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Sample records for atacama desert coast

  1. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert

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    Latorre, Claudio; Betancourt, Julio L.; Rech, Jason A.; Quade, Jay; Holmgren, Camille; Placzek, Christa; Maldonado, Antonio; Vuille, Mathias; Rylander, Kate A.; Smith, Mike; Hesse, Paul

    2005-01-01

    Of the major subtropical deserts found in the Southern Hemisphere, the Atacama Desert is the driest. Throughout the Quaternary, the most pervasive climatic influence on the desert has been millennial-scale changes in the frequency and seasonality of the scant rainfall, and associated shifts in plant and animal distributions with elevation along the eastern margin of the desert. Over the past six years, we have mapped modern vegetation gradients and developed a number of palaeoenvironmental records, including vegetation histories from fossil rodent middens, groundwater levels from wetland (spring) deposits, and lake levels from shoreline evidence, along a 1200-kilometre transect (16–26°S) in the Atacama Desert. A strength of this palaeoclimate transect has been the ability to apply the same methodologies across broad elevational, latitudinal, climatic, vegetation and hydrological gradients. We are using this transect to reconstruct the histories of key components of the South American tropical (summer) and extratropical (winter) rainfall belts, precisely at those elevations where average annual rainfall wanes to zero. The focus has been on the transition from sparse, shrubby vegetation (known as the prepuna) into absolute desert, an expansive hyperarid terrain that extends from just above the coastal fog zone (approximately 800 metres) to more than 3500 metres in the most arid sectors in the southern Atacama.

  2. Geology and geochemistry of the Atacama Desert.

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    Tapia, J; González, R; Townley, B; Oliveros, V; Álvarez, F; Aguilar, G; Menzies, A; Calderón, M

    2018-02-14

    The Atacama Desert, the driest of its kind on Earth, hosts a number of unique geological and geochemical features that make it unlike any other environment on the planet. Considering its location on the western border of South America, between 17 and 28 °S, its climate has been characterized as arid to hyperarid for at least the past 10 million years. Notably dry climatic conditions of the Atacama Desert have been related to uplift of the Andes and are believed to have played an important role in the development of the most distinctive features of this desert, including: (i) nitrates and iodine deposits in the Central Depression, (ii) secondary enrichment in porphyry copper deposits in the Precordillera, (iii) Li enrichment in salt flats of the Altiplano, and (iv) life in extreme habitats. The geology and physiography of the Atacama Desert have been largely shaped by the convergent margin present since the Mesozoic era. The geochemistry of surface materials is related to rock geochemistry (Co, Cr, Fe, Mn, V, and Zn), salt flats, and evaporite compositions in endorheic basins (As, B, and Li), in addition to anthropogenic activities (Cu, Mo, and Pb). The composition of surface water is highly variable, nonetheless in general it presents a circumneutral pH with higher conductivity and total dissolved solids in brines. Major water constituents, with the exception of HCO 3 - , are generally related to the increase of salinity, and despite the fact that trace elements are not well-documented, surface waters of the Atacama Desert are enriched in As, B, and Li when compared to the average respective concentrations in rivers worldwide.

  3. EVIDENCIA DE TEMPRANAS MANIFESTACIONES RUPESTRES EN LA COSTA DEL DESIERTO DE ATACAMA (25° S (Evidence of Early Rock Art on the Coast of the Atacama Desert (25° S

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    José Castelleti

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Los análisis llevados a cabo sobre pictografías rupestres de la comuna de Taltal, en la costa del desierto de Atacama en Chile, tradicionalmente descritas como «estilo El Médano», han permitido datarlas por AMS en 7882 ± 160 A. P. (7022-6509 a. C. 68 %, 7172-6412 a. C. 95 %, hacia el traslape Arcaico Temprano/Medio; información corroborada con la datación arqueomagnética llevada a cabo sobre muestras del mismo panel radiocarbónicamente fechado, la cual arroja rangos de 9132-9065 a. C., 6492-6426 a. C. y 5203-5114 a. C. (65 % de confianza. Las peculiaridades tecnoeconómicas que evidencian la conformación de la mezcla de las pinturas rupestres, permiten interpretar para la zona el desarrollo de un notable nodo ocupacional arcaico, plenamente adaptado al bioclima costero; conformado por grupos humanos que, si bien diferenciados localmente, también reprodujeron una identidad común centrada en la simbología del color rojo obtenido de la hematita, arcillas y, probablemente también, de arbustos locales como el churco, parte crucial en la materialización de metáforas de animales y escenas marinas socialmente compartidas y en la semantización del espacio. ENGLISH: AMS dating of cave art located in the Taltal district, on the coast of the Atacama desert in Chile, produced dates of 7882 ± 160 BP (7022-6509 BC 68%, 7172-6412 BC 95%, placing it in the Early/Middle Archaic period. This finding is further supported by archaeomagnetic dates on samples from the same panel, which produced three time intervals all consistent with the AMS dates: 9132-9065 BC, 6492-6426 BC, and 5203-5114 BC (65% confidence. Techno-economic analysis of the cave paintings suggests the Taltal area was an important Archaic settlement cluster, inhabited by different groups who were fully adapted to the coastal bioregion and who shared a common symbolic identity. The color red, produced from hematite, clays, and probably local shrubs such as churco, played a crucial

  4. Tree establishment along an ENSO experimental gradient in the Atacama desert

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    Squeo, F.A.; Holmgren, M.; Jimenez, L.; Alban, L.; Reyes, J.; Gutierrez, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    Questions: (1) What are the roles of regional climate and plant growth rate for seedling establishment during ENSO rainy pulses along the western coast of South America? (2) What is the water threshold for tree seedling establishment in these arid ecosystems? Location: Atacama Desert, western South

  5. Fog deposition to the Atacama desert

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    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Griessbaum, F.; Sträter, E.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Cereceda, P.

    2010-07-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. We estimated the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determined the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of liquid water. Between 31 July and 19 August, 2008, measurements were realized in a 31 ha large Tillandsia carpet at Cerro Guanaco, located 15 km south of Iquique, northern Chile. Several data quality assurance procedures were applied. For the values in compliance with the applied criteria, the mean total deposition per hour was determined (0.04 L per m2) for foggy periods. This number was applied to estimate the amount of water deposited during the measuring period, during the entire month of August 2008, and throughout a whole year. For August 2008, a frequency of fog of 16 %, as established during the measuring period, was assumed. The frequency for a whole year was estimated from the differences of the collected amount of water obtained with standard fog collectors installed at Cerro Guanaco in an earlier study. Calculations resulted in an amount of 2.5 L per m2 of deposited fog water for the measuring period. During the entire August, 4.4 L per m2 have likely been available, and for a whole year, a total of 25 L per m2 was estimated to have reached the surface. Inaccuracies could have been caused by the low amount of data applied, and by a possible underestimation of the deposition due to additional formation of radiation fog during the fog events. Three days were used for further analysis because

  6. Cryophenomena in the Cold Desert of Atacama

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    Buchroithner, Dr.; Trombotto, Dr.

    2012-04-01

    The study area of the Valle de Barrancas Blancas in the High Atacama Andes of Chile (68°39' W, 27°02' S), a kind of Patagonian "bajo sin salida", shows well preserved landforms resulting from a combination of slope, eolian, lacustrine/litoral, fluvial, glacial and periglacial regimes. They permit the reconstruction of geomorphological processes within this isolated catchment of approximately 160 km2. The mean annual air temperature varies between -2 and -4 °C and the precipitation is approximately 150 mm/a. Snowfall is frequent but the snow is quickly sublimated, redeposited and/or covered by cryosediments, i.e. mainly pumice pebbles. Water bodies present icings, even in summer. Regarding its climatic conditions the study area represents an extremely cold desertic region. Extremophile microfauna was also found. The area displays both in situ mountain permafrost and creeping permafrost. The active layer is 30 to 45 cm thick. It is a periglacial macro-environment where interdependent processes, and not only cryogenic processes but also erosion and eolian deposition and the action of fluvial washout mainly caused by precipitation, accumulation, retransportation/redeposition and melting of snow, play an important role. The cryogenic geomorphology of the Valle de Barrancas Blancas is varied and contains microforms such as patterned ground and microforms caused by cryoturbation, as well as mesoforms like rockglaciers and cryoplanation surfaces. Slopes are strongly affected by gelifluction. New cryoforms in South America and in the Southern Hemisphere like the Atacama Pingo (Pingo atacamensis) and Permafrosted Dunes ("Dunas heladas") were found. Intense niveo-eolian processes participate in the erosion of preexisting landforms, in the formation of subterraneous ice layers, and the retransportation/redeposition of snow and sediments. Studies of this periglacial environment are crucial for the understanding of Tundrean paleoenvironments and Martian conditions.

  7. Natural product diversity of actinobacteria in the Atacama Desert.

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    Rateb, Mostafa E; Ebel, Rainer; Jaspars, Marcel

    2018-02-14

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is considered one of the most arid and extreme environment on Earth. Its core region was described as featuring "Mars-like" soils that were at one point deemed too extreme for life to exist. However, recent investigations confirmed the presence of diverse culturable actinobacteria. In the current review, we discuss a total of 46 natural products isolated to date representing diverse chemical classes characterized from different actinobacteria isolated from various locations in the Atacama Desert. Their reported biological activities are also discussed.

  8. Ancient photosynthetic eukaryote biofilms in an Atacama Desert coastal cave

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    Azua-Bustos, A.; Gonzalez-Silva, C.; Mancilla, R.A.; Salas, L.; Palma, R.E.; Wynne, J.J.; McKay, C.P.; Vicuna, R.

    2009-01-01

    Caves offer a stable and protected environment from harsh and changing outside prevailing conditions. Hence, they represent an interesting habitat for studying life in extreme environments. Here, we report the presence of a member of the ancient eukaryote red algae Cyanidium group in a coastal cave of the hyperarid Atacama Desert. This microorganism was found to form a seemingly monospecific biofilm growing under extremely low photon flux levels. Our work suggests that this species, Cyanidium sp. Atacama, is a new member of a recently proposed novel monophyletic lineage of mesophilic "cave" Cyanidium sp., distinct from the remaining three other lineages which are all thermo-acidophilic. The cave described in this work may represent an evolutionary island for life in the midst of the Atacama Desert. ?? Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009.

  9. Colonization patterns of soil microbial communities in the Atacama Desert.

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    Crits-Christoph, Alexander; Robinson, Courtney K; Barnum, Tyler; Fricke, W Florian; Davila, Alfonso F; Jedynak, Bruno; McKay, Christopher P; Diruggiero, Jocelyne

    2013-11-20

    The Atacama Desert is one of the driest deserts in the world and its soil, with extremely low moisture, organic carbon content, and oxidizing conditions, is considered to be at the dry limit for life. Analyses of high throughput DNA sequence data revealed that bacterial communities from six geographic locations in the hyper-arid core and along a North-South moisture gradient were structurally and phylogenetically distinct (ANOVA test for observed operating taxonomic units at 97% similarity (OTU0.03), P microbial communities' diversity metrics (least squares linear regression for observed OTU0.03 and air RH and soil conductivity, P PCoA Spearman's correlation for air RH and soil conductivity, P <0.0001), indicating that water availability and salt content are key factors in shaping the Atacama soil microbiome. Mineralization studies showed communities actively metabolizing in all soil samples, with increased rates in soils from the southern locations. Our results suggest that microorganisms in the driest soils of the Atacama Desert are in a state of stasis for most of the time, but can potentially metabolize if presented with liquid water for a sufficient duration. Over geological time, rare rain events and physicochemical factors potentially played a major role in selecting micro-organisms that are most adapted to extreme desiccating conditions.

  10. Fog deposition to a Tillandsia carpet in the Atacama Desert

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    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Grießbaum, F.; Sträter, E.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Cereceda, P.

    2009-09-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. In this exploratory study we estimate the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determine the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of water. Between 31 July and 19 August 2008 approximately 2.5 L m-2 of water were made available through deposition. Whole-year deposition was estimated as 25 L m-2. Turbulent upward fluxes occurred several times during the evenings and are explained by the formation of radiation fog. In connection with that, underestimates of the deposition are assumed. More detailed studies covering various seasons and all parameters and fluxes contributing to the local energy balance are suggested. This will help to further develop understanding about the processes of (i) deposition of water to the desert, and (ii) intensification of advection fog through additional formation of radiation fog.

  11. Fog deposition to a Tillandsia carpet in the Atacama Desert

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    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Griessbaum, F.; Straeter, E. [Muenster Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Landscape Ecology; Larrain, H. [Pontificia Univ. Catolica de Chile (Chile). Atacama Desert Center ADC; Univ. Bolivariana, Iquique (Chile); Osses, P.; Cereceda, P. [Pontificia Univ. Catolica de Chile, Santiago de Chile (Chile). Inst. of Geography

    2009-07-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. In this exploratory study we estimate the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determine the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of water. Between 31 July and 19 August 2008 approximately 2.5 L m{sup -2} of water were made available through deposition. Whole-year deposition was estimated as 25 L m{sup -2}. Turbulent upward fluxes occurred several times during the evenings and are explained by the formation of radiation fog. In connection with that, underestimates of the deposition are assumed. More detailed studies covering various seasons and all parameters and fluxes contributing to the local energy balance are suggested. This will help to further develop understanding about the processes of (i) deposition of water to the desert, and (ii) intensification of advection fog through additional formation of radiation fog. (orig.)

  12. Fog deposition to a Tillandsia carpet in the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Osses

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. In this exploratory study we estimate the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determine the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of water. Between 31 July and 19 August 2008 approximately 2.5 L m−2 of water were made available through deposition. Whole-year deposition was estimated as 25 L m−2. Turbulent upward fluxes occurred several times during the evenings and are explained by the formation of radiation fog. In connection with that, underestimates of the deposition are assumed. More detailed studies covering various seasons and all parameters and fluxes contributing to the local energy balance are suggested. This will help to further develop understanding about the processes of (i deposition of water to the desert, and (ii intensification of advection fog through additional formation of radiation fog.

  13. Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

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    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Wagner, Dirk; Kounaves, Samuel P.; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Devine, Kevin G.; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Parro, Victor; Kaupenjohann, Martin; Galy, Albert; Schneider, Beate; Airo, Alessandro; Frösler, Jan; Davila, Alfonso F.; Arens, Felix L.; Cáceres, Luis; Solís Cornejo, Francisco; Carrizo, Daniel; Dartnell, Lewis; DiRuggiero, Jocelyne; Flury, Markus; Ganzert, Lars; Gessner, Mark O.; Grathwohl, Peter; Guan, Lisa; Heinz, Jacob; Hess, Matthias; Keppler, Frank; Maus, Deborah; McKay, Christopher P.; Meckenstock, Rainer U.; Montgomery, Wren; Oberlin, Elizabeth A.; Probst, Alexander J.; Sáenz, Johan S.; Sattler, Tobias; Schirmack, Janosch; Sephton, Mark A.; Schloter, Michael; Uhl, Jenny; Valenzuela, Bernardita; Vestergaard, Gisle; Wörmer, Lars; Zamorano, Pedro

    2018-03-01

    Traces of life are nearly ubiquitous on Earth. However, a central unresolved question is whether these traces always indicate an active microbial community or whether, in extreme environments, such as hyperarid deserts, they instead reflect just dormant or dead cells. Although microbial biomass and diversity decrease with increasing aridity in the Atacama Desert, we provide multiple lines of evidence for the presence of an at times metabolically active, microbial community in one of the driest places on Earth. We base this observation on four major lines of evidence: (i) a physico-chemical characterization of the soil habitability after an exceptional rain event, (ii) identified biomolecules indicative of potentially active cells [e.g., presence of ATP, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), metabolites, and enzymatic activity], (iii) measurements of in situ replication rates of genomes of uncultivated bacteria reconstructed from selected samples, and (iv) microbial community patterns specific to soil parameters and depths. We infer that the microbial populations have undergone selection and adaptation in response to their specific soil microenvironment and in particular to the degree of aridity. Collectively, our results highlight that even the hyperarid Atacama Desert can provide a habitable environment for microorganisms that allows them to become metabolically active following an episodic increase in moisture and that once it decreases, so does the activity of the microbiota. These results have implications for the prospect of life on other planets such as Mars, which has transitioned from an earlier wetter environment to today’s extreme hyperaridity.

  14. Robot Science Autonomy in the Atacama Desert and Beyond

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    Thompson, David R.; Wettergreen, David S.

    2013-01-01

    Science-guided autonomy augments rovers with reasoning to make observations and take actions related to the objectives of scientific exploration. When rovers can directly interpret instrument measurements then scientific goals can inform and adapt ongoing navigation decisions. These autonomous explorers will make better scientific observations and collect massive, accurate datasets. In current astrobiology studies in the Atacama Desert we are applying algorithms for science autonomy to choose effective observations and measurements. Rovers are able to decide when and where to take follow-up actions that deepen scientific understanding. These techniques apply to planetary rovers, which we can illustrate with algorithms now used by Mars rovers and by discussing future missions.

  15. Biotechnological Applications Derived from Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert

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    Armando Azua-Bustos

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert in Chile is well known for being the driest and oldest desert on Earth. For these same reasons, it is also considered a good analog model of the planet Mars. Only a few decades ago, it was thought that this was a sterile place, but in the past years fascinating adaptations have been reported in the members of the three domains of life: low water availability, high UV radiation, high salinity, and other environmental stresses. However, the biotechnological applications derived from the basic understanding and characterization of these species, with the notable exception of copper bioleaching, are still in its infancy, thus offering an immense potential for future development.

  16. Spectral identification and quantification of salts in the Atacama Desert

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    Harris, J. K.; Cousins, C. R.; Claire, M. W.

    2016-10-01

    Salt minerals are an important natural resource. The ability to quickly and remotely identify and quantify salt deposits and salt contaminated soils and sands is therefore a priority goal for the various industries and agencies that utilise salts. The advent of global hyperspectral imagery from instruments such as Hyperion on NASA's Earth-Observing 1 satellite has opened up a new source of data that can potentially be used for just this task. This study aims to assess the ability of Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy to identify and quantify salt minerals through the use of spectral mixture analysis. The surface and near-surface soils of the Atacama Desert in Chile contain a variety of well-studied salts, which together with low cloud coverage, and high aridity, makes this region an ideal testbed for this technique. Two forms of spectral data ranging 0.35 - 2.5 μm were collected: laboratory spectra acquired using an ASD FieldSpec Pro instrument on samples from four locations in the Atacama desert known to have surface concentrations of sulfates, nitrates, chlorides and perchlorates; and images from the EO-1 satellite's Hyperion instrument taken over the same four locations. Mineral identifications and abundances were confirmed using quantitative XRD of the physical samples. Spectral endmembers were extracted from within the laboratory and Hyperion spectral datasets and together with additional spectral library endmembers fed into a linear mixture model. The resulting identification and abundances from both dataset types were verified against the sample XRD values. Issues of spectral scale, SNR and how different mineral spectra interact are considered, and the utility of VNIR spectroscopy and Hyperion in particular for mapping specific salt concentrations in desert environments is established. Overall, SMA was successful at estimating abundances of sulfate minerals, particularly calcium sulfate, from both hyperspectral image and laboratory sample spectra

  17. Subcritical Water Extraction of Amino Acids from Atacama Desert Soils

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    Amashukeli, Xenia; Pelletier, Christine C.; Kirby, James P.; Grunthaner, Frank J.

    2007-01-01

    Amino acids are considered organic molecular indicators in the search for extant and extinct life in the Solar System. Extraction of these molecules from a particulate solid matrix, such as Martian regolith, will be critical to their in situ detection and analysis. The goals of this study were to optimize a laboratory amino acid extraction protocol by quantitatively measuring the yields of extracted amino acids as a function of liquid water temperature and sample extraction time and to compare the results to the standard HCl vapor- phase hydrolysis yields for the same soil samples. Soil samples from the Yungay region of the Atacama Desert ( Martian regolith analog) were collected during a field study in the summer of 2005. The amino acids ( alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, serine, and valine) chosen for analysis were present in the samples at concentrations of 1 - 70 parts- per- billion. Subcritical water extraction efficiency was examined over the temperature range of 30 - 325 degrees C, at pressures of 17.2 or 20.0 MPa, and for water- sample contact equilibration times of 0 - 30 min. None of the amino acids were extracted in detectable amounts at 30 degrees C ( at 17.2 MPa), suggesting that amino acids are too strongly bound by the soil matrix to be extracted at such a low temperature. Between 150 degrees C and 250 degrees C ( at 17.2 MPa), the extraction efficiencies of glycine, alanine, and valine were observed to increase with increasing water temperature, consistent with higher solubility at higher temperatures, perhaps due to the decreasing dielectric constant of water. Amino acids were not detected in extracts collected at 325 degrees C ( at 20.0 MPa), probably due to amino acid decomposition at this temperature. The optimal subcritical water extraction conditions for these amino acids from Atacama Desert soils were achieved at 200 degrees C, 17.2 MPa, and a water- sample contact equilibration time of 10 min.

  18. Marine resource reliance in the human populations of the Atacama Desert, northern Chile - A view from prehistory

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    King, Charlotte L.; Millard, Andrew R.; Gröcke, Darren R.; Standen, Vivien G.; Arriaza, Bernardo T.; Halcrow, Siân E.

    2018-02-01

    The Atacama Desert is one of the most inhospitable terrestrial environments on Earth, yet the upwelling of the Humboldt Current off the coast has resulted in the presence of a rich marine biota. It is this marine environment which first enabled the human settlement of the northern Atacama Desert, and continues to form the basis of regional economies today. In this paper we explore how the desert has shaped human dietary choices throughout prehistory, using carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of human bone collagen (n = 80) to reconstruct the diets of the inhabitants of the Arica region of the northern Atacama. This area is one of the driest parts of the desert, but has been generally understudied in terms of dietary adaptation. Statistical analysis using FRUITS has allowed deconvolution of isotopic signals to create dietary reconstructions and highlight the continued importance of marine resources throughout the archaeological sequence. Location also appears to have played a role in dietary choices, with inland sites having 10-20% less calories from marine foods than coastal sites. We also highlight evidence for the increasing importance of maize consumption, coinciding with contact with highland polities. In all periods apart from the earliest Archaic, however, there is significant variability between individuals in terms of dietary resource use. We conclude that marine resource use, and broad-spectrum economies persisted throughout prehistory. We interpret these results as reflecting a deliberate choice to retain dietary diversity as a buffer against resource instability.

  19. Biodiversity of Rock Varnish at Yungay, Atacama Desert, Chile

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    Kuhlman, K.; Venkat, P.; La Duc, M.; Kuhlman, G.; McKay, C.

    2007-12-01

    Rock varnish is a very slow-growing nanostratigraphic coating consisting of approximately 70% clay and 30% iron and manganese oxides of fine-grained clay minerals rich in manganese and iron oxides, which forms on the surfaces of rocks in most semi-arid to hyper-arid climates. Rock varnish has even been postulated to exist on Mars based on surface imagery from several landed missions, and is considered a potential biomarker. However, the mechanism of varnish nucleation and growth remains unknown. Whether or not microbes are involved in the nucleation and growth of rock varnish, the detection of microbes using cultivation or cultivation- independent techniques has demonstrated that varnish provides a microhabitat for microbes. We hypothesized that rock varnish in the Mars-like Yungay region of the Atacama Desert may provide such a microhabitat for microbial life where none has been found to date in the surface soil (< 1 cm). The presence of microbes was investigated using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assay techniques and culture-independent biomolecular methods. High levels of both total and intracellular ATP were associated with the rock varnish while negligible ATP was found in the surrounding surface soil, suggesting that viable organisms were present. Total DNA was extracted from ground varnish and surrounding surface soil and subjected to trifurcate polymerase chain reactions (PCR). No DNA was recovered from the soil. Amplicons were used to generate ribosomal DNA (rDNA) clone libraries, which suggest the presence of numerous phylogenetically distinct microorganisms in eight Eubacterial clades, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Cytophaga-Flavobacterium- Bacteroides (CFB), Chloroflexi (green non-sulfur bacteria (GNS)), Gemmatimonadetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria. The diversity of bacteria found and presence of cyanobacteria suggests that rock varnish provides a niche environment for a cryptoendolithic microbial community where

  20. A 22,000-Year Record of Monsoonal Precipitation from Northern Chile's Atacama Desert.

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    Betancourt; Latorre; Rech; Quade; Rylander

    2000-09-01

    Fossil rodent middens and wetland deposits from the central Atacama Desert (22 degrees to 24 degrees S) indicate increasing summer precipitation, grass cover, and groundwater levels from 16.2 to 10.5 calendar kiloyears before present (ky B.P.). Higher elevation shrubs and summer-flowering grasses expanded downslope across what is now the edge of Absolute Desert, a broad expanse now largely devoid of rainfall and vegetation. Paradoxically, this pluvial period coincided with the summer insolation minimum and reduced adiabatic heating over the central Andes. Summer precipitation over the central Andes and central Atacama may depend on remote teleconnections between seasonal insolation forcing in both hemispheres, the Asian monsoon, and Pacific sea surface temperature gradients. A less pronounced episode of higher groundwater levels in the central Atacama from 8 to 3 ky B.P. conflicts with an extreme lowstand of Lake Titicaca, indicating either different climatic forcing or different response times and sensitivities to climatic change.

  1. Rapid root extension during water pulses enhances establishment of shrub seedlings in the Atacama Desert

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    Leon, M.F.; Squeo, F.A.; Gutierrez, J.R.; Holmgren, M.

    2011-01-01

    Questions: (1) What is the water threshold for shrub seedling establishment in arid scrubland? (2) How do seedling root growth morphological traits affect the water threshold required for seedling establishment? Location: Arid scrubland, Atacama Desert, north-central Chile. Methods: We conducted a

  2. Exploring the Limits to Photosynthetic Life in the Hyperarid Atacama (Chile) and Taklimakan (China) Deserts

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    Warren-Rhodes, K.; Ewing, S.; McKay, C. P.; Rhodes, K. L.

    2003-12-01

    Photosynthetic microbes inhabiting the cracks or fissures (chasmoendoliths) and undersides (hypoliths) of translucent stones function as the sole primary producers in the world's driest deserts. This poster reports on our studies of the distribution and survival of these microorganisms in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert--an extreme environment previously considered too dry to support photosynthetic life--and the Taklimakan Desert in China--one of the oldest and driest deserts on the Earth. In both deserts, we measured colonization rates and microclimate variables across natural precipitation gradients in order to investigate the role of moisture in the ecology and survival of hypolithic and chasmoendolithic microorganisms. Our results show 1000-fold variations in colonization rates--from 12% in the wettest portions of the Taklimakan Desert to 3000 y. At slightly wetter sites in the Atacama, Δ 14C of hypolith soils was progressively more enriched in proportion to increased MAP, with corresponding turnover times of >600 y (Δ 14C = -73 ‰ at sites with ˜5-10 mm MAP and ˜1 y Δ 14C = +12 ‰ ) as annual rainfall increased to ˜25 mm. At all sites, Δ 14C signatures of non-hypolith soils corresponded to turnover times that were longer by an order of magnitude, indicating significantly slower OC cycling by non-hypoliths. In the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, the prolonged lack of rainfall (decadal scales of a few millimeters) is responsible for possibly the lowest hypolithic and chasmoendolithic colonization rates observed in deserts on the Earth. Microclimate data for rock and soil surface moisture from rainfall, dew and frost suggest the particular form of moisture and its frequency may also explain observed differences in hypolithic versus chasmoendolithic colonization modes. These results hold theoretical and practical considerations for both terrestrial ecology and as analogs for possible life on Mars.

  3. Are There High Meteorite Concentrations in the Atacama Desert/Chile?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, P.; Delisle, G.

    1992-07-01

    We have visited numerous regions of the Atacama desert between Copiapo (27 degrees, 15'S) and Calama (22 degrees, 25'S) to assess their potential as a high-yield meteorite concentration surface, easily exploitable by search efforts within a reasonable time frame. According to our observations, this desert is characterized by the following features: a) A high percentage of the desert consists of sloping surfaces on which soil movement occurs, presumably by very infrequent, though heavy rain. b) Vast areas of the desert are covered by a dm-thick sand layer of dark colour. Since the sand is too coarse-grained to be transported by wind it presumably resulted from in-situ weathering of rock debris derived from nearby mountains. We suspect that impacting smaller objects can easily penetrate the sand layer. c) The sand layer is typically dotted by rocks, fist-size or smaller, that are covered by a thick layer of desert paint (reddish-brown to black colour). Most country rocks are of volcanic origin (rhyolite, andesite, basalt) and are typically of grey to black colour. A noticeable colour contrast in particular to potential stony meteorites is almost nonexistent. d) Soil salts with a potential to speed up weathering processes are ubiquitous near the surface. e) The Pampa de Mejillones, 45 km north of Antofagasta, is one of the few light-coloured areas in the Atacama desert. The surface, being of Mio-Pliocene age, consists of an almost continuous layer of light-brown fossil shells (bivalves and gastropodes). Fluvially transported dark rocks from adjacent outcrops rest on top. The latter material is covered again by desert paint. Few meteorite discoveries have been reported from this area (Pampa (a),(b),(c)). f) Numerous old tire tracks, in particular around mines in operation, crisscross most areas of the Atacama. Undetected objects such as large masses of iron bodies are not likely to have remained undiscovered in great numbers any more. We conclude that the potential of

  4. VEGETATIVE GROWTH AND EARLY PRODUCTION OF SIX OLIVE CULTIVARS, IN SOUTHERN ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddy MORA

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Tree survival, early fruit production, vegetative growth and alternate bearing were examined in six different olive cultivars (Barnea, Biancolilla, Coratina, Empeltre, Koroneiki and Leccino under intensive agronomic conditions i southern Atacama Desert, in the Coquimbo Region of Chile. The cultivars were evaluated over four successive years and had a high survival rate (93% confi rming their potential for these dry-lands. Fruit production (recorded over the growing seasons 2002-2003, vegetative growth (2000-2003 and alternate bearing differed signifi cantly among cultivars. Olive selection in intensively managed planting at the southern part of the Atacama Desert depends on matching specifi c cultivars to sites on which they perform the best.

  5. Hypolithic cyanobacteria, dry limit of photosynthesis, and microbial ecology in the hyperarid Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, Kimberley A; Rhodes, Kevin L; Pointing, Stephen B; Ewing, Stephanie A; Lacap, Donnabella C; Gómez-Silva, Benito; Amundson, Ronald; Friedmann, E Imre; McKay, Christopher P

    2006-10-01

    The occurrence of hypolithic cyanobacteria colonizing translucent stones was quantified along the aridity gradient in the Atacama Desert in Chile, from less arid areas to the hyperarid core where photosynthetic life and thus primary production reach their limits. As mean rainfall declines from 21 to Mars, but may have existed in the past. If so, such microhabitats would probably be widely dispersed, difficult to detect, and millimeters away from virtually lifeless surroundings.

  6. Distribution and Diversity of Organic and Biological Signatures in Soils From the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Aditi

    2005-01-01

    The Atacama Desert is amongst the driest places on Earth. It is considered to be a suitable analog for the Martian surface in which to conduct studies of life and life detection. Soil samples were collected in June 2005 from the Atacama Desert and analyzed in the lab for amino acid content. HPLC was the primary tool used to analyze samples. The amino acids of interest are aspartic acid, serine, glutamic acid, glycine, and alanine. D and L isomers of each amino acid (except for glycine) were separated through HPLC. The purpose of this study is to find correlations between location of the sample collection sites and amino acid content as well as D/L isomer ratios in order to formulate theories of how different types of environments may affect the abundance and distribution of life forms. Initial analysis of data shows a general lack of or slight correlation between location and amino acid content. Some data appears to contradict the hypothesis that harsher environments would have lower amino acid content than less harsh environments. Further analysis of data is needed to come up with a more conclusive report of the distribution of amino acids in the Atacama Desert.

  7. Thresholds of Detection and Identification of Halite Nodule Habitats in the Atacama Desert Using Remote Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, M. S.; Moersch, J. E.; Cabrol, N. A.; Davila, A. F.

    2018-01-01

    The guiding theme of Mars exploration is shifting from global and regional habitability assessment to biosignature detection. To locate features likely to contain biosignatures, it is useful to focus on the reliable identification of specific habitats with high biosignature preservation potential. Proposed chloride deposits on Mars may represent evaporitic environments conducive to the preservation of biosignatures. Analogous chloride- bearing, salt-encrusted playas (salars) are a habitat for life in the driest parts of the Atacama Desert, and are also environments with a taphonomic window. The specific geologic features that harbor and preserve microorganisms in Atacama salars are sub- meter to meter scale salt protuberances, or halite nodules. This study focuses on the ability to recognize and map halite nodules using images acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at spatial resolutions ranging from mm/pixel to that of the highest resolution orbital images available for Mars.

  8. Mid-Holocene Climate and Culture Change in the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosjean, Martin; Núñez, Lautaro; Cartajena, Isabel; Messerli, Bruno

    1997-09-01

    Twenty archaeological campsites intercalated between more than 30 debris flows caused by heavy rainfall events between 6200 and 3100 14C yr B.P. have recently been discovered at Quebrada Puripica in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. This record provides detailed information about extreme, short-lived climatic events during the hyperarid mid-Holocene period. For the first time, we found evidence of continuous human occupation in this area, filling the regional hiatus in the Atacama basin ("Silencio Arqueologico") between 8000 and 4800 14C yr B.P. The transformation of Early Archaic hunters into the complex Late Archaic cultural tradition was an adaptive process. During this time, the site was a local ecological refuge with abundant resources in a generally hostile environment.

  9. In situ metabolism in halite endolithic microbial communities of the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso F Davila

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is one of the driest regions on Earth, with areas that exclude plants and where soils have extremely low microbial biomass. However, in the driest parts of the desert there are microorganisms that colonize the interior of halite nodules in fossil continental evaporites, where they are sustained by condensation of atmospheric water triggered by the salt substrate. Using a combination of in situ observations of variable chlorophyll fluorescence and controlled laboratory experiments, we show that this endolithic community is capable of carbon fixation both through oxygenic photosynthesis and potentially ammonia oxidation. We also present evidence that photosynthetic activity is finely tuned to moisture availability and solar insolation and can be sustained for days, and perhaps longer, after a wetting event. This is the first demonstration of in situ active metabolism in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, and it provides the basis for proposing a self-contained, endolithic community that relies exclusively on non-rainfall sources of water. Our results contribute to an increasing body of evidence that even in hyperarid environments active metabolism, adaptation and growth can occur in highly specialized microhabitats.

  10. Dry limit to photosynthesis and cyanobacterial spatial pattern in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, K. A.; Pointing, S. B.; Ewing, S.; Lacap, D.; Gomez-Silva, B.; Amundson, R.; Friedmann, E. I.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-12-01

    Hypolithic autotrophs inhabit translucent rocks in the world`'s most extreme hot and cold deserts. Across a rainfall gradient in the Atacama, we measured a three-fold decline in the molecular diversity of cyanobacterial communities and a drop in their abundance from 28% in relatively wet sites to 0.08% in the driest core. Like plants, hypoliths appear to exhibit traits of self-organized patchiness (aggregated spatial patterns) that tightly correlate with rainfall. Rare cyanobacteria in the core live slowly (3,200 y turnover times) and survive in spatially isolated patches of self-augmented fertility, with the dry limit to their survival occurring at ~Mars but may have existed in rare oases in the past. The spatial distributions of terrestrial desert microbes should be considered in the remote search for life on Mars.

  11. InSAR coherence study of unusual rain events in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, T. E.; Scott, C. P.; Lohman, R.

    2017-12-01

    The Atacama Desert (AD) occupies much of Chile at latitudes 18-27°S. The surficial materials vary, dependent on proximity to the ocean, slope, position within a surface water drainage system, mean annual rainfall, human land disturbance, and the local history of climate changes. Three major divisions of soil composition include: near coastal zone of silicate mineral soils, mostly devoid of plants; central hyperarid zone dominated by gypsum, devoid of plants; eastern zone of silicate-based soils, very sparse plants. The AD in March 2015 experienced the largest rain event of modern history, and again in June 2017 almost as much rain fell within the study area (24.2-25.7°S, coast to Andes Mountains). Those natural experiments set the stage for InSAR remote sensing of surface changes in a 24,000 square kilometer area. We used interferometric coherence of radar to measure the similarity in the reflective ground properties at the time of two SAR acquisitions, and a time series of European Space Agency's Sentinel-1A data sets acquired between January 2015 and August 2017. Date pairs lacking an intervening rain event reveal extensive regions of high coherence, and in those areas we focus on the temporal evolution of coherence across dates of, and following dates of, the major rains. Permanent change of the surface is most extensive in the eastern and western sectors, yet the degree of permanent change was small except in valley bottoms. In the sector with gypsum soil small degrees of permanent change occurred over 30% of the surface including in narrow (1-3 km) elongate (10-60 km) stripes that cross-cut topography, likely revealing rain bands. The spatial pattern of transient change in coherence differs. Over half the gypsum-dominated zone displays a transient change signal, whose spatial pattern corresponds to geomorphological forms; older landforms display greater transient coherence changes. In the silicate-dominated eastern region the transient signals are smaller

  12. Adaptation strategies of endolithic chlorophototrophs to survive the hyperarid and extreme solar radiation environment of the Atacama Desert

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wierzchos, J.; DiRuggiero, J.; Vítek, Petr; Artieda, O.; Souza-Egipsy, V.; Škaloud, P.; Tisza, M.; Davilla, A. F.; Vilchez, C.; Garbayo, I.; Ascaso, C.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 934 (2015), s. 1-17 ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA MŠk EE2.3.20.0246 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Atacama Desert * carotenoids * endolithic chlorophototrophs * extreme environment * gypsum * scytonemin Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.165, year: 2015

  13. Streptomyces asenjonii sp. nov., isolated from arid Atacama Desert soils and emended description of Streptomyces viridosporus Pridham et al. 1958

    Science.gov (United States)

    A polyphasic study was undertaken to establish the taxonomic status of Streptomyces strains isolated from arid Atacama Desert soils. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of the isolates showed that they formed a well-defined lineage that was loosely associated with the type strains of several Str...

  14. A multi-scale approach to assess the effect of groundwater extraction on Prosopis tamarugo in the Atacama Desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Decuyper, M.; Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.; Copini, P.; Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W.

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater-dependent ecosystems occur in arid and semi-arid areas worldwide and are sensitive to changes in groundwater availability. Prosopis tamarugo Phil, endemic to the Atacama Desert, is threatened by groundwater overexploitation due to mining and urban consumption. The effect of groundwater

  15. The Chemistry and Mineralogy of Atacama Desert soils: A Possible Analog for Mars Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Amundson, R.; Ewing, S.; Rhodes, K. W.; McKay, C.

    2002-12-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert in the world, having experienced its present hyper-arid climate since the Miocene. While Mars is vastly more dry and cold than the Atacama, the Atacama environment may be one of the best terrestrial Mars analog environments accessible to researchers. Because of the long-term hyperaridity, the soils retain atmospherically-derived elements, which accumulate to economically valuable quantities. The objective of this work was to examine physical and chemical evolution of the soils of the hyper-arid Atacama Desert to provide insight as to what soil properties may be found on Mars. Three soils were excavated and examined on widely representative landforms along a south to north transect (Copiapo > Altimira > Yungay) that coincides with decreasing moisture levels (~15mm to ~2 mm yr-1, south to north). Total chemical analyses were used to calculate strain (i.e. volume change) and elemental gains or losses (\\tau). Relative to parent material values, the Yungay and Altimira soils have expanded over 400% in certain horizons, while the Copiapo soil has collapsed by as much as 48%. The expansions are driven by elemental gains; the collapse by weathering losses. Calculations of \\tau indicate a 380 000% enrichment in Cl (halite) in the lower horizons, and S enrichments (anhydrite, gypsum) as high as 50 000% in the upper horizons, of the Yungay soil. The Altimira soil had a 110 000% enrichment of S (gypsum) and a 16,000% enrichment of carbonate, reflecting the higher precipitation and the relative solubility of salts. The southern, higher rainfall Copiapo soil had small \\tau values for S (283%) and Cl (63%) in the middle horizons, but significant gains of CaCO3 (\\tau values as high as 4 000% in certain horizons). In general, the type and depth of Cl, S, and CaCO3 enrichment in the soils varied predictably with rainfall. The results of this work, which document enormous atmospherically-derived elemental gains and

  16. Hydroclimate variability in the low-elevation Atacama Desert over the last 2500 yr

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayo, E. M.; Latorre, C.; Santoro, C. M.; Maldonado, A.; de Pol-Holz, R.

    2012-02-01

    Paleoclimate reconstructions reveal that Earth system has experienced sub-millennial scale climate changes over the past two millennia in response to internal/external forcing. Although sub-millennial hydroclimate fluctuations have been detected in the central Andes during this interval, the timing, magnitude, extent and direction of change of these events remain poorly defined. Here, we present a reconstruction of hydroclimate variations on the Pacific slope of the central Andes based on exceptionally well-preserved plant macrofossils and associated archaeological remains from a hyperarid drainage (Quebrada Maní, ∼21° S, 1000 m a.s.l.) in the Atacama Desert. During the late Holocene, riparian ecosystems and farming social groups flourished in the hyperarid Atacama core as surface water availability increased throughout this presently sterile landscape. Twenty-six radiocarbon dates indicate that these events occurred between 1050-680, 1615-1350 and 2500-2040 cal yr BP. Regional comparisons with rodent middens and other records suggest that these events were synchronous with pluvial stages detected at higher-elevations in the central Andes over the last 2500 yr. These hydroclimate changes also coincide with periods of pronounced SST gradients in the Tropical Pacific (La Niña-like mode), conditions that are conducive to significantly increased rainfall in the central Andean highlands and flood events in the low-elevation watersheds at inter-annual timescales. Our findings indicate that the positive anomalies in the hyperarid Atacama over the past 2500 yr represent a regional response of the central Andean climate system to changes in the global hydrological cycle at centennial timescales. Furthermore, our results provide support for the role of tropical Pacific sea surface temperature gradient changes as the primary mechanism responsible for climate fluctuations in the central Andes. Finally, our results constitute independent evidence for comprehending the

  17. Hydroclimate variability in the low-elevation Atacama Desert over the last 2500 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayo, E. M.; Latorre, C.; Santoro, C. M.; Maldonado, A.; de Pol-Holz, R.

    2011-10-01

    Paleoclimate reconstructions reveal that Earth system has experienced sub-millennial scale climate changes over the past two millennia in response to internal/external forcing. Although sub-millennial hydroclimate fluctuations have been detected in the central Andes during this interval, the timing, magnitude, extent and direction of change of these events remain poorly defined. Here, we present a reconstruction of hydroclimate variations on the Pacific slope of the central Andes based on exceptionally well-preserved plant macrofossils and associated archaeological remains from a hyperarid drainage (Quebrada Maní, ~21° S, 1000 m a.s.l.) in the Atacama Desert. During the late Holocene, riparian ecosystems and farming social groups flourished in the hyperarid Atacama core as surface water availability increased throughout this presently sterile landscape. Twenty-six radiocarbon dates indicate that these events occurred between 1050-680, 1615-1350 and 2500-2040 cal yr BP. Regional comparisons with rodent middens and other records suggest that these events were synchronous with pluvial stages detected at higher-elevations in the central Andes over the last 2500 years. These hydroclimate changes also coincide with periods of pronounced SST gradients in the Tropical Pacific (La Niña-like mode), conditions that are conducive to significantly increased rainfall in the central Andean highlands and flood events in the low-elevation watersheds at inter-annual timescales. Our findings indicate that the positive anomalies in the hyperarid Atacama over the past 2500 years represent a regional response of the central Andean climate system to changes in the global hydrological cycle at centennial timescales. Furthermore, our results provide support for the role of tropical Pacific sea surface temperature gradient changes as the primary mechanism responsible for climate fluctuations in the central Andes. Finally, our results constitute independent evidence for comprehending the

  18. Stable isotope tracers of water vapor sources in the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile: a pilot study on the Chajnantor Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, K. E.; Galewsky, J.; Sharp, Z. D.; Rella, C.; Ward, D.

    2010-12-01

    Subtropical deserts form in response to the interaction of large-scale processes, including atmospheric circulation and oceanic currents, with local features like topography. The degree to which each of these factors controls desert formation and the anticipated impacts of variations in each as climate changes, however, are poorly understood. Stable isotope compositions of water vapor in desert air can help to distinguish between moisture sources and processes that control aridity. The Atacama Desert, located in northern Chile between latitudes 23S and 27S, provides a natural laboratory in which to test the degree to which water vapor isotopologues enable the distinction between processes that control humidity, including the Hadley Circulation, the cold Humboldt Current off the coast of Chile, and the orographic effect of the Andes, in this subtropical desert. Water vapor isotopologues and concentrations were measured in real time using a cavity-ringdown spectrometer deployed on the Chajnantor Plateau over a three-week period from mid-July early August 2010. The elevation of the Plateau, 5000 m amsl (~550 hPa), places it above the boundary layer, allowing the evaluation of the Rayleigh fractionation model from the coast inland. Values reported by the instrument were verified with air samples taken at the coast and the Plateau, which were analyzed on an MAT-252 mass spectrometer. Water vapor concentrations and δD values varied spatially and temporally. Water vapor concentrations on the Plateau ranged from 200 to 3664 ppmv with a mean value of 536 ppmv. In contrast, water vapor concentrations at the coast were approximately 10000 ppmv, and at Yungay, 60 km inland, water vapor concentrations ranged from 1300 to 2000 ppmv from morning to evening. δD values on the Plateau ranged from -526‰ to -100‰ with a mean value of 290‰ with enriched values correlated to periods with higher water vapor concentrations. There are no strong diurnal variations in water vapor

  19. Preservation of Lipid Biomarkers Under Prolonged and Extreme Hyperaridity in Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    Molecular biomarkers are the most direct biosignatures of life on early Earth and a key target in the search for life on Mars. Lipid biomarkers are of particular interest given their ability to survive oxidative degradation and record microbial presence and activity of microorganisms that occurred billions of years ago (Eigenbrode, 2008). Environmental conditions that suspend biotic and abiotic degradative processes prior to lithification can lead to enhanced biomolecular preservation over geological time-scales. The hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile offers a unique environment to investigate lipid biomarker taphonomy under extreme and prolonged dryness. We investigated the accumulation and degree of preservation of lipid biomarkers in million-year-old hyperarid soils where primarily abiotic conditions influence their taphonomy. Soils were extracted and free and membrane bound lipids were analyzed across a vertical profile of 2.5 meters in the Yungay hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert. Due to the extremely low inventory of biomass in Atacama soils, samples were collected by scientists wearing cleanroom suits to minimize anthropogenic contamination during sampling. Fatty acids were found to be well preserved in Yungay soils, and were most abundant in the clay-rich soils at approx.2 m depth (approx.750 ng of fatty acid methyl ester/g of soil). These buried clays layers were fluvially deposited approximately 2 million years ago, and have been excluded from exposure to rainwater and modern surficial processes since their emplacement (Ewing et al., 2008). Monocarboxylic fatty acid, monohydroxy fatty acid, glycerol tetraether, and n-alkane hydrocarbon content was found to change with depth. Lipid biomarker content in deeper soil layers is suggestive of soils having been formed at a time when environmental conditions were capable of supporting active microbial communities and plants. In short, total lipid extracts reveal a remarkable degree of

  20. Preservation of Lipid Biomarkers Under Prolonged and Extreme Hyperaridity in Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, M. B.; Davila, A. F.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Parenteau, M. N.; Jahnke, L. L.; Summons, R. E.; Liu, X.; Wray, J. J.; Stamos, B.; O'Reilly, S. S.; Williams, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    Molecular biomarkers are the most direct biosignatures of life on early Earth and a key target in the search for life on Mars. Lipid biomarkers are of particular interest given their ability to survive oxidative degradation and record microbial presence and activity of microorganisms that occurred billions of years ago (Eigenbrode, 2008). Environmental conditions that suspend biotic and abiotic degradative processes prior to lithification can lead to enhanced biomolecular preservation over geological time-scales. The hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile offers a unique environment to investigate lipid biomarker taphonomy under extreme and prolonged dryness. We investigated the accumulation and degree of preservation of lipid biomarkers in million-year-old hyperarid soils where primarily abiotic conditions influence their taphonomy. Soils were extracted and free and membrane bound lipids were analyzed across a vertical profile of 2.5 meters in the Yungay hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert. Due to the extremely low inventory of biomass in Atacama soils, samples were collected by scientists wearing cleanroom suits to minimize anthropogenic contamination during sampling. Fatty acids were found to be well preserved in Yungay soils, and were most abundant in the clay-rich soils at ~2 m depth (~750 ng of fatty acid methyl ester/g of soil). These buried clays layers were fluvially deposited approximately 2 million years ago, and have been excluded from exposure to rainwater and modern surficial processes since their emplacement (Ewing et al., 2008). Monocarboxylic fatty acid, monohydroxy fatty acid, glycerol tetraether, and n-alkane hydrocarbon content was found to change with depth. Lipid biomarker content in deeper soil layers is suggestive of soils having been formed at a time when environmental conditions were capable of supporting active microbial communities and plants. In short, total lipid extracts reveal a remarkable degree of lipid biomarker

  1. 57 Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy studies of chondritic meteorites from the Atacama Desert, Chile: Implications for weathering processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munayco, P.; Munayco, J.; Valenzuela, M.; Rochette, P.; Gattacceca, J.; Scorzelli, R. B.

    2014-01-01

    Some terrestrial areas have climatic and geomorphologic features that favor the preservation, and therefore, accumulation of meteorites. The Atacama Desert in Chile is among the most important of such areas, known as dense collection areas. This desert is the driest on Earth, one of the most arid, uninhabitable locals with semi-arid, arid and hyper-arid conditions. The meteorites studied here were collected from within the dense collection area of San Juan at the Central Depression and Coastal Range of Atacama Desert. 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy was used for quantitative analysis of the degree of weathering of the meteorites, through the determination of the proportions of the various Fe-bearing phases and in particular the amount of oxidized iron in the terrestrial alteration products. The abundance of ferric ions in weathered chondrites can be related to specific precursor compositions and to the level of terrestrial weathering. The aim of the study was the identification, quantification and differentiation of the weathering products in the ordinary chondrites found in the San Juan area of Atacama Desert.

  2. Fundamental drivers for endolithic microbial community assemblies in the hyperarid Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meslier, Victoria; Casero, M Cristina; Dailey, Micah; Wierzchos, Jacek; Ascaso, Carmen; Artieda, Octavio; McCullough, P R; DiRuggiero, Jocelyne

    2018-03-24

    In hyperarid deserts, endolithic microbial communities colonize the rocks' interior as a survival strategy. Yet, the composition of these communities and the drivers promoting their assembly are still poorly understood. We analysed the diversity and community composition of endoliths from four different lithic substrates - calcite, gypsum, ignimbrite and granite - collected in the hyperarid zone of the Atacama Desert, Chile. By combining microscopy, mineralogy, spectroscopy and high throughput sequencing, we found these communities to be highly specific to their lithic substrate, although they were all dominated by the same four main phyla, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi and Proteobacteria. Our finding indicates a fine scale diversification of the microbial reservoir driven by substrate properties. The data suggest that the overall rock chemistry and the light transmission properties of the substrates are not essential drivers of community structure and composition. Instead, we propose that the architecture of the rock, i.e., the space available for colonization and its physical structure, linked to water retention capabilities, is ultimately the driver of community diversity and composition at the dry limit of life. © 2018 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Trapping fresh sea breeze in desert? Health status of Camanchaca, Atacama's fog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnail, Estefanía; Cunha Lima, Ricardo; Martínez Turrieta, Gladys

    2018-05-24

    Water fog composition was investigated at a fog harvesting installation in the coast of Atacama (North Chile). Chañaral is historically affected by mining contamination discharges. Hydro-chemical characterization of fog water from top of the mountain (where capture installation is located) and at the bottom of the mountain (after vertical transportation where an aquaponic system is located) revealed many compositional differences that compromise the use of water. High acidity and high concentrations in Cu and As in water collected on top of the mountain were found; meanwhile, acidity and Cu decreased, and As levels overpassed the drinking water standards after the vertical transportation. Collected data was assessed according to national and international regulatory standards, neutralization factors (NF), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), and ion ratios to determine origin of contamination and suitability of destined for human consumption, irrigation, or aquaculture purposes.

  4. Δ17O Isotopic Investigation of Nitrate Salts Found in Co-Occurrence with Naturally Formed Perchlorate in the Mojave Desert, California, USA and the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lybrand, R. A.; Parker, D.; Rech, J.; Prellwitz, J.; Michalski, G.

    2009-12-01

    Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and manmade contaminant that has been identified in soil, groundwater and surface water. Perchlorate directly affects human health by interfering with iodide uptake in the thyroid gland, which may in turn lower the production of key hormones that are needed for proper growth and development. Until recently, the Atacama Desert, Chile was thought to be the only location where perchlorate salts formed naturally. Recent work has documented the occurrence of these salts in several semi-arid regions of the United States. This study identified putatively natural sources of perchlorate in the Mojave Desert of California. Soil samples were collected from six field sites varying in geologic age. The co-occurrence of perchlorate and nitrate in caliches from the Atacama Desert and soils from the Mojave Desert was also investigated. Although the former are richer in NO3-, near-ore-grade (~5%) deposits occur in the vicinity of Death Valley National Park. Weak but significant correlations exist between ClO4- and NO3- at both locations, but the perchlorate levels are much higher (up to 800 mg/kg) in the Chilean samples than in California (atmospheric origin for the Atacama nitrate salts, and a mixture between biological nitrate and atmospherically-derived nitrate for the Mojave samples. When corrected for the percentage of atmospheric nitrate measured in the Atacama samples, the Mojave samples still contain much lower perchlorate concentrations than would be expected if the occurrence of perchlorate correlated strictly with atmospherically derived nitrate. These results indicate that the variation in the origins of the nitrate salts is not the only factor influencing perchlorate distribution in these environments. These findings suggest that there are other geologic differences in landform age and stability that are crucial to understanding the co-occurrence of nitrate and perchlorate between the two locations.

  5. How much Carbon is Stored in Deserts? AN Approach for the Chilean Atacama Desert Using LANDSAT-8 Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, H. J.; Acuña, T.; Reyes, P.; Torres, M.; Figueroa, E.

    2016-06-01

    The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is known as the driest place on Earth, with an average rainfall of about 15 mm per year. Despite these conditions, it contains a rich variety of flora with hundreds of species characterised by their extraordinary ability to adapt to this extreme environment. These biotic components have a direct link to important ecosystem services, especially those related to carbon storage and sequestration. No quantitative assessment is currently available for these services and the role of the desert in this matter remains unclear. We propose an approach to estimate above-ground biomass (AGB) using Landsat-8 data, which we tested in the Taparacá region, located in the northern section of the desert. To calibrate and validate the models, we used field data from 86 plots and several spectral indexes (NDVI, EVI and SAVI) obtained from the provisional Landsat-8 Surface-reflectance products. We applied randomised branch sampling and allometry principles (non-destructive methods) to collect biomass samples for all plant biological types: wetlands, steppes, shrubs and trees. All samples were dried in an oven until they reached constant weight and the final values were used to extrapolate dry matter content (AGB) to each plot in terms of kg m-2. We used all available scenes from September 2014 to August 2015 to calculate the maximum, minimum and average value for each index in each pixel within this period. For modeling, we used the method based on classification and regression trees called random forest (RF), available in the statistical software R-Project. The explained variance obtained by the RF algorithm was around 80-85%, and it improved when a wetland vector layer was used as the predictive factor in the model to reach the range 85-90%. The mean error was 1.45 kg m-2 of dry matter. The best model was obtained using the maximum and mean values of SAVI and EVI indexes. We were able to estimate total biomass storage of around 8 million tons

  6. HOW MUCH CARBON IS STORED IN DESERTS? AN APPROACH FOR THE CHILEAN ATACAMA DESERT USING LANDSAT-8 PRODUCTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Hernández

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is known as the driest place on Earth, with an average rainfall of about 15 mm per year. Despite these conditions, it contains a rich variety of flora with hundreds of species characterised by their extraordinary ability to adapt to this extreme environment. These biotic components have a direct link to important ecosystem services, especially those related to carbon storage and sequestration. No quantitative assessment is currently available for these services and the role of the desert in this matter remains unclear. We propose an approach to estimate above-ground biomass (AGB using Landsat-8 data, which we tested in the Taparacá region, located in the northern section of the desert. To calibrate and validate the models, we used field data from 86 plots and several spectral indexes (NDVI, EVI and SAVI obtained from the provisional Landsat-8 Surface-reflectance products. We applied randomised branch sampling and allometry principles (non-destructive methods to collect biomass samples for all plant biological types: wetlands, steppes, shrubs and trees. All samples were dried in an oven until they reached constant weight and the final values were used to extrapolate dry matter content (AGB to each plot in terms of kg m-2. We used all available scenes from September 2014 to August 2015 to calculate the maximum, minimum and average value for each index in each pixel within this period. For modeling, we used the method based on classification and regression trees called random forest (RF, available in the statistical software R-Project. The explained variance obtained by the RF algorithm was around 80-85%, and it improved when a wetland vector layer was used as the predictive factor in the model to reach the range 85-90%. The mean error was 1.45 kg m-2 of dry matter. The best model was obtained using the maximum and mean values of SAVI and EVI indexes. We were able to estimate total biomass storage of around 8

  7. Molecular analysis of a 11 700-year-old rodent midden from the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuch, M.; Rohland, N.; Betancourt, J.L.; Latorre, C.; Steppan, S.; Poinar, H.N.

    2002-01-01

    DNA was extracted from an 11 700-year-old rodent midden from the Atacama Desert, Chile and the chloroplast and animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene sequences were analysed to investigate the floral environment surrounding the midden, and the identity of the midden agent. The plant sequences, together with the macroscopic identifications, suggest the presence of 13 plant families and three orders that no longer exist today at the midden locality, and thus point to a much more diverse and humid climate 11 700 years ago. The mtDNA sequences suggest the presence of at least four different vertebrates, which have been putatively identified as a camelid (vicuna), two rodents (Phyllotis and Abrocoma), and a cardinal bird (Passeriformes). To identify the midden agent, DNA was extracted from pooled faecal pellets, three small overlapping fragments of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were amplified and multiple clones were sequenced. These results were analysed along with complete cytochrome b sequences for several modern Phyllotis species to place the midden sequence phylogenetically. The results identified the midden agent as belonging to an ancestral P. limatus. Today, P. limatus is not found at the midden locality but it can be found 100 km to the north, indicating at least a small range shift. The more extensive sampling of modern Phyllotis reinforces the suggestion that P. limatus is recently derived from a peripheral isolate.

  8. Life at the hyperarid margin: novel bacterial diversity in arid soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Julia W.; Quade, Jay; Ortiz, Marianyoly; Nelson, William M.; Legatzki, Antje; Tian, Fei; LaComb, Michelle; Betancourt, Julio L.; Wing, Rod A.; Soderlund, Carol A.; Maier, Raina M.

    2012-01-01

    Nearly half the earth's surface is occupied by dryland ecosystems, regions susceptible to reduced states of biological productivity caused by climate fluctuations. Of these regions, arid zones located at the interface between vegetated semiarid regions and biologically unproductive hyperarid zones are considered most vulnerable. The objective of this study was to conduct a deep diversity analysis of bacterial communities in unvegetated arid soils of the Atacama Desert, to characterize community structure and infer the functional potential of these communities based on observed phylogenetic associations. A 454-pyrotag analysis was conducted of three unvegetated arid sites located at the hyperarid-arid margin. The analysis revealed communities with unique bacterial diversity marked by high abundances of novel Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi and low levels of Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria, phyla that are dominant in many biomes. A 16S rRNA gene library of one site revealed the presence of clones with phylogenetic associations to chemoautotrophic taxa able to obtain energy through oxidation of nitrite, carbon monoxide, iron, or sulfur. Thus, soils at the hyperarid margin were found to harbor a wealth of novel bacteria and to support potentially viable communities with phylogenetic associations to non-phototrophic primary producers and bacteria capable of biogeochemical cycling.

  9. Bacterial Diversity within the Extreme Arid Atacama Desert Soils of the Yungay Region, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connon, S. A.; Lester, E. D.; Shafaat, H. S.; Obenhuber, D. C.; Ponce, A.

    2006-12-01

    Surface and subsurface soil samples analyzed for this study were collected from the hyper-arid Yungay region of the Atacama Desert, Chile. This is the first report of microbial diversity from DNA extracted directly from these extremely desiccated soils. Our data shows that 94% of the 16S rRNA genes cloned from these soils belong to the Actinobacteria phylum. A 24-hour time course series showed a diurnal water activity (aw) cycle that peaked at 0.52 in the early predawn hours, and ranged from 0.08 0.01 during the day. All measured water activity values were below the level required for microbial growth or enzyme activity. Total organic carbon (TOC) levels in this region were just above the limits of detection and ranged from 220 660 μg/g of soil. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) levels indicated cellular biomass ranging from 2 ×105 to 7 ×106 cell equivalents per gram of soil. The culturable counts were low with most samples showing no growth on standard plates of R2A medium; the highest single count was 47 colony forming units (CFU) per gram.

  10. Life at the hyperarid margin: novel bacterial diversity in arid soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Julia W; Quade, Jay; Ortiz, Marianyoly; Nelson, William M; Legatzki, Antje; Tian, Fei; LaComb, Michelle; Betancourt, Julio L; Wing, Rod A; Soderlund, Carol A; Maier, Raina M

    2012-05-01

    Nearly half the earth's surface is occupied by dryland ecosystems, regions susceptible to reduced states of biological productivity caused by climate fluctuations. Of these regions, arid zones located at the interface between vegetated semiarid regions and biologically unproductive hyperarid zones are considered most vulnerable. The objective of this study was to conduct a deep diversity analysis of bacterial communities in unvegetated arid soils of the Atacama Desert, to characterize community structure and infer the functional potential of these communities based on observed phylogenetic associations. A 454-pyrotag analysis was conducted of three unvegetated arid sites located at the hyperarid-arid margin. The analysis revealed communities with unique bacterial diversity marked by high abundances of novel Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi and low levels of Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria, phyla that are dominant in many biomes. A 16S rRNA gene library of one site revealed the presence of clones with phylogenetic associations to chemoautotrophic taxa able to obtain energy through oxidation of nitrite, carbon monoxide, iron, or sulfur. Thus, soils at the hyperarid margin were found to harbor a wealth of novel bacteria and to support potentially viable communities with phylogenetic associations to non-phototrophic primary producers and bacteria capable of biogeochemical cycling.

  11. Evidence for nonallopatric speciation among closely related sympatric Heliotropium species in the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luebert, Federico; Jacobs, Pit; Hilger, Hartmut H; Muller, Ludo A H

    2014-02-01

    The genetic structure of populations of closely related, sympatric species may hold the signature of the geographical mode of the speciation process. In fully allopatric speciation, it is expected that genetic differentiation between species is homogeneously distributed across the genome. In nonallopatric speciation, the genomes may remain undifferentiated to a large extent. In this article, we analyzed the genetic structure of five sympatric species from the plant genus Heliotropium in the Atacama Desert. We used amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) to characterize the genetic structure of these species and evaluate their genetic differentiation as well as the number of loci subject to positive selection using divergence outlier analysis (DOA). The five species form distinguishable groups in the genetic space, with zones of overlap, indicating that they are possibly not completely isolated. Among-species differentiation accounts for 35% of the total genetic differentiation (F ST = 0.35), and F ST between species pairs is positively correlated with phylogenetic distance. DOA suggests that few loci are subject to positive selection, which is in line with a scenario of nonallopatric speciation. These results support the idea that sympatric species of Heliotropium sect. Cochranea are under an ongoing speciation process, characterized by a fluctuation of population ranges in response to pulses of arid and humid periods during Quaternary times.

  12. Novel water source for endolithic life in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Wierzchos

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, Chile, is possibly the driest and most life-limited place on Earth, yet endolithic microorganisms thrive inside halite pinnacles that are part of ancient salt flats. The existence of this microbial community in an environment that excludes any other life forms suggests biological adaptation to high salinity and desiccation stress, and indicates an alternative source of water for life other than rainfall, fog or dew. Here, we show that halite endoliths obtain liquid water through spontaneous capillary condensation at relative humidity (RH much lower than the deliquescence RH of NaCl. We describe how this condensation could occur inside nano-pores smaller than 100 nm, in a newly characterized halite phase that is intimately associated with the endolithic aggregates. This nano-porous phase helps retain liquid water for long periods of time by preventing its evaporation even in conditions of utmost dryness. Our results explain how life has colonized and adapted to one of the most extreme environments on our planet, expanding the water activity envelope for life on Earth, and broadening the spectrum of possible habitats for life beyond our planet.

  13. Infrared Spectroscopic Analyses of Sulfate, Nitrate, and Carbonate-bearing Atacama Desert Soils: Analogs for the Interpretation of Infrared Spectra from the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, J. B.; Dalton, J. B.; Ewing, S. A.; Amundson, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-01-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert on Earth, receiving only a few mm of rain per decade. The Mars climate may, in the past, have been punctuated by short-lived episodes of aqueous activity. The paleo-Martian environment may have had aqueous conditions similar to the current conditions that exist in the Atacama, and Mars soils may have formed with soil chemistry and mineralogy similar to those found in the Atacama. Remote and in-situ analysis of the Martian surface using infrared technology has a long heritage. Future investigations of the subsurface mineralogy are likely to build upon this heritage, and will benefit from real life lessons to be learned from terrestrial analog studies. To that end, preliminary results from a near- and mid-infrared spectroscopic study of Atacama soil profiled at a range of depths are presented.

  14. Room temperature 57Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy of ordinary chondrites from the Atacama Desert (Chile): constraining the weathering processes on desert meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valenzuela, M.; Abdu, Y.; Scorzelli, R. B.; Duttine, M.; Morata, D.; Munayco, P.

    2007-01-01

    We report the results of a study on the weathering products of 21 meteorites found in the Atacama Desert (Chile) using room temperature 57 Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy (MS). The meteorites are weathered ordinary chondrites (OCs) with unknown terrestrial ages and include the three chemical groups (H, L, and LL). We obtained the percentage of all the Fe-bearing phases for the primary minerals: olivine, pyroxene, troilite and Fe-Ni metal, and for the ferric alteration products (composed of the paramagnetic Fe 3+ component and the magnetically ordered Fe 3+ components) which gives the percentage of oxidation of the samples. From the Moessbauer absorption areas of these oxides, the terrestrial oxidation of the Atacama OC was found in the range from ∼5% to ∼60%. The amount of silicates as well as the opaques decreases at a constant rate with increasing oxidation level.

