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Geosciences, Volume 7, Issue 4 (December 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Two different pathways have long been used to explain the origin of petrified wood: replacement, [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle New Occurrence of Pyroxenites in the Veria-Naousa Ophiolite (North Greece): Implications on Their Origin and Petrogenetic Evolution
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 92; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040092
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
The Veria-Naousa ophiolite represents a dismembered unit in north Greece, which includes variably serpentinised lherzolite and harzburgite, locally intruded by a sparse network of dykes or thin layers of websterite and olivine-orthopyroxenite composition. The websterite and the olivine-orthopyroxenite show abundant petrographic and geochemical
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The Veria-Naousa ophiolite represents a dismembered unit in north Greece, which includes variably serpentinised lherzolite and harzburgite, locally intruded by a sparse network of dykes or thin layers of websterite and olivine-orthopyroxenite composition. The websterite and the olivine-orthopyroxenite show abundant petrographic and geochemical evidence (relic olivines with mantle affinities, Cr-rich spinels, low Al2O3, depletions in incompatible elements, and concave upwards rare earth element patterns) that they comprise replacive bodies from refractory subarc mantle precursors. The occurrence of these pyroxenites in dykes implies that channelled percolation of melts account for their replacive character. High CaO/Al2O3, low Zr and crystallisation of diopside suggest that a melt of ankaramitic/carbonatitic composition percolated in lherzolite replacing porphyroclastic olivine and forming the pyroxenes in the websterite. At a shallower level, harburgites were impregnated by boninitic melts (inferred by U-shape rare earth element patterns and very rich in Cr spinels) triggering the replacement of porphyroclastic olivine by orthopyroxene for the formation of olivine-orthopyroxenite. These peritectic replacements of olivine commonly occur in a mantle wedge regime. The peculiar characteristics of the Veria-Naousa pyroxenites with LREE and compatible elements enrichments resemble the subarc pyroxenites of Cabo Ortegal implying a similar environment of formation. Whole-rock and mineralogical (spinel and clinopyroxene) compositions are also in favour of a backarc to arc environment. It is recommended that the evolution of the Veria-Naousa pyroxenites record the evolution of the subarc region and the opening of a backarc basin in a broad SSZ setting in the Axios Zone of eastern Greece. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Petrogenesis of Ophiolites)
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Open AccessArticle Ontology-Based Photogrammetry Survey for Medieval Archaeology: Toward a 3D Geographic Information System (GIS)
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 93; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040093
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 17 September 2017 / Accepted: 17 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents certain reflections concerning an interdisciplinary project between medieval archaeologists from the University of Florence (Italy) and computer science researchers from CNRS, National Center for Scientific Research, (France), aiming towards a connection between 3D spatial representation and archaeological knowledge. We try
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This paper presents certain reflections concerning an interdisciplinary project between medieval archaeologists from the University of Florence (Italy) and computer science researchers from CNRS, National Center for Scientific Research, (France), aiming towards a connection between 3D spatial representation and archaeological knowledge. We try to develop an integrated system for archaeological 3D survey and all other types of archaeological data and knowledge by incorporating observable (material) and non-graphic (interpretive) data. Survey plays a central role, since it is both a metric representation of the archaeological site and, to a wider extent, an interpretation of it (being also a common basis for communication between the two teams). More specifically, 3D survey is crucial, allowing archaeologists to connect actual spatial assets to the stratigraphic formation processes (i.e., to the archaeological time) and to translate spatial observations into historical interpretation of the site. It is well known that laser scanner, photogrammetry and computer vision are very useful tools for archaeologists, although the integration of the representation of space, as well as archaeological time has not yet found a methodological standard of reference. We propose a common formalism for describing photogrammetric survey and archaeological knowledge stemming from ontologies: indeed, ontologies are fully used to model and store 3D data and archaeological knowledge. We equip this formalism with a qualitative representation of time, starting from archaeological stratigraphy. Stratigraphic analyses (both of excavated deposits and of upstanding structures) are closely related to Edward Cecil Harris’s theory of the “Unit of Stratigraphication” (referred to as “US”, while a stratigraphic unit of an upstanding structure Unita Stratigrafica Murale, in Italian, will be referred to as “USM”). Every US is connected to the others by geometric, topological and, eventually, temporal links, and these are recorded by the 3D photogrammetric survey. However, the limitations of the Harris matrix approach led us to use another formalism for representing stratigraphic relationships, namely Qualitative Constraints Networks (QCN), which was successfully used in the domain of knowledge representation and reasoning in artificial intelligence for representing temporal relations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Using Open Access Satellite Data Alongside Ground Based Remote Sensing: An Assessment, with Case Studies from Egypt’s Delta
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 94; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040094
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper will assess the most recently available open access high-resolution optical satellite data (0.3 m–0.6 m) and its detection of buried ancient features versus ground based remote sensing tools. It also discusses the importance of CORONA satellite data to evaluate landscape changes
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This paper will assess the most recently available open access high-resolution optical satellite data (0.3 m–0.6 m) and its detection of buried ancient features versus ground based remote sensing tools. It also discusses the importance of CORONA satellite data to evaluate landscape changes over the past 50 years surrounding sites. The study concentrates on Egypt’s Nile Delta, which is threatened by rising sea and water tables and urbanization. Many ancient coastal sites will be lost in the next few decades, thus this paper emphasizes the need to map them before they disappear. It shows that high resolution satellites can sometimes provide the same general picture on ancient sites in the Egyptian Nile Delta as ground based remote sensing, with relatively sandier sedimentary and degrading tell environments, during periods of rainfall, and higher groundwater conditions. Research results also suggest potential solutions for rapid mapping of threatened Delta sites, and urge a collaborative global effort to maps them before they disappear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives: Monitoring Cultural Heritage in Syria and Northern Iraq by Geospatial Imagery
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 95; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040095
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 23 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
The American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives (ASOR CHI) continues to address the cultural heritage crisis in Syria and Northern Iraq by: (1) monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding; (2) promoting global awareness; and (3) conducting emergency response projects and developing post-conflict rehabilitation
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The American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives (ASOR CHI) continues to address the cultural heritage crisis in Syria and Northern Iraq by: (1) monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding; (2) promoting global awareness; and (3) conducting emergency response projects and developing post-conflict rehabilitation plans. As part of this mission, ASOR CHI, through a public–government collaboration with the United States of America (US) Department of State, has been provided with access to hundreds of thousands of satellite images, some within 24 h of the image being taken, in order to assess reports of damage to cultural heritage sites, to discover unreported damage, and to evaluate the impacts of such incidents. This work is being done across an inventory of over 13,000 cultural heritage sites in the affected regions. The available dataset of satellite imagery is significantly larger than the scales that geospatial specialists within archaeology have dealt with in the past. This has necessitated a rethinking of how the project uses satellite imagery and how ASOR CHI and future projects can more effectively undertake the important work of cultural heritage monitoring and damage assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle 3D Point Clouds in Archaeology: Advances in Acquisition, Processing and Knowledge Integration Applied to Quasi-Planar Objects
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 96; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040096
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (39118 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Digital investigations of the real world through point clouds and derivatives are changing how curators, cultural heritage researchers and archaeologists work and collaborate. To progressively aggregate expertise and enhance the working proficiency of all professionals, virtual reconstructions demand adapted tools to facilitate knowledge
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Digital investigations of the real world through point clouds and derivatives are changing how curators, cultural heritage researchers and archaeologists work and collaborate. To progressively aggregate expertise and enhance the working proficiency of all professionals, virtual reconstructions demand adapted tools to facilitate knowledge dissemination. However, to achieve this perceptive level, a point cloud must be semantically rich, retaining relevant information for the end user. In this paper, we review the state of the art of point cloud integration within archaeological applications, giving an overview of 3D technologies for heritage, digital exploitation and case studies showing the assimilation status within 3D GIS. Identified issues and new perspectives are addressed through a knowledge-based point cloud processing framework for multi-sensory data, and illustrated on mosaics and quasi-planar objects. A new acquisition, pre-processing, segmentation and ontology-based classification method on hybrid point clouds from both terrestrial laser scanning and dense image matching is proposed to enable reasoning for information extraction. Experiments in detection and semantic enrichment show promising results of 94% correct semantization. Then, we integrate the metadata in an archaeological smart point cloud data structure allowing spatio-semantic queries related to CIDOC-CRM. Finally, a WebGL prototype is presented that leads to efficient communication between actors by proposing optimal 3D data visualizations as a basis on which interaction can grow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle How Can Remote Sensing Help in Detecting the Threats to Archaeological Sites in Upper Egypt?
