily from fossil microorganisms (microfossils), microbial sedimentary structures (e.g., stromatolites), and sedimentary organic matter (e.g., kerogen). The diversity and preservation of these different forms of fossil evidence introduces several challenges to their interpretation, requiring thorough analysis for accurately determining their biological origins. Investigating the paleobiology, organic geochemistry, and thermal maturity of such deposits provides a holistic approach to exploring the Precambrian biosphere in unfamiliar paleoenvironments. This thesis presents two studies of unique Precambrian ecosystems: a diverse microfossil assemblage from a 2.52-billion-year-old (Ga) deep marine deposit, and thermally altered stromatolites from a 1.4-billion-year-old evaporitic lacustrine deposit. Black cherts from the upper Gamohaan Formation (2.52 Ga) contain a consortium of organic-walled large and small coccoids, tubular filaments, and mat-like biofilm structures. Geochemical analyses of stromatolitic chert-carbonate from the Middlebrun Bay Member (1.4 Ga) in contact with a mafic sill show a trend in organic carbon isotopes relative to thermal maturity that is contrary to theoretical predictions. Findings from these studies reveal, for the first time, microfossil evidence of a diverse microbial community in the open Archean ocean prior to the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) 2.4 billion years ago, and provide insight on the relationship between thermal maturity and organic carbon isotopes within a set of terrestrial stromatolites. Together, these studies help capture the enigmatic nature of the Precambrian fossil record and expand our full

  2. Early Life on Earth and the Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; House, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    In the last 2 years, scientists within the ARES Directorate at JSC have applied the technology of Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) to individual organic structures preserved in Archean (approximately 3 billion years old) sediments on Earth. These organic structures are among the oldest on Earth that may be microfossils - structurally preserved remnants of ancient microbes. The SIMS work was done to determine the microfossils' stable carbon isotopic composition (delta C-13 values). This is the first time that such ancient, potential microfossils have been successfully analyzed for their individual delta C-13 values. The results support the interpretation that these structures are remnants of early life on Earth and that they may represent planktonic organisms that were widely distributed in the Earth's earliest oceans. This study has been accepted for publication in the journal Geology.

  3. Time variations in the Earth's gravity field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shum, C. K.; Eanes, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    At the present time, the causes and consequences of changes in the Earth's gravity field due to geophysical and meteorological phenomena are not well understood. The Earth's gravity field represents the complicated distribution of all of the matter that makes up our planet. Its variations are caused by the motions of the solid Earth interacting with the gravitational attraction of the Sun and the Moon (tides) and with the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, polar ice caps and groundwater due to changing weather patterns. These variations influence the rotation of the Earth, alter the orbits of Earth satellites, cause sea level fluctuations, and indirectly affect the global climate pattern.

  4. The simulated silicification of bacteria--new clues to the modes and timing of bacterial preservation and implications for the search for extraterrestrial microfossils.

    PubMed

    Toporski, Jan K W; Steele, Andrew; Westall, Frances; Thomas-Keprta, Kathie L; McKay, David S

    2002-01-01

    Evidence of microbial life on Earth has been found in siliceous rock formations throughout the geological and fossil record. To understand the mechanisms of silicification and thus improve our search patterns for evidence of fossil microbial life in rocks, a series of controlled laboratory experiments were designed to simulate the silicification of microorganisms. The bacterial strains Pseudomonas fluorescens and Desulphovibrio indonensis were exposed to silicifying media. The experiments were designed to determine how exposure time to silicifying solutions and to silicifying solutions of different Si concentration affect the fossilization of microbial biofilms. The silicified biofilms were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in combination with energy-dispersive spectroscopy. Both bacterial species showed evidence of silicification after 24 h in 1,000 ppm silica solution, although D. indonensis was less prone to silicification. The degree of silicification of individual cells of the same sample varied, though such variations decreased with increasing exposure time. High Si concentration resulted in better preservation of cellular detail; the Si concentration was more important than the duration in Si solution. Even though no evidence of amorphous silica precipitation was observed, bacterial cells became permineralized. High-resolution TEM analysis revealed nanometer-sized crystallites characterized by lattice fringe-spacings that match the (10-11) d-spacing of quartz formed within bacterial cell walls after 1 week in 5,000 ppm silica solution. The mechanisms of silicification under controlled laboratory conditions and the implication for silicification in natural environments are discussed, along with the relevance of our findings in the search for early life on Earth and extraterrestrial life.

  5. Raman Hyperspectral Imaging of Microfossils: Potential Pitfalls

    PubMed Central

    Olcott Marshall, Alison

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Initially, Raman spectroscopy was a specialized technique used by vibrational spectroscopists; however, due to rapid advancements in instrumentation and imaging techniques over the last few decades, Raman spectrometers are widely available at many institutions, allowing Raman spectroscopy to become a widespread analytical tool in mineralogy and other geological sciences. Hyperspectral imaging, in particular, has become popular due to the fact that Raman spectroscopy can quickly delineate crystallographic and compositional differences in 2-D and 3-D at the micron scale. Although this rapid growth of applications to the Earth sciences has provided great insight across the geological sciences, the ease of application as the instruments become increasingly automated combined with nonspecialists using this techique has resulted in the propagation of errors and misunderstandings throughout the field. For example, the literature now includes misassigned vibration modes, inappropriate spectral processing techniques, confocal depth of laser penetration incorrectly estimated into opaque crystalline solids, and a misconstrued understanding of the anisotropic nature of sp2 carbons. Key Words: Raman spectroscopy—Raman imaging—Confocal Raman spectroscopy—Disordered sp2 carbons—Hematite—Microfossils. Astrobiology 13, 920–931. PMID:24088070

  6. Meteoritic Microfossils in Eltanin Impact Deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.; Gersonde, Rainer; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2006-01-01

    We report the unique occurrence of microfossils composed largely of meteoritic ejecta particles from the late Pliocene (2.5 Ma) Eltanin impact event. These deposits are unique, recording the only known km-sized asteroid impact into a deep-ocean (5 km) basin. First discovered as in Ir anomaly in sediment cores that were collected in 1965, the deposits contain nun-sized shock-melted asteroidal material, unmelted meteorite fragments (named the Eltanin meteorite), and trace impact spherules. Two oceanographic expeditions by the FS Polarstern in 1995 and 2001 explored approximately 80,000 sq-km. of the impact region, mapping the distribution of meteoritic ejecta, disturbance of seafloor sediments by the impact, and collected 20 new cores with impact deposits in the vicinity of the Freeden Seamounts (57.3S, 90.5W). Analyses of sediment cores show that the impact disrupted sediments on the ocean floor, redepositing them as a chaotic jumble of sediment fragments overlain by a sequence of laminated sands, silts and clays deposited from the water column. Overprinted on this is a pulse of meteoritic ejecta, likely transported ballistically, then settled through the water column. At some localities, meteoritic ejecta was as much as 0.4 to 2.8 g/cm2. This is the most meteorite-rich locality known on Earth.

  7. Constraining the Time Interval for the Origin of Life on Earth.

    PubMed

    Pearce, Ben K D; Tupper, Andrew S; Pudritz, Ralph E; Higgs, Paul G

    2018-03-01

    Estimates of the time at which life arose on Earth make use of two types of evidence. First, astrophysical and geophysical studies provide a timescale for the formation of Earth and the Moon, for large impact events on early Earth, and for the cooling of the early magma ocean. From this evidence, we can deduce a habitability boundary, which is the earliest point at which Earth became habitable. Second, biosignatures in geological samples, including microfossils, stromatolites, and chemical isotope ratios, provide evidence for when life was actually present. From these observations we can deduce a biosignature boundary, which is the earliest point at which there is clear evidence that life existed. Studies with molecular phylogenetics and records of the changing level of oxygen in the atmosphere give additional information that helps to determine the biosignature boundary. Here, we review the data from a wide range of disciplines to summarize current information on the timings of these two boundaries. The habitability boundary could be as early as 4.5 Ga, the earliest possible estimate of the time at which Earth had a stable crust and hydrosphere, or as late as 3.9 Ga, the end of the period of heavy meteorite bombardment. The lack of consensus on whether there was a late heavy meteorite bombardment that was significant enough to prevent life is the largest uncertainty in estimating the time of the habitability boundary. The biosignature boundary is more closely constrained. Evidence from carbon isotope ratios and stromatolite fossils both point to a time close to 3.7 Ga. Life must have emerged in the interval between these two boundaries. The time taken for life to appear could, therefore, be within 200 Myr or as long as 800 Myr. Key Words: Origin of life-Astrobiology-Habitability-Biosignatures-Geochemistry-Early Earth. Astrobiology 18, 343-364.

  8. Carbon isotopic composition of individual Precambrian microfossils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    House, C. H.; Schopf, J. W.; McKeegan, K. D.; Coath, C. D.; Harrison, T. M.; Stetter, K. O.

    2000-01-01

    Ion microprobe measurements of carbon isotope ratios were made in 30 specimens representing six fossil genera of microorganisms petrified in stromatolitic chert from the approximately 850 Ma Bitter Springs Formation, Australia, and the approximately 2100 Ma Gunflint Formation, Canada. The delta 13C(PDB) values from individual microfossils of the Bitter Springs Formation ranged from -21.3 +/- 1.7% to -31.9 +/- 1.2% and the delta 13C(PDB) values from microfossils of the Gunflint Formation ranged from -32.4 +/- 0.7% to -45.4 +/- 1.2%. With the exception of two highly 13C-depleted Gunflint microfossils, the results generally yield values consistent with carbon fixation via either the Calvin cycle or the acetyl-CoA pathway. However, the isotopic results are not consistent with the degree of fractionation expected from either the 3-hydroxypropionate cycle or the reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle, suggesting that the microfossils studied did not use either of these pathways for carbon fixation. The morphologies of the microfossils suggest an affinity to the cyanobacteria, and our carbon isotopic data are consistent with this assignment.

  9. Geologic time: The age of the Earth

    Newman, William L.

    1977-01-01

    The Earth is very old 4 1/2 billion years or more according to recent estimates. This vast span of time, called geologic time by earth scientists and believed by some to reach back to the birth of the Solar System, is difficult if not impossible to comprehend in the familiar time units of months and years, or even centuries. How then do scientists reckon geologic time, and why do they believe the Earth is so old? A great part of the secret of the Earth's age is locked up in its rocks, and man's centuries-old search for the key led to the beginning and nourished the growth of geologic science.

  10. Early Earth(s) Across Time and Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mojzsis, S.

    2014-04-01

    The geochemical and cosmochemical record of our solar system is the baseline for exploring the question: "when could life appear on a world similar to our own?" Data arising from direct analysis of the oldest terrestrial rocks and minerals from the first 500 Myr of Earth history - termed the Hadean Eon - inform us about the timing for the establishment of a habitable silicate world. Liquid water is the key medium for life. The origin of water, and its interaction with the crust as revealed in the geologic record, guides our exploration for a cosmochemically Earth-like planets. From the time of primary planetary accretion to the start of the continuous rock record on Earth at ca. 3850 million years ago, our planet experienced a waning bolide flux that partially or entirely wiped out surface rocks, vaporized oceans, and created transient serpentinizing atmospheres. Arguably, "Early Earths" across the galaxy may start off as ice planets due to feeble insolation from their young stars, occasionally punctuated by steam atmospheres generated by cataclysmic impacts. Alternatively, early global environments conducive to life spanned from a benign surface zone to deep into crustal rocks and sediments. In some scenarios, nascent biospheres benefit from the exogenous delivery of essential bio-elements via leftovers of accretion, and the subsequent establishment of planetary-scale hydrothermal systems. If what is now known about the early dynamical regime of the Earth serves as any measure of the potential habitability of worlds across space and time, several key boundary conditions emerge. These are: (i) availability and long-term stability of liquid water; (ii) presence of energy resources; (iii) accessibility of organic raw materials; (iv) adequate inventory of radioisotopes to drive internal heating; (v) gross compositional parameters such as mantle/core mass ratio, and (vi) P-T conditions at or near the surface suitable for sustaining biological activity. Life could

  11. Microanalyzes of remarkable microfossils of the Late Mesoproterozoic-Early Neoproterozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornet, Yohan; Beghin, Jérémie; Baludikay, Blaise; François, Camille; Storme, Jean-Yves; Compère, Philippe; Javaux, Emanuelle

    2016-04-01

    of the species Jacutianema solubila from the Svanbergfjellet Formation, Spitsbergen and from the Taoudeni Basin, Mauritania, are also characterized with infrared and Raman microspectroscopy as well as with TEM, permitting to test a previous hypothesis proposing that Jacutianema represents part of the life cycle of a Vaucherian alga [4]. Deciphering the identity of these distinctive microfossils will improve our understanding of the timing and pattern of eukaryote stem and crown group diversification in the mid-Proterozoic, prior to large "snowball Earth" glaciations and during time of changing ocean chemistry. [1] Knoll et al. (2006) Philos. Trans. R. Soc. B 361 1023-1038 [2] Butterfield et al. (1994) Fossils and Strata 34 82p [3] Cornet et al. (in preparation) [4] Butterfield (2004) Paleobiology 30 (2), 231-25

  12. Environmental investigations using diatom microfossils

    Smith, Kathryn E.L.; Flocks, James G.

    2010-01-01

    Diatoms are unicellular phytoplankton (microscopic plant-like organisms) with cell walls made of silica (called a frustule). They live in both freshwater and saltwater and can be found in just about every place on Earth that is wet. The shape and morphology of the diatom frustule unique to each species are used for identification. Due to the microscopic size of diatoms, high-power microscopy is required for diatom identification. Diatoms are vital to life on Earth. They are photosynthetic primary producers, using sunlight to create oxygen and organic carbon from carbon dioxide and water. They are a significant source of the oxygen we breathe, have a major impact on the global carbon cycle (Smetacek, 1999), and are a food source for many aquatic organisms (Mann, 1993). Diatom abundance has even been demonstrated to have an influence on the diversity of larger marine mammals, including whales (Marx and Uhen, 2010). Data on diatom abundance and diversity are extremely useful in environmental studies.

  13. Manganese, Metallogenium, and Martian Microfossils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stein, L. Y.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    Manganese could easily be considered an abundant element in the Martian regolith, assuming that the composition of martian meteorites reflects the composition of the planet. Mineralogical analyses of 5 SNC meteorites have revealed an average manganese oxide concentration of 0.48%, relative to the 0.1% concentration of manganese found in the Earth's crust. On the Earth, the accumulation of manganese oxides in oceans, soils, rocks, sedimentary ores, fresh water systems, and hydrothermal vents can be largely attributed to microbial activity. Manganese is also a required trace nutrient for most life forms and participates in many critical enzymatic reactions such as photosynthesis. The wide-spread process of bacterial manganese cycling on Earth suggests that manganese is an important element to both geology and biology. Furthermore, there is evidence that bacteria can be fossilized within manganese ores, implying that manganese beds may be good repositories for preserved biomarkers. A particular genus of bacteria, known historically as Metallogenium, can form star-shaped manganese oxide minerals (called metallogenium) through the action of manganese oxide precipitation along its surface. Fossilized structures that resemble metallogenium have been found in Precambrian sedimentary formations and in Cretaceous-Paleogene cherts. The Cretaceous-Paleogene formations are highly enriched in manganese and have concentrations of trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, and Co) similar to modern-day manganese oxide deposits in marine environments. The appearance of metallogenium-like fossils associated with manganese deposits suggests that bacteria may be preserved within the minerals that they form. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  14. Evidence of Microfossils in Carbonaceous Chondrites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Rozanov, Alexei Y.; Zhmur, S. I.; Gorlenko, V. M.

    1998-01-01

    Investigations have been carried out on freshly broken, internal surfaces of the Murchison, Efremovka and Orgueil carbonaceous chondrites using Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) in Russia and the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) in the United States. These independent studies on different samples of the meteorites have resulted in the detection of numerous spherical and ellipsoidal bodies (some with spikes) similar to the forms of uncertain biogenicity that were designated "organized elements" by prior researchers. We have also encountered numerous complex biomorphic microstructures in these carbonaceous chondrites. Many of these complex bodies exhibit diverse characteristics reminiscent of microfossils of cyanobacteria such as we have investigated in ancient phosphorites and high carbon rocks (e.g. oil shales). Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis and 2D elemental maps shows enhanced carbon content in the bodies superimposed upon the elemental distributions characteristic of the chondritic matrix. The size, distribution, composition, and indications of cell walls, reproductive and life cycle developmental stages of these bodies are strongly suggestive of biology' These bodies appear to be mineralized and embedded within the meteorite matrix, and can not be attributed to recent surface contamination effects. Consequently, we have interpreted these in-situ microstructures to represent the lithified remains of prokaryotes and filamentous cyanobacteria. We also detected in Orgueil microstructures morphologically similar to fibrous kerite crystals. We present images of many biomorphic microstructures and possible microfossils found in the Murchison, Efremovka, and Orgueil chondrites and compare these forms with known microfossils from the Cambrian phosphate-rich rocks (phosphorites) of Khubsugul, Northern Mongolia.

  15. Combining marine macroecology and palaeoecology in understanding biodiversity: microfossils as a model.

    PubMed

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Tittensor, Derek P; Hillebrand, Helmut; Worm, Boris

    2017-02-01

    There is growing interest in the integration of macroecology and palaeoecology towards a better understanding of past, present, and anticipated future biodiversity dynamics. However, the empirical basis for this integration has thus far been limited. Here we review prospects for a macroecology-palaeoecology integration in biodiversity analyses with a focus on marine microfossils [i.e. small (or small parts of) organisms with high fossilization potential, such as foraminifera, ostracodes, diatoms, radiolaria, coccolithophores, dinoflagellates, and ichthyoliths]. Marine microfossils represent a useful model system for such integrative research because of their high abundance, large spatiotemporal coverage, and good taxonomic and temporal resolution. The microfossil record allows for quantitative cross-scale research designs, which help in answering fundamental questions about marine biodiversity, including the causes behind similarities in patterns of latitudinal and longitudinal variation across taxa, the degree of constancy of observed gradients over time, and the relative importance of hypothesized drivers that may explain past or present biodiversity patterns. The inclusion of a deep-time perspective based on high-resolution microfossil records may be an important step for the further maturation of macroecology. An improved integration of macroecology and palaeoecology would aid in our understanding of the balance of ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that have shaped the biosphere we inhabit today and affect how it may change in the future. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  16. Microfossils of Cyanobacteria in Carbonaceous Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    During the past decade, Environmental and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopes have been used at the NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center to investigate freshly fractured interior surfaces of a large number of different types of meteorites. Large, complex, microfossils with clearly recognizable biological affinities have been found embedded in several carbonaceous meteorites. Similar forms were notably absent in all stony and nickel-iron meteorites investigated. The forms encountered are consistent in size and morphology with morphotypes of known genera of Cyanobacteria and microorganisms that are typically encountered in associated benthic prokaryotic mats. Even though many coccoidal and isodiametric filamentous cyanobacteria have a strong morphological convergence with some other spherical and filamentous bacteria and algae, many genera of heteropolar cyanobacteria have distinctive apical and basal regions and cellular differentiation that makes it possible to unambiguously recognize the forms based entirely upon cellular dimensions, filament size and distinctive morphological characteristics. For almost two centuries, these morphological characteristics have historically provided the basis for the systematics and taxonomy of cyanobacteria. This paper presents ESEM and FESEM images of embedded filaments and thick mats found in-situ in the Murchison CM2 and Orgueil cn carbonaceous meteorites. Comparative images are also provided for known genera and species of cyanobacteria and other microbial extremophiles. Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) studies indicate that the meteorite filaments typically exhibit dramatic chemical differentiation with distinctive difference between the possible microfossil and the meteorite matrix in the immediate proximity. Chemical differentiation is also observed within these microstructures with many of the permineralized filaments enveloped within electron transparent carbonaceous sheaths. Elemental distributions of

  17. Earth System Stability Through Geologic Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothman, D.; Bowring, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Five times in the past 500 million years, mass extinctions haveresulted in the loss of greater than three-fourths of living species.Each of these events is associated with significant environmentalchange recorded in the carbon-isotopic composition of sedimentaryrocks. There are also many such environmental events in the geologicrecord that are not associated with mass extinctions. What makes themdifferent? Two factors appear important: the size of theenvironmental perturbation, and the time scale over which it occurs.We show that the natural perturbations of Earth's carbon cycle during thepast 500 million years exhibit a characteristic rate of change overtwo orders of magnitude in time scale. This characteristic rate isconsistent with the maximum rate that limits quasistatic (i.e., nearsteady-state) evolution of the carbon cycle. We identify this rate withmarginal stability, and show that mass extinctions occur on the fast,unstable side of the stability boundary. These results suggest thatthe great extinction events of the geologic past, and potentially a"sixth extinction" associated with modern environmental change, arecharacterized by common mechanisms of instability.

  18. Evidence for marine microfossils from amber.

    PubMed

    Girard, Vincent; Schmidt, Alexander R; Saint Martin, Simona; Struwe, Steffi; Perrichot, Vincent; Saint Martin, Jean-Paul; Grosheny, Danièle; Breton, Gérard; Néraudeau, Didier

    2008-11-11

    Amber usually contains inclusions of terrestrial and rarely limnetic organisms that were embedded in the places were they lived in the amber forests. Therefore, it has been supposed that amber could not have preserved marine organisms. Here, we report the discovery amber-preserved marine microfossils. Diverse marine diatoms as well as radiolarians, sponge spicules, a foraminifer, and a spine of a larval echinoderm were found in Late Albian and Early Cenomanian amber samples of southwestern France. The highly fossiliferous resin samples solidified approximately 100 million years ago on the floor of coastal mixed forests dominated by conifers. The amber forests of southwestern France grew directly along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and were influenced by the nearby sea: shells and remnants of marine organisms were probably introduced by wind, spray, or high tide from the beach or the sea onto the resin flows.

  19. Iron minerals within specific microfossil morphospecies of the 1.88 Ga Gunflint Formation.

    PubMed

    Lepot, Kevin; Addad, Ahmed; Knoll, Andrew H; Wang, Jian; Troadec, David; Béché, Armand; Javaux, Emmanuelle J

    2017-03-23

    Problematic microfossils dominate the palaeontological record between the Great Oxidation Event 2.4 billion years ago (Ga) and the last Palaeoproterozoic iron formations, deposited 500-600 million years later. These fossils are often associated with iron-rich sedimentary rocks, but their affinities, metabolism, and, hence, their contributions to Earth surface oxidation and Fe deposition remain unknown. Here we show that specific microfossil populations of the 1.88 Ga Gunflint Iron Formation contain Fe-silicate and Fe-carbonate nanocrystal concentrations in cell interiors. Fe minerals are absent in/on all organically preserved cell walls. These features are consistent with in vivo intracellular Fe biomineralization, with subsequent in situ recrystallization, but contrast with known patterns of post-mortem Fe mineralization. The Gunflint populations that display relatively large cells (thick-walled spheres, filament-forming rods) and intra-microfossil Fe minerals are consistent with oxygenic photosynthesizers but not with other Fe-mineralizing microorganisms studied so far. Fe biomineralization may have protected oxygenic photosynthesizers against Fe 2+ toxicity during the Palaeoproterozoic.

  20. Iron minerals within specific microfossil morphospecies of the 1.88 Ga Gunflint Formation

    PubMed Central

    Lepot, Kevin; Addad, Ahmed; Knoll, Andrew H.; Wang, Jian; Troadec, David; Béché, Armand; Javaux, Emmanuelle J.

    2017-01-01

    Problematic microfossils dominate the palaeontological record between the Great Oxidation Event 2.4 billion years ago (Ga) and the last Palaeoproterozoic iron formations, deposited 500–600 million years later. These fossils are often associated with iron-rich sedimentary rocks, but their affinities, metabolism, and, hence, their contributions to Earth surface oxidation and Fe deposition remain unknown. Here we show that specific microfossil populations of the 1.88 Ga Gunflint Iron Formation contain Fe-silicate and Fe-carbonate nanocrystal concentrations in cell interiors. Fe minerals are absent in/on all organically preserved cell walls. These features are consistent with in vivo intracellular Fe biomineralization, with subsequent in situ recrystallization, but contrast with known patterns of post-mortem Fe mineralization. The Gunflint populations that display relatively large cells (thick-walled spheres, filament-forming rods) and intra-microfossil Fe minerals are consistent with oxygenic photosynthesizers but not with other Fe-mineralizing microorganisms studied so far. Fe biomineralization may have protected oxygenic photosynthesizers against Fe2+ toxicity during the Palaeoproterozoic. PMID:28332570

  1. Remarkably preserved tephra from the 3430 Ma Strelley Pool Formation, Western Australia: Implications for the interpretation of Precambrian microfossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wacey, David; Saunders, Martin; Kong, Charlie

    2018-04-01

    The ∼3430 Ma Strelley Pool Formation (SPF), Pilbara, Western Australia contains some of the most diverse microfossil evidence for early life on Earth. Here we report an assemblage of tephra (scoria, tubular pumice, plus vesicular and non-vesicular volcanic glass shards) from two stratigraphic levels in the SPF, including morphotypes that closely resemble previously described microfossils from this unit and elsewhere. Clasts of scoria are characterised by numerous spheroidal vesicles, with subordinate eye- and lens-shaped morphotypes, commonly lined with anatase (TiO2) and small amounts of organic material. Their diameters range from 5-180 μm with 80% in the 10-50 μm range. Fragments of tubular pumice are also lined with anatase + / - carbon and have tube diameters of 5-15 μm. Other volcanic ejecta particles include a multitude of sub-angular shard particles with or without vesicles, plus more rounded vase-shaped, eye-shaped, and hair-like morphologies; once again, most of these are coated by anatase + / - carbon and are several tens of micrometres in size. Many of the tephra fragments are now entirely silicified with no compositional difference between the former volcanic glass, the vesicle infill and the clast matrix. However, some examples retain a partial aluminosilicate composition, either as a vesicle infilling phase or as isolated lath-like grains within the formerly glassy groundmass. Isolated occurrences of some of these tephra morphotypes strongly resemble simple microbial morphologies including pairs and clusters of cells (cf. scoria), filamentous microbes (cf. tubular pumice) and larger sheaths/cysts (cf. sub-rounded glass shards). Furthermore, some tephra-containing clasts occur in a SPF sandstone unit that hosts previously described microfossils, while others are interbedded with chert layers from which microfossils have also been described. In light of our new volcanogenic data, we evaluate the robustness of previous microfossil evidence from the

  2. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e260338 - iss042e261334). Shows night time Earth views taken from the Cupola module.

  3. Evidence for Microfossils in Ancient Rocks and Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Rozanov, A. Y.; Zhmur, S. I.; Gorlenko, V. M.

    1998-01-01

    The McKay et all. detection of chemical biomarkers and possible microfossils in an ancient meteorite from Mars (ALH84001) stimulated research in several areas of importance to the newly emerging field of Astrobiology. Their report resulted in a search for additional evidence of microfossils in ancient terrestrial rocks and meteorites. These studies of ancient rocks and meteorites were conducted independently (and later collaboratively) in the United States and Russia using the SEM, Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM), and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM). We have encountered in-situ in freshly broken carbonaceous chondrites a large number of complex microstructures that appear to be lithified microbial forms. The meteoritic microstructures have characteristics similar to the lithified remains of filamentous cyanobacteria and bacterial microfossils we have found in ancient phosphorites, ancient graphites and oil shales. Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Link microprobe analysis shows the possible microfossils have a distribution of chemical elements characteristic of the meteorite rock matrix, although many exhibit a superimposed carbon enhancement. We have concluded that the mineralized bodies encountered embedded in the rock matrix of freshly fractured meteoritic surfaces can not be dismissed as recent surface contaminants. Many of the forms found in-situ in the Murchison, Efremovka, and Orgueil carbonaceous meteorites are strikingly similar to microfossils of coccoid bacteria, cyanobacteria and fungi such as we have found in the Cambrian phosphorites of Khubsugul, Mongolia and high carbon Phanerozoic and Precambrian rocks of the Siberian and Russian Platforms.

  4. Early evolution of large micro-organisms with cytological complexity revealed by microanalyses of 3.4 Ga organic-walled microfossils.

    PubMed

    Sugitani, K; Mimura, K; Takeuchi, M; Lepot, K; Ito, S; Javaux, E J

    2015-11-01

    The Strelley Pool Formation (SPF) is widely distributed in the East Pilbara Terrane (EPT) of the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia, and represents a Paleoarchean shallow-water to subaerial environment. It was deposited ~3.4 billion years ago and displays well-documented carbonate stromatolites. Diverse putative microfossils (SPF microfossils) were recently reported from several localities in the East Strelley, Panorama, Warralong, and Goldsworthy greenstone belts. Thus, the SPF provides unparalleled opportunities to gain insights into a shallow-water to subaerial ecosystem on the early Earth. Our new micro- to nanoscale ultrastructural and microchemical studies of the SPF microfossils show that large (20-70 μm) lenticular organic-walled flanged microfossils retain their structural integrity, morphology, and chain-like arrangements after acid (HF-HCl) extraction (palynology). Scanning and transmitted electron microscopy of extracted microfossils revealed that the central lenticular body is either alveolar or hollow, and the wall is continuous with the surrounding smooth to reticulated discoidal flange. These features demonstrate the evolution of large micro-organisms able to form an acid-resistant recalcitrant envelope or cell wall with complex morphology and to form colonial chains in the Paleoarchean era. This study provides evidence of the evolution of very early and remarkable biological innovations, well before the presumed late emergence of complex cells. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Precambrian Time - The Story of the Early Earth

    Lindsey, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    The Precambrian is the least-understood part of Earth history, yet it is arguably the most important. Precambrian time spans almost nine-tenths of Earth history, from the formation of the Earth to the dawn of the Cambrian Period. It represents time so vast and long ago that it challenges all comprehension. The Precambrian is the time of big questions. How old is the Earth? How old are the oldest rocks and continents? What was the early Earth like? What was the early atmosphere like? When did life appear, and what did it look like? And, how do we know this? In recent years, remarkable progress has been made in understanding the early evolution of the Earth and life itself. Yet, the scientific story of the early Earth is still a work in progress, humankind's latest attempt to understand the planet. Like previous attempts, it too will change as we learn more about the Earth. Read on to discover what we know now, in the early 21st century.

  6. Biologically agglutinated eukaryotic microfossil from Cryogenian cap carbonates.

    PubMed

    Moore, K R; Bosak, T; Macdonald, F A; Lahr, D J G; Newman, S; Settens, C; Pruss, S B

    2017-07-01

    Cryogenian cap carbonates that overlie Sturtian glacial deposits were formed during a post-glacial transgression. Here, we describe microfossils from the Kakontwe Formation of Zambia and the Taishir Formation of Mongolia-both Cryogenian age, post-Sturtian cap carbonates-and investigate processes involved in their formation and preservation. We compare microfossils from these two localities to an assemblage of well-documented microfossils previously described in the post-Sturtian Rasthof Formation of Namibia. Microfossils from both new localities have 10 ± 1 μm-thick walls composed of carbonaceous matter and aluminosilicate minerals. Those found in the Kakontwe Formation are spherical or ovoid and 90 ± 5 μm to 200 ± 5 μm wide. Structures found in the Taishir Formation are mostly spherical, 50 ± 5 μm to 140 ± 5 μm wide, with distinct features such as blunt or concave edges. Chemical and mineralogical analyses show that the walled structures and the clay fraction extracted from the surrounding sediments are composed of clay minerals, especially muscovite and illite, as well as quartz, iron and titanium oxides, and some dolomite and feldspar. At each locality, the mineralogy of the microfossil walls matched that of the clay fractions of the surrounding sediment. The abundance of these minerals in the walled microfossils relative to the surrounding carbonate matrix and microbial laminae, and the presence of minerals that cannot precipitate from solution (titanium oxide and feldspar), suggests that the composition represents the original mineralogy of the structures. Furthermore, the consistency in mineralogy of both microfossils and sediments across the three basins, and the uniformity of size and shape among mineral grains in the fossil walls indicate that these organisms incorporated these minerals by primary biological agglutination. The discovery of new, mineral-rich microfossil assemblages in microbially laminated and other fine

  7. Organic-walled microfossils in 3.2-billion-year-old shallow-marine siliciclastic deposits.

    PubMed

    Javaux, Emmanuelle J; Marshall, Craig P; Bekker, Andrey

    2010-02-18

    Although the notion of an early origin and diversification of life on Earth during the Archaean eon has received increasing support in geochemical, sedimentological and palaeontological evidence, ambiguities and controversies persist regarding the biogenicity and syngeneity of the record older than Late Archaean. Non-biological processes are known to produce morphologies similar to some microfossils, and hydrothermal fluids have the potential to produce abiotic organic compounds with depleted carbon isotope values, making it difficult to establish unambiguous traces of life. Here we report the discovery of a population of large (up to about 300 mum in diameter) carbonaceous spheroidal microstructures in Mesoarchaean shales and siltstones of the Moodies Group, South Africa, the Earth's oldest siliciclastic alluvial to tidal-estuarine deposits. These microstructures are interpreted as organic-walled microfossils on the basis of petrographic and geochemical evidence for their endogenicity and syngeneity, their carbonaceous composition, cellular morphology and ultrastructure, occurrence in populations, taphonomic features of soft wall deformation, and the geological context plausible for life, as well as a lack of abiotic explanation falsifying a biological origin. These are the oldest and largest Archaean organic-walled spheroidal microfossils reported so far. Our observations suggest that relatively large microorganisms cohabited with earlier reported benthic microbial mats in the photic zone of marginal marine siliciclastic environments 3.2 billion years ago.

  8. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e190769 - iss042e191096). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) in foreground.

  9. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e330173 - iss042e331530). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) in foreground.

  10. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2014-09-29

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss041e37762 - iss041e39788). Shows Earth and aurora views. Partial views of ISS in and out of view.

  11. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e211498 - iss042e212135). Shows Earth views. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground

  12. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e162807 - iss042e163936). Shows Earth views. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  13. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e308288 - iss042e309536). Shows Earth views taken from a window aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

  14. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e238532 - iss042e239150). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) in foreground.

  15. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e177446 - iss042e178444 ). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) in foreground.

  16. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e110489 - iss042e111902). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) in foreground.

  17. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e212874 - iss042e213080). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) in foreground.

  18. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e334978 - iss042e335976). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) comes into view.

  19. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e210380 - iss042e211441). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) in and out of view.

  20. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e285752 - iss042e286830). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) in foreground.

  1. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e116561 - iss042e117265). Shows Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) in foreground.

  2. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (iss042e071550 - iss042e072050). Shows Earth views over Africa, Sinai, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel.

  3. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e324104 - iss042e325631). Shows Earth views. Soyuz and Progress spacecrafts come into view.

  4. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e193144 - iss042e194102). Shows Earth views. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  5. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e209133 - iss042e210379). Shows Earth views. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  6. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e215401 -iss042e215812). Shows Earth views. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  7. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e290689 - iss042e291289). Shows Earth views. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  8. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e249923 - iss042e250759). Shows Earth views. Space Station Remote Manipulator system (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  9. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e170341 - iss042e171462). Shows Earth views. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  10. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e244330 - iss042e245101). Shows Earth views. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  11. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e196791 - iss042e197504). Shows Earth views. Day time views turn into night time views. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  12. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e103580 - iss042e104044). Shows night time Earth views. Solar Array Wing (SAW) and Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  13. Thermal maturity of Tasmanites microfossils from confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy

    Hackley, Paul C.; Kus, Jolanta

    2015-01-01

    We report here, for the first time, spectral properties of Tasmanites microfossils determined by confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy (CLSM, using Ar 458 nm excitation). The Tasmanites occur in a well-characterized natural maturation sequence (Ro 0.48–0.74%) of Devonian shale (n = 3 samples) from the Appalachian Basin. Spectral property λmax shows excellent agreement (r2 = 0.99) with extant spectra from interlaboratory studies which used conventional fluorescence microscopy techniques. This result suggests spectral measurements from CLSM can be used to infer thermal maturity of fluorescent organic materials in geologic samples. Spectra of regions with high fluorescence intensity at fold apices and flanks in individual Tasmanites are blue-shifted relative to less-deformed areas in the same body that have lower fluorescence intensity. This is interpreted to result from decreased quenching moiety concentration at these locations, and indicates caution is needed in the selection of measurement regions in conventional fluorescence microscopy, where it is common practice to select high intensity regions for improved signal intensity and better signal to noise ratios. This study also documents application of CLSM to microstructural characterization of Tasmanites microfossils. Finally, based on an extant empirical relation between conventional λmax values and bitumen reflectance, λmax values from CLSM of Tasmanites microfossils can be used to calculate a bitumen reflectance equivalent value. The results presented herein can be used as a basis to broaden the future application of CLSM in the geological sciences into hydrocarbon prospecting and basin analysis.

  14. The Time-Sharing Computer In Introductory Earth Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacDonald, William D.; MacDonald, Geraldine E.

    Time-sharing computer-assisted instructional (CAI) programs employing the APL language are being used in support of introductory earth science laboratory exercises at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Three examples are sufficient to illustrate the variety of applications to which these programs are put. The BRACH program is used in…

  15. Time frequency requirements for radio interferometric earth physics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, J. B.; Fliegel, H. F.

    1973-01-01

    Two systems of VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) are now applicable to earth physics: an intercontinental baseline system using antennas of the NASA Deep Space Network, now observing at one-month intervals to determine UTI for spacecraft navigation; and a shorter baseline system called ARIES (Astronomical Radio Interferometric Earth Surveying), to be used to measure crustal movement in California for earthquake hazards estimation. On the basis of experience with the existing DSN system, a careful study has been made to estimate the time and frequency requirements of both the improved intercontinental system and of ARIES. Requirements for the two systems are compared and contrasted.

  16. A long time span relativistic precession model of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Kai; Soffel, Michael H.; Tao, Jin-He; Han, Wen-Biao; Tang, Zheng-Hong

    2015-04-01

    A numerical solution to the Earth's precession in a relativistic framework for a long time span is presented here. We obtain the motion of the solar system in the Barycentric Celestial Reference System by numerical integration with a symplectic integrator. Special Newtonian corrections accounting for tidal dissipation are included in the force model. The part representing Earth's rotation is calculated in the Geocentric Celestial Reference System by integrating the post-Newtonian equations of motion published by Klioner et al. All the main relativistic effects are included following Klioner et al. In particular, we consider several relativistic reference systems with corresponding time scales, scaled constants and parameters. Approximate expressions for Earth's precession in the interval ±1 Myr around J2000.0 are provided. In the interval ±2000 years around J2000.0, the difference compared to the P03 precession theory is only several arcseconds and the results are consistent with other long-term precession theories. Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

  17. Constraining Initiation and Onset Time of Plate Tectonics on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roller, G.

    2014-12-01

    The onset time for modern-style plate tectonics is still heavily debated among geoscientists. Proposed timings range from the Phanerozoic to the Hadean. Here I present a new theoretical approach to tackle this question. I combine ideas of nuclear astrophysics and geochronology and apply the concept of sudden nucleosynthesis to calculate so-called nucleogeochronometric Rhenium-Osmium model ages. Sudden nucleosynthesis has been suggested by nuclear theory [1-2] as a possible mechanism for the creation of the heavy isotopes. Hence, this concept may generally be used to identify rapid (r-) neutron-capture process events. For Earth, nucleogeochronometric model age calculations based upon published pyroxenite and komatiite data [3-5] point to an r-process event around 3 Ga. Since the r-process requires high neutron densities and temperatures within seconds, a gravitational core collapse forming at least a part of the inner core is discussed as a possible cause, thus initiating modern-style plate tectonics at that time. This age is in line with an earlier proposed value of 2.7 Ga for an inner core forming event [6], pronounced changes in the magnitude of the geomagnetic field and geological evidence like the onset of extensive plutonism and crust formation starting around the Archean-Proterozoic transition. Besides, results from nucleogeochronometric age calculations for published peridotitic pentlandites [7] lead to corrections as to their previously inconsistent model ages: These are now in good agreement with their Proterozoic 1.43 Ga isochronous regression line, supporting the model. [1] Burbidge et al. (1957) Revs. Mod. Phys. 29, 547 - 650. [2] Hoyle et al. (1960) ApJ 132, 565 - 590. [3] Reisberg et al. (1991) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 105, 196 - 213. [4] Roy-Barman et al. (1996) Chem. Geol. 130, 55 - 64. [5] Luck et al. (1984) Earth Planet Sci. Lett. 68, 205 - 208. [6] Hale (1987) Nature 329, 233 -237. [7] Smit et al. (2010) Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 74, 3292 - 3306.

  18. Time to reorganize federal Earth system science and technology?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kisslinger, Carl

    My usual reaction to plans to reorganize activities in the federal government is that these are the last resort of a bureaucrat who is faced with a tough problem and has no idea how to solve it. However, this may be the time to consider seriously a reorganization that would assemble key elements of Earth-oriented science and technology into a single federal agency. This is not a new idea, as proposals to achieve this goal have been formulated in the past and wiring diagrams for a new agency have been developed. These proposals have faded away in the face of resistance to substantial structural change that characterizes the federal bureaucracy.

  19. Global time-size distribution of volcanic eruptions on Earth.

    PubMed

    Papale, Paolo

    2018-05-01

    Volcanic eruptions differ enormously in their size and impacts, ranging from quiet lava flow effusions along the volcano flanks to colossal events with the potential to affect our entire civilization. Knowledge of the time and size distribution of volcanic eruptions is of obvious relevance for understanding the dynamics and behavior of the Earth system, as well as for defining global volcanic risk. From the analysis of recent global databases of volcanic eruptions extending back to more than 2 million years, I show here that the return times of eruptions with similar magnitude follow an exponential distribution. The associated relative frequency of eruptions with different magnitude displays a power law, scale-invariant distribution over at least six orders of magnitude. These results suggest that similar mechanisms subtend to explosive eruptions from small to colossal, raising concerns on the theoretical possibility to predict the magnitude and impact of impending volcanic eruptions.

  20. Low-Earth-Orbit and Geosynchronous-Earth-Orbit Testing of 80 Ah Batteries under Real-time Profiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Staniewicz, Robert J.; Willson, John; Briscoe, J. Douglas; Rao, Gopalakrishna M.

    2004-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation gives an update on test results from two 16 cell batteries, one in a simulated Low Earth Orbit (LEO) environment and the other in simulated Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) environment. The tests measured how voltage and capacity are affected over time by thermal cycling.

  1. Earth Through Time as an Exoplanet: Lessons for Exoplanet Astrobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domagal-Goldman, S.

    2014-04-01

    The Archean Earth represents the most alien biosphere for which we have data. Oxygenic photosynthesis was not the dominant primary production metabolism at the surface, as it is on modern-day Earth. Due to this, the atmospheric composition, climate, and ocean chemistry of the planet were all dramatically different than they are on today's planet, even though life was present at the time. These dramatic differences are instructive on biology in a planetary context. Furthermore, they provide an example of a "working inhabited planet" that would have different biosignatures, climates, and spectral features. We can thus use the lessons from the rock record to inform us about the possibilities for and improve our ability to search for life. When we do that, we discover that by looking strictly for the "traditional" biosignatures from methane, oxygen, and ozone, we may conclude dead planets to be alive and living planets to be dead. In some cases, we may not even be looking for life on the right planets. In this talk, we will discuss these issues and their implications for future space-based observatories designed to search for life beyond the solar system.

  2. An Ecometric Study of Recent Microfossils using High-throughput Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elder, L. E.; Hull, P. M.; Hsiang, A. Y.; Kahanamoku, S.

    2016-02-01

    The era of Big Data has ushered in the potential to collect population level information in a manageable time frame. Taxon-free morphological trait analysis, referred to as ecometrics, can be used to examine and compare ecological dynamics between communities with entirely different species compositions. Until recently population level studies of morphology were difficult because of the time intensive task of collecting measurements. To overcome this, we implemented advances in imaging technology and created software to automate measurements. This high-throughput set of methods collects assemblage-scale data, with methods tuned to foraminiferal samples (e.g., light objects on a dark background). Methods include serial focused dark-field microscopy, custom software (Automorph) to batch process images, extract 2D and 3D shape parameters and frames, and implement landmark-free geometric morphometric analyses. Informatics pipelines were created to store, catalog and share images through the Yale Peabody Museum(YPM; peabody.yale.edu). We openly share software and images to enhance future data discovery. In less than a year we have generated over 25TB of high resolution semi 3D images for this initial study. Here, we take the first step towards developing ecometric approaches for open ocean microfossil communities with a calibration study of community shape in recent sediments. We will present an overview of the `shape' of modern planktonic foraminiferal communities from 25 Atlantic core top samples (23 sites in the North and Equatorial Atlantic; 2 sites in the South Atlantic). In total, more than 100,000 microfossils and fragments were imaged from these sites' sediment cores, an unprecedented morphometric sample set. Correlates of community shape, including diversity, temperature, and latitude, will be discussed. These methods have also been applied to images of limpets and fish teeth to date, and have the potential to be used on modern taxa to extract meaningful

  3. Early Archean (approximately 3.4 Ga) prokaryotic filaments from cherts of the apex basalt, Western Australia: The oldest cellularly preserved microfossils now known

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schopf, J. W.

    1991-01-01

    In comparison with that known from later geologic time, the Archean fossil record is miniscule: although literally hundreds of Proterozoic formations, containing more that 2800 occurrences of bona fide microfossils are now known, fewer than 30 units containing some 43 categories of putative microfossils (the vast majority of which are of questionable authenticity) have been reported from the Archean. Among the oldest known fossils are Early Archean filaments reported from cherts of the Towers Formation and the Apex Basalt of the 3.3-3.6 Ga-old Warrawoona Group of Western Australia. The paleobiologic significance of the Towers Formation microstructures is open to question: thin aggregated filaments are properly regarded as dubiomicrofossils (perhaps biogenic, but perhaps not); therefore, they cannot be regarded as firm evidence of Archean life. Although authentic, filamentous microfossiles were reported from a second Towers Formation locality, because the precise layer containing the fossiliferous cherts was not relocated, this discovery can neither be reconfirmed by the original collector nor confirmed independently by other investigators. Discovery of microfossils in bedded cherts of the Apex Basalt, the stratigraphic unit immediately overlying the Towers Formation, obviates the difficulties stored above. The cellularly preserved filaments of the Apex Basalt meet all of the criteria required of a bona fide Archean microfossils. Recent studies indicate that the Apex assemblage includes at least six morphotypes of uniseriate filaments, composed of barrel-shaped, discoidal, or quadrate cells and exhibiting rounded or conical terminal cells and medial bifurcated and paired half-cells that reflect the occurrence of prokaryotic binary cell division. Interestingly, the majority of these morphotypes are morphologically more similar to extant cyanobacteria than to modern filamentous bacteria. Prokaryotes seem clearly to have been hypobradytelic, and the evidence suggests

  4. Exploiting Dragon Envisat Times Series and Other Earth Observation Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marie, Tiphanie; Lai, Xijun; Huber, Claire; Chen, Xiaoling; Uribe, Carlos; Huang, Shifeng; Lafaye, Murielle; Yesou, Herve

    2010-10-01

    Earth Observation data were used for mapping potential Schistosomiasis japonica distribution, within Poyang Lake (Jiangxi Province, PR China). In the first of two steps, areas suitable for the development of Oncomelania hupensis, the intermediate host snail of Schistosoma japonicum, were derived from submersion time parameters and vegetation community indicators. Y early maps from 2003 to 2008 indicate five principally potential endemic areas: Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve, Dalianzi Hu, Gan Delta, Po Jiang and Xi He. Monthly maps showing the annual dynamic of potential O. hupensis presence areas were obtained from December 2005 to December 2008. In a second step human potential transmission risk was handled through the mapping of settlements and the identification of some human activities. The urban areas and settlements were mapped all around the lake and fishing net locations in the central part of Poyang Lake were identified. Finally, data crossing of the different parameters highlight the potential risk of transmission in most of the fishing nets areas.

  5. New Evidence for the Presence of Indigenous Microfossils in Carbonaceous Chondrites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Rozanov, Alexei Yu.

    2004-01-01

    We present additional evidence for the presence of indigenous microfossils in carbonaceous meteorites scanning electron micrograph studies of freshly fractured interior surfaces of pristine samples of the Murchison CM2 carbonaceous meteorite have revealed forms in-situ that are recognizable as biofilms as well as complex and highly structured forms similar to calcareous and siliceous microfossils. Some of the forms encountered are very well-preserved and exhibit complex associated microstructures similar to bacterial flagella. New images will be presented of forms recently encountered in carbonaceous meteorites and they will be compared with those of known microbial extremophiles. KEYWORDS: carbonaceous chondrites, Murchison, microfossils, extremophiles

  6. Enhancement of EarthScope Infrastructure with Real Time Seismogeodesy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bock, Y.; Melgar, D.; Geng, J.; Haase, J. S.; Crowell, B. W.; Squibb, M. B.

    2013-12-01

    Recent great earthquakes and ensuing tsunamis in Sumatra, Chile and Japan have demonstrated the need for accurate ground displacements that fully characterize the great amplitudes and broad dynamic range of motions associated with these complex ruptures. Our ability to model the source processes of these events and their effects, whether in real-time or after the fact, is limited by the weaknesses of both seismic and geodetic networks. Geodetic instruments provide the static component as well as coarse dynamic motions but are much less precise than seismic instruments, especially in the vertical direction. Seismic instruments provide exceptionally-sensitive dynamic motions but typically have difficulty in recovering unbiased near-field low-frequency absolute displacements. We have shown in several publications that an optimal combination of data from collocated GPS and strong motion accelerometers provides seismogeodetic displacement, velocity and point tilt waveforms spanning the full spectrum of seismic motion, without clipping and magnitude saturation. These observations are suitable for earthquake early warning (EEW) through detection of P wave arrivals, rapid assessment of earthquake magnitude, finite-source centroid moment tensor solutions and fault slip models, and tsunami warning, in particular in the near-source regions of large earthquakes. At present, more than 550 real-time GPS stations are operating in Western North America, a majority as part of the EarthScope/PBO effort with a concentration in the Cascadia region and southern California. Unfortunately, there are few collocations of GPS and accelerometers in this region (the exception being in parts of the BARD network in northern California). We have leveraged the considerable infrastructure already invested in the EarthScope project, and funding through NSF and NASA to create advanced software, hardware, and algorithms that make it possible to utilize EarthScope/PBO as an EEW test bed. We have

  7. Relativistic time transfer in the vicinity of the Earth and in the solar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, Robert A.

    2011-08-01

    The algorithms for relativistic time transfer in the vicinity of the Earth and in the solar system are derived. The concepts of proper time and coordinate time are distinguished. The coordinate time elapsed during the transport of a clock and the propagation of an electromagnetic signal is analysed in three coordinate systems: an Earth-Centred Inertial (ECI) coordinate system, an Earth-Centred Earth-Fixed (ECEF) coordinate system and a barycentric coordinate system. The timescales of Geocentric Coordinate Time (TCG), Terrestrial Time (TT) and Barycentric Coordinate Time (TCB) are defined and their relationships are discussed. Some numerical examples are provided to illustrate the magnitudes of the effects.

  8. The Role of Microfossils in the Compression of Marine Sediments: Implications for Submarine Slope Failure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reece, J. S.; Shackleton, T.

    2016-12-01

    The influence of microfossils on engineering properties has long been recognized. However, most experimental studies have been conducted on diatomites, which are almost exclusively composed of diatom fossils. Here, instead, we analyze the impact of varying amounts of microfossils in natural marine sediments on the macro-scale mechanical behavior. We use foraminifera as an example for microfossils, which, in contrast to diatoms, have been understudied. We uniformly mix foraminifera with natural mudstone from Site C0011 in the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan, obtained during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 322, at three different microfossil concentrations: 0 wt%, 5 wt%, and 10 wt%. The foraminifera, extracted by washing and sieving, originated from IODP Site U1338 in the Equatorial Pacific. We use resedimentation to prepare the homogeneous microfossil-rich mudstone samples and uniaxially compress them to 100 kPa. Additionally, we use scanning electron microscopy to investigate microstructural changes during compression as a function of microfossil content. Microfossil-rich sediments are known to initially not consolidate to as low porosities as other marine clays owing to microfossil shells acting as structural components. But they show a delayed compressibility when the yield stress is overcome and microfossil shells collapse resulting in an increase in porosity and compressibility. Here, we investigate the 1) threshold microfossil content at which the microfabric significantly changes during compression and 2) stress at which foraminifera chambers start to break. We anticipate to observe an increase in compressibility and microstructural changes in the vicinity of the yield stress with increasing microfossil content attributed to the crushing of foraminifera and particle rearrangement. But the total axial stress of 100 kPa at the end of the resedimentation experiments may not be large enough to have a significant effect on the macroscopic

  9. NASA World Wind Near Real Time Data for Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogan, P.

    2013-12-01

    Innovation requires open standards for data exchange, not to mention ^access to data^ so that value-added, the information intelligence, can be continually created and advanced by the larger community. Likewise, innovation by academia and entrepreneurial enterprise alike, are greatly benefited by an open platform that provides the basic technology for access and visualization of that data. NASA World Wind Java, and now NASA World Wind iOS for the iPhone and iPad, provides that technology. Whether the interest is weather science or climate science, emergency response or supply chain, seeing spatial data in its native context of Earth accelerates understanding and improves decision-making. NASA World Wind open source technology provides the basic elements for 4D visualization, using Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) protocols, while allowing for customized access to any data, big or small, including support for NetCDF. NASA World Wind includes access to a suite of US Government WMS servers with near real time data. The larger community can readily capitalize on this technology, building their own value-added applications, either open or proprietary. Night lights heat map Glacier National Park

  10. Biomarkers and Microfossils in the Murchison, Rainbow, and Tagish Lake meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Jerman, Gregory A.; Rozanov, Alexei Y.; Davies, Paul C.

    2003-02-01

    During the past six years, we have conducted extensive scanning electron and optical microscopy investigations and x-ray analysis to determine the morphology, life cycle processes, and elemental distributions in living and fossil cyanobacteria, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and algae sampled from terrestrial environments relevant to Astrobiology. Biominerals, pseudomorphs and microfossils have been studied for diverse microbial groups in various states of preservation in many types of rocks (e.g., oil shales, graphites, shungites, bauxites, limestones, pyrites, phosphorites, and hydrothermal vent chimneys). Results of these studies have been applied to the search for biosignatures in carbonaceous chondrites, stony, and nickel iron meteorites. We review important biomarkers found in terrestrial rocks and meteorites and present additional evidence for the existence of indigenous bacterial microfossils in-situ in freshly fractured surfaces of the Murchison, Rainbow and Tagish Lake carbonaceous meteorites. We provide secondary and backscatter electron images and spectral data obtained with Field Emission and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopes of biominerals and microfossils. We discuss techniques for discriminating indigenous microfossils from recent terrestrial contaminants. Images are provided of framboidal magnetites in oil shales and meteorites and images and 2D x-ray maps are shown of bacterial microfossils embedded in the mineral matrix of the Murchison, Rainbow and Tagish Lake Carbonaceous Meteorites. These microfossils exhibit characteristics that preclude their interpretation as post-arrival contaminants and we interpret them as indigenous biogenic remains.

  11. Exceptionally well-preserved Cretaceous microfossils reveal new biomineralization styles.

    PubMed

    Wendler, Jens E; Bown, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Calcareous microplankton shells form the dominant components of ancient and modern pelagic sea-floor carbonates and are widely used in palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. The efficacy of these applications, however, is dependent upon minimal geochemical alteration during diagenesis, but these modifying processes are poorly understood. Here we report on new biomineralization architectures of previously unsuspected complexity in calcareous cell-wall coverings of extinct dinoflagellates (pithonellids) from a Tanzanian microfossil-lagerstätte. These Cretaceous 'calcispheres' have previously been considered biomineralogically unremarkable but our new observations show that the true nature of these tests has been masked by recrystallization. The pristine Tanzanian fossils are formed from fibre-like crystallites and show archeopyles and exquisitely constructed opercula, demonstrating the dinoflagellate affinity of pithonellids, which has long been uncertain. The interwoven fibre-like structures provide strength and flexibility enhancing the protective function of these tests. The low-density wall fabrics may represent specific adaptation for oceanic encystment life cycles, preventing the cells from rapid sinking.

  12. Microfossils in the Antarctic cold desert: Possible implications for Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedmann, E. I.; Ocampo-Friedmann, R.

    1986-01-01

    In the Ross Desert of Antarctica, the principal life form is the cryptoendolithic microbial community in the near-surface layers of porous sandstone rocks. Biological, geological, and climatic factors interact in a complex and precarious balance, making life possible in an otherwise hostile environment. Once this balance is tipped, fossilization sets in. In the reverse case, new colonization of the rock surface may be initiated. As a result, fossilization is contemporary with modern life and both may be simultaneously present in a mosaic pattern. Also, different stages of fossilization are present. The process of fossilization takes place in a nonaquatic environment. If primitive life ever appeared on Mars, it is possible that with increasing aridity, life withdrew into an endolithic niche similar to that in the Antarctic desert. Fossilization in a nonaquatic environment may have set in with the result that traces of past life could be preserved. If such was the case, the study of the fossilization process in Antarctica may hold useful information for the analysis of Martian samples for microfossils.

  13. Calcareous microfossil-based orbital cyclostratigraphy in the Arctic Ocean

    Marzen, Rachel; DeNinno, Lauren H.; Cronin, Thomas M.

    2016-01-01

    Microfaunal and geochemical proxies from marine sediment records from central Arctic Ocean (CAO) submarine ridges suggest a close relationship over the last 550 thousand years (kyr) between orbital-scale climatic oscillations, sea-ice cover, marine biological productivity and other parameters. Multiple paleoclimate proxies record glacial to interglacial cycles. To understand the climate-cryosphere-productivity relationship, we examined the cyclostratigraphy of calcareous microfossils and constructed a composite Arctic Paleoclimate Index (API) "stack" from benthic foraminiferal and ostracode density from 14 sediment cores. Following the hypothesis that API is driven mainly by changes in sea-ice related productivity, the API stack shows the Arctic experienced a series of highly productive interglacials and interstadials every ∼20 kyr. These periods signify minimal ice shelf and sea-ice cover and maximum marine productivity. Rapid transitions in productivity are seen during shifts from interglacial to glacial climate states. Discrepancies between the Arctic API curves and various global climatic, sea-level and ice-volume curves suggest abrupt growth and decay of Arctic ice shelves related to climatic and sea level oscillations.