  15. Joint TEM and MT aquifer study in the Atacama Desert, North Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruthsatz, Alexander D.; Sarmiento Flores, Alvaro; Diaz, Daniel; Reinoso, Pablo Salazar; Herrera, Cristian; Brasse, Heinrich

    2018-06-01

    The Atacama Desert represents one of the driest regions on earth, and despite the absence of sustainable clean water reserves the demand has increased drastically since 1970 as a result of growing population and expanding mining activities. Magnetotelluric (MT) and Transient Electromagnetic (TEM) measurements were carried out for groundwater exploration in late 2015 in the area of the Profeta Basin at the western margin of the Chilean Precordillera. Both methods complement each other: While MT in general attains larger penetration depths, TEM allows better resolution of near surface layers; furthermore TEM is free from galvanic distortion. Data were collected along three profiles, enabling a continuous resistivity image from the surface to at least several hundred meters depth. TEM data were inverted in a 1-D manner, consistently yielding a poorly conductive near-surface layer with a thickness of approximately 30 m and below a well-conducting layer which we interpret as the aquifer with resistivities around 10 Ωm. At marginal sites of the main SW-NE-profile the resistive basement was found in 150 m. These depths are confirmed by interpretation of the MT soundings. Those were firstly inverted with a 2-D approach and then by 3-D inversion as clear indications of three-dimensionality exist. Several modeling runs were performed with different combinations of transfer functions and smoothing parameters. Generally, MT and TEM results agree reasonably well and an overall image of the resistivity structures in the Profeta Basin could be achieved. The aquifer reaches depths of more than 500 m in parts and, by applying Archie's law, resistivities of 1 Ωm can be assumed, indicating highly saline fluids from the source region of the surrounding high Andes under persisting arid conditions.

  16. Xeropreservation of Functionalized Lipid Biomarkers in Hyperarid Soils in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Davila, Alfonso F.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Parenteau, Mary N.; Jahnke, Linda L.; Liu, Xiao-Lei; Summons, Roger E.; Wray, James J.; Stamos, Brian N.; O'Reilly, Shane S.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of long-term organic matter preservation comes mostly from studies in aquatic systems. In contrast, taphonomic processes in extremely dry environments are relatively understudied and are poorly understood. We investigated the accumulation and preservation of lipid biomarkers in hyperarid soils in the Yungay region of the Atacama Desert. Lipids from seven soil horizons in a 2.5 meter vertical profile were extracted and analyzed using GC-MS ( Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) and LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry). Diagnostic functionalized lipids and geolipids were detected and increased in abundance and diversity with depth. Deeper clay units contain fossil organic matter (radiocarbon dead) that has been protected from rainwater since the onset of hyperaridity. We show that these clay units contain lipids in an excellent state of structural preservation with functional groups and unsaturated bonds in carbon chains. This indicates that minimal degradation of lipids has occurred in these soils since the time of their deposition between more than 40,000 and up to 2 million years ago. The exceptional structural preservation of biomarkers is likely due to the long-term hyperaridity that has minimized microbial and enzymatic activity, a taphonomic process we term xeropreservation (i.e. preservation by drying). The degree of biomarker preservation allowed us to reconstruct major changes in ecology in the Yungay region that reflect a shift in hydrological regime from wet to dry since the early Quaternary. Our results suggest that hyperarid environments, which comprise 7.5 percent of the continental landmass, could represent a rich and relatively unexplored source of paleobiological information on Earth.

  17. Nomad rover field experiment, Atacama Desert, Chile 1. Science results overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, N. A.; Thomas, G.; Witzke, B.

    2001-04-01

    Nomad was deployed for a 45 day traverse in the Atacama Desert, Chile, during the summer of 1997. During this traverse, 1 week was devoted to science experiments. The goal of the science experiments was to test different planetary surface exploration strategies that included (1) a Mars mission simulation, (2) a science on the fly experiment, where the rover was kept moving 75% of the operation time. (The goal of this operation was to determine whether or not successful interpretation of the environment is related to the time spent on a target. The role of mobility in helping the interpretation was also assessed.) (3) a meteorite search using visual and instrumental methods to remotely identify meteorites in extreme environments, and (4) a time-delay experiment with and without using the panospheric camera. The results were as follow: the remote science team positively identified the main characteristics of the test site geological environment. The science on the fly experiment showed that the selection of appropriate targets might be even more critical than the time spent on a study area to reconstruct the history of a site. During the same operation the science team members identified and sampled a rock from a Jurassic outcrop that they proposed to be a fossil. The presence of paleolife indicators in this rock was confirmed later by laboratory analysis. Both visual and instrumental modes demonstrated the feasibility, in at least some conditions, of carrying out a field search for meteorites by using remote-controlled vehicles. Finally, metrics collected from the observation of the science team operations, and the use team members made of mission data, provided critical information on what operation sequences could be automated on board rovers in future planetary surface explorations.

  18. Alto Patache fog oasis in the Atacama Desert: Geographical basis for a sustainable development program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón, M.; Cereceda, P.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Pérez, L.; Ibáñez, M.

    2010-07-01

    Alto Patache coastal fog oasis is a protected area located south of Iquique, Northern Chile, being presently in charge of the Atacama Desert Center (ADC) research group of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, since 1997. On 2007, the Chilean Government bestowed a piece of land stretch covering 1,114 hectares to ADC scientific group for scientific research, ecosystem protection and environmental education. This oasis has been recently studied from different points of view: climate, biogeography, fog collection, geomorphology, soil survey and land use planning, plant distribution, conservation and archaeology. During 2009, a study of the geographical basis to elaborate a general management plan was undertaken to collect information to fulfill our planned out objectives. Through this study, georreferenciated strategic information was compiled to evaluate future actions conducting to a sustainable development within the protected area. This information was translated into thematic maps showing the spatial distribution of variables like: climate, geology, geomorphology, soils, vegetation, fauna, archaeological sites and management zones. The methodology used is the analysis of satellite imagery, using GPS by creating a cartographic Data Base incorporated in GIS. Results show that the area starts at the littoral plain, ranging from 500 m to 2.000 m, being continued in parts by a piedmont intercepted by a very abrupt mega-cliff, or hectares of climbing sand dunes leading to a short high plateau limited by a soft hilly area to the East. Two soil types are characteristic: Entisols (Torriorthent) covering the coastal beach sediments, and Aridisols along the cliff and adjacent hills. Vegetation consists not only of a very rich lichen cover, but also of endangered vascular species associations constituting a very fragile sub-tropical coastal desert community, such as Eulychnia, Cumulopuntia, Eriosyce cacti, and Lycium - Nolana- Ephedra communities. Fog oasis

  19. Biodegradation of Tributyltin (TBT) by Extremophile Bacteria from Atacama Desert and Speciation of Tin By-products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yáñez, Jorge; Riffo, Paula; Santander, Paola; Mansilla, Héctor D; Mondaca, María Angélica; Campos, Víctor; Amarasiriwardena, Dulasiri

    2015-07-01

    Biodegradation of tributyltin (TBT) by four tin resistant Gram negative bacteria isolated from extremely contaminated river sediments in the Atacama Desert in Chile was studied. Moraxella osloensis showed the greatest resistance and degradation capability of TBT, producing less toxic by-products, such as dibutyltin (DBT) and inorganic tin. In 7 days, approximately 80 % of TBT degradation was achieved, generating close to 20 % of DBT as degradation product. The degradation rate constant (k) was 0.022 [day(-1)] and TBT half-life (t1/2) in culture was 4.3 days. Debutylation is stated a probable mechanism of TBT degradation.

  20. Weathering of ordinary chondrites from the Atacama Desert, Chile, by Mössbauer spectroscopy and synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munayco, Pablo; Munayco, Jimmy; Avillez, Roberto R.; Valenzuela, Millarca; Rochette, Pierre; Gattacceca, JéRôMe; Scorzelli, Rosa B.

    2013-03-01

    Some terrestrial areas have climatic and geomorphologic features that favor the preservation, and therefore, accumulation of meteorites. The Atacama Desert in Chile is among the most important of such areas, known as DCA. This desert is the driest on Earth, one of the most arid, uninhabitable localities with semiarid, arid, and hyper-arid conditions. The meteorites studied here were collected from within the DCA of San Juan and Pampa de Mejillones, located, respectively, in the Central Depression and the Coastal Range of the Atacama Desert. 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy was used for quantitative analysis of the degree of weathering of the meteorites, through the determination of the proportions of the various Fe-bearing phases and in particular the amount of oxidized iron in terrestrial alteration products. The abundance of ferric ions in weathered chondrites can be related to specific precursor compositions and to the level of terrestrial weathering. The aim of the study was the identification, quantification, and differentiation of the weathering products in the ordinary chondrites found in the San Juan and the Pampa de Mejillones areas of the Atacama Desert. The 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy study was complemented by synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction and magnetic susceptibility measurements. The results allow a clear differentiation of the rate of weathering in meteorite samples collected from the San Juan versus the Pampa de Mejillones areas of the Atacama Desert.

  1. Investigation into mummies from the Atacama Desert, Chile: Did they suffer from arsenic poisoning?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krupp, Eva M.; Leidich, Patrick; Raab, Andrea; Ouypornkochagorn, Sairoong; Feldmann, Joerg, E-mail: e.krupp@abdn.ac.uk [TESLA, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland (United Kingdom); Kemp, Helen; Meier-Augenstein, Wolfram [Stable Isotope Laboratory, James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee (United Kingdom); Stegen, Susana; Quirolo, Fabrizio; Hubbe, Mark [Universidad del Norte, Antofagasta (Chile)

    2011-07-01

    Full text: the foothills of the Andes. Despite its hostility, people have lived here for thousands of years, manifested by the discovery of mummies which are from Pre-Columbian times and can be as old as 1500 years. In addition, the water of the few oasis and rivers of this region can be highly contaminated by arsenic, which originates from geogenic sources. The work presented here aims on the question whether the people that lived in this region were exposed to arsenic in their drinking water. Arsenic is known for its acute toxicity when administered in high doses, but also its carcinogenic impact even in very low doses, and the WHO standard for maximum As concentration in drinking water was recently reduced to 10 {mu}g/L. Arsenic exposure in people can be monitored in keratogenous material like hair, nails and skin. In addition, arsenic speciation in these tissues can be used to determine whether the As was metabolised in the body, enabling the differentiation from ingestion of As versus external contamination by either As present in the soil or any cosmetic/preservative treatment of the body prior or after death. The Atacama people traditionally buried their dead in shallow graves in the high regions of the altiplano, and the dry and cold climate set on a natural mummification, which leads to the fact that a huge amount of well preserved mummified remains can be found in the desert. Here, we investigate hair, skin and fingernail samples of up to 10 Mummies dated to approx. 500 years of age, for arsenic concentration and speciation of As, focusing on the determination whether these people may have suffered from As exposure through drinking water. Water sources around the find spots of the mummies were investigated for As concentration, and significant variations can be found for different water sources. In addition to arsenic speciation analysis using XANES and HPLC-ICPMS, stable isotope analysis was performed for C,N,O and H, revealing the source of food these

  2. Investigation into mummies from the Atacama Desert, Chile: Did they suffer from arsenic poisoning?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krupp, Eva M.; Leidich, Patrick; Raab, Andrea; Ouypornkochagorn, Sairoong; Feldmann, Joerg; Kemp, Helen; Meier-Augenstein, Wolfram; Stegen, Susana; Quirolo, Fabrizio; Hubbe, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Full text: the foothills of the Andes. Despite its hostility, people have lived here for thousands of years, manifested by the discovery of mummies which are from Pre-Columbian times and can be as old as 1500 years. In addition, the water of the few oasis and rivers of this region can be highly contaminated by arsenic, which originates from geogenic sources. The work presented here aims on the question whether the people that lived in this region were exposed to arsenic in their drinking water. Arsenic is known for its acute toxicity when administered in high doses, but also its carcinogenic impact even in very low doses, and the WHO standard for maximum As concentration in drinking water was recently reduced to 10 μg/L. Arsenic exposure in people can be monitored in keratogenous material like hair, nails and skin. In addition, arsenic speciation in these tissues can be used to determine whether the As was metabolised in the body, enabling the differentiation from ingestion of As versus external contamination by either As present in the soil or any cosmetic/preservative treatment of the body prior or after death. The Atacama people traditionally buried their dead in shallow graves in the high regions of the altiplano, and the dry and cold climate set on a natural mummification, which leads to the fact that a huge amount of well preserved mummified remains can be found in the desert. Here, we investigate hair, skin and fingernail samples of up to 10 Mummies dated to approx. 500 years of age, for arsenic concentration and speciation of As, focusing on the determination whether these people may have suffered from As exposure through drinking water. Water sources around the find spots of the mummies were investigated for As concentration, and significant variations can be found for different water sources. In addition to arsenic speciation analysis using XANES and HPLC-ICPMS, stable isotope analysis was performed for C,N,O and H, revealing the source of food these

  3. Modification of REE distribution of ordinary chondrites from Atacama (Chile) and Lut (Iran) hot deserts: Insights into the chemical weathering of meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pourkhorsandi, Hamed; D'Orazio, Massimo; Rochette, Pierre; Valenzuela, Millarca; Gattacceca, Jérôme; Mirnejad, Hassan; Sutter, Brad; Hutzler, Aurore; Aboulahris, Maria

    2017-09-01

    The behavior of rare earth elements (REEs) during hot desert weathering of meteorites is investigated. Ordinary chondrites (OCs) from Atacama (Chile) and Lut (Iran) deserts show different variations in REE composition during this process. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) data reveal that hot desert OCs tend to show elevated light REE concentrations, relative to OC falls. Chondrites from Atacama are by far the most enriched in REEs and this enrichment is not necessarily related to their degree of weathering. Positive Ce anomaly of fresh chondrites from Atacama and the successive formation of a negative Ce anomaly with the addition of trivalent REEs are similar to the process reported from Antarctic eucrites. In addition to REEs, Sr and Ba also show different concentrations when comparing OCs from different hot deserts. The stability of Atacama surfaces and the associated old terrestrial ages of meteorites from this region give the samples the necessary time to interact with the terrestrial environment and to be chemically modified. Higher REE contents and LREE-enriched composition are evidence of contamination by terrestrial soil. Despite their low degrees of weathering, special care must be taken into account while working on the REE composition of Atacama meteorites for cosmochemistry applications. In contrast, chondrites from the Lut desert show lower degrees of REE modification, despite significant weathering signed by Sr content. This is explained by the relatively rapid weathering rate of the meteorites occurring in the Lut desert, which hampers the penetration of terrestrial material by forming voluminous Fe oxide/oxyhydroxides shortly after the meteorite fall.

  4. Aqueducts and geoglyphs : the response of Ancient Nasca to water shortages in the desert of Atacama (Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masini, Nicola; Lasaponara, Rosa

    2016-04-01

    The desert of Atacama is a plateau in South America, covering a 1,000-kilometre strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains, between Chile and Peru. Due to the confluence of a cold ocean current (the Humboldt Current) along with other climatic factors, connected to the particular topography and geomorphology of the region, Atacama desert is one of the most arid areas of the world. In particular, in Nasca region (Southern Peru) the lack of water was (and still is) due to the following causes: (i) the scarce pluvial precipitations and the (ii) high infiltration capacity, and the consequent yearly significant reduction of the surface water (Schreiber & Lancho Rojas 2009). Over the millennia long periods of drought occurred and frequently the lack of water was persistent for several decades. Despite the arid and extreme nature of the environment, this region was populated by important civilizations, such as Paracas and Nasca, which flourished in the Early Intermediate period (200 BCE-500 AD) (Silvermann & Proulx 2002). In particular the Nasca civilization is well-known for its refined and colourful pottery, characterized by a rich icononographic repertory, and, above all, by the huge and mysterious geoglyphs drawn on the arid plateaus of the Rio Grande de Nasca Basin. In order to practice agriculture, the Nasca developed adequate strategies to cope with hostile environmental factors and water scarcity, building a very efficient aqueduct system. They were aided by the fact that underground water was likely enough close to the surface and accessible by constructing wells and underground aqueducts, known with quechua name of puquios (Schreiber & Lancho Rojas 2009; Lasaponara & Masini 2012a; 2012b) The effectiveness of the techniques of hydraulic engineering depended on the climate and the weather events that sometimes underwent drastic changes, as results of the cyclical phenomenon of El Niño Southern Oscillation (commonly called ENSO). Hence the

  5. Draft Genome Sequence of Hymenobacter sp. Strain AT01-02, Isolated from a Surface Soil Sample in the Atacama Desert, Chile

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Anders Cai Holm; Paulino-Lima, Ivan Glaucio; Fujishima, Kosuke

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the 5.09-Mb draft genome sequence of Hymenobacter sp. strain AT01-02, which was isolated from a surface soil sample in the Atacama Desert, Chile. The isolate is extremely resistant to UV-C radiation and is able to accumulate high intracellular levels of Mn/Fe....

  6. Molecular characterization of endophytic fungi associated with the roots of Chenopodium quinoa inhabiting the Atacama Desert, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Teuber, M; Vilo, C; Bascuñán-Godoy, L

    2017-03-01

    Plant roots can be highly colonized by fungal endophytes. This seems to be of particular importance for the survival of plants inhabiting stressful habitats. This study focused on the Identification of the fungal endophytic community associated with the roots of quinoa plants ( Chenopodium quinoa ) growing near the salt lakes of the Atacama Desert, Chile. One hundred endophytic fungi were isolated from healthy quinoa roots, and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was sequenced for phylogenetic and taxonomic analysis. The isolates were classified into eleven genera and 21 distinct operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Despite a relatively high diversity of root endophytic fungi associated with quinoa plants, the fungal community was dominated by only the Ascomycota phyla. In addition, the most abundant genera were Penicillium , Phoma and Fusarium , which are common endophytes reported in plant roots. This study shows that roots of C . quinoa harbor a diverse group of endophytic fungi. Potential roles of these fungi in plant host tolerance to stressful conditions are discussed.

  7. Precipitation history of the central Atacama Desert since the Miocene as reconstructed from clay pan records of the Costal Cordillera/ N Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wennrich, V.; Melles, M.; Diederich, J. L.; Fernández Galego, E.; Ritter, B.; Brill, D.; Niemann, K.; Rolf, C.; Dunai, T. J.

    2017-12-01

    Hyperaridity is a major limitation of Earth-surface processes and biological activity in the Atacama Desert of N Chile, one of the oldest and the driest deserts on Earth. But even the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert of N Chile has experienced sever precipitation events, e.g., during the flash floods in 2015. On geological timescales, the overall aridity that is postulated to have lasted at least since the early Miocene was punctuated by distinct pluvial events. Such wetter conditions, e.g. during the Miocene, caused widespread lake-formation in the Central Depression and Coastal Cordillera, but also caused amplified surface processes, changes in vegetation dynamics, and enabled the dispersal of species. Unfortunately, due to the limited number and heterogeneous appearance of climate archives from the central Atacama, it's longer-scale precipitation history is still a matter of controversy. This study aims to study continuous longterm (Pleistocene-Miocene) paleoclimatic and environmental records from the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert covering the last >10 Ma. Therefor we investigate clay pans records from endorheic basins in the Coastal Cordillera mostly formed by blocking of drainage by tectonic movement. The clay pans under study are located along a latitudinal transect across the hyperarid core of the Atacama, and thus, are assumed to have recorded local and regional precipitation variations on different timescales. The investigated sequences exhibit significant changes in the sedimentological, geochemical, and mineralogical properties due to changes in precipitation, but also in the weathering and erosion in the catchments. Diatom and phytolith remains preserved in these records clearly point to significant water bodies during the wettest periods and a significant vegetation cover. The results shed a new light on the timing, frequency, and the driving mechanisms of the intervening pluvial phases.

  8. Adaptation strategies of endolithic chlorophototrophs to survive the hyperarid and extreme solar radiation environment of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacek eWierzchos

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert, northern Chile, is one of the driest deserts on Earth and, as such, a natural laboratory to explore the limits of life and the strategies evolved by microorganisms to adapt to extreme environments. Here we report the exceptional adaptation strategies of chlorophototrophic and eukaryotic algae, and chlorophototrophic and prokaryotic cyanobacteria to the hyperarid and extremely high solar radiation conditions occurring in this desert. Our approach combined several microscopy techniques, spectroscopic analytical methods, and molecular analyses. We found that the major adaptation strategy was to avoid the extreme environmental conditions by colonizing cryptoendolithic, as well as, hypoendolithic habitats within gypsum deposits. The cryptoendolithic colonization occurred a few millimeters beneath the gypsum surface and showed a succession of organized horizons of algae and cyanobacteria, which has never been reported for endolithic microbial communities. The presence of cyanobacteria beneath the algal layer, in close contact with sepiolite inclusions, and their hypoendolithic colonization suggest that occasional liquid water might persist within these sub-microhabitats. We also identified the presence of abundant carotenoids in the upper cryptoendolithic algal habitat and scytonemin in the cyanobacteria hypoendolithic habitat. This study illustrates that successful lithobiontic microbial colonization at the limit for microbial life is the result of a combination of adaptive strategies to avoid excess solar irradiance and extreme evapotranspiration rates, taking advantage of the complex structural and mineralogical characteristics of gypsum deposits – conceptually called rock’s habitable architecture. Additionally self-protection by synthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites likely produces a shielding effect that prevents photoinhibition and lethal photooxidative damage to the chlorophototrophs, representing another

  9. Adaptation strategies of endolithic chlorophototrophs to survive the hyperarid and extreme solar radiation environment of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierzchos, Jacek; DiRuggiero, Jocelyne; Vítek, Petr; Artieda, Octavio; Souza-Egipsy, Virginia; Škaloud, Pavel; Tisza, Michel; Davila, Alfonso F; Vílchez, Carlos; Garbayo, Inés; Ascaso, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    The Atacama Desert, northern Chile, is one of the driest deserts on Earth and, as such, a natural laboratory to explore the limits of life and the strategies evolved by microorganisms to adapt to extreme environments. Here we report the exceptional adaptation strategies of chlorophototrophic and eukaryotic algae, and chlorophototrophic and prokaryotic cyanobacteria to the hyperarid and extremely high solar radiation conditions occurring in this desert. Our approach combined several microscopy techniques, spectroscopic analytical methods, and molecular analyses. We found that the major adaptation strategy was to avoid the extreme environmental conditions by colonizing cryptoendolithic, as well as, hypoendolithic habitats within gypsum deposits. The cryptoendolithic colonization occurred a few millimeters beneath the gypsum surface and showed a succession of organized horizons of algae and cyanobacteria, which has never been reported for endolithic microbial communities. The presence of cyanobacteria beneath the algal layer, in close contact with sepiolite inclusions, and their hypoendolithic colonization suggest that occasional liquid water might persist within these sub-microhabitats. We also identified the presence of abundant carotenoids in the upper cryptoendolithic algal habitat and scytonemin in the cyanobacteria hypoendolithic habitat. This study illustrates that successful lithobiontic microbial colonization at the limit for microbial life is the result of a combination of adaptive strategies to avoid excess solar irradiance and extreme evapotranspiration rates, taking advantage of the complex structural and mineralogical characteristics of gypsum deposits-conceptually called "rock's habitable architecture." Additionally, self-protection by synthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites likely produces a shielding effect that prevents photoinhibition and lethal photooxidative damage to the chlorophototrophs, representing another level of adaptation.

  10. Latest Miocene-Pliocene Tiliviche Paleolake, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile 19.5°S: Paleoclimatic and Paleohydrologic Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk-Lawlor, N. E.; Jordan, T. E.; Rech, J.; Lehmann, S.

    2010-12-01

    Endorheic paleolake deposits of diatomite, mudstone, sandstone, and evaporites are exposed in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. This study focuses on a major latest Miocene-Pliocene paleolake system centered at 19.5°S, near Tiliviche. A diatiomite unit, up to 35m thick, composed of 0.2-1.5m thick beds of massive, white diatiomite, free of plant matter and root traces, is interpreted have formed from lacustrine diatom blooms. At its maximum extent, the lake would have had a surface area of roughly 200 km2, based on the extent of the diatomite unit, and might have been 50-100 m deep, as inferred by the relationship between the diatomite unit and modern topography. The Tiliviche paleolake initially formed before 6.4 Ma, and much of its sedimentary record formed under a wetter climatic and hydrologic regime than the present. Prior to 3.5 Ma, the lake had evolved into a groundwater-fed saltpan. Polygonally fractured efflorescent halite evaporite and bedded gypsum and gypsarenite evaporite deposits that overlie the diatomite unit are evidence of this saltpan environment. The modern Atacama Desert is hyperarid, with an average precipitation of 2 mm/yr in the driest areas. The paleosol record demonstrates that hyperarid conditions dominated this region since the middle Miocene, albeit with multiple fluctuations to less arid conditions of short to moderately long duration. This hyperaridity is due to the desert’s latitude, ocean currents and the rainshadow created by the Andes. There is no evidence that the rainshadow effect has diminished since the late Miocene, hence global climate changes affecting ocean temperatures and atmospheric patterns likely caused the wetter periods in the Atacama. In particular, prior workers noted wetter conditions in the region ~6-5 Ma, followed by a return to hyper-arid conditions. The regional Pliocene return to hyperaridity coincided with the desiccation of the Tiliviche endorheic lake system. During the late Miocene (~6-5 Ma) wetter

  11. Recurrence of water bodies in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert - New insights into the Late Pleistocene paleoclimate history of Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diederich, J. L.; Wennrich, V.; Fernández Galego, E.; Ritter, B.; Brill, D.; Niemann, K.; Rolf, C.; Melles, M.

    2017-12-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is regarded as the driest desert on Earth. Although still controversially discussed, overall arid to hyperarid conditions in the Atacama are thought to have persisted at least since the early Miocene, but were frequently punctuated by pluvial phases. The knowledge of past changes in humidity is strongly hampered by the fact that sediment records from the central Atacama Desert, which enable longer-scale precipitation reconstructions, are rare and mostly restricted to the Miocene/Pliocene or the late Pleistocene <50 kyrs. In this study, we focus on a sediment record from the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, derived from a tectonically blocked clay pan in the Coastal Cordillera (20°04'33.64"S, 69°55'01.75"W). This clay pan `Huara' has been initially investigated by a geophysical survey in spring 2015, followed by drilling of a short core (HU-III) covering the uppermost 4 m of sediment. Initial results of the ground penetrating radar (GPR) and horizontal to vertical (H/V) spectral ratio measurements indicate well-stratified sediment bodies in the basin with a maximum sediment infill of 30 ± 4 m. The chronology of core HU-III was established by a combination of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and paleomagnetic dating. The sedimentological and geochemical data of core HU-III as well as it's sediment geophysical properties indicate the primary accumulation of fine-grained sediments over the past ca. 50 kyrs, interpreted to be deposited under arid conditions with only sporadic precipitation. Intercalated coarser horizons indicate several periods of semiarid climate conditions, causing multiple phases of local alluvial deposition from the interior catchment area into the clay pan. The results are in agreement with a cosmogenic nuclide study from an adjacent meander system, indicating that the whole sediment sequence of the Huara clay pan covers the regional climate history of the past 500 - 700 kyrs.

  12. Urinary arsenic speciation profile in ethnic group of the Atacama desert (Chile) exposed to variable arsenic levels in drinking water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yáñez, Jorge; Mansilla, Héctor D; Santander, I Paola; Fierro, Vladimir; Cornejo, Lorena; Barnes, Ramón M; Amarasiriwardena, Dulasiri

    2015-01-01

    Ethnic groups from the Atacama Desert (known as Atacameños) have been exposed to natural arsenic pollution for over 5000 years. This work presents an integral study that characterizes arsenic species in water used for human consumption. It also describes the metabolism and arsenic elimination through urine in a chronically exposed population in northern Chile. In this region, water contained total arsenic concentrations up to 1250 μg L(-1), which was almost exclusively As(V). It is also important that this water was ingested directly from natural water sources without any treatment. The ingested arsenic was extensively methylated. In urine 93% of the arsenic was found as methylated arsenic species, such as monomethylarsonic acid [MMA(V)] and dimethylarsinic acid [DMA(V)]. The original ingested inorganic species [As(V)], represent less than 1% of the total urinary arsenic. Methylation activity among individuals can be assessed by measuring primary [inorganic As/methylated As] and secondary methylation [MMA/DMA] indexes. Both methylation indexes were 0.06, indicating a high biological converting capability of As(V) into MMA and then MMA into DMA, compared with the control population and other arsenic exposed populations previously reported.

  13. Investigating Deliquescence of Mars-like Soils from the Atacama Desert and Implications for Liquid Water Near the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Alstyne, A. M.; Tolbert, M. A.; Gough, R. V.; Primm, K.

    2017-12-01

    Recent images obtained from orbiters have shown that the Martian surface is more dynamic than previously thought. These images, showing dark features that resemble flowing water near the surface, have called into question the habitability of the Mars today. Recurring slope lineae (RSL), or the dark features seen in these images, are characterized as narrow, dark streaks that form and grow in the warm season, fade in the cold season, and recur seasonally. It is widely hypothesized that the movement of liquid water near the surface is what causes the appearance of RSL. However, the origin of the water and the potential for water to be stable near the surface is a question of great debate. Here, we investigate the potential for stable or metastable liquid water via deliquescence and efflorescence. The deliquescent properties of salts from the Atacama Desert, a popular terrestrial analog for Martian environments, were investigated using a Raman microscope outfitted with an environmental cell. The salts were put under Mars-relevant conditions and spectra were obtained to determine the presence or absence of liquid phases. The appearance of liquid phases under Mars-relevant conditions would demonstrate that liquid water could be available to cause or play a role in the formations of RSL.

  14. Corrosion of bare carbon steel as a passive sensor to assess moisture availability for biological activity in Atacama Desert soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cáceres, Luis; Davila, Alfonso F; Soliz, Alvaro; Saldivia, Jessica

    2018-02-28

    Here we consider that the corrosion of polished bared metal coupons can be used as a passive sensor to detect or identify the lower limit of water availability suitable for biological activity in Atacama Desert soils or solid substrates. For this purpose, carbon steel coupons were deposited at selected sites along a west-east transect and removed at predetermined times for morphological inspection. The advantage of this procedure is that the attributes of the oxide layer (corrosion extent, morphology and oxide phases) can be considered as a fingerprint of the atmospheric moisture history at a given time interval. Two types of coupons were used, long rectangular shaped ones that were half-buried in a vertical position, and square shaped ones that were deposited on the soil surface. The morphological attributes observed by SEM inspection were found to correlate to the so-called humectation time which is determined from local meteorological parameters. The main finding was that the decreasing trend of atmospheric moisture along the transect was closely related to corrosion behaviour and water soil penetration. For instance, at the coastal site oxide phases formed on the coupon surface rapidly evolve into well-crystallized species, while at the driest inland site Lomas Bayas only amorphous oxide was observed on the coupons.

  15. Establishment and formation of fog-dependent Tillandsia landbeckii dunes in the Atacama Desert: Evidence from radiocarbon and stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre, Claudio; GonzáLez, AngéLica L.; Quade, Jay; FariñA, José M.; Pinto, Raquel; Marquet, Pablo A.

    2011-09-01

    Extensive dune fields made up exclusively of the bromeliad Tillandsia landbeckii thrive in the Atacama Desert, one of the most extreme landscapes on earth. These plants survive by adapting exclusively to take in abundant advective fog and dew as moisture sources. Although some information has been gathered regarding their modern distribution and adaptations, very little is known about how these dune systems actually form and accumulate over time. We present evidence based on 20 radiocarbon dates for the establishment age and development of five different such dune systems located along a ˜215 km transect in northern Chile. Using stratigraphy, geochronology and stable C and N isotopes, we (1) develop an establishment chronology of these ecosystems, (2) explain how the unique T. landbeckii dunes form, and (3) link changes in foliar δ15N values to moisture availability in buried fossil T. landbeckii layers. We conclude by pointing out the potential that these systems have for reconstructing past climate change along coastal northern Chile during the late Holocene.

  16. Corrosion of Bare Carbon Steel as a Passive Sensor to Assess Moisture Availability for Biological Activity in Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caceres, Luis; Davila, Alfonso F.; Soliz, Alvaro; Saldivia, Jessica

    2018-01-01

    In this work we suggest the corrosion of polished bared metal coupons as a passive sensor to detect or identify the lower limit of water availability that could be suitable for biological activity in the Atacama Desert on soil or solid substrates. For this purpose, carbon steel coupons were deposited in selected sites along a west-east transect and removed at predetermined times for morphological inspection. The advantage of this procedure is that the attributes of the oxide layer (corrosion extent, morphology and oxide phases) can be considered as a fingerprint of the atmospheric moisture history at a given time interval. Two types of coupons were used, a long rectangular shape that are half-buried in a vertical position, and square shape that are deposited on the soil surface. The morphological attributes observed by SEM inspection is correlated to the so-called humectation time which is determined from local meteorological parameters. The main result is that the decreasing trend of atmospheric moisture along the transect is closely related to corrosion behavior and water soil penetration. For instance, while in the coastal site oxide phases formed on the coupon surface rapidly evolve to well- crystallized species, in the driest inland site Lomas Bayas only amorphous oxide is observed.

  17. Spatial and temporal constraints on regional-scale groundwater flow in the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin, Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayne, Richard S.; Pollyea, Ryan M.; Dodd, Justin P.; Olson, Elizabeth J.; Swanson, Susan K.

    2016-12-01

    Aquifers within the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin (Atacama Desert, northern Chile) are the sole source of water for the coastal city of Iquique and the economically important mining industry. Despite this, the regional groundwater system remains poorly understood. Although it is widely accepted that aquifer recharge originates as precipitation in the Altiplano and Andean Cordillera to the east, there remains debate on whether recharge is driven primarily by near-surface groundwater flow in response to periodic flood events or by basal groundwater flux through deep-seated basin fractures. In addressing this debate, the present study quantifies spatial and temporal variability in regional-scale groundwater flow paths at 20.5°S latitude by combining a two-dimensional model of groundwater and heat flow with field observations and δ18O isotope values in surface water and groundwater. Results suggest that both previously proposed aquifer recharge mechanisms are likely influencing aquifers within the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin; however, each mechanism is operating on different spatial and temporal scales. Storm-driven flood events in the Altiplano readily transmit groundwater to the eastern Pampa del Tamarugal Basin through near-surface groundwater flow on short time scales, e.g., 100-101 years, but these effects are likely isolated to aquifers in the eastern third of the basin. In addition, this study illustrates a physical mechanism for groundwater originating in the eastern highlands to recharge aquifers and salars in the western Pampa del Tamarugal Basin over timescales of 104-105 years.

  18. Land surface temperature as an indicator of the unsaturated zone thickness: A remote sensing approach in the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urqueta, Harry; Jódar, Jorge; Herrera, Christian; Wilke, Hans-G; Medina, Agustín; Urrutia, Javier; Custodio, Emilio; Rodríguez, Jazna

    2018-01-15

    Land surface temperature (LST) seems to be related to the temperature of shallow aquifers and the unsaturated zone thickness (∆Z uz ). That relationship is valid when the study area fulfils certain characteristics: a) there should be no downward moisture fluxes in an unsaturated zone, b) the soil composition in terms of both, the different horizon materials and their corresponding thermal and hydraulic properties, must be as homogeneous and isotropic as possible, c) flat and regular topography, and d) steady state groundwater temperature with a spatially homogeneous temperature distribution. A night time Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) image and temperature field measurements are used to test the validity of the relationship between LST and ∆Z uz at the Pampa del Tamarugal, which is located in the Atacama Desert (Chile) and meets the above required conditions. The results indicate that there is a relation between the land surface temperature and the unsaturated zone thickness in the study area. Moreover, the field measurements of soil temperature indicate that shallow aquifers dampen both the daily and the seasonal amplitude of the temperature oscillation generated by the local climate conditions. Despite empirically observing the relationship between the LST and ∆Z uz in the study zone, such a relationship cannot be applied to directly estimate ∆Z uz using temperatures from nighttime thermal satellite images. To this end, it is necessary to consider the soil thermal properties, the soil surface roughness and the unseen water and moisture fluxes (e.g., capillarity and evaporation) that typically occur in the subsurface. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Examining Basin-Scale Water and Climate Relations across the Pampa del Tamarugal, Atacama Desert through Spatial Analysis of Hydrogen, Carbon and Oxygen Isotopes in Tree Rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, E. J.; Dodd, J. P.; Rivera, M. A.

    2016-12-01

    Arid regions are extremely sensitive to variations hydroclimate. However, our understanding of past hydroclimate variations in these regions is often limited by a paucity of spatially resolved proxy data. The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is one of the driest regions on Earth, and hydroclimatic processes in the Atacama Desert may be a useful proxy for understanding the implications of expanding global aridity. In order to assess the ability of tree-ring isotope studies to record changes in hydrology and terrestrial climate in the Atacama Desert, oxygen (δ18O), carbon (δ13C) and hydrogen (δ2H) isotope values in tree rings of Prosopis tamarugo are analyzed for the modern period (1954-2014) when anthropogenic change to regional groundwater levels have been most notable. Samples of wood cellulose were collected throughout the Pampa del Tamarugal basin from 14 individuals and used to create an interpolated surface of isotope variations. The isotope data were then compared to groundwater depth from well monitoring data provided by the Dirección de General de Agua of Chile. There is a significant correlation between groundwater level and isotope values with best agreement occurring during the past two decades for δ18O (r = 0.58), δ13C (r = 0.55), and δ2H (r = 0.66) values. This spatial correlation analysis reveals that tree ring a-cellulose isotope values are a suitable proxy for reconstructing groundwater depth in the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin. A stepwise multiregression analysis between δ18O values of cellulose and several other environmental variables including groundwater level, relative humidity, and temperature suggest that groundwater depth is the dominate control of variation in the modern δ18O tree ring record. The response of tree cellulose to the hydroclimate in this region suggests that tree ring isotope variations may be used to reconstruct past hydroclimate conditions in arid regions throughout the globe.

  20. Butterflies of the high altitude Atacama Desert: habitat use and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eDespland

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The butterfly fauna of the high-altitude desert of Northern Chile, though depauperate, shows high endemism, is poorly known and is of considerable conservation concern. This study surveys butterflies along the Andean slope between 2400 and 500 m asl (prepuna, puna and Andean steppe habitats as well as in high and low altitude wetlands and in the neoriparian vegetation of agricultural sites. We also include historical sightings from museum records. We compare abundances between altitudes, between natural and impacted sites, as well as between two sampling years with different precipitation regimes. The results confirm high altitudinal turnover and show greatest similarity between wetland and slope faunas at similar altitudes. Results also underscore vulnerability to weather fluctuations, particularly in the more arid low-altitude sites, where abundances were much lower in the low precipitation sampling season and several species were not observed at all. Finally, we show that some species have shifted to the neoriparian vegetation of the agricultural landscape, whereas others were only observed in less impacted habitats dominated by native plants. These results suggest that acclimation to novel habitats depends on larval host plant use. The traditional agricultural environment can provide habitat for many, but not all, native butterfly species, but an estimation of the value of these habitats requires better understanding of butterfly life-history strategies and relationships with host plants.

  1. Chroococcidiopsis sp. strain AAB1, a new model from the Atacama desert for the understanding of extreme UV tolerance in an astrobiological context

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azua-Bustos, A.; Arenas, C.; Paulino-Lima, I G.; Galante, D.

    2012-01-01

    Full text: The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is the driest and oldest desert on Earth. In a recently published report [Azua-Bustos, 2011] we showed that along its Coastal Range, fog can support hypolithic colonization rates of 80From these hypolithic communities we were able to obtain a previously unknown strain of Chroococcidiopsis which we characterized by morphological and molecular means. Due to the extreme tolerance of cyanobacteria of this genus to UV, and since the Atacama Desert has constantly high UV radiation levels all year long, we propose this strain as a pertinent model for understanding the limits UV tolerance for life as we know it. We have measured the viability of the isolate by using the DEAD/LIVE BacLight kit which allows the detection of dead cells by measuring the loss of integrity of the plasma membrane, and found that it remains almost unchanged with control cultures when desiccated. In addition, desiccated samples readily start new cultures. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of desiccated samples show no evident changes compared with controls. Pigments extracts from desiccated samples show a decrease in photosynthetic pigments like Chlorophyll-a, measured by fluorescence spectra and by tissue layer chromatography. Desiccated samples also synthesize sucrose, an intracellular compatible solute known to play a role in desiccation tolerance. As desiccation and extreme UV tolerance are thought to share similar metabolic routes [Rebecchi, 2007], we expect that our isolate (as suggested by preliminary experiments performed with our strain at LNLS in 2010) should be extremely tolerant to UV radiation. Future work include exposition of monolayers of our strain using the VUV line, and the determination of its comparative tolerance levels with a Chroococcidiopsis strain (N76) isolated from the Mojave Desert which we also have in culture. The experiments will consist of different exposition times in order to achieve increasing UV accumulation

  2. The potential of Tillandsia dune ecosystems for revealing past and present variations in advective fog along the coastal Atacama Desert, northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre Hidalgo, C.; García, J. L.; Gonzalez, A. L.; Marquet, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    The coastal Atacama Desert is home to a complex geo-ecosystem supported by fog with multiple atmospheric and oceanic drivers. Fog collectors in place for the last 17 years reveal that monthly fog intensity and amount are significantly linked to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO 1+2) with cold (warm) anomalies correlated to increased (decreased) fog (R2 = 0.41). Rainfall, however, can occur during extreme positive ENSO anomalies. Tillandsia landbeckii is an epiarenitic plant common to the coastal Atacama where fog is intercepted by the coastal escarpment between 950-1250 m.a.s.l. These plants possess multiple adaptations to survive exclusively on fog, including the construction of "dune" ecosystems known as "tillandsiales". Buried T. landbeckii layers in such dunes contain a record of past variations of fog over time (dunes can top 3 m in height) and alternating plant and sand layers are readily visible in dune stratigraphy. Stable N isotopes on modern plants and fog indicate that these plants reflect δ15N values of total N dissolved in fog. We measured δ15N values from buried T. landbeckii layers from five different tillandsiales found across c. 50 km the coastal escarpment. The isotope values in these buried plants indicate a prominent c. 8.0 ‰ shift towards more negative δ15N values on average over the last 3,200 years. Based on differences in δ15N between modern and more extensive "paleo" tillandsiales at one of our lowest elevation study sites, we interpret this shift as an increase in available moisture due to increased fog input during the late Holocene. Increased variability in ENSO as well as increased upwelling and southerly winds along the coastal Atacama would explain in part this increase. Clearly, the Atacama tillandsiales have considerable potential for monitoring past and present change of these large-scale ocean-atmosphere systems.

  3. Subsurface Halophilic Microbial Communities in the Hyperarid Core of the Atacama Desert: An Analog for Possible Subsurface Life in Regolith on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, A.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; Rainey, F. T.; Ewing, S.; McKay, C. P.

    2003-12-01

    The Atacama Desert in its driest portion provides an interesting analog for possible past or present life in the Martian regolith. In the hyperarid core of the Atacama, surface soils are virtually abiotic, with no plants and "near sterile" concentrations of heterotrophic bacteria (i.e., exceedingly low densities of approximately 100 colony forming units per gram soil). The dearth of microbial life at the surface is likely maintained through extremely low water availability, low organic content and the highly oxidizing nature of the soil. In marked contrast to the surface, however, extremely halophilic microorganisms exist in salt layers 1.2-1.5m below the surface. Mineralogical analyses indicate the layers are predominantly halite (70% NaCl) but also contain sodium nitrate (5% NaNO3). Culturing and polar lipid analyses suggest the halophiles are archaeal Halobacterium-like motile rods. Microclimate monitoring at 1m indicates a soil relative humidity of 20% which is stable year-round even during decadal rain events such as that experienced in July 2002. This suggests the layers are isolated from even significant moisture influxes at the surface. Although further research is necessary, important parallels exist between this Earthly desert analog and the possible existence and detection of subsurface life on Mars despite harsh abiotic conditions at the surface.

  4. Egg laying site selection by a host plant specialist leaf miner moth at two intra-plant levels in the northern Chilean Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Storey-Palma

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Egg laying site selection by a host plant specialist leaf miner moth at two intra-plant levels in the northern Chilean Atacama Desert. The spatial distribution of the immature stages of the leaf miner Angelabella tecomae Vargas & Parra, 2005 was determined at two intra-plant levels (shoot and leaflet on the shrub Tecoma fulva fulva (Cav. D. Don (Bignoniaceae in the Azapa valley, northern Chilean Atacama Desert. An aggregated spatial pattern was detected for all the immature stages along the shoot, with an age dependent relative position: eggs and first instar larvae were clumped at apex; second, third and fourth instar larvae were mostly found at intermediate positions; meanwhile the spinning larva and pupa were clumped at basis. This pattern suggests that the females select new, actively growing leaflets for egg laying. At the leaflet level, the immature stages were found more frequently at underside. Furthermore, survivorship was higher for larvae from underside mines. All these results highlight the importance of an accurate selection of egg laying site in the life history of this highly specialized leaf miner. By contrast, eventual wrong choices in the egg laying site selection may be associated with diminished larval survivorship. The importance of the continuous availability of new plant tissue in this highly human modified arid environment is discussed in relation with the observed patterns.

  5. Sedimentology and preservation of aeolian sediments on steep terrains: Incipient sand ramps on the Atacama coast (northern Chile)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventra, Dario; Rodríguez-López, Juan Pedro; de Boer, Poppe L.

    2017-05-01

    The origin of topographically controlled aeolian landforms in high-relief settings is difficult to synthesize under general models, given the dependence of such accumulations on local morphology. Quaternary sand ramps have been linked to palaeoclimate, regional geomorphology and wind patterns; however, controls on the early development and preservation of such landforms are poorly known. This study describes the morphology and sedimentology of complex sedimentary aprons along steep coastal slopes in the Atacama Desert (Chile). Direct slope accessibility and continuous stratigraphic exposures enable comparisons between active processes and stratigraphic signatures. Stratigraphic facies distribution and its links with patterns of aeolian deposition show that the preservation of wind-laid sediments depends on the morphology and processes of specific slope sectors. The spatial organization of runoff depends on bedrock configuration and directly controls the permanence or erosion of aeolian sediment. The occurrence of either water or mass flows depends on the role of aeolian fines in the rheology of flash floods. In turn, the establishment of a rugged surface topography controlled by patterns of mass-flow deposition creates local accommodation for aeolian fines, sustaining the initial aggradation of a colluvial-aeolian system. By contrast, slopes subject to runoff develop a thin, extensive aeolian mantle whose featureless surface is subject mostly to sediment bypass down- and across-slope; the corresponding stratigraphic record comprises almost exclusively thin debris-flow and sheetflood deposits. Slope morphology and processes are fundamental in promoting or inhibiting aeolian aggradation in mountain settings. Long-term sand-ramp construction depends on climate and regional topography, but the initial development is probably controlled by local geomorphic factors. The observed interactions between wind and topography in the study area may also represent a process

  6. Terrestrial analogs for interpretation of infrared spectra from the Martian surface and subsurface: Sulfate, nitrate, carbonate, and phyllosilicate-bearing Atacama Desert soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Dalton, J. B.; Ewing, S. A.; Amundson, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2007-10-01

    Hyperarid (Mars soils have similar sulfate concentrations; possess phyllosilicates (e.g., smectite) and minor carbonate. Nitrate has not been detected on Mars, but its presence has been proposed. The similar compositions of Atacama and Mars soils have prompted the visible-infrared (0.35-25 μm) investigation of Atacama soils as Mars analogs. Results from this work determined the best infrared features for detecting sulfate, nitrate, carbonate, and phyllosilicate on Mars. The fundamental region (>6.5 μm) was not suited for salt and phyllosilicate detection because of overlapping spectra from primary silicates (e.g., feldspar), water and carbon dioxide. The visible near-infrared (0.35-2.5 μm) region was suited for detecting carbonate, nitrate, gypsum water of hydration, and phyllosilicate hydroxyls without interference from primary silicates. However, gypsum water of hydration features can obscure phyllosilicate hydroxyl, carbonate and nitrate, features if gypsum levels are high. Overtone/combination absorption features in the midinfrared were determined to be the best indicators of sulfate (4.48-4.70 μm), nitrate (4.12 μm), and carbonate (3.98 μm) because interferences from overlapping primary silicate and water features are not present in this region. Interferences from CO2 and thermal emission effects in the overtone/combination region are possible but may be minimized by corrective techniques. Infrared analysis of Atacama Desert soils can provide insight into the spectral search of sulfate, nitrate, carbonate, and phyllosilicate containing soils on Mars.

  7. The pre-Columbian introduction and dispersal of Algarrobo (Prosopis, Section Algarobia) in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayo, Eugenia M.; Santoro, Calogero M.; De Pol-Holz, Ricardo; Latorre, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    Archaeological and palaeoecological studies throughout the Americas have documented widespread landscape and environmental transformation during the pre-Columbian era. The highly dynamic Formative (or Neolithic) period in northern Chile (ca. 3700–1550 yr BP) brought about the local establishment of agriculture, introduction of new crops (maize, quinoa, manioc, beans, etc.) along with a major population increase, new emergent villages and technological innovations. Even trees such as the Algarrobos (Prosopis section Algarobia) may have been part of this transformation. Here, we provide evidence that these species were not native to the Atacama Desert of Chile (18–27°S), appearing only in the late Holocene and most likely due to human actions. We assembled a database composed of 41 taxon specific AMS radiocarbon dates from archaeobotanical and palaeoecological records (rodent middens, leaf litter deposits), as well an extensive bibliographical review comprising archaeobotanical, paleoecological, phylogenetic and taxonomic data to evaluate the chronology of introduction and dispersal of these trees. Although Algarrobos could have appeared as early as 4200 yr BP in northernmost Chile, they only became common throughout the Atacama over a thousand years later, during and after the Formative period. Cultural and natural factors likely contributed to its spread and consolidation as a major silvicultural resource. PMID:28742126

  8. Breeding of the plain-mantled tit-spintail (Leptasthenura aegithaloides in a variable hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma nest in the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrich Cerpa

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A strategy to avoid nest predation by various bird species is the selection of inaccessible sites or sites of actual danger for potential predators. In this sense nesting near a top predator may be an effective strategy to avoid nest predation, if this predator does not have a preference for eggs or nestlings of the first species. This note reports the first record of nesting by Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail (Leptasthenura aegithaloides Kittlitz, 1830 in an active nest of the variable Hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma Quoy & Gaimard, 1824 and the nesting of the common diuca-finch (Diuca diuca Molina, 1782 nearby, during two consecutive years, in the Atacama Desert, Chile. This occurred during the “flowering desert” phenomenon in October of 2014 and September of 2015. We discuss hypotheses that may explain this biological association and its possible ecological implications.

  9. Microbial colonization of Ca-sulfate crusts in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert: implications for the search for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierzchos, J; Cámara, B; de Los Ríos, A; Davila, A F; Sánchez Almazo, I M; Artieda, O; Wierzchos, K; Gómez-Silva, B; McKay, C; Ascaso, C

    2011-01-01

    The scarcity of liquid water in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert makes this region one of the most challenging environments for life on Earth. The low numbers of microbial cells in the soils suggest that within the Atacama Desert lies the dry limit for life on our planet. Here, we show that the Ca-sulfate crusts of this hyperarid core are the habitats of lithobiontic micro-organisms. This microporous, translucent substrate is colonized by epilithic lichens, as well as endolithic free-living algae, fungal hyphae, cyanobacteria and non photosynthetic bacteria. We also report a novel type of endolithic community, "hypoendoliths", colonizing the undermost layer of the crusts. The colonization of gypsum crusts within the hyperarid core appears to be controlled by the moisture regime. Our data shows that the threshold for colonization is crossed within the dry core, with abundant colonization in gypsum crusts at one study site, while crusts at a drier site are virtually devoid of life. We show that the cumulative time in 1 year of relative humidity (RH) above 60% is the best parameter to explain the difference in colonization between both sites. This is supported by controlled humidity experiments, where we show that colonies of endolithic cyanobacteria in the Ca-sulfate crust undergo imbibition process at RH >60%. Assuming that life once arose on Mars, it is conceivable that Martian micro-organisms sought refuge in similar isolated evaporite microenvironments during their last struggle for life as their planet turned arid. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Modestobacter caceresii sp. nov., novel actinobacteria with an insight into their adaptive mechanisms for survival in extreme hyper-arid Atacama Desert soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busarakam, Kanungnid; Bull, Alan T; Trujillo, Martha E; Riesco, Raul; Sangal, Vartul; van Wezel, Gilles P; Goodfellow, Michael

    2016-06-01

    A polyphasic study was designed to determine the taxonomic provenance of three Modestobacter strains isolated from an extreme hyper-arid Atacama Desert soil. The strains, isolates KNN 45-1a, KNN 45-2b(T) and KNN 45-3b, were shown to have chemotaxonomic and morphological properties in line with their classification in the genus Modestobacter. The isolates had identical 16S rRNA gene sequences and formed a branch in the Modestobacter gene tree that was most closely related to the type strain of Modestobacter marinus (99.6% similarity). All three isolates were distinguished readily from Modestobacter type strains by a broad range of phenotypic properties, by qualitative and quantitative differences in fatty acid profiles and by BOX fingerprint patterns. The whole genome sequence of isolate KNN 45-2b(T) showed 89.3% average nucleotide identity, 90.1% (SD: 10.97%) average amino acid identity and a digital DNA-DNA hybridization value of 42.4±3.1 against the genome sequence of M. marinus DSM 45201(T), values consistent with its assignment to a separate species. On the basis of all of these data, it is proposed that the isolates be assigned to the genus Modestobacter as Modestobacter caceresii sp. nov. with isolate KNN 45-2b(T) (CECT 9023(T)=DSM 101691(T)) as the type strain. Analysis of the whole-genome sequence of M. caceresii KNN 45-2b(T), with 4683 open reading frames and a genome size of ∽4.96Mb, revealed the presence of genes and gene-clusters that encode for properties relevant to its adaptability to harsh environmental conditions prevalent in extreme hyper arid Atacama Desert soils. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  11. Martian Habitability Studies in Two Field Earth Analogues: the Permafrost in the Imuruk Lake Basaltic Field (alaska) and the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Gómez, Felipe; Rodriguez-Manfredi, Jose-Antonio; Perez, Lidia; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Amils, Ricardo; Gomez-Elvira, Javier

    We are developing a Universal Habitability Index for life prospection studies in space missions. Authors will present in this abstract the results of the application of the habitability index in two field case studies: Alaskan permafrost and Atacama Desert. We are using extreme envi-ronments as test facilities from an Astrobiological perspective, in order to reach three main objectives: 1) Define preservation patterns of biosignatures in extreme environments (cold, low water stress, high radiation. . . ) that may be used in future space exploration missions; 2) develop new instrumentation for detecting life in situ or remotely, and for new instrumenta-tion for detection and mapping of extreme niches where life (or biochemical tracers of past life) may be preserved and 3) develop an Universal Habitability Index for space astrobiolog-ical mission application (Mars or Europa life prospection). These aims will be achieved by selected site characterization using geophysical sounding and drilling, atmospheric characteri-zation by meteorological analysis, soil water and temperature profile analysis and, finally, by sampling different levels of the rock cores and analyzing their mineralogy, geochemistry and microbiology in laboratory. First case: studying the permafrost in the Imuruk lake volcanic field area (Alaska): In order to map the permafrost underground, electric tomography sounding was performed. Resulting tomographic data indicate that the permafrost of the studied area is at a mean depth of 0.50 meter from the surface, sometimes even shallower. Drilling points were selected depending on the permafrost depth known from the tomographic data analysis. Three perforations were done all along the hill. Samples were collected at several depths in the three holes for mineralogical, geochemical and biological analysis. They were in situ fixed with formaldehyde in order to be maintained till laboratory analysis was developed. Several growth fresh media were inoculated with

  12. Geomorphic effects and sedimentological record of flash floods in the Copiapó River salt marsh (Atacama coast, Northern Chile)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abad, Manuel; Fernández, Rolando; Izquierdo, Tatiana

    2017-04-01

    The Copiapó River is located South of the Atacama Desert (northern Chile) that is considered one of the most arid areas of the planet. On March 25 2015 this fluvial valley experienced one the largest hydrometeorological events recorded in historical times. The rain, unusually high, favored the run off in fluvial channels and alluvial fans that were dry for decades and triggered the rise and overflow of the Copiapó River at different points along the valley causing severe damages. In this work, we realize a characterization of the geomorphic configuration of the Copiapó River before and after this event with the aim of analyzing the main changes produced in the river mouth, where and extent coastal wetland of high ecological value is developed. The geomorphological mapping show a drastic change in the river mouth with the development of forms related with the river overflow and the flooding of the coastal plain such as levees, activation of abandoned channels, flooding lagoons, widening and deepening of the main channel, foredune rupture and, more importantly, a large mud sheet that covers almost the 80% of the study area, including the wetland and the main coastal dune systems. Just a small area of the wetland, far from the main channel, was not affected by this process as it was protected by the levees formed during the first stages of the overflow. The mud flow facies are homogeneous and consist of a layer of massive silty sands with a maximum thickness of 10-75 cm overlied by 5-20 cm of clay with wavy top and carbonaceous rest. It also presents a wide development of mud cracks and salt crusts. At the same time, 4 stages have been differentiated along the event: 1) arrival to the wetland of the first surge that flows in the channel and flooding of the southern sector of the wetland; 2) flooding of the complete mouth area because of the peak discharge arrival and generalize overflow with and associate muddy facies deposition; 3) erosional stage of the channel

  13. Multi-annual climate in Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar, Atacama Desert, Chile Clima multianual en el Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar, Desierto de Atacama, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MATTHEW V. THOMPSON

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The lomas formations of the Peruvian and Atacama deserts are characterized by both climatic and floristic spatial heterogeneity, as well as non-contiguous pockets of relatively distinct flora. We examined two distinct types of communities in Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar in Chile, the low-elevation arroyo and bajada community, and the high-elevation fog-zone community. We determined the distribution with elevation of the dominant perennial plant species in a single arroyo community, as well as the distribution of associated climatic characteristics. Climatic conditions (including air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed and direction were recorded from June, 1999, to March, 2001, for the arroyo, as well as for a medium-elevation inland site with little vegetation, and a high-elevation fog-zone site with copious vegetation. The fog layer, or camanchaca, derived from the marine inversion layer ubiquitous to the Peruvian and Atacama deserts was found to be more persistent, though weaker, during the summer months and somewhat more condensed and shallower in the winter months, with uncharacteristically dry air and high temperatures occurring at and above 400 m elevation during the late fall and early winter of 2000. The reduction or increase in the maximum elevation of the camanchaca or a change in the rainfall regime of the park may have broad implications for the distribution or even presence of certain species in Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar. Vegetation patterns appear to be strongly dependent on inversion layer development, and perhaps on its subsidence during the winter. A number of species prevalent at low-elevation sites may have little advantage at a high-elevation foggy site, whereas the consistently high humidity at low elevations would be a boon to any desert plant accustomed to low precipitation. If we are to successfully assess the effects of changes in southern Pacific weather patterns, it will become necessary to more

  14. Atacama Desert: Determination of two new extremophilic microbial model systems for space exploration and astrobiology studies - data from a large-scale transect study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boy, Diana; Godoy, Roberto; Guggenberger, Georg; Möller, Ralf; Boy, Jens

    2017-04-01

    The hyper-arid region of Yungay in the Atacama Desert in Chile is believed to be the driest place on Earth thus harboring the most desiccation-resistant microorganisms. Hence the search for new extremophilic model organisms is traditionally limited to this rather narrow strip. However, it is not clear whether Yungay is indeed the most arid place, as this should be the one with the lowest soil organic carbon (SOC) stock and soil water (SW) content. Therefore we tested soil samples from a humidity-gradient transect with comparable sites (inclination, location in the rain shadow of the coastal mountain range, 100 km distance between the sites) spanning roughly 600 km in the Atacama Desert for SOC stocks and SW content. We found, that SOC stocks decreased with aridity from 25.5 to 2.1 kg m-2 cm-1, while the SW contents decreased at 5 of our sites and increased in the hyper-arid zone. To our surprise, we identified two sites located 100 km north and south of Yungay which had substantially lower (1.92 ± 0.73 kg m-2 cm-1) or slightly higher (2.39 ± 1.2 kg m-2 cm-1) SOC stocks than Yungay (2.21 ± 0.75 kg m-2 cm-1), but with 0.043 ± 0.03 g respectively 0.0033 ± 0.0016 g of water per 1 g of soil comparable or substantially lower SW contents, while Yungay has 0.043 ± 0.06 g. Thus we consider these sites to display different growth conditions and ecological niches compared to Yungay and therefore as promising candidate sites for the identification of new species of polyextremophilic radiation-resistant microorganisms, as the resistance against desiccation is paired with a distinct resistance to ionizing radiation due to same microbial DNA repair mechanisms. Soil samples were irradiated with high doses of gamma radiation up to 25 000 Gy. Surviving colonies were cultivated on a medium favoring the growth of Deinococcus-like species, currently the most radiation-resistant organisms on Earth, and their affiliation was determined using 16SrRNA next generation sequencing. Here

  15. Bioremediation of contaminated mixtures of desert mining soil and sawdust with fuel oil by aerated in-vessel composting in the Atacama Region (Chile)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Godoy-Faundez, Alex; Antizar-Ladislao, Blanca; Reyes-Bozo, Lorenzo; Camano, Andres; Saez-Navarrete, Cesar

    2008-01-01

    Since early 1900s, with the beginning of mining operations and especially in the last decade, small, although repetitive spills of fuel oil had occurred frequently in the Chilean mining desert industry during reparation and maintenance of machinery, as well as casual accidents. Normally, soils and sawdust had been used as cheap readily available sorbent materials of spills of fuel oil, consisting of complex mixtures of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Chilean legislation considers these fuel oil contaminated mixtures of soil and sawdust as hazardous wastes, and thus they must be contained. It remains unknown whether it would be feasible to clean-up Chilean desert soils with high salinity and metal content, historically polluted with different commercial fuel oil, and contained during years. Thus, this study evaluated the feasibility of aerated in-vessel composting at a laboratory scale as a bioremediation technology to clean-up contaminated desert mining soils (fuel concentration > 50,000 mg kg -1 ) and sawdust (fuel concentration > 225,000 mg kg -1 ) in the Atacama Region. The composting reactors were operated using five soil to sawdust ratios (S:SD, 1:0, 3:1, 1:1, 1:3, 0:1, on a dry weight basis) under mesophilic temperatures (30-40 deg. C), constant moisture content (MC, 50%) and continuous aeration (16 l min -1 ) during 56 days. Fuel oil concentration and physico-chemical changes in the composting reactors were monitored following standard procedures. The highest (59%) and the lowest (35%) contaminant removals were observed in the contaminated sawdust and contaminated soil reactors after 56 days of treatment, respectively. The S:SD ratio, time of treatment and interaction between both factors had a significant effect (p < 0.050) on the contaminant removal. The results of this research indicate that bioremediation of an aged contaminated mixture of desert mining soil and sawdust with fuel oil is feasible. This study recommends a S:SD ratio 1:3 and a correct

  16. Bioremediation of contaminated mixtures of desert mining soil and sawdust with fuel oil by aerated in-vessel composting in the Atacama Region (Chile).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoy-Faúndez, Alex; Antizar-Ladislao, Blanca; Reyes-Bozo, Lorenzo; Camaño, Andrés; Sáez-Navarrete, César

    2008-03-01

    Since early 1900s, with the beginning of mining operations and especially in the last decade, small, although repetitive spills of fuel oil had occurred frequently in the Chilean mining desert industry during reparation and maintenance of machinery, as well as casual accidents. Normally, soils and sawdust had been used as cheap readily available sorbent materials of spills of fuel oil, consisting of complex mixtures of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Chilean legislation considers these fuel oil contaminated mixtures of soil and sawdust as hazardous wastes, and thus they must be contained. It remains unknown whether it would be feasible to clean-up Chilean desert soils with high salinity and metal content, historically polluted with different commercial fuel oil, and contained during years. Thus, this study evaluated the feasibility of aerated in-vessel composting at a laboratory scale as a bioremediation technology to clean-up contaminated desert mining soils (fuel concentration>50,000 mg kg(-1)) and sawdust (fuel concentration>225,000 mg kg(-1)) in the Atacama Region. The composting reactors were operated using five soil to sawdust ratios (S:SD, 1:0, 3:1, 1:1, 1:3, 0:1, on a dry weight basis) under mesophilic temperatures (30-40 degrees C), constant moisture content (MC, 50%) and continuous aeration (16 l min(-1)) during 56 days. Fuel oil concentration and physico-chemical changes in the composting reactors were monitored following standard procedures. The highest (59%) and the lowest (35%) contaminant removals were observed in the contaminated sawdust and contaminated soil reactors after 56 days of treatment, respectively. The S:SD ratio, time of treatment and interaction between both factors had a significant effect (pcontaminant removal. The results of this research indicate that bioremediation of an aged contaminated mixture of desert mining soil and sawdust with fuel oil is feasible. This study recommends a S:SD ratio 1:3 and a correct nutrient balance

  17. Assessing water stress of desert vegetation using remote sensing : the case of the Tamarugo forest in the Atacama Desert (Northern Chile)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.

    2014-01-01

    Water stress assessment of natural vegetation plays a key role in water management of desert ecosystems. It allows scientists and managers to relate water extraction rates to changes in vegetation water condition, and consequently to define safe water extraction rates for maintaining a healthy

  18. Streptomyces aridus sp. nov., isolated from a high altitude Atacama Desert soil and emended description of Streptomyces noboritoensis Isono et al. 1957.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Idris, Hamidah; Labeda, David P; Nouioui, Imen; Castro, Jean Franco; Del Carmen Montero-Calasanz, Maria; Bull, Alan T; Asenjo, Juan A; Goodfellow, Michael

    2017-05-01

    A polyphasic study was undertaken to determine the taxonomic status of a Streptomyces strain which had been isolated from a high altitude Atacama Desert soil and shown to have bioactive properties. The strain, isolate H9 T , was found to have chemotaxonomic, cultural and morphological properties that place it in the genus Streptomyces. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses showed that the isolate forms a distinct branch at the periphery of a well-delineated subclade in the Streptomyces 16S rRNA gene tree together with the type strains of Streptomyces crystallinus, Streptomyces melanogenes and Streptomyces noboritoensis. Multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) based on five house-keeping gene alleles showed that isolate H9 T is closely related to the latter two type strains and to Streptomyces polyantibioticus NRRL B-24448 T . The isolate was distinguished readily from the type strains of S. melanogenes, S. noboritoensis and S. polyantibioticus using a combination of phenotypic properties. Consequently, the isolate is considered to represent a new species of Streptomyces for which the name Streptomyces aridus sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is H9 T (=NCIMB 14965 T =NRRL B65268 T ). In addition, the MLSA and phenotypic data show that the S. melanogenes and S. noboritoensis type strains belong to a single species, it is proposed that S. melanogenes be recognised as a heterotypic synonym of S. noboritoensis for which an emended description is given.

