We study the effects of pore fluid pressure (Pf ) on the pre-earthquake, near-fault stress state and 3D earthquake rupture dynamics through 6 scenarios utilizing a structural model based on the 2004 Mw 9.1 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. As pre-earthquake Pf magnitude increases, effective normal stress and fault shear strength decrease. As a result, magnitude, slip, peak slip rate, stress drop and rupture velocity of the scenario earthquakes decrease. Comparison of results with observations of the 2004 earthquake support that pre-earthquake Pf averages near 97 % of lithostatic pressure, leading to pre-earthquake average shear and effective normal tractions of 4-5 MPa and 22 MPa. The megathrust in these scenarios is weak, in terms of low mean shear traction at static failure and low dynamic friction coefficient during rupture. Apparent co-seismic principal stress rotations and absolute post-seismic stresses in these scenarios are consistent with the variety of observed aftershock focal mechanisms. In all scenarios, the mean apparent stress rotations are larger above than below the megathrust. Scenarios with larger Pf magnitudes exhibit lower mean apparent principal stress rotations. We further evaluate pre-earthquake Pf depth distribution. If Pf follows a sublithostatic gradient, pre-earthquake effective normal stress increases with depth. If Pf follows the lithostatic gradient exactly, then this normal stress is constant, shifting peak slip and peak slip rate up-dip. This renders constraints on near-trench strength and constitutive behavior crucial for mitigating hazard. These scenarios provide opportunity for future calibration with site-specific measurements to constrain dynamically plausible megathrust strength and Pf gradients.
Changes in the magnitude and frequency of river flows have potential to alter sediment dynamics and morphology of rivers globally, but the direction of these changes remains uncertain. A lack of data across spatial and temporal scales limits understanding of river flow regimes and how changes in these regimes interact with river bank erosion and floodplain deposition. Linking characteristics of the flow regime to changes in bank erosion and floodplain deposition is necessary to understand how rivers will adjust to changes in hydrology from societal pressures and climatic change, particularly in snowmelt-dominated systems. We present a lidar dataset, intensive field surveys, aerial imagery and hydrologic analysis spanning 60 years, and spatial analysis to quantify bank erosion, lateral accretion, floodplain overbank deposition, and a floodplain fine sediment budget in an 11-km long study segment of the meandering gravel bed East River, Colorado, USA. Stepwise regression analysis of channel morphometry in nine study reaches and snowmelt-dominated annual hydrologic indices in this mountainous system suggest that sinuosity, channel width, recession slope, and flow duration are linked to lateral erosion and accretion. The duration of flow exceeding baseflow and the slope of the annual recession limb explain 59% and 91% of the variability in lateral accretion and erosion, respectively. This strong correlation between the rate of change in river flows, which occurs over days to weeks, and erosion suggests a high sensitivity of sedimentation along rivers in response to a shifting climate in snowmelt-dominated systems, which constitute the majority of rivers above 40° latitude.
Despite extensive research into the transport and fate of oceanic microplastics (MP, <5mm in size), there is comparatively little focus on river systems considered to be pathways for these contaminants. The Savannah River, forming the border between Georgia and South Carolina, provides a unique location to study MP pollution along a variably industrialized river system terminating in the Atlantic Ocean. We investigated spatial variations in MP concentrations along the Savannah River to better understand their transport and deposition in rural to highly developed fluvial systems. Samples of riverbank sediment and suspended particles captured by a <80μm plankton net were collected along a 115 km reach of the river extending from just below the Strom Thurmond Dam to 25km downstream of Augusta, GA. Laboratory MP separation followed NOAA guidelines with a heavy liquid float-sink separation technique and wet peroxide oxidation treatment. Visually identified MPs were counted and photographed using a stereomicroscope; a subset of particles from each sample were examined using a Horiba XploRa Plus confocal microscope system. Average MP concentrations were measured at 3.1 (range: 1.5-4.6) particles/cubic meter in water and 16.8 (range: 6.2-27.4) particles/kg sediment and primarily composed of polyester fibers and polypropylene pellets. Comparison of MP concentrations between sediment samples from the upper bank and water margin suggests that MP particle deposition is dependent on river stage. Preliminary results further indicate that there is no observable relationship between increasing drainage area and MP concentration, suggesting that concentration may be dependent on localized anthropogenic sources rather than cumulative upstream contributions. Measured concentrations of MP in bank sediment in the upper reaches of the Savannah River are an order-of magnitude less than published concentrations at the river’s mouth collected over the same sampled cross-sectional area, suggesting tidal action exerts a significant control on MP pollution in coastal and near coastal areas. Future work will focus on quantifying the predicted role of tidally dominated systems in concentrating microplastics around river mouths and identifying river reaches with highly concentrated MP particles for targeted remediation.