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 97; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040097
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 2 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (15869 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The analysis of contemporary and archival satellite images and archaeological documentations presents the possibility of monitoring the state of archaeological sites in the Near East (for example, Palmyra in Syria). As it will be demonstrated in the case of Upper Egyptian sites, the
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The analysis of contemporary and archival satellite images and archaeological documentations presents the possibility of monitoring the state of archaeological sites in the Near East (for example, Palmyra in Syria). As it will be demonstrated in the case of Upper Egyptian sites, the rapid growth of agricultural lands and settlements can pose a great threat to sites localized on the border of fields and the desert. As a case study, the Qena district was chosen, a region of significance for the history of ancient Egypt. To trace the expansion of agriculture and the development of modern settlements, a synthesis of archival maps (from the last 200 years), and archival and contemporary satellite images was created. By applying map algebra to these documents, it was possible to determine areas which may be marked as “Archaeological Hazard Zones”. The analysis helped to trace the expansion of agricultural areas during the last 200 years and the influence of both—ancient Egyptians and the Nile—on the local landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Optical Remote Sensing Potentials for Looting Detection
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 98; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040098
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 2 October 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
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Abstract
Looting of archaeological sites is illegal and considered a major anthropogenic threat for cultural heritage, entailing undesirable and irreversible damage at several levels, such as landscape disturbance, heritage destruction, and adverse social impact. In recent years, the employment of remote sensing technologies using
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Looting of archaeological sites is illegal and considered a major anthropogenic threat for cultural heritage, entailing undesirable and irreversible damage at several levels, such as landscape disturbance, heritage destruction, and adverse social impact. In recent years, the employment of remote sensing technologies using ground-based and/or space-based sensors has assisted in dealing with this issue. Novel remote sensing techniques have tackled heritage destruction occurring in war-conflicted areas, as well as illicit archeological activity in vast areas of archaeological interest with limited surveillance. The damage performed by illegal activities, as well as the scarcity of reliable information are some of the major concerns that local stakeholders are facing today. This study discusses the potential use of remote sensing technologies based on the results obtained for the archaeological landscape of Ayios Mnason in Politiko village, located in Nicosia district, Cyprus. In this area, more than ten looted tombs have been recorded in the last decade, indicating small-scale, but still systematic, looting. The image analysis, including vegetation indices, fusion, automatic extraction after object-oriented classification, etc., was based on high-resolution WorldView-2 multispectral satellite imagery and RGB high-resolution aerial orthorectified images. Google Earth© images were also used to map and diachronically observe the site. The current research also discusses the potential for wider application of the presented methodology, acting as an early warning system, in an effort to establish a systematic monitoring tool for archaeological areas in Cyprus facing similar threats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Validity of the Apatite/Merrillite Relationship in Evaluating the Water Content in the Martian Mantle: Implications from Shergottite Northwest Africa (NWA) 2975
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 99; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040099
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
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Abstract
Phosphates from the Martian shergottite NWA 2975 were used to obtain insights into the source and subsequence differentiation of the melt/melts. The crystallization of two generations of fluorapatite (F > Cl~OH and F-rich), chlorapatite and ferromerrillite-merrillite were reconstructed from TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy)
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Phosphates from the Martian shergottite NWA 2975 were used to obtain insights into the source and subsequence differentiation of the melt/melts. The crystallization of two generations of fluorapatite (F > Cl~OH and F-rich), chlorapatite and ferromerrillite-merrillite were reconstructed from TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) and geochemical analyses. The research results indicated that the recognized volatiles budget of the two generations of fluorapatite was related to their magmatic origin. The apatite crystals crystallized from an evolved magma during its final differentiation and degassing stage. In turn, chlorapatite replaced ferromerrillite-merrillite and was not related to, mantle-derived shergottite magma. The relationship between merrillite and apatite indicates that apatite is most probably a product of merrillite reacting with fluids. REE (rare earth elements) pattern of Cl-apatite might point to an origin associated with exogenous fluids mixed with fluids exsolved from evolved magma. The study shows that, among the three types of apatite, only the fluorapatite (F > Cl~OH) is a reliable source for assessing the degree of Martian mantle hydration. The occurrence of apatite with merrillite requires detailed recognition of their relationship. Consequently, the automatic use of apatite to assess the water content of the magma source can lead to false assumptions if the origin of the apatite is not precisely determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Martian Meteorites)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle From Above and on the Ground: Geospatial Methods for Recording Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 100; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040100
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 5 October 2017
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Abstract
The EAMENA (Endangered Archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa) project is a collaboration between the Universities of Leicester, Oxford and Durham; it is funded by the Arcadia Fund and the Cultural Protection Fund. This paper explores the development of the EAMENA
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The EAMENA (Endangered Archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa) project is a collaboration between the Universities of Leicester, Oxford and Durham; it is funded by the Arcadia Fund and the Cultural Protection Fund. This paper explores the development of the EAMENA methodology, and discusses some of the problems of working across such a broad region. We discuss two main case studies: the World Heritage site of Cyrene illustrates how the project can use satellite imagery (dating from the 1960s to 2017), in conjunction with published data to create a detailed set of database records for a single site and, in particular, highlights the impact of modern urban expansion across the region. Conversely, the Homs Cairns case study demonstrates how the EAMENA methodology also works at an extensive scale, and integrates image interpretation (using imagery dating from the 1960s to 2016), landuse mapping and field survey (2007–2010) to record and analyse the condition of hundreds of features across a small study region. This study emphasises the impact of modern agricultural and land clearing activities. Ultimately, this paper assesses the effectiveness of the EAMENA approach, evaluating its potential success against projects using crowd-sourcing and automation for recording archaeological sites, and seeks to determine the most appropriate methods to use to document sites and assess disturbances and threats across such a vast and diverse area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Escape Burrowing of Modern Freshwater Bivalves as a Paradigm for Escape Behavior in the Devonian Bivalve Archanodon catskillensis
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 102; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040102
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 9 October 2017
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Abstract
Many freshwater bivalves restore themselves to the sediment water interface after burial by upward escape burrowing. We studied the escape burrowing capacity of two modern unionoids, Elliptio complanata and Pyganodon cataracta and the invasive freshwater venerid Corbicula fluminea, in a controlled laboratory
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Many freshwater bivalves restore themselves to the sediment water interface after burial by upward escape burrowing. We studied the escape burrowing capacity of two modern unionoids, Elliptio complanata and Pyganodon cataracta and the invasive freshwater venerid Corbicula fluminea, in a controlled laboratory setting varying sediment grain size and burial depth. We found that the relatively streamlined E. complanata is a better escape burrower than the more obese P. cataracta. E. complanata is more likely to escape burial in both fine and coarse sand, and at faster rates than P. cataracta. However, successful escape from 10 cm burial, especially in fine sand, is unlikely for both unionoids. The comparatively small and obese C. fluminea outperforms both unionoids in terms of escape probability and escape time, especially when body size is taken into consideration. C. fluminea can escape burial depths many times its own size, while the two unionoids rarely escape from burial equivalent to the length of their shells. E. complanata, and particularly P. cataracta, are morphological paradigms for the extinct Devonian unionoid bivalve Archanodon catskillensis, common in riverine facies of the Devonian Catskill Delta Complex of the eastern United States. Our observations suggest that the escape burrowing capability of A. catskillensis was no better than that of P. cataracta. Archanodon catskillensis was likely unable to escape burial of more than a few centimeters of anastrophically deposited sediment. The long (up to 1 meter), vertical burrows that are associated with A. catskillensis, and interpreted to be its escape burrows, represent a response to episodic, small-scale sedimentation events due to patterns of repetitive hydrologic or weather-related phenomena. They are not a response to a single anastrophic event involving the influx of massive volumes of sediment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Geometric Analysis on Stone Façades with Terrestrial Laser Scanner Technology
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 103; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040103
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 30 September 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
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Abstract
This article presents a methodology to process information from a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) from three dimensions (3D) to two dimensions (2D), and to two dimensions with a color value (2.5D), as a tool to document and analyze heritage buildings. Principally focused on