  19. The miniaturized Raman system and detection of traces of life in halite from the Atacama Desert: some considerations for the search for life signatures on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vítek, Petr; Jehlička, Jan; Edwards, Howell G M; Hutchinson, Ian; Ascaso, Carmen; Wierzchos, Jacek

    2012-12-01

    Raman spectroscopy is being adopted as a nondestructive instrumentation for the robotic exploration of Mars to search for traces of life in the geological record. Here, miniaturized Raman spectrometers of two different types equipped with 532 and 785 nm lasers for excitation, respectively, were compared for the detection of microbial biomarkers in natural halite from the hyperarid region of the Atacama Desert. Measurements were performed directly on the rock as well as on the homogenized, powdered samples prepared from this material-the effects of this sample preparation and the excitation wavelength employed in the analysis are compared and discussed. From these results, 532 nm excitation was found to be superior for the analysis of powdered specimens due to its high sensitivity toward carotenoids and hence a higher capability for their detection at relatively low concentration in bulk powdered specimens. For the same reason, this wavelength was a better choice for the detection of carotenoids in direct measurements made on the rock samples. The 785 nm excitation wavelength, in contrast, proved to be more sensitive toward the detection of scytonemin.

  20. Evaluation of Morpho-Physiological Traits Adjustment of Prosopis tamarugo Under Long-Term Groundwater Depletion in the Hyper-Arid Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido, Marco; Silva, Herman; Franck, Nicolás; Arenas, Jorge; Acevedo, Edmundo

    2018-01-01

    Water extraction from the underground aquifers of the Pampa del Tamarugal (Atacama Desert, Chile) reduced the growing area of Prosopis tamarugo , a strict phreatic species endemic to northern Chile. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of various architectural and morpho-physiological traits adjustment of P. tamarugo subjected to three groundwater depletion intervals (GWDr): reduced f GCC, the remaining canopy had a significantly higher LMA associated with smaller leaflets. No differences in internode length and WD were observed. Values for δ 13 C and δ 18 O indicated that as GWDr increased, iWUE increased as a result of partial stomata closure with no significant effect on net assimilation over time. The morpho-physiological changes experienced by P. tamarugo allowed it to acclimate and survive in a condition of groundwater depletion, keeping a functional but diminished canopy. These adjustments allowed maintenance of a relatively high g s ; ΔΨ was not different among GWDrs despite smaller VWC at greater GWDr. Although current conservation initiatives of this species are promising, forest deterioration is expected continue as groundwater depth increases.

  1. Spatial and temporal variation in tree-ring α-cellulose oxygen and hydrogen isotope values as a record of water availability in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, E. J.; Dodd, J. P.

    2015-12-01

    Previous studies have documented that tree ring oxygen and hydrogen isotopes primarily reflect source water; however, biosynthetic fractionation processes modify this signal and can have a varied response to environmental conditions. The degree to which source water contributes to δ2H and δ18O values of plant α-cellulose is species-specific and modern calibration studies are necessary. Here we present a calibration data set of P. tamarugo α-cellulose δ2H and δ18O values from the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. P. tamarugo trees are endemic to the region and have adapted to the extremely arid environment where average annual precipitation is 2 ‰ over the past 20 years associated with a ~1.1 m lowering of the local groundwater table throughout the area. The correlation between a-cellulose isotope values and hydrologic conditions in modern times provides a baseline for interpretation of tree-ring isotope chronologies from the past 9.5 kya. A high-resolution Holocene (1.8-9.1 kya) age record of Prosopis sp. tree ring α-cellulose δ18O values provides a proxy for climatic and hydrologic conditions. During the early Holocene δ18O values range from 31 to 35‰ (2σ=0.58‰), while during the late Holocene values are much more variable (27.4 to 41‰; 2σ=2.64‰). Anthropogenic demand on local water sources is the most significant environmental factor affecting the variation in modern α-cellulose δ18O values; however, climate induced changes in regional water availability are the dominant driver of variability in the paleo-record. Increased variability in α-cellulose δ18O values in the late Holocene most likely indicates a reduction in annual recharge and an increase in episodic flood events driven by ENSO and other modes of atmospheric variability.

  2. Evaluation of Morpho-Physiological Traits Adjustment of Prosopis tamarugo Under Long-Term Groundwater Depletion in the Hyper-Arid Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Garrido

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Water extraction from the underground aquifers of the Pampa del Tamarugal (Atacama Desert, Chile reduced the growing area of Prosopis tamarugo, a strict phreatic species endemic to northern Chile. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of various architectural and morpho-physiological traits adjustment of P. tamarugo subjected to three groundwater depletion intervals (GWDr: <1 m (control, 1–4 m and 6–9 m. The traits were evaluated at three levels, plant [height, trunk cross-section area, leaf fraction (fGCC, and crown size], organ [length of internodes, leaf mass per unit area (LMA, leaflet mass and area], and tissue level [wood density (WD, leaf 13C, 18O isotope composition (δ, and intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE]. In addition, soil water content (VWC to 1.3 m soil depth, pre-dawn and midday water potential difference (ΔΨ, and stomatal conductance (gs were evaluated. At the deeper GWDr, P. tamarugo experienced significant growth restriction and reduced fGCC, the remaining canopy had a significantly higher LMA associated with smaller leaflets. No differences in internode length and WD were observed. Values for δ13C and δ18O indicated that as GWDr increased, iWUE increased as a result of partial stomata closure with no significant effect on net assimilation over time. The morpho-physiological changes experienced by P. tamarugo allowed it to acclimate and survive in a condition of groundwater depletion, keeping a functional but diminished canopy. These adjustments allowed maintenance of a relatively high gs; ΔΨ was not different among GWDrs despite smaller VWC at greater GWDr. Although current conservation initiatives of this species are promising, forest deterioration is expected continue as groundwater depth increases.

  3. An integrative approach to understanding the evolution and diversity of Copiapoa (Cactaceae), a threatened endemic Chilean genus from the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larridon, Isabel; Walter, Helmut E; Guerrero, Pablo C; Duarte, Milén; Cisternas, Mauricio A; Hernández, Carol Peña; Bauters, Kenneth; Asselman, Pieter; Goetghebeur, Paul; Samain, Marie-Stéphanie

    2015-09-01

    Species of the endemic Chilean cactus genus Copiapoa have cylindrical or (sub)globose stems that are solitary or form (large) clusters and typically yellow flowers. Many species are threatened with extinction. Despite being icons of the Atacama Desert and well loved by cactus enthusiasts, the evolution and diversity of Copiapoa has not yet been studied using a molecular approach. Sequence data of three plastid DNA markers (rpl32-trnL, trnH-psbA, ycf1) of 39 Copiapoa taxa were analyzed using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference approaches. Species distributions were modeled based on geo-referenced localities and climatic data. Evolution of character states of four characters (root morphology, stem branching, stem shape, and stem diameter) as well as ancestral areas were reconstructed using a Bayesian and maximum likelihood framework, respectively. Clades of species are revealed. Though 32 morphologically defined species can be recognized, genetic diversity between some species and infraspecific taxa is too low to delimit their boundaries using plastid DNA markers. Recovered relationships are often supported by morphological and biogeographical patterns. The origin of Copiapoa likely lies between southern Peru and the extreme north of Chile. The Copiapó Valley limited colonization between two biogeographical areas. Copiapoa is here defined to include 32 species and five heterotypic subspecies. Thirty species are classified into four sections and two subsections, while two species remain unplaced. A better understanding of evolution and diversity of Copiapoa will allow allocating conservation resources to the most threatened lineages and focusing conservation action on real biodiversity. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  4. Water relations and foliar isotopic composition of Prosopis tamarugo Phil. an endemic tree of the Atacama Desert growing under three levels of water table depth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco eGarrido

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Prosopis tamarugo Phil. is a strict phreatophyte tree species endemic to the Pampa del Tamarugal, Atacama Desert. The extraction of water for various uses has increased the depth of the water table in the Pampa aquifers threatening its conservation. This study aimed to determine the effect of the groundwater table depth on the water relations of P. tamarugo and to present thresholds of groundwater depth (GWD that can be used in the groundwater management of the P. tamarugo ecosystem. Three levels of GWD, 11.2 ± 0.3 m, 10.3 ± 0.3 m and 7.1 ± 0.1 m, (the last GWD being our reference were selected and groups of 4 individuals per GWD were studied in the months of January and July of the years 2011 through 2014. When the water table depth exceeded 10 m, P. tamarugo had lower pre-dawn and midday water potential but no differences were observed in minimum leaf stomatal resistance when compared to the condition of 7.1 m GWD; the leaf tissue increased its δ13C and δ18O composition. Furthermore, a smaller green canopy fraction of the trees and increased foliage loss in winter with increasing water table depth was observed. The differences observed in the physiological behavior of P. tamarugo trees, attributable to the ground water depth; show that increasing the depth of the water table from 7 to 11 m significantly affects the water status of P. tamarugo. The results indicate that P. tamarugo has an anisohydric stomatal behaviour and that given a reduction in water supply it regulates the water demand via foliage loss. The growth and leaf physiological activities are highly sensitive to GWD. The foliage loss appears to prevent the trees from reaching water potentials leading to complete loss of hydraulic functionality by cavitation. The balance achieved between water supply and demand was reflected in the low variation of the water potential and of the variables related to gas exchange over time for a given GWD. This acclimation capacity of P

  5. Water Relations and Foliar Isotopic Composition of Prosopis tamarugo Phil., an Endemic Tree of the Atacama Desert Growing at Three Levels of Water Table Depth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido, Marco; Silva, Paola; Acevedo, Edmundo

    2016-01-01

    Prosopis tamarugo Phil. is a strict phreatophyte tree species endemic to the "Pampa del Tamarugal", Atacama Desert. The extraction of water for various uses has increased the depth of the water table in the Pampa aquifers threatening its conservation. This study aimed to determine the effect of the groundwater table depth on the water relations of P. tamarugo and to present thresholds of groundwater depth (GWD) that can be used in the groundwater management of the P. tamarugo ecosystem. Three levels of GWD, 11.2 ± 0.3 m, 10.3 ± 0.3 m, and 7.1 ± 0.1 m, (the last GWD being our reference) were selected and groups of four individuals per GWD were studied in the months of January and July of the years 2011 through 2014. When the water table depth exceeded 10 m, P. tamarugo had lower pre-dawn and mid-day water potential but no differences were observed in minimum leaf stomatal resistance when compared to the condition of 7.1 m GWD; the leaf tissue increased its δ(13)C and δ(18)O composition. Furthermore, a smaller green canopy fraction of the trees and increased foliage loss in winter with increasing water table depth was observed. The differences observed in the physiological behavior of P. tamarugo trees, attributable to the ground water depth; show that increasing the depth of the water table from 7 to 11 m significantly affects the water status of P. tamarugo. The results indicate that P. tamarugo has an anisohydric stomatal behavior and that given a reduction in water supply it regulates the water demand via foliage loss. The growth and leaf physiological activities are highly sensitive to GWD. The foliage loss appears to prevent the trees from reaching water potentials leading to complete loss of hydraulic functionality by cavitation. The balance achieved between water supply and demand was reflected in the low variation of the water potential and of the variables related to gas exchange over time for a given GWD. This acclimation capacity of P. tamarugo after

  6. Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Webb, Robert H.; Esque, Todd; Brooks, Matthew L.; DeFalco, Lesley; MacMahon, James A.

    2016-01-01

    The deserts of California (Lead photo, Fig. 1) occupy approximately 38% of California’s landscape (Table 1) and consist of three distinct deserts: the Great Basin Desert, Mojave Desert, and Colorado Desert, the latter of which is a subdivision of the Sonoran Desert (Brown and Lowe 1980). The wide range of climates and geology found within each of these deserts result in very different vegetative communities and ecosystem processes and therefore different ecosystem services. In deserts, extreme conditions such as very high and low temperatures and very low rainfall result in abiotic factors (climate, geology, geomorphology, and soils) controlling the composition and function of ecosystems, including plant and animal distributions. This is in contrast to wetter and milder temperatures found in other ecosystems, where biotic interactions are the dominant driving force. However, despite the harsh conditions in deserts, they are home to a surprisingly large number of plants and animals. Deserts are also places where organisms display a wide array of adaptations to the extremes they encounter, providing some of the best examples of Darwinian selection (MacMahon and Wagner 1985, Ward 2009). Humans have utilized these regions for thousands of years, despite the relatively low productivity and harsh climates of these landscapes. Unlike much of California, most of these desert lands have received little high-intensity use since European settlement, leaving large areas relatively undisturbed. Desert landscapes are being altered, however, by the introduction of fire following the recent invasion of Mediterranean annual grasses. As most native plants are not fire-adapted, they Many do not recover, whereas the non-native grasses flourish. Because desert lands are slow to recover from disturbances, energy exploration and development, recreational use, and urban development will alter these landscapes for many years to come. This chapter provides a brief description of where the

  7. Estacionalidad de la erosión y el transporte eólico de partículas en el desierto costero de Atacama, Chile (23°S Seasonality of erosion and eolian particle transport in the coastal Atacama Desert, Chile (23°S

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Flores-Aqueveque

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available La costa del Desierto de Atacama se caracteriza por la ocurrencia de vientos fuertes del sur y suroeste. El clima árido, la geomorfología plana y las características granulométricas de los depósitos superficiales de la Pampa Mejillones, ubicada en la costa del norte de Chile (23°S, favorecen el estudio de los procesos de erosión y transporte eólico de partículas en este desierto costero. Mediciones in situ del flujo horizontal de partículas (G y de vientos, junto con análisis sedimentológicos de la capa superficial de esta pampa, permitieron determinar los parámetros relevantes en el proceso de erosión y transporte eólico de partículas, así como estimar su estacionalidad. Se determinó un coeficiente de rugosidad superficial (z0 promedio del orden de 10-3 m, típico de planicies desérticas. Estacionalmente se observaron valores de G de hasta 2.100 g cm-1 mes-1 asociados a velocidades de fricción (u* entre 0,4 y 0,5 m s-1 durante la primavera del año 2000. Resultados similares se obtuvieron para los años 1999 y 2001. La sedimentología (granulometría y textura superficial y mineralogía de las partículas del suelo y del material capturado en las trampas de polvo, permitieron determinar que la fracción transportada está caracterizada principalmente por cuarzo y feldespatos, y modas granulométricas entre 75 y 1.000 um, similares a las observadas en los sedimentos cercanos y al sur (viento arriba del área de captura. Los resultados obtenidos y la correlación preliminar entre los vientos medidos en distintas estaciones meteorológicas en la península de Mejillones, permiten establecer una relación directa entre el flujo horizontal de partículas hacia la bahía homónima y los vientos regionales del sur-suroeste, especialmente durante los meses de primavera y verano, en concomitancia con la intensificación de los vientos favorables a la surgencia costera en el área oceánica adyacente.The coast of the Atacama Desert is

  8. Thermal volatilization (TV) of different hyperarid Mars like-soils from the Atacama Desert: Implications for the analysis of the Phoenix Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia-Silva, J. E.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2008-09-01

    The Phoenix spacecraft will search for organics in the soil and ice in the Martian north polar regions using thermal volatilization (TV) followed by mass spectrometry (MS). This experiment is a combination of a high-temperature furnace and a mass spectrometer that will be use to analyze samples delivered to instrument via a robotic arm. The samples will be heated from ambient to 1000ºC while evolved gases, including organic molecules and fragments, if they are present, will be simultaneously measured by a magnetic sector mass spectrometer (1). Our laboratory has developed a sample characterization method using a pyrolizer integrated to a quadrupole mass spectrometer to support the interpretations of TV data. The Atacama Desert, on northern Chile and southern Peru, has been considered the most arid region over the world (2) and an excellent Mars-like soil analogous (3). These soils contain very low levels to organic matter (10-40 ppm of organic C), and exotic mineralogical composition including iron oxides, which are common characteristics expected on Mars. A previous paper that examined the release of organics from samples soils by flash TV (pyrolisis) coupled to GC-MS (4). This work showed low efficiency of flash TV in soils with low organics or high contents of iron minerals. In addition, other study of agricultural soils showed low correlation between organics concentration and TV response, when levels of total organic matter were below 50000 ppm C or high presence of iron oxides (5). However, the efficiency of gradual heating by TV analysis from hyperarid soils has not been investigated. Here we examine the thermal and evolved gas properties of six types of soils from the two hyperarid core regions from the Atacama Desert: Yungay (northern Chile) and Pampas de La Joya (southern Peru), in order to investigate the effect of soil matrix and low organics contents over TV response. Between 20 to 40 mg of soil was loaded in a capillary quartz tube and it was mounted

  9. Miscanti-1: Human occupation during the arid Mid-Holocene event in the high-altitude lakes of the Atacama Desert, South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez, Lautaro; Loyola, Rodrigo; Cartajena, Isabel; López, Patricio; Santander, Boris; Maldonado, Antonio; de Souza, Patricio; Carrasco, Carlos

    2018-02-01

    This paper presents an interdisciplinary study of the Miscanti-1 archaeological site, located in the Holocene terrace deposits accumulated on the eastern margin of Miscanti Lake (4120 m.a.s.l.), northern Chile (23.7° S, 67.7° W). The human response to environmental and climatic variability in the Mid-Holocene (9500-4500 cal yr BP) is discussed through the zooarchaeological, lithic and paleoenvironmental records. We propose that, due to the increased aridity of the period, Miscanti Lake became a brackish paleowetland that attracted discrete groups of hunter-gatherers from lower elevation Andean areas. In contrast with the high frequency of human occupations known for the humid Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene (12600-9500 yr cal BP), the Miscanti-1 site is one of the few occupations recorded in the Atacama Highlands during the Mid-Holocene period. Data analysis suggests logistic and short-term campsite use for hunting the wild camelids that were attracted by the wetlands and fresh water (8100-8300 yr cal BP). In contrast to previous proposals for this period, we propose that access to high altitude environments did not cease, but was made possible by a shift to highly scheduled mobility and a specialized bifacial technology. Finally, the temporal and spatial links of Miscanti-1 are discussed in a regional context.

  10. A genetic model based on evapoconcentration for sediment-hosted exotic-Cu mineralization in arid environments: the case of the El Tesoro Central copper deposit, Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Mort, A.; Riquelme, R.; Alonso-Zarza, A. M.; Campos, E.; Bissig, T.; Mpodozis, C.; Carretier, S.; Herrera, C.; Tapia, M.; Pizarro, H.; Muñoz, S.

    2017-12-01

    Although the formation of exotic-Cu deposits is controlled by multiple factors, the role of the sedimentary environment has not been well defined. We present a case study of the El Tesoro Central exotic-Cu deposit located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. This deposit consists of two mineralized bodies hosted within Late Cenozoic gravels deposited in an arid continental environment dominated by alluvial fans with sub-surficial ponded water bodies formed at the foot of these fans or within the interfan areas. Both exotic-Cu orebodies mostly consist of chrysocolla, copper wad, atacamite, paratacamite, quartz, opal, and calcite. The most commonly observed paragenesis comprises chrysocolla, silica minerals, and calcite and records a progressive increase in pH, which is notably influenced by evaporation. The results of stable isotope analyses (δ13C and δ18O) and hydrogeochemical simulations confirm that evapoconcentration is the main controlling factor in the exotic-Cu mineralization at El Tesoro Central. This conclusion complements the traditional genetic model based on the gradual neutralization of highly oversaturated Cu-bearing solutions that progressively cement the gravels and underlying bedrock regardless of the depositional environment. This study concludes that in exotic-Cu deposits formed relatively far from the source, a favorable sedimentary environment and particular hydrologic and climatic conditions are essential to trap, accumulate, evapoconcentrate, neutralize and saturate Cu-bearing solutions to trigger mineralization. Thus, detailed sedimentological studies should be incorporated when devising exploration strategies in order to discover new exotic-Cu resources, particularly if they are expected to have formed relatively far from the metal sources.

  11. Fruit Size Determines the Role of Three Scatter-Hoarding Rodents as Dispersers or Seed Predators of a Fleshy-Fruited Atacama Desert Shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loayza, Andrea P.; Squeo, Francisco A.

    2016-01-01

    Scatter-hoarding rodents can act as both predators and dispersers for many large-seeded plants because they cache seeds for future use, but occasionally forget them in sites with high survival and establishment probabilities. The most important fruit or seed trait influencing rodent foraging behavior is seed size; rodents prefer large seeds because they have higher nutritional content, but this preference can be counterbalanced by the higher costs of handling larger seeds. We designed a cafeteria experiment to assess whether fruit and seed size of Myrcianthes coquimbensis, an endangered desert shrub, influence the decision-making process during foraging by three species of scatter-hoarding rodents differing in body size: Abrothrix olivaceus, Phyllotis darwini and Octodon degus. We found that the size of fruits and seeds influenced foraging behavior in the three rodent species; the probability of a fruit being harvested and hoarded was higher for larger fruits than for smaller ones. Patterns of fruit size preference were not affected by rodent size; all species were able to hoard fruits within the entire range of sizes offered. Finally, fruit and seed size had no effect on the probability of seed predation, rodents typically ate only the fleshy pulp of the fruits offered and discarded whole, intact seeds. In conclusion, our results reveal that larger M. coquimbensis fruits have higher probabilities of being harvested, and ultimately of its seeds being hoarded and dispersed by scatter-hoarding rodents. As this plant has no other dispersers, rodents play an important role in its recruitment dynamics. PMID:27861550

  12. An integrated analysis of the March 2015 Atacama floods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Andrew C.; Escauriaza, Cristian; Agredano, Roberto; Mignot, Emmanuel; Zuazo, Vicente; Otárola, Sebastián.; Castro, Lina; Gironás, Jorge; Cienfuegos, Rodrigo; Mao, Luca

    2016-08-01

    In March 2015 unusual ocean and atmospheric conditions produced many years' worth of rainfall in a 48 h period over northern Chile's Atacama Desert, one of Earth's driest regions, resulting in catastrophic flooding. Here we describe the hydrologic and geomorphic drivers of and responses to the 2015 Atacama floods. In the Salado River, we estimated a flood peak discharge of approximately 1000 m3/s, which caused widespread damage and high sediment loads that were primarily derived from valley-fill erosion; hillslopes remained surprisingly intact despite their lack of vegetation. In the coastal city of Chañaral, flooding of the Salado River produced maximum water depths over 4.5 m, meters thick mud deposition in buildings and along city streets, and coastal erosion. The Atacama flooding has broad implications in the context of hazard reduction, erosion of contaminated legacy mine tailings, and the Atacama's status as a terrestrial analog for Mars.

  13. Detectors for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marriage, Tobias Andrew

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) will make measurements of the brightness temperature anisotropy in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) on degree to arcminute angular scales. The ACT observing site is located 5200 m near the top of Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. This thesis presents research on the detectors which capture the image of the CMB formed at ACT's focal plane. In the first chapter, the primary brightness temperature fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background are reviewed. In Chapter 2, a calculation shows how the CMB brightness is translated by ACT to an input power to the detectors. Chapter 3 describes the ACT detectors in detail and presents the response and sensitivity of the detectors to the input power computed in Chapter 2. Chapter 4 describes the detector fabrication at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Chapter 5 summarizes experiments which characterize the ACT detector performance.

  14. Lithobiontic life: "Atacama rocks are well and alive".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Silva, Benito

    2018-02-01

    Our knowledge on the Microbiology of the Atacama Desert has increased steadily and substantially during the last two decades. This information now supports a paradigmatic change on the Atacama Desert from a sterile, uninhabitable territory to a hyperarid region colonized by a rich microbiota that includes extremophiles and extreme-tolerant microorganisms. Also, extensive reports are available on the prevalent physical and chemical environmental conditions, ecological niches and, the abundance, diversity and organization of the microbial life in the Atacama Desert. This territory is a highly desiccated environment due to the absence of regular rain events. Liquid water scarcity is the most serious environmental factor affecting the Atacama Desert microorganisms. The intense solar irradiation in this region contributes, in a synergistic fashion with desiccation, to limit the survival and growth of the microbial life. In order to overcome these two extreme conditions, successful microorganisms, organized as microbial consortia, take advantage of (a) the physical characteristics of lithic habitats, which provide sites for colonization on, within or below the rock substrate, the attenuation and filtration of the intense solar irradiation and, the collection of liquid water from incoming fog formations and by water vapour condensation and deliquescence on or within their surfaces, and (b) the biological adaptations of members of the microbial communities that allow them to synthesize hydrophilic macromolecules, antioxidants and UV-light absorbents. Lithic habitats have been considered specialized shelters where life forms can reach protection at environments subjected to extremes of desiccation and solar irradiation, here on Earth or elsewhere. This review is an overview of part of the scientific information collected on lithobionts from the Atacama Desert, their rock substrates and their strategies to cope with extremes of desiccation and intense photosynthetic active

  15. Searching for Life with Rovers: Exploration Methods & Science Results from the 2004 Field Campaign of the "Life in the Atacama" Project and Applications to Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, N. A.a; Wettergreen, D. S.; Whittaker, R.; Grin, E. A.; Moersch, J.; Diaz, G. Chong; Cockell, C.; Coppin, P.; Dohm, J. M.; Fisher, G.

    2005-01-01

    The Life In The Atacama (LITA) project develops and field tests a long-range, solarpowered, automated rover platform (Zo ) and a science payload assembled to search for microbial life in the Atacama desert. Life is barely detectable over most of the driest desert on Earth. Its unique geological, climatic, and biological evolution have created a unique training site for designing and testing exploration strategies and life detection methods for the robotic search for life on Mars.

  16. Expedition Atacama - project AMOS in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tóth, J.; Kaniansky, S.

    2016-01-01

    The Slovak Video Meteor Network operates since 2009 (Tóth et al., 2011). It currently consists of four semi-automated all-sky video cameras, developed at the Astronomical Observatory in Modra, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Two new generations of AMOS (All-sky Meteor Orbit System) cameras operate fully automatically at the Canary Islands, Tenerife and La Palma, since March 2015 (Tóth et al., 2015). As a logical step, we plan to cover the southern hemisphere from Chile. We present observational experiences in meteor astronomy from the Atacama Desert and other astronomical sites in Chile. This summary of the observations lists meteor spectra records (26) between Nov.5-13, 2015 mostly Taurid meteors, single and double station meteors as well as the first light from the permanent AMOS stations in Chile.

  17. Atmospheric origins of perchlorate on Mars and in the Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, D. C.; Claire, M. W.; Zahnle, K. J.; Quinn, R. C.; Clark, B. C.; Hecht, M. H.; Kounaves, S.

    2010-01-01

    Isotopic studies indicate that natural perchlorate is produced on Earth in arid environments by the oxidation of chlorine species through pathways involving ozone or its photochemical products. With this analogy, we propose that the arid environment on Mars may have given rise to perchlorate through the action of atmospheric oxidants. A variety of hypothetical pathways can be proposed including photochemical reactions, electrostatic discharge, and gas-solid reactions. Because perchlorate-rich deposits in the Atacama desert are closest in abundance to perchlorate measured at NASA's Phoenix Lander site, we made a preliminary study of the means to produce Atacama perchlorate to help shed light on the origin of Martian perchlorate. We investigated gas phase pathways using a 1-D photochemical model. We found that perchlorate can be produced in sufficient quantities to explain the abundance of perchlorate in the Atacama from a proposed gas phase oxidation of chlorine volatiles to perchloric acid. The feasibility of gas phase production for the Atacama provides justification for future investigations of gas phase photochemistry as a possible source for Martian perchlorate.

  18. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: The Receiver and Instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swetz, D. S.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Appel, J. W.; Burger, B.; Devlin, M. J.; Dicker, S. R.; Doriese, W. B.; Essinger-Hileman, T.; Fisher, R. P.; hide

    2010-01-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope was designed to measure small-scale anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background and detect galaxy clusters through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. The instrument is located on Cerro Taco in the Atacama Desert, at an altitude of 5190 meters. A six-met.er off-axis Gregorian telescope feeds a new type of cryogenic receiver, the Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera. The receiver features three WOO-element arrays of transition-edge sensor bolometers for observations at 148 GHz, 218 GHz, and 277 GHz. Each detector array is fed by free space mm-wave optics. Each frequency band has a field of view of approximately 22' x 26'. The telescope was commissioned in 2007 and has completed its third year of operations. We discuss the major components of the telescope, camera, and related systems, and summarize the instrument performance.

  19. Fast Detection of Phenolic Compounds in Extracts of Easter Pears (Pyrus communis) from the Atacama Desert by Ultrahigh-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (UHPLC-Q/Orbitrap/MS/MS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simirgiotis, Mario J; Quispe, Cristina; Bórquez, Jorge; Areche, Carlos; Sepúlveda, Beatriz

    2016-01-15

    A small Chilean variety of pears growing in the town of Toconao, an oasis located at the northeastern edge of the Salar de Atacama, northern Chile, was studied by means of modern PDA and high resolution mass spectral data (UHPLC-PDA-HESI-orbitrap-MS/MS). In addition, the antioxidant features of the fruits were compared with the varieties Packhman's Triumph and Abate Fetel and correlated with the presence of phenolic compounds. The non-pigmented phenolics were fingerprinted and related to the antioxidant capacities measured by the bleaching of the DPPH radical, the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), the superoxide anion scavenging activity assay (SA), and total content of phenolics and flavonoids measured by spectroscopic methods. The machine allowed a fast separation of 15 min employing a flow rate of 1 mL per minute and could accurately identify 25 compounds, including several isorhamnetin derivatives and phenolic acids, present in the peel and pulps of this Chilean variety for the first time. The compounds were monitored using a wavelength range of 210-800 nm. The native small Chilean pear showed the highest antioxidant activity measured as the bleaching of the DPPH radical, the ferric reducing antioxidant power and superoxide anion scavenging activity (8.61 ± 0.65 μg/mL, 712.63 ± 12.12 micromols trolox equivalents (μmol/TE)/100 g FW, and 82.89% ± 2.52% at 100 μg/mL, respectively).

  20. Simultaneous seeing measurements at Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uraguchi, Fumihiro; Motohara, Kentaro; Doi, Mamoru; Takato, Naruhisa; Miyashita, Akihiko; Tanabe, Toshihiko; Oyabu, Shinki; Soyano, Takao

    2004-10-01

    Institute of Astronomy, University of Tokyo is now planning to build a 6.5-m optical-infrared telescope in Atacama, Chile. This project is called "Univ. Tokyo Atacama Observatory (TAO)", and the site evaluation is now under way. As a part of this evaluation process, we started an investigation to compare the astronomical seeing at Atacama with that at Mauna Kea. Here, we report preliminary results of seeing measurements at several sites in Atacama, carried out on October 2003. In order to separate the temporal and site-to-site variation of the seeing, we used two sets of Differential Image Motion Monitors (DIMMs), each of which has two pairs of 7.4 cm sub-apertures with 20.5 cm separation. Three sites were investigated; the point near the TAO weather station (4,950m), the summit of Cello Chico (5,150m) and the point at 5,430m altitude on Cello Toco. Simultaneous measurements were carried out for three half nights out of four half nights measurements. Although the amount of our data is very limited, the results suggest following: 1) Seeing becomes better and more stable as time passing to midnight (eg. From 0."7 to 0."4 at V-band). 2) Higher altitude sites show better seeing than lower altitude sites.

  1. Hydrogeomorphic Investigation of the 2015 Atacama Floods, Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, A. C.; Escauriaza, C. R.; Agredano, R., Jr.; Mignot, E.; Gironas, J. A.; Cienfuegos, R.; Mao, L.

    2015-12-01

    In March 2015 unusual atmospheric conditions over the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, the driest area on Earth outside of Antarctica, produced many years worth of rainfall in a 24-hour period. The resulting sediment-rich floods caused dozens of deaths and/or disappearances, over $1 billion in estimated damage, and widespread geomorphic change. Here we describe the hydrologic and geomorphic drivers and responses to the 2015 Atacama floods, including characterization of the hydrologic forcing, water and sediment routing from source areas in the upper watershed to the outlet at the Pacific Ocean, and urban flooding impacts of this event. In a region where few direct measurements of precipitation and discharge during these events are available, we combined hydrologic and hydraulic modeling with field and aerial photograph interpretation of sediment sources and geomorphic change. A remarkable element of the flood, particularly with respect to its effects on urban areas, was its high sediment load. Despite widespread hillslope erosion in the form of rilling and gullying initiated by overland flow, sediment from these sources typically did not reach valley bottoms, and only limited, small-scale mass wasting was observed. Field observations indicated that the sediment load was primarily derived from dramatic erosion of channel bed, bank, and floodplain material (i.e., valley fill). In the coastal city of Chañaral, flooding of the Salado River produced maximum water depths over 6 m, meters-thick mud deposition in buildings and along city streets, flow velocities larger than 8 m/s, and coastal erosion. Broader implications of studying the Atacama flooding include hazard reduction, the history of copper mining and more than five decades of contamination in many of the affected watersheds, and the Atacama's status as a terrestrial analog for Mars.

  2. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

    -versions of different quality that require RealPlayer software. There is no audio. Note that ESO Video News Reel No. 5 with more related scenes and in professional format with complete shot list is also available. ESO PR Photo 24b/99 ESO PR Photo 24b/99 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 446 pix - 184k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 892 pix - 588k] [High-Res - JPEG: 3000 x 3345 pix - 5.4M] Caption to ESO PR Photo 24b/99 : View of Northern Chile, as seen from the NASA Space Shuttle during a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope (partly visible to the left). The Atacama Desert, site of the ESO VLT at Paranal Observatory and the proposed location for ALMA at Chajnantor, is seen from North (foreground) to South. The two sites are only a few hundred km distant from each other. Few clouds are seen in this extremely dry area, due to the influence of the cold Humboldt Stream along the Chilean Pacific coast (right) and the high Andes mountains (left) that act as a barrier. Photo courtesy ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier. ESO PR Photo 24c/99 ESO PR Photo 24c/99 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 318 pix - 212k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 635 pix - 700k] [High-Res - JPEG: 3000 x 2382 pix - 5.9M] Caption to ESO PR Photo 24c/99 : This satellite image of the Chajnantor area was produced in 1998 at Cornell University (USA), by Jennifer Yu, Jeremy Darling and Riccardo Giovanelli, using the Thematic Mapper data base maintained at the Geology Department laboratory directed by Bryan Isacks. It is a composite of three exposures in spectral bands at 1.6 µm (rendered as red), 1.0 µm (green) and 0.5 µm (blue). The horizontal resolution of the false-colour image is about 30 meters. North is at the top of the photo. ESO PR Photo 24d/99 ESO PR Photo 24d/99 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 381 pix - 108k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 762 pix - 240k] [High-Res - JPEG: 2300 x 2191 pix - 984k] Caption to ESO PR Photo 24d/99 : Geographical map with the sites of the VLT and ALMA indicated. ESO PR Photo 24e/99 ESO PR Photo 24e/99 [Preview - JPEG: 400

  3. A microbial oasis in the hypersaline atacama subsurface discovered by a life detector chip : Implications for the search for life on mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parro, Victor; De Diego-Castilla, Graciela; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; Blanco, Yolanda; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José Antonio; Fernández-Remolar, David; Gómez, Felipe; Gómez, Manuel J.; Rivas, Luis A.; Demergasso, Cecilia; Echeverría, Alex; Urtuvia, Viviana N.; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Postigo, Marina; Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Chong-Díaz, Guillermo; Gómez-Elvira, Javier

    2011-01-01

    The Atacama Desert has long been considered a good Mars analogue for testing instrumentation for planetary exploration, but very few data (if any) have been reported about the geomicrobiology of its salt-rich subsurface. We performed a Mars analogue drilling campaign next to the Salar Grande

  4. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, Robert J.; Atacama Cosmology Telescope Team

    2010-01-01

    The 6-meter Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is making detailed maps of the Cosmic Microwave Background at Cerro Toco in northern Chile. In this talk, I focus on the design and operation of the telescope and its commissioning instrument, the Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera. The camera contains three independent sets of optics that operate at 148 GHz, 217 GHz, and 277 GHz with arcminute resolution, each of which couples to a 1024-element array of Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers. I will report on the camera performance, including the beam patterns, optical efficiencies, and detector sensitivities. Under development for ACT is a new polarimeter based on feedhorn-coupled TES devices that have improved sensitivity and are planned to operate at 0.1 K.

  5. Polyphasic characterization of Trichocoleus desertorum sp. nov. (Pseudanabaenales, Cyanobacteria) from desert soils and phylogenetic placement of the genus Trichocoleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radka Muhlsteinova; Jeffrey R. Johansen; Nicole Pietrasiak; Michael P. Martin; Karina Osorio-Santos; Steven D. Warren

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the taxonomic diversity of cyanobacteria in deserts, despite their important ecological roles in these ecosystems. In this study, cyanobacterial strains from the Atacama, Colorado, and Mojave Deserts were isolated and characterized using molecular, morphological, and ecological information. Phylogenetic placement of these strains was revealed...

  6. OVERVIEW OF THE ATACAMA COSMOLOGY TELESCOPE: RECEIVER, INSTRUMENTATION, AND TELESCOPE SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swetz, D. S.; Devlin, M. J.; Dicker, S. R.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Battistelli, E. S.; Burger, B.; Halpern, M.; Hasselfield, M.; Appel, J. W.; Essinger-Hileman, T.; Fisher, R. P.; Fowler, J. W.; Hincks, A. D.; Jarosik, N.; Chervenak, J.; Doriese, W. B.; Hilton, G. C.; Irwin, K. D.; Duenner, R.

    2011-01-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope was designed to measure small-scale anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background and detect galaxy clusters through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. The instrument is located on Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert, at an altitude of 5190 m. A 6 m off-axis Gregorian telescope feeds a new type of cryogenic receiver, the Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera. The receiver features three 1000-element arrays of transition-edge sensor bolometers for observations at 148 GHz, 218 GHz, and 277 GHz. Each detector array is fed by free space millimeter-wave optics. Each frequency band has a field of view of approximately 22' x 26'. The telescope was commissioned in 2007 and has completed its third year of operations. We discuss the major components of the telescope, camera, and related systems, and summarize the instrument performance.

  7. Overview of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Receiver, Instrumentation, and Telescope Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swetz, D. S.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Appel, J. W.; Battistelli, E. S.; Burger, B.; Chervenak, J.; Devlin, M. J.; Dicker, S. R.; Doriese, W. B.; Dünner, R.; Essinger-Hileman, T.; Fisher, R. P.; Fowler, J. W.; Halpern, M.; Hasselfield, M.; Hilton, G. C.; Hincks, A. D.; Irwin, K. D.; Jarosik, N.; Kaul, M.; Klein, J.; Lau, J. M.; Limon, M.; Marriage, T. A.; Marsden, D.; Martocci, K.; Mauskopf, P.; Moseley, H.; Netterfield, C. B.; Niemack, M. D.; Nolta, M. R.; Page, L. A.; Parker, L.; Staggs, S. T.; Stryzak, O.; Switzer, E. R.; Thornton, R.; Tucker, C.; Wollack, E.; Zhao, Y.

    2011-06-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope was designed to measure small-scale anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background and detect galaxy clusters through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. The instrument is located on Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert, at an altitude of 5190 m. A 6 m off-axis Gregorian telescope feeds a new type of cryogenic receiver, the Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera. The receiver features three 1000-element arrays of transition-edge sensor bolometers for observations at 148 GHz, 218 GHz, and 277 GHz. Each detector array is fed by free space millimeter-wave optics. Each frequency band has a field of view of approximately 22' × 26'. The telescope was commissioned in 2007 and has completed its third year of operations. We discuss the major components of the telescope, camera, and related systems, and summarize the instrument performance.

  8. Atacama perchlorate as an agricultural contaminant in groundwater: Isotopic and chronologic evidence from Long Island, New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhlke, J.K.; Hatzinger, P.B.; Sturchio, N.C.; Gu, B.; Abbene, I.; Mroczkowski, S.J.

    2009-01-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4-) is a common groundwater constituent with both synthetic and natural sources. A potentially important source of ClO4- is past agricultural application of ClO4--bearing natural NO3- fertilizer imported from the Atacama Desert, Chile, but evidence for this hasbeenlargely circumstantial. Here we report ClO4- stable isotope data (??37Cl, ??18O, and ??17O), along with other supporting chemical and isotopic environmental tracer data, to document groundwater ClO4- contamination sources and history in parts of Long Island, New York. Sampled groundwaters were oxic and ClO4- apparently was not affected by biodegradation within the aquifers. Synthetic ClO4- was indicated by the isotopic method in groundwater near a fireworks disposal site at a former missile base. Atacama ClO4- was indicated in agricultural and urbanizing areas in groundwaters with apparent ages >20 years. In an agricultural area, ClO4- concentrations and ClO4-/NO3- ratios increased withgroundwaterage, possiblybecauseof decreasing application rates of Atacama NO3- fertilizers and/or decreasing ClO4- concentrations in Atacama NO 3- fertilizers in recent years. Because ClO 4-/NO3- ratios of Atacama NO 3- fertilizers imported in the past (???2 ?? 10-3 mol mol-1) were much higher than the ClO 4-/NO3- ratio of recommended drinking-water limits (7 ?? 10-5 mol mol-1 in New York), ClO4- could exceed drinkingwater limits even where NO3- does not, and where Atacama NO3- was only a minor source of N. Groundwater ClO4- with distinctive isotopic composition was a sensitive indicator of past Atacama NO3- fertilizer use on Long Island and may be common in other areas that received NO3- fertilizers from the late 19th century through the 20th century. ?? 2009 American Chemical Society.

  9. More than ten million years of hyper-aridity recorded in the Atacama Gravels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Tao; Bao, Huiming; Reich, Martin; Hemming, Sidney R.

    2018-04-01

    The Atacama Desert's hyper-aridity is closely linked to the development of world-class copper and nitrate/iodine ores and to regional tectonics and global paleoclimate changes in the Cenozoic era. The timing when the hyper-aridity commenced remains controversial, with proposed ages ranging from Late Oligocene to Pleistocene. In this study, we provide an independent constraint on the initiation of Atacama hyper-aridity utilizing a 100-m deep profile within the Atacama Gravels and underneath porphyry copper deposit in Spence, northern Chile. The overall high concentration of sulfate (up to 10 wt%) and a multimodal distribution of water soluble salt (sulfates, chlorides and nitrates) indicate multiple generations of sedimentation and salt accumulation events under semi-arid to hyper-arid climate conditions. The multiple sulfate isotope compositions (Δ17O, δ18O, δ34S) of the upper section (-15.0 to -34.5 m) are close to those of modern hyperarid surface sulfates, while the lower section (-34.5 to -65 m) displays a depth dependent isotope trend that is best interpreted as marking a period of climate change from semi-arid to hyper-arid. When these data are combined with new chronological 40Ar/39Ar dates obtained from a volcanic ash layer at depth of -28.0 m, our results show that hyper-arid condition in the Atacama Desert was prevailing at least prior to 9.47 Ma and may go back as old as the middle Miocene.

  10. Detectors for the Atacama B-mode Search experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appel, John William

    Inflation is the leading theory for explaining the initial conditions that brought about our homogeneous and isotropic Universe. It predicts the presence of gravitational waves in the early Universe, which implant a characteristic B-mode polarization pattern on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The Atacama B-mode Search (ABS) experiment is a polarimeter observing from Cerro Toco (located in the Atacama desert of Chile at an altitude of 5190 m), searching for the yet undetected B-mode signal. ABS carries 480 superconducting Transition Edge Sensor (TES) Bolometers that couple 150 GHz radiation via planar Ortho-Mode Transducers (OMTs) mounted at the output of corrugated feedhorns. The feedhorn beam is projected onto the sky through crossed Dragonian reflectors, a set of reflective and absorptive filters, and a rotating Half Wave Plate (HWP) that modulates any polarized sky signal at 10.2 Hz. The bolometers are cooled to 300 mK by a He3-He4 adsorption fridge system backed by pulse tubes. The reflectors are located within the 4 K cavity of the cryostat, while the HWP is mounted on frictionless air bearings above the cryostat window. This thesis discusses the development and construction of the ABS detector focal plane, and presents results of its performance in the field through August 2012. The ABS detector array sensitivity of 31 μKs 1/2, together with the experiment's unique set of systematic controls, and expected multi-year integration time, could detect a B-mode signal with tensor to scalar ratio r ˜ 0.1.

  11. Unravelling the secret of the resistance of desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis to desiccation and radiation

    OpenAIRE

    Billi, Daniela; Fagliarone; Verseux, Cyprien; Mosca, Claudia; Baqué, Mickael; Wilmotte, Annick

    2017-01-01

    Chroococcidiopsis is a unicellular cyanobacterial genus that is growing in extreme dry conditions, either in low or high temperatures. At the lower end of the spectrum, they live as cryptoendoliths in rocks of the Mc Murdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica where they were discovered by Imre Friedmann, while at the higher end, they grow as hypoliths/endoliths in hot deserts, e.g. Negev, Gobi, Atacama (Friedman, 1980). The capacity of desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis to stabilize their sub-cellul...

  12. Estimating Net Photosynthesis of Biological Soil Crusts in the Atacama Using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukas W. Lehnert

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (BSC encompassing green algae, cyanobacteria, lichens, bryophytes, heterotrophic bacteria and microfungi are keystone species in arid environments because of their role in nitrogen- and carbon-fixation, weathering and soil stabilization, all depending on the photosynthesis of the BSC. Despite their importance, little is known about the BSCs of the Atacama Desert, although especially crustose chlorolichens account for a large proportion of biomass in the arid coastal zone, where photosynthesis is mainly limited due to low water availability. Here, we present the first hyperspectral reflectance data for the most wide-spread BSC species of the southern Atacama Desert. Combining laboratory and field measurements, we establish transfer functions that allow us to estimate net photosynthesis rates for the most common BSC species. We found that spectral differences among species are high, and differences between the background soil and the BSC at inactive stages are low. Additionally, we found that the water absorption feature at 1420 nm is a more robust indicator for photosynthetic activity than the chlorophyll absorption bands. Therefore, we conclude that common vegetation indices must be taken with care to analyze the photosynthesis of BSC with multispectral data.

  13. Desert Pathfinder at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-01

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) project celebrates the inauguration of its outstanding 12-m telescope, located on the 5100m high Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert (Chile). The APEX telescope, designed to work at sub-millimetre wavelengths, in the 0.2 to 1.5 mm range, passed successfully its Science Verification phase in July, and since then is performing regular science observations. This new front-line facility provides access to the "Cold Universe" with unprecedented sensitivity and image quality. After months of careful efforts to set up the telescope to work at the best possible technical level, those involved in the project are looking with satisfaction at the fruit of their labour: APEX is not only fully operational, it has already provided important scientific results. "The superb sensitivity of our detectors together with the excellence of the site allow fantastic observations that would not be possible with any other telescope in the world," said Karl Menten, Director of the group for Millimeter and Sub-Millimeter Astronomy at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) and Principal Investigator of the APEX project. ESO PR Photo 30/05 ESO PR Photo 30/05 Sub-Millimetre Image of a Stellar Cradle [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 627 pix - 200k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 1254 pix - 503k] [Full Res - JPEG: 1539 x 2413 pix - 1.3M] Caption: ESO PR Photo 30/05 is an image of the giant molecular cloud G327 taken with APEX. More than 5000 spectra were taken in the J=3-2 line of the carbon monoxide molecule (CO), one of the best tracers of molecular clouds, in which star formation takes place. The bright peak in the north of the cloud is an evolved star forming region, where the gas is heated by a cluster of new stars. The most interesting region in the image is totally inconspicuous in CO: the G327 hot core, as seen in methanol contours. It is a truly exceptional source, and is one of the richest sources of emission from complex organic molecules in the

  14. Iodine budget in surface waters from Atacama: Natural and anthropogenic iodine sources revealed by halogen geochemistry and iodine-129 isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Álvarez, Fernanda; Reich, Martin; Snyder, Glen; Pérez-Fodich, Alida; Muramatsu, Yasuyuki; Daniele, Linda; Fehn, Udo

    2016-01-01

    Iodine enrichment in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile is widespread and varies significantly between reservoirs, including nitrate-rich “caliche” soils, supergene Cu deposits and marine sedimentary rocks. Recent studies have suggested that groundwater has played a key role in the remobilization, transport and deposition of iodine in Atacama over scales of millions-of-years. However, and considering that natural waters are also anomalously enriched in iodine in the region, the relative source contributions of iodine in the waters and its extent of mixing remain unconstrained. In this study we provide new halogen data and isotopic ratios of iodine ("1"2"9I/I) in shallow seawater, rivers, salt lakes, cold and thermal spring water, rainwater and groundwater that help to constrain the relative influence of meteoric, marine and crustal sources in the Atacama waters. Iodine concentrations in surface and ground waters range between 0.35 μM and 26 μM in the Tarapacá region and between 0.25 μM and 48 μM in the Antofagasta region, and show strong enrichment when compared with seawater concentrations (I = ∼0.4 μM). In contrast, no bromine enrichment is detected (1.3–45.7 μM for Tarapacá and 1.7–87.4 μM for Antofagasta) relative to seawater (Br = ∼600 μM). These data, coupled to the high I/Cl and low Br/Cl ratios are indicative of an organic-rich sedimentary source (related with an “initial” fluid) that interacted with meteoric water to produce a mixed fluid, and preclude an exclusively seawater origin for iodine in Atacama natural waters. Iodine isotopic ratios ("1"2"9I/I) are consistent with halogen chemistry and confirm that most of the iodine present in natural waters derives from a deep initial fluid source (i.e., groundwater which has interacted with Jurassic marine basement), with variable influence of at least one atmospheric or meteoric source. Samples with the lowest isotopic ratios ("1"2"9I/I from ∼215 to ∼1000 × 10"

  15. Licancabur Volcano, Bolivia and life in the Atacama: Environmental physics and analogies to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hock, Andrew Nelson

    Although there is no perfect environmental analog to Mars on Earth, quantitative study of relevant terrestrial field sites can serve as the basis for physical models and technology development to aid future exploration. This dissertation describes original field and laboratory research on two terrestrial analog sites: Licancabur Volcano, Bolivia, and the Atacama Desert, Chile. Atop Licancabur, at an elevation of nearly 6,000 meters above sea level, sits the highest volcanic lake on Earth. Prior to this work, little was known about the lake, its waters, the role of volcanism or its potential relationship to locales on Mars. In the first part of this work, I describe observations of the lake resulting from several years of field study, including data on meteorological conditions and solar irradiance. These and other measurements provide the basis for (1) the first quantitative mass and energy balance model of the lake, and (2) the first determination of the altitude effect on solar visible and ultraviolet flux from the high altitude summit. Under the observed conditions, model results indicate: lake waters are primarily meteoric in origin and evaporating rapidly; volcanic input is not required to explain observations of lake water temperature or year-end model results. Nearby, Chile's Atacama Desert is known to be one of the driest, most inhospitable environments on Earth. There, environmental similarities to Mars provide an apt testing ground for new astrobiological exploration technologies. In the latter part of this work, I present results from my work with the Life In The Atacama (LITA) Mars rover field experiment. In particular, I report on the development of a new data analysis tool named the LITA Data Scoring System (DSS). Subject to the user-defined constraints, the DSS was used to facilitate targeting, analysis and mapping of rover science results relevant to potential habitability and evidence for life at three desert field sites. Although experimental in

  16. Birds and conservation significance of the Namib Desert's least ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    -long Namib Desert and it remains the least known coastal wetland on a desert coast rich in shorebirds. Two surveys of the Baia dos Tigres region in 1999 and 2001 indicated a rich wetland bird diversity consisting of 25 species, with a total of ...

  17. `Site Testing' en la Puna de Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recabarren, P.; Mosconi, M.

    We present a report of the activities developed by the IATE group from the Observatorio Astronómico de Córdoba and astronomers from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, from 14 till 22. of April of 2000. We have made seeing and meteorological measurements and a topographical prospecting in order to characterize the environmental conditions in Cerro Toco (5574m), in the region of the Puna de Atacama. The seeing measurements were made with a DIMM (Differential Image Motin Monitor) camera. The seeing measurements during 20. and 21. of April gave an average value of 0.85 arc seconds. We think that more places in the region should be studied.

  18. Neogene basin infilling from cosmogenic nuclides (10Be and 21Ne) in Atacama, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Caroline; Regard, Vincent; Carretier, Sébastien; Riquelme, Rodrigo; Blard, Pierre-Henri; Campos, Eduardo; Brichau, Stéphanie; Lupker, Marteen; Hérail, Gérard

    2017-04-01

    In the hyperarid Atacama Desert, northern Chile, Neogene sediments host copper rich layers (exotic supergene mineralization). Current mines are excavated into relatively thin (production (quickly decreasing with depth) and disintegration (not for 21Ne). Sampling depths are at ˜100 m and at ˜50 m below the desert surface. First, 21Ne gives lower boundaries for upstream erosion rates or local sedimentation rate. These bounds are between 2 and 10 m/Ma, which is quite important for the area. The ratio between the two cosmogenic nuclides indicate a maximum burial age of 12 Ma (minimal erosion rate of 15 m/Ma) and is surprisingly similar from bottom to top, indicating a probable rapid infilling. We finally processed a Monte-Carlo inversion. This inversion helps taking into account the post-deposition muonic production of cosmogenic nuclides. Inversion results is dependent on the muonic production scheme. Interestingly, the similarity in concentrations from bottom to top pleads for quite low production at depth. Our data finally indicates a quick infilling between 12.5 and 10 Ma BP accounting for ˜100 m of deposition (minimum sedimentation rate of 40 m/Ma).

  19. Thermal Performance of Traditional and New Concept Houses in the Ancient Village of San Pedro De Atacama and Surroundings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Palme

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Earth, wood and others traditional materials are still used in house constructions in many regions of the world, especially in the Andes. San Pedro de Atacama, for example, is a small town where earth blocks (adobes and rammed earth (tapial are important ways to construct, an art passed on through generations. Energy properties of earth are very interesting: thermal conductivity is low; heat storage capacity is high; color is variable and can be used to absorb or to reject solar radiation. However, nowadays the government social dwelling service is proposing a different type of construction, which does not maintain any relation with the tradition. This paper presents simulation studies and monitoring of four different San Pedro houses, constructed by using different techniques and materials. Results can be used to discuss the thermal performance needed in desert climate and the reliability of social dwelling service houses, under construction at this time in the town.

  20. Changes in the soil C cycle at the arid-hyperarid transition in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, S.A.; Macalady, J.L.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; McKay, C.P.; Amundson, Ronald

    2008-01-01

    We examined soil organic C (OC) turnover and transport across the rainfall transition from a biotic, arid site to a largely abiotic, hyperarid site. With this transition, OC concentrations decrease, and C cycling slows precipitously, both in surface horizons and below ground. The concentration and isotopic character of soil OC across this transition reflect decreasing rates of inputs, decomposition, and downward transport. OC concentrations in the arid soil increase slightly with depth in the upper meter, but are generally low and variable (???0.05%; total inventory of 1.82 kg m-2); OC-??14C values decrease from modern (+7???) to very 14C-depleted (-966???) with depth; and OC-??13C values are variable (-23.7??? to -14.1???). Using a transport model, we show that these trends reflect relatively rapid cycling in the upper few centimeters, and spatially variable preservation of belowground OC from root inputs, possibly during a previous, wetter climate supporting higher soil OC concentrations. In the driest soil, the OC inventory is the lowest among the sites (0.19 kg m-2), and radiocarbon values are 14C-depleted (-365??? to -696???) but show no trend with depth, indicating belowground OC inputs and long OC residence times throughout the upper meter (104 y). A distinct depth trend in ??13C values and OC/ON values within the upper 40 cm at the driest site may reflect photochemical alteration of organic matter at the soil surface, combined with limited subsurface decomposition and downward transport. We argue that while root inputs are preserved at the wetter sites, C cycling in the most hyperarid soil occurs through infrequent, rapid dissolved transport of highly photodegraded organic matter during rare rain events, each followed by a pulse of decomposition and subsequent prolonged drought. These belowground inputs are likely a primary control on the character, activity, and depth distribution of small microbial populations. While the lack of water is the dominant control on C cycling, very low C/N ratios of organic matter suggest that when rainfall occurs, hyperarid soils are effectively C limited. The preservation of fossil root fragments in the sediment beneath the driest soil indicates that wetter climate conditions preceded formation of this soil, and that vadose zone microbial activity has been extremely limited for the past 2 My. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. Discovery of carotenoid red-shift in endolithic cyanobacteria from the Atacama Desert

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vítek, Petr; Ascaso, C.; Artieda, O.; Casero, M. C.; Wierzchos, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 1 (2017), č. článku 11116. ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415; GA MŠk(CZ) EF16_013/0001609 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Astrobiology * environmental microbiology * geochemistry * Imaging * Photosynthesis Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7) Impact factor: 4.259, year: 2016

  2. Early performance of Olea europaea cv. Arbequina, Picual and Frantoio in the southern Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddy Mora

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The cultivars Arbequina, Picual and Frantoio of Olea europaea are cultivated in severalMediterranean countries. In 1999, these cultivars were planted at three locations in the region of Coquimbo,an arid, Mediterranean-like area in Chile. A generalized linear modeling approach was used in view of thenon-normal distribution of the agronomic data sets. Fruit yield (harvests of 2002-2003, precocity (2002 andtree survival (after four growing seasons differed significantly between the cultivars. Arbequina and Picualhad a positive effect on the yield. Picual was the earliest cultivar at two sites. The survival rate of Frantoio washigh at the three sites (90-100%, as opposed to Picual (56-83%. The approach of Generalized Linear Modelswas particularly useful where the assumption of normality was not satisfied. The selection of cultivars ispromising in this arid region of Chile, while the success will depend on the selection of well-adapted genotypesto a particular location.

  3. Directional orientation of reproductive tissue of Eulychnia breviflora (Cactaceae) in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven D. Warren; Lorgio E. Aguilera; Scott Baggett

    2016-01-01

    Our explanation of the phenomenon differs from other researchers. Inasmuch as reproductive tissue contains little or no chlorophyll, we suggest that the flowers emerge from areas of the stems that receive abundant PAR, not because the reproductive tissue itself requires exposure to PAR. Because the translocation of photosynthates in cacti is difficult and...

  4. Far Sidelobe Effects from Panel Gaps of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fluxa, Pedro R.; Duenner, Rolando; Maurin, Loiec; Choi, Steve K.; Devlin, Mark J.; Gallardo, Patricio A.; Shuay-Pwu, P. Ho; Koopman, Brian J.; Louis, Thibaut; Wollack, Edward J.

    2016-01-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope is a 6 meter diameter CMB telescope located at 5200 meters in the Chilean desert. ACT has made arc-minute scale maps of the sky at 90 and 150 GHz which have led to precise measurements of the fine angular power spectrum of the CMB fluctuations in temperature and polarization. One of the goals of ACT is to search for the B-mode polarization signal from primordial gravity waves, and thus extending ACT's data analysis to larger angular scales. This goal introduces new challenges in the control of systematic effects, including better understanding of far sidelobe effects that might enter the power spectrum at degree angular scales. Here we study the effects of the gaps between panels of the ACT primary and secondary reflectors in the worst case scenario in which the gaps remain open. We produced numerical simulations of the optics using GRASP up to 8 degrees away from the main beam and simulated timestreams for observations with this beam using real pointing information from ACT data. Maps from these simulated timestreams showed leakage from the sidelobes, indicating that this effect must be taken into consideration at large angular scales.

  5. Comparison of Public Perception in Desert and Rainy Regions of Chile Regarding the Reuse of Treated Sewage Water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Segura

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to compare the public perception in desert and rainy regions of Chile regarding the reuse of treated sewage water. The methodology of this study consisted of applying a survey to the communities of San Pedro de Atacama (desert region and Hualqui (rainy region to identify attitudes about the reuse of sewage water. The survey was applied directly to men and women, 18 to 90 years old, who were living in the studied communities. The results indicate that inhabitants of San Pedro de Atacama (desert region were aware of the state of their water resources, with 86% being aware that there are water shortages during some part of the year. In contrast, only 55% of residents in Hualqui (rainy region were aware of water shortages. With respect of the reuse of treated sewage water, 47% of respondents in San Pedro de Atacama understood the concept, as compared to 27% in Hualqui. There was more acceptance of using treated sewage water for non-potable purposes than as drinking water.

  6. Gopherus agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Non-native seed dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennen, J.R.; Loughran, Caleb L.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    Sahara Mustard (Brassica tournefortii) is a non-native, highly invasive weed species of southwestern U.S. deserts. Sahara Mustard is a hardy species, which flourishes under many conditions including drought and in both disturbed and undisturbed habitats (West and Nabhan 2002. In B. Tellman [ed.], Invasive Plants: Their Occurrence and Possible Impact on the Central Gulf Coast of Sonora and the Midriff Islands in the Sea of Cortes, pp. 91–111. University of Arizona Press, Tucson). Because of this species’ ability to thrive in these habitats, B. tournefortii has been able to propagate throughout the southwestern United States establishing itself in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. Unfortunately, naturally disturbed areas created by native species, such as the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), within these deserts could have facilitated the propagation of B. tournefortii. (Lovich 1998. In R. G. Westbrooks [ed.], Invasive Plants, Changing the Landscape of America: Fact Book, p. 77. Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds [FICMNEW], Washington, DC). However, Desert Tortoises have never been directly observed dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds. Here we present observations of two Desert Tortoises dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds at the interface between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in California.

  7. Lut Desert, Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-01

    Iran is a large country with several desert regions. In the Dasht-E-Lut (Lut Desert) (30.5N, 58.5E) an area known as Namak-Zar, about 100 miles east of the city of Kerman, is at the center of this photograph. Some of the world's most prominent Yardangs (very long, parallel ridges and depressions) have been wind eroded in these desert dry lake bed sediments. At the left of the photo is a large field of sand dunes at right angles to the wind.

  8. The shallow-water chitons (Mollusca, Polyplacophora of Caldera, Region of Atacama, northern Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Araya

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The Molluscan species of the northern littoral of Chile have been sparsely studied. This work reviews for the first time the diversity of polyplacophoran molluscs around the port of Caldera, in the Region of Atacama (26°45’49”S; 70°45’17”W to 27°20’23”S; 70°56’46”W, northern Chile. Eleven species were found in this study: Acanthopleura echinata (Barnes, 1824; Callistochiton pulchellus (Gray, 1828; Calloplax vivipara (Plate, 1899, Chaetopleura peruviana (Lamarck, 1819; Chiton cumingsii Frembly, 1827; Chiton granosus Frembly, 1827; Chiton magnificus Deshayes, 1827; Enoplochiton niger (Barnes, 1824, Radsia barnesii (Gray, 1828, Tonicia atrata (G. B. Sowerby II, 1840 and Tonicia chilensis (Frembly, 1827. All of the species occurring in the area have distributions in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, from Ecuador to central Chile, and three of them are species endemic to the Chilean coasts (Calloplax vivipara, Radsia barnesii, and Tonicia atrata. This diversity of species is comparable to that of better surveyed faunas of central and southern Chile or Patagonia. Of the eleven species recorded, the geographic distribution records for Callistochiton pulchellus, Radsia barnesii and Tonicia atrata are extended, and Calloplax vivipara is found alive again after 40 years, filling a gap in its known distribution. Illustrations of living specimens in their habitat, distribution records and a taxonomic key for all the studied taxa are also provided.

  9. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, Peter

    2003-01-01

    Combining plan view information from aerial photography showing details of stream channels on desert pavement surfaces with process-based erosion models, a high-resolution, synthetic topography DEM...

  10. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, P

    2003-01-01

    Combining plan view information from aerial photography showing details of stream channels on desert pavement surfaces with process-based erosion models, a high-resolution, "synthetic topography" DEM...

  11. Estacionalidad de las muertes en la puna de Atacama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bejarano, Ignacio

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available En distintas culturas y geografías la mortalidad se distribuye de acuerdo a un patrón estacional variable según las poblaciones. El objetivo de este trabajo fue analizar la estacionalidad de las muertes en un medio ambiente extremo como lo es la Puna de Atacama (PA. Los datos de defunciones (1890-1950 corresponden a dos localidades de la PA: Susques y San Pedro de Atacama. En el análisis se consideraron, por sexo, tres grupos de edad: a prerreproductiva (0-15 años (PRE, reproductiva (16-44 años (REP y postreproductiva (<45 años (POS. Se calculo el coeficiente de estacionalidad de Henry y para identificar estadísticamente variaciones estacionales se aplicó una prueba de homogeneidad. Se utilizó la prueba de Edwards para detectar ciclos armónicos en la distribución de muertes. Independientemente de la edad y el sexo se observó un patron estacional diferencial significativo que responde a un modelo de variación armónica simple, los coeficientes de Henry mas altos se presentaron en verano e invierno. Cuando se analiza la estacionalidad por grupo de edad y sexo el patrón previamente descripto se mantiene sólo en las edades REP y POS y en el sexo masculino. Este estudio proporciona un indicio del comportamiento de la estacionalidad de las muertes en la Puna de Atacama. Sin embargo no difiere del observado en poblaciones contemporáneas de países desarrollados, por lo que se concluye que el patrón observado no sería consecuencia directa de las condiciones climáticas, culturales, etc. de este ambiente extremo.

  12. The geochemical associations of nitrate and naturally formed perchlorate in the Mojave Desert, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lybrand, Rebecca A.; Michalski, Greg; Graham, Robert C.; Parker, David R.