Investigating basins in light of tectonics provides clues to understanding geological happenings serving a great deal to explore base metal deposits & hydrocarbon reservoirs depending on type of basin & sediment accumulations in different margins. This paper focusses on archiving thoughts in wake of tectonics to understand the interplay of divergent,convergent & strike-slip settings leading to association of different basins on continental & oceanic crusts. Association of intracratonic sag basin, rift basin & passive margin basin is proposed in an extensional set up and a trench,forearc, back-arc & foreland basin is proposed for a collisional set up in active margins.
Deep meteoric waters comprise a key component of the hydrologic cycle, transferring water, energy, and life between the earth's surface and deeper crustal environments, yet little is known about the nature and extent of meteoric water circulation. Using water stable isotopes, we show that maximum circulation depths of meteoric waters across North America vary considerably from 1 to 5 km, with the deepest circulation in western North America in areas of greater topographic relief. Shallower circulation occurs in sedimentary and shield-type environments with subdued topography. The amount of topographic relief available to drive regional groundwater flow and flush saline fluids is an important control on the extent of meteoric water circulation, in addition to permeability. The presence of an active flow system in the upper few kilometers of the Earth's crust and stagnant brines trapped by negative buoyancy offers a new framework for understanding deep groundwater systems.
Large boulders with a diameter of up to several tens of meters are globally observed in mountainous bedrock channel environments. Recent theories suggest that high concentrations of boulders are associated with changes in channel morphology. However, data are scarce and ambiguous, and process-related studies are limited. Here we present data from the Liwu River, Taiwan, showing that channel width and slope increase with boulder concentration. We apply two mass balance principles of bedrock erosion and sediment transport and develop a theory to explain the steepening and widening trends. Five mechanisms are considered and compared to the field data. The cover effect by immobile boulders is found to have no influence on channel width. Channel width can partially be explained by boulder control on the tools effect and on the partitioning of the flow shear stress. However, none of the mechanisms we explored can adequately explain the scattered width data, potentially indicating a long-timescale adjustment of channel width to boulder input. Steepening can be best described by assuming a reduction of sediment transport efficiency with boulder concentration. We find that boulders represent a significant perturbation to the fluvial landscape. Channels tend to adjust to this perturbation leading to a new morphology that differs from boulder-free channels. The general approach presented here can be further expanded to explore the role of other boulder-related processes.
Deep underground water injections induce seismicity. When the seismic fractures coalesce into far-reaching pathways for fluid migration, the migrating fluid may reach pre-existing faults, and by decreasing fault strength, can trigger major seismic events. We assume that the potential for building such pathways depends on closeness of hypocenters, similarity of fracture planes orientations, and closeness of radii taking off from the injection point, on which events locate. We define this potential as the average distance between seismic events in the space of parameters quantifying the above conditions. We show that in the studied case from The Geysers geothermal field, this potential is highly correlated with injection rate. When the overall level of injection rate is high, the higher the injection rate, the more the potential for building far-reaching pathways for fluid migration is reduced.
Geologists have documented at least fourteen occurrences of “giant ooids”, a geologically rare type of carbonate allochem, in Neoproterozoic successions at low paleo-latitudes. Recent experiments and modeling demonstrated that ooid size reflects an equilibrium between precipitation and abrasion rates, such that ooid size could be used as a geological proxy for CaCO3 mineral saturation state (Ω). Here, the documented sizes of Neoproterozoic giant ooids were applied to estimate seawater , which provided a novel approach to constraining temperature, partial pressure of CO2, and alkalinity preceding Neoproterozoic glaciations. The results suggest that giant ooid formation was most plausible with seawater alkalinity elevated over its present value by at least a factor of two, and either much warmer (40C) or much colder (0C) climate than modern tropical carbonate platforms, which have important and divergent implications for climate states and ecosystem responses prior to the initiation of each Neoproterozoic glaciation.
