WorldWideScience

Sample records for western mojave desert

  1. 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...

  2. Chromium, chromium isotopes and selected trace elements, western Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izbicki, J.A.; Ball, J.W.; Bullen, T.D.; Sutley, S.J.

    2008-01-01

    Chromium(VI) concentrations in excess of the California Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 50 ??g/L occur naturally in alkaline, oxic ground-water in alluvial aquifers in the western Mojave Desert, southern California. The highest concentrations were measured in aquifers eroded from mafic rock, but Cr(VI) as high as 27 ??g/L was measured in aquifers eroded from granitic rock. Chromium(VI) concentrations did not exceed 5 ??g/L at pH < 7.5 regardless of geology. ??53Cr values in native ground-water ranged from 0.7 to 5.1??? and values were fractionated relative to the average ??53Cr composition of 0??? in the earth's crust. Positive ??53Cr values of 1.2 and 2.3??? were measured in ground-water recharge areas having low Cr concentrations, consistent with the addition of Cr(VI) that was fractionated on mineral surfaces prior to entering solution. ??53Cr values, although variable, did not consistently increase or decrease with increasing Cr concentrations as ground-water flowed down gradient through more oxic portions of the aquifer. However, increasing ??53Cr values were observed as dissolved O2 concentrations decreased, and Cr(VI) was reduced to Cr(III), and subsequently removed from solution. As a result, the highest ??53Cr values were measured in water from deep wells, and wells in discharge areas near dry lakes at the downgradient end of long flow paths through alluvial aquifers. ??53Cr values at an industrial site overlying mafic alluvium having high natural background Cr(VI) concentrations ranged from -0.1 to 3.2???. Near zero ??53Cr values at the site were the result of anthropogenic Cr. However, mixing with native ground-water and fractionation of Cr within the plume increased ??53Cr values at the site. Although ??53Cr was not necessarily diagnostic of anthropogenic Cr, it was possible to identify the extent of anthropogenic Cr at the site on the basis of the ??53Cr values in conjunction with major-ion data, and the ??18O and ??D composition of water from wells.

  3. Fugitive dust mitigation for PM{sub 10} attainment in the western Mojave Desert: Recommendations on revegetation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grantz, D.A.; Vaughn, D.L. [Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States)]|[Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, CA (United States); Roberts, E. [RES Environmental Inc., Colton, CA (United States)] [and others

    1997-12-31

    Methods to suppress fugitive dust and associated violations of federal PM{sub 10} standards in the western Mojave Desert, following removal of native vegetation by tillage or overgrazing, have been under investigation by a multi-agency task force for several years. Interim recommendations are now possible for this area of high winds, low rainfall, and mostly arable soil with patchy blowing sand. There can be no guarantee of success in any revegetation program in the desert, but the greatest probability of success in this area can be attained by using the native shrub Atriplex canescens, whether direct seeded or transplanted. No additional nitrogen should be added, and excess nitrogen should be removed if possible, perhaps by a preliminary cropping of barley. This will itself stabilize the soil surface in the short term. Young plants should be protected from herbivory and the harsh elements by using plastic cones. Irrigation is helpful if available. In areas located near native populations of rabbitbrush annual plant cover should be burned but no tillage or other soil disturbance should be imposed, as this facilitates invasion of annual species, including russian thistle, and prevents establishment of rabbitbrush. In sandy areas, seeding with Indian ricegrass may be more effective than with A. canescens. For immediate, short-term, mitigation of blowing dust, furrowing alone and installation of windfences may be effective. Rainfall exhibits high annual variability in arid regions. Absence of fugitive dust emissions in rainy periods, associated with ground cover by annual vegetation, is unlikely to survive several years of low, but normal, rainfall. It is precisely during those periods when rainfall is adequate that long-term revegetation with shrubs has the best chance of success.

  4. DISTRIBUTIONAL CHANGES AND POPULATION STATUS FOR AMPHIBIANS IN THE EASTERN MOJAVE DESERT

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert of western North America, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distributional changes for amphi...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Ground-water recharge from small intermittent streams in the western Mojave Desert, California: Chapter G in Ground-water recharge in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States (Professional Paper 1703)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izbicki, John A.; Johnson, Russell U.; Kulongoski, Justin T.; Predmore, Steven; Stonestrom, David A.; Constantz, Jim; Ferré, Ty P. A.; Leake, Stanley A.

    2007-01-01

    Population growth has impacted ground-water resources in the western Mojave Desert, where declining water levels suggest that recharge rates have not kept pace with withdrawals. Recharge from the Mojave River, the largest hydrographic feature in the study area, is relatively well characterized. In contrast, recharge from numerous smaller streams that convey runoff from the bounding mountains is poorly characterized. The current study examined four representative streams to assess recharge from these intermittent sources. Hydraulic, thermal, geomorphic, chemical, and isotopic data were used to study recharge processes, from streamflow generation and infiltration to percolation through the unsaturated zone. Ground-water movement away from recharge areas was also assessed.Infiltration in amounts sufficient to have a measurable effect on subsurface temperature profiles did not occur in every year in instrumented study reaches. In addition to streamflow availability, results showed the importance of sediment texture in controlling infiltration and eventual recharge. Infiltration amounts of about 0.7 meters per year were an approximate threshold for the occurrence of ground-water recharge. Estimated travel times through the thick unsaturated zones underlying channels reached several hundred years. Recharging fluxes were influenced by stratigraphic complexity and depositional dynamics. Because of channel meandering, not all water that penetrates beneath the root zone can be assumed to become recharge on active alluvial fans.Away from study washes, elevated chloride concentrations and highly negative water potentials beneath the root zone indicated negligible recharge from direct infiltration of precipitation under current climatic conditions. In upstream portions of washes, generally low subsurface chloride concentrations and near-zero water potentials indicated downward movement of water toward the water table, driven primarily by gravity. Recharging conditions did not

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 76 FR 29182 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the...

  14. 77 FR 11992 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: EPA is proposing a limited approval and limited disapproval of revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality...

  15. 77 FR 65133 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-25

    ... Identification of plan. * * * * * (c) * * * (379) * * * (i) * * * (E) Mojave Desert Air Quality Management... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: EPA is...

  16. Golden Eagle food habits in the Mojave Desert: Regional information for a changing landscape

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Expansion of renewable energy development is rapidly transforming the Mojave Desert landscape and has the potential to impact Golden Eagles through loss of foraging...

  17. State of California; Mojave Desert AQMD; Proposed Approval of Air Plan Revisions; VOC Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA is proposing to approve a revision to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the California SIP concerning emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from marine and pleasure craft coating operations.

  18. Biophyiscal settings and wildfire frequencies in the Mojave Desert ecological section of California, 1984 to 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This raster dataset contains biophysical settings (band 1) and wildfire frequencies (band 2) within the Mojave Desert ecological section of California. Biophysical...

  19. 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.

  20. Data measured on water collected from eastern Mojave Desert, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rose, Tim P. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-08-17

    In March of 2000 field collection of water from the Eastern Mojave Desert resulted in the measurement of stable isotope, radiocarbon, tritium, and limited dissolved noble gases. This work was follow-on to previous studies on similar systems in southern Nevada associated with the Nevada Test Site (Davisson et al., 1999; Rose and Davisson, 2003). The data for groundwater from wells and springs was never formally published and is therefore tabulated in Table 1 in order to be recorded in public record. In addition 4 years of remote precipitation data was collected for stable isotopes and is included in Table 2. These studies, along with many parallel and subsequent ones using isotopes and elemental concentrations, are all related to the general research area of tracing sources and quantifying transport times of natural and man-made materials in the environment. This type of research has direct relevance in characterizing environmental contamination, understanding resource development and protection, designing early detection in WMD related terrorism, and application in forensics analysis.

  1. Predatory bird populations in the east Mojave Desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, R.L.; Camp, R.J.; Boarman, W.I.; Knight, H.A.L.

    1999-01-01

    We surveyed 7 species of predatory birds weekly during a 12-month period (December 1992 through November 1993) in the east Mojave Desert, California. The Common Raven (Corvus corax) was the most frequently observed species with an average of 6.9 sightings per 100 km. Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura), Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus), American Kestrels (Falco sparverius), Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), and Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) were seen in decreasing order of frequency of observation through the study period. Ravens, Red-tailed Hawks, Loggerhead Shrikes, American Kestrels, and Prairie Falcons were seen throughout the year. Turkey Vultures were not present during winter months, while Golden Eagles were seen only during November and December. Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, and ravens were most numerous on agricultural lands, while Loggerhead Shrikes were most Common at urban areas. Raven numbers increased with increasing number of linear rights-of-way parallel to the survey route. Perching was the most common behavior type, although Turkey Vultures and ravens were often observed soaring, flying, or standing on the ground near highways. Transmission powerline towers and telephone poles were used as perch sites disproportionately to availability.

  2. CO2 EFFECTS ON MOJAVE DESERT PLANT INTERACTIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L. A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; S. D. SMITH; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Seasonal and interannual droughts characteristic of deserts have the potential to modify plant interactions as atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations continue to rise. At the Nevada Desert FACE (free-air CO{sub 2} enrichment) facility in the northern Mojave Desert, the effects of elevated atmospheric C02 (550 vs. ambient {approx}360 {micro}mol mol{sup -1}) on plant interactions were examined during two years of high and low rainfall. Results suggest that CO{sub 2} effects on the interaction between native species and their understory herbs are dependent on the strength of competition when rainfall is plentiful, but are unimportant during annual drought. Seasonal rainfall for 1999 was 23% the long-term average for the area, and neither elevated CO{sub 2} nor the low production of herbaceous neighbors had an effect on relative growth rate (RGR, d{sup -1}) and reproductive effort (RE, number of flowers g{sup -1}) for Achnatherum hymenoides (early season perennial C{sub 3} grass), Pleuraphis rigida (late season perennial C{sub 4} grass), and Larrea tridentata (evergreen C{sub 3} shrub). In contrast, 1998 received 213% the average rainfall. Consequently, the decrease in RGR and increase in RE for Achnatherum, whose period of growth overlaps directly with that of its neighbors, was exaggerated at elevated CO{sub 2}. However, competitive effects of neighbors on Eriogonum trichopes (a winter annual growing in shrub interspaces), Pleuraphis and Larrea were not affected by elevated CO{sub 2}, and possible explanations are discussed. Contrary to expectations, the invasive annual neighbor Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens had little influence on target plant responses because densities in 1998 and 1999 at this site were well below those found in other studies where it has negatively affected perennial plant growth. The extent that elevated CO{sub 2} reduces the performance of Achnatherum in successive years to cause its loss from the plant community depends more on future pressure

  3. Land subsidence in the southwestern Mojave Desert, California, 1992–2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Justin; Sneed, Michelle

    2017-07-19

    Groundwater has been the primary source of domestic, agricultural, and municipal water supplies in the southwestern Mojave Desert, California, since the early 1900s. Increased demands on water supplies have caused groundwater-level declines of more than 100 feet (ft) in some areas of this desert between the 1950s and the 1990s (Stamos and others, 2001; Sneed and others, 2003). These water-level declines have caused the aquifer system to compact, resulting in land subsidence. Differential land subsidence (subsidence occurring at different rates across the landscape) can alter surface drainage routes and damage surface and subsurface infrastructure. For example, fissuring across State Route 247 at Lucerne Lake has required repairs as has pipeline infrastructure near Troy Lake.Land subsidence within the Mojave River and Morongo Groundwater Basins of the southwestern Mojave Desert has been evaluated using InSAR, ground-based measurements, geology, and analyses of water levels between 1992 and 2009 (years in which InSAR data were collected). The results of the analyses were published in three USGS reports— Sneed and others (2003), Stamos and others (2007), and Solt and Sneed (2014). Results from the latter two reports were integrated with results from other USGS/ MWA cooperative groundwater studies into the broader scoped USGS Mojave Groundwater Resources Web site (http://ca.water.usgs.gov/ mojave/). This fact sheet combines the detailed analyses from the three subsidence reports, distills them into a longer-term context, and provides an assessment of options for future monitoring.

  4. Economic analysis of critical habitat designation for the desert tortoise (Mojave population)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schamberger, Mel; MacGillvray, Timothy J.; Draper, Dirk D.

    1993-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emergency 1isted the Mojave population of the desert tortoise as endangered on August 4, 1989. The Mojave population formally was listed as threatened on April 2, 1990. The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, requires that the economic benefits and costs and other relevant effects of critical habitat designation be considered. The Secretary of the Interior may exclude from designation areas where the costs of designation are greater than the benefits, unless the exclusion would result in extinction of the species. Desert tortoises are threatened by an accumulation of human-and disease-related mortality accompanied by habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation. Many desert tortoises are illegally collected for pets, food, and commercial trade. Others are accidentally struck and killed by vehicles on roads and highways or are killed by gunshot or vehicles traveling off-highway. Raven predation on hatchling desert tortoises has increased as raven populations in the desert have risen. An upper respiratory tract disease is suspected to be a major cause of mortality in the western Mojave Desert. This presumably incurable affliction presumably is thought to be spread through the release of infected tortoises into the desert. The Service has proposed designating critical habitat in nine counties within four states. The 12 critical habitat units encompass 6.4 million acres of land, more than 80% federally owned. This region is economically and demographically diverse. Most of the land is sparsely settled and characterized as a hot desert ecosystem. Major industries in the region include entertainment and lodging (primarily in Las Vegas), property development to accommodate the rapid population growth, and services. Millions of rural acres in the region are leased by the federal government for livestock grazing and used for mining. Overall economic benefits to the affected states derived from cattle and sheep grazing in the

  5. LIVESTOCK GRAZING EFFECTS ON ANT COMMUNITIES IN THE EASTERN MOJAVE DESERT, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of livestock grazing on composition and structure of ant communities were examined in the eastern Mojave Desert, USA for the purpose of evaluating ant communities as potential indicators of rangeland condition. Metrics for ant communities, vegetation, and other groun...

  6. 77 FR 11990 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency... Quality Management District (MDAQMD) and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) portions of...

  7. 77 FR 39181 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-02

    ... Management District (MDAQMD) and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) AGENCY: Environmental... Identification of plan. * * * * * (c) * * * (364) * * * (i) * * * (D) Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...) * * * (F) Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 2.43, ``Biomass Boilers,'' adopted on...

  8. Regional water table (2016) in the Mojave River and Morongo groundwater basins, southwestern Mojave Desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Meghan; Kjos, Adam

    2017-12-07

    From January to April 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Mojave Water Agency, and other local water districts made approximately 1,200 water-level measurements in about 645 wells located within 15 separate groundwater basins, collectively referred to as the Mojave River and Morongo groundwater basins. These data document recent conditions and, when compared with older data, changes in groundwater levels. A water-level contour map was drawn using data measured in 2016 that shows the elevation of the water table and general direction of groundwater movement for most of the groundwater basins. Historical water-level data stored in the USGS National Water Information System (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/) database were used in conjunction with data collected for this study to construct 37 hydrographs to show long-term (1930–2016) and short-term (1990–2016) water-level changes in the study area.

  9. Comparative phylogeography reveals deep lineages and regional evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Dustin A.; Vandergast, Amy G.; Barr, Kelly R.; Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: We explored lineage diversification within desert-dwelling fauna. Our goals were (1) to determine whether phylogenetic lineages and population expansions were consistent with younger Pleistocene climate fluctuation hypotheses or much older events predicted by pre-Pleistocene vicariance hypotheses, (2) to assess concordance in spatial patterns of genetic divergence and diversity among species and (3) to identify regional evolutionary hotspots of divergence and diversity and assess their conservation status. Location: Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran Deserts, USA. Methods: We analysed previously published gene sequence data for twelve species. We used Bayesian gene tree methods to estimate lineages and divergence times. Within each lineage, we tested for population expansion and age of expansion using coalescent approaches. We mapped interpopulation genetic divergence and intra-population genetic diversity in a GIS to identify hotspots of highest genetic divergence and diversity and to assess whether protected lands overlapped with evolutionary hotspots. Results: In seven of the 12 species, lineage divergence substantially predated the Pleistocene. Historical population expansion was found in eight species, but expansion events postdated the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in only four. For all species assessed, six hotspots of high genetic divergence and diversity were concentrated in the Colorado Desert, along the Colorado River and in the Mojave/Sonoran ecotone. At least some proportion of the land within each recovered hotspot was categorized as protected, yet four of the six also overlapped with major areas of human development. Main conclusions: Most of the species studied here diversified into distinct Mojave and Sonoran lineages prior to the LGM – supporting older diversification hypotheses. Several evolutionary hotspots were recovered but are not strategically paired with areas of protected land. Long-term preservation of species-level biodiversity would

  10. Temperature and Heat-Related Mortality Trends in the Sonoran and Mojave Desert Region

    OpenAIRE

    Polioptro F. Martinez-Austria; Erick R. Bandala

    2017-01-01

    Extreme temperatures and heat wave trends in five cities within the Sonoran Desert region (e.g., Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States and Ciudad Obregon and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora; and Mexicali, Baja California, in Mexico) and one city within the Mojave Desert region (e.g., Las Vegas, Nevada) were assessed using field data collected from 1950 to 2014. Instead of being selected by watershed, the cities were selected because they are part of the same arid climatic region. Th...

  11. Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) thermal ecology and reproductive success along a rainfall cline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieg, Annette E; Gambone, Megan M; Wallace, Bryan P; Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Spotila, James R; Avery, Harold W

    2015-05-01

    Desert resource environments (e.g. microclimates, food) are tied to limited, highly localized rainfall regimes which generate microgeographic variation in the life histories of inhabitants. Typically, enhanced growth rates, reproduction and survivorship are observed in response to increased resource availability in a variety of desert plants and short-lived animals. We examined the thermal ecology and reproduction of US federally threatened Mojave desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), long-lived and large-bodied ectotherms, at opposite ends of a 250-m elevation-related rainfall cline within Ivanpah Valley in the eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA. Biophysical operative environments in both the upper-elevation, "Cima," and the lower-elevation, "Pumphouse," plots corresponded with daily and seasonal patterns of incident solar radiation. Cima received 22% more rainfall and contained greater perennial vegetative cover, which conferred 5°C-cooler daytime shaded temperatures. In a monitored average rainfall year, Cima tortoises had longer potential activity periods by up to several hours and greater ephemeral forage. Enhanced resource availability in Cima was associated with larger-bodied females producing larger eggs, while still producing the same number of eggs as Pumphouse females. However, reproductive success was lower in Cima because 90% of eggs were depredated versus 11% in Pumphouse, indicating that predatory interactions produced counter-gradient variation in reproductive success across the rainfall cline. Land-use impacts on deserts (e.g. solar energy generation) are increasing rapidly, and conservation strategies designed to protect and recover threatened desert inhabitants, such as desert tortoises, should incorporate these strong ecosystem-level responses to regional resource variation in assessments of habitat for prospective development and mitigation efforts. © 2015 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy

  12. Precipitation regime classification for the Mojave Desert: Implications for fire occurrence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tagestad, Jerry; Brooks, Matthew; Cullinan, Valerie; Downs, Janelle; McKinley, Randy

    2016-01-01

    Mojave Desert ecosystem processes are dependent upon the amount and seasonality of precipitation. Multi-decadal periods of drought or above-average rainfall affect landscape vegetation condition, biomass and susceptibility to fire. The seasonality of precipitation events can also affect the likelihood of lightning, a key ignition source for fires. To develop an understanding of precipitation regimes and fire patterns we used monthly average precipitation data and GIS data representing burned areas from 1971-2010. We applied a K-means cluster analysis to the monthly precipitation data identifying three distinct precipitation seasons; winter (October – March), spring (April-June) and summer (July-September) and four discrete precipitation regimes within the Mojave ecoregion.

  13. Short-Term Space-Use Patterns of Translocated Mojave Desert Tortoise in Southern California.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L Farnsworth

    Full Text Available Increasingly, renewable energy comprises a larger share of global energy production. Across the western United States, public lands are being developed to support renewable energy production. Where there are conflicts with threatened or endangered species, translocation can be used in an attempt to mitigate negative effects. For the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii, we sought to compare habitat- and space-use patterns between short-distance translocated, resident, and control groups. We tested for differences in home range size based on utilization distributions and used linear mixed-effects models to compare space-use intensity, while controlling for demographic and environmental variables. In addition, we examined mean movement distances as well as home range overlap between years and for male and female tortoises in each study group. During the first active season post-translocation, home range size was greater and space-use intensity was lower for translocated tortoises than resident and control groups. These patterns were not present in the second season. In both years, there was no difference in home range size or space-use intensity between control and resident groups. Translocation typically resulted in one active season of questing followed by a second active season characterized by space-use patterns that were indistinguishable from control tortoises. Across both years, the number of times a tortoise was found in a burrow was positively related to greater space-use intensity. Minimizing the time required for translocated tortoises to exhibit patterns similar to non-translocated individuals may have strong implications for conservation by reducing exposure to adverse environmental conditions and predation. With ongoing development, our results can be used to guide future efforts aimed at understanding how translocation strategies influence patterns of animal space use.