    2013-03-01

    Perchlorate is a widely studied environmental contaminant that may adversely affect human health, and whose natural occurrence has emerged as a subject of great interest. Naturally formed perchlorate has been found to co-occur with nitrate in arid environments worldwide, but the relationship is not fully understood in the desert soils of the southwestern United States. The main objective of this research was to explore the origin, pedogenic distribution, and possible preservation of perchlorate and nitrate in the Mojave Desert mud hill deposits of California and to determine if the co-occurrence of putatively natural perchlorate was significantly correlated with nitrate in these soils. We identified 39 soil horizons in the Mojave Desert, California that contained reportable levels of perchlorate (MRL >165 μg kg-1) with a maximum concentration of 23 mg kg-1. A weak yet significant correlation was observed between perchlorate and nitrate (r2 = 0.321∗∗∗), which could be indicative of similar mechanisms of accumulation. When compared to published data for the Atacama Desert, the Mojave Desert perchlorate concentrations were remarkably lower for a given nitrate concentration. Oxygen isotopes in the nitrate were examined to identify variation within the Mojave Desert field sites, and to compare with the available literature for the Atacama Desert. The Mojave Desert Δ17O values ranged from 7‰ to 13‰, indicating a mixture of biologically and atmospherically-derived nitrate. An investigation of the distribution of perchlorate among soil horizons revealed that over sixty percent of the samples containing perchlorate were from C horizons while only twenty percent of the samples were from B horizons and even fewer in the overlying A horizons. Soil chemical, morphologic, and geologic characteristics of the soils suggest that the perchlorate, nitrate and/or other soluble salts have moved in a "bottom-up" manner wherein the salts were deposited in strata through

  13. Remote Sensing-Based Detection and Spatial Pattern Analysis for Geo-Ecological Niche Modeling of Tillandsia SPP. In the Atacama, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, N.; Siegmund, A.; del Río, C.; Osses, P.; García, J. L.

    2016-06-01

    In the coastal Atacama Desert in Northern Chile plant growth is constrained to so-called `fog oases' dominated by monospecific stands of the genus Tillandsia. Adapted to the hyperarid environmental conditions, these plants specialize on the foliar uptake of fog as main water and nutrient source. It is this characteristic that leads to distinctive macro- and micro-scale distribution patterns, reflecting complex geo-ecological gradients, mainly affected by the spatiotemporal occurrence of coastal fog respectively the South Pacific Stratocumulus clouds reaching inlands. The current work employs remote sensing, machine learning and spatial pattern/GIS analysis techniques to acquire detailed information on the presence and state of Tillandsia spp. in the Tarapacá region as a base to better understand the bioclimatic and topographic constraints determining the distribution patterns of Tillandsia spp. Spatial and spectral predictors extracted from WorldView-3 satellite data are used to map present Tillandsia vegetation in the Tarapaca region. Regression models on Vegetation Cover Fraction (VCF) are generated combining satellite-based as well as topographic variables and using aggregated high spatial resolution information on vegetation cover derived from UAV flight campaigns as a reference. The results are a first step towards mapping and modelling the topographic as well as bioclimatic factors explaining the spatial distribution patterns of Tillandsia fog oases in the Atacama, Chile.

  14. REMOTE SENSING-BASED DETECTION AND SPATIAL PATTERN ANALYSIS FOR GEO-ECOLOGICAL NICHE MODELING OF TILLANDSIA SPP. IN THE ATACAMA, CHILE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Wolf

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In the coastal Atacama Desert in Northern Chile plant growth is constrained to so-called ‘fog oases’ dominated by monospecific stands of the genus Tillandsia. Adapted to the hyperarid environmental conditions, these plants specialize on the foliar uptake of fog as main water and nutrient source. It is this characteristic that leads to distinctive macro- and micro-scale distribution patterns, reflecting complex geo-ecological gradients, mainly affected by the spatiotemporal occurrence of coastal fog respectively the South Pacific Stratocumulus clouds reaching inlands. The current work employs remote sensing, machine learning and spatial pattern/GIS analysis techniques to acquire detailed information on the presence and state of Tillandsia spp. in the Tarapacá region as a base to better understand the bioclimatic and topographic constraints determining the distribution patterns of Tillandsia spp. Spatial and spectral predictors extracted from WorldView-3 satellite data are used to map present Tillandsia vegetation in the Tarapaca region. Regression models on Vegetation Cover Fraction (VCF are generated combining satellite-based as well as topographic variables and using aggregated high spatial resolution information on vegetation cover derived from UAV flight campaigns as a reference. The results are a first step towards mapping and modelling the topographic as well as bioclimatic factors explaining the spatial distribution patterns of Tillandsia fog oases in the Atacama, Chile.

  15. Coast Guard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-09-01

    The 11-million gallon Exxon Valdez oil spill highlighted deficiencies in the nation's ability to contain and recover spilled oil. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 represents a major effort by Congress to address these deficiencies and to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the private sector and the federal government in preventing, preparing for, and responding to oil spills. This report examines the Coast Guard's efforts to avoid unnecessary and wasteful duplication by coordinating with the private sector and others, including federal and state agencies, its plans to buy oil spill response equipment and the new responsibilities the act places on the private sector and the Coast Guard and if these responsibilities call for a shift in emphasis in Coast Guard oil spill response activities

  16. Minerals in deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.I.

    1982-01-01

    Almost any kind of mineral deposit can occur in desert areas, and the lack of vegetation and soil cover makes finding them easier. Some kinds of deposits, though, are more likely to occur in deserts than elsewhere. Some of these result from processes genetically related to the present desert climate that improved lower grade deposits of ore. One such process, termed secondary enrichment, is most effective in areas with deep water tables, and many low-grade copper, silver, and uranium deposits have been converted into mineable ore by the downward migration and redeposition of soluble metals. In a desert terrane, placer processes are effective whenever running water flowing over steep slopes erodes outcropping ore bodies and transports and concentrates the heavier ore minerals at lower levels, thus converting low-grade or hard-to-mine bedrock deposits into economically workable concentrations. Other kinds of deposits are better preserved in deserts because the lower rainfall at the surface, and the lower volume of flow and the greater depths to groundwater, result in less destruction of soluble ores; deposits of salines and phosphates are the most notable ores affected by these factors. Still other ore deposits are created as a consequence of the arid climate, mostly because the high evaporation rates operating on standing bodies of water produce brines that can lead directly to concentrations of salts and indirectly to secondary minerals, such as zeolites, that are produced by reaction of silicate minerals with saline waters

  17. Gopherus agassizii: Desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristen H.; Swingland, Ian Richard; Klemens, Michael W.

    1989-01-01

    The desert tortoise is one of four allopatric North American tortoises. It occurs in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico.Auffenberg (1976) divided the genus Gopherus (consisting of four species, G. agassizi, G. berlandieri, G.flavomarginatus, and G. polyphemus) in two osteological groups. Bramble (1982), using morphological and palaeontological data, divided the genus Gopherus into two separate complexes, each with two species. He established a new genus, Scaptochelys, for agassizi and berlandieri, retaining Gopherus for polyphemus and flavomarginatus. Bour and Dubois (1984) noted that Xerobates Agassiz had priority over Scaptochelys Bramble. Using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Lamb et al. (1989) evaluated the evolutionary relationships of the North American tortoises, particularly the desert tortoise. They concluded that the mtDNA analysis provides strong support for generic recognition of the two distinct species groups described by Bramble (1982).Until a few decades ago, the desert tortoise was widespread at lower elevations throughout the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the U.S.A. In the northern and western parts of the geographic range, large and relatively homogeneous populations with densities exceeding 1,000/sq km extended throughout parts of California, and probably into Nevada and Utah. In terms of biomass, the tortoise played an important role in the ecosystems. In most areas, numbers have declined dramatically and the extent of populations has been reduced. Most populations are now isolated and low in numbers. Conservation of the desert tortoise is a highly visible and political issue in the U.S.A., but not in Mexico.

  18. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: cross correlation with Planck maps

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Louis, Thibaut; Calabrese, Erminia; Dunkley, Joanna; Næss, Sigurd [Department of Astrophysics, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Addison, Graeme E.; Hincks, Adam D. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Hasselfield, Matthew; Hlozek, Renée [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Bond, J. Richard; Hajian, Amir [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Das, Sudeep [Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Ave., Lemont, IL 60439 (United States); Devlin, Mark J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, U.S.A (United States); Dünner, Rolando; Infante, Leopoldo [Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 306, Santiago 22 (Chile); Gralla, Megan; Marriage, Tobias A. [Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218-2686 (United States); Huffenberger, Kevin [Department of Physics, Florida State University, Keen Physics Building, 77 Chieftan Way, Tallahassee, Florida (United States); Kosowsky, Arthur [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260 (United States); Moodley, Kavilan [Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, School of Mathematical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 4041 (South Africa); Niemack, Michael D., E-mail: Thibaut.Louis@astro.ox.ac.uk [Joseph Henry Laboratories of Physics, Jadwin Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); and others

    2014-07-01

    We present the temperature power spectrum of the Cosmic Microwave Background obtained by cross-correlating maps from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) at 148 and 218 GHz with maps from the Planck satellite at 143 and 217 GHz, in two overlapping regions covering 592 square degrees. We find excellent agreement between the two datasets at both frequencies, quantified using the variance of the residuals between the ACT power spectra and the ACT × Planck cross-spectra. We use these cross-correlations to measure the calibration of the ACT data at 148 and 218 GHz relative to Planck, to 0.7% and 2% precision respectively. We find no evidence for anisotropy in the calibration parameter. We compare the Planck 353 GHz power spectrum with the measured amplitudes of dust and cosmic infrared background (CIB) of ACT data at 148 and 218 GHz. We also compare planet and point source measurements from the two experiments.

  19. How desert varnish forms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Randall S.; Kolb, Vera M.; Lynne, Bridget Y.; Sephton, Mark A.; Mcloughlin, Nicola; Engel, Michael H.; Olendzenski, Lorraine; Brasier, Martin; Staley, James T., Jr.

    2005-09-01

    Desert varnish is a black, manganese-rich rock coating that is widespread on Earth. The mechanism underlying its formation, however, has remained unresolved. We present here new data and an associated model for how desert varnish forms, which substantively challenges previously accepted models. We tested both inorganic processes (e.g. clays and oxides cementing coatings) and microbial methods of formation. Techniques used in this preliminary study include SEM-EDAX with backscatter, HRTEM of focused ion beam prepared (FIB) wafers and several other methods including XRPD, Raman spectroscopy, XPS and Tof-SIMS. The only hypothesis capable of explaining a high water content, the presence of organic compounds, an amorphous silica phase (opal-A) and lesser quantities of clays than previously reported, is a mechanism involving the mobilization and redistribution of silica. The discovery of silica in desert varnish suggests labile organics are preserved by interaction with condensing silicic acid. Organisms are not needed for desert varnish formation but Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya, and other organic compounds are passively incorporated and preserved as organominerals. The rock coatings thus provide useful records of past environments on Earth and possibly other planets. Additionally this model also helps to explain the origin of key varnish and rock glaze features, including their hardness, the nature of the "glue" that binds heterogeneous components together, its layered botryoidal morphology, and its slow rate of formation.

  20. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII (Desert Tortoise)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    JAMES L. BOONE, DANNY L. RAKESTRAW, AND KURT R. RAUTENSTRAUCH

    1997-01-01

    GOPHERLTS AGAISSIZII (Desert Tortoise). Predation. A variety of predators, most notably coyotes (Canis Iatrans) and Common Ravens (Corvis corau) have been reported to prey on hatchling desert tortoises (Emst et al. 1994). Turtles of the United States and Canada (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 578 pp.). Here, we report an observation of a hatchling tortoise, fitted with a radiotransmitter, that was preyed upon by native fire ants (Solenopsis sp.) in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (36 degrees 50 minutes N, 116 degree 25 minutes E). On 8/27/94, tortoise No.9315 (carapace length = 45 mm, age = 5 d) was found alive with eyes, chin, and parts of the head and legs being eaten by ants. The tortoise was alive, but lethargic, and responded little when touched. Eight of 74 other radiomarked hatchlings monitored at Yucca Mountain during 1992-1994 were found dead with fire ants on their carcass 3-7 days after the hatchlings emerged from their nests. It is not known whether those tortoises were killed by ants or were being scavenged when found. While imported fire ants (S. invicta) have long been known to kill hatchling gopher tortoises (G. polyphemus; Mount 1981. J. Alabama Acad. Sci. 52: 71-78), native fire ants have previously not been implicated as predators of desert tortoises. However, only 1 of 75 (or at worst 9 of 75) was killed by fire ants, suggesting that although fire ants do kill hatchlings, they were not important predators on desert tortoises during this study. Tortoise specimens were deposited at the University of California at Berkeley

  1. Astronomers Break Ground on Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) - World's Largest Millimeter Wavelength Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-11-01

    for a spectacular new instrument, " stated Dr. Rita Colwell , director of the U.S. National Science Foundation. " ALMA will expand our vision of the Universe with "eyes" that pierce the shrouded mantles of space through which light cannot penetrate." On the occasion of this groundbreaking, the ALMA logo was unveiled. [ALMA Logo] Science with ALMA ALMA will capture millimetre and sub-millimetre radiation from space and produce images and spectra of celestial objects as they appear at these wavelengths. This particular portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is less energetic than visible and infrared light, yet more energetic than most radio waves, holds the key to understanding a great variety of fundamental processes, e.g., planet and star formation and the formation and evolution of galaxies and galaxy clusters in the early Universe. The possibility to detect emission from organic and other molecules in space is of particularly high interest. The millimetre and sub-millimetre radiation that ALMA will study is able to penetrate the vast clouds of dust and gas that populate interstellar (and intergalactic) space, revealing previously hidden details about astronomical objects. This radiation, however, is blocked by atmospheric moisture (water molecules) in the Earth's atmosphere. To conduct research with ALMA in this critical portion of the spectrum, astronomers thus need an exceptional observation site that is very dry, and at a very high altitude where the atmosphere above is thinner. Extensive tests showed that the sky above the high-altitude Chajnantor plain in the Atacama Desert has the unsurpassed clarity and stability needed to perform efficient observations with ALMA . ALMA operation ALMA will be the highest-altitude, full-time ground-based observatory in the world, at some 250 metres higher than the peak of Mont Blanc, Europe's tallest mountain. Work at this altitude is difficult. To help ensure the safety of the scientists and engineers at ALMA

  2. Reconstruction of the 2015 Atacama Floods: Influence of Legacy Mining Deposits in the Salado River Mouth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuenzalida Callejas, M. J.; Contreras Vargas, M. T.; Escauriaza, C. R.

    2016-12-01

    In March 2015, the Salado watershed in the Atacama Desert was affected by unusual storms that unleashed floods never recorded before in northern Chile. Chañaral, an urban center located at the mouth of the Salado River, suffered the most catastrophic consequences on the population and infrastructure. Several natural and anthropic factors contributed to the magnitude and effects observed in this event. The total precipitation, of more than 80 mm in the upper section of the basin, produced a massive and rapid hyperconcentrated flow from the Andean foothills, which propagated along the channel with high velocities, depositing more than 2 m of mud in Chañaral. The dynamics of the flood in the city was also influenced by mine tailings deposited at the river mouth. The mining industry in this region during the previous century deposited approximately 200 million tons of mine tailings in the Chañaral Bay. The accumulation of this legacy mining deposits at the river mouth changed the local morphodynamics, which exacerbated the impacts of the flood. The objective of this work is to improve our understanding of the factors that affect the hydrodynamic of floods in hyper-arid regions. We perform numerical simulations using data collected in the field to reconstruct the event of March 2015 in Chañaral, integrating hydrological and hydrodynamic models to propagate the hydrograph in the city with high resolution. By using the reconstruction of the hydrograph and peak flow estimated by Wilcox et al., 2016, we simulate the flood using a two-dimensional model of the shallow-water equations, fully coupled with the sediment concentration (Contreras & Escauriaza, 2016). To identify the influence of the tailing deposits on the flow hydrodynamics, we use high-resolution data of the pre- and post-disaster topography. We compare the performance of different methodologies to assess the destructive power of the flood, considering also the influence of the sediment concentration in the

  3. Reproducción y ultraestructura del huevo y larva de primer estadio de Gyriosomus kingi (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae del desierto de Atacama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Pizarro-Araya

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Gyriosomus es un importante género chileno de Tenebrionidae, habitante del desierto costero del país. En este ambiente, las especies de Gyriosomus son un componente erémico y endémico de la entomofauna epígea. A pesar de la importancia ecológica que estas especies tienen en el desierto chileno, poco se conoce respecto de la morfología de los estados preimaginales. En este trabajo se describe la morfología del huevo y de la larva de primer estadio de G. kingi Reed, 1873, y se entregan algunos antecedentes acerca de la bionomía de la hembra. Los huevos y las larvas fueron obtenidos a partir de parejas mantenidas en condiciones de laboratorio. Los adultos fueron capturados durante la primavera del año 2002, en sitios costeros del Parque Nacional Llanos de Challe, localizado en la frontera sur del Desierto de Atacama (28°01’S; 71°03’W. El primer tercio del corión del huevo presenta celdas subhexagonales sin aeropilas. La larva es oligópoda y elongada. Su cápsula cefálica está fuertemente quitinizada y sus patas protorácicas son más largas y más gruesas que las restantes. Según observaciones de laboratorio, cada ovipostura incluye de siete a diez huevos cada vez, con un máximo de seis oviposturas por hembra. Los huevos son enterrados en el suelo, recubiertos con un mucílago que genera una película de arena-arcilla adherida al corión.Reproduction and ultrastructure of egg and first instar larvae of Gyriosomus kingi (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae from the desert of Atacama. Gyriosomus is an important Chilean genus of Tenebrionidae, inhabiting the coastal desert of this country. in this environment, the Gyriosomus-species are both eremic and endemic components of the epigean entomofauna. Despite the ecological importance of these species in the Chilean desert, there is a lack of knowledge on the preimaginal stages of them. in this paper we describe the egg and first instar larval morphology of G. kingi Reed, 1873, along with

  4. Sunyaev-Zeldovich Predictions for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menanteau, Felipe; Hughes, J. P.; Jimenez, R.; Barkhouse, W.; Berta, Z.; Hansen, S.; Hernandez-Monteagudo, C.; Kosowsky, A.; Lin, Y. T.; Moodley, K.; Ngeow, C.; Roche, N.; Spergel, D.; Tucker, D.; Verde, L.

    2007-05-01

    We present predictions for the microwave sky in a low-extinction region centered near RA = 23:00 and Dec = -55:12, which will be surveyed in the coming year at 145 GHz by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT, PI: Lyman Page) and in the X-ray band by XMM-Newton (PI: Hans Boehringer). The predictions are based on Sunyaev-Zeldovich distortions drawn from optical data collected by the Blanco Cosmology Survey (BCS). We also compare the predictions with X-ray data from the ROSAT All Sky Survey. The BCS (PI: Joe Mohr) is a NOAO large, wide-field survey project that has been awarded 45 nights on the CTIO Blanco 4-meter telescope to image two 50 square-degree patches of the southern sky in four bands (griz). The survey began in 2005 and has completed two (out of three) years of data taking. A preliminary automated image reduction and analysis pipeline for the BCS data is briefly summarized. Financial support was provided by the NSF under the PIRE program (OISE-0530095).

  5. Far Sidelobes Measurement of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duenner, Rolando; Gallardo, Patricio; Wollack, Ed; Henriquez, Fernando; Jerez-Hanckes, Carlos

    2012-01-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is a 6m telescope designed to map the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) simultaneously at 145GHz, 220 GHz and 280 GHz. Its off-axis Gregorian design is intended to minimize and control the off-axis sidelobe response, which is critical for scientific purposes. The expected sidelobe level for this kind of design is less than -50 dB and can be challenging to measure. Here we present a measurement of the 145 GHz far sidelobes of ACT done on the near-field of the telescope. We used a 1 mW microwave source placed 13 meters away from the telescope and a chopper wheel to produce a varying signal that could be detected by the camera for different orientations of the telescope. The source feed was designed to produce a wide beam profile. Given that the coupling is expected to be dominated by diffraction over the telescope shielding structure, when combined with a measurements of the main beam far field response, these measurement can be used to validate elements of optical design and constrain the level of spurious coupling at large angles. Our results show that the diffractive coupling beyond the ground screen is consistently below -75 dB, satisfying the design expectations.

  6. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: The Polarization-Sensitive ACTPol Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, R. J.; Ade, P. A. R.; Aiola, S.; Angile, F. E.; Amiri, M.; Beall, J. A.; Becker, D. T.; Cho, H.-M.; Choi, S. K.; Corlies, P.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) makes high angular resolution measurements of anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at millimeter wavelengths. We describe ACTPol, an upgraded receiver for ACT, which uses feedhorn-coupled, polarization-sensitive detector arrays, a 3deg field of view, 100 mK cryogenics with continuous cooling, and meta material antireflection coatings. ACTPol comprises three arrays with separate cryogenic optics: two arrays at a central frequency of 148 GHz and one array operating simultaneously at both 97 GHz and 148 GHz. The combined instrument sensitivity, angular resolution, and sky coverage are optimized for measuring angular power spectra, clusters via the thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) and kinetic SZ signals, and CMB lensing due to large-scale structure. The receiver was commissioned with its first 148 GHz array in 2013, observed with both 148 GHz arrays in 2014, and has recently completed its first full season of operations with the full suite of three arrays. This paper provides an overview of the design and initial performance of the receiver and related systems.

  7. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: The Polarization-sensitive ACTPol Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, R. J.; Ade, P. A. R.; Aiola, S.; Angilè, F. E.; Amiri, M.; Beall, J. A.; Becker, D. T.; Cho, H.-M.; Choi, S. K.; Corlies, P.; Coughlin, K. P.; Datta, R.; Devlin, M. J.; Dicker, S. R.; Dünner, R.; Fowler, J. W.; Fox, A. E.; Gallardo, P. A.; Gao, J.; Grace, E.; Halpern, M.; Hasselfield, M.; Henderson, S. W.; Hilton, G. C.; Hincks, A. D.; Ho, S. P.; Hubmayr, J.; Irwin, K. D.; Klein, J.; Koopman, B.; Li, Dale; Louis, T.; Lungu, M.; Maurin, L.; McMahon, J.; Munson, C. D.; Naess, S.; Nati, F.; Newburgh, L.; Nibarger, J.; Niemack, M. D.; Niraula, P.; Nolta, M. R.; Page, L. A.; Pappas, C. G.; Schillaci, A.; Schmitt, B. L.; Sehgal, N.; Sievers, J. L.; Simon, S. M.; Staggs, S. T.; Tucker, C.; Uehara, M.; van Lanen, J.; Ward, J. T.; Wollack, E. J.

    2016-12-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) makes high angular resolution measurements of anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at millimeter wavelengths. We describe ACTPol, an upgraded receiver for ACT, which uses feedhorn-coupled, polarization-sensitive detector arrays, a 3° field of view, 100 mK cryogenics with continuous cooling, and meta material antireflection coatings. ACTPol comprises three arrays with separate cryogenic optics: two arrays at a central frequency of 148 GHz and one array operating simultaneously at both 97 GHz and 148 GHz. The combined instrument sensitivity, angular resolution, and sky coverage are optimized for measuring angular power spectra, clusters via the thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich (SZ) and kinetic SZ signals, and CMB lensing due to large-scale structure. The receiver was commissioned with its first 148 GHz array in 2013, observed with both 148 GHz arrays in 2014, and has recently completed its first full season of operations with the full suite of three arrays. This paper provides an overview of the design and initial performance of the receiver and related systems.

  8. A New Infrared Desert Dust Index over French Guyana Rain forest: First results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinie, J.; Barnacin, E.; Henry, J. L.; Gobinddass, M. L.; Panechou-Pulcherie, K.; Feuillard, T.; Nagau, J.

    2017-12-01

    Recently a NASA researcher showed the role of desert dust contribution for the Amazonian rain forest. In another hand, desert dust impact population health when PM 10 level reached values around and upper the PM 10 threshold of the 50 µg m-3, established by the World Health Organization (WHO). Infrared Desert Dust Index (IDDI) developed by Legrand with Meteosat infrared images, allow the following of desert dust plumes over semi-arid land. In French Guiana the WHO threshold is currently overpass in measurements done by ORA air quality network, in the two main towns located close to the coast. For inland population, it is very difficult to have continuous dust measures due to the low infrastructure supplies. We need to develop a tools in order to follow the crossing of desert dust over the French Guyana rain forest, from the coast to inland villages. Following the IDDI concept and comparing with VIIRS AOT EDR result over the same area, a modified IDDI for Amazonian region (IDDI_A) has been proposed to identify the dusty pixels over the forest. Despite of high cloud presence, a good correlation between AOT EDR and IDDI_A was obtained. The IDDI_A calculation has been applied over French Guiana area for different PM 10 level at Cayenne, a town along the coast.

  9. A microbial oasis in the hypersaline Atacama subsurface discovered by a life detector chip: implications for the search for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parro, Victor; de Diego-Castilla, Graciela; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; Blanco, Yolanda; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José A; Fernández-Remolar, David; Gómez, Felipe; Gómez, Manuel J; Rivas, Luis A; Demergasso, Cecilia; Echeverría, Alex; Urtuvia, Viviana N; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Postigo, Marina; Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Chong-Díaz, Guillermo; Gómez-Elvira, Javier

    2011-12-01

    The Atacama Desert has long been considered a good Mars analogue for testing instrumentation for planetary exploration, but very few data (if any) have been reported about the geomicrobiology of its salt-rich subsurface. We performed a Mars analogue drilling campaign next to the Salar Grande (Atacama, Chile) in July 2009, and several cores and powder samples from up to 5 m deep were analyzed in situ with LDChip300 (a Life Detector Chip containing 300 antibodies). Here, we show the discovery of a hypersaline subsurface microbial habitat associated with halite-, nitrate-, and perchlorate-containing salts at 2 m deep. LDChip300 detected bacteria, archaea, and other biological material (DNA, exopolysaccharides, some peptides) from the analysis of less than 0.5 g of ground core sample. The results were supported by oligonucleotide microarray hybridization in the field and finally confirmed by molecular phylogenetic analysis and direct visualization of microbial cells bound to halite crystals in the laboratory. Geochemical analyses revealed a habitat with abundant hygroscopic salts like halite (up to 260 g kg(-1)) and perchlorate (41.13 μg g(-1) maximum), which allow deliquescence events at low relative humidity. Thin liquid water films would permit microbes to proliferate by using detected organic acids like acetate (19.14 μg g(-1)) or formate (76.06 μg g(-1)) as electron donors, and sulfate (15875 μg g(-1)), nitrate (13490 μg g(-1)), or perchlorate as acceptors. Our results correlate with the discovery of similar hygroscopic salts and possible deliquescence processes on Mars, and open new search strategies for subsurface martian biota. The performance demonstrated by our LDChip300 validates this technology for planetary exploration, particularly for the search for life on Mars.

  10. Population, desert expanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    The conditions of desert expansion in the Sahara are highlighted. On the southern border the desert is growing at a rate of 3-6 miles/year. This growth is encroaching on arable land in Ethiopia and Mauritania. The region loses up to 28,000 sq miles/year of farmland. 33% of Africa's fertile land is threatened. Land-use patterns are responsible for the deterioration of the soil. Traditional practices are not effective because the practices are not suitable for permanent farming. Farmers also have stopped environmentally sound practices such as letting the fields remain fallow in order to renew soil fertility. Nomads overgraze areas before moving on. A recent study by the World Bank's Africa Region Office was released; the report details some of the links between rapid population growth, poor agricultural performance, and environmental degradation. Soil conditions are such that valuable topsoil is blow away by the wind because the layer is too thin. Vegetation at the desert's edge is used for cooking purposes or for heating fuel. Tropical and savannah areas are depleted when tree replacement is inadequate. Only 9 trees are planted for every 100 removed. The report emphasized the role of women and children in contributing to population pressure by increased fertility. Women's work load is heavy and children are a help in alleviating some of the burden of domestic and agricultural work. There is hope in meeting demographic, agricultural, food security, and environmental objectives over the next 30 years if the needs of women are met. The needs include access to education for young women, lessening the work loads of women, and decreasing child mortality through improved health care and access to safe water.

  11. Physiological adaptation in desert birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Williams, Joseph B.

    We call into question the idea that birds have not evolved unique physiological adaptations to desert environments. The rate at which desert larks metabolize energy is lower than in mesic species within the same family, and this lower rate of living translates into a lower overall energy requirement

  12. Hydrogeology and sustainable future groundwater abstraction from the Agua Verde aquifer in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urrutia, Javier; Jódar, Jorge; Medina, Agustín; Herrera, Christian; Chong, Guillermo; Urqueta, Harry; Luque, José A.

    2018-03-01

    The hyper-arid conditions prevailing in Agua Verde aquifer in northern Chile make this system the most important water source for nearby towns and mining industries. Due to the growing demand for water in this region, recharge is investigated along with the impact of intense pumping activity in this aquifer. A conceptual model of the hydrogeological system is developed and implemented into a two-dimensional groundwater-flow numerical model. To assess the impact of climate change and groundwater extraction, several scenarios are simulated considering variations in both aquifer recharge and withdrawals. The estimated average groundwater lateral recharge from Precordillera (pre-mountain range) is about 4,482 m3/day. The scenarios that consider an increase of water withdrawal show a non-sustainable groundwater consumption leading to an over-exploitation of the resource, because the outflows surpasses inflows, causing storage depletion. The greater the depletion, the larger the impact of recharge reduction caused by the considered future climate change. This result indicates that the combined effects of such factors may have a severe impact on groundwater availability as found in other groundwater-dependent regions located in arid environments. Furthermore, the scenarios that consider a reduction of the extraction flow rate show that it may be possible to partially alleviate the damage already caused to the aquifer by the continuous extractions since 1974, and it can partially counteract climate change impacts on future groundwater availability caused by a decrease in precipitation (and so in recharge), if the desalination plant in Taltal increases its capacity.

  13. Raman imaging in geomicrobiology: endolithic phototrophic microorganisms in gypsum from the extreme sun irradiation area in the Atacama Desert

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vítek, Petr; Ascao, C.; Artieda, O.; Wierzchos, J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 408, č. 15 (2016), s. 4083-4092 ISSN 1618-2642 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : hyperspectral imaging * carotenoids * astrobiology * photosynthesis * adaptation strategy * Mars Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 3.431, year: 2016

  14. Mirror Illumination and Spillover Measurements of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallardo, Patricio; Dunner, Rolando; Wollack, Ed; Jerez-Hanckes, Carlos

    2012-01-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is a 6 m telescope designed to map the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) simultaneously at 145 GHz, 220GHz and 280GHz, The receiver in ACT, the Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera, features 1000 TES bolometers in each band, The detector performance depends critically on the total optical loading, requiring the spmover contributions from the optics to be minimal. This inspired the use of a cold Lyot stop to limit the illumination of the primary and the use of guard rings surrounding the primary and secondary reflectors. Here, we present a direct measurement of the illumination aperture for both reflectors and of the attenuation level outside the main optical path. We used a 145 GHz, 1 m W source and a chopper wheel to produce a time-varying signal with a broad heam proflle, We sampled the response of the camera for different locations of the source, placed in front and beside the primary and secondary mirrors. The aperture of the primary was measured to be 5,72 plus or minus 0,17m in diameter (95 plus or minus 3% of its geometrical size), while the aperture of the secondary yielded 2 plus or minus 0.12m in diameter. Both apertures are consistent with the optical design. Comparing to previous measurements of the beam solid angle from planet observations, we estimate an optical efficiency of 72.3 plus or minus 4,8%. We found that the attenuation outside the primary aperture was -16 plus or minus 2dB, which is below the theoretical expectations, and -22 plus or minus 1 dB outside the secondary aperture, which is consistent with simulations. These results motivated the extension of the baffles surrounding the secondary mirror, with the following reduction in detector optical loading from 2,24 pW to 188pW.

  15. Survey Strategy Optimization for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Bernardis, F.; Stevens, J. R.; Hasselfield, M.; Alonso, D.; Bond, J. R.; Calabrese, E.; Choi, S. K.; Crowley, K. T.; Devlin, M.; Wollack, E. J.

    2016-01-01

    In recent years there have been significant improvements in the sensitivity and the angular resolution of the instruments dedicated to the observation of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). ACTPol is the first polarization receiver for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and is observing the CMB sky with arcmin resolution over approximately 2000 square degrees. Its upgrade, Advanced ACTPol (AdvACT), will observe the CMB in five frequency bands and over a larger area of the sky. We describe the optimization and implementation of the ACTPol and AdvACT surveys. The selection of the observed fields is driven mainly by the science goals, that is, small angular scale CMB measurements, B-mode measurements and cross-correlation studies. For the ACTPol survey we have observed patches of the southern galactic sky with low galactic foreground emissions which were also chosen to maximize the overlap with several galaxy surveys to allow unique cross-correlation studies. A wider field in the northern galactic cap ensured significant additional overlap with the BOSS spectroscopic survey. The exact shapes and footprints of the fields were optimized to achieve uniform coverage and to obtain cross-linked maps by observing the fields with different scan directions. We have maximized the efficiency of the survey by implementing a close to 24-hour observing strategy, switching between daytime and nighttime observing plans and minimizing the telescope idle time. We describe the challenges represented by the survey optimization for the significantly wider area observed by AdvACT, which will observe roughly half of the low-foreground sky. The survey strategies described here may prove useful for planning future ground-based CMB surveys, such as the Simons Observatory and CMB Stage IV surveys.

  16. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Data Characterization and Map Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duenner, Rolando; Hasselfield, Matthew; Marriage, Tobias A.; Sievers, Jon; Acquaviva, Viviana; Addison, Graeme E.; Ade, Peter A. R.; Aguirre, Paula; Amiri, Mandana; Appel, John William; hide

    2012-01-01

    We present a description of the data reduction and mapmaking pipeline used for the 2008 observing season of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). The data presented here at 148 GHz represent 12% or the 90 TB collected by ACT from 2007 to 2010. In 2008 we observed for 136 days, producing a total of 142h of data (11 TB for the 148 GHz band only), with a daily average of 10.5 h of observation. From these, 108.5 h were devoted to 850 sq deg stripe (11.2 h by 9 deg.1) centered on a declination of -52 deg.7, while 175 h were devoted to a 280 square deg stripe (4.5 h by 4 deg.8) centered at the celestial equator. We discuss sources of statistical and systematic noise, calibration, telescope pointing and data selection. Out of 1260 survey hours and 1024 detectors per array, 816 h and 593 effective detectors remain after data selection for this frequency band, yielding a 38 % survey efficiency. The total sensitivity in 2008, determined from the noise level between 5 Hz and 20 Hz in the time-ordered data stream (TOD), is 32 muK square root of s in CMB units. Atmospheric brightness fluctuations constitute the main contaminant in the data and dominate the detector and noise covariance at low frequencies in the TOD. The maps were made by solving the lease squares problem using the Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient method, incorporating the details of the detector and noise correlations. Cross-correlation with WMAP sky maps as well as analysis from simulations reveal the our maps are unbiased at l > 300. This paper accompanies the public release of the 148 GHz southern stripe maps from 2008. The techniques described here will be applied to future maps and data releases.

  17. THE ATACAMA COSMOLOGY TELESCOPE: DATA CHARACTERIZATION AND MAPMAKING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duenner, Rolando; Aguirre, Paula; Barrientos, L. Felipe [Departamento de Astronomia y Astrofisica, Facultad de Fisica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Casilla 306, Santiago 22 (Chile); Hasselfield, Matthew; Amiri, Mandana; Battistelli, Elia S.; Burger, Bryce [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Marriage, Tobias A.; Acquaviva, Viviana; Das, Sudeep [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Sievers, Jon; Appel, John William [Joseph Henry Laboratories of Physics, Jadwin Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Addison, Graeme E.; Calabrese, Erminia [Department of Astrophysics, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Ade, Peter A. R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA (United Kingdom); Bond, J. Richard [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Brown, Ben [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (United States); Chervenak, Jay [Code 553/665, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Devlin, Mark J.; Dicker, Simon R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); and others

    2013-01-01

    We present a description of the data reduction and mapmaking pipeline used for the 2008 observing season of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). The data presented here at 148 GHz represent 12% of the 90 TB collected by ACT from 2007 to 2010. In 2008 we observed for 136 days, producing a total of 1423 hr of data (11 TB for the 148 GHz band only), with a daily average of 10.5 hr of observation. From these, 1085 hr were devoted to an 850 deg{sup 2} stripe (11.2 hr by 9. Degree-Sign 1) centered on a declination of -52. Degree-Sign 7, while 175 hr were devoted to a 280 deg{sup 2} stripe (4.5 hr by 4. Degree-Sign 8) centered at the celestial equator. The remaining 163 hr correspond to calibration runs. We discuss sources of statistical and systematic noise, calibration, telescope pointing, and data selection. For the 148 GHz band, out of 1260 survey hours and 1024 detectors in the array, 816 hr and 593 effective detectors remain after data selection, yielding a 38% survey efficiency. The total sensitivity in 2008, determined from the noise level between 5 Hz and 20 Hz in the time-ordered data stream (TOD), is 32 {mu}K{radical}s in cosmic microwave background units. Atmospheric brightness fluctuations constitute the main contaminant in the data and dominate the detector noise covariance at low frequencies in the TOD. The maps were made by solving the least-squares problem using the Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient method, incorporating the details of the detector and noise correlations. Simulations, as well as cross-correlations with Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe sky maps on large angular scales, reveal that our maps are unbiased at multipoles l > 300. This paper accompanies the public release of the 148 GHz southern stripe maps from 2008. The techniques described here will be applied to future maps and data releases.

  18. Microbial diversity in sediment ecosystems (evaporites domes, microbial mats and crusts of hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Beatriz Fernandez

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea in bulk samples and, in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity.

  19. Supersymmetry without the Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nomura, Yasunori; Poland, David

    2006-01-01

    Naturalness of electroweak symmetry breaking in weak scale supersymmetric theories may suggest the absence of the conventional supersymmetric desert. We present a simple, realistic framework for supersymmetry in which (most of) the virtues of the supersymmetric desert are naturally reproduced without having a large energy interval above the weak scale. The successful supersymmetric prediction for the low-energy gauge couplings is reproduced due to a gauged R symmetry present in the effective theory at the weak scale. The observable sector superpotential naturally takes the form of the next-to-minimal supersymmetric standard model, but without being subject to the Landau pole constraints up to the conventional unification scale. Supersymmetry breaking masses are generated by the F-term and D-term VEVs of singlet and U(1) R gauge fields, as well as by anomaly mediation, at a scale not far above the weak scale. We study the resulting pattern of supersymmetry breaking masses in detail, and find that it can be quite distinct. We construct classes of explicit models within this framework, based on higher dimensional unified theories with TeV-sized extra dimensions. A similar model based on a non-R symmetry is also presented. These models have a rich phenomenology at the TeV scale, and allow for detailed analyses of, e.g., electroweak symmetry breaking

  20. Livestock grazing and the desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.

    1994-01-01

    A large part of the Mojave Desert is not in pristine condition, and some current conditions can be related to past grazing-management practices. No information could be found on densities of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) or on vegetative conditions of areas that had not been grazed to allow managers a comparison of range conditions with data on tortoises. Experimental information to assess the effect of livestock grazing on tortoises is lacking, and researchers have not yet examined whether the forage that remains after grazing is sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of desert tortoises.

  1. Millimeter and submillimeter observations from the Atacama plateau and high altitude balloons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devlin, Mark

    2002-05-01

    A new generation of ground-based and sub-orbital platforms will be operational in the next few years. These telescopes will operate from high sites in Chile and Antarctica, and airborne platforms where the atmosphere is transparent enough to allow sensitive measurements in the millimeter and submillimeter bands. The telescopes will employ state-of-the-art instrumentation including large format bolometer arrays and spectrometers. I will discuss the results of our observations in the Atacama region of Chile (MAT/TOCO), our future observations on the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) now under construction, and our proposed Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). .

  2. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

    experienced boatmen. Most river water, even in deserts, contains Giardia micro -organisms that can cause serious diarrhea. Sich water should be boiled...water. The solutes and suspended micro -matter can be moved up and down by an oscillating water table and redeposited or precipitated at differ- ent...McCauley, U.S. Geological Survey, Desert Studies Group, Flagstaff, AZ, Nov 1973. B. Servicio Aerofotografia Nacional del Peru (on back). / ...... CONN:MFI

  3. Aborigines of the nuclear desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rujula, A. de

    1985-01-01

    The chart of 'stable nuclides' extends from Hydrogen, to Z proportional 98, A proportional 263. It contains another island of stability - neutron stars - in a narrow range around Z proportional 10 56 , A proportional 10 57 . In between lies a supposedly barren region encompassing more than 50 orders of magnitude. This desert may be populated by strange quark balls: Stable single bags containing similar proportions of u, d and s quarks. These balls are candidates for the constituency of the 'dark mass' in galaxies and in the Universe. We describe seven ways to search for these possible inhabitants of the nuclear desert. (orig.)

  4. Sedimentology and preservation of aeolian sediments on steep terrains : Incipient sand ramps on the Atacama coast (northern Chile)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ventra, Dario; Rodríguez-López, Juan Pedro; de Boer, Poppe L.

    2017-01-01

    The origin of topographically controlled aeolian landforms in high-relief settings is difficult to synthesize under general models, given the dependence of such accumulations on local morphology. Quaternary sand ramps have been linked to palaeoclimate, regional geomorphology and wind patterns;

  5. Precipitation Dynamics and Feedback mechanisms of the Arabian Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Roelof; Kucera, Paul; Piketh, Stuart; Axisa, Duncan; Chapman, Michael; Krauss, Terry; Ghulam, Ayman

    2010-05-01

    The subtropical Arabian desert extends across the entire Peninsula. The Arabian desert finds itself in the downward branch of the Hadley cell with persistent subsidence. This stabilizes the atmosphere and lowers the relative humidity. The result is a strongly capped convective boundary layer and an extremely dry mid troposphere. Most of the area experience very little rainfall, generally below 100 mm per year, resulting in the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world. However, local factors such as an unbroken 1000 km escarpment along the Red Sea, rocky mountains between 2000 and 3000 m, and gravel plains cut by wadis, causes micro climates with significant altered precipitation characteristics. Altitude oases with annual rainfall between 200 mm and 500 mm are found on the Asir mountains in the south west and over the Jebel Akdhar mountains on the Gulf coast of Oman. This region receives most of its rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere summer driven by a monsoon trough and the ITCZ. During summer, moist surface winds from the Red Sea converges with dry easterlies triggering convection along the Asir escarpment on a daily basis. Clear mornings grow into a layer of Altocumulus stratiformis cumulogenites by noon, which usually last until sunset. This cloud deck interacts with large severe convective cells which grow to the top of the troposphere by mid afternoon. The north experience a mediterranean climate with eastward propagating midlatitude cyclones causing wintertime rainfall. Characteristic cloud bands form over the northern interior. Vertically layered embedded convective cells that are not coupled with the surface propagate on north easterly tracks. This result in another oasis with annual rainfall exceeding 200 mm. Surface based convection causes isolated thunderstorms during spring and early summer, but cloud bases increase as the season progress until the evaporating downdraft causes dust storms. In-situ measurements, WRF model runs, radiosonde ascends

  6. Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Polarization calibration analysis for CMB measurements with ACTPol and Advanced ACTPol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koopman, Brian; ACTPol Collaboration

    2015-04-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) is a polarization sensitive upgrade for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, located at an elevation of 5190 m on Cerro Toco in Chile. Achieving first light in 2013, ACTPol is entering its third observation season. Advanced ACTPol is a next generation upgrade for ACTPol, with additional frequencies, polarization modulation, and new detector arrays, that will begin in 2016. I will first present an overview of the two projects and then focus on describing the methods used for polarization angle calibration of the ACTPol detectors. These methods utilize polarization ray tracing in the optical design software CODEV together with detector positions determined from planet observations and represent a critical input for mapping the polarization of the CMB.

  7. ACTPol: Status and preliminary CMB polarization results from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koopman, Brian

    2014-03-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) is a polarization sensitive upgrade for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, located at an elevation of 5190 m on Cerro Toco in Chile. In summer 2013, ACTPol achieved first light with one third of the final detector configuration. The remaining two thirds of the detector array will be installed during spring 2014, enabling full sensitivity, high resolution, observations at both 90 GHz and 150 GHz. Using approximately 3,000 transition-edge sensor bolometers, ACTPol will enable measurements of small angular scale polarization anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). I will present a status update for the ACTPol receiver and some preliminary results. ACTPol measurements will allow us to probe the spectral index of inflation as well as to constrain early dark energy and the sum of neutrino masses.

  8. Russian deserters of World War I

    OpenAIRE

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-01-01

    Desertion is one of the most active forms of ordinary resistance of the people to the state pressure during the low-popular war which is conducting for the purposes unclear for the people. At the same time, mass desertion is a manifestation of «total» war in the world conflicts of the XX century. During World War I in all armies of the world there was the desertion often accepting mass character. In the Russian army, as well as in other, deserters appeared from the war beginning. Desertion sca...

  9. María Elena: el fin de una experiencia urbana: Un estudio de caso en el desierto de Atacama, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JUAN CARLOS RODRÍGUEZ TORRENT

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available En el presente trabajo se plantea la relación entre la ciudad salitrera de María Elena (II Región, diseñada de acuerdo a propuestas utópicas en un territorio privado, y el cambio de las relaciones laborales entre la Compañía SQM y los trabajadores a partir del predominio de un nuevo modelo de acumulación cuyos ejes están dados por la competitividad, la producción de calidad y la globalización. La ciudad fue creada para que hombres y mujeres construyeran sus proyectos de vida en medio del Desierto de Atacama, ofreciéndoles todas las garantías y la infraestructura para que ello fuese así en los marcos de una política de pleno empleo, de modo de contener a la población en un medio inhóspito, cumplir los objetivos productivos y fortalecer una identidad coherente y cohesionada, lo que a partir de nuevas decisiones estratégicas es substituido por un modelo de flexibilidad laboral, lo que anula su definición primigenia y el interés colectivo para comenzar a dar paso a un campamento minero.In this paper we look into the relationship between the nitrate town of Maria Elena (in Region II - designed on Utopian principals as a private project - and the changing labor relations between the SQM Company and the workers as a result of the predominance of a new accumulation model guided by competitiveness, quality production and globalization. The town was created so that men and women could establish their livelihoods in the Atacama Desert, with guarantees and infrastructure based on a full employment policy. This was in order to anchor the population in this inhospitable environment, to meet production objectives and to strengthen a coherent and cohesive identity. New strategic decisions led to this model being replaced by one based on labour flexibilization, deleting its original intention and collective interest to give way to a mining camp.

  10. La restauración en comunidad de la iglesia de San Pedro de Atacama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Yuste Miguel

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available En medio del gran desierto de Atacama caracterizado por una gran aridez y amplitud térmica, se ubica en un fértil oasis, la iglesia de San Pedro de Atacama. Su construcción original dataría del siglo XVI, la actual, del siglo XVIII, conserva el estilo arquitectónico barroco del ámbito sur andino. La obra está sorprendentemente adecuada a la ecología, sismicidad y materialidad del desierto. Destacan sus muros de adobe, techumbre de par y nudillo de chañar y entablado de cactus. La iglesia ha sufrido sucesivos incendios, sismos, inundaciones y sobrecargas en el techo que han ido provocando daños acumulativos graves en su estructura. El proyecto de restauración ejecutado por Fundación Altiplano buscó ajustarse a los criterios y técnicas vigentes para la conservación patrimonial de construcciones en tierra, como también a los de preservación del patrimonio y desarrollo sostenible, a través del fortalecimiento de la comunidad de San Pedro de Atacama.

  11. Stable isotope evidence for an atmospheric origin of desert nitrate deposits in northern Chile and southern California, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhlke, J.K.; Ericksen, G.E.; Revesz, K.

    1997-01-01

    Natural surficial accumulations of nitrate-rich salts in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile, and in the Death Valley region of the Mojave Desert, southern California, are well known, but despite many geologic and geochemical studies, the origins of the nitrates have remained controversial. N and O isotopes in nitrate, and S isotopes in coexisting soluble sulfate, were measured to determine if some proposed N sources could be supported or rejected, and to determine if the isotopic signature of these natural deposits could be used to distinguish them from various types of anthropogenic nitrate contamination that might be found in desert groundwaters. High-grade caliche-type nitrate deposits from both localities have ??15N values that range from -5 to +5???, but are mostly near 0???. Values of ??15N near 0??? are consistent with either bulk atmospheric N deposition or microbial N fixation as major sources of the N in the deposits. ??18O values of those desert nitrates with ??15N near 0??? range from about +31 to + 50??? (V-SMOW), significantly higher than that of atmospheric O2 (+ 23.5???). Such high values of ??18O are considered unlikely to result entirely from nitrification of reduced N, but rather resemble those of modern atmospheric nitrate in precipitation from some other localities. Assuming that limited modern atmospheric isotope data are applicable to the deposits, and allowing for nitrification of co-deposited ammonium, it is estimated that the fraction of the nitrate in the deposits that could be accounted for isotopically by atmospheric N deposition may be at least 20% and possibly as much as 100%. ??34S values are less diagnostic but could also be consistent with atmospheric components in some of the soluble sulfates associated with the deposits. The stable isotope data support the hypothesis that some high-grade caliche-type nitrate-rich salt deposits in some of the Earth's hyperarid deserts represent long-term accumulations of atmospheric deposition

  12. Coast Guard Compass

    Science.gov (United States)

    looks on as Adm. Charles Ray thanks Adm. Chuck Michel for his service as the 30th vice commandant of the commandant Adm. Charles W. Ray relieved Adm. Charles D. Michel as vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard by . Following graduation and commissioning as an officer in the Coast Guard, Wright will be heading to the

  13. Influence of surface roughness of a desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sud, Y. C.; Smith, W. E.

    1984-01-01

    A numerical simulation study, using the current GLAS climate GCM, was carried out to examine the influence of low bulk aerodynamic drag parameter in the deserts. The results illustrate the importance of yet another feedback effect of a desert on itself, that is produced by the reduction in surface roughness height of land once the vegetation dies and desert forms. Apart from affecting the moisture convergence, low bulk transport coefficients of a desert lead to enhanced longwave cooling and sinking which together reduce precipitation by Charney's (1975) mechanism. Thus, this effect, together with albedo and soil moisture influence, perpetuate a desert condition through its geophysical feedback effect. The study further suggests that man made deserts is a viable hypothesis.

  14. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Calibration with the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe Using Cross-Correlations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajian, Amir; Acquaviva, Viviana; Ade, Peter A. R.; Aguirre, Paula; Amiri, Mandana; Appel, John William; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Battistelli, Elia S.; Bond, John R.; Brown, Ben; hide

    2011-01-01

    We present a new calibration method based on cross-correlations with the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and apply it to data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). ACT's observing strategy and mapmaking procedure allows an unbiased reconstruction of the modes in the maps over a wide range of multipoles. By directly matching the ACT maps to WMAP observations in the multipole range of 400 cosmological parameters estimated from the ACT power spectra. We also present a combined map based on ACT and WMAP data that has a high signal-to-noise ratio over a wide range of multipoles.

  15. Factores determinantes del rendimiento académico de los estudiantes de la Universidad de Atacama

    OpenAIRE

    Barahona U,Planck

    2014-01-01

    El objetivo de este trabajo es determinar los factores asociados al rendimiento académico, para el año lectivo 2010-2011, de los estudiantes de primer año de las carreras de Trabajo Social, Ingeniería, Derecho y Humanidades de la Universidad de Atacama (UDA), para un total de 258 alumnos. El trabajo lo hemos dividido en dos partes; en la primera, hemos creído conveniente utilizar el modelo de Regresión Múltiple con datos de corte transversal para determinar las variables predictoras del rendi...

  16. Oceans and Coasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    An overview of EPA’s oceans, coasts, estuaries and beaches programs and the regulatory (permits/rules) and non-regulatory approaches for managing their associated environmental issues, such as water pollution and climate change.

  17. US west coast

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Aerial surveys are conducted along the US west coast to determine distribution and abundance of endangered leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), loggerhead...

  18. The Riparianness of a Desert Herpetofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles H. Lowe

    1989-01-01

    Within the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Desert subdivisions of the North American Desert in the U.S., more than half of 143 total amphibian and reptilian species perform as riparian and/or wetland taxa. For the reptiles, but not the amphibians, there is a significant inverse relationship between riparianness (obligate through preferential and facultative to...

  19. The Bulimulidae (Mollusca: Pulmonata) from the Región de Atacama, northern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Juan Francisco

    2015-01-01

    The bulimulid genus Bostryx Troschel, 1847 is the most species-rich genus of land snails found in Chile, with the majority of its species found only in the northern part of the country, usually in arid coastal zones. This genus has been sparsely studied in Chile and there is little information on their distribution, diversity or ecology. Here, for the first time, a formal analysis of the diversity of bulimulids in the Región de Atacama, northern Chile, is reported. Of the seventeen species recorded for the area, most of them were efectively found in the field collections and one record was based on literature. Five taxa are described as new: Bostryx ancavilorum sp. nov., Bostryx breurei sp. nov., Bostryx calderaensis sp. nov., Bostryx ireneae sp. nov. and Bostryx valdovinosi sp. nov., and the known geographic distribution of seven species is extended. Results reveal that the Región de Atacama is the richest region in terrestrial snails in Chile, after the Juan Fernández Archipelago. All of the terrestrial molluscan species occurring in the area are endemic to Chile, most of them with restricted geographic distributions along the coastal zones, and none of them are currently protected by law. Further sampling in northern Chile will probably reveal more snail species to be discovered and described.

  20. The First Multichroic Polarimeter Array on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Characterization and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, S. P.; Pappas, C. G.; Austermann, J.; Beall, J. A.; Becker, D.; Choi, S. K.; Datta, R.; Duff, S. M.; Gallardo, P. A.; Grace, E.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) is a polarization sensitive receiver for the 6-meter Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and measures the small angular scale polarization anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The full focal plane is composed of three detector arrays, containing over 3000 transition edge sensors (TES detectors) in total. The first two detector arrays, observing at 146 gigahertz, were deployed in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The third and final array is composed of multichroic pixels sensitive to both 90 and 146 gigahertz and saw first light in February 2015. Fabricated at NIST, this dichroic array consists of 255 pixels, with a total of 1020 polarization sensitive bolometers and is coupled to the telescope with a monolithic array of broad-band silicon feedhorns. The detectors are read out using time-division SQUID multiplexing and cooled by a dilution refrigerator at 110 meter Kelvins. We present an overview of the assembly and characterization of this multichroic array in the lab, and the initial detector performance in Chile. The detector array has a TES detector electrical yield of 85 percent, a total array sensitivity of less than 10 microns Kelvin root mean square speed, and detector time constants and saturation powers suitable for ACT CMB observations.

  1. The First Multichroic Polarimeter Array on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Characterization and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, S. P.; Pappas, C. G.; Austermann, J.; Beall, J. A.; Becker, D.; Choi, S. K.; Datta, R.; Duff, S. M.; Gallardo, P. A.; Grace, E.; Hasselfield, M.; Henderson, S. W.; Hilton, G. C.; Hubmayr, J.; Koopman, B. J.; Lanen, J. V.; Li, D.; McMahon, J.; Nati, F.; Niemack, M. D.; Niraula, P.; Salatino, M.; Schillaci, A.; Schmitt, B. L.; Simon, S. M.; Staggs, S. T.; Stevens, J. R.; Ward, J. T.; Wollack, E. J.; Vavagiakis, E. M.

    2016-08-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) is a polarization sensitive receiver for the 6-m Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and measures the small angular scale polarization anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The full focal plane is composed of three detector arrays, containing over 3000 transition edge sensors (TES detectors) in total. The first two detector arrays, observing at 146 GHz, were deployed in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The third and final array is composed of multichroic pixels sensitive to both 90 and 146 GHz and saw first light in February 2015. Fabricated at NIST, this dichroic array consists of 255 pixels, with a total of 1020 polarization sensitive bolometers and is coupled to the telescope with a monolithic array of broad-band silicon feedhorns. The detectors are read out using time-division SQUID multiplexing and cooled by a dilution refrigerator at 110 mK. We present an overview of the assembly and characterization of this multichroic array in the lab, and the initial detector performance in Chile. The detector array has a TES detector electrical yield of 85 %, a total array sensitivity of less than 10 \\upmu K√{ {s}}, and detector time constants and saturation powers suitable for ACT CMB observations.

  2. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

    Based on fieldwork in Egypt’s desert lands, this paper discusses rural childhoods in an area experiencing rapid social and cultural change. Since 1987, the Egyptian Government has made new villages in the desert as a means to increase agricultural production and solving problems of unemployment....... Many settlers move to the Mubarak villages in order to give their children a good start in life. The desert villages are associated with a type of ‘rural idyll’. The process of settling in the desert impacts upon the children’s possible pathways to adulthood and their identities and social......’s new roles impact upon the children’s lives. The social contexts shaping the desert childhoods are in some ways more similar to contexts in ‘developed’ countries than in other parts of rural Egypt. The paper ends up by contrasting ideas of rural childhoods in Egypt with those found in ‘developed...

  3. Russian deserters of World War I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Desertion is one of the most active forms of ordinary resistance of the people to the state pressure during the low-popular war which is conducting for the purposes unclear for the people. At the same time, mass desertion is a manifestation of «total» war in the world conflicts of the XX century. During World War I in all armies of the world there was the desertion often accepting mass character. In the Russian army, as well as in other, deserters appeared from the war beginning. Desertion scales in the Russian army explained as objective factors - diffi cult fights, shortage of supply, defeat at the front, and subjective - unwillingness to participate in war, melancholy for the house, desire to help a family the work. Desertion in different years of war had various forms. If at the beginning of war there were mainly «self-arrows», in 1915, during defeats at the front - evasion from entrenchments. By the end of 1916, because of the general fatigue from war, desertion takes the real form - flight from the front to the back. After February revolution desertion becomes mass in which hundreds thousands military personnel take part already. Disorder of army and development of revolutionary process extremely strengthen desertion scales that is explained by the actual lack of punishment for this crime. Destruction of the Russian state during revolution became the main reason of coming to power of Bolsheviks, an exit of Russia from war and the army demobilization which essential part in 1917 already deserted from the front.

  4. The Influence of Solar Power Plants on Microclimatic Conditions and the Biotic Community in Chilean Desert Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suuronen, Anna; Muñoz-Escobar, Christian; Lensu, Anssi; Kuitunen, Markku; Guajardo Celis, Natalia; Espinoza Astudillo, Pablo; Ferrú, Marcos; Taucare-Ríos, Andrés; Miranda, Marcelo; Kukkonen, Jussi V. K.

    2017-10-01

    The renewable energy sector is growing at a rapid pace in northern Chile and the solar energy potential is one of the best worldwide. Therefore, many types of solar power plant facilities are being built to take advantage of this renewable energy resource. Solar energy is considered a clean source of energy, but there are potential environmental effects of solar technology, such as landscape fragmentation, extinction of local biota, microclimate changes, among others. To be able to minimize environmental impacts of solar power plants, it is important to know what kind of environmental conditions solar power plants create. This study provides information about abiotic and biotic conditions in the vicinity of photovoltaic solar power plants. Herein, the influence of these power plants as drivers of new microclimate conditions and arthropods diversity composition in the Atacama Desert was evaluated. Microclimatic conditions between panel mounts was found to be more extreme than in the surrounding desert yet beneath the panels temperature is lower and relative humidity higher than outside the panel area. Arthropod species composition was altered in fixed-mount panel installations. In contrast, solar tracking technology showed less influence on microclimate and species composition between Sun and Shade in the power plant. Shady conditions provided a refuge for arthropod species in both installation types. For example, Dipterans were more abundant in the shade whereas Solifugaes were seldom present in the shade. The presented findings have relevance for the sustainable planning and construction of solar power plants.

  5. The Influence of Solar Power Plants on Microclimatic Conditions and the Biotic Community in Chilean Desert Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suuronen, Anna; Muñoz-Escobar, Christian; Lensu, Anssi; Kuitunen, Markku; Guajardo Celis, Natalia; Espinoza Astudillo, Pablo; Ferrú, Marcos; Taucare-Ríos, Andrés; Miranda, Marcelo; Kukkonen, Jussi V K

    2017-10-01

    The renewable energy sector is growing at a rapid pace in northern Chile and the solar energy potential is one of the best worldwide. Therefore, many types of solar power plant facilities are being built to take advantage of this renewable energy resource. Solar energy is considered a clean source of energy, but there are potential environmental effects of solar technology, such as landscape fragmentation, extinction of local biota, microclimate changes, among others. To be able to minimize environmental impacts of solar power plants, it is important to know what kind of environmental conditions solar power plants create. This study provides information about abiotic and biotic conditions in the vicinity of photovoltaic solar power plants. Herein, the influence of these power plants as drivers of new microclimate conditions and arthropods diversity composition in the Atacama Desert was evaluated. Microclimatic conditions between panel mounts was found to be more extreme than in the surrounding desert yet beneath the panels temperature is lower and relative humidity higher than outside the panel area. Arthropod species composition was altered in fixed-mount panel installations. In contrast, solar tracking technology showed less influence on microclimate and species composition between Sun and Shade in the power plant. Shady conditions provided a refuge for arthropod species in both installation types. For example, Dipterans were more abundant in the shade whereas Solifugaes were seldom present in the shade. The presented findings have relevance for the sustainable planning and construction of solar power plants.

  6. Diel Behavioral Activity Patterns in Adult Solitarious Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidi Ould Ely

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The responses of adult solitarious desert locust to odors from a host plant were evaluated in a two-choice wind tunnel. Solitarious desert locusts collected from the field (Red Sea Coast were more attracted to volatiles from potted Heliotropium ovalifolium in scotophase than in photophase. The attraction towards the host plant odors rather than to clean air, in both photophase and scotophase, concurs with previous observations on oviposition preferences near these plants. Diel behavioral activity patterns of adult solitarious desert locusts Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål that were collected from the field in Port Sudan were investigated by monitoring, scanning, resting, taking off, and walking/running in a wind tunnel. Solitarious locusts that had been propagated in the laboratory for 20 generations were also observed for comparison. In both groups of locusts, insects were significantly more active after sunset and this activity attained peak level at 1-2 hours after dusk. Of the two groups, solitarious locusts collected from the field were significantly more active. In the scotophase, the former traversed distances that were about seven times those covered by laboratory-reared locusts. Overall, the results show that the repertoire of behavioral activities of solitarious locusts is maintained in laboratory-reared insects, albeit at a lower level. The implications of these observations in the behavioral ecology of the desert locust are discussed.

  7. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billi, D.; Ghelardini, P.; Onofri, S.; Cockell, C. S.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.

    2008-09-01

    The environment in space and on planets such as Mars, can be lethal to living organisms and high levels of tolerance to desiccation, cold and radiation are needed for survival: rock-inhabiting cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Chroococcidiopsis can fulfil these requirements [1]. These cyanobacteria constantly appear in the most extreme and dry habitats on Earth, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica) and the Atacama Desert (Chile), which are considered the closest terrestrial analogs of two Mars environmental extremes: cold and aridity. In their natural environment, these cyanobacteria occupy the last refuges for life inside porous rocks or at the stone-soil interfaces, where they survive in a dry, dormant state for prolonged periods. How desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis can dry without dying is only partially understood, even though experimental evidences support the existence of an interplay between mechanisms to avoid (or limit) DNA damage and repair it: i) desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis mend genome fragmentation induced by ionizing radiation [2]; ii) desiccation-survivors protect their genome from complete fragmentation; iii) in the dry state they show a survival to an unattenuated Martian UV flux greater than that of Bacillus subtilis spores [3], and even though they die following atmospheric entry after having orbited the Earth for 16 days [4], they survive to simulated shock pressures up to 10 GPa [5]. Recently additional experiments were carried out at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of Cologne (Germany) in order to identify suitable biomarkers to investigate the survival of Chroococcidiopsis cells present in lichen-dominated communities, in view of their direct and long term space exposition on the International Space Station (ISS) in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE, EXPOSEEuTEF, ESA). Multilayers of dried cells of strains CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica), and CCMEE 123 (costal desert, Chile ), shielded by

  8. Tracing the Atmospheric Source of Desert Nitrates Using Δ 17O

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, G. M.; Holve, M.; Feldmeier, J.; Bao, H.; Reheis, M.; Bockheim, J. G.; Thiemens, M. H.

    2001-05-01

    Mineral, caliche, and soil nitrates are found throughout the worlds deserts, including the cold dry Wright Valley of Antarctica, the Atacama desert in Chile and the Mojave desert in the southwest United States. Several authors have suggested biologic sources of these nitrates while others have postulated atmospheric deposition. A recent study utilizing 18O indicated that 30%, and perhaps 100%, of nitrates found in the Atacama and Mojave were of atmospheric origin [1]. A more quantitative assessment of the source strength of atmospheric nitrates was impossible because of the high variability of δ 18 18O of atmospheric nitrates and uncertainties in conditions of biologic production. Mass independently fractionated (MIF) processes are defined and quantified by the equation Δ 17O = δ 17O - .52x δ 18O. MIF processes are associated with the photochemistry of trace gases in the atmosphere and have been found in O3, N2O, CO, and sulfate aerosols . A large MIF (Δ 17O ~ 28 ‰ ) in nitrate aerosols collected in polluted regions was recently reported [2]. Here we extend measurements of MIF in nitrate to the dry deposition of nitrate in less polluted areas (Mojave desert). In addition we trace the MIF signal as it accumulates in the regolith as nitrate salts and minerals and is mixed with biologically produced nitrate (nitrification). Also examined were the isotopic composition of soil nitrates from Antarctic dry valleys. Dust samples were collected as part of the NADP program and soils were collected throughout the Mojave and Death Valley regions of California. Isotope analysis was done in addition to soluble ion content (Cl, NO3, SO4). Dust samples collected by dry deposition samplers showed a large MIF > 20‰ approaching values measured in urban nitrate aerosol. Soils collected throughout the region showed large variations in Δ 17O from ~ 0 to 18 ‰ . The low Δ 17O values are nitrates dominated by biologic nitrification and higher values are nitrates derived by

  9. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope : Physical Properties of Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect Clusters on the Celestial Equator

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Menanteau, F.; Sifon, Andalaft C.J.; Barrientos, L.; Battaglia, N.; Bond, J.; Crichton, D.; Das, S.; Devlin, M.; Dicker, S.; Dünner, R.; Gralla, M.; Hajian, A.; Hasselfield, M.; Hilton, M.; Hincks, A.; Hughes, J.; Infante, L.; Kosowsky, A.; Marriage, T.; Marsden, D.; Moodley, K.; Niemack, M.; Nolta, M.; Page, L.; Partridge, B.; Reese, E.; Schmitt, B.; Sievers, J.; Spergel, D.; Staggs, S.; Switzer, E.; Wollack, E.

    2013-01-01

    We present the optical and X-ray properties of 68 galaxy clusters selected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect at 148 GHz by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). Our sample, from an area of 504 deg$^{2}$ centered on the celestial equator, is divided into two regions. The main region uses 270

  10. The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) - A Successful Three-Way International Partnership Without a Majority Stakeholder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanden Bout, Paul A.

