Earth

Experts defend operational earthquake forecasting, counter critiques

SAN FRANCISCO -- Experts defend operational earthquake forecasting (OEF) in an editorial published in the Seismological Research Letters (SRL), arguing the importance of public communication as part of a suite of activities intended to improve public safety and mitigate damage from earthquakes. In a related article, Italian scientists detail the first official OEF system in Italy.

Likely near-simultaneous earthquakes complicate seismic hazard planning for Italy

SAN FRANCISCO -- Before the shaking from one earthquake ends, shaking from another might begin, amplifying the effect of ground motion. Such sequences of closely timed, nearly overlapping, consecutive earthquakes account for devastating seismic events in Italy's history and should be taken into account when building new structures, according to research published in the September issue of the journal Seismological Research Letters (SRL).

Sierra Nevada freshwater runoff could drop 26 percent by 2100, UC study finds

Irvine, Calif. — Freshwater runoff from the Sierra Nevada may decrease by as much as one-quarter by 2100 due to climate warming on the high slopes, according to scientists at UC Irvine and UC Merced.

Accelerated plant growth at higher elevations caused by increasing temperatures would trigger more water absorption and evaporation, accounting for the projected runoff declines, the researchers add.

Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change

A new study paper in Nature Climate Change, suggests that, if current trends continue, food production will reach, if not exceed, the global targets for total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2050.

The study's authors say we should all think carefully about the food we choose and its environmental impact. A shift to vegetarian diets across the world is just one of a number of actions that need to be taken to avoid dangerous climate change and ensure there is enough food for all, they claim.

Sinkholes, pit craters, and small calderas: Analog models of depletion-induced collapse

In nature, sub-surface bodies of molten or ductile rock might become abruptly depleted, resulting in the collapse of the overlying rock and the sometimes catastrophic formation of a "hole in the ground" at surface.

These are termed sinkholes in karst terrains and pit-craters or calderas on volcanoes. For the first time, S. Poppe and colleagues use computed X-ray micro-tomography (μCT), similar to the imaging of patients using CT-scanners, to image laboratory-scale models of such collapse process.

Greenhouse whitefly – will the unwanted greenhouse guest make it in the wild?

Greenhouses have improved the possibilities of invasion of greenhouse whitefly into the wild in the boreal region, new study finds. Genetic analysis sheds new light on the survival of whiteflies in Finland and helps to plan efficient pest management.

Geochronology and global context of the Charnian Supergroup

The Charnian Supergroup of Central England is a globally significant fossil locality where Precambrian complex life-forms are well preserved.

The Neoproterozoic Ediacaran Period was a seminal time in the evolution of multicellular life. Important among these Precambrian complex organisms were the Rangeomorphs and their possible taphomorphs (ivesheadiamorphs).

Confirmation of a low pre-extensional geothermal gradient in the Grayback normal

Many models of continental extension and rifting call upon crustal heating from magmatism or other processes to trigger and localize rifting (active rift models).

However, it is often difficult to measure the thermal structure of the crust directly for ancient rift zones, so such models have been difficult to evaluate.

Impacts of catastrophic volcanic collapse on the erosion and morphology of a distal fluvial landscape

Debris avalanches caused by the collapse of volcanic flanks may permanently change the surrounding landscape and its drainage systems. Deposits of a two- to three-cubic-kilometer debris avalanche exposed along the Hautapu River about 50 km southeast of Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand, reflect the largest known collapse event of the stratovolcano, followed by a regrowth phase that produced pyroclastic eruptions and pumice-rich lahars.

Evolution of the central Garlock fault zone

The slip rate of the Garlock fault in southeastern California has accelerated through time to the modern rate of 9 mm per year.

Left-lateral strike-slip displacement of 64 km on the Garlock fault began 11 million years ago as an accommodation structure to Basin and Range extension. The Garlock fault subsequently changed geometry and rates when dextral shear initiated inboard of the San Andreas plate boundary.