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Sample records for atacama desert coast

  1. Geographical variation in the use of intertidal rocky shores by the lizard Microlophus atacamensis in relation to changes in terrestrial productivity along the Atacama Desert coast.

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    Farina, J M; Sepulveda, M; Reyna, M V; Wallem, K P; Ossa-Zazzali, P G

    2008-05-01

    1. The movement of materials and organisms between ecosystems is a common process in nature. 2. In the present study we investigate the hypothesis that the movement of consumers between ecosystems depends not only on the differences in productivity between ecosystems and prey availability, but also on these animals' biological characteristics. 3. To address this hypothesis we investigated the changes in abundance, habitat utilization and diet of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along its geographical range on the coast of the Atacama Desert. Within this range, intertidal rocky shore communities do not show important variations in their species composition and abundance, but terrestrial communities show a steep gradient of productivity associated with the increase in rainfall from north to south. 4. Our results show that the use of intertidal habitats and the consumption of intertidal prey by M. atacamensis change within its geographical range: in the North, the species uses intertidal areas and behaves as an herbivore consuming mostly algae, whereas in the South it expends most of the time in terrestrial habitats as a carnivore mainly of arthropods. 5. Our study gives new evidence for cross-ecosystem connections created by consumer movement between habitats of contrasting but variable productivity levels.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Investigation of Life in the Atacama Desert by Astrobiology Rover

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    Wettergreen, D.; Cabrol, N.

    2005-12-01

    The Atacama Desert is the most arid region on Earth and in several ways analogous to Mars. It has been suggested that the interior of the desert is the most lifeless place on Earth, yet it is known that microorganisms exist on rocks and in soils where the desert meets the coastal range. The Life in the Atacama (LITA) project is investigating the distribution and diversity of life and habitats in the desert using an rover guided by a remote science team. The Atacama Desert presents an excellent analogue to Mars because it is extremely dry, but also, like Mars it experiences high levels of ultraviolet radiation due to its altitude and atmospheric transparency. The soils in the Atacama have been found to be particularly high in oxidants, which lead to the rapid breakdown of organic material. The result is that in some regions of desert almost no biogenic material can be found on the surface. To the benefit of analogue studies for Mars exploration, the desert visually resembles Mars as seen through rover cameras. For these reasons: aridity, ultraviolet radiation and soil composition we believe the Atacama is analogous to Mars and an excellent location for rover field experiments. To support our astrobiologic investigation, we have created a mobile robot, Zo, that makes the measurement of the distribution and diversity of microorganisms possible. Mobility is crucial as habitats are hypothesized to depend on locally variable conditions including moisture, solar flux, and rock/soil composition. The ability to traverse tens to hundreds of kilometers while deploying sensors is a fundamental requirement because only by visiting many sites will the few in which organisms exist be found. Many observations provide the basis for statistically valid analysis of distribution. Zo's instrument payload combines complementary elements, some directed towards remote sensing of the environment (geology, morphology, mineralogy, climate) for the detection of conditions favorable to

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

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    A. Westbeld

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Prosopis tamarugo Phil.: a native tree from the Atacama Desert groundwater table depth thresholds for conservation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Calderon, Gabriela; Garrido, Marco; Acevedo, Edmundo

    2015-01-01

    Prosopis tamarugo Phil. is a legume tree native to the Atacama Desert, Chile. Tamarugo has physiological characteristics that are highly adapted to extreme life conditions in the Pampa del Tamarugal...

  12. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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...

  14. Microbiology of hyper-arid environments: recent insights from the Atacama Desert, Chile.

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    Bull, Alan T; Asenjo, Juan A

    2013-06-01

    Interests in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile until very recently were founded on its mineral resources, notably nitrate, copper, lithium and boron. Now this vast desert, the oldest and most arid on Earth, is revealing a microbial diversity that was unimagined even a decade or so ago; indeed the extreme hyper-arid core of the Desert was considered previously to be completely devoid of life. In this Perspective article we highlight pioneering research that, to the contrary, establishes the Atacama as a combination of rich microbial habitats including bacteria that influence biogeochemical transformations in the desert and others that are propitious sources of novel natural products. Many of the Atacama's habitats are especially rich in actinobacteria, not necessarily as dense populations but extensive in taxonomic diversity and capacities to synthesize novel secondary metabolites. Among the latter, compounds have been characterized that express a range of antibiotic, anti-cancer and anti- inflammatory properties to which a variety of bioinformatics and metabolic engineering tools are being applied in order to enhance potencies and productivities. Unquestionably the Atacama Desert is a living desert with regard to which future microbiology and biotechnology research presents exciting opportunities.

  15. Distribution of Hopanoids and Steroids Along a Precipitation Gradient of the Atacama Desert, Chile

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    Iñiguez, Enrique; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Chris

    The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is one of the oldest and dries regions on the planet that extends across 1000 km from 20° S to 30° S along the Pacific coast of South America. In recent years this area has received more attention by the astrobiology community after the discovery of Mars-like soils in the Yungay area, the hyperarid coreof the Atacama Desert (Navarro-Gonźlez, a et al., 2003). In this area, the levels of organics in the soil are undetectable by Pyr-GC-MS using the Viking temperature protocol (200-500o C) but detectable at higher temperatures (750o C). In addition the levels of culturable bacteria are extremely low and there is no recoverable DNA in the soil. Furthermore there is the presence of non-chirally specific oxidants in the soil (Navarro-Gonźlez, et al., 2003). The levels of organics and culturable bacteria increase a with precipitation a long a moisture gradient from the driest parts (24° S) to the less arid zones (28° S) along a transect at about 70° W. NMR spectroscopic analyses of extracted organic matter from the Yungay region indicate the presence of different organic fuctional groups like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, cyclic aliphatic chains, and different carboxylic and amino groups (Ĩiguez E. et al., 2005) which are not detectable by Pyr-GC-MS at 750o C. Recently n we have re-examined surface soil samples (first 5 cm layer) from this precipitation gradient in the search for organic biomarkers that would reveal the limits of life for prokaryotic as well as for eukaryotic cells under desiccation. The organics from the Atacama soil have been extracted by a reflux solution of methanol/dichloromethane (1:2) (Soxhlet extraction) for 48 hrs, then they were concentrated by evaporation using a nitrogen flux, and finally chemically derivatized using N-tert butyldimethylsilyl-N-methyltrifluoroacetamide in dimethylformamide or tetramethylamonium hydroxide at 25 Navarro-Gonźlez, R., et al., 2003, Science 302, 1018-1021 Ĩiguez E

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

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    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.

  17. Biodiversity of soil cyanobacteria in the hyper-arid Atacama Desert, Chile.

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    Patzelt, Dominik J; Hodač, Ladislav; Friedl, Thomas; Pietrasiak, Nicole; Johansen, Jeffrey R

    2014-08-01

    The cyanobacterial diversity of soils of the Atacama Desert (Chile) was investigated using 16S rRNA gene cloning/sequencing directly from soil samples and 16S rRNA gene sequencing from unialgal cultures. Within the hyper-arid Atacama Desert, one of the driest parts of the world, 10 sites with differing altitude and distance to the shore were sampled along a total air-line distance (from south to north) of ~1,100 km. Filamentous cyanobacteria belonging to Nostocophycideae and Synechococcophycideae were present. Oscillatoriophycideae exhibited the highest species richness among the subclasses of cyanobacteria, and included mostly filamentous species along with some coccoids (e.g., Chroococcidiopsis). Thirty species-level phylotypes could be recognized using a cut-off of 99% 16S rRNA sequence similarity within the 22 genera defined at 97% 16S rRNA sequence similarity. Eight of the 30 taxa could be detected by both clonal and culture sequences. Five taxa were observed only in cultures, whereas the cloning approach revealed 17 additional taxa, which might be in the collection but unsequenced, hard-to-cultivate, or entirely unculturable species using standard cultivation media. The Atacama Desert soils have a high diversity of phylotypes, among which are likely both new genera and new species awaiting characterization and description. © 2014 Phycological Society of America.

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

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    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.

  19. Extreme environments as potential drivers of convergent evolution by exaptation: the Atacama Desert Coastal Range case.

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    Armando eAzua-Bustos

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We have recently discovered a variety of unrelated phototrophic microorganisms (two microalgae and one cyanobacteria in specialized terrestrial habitats at The Coastal Range of the Atacama Desert. Interestingly, morphological and molecular evidence suggest that these three species are all recent colonists that came from aquatic habitats. The first case is Cyanidiales inhabiting coastal caves. Cyanidiales are microalgae that are commonly found in warm acid springs, but have also been recently discovered as cave flora in Italy. The case is Dunaliella biofilms colonizing spider webs in coastal caves; Dunaliella are microalgae typically found in hypersaline habitats. The third case is Chroococcidiopsis, a genus of Cyanobacteria commonly found in deserts around the world that has also been described in warm springs. Thus, we show that the traits found in the closest ancestors of the aforementioned species (which inhabited other unrelated extreme environments seem to be now useful for the described species in their current subaerial habitats, and may likely correspond to cases of exaptations. Altogether, the Coastal Range of the Atacama Desert may be considered as a place where key steps on the colonization of land by phototrophic organisms seem to be being repeated by convergent evolution of extant microalgae and Cyanobacteria.

  20. Actinobacterial Rare Biospheres and Dark Matter Revealed in Habitats of the Chilean Atacama Desert.

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    Idris, Hamidah; Goodfellow, Michael; Sanderson, Roy; Asenjo, Juan A; Bull, Alan T

    2017-08-21

    The Atacama Desert is the most extreme non-polar biome on Earth, the core region of which is considered to represent the dry limit for life and to be an analogue for Martian soils. This study focused on actinobacteria because they are keystone species in terrestrial ecosystems and are acknowledged as an unrivalled source of bioactive compounds. Metagenomic analyses of hyper-arid and extreme hyper-arid soils in this desert revealed a remarkable degree of actinobacterial 'dark matter', evidenced by a detected increase of 34% in families against those that are validly published. Rank-abundance analyses indicated that these soils were high-diversity habitats and that the great majority of designated 'rare' genera (up to 60% of all phylotypes) were always rare. These studies have enabled a core actinobacterial microbiome common to both habitats to be defined. The great majority of detected taxa have not been recovered by culture dependent methods, neither, with very few exceptions, has their functional ecology been explored. A microbial seed bank of this magnitude has significance not just for Atacama soil ecosystem resilience but represents an enormous untapped resource for biotechnology discovery programmes in an era where resistance to existing antibiotics is rapidly becoming a major threat to global health.

  1. Surface vitrification caused by natural fires in Late Pleistocene wetlands of the Atacama Desert

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    Roperch, Pierrick; Gattacceca, Jérôme; Valenzuela, Millarca; Devouard, Bertrand; Lorand, Jean-Pierre; Arriagada, Cesar; Rochette, Pierre; Latorre, Claudio; Beck, Pierre

    2017-07-01

    We describe extended occurrences of unusual silicate glass surface layers from the Atacama Desert (Chile). These glasses, found near the town of Pica at four localities separated by up to 70 km, are neither fulgurites, nor volcanic glasses, nor metallurgical slags related to anthropic activity, but show close similarities to other glasses that have been previously attributed to large airbursts created by meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere. The glasses are restricted to specific Late Pleistocene terrains: paleo-wetlands and soils rich in organic matter with SiO2-rich plant remains, salts and carbonates. 14C dating and paleomagnetic data indicate that the glasses were formed during at least two distinct periods. This rules out the hypothesis of a single large airburst as the cause of surface melting. Instead, burning of organic-rich soils in dried-out grassy wetlands during climate oscillations between wet and dry periods can account for the formation of the Pica glasses. Large oases did indeed form in the hyperarid Atacama Desert due to elevated groundwater tables and increased surface discharge during the Central Andean Pluvial Event (roughly coeval with the Mystery interval and Younger Dryas). Finally, we discuss the implications of our results for the other surface glasses previously attributed to extraterrestrial events.

  2. Contrasting Imaginaries: The Atacama Desert Perceived from the Region and Observed from the Nation

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    González Pizarro, José Antonio

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The author draws on Cornelius Castoriadis’ categories to examine the social imaginaries on the Atacama Desert from the 16th to the 20th centuries. He emphasizes the manner in which different imaginaries came to be constructed historically over time to the point of bringing about a contrast between the imaginary of the country —centered on adversity, sterility and desolation, thereby projecting a textual negativity about Atacama— and that of the region, full of varying symbolisms signifying challenge, occupation and the potentiality of nature. The latter imaginary strengthened the empathy of the northern literature toward the human epic of peopling the desert.

    Basándose en las categorías de Cornelius Castoriadis, el autor examina los imaginarios sociales sobre el desierto de Atacama desde el siglo XVI hasta el XX. Pone de relieve cómo se fueron construyendo en la historia los distintos imaginarios para situarse en la contraposición entre el establecido en la nación chilena —centrado en los elementos de adversidad, esterilidad y lo inhóspito, todo lo cual proyectó una negatividad textual— y el construido en la región, repleto de variados simbolismos en torno al desafío, la ocupación y la potencialidad de la naturaleza, que afianzó la empatía de la literatura nortina con la épica humana del asentamiento en el desierto.

  3. Isotopic characterization of late Neogene travertine deposits at Barrancas Blancas in the eastern Atacama Desert, Chile

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    Quade, J.; Rasbury, E.T.; Huntington, K.W.; Hudson, Adam; Vonhof, H.; Anchukaitis, K.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Latorre, C.; Pepper, M.

    2017-01-01

    Here we explore the potential of spring-related, surface and subsurface carbonates as an archive of paleoenvironmental change at Barrancas Blancas, located in the broadest and driest sector of the Atacama Desert at 24.5°S. From these deposits we present a new stable isotopic record of paleoenvironmental conditions over portions of the past ~ 11.5 Ma. U-Pb dates from the carbonates, both surface and subsurface, demonstrate that springs have discharged at this location over much of the last 11.5 Ma, attesting to the exceptional geomorphic stability of the central Atacama. Many of the sampled vein systems line vertical fissures, and formed within the aquifer before groundwater discharged at the surface. Carbonates in such circumstances should not undergo off-gassing and kinetic fractionation prior to formation, simplifying the interpretation of their isotopic composition. Oxygen isotopic compositions of carbonates are generally high (>− 5‰VPDB), and using paleospring water temperatures of 3–13 °C reconstructed from clumped isotopes, point to strongly (up to 50%) evaporated water isotope values, like those associated with the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert today. Carbon isotopic compositions are also high (≥+3‰ PDB), reflecting a recharge area essentially devoid of plants and dominated by volcanic CO2, as is the case today. Our isotopic results are very similar to those from the Calama Basin to the north, suggesting that the western face of the Andes between 21 and 25°S has been highly evaporative and nearly plantless when these springs discharged over the last 11.5 Ma. The spring carbonates at Barrancas Blancas strongly resemble those found at Devils Hole and Furnace Creek in Death Valley, USA, and as such warrant further exploration as potential archives of climate change.

  4. Floral orientation in Eulychnia acida, an arborescent cactus of the Atacama Desert, and implications for cacti globally

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    Steven D. Warren; Lorgio E. Aguilera; L. Scott Baggett; Mauricio Zuniga

    2017-01-01

    The hyperarid Atacama Desert of northern Chile may be the driest place on Earth. Plants surviving there have adapted a number of unique strategies to cope with the harsh conditions. Many cacti in arid areas tend to produce reproductive organs in positions that maximize incidence of solar radiation. We sought to determine whether Eulychnia acida, an endemic cactus with...

  5. 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

  6. Paleohydrology of Late Quaternary floods in the Atacama Desert and their paleoclimate implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izquierdo, Tatiana; Abad, Manuel; Larrondo, Lidisy

    2017-04-01

    The Quaternary fluvial succession in the Copiapó Valley (northern Chile) have not been deeply studied even though they record a large amount of palaeoenvironmental and paleoclimate information in an area of great interest as the Atacama Desert. The city of Copiapó is located at the confluence between Quebrada Paipote (the most important tributary of the middle course) and Copiapó River which has been dry during the last decades due to the surface and groundwater exploitation for agricultural and mining activity purposes upstream. Despite that, historical chronicles describe numerous flooding events in the city during the last 400 years due to snowmelt during the summer months or unusually intense rains during any time of the year. The most recent event occurred on March 25, 2015 when 70% of the city flooded and more than 2.2 million m3 of sediment accumulated, mostly coming from Quebrada Paipote. The sedimentological analysis of the lower fluvial terrace of the Copiapó River has allowed us to identify a fluvial system that abruptly changes upward to paleoflood and aeolian deposits. The latter constitute the top of the lower fluvial terraces on which the city of Copiapó is built. The fluvial facies are mainly formed by imbricated to massive conglomerates and poorly sorted pebble and cobble sized conglomerates with laminated sandstones that probably were deposited in a braided gravel-bed river. The overlying deposits are constituted by several levels of massive sandy siltstones and well sorted fine sands of aeolian origin that are interpreted as overbank flood events linked to flooding episodes that alternate with long episodes of eolian dunes and sand sheets development that buried almost the entire alluvial plain. This sharp change in the facies association record an abrupt climate change in the southern Atacama Desert during the recent Quaternary towards more arid conditions, with a dominance of floods and aeolian morphogenesis over the typical fluvial system

  7. Emergence of social complexity among coastal hunter-gatherers in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquet, Pablo A.; Santoro, Calogero M.; Latorre, Claudio; Standen, Vivien G.; Abades, Sebastián R.; Rivadeneira, Marcelo M.; Arriaza, Bernardo; Hochberg, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    The emergence of complex cultural practices in simple hunter-gatherer groups poses interesting questions on what drives social complexity and what causes the emergence and disappearance of cultural innovations. Here we analyze the conditions that underlie the emergence of artificial mummification in the Chinchorro culture in the coastal Atacama Desert in northern Chile and southern Peru. We provide empirical and theoretical evidence that artificial mummification appeared during a period of increased coastal freshwater availability and marine productivity, which caused an increase in human population size and accelerated the emergence of cultural innovations, as predicted by recent models of cultural and technological evolution. Under a scenario of increasing population size and extreme aridity (with little or no decomposition of corpses) a simple demographic model shows that dead individuals may have become a significant part of the landscape, creating the conditions for the manipulation of the dead that led to the emergence of complex mortuary practices. PMID:22891345

  8. Emergence of social complexity among coastal hunter-gatherers in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquet, Pablo A; Santoro, Calogero M; Latorre, Claudio; Standen, Vivien G; Abades, Sebastián R; Rivadeneira, Marcelo M; Arriaza, Bernardo; Hochberg, Michael E

    2012-09-11

    The emergence of complex cultural practices in simple hunter-gatherer groups poses interesting questions on what drives social complexity and what causes the emergence and disappearance of cultural innovations. Here we analyze the conditions that underlie the emergence of artificial mummification in the Chinchorro culture in the coastal Atacama Desert in northern Chile and southern Peru. We provide empirical and theoretical evidence that artificial mummification appeared during a period of increased coastal freshwater availability and marine productivity, which caused an increase in human population size and accelerated the emergence of cultural innovations, as predicted by recent models of cultural and technological evolution. Under a scenario of increasing population size and extreme aridity (with little or no decomposition of corpses) a simple demographic model shows that dead individuals may have become a significant part of the landscape, creating the conditions for the manipulation of the dead that led to the emergence of complex mortuary practices.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Antifungal activity of extracts from Atacama Desert fungi against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and identification of Aspergillus felis as a promising source of natural bioactive compounds

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mendes, Graziele; Gonçalves, Vívian N; Souza-Fagundes, Elaine M; Kohlhoff, Markus; Rosa, Carlos A; Zani, Carlos L; Cota, Betania B; Rosa, Luiz H; Johann, Susana

    2016-01-01

    .... Compounds extracted from fungal extract have showing antifungal activity. Extracts of 78 fungi isolated from rocks of the Atacama Desert were tested in a microdilution assay against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Pb18. Approximately 18% (5...

  12. Antifungal activity of extracts from Atacama Desert fungi againstParacoccidioides brasiliensis and identification ofAspergillus felis as a promising source of natural bioactive compounds

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mendes, Graziele; Gonçalves, Vívian N; Souza-Fagundes, Elaine M; Kohlhoff, Markus; Rosa, Carlos A; Zani, Carlos L; Cota, Betania B; Rosa, Luiz H; Johann, Susana

    2016-01-01

    .... Compounds extracted from fungal extract have showing antifungal activity. Extracts of 78 fungi isolated from rocks of the Atacama Desert were tested in a microdilution assay against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Pb18. Approximately 18% (5...

  13. UV‐resistant yeasts isolated from a high‐altitude volcanic area on the Atacama Desert as eukaryotic models for astrobiology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pulschen, André A; Rodrigues, Fabio; Duarte, Rubens T. D; Araujo, Gabriel G; Santiago, Iara F; Paulino‐Lima, Ivan G; Rosa, Carlos A; Kato, Massuo J; Pellizari, Vivian H; Galante, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    The Sairecabur volcano (5971 m), in the Atacama Desert, is a high‐altitude extreme environment with high daily temperature variations, acidic soils, intense UV radiation, and low availability of water...

  14. Surface vitrification caused by natural fires in Late Pleistocene wetlands of the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roperch, Pierrick; Gattacceca, Jerome; Valenzuela, Millarca; Devouard, Bertrand; Lorand, Jean-Pierre; Arriagada, Cesar; Rochette, Pierre; Latorre, Claudio

    2017-04-01

    Melted rocks are a common feature in many of the 175 recognized terrestrial impact structures [1]. However, some glasses, like the Dakhleh Glass [2] or the Edeowie Glass [3] are also attributed to impacts despite the lack of other direct evidence. These cases have been attributed to low-altitude airbursts of cosmic bodies (asteroids, comets) during their entry in the Earth's atmosphere but the identification and mechanism of formation of these glasses are however debated. Massive glass blocks were recently discovered [4] in the Tamarugal-Llamara basin of the Atacama desert in Chile. We show that these glasses, found near the town of Pica at four localities separated by up to 70 km, are neither fulgurites, nor volcanic glasses, nor metallurgical slags related to anthropic activity, but show close similarities with other glasses, which have been attributed to large airbursts. However, most glasses contain numerous plant imprints and some glasses are mainly made of partially melted silicified plant twigs and field observations indicate that the glasses are restricted to specific Late Pleistocene wetlands. Large oases did indeed form in the hyperarid Atacama desert due to elevated groundwater discharge and increased recharge during the Central Andean Pluvial Event (roughly coeval with the Mystery interval and Younger Dryas). 14C dating and paleomagnetic data indicate that the glasses were formed during at least two distinct periods. The strong environmental control on the distribution of the glasses and large differences in ages rule out the hypothesis of a single large airburst as the cause of surface melting. The available data suggest that the Atacama desert surface glasses were formed in situ by natural fires in soils rich in dry organic matter and siliceous biological remains, at a time of strong climate oscillations between wet (organic matter accumulation in soils) and dry periods (triggering fires) in desert wetlands. Our interpretation likely applies to other

  15. Fog Collection and Sustainable Architecture in Atacama Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suau, C.

    2010-07-01

    It is imperative to integrate renewable energy and climate into zero-carbon buildings in arid lands, particularly when it is reinforced by natural and social science-based innovation in natural and built environs. The aim is twofold: On one hand, to establish potential natural and urban habitats and their yields required in different scales of intervention and, on another hand, augment rate and yield of fog collection used for drinking and irrigation in chosen locations. The purpose of this study is to integrate zero-carbon energy, landscape and sustainable architecture as a whole and thus envision potential inhabitation through self-sufficient space-frame configurations along the coast of Tarapacá Region in Chile. In a sequential way, this study distinguishes three scales of interventions: A. Territorial scale. It consists of rural and natural zones along the shore of Tarapacá Region: Fog oases, creeks or corridors. The strategic allocation of large fog collectors can bring local agriculture back and thus stop rural emigration; and also repair existing fragile ecosystems in several fog oases by harvesting and distributing mainly crop water. B. Local scale. The space-frame fog collectors are allocated in Alto Patache (fog oasis) and Iquique city (low-income sprawl of Alto Hospicio). These artefacts can supply both water and electricity to small communities through forestation, sustainable micro-agriculture and complementary electrification. C. Domestic scale. It consists of the design of autonomous housing configuration based in polygonal space-frames. This inhabitable unit is modular, deployable and lightweight; with an adjustable polyvalent membrane which performs as water repellent skin (facing South and SW winds) and shading device facing Equator. In addition, a domestic wind turbine is installed within the structural frame to provide autonomous electrification. Water collector, filtering (purification) and irrigation network is designed with available

  16. Molecular and Isotopic Signs of Life and Climate in the Hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finstad, K. M.; Tuite, M. L., Jr.; Williford, K. H.; Amundson, R.

    2015-12-01

    The hyperarid region of the Atacama Desert is considered one of the driest places on earth. Geomorphological studies suggest that this area has maintained a near-continuous hyperarid climate for at least the past 2 million years. Water-limited biological and geochemical processes have created a unique landscape with many similarities to Mars. While precipitation is rare in the Atacama Desert, coastal fog occurs regularly and microbial communities capable of utilizing fog and dew water are able to persist. Within this region, we found soils with lichen-dominated biological soil crusts living in association with physical sulfate crusts on the soil surface. Due to their high tolerance of desiccation and ability to utilize fog water, biologic soil crusts are able to exist in this hyperarid environment. We chose two sites ~30 km apart along a fog frequency transect which showed visible differences in the degree of biological coverage to study how shifts in fog water availability affect the biogeochemical processes occurring. Our previous radiocarbon dating and δ13C analysis of soil carbonates here indicates that soil in both locations has been accreting for over 15,000 years and confirmed that biological activity and rates of C cycling are greater at the higher fog frequency site. This study expands on that work to characterize the isotopic imprint of extreme aridity and evaporative processes in this environment, examining both organic and inorganic materials. A standard fatty acid extraction method was used and we were able to detect fatty acids in all soils analyzed, even those over 15,000 years old. Compound specific isotope analysis of these fatty acids clearly showed an enrichment of 2H at the drier site, with ~ 25 per mil difference between the surface samples. Similarly, analysis of δ18O of soil carbonates show ~10 per mil enrichment of 18O at the drier site. We attribute these differences to a prolonged and consistently greater evaporative stress at the

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Impact of empire expansion on household diet: the Inka in Northern Chile's Atacama Desert.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila Dorsey Vinton

    Full Text Available The impact of expanding civilization on the health of American indigenous societies has long been studied. Most studies have focused on infections and malnutrition that occurred when less complex societies were incorporated into more complex civilizations. The details of dietary change, however, have rarely been explored. Using the analysis of starch residues recovered from coprolites, here we evaluate the dietary adaptations of indigenous farmers in northern Chile's Atacama Desert during the time that the Inka Empire incorporated these communities into their economic system. This system has been described as "complementarity" because it involves interaction and trade in goods produced at different Andean elevations. We find that as local farming societies adapted to this new asymmetric system, a portion of their labor had to be given up to the Inka elite through a corvée tax system for maize production. In return, the Inka system of complementarity introduced previously rare foods from the Andean highlands into local economies. These changes caused a disruption of traditional communities as they instituted a state-level economic system on local farmers. Combined with previously published infection information for the same populations under Inka rule, the data suggest that there may have been a dual health impact from disruption of nutrition and introduction of crowd disease.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Sources and sinks of natural and anthropogenic iodine in the hyperarid Atacama Desert of northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, F.; Pérez, A.; Snyder, G. T.; Vargas, G.; Muramatsu, Y.; Reich, M.

    2013-05-01

    Iodine is a strongly biophilic element. Most of the global Iodine budget concentrates in marine sediments, but in continental settings, the occurrence of iodine minerals is rare and restricted to hyper-arid environments. Currently, the Atacama Desert hosts the world's largest iodine crustal anomaly, where the occurrence of iodine minerals is constrained to the nitrate-iodine deposits located along the eastern side of the Coastal Range, and the supergene zones of copper deposits in the Central Depression and Precordillera. Although iodine enrichment has been documented for decades in this region, little is known about its setting, source and mechanism(s) of enrichment. In this study, we present the first survey of iodine concentrations and isotopic ratios (129I/I) of the different geochemical reservoirs in Atacama, including nitrate deposits, supergene copper ores, marine sedimentary rocks, geothermal fluids, groundwater and meteoric water. Our results indicate that nitrate deposits contain the highest iodine concentrations of all reservoirs in Atacama, with a mean concentration of ~700 ppm. These anomalous values are followed by highly enriched soil samples above supergene copper deposits, and Mesozoic shales and limestones averaging ~50 ppm. On the other hand, the highest concentrations of iodine in fluids were measured in groundwater below nitrate ore fields (3.5-10 ppm) and in geothermal fluids (1-3 ppm). The calculated 129I/I ratios in nitrate ores range from ~300 to ~400 x 10-15. Supergene iodine minerals in copper deposits present values between 200 and 550 x 10-15 and ratios obtained from marine rocks vary from 300 to 400 x 10-15. Regarding isotopic ratios in fluids, seawater presents the highest 129I/I ratios (~11000 x 10-15). Isotopic composition of groundwater below nitrate deposits is ~10000 x 10-15, while 129I/I ratios in fluids from Western Cordillera are between 2000 and 5000 x 10-15. In most of the reservoirs it is possible to identify a strong

  3. 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, Rogers 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 m vertical profile were extracted and analyzed using GC-MS and LC-MS. 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 greater than 40,000 and 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 informationon Earth.

  4. Groundwater origin and recharge in the hyperarid Cordillera de la Costa, Atacama Desert, northern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Christian; Gamboa, Carolina; Custodio, Emilio; Jordan, Teresa; Godfrey, Linda; Jódar, Jorge; Luque, José A; Vargas, Jimmy; Sáez, Alberto

    2018-05-15

    The Cordillera de la Costa is located along the coastline of northern Chile, in the hyperarid Atacama Desert area. Chemical and isotopic analyses of several small coastal springs and groundwater reservoirs between 22.5 °S and 25.5 °S allow understanding groundwater origin, renewal time and the probable timing of recharge. The aquifers are mostly in old volcanic rocks and alluvial deposits. All spring waters are brackish, of the sodium chloride type due to intensive concentration of precipitation due aridity and for deep groundwater to additional water-rock interaction in slowly renewed groundwater and mixing with deep seated brines. The heavy δ 18 O and δ 2 H values in spring water are explained by recharge by the arrival of moist air masses from the Pacific Ocean and the originally lighter values in the deep wells can be associated to past recharge by air masses coming from the Atlantic Ocean. Current recharge is assumed almost nil but it was significant in past wetter-than-present periods, increasing groundwater reserves, which are not yet exhausted. To explain the observed chloride content and radiocarbon ( 14 C) activity, a well-mixed (exponential) flow model has been considered for aquifer recharge. The average residence time of groundwater feeding the springs has been estimated between 1 and 2kyr, up to 5kyr and between 7 and 13kyr for deep well water, assuming that current recharge is much less than during the previous wetter period. The recharge period feeding the coastal springs could have been produced 1 to 5kyr BP, when the area was already inhabited, and recharge in the Michilla mine was produced during the 10 to 14.5kyr BP CAPE (Central Andean Pluvial Event) pluvial events of the central Andes. The approximate coincidence of turnover time with the past wet periods, as revealed by paleoclimate data, points to significant recharge during them. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. 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.......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....