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This article presents a methodology to process information from a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) from three dimensions (3D) to two dimensions (2D), and to two dimensions with a color value (2.5D), as a tool to document and analyze heritage buildings. Principally focused on the loss of material in stone, this study aims at creating an evaluation method for loss control, taking into account the state of conservation of a building in terms of restoration, from studying the pathologies, to their identification and delimitation. A case study on the Cathedral of the Seu Vella de Lleida was completed, examining the details of the stone surfaces. This cathedral was affected by military use, periods of abandonment, and periodic restorations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Geoarchaeological Core Prospection as a Tool to Validate Archaeological Interpretation Based on Geophysical Data at the Roman Settlement of Auritz/Burguete and Aurizberri/Espinal (Navarre)
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 104; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040104
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 3 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
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Abstract
Geophysical survey methods are broadly used to delimit and characterize archaeological sites, but the archaeological interpretation of geophysical data remains one of the challenges. Indeed, many scenarios can generate a similar geophysical response, and often interpretations can not be validated without access to
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Geophysical survey methods are broadly used to delimit and characterize archaeological sites, but the archaeological interpretation of geophysical data remains one of the challenges. Indeed, many scenarios can generate a similar geophysical response, and often interpretations can not be validated without access to the subsoil. In large geophysical surveys many anomalies are detected and validation through archaeological trenches can not be afforded. This paper analyses the validity of geoarchaeological core survey to check the archaeological interpretations based on geophysical results. The Roman site located at Auritz/Burguete and Aurizberri/Espinal (Navarre), provides a great case of study as many investigations have been carried out. After the gradiometer survey performed in 2013 a sediment core survey was designed. 132 cores were drilled using a hand-held coring machine and the sediments were analysed in situ. Site delimitation and archaeological interpretations based on magnetic data could be improved or corrected. In this regard, the core survey proved to be an useful methodology as many anomalies could be checked within reasonable time and resources. However, further geophysical investigations trough GPR revealed unexpected remains in areas where no archaeological deposits were identified through coring. Excavations showed poor conservation level in some of those areas, leading to thin archaeological deposits hard to identify at the cores. The sediment core survey, therefore, was proved to be inconclusive to delimit the archaeological site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle SAR Imaging of Archaeological Sites on Intertidal Flats in the German Wadden Sea
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 105; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040105
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 2 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
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Abstract
We show that high-resolution space-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery with pixel sizes smaller than 1 m2 can be used to complement archaeological surveys on intertidal flats. After major storm surges in the 14th and 17th centuries (“Grote Mandrenke”), vast
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We show that high-resolution space-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery with pixel sizes smaller than 1 m2 can be used to complement archaeological surveys on intertidal flats. After major storm surges in the 14th and 17th centuries (“Grote Mandrenke”), vast areas on the German North Sea coast were lost to the sea. Areas of settlements and historical farmland were buried under sediments for centuries, but when the surface layer is driven away under the action of wind, currents, and waves, they appear again on the Wadden Sea surface. However, frequent flooding and erosion of the intertidal flats make any archaeological monitoring a difficult task, so that remote sensing techniques appear to be an efficient and cost-effective instrument for any archaeological surveillance of that area. Space-borne SAR images clearly show remains of farmhouse foundations and of former systems of ditches, dating back to the times before the “Grote Mandrenke”. In particular, the very high-resolution acquisition (“staring spotlight”) mode of the TerraSAR/TanDEM-X satellites allows detecting various kinds of remains of historical land use at high precision. Moreover, SARs working at lower microwave frequencies (e.g., that on Radarsat-2) may complement archaeological surveys of historical cultural traces, some of which have been unknown so far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Detecting Landscape Disturbance at the Nasca Lines Using SAR Data Collected from Airborne and Satellite Platforms
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 106; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040106
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 12 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
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Abstract
We used synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data collected over Peru’s Lines and Geoglyphs of the Nasca and Palpa World Heritage Site to detect and measure landscape disturbance threatening world-renowned archaeological features and ecosystems. We employed algorithms to calculate correlations between pairs of SAR
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We used synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data collected over Peru’s Lines and Geoglyphs of the Nasca and Palpa World Heritage Site to detect and measure landscape disturbance threatening world-renowned archaeological features and ecosystems. We employed algorithms to calculate correlations between pairs of SAR returns, collected at different times, and generate correlation images. Landscape disturbances even on the scale of pedestrian travel are discernible in correlation images generated from airborne, L-band SAR. Correlation images derived from C-band SAR data collected by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellites also provide detailed landscape change information. Because the two Sentinel-1 satellites together have a repeat pass interval that can be as short as six days, products derived from their data can not only provide information on the location and degree of ground disturbance, but also identify a time window of about one to three weeks during which disturbance must have occurred. For Sentinel-1, this does not depend on collecting data in fine-beam modes, which generally sacrifice the size of the area covered for a higher spatial resolution. We also report on pixel value stretching for a visual analysis of SAR data, quantitative assessment of landscape disturbance, and statistical testing for significant landscape change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Characteristics and Dynamics of a Large Sub-Tidal Sand Wave Field—Habitat for Pacific Sand Lance (Ammodytes personatus), Salish Sea, Washington, USA
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 107; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040107
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
Deep-water sand wave fields in the San Juan Archipelago of the Salish Sea and Pacific Northwest Washington, USA, have been found to harbor Pacific sand lance (PSL, Ammodytes personatus), a critical forage fish of the region. Little is known of the dynamics
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Deep-water sand wave fields in the San Juan Archipelago of the Salish Sea and Pacific Northwest Washington, USA, have been found to harbor Pacific sand lance (PSL, Ammodytes personatus), a critical forage fish of the region. Little is known of the dynamics of these sand waves and the stability of the PSL sub-tidal habitats. Therefore, we have undertaken an initial investigation to determine the dynamic conditions of a well-known PSL habitat in the San Juan Channel within the Archipelago using bottom sediment sampling, an acoustical doppler current profiling (ADCP) system, and multi-beam echo sounder (MBES) bathymetry. Our study indicates that the San Juan Channel sand wave field maintained its shape and bedforms geometry throughout the years it has been studied. Based on bed phase diagrams for channelized bedforms, the sand waves appear to be in a dynamic equilibrium condition. Sea level rise may change the current regime within the Archipelago and may alter some of the deep-water or sub-tidal PSL habitats mapped there. Our findings have global significance in that these dynamic bedforms that harbor PSL and sand-eels elsewhere along the west coast of North America and in the North Sea may also be in a marginally dynamic equilibrium condition and may be prone to alteration by sea level rise, indicating an urgency in locating and investigating these habitats in order to sustain the forage fish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Nutrients and Heavy Metals Contamination in an Urban Estuary of Northern New Jersey
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 108; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040108
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
The Newark Bay Estuary in northern New Jersey contains one of the largest urban wetland complexes in the United States, but the majority of the wetlands and habitats have been lost due to urbanization and industrialization. Field and laboratory research was conducted to
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The Newark Bay Estuary in northern New Jersey contains one of the largest urban wetland complexes in the United States, but the majority of the wetlands and habitats have been lost due to urbanization and industrialization. Field and laboratory research was conducted to understand the impacts of human activities on the biogeochemistry of nutrients and heavy metals in the urban estuary. Concentrations of dissolved nutrients such as nitrate, ammonia, and phosphate were higher in the Hackensack River than in the Passaic River or the Newark Bay, while the Hackensack River was more deficient in dissolved oxygen. Sediment oxygen demand and mobilization of nutrients were higher in sediments with higher organic matter content as a result of microbial decomposition of organic matter. Heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn) and organic matter were more enriched in finer sediment grains such as silt and clay. There were positive correlations among heavy metals as well as organic matter in sediments. The results suggest that fine grained sediments, which can be readily suspended and transported during tidal cycles, may play a significant role in biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and heavy metals in the urban estuary. It appears that the current sources of nutrients and heavy metals in the water and sediment of the Newark Bay Estuary are mainly domestic effluents from sewage treatment plants during non-storm periods as well as combined sewer overflows during storm events, but further research including more frequent and pervasive water and sediment quality monitoring during dry and wet periods is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Environmental and Medical Geochemistry)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle SARchaeology—Detecting Palaeochannels Based on High Resolution Radar Data and Their Impact of Changes in the Settlement Pattern in Cilicia (Turkey)
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 109; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040109
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
The fertile alluvial plain of Cilicia is bordered by the Taurus and Amanus mountain ranges to the west, north and east and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Since the Neolithic Period, Plain Cilicia was an important interface between Anatolia and the Levant.