  14. Microfossils and biomolecules in carbonaceous meteorites: possibility of life in water-bearing asteroids and comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2014-09-01

    It is well established that carbonaceous meteorites contain water, carbon, biogenic elements and a host of organic chemicals and biomolecules. Several independent lines of evidence indicate that the parent bodies of the CI1 and CM2 carbonaceous meteorites are most probably the C-type asteroids or cometary nuclei. Several of the protein amino acids detected in the meteorites exhibit chirality and have an excess of the L-enantiomer -- such as in the amino acids present in the proteins of all known life forms on Earth. Isotopic studies have established that the amino acids and nucleobases in the CI1 and CM2 carbonaceous meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial. Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy studies carried out by researchers during the past half century have revealed the presence of complex biogenic microstructures embedded in the rock-matrix of many of carbonaceous meteorites similar to extinct life-forms known as acritarchs and hystrichospheres. Carbonaceous meteorites also contain a wide variety of large filaments that exhibit the complex morphologies and correct size ranges of known genera and species of photosynthetic microorganisms such as cyanobacteria and diatoms. However, EDAX investigations have shown that these carbon-rich filaments typically have nitrogen content below the level of detection (<0.5% atomic) of the instrument. EDAX studies of living and dead terrestrial biological materials have shown that nitrogen can be detected in ancient mummies and tissue, hair and teeth of Pleistocene Mammoths. Hence, the absence of detectable nitrogen in the filaments provides direct evidence that they do not represent recent biological contaminants that invaded these meteorite stones after they were observed to fall to Earth. The spectral and fluorescence properties of pigments found in several species of terrestrial cyanobacteria which are similar to some microfossils found in carbonaceous meteorites may provide valuable clues to help search

  15. Testing the survival of microfossils in an artificial martian sedimentary meteorite: the STONE 6 Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foucher, Frédéric; Westall, Frances; Brandstaetter, Franz; Demets, Rene; Parnell, John; Cockell, Charles; Edwards, Howell; Jean-Michel, B.; Brack, André; Kurat, Gero

    Conditions on early Mars during the Noachian (-4.5 to -3.5 Ga) were possibly suitable for the emergence of life [1,3] even though water bodies were probably not permanent and could have been destroyed by frequent impacts. Since Mars does not appear to have had plate tectonics, the remains of this hypothetic life could be found within Noachian sediments. In addition to proving the existence of extraterrestrial life, such a discovery would be very helpful for studies related to the origin and early evolution of life on Earth. Indeed, although life most likely appeared on Earth before 4 Ga ago, no suitable (i.e. well-preserved) rocks containing traces of life older than 3.5 billion years exist; older rocks are either too metamorphosed or have been destroyed by plate tectonics. Because of the harsh conditions on Noachian Mars compared to those of the early Earth, the martian organisms are likely to have remained in a very primitive state of evolution and will thus be very difficult to observe in situ. One way to investigate potential traces of life in martian rocks would be to study sedimentary meteorites from Mars. However, all the 54 martian meteorites found so far are volcanic rocks [4]. Is this because sedimentary rocks do not survive the original impact to escape Mars, or the stresses of entry into the Earth's atmosphere? In order to test the latter effects, a series of experiments were devised to test the survivability of different types of sediments during Earth atmosphere entry, the STONE experiments. In particular, the present experiment STONE 6 tested a Noachian sedimentary analogue that consisted of a 3.45 Ga-old silicified volcanic sand containing ancient traces of life [5]. The volcanic sand (chert) from the Pilbara, Australia, containing organic microfossils [6] was embedded in the heat shield of a FOTON space capsule that underwent atmospheric entry on the 26th September, 2007. After landing, the first observation was the white colour of the fusion crust

  16. Questioning the evidence for Earth's oldest fossils.

    PubMed

    Brasier, Martin D; Green, Owen R; Jephcoat, Andrew P; Kleppe, Annette K; Van Kranendonk, Martin J; Lindsay, John F; Steele, Andrew; Grassineau, Nathalie V

    2002-03-07

    Structures resembling remarkably preserved bacterial and cyanobacterial microfossils from about 3,465-million-year-old Apex cherts of the Warrawoona Group in Western Australia currently provide the oldest morphological evidence for life on Earth and have been taken to support an early beginning for oxygen-producing photosynthesis. Eleven species of filamentous prokaryote, distinguished by shape and geometry, have been put forward as meeting the criteria required of authentic Archaean microfossils, and contrast with other microfossils dismissed as either unreliable or unreproducible. These structures are nearly a billion years older than putative cyanobacterial biomarkers, genomic arguments for cyanobacteria, an oxygenic atmosphere and any comparably diverse suite of microfossils. Here we report new research on the type and re-collected material, involving mapping, optical and electron microscopy, digital image analysis, micro-Raman spectroscopy and other geochemical techniques. We reinterpret the purported microfossil-like structure as secondary artefacts formed from amorphous graphite within multiple generations of metalliferous hydrothermal vein chert and volcanic glass. Although there is no support for primary biological morphology, a Fischer--Tropsch-type synthesis of carbon compounds and carbon isotopic fractionation is inferred for one of the oldest known hydrothermal systems on Earth.

  17. Determining the Biogenicity of Microfossils in the Apex Chert, Western Australia, Using Transmission Electron Microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeGregorio, B. T.; Sharp, T. G.

    2003-01-01

    For over a decade, the oldest evidence for life on this planet has been microfossils in the 3.5 Ga Apex Chert in Western Australia. Recently, the biogenicity of these carbon-rich structures has been called into question through reanalysis of the local geology and reinterpretation of the original thin sections. Although initially described as a stratiform, bedded chert of siliceous clasts, the unit is now thought to be a brecciated hydrothermal vein chert. The high temperatures of a hydrothermal environment would probably have detrimental effects to early non-hyperthermophilic life, compared to that of a shallow sea. Conversely, a hydrothermal origin would suggest that if the microfossils were valid, they might have been hyperthermophilic. Apex Chert controversy. The Apex Chert microfossils were originally described as septate filaments composed of kerogen similar in morphology to Proterozoic and modern cyanobacteria. However new thin section analysis shows that these carbonaceous structures are not simple filaments. Many of the original microfossils are branched and have variable thickness when the plane of focus is changed. Hydrothermal alteration of organic remains has also been suggested for the creation of these strange morphologies. Another point of contention lies with the nature of the carbon material in these proposed microfossils. Kerogen is structurally amorphous, but transforms into well-ordered graphite under high pressures and temperatures. Raman spectrometry of the carbonaceous material in the proposed microfossils has been interpreted both as partially graphitized kerogen and amorphous graphite. However, these results are inconclusive, since Raman spectrometry cannot adequately discriminate between kerogen and disordered graphite. There are also opposing views for the origin of the carbon in the Apex Chert. The carbon would be biogenic if the proposed microfossils are indeed the remains of former living organisms. However, an inorganic Fischer

  18. Methodology for Time-Domain Estimation of Storm-Time Electric Fields Using the 3D Earth Impedance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelbert, A.; Balch, C. C.; Pulkkinen, A. A.; Egbert, G. D.; Love, J. J.; Rigler, E. J.; Fujii, I.

    2016-12-01

    Magnetic storms can induce geoelectric fields in the Earth's electrically conducting interior, interfering with the operations of electric-power grid industry. The ability to estimate these electric fields at Earth's surface in close to real-time and to provide local short-term predictions would improve the ability of the industry to protect their operations. At any given time, the electric field at the Earth's surface is a function of the time-variant magnetic activity (driven by the solar wind), and the local electrical conductivity structure of the Earth's crust and mantle. For this reason, implementation of an operational electric field estimation service requires an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort between space science, real-time space weather operations, and solid Earth geophysics. We highlight in this talk an ongoing collaboration between USGS, NOAA, NASA, Oregon State University, and the Japan Meteorological Agency, to develop algorithms that can be used for scenario analyses and which might be implemented in a real-time, operational setting. We discuss the development of a time domain algorithm that employs discrete time domain representation of the impedance tensor for a realistic 3D Earth, known as the discrete time impulse response (DTIR), convolved with the local magnetic field time series, to estimate the local electric field disturbances. The algorithm is validated against measured storm-time electric field data collected in the United States and Japan. We also discuss our plans for operational real-time electric field estimation using 3D Earth impedances.

  19. Cyclic and secular variation in microfossil biomineralization: clues to the biogeochemical evolution of Phanerozoic oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Ronald E.

    1995-06-01

    The stratigraphic occurrence and mineralogy of major protistan microfossil taxa tend to reflect evolutionary innovation in response to ocean chemistry and fertility. In foraminefera, the characteristic test composition—and, in some cases, ultrastructure—of each suborder is indicative of the degree of surface ocean CaCO 3 saturation, which varied in a cyclic manner through the Phanerozoic, at the time of origin of the suborder. High dissolved phosphate and low CaCO 3 saturation in late Precambrian-Early Cambrian surface waters may have prevented calcification in primitive non-calcareous (organic, agglutinated) foraminiferal stocks. Scattered reports of coccolithophorid-like microfossils from the Paleozoic are indicative of a secular trend in rising nutrient levels and marine productivity that controlled the initiation of calcareous oozes. Based on acritarch, carbon isotope, and phosphorite records, extremely low nutrient levels ("superligotrophic" conditions) in Cambrian-to-Devonian seas typically limited population densities of calcareous nannoplankton and prevented the formation of calcareous oozes. The overall "superoligotrophic" surface conditions of the Paleozoic were punctuated, though, by episodes of "catastrophic" eutrophication in the Late Ordovician, Late Devonia, and Late Carboniferous (Worsley et al., 1986). Following each episode, CaCO 3 rain rates were presumably enhanced because Marine C:P (MCP) burial ratios increased permanently above previous levels (Worsley et al., 1986). Nevertheless, it was not until the Carboniferous that the CCD had deepened sufficiently (via erosion of cratonic limestones) to allow pelagic calcareous oozes to begin to accumulate. Prior to this time, surface waters appear to have been sufficiently corrosive (high atmospheric pCO 2 and low CaCO 3 saturation), and the CCD sufficiently shallow, to dissolve virtually all incipient calcareous nannofossils. Following Late Permian extinctions, plankton re-expanded in response to

  20. Microfossils, biomolecules and biominerals in carbonaceous meteorites: implications to the origin of life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2012-11-01

    Environmental and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM and FESEM) investigations have shown that a wide variety of carbonaceous meteorites contain the remains of large filaments embedded within freshly fractured interior surfaces of the meteorite rock matrix. The filaments occur singly or in dense assemblages and mats and are often encased within carbon-rich, electron transparent sheaths. Electron Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) spot analysis and 2D X-Ray maps indicate the filaments rarely have detectable nitrogen levels and exhibit elemental compositions consistent with that interpretation that of the meteorite rock matrix. Many of the meteorite filaments are exceptionally well-preserved and show evidence of cells, cell-wall constrictions and specialized cells and processes for reproduction, nitrogen fixation, attachment and motility. Morphological and morphometric analyses permit many of the filaments to be associated with morphotypes of known genera and species of known filamentous trichomic prokaryotes (cyanobacteria and sulfur bacteria). The presence in carbonaceous meteorites of diagenetic breakdown products of chlorophyll (pristane and phytane) along with indigenous and extraterrestrial chiral protein amino acids, nucleobases and other life-critical biomolecules provides strong support to the hypothesis that these filaments represent the remains of cyanobacteria and other microorganisms that grew on the meteorite parent body. The absence of other life-critical biomolecules in the meteorites and the lack of detectable levels of nitrogen indicate the filaments died long ago and can not possibly represent modern microbial contaminants that entered the stones after they arrived on Earth. This paper presents new evidence for microfossils, biomolecules and biominerals in carbonaceous meteorites and considers the implications to some of the major hypotheses for the Origin of Life.

  1. Earth

    2012-01-30

    Behold one of the more detailed images of the Earth yet created. This Blue Marble Earth montage shown above -- created from photographs taken by the Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on board the new Suomi NPP satellite -- shows many stunning details of our home planet. The Suomi NPP satellite was launched last October and renamed last week after Verner Suomi, commonly deemed the father of satellite meteorology. The composite was created from the data collected during four orbits of the robotic satellite taken earlier this month and digitally projected onto the globe. Many features of North America and the Western Hemisphere are particularly visible on a high resolution version of the image. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18033

  2. Earth's Bow Shock: Elapsed-Time Observations by Two Closely Spaced Satellites.

    PubMed

    Greenstadt, E W; Green, I M; Colburn, D S

    1968-11-22

    Coordinated observations of the earth's bow shock were made as Vela 3A and Explorer 33 passed within 6 earth radii of each other. Elapsed time measurements of shock motion give directly determined velocities in the range 1 to 10 kilometers per second and establish the existence of two regions, one of large amplitude magnetic "shock" oscillations and another of smaller, sunward, upstream oscillations. Each region is as thick as 1 earth radius, or more.

  3. Plant microfossil record of the terminal Cretaceous event in the western United States and Canada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nichols, D. J.; Fleming, R. F.

    1988-01-01

    Plant microfossils, principally pollen grains and spores produced by land plants, provide an excellent record of the terminal Cretaceous event in nonmarine environments. The record indicates regional devastation of the latest Cretaceous vegetation with the extinction of many groups, followed by a recolonization of the earliest Tertiary land surface, and development of a permanently changed land flora. The regional variations in depositional environments, plant communities, and paleoclimates provide insight into the nature and effects of the event, which were short-lived but profound. The plant microfossil data support the hypothesis that an abruptly initiated, major ecological crisis occurred at the end of the Cretaceous. Disruption of the Late Cretaceous flora ultimately contributred to the rise of modern vegetation. The plant microfossils together with geochemical and mineralogical data are consistent with an extraterrestrial impact having been the cause of the terminal Cretaceous event.

  4. Microfossils from the Local Marine Environment. A Learning Experience for Coastal and Oceanic Awareness Studies, No. 219. [Project COAST].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delaware Univ., Newark. Coll. of Education.

    This unit on fossils is designed for junior high school students. Students collect a sediment sample, process the sample, and examine it for microfossils. The scientific classification and naming of microfossils is not stressed. Included in the materials are evaluation items, background materials for teachers, lists of needed materials, vocabulary…

  5. Using Google Earth to Teach the Magnitude of Deep Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parker, Joel D.

    2011-01-01

    Most timeline analogies of geologic and evolutionary time are fundamentally flawed. They trade off the problem of grasping very long times for the problem of grasping very short distances. The result is an understanding of relative time with little comprehension of absolute time. Earlier work has shown that the distances most easily understood by…

  6. Measuring the Earth System in a Time of Global Environmental Change with Image Spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, Robert O.

    2005-01-01

    Measuring the Earth system in a time of global environmental change. Imaging Spectroscopy enables remote measurement. Remote Measurement determination of the properties of the Earth's surface and atmosphere through the physics, chemistry and biology of the interaction of electromagnetic energy with matter.

  7. The Treatment of Geological Time & the History of Life on Earth in High School Biology Textbooks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Summers, Gerald; Decker, Todd; Barrow, Lloyd

    2007-01-01

    In spite of the importance of geological time in evolutionary biology, misconceptions about historical events in the history of life on Earth are common. Glenn (1990) has documented a decline from 1960 to 1989 in the amount of space devoted to the history of life in high school earth science textbooks, but we are aware of no similar study in…

  8. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e218184 - iss042e219070 ). Shows night time views over Egypt, Sinai, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel. Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  9. Preservation and detection of microstructural and taxonomic correlations in the carbon isotopic compositions of individual Precambrian microfossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williford, Kenneth H.; Ushikubo, Takayuki; Schopf, J. William; Lepot, Kevin; Kitajima, Kouki; Valley, John W.

    2013-03-01

    Here we present techniques for, and new data from, in situ carbon isotope (δ13C) analysis of Precambrian permineralized microscopic fossils with a reproducibility of 1-2‰ using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). Individual microfossils, selected for their excellent preservation, were analyzed in petrographic thin sections of stromatolitic cherts from the Proterozoic Gunflint (˜1880 Ma), Bitter Springs (˜830 Ma), Min'yar (˜740 Ma), and Chichkan (˜775 Ma) Formations. The range of δ13C values (-34.6‰ to -22.1‰ VPDB) among the 46 individuals analyzed falls within that expected for photoautotrophic carbon fixation by ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBisCO), consistent with morphology-based taxonomic assignments for these specimens. Microfossils classified as cyanobacteria from the Gunflint, Bitter Springs, and Min'yar Formations (for which published carbonate carbon isotope data can be used to estimate the δ13C of the original dissolved inorganic carbon substrate) exhibit a consistent ˜19‰ total fractionation (δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon - δ13C of biomass) similar to that observed in living cyanobacteria, over a wide range of δ13Ccarb values (-2.9‰ to 3.4‰). In stromatolitic chert of the Min'yar Formation, morphologically diverse microfossils preserved in a ˜1 mm2 part of a microbial mat exhibit systematic isotopic differences among and within taxa that correlate with their morphologically inferred biological affinities and suggest that isotopic signatures of their original biosynthetic processes (e.g., lipid and peptidoglycan synthesis) are preserved. Isotopic offsets consistent with the different RuBisCO-based fractionations typical of cyanobacteria and photosynthetic eukaryotes are documented by the differing δ13C values of a colonial cyanobacterium (-22.6 ± 0.5‰) and a phytoplanktonic protistan acritarch (-28.9 ± 1.0‰) situated <1 cm apart in the stromatolitic Chichkan chert. These findings show for the first time the

  10. Stable isotope analysis of Dacryoconarid carbonate microfossils: a new tool for Devonian oxygen and carbon isotope stratigraphy.

    PubMed

    Frappier, Amy Benoit; Lindemann, Richard H; Frappier, Brian R

    2015-04-30

    Dacryoconarids are extinct marine zooplankton known from abundant, globally distributed calcite microfossils in the Devonian, but their shell stable isotope composition has not been previously explored. Devonian stable isotope stratigraphy is currently limited to less common invertebrates or bulk rock analyses of uncertain provenance. As with Cenozoic planktonic foraminifera, isotopic analysis of dacryoconarid shells could facilitate higher-resolution, geographically widespread stable isotope records of paleoenvironmental change, including marine hypoxia events, climate changes, and biocrises. We explored the use of Dacryoconarid isotope stratigraphy as a viable method in interpreting paleoenvironments. We applied an established method for determining stable isotope ratios (δ(13) C, δ(18) O values) of small carbonate microfossils to very well-preserved dacryoconarid shells. We analyzed individual calcite shells representing five common genera using a Kiel carbonate device coupled to a MAT 253 isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Calcite shell δ(13) C and δ(18) O values were compared by taxonomic group, rock unit, and locality. Single dacryoconarid calcite shells are suitable for stable isotope analysis using a Kiel-IRMS setup. The dacryoconarid shell δ(13) C values (-4.7 to 2.3‰) and δ(18) O values (-10.3 to -4.8‰) were consistent across taxa, independent of shell size or part, but varied systematically through time. Lower fossil δ(18) O values were associated with warmer water temperature and more variable δ(13) C values were associated with major bioevents. Dacryoconarid δ(13) C and δ(18) O values differed from bulk rock carbonate values. Dacryoconarid individual microfossil δ(13) C and δ(18) O values are highly sensitive to paleoenvironmental changes, thus providing a promising avenue for stable isotope chemostratigraphy to better resolve regional to global paleoceanographic changes throughout the upper Silurian to the upper Devonian. Our results

  11. The chemical structure of Gloeocapsomorpha prisca microfossils: implications for their origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blokker, Peter; van Bergen, Pim; Pancost, Rich; Collinson, Margaret E.; de Leeuw, Jan W.; Sinninghe Damste, Jaap S.

    2001-03-01

    Two Estonian Kukersites (Ordovician) and two samples from the Guttenberg Member (Ordovician) of the Decorah formation (North America) containing botryoidal aggregates of Gloeocapsomorpha prisca were investigated by RuO 4 chemical degradation, FTIR, and flash pyrolysis-GC/MS to obtain information about the polymeric structure of these microfossils. The products formed upon oxidation by RuO 4 were analysed by GC/MS and revealed the presence of a wide range of carboxyl and/or carbonyl moiety containing compounds with carbon skeletons ranging from C 5 to C 20. The Estonian Kukersites reveal the presence of a characteristic set of mono-, di-, and tricarboxylic acids. These compounds suggest that the Estonian Kukersites are composed of a polymer consisting of mainly C 21 and C 23n-alkenyl resorcinol building blocks. Similarly, although the tricarboxylic acids are not present, the RuO 4 degradation product mixtures of the Guttenberg Member samples, suggest a poly( n-alkyl resorcinol) structure. The higher thermal maturity is most likely responsible for the different chemistry and morphology of the G. prisca microfossils in these samples. Because compounds like n-alkenyl resorcinols are known to polymerise under oxygenated conditions even in an aqueous environment, it is not per se necessary that these microfossils are composed of a selectively preserved biopolymeric cell wall. It is also possible that G. prisca microfossils are composed of a cell wall or sheath component that polymerised during senescence or diagenesis of the organism.

  12. Distribution and diagenesis of microfossils from the lower Proterozoic Duck Creek Dolomite, Western Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knoll, A. H.; Strother, P. K.; Rossi, S.

    1988-01-01

    Two distinct generations of microfossils occur in silicified carbonates from a previously undescribed locality of the Lower Proterozoic Duck Creek Dolomite, Western Australia. The earlier generation occurs in discrete organic-rich clasts and clots characterized by microquartz anhedra; it contains a variety of filamentous and coccoidal fossils in varying states of preservation. Second generation microfossils consist almost exclusively of well-preserved Gunflintia minuta filaments that drape clasts or appear to float in clear chalcedony. These filaments appear to represent an ecologically distinct assemblage that colonized a substrate containing the partially degraded remains of the first generation community. The two assemblages differ significantly in taxonomic frequency distribution from previously described Duck Creek florules. Taken together, Duck Creek microfossils exhibit a range of assemblage variability comparable to that found in other Lower Proterozoic iron formations and ferruginous carbonates. With increasing severity of post-mortem alteration, Duck Creek microfossils appear to converge morphologically on assemblages of simple microstructures described from early Archean cherts. Two new species are described: Oscillatoriopsis majuscula and O. cuboides; the former is among the largest septate filamentous fossils described from any Proterozoic formation.

  13. Possible Microfossils (Warrawoona Group, Towers Formation, Australia, approximately 3.3 - 3.5 Ga)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, P. A.; Wentworth, S. J.; Allen, C. C.; McKay, D. S.

    1998-01-01

    Early in the twentieth century there were reports of Archean stromatolite-like structures that were similar to organic rich stromatolites from the base of the Cambrian (600 m.y.). It was not until the latter half of this century that fossilized Archean-age (3.9-2.5 Ga) life forms were found in the Fig Tree Formation of South Africa and the Towers Formation of Australia. Some of the ancient stromatolites contained streaks and clots of kerogen, pyrite grains, remnants of microbial cells, and filaments that represented various stages of preservation, while others appeared to lack fossils. A set of physical criteria was established for evaluating the biogenicity of these Archean discoveries: (1) rocks of unquestionable Archean age; (2) microfossils indigenous to Archean sediments; and (3) microfossils occurring in clasts that are syngenetic with deposition of the sedimentary unit. In the case of bedded cherts, the fossils should predate the cherts; (4) the microfossils are biogenic; and (5) replicate sampling of the fossil-iferous outcrop firmly demonstrates the provenance of these microfossils. Sample 002 from the Precambrian Paleobiology Research Group (PPRG) was examined. This stromatolitic carbonaceous chert contains microbial remains that meet the established criteria [10]. Using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), we have analyzed the morphologies and chemistry of these possible microbial remains.

  14. Federated Space-Time Query for Earth Science Data Using OpenSearch Conventions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynnes, Chris; Beaumont, Bruce; Duerr, Ruth; Hua, Hook

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews a Space-time query system that has been developed to assist the user in finding Earth science data that fulfills the researchers needs. It reviews the reasons why finding Earth science data can be so difficult, and explains the workings of the Space-Time Query with OpenSearch and how this system can assist researchers in finding the required data, It also reviews the developments with client server systems.

  15. Analysis of Delay Fluctuations on Two-Way Time Transfer Earth Stations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-01

    Two Way Satellite Time and Frequency Transfer ( TWSTFT ) has become one of the major techniques to compare atomic time scales and primary clocks over...the result of TWSTFT . On the TL’s earth station, the most of the equipment is located outside, including the up- and down-converters, solid-state...light/shade, wind speed, humidity, and thermal circulation, may affect the TWSTFT earth station. These conditions may cause both the change of path

  16. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    s time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e207712 - iss042e209132 ). Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  17. ISS Expedition 42 Time Lapse Video of Earth

    2015-05-18

    This time lapse video taken during ISS Expedition 42 is assembled from JSC still photo collection (still photos iss042e203119 - iss042e203971). Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm in foreground.

  18. Facilitating Identification of Poorly Preserved Marine Microfossils through 3D Printing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, R. V.; Robinson, M. M.; Sessa, J.

    2016-12-01

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was a period of sudden and intense global warming that occurred 56 Myr, and is widely considered a possible analogue for future climatic changes. Marine microfossils are important proxies used in the reconstruction of PETM paleoenvironments and paleoclimate. The correct species-level identification of foraminifera and pteropod specimens is necessary to understand ocean temperature, chemistry, nutrient availability, and ecosystem structure during this hyperthermal event. During periods of extreme or rapid environmental perturbations foraminifera can be poorly preserved. Pteropod identification is equally challenging as aragonitic shells are vulnerable to changing ocean acidity and often only internal molds are left to be identified. The macroscopic rendering of the internal and external test morphology of marine microfossils via 3D printing allows for a more experiential species-recognition education, especially of difficult to identify specimens. A selected microfossil specimen is scanned using computerized tomography (CT), creating x-ray slices of the specimen that are then processed into a digital model. The digitized fossil can then be analyzed using 3D software and subsequently printed using a wide variety of materials. The magnified model can be easily manipulated in a student's hand, and thus can be studied in a more visible and tactile way than traditional methods allow. This invaluable teaching tool physically manifests what was previously limited to textbook images and illustrations or the view field of a microscope. We show the step-by-step 3-D printing process of several PETM marine microfossil specimens from CT scans and demonstrate their advantage over 2-D SEM images for learning to identify microfossils to the species level. In addition, we provide samples to demonstrate the utility of 3-D models in identifying poorly preserved foraminifer specimens and species of pteropods from internal molds.

  19. Near-Real-Time Earth Observation Data Supporting Wildfire Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambrosia, V. G.; Zajkowski, T.; Quayle, B.

    2013-12-01

    During disaster events, the most critical element needed by responding personnel and management teams is situational intelligence / awareness. During rapidly-evolving events such as wildfires, the need for timely information is critical to save lives, property and resources. The wildfire management agencies in the US rely heavily on remote sensing information both from airborne platforms as well as from orbital assets. The ability to readily have information from those systems, not just data, is critical to effective control and damage mitigation. NASA has been collaborating with the USFS to mature and operationalize various asset-information capabilities to effect improved knowledge of fire-prone areas, monitor wildfire events in real-time, assess effectiveness of fire management strategies, and provide rapid, post-fire assessment for recovery operations. Specific examples of near-real-time remote sensing asset utility include daily MODIS data employed to assess fire potential / wildfire hazard areas, and national-scale hot-spot detection, airborne thermal sensor collected during wildfire events to effect management strategies, EO-1 ALI 'pointable' satellite sensor data to assess fire-retardant application effectiveness, and Landsat 8 and other sensor data to derive burn severity indices for post-fire remediation work. These cases of where near-real-time data is used operationally during the previous few fire seasons will be presented.

  20. Earth's Surface Displacements from the GPS Time Series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haritonova, D.; Balodis, J.; Janpaule, I.; Morozova, K.

    2015-11-01

    The GPS observations of both Latvian permanent GNSS networks - EUPOS®-Riga and LatPos, have been collected for a period of 8 years - from 2007 to 2014. Local surface displacements have been derived from the obtained coordinate time series eliminating different impact sources. The Bernese software is used for data processing. The EUREF Permanent Network (EPN) stations in the surroundings of Latvia are selected as fiducial stations. The results have shown a positive tendency of vertical displacements in the western part of Latvia - station heights are increasing, and negative velocities are observed in the central and eastern parts. Station vertical velocities are ranging in diapason of 4 mm/year. In the case of horizontal displacements, site velocities are up to 1 mm/year and mostly oriented to the south. The comparison of the obtained results with data from the deformation model NKG_RF03vel has been made. Additionally, the purpose of this study is to analyse GPS time series obtained using two different data processing strategies: Precise Point Positioning (PPP) and estimation of station coordinates relatively to the positions of fiducial stations also known as Differential GNSS.

  1. Relativistic theory for picosecond time transfer in the vicinity of Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petit, G.; Wolf, P.

    1994-01-01

    The problem of light propagation is treated in a geocentric reference system with the goal of ensuring picosecond accuracy for time transfer techniques using electromagnetic signals in the vicinity of the Earth. We give an explicit formula for a one way time transfer, to be applied when the spatial coordinates of the time transfer stations are known in a geocentric reference system rotating with the Earth. This expression is extended, at the same accuracy level of one picosecond, to the special cases of two way and LASSO time transfers via geostationary satellites.

  2. Laser propulsion to earth orbit. Has its time come?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kantrowitz, Arthur

    1989-01-01

    Recent developments in high energy lasers, adaptive optics, and atmospheric transmission bring laser propulsion much closer to realization. Proposed here is a reference vehicle for study which consists of payload and solid propellant (e.g. ice). A suitable laser pulse is proposed for using a Laser Supported Detonation wave to produce thrust efficiently. It seems likely that a minimum system (10 Mw CO2 laser and 10 m dia. mirror) could be constructed for about $150 M. This minimum system could launch payloads of about 13 kg to a 400 km orbit every 10 minutes. The annual launch capability would be about 683 tons times the duty factor. Laser propulsion would be an order of magnitude cheaper than chemical rockets if the duty factor was 20 percent (10,000 launches/yr). Launches beyond that would be even cheaper. The chief problem which needs to be addressed before these possibilities could be realized is the design of a propellant to turn laser energy into thrust efficiently and to withstand the launch environment.

  3. Temporal Patterns in Diversity Change on Earth Over Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bambach, Richard

    2007-05-01

    Multi-celled animals and plants did not originate until about 600 million years ago. Since then the diversity of life has expanded greatly, but this has not been a monotonic increase. Diversity, as taxonomic variety or richness, is produced by the interaction of origination and extinction. Origination and extinction are almost equally balanced; it has taken 600 million years to accumulate 10 to 30 million living species. With most species life spans in the range of one to fifteen million years most species that have ever originated are extinct and global diversity has “turned over” many times. Paleontologists recognize about 18 short-term events of elevated extinction intensity and diversity loss of sufficient magnitude to warrant the term “mass extinction.” Interestingly, in only one instance, the end-Cretaceous extinction, is there a consensus for the triggering event, but the kill mechanism or mechanisms that caused the widespread death of lineages is not established. We know less about the cause-effect relationships for other events. Recently a 62 million-year periodicity in the fluctuation of diversity has been documented, expressed primarily in the variation of diversity of marine genera that survived 45 million years or less. Analysis of the pattern of diversity change at the finest temporal scale possible suggests that the short-term mass extinctions are superimposed on this regular pattern of diversity fluctuations, rather than causal of them. However, most mass extinctions (14 of 18) occurred during the intervals of general diversity loss. It remains to be seen how origination and extinction interact to produce the periodic fluctuation in diversity.

  4. Evidence for life on Earth before 3,800 million years ago.

    PubMed

    Mojzsis, S J; Arrhenius, G; McKeegan, K D; Harrison, T M; Nutman, A P; Friend, C R

    1996-11-07

    It is unknown when life first appeared on Earth. The earliest known microfossils (approximately 3,500 Myr before present) are structurally complex, and if it is assumed that the associated organisms required a long time to develop this degree of complexity, then the existence of life much earlier than this can be argued. But the known examples of crustal rocks older than 3,500 Myr have experienced intense metamorphism, which would have obliterated any fragile microfossils contained therein. It is therefore necessary to search for geochemical evidence of past biotic activity that has been preserved within minerals that are resistant to metamorphism. Here we report ion-microprobe measurements of the carbon-isotope composition of carbonaceous inclusions within grains of apatite (basic calcium phosphate) from the oldest known sediment sequences--a approximately 3,800-Myr-old banded iron formation from the Isua supracrustal belt, West Greenland, and a similar formation from the nearby Akilia island that is possibly older than 3,850 Myr. The carbon in the carbonaceous inclusions is isotopically light, indicative of biological activity; no known abiotic process can explain the data. Unless some unknown abiotic process exists which is able both to create such isotopically light carbon and then selectively incorporate it into apatite grains, our results provide evidence for the emergence of life on Earth by at least 3,800 Myr before present.

  5. Evidence for Life on Earth before 3,800 Million Years Ago

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mojzsis, S. J.; Arrhenius, G.; McKeegan, K. D.; Harrison, T. M.; Nutman, A. P.; Friend, C. R. L.

    1996-01-01

    It is unknown when life first appeared on Earth. The earliest known microfossils (approx. 3,500 Myr before present) are structurally complex, and if it is assumed that the associated organisms required a long time to develop this degree of complexity, then the existence of life much earlier than this can be argued. But the known examples of crustal rocks older than approx. 3,500 Myr have experienced intense metamorphism, which would have obliterated any fragile microfossils contained therein. It is therefore necessary to search for geochemical evidence of past biotic activity that has been preserved within minerals that are resistant to metamorphism. Here we report ion-microprobe measurements of the carbon-isotope composition of carbonaceous inclusions within grains of apatite (basic calcium phosphate) from the oldest known sediment sequences a approx. 3,800 Myr-old banded iron formation from the Isua supracrustal belt, West Greenland, and a similar formation from the nearby Akilia island that is possibly older than 3,850 Myr. The carbon in the carbonaceous inclusions is isotopically light, indicative of biological activity; no known abiotic process can explain the data. Unless some unknown abiotic process exists which is able both to create such isotopically light carbon and then selectively incorporate it into apatite grains, our results provide evidence for the emergence of life on Earth by at least 3,800 Myr before present.

  6. Polestitters: Using Solar Sails for Constant Real-time Sensing of Earth's Polar Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulligan, P.; Diedrich, B. L.; Barnes, N.; Derbes, B.

    2012-12-01

    NASA has funded the Sunjammer mission - a near term demonstration of solar sail technology (2014/15). Sunjammer has the potential to demonstrate stationkeeping out of Earth's orbital plane. This is a first step in achieving "polesitter" orbits with year-round, real-time visibility of Earth's polar regions. Potential applications for such missions are illustrated. Solar sails have long been a concept for spacecraft propulsion that works by exchanging momentum with sunlight reflected by large, lightweight, mirrored sails. In addition to enabling propellantless propulsion throughout the solar system and beyond, their continuous thrust enables artificial Lagrange orbits (ALOs), some of which can be called "polesitter" orbits, with 24-hour, year-round visibility of Earth's polar regions. Several potential Earth remote sensing applications have been identified that address the limited temporal and spatial coverage from traditional polar and geostationary satellites. The Galileo spacecraft during its 1990 Earth flyby acquired imagery and radiometer data similar to the view from a polesitter. The Galileo imagery was used to derive aerosols and cloud variations used in atmospheric motion vector (AMV) derivations. Composites of satellite imagery over the South Pole is routinely used to derive atmospheric motion vectors like those performed regularly from geostationary satellites. The JAXA IKAROS mission flew a 14x14m solar sail past Venus in 2010. Sunjammer will demonstrate a state of the art 38x38m solar sail from Earth to an artificial Lagrange orbit located sunward and north of the sun-Earth L1 point. Traditional spacecraft can orbit naturally occurring Lagrange equilibrium points between the sun and Earth. The low, continuous thrust of solar sails can change where these points occur, creating new orbits with a variety of potential applications including polar remote sensing, space weather monitoring, and polar communications. This figure illustrates a selection of

  7. Mass Redistribution in the Core and Time-varying Gravity at the Earth's Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuang, Wei-Jia; Chao, Benjamin F.; Fang, Ming

    2003-01-01

    The Earth's liquid outer core is in convection, as suggested by the existence of the geomagnetic field in much of the Earth's history. One consequence of the convection is the redistribution of mass resulting from relative motion among fluid parcels with slightly different densities. This time dependent mass redistribution inside the core produces a small perturbation on the gravity field of the Earth. With our numerical dynamo solutions, we find that the mass redistribution (and the resultant gravity field) symmetric about the equator is much stronger than that anti-symmetric about the equator. In particular, J(sub 2) component is the strongest. In addition, the gravity field variation increases with the Rayleigh number that measures the driving force for the geodynamo in the core. With reasonable scaling from the current dynamo solutions, we could expect that at the surface of the Earth, the J(sub 2) variation from the core is on the order of l0(exp -16)/year relative to the mean (i.e. spherically symmetric) gravity field of the Earth. The possible shielding effect due to core-mantle boundary pressure variation loading is likely much smaller and is therefore negligible. Our results suggest that time-varying gravity field perturbation due to core mass redistribution may be measured with modem space geodetic observations, which will result a new means of detecting dynamical processes in the Earth's deep interior.

  8. Stratigraphic and microfossil evidence for hydroclimate changes over the middle to late Holocene in the northern Bahamas from an inland saline lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hengstum, P. J.; Maale, G. E.; Donnelly, J. P.; Onac, B. P.; Sullivan, R.; Winkler, T. S.; Albury, N. A.

    2016-12-01

    No Man's Land is one of the largest inland lakes on the Little Bahama Bank in the northern Bahamas, so its paleoenvironmental history may provide insight into how the regional hydroclimate developed over the Holocene. In its modern state, the site is shallow (<3 m), brackish (20.6 psu), 170 m in diameter, and located 700 m from the coastline. Prior to 6400 Cal yrs BP, the accumulation of peat deposits and no aquatic invertebrates (e.g., ostracodes, foraminifera, aquatic mollusks) indicate that the site was a terrestrial ecosystem. However, the site transitioned into a subaqueous freshwater environment at 6400 Cal yrs BP, and the site became a palustrine-lacustrine setting thereafter until 4200 Cal yrs BP. During this time, widespread palustrine-lacustrine carbonate deposition and the appearance of freshwater to low mesohaline microfossils indicates that the lake's salinity was likely oligohaline (charophytes, ostracodes: Candona annae, Cypridopsis vidua, foraminifera: Helenina davescottensis, mollusks: Planorbis, Hydrobia). A salinity increase at 4200 Cal yrs BP is inferred from the appearance of the ostracode Cyprideis americana that typically prefers salinities exceeding 10 psu, and deposition of laminated microbial mats. Thereafter, an organic- rich, algal sapropel unit accumulated that was devoid of any microfossils or mollusks. This unit suggests that the lake hosted a stratified water column, where surface waters supported phytoplankton primary productivity and corrosive or anoxic bottom water conditions either hampered microfossil growth or precluded their preservation. The transition to the modern environment ( 20 psu) at 2600 cal yrs BP is characterized by diversification of brackish ostracodes (Aurila floridana, Dolerocypria inopinata, and Hemicyprideis setipunctata), foraminifera (Elphidium spp., Ammonia beccarii, Triloculina oblonga) and mollusks (Anomalocardia, Cerithidea). Over the middle to late Holocene, it appears that the stratigraphic development

  9. Digital database of microfossil localities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, California

    McDougall, Kristin; Block, Debra L.

    2014-01-01

    The eastern San Francisco Bay region (Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, California) is a geologically complex area divided by faults into a suite of tectonic blocks. Each block contains a unique stratigraphic sequence of Tertiary sediments that in most blocks unconformably overlie Mesozoic sediments. Age and environmental interpretations based on analysis of microfossil assemblages are key factors in interpreting geologic history, structure, and correlation of each block. Much of this data, however, is distributed in unpublished internal reports and memos, and is generally unavailable to the geologic community. In this report the U.S. Geological Survey microfossil data from the Tertiary sediments of Alameda and Contra Costa counties are analyzed and presented in a digital database, which provides a user-friendly summary of the micropaleontologic data, locality information, and biostratigraphic and ecologic interpretations.

  10. Time and Energy, Exploring Trajectory Options Between Nodes in Earth-Moon Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martinez, Roland; Condon, Gerald; Williams, Jacob

    2012-01-01

    The Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) was released by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) in September of 2011. It describes mission scenarios that begin with the International Space Station and utilize it to demonstrate necessary technologies and capabilities prior to deployment of systems into Earth-Moon space. Deployment of these systems is an intermediate step in preparation for more complex deep space missions to near-Earth asteroids and eventually Mars. In one of the scenarios described in the GER, "Asteroid Next", there are activities that occur in Earth-Moon space at one of the Earth-Moon Lagrange (libration) points. In this regard, the authors examine the possible role of an intermediate staging point in an effort to illuminate potential trajectory options for conducting missions in Earth-Moon space of increasing duration, ultimately leading to deep space missions. This paper will describe several options for transits between Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and the libration points, transits between libration points, and transits between the libration points and interplanetary trajectories. The solution space provided will be constrained by selected orbital mechanics design techniques and physical characteristics of hardware to be used in both crewed missions and uncrewed missions. The relationships between time and energy required to transfer hardware between these locations will provide a better understanding of the potential trade-offs mission planners could consider in the development of capabilities, individual missions, and mission series in the context of the ISECG GER.

  11. Mass, Energy, Space And Time System Theory---MEST A way to help our earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Dayong

    2009-03-01

    There are two danger to our earth. The first, the sun will expand to devour our earth, for example, the ozonosphere of our earth is be broken; The second, the asteroid will impact near our earth. According to MEST, there is a interaction between Black hole (and Dark matter-energy) and Solar system. The orbit of Jupiter is a boundary of the interaction between Black hole (and Dark matter-energy) and Solar system. Because there are four terrestrial planets which is mass-energy center as solar system, and there are four or five Jovian planets which is gas (space-time) center as black hole system. According to MEST, dark matter-energy take the velocity of Jupiter gose up. So there are a lot of asteroids and dark matter-energy near the orbit of Jupiter-the boundary. Dark matter-energy can change the orbit of asteroid, and take it impacted near our earth. Because the Dark matter-energy will pressure the Solar system. It is a inverse process with sun's expandedness. So the ``two danger'' is from a new process of the balance system between Black hole (and Dark matter-energy) and Solar system. According to MEST, We need to find the right point for our earth in the ``new process of the balance system.''

  12. Resistant tissues of modern marchantioid liverworts resemble enigmatic Early Paleozoic microfossils

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Linda E.; Wilcox, Lee W.; Cook, Martha E.; Gensel, Patricia G.

    2004-01-01

    Absence of a substantial pretracheophyte fossil record for bryophytes (otherwise predicted by molecular systematics) poses a major problem in our understanding of earliest land-plant structure. In contrast, there exist enigmatic Cambrian–Devonian microfossils (aggregations of tubes or sheets of cells or possibly a combination of both) controversially interpreted as an extinct group of early land plants known as nematophytes. We used an innovative approach to explore these issues: comparison of tube and cell-sheet microfossils with experimentally degraded modern liverworts as analogues of ancient early land plants. Lower epidermal surface tissues, including rhizoids, of Marchantia polymorpha and Conocephalum conicum were resistant to breakdown after rotting for extended periods or high-temperature acid treatment (acetolysis), suggesting fossilization potential. Cell-sheet and rhizoid remains occurred separately or together depending on the degree of body degradation. Rhizoid break-off at the lower epidermal surface left rimmed pores at the centers of cell rosettes; these were similar in structure, diameter, and distribution to pores characterizing nematophyte cell-sheet microfossils known as Cosmochlaina. The range of Marchantia rhizoid diameters overlapped that of Cosmochlaina pores. Approximately 14% of dry biomass of Marchantia vegetative thalli and 40% of gametangiophores was resistant to acetolysis. Pre- and posttreatment cell-wall autofluorescence suggested the presence of phenolic compounds that likely protect lower epidermal tissues from soil microbe attack and provide dimensional stability to gametangiophores. Our results suggest that at least some microfossils identified as nematophytes may be the remains of early marchantioid liverworts similar in some ways to modern Marchantia and Conocephalum. PMID:15263095

  13. Using Soft Sculpture Microfossils and Other Crafted Models to Teach Geoscience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spinak, N. R.

    2017-12-01

    For the past 5 years, the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) has been using the author's sewn models of microfossils to help learners understand the shapes and design of these tiny fossils. These tactile objects make the study of ancient underwater life more tangible. Multiple studies have shown that interactive models can help many learners understand science. The Montessori and Waldorf education programs are based in large part on earlier insights into meeting these needs. The act of drawing has been an essential part of medical education. The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) movement has advocated for STEM supporters to recognize the inseparability of science and art. This presentation describes how the author's knitted or sewn models of microfossils incorporate art and design into geoscience education. The geoscience research and art processes used in developing and creating these educational soft sculptures will be described. In multiple entry points to science study, specific reciprocal benefits to boundary crossing among the arts and sciences for those who have primary talents in a particular area of study will be discussed. Geoscience education can benefit from using art and craft items such as models. Many websites now offer soft sculptures for biology study such as organs and germs (e.g. (https://www.giantmicrobes.com/us/main/nasty-germs). The Wortheim project involving community and crochet is another approach (http://crochetcoralreef.org/). These tactile artifacts give learners an entry-level experience with biology. Three dimensional models are multisensory. The enlarged manipulative microfossil models invite learners to make comparisons and gain insights when microscopes are not available or appropriate for the audience. Adding the physical involvement of creating a microfossil yourself increases the multi-sensory experience even further. Learning craft skills extends the cross-cutting concepts of the NGSS to a mutual

  14. The Study of Effects of Time Variations in the Earth's Gravity Field on Geodetic Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shum, C. K.

    1998-01-01

    The temporal variations in the Earth's gravity field are the consequences of complex interactions between atmosphere, ocean, solid Earth, hydrosphere and cryosphere. The signal ranges from several hours to 18.6 years to geological time scale. The direct and indirect consequences of these variations are manifested in such phenomena as changes in the global sea level and in the global climate pattern. These signals produce observable geodetic satellites. The primary objectives of the proposed effects on near-Earth orbiting investigation include (1) the improved determination of the time-varying gravity field parameters (scale from a few hour to 18.6 year and secular) using long-term satellite laser rs ranging (SLR) observations to multiple geodetic satellites, and (2) the enhanced understanding of these variations with their associated meteorological and geophysical consequences.

  15. Time-optimal control of the spacecraft trajectories in the Earth-Moon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starinova, O. L.; Fain, M. K.; Materova, I. L.

    2017-01-01

    This paper outlines the multiparametric optimization of the L1-L2 and L2-L1 missions in the Earth-Moon system using electric propulsion. The optimal control laws are obtained using the Fedorenko successful linearization method to estimate the derivatives and the gradient method to optimize the control laws. The study of the transfers is based on the restricted circular three-body problem. The mathematical model of the missions is described within the barycentric system of coordinates. The optimization criterion is the total flight time. The perturbation from the Earth, the Moon and the Sun are taking into account. The impact of the shaded areas, induced by the Earth and the Moon, is also accounted. As the results of the optimization we obtained optimal control laws, corresponding trajectories and minimal total flight times.

  16. Modeling Earth's Disk-Integrated, Time-Dependent Spectrum: Applications to Directly Imaged Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob; Schwieterman, Edward; Meadows, Victoria; Fujii, Yuka; NAI Virtual Planetary Laboratory, ISSI 'The Exo-Cartography Inverse Problem'

    2016-10-01

    Earth is our only example of a habitable world and is a critical reference point for potentially habitable exoplanets. While disk-averaged views of Earth that mimic exoplanet data can be obtained by interplanetary spacecraft, these datasets are often restricted in wavelength range, and are limited to the Earth phases and viewing geometries that the spacecraft can feasibly access. We can overcome these observational limitations using a sophisticated UV-MIR spectral model of Earth that has been validated against spacecraft observations in wavelength-dependent brightness and phase (Robinson et al., 2011; 2014). This model can be used to understand the information content - and the optimal means for extraction of that information - for multi-wavelength, time-dependent, disk-averaged observations of the Earth. In this work, we explore key telescope parameters and observing strategies that offer the greatest insight into the wavelength-, phase-, and rotationally-dependent variability of Earth as if it were an exoplanet. Using a generalized coronagraph instrument simulator (Robinson et al., 2016), we synthesize multi-band, time-series observations of the Earth that are consistent with large space-based telescope mission concepts, such as the Large UV/Optical/IR (LUVOIR) Surveyor. We present fits to this dataset that leverage the rotationally-induced variability to infer the number of large-scale planetary surface types, as well as their respective longitudinal distributions and broadband albedo spectra. Finally, we discuss the feasibility of using such methods to identify and map terrestrial exoplanets surfaces with the next generation of space-based telescopes.

  17. Conversion of time-varying Stokes coefficients into mass anomalies at the Earth's surface considering the Earth's oblateness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditmar, Pavel

    2018-02-01

    Time-varying Stokes coefficients estimated from GRACE satellite data are routinely converted into mass anomalies at the Earth's surface with the expression proposed for that purpose by Wahr et al. (J Geophys Res 103(B12):30,205-30,229, 1998). However, the results obtained with it represent mass transport at the spherical surface of 6378 km radius. We show that the accuracy of such conversion may be insufficient, especially if the target area is located in a polar region and the signal-to-noise ratio is high. For instance, the peak values of mean linear trends in 2003-2015 estimated over Greenland and Amundsen Sea embayment of West Antarctica may be underestimated in this way by about 15%. As a solution, we propose an updated expression for the conversion of Stokes coefficients into mass anomalies. This expression is based on the assumptions that: (i) mass transport takes place at the reference ellipsoid and (ii) at each point of interest, the ellipsoidal surface is approximated by the sphere with a radius equal to the current radial distance from the Earth's center ("locally spherical approximation"). The updated expression is nearly as simple as the traditionally used one but reduces the inaccuracies of the conversion procedure by an order of magnitude. In addition, we remind the reader that the conversion expressions are defined in spherical (geocentric) coordinates. We demonstrate that the difference between mass anomalies computed in spherical and ellipsoidal (geodetic) coordinates may not be negligible, so that a conversion of geodetic colatitudes into geocentric ones should not be omitted.

  18. Creating Deep Time Diaries: An English/Earth Science Unit for Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordan, Vicky; Barnes, Mark

    2006-01-01

    Students love a good story. That is why incorporating literary fiction that parallels teaching goals and standards can be effective. In the interdisciplinary, thematic six-week unit described in this article, the authors use the fictional book "The Deep Time Diaries," by Gary Raham, to explore topics in paleontology, Earth science, and creative…

  19. How Successful Has Earth Science Education Been in Teaching Deep Time and Terminology of the Earth's Structure?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Phil

    2012-01-01

    A very limited questioning of undergraduate Environmental Science students at the start of their studies suggests the age of the Earth is being successfully taught in high schools. The same cannot be said for the teaching of the structure of the Earth.

  20. Combining GPS and VLBI earth-rotation data for improved universal time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freedman, A. P.

    1991-01-01

    The Deep Space Network (DSN) routinely measures Earth orientation in support of spacecraft tracking and navigation using very long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) with the deep-space tracking antennas. The variability of the most unpredictable Earth-orientation component, Universal Time 1 (UT1), is a major factor in determining the frequency with which the DSN measurements must be made. The installation of advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers at the DSN sites and elsewhere may soon permit routine measurements of UT1 variation with significantly less dependence on the deep-space tracking antennas than is currently required. GPS and VLBI data from the DSN may be combined to generate a precise UT1 series, while simultaneously reducing the time and effort the DSN must spend on platform-parameter calibrations. This combination is not straightforward, however, and a strategy for the optimal combination of these data is presented and evaluated. It appears that, with the aid of GPS, the frequency of required VLBI measurements of Earth orientation could drop from twice weekly to once per month. More stringent real-time Earth orientation requirements possible in the future would demand significant improvements in both VLBI and GPS capabilities, however.

  1. Effect of atmospheric anisoplanatism on earth-to-satellite time transfer over laser communication links.

    PubMed

    Belmonte, Aniceto; Taylor, Michael T; Hollberg, Leo; Kahn, Joseph M

    2017-07-10

    The need for an accurate time reference on orbiting platforms motivates study of time transfer via free-space optical communication links. The impact of atmospheric turbulence on earth-to-satellite optical time transfer has not been fully characterized, however. We analyze limits to two-way laser time transfer accuracy posed by anisoplanatic non-reciprocity between uplink and downlink. We show that despite limited reciprocity, two-way time transfer can still achieve sub-picosecond accuracy in realistic propagation scenarios over a single satellite visibility period.

  2. Maximum number of habitable planets at the time of Earth's origin: new hints for panspermia?

    PubMed

    von Bloh, Werner; Franck, Siegfried; Bounama, Christine; Schellnhuber, Hans-Joachim

    2003-04-01

    New discoveries have fuelled the ongoing discussion of panspermia, i.e. the transport of life from one planet to another within the solar system (interplanetary panspermia) or even between different planetary systems (interstellar panspermia). The main factor for the probability of interstellar panspermia is the average density of stellar systems containing habitable planets. The combination of recent results for the formation rate of Earth-like planets with our estimations of extrasolar habitable zones allows us to determine the number of habitable planets in the Milky Way over cosmological time scales. We find that there was a maximum number of habitable planets around the time of Earth's origin. If at all, interstellar panspermia was most probable at that time and may have kick-started life on our planet.

  3. Looking Backwards in Time to the Early Earth Using the Lens of Stable Isotope Geodynamic Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregory, R. T.

    2016-12-01

    The stable isotope ratios of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and sulfur provide of means of tracing interactions between the major reservoirs of the Earth. The oceans and the dichotomy between continental and oceanic crust are key differences between the Earth and other terrestrial bodies. The existence of plate tectonics and the recognition that no primary crust survives at the Earth's surface sets this planet apart from the smaller terrestrial bodies. The thermostatic control of carbonate-silicate cycle works because of the hydrosphere and plate tectonics. Additionally, the contrast between the carbon isotope ratios for reduced and oxidized species appear to also be invariant over geologic time with evidence of old recycled carbon in the form of diamond inclusions in mantle-derived igneous rocks. Lessons from comparative planetology suggest that early differentiation of the Earth would have likely resulted in the rapid formation of the oceans, a water world over the primary crust. Plate tectonics provides a mechanism for buffering the oxygen isotope fractionation between the oceans and the mantle. The set point for hydrosphere's oxygen isotope composition is a result of the geometry of mid-ocean ridge accretion that is stable over an order magnitude change in spreading rates with time constants much younger shorter than the age of the Earth. The recognition that the "normal" ranges for hydrogen isotope ratios of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks of any age generally overlap with similar ranges, with the exception of rocks that have interacted with D- and 18O-depleted meteoric waters (generally at high latitudes), is an argument for a constant volume ocean over geologic time. Plate tectonics with a constant volume ocean constrains the thickness of the continental crust because of the rapidity of the mechanical weathering cycle (characteristic times of 10's of millions of years; freeboard of the continents argument). In a plate tectonic regime, chemical

  4. Magnetic Local Time Dependant Low Energy Electron Flux Models at Geostationary Earth Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boynton, R.; Balikhin, M. A.; Walker, S. N.

    2017-12-01

    The low energy electron fluxes in the outer radiation belts at Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) can vary widely in Magnetic Local Time (MLT). This spatial variation is due to the convective and substorm-associated electric fields and can take place on short time scales. This makes it difficult to deduce a data based model of the low energy electrons. For higher energies, where there is negligible spatial variation at a particular L-star, data based models employ averaged fluxes over the orbit. This removes the diurnal variation as GEO passes through various L-star due to the structure of Earth's magnetic field. This study develops a number of models for the low energy electron fluxes measured by GOES 13 and 15 for different MLT to capture the dynamics of the spatial variations.

  5. Native American Students' Understanding of Geologic Time Scale: 4th-8th Grade Ojibwe Students' Understanding of Earth's Geologic History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nam, Younkyeong; Karahan, Engin; Roehrig, Gillian

    2016-01-01

    Geologic time scale is a very important concept for understanding long-term earth system events such as climate change. This study examines forty-three 4th-8th grade Native American--particularly Ojibwe tribe--students' understanding of relative ordering and absolute time of Earth's significant geological and biological events. This study also…

  6. Detection of large prehistoric earthquakes in the pacific northwest by microfossil analysis.

    PubMed

    Mathewes, R W; Clague, J J

    1994-04-29

    Geologic and palynological evidence for rapid sea level change approximately 3400 and approximately 2000 carbon-14 years ago (3600 and 1900 calendar years ago) has been found at sites up to 110 kilometers apart in southwestern British Columbia. Submergence on southern Vancouver Island and slight emergence on the mainland during the older event are consistent with a great (magnitude M >/= 8) earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone. The younger event is characterized by submergence throughout the region and may also record a plate-boundary earthquake or a very large crustal or intraplate earthquake. Microfossil analysis can detect small amounts of coseismic uplift and subsidence that leave little or no lithostratigraphic signature.

  7. ROADNET: A Real-time Data Aware System for Earth, Oceanographic, and Environmental Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vernon, F.; Hansen, T.; Lindquist, K.; Ludascher, B.; Orcutt, J.; Rajasekar, A.

    2003-12-01

    The Real-time Observatories, Application, and Data management Network (ROADNet) Program aims to develop an integrated, seamless, and transparent environmental information network that will deliver geophysical, oceanographic, hydrological, ecological, and physical data to a variety of users in real-time. ROADNet is a multidisciplinary, multinational partnership of researchers, policymakers, natural resource managers, educators, and students who aim to use the data to advance our understanding and management of coastal, ocean, riparian, and terrestrial Earth systems in Southern California, Mexico, and well off shore. To date, project activity and funding have focused on the design and deployment of network linkages and on the exploratory development of the real-time data management system. We are currently adapting powerful "Data Grid" technologies to the unique challenges associated with the management and manipulation of real-time data. Current "Grid" projects deal with static data files, and significant technical innovation is required to address fundamental problems of real-time data processing, integration, and distribution. The technologies developed through this research will create a system that dynamically adapt downstream processing, cataloging, and data access interfaces when sensors are added or removed from the system; provide for real-time processing and monitoring of data streams--detecting events, and triggering computations, sensor and logger modifications, and other actions; integrate heterogeneous data from multiple (signal) domains; and provide for large-scale archival and querying of "consolidated" data. The software tools which must be developed do not exist, although limited prototype systems are available. This research has implications for the success of large-scale NSF initiatives in the Earth sciences (EarthScope), ocean sciences (OOI- Ocean Observatories Initiative), biological sciences (NEON - National Ecological Observatory Network) and

  8. Selective dissolution of siliceous microfossils observed in a box core from the north-east equatorial Pacific

    Kadko, D.; Blueford, J.R.; Burckle, L.H.; Barron, J.

    1983-01-01

    A box core taken at 11??50.3??? N and 137??28.2??? W in the Central Pacific manganese nodule province was studied to determine the pattern of diatom and radiolarian preservation with depth in the sediment, as well as to observe downcore variations in clay mineralogy. We observed marked deterioration of the siliceous microfossils within the upper 30 cm of this sediment; over this depth interval the Quaternary diatoms disappear first, followed deeper downcore by the dissolution of Quaternary radiolarians. Tertiary microfossils in general were the most corrosion resistant, and the residual microfossil assemblage in the lower part of the core consisted of fragmented, robust Tertiary forms. Consequently, the apparent biostratigraphical age of the sediment appeared much greater than the age suggested by mineralogical and radioisotopic data. ?? 1983 Nature Publishing Group.

  9. Microfossils from the Neoarchean Campbell Group, Griqualand West Sequence of the Transvaal Supergroup, and their paleoenvironmental and evolutionary implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Altermann, W.; Schopf, J. W.

    1995-01-01

    The oldest filament- and colonial coccoid-containing microbial fossil assemblage now known is described here from drill core samples of stromatolitic cherty limestones of the Neoarchean, approximately 2600-Ma-old Campbell Group (Ghaap Plateau Dolomite, Lime Acres Member) obtained at Lime Acres, northern Cape Province, South Africa. The assemblage is biologically diverse, including entophysalidacean (Eoentophysalis sp.), probable chroococcacean (unnamed colonial coccoids), and oscillatoriacean cyanobacteria (Eomycetopsis cf. filiformis, and Siphonophycus transvaalensis), as well as filamentous fossil bacteria (Archaeotrichion sp.); filamentous possible microfossils (unnamed hematitic filaments) also occur. The Campbell Group microorganisms contributed to the formation of stratiform and domical to columnar stromatolitic reefs in shallow subtidal to intertidal environments of the Transvaal intracratonic sea. Although only moderately to poorly preserved, they provide new evidence regarding the paleoenvironmental setting of the Campbell Group sediments, extend the known time-range of entophysalidacean cyanobacteria by more than 400 million years, substantiate the antiquity and role in stromatolite formation of Archean oscillatoriacean cyanobacteria, and document the exceedingly slow (hypobradytelic) evolutionary rate characteristic of this early evolving prokaryotic lineage.

  10. Excitation of Earth Rotation Variations "Observed" by Time-Variable Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chao, Ben F.; Cox, C. M.

    2005-01-01

    Time variable gravity measurements have been made over the past two decades using the space geodetic technique of satellite laser ranging, and more recently by the GRACE satellite mission with improved spatial resolutions. The degree-2 harmonic components of the time-variable gravity contain important information about the Earth s length-of-day and polar motion excitation functions, in a way independent to the traditional "direct" Earth rotation measurements made by, for example, the very-long-baseline interferometry and GPS. In particular, the (degree=2, order= 1) components give the mass term of the polar motion excitation; the (2,O) component, under certain mass conservation conditions, gives the mass term of the length-of-day excitation. Combining these with yet another independent source of angular momentum estimation calculated from global geophysical fluid models (for example the atmospheric angular momentum, in both mass and motion terms), in principle can lead to new insights into the dynamics, particularly the role or the lack thereof of the cores, in the excitation processes of the Earth rotation variations.