Geothermal activity in the Chilean Southern Volcanic Zone is strongly controlled by the regional Liquiñe-Ofqui Fault System (LOFS) and the Andean Transverse Faults (ATF). We analyzed fifteen thermal springs in the Liquiñe area to assess the origin and the main physicochemical processes related to the LOFS and ATF. Major, minor and trace elements identify two defined clusters spatially related to the regional fault systems. In both clusters, ionic relationships suggest that the principal hydrogeochemical processes are mainly dominated by water-rock interactions. Factorial analysis provided two factors: i) F1 (65.1%), saturated by Cl, HCO, Na, SiO, Li, B and Cs, represents water-rock interaction processes driven by temperature in presence of CO; ii) F2 (28.5%) represented by SO and Mo, represents a minor water-rock interaction enhanced by the presence of HS. Samples associated to the LOFS have high scores of both factors, while those from the ATF have only high factor 1 scores. Ionic ratios compared with literature data, clearly identify the samples spatially associated to the LOFS from the ones associated to the ATF with a fuzzy pattern. Water stable isotopes values suggest a meteoric origin with small deviations from local meteoric isotopic line. CO exchange with slightly high and low temperature water rocks interaction is present in most of the samples. Our results indicate that groundwater circulation along faults is a complex process where different constraints influence the final hydeogeochemistry and reaction intensity. Finally, the established processes at Liquiñe area are not upscalable at the whole Southern Volcanic Zone.
We modify the Modified Cam-Clay (MCC) model for large stress ranges encountered in geological applications. The MCC model assumes that the friction angle (ϕ) and the slope of the compression curve (λ) of a mudrock are constant and thus predicts constant values for the lateral effective stress ratio under uniaxial, vertical strain (K0) and undrained strength ratio (S_u/(σ_v^’ )). However, experimental work shows that λ, ϕ, and S_u/(σ_v^’ ) decrease and K0 increases substantially with stress over large stress ranges (e.g., up to 100 MPa). We incorporate the stress dependency of λ and ϕ into the MCC model and use the new model to predict S_u/(σ_v^’ ) and K0 ratios. The modified model, with only one additional parameter, successfully predicts the stress dependency of these ratios. We encode the modified model and use it for finite-element analysis of a salt basin in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The stresses that the new model predicts around salt differ significantly from those predicted using the original model. We incorporate the stress dependency of the friction angle into the analytical models developed for critical tapers, wellbore drilling, and the stability of submarine channel levees. We show that the decrease of the friction angle with stress 1) results in a concave surface for critical wedges, 2) shifts the drilling window to higher mud weights and makes it narrower for a vertical wellbore, and 3) causes deep-seated failure of submarine channel levees at lower angles. Our study could improve in situ stress and pore pressure estimation, wellbore drilling, and quantitative understanding of geological processes.
Sediment progradation and spreading is a key process during gravity-driven, thin-skinned deformation in salt-bearing passive margins. However, to what degree the size and shape of a progradational sedimentary wedge control gravity-driven deformation is still not clear. We use analogue modelling to compare two endmember configurations constrained by critical wedge theory, in which the sediment wedge has different initial depositional slopes: a 5° critical (stable) slope and a 27° unstable slope. In both configurations, differential loading initiates spreading characterized by a basinward migrating system of linked proximal extension and distal contraction with a translational domain in between. With a critical frontal slope, the translational domain expands as the contractional domain migrates forward with viscous flow evenly distributed. With a steep frontal slope, both extensional and contractional domains migrate at similar rate due to more localized viscous flow under the wedge toe producing diagnostic structures of late extension overprinting early contraction. In both cases, salt flow is dominated by Poiseuille flow with only a subordinate contribution from Couette flow, contrasting to classical gravity gliding systems dominated by Couette flow. Comparison with previous studies reveal similar structural styles and viscous flow patterns. Our study highlights the geometric variations of sedimentary wedges result in variable responses in gravity spreading systems. With a steep frontal slope, the sediment wedge is more likely to collapse and develop spreading associated structures. However, such steep slope systems may not be very common in salt-bearing passive margins as they are less likely to occur in nature.