  7. Fungi associated with rocks of the Atacama Desert: taxonomy, distribution, diversity, ecology and bioprospection for bioactive compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Vívian N; Cantrell, Charles L; Wedge, David E; Ferreira, Mariana C; Soares, Marco Aurélio; Jacob, Melissa R; Oliveira, Fabio S; Galante, Douglas; Rodrigues, Fabio; Alves, Tânia M A; Zani, Carlos L; Junior, Policarpo A S; Murta, Silvane; Romanha, Alvaro J; Barbosa, Emerson C; Kroon, Erna G; Oliveira, Jaquelline G; Gomez-Silva, Benito; Galetovic, Alexandra; Rosa, Carlos A; Rosa, Luiz H

    2016-01-01

    This study assessed the diversity of cultivable rock-associated fungi from Atacama Desert. A total of 81 fungal isolates obtained were identified as 29 Ascomycota taxa by sequencing different regions of DNA. Cladosporium halotolerans, Penicillium chrysogenum and Penicillium cf. citrinum were the most frequent species, which occur at least in four different altitudes. The diversity and similarity indices ranged in the fungal communities across the latitudinal gradient. The Fisher-α index displayed the higher values for the fungal communities obtained from the siltstone and fine matrix of pyroclastic rocks with finer grain size, which are more degraded. A total of 23 fungal extracts displayed activity against the different targets screened. The extract of P. chrysogenum afforded the compounds α-linolenic acid and ergosterol endoperoxide, which were active against Cryptococcus neoformans and methicillin-resistance Staphylococcus aureus respectively. Our study represents the first report of a new habitat of fungi associated with rocks of the Atacama Desert and indicated the presence of interesting fungal community, including species related with saprobes, parasite/pathogen and mycotoxigenic taxa. The geological characteristics of the rocks, associated with the presence of rich resident/resilient fungal communities suggests that the rocks may provide a favourable microenvironment fungal colonization, survival and dispersal in extreme conditions. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. 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

  9. WISDOM GPR subsurface investigations in the Atacama desert during the SAFER rover operation simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorizon, Sophie; Ciarletti, Valérie; Vieau, André-Jean; Plettemeier, Dirk; Benedix, Wolf-Stefan; Mütze, Marco; Hassen-Kodja, Rafik; Humeau, Olivier

    2014-05-01

    SAFER (Sample Acquisition Field Experiment with a Rover) is a field trial that occured from 7th to 13th October 2013 in the Atacama desert, Chile. This trial was designed to gather together scientists and engineers in a context of a real spatial mission with a rover. This is ESA's opportunity to validate operations procedures for the ExoMars 2018 mission, since a rover, provided by Astrium, was equipped with three ExoMars payload instruments, namely the WISDOM (Water Ice Subsurface Deposits Observations on Mars) Ground Penetrating Radar, PANCAM (Panoramic Camera) and CLUPI (Close-UP Imager), and was used to experiment the real context of a Martian rover mission. The test site was located close to the Paranal ESO's Observatory (European Southern Observatorys) while the operations were conducted in the Satellite Applications Catapult remote Center in Harwell, UK. The location was chosen for its well-known resemblance with Mars' surface and its arid dryness. To provide the best from this trial, geologists, engineers and instrumentation scientists teams collaborated by processing and analyzing the data, planning in real time the next trajectories for the Bridget rover, as well as the sites of interest for WISDOM subsurface investigations. This WISDOM GPR has been designed to define the geological context of the ExoMars 2018 landing site by characterizing the shallow subsurface in terms of electromagnetic properties and structures. It will allow to lead the drill to locations of potential exobiologocal interest. WISDOM is a polarimetric step frequency radar operating from 0.5GHz to 3GHz, which allows a vertical resolution of a few centimeters over a few meters depth. Provided with a DEM (Digital Elevation Model) and a low-resolution map to assist the team with the rover's operations, several soudings with WISDOM were done over the area. The WISDOM data allowed, in collaboration with the SCISCYS team, to map the electromagnetic contrasts into the subsurface underneath

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. The Hyperarid Core of the Atacama Desert, an Extremely Dry and Carbon Deprived Habitat of Potential Interest for the Field of Carbon Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azua-Bustos, Armando; González-Silva, Carlos; Corsini, Gino

    2017-01-01

    The Atacama Desert in Chile is the driest and oldest desert on Earth, also considered one of the best Mars analog models. Here, several heterotrophic microbial communities have been discovered in its driest regions, with the ones present in the soil subsurface being one of the most interesting due to its existence in a habitat with almost no water available and almost undetectable organic carbon sources. Our recent discovery of the driest site of the Atacama known to date (and the heterotrophic microbial species that are able to survive in this site) reaffirms the opportunity to better characterize the physiological and molecular mechanisms that these species use to detect, mobilize, incorporate and use carbon under these extremely harsh conditions. Here we summarize what has been reported up to date on the organic carbon concentrations in different sites of the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, proposing that due to the meager amounts of carbon and extremely dry conditions, the microbial communities of the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert may be of interest for the field of carbon science.

  13. 50 years of water extraction in the Pampa del Tamarugal basin: Can Prosopis tamarugo trees survive in the hyper-arid Atacama Desert (Northern Chile)?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.; Decuyper, M.; Bruin, de S.; Herold, M.

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater-dependent ecosystems are threatened worldwide by unsustainable groundwater (GW) extraction. This is the case of the Prosopis tamarugo Phil forest in the hyper-arid Atacama Desert (Northern Chile), one of the most extreme ecosystems on Earth. Despite concerns about the conservation of

  14. The Hyperarid Core of the Atacama Desert, an Extremely Dry and Carbon Deprived Habitat of Potential Interest for the Field of Carbon Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Azua-Bustos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert in Chile is the driest and oldest desert on Earth, also considered one of the best Mars analog models. Here, several heterotrophic microbial communities have been discovered in its driest regions, with the ones present in the soil subsurface being one of the most interesting due to its existence in a habitat with almost no water available and almost undetectable organic carbon sources. Our recent discovery of the driest site of the Atacama known to date (and the heterotrophic microbial species that are able to survive in this site reaffirms the opportunity to better characterize the physiological and molecular mechanisms that these species use to detect, mobilize, incorporate and use carbon under these extremely harsh conditions. Here we summarize what has been reported up to date on the organic carbon concentrations in different sites of the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, proposing that due to the meager amounts of carbon and extremely dry conditions, the microbial communities of the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert may be of interest for the field of carbon science.

  15. Rodent middens reveal episodic, long-distance plant colonizations across the hyperarid Atacama Desert over the last 34,000 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Francisca P.; Latorre, Claudio; Maldonado, Antonio; Quade, Jay; Betancourt, Julio L.

    2012-01-01

    Aim To document the impact of late Quaternary pluvial events on plant movements between the coast and the Andes across the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Location Sites are located along the lower and upper fringes of absolute desert (1100–2800 m a.s.l.), between the western slope of the Andes and the Coastal Ranges of northern Chile (24–26° S). Methods We collected and individually radiocarbon dated 21 rodent middens. Plant macrofossils (fruits, seeds, flowers and leaves) were identified and pollen content analysed. Midden assemblages afford brief snapshots of local plant communities that existed within the rodents' limited foraging range during the several years to decades that it took the midden to accumulate. These assemblages were then compared with modern floras to determine the presence of extralocal species and species provenance. Results Five middens span the last glacial period (34–21 ka) and three middens are from the last glacial–interglacial transition (19–11 ka). The remaining 13 middens span the last 7000 years. Coastal hyperarid sites exhibit low taxonomic richness in middens at 19.3, 1.1, 1.0, 0.9, 0.5 ka and a modern sample. Middens are also dominated by the same plants that occur today. In contrast, middens dated to 28.1, 21.3, 17.3, 3.7 and 0.5 ka contain more species, including Andean extralocals. Precordillera middens (c. 2700 m) show a prominent increase in plant macrofossil richness, along with the appearance of Andean extralocals and sedges at 34.5 and 18.9 ka. Six younger middens dated to 6.1–0.1 ka are similar to the modern local vegetation. Main conclusions Increased species richness and Andean extralocal plants occurred along the current lower fringes of absolute desert during the last glacial–interglacial transition and late Holocene. The absence of soil carbonates indicates the persistence of absolute desert throughout the Quaternary. Colonization by Andean plants could have been accomplished through long-distance seed

  16. 800,000-Year Record of Plate Boundary Earthquakes in the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, A. M.; Owen, L. A.; Rech, J.; Allmendinger, R. W.

    2010-12-01

    Coseismic cracks preserved in the hyper-arid Atacama Desert of Northern Chile provide a unique record of the seismic history of the modern Andean forearc, which has generated the largest earthquakes on earth. Loveless et al. (2009) mapped more than 50,000 cracks on satellite imagery and, based on boundary element modeling, suggested that they indicate repeated rupture of approximately the same segment. But, what is the time frame of the repeated rupture and what is the long-term strain rate of the forearc due to this process? West of Salar Grande, five overlapping fan surfaces contain different densities of coseismic cracks, allowing for such an assessment. The fan surfaces are highly indurated with gypsum and salt, resulting in excellent preservation of these brittle features. All surfaces are underlain by a tuff ~4 m.y. old. Older surfaces consistently have more and larger cracks than younger surfaces. Locally, cracks cutting across multiple surfaces have distinctly different widths and morphologies. Density is the number of cracks present per given length and total opening is the sum of the widths along that same length. Both crack density and total opening on each surface show a positive relationship to relative age, supporting the previously anecdotal evidence for reactivation of cracks through time with multiple events. Fresh, centimeter-scale cracks are also present on all surfaces, further supporting that these features record a history rather than a singular event. Three of the five fan surfaces have sufficiently large quartz clasts for exposure dating using 10Be and 26Al, providing absolute ages to use in calculating strain rate due to cracking. The oldest surface is 800±100 ky old. Samples from active channels constrain inheritance of cosmogenic nuclides, and nuclide ratios suggest no significant burial. Strain rates calculated from total opening and surface age range from 1.3x10^-15s^-1 to 2.4x10^-15s^-1 across the three surfaces. For comparison, we

  17. 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.

  18. GLOEOCAPSOPSIS AAB1, A CYANOBACTERIUM HIGHL Y TOLERANT TO DESICCATION ISOLATED FROM THE ATACAMA DESERT

    OpenAIRE

    AZUA BUSTOS, ARMANDO JAVIER; AZUA BUSTOS, ARMANDO JAVIER

    2013-01-01

    El acabado estudio de los microorganismos que han evolucionado en el Desierto de Atacama, el más seco y antiguo del mundo, permitirían entender el rol clave del agua para la vida en general. Para aproximarse a este fin, primero caracterizamos el microambiente que permite la colonización de cuarzos de la Cordillera de la Costa de este desierto por microorganismos hipolíticos. A continuación describimos la composición de la biodiversidad microbiana de estos biofilms, aislando posterior...

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. González-Teuber

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Emma eDespland

    2014-01-01

    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 5000 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, be...

  3. 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 (∆Zuz). 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 ∆Zuz 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 ∆Zuz in the study zone, such a relationship cannot be applied to directly estimate ∆Zuz 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.

  4. Microbial characterization of microbial ecosystems associated to evaporites domes of gypsum in Salar de Llamara in Atacama desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasuk, Maria Cecilia; Kurth, Daniel; Flores, Maria Regina; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel; Farias, Maria Eugenia

    2014-10-01

    The Central Andes in northern Chile contains a large number of closed basins whose central depression is occupied by saline lakes and salt crusts (salars). One of these basins is Salar de Llamara (850 m a.s.l.), where large domed structures of seemingly evaporitic origin forming domes can be found. In this work, we performed a detailed microbial characterization of these domes. Mineralogical studies revealed gypsum (CaSO(4)) as a major component. Microbial communities associated to these structures were analysed by 454 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing and compared between winter and summer seasons. Bacteroidetes Proteobacteria and Planctomycetes remained as the main phylogenetic groups, an increased diversity was found in winter. Comparison of the upper air-exposed part and the lower water-submerged part of the domes in both seasons showed little variation in the upper zone, showing a predominance of Chromatiales (Gammaproteobacteria), Rhodospirillales (Alphaproteobacteria), and Sphingobacteriales (Bacteroidetes). However, the submerged part showed marked differences between seasons, being dominated by Proteobacteria (Alpha and Gamma) and Verrucomicrobia in summer, but with more diverse phyla found in winter. Even though not abundant by sequence, Cyanobacteria were visually identified by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which also revealed the presence of diatoms. Photosynthetic pigments were detected by high-performance liquid chromatography, being more diverse on the upper photosynthetic layer. Finally, the system was compared with other endoevaporite, mats microbialite and Stromatolites microbial ecosystems, showing higher similitude with evaporitic ecosystems from Atacama and Guerrero Negro. This environment is of special interest for extremophile studies because microbial life develops associated to minerals in the driest desert all over the world. Nevertheless, it is endangered by mining activity associated to copper and lithium extraction; thus, its

  5. Evidence for the development of the Andean rain shadow from a Neogene isotopic record in the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rech, Jason A.; Currie, Brian S.; Shullenberger, Eric D.; Dunagan, Stan P.; Jordan, Teresa E.; Blanco, Nicolás; Tomlinson, Andrew J.; Rowe, Harry D.; Houston, John

    2010-04-01

    Varying ages from Triassic to Pliocene have been proposed for the onset of hyperaridity in the Atacama Desert. The exact timing for the initiation of hyperaridity is critical for determining potential causes, which range from regional effects of global cooling to Andean uplift above elevations conducive to extreme rain shadows. Analysis of the stable isotopic composition of lower Miocene-Quaternary (21-0.015 Ma) palustrine and lacustrine carbonates in the Calama Basin reveals extreme changes in their oxygen and carbon isotopic composition during the Miocene. Limestone δ18O values increased by ˜ 5‰ from middle to late Miocene, ranging from - 5.5‰ at 12 Ma to - 1‰ at ˜ 6 Ma. Carbon isotopic values increase by 9‰ over the Neogene, from average values of - 3‰ at 21 Ma to + 3‰ at 12 Ma, and reaching a maximum of + 6‰ at 5 Ma. The increase in oxygen isotopic values occurred over a time span in which the catchment area of the basin experienced significant uplift, causing the δ18O value of precipitation to become more negative. We attribute the shift towards higher δ18O values to enhanced evaporative enrichment both of soil water or snow prior to infiltration, and within shallow lakes or wetlands prior to carbonate precipitation. The large increase in δ13C values was likely caused by a transition from a vegetated landscape influenced primarily by soil-respired CO 2 to a landscape largely devoid of vegetation and influenced by atmospheric and volcanic CO 2. Isotopic values of palustrine carbonates therefore indicate that hyperaridity commenced in the Calama Basin during the middle to late Miocene, in agreement with other paleoclimatic records from the basin. The cause for the onset of this climate change is thought to be due to the development of a strong Andean rain shadow associated with the uplift of the Andes to mean elevations > 2 km.

  6. Cloud optical depth from total and UV solar irradiance measurements at two sites of the Atacama Desert in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luccini, Eduardo; Rivas, Miguel; Rojas, Elisa

    2016-06-01

    The visible cloud optical depth (COD) for overcast stratocumulus was estimated at Arica (18.47°S, 70.31°W, 20 m above sea level (asl)) and Poconchile (18.45°S, 70.07°W, 560 m asl), northernmost Chilean sites distant about 30 km in the Atacama Desert, during morning hours for days in which cloudiness dissipates giving cloudless afternoons, from 10 min averaged measurements of total shortwave solar irradiance (ToSI) and ultraviolet solar irradiance (UVSI) during the period 2002-2005. One-dimensional radiative transfer model calculations were made to establish a theoretical relationship between the visible COD, the cloud effective transmittance in both ToSI (CETTo) and UVSI (CETUV), and the solar zenith angle (SZA). It is used to estimate COD from the previously measured CET by Luccini et al. (2011). Measurements in both ToSI and UVSI broadband ranges showed to be reliable to determine the visible COD within this frame. Overcast COD at the coastal site of Arica (typical COD ~ 15) is slightly larger than at the inland site of Poconchile (typical COD ~ 11). Maximum sensitivity of the retrieved CODs was found to variations in the cloud droplet effective radius, surface albedo and aerosol optical depth in both ranges, and in the total ozone column additionally in UVSI. The obtained CODs are linearly related but are higher compared with those from two other parametric methods using the same data. A simple rational expression of CET as a function of COD enables to estimate a mean (spectral and regional) surface albedo in each range that is in turn applicable to fit appropriately the ratio CETTo/CETUV. Instantaneous overpass MODIS-Terra satellite COD at 660 nm show a good agreement with simultaneous (within ± 5 min) ground-derived COD at both sites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despland, Emma

    2014-01-01

    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 5000 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  10. 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

  11. Microbial diversity and the presence of algae in halite endolithic communities are correlated to atmospheric moisture in the hyper-arid zone of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Courtney K; Wierzchos, Jacek; Black, Celeste; Crits-Christoph, Alexander; Ma, Bing; Ravel, Jacques; Ascaso, Carmen; Artieda, Octavio; Valea, Sergio; Roldán, Mònica; Gómez-Silva, Benito; DiRuggiero, Jocelyne

    2015-02-01

    The Atacama Desert is one of the oldest and driest deserts in the world, and its hyper-arid core is described as 'the most barren region imaginable'. We used a combination of high-throughput sequencing and microscopy methods to characterize the endolithic microbial assemblages of halite pinnacles (salt rocks) collected in several hyper-arid areas of the desert. We found communities dominated by archaea that relied on a single phylotype of Halothece cyanobacteria for primary production. A few other phylotypes of salt-adapted bacteria and archaea, including Salinibacter, Halorhabdus, and Halococcus were major components of the halite communities, indicating specific adaptations to the unique halite environments. Multivariate statistical analyses of diversity metrics clearly separated the halite communities from that of the surrounding soil in the Yungay area. These analyses also revealed distribution patterns of halite communities correlated with atmospheric moisture. Microbial endolithic communities from halites exposed to coastal fogs and high relative humidity were more diverse; their archaeal and bacterial assemblages were accompanied by a novel algae related to oceanic picoplankton of the Mamiellales. In contrast, we did not find any algae in the Yungay pinnacles, suggesting that the environmental conditions in this habitat might be too extreme for eukaryotic photosynthetic life. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Secondary minerals from salt caves in the Atacama Desert (Chile: a hyperarid and hypersaline environment with potential analogies to the Martian subsurface

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    Jo De Waele

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the past 15 years several expeditions by French, American and especially Italian cavers have unveiled over 50 caves in the Cordillera de la Sal (Atacama Desert, Northern Chile. Many of these caves contain a variety of speleothems and minerals, some of which have rarely been observed within karst systems. Most of the secondary deposits in these caves are composed of halite, but also other halide, carbonate, sulphate, nitrate, phosphate, and silicate minerals have been found. Among the sixteen cave mineral species recognized, atacamite, darapskite, blödite, leonite, anhydrite, and especially antarcticite are worth mentioning. In one of the samples an unknown Ca-Sr-bearing chloride mineral has also been discovered, but it has not been possible to carry out detailed mineralogical analyses. These often-rare minerals have formed in this region due to the very extreme hyperarid and salt-rich environment. This research reports the mineralogical results and proposes the genetical mechanisms leading to the formation of antarcticite, powdery anhydrite, and the paragenesis of the halite-darapskite-blödite. This study also shows that Atacama caves may be excellent analogues to study weathering processes and subsurface secondary minerals in hyperarid and hypersaline environments on Mars.

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

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    Virginia B McRostie

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Paleomagnetism and Mineralogy of Unusual Silicate Glasses and Baked Soils on the Surface of the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile: A Major Airburst Impact ~12ka ago?.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roperch, P. J.; Blanco, N.; Valenzuela, M.; Gattacceca, J.; Devouard, B.; Lorand, J. P.; Tomlinson, A. J.; Arriagada, C.; Rochette, P.

    2015-12-01

    Unusual silicate glasses were found in northern Chile in one of the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert. The scoria-type melted rocks are littered on the ground at several localities distributed along a longitudinal band of about 50km. The silicate glasses have a stable natural remanent magnetization carried by fine-grained magnetite and acquired during cooling. At one locality, fine-grained overbank sediments were heated to form a 10 to 20 cm-thick layer of brick-type samples. Magnetic experiments on oriented samples demonstrate that the baked clays record a thermoremanent magnetization acquired in situ above 600°C down to more than 10cm depth and cooled under a normal polarity geomagnetic field with a paleointensity of 40μT. In some samples of the silicate glass, large grains of iron sulphides (troilite) are found in the glass matrix with numerous droplets of native iron, iron sulphides and iron phosphides indicating high temperature and strong redox conditions during melting. The paleomagnetic record of the baked clays and the unusual mineralogy of the silicate glasses indicate a formation mainly by in situ high temperature radiation. Paleomagnetic experiments and chemical analyses indicate that the silicate glasses are not fulgurite type rocks due to lightning events, nor volcanic glasses or even metallurgical slags related to mining activity. The existence of a well-developped baked clay layer indicates that the silicate glasses are not impact-related ejectas. The field, paleomagnetic and mineralogical observations support evidence for a thermal event likely related to a major airburst. The youngest calibrated 14C age on a charcoal sample closely associated with the glass indicates that the thermal event occurred around 12 to 13 ka BP. The good conservation of the surface effects of this thermal event in the Atacama Desert could provide a good opportunity to further estimate the threats posed by large asteroid airbursts.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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    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

  19. Genetic Characterization of Old Grapevines collected in Oases of the Atacama Desert Caracterización Genética de Vides Antiguas colectadas en Oasis del Desierto de Atacama

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    Ingrid Poblete

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Old grapevine (Vitis vinifera L. accessions are a source of genes that could be rescued for use per se or in modern breeding programs. The first step in this rescuing is collecting and characterizing the germplasm from a particular region. This study presents the genetic characterization of 21 grapevine accessions collected from the Atacama Desert in the far North of Chile. Characterization was based on 12 microsatellites (Simple Sequence Repeats, or SSRs supplemented with Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphic (AFLP markers. Most of the collected accessions produced red berries and shared the genetic characteristics of the cv. País, an old genotype found throughout America. However, among those red-berried accessions, one showed a severe abortive phenotype (22S7, and another (6S4 differed from ‘País’ in one allele. Both could be examples of somatic mutations, even though no variations in their AFLP patterns were found. On the other hand, the only accession with red berries that exhibited genetic characteristics different from those of ‘País’ (5CN corresponded to ‘Gros Colman’, a supposedly Georgian genotype introduced to this region by the mid-20th century. Greater genetic diversity was detected among the white and pink accessions, which were classified into five clades based on their SSR allelic patterns. Of these genotypes, 11Si was identified as ‘Emperatriz’ or ‘Red Seedless’, an Argentinean variety; accessions 16H1 and 17H2 corresponded to a product of crossing ‘País’ and ‘Muscat of Alexandria’; and, finally, accession 20S5 was identified as ‘Ahmeur bou Ahmeur’, an Algerian genotype harboring pink berries. Two seeded genotypes harboring small and large white berries were not identified as known varieties. The possible use of these accessions for breeding to enhance survival in the harsh environment of the Atacama Desert is discussed.Las accesiones de vid (Vitis vinifera L. de antigua data son una fuente de

  20. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Godoy-Faundez, Alex [Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses, Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile (Chile)], E-mail: agodoy@puc.cl; Antizar-Ladislao, Blanca [Department of Water and Environment Science and Technology, University of Bulevar Ronda Rufino Peon, 39316 Torrelavega, Cantabria (Spain)], E-mail: b_antizar@hotmail.com; Reyes-Bozo, Lorenzo [Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses, Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile (Chile); Camano, Andres [Minera Escondida Ltd. (Chile); Saez-Navarrete, Cesar [Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses, Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile (Chile)], E-mail: csaez@ing.puc.cl

    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{sup -1}) and sawdust (fuel concentration > 225,000 mg kg{sup -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{sup -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

  2. Macaria mirthae Vargas et al (Lepidoptera: Geometridae): Confirmation of the Use of an Invasive Host Plant in the Northern Atacama Desert of Chile Based on DNA Barcodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Cabello, D; Huanca-Mamani, W; Vargas, H A

    2015-08-01

    Macaria mirthae Vargas et al (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) is a geometrid moth native to the northern Atacama Desert of Chile. Its oligophagous larvae are associated with native hosts of the plant family Fabaceae, the most important of which is Acacia macracantha. The invasive tree Leucaena leucocephala (Fabaceae) was recently recorded as a host plant for M. mirthae based on morphology. The taxonomic status of larvae collected on A. macracantha and L. leucocephala was assessed using sequences of the DNA barcode fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. Genetic divergence between samples from the host plants was found to be 0%-0.8% (Kimura 2-parameter model). Neighbor-joining and maximum likelihood analyses were also performed, including additional barcode sequences of Neotropical geometrid moths from GenBank and BOLD databases. Sequences of the larvae from both host plants clustered in a single clade with high statistical support in both analyses. Based on these results, it is concluded that M. mirthae has effectively expanded its host range and its larvae are currently feeding on the exotic tree L. leucocephala. Additionally, the importance of this new host association in a highly disturbed habitat is briefly discussed in terms of the field biology of this native geometrid moth.

  3. 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.

  4. A new species of Leurocephala Davis & Mc Kay (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae from the Azapa Valley, northern Chilean Atacama Desert, with notes on life-history

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    Cristiano M. Pereira

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Neotropical micromoth genus Leurocephala Davis & Mc Kay, 2011 (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae was originally described to include only the type species, L. schinusae Davis & Mc Kay, 2011, whose leaf miner larvae are associated with Anacardiaceae in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. An integrative analysis including morphology, life history and DNA barcode sequences revealed that specimens collected on Schinus molle L. (Anacardiaceae in the coastal valleys of the Atacama Desert of northern Chile belong to a second species of this formerly monotypic genus. Adults of Leurocephala chilensis Vargas & Moreira sp. nov. are herein described and illustrated in association with the immature stages and life history, and corresponding phylogenetic relationships are assessed based on DNA barcode sequences. This finding provides the first record of Leurocephala from west of the Andes Range, expanding remarkably its geographic range. It is suggested that the extent of diversity within Leurocephala is much greater and that variation in geographic factors and host plant use may have modeled it, an evolutionary hypothesis that should be assessed in further studies.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. A new cecidogenous species of Eugnosta Hübner (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) associated with Baccharis salicifolia (Asteraceae) in the northern Chilean Atacama Desert: Life-history description and phylogenetic inferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Héctor A; Pollo, Pietro; Basilio, Daniel S; Gonçalves, Gislene L; Moreira, Gilson R P

    2015-02-20

    Eugnosta Hübner, 1825 (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae, Tortricinae, Cochylini, Cochylina) is reported for the first time in Chile. Male and female adults, the pupa, the last-instar larva, and galls of Eugnosta azapaensis Vargas & Moreira, sp. n., are described and illustrated from the Azapa Valley in the northern Atacama Desert. The larvae induce fusiform galls on shoots of the shrub Baccharis salicifolia (Ruiz & Pav.) Pers. (Asteraceae). An assessment of phylogenetic relationships of E. azapaensis with two congeneric species based on mitochondrial DNA is provided.

  8. Climate variability over the Holocene in the Atacama Desert of Chile as reconstructed from tree ring isotope series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Elizabeth; Dodd, Justin; Rivera, Mario

    2017-04-01

    Holocene ENSO variability in the Western Hemisphere. This study demonstrates the utility of desert tree-ring isotope series in expanding climate records to areas lacking other high-resolution paleoarchives.

  9. 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

  10. A Soil Carbon Cycle Without Life?: The Content and Residence Times of Organic and Inorganic Carbon in the Atacama Desert of Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, R. G.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Ewing, S. A.

    2003-12-01

    The central Atacama Desert of Chile is nearly rainless and virtually devoid of biota. Precipitation increases steadily as one moves to more southern latitudes, providing a natural experiment to assess the role of water in the soil C cycle. We have established three research sites along this gradient, where the mean annual precipitation varies from nearly 0 to about 15 mm y-1. At the driest site, where plants are completely absent and soil microorganisms quite rare, trace quantities of organic C (OC) are present ( ˜0.009+/-0.0038%), and OC increases slightly with precipitation (and the increasing presence of vegetation) to 0.053%. The apparent radiocarbon age of the organic matter at the driest site is exceedingly old (> 7,000 y), suggesting C cycling rates on the order of 104 y. The source of the incoming C is being investigated, and may include a combination of marine aerosols and exceedingly rare cyanobacteria on the undersides of quartz clasts ("hypoliths"). Radiocarbon-based turnover times appear to increase to decadal scales with increasing rainfall, with annually cycling OC concentrated in coppice dunes (0.32% OC) and hypolith-associated soils (0.39% OC). The radiocarbon age of co-existing soil carbonate was ˜12,000 years at the driest site and thus older than that of the OC, suggesting limited weathering and incorporation of modern atmospheric CO2 with increasing precipitation. The character of the organic matter present in the soil was analyzed by pyrolysis-GC-MS. The main organic molecules released at 750° C in an inert atmosphere are benzene and formic acid. Their concentrations in the driest soil are in the ppb range, and decrease by about an order of magnitude with depth. This suggests that either the environmental conditions in the past were much more severe or else that there are slow downward fluxes of organic materials accompanied by decomposition (either biological or abiotic). In contrast, soil organic matter from the other two southern sites

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Dynamics within geyser conduits, and sensitivity to environmental perturbations: Insights from a periodic geyser in the El Tatio geyser field, Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Saez, Carolina; Manga, Michael; Hurwitz, Shaul; Rudolph, Maxwell L.; Namiki, Atsuko; Wang, Chi-Yuen

    2015-02-01

    Despite more than 200 years of scientific study, the internal dynamics of geyser systems remain poorly characterized. As a consequence, there remain fundamental questions about what processes initiate and terminate eruptions, and where eruptions begin. Over a one-week period in October 2012, we collected down-hole measurements of pressure and temperature in the conduit of an exceptionally regular geyser (132 s/cycle) located in the Chilean desert. We identified four stages in the geyser cycle: (1) recharge of water into the conduit after an eruption, driven by the pressure difference between water in the conduit and in a deeper reservoir; (2) a pre-eruptive stage that follows the recharge and is dominated by addition of steam from below; (3) the eruption, which occurs by rapid boiling of a large mass of water at the top of the water column, and decompression that propagates boiling conditions downward; and (4) a relaxation stage during which pressure and temperature decrease until conditions preceding the recharge stage are restored. Eruptions are triggered by the episodic addition of steam coming from depth, suggesting that the dynamics of the eruptions are dominated by geometrical and thermodynamic complexities in the conduit and reservoir. Further evidence favoring the dominance of internal processes in controlling periodicity is also provided by the absence of responses of the geyser to environmental perturbations (air pressure, temperature and probably also Earth tides).