  14. Mid-to-Late Holocene Hydrologic Variability in the Southeastern Mojave Desert Using Sediments from Ford Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, S. A.; Kirby, M. E.; Anderson, W. T., Jr.; Stout, C.; Palermo, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    The focal point of most lacustrine studies in the Mojave National Preserve (MNP) to date has been on lakes fed by the Mojave River. The source of the Mojave River is found on the northern flank of the San Bernardino Mountains. Consequently, the lakes that receive these waters are predominantly responding to the winter-only coastal southwest United States climate (e.g., Kirby et al., 2015 - Silver Lake); to a lesser degree, these lakes are also influenced by the Mojave's bimodal winter/summer climate. Ford Lake, located in the southeastern Mojave Desert is a small closed basin lake with its drainage basin located exclusively within the Mojave Desert. Therefore, sediment collected from Ford Lake contains a 100% Mojave-only climate signal. A 2.18 m sediment core was collected from the lake's depocenter in May 2015. Sediment analyses at 1 cm contiguous intervals include: magnetic susceptibility (MS), percent total organic matter, percent total carbonate content, and grain size analysis; C:N ratios, C and N isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analyses, and macrofossil counts are determined at 2 cm intervals. The site's age model is based on accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon ages from discrete organic macrofossils or bulk organic carbon. To deconvolve the coastal climate, winter-only signal from the Mojave-only climate signal the data from Ford Lake will be compared to one Mojave River fed lake (Silver) and several southern California lakes (Lower Bear, Lake Elsinore, Dry Lake, and Zaca Lake). Our results will be analyzed in the context of climate forcings such as insolation and ocean - atmosphere dynamics.

  15. A mechanistic modeling and data assimilation framework for Mojave Desert ecohydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Gene-Hua Crystal; Bedford, David R.; Miller, David M.

    2014-06-01

    This study demonstrates and addresses challenges in coupled ecohydrological modeling in deserts, which arise due to unique plant adaptations, marginal growing conditions, slow net primary production rates, and highly variable rainfall. We consider model uncertainty from both structural and parameter errors and present a mechanistic model for the shrub Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) under conditions found in the Mojave National Preserve in southeastern California (USA). Desert-specific plant and soil features are incorporated into the CLM-CN model by Oleson et al. (2010). We then develop a data assimilation framework using the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to estimate model parameters based on soil moisture and leaf-area index observations. A new implementation procedure, the "multisite loop EnKF," tackles parameter estimation difficulties found to affect desert ecohydrological applications. Specifically, the procedure iterates through data from various observation sites to alleviate adverse filter impacts from non-Gaussianity in small desert vegetation state values. It also readjusts inconsistent parameters and states through a model spin-up step that accounts for longer dynamical time scales due to infrequent rainfall in deserts. Observation error variance inflation may also be needed to help prevent divergence of estimates from true values. Synthetic test results highlight the importance of adequate observations for reducing model uncertainty, which can be achieved through data quality or quantity.

  16. Ecology of a population of subsidized predators: Common ravens in the central Mojave Desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boarman, W.I.; Patten, M.A.; Camp, R.J.; Collis, S.J.

    2006-01-01

    Human subsidies have resulted in the rapid growth of populations of common ravens (Corvus corax) in the Mojave Desert. This is a management concern because ravens prey on threatened desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii). We conducted weekly counts for 29 months at 10 sites on the US Army's National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California to evaluate factors affecting the distribution of ravens. Raven abundance varied seasonally, diurnally, and with human abundance. It was greatest near resource subsidies, specifically the landfill and sewage ponds. Although other studies have documented heavy use of landfills by ravens, the use of sewage ponds had not been previously reported in the published literature. We suggest that raven management should focus on reducing access to anthropogenic resources. ?? 2006.

  17. Making molehills out of mountains: landscape genetics of the Mojave desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagerty, Bridgette E.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Tracy, C. Richard

    2010-01-01

    Heterogeneity in habitat often influences how organisms traverse the landscape matrix that connects populations. Understanding landscape connectivity is important to determine the ecological processes that influence those movements, which lead to evolutionary change due to gene flow. Here, we used landscape genetics and statistical models to evaluate hypotheses that could explain isolation among locations of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Within a causal modeling framework, we investigated three factors that can influence landscape connectivity: geographic distance, barriers to dispersal, and landscape friction. A statistical model of habitat suitability for the Mojave desert tortoise, based on topography, vegetation, and climate variables, was used as a proxy for landscape friction and barriers to dispersal. We quantified landscape friction with least-cost distances and with resistance distances among sampling locations. A set of diagnostic partial Mantel tests statistically separated the hypotheses of potential causes of genetic isolation. The best-supported model varied depending upon how landscape friction was quantified. Patterns of genetic structure were related to a combination of geographic distance and barriers as defined by least-cost distances, suggesting that mountain ranges and extremely low-elevation valleys influence connectivity at the regional scale beyond the tortoises' ability to disperse. However, geographic distance was the only influence detected using resistance distances, which we attributed to fundamental differences between the two ways of quantifying friction. Landscape friction, as we measured it, did not influence the observed patterns of genetic distances using either quantification. Barriers and distance may be more valuable predictors of observed population structure for species like the desert tortoise, which has high dispersal capability and a long generation time.

  18. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Stanley, D.; Nowak, Robert S.; Fenstermaker, Lynn, F.; Young, Michael,H.

    2007-11-30

    In order to anticipate the effects of global change on ecosystem function, it is essential that predictive relationships be established linking ecosystem function to global change scenarios. The Mojave Desert is of considerable interest with respect to global change. It contains the driest habitats in North America, and thus most closely approximates the world’s great arid deserts. In order to examine the effects of climate and land use changes, in 2001 we established a long-term manipulative global change experiment, called the Mojave Global Change Facility. Manipulations in this study include the potential effects of (1) increased summer rainfall (75 mm over three discrete 25 mm events), (2) increased nitrogen deposition (10 and 40 kg ha-1), and (3) the disturbance of biological N-fixing crusts . Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypotheses include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production through an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plant production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plant and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most

  19. Temperature and Heat-Related Mortality Trends in the Sonoran and Mojave Desert Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polioptro F. Martinez-Austria

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Extreme temperatures and heat wave trends in five cities within the Sonoran Desert region (e.g., Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States and Ciudad Obregon and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora; and Mexicali, Baja California, in Mexico and one city within the Mojave Desert region (e.g., Las Vegas, Nevada were assessed using field data collected from 1950 to 2014. Instead of being selected by watershed, the cities were selected because they are part of the same arid climatic region. The data were analyzed for maximum temperature increases and the trends were confirmed statistically using Spearman’s nonparametric test. Temperature trends were correlated with the mortality information related with extreme heat events in the region. The results showed a clear trend of increasing maximum temperatures during the months of June, July, and August for five of the six cities and statically confirmed using Spearman’s rho values. Las Vegas was the only city where the temperature increase was not confirmed using Spearman’s test, probably because it is geographically located outside of the Sonoran Desert or because of its proximity to the Hoover Dam. The relationship between mortality and temperature was analyzed for the cities of Mexicali, Mexico and Phoenix. Arizona.

  20. EFFECTS OF ELEVATED CO2 ON ROOT FUNCTION AND SOIL RESPIRATION IN A MOJAVE DESERT ECOSYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-12-19

    Increases in atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration during the last 250 years are unequivocal, and CO{sub 2} will continue to increase at least for the next several decades (Houghton et al. 2001, Keeling & Whorf 2002). Arid ecosystems are some of the most important biomes globally on a land surface area basis, are increasing in area at an alarming pace (Dregne 1991), and have a strong coupling with regional climate (Asner & Heidebrecht 2005). These water-limited ecosystems also are predicted to be the most sensitive to elevated CO{sub 2}, in part because they are stressful environments where plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} may be amplified (Strain & Bazzaz 1983). Indeed, all C{sub 3} species examined at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility (NDFF) have shown increased A{sub net} under elevated CO{sub 2} (Ellsworth et al. 2004, Naumburg et al. 2003, Nowak et al. 2004). Furthermore, increased shoot growth for individual species under elevated CO{sub 2} was spectacular in a very wet year (Smith et al. 2000), although the response in low to average precipitation years has been smaller (Housman et al. 2006). Increases in perennial cover and biomass at the NDFF are consistent with long term trends in the Mojave Desert and elsewhere in the Southwest, indicating C sequestration in woody biomass (Potter et al. 2006). Elevated CO{sub 2} also increases belowground net primary production (BNPP), with average increases of 70%, 21%, and 11% for forests, bogs, and grasslands, respectively (Nowak et al. 2004). Although detailed studies of elevated CO{sub 2} responses for desert root systems were virtually non-existent prior to our research, we anticipated that C sequestration may occur by desert root systems for several reasons. First, desert ecosystems exhibit increases in net photosynthesis and primary production at elevated CO{sub 2}. If large quantities of root litter enter the ecosystem at a time when most decomposers are inactive, significant quantities of carbon may be stored

  1. Disturbance and Plant Succession in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of the American Southwest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott R. Abella

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Disturbances such as fire, land clearing, and road building remove vegetation and can have major influences on public health through effects on air quality, aesthetics, recreational opportunities, natural resource availability, and economics. Plant recovery and succession following disturbance are poorly understood in arid lands relative to more temperate regions. This study quantitatively reviewed vegetation reestablishment following a variety of disturbances in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of southwestern North America. A total of 47 studies met inclusion criteria for the review. The time estimated by 29 individual studies for full reestablishment of total perennial plant cover was 76 years. Although long, this time was shorter than an estimated 215 years (among 31 individual studies required for the recovery of species composition typical of undisturbed areas, assuming that recovery remains linear following the longest time since disturbance measurement made by the studies.

  2. Coupled Environmental Processes and Long-term Performance of Landfill Covers in the northern Mojave Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David Shafer; Michael Young; Stephen Zitzer; Eric McDonald; Todd Caldwell

    2004-05-12

    Evapotransiration (ET) covers have gained widespread acceptance as a closure feature for waste disposal sites, particularly in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern U.S. But as landforms, ET covers are subject to change over time because of processes such as pedogenesis, hydrologic processes, vegetation establishment and change, and biological processes. To better understand the effects of coupled process changes to ET covers, a series of four primary analog sites in Yucca Flat on the Nevada Test Site, along with measurements and observations from other locations in the Mojave Desert, were selected to evaluate changes in ET covers over time. The analog sites, of varying ages, were selected to address changes in the early post-institutional control period, the 1,000-year compliance period for disposal of low-level and mixed low-level waste, and the 10,000-year compliance period for transuranic waste sites.

  3. 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.

  4. Diet composition of common ravens across the urban-wildland interface of the West Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristan, William B.; Boarman, William I.; Crayon, John J.

    2004-01-01

    Common ravens (Corvus corax) are human-subsidized scavengers and predators in the Mojave Desert. They have increased dramatically in number and have been implicated as contributors to the decline in desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations. Known patterns of increased fledging success near human developments suggested that food was the most likely resource subsidy received by ravens. Because ravens are opportunistic foragers with a generalist diet, we predicted that the types of resource subsidy provided by different kinds of human developments should be reflected in measures of diet composition of breeding ravens. We estimated diet composition from contents of raven pellets collected at nests and related diet composition to distance of the nests from roads and point sources of resource subsidies, such as towns or landfills. Ravens that nested close to point subsidies far from major roads had the greatest incidence of trash in their diets. Ravens that nested close to roads but far from point subsidies had a low incidence of trash and a higher incidence of presumably road-killed mammals and reptiles. Ravens far from both roads and point subsidies had more plant material and arthropods, and ravens close to both roads and point subsidies had more birds and amphibians. Diet diversity was not related to distance from roads or developments. Fledging success was correlated with diet composition, such that birds with diets consistent with trash or road-kill subsidies fledged the greatest number of chicks. Our results suggest that ravens forage opportunistically on foods available near their nests, and different kinds of human developments contribute different foods. Improved management of landfills and highway fencing to reduce road-kills may help slow the growth of raven populations in the Mojave.

  5. Secular Slip, Regional, Coseismic Effects and Post-Seismic Deformation From the June 28, 1992 Landers Earthquake: Mojave Desert GPS Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M.; Webb, F.; Townsend, D.; Golombek, M.; Dokka, R.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes the constraints on long-term, post-seismic deformation within the Mojave Desert and on cumulative slip across the northern part of the Eastern California shear zone from May 1991 to August 1993.

  6. An Ixodes minor and Borrelia carolinensis enzootic cycle involving a critically endangered Mojave Desert rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Janet; Ott-Conn, Caitlin; Worth, Joy; Poulsen, Amanda; Clifford, Deana

    2014-03-01

    Microtus californicus scirpensis is an endangered, isolated subspecies of California vole. It requires water pools and riparian bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus) and occupies some of the rarest habitat of any North American mammal. The minimally vegetated, extremely arid desert surrounding the pools is essentially uninhabitable for Ixodes species ticks. We describe an enzootic cycle of Borrelia carolinensis in Ixodes minor ticks at a site 3500 km distant from the region in which I. minor is known to occur in Tecopa Host Springs, Inyo County, eastern Mojave Desert, California. Voles were live-trapped, and ticks and blood samples queried by PCR and DNA sequencing for identification and determination of the presence of Borrelia spp. Between 2011-2013, we found 21 Ixodes minor ticks (prevalence 4-8%) on Amargosa voles and Reithrodontomys megalotis. DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA from ticks yielded 99% identity to I. minor. There was 92% identity with I. minor in the calreticulin gene fragment. Three ticks (23.1%), 15 (24%) voles, three (27%) house mice, and one (7%) harvest mice were PCR positive for Borrelia spp. Sequencing of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region and flagellin gene assigned Amargosa vole Borrelia strains to B. carolinensis. Ixodes minor, first described in 1902 from a single Guatemalan record, reportedly occurs only in the southeast American on small mammals and birds. The source of this tick in the Mojave Desert and time scale for introduction is not known but likely via migratory birds. Borrelia strains in the Amargosa ecosystem most closely resemble B. carolinensis. B. carolinensis occurs in a rodent-I. minor enzootic cycle in the southeast U.S. although its epidemiological significance for people or rodents is unknown. The presence of a tick and Borrelia spp. only known from southeast U.S. in this extremely isolated habitat on the other side of the continent is of serious concern because it suggests that the animals in the ecosystem

  7. Microbial Community and Biochemical Dynamics of Biological Soil Crusts across a Gradient of Surface Coverage in the Central Mojave Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Rakesh Mogul; Parag Vaishampayan; Mina Bashir; McKay, Chris P.; Keith Schubert; Rosalba Bornaccorsi; Ernesto Gomez; Sneha Tharayil; Geoffrey Payton; Juliana Capra; Jessica Andaya; Leonard Bacon; Emily Bargoma; David Black; Katie Boos

    2017-01-01

    In this study, we expand upon the biogeography of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and provide molecular insights into the microbial community and biochemical dynamics along the vertical BSC column structure, and across a transect of increasing BSC surface coverage in the central Mojave Desert, CA, United States. Next generation sequencing reveals a bacterial community profile that is distinct among BSCs in the southwestern United States. Distribution of major phyla in the BSC topsoils included ...

  8. PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION OF THREE MOJAVE DESERT GRASSES IN RESPONSE TO ELEVATED ATMOSPHERIC CO2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L. A. DEFALCO; C. K. IVANS; P. VIVIN; J. R. SEEMANN; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Gas exchange, biomass and N allocation were compared among three Mojave Desert grasses representing different functional types to determine if photosynthetic responses and the associated allocation of resources within the plant changed after prolonged exposure to elevated CO{sub 2}. Leaf gas exchange characteristics were measured for Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens (C{sub 3} invasive annual), Achnatherum hymenoides (C{sub 3} native perennial) and Pleuraphis rigida (C{sub 4} native perennial) exposed to 360 {micro}mol mol{sup -1} (ambient) and 1000 {micro}mol mol{sup -1} (elevated) CO{sub 2} concentrations in a glasshouse experiment, and tissue biomass and total N pools were quantified from three harvests during development. The maximum rate of carboxylation by the N-rich enzyme Rubisco (Vc{sub max}), which was inferred from the relationship between net CO{sub 2} assimilation (A{sub net}) and intracellular CO{sub 2} concentration (c{sub i}), declined in the C{sub 3} species Bromus and Achnatherum across all sampling dates, but did not change at elevated CO{sub 2} for the C{sub 4} Pleuraphis. Whole plant N remained the same between CO{sub 2} treatments for all species, but patterns of allocation differed for the short- and long-lived C{sub 3} species. For Bromus, leaf N used for photosynthesis was reallocated to reproduction at elevated CO{sub 2} as inferred from the combination of lower Vc{sub max} and N per leaf area (NLA) at elevated CO{sub 2}, but similar specific leaf area (SLA, cm{sup 2} g{sup -1}), and of greater reproductive effort (RE) for the elevated CO{sub 2} treatment. Vc{sub max}, leaf N concentration and NLA declined for the perennial Achnatherum at elevated CO{sub 2} potentially due to accumulation of carbohydrates or changes in leaf morphology inferred from lower SLA and greater total biomass at elevated CO{sub 2}. In contrast, Vc{sub max} for the C{sub 4} perennial Pleuraphis did not change at elevated CO{sub 2}, and tissue biomass and total N were

  9. A Systematic Review of Wild Burro Grazing Effects on Mojave Desert Vegetation, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.

    2008-06-01

    Wild burros ( Equus asinus), protected by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act on some federal lands but exotic animals many ecologists and resource mangers view as damaging to native ecosystems, represent one of the most contentious environmental management problems in American Southwest arid lands. This review synthesizes the scattered literature about burro effects on plant communities of the Mojave Desert, a center of burro management contentions. I classified 24 documents meeting selection criteria for this review into five categories of research: (i) diet analyses directly determining which plant species burros consume, (ii) utilization studies of individual species, (iii) control-impact comparisons, (iv) exclosure studies, and (v) forage analyses examining chemical characteristics of forage plants. Ten diet studies recorded 175 total species that burros consumed. However, these studies and two exclosure studies suggested that burros preferentially eat graminoid and forb groups over shrubs. One study in Death Valley National Park, for example, found that Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian ricegrass) was 11 times more abundant in burro diets than expected based on its availability. Utilization studies revealed that burros also exhibit preferences within the shrub group. Eighty-three percent of reviewed documents were produced in a 12-year period, from 1972 to 1983, with the most recent document produced in 1988. Because burros remain abundant on many federal lands and grazing may interact with other management concerns (e.g., desert wildfires fueled by exotic grasses), rejuvenating grazing research to better understand both past and present burro effects could help guide revegetation and grazing management scenarios.

  10. Assessing an exotic plant surveying program in the Mojave Desert, Clark County, Nevada, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R; Spencer, Jessica E; Hoines, Joshua; Nazarchyk, Carrie

    2009-04-01

    Exotic species can threaten native ecosystems and reduce services that ecosystems provide to humans. Early detection of incipient populations of exotic species is a key step in containing exotics before explosive population growth and corresponding impacts occur. We report the results of the first three years of an exotic plant early detection and treatment program conducted along more than 3,000 km of transportation corridors within an area >1.5 million ha in the Mojave Desert, USA. Incipient populations of 43 exotic plant species were mapped using global positioning and geographic information systems. Brassica tournefortii (Sahara mustard) infested the most soil types (47% of 256) surveyed in the study area, while Nicotiana glauca (tree tobacco) and others currently occupy less than 5% of soil types. Malcolmia africana (African mustard) was disproportionately detected on gypsum soils, occurring on 59% of gypsum soil types compared to 27% of all surveyed soils. Gypsum soils constitute unique rare plant habitat in this region, and by conventional wisdom were not previously considered prone to invasion. While this program has provided an initial assessment of the landscape-scale distribution of exotic species along transportation corridors, evaluations of both the survey methods and the effectiveness of treating incipient populations are needed. An exotic plant information system most useful to resource mangers will likely include integrating planning oriented coarse-scale surveys, more detailed monitoring of targeted locations, and research on species life histories, community invasibility, and treatment effectiveness.

  11. Evidence from xenoliths for a dynamic lower crust, eastern Mojave Desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanchar, John M.; Miller, Calvin F.; Wooden, Joseph L.; Bennett, Victoria C.; Staude, John-Mark G.