Corridors of size-selected crescent-shaped dunes, known as barchans, are commonly found in water, air, and other planetary environments. The growth of barchans results from the interplay between a fluid flow and a granular bed, but their size regulation involves intricate exchanges between different barchans within a field. One size-regulating mechanism is the binary interaction between nearby dunes, when two dunes exchange mass via the near flow field or by direct contact (collision). In a recent Letter (Assis & Franklin, GRL, 2020), we identified five different patterns arising from binary interactions of subaqueous barchans, and proposed classification maps. In this paper, we further inquire into binary exchanges by investigating the motion of individual grains while barchans interact with each other. The experiments were conducted in a water channel where the evolution of pairs of barchans in both aligned and off-centered configurations was recorded by conventional and high-speed cameras. Based on image processing, we obtained the morphology of dunes and motion of grains for all interaction patterns. We present the trajectories of individual grains, from which we show the origin and destination of moving grains, and their typical lengths and velocities. We also show that grains from the impacting dune spread with a diffusion-like component over the target barchan, and we propose a diffusion length. Our results provide new insights into the size-regulating mechanisms of barchans and barchanoid forms found on Earth and other planets.
Previous studies have interpreted Last Interglacial (LIG; ~129-116 ka) sea-level estimates in multiple different ways to calibrate projections of future Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) mass loss and associated sea-level rise. This study systematically explores the extent to which LIG constraints could inform future Antarctic contributions to sea-level rise. We develop a Gaussian process emulator of an ice-sheet model to produce continuous probabilistic projections of Antarctic sea-level contributions over the LIG and a future high-emissions scenario. We use a Bayesian approach conditioning emulator projections on a set of LIG constraints to find associated likelihoods of model parameterizations. LIG estimates inform both the probability of past and future ice-sheet instabilities and projections of future sea-level rise through 2150. Although best-available LIG estimates do not meaningfully constrain Antarctic mass loss projections or physical processes until 2060, they become increasingly informative over the next 130 years. Uncertainties of up to 50 cm remain in future projections even if LIG Antarctic mass loss is precisely known (+/-5 cm), indicating there is a limit to how informative the LIG could be for ice-sheet model future projections. The efficacy of LIG constraints on Antarctic mass loss also depends on assumptions about the Greenland ice sheet and LIG sea-level chronology. However, improved field measurements and understanding of LIG sea levels still have potential to improve future sea-level projections, highlighting the importance of continued observational efforts.
Meaningful analysis of uranium-series isotopic disequilibria in basaltic lavas relies on the use of complex forward numerical models like dynamic melting (McKenzie, 1985) and equilibrium porous flow (Spiegelman and Elliott, 1993). Historically, such models have either been solved analytically for simplified scenarios, such as constant melting rate or constant solid/melt trace element partitioning throughout the melting process, or have relied on incremental or numerical calculators with limited power to solve problems and/or restricted availability. The most public numerical solution to reactive porous flow, UserCalc (Spiegelman, 2000) was maintained on a private institutional server for nearly two decades, but that approach has been unsustainable in light of modern security concerns. Here we present a more long-lasting solution to the problems of availability, model sophistication and flexibility, and long-term access in the form of a cloud-hosted, publicly available Jupyter notebook. Similar to UserCalc, the new notebook calculates U-series disequilibria during time-dependent, equilibrium partial melting in a one-dimensional porous flow regime where mass is conserved. In addition, we also provide a new disequilibrium transport model which has the same melt transport model as UserCalc, but approximates rate-limited diffusive exchange of nuclides between solid and melt using linear kinetics. The degree of disequilibrium during transport is controlled by a Damköhler number, allowing the full spectrum of equilibration models from complete fractional melting (Da = 0) to equilibrium transport (Da = ∞).
Wind erosion is integral to the evolution of arid landscapes on Earth and Mars, but the nature of long-term wind erosion of bedrock is poorly understood. Here we describe the Salina del Fraile (SdF) depression in the Puna Plateau of the Central Andes, NW Argentina, as a landform excavated by wind over several million years. New structural cross-sections and a compilation of chronostratigraphic ages rule out the hypothesis that the depression was created by transtensional tectonics. Dated remnant lacustrine and alluvial deposits in the floor of the depression constrain the rate and timing of erosion. Late Oligocene–Miocene compressional folding uplifted friable strata that were preferentially eroded, resulting in the high-relief (900 m) depression. Up to 1.95 km and an average of 1.05 km of strata were eroded during the last 8.2 to 17 Ma, at rates of 0.06 to 0.23 mm/yr. These rates are similar to long-term average wind erosion rates reported in other regions. Coarse-grained eolian megaripples, yardangs, and elongated ridges indicate ongoing eolian abrasion and deflation, aided by salt weathering, of the floor of the depression. Megaripple migration across stony lag surfaces exposes fresh bedrock to continued erosion. The SdF also contains kilometerscale mesas and ridges that we interpret as erosional remnants. These landforms are similar to megayardangs and erosional topography identified on the lower flanks of Mount Sharp, Gale crater, Mars. In such hyperarid landscapes characterized by lithologic heterogeneities, high relief landforms can be generated and sustained by wind erosion, without significant fluvial or glacial incision.