    2013-04-01

    The Atacama Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is the largest ground-based astronomical facility built to date. It's size and challenging site required an international effort. This talk presents the partnership structure, management challenges, current status, and examples of early scientific successes.

  11. The impact of desert solar power utilization on sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadiq Ali Shah; Yang Zhang

    2011-01-01

    This paper evaluates the prospects of developing a solar based desert economy in the deserts of solar-rich countries. The potential deserts are analysed to study their positive impact on the sustainable development processes in these regions. The sustainability of the processes is established on the basis of self-contained nature of energy generation, environmental emission reduction and desert land reclamation. (authors)

  12. Biodiversity of nematode assemblages from deep-sea sediments of the Atacama Slope and Trench (South Pacific Ocean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambi, C.; Vanreusel, A.; Danovaro, R.

    2003-01-01

    Nematode assemblages were investigated (in terms of size spectra, sex ratio, Shannon diversity, trophic structure and diversity, rarefaction statistics, maturity index, taxonomic diversity and taxonomic distinctness) at bathyal and hadal depths (from 1050 to 7800 m) in the deepest trench of the South Pacific Ocean: the Trench of Atacama. This area, characterised by very high concentrations of nutritionally-rich organic matter also at 7800-m depth, displayed characteristics typical of eutrophic systems and revealed high nematode densities (>6000 ind. 10 cm -2). Nematode assemblages from the Atacama Trench displayed a different composition than at bathyal depths. At bathyal depths 95 genera and 119 species were found (Comesomatidae, Cyatholaimidae, Microlaimidae, Desmodoridae and Xyalidae being dominant), whereas in the Atacama Trench only 29 genera and 37 species were encountered (dominated by Monhysteridae, Chromadoridae, Microlaimidae, Oxystominidae and Xyalidae). The genus Monhystera (24.4%) strongly dominated at hadal depths and Neochromadora, and Trileptium were observed only in the Atacama Trench, but not at bathyal depths. A reduction of the mean nematode size (by ca. 67%) was observed between bathyal and hadal depths. Since food availability was not a limiting factor in the Atacama Trench sediments, other causes are likely to be responsible for the reduction of nematode species richness and body size. The presence of a restricted number of families and genera in the Atacama Trench might indicate that hadal sediments limited nematode colonisation. Most of the genera reaching very high densities in Trench sediments (e.g., Monhystera) are opportunistic and were responsible for the significant decrease of the maturity index. The dominance of opportunists, which are known to be characterised by small sizes, might have contributed to the reduced nematode size at hadal depths. Shannon diversity and species richness decreased in hadal water depth and this pattern

  13. The Mojave Desert: A Martian Analog Site for Future Astrobiology Themed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, E.; Abbey, W.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L. W.

    2011-01-01

    Astrobiological interest in Mars is highlighted by evidence that Mars was once warm enough to have liquid water present on its surface long enough to create geologic formations that could only exist in the presense of extended fluvial periods. These periods existed at the same time life on Earth arose. If life began on Mars as well during this period, it is reasonable to assume it may have adapted to the subsurface as environments at the surface changed into the inhospitable state we find today. If the next series of Mars missions (Mars Science Laboratory, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter proposed for launch in 2016, and potential near surface sample return) fail to discover either extinct or extant life on Mars, a subsurface mission would be necessary to attempt to "close the book" on the existence of martian life. Mars is much colder and drier than Earth, with a very low pressure CO2 environment and no obvious habitats. Terrestrial regions with limited precipitation, and hence reduced active biota, are some of the best martian low to mid latitude analogs to be found on Earth, be they the Antarctic dry valleys, the Atacama or Mojave Deserts. The Mojave Desert/Death Valley region is considered a Mars analog site by the Terrestrial Analogs Panel of the NSF-sponsored decadal survey; a field guide was even developed and a workshop was held on its applicability as a Mars analog. This region has received a great deal of attention due to its accessibility and the variety of landforms and processes observed relevant to martian studies.

  14. Hydrogeology of the lacustrine system of the eastern margin of the Salar the Atacama (Chile); Hidrogeologia del sistema lagunar del margen este del Salar de Atacama (Chile)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salas, J.; Guimera, J.; Cornella, O.; Aravena, R.; Guzman, E.; Tore, C.; von Igel, W.; Moreno, R.

    2010-07-01

    A hydrogeological conceptual model of the Eastern margin of the Salar de Atacama (Chile) is proposed taking into account climatic, geological, geomorphological, piezometric, chemical and isotopic data. The study establishes the processes that explain the hydrochemical evolution of waters from salty groundwater in the alluvial aquifer located in eastern part of basin until brines at the saline aquifer of the Salar. The main processes associated with this hydrochemical evolution are evaporation and mixing, but water-crust interaction in the discharge areas of the alluvial aquifer associated with the saline wedge also modifies groundwater composition, and plays a role in the dynamics of the evaporitic crusts in the Salar. The existence of low permeability materials near the surface explains the existence of the permanent surface water bodies in the study area. Based on the data collected in the study three different mechanisms are proposed regarding the main sources of water to the lagoons: (1) discharge of saline groundwater from the detrital and volcanic aquifers of the E margin, (2) discharge of surface waters associated to the N area (Burro Muerto channel), and (3) a combination of both previous mechanisms. (Author).

  15. South Oregon Coast Reinforcement.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1998-05-01

    The Bonneville Power Administration is proposing to build a transmission line to reinforce electrical service to the southern coast of Oregon. This FYI outlines the proposal, tells how one can learn more, and how one can share ideas and opinions. The project will reinforce Oregon`s south coast area and provide the necessary transmission for Nucor Corporation to build a new steel mill in the Coos Bay/North Bend area. The proposed plant, which would use mostly recycled scrap metal, would produce rolled steel products. The plant would require a large amount of electrical power to run the furnace used in its steel-making process. In addition to the potential steel mill, electrical loads in the south Oregon coast area are expected to continue to grow.

  16. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

    , comic sketches and lyrical reveries; travel writing is now a crucial focus for discussion across many subjects within the humanities and social sciences. An ideal starting point for beginners, but also offering new perspectives for those familiar with the field, The Routledge Companion to Travel Writing...

  17. Effects of desert wildfires on desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and other small vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, T.C.; Schwalbe, C.R.; DeFalco, L.A.; Duncan, R.B.; Hughes, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    We report the results of standardized surveys to determine the effects of wildfires on desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and their habitats in the northeastern Mojave Desert and northeastern Sonoran Desert. Portions of 6 burned areas (118 to 1,750 ha) were examined for signs of mortality of vertebrates. Direct effects of fire in desert habitats included animal mortality and loss of vegetation cover. A range of 0 to 7 tortoises was encountered during surveys, and live tortoises were found on all transects. In addition to desert tortoises, only small (reptiles (11 taxa) were found dead on the study areas. We hypothesize that indirect effects of fire on desert habitats might result in changes in the composition of diets and loss of vegetation cover, resulting in an increase in predation and loss of protection from temperature extremes. These changes in habitat also might cause changes in vertebrate communities in burned areas.

  18. Desertions in nineteenth-century shipping: modelling quit behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Jari Ojala; Jaakko Pehkonen; Jari Eloranta

    2013-01-01

    Ship jumping in foreign ports was widespread throughout the age of sail. Desertion by seamen was illegal, it occurred abroad, and men who deserted only seldom returned home. We analyse desertion quantitatively and link it to the broader question of quit behaviour and labour turnover. Though the better wages paid at the foreign ports were the main reason for desertion, the regression model of the determinants of desertion indicates that outside opportunities, such as migration, and monetary in...

  19. Field studies on the photosynthesis of two desert Chilean plants: Prosopis chilensis and Prosopis tamarugo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehner, G; Delatorre, J; Lütz, C; Cardemil, L

    2001-11-01

    Photosynthetic parameters were investigated in relation to light intensity (PAR and UV-B) in two Chilean Prosopis sp., Prosopis chilensis and Prosopis tamarugo in their natural habitats. The objective of this work was to compare the photosynthetic responses and to determine the degree of adaptation of both species to visible- and UV-radiation stress. One of the study sites was Refresco in the Atacama Desert, where P. tamarugo is an endemic plant and P. chilensis was introduced, and the other was Peldehue in the valley of Central Chile where only P. chilensis is present. Due to latitude, light intensity (UV-B and PAR) is higher in Refresco than in Peldehue. The parameters investigated in both species were photosystem II fluorescence, CO(2) assimilation, stomatal conductance, photosynthetic pigment composition, flavonoid absorption patterns and composition of chlorophyll-protein complexes. Fluorescence studies, CO(2) assimilation and stomatal conductance studies demonstrated that photosynthetic activity is more efficient and stable throughout the day in P. tamarugo than in P. chilensis in Refresco. Chlorophyll-protein complexes also seemed to be more stable in P. tamarugo than in P. chilensis. Photosynthetic pigment analyses indicated possible photodamage in P. chilensis trees in Refresco, but not in Peldehue. Such photodamage was absent in P. tamarugo. There was a considerable change in the flavonoid pattern between noon and afternoon hours in both species at both study sites. The physiological implications of these changes indicate that P. tamarugo is more adapted to high solar radiation than P. chilensis.

  20. Desert potholes: Ephemeral aquatic microsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, M.A.; Moser, K.; Davis, J.M.; Southam, G.; Hughes, K.; Graham, T.

    2005-01-01

    An enigma of the Colorado Plateau high desert is the "pothole", which ranges from shallow ephemeral puddles to deeply carved pools. The existence of prokaryotic to eukaryotic organisms within these pools is largely controlled by the presence of collected rainwater. Multivariate statistical analysis of physical and chemical limnologic data variables measured from potholes indicates spatial and temporal variations, particularly in water depth, manganese, iron, nitrate and sulfate concentrations and salinity. Variation in water depth and salinity are likely related to the amount of time since the last precipitation, whereas the other variables may be related to redox potential. The spatial and temporal variations in water chemistry affect the distribution of organisms, which must adapt to daily and seasonal extremes of fluctuating temperature (0-60 ??C), pH changes of as much as 5 units over 12 days, and desiccation. For example, many species become dormant when potholes dry, in order to endure intense heat, UV radiation, desiccation and freezing, only to flourish again upon rehydration. But the pothole organisms also have a profound impact on the potholes. Through photosynthesis and respiration, pothole organisms affect redox potential, and indirectly alter the water chemistry. Laboratory examination of dried biofilm from the potholes revealed that within 2 weeks of hydration, the surface of the desiccated, black biofilm became green from cyanobacterial growth, which supported significant growth in heterotrophic bacterial populations. This complex biofilm is persumably responsible for dissolving the cement between the sandstone grains, allowing the potholes to enlarge, and for sealing the potholes, enabling them to retain water longer than the surrounding sandstone. Despite the remarkable ability of life in potholes to persist, desert potholes may be extremely sensitive to anthropogenic effects. The unique limnology and ecology of Utah potholes holds great scientific

  1. Taxonomic study of extreme halophilic archaea isolated from the "Salar de Atacama", Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lizama, C; Monteoliva-Sánchez, M; Prado, B; Ramos-Cormenzana, A; Weckesser, J; Campos, V

    2001-11-01

    A large number of halophilic bacteria were isolated in 1984-1992 from the Atacama Saltern (North of Chile). For this study 82 strains of extreme halophilic archaea were selected. The characterization was performed by using the phenotypic characters including morphological, physiological, biochemical, nutritional and antimicrobial susceptibility test. The results, together with those from reference strains, were subjected to numerical analysis, using the Simple Matching (S(SM)) coefficient and clustered by the unweighted pair group method of association (UPGMA). Fifteen phena were obtained at an 70% similarity level. The results obtained reveal a high diversity among the halophilic archaea isolated. Representative strains from the phena were chosen to determine their DNA base composition and the percentage of DNA-DNA similarity compared to reference strains. The 16S rRNA studies showed that some of these strains constitutes a new taxa of extreme halophilic archaea.

  2. The Atacama Large Aperture Submm/mm Telescope (AtLAST) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertoldi, Frank

    2018-01-01

    In the past decade a strong case has been made for the construction of a next generation, 25 to 40-meter large submillimeter telescope, most notably through the CCAT and the Japanese LST projects. Although much effort had been spent on detailed science cases and technological studies, none of these projects have yet secured funding to advance to construction. We invite the interested community to join a study of the scientific merit, technical implementation, and financial path toward what we coin the "Atacama Large Submillimeter Telescope" (AtLAST). Through this community workshop, working groups, and a final report to be released in early 2019, we hope to motivate the global astronomy community to value and support the realization of such a facility.

  3. Science with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array A New Era for Astrophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Bachiller, Rafael

    2008-01-01

    Currently under construction in the Andean Altiplano, Northern Chile, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is the most ambitious astronomy facility under construction. ALMA is a radio interferometer composed of 54 antennas of 12 m diameter, and twelve 7 m antennas with about 6600 square meters of total collecting area. Initially covering the most interesting spectral wavelength ranges from 3 to 0.3 mm, ALMA will be a revolutionary telescope aimed to unveil the details of star and planet formation and to provide astronomy with the first exhaustive view of the dark and youngest objects of the Universe. This book describes the enormous capabilities of ALMA, the state of the project, and most notably the scientific prospects with such a unique facility. The book includes comprehensive reviews and recent results on most hot topics of modern Astronomy (the formation and evolution of galaxies, the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium, and the processes of star and planet formation) with prospects to...

  4. Design and Deployment of a Multichroic Polarimeter Array on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, R.; Austermann, J.; Beall, J. A.; Becker, D.; Coughlin, K. P.; Duff, S. M.; Gallardo, P.A.; Grace, E.; Hasselfield, M.; Henderson, S. W.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present the design and the preliminary on-sky performance with respect to beams and pass bands of a multichroic polarimeter array covering the 90 and 146 GHz cosmic microwave background bands and its enabling broad-band optical system recently deployed on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). The constituent pixels are feedhorn-coupled multichroic polarimeters fabricated at NIST. This array is coupled to the ACT telescope via a set of three silicon lenses incorporating novel broad-band metamaterial anti-reflection coatings. This receiver represents the first multichroic detector array deployed for a CMB experiment and paves the way for the extensive use of multichroic detectors and broad-band optical systems in the next generation of CMB experiments.

  5. Assembly and Integration Process of the First High Density Detector Array for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yaqiong; Choi, Steve; Ho, Shuay-Pwu; Crowley, Kevin T.; Salatino, Maria; Simon, Sara M.; Staggs, Suzanne T.; Nati, Federico; Wollack, Edward J.

    2016-01-01

    The Advanced ACTPol (AdvACT) upgrade on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) consists of multichroicTransition Edge Sensor (TES) detector arrays to measure the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) polarization anisotropies in multiple frequency bands. The first AdvACT detector array, sensitive to both 150 and 230 GHz, is fabricated on a 150 mm diameter wafer and read out with a completely different scheme compared to ACTPol. Approximately 2000 TES bolometers are packed into the wafer leading to both a much denser detector density and readout circuitry. The demonstration of the assembly and integration of the AdvACT arrays is important for the next generation CMB experiments, which will continue to increase the pixel number and density. We present the detailed assembly process of the first AdvACT detector array.

  6. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Likelihood for Small-Scale CMB Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunkley, J.; Calabrese, E.; Sievers, J.; Addison, G. E.; Battaglia, N.; Battistelli, E. S.; Bond, J. R.; Das, S.; Devlin, M. J.; Dunner, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope has measured the angular power spectra of microwave fluctuations to arcminute scales at frequencies of 148 and 218 GHz, from three seasons of data. At small scales the fluctuations in the primordial Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) become increasingly obscured by extragalactic foregounds and secondary CMB signals. We present results from a nine-parameter model describing these secondary effects, including the thermal and kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (tSZ and kSZ) power; the clustered and Poisson-like power from Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB) sources, and their frequency scaling; the tSZ-CIB correlation coefficient; the extragalactic radio source power; and thermal dust emission from Galactic cirrus in two different regions of the sky. In order to extract cosmological parameters, we describe a likelihood function for the ACT data, fitting this model to the multi-frequency spectra in the multipole range 500 cosmological parameter estimation

  7. Design and Deployment of a Multichroic Polarimeter Array on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, R.; Austermann, J.; Beall, J. A.; Becker, D.; Coughlin, K. P.; Duff, S. M.; Gallardo, P. A.; Grace, E.; Hasselfield, M.; Henderson, S. W.; Hilton, G. C.; Ho, S. P.; Hubmayr, J.; Koopman, B. J.; Lanen, J. V.; Li, D.; McMahon, J.; Munson, C. D.; Nati, F.; Niemack, M. D.; Page, L.; Pappas, C. G.; Salatino, M.; Schmitt, B. L.; Schillaci, A.; Simon, S. M.; Staggs, S. T.; Stevens, J. R.; Vavagiakis, E. M.; Ward, J. T.; Wollack, E. J.

    2016-08-01

    We present the design and the preliminary on-sky performance with respect to beams and passbands of a multichroic polarimeter array covering the 90 and 146 GHz cosmic microwave background bands and its enabling broad-band optical system recently deployed on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). The constituent pixels are feedhorn-coupled multichroic polarimeters fabricated at NIST. This array is coupled to the ACT telescope via a set of three silicon lenses incorporating novel broad-band metamaterial anti-reflection coatings. This receiver represents the first multichroic detector array deployed for a CMB experiment and paves the way for the extensive use of multichroic detectors and broad-band optical systems in the next generation of CMB experiments.

  8. Detection of the power spectrum of cosmic microwave background lensing by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Sudeep; Sherwin, Blake D; Aguirre, Paula; Appel, John W; Bond, J Richard; Carvalho, C Sofia; Devlin, Mark J; Dunkley, Joanna; Dünner, Rolando; Essinger-Hileman, Thomas; Fowler, Joseph W; Hajian, Amir; Halpern, Mark; Hasselfield, Matthew; Hincks, Adam D; Hlozek, Renée; Huffenberger, Kevin M; Hughes, John P; Irwin, Kent D; Klein, Jeff; Kosowsky, Arthur; Lupton, Robert H; Marriage, Tobias A; Marsden, Danica; Menanteau, Felipe; Moodley, Kavilan; Niemack, Michael D; Nolta, Michael R; Page, Lyman A; Parker, Lucas; Reese, Erik D; Schmitt, Benjamin L; Sehgal, Neelima; Sievers, Jon; Spergel, David N; Staggs, Suzanne T; Swetz, Daniel S; Switzer, Eric R; Thornton, Robert; Visnjic, Katerina; Wollack, Ed

    2011-07-08

    We report the first detection of the gravitational lensing of the cosmic microwave background through a measurement of the four-point correlation function in the temperature maps made by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. We verify our detection by calculating the levels of potential contaminants and performing a number of null tests. The resulting convergence power spectrum at 2° angular scales measures the amplitude of matter density fluctuations on comoving length scales of around 100 Mpc at redshifts around 0.5 to 3. The measured amplitude of the signal agrees with Lambda cold dark matter cosmology predictions. Since the amplitude of the convergence power spectrum scales as the square of the amplitude of the density fluctuations, the 4σ detection of the lensing signal measures the amplitude of density fluctuations to 12%.

  9. Freshwater-Brine Mixing Zone Hydrodynamics in Salt Flats (Salar de Atacama)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marazuela, M. A.; Vázquez-Suñé, E.; Custodio, E.; Palma, T.; García-Gil, A.

    2017-12-01

    The increase in the demand of strategic minerals for the development of medicines and batteries require detailed knowledge of the salt flats freshwater-brine interface to make its exploitation efficient. The interface zone is the result of a physical balance between the recharged and evaporated water. The sharp interface approach assumes the immiscibility of the fluids and thus neglects the mixing between them. As a consequence, for miscible fluids it is more accurate and often needed to use the mixing zone concept, which results from the dynamic equilibrium of flowing freshwater and brine. In this study, we consider two and three-dimensional scale approaches for the management of the mixing zone. The two-dimensional approach is used to understand the dynamics and the characteristics of the salt flat mixing zone, especially in the Salar de Atacama (Atacama salt flat) case. By making use of this model we analyze and quantify the effects of the aquitards on the mixing zone geometry. However, the understanding of the complex physical processes occurring in the salt flats and the management of these environments requires the adoption of three-dimensional regional scale numerical models. The models that take into account the effects of variable density represent the best management tool, but they require large computational resources, especially in the three-dimensional case. In order to avoid these computational limitations in the modeling of salt flats and their valuable ecosystems, we propose a three-step methodology, consisting of: (1) collection, validation and interpretation of the hydrogeochemical data, (2) identification and three-dimensional mapping of the mixing zone on the land surface and in depth, and (3) application of a water head correction to the freshwater and mixed water heads in order to compensate the density variations and to transform them to brine water heads. Finally, an evaluation of the sensibility of the mixing zone to anthropogenic and

  10. Vegetation - Central Mojave Desert [ds166

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Department of Defense and the other desert managers are developing and organizing scientific information needed to better manage the natural resources of the...

  11. Microbial ecology of hot desert edaphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Valverde, Angel; Gunnigle, Eoin; Frossard, Aline; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Cowan, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A significant proportion of the Earth's surface is desert or in the process of desertification. The extreme environmental conditions that characterize these areas result in a surface that is essentially barren, with a limited range of higher plants and animals. Microbial communities are probably the dominant drivers of these systems, mediating key ecosystem processes. In this review, we examine the microbial communities of hot desert terrestrial biotopes (including soils, cryptic and refuge niches and plant-root-associated microbes) and the processes that govern their assembly. We also assess the possible effects of global climate change on hot desert microbial communities and the resulting feedback mechanisms. We conclude by discussing current gaps in our understanding of the microbiology of hot deserts and suggest fruitful avenues for future research. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    OpenAIRE

    Tatiane Lemos Varella; Gizelly Mendes Silva; Kaliane Zaira Camacho Maximiliano da Cruz; Andréia Izabel Mikovski; Josué Ribeiro da Silva Nunes; Ilio Fealho Carvalho; Maurecilne Lemes Silva

    2015-01-01

    The drought stress resistance is a characteristic of the desert rose and its estimable beauty flowers, which gave it great relevance in the ornamental market. However, the desert rose production and germination is hampered by possible sterility of their male and female flowers and frequent problems in pollination, so the tissue culture is a promising alternative to the propagation of these plants. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of gibberellic acid on four commercial varieties of dese...

  13. HIGH FOLIAR NITROGEN IN DESERT SHRUBS: AN IMPORTANT ECOSYSTEM TRAIT OR DEFECTIVE DESERT DOCTRINE?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen concentrations in green and senesced leaves of perennial desert shrubs were compiled from a worldwide literature search to test the validity of the doctrine that desert shrubs produce foliage and leaf litter much richer in nitrogen than that in the foliage of plants from...

  14. Use of a Novel Rover-mounted Fluorescence Imager and Fluorescent Probes to Detect Biological Material in the Atacama Desert in Daylight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, S.; Pane, D.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; Cockell, C.; Ernst, L. A.; Minkley, E.; Fisher, G.; Emani, S.; Wettergreen, D. S.; Wagner, M.

    2005-01-01

    We have developed an imaging system, the Fluorescence Imager (FI), for detecting fluorescence signals from sparse microorganisms and biofilms during autonomous rover exploration. The fluorescence signals arise both from naturally occurring chromophores, such as chlorophyll of cyanobacteria and lichens, and from fluorescent probes applied to soil and rocks. Daylight imaging has been accomplished by a novel use of a high-powered flashlamp synchronized to a CCD camera. The fluorescent probes are cell permanent stains that have extremely low intrinsic fluorescence (quantum yields less than 0.01) and a large fluorescence enhancement (quantum yields greater than 0.4) when bound to the target. Each probe specifically targets either carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids or membrane lipids, the four classes of macromolecules found in terrestrial life. The intent of the probes is to interrogate the environment for surface and endolithic life forms.

  15. Isolation of cytotoxic diterpenoids from the Chilean medicinal plant Azorella compacta Phil from the Atacama Desert by high-speed counter-current chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bórquez, Jorge; Bartolucci, Nandy López; Echiburú-Chau, Carlos; Winterhalter, Peter; Vallejos, Javier; Jerz, Gerold; Simirgiotis, Mario J

    2016-06-01

    Azorella compacta (Apiaceae) is a native Chilean cushion shrub which produces a resin containing mulinane and azorellane diterpenoids. This plant has been used since pre-Colombian times to treat inflammation and dental neuralgias. In this work the first preparative fractionation of diterpenoids present in this plant by means of high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) was applied, and cytotoxic effects of the isolated compounds were evaluated for the first time against a panel of MCF7 cells. The major compounds isolated were identified by means of spectroscopy as azorellanol, 13α, 14α-dihydroxymulin-11-en-20-oic acid, mulinolic acid, mulin-11,13-dien-20-oic acid, 17-acetoxy-mulin-11,13-dien-20 oic acid, and 17-acetoxy-mulinic acid (compounds 7, 9-11 and 13, respectively), and four minor diterpenoids [7-deacetyl-azorellanol (6), 13-epi-azorellanol, 7-acetoxy-mulin-9,12-diene, and 17-acetoxy-mulin-11,13-dien-20-oic acid (compounds 4, 8 and 12)], together with three new minor diterpenoids: 13β,14β-dihydroxymulin-11-en-20-oic acid (1), 13-epiazorellanone (2) and 13-epi-7-deacetyl-azorellanol (3) were identified. Besides, compounds 4, 6, 7, 8 and 11 displayed good cytotoxic activity (less than 50% cell viability at 100 µM). Among them, compound 7, an acetylated azorellane, was the most active. HSCCC allowed the isolation of 13 diterpenoids present in A. compacta. Three compounds are reported for the first time. Isolated azorellanes are more potent cytotoxic agents than are mulinanes. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.

  16. Risk and vulnerability to ENSO flooding in the Peruvian Atacama Desert: paleofloods, floodplain development, and agrarian strategies during the late Holocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magilligan, F. J.; Goldstien, P.

    2011-12-01

    River restoration projects with the goal of restoring a wide range of morphologic and ecologic channel processes and functions have become common. The complex interactions between flow and sediment-transport make it challenging to design river channels that are both self-sustaining and improve ecosystem function. The relative immaturity of the field of river restoration and shortcomings in existing methodologies for evaluating channel designs contribute to this problem, often leading to project failures. The call for increased monitoring of constructed channels to evaluate which restoration techniques do and do not work is ubiquitous and may lead to improved channel restoration projects. However, an alternative approach is to detect project flaws before the channels are built by using numerical models to simulate hydraulic and sediment-transport processes and habitat in the proposed channel (Restoration Design Analysis). Multi-dimensional models provide spatially distributed quantities throughout the project domain that may be used to quantitatively evaluate restoration designs for such important metrics as (1) the change in water-surface elevation which can affect the extent and duration of floodplain reconnection, (2) sediment-transport and morphologic change which can affect the channel stability and long-term maintenance of the design; and (3) habitat changes. These models also provide an efficient way to evaluate such quantities over a range of appropriate discharges including low-probability events which often prove the greatest risk to the long-term stability of restored channels. Currently there are many free and open-source modeling frameworks available for such analysis including iRIC, Delft3D, and TELEMAC. In this presentation we give examples of Restoration Design Analysis for each of the metrics above from projects on the Russian River, CA and the Kootenai River, ID. These examples demonstrate how detailed Restoration Design Analysis can be used to guide design elements and how this method can point out potential stability problems or other risks before designs proceed to the construction phase.

  17. Maine coast winds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Avery, Richard

    2000-01-28

    The Maine Coast Winds Project was proposed for four possible turbine locations. Significant progress has been made at the prime location, with a lease-power purchase contract for ten years for the installation of turbine equipment having been obtained. Most of the site planning and permitting have been completed. It is expect that the turbine will be installed in early May. The other three locations are less suitable for the project, and new locations are being considered.

  18. Transport aloft drives peak ozone in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, Richard

    2015-05-01

    Transport of anthropogenic pollution eastward out of the Los Angeles megacity region in California has been periodically observed to reach the Colorado River and the Colorado Plateau region beyond. In the 1980s, anthropogenic halocarbon tracers measured in and near the Las Angeles urban area and at a mountain-top site near the Colorado River, 400 km downwind, were shown to have a correlated seven-day cycle explainable by transport from the urban area with a time lag of 1-2 days. Recent short term springtime intensive studies using aircraft observations and regional modeling of long range transport of ozone from the Southern California megacity region showed frequent and persistent ozone impacts at surface sites across the Colorado Plateau and Southern Rocky Mountain region, at distances up to 1500 km, also with time lags of 1-2 days. However, the timing of ozone peaks at low altitude monitoring sites within the Mojave Desert, at distances from 100 to 400 km from the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley ozone source regions, does not show the expected time-lag behavior seen in the larger transport studies. This discrepancy is explained by recognizing ozone transport across the Mojave Desert to occur in a persistent layer of polluted air in the lower free troposphere with a base level at approximately 1 km MSL. This layer impacts elevated downwind sites directly, but only influences low altitude surface ozone maxima through deep afternoon mixing. Pollutants in this elevated layer derive from California source regions (the Los Angeles megacity region and the intensive agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley), from long-range transport from Asia, and stratospheric down-mixing. Recognition of the role of afternoon mixing during spring and summer over the Mojave explains and expands the significance of previously published reports of ozone and other pollutants observed in and over the Mojave Desert, and resolves an apparent paradox in the timing of ozone peaks due to

  19. Application of PIXE to the characterization of vitreous dacites from archaeolgical sites in the Atacama region in northern Chile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morales, J.R.; Cancino, S. [Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Nunoa, Santiago 1 (Chile); Miranda, P. [Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Nunoa, Santiago 1 (Chile)], E-mail: pjmirand@gmail.com; Dinator, M.I. [Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Nunoa, Santiago 1 (Chile); Seelenfreund, A. [Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, Condell 343, Providencia, Santiago (Chile)

    2007-11-15

    Geochemical characterization studies using PIXE were carried out on 21 vitreous dacite artifacts from early formative archaeological sites in the Atacama region, in northern Chile, and on 13 samples taken from two potential volcanic sources located within the region. Performing statistical analyses it was possible to obtain elemental concentration patterns for the archaeological samples of this material and match some of these artifacts with the geological source samples.

  20. Desert basins of the Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, Stanley A.; Konieczki, Alice D.; Rees, Julie A.H.

    2000-01-01

    Ground water is among the Nation’s most important natural resources. It provides drinking water to urban and rural communities, supports irrigation and industry, sustains the flow of streams and rivers, and maintains riparian and wetland ecosystems. In many areas of the Nation, the future sustainability of ground-water resources is at risk from overuse and contamination. Because ground-water systems typically respond slowly to human actions, a long-term perspective is needed to manage this valuable resource. This publication is one in a series of fact sheets that describe ground-water-resource issues across the United States, as well as some of the activities of the U.S. Geological Survey that provide information to help others develop, manage, and protect ground-water resources in a sustainable manner. Ground-water resources in the Southwest are among the most overused in the United States. Natural recharge to aquifers is low and pumping in many areas has resulted in lowering of water tables. The consequences of large-scale removal of water from storage are becoming increasingly evident. These consequences include land subsidence; loss of springs, streams, wetlands and associated habitat; and degradation of water quality. Water managers are now seeking better ways of managing ground-water resources while looking for supplemental sources of water. This fact sheet reviews basic information on ground water in the desert basins of the Southwest. Also described are some activities of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that are providing scientific information for sustainable management of ground-water resources in the Southwest. Ground-water sustainability is defined as developing and using ground water in a way that can be maintained for an indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental, economic, or social consequences.

  1. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Beam Measurements and the Microwave Brightness Temperatures of Uranus and Saturn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasselfield, Matthew; Moodley, Kavilan; Bond, J. Richard; Das, Sudeep; Devlin, Mark J.; Dunkley, Joanna; Dunner, Rolando; Fowler, Joseph W.; Gallardo, Patricio; Gralla, Megan B.; hide

    2013-01-01

    We describe the measurement of the beam profiles and window functions for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), which operated from 2007 to 2010 with kilopixel bolometer arrays centered at 148, 218, and 277 GHz. Maps of Saturn are used to measure the beam shape in each array and for each season of observations. Radial profiles are transformed to Fourier space in a way that preserves the spatial correlations in the beam uncertainty to derive window functions relevant for angular power spectrum analysis. Several corrections are applied to the resulting beam transforms, including an empirical correction measured from the final cosmic microwave background (CMB) survey maps to account for the effects of mild pointing variation and alignment errors. Observations of Uranus made regularly throughout each observing season are used to measure the effects of atmospheric opacity and to monitor deviations in telescope focus over the season. Using the WMAP-based calibration of the ACT maps to the CMB blackbody, we obtain precise measurements of the brightness temperatures of the Uranus and Saturn disks at effective frequencies of 149 and 219 GHz. For Uranus we obtain thermodynamic brightness temperatures T(149/U) = 106.7 +/- 2.2 K and T(219/U) = 100.1 +/- 3.1 K. For Saturn, we model the effects of the ring opacity and emission using a simple model and obtain resulting (unobscured) disk temperatures of T(149/S) = 137.3 +/- 3.2 K and T(219/S) = 137.3 +/- 4.7 K.

  2. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Temperature and Gravitational Lensing Power Spectrum Measurements from Three Seasons of Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Sudeep; Louis, Thibaut; Nolta, Michael R.; Addison, Graeme E.; Battisetti, Elia S.; Bond, J. Richard; Calabrese, Erminia; Crichton, Devin; Devlin, Mark J.; Dicker, Simon; hide

    2014-01-01

    We present the temperature power spectra of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) derived from the three seasons of data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) at 148 GHz and 218 GHz, as well as the cross-frequency spectrum between the two channels. We detect and correct for contamination due to the Galactic cirrus in our equatorial maps. We present the results of a number of tests for possible systematic error and conclude that any effects are not significant compared to the statistical errors we quote. Where they overlap, we cross-correlate the ACT and the South Pole Telescope (SPT) maps and show they are consistent. The measurements of higher-order peaks in the CMB power spectrum provide an additional test of the ?CDM cosmological model, and help constrain extensions beyond the standard model. The small angular scale power spectrum also provides constraining power on the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects and extragalactic foregrounds. We also present a measurement of the CMB gravitational lensing convergence power spectrum at 4.6s detection significance.

  3. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT): Beam Profiles and First SZ Cluster Maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hincks, A. D.; Acquaviva, V.; Ade, P. A.; Aguirre, P.; Amiri, M.; Appel, J. W.; Barrientos, L. F.; Battistelli, E. S.; Bond, J. R.; Brown, B.; hide

    2010-01-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is currently observing the cosmic microwave background with arcminute resolution at 148 GHz, 218 GHz, and 277 GHz, In this paper, we present ACT's first results. Data have been analyzed using a maximum-likelihood map-making method which uses B-splines to model and remove the atmospheric signal. It has been used to make high-precision beam maps from which we determine the experiment's window functions, This beam information directly impacts all subsequent analyses of the data. We also used the method to map a sample of galaxy clusters via the Sunyaev-Ze1'dovich (SZ) effect, and show five clusters previously detected with X-ray or SZ observations, We provide integrated Compton-y measurements for each cluster. Of particular interest is our detection of the z = 0.44 component of A3128 and our current non-detection of the low-redshift part, providing strong evidence that the further cluster is more massive as suggested by X-ray measurements. This is a compelling example of the redshift-independent mass selection of the SZ effect.

  4. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Two-Season ACTPol Spectra and Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Thibaut; Grace, Emily; Hasselfield, Matthew; Lungu, Marius; Maurin, Loic; Addison, Graeme E.; Adem Peter A. R.; Aiola, Simone; Allison, Rupert; Amiri, Mandana; hide

    2017-01-01

    We present the temperature and polarization angular power spectra measuredby the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol). We analyze night-time datacollected during 2013-14 using two detector arrays at 149 GHz, from 548 deg(exp. 2) of sky onthe celestial equator. We use these spectra, and the spectra measured with the MBAC camera on ACT from 2008-10, in combination with Planck and WMAP data to estimate cosmological parameters from the temperature, polarization, and temperature-polarization cross-correlations. We find the new ACTPol data to be consistent with the CDM model. The ACTPol temperature-polarization cross-spectrum now provides stronger constraints on multiple parameters than the ACTPol temperature spectrum, including the baryon density, the acoustic peak angular scale, and the derived Hubble constant. The new ACTPol dataprovide information on damping tail parameters. The joint uncertainty on the number of neutrino species and the primordial helium fraction is reduced by 20% when adding ACTPol to Planck temperature data alone.

  5. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: A Measurement of the Primordial Power Spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hlozek, Renee; Dunkley, Joanna; Addison, Graeme; Appel, John William; Bond, J. Richard; Carvalho, C. Sofia; Das, Sudeep; Devlin, Mark J.; Duenner, Rolando; Essinger-Hileman, Thomas; hide

    2011-01-01

    We present constraints on the primordial power spectrum of adiabatic fluctuations using data from the 2008 Southern Survey of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). The angular resolution of ACT provides sensitivity to scales beyond l = 1000 for resolution of multiple peaks in the primordial temperature power spectrum, which enables us to probe the primordial power spectrum of adiabatic scalar perturbations with wavenumbers up to k approx. = 0.2 Mp/c. We find no evidence for deviation from power-law fluctuations over two decades in scale. Matter fluctuations inferred from the primordial temperature power spectrum evolve over cosmic time and can be used to predict the matter power spectrum at late times; we illustrate the overlap of the matter power inferred from CMB measurements (which probe the power spectrum in thc linear regime) with existing probes of galaxy clustering, cluster abundances and weak lensing constraints on the primordial power. This highlights the range of scales probed by current measurement.s of the matter power spectrum.

  6. Centralized operations and maintenance planning at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Bernhard; Whyborn, Nicholas D.; Guniat, Serge; Hernandez, Octavio; Gairing, Stefan

    2016-07-01

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a joint project between astronomical organizations in Europe, North America, and East Asia, in collaboration with the Republic of Chile. ALMA consists of 54 twelve-meter antennas and 12 seven-meter antennas operating as an aperture synthesis array in the (sub)millimeter wavelength range. Since the inauguration of the observatory back in March 2013 there has been a continuous effort to establish solid operations processes for effective and efficient management of technical and administrative tasks on site. Here a key aspect had been the centralized maintenance and operations planning: input is collected from science stakeholders, the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and from the technical teams spread around the world, then this information is analyzed and consolidated based on the established maintenance strategy, the observatory long-term plan and the short-term priorities definitions. This paper presents the high-level process that has been developed for the planning and scheduling of planned- and unplanned maintenance tasks, and for site operations like the telescope array reconfiguration campaigns. We focus on the centralized planning approach by presenting its genesis, its current implementation for the observatory operations including related planning products, and we explore the necessary next steps in order to fully achieve a comprehensive centralized planning approach for ALMA in steady-state operations.

  7. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: temperature and gravitational lensing power spectrum measurements from three seasons of data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Das, Sudeep; Louis, Thibaut; Calabrese, Erminia; Dunkley, Joanna; Nolta, Michael R.; Bond, J Richard; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D.; Addison, Graeme E.; Halpern, Mark; Battistelli, Elia S.; Crichton, Devin; Gralla, Megan; Devlin, Mark J.; Dicker, Simon; Dünner, Rolando; Fowler, Joseph W.; Hasselfield, Matthew; Hlozek, Renée; Hilton, Matt

    2014-01-01

    We present the temperature power spectra of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) derived from the three seasons of data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) at 148 GHz and 218 GHz, as well as the cross-frequency spectrum between the two channels. We detect and correct for contamination due to the Galactic cirrus in our equatorial maps. We present the results of a number of tests for possible systematic error and conclude that any effects are not significant compared to the statistical errors we quote. Where they overlap, we cross-correlate the ACT and the South Pole Telescope (SPT) maps and show they are consistent. The measurements of higher-order peaks in the CMB power spectrum provide an additional test of the ΛCDM cosmological model, and help constrain extensions beyond the standard model. The small angular scale power spectrum also provides constraining power on the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects and extragalactic foregrounds. We also present a measurement of the CMB gravitational lensing convergence power spectrum at 4.6σ detection significance

  8. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: temperature and gravitational lensing power spectrum measurements from three seasons of data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Das, Sudeep [Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Ave., Lemont, IL 60439 (United States); Louis, Thibaut; Calabrese, Erminia; Dunkley, Joanna [Sub-department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Nolta, Michael R.; Bond, J Richard; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D. [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H8 Canada (Canada); Addison, Graeme E.; Halpern, Mark [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4 Canada (Canada); Battistelli, Elia S. [Department of Physics, University of Rome ' ' La Sapienza' ' , Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, I-00185 Rome (Italy); Crichton, Devin; Gralla, Megan [Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218-2686 (United States); Devlin, Mark J.; Dicker, Simon [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104 (United States); Dünner, Rolando [Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Facultad de Física, Pontificía Universidad Católica, Casilla 306, Santiago 22 (Chile); Fowler, Joseph W. [NIST Quantum Devices Group, 325 Broadway Mailcode 817.03, Boulder, CO, 80305 (United States); Hasselfield, Matthew; Hlozek, Renée [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Hilton, Matt, E-mail: sudeepphys@gmail.com [Centre for Astronomy and Particle Theory, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD (United Kingdom); and others

    2014-04-01

    We present the temperature power spectra of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) derived from the three seasons of data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) at 148 GHz and 218 GHz, as well as the cross-frequency spectrum between the two channels. We detect and correct for contamination due to the Galactic cirrus in our equatorial maps. We present the results of a number of tests for possible systematic error and conclude that any effects are not significant compared to the statistical errors we quote. Where they overlap, we cross-correlate the ACT and the South Pole Telescope (SPT) maps and show they are consistent. The measurements of higher-order peaks in the CMB power spectrum provide an additional test of the ΛCDM cosmological model, and help constrain extensions beyond the standard model. The small angular scale power spectrum also provides constraining power on the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects and extragalactic foregrounds. We also present a measurement of the CMB gravitational lensing convergence power spectrum at 4.6σ detection significance.

  9. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: two-season ACTPol spectra and parameters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Louis, Thibaut [UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR7095, Institut d' Astrophysique de Paris, F-75014, Paris (France); Grace, Emily; Aiola, Simone; Choi, Steve K. [Joseph Henry Laboratories of Physics, Jadwin Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Hasselfield, Matthew [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Lungu, Marius; Angile, Elio [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Maurin, Loïc [Instituto de Astrofísica and Centro de Astro-Ingeniería, Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, 7820436 Macul, Santiago (Chile); Addison, Graeme E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218-2686 (United States); Ade, Peter A. R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, The Parade, Cardiff, Wales, CF24 3AA (United Kingdom); Allison, Rupert; Calabrese, Erminia [Sub-Department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Amiri, Mandana [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Battaglia, Nicholas [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Beall, James A.; Britton, Joe; Cho, Hsiao-mei [NIST Quantum Devices Group, 325 Broadway Mailcode 817.03, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States); De Bernardis, Francesco [Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Bond, J Richard, E-mail: louis@iap.fr [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H8 (Canada); and others

    2017-06-01

    We present the temperature and polarization angular power spectra measured by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol). We analyze night-time data collected during 2013–14 using two detector arrays at 149 GHz, from 548 deg{sup 2} of sky on the celestial equator. We use these spectra, and the spectra measured with the MBAC camera on ACT from 2008–10, in combination with planck and wmap data to estimate cosmological parameters from the temperature, polarization, and temperature-polarization cross-correlations. We find the new ACTPol data to be consistent with the ΛCDM model. The ACTPol temperature-polarization cross-spectrum now provides stronger constraints on multiple parameters than the ACTPol temperature spectrum, including the baryon density, the acoustic peak angular scale, and the derived Hubble constant. The new ACTPol data provide information on damping tail parameters. The joint uncertainty on the number of neutrino species and the primordial helium fraction is reduced by 20% when adding ACTPol to Planck temperature data alone.

  10. THE ATACAMA COSMOLOGY TELESCOPE: A MEASUREMENT OF THE PRIMORDIAL POWER SPECTRUM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hlozek, Renee; Dunkley, Joanna; Addison, Graeme [Department of Astrophysics, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Appel, John William; Das, Sudeep; Essinger-Hileman, Thomas; Fowler, Joseph W.; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D. [Joseph Henry Laboratories of Physics, Jadwin Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Bond, J. Richard [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Carvalho, C. Sofia [IPFN, IST, Av. RoviscoPais, 1049-001Lisboa, Portugal and RCAAM, Academy of Athens, Soranou Efessiou 4, 11-527 Athens (Greece); Devlin, Mark J.; Klein, Jeff [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Duenner, Rolando; Gallardo, Patricio [Departamento de Astronomia y Astrofisica, Facultad de Fisica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Casilla 306, Santiago 22 (Chile); Halpern, Mark; Hasselfield, Matthew [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Hilton, Matt [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD (United Kingdom); Hughes, John P. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8019 (United States); Irwin, Kent D. [NIST Quantum Devices Group, 325 Broadway Mailcode 817.03, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States); and others

    2012-04-10

    We present constraints on the primordial power spectrum of adiabatic fluctuations using data from the 2008 Southern Survey of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) in combination with measurements from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and a prior on the Hubble constant. The angular resolution of ACT provides sensitivity to scales beyond l = 1000 for resolution of multiple peaks in the primordial temperature power spectrum, which enables us to probe the primordial power spectrum of adiabatic scalar perturbations with wavenumbers up to k {approx_equal} 0.2 Mpc{sup -1}. We find no evidence for deviation from power-law fluctuations over two decades in scale. Matter fluctuations inferred from the primordial temperature power spectrum evolve over cosmic time and can be used to predict the matter power spectrum at late times; we illustrate the overlap of the matter power inferred from cosmic microwave background measurements (which probe the power spectrum in the linear regime) with existing probes of galaxy clustering, cluster abundances, and weak-lensing constraints on the primordial power. This highlights the range of scales probed by current measurements of the matter power spectrum.

  11. Galaxies 800 million years after the Big Bang seen with the Atacama Large Millimetre Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smit, Renske

    2018-01-01

    The identification of galaxies in the first billion years after the Big Bang presents a challenge for even the largest optical telescopes. When the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) started science operations in 2011 it presented a tantalising opportunity to identify and characterise these first sources of light in a new window of the electromagnetic spectrum. I will present new sources successfully identified at z=6.8 using ALMA; the first spectroscopic confirmations of typical star-forming galaxies during the Epoch or Reionization using a sub-millimetre telescope. Moreover, these observations reveal the gas kinematics of such distant sources for the first time. The velocity gradient in these galaxies indicate that these galaxies likely have similar dynamical properties as the turbulent, yet rotation-dominated disks that have been observed for Hα emitting galaxies 2 billion years later at cosmic noon. This novel approach for confirming galaxies during Reionization paves the way for larger studies of distant galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts. Particularly important, this opens up opportunities for the measurement of high angular-resolution dynamics in galaxies less than one billion years after the Big Bang.

  12. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Cross-Correlation of Cosmic Microwave Background Lensing and Quasars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwin, Blake D; Das, Sudeep; Haijian, Amir; Addison, Graeme; Bond, Richard; Crichton, Devin; Devlin, Mark J.; Dunkley, Joanna; Gralla, Megan B.; Halpern, Mark; hide

    2012-01-01

    We measure the cross-correlation of Atacama cosmology telescope cosmic microwave background (CMB) lensing convergence maps with quasar maps made from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR8 SDSS-XDQSO photometric catalog. The CMB lensing quasar cross-power spectrum is detected for the first time at a significance of 3.8 sigma, which directly confirms that the quasar distribution traces the mass distribution at high redshifts z > 1. Our detection passes a number of null tests and systematic checks. Using this cross-power spectrum, we measure the amplitude of the linear quasar bias assuming a template for its redshift dependence, and find the amplitude to be consistent with an earlier measurement from clustering; at redshift z ap 1.4, the peak of the distribution of quasars in our maps, our measurement corresponds to a bias of b = 2.5 +/- 0.6. With the signal-to-noise ratio on CMB lensing measurements likely to improve by an order of magnitude over the next few years, our results demonstrate the potential of CMB lensing crosscorrelations to probe astrophysics at high redshifts.

  13. Oxalosis in wild desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Elliott R.; Berry, Kristin H.; Stacy, Brian; Huzella, Louis M.; Kalasinsky, Victor F.; Fleetwood, Michelle L.; Mense, Mark G.

    2009-01-01

    We necropsied a moribund, wild adult male desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) with clinical signs of respiratory disease and elevated plasma biochemical analytes indicative of renal disease (blood urea nitrogen [415 mg/dl], uric acid [11.8 mg/dl], sodium >180 mmol/l] and chloride [139 mmol/l]). Moderate numbers of birefringent oxalate crystals, based on infrared and electron microscopy, were present within renal tubules; small numbers were seen in colloid within thyroid follicles. A retrospective analysis of 66 additional cases of wild desert tortoises was conducted to determine whether similar crystals were present in thyroid and kidney. The tortoises, from the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, were necropsied between 1992 and 2003 and included juveniles and adults. Tortoises were classified as healthy (those that died due to trauma and where no disease was identified after necropsy and evaluation by standard laboratory tests used for other tortoises) or not healthy (having one or more diseases or lesions). For all 67 necropsied tortoises, small numbers of crystals of similar appearance were present in thyroid glands from 44 of 54 cases (81%) and in kidneys from three of 65 cases (5%). Presence of oxalates did not differ significantly between healthy and unhealthy tortoises, between age classes, or between desert region, and their presence was considered an incidental finding. Small numbers of oxalate crystals seen within the kidney of two additional tortoises also were considered an incidental finding. Although the source of the calcium oxalate could not be determined, desert tortoises are herbivores, and a plant origin seems most likely. Studies are needed to evaluate the oxalate content of plants consumed by desert tortoises, and particularly those in the area where the tortoise in renal failure was found.

  14. Jojoba could stop the desert creep

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1982-03-25

    The Sahara desert is estimated to be expanding at a rate of 5km a year. The Sudanese government is experimenting with jojoba in six different regions as the bush has the potential to stop this ''desert creep''. The plant, a native to Mexico, is long known for its resistance to drought and for the versatile liquid wax that can be extracted from its seeds. It is estimated that one hectare of mature plants could produce 3000 kg of oil, currently selling at $50 per litre, and so earn valuable foreign currency.

  15. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

    I. ALI, M. SHAFIQ CHAUDHRY1 AND U. FAROOQ

    2009-01-01

    The camel is one of the typical and the best adopted animals of the desert, capable of enduring thirst and hunger for days and is the most patient of land animals. For desert nomads of Pakistani Cholistan, it is a beloved companion, a source of milk and meat, transport facility provider and a racing/dancing animal, thus, playing an important role in the socioeconomic uplift of the local community. Camels of Marrecha or Mahra breed are mainly used for riding and load carrying but may be traine...

  16. Detecting leaf pulvinar movements on NDVI time series of desert trees: a new approach for water stress detection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto O Chávez

    Full Text Available Heliotropic leaf movement or leaf 'solar tracking' occurs for a wide variety of plants, including many desert species and some crops. This has an important effect on the canopy spectral reflectance as measured from satellites. For this reason, monitoring systems based on spectral vegetation indices, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, should account for heliotropic movements when evaluating the health condition of such species. In the hyper-arid Atacama Desert, Northern Chile, we studied seasonal and diurnal variations of MODIS and Landsat NDVI time series of plantation stands of the endemic species Prosopis tamarugo Phil., subject to different levels of groundwater depletion. As solar irradiation increased during the day and also during the summer, the paraheliotropic leaves of Tamarugo moved to an erectophile position (parallel to the sun rays making the NDVI signal to drop. This way, Tamarugo stands with no water stress showed a positive NDVI difference between morning and midday (ΔNDVI mo-mi and between winter and summer (ΔNDVI W-S. In this paper, we showed that the ΔNDVI mo-mi of Tamarugo stands can be detected using MODIS Terra and Aqua images, and the ΔNDVI W-S using Landsat or MODIS Terra images. Because pulvinar movement is triggered by changes in cell turgor, the effects of water stress caused by groundwater depletion can be assessed and monitored using ΔNDVI mo-mi and ΔNDVI W-S. For an 11-year time series without rainfall events, Landsat ΔNDVI W-S of Tamarugo stands showed a positive linear relationship with cumulative groundwater depletion. We conclude that both ΔNDVI mo-mi and ΔNDVI W-S have potential to detect early water stress of paraheliotropic vegetation.

  17. Detecting leaf pulvinar movements on NDVI time series of desert trees: a new approach for water stress detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chávez, Roberto O; Clevers, Jan G P W; Verbesselt, Jan; Naulin, Paulette I; Herold, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Heliotropic leaf movement or leaf 'solar tracking' occurs for a wide variety of plants, including many desert species and some crops. This has an important effect on the canopy spectral reflectance as measured from satellites. For this reason, monitoring systems based on spectral vegetation indices, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), should account for heliotropic movements when evaluating the health condition of such species. In the hyper-arid Atacama Desert, Northern Chile, we studied seasonal and diurnal variations of MODIS and Landsat NDVI time series of plantation stands of the endemic species Prosopis tamarugo Phil., subject to different levels of groundwater depletion. As solar irradiation increased during the day and also during the summer, the paraheliotropic leaves of Tamarugo moved to an erectophile position (parallel to the sun rays) making the NDVI signal to drop. This way, Tamarugo stands with no water stress showed a positive NDVI difference between morning and midday (ΔNDVI mo-mi) and between winter and summer (ΔNDVI W-S). In this paper, we showed that the ΔNDVI mo-mi of Tamarugo stands can be detected using MODIS Terra and Aqua images, and the ΔNDVI W-S using Landsat or MODIS Terra images. Because pulvinar movement is triggered by changes in cell turgor, the effects of water stress caused by groundwater depletion can be assessed and monitored using ΔNDVI mo-mi and ΔNDVI W-S. For an 11-year time series without rainfall events, Landsat ΔNDVI W-S of Tamarugo stands showed a positive linear relationship with cumulative groundwater depletion. We conclude that both ΔNDVI mo-mi and ΔNDVI W-S have potential to detect early water stress of paraheliotropic vegetation.

  18. Divining Jordan's desert waters | IDRC - International Development ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    ... in the area have a long history of being water-conservers, and the idea of using the ... Dr Abu-Jaber examined is covered by an ancient, volcanic rock called basalt. ... When a desert cloudburst drops rain on the area, the raindrops quickly roll ...

  19. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S; Brown, Sarah; Landenmark, Hanna; Samuels, Toby; Siddall, Rebecca; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

    Liquid water is a requirement for biochemistry, yet under some circumstances it is deleterious to life. Here, we show that liquid water reduces the upper temperature survival limit for two extremophilic photosynthetic microorganisms (Gloeocapsa and Chroococcidiopsis spp.) by greater than 40°C under hydrated conditions compared to desiccated conditions. Under hydrated conditions, thermal stress causes protein inactivation as shown by the fluorescein diacetate assay. The presence of water was also found to enhance the deleterious effects of freeze-thaw in Chroococcidiopsis sp. In the presence of water, short-wavelength UV radiation more effectively kills Gloeocapsa sp. colonies, which we hypothesize is caused by factors including the greater penetration of UV radiation into hydrated colonies compared to desiccated colonies. The data predict that deserts where maximum thermal stress or irradiation occurs in conjunction with the presence of liquid water may be less habitable to some organisms than more extreme arid deserts where organisms can dehydrate prior to being exposed to these extremes, thus minimizing thermal and radiation damage. Life in extreme deserts is poised between the deleterious effects of the presence and the lack of liquid water. Key Words: Deserts-Extremophiles-Stress-High temperatures-UV radiation-Desiccation. Astrobiology 17, 309-318.

  20. Preventing desert locust plagues: optimizing management interventions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van A.; Cressman, K.; Magor, J.I.

    2007-01-01

    Solitarious desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), inhabit the central, arid, and semi-arid parts of the species¿ invasion area in Africa, the Middle East, and South-West Asia. Their annual migration circuit takes them downwind to breed sequentially where winter,

  1. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

    Within grasslands, precipitation, fire, nitrogen (N) addition, and extreme temperatures influence community composition and ecosystem function. The differential influences of these abiotic factors on Chihuahuan Desert grassland communities was examined within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located in central New Mexico, U.S.A. Although fire is a natural...

  2. Reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabo, John L.; Sinha, Tushar; Bowling, Laura C.; Schoups, Gerrit H.W.; Wallender, Wesley W.; Campana, Michael E.; Cherkauer, Keith A.; Fuller, Pam L.; Graf, William L.; Hopmans, Jan W.; Kominoski, John S.; Taylor, Carissa; Trimble, Stanley W.; Webb, Robert H.; Wohl, Ellen E.

    2010-01-01

    Increasing human appropriation of freshwater resources presents a tangible limit to the sustainability of cities, agriculture, and ecosystems in the western United States. Marc Reisner tackles this theme in his 1986 classic Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. Reisner's analysis paints a portrait of region-wide hydrologic dysfunction in the western United States, suggesting that the storage capacity of reservoirs will be impaired by sediment infilling, croplands will be rendered infertile by salt, and water scarcity will pit growing desert cities against agribusiness in the face of dwindling water resources. Here we evaluate these claims using the best available data and scientific tools. Our analysis provides strong scientific support for many of Reisner's claims, except the notion that reservoir storage is imminently threatened by sediment. More broadly, we estimate that the equivalent of nearly 76% of streamflow in the Cadillac Desert region is currently appropriated by humans, and this figure could rise to nearly 86% under a doubling of the region's population. Thus, Reisner's incisive journalism led him to the same conclusions as those rendered by copious data, modern scientific tools, and the application of a more genuine scientific method. We close with a prospectus for reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert, including a suite of recommendations for reducing region-wide human appropriation of streamflow to a target level of 60%.

  3. Longshore sediment transport along the Indian coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chandramohan, P.; Nayak, B.U.

    Coast. Maharashtra Coast and the part between Pondicherry and Point Calimere in Tamilnadu, show negligible order of annual net transport. Annual net transport along the east coast is in north and along the west coast in south but for South Gujarat Coast....

  4. Indian Ocean coasts, coastal ecology

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ingole, B.S.

    stream_size 9 stream_content_type text/plain stream_name Encycl_Coast_Sci_2005_546.pdf.txt stream_source_info Encycl_Coast_Sci_2005_546.pdf.txt Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 ...

  5. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Extragalactic Sources at 148 GHz in the 2008 Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marriage, T. A.; Juin, J. B.; Lin, Y. T.; Marsden, D.; Nolta, M. R.; Partridge, B.; Ade, P. A. R.; Aguirre, P.; Amiri, M.; Appel, J. W.; hide

    2011-01-01

    We report on extragalactic sources detected in a 455 square-degree map of the southern sky made with data at a frequency of 148 GHz from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope 2008 observing season. We provide a catalog of 157 sources with flux densities spanning two orders of magnitude: from 15 mJy to 1500 mJy. Comparison to other catalogs shows that 98% of the ACT detections correspond to sources detected at lower radio frequencies. Three of the sources appear to be associated with the brightest cluster galaxies of low redshift X-ray selected galaxy clusters. Estimates of the radio to mm-wave spectral indices and differential counts of the sources further bolster the hypothesis that they are nearly all radio sources, and that their emission is not dominated by re-emission from warm dust. In a bright (> 50 mJy) 148 GHz-selected sample with complete cross-identifications from the Australia Telescope 20 GHz survey, we observe an average steepening of the spectra between .5, 20, and 148 GHz with median spectral indices of alp[ha (sub 5-20) = -0.07 +/- 0.06, alpha (sub 20-148) -0.39 +/- 0.04, and alpha (sub 5-148) = -0.20 +/- 0.03. When the measured spectral indices are taken into account, the 148 GHz differential source counts are consistent with previous measurements at 30 GHz in the context of a source count model dominated by radio sources. Extrapolating with an appropriately rescaled model for the radio source counts, the Poisson contribution to the spatial power spectrum from synchrotron-dominated sources with flux density less than 20 mJy is C(sup Sync) = (2.8 +/- 0.3) x 1O (exp-6) micro K(exp 2).

  6. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Cosmology from Galaxy Clusters Detected Via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehgal, Neelima; Trac, Hy; Acquaviva, Viviana; Ade, Peter A. R.; Aguirre, Paula; Amiri, Mandana; Appel, John W.; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Battistelli, Elia S.; Bond, J. Richard; hide

    2010-01-01

    We present constraints on cosmological parameters based on a sample of Sunyaev-Zel'dovich-selected galaxy clusters detected in a millimeter-wave survey by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. The cluster sample used in this analysis consists of 9 optically-confirmed high-mass clusters comprising the high-significance end of the total cluster sample identified in 455 square degrees of sky surveyed during 2008 at 148 GHz. We focus on the most massive systems to reduce the degeneracy between unknown cluster astrophysics and cosmology derived from SZ surveys. We describe the scaling relation between cluster mass and SZ signal with a 4-parameter fit. Marginalizing over the values of the parameters in this fit with conservative priors gives (sigma)8 = 0.851 +/- 0.115 and w = -1.14 +/- 0.35 for a spatially-flat wCDM cosmological model with WMAP 7-year priors on cosmological parameters. This gives a modest improvement in statistical uncertainty over WMAP 7-year constraints alone. Fixing the scaling relation between cluster mass and SZ signal to a fiducial relation obtained from numerical simulations and calibrated by X-ray observations, we find (sigma)8 + 0.821 +/- 0.044 and w = -1.05 +/- 0.20. These results are consistent with constraints from WMAP 7 plus baryon acoustic oscillations plus type Ia supernova which give (sigma)8 = 0.802 +/- 0.038 and w = -0.98 +/- 0.053. A stacking analysis of the clusters in this sample compared to clusters simulated assuming the fiducial model also shows good agreement. These results suggest that, given the sample of clusters used here, both the astrophysics of massive clusters and the cosmological parameters derived from them are broadly consistent with current models.

  7. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Cosmological Parameters from the 2008 Power Spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunkley, J.; Hlozek, R.; Sievers, J.; Acquaviva, V.; Ade, P. A. R.; Aguirre, P.; Amiri, M.; Appel, J. W.; Barrientos, L. F.; Battistelli, E. S.; hide

    2011-01-01

    We present cosmological parameters derived from the angular power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation observed at 148 GHz and 218 GHz over 296 deg(exp 2) with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) during its 2008 season. ACT measures fluctuations at scales 500 cosmological parameters from the less contaminated 148 GHz spectrum, marginalizing over SZ and source power. The ACDM cosmological model is a good fit to the data (chi square/dof = 29/46), and ACDM parameters estimated from ACT+Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) are consistent with the seven-year WMAP limits, with scale invariant n(sub s) = 1 excluded at 99.7% confidence level (CL) (3 sigma). A model with no CMB lensing is disfavored at 2.8 sigma. By measuring the third to seventh acoustic peaks, and probing the Silk damping regime, the ACT data improve limits on cosmological parameters that affect the small-scale CMB power. The ACT data combined with WMAP give a 6 sigma detection of primordial helium, with Y(sub p) = 0.313 +/- 0.044, and a 4 sigma detection of relativistic species, assumed to be neutrinos, with N(sub eff) = 5.3 +/- 1.3 (4.6 +/- 0.8 with BAO+H(sub 0) data). From the CMB alone the running of the spectral index is constrained to be d(sub s) / d ln k = -0,034 +/- 0,018, the limit on the tensor-to-scalar ratio is r < 0,25 (95% CL), and the possible contribution of Nambu cosmic strings to the power spectrum is constrained to string tension G(sub mu) < 1.6 x 10(exp -7) (95% CL),

  8. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Cosmology from Galaxy Clusters Detected via the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sehgal, N.

    2011-01-01

    We present constraints on cosmological parameters based on a sample of Sunyaev-Zeldovich-selected galaxy clusters detected in a millimeter-wave survey by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. The cluster sample used in this analysis consists of 9 optically-confirmed high-mass clusters comprising the high-significance end of the total cluster sample identified in 455 square degrees of sky surveyed during 2008 at 148GHz. We focus on the most massive systems to reduce the degeneracy between unknown cluster astrophysics and cosmology derived from SZ surveys. We describe the scaling relation between cluster mass and SZ signal with a 4-parameter fit. Marginalizing over the values of the parameters in this fit with conservative priors gives σ 8 = 0.851 ± 0.115 and w = -1.14 ± 0.35 for a spatially-flat wCDM cosmological model with WMAP 7-year priors on cosmological parameters. This gives a modest improvement in statistical uncertainty over WMAP 7-year constraints alone. Fixing the scaling relation between cluster mass and SZ signal to a fiducial relation obtained from numerical simulations and calibrated by X-ray observations, we find σ 8 = 0.821 ± 0.044 and w = -1.05 ± 0.20. These results are consistent with constraints from WMAP 7 plus baryon acoustic oscillations plus type Ia supernoava which give σ 8 = 0.802 ± 0.038 and w = -0.98 ± 0.053. A stacking analysis of the clusters in this sample compared to clusters simulated assuming the fiducial model also shows good agreement. These results suggest that, given the sample of clusters used here, both the astrophysics of massive clusters and the cosmological parameters derived from them are broadly consistent with current models.

  9. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: CMB polarization at 200 < ℓ < 9000

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Naess, Sigurd; Allison, Rupert; Calabrese, Erminia [Sub-Department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Hasselfield, Matthew [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); McMahon, Jeff; Coughlin, Kevin; Datta, Rahul [Department of Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48103 (United States); Niemack, Michael D.; De Bernardis, Francesco [Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Addison, Graeme E.; Amiri, Mandana [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Ade, Peter A. R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, The Parade, Cardiff, Wales CF24 3AA (United Kingdom); Battaglia, Nick [McWilliams Center for Cosmology, Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Physics, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15213 (United States); Beall, James A.; Britton, Joe; Cho, Hsiao-mei [NIST Quantum Devices Group, 325 Broadway Mailcode 817.03, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States); Bond, J Richard [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Crichton, Devin [Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218-2686 (United States); Das, Sudeep [Department of High Energy Physics, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S Cass Ave, Lemont, IL 60439 (United States); Devlin, Mark J., E-mail: sigurd.naess@astro.ox.ac.uk [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); and others

    2014-10-01

    We report on measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and celestial polarization at 146 GHz made with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) in its first three months of observing. Four regions of sky covering a total of 270 square degrees were mapped with an angular resolution of 1.3'. The map noise levels in the four regions are between 11 and 17 μK-arcmin. We present TT, TE, EE, TB, EB, and BB power spectra from three of these regions. The observed E-mode polarization power spectrum, displaying six acoustic peaks in the range 200 < ℓ < 3000, is an excellent fit to the prediction of the best-fit cosmological models from WMAP9+ACT and Planck data. The polarization power spectrum, which mainly reflects primordial plasma velocity perturbations, provides an independent determination of cosmological parameters consistent with those based on the temperature power spectrum, which results mostly from primordial density perturbations. We find that without masking any point sources in the EE data at ℓ < 9000, the Poisson tail of the EE power spectrum due to polarized point sources has an amplitude less than 2.4 μ {sup 2} at ℓ = 3000 at 95% confidence. Finally, we report that the Crab Nebula, an important polarization calibration source at microwave frequencies, has 8.7% polarization with an angle of 150.7{sup o} ± 0.6{sup o} when smoothed with a 5' Gaussian beam.