    1994-01-01

    Garnet-rich xenoliths in a Tertiary dike in the eastern Mojave Desert, California, preserve information about the nature and history of the lower crust. These xenoliths record pressures of ∼ 10–12 kbar and temperatures of ∼ 750–800°C. Approximately 25% have mafic compositions and bear hornblende + plagioclase + clinopyroxene + quartz in addition to garnet. The remainder, all of which contain quartz, include quartzose, quartzofeldspathic, and aluminous (kyanite±sillimanite-bearing) varieties. Most xenoliths have identifiable protoliths—mafic from intermediate or mafic igneous rocks, quartzose from quartz-rich sedimentary rocks, aluminous from Al-rich graywackes or pelites, and quartzofeldspathic from feldspathic sediments and/or intermediate to felsic igneous rocks. However, many have unusual chemical compositions characterized by high FeO(t), FeO(t)/MgO, Al2O3, and Al2O3/CaO, which correspond to high garnet abundance. The mineralogy and major-and trace-element compositions are consistent with the interpretation that the xenoliths are the garnet-rich residues of high-pressure crustal melting, from which granitic melt was extracted. High 87Sr/86Sr and low 143Nd/144Nd, together with highly discordant zircons from a single sample with Pb/Pb ages of ∼ 1.7 Ga, demonstrate that the crustal material represented by the xenoliths is at least as old as Early Proterozoic. This supracrustal-bearing lithologic assemblage may have been emplaced in the lower crust during either Proterozoic or Mesozoic orogenesis, but Sr and Nd model ages> 4 Ga require late Phanerozoic modification of parent/daughter ratios, presumably during the anatectic event. Pressures of equilibration indicate that peak metamorphism and melting occurred before the Mojave crust had thinned to its current thickness of world-wide lower-crustal compositions in terms of silica and mafic content; however, it is considerably more peraluminous, has a lower mg-number, and is distinctive in some trace

  12. Conservation Planning for Offsetting the Impacts of Development: A Case Study of Biodiversity and Renewable Energy in the Mojave Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreitler, Jason; Schloss, Carrie A; Soong, Oliver; Hannah, Lee; Davis, Frank W

    2015-01-01

    Balancing society's competing needs of development and conservation requires careful consideration of tradeoffs. Renewable energy development and biodiversity conservation are often considered beneficial environmental goals. The direct footprint and disturbance of renewable energy, however, can displace species' habitat and negatively impact populations and natural communities if sited without ecological consideration. Offsets have emerged as a potentially useful tool to mitigate residual impacts after trying to avoid, minimize, or restore affected sites. Yet the problem of efficiently designing a set of offset sites becomes increasingly complex where many species or many sites are involved. Spatial conservation prioritization tools are designed to handle this problem, but have seen little application to offset siting and analysis. To address this need we designed an offset siting support tool for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) of California, and present a case study of hypothetical impacts from solar development in the Western Mojave subsection. We compare two offset scenarios designed to mitigate a hypothetical 15,331 ha derived from proposed utility-scale solar energy development (USSED) projects. The first scenario prioritizes offsets based precisely on impacted features, while the second scenario offsets impacts to maximize biodiversity conservation gains in the region. The two methods only agree on 28% of their prioritized sites and differ in meeting species-specific offset goals. Differences between the two scenarios highlight the importance of clearly specifying choices and priorities for offset siting and mitigation in general. Similarly, the effects of background climate and land use change may lessen the durability or effectiveness of offsets if not considered. Our offset siting support tool was designed specifically for the DRECP area, but with minor code modification could work well in other offset analyses, and could provide

  13. Conservation planning for offsetting the impacts of development: a case study of biodiversity and renewable energy in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreitler, Jason R.; Schloss, Carrie A.; Soong, Oliver; Lee Hannah,; Davis, Frank W.

    2015-01-01

    Balancing society’s competing needs of development and conservation requires careful consideration of tradeoffs. Renewable energy development and biodiversity conservation are often considered beneficial environmental goals. The direct footprint and disturbance of renewable energy, however, can displace species’ habitat and negatively impact populations and natural communities if sited without ecological consideration. Offsets have emerged as a potentially useful tool to mitigate residual impacts after trying to avoid, minimize, or restore affected sites. Yet the problem of efficiently designing a set of offset sites becomes increasingly complex where many species or many sites are involved. Spatial conservation prioritization tools are designed to handle this problem, but have seen little application to offset siting and analysis. To address this need we designed an offset siting support tool for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) of California, and present a case study of hypothetical impacts from solar development in the Western Mojave subsection. We compare two offset scenarios designed to mitigate a hypothetical 15,331 ha derived from proposed utility-scale solar energy development (USSED) projects. The first scenario prioritizes offsets based precisely on impacted features, while the second scenario offsets impacts to maximize biodiversity conservation gains in the region. The two methods only agree on 28% of their prioritized sites and differ in meeting species-specific offset goals. Differences between the two scenarios highlight the importance of clearly specifying choices and priorities for offset siting and mitigation in general. Similarly, the effects of background climate and land use change may lessen the durability or effectiveness of offsets if not considered. Our offset siting support tool was designed specifically for the DRECP area, but with minor code modification could work well in other offset analyses, and could provide

  14. Conservation Planning for Offsetting the Impacts of Development: A Case Study of Biodiversity and Renewable Energy in the Mojave Desert.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Kreitler

    Full Text Available Balancing society's competing needs of development and conservation requires careful consideration of tradeoffs. Renewable energy development and biodiversity conservation are often considered beneficial environmental goals. The direct footprint and disturbance of renewable energy, however, can displace species' habitat and negatively impact populations and natural communities if sited without ecological consideration. Offsets have emerged as a potentially useful tool to mitigate residual impacts after trying to avoid, minimize, or restore affected sites. Yet the problem of efficiently designing a set of offset sites becomes increasingly complex where many species or many sites are involved. Spatial conservation prioritization tools are designed to handle this problem, but have seen little application to offset siting and analysis. To address this need we designed an offset siting support tool for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP of California, and present a case study of hypothetical impacts from solar development in the Western Mojave subsection. We compare two offset scenarios designed to mitigate a hypothetical 15,331 ha derived from proposed utility-scale solar energy development (USSED projects. The first scenario prioritizes offsets based precisely on impacted features, while the second scenario offsets impacts to maximize biodiversity conservation gains in the region. The two methods only agree on 28% of their prioritized sites and differ in meeting species-specific offset goals. Differences between the two scenarios highlight the importance of clearly specifying choices and priorities for offset siting and mitigation in general. Similarly, the effects of background climate and land use change may lessen the durability or effectiveness of offsets if not considered. Our offset siting support tool was designed specifically for the DRECP area, but with minor code modification could work well in other offset analyses, and

  15. Delta Chromium-53/52 isotopic composition of native and contaminated groundwater, Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izbicki, John A.; Bullen, Thomas D.; Martin, Peter; Schroth, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Chromium(VI) concentrations in groundwater sampled from three contaminant plumes in aquifers in the Mojave Desert near Hinkley, Topock and El Mirage, California, USA, were as high as 2600, 5800 and 330 μg/L, respectively. δ53/52Cr compositions from more than 50 samples collected within these plumes ranged from near 0‰ to almost 4‰ near the plume margins. Assuming only reductive fractionation of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) within the plume, apparent fractionation factors for δ53/52Cr isotopes ranged from εapp = 0.3 to 0.4 within the Hinkley and Topock plumes, respectively, and only the El Mirage plume had a fractionation factor similar to the laboratory derived value of ε = 3.5. One possible explanation for the difference between field and laboratory fractionation factors at the Hinkley and Topock sites is localized reductive fractionation of Cr(VI) to Cr(III), with subsequent advective mixing of native and contaminated water near the plume margin. Chromium(VI) concentrations and δ53/52Cr isotopic compositions did not uniquely define the source of Cr near the plume margin, or the extent of reductive fractionation within the plume. However, Cr(VI) and δ53/52Cr data contribute to understanding of the interaction between reductive and mixing processes that occur within and near the margins of Cr contamination plumes. Reductive fractionation of Cr(VI) predominates in plumes having higher εapp, these plumes may be suitable for monitored natural attenuation. In contrast, advective mixing predominates in plumes having lower εapp, the highly dispersed margins of these plumes may be difficult to define and manage.

  16. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Stanley D. [University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Nowak, Robert S. [University of Nevada, Reno

    2007-11-30

    Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypothesis include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production thorugh an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plan production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plan and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most processes responded slowly or in a lag fashion to N-deposition and with no significant response to crust disturbance. Therefore, the primary objectives of this renewal grant were to: (1) continue ongoing measurements of soil and plant parameters that assess primary treatment responses; (2) address the potential heterogeneity of soil properties and (3) initiate a new suite of measurements that will provide data necessary for scaling/modeling of whole-plot to ecosystem-level responses. Our experimental approach included soil plan-water interactions using TDR, neutron probe, and miniaturized soil matric potential and moisture sensors, plant ecophysiological and productivity responses to water and nitrogen treatments and remote sensing methodologies deployed on a radio control platform.

  17. Preliminary surficial geologic map of a Calico Mountains piedmont and part of Coyote Lake, Mojave desert, San Bernardino County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudash, Stephanie L.

    2006-01-01

    This 1:24,000 scale detailed surficial geologic map and digital database of a Calico Mountains piedmont and part of Coyote Lake in south-central California depicts surficial deposits and generalized bedrock units. The mapping is part of a USGS project to investigate the spatial distribution of deposits linked to changes in climate, to provide framework geology for land use management (http://deserts.wr.usgs.gov), to understand the Quaternary tectonic history of the Mojave Desert, and to provide additional information on the history of Lake Manix, of which Coyote Lake is a sub-basin. Mapping is displayed on parts of four USGS 7.5 minute series topographic maps. The map area lies in the central Mojave Desert of California, northeast of Barstow, Calif. and south of Fort Irwin, Calif. and covers 258 sq.km. (99.5 sq.mi.). Geologic deposits in the area consist of Paleozoic metamorphic rocks, Mesozoic plutonic rocks, Miocene volcanic rocks, Pliocene-Pleistocene basin fill, and Quaternary surficial deposits. McCulloh (1960, 1965) conducted bedrock mapping and a generalized version of his maps are compiled into this map. McCulloh's maps contain many bedrock structures within the Calico Mountains that are not shown on the present map. This study resulted in several new findings, including the discovery of previously unrecognized faults, one of which is the Tin Can Alley fault. The north-striking Tin Can Alley fault is part of the Paradise fault zone (Miller and others, 2005), a potentially important feature for studying neo-tectonic strain in the Mojave Desert. Additionally, many Anodonta shells were collected in Coyote Lake lacustrine sediments for radiocarbon dating. Preliminary results support some of Meek's (1999) conclusions on the timing of Mojave River inflow into the Coyote Basin. The database includes information on geologic deposits, samples, and geochronology. The database is distributed in three parts: spatial map-based data, documentation, and printable map

  18. Polarization signatures for abandoned agricultural fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave Desert - Can polarimetric SAR detect desertification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Terrill W.; Farr, Tom G.; Van Zyl, Jakob J.

    1992-01-01

    Radar backscatter from abandoned circular alfalfa fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave desert shows systematic changes with length of abandonment. The obliteration of circular planting rows by surface processes could account for the disappearance of bright spokes, which seem to be reflection patterns from remnants of the planting rows, with increasing length of abandonment. An observed shift in the location of the maximum L-band copolarization return away from VV, as well as an increase in surface roughness, both occurring with increasing age of abandonment, seems to be attributable to the formation of wind ripples on the relatively vegetationless fields.

  19. Preliminary Surficial Geology of the Dove Spring Off-Highway Vehicle Open Area, Mojave Desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David M.; Amoroso, Lee

    2007-01-01

    vegetation, biological soil crusts, compaction, and other information may be correlated with land use to identify possible ecological thresholds in OHV use that require monitoring. Surficial geology is relevant for several other studies of OHV impact, such as soil compaction, dust emissions, and acceleration of erosion. Compaction, reduced infiltration, and accelerated erosion have been documented in Dove Spring Canyon because of OHV use (Snyder and others, 1976) and elsewhere in the Mojave Desert (e.g., Webb, 1983; Langdon, 2000). A surficial geologic map enables the use of geomorphic process models, which when combined with measured soil properties, such as texture, nutrient chemistry, and bulk density, allows spatial extrapolation of the properties. Maps can be produced that predict compaction susceptibility, moisture conditions, dust emissions, flood hazards, and erodibility, among other applications.

  20. Landscape genetic approaches to guide native plant restoration in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shryock, Daniel F.; Havrilla, Caroline A.; DeFalco, Lesley; Esque, Todd C.; Custer, Nathan; Wood, Troy E.

    2016-01-01

    Restoring dryland ecosystems is a global challenge due to synergistic drivers of disturbance coupled with unpredictable environmental conditions. Dryland plant species have evolved complex life-history strategies to cope with fluctuating resources and climatic extremes. Although rarely quantified, local adaptation is likely widespread among these species and potentially influences restoration outcomes. The common practice of reintroducing propagules to restore dryland ecosystems, often across large spatial scales, compels evaluation of adaptive divergence within these species. Such evaluations are critical to understanding the consequences of large-scale manipulation of gene flow and to predicting success of restoration efforts. However, genetic information for species of interest can be difficult and expensive to obtain through traditional common garden experiments. Recent advances in landscape genetics offer marker-based approaches for identifying environmental drivers of adaptive genetic variability in non-model species, but tools are still needed to link these approaches with practical aspects of ecological restoration. Here, we combine spatially-explicit landscape genetics models with flexible visualization tools to demonstrate how cost-effective evaluations of adaptive genetic divergence can facilitate implementation of different seed sourcing strategies in ecological restoration. We apply these methods to Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers genotyped in two Mojave Desert shrub species of high restoration importance: the long-lived, wind-pollinated gymnosperm Ephedra nevadensis, and the short-lived, insect-pollinated angiosperm Sphaeralcea ambigua. Mean annual temperature was identified as an important driver of adaptive genetic divergence for both species. Ephedra showed stronger adaptive divergence with respect to precipitation variability, while temperature variability and precipitation averages explained a larger fraction of adaptive

  1. Discriminating patterns and drivers of multiscale movement in herpetofauna: The dynamic and changing environment of the Mojave desert tortoise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadoti, Giancarlo; Gray, Miranda E; Farnsworth, Matthew L; Dickson, Brett G

    2017-09-01

    Changes to animal movement in response to human-induced changes to the environment are of growing concern in conservation. Most research on this problem has focused on terrestrial endotherms, but changes to herpetofaunal movement are also of concern given their limited dispersal abilities and specialized thermophysiological requirements. Animals in the desert region of the southwestern United States are faced with environmental alterations driven by development (e.g., solar energy facilities) and climate change. Here, we study the movement ecology of a desert species of conservation concern, the Mojave desert tortoise ( Gopherus agassizii ). We collected weekly encounter locations of marked desert tortoises during the active (nonhibernation) seasons in 2013-2015, and used those data to discriminate movements among activity centers from those within them. We then modeled the probability of movement among activity centers using a suite of covariates describing characteristics of tortoises, natural and anthropogenic landscape features, vegetation, and weather. Multimodel inference indicated greatest support for a model that included individual tortoise characteristics, landscape features, and weather. After controlling for season, date, age, and sex, we found that desert tortoises were more likely to move among activity centers when they were further from minor roads and in the vicinity of barrier fencing; we also found that movement between activity centers was more common during periods of greater rainfall and during periods where cooler temperatures coincided with lower rainfall. Our findings indicate that landscape alterations and climate change both have the potential to impact movements by desert tortoises during the active season. This study provides an important baseline against which we can detect future changes in tortoise movement behavior.

  2. Stratigraphy, age, and depositional setting of the Miocene Barstow Formation at Harvard Hill, central Mojave Desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie, Shannon R.; Miller, David M.; Wooden, Joseph L.; Vazquez, Jorge A.

    2010-01-01

    New detailed geologic mapping and geochronology of the Barstow Formation at Harvard Hill, 30 km east of Barstow, CA, help to constrain Miocene paleogeography and tectonics of the central Mojave Desert. A northern strand of the Quaternary ENE-striking, sinistral Manix fault divides the Barstow Formation at Harvard Hill into two distinct lithologic assemblages. Strata north of the fault consist of: a green rhyolitic tuff, informally named the Shamrock tuff; lacustrine sandstone; partially silicified thin-bedded to massive limestone; and alluvial sandstone to pebble conglomerate. Strata south of the fault consist of: lacustrine siltstone and sandstone; a rhyolitic tuff dated at 19.1 Ma (U-Pb); rock-avalanche breccia deposits; partially silicified well-bedded to massive limestone; and alluvial sandstone and conglomerate. Our U-Pb zircon dating of the Shamrock tuff by SHRIMP-RG yields a peak probability age of 18.7 ± 0.1 Ma. Distinctive outcrop characteristics, mineralogy, remanent magnetization, and zircon geochemistry (Th/U) suggest that the Shamrock tuff represents a lacustrine facies of the regionally extensive Peach Spring Tuff (PST). Here we compare zircon age and geochemical analyses from the Shamrock tuff with those of the PST at Stoddard Wash and provide new insight into the age of zircon crystallization in the PST rhyolite. Results of our field studies show that Miocene strata at Harvard Hill mostly accumulated in a lacustrine environment, although depositional environments varied from a relatively deep lake to a very shallow lake or even onshore setting. Rock-avalanche breccias and alluvial deposits near the base of the exposed section indicate proximity to a steep basin margin and detrital studies suggest a southern source for coarse-grained deposits; therefore, we may infer a southern basin-margin setting at Harvard Hill during the early Miocene. Our geochronology demonstrates that deposition of the Barstow Formation at Harvard Hill extended from before

  3. Geochronology and paleoenvironment of pluvial Harper Lake, Mojave Desert, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Anna L.; Knott, Jeffrey R.; Mahan, Shannon; Bright, Jordan

    2014-01-01

    Accurate reconstruction of the paleo-Mojave River and pluvial lake (Harper, Manix, Cronese, and Mojave) system of southern California is critical to understanding paleoclimate and the North American polar jet stream position over the last 500 ka. Previous studies inferred a polar jet stream south of 35°N at 18 ka and at ~ 40°N at 17–14 ka. Highstand sediments of Harper Lake, the upstream-most pluvial lake along the Mojave River, have yielded uncalibrated radiocarbon ages ranging from 24,000 to > 30,000 14C yr BP. Based on geologic mapping, radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating, we infer a ~ 45–40 ka age for the Harper Lake highstand sediments. Combining the Harper Lake highstand with other Great Basin pluvial lake/spring and marine climate records, we infer that the North American polar jet stream was south of 35°N about 45–40 ka, but shifted to 40°N by ~ 35 ka. Ostracodes (Limnocythere ceriotuberosa) from Harper Lake highstand sediments are consistent with an alkaline lake environment that received seasonal inflow from the Mojave River, thus confirming the lake was fed by the Mojave River. The ~ 45–40 ka highstand at Harper Lake coincides with a shallowing interval at downstream Lake Manix.

  4. A comparison of soil climate and biological activity along an elevation gradient in the eastern Mojave Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, R G; Chadwick, O A; Sowers, J M

    1989-08-01

    Soil temperature, moisture, and CO2 were monitored at four sites along an elevation transect in the eastern Mojave Desert from January to October, 1987. Climate appeared to be the major factor controlling CO2 partial pressures, primarily through its influence of rates of biological reactions, vegetation densities, and organic matter production. With increasing elevation, and increasing actual evapotranspiration, the organic C, plant density, and the CO2 content of the soils increased. Between January and May, soil CO2 concentrations at a given site were closely related to variations in soil temperature. In July and October, temperatures had little effect on CO2, presumably due to low soil moisture levels. Up to 75% of litter placed in the field in March was lost by October whereas, for the 3 lower elevations, less than 10% of the litter placed in the field in April was lost through decomposition processes.

  5. A comparison of soil climate and biological activity along an elevation gradient in the eastern Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, R.G.; Chadwick, O.A.; Sowers, J.M.

    1989-01-01

    Soil temperature, moisture, and CO2 were monitored at four sites along an elevation transect in the eastern Mojave Desert from January to October, 1987. Climate appeared to be the major factor controlling CO2 partial pressures, primarily through its influence of rates of biological reactions, vegetation densities, and organic matter production. With increasing elevation, and increasing actual evapotranspiration, the organic C, plant density, and the CO2 content of the soils increased. Between January and May, soil CO2 concentrations at a given site were closely related to variations in soil temperature. In July and October, temperatures had little effect on CO2, presumably due to low soil moisture levels. Up to 75% of litter placed in the field in March was lost by October whereas, for the 3 lower elevations, less than 10% of the litter placed in the field in April was lost through decomposition processes. ?? 1989 Springer-Verlag.

  6. Demographic studies of Joshua trees in Mojave Desert National Parks: demography with emphasis on germination and recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, T.C.; Reynolds, B.; DeFalco, L.A.; Waitman, B.A.; Hughson, Debra

    2010-01-01

    The study of population change with regard to reproduction, seed dispersal, and germination, establishment, growth, and survival/mortality is known as demography. Demographic studies provide managers with information to assess future trends on the density, distribution, health, and population changes of importance or value, including Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia). Demographic research provides the potential to understand the combined impacts of climate change and land-use practices and determine if strategies for protecting important species are likely to succeed or fall short of management goals and will identify factors that have the potential to de-stabilize populations outside the realm of natural variation so that management strategies can be developed to circumvent challenges for key species, processes, and ecosystems. The National Park Service and US Geological Survey are collaborating to collect demographic information about the demographics of Joshua tree in the Mojave Desert.