  11. On the usefulness of relativistic space-times for the description of the Earth's gravitational field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soffel, Michael; Frutos, Francisco

    2016-12-01

    The usefulness of relativistic space-times for the description of the Earth's gravitational field is investigated. A variety of exact vacuum solutions of Einstein's field equations (Schwarzschild, Erez and Rosen, Gutsunayev and Manko, Hernández-Pastora and Martín, Kerr, Quevedo, and Mashhoon) are investigated in that respect. It is argued that because of their multipole structure and influences from external bodies, all these exact solutions are not really useful for the central problem. Then, approximate space-times resulting from an MPM or post-Newtonian approximation are considered. Only in the DSX formalism that is of the first post-Newtonian order, all aspects of the problem can be tackled: a relativistic description (a) of the Earth's gravity field in a well-defined geocentric reference system (GCRS), (b) of the motion of solar system bodies in a barycentric reference system (BCRS), and (c) of inertial and tidal terms in the geocentric metric describing the external gravitational field. A relativistic SLR theory is also discussed with respect to our central problem. Orders of magnitude of many effects related to the Earth's gravitational field and SLR are given. It is argued that a formalism with accuracies better than of the first post-Newtonian order is not yet available.

  12. Creating the Public Connection: Interactive Experiences with Real-Time Earth and Space Science Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reiff, Patricia H.; Ledley, Tamara S.; Sumners, Carolyn; Wyatt, Ryan

    1995-01-01

    The Houston Museum of Natural Sciences is less than two miles from Rice University, a major hub on the Internet. This project links these two institutions so that NASA real-time data and imagery can flow via Rice to the Museum where it reaches the public in the form of planetarium programs, computer based interactive kiosks, and space and Earth science problem solving simulation. Through this program at least 200,000 visitors annually (including every 4th and 7th grader in the Houston Independent School District) will have direct exposure to the Earth and space research being conducted by NASA and available over the Internet. Each information conduit established between Rice University and the Houston Museum of Natural Science will become a model for public information dissemination that can be replicated nationally in museums, planetariums, Challenger Centers, and schools.

  13. Investigation of the Geochemical Preservation of ca. 3.0 Ga Permineralized and Encapsulated Microfossils by Nanoscale Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delarue, Frédéric; Robert, François; Sugitani, Kenichiro; Tartèse, Romain; Duhamel, Rémi; Derenne, Sylvie

    2017-12-01

    Observations of Archean organic-walled microfossils suggest that their fossilization took place through both encapsulation and permineralization. In this study, we investigated microfossils from the ca. 3.0 Ga Farrel Quartzite (Pilbara, Western Australia) using transmitted light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, Raman microspectrometry, and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) ion microprobe analyses. In contrast to previous studies, we demonstrated that permineralized microfossils were not characterized by the micrometric spatial relationships between Si and C-N as observed in thin sections. Permineralized microfossils are composed of carbonaceous globules that did not survive the acid treatment, whereas encapsulated microfossils were characterized due to their resistance to the acid maceration procedure. We also investigated the microscale relationship between the 12C14N- and 12C2- ion emission as a proxy of the N/C atomic ratio in both permineralized and encapsulated microfossils. After considering any potential matrix and microtopography effects, we demonstrate that the encapsulated microfossils exhibit the highest level of geochemical preservation. This finding shows that the chemical heterogeneity of the microfossils, observed at a spatial resolution of a few hundreds of micrometers, can be related to fossilization processes.

  14. Federated Space-Time Query for Earth Science Data Using OpenSearch Conventions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynnes, C.; Beaumont, B.; Duerr, R. E.; Hua, H.

    2009-12-01

    The past decade has seen a burgeoning of remote sensing and Earth science data providers, as evidenced in the growth of the Earth Science Information Partner (ESIP) federation. At the same time, the need to combine diverse data sets to enable understanding of the Earth as a system has also grown. While the expansion of data providers is in general a boon to such studies, the diversity presents a challenge to finding useful data for a given study. Locating all the data files with aerosol information for a particular volcanic eruption, for example, may involve learning and using several different search tools to execute the requisite space-time queries. To address this issue, the ESIP federation is developing a federated space-time query framework, based on the OpenSearch convention (www.opensearch.org), with Geo and Time extensions. In this framework, data providers publish OpenSearch Description Documents that describe in a machine-readable form how to execute queries against the provider. The novelty of OpenSearch is that the space-time query interface becomes both machine callable and easy enough to integrate into the web browser's search box. This flexibility, together with a simple REST (HTTP-get) interface, should allow a variety of data providers to participate in the federated search framework, from large institutional data centers to individual scientists. The simple interface enables trivial querying of multiple data sources and participation in recursive-like federated searches--all using the same common OpenSearch interface. This simplicity also makes the construction of clients easy, as does existing OpenSearch client libraries in a variety of languages. Moreover, a number of clients and aggregation services already exist and OpenSearch is already supported by a number of web browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer.

  15. A space-time multiscale modelling of Earth's gravity field variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shuo; Panet, Isabelle; Ramillien, Guillaume; Guilloux, Frédéric

    2017-04-01

    The mass distribution within the Earth varies over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, generating variations in the Earth's gravity field in space and time. These variations are monitored by satellites as the GRACE mission, with a 400 km spatial resolution and 10 days to 1 month temporal resolution. They are expressed in the form of gravity field models, often with a fixed spatial or temporal resolution. The analysis of these models allows us to study the mass transfers within the Earth system. Here, we have developed space-time multi-scale models of the gravity field, in order to optimize the estimation of gravity signals resulting from local processes at different spatial and temporal scales, and to adapt the time resolution of the model to its spatial resolution according to the satellites sampling. For that, we first build a 4D wavelet family combining spatial Poisson wavelets with temporal Haar wavelets. Then, we set-up a regularized inversion of inter-satellites gravity potential differences in a bayesian framework, to estimate the model parameters. To build the prior, we develop a spectral analysis, localized in time and space, of geophysical models of mass transport and associated gravity variations. Finally, we test our approach to the reconstruction of space-time variations of the gravity field due to hydrology. We first consider a global distribution of observations along the orbit, from a simplified synthetic hydrology signal comprising only annual variations at large spatial scales. Then, we consider a regional distribution of observations in Africa, and a larger number of spatial and temporal scales. We test the influence of an imperfect prior and discuss our results.

  16. Paleobiology of distinctive benthic microfossils from the upper Proterozoic Limestone-Dolomite "Series," central East Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, J. W.; Knoll, A. H.; Golubic, S.; Swett, K.

    1987-01-01

    Populations of Polybessurus bipartitus Fairchild ex Green et al., a large morphologically distinctive microfossil, occur in silicified carbonates of the Upper Proterozoic (700-800 Ma) Limestone-Dolomite "Series," central East Greenland. Large populations of well-preserved individuals permit reconstruction of P. bipartitus as a coccoidal unicell that "jetted" upward from the sediment by the highly unidirectional secretion of extracellular mucopolysaccharide envelopes. Reproduction by baeocyte formation is inferred on the basis of clustered envelope stalks produced by small cells. Sedimentological evidence indicates that P. bipartitus formed surficial crusts locally within a shallow peritidal carbonate platform. Among living microorganisms a close morphological, reproductive, and behavioral counterpart to Polybessurus is provided by populations of an as yet underscribed cyanobacterium found in coastal Bahamian environments similar to those in which the Proterozoic fossils occur. In general morphology and "jetting" behavior, this population resembles species of the genus Cyanostylon, Geitler (1925), but reproduces via baeocyte formation. Polybessurus is but one of the more than two dozen taxa in the richly fossiliferous biota of the Limestone-Dolomite "Series." This distinctive population, along with co-occurring filamentous cyanobacteria and other microfossils, contributes to an increasingly refined picture of ecological heterogeneity in late Proterozoic oceans.

  17. Paleobiology of distinctive benthic microfossils from the upper Proterozoic Limestone-Dolomite "Series," central East Greenland.

    PubMed

    Green, J W; Knoll, A H; Golubic, S; Swett, K

    1987-01-01

    Populations of Polybessurus bipartitus Fairchild ex Green et al., a large morphologically distinctive microfossil, occur in silicified carbonates of the Upper Proterozoic (700-800 Ma) Limestone-Dolomite "Series," central East Greenland. Large populations of well-preserved individuals permit reconstruction of P. bipartitus as a coccoidal unicell that "jetted" upward from the sediment by the highly unidirectional secretion of extracellular mucopolysaccharide envelopes. Reproduction by baeocyte formation is inferred on the basis of clustered envelope stalks produced by small cells. Sedimentological evidence indicates that P. bipartitus formed surficial crusts locally within a shallow peritidal carbonate platform. Among living microorganisms a close morphological, reproductive, and behavioral counterpart to Polybessurus is provided by populations of an as yet underscribed cyanobacterium found in coastal Bahamian environments similar to those in which the Proterozoic fossils occur. In general morphology and "jetting" behavior, this population resembles species of the genus Cyanostylon, Geitler (1925), but reproduces via baeocyte formation. Polybessurus is but one of the more than two dozen taxa in the richly fossiliferous biota of the Limestone-Dolomite "Series." This distinctive population, along with co-occurring filamentous cyanobacteria and other microfossils, contributes to an increasingly refined picture of ecological heterogeneity in late Proterozoic oceans.

  18. Improvements and Additions to NASA Near Real-Time Earth Imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cechini, Matthew; Boller, Ryan; Baynes, Kathleen; Schmaltz, Jeffrey; DeLuca, Alexandar; King, Jerome; Thompson, Charles; Roberts, Joe; Rodriguez, Joshua; Gunnoe, Taylor; hide

    2016-01-01

    For many years, the NASA Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) has worked closely with the Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (Earth Observing System) (LANCE) system to provide near real-time imagery visualizations of AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder), MLS (Microwave Limb Sounder), MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer), OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument), and recently VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) science parameters. These visualizations are readily available through standard web services and the NASA Worldview client. Access to near real-time imagery provides a critical capability to GIBS and Worldview users. GIBS continues to focus on improving its commitment to providing near real-time imagery for end-user applications. The focus of this presentation will be the following completed or planned GIBS system and imagery enhancements relating to near real-time imagery visualization.

  19. The role of a low Earth orbiter in intercontinental time synchronization via GPS satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. C.; Ondrasik, V. J.

    1985-01-01

    Time synchronization between two sites using differential GPS has been investigated by a number of researchers. When the two sites are widely separated, the common view period of any GPS satellite becomes shorter; low elevation observations are inevitable. This increase the corrupting effects of the atmospheric delay and, at the same time, narrows the window for such time synchronization. This difficulty can be alleviated by synchronization. This difficulty can be alleviated by using a transit site located midway between the two main sites. The main sites can now look at different GPS satellites which are also in view at the transit site. However, a ground transit site may not always be conveniently available, especially across the Pacific Ocean; also, the inclusion of a ground transit site introduce additional errors due to its location error and local atmospheric delay. An alternative is to use a low Earth orbiter (LEO) as the transit site. A LEO is superior to a ground transit site in three ways: (1) It covers a large part of the Earth in a short period of time and, hence, a single LEO provides worldwide transit services; (2) it is above the troposphere and thus its inclusion does not introduce additional tropospheric delay error; and (3) it provides strong dynamics needed to improve GPS satellite positions which are of importance to ultraprecise time synchronization.

  20. Real-time global MHD simulation of the solar wind interaction with the earth's magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimazu, H.; Tanaka, T.; Fujita, S.; Nakamura, M.; Obara, T.

    We have developed a real-time global MHD simulation of the solar wind interaction with the earth s magnetosphere By adopting the real-time solar wind parameters including the IMF observed routinely by the ACE spacecraft responses of the magnetosphere are calculated with the MHD code We adopted the modified spherical coordinates and the mesh point numbers for this simulation are 56 58 and 40 for the r theta and phi direction respectively The simulation is carried out routinely on the super computer system NEC SX-6 at National Institute of Information and Communications Technology Japan The visualized images of the magnetic field lines around the earth pressure distribution on the meridian plane and the conductivity of the polar ionosphere can be referred to on the Web site http www nict go jp dk c232 realtime The results show that various magnetospheric activities are almost reproduced qualitatively They also give us information how geomagnetic disturbances develop in the magnetosphere in relation with the ionosphere From the viewpoint of space weather the real-time simulation helps us to understand the whole image in the current condition of the magnetosphere To evaluate the simulation results we compare the AE index derived from the simulation and observations In the case of isolated substorms the indices almost agreed well in both timing and intensities In other cases the simulation can predict general activities although the exact timing of the onset of substorms and intensities did not always agree By analyzing

  1. International two-way satellite time transfers using INTELSAT space segment and small Earth stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Veenstra, Lester B.

    1990-01-01

    The satellite operated by the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) provides new and unique capabilities for the coordinates of international time scales on a world wide basis using the two-way technique. A network of coordinated clocks using small earth stations collocated with the scales is possible. Antennas as small as 1.8 m at K-band and 3 m at C-band transmitting powers of less than 1 W will provide signals with time jitters of less than 1 ns existing spread spectrum modems. One way time broadcasting is also possible, under the INTELSAT INTELNET system, possibly using existing international data distribution (press and financial) systems that are already operating spread spectrum systems. The technical details of the satellite and requirements on satellite earth stations are given. The resources required for a regular operational international time transfer service are analyzed with respect to the existing international digital service offerings of the INTELSAT Business Service (IBS) and INTELNET. Coverage areas, typical link budgets, and a summary of previous domestic and international work using this technique are provided. Administrative procedures for gaining access to the space segment are outlined. Contact information for local INTELSAT signatories is listed.

  2. It's Time to Stand up for Earth Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaffer, Dane L.

    2012-01-01

    This commentary paper focuses upon the loss of respect for Earth Sciences on the part of many school districts across the United States. Too many Earth Science teachers are uncertified to teach Earth Science, or hold certificates to teach the subject merely because they took a test. The Earth Sciences have faced this problem for many years…

  3. Land and Atmosphere Near-Real-Time Capability for Earth Observing System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, Kevin J.

    2011-01-01

    The past decade has seen a rapid increase in availability and usage of near-real-time data from satellite sensors. The EOSDIS (Earth Observing System Data and Information System) was not originally designed to provide data with sufficiently low latency to satisfy the requirements for near-real-time users. The EOS (Earth Observing System) instruments aboard the Terra, Aqua and Aura satellites make global measurements daily, which are processed into higher-level 'standard' products within 8-40 hours of observation and then made available to users, primarily earth science researchers. However, applications users, operational agencies, and even researchers desire EOS products in near-real-time to support research and applications, including numerical weather and climate prediction and forecasting, monitoring of natural hazards, ecological/invasive species, agriculture, air quality, disaster relief and homeland security. These users often need data much sooner than routine science processing allows, usually within 3 hours, and are willing to trade science product quality for timely access. While Direct Broadcast provides more timely access to data, it does not provide global coverage. In 2002, a joint initiative between NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and the DOD (Department of Defense) was undertaken to provide data from EOS instruments in near-real-time. The NRTPE (Near Real Time Processing Effort) provided products within 3 hours of observation on a best-effort basis. As the popularity of these near-real-time products and applications grew, multiple near-real-time systems began to spring up such as the Rapid Response System. In recognizing the dependence of customers on this data and the need for highly reliable and timely data access, NASA's Earth Science Division sponsored the Earth Science Data and Information System Project (ESDIS)-led development of a new near-real-time system called

  4. Mass spectrometry in Earth sciences: the precise and accurate measurement of time.

    PubMed

    Schaltegger, Urs; Wotzlaw, Jörn-Frederik; Ovtcharova, Maria; Chiaradia, Massimo; Spikings, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Precise determinations of the isotopic compositions of a variety of elements is a widely applied tool in Earth sciences. Isotope ratios are used to quantify rates of geological processes that occurred during the previous 4.5 billion years, and also at the present time. An outstanding application is geochronology, which utilizes the production of radiogenic daughter isotopes by the radioactive decay of parent isotopes. Geochronological tools, involving isotopic analysis of selected elements from smallest volumes of minerals by thermal ionization mass spectrometry, provide precise and accurate measurements of time throughout the geological history of our planet over nine orders of magnitude, from the accretion of the proto-planetary disk, to the timing of the last glaciation. This article summarizes the recent efforts of the Isotope Geochemistry, Geochronology and Thermochronology research group at the University of Geneva to advance the U-Pb geochronological tool to achieve unprecedented precision and accuracy, and presents two examples of its application to two significant open questions in Earth sciences: what are the triggers and timescales of volcanic supereruptions, and what were the causes of mass extinctions in the geological past, driven by global climatic and environmental deterioration?

  5. STEPPE: Supporting collaborative research and education on Earth's deep-time sedimentary crust.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    STEPPE—Sedimentary geology, Time, Environment, Paleontology, Paleoclimate, and Energy—is a National Science Foundation supported consortium whose mission is to promote multidisciplinary research and education on Earth's deep-time sedimentary crust. Deep-time sedimentary crust research includes many specialty areas—biology, geography, ecology, paleontology, sedimentary geology, stratigraphy, geochronology, paleoclimatology, sedimentary geochemistry, and more. In fact, the diversity of disciplines and size of the community (roughly one-third of Earth-science faculty in US universities) itself has been a barrier to the formation of collaborative, multidisciplinary teams in the past. STEPPE has been working to support new research synergies and the development of infrastructure that will encourage the community to think about the big problems that need to be solved and facilitate the formation of collaborative research teams to tackle these problems. Toward this end, STEPPE is providing opportunities for workshops, working groups and professional development training sessions, web-hosting and database services and an online collaboration platform that facilitates interaction among participants, the sharing of documentation and workflows and an ability to push news and reports to group participants and beyond using social media tools. As such, STEPPE is working to provide an interactive space that will serve as both a gathering place and clearinghouse for information, allowing for broader integration of research and education across all STEPPE-related sub disciplines.

  6. Antarctic Rebound and the Time-Dependence of the Earth's Shape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivins, Erik R.; James, Thomas S.

    2000-01-01

    Great strides have been made during the past 30 years in refining models of the last global glaciation. The refinements draw upon a vastly expanded relative sea level and sedimentary core record. Furthermore, we now possess a sharpened understanding of the mechanisms that drive climate changes associated with deglaciation. Some 15 years ago, using only 5.5 years of ranging data, analyses of the drift in LAGEOS I node acceleration was used to infer that postglacial rebound was responsible for a secular change in the Earth's ellipsoidal shape (Yoder et al., .1983]. Today there exists a wealth of geodynamics satellite orbit data that constrain the secular time-dependence of the Earth's shape and low order gravity field, which includes mass redistribution from present-day glacier and great ice sheet imbalance and from postglacial rebound. We have shown that an unambiguous determination of the secular variation in the Earth's pear shaped harmonic (l = 3, m = 0) might provide information that bears on the present-day mass balance of Antarctica. This issue is revisited in light of new constraints on glacial loading during the late-Pleistocene and Holocene. An especially critical issue for the interpretation of secular odd degree zonal harmonics, l = 3 to 7, is the timing and magnitude of the deglaciation of Antarctica from Last Glacial Maximum. We explore ways in which the recovery of secular variation in both zonal and non-zonal harmonics for l = 2 through 7 can improve constraints on both rebound and present-day ice sheet balance.

  7. Magnetic Local Time dependency in modeling of the Earth radiation belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrera, Damien; Maget, Vincent; Bourdarie, Sébastien; Rolland, Guy

    2017-04-01

    For many years, ONERA has been at the forefront of the modeling of the Earth radiation belts thanks to the Salammbô model, which accurately reproduces their dynamics over a time scale of the particles' drift period. This implies that we implicitly assume an homogeneous repartition of the trapped particles along a given drift shell. However, radiation belts are inhomogeneous in Magnetic Local Time (MLT). So, we need to take this new coordinate into account to model rigorously the dynamical structures, particularly induced during a geomagnetic storm. For this purpose, we are working on both the numerical resolution of the Fokker-Planck diffusion equation included in the model and on the MLT dependency of physic-based processes acting in the Earth radiation belts. The aim of this talk is first to present the 4D-equation used and the different steps we used to build Salammbô 4D model before focusing on physical processes taken into account in the Salammbô code, specially transport due to convection electric field. Firstly, we will briefly introduce the Salammbô 4D code developped by talking about its numerical scheme and physic-based processes modeled. Then, we will focus our attention on the impact of the outer boundary condition (localisation and spectrum) at lower L∗ shell by comparing modeling performed with geosynchronous data from LANL-GEO satellites. Finally, we will discuss the prime importance of the convection electric field to the radial and drift transport of low energy particles around the Earth.

  8. Hematite-coated microfossils: primary ecological fingerprint or taphonomic oddity of the Paleoproterozoic?

    PubMed

    Shapiro, R S; Konhauser, K O

    2015-05-01

    Microfossils belonging to the 1.88-billion-year-old 'Gunflint-biota' are preserved as carbonaceous and hematitic filaments and spheres that are believed to represent ancient chemolithoautotrophic Fe(II) oxidizing bacteria that grew above a chemocline where ferruginous seawater upwelled into shallow, oxygenated waters. This 'biological' model posits that hematite formed during burial from dewatering of the precursor ferric oxyhydroxides that encrusted Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria. Here, we present an alternate 'taphonomic' model in which iron-rich groundwaters discharged into buried stromatolites; thus, the mineralization reactions are more informative of diagenetic processes than they are for primary marine conditions. We sampled centimeter-scale columnar stromatolites from both the lower and upper stromatolite horizons of the Biwabik and Gunflint formations, across a range of metamorphic gradients including unaltered to prehnite-pumpellyite taconite, supergene altered ore, and amphibolite-pyroxene grade contact-metamorphic zones. Fossils are rare to very rare and comprise curved filaments that exist in clusters with similar orientations. The filaments from throughout the Biwabik are similar to well-preserved carbonaceous Gunflintia from Ontario. Spheres of Huroniospora are also found in both formations. Microfossils from the least altered sections are preserved as carbon. Prehnite-pumpellyite samples are composed of either carbon or hematite (Fe2 O3 ). Within the contact aureole, filaments are densely coated by magnetite (Fe3 O4 ); the highest grade samples are secondarily oxidized to martite. The consistency in stromatolite microstructure and lithofacies throughout the metamorphic grades suggests they formed under similar environmental conditions. Post-depositional alteration led to replacement of the carbon by iron oxide. The facies association, filament distribution, and lack of branching and attached spherical cells argue against Gunflintia being a direct

  9. Historical trends of hypoxia in Changjiang River estuary: Applications of chemical biomarkers and microfossils

    Li, X.; Bianchi, T.S.; Yang, Z.; Osterman, L.E.; Allison, M.A.; DiMarco, Steven F.; Yang, G.

    2011-01-01

    Over the past two decades China has become the largest global consumer of fertilizers, which has enhanced river nutrient fluxes and caused eutrophication and hypoxia in the Yangtze (Changjiang) large river delta-front estuary (LDE). In this study, we utilized plant pigments, lignin-phenols, stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) and foraminiferal microfossils in 210Pb dated cores to examine the history of hypoxia in the Changjiang LDE. Two sediment cores were collected onboard R/V Dong Fang Hong 2 using a stainless-steel box-corer; one at a water depth of 24.7 m on Jun. 15, 2006 and the other at 52 m on Nov. 20, 2007, both in the hypoxic region off the Changjiang LDE. There has been a significant increase in the abundance of plant pigments after 1979 that are indicators of enhanced diatom and cyanobacterial abundance, which agrees with post-1980 record of increasing nutrient loads in the Changjiang River. The increased inputs of terrestrially derived materials to the LDE are largely woody plant sources and most likely due to deforestation that began in the early 1950s. However, post-1960 lignin data did not reflect enhanced loading of woody materials despite continued deforestation possibly due to increased trapping from greater dam construction, a reduction of deforestation in the drainage basin since the last 1990s, and soil conservation practices. The lack of linkages between bulk indices (stable isotopes, % OC, molar C/N ratios) and microfossil/chemical biomarkers may reflect relative differences in the amount of carbon tracked by these different proxies. Although NO3− is likely responsible for most of the changes in phytoplankton production (post 1970s), historical changes in N loading from the watershed and hypoxia on the LDE shelf may not be as well linked in East China Sea (ECS) sediments due to possible denitrification/ammonification processes; finally, increases in low-oxygen tolerant foraminiferal microfossils indicate there has been an increase in the

  10. Revisiting the Swaziland Supergroup: New Approaches to Examining Evidence for Early Life on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, M. M.; Westall, F.

    2000-01-01

    The re-examination by SEM of 3.4 Ga fossiliferous carbonaceous cherts reveals fungal contaminants in addition to indigenous microfossils. Weathered volcanic flows associated with fossiliferous chert layers offer a promising area for further study of early life on Earth.

  11. Timing the oxidation of Earth's crust: Evidence from big data records of manganese mineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hummer, D. R.; Golden, J. J.; Hystad, G.; Downs, R. T.; Eleish, A.; Liu, C.; Ralph, J.; Morrison, S.; Meyer, M.; Hazen, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    A great deal of work has focused on unravelling the oxygenation of Earth's early atmosphere and oceans, which took place during and after the Great Oxidation Event (1). Recently, field and experimental methods have also been used to examine the timing of mantle oxidation, especially near subduction zones (2). However, very little information is available on the timing of crustal oxidation. To examine the oxidation of Earth's shallow crust, we analyzed records of manganese (Mn) mineral occurrences across geologic time from a database of 2666 mineral-locality data pairs (mindat.org as of 20 Nov. 2015) that had associated geologic ages in the literature. Manganese is a redox-sensitive transition element with oxidation states of +2, +3, and +4, whose average oxidation state in the geologic record can be used as a proxy for the oxygenation of the shallow crust, where Mn mineralization typically occurs. Analysis revealed that Mn mineralization older than 600 Ma contained mostly Mn2+ mineral species, with isolated localities containing Mn3+ and Mn4+ species. During the Phanerozoic, the average oxidation state of Mn follows the same trend as reconstructions of atmospheric oxygen (3), but on a 66+1 Myr delay (as calculated using a least squares fitting procedure). This contrasts with a delay of hundreds of millions of years for the oxidation of molybdenum, which forms much deeper in the crust (4). We interpret these time lags as the time necessary to equilibrate various crustal depths to atmospheric oxygen fugacity through infiltration of oxidizing fluids and tectonic mixing processes. Analysis of other redox-sensitive transition metals (such as Cr, V, and Fe) using big data techniques may reveal a strategy for timing the oxidation of different portions of Earth's crust. (1) T.W. Lyons, C.T. Reinhard, N.J. Planavsky, Nature 506, 307-315 (2014). (2) M. Brounce, et al. Geology 43, 775-778 (2015). (3) N.M. Bergman, T.M. Lenton, A.J. Watson, Am. J. Sci. 304, 397-437 (2004). (4

  12. Earth System Models Underestimate Soil Carbon Diagnostic Times in Dry and Cold Regions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jing, W.; Xia, J.; Zhou, X.; Huang, K.; Huang, Y.; Jian, Z.; Jiang, L.; Xu, X.; Liang, J.; Wang, Y. P.; Luo, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Soils contain the largest organic carbon (C) reservoir in the Earth's surface and strongly modulate the terrestrial feedback to climate change. Large uncertainty exists in current Earth system models (ESMs) in simulating soil organic C (SOC) dynamics, calling for a systematic diagnosis on their performance based on observations. Here, we built a global database of SOC diagnostic time (i.e.,turnover times; τsoil) measured at 320 sites with four different approaches. We found that the estimated τsoil was comparable among approaches of 14C dating () (median with 25 and 75 percentiles), 13C shifts due to vegetation change () and the ratio of stock over flux (), but was shortest from laboratory incubation studies (). The state-of-the-art ESMs underestimated the τsoil in most biomes, even by >10 and >5 folds in cold and dry regions, respectively. Moreover,we identified clear negative dependences of τsoil on temperature and precipitation in both of the observational and modeling results. Compared with Community Land Model (version 4), the incorporation of soil vertical profile (CLM4.5) could substantially extend the τsoil of SOC. Our findings suggest the accuracy of climate-C cycle feedback in current ESMs could be enhanced by an improved understanding of SOC dynamics under the limited hydrothermal conditions.

  13. What can the Hf–W System tell Us About the Mechanism and Timing of Earth's Core Formation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, R. A.; Nimmo, F.; O'Brien, D. P.

    2018-05-01

    Strong tradeoff between effects of depth and extent of metal-silicate equilibration and formation timescale on the Hf-W system. Whole mantle equilibration requires k = 0.4. Later formation times require less equilibration to match Earth's anomaly.

  14. Vendian microfossils in metasedimentary cherts of the Scotia Group, Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knoll, A. H.

    1992-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks of the Scotia Group, Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard, have been metamorphosed to lower greenschist facies. Yet Scotia chert nodules contain abundant organic-walled microfossils belonging to at least seventeen taxa. Their black colour indicates that the fossils underwent substantial thermal alteration. However, it is suggested that preservation in a matrix of early diagenetic silica shielded them from the most destructive mechanical and chemical effects of metamorphism. Microbial mats and large acanthomorphic acritarchs suggest a coastal marine depositional environment; the acritarchs further indicate an early Vendian age for the sediments. The Scotia fossils bear a close resemblance to assemblages described from the Doushantuo Formation, China and elsewhere, demonstrating the broad geographical distribution of biostratigraphically important Vendian taxa. Briareus and Echinosphaeridium are described as new genera; Briareus borealis is described as a new species, while Echinosphaeridium maximum is proposed as a new combination.

  15. Microfossil biostratigraphy of prograding Neogene platform-margin carbonates, Bahamas: Age constraints and alternatives

    Lidz, B.H.; Bralower, T.J.

    1994-01-01

    Benthic and planktic foraminifera and calcareous nannofossils were recovered in shallow-water carbonate rock cores from two continuous boreholes drilled 7.5 km apart on the west platform margin of the Great Bahama Bank. The microfossils define six biostratigraphic units in each hole. One unit in each hole represents a correlative condensed section. Seven foraminiferal biozones are recognized in 11 of the units between the holes: middle Miocene Globorotalia fohsi robusta Zone N12, late Miocene G. acostaensis Zone N16 and G. humerosa Zone N17, early Pliocene G. margaritae evoluta Subzone N19, late Pliocene G. exilis Subzone N21 and, tentatively, G. tosaensis tosaensis Zone N21, and early Pleistocene G. crassaformis viola Subzone N22. The twelfth unit is inferred to be of G. crassaformis viola Subzone N22 age. The oldest unit is onshore, the youngest is offshore. As presently interpreted, the nannofossil and foraminiferal zonations are partially correlative. Although the microfossils unequivocally constrain the series ages of the sediments, the incompleteness of the fossil record allows for alternative biozonal age models within the series. The Miocene and Pliocene biozones are common to both holes, but the greatest similarities between the holes are the significant mixing of middle and late Miocene, and late Miocene-early Pliocene faunas, the greatly condensed intervals at the Miocene/Pliocene boundary, and the early Pliocene influx of deep-water benthic and pelagic foraminifera. Of particular importance is the tentative recognition of late Pliocene G. tosaensis tosaensis Zone N21 in one borehole. Subsequent data not available to this phase of the study indicate that much of the zone is likely missing. Its absence will lend support to speculations of a regional unconformity in the Bahamas. The microfossils indicate that (1) several transgressions occurred from the middle Miocene to at least the earliest Pleistocene (> 11.5-> 0.46 Ma), during which banktop

  16. Vibracore, Radiocarbon, Microfossil, and Grain-Size Data from Apalachicola Bay, Florida

    Twichell, D.C.; Pendleton, E.A.; Poore, R.Z.; Osterman, L.E.; Kelso, K.W.

    2009-01-01

    In 2007, the U.S. Geological Survey collected 24 vibracores within Apalachicola Bay, Florida. The vibracores were collected by using a Rossfelder electric percussive (P-3) vibracore system during a cruise on the Research Vessel (R/V) G.K. Gilbert. Selection of the core sites was based on a geophysical survey that was conducted during 2005 and 2006 in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal Services Center (CSC) and the Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. This report contains the vibracore data logs, photographs, and core-derived data including grain-size analyses, radiocarbon ages, microfossil counts, and sedimentological interpretations. The long-term goal of this study is to provide maps, data, and assistance to the Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in their effort to monitor and understand the geology and ecology of Apalachicola Bay Estuary. These data will inform coastal managers charged with the responsibility for resource preservation.

  17. Russian State Time and Earth Rotation Service: Observations, Eop Series, Prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufman, M.; Pasynok, S.

    2010-01-01

    Russian State Time, Frequency and Earth Rotation Service provides the official EOP data and time for use in scientific, technical and metrological works in Russia. The observations of GLONASS and GPS on 30 stations in Russia, and also the Russian and worldwide observations data of VLBI (35 stations) and SLR (20 stations) are used now. To these three series of EOP the data calculated in two other Russian analysis centers are added: IAA (VLBI, GPS and SLR series) and MCC (SLR). Joint processing of these 7 series is carried out every day (the operational EOP data for the last day and the predicted values for 50 days). The EOP values are weekly refined and systematic errors of every individual series are corrected. The combined results become accessible on the VNIIFTRI server (ftp.imvp.ru) approximately at 6h UT daily.

  18. A new time tree reveals Earth history's imprint on the evolution of modern birds.

    PubMed

    Claramunt, Santiago; Cracraft, Joel

    2015-12-01

    Determining the timing of diversification of modern birds has been difficult. We combined DNA sequences of clock-like genes for most avian families with 130 fossil birds to generate a new time tree for Neornithes and investigated their biogeographic and diversification dynamics. We found that the most recent common ancestor of modern birds inhabited South America around 95 million years ago, but it was not until the Cretaceous-Paleogene transition (66 million years ago) that Neornithes began to diversify rapidly around the world. Birds used two main dispersion routes: reaching the Old World through North America, and reaching Australia and Zealandia through Antarctica. Net diversification rates increased during periods of global cooling, suggesting that fragmentation of tropical biomes stimulated speciation. Thus, we found pervasive evidence that avian evolution has been influenced by plate tectonics and environmental change, two basic features of Earth's dynamics.

  19. The nature and origin of nucleus-like intracellular inclusions in Paleoproterozoic eukaryote microfossils.

    PubMed

    Pang, K; Tang, Q; Schiffbauer, J D; Yao, J; Yuan, X; Wan, B; Chen, L; Ou, Z; Xiao, S

    2013-11-01

    The well-known debate on the nature and origin of intracellular inclusions (ICIs) in silicified microfossils from the early Neoproterozoic Bitter Springs Formation has recently been revived by reports of possible fossilized nuclei in phosphatized animal embryo-like fossils from the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation of South China. The revisitation of this discussion prompted a critical and comprehensive investigation of ICIs in some of the oldest indisputable eukaryote microfossils-the ornamented acritarchs Dictyosphaera delicata and Shuiyousphaeridium macroreticulatum from the Paleoproterozoic Ruyang Group of North China-using a suite of characterization approaches: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM). Although the Ruyang acritarchs must have had nuclei when alive, our data suggest that their ICIs represent neither fossilized nuclei nor taphonomically condensed cytoplasm. We instead propose that these ICIs likely represent biologically contracted and consolidated eukaryotic protoplasts (the combination of the nucleus, surrounding cytoplasm, and plasma membrane). As opposed to degradational contraction of prokaryotic cells within a mucoidal sheath-a model proposed to explain the Bitter Springs ICIs-our model implies that protoplast condensation in the Ruyang acritarchs was an in vivo biologically programmed response to adverse conditions in preparation for encystment. While the discovery of bona fide nuclei in Paleoproterozoic acritarchs would be a substantial landmark in our understanding of eukaryote evolution, the various processes (such as degradational and biological condensation of protoplasts) capable of producing nuclei-mimicking structures require that interpretation of ICIs as fossilized nuclei be based on comprehensive investigations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Time-domain approach for the transient responses in stratified viscoelastic Earth models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanyk, L.; Moser, J.; Yuen, D. A.; Matyska, C.

    1995-01-01

    We have developed the numerical algorithm for the computation of transient viscoelastic responses in the time domain for a radially stratified Earth model. Stratifications in both the elastic parameters and the viscosity profile have been considered. The particular viscosity profile employed has a viscosity maximum with a constrast of O(100) in the mid lower mantle. The distribution of relaxation times reveals the presence of a continuous spectrum situated between O(100) and O(exp 4) years. The principal mode is embedded within this continuous spectrum. From this initial-value approach we have found that for the low degree harmonics the non-modal contributions are comparable to the modal contributions. For this viscosity model the differences between the time-domain and normal-mode results are found to decrease strongly with increasing angular order. These calculations also show that a time-dependent effective relaxation time can be defined, which can be bounded by the relaxation times of the principal modes.

  1. Near real-time qualitative monitoring of lake water chlorophyll globally using GoogleEarth Engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlinszky, András; Supan, Peter; Koma, Zsófia

    2017-04-01

    Monitoring ocean chlorophyll and suspended sediment has been made possible using optical satellite imaging, and has contributed immensely to our understanding of the Earth and its climate. However, lake water quality monitoring has limitations due to the optical complexity of shallow, sediment- and organic matter-laden waters. Meanwhile, timely and detailed information on basic lake water quality parameters would be essential for sustainable management of inland waters. Satellite-based remote sensing can deliver area-covering, high resolution maps of basic lake water quality parameters, but scientific application of these datasets for lake monitoring has been hindered by limitations to calibration and accuracy evaluation, and therefore access to such data has been the privilege of scientific users. Nevertheless, since for many inland waters satellite imaging is the only source of monitoring data, we believe it is urgent to make map products of chlorophyll and suspended sediment concentrations available to a wide range of users. Even if absolute accuracy can not be validated, patterns, processes and qualitative information delivered by such datasets in near-real time can act as an early warning system, raise awareness to water quality processes and serve education, in addition to complementing local monitoring activities. By making these datasets openly available on the internet through an easy to use framework, dialogue between stakeholders, management and governance authorities can be facilitated. We use GoogleEarthEngine to access and process archive and current satellite data. GoogleEarth Engine is a development and visualization framework that provides access to satellite datasets and processing capacity for analysis at the Petabyte scale. Based on earlier investigations, we chose the fluorescence line height index to represent water chlorophyll concentration. This index relies on the chlorophyll fluorescence peak at 680 nm, and has been tested for open ocean

  2. Is there a connection between Earth's core and climate at multidecadal time scales?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, Sébastien; Marcus, Steven; de Viron, Olivier

    2017-04-01

    The length-of-day (LOD) undergoes multidecadal variations of several milliseconds (ms) attributed to changes in the fluid outer core angular momentum. These variations resemble a quasi-periodic oscillation of duration 60 to 70 years, although the periodicity (and its accurate length) are disputable because of the relatively short observational time span and the lower quality of the observations before the 20th century. Interestingly, similar variations show up in various measured or reconstructed climate indices including the sea surface (SST) and surface air (SAT) temperatures. It has been shown in several studies that LOD variations lead SST and SAT variations by a few years. No clear scenarios have been raised so far to explain the link between external, astronomical forcing (e.g., Solar wind), Earth's rotation (core-driven torsional) oscillations, and Earth's surface processes (climate variations) at these time scales. Accumulating evidence, however, suggests the centrifugal tides generated by multidecadal LOD variations as a 'valve' to control the transfer of thermal energy from the lithosphere to the surface via geothermal fluxes. This hypothesis is supported by recent studies reporting significant correlations between tidal and rotational excitation and seafloor and surface volcanism. In this study, we extend recent works from us and other independent authors by re-assessing the correlations between multidecadal LOD, climate indices, Solar and magnetic activities, as well as gridded data including SST, SAT, and cloud cover. We pay a special attention to the time lags: when a significant correlation is found, the value of the lag may help to discriminate between various possible scenarios. We locate some `hot spots', particularly in the Atlantic ocean and along the trajectory of the upper branch of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), where the 70-yr oscillation is strongly marked. In addition, we discuss the possibility for centrifugal

  3. 3D time-domain airborne EM modeling for an arbitrarily anisotropic earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Changchun; Qi, Yanfu; Liu, Yunhe

    2016-08-01

    Time-domain airborne EM data is currently interpreted based on an isotropic model. Sometimes, it can be problematic when working in the region with distinct dipping stratifications. In this paper, we simulate the 3D time-domain airborne EM responses over an arbitrarily anisotropic earth with topography by edge-based finite-element method. Tetrahedral meshes are used to describe the abnormal bodies with complicated shapes. We further adopt the Backward Euler scheme to discretize the time-domain diffusion equation for electric field, obtaining an unconditionally stable linear equations system. We verify the accuracy of our 3D algorithm by comparing with 1D solutions for an anisotropic half-space. Then, we switch attentions to effects of anisotropic media on the strengths and the diffusion patterns of time-domain airborne EM responses. For numerical experiments, we adopt three typical anisotropic models: 1) an anisotropic anomalous body embedded in an isotropic half-space; 2) an isotropic anomalous body embedded in an anisotropic half-space; 3) an anisotropic half-space with topography. The modeling results show that the electric anisotropy of the subsurface media has big effects on both the strengths and the distribution patterns of time-domain airborne EM responses; this effect needs to be taken into account when interpreting ATEM data in areas with distinct anisotropy.

  4. Using a microfossil-based approach to constrain megathrust-induced coseismic land displacement in coastal Oregon, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkes, A. D.; Horton, B. P.

    2007-05-01

    Paleoseismologists infer the amount of coseismic subsidence during plate-boundary earthquakes from stratigraphic changes in microfossils across sharp peat-mud and peat-sand contacts. However, the use of lithostratigraphic-based reconstructions is associated with a number of limitations, and these become particularly significant when examining low amplitude, short period variations that occur during a plate-boundary earthquake. To address this, paleoecologists working in the coastal zone have recently adopted a transfer- function approach to environmental reconstruction. Continuing subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath the North America plate constitutes a major seismic hazard in the Pacific Northwest. The subduction zone interface presently lacks seismicity. The timing of the last great earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone (1700AD) is now well refined by Japanese records of an orphan tsunami (no causal earthquake was felt in Japan) that was generated from an earthquake off the Pacific Northwest on the evening of January 26th 1700AD. I will apply the transfer function to modern foraminiferal datasets along coastal Oregon to analyze the fossil record and quantitatively determine the amount of vertical land movement associated with the 1700AD earthquake event. To date, we have collected 7 modern transects totaling 132 samples from the intertidal zone to the upland. We have also collected 9 cores recording the 1700AD earthquake. Furthermore, a 4m vibracore was collected and contains between 3 and 5 potential earthquake horizons. The 1700AD earthquake in the vibracore shows a distinct litho- and biostratigraphical change representing an instantaneous episode of subsidence of approximately 1m. However, development and application of the transfer function to such events will provide quantitative constrained estimates of coseismic land movement. Measurements that are more accurate are necessary to help modelers develop simulations that are more realistic in

  5. Spectral analysis of time series of categorical variables in earth sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pardo-Igúzquiza, Eulogio; Rodríguez-Tovar, Francisco J.; Dorador, Javier

    2016-10-01

    Time series of categorical variables often appear in Earth Science disciplines and there is considerable interest in studying their cyclic behavior. This is true, for example, when the type of facies, petrofabric features, ichnofabrics, fossil assemblages or mineral compositions are measured continuously over a core or throughout a stratigraphic succession. Here we deal with the problem of applying spectral analysis to such sequences. A full indicator approach is proposed to complement the spectral envelope often used in other disciplines. Additionally, a stand-alone computer program is provided for calculating the spectral envelope, in this case implementing the permutation test to assess the statistical significance of the spectral peaks. We studied simulated sequences as well as real data in order to illustrate the methodology.

  6. Operational, Real-Time, Sun-to-Earth Interplanetary Shock Predictions During Solar Cycle 23

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fry, C. D.; Dryer, M.; Sun, W.; Deehr, C. S.; Smith, Z.; Akasofu, S.

    2002-05-01

    We report on our progress in predicting interplanetary shock arrival time (SAT) in real-time, using three forecast models: the Hakamada-Akasofu-Fry (HAF) modified kinematic model, the Interplanetary Shock Propagation Model (ISPM) and the Shock Time of Arrival (STOA) model. These models are run concurrently to provide real-time predictions of the arrival time at Earth of interplanetary shocks caused by solar events. These "fearless forecasts" are the first, and presently only, publicly distributed predictions of SAT and are undergoing quantitative evaluation for operational utility and scientific benchmarking. All three models predict SAT, but the HAF model also provides a global view of the propagation of interplanetary shocks through the pre-existing, non-uniform heliospheric structure. This allows the forecaster to track the propagation of the shock and to differentiate between shocks caused by solar events and those associated with co-rotating interaction regions (CIRs). This study includes 173 events during the period February, 1997 to October, 2000. Shock predictions were compared with spacecraft observations at the L1 location to determine how well the models perform. Sixty-eight shocks were observed at L1 within 120 hours of an event. We concluded that 6 of these observed shocks were caused by CIRs, and the remainder were caused by solar events. The forecast skill of the models are presented in terms of RMS errors, contingency tables and skill scores commonly used by the weather forecasting community. The false alarm rate for HAF was higher than for ISPM or STOA but much lower than for predictions based upon empirical studies or climatology. Of the parameters used to characterize a shock source at the Sun, the initial speed of the coronal shock, as represented by the observed metric type II speed, has the largest influence on the predicted SAT. We also found that HAF model predictions based upon type II speed are generally better for shocks originating from

  7. Understanding Global Change: Tools for exploring Earth processes and biotic change through time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, J. R.; White, L. D.; Berbeco, M.

    2014-12-01

    Teaching global change is one of the great pedagogical challenges of our day because real understanding entails integrating a variety of concepts from different scientific subject areas, including chemistry, physics, and biology, with a variety of causes and impacts in the past, present, and future. With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize climate change and other human impacts on natural systems, there has never been a better time to provide instructional support to educators on these topics. In response to this clear need, the University of California Museum of Paleontology, in collaboration with the National Center for Science Education, developed a new web resource for teachers and students titled "Understanding Global Change" (UGC) that introduces the drivers and impacts of global change. This website clarifies the connections among deep time, modern Earth system processes, and anthropogenic influences, and provides K-16 instructors with a wide range of easy-to-use tools, strategies, and lesson plans for communicating these important concepts regarding global change and the basic Earth systems processes. In summer 2014, the UGC website was field-tested during a workshop with 25 K-12 teachers and science educators. Feedback from participants helped the UGC team develop and identify pedagogically sound lesson plans and instructional tools on global change. These resources are accessible through UGC's searchable database, are aligned with NGSS and Common Core, and are categorized by grade level, subject, and level of inquiry-based instruction (confirmation, structured, guided, open). Providing a range of content and tools at levels appropriate for teachers is essential because our initial needs assessment found that educators often feel that they lack the content knowledge and expertise to address complex, but relevant global change issues, such as ocean acidification and deforestation. Ongoing needs assessments and surveys of

  8. On the nature of gravity and possible change of Earth mass during geological time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapunov, Valentin

    2015-04-01

    A number of circumstances can't be explained based on view of the constant force of gravity on the Earth: 1. Dimensions of fossil animals and plants. According to the laws of biomechanics of the giant dinosaurs could not move and fly. 2. The movement of continents, reliably described by A.Vegener, can only be explained on the basis of the model increasing the Earth. Gravity is only one of the fields that define the existence of the world. Field and matter are forms that can be converted into each other. Transition is described, in particular, by Poincare, perhaps not quite accurate: E = (K) mc2. There are indications of the existence of the time field (Kozyrev, 1978), which generates energy, and then the following conditional equation: T, where T is a time. Through this relationship generated energy glow of stars and planets, the mass increases. In particular, there is an increase in the mass of the Earth. This confirms the divergence of the continents and reducing the size of the animals and plants in the Earth's history. According to presented model, the size of Earth increased during 100 millions years two times in linear scale and 8 times in volume and mass scales. Understanding of general principle of space development needs collaboration of different specialists and branches of geosciences. The basis of possible scheme is: 1. The nature of gravity is not explained by science, although some of its properties are described with high accuracy, and these descriptions have predictive power. Indeed, what attracted threads of the body without physical contact? 2. The velocity of propagation of gravitational forces in the universe is many times the speed of light. Perhaps it is infinite, although it is not proven. 3. The universe is infinite, as is clear from logical calculations thinkers more ancient period. However, our universe, i.e. of the universe, available to our senses and instruments, is finite. The volume of our universe is 1070 cubic kilometers. The total

  9. Finite-difference time-domain modelling of through-the-Earth radio signal propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ralchenko, M.; Svilans, M.; Samson, C.; Roper, M.

    2015-12-01

    This research seeks to extend the knowledge of how a very low frequency (VLF) through-the-Earth (TTE) radio signal behaves as it propagates underground, by calculating and visualizing the strength of the electric and magnetic fields for an arbitrary geology through numeric modelling. To achieve this objective, a new software tool has been developed using the finite-difference time-domain method. This technique is particularly well suited to visualizing the distribution of electromagnetic fields in an arbitrary geology. The frequency range of TTE radio (400-9000 Hz) and geometrical scales involved (1 m resolution for domains a few hundred metres in size) involves processing a grid composed of millions of cells for thousands of time steps, which is computationally expensive. Graphics processing unit acceleration was used to reduce execution time from days and weeks, to minutes and hours. Results from the new modelling tool were compared to three cases for which an analytic solution is known. Two more case studies were done featuring complex geologic environments relevant to TTE communications that cannot be solved analytically. There was good agreement between numeric and analytic results. Deviations were likely caused by numeric artifacts from the model boundaries; however, in a TTE application in field conditions, the uncertainty in the conductivity of the various geologic formations will greatly outweigh these small numeric errors.

  10. Near Real-­Time Applications of Earth Remote Sensing for Response to Meteorological Disasters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Molthan, Andrew L.; Burks, Jason E.; McGrath, Kevin M.; Bell, Jordan R.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous on-orbit satellites provide a wide range of spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions supporting the use of their resulting imagery in assessments of disasters that are meteorological in nature. This presentation will provide an overview of recent use of Earth remote sensing by NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center in response to disaster activities in 2012 and 2013, along with case studies supporting ongoing research and development. The SPoRT Center, with support from NASA's Applied Sciences Program, has explored a variety of new applications of Earth-observing sensors to support disaster response. In May 2013, the SPoRT Center developed unique power outage composites representing the first clear sky view of damage inflicted upon Moore and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma following the devastating EF-5 tornado that occurred on May 20. Subsequent ASTER, MODIS, Landsat-7 and Landsat-8 imagery help to identify the damaged area. Higher resolution imagery of Moore, Oklahoma were provided by commercial satellites and the recently available International Space Station (ISS) SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV) instrument. New techniques are being explored by the SPoRT team in order to better identify damage visible in high resolution imagery, and to monitor ongoing recovery for Moore, Oklahoma. Other applications are being developed to refine light source detections with the VIIRS day-night band and to map hail during the growing season through combination of available satellite and radar imagery. The aforementioned products and support are not useful unless they are distributed in a timely manner and within an appropriate decision support system. This presentation will provide an update on ongoing activities to support inclusion of these data sets within the NOAA National Weather Service Damage Assessment Toolkit, which allows meteorologists in the field to consult available satellite imagery while performing

  11. Near Real-Time Applications of Earth Remote Sensing for Response to Meteorological Disasters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Molthan, Andrew L.; Burks, Jason E.; McGrath, Kevin M.; Bell, Jordan R.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous on-orbit satellites provide a wide range of spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions supporting the use of their resulting imagery in assessments of disasters that are meteorological in nature. This presentation will provide an overview of recent use of Earth remote sensing by NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center in response to disaster activities in 2012 and 2013, along with case studies supporting ongoing research and development. The SPoRT Center, with support from NASA's Applied Sciences Program, has explored a variety of new applications of Earth-observing sensors to support disaster response. In May 2013, the SPoRT Center developed unique power outage composites representing the first clear sky view of damage inflicted upon Moore and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma following the devastating EF-5 tornado that occurred on May 20. Subsequent ASTER, MODIS, Landsat-7 and Landsat-8 imagery help to identify the damaged area. Higher resolution imagery of Moore, Oklahoma were provided by commercial satellites and the recently available International Space Station (ISS) SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV) instrument. New techniques are being explored by the SPoRT team in order to better identify damage visible in high resolution imagery, and to monitor ongoing recovery for Moore, Oklahoma. Other applications are being developed to refine light source detections with the VIIRS day-night band and to map hail during the growing season through combination of available satellite and radar imagery. The aforementioned products and support are not useful unless they are distributed in a timely manner and within an appropriate decision support system. This presentation will provide an update on ongoing activities to support inclusion of these data sets within the NOAA National Weather Service Damage Assessment Toolkit, which allows meteorologists in the field to consult available satellite imagery while performing

  12. The Potential of Time Series Based Earth Observation for the Monitoring of Large River Deltas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuenzer, C.; Leinenkugel, P.; Huth, J.; Ottinger, M.; Renaud, F.; Foufoula-Georgiou, E.; Vo Khac, T.; Trinh Thi, L.; Dech, S.; Koch, P.; Le Tissier, M.

    2015-12-01

    Although river deltas only contribute 5% to the overall land surface, nearly six hundred million people live in these complex social-ecological environments, which combine a variety of appealing locational advantages. In many countries deltas provide the major national contribution to agricultural and industrial production. At the same time these already very dynamic environments are exposed to a variety of threats, including the disturbance and replacement of valuable ecosystems, increasing water, soil, and air pollution, human induced land subsidence, sea level rise, as well upstream developments impacting water and sediment supplies. A constant monitoring of delta systems is thus of utmost relevance for understanding past and current land surface change and anticipating possible future developments. We present the potential of Earth Observation based analyses and derived novel information products that can play a key role in this context. Along with the current trend of opening up numerous satellite data archives go increasing capabilities to explore big data. Whereas in past decades remote sensing data were analysed based on the spectral-reflectance-defined 'finger print' of individual surfaces, we mainly exploit the 'temporal fingerprints' of our land surface in novel pathways of data analyses at differing spatial-, and temporally-dense scales. Following our results on an Earth Observation based characterization of large deltas globally, we present in depth results from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, the Yellow River Delta in China, the Niger Delta in Nigeria, as well as additional deltas, focussing on the assessment of river delta flood and inundation dynamics, river delta coastline dynamics, delta morphology dynamics including the quantification of erosion and accretion processes, river delta land use change and trends, as well as the monitoring of compliance to environmental regulations.

  13. Hardware in-the-Loop Demonstration of Real-Time Orbit Determination in High Earth Orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moreau, Michael; Naasz, Bo; Leitner, Jesse; Carpenter, J. Russell; Gaylor, Dave

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents results from a study conducted at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to assess the real-time orbit determination accuracy of GPS-based navigation in a number of different high Earth orbital regimes. Measurements collected from a GPS receiver (connected to a GPS radio frequency (RF) signal simulator) were processed in a navigation filter in real-time, and resulting errors in the estimated states were assessed. For the most challenging orbit simulated, a 12 hour Molniya orbit with an apogee of approximately 39,000 km, mean total position and velocity errors were approximately 7 meters and 3 mm/s respectively. The study also makes direct comparisons between the results from the above hardware in-the-loop tests and results obtained by processing GPS measurements generated from software simulations. Care was taken to use the same models and assumptions in the generation of both the real-time and software simulated measurements, in order that the real-time data could be used to help validate the assumptions and models used in the software simulations. The study makes use of the unique capabilities of the Formation Flying Test Bed at GSFC, which provides a capability to interface with different GPS receivers and to produce real-time, filtered orbit solutions even when less than four satellites are visible. The result is a powerful tool for assessing onboard navigation performance in a wide range of orbital regimes, and a test-bed for developing software and procedures for use in real spacecraft applications.

  14. Real-time data and communications services of NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, C. J.; Daniels, M.; Stossmeister, G.

    2011-12-01

    Near real-time information is critical for mission management of atmospheric observing systems. Advances in satellite communications and Internet distribution have allowed the Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) of NCAR to provide data, information and imagery to the scientists during evolving weather situations. Real-time data are necessary for updating interactive displays that show products from forecast models and many disparate observation systems (e.g. satellite, soundings, surface radars and aircraft in-situ observations). At the same time, network-based collaborative tools such as chat and web conferencing facilitate interactive participation between remote groups of scientists, engineers, operations centers and the observing platforms. In the recent PREDICT deployment of the NSF/NCAR GV research aircraft, dropsondes were released from the aircraft at 45,000 ft over a 1000 km x 1000 km area to give profiles of pressure, temperature, humidity and wind below the aircraft. Real-time data from the sondes was collected by the aircraft and relayed by satcom into the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) and assimilated into forecast models. The model forecast results were then fed back into ground-based and airborne displays (along with a multitude of observations) for enhanced decision-making and mission guidance. This environment of streaming data in real-time also allows more experts to look at data and compare it with other measurements. One particular benefit is that it alerts instrument operators on the ground and in the air to instrument problems, which can then be addressed very rapidly. The resulting communications and collaborations infrastructure results in unprecedented improvements to our data quality and rapid targeting of mission resources to important weather events. Using several examples, this presentation will provide an overview of current tools and processes in use at EOL, and future needs will be discussed.

  15. Earth System Data Records of Mass Transport from Time-Variable Gravity Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlotnicki, V.; Talpe, M.; Nerem, R. S.; Landerer, F. W.; Watkins, M. M.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite measurements of time variable gravity have revolutionized the study of Earth, by measuring the ice losses of Greenland, Antarctica and land glaciers, changes in groundwater including unsustainable losses due to extraction of groundwater, the mass and currents of the oceans and their redistribution during El Niño events, among other findings. Satellite measurements of gravity have been made primarily by four techniques: satellite tracking from land stations using either lasers or Doppler radio systems, satellite positioning by GNSS/GPS, satellite to satellite tracking over distances of a few hundred km using microwaves, and through a gravity gradiometer (radar altimeters also measure the gravity field, but over the oceans only). We discuss the challenges in the measurement of gravity by different instruments, especially time-variable gravity. A special concern is how to bridge a possible gap in time between the end of life of the current GRACE satellite pair, launched in 2002, and a future GRACE Follow-On pair to be launched in 2017. One challenge in combining data from different measurement systems consists of their different spatial and temporal resolutions and the different ways in which they alias short time scale signals. Typically satellite measurements of gravity are expressed in spherical harmonic coefficients (although expansions in terms of 'mascons', the masses of small spherical caps, has certain advantages). Taking advantage of correlations among spherical harmonic coefficients described by empirical orthogonal functions and derived from GRACE data it is possible to localize the otherwise coarse spatial resolution of the laser and Doppler derived gravity models. This presentation discusses the issues facing a climate data record of time variable mass flux using these different data sources, including its validation.

  16. Time series of low-degree geopotential coefficients from SLR data: estimation of Earth's figure axis and LOD variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luceri, V.; Sciarretta, C.; Bianco, G.

    2012-12-01

    The redistribution of the mass within the earth system induces changes in the Earth's gravity field. In particular, the second-degree geopotential coefficients reflect the behaviour of the Earth's inertia tensor of order 2, describing the main mass variations of our planet impacting the EOPs. Thanks to the long record of accurate and continuous laser ranging observations to Lageos and other geodetic satellites, SLR is the only current space technique capable to monitor the long time variability of the Earth's gravity field with adequate accuracy. Time series of low-degree geopotential coefficients are estimated with our analysis of SLR data (spanning more than 25 years) from several geodetic satellites in order to detect trends and periodic variations related to tidal effects and atmospheric/oceanic mass variations. This study is focused on the variations of the second-degree Stokes coefficients related to the Earth's principal figure axis and oblateness: C21, S21 and C20. On the other hand, surface mass load variations induce excitations in the EOPs that are proportional to the same second-degree coefficients. The time series of direct estimates of low degree geopotential and those derived from the EOP excitation functions are compared and presented together with their time and frequency analysis.

  17. The Earth Through Time: Implications for Searching for Habitability and Life on Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pilcher, Carl B.