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. Geoarchaeological results on the Northern Peruvian coast: environmental changes and societal responses in the Sechura Desert during the last two millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christol, Aurélien; Carré, Matthieu; Goepfert, Nicolas; Wuscher, Patrice; Vittori, Cécile; Béarez, Philippe; Mogollon, Valentin; Gutierrez, Belkys

    2017-04-01

    We present here recent results of a geoarchaeological study on the Northern coast of Peru. Concerning the scientific context, excavation of new or already known archaeological sites in the Sechura Desert, since 2012, revealed the high potential of the area to reconstruct Human-Environment interactions during the last two millennia at least. The present geographical setting with an arid and unoccupied coast contrasts with the past activities, as fishing and prepared fish trade, of prehispanic societies which have occupied the coast of the desert. These populations used some natural resources which are not available anymore nowadays (water, fish, mollusks, wood). A pluridisciplinary approach associating geomorphological, palaeoenvironmental and geoscientific methods, allows to reconstruct the past middles and landscapes in the vicinity of the archaeological sites. Deposits from the filling of the costal depression of Las Salinas closed by a sand bar and from a shore area at the Nunura's bay have been investigated in terms of sedimentary facies, of mollusc isotopic geochemistry, of ostracod identification and of radiocarbon datings. Results show the variability of the environments during the studied period and further during the Holocene, in terms of climate, landscapes or shoreline position, with e.g. succession of several lagoons in the Las Salinas depression. These data are obviously cross-studied with archaeological and archaeozoological data from excavations which confirm and supply environmental scenarios. Through this research, we aim to characterize the origins of environmental changes in this singular region of the world, between palaeoclimatic trends, ENSO events and geomorphological dynamics, and to determine the responses of societies to these latters, in space and time.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario J. Simirgiotis

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Snails in the desert: Species diversification of Theba (Gastropoda: Helicidae) along the Atlantic coast of NW Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greve, Carola; Haase, Martin; Hutterer, Rainer; Rödder, Dennis; Ihlow, Flora; Misof, Bernhard

    2017-07-01

    The spatial subdivision of species often plays a pivotal role in speciation. Across their entire range, species are rarely panmictic and crucial consequences of spatial subdivision are (1) random genetic drift including historical factors, (2) uniform selection, and (3) divergent selection. Each of these consequences may result in geographic variation and eventually reproductive isolation, but their relative importance in speciation is still unclear. In this study, we used a combination of genetic, morphological, and climatic data to obtain a comprehensive picture of differentiation among three closely related, parapatrically distributed taxa of the land snail genus Theba occurring along the Atlantic coasts of South Morocco and Western Sahara. We conducted Mantel and partial Mantel tests to relate phenotypic and genotypic variation of these species to geography and/or climate. As null hypothesis for an evolutionary scenario, we assumed nonadaptive speciation and expected a pattern of isolation by distance among taxa. Rejection of the null hypothesis would indicate isolation by environment due to adaptation. Generally, genetic drift plays an important role but is rarely considered as sole driver of speciation. It is the combination of drift and selection that predominantly drives speciation. This study, however, provides a potential example, in which nonadaptive speciation, that is, genetic drift, is apparently the main driver of shaping the diversity of Theba in NW Africa. Restriction of gene flow between populations caused by geographic isolation probably has played an important role. Climate oscillations during the Plio- and Pleistocene may have led to repeated ecological changes in NW Africa and disruptions of habitats promoting differentiation by geographic isolation. The inferred evolutionary scenario, however, did not fully explain the incongruence between the AFLP- and mtDNA-tree topologies. This incongruence might indicate past hybridization among the

  4. A green observatory in the Chilean Atacama desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramolla, Michael; Westhues, Christian; Hackstein, Moritz; Haas, Martin; Hodapp, Klaus; Lemke, Roland; Barr Domínguez, Angie; Chini, Rolf; Murphy, Miguel

    2016-08-01

    Since 2007, the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) in Germany and Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN) in Chile jointly operate the Universitätssternwarte der Ruhr-Universität Bochum (USB), which is located in direct neighborhood of the future E-ELT of ESO. It is the only observatory powered exclusively by solar panels and wind turbines. Excess power is stored in batteries that allow uninterrupted operation even in windless nights. The scientific equipment consists of three robotic optical telescopes with apertures ranging from 15 cm (RoBoTT) over 25 cm (BESTII) to 40 cm (BMT) and one 80 cm (IRIS) infra-red telescope. The optical telescopes are equipped with Johnson and Sloan broad band filters together with a large number of narrow and intermediate bands. In the infrared, J,H and K filters are available, accompanied by several narrow bands near the K band wavelength. The second Nasmyth focus in the 80 cm telescope feeds a high resolution echelle spectrograph similar to the FEROS instrument of ESO. This variety of instruments has evolved from different collaborations, i.e. with the University of Hawaii (IfA) in the USA, which provided the near-infrared-camera of the IRIS telescope, or with the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in Germany, which provided the BESTII telescope. The highly automatized processes on all telescopes enable a single person to run the whole facility, providing the high cost efficiency required for an university observatory. The excellent site conditions allow projects that require daily observations of astronomical objects over epochs of several months or years. Here we report on such studies of young stellar objects from the Bochum Galactic Disk Survey, the multiplicity of stars, quasar variability or the hunt for exo-planets.

  5. ROAD (Remote Observatory Atacama Desert): Intensive Observations of Variable Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hambsch, F.-J.

    2012-10-01

    The author discusses his new remote observatory under pristine skies and the intensive observations of variable stars he is accomplishing. The stars under investigation are mainly cataclysmic variables, observed in response to AAVSO, CBA, and VSNET alerts; other types, such as RR Lyrae stars, were also observed. Examples are presented of dense observations of different cataclysmic variables as well as an RR Lyrae star. Featured is the first bright outburst of SV Ari (Nova Ari 1905) since its discovery, as well as the first outburst of UGWZ candidate BW Scl. Results for VW Hyi, another cataclysmic variable, will also be shown. Furthermore, an intensively observed RR Lyrae star will be highlighted.

  6. Robotic Technologies for Surveying Habitats and Seeking Evidence of Life: Results from the 2004 Field Experiments of the "Life in the Atacama" Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wettergreen, D.; Cabrol, N.; Whittaker, W.; Diaz, G. Chong; Calderon, F.; Heys, S.; Jonak, D.; Lueders, A.; Moersch, J.; Pane, D.

    2005-01-01

    The Chilean Atacama Desert is the most arid region on Earth and in several ways analogous to Mars. Evidence suggests that the interior of the Atacama is lifeless, yet where the desert meets the Pacific coastal range dessication-tolerant microorganisms are known to exist. The gradient of biodiversity and habitats in the Atacama's subregions remain unexplored and are the focus of the Life in the Atacama project. Our field investigation attempts to bring further scientific understanding of the Atacama as a habitat for life through the creation of robotic astrobiology. This involves capabilities for autonomously traversing hundreds of kilometers while deploying sensors to survey the varying geologic and biologic properties of the environment, Fig. 1. Our goal is to make genuine discoveries about the limits of life on Earth and to generate knowledge about life in extreme environments that can be applied to future planetary missions. Through these experiments we also hope to develop and practice the methods by which a rover might best be employed to survey desert terrain in search of the habitats in which life can survive, or may have in the past.

  7. A review of the non-bulimulid terrestrial Mollusca from the Region of Atacama, northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Juan Francisco; Catalán, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Terrestrial mollusca are sparsely studied in Chile and, for the first time, a formal record of the diversity of land snails in northern Chile is reported. Coastal and desertic areas in the Region of Atacama, in the border of the Atacama desert and the Pacific Ocean, were surveyed with the aim to describe the presence and distribution of this poorly known fauna. Of the fourteen species recorded, the geographic distribution records for nine species are extended, and some taxa are recorded for the first time since their original descriptions. All, except one, of the fourteen terrestrial molluscan species occurring in the area are endemic to Chile; they are all terrestrial species, most of them have a restricted geographic distribution, and none of them is currently protected by law. The results reveal that the region of Atacama has one of the most diverse terrestrial snail biodiversity in Chile, ranking only after the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. Distribution records of all the studied species and a taxonomic key are also provided. PMID:24715800

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ana Beatriz Fernandez; Maria Cecilia Rasuk; Visscher, Pieter T.; Manuel Contreras; Fernando Novoa; Daniel Poire; Patterson, Molly M.; Antonio Ventosa; Maria Eugenia Farias

    2016-01-01

    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 arch...

  11. Sources, sinks and long-term cycling of iodine in the hyperarid Atacama continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    The Atacama region in northern Chile hosts the driest desert on Earth and is the world's premier iodine production province. The origin of iodine enrichment in Atacama is controversial and fundamentally different processes have been invoked over the years that involve marine, eolian and more recently deep sedimentary fluid and groundwater sources. As a result of the very limited geochemical iodine data in Atacama and the western South American margin, the origin of iodine enrichment in this region still remains elusive. In this study, we present a comprehensive survey of iodine concentrations and isotopic ratios (129I/I) of different reservoirs in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, including nitrate soils, supergene copper deposits, marine sedimentary rocks, geothermal fluids, groundwater and meteoric water. Nitrate soils along the eastern slope of the Coastal Cordillera are found to have mean iodine concentrations of at least three orders of magnitude higher than the mean crustal abundances of ∼0.12 ppm, with a mean concentration of ∼700 ppm. Soils above giant copper deposits in the Central Depression are also highly enriched in iodine (100's of ppm range), and Cu-iodide and iodate minerals occur in the supergene enrichment zones of some of these deposits. Further east in the Precordillera, Jurassic sedimentary shales and limestones show above-background iodine concentrations, the latter averaging ∼50 ppm in the southern portion of the study area. The highest iodine concentrations in fluids were measured in groundwater below nitrate soils in the Coastal Range (∼3.5-10 ppm) and in geothermal waters (1-3 ppm) along the volcanic arc. Although highly variable, the iodine isotopic ratios (129I/I) of Jurassic marine sedimentary rocks (∼300-600 × 10-15), nitrate soils (∼150-1500 × 10-15) and waters (∼215 × 10-15) are consistently low (<1500 × 10-15), indicating that recent anthropogenic additions are almost negligible in most surficial and deeper

  12. A review of the non-bulimulid terrestrial Mollusca from the Region of Atacama, northern Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Araya

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial mollusca are sparsely studied in Chile and, for the first time, a formal record of the diversity of land snails in northern Chile is reported. Coastal and desertic areas in the Region of Atacama, in the border of the Atacama desert and the Pacific Ocean, were surveyed with the aim to describe the presence and distribution of this poorly known fauna. Of the fourteen species recorded, the geographic distribution records for nine species are extended, and some taxa are recorded for the first time since their original descriptions. All, except one, of the fourteen terrestrial molluscan species occurring in the area are endemic to Chile; they are all terrestrial species, most of them have a restricted geographic distribution, and none of them is currently protected by law. The results reveal that the region of Atacama has one of the most diverse terrestrial snail biodiversity in Chile, ranking only after the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. Distribution records of all the studied species and a taxonomic key are also provided.

  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. Modelling the spectral response of the desert tree Prosopis tamarugo to water stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.; Herold, M.; Ortiz, M.; Acevedo, E.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we carried out a laboratory experiment to study changes in canopy reflectance of Tamarugo plants under controlled water stress. Tamarugo (Prosopis tamarugo Phil.) is an endemic and endangered tree species adapted to the hyper-arid conditions of the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bohlke, J. K. [U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA; Hatzinger, Paul B. [Shaw Environmental, Inc., Lawrenceville, NJ; Sturchio, N. C. [University of Illinois, Chicago; Gu, Baohua [ORNL; Abbene, I. [U.S. Geological Survey; Mroczkowki, S. J. [U.S. Geological Survey

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Desert Dermatoses (Thar Desert, India).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Col Manas

    2017-01-01

    Desert dermatology describes the cutaneous changes and the diseases affecting those living in the desert. Diurnal variation in temperature is high and is characteristic of the deserts. The lack of water affects daily activities and impacts dermatological conditions. Adaptation to the desert is, therefore, important to survival. Infections are the most common conditions seen among this population, and among them, fungal infections are the most common. The high incidence of these infections would be accounted for by the poor hygienic conditions due to lack of bathing facilities due to scarcity of water and the consequent sweat retention and overgrowth of cutaneous infective organisms. Pigmentary disorders, photodermatoses, leishmaniasis, and skin tumors are found to be more prevalent in this region. Desert sweat dermatitis was another specific condition found to have an increased incidence. The environment of the desert provides for a wide variety of dermatoses that can result in these regions with few of these dermatoses found in much higher incidence than in other regions.

  17. Assessing water stress of desert Tamarugo trees using in situ data and very high spatial resolution remote sensing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.; Herold, M.; Acevedo, E.; Ortiz, M.

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. Object-based analysis of 8-bands Worldview2 imagery for assessing health condition of desert trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.

    2012-01-01

    High spatial resolution panchromatic and multispectral WorldView2 images were used to assess the health condition of Tamarugo (Prosopis tamarugo Phil.) trees in the hyperarid Atacama desert in Northern Chile. Tamarugo is a very valuable species for biodiversity conservation due to its endemic

  19. Desert Survivors!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Jessica; Friedenstab, Steve

    2013-01-01

    This article describes a special third-grade classroom unit based on the reality show "Survivor." The goal of this engaging and interactive unit was to teach students about physical and behavioral adaptations that help animals survive in various desert biomes. The activity combines research, argument, and puppet play over one week of…

  20. Yungay Atacama, Chile, and University Valley, Antarctica, as Mars analogs, based on aridity as indicated by soil salt profiles and other characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kounaves, S. P.; Douglas, S.

    2010-12-01

    The Atacama desert in Chile and the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) in Antarctica are considered to be two of the most arid deserts on Earth and thus are often used as Mars analogs for a variety of studies and instrument testing. Two regions within each of these, the Yunguy (Atacama) and University Valley (MDV) have especially been the focus of recent analog investigations. Both regions are comprised of soils that have accumulated an influx of atmospheric and marine salts. Some of these salts are influenced by the local biogeochemical environment and often display lower solubility. Two anions however, nitrate and perchlorate, are highly soluble species that represent proxies for the movement of water through the soil column either in bulk or thin films. An examination of these salt profiles in the upper and lower MDVs, and Yunguy, in the first case a relatively continuous and smooth distribution, while in the latter cases more chaotic and heterogeneous, suggests that University Valley has been subjected to little if any aqueous activity compared to Yungay or lower elevation MDVs. Even though Atacama possess some desirable Mars analog properties, the salt-profile-based aridity, the presence of dry permafrost, diffusion-controlled ice-table, cryoturbation, and comparatively pristine environment, endows the high elevation MDVs with unique and most Mars-like properties of any terrestrial analog site available.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. Non-biological fractionation of stable Ca isotopes in soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Stephanie A.; Yang, Wenbo; DePaolo, Donald J.; Michalski, Greg; Kendall, Carol; Stewart, Brian W.; Thiemens, Mark; Amundson, Ronald

    2008-02-01

    We measured Ca stable isotope ratios (δ 44/40Ca) in an ancient (2 My), hyperarid soil where the primary source of mobile Ca is atmospheric deposition. Most of the Ca in the upper meter of this soil (3.5 kmol m -2) is present as sulfates (2.5 kmol m -2), and to a lesser extent carbonates (0.4 kmol m -2). In aqueous extracts of variably hydrated calcium sulfate minerals, δ 44/40Ca E values (vs. bulk Earth) increase with depth (1.4 m) from a minimum of -1.91‰ to a maximum of +0.59‰. The trend in carbonate-δ 44/40Ca in the top six horizons resembles that of sulfate-δ 44/40Ca, but with values 0.1-0.6‰ higher. The range of observed Ca isotope values in this soil is about half that of δ 44/40Ca values observed on Earth. Linear correlation among δ 44/40Ca, δ 34S and δ 18O values indicates either (a) a simultaneous change in atmospheric input values for all three elements over time, or (b) isotopic fractionation of all three elements during downward transport. We present evidence that the latter is the primary cause of the isotopic variation that we observe. Sulfate-δ 34S values are positively correlated with sulfate-δ 18O values ( R2 = 0.78) and negatively correlated with sulfate δ 44/40Ca E values ( R2 = 0.70). If constant fractionation and conservation of mass with downward transport are assumed, these relationships indicate a δ 44/40Ca fractionation factor of -0.4‰ in CaSO 4. The overall depth trend in Ca isotopes is reproduced by a model of isotopic fractionation during downward Ca transport that considers small and infrequent but regularly recurring rainfall events. Near surface low Ca isotope values are reproduced by a Rayleigh model derived from measured Ca concentrations and the Ca fractionation factor predicted by the relationship with S isotopes. This indicates that the primary mechanism of stable isotope fractionation in CaSO 4 is incremental and effectively irreversible removal of an isotopically enriched dissolved phase by downward transport during small rainfall events.

  5. Soil Formation and Transport Processes on Hillslopes along a Precipitation Gradient in the Atacama Desert, Chile

    OpenAIRE

    Owen, Justine J

    2009-01-01

    The climate-dependency of the rates and types of soil formation processes on level landforms has been recognized and documented for decades. In contrast, methods for quantifying rates of soil formation and transport on hillslopes have only recently been developed and the results suggest that these rates are independent of climate. One explanation for this discrepancy is that hillslopes and their soil mantles are dynamic systems affected by local and regional tectonic effects. Tectonics can ch...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. (Teleostei: Mormyridae), a mormyrid fish from the Namib desert

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We critically compared Marcusenius specimens from the mouth of the Cunene River on the Namibia/Angola border, a harsh desert environment on the Atlantic Ocean coast virtually devoid of aerial insects with ... Keywords: ecology, electric organ discharges, genetic differentiation, morphology, phylogeography, speciation ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Military Review: Desert Shield/Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-04-01

    Directorate However, this unprecedented conversion was ir- 5 of the US Army Combined Arms Support reversible . Most of the new hardware was in Co~mmand...the Logistcs Automation Directorate, US Army Desert Storm. CASCOM and DCL remain Comrined Arms Support Command, Fort Lee, committed to ensuring the

  12. 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.

  13. Ecoregion sections of California deserts

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The dataset delineates ecological sections within California deserts. These deserts occupy the southeastern portion of California and include two ecoregional...

  14. 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

  15. Two-Season Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter Lensing Power Spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shewin, Blake D.; van Engelen, Alexander; Sehgal, Neelima; Madhavacheril, Mathew; Addison, Graeme E.; Aiola, Simone; Allison, Rupert; Battaglia, Nicholas; Becker, Daniel T.; Beall, James A.; hide

    2017-01-01

    We report a measurement of the power spectrum of cosmic microwave background (CMB) lensing from two seasons of Atacama Cosmology Telescope polarimeter (ACTPol) CMB data. The CMB lensing power spectrum is extracted from both temperature and polarization data using quadratic estimators. We obtain results that are consistent with the expectation from the best-fit Planck CDM model over a range of multipoles L 80-2100, with an amplitude of lensing A(sub lens) = 1.06 +/- 0.15 stat +/- 0.06 sys relative to Planck. Our measurement of the CMB lensing power spectrum gives sigma 8 omega m(sup 0.25) = 0.643 +/- 0.054; including baryon acoustic oscillation scale data, we constrain the amplitude of density fluctuations to be sigma 8 = 0.831 +/- 0.053. We also update constraints on the neutrino mass sum. We verify our lensing measurement with a number of null tests and systematic checks, finding no evidence of significant systematic errors. This measurement relies on a small fraction of the ACTPol data already taken; more precise lensing results can therefore be expected from the full ACTPol data set.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Holocene environmental changes in the Atacama altiplano and paleoclimatic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available CHANGEMENTS DANS L’ENVIRONNEMENT HOLOCÈNE DE L’ALTIPLANO D’ATACAMA ET IMPLICATIONS PALÉOCLIMATIQUES. Une mousson renforcée a transporté l’humidité continentale vers l’Altiplano chilien pendant le Tardiglaciaire et le début de l’Holocène. Les précipitations étaient de l’ordre de 500 mm par an, valeur à comparer aux moins de 200 mm actuels. Les conditions climatiques ont été plus arides que de nos jours entre 8 400 et 3 000 ans BP environ. À partir de cette dernière date, le climat moderne, caractérisé par une réintensification des pluies tropicales, s’est établi. Les raisons des changements du climat pendant l’Holocène sur l’Altiplano ne sont pas connues. Divers facteurs peuvent expliquer ces changements paléoclimatiques : des variations de la circulation dans l’Océan Pacifique, des téléconnexions avec l’hémisphère Nord ou bien avec les basses terres du Continent Américain, ou bien des changements dans le bilan radiatif sur l’Altiplano. CAMBIOS MEDIOAMBIENTALES DURANTE EL HOLOCENO EN EL ALTIPLANO DE ATACAMA E IMPLICACIONES PALEOCLIMÁTICAS. Estudios pluridisciplinarios han permitido reconstruir los cambios extremos en el balance hídrico experimentados en el Altiplano de Atacama durante el Holoceno. La intensificación del monzón de verano (invierno boliviano aumentó la precipitación de origen continental en la región hasta los 25° S durante el Tardiglacial/Holoceno temprano. La precipitación en la región de los Andes occidentales (24° S se incrementó hasta 500 mm por año en comparación con los 200 mm anuales de la actualidad. Durante el período entre 8 400 y 3 000 BP aproximadamente, la extrema aridez y la escasa precipitación dominada por tormentas muy intensas pero esporádicas fueron responsables de un descenso dramático del nivel de los lagos. A partir de los 3 000 a BP, el cinturón de lluvia tropical volvió a desplazarse hacia el norte en varias fases hasta su posición actual (isoyeta

  19. Sounds of the Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCullough-Brabson, Ellen; Achilles, Elayne; Ashcraft, Joan

    1997-01-01

    Discusses the program called "Sounds of the Desert" that celebrates the Southwest indigenous culture and focuses on understanding music in relation to history and culture. Emphasizes the study of Mariachi music that is being taught alongside band, orchestra, and chorus from the third grade to senior high in many Tucson (Arizona) schools.…

  20. 77 FR 1895 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, South Coast Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-12

    ... action, we are proposing to approve South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 317.... South Coast Air Quality Management District There are two 1-hour ozone nonattainment areas within the... Quality Management Plan, as revised in 1999.\\9\\ The approved 1-hour ozone SIP in the Southeast Desert...

  1. A study of Desert Dermatoses in the Thar Desert Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Manas; Vasudevan, Biju

    2015-01-01

    Desert dermatology describes the cutaneous changes and the diseases affecting those living in the desert. Diurnal variation in temperature is high and is characteristic of the deserts. The lack of water affects daily activities and impacts dermatological conditions. Adaptation to the desert is therefore important to survival. This original article focuses on dermatoses occurring in a population in the Thar desert of India, predominantly located in Rajasthan. This is a descriptive study involving various dermatoses seen in patients residing in the Thar desert region over a duration of 3 years. Infections were the most common condition seen among this population and among them fungal infections were the most common. The high incidence of these infections would be accounted for by the poor hygienic conditions due to lack of bathing facilities due to scarcity of water and the consequent sweat retention and overgrowth of cutaneous infective organisms. Pigmentary disorders, photodermatoses, leishmaniasis and skin tumors were found to be more prevalent in this region. Desert sweat dermatitis was another specific condition found to have an increased incidence. The environment of the desert provides for a wide variety of dermatoses that can result in these regions with few of these dermatoses found in much higher incidence than in other regions. The concept of desert dermatology needs to be understood in more details to provide better care to those suffering from desert dermatoses and this article is a step forward in this regard.

  2. Metagenomic evidence for metabolism of trace atmospheric gases by high-elevation desert Actinobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan C Lynch

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Previous surveys of very dry Atacama Desert mineral soils have consistently revealed sparse communities of non-photosynthetic microbes. The functional nature of these microorganisms remains debatable given the harshness of the environment and low levels of biomass and diversity. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the phylogenetic community structure and metabolic potential of a low-diversity mineral soil metagenome that was collected from a high-elevation Atacama Desert volcano debris field. We pooled DNA extractions from over 15 grams of volcanic material, and using whole genome shotgun sequencing, observed only 75 - 78 total 16S rRNA gene OTUs3%. The phylogenetic structure of this community is significantly under dispersed, with actinobacterial lineages making up 97.9% - 98.6% of the 16S rRNA genes, suggesting a high degree of environmental selection. Due to this low diversity and uneven community composition, we assembled and analyzed the metabolic pathways of the most abundant genome, a Pseudonocardia sp. (56% - 72% of total 16S genes. Our assembly and binning efforts yielded almost 4.9 Mb of Pseudonocardia sp. contigs, which accounts for an estimated 99.3% of its non-repetitive genomic content. This genome contains a limited array of carbohydrate catabolic pathways, but encodes for CO2 fixation via the Calvin cycle. The genome also encodes complete pathways for the catabolism of various trace gases (H2, CO and several organic C1 compounds and the assimilation of ammonia and nitrate. We compared genomic content among related Pseudonocardia spp. and estimated rates of non-synonymous and synonymous nucleic acid substitutions between protein coding homologs. Collectively, these comparative analyses suggest that the community structure and various functional genes have undergone strong selection in the nutrient poor desert mineral soils and high-elevation atmospheric conditions.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Solar Observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedemeyer, Sven

    2015-08-01

    The interferometric Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has already demonstrated its impressive capabilities by observing a large variety of targets ranging from protoplanetary disks to galactic nuclei. ALMA is also capable of observing the Sun and has been used for five solar test campaigns so far. The technically challenging solar observing modes are currently under development and regular observations are expected to begin in late 2016.ALMA consists of 66 antennas located in the Chilean Andes at an altitude of 5000 m and is a true leap forward in terms of spatial resolution at millimeter wavelengths. The resolution of reconstructed interferometric images of the Sun is anticipated to be close to what current optical solar telescopes can achieve. In combination with the high temporal and spectral resolution, these new capabilities open up new parameter spaces for solar millimeter observations.The solar radiation at wavelengths observed by ALMA originates from the chromosphere, where the height of the sampled layer increases with selected wavelength. The continuum intensity is linearly correlated to the local gas temperature in the probed layer, which makes ALMA essentially a linear thermometer. During flares, ALMA can detect additional non-thermal emission contributions. Measurements of the polarization state facilitate the valuable determination of the chromospheric magnetic field. In addition, spectrally resolved observations of radio recombination and molecular lines may yield great diagnostic potential, which has yet to be investigated and developed.Many different scientific applications for a large range of targets from quiet Sun to active regions and prominences are possible, ranging from ultra-high cadence wave studies to flare observations. ALMA, in particular in combination with other ground-based and space-borne instruments, will certainly lead to fascinating new findings, which will advance our understanding of the atmosphere of our Sun

  8. Southwestern desert resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halvorson, William L.; van Riper, Charles; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

    2010-01-01

    The southwestern deserts stretch from southeastern California to west Texas and then south to central Mexico. The landscape of this region is known as basin and range topography featuring to "sky islands" of forest rising from the desert lowlands which creates a uniquely diverse ecology. The region is further complicated by an international border, where governments have caused difficulties for many animal populations. This book puts a spotlight on individual research projects which are specific examples of work being done in the area and when they are all brought together, to shed a general light of understanding the biological and cultural resources of this vast region so that those same resources can be managed as effectively and efficiently as possible. The intent is to show that collaborative efforts among federal, state agency, university, and private sector researchers working with land managers, provides better science and better management than when scientists and land managers work independently.

  9. Aquaporins in desert rodent physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannabecker, Thomas L

    2015-08-01

    Desert rodents face a sizeable challenge in maintaining salt and water homeostasis due to their life in an arid environment. A number of their organ systems exhibit functional characteristics that limit water loss above that which occurs in non-desert species under similar conditions. These systems include renal, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, nasal, and skin epithelia. The desert rodent kidney preserves body water by producing a highly concentrated urine that reaches a maximum osmolality nearly three times that of the common laboratory rat. The precise mechanism by which urine is concentrated in any mammal is unknown. Insights into the process may be more apparent in species that produce highly concentrated urine. Aquaporin water channels play a fundamental role in water transport in several desert rodent organ systems. The role of aquaporins in facilitating highly effective water preservation in desert rodents is only beginning to be explored. The organ systems of desert rodents and their associated AQPs are described. © 2015 Marine Biological Laboratory.

  10. Microbial Diversity in Sediment Ecosystems (Evaporites Domes, Microbial Mats, and Crusts) of Hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Ana B; Rasuk, Maria C; Visscher, Pieter T; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel G; Patterson, Molly M; Ventosa, Antonio; Farias, Maria E

    2016-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial Diversity in Sediment Ecosystems (Evaporites Domes, Microbial Mats, and Crusts) of Hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Ana B.; Rasuk, Maria C.; Visscher, Pieter T.; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel G.; Patterson, Molly M.; Ventosa, Antonio; Farias, Maria E.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27597845

  13. Deserts and Arid Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Glen F.

    The exponential growth of global population and often concomitant degradation of the environment has forced human expansion into the more hostile and less well-known terrains of arid lands and deserts. Drought in the African Sahel, with recent wholesale movement of tribes seeking survival, has focused interest in such regions. However, geologic and geomorphic knowledge of deserts has expanded slowly until the last few decades. For instance, the arid cycle of erosion, as conceived by William Morse Davis (now deceased; formerly, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.), with modifications by W. Penck (now deceased; formerly, Leipzig University, Leipzig, German Democratic Republic), and L. C. King (University of Natal and Durban, South Africa), has dominated desert geomorphological deductions until recently. Since World War II and the verification of plate tectonics, the knowledge of arid lands has increased dramatically, especially in synoptic mapping from remote sensing data and space photography, which transcends political boundaries, thanks to the open skies policy of the U.S. space pioneers.

  14. Jeeps Penetrating a Hostile Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Herb

    2009-01-01

    Several jeeps are poised at base camp on the edge of a desert aiming to escort one of them as far as possible into the desert, while the others return to camp. They all have full tanks of gas and share their fuel to maximize penetration. In a friendly desert it is best to leave caches of fuel along the way to help returning jeeps. We solve the…

  15. Desert Environmental Handbook. First Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-11-01

    21 3 Alix I SECTION 4. DESERT OPERATIONS Par’e 4.1 Heat Stress . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... ...... . .. . . 4.2...0F)Surface Temperatures Floor Board : ¾-ton Truck 60^5 0 C 1410F 8-ton Goer 65 C 149OF Inside Cab: 8-ton Goer 57.20C 1350F Accelerator Pedal: ¾-ton...Experience in WWII, MS#P-129. 135 *)! Desert Effects (continued) Desert Convoy--Report of Environmental Operation, US Army Trans- portation Board

  16. 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

  17. Desert Experimental Range: Annotated bibliography

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Durant McArthur; Stanley G. Kitchen

    2013-01-01

    Entries qualify for inclusion if they were conducted in whole or part at the Desert Experimental Range (DER, also known as the Desert Range Experiment Station) or were based on DER research in whole or part. They do not qualify merely by the author having worked at the DER when the research was performed or prepared. Entries were drawn from the original abstracts or...

  18. 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

  19. New Sub-Millimetre Light in the Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-07-01

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) project has just passed another major milestone by successfully commissioning its new technology 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, has just performed its first scientific observations. This new front-line facility will provide access to the "Cold Universe" with unprecedented sensitivity and image quality. 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 is excited: " Among the first observations, we have obtained wonderful spectra, which took only minutes to take but offer a fascinating view of the highly complex organic chemistry in star-forming regions. In addition, we have also obtained exquisite images from the Magellanic Clouds and observed molecules in the active nuclei of several external galaxies. Traditionally, telescopes turn to weak extragalactic sources only after they are well in operation. With APEX, we could pick them amongst our first targets!" Because sub-millimetre radiation from space is heavily absorbed by water vapour in the Earth's atmosphere, APEX is located at an altitude of 5100 metres in the high Chilean Atacama desert on the Chajnantor plains, 50 km east of San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile. The Atacama desert is one of the driest places on Earth, thus providing unsurpassed observing opportunities - at the costs of the demanding logistics required to operate a frontier science observatory at this remote place. Along with the Japanese 10-m ASTE telescope, which is operating at a neighbouring, lower altitude location, APEX is the first and largest sub-millimetre facility under southern skies. With its precise antenna and large collecting area, it will provide, at this exceptional location, unprecedented access to

  20. Raman spectroscopy of hot desert, high altitude epilithic lichens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villar, Susana E Jorge; Edwards, Howell G M; Seaward, Mark R D

    2005-05-01

    Twenty-three highly-coloured lichen specimens belonging to the genera Candelariella, Aspicilia and Xanthoria from high altitude sites in the Atacama Desert, Chile, 2300-4500 metres, have been analysed non-destructively by Raman spectroscopy. The vibrational band assignments in the spectra of the specimens, which were still attached to their limestone or sandstone substrata, were accomplished by comparison with the chemical compositions obtained from wet chemical extraction methods. Carotenoids and chlorophyll were found in all specimens as major components and the characteristic spectral signatures of calcium oxalate monohydrate (whewellite) and dihydrate (weddellite) could be identified; chemical signatures were found for these materials even in lichen thalli growing on the non-calcareous substrata, indicating probably that the calcium was provided here from wind- or rain-borne sources. The Raman spectral biomarkers for a variety of protective biomolecules and accessory pigments such as usnic acid, calycin, pulvinic acid dilactone and rhizocarpic acid have been identified in the lichens, in broad agreement with the chemical extraction profiles. The present study indicates that some form of non-destructive taxonomic identification based on Raman spectroscopy was also possible.

