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[en] A comparative evaluation is carried out for nearly 5 years (February 2000 to May 2004) of data of aerosol optical depth (AOD) measured at the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) site El Arenosillo (Huelva, southwestern Spain). The AERONET database and the reprocessed data set using a new correction procedure, which we call the KCICLO method, are compared with respect to the aerosol local climatology. The cause and necessity of AOD reprocessing were due to the existence of an observed fictitious diurnal cycle (including negative values) because of a deficient calibration as explained in detail in the companion paper (V. E. Cachorro et al., submitted manuscript, 2007). The derived alpha angstrom coefficient is also compared, as it appears to be an excellent indicator of the AOD data quality, because of its sensitivity to AOD variations and errors. Some illustrative cases show the influence of this fictitious diurnal cycle on the shape and values of diurnal variations of the AOD (or alpha), reaching differences as high as 100%, and the improvement resulting from using the KCICLO method. Absolute and relative differences are evaluated from the overall average of AOD and alpha coefficient of AERONET and KCICLO data series, making an exhaustive analysis for each spectral channel and for every photometer separately. Although great variability is shown for each filter and each photometer, apart from photometer 114 data that did not reach level 2.0, the discrepancy in the AOD local climatology in the four filters varies as a whole from 2.3% to 8.5% (2.4% for alpha coefficient). These values show a considerable reduction because of the compensating effect between the different photometers (positive or negative bias), and several jumps that break the continuity of the data series are observed. When monthly and yearly averages are analyzed, the differences are considerably reduced in such a way that the local climatology is not substantially affected, but we must be cautious with this apparent good result. The comparative results between both data series give a representative pattern of the uncertainties that we have found in establishing a local aerosol climatology
[en] Many earthquake-related radon-222 temporal changes have been recorded since the 1960's and are frequently discussed, sometimes initiating a controversial debate on the relevance of radon-222 as an earthquake precursory signal. The diurnal S1-O1 and semidiurnal S2-M2 earth tide signatures in radon signals are acquired in a natural context. This can be used to calibrate the radon changes under strain accumulation close to epicentral areas, which are often discussed but are rarely evidenced by experimental data. The analysis of a 10 month time series acquired in the sub-glacial laboratory of the Argentiere glacier, Mont Blanc Massif, French Alps, demonstrates here the unambiguous episodic appearance of the M2-O1 waves in the radon signal with significant amplitudes of 36 and 50 Bq m-3, respectively. We thus prove that radon variations induced by gravitational M2 and O1 waves are detectable in a natural environment. In this particular place, the radon response is probably amplified by cyclic stress variations applied on the upstream side of the natural rock dam into which the laboratory is drilled. The amplification of the radon signal is induced by poro-elastic deformation under this particular mechanical forcing. This can elucidate why most precedent studies failed to detect M2-O1 signatures in radon signals recorded in other underground laboratories. (authors)
[en] A new study of gravity waves produced by thunderstorms was performed using continuous recordings at the IS17 (Ivory Coast) infra-sound station of the International Monitoring System developed for the verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. A typical case study is presented for a large thunderstorm on 10-11 April 2006 lasting near 14 h. Comparison with cloud temperature measured by the Meteosat 6 satellite shows that wave activity is large when the cloud temperature is low inside convection cells located over the station. Statistics based on 10 year data show that the wave activity is intense throughout the year with peak periods in May and October and less intense activity in January, in good agreement with the local keraunic level. The seasonal variations of the wave azimuth highlight clear trends from northward direction from February to August to southward direction from August to December. Lightning flashes, observed from space, show a similar motion confirming that thunderstorms are the main sources of the gravity wave activity. The gravity wave azimuth follows the seasonal motion of the tropical rain belt partly related to the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone of the winds. The contribution of other possible sources, such as wind over relief, is weak because surface winds are weak in this region and only oceans are present south of the station. We conclude that the large observed wave activity is mainly produced by convection associated to thunderstorms. (authors)
[en] We present high-time resolution global imaging of a sunward propagating giant undulation event from start to finish. The event occurred on November 24, 2001 during a very disturbed storm interval. The giant undulations began to develop at around 13UT and persisted for approximately 2 hours. The sunward propagation speed was on the order of 0.6 km/s (relative to SM coordinate system). The undulations had a wavelength of ∼ 750 km, amplitudes of ∼ 890 km and produced ULF pulsations on the ground with a period of ∼ 1108s. We show that the undulations were associated with SAPs flows that were caused by the proton plasma sheet penetrating substantially farther Earthward than the electron plasma sheet on the duskside. The observations appear to be consistent with the development of a shear flow and/or ballooning type of instability at the plasmapause driven by intense SAPS-associated shear flows.