    2016-01-01

    The Earth has been both a habitable and inhabited planet for around 4 billion years, yet distant observers studying Earth at different epochs in our history would have detected substantially different and probably varying conditions. Understanding Earth's history thus has much to tell us about how to interpret observations of potentially habitable exoplanets. In this talk I will review the history of life on Earth, from the earliest microbial biosphere living under a relatively methane-rich atmosphere to the modern world of animals, plants, and atmospheric oxygen, with a focus on how observable conditions on Earth changed as the planet and its biosphere evolved. I'll discuss the implications of this history for assessing the habitability of-or presence of life on-planets around other stars.

  18. The JPL near-real-time VLBI system and its application to clock synchronization and earth orientation measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callahan, P. S.; Eubanks, T. M.; Roth, M. G.; Steppe, J. A.; Esposito, P. B.

    1983-01-01

    The JPL near-real-time VLBI system called Block I is discussed. The hardware and software of the system are described, and the Time and Earth Motion Precision Observations (TEMPO) which utilize Block I are discussed. These observations are designed to provide interstation clock synchronization to 10 nsec and to determine earth orientation (UT1 and polar motion - UTPM) to 30 cm or better in each component. TEMPO results for clock synchronization and UTPM are presented with data from the July 1980-August 1981 analyzed using the most recent JPL solution software and source catalog. Future plans for TEMPO and Block I are discussed.

  19. Optimizing Earth Data Search Ranking using Deep Learning and Real-time User Behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Y.; Yang, C. P.; Armstrong, E. M.; Huang, T.; Moroni, D. F.; McGibbney, L. J.; Greguska, F. R., III

    2017-12-01

    Finding Earth science data has been a challenging problem given both the quantity of data available and the heterogeneity of the data across a wide variety of domains. Current search engines in most geospatial data portals tend to induce end users to focus on one single data characteristic dimension (e.g., term frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) score, popularity, release date, etc.). This approach largely fails to take account of users' multidimensional preferences for geospatial data, and hence may likely result in a less than optimal user experience in discovering the most applicable dataset out of a vast range of available datasets. With users interacting with search engines, sufficient information is already hidden in the log files. Compared with explicit feedback data, information that can be derived/extracted from log files is virtually free and substantially more timely. In this dissertation, I propose an online deep learning framework that can quickly update the learning function based on real-time user clickstream data. The contributions of this framework include 1) a log processor that can ingest, process and create training data from web logs in a real-time manner; 2) a query understanding module to better interpret users' search intent using web log processing results and metadata; 3) a feature extractor that identifies ranking features representing users' multidimensional interests of geospatial data; and 4) a deep learning based ranking algorithm that can be trained incrementally using user behavior data. The search ranking results will be evaluated using precision at K and normalized discounted cumulative gain (NDCG).

  20. GRACE, time-varying gravity, Earth system dynamics and climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wouters, B.; Bonin, J. A.; Chambers, D. P.; Riva, R. E. M.; Sasgen, I.; Wahr, J.

    2014-11-01

    Continuous observations of temporal variations in the Earth's gravity field have recently become available at an unprecedented resolution of a few hundreds of kilometers. The gravity field is a product of the Earth's mass distribution, and these data—provided by the satellites of the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE)—can be used to study the exchange of mass both within the Earth and at its surface. Since the launch of the mission in 2002, GRACE data has evolved from being an experimental measurement needing validation from ground truth, to a respected tool for Earth scientists representing a fixed bound on the total change and is now an important tool to help unravel the complex dynamics of the Earth system and climate change. In this review, we present the mission concept and its theoretical background, discuss the data and give an overview of the major advances GRACE has provided in Earth science, with a focus on hydrology, solid Earth sciences, glaciology and oceanography.

  1. GRACE, time-varying gravity, Earth system dynamics and climate change.

    PubMed

    Wouters, B; Bonin, J A; Chambers, D P; Riva, R E M; Sasgen, I; Wahr, J

    2014-11-01

    Continuous observations of temporal variations in the Earth's gravity field have recently become available at an unprecedented resolution of a few hundreds of kilometers. The gravity field is a product of the Earth's mass distribution, and these data-provided by the satellites of the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE)-can be used to study the exchange of mass both within the Earth and at its surface. Since the launch of the mission in 2002, GRACE data has evolved from being an experimental measurement needing validation from ground truth, to a respected tool for Earth scientists representing a fixed bound on the total change and is now an important tool to help unravel the complex dynamics of the Earth system and climate change. In this review, we present the mission concept and its theoretical background, discuss the data and give an overview of the major advances GRACE has provided in Earth science, with a focus on hydrology, solid Earth sciences, glaciology and oceanography.

  2. New Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossils from Ecuador: Invertebrates, vertebrates, plants, and microfossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cadena, Edwin A.; Mejia-Molina, Alejandra; Brito, Carla M.; Peñafiel, Sofia; Sanmartin, Kleber J.; Sarmiento, Luis B.

    2018-04-01

    Ecuador is well known for its extensive extant biodiversity, however, its paleobiodiversity is still poorly explored. Here we report seven new Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossil localities from the Pacific coast, inter-Andean depression and Napo basin of Ecuador, including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and microfossils. The first of these localities is called El Refugio, located near the small town of Chota, Imbabura Province, from where we report several morphotypes of fossil leaves and a mycetopodid freshwater mussel of the Upper Miocene Chota Formation. A second site is also located near the town of Chota, corresponding to potentially Pleistocene to Holocene lake deposits from which we report the occurrence of leaves and fossil diatoms. A third locality is at the Pacific coast of the country, near Rocafuerte, a town in Esmeraldas Province, from which we report a late Miocene palm leaf. We also report the first partially articulated skull with teeth from a Miocene scombridid (Mackerels) fish from El Cruce locality, and completely preserved seeds from La Pila locality, both sites from Manabí Province. Two late Cretaceous fossil sites from the Napo Province, one near Puerto Napo showing a good record of fossil shrimps and a second near the town of Loreto shows the occurrence of granular amber and small gymnosperms seeds and cuticles. All these new sites and fossils show the high potential of the sedimentary sequences and basins of Ecuador for paleontological studies and for a better understanding of the fossil record of the country and northern South America.

  3. Microfossils from oolites and pisolites of the Upper Proterozoic Eleonore Bay Group, Central East Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, J. W.; Knoll, A. H.; Swett, K.

    1988-01-01

    Silicified oolites and pisolites from Bed 18 of the Upper Proterozoic (about 700-800 Ma) Limestone-Dolomite "Series" of the Eleonore Bay Group, central East Greenland, contain a diverse suite of organically preserved microfossils that is, for the most part. [Of the] assemblages previously described from Proterozoic cherts and shales. Three principal assemblages occur in these rocks: 1) a class bound assemblage found in detrital carbonate grains (now silicified) that served as nuclei for ooid and pisoid growth, as well as in uncoated mud and mat clasts that were carried into the zone of ooid and pisoid deposition; 2) an epilithic and interstitial assemblage consisting of microorganisms that occurred on top of and between grains; and 3) a euendolithic assemblage composed of microbes that actively bored into coated grains. The Upper Proterozoic euendolithic assemblage closely resembles a community of euendolithic cyanobacteria found today in shallow marine ooid sands of the Bahama Banks. Thirteen species are described, of which eight are new, five representing new genera: Eohyella dichotoma n. sp., Eohyella endoatracta n. sp., Eohyella rectoclada n. sp., Thylacocausticus globorum n. gen. and sp., Cunicularius halleri n. gen. and sp., Graviglomus incrustus n. gen. and sp., Perulagranum obovatum n. gen. and sp., and Parenchymodiscus endolithicus n. gen. and sp.

  4. Temperature dependence of proton NMR relaxation times at earth's magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedbalski, Peter; Kiswandhi, Andhika; Parish, Christopher; Ferguson, Sarah; Cervantes, Eduardo; Oomen, Anisha; Krishnan, Anagha; Goyal, Aayush; Lumata, Lloyd

    The theoretical description of relaxation processes for protons, well established and experimentally verified at conventional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) fields, has remained untested at low fields despite significant advances in low field NMR technology. In this study, proton spin-lattice relaxation (T1) times in pure water and water doped with varying concentrations of the paramagnetic agent copper chloride have been measured from 6 to 92oC at earth's magnetic field (1700 Hz). Results show a linear increase of T1 with temperature for each of the samples studied. Increasing the concentration of the copper chloride greatly reduced T1 and reduced dependence on temperature. The consistency of the results with theory is an important confirmation of past results, while the ability of an ultra-low field NMR system to do contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is promising for future applicability to low-cost medical imaging and chemical identification. This work is supported by US Dept of Defense Award No. W81XWH-14-1-0048 and the Robert A. Welch Foundation Grant No. AT-1877.

  5. Examination of time series through randomly broken windows. [space observations from earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturrock, P. A.

    1980-01-01

    The effect of irregular interruption of data collection (the breaking of the window function) on the spectrum determination of a time series is investigated. It is assumed that there is a uniform probability p that each interval of length tau, of the total interval of length T = tau, yields no data. For the linear case (Fourier transform) it is found that the noise to signal ratio has a (one sigma) value less than epsilon if N exceeds p(-1) (1-p) epsilon (-2). For the quadratic case, the same requirement is met by the less restrictive requirement that N exceed p(-1) (1-p) epsilon (-1). It appears that, if four observatories spaced around the Earth were to operate for 25 days, each for six hours a day (N = 100), and if the probability of cloud cover at any site on any day is 20% (p = 0.8), the r.m.s. noise to signal ratio is 0.25% for frequencies displaced from a sharp strong signal by 15 micro Hz. The noise to signal ratio drops off rapidly if the frequency offset exceeds 15 micro Hz.

  6. On the analytical form of the Earth's magnetic attraction expressed as a function of time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlheim-Gyllenskold, V.

    1983-01-01

    An attempt is made to express the Earth's magnetic attraction in simple analytical form using observations during the 16th to 19th centuries. Observations of the magnetic inclination in the 16th and 17th centuries are discussed.

  7. Ecosystems resilience to drought: indicators derived from time-series of Earth Observation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, Monica; Fernández, Nestor; Delibes, Miguel

    2013-04-01

    Increasing our understanding of how ecosystems differ in their vulnerability to extreme climatic events such as drought is critical. Resilient ecosystems are capable to cope with climatic perturbations retaining the same essential function, structure and feedbacks. However, if the effect of a perturbation is amplified, abrupt shifts can occur such as in desertification processes. Empirical indicators of robustness and resilience to drought events could be developed from time series of Earth Observation (EO) data. So far, the information content of EO time series for monitoring ecosystem resilience has been underutilized, being mostly limited to detection of greening or rainfall use efficiency (RUE) trends at interannual time-scales. Detection of thresholds, shifts, extremes, and hysteresis processes is still in its infancy using EO data. Only recently some studies are starting to utilize this avenue of research using vegetation indices with some controversy due to the substitution of time by space. In drylands, where ecosystem functioning is largely controlled by rainfall, a key variable for monitoring is evapotranspiration as it connects the energy, water and carbon cycles. It can be estimated using EO data using a surface energy balance approach. In this work we propose the use of new empirical indicators of resilience to drought derived from EO time series. They are extracted from analyses of lagged cross-correlations between rainfall and evapotranspiration anomalies at several time-steps. This allows elucidating as well if an observed extreme ecological response can be attributed to a climate extreme. Additionally, increases in autocorrelation have been proposed to detect losses of resilience or changes in recovery capacity from a perturbation. Our objective was to compare rates of recovery from drought of different ecosystems in the natural park of Doñana (Spain) composed of wetlands, pine forest, shrublands with and without access to groundwater. The

  8. Stratigraphic and microfossil evidence for a 4500-year history of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes and tsunamis at Yaquina River estuary, Oregon, USA

    Graehl, Nicholas A; Kelsey, Harvey M.; Witter, Robert C.; Hemphill-Haley, Eileen; Engelhart, Simon E.

    2015-01-01

    The Sallys Bend swamp and marsh area on the central Oregon coast onshore of the Cascadia subduction zone contains a sequence of buried coastal wetland soils that extends back ∼4500 yr B.P. The upper 10 of the 12 soils are represented in multiple cores. Each soil is abruptly overlain by a sandy deposit and then, in most cases, by greater than 10 cm of mud. For eight of the 10 buried soils, times of soil burial are constrained through radiocarbon ages on fine, delicate detritus from the top of the buried soil; for two of the buried soils, diatom and foraminifera data constrain paleoenvironment at the time of soil burial.We infer that each buried soil represents a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake because the soils are laterally extensive and abruptly overlain by sandy deposits and mud. Preservation of coseismically buried soils occurred from 4500 yr ago until ∼500–600 yr ago, after which preservation was compromised by cessation of gradual relative sea-level rise, which in turn precluded drowning of marsh soils during instances of coseismic subsidence. Based on grain-size and microfossil data, sandy deposits overlying buried soils accumulated immediately after a subduction zone earthquake, during tsunami incursion into Sallys Bend. The possibility that the sandy deposits were sourced directly from landslides triggered upstream in the Yaquina River basin by seismic shaking was discounted based on sedimentologic, microfossil, and depositional site characteristics of the sandy deposits, which were inconsistent with a fluvial origin. Biostratigraphic analyses of sediment above two buried soils—in the case of two earthquakes, one occurring shortly after 1541–1708 cal. yr B.P. and the other occurring shortly after 3227–3444 cal. yr B.P.—provide estimates that coseismic subsidence was a minimum of 0.4 m. The average recurrence interval of subduction zone earthquakes is 420–580 yr, based on an ∼3750–4050-yr-long record and seven to nine interearthquake

  9. Middle school students' understanding of the natural history of the Earth and life on Earth as a function of deep time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulling, Azalie Cecile

    The purpose of this study was to use deep time, that is geologic time as a mechanism to explore middle school students' understanding of the natural history of the earth and the evolution of life on earth. Geologic time is a logical precursor to middle school students' understanding of biological evolution. This exploratory, mixed model study used qualitative and quantitative methods in each stage of the research to explore sixth grade students, understanding of geologic time, their worldviews (e.g., conceptual ecology), and conceptual change. The study included fifty-nine students in the large group study and four case studies. The primary data collection instrument was the Geologic Timeline Survey. Additional data collection instruments and methods (e.g., concept evaluation statement, journal entries, word associations, interviews, and formal tests) were used to triangulate the study findings. These data were used to create narrative modal profiles of the categories of student thinking that emerged from the large group analysis: Middle School (MS) Scientists (correct science), MS Protoscientists (approaching correct science), MS Prescientists (dinosaur understanding), and MS Pseudoscientists (fundamental religious understanding). Case studies were used to provide a thick description of each category. This study discovered a pattern of student thinking about geologic time that moved along a knowledge continuum from pseudoscience (fundamental creationist understanding) to prescience (everyday-science understanding) to science (correct or approaching correct science). The researcher described the deep-seated misconceptions produced by the prescience thinking level, e.g., dinosaur misconceptions, and cautioned the science education community about using dinosaurs as a glamour-science topic. The most limiting conceptual frameworks found in this study were prescience (a dinosaur focus) and pseudoscience (a fundamental religious focus). An understanding of geologic time

  10. Automated Delay Measurement System for an Earth Station for Two-Way Satellite Time and Frequency Transfer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-12-01

    important for improving the TWSTFT capabilities. An automnted system for this purpose has been developed from the initial design at NMi-VSL. It...September 1994 together with a USNO portable station on a calibration trip to European TWSTFT earth staions. 1. Introduction The Two-Way Satellite...Time and Frequency Transfer ( TWSTFT ) method (Fig. I) is used to compare two clocks or time scales which are often located at great distances from each

  11. Automated delay measurement system for an Earth station for Two-Way Satellite Time and Frequency Transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dejong, Gerrit; Polderman, Michel C.

    1995-01-01

    The measurement of the difference of the transmit and receive delays of the signals in a Two-Way Satellite Time and Frequency Transfer (TWSTFT) Earth station is crucial for its nanosecond time transfer capability. Also, the monitoring of the change of this delay difference with time, temperature, humidity, or barometric pressure is important for improving the TWSTFT capabilities. An automated system for this purpose has been developed from the initial design at NMi-VSL. It calibrates separately the transmit and receive delays in cables, amplifiers, upconverters and downconverters, and antenna feeds. The obtained results can be applied as corrections to the TWSTFT measurement when, before and after a measurement session, a calibration session is performed. Preliminary results obtained at NMi-VSL will be shown. Also, if available, the results of a manual version of the system that is planned to be circulated in Sept. 1994 together with a USNO portable station on a calibration trip to European TWSTFT Earth stations.

  12. Ground-based Search of Earth-mass Exoplanets using Transit-Timing Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez, J. M.

    2010-10-01

    This work presents recent results from a ground-based transit follow-up program of the extrasolar planet XO-2b in order to find Earth-mass companions. It also introduces the future use of the MONET 1m-class robotic telescopes as part of the effort to overcome the difficulties of this kind of project.

  13. Remote Access to Earth Science Data by Content, Space and Time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dobinson, E.; Raskin, G.

    1998-01-01

    This demo presents the combination on an http-based client/server application that facilitates internet access to Earth science data coupled with a Java applet GUI that allows the user to graphically select data based on spatial and temporal coverage plots and scientific parameters.

  14. Taxonomic composition and biostratigraphic value of the Early Riphean organic-walled microfossil association from the Ust'-Il'ya Formation of the Anabar Uplift, Northern Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeev, V. N.; Vorob'eva, N. G.; Petrov, P. Yu.; Semikhatov, M. A.

    2017-05-01

    It is demonstrated on the basis of the first monographic study of multiple and taxonomically variable organic-walled microfossils from the Ust'-Il'ya Formation of the Anabar Uplift that both prokaryotic and eukaryotic forms are present in the composition of this microbiota. They are divided into four formal groups on the basis of the specifics of the morphological indicators of the identified taxa. The review of the data on the isotopic age of hosting deposits showed that the Ust'-Il'ya Formation is of the Early Riphean in age which are currently evaluated as 1750 ± 10-1400 Ma. Relatively large and morphologically complex eukaryotic forms present in the Ust'-Il'ya Formation served in due time as the basis for an erroneous conclusion on the Late Riphean age of the specified formation and the overlying Lower Kotuikan Subformation of the Anabar Uplift. The paper provides a global comparative analysis of the Early Riphean microbiotas, demonstrates the position of the Ust'-Il'ya and Kotuikan microbiotas amidst the microbiotas of the same age, and shows that the relatively large acanthomorphic acritarchs Tappania, Valeria, Dictiosphaera, Satka, and Shuiyousphaeridium appeared in the geological history already during the Early Riphean Erathem. Moreover, the paper discusses the recently published data on the distribution of aerobic and anaerobic conditions in the Early Riphean paleobasins and provides the conclusion on the impact of the lateral change of these conditions on the taxonomic composition of the microbiota.

  15. Diet Reconstructed From an Analysis of Plant Microfossils in Human Dental Calculus From the Bronze Age Site of Shilinggang, Southwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Dong, G.; Yang, X.; Zuo, X.; Kang, L.; Ren, L.; Liu, H.; Li, H.; Min, R.; Liu, X.; Zhang, D.; Chen, F.

    2017-12-01

    The extracted microfossils from the dental calculus of ancient teeth are a new form of archaeological evidence which can provide direct information on the plant diet of a population. Here, we present the results of analyses of starch grains and phytoliths trapped in the dental calculus of humans who occupied the Bronze Age site of Shilinggang ( 2500 cal yr BP) in Yunnan Province, southwestern China. The results demonstrate that the inhabitants consumed a wide range of plants, including rice, millet, and palms, together with other food plants which have not previously been detected in Yunnan. The discovery of various underground storage organs (USOs; tubers, roots, bulbs, and rhizomes) and acorns complements the application of conventional macrofossil and isotope studies to understand the diet of the Bronze Age human population of Yunnan. The wide variety of plant foods consumed suggests that the inhabitants adopted a broad-spectrum strategy of gathering food and cultivating crops in northwest Yunnan Province in the late Bronze Age at a time when agricultural societies were developed in the central plains of China.

  16. The palaeoecologic and biostratigraphic evaluation of Middle Miocene freshwater sediments and microfossils near Denkendorf (Bavaria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirkenseer, C.; Reichenbacher, B.

    2009-04-01

    Isolated freshwater sediments that partially cover the Jurassic limestones of the Swabian and Franconian Alb represent the northernmost expansion of the Molasse sediments. These sediments represent the analogue to the Brackish Molasse and part of the Upper Freshwater Molasse (Ottnangian to Badenian). Samples of six drillcores from the vicinity of Denkendorf (Franconian Alb, Bavaria) yielded ostracods of the superfamily Cypridoidea, frequent oogonia of charophytes, otoliths of the family Gobiidae, teeth of several taxa of micromammals as well as abundant material of amphibians, reptiles and gastropods. The sediments show a general trend from basal, more clastic influenced deposits to uniformly developed marly sediments with freshwater carbonate intercalations. The acme of microfossil occurrences is associated with the latter section. The palaeoecologic analysis characterises the environment as structured littoral zone (e.g. Pseudocandona steinheimensis, Gyraulus sp., Planorbarius sp., Rana ridibunda, Triturus sp.) of a larger oligo- to mesotrophic (Chara spp., Nitellopsis spp.) low-energy freshwater system under a warm subtropical to tropical climate (Diplocynodon cf. D. styriacus, Channa sp.). The cooccurrence of suboxia- and oligotrophy-tolerant species like Palaeocarassius sp. and Channa sp. may indicate short intervals of regional depletion of oxygene and raise of nutrient content. Mediocypris candonaeformis and Gobius latiformis represent relict species of the preceding Brackwassermolasse. Terrestrial elements include Proboscidea (phalanx), Cervidae (astragalus), land turtles (Testudo sp.) and gastropods (Clausiliidae, Pupillidae, Cepaea sp.). The occurrence of Jurassic xenoclasts and bean iron ore indicate the presence of a tributary system. The faunal and floral assemblages show close affinities to other localities of the Molasse Basin (e.g., Sandelzhausen). In accordance with the depositional history this indicates a palaeogeographic connection with the

  17. Time-dependent heat transfer in the spherical Earth: Implications on the power and thermal evolution of the core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmeister, A. M.; Criss, R. E.

    2015-12-01

    We quantitatively investigate the time-dependence of heat conduction for a post-core, spherical Earth that is not convecting, due to compositional layering, based on hundreds of measurements of thermal diffusivity (D) for insulators and metals. Consistency of our solutions for widely ranging input parameters indicates how additional heat transfer mechanisms (mantle magmatism and convection) affect thermal evolution of the core. We consider 1) interior starting temperatures (T) of 273-5000 K, which represent variations in primordial heat, 2) different distributions and decay of long-lived radioactive isotopes, 3) additional heat sources in the core (primordial or latent heat), and 4) variable depth-T dependence of D. Our new analytical solution for cooling of a constant D sphere validates our numerical results. The bottom line is that the thermally insulating nature of minerals, combined with constraints of spherical geometry, limits steep thermal gradients to the upper mantle, consistent with the short length scale (x ~700 km) of cooling over t = 4.5 Ga indicated by dimensional analysis [x2 ~ 4Dt], and with plate tectonics. Consequently, interior temperatures vary little so the core has remained hot and is possibly warming. Findings include: 1) Constant vs. variable D affects thermal profiles only in detail, with D for the metallic core being inconsequential. 2) The hottest zone in Earth may lie in the uppermost lower mantle; 3) Most radiogenic heat is released in Earth's outermost 1000 km thereby driving an active outer shell; 4) Earth's core is essentially isothermal and is thus best described by the liquid-solid phase boundary; 5) Deeply sequestered radioactivity or other heat will melt the core rather than by run the dynamo (note that the heat needed to have melted the outer core is 10% of radiogenic heat generated over Earth's history); 6) Inefficient cooling of an Earth-sized mass means that heat essentially remains where it is generated, until it is removed

  18. How do we know about Earth's history? Constructing the story of Earth's geologic history by collecting and interpreting evidence based scenarios.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruthford, Steven; DeBari, Susan; Linneman, Scott; Boriss, Miguel; Chesbrough, John; Holmes, Randall; Thibault, Allison

    2013-04-01

    " activity at the beginning of the unit. After the review and reflection, students collect and interpret six evidence based scenarios dealing with the absolute ages of various rocks, including moon and meteorite samples, microfossil data, banded iron formations, plant and animal fossils, tectonic movement, extinction events, and human migration. The scenarios are dated and allow students to have a more complete view of geologic time. Using this more complete view, students are prompted to revisit and reorganize the timeline from the "Initial Ideas." By the end of the lesson, students will demonstrate a more complete understanding of the age of the Earth, the geologic time scale, and the role of biotic factors in Earth's systems.

  19. Are the 3,800-Myr-old Isua objects microfossils, limonite-stained fluid inclusions, or neither?

    Roedder, E.

    1981-01-01

    Bridgwater et al.1 issued a 'cautionary note' concerning several reports published by Pflug and co-workers2-5 describing objects called yeast-like microfossils (Isuasphaera isua Pflug) from a metamorphosed quartzite of the 3,800-Myr-old Isua supracrustal belt of south-west Greenland; Bridgwater et al. believe that the objects described by Pflug et al. 2-5 are 'indistinguishable from limonite-stained fluid inclusions' and hence are non-biogenic. I show here that the objects are neither limonite-stained fluid inclusions nor microfossils, but are limonite-stained cavities from the otherwise complete dissolution by weathering of ferruginous dolomite grains in these rocks. Several supporting arguments presented by both sides are believed to be invalid, and others are ambiguous. In view of the extensive research on the earliest life forms, and then significance to evolution, to early geochemical cycles and to the origin of the atmosphere and some ore deposits, the exact nature of the Isua objects, and particularly the validity of the evidence either for or against a biological origin, are of considerable importance. A careful evaluation of the evidence from Isua is particularly pertinent, as bona fide Precambrian fossils are also found in chemically similar (but much younger) silica-rich environments. ?? 1981 Nature Publishing Group.

  20. Demonstrating the Value of Near Real-time Satellite-based Earth Observations in a Research and Education Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiu, L.; Hao, X.; Kinter, J. L.; Stearn, G.; Aliani, M.

    2017-12-01

    The launch of GOES-16 series provides an opportunity to advance near real-time applications in natural hazard detection, monitoring and warning. This study demonstrates the capability and values of receiving real-time satellite-based Earth observations over a fast terrestrial networks and processing high-resolution remote sensing data in a university environment. The demonstration system includes 4 components: 1) Near real-time data receiving and processing; 2) data analysis and visualization; 3) event detection and monitoring; and 4) information dissemination. Various tools are developed and integrated to receive and process GRB data in near real-time, produce images and value-added data products, and detect and monitor extreme weather events such as hurricane, fire, flooding, fog, lightning, etc. A web-based application system is developed to disseminate near-real satellite images and data products. The images are generated with GIS-compatible format (GeoTIFF) to enable convenient use and integration in various GIS platforms. This study enhances the capacities for undergraduate and graduate education in Earth system and climate sciences, and related applications to understand the basic principles and technology in real-time applications with remote sensing measurements. It also provides an integrated platform for near real-time monitoring of extreme weather events, which are helpful for various user communities.

  1. Earth Through Time as an Exoplanet: Lessons for Exoplanet Astrobiology (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Meadows, V. S.

    2013-12-01

    The Archean Earth represents the most alien biosphere for which we have data. Oxygenic photosynthesis was not the dominant primary production metabolism at the surface, as it is on modern-day Earth. Due to this, the atmospheric composition, climate, and ocean chemistry of the planet were all dramatically different than they are on today's planet. These dramatic differences are instructive on biology in a planetary context. Furthermore, they provide an example of a "working inhabited planet" that would have different biosignatures. We can thus use the lessons from the rock record to inform us about the possibilities for and improve our ability to search for life. When we do that, we discover that by looking strictly for the "traditional" biosignatures from methane, oxygen, and ozone, we may conclude dead planets to be alive and living planets to be dead. In this talk, we will discuss these issues and their implications for future space-based observatories designed to search for life beyond the solar system.

  2. Diatom microfossils from cretaceous and eocene sediments contain native silica precipitating long-chain polyamines.

    PubMed

    Bridoux, M C; Ingalls, A E

    2013-05-01

    Organic molecules from known biological sources (biomarkers) that are preserved over geological time are critical tools in the study of past conditions and events on earth. Polar molecules are typically recycled rapidly in marine environments and do not survive burial within aquatic sediments in unambiguously recognizable form. As such, geological biomarkers are formed almost exclusively from precursor biomolecules that have been altered, limiting their utility as paleoproxies. Here, we report that nitrogen-rich aliphatic long-chain polyamines (LCPAs), biosynthesized by diatoms in species-specific assemblages for the precipitation of nanopatterned siliceous cell walls (frustules), are preserved unaltered in the oldest available diatom fossils dating to the Lower Cretaceous (early Albian, 115-110 Ma). We further show that the cumulative LCPA pool accounts for 60% of the total C and 80% of the total N preserved in the Cretaceous age sediments. We suggest that silica glass formation by diatoms constitutes an important preservation mechanism for source-specific, polar biomolecules, protecting them indefinitely by encapsulation within the silicified frustule. LCPAs are a unique, source-specific carbon and nitrogen archive of diatom biomass, offering a promising tool for reconstruction of global cycles of carbon and nitrogen over geological timescales. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  3. A MATLAB based Distributed Real-time Simulation of Lander-Orbiter-Earth Communication for Lunar Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhury, Diptyajit; Angeloski, Aleksandar; Ziah, Haseeb; Buchholz, Hilmar; Landsman, Andre; Gupta, Amitava; Mitra, Tiyasa

    Lunar explorations often involve use of a lunar lander , a rover [1],[2] and an orbiter which rotates around the moon with a fixed radius. The orbiters are usually lunar satellites orbiting along a polar orbit to ensure visibility with respect to the rover and the Earth Station although with varying latency. Communication in such deep space missions is usually done using a specialized protocol like Proximity-1[3]. MATLAB simulation of Proximity-1 have been attempted by some contemporary researchers[4] to simulate all features like transmission control, delay etc. In this paper it is attempted to simulate, in real time, the communication between a tracking station on earth (earth station), a lunar orbiter and a lunar rover using concepts of Distributed Real-time Simulation(DRTS).The objective of the simulation is to simulate, in real-time, the time varying communication delays associated with the communicating elements with a facility to integrate specific simulation modules to study different aspects e.g. response due to a specific control command from the earth station to be executed by the rover. The hardware platform comprises four single board computers operating as stand-alone real time systems (developed by MATLAB xPC target and inter-networked using UDP-IP protocol). A time triggered DRTS approach is adopted. The earth station, the orbiter and the rover are programmed as three standalone real-time processes representing the communicating elements in the system. Communication from one communicating element to another constitutes an event which passes a state message from one element to another, augmenting the state of the latter. These events are handled by an event scheduler which is the fourth real-time process. The event scheduler simulates the delay in space communication taking into consideration the distance between the communicating elements. A unique time synchronization algorithm is developed which takes into account the large latencies in space

  4. A real-time guidance algorithm for aerospace plane optimal ascent to low earth orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calise, A. J.; Flandro, G. A.; Corban, J. E.

    1989-01-01

    Problems of onboard trajectory optimization and synthesis of suitable guidance laws for ascent to low Earth orbit of an air-breathing, single-stage-to-orbit vehicle are addressed. A multimode propulsion system is assumed which incorporates turbojet, ramjet, Scramjet, and rocket engines. An algorithm for generating fuel-optimal climb profiles is presented. This algorithm results from the application of the minimum principle to a low-order dynamic model that includes angle-of-attack effects and the normal component of thrust. Maximum dynamic pressure and maximum aerodynamic heating rate constraints are considered. Switching conditions are derived which, under appropriate assumptions, govern optimal transition from one propulsion mode to another. A nonlinear transformation technique is employed to derived a feedback controller for tracking the computed trajectory. Numerical results illustrate the nature of the resulting fuel-optimal climb paths.

  5. Penetration boundary of solar cosmic rays into the earth's magnetosphere during magnetically quiet times

    SciT

    Biryukov, A.S.; Ivanova, T.A.; Kovrygina, L.M.

    1984-05-01

    Data is used from the satellites Interkosmos-17 and Kosmos-900 to determine penetration boundaries at high latitudes in the earth's magnetosphere. Considered are the results of observations of the penetration boundary of solar cosmic ray (SCR) protons and electrons during an SCR increase on November 22-25, 1977. The position of the SCR penetration boundary during a single increase at practically all values of MLT in quiet conditions is examined. Magnetospheric structure is determined in the region of closed drift shells where the magnetic field is asymmetric. The authors can estimate how the solar wind pressure affects the magnetosphere by using datamore » on the penetration boundaries of solar protons obtained during quiet geomagnetic conditions.« less

  6. Macrostrat: A Platform for Geological Data Integration and Deep-Time Earth Crust Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, Shanan E.; Husson, Jon M.; Czaplewski, John

    2018-04-01

    Characterizing the lithology, age, and physical-chemical properties of rocks and sediments in the Earth's upper crust is necessary to fully assess energy, water, and mineral resources and to address many fundamental questions. Although a large number of geological maps, regional geological syntheses, and sample-based measurements have been produced, there is no openly available database that integrates rock record-derived data, while also facilitating large-scale, quantitative characterization of the volume, age, and material properties of the upper crust. Here we describe Macrostrat, a relational geospatial database and supporting cyberinfrastructure that is designed to enable quantitative spatial and geochronological analyses of the entire assemblage of surface and subsurface sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. Macrostrat contains general, comprehensive summaries of the age and properties of 33,903 lithologically and chronologically defined geological units distributed across 1,474 regions in North and South America, the Caribbean, New Zealand, and the deep sea. Sample-derived data, including fossil occurrences in the Paleobiology Database, more than 180,000 geochemical and outcrop-derived measurements, and more than 2.3 million bedrock geologic map units from over 200 map sources, are linked to specific Macrostrat units and/or lithologies. Macrostrat has generated numerous quantitative results and its infrastructure is used as a data platform in several independently developed mobile applications. It is necessary to expand geographic coverage and to refine age models and material properties to arrive at a more precise characterization of the upper crust globally and test fundamental hypotheses about the long-term evolution of Earth systems.

  7. State of the Oceans: A Satellite Data Processing System for Visualizing Near Real-Time Imagery on Google Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, C. K.; Bingham, A. W.; Hall, J. R.; Alarcon, C.; Plesea, L.; Henderson, M. L.; Levoe, S.

    2011-12-01

    The State of the Oceans (SOTO) web tool was developed at NASA's Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as an interactive means for users to visually explore and assess ocean-based geophysical parameters extracted from the latest archived data products. The SOTO system consists of four extensible modules, a data polling tool, a preparation and imaging package, image server software, and the graphical user interface. Together, these components support multi-resolution visualization of swath (Level 2) and gridded Level 3/4) data products as either raster- or vector- based KML layers on Google Earth. These layers are automatically updated periodically throughout the day. Current parameters available include sea surface temperature, chlorophyll concentration, ocean winds, sea surface height anomaly, and sea surface temperature anomaly. SOTO also supports mash-ups, allowing KML feeds from other sources to be overlaid directly onto Google Earth such as hurricane tracks and buoy data. A version of the SOTO software has also been installed at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to support the Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). The State of the Earth (SOTE) has similar functionality to SOTO but supports different data sets, among them the MODIS 250m data product.

  8. [The effect of firing times on the chroma of tetragonal zirconia polycrystal by adding rare-earth oxides].

    PubMed

    Gao, Yan; Zhang, Fu-qiang; Huang, Hui; Gui, Lin-hua

    2010-10-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate whether the firing times affect the chroma of zirconia by adding rare-earth oxides. Six kinds (S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6) of tooth-like yttria stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (Y-TZP) were available by introducing internal colorating technology, the color were gauged with ShadeEye NCC chromatometry instrument, and one-way ANOVA was used to analysis the color of each kind of tooth-like zirconia after 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 times firing individually. After 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 times firing respectively, the chromatic aberration ranged between 0.10-1.47 merely. The luminosity of three kinds (S1, S2, S6) of tooth-like zirconia were decreased (P < 0.05), the luminosity of the other three kinds (S3, S4, S5) of tooth-like zirconia were not obviously changed (P > 0.05), as for the hue and chroma, no significant differences were found (P > 0.05). There are no significant influence on the color of tooth-like Y-TZP after 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 times firing respectively, the chroma of yttria stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystal by adding rare-earth oxides are with high stability.

  9. Active Earth Display: Using Real-Time Data, Interactivity, and Storylines to Engage the Public in Polar Awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiffman, C. R.; Carroll, K. P.; Wilson, T. J.

    2008-12-01

    The Polar Earth Observation Network (POLENET) and UNAVCO are collaborating to develop new educational materials for the public focused on polar-based research. Polenet is a consortium that aims to dramatically improve the coverage of many different kinds of geophysical data sets across the polar regions of Earth. The data from Polenet will enable new research into the interaction between the atmosphere, oceans, polar ice-sheets, and the Earth's crust and mantle. It is important that this research is disseminated to the public in an engaging and accurate matter while avoiding oversimplification. The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology's (IRIS) Active Earth Display (AED), a touch screen web-based kiosk, was originally designed to highlight real-time seismic data, and therefore provides a useful format for showing real-time data from the poles. The new polar pages for the AED will highlight real-time data from Antarctica and Greenland, and provide a way for the public to learn about POLENET research. The polar AED pages aim to engage users through teaching about the importance of polar-based research using a rich interactive multimedia environment. The pages are organized around four storylines: equipment, ice movement through time, life on the ice, and what ice in Antarctica has to do with you. The pages present complex scientific concepts in a way that is accessible and engaging to the general public by using simplified text, real-time data, videos, interactive games, and a set of coherent storylines. For example, one interactive feature will be an energy game, where users adjust various sources to power a GPS unit through the polar night. Another interactive feature will be a map of Polar Regions with clickable hotspots that will show videos of calving glaciers and collapsing ice sheets from around the world. The AED maintains a constant Internet connection, so the storylines are flexible and can be changed to conform to the location of the kiosk and

  10. Small Near-Earth Asteroids in the Palomar Transient Factory Survey: A Real-Time Streak-detection System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waszczak, Adam; Prince, Thomas A.; Laher, Russ; Masci, Frank; Bue, Brian; Rebbapragada, Umaa; Barlow, Tom; Surace, Jason; Helou, George; Kulkarni, Shrinivas

    2017-03-01

    Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) in the 1-100 meter size range are estimated to be ˜1,000 times more numerous than the ˜15,000 currently cataloged NEAs, most of which are in the 0.5-10 kilometer size range. Impacts from 10-100 meter size NEAs are not statistically life-threatening, but may cause significant regional damage, while 1-10 meter size NEAs with low velocities relative to Earth are compelling targets for space missions. We describe the implementation and initial results of a real-time NEA-discovery system specialized for the detection of small, high angular rate (visually streaked) NEAs in Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) images. PTF is a 1.2-m aperture, 7.3 deg2 field of view (FOV) optical survey designed primarily for the discovery of extragalactic transients (e.g., supernovae) in 60-second exposures reaching ˜20.5 visual magnitude. Our real-time NEA discovery pipeline uses a machine-learned classifier to filter a large number of false-positive streak detections, permitting a human scanner to efficiently and remotely identify real asteroid streaks during the night. Upon recognition of a streaked NEA detection (typically within an hour of the discovery exposure), the scanner triggers follow-up with the same telescope and posts the observations to the Minor Planet Center for worldwide confirmation. We describe our 11 initial confirmed discoveries, all small NEAs that passed 0.3-15 lunar distances from Earth. Lastly, we derive useful scaling laws for comparing streaked-NEA-detection capabilities of different surveys as a function of their hardware and survey-pattern characteristics. This work most directly informs estimates of the streak-detection capabilities of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF, planned to succeed PTF in 2017), which will apply PTF’s current resolution and sensitivity over a 47-deg2 FOV.

  11. 3D Visualization of near real-time remote-sensing observation for hurricanes field campaign using Google Earth API

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, P.; Turk, J.; Vu, Q.; Knosp, B.; Hristova-Veleva, S. M.; Lambrigtsen, B.; Poulsen, W. L.; Licata, S.

    2009-12-01

    NASA is planning a new field experiment, the Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP), in the summer of 2010 to better understand how tropical storms form and develop into major hurricanes. The DC-8 aircraft and the Global Hawk Unmanned Airborne System (UAS) will be deployed loaded with instruments for measurements including lightning, temperature, 3D wind, precipitation, liquid and ice water contents, aerosol and cloud profiles. During the field campaign, both the spaceborne and the airborne observations will be collected in real-time and integrated with the hurricane forecast models. This observation-model integration will help the campaign achieve its science goals by allowing team members to effectively plan the mission with current forecasts. To support the GRIP experiment, JPL developed a website for interactive visualization of all related remote-sensing observations in the GRIP’s geographical domain using the new Google Earth API. All the observations are collected in near real-time (NRT) with 2 to 5 hour latency. The observations include a 1KM blended Sea Surface Temperature (SST) map from GHRSST L2P products; 6-hour composite images of GOES IR; stability indices, temperature and vapor profiles from AIRS and AMSU-B; microwave brightness temperature and rain index maps from AMSR-E, SSMI and TRMM-TMI; ocean surface wind vectors, vorticity and divergence of the wind from QuikSCAT; the 3D precipitation structure from TRMM-PR and vertical profiles of cloud and precipitation from CloudSAT. All the NRT observations are collected from the data centers and science facilities at NASA and NOAA, subsetted, re-projected, and composited into hourly or daily data products depending on the frequency of the observation. The data products are then displayed on the 3D Google Earth plug-in at the JPL Tropical Cyclone Information System (TCIS) website. The data products offered by the TCIS in the Google Earth display include image overlays, wind vectors, clickable

  12. The Earth Observation Monitor - Automated monitoring and alerting for spatial time-series data based on OGC web services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberle, J.; Hüttich, C.; Schmullius, C.

    2014-12-01

    Spatial time series data are freely available around the globe from earth observation satellites and meteorological stations for many years until now. They provide useful and important information to detect ongoing changes of the environment; but for end-users it is often too complex to extract this information out of the original time series datasets. This issue led to the development of the Earth Observation Monitor (EOM), an operational framework and research project to provide simple access, analysis and monitoring tools for global spatial time series data. A multi-source data processing middleware in the backend is linked to MODIS data from Land Processes Distributed Archive Center (LP DAAC) and Google Earth Engine as well as daily climate station data from NOAA National Climatic Data Center. OGC Web Processing Services are used to integrate datasets from linked data providers or external OGC-compliant interfaces to the EOM. Users can either use the web portal (webEOM) or the mobile application (mobileEOM) to execute these processing services and to retrieve the requested data for a given point or polygon in userfriendly file formats (CSV, GeoTiff). Beside providing just data access tools, users can also do further time series analyses like trend calculations, breakpoint detections or the derivation of phenological parameters from vegetation time series data. Furthermore data from climate stations can be aggregated over a given time interval. Calculated results can be visualized in the client and downloaded for offline usage. Automated monitoring and alerting of the time series data integrated by the user is provided by an OGC Sensor Observation Service with a coupled OGC Web Notification Service. Users can decide which datasets and parameters are monitored with a given filter expression (e.g., precipitation value higher than x millimeter per day, occurrence of a MODIS Fire point, detection of a time series anomaly). Datasets integrated in the SOS service are

  13. Relative Timing of Substorm-Associated Processes in the Near-Earth Magnetotail and Development of Auroral Onset Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyashita, Y.; Ieda, A.; Machida, S.; Hiraki, Y.; Angelopoulos, V.; McFadden, J. P.; Auster, H. U.; Mende, S. B.; Donovan, E.; Larson, D. E.

    2014-12-01

    We have studied the relative timing of the processes in the near-Earth magnetotail and development of auroral onset arc at the beginning of the expansion phase, based on substorm events observed by the THEMIS spacecraft and ground-based all-sky imagers. The THEMIS all-sky imagers can observe auroras over a wide area with temporal and spacial resolutions higher than spacecraft-borne cameras. This enables us to investigate the timing of auroral development in more detail than before. A few min after the appearance and intensification of an auroral onset arc, it begins to form wave-like structure. Then auroral poleward expansion begins another few min later. THEMIS magnetotail observations clearly show that magnetic reconnection is initiated at X~-20 Re at least 1-2 min before the intensification of auroral onset arc. Then low-frequency waves are excited in the plasma sheet at X~-10 Re 2 min before dipolarization, which is simultaneous with the formation of auroral wave-like structure. Dipolarization begins at the same time as the auroral poleward expansion. These results suggest that near-Earth magnetic reconnection plays some role in the development of dipolarization and auroral onset arc.

  14. On the asymmetric evolution of the perihelion distances of near-Earth Jupiter family comets around the discovery time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sosa, A.; Fernández, J. A.; Pais, P.

    2012-12-01

    We study the dynamical evolution of the near-Earth Jupiter family comets (NEJFCs) that came close to or crossed the Earth's orbit at the epoch of their discovery (perihelion distances qdisc < 1.3 AU). We found a minimum in the time evolution of the mean perihelion distance bar{q} of the NEJFCs at the discovery time of each comet (taken as t = 0) and a past-future asymmetry of bar{q} in an interval -1000 yr, +1000 yr centred on t = 0, confirming previous results. The asymmetry indicates that there are more comets with greater q in the past than in the future. For comparison purposes, we also analysed the population of near-Earth asteroids in cometary orbits (defined as those with aphelion distances Q > 4.5 AU) and with absolute magnitudes H < 18. We found some remarkable differences in the dynamical evolution of both populations that argue against a common origin. To further analyse the dynamical evolution of NEJFCs, we integrated in time a large sample of fictitious comets, cloned from the observed NEJFCs, over a 20 000 yr time interval and started the integration before the comet's discovery time, when it had a perihelion distance q > 2 AU. By assuming that NEJFCs are mostly discovered when they decrease their perihelion distances below a certain threshold qthre = 1.05 AU for the first time during their evolution, we were able to reproduce the main features of the observed bar{q} evolution in the interval [-1000, 1000] yr with respect to the discovery time. Our best fits indicate that 40% of the population of NEJFCs would be composed of young, fresh comets that entered the region q < 2 AU a few hundred years before decreasing their perihelion distances below qthre, while 60% would be composed of older, more evolved comets, discovered after spending at least 3000 yr in the q < 2 AU region before their perihelion distances drop below qthre. As a byproduct, we put some constraints on the physical lifetime τphys of NEJFCs in the q < 2 AU region. We found a lower

  15. High Performance Real-Time Visualization of Voluminous Scientific Data Through the NOAA Earth Information System (NEIS).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, J.; Hackathorn, E. J.; Joyce, J.; Smith, J. S.

    2014-12-01

    Within our community data volume is rapidly expanding. These data have limited value if one cannot interact or visualize the data in a timely manner. The scientific community needs the ability to dynamically visualize, analyze, and interact with these data along with other environmental data in real-time regardless of the physical location or data format. Within the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's), the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) is actively developing the NOAA Earth Information System (NEIS). Previously, the NEIS team investigated methods of data discovery and interoperability. The recent focus shifted to high performance real-time visualization allowing NEIS to bring massive amounts of 4-D data, including output from weather forecast models as well as data from different observations (surface obs, upper air, etc...) in one place. Our server side architecture provides a real-time stream processing system which utilizes server based NVIDIA Graphical Processing Units (GPU's) for data processing, wavelet based compression, and other preparation techniques for visualization, allows NEIS to minimize the bandwidth and latency for data delivery to end-users. Client side, users interact with NEIS services through the visualization application developed at ESRL called TerraViz. Terraviz is developed using the Unity game engine and takes advantage of the GPU's allowing a user to interact with large data sets in real time that might not have been possible before. Through these technologies, the NEIS team has improved accessibility to 'Big Data' along with providing tools allowing novel visualization and seamless integration of data across time and space regardless of data size, physical location, or data format. These capabilities provide the ability to see the global interactions and their importance for weather prediction. Additionally, they allow greater access than currently exists helping to foster scientific collaboration and new

  16. Two-way laser ranging and time transfer experiments between LOLA and an Earth-based satellite laser ranging station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, D.; Sun, X.; Neumann, G. A.; Barker, M. K.; Mazarico, E. M.; Hoffman, E.; Zagwodzki, T. W.; Torrence, M. H.; Mcgarry, J.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2017-12-01

    Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) has established time-of-flight measurements with mm precision to targets orbiting the Earth and the Moon using single-ended round-trip laser ranging to passive optical retro-reflectors. These high-precision measurements enable advances in fundamental physics, solar system dynamics. However, the received signal strength suffers from a 1/R4 decay, which makes it impractical for measuring distances beyond the Moon's orbit. On the other hand, for a two-way laser transponder pair, where laser pulses are both transmitted to and received from each end of the laser links, the signal strength at both terminals only decreases by 1/R2, thus allowing a greater range of distances to be covered. The asynchronous transponder concept has been previously demonstrated by a test in 2005 between the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) aboard the MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, Geochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft and NASA's Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) at a distance of ˜0.16 AU. In October 2013, regular two-way transponder-type range measurements were obtained over 15 days between the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft and NASA's ground station at White Sands, NM. The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) provides us a unique capability to test time-transfer beyond near Earth orbit. Here we present results from two-way transponder-type experiments between LOLA and GGAO conducted in March 2014 and 2017. As in the time-transfer by laser link (T2L2) experiments between a ground station and an earth-orbiting satellite, LOLA and GGAO ranged to each other simultaneously in these two-way tests at lunar distance. We measured the time-of-flight while cross-referencing the spacecraft clock to the ground station time. On May 4th, 2017, about 20 minutes of two-way measurements were collected. The

  17. Use-inspired Paleoenvironmental Science and Data: A Deep Whole-Earth Time Dimension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overpeck, J. T.

    2016-12-01

    The field of paleoenvironmental science has matured dramatically over the last 30 years, and paleo-data are now widely used to inform policy and other decision-making. The IPCC now incorporates paleo-perspectives in a prominent manner - centuries to millennia-long paleo records are key to assessing the full range of possible climate system behavior, how the Earth's climate system responds to large changes in forcing, how climate change may impact ecological, hydrological, oceanographic and many other systems that humans are concerned about. Paleohydroclimatic data increasingly are used by water managers, just as forest managers use paleo-fire data to understand the natural rhythms and processes so critical to healthy ecosystems and the services they provide. Paleo-data are now widely used for model evaluation, and for understanding what models may be missing - in this sense, the millennia-long observational record provided by paleoenvironmental data helps us avoid costly surprises. Success comes with responsibility, however. The more paleo-data and paleo-based understanding informs policy and other decisions, the more critical it is that paleo-data and the results built on them need to be openly shared, easily accessible and reproducible. The value of paleo-data grows with use, and thus data sharing serves to grow value to the society that ultimately pays for the research. The tradition of sharing paleo-data is built on an even longer tradition of sharing samples, and yet innovations are still needed to make sure samples are managed for future use, particularly as natural archives like glaciers, caves and corals are lost to climate change and other human activity. Scientific journals and data centers are constantly innovating; paleoenvironmental scientists must all play their part as well.

  18. Time-Dependent Cryospheric Longwave Surface Emissivity Feedback in the Community Earth System Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Chaincy; Feldman, Daniel R.; Huang, Xianglei; Flanner, Mark; Yang, Ping; Chen, Xiuhong

    2018-01-01

    Frozen and unfrozen surfaces exhibit different longwave surface emissivities with different spectral characteristics, and outgoing longwave radiation and cooling rates are reduced for unfrozen scenes relative to frozen ones. Here physically realistic modeling of spectrally resolved surface emissivity throughout the coupled model components of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) is advanced, and implications for model high-latitude biases and feedbacks are evaluated. It is shown that despite a surface emissivity feedback amplitude that is, at most, a few percent of the surface albedo feedback amplitude, the inclusion of realistic, harmonized longwave, spectrally resolved emissivity information in CESM1.2.2 reduces wintertime Arctic surface temperature biases from -7.2 ± 0.9 K to -1.1 ± 1.2 K, relative to observations. The bias reduction is most pronounced in the Arctic Ocean, a region for which Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 5 (CMIP5) models exhibit the largest mean wintertime cold bias, suggesting that persistent polar temperature biases can be lessened by including this physically based process across model components. The ice emissivity feedback of CESM1.2.2 is evaluated under a warming scenario with a kernel-based approach, and it is found that emissivity radiative kernels exhibit water vapor and cloud cover dependence, thereby varying spatially and decreasing in magnitude over the course of the scenario from secular changes in atmospheric thermodynamics and cloud patterns. Accounting for the temporally varying radiative responses can yield diagnosed feedbacks that differ in sign from those obtained from conventional climatological feedback analysis methods.

  19. SIMS analyses of the oldest known assemblage of microfossils document their taxon-correlated carbon isotope compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schopf, J. William; Kitajima, Kouki; Spicuzza, Michael J.; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B.; Valley, John W.

    2018-01-01

    Analyses by secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) of 11 specimens of five taxa of prokaryotic filamentous kerogenous cellular microfossils permineralized in a petrographic thin section of the ˜3,465 Ma Apex chert of northwestern Western Australia, prepared from the same rock sample from which this earliest known assemblage of cellular fossils was described more than two decades ago, show their δ13C compositions to vary systematically taxon to taxon from ‑31‰ to ‑39‰. These morphospecies-correlated carbon isotope compositions confirm the biogenicity of the Apex fossils and validate their morphology-based taxonomic assignments. Perhaps most significantly, the δ13C values of each of the five taxa are lower than those of bulk samples of Apex kerogen (‑27‰), those of SIMS-measured fossil-associated dispersed particulate kerogen (‑27.6‰), and those typical of modern prokaryotic phototrophs (‑25 ± 10‰). The SIMS data for the two highest δ13C Apex taxa are consistent with those of extant phototrophic bacteria; those for a somewhat lower δ13C taxon, with nonbacterial methane-producing Archaea; and those for the two lowest δ13C taxa, with methane-metabolizing γ-proteobacteria. Although the existence of both methanogens and methanotrophs has been inferred from bulk analyses of the carbon isotopic compositions of pre-2,500 Ma kerogens, these in situ SIMS analyses of individual microfossils present data interpretable as evidencing the cellular preservation of such microorganisms and are consistent with the near-basal position of the Archaea in rRNA phylogenies.

  20. SIMS analyses of the oldest known assemblage of microfossils document their taxon-correlated carbon isotope compositions.

    PubMed

    Schopf, J William; Kitajima, Kouki; Spicuzza, Michael J; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B; Valley, John W

    2018-01-02

    Analyses by secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) of 11 specimens of five taxa of prokaryotic filamentous kerogenous cellular microfossils permineralized in a petrographic thin section of the ∼3,465 Ma Apex chert of northwestern Western Australia, prepared from the same rock sample from which this earliest known assemblage of cellular fossils was described more than two decades ago, show their δ 13 C compositions to vary systematically taxon to taxon from -31‰ to -39‰. These morphospecies-correlated carbon isotope compositions confirm the biogenicity of the Apex fossils and validate their morphology-based taxonomic assignments. Perhaps most significantly, the δ 13 C values of each of the five taxa are lower than those of bulk samples of Apex kerogen (-27‰), those of SIMS-measured fossil-associated dispersed particulate kerogen (-27.6‰), and those typical of modern prokaryotic phototrophs (-25 ± 10‰). The SIMS data for the two highest δ 13 C Apex taxa are consistent with those of extant phototrophic bacteria; those for a somewhat lower δ 13 C taxon, with nonbacterial methane-producing Archaea; and those for the two lowest δ 13 C taxa, with methane-metabolizing γ-proteobacteria. Although the existence of both methanogens and methanotrophs has been inferred from bulk analyses of the carbon isotopic compositions of pre-2,500 Ma kerogens, these in situ SIMS analyses of individual microfossils present data interpretable as evidencing the cellular preservation of such microorganisms and are consistent with the near-basal position of the Archaea in rRNA phylogenies.

  1. Microfossils, Sediments and Sea-Floor Spreading. Crustal Evaluation Education Project. Teacher's Guide [and] Student Investigation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoever, Edward C., Jr.

    Crustal Evolution Education Project (CEEP) modules were designed to: (1) provide students with the methods and results of continuing investigations into the composition, history, and processes of the earth's crust and the application of this knowledge to man's activities and (2) to be used by teachers with little or no previous background in the…

  2. Integrated Solid Earth Science: the right place and time to discover the unexpected? (Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloetingh, Sierd

    2013-04-01

    The fascination of learning more about the way system Earth operates has driven generations of Earth scientists. This has been the case for early pioneers such as Arthur Holmes, focusing on the geological record in continental settings, as well as for the founding fathers of plate tectonics, who built upon the results of exploring the ocean floor. Two years ago we celebrated the centenary of the discovery by Mohorovicic of the seismic discontinuity that separates the crust from the mantle, which now carries his name. Reading the rocks and mapping the (sub)surface of the Earth has provided the foundation for a great deal of what we conceptually pursue today in developing and validating coupled deep Earth and surface processes. The unexpected is probably characterizing most of my scientific career. It started in 1968 when, as a student, entering the geology program of Groningen University headed by Professor Philip Kuenen, a pioneer in marine geology and sedimentology, the textbook of Arthur Holmes just happened to be my first purchase. It was during those years that plate tectonics drastically changed everything we were learning. I was also privileged to enter a few years later as an MSc student the Utrecht geophysics school at a time where Nico Vlaar as a young professor was developing a vigorous research program with a focus on seismology, attracting and stimulating many talented students. When he and Rinus Wortel started research on Tectonophysics in Utrecht, I decided to go for a PhD research project tackling the problem of the initiation of subduction, a first order problem in geodynamics, with still many aspects to be resolved. This research and the joint work with Rinus Wortel on modeling intraplate stresses in the Faralon, Nazca and Indo-Australian plates led quite unexpectedly to exploring, together with Kurt Lambeck, intraplate stress fluctuations in the lithosphere as possible tectonic causes for the origin of third-order cycles in relative sea

  3. Earth Observations

    2010-06-16

    ISS024-E-006136 (16 June 2010) --- Polar mesospheric clouds, illuminated by an orbital sunrise, are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. Polar mesospheric, or noctilucent (?night shining?), clouds are observed from both Earth?s surface and in orbit by crew members aboard the space station. They are called night-shining clouds as they are usually seen at twilight. Following the setting of the sun below the horizon and darkening of Earth?s surface, these high clouds are still briefly illuminated by sunlight. Occasionally the ISS orbital track becomes nearly parallel to Earth?s day/night terminator for a time, allowing polar mesospheric clouds to be visible to the crew at times other than the usual twilight due to the space station altitude. This unusual photograph shows polar mesospheric clouds illuminated by the rising, rather than setting, sun at center right. Low clouds on the horizon appear yellow and orange, while higher clouds and aerosols are illuminated a brilliant white. Polar mesospheric clouds appear as light blue ribbons extending across the top of the image. These clouds typically occur at high latitudes of both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and at fairly high altitudes of 76?85 kilometers (near the boundary between the mesosphere and thermosphere atmospheric layers). The ISS was located over the Greek island of Kos in the Aegean Sea (near the southwestern coastline of Turkey) when the image was taken at approximately midnight local time. The orbital complex was tracking northeastward, nearly parallel to the terminator, making it possible to observe an apparent ?sunrise? located almost due north. A similar unusual alignment of the ISS orbit track, terminator position, and seasonal position of Earth?s orbit around the sun allowed for striking imagery of polar mesospheric clouds over the Southern Hemisphere earlier this year.

  4. Impact of atmospheric anisoplanaticity on earth-to-satellite time transfer over laser communication links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmonte, Aniceto; Taylor, Michael T.; Hollberg, Leo; Kahn, Joseph M.

    2017-02-01

    The need for an accurate time and position reference on orbiting platforms motivates the study of time transfer over satellite optical communication links. The transfer of precise optical clock signals to space would benefit many fields in fundamental science and applications. However, the precise role of atmospheric turbulence during the optical time transfer process is not well-known and documented. In free-space optical links, atmospheric turbulence represents a major impairment, since it causes degradation of the spatial and temporal coherence of the optical signals. We present possible link scenarios in which the atmospheric channel behavior for time transfer between ground and space can be investigated, and have identified the major challenges to be overcome. We found in our analysis that, despite the limited reciprocity in uplink and downlink propagation, partial two-way cancellation of atmospheric effects still occurs. We established that laser communication links make possible high-quality time transfer in most practical propagation scenarios and over a single satellite visibility period. Our results demonstrate that sharing of optical communication resources for optical time transfer and range determination is an effective and relevant scheme for space clock developments and enabling for future space missions.