  1. Ecological zones of California deserts

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The dataset delineates ecological zones within California deserts. We derived ecological zones by reclassifying LANDFIRE vegetation biophysical setting types, plus...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Extreme nomadism in desert waterbirds: flights of the banded stilt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedler, R D; Ribot, R F H; Bennett, A T D

    2014-10-01

    In contrast to well-studied Northern Hemisphere birds with spatially and temporally predictable seasonal migrations, waterbirds in desert biomes face major challenges in exploiting stochastic, rich, yet short-lived resource pulses in vast arid landscapes, leading to the evolution of nomadic behaviour. An extreme example is the banded stilt (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus), an opportunistic colonial breeder at remote inland salt lakes after infrequent rain events. Using satellite telemetry on 21 birds (tracked for a mean of 196.2 days), we reveal extensive, rapid and synchronized movement among individuals to and from salt lakes. Two birds left coastal refugia for the inland following rain, flying 1000-2000 km, while 12 others rapidly moved a mean of 684 km (range 357-1298 km) away from drying inland sites to the coast. Two individuals moved longitudinally across the continent, departing and arriving at the same points, yet travelling very different routes; one bird moving more than 2200 km in less than 2.5 days, the other more than 1500 km in 6 days. Our findings reveal movements nearly twice as long and rapid as recorded in other desert waterbirds. We reveal capability to rapidly detect and exploit ephemeral wetland resource pulses across the stochastic Australian desert. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. 76 FR 16805 - Notice of Call for Nominations for the Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-25

    ... Office, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, California 92553. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION... California Desert Conservation Area and 300,000 acres of scattered parcels in San Diego, western Riverside, western San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties (known as the South Coast). Public notice begins...

  6. Stone structures in the Syrian Desert

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina

    2011-01-01

    An arid land, known as the Syrian Desert, is covering a large part of the Middle East. In the past, this harsh environment, characterized by huge lava fields, the "harraat", was considered as a barrier between Levant and Mesopotamia. When we observe this desert from space, we discover that it is crossed by some stone structures, the "desert kites", which were the Neolithic traps for the game. Several stone circles are visible too, as many Stonehenge sites dispersed in the desert landscape.

  7. Moving the Force: Desert Storm and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-12-01

    Desert Shield~ Desert Storm, we could have met our airlift deployment requirements 20 to 35 percent faster. ~° Similar analyses of the Somalian Restore...DATE DEC 1994 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Moving The Force: Desert Storm and Beyond 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b...MOVING THE FORCE: Desert Storm and Beyond SCOTT W. CONRAD McNair Paper 32 December 1994 INSTITUTE FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES NATIONAL DEFENSE

  8. On a Crowded Desert Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothstein, Samuel

    1989-01-01

    Suggests reference sources most appropriate for a desert island. In addition to "Robinson Crusoe" (Daniel Defoe) and a reference guide to the literature of travel, the list includes basic books on reference work, guides to reference sources, journals, an almanac, encyclopedias, a guide to English usage, and a book of quotations. (14 references)…

  9. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

    on the frame. A thin sandy crust can appear safe, but should be tested before use. When not covered by sand, an argillaceous sabkhah dries in the...McCauley, U.S. Geological Survey, Desert Studies Group, Flagstaff, AZ, Nov 1973. B. Servicio Aerofotografia Nacional del Peru (on back). / ...... CONN:MFI

  10. 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.

  11. The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory 6.5m telescope: project overview and current status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshii, Y.; Doi, M.; Kohno, K.; Miyata, T.; Motohara, K.; Kawara, K.; Tanaka, M.; Minezaki, T.; Sako, S.; Morokuma, T.; Tamura, Y.; Tanabe, T.; Takahashi, H.; Konishi, M.; Kamizuka, T.; Kato, N.; Aoki, T.; Soyano, T.; Tarusawa, K.; Handa, T.; Koshida, S.; Bronfman, L.; Ruiz, M. T.; Hamuy, M.; Garay, G.

    2016-07-01

    The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory Project is to construct a 6.5m infrared telescope at the summit of Co. Chajnantor (5640m altitude) in northern Chile, promoted by the University of Tokyo. Thanks to the dry climate (PWV 0.5mm) and the high altitude, it will achieve excellent performance in the NIR to MIR wavelengths. The telescope has two Nasmyth foci where the facility instruments are installed and two folded-Cassegrain foci for carry-in instruments. All these four foci can be switched by rotating a tertiary mirror. The final focal ratio is 12.2 and the telescope foci have large field-of-view of 25° in diameter. We adopted the 6.5m light-weighted borosilicate honeycomb primary mirror and its support system that are developed by Steward Observatory Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab. The dome enclosure has the shape of carousel, and large ventilation windows with shutters control the wind to flush heat inside the dome. The operation building with control room, aluminizing chamber and maintenance facilities is located at the side of the dome. Two cameras, SWIMS for spectroscopy and imaging in the near-infrared and MIMIZUKU in the mid-infrared, are being developed as the first-generation facility instruments. The operation of the telescope will be remotely carried out from a base facility at San Pedro de Atacama, 50km away from the summit. The construction of the telescope is now underway. Fabrication of the telescope mount has almost finished, and the pre-assembly has been carried out in Japan. The primary, secondary, and tertiary mirrors and their cells have been also fabricated, as well as their cells and support systems. Fabrication of the enclosure is now underway, and their pre-assembly in Japan will be carried out in 2016. Construction of the base facility at San Pedro de Atacama has been already completed in 2014, and operated for the activities in Atacama. The telescope is now scheduled to see the first light at the beginning of 2018.

  12. SELECCION FENOTIPICA Y VARIABILIDAD GENETICA ESPACIO-TEMPORAL EN POBLACIONES LIMNOCITHERE ATACAMAE (OSTRACODA: LIMNOCYTHERE)

    OpenAIRE

    SCHEIHING AGUILA; RODRIGO ARMANDO

    2011-01-01

    En un sistema poblacional cerrado compuesto por lagunas endorreicas en el Salar de Surire, se estudió la distribución de la variación genética y la forma y magnitud de la selección natural en un ectotermo capaz de sobrevivir en ambientes contrastantes. Se estableció la estructura de la comunidad, el gradiente de selección natural que opera sobre el tamaño corporal, así como también, la diversidad y estructuración genética del ostrácodo, Limnocythere atacamae en el "Monumento na...

  13. Nonthermal WIMPs as ``dark radiation'' in light of ATACAMA, SPT, WMAP9, and Planck

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelso, Chris; Profumo, Stefano; Queiroz, Farinaldo S.

    2013-07-01

    The Planck and WMAP9 satellites, as well as the ATACAMA and South Pole telescopes, have recently presented results on the angular power spectrum of the comic microwave background. Data tentatively point to the existence of an extra radiation component in the early Universe. Here, we show that this extra component can be mimicked by ordinary weakly interacting massive particle dark matter particles whose majority is cold, but with a small fraction being nonthermally produced in a relativistic state. We present a few example theories where this scenario is explicitly realized and explore the relevant parameter space consistent with big bang nucleosynthesis, cosmic microwave background, and structure formation bounds.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Louis, Thibaut; Grace, Emily; Hasselfield, Matthew; Lungu, Marius; Maurin, Loïc; Addison, Graeme E.; Ade, Peter; Aiola, Simone; Allison, Rupert; Amiri, Mandana; Angile, Elio; Battaglia, Nicholas; Beall, James A.; de Bernardis, Francesco; Bond, J. Richard

    2016-01-01

    We present the temperature and polarization angular power spectra measured by the Atacama Cosmology\\ud Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol). We analyze night-time data collected during 2013{14 using\\ud two detector arrays at 149 GHz, from 548 deg2 of sky on the celestial equator. We use these spectra,\\ud and the spectra measured with the MBAC camera on ACT from 2008{10, in combination with\\ud Planck and WMAP data to estimate cosmological parameters from the temperature, polarization,\\ud and tempera...

  15. Extremely high UV-C radiation resistant microorganisms from desert environments with different manganese concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulino-Lima, Ivan Glaucio; Fujishima, Kosuke; Navarrete, Jesica Urbina; Galante, Douglas; Rodrigues, Fabio; Azua-Bustos, Armando; Rothschild, Lynn Justine

    2016-10-01

    Desiccation resistance and a high intracellular Mn/Fe ratio contribute to ionizing radiation resistance of Deinococcus radiodurans. We hypothesized that this was a general phenomenon and thus developed a strategy to search for highly radiation-resistant organisms based on their natural environment. While desiccation is a typical feature of deserts, the correlation between radiation resistance and the intracellular Mn/Fe ratio of indigenous microorganisms or the Mn/Fe ratio of the environment, has not yet been described. UV-C radiation is highly damaging to biomolecules including DNA. It was used in this study as a selective tool because of its relevance to early life on earth, high altitude aerobiology and the search for life beyond Earth. Surface soil samples were collected from the Sonoran Desert, Arizona (USA), from the Atacama Desert in Chile and from a manganese mine in northern Argentina. Microbial isolates were selected after exposure to UV-C irradiation and growth. The isolates comprised 28 genera grouped within six phyla, which we ranked according to their resistance to UV-C irradiation. Survival curves were performed for the most resistant isolates and correlated with their intracellular Mn/Fe ratio, which was determined by ICP-MS. Five percent of the isolates were highly resistant, including one more resistant than D. radiodurans, a bacterium generally considered the most radiation-resistant organism, thus used as a model for radiation resistance studies. No correlation was observed between the occurrence of resistant microorganisms and the Mn/Fe ratio in the soil samples. However, all resistant isolates showed an intracellular Mn/Fe ratio much higher than the sensitive isolates. Our findings could represent a new front in efforts to harness mechanisms of UV-C radiation resistance from extreme environments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Araya

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Network topology of the desert rose

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sigmund Mongstad Hope

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Desert roses are gypsum crystals that consist of intersecting disks. We determine their geometrical structure using computer assisted tomography. By mapping the geometrical structure onto a graph, the topology of the desert rose is analyzed and compared to a model based on diffusion limited aggregation. By comparing the topology, we find that the model gets a number of the features of the real desert rose right, whereas others do not fit so well.

  19. Network topology of the desert rose

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Sigmund; Kundu, Sumanta; Roy, Chandreyee; Manna, Subhrangshu; Hansen, Alex

    2015-09-01

    Desert roses are gypsum crystals that consist of intersecting disks. We determine their geometrical structure using computer assisted tomography. By mapping the geometrical structure onto a graph, the topology of the desert rose is analyzed and compared to a model based on diffusion limited aggregation. By comparing the topology, we find that the model gets a number of the features of the real desert rose right, whereas others do not fit so well.

  20. Does protection of desert tortoise habitat generate other ecological benefits in the Mojave Desert?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew L. Brooks

    2000-01-01

    This paper summarizes the ecological effects of fenced habitat protection for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area in the Mojave Desert. The following were higher inside than outside the natural area: (1) annual and perennial plant biomass, cover, diversity and dominance by natives, (2) soil seed...

  1. 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...

  2. 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).

  3. Global Diversity of Desert Hypolithic Cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacap-Bugler, Donnabella C; Lee, Kevin K; Archer, Stephen; Gillman, Len N; Lau, Maggie C Y; Leuzinger, Sebastian; Lee, Charles K; Maki, Teruya; McKay, Christopher P; Perrott, John K; de Los Rios-Murillo, Asunción; Warren-Rhodes, Kimberley A; Hopkins, David W; Pointing, Stephen B

    2017-01-01

    Global patterns in diversity were estimated for cyanobacteria-dominated hypolithic communities that colonize ventral surfaces of quartz stones and are common in desert environments. A total of 64 hypolithic communities were recovered from deserts on every continent plus a tropical moisture sufficient location. Community diversity was estimated using a combined t-RFLP fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing approach. The t-RFLP analysis revealed desert communities were different from the single non-desert location. A striking pattern also emerged where Antarctic desert communities were clearly distinct from all other deserts. Some overlap in community similarity occurred for hot, cold and tundra deserts. A further observation was that the producer-consumer ratio displayed a significant negative correlation with growing season, such that shorter growing seasons supported communities with greater abundance of producers, and this pattern was independent of macroclimate. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA and nifH genes from four representative samples validated the t-RFLP study and revealed patterns of taxonomic and putative diazotrophic diversity for desert communities from the Taklimakan Desert, Tibetan Plateau, Canadian Arctic and Antarctic. All communities were dominated by cyanobacteria and among these 21 taxa were potentially endemic to any given desert location. Some others occurred in all but the most extreme hot and polar deserts suggesting they were relatively less well adapted to environmental stress. The t-RFLP and sequencing data revealed the two most abundant cyanobacterial taxa were Phormidium in Antarctic and Tibetan deserts and Chroococcidiopsis in hot and cold deserts. The Arctic tundra displayed a more heterogenous cyanobacterial assemblage and this was attributed to the maritime-influenced sampling location. The most abundant heterotrophic taxa were ubiquitous among samples and belonged to the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array - from Early Science to Full Operations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remijan, Anthony

    2017-06-01

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is now entering its 6th cycle of scientific observations. Starting with Cycle 3, science observations were no longer considered "Early Science" or "best efforts". Cycle 5 is now the third cycle of "steady state" observations and Cycle 7 is advertised to begin ALMA "full science" operations. ALMA Full Science Operations will include all the capabilities that were agreed upon by the international consortium after the ALMA re-baselining effort. In this talk, I will detail the upcoming ALMA Cycle 5 observing capabilities, describe the process of selecting new observing modes for upcoming cycles and provide an update on the status of the ALMA Full Science capabilities.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Road safety research in desert countries.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schreuder, D.A.

    1988-01-01

    Depending on the geographical location and the climatological situation, the rural areas in developing countries vary from dense jungles to deserts.The traffic situation varies accordingly. This chapter deals with developing countries in arid subtropical regions, where the rural areas are deserts

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

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

    To most people, a desert — by definition — is a place where water is practically nonexistent. But a team of researchers studying Jordan's badia — a large desert in the country's northwest corner — has uncovered a secret moving slowly beneath the area's vast arid expanses. Using satellite photos, knowledge of the local ...

  17. 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...

  18. Diversidad y patrones de distribución geográfica de insectos coleópteros en ecosistemas desérticos de la región de Antofagasta, Chile Diversity and geographic distribution patterns of coleopteran insects in desert ecosystems of the Antofagasta region, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VIVIANE JEREZ

    2000-03-01

    their distribution ranges are given. The possible biogeographic relationships which could exist between the different described ecosystems of the region were analyzed. In this analysis, a coleopteran species inventory was elaborated based upon the literature, collected material from museums, and observations from field work. The spatial distribution of the taxa was established in relation to 11 described ecosystems for the Region and the endemic areas were determined using a biogeographic parsimony analysis. The taxonomic composition of Coleoptera is comprised of 21 families, 86 genera, and 167 species, with Tenebrionidae as the most diverse having 23 genera and 78 species. The Subdesertic steppe of the puna (57 sp., Coastal desert of Tocopilla (50 sp., Desert of Atacama saltflat (35 sp., Coastal desert of Taltal (32 sp., Aluvian Desert (22 sp., and the Shrubery steppe (17 sp. are the ecosystems that present the most diversification. However, the Coastal desert of Tocopilla (72%, Coastal desert of Taltal (62.5%, Subdesertic steppe of the puna (55.8%, Desert of Atacama saltflat (51.4%, Shrubery steppe (47%, and the Aluvian desert (36.3% have the highest percentages of endemism. Three areas of endemism are defined for the Region of Antofagasta, which correspond to three ecosystems distributed in an altitudinal gradient: Coastal desert, Aluvian desert, and Tropical zone

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Desert Test Site Uniformity Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerola, Dana X.; Bruegge, Carol J.

    2009-01-01

    Desert test sites such as Railroad Valley (RRV) Nevada, Egypt-1, and Libya-4 are commonly targeted to assess the on-orbit radiometric performance of sensors. Railroad Valley is used for vicarious calibration experiments, where a field-team makes ground measurements to produce accurate estimates of top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiances. The Sahara desert test sites are not instrumented, but provide a stable target that can be used for sensor cross-comparisons, or for stability monitoring of a single sensor. These sites are of interest to NASA's Atmospheric Carbon Observation from Space (ACOS) and JAXA's Greenhouse Gas Observation SATellite (GOSAT) programs. This study assesses the utility of these three test sites to the ACOS and GOSAT calibration teams. To simulate errors in sensor-measured radiance with pointing errors, simulated data have been created using MODIS Aqua data. MODIS data are further utilized to validate the campaign data acquired from June 22 through July 5, 2009. The first GOSAT vicarious calibration experiment was conducted during this timeframe.

  3. Infecção por Enterobius vermicularis em populações agro-pastoris pré-colombianas de San Pedro de Atacama, Chile Enterobius vermicularis infection in pre-Columbian population from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Fernando Ferreira

    1989-01-01

    Full Text Available Enterobius vermicularis eggs were found in human coprolites collected from the archaeological site of San Pedro de Atacama, North of Chile, in occupational layers dated from 1,000 BC. Agricultures and herding were begining at this period of time in this region of South America. The paleoparasitological data amplifies the knowledge about the distribution of human oxyuriasis in Pre-Columbian America.

  4. Accumulation of impact markers in desert wetlands and implications for the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigati, Jeffrey S; Latorre, Claudio; Rech, Jason A; Betancourt, Julio L; Martínez, Katherine E; Budahn, James R

    2012-05-08

    The Younger Dryas impact hypothesis contends that an extraterrestrial object exploded over North America at 12.9 ka, initiating the Younger Dryas cold event, the extinction of many North American megafauna, and the demise of the Clovis archeological culture. Although the exact nature and location of the proposed impact or explosion remain unclear, alleged evidence for the fallout comes from multiple sites across North America and a site in Belgium. At 6 of the 10 original sites (excluding the Carolina Bays), elevated concentrations of various "impact markers" were found in association with black mats that date to the onset of the Younger Dryas. Black mats are common features in paleowetland deposits and typically represent shallow marsh environments. In this study, we investigated black mats ranging in age from approximately 6 to more than 40 ka in the southwestern United States and the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. At 10 of 13 sites, we found elevated concentrations of iridium in bulk and magnetic sediments, magnetic spherules, and/or titanomagnetite grains within or at the base of black mats, regardless of their age or location, suggesting that elevated concentrations of these markers arise from processes common to wetland systems, and not a catastrophic extraterrestrial impact event.

  5. Simulated climate effects of desert irrigation geoengineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Wei; Moore, John C.; Cao, Long; Ji, Duoying; Zhao, Liyun

    2017-04-01

    Geoengineering, the deliberate large-scale manipulation of earth’s energy balance to counteract global warming, is an attractive proposition for sparsely populated deserts. We use the BNU and UVic Earth system models to simulate the effects of irrigating deserts under the RCP8.5 scenario. Previous studies focused on increasing desert albedo to reduce global warming; in contrast we examine how extending afforestation and ecological projects, that successfully improve regional environments, fair for geoengineering purposes. As expected desert irrigation allows vegetation to grow, with bare soil or grass gradually becoming shrub or tree covered, with increases in terrestrial carbon storage of 90.3 Pg C (UVic-ESCM) - 143.9 Pg C (BNU-ESM). Irrigating global deserts makes the land surface temperature decrease by 0.48 °C and land precipitation increase by 100 mm yr-1. In the irrigated areas, BNU-ESM simulates significant cooling of up to 4.2 °C owing to the increases in low cloud and latent heat which counteract the warming effect due to decreased surface albedo. Large volumes of water would be required to maintain global desert irrigation, equivalent 10 mm/year of global sea level (BNU-ESM) compensate for evapotranspiration losses. Differences in climate responses between the deserts prompt research into tailored albedo-irrigation schemes.

  6. 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.

  7. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

    As many places around the world confront issues of globalization, migration and postcoloniality, travel writing has become a serious genre of study, reflecting some of the greatest concerns of our time. Encompassing forms as diverse as field journals, investigative reports, guidebooks, memoirs, c...

  8. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

    geographies, and the relationship between travel writing and the social, ideological and occasionally fictional constructs through which we view the different regions of the world. Covering all of the major topics and debates, this is an essential overview of the field, which will also encourage new......As many places around the world confront issues of globalization, migration and postcoloniality, travel writing has become a serious genre of study, reflecting some of the greatest concerns of our time. Encompassing forms as diverse as field journals, investigative reports, guidebooks, memoirs......, 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...

  9. 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

    ... Bureau of Land Management Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert Sunlight Solar Farm (DSSF) and California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment... Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan, the applicable Resource Management Plan...

  10. 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.

  11. Does a Nutritious Diet Cost More in Food Deserts?

    OpenAIRE

    Fan, Linlin; Baylis, Kathy; Gundersen, Craig; Ver Ploeg, Michele

    2015-01-01

    Food deserts and their potential effects on diet and nutrition have received much attention from policymakers. While some research has found correlations between food deserts and consumer outcomes, it is unclear whether food deserts truly affect consumption behavior. In this paper, we compare food prices in food deserts and non-food deserts to check whether lack of access is associated with higher food prices of a complete diet, which could constrain the consumption of healthy foods in food d...

  12. Microphytic crusts: 'topsoil' of the desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    1990-01-01

    Deserts throughout the world are the home of microphytic, or cryptogamic, crusts. These crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria, previously called blue-green algae, and also include lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria. They are critical components of desert ecosystems, significantly modifying the surfaces on which they occur. In the cold deserts of the Colorado Plateau (including parts of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico), these crusts are extraordinarily well-developed, and may represent 70-80% of the living ground cover.

  13. Thermally evolved gas analysis (TEGA) of hyperarid soils doped with microorganisms from the Atacama Desert in southern Peru: Implications for the Phoenix mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia-Silva, Julio E.; Navarro-González, Rafael; McKay, Christopher

    2009-07-01

    TEGA, one of several instruments on board of the Phoenix Lander, performed differential scanning calorimetry and evolved gas analysis of soil samples and ice, collected from the surface and subsurface at a northern landing site on Mars. TEGA is a combination of a high temperature furnace and a mass spectrometer (MS) that was used to analyze samples delivered to the instrument via a robotic arm. The samples were heated at a programmed ramp rate up to 1000 °C. The power required for heating can be carefully and continuously monitored (scanning calorimetry). The evolved gases generated during the process can be analyzed with the evolved gas analyzer (a magnetic sector mass spectrometer) in order to determine the composition of gases released as a function of temperature. Our laboratory has developed a sample characterization method using a pyrolyzer integrated to a quadrupole mass spectrometer to support the interpretations of TEGA data. Here we examine the evolved gas properties of six types of hyperarid soils from the Pampas de La Joya in southern Peru (a possible analog to Mars), to which we have added with microorganisms ( Salmonella typhimurium, Micrococcus luteus, and Candida albicans) in order to investigate the effect of the soil matrix on the TEGA response. Between 20 and 40 mg of soil, with or without ˜5 mg of lyophilized microorganism biomass (dry weight), were placed in the pyrolyzer and heated from room temperature to 1200 °C in 1 h at a heating rate of 20 °C/min. The volatiles released were transferred to a MS using helium as a carrier gas. The quadrupole MS was ran in scan mode from 10 to 200 m/z. In addition, ˜20 mg of each microorganism without a soil matrix were analyzed. As expected, there were significant differences in the gases released from microorganism samples with or without a soil matrix, under similar heating conditions. Furthermore, samples from the most arid environments had significant differences compared with less arid soils. Organic carbon released in the form of CO 2 (ion 44 m/z) from microorganisms evolved at temperatures of ˜326.0 ± 19.5 °C, showing characteristic patterns for each one. Others ions such as 41, 78 and 91 m/z were also found. Interestingly, during the thermal process, the release of CO 2 increased and ions previously found disappeared, demonstrating a high-oxidant activity in the soil matrix when it was subjected to high temperature. Finally, samples of soil show CO 2 evolved up to 650 °C consistent with thermal decomposition of carbonates. These results indicate that organics mixed with these hyperarid soils are oxidized to CO 2. Our results suggest the existence of at least two types of oxidants in these soils, a thermolabile oxidant which is highly oxidative and other thermostable oxidant which has a minor oxidative activity and that survives the heat-treatment. Furthermore, we find that the interaction of biomass added to soil samples gives a different set of breakdown gases than organics resident in the soil. The nature of oxidant(s) present in the soils from Pampas de La Joya is still unknown.

  14. Desert Dust and Monsoon Rain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, William K. M.; Kim, Kyu-Myong

    2014-01-01

    For centuries, inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent have know that heavy dust events brought on by strong winds occur frequently in the pre-monsoon season, before the onset of heavy rain. Yet scientists have never seriously considered the possibility that natural dust can affect monsoon rainfall. Up to now, most studies of the impacts of aerosols on Indian monsoon rainfall have focused on anthropogenic aerosols in the context of climate change. However, a few recent studies have show that aerosols from antropogenic and natural sources over the Indian subcontinent may affect the transition from break to active monsoon phases on short timescales of days to weeks. Writing in Nature Geoscience, Vinoj and colleagues describe how they have shown that desert dust aerosols over the Arabian Sea and West Asia can strenghten the summer monsoon over the Indial subcontinent in a matter of days.

  15. Desert Dust Satellite Retrieval Intercomparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carboni, E.; Thomas, G. E.; Sayer, A. M.; Siddans, R.; Poulsen, C. A.; Grainger, R. G.; Ahn, C.; Antoine, D.; Bevan, S.; Braak, R.; hide

    2012-01-01

    This work provides a comparison of satellite retrievals of Saharan desert dust aerosol optical depth (AOD) during a strong dust event through March 2006. In this event, a large dust plume was transported over desert, vegetated, and ocean surfaces. The aim is to identify and understand the differences between current algorithms, and hence improve future retrieval algorithms. The satellite instruments considered are AATSR, AIRS, MERIS, MISR, MODIS, OMI, POLDER, and SEVIRI. An interesting aspect is that the different algorithms make use of different instrument characteristics to obtain retrievals over bright surfaces. These include multi-angle approaches (MISR, AATSR), polarisation measurements (POLDER), single-view approaches using solar wavelengths (OMI, MODIS), and the thermal infrared spectral region (SEVIRI, AIRS). Differences between instruments, together with the comparison of different retrieval algorithms applied to measurements from the same instrument, provide a unique insight into the performance and characteristics of the various techniques employed. As well as the intercomparison between different satellite products, the AODs have also been compared to co-located AERONET data. Despite the fact that the agreement between satellite and AERONET AODs is reasonably good for all of the datasets, there are significant differences between them when compared to each other, especially over land. These differences are partially due to differences in the algorithms, such as as20 sumptions about aerosol model and surface properties. However, in this comparison of spatially and temporally averaged data, at least as significant as these differences are sampling issues related to the actual footprint of each instrument on the heterogeneous aerosol field, cloud identification and the quality control flags of each dataset.

  16. Manado: A Developing Coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tenthof van Noorden, C.; Vermeij, D.; Van Zuijlen, J.; Zeelenberg, W.

    2013-01-01

    Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi in Indonesia, is rapidly developing. The last years Manado has been extending into the sea, which changed the hydraulics and morphology of Manado Bay. This had negative effects on the currents, inducing erosion along the coast. Also Manado has problems with

  17. Vegetation - Central Mojave Desert [ds166

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. 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.

  19. Plant ecology of the Namib desert

    OpenAIRE

    P. Van Damme

    1991-01-01

    The Namib desert is reportedly the oldest desert in the world. It consists of a number of very distinct ecosystems, six of which are dealt with in this text. Among them are the sand dune, the dry river bed and the domed inselbergs vegetation. The importance of fog water absorption for the Namib flora is discussed. Two important and noteworthy endemic plant species, i.e. Welwitschia mirabilis and Acanthosicyos horrida are treated extensively, because of their great interest for plant physiolog...

  20. 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 de 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...

  1. Braided rivers, lakes and sabkhas of the upper Triassic Cifuncho formation, Atacama region, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, M.; Bell, C. M.

    1994-01-01

    A 1,000-m-thickness of Upper Triassic (to possibly Hettangian) sediments of the Cifuncho Formation are exposed in the coastal Cordillera of the Atacama Region, Chile. These coarse-grained clastic terrigenous strata are interpreted as the deposits of braided rivers, ephemeral lakes, sabkhas and volcaniclastic alluvial fans. They include conglomerates, pebbly sandstones, fine to medium-grained sandstones and thin, finely-laminated limestones. Halite hopper-casts are abundant in sandstones near the top of the section. Approximately 90% of the clastic detritus was derived from an upper Paleozoic metasedimentary accretionary complex located to the west. Andesitic debris flow and pyroclastic flow deposits occur near the base of the sequence. Isolated tuff intercalations and an ignimbritic lava flow occur higher in the section. The great thickness of coarse-grained and ill-sorted clastic sediments suggests deposition in an actively subsiding basin, probably a graben, adjacent to rising highlands. Overlying Hettangian-Sinemurian marine sediments were deposited by a transgression which occurred during a world-wide lowstand. This suggests that thermal subsidence followed the Triassic rifting.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. EXAMINING LOCAL SOCIAL IDENTITIES THROUGH PATTERNS OF BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL VARIATION IN THE SOLCOR AYLLU, SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, CHILE / EXAMINANDO LAS IDENTIDADES SOCIALES LOCALES A TRAVÉS DE LOS PATRONES DE VARIACIÓN BIOLÓGICA Y CULTURAL EN EL AYLLU DE SOLCOR, SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, CHILE

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kristin L. Nado; Sara J. Marsteller; Laura M. King; Blair M. Daverman; Christina Torres-Rouff; Kelly J. Knudson

    2012-01-01

    .... This research explores how local group identities impacted the ways in which individuals and communities at San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, expressed their relationship to the Tiwanaku polity during the Middle Horizon...

  10. 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.

  11. Atmospheric Optical Properties and Spectral Analysis of Desert Aerosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yvgeni, D.; Karnieli, A.; Kaufman, Y. J.; Andreae, M. O.; Holben, B. N.; Maenhaut, W.