Cretaceous - Miocene sedimentary rocks of northern Borneo preserve records of subduction of the Paleo-Pacific and Proto-South China Sea, providing important evidence for reconstructing the tectonic evolution of Southeast Asia since the Mesozoic. However, the genesis and tectonic setting of these sediments remain controversial. In this study, new Sr isotope, combined with Nd isotope data were used to determine the provenance contribution of the Cretaceous – Late Eocene Lubok Antu mélange and the Rajang Group. Detrital zircon ages and sedimentary geochemistry data of the Cretaceous - Miocene strata are also used to better understand the tectonic evolution of Borneo. Results show that more than 60% of the sediments came from a magmatic belt during the Late Cretaceous to Early Paleocene, and more than 50% from the Malay Peninsula during the Paleocene to the Late Eocene. The proportion of different detrital zircon ages and sedimentary geochemical characteristics in Borneo changed from west to east during the Cretaceous to the Miocene, which may be related to drainage changes caused by the gradual closure of an ocean basin. Subduction ceased in central Borneo during the Early Paleocene, slightly later than Late Cretaceous cessation in western Borneo. The collapse of magmatic belt lead river drainages from the Malay Peninsula to flow into Borneo. Whereas subduction continued in Eastern Borneo until the Miocene. Opening of the South China Sea cut off the drainage from the Malay Peninsula, and the inner rocks in Borneo once again became the main source of sediments.
Barrier island overwash occurs when the elevation of wave runup exceeds the dune crest and induces landward transport of sediment across a barrier island and deposition of a washover deposit. Washover deposition is generally attributed to major storms, is important for the maintenance of barrier island resilience to sea-level rise and is used to extend hurricane records beyond historical accounts by reconstructing the frequency and extent of washover deposits preserved in the sedimentary record. Here, we present a high-fidelity three-year record of washover evolution and overwash at a transgressive barrier island site. During the first year after establishment, washover volume and area increased 1,595% and 197%, respectively, from at least monthly overwash. Most of the washover accretion resulted from the site morphology having a low resistance to overwash, as opposed to being directly impacted by major storms. Washover deposits can accrete over multi-year time scales; therefore, paleowashover deposits are more complex than simply event beds.
Located in northern Dominican Republic, the Early Cretaceous Rio Boba mafic-ultramafic plutonic sequence constitutes a lower crust section of the Caribbean island arc, made up by gabbroic rocks and subordinate pyroxenite. Modal compositions, mineral chemistry, whole-rock compositions and thermobarometric calculations indicate that pyroxenites and gabbronorites represent a cumulate sequence formed by fractionation of tholeiitic magmas with initially very low H2O content in the lower crust of the arc (0.6-0.8 GPa). Melts evolved along a simplified crystallization sequence of olivine ® pyroxenes ® plagioclase ® Fe-Ti oxides. The magmatic evolution of the Rio Boba sequence and associated supra-crustal Puerca Gorda metavolcanic rocks is multi-stage and involves the generation of magmas from melting of different sources in a supra-subduction zone setting. The first stage included the formation of a highly depleted substrate as result of decompressional melting of a refractory mantle source, represented by a cumulate sequence of LREE-depleted IAT and boninitic gabbronorites and pyroxenites. The second stage involved volumetrically subordinate cumulate troctolites and gabbros, which are not penetratively deformed. The mantle source was refractory and enriched by a LILE-rich hydrous fluid derived from a subducting slab and/or overlying sediments, and possibly by a LREE-rich melt. The third stage is recorded in the upper crust of the arc by the Puerca Gorda ‘normal’ IAT protoliths, which are derived from an N-MORB mantle source enriched with a strong subduction component. This magmatic evolution has implications for unravelling the processes responsible for subduction initiation and subsequent building of the Caribbean island arc.