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The fertile alluvial plain of Cilicia is bordered by the Taurus and Amanus mountain ranges to the west, north and east and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Since the Neolithic Period, Plain Cilicia was an important interface between Anatolia and the Levant. The alluvial plain is dominated by three rivers: Tarsus, Seyhan and Ceyhan. The avulsion history of the lower course of the rivers Seyhan and Ceyhan during the Holocene remains an unresolved issue. The knowledge about how former river courses have changed is essential for the identification of ancient toponyms with archaeological sites. The analysis of silted up riverbeds based on high-resolution digital elevation models (TanDEM-X) and historic satellite imagery (CORONA) in this paper provide the first indications for the reconstruction of former river channels. Further evidence is given by the evaluation of the settlement patterns from 3rd to 1st millennium BC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Slope Stability Assessment Using Trigger Parameters and SINMAP Methods on Tamblingan-Buyan Ancient Mountain Area in Buleleng Regency, Bali
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 110; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040110
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
The mapping of soil movement was examined by comparing an extension of the deterministic Soil Stability Index Mapping (SINMAP) method, and an overlay method with trigger parameters of soil movement. The SINMAP model used soil parameters in the form of the cohesion value
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The mapping of soil movement was examined by comparing an extension of the deterministic Soil Stability Index Mapping (SINMAP) method, and an overlay method with trigger parameters of soil movement. The SINMAP model used soil parameters in the form of the cohesion value (c), internal friction angle (φ), and hydraulic conductivity (ks) for the prediction of soil movement based on the factor of safety (FS), while the indirect method used a literature review and field observations. The weightings of soil movement trigger parameters in assessments were based on natural physical aspects: (1) slope inclination = 30%; (2) rock weathering = 15%; (3) geological structure = 20%; (4) rainfall = 15%; (5) groundwater potential = 7%; (6) seismicity = 3%; and (7) vegetation = 10%. The research area was located in the Buleleng district, in particular in the ancient mountain area of Buyan-Tamblingan, in the Sukasada sub-district. The hazard mapping gave a high and very high hazard scale. The SINMAP model gave a validation accuracy of 14.29%, while the overlay method with seven trigger parameters produced an accuracy of 71.43%. Based on the analysis of the very high and high hazard class and the validation of the landslide occurrence points, the deterministic method using soil parameters and water absorption gave a much lower accuracy than the overlay method with a study of soil motion trigger parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Hazards and Risks Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle Structure of Volatile Conduits beneath Gorely Volcano (Kamchatka) Revealed by Local Earthquake Tomography
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 111; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040111
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Gorely is an active volcano located 75 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka. In 2010–2015, it exhibited strong activity expressed by anomalously high gas emission. In 2013–2014, we deployed a temporary network consisting of 20 temporary seismic stations that operated for one year. We selected
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Gorely is an active volcano located 75 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka. In 2010–2015, it exhibited strong activity expressed by anomalously high gas emission. In 2013–2014, we deployed a temporary network consisting of 20 temporary seismic stations that operated for one year. We selected 333 events with 1613 P-wave and 2421 S-wave arrival times to build the first tomographic model of this volcano. The seismic model was carefully verified using a series of synthetic tests. Our tomographic model provides a mechanism for volatile feeding of Gorely. An unexpected feature of the model was low Vp/Vs ratios; below 1.4 in some parts. One reason for such low Vp/Vs ratios is gas contamination due to magma degassing. In the central part of the model, directly underneath the Gorely crater, we observe a 2.5 km wide and 1.5 km thick seismic anomaly with a very high Vp/Vs ratio of up to 2. This may represent a magma reservoir with a high melt and/or volatile content. The upper limit of this anomaly, 2.5 km below the surface, may indicate the degassing level, which coincides with the most intense seismicity. Below this reservoir, we observe another columnar high Vp/Vs ratio anomaly. This can be interpreted as a conduit bringing magma and fluids from deeper sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tomography in Volcanoes)
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Open AccessArticle Possible Factors Promoting Car Evacuation in the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami Revealed by Analysing a Large-Scale Questionnaire Survey in Kesennuma City
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 112; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040112
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
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Abstract
Excessive car evacuation can cause severe traffic jams that can lead to large numbers of casualties during tsunami disasters. Investigating the possible factors that lead to unnecessary car evacuation can ensure smoother tsunami evacuations and mitigate casualty damages in future tsunami events. In
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Excessive car evacuation can cause severe traffic jams that can lead to large numbers of casualties during tsunami disasters. Investigating the possible factors that lead to unnecessary car evacuation can ensure smoother tsunami evacuations and mitigate casualty damages in future tsunami events. In this study, we quantitatively investigated the possible factors that promote car evacuation, including both necessary and unnecessary usages, by statistically analysing a large amount of data on actual tsunami evacuation behaviours surveyed in Kesennuma, where devastating damage occurred during the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami. A straightforward statistical analysis revealed a high percentage of car evacuations (approx. 50%); however, this fraction includes a high number of unnecessary usage events that were distinguished based on mode choice reasons. In addition, a binary logistic regression was conducted to quantitatively evaluate the effects of several factors and to identify the dominant factor that affected evacuation mode choice. The regression results suggested that the evacuation distance was the dominant factor for choosing car evacuation relative to other factors, such as age and sex. The cross-validation test of the regression model demonstrated that the considered factors were useful for decision making and the prediction of evacuation mode choice in the target area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle Towards the Selection of an Optimal Global Geopotential Model for the Computation of the Long-Wavelength Contribution: A Case Study of Ghana
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 113; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040113
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 2 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 November 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
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Abstract
The selection of a global geopotential model (GGM) for modeling the long-wavelength for geoid computation is imperative not only because of the plethora of GGMs available but more importantly because it influences the accuracy of a geoid model. In this study, we propose
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The selection of a global geopotential model (GGM) for modeling the long-wavelength for geoid computation is imperative not only because of the plethora of GGMs available but more importantly because it influences the accuracy of a geoid model. In this study, we propose using the Gaussian averaging function for selecting an optimal GGM and degree and order (d/o) for the remove-compute-restore technique as a replacement for the direct comparison of terrestrial gravity anomalies and GGM anomalies, because ground data and GGM have different frequencies. Overall, EGM2008 performed better than all the tested GGMs and at an optimal d/o of 222. We verified the results by computing geoid models using Heck and Grüninger’s modification and validated them against GPS/trigonometric data. The results of the validation were consistent with those of the averaging process with EGM2008 giving the smallest standard deviation of 0.457 m at d/o 222, resulting in an 8% improvement over the previous geoid model. In addition, this geoid model, the Ghanaian Gravimetric Geoid 2017 (GGG 2017) may be used to replace second-order class II leveling, with an expected error of 6.8 mm/km for baselines ranging from 20 to 225 km. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Flow Velocity on Tsunami Loss Estimation
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 114; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040114
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
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Abstract
Inundation depth is commonly used as an intensity measure in tsunami fragility analysis. However, inundation depth cannot be taken as the sole representation of tsunami impact on structures, especially when structural damage is caused by hydrodynamic and debris impact forces that are mainly
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Inundation depth is commonly used as an intensity measure in tsunami fragility analysis. However, inundation depth cannot be taken as the sole representation of tsunami impact on structures, especially when structural damage is caused by hydrodynamic and debris impact forces that are mainly determined by flow velocity. To reflect the influence of flow velocity in addition to inundation depth in tsunami risk assessment, a tsunami loss estimation method that adopts both inundation depth and flow velocity (i.e., bivariate intensity measures) in evaluating tsunami damage is developed. To consider a wide range of possible tsunami inundation scenarios, Monte Carlo-based tsunami simulations are performed using stochastic earthquake slip distributions derived from a spectral synthesis method and probabilistic scaling relationships of earthquake source parameters. By focusing on Sendai (plain coast) and Onagawa (ria coast) in the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan in a case study, the stochastic tsunami loss is evaluated by total economic loss and its spatial distribution at different scales. The results indicate that tsunami loss prediction is highly sensitive to modelling resolution and inclusion of flow velocity for buildings located less than 1 km from the sea for Sendai and Onagawa of Miyagi Prefecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle A Study of Ground Movements in Brussels (Belgium) Monitored by Persistent Scatterer Interferometry over a 25-Year Period
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 115; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040115
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
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Abstract
The time series of Synthetic Aperture Radar data acquired by four satellite missions (including ERS, Envisat, TerraSAR-X and Sentinel 1) were processed using Persistent Scatterer interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) techniques. The processed datasets provide a nearly continuous coverage from 1992 to 2017