    2002-05-01

    Scientific background Aerosols can interact directly with solar and terrestrial radiation by scattering as well as absorption. In addition, they can indirectly alter the planetary albedo by modifying the properties of clouds. Objectives Investigations have been devoted to two main areas: (1) Aerosol climatology situation in the Negev desert, investigations of physical and chemical characteristics of aerosols, and study of the local and long-range transport trajectory of polluted air masses over the Negev desert; and (2) An estimation of the optical properties throughout the atmospheric column by surface measurements via performance of spectral and statistical analysis of the data received from two measurement systems. Results and conclusions Analyzed data from the Sede Boker site, in the Negev Desert of Israel, shows an increase in aerosol optical depth during the summer seasons and a decrease during winter. One of the possible reasons for this characteristic is an increase of the precipitable water (reaches 3.0-3.5 cm) due to a constant wind stream from the Mediterranean Sea in same time. The highest probability distribution of the aerosol optical depth is in the range of 0.15-0.20; and of the Angstrom parameter is in range of 0.83 - 1.07. During dust storm events, the scattering coefficient range at 670 nm and 440 nm wavelengths were inverted. It was discovered that the dust particles in this case had non-spherical character. Comparison between optical depth, measured through all atmospheric column, and scattering coefficient from surface measurements provides correlation coefficient (r) equal to 0.64. The Angstrom parameter, calculated via optical depth and via scattering coefficient, provides a correlation coefficient of 0.66. Thus we can obtain an estimate of the influence of the surface aerosol situation on column optical properties. The combined analysis of dust cloud altitude and optical depth as a function of the time indicates long-term transport and

  12. Desert dust hazards: A global review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, N. J.

    2017-02-01

    Dust storms originate in many of the world's drylands and frequently present hazards to human society, both within the drylands themselves but also outside drylands due to long-range transport of aeolian sediments. Major sources of desert dust include the Sahara, the Middle East, central and eastern Asia, and parts of Australia, but dust-raising occurs all across the global drylands and, on occasion, beyond. Dust storms occur throughout the year and they vary in frequency and intensity over a number of timescales. Long-range transport of desert dust typically takes place along seasonal transport paths. Desert dust hazards are here reviewed according to the three phases of the wind erosion system: where dust is entrained, during the transport phase, and on deposition. This paper presents a synthesis of these hazards. It draws on empirical examples in physical geography, medical geology and geomorphology to discuss case studies from all over the world and in various fields. These include accelerated soil erosion in agricultural zones - where dust storms represent a severe form of accelerated soil erosion - the health effects of air pollution caused by desert aerosols via their physical, chemical and biological properties, transport accidents caused by poor visibility during desert dust events, and impacts on electricity generation and distribution. Given the importance of desert dust as a hazard to human societies, it is surprising to note that there have been relatively few attempts to assess their impact in economic terms. Existing studies in this regard are also reviewed, but the wide range of impacts discussed in this paper indicates that desert dust storms deserve more attention in this respect.

  13. Weathering and solute transport to the Salar de Atacama, northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hynek, S. A.; Munk, L. A.; Boutt, D. F.

    2013-12-01

    The Salar de Atacama is situated in a tectonic basin on the Tropic of Capricorn, adjacent to the Central Andean Volcanic Zone in hyper-arid northern Chile. This basin has been hydrographically closed for most, if not all, of the Cenozoic. Since the late Miocene, chemical sediment (primarily halite, but also sulphate) and Na-Cl brines have accumulated. The volume of these deposits provides a constraint on long term average solute fluxes. We have undertaken an extensive multiple isotope study of surface and shallow groundwater in the basin to constrain processes and pathways affecting solute fluxes to the basin. By comparing these inflow waters to brackish waters and brines, we are able to place constraints on modern weathering with the ultimate goal of comparing it to longer term fluxes estimated from the geologic record. The volcanic arc and extensive large volume silicic magma chambers provide potential sources of solutes to the basin which are not a direct result of surficial weathering (hydrothermal waters/magmatic brines). For most freshwater, this possibility is ruled out. Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in water provide no strong evidence for high temperature water-rock interaction. Further, the isotopic composition of helium dissolved in groundwater demonstrates that most groundwater carries an atmospheric signal (air saturated water), though some evidence for the influence of magmatic brines is found in shallow groundwater with high concentrations of helium-3, methane, and carbon dioxide. The strontium isotopic composition of waters and brines exhibits geographic variation that is related to at least four sources; 1) weathering of Andean volcanic arc along the eastern margin of the basin (87/86 ratios ~0.708), 2) thermal waters sourced in the northern headwaters of the Río San Pedro and 3) high calcium weathering fluxes from the Cordón de Lila on the southern margin of the basin, both of which have more radiogenic 87/86 ratios than the Andean volcanic arc

  14. 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),

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Desert Amplification in a Warming Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Here I analyze the observed and projected surface temperature anomalies over land between 50°S-50°N for the period 1950–2099 by large-scale ecoregion and find strongest warming consistently and persistently seen over driest ecoregions such as the Sahara desert and the Arabian Peninsula during various 30-year periods, pointing to desert amplification in a warming climate. This amplification enhances linearly with the global mean greenhouse gases(GHGs) radiative forcing and is attributable primarily to a stronger GHGs-enhanced downward longwave radiation forcing reaching the surface over drier ecoregions as a consequence of a warmer and thus moister atmosphere in response to increasing GHGs. These results indicate that desert amplification may represent a fundamental pattern of global warming associated with water vapor feedbacks over land in low- and mid- latitudes where surface warming rates depend inversely on ecosystem dryness. It is likely that desert amplification might involve two types of water vapor feedbacks that maximize respectively in the tropical upper troposphere and near the surface over deserts, with both being very dry and thus extremely sensitive to changes of water vapor. PMID:27538725

  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. Mate desertion in response to female promiscuity in the socially ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It has therefore been predicted, but never observed in the field, that if the female of a monogamous male is promiscuous, he will desert her and attempt to breed with an alternative female. Here we report a case of such a mate desertion in the aardwolf Proteles cristatus. We suggest, however, that mate desertion should ...

  1. PROCESOS DE METEORIZACION EN CONDRITOS ORDINARIOS DEL DESIERTO DE ATACAMA, NORTE DE CHILE: NUEVOS ANTECEDENTES SOBRE METEORIZACION DE MATERIAL EXTRATERRESTRE EN AMBIENTES DESERTICOS

    OpenAIRE

    VALENZUELA PICON; EDITH MILLARCA; VALENZUELA PICON; EDITH MILLARCA

    2011-01-01

    Una completa caracterización de los Condritos Ordinarios (CO's) del desierto de Atacama, 11 Región, Chile, fue realizada en el marco de esta Tesis Doctoral, provenientes de 2 localidades: Pampa de Mejillones (PM), en la zona costera y San Juan (SJ), en la Depresión Central, más algunas muestras provenientes de otras localidades. El objetivo principal fue comprender y reconstituir los procesos de meteorización experimentados por estas muestras en Atacama, y definir hasta qué grado ...

  2. Murzuk Sand Sea, Sahara Desert, Libya, Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    This near vertical view of the Murzuk Sand Sea, Sahara Desert, Libya (22.5N, 13.0E) shows the very diverse landscape that is part of the great Sahara Desert of North Africa. The vast expanse of sand dunes known as the Murzuk sand Sea of Libya and the adjacent rock outcrops support little human habitation. In fact, the tiny village of Murzuk with its center pivot, swing arm irrigated agriculture complex is the only sign of life in the region.

  3. Desert Dust Properties, Modelling, and Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaskaoutis, Dimitris G.; Kahn, Ralph A.; Gupta, Pawan; Jayaraman, Achuthan; Bartzokas, Aristides

    2013-01-01

    This paper is just the three-page introduction to a Special Issue of Advances in Meteorology focusing on desert dust. It provides a paragraph each on 13 accepted papers, most relating to the used of satellite data to assess attributes or distribution of airborne desert dust. As guest Associate Editors of this issue, we organized the papers into a systematic whole, beginning with large-scale transport and seasonal behavior, then to regional dust transport, transport history, and climate impacts, first in the Mediterranean region, then India and central Asia, and finally focusing on transport model assessment and the use of lidar as a technique to constrain dust spatial-temporal distribution.

  4. Transport of desert dust mixed with North African industrial pollutants in the subtropical Saharan Air Layer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Rodríguez

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available An analysis of chemical composition data of particulate matter samples (TSP, PM10 and PM2.5 collected from 2002 to 2008 in the North Atlantic free troposphere at the Izaña Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW observatory (Tenerife, Canary Islands shows that desert dust is very frequently mixed with particulate pollutants in the Saharan Air Layer (SAL. The study of this data set with Median Concentrations At Receptor (MCAR plots allowed the identification of the potential source regions of the dust and particulate pollutants. Areas located at the south of the southern slope of the Atlas mountains emerge as the most frequent source of the soil desert dust advected to the northern edge of the SAL in summer. Industrial emissions occurring in Northern Algeria, Eastern Algeria, Tunisia and the Atlantic coast of Morocco appear as the most important source of the nitrate, ammonium and a fraction of sulphate (at least 60 % of the sulphate <10 μm transported from some regions observed in the SAL. These emissions are mostly linked to crude oil refineries, phosphate-based fertilizer industry and power plants. Although desert dust emissions appear as the most frequent source of the phosphorous observed in the SAL, high P concentrations are observed when the SAL is affected by emissions from open mines of phosphate and phosphate based fertilizer industry. The results also show that a significant fraction of the sulphate (up to 90 % of sulphate <10 μm transported from some regions observed in the SAL may be influenced by soil emissions of evaporite minerals in well defined regions where dry saline lakes (chotts are present. These interpretations of the MCAR plots are consistent with the results obtained with the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF2 receptor modelling. The results of this study show that North African industrial pollutants may be mixed with desert dust and exported to the North Atlantic in the Saharan Air Layer.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Design and development status of the University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory 6.5m telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morokuma, Tomoki; Aoki, Tsutomu; Doi, Mamoru; Handa, Toshihiro; Kamizuka, Takafumi; Kato, Natsuko; Kawara, Kimiaki; Kohno, Kotaro; Konishi, Masahiro; Koshida, Shintaro; Minezaki, Takeo; Miyata, Takashi; Motohara, Kentaro; Sako, Shigeyuki; Soyano, Takao; Takahashi, Hidenori; Tamura, Yoichi; Tanabe, Toshihiko; Tanaka, Masuo; Tarusawa, Ken'ichi; Yoshii, Yuzuru

    2014-07-01

    We here summarize the design and the current fabrication status for the University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory (TAO) 6.5-m telescope. The TAO telescope is operated at one of the best sites for infrared observations, at the summit of Co. Chajnantor in Chile, and is optimized for infrared observations. The telescope mount, mirrors, and mirror support systems are now at the final design phase. The mechanical and optical designs are done by following and referring to those of the Magellan telescopes, MMT, and Large Binocular Telescope. The final focal ratio is 12.2. The field-of-view is as wide as 25 arcmin in diameter and the plate scale is 2.75 arcsec mm-1. The F/1.25 light-weighted borosilicate (Ohara E6) honeycomb primary mirror is adopted and being fabricated by the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory. The primary mirror is supported by 104 loadspreaders bonded to the back surface of the mirror and 6 adjustable hardpoints. The mirror is actively controlled by adjusting the actuator forces based on the realtime wavefront measurement. The actuators are optimized for operation at high altitude of the site, 5640-m above the sea level, by considering the low temperature and low air pressure. The mirror is held in the primary mirror cell which is used as a part of the vacuum chamber when the mirror surface is aluminized without being detached from the cell. The pupil is set at the secondary mirror to minimize infrared radiation into instruments. The telescope has two Nasmyth foci for near-infrared and mid-infrared facility instruments (SWIMS and MIMIZUKU, respectively) and one folded-Caseggrain focus for carry-in instruments. At each focus, autoguider and wavefront measurement systems are attached to achieve seeing-limited image quality. The telescope mount is designed as a tripod-disk type alt-azimuth mount. Both the azimuthal and elevation axes are supported by and run on the hydrostatic bearings. Friction drives are selected for these axis drives. The telescope

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-25

    Integrating Army Aviation into the Combined Arms Team: Operational Art in Desert Shield and Desert Storm A Monograph by MAJ Chris D. Hanna...ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) MAJ Chris D. Hanna 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S...18. NUMBER OF PAGES 19a. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON MAJ Chris D. Hanna a. REPORT b. ABSTRACT c. THIS PAGE 19b. PHONE NUMBER (include area

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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,

  14. 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.

  15. 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%.

  16. 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%. PMID:21149727

  17. 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...

  18. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant–plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. PMID:25381258

  19. Endolithic microbial life in hot and cold deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, E. I.

    1980-01-01

    Endolithic microorganisms (those living inside rocks) occur in hot and cold deserts and exist under extreme environmental conditions. These conditions are discussed on a comparative basis. Quantitative estimates of biomass are comparable in hot and cold deserts. Despite the obvious differences between the hot and cold desert environment, survival strategies show some common features. These endolithic organisms are able to 'switch' rapidly their metabolic activities on and off in response to changes in the environment. Conditions in hot deserts impose a more severe environmental stress on the organisms than in the cold Antarctic desert. This is reflected in the composition of the microbial flora which in hot desert rocks consist entirely of prokaryotic microorganisms, while under cold desert conditions eukaryotes predominate.

  20. Wood decay in desert riverine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Douglas; Stricker, Craig A.; Nelson, S. Mark

    2016-01-01

    Floodplain forests and the woody debris they produce are major components of riverine ecosystems in many arid and semiarid regions (drylands). We monitored breakdown and nitrogen dynamics in wood and bark from a native riparian tree, Fremont cottonwood (Populus deltoides subsp. wislizeni), along four North American desert streams. We placed locally-obtained, fresh, coarse material [disks or cylinders (∼500–2000 cm3)] along two cold-desert and two warm-desert rivers in the Colorado River Basin. Material was placed in both floodplain and aquatic environments, and left in situ for up to 12 years. We tested the hypothesis that breakdown would be fastest in relatively warm and moist aerobic environments by comparing the time required for 50% loss of initial ash-free dry matter (T50) calculated using exponential decay models incorporating a lag term. In cold-desert sites (Green and Yampa rivers, Colorado), disks of wood with bark attached exposed for up to 12 years in locations rarely inundated lost mass at a slower rate (T50 = 34 yr) than in locations inundated during most spring floods (T50 = 12 yr). At the latter locations, bark alone loss mass at a rate initially similar to whole disks (T50 = 13 yr), but which subsequently slowed. In warm-desert sites monitored for 3 years, cylinders of wood with bark removed lost mass very slowly (T50 = 60 yr) at a location never inundated (Bill Williams River, Arizona), whereas decay rate varied among aquatic locations (T50 = 20 yr in Bill Williams River; T50 = 3 yr in Las Vegas Wash, an effluent-dominated stream warmed by treated wastewater inflows). Invertebrates had a minor role in wood breakdown except at in-stream locations in Las Vegas Wash. The presence and form of change in nitrogen content during exposure varied among riverine environments. Our results suggest woody debris breakdown in desert riverine ecosystems is primarily a microbial process with rates determined by landscape position

  1. Geomorphology of the Goa Coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wagle, B.G.

    with the regional trend, major faults and fractures and represents a fine example of a structurally controlled drainage pattern. The islands near the coast are parts of coastal headlands now isolated from the retrograding coast. Some of laterite beds at a depth...

  2. 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 ...

  3. Historical Review of Tsunamigenic Earthquakes on the Jalisco Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, R.; Ramirez-Herrera, M.

    2013-05-01

    This study aims to discuss, interpret and map in a GIS database, historical data gathered from archives, scientific reports and newspapers, of earthquakes generated along the Jalisco and Colima coasts, to achieve a better understanding of epicenters location and the distribution of earthquake damage. Emphasis is placed on earthquakes that caused or may have caused tsunamis. This coastal area runs parallel to the Rivera's plate subduction, along an active convergent margin. The tectonic setting favors the generation of earthquakes with magnitude Ms≥6.5, causing damages locally and regionally. At least five tsunamis (23/02/1875, 03/06/1932, 22/06/1932, 19/06/1995 and 22/01/2003) have originated locally, two of them of great intensity. Historical data are available since the 16th century, but are scarce since this coast had few populated places. Early chronicles from 16th century described populated villages at Bahía de Banderas, Tomatlán and Barra de Navidad, though in the 18th century the western pacific coast of Jalisco (Nueva Galicia) was almost deserted. Between the 18th century and first half of the 20th century, this section of the Pacific coast experienced a slow occupation process, accelerated over the course of the last fifty years. Historical data analysis and GIS database are necessary in order to answer the questions on: 1) which ones were the most intense earthquakes and tsunamis that originated in the area, and 2) what kind of information is available for each one. This information is relevant to earthquake and tsunami hazard assessment and vulnerability of this area.

  4. Mangroves at Their Limits: Detection and Area Estimation of Mangroves along the Sahara Desert Coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviana Otero

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The northernmost and most arid mangrove ecosystem of West Africa is found in Mauritania, in the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin (PNBA. The existing global and regional maps of Mauritania’s mangroves have little detail, and available estimates of the mangrove area differ among studies. We assessed the use of automated Remote Sensing classification techniques to calculate the extent and map the distribution of the mangrove patches located at Cap Timiris, PNBA, using QuickBird and GeoEye imagery. It was possible to detect the northernmost contiguous mangrove patches of West Africa with an accuracy of 87% ± 2% using the Maximum Likelihood algorithm. The main source of error was the low spectral difference between mangroves and other types of terrestrial vegetation, which resulted in an erroneous classification between these two types of land cover. The most reliable estimate for the mangrove area obtained in this study was 19.48 ± 5.54 ha in 2011. Moreover, we present a special validation procedure that enables a detailed and reliable validation of the land cover maps.

  5. Deriving Polarization Properties of Desert-Reflected Solar Spectra with PARASOL Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wenbo; Baize, Rosemary R.; Lukashin, Constantine

    2015-01-01

    Reflected solar radiation from desert is strongly polarized by sand particles. To date, there is no reliable desert surface reflection model to calculate desert reflection matrix. In this study, the PARASOL data are used to retrieve physical properties of desert. These physical properties are then used in the ADRTM to calculate polarization of desert-reflected light for the whole solar spectra.

  6. Snow, the Great River, and the Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rango, A.

    2005-12-01

    While many major rivers around the world originate from alpine snowpacks in mountain regions, some experience the extreme contrast of flowing through harsh desert environments downriver. One such stream is the Rio Grande which rises in the San Juan and the Sangre de Christo mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Eventually, the snow fed Rio Grande flows through North America's largest desert, the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, and simultaneously becomes part of the border between the United States and Mexico. As is often true, urban areas develop along the river corridors rather than in more inaccessible mountain regions. This demographic preference tends to isolate the vast majority of population in the Rio Grande, who are dependent on water for their livelihoods, from the mountain snowpacks where the flow is generated. Ironically then, snow is seldom viewed as the source of the much needed water flowing through the desert by the majority of the basin's population. In arid regions of the western U.S., water demand far exceeds the water supply, and water use is apportioned under the doctrine of prior appropriation with the oldest right getting the first use of water. The increasing population in urban areas does not usually have a right to use the water flowing through the desert unless water rights have been purchased by municipalities from the major category of water user in these basins, namely, irrigated agriculture. In the entire Rio Grande basin, irrigation makes up 80% of the consumptive use of water. Additionally, basin compacts and international treaties apportion water between states and countries. Because these formal agreements were based on above average runoff years, there is little flexibility in changing the use of water, particularly in dry to normal runoff years. Most of the older water rights in the Rio Grande, especially the upper basin, are supplied by snowmelt. This leaves the lower basin to depend upon

  7. Vertebrate fossils and trace fossils in Upper Jurassic-Lower cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, C. M.; Suárez, M.

    Pterosaur, dinosaur, and crocodile bones are recorded here for the first time in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region east of Copiapó, Chile. Trace fossils produced by vertebrate animals include the footprints of theropod dinosaurs and the depressions of sandstone laminae interpreted as burrows and foot impressions. The fossils occur in the 1500-meter-thick Quebrada Monardes Formation, which consists predominantly of the aeolian and alluvial deposits of a semi-arid terrestrial environment. Vertebrate fossils are very rare in Chile. Dinosaur bones and footprints have previously been recorded at only seven locations, and pterosaur remains at only one location. The newly discovered dinosaur bones are the oldest to be described in Chile.

  8. 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.

  9. La minería del litio en la Puna de Atacama: interdependencias transregionales y disputas locales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Göbel

    2014-06-01

    Lithium gained new strategic relevance for the development of cutting edge technologies connected to carbon cero lifestyles. The contribution analyzes the local impacts of the installment of lithium mining projects in the Puna de Atacama in northwestern Argentina. This area belongs to the so called “lithium triangle” of Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina with the largest saline reserves of lithium in the world. It will be shown how interactions, negotiations and disputes between the local indigenous populations, the mining companies and the State are influenced by transregional economic, political, and legal interdependencies. The conflicts illustrate the fragile and unequal position of indigenous people to put in practice the specific rights assigned to them. In this sense we face in northwestern Argentina an uncompleted, fragmented and disempowered “indigenous citizenship”.

  10. Prokaryotic diversity and biogeochemical characteristics of benthic microbial ecosystems at La Brava, a hypersaline lake at Salar de Atacama, Chile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Eugenia Farias

    Full Text Available Benthic microbial ecosystems of Laguna La Brava, Salar de Atacama, a high altitude hypersaline lake, were characterized in terms of bacterial and archaeal diversity, biogeochemistry, (including O2 and sulfide depth profiles and mineralogy, and physicochemical characteristics. La Brava is one of several lakes in the Salar de Atacama where microbial communities are growing in extreme conditions, including high salinity, high solar insolation, and high levels of metals such as lithium, arsenic, magnesium, and calcium. Evaporation creates hypersaline conditions in these lakes and mineral precipitation is a characteristic geomicrobiological feature of these benthic ecosystems. In this study, the La Brava non-lithifying microbial mats, microbialites, and rhizome-associated concretions were compared to each other and their diversity was related to their environmental conditions. All the ecosystems revealed an unusual community where Euryarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, Acetothermia, Firmicutes and Planctomycetes were the most abundant groups, and cyanobacteria, typically an important primary producer in microbial mats, were relatively insignificant or absent. This suggests that other microorganisms, and possibly novel pathways unique to this system, are responsible for carbon fixation. Depth profiles of O2 and sulfide showed active production and respiration. The mineralogy composition was calcium carbonate (as aragonite and increased from mats to microbialites and rhizome-associated concretions. Halite was also present. Further analyses were performed on representative microbial mats and microbialites by layer. Different taxonomic compositions were observed in the upper layers, with Archaea dominating the non-lithifying mat, and Planctomycetes the microbialite. The bottom layers were similar, with Euryarchaeota, Crenarchaeota and Planctomycetes as dominant phyla. Sequences related to Cyanobacteria were very scarce. These systems may contain previously

  11. Candaciidae) off the Kenya Coast

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    'Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, KMFRI, P. 0. Box 81651 ... Paracandacia (family Candaciidae) within the inshore, shelf and offshore waters of the Kenya coast are ... Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the ...

  12. West Coast Fishing Closures, 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data delineate state and federally managed ocean areas off the West Coast of the United States that are closed to or have restrictions on commercial or...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Himalayan Mountain Range, Taklimakan Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    Looking north from Kashmir India (27.5N, 76.5E) into the Tibetan Plateau and beyond, the Taklimakan Desert of far western China appears to be covered with an extensive layer of haze that blankets the entire region. Reaching even into the western Siberian Plains of the CIS. This rugged land is one of the world's richest treasure troves of mineral wealth but the accessability into this remote area is so difficult that it is not yet economically feasible.

  16. 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...Ninth Air Force.” 8 foreign soil in Mexico and in Europe during the First World War, expeditionary operations in the Second World War had been...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

  17. Anthropocene changes in desert area: Sensitivity to climate model predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahowald, N.

    2007-12-01

    Changes in desert area due to humans have important implications from a local, regional to global level. Here we focus on the latter in order to better understand estimated changes in desert dust aerosols and the associated iron deposition into oceans. Using 17 model simulations from the World Climate Research Programme's Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 multi-model dataset and the BIOME4 equilibrium vegetation model we estimate changes in desert dust source areas due to climate change and carbon dioxide fertilization. If we assume no carbon dioxide fertilization, the mean of the model predictions is that desert areas expand from the 1880s to the 2080s, due to increased aridity. If we allow for carbon dioxide fertilization, the desert areas become smaller. Thus better understanding carbon dioxide fertilization is important for predicting desert response to climate. There is substantial spread in the model simulation predictions for regional and global averages.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Contraction of the Gobi Desert, 2000–2012

    OpenAIRE

    Troy Sternberg; Henri Rueff; Nick Middleton

    2015-01-01

    Deserts are critical environments because they cover 41% of the world’s land surface and are home to 2 billion residents. As highly dynamic biomes desert expansion and contraction is influenced by climate and anthropogenic factors with variability being a key part of the desertification debate across dryland regions. Evaluating a major world desert, the Gobi in East Asia, with high resolution satellite data and the meteorologically-derived Aridity Index from 2000 to 2012 identified a r...

  1. Risk assessment of desert pollution on composite high voltage insulators

    OpenAIRE

    El-Shahat, Mohammed; Anis, Hussein

    2014-01-01

    Transmission lines located in the desert are subjected to desert climate, one of whose features is sandstorms. With long accumulation of sand and with the advent of moisture from rain, ambient humidity and dew, a conductive layer forms and the subsequent leakage current may lead to surface discharge, which may shorten the insulator life or lead to flashover thus interrupting the power supply. Strategically erected power lines in the Egyptian Sinai desert are typically subject to such a risk, ...

  2. Late Quaternary faulting in the Sevier Desert driven by magmatism

    OpenAIRE

    Stahl, T.; Niemi, N. A.

    2017-01-01

    Seismic hazard in continental rifts varies as a function of strain accommodation by tectonic or magmatic processes. The nature of faulting in the Sevier Desert, located in eastern Basin and Range of central Utah, and how this faulting relates to the Sevier Desert Detachment low-angle normal fault, have been debated for nearly four decades. Here, we show that the geodetic signal of extension across the eastern Sevier Desert is best explained by magma-assisted rifting associated with Plio-Pleis...

  3. The spatio-temporal variability of groundwater depth in a typical desert-oasis ecotone

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wang, Guohua; Zhao, Wenzhi

    2015-01-01

    Eight groundwater observation wells were installed along the river plain, where the landscapes varied from floodplain, to oasis farmland, to desert-oasis ecotone to desert, in a typical desert-oasis...

  4. 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.

  5. Contraction of the Gobi Desert, 2000-2012

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Troy Sternberg; Henri Rueff; Nick Middleton

    2015-01-01

    .... As highly dynamic biomes desert expansion and contraction is influenced by climate and anthropogenic factors with variability being a key part of the desertification debate across dryland regions...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Participatory action research as a tool in solving desert vernacular architecture problems in the Western Desert of Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    Dabaieh, Marwa

    2013-01-01

    Vernacular architecture is suffering all over the world and Egypt is one of the countries where the desert vernacular is facing a great risk of disappearance. The aim of the research is to introduce a methodological approach applying participatory action research (PAR) as a tool to help save the future of the currently deteriorating desert vernacular architecture. The aim was to help prevent further loss of desert vernacular architecture knowledge and to encourage vernacular know-how in becom...

  9. 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...

  10. Transport of desert dust mixed with North African industrial pollutants in the subtropical Saharan Air Layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, S.; Alastuey, A.; Alonso-Pérez, S.; Querol, X.; Cuevas, E.; Abreu-Afonso, J.; Viana, M.; Pérez, N.; Pandolfi, M.; de La Rosa, J.

    2011-07-01

    An analysis of chemical composition data of particulate matter samples (TSP, PM10 and PM2.5) collected from 2002 to 2008 in the North Atlantic free troposphere at the Izaña Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) observatory (Tenerife, Canary Islands) shows that desert dust is very frequently mixed with particulate pollutants in the Saharan Air Layer (SAL). The study of this data set with Median Concentrations At Receptor (MCAR) plots allowed the identification of the potential source regions of the dust and particulate pollutants. Areas located at the south of the southern slope of the Atlas mountains emerge as the most frequent source of the soil desert dust advected to the northern edge of the SAL in summer. Industrial emissions occurring in Northern Algeria, Eastern Algeria, Tunisia and the Atlantic coast of Morocco appear as the most important source of the nitrate, ammonium and a fraction of sulphate (at least 60 % of the sulphate exported to the North Atlantic in the Saharan Air Layer.

  11. 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.

  12. Conservación y restauración de un tocado atacameño del sitio Solcor-3, San Pedro de Atacama, norte de Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Andrea Morales Nilo

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available En la colección de tocados cefálicos prehispánicos asociados a contextos funerarios del Instituto de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Museo R.P. Gustavo Le Paige (I.I.A.M., San Pedro de Atacama, existe un tocado atacameño poco usual conformado por una banda afelpada y un casquete cuadrado. El presente artículo expone los procesos de documentación, diagnóstico y tratamiento de conservación aplicado a este tocado atacameño, procedente del fardo funerario de un individuo de la tumba 112 del sitio Solcor 3, asociado a la fase de influencia del estado Tiwanaku en San Pedro de Atacama.

  13. Characterization of Morphology, Volatile Profiles, and Molecular Markers in Edible Desert Truffles from the Negev Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamle, Madhu; Bar, Einat; Lewinsohn, Dalia; Shavit, Elinoar; Roth-Bejerano, Nurit; Kagan-Zur, Varda; Barak, Ze'ev; Guy, Ofer; Zaady, Eli; Lewinsohn, Efraim; Sitrit, Yaron

    2017-03-28

    Desert truffles are mycorrhizal, hypogeous fungi considered a delicacy. On the basis of morphological characters, we identified three desert truffle species that grow in the same habitat in the Negev desert. These include Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.), Tirmania nivea (Desf.) Trappe, and Terfezia boudieri (Chatain), all associated with Helianthemum sessiliflorum. Their taxonomy was confirmed by PCR-RFLP. The main volatiles of fruit bodies of T. boudieri and T. nivea were 1-octen-3-ol and hexanal; however, volatiles of the latter species further included branched-chain amino acid derivatives such as 2-methylbutanal and 3-methylbutanal, phenylalanine derivatives such as benzaldehyde and benzenacetaldehyde, and methionine derivatives such as methional and dimethyl disulfide. The least aromatic truffle, P. lefebvrei, contained low levels of 1-octen-3-ol as the main volatile. Axenic mycelia cultures of T. boudieri displayed a simpler volatile profile compared to its fruit bodies. This work highlights differences in the volatile profiles of desert truffles and could hence be of interest for selecting and cultivating genotypes with the most likable aroma.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Forager abundance and dietary relationships in a Namib Desert ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Forager abundance and dietary relationships in a Namib Desert ant community. A.C. Marsh. Abstract. Thirteen ant species coexist on a barren gravel plain habitat in the central Namib Desert. Numerical density of foragers of all species fluctuated considerably over a 17-month period. Peaks in abundance correlated to ...

  17. Nationwide Desert Highway Assessment: A Case Study in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21845155

  18. 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

  19. Nationwide Desert Highway Assessment: A Case Study in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Binggang Wang

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Food Deserts and Overweight Schoolchildren: Evidence from Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schafft, Kai A.; Jensen, Eric B.; Hinrichs, C. Clare

    2009-01-01

    The concept of the "food desert", an area with limited access to retail food stores, has increasingly been used within social scientific and public health research to explore the dimensions of spatial inequality and community well-being. While research has demonstrated that food deserts are frequently characterized by higher levels of…

  1. The Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehman, P. [Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, CA (United States)

    1996-10-01

    The present paper describes, for purposes of the Department of Energy (DoE) Hydrogen Program Review, Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) progress on the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project for the period January through June 1996. This period represents the first six months of the three year project. The estimated cost over three years is $3.9M, $1.859M of which is funded by the DoE ($600 k for fiscal year 1996). The goal of the Palm Desert Project is to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community. The project will demonstrate the practical utility of hydrogen as a transportation fuel and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells as vehicle power plants. This transportation system will be developed in the City of Palm Desert in southern California and will include a fleet of 8 fuel cell powered vehicles, solar and wind powered hydrogen generating facilities, a consumer-ready refueling station, and a service infrastructure. The system holds the promise of a clean environment and an energy supply that is predictable, domestic, safe, and abundant. During, the first part of 1996 SERC has nearly completed building a fuel cell powered personal utility vehicle, which features an upgraded safety and computer system; they have designed and built a test bench that is able to mimic golf cart loads and test fuel cell system auxiliary components; they have begun the design of the solar hydrogen generating station; they have worked with Sandia National Laboratory on an advanced metal hydride storage system; they have increased the power density of the SERC fuel cell by as much as 50%; and they have reached out to the rest of the world with a new fact sheet, world wide web pages, a press release, video footage for a television program. and instruction within the community.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Physiological Conjunction of Allelochemicals and Desert Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:24339945

  5. 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.