  10. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: cosmological parameters from three seasons of data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sievers, Jonathan L.; Appel, John William; Hlozek, Renée A.; Nolta, Michael R.; Battaglia, Nick; Bond, J. Richard; Acquaviva, Viviana; Addison, Graeme E.; Amiri, Mandana; Battistelli, Elia S.; Burger, Bryce; Ade, Peter A. R.; Aguirre, Paula; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Brown, Ben; Calabrese, Erminia; Chervenak, Jay; Crichton, Devin; Das, Sudeep; Devlin, Mark J.

    2013-01-01

    We present constraints on cosmological and astrophysical parameters from high-resolution microwave background maps at 148 GHz and 218 GHz made by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) in three seasons of observations from 2008 to 2010. A model of primary cosmological and secondary foreground parameters is fit to the map power spectra and lensing deflection power spectrum, including contributions from both the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich (tSZ) effect and the kinematic Sunyaev-Zeldovich (kSZ) effect, Poisson and correlated anisotropy from unresolved infrared sources, radio sources, and the correlation between the tSZ effect and infrared sources. The power ℓ 2 C ℓ /2π of the thermal SZ power spectrum at 148 GHz is measured to be 3.4±1.4  μK 2 at ℓ = 3000, while the corresponding amplitude of the kinematic SZ power spectrum has a 95% confidence level upper limit of 8.6  μK 2 . Combining ACT power spectra with the WMAP 7-year temperature and polarization power spectra, we find excellent consistency with the LCDM model. We constrain the number of effective relativistic degrees of freedom in the early universe to be N eff = 2.79±0.56, in agreement with the canonical value of N eff = 3.046 for three massless neutrinos. We constrain the sum of the neutrino masses to be Σm ν < 0.39 eV at 95% confidence when combining ACT and WMAP 7-year data with BAO and Hubble constant measurements. We constrain the amount of primordial helium to be Y p = 0.225±0.034, and measure no variation in the fine structure constant α since recombination, with α/α 0 = 1.004±0.005. We also find no evidence for any running of the scalar spectral index, dn s /dln k = −0.004±0.012

  11. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Development and preliminary results of point source observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Ryan P.

    2009-06-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is a six meter diameter telescope designed to measure the millimeter sky with arcminute angular resolution. The instrument is currently conducting its third season of observations from Cerro Toco in the Chilean Andes. The primary science goal of the experiment is to expand our understanding of cosmology by mapping the temperature fluctuations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at angular scales corresponding to multipoles up to [cursive l] ~ 10000. The primary receiver for current ACT observations is the Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera (MBAC). The instrument is specially designed to observe simultaneously at 148 GHz, 218 GHz and 277 GHz. To accomplish this, the camera has three separate detector arrays, each containing approximately 1000 detectors. After discussing the ACT experiment in detail, a discussion of the development and testing of the cold readout electronics for the MBAC is presented. Currently, the ACT collaboration is in the process of generating maps of the microwave sky using our first and second season observations. The analysis used to generate these maps requires careful data calibration to produce maps of the arcminute scale CMB temperature fluctuations. Tests and applications of several elements of the ACT calibrations are presented in the context of the second season observations. Scientific exploration has already begun on preliminary maps made using these calibrations. The final portion of this thesis is dedicated to discussing the point sources observed by the ACT. A discussion of the techniques used for point source detection and photometry is followed by a presentation of our current measurements of point source spectral indices.

  12. Data characteristics and preliminary results from the atacama b-mode search (ABS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visnjic, Catherine

    The Atacama B-Mode Search (ABS) is a 145 GHz polarimeter located at a high altitude site on Cerro Toco, in the Andes of northern Chile. Having deployed in early 2012, it is currently in its second year of operation, observing the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). It seeks to probe the as yet undetected odd-parity B-modes of the polarization, which would have been created by the primordial gravitational wave background (GWB) predicted by theories of inflation. The magnitude of the B-mode signal is characterized by the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r. ABS features 60 cm cryogenic reflectors in the crossed-Dragone configuration, and a warm, continuously rotating sapphire half-wave plate to modulate the polarization of incoming radiation. The focal plane consists of 480 antenna-coupled transition edge sensor bolometers, arranged in orthogonal pairs for polarization sensitivity, and coupled to feedhorns in a hexagonal array. In this thesis we describe the ABS instrument in the state in which it is now operating, outline the first season of observations, and characterize the data obtained. Focusing on observations of the primary CMB field during a one month reference period, we detail the algorithms currently used to select the data suitable for making maps. This is the first pass at data cuts and provides a conservative estimate for the sensitivity of ABS to the polarization modes in the sky. We project that with one year total observation time of the primary CMB field, ABS should be able to detect the B-mode signal at roughly the level of r = 0.03.

  13. Life at extreme elevations on Atacama volcanoes: the closest thing to Mars on Earth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, S K; Gendron, E M S; Vincent, K; Solon, A J; Sommers, P; Schubert, Z R; Vimercati, L; Porazinska, D L; Darcy, J L; Sowell, P

    2018-03-20

    Here we describe recent breakthroughs in our understanding of microbial life in dry volcanic tephra ("soil") that covers much of the surface area of the highest elevation volcanoes on Earth. Dry tephra above 6000 m.a.s.l. is perhaps the best Earth analog for the surface of Mars because these "soils" are acidic, extremely oligotrophic, exposed to a thin atmosphere, high UV fluxes, and extreme temperature fluctuations across the freezing point. The simple microbial communities found in these extreme sites have among the lowest alpha diversity of any known earthly ecosystem and contain bacteria and eukaryotes that are uniquely adapted to these extreme conditions. The most abundant eukaryotic organism across the highest elevation sites is a Naganishia species that is metabolically versatile, can withstand high levels of UV radiation and can grow at sub-zero temperatures, and during extreme diurnal freeze-thaw cycles (e.g. - 10 to + 30 °C). The most abundant bacterial phylotype at the highest dry sites sampled (6330 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Llullaillaco) belongs to the enigmatic B12-WMSP1 clade which is related to the Ktedonobacter/Thermosporothrix clade that includes versatile organisms with the largest known bacterial genomes. Close relatives of B12-WMSP1 are also found in fumarolic soils on Volcán Socompa and in oligotrophic, fumarolic caves on Mt. Erebus in Antarctica. In contrast to the extremely low diversity of dry tephra, fumaroles found at over 6000 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Socompa support very diverse microbial communities with alpha diversity levels rivalling those of low elevation temperate soils. Overall, the high-elevation biome of the Atacama region provides perhaps the best "natural experiment" in which to study microbial life in both its most extreme setting (dry tephra) and in one of its least extreme settings (fumarolic soils).

  14. THE ATACAMA COSMOLOGY TELESCOPE: BEAM MEASUREMENTS AND THE MICROWAVE BRIGHTNESS TEMPERATURES OF URANUS AND SATURN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hasselfield, Matthew [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Moodley, Kavilan [Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 (South Africa); Bond, J. Richard; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D.; Nolta, Michael R. [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Das, Sudeep [High Energy Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Lemont, IL 60439 (United States); Devlin, Mark J.; Marsden, Danica; Schmitt, Benjamin L. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Dunkley, Joanna [Department of Astrophysics, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Dünner, Rolando; Gallardo, Patricio [Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Facultad de Física, Pontificía Universidad Católica, Casilla 306, Santiago 22 (Chile); Fowler, Joseph W.; Niemack, Michael D. [NIST Quantum Devices Group, 325 Broadway Mailcode 817.03, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States); Gralla, Megan B.; Marriage, Tobias A. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-2686 (United States); Halpern, Mark [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Page, Lyman A. [Joseph Henry Laboratories of Physics, Jadwin Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Partridge, Bruce [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Haverford College, Haverford, PA 19041 (United States); and others

    2013-11-01

    We describe the measurement of the beam profiles and window functions for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), which operated from 2007 to 2010 with kilopixel bolometer arrays centered at 148, 218, and 277 GHz. Maps of Saturn are used to measure the beam shape in each array and for each season of observations. Radial profiles are transformed to Fourier space in a way that preserves the spatial correlations in the beam uncertainty to derive window functions relevant for angular power spectrum analysis. Several corrections are applied to the resulting beam transforms, including an empirical correction measured from the final cosmic microwave background (CMB) survey maps to account for the effects of mild pointing variation and alignment errors. Observations of Uranus made regularly throughout each observing season are used to measure the effects of atmospheric opacity and to monitor deviations in telescope focus over the season. Using the WMAP-based calibration of the ACT maps to the CMB blackbody, we obtain precise measurements of the brightness temperatures of the Uranus and Saturn disks at effective frequencies of 149 and 219 GHz. For Uranus we obtain thermodynamic brightness temperatures T{sub U}{sup 149}= 106.7 ± 2.2 K and T{sub U}{sup 219}= 100.1 ± 3.1 K. For Saturn, we model the effects of the ring opacity and emission using a simple model and obtain resulting (unobscured) disk temperatures of T{sub S}{sup 149}= 137.3 ± 3.2 K and T{sub S}{sup 219}= 137.3 ± 4.7 K.

  15. Low habitat overlap at landscape scale between wild camelids and feral donkeys in the Chilean desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malo, Juan E.; González, Benito A.; Mata, Cristina; Vielma, André; Donoso, Denise S.; Fuentes, Nicolás; Estades, Cristián F.

    2016-01-01

    Feral domestic ungulates may compete with the populations of wild herbivores with which they coexist, particularly so in arid regions. The potential competition between wild camelids and feral donkeys at the eastern sector of the Atacama Desert is evaluated in terms of their coincidence or segregation in habitat use and complemented with a comparison of reproductive output (yearling/adult ratio) of vicuña family groups in the proximity vs. distant from donkey observations. Habitat use of wild camelids and donkeys was sampled driving some 1250 km of roads and tracks at the dry and wet seasons. There were 221 vicuñas (Vicugna vicugna) sightings, 77 for donkeys (Equus asinus), 25 for guanacos (Lama guanicoe) and 8 for hybrids between guanacos and domestic llamas (Lama glama), as well as 174 randomly selected control locations. By means of Generalised Discriminant Analysis and Analysis of Variance we show that all ungulates actively select their habitat, with significant differences between use and availability in the area. Donkeys are relatively abundant in comparison with camelids and coincide broadly with both of them across the altitudinal gradient, but they fall between them in local scale habitat selection and do not seem to force their displacement from their preferred habitats. Thus donkeys occur preferentially on slopes with a high cover of tall shrubs, whereas vicuñas use valley bottoms with grass and guanacos the upper slope zones with grass. The potential for competition between donkeys and wild camelids is thus limited and it does not affect the reproductive output of vicuña in this region. Therefore, with the present knowledge we suggest that population control is not currently merited for feral donkeys.

  16. Assessing Water Stress of Desert Tamarugo Trees Using in situ Data and Very High Spatial Resolution Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmundo Acevedo

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The hyper-arid Atacama Desert is one of the most extreme environments for life and only few species have evolved to survive its aridness. One such species is the tree Prosopis tamarugo Phil. Because Tamarugo completely depends on groundwater, it is being threatened by the high water demand from the Chilean mining industry and the human consumption. In this paper, we identified the most important biophysical variables to assess the water status of Tamarugo trees and tested the potential of WorldView2 satellite images to retrieve these variables. We propose green canopy fraction (GCF and green drip line leaf area index (DLLAIgreen as best variables and a value of 0.25 GCF as a critical threshold for Tamarugo survival. Using the WorldView2 spectral bands and an object-based image analysis, we showed that the NDVI and the Red-edge Chlorophyll Index (CIRed-edge have good potential to retrieve GCF and DLLAIgreen. The NDVI performed best for DLLAIgreen (RMSE = 0.4 while the CIRed-edge was best for GCF (RMSE = 0.1. However, both indices were affected by Tamarugo leaf movements (leaves avoid facing direct solar radiation at the hottest time of the day. Thus, monitoring systems based on these indices should consider the time of the day and the season of the year at which the satellite images are acquired.

  17. Examining the life history of an individual from Solcor 3, San Pedro de Atacama: Combining bioarchaeology and archaeological chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres-Rouff, Cristina; Knudson, Kelly J

    2007-01-01

    Detailed life history information using multiple lines of evidence including the identification of geographic origins, health, and body use indicators, can be used to elucidate the complex process of acculturation in the San Pedro de Atacama oases of northern Chile during the Middle Horizon. This paper presents the results of bioarchaeological and archaeological chemical analyses of the skeletal remains of an adult male (tomb 50, catalog number 1948) from the cemetery of Solcor 3 (ca. AD 500-900). Strontium isotope ratios in human tooth enamel reveal information about where a person lived during their childhood, when enamel was being formed. Individual 1948 showed strontium isotope ratios decidedly outside the range of the local San Pedro de Atacama strontium isotope signature. Given these data implying that individual 1948 was originally from elsewhere, an examination of his health status, social role, and mortuary context provides insight into the treatment of foreigners in San Pedro de Atacama. Our data support the argument that individual 1948's foreign birth did not hinder his later assimilation into Atacameno society. He was buried in a local cemetery with a typical mortuary assemblage for a male of this time and no strong evidence of possible foreign origin. Skeletal indicators of diet and activity patterns do not distinguish individual 1948 from the local population, suggesting that his lifestyle was similar to that of other Atacamenos. Therefore, our analyses suggest that individual 1948's acculturation into Atacameno society during his adult life was nearly complete and he retained little to no indication of his probable foreign birth

  18. Evidence for dark energy from the cosmic microwave background alone using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope lensing measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwin, Blake D; Dunkley, Joanna; Das, Sudeep; Appel, John W; Bond, J Richard; Carvalho, C Sofia; Devlin, Mark J; Dünner, Rolando; Essinger-Hileman, Thomas; Fowler, Joseph W; Hajian, Amir; Halpern, Mark; Hasselfield, Matthew; Hincks, Adam D; Hlozek, Renée; Hughes, John P; Irwin, Kent D; Klein, Jeff; Kosowsky, Arthur; Marriage, Tobias A; Marsden, Danica; Moodley, Kavilan; Menanteau, Felipe; Niemack, Michael D; Nolta, Michael R; Page, Lyman A; Parker, Lucas; Reese, Erik D; Schmitt, Benjamin L; Sehgal, Neelima; Sievers, Jon; Spergel, David N; Staggs, Suzanne T; Swetz, Daniel S; Switzer, Eric R; Thornton, Robert; Visnjic, Katerina; Wollack, Ed

    2011-07-08

    For the first time, measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) alone favor cosmologies with w = -1 dark energy over models without dark energy at a 3.2-sigma level. We demonstrate this by combining the CMB lensing deflection power spectrum from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope with temperature and polarization power spectra from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. The lensing data break the geometric degeneracy of different cosmological models with similar CMB temperature power spectra. Our CMB-only measurement of the dark energy density Ω(Λ) confirms other measurements from supernovae, galaxy clusters, and baryon acoustic oscillations, and demonstrates the power of CMB lensing as a new cosmological tool.

  19. Evidence for Dark Energy from the Cosmic Microwave Background Alone Using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Lensing Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwin, Blake D.; Dunkley, Joanna; Das, Sudeep; Appel, John W.; Bond, J. Richard; Carvalho, C. Sofia; Devlin, Mark J.; Duenner, Rolando; Essinger-Hileman, Thomas; Fowler, Joesph J.; hide

    2011-01-01

    For the first time, measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) alone favor cosmologies with w = -1 dark energy over models without dark energy at a 3.2-sigma level. We demonstrate this by combining the CMB lensing deflection power spectrum from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope with temperature and polarization power spectra from the "Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. The lensing data break the geometric degeneracy of different cosmological models with similar CMB temperature power spectra. Our CMB-only measurement of the dark energy density Omega(delta) confirms other measurements from supernovae, galaxy clusters and baryon acoustic oscillations, and demonstrates the power of CMB lensing as a new cosmological tool.

  20. Andrew spares Florida Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Susan

    When geologists heard of the intensity of Hurricane Andrew, which struck the Florida coast on August 25 and then moved on to southern Louisiana, they were expecting the same kinds of coastal damage that Hurricane Hugo brought to the Caribbean and Carolina shores in 1989. Both storms were category 4 hurricanes, having winds of 131-155 mph and surges of 13-18 feet. However, the coastal damage never materialized, leaving geologists to analyze the factors that lessened the impact of the storm. “For minimum coastal damage, you couldn't have designed a better storm,” said Orrin Pilkey, director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) in Durham, N.C. This was due in part to the nature of the storm itself and where it hit land, and in part to the regional geology, said Rob Thieler of PSDS. Despite the huge amounts of damage to buildings, there was virtually no evidence of coastal process destruction, he said.

  1. Issues of affinity: exploring population structure in the Middle and Regional Developments Periods of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Rouff, Christina; Knudson, Kelly J; Hubbe, Mark

    2013-11-01

    The Middle Period (AD 400-1000) in northern Chile's Atacama oases is characterized by an increase in social complexity and regional interaction, much of which was organized around the power and impact of the Tiwanaku polity. Despite the strong cultural influence of Tiwanaku and numerous other groups evident in interactions with Atacameños, the role of immigration into the oases during this period is unclear. While archaeological and bioarchaeological research in the region has shown no evidence that clearly indicates large groups of foreign immigrants, the contemporary increase in interregional exchange networks connecting the oases to other parts of the Andes suggests residential mobility and the possibility that movement of people both into and out of the oases accompanied these foreign influences. Here, we analyze biodistance through cranial non-metric traits in a skeletal sample from prehistoric San Pedro de Atacama to elucidate the extent of foreign influence in the oases and discuss its implications. We analyzed 715 individuals from the Middle Period (AD 400-1000) and later Regional Developments Period (AD 1000-1450), and found greater phenotypic differences between Middle Period cemeteries than among cemeteries in the subsequent period. We argue that this greater diversity extends beyond the relationship between the oases and the renowned Tiwanaku polity and reflects the role of the oases and its different ayllus as a node and way station for the Middle Period's myriad interregional networks. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigati, Jeff S.; Rech, Jason A.; Quade, Jay; Bright, Jordon; Edwards, L.; Springer, A.

    2014-01-01

    Desert wetlands support flora and fauna in a variety of hydrologic settings, including seeps, springs, marshes, wet meadows, ponds, and spring pools. Over time, eolian, alluvial, and fluvial sediments become trapped in these settings by a combination of wet ground conditions and dense plant cover. The result is a unique combination of clastic sediments, chemical precipitates, and organic matter that is preserved in the geologic record as ground-water discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits contain information on the timing and magnitude of past changes in water-table levels and, therefore, are a potential source of paleohydrologic and paleoclimatic information. In addition, they can be important archeological and paleontological archives because desert wetlands provide reliable sources of fresh water, and thus act as focal points for human and faunal activities, in some of the world's harshest and driest lands. Here, we review some of the physical, sedimentological, and geochemical characteristics common to GWD deposits, and provide a contextual framework that researchers can use to identify and interpret geologic deposits associated with desert wetlands. We discuss several lines of evidence used to differentiate GWD deposits from lake deposits (they are commonly confused), and examine how various types of microbiota and depositional facies aid in reconstructing past environmental and hydrologic conditions. We also review how late Quaternary GWD deposits are dated, as well as methods used to investigate desert wetlands deeper in geologic time. We end by evaluating the strengths and limitations of hydrologic and climatic records derived from GWD deposits, and suggest several avenues of potential future research to further develop and utilize these unique and complex systems.

  3. Biology of the Central Desert of Oman

    OpenAIRE

    GHAZANFAR, Shahina A

    2004-01-01

    A biological survey of the central desert of Oman was done using long distance transects. Vegetation was sparse and consisted of 200+ plant species, 22 species of mammals, 17 species of reptiles and amphibians, and more than 50 species of birds (migratory and resident). Three main vegetation types were identified based on ground substrate and the dominance of species. These were communities with Acacia Willd., Zygophyllum L., and open woodlands of Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce. Over-grazing a...

  4. Joint by Design: The Western Desert Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-21

    Introduction Seated in a dusty tent, finally cooling in the Egyptian night, the “Desert Fox” had a serious problem. German Lieutenant General Erwin...Complexity: A Platform for Designing Business Architecture , 2nd ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006), 30-32. 65 Lewin, Montgomery, 121. 29 Allies...Benghazi and Tobruk, and the Egyptian port of Matruh were operating at 60 percent of their potential capacity. By the end of August, the Axis loss rate of

  5. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

    Aranda-Rickert, Adriana; Diez, Patricia; Marazzi, Brigitte

    2014-01-01

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal dese...

  6. Beach rock from Goa Coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Setty, M.G.A.P.; Wagle, B.G.

    constituents of beach rock found along Goa coast is dealt with in detail. While discussing the various views on its origin, it is emphasized that the process of cementation is chiefly controlled by ground water evaporation, inorganic precipitation and optimum...

  7. West Coast Regional Office Permits

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Fisheries implemented a license limitation program for the trawl and fixed gear sectors of Pacific Coast commercial groundfish fishery on January 1, 1993. The...

  8. Geomorphology of the Goa Coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wagle, B.G.

    This paper is based on the observations and interpretations of aerial photographs (1;25, 000 and 1:15, 000) of the Goa Coast. Aerial photocharacters like zonal differences, texture, shape, size, form, pattern, vegetation, soil characteristics...

  9. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Cosmological Parameters from Three Seasons of Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seivers, Jonathan L.; Hlozek, Renee A.; Nolta, Michael R.; Acquaviva, Viviana; Addison, Graeme E.; Ade, Peter A. R.; Aguirre, Paula; Amiri, Mandana; Appel, John W.; Barrientos, L. Felipe; hide

    2013-01-01

    We present constraints on cosmological and astrophysical parameters from highresolution microwave background maps at 148 GHz and 218 GHz made by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) in three seasons of observations from 2008 to 2010. A model of primary cosmological and secondary foreground parameters is fit to the map power spectra and lensing deflection power spectrum, including contributions from both the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich (tSZ) effect and the kinematic Sunyaev-Zeldovich (kSZ) effect, Poisson and correlated anisotropy from unresolved infrared sources, radio sources, and the correlation between the tSZ effect and infrared sources. The power l(sup 2)C(sub l)/2pi of the thermal SZ power spectrum at 148 GHz is measured to be 3.4 +/- 1.4 micro-K(sup 2) at l = 3000, while the corresponding amplitude of the kinematic SZ power spectrum has a 95% confidence level upper limit of 8.6 micro-K(sup 2). Combining ACT power spectra with the WMAP 7-year temperature and polarization power spectra, we find excellent consistency with the LCDM model. We constrain the number of effective relativistic degrees of freedom in the early universe to be N(sub eff) = 2.79 +/- 0.56, in agreement with the canonical value of N(sub eff) = 3.046 for three massless neutrinos. We constrain the sum of the neutrino masses to be sigma(m?) is less than 0.39 eV at 95% confidence when combining ACT and WMAP 7-year data with BAO and Hubble constant measurements. We constrain the amount of primordial helium to be Y(sub p) = 0.225 +/- 0.034, and measure no variation in the fine structure constant alpha since recombination, with alpha/alpha(sub 0) = 1.004 +/- 0.005. We also find no evidence for any running of the scalar spectral index, derivative(n(sub s))/derivative(ln k) = -0.004 +/- 0.012.

  10. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Relation Between Galaxy Cluster Optical Richness and Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehgal, Neelima; Addison, Graeme; Battaglia, Nick; Battistelli, Elia S.; Bond, J. Richard; Das, Sudeep; Devlin, Mark J.; Dunkley, Joanna; Duenner, Rolando; Gralla, Megan; hide

    2012-01-01

    We present the measured Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) flux from 474 optically-selected MaxBCG clusters that fall within the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) Equatorial survey region. The ACT Equatorial region used in this analysis covers 510 square degrees and overlaps Stripe 82 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We also present the measured SZ flux stacked on 52 X-ray-selected MCXC clusters that fall within the ACT Equatorial region and an ACT Southern survey region covering 455 square degrees. We find that the measured SZ flux from the X-ray-selected clusters is consistent with expectations. However, we find that the measured SZ flux from the optically-selected clusters is both significantly lower than expectations and lower than the recovered SZ flux measured by the Planck satellite. Since we find a lower recovered SZ signal than Planck, we investigate the possibility that there is a significant offset between the optically-selected brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) and the SZ centers, to which ACT is more sensitive due to its finer resolution. Such offsets can arise due to either an intrinsic physical separation between the BCG and the center of the gas concentration or from misidentification of the cluster BCG. We find that the entire discrepancy for both ACT and Planck can be explained by assuming that the BCGs are offset from the SZ maxima with a uniform random distribution between 0 and 1.5 Mpc. In contrast, the physical separation between BCGs and X-ray peaks for an X-ray-selected subsample of MaxBCG clusters shows a much narrower distribution that peaks within 0.2 Mpc. We conclude that while offsets between BCGs and SZ peaks may be an important component in explaining the discrepancy, it is likely that a combination of factors is responsible for the ACT and Planck measurements. Several effects that can lower the SZ signal equally for both ACT and Planck, but not explain the difference in measured signals, include a larger percentage of false detections in the

  11. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Brown, Sarah; Landenmark, Hanna; Samuels, Toby; Siddall, Rebecca; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

    Liquid water is a requirement for biochemistry, yet under some circumstances it is deleterious to life. Here, we show that liquid water reduces the upper temperature survival limit for two extremophilic photosynthetic microorganisms (Gloeocapsa and Chroococcidiopsis spp.) by greater than 40°C under hydrated conditions compared to desiccated conditions. Under hydrated conditions, thermal stress causes protein inactivation as shown by the fluorescein diacetate assay. The presence of water was also found to enhance the deleterious effects of freeze-thaw in Chroococcidiopsis sp. In the presence of water, short-wavelength UV radiation more effectively kills Gloeocapsa sp. colonies, which we hypothesize is caused by factors including the greater penetration of UV radiation into hydrated colonies compared to desiccated colonies. The data predict that deserts where maximum thermal stress or irradiation occurs in conjunction with the presence of liquid water may be less habitable to some organisms than more extreme arid deserts where organisms can dehydrate prior to being exposed to these extremes, thus minimizing thermal and radiation damage. Life in extreme deserts is poised between the deleterious effects of the presence and the lack of liquid water.

  12. The Palm Desert renewable [hydrogen] transportation system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chamberlin, C.E.; Lehman, P. [Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, CA (United States). Schatz Energy Research Center

    1998-08-01

    This paper describes the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) progress on the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project for the period June 1997 through May 1998. The project began in March 1996. The goal of the Palm Desert Project is to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community. The project demonstrates the practical utility of hydrogen as a transportation fuel and the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell as a vehicle power system. The project includes designing and building 4 fuel cell powered vehicles, a solar hydrogen generating and refueling station, and a fuel cell vehicle diagnostic center. Over this last year, SERC has built a fuel cell powered neighborhood electric vehicle and delivered it to the City of Palm Desert. The design of the hydrogen refueling station is near completion and it is anticipated that construction will be complete in the fall of 1998. The vehicles are currently being refueled at a temporary refueling station. The diagnostic center is being designed and maintenance procedures as well as computer diagnostic programs for the fuel cell vehicles are being developed. City employees are driving the vehicles daily and monitoring data are being collected. The drivers are pleased with the performance of the vehicles.

  13. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available The phytoecological map (l :2.500.000 for Desert Region, including the Caspian Lowland and the Mangyshlak. has been compiled. It gives an idea of latitudinal differentiation cf vegetation. Edaphic variants and lithological composition in low mountains. The legend has been constructed according to zonal-typological principle e using an ecological-phytocoenotic classification. Heterogeneity of vegetation is reflected by means of territoria1 units (complex, series, combination and additional marks above the vegetation background. In the northern subzone vegetation is fairly monotonous and characterized by prevalence of wormwood communities (Artemisia of subgenus Seriphidium, joined in three formations: Artemisia lerchiana, A. arenaria. A. pauciflora. Small areas are occupied by shrub deserts of Calligollum aphyllum and Tamarix ramosissima. To southward of 47° N in the middle subzone on the Caspian Lowland the communities of halophyte perennial saltworts essential1y dominate, and to less extent-wormwood communities of hemipsammophytic Artemisia terrae-albae and psammophytic Artemisia arenaria and A. lerchiana. Deserts of Mangyshlak are much diverse. Dwarf semishrubs are presented by species of perennial saltworts (Anabasis salsa, Nanophyton erinaceum,Arthrophytum lehnwnianum, Salsola orientaUs and wonnwood (Artemisia terrae-albae, A. gurganica. A. santolina. To southward of 43° N in the southern subzone dwarf semishrub Salsola gemmascens and Artemisia kemrudica corrnnunities prevail.

  14. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The phytoecological map (l :2.500.000 for Desert Region, including the Caspian Lowland and the Mangyshlak. has been compiled. It gives an idea of latitudinal differentiation cf vegetation. Edaphic variants and lithological composition in low mountains. The legend has been constructed according to zonal-typological principle e using an ecological-phytocoenotic classification. Heterogeneity of vegetation is reflected by means of territoria1 units (complex, series, combination and additional marks above the vegetation background. In the northern subzone vegetation is fairly monotonous and characterized by prevalence of wormwood communities (Artemisia of subgenus Seriphidium, joined in three formations: Artemisia lerchiana, A. arenaria. A. pauciflora. Small areas are occupied by shrub deserts of Calligollum aphyllum and Tamarix ramosissima. To southward of 47° N in the middle subzone on the Caspian Lowland the communities of halophyte perennial saltworts essential1y dominate, and to less extent-wormwood communities of hemipsammophytic Artemisia terrae-albae and psammophytic Artemisia arenaria and A. lerchiana. Deserts of Mangyshlak are much diverse. Dwarf semishrubs are presented by species of perennial saltworts (Anabasis salsa, Nanophyton erinaceum,Arthrophytum lehnwnianum, Salsola orientaUs and wonnwood (Artemisia terrae-albae, A. gurganica. A. santolina. To southward of 43° N in the southern subzone dwarf semishrub Salsola gemmascens and Artemisia kemrudica corrnnunities prevail.

  15. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. ALI, M. SHAFIQ CHAUDHRY1 AND U. FAROOQ

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The camel is one of the typical and the best adopted animals of the desert, capable of enduring thirst and hunger for days and is the most patient of land animals. For desert nomads of Pakistani Cholistan, it is a beloved companion, a source of milk and meat, transport facility provider and a racing/dancing animal, thus, playing an important role in the socioeconomic uplift of the local community. Camels of Marrecha or Mahra breed are mainly used for riding and load carrying but may be trained for dancing or racing. Berella is another heavy and milch breed of camel famous for milk production and can produce upto 10-15 liters of milk per day. This breed is also suitable for draught purpose, though comparatively slow due to heavy body. The present paper also describes the traditional camel rearing system used by nomads of Cholistan desert. Some aspects of camel health, production, feeding, socio-economic values, marketing and some constraints and suggestions are also given so that the policy makers may consider them for the welfare of this animal.

  16. Paracas geoglyphs of the peruvian south coast: Cerro Lechuza and Cerro Pico

    OpenAIRE

    García Soto, Rubén

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally, the manufacture of large found drawings on desert plains and hill slopes of the Peruvian south coast was at-tributed to the Nasca society. However, since the 1980s, it is known that this cultural manifestation is a tradition that wouldhave begun towards the 750 BC during the early part of the development of the Paracas culture. Paracas geoglyphs have beenreported from Pisco to the Rio Grande Basin of Nasca, particularly in the area of Palpa where the where they have identifiedm...

  17. 77 FR 65133 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-25

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... limited disapproval of revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of.... * * * * * (c) * * * (379) * * * (i) * * * (E) Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 1159...

  18. Nationwide desert highway assessment: a case study in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-07-01

    The natural environment affects the construction of desert highways. Conversely, highway construction affects the natural environment and puts the ecological environment at a disadvantage. To satisfy the variety and hierarchy of desert highway construction and discover the spatio-temporal distribution of the natural environment and its effect on highway construction engineering, an assessment of the natural regional divisions of desert highways in China is carried out for the first time. Based on the general principles and method for the natural region division, the principles, method and index system for desert highway assessment is put forward by combining the desert highway construction features and the azonal differentiation law. The index system combines the dominant indicator and four auxiliary indicators. The dominant indicator is defined by the desert's comprehensive state index and the auxiliary indicators include the sand dune height, the blown sand strength, the vegetation coverage ratio and the annual average temperature difference. First the region is divided according to the dominant indicator. Then the region boundaries are amended according to the four auxiliary indicators. Finally the natural region division map for desert highway assessment is presented. The Chinese desert highways can be divided into three sections: the east medium effect region, the middle medium-severe effect region, and the west slight-medium effect region. The natural region division map effectively paves the way for the route planning, design, construction, maintenance and ongoing management of desert highways, and further helps environmental protection.

  19. The provenance of Taklamakan desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittner, Martin; Vermeesch, Pieter; Carter, Andrew; Bird, Anna; Stevens, Thomas; Garzanti, Eduardo; Andò, Sergio; Vezzoli, Giovanni; Dutt, Ripul; Xu, Zhiwei; Lu, Huayu

    2016-03-01

    Sand migration in the vast Taklamakan desert within the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, PR China) is governed by two competing transport agents: wind and water, which work in diametrically opposed directions. Net aeolian transport is from northeast to south, while fluvial transport occurs from the south to the north and then west to east at the northern rim, due to a gradual northward slope of the underlying topography. We here present the first comprehensive provenance study of Taklamakan desert sand with the aim to characterise the interplay of these two transport mechanisms and their roles in the formation of the sand sea, and to consider the potential of the Tarim Basin as a contributing source to the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Our dataset comprises 39 aeolian and fluvial samples, which were characterised by detrital-zircon U-Pb geochronology, heavy-mineral, and bulk-petrography analyses. Although the inter-sample differences of all three datasets are subtle, a multivariate statistical analysis using multidimensional scaling (MDS) clearly shows that Tarim desert sand is most similar in composition to rivers draining the Kunlun Shan (south) and the Pamirs (west), and is distinctly different from sediment sources in the Tian Shan (north). A small set of samples from the Junggar Basin (north of the Tian Shan) yields different detrital compositions and age spectra than anywhere in the Tarim Basin, indicating that aeolian sediment exchange between the two basins is minimal. Although river transport dominates delivery of sand into the Tarim Basin, wind remobilises and reworks the sediment in the central sand sea. Characteristic signatures of main rivers can be traced from entrance into the basin to the terminus of the Tarim River, and those crossing the desert from the south to north can seasonally bypass sediment through the sand sea. Smaller ephemeral rivers from the Kunlun Shan end in the desert and discharge their sediment there. Both river run

  20. The Use of Water During the Crew 144, Mars Desert Research Station, Utah Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Well. from November 29th to December 14th, 2014, the author conducted astrobiological and geological surveys, as analog astronaut member of the international Crew 144, at the site of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station, located at a remote location in the Utah desert, United States. The use of water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, etc., in the crew was a major issue for consideration for a human expedition to the planet Mars in the future. The author would like to tell about the factors of the rationalized use of water.

  1. Cost estimates for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm: a budgetary analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, J. Andrew.

    1991-01-01

    Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (DS/DS) presented unique challenges for estimating the cost of that conflict. This analysis reviews the cost estimates and methodologies developed for that purpose by DoD, CBO and GAO. It considers the budget climate and the role of foreign cash and in-kind contributions. Finally, it reviews the budgeting innovations used to provide and monitor DS/DS defense spending. At the outset of the crisis, costs were estimated to determine the defense funding requir...

  2. Honduras: Caribbean Coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harborne, Alastair R.; Afzal, Daniel C.; Andrews, Mark J. [Coral Cay Conservation, London (United Kingdom)

    2001-07-01

    The coast of Honduras, Central America, represents the southern end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, although its marine resources are less extensive and studied than nearby Belize and Mexico. However, the coastal zone contains mainland reef formations, mangroves, wetlands, seagrass beds and extensive fringing reefs around its offshore islands, and has a key role in the economy of the country. Like most tropical areas, this complex of benthic habitats experiences limited annual variation in climatic and oceanographic conditions but seasonal and occasional conditions, particularly coral bleaching and hurricanes, are important influences. The effects of stochastic factors on the country's coral reefs were clearly demonstrated during 1998 when Honduras experienced a major hurricane and bleaching event. Any natural or anthropogenic impacts on reef health will inevitably affect other countries in Latin America, and vice versa, since the marine resources are linked via currents and the functioning of the system transcends political boundaries. Much further work on, for example, movement of larvae and transfer of pollutants is required to delineate the full extent of these links. Anthropogenic impacts, largely driven by the increasing population and proportion of people living in coastal areas, are numerous and include key factors such as agricultural run-off, over-fishing, urban and industrial pollution (particularly sewage) and infrastructure development. Many of these threats act synergistically and, for example, poor watershed management via shifting cultivation, increases sedimentation and pesticide run-off onto coral reefs, which increases stress to corals already affected by decreasing water quality and coral bleaching. Threats from agriculture and fishing are particularly significant because of the size of both industries. The desire to generate urgently required revenue within Honduras has also led to increased tourism which provides an over

  3. Honduras: Caribbean Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, A R; Afzal, D C; Andrews, M J

    2001-12-01

    The coast of Honduras, Central America, represents the southern end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, although its marine resources are less extensive and studied than nearby Belize and Mexico. However, the coastal zone contains mainland reef formations, mangroves, wetlands, seagrass beds and extensive fringing reefs around its offshore islands, and has a key role in the economy of the country. Like most tropical areas, this complex of benthic habitats experiences limited annual variation in climatic and oceanographic conditions but seasonal and occasional conditions, particularly coral bleaching and hurricanes, are important influences. The effects of stochastic factors on the country's coral reefs were clearly demonstrated during 1998 when Honduras experienced a major hurricane and bleaching event. Any natural or anthropogenic impacts on reef health will inevitably affect other countries in Latin America, and vice versa, since the marine resources are linked via currents and the functioning of the system transcends political boundaries. Much further work on, for example, movement of larvae and transfer of pollutants is required to delineate the full extent of these links. Anthropogenic impacts, largely driven by the increasing population and proportion of people living in coastal areas, are numerous and include key factors such as agricultural run-off, over-fishing, urban and industrial pollution (particularly sewage) and infrastructure development. Many of these threats act synergistically and, for example, poor watershed management via shifting cultivation, increases sedimentation and pesticide run-off onto coral reefs, which increases stress to corals already affected by decreasing water quality and coral bleaching. Threats from agriculture and fishing are particularly significant because of the size of both industries. The desire to generate urgently required revenue within Honduras has also led to increased tourism which provides an overarching stress

  4. Are Wildlife Detector Dogs or People Better at Finding Desert Tortoises (Gopherus Agassizii)?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nussear, Kenneth E; Esque, Todd C; Heaton, Jill S; Cablk, Mary E; Drake, Kristina K; Valentin, Cindee; Yee, Julie L; Medica, Philip A

    2008-01-01

    .... Recent studies highlight the effectiveness of trained detector dogs to locate wildlife during field surveys, including Desert Tortoises in a semi-natural setting. Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii...

  5. Diversity, abundance and conservation of birds in an agroecosystem in the Ica desert, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Letty Salinas

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Present work investigates the impact of the agricultural activity in the Peruvian coast on the biodiversity of birds. The study includes the monitoring of birds in asparagus and grapes farms of Ica valley, from January-2004 to January-2006. We evaluated eight types of habitats distributed in a total of 1288 has. Throughout the period of study we registered 93 species of birds. The abundance, richness and diversity were greater in the summers. The greater abundance happened in the habitats of land of asparagus, river brushwood and live fences. The greater richness and diversity happened in January-2006 in alfalfa cultures with huarangos and live fences. The most abundant species were the residents, as Zenaida meloda (6,6 ind./it has, Pygochelidon cyanoleuca (5,9 and the migratory Hirundo rustica (5,9. We registered 12 migratory species. From the conservationist point of view, the number of species catalogued in some degree of threat, at national and international level, is very high. We can emphasize the vulnerable Xenospingus concolor, the Peruvian endemic Colaptes atricollis and the species of desert Geositta peruviana, Sporophila simplex and Burhinus superciliaris. This study demonstrates the importance of agroecosystems in the conservation of the Peruvian Coastal Desert biodiversity, in particular if the enterprise carries out a policy of respect to environment.

  6. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yosef Friedjung, Avital; Choudhary, Sikander Pal; Dudai, Nativ; Rachmilevitch, Shimon

    2013-01-01

    Plants exchange signals with other physical and biological entities in their habitat, a form of communication termed allelopathy. The underlying principles of allelopathy and secondary-metabolite production are still poorly understood, especially in desert plants. The coordination and role of secondary metabolites were examined as a cause of allelopathy in plants thriving under arid and semiarid soil conditions. Desert plant species, Origanum dayi, Artemisia sieberi and Artemisia judaica from two different sources (cultivar cuttings and wild seeds) were studied in their natural habitats. Growth rate, relative water content, osmotic potential, photochemical efficiency, volatile composition and vital factors of allelopathy were analyzed at regular intervals along four seasons with winter showing optimum soil water content and summer showing water deficit conditions. A comprehensive analysis of the volatile composition of the leaves, ambient air and soil in the biological niche of the plants under study was carried out to determine the effects of soil water conditions and sample plants on the surrounding flora. Significant morpho-physiological changes were observed across the seasons and along different soil water content. Metabolic analysis showed that water deficit was the key for driving selective metabolomic shifts. A. judaica showed the least metabolic shifts, while A. sieberi showed the highest shifts. All the species exhibited high allelopathic effects; A. judaica displayed relatively higher growth-inhibition effects, while O. dayi showed comparatively higher germination-inhibition effects in germination assays. The current study may help in understanding plant behavior, mechanisms underlying secondary-metabolite production in water deficit conditions and metabolite-physiological interrelationship with allelopathy in desert plants, and can help cull economic benefits from the produced volatiles.

  7. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avital Yosef Friedjung

    Full Text Available Plants exchange signals with other physical and biological entities in their habitat, a form of communication termed allelopathy. The underlying principles of allelopathy and secondary-metabolite production are still poorly understood, especially in desert plants. The coordination and role of secondary metabolites were examined as a cause of allelopathy in plants thriving under arid and semiarid soil conditions. Desert plant species, Origanum dayi, Artemisia sieberi and Artemisia judaica from two different sources (cultivar cuttings and wild seeds were studied in their natural habitats. Growth rate, relative water content, osmotic potential, photochemical efficiency, volatile composition and vital factors of allelopathy were analyzed at regular intervals along four seasons with winter showing optimum soil water content and summer showing water deficit conditions. A comprehensive analysis of the volatile composition of the leaves, ambient air and soil in the biological niche of the plants under study was carried out to determine the effects of soil water conditions and sample plants on the surrounding flora. Significant morpho-physiological changes were observed across the seasons and along different soil water content. Metabolic analysis showed that water deficit was the key for driving selective metabolomic shifts. A. judaica showed the least metabolic shifts, while A. sieberi showed the highest shifts. All the species exhibited high allelopathic effects; A. judaica displayed relatively higher growth-inhibition effects, while O. dayi showed comparatively higher germination-inhibition effects in germination assays. The current study may help in understanding plant behavior, mechanisms underlying secondary-metabolite production in water deficit conditions and metabolite-physiological interrelationship with allelopathy in desert plants, and can help cull economic benefits from the produced volatiles.

  8. Screening the Egyptian desert actinomycetes as candidates for new ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In a screening program to study the antimicrobial activities of desert actinomycetes as potential producers of active metabolites, 75 actinomycete strains were isolated from the Egyptian desert habitats and tested. Out of the isolated 75 organisms, 32 (42.67%) showed activity against the used test organisms.

  9. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses the current problems that exist with the rock art research of the Black Desert in Jordan and presents some preliminary field results of the author’s research on the petroglyphs. It also explore the possibilities that the rock art affords to learn more about the elusive desert

  10. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses the current problems that exist with the rock art research of the Black Desert in Jordan and presents some preliminary field results of the author’s research on the petroglyphs. It also explore the possibilities that the rock art affords to learn more about the elusive desert societies and the limitations about studying rock art in archaeologically unfamiliar territories.

  11. The politics of accessing desert land in Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naber, Al Majd; Molle, Francois

    2016-01-01

    With the dramatic increase of the population in Jordan, the value of land has rocketed up. Urban sprawl into semi-desert or desert areas, initially not surveyed or settled by the British and considered as state land, has brought to the surface the problematic status of those lands. Likewise, the

  12. Aeromycobiota of Western Desert of Egypt | Ismail | African Journal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The prevalence of airborne mycobiota at six different regions of Western desert (5 regions) and Eastern desert (1) of Egypt was determined using the exposed-plate method. A total of 44 genera, 102 species and one variety in addition to some unidentified yeasts and dark sterile mycelia were collected. Of the above, only 5 ...

  13. The Desert and the Sown Project in Northern Jordan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerner, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    The desert and sown project, which started in 1999 and continued in 2008-2009, studied the region between the settled areas east of Irbid and Ramtha and the surrounding desert at Mafraq (northern Jordan). Large parts of the material comes from the Palaeolithic period, while some smaller tells date...

  14. Desert tortoise use of burned habitat in the Eastern Mojave desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Karla K.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; DeFalco, Lesley; Scoles, Sara; Modlin, Andrew T.; Medica, Philip A.

    2015-01-01

    Wildfires burned 24,254 ha of critical habitat designated for the recovery of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in southern Nevada during 2005. The proliferation of non-native annual grasses has increased wildfire frequency and extent in recent decades and continues to accelerate the conversion of tortoise habitat across the Mojave Desert. Immediate changes to vegetation are expected to reduce quality of critical habitat, yet whether tortoises will use burned and recovering habitat differently from intact unburned habitat is unknown. We compared movement patterns, home-range size, behavior, microhabitat use, reproduction, and survival for adult desert tortoises located in, and adjacent to, burned habitat to understand how tortoises respond to recovering burned habitat. Approximately 45% of home ranges in the post-fire environment contained burned habitat, and numerous observations (n = 12,223) corroborated tortoise use of both habitat types (52% unburned, 48% burned). Tortoises moved progressively deeper into burned habitat during the first 5 years following the fire, frequently foraging in burned habitats that had abundant annual plants, and returning to adjacent unburned habitat for cover provided by intact perennial vegetation. However, by years 6 and 7, the live cover of the short-lived herbaceous perennial desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) that typically re-colonizes burned areas declined, resulting in a contraction of tortoise movements from the burned areas. Health and egg production were similar between burned and unburned areas indicating that tortoises were able to acquire necessary resources using both areas. This study documents that adult Mojave desert tortoises continue to use habitat burned once by wildfire. Thus, continued management of this burned habitat may contribute toward the recovery of the species in the face of many sources of habitat loss.

  15. Algae-production in the desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hildebrand, H.

    1988-11-01

    The company Koor Food Ltd. (Israel) developed in co-operation with the Weizmann-Institute (Israel) a production-plant for the industrial cultivation of algae in the desert area of Elat. For almost a year now, they succeed in harvesting large amounts of algae material with the help of the intensive sun and the Red Sea water. The alga Dunaliella with the natural US -carotine, as well as the alga Spirulina with the high content of protein find their market in the food-, cosmetic- and pharma-industry. This article will give a survey of a yet here unusual project.

  16. Background aerosol composition in the Namib desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Annegarn, H.J.; Sellschop, J.P.F.; Van Grieken, R.E.; Winchester, J.W.

    The sulfur content of atmospheric particulate matter in non-urban areas is apparently rising above natural levels in the Northern Hemisphere. Sulfur emissions to the atmosphere are also increasing with increasing combustion of fossil fuels. Current research is being focussed not only on gaseous sulfur dioxide, but also on particulate forms, including sulfates and sulfuric acid. A global network of non urban studies using proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) of which the sampling site at Gobabeb in the Namib desert is one, are developing a data base on which questions of natural levels of sulfur can be answered

  17. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Detection or Sunyaev-Zel'Dovich Decrement in Groups and Clusters Associated with Luminous Red Galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hand, Nick; Appel, John William; Battaglia, Nick; Bond, J. Richard; Das, Sudeep; Devlin, Mark J.; Dunkley, Joanna; Dunner, Rolando; Essinger-Hileman, Thomas; Fowler, Joseph W.; hide

    2010-01-01

    We present a detection of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) decrement associated with the Luminous Red Galaxy (LRG) sample of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The SZ data come from 148 GHz maps of the equatorial region made by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). The LRG sample is divided by luminosity into four bins, and estimates for the central Sunyaev-Zel'dovich temperature decrement are calculated through a stacking process. We detect and account for a bias of the SZ signal due to weak radio sources. We use numerical simulations to relate the observed decrement to Y(sub 200) and clustering properties to relate the galaxy luminosity bins to mass. We also use a relation between BCG luminosity and cluster mass based on stacked gravitational lensing measurements to estimate the characteristic halo masses. The masses are found to be in the range approx.10(exp 13) - 10(exp 14)/h Stellar Mass, a lower range than has been previously probed.

  18. Fog water chemistry in the Namib desert, Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckardt, Frank D.; Schemenauer, Robert S.

    This study documents the ion concentrations and ion enrichment relative to sea water, in Namib Desert fog water, with the purpose of establishing its suitability for future fogwater collection schemes, while also examining claims that Namib Desert fog water carries exceptionally high concentrations of sulphate, which may be responsible for the formation of gypsum deposits in the desert. The work suggests that Namibian fog water is at least as clean as has been reported from other coastal deserts in South America and Arabia, and provides a source of very clean water for the coastal desert region of south-western Africa. It does not appear that fog is an efficient sulphur source for the formation of the gypsum deposits, unless rare events with high concentrations of marine sulphur compounds occur.

  19. Plant responses to an edaphic gradient across an active sand dune/desert boundary in the great basin desert.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosenthal, D.M.; Ludwig, F.; Donovan, L.A.

    2005-01-01

    In arid ecosystems, variation in precipitation causes broad-scale spatial heterogeneity in soil moisture, but differences in soil texture, development, and plant cover can also create substantial local soil moisture heterogeneity. The boundary between inland desert sand dunes and adjacent desert

  20. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandergast, Amy G.; Inman, Richard D.; Barr, Kelly R.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Wood, Dustin A.; Medica, Philip A.; Breinholt, Jesse W.; Stephen, Catherine L.; Gottscho, Andrew D.; Marks, Sharyn B.; Jennings, W. Bryan; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic diversity within species provides the raw material for adaptation and evolution. Just as regions of high species diversity are conservation targets, identifying regions containing high genetic diversity and divergence within and among populations may be important to protect future evolutionary potential. When multiple co-distributed species show spatial overlap in high genetic diversity and divergence, these regions can be considered evolutionary hotspots. We mapped spatial population genetic structure for 17 animal species across the Mojave Desert, USA. We analyzed these in concurrence and located 10 regions of high genetic diversity, divergence or both among species. These were mainly concentrated along the western and southern boundaries where ecotones between mountain, grassland and desert habitat are prevalent, and along the Colorado River. We evaluated the extent to which these hotspots overlapped protected lands and utility-scale renewable energy development projects of the Bureau of Land Management. While 30–40% of the total hotspot area was categorized as protected, between 3–7% overlapped with proposed renewable energy project footprints, and up to 17% overlapped with project footprints combined with transmission corridors. Overlap of evolutionary hotspots with renewable energy development mainly occurred in 6 of the 10 identified hotspots. Resulting GIS-based maps can be incorporated into ongoing landscape planning efforts and highlight specific regions where further investigation of impacts to population persistence and genetic connectivity may be warranted.

  1. Landscape Sustainability in a Sonoran Desert City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris A. Martin

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this paper is to discuss concepts of landscape sustainability in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix is situated in the greater Salt River Valley of the lower Sonoran Desert in the southwest United States. In this paper I use the ecological frameworks of ecosystem services and resiliency as a metric for understanding landscape sustainability. An assessment of landscape sustainability performance benchmarks were made by surveying research findings of scientists affiliated with the Central Arizona Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research Project (CAP LTER. In Phoenix, present day emphases on cultural, aesthetic, and habitat formation ecosystem services within an arid ecoregion of low natural resilience coupled to a complex matrix of socioeconomic stratification, excessive landscape water use and pruning practices has had the undesired effect of degrading landscape sustainability. This has been measured as mixed patterns of plant diversity and human-altered patterns of carbon regulation, microclimate control, and trophic dynamics. In the future, sustainable residential landscaping in desert cities such as Phoenix may be fostered through use of water-conserving irrigation technologies, oasis-style landscape design motifs, recycling of landscape green waste, and conservative plant pruning strategies.

  2. Submarine canyons off Madras Coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Setty, M.G.A.P.

    Submarine canyons off the coast of Madras, Tamil Nadu, India were studied during cruise of @iINS Kistna@@ as part of the IIOE programme They consist of hill-like projections and V-shaped valleys Their other features are also reported...

  3. Airborne particle accumulation and composition at different locations in the northern Negev desert.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

    Atmospheric desert dust was collected over 36 months in ground-level collectors at four stations in the northern Negev desert, Israel. Three stations (Shivta, Sede Boqer and Avdat) are located in the desert itself whereas the fourth station (Sayeret Shaked) is situated at the desert fringe, in the

  4. Upwelling along the east coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Murty, C.S.; Varadachari, V.V.R.

    the premonsoon and monsoon periods. Waters from deeper layers of the shelf appear to reach the surface causing considerable fall of surface temperature near the coast. The probable causes for these differences in upwelling along the coast are discussed...

  5. Zooplankton along the Tamil Nadu coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Santhakumari, V.; Saraswathy, M.

    Zooplankton abundance along two sectors at Cape Comorin and Tuticorin of Tamil Nadu Coast, southeast coast of India was studied. High biomass contributed by Ostracods, Salps, Chaetognaths etc., were observed along Tuticorin transect. In the Cape...

  6. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    OpenAIRE

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks ...

  7. Integrating Army Aviation into the Combined Arms Team: Operational Art in Desert Shield and Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-25

    King of Saudi Arabia. The conversation took place prior to an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting of Arab Gulf members...Blumberg and Christopher C. French, eds., The Persian Gulf War: Views from the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Lanham, MD: University Press of America...1994), 17. 72 Blumberg and French, The Persian Gulf War, 29. 20 building up forces in northeast Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield, in

  8. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Lemos Varella

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The drought stress resistance is a characteristic of the desert rose and its estimable beauty flowers, which gave it great relevance in the ornamental market. However, the desert rose production and germination is hampered by possible sterility of their male and female flowers and frequent problems in pollination, so the tissue culture is a promising alternative to the propagation of these plants. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of gibberellic acid on four commercial varieties of desert rose (Adenium obesum cultivated in vitro. The seeds of the varieties ‘Orange Pallet’, ‘Carnation violet’, ‘Diamond ring’ and ‘Vermiliont’ were sterilized and inoculated on Water + Agar (T0, medium MS (T1, ½ MS (T2, MS + 0.25 mg L-1 GA3 (T3, MS + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 (T4, ½ MS + 0.25 mg L-1 GA3 (T5, ½ MS 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 (T6. The seeds germination of A. obesum was initiated on the fourth day of cultivation and on the tenth day was possible to observe the expansion of the cotyledons and leaf expansion with subsequent development of early secondary root. The ‘Orange pallet’ variety germinated 100% of seeds on water + agar and MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 of GA3. For ‘Diamond Ring’ and ‘Carnation violet’ the highest rate of germination occurred in treatments MS ½; 0.25 mg L-1 GA3; MS + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 averaging 80% and 70%, respectively. For ‘Vermiliont’ the best response was in MS and MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 ranging between 70-90% germinated embryos. It was registered different malformations in all treatments like absence of roots and apexes during seedling development. The concentrations of GA3 did not affect significantly the seed germination.

  9. Properties of Desert Sand and CMAS Glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Narottam P.; Choi, Sung R.

    2014-01-01

    As-received desert sand from a Middle East country has been characterized for its phase composition and thermal stability. X-ray diffraction analysis showed the presence of quartz (SiO2), calcite (CaCO3), gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O), and NaAlSi3O8 phases in as-received desert sand and showed weight loss of approx. 35 percent due to decomposition of CaCO3 and CaSO4.2H2O when heated to 1400 C. A batch of as-received desert sand was melted into calcium magnesium aluminosilicate (CMAS) glass at approx. 1500 C. From inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, chemical composition of the CMAS glass was analyzed to be 27.8CaO-4MgO-5Al2O3-61.6SiO2-0.6Fe2O3-1K2O (mole percent). Various physical, thermal and mechanical properties of the glass have been evaluated. Bulk density of CMAS glass was 2.69 g/cc, Young's modulus 92 GPa, Shear modulus 36 GPa, Poisson's ratio 0.28, dilatometric glass transition temperature (T (sub g)) 706 C, softening point (T (sub d)) 764 C, Vickers microhardness 6.3 +/- 0.4 GPa, indentation fracture toughness 0.75 +/- 0.15 MPa.m (sup 1/2), and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 9.8 x 10 (exp -6)/degC in the temperature range 25 to 700 C. Temperature dependence of viscosity has also been estimated from various reference points of the CMAS glass using the Vogel-Fulcher-Tamman (VFT) equation. The glass remained amorphous after heat treating at 850 C for 10 hr but crystallized into CaSiO3 and Ca-Mg-Al silicate phases at 900 C or higher temperatures. Crystallization kinetics of the CMAS glass has also been investigated by differential thermal analysis (DTA). Activation energies for the crystallization of two different phases in the glass were calculated to be 403 and 483 kJ/mol, respectively.

  10. Chemical constituents of Cenchrus ciliaris L. from the Cholistan desert, Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Ashraf Muhammad Aqeel; Mahmood Karamat; Yusoff Ismail; Qureshi Ahmad Kaleem

    2013-01-01

    The Cholistan Desert is an extension of the Great Indian Desert, covering an area of 26,330 km2. The desert can be divided into two main geomorphic regions: the northern region, known as Lesser Cholistan, constituting the desert margin and consisting of a series of saline alluvial flats alternating with low sand ridges/dunes; and the southern region, known as Greater Cholistan, a wind-resorted sandy desert comprised of a number of old Hakra River terraces w...

  11. Spatial Reconnaissance : Technical Report ComCoast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhagen, H.J.; Ahlhorn, F.

    2005-01-01

    ComCoast (Combined Functions in Coastal Defence Zones) is an INTERREG IIIB project funded by the EU. ComCoast aims to develop and demonstrate innovative solutions for flood protection in coastal areas. In ComCoast, five countries from the North Sea Region are involved: Belgium, Denmark, The

  12. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

    Full Text Available The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

  13. A longshore sediment transport estimation for the Indian coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nayak, B.U.; Chandramohan, P.

    in Tamilnadu, and the Maharashtra Coast experience negligible annual net transport. The direction of annual net transport along the east coast is towards north and along the west coast towards south except at south Gujarat Coast...

  14. Investigating water resources of the desert: How isotopes can help

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1992-01-01

    Newspapers and magazines from time to time write about the enormous reserves of water stored underground in the Sahara, whose rational exploitation would allow the agricultural development of the desert. Although the practical implementation of such projects is rather problematic, it is true that groundwater is relatively abundant under most of the Sahara (as well as in other deserts in the world), but it is seldom easily accessible. What do we really know about these resources of groundwater and how they have accumulated in areas where rainfall is so scarce. What do we know of the hydrological history of the desert. These problems are important for the correct evaluation and use of the groundwater in the desert. Isotope techniques help in their solution, and are described in this document. 6 figs

  15. Investigating water resources of the desert: how isotopes can help

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1981-01-01

    Newspapers and magazines from time to time write about the enormous reserves of water stored underground in the Sahara, whose rational exploitation would allow the agricultural development of the desert. Although the practical implementation of such projects is rather problematic, it is true that groundwater is relatively abundant under most of the Sahara (as well as in other deserts in the world), but it is seldom easily accessible. What do we really know about these resources of groundwater and how they have accumulated in areas where rainfall is so scarce. What do we know of the hydrological history of the desert. These problems are important for the correct evaluation and use of the groundwater in the desert. Isotope techniques help in their solution, and are described in this document

  16. Vegetation - Anza-Borrego Desert State Park [ds165

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Anza Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) Vegetation Map depicts vegetation within the Park and its surrounding environment. The map was prepared by the Department...

  17. The potential of energy farming in the southeastern California desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, V.

    1980-04-01

    The use of energy forms to provide future sources of energy for California is considered. Marginal desert lands in southeastern California are proposed for the siting of energy farms using acacia, eucalyptus, euphorbia, guayule, jojoba, mesquite, or tamarisk.

  18. Modeling Agassiz's Desert Tortoise Population Response to Anthropogenic Stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojave Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations are exposed to a variety of anthropogenic threats, which vary in nature, severity, and frequency. Tortoise management in conservation areas can be compromised when the relative importance of these threats is not well underst...

  19. Camelid genomes reveal evolution and adaptation to desert environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Huiguang; Guang, Xuanmin; Al-Fageeh, Mohamed B; Cao, Junwei; Pan, Shengkai; Zhou, Huanmin; Zhang, Li; Abutarboush, Mohammed H; Xing, Yanping; Xie, Zhiyuan; Alshanqeeti, Ali S; Zhang, Yanru; Yao, Qiulin; Al-Shomrani, Badr M; Zhang, Dong; Li, Jiang; Manee, Manee M; Yang, Zili; Yang, Linfeng; Liu, Yiyi; Zhang, Jilin; Altammami, Musaad A; Wang, Shenyuan; Yu, Lili; Zhang, Wenbin; Liu, Sanyang; Ba, La; Liu, Chunxia; Yang, Xukui; Meng, Fanhua; Wang, Shaowei; Li, Lu; Li, Erli; Li, Xueqiong; Wu, Kaifeng; Zhang, Shu; Wang, Junyi; Yin, Ye; Yang, Huanming; Al-Swailem, Abdulaziz M; Wang, Jun

    2014-10-21

    Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) and alpaca (Vicugna pacos) are economically important livestock. Although the Bactrian camel and dromedary are large, typically arid-desert-adapted mammals, alpacas are adapted to plateaus. Here we present high-quality genome sequences of these three species. Our analysis reveals the demographic history of these species since the Tortonian Stage of the Miocene and uncovers a striking correlation between large fluctuations in population size and geological time boundaries. Comparative genomic analysis reveals complex features related to desert adaptations, including fat and water metabolism, stress responses to heat, aridity, intense ultraviolet radiation and choking dust. Transcriptomic analysis of Bactrian camels further reveals unique osmoregulation, osmoprotection and compensatory mechanisms for water reservation underpinned by high blood glucose levels. We hypothesize that these physiological mechanisms represent kidney evolutionary adaptations to the desert environment. This study advances our understanding of camelid evolution and the adaptation of camels to arid-desert environments.

  20. Desert Peak East Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zemach, Ezra [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Drakos, Peter [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Spielman, Paul [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Akerley, John [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States)

    2013-09-30

    This manuscript is a draft to replaced with a final version at a later date TBD. A summary of activities pertaining to the Desert Peak EGS project including the planning and resulting stimulation activities.

  1. Water appropriation and ecosystem stewardship in the Baja desert

    OpenAIRE

    de las Heras Alejandro; Rodriguez Mario A.; Islas-Espinoza Marina

    2014-01-01

    The UNESCO San Francisco Rock Paintings polygon within El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in the Baja California Peninsula derives its moisture from the North American monsoon. There, ranchers have depended on the desert since the 18th century. More recently, the desert has depended on the environmental stewardship of the ranchers who have allayed mining exploitation and archaeological looting. Using a Rapid Assessment Procedure (RAP), climate data, and geographical informa...

  2. MX Siting Investigation. Gravity Survey - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-24

    Cheyenne, Wyoming. DMAHTC reduces the data to Simple Bouguer Anomaly (see Section A1.4, Appendix Al.0). The Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center...Desert Valley, Utah ......... 2 2 Topographic Setting - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah . 3 LIST OF DRAWINGS Drawing Number 1 Complete Bouguer Anomaly...gravity stations were distributed throughout the valley at an approxi- mate interval of 1.4 miles (2.3 km). Drawing 1 is a Complete Bouguer Anomaly

  3. Stable Isotopic Analysis on Water Utilization of Two Xerophytic Shrubs in a Revegetated Desert Area: Tengger Desert, China

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Huang; Zhishan Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Stable isotope studies on stable isotope ratios of hydrogen and oxygen in water within plants provide new information on water sources and water use patterns under natural conditions. In this study, the sources of water uptake for two typical xerophytic shrubs, Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica, were determined at four different-aged revegetated sites (1956, 1964, 1981, and 1987) in the Tengger Desert, a revegetated desert area in China. Samples from precipitation, soil water at dif...

  4. Repeated mass strandings of Miocene marine mammals from Atacama Region of Chile point to sudden death at sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Gutstein, Carolina S.; Parham, James F.; Le Roux, Jacobus P.; Chavarría, Catalina Carreño; Little, Holly; Metallo, Adam; Rossi, Vincent; Valenzuela-Toro, Ana M.; Velez-Juarbe, Jorge; Santelli, Cara M.; Rogers, David Rubilar; Cozzuol, Mario A.; Suárez, Mario E.

