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2018 Publication Archive

Cover of Water Resources Research Volume 54, Issue 8

Why are some Rocky Mountain lakes ephemeral? (2018) - Liefert, Shuman, Parsekian, and Mercer

Small mountain lakes function as temporary storage basins for rain and snowmelt‐derived water. Many small lakes lose water seasonally, but questions remain about the processes involved and effects on watershed hydrology. Evaporation and groundwater outflow from lakes may influence baseflow in streams, hydrologic connections among lakes, and water fluxes from a watershed. To evaluate the role of small mountain lakes in watershed hydrology and the dominant pathways of water loss, we studied the water balances of four shallow, closed‐basin, subalpine lakes in southern Wyoming that lose up to 99% of their volumes between early summer and late fall.

Cover of Hydrological Processes Volume 32, Issue 14

Numerical modeling of stream-aquifer interaction: quantifying the impact of transient sreambed permeability and aquifer heterogeneity, Hydrological Processes, (2018) - Zhang

Stream–aquifer interaction plays a vital role in the water cycle, and a proper study of this interaction is needed for understanding groundwater recharge, contaminants migration, and for managing surface water and groundwater resources. A model‐based investigation of a field experiment in a riparian zone of the Schwarzbach river, a tributary of the Rhine River in Germany, was conducted to understand stream–aquifer interaction under alternative gaining and losing streamflow conditions.

Cover of Earth and Planetary Science Letters Volume 482

Mesozoic to Cenozoic magmatic history of the Pamir (2018) - Chapman

New geochronologic, geochemical, and isotopic data for Mesozoic to Cenozoic igneous rocks and detrital minerals from the Pamir Mountains help to distinguish major regional magmatic episodes and constrain the tectonic evolution of the Pamir orogenic system. After final accretion of the Central and South Pamir terranes during the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic, the Pamir was largely amagmatic until the emplacement of the intermediate, calc-alkaline, and isotopically evolved (−13 to −5 zircon εHf(t)) South Pamir batholith between 120–100 Ma, which is the most volumetrically significant magmatic complex in the Pamir and includes a high flux magmatic event at ∼105 Ma.

Cover of Geophysics Volume 83, Issue 3

Joint facies and reservoir properties inversion (2018) - Grana

I have developed a joint inversion of seismic data for the simultaneous estimation of facies and reservoir properties, such as porosity, mineralogy, and saturation. The inversion method is a Bayesian approach for the joint estimation of facies and reservoir rock/fluid properties based on the statistical assumption of mixtures of nonparametric distributions of the model parameters. A mixture distribution is a convex combination of distributions.

Cover of Water Resources Research  Volume 54, Issue 6

Hydrologic partitioning of snowmelt on a snow-dominated subalpine hillslope (2018) - Thayer, Parsekian, Hyde, Speckman, Ewers, Beverly, Covalt, Kelleners, Ohara, Rogers, and Holbrook

In subalpine watersheds of the intermountain western United States, snowpack melt is the dominant water input to the hydrologic system. The primary focus of this work is to understand the partitioning of water from the snowpack during the snowmelt period and through the remainder of the growing season. We conducted a time‐lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) study in conjunction with a water budget analysis to track water from the snow‐on through snow‐off season (May–August 2015).

Cover of Geoscience Data Journal 4

Estimating active layer thickness and volumetric water content from ground penetrating radar measurements in Barrow, Alaska, (2018) - Parsekian

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has emerged as an effective tool for estimating active layer thickness (ALT) and volumetric water content (VWC) within the active layer. In August 2013, we conducted a series of GPR and probing surveys using a 500 MHz antenna and metallic probe around Barrow, Alaska. We collected about 15 km of GPR data and 1.5 km of probing data. Here, we describe the GPR data processing workflow from raw GPR data to the estimated ALT and VWC. We include the corresponding uncertainties for each measured and estimated parameter.

Cover of Geophysics Volume 83, Issue 3

Cretaceous shortening and exhumation in the South Pamir terrane (2018) - Chapman

We have developed a new stochastic nonlinear inversion method for seismic reservoir characterization studies to jointly estimate elastic and petrophysical properties and to quantify their uncertainty. Our method aims to estimate multiple reservoir realizations of the entire set of reservoir properties, including seismic velocities, density, porosity, mineralogy, and saturation, by iteratively updating the initial ensemble of models based on the mismatch between their seismic response and the measured seismic data.

Cover of Geophysics Volume 83, Number 3

Stochastic nonlinear inversion of seismic data for the estimation of petroelastic properties using the ensemble smoother and data reparameterization (2018) – Liu and Grana

We have developed a new stochastic nonlinear inversion method for seismic reservoir characterization studies to jointly estimate elastic and petrophysical properties and to quantify their uncertainty. Our method aims to estimate multiple reservoir realizations of the entire set of reservoir properties, including seismic velocities, density, porosity, mineralogy, and saturation, by iteratively updating the initial ensemble of models based on the mismatch between their seismic response and the measured seismic data.