  7. ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL COLONIZATION OF LARREA TRIDENTATA AND AMBROSIA DUMOSA ROOTS VARIES WITH PRECIPITATION AND SEASON IN THE MOJAVE DESERT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. E. APPLE; C. I. THEE; V. L. SMITH-LONGOZO; C. R. COGAR; C. E. WELLS; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    The percentage of fine roots colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi varied with season and with species in the co-dominant shrubs Lurreu tridentutu and Ambrosia dumosu at a site adjacent to the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-Air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) in the Mojave Desert. We excavated downward and outward from the shrub bases in both species to collect and examine fine roots (< 1.0 mm diameter) at monthly intervals throughout 2001 and from October 2002 to September 2003. Fungal structures became visible in cleared roots stained with trypan blue. We quantified the percent colonization of roots by AM fungi via the line intercept method. In both years and for both species, colonization was highest in fall, relatively low in spring when root growth began, increased in late spring, and decreased during summer drought periods. Increases in colonization during summer and fall reflect corresponding increases in precipitation. Spring mycorrhizal colonization is low despite peaks in soil water availability and precipitation, indicating that precipitation is not the only factor influencing mycorrhizal colonization. Because the spring decrease in mycorrhizal colonization occurs when these shrubs initiate a major flush of fine root growth, other phenological events such as competing demands for carbon by fine root initiation, early season shoot growth, and flowering may reduce carbon availability to the fungus, and hence decrease colonization. Another possibility is that root growth exceeds the rate of mycorrhizal colonization.

  8. Regional and temporal variability of melts during a Cordilleran magma pulse: Age and chemical evolution of the jurassic arc, eastern mojave desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, A.P.; Wooden, J.L.; Miller, David; Howard, Keith A.; Fox, Lydia; Schermer, Elizabeth R.; Jacobson, C.E.

    2017-01-01

    Intrusive rock sequences in the central and eastern Mojave Desert segment of the Jurassic Cordilleran arc of the western United States record regional and temporal variations in magmas generated during the second prominent pulse of Mesozoic continental arc magmatism. U/Pb zircon ages provide temporal control for describing variations in rock and zircon geochemistry that reflect differences in magma source components. These source signatures are discernible through mixing and fractionation processes associated with magma ascent and emplacement. The oldest well-dated Jurassic rocks defining initiation of the Jurassic pulse are a 183 Ma monzodiorite and a 181 Ma ignimbrite. Early to Middle Jurassic intrusive rocks comprising the main stage of magmatism include two high-K calc-alkalic groups: to the north, the deformed 183–172 Ma Fort Irwin sequence and contemporaneous rocks in the Granite and Clipper Mountains, and to the south, the 167–164 Ma Bullion sequence. A Late Jurassic suite of shoshonitic, alkali-calcic intrusive rocks, the Bristol Mountains sequence, ranges in age from 164 to 161 Ma and was emplaced as the pulse began to wane. Whole-rock and zircon trace-element geochemistry defines a compositionally coherent Jurassic arc with regional and secular variations in melt compositions. The arc evolved through the magma pulse by progressively greater input of old cratonic crust and lithospheric mantle into the arc magma system, synchronous with progressive regional crustal thickening.

  9. The effect of long-term exposure to elevated CO2 on nitrogen gas emissions from Mojave Desert soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCalley, Carmody K.; Strahm, Brian D.; Sparks, Kimberlee L.; Eller, Allyson S. D.; Sparks, Jed P.

    2011-09-01

    In arid regions, emissions of nitrogen (N) gases are important to long-term soil fertility and regional atmospheric chemistry, making alterations in N gas emissions an important aspect of ecosystem response to climate change. Studies at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility suggest that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations impact ecosystems N dynamics in the Mojave Desert; our objective was to identify whether those responses translate into changes in trace N gas emissions. We measured soil fluxes of reactive N gases (NO, NOy, NH3) and N2O in plots receiving long-term fumigation with ambient and elevated (550 ppm) CO2. Reactive N gas emissions were significantly lower under elevated CO2 during high soil moisture conditions in the spring and fall. The strongest responses occurred in the islands of fertility created by the dominant shrub Larrea tridentata, where fluxes were 3-5 ng N m-2 s-1 lower in elevated CO2 plots. Changes in total N gas emissions were driven by reduced NO and NH3 emissions, with smaller changes in NOy efflux and little to no production of N2O. Lower N gas emissions under elevated CO2 reflect changes in plant and microbial demand for N, suggesting increased uptake or immobilization coupled with decreased rates of N mineralization and nitrification. This response of N gas efflux to elevated CO2 in the growing season suggests that in deserts, elevated CO2 promotes ecosystem retention of N during periods of peak biological demand. Concomitantly, exposure to elevated CO2 alters inputs of new reactive gases into the atmosphere, potentially impacting local atmospheric processes.

  10. Plot- and landscape-level changes in climate and vegetation following defoliation of exotic saltcedar (Tamarix sp.) from the biocontrol agent Diorhabda carinulata along a stream in the Mojave Desert (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateman, H.L.; Nagler, P.L.; Glenn, E.P.

    2013-01-01

    The biocontrol agent, northern tamarisk beetle (Diorhabda carinulata), has been used to defoliate non-native saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) in USA western riparian systems since 2001. Biocontrol has the potential to impact biotic communities and climatic conditions in affected riparian areas. To determine the relationships between biocontrol establishment and effects on vegetation and climate at the plot and landscape scales, we measured temperature, relative humidity, foliage canopy, solar radiation, and used satellite imagery to assess saltcedar defoliation and evapotranspiration (ET) along the Virgin River in the Mojave Desert. Following defoliation solar radiation increased, daily humidity decreased, and maximum daily temperatures tended to increase. MODIS and Landsat satellite imagery showed defoliation was widespread, resulting in reductions in ET and vegetation indices. Because biocontrol beetles are spreading into new saltcedar habitats on arid western rivers, and the eventual equilibrium between beetles and saltcedar is unknown, it is necessary to monitor trends for ecosystem functions and higher trophic-level responses in habitats impacted by biocontrol.

  11. Late-Glacial to Holocene Hydroclimatic Change in the Mojave Desert: Silver Lake, CA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirby, M. E.; Knell, E. J.; Anderson, W. T., Jr.; Lachniet, M. S.; Eeg, H.; Lucero, R.; Murrieta, R.; Arevalo, A.; Silveira, E.; Hiner, C.; Palermo, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Silver Lake is the modern terminal playa of the Mojave River. As a result, it is well located to record both influences from the winter precipitation dominated San Bernardino Mountains - the source of the Mojave River - as well as the late-summer to early-fall North American monsoon. Here, we present various physical and geochemical data from a new 8.2 m sediment core taken from Silver Lake, CA that spans modern through 14.8 kcal yrs BP. Age control is based on six bulk organic C radiocarbon dates processed with Bacon v2.2 to generate an age model. Texturally, the core varies between a silty clay and a silty sand, often with abrupt sedimentological transitions. Our working hypothesis states that high percent clay values indicate persistent standing water wherein the deposition, accumulation, and preservation of fine grain sediment exceeds some undefined thickness that inhibits deflation during succeeding desiccation events or ephemeral lake environments. Based on this clay - lake status hypothesis, the sediment core is divided into five lake status intervals. Clay values are highest between 14.4 - 13.5 kcal yrs BP, coeval to Lake Mojave II. Clay values decrease abruptly at 13.5 kcal yrs BP (encapsulating the Younger Dryas) indicating a return to an ephemeral lake. At 11.3 kcal yrs BP, clay values rise abruptly indicating a return to a perennial lake; this early Holocene pluvial ended abruptly at 7.8 kcal yrs BP. From 7.8 - 4.2 kcal yrs BP, clay is low, but variable and mudcracks are common. At 4.2 kcal yrs BP, clay values increase but only moderately indicating a return to more frequent sustained perennial lakes. The early Holocene pluvial is likely a result of higher summer insolation, which generated a more intense and spatially expansive North American monsoon. Coupled with lower winter insolation and thus more winter storms across the region, Silver Lake flourished. A comparison to stable carbon isotope data from Leviathan Cave (NV), support our interpretation

  12. 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.

  13. Pedological and geological relationships with soil lichen and moss distribution in the eastern Mojave Desert, CA, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Miller, David M.; Bedford, David R.; Phillips, Susan L.

    2014-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are ubiquitous in drylands globally. Lichens and mosses are essential biocrust components and provide a variety of ecosystem services, making their conservation and management of interest. Accordingly, understanding what factors are correlated with their distribution is important to land managers. We hypothesized that cover would be related to geologic and pedologic factors. We sampled 32 sites throughout the eastern Mojave Desert, stratifying by parent material and the age of the geomorphic surfaces. The cover of lichens and mosses on ‘available ground’ (L + Mav; available ground excludes ground covered by rocks or plant stems) was higher on limestone and quartzite-derived soils than granite-derived soils. Cover was also higher on moderately younger-aged geomorphic surfaces (Qya2, Qya3, Qya4) and cutbanks than on very young (Qya1), older-aged surfaces (Qia1, Qia2), or soils associated with coppice mounds or animal burrowing under Larrea tridentata. When all sites and parent materials were combined, soil texture was the most important factor predicting the occurrence of L + Mav, with cover positively associated with higher silt, very fine sand, and fine sand fractions and negatively associated with the very coarse sand fraction. When parent materials were examined separately, nutrients such as available potassium, iron, and calcium became the most important predictors of L + Mav cover.

  14. Landscape genomics of Sphaeralcea ambigua in the Mojave Desert: a multivariate, spatially-explicit approach to guide ecological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shryock, Daniel F.; Havrilla, Caroline A.; DeFalco, Lesley; Esque, Todd C.; Custer, Nathan; Wood, Troy E.

    2015-01-01

    Local adaptation influences plant species’ responses to climate change and their performance in ecological restoration. Fine-scale physiological or phenological adaptations that direct demographic processes may drive intraspecific variability when baseline environmental conditions change. Landscape genomics characterize adaptive differentiation by identifying environmental drivers of adaptive genetic variability and mapping the associated landscape patterns. We applied such an approach to Sphaeralcea ambigua, an important restoration plant in the arid southwestern United States, by analyzing variation at 153 amplified fragment length polymorphism loci in the context of environmental gradients separating 47 Mojave Desert populations. We identified 37 potentially adaptive loci through a combination of genome scan approaches. We then used a generalized dissimilarity model (GDM) to relate variability in potentially adaptive loci with spatial gradients in temperature, precipitation, and topography. We identified non-linear thresholds in loci frequencies driven by summer maximum temperature and water stress, along with continuous variation corresponding to temperature seasonality. Two GDM-based approaches for mapping predicted patterns of local adaptation are compared. Additionally, we assess uncertainty in spatial interpolations through a novel spatial bootstrapping approach. Our study presents robust, accessible methods for deriving spatially-explicit models of adaptive genetic variability in non-model species that will inform climate change modelling and ecological restoration.

  15. Soil Nematodes and Their Prokaryotic Prey Along an Elevation Gradient in The Mojave Desert (Death Valley National Park, California, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alyxandra Pikus

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available We characterized soil communities in the Mojave Desert across an elevation gradient. Our goal was to test the hypothesis that as soil quality improved with increasing elevation (due to increased productivity, the diversity of soil prokaryotes and nematodes would also increase. Soil organic matter and soil moisture content increased with elevation as predicted. Soil salinity did not correlate to elevation, but was highest at a mid-gradient, alluvial site. Soil nematode density, community trophic structure, and diversity did not show patterns related to elevation. Similar results were obtained for diversity of bacteria and archaea. Relationships between soil properties, nematode communities, and prokaryotic diversity were site-specific. For example, at the lowest elevation site, nematode communities contained a high proportion of fungal-feeding species and diversity of bacteria was lowest. At a high-salinity site, nematode density was highest, and overall, nematode density showed an unexpected, positive correlation to salinity. At the highest elevation site, nematode density and species richness were attenuated, despite relatively high moisture and organic matter content for the soils. Our results support emerging evidence for the lack of a relationship between productivity and the diversity of soil nematodes and prokaryotes.

  16. Supplementing seed banks to rehabilitate disturbed Mojave Desert shrublands: where do all the seeds go?

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.; Nicklas, Melissa B.; Kane, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    Revegetation of degraded arid lands often involves supplementing impoverished seed banks and improving the seedbed, yet these approaches frequently fail. To understand these failures, we tracked the fates of seeds for six shrub species that were broadcast across two contrasting surface disturbances common to the Mojave Desert—sites compacted by concentrated vehicle use and trenched sites where topsoil and subsurface soils were mixed. We evaluated seedbed treatments that enhance soil-seed contact (tackifier) and create surface roughness while reducing soil bulk density (harrowing). We also explored whether seed harvesting by granivores and seedling suppression by non-native annuals influence the success of broadcast seeding in revegetating degraded shrublands. Ten weeks after treatments, seeds readily moved off of experimental plots in untreated compacted sites, but seed movements were reduced 32% by tackifier and 55% through harrowing. Harrowing promoted seedling emergence in compacted sites, particularly for the early-colonizing species Encelia farinosa, but tackifier was largely ineffective. The inherent surface roughness of trenched sites retained three times the number of seeds than compacted sites, but soil mixing during trench development likely altered the suitability of the seedbed thus resulting in poor seedling emergence. Non-native annuals had little influence on seed fates during our study. In contrast, the prevalence of harvester ants increased seed removal on compacted sites, whereas rodent activity influenced removal on trenched sites. Future success of broadcast seeding in arid lands depends on evaluating disturbance characteristics prior to seeding and selecting appropriate species and seasons for application.

  17. Dynamics of cover, UV-protective pigments, and quantum yield in biological soil crust communities of an undisturbed Mojave Desert shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Phillips, Susan L.; Smith, Stanley D.

    2007-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are an integral part of dryland ecosystems. We monitored the cover of lichens and mosses, cyanobacterial biomass, concentrations of UV-protective pigments in both free-living and lichenized cyanobacteria, and quantum yield in the soil lichen species Collema in an undisturbed Mojave Desert shrubland. During our sampling time, the site received historically high and low levels of precipitation, whereas temperatures were close to normal. Lichen cover, dominated by Collema tenax and C. coccophorum, and moss cover, dominated by Syntrichia caninervis, responded to both increases and decreases in precipitation. This finding for Collema spp. at a hot Mojave Desert site is in contrast to a similar study conducted at a cool desert site on the Colorado Plateau in SE Utah, USA, where Collema spp. cover dropped in response to elevated temperatures, but did not respond to changes in rainfall. The concentrations of UV-protective pigments in free-living cyanobacteria at the Mojave Desert site were also strongly and positively related to rainfall received between sampling times (R2 values ranged from 0.78 to 0.99). However, pigment levels in the lichenized cyanobacteria showed little correlation with rainfall. Quantum yield in Collema spp. was closely correlated with rainfall. Climate models in this region predict a 3.5–4.0 °C rise in temperature and a 15–20% decline in winter precipitation by 2099. Based on our data, this rise in temperature is unlikely to have a strong effect on the dominant species of the soil crusts. However, the predicted drop in precipitation will likely lead to a decrease in soil lichen and moss cover, and high stress or mortality in soil cyanobacteria as levels of UV-protective pigments decline. In addition, surface-disturbing activities (e.g., recreation, military activities, fire) are rapidly increasing in the Mojave Desert, and these disturbances quickly remove soil lichens and mosses. These stresses combined are likely to

  18. Impacts of upper respiratory tract disease on olfactory behavior of the Mojave desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germano, Jennifer; Van Zerr, Vanessa E.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Ken E.; Lamberski, Nadine

    2014-01-01

    Upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) caused by Mycoplasma agassizii is considered a threat to desert tortoise populations that should be addressed as part of the recovery of the species. Clinical signs can be intermittent and include serous or mucoid nasal discharge and respiratory difficulty when nares are occluded. This nasal congestion may result in a loss of the olfactory sense. Turtles are known to use olfaction to identify food items, predators, and conspecifics; therefore, it is likely that URTD affects not only their physical well-being but also their behavior and ability to perform necessary functions in the wild. To determine more specifically the impact nasal discharge might have on free-ranging tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), we compared the responses of tortoises with and without nasal discharge and both positive and negative for M. agassizii antibodies to a visually hidden olfactory food stimulus and an empty control. We found that nasal discharge did reduce sense of smell and hence the ability to locate food. Our study also showed that moderate chronic nasal discharge in the absence of other clinical signs did not affect appetite in desert tortoises.

  19. Microbial Community and Biochemical Dynamics of Biological Soil Crusts across a Gradient of Surface Coverage in the Central Mojave Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogul, Rakesh; Vaishampayan, Parag; Bashir, Mina; McKay, Chris P; Schubert, Keith; Bornaccorsi, Rosalba; Gomez, Ernesto; Tharayil, Sneha; Payton, Geoffrey; Capra, Juliana; Andaya, Jessica; Bacon, Leonard; Bargoma, Emily; Black, David; Boos, Katie; Brant, Michaela; Chabot, Michael; Chau, Danny; Cisneros, Jessica; Chu, Geoff; Curnutt, Jane; DiMizio, Jessica; Engelbrecht, Christian; Gott, Caroline; Harnoto, Raechel; Hovanesian, Ruben; Johnson, Shane; Lavergne, Britne; Martinez, Gabriel; Mans, Paul; Morales, Ernesto; Oei, Alex; Peplow, Gary; Piaget, Ryan; Ponce, Nicole; Renteria, Eduardo; Rodriguez, Veronica; Rodriguez, Joseph; Santander, Monica; Sarmiento, Khamille; Scheppelmann, Allison; Schroter, Gavin; Sexton, Devan; Stephenson, Jenin; Symer, Kristin; Russo-Tait, Tatiane; Weigel, Bill; Wilhelm, Mary B

    2017-01-01

    In this study, we expand upon the biogeography of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and provide molecular insights into the microbial community and biochemical dynamics along the vertical BSC column structure, and across a transect of increasing BSC surface coverage in the central Mojave Desert, CA, United States. Next generation sequencing reveals a bacterial community profile that is distinct among BSCs in the southwestern United States. Distribution of major phyla in the BSC topsoils included Cyanobacteria (33 ± 8%), Proteobacteria (26 ± 6%), and Chloroflexi (12 ± 4%), with Phormidium being the numerically dominant genus. Furthermore, BSC subsurfaces contained Proteobacteria (23 ± 5%), Actinobacteria (20 ± 5%), and Chloroflexi (18 ± 3%), with an unidentified genus from Chloroflexi (AKIW781, order) being numerically dominant. Across the transect, changes in distribution at the phylum (p < 0.0439) and genus (p < 0.006) levels, including multiple biochemical and geochemical trends (p < 0.05), positively correlated with increasing BSC surface coverage. This included increases in (a) Chloroflexi abundance, (b) abundance and diversity of Cyanobacteria, (b) OTU-level diversity in the topsoil, (c) OTU-level differentiation between the topsoil and subsurface, (d) intracellular ATP abundances and catalase activities, and (e) enrichments in clay, silt, and varying elements, including S, Mn, Co, As, and Pb, in the BSC topsoils. In sum, these studies suggest that BSCs from regions of differing surface coverage represent early successional stages, which exhibit increasing bacterial diversity, metabolic activities, and capacity to restructure the soil. Further, these trends suggest that BSC successional maturation and colonization across the transect are inhibited by metals/metalloids such as B, Ca, Ti, Mn, Co, Ni, Mo, and Pb.

  20. Microbial Community and Biochemical Dynamics of Biological Soil Crusts across a Gradient of Surface Coverage in the Central Mojave Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rakesh Mogul

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we expand upon the biogeography of biological soil crusts (BSCs and provide molecular insights into the microbial community and biochemical dynamics along the vertical BSC column structure, and across a transect of increasing BSC surface coverage in the central Mojave Desert, CA, United States. Next generation sequencing reveals a bacterial community profile that is distinct among BSCs in the southwestern United States. Distribution of major phyla in the BSC topsoils included Cyanobacteria (33 ± 8%, Proteobacteria (26 ± 6%, and Chloroflexi (12 ± 4%, with Phormidium being the numerically dominant genus. Furthermore, BSC subsurfaces contained Proteobacteria (23 ± 5%, Actinobacteria (20 ± 5%, and Chloroflexi (18 ± 3%, with an unidentified genus from Chloroflexi (AKIW781, order being numerically dominant. Across the transect, changes in distribution at the phylum (p < 0.0439 and genus (p < 0.006 levels, including multiple biochemical and geochemical trends (p < 0.05, positively correlated with increasing BSC surface coverage. This included increases in (a Chloroflexi abundance, (b abundance and diversity of Cyanobacteria, (b OTU-level diversity in the topsoil, (c OTU-level differentiation between the topsoil and subsurface, (d intracellular ATP abundances and catalase activities, and (e enrichments in clay, silt, and varying elements, including S, Mn, Co, As, and Pb, in the BSC topsoils. In sum, these studies suggest that BSCs from regions of differing surface coverage represent early successional stages, which exhibit increasing bacterial diversity, metabolic activities, and capacity to restructure the soil. Further, these trends suggest that BSC successional maturation and colonization across the transect are inhibited by metals/metalloids such as B, Ca, Ti, Mn, Co, Ni, Mo, and Pb.