  5. Paleo-hydrological changes in the Chew Bahir area during the past 50 ka inferred from isotope signatures in aquatic microfossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Junginger, Annett

    2017-04-01

    A major challenge in paleo-anthropology is to understand the impact of climatic changes on human evolution. The Hominin Sites and Paleo-lakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) is currently meeting that challenge by providing records that cover the last 3.7 Ma of paleoenvironmental change all located in close proximity to key paleo-anthropological findings in East Africa. One of the cored climatic archives comes from the Chew Bahir basin in southern Ethiopia, where duplicate sediment cores provide valuable insights about East African environmental variability during the last 550 ka. The lake basins in the eastern branch of the East African Rift System today contain mainly shallow and alkaline lakes. However, paleo-shorelines in the form of wave cut notches, shell beds, and beach ridges are common morphological evidences for deep freshwater lakes that have filled the basins up to their overflow level during pronounced humid episodes, such as the African Humid Period (15-5 ka). Unfortunately, further back in time, many of those morphological features disappear due to erosion and the estimation of paleo-water depths depend merely on qualitative proxies from core analyses. We here present a method that shows high potential to translate qualitative proxy signals from sediment core analyses to quantitative climate signals in the Ethiopian Rift. The method aims at water level reconstruction in the Chew Bahir basin using strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr, SIR) in lacustrine microfossils. SIR reflect the lithology of the drained catchment. SIR have changed pronouncedly when higher elevated paleo-lakes Abaya, Chamo and Awassa were overflowing into paleo-lake Chew Bahir. This new method may help to quantify paleo-lake levels beyond the past 20 ka and may also detect migrational barriers or routes due to the occurrence of synchronous large, connected and deep paleo-lakes.

  6. High time resolution characteristics of intermediate ion distributions upstream of the earth's bow shock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, D. W.

    1985-01-01

    High time resolution particle data upstream of the bow shock during time intervals that have been identified as having intermediate ion distributions often show high amplitude oscillations in the ion fluxes of energy 2 and 6 keV. These ion oscillations, observed with the particle instruments of the University of California, Berkeley, on the ISEE 1 and 2 spacecraft, are at the same frequency (about 0.04 Hz) as the magnetic field oscillations. Typically, the 6-keV ion flux increases then the 2-keV flux increases followed by a decrease in the 2-keV flux and then the 6-keV flux decreases. This process repeats many times. Although there is no entirely satisfactory explanation, the presence of these ion flux oscillations suggests that distributions often are misidentified as intermediate ion distributions.

  7. Landsat-based Earth Observations and Crowd-sourced Data Provide Near Real-time Monitoring of Chimpanzee Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nackoney, J.; Pintea, L.; Jantz, S.; Hansen, M.

    2015-12-01

    The endangered chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) is threatened by habitat loss from resource extraction and land conversion, as well as hunting, disease and the illegal pet trade. It has been estimated that more than 70% of chimpanzee's tropical forest habitats in Africa are now threatened by land use change. Recent developments in remote sensing and cloud computing enable the use of satellite observations to provide a synoptic view of chimpanzee habitats at finer spatial and temporal resolutions that are locally relevant and consistent across the entire species' range. We present a practical Decision Support System to be used by the Jane Goodall Institute and partners to annually monitor and forecast chimpanzee habitat health in Africa. The system integrates Earth observations from 30-meter resolution Landsat data with a species-specific habitat model and a model forecasting future land use change, enhanced by crowd-sourced field data collected by local communities and rangers using the Open Data Kit app and Android mobile smartphones and tablets. While coarser-scale and static chimpanzee habitat models have been previously developed, this project is the first to develop a dynamic monitoring system updated annually via Earth observations data that will systematically monitor threats and changes in habitat over time. Since the chimpanzee is an important keystone, flagship and umbrella species, an annual chimpanzee habitat health index would support conservation goals of other species within its large 2.5 million sq. km range and could be an important indicator of overall ecosystem health of tropical forests in Africa.

  8. Crew Earth Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Runco, Susan

    2009-01-01

    Crew Earth Observations (CEO) takes advantage of the crew in space to observe and photograph natural and human-made changes on Earth. The photographs record the Earth's surface changes over time, along with dynamic events such as storms, floods, fires and volcanic eruptions. These images provide researchers on Earth with key data to better understand the planet.

  9. Earth Rotation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dickey, Jean O.

    1995-01-01

    The study of the Earth's rotation in space (encompassing Universal Time (UT1), length of day, polar motion, and the phenomena of precession and nutation) addresses the complex nature of Earth orientation changes, the mechanisms of excitation of these changes and their geophysical implications in a broad variety of areas. In the absence of internal sources of energy or interactions with astronomical objects, the Earth would move as a rigid body with its various parts (the crust, mantle, inner and outer cores, atmosphere and oceans) rotating together at a constant fixed rate. In reality, the world is considerably more complicated, as is schematically illustrated. The rotation rate of the Earth's crust is not constant, but exhibits complicated fluctuations in speed amounting to several parts in 10(exp 8) [corresponding to a variation of several milliseconds (ms) in the Length Of the Day (LOD) and about one part in 10(exp 6) in the orientation of the rotation axis relative to the solid Earth's axis of figure (polar motion). These changes occur over a broad spectrum of time scales, ranging from hours to centuries and longer, reflecting the fact that they are produced by a wide variety of geophysical and astronomical processes. Geodetic observations of Earth rotation changes thus provide insights into the geophysical processes illustrated, which are often difficult to obtain by other means. In addition, these measurements are required for engineering purposes. Theoretical studies of Earth rotation variations are based on the application of Euler's dynamical equations to the problem of finding the response of slightly deformable solid Earth to variety of surface and internal stresses.

  10. Simulations of precipitation using the Community Earth System Model (CESM): Sensitivity to microphysics time step

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murthi, A.; Menon, S.; Sednev, I.

    2011-12-01

    An inherent difficulty in the ability of global climate models to accurately simulate precipitation lies in the use of a large time step, Δt (usually 30 minutes), to solve the governing equations. Since microphysical processes are characterized by small time scales compared to Δt, finite difference approximations used to advance microphysics equations suffer from numerical instability and large time truncation errors. With this in mind, the sensitivity of precipitation simulated by the atmospheric component of CESM, namely the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 5.1), to the microphysics time step (τ) is investigated. Model integrations are carried out for a period of five years with a spin up time of about six months for a horizontal resolution of 2.5 × 1.9 degrees and 30 levels in the vertical, with Δt = 1800 s. The control simulation with τ = 900 s is compared with one using τ = 300 s for accumulated precipitation and radi- ation budgets at the surface and top of the atmosphere (TOA), while keeping Δt fixed. Our choice of τ = 300 s is motivated by previous work on warm rain processes wherein it was shown that a value of τ around 300 s was necessary, but not sufficient, to ensure positive definiteness and numerical stability of the explicit time integration scheme used to integrate the microphysical equations. However, since the entire suite of microphysical processes are represented in our case, we suspect that this might impose additional restrictions on τ. The τ = 300 s case produces differences in large-scale accumulated rainfall from the τ = 900 s case by as large as 200 mm, over certain regions of the globe. The spatial patterns of total accumulated precipitation using τ = 300 s are in closer agreement with satellite observed precipitation, when compared to the τ = 900 s case. Differences are also seen in the radiation budget with the τ = 300 (900) s cases producing surpluses that range between 1-3 W/m2 at both the TOA and surface in the global

  11. Earth History databases and visualization - the TimeScale Creator system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogg, James; Lugowski, Adam; Gradstein, Felix

    2010-05-01

    The "TimeScale Creator" team (www.tscreator.org) and the Subcommission on Stratigraphic Information (stratigraphy.science.purdue.edu) of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (www.stratigraphy.org) has worked with numerous geoscientists and geological surveys to prepare reference datasets for global and regional stratigraphy. All events are currently calibrated to Geologic Time Scale 2004 (Gradstein et al., 2004, Cambridge Univ. Press) and Concise Geologic Time Scale (Ogg et al., 2008, Cambridge Univ. Press); but the array of intercalibrations enable dynamic adjustment to future numerical age scales and interpolation methods. The main "global" database contains over 25,000 events/zones from paleontology, geomagnetics, sea-level and sequence stratigraphy, igneous provinces, bolide impacts, plus several stable isotope curves and image sets. Several regional datasets are provided in conjunction with geological surveys, with numerical ages interpolated using a similar flexible inter-calibration procedure. For example, a joint program with Geoscience Australia has compiled an extensive Australian regional biostratigraphy and a full array of basin lithologic columns with each formation linked to public lexicons of all Proterozoic through Phanerozoic basins - nearly 500 columns of over 9,000 data lines plus hot-curser links to oil-gas reference wells. Other datapacks include New Zealand biostratigraphy and basin transects (ca. 200 columns), Russian biostratigraphy, British Isles regional stratigraphy, Gulf of Mexico biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy, high-resolution Neogene stable isotope curves and ice-core data, human cultural episodes, and Circum-Arctic stratigraphy sets. The growing library of datasets is designed for viewing and chart-making in the free "TimeScale Creator" JAVA package. This visualization system produces a screen display of the user-selected time-span and the selected columns of geologic time scale information. The user can change the

  12. Solar Atmosphere to Earth's Surface: Long Lead Time dB/dt Predictions with the Space Weather Modeling Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welling, D. T.; Manchester, W.; Savani, N.; Sokolov, I.; van der Holst, B.; Jin, M.; Toth, G.; Liemohn, M. W.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2017-12-01

    The future of space weather prediction depends on the community's ability to predict L1 values from observations of the solar atmosphere, which can yield hours of lead time. While both empirical and physics-based L1 forecast methods exist, it is not yet known if this nascent capability can translate to skilled dB/dt forecasts at the Earth's surface. This paper shows results for the first forecast-quality, solar-atmosphere-to-Earth's-surface dB/dt predictions. Two methods are used to predict solar wind and IMF conditions at L1 for several real-world coronal mass ejection events. The first method is an empirical and observationally based system to estimate the plasma characteristics. The magnetic field predictions are based on the Bz4Cast system which assumes that the CME has a cylindrical flux rope geometry locally around Earth's trajectory. The remaining plasma parameters of density, temperature and velocity are estimated from white-light coronagraphs via a variety of triangulation methods and forward based modelling. The second is a first-principles-based approach that combines the Eruptive Event Generator using Gibson-Low configuration (EEGGL) model with the Alfven Wave Solar Model (AWSoM). EEGGL specifies parameters for the Gibson-Low flux rope such that it erupts, driving a CME in the coronal model that reproduces coronagraph observations and propagates to 1AU. The resulting solar wind predictions are used to drive the operational Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) for geospace. Following the configuration used by NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, this setup couples the BATS-R-US global magnetohydromagnetic model to the Rice Convection Model (RCM) ring current model and a height-integrated ionosphere electrodynamics model. The long lead time predictions of dB/dt are compared to model results that are driven by L1 solar wind observations. Both are compared to real-world observations from surface magnetometers at a variety of geomagnetic latitudes

  13. Time dependent neural network models for detecting changes of state in complex processes: applications in earth sciences and astronomy.

    PubMed

    Valdés, Julio J; Bonham-Carter, Graeme

    2006-03-01

    A computational intelligence approach is used to explore the problem of detecting internal state changes in time dependent processes; described by heterogeneous, multivariate time series with imprecise data and missing values. Such processes are approximated by collections of time dependent non-linear autoregressive models represented by a special kind of neuro-fuzzy neural network. Grid and high throughput computing model mining procedures based on neuro-fuzzy networks and genetic algorithms, generate: (i) collections of models composed of sets of time lag terms from the time series, and (ii) prediction functions represented by neuro-fuzzy networks. The composition of the models and their prediction capabilities, allows the identification of changes in the internal structure of the process. These changes are associated with the alternation of steady and transient states, zones with abnormal behavior, instability, and other situations. This approach is general, and its sensitivity for detecting subtle changes of state is revealed by simulation experiments. Its potential in the study of complex processes in earth sciences and astrophysics is illustrated with applications using paleoclimate and solar data.

  14. Real-time operation of the NSF EarthScope USArray Transportable Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astiz, L.; Eakins, J. A.; Vernon, F. L.; Martynov, V.; Newman, R. L.; Cox, T. A.; Mulder, T. L.; Busby, R. W.

    2007-05-01

    The Transportable Array (TA) component of USArray uses real-time telemetry to send data to the Array Network Facility (ANF) through a variety of satellite, mobile phone, wireless and wired communication links. The ANF is responsible for the timely delivery of metadata and waveform data to the IRIS DMC from the growing number of Transportable Array stations. The IRIS DMC makes these data available to the research community. The network has increased in size to 327 stations with 259 out of the 400 new TA sites installed (as of 28 February 2007). Starting in Fall 2007, equipment will start to roll from current stations to new locations to the east of the current footprint. Use of the Antelope software package has allowed the ANF to maintain and operate this extremely dynamic network configuration, facilitating the collection and transfer of data, the generation and merging of the metadata as well as the real-time monitoring of state of health of TA station data-loggers and their command and control. Four regional networks (ANZA, BDSN, SCSN, and UNR) as well as the USNSN contribute data to the Transportable Array in real-time. Although the real-time data flow to the IRIS DMC has been 93.4% over the last year, the ANF and the TA field teams have extended every effort and have managed to recover an additional 4.8% by recovering data from the local data storage device (Baler 14) at each station. Once the missing data is recovered, we then generate station-channel-day volume seed files, which are resent to the DMC to bring the total data recovery rate to 98.4%. The total network uptime is above 99%. Analyst review of automatic locations for the USArray network is being done at the ANF as part of the data quality monitoring strategy. All events are associated with the USGS and regional network bulletins. As of February 2007, around 13,000 weekly picks are being fully reviewed by analysts at the ANF and over 19,000 events have been recorded. We find a small percentage (about

  15. Time-delay test of general relativity and Earth-Mars ephemeris improvement from analysis of Mariner 9 tracking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, I. I.; Reasenberg, R. D.

    1973-01-01

    Because of the large systematic errors that accompany the conversion of spacecraft ranging data to equivalent Earth-Mars time delays, the corresponding determination of gamma does not now allow the predictions of general relativity to be distinguished from those of the Brans-Dicke scalar-tensor theory with the fraction s of scalar field admixture being 0.06. The uncertainty in the determination of (1 plus gamma)/2 at the present stage of the Mariner 9 data analysis is at about the 10% level. The ephemeris of Mars suffers from the same problem: Only with the elimination of a major fraction of the systematic errors affecting the Mariner 9 pseudo observables will a truly substantial improvement be possible in the determination of the orbit.

  16. Earth Science

    2004-08-13

    This panoramic view of Hurricane Charley was photographed by the Expedition 9 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on August 13, 2004, at a vantage point just north of Tampa, Florida. The small eye was not visible in this view, but the raised cloud tops near the center coincide roughly with the time that the storm began to rapidly strengthen. The category 2 hurricane was moving north-northwest at 18 mph packing winds of 105 mph. Crew Earth Observations record Earth surface changes over time, as well as more fleeting events such as storms, floods, fires, and volcanic eruptions.

  17. Earth Science

    2004-09-11

    This image hosts a look at the eye of Hurricane Ivan, one of the strongest hurricanes on record, as the storm topped the western Caribbean Sea on Saturday, September 11, 2004. The hurricane was photographed by astronaut Edward M. (Mike) Fincke from aboard the International Space Station (ISS) at an altitude of approximately 230 miles. At the time, the category 5 storm sustained winds in the eye of the wall that were reported at about 160 mph. Crew Earth Observations record Earth surface changes over time, as well as more fleeting events such as storms, floods, fires, and volcanic eruptions.

  18. Earth Science

    2004-09-15

    This image hosts a look into the eye of Hurricane Ivan, one of the strongest hurricanes on record, as the storm approached landfall on the central Gulf coast Wednesday afternoon on September 15, 2004. The hurricane was photographed by astronaut Edward M. (Mike) Fincke from aboard the International Space Station (ISS) at an altitude of approximately 230 miles. At the time, sustained winds in the eye of the wall were reported at about 135 mph as the downgraded category 4 storm approached the Alabama coast. Crew Earth Observations record Earth surface changes over time, as well as more fleeting events such as storms, floods, fires, and volcanic eruptions.

  19. Unravelling earth flow dynamics with 3-D time series derived from UAV-SfM models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clapuyt, François; Vanacker, Veerle; Schlunegger, Fritz; Van Oost, Kristof

    2017-12-01

    Accurately assessing geo-hazards and quantifying landslide risks in mountainous environments are gaining importance in the context of the ongoing global warming. For an in-depth understanding of slope failure mechanisms, accurate monitoring of the mass movement topography at high spatial and temporal resolutions remains essential. The choice of the acquisition framework for high-resolution topographic reconstructions will mainly result from the trade-off between the spatial resolution needed and the extent of the study area. Recent advances in the development of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based image acquisition combined with the structure-from-motion (SfM) algorithm for three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction make the UAV-SfM framework a competitive alternative to other high-resolution topographic techniques. In this study, we aim at gaining in-depth knowledge of the Schimbrig earthflow located in the foothills of the Central Swiss Alps by monitoring ground surface displacements at very high spatial and temporal resolution using the efficiency of the UAV-SfM framework. We produced distinct topographic datasets for three acquisition dates between 2013 and 2015 in order to conduct a comprehensive 3-D analysis of the landslide. Therefore, we computed (1) the sediment budget of the hillslope, and (2) the horizontal and (3) the three-dimensional surface displacements. The multitemporal UAV-SfM based topographic reconstructions allowed us to quantify rates of sediment redistribution and surface movements. Our data show that the Schimbrig earthflow is very active, with mean annual horizontal displacement ranging between 6 and 9 m. Combination and careful interpretation of high-resolution topographic analyses reveal the internal mechanisms of the earthflow and its complex rotational structure. In addition to variation in horizontal surface movements through time, we interestingly showed that the configuration of nested rotational units changes through time. Although

  20. Elements of a next generation time-series ASCII data file format for Earth Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    Data in ASCII comma separated value (CSV) format are recognized as the most simple, straightforward and readable type of data present in the geosciences. Many scientific workflows developed over the years rely on data using this simple format. However, there is a need for a lightweight ASCII header format standard that is easy to create and easy to work with. Current OGC grade XML standards are complex and difficult to implement for researchers with few resources. Ideally, such a format should provide the data in CSV for easy consumption by generic applications such as spreadsheets. The format should use an existing time standard. The header should be easily human readable as well as machine parsable. The metadata format should be extendable to allow vocabularies to be adopted as they are created by external standards bodies. The creation of such a format will increase the productivity of software engineers and scientists because fewer translators and checkers would be required. Data in ASCII comma separated value (CSV) format are recognized as the most simple, straightforward and readable type of data present in the geosciences. Many scientific workflows developed over the years rely on data using this simple format. However, there is a need for a lightweight ASCII header format standard that is easy to create and easy to work with. Current OGC grade XML standards are complex and difficult to implement for researchers with few resources. Ideally, such a format would provide the data in CSV for easy consumption by generic applications such as spreadsheets. The format would use existing time standard. The header would be easily human readable as well as machine parsable. The metadata format would be extendable to allow vocabularies to be adopted as they are created by external standards bodies. The creation of such a format would increase the productivity of software engineers and scientists because fewer translators would be required.

  1. Connecting real-time data to algorithms and databases: EarthCube's Cloud-Hosted Real-time Data Services for the Geosciences (CHORDS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, M. D.; Graves, S. J.; Kerkez, B.; Chandrasekar, V.; Vernon, F.; Martin, C. L.; Maskey, M.; Keiser, K.; Dye, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Cloud-Hosted Real-time Data Services for the Geosciences (CHORDS) project was funded under the National Science Foundation's EarthCube initiative. CHORDS addresses the ever-increasing importance of real-time scientific data in the geosciences, particularly in mission critical scenarios, where informed decisions must be made rapidly. Access to constant streams of real-time data also allow many new transient phenomena in space-time to be observed, however, much of these streaming data are either completely inaccessible or only available to proprietary in-house tools or displays. Small research teams do not have the resources to develop tools for the broad dissemination of their unique real-time data and require an easy to use, scalable, cloud-based solution to facilitate this access. CHORDS will make these diverse streams of real-time data available to the broader geosciences community. This talk will highlight a recently developed CHORDS portal tools and processing systems which address some of the gaps in handling real-time data, particularly in the provisioning of data from the "long-tail" scientific community through a simple interface that is deployed in the cloud, is scalable and is able to be customized by research teams. A running portal, with operational data feeds from across the nation, will be presented. The processing within the CHORDS system will expose these real-time streams via standard services from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) in a way that is simple and transparent to the data provider, while maximizing the usage of these investments. The ingestion of high velocity, high volume and diverse data has allowed the project to explore a NoSQL database implementation. Broad use of the CHORDS framework by geoscientists will help to facilitate adaptive experimentation, model assimilation and real-time hypothesis testing.

  2. A detailed view of Earth across space and time: our changing planet through a 32-year global Landsat and Sentinel-2 timelapse video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herwig, C.

    2017-12-01

    The Landsat program offers an unparalleled record of our changing planet, with satellites that have been observing the Earth since 1972 to the present day. However, clouds, seasonal variation, and technical challenges around access to large volumes of data make it difficult for researchers and the public to understand global and regional scale changes across time through the planetary dataset. Earth Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that has helped revolutionize how users - millions of which have never been capable of utilizing Landsat data before - monitor and understand a changing planet. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab's Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time. Using Earth Engine, we combined over 5 million satellite images acquired over the past three decades by 5 different satellites. The majority of the images come from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that has observed the Earth since the 1970s. For 2015 and 2016, we combined Landsat 8 imagery with imagery from Sentinel-2A, part of the European Commission and European Space Agency's Copernicus Earth observation program. Along with the interactive desktop Timelapse application, we created a 200-video YouTube playlist highlighting areas across the world exhibiting change in the dataset.Earth Timelapse is an example that illustrates the power of Google Earth Engine's cloud-computing platform, which enables users such as scientists, researchers, and journalists to detect changes, map trends, and quantify differences on the Earth's surface using Google's computational infrastructure and the multi-petabyte Earth Engine data catalog. Earth Timelapse also highlights the value of data visualization to communicate with non-scientific audiences with varied technical and internet connectivity

  3. Geomagnetic Reversals in Neoproterozoic Cap Carbonates and Time Constraints on Snowball Earth Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trindade, R. I.; Font, E.; Nedelec, A.

    2008-05-01

    The end of the Neoproterozoic is characterized by ubiquitous glacial deposition being followed by the onset of extensive carbonate platforms, marking important changes in climate. The duration of these climatic oscillations is still poorly constrained with estimates varying from hundreds to hundreds of thousand years. Here we report a high-resolution magnetostratigraphic study of Neoproterozoic cap carbonates from the Amazon Craton. These rocks represent the first transgressive carbonate sequence after glacial deposits and present the isotopic signatures and sedimentary structures that typify cap carbonates elsewhere in the world, such as negative delta13C values, tubes, aragonite-pseudomorph crystal fans, pseudo-tepees (megaripples). Age constraints are given by shifts in 87Sr/86Sr ratios towards values greater than 0.7081 and by a Pb-Pb age of 627 ± 32 Ma. Two sections five kilometers apart were sampled with a 20 cm spacing (=101 sites) and revealed five coherent reversals. Magnetization is carried by detrital hematite. These data were used to constrain both the paleogeographic position of the Amazon Craton by the end of Neoproterozoic glaciations, and the time of cap carbonate deposition (in the order of hundreds of thousand years) with implications for geochemical models. Comparison with results from correlative successions in Africa, Oman and Australia will also be presented.

  4. Processes Influencing the Timing and Volume of Eruptions From the Youngest Supervolcano on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, C. J. N.; Barker, S. J.; Morgan, D. J.; Rowland, J. V.; Schipper, I.

    2015-12-01

    , leading to one of the largest and most violent Holocene eruptions globally. The latest eruptions of Taupo highlight the multiple controls on the timing of eruptions, and demonstrate how the magmatic system can rapidly change behavior to generate large eruptible melt bodies on timescales of direct relevance to humans and monitoring initiatives.

  5. Determination of trace rare earth elements in gadolinium aluminate by inductively coupled plasma time of flight mass spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saha, Abhijit; Deb, S. B.; Nagar, B. K.; Saxena, M. K.

    An analytical methodology was developed for the precise quantification of ten trace rare earth elements (REEs), namely, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Tb, Dy, Ho, and Tm, in gadolinium aluminate (GdAlO3) employing an ultrasonic nebulizer (USN)-desolvating device based inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). A microwave digestion procedure was optimized for digesting 100 mg of the refractory oxide using a mixture of sulphuric acid (H2SO4), phosphoric acid (H3PO4) and water (H2O) with 1400 W power, 10 min ramp and 60 min hold time. An USN-desolvating sample introduction system was employed to enhance analyte sensitivities by minimizing their oxide ion formation in the plasma. Studies on the effect of various matrix concentrations on the analyte intensities revealed that precise quantification of the analytes was possible with matrix level of 250 mg L- 1. The possibility of using indium as an internal standard was explored and applied to correct for matrix effect and variation in analyte sensitivity under plasma operating conditions. Individual oxide ion formation yields were determined in matrix matched solution and employed for correcting polyatomic interferences of light REE (LREE) oxide ions on the intensities of middle and heavy rare earth elements (MREEs and HREEs). Recoveries of ≥ 90% were achieved for the analytes employing standard addition technique. Three real samples were analyzed for traces of REEs by the proposed method and cross validated for Eu and Nd by isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS). The results show no significant difference in the values at 95% confidence level. The expanded uncertainty (coverage factor 1σ) in the determination of trace REEs in the samples were found to be between 3 and 8%. The instrument detection limits (IDLs) and the method detection limits (MDLs) for the ten REEs lie in the ranges 1-5 ng L- 1 and 7-64 μg kg- 1 respectively.

  6. Unsupervised SBAS-DInSAR Processing of Space-borne SAR data for Earth Surface Displacement Time Series Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casu, F.; de Luca, C.; Lanari, R.; Manunta, M.; Zinno, I.

    2016-12-01

    During the last 25 years, the Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (DInSAR) has played an important role for understanding the Earth's surface deformation and its dynamics. In particular, the large collections of SAR data acquired by a number of space-borne missions (ERS, ENVISAT, ALOS, RADARSAT, TerraSAR-X, COSMO-SkyMed) have pushed toward the development of advanced DInSAR techniques for monitoring the temporal evolution of the ground displacements with an high spatial density. Moreover, the advent of the Copernicus Sentinel-1 (S1) constellation is providing a further increase in the SAR data flow available to the Earth science community, due to its characteristics of global coverage strategy and free and open access data policy. Therefore, managing and storing such a huge amount of data, processing it in an effcient way and maximizing the available archives exploitation are becoming high priority issues. In this work we present some recent advances in the DInSAR field for dealing with the effective exploitation of the present and future SAR data archives. In particular, an efficient parallel SBAS implementation (namely P-SBAS) that takes benefit from high performance computing is proposed. Then, the P-SBAS migration to the emerging Cloud Computing paradigm is shown, together with extensive tests carried out in the Amazon's Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) infrastructure. Finally, the integration of the P-SBAS processing chain within the ESA Geohazards Exploitation Platform (GEP), for setting up operational on-demand and systematic web tools, open to every user, aimed at automatically processing stacks of SAR data for the generation of SBAS displacement time series, is also illustrated. A number of experimental results obtained by using the ERS, ENVISAT and S1 data in areas characterized by volcanic, seismic and anthropogenic phenomena will be shown. This work is partially supported by: the DPC-CNR agreement, the EPOS-IP project and the ESA GEP project.

  7. Determination of intermediate perturbed orbits of Near-Earth asteroids from range and range rate measurements at three times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shefer, V. A.

    2014-12-01

    Two methods that the author developed earlier for finding the intermediate perturbed orbit of a small celestial body from three pairs of range and range rate observations [1, 2] are applied to the determination of orbits of Near-Earth asteroids. The methods are based on using the superosculating orbits with three- and fourth-order tangency. The degrees of approximation of the real motion by the constructed intermediate orbits near the middle measurement time are two and three orders of magnitude higher than by the Keplerian orbit determined with the help of traditional methods. We calculated the orbits of the asteroids 99942 Apophis, 1566 Icarus, 4179 Toutatis, 2007 DN41 and 2012 DA14. For the sake of brevity, we call the method based on the orbit with third-order tangency as Algorithm A1 and the method based on the orbit with fourth-order tangency -- as Algorithm A2. The results of the calculations are compared with the results of the calculations by the version of the methods mentioned that allows us to construct the unperturbed Keplerian orbit. We call this version of the methods as Algorithm A. The observational data were simulated using the nominal trajectories of the selected asteroids. These trajectories were obtained by the numerical integration of the differential equations of motion subject to the perturbations from the eight major planets, Pluto, and the Moon. The integration was carried out with the help of the 15-order Everhart procedure [3]. The main results of the calculations are the following. When the reference time interval is shortened by half (for small sizes of this interval), the errors in the compared algorithms A, A1, A2 decrease approximately by the factors 4, 16, 64 in coordinates and by the factors 2, 8, 16 in velocities, respectively. Such behavior of the errors is most clearly seen with the asteroids 2007 DN41 and 2012 DA14. This leads to a significant increase in the accuracy of the real motion approximation by the intermediate orbits

  8. Time and frequency requirement for the earth and ocean physics applications program. [characteristics and orbital mechanics of artificial satellites for data acquisition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vonbun, F. O.

    1972-01-01

    The application of time and frequency standards to the Earth and Ocean Physics Applications Program (EOPAP) is discussed. The goals and experiments of the EOPAP are described. Methods for obtaining frequency stability and time synchronization are analyzed. The orbits, trajectories, and characteristics of the satellites used in the program are reported.

  9. Earth Observation

    2010-08-23

    ISS024-E-016042 (23 Aug. 2010) --- This night time view captured by one of the Expedition 24 crew members aboard the International Space Station some 220 miles above Earth is looking southward from central Romania over the Aegean Sea toward Greece and it includes Thessaloniki (near center), the larger bright mass of Athens (left center), and the Macedonian capital of Skopje (lower right). Center point coordinates of the area pictured are 46.4 degrees north latitude and 25.5 degrees east longitude. The picture was taken in August and was physically brought back to Earth on a disk with the return of the Expedition 25 crew in November 2010.

  10. Earth Observation

    2014-07-19

    ISS040-E-070412 (19 July 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station recorded this July 19 panorama featuring wildfires which are plaguing the Northwest and causing widespread destruction. (Note: south is at the top of the frame). The orbital outpost was flying 223 nautical miles above Earth at the time of the photo. Parts of Oregon and Washington are included in the scene. Mt. Jefferson, Three Sisters and Mt. St. Helens are all snow-capped and visible in the photo, and the Columbia River can also be delineated.

  11. Earth Observation

    2014-07-19

    ISS040-E-070424 (19 July 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station recorded this July 19 image of wildfires which are plaguing the Northwest and causing widespread destruction. The orbital outpost was flying 223 nautical miles above Earth at the time of the photo. Lightning has been given as the cause of the Ochoco Complex fires in the Ochoco National Forest in central Oregon. The complex has gotten larger since this photo was taken.

  12. Earth Science

    2004-09-15

    Except for a small portion of the International Space Station (ISS) in the foreground, Hurricane Ivan, one of the strongest hurricanes on record, fills this image over the northern Gulf of Mexico. As the downgraded category 4 storm approached landfall on the Alabama coast Wednesday afternoon on September 15, 2004, sustained winds in the eye of the wall were reported at about 135 mph. The hurricane was photographed by astronaut Edward M. (Mike) Fincke from aboard the ISS at an altitude of approximately 230 miles. Crew Earth Observations record Earth surface changes over time, as well as more fleeting events such as storms, floods, fires, and volcanic eruptions.

  13. Earth Observation - time lapse

    2014-07-07

    ISS040-E-050780 (7 July 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the International Space Station, flying 226 nautical miles above the Indian Ocean, south of Australia, recorded this image of Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights on July 7, 2014.

  14. A DTN-ready application for the real-time dissemination of Earth Observation data received by Direct Readout stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paronis, Dimitris; Daglis, Ioannis A.; Diamantopoulos, Sotirios; Tsaoussidis, Vassilis; Tsigkanos, Antonis; Ghita, Bogdan; Evans, Michael

    2014-05-01

    The majority of Earth observation satellites operate in low Earth sun-synchronous orbit and transmit data captured by a variety of sensors. The effective dissemination of satellite data in real-time is a crucial parameter for disaster monitoring in particular. Generally, a spacecraft collects data and then stores it on-board until it passes over dedicated ground stations to transmit the data. Additionally, some satellites (e.g. Terra, Aqua, Suomi-NPP, NOAA series satellites) have the so-called Direct Broadcast (DB) capability, which is based on a real-time data transmission sub-system. Compatible Direct Readout (DR) stations in direct line of sight are able to receive these transmissions. To date data exchange between DR stations have not been fully exploited for real-time data dissemination. Stations around the world store data locally, which is then disseminated on demand via Internet gateways based on the standard TCP-IP protocols. On the other hand, Delay Tolerant Networks (DTNs), which deliver data by enabling store-and-forward transmission in order to cope with link failures, service disruptions and network congestion, could prove as an alternative/complementary transmission mechanism for the efficient dissemination of data. The DTN architecture allows for efficient utilization of the network, using in-network storage and taking advantage of the network availability among the interconnected nodes. Although DTNs were originally developed for high-propagation delay, challenged connectivity environments such as deep space, the broader research community has investigated possible architectural enhancements for various emerging applications (e.g., terrestrial infrastructure, ground-to-air communications, content retrieval and dissemination). In this paper, a scheme for the effective dissemination of DB data is conceptualized, designed and implemented based on store-and-forward transmission capabilities provided by DTNs. For demonstration purposes, a set-up has

  15. Earth Science

    1994-03-08

    Workers at the Astrotech processing facility in Titusville prepared for a news media showing of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-1 (GOES-1). GOES-1 was the first in a new generation of weather satellites deployed above Earth. It was the first 3-axis, body-stabilized meteorological satellite to be used by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. These features allowed GOES-1 to continuously monitor the Earth, rather than viewing it just five percent of the time as was the case with spin-stabilized meteorological satellites. GOES-1 also has independent imaging and sounding instruments which can operate simultaneously yet independently. As a result, observations provided by each instrument will not be interrupted. The imager produces visual and infrared images of the Earth's surface, oceans, cloud cover and severe storm development, while the prime sounding products include vertical temperature and moisture profiles, and layer mean moisture.

  16. Impacts of Earth rotation parameters on GNSS ultra-rapid orbit prediction: Derivation and real-time correction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qianxin; Hu, Chao; Xu, Tianhe; Chang, Guobin; Hernández Moraleda, Alberto

    2017-12-01

    Analysis centers (ACs) for global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs) cannot accurately obtain real-time Earth rotation parameters (ERPs). Thus, the prediction of ultra-rapid orbits in the international terrestrial reference system (ITRS) has to utilize the predicted ERPs issued by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) or the International GNSS Service (IGS). In this study, the accuracy of ERPs predicted by IERS and IGS is analyzed. The error of the ERPs predicted for one day can reach 0.15 mas and 0.053 ms in polar motion and UT1-UTC direction, respectively. Then, the impact of ERP errors on ultra-rapid orbit prediction by GNSS is studied. The methods for orbit integration and frame transformation in orbit prediction with introduced ERP errors dominate the accuracy of the predicted orbit. Experimental results show that the transformation from the geocentric celestial references system (GCRS) to ITRS exerts the strongest effect on the accuracy of the predicted ultra-rapid orbit. To obtain the most accurate predicted ultra-rapid orbit, a corresponding real-time orbit correction method is developed. First, orbits without ERP-related errors are predicted on the basis of ITRS observed part of ultra-rapid orbit for use as reference. Then, the corresponding predicted orbit is transformed from GCRS to ITRS to adjust for the predicted ERPs. Finally, the corrected ERPs with error slopes are re-introduced to correct the predicted orbit in ITRS. To validate the proposed method, three experimental schemes are designed: function extrapolation, simulation experiments, and experiments with predicted ultra-rapid orbits and international GNSS Monitoring and Assessment System (iGMAS) products. Experimental results show that using the proposed correction method with IERS products considerably improved the accuracy of ultra-rapid orbit prediction (except the geosynchronous BeiDou orbits). The accuracy of orbit prediction is enhanced by at least 50

  17. Experimental comparison of time synchronization techniques by means of light signals and clock transport on the rotating earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, R. A.; Alley, C. O.; Rayner, J. D.; Shih, Y. H.; Steggerda, C. A.; Wang, B. C.; Agnew, B. W.

    1993-01-01

    An experiment was conducted to investigate the equivalence of two methods of time transfer in a noninertial reference frame: by means of an electromagnetic signal using laser light pulses and by means of the slow ground transport of a hydrogen maser atomic clock. The experiment may also be interpreted as an investigation of whether the one-way speeds of light in the east-west and west-east directions on the rotating earth are the same. The light pulses were sent from a laser coupled to a telescope at the NASA Goddard Optical Research Facility (GORF) in Greenbelt, Maryland to the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) in Washington, DC. The optical path was made possible by a 30-cm flat mirror on a water tower near GORF and a 25-cm flat mirror on top of the Washington National Cathedral near USNO. The path length was 26.0 km with an east-west component of 20.7 km. The pulses were reflected back over the same path by a portable array of corner cube reflectors. The transmission and return times were measured with a stationary Sigma Tau hydrogen maser and a University of Maryland event timer at GORF, while the times of reflection were measured with a similar maser and event timer combination carefully transported to USNO. Both timekeeping systems were housed in highly insulated enclosures and were maintained at constant temperatures to within +/- 0.1 C by microprocessor controllers. The portable system was also protected from shock and vibration by pneumatic supports. The difference delta(T) between the directly measured time of reflection according to the portable clock and the time of reflection calculated from the light pulse signal times measured by the stationary clock was determined. For a typical trip delta(T) is less than 100 ps and the corresponding limit on an anisotropy of the one-way speed of light is delta(c/c) is less than 1.5 x 10(exp -6). This the only experiment to date in which two atomic clocks were calibrated at one location, one was slowly transported to

  18. Standardized Access and Processing of Multi-Source Earth Observation Time-Series Data within a Regional Data Middleware

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberle, J.; Schmullius, C.

    2017-12-01

    Increasing archives of global satellite data present a new challenge to handle multi-source satellite data in a user-friendly way. Any user is confronted with different data formats and data access services. In addition the handling of time-series data is complex as an automated processing and execution of data processing steps is needed to supply the user with the desired product for a specific area of interest. In order to simplify the access to data archives of various satellite missions and to facilitate the subsequent processing, a regional data and processing middleware has been developed. The aim of this system is to provide standardized and web-based interfaces to multi-source time-series data for individual regions on Earth. For further use and analysis uniform data formats and data access services are provided. Interfaces to data archives of the sensor MODIS (NASA) as well as the satellites Landsat (USGS) and Sentinel (ESA) have been integrated in the middleware. Various scientific algorithms, such as the calculation of trends and breakpoints of time-series data, can be carried out on the preprocessed data on the basis of uniform data management. Jupyter Notebooks are linked to the data and further processing can be conducted directly on the server using Python and the statistical language R. In addition to accessing EO data, the middleware is also used as an intermediary between the user and external databases (e.g., Flickr, YouTube). Standardized web services as specified by OGC are provided for all tools of the middleware. Currently, the use of cloud services is being researched to bring algorithms to the data. As a thematic example, an operational monitoring of vegetation phenology is being implemented on the basis of various optical satellite data and validation data from the German Weather Service. Other examples demonstrate the monitoring of wetlands focusing on automated discovery and access of Landsat and Sentinel data for local areas.

  19. Mid to late-Holocene diatom microfossils and geochemical proxies as evidence for paleoclimate in the Hudson River estuary, New York

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurung, D.; McHugh, C. M.; Kenna, T. C.; Burckle, L.

    2009-05-01

    New methodologies that combine the use of microfossil diatom assemblages, and elemental geochemistry (bromine (Br)) are being developed to assess late Holocene climatic variability in estuaries. The main idea is that in an estuary the saltwater wedge fluctuates in response to the volume of fluvial discharge that depends on surface runoff from precipitation and melting of snow (spring freshet). During times of high precipitation the saltwater wedge is pushed seaward. In contrast, during times of drought the saltwater wedge moves landward into the estuary. The Hudson River estuary in New York was flooded by marine waters in the early Holocene and at present its sedimentation patterns are in a state of dynamic equilibrium. Guided by high-resolution multibeam bathymetry, sediment cores (˜6 m in length) were recovered from the oligohaline parts of the estuary where discharge and precipitation changes have more impact on the saltwater wedge fluctuations. In those cores that showed continuous sedimentation, diatom assemblages and Br (ppm) were studied and used as proxies for salinity. Diatom assemblages (marine, freshwater and brackish) were identified and counted and Br (ppm) was measured by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry with an Innov-X portable system. The results were calibrated to an Pb-210 age model and compared with instrumental data of precipitation, river discharge, and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), The results obtained from two different locations show that marine diatom abundance and Br content correlate with periods of high precipitation during 1992-1988; 1985-1980; 1976-1968; 1962-1958; and increase with periods of low precipitation or droughts in 1987-1985; 1980-1975; 1967-1962; 1943-1938. The mid to late Holocene record shows a variability on the scale of ˜300 to 400 years similar to that obtained by Cronin et al. (2003) for Chesapeake Bay and related to the North Atlantic Oscillation. From 1992 to the present, both marine diatoms and Br ppm

  20. 'Nano' Morphology and Element Signatures of Early Life on Earth: A New Tool for Assessing Biogenicity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oehler, D. Z.; Mostefaoui, S.; Meibom, A.; Selo, M.; McKay, D. S.; Robert, F.

    2006-01-01

    The relatively young technology of NanoSIMS is unlocking an exciting new level of information from organic matter in ancient sediments. We are using this technique to characterize Proterozoic organic material that is clearly biogenic as a guide for interpreting controversial organic structures in either terrestrial or extraterrestrial samples. NanoSIMS is secondary ion mass spectrometry for trace element and isotope analysis at sub-micron resolution. In 2005, Robert et al. [1] combined NanoSIMS element maps with optical microscopic imagery in an effort to develop a new method for assessing biogenicity of Precambrian structures. The ability of NanoSIMS to map simultaneously the distribution of organic elements with a 50 nm spatial resolution provides new biologic markers that could help define the timing of life s development on Earth. The current study corroborates the work of Robert et al. and builds on their study by using NanoSIMS to map C, N (as CN), S, Si and O of both excellently preserved microfossils and less well preserved, non-descript organics in Proterozoic chert from the ca. 0.8 Ga Bitter Springs Formation of Australia.

  1. Time variability in Cenozoic reconstructions of mantle heat flow: plate tectonic cycles and implications for Earth's thermal evolution.

    PubMed

    Loyd, S J; Becker, T W; Conrad, C P; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C; Corsetti, F A

    2007-09-04

    The thermal evolution of Earth is governed by the rate of secular cooling and the amount of radiogenic heating. If mantle heat sources are known, surface heat flow at different times may be used to deduce the efficiency of convective cooling and ultimately the temporal character of plate tectonics. We estimate global heat flow from 65 Ma to the present using seafloor age reconstructions and a modified half-space cooling model, and we find that heat flow has decreased by approximately 0.15% every million years during the Cenozoic. By examining geometric trends in plate reconstructions since 120 Ma, we show that the reduction in heat flow is due to a decrease in the area of ridge-proximal oceanic crust. Even accounting for uncertainties in plate reconstructions, the rate of heat flow decrease is an order of magnitude faster than estimates based on smooth, parameterized cooling models. This implies that heat flow experiences short-term fluctuations associated with plate tectonic cyclicity. Continental separation does not appear to directly control convective wavelengths, but rather indirectly affects how oceanic plate systems adjust to accommodate global heat transport. Given that today's heat flow may be unusually low, secular cooling rates estimated from present-day values will tend to underestimate the average cooling rate. Thus, a mechanism that causes less efficient tectonic heat transport at higher temperatures may be required to prevent an unreasonably hot mantle in the recent past.

  2. Time variability in Cenozoic reconstructions of mantle heat flow: Plate tectonic cycles and implications for Earth's thermal evolution

    PubMed Central

    Loyd, S. J.; Becker, T. W.; Conrad, C. P.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C.; Corsetti, F. A.

    2007-01-01

    The thermal evolution of Earth is governed by the rate of secular cooling and the amount of radiogenic heating. If mantle heat sources are known, surface heat flow at different times may be used to deduce the efficiency of convective cooling and ultimately the temporal character of plate tectonics. We estimate global heat flow from 65 Ma to the present using seafloor age reconstructions and a modified half-space cooling model, and we find that heat flow has decreased by ∼0.15% every million years during the Cenozoic. By examining geometric trends in plate reconstructions since 120 Ma, we show that the reduction in heat flow is due to a decrease in the area of ridge-proximal oceanic crust. Even accounting for uncertainties in plate reconstructions, the rate of heat flow decrease is an order of magnitude faster than estimates based on smooth, parameterized cooling models. This implies that heat flow experiences short-term fluctuations associated with plate tectonic cyclicity. Continental separation does not appear to directly control convective wavelengths, but rather indirectly affects how oceanic plate systems adjust to accommodate global heat transport. Given that today's heat flow may be unusually low, secular cooling rates estimated from present-day values will tend to underestimate the average cooling rate. Thus, a mechanism that causes less efficient tectonic heat transport at higher temperatures may be required to prevent an unreasonably hot mantle in the recent past. PMID:17720806

  3. Gypsum-permineralized microfossils and their relevance to the search for life on Mars.

    PubMed

    Schopf, J William; Farmer, Jack D; Foster, Ian S; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B; Gallardo, Victor A; Espinoza, Carola

    2012-07-01

    Orbital and in situ analyses establish that aerially extensive deposits of evaporitic sulfates, including gypsum, are present on the surface of Mars. Although comparable gypsiferous sediments on Earth have been largely ignored by paleontologists, we here report the finding of diverse fossil microscopic organisms permineralized in bottom-nucleated gypsums of seven deposits: two from the Permian (∼260 Ma) of New Mexico, USA; one from the Miocene (∼6 Ma) of Italy; and four from Recent lacustrine and saltern deposits of Australia, Mexico, and Peru. In addition to presenting the first report of the widespread occurrence of microscopic fossils in bottom-nucleated primary gypsum, we show the striking morphological similarity of the majority of the benthic filamentous fossils of these units to the microorganisms of a modern sulfuretum biocoenose. Based on such similarity, in morphology as well as habitat, these findings suggest that anaerobic sulfur-metabolizing microbial assemblages have changed relatively little over hundreds of millions of years. Their discovery as fossilized components of the seven gypsiferous units reported suggests that primary bottom-nucleated gypsum represents a promising target in the search for evidence of past life on Mars. Key Words: Confocal laser scanning microscopy-Gypsum fossils-Mars sample return missions-Raman spectroscopy-Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument-Sulfuretum.

  4. Zodiacal exoplanets in time (ZEIT) - II. A `super-Earth' orbiting a young K dwarf in the Pleiades Neighbourhood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaidos, E.; Mann, A. W.; Rizzuto, A.; Nofi, L.; Mace, G.; Vanderburg, A.; Feiden, G.; Narita, N.; Takeda, Y.; Esposito, T. M.; De Rosa, R. J.; Ansdell, M.; Hirano, T.; Graham, J. R.; Kraus, A.; Jaffe, D.

    2017-01-01

    We describe a `super-Earth'-size (2.30 ± 0.16 R⊕) planet transiting an early K-type dwarf star in the Campaign 4 field observed by the K2 mission. The host star, EPIC 210363145, was identified as a candidate member of the approximately 120 Myr-old Pleiades cluster based on its kinematics and photometric distance. It is rotationally variable and exhibits near-ultraviolet emission consistent with a Pleiades age, but its rotational period is ≈20 d and its spectrum contains no Hα emission nor the Li I absorption expected of Pleiades K dwarfs. Instead, the star is probably an interloper that is unaffiliated with the cluster, but younger (≲1.3 Gyr) than the typical field dwarf. We ruled out a false positive transit signal produced by confusion with a background eclipsing binary by adaptive optics imaging and a statistical calculation. Doppler radial velocity measurements limit the companion mass to <2 times that of Jupiter. Screening of the light curves of 1014 potential Pleiades candidate stars uncovered no additional planets. An injection-and-recovery experiment using the K2 Pleiades light curves with simulated planets, assuming a planet population like that in the Kepler prime field, predicts only 0.8-1.8 detections (versus ˜20 in an equivalent Kepler sample). The absence of Pleiades planet detections can be attributed to the much shorter monitoring time of K2 (80 d versus 4 yr), increased measurement noise due to spacecraft motion, and the intrinsic noisiness of the stars.

  5. Revision of species of Minerisporites, Azolla and associated plant microfossils from deposits of the Upper Palaeocene and Palaeocene/Eocene transition in the Netherlands, Belgium and the USA.

    PubMed

    Batten, D J.; Collinson, M E.

    2001-05-01

    Species of the megaspore genus Minerisporites Potonié, megaspore apparatuses of species of the water fern Azolla Lamarck, and some associated organic-walled microfossils recovered from deposits of the Upper Palaeocene and Palaeocene/Eocene transition in the southern part of the Netherlands and neighbouring Belgium are redescribed on the basis of an examination of specimens under scanning and transmission electron microscopes. Originally studied about 40 years ago by S.J. Dijkstra, the re-examination has enabled emended diagnoses to be produced for six taxa: Minerisporites glossoferus (Dijkstra) Tschudy, M. mirabilis (Miner) Potonié, M. mirabilissimus (Dijkstra) Potonié, Azolla schopfii Dijkstra, A. teschiana Florschütz, and A. velus (Dijkstra) Jain and Hall. In addition, a revised description is provided for massulae of Salvinia Séguier that were originally thought to be megaspores and, hence, named by Dijkstra as Triletes? exiguus. The gross morphology and construction of the exospore of the species of Minerisporites are similar, but nevertheless sufficiently distinct for them to be maintained as separate taxa. Monolete microspores are preserved in hollows in the reticulate surface of some of the specimens of M. mirabilissimus. This is consistent with the presumed isoetalean affinity of Minerisporites. An apparent stratigraphic morphocline from M. glossoferus to M. mirabilis, suggested previously, is confirmed following our reassessment of their characteristics. The species of Azolla are all multi-floated, but they differ from each other in several ways, in particular with respect to the ultrastructure of the megaspore wall. They are also distinct from all other species that have been considered in sufficient detail for satisfactory comparisons to be made. The massulae of A. teschiana are described for the first time. The floats in A. velus are attached to the proximal part of the megaspore only by suprafilosal hairs. There are no maniculae. It is argued that

  6. The Dynamic Earth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siever, Raymond

    1983-01-01

    Discusses how the earth is a dynamic system that maintains itself in a steady state. Areas considered include large/small-scale earth motions, geologic time, rock and hydrologic cycles, and other aspects dealing with the changing face of the earth. (JN)

  7. The effect of the Earth's oblate spheroid shape on the accuracy of a time-of-arrival lightning ground strike locating system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Casper, Paul W.; Bent, Rodney B.

    1991-01-01

    The algorithm used in previous technology time-of-arrival lightning mapping systems was based on the assumption that the earth is a perfect spheroid. These systems yield highly-accurate lightning locations, which is their major strength. However, extensive analysis of tower strike data has revealed occasionally significant (one to two kilometer) systematic offset errors which are not explained by the usual error sources. It was determined that these systematic errors reduce dramatically (in some cases) when the oblate shape of the earth is taken into account. The oblate spheroid correction algorithm and a case example is presented.

  8. Rare Earth Elements as Potential Biosignatures on Mars in SuperCam Time Resolved Laser Fluorescence Spectroscopy Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ollila, A.; Beyssac, O.; Sharma, S. K.; Misra, A. K.; Clegg, S. M.; Gauthier, M.; Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Gasnault, O.; Lanza, N.

    2017-12-01

    The rare earth elements (REE, La to Lu) are a group of elements with similar chemical properties that are generally present in geologic materials at trace concentrations. REEs may be concentrated via processes such as igneous fractional crystallization in accessory minerals, e.g. apatite, zircon, and titanite. Additionally, however, concentrations of REE may serve to identify regions of high astrobiological interest. For example, Fe-oxyhydroxide deposits in hydrothermal vent systems and biologically related manganese nodules may be enriched in REEs. REEs have not been measured in situ on Mars, therefore their prevalence and distribution on Mars is as yet unknown, except as observed in martian meteorites. SuperCam is a survey instrument that will analyze materials around the Mars 2020 rover using a variety of spectral techniques including laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), Raman, VIS-IR, and time-resolved laser fluorescence (TRLF) spectroscopy. Recently, the SuperCam Engineering Development Unit was tested at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for its capabilities to detect REEs in minerals using TRLF spectroscopy. While this instrument was not designed to precisely replicate the flight model, the spectral resolution and light transmission was sufficient to obtain TRLF spectra on a number of minerals demonstrating a variety of REE luminescent centers. These include apatite (Sm3+, Nd3+, Eu3+, Dy3+), fluorite (Ho3+, Sm3+, Dy3+, Nd3+), and zircon (Er3+, Pr3+, Nd3+). Future work includes expanding this suite to include minerals associated with biological activities, for example Mn-oxides (desert varnish and manganese nodules), hydrothermal Fe-oxides, and stromatolite-associated carbonates. In this way and in combination with its other techniques, SuperCam may direct the rover team to perform further analyses of similar samples by the in situ chemical and mineralogical suite of instruments, or aid in prioritization for sample return.

  9. Estimating Attitude, Trajectory, and Gyro Biases in an Extended Kalman Filter using Earth Magnetic Field Data from the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deutschmann, Julie; Bar-Itzhack, Itzhack

    1997-01-01

    Traditionally satellite attitude and trajectory have been estimated with completely separate systems, using different measurement data. The estimation of both trajectory and attitude for low earth orbit satellites has been successfully demonstrated in ground software using magnetometer and gyroscope data. Since the earth's magnetic field is a function of time and position, and since time is known quite precisely, the differences between the computed and measured magnetic field components, as measured by the magnetometers throughout the entire spacecraft orbit, are a function of both the spacecraft trajectory and attitude errors. Therefore, these errors can be used to estimate both trajectory and attitude. This work further tests the single augmented Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) which simultaneously and autonomously estimates spacecraft trajectory and attitude with data from the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) magnetometer and gyro-measured body rates. In addition, gyro biases are added to the state and the filter's ability to estimate them is presented.

  10. Microfossil evidence for pre-Columbian maize dispersals in the neotropics from San Andres, Tabasco, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Pohl, Mary E D; Piperno, Dolores R; Pope, Kevin O; Jones, John G

    2007-04-17

    The history of maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most debated topics in New World archaeology. Molecular and genetic studies indicate that maize domestication took place in tropical southwest Mexico. Although archaeological evidence for the evolution of maize from its wild ancestor teosinte has yet to be found in that poorly studied region, other research combining paleoecology and archaeology is documenting the nature and timing of maize domestication and dispersals. Here we report a phytolith analysis of sediments from San Andrés, Tabasco, that confirms the spread of maize cultivation to the tropical Mexican Gulf Coast >7,000 years ago ( approximately 7,300 calendar years before present). We review the different methods used in sampling, identifying, and dating fossil maize remains and compare their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, we examine how San Andrés amplifies the present evidence for widespread maize dispersals into Central and South America. Multiple data sets from many sites indicate that maize was brought under cultivation and domesticated and had spread rapidly out of its domestication cradle in tropical southwest Mexico by the eighth millennium before the present.

  11. Climatic Implications of Macro- and Microfossil Assemblages from Late Pleistocene Deposits in Northern New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogden, John; Newnham, Rewi M.; Palmer, Jonathan G.; Serra, Richard G.; Mitchell, Neil D.

    1993-01-01

    Twenty-two plant species were identified from leaves, fruits, or flowers, and 41 taxa from pollen, present in a macrofossil (leaf) layer in a peat swamp formed on Pleistocene dunes on the Aupouri Peninsula in northern New Zealand. Eight genera of gymnosperms are represented. With the exception of Lagarostrobos colensoi, all tree species abundant as macrofossils are also common as pollen. Macrofossils enabled the on-site flora to be compared with the regional flora, represented by the pollen rain. Studies on leaf decomposition rates indicate bias toward sclerophyllous species in the macrofossils. Identification to species level and treering data from preserved kauri logs allow quantitative comparisons with similar extant communities. Current climatic conditions at those analogue sites are cooler (2° to 3°C), cloudier (11%), and much wetter (85%) than those currently prevailing on the Aupouri Peninsula. Dendrochronological results also suggest that the far north of New Zealand had a cooler, cloudier, and wetter climate at the time the fossil leaf assemblage was formed. Radiocarbon dates from possibly contaminated samples suggest that a diverse mixed gymnosperm/angiosperm forest, dominated by kauri ( Agathis australis), was present about (or sometime before) 41,00034,000 yr B.P., when the leaf layer was formed. Similar temperature reductions have been postulated for this period in New Zealand by other authors.

  12. Evidence for early life in Earth's oldest hydrothermal vent precipitates.

    PubMed

    Dodd, Matthew S; Papineau, Dominic; Grenne, Tor; Slack, John F; Rittner, Martin; Pirajno, Franco; O'Neil, Jonathan; Little, Crispin T S

    2017-03-01

    Although it is not known when or where life on Earth began, some of the earliest habitable environments may have been submarine-hydrothermal vents. Here we describe putative fossilized microorganisms that are at least 3,770 million and possibly 4,280 million years old in ferruginous sedimentary rocks, interpreted as seafloor-hydrothermal vent-related precipitates, from the Nuvvuagittuq belt in Quebec, Canada. These structures occur as micrometre-scale haematite tubes and filaments with morphologies and mineral assemblages similar to those of filamentous microorganisms from modern hydrothermal vent precipitates and analogous microfossils in younger rocks. The Nuvvuagittuq rocks contain isotopically light carbon in carbonate and carbonaceous material, which occurs as graphitic inclusions in diagenetic carbonate rosettes, apatite blades intergrown among carbonate rosettes and magnetite-haematite granules, and is associated with carbonate in direct contact with the putative microfossils. Collectively, these observations are consistent with an oxidized biomass and provide evidence for biological activity in submarine-hydrothermal environments more than 3,770 million years ago.

  13. Cloudy Earth

    2015-05-08

    Decades of satellite observations and astronaut photographs show that clouds dominate space-based views of Earth. One study based on nearly a decade of satellite data estimated that about 67 percent of Earth’s surface is typically covered by clouds. This is especially the case over the oceans, where other research shows less than 10 percent of the sky is completely clear of clouds at any one time. Over land, 30 percent of skies are completely cloud free. Earth’s cloudy nature is unmistakable in this global cloud fraction map, based on data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite. While MODIS collects enough data to make a new global map of cloudiness every day, this version of the map shows an average of all of the satellite’s cloud observations between July 2002 and April 2015. Colors range from dark blue (no clouds) to light blue (some clouds) to white (frequent clouds). Read more here: 1.usa.gov/1P6lbMU Credit: NASA Earth Observatory NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  14. Earth Observation

    2011-08-02

    ISS028-E-020276 (2 Aug. 2011) --- This photograph of polar mesospheric clouds was acquired at an altitude of just over 202 nautical miles (about 322 kilometers) in the evening hours (03:19:54 Greenwich Mean Time) on Aug. 2, 2011, as the International Space Station was passing over the English Channel. The nadir coordinates of the station were 49.1 degrees north latitude and 5.5 degrees west longitude. Polar mesospheric clouds (also known as noctilucent, or ?night-shining? clouds) are transient, upper atmospheric phenomena that are usually observed in the summer months at high latitudes (greater than 50 degrees) of both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They appear bright and cloudlike while in deep twilight. They are illuminated by sunlight when the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the darkness of Earth?s shadow. The horizon of Earth appears at the bottom of the image, with some layers of the lower atmosphere already illuminated by the rising sun. The higher, bluish-colored clouds look much like wispy cirrus clouds, which can be found as high as 60,000 feet (18 kilometers) in the atmosphere. However noctilucent clouds, as seen here, are observed in the mesosphere at altitudes of 250,000 to 280,000 feet (about 76 to 85 kilometers). Astronaut observations of polar mesospheric clouds over northern Europe in the summer are not uncommon.