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The time series of Synthetic Aperture Radar data acquired by four satellite missions (including ERS, Envisat, TerraSAR-X and Sentinel 1) were processed using Persistent Scatterer interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) techniques. The processed datasets provide a nearly continuous coverage from 1992 to 2017 over the Brussels Region (Belgium) and give evidence of ongoing, slow ground deformations. The results highlight an area of uplift located in the heart of the city, with a cumulative ground displacement of ±4 cm over a 25-year period. The rates of uplift appear to have decreased from 2 to 4 mm/year during the ERS acquisition period (1992–2006) down to 0.5–1 mm/year for the Sentinel 1 data (2014–2017). Uplift of the city centre is attributed to a reduction of groundwater extraction from the deeper (Cenozoic-Paleozoic) aquifers, related to the deindustrialization of the city centre since the 1970s. The groundwater levels attested by piezometers in these aquifers show a clear recharge trend which induced the uplift. Some areas of subsidence in the river valleys such as the Maelbeek can be related to the natural settlement of soft, young alluvial deposits, possibly increased by the load of buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Observing Geohazards from Space) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Implementation of Tsunami Evacuation Maps at Setubal Municipality, Portugal
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 116; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040116
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
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Abstract
The Setubal municipality, Portugal, has diversified land use along its coastline (mostly located in a low-lying area): on the west there are beaches; the centre is dominated by a densely populated downtown; and the east has an important industrial area. Although the seismic
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The Setubal municipality, Portugal, has diversified land use along its coastline (mostly located in a low-lying area): on the west there are beaches; the centre is dominated by a densely populated downtown; and the east has an important industrial area. Although the seismic activity in mainland Portugal is moderate, considering the variety of exposed elements, the objectives of this study are to present and discuss the implementation of tsunami evacuation maps at Setubal municipality. Thus, tsunami numerical modelling was carried out by considering the 1969 tsunami and the 1755 tsunami scenarios. The model results show that the first tsunami wave arrived within 30–40 min of the earthquake. The inundation depth was up to 9 m at the beaches, 4.9 m downtown, and 4.0 m in the industrial area. These velocities are too dangerous if beach users are caught by the tsunami waves, even in a moderate scenario. Therefore, coastal communities must evacuate the inundated zones to high ground before the arrival of the first tsunami wave. For this reason, tsunami evacuation maps were created, indicating the quickest and safest routes to the meeting points, located on high ground and outside of the inundation zones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle Present Glaciers and Their Dynamics in the Arid Parts of the Altai Mountains
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 117; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040117
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
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Abstract
This research is based on multiyear in-situ observations, analysis of satellite and aerial imagery, meteorological data, and mass balance index calculations. Presently, 659 glaciers cover a total area of 322.1 km2. We identified four favorable, two neutral, and five unfavorable longer
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This research is based on multiyear in-situ observations, analysis of satellite and aerial imagery, meteorological data, and mass balance index calculations. Presently, 659 glaciers cover a total area of 322.1 km2. We identified four favorable, two neutral, and five unfavorable longer intervals of glacier development since 1940. A decelerating of glacial retreat took place in the 1960s and in the late 1980s/early 1990s. The strong decline in glacial mass between 1995 and 2009 resulted in a fast reduction of the glacial area (0.9% year−1 on the northern slope of Tavan Bogd, 1.5% year−1 at Mongun-Taiga), mostly due to the degradation of small glaciers; after 2009, the glacial loss slowed down. Large valley glaciers behaved asynchronously until recently, when their retreat accelerated rapidly reaching in some cases over 40 m∙year−1. Degradation of the accumulation zone and separation of the debris-covered parts of the glaciers are characteristic for the glacial retreat in the region of research. The time of reaction of the fronts of four valley glaciers of Mongun-Taiga and the northern slope of Tavan Bogd on climatic fluctuations is estimated between 11 and 20 years. Over the next decade, high rates of glacial degradation are expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryosphere)
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Open AccessArticle Thermal Activity Monitoring of an Active Volcano Using Landsat 8/OLI-TIRS Sensor Images: A Case Study at the Aso Volcanic Area in Southwest Japan
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 118; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040118
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
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Abstract
Thermal remote sensing is currently an emerging technique for monitoring active volcanoes around the world. The study area, the Aso volcano, is currently the most active and has erupted almost every year since 2012. For the first time, Landsat 8 TIRS thermal data
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Thermal remote sensing is currently an emerging technique for monitoring active volcanoes around the world. The study area, the Aso volcano, is currently the most active and has erupted almost every year since 2012. For the first time, Landsat 8 TIRS thermal data were used in this study area to evaluate and monitor the recent thermal status of this volcano, situated in Southwest Japan, from 2013 to 2016 using four sets of images. The total heat discharged rate (HDR), radiative heat flux (RHF), land surface temperature (LST), and land cover (LC) were evaluated, and the relationship between them was determined, to understand the thermal status of the study area. We used the NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) for land cover, the NDVI-threshold method for emissivity, the split-window algorithm for LST, and the Stefan–Boltzmann equation for radiative heat flux estimation in this study. The total heat discharge rate was computed using a relationship coefficient of RHF and HDR here. The highest HDR was obtained in 2013, at about 4715 MW, and was the lowest in 2016, at about 3819 MW. The total heat loss showed a declining trend, overall, from 2013 to 2016. The highest pixel RHF was in 2013 and the lowest was in 2014; after that, it increased gradually until 2016, coinciding with the LST of this study area. LC showed that, with decreasing heat loss, the vegetated coverage increased and bare land or mixed land decreased, and vice versa. From the spatial distribution of RHF, we saw that, within the Nakadake craters of the Aso volcano, Crater 1 was the most active part of this volcano throughout the study period, and Crater 3 was the most active after 2014. We inferred that the applied methods using the continuous Landsat 8 TIRS data showed an effective and efficient method of monitoring the thermal status of this active volcano. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Wood Petrifaction: A New View of Permineralization and Replacement
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 119; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040119
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract
Petrified wood has traditionally been divided into two categories based on preservation processes: permineralization (where tissues are entombed within a mineral-filled matrix) and replacement (where organic anatomical features have been replicated by inorganic materials). New analytical evidence suggests that for most petrified wood,
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Petrified wood has traditionally been divided into two categories based on preservation processes: permineralization (where tissues are entombed within a mineral-filled matrix) and replacement (where organic anatomical features have been replicated by inorganic materials). New analytical evidence suggests that for most petrified wood, permineralization and replacement are not independent processes; instead, both processes may occur contemporaneously during diagenesis. Infiltration of mineral-bearing groundwater may initially cause permineralization of cellular tissues, but the wood is undergoing gradual degradation. The degree of anatomical preservation thus depends on the relative rates of mineral precipitation and tissue destruction. Rapid rates of mineralization under relatively mild Eh and pH conditions favor the preservation of organic matter. These conditions appear to be more common for calcium carbonate deposition than for silicification, based on observations of fossil woods from many localities. Because of these preservational complexities, “mineralization” and “mineralized” are more accurate as general descriptive terms than “permineralization” and “permineralized”. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Need for Geoethics Awareness from a Canadian Perspective
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 120; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040120
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
An online survey of Canadian Earth scientists on geoethics—defined as the interconnection between humanity and Earth sciences—asked participants to (1) rate the importance of issues around scientific integrity, social responsibility, aboriginal concerns, corporate ethics, and fieldwork; (2) identify ethical considerations they had observed;
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An online survey of Canadian Earth scientists on geoethics—defined as the interconnection between humanity and Earth sciences—asked participants to (1) rate the importance of issues around scientific integrity, social responsibility, aboriginal concerns, corporate ethics, and fieldwork; (2) identify ethical considerations they had observed; and (3) tell us how they were introduced to ethical viewpoints and whether their undergraduate programs had prepared them for ethical decision-making. Despite a small sample size (123 responded to our survey) we observe that most respondents deemed all criteria we listed as important or very important, with the strongest support for health/safety and honest reporting, and the least, but still significant support for criteria linked to aboriginal issues and fieldwork. Many respondents had observed ethical considerations, particularly lack of giving credit and biased representation of information. We find that informal activities like reading and discussions with peers are the most frequent avenues into geoethics, while undergraduate education is not a significant contributor to current geoethics understandings. Although the survey was restricted to Canada, we perceive our survey as providing a glimpse into the larger geoscience community and offer various recommendations on how the geoscience community and public must be made aware of geoethics, not just in Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics and Geoethics in Geosciences)
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Open AccessArticle Overtopping of Coastal Structures by Tsunami Waves
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 121; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040121
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
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Abstract
Following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Japanese tsunami protection guidelines stipulate that coastal defences should ensure that settlements are shielded from the coastal inundation that would result from Level 1 tsunami events (with return periods in the order of about 100
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Following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Japanese tsunami protection guidelines stipulate that coastal defences should ensure that settlements are shielded from the coastal inundation that would result from Level 1 tsunami events (with return periods in the order of about 100 years). However, the overtopping mechanism and leeward inundation heights of tsunami bores as they hit coastal structures has received little attention in the past. To ascertain this phenomenon, the authors conducted physical experiments using a dam-break mechanism, which could generate bores that overtopped different types of structures. The results indicate that it is necessary to move away from only considering the tsunami inundation height at the beach, and also consider the bore velocity as it approaches the onshore area. The authors also prepared a simple, conservative method of estimating the inundation height after a structure of a given height, provided that the incident bore velocity and height are known. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Hydrogeological Structures of Paiko Region, North-Central Nigeria Using Integrated Geophysical and Remote Sensing Techniques