  1. Water-resources and land-surface deformation evaluation studies at Fort Irwin National Training Center, Mojave Desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Densmore-Judy, Jill; Dishart, Justine E.; Miller, David; Buesch, David C.; Ball, Lyndsay B.; Bedrosian, Paul A.; Woolfenden, Linda R.; Cromwell, Geoffrey; Burgess, Matthew K.; Nawikas, Joseph; O'Leary, David; Kjos, Adam; Sneed, Michelle; Brandt, Justin

    2017-01-01

    The U.S. Army Fort Irwin National Training Center (NTC), in the Mojave Desert, obtains all of its potable water supply from three groundwater basins (Irwin, Langford, and Bicycle) within the NTC boundaries (fig. 1; California Department of Water Resources, 2003). Because of increasing water demands at the NTC, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Army, completed several studies to evaluate water resources in the developed and undeveloped groundwater basins underlying the NTC. In all of the developed basins, groundwater withdrawals exceed natural recharge, resulting in water-level declines. However, artificial recharge of treated wastewater has had some success in offsetting water-level declines in Irwin Basin. Additionally, localized water-quality changes have occurred in some parts of Irwin Basin as a result of human activities (i.e., wastewater disposal practices, landscape irrigation, and/or leaking pipes). As part of the multi-faceted NTC-wide studies, traditional datacollection methods were used and include lithological and geophysical logging at newly drilled boreholes, hydrologic data collection (i.e. water-level, water-quality, aquifer tests, wellbore flow). Because these data cover a small portion of the 1,177 square-mile (mi2 ) NTC, regional mapping, including geologic, gravity, aeromagnetic, and InSAR, also were done. In addition, ground and airborne electromagnetic surveys were completed and analyzed to provide more detailed subsurface information on a regional, base-wide scale. The traditional and regional ground and airborne data are being analyzed and will be used to help develop preliminary hydrogeologic framework and groundwater-flow models in all basins. This report is intended to provide an overview of recent water-resources and land-surface deformation studies at the NTC.

  2. Fluvial transport and surface enrichment of arsenic in semi-arid mining regions: examples from the Mojave Desert, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Christopher S; Stack, David H; Rytuba, James J

    2012-07-01

    As a result of extensive gold and silver mining in the Mojave Desert, southern California, mine wastes and tailings containing highly elevated arsenic (As) concentrations remain exposed at a number of former mining sites. Decades of weathering and erosion have contributed to the mobilization of As-enriched tailings, which now contaminate surrounding communities. Fluvial transport plays an intermittent yet important and relatively undocumented role in the migration and dispersal of As-contaminated mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Assessing the contribution of fluvial systems to tailings mobilization is critical in order to assess the distribution and long-term exposure potential of tailings in a mining-impacted environment. Extensive sampling, chemical analysis, and geospatial mapping of dry streambed (wash) sediments, tailings piles, alluvial fans, and rainwater runoff at multiple mine sites have aided the development of a conceptual model to explain the fluvial migration of mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Intense and episodic precipitation events mobilize mine wastes downstream and downslope as a series of discrete pulses, causing dispersion both down and lateral to washes with exponential decay behavior as distance from the source increases. Accordingly a quantitative model of arsenic concentrations in wash sediments, represented as a series of overlapping exponential power-law decay curves, results in the acceptable reproducibility of observed arsenic concentration patterns. Such a model can be transferable to other abandoned mine lands as a predictive tool for monitoring the fate and transport of arsenic and related contaminants in similar settings. Effective remediation of contaminated mine wastes in a semi-arid environment requires addressing concurrent changes in the amounts of potential tailings released through fluvial processes and the transport capacity of a wash.

  3. Natural resource mitigation, adaptation and research needs related to climate change in the Great Basin and Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughson, Debra L.; Busch, David E.; Davis, Scott; Finn, Sean P.; Caicco, Steve; Verburg, Paul S.J.

    2011-01-01

    This report synthesizes the knowledge, opinions, and concerns of many Federal and State land managers, scientists, stakeholders, and partners from a workshop, held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on April 20-22, 2010. Land managers, research scientists, and resource specialists identified common concerns regarding the potential effects of climate change on public lands and natural resources in the Great Basin and Mojave Desert and developed recommendations for mitigation, adaptation, and research needs. Water and, conversely, the effects of drought emerged as a common theme in all breakout sessions on terrestrial and aquatic species at risk, managing across boundaries, monitoring, and ecosystem services. Climate change models for the southwestern deserts predict general warming and drying with increasing precipitation variability year to year. Scientists noted that under these changing conditions the past may no longer be a guide to the future in which managers envision increasing conflicts between human water uses and sustaining ecosystems. Increasing environmental stress also is expected as a consequence of shifting ecosystem boundaries and species distributions, expansion of non-native species, and decoupling of biotic mutualisms, leading to increasingly unstable biologic communities. Managers uniformly expressed a desire to work across management and agency boundaries at a landscape scale but conceded that conflicting agency missions and budgetary constraints often impede collaboration. More and better science is needed to cope with the effects of climate change but, perhaps even more important is the application of science to management issues using the methods of adaptive management based on long-term monitoring to assess the merits of management actions. Access to data is essential for science-based land management. Basic inventories, spatial databases, baseline condition assessments, data quality assurance, and data sharing were identified as top

  4. Joint by Design: The Western Desert Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-21

    Introduction Seated in a dusty tent, finally cooling in the Egyptian night, the “Desert Fox” had a serious problem. German Lieutenant General Erwin...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

  5. 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 ...

  6. Solar Energy Development on Department of Defense Installations in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    potential. The buildings that met the screening criteria were a mixture of laboratories, storage warehouses, and a child development center to name a few...dumosa) with some rhatany (Krameria sp.), indigo bush (Psorothamnus emoryi), spineflower (Chorizanthe rigida), plantain (Plantago ovata), galleta...are located in the northwestern corner and along the western boundary of Target 95. This community is characterized by creosote, indigo bush

  7. The influence of stream channels on distributions of Larrea tridentata and Ambrosia dumosa in the Mojave Desert, CA, USA: Patterns, mechanisms and effects of stream redistribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwinning, S.; Sandquist, D.R.; Miller, D.M.; Bedford, D.R.; Phillips, S.L.; Belnap, J.

    2011-01-01

    Drainage channels are among the most conspicuous surficial features of deserts, but little quantitative analysis of their influence on plant distributions is available. We analysed the effects of desert stream channels (‘washes’) on Larrea tridentata and Ambrosia dumosa density and cover on an alluvial piedmont in the Mojave Desert, based on a spatial analysis of transect data encompassing a total length of 2775 m surveyed in 5 cm increments. Significant deviations from average transect properties were identified by bootstrapping. Predictably, shrub cover and density were much reduced inside washes, and elevated above average levels adjacent to washes. Average Larrea and Ambrosia cover and density peaked 1·2–1·6 m and 0·5–1·0 m from wash edges, respectively. We compared wash effects in runon-depleted (−R) sections, where washes had been cut off from runon and were presumably inactive, with those in runon-supplemented (+R) sections downslope from railroad culverts to help identify mechanisms responsible for the facilitative effect of washes on adjacent shrubs. Shrub cover and density near washes peaked in both + R and − R sections, suggesting that improved water infiltration and storage alone can cause a facilitative effect on adjacent shrubs. However, washes of < 2 m width in + R sections had larger than average effects on peak cover, suggesting that plants also benefit from occasional resource supplementation. The data suggest that channel networks significantly contribute to structuring plant communities in the Mojave Desert and their disruption has notable effects on geomorphic and ecological processes far beyond the original disturbance sites. 

  8. Are Mojave Desert annual species equal? Resource acquisition and allocation for the invasive grass Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens (Poaceae) and two native species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defalco, Lesley A.; Bryla, David R.; Smith-Longozo, Vickie; Nowak, Robert S.

    2003-01-01

    Abundance of invasive plants is often attributed to their ability ot outcompete native species. We compared resource acquisition and allocation of the invasive annual grass Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens with that of two native Mojave Desert annuals, Vulpia octoflora and Descurainia pinnata, in a glasshouse experiment. Each species was grown in monoculture at two densities and two levels of N availability to compare how these annuals capture resources and to understand their relative sensitivities to environmental change. During >4 mo of growth, Bromus used water more rapidly and had greater biomass and N content than the natives, partly because of its greater root-surface area and its exploitation of deep soils. Bromus also had greater N uptake, net assimilation and transpiration rates, and canopy area than Vulpia. Resource use by Bromuswas less sensitive to changes in N availability or density than were the natives. The two native species in this study produced numerous small seeds that tended to remain dormant, thus ensuring escape of offspring from unfavorable germination conditions; Bromus produced fewer but larger seeds that readily germinated. Collectively, these traits give Bromus the potential to rapidly establish in diverse habitats of the Mojave Desert, thereby gaining an advantage over coexisting native species.

  9. Stress-driven speciation in novel strains of Bacillus isolated from a microbial community in the Mojave Desert, a Mars-analog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, J.; Lera, M.; Marcu, O.

    2012-12-01

    Microbial communities are composed of complex multispecies that coevolve within the constraints of the environment over time. In the harsh, desiccated regions of the Mojave Desert, a Mars-analog, the microbial community in the surface layer is exposed to daily and seasonal fluctuations in temperature, humidity, nutrients, and UV index. Strategies of adaptation to physical factors in a microbial microenvironment determine the limits of adaptation and survival to sudden climate changes, with implications for planetary habitability. Here we show that novel strains of Bacillus niacini and B. thuringiensis isolated from the top soil of the Mojave Desert are differentially adapted to selective pressures imposed by caloric restriction and oxidative stress and show distinct social interactions. Metabolic profiling using Biolog plates for all isolates showed drastically different "metabolic fingerprints," with some only able to utilize very specific carbon sources in contrast to others that were able to breakdown most sources but for only a limited time. The stress response to hydrogen peroxide was also differential, with catalase activity levels of the Bacillus species from Mojave being much lower than the control species of soil Bacillus, suggesting that their survival may depend on other microbes from the same community for protection from oxidative damage. We also investigated the social communication and interaction of the four strains by spatial microenvironment assays, and uncovered unusual swarming and swimming abilities through motility assays. The cooperation and conflict in the microbial population reflect adaptations to oxidative stress and caloric restriction, which can be the driving forces for differences in phenotypes, interactions, metabolic ability, and ultimately, speciation. This study supports the theory of codependencies of organisms in a community for protection or access to "public goods" for survival in a harsh, fluctuating environment, and

  10. Mineralogic variability of the Kelso Dunes, Mojave Desert, California derived from Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Michael S.; Howard, Douglas A.; Christensen, Philip R.; Lancaster, Nicholas

    1993-01-01

    Mineral identification and mapping of alluvial material using thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing is extremely useful for tracking sediment transport, assessing the degree of weathering and locating sediment sources. As a result of the linear relation between a mineral's percentage in a given area (image pixel) and the depth of its diagnostic spectral features, TIR spectra can be deconvolved in order to ascertain mineralogic percentages. Typical complications such as vegetation, particle size and thermal shadowing are minimized upon examination of dunes. Actively saltating dunes contain little to no vegetation, are very well sorted and lack the thermal shadows that arise from rocky terrain. The primary focus of this work was to use the Kelso Dunes as a test location for an accuracy analysis of temperature/emissivity separation and linear unmixing algorithms. Accurate determination of ground temperature and component discrimination will become key products of future ASTER data. A decorrelation stretch of the TIMS image showed clear color variations within the active dunes. Samples collected from these color units were analyzed for mineralogy, grain size, and separated into endmembers. This analysis not only revealed that the dunes contained significant mineralogic variation, but were more immature (low quartz percentage) than previously reported. Unmixing of the TIMS data using the primary mineral endmembers produced unique variations within the dunes and may indicate near, rather than far, source locales for the dunes. The Kelso Dunes lie in the eastern Mojave Desert, California, approximately 95 km west of the Colorado River. The primary dune field is contained within a topographic basin bounded by the Providence, Granite Mountains, with the active region marked by three northeast trending linear ridges. Although active, the dunes appear to lie at an opposing regional wind boundary which produces little net movement of the crests. Previous studies have estimated

  11. Effects of elevated CO2 on fine root dynamics in a Mojave Desert community: A FACE study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, D.L.; Johnson, M.G.; Tingey, D.T.; Catricala, C.E.; Hoyman, T.L.; Nowak, R.S.

    2006-01-01

    Fine roots (??? 1mm diameter) are critical in plant water and nutrient absorption, and it is important to understand how rising atmospheric CO2 will affect them as part of terrestrial ecosystem responses to global change. This study's objective was to determine effects of elevated CO2 on production, mortality, and standing crops of fine root length over 2 years in a free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) facility in the Mojave Desert of southern Nevada, USA. Three replicate 25m diameter FACE rings were maintained at ambient (??? 370 ??mol mol-1) and elevated CO2 (??? 550 ??mol mol-1) atmospheric concentrations. Twenty-eight minirhizotron tubes were placed in each ring to sample three microsite locations: evergreen Larrea shrubs, drought-deciduous Ambrosia shrubs, and along systematic community transects (primarily in shrub interspaces which account for ??? 85% of the area). Seasonal dynamics were similar for ambient and elevated CO2: fine root production peaked in April-June, with peak standing crop occurring about 1 month later, and peak mortality occurring during the hot summer months, with higher values for all three measures in a wet year compared with a dry year. Fine root standing crop, production, and mortality were not significantly different between treatments except standing crop along community transects, where fine root length was significantly lower in elevated CO2. Fine root turnover (annual cumulative mortality/mean standing crop) ranged from 2.33 to 3.17 year-1, and was not significantly different among CO2 treatments, except for community transect tubes where it was significantly lower for elevated CO2. There were no differences in fine root responses to CO2 between evergreen (Larrea) and drought-deciduous (Ambrosia) shrubs. Combined with observations of increased leaf-level water-use efficiency and lack of soil moisture differences, these results suggest that under elevated CO2 conditions, reduced root systems (compared with ambient CO2) appear sufficient

  12. Opening up the solar box: Cultural resource management and actor network theory in solar energy projects in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorrie, Bryan F.

    This project considers the ways that Actor-Network Theory (ANT) can be brought to bear upon Cultural Resource Management (CRM) practices on renewable energy projects. ANT is a way of making inquiry into scientific knowledge practices and as CRM is intended to preserve environmental, historic, and prehistoric resources, it necessarily involves certain kinds of knowledge generation about regions in which projects are being developed. Because the practice of CRM is complex, involving a range of actors from developers to biologists, native peoples to academics, private landholders to environmental and cultural activists, it is imperative to account for the interests of all stakeholders and to resist devolving into the polemical relations of winners and losers, good and bad participants, or simple situations of right and wrong. This project intends to account for the "matters of concern" of various actors, both primary and secondary, by examining the case study of a single solar installation project in the Mojave Desert. A theoretical description of ANT is provided at the beginning and the concerns of this theory are brought to bear upon the case study project through describing the project, discussing the laws governing CRM on federal lands and in the state of California, and providing the points of view of various interviewees who worked directly or indirectly on various aspects of CRM for the solar project. The creators of ANT claim that it is not a methodology but it does speak to ethnomethodologies in that it insists that there is always something more to learn from inquiring into and describing any given situation. These descriptions avoid generalizations, providing instead various points of entry, from diverse perspectives to the project. There is an invitation to avoid assuming that one knows all there is to know about a given situation and to choose instead to continue investigating and thus give voice to the more obscure, often marginalized, voices in the

  13. Shrub and tree data for plant associations across the Mojave/Great Basin Desert transition of the Nevada Test Site, 1963--1975

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beatley, J C

    1979-03-01

    The shrub, tree, and cactus vegetation of 59 selected study sites in eight drainage basins of the Nevada Test Site was documented in 1963, and again in 1975. Vegetation of the sites, which span the range of 3076 to 7425 ft elevation, is assigned to five plant associations, and intergrades, on the 25 Mojave Desert sites; eight associations on the 10 Great Basin Desert sites; and six associations, and ecotonal types, on the 24 sites of the desert transition. The data presented are for numbers of plants crossing the lines, mean height of plants, and calculated percentage cover of the ground. All data are summarized by site, species, and year for each of the vegetation categories, and for living and dead plants combined and dead plants only. Apparent from the data are increases in the numbers, height, and percentage cover on nearly all sites, and in essentially all species, during the 12-year period, and a decrease in the proportions of dead plants. Species composition or relative proportions of the species did not change. The increases appear to be directly related to rainfall during the time interval. It is concluded that in desert vegetation numbers and size of shrubs vary significantly with climatic fluctuations through time, and reflect especially the rainfall history of a given site at any point in time.

  14. 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...

  15. Ancient lakes, Pleistocene climates and river avulsions structure the phylogeography of a large but little-known rock scorpion from the Mojave and Sonoran deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Matthew R.; Wood, Dustin A.; Henault, Jonathan A.; Valois, Zachary J.; Cushing, Paula E.

    2017-01-01

    Recent syntheses of phylogeographical data from terrestrial animals in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts have revealed a complex history of geologic and climatic vicariance events. We studied the phylogeography of Smeringurus vachoni to see how vicariance events may have impacted a large, endemic rock scorpion. Additionally, we used the phylogeographical data to examine the validity of two subspecies of S. vachoni that were described using unconventional morphological characters. Phylogenetic, network and SAMOVA analyses indicate that S. vachoni consists of 11 clades mostly endemic to isolated desert mountain ranges. Molecular clock estimates suggest that clades diversified between the Miocene and early Pleistocene. Species distribution models predict a contraction of suitable habitat during the last glacial maximum. Landscape interpolations and Migrate-n analyses highlight areas of gene flow across the Colorado River. Smeringurus vachoni does not comprise two subspecies. Instead, the species represents at least 11 mitochondrial clades that probably diversified by vicariance associated with Pleistocene climate changes and formation of ancient lakes along the Colorado River corridor. Gene flow appears to have occurred from west to east across the Colorado River during periodic river avulsions.

  16. The corrosive well waters of Egypt's western desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Frank Eldridge

    1979-01-01

    The discovery that ground waters of Egypt's Western Desert are highly corrosive is lost in antiquity. Inhabitants of the oases have been aware of the troublesome property for many decades and early investigators mention it in their reports concerning the area. Introduction of modern well-drilling techniques and replacements of native wood casing with steel during the 20th century increased corrosion problems and, in what is called the New Valley Project, led to an intense search for causes and corrective treatments. This revealed that extreme corrosiveness results from combined effects of relatively acidic waters with significant concentrations of destructive sulfide ion; unfavorable ratios of sulfate and chloride to less aggressive ions; mineral equilibria and electrode potential which hinder formation of protective films; relative high chemical reaction rates because of abnormal temperatures, and high surface velocities related to well design. There is general agreement among investigators that conventional corrosion control methods such as coating metal surfaces, chemical treatment of the water, and electrolytic protection with impressed current and sacrificial electrodes are ineffective or impracticable for wells in the Western Desert's New Valley. Thus, control must be sought through the use of materials more resistant to corrosion than plain carbon steel wherever well screens and casings are necessary. Of the alternatives considered, stainless steel appears to. be the most promising where high strength and long-term services are required and the alloy's relatively high cost is acceptable. Epoxy resin-bonded fiberglass and wood appear to be practicable, relatively inexpensive alternatives for installations which do. not exceed their strength limitations. Other materials such as high strength aluminum and Monel Metal have shown sufficient promise to. merit their consideration in particular locations and uses. The limited experience with pumping in these desert

  17. Status of groundwater quality in the Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit, 2008-2010: California GAMA Priority Basin Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Mary C.; Hancock, Tracy Connell; Kulongoski, Justin T.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    Groundwater quality in the approximately 963-square-mile Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit was investigated as part of the Priority Basin Project of the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The study unit is located in southern California in San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial Counties. The GAMA Priority Basin Project is being conducted by the California State Water Resources Control Board in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The GAMA Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study was designed to provide a spatially unbiased assessment of the quality of untreated (raw) groundwater in the primary aquifer system. The assessment is based on water-quality and ancillary data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey from 52 wells (49 grid wells and 3 understanding wells) and on water-quality data from the California Department of Public Health database. The primary aquifer system was defined by the depth intervals of the wells listed in the California Department of Public Health database for the Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit. The quality of groundwater in the primary aquifer system may be different from that in the shallower or deeper water-bearing zones; shallow groundwater may be more vulnerable to surficial contamination. This study assesses the status of the current quality of the groundwater resource by using data from samples analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, and naturally occurring inorganic constituents, such as major ions and trace elements. This status assessment is intended to characterize the quality of groundwater resources in the primary aquifer system of the Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit, not the

  18. Dermatophytoses in a desert district of Western Rajasthan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karmakar Sanchita

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Clinico-mycological study of 250 cases of dermatophytoses was undertaken in a desert district of Western Rajasthan. Incidence of dermatophytoses in this area was 8.60% with tinea cruris (34.4% as the major clinical type followed by tinea corporis (24.0% Incidence of tinea capitis was 16.8% and 90% of those affected were in the age group of 0-10 years. Male preponderance was observed (M:F=2:1. There were 15 cases of tinea faciei (6%, majority belonging to 0-10 years age group. Trichophyton violaceumwas isolated In majority (55.76% from all clinical types followed by Trichophyton rubrum(42.3%

  19. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  20. Controls on the chemical composition of saline surface crusts and emitted dust from a wet playa in the Mojave Desert (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Harland L.; Breit, George N.; Reynolds, Richard L.