  15. Real-time adaptive optics testbed to investigate point-ahead angle in pre-compensation of Earth-to-GEO optical communication.

    PubMed

    Leonhard, Nina; Berlich, René; Minardi, Stefano; Barth, Alexander; Mauch, Steffen; Mocci, Jacopo; Goy, Matthias; Appelfelder, Michael; Beckert, Erik; Reinlein, Claudia

    2016-06-13

    We explore adaptive optics (AO) pre-compensation for optical communication between Earth and geostationary (GEO) satellites in a laboratory experiment. Thus, we built a rapid control prototyping breadboard with an adjustable point-ahead angle where downlink and uplink can operate both at 1064 nm and 1550 nm wavelength. With our real-time system, beam wander resulting from artificial turbulence was reduced such that the beam hits the satellite at least 66% of the time as compared to merely 3% without correction. A seven-fold increase of the average Strehl ratio to (28 ± 15)% at 18 μrad point-ahead angle leads to a considerable reduction of the calculated fading probability. These results make AO pre-compensation a viable technique to enhance Earth-to-GEO optical communication.

  16. Earth Observation

    2011-06-27

    ISS028-E-009979 (27 June 2011) --- The Massachusetts coastline is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station. The Crew Earth Observations team at NASA Johnson Space Center sends specific ground targets for photography up to the station crew on a daily basis, but sometimes the crew takes imagery on their own of striking displays visible from orbit. One such display, often visible to the ISS crew due to their ability to look outwards at angles between 0 and 90 degrees, is sunglint on the waters of Earth. Sunglint is caused by sunlight reflecting off of a water surface?much as light reflects from a mirror?directly towards the observer. Roughness variations of the water surface scatter the light, blurring the reflection and producing the typical silvery sheen of the sunglint area. The point of maximum sunglint is centered within Cape Cod Bay, the body of water partially enclosed by the ?hook? of Cape Cod in Massachusetts (bottom). Cape Cod was formally designated a National Seashore in 1966. Sunglint off the water provides sharp contrast with the coastline and the nearby islands of Martha?s Vineyard and Nantucket (lower left), both popular destinations for tourists and summer residents. To the north, rocky Cape Ann extends out into the Atlantic Ocean; the border with New Hampshire is located approximately 30 kilometers up the coast. Further to the west, the eastern half of Long Island, New York is visible emerging from extensive cloud cover over the mid-Atlantic and Midwestern States. Persistent storm tracks had been contributing to record flooding along rivers in the Midwest at the time this image was taken in late June 2011. Thin blue layers of the atmosphere, contrasted against the darkness of space, are visible extending along the Earth?s curvature at top.

  17. Spatiotemporal Visualization of Time-Series Satellite-Derived CO2 Flux Data Using Volume Rendering and Gpu-Based Interpolation on a Cloud-Driven Digital Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, S.; Yan, Y.; Du, Z.; Zhang, F.; Liu, R.

    2017-10-01

    The ocean carbon cycle has a significant influence on global climate, and is commonly evaluated using time-series satellite-derived CO2 flux data. Location-aware and globe-based visualization is an important technique for analyzing and presenting the evolution of climate change. To achieve realistic simulation of the spatiotemporal dynamics of ocean carbon, a cloud-driven digital earth platform is developed to support the interactive analysis and display of multi-geospatial data, and an original visualization method based on our digital earth is proposed to demonstrate the spatiotemporal variations of carbon sinks and sources using time-series satellite data. Specifically, a volume rendering technique using half-angle slicing and particle system is implemented to dynamically display the released or absorbed CO2 gas. To enable location-aware visualization within the virtual globe, we present a 3D particlemapping algorithm to render particle-slicing textures onto geospace. In addition, a GPU-based interpolation framework using CUDA during real-time rendering is designed to obtain smooth effects in both spatial and temporal dimensions. To demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed method, a series of satellite data is applied to simulate the air-sea carbon cycle in the China Sea. The results show that the suggested strategies provide realistic simulation effects and acceptable interactive performance on the digital earth.

  18. Earth Orientation - Naval Oceanography Portal

    section Advanced Search... Sections Home Time Earth Orientation Astronomy Meteorology Oceanography Ice You are here: Home › USNO › Earth Orientation USNO Logo USNO Navigation Earth Orientation Products GPS -based Products VLBI-based Products EO Information Center Publications about Products Software Info Earth

  19. Earth Observation

    2014-05-29

    ISS040-E-005979 (29 May 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the International Space Station used a 200mm lens to photograph this image from 222 nautical miles above Earth showing Harris County and Galveston County, Texas plus several other surrounding counties, including a long stretch along the Gulf of Mexico (bottom left). The entirety of Galveston Bay is visible at bottom center. Just below center lies the 1625-acre site of NASA's Johnson Space Center, one of the training venues for all space station crew members and the nearby long-time area of residence for NASA astronauts.

  20. Early Life on Earth: the Ancient Fossil Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westall, F.

    2004-07-01

    The evidence for early life and its initial evolution on Earth is lin= ked intimately with the geological evolution of the early Earth. The environment of the early Earth would be considered extreme by modern standards: hot (50-80=B0C), volcanically and hydrothermally active, a= noxic, high UV flux, and a high flux of extraterrestrial impacts. Habitats = for life were more limited until continent-building processes resulted in= the formation of stable cratons with wide, shallow, continental platforms= in the Mid-Late Archaean. Unfortunately there are no records of the first appearance of life and the earliest isotopic indications of the exist= ence of organisms fractionating carbon in ~3.8 Ga rocks from the Isua greenst= one belt in Greenland are tenuous. Well-preserved microfossils and micro= bial mats (in the form of tabular and domical stromatolites) occur in 3.5-= 3.3 Ga, Early Archaean, sedimentary formations from the Barberton (South Afri= ca) and Pilbara (Australia) greenstone belts. They document life forms that = show a relatively advanced level of evolution. Microfossil morphology inclu= des filamentous, coccoid, rod and vibroid shapes. Colonial microorganism= s formed biofilms and microbial mats at the surfaces of volcaniclastic = and chemical sediments, some of which created (small) macroscopic microbi= alites such as stromatolites. Anoxygenic photosynthesis may already have developed. Carbon, nitrogen and sulphur isotopes ratios are in the r= ange of those for organisms with anaerobic metabolisms, such as methanogenesi= s, sulphate reduction and photosynthesis. Life was apparently distribute= d widely in shallow-water to littoral environments, including exposed, evaporitic basins and regions of hydrothermal activity. Biomass in t= he early Archaean was restricted owing to the limited amount of energy t= hat could be produced by anaerobic metabolisms. Microfossils resembling o= xygenic photosynthesisers, such as cyanobacteria, probably first occurred in

  1. Earth Observations

    2010-09-11

    ISS024-E-014233 (11 Sept. 2010) --- A smoke plume near the northern Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. This broad view of the north coast of the Caspian Sea shows a smoke plume (left) and two river deltas (bottom and lower right). The larger delta is that of the Volga River which appears prominently here in sunglint (light reflected off a water surface back towards the observer), and the smaller less prominent delta is that of the Ural River. Wide angle, oblique views ? taken looking outward at an angle, rather than straight down towards Earth ? such as this give an excellent impression of how crew members onboard the space station view Earth. For a sense of scale, the Caucasus Mts. (across the Caspian, top right) are approximately 1,100 kilometers to the southwest of the International Space Station?s nadir point location ? the point on Earth directly underneath the spacecraft ? at the time this image was taken. The smoke plume appears to be sourced in the dark-toned coastal marsh vegetation along the outer fringe of the Ural River delta, rather than in a city or at some oil storage facility. Although even small fires produce plumes that are long and bright and thus easily visible from space, the density of the smoke in this plume, and its 350-kilometer length across the entire north lobe of the Caspian Sea, suggest it was a significant fire. The smoke was thick enough nearer the source to cast shadows on the sea surface below. Lines mark three separate pulses of smoke, the most recent, nearest the source, extending directly south away from the coastline (lower left). With time, plumes become progressively more diffuse. The oldest pulse appears to be the thinnest, casting no obvious shadows (center left).

  2. A comparison of Frequency Domain Multiple Access (FDMA) and Time Domain Multiple Access (TDMA) approaches to satellite service for low data rate Earth stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevens, G.

    1983-01-01

    A technological and economic assessment is made of providing low data rate service to small earth stations by satellite at Ka-band. Various Frequency Domain Multiple Access (FDMA) and Time Domain Multiple Access (TDMA) scenarios are examined and compared on the basis of cost to the end user. Very small stations (1 to 2 meters in diameter) are found not to be viable alternatives to available terrestrial services. However, medium size (3 to 5 meters) earth stations appear to be very competitive if a minimum throughput of about 1.5 Mbs is maintained. This constrains the use of such terminals to large users and shared use by smaller users. No advantage was found to the use of FDMA. TDMA had a slight advantage from a total system viewpoint and a very significant advantage in the space segment (about 1/3 the required payload weight for an equivalent capacity).

  3. Bridging the Digital Divide between Discrete and Continuous Space-Time Array Data to Enhance Accessibility to and Usability of NASA Earth Sciences Data for the Hydrological Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, W. L.; Maidment, D. R.; Vollmer, B.; Peters-Lidard, C. D.; Rui, H.; Strub, R.; Whiteaker, T.; Mocko, D. M.; Kirschbaum, D. B.

    2012-12-01

    A longstanding and significant "Digital Divide" in data representation exists between hydrology and climatology and meteorology. Typically, in hydrology, earth surface features are expressed as discrete spatial objects such as watersheds, river reaches, and point observation sites; and time varying data are contained in time series associated with these spatial objects. Long time histories of data may be associated with a single point or feature in space. In meteorology and climatology, remotely sensed observations and weather and climate model information are expressed as continuous spatial fields, with data sequenced in time from one data file to the next. Hydrology tends to be narrow in space and deep in time, while meteorology and climatology are broad in space and narrow in time. This Divide has been an obstacle, specifically, between the hydrological community, as represented by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) and relevant data sets at the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC). CUAHSI has developed the Hydrologic Information System (HIS), which is built on international geospatial standards, with one of its aims to bridge the Divide. The opportunity costs of the Divide are high. It has largely prevented the routine access and use of NASA Earth sciences data by the hydrological and, more generally, geospatial community. This presentation describes a recently-begun NASA ACCESS project that addresses the Digital Divide problem. Progress to date is summarized; technical details are provided in a related presentation (Rui et al., Data Reorganization for Optimal Time Series Data Access, Analysis, and Visualization, IN016). Building on prior prototype efforts with EPA BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Nonpoint Sources) and CUAHSI HIS, this project focuses on the following approaches to the problems of data discovery, access, and use: (1) Link HIS and

  4. Mitigating Space Weather Impacts on the Power Grid in Real-Time: Applying 3-D EarthScope Magnetotelluric Data to Forecasting Reactive Power Loss in Power Transformers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, A.; Bonner, L. R., IV

    2017-12-01

    Current efforts to assess risk to the power grid from geomagnetic disturbances (GMDs) that result in geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) seek to identify potential "hotspots," based on statistical models of GMD storm scenarios and power distribution grounding models that assume that the electrical conductivity of the Earth's crust and mantle varies only with depth. The NSF-supported EarthScope Magnetotelluric (MT) Program operated by Oregon State University has mapped 3-D ground electrical conductivity structure across more than half of the continental US. MT data, the naturally occurring time variations in the Earth's vector electric and magnetic fields at ground level, are used to determine the MT impedance tensor for each site (the ratio of horizontal vector electric and magnetic fields at ground level expressed as a complex-valued frequency domain quantity). The impedance provides information on the 3-D electrical conductivity structure of the Earth's crust and mantle. We demonstrate that use of 3-D ground conductivity information significantly improves the fidelity of GIC predictions over existing 1-D approaches. We project real-time magnetic field data streams from US Geological Survey magnetic observatories into a set of linear filters that employ the impedance data and that generate estimates of ground level electric fields at the locations of MT stations. The resulting ground electric fields are projected to and integrated along the path of power transmission lines. This serves as inputs to power flow models that represent the power transmission grid, yielding a time-varying set of quasi-real-time estimates of reactive power loss at the power transformers that are critical infrastructure for power distribution. We demonstrate that peak reactive power loss and hence peak risk for transformer damage from GICs does not necessarily occur during peak GMD storm times, but rather depends on the time-evolution of the polarization of the GMD's inducing fields

  5. Committing to creating time for integrating contemporary environmental issues into a traditional introduction to Earth Science course, one topic at a time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, H. M.

    2014-12-01

    I teach an Earth Science course, designed as an introductory science class that also fulfills the Earth Science requirement for pre-service teachers preparing to take their state content exam. This course provides an introduction to astronomy, geology, oceanography, and meteorology. By design, the class is content-heavy. Despite this, with so many current environmental and societal issues directly tied to the Earth Sciences, it is essential to address contemporary problems and to educate students about the changes and challenges in the world around them. I have made a commitment to doing this by incorporating relevant societal and environmental issues into every topic and every class session. While this may sound basic, doing so requires diligence and research. For example, when teaching about weathering and erosion, I discuss soils, soil quality and erosion, and the impact this has on our global food supply. A hands-on mineral activity lends itself to looking at the energy and waste involved in ore extraction. A lecture on ocean circulation results in an opportunity to analyze the consequences of the interruption of this pattern due to global warming. Through this approach, students are provided with necessary content; furthermore, by linking traditional content to modern issues on a regular basis, students see the relevance of what they are learning and become more aware of the environmental issues facing society today. Student evaluations indicate that this approach has been successful: 100% of students reported that they learned a great deal from the course, and 100% of students agreed that the quality of the course was high. In addition, prior to the class 55.8% of the students indicated interested in the content; whereas, after the course 88.6% indicated interest, with strong interest in the content increasing from 16.3% to 41%.

  6. Earth Observation

    2014-06-01

    ISS040-E-006327 (1 June 2014) --- A portion of International Space Station solar array panels and Earth?s horizon are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 40 crew member on the space station.

  7. Life Detection on the Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Runnegar, B.

    2004-01-01

    Finding evidence for first the existence, and then the nature of life on the early Earth or early Mars requires both the recognition of subtle biosignatures and the elimination of false positives. The history of the search for fossils in increasingly older Precambrian strata illustrates these difficulties very clearly, and new observational and theoretical approaches are both needed and being developed. At the microscopic level of investigation, three-dimensional morphological characterization coupled with in situ chemical (isotopic, elemental, structural) analysis is the desirable first step. Geological context is paramount, as has been demonstrated by the controversies over AH84001, the Greenland graphites, and the Apex chert microfossils . At larger scales, the nature of sedimentary bedforms and the structures they display becomes crucial, and here the methods of condensed matter physics prove most useful in discriminating between biological and non-biological constructions. Ultimately, a combination of geochemical, morphological, and contextural evidence may be required for certain life detection on the early Earth or elsewhere.

  8. Earth on the Horizon

    2004-03-13

    This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit one hour before sunrise on the 63rd martian day, or sol, of its mission. Earth is the tiny white dot in the center. The image is a mosaic of images taken by the rover's navigation camera showing a broad view of the sky, and an image taken by the rover's panoramic camera of Earth. The contrast in the panoramic camera image was increased two times to make Earth easier to see. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05560

  9. A detection of the evolutionary time scale of the DA white dwarf G117 - B15A with the Whole Earth Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Fontaine, G.; Bergeron, P.; Winget, D. E.; Nather, R. E.; Bradley, P. A.; Claver, C. F.; Grauer, A. D.; Vauclair, G.; Marar, T. M. K.

    1991-01-01

    The time rate of change for the main pulsation period of the 13,000 K DA white dwarf G117 - B15A has been detected using the Whole Earth Telescope (WET). The observed rate of period change, P(dot) = (12.0 + or - 3.5) x 10 to the -15th s/s, is somewhat larger than the published theoretical calculations of the rate of period change due to cooling, based on carbon core white dwarf models. Other effects that could contribute to the observed rate of period change are discussed.

  10. Catalog of earth photographs from the Apollo-Soyuz test project. [listing cloud photographs and data acquired at time photograph was taken

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Baz, F. (Editor)

    1979-01-01

    Information is given on earth photographs obtained by the Apollo astronauts during the Apollo Soyuz Test Project. The data are arranged in three sections. A map index shows the boundaries of each photograph and is used for a quick survey of the coverage for a given geographical area. A tabular index provides the following data: list of photographs by serial number, description of geographic location, latitude and longitude of the center point of the photograph, date when photograph was taken, ground elapsed time, revolution number of Apollo spacecraft, approximate spacecraft altitude, tilt, sun angle, camera, and lens. The photographic index provides same size black and white prints made from the original color negatives.

  11. Cool Earth Solar

    Lamkin, Rob; McIlroy, Andy; Swalwell, Eric; Rajan,

    2018-05-30

    In a public-private partnership that takes full advantage of the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC) for the first time, Sandia National Laboratories and Cool Earth Solar have signed an agreement that could make solar energy more affordable and accessible. In this piece, representatives from Sandia, Cool Earth Solar, and leaders in California government all discuss the unique partnership and its expected impact.

  12. Hands On Earth Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weisgarber, Sherry L.; Van Doren, Lisa; Hackathorn, Merrianne; Hannibal, Joseph T.; Hansgen, Richard

    This publication is a collection of 13 hands-on activities that focus on earth science-related activities and involve students in learning about growing crystals, tectonics, fossils, rock and minerals, modeling Ohio geology, geologic time, determining true north, and constructing scale-models of the Earth-moon system. Each activity contains…

  13. A Test of the Biogenicity Criteria Established for Microfossils and Stromatolites on Quaternary Tufa and Speleothem Materials Formed in the "Twilight Zone" at Caerwys, UK.

    PubMed

    Brasier, A T; Rogerson, M R; Mercedes-Martin, R; Vonhof, H B; Reijmer, J J G

    2015-10-01

    The ability to distinguish the features of a chemical sedimentary rock that can only be attributed to biology is a challenge relevant to both geobiology and astrobiology. This study aimed to test criteria for recognizing petrographically the biogenicity of microbially influenced fabrics and fossil microbes in complex Quaternary stalactitic carbonate rocks from Caerwys, UK. We found that the presence of carbonaceous microfossils, fabrics produced by the calcification of microbial filaments, and the asymmetrical development of tufa fabrics due to the more rapid growth of microbially influenced laminations could be recognized as biogenic features. Petrographic evidence also indicates that the development of "speleothem-like" laminae was related to episodes of growth interrupted by intervals of nondeposition and erosion. The lack of any biogenic characteristics in these laminae is consistent with their development as a result of variation in the physicochemical parameters that drive calcite precipitation from meteoric waters in such environmental settings.

  14. Some perisphinctoid ammonites of the Štramberk Limestone and their dating with associated microfossils (Tithonian to Lower Berriasian, Outer Western Carpathians, Czech Republic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vašíček, Zdeněk; Reháková, Daniela; Skupien, Petr

    2017-08-01

    The present contribution deals with the taxonomy of seven species of perisphinctoid ammonite from the Štramberk Limestone (Outer Western Carpathians, Czech Republic) deposited in Moravian-Silesian museums. The age of these studied ammonites is compared with that of index microfossils contained in the matrix adhering to or infilling the studied specimens. The ammonites document a stratigraphic range from earliest Tithonian to early Berriasian. In addition to taxonomy and new ontogenetic data on some species, we also present data on their palaeogeographic distribution. The occurrence of Subboreal himalayitids in the Štramberk Limestone of an early Berriasian age is determined by both the microfauna and accompanying ammonites, which indicate connection of the Silesian-part of the Tethyan Carpathian area with the Subboreal Russian Platform Basin. These records also suggest an early Berriasian age (Jacobi Chron) for the lowermost part of the Ryazanian stage in its type area.

  15. Some perisphinctoid ammonites of the Štramberk Limestone and their dating with associated microfossils (Tithonian to Lower Berriasian, Outer Western Carpathians, Czech Republic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vašíček, Zdeněk; Reháková, Daniela; Skupien, Petr

    2016-08-01

    The present contribution deals with the taxonomy of seven species of perisphinctoid ammonite from the Štramberk Limestone (Outer Western Carpathians, Czech Republic) deposited in Moravian-Silesian museums. The age of these studied ammonites is compared with that of index microfossils contained in the matrix adhering to or infilling the studied specimens. The ammonites document a stratigraphic range from earliest Tithonian to early Berriasian. In addition to taxonomy and new ontogenetic data on some species, we also present data on their palaeogeographic distribution. The occurrence of Subboreal himalayitids in the Štramberk Limestone of an early Berriasian age is determined by both the microfauna and accompanying ammonites, which indicate connection of the Silesian-part of the Tethyan Carpathian area with the Subboreal Russian Platform Basin. These records also suggest an early Berriasian age (Jacobi Chron) for the lowermost part of the Ryazanian stage in its type area.

  16. Time Evolution of the Macroscopic Characteristics of a Thin Current Sheet in the Course of Its Formation in the Earth's Magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domrin, V. I.; Malova, H. V.; Popov, V. Yu.

    2018-04-01

    A numerical model is developed that allows tracing the time evolution of a current sheet from a relatively thick current configuration with isotropic distributions of the pressure and temperature in an extremely thin current sheet, which plays a key role in geomagnetic processes. Such a configuration is observed in the Earth's magnetotail in the stage preceding a large-scale geomagnetic disturbance (substorm). Thin current sheets are reservoirs of the free energy released during geomagnetic disturbances. The time evolution of the components of the pressure tensor caused by changes in the structure of the current sheet is investigated. It is shown that the pressure tensor in the current sheet evolves in two stages. In the first stage, a current sheet with a thickness of eight to ten proton Larmor radii forms. This stage is characterized by the plasma drift toward the current sheet and the Earth and can be described in terms of the Chu-Goldberger-Low approximation. In the second stage, an extremely thin current sheet with an anisotropic plasma pressure tensor forms, due to which the system is maintained in an equilibrium state. Estimates of the characteristic time of the system evolution agree with available experimental data.

  17. Implementation of methane cycling for deep-time global warming simulations with the DCESS Earth system model (version 1.2)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaffer, Gary; Fernández Villanueva, Esteban; Rondanelli, Roberto; Olaf Pepke Pedersen, Jens; Malskær Olsen, Steffen; Huber, Matthew

    2017-11-01

    Geological records reveal a number of ancient, large and rapid negative excursions of the carbon-13 isotope. Such excursions can only be explained by massive injections of depleted carbon to the Earth system over a short duration. These injections may have forced strong global warming events, sometimes accompanied by mass extinctions such as the Triassic-Jurassic and end-Permian extinctions 201 and 252 million years ago, respectively. In many cases, evidence points to methane as the dominant form of injected carbon, whether as thermogenic methane formed by magma intrusions through overlying carbon-rich sediment or from warming-induced dissociation of methane hydrate, a solid compound of methane and water found in ocean sediments. As a consequence of the ubiquity and importance of methane in major Earth events, Earth system models for addressing such events should include a comprehensive treatment of methane cycling but such a treatment has often been lacking. Here we implement methane cycling in the Danish Center for Earth System Science (DCESS) model, a simplified but well-tested Earth system model of intermediate complexity. We use a generic methane input function that allows variation in input type, size, timescale and ocean-atmosphere partition. To be able to treat such massive inputs more correctly, we extend the model to deal with ocean suboxic/anoxic conditions and with radiative forcing and methane lifetimes appropriate for high atmospheric methane concentrations. With this new model version, we carried out an extensive set of simulations for methane inputs of various sizes, timescales and ocean-atmosphere partitions to probe model behavior. We find that larger methane inputs over shorter timescales with more methane dissolving in the ocean lead to ever-increasing ocean anoxia with consequences for ocean life and global carbon cycling. Greater methane input directly to the atmosphere leads to more warming and, for example, greater carbon dioxide release

  18. Cloudy Earth

    2015-05-08

    Decades of satellite observations and astronaut photographs show that clouds dominate space-based views of Earth. One study based on nearly a decade of satellite data estimated that about 67 percent of Earth’s surface is typically covered by clouds. This is especially the case over the oceans, where other research shows less than 10 percent of the sky is completely clear of clouds at any one time. Over land, 30 percent of skies are completely cloud free. Earth’s cloudy nature is unmistakable in this global cloud fraction map, based on data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite. While MODIS collects enough data to make a new global map of cloudiness every day, this version of the map shows an average of all of the satellite’s cloud observations between July 2002 and April 2015. Colors range from dark blue (no clouds) to light blue (some clouds) to white (frequent clouds).

  19. Influence of process time on microstructure and properties of 17-4PH steel plasma nitrocarburized with rare earths addition at low temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, M. F.; Liu, R. L.

    2010-08-01

    17-4PH stainless steel was plasma nitrocarburized at 430 °C for different time with rare earths (RE) addition. Plasma RE nitrocarburized layers were studied by optical microscope, scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray analyzer, X-ray diffraction, microhardness tests, pin-on-disc tribometer and anodic polarization tests. The results show that rare earths atoms can diffuse into the surface of 17-4PH steel. The modified layer depths increase with increasing process time and the layer growth conforms approximately to the parabolic law. The phases in the modified layer are mainly of γ'-Fe 4N, nitrogen and carbon expanded martensite (α' N) as well as some incipient CrN at short time (2 h). With increasing of process time, the phases of CrN and γ'-Fe 4N increase but α' N decomposes gradually. Interestingly, the peaks of γ'-Fe 4N display a high (2 0 0) plane preferred orientation. The hardness of the modified specimen is more than 1340 HV, which is about 3.7 times higher than that of untreated one. The friction coefficients and wear rates of specimens can be dramatically decreased by plasma RE nitrocarburizing. The surface hardness and the friction coefficients decrease gradually with increasing process time. The corrosion test shows that the 8 h treated specimen has the best corrosion resistance with the characterization of lower corrosion current density, a higher corrosion potential and a large passive region as compared with those of untreated one.

  20. Discover Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steele, Colleen

    1998-01-01

    Discover Earth is a NASA-sponsored project for teachers of grades 5-12, designed to: (1) enhance understanding of the Earth as an integrated system; (2) enhance the interdisciplinary approach to science instruction; and (3) provide classroom materials that focus on those goals. Discover Earth is conducted by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in collaboration with Dr. Eric Barron, Director, Earth System Science Center, The Pennsylvania State University; and Dr. Robert Hudson, Chair, the Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland at College Park. The enclosed materials: (1) represent only part of the Discover Earth materials; (2) were developed by classroom teachers who are participating in the Discover Earth project; (3) utilize an investigative approach and on-line data; and (4) can be effectively adjusted to classrooms with greater/without technology access. The Discover Earth classroom materials focus on the Earth system and key issues of global climate change including topics such as the greenhouse effect, clouds and Earth's radiation balance, surface hydrology and land cover, and volcanoes and climate change. All the materials developed to date are available on line at (http://www.strategies.org) You are encouraged to submit comments and recommendations about these materials to the Discover Earth project manager, contact information is listed below. You are welcome to duplicate all these materials.

  1. Moon-to-Earth: Eavesdropping on the GRAIL Inter-Spacecraft Time-Transfer Link Using a Large Antenna and a Software Receiver

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esterhuizen, Stephan

    2012-01-01

    NASA's twin GRAIL [1] spacecraft (Ebb and Flow) arrived at Earth's Moon on New Year's Day, 2012. GRAIL's primary mission is to create a high-resolution map of the Moon's gravitational field by measuring very precisely the change in distance between the two spacecraft [2]. Each spacecraft transmits two signals to the other spacecraft, a PRN code modulated on a 2 GHz carrier (S-band), as well as an unmodulated carrier at roughly 33 GHz (Ka-band). Since it's not feasible to synchronize the two GRAIL spacecraft's clocks via GPS (as was done with GRACE), the S-band signals are used as a time-transfer link to synchronize either Ebb's clock to Flow or vice versa. As an independent measure to determine the clock offset of the GRAIL ultra-stable oscillators to UTC(NIST), an experiment was conducted where our JPL team used a large antenna on Earth to eavesdrop on the inter-spacecraft time-transfer link.

  2. The Sun-Earth connect 2: Modelling patterns of a fractal Sun in time and space using the fine structure constant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, Robert G. V.

    2017-02-01

    Self-similar matrices of the fine structure constant of solar electromagnetic force and its inverse, multiplied by the Carrington synodic rotation, have been previously shown to account for at least 98% of the top one hundred significant frequencies and periodicities observed in the ACRIM composite irradiance satellite measurement and the terrestrial 10.7cm Penticton Adjusted Daily Flux data sets. This self-similarity allows for the development of a time-space differential equation (DE) where the solutions define a solar model for transmissions through the core, radiative, tachocline, convective and coronal zones with some encouraging empirical and theoretical results. The DE assumes a fundamental complex oscillation in the solar core and that time at the tachocline is smeared with real and imaginary constructs. The resulting solutions simulate for tachocline transmission, the solar cycle where time-line trajectories either 'loop' as Hermite polynomials for an active Sun or 'tail' as complementary error functions for a passive Sun. Further, a mechanism that allows for the stable energy transmission through the tachocline is explored and the model predicts the initial exponential coronal heating from nanoflare supercharging. The twisting of the field at the tachocline is then described as a quaternion within which neutrinos can oscillate. The resulting fractal bubbles are simulated as a Julia Set which can then aggregate from nanoflares into solar flares and prominences. Empirical examples demonstrate that time and space fractals are important constructs in understanding the behaviour of the Sun, from the impact on climate and biological histories on Earth, to the fractal influence on the spatial distributions of the solar system. The research suggests that there is a fractal clock underpinning solar frequencies in packages defined by the fine structure constant, where magnetic flipping and irradiance fluctuations at phase changes, have periodically impacted on the

  3. Evolution of the Solar Activity Over Time and Effects on Planetary Atmospheres. II. κ1 Ceti, an Analog of the Sun when Life Arose on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribas, I.; Porto de Mello, G. F.; Ferreira, L. D.; Hébrard, E.; Selsis, F.; Catalán, S.; Garcés, A.; do Nascimento, J. D., Jr.; de Medeiros, J. R.

    2010-05-01

    The early evolution of Earth's atmosphere and the origin of life took place at a time when physical conditions at the Earth were radically different from its present state. The radiative input from the Sun was much enhanced in the high-energy spectral domain, and in order to model early planetary atmospheres in detail, a knowledge of the solar radiative input is needed. We present an investigation of the atmospheric parameters, state of evolution, and high-energy fluxes of the nearby star κ1 Cet, previously thought to have properties resembling those of the early Sun. Atmospheric parameters were derived from the excitation/ionization equilibrium of Fe I and Fe II, profile fitting of Hα, and the spectral energy distribution. The UV irradiance was derived from Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer and Hubble Space Telescope data, and the absolute chromospheric flux from the Hα line core. From careful spectral analysis and the comparison of different methods, we propose for κ1 Cet the following atmospheric parameters: T eff = 5665 ± 30 K (Hα profile and energy distribution), log g = 4.49 ± 0.05 dex (evolutionary and spectroscopic), and [Fe/H] = +0.10 ± 0.05 (Fe II lines). The UV radiative properties of κ1 Cet indicate that its flux is some 35% lower than the current Sun's between 210 and 300 nm, it matches the Sun's at 170 nm, and increases to at least 2-7 times higher than the Sun's between 110 and 140 nm. The use of several indicators ascribes an age to κ1 Cet in the interval ~0.4-0.8 Gyr and the analysis of the theoretical Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (H-R) suggests a mass ~1.04 M sun. This star is thus a very close analog of the Sun when life arose on Earth and Mars is thought to have lost its surface bodies of liquid water. Photochemical models indicate that the enhanced UV emission leads to a significant increase in photodissociation rates compared with those commonly assumed of the early Earth. Our results show that reliable calculations of the

  4. Down to earth relativity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, I. I.

    1978-01-01

    The basic concepts of the special and general theories of relativity are described. Simple examples are given to illustrate the effect of relativity on measurements of time and frequency in the near-earth environment.

  5. Earth Wisdom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Matre, Steve

    1985-01-01

    In our human-centered ignorance and arrogance we are rapidly destroying the earth. We must start helping people understand the big picture of ecological concepts. What these concepts mean for our own lives and how we must begin to change our lifestyles in order to live more harmoniously with the earth. (JHZ)

  6. Earth Science

    1976-01-01

    The LAGEOS I (Laser Geodynamics Satellite) was developed and launched by the Marshall Space Flight Center on May 4, 1976 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California . The two-foot diameter satellite orbited the Earth from pole to pole and measured the movements of the Earth's surface.

  7. Feature Geo Analytics and Big Data Processing: Hybrid Approaches for Earth Science and Real-Time Decision Support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, D. J.; Raad, M.; Hoel, E.; Park, M.; Mollenkopf, A.; Trujillo, R.

    2016-12-01

    Introduced is a new approach for processing spatiotemporal big data by leveraging distributed analytics and storage. A suite of temporally-aware analysis tools summarizes data nearby or within variable windows, aggregates points (e.g., for various sensor observations or vessel positions), reconstructs time-enabled points into tracks (e.g., for mapping and visualizing storm tracks), joins features (e.g., to find associations between features based on attributes, spatial relationships, temporal relationships or all three simultaneously), calculates point densities, finds hot spots (e.g., in species distributions), and creates space-time slices and cubes (e.g., in microweather applications with temperature, humidity, and pressure, or within human mobility studies). These "feature geo analytics" tools run in both batch and streaming spatial analysis mode as distributed computations across a cluster of servers on typical "big" data sets, where static data exist in traditional geospatial formats (e.g., shapefile) locally on a disk or file share, attached as static spatiotemporal big data stores, or streamed in near-real-time. In other words, the approach registers large datasets or data stores with ArcGIS Server, then distributes analysis across a cluster of machines for parallel processing. Several brief use cases will be highlighted based on a 16-node server cluster at 14 Gb RAM per node, allowing, for example, the buffering of over 8 million points or thousands of polygons in 1 minute. The approach is "hybrid" in that ArcGIS Server integrates open-source big data frameworks such as Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark on the cluster in order to run the analytics. In addition, the user may devise and connect custom open-source interfaces and tools developed in Python or Python Notebooks; the common denominator being the familiar REST API.

  8. Prospects for high accuracy time dissemination and synchronization using coded radar pulses from a low-earth orbiting spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Detoma, Edoardo V.; Dionisio, C.

    1995-01-01

    The radar (an acronym for radio detection and ranging) is an instrument developed just before the WW-II to precisely measure the position of an object (target) in space. This is done by emitting a narrow pulse of electromagnetic energy in the RF spectrum, receiving the return echo and measuring the time of flight in the two-way path from the emitter to the target. The propagation delay provides a measure of the range to the target, which is not in itself sufficient to uniquely locate the position of the same in space. However, if a directional antenna is used, the direction of the echo can be assessed by the antenna pointing angles. In this way the position of the target can be uniquely determined in space. How well this can be done is a function of the resolution of the measurements performed (range and direction, i.e.: angles); in turn, the resolution will dictate the time and frequency requirements of the reference oscillator.

  9. A novel approach to the dynamical complexity of the Earth's magnetosphere at geomagnetic storm time-scales based on recurrences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donner, Reik; Balasis, Georgios; Stolbova, Veronika; Wiedermann, Marc; Georgiou, Marina; Kurths, Jürgen

    2016-04-01

    Magnetic storms are the most prominent global manifestations of out-of-equilibrium magnetospheric dynamics. Investigating the dynamical complexity exhibited by geomagnetic observables can provide valuable insights into relevant physical processes as well as temporal scales associated with this phenomenon. In this work, we introduce several innovative data analysis techniques enabling a quantitative analysis of the Dst index non-stationary behavior. Using recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) and recurrence network analysis (RNA), we obtain a variety of complexity measures serving as markers of quiet- and storm-time magnetospheric dynamics. We additionally apply these techniques to the main driver of Dst index variations, the V BSouth coupling function and interplanetary medium parameters Bz and Pdyn in order to discriminate internal processes from the magnetosphere's response directly induced by the external forcing by the solar wind. The derived recurrence-based measures allow us to improve the accuracy with which magnetospheric storms can be classified based on ground-based observations. The new methodology presented here could be of significant interest for the space weather research community working on time series analysis for magnetic storm forecasts.

  10. Let Us Look After the Veins of the Earth: The Sonification of Time-series Field Data by Analog Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera, V. A.; Amaya, L. F.

    2017-12-01

    In 2016, graduate students from Northwestern University's Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) initiated the Science Sonification and Composition Project, which pairs scientists with student composers to create original music inspired by and utilizing the products of scientific research. In 2017, these pieces were performed at Northwestern for a mixed audience of scientists, musicians, and community members. Sonification of data, or the representation of data as sound, is an increasingly popular method of examining data in the geosciences, especially in astrophysics, where sonification of gravitational waves has recently made major news. Numerical time-series data are often excellent candidates for sonification, as the data can be modified by simple algorithmic means to convert numerical values which represent physical measurements to numerical values representing musical "variables" like volume, pitch, or timbre. Our collaboration, a result of the CIERA initiative, explores methods of sonification that do not involve a simple conversion of data to sound, instead attempting to create sound from data by analog methods. The piece uses both time-series groundwater elevation data and physical soil samples from the locations where the water table measurements were collected. The field site from which both data and samples were collected is Gensburg Markham Prairie, an urban nature preserve on Chicago's south side which hosts a long-term study on the collateral benefits of urban greenspace for stormwater management and storage. Our aim was to combine physical, living elements with technology to mirror the research, where we examine flows and cycles in nature by "taking the pulse" of the landscape using sensing networks. Soil samples were placed in metal vessels outfitted with contact microphones and manipulated by hand and with water, using time-series data as a guide, much like sheet music. This was repeated for samples and

  11. Introductory Earth science education by near real time animated visualization of seismic wave propagation across Transportable Array of USArray

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Attanayake, J.; Ghosh, A.; Amosu, A.

    2010-12-01

    Students of this generation are markedly different from their predecessors because they grow up and learn in a world of visual technology populated by touch screens and smart boards. Recent studies have found that the attention span of university students whose medium of instruction is traditional teaching methods is roughly fifteen minutes and that there is a significant drop in the number of students paying attention over time in a lecture. On the other hand, when carefully segmented and learner-paced, animated visualizations can enhance the learning experience. Therefore, the instructors are faced with the difficult task of designing more complex teaching environments to improve learner productivity. We have developed an animated visualization of earthquake wave propagation across a generic transect of the Transportable Array of the USArray from a magnitude 6.9 event that occurred in the Gulf of California on August 3rd 2009. Despite the fact that the proto-type tool is built in MATLAB - one of the most popular programming environments among the seismology community, the movies can be run as a standalone stream with any built-in media player that supports .avi file format. We infer continuous ground motion along the transect through a projection and interpolation mechanism based on data from stations within 100 km of the transect. In the movies we identify the arrival of surface waves that have high amplitudes. However, over time, although typical Rayleigh type ground motion can be observed, the motion at any given point becomes complex owing to interference of different wave types and different seismic properties of the subsurface. This clearly is different from simple representations of seismic wave propagation in most introductory textbooks. Further, we find a noisy station that shows unusually high amplitude. We refrain from deleting this station in order to demonstrate that in a real world experiment, generally, there will be complexities arising from

  12. A highly reliable, high performance open avionics architecture for real time Nap-of-the-Earth operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harper, Richard E.; Elks, Carl

    1995-01-01

    An Army Fault Tolerant Architecture (AFTA) has been developed to meet real-time fault tolerant processing requirements of future Army applications. AFTA is the enabling technology that will allow the Army to configure existing processors and other hardware to provide high throughput and ultrahigh reliability necessary for TF/TA/NOE flight control and other advanced Army applications. A comprehensive conceptual study of AFTA has been completed that addresses a wide range of issues including requirements, architecture, hardware, software, testability, producibility, analytical models, validation and verification, common mode faults, VHDL, and a fault tolerant data bus. A Brassboard AFTA for demonstration and validation has been fabricated, and two operating systems and a flight-critical Army application have been ported to it. Detailed performance measurements have been made of fault tolerance and operating system overheads while AFTA was executing the flight application in the presence of faults.

  13. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Panelists pose for a group photo at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and highlighted how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  14. Alga-like forms in onverwacht series, South Africa: Oldest recognized lifelike forms on earth

    Engel, A.E.J.; Nagy, B.; Nagy, L.A.; Engel, C.G.; Kremp, G.O.W.; Drew, C.M.

    1968-01-01

    Spheroidal and cupshaped, carbonaceous alga-like bodies, as well as filamentous structures and amorphous carbonaceous matter occur in sedimentary rocks of the Onverwacht Series (Swaziland System) in South Africa. The Onverwacht sediments are older than 3.2 eons, and they are probably the oldest, little-altered sedimentary rocks on Earth. The basal Onverwacht sediments lie approximutely 10,000 meters stratigraphically below the Fig Tree sedimentary rocks, from which similar organic microstructures have been interpreted as alga-like micro-fossils. The Onverwacht spheroids and filaments are best preserved in black, carbon-rich cherts and siliceous argillites interlayered with thick sequences of lavas. These lifelike forms and the associated carbonaceous substances are probably biological in origin. If so, the origins of unicellular life on Earth are buried in older rocks now obliterated by igneous and metamorphic events.

  15. Earth Observations

    2010-09-20

    ISS024-E-015121 (20 Sept. 2010) --- Twitchell Canyon Fire in central Utah is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station (ISS). The Twitchell Canyon Fire near central Utah?s Fishlake National Forest is reported to have an area of approximately 13,383 hectares (approximately 134 square kilometers, or 33,071 acres). This detailed image shows smoke plumes generated by several fire spots close to the southwestern edge of the burned area. The fire was started by a lightning strike on July 20, 2010. Whereas many of the space station images of Earth are looking straight down (nadir), this photograph was exposed at an angle. The space station was located over a point approximately 509 kilometers (316 miles) to the northeast, near the Colorado/Wyoming border, at the time the image was taken on Sept. 20. Southwesterly winds were continuing to extend smoke plumes from the fire to the northeast. While the Twitchell Canyon region is sparsely populated, Interstate Highway 15 is visible at upper left.

  16. Earth before life.

    PubMed

    Marzban, Caren; Viswanathan, Raju; Yurtsever, Ulvi

    2014-01-09

    A recent study argued, based on data on functional genome size of major phyla, that there is evidence life may have originated significantly prior to the formation of the Earth. Here a more refined regression analysis is performed in which 1) measurement error is systematically taken into account, and 2) interval estimates (e.g., confidence or prediction intervals) are produced. It is shown that such models for which the interval estimate for the time origin of the genome includes the age of the Earth are consistent with observed data. The appearance of life after the formation of the Earth is consistent with the data set under examination.

  17. Earth Eclipses the Sun

    2017-02-21

    Several times a day for a few days the Earth completely blocked the Sun for about an hour due to NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory's orbital path (Feb. 15, 2017). The edge of the Earth is not crisp, but kind of fuzzy due to Earth's atmosphere. This frame from a video shows the ending of one such eclipse over -- just seven minutes. The sun is shown in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. These eclipses re-occur about every six months. The Moon blocks SDO's view of the sun on occasion as well. Movies are available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21461

  18. Probing storm-time near-Earth magnetotail dynamics using 30 keV proton isotropic boundaries as tracers of precipitating and trapped populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganushkina, N. Y.; Dubyagin, S.; Liemohn, M. W.

    2017-12-01

    The isotropic boundaries of the energetic protons, which can be routinely observed by low-altitude satellites, have been used as a tool to probe remotely the nightside magnetic configuration in the near-Earth region. The validity of this method is based on the assumption that the isotropic boundary is formed by the particle scattering on the curved field lines in the magnetotail current sheet. However recent results revealed that the wave-particle interaction process often can be responsible for the isotropic boundary formation especially during active times. Using numerous observations of the 30 keV proton isotropic boundaries and conjugated measurements of the magnetic field in the equatorial magnetosphere we demonstrate that isotropic boundary location can be used as a proxy of the magnetotail stretching even during magnetic storms. The results imply that the scattering on the curved field lines still plays major role as a mechanism of the isotropic boundary formation during storm-time. We found that the wave-particle interaction could lead to isotropic boundary formation in 15% of events. In addition, we discuss the morphology of the storm-time energetic proton precipitations.

  19. Earth Observation

    2013-08-20

    Earth observation taken during day pass by an Expedition 36 crew member on board the International Space Station (ISS). Per Twitter message: Looking southwest over northern Africa. Libya, Algeria, Niger.

  20. Earth Observation

    2014-09-01

    Earth Observation taken during a night pass by the Expedition 40 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Folder lists this as: New Zealand Aurora night pass. On crewmember's Flickr page - Look straight down into an aurora.

  1. Earth Observation

    2014-06-07

    ISS040-E-008174 (7 June 2014) --- Layers of Earth's atmosphere, brightly colored as the sun rises, are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 40 crew member on the International Space Station.

  2. Earth Observation

    2014-06-02

    ISS040-E-006817 (2 June 2014) --- Intersecting the thin line of Earth's atmosphere, International Space Station solar array wings are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 40 crew member on the International Space Station.

  3. Earth Science

    1992-07-18

    Workers at Launch Complex 17 Pad A, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) encapsulate the Geomagnetic Tail (GEOTAIL) spacecraft (upper) and attached payload Assist Module-D upper stage (lower) in the protective payload fairing. GEOTAIL project was designed to study the effects of Earth's magnetic field. The solar wind draws the Earth's magnetic field into a long tail on the night side of the Earth and stores energy in the stretched field lines of the magnetotail. During active periods, the tail couples with the near-Earth magnetosphere, sometimes releasing energy stored in the tail and activating auroras in the polar ionosphere. GEOTAIL measures the flow of energy and its transformation in the magnetotail and will help clarify the mechanisms that control the imput, transport, storage, release, and conversion of mass, momentum, and energy in the magnetotail.

  4. Discover Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Discover Earth is a NASA-funded project for teachers of grades 5-12 who want to expand their knowledge of the Earth system, and prepare to become master teachers who promote Earth system science in their own schools, counties, and throughout their state. Participants from the following states are invited to apply: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, DC. Teachers selected for the project participate in a two-week summer workshop conducted at the University of Maryland, College Park; develop classroom-ready materials during the workshop for broad dissemination; conduct a minimum of two peer training activities during the coming school year; and participate in other enrichment/education opportunities as available and desired. Discover Earth is a team effort that utilizes expertise from a range of contributors, and balances science content with hands-on classroom applications.

  5. Earth Observation

    2014-05-31

    Earth Observation taken during a day pass by the Expedition 40 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Folder lists this as: CEO - Arena de Sao Paolo. View used for Twitter message: Cloudy skies over São Paulo Brazil

  6. Earth Observation

    2013-07-26

    Earth observation taken during day pass by an Expedition 36 crew member on board the International Space Station (ISS). Per Twitter message: Never tire of finding shapes in the clouds! These look very botanical to me. Simply perfect.

  7. Earth Observation

    2014-06-12

    Earth Observation taken during a day pass by the Expedition 40 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Folder lists this as: Moon, Japan, Kamchatka with a wild cloud. Part of a solar array is also visible.

  8. Earth Science

    1990-10-24

    Solar Vector Magnetograph is used to predict solar flares, and other activities associated with sun spots. This research provides new understanding about weather on the Earth, and solar-related conditions in orbit.

  9. Earth Observation

    2013-08-03

    Earth observation taken during day pass by an Expedition 36 crew member on board the International Space Station (ISS). Per Twitter message: Perhaps a dandelion losing its seeds in the wind? Love clouds!

  10. Earth Observation

    2014-06-27

    Earth Observation taken during a day pass by the Expedition 40 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Part of Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) is visible. Folder lists this as: the Middle East, Israel.

  11. Earth Observation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    For pipeline companies, mapping, facilities inventory, pipe inspections, environmental reporting, etc. is a monumental task. An Automated Mapping/Facilities Management/Geographic Information Systems (AM/FM/GIS) is the solution. However, this is costly and time consuming. James W. Sewall Company, an AM/FM/GIS consulting firm proposed an EOCAP project to Stennis Space Center (SSC) to develop a computerized system for storage and retrieval of digital aerial photography. This would provide its customer, Algonquin Gas Transmission Company, with an accurate inventory of rights-of-way locations and pipeline surroundings. The project took four years to complete and an important byproduct was SSC's Digital Aerial Rights-of-Way Monitoring System (DARMS). DARMS saves substantial time and money. EOCAP enabled Sewall to develop new products and expand its customer base. Algonquin now manages regulatory requirements more efficiently and accurately. EOCAP provides government co-funding to encourage private investment in and broader use of NASA remote sensing technology. Because changes on Earth's surface are accelerating, planners and resource managers must assess the consequences of change as quickly and accurately as possible. Pacific Meridian Resources and NASA's Stennis Space Center (SSC) developed a system for monitoring changes in land cover and use, which incorporated the latest change detection technologies. The goal of this EOCAP project was to tailor existing technologies to a system that could be commercialized. Landsat imagery enabled Pacific Meridian to identify areas that had sustained substantial vegetation loss. The project was successful and Pacific Meridian's annual revenues have substantially increased. EOCAP provides government co-funding to encourage private investment in and broader use of NASA remote sensing technology.

  12. Skylab explores the Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Data from visual observations are integrated with results of analyses of approxmately 600 of the nearly 2000 photographs taken of Earth during the 84-day Skylab 4 mission to provide additional information on (1) Earth features and processes; (2) operational procedures and constraints in observing and photographing the planet; and (3) the use of man in real-time analysis of oceanic and atmospheric phenomena.

  13. It's time for a crisper image of the Face of the Earth: Landsat and climate time series for massive land cover & climate change mapping at detailed resolution.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pons, Xavier; Miquel, Ninyerola; Oscar, González-Guerrero; Cristina, Cea; Pere, Serra; Alaitz, Zabala; Lluís, Pesquer; Ivette, Serral; Joan, Masó; Cristina, Domingo; Maria, Serra Josep; Jordi, Cristóbal; Chris, Hain; Martha, Anderson; Juanjo, Vidal

    2014-05-01

    Combining climate dynamics and land cover at a relative coarse resolution allows a very interesting approach to global studies, because in many cases these studies are based on a quite high temporal resolution, but they may be limited in large areas like the Mediterranean. However, the current availability of long time series of Landsat imagery and spatially detailed surface climate models allow thinking on global databases improving the results of mapping in areas with a complex history of landscape dynamics, characterized by fragmentation, or areas where relief creates intricate climate patterns that can be hardly monitored or modeled at coarse spatial resolutions. DinaCliVe (supported by the Spanish Government and ERDF, and by the Catalan Government, under grants CGL2012-33927 and SGR2009-1511) is the name of the project that aims analyzing land cover and land use dynamics as well as vegetation stress, with a particular emphasis on droughts, and the role that climate variation may have had in such phenomena. To meet this objective is proposed to design a massive database from long time series of Landsat land cover products (grouped in quinquennia) and monthly climate records (in situ climate data) for the Iberian Peninsula (582,000 km2). The whole area encompasses 47 Landsat WRS2 scenes (Landsat 4 to 8 missions, from path 197 to 202 and from rows 30 to 34), and 52 Landsat WRS1 scenes (for the previous Landsat missions, 212 to 221 and 30 to 34). Therefore, a mean of 49.5 Landsat scenes, 8 quinquennia per scene and a about 6 dates per quinquennium , from 1975 to present, produces around 2376 sets resulting in 30 m x 30 m spatial resolution maps. Each set is composed by highly coherent geometric and radiometric multispectral and multitemporal (to account for phenology) imagery as well as vegetation and wetness indexes, and several derived topographic information (about 10 Tbyte of data). Furthermore, on the basis on a previous work: the Digital Climatic Atlas of

  14. Travel-time Tomography of the Upper Mantle using Amphibious Array Seismic Data from the Cascadia Initiative and EarthScope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cafferky, S.; Schmandt, B.

    2013-12-01

    Offshore and onshore broadband seismic data from the Cascadia Initiative and EarthScope provide a unique opportunity to image 3-D mantle structure continuously from a spreading ridge across a subduction zone and into continental back-arc provinces. Year one data from the Cascadia Initiative primarily covers the northern half of the Juan de Fuca plate and the Cascadia forearc and arc provinces. These new data are used in concert with previously collected onshore data for a travel-time tomography investigation of mantle structure. Measurement of relative teleseismic P travel times for land-based and ocean-bottom stations operating during year one was completed for 16 events using waveform cross-correlation, after bandpass filtering the data from 0.05 - 0.1 Hz with a second order Butterworth filter. Maps of travel-time delays show changing patterns with event azimuth suggesting that structural variations exist beneath the oceanic plate. The data from year one and prior onshore travel time measurements were used in a tomographic inversion for 3-D mantle P-velocity structure. Inversions conducted to date use ray paths determined by a 1-D velocity model. By meeting time we plan to present models using ray paths that are iteratively updated to account for 3-D structure. Additionally, we are testing the importance of corrections for sediment and crust thickness on imaging of mantle structure near the subduction zone. Low-velocities beneath the Juan de Fuca slab that were previously suggested by onshore data are further supported by our preliminary tomographic inversions using the amphibious array data.

  15. Earth: Earth Science and Health

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maynard, Nancy G.

    2001-01-01

    A major new NASA initiative on environmental change and health has been established to promote the application of Earth science remote sensing data, information, observations, and technologies to issues of human health. NASA's Earth Sciences suite of Earth observing instruments are now providing improved observations science, data, and advanced technologies about the Earth's land, atmosphere, and oceans. These new space-based resources are being combined with other agency and university resources, data integration and fusion technologies, geographic information systems (GIS), and the spectrum of tools available from the public health community, making it possible to better understand how the environment and climate are linked to specific diseases, to improve outbreak prediction, and to minimize disease risk. This presentation is an overview of NASA's tools, capabilities, and research advances in this initiative.

  16. Acquiring data in real time in Italy from the Antarctic Seismographic Argentinean Italian Network (ASAIN): testing the global capabilities of the EarthWorm and Antelope software suites.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Percy Plasencia Linares, Milton; Russi, Marino; Pesaresi, Damiano; Cravos, Claudio

    2010-05-01

    The Italian National Institute for Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, OGS) is running the Antarctic Seismographic Argentinean Italian Network (ASAIN), made of 7 seismic stations located in the Scotia Sea region in Antarctica and in Tierra del Fuego - Argentina: data from these stations are transferred in real time to the OGS headquarters in Trieste (Italy) via satellite links provided by the Instituto Antártico Argentino (IAA). Data is collected and archived primarily in Güralp Compress Format (GCF) through the Scream! software at OGS and IAA, and transmitted also in real time to the Observatories and Research Facilities for European Seismology (ORFEUS). The main real time seismic data acquisition and processing system of the ASAIN network is based on the EarthWorm 7.3 (Open Source) software suite installed on a Linux server at the OGS headquarters in Trieste. It runs several software modules for data collection, data archiving, data publication on dedicated web servers: wave_serverV, Winston Wave Server, and data analysis and realtime monitoring through Swarm program. OGS is also running, in close cooperation with the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Civil Defense, the North East (NI) Italy seismic network, making use of the Antelope commercial software suite from BRTT as the main acquisition system. As a test to check the global capabilities of the Antelope software suite, we also set up an instance of Antelope acquiring data in real time from both the regional ASAIN seismic network in Antarctica and a subset of the Global Seismic Network (GSN) funded by the Incorporated Research Institution for Seismology (IRIS). The facilities of the IRIS Data Management System, and specifically the IRIS Data Management Center, were used for real time access to waveform required in this study. The first tests indicated that more than 80% of the earthquakes with magnitude M>5.0 listed in the Preliminary Determination

  17. `Teaching What I Learned': Exploring students' Earth and Space Science learning experiences in secondary school with a particular focus on their comprehension of the concept of `geologic time'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Sae Yeol; Peate, David W.

    2015-06-01

    According to the national survey of science education, science educators in the USA currently face many challenges such as lack of qualified secondary Earth and Space Science (ESS) teachers. Less qualified teachers may have difficulty teaching ESS because of a lack of conceptual understanding, which leads to diminished confidence in content knowledge. More importantly, teachers' limited conceptual understanding of the core ideas automatically leads to a lack of pedagogical content knowledge. This mixed methods study aims to explore the ways in which current secondary schooling, especially the small numbers of highly qualified ESS teachers in the USA, might influence students' learning of the discipline. To gain a better understanding of the current conditions of ESS education in secondary schools, in the first phase, we qualitatively examined a sample middle and high school ESS textbook to explore how the big ideas of ESS, particularly geological time, are represented. In the second phase, we quantitatively analyzed the participating college students' conceptual understanding of geological time by comparing those who had said they had had secondary school ESS learning experience with those who did not. Additionally, college students' perceptions on learning and teaching ESS are discussed. Findings from both the qualitative and quantitative phases indicate participating students' ESS learning experience in their secondary schools seemed to have limited or little influence on their conceptual understandings of the discipline. We believe that these results reflect the current ESS education status, connected with the declining numbers of highly qualified ESS teachers in secondary schools.

  18. Fully automatic guidance and control for rotorcraft nap-of-the-Earth flight following planned profiles. Volume 1: Real-time piloted simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clement, Warren F.; Gorder, Peter J.; Jewell, Wayne F.

    1991-01-01

    Developing a single-pilot, all-weather nap-of-the-earth (NOE) capability requires fully automatic NOE (ANOE) navigation and flight control. Innovative guidance and control concepts are investigated in a four-fold research effort that: (1) organizes the on-board computer-based storage and real-time updating of NOE terrain profiles and obstacles in course-oriented coordinates indexed to the mission flight plan; (2) defines a class of automatic anticipative pursuit guidance algorithms and necessary data preview requirements to follow the vertical, lateral, and longitudinal guidance commands dictated by the updated flight profiles; (3) automates a decision-making process for unexpected obstacle avoidance; and (4) provides several rapid response maneuvers. Acquired knowledge from the sensed environment is correlated with the forehand knowledge of the recorded environment (terrain, cultural features, threats, and targets), which is then used to determine an appropriate evasive maneuver if a nonconformity of the sensed and recorded environments is observed. This four-fold research effort was evaluated in both fixed-based and moving-based real-time piloted simulations, thereby, providing a practical demonstration for evaluating pilot acceptance of the automated concepts, supervisory override, manual operation, and re-engagement of the automatic system. Volume one describes the major components of the guidance and control laws as well as the results of the piloted simulations. Volume two describes the complete mathematical model of the fully automatic guidance system for rotorcraft NOE flight following planned flight profiles.

  19. Comparison of the CME-associated shock arrival times at the earth using the WSA-ENLIL model with three cone models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, S.; Moon, Y.; Na, H.

    2012-12-01

    We have made a comparison of CME-associated shock arrival times at the earth based on the WSA-ENLIL model with three cone models using 29 halo CMEs from 2001 to 2002. These halo CMEs have cone model parameters from Michalek et al. (2007) as well as their associated interplanetary (IP) shocks. For this study we consider three different cone models (an asymmetric cone model, an ice-cream cone model and an elliptical cone model) to determine CME cone parameters (radial velocity, angular width and source location), which are used for input parameters of the WSA-ENLIL model. The mean absolute error (MAE) of the arrival times for the elliptical cone model is 10 hours, which is about 2 hours smaller than those of the other models. However, this value is still larger than that (8.7 hours) of an empirical model by Kim et al. (2007). We are investigating several possibilities on relatively large errors of the WSA-ENLIL cone model, which may be caused by CME-CME interaction, background solar wind speed, and/or CME density enhancement.