[en] Experiments at the Department of Energy's Rifle Integrated Field Research Challenge (IFRC) site near Rifle, Colorado (USA) have demonstrated the ability to remove uranium from groundwater by stimulating the growth and activity of Geobacter species through acetate amendment. Prolonging the activity of these strains in order to optimize uranium bioremediation has prompted the development of minimally-invasive and spatially-extensive monitoring methods diagnostic of their in situ activity and the end products of their metabolism. Here we demonstrate the use of complex resistivity imaging for monitoring biogeochemical changes accompanying stimulation of indigenous aquifer microorganisms during and after a prolonged period (100+ days) of acetate injection. A thorough raw-data statistical analysis of discrepancies between normal and reciprocal measurements and incorporation of a new power-law phase-error model in the inversion were used to significantly improve the quality of the resistivity phase images over those obtained during previous monitoring experiments at the Rifle IRFC site. The imaging results reveal spatiotemporal changes in the phase response of aquifer sediments, which correlate with increases in Fe(II) and precipitation of metal sulfides (e.g., FeS) following the iterative stimulation of iron and sulfate reducing microorganism. Only modest changes in resistivity magnitude were observed over the monitoring period. The largest phase anomalies (>40 mrad) were observed hundreds of days after halting acetate injection, in conjunction with accumulation of Fe(II) in the presence of residual FeS minerals, reflecting preservation of geochemically reduced conditions in the aquifer - a prerequisite for ensuring the long-term stability of immobilized, redox-sensitive contaminants, such as uranium.
[en] This paper describes the interpretation of xenon that was measured in the Abee meteorite. Reported Xe isotopic abundances in enstatite chondrites (EC's) show some variability, and this makes comparisons to other solar system reservoirs rather difficult. In contrast, we find uniform Xe isotopic abundances in the EC chondrite Abee for a variety of clasts, except for 128Xe and 129Xe, the isotopes affected by neutron capture in I and by extinct 129I. We report averages for the studied clasts which are consistent within error limits with OC-Xe and with the Q-Xe signature. On the other hand, the elemental abundance ratios Ar/Xe are variable between clasts. A strongly reducing environment which is indicated for enstatite meteorites was generally assumed to be consistent with conditions existing in the early inner solar system. Xe isotopic abundances in SNC meteorites from Mars and also those in some terrestrial wells show that distinct isotopic reservoirs coexisted on the same planets. In particular, the Xe isotopic signatures in terrestrial well gases show the presence of a minor distinct component in two of the reported four well gases. These authors suggested that the extra component represents solar Xe, but we show that also a meteoritic xenon reservoir of the Abee-Xe structure is an option. The reported Xe data in Ar-rich (subsolar) EC's show isotopic abundances slightly lighter than those in Abee-Xe, but the relative abundances of Ar, Kr, and Xe indicate only a minor component of elementally unfractionated solar Xe. The elemental ratios suggest rather a different origin for these gases: the loading of solar particles into grain surfaces during exposure at elevated temperatures during accretion of matter in the inner solar system. A model of this type was suggested for the accretion of gases now observed in the atmosphere on Venus. We note that disks of crystalline silicates (including enstatite and olivine) have been observed in T Tauri stars during their early evolution.