    2017-01-01

    Saline-surface crusts and their compositions at ephemeral, dry, and drying lakes are important products of arid-land processes. Detailed understanding is lacking, however, about interactions among locally variable hydrogeologic conditions, compositional control of groundwater on vadose zone and surface salts, and dust composition. Chemical and physical data from groundwater, sediments, and salts reveal compositional controls on saline-surface crusts across a wet playa, Mojave Desert, with bearing on similar settings elsewhere. The compositions of chemically and isotopically distinctive shallow (<3 m) water masses are recorded in the composition of associated salts. In areas with deeper and more saline groundwater, however, not all ions are transported through the vadose zone. Retention of arsenic and other elements in the vadose zone diminishes the concentrations of potentially toxic elements in surface salts, but creates a reservoir of these elements that may be brought to the surface during wetter conditions or by human disturbance. Selective wind-erosion loss of sulfate salts was identified by the compositional contrast between surface salt crusts and underlying groundwater. At the sub-basin scale, compositional links exist among groundwater, salt crusts, and dust from wet playas. Across the study basin, however, lateral variations in groundwater and solid-salt compositions are produced by hydrogeologic heterogeneity.

  1. Geophysical, remote sensing, GIS, and isotopic applications for a better understanding of the structural controls on groundwater flow in the Mojave Desert, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Dailey

    2015-03-01

    New hydrological insights for the region: The HF traces were mapped using LiDAR and Geoeye-1 imagery (surface and magnetic profiles (subsurface. Shallow basement parallel to and west of the HF was detected using the Vertical Electrical Soundings (VESs. Conductive water-saturated breccia was detected along the HF using the Very Low Frequency (VLF electromagnetic measurements. Isotopic analyses (δD and δ18O for groundwater samples from productive shallow wells, and springs sampled west of the HF and the basement uplift are less depleted (Group I: Fifteenmile Valley Groundwater sub-basin [FVGS]; average δD: −86.8‰; δ18O: −11.8‰ than samples east of the basement uplift (Group II: Lucerne Valley Groundwater sub-basin [LVGS]; average δD: −95.0‰; δ18O: −12.1‰, whereas samples proximal to, the fault have compositions similar to Group I but show evidence for mixing with Group II compositions (Group III; average δD: −88.8‰; δ18O: −11.5‰. Findings are consistent with the HF channeling groundwater from the San Bernardino Mountains with basement uplifts acting as barriers to lateral groundwater flow and could be applicable to similar settings across the Mojave Desert and elsewhere worldwide.

  2. Discriminating patterns and drivers of multiscale movement in herpetofauna: The dynamic and changing environment of the Mojave desert tortoise

    OpenAIRE

    Sadoti, Giancarlo; Gray, Miranda E.; Farnsworth, Matthew L.; Dickson, Brett G.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Changes to animal movement in response to human?induced changes to the environment are of growing concern in conservation. Most research on this problem has focused on terrestrial endotherms, but changes to herpetofaunal movement are also of concern given their limited dispersal abilities and specialized thermophysiological requirements. Animals in the desert region of the southwestern United States are faced with environmental alterations driven by development (e.g., solar energy fa...

  3. Photosynthesis in an invasive grass and native forb at elevated CO2 during an El Niño year in the Mojave Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huxman, Travis E; Smith, Stanley D

    2001-07-01

    Annual and short-lived perennial plant performance during wet years is important for long-term persistence in the Mojave Desert. Additionally, the effects of elevated CO2 on desert plants may be relatively greater during years of high resource availability compared to dry years. Therefore, during an El Niño year at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility (a whole-ecosystem CO2 manipulation), we characterized photosynthetic investment (by assimilation rate-internal CO2 concentration relationships) and evaluated the seasonal pattern of net photosynthesis (A net) and stomatal conductance (g s) for an invasive annual grass, Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and a native herbaceous perennial, Eriogonum inflatum. Prior to and following flowering, Bromus showed consistent increases in both the maximum rate of carboxylation by Rubisco (V Cmax) and the light-saturated rate of electron flow (J max) at elevated CO2. This resulted in greater A net at elevated CO2 throughout most of the life cycle and a decrease in the seasonal decline of maximum midday A net upon flowering as compared to ambient CO2. Eriogonum showed significant photosynthetic down-regulation to elevated CO2 late in the season, but the overall pattern of maximum midday A net was not altered with respect to phenology. For Eriogonum, this resulted in similar levels of A net on a leaf area basis as the season progressed between CO2 treatments, but greater photosynthetic activity over a typical diurnal period. While g s did not consistently vary with CO2 in Bromus, it did decrease in Eriogonum at elevated CO2 throughout much of the season. Since the biomass of both plants increased significantly at elevated CO2, these patterns of gas exchange highlight the differential mechanisms for increased plant growth. The species-specific interaction between CO2 and phenology in different growth forms suggests that important plant strategies may be altered by elevated CO2 in natural settings. These results indicate the importance of

  4. Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary Beneath Regions of Recent Volcanism in the Basin and Range Province and Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, D. W.; Rau, C. J.; Plank, T.; Gazel, E.; Bendersky, C.

    2010-12-01

    Melt in the asthenosphere may contribute strongly to the development of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) in some settings. We have compiled a set of vertical shear-velocity profiles beneath centers of recent (Hill and Amboy in the southern Mojave, the lithospheric lid extends to a depth of ~ 90 km. Minimum velocities in the LVZs beneath the higher velocity lids typically are 4.00-4.05 km/s, similar to that beneath the East Pacific Rise and too low to be caused by temperature alone without unreasonably high attenuation. Beneath other centers, like Big Pine, Lathrop Wells and Tahoe, there is no resolvable lid. The lid is either missing or too thin to resolve, but the absence of the lid/LVZ pattern seems to be due to a combination of lower velocities immediately beneath the Moho and higher velocities in the LVZ. Petrological indicators of temperature and depth of melting from basalt composition are in general agreement with the seismological observations, with the depth of last equilibration typically occurring near the top of the LVZ. Beneath Big Pine, for example, the equilibration temperatures are unusually low and the equilibration depth is 40 to 50 km, just below the Moho, in agreement with the lack of a distinct lid. Beneath Cima, equilibration depths are 60-70 km. Beneath Coso, equilibration depths are only slightly deeper than Big Pine, but the temperatures are higher, in agreement with the more pronounced LVZ and the presence of a thin lid. Beneath the Tabernacle Hill/Black Rock volcanic field in west-central Utah, there is a well-developed lid/LVZ structure, but the "high" velocity lid is only ~ 4.10 km/s while the underlying LVZ reaches as low as 3.90 km/s. This observation points to the importance of melt concentration or distribution controlling the velocities. Lid velocities are often relatively low (4.2-4.4 km/s) in the Basin and Range, indicating high temperatures, but here there is probably melt within the lid as well, with higher

  5. Leaf δ15N as a temporal integrator of nitrogen-cycling processes at the Mojave Desert FACE experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonderegger, D.; Koyama, A.; Jin, V.; Billings, S. A.; Ogle, K.; Evans, R. D.

    2011-12-01

    Ecosystem response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) in arid environments is regulated primarily by water, which may interact with nitrogen availability. Leaf nitrogen isotope composition (δ15N) can serve as an important indicator of changes in nitrogen dynamics by integrating changes in plant physiology and ecosystem biogeochemical processes. Because of this temporal integration, careful modeling of the antecedent conditions is necessary for understanding the processes driving variation in leaf δ15N. We measured leaf δ15N of Larrea tridentata (creosotebush) over the 10-year lifetime of the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment. Leaf δ15N exhibited two patterns. First, elevated atmospheric CO2 significantly increased Larrea leaf δ15N by approximately 2 to 3 % compared to plants exposed to ambient CO2 concentrations Second, plants in both CO2 treatments exhibited significant seasonal cycles in leaf δ15N, with higher values during the fall and winter seasons. We modeled leaf δ15N using a hierarchical Bayesian framework that incorporated soil moisture, temperature, and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) covariates in addition to a CO2 treatment effect and plot random effects. Antecedent moisture effects were modeled by using a combination of the previous season's aggregated conditions and a smoothly varying weighted average of the months or weeks directly preceding the observation. The time lag between the driving antecedent condition and the observed change in leaf δ15N indicates a significant and unobserved process mechanism. Preliminary results suggest a CO2 treatment interaction with the lag effect, indicating a treatment effect on the latent process.

  6. Factors affecting the thermal environment of Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) cover sites in the Central Mojave Desert during periods of temperature extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Jeremy S.; Berry, Kristin H.; Miller, David; Carlson, Andrea S.

    2015-01-01

    Agassiz's Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) spend >95% of their lives underground in cover sites that serve as thermal buffers from temperatures, which can fluctuate >40°C on a daily and seasonal basis. We monitored temperatures at 30 active tortoise cover sites within the Soda Mountains, San Bernardino County, California, from February 2004 to September 2006. Cover sites varied in type and structural characteristics, including opening height and width, soil cover depth over the opening, aspect, tunnel length, and surficial geology. We focused our analyses on periods of extreme temperature: in summer, between July 1 and September 1, and winter, between November 1 and February 15. With the use of multivariate regression tree analyses, we found cover-site temperatures were influenced largely by tunnel length and subsequently opening width and soil cover. Linear regression models further showed that increasing tunnel length increased temperature stability and dampened seasonal temperature extremes. Climate change models predict increased warming for southwestern North America. Cover sites that buffer temperature extremes and fluctuations will become increasingly important for survival of tortoises. In planning future translocation projects and conservation efforts, decision makers should consider habitats with terrain and underlying substrate that sustain cover sites with long tunnels and expanded openings for tortoises living under temperature extremes similar to those described here or as projected in the future.

  7. BIOGENIC VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUND EMISSIONS FROM DESERT VEGETATION OF THE SOUTHWESTERN U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirteen common plant species in the Mojave and Sonoran Desert regions of the western United States were tested for emissions of biogenic non-methane volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). Only two of the species examined emitted isoprene at rates of 10 µgCg−1 ...

  8. Paleohydrology of China Lake basin and the context of early human occupation in the northwestern Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, Jeffrey S.; Meyer, Jack; Palacios-Fest, Manuel R.; Young, D. Craig; Ugan, Andrew; Byrd, Brian F.; Gobalet, Ken; Giacomo, Jason

    2017-07-01

    Considerable prior research has focused on the interconnected pluvial basins of Owens Lake and Searles Lake, resulting in a long record of paleohydrological change in the lower Owens River system. However, the published record is poorly resolved or contradictory for the period encompassing the terminal Pleistocene (22,000 to 11,600 cal BP) and early Holocene (11,600-8200 cal BP). This has resulted in conflicting interpretations about the timing of lacustrine high stands within the intermediate basin of China Lake, which harbors one of the most extensive records of early human occupation in the western Great Basin and California. Here, we report a broad range of radiocarbon-dated paleoenvironmental evidence, including lacustrine deposits and shoreline features, tufa outcrops, and mollusk, ostracode, and fish bone assemblages, as well as spring and other groundwater-related deposits (a.k.a. ;black mats;) from throughout China Lake basin, its outlet, and inflow drainages. Based on 98 radiocarbon dates, we develop independent evidence for five significant lake-level oscillations between 18,000 and 13,000 cal BP, and document the persistence of groundwater-fed wetlands from the beginning of the Younger Dryas through the early Holocene (12,900-8200 cal BP); including the transition from ground-water fed lake to freshwater marsh between about 13,000 and 12,600 cal BP. Results of this study support and refine existing evidence that shows rapid, high-amplitude oscillations in the water balance of the Owens River system during the terminal Pleistocene, and suggest widespread human use of China Lake basin began during the Younger Dryas.

  9. 2002 Water-Table Contours of the Mojave River and the Morongo Ground-Water Basins, San Bernardino County, California

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The Mojave River and Morongo ground-water basins are in the southwestern part of the Mojave Desert in southern California. Ground water from these basins supplies a...

  10. Geochemical water signature in the Bahariya Depression, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciarra, Alessandra; Mazzini, Adriano; Lupi, Matteo; Hammed, Mohammed S.

    2017-04-01

    The Bahariya Oasis is located about 200 km SW of Cairo in the central part of the Western Desert of Egypt. It occupies a sub-elliptic 40 km wide depression stretching NE-SW for approximately 90 km. The Bahariya Oasis has been targeted for numerous geological studies on structural geology, stratigraphy, and iron ore deposits. The oasis was characterized since the Roman times by the presence of natural hydrothermal springs venting water from the relatively shallow Nubia Sandstone formation. Inside the depression are visible numerous circular concentric features that morphologically resemble the hydrothermal vent complexes observed at igneous provinces in other localities of the planet. In order to investigate the origin and the mechanisms of formation of these features, we conducted a fieldwork survey as well as fluids sampling from the available well sites. The aim was to constrain the origin of the fluids that potentially triggered or facilitated the formation of the concentric structures observed on the field. This study presents the geochemical results of groundwaters and soil gas samples. Ten samples were collected from deep wells present in the area. In particular, 8 warm waters were collected by wells between 800 m and 1200 m deep. The measured temperatures at these sites range from 36.5 °C to 52.3°C, while the coldest wells have temperatures ranging from 27.9 °C to 36.5°C. For each sample collected from the wells we analyzed the major, minor and trace elements, dissolved gases (He, Ne, H2, O2, N2, CH4, CO2, Rn), and relative isotopic values. In the areas around the wells we measured CO2 and CH4 fluxes as well as radon activity. Overall, the water showed a high value of dissolved Rn, ranging from 9 to 43 Bq/l, and dissolved CO2 ranging from 5.9 to 17.4 cc/l. The waters show a radiogenic signature of isotopic helium, highlighting very prolonged interaction with local crust enriched in radiogenic elements. The isotopic values of δ18O and δD show a clear

  11. Groundwater-quality data in the Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit, 2008-2010--Results from the California GAMA Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathany, Timothy M.; Wright, Michael T.; Beuttel, Brandon S.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Groundwater quality in the 12,103-square-mile Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts (CLUB) study unit was investigated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from December 2008 to March 2010, as part of the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program's Priority Basin Project (PBP). The GAMA-PBP was developed in response to the California Groundwater Quality Monitoring Act of 2001 and is being conducted in collaboration with the SWRCB and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The CLUB study unit was the twenty-eighth study unit to be sampled as part of the GAMA-PBP. The GAMA CLUB study was designed to provide a spatially unbiased assessment of untreated-groundwater quality in the primary aquifer systems, and to facilitate statistically consistent comparisons of untreated-groundwater quality throughout California. The primary aquifer systems (hereinafter referred to as primary aquifers) are defined as parts of aquifers corresponding to the perforation intervals of wells listed in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) database for the CLUB study unit. The quality of groundwater in shallow or deep water-bearing zones may differ from the quality of groundwater in the primary aquifers; shallow groundwater may be more vulnerable to surficial contamination. In the CLUB study unit, groundwater samples were collected from 52 wells in 3 study areas (Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts) in San Bernardino, Riverside, Kern, San Diego, and Imperial Counties. Forty-nine of the wells were selected by using a spatially distributed, randomized grid-based method to provide statistical representation of the study unit (grid wells), and three wells were selected to aid in evaluation of water-quality issues (understanding wells). The groundwater samples were analyzed for organic constituents (volatile

  12. Maintenance of C sinks sustains enhanced C assimilation during long-term exposure to elevated [CO2] in Mojave Desert shrubs

    Science.gov (United States)

    During the first few years of elevated atmospheric [CO2] treatment at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility, photosynthetic downregulation was observed in desert shrubs grown under elevated [CO2], especially under relatively wet environmental conditions. Nonetheless, those plants maintained increased Asat...

  13. Western frontal fault of the Canyon Range: is it the breakaway zone of the Sevier Desert detachment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otton, J.K.

    1995-01-01

    Geologic evidence developed from surface exposures demonstrates that the western frontal fault of the Canyon Range is a major structure representing the eastern Breakaway zone of the Sevier Desert detachment. Maximum upper plate displacement for the entire Sevier Desert detachment cannot be determined from these breakaway-zone exposures. -from Author

  14. Middle-Upper Devonian And Lower Carboniferous Miospore Assemblages From Western Desert Of Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    El Ghazaly, G. [جمال عبد المجيد الغزالي; Ali, S. M.

    1985-01-01

    Important morphological features of some spore assemblages from Middle-Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous of Western Desert of Egypt are described. Comparing the present assemblages with those obtained from other countries, there are differences among Libyan, Algerian, Saudi Arabian and the Egyptian spore assemblages. This might be due to different environmental conditions prevailed in these locations. Close similarities are recorded between South Ireland assemblages and the present one. ...

  15. Morphologic characteristics and migration rate assessment of barchan dunes in the Southeastern Western Desert of Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamdan, M. A.; Refaat, A. A.; Abdel Wahed, M.

    2016-03-01

    This work explores the morphologic characteristics of aeolian dune sand in the southeastern part of Western Desert of Egypt. It aims to assess the movement of barchan dunes and evaluate their environmental influence on the Toshka Project. Morphometric investigation of barchan dunes in the Toshka area revealed that most barchans have high length/width (a/c) ratios (fat to pudgy), while one-fifth of the studied barchans have lower a/c ratios and so appear normal in their morphologic forms. Statistical analysis of the main parameters of barchan dunes in Toshka and other desert regions in the Kharga (Egypt), Kuwait, Southern Morocco, California and Southern Peru demonstrates that barchans of the Toshka area are distinctive in their appearance. They are characterized by distinct aspect with higher values of length and width and greater growth in height. The high-energy wind environment in addition to the large amount of drifting sand are principal factors responsible for the unique shape of Toshka barchans. The migration rate of barchan dunes in four chosen test locations, within the central and western Toshka area, ranges from about 3 to 10.82 m/year. The calculated average migration rate of these dunes is about 6 m/year in a SSW direction. Sand encroachment is more extensive in the central and western parts of the investigated Toshka area. Risk evaluation of sand dune movements in the southeastern part of the Western Desert points to medium to high sand encroachment risk values. These may represent serious hazards to the newly-established Toshka Project, threatening roads, as well as cultivated lands in the area.

  16. 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...

  17. Science You Can Use Bulletin: Upwardly mobile in the western U.S. desert: Blackbrush shrublands respond to a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sue Miller; Susan Meyer; Bryce Richardson; Rosemary Pendleton; Burton Pendleton; Stanley Kitchen

    2013-01-01

    Blackbrush (Colegyne ramosissima) is a desert shrubland species that is currently dominant on over three million acres of the transition zone between the cold desert of the Great Basin and the warm desert of the southwestern United States. Western landscapes are projected to experience unprecedented changes as the climate warms, and researchers at the Rocky Mountain...

  18. Near eastern neolithic genetic input in a small oasis of the Egyptian Western Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kujanová, Martina; Pereira, Luísa; Fernandes, Verónica; Pereira, Joana B; Cerný, Viktor

    2009-10-01

    The Egyptian Western Desert lies on an important geographic intersection between Africa and Asia. Genetic diversity of this region has been shaped, in part, by climatic changes in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene epochs marked by oscillating humid and arid periods. We present here a whole genome analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and high-resolution molecular analysis of nonrecombining Y-chromosomal (NRY) gene pools of a demographically small but autochthonous population from the Egyptian Western Desert oasis el-Hayez. Notwithstanding signs of expected genetic drift, we still found clear genetic evidence of a strong Near Eastern input that can be dated into the Neolithic. This is revealed by high frequencies and high internal variability of several mtDNA lineages from haplogroup T. The whole genome sequencing strategy and molecular dating allowed us to detect the accumulation of local mtDNA diversity to 5,138 +/- 3,633 YBP. Similarly, theY-chromosome gene pool reveals high frequencies of the Near Eastern J1 and the North African E1b1b1b lineages, both generally known to have expanded within North Africa during the Neolithic. These results provide another piece of evidence of the relatively young population history of North Africa.