  6. NASA Desert RATS 2011 Education Pilot Project and Classroom Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruener, J. E.; McGlone, M.; Allen, J.; Tobola, K.; Graff, P.

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of tests of hardware and operations carried out annually in the high desert of Arizona, as an analog to future exploration activities beyond low Earth orbit [1]. For the past several years, these tests have occurred in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, north of Flagstaff. For the 2011 Desert RATS season, the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) at NASA headquarters provided support to develop an education pilot project that would include student activities to parallel the Desert RATS mission planning and exploration activities in the classroom, and educator training sessions. The development of the pilot project was a joint effort between the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate and the Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP), managed at Penn State University.

  7. Pioneer unmanned air vehicle accomplishments during Operation Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christner, James H.

    1991-12-01

    This paper will describe the accomplishments and lessons learned of the Pioneer Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The Pioneer UAV has been deployed with three branches of the U.S. military (USA, USN, and USMC) for the past four years. Although the system has compiled over 6,000 flight hours, the recent conflict in the Gulf is the first opportunity to demonstrate its true value in a combat scenario. In a relatively short time (42 days), 307 flights and 1,011 flight hours were completed on Operation Desert Storm. This, coupled with the accuracy of various weapons systems that Pioneer observed/cued for, resulted in timely target engagements. This paper will chronicle the Pioneer deployment and accomplishments on Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Various employment methods, tactics, doctrine, and lessons learned will be presented.

  8. Constructing a Symbolic Desert: Place and Identity in Contemporary Israel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shavit, Ze'ev

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper focuses on images of the Negev desert in Israel among the Jewish population of Israel, presented in marketing websites of tourism and leisure resorts. The analysis of the data, focused on verbal and visual images of desert, shows a significant change in the symbolic construction of the desert compared to the first decades of Israeli statehood: from a desert conceived in light of national ideology and its imperatives, to one who’s images highlight consumerism and individual preferences, fantasies and desires. This change in the symbolic construction of the desert is treated as a part of some major changes in Jewish-Israeli collective identity thus pointing towards the link between two social processes: place-making and identity-work.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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,

  12. Detection of the Pairwise Kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect with BOSS DR11 and the Atacama Cosmology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Bernardis, F.; Aiola, S.; Vavagiakis, E. M.; Battaglia, N.; Niemack, M. D.; Beall, J.; Becker, D. T.; Bond, J. R.; Calabrese, E.; Cho, H.; hide

    2017-01-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Observing the Sun with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA): High-Resolution Interferometric Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimojo, M.; Bastian, T. S.; Hales, A. S.; White, S. M.; Iwai, K.; Hills, R. E.; Hirota, A.; Phillips, N. M.; Sawada, T.; Yagoubov, P.; Siringo, G.; Asayama, S.; Sugimoto, M.; Brajša, R.; Skokić, I.; Bárta, M.; Kim, S.; de Gregorio-Monsalvo, I.; Corder, S. A.; Hudson, H. S.; Wedemeyer, S.; Gary, D. E.; De Pontieu, B.; Loukitcheva, M.; Fleishman, G. D.; Chen, B.; Kobelski, A.; Yan, Y.

    2017-07-01

    Observations of the Sun at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths offer a unique probe into the structure, dynamics, and heating of the chromosphere; the structure of sunspots; the formation and eruption of prominences and filaments; and energetic phenomena such as jets and flares. High-resolution observations of the Sun at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths are challenging due to the intense, extended, low-contrast, and dynamic nature of emission from the quiet Sun, and the extremely intense and variable nature of emissions associated with energetic phenomena. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) was designed with solar observations in mind. The requirements for solar observations are significantly different from observations of sidereal sources and special measures are necessary to successfully carry out this type of observations. We describe the commissioning efforts that enable the use of two frequency bands, the 3-mm band (Band 3) and the 1.25-mm band (Band 6), for continuum interferometric-imaging observations of the Sun with ALMA. Examples of high-resolution synthesized images obtained using the newly commissioned modes during the solar-commissioning campaign held in December 2015 are presented. Although only 30 of the eventual 66 ALMA antennas were used for the campaign, the solar images synthesized from the ALMA commissioning data reveal new features of the solar atmosphere that demonstrate the potential power of ALMA solar observations. The ongoing expansion of ALMA and solar-commissioning efforts will continue to enable new and unique solar observing capabilities.

  18. 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; Crichton, Devin; hide

    2013-01-01

    We present a catalog of 191 extragalactic sources detected by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) at 148 GHz and/or 218GHz in the 2008 Southern survey. Flux densities span 14-1700mJy, and we use source spectral indices derived using ACT-only data to divide our sources into two sub-populations: 167 radio galaxies powered by central active galactic nuclei (AGN), and 24 dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs). We cross-identify 97% of our sources (166 of the AGN and 19 of the DSFGs) with those in currently available catalogs. When combined with flux densities from the Australian 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 148GHz, with the trend continuing to 218GHz. The ACT dust-dominated source population has a median spectral index, alpha(sub 148-218), of 3.7+0.62 or -0.86, and includes both local galaxies and sources with redshifts as great as 5.6. Dusty sources with no counterpart in existing catalogs likely belong to a recently discovered subpopulation of DSFGs lensed by foreground galaxies or galaxy groups.

  19. Solar Science with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array—A New View of Our Sun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedemeyer, S.; Bastian, T.; Brajša, R.; Hudson, H.; Fleishman, G.; Loukitcheva, M.; Fleck, B.; Kontar, E. P.; De Pontieu, B.; Yagoubov, P.; Tiwari, S. K.; Soler, R.; Black, J. H.; Antolin, P.; Scullion, E.; Gunár, S.; Labrosse, N.; Ludwig, H.-G.; Benz, A. O.; White, S. M.; Hauschildt, P.; Doyle, J. G.; Nakariakov, V. M.; Ayres, T.; Heinzel, P.; Karlicky, M.; Van Doorsselaere, T.; Gary, D.; Alissandrakis, C. E.; Nindos, A.; Solanki, S. K.; Rouppe van der Voort, L.; Shimojo, M.; Kato, Y.; Zaqarashvili, T.; Perez, E.; Selhorst, C. L.; Barta, M.

    2016-04-01

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a new powerful tool for observing the Sun at high spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution. These capabilities can address a broad range of fundamental scientific questions in solar physics. The radiation observed by ALMA originates mostly from the chromosphere—a complex and dynamic region between the photosphere and corona, which plays a crucial role in the transport of energy and matter and, ultimately, the heating of the outer layers of the solar atmosphere. Based on first solar test observations, strategies for regular solar campaigns are currently being developed. State-of-the-art numerical simulations of the solar atmosphere and modeling of instrumental effects can help constrain and optimize future observing modes for ALMA. Here we present a short technical description of ALMA and an overview of past efforts and future possibilities for solar observations at submillimeter and millimeter wavelengths. In addition, selected numerical simulations and observations at other wavelengths demonstrate ALMA's scientific potential for studying the Sun for a large range of science cases.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. Coastal vulnerability assessment for Egypt's Mediterranean coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed E. Hereher

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The Egyptian Mediterranean coast was examined for the vulnerability to sea-level rise using the coastal vulnerability index (CVI, which was derived from the geologic and physical characteristics of the coast. This paper is the first to apply the CVI along the Egyptian coasts. The coast has different geomorphologic aspects ranging from steep-slope-rocky cliffs to gentle sloping deltaic sediments. Although the coast is under low tidal effect and low height waves, results showed that more than one-third of the 1000 km long coast is severely vulnerable to sea-level rise. Unfortunately, the area under high vulnerability to sea-level rise comprises the densely populated Nile Delta coast. National actions should be implemented to safeguard the entire coast at the threatened locations.

  3. Desert dust outbreaks and respiratory morbidity in Athens, Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trianti, Stavroula-Myrto; Samoli, Evangelia; Rodopoulou, Sophia; Katsouyanni, Klea; Papiris, Spyros A; Karakatsani, Anna

    2017-07-01

    Ambient particulate matter (PM) has an adverse effect on respiratory morbidity. Desert dust outbreaks contribute to increased PM levels but the toxicity of desert dust mixed with anthropogenic pollutants needs clarification. We identified 132 days with desert dust episodes and 177 matched days by day of the week, season, temperature and humidity between 2001 and 2006 in Athens, Greece. We collected data on regulated pollutants and daily emergency outpatient visits and admissions for respiratory causes. We applied Poisson regression models adjusting for confounding effects of seasonality, meteorology, holidays and influenza epidemics. We evaluated the sensitivity of our results to co-pollutant exposures and effect modification by age and sex. A 10 μg/m3 increase in PM10 concentration was associated with 1.95% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.02%, 3.91%) increase in respiratory emergency room visits. No significant interaction with desert dust episodes was observed. Compared with non-dust days, there was a 47% (95% CI: 29%, 68%) increase in visits in dust days not adjusting for PM10. Desert dust days were associated with higher numbers of emergency room visits for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory infections with increases of 38%, 57% and 60%, respectively (p desert dust days and were further confounded by co-pollutants. Desert dust episode days are associated with higher respiratory emergency room visits and hospital admissions. This effect is insufficiently explained by increased PM10 levels.

  4. Evolution and Functional Classification of Vertebrate Gene Deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ovcharenko, I; Loots, G; Nobrega, M; Hardison, R; Miller, W; Stubbs, L

    2004-07-14

    Gene deserts, long stretches of DNA sequence devoid of protein coding genes, span approximately one quarter of the human genome. Through human-chicken genome comparisons we were able to characterized one third of human gene deserts as evolutionarily stable - they are highly conserved in vertebrates, resist chromosomal rearrangements, and contain multiple conserved non-coding elements physically linked to their neighboring genes. A linear relationship was observed between human and chicken orthologous stable gene deserts, where the human deserts appear to have expanded homogeneously by a uniform accumulation of repetitive elements. Stable gene deserts are associated with key vertebrate genes that construct the framework of vertebrate development; many of which encode transcription factors. We show that the regulatory machinery governing genes associated with stable gene deserts operates differently from other regions in the human genome and relies heavily on distant regulatory elements. The regulation guided by these elements is independent of the distance between the gene and its distant regulatory element, or the distance between two distant regulatory cassettes. The location of gene deserts and their associated genes in the genome is independent of chromosomal length or content presenting these regions as well-bounded regions evolving separately from the rest of the genome.

  5. Climate and soil salinity in the deserts of Central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankova, E. I.; Konyushkova, M. V.

    2013-07-01

    A comparative analysis of climatic and soil salinity characteristics of the deserts of Central Asia, including deserts of the Turan Depression, the Gobi Desert, and deserts of the Dzungar and Tarim depressions was performed. The climatic characteristics—the degree of aridity, the degree of continentality, and the amount and regime of precipitation—are different in these deserts. No direct relationships between the areas occupied by the automorphic salt-affected soils and the aridity of the climate are observed in the studied regions. In the automorphic landscapes of Asian deserts, the degree and chemistry of the soil salinization and the distribution of salt-affected soils are controlled by the history of the particular territories rather than by their modern climatic conditions. The presence and properties of the salt-bearing rocks and the eolian migration of salts play the most significant role. The deficit of moisture in the modern climate favors the preservation of salt accumulations in places of their origin. The specific features of the climate, including the regime of precipitation, affect the redistribution of salts in the profiles of automorphic salt-affected soils. An increase in the degree of climatic continentality is accompanied by the decrease in the intensity of weathering and initial accumulation of salts. A different situation is observed in the soils of hydromorphic desert landscapes, in which the degree of salinity of the surface horizons and the area occupied by salt-affected soils are directly influenced by the modern climatic conditions.

  6. Browning in desert boundaries in Asia in recent decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Su-Jong; Ho, Chang-Hoi; Brown, Molly E.; Kug, Jong-Seong; Piao, Shilong

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the changes in desert boundaries in Asia (Gobi, Karakum, Lut, Taklimakan, and Thar deserts) during the growing season (April-October) in the years 1982-2008 were investigated by analyzing the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), precipitation, and temperature. In the desert boundary regions, the domain mean NDVI values increased by 7.2% per decade in 1982-1998 but decreased by 6.8% per decade thereafter. Accordingly, the bare soil areas (or nonvegetated areas) of the inside of the desert boundaries contracted by 9.8% per decade in the 1990s and expanded by 8.7% per decade in the 2000s. It is noted that the five deserts experience nearly simultaneous NDVI changes although they cover a very diverse area of Asia. In contrast, changes in temperature and precipitation in the deserts show rather diverse results. In desert boundaries located along 40°N (Gobi, Taklimakan, and Karakum), the decadal changes in vegetation greenness were mainly related to regional climate during the entire analysis period. Precipitation increased in the 1990s, providing favorable conditions for vegetation growth (i.e., greening), but precipitation reduced (19 mm per decade) and warming intensified (0.7°C per decade) in the 2000s, causing less moisture to be available for vegetation growth (i.e., browning). In desert boundaries below 40°N (Lut and Thar), although an increase in precipitation (8 mm per decade) led to greening in the 1990s, local changes in precipitation and temperature did not necessarily cause browning in the 2000s. Observed multidecadal changes in vegetation greenness in the present study suggest that under significant global and/or regional warming, changes in moisture availability for vegetation growth in desert boundaries are an important factor when understanding decadal changes in areas vulnerable to desertification over Asia.

  7. Nearshore currents along the Karnataka coast, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    SanilKumar, V.; Dora, G.U.; Philip, C.S.; Pednekar, P.S.; Singh, J.

    and currents, sea level, atmospheric forcing, wind induced current, Arabian Sea 1. Introduction Currents in the coastal waters are influenced by tides and as the distance from the coast increases, the currents are influenced by large scale near surface... (Bruce et al., 1994; Shankar and Shetye, 1997; Bruce et al., 1998; Shenoi et al., 2004). A detailed examination of the mechanisms forcing the seasonally reversing, trans-basin monsoon currents in the open ocean was presented by Shankar et al. (2002...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. How to identify food deserts in Amazonian cities?

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Gemma; Frausin Bustamante, Gina Giovanna; Parry, Luke Thomas Wyn

    2016-01-01

    Food deserts are areas without affordable access to healthy foods. This paper explores whether food deserts are present within urban areas of the Brazilian Amazon. The availability and price of a variety of food products was surveyed in a total of 304 shops, across 3 cities in 2015. Least-cost distances were calculated to estimate travel distance to access products, with map overlay used to help identify areas with poor access to a variety of healthy food - these were defined as food deserts.

  11. Geoglyphs of the Peruvian Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggles, Clive L. N.

    "Geoglyphs" in the form of lines, geometric designs, and zoomorphic figures were laid out across wide expanses of arid coastal desert ("pampa") near Nazca, in southern Peru. They represent an extraordinary cultural phenomenon but are also notorious for some of the outlandish theories purporting to explain them. Geoglyphs are also found in adjacent pampas as well as being scattered up and down coastal areas of Peru and northern Chile. The idea that they represented a vast "astronomy book", although continuing to be propagated to tourists, is long discredited. However, astronomical considerations may still help to explain a complex phenomenon that clearly stretched over a considerable geographical area and a significant time period. The broader context suggests that astronomy, and particularly observations of sunrise and sunset, may well have played a significant role in regulating a ritual calendar, but the archaeoastronomical evidence to connect this to geoglyph orientations is weak.

  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. Ethnomycological survey of traditional usage and indigenous knowledge on desert truffles among the native Sahara Desert people of Algeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradai, Lyès; Neffar, Souad; Amrani, Khaled; Bissati, Samia; Chenchouni, Haroun

    2015-03-13

    Desert truffles are edible hypogeous fungi, highly appreciated by the inhabitants of hot-desert settlements. Native Saharan people use truffles for food, promoting tourism, increasing fertility, and treatment of eye diseases and fatigue. This study consists of a cross-sectional survey focusing on the knowledge, use and ethnomycological practices of desert truffles among the native people of the Algerian Northern Sahara. The study was conducted through direct interviews with 60 truffle-hunters in the regions of Ouargla and Ghardaia. Three species were harvested and consumed by the surveyed subjects: Terfezia claveryi was the most appreciated and most expensive species, followed by Terfezia areanaria moderately preferred, then Tirmania nivea the least appreciated and least expensive. Among the 60 interviewees, 90% rely on the abundance of symbiotic plants (Helianthemum lippii) to harvest truffles, 65% begin harvesting from mid-February to March, after rains of the autumn (38%) and winter (36%), particularly in the Wadi beds (37%) and Daya landscapes (32%). Interviewees harvested truffles mainly for home consumption; however 26.7% sell any harvest surplus, and of those only 15% generate significant revenue from this source, and 73% considered the sale of desert truffles to have low financial value. Desert truffles are used in traditional medicine, especially against eye infections (22%), weakness (19%) and to promote male fertility (19%). In the case of desert truffles for consumption, the surveyed population preferred to prepare the truffles with couscous and meat, or in porridge. Respondents used price as the main criterion for deciding whether to purchase desert truffles. The surveyed trufflers use the knowledge passed from one generation to the next to help ensure a good harvest of truffles during each foray into the desert. Our findings highlight the various uses of truffles in the Sahara Desert, and how these relate to the lifestyle of local people. Copyright

  14. Red Tide off Texas Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Red tides (algae) bloomed late this summer along a 300-mile stretch of Texas' Gulf Coast, killing millions of fish and shellfish as well as making some people sick. State officials are calling this the worst red tide bloom in 14 years. The algae produces a poison that paralyzes fish and prevents them from breathing. There is concern that the deadly algae could impact or even wipe out this year's oyster harvest in Texas, which usually peaks during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The red tides were first observed off the Texas coast in mid-August and have been growing steadily in size ever since. Red tides tend to bloom and subside rapidly, depending upon changes in wind speed and direction, water temperature, salinity, and rainfall patterns (as the algae doesn't do as well in fresher water). This true-color image of the Texas Gulf Coast was acquired on September 29, 2000, by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. The red tide can be seen as the dark reddish discoloration in the ocean running southwest to northeast along the coast. In this scene, the bloom appears to be concentrated north and east of Corpus Christi, just off Matagorda Island. The image was made at 500-meter resolution using a combination of MODIS' visible bands 1 (red), 4 (green), and 3 (blue). The city of Houston can be seen clearly as the large, greyish cluster of pixels to the north and west of Galveston Bay, which is about mid-way up the coastline in this image. Also visible in this image are plumes of smoke, perhaps wildfires, both to the north and northeast of Houston. For more information about red tides, refer to the Texas Red Tide Web site. Image courtesy Andrey Savtchenko, MODIS Data Support Team, and the MODIS Ocean Team, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

  15. The United States Coast Artillery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-02-01

    e *Se 3rc’: -1i m -: : UHrDr -ense arco cr > mL ~ dre:e rde Ser-.i e 3f :r, Oiccp. 6-:nch Guns, C,, Tracce"𔃻 innc bu; e:,- 2:11 .92 L6c4~- *So unc...Reaulation 435-20, 1924. ________________________ * Pie "’ 7ortificitinrs fnr Co-ast ri- ___________________________ *Fire Control and Drsitior Firdinc 7

  16. Final Critical Habitat for the Desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) occur based on the description provided in...

  17. Ecophysiology of two Sonoran Desert evergreen shrubs during extreme drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent drought across the arid Southwest US may be especially problematic for evergreen desert species that maintain leaves through dry periods. In July, 2002 we compared the ecophysiogical performance of the microphyllous creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) to broadleaved jojoba (Simmondisa chinensis...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — 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...

  19. Contraction of the Gobi Desert, 2000-2012

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Troy Sternberg; Henri Rueff; Nick Middleton

    2015-01-01

    .... Evaluating a major world desert, the Gobi in East Asia, with high resolution satellite data and the meteorologically-derived Aridity Index from 2000 to 2012 identified a recent contraction of the Gobi...

  20. Military Geography: The Interaction of Desert Geomorphology and Military Operations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gilewitch, Daniel

    2003-01-01

    .... Battles throughout history were fought in desert regions and the future is certain to hold additional conflicts, particularly in the Middle East where Operation Iraqi Freedom currently rages at the time of this writing...

  1. Effects of vibration in desert area caused by moving trains

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jabbar-Ali ZAKERI Morteza ESMAEILI Seyedali MOSAYEBI Rauf ABBASI

    .... Based on field studies in a desert area in Iran, a two-dimensional finite/infinite element model for a railway track with plane strain condition was analyzed using the software ABAQUS, and the track...

  2. The Trail Inventory of Desert National Wildlife Refuge [Cycle 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this report is to create a baseline inventory of all non-motorized trails on Desert National Wildlife Range. Trails in this inventory are eligible for...

  3. The Trail Inventory of Desert NWR [Cycle 2

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this report is to create a baseline inventory of all non-motorized trails on Desert National Wildlife Range. Trails in this inventory are eligible for...

  4. Aquaculture in desert and arid lands: development constraints and opportunities

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Crespi, V; Lovatelli, A

    2011-01-01

    Aquaculture in desert and arid lands has been growing steadily over the last decade thanks to the modern technologies and alternative energy sources that have allowed water in these places of extremes...

  5. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R. S. Nowak; J. Arnone; L. Fenstermaker; and S. D. Smith

    2005-07-26

    This project provided the funding to operate and maintain the Nevada Desert FACE Facility. This support funds the CO{sub 2}, system repairs and maintenance, basic physical and biological site information, and personnel that are essential for the experiment to continue. They have continued to assess the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on three key processes: (1) leaf- to plant-level responses of desert vegetation to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}; (2) ecosystem-level responses; and (3) integration of plant and ecosystem processes to understand carbon balance of deserts. The focus is the seminal interactions among atmospheric CO{sub 2}, water, and nitrogen that drive desert responses to elevated CO{sub 2} and explicitly address processes that occur across scales (biological, spatial, and temporal).

  6. 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.

  7. Assessing the Benefits of Urban Forestry in Mojave Desert Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    As the climate and environment change due to human activity, an understanding of the existing natural resources becomes paramount. Urban forests of Mojave Desert communities have the potential to reduce air pollution, heat island effects, and energy consumption. Regions throughou...

  8. VANET Clustering Based Routing Protocol Suitable for Deserts

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nasr, Mohammed Mohsen Mohammed; Abdelgader, Abdeldime Mohamed Salih; Wang, Zhi-Gong; Shen, Lian-Feng

    2016-01-01

    ...) suitable for VANETs. Moreover, it presents a robust clustering-based routing protocol, which is appropriate for deserts and can achieve high communication efficiency, ensuring reliable information delivery and optimal...

  9. Oregon High Desert Interpretive Center : Economic feasibility and impact analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a proposal to construct a High Desert Interpretive Center to inform visitors to Harney County, Oregon of the opportunities for education, recreation and...

  10. Proposal for multi-agency facility : High Desert Interagency Partnership

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a proposal to construct a multi-agency facility to house the High Desert Interagency Partnership. The facility would be on federally owned land in Hines,...

  11. 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.

  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. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: the stellar content of galaxy clusters selected using the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Matt; Hasselfield, Matthew; Sifón, Cristóbal; Baker, Andrew J.; Barrientos, L. Felipe; Battaglia, Nicholas; Bond, J. Richard; Crichton, Devin; Das, Sudeep; Devlin, Mark J.; Gralla, Megan; Hajian, Amir; Hincks, Adam D.; Hughes, John P.; Infante, Leopoldo; Irwin, Kent D.; Kosowsky, Arthur; Lin, Yen-Ting; Marriage, Tobias A.; Marsden, Danica; Menanteau, Felipe; Moodley, Kavilan; Niemack, Michael D.; Nolta, Mike R.; Page, Lyman A.; Reese, Erik D.; Sievers, Jon; Spergel, David N.; Wollack, Edward J.

    2013-11-01

    We present a first measurement of the stellar mass component of galaxy clusters selected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect, using 3.6 and 4.5 μm photometry from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our sample consists of 14 clusters detected by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), which span the redshift range 0.27 < z < 1.07 (median z = 0.50) and have dynamical mass measurements, accurate to about 30 per cent, with median M500 = 6.9 × 1014 M⊙. We measure the 3.6 and 4.5 μm galaxy luminosity functions, finding the characteristic magnitude (m*) and faint-end slope (α) to be similar to those for infrared-selected cluster samples. We perform the first measurements of the scaling of SZ observables (Y500 and y0) with both brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) stellar mass and total cluster stellar mass (M_{500}^star). We find a significant correlation between BCG stellar mass and Y500 (E(z)^{-2/3} D_A^2 Y_{500} ∝ M_*^{1.2 ± 0.6}), although we are not able to obtain a strong constraint on the slope of the relation due to the small sample size. Additionally, we obtain E(z)^{-2/3} D_A^2 Y_{500} ∝ M_{500}^star ^{1.0 ± 0.6} for the scaling with total stellar mass. The mass fraction in stars spans the range 0.006-0.034, with the second ranked cluster in terms of dynamical mass (ACT-CL J0237-4939) having an unusually low total stellar mass and the lowest stellar mass fraction. For the five clusters with gas mass measurements available in the literature, we see no evidence for a shortfall of baryons relative to the cosmic mean value.

  14. 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.

  15. Prediction of Dust Propensity for Military Operations in Desert Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-11-01

    Sands Missile Range, New Mexico: Volume I, Golden, Colo . 54 BIBLIOGRAPHY Airphoto Interpretation Laboratory. 1954. Environmental Desert Terrain Study at...emission potential. The plays in closest proximity to the YPG occurs south of the Gila River in Cristobal Valley between the Mohawk and Eagle Tank...Approximately one-half of the playas occurring in the Southvestern US desert are of the dry playa type. The playa occurring in Cristobal Valley

  16. Late Quaternary faulting in the Sevier Desert driven by magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, T.; Niemi, N. A.

    2017-01-01

    Seismic hazard in continental rifts varies as a function of strain accommodation by tectonic or magmatic processes. The nature of faulting in the Sevier Desert, located in eastern Basin and Range of central Utah, and how this faulting relates to the Sevier Desert Detachment low-angle normal fault, have been debated for nearly four decades. Here, we show that the geodetic signal of extension across the eastern Sevier Desert is best explained by magma-assisted rifting associated with Plio-Pleistocene volcanism. GPS velocities from 14 continuous sites across the region are best-fit by interseismic strain accumulation on the southern Wasatch Fault at c. 3.4 mm yr−1 with a c. 0.5 mm yr−1 tensile dislocation opening in the eastern Sevier Desert. The characteristics of surface deformation from field surveys are consistent with dike-induced faulting and not with faults soling into an active detachment. Geologic extension rates of c. 0.6 mm yr−1 over the last c. 50 kyr in the eastern Sevier Desert are consistent with the rates estimated from the geodetic model. Together, these findings suggest that Plio-Pleistocene extension is not likely to have been accommodated by low-angle normal faulting on the Sevier Desert Detachment and is instead accomplished by strain localization in a zone of narrow, magma-assisted rifting. PMID:28290529

  17. Late Quaternary faulting in the Sevier Desert driven by magmatism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, T; Niemi, N A

    2017-03-14

    Seismic hazard in continental rifts varies as a function of strain accommodation by tectonic or magmatic processes. The nature of faulting in the Sevier Desert, located in eastern Basin and Range of central Utah, and how this faulting relates to the Sevier Desert Detachment low-angle normal fault, have been debated for nearly four decades. Here, we show that the geodetic signal of extension across the eastern Sevier Desert is best explained by magma-assisted rifting associated with Plio-Pleistocene volcanism. GPS velocities from 14 continuous sites across the region are best-fit by interseismic strain accumulation on the southern Wasatch Fault at c. 3.4 mm yr-1 with a c. 0.5 mm yr-1 tensile dislocation opening in the eastern Sevier Desert. The characteristics of surface deformation from field surveys are consistent with dike-induced faulting and not with faults soling into an active detachment. Geologic extension rates of c. 0.6 mm yr-1 over the last c. 50 kyr in the eastern Sevier Desert are consistent with the rates estimated from the geodetic model. Together, these findings suggest that Plio-Pleistocene extension is not likely to have been accommodated by low-angle normal faulting on the Sevier Desert Detachment and is instead accomplished by strain localization in a zone of narrow, magma-assisted rifting.

  18. Contraction of the Gobi Desert, 2000–2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Sternberg

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Deserts are critical environments because they cover 41% of the world’s land surface and are home to 2 billion residents. As highly dynamic biomes desert expansion and contraction is influenced by climate and anthropogenic factors with variability being a key part of the desertification debate across dryland regions. Evaluating a major world desert, the Gobi in East Asia, with high resolution satellite data and the meteorologically-derived Aridity Index from 2000 to 2012 identified a recent contraction of the Gobi. The fluctuation in area, primarily driven by precipitation, is at odds with numerous reports of human-induced desertification in Mongolia and China. There are striking parallels between the vagueness in defining the Gobi and the imprecision and controversy surrounding the Sahara desert’s southern boundary in the 1980s and 1990s. Improved boundary definition has implications fGobi; desert boundary; expansion and contraction; Aridity Index; NDVI; Mongolia; China or understanding desert “greening” and “browning”, human action and land use, ecological productivity and changing climate parameters in the region. The Gobi’s average area of 2.3 million km2 in the 21st century places it behind only the Sahara and Arabian deserts in size.

  19. Late Quaternary faulting in the Sevier Desert driven by magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, T.; Niemi, N. A.

    2017-03-01

    Seismic hazard in continental rifts varies as a function of strain accommodation by tectonic or magmatic processes. The nature of faulting in the Sevier Desert, located in eastern Basin and Range of central Utah, and how this faulting relates to the Sevier Desert Detachment low-angle normal fault, have been debated for nearly four decades. Here, we show that the geodetic signal of extension across the eastern Sevier Desert is best explained by magma-assisted rifting associated with Plio-Pleistocene volcanism. GPS velocities from 14 continuous sites across the region are best-fit by interseismic strain accumulation on the southern Wasatch Fault at c. 3.4 mm yr-1 with a c. 0.5 mm yr-1 tensile dislocation opening in the eastern Sevier Desert. The characteristics of surface deformation from field surveys are consistent with dike-induced faulting and not with faults soling into an active detachment. Geologic extension rates of c. 0.6 mm yr-1 over the last c. 50 kyr in the eastern Sevier Desert are consistent with the rates estimated from the geodetic model. Together, these findings suggest that Plio-Pleistocene extension is not likely to have been accommodated by low-angle normal faulting on the Sevier Desert Detachment and is instead accomplished by strain localization in a zone of narrow, magma-assisted rifting.

  20. Late Mesozoic to Paleogene stratigraphy of the Salar de Atacama Basin, Antofagasta, Northern Chile: Implications for the tectonic evolution of the Central Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mpodozis, Constantino; Arriagada, César; Basso, Matilde; Roperch, Pierrick; Cobbold, Peter; Reich, Martin

    2005-04-01

    The Salar de Atacama basin, the largest "pre-Andean" basin in Northern Chile, was formed in the early Late Cretaceous as a consequence of the tectonic closure and inversion of the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Tarapacá back arc basin. Inversion led to uplift of the Cordillera de Domeyko (CD), a thick-skinned basement range bounded by a system of reverse faults and blind thrusts with alternating vergence along strike. The almost 6000-m-thick, upper Cretaceous to lower Paleocene sequences (Purilactis Group) infilling the Salar de Atacama basin reflects rapid local subsidence to the east of the CD. Its oldest outcropping unit (Tonel Formation) comprises more than 1000 m of continental red sandstones and evaporites, which began to accumulate as syntectonic growth strata during the initial stages of CD uplift. Tonel strata are capped by almost 3000 m of sandstones and conglomerates of western provenance, representing the sedimentary response to renewed pulses of tectonic shortening, which were deposited in alluvial fan, fluvial and eolian settings together with minor lacustrine mudstone (Purilactis Formation). These are covered by 500 m of coarse, proximal alluvial fan conglomerates (Barros Arana Formation). The top of the Purilactis Group consists of Maastrichtian-Danian alkaline lava and minor welded tuffs and red beds (Cerro Totola Formation: 70-64 Ma K/Ar) deposited during an interval of tectonic quiescence when the El Molino-Yacoraite Late Cretaceous sea covered large tracts of the nearby Altiplano-Puna domain. Limestones interbedded with the Totola volcanics indicate that this marine incursion advanced westwards to reach the eastern CD slope. CD shortening in the Late Cretaceous was accompanied by volcanism and continental sedimentation in fault bounded basins associated to strike slip along the north Chilean magmatic arc to the west of the CD domain, indicating that oblique plate convergence prevailed during the Late Cretaceous. Oblique convergence seems to have

  1. Late Triassic fluvial and marine shelf succession, Quebrada Doña Inés Chica, Atacama region, northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, C. M.; Suarez, M.