  20. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Panelists discuss how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  1. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute, moderates a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and highlighted how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  2. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    An audience member asks the panelists a question at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  3. Earth Observation

    2012-07-10

    ISS032-E-006129 (10 July 2012) --- Flooding in Krymsk in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 32 crew member on the International Space Station. On the night of July 7, 2012 a major storm dumped more than a foot of water on the southern Russian area of Krasnodar, near the Black Sea. The resulting flood was likened to a tsunami, and to date, more than 170 people died, most from the city of Krymsk. The Moscow times reports that more than 19,000 people lost everything. This image taken by cosmonauts aboard the space station shows the city of Krymsk. The tan-colored areas indicate some of the regions that were flooded; the color is probably due to the mud and debris that were left by the floodwaters. Krymsk is located in the western foothills on the northern slope of the Caucasus Mountains?a range that stretches between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The vast amount of rain quickly overwhelmed the small river channels that flow northward from the mountains to the Russian lowlands and the Kuban River; Krymsk, located on one of those tributaries, was directly in the pathway of the flash flood. As part of the international partner agreement to use the International Space Station to benefit humanity, crew members and other Earth observing instruments provide best-effort support to the International Disaster Charter (IDC) when it is activated by collecting imagery of areas on the ground impacted by natural events such as the flooding in Krymsk. This image was acquired July 10, 2012 in response to the IDC activation.

  4. Tidal Locking Of The Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koohafkan, Michael

    2006-05-01

    The Moon's orbit and spin period are nearly synchronized, or tidally locked. Could the Moon's orbit and the Earth's spin eventually synchronize as well? The Moon's gravitational pull on the Earth produces tides in our oceans, and tidal friction gradually lengthens our days. Less obvious gravitational interactions between the Earth and Moon may also have effects on Earth's spin. The Earth is slightly distorted into an egg-like shape, and the torque exerted by the Moon on our equatorial bulge slowly changes the tilt of our spin axis. How do effects such as these change as the Moon drifts away from Earth? I will examine gravitational interactions between Earth and Moon to learn how they contribute to the deceleration of the Earth's rotation. My goal is to determine the amount of time it would take for the Earth's rotational speed to decelerate until the period of a single rotation matches the period of the Moon's orbit around Earth -- when the Earth is ``tidally locked'' with the Moon. I aim to derive a general mathematical expression for the rotational deceleration of the Earth due to Moon's gravitational influences.

  5. Earth Science

    1994-09-02

    This image depicts a full view of the Earth, taken by the Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite (GOES-8). The red and green charnels represent visible data, while the blue channel represents inverted 11 micron infrared data. The north and south poles were not actually observed by GOES-8. To produce this image, poles were taken from a GOES-7 image. Owned and operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), GOES satellites provide the kind of continuous monitoring necessary for intensive data analysis. They circle the Earth in a geosynchronous orbit, which means they orbit the equatorial plane of the Earth at a speed matching the Earth's rotation. This allows them to hover continuously over one position on the surface. The geosynchronous plane is about 35,800 km (22,300 miles) above the Earth, high enough to allow the satellites a full-disc view of the Earth. Because they stay above a fixed spot on the surface, they provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric triggers for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms, and hurricanes. When these conditions develop, the GOES satellites are able to monitor storm development and track their movements. NASA manages the design and launch of the spacecraft. NASA launched the first GOES for NOAA in 1975 and followed it with another in 1977. Currently, the United States is operating GOES-8, positioned at 75 west longitude and the equator, and GOES-10, which is positioned at 135 west longitude and the equator. (GOES-9, which malfunctioned in 1998, is being stored in orbit as an emergency backup should either GOES-8 or GOES-10 fail. GOES-11 was launched on May 3, 2000 and GOES-12 on July 23, 2001. Both are being stored in orbit as a fully functioning replacement for GOES-8 or GOES-10 on failure.

  6. The Kepler-19 System: A Thick-envelope Super-Earth with Two Neptune-mass Companions Characterized Using Radial Velocities and Transit Timing Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malavolta, Luca; Borsato, Luca; Granata, Valentina; Piotto, Giampaolo; Lopez, Eric; Vanderburg, Andrew; Figueira, Pedro; Mortier, Annelies; Nascimbeni, Valerio; Affer, Laura; Bonomo, Aldo S.; Bouchy, Francois; Buchhave, Lars A.; Charbonneau, David; Collier Cameron, Andrew; Cosentino, Rosario; Dressing, Courtney D.; Dumusque, Xavier; Fiorenzano, Aldo F. M.; Harutyunyan, Avet; Haywood, Raphaëlle D.; Johnson, John Asher; Latham, David W.; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Micela, Giusi; Molinari, Emilio; Motalebi, Fatemeh; Pepe, Francesco; Phillips, David F.; Pollacco, Don; Queloz, Didier; Rice, Ken; Sasselov, Dimitar; Ségransan, Damien; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Udry, Stéphane; Watson, Chris

    2017-05-01

    We report a detailed characterization of the Kepler-19 system. This star was previously known to host a transiting planet with a period of 9.29 days, a radius of 2.2 R ⊕, and an upper limit on the mass of 20 M ⊕. The presence of a second, non-transiting planet was inferred from the transit time variations (TTVs) of Kepler-19b over eight quarters of Kepler photometry, although neither the mass nor period could be determined. By combining new TTVs measurements from all the Kepler quarters and 91 high-precision radial velocities obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph, using dynamical simulations we obtained a mass of 8.4 ± 1.6 M ⊕ for Kepler-19b. From the same data, assuming system coplanarity, we determined an orbital period of 28.7 days and a mass of 13.1 ± 2.7 M ⊕ for Kepler-19c and discovered a Neptune-like planet with a mass of 20.3 ± 3.4 M ⊕ on a 63-day orbit. By comparing dynamical simulations with non-interacting Keplerian orbits, we concluded that neglecting interactions between planets may lead to systematic errors that can hamper the precision in the orbital parameters when the data set spans several years. With a density of 4.32 ± 0.87 g cm-3 (0.78 ± 0.16 ρ ⊕) Kepler-19b belongs to the group of planets with a rocky core and a significant fraction of volatiles, in opposition to low-density planets characterized only by transit time variations and an increasing number of rocky planets with Earth-like density. Kepler-19 joins the small number of systems that reconcile transit timing variation and radial velocity measurements.

  7. Earth observation

    2014-09-04

    ISS040-E-129950 (4 Sept. 2014) --- In this photograph. taken by one of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, the orange spot located in the very center is the sun, which appears to be sitting on Earth's limb. At far right, a small bright spot is believed to be a reflection from somewhere in the camera system or something on the orbital outpost. When the photographed was exposed, the orbital outpost was flying at an altutude of 226 nautical miles above a point near French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean.

  8. A Development of the astronomical teaching materials which raise a student's time and and space concept by using of movement of the Moon, the Earth and the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taketa, I.; Matsumoto, I.

    2013-12-01

    In recent years, such as a return of the asteroid probe in 2010 "Hayabusa", a gold ring solar eclipse in 2012, and solar Face passage of Venus in 2012, there were many astronomical phenomena which pull a not only child but also citizen's interest, and they were greatly reported by the media in Japan. Thus, it is thought that the interest and concern about the universe of a child and a citizen are increasing. However, the earth science contents of a subject, such as the universe in school education are fields that it make comparatively poor at a teacher. So, this research aimed at the Development of the new space education teaching material which is easy to treat the teacher who has consciousness weak to the astronomical field at schools, and raise a child's time and space concepts. We did this research using the following Methods. 1) We carried out the questionnaire to the primary teacher of the Matsue city, and performed the opinion poll to a teacher's astronomical field. 2) We considered the subject on the education of the astronomical teaching materials used now. 3) As mentioned above 1) and 2), We developed the teaching materials which the waxing and waning of the moon based on the acquired content.

  9. Nine time steps: ultra-fast statistical consistency testing of the Community Earth System Model (pyCECT v3.0)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milroy, Daniel J.; Baker, Allison H.; Hammerling, Dorit M.; Jessup, Elizabeth R.

    2018-02-01

    The Community Earth System Model Ensemble Consistency Test (CESM-ECT) suite was developed as an alternative to requiring bitwise identical output for quality assurance. This objective test provides a statistical measurement of consistency between an accepted ensemble created by small initial temperature perturbations and a test set of CESM simulations. In this work, we extend the CESM-ECT suite with an inexpensive and robust test for ensemble consistency that is applied to Community Atmospheric Model (CAM) output after only nine model time steps. We demonstrate that adequate ensemble variability is achieved with instantaneous variable values at the ninth step, despite rapid perturbation growth and heterogeneous variable spread. We refer to this new test as the Ultra-Fast CAM Ensemble Consistency Test (UF-CAM-ECT) and demonstrate its effectiveness in practice, including its ability to detect small-scale events and its applicability to the Community Land Model (CLM). The new ultra-fast test facilitates CESM development, porting, and optimization efforts, particularly when used to complement information from the original CESM-ECT suite of tools.

  10. Digital Earth - A sustainable Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahavir

    2014-02-01

    All life, particularly human, cannot be sustainable, unless complimented with shelter, poverty reduction, provision of basic infrastructure and services, equal opportunities and social justice. Yet, in the context of cities, it is believed that they can accommodate more and more people, endlessly, regardless to their carrying capacity and increasing ecological footprint. The 'inclusion', for bringing more and more people in the purview of development is often limited to social and economic inclusion rather than spatial and ecological inclusion. Economic investment decisions are also not always supported with spatial planning decisions. Most planning for a sustainable Earth, be at a level of rural settlement, city, region, national or Global, fail on the capacity and capability fronts. In India, for example, out of some 8,000 towns and cities, Master Plans exist for only about 1,800. A chapter on sustainability or environment is neither statutorily compulsory nor a norm for these Master Plans. Geospatial technologies including Remote Sensing, GIS, Indian National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), Indian National Urban Information Systems (NUIS), Indian Environmental Information System (ENVIS), and Indian National GIS (NGIS), etc. have potential to map, analyse, visualize and take sustainable developmental decisions based on participatory social, economic and social inclusion. Sustainable Earth, at all scales, is a logical and natural outcome of a digitally mapped, conceived and planned Earth. Digital Earth, in fact, itself offers a platform to dovetail the ecological, social and economic considerations in transforming it into a sustainable Earth.

  11. Earth Observation

    2014-08-10

    ISS040-E-091158 (10 Aug. 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members 225 nautical miles above Earth onboard the International Space Station used a 200mm lens to record this image of Hawke's Bay, New Zealand on Aug. 10, 2014. Napier and the bay area's most populous area are at bottom center of the frame.

  12. Earth Observation

    2013-06-13

    ISS036-E-007619 (13 June 2013) --- To a crew member aboard the International Space Station, the home planet is seen from many different angles and perspectives, as evdenced by this Expedition 36 image of Earth's atmophere partially obscured by one of the orbital outpost's solar panels.

  13. Think Earth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niedermeyer, Fred; Ice, Kay

    1992-01-01

    Describes a series of environmental education instructional units for grades K-6 developed by the Think Earth Consortium that cover topics such as conservation, pollution control, and waste reduction. Provides testimony from one sixth-grade teacher that field tested the second-grade unit. (MDH)

  14. Earth Observation

    2014-09-01

    Earth Observation taken during a night pass by the Expedition 40 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Folder lists this as: New Zealand Aurora night pass. Docked Soyuz and Progress spacecraft are visible. On crewmember's Flickr page - The Moon, about to dive into a glowing ocean of green᥿9.

  15. Earth Observation

    2013-07-21

    Earth observation taken during night pass by an Expedition 36 crew member on board the International Space Station (ISS). Per Twitter message this is labeled as : Tehran, Iran. Lights along the coast of the Caspian Sea visible through clouds. July 21.

  16. Earth Observation

    2013-05-19

    ISS036-E-002224 (21 May 2013) --- The sun is captured in a "starburst" mode over Earth's horizon by one of the Expedition 36 crew members as the orbital outpost was above a point in southwestern Minnesota on May 21, 2013.

  17. Earth Algebra.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaufele, Christopher; Zumoff, Nancy

    Earth Algebra is an entry level college algebra course that incorporates the spirit of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics at the college level. The context of the course places mathematics at the center of one of the major current concerns of the world. Through…

  18. Earth Science

    1993-03-29

    Small Expendable Deployer System (SEDS) is a tethered date collecting satellite and is intended to demonstrate a versatile and economical way of delivering smaller payloads to higher orbits or downward toward Earth's atmosphere. 19th Navstar Global Positioning System Satellite mission joined with previously launched satellites used for navigational purposes and geodite studies. These satellites are used commercially as well as by the military.

  19. Earth Observation

    2014-06-14

    ISS040-E-011868 (14 June 2014) --- The dark waters of the Salton Sea stand out against neighboring cultivation and desert sands in the middle of the Southern California desert, as photographed by one of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station on June 14, 2014.

  20. Earth Observation

    2013-08-03

    Earth observation taken during day pass by an Expedition 36 crew member on board the International Space Station (ISS). Per Twitter message: From southernmost point of orbit over the South Pacific- all clouds seemed to be leading to the South Pole.

  1. Earth Sky

    1965-12-16

    S65-63282 (16 Dec. 1965) --- Area of Indian Ocean, just east of the island of Madagascar, as seen from the Gemini-6 spacecraft during its 15th revolution of Earth. Land mass at top of picture is the Malagasy Republic (Madagascar). Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  2. Rare earths

    Gambogi, J.

    2013-01-01

    Global mine production of rare earths was estimated to have declined slightly in 2012 relative to 2011 (Fig. 1). Production in China was estimated to have decreased to 95 from 105 kt (104,700 from 115,700 st) in 2011, while new mine production in the United States and Australia increased.

  3. Earth Observation

    2013-07-04

    ISS036-E-015354 (4 July 2013) --- A number of Quebec, Canada wildfires near the Manicouagan Reservoir (seen at lower left) were recorded as part of a series of photographs taken and downlinked to Earth on July 4 by the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station.

  4. Earth Observation

    2013-07-04

    ISS036-E-015355 (4 July 2013) --- A number of Quebec, Canada wildfires near the Manicouagan Reservoir (seen at bottom center) were recorded in a series of photographs taken and downlinked to Earth on July 4 by the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station.

  5. Earth Observation

    2013-07-03

    ISS036-E-015292 (3 July 2013) --- A number of Quebec, Canada wildfires southeast of James Bay were recorded as part of a series of photographs taken and downlinked to Earth on July 3-4 by the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station. This image was recorded on July 3.

  6. Earth Observation

    2013-07-04

    ISS036-E-015342 (4 July 2013) --- A number of Quebec, Canada wildfires southeast of James Bay were recorded as part of a series of photographs taken and downlinked to Earth on July 4 by the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station.

  7. Earth Observation

    2013-07-04

    ISS036-E-015335 (4 July 2013) --- A number of Quebec, Canada wildfires southeast of James Bay were recorded as part of a series of photographs taken and downlinked to Earth on July 4 by the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station.

  8. Earth Observation

    2014-06-12

    Earth Observation taken during a day pass by the Expedition 40 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Folder lists this as: Moon, Japan, Kamchatka with a wild cloud. Part of the U.S. Lab and PMM are also visible.

  9. Earth Observation

    2013-08-29

    ISS036-E-038117 (29 Aug. 2013) --- One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station photographed massive smoke plumes from the California wildfires. When this image was exposed on Aug. 29, the orbital outpost was approximately 220 miles above a point located at 38.6 degrees north latitude and 123.2 degrees west longitude.

  10. Earth Observation

    2013-08-29

    ISS036-E-038114 (29 Aug. 2013) --- One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station photographed massive smoke plumes from the California wildfires. When this image was exposed on Aug. 29, the orbital outpost was approximately 220 miles above a point located at 38.6 degrees north latitude and 123.3 degrees west longitude.

  11. Earth Observations

    2014-11-18

    ISS042E006751 (11/08/2014) --- Earth observation taken from the International Space Station of the coastline of the United Arab Emirates. The large wheel along the coast center left is "Jumeirah" Palm Island, with a conference center, hotels, recreation areas and a large marine zoo.

  12. Earth Moon

    1998-06-08

    NASA Galileo spacecraft took this image of Earth moon on December 7, 1992 on its way to explore the Jupiter system in 1995-97. The distinct bright ray crater at the bottom of the image is the Tycho impact basin. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00405

  13. Earth's horizon

    2005-07-30

    S114-E-6076 (30 July 2005) --- The blackness of space and Earth’s horizon form the backdrop for this view of the extended Space Shuttle Discovery’s remote manipulator system (RMS) robotic arm while docked to the International Space Station during the STS-114 mission.

  14. Evolution of U fractionation processes through geologic time : consequences for the variation of U deposit types from Early Earth to Present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuney, M.

    2009-12-01

    U deposits are known at nearly all stages of the geological cycle, but are not known prior to 2.95 Ga. Also, U deposit types vary greatly from Mesoarchean to Present. Most of these changes through time can be attributed to major modifications in the geodynamic evolution of the Earth, in magmatic fractionation processes, in the composition of the Atmosphere and in the nature of life. The first U-rich granites able to crystallize uraninite, appeared at about 3.1 Ga. They correspond to the most fractionated terms of high-K calcalkaline suites, resulting from crystal fractionation of magmas possibly derived from melting of mantle wedges enriched in K, U, Th. Highly fractionated peraluminous leucogranites, able to crystallize uraninite, appeared at about 2.6 Ga. Erosion of these two granite types led to the detrital accumulation of uraninite that formed the first U deposits on Earth: the Quartz Pebble Conglomerates from 2.95 to 2.4 Ga. From 2.3 Ga onwards, uprise of oxygen level in the atmosphere led to the oxidation of U(IV) to U(VI), U transport in solution, and exuberant development of marine algae in epicontinental platform sediments. From 2.3 to 1.8 Ga large amounts of U, previously accumulated as U(IV) minerals, were dissolved and trapped preferentially in passive margin settings, in organic-rich sediments, and which led to the formation of the world’s largest Paleoproterozoic U provinces, e.g. : the Wollaston belt, Canada and the Cahill Formation, Australia. During and after the worldwide 2.1-1.75 Ga orogenic events, responsible for the formation of the Nuna supercontinent, U trapped in these formations was the source for several types of mineralization: (i) metamorphosed U-mineralized graphitic schists, calcsilicates and meta-arkoses, (ii) diagenetic-hydrothermal remobilization with the formation of the first deposits related to redox processes at 2.0 Ga (Oklo, Gabon), (iii) partial melting of U-rich metasediments forming the uraninite disseminations in

  15. Earth Observations

    2010-09-09

    ISS024-E-014071 (9 Sept. 2010) --- This striking panoramic view of the southwestern USA and Pacific Ocean is an oblique image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member looking outwards at an angle from the International Space Station (ISS). While most unmanned orbital satellites view Earth from a nadir perspective?in other words, collecting data with a ?straight down? viewing geometry?crew members onboard the space station can acquire imagery at a wide range of viewing angles using handheld digital cameras. The ISS nadir point (the point on Earth?s surface directly below the spacecraft) was located in northwestern Arizona, approximately 260 kilometers to the east-southeast, when this image was taken. The image includes parts of the States of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California together with a small segment of the Baja California, Mexico coastline at center left. Several landmarks and physiographic features are readily visible. The Las Vegas, NV metropolitan area appears as a gray region adjacent to the Spring Mountains and Sheep Range (both covered by white clouds). The Grand Canyon, located on the Colorado Plateau in Arizona, is visible (lower left) to the east of Las Vegas with the blue waters of Lake Mead in between. The image also includes the Mojave Desert, stretching north from the Salton Sea (left) to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The Sierra Nevada range is roughly 640 kilometers long (north-south) and forms the boundary between the Central Valley of California and the adjacent Basin and Range. The Basin and Range is so called due to the pattern of long linear valleys separated by parallel linear mountain ranges ? this landscape, formed by extension and thinning of Earth?s crust, is particularly visible at right.

  16. A mangrove forest map of China in 2015: Analysis of time series Landsat 7/8 and Sentinel-1A imagery in Google Earth Engine cloud computing platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Bangqian; Xiao, Xiangming; Li, Xiangping; Pan, Lianghao; Doughty, Russell; Ma, Jun; Dong, Jinwei; Qin, Yuanwei; Zhao, Bin; Wu, Zhixiang; Sun, Rui; Lan, Guoyu; Xie, Guishui; Clinton, Nicholas; Giri, Chandra

    2017-09-01

    Due to rapid losses of mangrove forests caused by anthropogenic disturbances and climate change, accurate and contemporary maps of mangrove forests are needed to understand how mangrove ecosystems are changing and establish plans for sustainable management. In this study, a new classification algorithm was developed using the biophysical characteristics of mangrove forests in China. More specifically, these forests were mapped by identifying: (1) greenness, canopy coverage, and tidal inundation from time series Landsat data, and (2) elevation, slope, and intersection-with-sea criterion. The annual mean Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was found to be a key variable in determining the classification thresholds of greenness, canopy coverage, and tidal inundation of mangrove forests, which are greatly affected by tide dynamics. In addition, the integration of Sentinel-1A VH band and modified Normalized Difference Water Index (mNDWI) shows great potential in identifying yearlong tidal and fresh water bodies, which is related to mangrove forests. This algorithm was developed using 6 typical Regions of Interest (ROIs) as algorithm training and was run on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) cloud computing platform to process 1941 Landsat images (25 Path/Row) and 586 Sentinel-1A images circa 2015. The resultant mangrove forest map of China at 30 m spatial resolution has an overall/users/producer's accuracy greater than 95% when validated with ground reference data. In 2015, China's mangrove forests had a total area of 20,303 ha, about 92% of which was in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guangdong, and Hainan Provinces. This study has demonstrated the potential of using the GEE platform, time series Landsat and Sentine-1A SAR images to identify and map mangrove forests along the coastal zones. The resultant mangrove forest maps are likely to be useful for the sustainable management and ecological assessments of mangrove forests in China.

  17. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Shawn Domagal-Goldman, Research Space Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  18. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Phoebe Cohen, Professor of Geosciences, Williams College, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  19. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Christopher House, Professor of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  20. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Dawn Sumner, Professor of Geology, UC Davis, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  1. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Timothy Lyons, Professor of Biogeochemistry, UC Riverside, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  2. Earth meandering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asadiyan, H.; Zamani, A.

    2009-04-01

    In this paper we try to put away current Global Tectonic Model to look the tectonic evolution of the earth from new point of view. Our new dynamic model is based on study of river meandering (RM) which infer new concept as Earth meandering(EM). In a universal gravitational field if we consider a clockwise spiral galaxy model rotate above Ninety East Ridge (geotectonic axis GA), this system with applying torsion field (likes geomagnetic field) in side direction from Rocky Mt. (west geotectonic pole WGP) to Tibetan plateau TP (east geotectonic pole EGP),it seems that pulled mass from WGP and pushed it in EGP due to it's rolling dynamics. According to this idea we see in topographic map that North America and Green land like a tongue pulled from Pacific mouth toward TP. Actually this system rolled or meander the earth over itself fractaly from small scale to big scale and what we see in the river meandering and Earth meandering are two faces of one coin. River transport water and sediments from high elevation to lower elevation and also in EM, mass transport from high altitude-Rocky Mt. to lower altitude Himalaya Mt. along 'S' shape geodetic line-optimum path which connect points from high altitude to lower altitude as kind of Euler Elastica(EE). These curves are responsible for mass spreading (source) and mass concentration (sink). In this regard, tiltness of earth spin axis plays an important role, 'S' are part of sigmoidal shape which formed due to intersection of Earth rolling with the Earth glob and actual feature of transform fault and river meandering. Longitudinal profile in mature rivers as a part of 'S' curve also is a kind of EE. 'S' which bound the whole earth is named S-1(S order 1) and cube corresponding to this which represent Earth fracturing in global scale named C-1(cube order 1 or side vergence cube SVC), C-1 is a biggest cycle of spiral polygon, so it is not completely closed and it has separation about diameter of C-7. Inside SVC we introduce cone

  3. An earthquake history derived from stratigraphic and microfossil evidence of relative sea-level change at Coos Bay, southern coastal Oregon

    Nelson, A.R.; Jennings, A.E.; Kashima, K.

    1996-01-01

    Much of the uncertainty in determining the number and magnitude of past great earthquakes in the Cascadia subduction zone of western North America stems from difficulties in using estuarine stratigraphy to infer the size and rate of late Holocene relative sea-level changes. A sequence of interbedded peaty and muddy intertidal sediment beneath a small, protected tidal marsh in a narrow inlet of Coos Bay, Oregon, records ten rapid to instantaneous rises in relative sea level. Each rise is marked by a contact that records an upward transition from peaty to muddy sediment. But only two contacts, dating from about 1700 and 2300 yr ago, show the site-wide extent and abrupt changes in lithology and foraminiferal and diatom assemblages that can be used to infer at least half a meter of sudden coseismic subsidence. Although the characteristics of a third, gradual contact do not differ from those of some contacts produced by nonseismic processes, regional correlation with other similar sequences and high-precision 14C dating suggest that the third contact records a great plate-boundary earthquake about 300 yr ago. A fourth contact formed too slowly to have been caused by coseismic subsidence. Because lithologic and microfossil data are not sufficient to distinguish a coseismic from a nonseismic origin for the other six peatmud contacts, we cannot determine earthquake recurrence intervals at this site. Similar uncertainties in great earthquake recurrence and magnitude prevail at similar sites elsewhere in the Cascadia subduction zone, except those with sequences showing changes in fossils indicative of > 1 m of sudden subsidence, sand sheets deposited by tsunamis, or liquefaction features.

  4. Earth's earliest atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Zahnle, Kevin; Schaefer, Laura; Fegley, Bruce

    2010-10-01

    Earth is the one known example of an inhabited planet and to current knowledge the likeliest site of the one known origin of life. Here we discuss the origin of Earth's atmosphere and ocean and some of the environmental conditions of the early Earth as they may relate to the origin of life. A key punctuating event in the narrative is the Moon-forming impact, partly because it made Earth for a short time absolutely uninhabitable, and partly because it sets the boundary conditions for Earth's subsequent evolution. If life began on Earth, as opposed to having migrated here, it would have done so after the Moon-forming impact. What took place before the Moon formed determined the bulk properties of the Earth and probably determined the overall compositions and sizes of its atmospheres and oceans. What took place afterward animated these materials. One interesting consequence of the Moon-forming impact is that the mantle is devolatized, so that the volatiles subsequently fell out in a kind of condensation sequence. This ensures that the volatiles were concentrated toward the surface so that, for example, the oceans were likely salty from the start. We also point out that an atmosphere generated by impact degassing would tend to have a composition reflective of the impacting bodies (rather than the mantle), and these are almost without exception strongly reducing and volatile-rich. A consequence is that, although CO- or methane-rich atmospheres are not necessarily stable as steady states, they are quite likely to have existed as long-lived transients, many times. With CO comes abundant chemical energy in a metastable package, and with methane comes hydrogen cyanide and ammonia as important albeit less abundant gases.

  5. Earth Observation

    2014-07-19

    ISS040-E-070439 (19 July 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station recorded this July 19 image of wildfires which are plaguing the Northwest and causing widespread destruction. The orbital outpost was flying 223 nautical miles above a point on Earth located at 48.0 degrees north latitude and 116.9 degrees west longitude when the image was exposed. The state of Washington is especially affected by the fires, many of which have been blamed on lightning. This particular fire was part of the Carlton Complex Fire, located near the city of Brewster in north central Washington. The reservoir visible near the center of the image is Banks Lake.

  6. Earth Observation

    2014-07-25

    ISS040-E-081008 (25 July 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the International Space Station, flying 225 nautical miles above Earth, photographed this image of the Tifernine dunes and the Tassili Najjer Mountains in Algeria. The area is about 800 miles south, southeast of Algiers, the capital of Algeria. The dunes are in excess of 1,000 feet in height.

  7. Earth Observation

    2014-07-15

    ISS040-E-063578 (15 July 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, flying some 225 nautical miles above the Caribbean Sea in the early morning hours of July 15, photographed this north-looking panorama that includes parts of Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida, and even runs into several other areas in the southeastern U.S. The long stretch of lights to the left of center frame gives the shape of Miami.

  8. Earth Observations

    2011-05-28

    ISS028-E-006059 (28 May 2011) --- One of the Expedition 28 crew members, photographing Earth images onboard the International Space Station while docked with the space shuttle Endeavour and flying at an altitude of just under 220 miles, captured this frame of the Salton Sea. The body of water, easily identifiable from low orbit spacecraft, is a saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault. The agricultural area is within the Coachella Valley.

  9. Earth Science

    1991-01-01

    In July 1990, the Marshall Space Flight Center, in a joint project with the Department of Defense/Air Force Space Test Program, launched the Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) using an Atlas I launch vehicle. The mission was designed to study the effects of artificial ion clouds produced by chemical releases on the Earth's ionosphere and magnetosphere, and to monitor the effects of space radiation environment on sophisticated electronics.

  10. The Kepler-19 System: A Thick-envelope Super-Earth with Two Neptune-mass Companions Characterized Using Radial Velocities and Transit Timing Variations

    SciT

    Malavolta, Luca; Borsato, Luca; Granata, Valentina

    We report a detailed characterization of the Kepler-19 system. This star was previously known to host a transiting planet with a period of 9.29 days, a radius of 2.2 R {sub ⊕}, and an upper limit on the mass of 20 M {sub ⊕}. The presence of a second, non-transiting planet was inferred from the transit time variations (TTVs) of Kepler-19b over eight quarters of Kepler photometry, although neither the mass nor period could be determined. By combining new TTVs measurements from all the Kepler quarters and 91 high-precision radial velocities obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph, using dynamical simulations wemore » obtained a mass of 8.4 ± 1.6 M {sub ⊕} for Kepler-19b. From the same data, assuming system coplanarity, we determined an orbital period of 28.7 days and a mass of 13.1 ± 2.7 M {sub ⊕} for Kepler-19c and discovered a Neptune-like planet with a mass of 20.3 ± 3.4 M {sub ⊕} on a 63-day orbit. By comparing dynamical simulations with non-interacting Keplerian orbits, we concluded that neglecting interactions between planets may lead to systematic errors that can hamper the precision in the orbital parameters when the data set spans several years. With a density of 4.32 ± 0.87 g cm{sup −3} (0.78 ± 0.16 ρ {sub ⊕}) Kepler-19b belongs to the group of planets with a rocky core and a significant fraction of volatiles, in opposition to low-density planets characterized only by transit time variations and an increasing number of rocky planets with Earth-like density. Kepler-19 joins the small number of systems that reconcile transit timing variation and radial velocity measurements.« less

  11. Landsat Time-series for the Masses: Predicting Wood Biomass Growth from Tree-rings Using Departures from Mean Phenology in Google Earth Engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, J. R.; D'Amato, A. W.; Itter, M.; Reinikainen, M.; Curzon, M.

    2017-12-01

    The terrestrial carbon cycle is perturbed when disturbances remove leaf biomass from the forest canopy during the growing season. Changes in foliar biomass arise from defoliation caused by insects, disease, drought, frost or human management. As ephemeral disturbances, these often go undetected and their significance to models that predict forest growth from climatic drivers remains unknown. Here, we seek to distinguish the roles of weather vs. canopy disturbance on forest growth by using dense Landsat time-series to quantify departures in mean phenology that in turn predict changes in leaf biomass. We estimated a foliar biomass index (FBMI) from 1984-2016, and predict plot-level wood growth over 28 years on 156 tree-ring monitoring plots in Minnesota, USA. We accessed the entire Landsat archive (sensors 4, 5 & 7) to compute FBMI using Google Earth Engine's cloud computing platform (GEE). GEE allows this pixel-level approach to be applied at any location; a feature we demonstrate with published wood-growth data from flux tower sites. Our Bayesian models predicted biomass changes from tree-ring plots as a function of Landsat FBMI and annual climate data. We expected model parameters to vary by tree functional groups defined by differences in xylem anatomy and leaf longevity, two traits with linkages to phenology, as reported in a recent review. We found that Landsat FBMI was a surprisingly strong predictor of aggregate wood-growth, explaining up to 80% of annual growth variation for some deciduous plots. Growth responses to canopy disturbance varied among tree functional groups, and the importance of some seasonal climate metrics diminished or changed sign when FBMI was included (e.g. fall and spring climatic water deficit), while others remained unchanged (current and lagged summer deficit). Insights emerging from these models can clear up sources of persistent uncertainty and open a new frontier for models of forest productivity.

  12. Exploring the Earth's Past

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindaman, Arnold D.; And Others

    1972-01-01

    Describes three approaches to a study of the earth's past: (1) development of a time line of the ages; (2) a study of rocks and how each was formed; and (3) a study of fossils as found in certain kinds of stone. (Editor)

  13. The significance of marine microfossils for paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the Solimões Formation (Miocene), western Amazonia, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linhares, Ana Paula; Gaia, Valber do Carmo de Souza; Ramos, Maria Inês Feijó

    2017-11-01

    Micropalaeontological studies of borehole cores 1AS-7D-AM and 1AS-8-AM, from Atalaia do Norte, Amazonas state, Brazil, support previous evidence for Miocene marine ingressions in Western Amazonia. Three marine incursion events are recorded: the first in the Early/early Middle Miocene (in both cores), the second in the late Middle/early Late Miocene (1AS-8-AM), and the third in the Late Miocene (1AS-7D-AM). The first event is characterized by exclusively mangrove taxa, and the last two present a mixture of marine, fresh, and brackish water taxa. However, at the end of the third event an increase of fluvial influence is demonstrated by the predominance of freshwater taxa. These marine incursions reached the study area through narrow and geographically limited connections, controlled by the tectonic setting, at a time between the Early/early Middle Miocene and late Middle/Late Miocene. Thereafter, fluvial conditions were reestablished before Pliocene times.

  14. STS-34 earth observations

    1989-10-20

    STS034-44-023 (20 Oct. 1989) --- The Southern Lights or Aurora Australis were photographed by the STS-34 crewmembers aboard the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Atlantis. From the Shuttle astronauts can photograph expanses of auroras, an advantage over scientists on Earth who can only get small sections at a time in a frame of photography. The space position allows for large-scale changes. This scene was one of 26 shown to the press by the five STS-34 crewmembers at their post-flight press conference.

  15. Microfossil evidence for trophic changes during the Eocene-Oligocene transition in the South Atlantic (ODP Site 1263, Walvis Ridge)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bordiga, M.; Henderiks, J.; Tori, F.; Monechi, S.; Fenero, R.; Legarda-Lisarri, A.; Thomas, E.

    2015-09-01

    The biotic response of calcareous nannoplankton to environmental and climatic changes during the Eocene-Oligocene transition was investigated at a high resolution at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1263 (Walvis Ridge, southeast Atlantic Ocean) and compared with a lower-resolution benthic foraminiferal record. During this time interval, global climate, which had been warm under high levels of atmospheric CO2 (pCO2) during the Eocene, transitioned into the cooler climate of the Oligocene, at overall lower pCO2. At Site 1263, the absolute nannofossil abundance (coccoliths per gram of sediment; N g-1) and the mean coccolith size decreased distinctly after the E-O boundary (EOB; 33.89 Ma), mainly due to a sharp decline in abundance of large-sized Reticulofenestra and Dictyococcites, occurring within a time span of ~ 47 kyr. Carbonate dissolution did not vary much across the EOB; thus, the decrease in abundance and size of nannofossils may reflect an overall decrease in their export production, which could have led to variations in the food availability for benthic foraminifers. The benthic foraminiferal assemblage data are consistent with a global decline in abundance of rectilinear species with complex apertures in the latest Eocene (~ 34.5 Ma), potentially reflecting changes in the food source, i.e., phytoplankton. This was followed by a transient increased abundance of species indicative of seasonal delivery of food to the sea floor (Epistominella spp.; ~ 33.9-33.4 Ma), with a short peak in overall food delivery at the EOB (buliminid taxa; ~ 33.8 Ma). Increased abundance of Nuttallides umbonifera (at ~ 33.3 Ma) indicates the presence of more corrosive bottom waters and possibly the combined arrival of less food at the sea floor after the second step of cooling (Step 2). The most important changes in the calcareous nannofossil and benthic communities occurred ~ 120 kyr after the EOB. There was no major change in nannofossil abundance or assemblage composition at

  16. AirNow Information Management System - Global Earth Observation System of Systems Data Processor for Real-Time Air Quality Data Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haderman, M.; Dye, T. S.; White, J. E.; Dickerson, P.; Pasch, A. N.; Miller, D. S.; Chan, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    Built upon the success of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) AirNow program (www.AirNow.gov), the AirNow-International (AirNow-I) system contains an enhanced suite of software programs that process and quality control real-time air quality and environmental data and distribute customized maps, files, and data feeds. The goals of the AirNow-I program are similar to those of the successful U.S. program and include fostering the exchange of environmental data; making advances in air quality knowledge and applications; and building a community of people, organizations, and decision makers in environmental management. In 2010, Shanghai became the first city in China to run this state-of-the-art air quality data management and notification system. AirNow-I consists of a suite of modules (software programs and schedulers) centered on a database. One such module is the Information Management System (IMS), which can automatically produce maps and other data products through the use of GIS software to provide the most current air quality information to the public. Developed with Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) interoperability in mind, IMS is based on non-proprietary standards, with preference to formal international standards. The system depends on data and information providers accepting and implementing a set of interoperability arrangements, including technical specifications for collecting, processing, storing, and disseminating shared data, metadata, and products. In particular, the specifications include standards for service-oriented architecture and web-based interfaces, such as a web mapping service (WMS), web coverage service (WCS), web feature service (WFS), sensor web services, and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. IMS is flexible, open, redundant, and modular. It also allows the merging of data grids to create complex grids that show comprehensive air quality conditions. For example, the AirNow Satellite Data Processor

  17. Crescent Earth and Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    This picture of a crescent-shaped Earth and Moon -- the first of its kind ever taken by a spacecraft -- was recorded Sept. 18, 1977, by NASA's Voyager 1 when it was 7.25 million miles (11.66 million kilometers) from Earth. The Moon is at the top of the picture and beyond the Earth as viewed by Voyager. In the picture are eastern Asia, the western Pacific Ocean and part of the Arctic. Voyager 1 was directly above Mt. Everest (on the night side of the planet at 25 degrees north latitude) when the picture was taken. The photo was made from three images taken through color filters, then processed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Image Processing Lab. Because the Earth is many times brighter than the Moon, the Moon was artificially brightened by a factor of three relative to the Earth by computer enhancement so that both bodies would show clearly in the print. Voyager 2 was launched Aug. 20, 1977, followed by Voyager 1 on Sept. 5, 1977, en route to encounters at Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn in 1980 and 1981. JPL manages the Voyager mission for NASA's Office of Space Science.

  18. The Sun and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gopalswamy, Natchimuthuk

    2012-01-01

    Thus the Sun forms the basis for life on Earth via the black body radiation it emits. The Sun also emits mass in the form of the solar wind and the coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Mass emission also occurs in the form of solar energetic particles (SEPs), which happens during CMEs and solar flares. Both the mass and electromagnetic energy output of the Sun vary over a wide range of time scales, thus introducing disturbances on the space environment that extends from the Sun through the entire heliosphere including the magnetospheres and ionospheres of planets and moons of the solar system. Although our habitat is located in the neutral atmosphere of Earth, we are intimately connected to the non-neutral space environment starting from the ionosphere to the magnetosphere and to the vast interplanetary space. The variability of the solar mass emissions results in the interaction between the solar wind plasma and the magnetospheric plasma leading to huge disturbances in the geospace. The Sun ionizes our atmosphere and creates the ionosphere. The ionosphere can be severely disturbed by the transient energy input from solar flares and the solar wind during geomagnetic storms. The complex interplay between Earth's magnetic field and the solar magnetic field carried by the solar wind presents varying conditions that are both beneficial and hazardous to life on earth. This seminar presents some of the key aspects of this Sun-Earth connection that we have learned since the birth of space science as a scientific discipline some half a century ago.

  19. NASA Sun Earth

    2017-12-08

    CME blast and subsequent impact at Earth -- This illustration shows a CME blasting off the Sun’s surface in the direction of Ea CME blast and subsequent impact at Earth -- This illustration shows a CME blasting off the Sun’s surface in the direction of Earth. This left portion is composed of an EIT 304 image superimposed on a LASCO C2 coronagraph. Two to four days later, the CME cloud is shown striking and beginning to be mostly deflected around the Earth’s magnetosphere. The blue paths emanating from the Earth’s poles represent some of its magnetic field lines. The magnetic cloud of plasma can extend to 30 million miles wide by the time it reaches earth. These storms, which occur frequently, can disrupt communications and navigational equipment, damage satellites, and even cause blackouts. (Objects in the illustration are not drawn to scale.) Credit: NASA/GSFC/SOHO/ESA To learn more go to the SOHO website: sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/home.html To learn more about NASA's Sun Earth Day go here: sunearthday.nasa.gov/2010/index.php

  20. Sidebands alongside the diurnal frequencies of radon time series in a simulation experiment -- an indication for a direct association with the earth-sun system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinitz, Gideon; Sturrock, Peter A.; Piatibratova, Oksana; Kotlarsky, Peter

    2015-04-01

    -linear interaction. The observed patterns of diurnal periodicities together with the associated Sb and their multiples can be demonstrated by statistical simulation using polynomial combinations of these sinusoidal waveforms. Notwithstanding, at this stage the identification of the underlying physical and geophysical processes remains open. The observation of sidebands around S1 at the specific periodicities indicates that the periodic signals in the radon time series of the experiment are directly related to the cyclic rotational relations in the earth-sun system. This in turn is an independent confirmation of the notion that these signals are influenced by a component in solar radiation [1, 2]. 1. Steinitz, G., Piatibratova, O., Kotlarsky, P., 2011. Possible effect of solar tides on radon signals. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 102, 749-765. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2011.04.002. 2. Sturrock, P.A., Steinitz, G., Fischbach, E., Javorsek, D. and Jenkins, J.H., 2012. Analysis of Gamma Radiation from a Radon Source: Indications of a Solar Influence. Astroparticle Physics, 36/1, 18-26.

  1. Google Earth Engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorelick, Noel

    2013-04-01

    The Google Earth Engine platform is a system designed to enable petabyte-scale, scientific analysis and visualization of geospatial datasets. Earth Engine provides a consolidated environment including a massive data catalog co-located with thousands of computers for analysis. The user-friendly front-end provides a workbench environment to allow interactive data and algorithm development and exploration and provides a convenient mechanism for scientists to share data, visualizations and analytic algorithms via URLs. The Earth Engine data catalog contains a wide variety of popular, curated datasets, including the world's largest online collection of Landsat scenes (> 2.0M), numerous MODIS collections, and many vector-based data sets. The platform provides a uniform access mechanism to a variety of data types, independent of their bands, projection, bit-depth, resolution, etc..., facilitating easy multi-sensor analysis. Additionally, a user is able to add and curate their own data and collections. Using a just-in-time, distributed computation model, Earth Engine can rapidly process enormous quantities of geo-spatial data. All computation is performed lazily; nothing is computed until it's required either for output or as input to another step. This model allows real-time feedback and preview during algorithm development, supporting a rapid algorithm development, test, and improvement cycle that scales seamlessly to large-scale production data processing. Through integration with a variety of other services, Earth Engine is able to bring to bear considerable analytic and technical firepower in a transparent fashion, including: AI-based classification via integration with Google's machine learning infrastructure, publishing and distribution at Google scale through integration with the Google Maps API, Maps Engine and Google Earth, and support for in-the-field activities such as validation, ground-truthing, crowd-sourcing and citizen science though the Android Open Data

  2. Google Earth Engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorelick, N.

    2012-12-01

    The Google Earth Engine platform is a system designed to enable petabyte-scale, scientific analysis and visualization of geospatial datasets. Earth Engine provides a consolidated environment including a massive data catalog co-located with thousands of computers for analysis. The user-friendly front-end provides a workbench environment to allow interactive data and algorithm development and exploration and provides a convenient mechanism for scientists to share data, visualizations and analytic algorithms via URLs. The Earth Engine data catalog contains a wide variety of popular, curated datasets, including the world's largest online collection of Landsat scenes (> 2.0M), numerous MODIS collections, and many vector-based data sets. The platform provides a uniform access mechanism to a variety of data types, independent of their bands, projection, bit-depth, resolution, etc..., facilitating easy multi-sensor analysis. Additionally, a user is able to add and curate their own data and collections. Using a just-in-time, distributed computation model, Earth Engine can rapidly process enormous quantities of geo-spatial data. All computation is performed lazily; nothing is computed until it's required either for output or as input to another step. This model allows real-time feedback and preview during algorithm development, supporting a rapid algorithm development, test, and improvement cycle that scales seamlessly to large-scale production data processing. Through integration with a variety of other services, Earth Engine is able to bring to bear considerable analytic and technical firepower in a transparent fashion, including: AI-based classification via integration with Google's machine learning infrastructure, publishing and distribution at Google scale through integration with the Google Maps API, Maps Engine and Google Earth, and support for in-the-field activities such as validation, ground-truthing, crowd-sourcing and citizen science though the Android Open Data

  3. Earth Observation

    2016-04-20

    ISS047e069406 (04/20/2016) ---Earth observation image taken by the Expedition 47 crew aboard the International Space Station. This is an oblique south-looking view of the main Bahama island chain. Cuba is across the entire top of the image, the Florida Peninsula on the right margin. In the Bahamas, the main Andros island is just distinguishable under cloud upper left of center. Under less cloud is the Abaco Islands in the foreground (middle of pic nearest camera left of center.)

  4. Earth Observation

    2014-06-24

    ISS040-E-018729 (24 June 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station photographed this image featuring the peninsular portion of the state of Florida. Lake Okeechobee stands out in the south central part of the state. The heavily-populated area of Miami can be traced along the Atlantic Coast near the bottom of the scene. Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center are just below center frame on the Atlantic Coast. The Florida Keys are at the south (left) portion of the scene and the Gulf Coast, including the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, is near frame center.

  5. Earth Observation

    2013-07-31

    ISS036-E-027014 (31 July 2013) --- One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, as it was passing over Eastern Europe on July 31, 2013, took this night picture looking toward the Mediterranean Sea, which almost blends into the horizon. Also visible are the Aegean Sea, Adriatic Sea and Mediterranean Sea. Parts of the following countries are among those visible as well: Greece, Italy, Sicily, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Albania. The high oblique 50mm lens shot includes a number of stars in the late July sky. A solar array panel is visible in the darkness on the right side of the frame.

  6. Earth Explorer

    ,

    2000-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Earth Explorer Web site provides access to millions of land-related products, including the following: Satellite images from Landsat, advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR), and Corona data sets. Aerial photographs from the National Aerial Photography Program, NASA, and USGS data sets.  Digital cartographic data from digital elevation models, digital line graphs, digital raster graphics, and digital orthophoto quadrangles. USGS paper maps Digital, film, and paper products are available, and many products can be previewed before ordering.

  7. Earth Science

    1992-07-24

    A Delta II rocket carrying the Geomagnetic Tail Lab (GEOTAIL) spacecraft lifts off at Launch Complex 17, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) into a cloud-dappled sky. This liftoff marks the first Delta launch under the medium expendable launch vehicle services contract between NASA and McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Co. The GEOTAIL mission, a joint US/Japanese project, is the first in a series of five satellites to study the interactions between the Sun, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Van Allen radiation belts.

  8. Earth Science

    1996-01-31

    The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft embarks on a journey that will culminate in a close encounter with an asteroid. The launch of NEAR inaugurates NASA's irnovative Discovery program of small-scale planetary missions with rapid, lower-cost development cycles and focused science objectives. NEAR will rendezvous in 1999 with the asteroid 433 Eros to begin the first long-term, close-up look at an asteroid's surface composition and physical properties. NEAR's science payload includes an x-ray/gamma ray spectrometer, an near-infrared spectrograph, a laser rangefinder, a magnetometer, a radio science experiment and a multi-spectral imager.

  9. "Teaching What I Learned": Exploring Students' Earth and Space Science Learning Experiences in Secondary School with a Particular Focus on Their Comprehension of the Concept of "Geologic Time"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoon, Sae Yeol; Peate, David W.

    2015-01-01

    According to the national survey of science education, science educators in the USA currently face many challenges such as lack of qualified secondary Earth and Space Science (ESS) teachers. Less qualified teachers may have difficulty teaching ESS because of a lack of conceptual understanding, which leads to diminished confidence in content…

  10. Teaching Future Teachers Basic Astronomy Concepts--Sun-Earth-Moon Relative Movements--at a Time of Reform in Science Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trumper, Ricardo

    2006-01-01

    In view of students' alternative conceptions about basic concepts in astronomy, we conducted a series of constructivist activities with future elementary and junior high school teachers aimed at changing their conceptions about the cause of seasonal changes, and of several characteristics of the Sun-Earth-Moon relative movements like Moon phases,…

  11. Transitional changes in microfossil assemblages in the Japan Sea from the Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene related to global climatic and local tectonic events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itaki, Takuya

    2016-12-01

    Many micropaleontological studies based on data from on-land sections, oil wells, and deep-sea drilling cores have provided important information about environmental changes in the Japan Sea that are related to the global climate and the local tectonics of the Japanese Islands. Here, major changes in the microfossil assemblages during the Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene are reviewed. Late Pliocene (3.5-2.7 Ma) surface-water assemblages were characterized mainly by cold-temperate planktonic flora and fauna (nannofossils, diatoms, radiolarians, and planktonic foraminifera), suggesting that nutrient-rich North Pacific surface waters entered the Japan Sea via northern straits. The common occurrence of Pacific-type deep-water radiolarians during this period also suggests that deep water from the North Pacific entered the Japan Sea via the northern straits, indicating a sill depth >500 m. A weak warm-water influence is recognized along the Japanese coast, suggesting a small inflow of warm water via a southern strait. Nannofossil and sublittoral ostracod assemblages record an abrupt cooling event at 2.75 Ma that correlates with the onset of the Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Subsequently, cold intermediate- and deep-water assemblages of ostracods and radiolarians increased in abundance, suggesting active ventilation and the formation of the Japan Sea Proper Water, associated with a strengthened winter monsoon. Pacific-type deep-water radiolarians also disappeared around 2.75 Ma, which is attributed to the intermittent occurrence of deep anoxic environments and limited migration from the North Pacific, resulting from the near-closure or shallowing of the northern strait by a eustatic fall in sea level and tectonic uplift of northeastern Japan. A notable reduction in primary productivity from 2.3 to 1.3 Ma also suggests that the nutrient supply from the North Pacific was restricted by the near-closure of the northern strait. An increase in the abundance of subtropical

  12. Herbal Earth

    2017-12-08

    Subtle vegetation changes are visible in this year-long visualization. Large-scale patterns vary with seasons, but the local variations in green are also sensitive precipitation, drought and fire. High values of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, or NDVI, represent dense green functioning vegetation and low NDVI values represent sparse green vegetation or vegetation under stress from limiting conditions, such as drought. The visualization was created from a year’s worth of data from April 2012 to April 2013. The information was sent back to Earth from the Visible-Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership or Suomi NPP satellite, a partnership between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. Credit: NASA/NOAA To read more go to: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/NPP/news/vegetation.html NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  13. Earth Observation

    2013-06-17

    ISS036-E-009405 (17 June 2013) --- One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station, some 240 miles above Earth, used a 50mm lens to record this oblique nighttime image of a large part of the nation’s second largest state in area, including the four largest metropolitan areas in population. The extent of the metropolitan areas is easily visible at night due to city and highway lights. The largest metro area, Dallas-Fort Worth, often referred to informally as the Metroplex, is the heavily cloud-covered area at the top center of the photo. Neighboring Oklahoma, on the north side of the Red River, less than 100 miles to the north of the Metroplex, appears to be experiencing thunderstorms. The Houston metropolitan area, including the coastal city of Galveston, is at lower right. To the east near the Texas border with Louisiana, the metropolitan area of Beaumont-Port Arthur appears as a smaller blotch of light, also hugging the coast of the Texas Gulf. Moving inland to the left side of the picture one can delineate the San Antonio metro area. The capital city of Austin can be seen to the northeast of San Antonio. This and hundreds of thousands of other Earth photos taken by astronauts and cosmonauts over the past 50 years are available on http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov

  14. Earth Observation

    2011-07-06

    ISS028-E-014782 (6 July 2011) --- The Shoemaker (formerly Teague) Impact Structure, located in Western Australia in a drainage basin south of the Waldburg Range, presents an other-worldly appearance in this detailed photograph recorded from onboard the International Space Station on July 6. The Shoemaker impact site is approximately 30 kilometers in diameter, and is clearly defined by concentric ring structures formed in sedimentary rocks (brown to dark brown, image center) that were deformed by the impact event approximately 1630 million years ago, according to the Earth Impact Database. Several saline and ephemeral lakes?Nabberu, Teague, Shoemaker, and numerous smaller ponds?occupy the land surface between the concentric ring structures. Differences in color result from both water depth and suspended sediments, with some bright salt crusts visible around the edges of smaller ponds (image center The Teague Impact Structure was renamed Shoemaker in honor of the late Dr. Eugene M. Shoemaker, a pioneer in the field of impact crater studies and planetary geology, and founder of the Astrogeology Branch of the United States Geological Survey. The image was recorded with a digital still camera using a 200 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center.

  15. Ultra-high precision 142Nd/144Nd measurements of the Proterozoic and implications for mixing in the Earth's mantle through time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyung, E.; Jacobsen, S. B.

    2017-12-01

    The decay of 146Sm to 142Nd is an excellent a tracer for early silicate differentiation events in the terrestrial planets, as the Sm/Nd ratio is usually fractionated during mantle partial melting and magma ocean crystallization. The short half-life (103 or 68 Ma) renders the system extinct within the first 500 Ma of Solar System formation. Samples with 142Nd/144Nd ratios that are substantially different from the bulk silicate Earth value of 142Nd/144Nd provide clear evidence for mantle differentiation in the Hadean. Published data for the 3.4 to 3.8 Ga old Isua supracrustal rocks and dykes have demonstrated both positive and negative 142Nd/144Nd anomalies (30 ppm range) providing clear evidence for Hadean enriched and depleted mantle reservoirs. In contrast, no 142Nd/144Nd anomalies have been found in modern day terrestrial samples with data that have 2σ uncertainties of about 5 ppm or more. Last year we reported improvements in 142Nd/144Nd measurements, using our IsotopX thermal ionization mass spectrometer, and obtained reproducibility of 142Nd/144Nd ratios to better than 2 ppm at the 2σ level. With this external reproducibility we found that all except one modern mantle-derived basalt had within error identical 142Nd/144Nd ratios. One sample is about 3.4 ppm lower than the rest of the modern basalt samples, providing evidence for some limited Hadean mantle differentiation signatures preserved up to present. We have also measured 142Nd/144Nd ratios for Proterozoic and Phanerozoic samples, whose ages range from 300 Ma to 2 Ga, to better than 2 ppm external reproducibility (2σ). Most of these samples also have 142Nd/144Nd ratios that cluster around the modern day value, but there are some samples that are either marginally high by 2 ppm or low by 2 ppm. Thus, while a 20 to 30 ppm range in 142Nd/144Nd is well resolved in the Archean, such large variability is not present in the Proterozoic and Phanerozoic. The relatively rapid changeover at the end of the Archean

  16. How Inge Lehmann Discovered the Inner Core of the Earth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rousseau, Christiane

    2013-01-01

    The mathematics behind Inge Lehmann's discovery that the inner core of the Earth is solid is explained using data collected around the Earth on seismic waves and their travel time through the Earth.

  17. Rates of Earth degassing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Onions, R. K.

    1994-01-01

    The degassing of the Earth during accretion is constrained by Pu-U-I-Xe systematics. Degassing was much more efficient during the first 100-200 Ma than subsequently, and it was more complete for Xe than for the lighter gases. More than 90 percent of the degassed Xe escaped from the atmosphere during this period. The combination of fractional degassing of melts and rare gas escape from the atmosphere is able to explain the deficit of terrestrial Xe as a simple consequence of this early degassing history. By the time Xe was quantitatively retained in the atmosphere, the abundances of Kr and the lighter gases in the Earth's interior were similar to or higher than the present-day atmospheric abundances. Subsequent transfer of these lighter rare gases into the atmosphere requires a high rate of post-accretion degassing and melt production. Considerations of Pu-U-Xe systematics suggest that relatively rapid post-accretion degassing was continued to ca. 4.1-4.2 Ga. The present-day degassing history of the Earth is investigated through consideration of rare gas isotope abundances. Although the Earth is a highly degassed body, depleted in rare gases by many orders of magnitude relative to their solar abundances, it is at the present-day losing primordial rare gases which were trapped at the time of accretion.

  18. Sulfur Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jong, B. H.

    2007-12-01

    Variations in surface tension affect the buoyancy of objects floating in a liquid. Thus an object floating in water will sink deeper in the presence of dishwater fluid. This is a very minor but measurable effect. It causes for instance ducks to drown in aqueous solutions with added surfactant. The surface tension of liquid iron is very strongly affected by the presence of sulfur which acts as a surfactant in this system varying between 1.9 and 0.4 N/m at 10 mass percent Sulfur (Lee & Morita (2002), This last value is inferred to be the maximum value for Sulfur inferred to be present in the liquid outer core. Venting of Sulfur from the liquid core manifests itself on the Earth surface by the 105 to 106 ton of sulfur vented into the atmosphere annually (Wedepohl, 1984). Inspection of surface Sulfur emission indicates that venting is non-homogeneously distributed over the Earth's surface. The implication of such large variation in surface tension in the liquid outer core are that at locally low Sulfur concentration, the liquid outer core does not wet the predominantly MgSiO3 matrix with which it is in contact. However at a local high in Sulfur, the liquid outer core wets this matrix which in the fluid state has a surface tension of 0.4 N/m (Bansal & Doremus, 1986), couples with it, and causes it to sink. This differential and diapiric movement is transmitted through the essentially brittle mantle (1024 Pa.s, Lambeck & Johnson, 1998; the maximum value for ice being about 1030 Pa.s at 0 K, in all likely hood representing an upper bound of viscosity for all materials) and manifests itself on the surface by the roughly 20 km differentiation, about 0.1 % of the total mantle thickness, between topographical heights and lows with concomitant lateral movement in the crust and upper mantle resulting in thin skin tectonics. The brittle nature of the medium though which this movement is transmitted suggests that the extremes in topography of the D" layer are similar in range to

  19. The Earth's Plasmasphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallagher, D. L.

    2015-01-01

    go away. Instead the ions react to the electric field and are attracted to it. They begin to move upward out of the ionosphere too. Since all this happens on a small scale, it simply looks like the electrons and ions move out of the ionosphere together. Ultimately the effect is that the lighter ions of hydrogen, helium and oxygen are able to escape from the ionosphere. For a planet like Earth with a strong planetary magnetic field, these outward moving particles remain trapped near the planet unless other processes further draw them away and into interplanetary space. As is always the case with nature, there is much more story to tell about this "upwardly mobile" plasma and these other processes. Over only a short time period of hours and days this escaping plasma can, in some places, build up in concentration until an equilibrium is reached where as much plasma flows inward into the ionosphere as flows outward. This "donut shaped" region of cold (about 1 electron volt in energy) plasma encircling the planet is called the plasmasphere. Because of space weather storms (kind of a generic phrase for those other processes) this cold and dense plasmaspheric plasma can actually end up all over the place. Generally, that region of space where plasma from the ionosphere has the time to build up to become identified as the plasmasphere rotates or nearly rotates with the Earth. That region shrinks in size with increased space weather activity and expands or refills during times of inactivity. As it shrinks with increasing activity, some of the plasmasphere is drawn away from its main body (plasmaspheric erosion) in the sunward direction toward the boundary in space between that region dominated by Earth's magnetic field and the much larger region dominated by the Sun's magnetic field. The region dominated by Earth's magnetic field is called the magnetosphere. The larger Sun dominated region is called the heliosphere.

  20. Earth observation

    2014-08-31

    ISS040-E-113700 (31 Aug. 2014) --- This panorama view, photographed by an Expedition 40 crew member on the International Space Station, shows tan-colored dust of a major dust storm obscuring the Persian Gulf and the its northern shoreline. Strong north winds often blow in summer, churning up dust from the entire length of the desert surfaces of the Tigris and Euphrates valleys (top left). Dust partly obscures the hundreds of kilometers of Iraq’s light-green agricultural lands along these rivers (left). A line of thunderstorms is being set off by the Zagros Mountains of Iran (right), with the setting sun casting long shadows from the thunderheads. Space station crews see sixteen sunrises and sunsets every day from low Earth orbit. Here the crew captured dusk in a darkening Iranian landscape (right).