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Lithospheric architecture and tectonic evolution of the southwestern U.S. Cordillera: Constraints from zircon Hf and O isotopic data (2018) - Chapman

Radiogenic and stable isotopic studies of zircon are a powerful tool to investigate geologic processes because data can be placed in a temporal context using U-Pb ages. However, when zircon data lack information on the spatial distribution of the parent rock(s) (e.g., detrital data sets), interpreting changes in isotopic composition through time is not always straightforward. To evaluate and improve the utility of zircon isotopic data, we present a regional data set consisting of new zircon U-Pb, εHf(t), and δ18Ozrc data in 31 Triassic to early Miocene igneous rocks from a >1300-km-long transect in the southwestern U.S. Cordillera.

Cover of GEOPHYSICS, 83(2)

Estimating winter ebullition bubble volume in lake ice using ground-penetrating radar (2018) - Fantello and Parsekian

Freshwater lakes are an important source of atmospheric methane (CH4); however, uncertainties associated with quantifying fluxes limit the accuracy of climate warming projections. Among emission pathways, ebullition (bubbling) is the principal and most challenging to account for given its spatial and temporal patchiness. When lakes freeze, many methane-rich bubbles escaping from lake-bottom sediments are temporarily trapped by downward-growing lake ice. Because bubble position is then seasonally fixed, we postulate that it should be possible to locate bubbles using a geophysical approach sensitive to perturbations in the ice-water interface and ice sheet structure generated by bubbles. Read More:

Cover of AAPG Bulletin ; 102 (8)

Comment on “A comparative study of reservoir modeling techniques and their impact on predicted performance of fluvial-dominated deltaic reservoirs”, (2018) - Zhang

We thank Li et al. (2018, this issue) for their discussion of our paper (Deveugle et al., 2014), which assessed the impact of using different stochastic-reservoir-modeling techniques to capture geologic heterogeneity and fluid-flow behavior, via comparison with a reference model constructed from a fluvial-dominated deltaic reservoir outcrop analog (Deveugle et al., 2011). The stochastic models in Deveugle et al. (2014) were constructed using a sparse data set of pseudowells, synthetic three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data, and geologic interpretations to mimic a reservoir-modeling project to support early field development.

Cover of Groundwater journal

Hydraulic conductivity calibration of logging NMR in a granite aquifer, Laramie Range, Wyoming, Groundwater, Ren, Parsekian, Zhang, and Carr (2018)

In granite aquifers, fractures can provide both storage volume and conduits for groundwater. Characterization of fracture hydraulic conductivity (K) in such aquifers is important for predicting flow rate and calibrating models. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) well logging is a method to quickly obtain near‐borehole hydraulic conductivity (i.e., KNMR) at high‐vertical resolution. On the other hand, FLUTe flexible liner technology can produce a K profile at comparable resolution but requires a fluid driving force between borehole and formation. For three boreholes completed in a fractured granite, we jointly interpreted logging NMR data and FLUTe K estimates to calibrate an empirical equation for translating borehole NMR data to K estimates.

Cover of Applied Energy Volume 225, 1 September 201

Heterogeneity-assisted carbon dioxide storage in marine sediments, Applied Energy, (2018) - Ye Zhang and Mingkan Zhang

Global climate change is a pressing problem caused by the accumulation of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage is a promising component of a portfolio of options to stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Meaningful capture and storage requires the permanent isolation of enormous amounts of CO2 away from the atmosphere. We investigate the effectiveness of heterogeneity-induced trapping mechanism, in potential synergy with a self-sealing gravitational trapping mechanism, for secure CO2 storage in marine sediments. We conduct the first comprehensive study on heterogeneous marine sediments with various thicknesses at various ocean depths.

Cover of Geophysics Volume 83, Issue 3

Bayesian linearized petrophysical AVO inversion (2018) – Lang and Grana

Seismic reservoir characterization aims to provide a 3D model of rock and fluid properties based on measured seismic data. Petrophysical properties, such as porosity, mineral volumes, and water saturation, are related to elastic properties, such as velocity and impedance, through a rock-physics model. Elastic attributes can be obtained from seismic data through seismic modeling. Estimation of the properties of interest is an inverse problem; however, if the forward model is nonlinear, computationally demanding inversion algorithms should be adopted. We have developed a linearized forward model, based on a convolutional model and a new amplitude variation with offset approximation that combined Gray’s linearization of the reflectivity coefficients with Gassmann’s equation and Nur’s critical porosity model.