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 122; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040122
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
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Abstract
Aeromagnetic data coupled with Landsat ETM+ data and SRTM DEM have been processed in order to map regional hydrogeological structures in the basement complex region of Paiko, North Central Nigeria. Lineaments were extracted from derivative maps of aeromagnetic, Landsat ETM+ and SRTM DEM
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Aeromagnetic data coupled with Landsat ETM+ data and SRTM DEM have been processed in order to map regional hydrogeological structures in the basement complex region of Paiko, North Central Nigeria. Lineaments were extracted from derivative maps of aeromagnetic, Landsat ETM+ and SRTM DEM datasets. Ground geophysical investigation utilizing Radial Vertical Electrical Sounding (RVES) was established in nine transects comprised of four sounding stations which are oriented in three azimuths. Source Parameter Imaging (SPI) was employed to map average depths of structures from aeromagnetic dataset. Selected thematic layers which included lineaments density, lithologic structure, slope, drainage density and geomorphologic maps were integrated and modeled using ArcGIS to generate a groundwater potential map of the area. Groundwater zones were classified into four categories: Very good, good, moderate and poor according to their potential to yield sustainable water to drilled wells. The results from RVES survey reveal a close correlation to lineaments delineated from surface structural mapping and remotely sensed datasets. Hydrogeological significance of these orientations suggest that aeromagnetic data can be used to map relatively deep-seated fractures which are likely to be open groundwater conduits while remotely sensed lineaments and orientations delineated from the RVES survey may indicate areas of recharge. Regions with high lineament density attributable to thick regolith and highly fractured basement have better groundwater potential. Drill depths in this area should target a minimum of 80 m to ensure sufficient and sustainable supplies to drilled wells. The outcome of this study would act as information framework that would guide the siting of productive water wells while providing needed information for relevant agencies in need of data for the development of groundwater resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Flood Risk Assessment in Urban Areas Based on Spatial Analytics and Social Factors
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 123; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040123
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
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Abstract
Flood maps alone are not sufficient to determine and assess the risks to people, property, infrastructure, and services due to a flood event. Simply put, the risk is almost zero to minimum if the flooded region is “empty” (i.e., unpopulated, has not properties,
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Flood maps alone are not sufficient to determine and assess the risks to people, property, infrastructure, and services due to a flood event. Simply put, the risk is almost zero to minimum if the flooded region is “empty” (i.e., unpopulated, has not properties, no industry, no infrastructure, and no socio-economic activity). High spatial resolution Earth Observation (EO) data can contribute to the generation and updating of flood risk maps based on several aspects including population, economic development, and critical infrastructure, which can enhance a city’s flood mitigation and preparedness planning. In this case study for the Don River watershed, Toronto, the flood risk is determined and flood risk index maps are generated by implementing a methodology for estimating risk based on the geographic coverage of the flood hazard, vulnerability of people, and the exposure of large building structures to flood water. Specifically, the spatial flood risk index maps have been generated through analytical spatial modeling which takes into account the areas in which a flood hazard is expected to occur, the terrain’s morphological characteristics, socio-economic parameters based on demographic data, and the density of large building complexes. Generated flood risk maps are verified through visual inspection with 3D city flood maps. Findings illustrate that areas of higher flood risk coincide with areas of high flood hazard and social and building exposure vulnerability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle The Morphometry of the Deep-Water Sinuous Mendocino Channel and the Immediate Environs, Northeastern Pacific Ocean
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 124; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040124
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 6 November 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
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Abstract
Mendocino Channel, a deep-water sinuous channel located along the base of Gorda Escarpment, was for the first time completely mapped with a multibeam echosounder. This study uses newly acquired multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, together with supporting multichannel seismic and sediment core data to
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Mendocino Channel, a deep-water sinuous channel located along the base of Gorda Escarpment, was for the first time completely mapped with a multibeam echosounder. This study uses newly acquired multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, together with supporting multichannel seismic and sediment core data to quantitatively describe the morphometry of the entire Mendocino Channel and to explore the age and possible causes that may have contributed to the formation and maintenance of the channel. The first 42 km of the channel is a linear reach followed for the next 83.8 km by a sinuous reach. The sinuous reach has a sinuosity index of 1.66 before it changes back to a linear reach for the next 22.2 km. A second sinuous reach is 40.2 km long and the two reaches are separated by a crevasse splay and a large landslide that deflected the channel northwest towards Gorda Basin. Both sinuous reaches have oxbow bends, cut-off meanders, interior and exterior terraces and extensive levee systems. The lower sinuous reach becomes more linear for the next 22.2 km before the channel relief falls below the resolution of the data. Levees suddenly decrease in height above the channel floor mid-way along the lower linear reach close to where the channel makes a 90° turn to the southwest. The entire channel floor is smooth at the resolution of the data and only two large mounds and one large sediment pile were found on the channel floor. The bathymetry and acoustic backscatter, together with previously collected seismic data and box and piston cores provide details to suggest Mendocino Channel may be no older than early Quaternary. A combination of significant and numerous earthquakes and wave-loading resuspension by storms are the most likely processes that generated turbidity currents that have formed and modified Mendocino Channel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Geospatial Analysis of Land Use and Land Cover Transitions from 1986–2014 in a Peri-Urban Ghana
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 125; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040125
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
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Abstract
Recently, peri-urbanisation has led to the transformation of the rural landscape, changing rural land uses into peri-urban land uses, under varying driving factors. This paper analyzes the dynamic transitions among identified land use and land cover (LULC) types in the Bosomtwe district of
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Recently, peri-urbanisation has led to the transformation of the rural landscape, changing rural land uses into peri-urban land uses, under varying driving factors. This paper analyzes the dynamic transitions among identified land use and land cover (LULC) types in the Bosomtwe district of Ghana, from 1986 to 2014. An integrated approach of geo-information tools of satellite remote sensing in Earth Resource Data Analysis System (ERDAS) Imagine 13 and ArcMap 10.2 Geographic Information System (GIS), with Markov chain analytical techniques were used to examine the combined forest land cover transitions, relative to build-up, recent fallows and grasslands and projected possible factors influencing the transitions under business as usual and unusual situations. Statistical analyses of the classified Landsat TM, ETM+ and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager and Thermal Infrared Sensor (OLI/TIS) indicated that over the period of 24 years, the Bosomtwe district has undergone a series of land use conversions with remarkable forest losses especially between 2002 and 2010. In 2010 dense forest cover was degraded to low forest by 4040 ha indicating 0.40% transition probability in the future. There was a remarkable increase of built-up/bare and concrete area with a 380% increment in the 1986–2002 transition periods. The application of the Markov futuristic land use dynamics by the years 2018 and 2028, projected from the 2014 LULC indicated a future steady decline in the area coverage of the dense forest to low forest category. This is currently being driven (as at the 2017 LULC trends), by the combined effects of increasing build up bare and concrete surface land uses as well as the expanding recent fallows and grassland. The paper concluded that the health of the ecosystem and biodiversity of the lake Bosomtwe need to be sustainably managed by the Bosomtwe district assembly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Supercontinent Cycle and Thermochemical Structure in the Mantle: Inference from Two-Dimensional Numerical Simulations of Mantle Convection
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 126; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040126
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
In this study, we conduct numerical simulations of thermochemical mantle convection in a 2D spherical annulus with a highly viscous lid drifting along the top surface, in order to investigate the interrelation between the motion of the surface (super)continent and the behavior of
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In this study, we conduct numerical simulations of thermochemical mantle convection in a 2D spherical annulus with a highly viscous lid drifting along the top surface, in order to investigate the interrelation between the motion of the surface (super)continent and the behavior of chemical heterogeneities imposed in the lowermost mantle. Our calculations show that assembly and dispersal of supercontinents occur in a cyclic manner when a sufficient amount of chemically-distinct dense material resides in the base of the mantle against the convective mixing. The motion of surface continents is significantly driven by strong ascending plumes originating around the dense materials in the lowermost mantle. The hot dense materials horizontally move in response to the motion of continents at the top surface, which in turn horizontally move the ascending plumes leading to the breakup of newly-formed supercontinents. We also found that the motion of dense materials in the base of the mantle is driven toward the region beneath a newly-formed supercontinent largely by the horizontal flow induced by cold descending flows from the top surface occurring away from the (super)continent. Our findings imply that the dynamic behavior of cold descending plumes is the key to the understanding of the relationship between the supercontinent cycle on the Earth’s surface and the thermochemical structures in the lowermost mantle, through modulating not only the positions of chemically-dense materials, but also the occurrence of ascending plumes around them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mantle Circulation and Plate Movement)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Semi-Automatic Detection of Indigenous Settlement Features on Hispaniola through Remote Sensing Data