  19. Impacts of climate change and renewable energy development on habitat of an endemic squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis, in the Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Leitner, Philip; Matocq, Marjorie D.; Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Predicting changes in species distributions under a changing climate is becoming widespread with the use of species distribution models (SDMs). The resulting predictions of future potential habitat can be cast in light of planned land use changes, such as urban expansion and energy development to identify areas with potential conflict. However, SDMs rarely incorporate an understanding of dispersal capacity, and therefore assume unlimited dispersal in potential range shifts under uncertain climate futures. We use SDMs to predict future distributions of the Mojave ground squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis Merriam, and incorporate partial dispersal models informed by field data on juvenile dispersal to assess projected impact of climate change and energy development on future distributions of X. mohavensis. Our models predict loss of extant habitat, but also concurrent gains of new habitat under two scenarios of future climate change. Under the B1 emissions scenario- a storyline describing a convergent world with emphasis on curbing greenhouse gas emissions- our models predicted losses of up to 64% of extant habitat by 2080, while under the increased greenhouse gas emissions of the A2 scenario, we suggest losses of 56%. New potential habitat may become available to X. mohavensis, thereby offsetting as much as 6330 km2 (50%) of the current habitat lost. Habitat lost due to planned energy development was marginal compared to habitat lost from changing climates, but disproportionately affected current habitat. Future areas of overlap in potential habitat between the two climate change scenarios are identified and discussed in context of proposed energy development.

  20. Resilience to disturbance and resistance to alien grass invasions in the cold desert of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alien grass invasions are resulting in ecosystem-level transformations of entire landscapes in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The cold desert of western US is undergoing such a transformation, and is considered one of the most imperiled large ecosystems in the US. To address the rapid and complex ch...

  1. Mammal Inventory of the Mojave Network Parks-Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Manzanar National Historic Site, and Mojave National Preserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drost, Charles A.; Hart, Jan

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the results of a mammal inventory study of National Park Service units in the Mojave Desert Network, including Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Manzanar National Historic Site, and Mojave National Preserve. Fieldwork for the inventory focused on small mammals, primarily rodents and bats. Fieldwork for terrestrial small mammals used trapping with Sherman and Tomahawk small- and medium-sized mammal traps, along with visual surveys for diurnal species. The majority of sampling for terrestrial small mammals was carried out in 2002 and 2003. Methods used in field surveys for bats included mist-netting at tanks and other water bodies, along with acoustic surveys using Anabat. Most of the bat survey work was conducted in 2003. Because of extremely dry conditions in the first two survey years (and associated low mammal numbers), we extended field sampling into 2004, following a relatively wet winter. In addition to field sampling, we also reviewed, evaluated, and summarized museum and literature records of mammal species for all of the Park units. We documented a total of 59 mammal species as present at Death Valley National Park, with an additional five species that we consider of probable occurrence. At Joshua Tree, we also documented 50 species, and an additional four 'probable' species. At Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 57 mammal species have been positively documented, with 10 additional probable species. Manzanar National Historic Site had not been previously surveyed. We documented 19 mammal species at Manzanar, with an additional 11 probable species. Mojave National Preserve had not had a comprehensive list previously, either. There are now a total of 50 mammal species documented at Mojave, with three additional probable species. Of these totals, 23 occurrences are new at individual park units (positively documented for the first time), with most of these being at Manzanar

  2. A socio-ecological investigation of options to manage groundwater degradation in the Western Desert, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Caroline; Salem, Boshra

    2012-07-01

    Under increasing water scarcity, collective groundwater management is a global concern. This article presents an interdisciplinary analysis of this challenge drawing on a survey including 50 large and small farms and gardens in a village in an agricultural land reclamation area on the edge of the Western Desert of Egypt. Findings revealed that smallholders rely on a practice of shallow groundwater use, through which drainage water from adjacent irrigation areas is effectively recycled within the surface aquifer. Expanding agroindustrial activities in the surrounding area are socio-economically important, but by mining non-renewable water in the surrounding area, they set in motion a degradation process with social and ecological consequences for all users in the multi-layered aquifer system. Based on the findings of our investigation, we identify opportunities for local authorities to more systematically connect available environmental information sources and common pool resource management precedents, to counterbalance the degradation threat.

  3. Paleoecology and paleobiogeography of Paleocene ostracods in Dineigil area, South Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youssef, Mohamed; Ismail, Abdelmoneim; El-Sorogy, Abdelbaset

    2017-07-01

    Seventy three rock samples were extracted from the Paleocene interval (fourty three meter) in the Dineigil area, South Western Desert, Egypt. The ostracod assemblages in these samples were qualitatively studied. The ostracods are well preserved which allowed us to recognize thirty two species belonging to eighteen genera and nine families. The recorded ostracods could be differentiated into two assemblages. The first assemblage comprises an overlapping combination of the Esna Type and Garra Type and indicates an inner-middle shelf environment (50-70 m depth). The second one comprises a combination of the Tethyan Type and Esna Type, indicating a transitional environment from the middle shelf to the outer shelf (deep infraneritic). The paleobiogeographic distribution of the investigated ostracods shows a strong resemblance to those in many areas of North Africa and Middle East, and a slight affinity to those in West Africa and the South Atlantic.

  4. Concentrations of mineral aerosol from desert to plains across the central Rocky Mountains, western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Richard L.; Munson, Seth M.; Fernandez, Daniel; Goldstein, Harland L.; Neff, Jason C.

    2016-12-01

    Mineral dusts can have profound effects on climate, clouds, ecosystem processes, and human health. Because regional dust emission and deposition in western North America are not well understood, measurements of total suspended particulate (TSP) from 2011 to 2013 were made along a 500-km transect of five remote sites in Utah and Colorado, USA. The TSP concentrations in μg m-3 adjusted to a 24-h period were relatively high at the two westernmost, dryland sites at Canyonlands National Park (mean = 135) and at Mesa Verde National Park (mean = 99), as well as at the easternmost site on the Great Plains (mean = 143). The TSP concentrations at the two intervening montane sites were less, with more loading on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains (Telluride, mean = 68) closest to the desert sites compared with the site on the eastern slope (Niwot Ridge, mean = 58). Dust concentrations were commonly highest during late winter-late spring, when Pacific frontal storms are the dominant causes of regional wind. Low concentrations (10), as revealed by relatively low average daily concentrations of fine (air-quality measurements for PM2.5 and PM10 apparently do not capture the large majority of mineral-particulate pollution in the remote western interior U.S.

  5. Concentrations of mineral aerosol from desert to plains across the central Rocky Mountains, western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Richard L.; Munson, Seth M.; Fernandez, Daniel; Goldstein, Harland L.; Neff, Jason C.

    2016-01-01

    Mineral dusts can have profound effects on climate, clouds, ecosystem processes, and human health. Because regional dust emission and deposition in western North America are not well understood, measurements of total suspended particulate (TSP) from 2011 to 2013 were made along a 500-km transect of five remote sites in Utah and Colorado, USA. The TSP concentrations in μg m−3 adjusted to a 24-h period were relatively high at the two westernmost, dryland sites at Canyonlands National Park (mean = 135) and at Mesa Verde National Park (mean = 99), as well as at the easternmost site on the Great Plains (mean = 143). The TSP concentrations at the two intervening montane sites were less, with more loading on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains (Telluride, mean = 68) closest to the desert sites compared with the site on the eastern slope (Niwot Ridge, mean = 58). Dust concentrations were commonly highest during late winter-late spring, when Pacific frontal storms are the dominant causes of regional wind. Low concentrations (10), as revealed by relatively low average daily concentrations of fine (western interior U.S.

  6. The Mojave vadose zone: a subsurface biosphere analogue for Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbey, William; Salas, Everett; Bhartia, Rohit; Beegle, Luther W

    2013-07-01

    If life ever evolved on the surface of Mars, it is unlikely that it would still survive there today, but as Mars evolved from a wet planet to an arid one, the subsurface environment may have presented a refuge from increasingly hostile surface conditions. Since the last glacial maximum, the Mojave Desert has experienced a similar shift from a wet to a dry environment, giving us the opportunity to study here on Earth how subsurface ecosystems in an arid environment adapt to increasingly barren surface conditions. In this paper, we advocate studying the vadose zone ecosystem of the Mojave Desert as an analogue for possible subsurface biospheres on Mars. We also describe several examples of Mars-like terrain found in the Mojave region and discuss ecological insights that might be gained by a thorough examination of the vadose zone in these specific terrains. Examples described include distributary fans (deltas, alluvial fans, etc.), paleosols overlain by basaltic lava flows, and evaporite deposits.

  7. Prospecting cold deserts of north western Himalayas for microbial diversity and plant growth promoting attributes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Ajar Nath; Sachan, Shashwati Ghosh; Verma, Priyanka; Saxena, Anil Kumar

    2015-06-01

    Microbial communities in different samples collected from cold deserts of north western Himalayas, India, were analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis. A total of 232 bacterial isolates were characterized employing 16S rDNA-Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis with the three restriction endonucleases Alu I, Msp I and Hae III, which led to formation of 29-54 groups for the different sites, adding up to169 groups. 16S rRNA gene based phylogenetic analysis, revealed that 82 distinct species of 31 different genera, belonged to four phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. PLFA profiling was performed for concerned samples which gave an estimate of microbial communities without cultivating the microorganisms. PLFA analysis led to characterization of diverse group of microbes in different samples such as gram-negative, gram-positive bacteria, actinomycetes, cyanobacteria, anaerobic bacteria, sulphate reducing bacteria and fungi. The representative strains were screened for their plant growth promoting attributes, which included production of ammonia, HCN, gibberellic acid, IAA and siderophore; solubilization of phosphorus and activity of ACC deaminase. In vitro antifungal activity assay was performed against Rhizoctonia solani and Macrophomina phaseolina. Cold adapted microorganisms may serve as inoculants for crops growing under cold climatic conditions. To our knowledge, this is the first report for the presence of Arthrobacter nicotianae, Brevundimonas terrae, Paenibacillus tylopili and Pseudomonas cedrina in cold deserts and exhibit multifunctional PGP attributes at low temperatures. Copyright © 2014 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. A reward for patience and suffering – Ethnomycology and commodification of desert truffles among Sahrawi refugees and nomads of Western Sahara

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volpato, G.; Rossi, D.; Dentoni, D.

    2013-01-01

    A Reward for Patience and Suffering: Ethnomycology and Commodification of Desert Truffles among Sahrawi Refugees and Nomads of Western Sahara. This paper reflects on the role of ethnobiological knowledge and practices for refugees’ agency by focusing on the use and commodification of desert truffles

  9. New findings in the Eocene stratigraphy of Siwa-El Qara stretch, north western desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, R.; Orabi, H.

    2017-10-01

    The Upper Hamra Member of Said and Issawi (1964) is a clastic/carbonate succession at Qor El Hamra east of the Bahariya Oasis in the Western Desert, Egypt. Earlier, the authors changed this member into a new informal name, the Al Humaymat formation (Priabonian) at the Siwa Oasis, which consists generally of carbonate sediments and overlays the mushroom rock of the Mokattam Formation (Late Lutetian). The thickness of the Al Humaymat formation is about 22 m recorded at the El Qara section and at the El Arag section reaches 5 m, where the collected fauna from this formation is represented by larger foraminifera Nummulites fabianii retiatus, Gaziryina aff. pulchellus, Silvestriella tetraedra and Grzybowskia sp. are assigned to Late Eocene (Priabonian). The base of the Al Humaymat formation is composed of grey marl to varicolored small scale tabular cross-bedded limestone, which reflects sheet flood deposits with a great unconformity surface; the middle part is composed of reefal limestone and sandy limestone. The upper part of this formation is characterized by earthy white limestone, which is overlain by very hard brown ferruginous paleosol bands and pockets, which represent distal floodplain deposits. Here it is interesting to notice that the Early and Late Priabonian decrease in depth of the sea over the studied area seems to be a reflection of a global decrease in depth of the sea as suggested from eustatic curves published by Haq et al., l987.

  10. Chronology of desert margin in western India using improved luminescence dating protocols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauhan, Naveen; Morthekai, P.

    2017-12-01

    The present study provides improved chronology for the desert margin fluvial sediments of semi-arid region located in the Mahi river basin, western India. The sequence has preserved a near-continuous record of climate change since the Last Interglacial. An earlier attempt of dating based on feldspar IRSL chronology shows a combined effect of anomalous fading and unbleached components resulting in age inversions. The present work tries to explore the possibility of using blue light stimulated luminescence (BLSL) of quartz, infra-red stimulated luminescence (IRSL) of feldspar and the newly developed methodologies, like natural correction factor based single aliquot regeneration (NCF-SAR) protocol and decision making schemes based on distribution of doses and beta heterogeneity concept for luminescence dating of sediments. Observations suggest that quartz suffered from significant sensitivity changes during natural signal measurement and partial bleaching. A combination of NCF-SAR protocol and sample specific equivalent dose computation helped in arriving at better age estimate for present samples. The study also compares the criteria for the selection of different age models that are used at present. The age of the alluvial sequence is now bracketed between 10 ka (upper aeolian unit) and 75 ka (lowermost fluvial unit).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Yehia

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available 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. Many the groundwater samples belong to the Na+- Cl−, Na2SO4− type, followed by Ca2+- Mg2+- Cl− type. Only a few samples are of the Na+- HCO3− type. The spatial distributions of the major ions describe similar anomalies, with the highest concentrations found at the extreme northeastern margin of the oasis, as well as in its northern and northwestern parts. Fe is the most abundant toxic metal, followed by Cu and Mn. Anomalies of Cr, Ni and Zn are also detected. Rock/water interactions strongly affect the chemical composition of the groundwater. Dissolution and cation exchange are the main processes controlling the hydrogeochemistry. Most of the irrigation groundwater problems in the study area may be resolved using an effective drainage system. The estimated total annual dose due to ingestion of 238U, 232Th and 40K in groundwater samples reveals that the groundwater is safe for human consumption. However, the toxic metal content of the Bahariya groundwater exceeds the permissible levels for both irrigation and consumption, and the water must be filtered through suitable membranes to exclude these toxic metals. Regular monitoring of the quality of this water for drinking is strictly required.

  12. Geochemical evidence for a complex origin for the Kelso dunes, Mojave National Preserve, California USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhs, Daniel; Lancaster, Nicholas; Skipp, Gary L.

    2017-01-01

    The Kelso Dune field in southern California is intriguing because although it is of limited areal extent (~ 100 km2), it has a wide variety of dune forms and contains many active dunes (~ 40 km2), which is unusual in the Mojave Desert. Studies over the past eight decades have concluded that the dunes are derived primarily from a single source, Mojave River alluvium, under a dominant, westerly-to-northwesterly wind regime. The majority of these studies did not, however, present data to support the Mojave River as the only source. We conducted mineralogical and geochemical studies of most of the 14 geomorphically defined dune groups of the Kelso Dune field as well as potential sand sources, alluvial sediments from the surrounding mountain ranges. Results indicate that sands in the nine western dune groups have K/Rb and K/Ba (primarily from K-feldspar) compositions that are indistinguishable from Mojave River alluvium (westerly/northwesterly winds) and Budweiser Wash alluvium (southwesterly winds), permitting an interpretation of two sources. In contrast, sands from the five eastern dune groups have K/Rb and K/Ba values that indicate significant inputs from alluvial fan deposits of the Providence Mountains. This requires either rare winds from the east or southeast or, more likely, aeolian reworking of distal Providence Mountain fan sediments by winds from the west, at a rate greater than input from the Mojave River or other western sources. The results indicate that even a small dune field can have a complex origin, either from seasonally varying winds or complex alluvial-fan-dune interaction. Application of K/Rb and K/Ba in K-feldspar as a provenance indicator could be used in many of the world's ergs or sand seas, where dune origins are still not well understood or are controversial. Four examples are given from Africa and the Middle East where such an approach could yield useful new information about dune sand provenance.

  13. Chronic energy deficiency and its association with dietary factors in adults of drought affected desert areas of Western Rajasthan, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Madhu B; Lakshminarayana, J; Fotedar, Ranjana

    2008-01-01

    To asses the impact of drought on nutritional status of adults of a rural population in desert area. Threestage sampling technique. 24 villages belonging to 6 tehsils (sub units of district) of Jodhpur district, a drought affected desert district of Western Rajasthan, in 2003. 1540 adults were examined for their anthropometry, dietary intake and nutritional deficiency signs. Overall chronic energy deficiency (CED) was found high (42.7 %). Severe CED was 10.7 percent, significantly higher in males than females. Regarding vitamin A deficiency, overall prevalence of Bitot spot and night blindness was 1.8 and 0.2 percent respectively, higher in females than males. Regarding vitamin B complex deficiency, angular stomatitis, cheliosis, and glossitis was 1.0, 2.6 and 5.4 percent. Anemia was 35.6 percent. Overall mean calorie and protein intake deficit was very high (38 and 16.4 %). The comparison of present drought results with earlier studies in desert normal and desert drought conditions showed higher deficiencies of calories and proteins in their diet. Severity of malnutrition is critical as CED was more than the cut-off point of 40 percent stated by World Health Organization. Vitamin A and B complex deficiencies, anemia, protein calorie malnutrition along with deficit in calories and proteins in their diet were higher in comparison to non desert areas, which may be due to the harsh environmental conditions in desert areas. Efforts should be made to incorporate intervention measures to ensure the supply of adequate calories and proteins to all age groups.

  14. A complex origin for the Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, California, USA: A case study using a simple geochemical method with global applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhs, Daniel R.; Lancaster, Nicholas; Skipp, Gary L.

    2017-01-01

    The Kelso Dune field in southern California is intriguing because although it is of limited areal extent ( 100 km2), it has a wide variety of dune forms and contains many active dunes ( 40 km2), which is unusual in the Mojave Desert. Studies over the past eight decades have concluded that the dunes are derived primarily from a single source, Mojave River alluvium, under a dominant, westerly-to-northwesterly wind regime. The majority of these studies did not, however, present data to support the Mojave River as the only source. We conducted mineralogical and geochemical studies of most of the 14 geomorphically defined dune groups of the Kelso Dune field as well as potential sand sources, alluvial sediments from the surrounding mountain ranges. Results indicate that sands in the nine western dune groups have K/Rb and K/Ba (primarily from K-feldspar) compositions that are indistinguishable from Mojave River alluvium (westerly/northwesterly winds) and Budweiser Wash alluvium (southwesterly winds), permitting an interpretation of two sources. In contrast, sands from the five eastern dune groups have K/Rb and K/Ba values that indicate significant inputs from alluvial fan deposits of the Providence Mountains. This requires either rare winds from the east or southeast or, more likely, aeolian reworking of distal Providence Mountain fan sediments by winds from the west, at a rate greater than input from the Mojave River or other western sources. The results indicate that even a small dune field can have a complex origin, either from seasonally varying winds or complex alluvial-fan-dune interaction. Application of K/Rb and K/Ba in K-feldspar as a provenance indicator could be used in many of the world's ergs or sand seas, where dune origins are still not well understood or are controversial. Four examples are given from Africa and the Middle East where such an approach could yield useful new information about dune sand provenance.

  15. Regional and Seasonal Diet of the Western Burrowing Owl in South-Central Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Derek B. Hall, Paul D. Greger, Jeffrey R. Rosier

    2009-04-01

    We examined diets of Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) based on contents of pellets and large prey remains collected year-round at burrows in each of the 3 regions in south central Nevada (Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, and Transition region). The most common prey items, based on percent frequency of occurrence, were crickets and grasshoppers, beetles, rodents, sun spiders, and scorpions. The most common vertebrate prey was kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.). True bugs (Hemiptera), scorpions, and western harvest mice (Reithrodontomys megalotis) occurred most frequently in pellets from the Great Basin Desert region. Kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.) and pocket mice (Perognathinae) were the most important vertebrate prey items in the Transition and Mojave Desert regions, respectively. Frequency of occurrence of any invertebrate prey was high (>80%) in samples year-round but dropped in winter samples, with scorpions and sun spiders exhibiting the steepest declines. Frequency of occurrence of any vertebrate prey peaked in spring samples, was intermediate for winter and summer samples, and was lowest in fall samples. With the possible exception of selecting for western harvest mice in the Great Basin Desert region, Western Burrowing Owls in our study appeared to be opportunistic foragers with a generalist feeding strategy.

  16. Geothermal resources of the western arm of the Black Rock Desert, northwestern Nevada. Part I. Geology and geophysics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaefer, D.H.; Welch, A.H.; Maurer, D.K.

    1983-01-01

    Studies of the geothermal potential of the western arm of the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada included a compilation of existing geologic data on a detailed map, a temperature survey at 1-meter depth, a thermal-scanner survey, and gravity and seismic surveys to determine basin geometry. The temperature survey showed the effects of heating at shallow depths due to rising geothermal fluids near the known hot spring areas. Lower temperatures were noted in areas of probable near-surface ground-water movement. The thermal-scanner survey verified the known geothermal areas and showed relatively high-temperature areas of standing water and ground-water discharge. The upland areas of the desert were found to be distinctly warmer than the playa area, probably due to the low thermal diffusivity of upland areas caused by low moisture content. Surface geophysical surveys indicated that the maximum thickness of valley-fill deposits in the desert is about 3200 meters. Gravity data further showed that changes in the trend of the desert axis occurred near thermal areas. 53 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  17. Spatial and temporal structure of the spider community in the clay semi-desert of western Kazakhstan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piterkina, Tatyana V.