Cover of Journal of Hydrology Volume 561, June 2018

Borehole characterization of hydraulic properties and groundwater flow in a crystalline fractured aquifer of a headwater mountain watershed, Laramie Range, Wyoming, (2018) - Ren, Gragg, Zhang and Carr

Fractured crystalline aquifers of mountain watersheds may host a significant portion of the world’s freshwater supply. To effectively utilize water resources in these environments, it is important to understand the hydraulic properties, groundwater storage, and flow processes in crystalline aquifers and field-derived insights are critically needed. Based on borehole hydraulic characterization and monitoring data, this study inferred hydraulic properties and groundwater flow of a crystalline fractured aquifer in Laramie Range, Wyoming. At three open holes completed in a fractured granite aquifer, both slug tests and FLUTe liner profiling were performed to obtain estimates of horizontal hydraulic conductivity (Kh).

Cover of Geophysics Volume 83, Issue 5

Joint Bayesian inversion based on rock-physics prior modeling for the estimation of spatially correlated reservoir properties (2018) – Grana

The joint inversion of seismic data for elastic and petrophysical properties is an inverse problem with a nonunique solution. There are several factors that impact the accuracy of the results, such as the statistical rock-physics relations and observation errors. We have developed a general methodology to incorporate a linearized rock-physics model in a multivariate multimodal prior distribution for Bayesian seismic linearized inversion. The prior distribution is used to define a mixture model for elastic and petrophysical properties and introduce physics-based correlations between the properties. Using the rock-physics prior model and a convolutional seismic forward model in the Bayesian inversion framework, we obtain an analytical expression of the spatially independent conditional distributions to be used as a proposal distribution in a Gibbs sampling algorithm.

Cover of Earth and Planetary Science Letters Volume 489, 1 May 2018

The evolution of magma during continental rifting: new constraints from the isotopic and trace element signatures of silicic magmas from Ethiopian volcanoes, accepted in Earth and Planetary Sci Letters - K.W.W. Sims

Magma plays a vital role in the break-up of continental lithosphere. However, significant uncertainty remains about how magma-crust interactions and melt evolution vary during the development of a rift system. Ethiopia captures the transition from continental rifting to incipient sea-floor spreading and has witnessed the eruption of large volumes of silicic volcanic rocks across the region over ∼45 Ma. The petrogenesis of these silicic rocks sheds light on the role of magmatism in rift development, by providing information on crustal interactions, melt fluxes and magmatic differentiation. We report new trace element and Sr–Nd–O isotopic data for volcanic rocks, glasses and minerals along and across active segments of the Main Ethiopian (MER) and Afar Rifts.

Cover of Earth and Planetary Science Letters Volume 498, 15 September 2018

The nature and evolution of mantle upwelling at Ross Island, Antarctica, with implications for the HIMU source, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, - E.H. Phillips, K.W.W. Sims

The multiple, proximal, young and/or active volcanic centers of Ross Island, Antarctica, provide a unique opportunity to investigate both deep and shallow processes of alkaline magma genesis and the length scales of mantle heterogeneity. Ross Island, Antarctica is an assembly of four silica-undersaturated alkaline volcanic centers, including the active phonolitic Erebus volcano (1.2 to 0 Ma). Mt. Terror, Mt. Bird, and Hut Point Peninsula surround Erebus on the periphery of Ross Island and are mostly older (∼0.3 to 4 Ma) and mainly basanitic in composition. While the geochemical compositions and HIMU isotopic signature of Erebus lavas are well characterized, the geochemistry of the peripheral volcanic centers was, until this study, poorly known.

Cover of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta Volume 225, 15 March 2018

Greenland subglacial water and proximal seawater U chemistry: Implications for seawater δ234U on glacial-interglacial timescales - K.W.W. Sims

We present the first published uranium-series measurements from modern Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) runoff and proximal seawater, and investigate the influence of glacial melt on global seawater δ234U over glacial-interglacial (g-ig) timescales. Climate reconstructions based on closed-system uranium-thorium (U/Th) dating of fossil corals assume U chemistry of seawater has remained stable over time despite notable fluctuations in major elemental compositions, concentrations, and isotopic compositions of global seawater on g-ig timescales. Deglacial processes increase weathering, significantly increasing U-series concentrations and changing the δ234U of glacial meltwater. Analyses of glacial discharge from GrIS outlet glaciers indicate that meltwater runoff has elevated U concentrations and differing 222Rn concentrations and δ234U compositions, likely due to variations in subglacial residence time.