    2014-01-01

    Marine mammal mass strandings have occurred for millions of years, but their origins defy singular explanations. Beyond human causes, mass strandings have been attributed to herding behaviour, large-scale oceanographic fronts and harmful algal blooms (HABs). Because algal toxins cause organ failure in marine mammals, HABs are the most common mass stranding agent with broad geographical and widespread taxonomic impact. Toxin-mediated mortalities in marine food webs have the potential to occur over geological timescales, but direct evidence for their antiquity has been lacking. Here, we describe an unusually dense accumulation of fossil marine vertebrates from Cerro Ballena, a Late Miocene locality in Atacama Region of Chile, preserving over 40 skeletons of rorqual whales, sperm whales, seals, aquatic sloths, walrus-whales and predatory bony fish. Marine mammal skeletons are distributed in four discrete horizons at the site, representing a recurring accumulation mechanism. Taphonomic analysis points to strong spatial focusing with a rapid death mechanism at sea, before being buried on a barrier-protected supratidal flat. In modern settings, HABs are the only known natural cause for such repeated, multispecies accumulations. This proposed agent suggests that upwelling zones elsewhere in the world should preserve fossil marine vertebrate accumulations in similar modes and densities. PMID:24573855

  5. Repeated mass strandings of Miocene marine mammals from Atacama Region of Chile point to sudden death at sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyenson, Nicholas D; Gutstein, Carolina S; Parham, James F; Le Roux, Jacobus P; Chavarría, Catalina Carreño; Little, Holly; Metallo, Adam; Rossi, Vincent; Valenzuela-Toro, Ana M; Velez-Juarbe, Jorge; Santelli, Cara M; Rogers, David Rubilar; Cozzuol, Mario A; Suárez, Mario E

    2014-04-22

    Marine mammal mass strandings have occurred for millions of years, but their origins defy singular explanations. Beyond human causes, mass strandings have been attributed to herding behaviour, large-scale oceanographic fronts and harmful algal blooms (HABs). Because algal toxins cause organ failure in marine mammals, HABs are the most common mass stranding agent with broad geographical and widespread taxonomic impact. Toxin-mediated mortalities in marine food webs have the potential to occur over geological timescales, but direct evidence for their antiquity has been lacking. Here, we describe an unusually dense accumulation of fossil marine vertebrates from Cerro Ballena, a Late Miocene locality in Atacama Region of Chile, preserving over 40 skeletons of rorqual whales, sperm whales, seals, aquatic sloths, walrus-whales and predatory bony fish. Marine mammal skeletons are distributed in four discrete horizons at the site, representing a recurring accumulation mechanism. Taphonomic analysis points to strong spatial focusing with a rapid death mechanism at sea, before being buried on a barrier-protected supratidal flat. In modern settings, HABs are the only known natural cause for such repeated, multispecies accumulations. This proposed agent suggests that upwelling zones elsewhere in the world should preserve fossil marine vertebrate accumulations in similar modes and densities.

  6. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Sunyaev-Zel'dovich-Selected Galaxy Clusters AT 148 GHz in the 2008 Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marriage, Tobias A.; Acquaviva, Viviana; Ade, Peter A. R.; Aguirre, Paula; Amiri, Mandana; Appel, John William; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Battistelli, Elia S.; Bond, J. Richard; Brown, Ben; hide

    2011-01-01

    We report on 23 clusters detected blindly as Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) decrements in a 148 GHz, 455 deg (exp 2) map of the southern sky made with data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope 2008 observing season. All SZ detections announced in this work have confirmed optical counterparts. Ten of the clusters are new discoveries. One newly discovered cluster, ACT-CL 10102-4915, with a redshift of 0.75 (photometric), has an SZ decrement comparable to the most massive systems at lower redshifts. Simulations of the cluster recovery method reproduce the sample purity measured by optical follow-up. In particular, for clusters detected with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than six, simulations are consistent with optical follow-up that demonstrated this subsample is 100% pure, The simulations further imply that the total sample is 80% complete for clusters with mass in excess of 6 x 10(exp 14) solar masses referenced to the cluster volume characterized by 500 times the critical density. The Compton gamma-X-ray luminosity mass comparison for the 11 best-detected clusters visually agrees with both self-similar and non-adiabatic, simulation-derived scaling laws,

  7. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Dusty Star-Forming Galaxies and Active Galactic Nuclei in the Southern Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsden, Danica; Gralla, Megan; Marriage, Tobias A.; Switzer, Eric R.; Partridge, Bruce; Massardi, Marcella; Morales, Gustavo; Addison, Graeme; Bond, J. Richard; Crighton, Devin; hide

    2014-01-01

    We present a catalogue of 191 extragalactic sources detected by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) at 148 and/or 218 GHz in the 2008 Southern survey. Flux densities span 14 -1700 mJy, and we use source spectral indices derived using ACT-only data to divide our sources into two subpopulations: 167 radio galaxies powered by central active galactic nuclei (AGN) and 24 dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs). We cross-identify 97 per cent of our sources (166 of the AGN and 19 of the DSFGs) with those in currently available catalogues. When combined with flux densities from the Australia Telescope 20 GHz survey and follow-up observations with the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the synchrotron-dominated population is seen to exhibit a steepening of the slope of the spectral energy distribution from 20 to 148 GHz, with the trend continuing to 218 GHz. The ACT dust-dominated source population has a median spectral index, A(sub 148-218), of 3.7 (+0.62 or -0.86), and includes both local galaxies and sources with redshift around 6. Dusty sources with no counterpart in existing catalogues likely belong to a recently discovered subpopulation of DSFGs lensed by foreground galaxies or galaxy groups.

  8. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Dynamical Masses for 44 SZ-Selected Galaxy Clusters over 755 Square Degrees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sifon, Cristobal; Battaglia, Nick; Hasselfield, Matthew; Menanteau, Felipe; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Bond, J. Richard; Crichton, Devin; Devlin, Mark J.; Dunner, Rolando; Hilton, Matt; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present galaxy velocity dispersions and dynamical mass estimates for 44 galaxy clusters selected via the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) effect by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. Dynamical masses for 18 clusters are reported here for the first time. Using N-body simulations, we model the different observing strategies used to measure the velocity dispersions and account for systematic effects resulting from these strategies. We find that the galaxy velocity distributions may be treated as isotropic, and that an aperture correction of up to 7 per cent in the velocity dispersion is required if the spectroscopic galaxy sample is sufficiently concentrated towards the cluster centre. Accounting for the radial profile of the velocity dispersion in simulations enables consistent dynamical mass estimates regardless of the observing strategy. Cluster masses M200 are in the range (1 - 15) times 10 (sup 14) Solar Masses. Comparing with masses estimated from the SZ distortion assuming a gas pressure profile derived from X-ray observations gives a mean SZ-to-dynamical mass ratio of 1:10 plus or minus 0:13, but there is an additional 0.14 systematic uncertainty due to the unknown velocity bias; the statistical uncertainty is dominated by the scatter in the mass-velocity dispersion scaling relation. This ratio is consistent with previous determinations at these mass scales.

  9. Detection of the pairwise kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect with BOSS DR11 and the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bernardis, F. De; Vavagiakis, E.M.; Niemack, M.D.; Gallardo, P.A. [Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Aiola, S. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Particle Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology Center, 3941 O' Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (United States); Battaglia, N. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Beall, J.; Becker, D.T.; Cho, H.; Fox, A. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States); Bond, J.R. [CITA, University of Toronto, 60 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Calabrese, E.; Dunkley, J. [Sub-Department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Coughlin, K.; Datta, R. [Department of Physics, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Devlin, M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Dunner, R. [Instituto de Astrofísica and Centro de Astro-Ingeniería, Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, 7820436 Macul, Santiago (Chile); Ferraro, S. [Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Halpern, M. [University of British Columbia, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1 (Canada); Hand, N., E-mail: fdeberna@gmail.com [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); and others

    2017-03-01

    We present a new measurement of the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect using data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). Using 600 square degrees of overlapping sky area, we evaluate the mean pairwise baryon momentum associated with the positions of 50,000 bright galaxies in the BOSS DR11 Large Scale Structure catalog. A non-zero signal arises from the large-scale motions of halos containing the sample galaxies. The data fits an analytical signal model well, with the optical depth to microwave photon scattering as a free parameter determining the overall signal amplitude. We estimate the covariance matrix of the mean pairwise momentum as a function of galaxy separation, using microwave sky simulations, jackknife evaluation, and bootstrap estimates. The most conservative simulation-based errors give signal-to-noise estimates between 3.6 and 4.1 for varying galaxy luminosity cuts. We discuss how the other error determinations can lead to higher signal-to-noise values, and consider the impact of several possible systematic errors. Estimates of the optical depth from the average thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich signal at the sample galaxy positions are broadly consistent with those obtained from the mean pairwise momentum signal.

  10. Respondence and feedback of modern sand deserts to climate change--A case study in Gurbantunggut Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    The research on the respondence and feedback of modern sand deserts to the climate change is an important component part in the studies on the global climate change. Deserts respond to the climate change, meanwhile, they affect the climate with their feedback of peculiar environment during the respondence. Many researches on desert climate have been carried out at home and abroad. However, there is little research on the respondence and feedback of modern fixed, semi-fixed and mobile deserts in arid areas to the climate change, in which the factor analysis as well as the parameter changing effects is especially the difficult problem all along. In this note, the parameters of the respondence and feedback of Gurbantunggut Desert to the climate change are measured and analyzed, some variable parameters of water-heat exchange are obtained, and a numerical model of desertification is developed according to a series of climate change of about 40 years and the variable relations of meteorological and physical features of the sand surface in Gurbantunggut Desert.

  11. From Fireproof Desert to Flammable Grassland: Buffelgrass Invasion in the Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt, J. L.

    2007-12-01

    Only a few decades ago, the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Mexico and southern Arizona was considered mostly fireproof, a case of not enough fine fuel to connect the dominant shrubs and cacti. This has changed with invasions by non-native, winter annual and summer-flower perennial grasses that are rapidly transforming fireproof desert into flammable grassland. Of particular concern is buffelgrass, Pennisetum ciliare, a fire-prone and invasive African perennial grass that has already converted millions of hectares across Sonora since the mid-1960s and has made quick headway in southern and central Arizona beginning in the 1980s. Near Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, buffelgrass invasion is proceeding exponentially, with population expansion (and the costs of mitigation) more than doubling every year. As this conversion progresses, there will be increased fire risks, lost tourist revenue, diminished property values, insurmountable setbacks to conservation efforts, and the threat of large ignition fronts in desert valleys routinely spreading into the mountains. Although somewhat belated, an integrated, multi-jurisdictional effort is being organized to reduce ecological and economic impacts. My presentation will summarize the history and context of buffelgrass introduction and invasion, the disconnect in attitudes and policies across state and international boundaries, ongoing management efforts, the role of science and responsibilities of scientists, accelerated spread with changing climate, and impacts to regional ecosystems and economies. This narrative may serve as a template for other semi-arid lands where buffelgrass and similar grasses have become invasive, including Australia, South America, and many islands in the Pacific Ocean (including Hawaii), Indian Ocean, and Caribbean Sea.

  12. Enhancing and restoring habitat for the desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat has changed unfavorably during the past 150 y for the desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii, a federally threatened species with declining populations in the Mojave Desert and western Sonoran Desert. To support recovery efforts, we synthesized published information on relationships of desert tortoises with three habitat features (cover sites, forage, and soil) and candidate management practices for improving these features for tortoises. In addition to their role in soil health and facilitating recruitment of annual forage plants, shrubs are used by desert tortoises for cover and as sites for burrows. Outplanting greenhouse-grown seedlings, protected from herbivory, has successfully restored (>50% survival) a variety of shrubs on disturbed desert soils. Additionally, salvaging and reapplying topsoil using effective techniques is among the more ecologically beneficial ways to initiate plant recovery after severe disturbance. Through differences in biochemical composition and digestibility, some plant species provide better-quality forage than others. Desert tortoises selectively forage on particular annual and herbaceous perennial species (e.g., legumes), and forage selection shifts during the year as different plants grow or mature. Nonnative grasses provide low-quality forage and contribute fuel to spreading wildfires, which damage or kill shrubs that tortoises use for cover. Maintaining a diverse “menu” of native annual forbs and decreasing nonnative grasses are priorities for restoring most desert tortoise habitats. Reducing herbivory by nonnative animals, carefully timing herbicide applications, and strategically augmenting annual forage plants via seeding show promise for improving tortoise forage quality. Roads, another disturbance, negatively affect habitat in numerous ways (e.g., compacting soil, altering hydrology). Techniques such as recontouring road berms to reestablish drainage patterns, vertical mulching (“planting” dead plant material

  13. Closed bioregenerative life support systems: Applicability to hot deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyakov, Yuriy S.; Musaev, Ibrahim; Polyakov, Sergey V.

    2010-09-01

    Water scarcity in hot deserts, which cover about one-fifth of the Earth's land area, along with rapid expansion of hot deserts into arable lands is one of the key global environmental problems. As hot deserts are extreme habitats characterized by the availability of solar energy with a nearly complete absence of organic life and water, space technology achievements in designing closed ecological systems may be applicable to the design of sustainable settlements in the deserts. This review discusses the key space technology findings for closed biogenerative life support systems (CBLSS), which can simultaneously produce food, water, nutrients, fertilizers, process wastes, and revitalize air, that can be applied to hot deserts. Among them are the closed cycle of water and the acceleration of the cycling times of carbon, biogenic compounds, and nutrients by adjusting the levels of light intensity, temperature, carbon dioxide, and air velocity over plant canopies. Enhanced growth of algae and duckweed at higher levels of carbon dioxide and light intensity can be important to provide complete water recycling and augment biomass production. The production of fertilizers and nutrients can be enhanced by applying the subsurface flow wetland technology and hyper-thermophilic aerobic bacteria for treating liquid and solid wastes. The mathematical models, optimization techniques, and non-invasive measuring techniques developed for CBLSS make it possible to monitor and optimize the performance of such closed ecological systems. The results of long-duration experiments performed in BIOS-3, Biosphere 2, Laboratory Biosphere, and other ground-based closed test facilities suggest that closed water cycle can be achieved in hot-desert bioregenerative systems using the pathways of evapotranspiration, condensation, and biological wastewater treatment technologies. We suggest that the state of the art in the CBLSS design along with the possibility of using direct sunlight for

  14. Copper isotope fractionation by desert shrubs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Navarrete, Jesica U.; Viveros, Marian; Ellzey, Joanne T.; Borrok, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Copper has two naturally occurring stable isotopes of masses 63 and 65 which can undergo mass dependent fractionation during various biotic and abiotic chemical reactions. These interactions and their resulting Cu isotope fractionations can be used to determine the mechanisms involved in the cycling of Cu in natural systems. In this study, Cu isotope changes were investigated at the organismal level in the metal-accumulating desert plant, Prosopis pubescens. Initial results suggest that the lighter Cu isotope was preferentially incorporated into the leaves of the plant, which may suggest that Cu was actively transported via intracellular proteins. The roots and stems show a smaller degree of Cu isotope fractionation and the direction and magnitude of the fractionations was dependent upon the levels of Cu exposure. Based on this and previous work with bacteria and yeast, a trend is emerging that suggests the lighter Cu isotope is preferentially incorporated into biological components, while the heavier Cu isotope tends to become enriched in aqueous solutions. In bacteria, plants and animals, intracellular Cu concentrations are strictly regulated via dozens of enzymes that can bind, transport, and store Cu. Many of these enzymes reduce Cu(II) to Cu(I). These initial results seem to fit into a broader picture of Cu isotope cycling in natural systems where oxidation/reduction reactions are fundamental in controlling the distributions of Cu isotopes.

  15. Status of the Desert Fireball Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devillepoix, H. A. R.; Bland, P. A.; Towner, M. C.; Cupák, M.; Sansom, E. K.; Jansen-Sturgeon, T.; Howie, R. M.; Paxman, J.; Hartig, B. A. D.

    2016-01-01

    A meteorite fall precisely observed from multiple locations allows us to track the object back to the region of the Solar System it came from, and sometimes link it with a parent body, providing context information that helps trace the history of the Solar System. The Desert Fireball Network (DFN) is built in arid areas of Australia: its observatories get favorable observing conditions, and meteorite recovery is eased thanks to the mostly featureless terrain. After the successful recovery of two meteorites with 4 film cameras, the DFN has now switched to a digital network, operating 51 cameras, covering 2.5 million km2 of double station triangulable area. Mostly made of off-the-shelf components, the new observatories are cost effective while maintaining high imaging performance. To process the data (~70TB/month), a significant effort has been put to writing an automated reduction pipeline so that all events are reduced with little human intervention. Innovative techniques have been implemented for this purpose: machine learning algorithms for event detection, blind astrometric calibration, and particle filter simulations to estimate both physical properties and state vector of the meteoroid. On 31 December 2015, the first meteorite from the digital systems was recovered: Murrili (the 1.68 kg H5 ordinary chondrite was observed to fall on 27 November 2015). Another 11 events have been flagged as potential meteorites droppers, and are to be searched in the coming months.

  16. Water Sources for Cyanobacteria Below Desert Rocks in the Negev Desert Determined by Conductivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community are consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks we developed and tested a simple field conductivity system based on two wires placed about 0.5 cm apart. Based on 21 replicates recorded for one year in the Negev we conclude that in natural rains (0.25 mm to 6 mm) the variability between sensor readings is between 20 and 60% decreasing with increasing rain amount. We conclude that the simple small electrical conductivity system described here can be used effectively to monitor liquid water levels in lithic habitats. However, the natural variability of these sensors indicates that several replicates should be deployed. The results and method presented have use in arid desert reclamation programs.

  17. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P. McKay

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks we developed and tested a simple field conductivity system based on two wires placed about 0.5 cm apart. Based on 21 replicates recorded for one year in the Negev we conclude that in natural rains (0.25 mm to 6 mm the variability between sensor readings is between 20 and 60% decreasing with increasing rain amount. We conclude that the simple small electrical conductivity system described here can be used effectively to monitor liquid water levels in lithic habitats. However, the natural variability of these sensors indicates that several replicates should be deployed. The results and method presented have use in arid desert reclamation programs.

  18. 75 FR 13081 - Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-18

    ... West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program AGENCY: National... proposed Trawl Rationalization Program. We are interested in feedback concerning proposed regulations to... Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has been developing a trawl rationalization program that...

  19. Small protohistoric sites (fishing villages?) on the saurashtra coast, West Coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Gaur, A.S.; Sundaresh

    During the maritime archaeological explorations a few sites of protohistoric in nature have been noticed along the saurashtra coast. the trial excavations of a few sites namely Bet Dwarka and Bhokhira on the western saurashtra coast yielded...

  20. Surf zone dynamics along the south Karnataka Coast between Bhatkal and Ullal, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chandramohan, P.; SanilKumar, V.; Nayak, B.U.; Raju, N.S.N.

    stronger in June, and relatively low and steady during the rest of the year. Coast between Padubidri and Ullal experienced relatively stronger longshore currents than the coast between Maravanthe and Malpe. Longshore sediment transport rate was relatively...

  1. Monitoring of desert dune topography by multi angle sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, J.; Kim, J.; Choi, Y.; Yun, H.

    2011-12-01

    Nowadays, the sandy desert is rapidly expanding world widely and results in a lot of risks in the socio-econimical aspects as well as the anthropogenic activities. For example, the increasing occurrences of mineral dust storm which presumably originated from the sandy deserts in northwest China become a serious threat in human activities as well as public health over Far East Asian area as the interpretation by the MODIS analysis (Zhang et al., 2007) and the particle trajectory simulation with HYSPLYT (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) (Kim et al., 2011) identified. Since the sand dune activity has been recognized as an essential indicator of the progressive desertification, it is important to establish the monitoring method for the variations of topographic properties by the dune activities such as local roughness. Thus it will provide the crucial data about the extent and the transition of sandy desert. For example, it is well known the aerodynamic roughness lengths Zo which can be driven from the specialized sensor such as POLDER (POLarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances) is essential to understand desert dune characteristics. However, for the multi temporal observation of dune fields, the availability of data set to extract Zo is limited. Therefore, we employed MISR (Multi angle imaging Spectro Radiometer) image sequence to extract multi angle topographic parameters such as NDAI (Normalized Difference Angular Index) or the variation of radiance with the viewing geometry which are representing the characteristics of target desert topography instead of Zo. In our approach, NDAI were expanded to the all viewing angles and then compared over the target sandy desert and the surrounding land covers. It showed very strong consistencies according to the land cover type and especially over the dynamic dune fields. On the other hands, the variation of NDAIs of sandy desert combining with the metrological observations were

  2. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio; Hashizume, Kenichi; Handa, Norihiko.

    1991-01-01

    Global environment problems are discussed actively, concretely, those are the warming of the earth, the advance of desertification, the damage due to acid rain, the decrease of tropical forests, the pollution of sea, the depletion of ozone layer and so on. Most of these phenomena advance gradually. However, the advance of desertification is different from other phenomena in that the people in the areas concerned are deprived of their living space and even their lives are threatened at this moment. Desertification is advancing on global scale, and its rate is estimated to be 60,000 km 2 yearly. Especially the area where the advance is remarkable is the southern edge of Sahara Desert, which advances southward at 10-30 km in one year. Recently also in Japan, the interest in the prevention of desertification has become high, and the experiment on tree planting in a desert using a huge desert dome of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 'Desert Aquanet concept' of Shimizu Construction Co., Ltd., 'Sahara green belt project' of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and so on were published. Water and energy for tree planting in deserts, utilization of atomic energy for seawater desalination and the technical fields to which Japan can contribute are reported. (K.I.)

  3. Water use sources of desert riparian Populus euphratica forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Jianhua; Feng, Qi; Cao, Shengkui; Yu, Tengfei; Zhao, Chunyan

    2014-09-01

    Desert riparian forests are the main body of natural oases in the lower reaches of inland rivers; its growth and distribution are closely related to water use sources. However, how does the desert riparian forest obtains a stable water source and which water sources it uses to effectively avoid or overcome water stress to survive? This paper describes an analysis of the water sources, using the stable oxygen isotope technique and the linear mixed model of the isotopic values and of desert riparian Populus euphratica forests growing at sites with different groundwater depths and conditions. The results showed that the main water source of Populus euphratica changes from water in a single soil layer or groundwater to deep subsoil water and groundwater as the depth of groundwater increases. This appears to be an adaptive selection to arid and water-deficient conditions and is a primary reason for the long-term survival of P. euphratica in the desert riparian forest of an extremely arid region. Water contributions from the various soil layers and from groundwater differed and the desert riparian P. euphratica forests in different habitats had dissimilar water use strategies.

  4. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio [Central Research Inst. of Electric Power Industry, Tokyo (Japan); Hashizume, Kenichi; Handa, Norihiko

    1991-06-01

    Global environment problems are discussed actively, concretely, those are the warming of the earth, the advance of desertification, the damage due to acid rain, the decrease of tropical forests, the pollution of sea, the depletion of ozone layer and so on. Most of these phenomena advance gradually. However, the advance of desertification is different from other phenomena in that the people in the areas concerned are deprived of their living space and even their lives are threatened at this moment. Desertification is advancing on global scale, and its rate is estimated to be 60,000 km{sup 2} yearly. Especially the area where the advance is remarkable is the southern edge of Sahara Desert, which advances southward at 10-30 km in one year. Recently also in Japan, the interest in the prevention of desertification has become high, and the experiment on tree planting in a desert using a huge desert dome of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 'Desert Aquanet concept' of Shimizu Construction Co., Ltd., 'Sahara green belt project' of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and so on were published. Water and energy for tree planting in deserts, utilization of atomic energy for seawater desalination and the technical fields to which Japan can contribute are reported. (K.I.).

  5. Production of desert rose seedlings in different potting media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decade the desert rose received fame in the flower market due to its striking and sculptural forms; however, the commercial production of these species is quite recent and little is known about its crop management, including substrates recommendation. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of different substrates on desert rose seed germination and production of its seedlings. Experiment I: freshly harvested seeds of desert rose were sown in different substrates e.g. sand, coconut fiber, semi-composted pine bark, sand + coconut fiber, semi-composted pine bark + sand and coconut fiber + semicomposted pine bark. These substrates were evaluated to study the emergence percentage of seeds, initial growth of seedlings and seedling emergence speed index (ESI. Experiment II: desert rose from the experiment I were transferred to plastic pots filled with the same substrates as in experiment I. The pH and electrical conductivity (EC of the substrates were noted every 30 days while the growth parameters of seedlings were recorded after 240 days. Results from experiment I showed higher germination rate and seedling growth in substrates containing semi-composted pine bark. Similarly, in experiment II, better quality seedlings were observed in substrates containing semi-composted pine bark. Thus, for desert rose seed germination and seedling growth, it is recommended to use substrates containing semi-composted pine bark.

  6. Atmospheric Surface Layer Characterization: Preliminary Desert Lapse Rate Study 22-25 August 2000

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elliott, Doyle

    2003-01-01

    Results of the August 2000 Desert Lapse Rate (DLR) Experiment are presented. The DLR Experiment was performed to document the night-to-day transition effects on the desert Atmospheric Surface Layer (ASL...

  7. The Ocean deserts:salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their

    KAUST Repository

    Carton, Jim

    2011-04-09

    The Ocean deserts: salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their relationship to climate variability The high salinity near surface pools of the subtropical oceans are the oceanic deserts, with high levels of evaporation and low levels of precip

  8. Out of the Desert: My Journey from Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

    Arabian deserts. From his first job as a shepherd boy to his appointment to one of the most powerful political and economic jobs in the world, Out of the Desert charts Al-Naimi's extraordinary rise to power.

  9. 77 FR 66577 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-06

    ...-XC165 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program... implemented as part of the trawl rationalization program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jamie Goen, phone..., NMFS implemented a trawl rationalization program, a catch share program, for the Pacific coast...

  10. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Cosmology from Galaxy Clusters Detected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sehgal, Neelima; Trac, Hy; Acquaviva, Viviana; Ade, Peter A.R.; Aguirre, Paula; Amiri, Mandana; Appel, John W.; Barrientos, L.Felipe; Battistelli, Elia S.; Bond, J.Richard; Brown, Ben; Burger, Bryce; Chervenak, Jay; Das, Sudeep; Devlin, Mark J.; Dicker, Simon R.; Doriese, W.Bertrand; Dunkley, Joanna; Dunner, Rolando; Essinger-Hileman, Thomas; Fisher, Ryan P.

    2011-08-18

    We present constraints on cosmological parameters based on a sample of Sunyaev-Zeldovich-selected galaxy clusters detected in a millimeter-wave survey by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. The cluster sample used in this analysis consists of 9 optically-confirmed high-mass clusters comprising the high-significance end of the total cluster sample identified in 455 square degrees of sky surveyed during 2008 at 148GHz. We focus on the most massive systems to reduce the degeneracy between unknown cluster astrophysics and cosmology derived from SZ surveys. We describe the scaling relation between cluster mass and SZ signal with a 4-parameter fit. Marginalizing over the values of the parameters in this fit with conservative priors gives {sigma}{sub 8} = 0.851 {+-} 0.115 and w = -1.14 {+-} 0.35 for a spatially-flat wCDM cosmological model with WMAP 7-year priors on cosmological parameters. This gives a modest improvement in statistical uncertainty over WMAP 7-year constraints alone. Fixing the scaling relation between cluster mass and SZ signal to a fiducial relation obtained from numerical simulations and calibrated by X-ray observations, we find {sigma}{sub 8} = 0.821 {+-} 0.044 and w = -1.05 {+-} 0.20. These results are consistent with constraints from WMAP 7 plus baryon acoustic oscillations plus type Ia supernoava which give {sigma}{sub 8} = 0.802 {+-} 0.038 and w = -0.98 {+-} 0.053. A stacking analysis of the clusters in this sample compared to clusters simulated assuming the fiducial model also shows good agreement. These results suggest that, given the sample of clusters used here, both the astrophysics of massive clusters and the cosmological parameters derived from them are broadly consistent with current models.

  11. DIRECT DETECTION OF PRECURSORS OF GAS GIANTS FORMED BY GRAVITATIONAL INSTABILITY WITH THE ATACAMA LARGE MILLIMETER/SUBMILLIMETER ARRAY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayer, Lucio [Center for Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology, Institute for Computational Science, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich (Switzerland); Peters, Thomas [Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Pineda, Jaime E. [Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse 1, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Wadsley James; Rogers, Patrick, E-mail: p.rogers@marianopolis.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1 (Canada)

    2016-06-01

    Phases of gravitational instability are expected in the early phases of disk evolution, when the disk mass is still a substantial fraction of the mass of the star. Disk fragmentation into sub-stellar objects could occur in the cold exterior part of the disk. Direct detection of massive gaseous clumps on their way to collapse into gas giant planets would offer an unprecedented test of the disk instability model. Here we use state-of-the-art 3D radiation-hydro simulations of disks undergoing fragmentation into massive gas giants, post-processed with RADMC-3D to produce dust continuum emission maps. These are then fed into the Common Astronomy Software Applications (CASA) ALMA simulator. The synthetic maps show that both overdense spiral arms and actual clumps at different stages of collapse can be detected with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the full configuration at the distance of the Ophiuchus star forming region (125 pc). The detection of clumps is particularly effective at shorter wavelengths (690 GHz) combining two resolutions with multi-scale clean. Furthermore, we show that a flux-based estimate of the mass of a protoplanetary clump can be comparable to a factor of three higher than the gravitationally bound clump mass. The estimated mass depends on the assumed opacity, and on the gas temperature, which should be set using the input of radiation-hydro simulations. We conclude that ALMA has the capability to detect “smoking gun” systems that are a signpost of the disk instability model for gas giant planet formation.

  12. Observing the Sun with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA): Fast-Scan Single-Dish Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, S. M.; Iwai, K.; Phillips, N. M.; Hills, R. E.; Hirota, A.; Yagoubov, P.; Siringo, G.; Shimojo, M.; Bastian, T. S.; Hales, A. S.; Sawada, T.; Asayama, S.; Sugimoto, M.; Marson, R. G.; Kawasaki, W.; Muller, E.; Nakazato, T.; Sugimoto, K.; Brajša, R.; Skokić, I.; Bárta, M.; Kim, S.; Remijan, A. J.; de Gregorio, I.; Corder, S. A.; Hudson, H. S.; Loukitcheva, M.; Chen, B.; De Pontieu, B.; Fleishmann, G. D.; Gary, D. E.; Kobelski, A.; Wedemeyer, S.; Yan, Y.

    2017-07-01

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope has commenced science observations of the Sun starting in late 2016. Since the Sun is much larger than the field of view of individual ALMA dishes, the ALMA interferometer is unable to measure the background level of solar emission when observing the solar disk. The absolute temperature scale is a critical measurement for much of ALMA solar science, including the understanding of energy transfer through the solar atmosphere, the properties of prominences, and the study of shock heating in the chromosphere. In order to provide an absolute temperature scale, ALMA solar observing will take advantage of the remarkable fast-scanning capabilities of the ALMA 12 m dishes to make single-dish maps of the full Sun. This article reports on the results of an extensive commissioning effort to optimize the mapping procedure, and it describes the nature of the resulting data. Amplitude calibration is discussed in detail: a path that uses the two loads in the ALMA calibration system as well as sky measurements is described and applied to commissioning data. Inspection of a large number of single-dish datasets shows significant variation in the resulting temperatures, and based on the temperature distributions, we derive quiet-Sun values at disk center of 7300 K at λ = 3 mm and 5900 K at λ = 1.3 mm. These values have statistical uncertainties of about 100 K, but systematic uncertainties in the temperature scale that may be significantly larger. Example images are presented from two periods with very different levels of solar activity. At a resolution of about 25'', the 1.3 mm wavelength images show temperatures on the disk that vary over about a 2000 K range. Active regions and plages are among the hotter features, while a large sunspot umbra shows up as a depression, and filament channels are relatively cool. Prominences above the solar limb are a common feature of the single-dish images.

  13. Mechanical Designs and Developement of Advanced ACT: A Transfomative Upgrade to the ACTPol Receiver on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jonathan; Advanced ACT Collaboration, NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship

    2017-06-01

    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope is a six-meter diameter telescope located at 17,000 feet (5,200 meters) on Cerro Toco in the Andes Mountains of northern Chile. The next generation Advanced ACT (AdvACT) experiment is currently underway and will consist of three multichroic TES bolometer arrays operating together, totaling 5800 detectors on the sky. Each array will be sensitive to two frequency bands: a high frequency (HF) array at 150 and 230 GHz, two middle frequency (MF) arrays at 90 and 150 GHz, and a low frequency (LF) array at 28 and 41 GHz. The AdACT detector arrays will feature a revamped design when compared to ACTPol, including a transition to 150mm wafers equipped with multichroic pixels, allowing for a more densely packed focal plane. Each set of detectors consists of a feedhorn array of stacked silicon wafers which form a corrugated profile leading to each pixel. This is then followed by a four-piece detector stack assembly of silicon wafers which includes a waveguide interface plate, detector wafer, backshort cavity plate, and backshort cap. Each array is housed in a custom designed structure manufactured out of gold-plated, high purity copper. In addition to the detector array assembly, the array package also encloses the majority of our readout electronics. We present the full mechanical design of the AdvACT HF and MF detector array packages along with a detailed look at the detector array assemblies. We also highlight the use of continuously rotating warm half-wave plates (HWPs) at the front of the AdvACT receiver. We review the design of the rotation system and also early pipeline data analysis results. This experiment will also make use of extensive hardware and software previously developed for ACT, which will be modified to incorporate the new AdvACT instruments. Therefore, we discuss the integration of all AdvACT instruments with pre-existing ACTPol infrastructure.

  14. X-36 in Flight over Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The unusual lines of the X-36 technology demonstrator contrast sharply with the desert floor as the remotely piloted aircraft scoots across the California desert at low altitude during a research flight on October 30, 1997. The NASA/Boeing X-36 Tailless Fighter Agility Research Aircraft program successfully demonstrated the tailless fighter design using advanced technologies to improve the maneuverability and survivability of possible future fighter aircraft. The program met or exceeded all project goals. For 31 flights during 1997 at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, the project team examined the aircraft's agility at low speed / high angles of attack and at high speed / low angles of attack. The aircraft's speed envelope reached up to 206 knots (234 mph). This aircraft was very stable and maneuverable. It handled very well. The X-36 vehicle was designed to fly without the traditional tail surfaces common on most aircraft. Instead, a canard forward of the wing was used as well as split ailerons and an advanced thrust-vectoring nozzle for directional control. The X-36 was unstable in both pitch and yaw axes, so an advanced, single-channel digital fly-by-wire control system (developed with some commercially available components) was put in place to stabilize the aircraft. Using a video camera mounted in the nose of the aircraft and an onboard microphone, the X-36 was remotely controlled by a pilot in a ground station virtual cockpit. A standard fighter-type head-up display (HUD) and a moving-map representation of the vehicle's position within the range in which it flew provided excellent situational awareness for the pilot. This pilot-in-the-loop approach eliminated the need for expensive and complex autonomous flight control systems and the risks associated with their inability to deal with unknown or unforeseen phenomena in flight. Fully fueled the X-36 prototype weighed approximately 1,250 pounds. It was 19 feet long and three feet high with

  15. Condition-dependent clutch desertion in Great Tit (Parus major) females subjected to human disturbance

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Nest desertion behaviour in relation to body condition and timing of breeding was studied in Great Tit (Parus major) females during two breeding seasons. Desertion, most likely unintentionally provoked by catching females during the incubation period, occurred at a very high rate with 41.2 and 25.6% of deserted first clutches in the two study years. The association between desertion probability, body condition (index calculated as residuals from the regression of body mass...

  16. Growth responses of five desert plants as influenced by biological soil crusts from a temperate desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    In almost all dryland systems, biological soil crusts (biocrusts) coexist alongside herbaceous and woody vegetation, creating landscape mosaics of vegetated and biocrusted patches. Results from past studies on the interaction between biocrusts and vascular plants have been contradictory. In the Gurbantunggut desert, a large temperate desert in northwestern China, well-developed lichen-dominated crusts dominate the areas at the base and between the sand dunes. We examined the influence of these lichen-dominated biocrusts on the germination, growth, biomass accumulation, and elemental content of five common plants in this desert: two shrubs (Haloxylon persicum, Ephedra distachya) and three herbaceous plants (Ceratocarpus arenarius, Malcolmia africana and Lappula semiglabra) under greenhouse conditions. The influence of biocrusts on seed germination was species-specific. Biocrusts did not affect percent germination in plants with smooth seeds, but inhibited germination of seeds with appendages that reduced or eliminated contact with the soil surface or prevented seeds from slipping into soil cracks. Once seeds had germinated, biocrusts had different influences on growth of shrub and herbaceous plants. The presence of biocrusts increased concentrations of nitrogen but did not affect phosphorus or potassium in tissue of all tested species, while the uptake of the other tested nutrients was species-specific. Our study showed that biocrusts can serve as a biological filter during seed germination and also can influence growth and elemental uptake. Therefore, they may be an important trigger for determining desert plant diversity and community composition in deserts.

  17. Strategy for the development and management of deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-02-01

    Recommendations from the June 1977 Conference on Alternative Strategies for Desert Development and Management apply primarily to arid lands, although some can be applied to true desert with no vegetation as well. The causes of desertification are reviewed and corrective measures suggested for both developed and developing countries. A range of strategies is proposed, but all are based on the efficient use of water and most are concerned with water used for agricultural purposes. The conference papers also addressed water management, agricultural development, field crops versus animal husbandry, grazing, land use and allocation, wild life resources, industry coastal resources, tourism, energy and minerals, and establishing the infrastructure needed to improve and retain desert health.

  18. Concentration of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Hui; Jin Yuren; Tian Mei; Li Weiping; Zeng Ke; Wang Yaoqin; Wang Yu

    2012-01-01

    The investigation of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated sites contributes to the evaluation of its pollution situation and to the survey of plutonium hyper accumulator. The concentration of 239 Pu in desert plants collected from a contaminated site was determined, and the influence factors were studied. The concentration of 239 Pu in plants was (1.8±4.9) Bq/kg in dry weight, and it means that the plants were contaminated, moreover, the resuspension results in dramatic plutonium pollution of plant surface. The concentration of plutonium in plants depends on species, live stages and the content of plutonium in the rhizosphere soil. The concentration of plutonium in herbage is higher than that in woody plant, and for the seven species of desert plants investigated, it decreases in the order of Hexinia polydichotoma, Phragmites australis, Halostashys caspica, Halogeton arachnoideus, Lycium ruthenicum, Tamarix hispida and Calligonum aphyllum. (authors)

  19. Natural History of Oregon Coast Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Maser; Bruce R. Mate; Jerry F. Franklin; C.T. Dyrness

    1981-01-01

    The book presents detailed information on the biology, habitats, and life histories of the 96 species of mammals of the Oregon coast. Soils, geology, and vegetation are described and related to wildlife habitats for the 65 terrestrial and 31 marine species. The book is not simply an identification guide to the Oregon coast mammals but is a dynamic portrayal of their...

  20. Determinantes sociales de salud y calidad de vida en una localidad con deterioro ambiental, Chañaral, región de Atacama, Chile

    OpenAIRE

    Klarian Vergara, José

    2017-01-01

    El presente trabajo estudia la localidad de Chañaral, ubicada en la Región de Atacama en el norte de Chile, dado que ella reviste especial importancia debido a los problemas ambientales que impactan la salud de sus habitantes. Se buscó, a través de una actividad Focus Group, identificar aquellas variables que, a juicio de representantes clave, tienen alta importancia desde la perspectiva de la calidad de vida de la comunidad. Entre 14 áreas temáticas, se i...

  1. Peces Chimaeriformes (Chondrichthyes, Holocephali) del Neógeno de la Formación Bahía Inglesa (Región de Atacama, Chile)

    OpenAIRE

    Suárez, Mario E.; Lamilla, Julio; Marquardt, Carlos

    2004-01-01

    Se describen los primeros restos fósiles de peces condrictios holocéfalos para el Neógeno de la Formación Bahía Inglesa, Atacama, Chile. El material comprende una placa dental palatina y un mandibular que fueron recolectados al sureste de Caldera desde niveles fosilíferos asignados al Mioceno Medio-Mioceno tardío. Rasgos morfológicos característicos y comparaciones con otras placas de quimeras callorrínquidas, actuales y fósiles, permiten designar el material como Callorhinchus sp. The fir...

  2. Analyses of stable isotopes in camelids collagen bones from Tulan Ravine, Atacama Puna, early formative period (CA 3,1000-2,400BP)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez, Patricio; Cartajena, Isabel; Nunez, Lautaro

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of isotope analysis (δ 13 C y δ 15 N) conducted on bone collagen found in Lama guanicoe and Lama glama remains from Tulan-85 and Tulan-54 archaeological sites. Both sites have been dated to the Early Formative Period (ca. 3,100-2,400 ap) and are located southeast of the Atacama Puna basin. Faunal samples were selected using anatomical and morphometric criteria. The results indicate divergences in the diets of both species, reflecting vegetation variation in the Tulan Quebrada caused by altitude differences and linked to hunting and herding areas [es

  3. Lizard burrows provide thermal refugia for larks in the Arabian desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

    A common perception is that desert birds experience greater extremes of heat and aridity than their mammalian counterparts, in part, because birds do not use burrows as a refuge from the desert environment. We report observations of Dunn's Larks (Eremalauda dunni), Bar-tailed Desert Larks (Ammomanes

  4. 76 FR 8730 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-151

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region.... Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration... ancillary service rates for the Desert Southwest Customer Service Region in accordance with section 302 of...

  5. 76 FR 29153 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the California... approving with the dates that they were adopted by the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD...

  6. Early human occupation of a maritime desert, Barrow Island, North-West Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veth, Peter; Ward, Ingrid; Manne, Tiina; Ulm, Sean; Ditchfield, Kane; Dortch, Joe; Hook, Fiona; Petchey, Fiona; Hogg, Alan; Questiaux, Daniele; Demuro, Martina; Arnold, Lee; Spooner, Nigel; Levchenko, Vladimir; Skippington, Jane; Byrne, Chae; Basgall, Mark; Zeanah, David; Belton, David; Helmholz, Petra; Bajkan, Szilvia; Bailey, Richard; Placzek, Christa; Kendrick, Peter

    2017-07-01

    Archaeological deposits from Boodie Cave on Barrow Island, northwest Australia, reveal some of the oldest evidence for Aboriginal occupation of Australia, as well as illustrating the early use of marine resources by modern peoples outside of Africa. Barrow Island is a large (202 km2) limestone continental island located on the North-West Shelf of Australia, optimally located to sample past use of both the Pleistocene coastline and extensive arid coastal plains. An interdisciplinary team forming the Barrow Island Archaeology Project (BIAP) has addressed questions focusing on the antiquity of occupation of coastal deserts by hunter-gatherers; the use and distribution of marine resources from the coast to the interior; and the productivity of the marine zone with changing sea levels. Boodie Cave is the largest of 20 stratified deposits identified on Barrow Island with 20 m3 of cultural deposits excavated between 2013 and 2015. In this first major synthesis we focus on the dating and sedimentology of Boodie Cave to establish the framework for ongoing analysis of cultural materials. We present new data on these cultural assemblages - including charcoal, faunal remains and lithics - integrated with micromorphology, sedimentary history and dating by four independent laboratories. First occupation occurs between 51.1 and 46.2 ka, overlapping with the earliest dates for occupation of Australia. Marine resources are incorporated into dietary assemblages by 42.5 ka and continue to be transported to the cave through all periods of occupation, despite fluctuating sea levels and dramatic extensions of the coastal plain. The changing quantities of marine fauna through time reflect the varying distance of the cave from the contemporaneous shoreline. The dietary breadth of both arid zone terrestrial fauna and marine species increases after the Last Glacial Maximum and significantly so by the mid-Holocene. The cave is abandoned by 6.8 ka when the island becomes increasingly distant

  7. COAST code conversion from Cyber to HP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Hae Cho

    1996-04-01

    The transient thermal hydraulic behavior of reactor coolant system in a nuclear power plant following loss of coolant flow is analyzed by use of COAST digital computer code. COAST calculates individual loop flow rates and steam generator pressure drops is a function of time following coast-down of any number of reactor coolant pumps. This report firstly describes detailed work carried out for installation of COAST on HP 9000/700 series and code validation results after installation. Secondly, a series of work is also describes in relation to installation of COAST on Apollo DN10000 series as well as relevant code validation results. Attached is a report on software verification and validation results. 7 refs. (Author) .new

  8. Recovery of compacted soils in Mojave Desert ghost towns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, R.H.; Steiger, J.W.; Wilshire, H.G.

    1986-01-01

    Residual compaction of soils was measured at seven sites in five Mojave Desert ghost towns. Soils in these Death Valley National Monument townsites were compacted by vehicles, animals, and human trampling, and the townsites had been completely abandoned and the buildings removed for 64 to 75 yr. Recovery times extrapolated using a linear recovery model ranged from 80 to 140 yr and averaged 100 yr. The recovery times were related to elevation, suggesting freeze-thaw loosening as an important factor in ameliorating soil compaction in the Mojave Desert. -from Authors

  9. Winter precipitation and fire in the Sonoran Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogers, G.F.; Vint, M.K.

    1987-01-01

    Historical fire and climate records from the Arizona Upland portion of the Tonto National forest were used to test the hypothesis that fires burn larger areas in the Sonoran Desert after two wet winters than after one. We found that many more hectares burn in years following two winters that are wetter than normal, than during any other years. We agree with other ecologists, that desert fire occurrence is probably related to increased production of winter annual plants, and we suggest ways that the relationship may be clarified.

  10. Naturalisation, Desert, and the Symbolic Meaning of Citizenship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lægaard, Sune

    2012-01-01

    of naturalisation requirements as involving notions of desert and asks what these developments imply about the meaning of citizenship. Naturalisation marks the boundary of society understood as a political community, i.e. a civic rather than territorial boundary. How this boundary is policed and on the basis...... that the introduction of naturalisation tests and other desert-based naturalisation requirements imply that citizenship comes to have different symbolic meanings for native born citizens and naturalised citizens because such requirements distinguish between volitional or ‘earned’ and ascriptive or ‘natural’ citizenship...

  11. Multiple factors affect a population of Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the Northwestern Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Yee, Julie L.; Coble, Ashley A.; Perry, William M.; Shields, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous factors have contributed to declines in populations of the federally threatened Agassiz's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and continue to limit recovery. In 2010, we surveyed a low-density population on a military test facility in the northwestern Mojave Desert of California, USA, to evaluate population status and identify potential factors contributing to distribution and low densities. Estimated densities of live tortoises ranged spatially from 1.2/km2 to 15.1/km2. Although only one death of a breeding-age tortoise was recorded for the 4-yr period prior to the survey, remains of 16 juvenile and immature tortoises were found, and most showed signs of predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and mammals. Predation may have limited recruitment of young tortoises into the adult size classes. To evaluate the relative importance of different types of impacts to tortoises, we developed predictive models for spatially explicit densities of tortoise sign and live tortoises using topography (i.e., slope), predators (Common Raven, signs of mammalian predators), and anthropogenic impacts (distances from paved road and denuded areas, density of ordnance fragments) as covariates. Models suggest that densities of tortoise sign increased with slope and signs of mammalian predators and decreased with Common Ravens, while also varying based on interaction effects involving these predictors as well as distances from paved roads, denuded areas, and ordnance. Similarly, densities of live tortoises varied by interaction effects among distances to denuded areas and paved roads, density of ordnance fragments, and slope. Thus multiple factors predict the densities and distribution of this population.

  12. Marine fishery possibilities of the west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Panikkar, N.K.

    Marine fishery activity of the west coast of India is discussed. Sea fish production from the west coast of India makes three fourths of total fish production from Indian coasts. Kerala accounts for the largest production of fish in India...

  13. Provenance and recycling of Arabian desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garzanti, Eduardo; Vermeesch, Pieter; Andò, Sergio; Vezzoli, Giovanni; Valagussa, Manuel; Allen, Kate; Kadi, Khalid A.; Al-Juboury, Ali I. A.

    2013-05-01

    This study seeks to determine the ultimate origin of aeolian sand in Arabian deserts by high-resolution petrographic and heavy-mineral techniques combined with zircon U-Pb geochronology. Point-counting is used here as the sole method by which unbiased volume percentages of heavy minerals can be obtained. A comprehensive analysis of river and wadi sands from the Red Sea to the Bitlis-Zagros orogen allowed us to characterize all potential sediment sources, and thus to quantitatively constrain provenance of Arabian dune fields. Two main types of aeolian sand can be distinguished. Quartzose sands with very poor heavy-mineral suites including zircon occupy most of the region comprising the Great Nafud and Rub' al-Khali Sand Seas, and are largely recycled from thick Lower Palaeozoic quartzarenites with very minor first-cycle contributions from Precambrian basement, Mesozoic carbonate rocks, or Neogene basalts. Instead, carbonaticlastic sands with richer lithic and heavy-mineral populations characterize coastal dunes bordering the Arabian Gulf from the Jafurah Sand Sea of Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates. The similarity with detritus carried by the axial Tigris-Euphrates system and by transverse rivers draining carbonate rocks of the Zagros indicates that Arabian coastal dunes largely consist of far-travelled sand, deposited on the exposed floor of the Gulf during Pleistocene lowstands and blown inland by dominant Shamal northerly winds. A dataset of detrital zircon U-Pb ages measured on twelve dune samples and two Lower Palaeozoic sandstones yielded fourteen identical age spectra. The age distributions all show a major Neoproterozoic peak corresponding to the Pan-African magmatic and tectonic events by which the Arabian Shield was assembled, with minor late Palaeoproterozoic and Neoarchean peaks. A similar U-Pb signature characterizes also Jafurah dune sands, suggesting that zircons are dominantly derived from interior Arabia, possibly deflated from the Wadi al

  14. Apparent Brecciation Gradient, Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, A. T.; Johnson, S. E.

    2004-05-01

    Mount Desert Island, Maine, comprises a shallow level, Siluro-Devonian igneous complex surrounded by a distinctive breccia zone ("shatter zone" of Gilman and Chapman, 1988). The zone is very well exposed on the southern and eastern shores of the island and provides a unique opportunity to examine subvolcanic processes. The breccia of the Shatter Zone shows wide variation in percent matrix and clast, and may represent a spatial and temporal gradient in breccia formation due to a single eruptive or other catastrophic volcanic event. The shatter zone was divided into five developmental stages based on the extent of brecciation: Bar Harbor Formation, Sols Cliffs breccia, Seeley Road breccia, Dubois breccia, and Great Head breccia. A digital camera was employed to capture scale images of representative outcrops using a 0.5 m square Plexiglas frame. Individual images were joined in Adobe Photoshop to create a composite image of each outcrop. The composite photo was then exported to Adobe Illustrator, which was used to outline the clasts and produce a digital map of the outcrop for analysis. The fractal dimension (Fd) of each clast was calculated using NIH Image and a Euclidean distance mapping method described by Bérubé and Jébrak (1999) to quantify the morphology of the fragments, or the complexity of the outline. The more complex the fragment outline, the higher the fractal dimension, indicating that the fragment is less "mature" or has had less exposure to erosional processes, such as the injection of an igneous matrix. Sols Cliffs breccia has an average Fd of 1.125, whereas Great Head breccia has an average Fd of 1.040, with the stages between having intermediate values. The more complex clasts of the Sols Cliffs breccia with a small amount (26.38%) of matrix material suggests that it is the first stage in a sequence of brecciation ending at the more mature, matrix-supported (71.37%) breccia of Great Head. The results of this study will be used to guide isotopic

  15. Global Warming: The Instability of Desert Climate is Enhancing in the Northwest Area in China: A Case Study in the Desert Area in Northwestern China

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao-Feng Chang; Shu-Juan Zhu; Fu-Gui Han; Sheng-Nnian Zhong; Qiang-Qiang Wang; Jian-Hui Zhang

    2013-01-01

    To disclose the relation between the sandstorms change and the temperature changes, a case study in the desert area in northwestern china is investigated. The results showed that: the instability of climate in Minqin desert area is enhancing in the arid desert region in northwest China. Mainly as follows: Variation the annual extreme maximum temperature increasing. Variation of extreme minimum temperature also an increasing trend. Average visibility of sandstorms significantly reduced and the...

  16. THE ATACAMA COSMOLOGY TELESCOPE: PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT CLUSTERS ON THE CELESTIAL EQUATOR {sup ,}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menanteau, Felipe; Hughes, John P. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, 136 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (United States); Sifon, Cristobal; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Duenner, Rolando; Infante, Leopoldo [Departamento de Astronomia y Astrofisica, Facultad de Fisica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Casilla 306, Santiago 22 (Chile); Battaglia, Nicholas [McWilliams Center for Cosmology, Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (United States); Bond, J. Richard; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D. [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Crichton, Devin; Gralla, Megan; Marriage, Tobias A. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218-2686 (United States); Das, Sudeep [High Energy Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S Cass Avenue, Lemont, IL 60439 (United States); Devlin, Mark J.; Dicker, Simon [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Hasselfield, Matthew [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Hilton, Matt [Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban (South Africa); Kosowsky, Arthur [Physics and Astronomy Department, University of Pittsburgh, 100 Allen Hall, 3941 O' Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (United States); Marsden, Danica [Department of Physics, University of California Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (United States); and others

    2013-03-01

    We present the optical and X-ray properties of 68 galaxy clusters selected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect at 148 GHz by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). Our sample, from an area of 504 deg{sup 2} centered on the celestial equator, is divided into two regions. The main region uses 270 deg{sup 2} of the ACT survey that overlaps with the co-added ugriz imaging from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) over Stripe 82 plus additional near-infrared pointed observations with the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 m telescope. We confirm a total of 49 clusters to z Almost-Equal-To 1.3, of which 22 (all at z > 0.55) are new discoveries. For the second region, the regular-depth SDSS imaging allows us to confirm 19 more clusters up to z Almost-Equal-To 0.7, of which 10 systems are new. We present the optical richness, photometric redshifts, and separation between the SZ position and the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG). We find no significant offset between the cluster SZ centroid and BCG location and a weak correlation between optical richness and SZ-derived mass. We also present X-ray fluxes and luminosities from the ROSAT All Sky Survey which confirm that this is a massive sample. One of the newly discovered clusters, ACT-CL J0044.4+0113 at z = 1.1 (photometric), has an integrated XMM-Newton X-ray temperature of kT{sub X} = 7.9 {+-} 1.0 keV and combined mass of M {sub 200a} = 8.2{sup +3.3} {sub -2.5} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 14} h {sup -1} {sub 70} M {sub Sun }, placing it among the most massive and X-ray-hot clusters known at redshifts beyond z = 1. We also highlight the optically rich cluster ACT-CL J2327.4-0204 (RCS2 2327) at z = 0.705 (spectroscopic) as the most significant detection of the whole equatorial sample with a Chandra-derived mass of M {sub 200a} = 1.9{sup +0.6} {sub -0.4} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 15} h {sup -1} {sub 70} M {sub Sun }, placing it in the ranks of the most massive known clusters like El Gordo and the Bullet Cluster.

  17. THE ATACAMA COSMOLOGY TELESCOPE: RELATION BETWEEN GALAXY CLUSTER OPTICAL RICHNESS AND SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sehgal, Neelima; Hlozek, Renee [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Addison, Graeme; Dunkley, Joanna; Louis, Thibaut [Department of Astrophysics, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Battaglia, Nick [Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (United States); Battistelli, Elia S. [Department of Physics, University of Rome ' La Sapienza' , Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, I-00185 Rome (Italy); Bond, J. Richard; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D. [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Das, Sudeep [Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics, LBL and Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Devlin, Mark J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Duenner, Rolando [Departamento de Astronomia y Astrofisica, Facultad de Fisica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Casilla 306, Santiago 22 (Chile); Gralla, Megan [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218-2686 (United States); Halpern, Mark; Hasselfield, Matthew [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Hilton, Matt [Centre for Astronomy and Particle Theory, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD (United Kingdom); Hughes, John P. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8019 (United States); Kosowsky, Arthur [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (United States); Lin, Yen-Ting [Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan (China); and others

    2013-04-10

    We present the measured Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) flux from 474 optically selected MaxBCG clusters that fall within the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) Equatorial survey region. The ACT Equatorial region used in this analysis covers 510 deg{sup 2} and overlaps Stripe 82 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We also present the measured SZ flux stacked on 52 X-ray-selected MCXC clusters that fall within the ACT Equatorial region and an ACT Southern survey region covering 455 deg{sup 2}. We find that the measured SZ flux from the X-ray-selected clusters is consistent with expectations. However, we find that the measured SZ flux from the optically selected clusters is both significantly lower than expectations and lower than the recovered SZ flux measured by the Planck satellite. Since we find a lower recovered SZ signal than Planck, we investigate the possibility that there is a significant offset between the optically selected brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) and the SZ centers, to which ACT is more sensitive due to its finer resolution. Such offsets can arise due to either an intrinsic physical separation between the BCG and the center of the gas concentration or from misidentification of the cluster BCG. We find that the entire discrepancy for both ACT and Planck can be explained by assuming that the BCGs are offset from the SZ maxima with a uniform random distribution between 0 and 1.5 Mpc. Such large offsets between gas peaks and BCGs for optically selected cluster samples seem unlikely given that we find the physical separation between BCGs and X-ray peaks for an X-ray-selected subsample of MaxBCG clusters to have a much narrower distribution that peaks within 0.2 Mpc. It is possible that other effects are lowering the ACT and Planck signals by the same amount, with offsets between BCGs and SZ peaks explaining the remaining difference between ACT and Planck measurements. Several effects that can lower the SZ signal equally for both ACT and Planck, but not

  18. THE ATACAMA COSMOLOGY TELESCOPE: PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT CLUSTERS ON THE CELESTIAL EQUATOR ,

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menanteau, Felipe; Hughes, John P.; Sifón, Cristóbal; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Dünner, Rolando; Infante, Leopoldo; Battaglia, Nicholas; Bond, J. Richard; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D.; Crichton, Devin; Gralla, Megan; Marriage, Tobias A.; Das, Sudeep; Devlin, Mark J.; Dicker, Simon; Hasselfield, Matthew; Hilton, Matt; Kosowsky, Arthur; Marsden, Danica

    2013-01-01

    We present the optical and X-ray properties of 68 galaxy clusters selected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect at 148 GHz by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). Our sample, from an area of 504 deg 2 centered on the celestial equator, is divided into two regions. The main region uses 270 deg 2 of the ACT survey that overlaps with the co-added ugriz imaging from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) over Stripe 82 plus additional near-infrared pointed observations with the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 m telescope. We confirm a total of 49 clusters to z ≈ 1.3, of which 22 (all at z > 0.55) are new discoveries. For the second region, the regular-depth SDSS imaging allows us to confirm 19 more clusters up to z ≈ 0.7, of which 10 systems are new. We present the optical richness, photometric redshifts, and separation between the SZ position and the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG). We find no significant offset between the cluster SZ centroid and BCG location and a weak correlation between optical richness and SZ-derived mass. We also present X-ray fluxes and luminosities from the ROSAT All Sky Survey which confirm that this is a massive sample. One of the newly discovered clusters, ACT-CL J0044.4+0113 at z = 1.1 (photometric), has an integrated XMM-Newton X-ray temperature of kT X = 7.9 ± 1.0 keV and combined mass of M 200a = 8.2 +3.3 –2.5 × 10 14 h –1 70 M ☉ , placing it among the most massive and X-ray-hot clusters known at redshifts beyond z = 1. We also highlight the optically rich cluster ACT-CL J2327.4–0204 (RCS2 2327) at z = 0.705 (spectroscopic) as the most significant detection of the whole equatorial sample with a Chandra-derived mass of M 200a = 1.9 +0.6 –0.4 × 10 15 h –1 70 M ☉ , placing it in the ranks of the most massive known clusters like El Gordo and the Bullet Cluster.

  19. Effects of altered temperature and precipitation on desert protozoa associated with biological soil crusts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darby, Brian J; Housman, David C; Zaki, Amr M; Shamout, Yassein; Adl, Sina M; Belnap, Jayne; Neher, Deborah A

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are diverse assemblages of bacteria, cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, lichens, and mosses that cover much of arid land soils. The objective of this study was to quantify protozoa associated with biological soil crusts and test the response of protozoa to increased temperature and precipitation as is predicted by some global climate models. Protozoa were more abundant when associated with cyanobacteria/lichen crusts than with cyanobacteria crusts alone. Amoebae, flagellates, and ciliates originating from the Colorado Plateau desert (cool desert, primarily winter precipitation) declined 50-, 10-, and 100-fold, respectively, when moved in field mesocosms to the Chihuahuan Desert (hot desert, primarily summer rain). However, this was not observed in protozoa collected from the Chihuahuan Desert and moved to the Sonoran desert (hot desert, also summer rain, but warmer than Chihuahuan Desert). Protozoa in culture began to encyst at 37 degrees C. Cysts survived the upper end of daily temperatures (37-55 degrees C), and could be stimulated to excyst if temperatures were reduced to 15 degrees C or lower. Results from this study suggest that cool desert protozoa are influenced negatively by increased summer precipitation during excessive summer temperatures, and that desert protozoa may be adapted to a specific desert's temperature and precipitation regime.

  20. Pollination ecology of the rare desert species Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae

    Science.gov (United States)

    The pollination ecology of Eremosparton songoricum (Litv.) Vass., a rare desert species endemic to central Asia, was examined by a series of observational studies and manipulative experiments in two natural populations during 2007–2008. Results showed that the duration of flowering lasted 21 and 23 ...

  1. Ecological and evolutionary physiology of desert birds : A progress report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI

    The adaptive significance of mechanisms of energy and water conservation among species of desert rodents, which avoid temperature extremes by remaining within a burrow during the day, is well established. Conventional wisdom holds that arid-zone birds, diurnal organisms that endure the brunt of

  2. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-11-12

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecular mechanisms remain less understood. As major channels for water regulation and transport, aquaporins (AQPs) are involved in this process. However, due to the regulatory complexity and functional diversity of AQPs, their molecular mechanism for foliar water uptake remains unclear. In this study, Tamarix ramosissima, a tree species widely distributed in desert regions, was investigated for gene expression patterns of AQPs and for sap flow velocity. Our results suggest that the foliar water uptake of T. ramosissima occurs in natural fields at night when the humidity is over a threshold of 85 %. The diurnal gene expression pattern of AQPs suggests that most AQP gene expressions display a circadian rhythm, and this could affect both photosynthesis and transpiration. At night, the PIP2-1 gene is also upregulated with increased relative air humidity. This gene expression pattern may allow desert plants to regulate foliar water uptake to adapt to extreme drought. This study suggests a molecular basis of foliar water uptake in desert plants. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  3. Trajectory and rate of desert vegetation response following cattle removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley

    2013-01-01

    Cattle have grazed continuously over the past three centuries in the Sky Island region and most work has focused on how these grazers have affected riparian and grassland habitats. I examined the effects of grazing on a fuller spectrum of desert habitats that occur in the close proximity to the San Bernardino Valley of Mexico and the United States. Plots in each of...

  4. Electricity from the desert; Strom aus der Wueste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwarzburger, Heiko; Ullrich, Sven

    2013-06-15

    The North African sun seems ideal for photovoltaic use. However, photovoltaic modules must withstand extreme loads in the desert. [German] Die Sonne Nordafrikas scheint ideal fuer die Photovoltaik-Nutzung. Jedoch muessen Photovoltaik-Module in der Wueste extremen Belastungen standhalten.

  5. Cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf Abu-Seida

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This report describes the clinical and histopathological findings of a rare case of cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a 40-year-old desert tortoise. Surgical excision of the neoplasm improved the general health condition and locomotion of the tortoise although recurrence of the neoplasm had been recorded 1 year post-surgery.

  6. Antimicrobial Screening of Some Exotic Tree Species of Rajasthan Desert

    OpenAIRE

    B.B.S. Kapoor* and Shelja Pandita

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial screening of ethyl ether and alcoholic extracts of leaves of four selected exotic tree species growing inRajasthan Desert was carried out. Colophospermum mopane, Holoptelea integrifolia, Kigelia pinnata andPutranjiva roxburghii showed positive reactions against bacterial pathogens i.e. Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichiacoli and a fungal pathogen Candida albicans.

  7. Energetics and water relations ofN amib desert rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and the possible effects of advective fog on the water balance of the .... Table 2 Energy balance of Namib desert rodents in the laboratory on a diet of air-dried bird seed and with, and with, ad lib water. .... responding mercury thermometer.

  8. Analysis of "The Wonderful Desert." Technical Report No. 170.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, G. M.; And Others

    This report presents a text analysis of "The Wonderful Desert," a brief selection from the "Reader's Digest Skill Builder" series. (The techniques used in arriving at the analysis are presented in a Reading Center Technical Report, Number 168, "Problems and Techniques of Text Analysis.") Tables are given for a…

  9. Academic Performance, School Desertion and Emotional Paradigm in University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa, Emma Rosa Cruz; Barrientos, Laura Gática; Castro, Patricia Eugenia García; García, Jesús Hernández

    2010-01-01

    The present work aims to describe academic performance, school desertion and the emotional paradigm of the university students of the accounting school of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (FCPBUAP). We have found that low academic performance is related to students' economic deficiency, which affects their concentration on their…

  10. Reestablishing healthy food retail: changing the landscape of food deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpyn, Allison; Young, Candace; Weiss, Stephanie

    2012-02-01

    The term "food desert" was formally introduced into the lexicon in 1995 and has come to describe areas with limited access to affordable nutritious foods, particularly areas in lower-income neighborhoods. The definition has led to the development of national and regional maps that focus efforts on equity in food access. Recognition of food deserts also marks a strategic change in public health's approach to obesity prevention. Today's emphasis on prevention has shifted away from individual responsibility to the role of the environment in health promotion. A number of solutions are underway to address food deserts, including public–private financing programs, industry commitments, as well as local and regional efforts to put healthy food within reach. The promise of financing programs to facilitate development of healthy food markets in underserved communities is rooted in their potential to alleviate the grocery gap and address underlying environmental contributors to obesity and diet-related diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. As food desert mapping and related interventions expand, there remains a need for ongoing investigation of impacts and the mechanisms by which impacts are achieved.

  11. Biology of larks (Aves: Alaudidae) in the central Namib Desert ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The biology of six species of larks in the Namib Desert near Walvis Bay, South West Africa, was studied in 1964, 1965 and 1966. 2. All species reproduced following rainfall in summer and autumn months, with the appearance of green grass and abundant insects on which the birds fed. 3. The primarily insectivorous species ...

  12. Learning Desert Geomorphology Virtually versus in the Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpf, Richard J., II; Douglass, John; Dorn, Ronald I.

    2008-01-01

    Statistical analyses of pre-test and post-test results, as well as qualitative insight obtained by essays, compared introductory physical geography college students who learned desert geomorphology only virtually, in the field and both ways. With the exception of establishing geographic context, the virtual field trip was statistically…

  13. Extreme Arthropods: Exploring Evolutionary Adaptations to Polar and Temperate Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandro, Luke; Constible, Juanita M.; Lee, Richard E., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    In this activity, Namib and Antarctic arthropods are used to illustrate several important biological principles. Among these are the key ideas that form follows function and that the environment drives evolution. In addition, students will discover that the climates of the Namib Desert and the Antarctic Peninsula are similar in several ways, and…

  14. Is climate change mitigation the best use of desert shrublands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan E. Meyer

    2011-01-01

    In a world where the metrics of the carbon economy have become a major issue, it may come as a surprise that intact cold desert shrublands can sequester significant amounts of carbon, both as biomass and in the form of SOC (soil organic carbon). Xerophytic shrubs invest heavily in belowground biomass, placing fixed carbon in an environment where it turns over only very...