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 127; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040127
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
Satellite imagery has had limited application in the analysis of pre-colonial settlement archaeology in the Caribbean; visible evidence of wooden structures perishes quickly in tropical climates. Only slight topographic modifications remain, typically associated with middens. Nonetheless, surface scatters, as well as the soil
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Satellite imagery has had limited application in the analysis of pre-colonial settlement archaeology in the Caribbean; visible evidence of wooden structures perishes quickly in tropical climates. Only slight topographic modifications remain, typically associated with middens. Nonetheless, surface scatters, as well as the soil characteristics they produce, can serve as quantifiable indicators of an archaeological site, detectable by analyzing remote sensing imagery. A variety of pre-processed, very diverse data sets went through a process of image registration, with the intention to combine multispectral bands to feed two different semi-automatic direct detection algorithms: a posterior probability, and a frequentist approach. Two 5 × 5 km2 areas in the northwestern Dominican Republic with diverse environments, having sufficient imagery coverage, and a representative number of known indigenous site locations, served each for one approach. Buffers around the locations of known sites, as well as areas with no likely archaeological evidence were used as samples. The resulting maps offer quantifiable statistical outcomes of locations with similar pixel value combinations as the identified sites, indicating higher probability of archaeological evidence. These still very experimental and rather unvalidated trials, as they have not been subsequently groundtruthed, show variable potential of this method in diverse environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Landscape Pattern Detection in Archaeological Remote Sensing
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 128; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040128
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
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Abstract
Automated detection of landscape patterns on Remote Sensing imagery has seen virtually little or no development in the archaeological domain, notwithstanding the fact that large portion of cultural landscapes worldwide are characterized by land engineering applications. The current extraordinary availability of remotely sensed
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Automated detection of landscape patterns on Remote Sensing imagery has seen virtually little or no development in the archaeological domain, notwithstanding the fact that large portion of cultural landscapes worldwide are characterized by land engineering applications. The current extraordinary availability of remotely sensed images makes it now urgent to envision and develop automatic methods that can simplify their inspection and the extraction of relevant information from them, as the quantity of information is no longer manageable by traditional “human” visual interpretation. This paper expands on the development of automatic methods for the detection of target landscape features—represented by field system patterns—in very high spatial resolution images, within the framework of an archaeological project focused on the landscape engineering embedded in Roman cadasters. The targets of interest consist of a variety of similarly oriented objects of diverse nature (such as roads, drainage channels, etc.) concurring to demark the current landscape organization, which reflects the one imposed by Romans over two millennia ago. The proposed workflow exploits the textural and shape properties of real-world elements forming the field patterns using multiscale analysis of dominant oriented response filters. Trials showed that this approach provides accurate localization of target linear objects and alignments signaled by a wide range of physical entities with very different characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Open AccessArticle Mainstreaming Multi-Risk Approaches into Policy
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 129; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040129
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 3 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
Multi-risk environments are characterized by domino effects that often amplify the overall risk. Those include chains of hazardous events and increasing vulnerability, among other types of correlations within the risk process. The recently developed methods for multi-hazard and risk assessment integrate interactions between
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Multi-risk environments are characterized by domino effects that often amplify the overall risk. Those include chains of hazardous events and increasing vulnerability, among other types of correlations within the risk process. The recently developed methods for multi-hazard and risk assessment integrate interactions between different risks by using harmonized procedures based on common metrics. While the products of these assessments, such as multi-hazard and -risk indexes, maps, cascade scenarios, or warning systems provide innovative and effective information, they also pose specific challenges to policy makers and practitioners due to their novel cross-disciplinary aspects. In this paper we discuss the institutional barriers to the adoption of multi-risk approaches, summarizing the results of the fieldwork conducted in Italy and Guadeloupe and of workshops with disaster risk reduction practitioners from eleven European countries. Results show the need for a clear identification of responsibilities for the implementation of multi-risk approaches, as institutional frameworks for risk reduction remain to this day primarily single-risk centered. Authorities are rarely officially responsible for the management of domino effects between e.g., tsunamis and industrial accidents, earthquake and landslides, floods and electricity network failures. Other barriers for the implementation of multi-risk approaches include the limited measures to reduce exposure at the household level, inadequate financial capacities at the local level and limited public-private partnerships, especially in case of interactions between natural and industrial risks. Adapting the scale of institutions to that of multi-risk environments remains a major challenge to better mainstream multi-risk approaches into policy. To address it, we propose a multi-risk governance framework, which includes the phases of observation, social and institutional context analysis, generation of multi-risk knowledge and stakeholder engagement processes. Yet, more research is needed in order to test the framework and to identify the hallmark characteristics of effective multi-risk governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Hazards and Risks Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle Investigating the Apparent Seismic Diffusivity of Near-Receiver Geology at Mount St. Helens Volcano, USA
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 130; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040130
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract
We present an expanded approach of the diffusive approximation to map strongly scattering geological structures in volcanic environments using seismic coda intensities and a diffusive approximation. Seismic data from a remarkably consistent hydrothermal source of Long-Period (LP) earthquakes, that was active during the
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We present an expanded approach of the diffusive approximation to map strongly scattering geological structures in volcanic environments using seismic coda intensities and a diffusive approximation. Seismic data from a remarkably consistent hydrothermal source of Long-Period (LP) earthquakes, that was active during the late 2004 portion of the 2004–2008 dome building eruption of Mount St. Helens Volcano, are used to obtain coefficient values for diffusion and attenuation, and describe the rate at which seismic energy radiates into the surrounding medium. The results are then spatially plotted as a function of near-receiver geology to generate maps of near-surface geological and geophysical features. They indicate that the diffusion coefficient is a marker of the near-receiver geology, while the attenuation coefficients are sensitive to deeper volcanic structures. As previously observed by other studies, two main scattering regimes affect the coda envelopes: a diffusive, multiple-scattering regime close to the volcanic edifice and a much weaker, single-to-multiple scattering regime at higher source-receiver offsets. Within the diffusive, multiple-scattering regime, the spatial variations of the diffusion coefficient are sufficiently robust to show the features of laterally-extended, coherent, shallow geological structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tomography in Volcanoes)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment by Portable Gamma Spectrometry of External Gamma Radiation Hazard due to Granitic Materials and Indoor Space Typology
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 131; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040131
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 10 December 2017 / Published: 14 December 2017
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Abstract
Building materials can contribute to ionizing radiation hazards due to their variable content in radioactive isotopes. Uranium, thorium, and potassium radioisotopes are present in various building materials due to their presence in raw materials: minerals and rocks. Among natural building materials, granite is
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Building materials can contribute to ionizing radiation hazards due to their variable content in radioactive isotopes. Uranium, thorium, and potassium radioisotopes are present in various building materials due to their presence in raw materials: minerals and rocks. Among natural building materials, granite is one of those deserving more attention in terms of radioactive hazards. Granites are commonly used in historical buildings of NW Portugal and NW Spain, due to the geological characteristics of these areas. However, radioactive isotopes are present in variable proportions in granites, and thus, in relation to other potential building materials, granites might present a higher radiological hazard. This work discusses multivariate analysis results obtained by spectrometry of a portable range in indoor spaces, presenting different proportions of granite used as a building material in order to evaluate a typology proposed for assessing gamma radiation hazards. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating Conveyance-Based DEM Correction Technique on NED and SRTM DEMs for Flood Impact Assessment of the 2010 Cumberland River Flood
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 132; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040132
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 14 December 2017
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Abstract
This study assessed the uncertainty in flood impact assessment (FIA) that may be introduced by errors in moderate resolution regional and moderate resolution global Digital Elevation Models (DEM). One arc-second National Elevation Dataset (NED) and one arc-second Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEMs
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This study assessed the uncertainty in flood impact assessment (FIA) that may be introduced by errors in moderate resolution regional and moderate resolution global Digital Elevation Models (DEM). One arc-second National Elevation Dataset (NED) and one arc-second Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEMs were selected to represent moderate resolution regional and global DEMs. The relative performance for scenarios based on each of the DEMs was compared to a “control” terrain (combination of surveyed river bathymetry and a 1/3 arc-second LiDAR for floodplains)-based scenario. Furthermore, a conveyance-based DEM correction technique was applied to the DEMs for investigating the suitability of the technique on selected DEMs, and determining subsequent improvement in the FIA. The May 2010 flood on the Cumberland River near Nashville, TN, was selected as the case study. It was found that the hydraulic properties necessary to implement the selected DEM correction technique could be more readily estimated from NED compared to SRTM. However, this study also prescribed alternate methods to extract necessary hydraulic properties if the DEM quality was compromised. NED-based hydrodynamic modeling resulted in a high overestimation of the simulated flood stage, but the SRTM-based model was unable to produce any reasonable result prior to DEM correction. Nevertheless, after DEM correction, both models became stable and produced less error. Error in simulated flood consequence (i.e., total structures affected and total loss in dollars) also dropped accordingly, following the DEM correction. Therefore, application of this conveyance-based correction technique is reasonably effective on both moderate-resolution regional and global DEMs. The effectiveness of the technique on moderate resolution global DEM underscores the potential for users of remote and data-poor areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle Mercury Contamination of Cattle in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 133; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040133
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 11 December 2017 / Published: 14 December 2017
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Abstract
The industrial mining sector is one of the main contributors to environmental damage and toxic metal pollution, although some contamination originates from natural geological sources. Due to their position at the top of the food chain, cattle tend to bioaccumulate mercury (Hg) in
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The industrial mining sector is one of the main contributors to environmental damage and toxic metal pollution, although some contamination originates from natural geological sources. Due to their position at the top of the food chain, cattle tend to bioaccumulate mercury (Hg) in their bodies. We used analyses of cattle hair samples to investigate Hg contamination in cattle farmed within and outside of an artisanal and small-scale gold-mining area in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. We also examined the factors that might have influenced the toxicity, such as the environmental conditions, sex, and age of the cattle. A total of 63 hair samples were analyzed by particle-induced X-ray emission spectrometry. The mean Hg concentration was significantly higher in hair from cattle farmed within the artisanal and small-scale gold mining area (11.44 μg/g hair) than in those farmed outside the area (2.89 μg/g hair, p < 0.05). A possible cause of this is contamination by mercury persistent in terrestrial food chain. The results indicates that the level of toxic metals such as Hg need to be controlled in food sources to protect human health, especially in Bombana, Indonesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Environmental and Medical Geochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Efficiency of Geographically Weighted Regression in Modeling Human Leptospirosis Based on Environmental Factors in Gilan Province, Iran
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 136; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040136
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 10 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
It is of little debate that Leptospirosis is verified as the most important zoonosis disease in tropical and humid regions. In North of Iran, maximum reports have been dedicated to Gilan province and it is considered as an endemic problem there. Therefore, modeling
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It is of little debate that Leptospirosis is verified as the most important zoonosis disease in tropical and humid regions. In North of Iran, maximum reports have been dedicated to Gilan province and it is considered as an endemic problem there. Therefore, modeling or researching about different aspects of it seems indispensable. Hence, this paper investigated various models of Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) approach and impacts of seven environmental variables on modelling leptospirosis in Gilan. Accordingly, counts of patients were considered as dependent variable during 2009–2011 at village level and environmental variables were utilized as independent variables in the modelling. In addition, performance of two Kernels (Fixed and Adaptive), two Weighting Functions (Bisquare and Gaussian) and three Bandwidth Selection Criteria (AIC (Akaike Information Criterion), CV (Cross Validation) and BIC (Bayesian information criterion)) were compared and assessed in GWR models. Results illustrated: (1) Leptospirosis and effective variables vary locally across the study area (positive and negative); (2) Adaptive kernel in comparison to Fixed kernel, Bisquare weighting function to Gaussian, and also AIC to CV and BIC (due to R2 and Mean Square Error (MSE) validation criteria); (3) Temperature and humidity were founded as impressive factors (include higher values of coefficients); Finally, contain more reliable results consecutively. However, the provided distribution maps asserted that central villages of Gilan not only are more predisposed to leptospirosis prevalence, but also prevention programs should focus on these regions more than others. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview The Nature and Articulation of Ethical Codes on Tailings Management in South Africa
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 101; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040101
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 12 October 2017
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Abstract
It is well recognized that the mining industry in South Africa is highly rated for its substantial contribution to the country’s economic growth, including employment and infrastructural development. It is also known that mining and ore processing activities potentially pose a severe threat
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It is well recognized that the mining industry in South Africa is highly rated for its substantial contribution to the country’s economic growth, including employment and infrastructural development. It is also known that mining and ore processing activities potentially pose a severe threat to public health and environmental well-being, in the way operations are carried out, mine wastes are disposed of (in dumps), local communities are relocated, mine management and the mining community, in general, perceive established environmental standards and etiquette. This paper examines ethical practices and norms in the South African mining industry, with particular reference to the management of tailings dams. We analyse the modes of articulation of the country’s regulatory instruments for tailings management, and review the corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach of leading mining companies. Despite decades of research and resulting recommendations on tailings management, it is concluded that the current legislations are largely ineffective, that the level of adherence by mine management and the mining community is low, and that the mechanisms for compliance monitoring is weak. New perspectives on legislative issues for unsolved problems in tailings handling are put forward, and directions for future research, indicated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics and Geoethics in Geosciences)
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Open AccessReview Pyplis–A Python Software Toolbox for the Analysis of SO2 Camera Images for Emission Rate Retrievals from Point Sources
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 134; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040134
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 11 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract
Ultraviolet (UV) SO2 cameras have become a common tool to measure and monitor SO2 emission rates, mostly from volcanoes but also from anthropogenic sources (e.g., power plants or ships). Over the past decade, the analysis of UV SO2 camera data
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Ultraviolet (UV) SO2 cameras have become a common tool to measure and monitor SO2 emission rates, mostly from volcanoes but also from anthropogenic sources (e.g., power plants or ships). Over the past decade, the analysis of UV SO2 camera data has seen many improvements. As a result, for many of the required analysis steps, several alternatives exist today (e.g., cell vs. DOAS based camera calibration; optical flow vs. cross-correlation based gas-velocity retrieval). This inspired the development of Pyplis (Python plume imaging software), an open-source software toolbox written in Python 2.7, which unifies the most prevalent methods from literature within a single, cross-platform analysis framework. Pyplis comprises a vast collection of algorithms relevant for the analysis of UV SO2 camera data. These include several routines to retrieve plume background radiances as well as routines for cell and DOAS based camera calibration. The latter includes two independent methods to identify the DOAS field-of-view (FOV) within the camera images (based on (1) Pearson correlation and (2) IFR inversion method). Plume velocities can be retrieved using an optical flow algorithm as well as signal cross-correlation. Furthermore, Pyplis includes a routine to perform a first order correction of the signal dilution effect (also referred to as light dilution). All required geometrical calculations are performed within a 3D model environment allowing for distance retrievals to plume and local terrain features on a pixel basis. SO2 emission rates can be retrieved simultaneously for an arbitrary number of plume intersections. Hence, Pyplis provides a state-of-the-art framework for more efficient and flexible analyses of UV SO2 camera data and, therefore, marks an important step forward towards more transparency, reliability and inter-comparability of the results. Pyplis has been extensively and successfully tested using data from several field campaigns. Here, the main features are introduced using a dataset obtained at Mt. Etna, Italy on 16 September 2015. Full article
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Open AccessReview Analysis of Slope Sensitivity to Landslides by a Transdisciplinary Approach in the Framework of Future Development: The Case of La Trinité in Martinique (French West Indies)
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 135; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040135
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Landslide hazard and risk assessment (LHA & LRA) in the French West Indies is a big challenge, particularly in Martinique, where several factors contribute to high slope sensitivity to landslides. This sensitivity is particularly due to volcanic ground, hurricane seasons, and growing pressure
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Landslide hazard and risk assessment (LHA & LRA) in the French West Indies is a big challenge, particularly in Martinique, where several factors contribute to high slope sensitivity to landslides. This sensitivity is particularly due to volcanic ground, hurricane seasons, and growing pressure from urban development. Thus, to protect future goods and inhabitants and avoid increased slope sensitivity to landslide, it is necessary to analyze by different ways and complementary approaches the future planned areas. This research focuses on a site the City Council of ‘La Trinité’ wishes to develop. The goals consist of locating landslide-prone areas and providing some recommendations/indications for future projects. The site is characterized by a hilly topography alternating steep slopes, gentle slopes, and eroded areas and is located on a complex lithology (i.e., andesite, basalt, and weathered materials). By combining several approaches and techniques (geology, geomorphology, geophysics, and modeling), it is demonstrated that some areas are particularly susceptible to landslide, notably where colluviums are juxtaposed to highly weathered materials. The different documents produced, based on modeling and expert knowledge, combined with indications should allow the definition of new susceptibility classes, taking into account probable anthropic influence and development. Even if the temporal probability of the experimental documents is not taken into account, they help with refining knowledge of landslide-prone areas and different types of instability. The documents should be discussed with end users for future planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Hazards and Risks Assessment)
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