    A 400-meter-thick volcanic and fine-grained clastic sedimentary succession in Quebrada Doña Ines Chica (26°07'S latitude; 69°20'W longitude) provides a record of Late Triassic deposition in the Atacama region of northern Chile. The strata are conformably overlain by fossiliferous marine limestones and sandstones of Late Triassic to Early Jurassic (Sinemurian) age which contain the oldest ichthyosaur remains known from Central and South America. The clastic succession is interpreted as coastal fluvial deposits, with the overlying limestones representing shelf deposits.

  2. CALIDAD DE VIDA Y DIMORFISMO SEXUAL EN LA POBLACIÓN PREHISPÁNICA DE SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA (NORTE DE CHILE)

    OpenAIRE

    Cocilovo,José; Varela,Héctor; Fuchs,María

    2014-01-01

    La diferencia morfológica entre sexos puede variar reflejando la calidad de vida dominante en una población. La información para San Pedro de Atacama es analizada para evaluar a partir de una muestra de 624 individuos y 35 variables craneométricas. Las diferencias entre sexos se analizaron con las pruebas ANCOVA y MANCOVA para una y dos vías con covariantes, según el caso. El análisis discriminante (DA) permitió evaluar la clasificación del sexo en cada individuo. La mayoría de las mediciones...

  3. 47 CFR 80.1119 - Receipt and acknowledgement of distress alerts by coast stations and coast earth stations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... by coast stations and coast earth stations. 80.1119 Section 80.1119 Telecommunication FEDERAL... § 80.1119 Receipt and acknowledgement of distress alerts by coast stations and coast earth stations. (a... for coast stations.) (b) Coast earth stations in receipt of distress alerts must ensure that they are...

  4. From the Line in the Sand: Accounts of USAF Company Grade Officers in Support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-03-01

    Desert Journal ........................ 219 29 O’Grady, Michael S. The First Day ........................ 227 30 Thompson, Jack A View from the Cockpit...the bursting point with goodies . Members of the combat intelligence shop lingered well past mid- night at 379th BMW headquarters and watched the B...backslapping camaraderie was something I will never forget. The first day of Operation Desert Storm was a success. 228 A View from the Cockpit by Capt Jack

  5. Continuous measurements of greenhouse gases and atmospheric oxygen at the Namib Desert Atmospheric Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, E. J.; Lavrič, J. V.; Seifert, T.; Chicoine, T.; Day, A.; Gomez, J.; Logan, R.; Sack, J.; Shuuya, T.; Uushona, E. G.; Vincent, K.; Schultz, U.; Brunke, E.-G.; Labuschagne, C.; Thompson, R. L.; Schmidt, S.; Manning, A. C.; Heimann, M.

    2015-06-01

    A new coastal background site has been established for observations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the central Namib Desert at Gobabeb, Namibia. The location of the site was chosen to provide observations for a data-poor region in the global sampling network for GHGs. Semi-automated continuous measurements of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, atmospheric oxygen, and basic meteorology are made at a height of 21 m a.g.l., 50 km from the coast at the northern border of the Namib Sand Sea. Atmospheric oxygen is measured with a differential fuel cell analyzer (DFCA). Carbon dioxide and methane are measured with an early-model cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS); nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide are measured with an off-axis integrated cavity output spectrometer (OA-ICOS). Instrument-specific water corrections are employed for both the CRDS and OA-ICOS instruments in lieu of drying. The performance and measurement uncertainties are discussed in detail. As the station is located in a remote desert environment, there are some particular challenges, namely fine dust, high diurnal temperature variability, and minimal infrastructure. The gas handling system and calibration scheme were tailored to best fit the conditions of the site. The CRDS and DFCA provide data of acceptable quality when base requirements for operation are met, specifically adequate temperature control in the laboratory and regular supply of electricity. In the case of the OA-ICOS instrument, performance is significantly improved through the implementation of a drift correction through frequent measurements of a reference cylinder.

  6. 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

  7. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ludolf; Franchi, Ian A.; Reid, Arch M.; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2000-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalogue of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modem falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  8. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ludolf (Editor); Franchi, Ian A. (Editor); Reid, Arch M. (Editor); Zolensky, Michael E. (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalog of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modern falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  9. Assaying Visual Memory in the Desert Locust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senne Dillen

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The involvement of associative learning cues has been demonstrated in several stages of feeding and food selection. Short neuropeptide F (sNPF, an insect neuropeptide whose effects on feeding behavior have previously been well established, may be one of the factors bridging feeding and learning behavior. Recently, it was shown in Drosophila melanogaster that the targeted reduction of Drome-sNPF transcript levels significantly reduced sugar-rewarded olfactory memory. While Drosophila mainly relies on olfactory perception in its food searching behavior, locust foraging behavior is likely to be more visually orientated. Furthermore, a feeding-dependent regulation of Schgr-sNPF transcript levels has previously been observed in the optic lobes of the locust brain, suggesting a possible involvement in visual perception of food and visual associative memory in this insect species. In this study, we describe the development of a robust and reproducible assay allowing visual associative memory to be studied in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Furthermore, we performed an exploratory series of experiments, studying the role of Schgr-sNPF in this complex process.

  10. Nonlinear hydrological dynamics on a desert bajada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainwright, J.; Parsons, A. J.; Abrahams, A. D.

    2001-12-01

    Water movement forms an integral part of the dynamics of desert ecosystems, with important feedbacks with soil erosion and nutrient transport. Modelling the hydrological dynamics of such ecosystems is thus integral to their understanding. Field data have been collected at the Jornada Basin Long-Term Ecological Research site over the last seven years using rainfall-simulation experiments. These data have demonstrated important nonlinear relationships in the processes of rainfall interception, stemflow, infiltration, runoff dynamics, erosion and nutrient transport. In order to understand the impacts of these relationships at the bajada scale, monitoring of natural events in small catchments and over larger areas using stock ponds, have been carried out. The results from these sites are compared with model runs parameterized using the small-plot data. The dynamics at the bajada scale are shown to be primarily a function of the spatial and temporal pattern of rainfall events. Spatial connectivity of different vegetation zones and the pattern of bare ground and plants within them is shown to have a secondary effect.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Wind regime and sand transport in China's Badain Jaran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhengcai; Dong, Zhibao; Li, Chunxiao

    2015-06-01

    Wind controls the formation and development of aeolian dunes, therefore understanding the wind environment is necessary in aeolian dune research. In recent years, climate has changed in and around the Badain Jaran Desert, and the factors that control aeolian dune development have changed with it. In this paper, we analyzed characteristics of the desert's wind regime based on data from seven weather stations in and around the desert. The temporal and spatial variation in the wind regime's characteristics have different effects on dune formation and development. The annual mean wind velocity, maximum wind velocity, and the proportion of the time the wind exceeded the sand-entrainment threshold are largest at the northern margin of the desert, and these values decrease from north to south and from east to west. The dominant winds are from the northwest, northeast, and southwest. The drift potential (DP) in the desert decreases from north to south, and can be divided into three regions: high in the north, intermediate in the central region, and low in the south. The effects of climate change on the calculated DP will be complex; although DP increased with increasing mean wind velocity and temperature, there was little or no relationship with precipitation and relative humidity.

  18. 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.

  19. Desert Tortoise Head-start Program at Twentynine Palms Marine Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-02

    Hillard. Shell hardness measurement in juvenile desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii, Herpetological Review, (09 2011): 0. doi: 07/23/2012 2.00...yearlings released to the open desert. Herpetological Conservation and Biology.

  20. 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

  1. Acute kidney injury following rhabdomyolysis and sepsis after non-poisonous desert monitor bite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Poonam; Verma, Pradeep Kumar

    2017-10-01

    The desert monitor, Varanus griseus, is a species of desert monitor lizard found in North-Western India. They are believed to be non-poisonous. We report a case of Indian desert monitor bite leading to acute renal failure following rhabdomyolysis and severe sepsis. Prompt diagnosis and treatment resulted in the favourable outcome. This is author's intent to highlight the complication that may occur after Indian desert monitor bite.

  2. Diurnal pattern of the drying front in desert and its application for determining the effective infiltration

    OpenAIRE

    Zeng, Y; Su, Z; Wan, L.; Yang, Z.; Zhang., T.; Tian, H; Shi, X; Wang, X.; Cao, W.

    2009-01-01

    Located in western Inner Mongolia, the Badain Jaran Desert is the second largest desert in China and consists of a regular series of stable megadunes, among which over 70 permanent lakes exist. The unexpected lakes in desert attracted research interests on exploring the hydrological process under this particular landscape; however, a very few literatures exist on the diurnal and spatial variation of the drying front in this area, which is the main issue in the desert hydrological process to c...

  3. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharpe, S.E. [Univ. and Community College System of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States); Whelan, J.F.; Forester, R.M.; Burdett, J.

    1995-09-01

    Modern and fossil molluscs (snails) occur in many localities in and semi-arid regions throughout the desert southwest. Live terrestrial snails are found under rocks and in forest litter and aquatic taxa inhabit springs, seeps, and/or wetlands. Molluscs uptake local water during their growing season (spring and summer) and incorporate its delta 180 signature into their shells. Preliminary 180 analysis of modem shells from the southern Great Basin indicates that the shells probably reflect meteoric water 180 values during the growing season. This provides a way to estimate the delta 180 value of precipitation and, thereby, the source of the moisture-bearing air masses. Significant 180 variability in shells analyzed include geographic location, elevation, taxonomy, and habitat (terrestrial, spring, or wetland). We found a rough inverse correlation with elevation in modem shells from the Spring Range in southern Nevada. The delta 180 values of modem and fossil shells are also very different; modem values in this location are much higher than those from nearby late Pleistocene-age molluscs suggesting that the Pleistocene summers were variously colder and wetter than today or less evaporative (more humid). Assuming shell material directly reflects the 180 of the growing-season environment, comparison of modem and fossil shell delta 180 values can potentially identify changes in air-mass moisture sources and can help to define seasonal precipitation change through time. Comprehension and quantification of community and isotopic variability in modem gastropods is required to create probabilistic valid transfer functions with fossil materials. Valid inferences about past environmental conditions can then be established with known confidence limits.

  4. 33 CFR 23.20 - Coast Guard commission pennant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Coast Guard commission pennant. 23.20 Section 23.20 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY GENERAL DISTINCTIVE MARKINGS FOR COAST GUARD VESSELS AND AIRCRAFT § 23.20 Coast Guard commission pennant. The Coast Guard commission pennant shall have...

  5. Geometeorological data collected by the USGS Desert Winds Project at Gold Spring, Great Basin desert, northeastern Arizona, 1979-1992

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helm, P.J.; Breed, C.S.; Tigges, R.K.; Garcia, P.A.

    1995-01-01

    The primary purpose of the Desert Winds Project (DWP) is to obtain high-resolution meteorological data and related surface geological and vegetation data for natural (e.g., uncultivated) desert sites where wind is or has been a major erosive or depositional force. The objectives are twofold: (1) to provide the detailed field measurements needed to carry out quantitative studies of wind as an agent of surface geologic change; and (2) to establish a baseline for defining the 'normal' range of climatic conditions that can be expected to occur on a decadal time scale, in areas considered representative of the major American deserts. The Gold Spring locality was selected to represent that part of the Great Basin Desert that extends into northeastern Arizona. The long-term goal for acquiring and analyzing the Desert Winds Project data is to use them to address problems of land resource degradation by wind, whether resulting from climatic variation aridification) or human activities (desertification), or both (see techinfo.doc).

  6. 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.

  7. Appraisal of geomorphology of the Goa coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wagle, B.G.; Kunte, P.D.

    stream_size 7 stream_content_type text/plain stream_name Proc_Workshop_Coast_Mar_Area_Manage_Plan_Goa_1999_194.pdf.txt stream_source_info Proc_Workshop_Coast_Mar_Area_Manage_Plan_Goa_1999_194.pdf.txt Content-Encoding ISO-8859...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 76 FR 45606 - Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-29

    ... Bureau of Land Management Fish and Wildlife Service Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat... Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, for the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP... proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The EIS will be a joint Environmental Impact...

  11. 77 FR 26950 - Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; California; Western Mojave Desert Ozone...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-08

    ... Desert Ozone Nonattainment Area; Reclassification to Severe AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA... State of California to reclassify the Western Mojave Desert ozone nonattainment area from ``Moderate... Indians of California located within the boundaries of the Western Mojave Desert area in the same manner...

  12. 78 FR 58554 - Notice of Application for Withdrawal Extension, and Notification of a Public Meeting, Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-24

    ... Meeting, Desert National Wildlife Range; Nevada AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION... States mining laws, to protect the wildlife habitat and unique values within the Desert National Wildlife... and last reasonably intact examples of Mojave Desert landscape habitats. The use of a right-of-way...

  13. 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

  14. 75 FR 5114 - Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Clark, Lincoln, and Nye Counties, NV

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-01

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Clark, Lincoln, and Nye Counties, NV... Desert National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex. We completed a thorough analysis of the environmental... Alternative C, for Ash Meadows, Desert, and Moapa Valley NWRs and Alternative D for Pahranagat NWR. DATES: The...

  15. 76 FR 29153 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District... approving with the dates that they were adopted by the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality...

  16. 76 FR 28767 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-152

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-18

    ... Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-152 AGENCY.... FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Darrick Moe, Regional Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service... [email protected] , or Mr. Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western...

  17. Ctenophores from the Oaxaca coast, including a checklist of species from the Pacific coast of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Escobar, Fernando; Valadez-Vargas, Diana K; Oliveira, Otto M P

    2015-03-20

    Ctenophores are poorly known in the tropical eastern Pacific, including the southern coast of Mexico. Previous records of ctenophores along the Pacific coast have been provided mainly from northern waters. For the coast of Oaxaca state, their occurrence has only been mentioned before at phylum level. In this paper, we provide the first three records of ctenophores for the Oaxacan coast, which represent new records of Beroe forskalii and Bolinopsis vitrea as well as the first record of Ocyropsis maculata in the tropical eastern Pacific. Descriptions of these three species, as well as a checklist of the ctenophores from the west coast of Mexico are provided.

  18. 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

  19. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

    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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Qena Valley Evolution, Eastern Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelkareem, Mohamed

    2010-05-01

    Remotely sensed topographic and optical data were used to identify tectonic phenomena in Qena Valley. Using digital elevation model, morphotectonic features were identified. Processing and analysis were carried out by the combined use of: (1) digital elevation model, (2) digital drainage network analysis, (3) optical data analysis, and (4) lineament extraction and analysis. Structural information from other sources, such as geological maps, remotely sensed images and field observations were analyzed with geographic information system techniques. The analysis results reveal that the linear features of Qena Valley controlled by several structural elements have different trends NW-SE, NE-SW and N-S trends. Basement rocks at Qena valley has a major NE-SW trending and the sedimentary rocks are dominated by a NW-SE, NE-SW and N-S trends while, E-W are less abundant. The NE-SW trends at north Eastern Desert Egypt attain to normal faults that reflect extension in NW-SE direction, which is related to strike slip faulting along NW-SE directed Najd fault system. Further, the NE-SW is abundant as joints and fractures seem to have controlled the path of the Nile in Qift - Qena area. The NW-SE direction are abundant in the rock fracture trends (Gulf of Suez or Red Sea) and reflects Neoproterozoic faults have been reactivated in Neogene during rifting events of the Red Sea opening and marked the sedimentary rocks at Qena valley. The results of the lineament density map reveals that Qena valley was originated along one fault that trend like the Gulf of Suez and the range of the Red Sea Hills. This major fault was dissected by several lateral faults are seen well exposed at numerous places within the valley, especially on its eastern side. Both sides of Qena valley have a similar density matching may attain to that this lineaments affected Qena valley during rifting. This rifts it probably happened in Early Miocene associated with Red Sea tectonics. The general southward slope of

  3. Ground-water data, Sevier Desert, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mower, Reed W.; Feltis, Richard D.

    1964-01-01

    This report is intended to serve two purposes: (1) to make available to the public basic ground-water data useful in planning and studying development of water resources, and (2) to supplement an interpretive report that will be published later.Records were collected during the period 1935-64 by the U.S. Geological survey in cooperation with the Utah State Engineer as part of the investigation of ground-water conditions in the Sevier Desert, in Juab and Millard Counties, Utah. The interpretive material will be published in a companion report by R. W. Mower and R. D. Feltis.This report is most useful in predicting conditions likely to be found in areas that are being considered as well sites. The person considering the new well can spot the proposed site on plate 1 and examine the records of nearby wells as shown in the tables and figures. From table 1 he can note such things as depth, diameter, water level, yield, use of water, temperature of water, and depth of perforations. By comparing the depth of perforations with the drillers' logs in table 3 he can note the type of material that yields water to the wells. Table 2 and figure 2 show the historic fluctuations and trends of water levels in the vicinity. From table 4 he can note the chemical quality of the water from wells in the vicinity. Table 5 shows the amount of water discharged during 1951-63 from the pumped irrigation, public supply, and industrial wells. If the reader decides from his examination that conditions are favorable, he can place an application to drill a well with the state Engineer. If the State Engineer believes unappropriated water is available, the application may be approved after minimum statutory requirements have been satisfied.The report is also useful when planning large-scale developments of water supply. This and other uses of the report will be helped by use of the interpretive report upon its release.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Deserts: Information and Hands-On Activities. Interactive Geography Kit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Robin

    This book is designed to introduce students to a variety of fascinating desert ecosystems through a series of learning activities including games, graphs, experiments, and crafts. Each section contains an information section along with student activities and worksheets. The section topics are sand, scorpions, and snow; scenic sculpture; desert…

  7. Biodiversity, ecology, and microelement composition of Kyzylkum Desert shrubs (Uzbekistan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyuba A. Kapustina

    2001-01-01

    Geobotanic research and large-scale mapping with the help of Geographical Information System (GIS) permit us to find out the present state of Kyzylkum Desert shrublands, regularities of plant communities distribution, and chemical composition of the main dominant shrubs. Zonal vegetation types were formed on the basis of Old Xerophilous and Old Mediterranean floras in...

  8. 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

  9. Erosion resistance of bionic functional surfaces inspired from desert scorpions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhiwu, Han; Junqiu, Zhang; Chao, Ge; Li, Wen; Ren, Luquan

    2012-02-07

    In this paper, a bionic method is presented to improve the erosion resistance of machine components. Desert scorpion (Androctonus australis) is a typical animal living in sandy deserts, and may face erosive action of blowing sand at a high speed. Based on the idea of bionics and biologic experimental techniques, the mechanisms of the sand erosion resistance of desert scorpion were investigated. Results showed that the desert scorpions used special microtextures such as bumps and grooves to construct the functional surfaces to achieve the erosion resistance. In order to understand the erosion resistance mechanisms of such functional surfaces, the combination of computational and experimental research were carried out in this paper. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method was applied to predict the erosion performance of the bionic functional surfaces. The result demonstrated that the microtextured surfaces exhibited better erosion resistance than the smooth surfaces. The further erosion tests indicated that the groove surfaces exhibited better erosion performance at 30° injection angle. In order to determine the effect of the groove dimensions on the erosion resistance, regression analysis of orthogonal multinomials was also performed under a certain erosion condition, and the regression equation between the erosion rate and groove distance, width, and height was established.

  10. Academic Performance, School Desertion And Emotional Paradigm In University Students

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sosa, Emma Rosa Cruz; Barrientos, Laura Gatica; Castro, Patricia Eugenia Garcia; Garcia, Jesus Hernandez

    2010-01-01

    ... neither personal nor academic needs (books, materials, computer). Other factors which affect academic performance and school desertion are: pregnancy, depression, family disintegration, stress, distrust, lack of communication, addiction, domestic violence, lack of respect, lack of communication, etc. therefore it is very common for students to be sad, unmotiva...

  11. An Examination of Family Adjustment among Operation Desert Storm Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taft, Casey T.; Schumm, Jeremiah A.; Panuzio, Jillian; Proctor, Susan P.

    2008-01-01

    This study examined interrelationships among combat exposure, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and family adjustment in a sample of male and female Operation Desert Storm veterans (N = 1,512). In structural equation models for both male and female veterans, higher combat exposure was associated with higher PTSD symptoms, which in…

  12. Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup and the Desert Romance Tradition in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Whilst The Sheik begins by introducing the figure of Diana Mayo as a female hero on a quest for freedom from the constrictions of British patriarchy in the Algerian desert, by its conclusion the narrative has been androcentrically and colonially reconfigured so that Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan and his complex identity has ...

  13. Late Oligocene-early Miocene birth of the Taklimakan Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hongbo; Wei, Xiaochun; Tada, Ryuji; Clift, Peter D; Wang, Bin; Jourdan, Fred; Wang, Ping; He, Mengying

    2015-06-23

    As the world's second largest sand sea and one of the most important dust sources to the global aerosol system, the formation of the Taklimakan Desert marks a major environmental event in central Asia during the Cenozoic. Determining when and how the desert formed holds the key to better understanding the tectonic-climatic linkage in this critical region. However, the age of the Taklimakan remains controversial, with the dominant view being from ∼ 3.4 Ma to ∼ 7 Ma based on magnetostratigraphy of sedimentary sequences within and along the margins of the desert. In this study, we applied radioisotopic methods to precisely date a volcanic tuff preserved in the stratigraphy. We constrained the initial desertification to be late Oligocene to early Miocene, between ∼ 26.7 Ma and 22.6 Ma. We suggest that the Taklimakan Desert was formed as a response to a combination of widespread regional aridification and increased erosion in the surrounding mountain fronts, both of which are closely linked to the tectonic uplift of the Tibetan-Pamir Plateau and Tian Shan, which had reached a climatically sensitive threshold at this time.

  14. Desert-Based Muslim Religious Education: Mahdara as a Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladjal, Tarek; Bensaid, Benaouda

    2017-01-01

    As one of the oldest surviving educational religious models in the history of Muslim education, Mahdara remains a poorly studied desert-based religious institution of traditional learning. In its Bedouin context, the Mahdara produced religious scholars no less competent in the mastery of religious Islamic sciences than graduates of other reputable…

  15. Growth differentiation factor 9 gene variants in Sudanese desert ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Certain variants in the growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) gene have major effects on the ovulation rate in sheep. The aim of this study was to analyse GDF9 variability in the Sudanese desert sheep ecotypes Ashgar, Dubasi and Watish, and to test identified variants for association with litter size. For this purpose, ewes of ...

  16. The role of dew in Negev Desert plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Amber J; Dawson, Todd E; Shelef, Oren; Rachmilevitch, Shimon

    2015-06-01

    We investigated the possible use of dew as a water source for three desert plant species native to the Negev Desert: an annual Salsola inermis, and two perennials Artemisia sieberi and Haloxylon scoparium, with different rooting depths of 15, 30 and 90 cm, respectively. We quantified dew-water inputs and used stable isotope analyses to determine the proportion of dew as compared to the proportion of soil water each species utilized. Dew was isotopically enriched (δD values ranged from -25 to 5 ‰), relative to rainfall with δD values that ranged from -40 to -20 ‰ and relative to soil water with δD values that ranged from -65 to -35 ‰. Using a two-source isotope mixing model, we found that S. inermis, A. sieberi and H. scoparium used, on average, 56, 63 and 46 % of their water from dewfall, respectively. Our results suggest that dew-water utilization by Negev Desert plants is highly significant ecologically and thus may be more common than previously thought. In light of future predicted climate change, it may be increasingly important for plants of the Negev Desert to make use of dew as a water resource as it may play an important role in their ability to cope with the associated hydrological constraints predicted for the Negev region.

  17. 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 ...

  18. Inventory of Medicinal Flora from Thal Desert, Punjab, Pakistan ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: This article reports the preliminary findings of an ethno-botanical survey that was carried out in the Thal Desert, Punjab, Pakistan during 2010 to 2013. The aim of this study was to document the traditional use of medicinal plants from the study area. Materials and Methods: The whole area was surveyed for ...

  19. Mechanisms for maintenance of dominance in a nonclonal desert shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley G. Kitchen; Susan E. Meyer; Stephanie L. Carlson

    2015-01-01

    Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima: Rosaceae) is a slow-growing, non-clonal shrub that is regionally dominant on xeric, shallow soils in the North American Mojave Desert-Great Basin transition zone and southern Colorado Plateau. Blackbrush seed production is concentrated in mast years, and most seeds are cached and later consumed by heteromyid rodents....

  20. Activity of the Namib Desert dune ant, Camponotus detritus | Curtis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The activity of the ant Camponotus detritus was studied in the dunes of the central Namib Desert. Activity was divided into two components: transit activity and honeydew collection. Temperature governed both forms, but light controlled the initiation and termination of transit activity, which was bimodal in warm conditions and ...

  1. 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…

  2. The Fifth Estate: The New Media of Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-12-01

    instantaneous communication from the desert."Ŗ The Gannet Foundation’s The Media at War lists the new technologies that most impacted the mcdia’s coverage...decline. The combat environment is the media environment as well. Just as there was not a large amount of media coverage of the Battle of the Atlantic in

  3. AMPHIBIAN DECLINES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN THE EASTERN "MOJAVE DESERT"

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert, USA, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distribution of amphibians were investigated in a 20...

  4. 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…

  5. Characterization of natural habitats and diversity of Libyan desert truffles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouzadi, Mozidi; Grebenc, Tine; Turunen, Ossi; Kraigher, Hojka; Taib, Hassan; Alafai, Abdulhafied; Sbissi, Imed; Assad, Mamdouh El Haj; Bedade, Dattatray; Shamekh, Salem

    2017-10-01

    Desert truffles have traditionally been used as food in Libya. Desert truffle grows and gives fruit sporadically when adequate and properly distributed rainfall occurs with existence of suitable soil and mycorrhizal host plant. The present study aimed to identify and characterize two kinds of wild desert truffles from ecological and nutritional points that were collected from the studied area. The truffle samples were identified as Terfezia (known as red or black truffle) and Tirmania (known as white truffle). The nutritional values (protein, lipid and carbohydrate) of both Libyan wild truffle (Terfezia and Tirmania) were determined on a dry weight basis and result showed that Tirmania and Terfezia contained 16.3 and 18.5% protein, 6.2 and 5.9% lipid, 67.2 and 65% carbohydrate, respectively, in ascocarp biomass. The soil pH of the upper and lower regions of the Hamada Al-Hamra ranged between 8.2 and 8.5 giving suitable conditions for fructification. The plants, Helianthemum kahiricum and Helianthemum lippii were the dominant plants in Hamada Al-Hamra region found to form a mycorrhiza with desert truffles. The phylogenetic analysis of the genomic rDNA ITS region showed that, out of five collections three represented Tirmania pinoyi (Maire) Malencon, one Tirmania nivea (Desf.) Trappe, and one Terfezia boudieri Chatin.

  6. Dynamic response of desert wetlands to abrupt climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Kathleen; Manker, Craig; Pigati, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

    Desert wetlands are keystone ecosystems in arid environments and are preserved in the geologic record as groundwater discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits are inherently discontinuous and stratigraphically complex, which has limited our understanding of how desert wetlands responded to past episodes of rapid climate change. Previous studies have shown that wetlands responded to climate change on glacial to interglacial timescales, but their sensitivity to short-lived climate perturbations is largely unknown. Here, we show that GWD deposits in the Las Vegas Valley (southern Nevada, United States) provide a detailed and nearly complete record of dynamic hydrologic changes during the past 35 ka (thousands of calibrated 14C years before present), including cycles of wetland expansion and contraction that correlate tightly with climatic oscillations recorded in the Greenland ice cores. Cessation of discharge associated with rapid warming events resulted in the collapse of entire wetland systems in the Las Vegas Valley at multiple times during the late Quaternary. On average, drought-like conditions, as recorded by widespread erosion and the formation of desert soils, lasted for a few centuries. This record illustrates the vulnerability of desert wetland flora and fauna to abrupt climate change. It also shows that GWD deposits can be used to reconstruct paleohydrologic conditions at millennial to submillennial timescales and informs conservation efforts aimed at protecting these fragile ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic warming.

  7. Cultural and religious unification through music in Desert Rose's ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Silence of the Musicis a musical theatre piece produced by Desert Rose in 2010. The production not only addresses themes of prejudice and intercultural discrepancies in post-apartheid South Africa, but also carries a message of love and unity. The unifying factor in the show is music – the fusing together of the musics of ...

  8. Amphibians and land use in the Chihuahuan Desert border region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulette L. Ford; Deborah M. Finch

    1999-01-01

    The pressures of growing borderland populations, increased land use, and Increased water use are threatening amphibians in the Chihuahuan Desert border area. In this paper, we describe potential direct threats such as loss or contamination of aquatic habitats, and indirect threats such as the sublethal effects of pesticides on developing larvae and tadpoles. More...

  9. Factors mediating cheatgrass invasion of intact salt desert shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan E. Meyer; Susan C. Garvin; Julie Beckstead

    2001-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has recently displaced salt desert shrubland in many areas of the Great Basin. We studied the dynamics of cheatgrass invasion into an intact shadscale-gray molly community in Dugway Valley, Utah, by adding seeds and manipulating disturbance regime and resource availability. Shrub clipping or cryptobiotic crust trampling on large plots...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    However, all of the isolated fungi except Ulocladium tuberculatum were recovered from the 5 regions surveyed at Western desert, with the most dominant being species of Aspergillus and Alternaria. Aspergillus fumigatus, A. niger and Alternaria alternata were the most commonly encountered species. Other fungi were also ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  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. Forager abundance and dietary relationships Namib Desert ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Thirteen ant species coexist on a barren gravel plain habitat in the central Namib Desert. Numerical density of foragers of all species fluctuated considerably over a 17-month period. Peaks in abundance correlated to rainfall events and hence primary production pulses. The majority of foragers were noctumal in summer and ...

  16. Energetics and water relations ofN amib desert rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    desert rodents. P.C. Withers, G.N. Louw and J. Henschel. Zoology Department, University of Cape Town. All the Namib rodents investigated, except Petromus, can survive without ... Present address: Biology Department, Portland State University,. P.O. Box ...... pulmocutaneous water loss of Australian hopping mice. Compo.

  17. Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup and the Desert Romance Tradition in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The paper shows how Nadine Gordimer's novel The Pickup can be read as a radical reworking of the traditions of romance, most specifically of the colonial desert romance. E M Hull's novel The Sheik is discussed in order to highlight key patterns of this genre, particularly with reference to Rachel Blau DuPlessis' distinction ...

  18. Desert soil collection at the JPL soil science laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, G. B.; Cameron, R. E.

    1969-01-01

    Collection contains desert soils and other geologic materials collected from sites in the United States and foreign countries. Soils are useful for test purposes in research related to extraterrestrial life detection, sampling, harsh environmental studies, and determining suitable areas for training astronauts for lunar exploration.