  15. Ecology and utilization of desert shrub rangelands in Iraq

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalen, Derk Catharinus Peter

    1979-01-01

    When grazing is the accepted land use, vegetation is the key resource. The present study deals with the desert shrub rangelands of lraq, which contain the major characteristics of such an area, having been under grazing for many centuries. Emphasis is given to the ecology and utilization of the

  16. Distribution and status of the desert-dwelling giraffe ( Giraffa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The population density and distribution of desert dwelling giraffes was estimated in three study areas in the Hoanib River catchment, northwestern Namibia. Giraffe population densities (0.01 giraffe/km2) were equal to the lowest recorded in Africa with population numbers fluctuating over past decades. Sex ratios, herd sizes ...

  17. Impacts of tracked vehicles on sediment from a desert soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erek H. Fuchs; Karl M. Wood; Tim L. Jones; Brent Racher

    2003-01-01

    Off-road military vehicle traffic is a major consideration in the management of military lands. The objective of this study was to determine the impacts of military tracked M1A1 heavy combat tank vehicles on sediment loss from runoff, surface plant cover, and surface microtopography in a desert military training environment. A randomized block design was used which had...

  18. Pollen spectrum, a cornerstone for tracing the evolution of the eastern Central Asian desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Kai-Qing; Xie, Gan; Li, Min; Li, Jin-Feng; Trivedi, Anjali; Ferguson, David K.; Yao, Yi-Feng; Wang, Yu-Fei

    2018-04-01

    The temperate desert in arid Central Asia (ACA) has acted as a thoroughfare for the ancient Silk Road and today's Belt and Road, linking economic and cultural exchanges between East and West. The interaction between human sustainable development and the dynamic change in the desert ecosystem in this region is an area of concern for governments and scientific communities. Nevertheless, the lack of a pollen spectrum of the dominant taxa within the temperate desert vegetation and a corresponding relation between pollen assemblages and specific desert vegetation types is an obstacle to further understanding the formation and maintenance of this desert ecosystem. In this work, we link pollen assemblages to specific desert vegetation types with a new pollen spectrum with specific pollen grains, specific plant taxa and related habitats, providing a solid foundation for further tracing the evolution of the desert ecosystem in eastern arid Central Asia.

  19. Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

    The biology and ecology of biological soil crusts, a soil surface community of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, green algae, fungi, and bacteria, have only recently been a topic of research. Most efforts began in the western U.S. (Cameron, Harper, Rushforth, and St. Clair), Australia (Rogers), and Israel (Friedmann, Evenari, and Lange) in the late 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Friedmann et al. 1967; Evenari 1985reviewed in Harper and Marble 1988). However, these groups worked independently of each other and, in fact, were often not aware of each other’s work. In addition, biological soil crust communities were seen as more a novelty than a critical component of dryland ecosystems. Since then, researchers have investigated many different aspects of these communities and have shown that although small to microscopic, biological soil crusts are critical in many ecological processes of deserts. They often cover most of desert soil surfaces and substantially mediate inputs and outputs from desert soils (Belnap et al. 2003). They can be a large source of biodiversity for deserts, as they can contain more species than the surrounding vascular plant community (Rosentreter 1986). These communities are important in reducing soil erosion and increasing soil fertility through the capture of dust and the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and carbon into forms available to other life forms (Elbert et al. 2012). Because of their many effects on soil characteristics, such as external and internal morphological characteristics, aggregate stability, soil moisture, and permeability, they also affect seed germination and establishment and local hydrological cycles. Covering up to 70% of the surface area in many arid and semi-arid regions around the world (Belnap and Lange 2003), biological soil crusts are a key component within desert environments.

  20. Goods and services provided by native plants in desert ecosystems: Examples from the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laila M. Bidak

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available About one third of the earth’s land surface is covered by deserts that have low and variable rainfall, nutrient-poor soils, and little vegetation cover. Here, we focus on the goods and services offered by desert ecosystems using the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt extending from Burg El-Arab to El-Salloum as an example. We conducted field surveys and collected other data to identify the goods services and provided by native plant species. A total of 322 native plant species were compiled. The direct services provided by these native plants included sources of food, medicine, and energy; indirect vegetation services included promotion of biodiversity, water storage, and soil fertility. The plant diversity in this ecosystem provided economic service benefits, such as sources of fodder, fuel-wood, and traditional medicinal plants. Changes in land use and recent ill-managed human activities may influence the availability of these services and strongly impact biodiversity and habitat availability. Although deserts are fragile and support low levels of productivity, they provide a variety of goods and services whose continuing availability is contingent upon the adoption of rational land management practices.

  1. Effects of subsidized predators, resource variability, and human population density on desert tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Drake, K. Kristina; Walde, Andrew D.; Berry, Kristin H.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Woodman, A. Peter; Boarman, William I.; Medica, Phil A.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Heaton, Jill S.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding predator–prey relationships can be pivotal in the conservation of species. For 2 decades, desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii populations have declined, yet quantitative evidence regarding the causes of declines is scarce. In 2005, Ft. Irwin National Training Center, California, USA, implemented a translocation project including 2 yr of baseline monitoring of desert tortoises. Unusually high predation on tortoises was observed after translocation occurred. We conducted a retrospective analysis of predation and found that translocation did not affect the probability of predation: translocated, resident, and control tortoises all had similar levels of predation. However, predation rates were higher near human population concentrations, at lower elevation sites, and for smaller tortoises and females. Furthermore, high mortality rates were not limited to the National Training Center. In 2008, elevated mortality (as high as 43%) occurred throughout the listed range of the desert tortoise. Although no temporal prey base data are available for analysis from any of the study sites, we hypothesize that low population levels of typical coyote Canis latrans prey (i.e. jackrabbits Lepus californicus and other small animals) due to drought conditions influenced high predation rates in previous years. Predation may have been exacerbated in areas with high levels of subsidized predators. Many historical reports of increased predation, and our observation of a range-wide pattern, may indicate that high predation rates are more common than generally considered and may impact recovery of the desert tortoise throughout its range.

  2. 76 FR 50493 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CACA-48649, LLCAD06000 L51010000 ER0000... right-of-way (ROW) application CACA-48649 for the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project (DSSF). The DSSF is... (CACA-052682) where the project would interconnect with the SCE regional transmission system. The DSSF...

  3. Marine conservation strategies for Maharashtra Coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Untawale, A.G.; Dhargalkar, V.K.

    , Wildlife Sanctuaries, Marine Parks and Protected Areas. Detailed studies of 37 sites along the Maharashtra Coast, for their marine biota and also the ecological conditions, were taken up. Out of these, seven most luxuriant areas in marine biodiversity have...

  4. West Coast Rockfish Conservation Areas, 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data delineate Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCA) off the West Coast of the United States for 2015. There are three types of areas closures depicted in this...

  5. Eighteenth annual West Coast theoretical chemistry conference

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-05-01

    Abstracts are presented from the eighteenth annual west coast theoretical chemistry conference. Topics include molecular simulations; quasiclassical simulations of reactions; photodissociation reactions; molecular dynamics;interface studies; electronic structure; and semiclassical methods of reactive systems.

  6. Pacific Coast Groundfish Individual Fishing Quota Database

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — On January 11, 2011, NOAA Fisheries implemented a new fishery management system for the West Coast Groundfish Trawl Catch Share Program as specified in the...

  7. U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Districts

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — This layer is a polygonal dataset that represents land and maritime boundaries for each representative United States Coast Guard district, which includes district 1,...

  8. Great Lakes CoastWatch Node

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — CoastWatch is a nationwide National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) program within which the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL)...

  9. CoastWatch Regions in HDF Format

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The mapped data derived from AVHRR is divided into files for CoastWatch regions of interest. Each file contains multiple data variables stored using the HDF-4...

  10. Human interreference along the coast of Goa

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mascarenhas, A.

    , the promotion of tourism, increase in population and construction activities have created a heavy demand for resources resulting in congestion on coasts, increase in density of constructions and pressures on infrastructure. Large scale conversions of dune belts...

  11. Distribution of seagrasses along the Indian coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.

    the Tamil Nadu Coast. Seagrasses were observed from intertidal to subtidal regions down to 8 m depth. Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenberg) Aschers. and Cymodocea serrulata (R. Brown) Aschers. and Magnus were the dominant seagrasses in the subtidal zones...

  12. Geological and geophysical surveys of Visakhapatnam coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, T.C.S.; Rao, K.M.; Lakshminarayana, S.

    Continuous records of the total earth's magnetic field and the surface sediment samples from the ocean bottom have been collected off Ramakrishna Beach and Lawsons Bay along the Visakhapatnam Coast. The magnetic data has recorded significant...

  13. Connectivity for underway Coast Guard patrol boats

    OpenAIRE

    Busch, Gregory C.

    1997-01-01

    Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited This thesis examines the US Coast Guard patrol boat's ability to effectively exchange operational data while underway. The patrol boat is currently unable to obtain tactical law enforcement information from the central Law Enforcement Information System 2 (LEIS 2) database while on patrol. LEIS 2 provides access to law enforcement information from Coast Guard, FBI, and state and local law enforcement agencies. Availability of this info...

  14. Virginia Coast Reserve 2007 Remote Sensing Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-09

    beaches, maritime forests , wetlands, tidal flats, and coastal lagoons ; - Natural lands and built up areas along Cape Charles, VA are...representative of barrier island coasts , worldwide; and - It is a major natural resource for the Mid Atlantic Region. Imagery-derived information for...support Joint Logistics Over the Shore. This experiment uses the VCR to study a barrier island coast with coastal lagoons , tidal inlets, and

  15. Mineral compositions and sources of the riverbed sediment in the desert channel of Yellow River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xiaopeng; Wang, Haibing

    2011-02-01

    The Yellow River flows through an extensive, aeolian desert area and extends from Xiaheyan, Ningxia Province, to Toudaoguai, Inner Mongolia Province, with a total length of 1,000 km. Due to the construction and operation of large reservoirs in the upstream of the Yellow River, most water and sediment from upstream were stored in these reservoirs, which leads to the declining flow in the desert channel that has no capability to scour large amount of input of desert sands from the desert regions. By analyzing and comparing the spatial distribution of weight percent of mineral compositions between sediment sources and riverbed sediment of the main tributaries and the desert channel of the Yellow River, we concluded that the coarse sediment deposited in the desert channel of the Yellow River were mostly controlled by the local sediment sources. The analyzed results of the Quartz-Feldspar-Mica (QFM) triangular diagram and the R-factor models of the coarse sediment in the Gansu reach and the desert channel of the Yellow River further confirm that the Ningxia Hedong desert and the Inner Mongolian Wulanbuhe and Kubuqi deserts are the main provenances of the coarse sediment in the desert channel of the Yellow River. Due to the higher fluidity of the fine sediment, they are mainly contributed by the local sediment sources and the tributaries that originated from the loess area of the upper reach of the Yellow River.

  16. Effect of sea breeze circulation on aerosol mixing state and radiative properties in a desert setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Derimian

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Chemical composition, microphysical, and optical properties of atmospheric aerosol deep inland in the Negev Desert of Israel are found to be influenced by daily occurrences of sea breeze flow from the Mediterranean Sea. Abrupt increases in aerosol volume concentration and shifts of size distributions towards larger sizes, which are associated with increase in wind speed and atmospheric water content, were systematically recorded during the summertime at a distance of at least 80 km from the coast. Chemical imaging of aerosol samples showed an increased contribution of highly hygroscopic particles during the intrusion of the sea breeze. Besides a significant fraction of marine aerosols, the amount of internally mixed marine and mineral dust particles was also increased during the sea breeze period. The number fraction of marine and internally mixed particles during the sea breeze reached up to 88 % in the PM1–2. 5 and up to 62 % in the PM2. 5–10 size range. Additionally, numerous particles with residuals of liquid coating were observed by SEM/EDX analysis. Ca-rich dust particles that had reacted with anthropogenic nitrates were evidenced by Raman microspectroscopy. The resulting hygroscopic particles can deliquesce at very low relative humidity. Our observations suggest that aerosol hygroscopic growth in the Negev Desert is induced by the daily sea breeze arrival. The varying aerosol microphysical and optical characteristics perturb the solar and thermal infrared radiations. The changes in aerosol properties induced by the sea breeze, relative to the background situation, doubled the shortwave radiative cooling at the surface (from −10 to −20.5 W m−2 and increased by almost 3 times the warming of the atmosphere (from 5 to 14 W m−2, as evaluated for a case study. Given the important value of observed liquid coating of particles, we also examined the possible influence of the particle homogeneity assumption on the

  17. 33 CFR 23.10 - Coast Guard emblem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Coast Guard emblem. 23.10 Section... DISTINCTIVE MARKINGS FOR COAST GUARD VESSELS AND AIRCRAFT § 23.10 Coast Guard emblem. (a) The distinctive emblem of the Coast Guard shall be as follows: On a disc the shield of the Coat of Arms of the United...

  18. Dramatic Demand Reduction In The Desert Southwest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehm, Robert [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Hsieh, Sean [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Lee, Joon [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Baghzouz, Yahia [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Cross, Andrew [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Chatterjee, Sarah [NV Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    2015-07-06

    This report summarizes a project that was funded to the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), with subcontractors Pulte Homes and NV Energy. The project was motivated by the fact that locations in the Desert Southwest portion of the US demonstrate very high peak electrical demands, typically in the late afternoons in the summer. These high demands often require high priced power to supply the needs, and the large loads can cause grid supply problems. An approach was proposed through this contact that would reduce the peak electrical demands to an anticipated 65% of what code-built houses of the similar size would have. It was proposed to achieve energy reduction through four approaches applied to a development of 185 homes in northwest part of Las Vegas named Villa Trieste. First, the homes would all be highly energy efficient. Secondly, each house would have a PV array installed on it. Third, an advanced demand response technique would be developed to allow the resident to have some control over the energy used. Finally, some type of battery storage would be used in the project. Pulte Homes designed the houses. The company considered initial cost vs. long-term savings and chose options that had relatively short paybacks. HERS (Home Energy Rating Service) ratings for the homes are approximately 43 on this scale. On this scale, code-built homes rate at 100, zero energy homes rate a 0, and Energy Star homes are 85. In addition a 1.764 Wp (peak Watt) rated PV array was used on each house. This was made up of solar shakes that were in visual harmony with the roofing material used. A demand response tool was developed to control the amount of electricity used during times of peak demand. While demand response techniques have been used in the utility industry for some time, this particular approach is designed to allow the customer to decide the degree of participation in the response activity. The temperature change in the residence can be decided by the residents by

  19. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Sunyaev-Zel'dovich selected galaxy clusters at 148 GHz from three seasons of data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hasselfield, Matthew; Hlozek, Renée [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Hilton, Matt [Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 4041 (South Africa); Marriage, Tobias A.; Crichton, Devin; Gralla, Megan B. [Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218-2686 (United States); Addison, Graeme E.; Halpern, Mark [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Barrientos, L. Felipe; Dünner, Rolando [Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Facultad de Física, Pontificía Universidad Católica, Casilla 306, Santiago 22 (Chile); Battaglia, Nicholas [Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (United States); Battistelli, Elia S. [Department of Physics, University of Rome ' ' La Sapienza' ' , Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, I-00185 Rome (Italy); Bond, J. Richard; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D. [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H8 (Canada); Das, Sudeep [High Energy Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S Cass Avenue, Lemont, IL 60439 (United States); Devlin, Mark J.; Dicker, Simon R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Dunkley, Joanna [Department of Astrophysics, Oxford University, Oxford, OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Fowler, Joseph W., E-mail: mhasse@astro.princeton.edu, E-mail: hiltonm@ukzn.ac.za, E-mail: marriage@pha.jhu.edu [NIST Quantum Devices Group, 325 Broadway Mailcode 817.03, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States); and others

    2013-07-01

    We present a catalog of 68 galaxy clusters, of which 19 are new discoveries, detected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZ) at 148 GHz in the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) survey on the celestial equator. With this addition, the ACT collaboration has reported a total of 91 optically confirmed, SZ detected clusters. The 504 square degree survey region includes 270 square degrees of overlap with SDSS Stripe 82, permitting the confirmation of SZ cluster candidates in deep archival optical data. The subsample of 48 clusters within Stripe 82 is estimated to be 90% complete for M{sub 500c} > 4.5 × 10{sup 14}M{sub s}un and redshifts 0.15 < z < 0.8. While a full suite of matched filters is used to detect the clusters, the sample is studied further through a ''Profile Based Amplitude Analysis'' using a statistic derived from a single filter at a fixed θ{sub 500} = 5.'9 angular scale. This new approach incorporates the cluster redshift along with prior information on the cluster pressure profile to fix the relationship between the cluster characteristic size (R{sub 500}) and the integrated Compton parameter (Y{sub 500}). We adopt a one-parameter family of ''Universal Pressure Profiles'' (UPP) with associated scaling laws, derived from X-ray measurements of nearby clusters, as a baseline model. Three additional models of cluster physics are used to investigate a range of scaling relations beyond the UPP prescription. Assuming a concordance cosmology, the UPP scalings are found to be nearly identical to an adiabatic model, while a model incorporating non-thermal pressure better matches dynamical mass measurements and masses from the South Pole Telescope. A high signal to noise ratio subsample of 15 ACT clusters with complete optical follow-up is used to obtain cosmological constraints. We demonstrate, using fixed scaling relations, how the constraints depend on the assumed gas model if only SZ measurements are used, and

  20. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Sunyaev-Zel'dovich selected galaxy clusters at 148 GHz from three seasons of data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasselfield, Matthew; Hlozek, Renée; Hilton, Matt; Marriage, Tobias A.; Crichton, Devin; Gralla, Megan B.; Addison, Graeme E.; Halpern, Mark; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Dünner, Rolando; Battaglia, Nicholas; Battistelli, Elia S.; Bond, J. Richard; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D.; Das, Sudeep; Devlin, Mark J.; Dicker, Simon R.; Dunkley, Joanna; Fowler, Joseph W.

    2013-01-01

    We present a catalog of 68 galaxy clusters, of which 19 are new discoveries, detected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZ) at 148 GHz in the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) survey on the celestial equator. With this addition, the ACT collaboration has reported a total of 91 optically confirmed, SZ detected clusters. The 504 square degree survey region includes 270 square degrees of overlap with SDSS Stripe 82, permitting the confirmation of SZ cluster candidates in deep archival optical data. The subsample of 48 clusters within Stripe 82 is estimated to be 90% complete for M 500c > 4.5 × 10 14 M s un and redshifts 0.15 500 = 5.'9 angular scale. This new approach incorporates the cluster redshift along with prior information on the cluster pressure profile to fix the relationship between the cluster characteristic size (R 500 ) and the integrated Compton parameter (Y 500 ). We adopt a one-parameter family of ''Universal Pressure Profiles'' (UPP) with associated scaling laws, derived from X-ray measurements of nearby clusters, as a baseline model. Three additional models of cluster physics are used to investigate a range of scaling relations beyond the UPP prescription. Assuming a concordance cosmology, the UPP scalings are found to be nearly identical to an adiabatic model, while a model incorporating non-thermal pressure better matches dynamical mass measurements and masses from the South Pole Telescope. A high signal to noise ratio subsample of 15 ACT clusters with complete optical follow-up is used to obtain cosmological constraints. We demonstrate, using fixed scaling relations, how the constraints depend on the assumed gas model if only SZ measurements are used, and show that constraints from SZ data are limited by uncertainty in the scaling relation parameters rather than sample size or measurement uncertainty. We next add in seven clusters from the ACT Southern survey, including their dynamical mass measurements, which are based on galaxy velocity

  1. FutureCoast: "Listen to your futures"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfirman, S. L.; Eklund, K.; Thacher, S.; Orlove, B. S.; Diane Stovall-Soto, G.; Brunacini, J.; Hernandez, T.

    2014-12-01

    Two science-arts approaches are emerging as effective means to convey "futurethinking" to learners: systems gaming and experiential futures. FutureCoast exemplifies the latter: by engaging participants with voicemails supposedly leaking from the cloud of possible futures, the storymaking game frames the complexities of climate science in relatable contexts. Because participants make the voicemails themselves, FutureCoast opens up creative ways for people to think about possibly climate-changed futures and personal ways to talk about them. FutureCoast is a project of the PoLAR Partnership with a target audience of informal adult learners primarily reached via mobile devices and online platforms. Scientists increasingly use scenarios and storylines as ways to explore the implications of environmental change and societal choices. Stories help people make connections across experiences and disciplines and link large-scale events to personal consequences. By making the future seem real today, FutureCoast's framework helps people visualize and plan for future climate changes. The voicemails contributed to FutureCoast are spread through the game's intended timeframe (2020 through 2065). Based on initial content analysis of voicemail text, common themes include ecosystems and landscapes, weather, technology, societal issues, governance and policy. Other issues somewhat less frequently discussed include security, food, industry and business, health, energy, infrastructure, water, economy, and migration. Further voicemail analysis is examining: temporal dimensions (salient time frames, short vs. long term issues, intergenerational, etc.), content (adaptation vs. mitigation, challenges vs. opportunities, etc.), and emotion (hopeful, resigned, etc. and overall emotional context). FutureCoast also engaged audiences through facilitated in-person experiences, geocaching events, and social media (Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube). Analysis of the project suggests story

  2. An Integrated Multi-Sensor Approach to Monitor Desert Environments by UAV and Satellite Sensors: Case Study Kubuqi Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Lin, C. W.; vanGasselt, S.; Lin, S.; Lan, C. W.

    2017-12-01

    Expanding deserts have been causing significant socio-economical threats by, e.g., hampering anthropogenic activities or causing decline of agricultural productivity. Countries in the Asian-Pacific regions in particular have been suffering from dust storms originating in the arid deserts of China, Mongolia and central Asia. In order to mitigate such environmental interferences by means of, e.g. combat desertification activities and early warning systems, the establishment of reliable desert monitoring schemes is needed. In this study, we report on a remote sensing data fusion approach to constantly and precisely monitor desert environments. We have applied this approach over a test site located in the Kubuqi desert located in Northeast China and which is considered to be a major contributor of dust storms today. In order to understand spatial and temporal trends of desertification, the planimetric distribution and 3D shape and size of sand dunes were reconstructed using Digital Terrain Models (DTM) derived from stereo observations made by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Based on this, the volumetric change of sand dunes was directly estimated through co-registered DTMs. We furthermore derived and investigated topographic parameters, such as the aerodynamic roughness length, the protrusion coefficient, the Normalized Difference Angular Index, and the phase coherence derived from spaceborne optical/synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing assets with the calibration index from UAV observation. Throughout such a multi-data approach, temporal changes of a target's environmental parameters can be traced, analyzed and correlated with weather conditions. An improved understanding of aeolian processes in sand deserts will be a valuable contribution for desertification combat activities and early warning systems for dust storm generation. Future research needs to be conducted over more extensive spatial and temporal domains, also by combining investigations on the

  3. Reference intervals and physiologic alterations in hematologic and biochemical values of free-ranging desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, Mary M.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wallis, I.R.; Nagy, K.A.; Henen, B.T.; Peterson, C.C.

    1999-01-01

    Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations have experienced precipitous declines resulting from the cumulative impact of habitat loss, and human and disease-related mortality. Evaluation of hematologic and biochemical responses of desert tortoises to physiologic and environmental factors can facilitate the assessment of stress and disease in tortoises and contribute to management decisions and population recovery. The goal of this study was to obtain and analyze clinical laboratory data from free-ranging desert tortoises at three sites in the Mojave Desert (California, USA) between October 1990 and October 1995, to establish reference intervals, and to develop guidelines for the interpretation of laboratory data under a variety of environmental and physiologic conditions. Body weight, carapace length, and venous blood samples for a complete blood count and clinical chemistry profile were obtained from 98 clinically healthy adult desert tortoises of both sexes at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural area (western Mojave), Goffs (eastern Mojave) and Ivanpah Valley (northeastern Mojave). Samples were obtained four times per year, in winter (February/March), spring (May/June), summer (July/August), and fall (October). Years of near-, above- and below-average rainfall were represented in the 5 yr period. Minimum, maximum and median values, and central 95 percentiles were used as reference intervals and measures of central tendency for tortoises at each site and/or season. Data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance for significant (P < 0.01) variation on the basis of sex, site, season, and interactions between these variables. Significant sex differences were observed for packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, aspartate transaminase activity, and cholesterol, triglyceride, calcium, and phosphorus concentrations. Marked seasonal variation was observed in most parameters in conjunction with reproductive cycle, hibernation, or seasonal

  4. Coast Live Oak Thinning Study in the Central Coast of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman H. Pillsbury; Michael J. DeLasaux; Timothy R. Plumb

    1987-01-01

    Abstract: Along-term thinning study was established in ten stands of coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia N in the Central Coast of California. Information about diameter, basal area, and volume growth and yield is being obtained from unthinned control plots and from plots thinned to 50 and 100 square feet of basal area per acre. Descriptive information was also collected...

  5. Cabira rangarajani n. sp. (Polychaeta: Pilargidae) from the Goa coast, central west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mandal, Sumit; Harkantra, S.N.; Salazar-Vallejo, S.I.

    Cabira rangarajani n. sp., is described from the Goa coast, in central west coast of India. It differs from C. brevicirris (Rangarajan, 1964), by having a single type of neurochaetae while the other species has three types. The new species also...

  6. 75 FR 61102 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-04

    ... opportunities to harvest available healthy stocks and meet the objective of the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP to... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No... Coast Groundfish Fishery; Inseason Adjustments to Fishery Management Measures AGENCY: National Marine...

  7. DESERT ECOSYSTEMS: MAPPING, MONITORING & ASSESSMENT USING SATELLITE REMOTE SENSING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Arya

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Desert ecosystems are unique but fragile ecosystems , mostly vulnerable to a variety of degradational processes like water erosion, vegetal degradation, salinity, wind erosion , water logging etc. Some researchers consider desertification to be a process of change, while others view it as the end result of a process of change. There is an urgent need to arrest the process of desertification and combat land degradation. Under the auspices of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad has undertaken the task of mapping, monitoring and assessment of desertification carrying out pilot project in hot and cold desert regions in drylands on 1:50,000 scale followed by systematic Desertification Status Mappaing (DSM of India on 1:500,000 scale.

  8. The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory For Desert Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, John D.; Phillips, Gregory C.

    1985-11-01

    The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory for Desert Adaptation (PGEL) is one of five Centers of Technical Excellence established as a part of the state of New Mexico's Rio Grande Research Corridor (RGRC). The scientific mission of PGEL is to bring innovative advances in plant biotechnology to bear on agricultural productivity in arid and semi-arid regions. Research activities focus on molecular and cellular genetics technology development in model systems, but also include stress physiology investigations and development of desert plant resources. PGEL interacts with the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a national laboratory participating in the RGRC. PGEL also has an economic development mission, which is being pursued through technology transfer activities to private companies and public agencies.

  9. Aircraft and satellite remote sensing of desert soils and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, G. W.; Connors, K. F.; Miller, D. A.; Day, R. L.; Gardner, T. W.

    1987-01-01

    Remote sensing data on desert soils and landscapes, obtained by the Landsat TM, Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM), Simulated SPOT, and Thermal IR Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) aboard an aircraft, are discussed together with the analytical techniques used in the studies. The TM data for southwestern Nevada were used to discriminate among the alluvial fan deposits with different degrees of desert pavement and varnish, and different vegetation cover. Thermal-IR data acquired from the HCMM satellite were used to map the spatial distribution of diurnal surface temperatures and to estimate mean annual soil temperatures in central Utah. Simulated SPOT data for northwestern New Mexico identified geomorphic features, such as differences in eolian sand cover and fluvial incision, while the TIMS data depicted surface geologic features of the Saline Valley in California.

  10. Relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautenstrauch, K.R.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1993-01-01

    Seven hundred fifty-nine transects having a total length of 1,191 km were walked during 1981--1986 to determine the distribution and relative abundance of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The abundance of tortoises on NTS was low to very low relative to other populations in the Mojave Desert. Sign of tortoises was found from 880 to 1,570 m elevation and was more abundant above 1,200 m than has been reported previously for Nevada. Tortoises were more abundant on NTS on the upper alluvial fans and slopes of mountains than in valley bottoms. They also were more common on or near limestone and dolomite mountains than on mountains of volcanic origin

  11. Who Needs Religion When You Have The Desert?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent

    In my paper I propose to read so-called ‘post-ironic’ texts by authors associated with the Blank Generation and Generation X (including Bret Easton Ellis and Douglas Coupland, as well as less well-known authors such as K.S. Haddock) and examine their use of the desert as a trope for identity...... testing and summation. Perhaps surprisingly, one finds in novels such as Ellis’ Less Than Zero (1984) and Coupland’s Generation X (1991) a reliance on desert locations to provide an alternative to the numerous non-places (in Marc Augé’s sense of the term) that otherwise make up the setting of these works....

  12. Field Performance of Photovoltaic Systems in the Tucson Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsburn, Sean; Brooks, Adria; Cormode, Daniel; Greenberg, James; Hardesty, Garrett; Lonij, Vincent; Salhab, Anas; St. Germaine, Tyler; Torres, Gabe; Cronin, Alexander

    2011-10-01

    At the Tucson Electric Power (TEP) solar test yard, over 20 different grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems are being tested. The goal at the TEP solar test yard is to measure and model real-world performance of PV systems and to benchmark new technologies such as holographic concentrators. By studying voltage and current produced by the PV systems as a function of incident irradiance, and module temperature, we can compare our measurements of field-performance (in a harsh desert environment) to manufacturer specifications (determined under laboratory conditions). In order to measure high-voltage and high-current signals, we designed and built reliable, accurate sensors that can handle extreme desert temperatures. We will present several benchmarks of sensors in a controlled environment, including shunt resistors and Hall-effect current sensors, to determine temperature drift and accuracy. Finally we will present preliminary field measurements of PV performance for several different PV technologies.

  13. WRF-Chem model simulations of a dust outbreak over the central Mediterranean and comparison with multi-sensor desert dust observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizza, Umberto; Barnaba, Francesca; Marcello Miglietta, Mario; Mangia, Cristina; Di Liberto, Luca; Dionisi, Davide; Costabile, Francesca; Grasso, Fabio; Gobbi, Gian Paolo

    2017-01-01

    In this study, the Weather Research and Forecasting model with online coupled chemistry (WRF-Chem) is applied to simulate an intense Saharan dust outbreak event that took place over the Mediterranean in May 2014. Comparison of a simulation using a physics-based desert dust emission scheme with a numerical experiment using a simplified (minimal) emission scheme is included to highlight the advantages of the former. The model was found to reproduce well the synoptic meteorological conditions driving the dust outbreak: an omega-like pressure configuration associated with a cyclogenesis in the Atlantic coasts of Spain. The model performances in reproducing the atmospheric desert dust load were evaluated using a multi-platform observational dataset of aerosol and desert dust properties, including optical properties from satellite and ground-based sun photometers and lidars, plus in situ particulate matter mass concentration (PM) data. This comparison allowed us to investigate the model ability in reproducing both the horizontal and the vertical displacement of the dust plume, as well as its evolution in time. The comparison with satellite (MODIS-Terra) and sun photometers (AERONET) showed that the model is able to reproduce well the horizontal field of the aerosol optical depth (AOD) and its evolution in time (temporal correlation coefficient with AERONET of 0.85). On the vertical scale, the comparison with lidar data at a single site (Rome, Italy) confirms that the desert dust advection occurs in several, superimposed "pulses" as simulated by the model. Cross-analysis of the modeled AOD and desert dust emission fluxes further allowed for the source regions of the observed plumes to be inferred. The vertical displacement of the modeled dust plume was in rather good agreement with the lidar soundings, with correlation coefficients among aerosol extinction profiles up to 1 and mean discrepancy of about 50 %. The model-measurement comparison for PM10 and PM2.5 showed a

  14. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: A Measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background Power Spectrum at 148 AND 218 GHz from the 2008 Southern Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Sudeep; Marriage, Tobias A.; Ade, Peter A. R.; Aguirre, Paula; Amiri, Mandana; Appel, John W.; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Battistelli, Elia A.; Bond, J. Richard; Brown, Ben; hide

    2010-01-01

    We present measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) power spectrum made by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope at 148 GHz and 218 GHz, as well as the cross-frequency spectrum between the two channels. Our results dearly show the second through the seventh acoustic peaks in the CMB power spectrum. The measurements of these higher-order peaks provide an additional test of the ACDM cosmological model. At l > 3000, we detect power in excess of the primary anisotropy spectrum of the CMB. At lower multipoles 500 < l < 3000, we find evidence for gravitational lensing of the CMB in the power spectrum at the 2.8(sigma) level. We also detect a low level of Galactic dust in our maps, which demonstrates that we can recover known faint, diffuse signals.

  15. Modulation of cosmic microwave background polarization with a warm rapidly rotating half-wave plate on the Atacama B-Mode Search instrument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusaka, A; Essinger-Hileman, T; Appel, J W; Gallardo, P; Irwin, K D; Jarosik, N; Nolta, M R; Page, L A; Parker, L P; Raghunathan, S; Sievers, J L; Simon, S M; Staggs, S T; Visnjic, K

    2014-02-01

    We evaluate the modulation of cosmic microwave background polarization using a rapidly rotating, half-wave plate (HWP) on the Atacama B-Mode Search. After demodulating the time-ordered-data (TOD), we find a significant reduction of atmospheric fluctuations. The demodulated TOD is stable on time scales of 500-1000 s, corresponding to frequencies of 1-2 mHz. This facilitates recovery of cosmological information at large angular scales, which are typically available only from balloon-borne or satellite experiments. This technique also achieves a sensitive measurement of celestial polarization without differencing the TOD of paired detectors sensitive to two orthogonal linear polarizations. This is the first demonstration of the ability to remove atmospheric contamination at these levels from a ground-based platform using a rapidly rotating HWP.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree

    OpenAIRE

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-01-01

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecul...

  17. Desert Wadis and Smoke from Kuwait Oil Fires, Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    Smoke from the Kuwait Oil Fires obscures the view of the desert wadis, Saudi Arabia (29.5N, 42.5E). During the brief Gulf war between Iraq and the Allied forces, many of the oil wells in Kuwait were destroyed and set afire. For several months, those fires burned out of control, spewing smoke and ash for hundreds of miles in many directions depending on the altitude, time of year and the prevailing winds.

  18. The Mystery of the Gun Turret in the Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoffman, R. D. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2015-11-30

    The mystery of the gun turret in the desert began with an ingenious idea: to develop a reusable open-air line of sight diagnostic device to support LLNL’s early nuclear weapons development efforts. Obtained from the Mare Island Navy Shipyard (MINS) in January 1957, the gun turret traveled by ship to the Naval Construction Battalion base at Port Hueneme, California, and then by truck to Area 2 in the Yucca Flats valley at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site (NNSS).

  19. Ground-water quality and geochemistry, Carson Desert, western Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lico, Michael S.; Seiler, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    Aquifers in the Carson Desert are the primary source of drinking water, which is highly variable in chemical composition. In the shallow basin-fill aquifers, water chemistyr varies from a dilute calcium bicarbonate-dominated water beneath the irrigated areas to a saline sodium chloride- dominated water beneath unirrigated areas. Water samples from the shallow aquifers commonly have dissolved solids, chloride, magnesium, sulfate, arsenic, and manganese concentrations that exceed State of Nevada drinking-water standards. Water in the intermediante basin-fill aquifers is a dilute sodium bicarbonate type in the Fallon area and a distinctly more saline sodium chloride type in the Soda Lake-Upsal Hogback area. Dissolved solids, chloride, arsenic, fluoride, and manganese concen- trations commonly exceed drinking-water standards. The basalt aquifer contains a dilute sodium bicarbonate chloride water. Arsenic concentrations exceed standards in all sampled wells. The concen- trations of major constituents in ground water beneath the southern Carson Desert are the result of evapotranspiration and natural geochemical reactions with minerals derived mostly from igneous rocks. Water with higher concentrations of iron and manganese is near thermodynamic equilibrium with siderite and rhodochrosite and indicates that these elements may be limited by the solubility of their respective carbonate minerals. Naturally occurring radionuclides (uranium and radon-222) are present in ground water from the Carson Desert in concen- tratons higher than proposed drinking-water standards. High uranium concentrations in the shallow aquifers may be caused by evaporative concentration and the release of uranium during dissolution of iron and manganese oxides or the oxidation of sedimentary organic matter that typically has elevated uranium concentrations. Ground water in the Carson Desert does not appear to have be contaminated by synthetic organic chemicals.

  20. The evolution of deserts with climatic changes in China since 150 ka B.P.

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董光荣; 陈惠忠; 王贵勇; 李孝泽; 邵亚军; 金炯

    1997-01-01

    According to the bioclimatic zones, dune mobility and the fabric characteristics of stratigraphic sedimentary facies, the deserts in China are divided into Eastern, Western, Central and Northwestern deserts. Based on the records of stratigraphical facies, climatic proxies, historical data, etc. in each desert region, the evolution of deserts with climatic changes in time and space since 150 ka B. P. in China are dealt with; then the evolution of deserts in relation to the glacial climatic fluctuations caused by solar radiation changes, underlying surface variation and their feedback mechanism is discussed through comparison with global records; finally, in consideration of global wanning due to increasing of greenhouse gases such as CO2, the possible tendency of the evolution of deserts and the climatic changes is discussed.

  1. Plantation of desert and renewal of earth with small LMRs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio; Handa, Norihiko; Hashizume, Kenichi.

    1991-01-01

    Desertification is advancing at rapid rate on the earth. The technical development for preventing the desertification has been requested for advanced countries. Particularly in the southern hemisphere, the energy which can restore green in deserts and supply the electric power required for living is necessary. In this paper, the supply of electric power using the small fast reactors which are excellent in the safety and maintainability and the desalting plants required for tree planting in deserts, and further, the regeneration of the earth accompanying it, are discussed. By desertification, yearly 6 million ha of lands are devastated to unrecoverable extent, and those concentrate in the districts where yearly rainfall is little. In order to prevent desertification, it is necessary to stabilize surface soil by tree planting. Further, in order to prevent the deforestation for obtaining energy, the dual purpose plants for power generation and desalting are important. In this paper, the concept of obtaining water resources from sea, carrying out the desalting, supplying the water to the forefront of deserts and forming green belts there by using fast reactors is considered. The present status of desertification, the desalting of seawater by nuclear power, small fast reactors aiming at ultra-safety, the production of green, and the regeneration of the earth are described. (K.I.)

  2. Controls on the variability of net infiltration to desert sandstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilweil, Victor M.; McKinney, Tim S.; Zhdanov, Michael S.; Watt, Dennis E.

    2007-01-01

    As populations grow in arid climates and desert bedrock aquifers are increasingly targeted for future development, understanding and quantifying the spatial variability of net infiltration becomes critically important for accurately inventorying water resources and mapping contamination vulnerability. This paper presents a conceptual model of net infiltration to desert sandstone and then develops an empirical equation for its spatial quantification at the watershed scale using linear least squares inversion methods for evaluating controlling parameters (independent variables) based on estimated net infiltration rates (dependent variables). Net infiltration rates used for this regression analysis were calculated from environmental tracers in boreholes and more than 3000 linear meters of vadose zone excavations in an upland basin in southwestern Utah underlain by Navajo sandstone. Soil coarseness, distance to upgradient outcrop, and topographic slope were shown to be the primary physical parameters controlling the spatial variability of net infiltration. Although the method should be transferable to other desert sandstone settings for determining the relative spatial distribution of net infiltration, further study is needed to evaluate the effects of other potential parameters such as slope aspect, outcrop parameters, and climate on absolute net infiltration rates.

  3. Study of the microwave emissivity characteristics over Gobi Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yubao, Qiu; Lijuan, Shi; Wenbo, Wu

    2014-01-01

    The microwave emissivity represents the capacity of the thermal radiation of the surface, and it is the significant parameter for understanding the geophysical processes such as surface energy budget and surface radiation. Different land covers have different emissivity properties, and the Gobi Desert in Central Asia seriously impact the sandstorms occur and develop in China, because of its special geographical environment and surface soil characteristics. In this study half-month averaged microwave emissivity from March 2003 to February 2004 over the Gobi Desert has been estimated. Emissivities in this area at different frequencies, polarization and their seasonal variations are discussed respectively. The results showed that emissivity polarization difference decrease as the frequency increases, and the polarization difference is large (0.03–0.127). The H polarization emissivity increases with increasing frequency, but the V-polarized microwave emissivity is reduced with increasing frequency because of the body scattering. In winter, emissivity decreases sharply in snow covered area, especially for higher frequencies (such as 89GHz). In addition, we compared emissivity with MODIS NDVI data at the same time in the Gobi Desert, and the results indicate that NDVI derived the good negative correlation with microwave emissivity polarization difference at 37GHz

  4. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

    history back to c. 7,000 years calBP (6,000 years convBP) in this·extreme environment, which presents the coldest thermal regime where vascular plants can grow. The diagram shows that polar desert developed from sparse high arctic tundra at c. 4,300 years calBP (3,900 years convBP), owing...... to reduced summer heat. Also adjacent parts of high arctic Greenland, Canada and Svalbard suffered environmental decline, and polar deserts- presently restricted to a narrow fringe of land at the shores of the Arctic Ocean-were even more restricted before this time. Like other arctic vegetation types, polar...... desert is highly sensitive to summer temperatures, and its southern limit coincides with the isotherm for mean July temperatures of 3.5'C, A comparison with the Northwest European ice-age pollen record shows no evidence of summers as cold as those now prevailing in the extreme north, and the results...

  5. Microbial communities in a High Arctic polar desert landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare M McCann

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The High Arctic is dominated by polar desert habitats whose microbial communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used next generation sequencing to describe the α- and β-diversity of polar desert soils from the Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard. Ten phyla consistently dominated the soils and accounted for 95 % of all sequences, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi being the dominant lineages. In contrast to previous investigations of Arctic soils, Acidobacterial relative abundances were low as were the Archaea throughout the Kongsfjorden polar desert landscape. Lower Acidobacterial abundances were attributed to the circumneutral soil pH in this region which has resulted from the weathering of the underlying carbonate geology. In addition, we correlated previously measured geochemical variables to determine potential controls on the communities. Soil phosphorus, pH, nitrogen and calcium significantly correlated with β-diversity indicating a landscape scale lithological control of soil nutrients which in turn influenced community composition. In addition, soil phosphorus and pH significantly correlated with α- diversity, specifically the Shannon diversity and Chao 1 richness indices.

  6. Water/Pasture Assessment of Registan Desert (Kandahar and Helmand Provinces)

    OpenAIRE

    Toderich, Kristina; Tsukatani, Tsuneo

    2005-01-01

    The desolate desert in Afghanistan's Kandahar and Helmand Provinces was previously populated by thousands of pastoralists until a devastating drought decimated animal herds and forced them to live as IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) on land bordering the desert. Through funding from UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan), this report assesses conditions in the Registan Desert and border regions to devise solutions to the problems facing Registan Kuchi nomads. A work plan ...

  7. Observation of water and heat fluxes in the Badain Jaran desert, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, T.; Wen, J.; Su, Z.; Tian, H.; Zeng, Y.

    Badain Jaran Desert lie in the northwest of the Alashan plateau in western Inner Mongolia of China, between39o20'N to 41o30'N and 100oE to 104oE. It is the 4th largest desert in the world and the second largest desert in China, with an area of 49000 square kilometers and an altitude between 900 and

  8. Mapping of Grocery Stores in Slovak Countryside in Context of Food Deserts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristína Bilková

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper is focused on mapping grocery stores in the Slovak countryside with an emphasis on identifying potential food deserts in rural areas. Grocery stores are analyzed in the time period 2001–2011. Food deserts in rural areas are identified by two accessibility measures. The results show the development of food retailing in the Slovak countryside and in potentially threatened localities which can be defined as food deserts.

  9. Epifluorescent direct counts of bacteria and viruses from topsoil of various desert dust storm regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Martin, Cristina; Teigell-Perez, Nuria; Lyles, Mark; Valladares, Basilio; Griffin, Dale W.

    2013-01-01

    Topsoil from arid regions is the main source of dust clouds that move through the earth's atmosphere, and microbial communities within these soils can survive long-range dispersion. Microbial abundance and chemical composition were analyzed in topsoil from various desert regions. Statistical analyses showed that microbial direct counts were strongly positively correlated with calcium concentrations and negatively correlated with silicon concentrations. While variance between deserts was expected, it was interesting to note differences between sample sites within a given desert region, illustrating the 'patchy' nature of microbial communities in desert environments.

  10. diurnal and seasonal water relations of the desert phreatophyte prosopis-glandulosa (honey mesquite) in the Sonoran Desert of California

    OpenAIRE

    Nilsen, E. T.; Sharifi, M. R.; Rundel, P. W.; Jarrell, W. M.; Virginia, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    Diurnal and Seasonal water relations were monitored in a population of Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana in the Sonoran Desert of southern California. Prosopis glandulosa at this research site acquired its water from a ground water source 4-6 m deep. Measurements of diurnal and seasonal cycles of aboveground environmental conditions, soil moisture, and soil water potential (to 6 m depth) were taken to ascertain environmental water availability and water stress. Leaf water potential, leaf con...

  11. Medicinal flora of the Cholistan desert: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hmeed, M.; Ashraf, M.; Nawaz, T.; Naz, N.; Ahmad, M.S.A.; Al-Quriany, F.; Younis, A.

    2011-01-01

    The Cholistan desert can be divided into two distinct regions on the basis of topography, soil type and texture, and vegetation structure: the northern Lesser Cholistan and southern Greater Cholistan. The desert is characterized by large saline compacted areas with alluvial clay, sandy ridges and dunes, and semi-stabilized to frequently shifting dunes. The climate is subtropical, harsh, hot and arid, and influenced by seasonal monsoons. Vegetation cover on the sand dunes is comprised by a few tussock-forming grasses including Cenchrus ciliaris, Panicum turgidum and Lasiurus scindicus, along with perennial shrubs Calligonum polygonoides, Leptadenia pyrotechnica and Aerva javanica. Interdunal flats are dominated by grasses, mainly Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Sporobolus ioclados, Panicum antidotale, and Ochthochloa compressa, and tall shrubs Calligonum polygonoides and Capparis decidua. Vegetation of saline patches is specific, dominated by halophytes mainly belonging to family Chenopodiaceae (Amaranthaceae). Many plants of the Cholistan desert, including Neurada procumbens, Aerva javanica, Capparis decidua, Cleome brachycarpa, Dipterygium glaucum, Gisekia pharnacioides, Suaeda fruticosa, Achyranthes aspera, Aerva javanica, Alhagi maurorum, Calotropis procera, Capparis decidua, Zaleya pentandra, Mollugo cerviana, Ziziphus mauritiana, Boerhavia procumbens, Cressa cretica and Crotalaria burhia, are frequently used by the local inhabitants to cure chronic and acute diseases. A variety of medicinally important chemical compounds have been extracted and identified from the plants of the Cholistan desert, including terpenes and triterpenoids, sterols and steroids, phenolics, flavonoids, gums and resins, quinones, anthocyanidines, saponins, antioxidants and fatty acids. Habitat degradation, intensive agricultural practices and over exploitation of resources pose a serious threat to the diversity of ethno botanically important plant species. Allopathic medicines are generally

  12. Strategic sustainable development of groundwater in Thar desert of Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaigham, N.A.

    2002-01-01

    Thar Desert forms the extreme southeastern part of Pakistan, covering about 50,000 km/sup 2/ area. It is one of the densely populated deserts of the world. Population of Thar is living primarily on limited agricultural products and by raising goats, sheep, cattle, and camels. The region is characterized by parallel chains of the NE-SW trending parabolic stable sanddunes having desertic varieties of vegetation, generally on windward sides, up to the crests. Interdunal areas are favourable for agricultural activities, where crops are mainly dependent on rainwater. Average rainfall is significant but inconsistent, due to recurrent drought-cycles causing inverse impact on food-production and socio-economic development. In spite of extensive groundwater- exploration projects, accomplished by a number of organizations, the water-crisis of the region could not be controlled, most probably due to lack of systematic exploration and development of deep groundwater potential. Management of the available water- resources is also not adequate, even to sustain a short period of drought-cycle. On recurrence of a drought-cycle, a significant section of the population is compelled to migrate towards other parts of the Sindh province, which affects their socio-economic stability. An integrated research study, based on geo-electric scanning, drilling and seismic-data analyses, has been carried out to delineate subsurface hydro-geological conditions beneath the Thar Desert. Regional gradient maps of surface elevation, top of subsurface Oxidized Zone, top of coal-bearing formation(s) and the deeply buried basement have been prepared, covering almost the whole of That Desert. These gradient maps, analyzed in conjunction with the annual rainfall data, reveal the existence of encouraging subsurface hydrogeological conditions, associated with the sedimentary sequences and the basement. From the results of the study, it is observed that perch water aquifers, commonly being utilized

  13. Fire Impacts on the Mojave Desert Ecosystem: Literature Review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fenstermaker Lynn

    2012-01-01

    The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) is located within the Mojave Desert, which is the driest region in North America. Precipitation on the NNSS varies from an annual average of 130 millimeters (mm; 5.1 inches) with a minimum of 47 mm (1.9 inches) and maximum of 328 mm (12.9 inches) over the past 15 year period to an annual average of 205 mm (8.1 inches) with an annual minimum of 89 mm (3.5 inches) and maximum of 391 mm (15.4 inches) for the same time period; for a Frenchman Flat location at 970 meters (m; 3182 feet) and a Pahute Mesa location at 1986 m (6516 feet), respectively. The combination of aridity and temperature extremes has resulted in sparsely vegetated basins (desert shrub plant communities) to moderately vegetated mountains (mixed coniferous forest plant communities); both plant density and precipitation increase with increasing elevation. Whereas some plant communities have evolved under fire regimes and are dependent upon fire for seed germination, plant communities within the Mojave Desert are not dependent on a fire regime and therefore are highly impacted by fire (Brown and Minnich, 1986; Brooks, 1999). As noted by Johansen (2003) natural range fires are not prevalent in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts because there is not enough vegetation present (too many shrub interspaces) to sustain a fire. Fire research and hence publications addressing fires in the Southwestern United States (U.S.) have therefore focused on forest, shrub-steppe and grassland fires caused by both natural and anthropogenic ignition sources. In the last few decades, however, invasion of mid-elevation shrublands by non-native Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and Bromus tectorum (Hunter, 1991) have been highly correlated with increased fire frequency (Brooks and Berry, 2006; Brooks and Matchett, 2006). Coupled with the impact of climate change, which has already been shown to be playing a role in increased forest fires (Westerling et al., 2006), it is likely that the fire

  14. Gulf Coast Clean Energy Application Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dillingham, Gavin [Houston Advanced Research Center, TX (United States)

    2013-09-30

    The Gulf Coast Clean Energy Application Center was initiated to significantly improve market and regulatory conditions for the implementation of combined heat and power technologies. The GC CEAC was responsible for the development of CHP in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Through this program we employed a variety of outreach and education techniques, developed and deployed assessment tools and conducted market assessments. These efforts resulted in the growth of the combined heat and power market in the Gulf Coast region with a realization of more efficient energy generation, reduced emissions and a more resilient infrastructure. Specific t research, we did not formally investigate any techniques with any formal research design or methodology.

  15. Project Coast: eugenics in apartheid South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Jerome Amir

    2008-03-01

    It is a decade since the exposure of Project Coast, apartheid South Africa's covert chemical and biological warfare program. In that time, attention has been focused on several aspects of the program, particularly the production of narcotics and poisons for use against anti-apartheid activists and the proliferation of both chemical and biological weapons. The eugenic dimension of Project Coast has, by contrast, received scant attention. It is time to revisit the testimony that brought the suggestion of eugenic motives to light, reflect on some of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's findings and search for lessons that can be taken from this troubled chapter in South Africa's history.

  16. Seasonal cycle of desert aerosols in western Africa: analysis of the coastal transition with passive and active sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Senghor

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The impact of desert aerosols on climate, atmospheric processes, and the environment is still debated in the scientific community. The extent of their influence remains to be determined and particularly requires a better understanding of the variability of their distribution. In this work, we studied the variability of these aerosols in western Africa using different types of satellite observations. SeaWiFS (Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor and OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument data have been used to characterize the spatial distribution of mineral aerosols from their optical and physical properties over the period 2005–2010. In particular, we focused on the variability of the transition between continental western African and the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Data provided by the lidar scrolling CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization onboard the satellite CALIPSO (Cloud Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations for the period 2007–2013 were then used to assess the seasonal variability of the vertical distribution of desert aerosols. We first obtained a good representation of aerosol optical depth (AOD and single-scattering albedo (SSA from the satellites SeaWiFS and OMI, respectively, in comparison with AERONET estimates, both above the continent and the ocean. Dust occurrence frequency is higher in spring and boreal summer. In spring, the highest occurrences are located between the surface and 3 km above sea level, while in summer the highest occurrences are between 2 and 5 km altitude. The vertical distribution given by CALIOP also highlights an abrupt change at the coast from spring to fall with a layer of desert aerosols confined in an atmospheric layer uplifted from the surface of the ocean. This uplift of the aerosol layer above the ocean contrasts with the winter season during which mineral aerosols are confined in the atmospheric boundary layer. Radiosondes at Dakar Weather Station (17.5

  17. Potential for deserts to supply reliable renewable electric power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labordena, Mercè; Lilliestam, Johan

    2015-04-01

    To avoid dangerous climate change, the electricity systems must be decarbonized by mid-century. The world has sufficient renewable electricity resources for complete power sector decarbonization, but an expansion of renewables poses several challenges for the electricity systems. First, wind and solar PV power are intermittent and supply-controlled, making it difficult to securely integrate this fluctuating generation into the power systems. Consequently, power sources that are both renewable and dispatchable, such as biomass, hydro and concentrating solar power (CSP), are particularly important. Second, renewable power has a low power density and needs vast areas of land, which is problematic both due to cost reasons and due to land-use conflicts, in particular with agriculture. Renewable and dispatchable technologies that can be built in sparsely inhabited regions or on land with low competition with agriculture would therefore be especially valuable; this land-use competition greatly limits the potential for hydro and biomass electricity. Deserts, however, are precisely such low-competition land, and are at the same time the most suited places for CSP generation, but this option would necessitate long transmission lines from remote places in the deserts to the demand centers such as big cities. We therefore study the potential for fleets of CSP plants in the large deserts of the world to produce reliable and reasonable-cost renewable electricity for regions with high and/or rapidly increasing electricity demand and with a desert within or close to its borders. The regions in focus here are the European Union, North Africa and the Middle East, China and Australia. We conduct the analysis in three steps. First, we identify the best solar generation areas in the selected deserts using geographic information systems (GIS), and applying restrictions to minimize impact on biodiversity, soils, human heath, and land-use and land-cover change. Second, we identify

  18. Application of multivariate statistical analyses in the interpretation of geochemical behaviour of uranium in phosphatic rocks in the Red Sea, Nile Valley and Western Desert, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Arabi, A.M.Abd El-Gabar M.; Khalifa, Ibrahim H.

    2002-01-01

    Factor and cluster analyses as well as the Pearson correlation coefficient have been applied to geochemical data obtained from phosphorite and phosphatic rocks of Duwi Formation exposed at the Red Sea coast, Nile Valley and Western Desert. Sixty-six samples from a total of 71 collected samples were analysed for SiO 2 , TiO 2 , Al 2 O 3 , Fe 2 O 3 , CaO, MgO, Na 2 O, K 2 O, P 2 O 5 , Sr, U and Pb by XRF and their mineral constituents were determined by the use of XRD techniques. In addition, the natural radioactivity of the phosphatic samples due to their uranium, thorium and potassium contents was measured by gamma-spectrometry.The uranium content in the phosphate rocks with P 2 O 5 >15% (average of 106.6 ppm) is higher than in rocks with P 2 O 5 2 O 5 and CaO, whereas it is not related to changes in SiO 2 , TiO 2 , Al 2 O 3 , Fe 2 O 3 , MgO, Na 2 O and K 2 O concentrations.Factor analysis and the Pearson correlation coefficient revealed that uranium behaves geochemically in different ways in the phosphatic sediments and phosphorites in the Red Sea, Nile Valley and Western Desert. In the Red Sea and Western Desert phosphorites, uranium occurs mainly in oxidized U 6+ state where it seems to be fixed by the phosphate ion, forming secondary uranium phosphate minerals such as phosphuranylite.In the Nile Valley phosphorites, ionic substitution of Ca 2+ by U 4+ is the main controlling factor in the concentration of uranium in phosphate rocks. Moreover, fixation of U 6+ by phosphate ion and adsorption of uranium on phosphate minerals play subordinate roles

  19. Dynamics and controls of urban heat sink and island phenomena in a desert city: Development of a local climate zone scheme using remotely-sensed inputs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nassar, Ahmed K.; Blackburn, G. Alan; Whyatt, J. Duncan

    2016-09-01

    This study aims to determine the dynamics and controls of Surface Urban Heat Sinks (SUHS) and Surface Urban Heat Islands (SUHI) in desert cities, using Dubai as a case study. A Local Climate Zone (LCZ) schema was developed to subdivide the city into different zones based on similarities in land cover and urban geometry. Proximity to the Gulf Coast was also determined for each LCZ. The LCZs were then used to sample seasonal and daily imagery from the MODIS thermal sensor to determine Land Surface Temperature (LST) variations relative to desert sand. Canonical correlation techniques were then applied to determine which factors explained the variability between urban and desert LST. Our results indicate that the daytime SUHS effect is greatest during the summer months (typically ∼3.0 °C) with the strongest cooling effects in open high-rise zones of the city. In contrast, the night-time SUHI effect is greatest during the winter months (typically ∼3.5 °C) with the strongest warming effects in compact mid-rise zones of the city. Proximity to the Arabian Gulf had the largest influence on both SUHS and SUHI phenomena, promoting daytime cooling in the summer months and night-time warming in the winter months. However, other parameters associated with the urban environment such as building height had an influence on daytime cooling, with larger buildings promoting shade and variations in airflow. Likewise, other parameters such as sky view factor contributed to night-time warming, with higher temperatures associated with limited views of the sky.

  20. Alternative Fuels Data Center: Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Boom Coast to

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coast Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Boom Coast to Coast to someone by E-mail Share Alternative Fuels Data Center: Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Boom Coast to Coast on Facebook Tweet about Alternative Fuels Data Center: Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Boom Coast to Coast on Twitter Bookmark Alternative

  1. Submarine canyons off the Coromandel coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Varadachari, V.V.R.; Nair, R.R.; Murty, P.S.N.

    During the 26th Cruise of I.N.S. `KISTNA', a bathymetric survey was carried out in some detail off the Pondicherry coast. This survey has revealed the existence of three sets of distinctly separate canyons between Cuddalore and Palar River...

  2. Synthetic tsunamis along the Israeli coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobias, Joshua; Stiassnie, Michael

    2012-04-13

    The new mathematical model for tsunami evolution by Tobias & Stiassnie (Tobias & Stiassnie 2011 J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 116, C06026) is used to derive a synthetic tsunami database for the southern part of the Eastern Mediterranean coast. Information about coastal tsunami amplitudes, half-periods, currents and inundation levels is presented.

  3. The Kenya Coast in national perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meilink, H.A.; Hoorweg, J.; Foeken, D.W.J.; Obudho, R.A.

    2000-01-01

    This chapter provides a concise review of the process of regional development and the concomitant growing regional inequalities in Kenya. By focusing on Coast Province, it aims to verify statements which stress that the province has gradually moved to a marginal position in Kenyan society. Examining

  4. Coast redwood live crown and sapwood

    Science.gov (United States)

    John-Pascal Berrill; Jesse L. Deffress; Jessica M. Engle

    2012-01-01

    Understanding crown rise and sapwood taper will help meet management objectives such as producing long branch-free boles for clear wood and old-growth restoration, or producing sawlogs with a high proportion of heartwood. Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) tree crown ratio data were collected 20 years after partial harvesting in a 65-year-old second growth stand....

  5. Tritium water as a marker for the measurement of body water turnover rates in desert livestock, rodent and bird species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, M.S.; Ghosh, P.K.; Bohra, R.C.

    1990-01-01

    Tritiated water has been used for estimating body water turnover rates (BWTRs) in desert livestock, rodent and birds. BWTRs in relation to adaption of these animal species to desert environment have been discussed. (author). 5 refs., 2 tabs

  6. US Coast Guard Stations in Louisiana, Geographic NAD83, USCG [coast_guard_stations_USCG_1997

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This is is a point dataset for the locations and attributes of eight US Coast Guard stations in Louisiana. The attributes include name, address, latitude (NAD27),...

  7. Subtidal benthic macrofauna of the Mangalore Coast, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Gopalakrishnan, T.C.; Nair, K.K.C.

    Subtidal macrobenthic fauna from the Mangalore Coast was studied from the shelf areas between the old Mangalore Port and Suratkal, covering an area of approximately 40 km sup(2). Benthic bivalves were the most abundant group, (36160/m sup(2...

  8. West Coast DA Event data - West Coast Toxic Pseudo-nitzschia bloom

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Beginning in the spring of 2015 the US West Coast began to experience the most wide-spread toxic Pseudo-nitzschia bloom to date, after approximately eight years...

  9. 75 FR 24482 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2010 Management Measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-05

    ... West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI) troll and sport fishery and 15 percent in Alaska's Southeast Alaska... Chinook recreational TAC for north of Cape Falcon (C.5). --Cape Alava to Queets River (La Push Subarea...

  10. 78 FR 3848 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-17

    ... Rationalization Program; Emergency Rule Extension AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... Coast Groundfish Fishery Trawl Rationalization Program (program) regulations. This emergency rule... trawl rationalization program. Background on this rule was provided in the proposed rule, published on...

  11. California coast sablefish - Reproductive Life History Analysis of Sablefish Populations off the Washington and California Coasts

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) have a wide distribution along the Pacific coast, extending from Baja California to Alaska, the Bering Sea and through to the eastern...

  12. Studies on sediment transport along Kerala Coast, south west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sajeev, R.; Chandramohan, P.; Josanto, V.; Sanakaranarayanan, V.N.

    Longshore sediment transport characteristics of the Kerala Coast have been examined to delineate various physical processes affecting the different coastal environments. Monthly averages of the daily LEO (Littoral Environmental Observation) data...

  13. Marine archaeological investigations along the Saurashtra coast, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Gaur, A.S.; Sundaresh; Tripati, S.

    Utilization of the ocean resources on the Saurashtra coast is dating back to the Harappan period (3rd millennium BC) and evidences on the same have been recorded from various archaeological sites such as Lothal, Padri, Nageshwar and Bet Dwarka...

  14. Washington coast sablefish - Reproductive Life History Analysis of Sablefish Populations off the Washington and California Coasts

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) have a wide distribution along the Pacific coast, extending from Baja California to Alaska, the Bering Sea and through to the eastern...

  15. Tsunami impacts on morphology of beaches along south Kerala coast, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rasheed, K.A.A.; Das, V.K.; Revichandran, C.; Vijayan, P.R.; Thottam, T.J.

    TSUNAMI IMPACTS ON MORPHOLOGY OF BEACHES ALONG SOUTH KERALA COAST, WEST COAST OF INDIA K. A. Abdul Rasheed *, V. Kesava Das, C. Revichandran, P. R. Vijayan and Tony. J. Thottam National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Regional Centre (RC... large waves of height 11 to 11.5m in Kutch region (Pendse 1945). Most of the tsunamis are generated by the earthquake-initiated seabed displacements. Landslides (including underwater landslides), volcanic eruptions, impact of large objects (such...

  16. Heavy mineral occurrence off Hazira, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vora, K.H.; Mislankar, P.G.; Gujar, A.R.

    The occurrence of heavy mineral placers on the west coast of India are well known from Konkan and Malabar Coast. However, a geological and geophysical investigation (including echosounding and side scan sonar profiles and 7 samples) off Hazira...

  17. Occurrence of Porphyra vietnamensis (Bangiales, Rhodophyta) along the Goa coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Dhargalkar, V.K.; Agadi, V.V.; Untawale, A.G.

    The occurrence of a red alga, Porphyra vietnamensis has been studied along the Goa Coast (west coast of India). The growth period was observed during the monsoon (July-October) and optimum growth was recorded during August, when temperature...

  18. Benthic fauna of southwest and southeast coasts of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Devi, K.S.; Sheba, P.; Balasubramanian; Venugopal, P.; Sankaranarayanan, V.N.

    Benthos, sediments characteristics and organic matter content were studied along southwest and southeast coasts of India. Number of groups/species varied with the stations and also with the depths. Population density was very low in southeast coast...

  19. 75 FR 53667 - Space Coast Regional Innovation Cluster Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-01

    ... Coast Regional Innovation Cluster Competition AGENCY: Economic Development Administration (EDA... upcoming availability of funding for the Space Coast Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC) Competition under... economic development initiatives aligned with regional cluster and competitiveness analyses to sustain the...

  20. Sympatric cattle grazing and desert bighorn sheep foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Kyle R.; Cain, James W.; Rominger, Eric M.; Goldstein, Elise J.

    2015-01-01

    Foraging behavior affects animal fitness and is largely dictated by the resources available to an animal. Understanding factors that affect forage resources is important for conservation and management of wildlife. Cattle sympatry is proposed to limit desert bighorn population performance, but few studies have quantified the effect of cattle foraging on bighorn forage resources or foraging behavior by desert bighorn. We estimated forage biomass for desert bighorn sheep in 2 mountain ranges: the cattle-grazed Caballo Mountains and the ungrazed San Andres Mountains, New Mexico. We recorded foraging bout efficiency of adult females by recording feeding time/step while foraging, and activity budgets of 3 age-sex classes (i.e., adult males, adult females, yearlings). We also estimated forage biomass at sites where bighorn were observed foraging. We expected lower forage biomass in the cattle-grazed Caballo range than in the ungrazed San Andres range and lower biomass at cattle-accessible versus inaccessible areas within the Caballo range. We predicted bighorn would be less efficient foragers in the Caballo range. Groundcover forage biomass was low in both ranges throughout the study (Jun 2012–Nov 2013). Browse biomass, however, was 4.7 times lower in the Caballo range versus the San Andres range. Bighorn in the Caballo range exhibited greater overall daily travel time, presumably to locate areas of higher forage abundance. By selecting areas with greater forage abundance, adult females in the Caballo range exhibited foraging bout efficiency similar to their San Andres counterparts but lower overall daily browsing time. We did not find a significant reduction in forage biomass at cattle-accessible areas in the Caballo range. Only the most rugged areas in the Caballo range had abundant forage, potentially a result of intensive historical livestock use in less rugged areas. Forage conditions in the Caballo range apparently force bighorn to increase foraging effort by