[en] Two-dimensional hybrid (kinetic ions, massless fluid electrons) simulations of the Kelvin Helmholtz Instability (KHI) for a magnetopause configuration with a magnetic shear across the boundary are carried out to examine how the transport of magnetosheath plasma into the magnetosphere is affected by the shear field. Low magnetic shear conditions where the magnetosheath magnetic field is within 30o of northward is included in the simulations because KHI is thought to be important for plasma transport only for northward or near-northward interplanetary magnetic field orientations. The simulations show that coherent vortices can grow for these near-northward angles, and that they are sometimes more coherent than for pure northward conditions because the turbulence which breaks-down these vortices is reduced when there are magnetic tension forces. With increasing magnetic shear angle, the growth rate is reduced, and the vortices do not grow to as large of size which reduces the plasma transport. By tracking the individual particle motions diffusion coefficients can be obtained for the system, where the diffusion is not classical in nature but instead has a time dependence resulting from both the increasingly large-scale vortex motion and the small-scale turbulence generated in the break-down of the instabilities. Results indicate that diffusion on the order of 109 m2/s could possibly be generated by KHI on the flanks of the magnetosphere.
[en] This manuscript describes the self-consistent simulation of diffusion at the magnetopause driven by Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability. Two-dimensional hybrid (kinetic ions, fluid electrons) simulations of the most KH-unstable configuration where the shear flow is oriented perpendicular to the uniform magnetic field are carried out. The motion of the simulation particles are tracked during the run and their mean-square displacement normal to the magnetopause is calculated from which diffusion coefficients are determined. The diffusion coefficients are found to be time dependent, with Dx ∝ tα, where α > 1. Additionally, the probability distribution functions (PDF) of the 'jump lengths' the particles make over time are found to be non-gaussian. Such time-dependent diffusion coefficients and non-gaussian PDF's have been associated with so-called 'super-diffusion', in which diffusive mixing of particles is enhanced over classical diffusion. The results indicate that while turbulence associated with the break-down of vortices contributes to this enhanced diffusion, it is the growth of large-scale, coherent vortices is the more important process in facilitating it
[en] Spectra of Jovian X-ray auroras observed from the North and South poles with the Chandra X-ray telescope are analyzed and compared with predicted spectra of the charge-exchange mechanism. To determine the theoretical spectra of Jovian X-ray auroras, we model numerically the collisionally induced evolution of energy and charge distributions of Oq+ and Sq+ ions, precipitating into the Jovian atmosphere. Monte Carlo simulations of the energy and charge relaxation of the precipitating ions are carried out with updated cross-sections of the ion stripping, electron capture, and gas-ionization collisions. X-ray and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) spectra of cascading radiation induced by individual energetic sulfur and oxygen ions are calculated, and relative intensities of X-ray emission lines are determined. Synthetic spectra of X-ray and EUV photons are computed at different initial kinetic energies and compositions of ion-precipitating fluxes. Theoretical spectra with adjustable initial energies and relative fraction of sulfur and oxygen ions are shown to be in good agreement with the spectra of X rays detected from the South and North polar regions. The abundances and initial energies of the precipitating ions are inferred by comparing synthetic and observed X-ray spectra. Comparisons are performed independently for the North and South pole emissions. Abundances of the precipitating sulfur ions are found to be four to five times smaller than those of oxygen ions, and averaged ion energies are determined to lie between 1 and 2 MeV/amu. Slightly different ion flux compositions are found to describe the observed spectra of X-ray emission from the North and South poles
[en] A surface-to-tunnel seismic survey was conducted to estimate fracture intensity and distribution in the proposed nuclear waste repository area at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A 5-km-long source line and a 3-km-long receiver line were located on top of Yucca Mountain ridge and inside the Exploratory Study Facility (ESF) tunnel, respectively. Numerical modeling showed that the first arrival P waves are mainly propagated in the repository horizon at depth. Therefore two-dimensional travel time inversions were performed after the actual source locations on the ridge were projected onto the layer of interest at depth. Static corrections were applied to absorb the scatter in the new source locations and to correct for variations in source and receiver coupling and travel time shifts. Zero-offset amplitude variations of the first arrivals across the receiver line inside the tunnel showed strong correlation with the fracture density determined by measurements along the tunnel wall. Wave guidance by subhorizontal fractures is suggested as a possible source for this phenomenon. Tomographic inversion of the travel time data revealed a low-velocity zone in the south central area of the repository horizon. Conversion of the velocity tomography results to fracture-density tomograms showed good correlation with fracture intensity mapped along tunnel walls. The fractured zone extends over a large area in the southern region of the potential repository, in particular, southwest of the intensely fractured zone encountered in the ESF tunnel. The rock in the northern section of the repository appears more competent compared to the highly fractured areas in the south