  19. The Late Miocene climate response to a modern Sahara desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micheels, Arne; Eronen, Jussi; Mosbrugger, Volker

    2009-06-01

    The climate cooling and vegetation changes in the Miocene/Pliocene are generally well documented by various proxy data. Some important ecosystem changes occurred at that time. Palaeobotanical evidence suggests that the Sahara desert first appeared in the Pliocene, whereas in the Miocene North Africa was green. In the present study, we investigate the Late Miocene climate response to the appearance of the Sahara desert from a climate modelling sensitivity experiment. We compare a model experiment, which includes a full set of Late Miocene boundary conditions, with another one using the same boundary conditions except that the North African vegetation refers to the present-day situation. Our sensitivity study demonstrates that the introduction of the Sahara desert leads to a cooling and an aridification in Africa. In addition, we observe teleconnection patterns related to the North African desertification at around the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. From our sensitivity experiment, we observe that the Sahara contributes to a cooling in Central Asia and in North America. As compared to hypsodonty data for Central Asia, an increased aridity is underestimated in the Sahara experiment. Finally, we observe that the introduction of the Sahara leads to a cooling in the northern high latitudes. Hence, our sensitivity experiment indicates that the appearance of the Sahara desert is one piece to better understand Late Cenozoic climate cooling being most pronounced in the high latitudes.

  20. 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...

  1. Aggregation pheromone complex of the desert locust, Schistocerca ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aggregation pheromone system of gregarious S. gregaria is derived from the insects themselves and their faeces. This has been demonstrated in GC-EAD, GC-MS and behavioural assays. Behavioural assays show that two distinct sets of releaser pheromones modulate the aggregation behaviour of the desert locust: a ...

  2. Should I stay or should I go? Female brood desertion and male counterstrategy in rock sparrows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2005-01-01

    Brood desertion involves a series of interactions between the members of a pair. This process is likely to be based on either member's perception of the other's propensity to desert. We manipulated this perception in males by experimentally increasing female body mass in the rock sparrow (Petronia...... petronia), a species in which females can desert their first brood before the nestlings from the first brood leave the nest. We predicted that the male would either desert the brood first or stay even if this implied the risk of caring for the brood alone. We found that males mated to loaded females did...... to reduce the female's propensity to switch mate and desert or to increase her propensity to copulate with the male to obtain paternity in her next brood. Altogether, our results demonstrate that the perception of the risk of being deserted by the female does not necessarily induce males to desert first...

  3. Diversity and Ecology of Viruses in Hyperarid Desert Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zablocki, Olivier; Adriaenssens, Evelien M; Cowan, Don

    2015-11-20

    In recent years, remarkable progress has been made in the field of virus environmental ecology. In marine ecosystems, for example, viruses are now thought to play pivotal roles in the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and to be mediators of microbial evolution through horizontal gene transfer. The diversity and ecology of viruses in soils are poorly understood, but evidence supports the view that the diversity and ecology of viruses in soils differ substantially from those in aquatic systems. Desert biomes cover ∼ 33% of global land masses, and yet the diversity and roles of viruses in these dominant ecosystems remain poorly understood. There is evidence that hot hyperarid desert soils are characterized by high levels of bacterial lysogens and low extracellular virus counts. In contrast, cold desert soils contain high extracellular virus titers. We suggest that the prevalence of microbial biofilms in hyperarid soils, combined with extreme thermal regimens, exerts strong selection pressures on both temperate and virulent viruses. Many desert soil virus sequences show low values of identity to virus genomes in public databases, suggesting the existence of distinct and as-yet-uncharacterized soil phylogenetic lineages (e.g., cyanophages). We strongly advocate for amplification-free metavirome analyses while encouraging the classical isolation of phages from dominant and culturable microbial isolates in order to populate sequence databases. This review provides an overview of recent advances in the study of viruses in hyperarid soils and of the factors that contribute to viral abundance and diversity in hot and cold deserts and offers technical recommendations for future studies. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Dust Plume off the Coast of Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Dwarfing the Nile, a river of dust flowed out of the deserts of northern Egypt on May 19, 2007. As the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead at 12:05 p.m. local time in Cairo, the sensor captured this image of the dust spreading northward over the Mediterranean Sea from the sandy deserts that span the country. At the margins of the plume, ribbons and ripples of dust are translucent, allowing a glimpse of the desert and water beneath, but in the center, the cloud is opaque, revealing nothing of the surface below. The part of north-central Egypt hidden by the dust plume is the Qattara Depression, the country's lowest point. Dipping down to 133 meters below sea level (436 feet), the depression is home to sandy deserts and dry lake beds that occasionally flood. The sand and fine, lake bed sediments are easily lofted into the air by strong winds that scour the area in late winter and early spring. In the eastern (right-hand) part of the image, the Nile River is lined by narrow ribbons of dull green vegetation. The fan-shaped delta is dotted with tan-colored spots, marking the location of cities and towns. The Nile Valley and Delta make up only a small fraction of the country's total land area, yet they support almost the entire population. The large image provided above has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides this image in additional resolutions. The Earth Observatory also provides a 250-meter-resolution KMZ file of this image for use with Google Earth.

  6. Ice nucleation of natural desert dust including organics sourced from nine deserts worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boose, Yvonne; Welti, André; Atkinson, James; Danielczok, Anja; Bingemer, Heinz; Plötze, Michael; Lohmann, Ulrike; Kanji, Zamin A.

    2017-04-01

    The extraordinary high ice nucleation (IN) potential of microcline, a K-feldspar mineral, at temperatures (T) above 248 and up to 271 K has been show recently. However, it is unclear if microcline is also found at the surface of airborne mineral dust particles or if chemical and mechanical aging processes lead to its destruction or shielding and thus reduced IN ability in the atmosphere. It is suggested that instead organic material mixed with inorganic minerals is responsible for cloud glaciation at T ≥ 253 K. We collected airborne Saharan dust at 4 locations at different distances from the desert and 11 samples from the surface of 9 of the major deserts worldwide. We studied immersion IN on these samples between 235 - 263 K using the IMCA-ZINC (immersion mode cooling chamber - Zurich ice nucleation chamber) setup and the FRIDGE (Franfurt Ice Nuclei Deposition Freezing Experiment) instrument run in droplet freezing mode. By correlating the results with the bulk mineralogy of the dust samples, determined by X-ray diffraction analysis, we show that at 253 K, K-feldspar indeed predicts best the IN behavior of the samples. At lower T (238 - 245 K) however, quartz and the total feldspar contents correlate best. Furthermore, microcline is only found in one of the airborne Saharan dust samples (3.9 wt%) while in the others the amount is below the detection limit or completely absent. Relative humidity (RH) scans at constant T = 238, 240 and 242 K were additionally performed with the portable ice nucleation counter, PINC. Above and below water saturation a similar prominent role of quartz is found as in the immersion mode. To investigate the role of organic material on the IN ability, we heated some of the samples at 573 K for 10 h and repeated the RH-scans. Furthermore, we performed thermogravimetric analysis of the dusts. The two tested airborne Saharan samples loose between 2.8 and 7.5 % of their mass at T ≤ 573 K, partly due to water release, partly due to

  7. Upwelling along the east coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    An examination of the physical characteristics of the shelf waters off Karaikal in the premonsoon period and off Madras and Waltair in the premonsoon and monsoon periods reveals the presence of upwelling along the East Coast of India...

  8. 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...

  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. 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...

  11. 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)...

  12. 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,...

  13. 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...

  14. Distribution of seagrasses along the Indian coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.

    Seagrass environments, from the main coast of India, Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands, were surveyed for seagrass and marine algal composition. Extensive seagrass meadows and the maximum number of species (seven genera and 12 species) occurred along...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Desire for the Desert: Racialising White Teachers' Motives for Working in Remote Schools in the Australian Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Samantha

    2017-01-01

    Distinct from rurality, the Australian desert has long functioned as a signifier of remoteness in the dominant imagination; a product of spatialised binary relations between "progressive" (white) mainstream or idealised white countryside, and disordered/dangerous Aboriginal periphery. Remoteness constitutes a complex racial dynamic that…

  18. Desert Emergency - Lack of Water - How to Find and Collect Water. Plants and Human Survival in the Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-10-01

    Observations on the Secondary Succession of Three Plant Communities in the Negev Desert, Israel. 1. Atemeisietum herbae albae. In: Etudes de Biologie ... Vegetale - Hommage au Prof. P. Chouard. R. Jacques ed., CNRS (Gif sur Yvette), Paris, France, pp. 57-86. 3. Evenari, M., L. Shanan and N. Tadmor, 1982: The

  19. 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.

  20. Regional tertiary cross sections: Texas Gulf Coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Debout, D.G.; Luttrell, P.E.; Seo, J.H.

    1976-01-01

    Regional studies of the Frio Formation along the Texas Gulf Coast were conducted to evaluate potential geothermal energy from deep, geopressured sandstone reservoirs. Published regional cross sections, unpublished cross sections provided by several major oil companies, and extensive micropaleontological and electrical-log files at the Bureau of Economic Geology served as basic data. These sections are meant to show gross regional distribution of sand and shale facies both laterally and vertically throughout the entire Tertiary section along the Texas Gulf Coast.

  1. Hurricane Linda Off the Baja Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    This Quick Time movie captures Hurricane Linda moving off the Baja California coast in September 1997. The strongest hurricane on record for the eastern Pacific at that time, Hurricane Linda invaded Southern California with winds that had gusted to 105 mph (174 kph). While off the coast of Mexico, her winds gusted up to 220 mph (354 kph). Earth science and weather studies are an important ongoing function of NASA and its affiliates.

  2. Preventing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: cabergoline versus coasting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esinler, Ibrahim; Bozdag, Gurkan; Karakocsokmensuer, Lale

    2013-11-01

    The use of cabergoline and coasting are both effective in reducing the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Our aim was to compare the effectiveness of cabergoline with coasting to prevent moderate-severe OHSS. Fifty-seven consecutive infertile patients (81 cycles) at risk of developing OHSS were enrolled through our computerized IVF database system. Inclusion criteria were: (i) E2 level on the day of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) greater than 3,500 pg/ml; (ii) patients who underwent luteal long GnRH agonist cycle; (iii) patients who used cabergoline for OHSS prevention; (iv) patients who underwent coasting for OHSS prevention. The cabergoline group constituted 17 patients (26 cycles) who started using 0.5 mg oral cabergoline daily for 8 days on the day of hCG, whereas the coasting group constituted 40 patients (55 cycles) who underwent coasting. Both groups were comparable regarding the women's mean age, body mass index and duration of infertility. Implantation rate, clinical pregnancy per embryo transfer and miscarriage rates were not different between the two groups. There was no OHSS in the cabergoline group (0 %), whereas there were two OHSS (3.6 %) in the coasting group; however, this difference was not significant. In conclusion, 0.5 mg daily use of cabergoline for 8 days beginning from hCG administration is a very effective way to reduce moderate-severe OHSS without sacrificing pregnancy rates in patients at risk of developing OHSS.

  3. Urban Heat Island Variation across a Dramatic Coastal to Desert Climate Zone: An Application to Los Angeles, CA Metropolitan Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tayyebi, A.; Jenerette, D.

    2015-12-01

    Urbanization is occurring at an unprecedented rate across the globe. The resulting urban heat island (UHI), which is a well-known phenomenon in urban areas due to the increasing number and density of buildings, leads to higher temperature in urban areas than surrounding sub-urban or rural areas. Understanding the effects of landscape pattern on UHI is crucial for improving the sustainability of cities and reducing heat vulnerability. Although a variety of studies have quantified UHI, there are a lack of studies to 1) understand UHI variation at the micro-scale (e.g., neighborhood effect) for large urban areas and 2) identify variation in the sensitivity of the UHI to environmental drivers across a megacity with a pronounced climate zone (i.e. coastal to desert climates) using advanced analytical tools. In this study, we identified the interacting relationship among various environmental and socio-economic factors to better identify UHI over the Los Angeles, CA metropolitan area. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to quantify the interacting relationships among land surface temperature (LST), land cover (NDVI), distance to ocean, elevation, and socio-economic status (neighborhood income). LST-NDVI slopes were negative across the climate zones and became progressively stronger with increasing distance from the coast. Results also showed that slopes between NDVI and neighborhood income were positive throughout the climate zone with a maximum in the relationship occurring near 25km from the coast. Because of these income-NDVI and NDVI-LST relationships we also found that slopes between LST and neighborhood income were negative throughout the climate zones and peaked at about 30km from the coast. These findings suggest assessments of urban heat vulnerability need to consider not only variation in the indicators but also variation in how the indicators influence vulnerability.

  4. Effect of sea breeze circulation on aerosol mixing state and radiative properties in a desert setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derimian, Yevgeny; Choël, Marie; Rudich, Yinon; Deboudt, Karine; Dubovik, Oleg; Laskin, Alexander; Legrand, Michel; Damiri, Bahaiddin; Koren, Ilan; Unga, Florin; Moreau, Myriam; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Karnieli, Arnon

    2017-09-01

    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 retrieval of aerosol microphysical characteristics

  5. 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

  6. Last interglacial semi-desert expansions in southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urrego, D. H.; Sanchez Goni, M.; Lechevrel, S.; Daniau, A.

    2013-05-01

    While our understanding of the effects of orbital-scale variability on the vegetation has grown during the past decades, empirical data from some climatically important periods and regions are still lacking. Scarce data exist for instance for deep-time glacial-interglacial cycles that could provide suitable analogs for current climate change. Recent global-scale syntheses of vegetation responses to rapid events during the last glacial have been useful, however, these global compilations clearly show that some regions, namely the southern tropics and subtropics, remain understudied. We use pollen analysis of marine sediments from core MD96-2098 to produce a paleoenvironmental record from southern Africa spanning MIS 6 to 3. Our interpretations are supported by an analysis of present-day pollen-vegetation-climate relationships for the region. We applied canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) on pollen spectra from terrestrial surface samples to investigate these relationships and to identify pollen taxa that are suitable bioclimatic indicators for the different South African biomes. Semi-desert vegetation dominated southern Africa during the MIS 5 interglacial. Expansion of the semi-desert biome into the Namib desert likely resulted from the reduction of the Benguela upwelling and a relative decrease in aridity. In its eastern boundary, the semi-desert likely expanded at the expense of grasslands as a result of increased subtropical high pressure and reduced summer precipitation. Semi-desert expansion in its southern boundary probably resulted from reduced influence of the southern westerlies and decreased winter precipitation. This atmospheric configuration was probably exacerbated during the three warm substages of MIS 5. During glacial isotopic stages MIS 6, 4 and 3 grasslands gained area over the semi-desert as summer precipitation increased. The area occupied by Fynbos vegetation was particularly large at the

  7. Eastern desert ware : traces of the inhabitants of the eastern desert in Egypt and Sudan during the 4th-6th centuries CE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barnard, Hans

    2008-01-01

    Several sites in the desert between the Nile and the Red Sea, in Egypt and Sudan, as well as in the Nubian Nile Valley have produced the sherds of decorated hand-made cups and bowls, now identified as Eastern Desert Ware (EDW). Because of their small number and enigmatic origin these sherds have

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 78 FR 43125 - Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Commercial...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-19

    ... States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Commercial, Limited Entry Pacific Coast... pound (QP) deficits, 4. Eliminate double filing of co-op reports (November and March), 5. Revise first...), (F), and (H). 3. Change the Opt-Out Requirement for QP Deficits This proposed action would only...

  12. 78 FR 68764 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Commercial...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-15

    ... States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Commercial, Limited Entry Pacific Coast.... Change the opt-out requirement for quota pound (QP) deficits, 4. Eliminate double filing of co-op reports... operations worldwide. Prior to SBA's recent changes to the size standards for commercial harvesters, a...

  13. Artificial Regeneration of Blue and Coast Live Oaks in the Central Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tim R. Plumb; Bennie Hannah

    1991-01-01

    The primary goal of this study was to find economical and effective planting techniques that will ensure the establishment and early survival of coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia Née) and blue oak (Q. douglasii H. and A.) in the Central Coast region of California. Eight treatments were evaluated ranging from unprotected seed spots...

  14. 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....

  15. Diurnal characteristics of turbulent intermittency in the Taklimakan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Wang, Minzhong; Zhang, Hongsheng; He, Qing; Ali, Mamtimin; Wang, Yinjun

    2017-12-01

    A case study is performed to investigate the behavior of turbulent intermittency in the Taklimakan Desert using an intuitive, direct, and adaptive method, the arbitrary-order Hilbert spectral analysis (arbitrary-order HSA). Decomposed modes from the vertical wind speed series confirm the dyadic filter-bank essence of the empirical mode decomposition processes. Due to the larger eddies in the CBL, higher energy modes occur during the day. The second-order Hilbert spectra L2 (ω ) delineate the spectral gap separating fine-scale turbulence from large-scale motions. Both the values of kurtosis and the Hilbert-based scaling exponent ξ ( q ) reveal that the turbulence intermittency at night is much stronger than that during the day, and the stronger intermittency is associated with more stable stratification under clear-sky conditions. This study fills the gap in the characteristics of turbulence intermittency in the Taklimakan Desert area using a relatively new method.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Fasting-induced daily torpor in desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Qing-Sheng; Wan, Xin-Rong; Geiser, Fritz; Wang, De-Hua

    2016-09-01

    Daily torpor is frequently expressed in small rodents when facing energetically unfavorable ambient conditions. Desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii, ~20g) appear to be an exception as they have been described as homeothermic. However, we hypothesized that they can use torpor because we observed reversible decreases of body temperature (Tb) in fasted hamsters. To test this hypothesis we (i) randomly exposed fasted summer-acclimated hamsters to ambient temperatures (Tas) ranging from 5 to 30°C or (ii) supplied them with different rations of food at Ta 23°C. All desert hamsters showed heterothermy with the lowest mean Tb of 31.4±1.9°C (minimum, 29.0°C) and 31.8±2.0°C (minimum, 29.0°C) when fasted at Ta of 23°C and 19°C, respectively. Below Ta 19°C, the lowest Tb and metabolic rate increased and the proportion of hamsters using heterothermy declined. At Ta 5°C, nearly all hamsters remained normothermic by increasing heat production, suggesting that the heterothermy only occurs in moderately cold conditions, perhaps to avoid freezing at extremely low Tas. During heterothermy, Tbs below 31°C with metabolic rates below 25% of those during normothermia were detected in four individuals at Ta of 19°C and 23°C. Consequently, by definition, our observations confirm that fasted desert hamsters are capable of shallow daily torpor. The negative correlation between the lowest Tbs and amount of food supply shows that heterothermy was mainly triggered by food shortage. Our data indicate that summer-acclimated desert hamsters can express fasting-induced shallow daily torpor, which may be of significance for energy conservation and survival in the wild. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Covering hay in the irrigated Sonoran Desert decreases heat damage

    OpenAIRE

    Guerrero, Juan N.; Lopez, Martin I.; Cervantes, Miguel

    2005-01-01

    Hay stored for prolonged periods of time decreases in value for feeding livestock. The irrigated Sonoran Desert of southeastern California and western Arizona is the hottest inhabited part of the United States, with summer temperatures routinely exceeding 100°F from May through October. We evaluated the effects of three methods of hay storage there during the summer: uncovered, under a roof and under a tarp. After 21 weeks, hay that was protected from summer solar radiation, either by the use...

  20. 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).

  1. Planet occurrence in the sub-Neptune photoevaporation desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, George; Kreidberg, Laura; Lopez, Eric

    2017-10-01

    Data from the Kepler mission have shown that sub-Neptunes are the most common group of currently known exoplanets. These planets have a large range of bulk densities indicative of a group spanning purely rocky planets to those with substantial hydrogen/helium atmospheres. This diversity may represent a population that has been sculpted by photoevaporation, wherein planets close to their host stars are stripped of their primordial hydrogen/helium atmospheres by impinging stellar X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) radiation. This would present itself observationally as a rarity of ~1.8 - 4 Earth radii planets with orbital periods of ~10 days or less (Lopez et al. 2013). Evidence for a lack of these planets has been suggested in the Kepler dataset, in the form of an absence of planets between 2.2 and 3.8 Earth radii, with incident bolometric fluxes greater than 650 times the solar constant (Sanchis-Ojeda et al. 2014, Lundkvist et al. 2016). However, physically, one would expect the desert to be a function of time-integrated XUV flux, which is directly responsible for photoevaporation, not present-day bolometric flux. We first examine how time-integrated X-ray flux for a planet at fixed semi-major axis varies for mid M-dwarfs to early F-type stars, with the finding that for an integration time of 5 billion years, the integrated X-ray flux varies by only ~1 order of magnitude, compared to the 2 order of magnitude change in stellar luminosity across these star types. We then investigate evidence for a photoevaporation desert by calculating lifetime-integrated X-ray fluxes for the full Kepler sample. We calculate planet occurrence in this integrated X-ray flux parameter space, with the finding that the transition between the desert and non-desert areas may be sharper when compared to the orbital period parameter space.

  2. The visual centring response in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis.

    OpenAIRE

    Heusser, D; Wehner, R.

    2002-01-01

    When negotiating their way through cluttered environments, desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, tend to run along the midlines of the alleys formed by adjacent low shrubs. This 'centring response' was investigated by inducing foraging ants to walk through artificial channels. The sidewalls of the channel were either homogeneously black or provided with stationary or moving black-and-white gratings. The speed of motion and the spatial period of the gratings and the height of the walls could be var...

  3. Information on Hoover`s desert parsley for base realignment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downs, J.L.; Eberhardt, L.E. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Meadow, V.W. [Metropolitan State Coll., Denver, CO (United States). Dept. of Botany

    1993-12-01

    Hoover`s desert parsley, Lomatium tuberosum Hoover, is listed as a threatened species by the state of Washington and is a candidate for federal consideration in the 1985 Federal Register, Notice of Review. A memorandum from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army stated that ``candidate species and those proposed for listing will be treated as listed species when managing the natural resources or supporting military mission requirements.`` As a result of this management strategy, the US Department of the Army at Ft. Lewis requested that Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) perform a review of pertinent literature, survey the current populations of this plant on the Yakima Training Center (YTC) during the spring months of 1992, identify likely habitat for the plant, and perform a search/survey for other populations on the YTC. Several populations. of Hoover`s desert parsley were known to be located on the YTC: Township 15N, Range 23E, Section 33, NW 1/4 of SW 1/4 at 244 m in the Saddle Mountains at Sentinel Gap, and on Umtanum Ridge Township 13N, Range 23E, Section 4, SW 1/4 of NE 1/4. However, no methodical survey for the species on the YTC had been undertaken. The results of this survey from February 1992 to May 1992 include an inventory of existing populations on the YTC, maps of the locations of habitats for populations, information on the life history of the plant, and an evaluation of the impact of livestock grazing on Hoover`s desert parsley. A summary of the findings of these efforts is provided in this report. The data collected provide information on the status of Hoover`s desert parsley on the YTC and aid in planning for protection of this threatened plant.

  4. Variation in annual clutch phenology of desert tortoises (Gopherus morafkai) in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Agha, Mickey; Ennen, Joshua R.; Austin, Meaghan

    2017-01-01

    The phenology of egg production and oviposition in organisms affects survival and development of neonates and thus, both offspring and maternal fitness. In addition, in organisms with environmental sex determination, clutch phenology can affect hatchling sex ratios with attendant effects on population demography. The rapid rate of contemporary climate change might disrupt reproductive phenologies that evolved to match environmental conditions. To better understand the response of clutch phenology to annual and long-term changes in climate, we studied a population of Sonoran Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai) in Arizona in 1993 and 1997–2005, specifically quantifying three phenophases, including (1) the estimated time of appearance of shelled eggs in females, (2) the estimated time that eggs were last visible in X-radiographs, and (3) the duration of the interval between the first two events. The mean date for appearance of shelled eggs was 6 June, and the mean date they were last visible was 26 June. After controlling for individual female effects, these dates were different among years. The total number of days that eggs were visible across all females within a year differed among years, but the mean duration of time that clutches were visible, after controlling for individual female effects, was similar among years. Three of 18 females exhibited interannual egg retention on 5 occasions from 52 clutches. Although G. morafkai ovulates only one clutch per year, they might oviposit up to two because of interannual egg retention. Most females produced shelled eggs through heat-unit accumulation achieving 8.3 degree days within a 14-d moving average. The ability to vary the timing of egg formation and oviposition might buffer G. morafkai from some of the effects of predicted increases in temperatures, but species-specific information on developmental temperatures and nesting behavior are needed to determine whether or not the species will be able to produce viable

  5. Microbial Communities in a High Arctic Polar Desert Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, Clare M; Wade, Matthew J; Gray, Neil D; Roberts, Jennifer A; Hubert, Casey R J; Graham, David W

    2016-01-01

    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 microbial communities in polar desert soils from the Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard. Ten phyla dominated the soils and accounted for 95% of all sequences, with the Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi being the major lineages. In contrast to previous investigations of Arctic soils, relative Acidobacterial abundances were found to be very low as were the Archaea throughout the Kongsfjorden polar desert landscape. Lower Acidobacterial abundances were attributed to characteristic circumneutral soil pHs in this region, which has resulted from the weathering of underlying carbonate bedrock. In addition, we compared previously measured geochemical conditions as possible controls on soil microbial communities. Phosphorus, pH, nitrogen, and calcium levels all significantly correlated with β-diversity, indicating landscape-scale lithological control of available nutrients, which in turn, significantly influenced soil community composition. In addition, soil phosphorus and pH significantly correlated with α-diversity, particularly with the Shannon diversity and Chao 1 richness indices.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Energy-efficiency urban center in the Egyptian desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albis, A.H.A.

    1985-01-01

    This research effort is concerned with the identification and utilization of practical design guidelines to meet the demand for guidance in innovative planning and building design for Egyptian desert conditions. An energy-conscious design can be realized with a minimum expenditure of exhaustible energy resources and maximum utilization of the natural energies for cooling and heating. The energy design guidelines developed will be applied to an Urban Center, on a site selected to alleviate the stress on Cairo, which has been suffering for over two decades from housing shortages due to overpopulation. Design criteria to meet the challenges of this research include: neighborhood planning; orientation; building details; shading; colors of walls and roofs; materials; and massing configuration. In this research, desert construction and its aspects, use of building materials, approaches to energy conservation, and architectural principles for neighborhood planning are identified. The human requirement for thermal comfort specific to desert environments are analyzed and related to diurnal and annual patterns of outdoor conditions, and to the potential for modifying indoor thermal conditions by designs suitable to prevailing climatic conditions.

  9. Comparing three models to estimate transpiration of desert shrubs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shiqin; Yu, Zhongbo; Ji, Xibin; Sudicky, Edward A.

    2017-07-01

    The role of environmental variables in controlling transpiration (Ec) is an important, but not well-understood, aspect of transpiration modeling in arid desert regions. Taking three dominant desert shrubs, Haloxylon ammodendron, Nitraria tangutorum, and Calligonum mongolicum, as examples, we aim to evaluate the applicability of three transpiration models, i.e. the modified Jarvis-Stewart model (MJS), the simplified process-based model (BTA), and the artificial neural network model (ANN) at different temporal scales. The stem sap flow of each species was monitored using the stem heat balance approach over both the 2014 and 2015 main growing seasons. Concurrent environmental variables were also measured with an automatic weather station. The ANN model generally produced better simulations of Ec than the MJS and BTA models at both hourly and daily scales, indicating its advantage in solving complicated, nonlinear problems between transpiration rate and environmental driving forces. The solar radiation and vapor pressure deficit were crucial variables in modeling Ec for all three species. The performance of the MJS and ANN models was significantly improved by incorporating root-zone soil moisture. We also found that the difference between hourly and daily fitted parameter values was considerable for the MJS and BTA models. Therefore, these models need to be recalibrated when applied at different temporal scales. This study provides insights regarding the application and performance of current transpiration models in arid desert regions, and thus provides a deeper understanding of eco-hydrological processes and sustainable ecosystem management at the study site.

  10. Demographic and Spatial Characteristics of Feral Hogs in the Chihuahuan Desert, Texas

    OpenAIRE

    Adkins, Roger N.; Harveson, Louis A.

    2007-01-01

    Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) have recently expanded their range to include portions of the arid regions of the Chihuahuan Desert, Texas. We examined feral hog density, survival rates, range size, and habitat use in the Davis Mountains, Texas, to understand hog ecology in a desert environment. We tested the hypothesis that densities of feral hogs across Texas would be positively related to precipitation. Feral hog densities in the Chihuahuan Desert were low (0.65 individuals/km2), supporting our pr...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Chronology and paleoenvironmental records of a drill core in the central Tengger Desert of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zaijun; Sun, Donghuai; Chen, Fahu; Wang, Fei; Zhang, Yuebao; Guo, Feng; Wang, Xin; Li, Baofeng

    2014-02-01

    The desertification history of inland Asia provides most direct evidence for Asian drying history, but the formation ages of the most Asian deserts are not clear due to the lack of outcrops. The Tengger Desert, one of the main proximal deserts of the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), is of special paleoclimatic significances for its dust emission and environmental affection. Here, we report lithofacies, paleomagnetic ages and paleoenvironmental proxy indexes of the first drill core (WEDP01) from the central Tengger Desert. Paleomagnetism measurements reveal that the core spans from ˜3.55 Ma to present, consistent with the electron spin resonance (ESR) dating results. The strata of the central desert consist of alluvial-fluvial deposits, lacustrine-fluvial deposits mixed with dust, and eolian sand from bottom to top. Sedimentary analysis reveals that continuous eolian sand started by ˜0.9 Ma, marking the initial formation of the Tengger Desert; and the domination of eolian sand in the strata with similar characters of the modern desert appeared by ˜0.68 Ma, indicating expansion of the Tengger Desert. The proximal deserts formation and simultaneous increase of dust accumulation in the CLP and the North Pacific Ocean in mid-Pleistocene demonstrate the role of proximal deserts for the dust loading of Northern China and even Northern Hemisphere. Our analysis suggests the uplift of Tibetan Plateau in the mid-Pleistocene probably played the main role for this drying event and desert formation, while global cooling may strength the arid environment of the proximal deserts.

  14. 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.

  15. Standardized UXO Technology Demonstration Site, Desert Extreme Scoring Record Number 532

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Overbay, Larry, Jr; Boutin, Matthew; Archiable, Robert; McClung, Christina; Robitaille, George

    2005-01-01

    ...) utilizing the YPG Standardized UXO Technology Demonstration Site Desert Extreme The scoring record was coordinated by Larry Overbay and the Standardized UXO Technology Demonstration Site Scoring Committee...

  16. Natural radioactivity and groundwater quality assessment in the northern area of the Western Desert of Egypt

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mohamed Yehia; Ashraf Baghdady; Fares M. Howari; Samir Awad; Ahmed Gad

    2017-01-01

    The chemical composition and natural radioactivity of the northern area of the western desert groundwater were determined to evaluate hydrogeochemical facies and assess groundwater quality for different uses...

  17. 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

  18. Seasonal cycle of desert aerosols in western Africa: analysis of the coastal transition with passive and active sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senghor, Habib; Machu, Éric; Hourdin, Frédéric; Thierno Gaye, Amadou

    2017-07-01

    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° W, 14.74° N) provide

  19. 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

  20. Bathymetric Changes along Tottori Sand Dune Coast

    OpenAIRE

    木村, 晃; 大野, 賢一

    2009-01-01

    The present study deals with a short-term change of an offshore bar topology along Tottori coast during 5 years (2004-2009). This coast has a multiple offshore bar system. An inner bar lies around 100m offshore and an outer bar lies between13;250m and 500m offshore. The outer bars have crescentic feature with an offshore convexity. Wave lengths of the outer bar are 500m ~ 1000m and shows small yearly change. The shore line has a cusping feature. Their wave lengths are 300m ~ 450m. Inner bars ...