Cover of Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. January 2018, 173:6

Shallow-level differentiation of phonolitic lavas from Sumaco Volcano, Ecuador, Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology- K.W.W. Sims

Sumaco Volcano is located in the rear-arc of Ecuador and produces phonolitic alkaline lavas hosting a unique assemblage of minerals including haüyne and titanaugite. The most mafic lavas are picrobasalts that contain titanaugite as the primary mineral phase; the most evolved tephri-phonolite lavas contain titanaugite + anorthoclase + haüyne. Titanaugite forms at middle to deep crustal pressures, whereas haüyne is only stable at shallow depths in highly oxidizing conditions. The Sumaco mineral assemblages and geochemistry indicate that fractionation of the titanaugite- and haüyne-bearing assemblage took place over a range of pressures from 5 to 25 kbar (14–75 km), with at least 50% of differentiation taking place at shallow crustal levels.

Cover of Geosphere, Volume 14, Issue 1, February 2018

Geodynamic implications of crustal lithologies from the southeast Mariana fore-arc - K.W.W. Sims

The deep submergence research vehicle Shinkai 6500, diving on the Challenger segment of the Mariana forearc, encountered a superstructure of nascent arc crust atop a younger mantle with entrained fragments of metamorphosed crust. A plutonic block from this crust collected at 4900 m depth has a crystallization age of 46.1 Ma and mixed boninitic-arc tholeiitic geochemical signatures. A hornblende garnetite and two epidote amphibolites were retrieved from depths between 5938 m and 6277 m in an area dominated by peridotite. The garnetite appears to represent a crystal cumulate after melting of deep arc crust, whereas the amphibolites are compositionally similar to enriched mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB).

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Broken Sheets—On the Numbers and Areas of Tectonic Plates - McElroy

The sizes and numbers of tectonic plates are thought to record the importance of plate division, amalgamation, and destruction at divergent and convergent margins. Changes in slope apparent on log area versus log frequency plots have been interpreted as evidence for discrete populations of plate sizes, but the sizes of lithospheric plates are also closely approximated by a continuous density function in which diameters of individual plates are exponentially distributed; such size frequencies are dependent only on the total area and number of designated elements.

Cover of Geosphere Volume 14, Issue 3

2.7 Ga high-pressure granulites of the Teton Range: record of Neoarchean continent collision and exhumation -Swapp, Frost, C., & Frost B.

Continent-continent collisional orogens are the hallmark of modern plate tectonics. The scarcity of well-preserved high-pressure granulite facies terranes minimally obscured by later tectonic events has limited our ability to understand how closely Archean tectonic processes may have resembled better-understood modern processes. Here we describe Neoarchean gneisses in the Teton Range of Wyoming, USA, that record 2.70 Ga high-pressure granulite facies metamorphism, followed by juxtaposition of gneisses with different protoliths, and then by intrusion of leucogranites generated through decompression melting in response to post-collisional uplift. This evidence is best explained as the result of a 2.70–2.68 Ga Himalayan-style orogeny, and suggests that, although subduction may have been occurring earlier in the Archean, doubling of continental thickness by continent-continent collisions may date back to at least 2.7 Ga.

Cover of Geosphere Magazine

Synextensional dike emplacement across the footwall of a continental core complex, Chemehuevi Mountains, southeastern California

We characterize the composition, timing, geometry, and deformation style of the syntectonic Miocene Chemehuevi dike swarm exposed in the footwall of the regionally developed low-angle Chemehuevi detachment fault system (southeastern California, USA). Our data support mafic to felsic dike emplacement from ∼1.5 ± 1 to 3.8 ± 1 m.y. after initiation of regional extension (ca. 23 Ma), followed by rapid slip and denudation with minor magmatism. Pb/U zircon ages indicate intermediate to felsic dike emplacement adjacent to the Mohave Wash fault, part of the regional fault system, as it was active across the upper limit of the brittle-plastic transition, from 21.45 ± 0.19 to 19.21 ± 0.15 Ma. Intermediate to felsic dikes are undeformed at structurally shallow levels (<9 km minimum paleodepth), but are rotated and locally folded, and host a well-developed mylonitic foliation and lineation at deeper structural levels (≥9 km paleodepth), even where the country rock is nonmylonitic.

Cover of Geosphere magazine

Neoarchean tectonic history of the Teton Range: Record of accretion against the present-day western margin of the Wyoming Province

Although Archean gneisses of the Teton Range crop out over an area of only 50 × 15 km, they provide an important record of the Archean history of the Wyoming Province. The northern and southern parts of the Teton Range record different Archean histories. The northern Teton Range preserves evidence of 2.69–2.68 Ga high-pressure granulite metamorphism (&gt;12 kbar, ∼900 °C) followed by tectonic assembly with isotopically juvenile quartzofeldspathic metasedimentary rocks under high-pressure amphibolite-facies conditions (∼7 kbar, 675 °C) and intrusion of extensive leucogranites. Together, these events record one of the oldest continent-continent collisional orogenies on Earth. Geochemical, thermobarometric, and geochronological data from the gneisses of the southern Teton Range show that this part of the uplift records a geologic history that is distinct from the northern part.

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