  1. Earth Observation

    2014-06-24

    ISS040-E-018725 (24 June 2014) --- One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station photographed this image featuring most of the peninsular portion of the state of Florida. Lake Okeechobee stands out in the south central part of the state. The heavily-populated area of Miami can be traced along the Atlantic Coast near the bottom of the scene. Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center are in lower right portion of the image on the Atlantic Coast. The Florida Keys are at the south (left) portion of the scene and the Gulf Coast, including the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, is near frame center.

  2. Earth Observation

    2013-07-29

    ISS036-E-025908 (29 July 2013) --- One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, as it was passing over Africa, took this night picture of Sicily (center frame) and much of Italy (frame left to frame center) on July 29, 2013. The Stretto de Messina, which separates Sicily from Italy, is near frame center. The high oblique 50mm lens shot includes a scenic horizon with a number of stars in the late July sky. Barely visible in the darkness, part of the long arm of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System or Canadarm2 runs diagonally through the right one-third of the image.

  3. Earth Observation

    2011-07-15

    ISS028-E-017123 (16 July 2011) --- Separate atmospheric optical phenomena were captured in this electronic still photograph from the Inernational Space Station. The thin greenish band stretching along the Earth's horizon is airglow; light emitted by the atmosphere from a layer about 30 kilometers thick and about 100 kilometers in altitude. The predominant emission in airglow is the green 5577 Angstrom wavelength light from atomic oxygen atoms. Airglow is always and everywhere present in the atmosphere; it results from the recombination of molecules that have been broken apart by solar radiation during the day. But airglow is so faint that it can only be seen at night by looking "edge on" at the emission layer, such as the view astronauts and cosmonauts have in orbit. The second phenomenon is the appearnce of Aurora Australis.

  4. Earth Observation

    2014-11-22

    ISS042E007131 (11/22/2014) — Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured this image of a huge crater in Africa on Nov. 22, 2014. This is the Richat Structure in northwestern Mauritania, otherwise known as the “Eye of the Sahara.” Scientists are still deciding whether this was formed by a subterranean volcano or impact from a large meteor. Deep in the Sahara Desert it is nearly a perfect circle, it is 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) wide, and sports a rim 330 feet (100 meters) tall. The crater sits in a vast plain of rocks so ancient they were deposited hundreds of millions of years before the first dinosaurs walked the Earth.

  5. Earth Science

    1996-01-13

    The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft undergoing preflight preparation in the Spacecraft Assembly Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). NEAR will perform two critical mission events - Mathilde flyby and the Deep-Space maneuver. NEAR will fly-by Mathilde, a 38-mile (61-km) diameter C-type asteroid, making use of its imaging system to obtain useful optical navigation images. The primary science instrument will be the camera, but measurements of magnetic fields and mass also will be made. The Deep-Space Maneuver (DSM) will be executed about a week after the Mathilde fly-by. The DSM represents the first of two major burns during the NEAR mission of the 100-pound bi-propellant (Hydrazine/nitrogen tetroxide) thruster. This maneuver is necessary to lower the perihelion distance of NEAR's trajectory. The DSM will be conducted in two segments to minimize the possibility of an overburn situation.

  6. Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT). VI. A Three-planet System in the Hyades Cluster Including an Earth-sized Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, Andrew W.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Rizzuto, Aaron C.; Kraus, Adam L.; Berlind, Perry; Bieryla, Allyson; Calkins, Michael L.; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Latham, David W.; Mace, Gregory N.; Morris, Nathan R.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Sokal, Kimberly R.; Stefanik, Robert P.

    2018-01-01

    Planets in young clusters are powerful probes of the evolution of planetary systems. Here we report the discovery of three planets transiting EPIC 247589423, a late-K dwarf in the Hyades (≃800 Myr) cluster, and robust detection limits for additional planets in the system. The planets were identified from their K2 light curves as part of our survey of young clusters and star-forming regions. The smallest planet has a radius comparable to Earth ({0.99}-0.04+0.06{R}\\oplus ), making it one of the few Earth-sized planets with a known, young age. The two larger planets are likely a mini-Neptune and a super-Earth, with radii of {2.91}-0.10+0.11{R}\\oplus and {1.45}-0.08+0.11{R}\\oplus , respectively. The predicted radial velocity signals from these planets are between 0.4 and 2 m s-1, achievable with modern precision RV spectrographs. Because the target star is bright (V = 11.2) and has relatively low-amplitude stellar variability for a young star (2-6 mmag), EPIC 247589423 hosts the best known planets in a young open cluster for precise radial velocity follow-up, enabling a robust test of earlier claims that young planets are less dense than their older counterparts.

  7. The Earth's Gravity and Its Geological Significance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, A. H.

    1980-01-01

    Discussed is the earth's gravity and its geological significance. Variations of gravity around the earth can be produced by a great variety of possible distributions of density within the earth. Topics discussed include isostasy, local structures, geological exploration, change of gravity in time, and gravity on the moon and planets. (DS)

  8. integrated Earth System Model

    SciT

    Jones, Andew; Di Vittorio, Alan; Collins, William

    The integrated Earth system model (iESM) has been developed as a new tool for projecting the joint human/climate system. The iESM is based upon coupling an integrated assessment model (IAM) and an Earth system model (ESM) into a common modeling infrastructure. IAMs are the primary tool for describing the human-Earth system, including the sources of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) and short-lived species (SLS), land use and land cover change (LULCC), and other resource-related drivers of anthropogenic climate change. ESMs are the primary scientific tools for examining the physical, chemical, and biogeochemical impacts of human-induced changes to the climate system. Themore » iESM project integrates the economic and human-dimension modeling of an IAM and a fully coupled ESM within a single simulation system while maintaining the separability of each model if needed. Both IAM and ESM codes are developed and used by large communities and have been extensively applied in recent national and international climate assessments. By introducing heretofore-omitted feedbacks between natural and societal drivers, we can improve scientific understanding of the human-Earth system dynamics. Potential applications include studies of the interactions and feedbacks leading to the timing, scale, and geographic distribution of emissions trajectories and other human influences, corresponding climate effects, and the subsequent impacts of a changing climate on human and natural systems.« less

  9. Geologic time

    Newman, William L.

    2000-01-01

    The Earth is very old 4 1/2 billion years or more according to recent estimates. This vast span of time, called geologic time by earth scientists, is difficult to comprehend in the familiar time units of months and years, or even centuries. How then do scientists reckon geologic time, and why do they believe the Earth is so old? A great part of the secret of the Earth's age is locked up in its rocks, and our centuries-old search for the key led to the beginning and nourished the growth of geologic science.

  10. Earth Orientation Help - Naval Oceanography Portal

    section Advanced Search... Sections Home Time Earth Orientation Astronomy Meteorology Oceanography Ice You are here: Home › Help › Earth Orientation Help USNO Logo USNO Info Earth Orientation Help Send an e-mail regarding Earth Orientation products. Privacy Advisory Your E-Mail Address Subject ■ Select

  11. Earth Observation

    2014-08-30

    ISS040E112662 (08/30/2014) ---- Cancún, Mexico. A long lens was used by astronauts aboard the International Space Station to take this image, and it highlights many natural and built features. The street pattern of Mexico’s tourist mecca, Cancún, contrasts with the waterways of the marinas that open into the bay and the lagoons. Brilliant blue water over coral reefs contrast with the dark waters of inland lagoons. The reefs are the second largest reef system on Earth, and draw tourists from all over the world. The wide, well developed beach on the gulf coast (image upper right) is the result of vigorous wave energy; the white sand makes the beach easily visible from space. But wave energy is reduced along Cancún’s protected shoreline (image center) and the beaches are thin or non-existant. Fair-weather cumulus clouds are scattered across the image top left. To shoot crisp mages with long lenses, astronaut photographers must learn to brace themselves against the ISS bulkhead to prevent any slight shaking that would blur or “smear” the picture. Counterintuitively, they then need to move the camera carefully retaining the target at the same point in the viewfinder (the landscape moves across the viewfinder quickly with long lenses). This is called tracking the target and requires good coordination by the photographer—again, to prevent blurring. Shorter lenses do not require this skill because the image appears to pass more slowly across the viewfinder.

  12. Earth Observation

    2014-08-05

    ISS040-E-088891 (5 Aug. 2014) --- Thunderheads near Borneo, Indonesia are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 40 crew member on the International Space Station. Late afternoon sun casts long shadows from high thunderhead anvils over southern Borneo. Crews aboard the space station have recently concentrated on panoramic views of clouds?taken with lenses similar to the focal length of the human eye. These images reveal the kinds of views crews see -- huge areas of the planet, with a strong three-dimensional sense of what it is like to fly 350 kilometers above Earth. Winds usually blow in different directions at different altitudes. High-altitude winds are clearly sweeping the tops off the many tallest thunderclouds, generating long anvils of diffuse cirrus plumes that trail south. At low levels, ?streets? of white dots -- fair-weather cumulus clouds -- are aligned with west-moving winds (lower left). Small smoke plumes from forest fires onshore are also aligned west. Storm formation near the horizon -- more than 1,000 kilometers away (center) -- is assisted by air currents rising over the central mountains of Borneo.

  13. Earth Observation

    2013-10-14

    ISS037-E-011470 (14 Oct. 2013) --- Man-made archipelagos near Dubai, United Arab Emirates, are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 37 crew member on the International Space Station, flying at approximately 220 miles above Earth. The municipality of Dubai is the largest city of the Persian Gulf emirate of the same name, and has built a global reputation for large-scale developments and architectural works. Among the most visible of these developments -- particularly from the perspective of astronauts onboard the space station -- are three man-made archipelagos. The two Palm Islands -- Palm Jumeirah (right) and Palm Jebel Ali (out of frame further to the right) -- appear as stylized palm trees when viewed from above. The World Islands (center frame) evoke a rough map of the world from an air- or space-borne perspective. The Palm Jumeirah project began in 2001 and required more than 50 million cubic meters of dredged sand to raise the islands above the Persian Gulf sea level. Construction of the Palm Jumeirah islands was completed in 2006; for several years now they have been developed for residential and commercial housing and infrastructure. Creation of the World Islands was begun in 2003 and completed in 2008, using 320 million cubic meters of sand and 37 million tons of rock for the surrounding 27 kilometer-long protective breakwater.

  14. Did opening of the South China Sea impact development of the Asian Monsoon? Results from Oligocene microfossils, IODP Site U1435, northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulhanek, Denise K.; Su, Xin; Li, Qianyu; Gregory, Mitch; Warny, Sophie; Clift, Peter D.

    2016-04-01

    Development of the Asian Monsoon is linked to uplift of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau in the Cenozoic, with good evidence for a strong monsoon system by the late Oligocene to early Miocene (e.g., Guo et al., 2002; Clift et al., 2008). However, Licht et al. (2014) suggested the presence of an Asian Monsoon in the late Eocene. Recent scientific ocean drilling in the Indian Ocean and surrounding marginal seas gives us the opportunity to test this hypothesis with newly recovered Paleogene sediment cores. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 349 to the South China Sea recovered a 30 m section of primarily lower Oligocene nannofossil-rich claystone at Site U1435, located near the northern continent/ocean boundary. A thick sandstone unit devoid of typical marine microfossils underlies the marine claystone. The sandstone is interpreted as a deltaic or restricted marine deposit and is dated to the Eocene based on the presence of organic-walled palynomorphs, suggesting that a hiatus of several million years likely separates the sandstone below from the Oligocene marine claystone. This hiatus is interpreted as the breakup unconformity, with paleodepths in the South China Sea increasing during the Oligocene. Thus, this claystone should record if opening of the South China Sea during the early Oligocene influenced development of the Asian Monsoon. Combined calcareous nannofossil and planktonic foraminifer biostratigraphy indicates that the 30 m section is primarily early Oligocene in age (~33.5-30 Ma) and was deposited on the middle slope, with paleodepths >500 m. Stable oxygen isotopes from planktonic foraminifers become heavier up-hole, suggestive of cooling/deepening in the region, whereas carbon isotopes record variable conditions with no distinct maxima or minima. Calcareous nannoplankton primarily live in the upper 50 m of the ocean and are sensitive to sea-surface temperature and nutrient conditions, thus making them useful recorders of paleoceanographic

  15. The Earth's Biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    In the last five years, scientists have been able to monitor our changing planet in ways never before possible. The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS), aboard the OrbView-2 satellite, has given researchers an unprecedented view of the biological engine that drives life on Earth-the countless forms of plants that cover the land and fill the oceans. 'There is no question the Earth is changing. SeaWiFS has enabled us, for the first time, to monitor the biological consequences of that change-to see how the things we do, as well as natural variability, affect the Earth's ability to support life,' said Gene Carl Feldman, SeaWiFS project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. SeaWiFS data, based on continuous daily global observations, have helped scientists make a more accurate assessment of the oceans' role in the global carbon cycle. The data provide a key parameter in a number of ecological and environmental studies as well as global climate-change modeling. The images of the Earth's changing land, ocean and atmosphere from SeaWiFS have documented many previously unrecognized phenomena. The image above shows the global biosphere from June 2002 measured by SeaWiFS. Data in the oceans is chlorophyll concentration, a measure of the amount of phytoplankton (microscopic plants) living in the ocean. On land SeaWiFS measures Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, an indication of the density of plant growth. For more information and images, read: SeaWiFS Sensor Marks Five Years Documenting Earth'S Dynamic Biosphere Image courtesy SeaWiFS project and copyright Orbimage.

  16. Earth - South America (first frame of Earth Spin Movie)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This color image of the Earth was obtained by Galileo at about 6:10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Dec. 11, 1990, when the spacecraft was about 1.3 million miles from the planet during the first of two Earth flybys on its way to Jupiter. The color composite used images taken through the red, green and violet filters. South America is near the center of the picture, and the white, sunlit continent of Antarctica is below. Picturesque weather fronts are visible in the South Atlantic, lower right. This is the first frame of the Galileo Earth spin movie, a 500- frame time-lapse motion picture showing a 25-hour period of Earth's rotation and atmospheric dynamics.

  17. Earth - South America First Frame of Earth Spin Movie

    1996-01-29

    This color image of the Earth was obtained by NASA's Galileo at about 6:10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Dec. 11, 1990, when the spacecraft was about 1.3 million miles from the planet during the first of two Earth flybys on its way to Jupiter. The color composite used images taken through the red, green and violet filters. South America is near the center of the picture, and the white, sunlit continent of Antarctica is below. Picturesque weather fronts are visible in the South Atlantic, lower right. This is the first frame of the Galileo Earth spin movie, a 500- frame time-lapse motion picture showing a 25-hour period of Earth's rotation and atmospheric dynamics. A movie is availalble at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00114

  18. Earth Observations

    2013-06-21

    ISS036-E-011034 (21 June 2013) --- The Salton Trough is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 36 crew member on the International Space Station. The Imperial and Coachella Valleys of southern California – and the corresponding Mexicali Valley and Colorado River Delta in Mexico – are part of the Salton Trough, a large geologic structure known to geologists as a graben or rift valley that extends into the Gulf of California. The trough is a geologically complex zone formed by interaction of the San Andreas transform fault system that is, broadly speaking, moving southern California towards Alaska; and the northward motion of the Gulf of California segment of the East Pacific Rise that continues to widen the Gulf of California by sea-floor spreading. According to scientists, sediments deposited by the Colorado River have been filling the northern rift valley (the Salton Trough) for the past several million years, excluding the waters of the Gulf of California and providing a fertile environment – together with irrigation—for the development of extensive agriculture in the region (visible as green and yellow-brown fields at center). The Salton Sea, a favorite landmark of astronauts in low Earth orbit, was formed by an irrigation canal rupture in 1905, and today is sustained by agricultural runoff water. A wide array of varying landforms and land uses in the Salton Trough are visible from space. In addition to the agricultural fields and Salton Sea, easily visible metropolitan areas include Yuma, AZ (lower left); Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico (center); and the San Diego-Tijuana conurbation on the Pacific Coast (right). The approximately 72-kilometer-long Algodones Dunefield is visible at lower left.

  19. Earth Observations

    2011-06-02

    ISS028-E-006687 (2 June 2011) --- Estuaries on the northwestern coast of Madagascar are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station. Regions where fresh water flowing in rivers and salt water from the seas and oceans mix are called estuaries, and they are among the most biologically productive ecosystems on Earth. This photograph highlights two estuaries located along the northwestern coastline of the island of Madagascar. The Mozambique Channel (top) separates Madagascar from the southeastern coast of Africa. Bombetoka Bay (upper left) is fed by the Betsiboka River and is a frequent subject of astronaut photography due to its striking red floodplain sediments. Mahajamba Bay (right) is fed by several rivers including the Mahajamba and Sofia Rivers; like the Betsiboka, the floodplains of these rivers also contain reddish sediments eroded from their basins upstream. The brackish (mix of fresh and salty water) conditions found in most estuaries host unique plant and animal species adapted to live in such environments. Mangroves in particular are a common plant species found in and around Madagascar estuaries, and Bombetoka Bay contains some of the largest remaining stands. Estuaries also host abundant fish and shellfish species ? many of which need access to freshwater for a portion of their life cycles ? and these in turn support local and migratory bird species that prey on them. However, human activities such as urban development, overfishing, and increased sediment loading from erosion of upriver highlands threaten the ecosystem health of the estuaries. In particular, the silt deposits in Bombetoka Bay at the mouth of the Betsiboka River have been filling in the bay.

  20. Grid Computing for Earth Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renard, Philippe; Badoux, Vincent; Petitdidier, Monique; Cossu, Roberto

    2009-04-01

    The fundamental challenges facing humankind at the beginning of the 21st century require an effective response to the massive changes that are putting increasing pressure on the environment and society. The worldwide Earth science community, with its mosaic of disciplines and players (academia, industry, national surveys, international organizations, and so forth), provides a scientific basis for addressing issues such as the development of new energy resources; a secure water supply; safe storage of nuclear waste; the analysis, modeling, and mitigation of climate changes; and the assessment of natural and industrial risks. In addition, the Earth science community provides short- and medium-term prediction of weather and natural hazards in real time, and model simulations of a host of phenomena relating to the Earth and its space environment. These capabilities require that the Earth science community utilize, both in real and remote time, massive amounts of data, which are usually distributed among many different organizations and data centers.

  1. Heat-pipe Earth.

    PubMed

    Moore, William B; Webb, A Alexander G

    2013-09-26

    The heat transport and lithospheric dynamics of early Earth are currently explained by plate tectonic and vertical tectonic models, but these do not offer a global synthesis consistent with the geologic record. Here we use numerical simulations and comparison with the geologic record to explore a heat-pipe model in which volcanism dominates surface heat transport. These simulations indicate that a cold and thick lithosphere developed as a result of frequent volcanic eruptions that advected surface materials downwards. Declining heat sources over time led to an abrupt transition to plate tectonics. Consistent with model predictions, the geologic record shows rapid volcanic resurfacing, contractional deformation, a low geothermal gradient across the bulk of the lithosphere and a rapid decrease in heat-pipe volcanism after initiation of plate tectonics. The heat-pipe Earth model therefore offers a coherent geodynamic framework in which to explore the evolution of our planet before the onset of plate tectonics.

  2. Earth from Orbit 2014

    2015-04-20

    Every day of every year, NASA satellites provide useful data about our home planet, and along the way, some beautiful images as well. This video includes satellite images of Earth in 2014 from NASA and its partners as well as photos and a time lapse video from the International Space Station. We’ve also included a range of data visualizations, model runs, and a conceptual animation that were produced in 2014 (but in some cases might have been utilizing data from earlier years.) Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  3. Earth Observation

    2013-06-24

    ISS036-E-011843 (24 June 2013) --- Gravity waves and sunglint on Lake Superior are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 36 crew member on the International Space Station. From the vantage point of the space station, crew members frequently observe Earth atmospheric and surface phenomena in ways impossible to view from the ground. Two such phenomena?gravity waves and sunglint?are illustrated in this photograph of northeastern Lake Superior. The Canadian Shield of southern Ontario (bottom) is covered with extensive green forest canopy typical of early summer. Offshore, and to the west and southwest of Pukaskwa National Park several distinct sets of parallel cloud bands are visible. Gravity waves are produced when moisture-laden air encounters imbalances in air density, such as might be expected when cool air flows over warmer air; this can cause the flowing air to oscillate up and down as it moves, causing clouds to condense as the air rises (cools) and evaporate away as the air sinks (warms). This produces parallel bands of clouds oriented perpendicular to the wind direction. The orientation of the cloud bands visible in this image, parallel to the coastlines, suggests that air flowing off of the land surfaces to the north is interacting with moist, stable air over the lake surface, creating gravity waves. The second phenomenon?sunglint?effects the water surface around and to the northeast of Isle Royale (upper right). Sunglint is caused by light reflection off a water surface; some of the reflected light travels directly back towards the observer, resulting in a bright mirror-like appearance over large expanses of water. Water currents and changes in surface tension (typically caused by presence of oils or surfactants) alter the reflective properties of the water, and can be highlighted by sunglint. For example, surface water currents are visible to the east of Isle Royale that are oriented similarly to the gravity waves ? suggesting that they too

  4. Real-time control of optimal low-thrust transfer to the Sun-Earth L 1 halo orbit in the bicircular four-body problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salmani, Majid; Büskens, Christof

    2011-11-01

    In this article, after describing a procedure to construct trajectories for a spacecraft in the four-body model, a method to correct the trajectory violations is presented. To construct the trajectories, periodic orbits as the solutions of the three-body problem are used. On the other hand, the bicircular model based on the Sun-Earth rotating frame governs the dynamics of the spacecraft and other bodies. A periodic orbit around the first libration-point L1 is the destination of the mission which is one of the equilibrium points in the Sun-Earth/Moon three-body problem. In the way to reach such a far destination, there are a lot of disturbances such as solar radiation and winds that make the plans untrustworthy. However, the solar radiation pressure is considered in the system dynamics. To prevail over these difficulties, considering the whole transfer problem as an optimal control problem makes the designer to be able to correct the unavoidable violations from the pre-designed trajectory and strategies. The optimal control problem is solved by a direct method, transcribing it into a nonlinear programming problem. This transcription gives an unperturbed optimal trajectory and its sensitivities with respect perturbations. Modeling these perturbations as parameters embedded in a parametric optimal control problem, one can take advantage of the parametric sensitivity analysis of nonlinear programming problem to recalculate the optimal trajectory with a very smaller amount of computation costs. This is obtained by evaluating a first-order Taylor expansion of the perturbed solution in an iterative process which is aimed to achieve an admissible solution. At the end, the numerical results show the applicability of the presented method.

  5. A study of the influence of the sun on optimal two-impulse Earth-to-Moon trajectories with moderate time of flight in the three-body and four-body models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filho, Luiz Arthur Gagg; da Silva Fernandes, Sandro

    2017-05-01

    In this work, a study about the influence of the Sun on optimal two-impulse Earth-to-Moon trajectories for interior transfers with moderate time of flight is presented considering the three-body and the four-body models. The optimization criterion is the total characteristic velocity which represents the fuel consumption of an infinite thrust propulsion system. The optimization problem has been formulated using the classic planar circular restricted three-body problem (PCR3BP) and the planar bi-circular restricted four-body problem (PBR4BP), and, it consists of transferring a spacecraft from a circular low Earth orbit (LEO) to a circular low Moon orbit (LMO) with minimum fuel consumption. The Sequential Gradient Restoration Algorithm (SGRA) is applied to determine the optimal solutions. Numerical results are presented for several final altitudes of a clockwise or a counterclockwise circular low Moon orbit considering a specified altitude of a counterclockwise circular low Earth orbit. Two types of analysis are performed: in the first one, the initial position of the Sun is taken as a parameter and the major parameters describing the optimal trajectories are obtained by solving an optimization problem of one degree of freedom. In the second analysis, an optimization problem with two degrees of freedom is considered and the initial position of the Sun is taken as an additional unknown.

  6. Earth: A Ringed Planet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hancock, L. O.; Povenmire, H.

    2010-12-01

    system’s orbital elements and structure. Our work concludes that rings may exist in Earth’s equatorial plane and in the plane of the lunar orbit, that such rings are filamentary structures comprising segments of geologically homogeneous material flung into earth’s orbit at distinct periods of lunar volcanism, and that earth’s weather may indeed be very strongly affected by the rings. In closing, until the time of the lunar landing in 1969, the moon was considered geologically dead. But today, we have multiple lines of evidence that the Moon is still volcanically active. According to our study, this volcanism may affect weather and climate considerably. If lunar volcanism and weather on Earth are linked, then a satisfactory understanding of lunar volcanism is called for by considerations of human welfare. The subsistence farmer has an immediate need to know what is true about our Moon; food security depends on it.

  7. Earth Science Multimedia Theater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hasler, A. F.

    1998-01-01

    The presentation will begin with the latest 1998 NASA Earth Science Vision for the next 25 years. A compilation of the 10 days of animations of Hurricane Georges which were supplied daily on NASA to Network television will be shown. NASA's visualizations of Hurricane Bonnie which appeared in the Sept 7 1998 issue of TIME magazine. Highlights will be shown from the NASA hurricane visualization resource video tape that has been used repeatedly this season on network TV. Results will be presented from a new paper on automatic wind measurements in Hurricane Luis from 1 -min GOES images that will appear in the October BAMS. The visualizations are produced by the Goddard Visualization & Analysis Laboratory, and Scientific Visualization Studio, as well as other Goddard and NASA groups using NASA, NOAA, ESA, and NASDA Earth science datasets. Visualizations will be shown from the "Digital-HyperRes-Panorama" Earth Science ETheater'98 recently presented in Tokyo, Paris and Phoenix. The presentation in Paris used a SGI/CRAY Onyx Infinite Reality Super Graphics Workstation at 2560 X 1024 resolution with dual synchronized video Epson 71 00 projectors on a 20ft wide screen. Earth Science Electronic Theater '999 is being prepared for a December 1 st showing at NASA HQ in Washington and January presentation at the AMS meetings in Dallas. The 1999 version of the Etheater will be triple wide with at resolution of 3840 X 1024 on a 60 ft wide screen. Visualizations will also be featured from the new Earth Today Exhibit which was opened by Vice President Gore on July 2, 1998 at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, as well as those presented for possible use at the American Museum of Natural History (NYC), Disney EPCOT, and other venues. New methods are demonstrated for visualizing, interpreting, comparing, organizing and analyzing immense Hyperimage remote sensing datasets and three dimensional numerical model results. We call the data from many new Earth sensing satellites

  8. The Far Infrared Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harries, John; Carli, Bruno; Rizzi, Rolando; Serio, Carmine; Mlynczak, Martin G.; Palchetti, Luca; Maestri, T.; Brindley, H.; Masiello, Guido

    2007-01-01

    The paper presents a review of the far infrared (FIR) properties of the Earth's atmosphere, and the role of these properties in climate. These properties have been relatively poorly understood, and it is one of the purposes of this review to demonstrate that, in recent years, we have made great strides in improving this understanding. Seen from space, the Earth is a cool object, with an effective emitting temperature of about 255 K. This contrasts with a global mean surface temperature of 288 K, and is due primarily to strong absorption of outgoing longwave energy by water vapour, carbon dioxide and clouds (especially ice). A large fraction of this absorption occurs in the FIR, and so the Earth is effectively a FIR planet. The FIR is important in a number of key climate processes, for example the water vapour and cloud feedbacks (especially ice clouds). The FIR is also a spectral region which can be used to remotely sense and retrieve atmospheric composition in the presence of ice clouds. Recent developments in instrumentation have allowed progress in each of these areas, which are described, and proposals for a spaceborne FIR instrument are being formulated. It is timely to review the FIR properties of the clear and cloudy atmosphere, the role of FIR processes in climate, and its use in observing our planet from space.

  9. Earth Observation

    2014-06-23

    ISS040-E-017316 (23 June 2014) --- As the International Space Station was passing over the North Atlantic Ocean, just east of Newfoundland, on June 23, 2014, one of the Expedition 40 crew members on the orbital outpost recorded this panoramic view of the swirling bands of a mature, not dangerous non-tropical, cyclone. Such cyclonic activity is not unusual for this time of year in that area.

  10. Earth Observation

    2013-07-11

    ISS036-E-017957 (11 July 2013) --- One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station photographed this image of Typhoon Soulik just east of northern Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean. [Editor?s update: Thousands of people were evacuated in Taiwan; and the entire island was declared an "alert zone," as Typhoon Soulik made landfall early on July 13 (local time), pounding the country with powerful winds and heavy rain].

  11. Earth Observation

    2013-07-11

    ISS036-E-017943 (11 July 2013) --- One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station photographed this image of Typhoon Soulik just east of northern Taiwan The city of Guangzhou can be seen along the coast. [Editor?s update: Thousands of people were evacuated in Taiwan; and the entire island was declared an "alert zone," as Typhoon Soulik made landfall early on July 13 (local time), pounding the country with powerful winds and heavy rain].

  12. Earth Observation

    2013-07-11

    ISS036-E-017952 (11 July 2013) --- One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station photographed this image of Typhoon Soulik just east of northern Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean. [Editor?s update: Thousands of people were evacuated in Taiwan; and the entire island was declared an "alert zone," as Typhoon Soulik made landfall early on July 13 (local time), pounding the country with powerful winds and heavy rain].

  13. Earth Science

    2002-12-04

    International Space Station (ISS) crew members were able to document a rare occurrence. The dark area near the center of the frame is actually a shadow cast by the moon during the total solar eclipse of December 4, 2002. The shadow obscures an area of cloud cover. The Station, with three Expedition Six crew members aboard, was over the Indian Ocean at the time of the eclipse.

  14. Dark Matter Hairs Around Earth

    2015-11-23

    This illustration shows Earth surrounded by filaments of dark matter called "hairs," which are proposed in a study in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. A hair is created when a stream of dark matter particles goes through the planet. According to simulations, the hair is densest at a point called the "root." When particles of a dark matter stream pass through the core of Earth, they form a hair whose root has a particle density about a billion times greater than average. The hairs in this illustration are not to scale. Simulations show that the roots of such hairs can be 600,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Earth, while Earth's radius is only about 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20176

  15. Why Earth Science?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Michael J.

    2004-01-01

    This article briefly describes Earth science. The study of Earth science provides the foundation for an understanding of the Earth, its processes, its resources, and its environment. Earth science is the study of the planet in its entirety, how its lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere work together as systems and how they affect…

  16. NASA Earth Day 2014

    2014-04-22

    NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks to students who attended the NASA sponsored Earth Day event April 22, 2014 at Union Station in Washington, DC. NASA sponsored the Earth Day event as part of its "Earth Right Now" campaign, celebrating the launch of five Earth-observing missions in 2014. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  17. Time?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amoroso, Richard L.

    2013-09-01

    The concept of time in the `clockwork' Newtonian world was irrelevant; and has generally been ignored until recently by several generations of physicists since the implementation of quantum mechanics. We will set aside the utility of time as a property relating to physical calculations of events relating to a metrics line element or as an aspect of the transformation of a particles motion/interaction in a coordinate system or in relation to thermodynamics etc., i.e. we will discard all the usual uses of time as a concept used to circularly define physical parameters in terms of other physical parameters; concentrating instead on time as an aspect of the fundamental cosmic topology of our virtual reality especially as it inseparably relates to the nature and role of the observer in natural science.

  18. Low-energy near Earth asteroid capture using Earth flybys and aerobraking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Minghu; McInnes, Colin; Ceriotti, Matteo

    2018-04-01

    Since the Sun-Earth libration points L1 and L2 are regarded as ideal locations for space science missions and candidate gateways for future crewed interplanetary missions, capturing near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) around the Sun-Earth L1/L2 points has generated significant interest. Therefore, this paper proposes the concept of coupling together a flyby of the Earth and then capturing small NEAs onto Sun-Earth L1/L2 periodic orbits. In this capture strategy, the Sun-Earth circular restricted three-body problem (CRTBP) is used to calculate target Lypaunov orbits and their invariant manifolds. A periapsis map is then employed to determine the required perigee of the Earth flyby. Moreover, depending on the perigee distance of the flyby, Earth flybys with and without aerobraking are investigated to design a transfer trajectory capturing a small NEA from its initial orbit to the stable manifolds associated with Sun-Earth L1/L2 periodic orbits. Finally, a global optimization is carried out, based on a detailed design procedure for NEA capture using an Earth flyby. Results show that the NEA capture strategies using an Earth flyby with and without aerobraking both have the potential to be of lower cost in terms of energy requirements than a direct NEA capture strategy without the Earth flyby. Moreover, NEA capture with an Earth flyby also has the potential for a shorter flight time compared to the NEA capture strategy without the Earth flyby.

  19. High-time resolution measurements of upstream magnetic field and plasma conditions during flux transfer events at the Earth's dayside magnetopause

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacob, Jamey D.; Carrell, Cynthia

    1993-01-01

    We present preliminary results of a study of upstream magnetic field and plasma conditions measured by IRM during flux transfer events observed at the Earth's magnetopause by CCE. This study was designed to determine the importance of various upstream factors in the formation of bipolar magnetic field signatures called flux transfer events (FTEs). Six FTE encounters were examined. In three cases, the two satellites were on similar magnetic field lines. Preliminary investigation showed that fluctuations occurred in the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) resulting in a southward field preceding the FTE in all three of these cases. In two of these cases, the changes were characterized by a distinct rotation from a strong southward to a strong northward field. There were also accompanying changes in the dynamic and thermal pressure in the solar wind immediately before the FTE was encountered. Examination of the 3D plasma distributions showed that these pulses were due to the addition of energetic upstreaming foreshock particles. There were no consistent changes in either Bz or the plasma pressure at IRM for the three events when the satellites were not connected by the IMF.

  20. Earth Observation

    2013-08-26

    ISS036-E-037185 (26 Aug. 2013) --- One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station used a 50mm lens to record this view of the massive drought-aided Rim Fire in and around California's Yosemite National Park and the Stanislaus National Forest on Aug. 26. The fire began on Aug. 17 and, at the time of this photo on Aug. 26, it still continues to burn, as some 3,700 firefighters battle it. More than 224 square miles have been affected.

  1. Magnetic field of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popov, Aleksey

    2013-04-01

    of electromagnetism. According to a rule of the left hand: if the magnetic field in a kernel is directed to drawing, electric current are directed to an axis of rotation of the Earth, - a action of force clockwise (to West). Definition of the force causing drift a kernel according to the law of Ampere F = IBlsin. Powerful force 3,5 × 1012 Nyton, what makes drift of the central part of a kernel of the Earth on 0,2 the longitude in year to West, and also it is engine of the mechanism of movement of slabs together with continents. Movement of a core of the Earth carry out around of a terrestrial axis one circulation in the western direction in 2000 of years. Linear speed of rotation of a kernel concerning a mantle on border the mantle a kernel: V = × 3,471 × 10 = 3,818 × 10 m/s = 33 m/day = 12 km/years. Considering greater viscosity of a mantle, the powerful energy at rotation of a kernel seize a mantle and lithospheric slabs and makes their collisions as a result of which there are earthquakes and volcano. Continents Northern and Southern America every year separate from the Europe and Africa on several centimeters. Atlantic ocean as a result of movement of these slabs with such speed was formed for 200 million years, that in comparison with the age of the Earth - several billions years, not so long time. Drift of a kernel in the western direction is a principal cause of delay of speed of rotation of the Earth. Flow of radial electric currents allot according to the law of Joule - Lenz, the quantity of warmth : Q = I2Rt = IUt, of thermal energy 6,92 × 1017 calories/year. This defines heating of a kernel and the Earth as a whole. In the valley of the median-Atlantic ridge having numerous volcanos, the lava flow constantly thus warm up waters of Atlantic ocean. It is a fact the warm current Gulf Stream. Thawing of a permafrost and ices of Arctic ocean, of glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica is acknowledgement: the warmth of earth defines character of thawing of

  2. Ancient hydrothermal ecosystems on earth: a new palaeobiological frontier.

    PubMed

    Walter, M R

    1996-01-01

    Thermal springs are common in the oceans and on land. Early in the history of the Earth they would have been even more abundant, because of a higher heat flow. A thermophilic lifestyle has been proposed for the common ancestor of extant life, and hydrothermal ecosystems can be expected to have existed on Earth since life arose. Though there has been a great deal of recent research on this topic by biologists, palaeobiologists have done little to explore ancient high temperature environments. Exploration geologists and miners have long known the importance of hydrothermal systems, as they are sources for much of our gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc. Such systems are particularly abundant in Archaean and Proterozoic successions. Despite the rarity of systematic searches of these by palaeobiologists, already 12 fossiliferous Phanerozoic deposits are known. Five are 'black smoker' type submarine deposits that formed in the deep ocean and preserve a vent fauna like that in the modern oceans; the oldest is Devonian. Three are from shallow marine deposits of Carboniferous age. As well as 'worm tubes', several of these contain morphological or isotopic evidence of microbial life. The oldest well established fossiliferous submarine thermal spring deposit is Cambro-Ordovician; microorganisms of at least three or four types are preserved in this. One example each of Carboniferous and Jurassic sub-lacustrine fossiliferous thermal springs are known. There are two convincing examples of fossiliferous subaerial hydrothermal deposits. Both are Devonian. Several known Proterozoic and Archaean deposits are likely to preserve a substantial palaeobiological record, and all the indications are that there must be numerous deposits suitable for study. Already it is demonstrable that in ancient thermal spring deposits there is a record of microbial communities preserved as stromatolites, microfossils, isotope distribution patterns and hydrocarbon biomarkers.

  3. Frequency domain and full waveform time domain inversion of ground based magnetometer, electrometer and incoherent scattering radar arrays to image strongly heterogenous 3-D Earth structure, ionospheric structure, and to predict the intensity of GICs in the power grid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, A.; Imamura, N.; Bonner, L. R., IV; Cosgrove, R. B.

    2016-12-01

    Ground-based magnetometer and electrometer arrays provide the means to probe the structure of the Earth's interior, the interactions of space weather with the ionosphere, and to anticipate the intensity of geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) in power grids. We present a local-to-continental scale view of a heterogeneous 3-D crust and mantle as determined from magnetotelluric (MT) observations across arrays of ground-based electric and magnetic field sensors. MT impedance tensors describe the relationship between electric and magnetic fields at a given site, thus implicitly they contain all known information on the 3-D electrical resistivity structure beneath and surrounding that site. By using multivariate transfer functions to project real-time magnetic observatory network data to areas surrounding electric power grids, and by projecting those magnetic fields through MT impedance tensors, the projected magnetic field can be transformed into predictions of electric fields along the path of the transmission lines, an essential element of predicting the intensity of GICs in the grid. Finally, we explore GICs, i.e. Earth-ionosphere coupling directly in the time-domain. We consider the fully coupled EM system, where we allow for a non-stationary ionospheric source field of arbitrary complexity above a 3-D Earth. We solve the simultaneous inverse problem for 3-D Earth conductivity and source field structure directly in the time domain. In the present work, we apply this method to magnetotelluric data obtained from a synchronously operating array of 25 MT stations that collected continuous MT waveform data in the interior of Alaska during the autumn and winter of 2015 under the footprint of the Poker Flat (Alaska) Incoherent Scattering Radar (PFISR). PFISR data yield functionals of the ionospheric electric field and ionospheric conductivity that constrain the MT source field. We show that in this region conventional robust MT processing methods struggle to produce

  4. Supra-Earth affairs.

    PubMed

    Othman, Mazlan

    2011-02-13

    The United Nations briefly considered the issue of extra-terrestrial intelligence at the 32nd session of the General Assembly in 1977. As a result, the Office of Outer Space Affairs was tasked to prepare a document on issues related to 'messages to extra-terrestrial civilizations', but this area has not been followed through in more recent times. This discussion paper describes the United Nations' activities in the field of near-Earth objects in some detail, and suggests that this might be used as a model of how Member States could proceed with dealing with this issue in case the existence of extra-terrestrial life/intelligence is established.

  5. Earth Science

    2002-10-30

    Expedition Five crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured this overhead look at the smoke and ash regurgitated from the erupting volcano Mt. Etna on the island of Sicily, Italy in October 2002. Triggered by a series of earthquakes on October 27, 2002, this eruption was one of Etna's most vigorous in years. This image shows the ash plume curving out toward the horizon. The lighter-colored plumes down slope and north of the summit seen in this frame are produced by forest fires set by flowing lava. At an elevation of 10,990 feet (3,350 m), the summit of the Mt. Etna volcano, one of the most active and most studied volcanoes in the world, has been active for a half-million years and has erupted hundreds of times in recorded history.

  6. Earth observation

    2014-09-06

    ISS040-E-124198 (6 Sept. 2014) --- Puget Sound is partly reflecting the sun in this detailed image taken by an Expedition 40 crew member on the International Space Station. Patterns of boat wakes are prominent in the sun’s partial reflection zone. The difference between the boat wakes in this view relates to the speed of the boat and the particular patterns (of several) that happen to be captured in the specific light reflection angles at the time the image was taken. The land areas show parts of Seattle. The darkest areas with rectangular grids are suburbs richly covered with trees. The broadly gray zones of the central city (bottom center) are brighter where structures are lower, as in the harbor zone (Harbor Island), and darker where the shadows of high-rise buildings downtown cast black shadows. Interstate Highway 5 bisects downtown.

  7. Earth Observations

    2011-06-11

    ISS028-E-008604 (11 June 2011) --- A night view of the southern Italian Peninsula is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station. The Earth’s surface at night is covered with a delicate tracery of lights, particularly in regions – such as Europe – that have a long history of urban development. Large urban areas are recognizable from orbit due to extensive electric lighting and distinct street patterns; with smaller urban areas spread across the land surface and coastlines, the outlines of continental landmasses are easily discernable at night. This photograph highlights the night time appearance of the southern Italian Peninsula; the toe and heel of Italy’s “boot” are clearly defined by the lights of large cities such as Naples, Bari, and Brindisi as well as numerous smaller urban areas. The bordering Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Ionian Seas appear as dark regions to the east, west, and south of the boot. The city lights of Palermo and Catania on the island of Sicily are visible at image bottom center. The space station was located over an area of Romania close to the capital city of Bucharest – approximately 945 kilometers to the northeast—at the time this image was taken. Part of a docked Russian spacecraft solar panel array is visible in the foreground at left. The distance between the image subject area and the position of the photographer, as well as the viewing angle looking outwards from the space station, contributes to the distorted appearance of the Italian Peninsula and Sicily in the image.

  8. Time-resolved interaction of seawater with gabbro: An experimental study of rare-earth element behavior up to 475 °C, 100 MPa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beermann, Oliver; Garbe-Schönberg, Dieter; Bach, Wolfgang; Holzheid, Astrid

    2017-01-01

    High metal and rare-earth element (REE) concentrations with unusual ('atypical') normalized REE patterns are documented in fluids from active hydrothermal vent fields on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 5°S and the East Scotia Ridge. Those fluids show relative enrichment of middle heavy REEs and almost no Eu anomalies in chondrite-normalized patterns. To understand the processes that produce such atypical REE patterns we ran a series of experiments, in which natural bottom seawater or aqueous solutions (NaCl, NaCl-MgCl2, or NaCl-CaCl2) were reacted with gabbro and gabbro mineral assemblages from 300 to 475 °C and 40 and 100 MPa. These P-T conditions are representative for water-rock interactions in hydrothermal root and discharge zones. Fluid flux variability and kinetics were addressed in the experiments by varying the water-to-rock mass ratio (w/r) from 0.5-10 and using different run durations from 3-720 h. Only seawater and synthetic MgCl2-bearing fluid mobilized significant amounts of REEs, Si, Ca, Fe, and Mn from gabbro, from clinopyroxene, and from plagioclase. At 425 °C and 40 MPa, fluids were initially acidic with pH (25 °C) of ∼2 increasing to values between ∼4 and 7 upon progressing reactions. Rare earth element and Fe contents peaked within 3-6 h after interaction with gabbroic mineral grains (125-500 μm) at w/r of 5 (REEs) and 2-5 (Fe) but decreased with continuing reaction without strong REE fractionation. Most of the REEs that were leached from primary minerals and dissolved in the fluids early became redeposited into solid reaction products after 720 h. Contents of dissolved SiO2 were pressure-dependent, being about twofold higher at 100 MPa than at 40 MPa (425 °C) and were below quartz saturation with gabbro and clinopyroxene as solid starting material and close to quartz saturation with plagioclase reactant. However, Si in fluids from the rock-dominated experiments at 100 MPa with gabbro (w/r 0.5-1) dropped to very low contents. A concomitant

  9. Decadal GPS Time Series and Velocity Fields Spanning the North American Continent and Beyond: New Data Products, Cyberinfrastructure and Case Studies from the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) and Other Regional Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, D. A.; Herring, T.; Melbourne, T. I.; Murray, M. H.; Szeliga, W. M.; Floyd, M.; Puskas, C. M.; King, R. W.; Boler, F. M.; Meertens, C. M.; Mattioli, G. S.

    2017-12-01

    The Geodesy Advancing Geosciences and EarthScope (GAGE) Facility, operated by UNAVCO, provides a diverse suite of geodetic data, derived products and cyberinfrastructure services to support community Earth science research and education. GPS data and products including decadal station position time series and velocities are provided for 2000+ continuous GPS stations from the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) and other networks distributed throughout the high Arctic, North America, and Caribbean regions. The position time series contain a multitude of signals in addition to the secular motions, including coseismic and postseismic displacements, interseismic strain accumulation, and transient signals associated with hydrologic and other processes. We present our latest velocity field solutions, new time series offset estimate products, and new time series examples associated with various phenomena. Position time series, and the signals they contain, are inherently dependent upon analysis parameters such as network scaling and reference frame realization. The estimation of scale changes for example, a common practice, has large impacts on vertical motion estimates. GAGE/PBO velocities and time series are currently provided in IGS (IGb08) and North America (NAM08, IGb08 rotated to a fixed North America Plate) reference frames. We are reprocessing all data (1996 to present) as part of the transition from IGb08 to IGS14 that began in 2017. New NAM14 and IGS14 data products are discussed. GAGE/PBO GPS data products are currently generated using onsite computing clusters. As part of an NSF funded EarthCube Building Blocks project called "Deploying MultiFacility Cyberinfrastructure in Commercial and Private Cloud-based Systems (GeoSciCloud)", we are investigating performance, cost, and efficiency differences between local computing resources and cloud based resources. Test environments include a commercial cloud provider (Amazon/AWS), NSF cloud-like infrastructures within

  10. Earth Science

    2002-08-01

    A NASA team studying the causes of electrical storms and their effects on our home planet achieved a milestone on August 21, 2002, completing the study's longest-duration research flight and monitoring four thunderstorms in succession. Based at the Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, researchers with the Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES) used the Altus II remotely piloted aircraft to study thunderstorms in the Atlantic Ocean off Key West and the west of the Everglades. The ACES lightning study used the Altus II twin turbo uninhabited aerial vehicle, built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. of San Diego. The Altus II was chosen for its slow flight speed of 75 to 100 knots (80 to 115 mph), long endurance, and high-altitude flight (up to 65,000 feet). These qualities gave the Altus II the ability to fly near and around thunderstorms for long periods of time, allowing investigations to be conducted over the entire life cycle of storms. The vehicle has a wing span of 55 feet and a payload capacity of over 300 lbs. With dual goals of gathering weather data safely and testing the adaptability of the uninhabited aircraft, the ACES study is a collaboration among the Marshall Space Flight Center, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, Pernsylvania State University in University Park, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

  11. Earth Science

    2002-08-01

    A NASA team studying the causes of electrical storms and their effects on our home planet achieved a milestone on August 21, 2002, completing the study's longest-duration research flight and monitoring four thunderstorms in succession. Based at the Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, researchers with the Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES) used the Altus II remotely-piloted aircraft to study thunderstorms in the Atlantic Ocean off Key West and the west of the Everglades. The ACES lightning study used the Altus II twin turbo uninhabited aerial vehicle, built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. of San Diego. The Altus II was chosen for its slow flight speed of 75 to 100 knots (80 to 115 mph), long endurance, and high-altitude flight (up to 65,000 feet). These qualities gave the Altus II the ability to fly near and around thunderstorms for long periods of time, allowing investigations to be to be conducted over the entire life cycle of storms. The vehicle has a wing span of 55 feet and a payload capacity of over 300 lbs. With dual goals of gathering weather data safely and testing the adaptability of the uninhabited aircraft, the ACES study is a collaboration among the Marshall Space Flight Center, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, NASA,s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, Pernsylvania State University in University Park, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

  12. Earth Observations

    2010-07-25

    ISS024-E-009526 (25 July 2010) --- Dominic Point Fire in Montana is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. Lightning strikes in the forested mountains of the western United States, and human activities, can spark wild fires during the summer dry season. The Dominic Point Fire was first reported near 3:00 p.m. local time on July 25 2010. Approximately one hour later, the space station crew photographed the fire?s large smoke plume ? already extending at least eight kilometers to the east ? from orbit as they passed almost directly overhead. Forest Service fire crews, slurry bombers and helicopters were on the scene by that evening. The fire may have been started by a lightning strike, as there are no trails leading into the fire area located approximately 22 kilometers northeast of Hamilton, MT (according to local reports). As of July 26, 2010 the fire had burned approximately 283?405 hectares of the Bitterroot National Forest in western Montana. The fire is thought to have expanded quickly due to high temperatures, low humidity, and favorable winds with an abundance of deadfall ? dead trees and logs that provide readily combustible fuels ? in the area.

  13. Earth Observations

    2010-08-13

    ISS024-E-011914 (13 Aug. 2010) --- Mataiva Atoll, Tuamotu Archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. The Tuamotu Archipelago is part of French Polynesia, and forms the largest chain of atolls in the world. This photograph features Mataiva Atoll, the westernmost atoll of the Tuamotu chain. An atoll is a ring-shaped island that encloses a central lagoon. This distinctive morphology is usually associated with oceanic islands formed by volcanoes; coral reefs become established around the partially submerged volcanic cone. Over geologic time the central volcano becomes extinct, followed by erosion and subsidence beneath the sea surface, leaving the coral reefs as a ring around (or cap on) the submerged island remnant. Coral reefs exposed above the sea surface in turn experience erosion, sedimentation and soil formation, leading to the establishment of vegetation and complex ecosystems – including in many cases human habitation. Mataiva Atoll is notable in that its central lagoon includes a network of ridges (white, center) and small basins formed from eroded coral reefs. Mataiva means “nine eyes” in Tuamotuan, an allusion to nine narrow channels on the south-central portion of the island. The atoll is sparsely populated, with only a single village – Pahua – located on either side of the only pass providing constant connection between the shallow (light blue) water of the lagoon and the deeper (dark blue) adjacent Pacific Ocean. Much of the 10 kilometer-long atoll is covered with forest (greenish brown); vanilla and copra (dried coconut) are major exports from the atoll, but tourism is becoming a greater economic factor.

  14. Earth Observation

    2013-06-11

    ISS036-E-007165 (11 June 2013) --- Nevados de Chillan, Chile is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 36 crew member on the International Space Station. This photograph highlights a large volcanic area located near the Chile-Argentina border. Like other historically active volcanoes in the central Andes ranges, the Nevados de Chillan were created by upwelling magma generated by eastward subduction of the dense oceanic crust of the Pacific basin beneath the less dense continental crust of South America. Rising magmas associated with this type of tectonic environment frequently erupt explosively, forming widespread ash and ignimbrite layers. They can also produce less explosive eruptions that form voluminous lava flows – layering together with explosively erupted deposits to build the classic cone-shaped edifice of a stratovolcano over geologic time. The Nevados de Chillan includes three distinct volcanic structures, built within three overlapping calderas that extend along a north-northwest to south-southeast line. The snow-capped volcanic complex sits within the glaciated terrain of the central Andes – glacial valleys are visible at upper left, upper right, and lower right. The northwestern end of the chain is occupied by the 3,212-meter-high Cerro Blanco (also known as Volcan Nevado). The 3,089-meter-high Volcan Viejo (also known as Volcan Chillan) sits at the southeastern end; this volcano was active during the 17th-19th centuries. A group of lava domes known as Volcan Nuevo formed to the northwest of Volcan Viejo between 1906-1945, followed by an even younger dome complex that formed between 1973-1986 (Volcan Arrau; not indicated on the image). The last reported volcanic activity at Nevados de Chillan took place in 2009 (according to the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Network).

  15. Earth Observation

    2013-06-26

    ISS036-E-012047 (26 June 2013) --- Damascus, Syria is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 36 crew member on the International Space Station. The capital city of the Syrian Arab Republic, Damascus, and its surrounding metropolitan area is highlighted in this photograph from the space station. Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East, with evidence of human habitation extending back to 8,000-10,000 BC. During medieval times, the city was well known as a craft and trade center specializing in the production of swords and lace; ?Damascus steel? became a watchword for high-quality blades through the 19th century due to its superior properties and characteristic visual appearance. Urban areas are readily recognizable as gray-white regions contrasting with surrounding brown to tan semi-arid landscape. The Barada River runs through Damascus, and is visible entering the metropolitan area at top center. The Ghouta oasis, fed by the Barada River, once encircled Damascus but urban expansion has converted much of the oasis from agricultural to other land uses. A large region of agriculture extends to the southeast of Damascus, visible as extensive green fields at lower right. Today, the city is the center of a metropolitan area with a population of over 2.6 million (based on 2004 information from the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics). Current industries include textiles, food processing, and chemicals, with traditional artisan handcrafts still produced in the old core of Damascus. Most recently, the city has experienced unrest, military conflict, and loss of life stemming from the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

  16. The young age of Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Youxue

    1998-09-01

    Patterson (1956) established that the age of Earth is close to that of meteorites. Over the last 20 years, workers argued for younger age for core differentiation based on Pb-Pb model ages and tungsten isotopic data and for gas retention based on I-Xe modeling. However, disagreement is abundant, and the young age of Earth has not been widely accepted. In this work, I examine all radiogenic noble gases in the atmosphere and use a model-independent approach and total inversion to show that (1) the Xe-closure age of Earth is 109 ± 23 million years younger than the formation of meteorite Bjurbole (˜4560 Ma) and (2) all radiogenic components of noble gases in the atmosphere can be quantitatively accounted for by production and degassing ˜60% of the bulk silicate earth. The agreement between the 129I- 129Xe clock and 244Pu- 238U- 136Xe- 134Xe- 132Xe- 131Xe clock suggests that the volatility of iodine does not affect the 129I- 129Xe clock. Earth's Xe-closure age is 4.45 ± 0.02 Ga, consistent with the model age of Pb and the 146Sm- 142Nd, 147Sm- 143Nd and 182Hf- 182W systematics. On the basis of the consistency of these ages, 4.45 ± 0.02 Ga probably represents the time when the last Martian-sized planetesimal hit Earth and reinitialized the global clocks.

  17. Earth Observations

    2011-06-02

    ISS028-E-006830 (2 June 2011) --- Okavango Swamp in Botswana is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station. This short focal-length photograph shows the entire Okavango ?delta,? a swampland known in Southern Africa as the ?Jewel of the Kalahari Desert?. This enormous pristine wetland of forest, wildlife, and freshwater almost miraculously appears in a desert where surface water is typically non-existent. The water comes from the Okavango River which rises in the high-rainfall zone of southern Angola, hundreds of kilometers to the northwest. The dark green forested floodplain is approximately 10 kilometers wide where it enters the view (left). The Okavango then enters a rift basin which allows the river to spread out, forming the wetland. The width of the rift determines the dimensions of the delta?150 kilometers from apex to the linear downstream margin (right). The apex fault is more difficult to discern, but two fault lines actually define the downstream margin; the fault traces are indicated by linear stream channels and vegetation patterns oriented at nearly right angles to the southeast-trending distributary channels at center. The distributary channels carry sediment from the Okavango River that is deposited within the rift basin. Over time, a fan-shaped morphology of the deposits has developed, leading to characterization of the wetland as the Okavango ?delta?. The drying trend from higher rainfall in the north (left) to less rainfall in central Botswana (right) is shown by the change from the greens of denser savanna vegetation to browns of an open ?thornscrub? savanna. More subtle distinctions appear: the distributary arms of the delta include tall, permanent riverine and seasonal forest (dark green), with grasses and other savanna vegetation (light green) on floodplains?which appear well watered in this image. Linear dunes, emplaced by constant winds from the east during drier climates, appear as

  18. Creating high-resolution time series land-cover classifications in rapidly changing forested areas with BULC-U in Google Earth Engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardille, J. A.; Lee, J.

    2017-12-01

    With the opening of the Landsat archive, there is a dramatically increased potential for creating high-quality time series of land use/land-cover (LULC) classifications derived from remote sensing. Although LULC time series are appealing, their creation is typically challenging in two fundamental ways. First, there is a need to create maximally correct LULC maps for consideration at each time step; and second, there is a need to have the elements of the time series be consistent with each other, without pixels that flip improbably between covers due only to unavoidable, stray classification errors. We have developed the Bayesian Updating of Land Cover - Unsupervised (BULC-U) algorithm to address these challenges simultaneously, and introduce and apply it here for two related but distinct purposes. First, with minimal human intervention, we produced an internally consistent, high-accuracy LULC time series in rapidly changing Mato Grosso, Brazil for a time interval (1986-2000) in which cropland area more than doubled. The spatial and temporal resolution of the 59 LULC snapshots allows users to witness the establishment of towns and farms at the expense of forest. The new time series could be used by policy-makers and analysts to unravel important considerations for conservation and management, including the timing and location of past development, the rate and nature of changes in forest connectivity, the connection with road infrastructure, and more. The second application of BULC-U is to sharpen the well-known GlobCover 2009 classification from 300m to 30m, while improving accuracy measures for every class. The greatly improved resolution and accuracy permits a better representation of the true LULC proportions, the use of this map in models, and quantification of the potential impacts of changes. Given that there may easily be thousands and potentially millions of images available to harvest for an LULC time series, it is imperative to build useful algorithms

  19. Geomagnetic field and length-of-day fluctuations at decadal and subdecadal time scales. A plea for looking beyond the atmosphere for partners in Earth's rotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demetrescu, C.; Dobrica, V.; Stefan, C.

    2017-12-01

    A rich scientific literature is linking length-of-day (LOD) fluctuations to geomagnetic field and flow oscillations in the fluid outer core. We demostrate that the temporal evolution of the geomagnetic field shows the existence of several oscillations at decadal, inter-decadal, and sub-centennial time scales that superimpose on a so-called inter-centennial constituent. We show that while the subcentennial oscillations of the geomagnetic field, produced by torsional oscillations in the core, could be linked to oscillations of LOD at a similar time scale, the oscillations at decadal and sub-decadal time scales, of external origin, can be found in LOD too. We discuss these issues from the perspective of long time-span main field models (gufm1 - Jackson et al., 2000; COV-OBS - Gillet et al., 2013) that are used to retrieve time series of geomagnetic elements in a 2.5x2.5° network. The decadal and sub-decadal constituents of the time series of annual values in LOD and geomagnetic field were separated in the cyclic component of a Hodrick-Prescott filtering applied to data, and shown to highly correlate to variations of external sources such as the magnetospheric ring current.

  20. Destiny's Earth Observation Window

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Astronaut Michael J. Bloomfield, STS-110 mission commander, looks through the Earth observation window in the Destiny laboratory aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The STS-110 mission prepared the ISS for future spacewalks by installing and outfitting the S0 (S-zero) truss and the Mobile Transporter. The 43-foot-long S0 Truss, weighing in at 27,000 pounds, was the first of 9 segments that will make up the Station's external framework that will eventually stretch 356 feet (109 meters), or approximately the length of a football field. This central truss segment also includes a flatcar called the Mobile Transporter and rails that will become the first 'space railroad,' which will allow the Station's robotic arm to travel up and down the finished truss for future assembly and maintenance. The completed truss structure will hold solar arrays and radiators to provide power and cooling for additional international research laboratories from Japan and Europe that will be attached to the Station. Milestones of the STS-110 mission included the first time the ISS robotic arm was used to maneuver spacewalkers around the Station and marked the first time all spacewalks were based out of the Station's Quest Airlock. It was also the first Shuttle to use three Block II Main Engines. The Space Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis, STS-110 mission, was launched April 8, 2002 and returned to Earth April 19, 2002.