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial and temporal structure of spider communities was studied in the clay semi-desert of the north-western Caspian Lowland, western Kazakhstan (49°23' N, 46°47' E. The soils and vegetation are complex, being composed of a mosaic of desert and steppe plant communities. Besides the native associations, there are plantations of different tree species. The ground-dwelling spider assemblages in the native habitats are the most diverse. The number of species inhabiting forest plantations is three times as small. Gnaphosidae is the leading family in the ground layer. They show high abundance and diversity levels during the whole season. Thomisidae, Lycosidae, Philodromidae, and Salticidae are abundant as well. The species diversity of herbage-dwelling spiders in different open native habitats is very similar. The spectrum of dominant families (Thomisidae, Oxyopidae, Araneidae, and Salticidae and the seasonal dynamics of their ratio in desert and steppe associations have much in common. Spider assemblages of native and artificial habitats are characterised by change from multispecies polydominant spring-summer communities to impoverished imbalanced autumn ones. Seasonal changes in the species structure of mature spider groupings in native habitats are well pronounced, while the impact of seasonal conditions is even stronger than between-habitat differences. Complexes of typical species with different levels of habitat preference are revealed.

  18. Crustal modeling of the central part of the Northern Western Desert, Egypt using gravity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alrefaee, H. A.

    2017-05-01

    The Bouguer anomaly map of the central part of the Northern Western Desert, Egypt was used to construct six 2D gravity models to investigate the nature, physical properties and structures of the crust and upper mantle. The crustal models were constrained and constructed by integrating results from different geophysical techniques and available geological information. The depth to the basement surface, from eight wells existed across the study area, and the depth to the Conrad and Moho interfaces as well as physical properties of sediments, basement, crust and upper mantle from previous petrophysical and crustal studies were used to establish the gravity models. Euler deconvolution technique was carried on the Bouguer anomaly map to detect the subsurface fault trends. Edge detection techniques were calculated to outlines the boundaries of subsurface structural features. Basement structural map was interpreted to reveal the subsurface structural setting of the area. The crustal models reveals increasing of gravity field from the south to the north due to northward thinning of the crust. The models reveals also deformed and rugged basement surface with northward depth increasing from 1.6 km to 6 km. In contrast to the basement, the Conrad and Moho interfaces are nearly flat and get shallower northward where the depth to the Conrad or the thickness of the upper crust ranges from 18 km to 21 km while the depth to the Moho (crustal thickness) ranges from 31.5 km to 34 km. The crust beneath the study area is normal continental crust with obvious thinning toward the continental margin at the Mediterranean coast.

  19. 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...

  20. Deserts of the southwestern United States, for the Death Valley regional ground-water flow system study, Nevada and California

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This digital data set defines the boundaries of the deserts of the southwestern United States. Those deserts include the Great Basin, Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran...

  1. Phylogeography of Beck's Desert Scorpion, Paruroctonus becki, reveals Pliocene diversification in the Eastern California Shear Zone and postglacial expansion in the Great Basin Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Matthew R; Jaeger, Jef R; Prendini, Lorenzo; Riddle, Brett R

    2013-12-01

    The distribution of Beck's Desert Scorpion, Paruroctonus becki (Gertsch and Allred, 1965), spans the 'warm' Mojave Desert and the western portion of the 'cold' Great Basin Desert. We used genetic analyses and species distribution modeling to test whether P. becki persisted in the Great Basin Desert during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), or colonized the area as glacial conditions retreated and the climate warmed. Phylogenetic and network analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 (cox1), 16S rDNA, and nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) DNA sequences uncovered five geographically-structured groups in P. becki with varying degrees of statistical support. Molecular clock estimates and the geographical arrangement of three of the groups suggested that Pliocene geological events in the tectonically dynamic Eastern California Shear Zone may have driven diversification by vicariance. Diversification was estimated to have continued through the Pleistocene, during which a group endemic to the western Great Basin diverged from a related group in the eastern Mojave Desert and western Colorado Plateau. Demographic and network analyses suggested that P. becki underwent a recent expansion in the Great Basin. According to a landscape interpolation of genetic distances, this expansion appears to have occurred from the northwest, implying that P. becki may have persisted in part of the Great Basin during the LGM. This prediction is supported by species distribution models which suggest that climate was unsuitable throughout most of the Great Basin during the LGM, but that small patches of suitable climate may have remained in areas of the Lahontan Trough. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Diagenetic origin of ironstone crusts in the Lower Cenomanian Bahariya Formation, Bahariya Depression, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afify, A. M.; Sanz-Montero, M. E.; Calvo, J. P.; Wanas, H. A.

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, a new interpretation of the ironstone crusts of the Bahariya Formation as late diagenetic products is provided. The siliciclastic Lower Cenomanian Bahariya Formation outcropping in the northern part of the Bahariya Depression (Western Desert, Egypt) is subdivided into three informal units that are mainly composed of thinly laminated siltstone, cross-bedded and massive sandstone, fossiliferous sandstone/sandy limestone and variegated shale. Abundant ironstone crusts occur preferentially within its lower and upper units but are absent in the middle unit. The ironstone crusts show selective replacement of carbonate components, including calcretes, by iron oxyhydroxides. More permeable parts of the terrigenous beds such as burrow traces, subaerial exposure surfaces, concretionary features and soft-sediment deformation structures led to heterogeneous distribution of the iron oxyhydroxides. A variety of diagenetic minerals, where goethite and hematite are the main end-products, were characterized by mineralogical analysis (XRD), petrography and SEM observation, and geochemical determinations (EMPA). Other diagenetic minerals include Fe-dolomite/ankerite, siderite, manganese minerals, barite, silica, illite/smectite mixed-layer, and bitumen. These minerals are interpreted to be formed in different diagenetic stages. Some minerals, especially those formed during eodiagenesis, show features indicative of biogenic activity. During burial, dolomite and ankerite replaced preferentially the depositional carbonates and infilled secondary porosity as well. Also during mesodiagenesis, the decomposition of organic matter resulted in the formation of bitumen and created reducing conditions favorable for the mobilization of iron-rich fluids in divalent stage. Telodiagenesis of the Cenomanian Bahariya deposits took place during the Turonian-Santonian uplift of the region. This resulted in partial or total dissolution of Fe-dolomite and ankerite which was concomitant to

  3. Implications of high altitude desert dust transport from Western Sahara to Nile Delta during biomass burning season

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prasad, Anup K., E-mail: aprasad@chapman.ed [School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); Center of Excellence in Earth Observing, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); El-Askary, Hesham [School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); Center of Excellence in Earth Observing, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Moharem Bek, Alexandria 21522 (Egypt); National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Science (NARSS), Cairo (Egypt); Kafatos, Menas [School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); Center of Excellence in Earth Observing, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States)

    2010-11-15

    The air over major cities and rural regions of the Nile Delta is highly polluted during autumn which is the biomass burning season, locally known as black cloud. Previous studies have attributed the increased pollution levels during the black cloud season to the biomass or open burning of agricultural waste, vehicular, industrial emissions, and secondary aerosols. However, new multi-sensor observations (column and vertical profiles) from satellites, dust transport models and associated meteorology present a different picture of the autumn pollution. Here we show, for the first time, the evidence of long range transport of dust at high altitude (2.5-6 km) from Western Sahara and its deposition over the Nile Delta region unlike current Models. The desert dust is found to be a major contributor to the local air quality which was previously considered to be due to pollution from biomass burning enhanced by the dominant northerly winds coming from Europe. - New evidence of desert dust transport from Western Sahara to Nile Delta during black cloud season and its significance for regional aerosols, dust models, and potential impact on the regional climate.

  4. Desert Mazâr: Sacred Sites in Western China (Essay to Accompany Photo Essay)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rahilä Dawut; Sanjyot Mehendale; Alexandre Papas

    2012-01-01

    ...) that dot the desert landscape. It is the power believed to emanate from these shrines that New York–based photographer Lisa Ross has captured so vividly in her images over the course of several journeys to China’s west.

  5. Bacterial diversity of Drass, cold desert in Western Himalaya, and its comparison with Antarctic and Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Puja; Sangwan, Naseer; Lal, Rup; Vakhlu, Jyoti

    2015-08-01

    Drass is the coldest inhabited place in India and the second coldest, inhabited place in the world, after Siberia. Using the 16SrDNA amplicon pyrosequencing, bacterial diversity patterns were cataloged across the Drass cold desert. In order to identify the ecotype abundance across cold desert environment, bacterial diversity patterns of Drass were further compared with the bacterial diversity of two other cold deserts, i.e., Antarctic and Arctic. Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and Gemmatimonadetes were among the highly abundant taxonomic groups present across all the three cold deserts and were designated as the core phyla. However, Firmicutes, Nitrospirae, Armatimonadetes (former candidate division OP10), Planctomycetes, TM7, Chloroflexi, Deinococcus-Thermus, Tenericutes and candidate phyla WS3 were identified as rare phyla in Drass, Antarctic and Arctic samples. Differential abundance patterns were also computed across all the three samples, i.e., Acidobacteria (32.1 %) were dominant in Drass and Firmicutes (52.9 ± 17.6 %) and Proteobacteria (42 ± 1.3 %) were dominant in Antarctic and Arctic reference samples, respectively. Alpha diversity values Shannon's (H) and Simpson's (1-D) diversity indices were highest for Antarctic samples, whereas richness estimators (ACE and Chao1) were maximum for Drass soil suggesting greater species richness in bacterial communities in Drass than the Antarctic and Arctic samples.

  6. Land capability classification of some western desert Oases, Egypt, using remote sensing and GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abd-Alla Gad

    2015-10-01

    It could be concluded that the desert Oases are sustainable areas, which might have potential importance supporting the national development programs. Integrating remote sensing data with digital soil map, using GIS, led to the elaboration of successful land capability classification mapping.

  7. Investigating a hydrothermal venting scenario at the Bahariya Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupi, Matteo; Mazzini, Adriano; Sciarra, Alessandra; Hammed, Mohammed S.; Schmindt, Susanne T.; Suessenberger, Annette

    2017-04-01

    The Bahariya depression (BD) (or Bahariya Oasis) is located in the Egyptian Western desert about 300 km SW of Cairo. The depression stretches for approximately 90 km along a NE-SW direction. The BD is known since Roman times for its thermal springs. Hot fluids were still emitted at the surface in the late 70ies before agricultural development caused the deepening of the groundwater table. Today, hot fluids are found at shallow depths and extracted for thermal bathing and farming. The oldest exposed rocks cropping out in the BD are of Early Cenomanian age and mainly consist of sandstones and claystones. Magmatic formations are also found in the BD and crop out as isolated basaltic formations. The most prominent tectonic feature dissecting the whole area is a NE-SW trending strike-slip fault system along which the depression developed. Satellite images reveal that large part of the BD area is characterised by concentric features (similar in shape to impact craters) that increase in number approaching the fault zone. A cross section of these features resembles to flattened crater-like structures (up to 10 m in height) with steeper external flanks and a gently dipping internal zone. Their average diameter is about 100 m. However, some of the largest features may reach nearly 400 m in diameter. We performed CO2 and CH4 soil gas flux measurements completing profiles across the structures finding a higher concentration of CO2 approaching the center. No significant CH4 flux variations were observed through the profiles. The central zone of one structure was targeted for detailed investigations. The samples recovered are characterised by the presence of halite-cemented breccias. XRD and semi-quantitative SEM analysis indicate the presence of mineral phases typical of hydrothermal circulation. In particular, some of the K-feldspars analyzed show a Ba-rich core with outer rims with no Ba content. One of the K-feldspar phases is sanidine and does not appear as an overgrowth

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Large scale 20mm photography for range resources analysis in the Western United States. [Casa Grande, Arizona, Mercury, Nevada, and Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tueller, P. T.

    1977-01-01

    Large scale 70mm aerial photography is a valuable supplementary tool for rangeland studies. A wide assortment of applications were developed varying from vegetation mapping to assessing environmental impact on rangelands. Color and color infrared stereo pairs are useful for effectively sampling sites limited by ground accessibility. They allow an increased sample size at similar or lower cost than ground sampling techniques and provide a permanent record.

  11. Severe mortality of a population of threatened Agassiz’s desert tortoises: the American badger as a potential predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emblidge, Patrick G.; Nussear, Ken E.; Esque, Todd C.; Aiello, Christina M.; Walde, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

    In the Mojave Desert of the southwestern United States, adult Agassiz’s desert tortoises Gopherus agassizii typically experience high survival, but population declines associated with anthropogenic impacts led to their listing as a threatened Species under the US Endangered Species Act in 1990. Predation of adult tortoises is not often considered a significant threat as they are adapted to deter most predation attempts. Despite these adaptations, some populations have experienced elevated mortality attributed to predators, suggesting that predation pressure may occasionally increase. During the tortoise activity seasons of 2012 and 2013, we observed unsustainably high mortality in 1 of 4 populations of adult desert tortoises (22 and 84%, respectively) in the western Mojave Desert in the vicinity of Barstow, CA. Photographic evidence from trail cameras and examination of carcass condition suggest that American badgers Taxidea taxus— a sometimes cited but unconfirmed predator of adult tortoises — may have been responsible for some of the mortality observed. We discuss the American badger as a plausible predator of a local tortoise population, but recommend further investigation into these events and the impacts such mortality can have on tortoise persistence.

  12. The history and fate of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer springs in the oasis depressions of the Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Owen; Fensham, Rod

    2016-03-01

    Extraction of groundwater for agriculture has resulted in the loss of springs across arid regions of the globe. The history and fate are recorded of the artesian springs of Egypt's Western Desert, from ancient times to the present, spanning the rise and fall of the great civilisations from the Pharoanic dynasties to Persian, Greek and Roman conquests. The study area includes oases Kharga, Dakhla, Bahriya, Farafra and Siwa, and several outer and small oases around Siwa and the edge of the Qattara Depression. The region is hyper-arid, receiving 10 mm or less average annual precipitation and evaporation rates are in the vicinity of 3,000 mm/a. Groundwater in the oases is largely derived from bores discharging from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer. Based on an extensive survey, conducted for the first time, attention is drawn to the rapid demise of springs as a result of modern irrigation schemes which continue to deplete groundwater supplies.

  13. Origin of an extensive network of non-tectonic synclines in Eocene limestones of the Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tewksbury, Barbara J.; Tarabees, Elhamy A.; Mehrtens, Charlotte J.

    2017-12-01

    Satellite images of the Western Desert of Egypt display conspicuous sinuous color patterning that previous workers have interpreted as erosional flutes formed by catastrophic flooding. Our work with high resolution satellite imagery shows that the patterning is not erosional but, rather, the result of a network of thousands of narrow synclines in the Eocene bedrock capping the Limestone Plateau. Synclines form as isolated, 200-400 meter-wide downwarps in otherwise flat-lying strata. Limb dips are shallow, and doubly plunging hinges form multiple basin closures along syncline lengths. Anticlines form ;accidentally; in inter-syncline areas where two adjacent synclines lie close together. Synclines have two dominant orientations, WNW-ESE and NNW-SSE, parallel to two prominent joint and fault sets, and synclines branch, merge, and change orientation along their lengths. Synclines are all at the same scale with neither larger structures nor parasitic structures and are best described as non-tectonic sag synclines. An Egypt-wide inventory reveals that these synclines are both confined to Eocene limestones and developed, albeit it sporadically, over nearly 100,000 km2. The syncline network predates plateau gravels of the Katkut Formation, which have been interpreted as Oligocene or early Miocene in age, and the network is cut by faults related to Western Desert extension associated with Red Sea rifting. The mechanism that caused sag of overlying layers is not clear. Modern karst collapse, subsurface dissolution of evaporites, and collapse of paleokarst are all unlikely mechanisms given the timing of formation and the underlying stratigraphy. Silica diagenesis and downslope mobilization of underlying shales are possibilities, although uncertainty about the origin of silica in the limestones, plus the consistency of syncline orientations over large areas, make these models problematic. Hypogene karst, perhaps related to aggressive fluids associated with basaltic intrusions

  14. Mirages in the Desert: Theorizing Western Muslim Identity across 60 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sherif, Lucy

    2016-01-01

    Theorizations on Western Muslim identity that are multi-layered and grounded in actual Western Muslim experiences are hard to find. Two exceptions to this are "The Road to Mecca" by Muhammad Asad (1954/2005), and "Islam is a Foreign Country" by Zareena Grewal (2014), rich texts that span across six decades. Asad's classic…

  15. Seasonal metabolic acclimatization in the herbivorous desert lizard Uromastyx philbyi (Reptilia: Agamidea) from western Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zari, Talal A

    2016-08-01

    Many ectotherms adjust their metabolic rate seasonally in association with variations in environmental temperatures. The range and direction of these seasonal changes in reptilian metabolic rates are thought to be linked to the seasonality of activity and energy requirements. The present study was conducted to measure the standard metabolic rate (SMR) of seasonally-acclimatized Uromastyx philbyi with different body masses at 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40°C using open-flow respirometry during the four seasons. SMR was mass-dependent. The mean exponent of mass, "b", in the metabolism-body mass relation was 0.76 (variance=0.0007). Likewise, SMR increased as temperature increased with low Q10 values at high temperatures and high Q10 values at low temperatures. The lowest and highest Q10 values were achieved for temperature ranges of 30-35°C for summer-acclimatized dhabbs (Q10=1.6) and 20-25°C for winter-acclimatized dhabbs (Q10=3.9). Seasonal acclimatization effects were obvious at all temperatures (20-40°C). Winter-acclimatized dhabbs had the lowest metabolic rates at all temperatures. The seasonal acclimatization patterns displayed by U. philbyi may represent a valuable adaptation for herbivorous desert lizards that inhabit subtropical deserts to facilitate activity during their active seasons and to conserve energy during inactivity at low temperatures. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. An Investigation into the Processes and Quantity of Dust Emissions over Gravel and Sand Deserts in North-Western China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhengcai; Dong, Zhibao; Qian, Guangqian; Wu, Guoxi; Cui, Xujia

    2017-06-01

    Year-long field observations have shown that there are spatial and temporal variations in the quantity of dust emissions for particulate matter {deserts, we found that gravel deserts and sandy deserts are both major sources of dust for dust storms in this region.

  17. Desert Mazâr: Sacred Sites in Western China (Essay to Accompany Photo Essay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahilä Dawut

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Despite its reputation as one of the most inhospitable areas in the world, the Tarim Basin has been home to thriving agricultural and mercantile communities since the early centuries of the Common Era, when oasis cities were linked in a lucrative network of Eurasian trade. Today, the Tarim is home to China’s Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim community whose ancestral ties to the region date back to at least the ninth century CE. For them, the Taklamakan is sacred land, enveloping the political and religious heroes of a storied past who are buried in countless mausoleums (in Uyghur: mazâr that dot the desert landscape. It is the power believed to emanate from these shrines that New York–based photographer Lisa Ross has captured so vividly in her images over the course of several journeys to China’s west.

  18. 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...

  19. Adaptive responses reveal contemporary and future ecotypes in a desert shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Bryce A.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Germino, Matthew J.; Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Meyer, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Interacting threats to ecosystem function, including climate change, wildfire, and invasive species necessitate native plant restoration in desert ecosystems. However, native plant restoration efforts often remain unguided by ecological genetic information. Given that many ecosystems are in flux from climate change, restoration plans need to account for both contemporary and future climates when choosing seed sources. In this study we analyze vegetative responses, including mortality, growth, and carbon isotope ratios in two blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) common gardens that included 26 populations from a range-wide collection. This shrub occupies ecotones between the warm and cold deserts of Mojave and Colorado Plateau ecoregions in western North America. The variation observed in the vegetative responses of blackbrush populations was principally explained by grouping populations by ecoregions and by regression with site-specific climate variables. Aridity weighted by winter minimum temperatures best explained vegetative responses; Colorado Plateau sites were usually colder and drier than Mojave sites. The relationship between climate and vegetative response was mapped within the boundaries of the species–climate space projected for the contemporary climate and for the decade surrounding 2060. The mapped ecological genetic pattern showed that genetic variation could be classified into cool-adapted and warm-adapted ecotypes, with populations often separated by steep clines. These transitions are predicted to occur in both the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau ecoregions. While under contemporary conditions the warm-adapted ecotype occupies the majority of climate space, climate projections predict that the cool-adapted ecotype could prevail as the dominant ecotype as the climate space of blackbrush expands into higher elevations and latitudes. This study provides the framework for delineating climate change-responsive seed transfer guidelines, which are

  20. The thickness of cover sequences in the Western Desert of Iraq from a power spectrum analysis of gravity and magnetic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousa, Ahmed; Mickus, Kevin; Al-Rahim, Ali

    2017-05-01

    The Western Desert of Iraq is part of the stable shelf region on the Arabian Plate where the subsurface structural makeup is relatively unknown due to the lack of cropping out rocks, deep drill holes and deep seismic refraction and reflection profiles. To remedy this situation, magnetic and gravity data were analyzed to determine the thickness of the Phanerozoic cover sequences. The 2-D power spectrum method was used to estimate the depth to density and magnetic susceptibility interfaces by using 0.5° square windows. Additionally, the gravity data were analyzed using isostatic residual and decompensative methods to isolate gravity anomalies due to upper crustal density sources. The decompensative gravity anomaly and the differentially reduced to the pole magnetic map indicate a series of mainly north-south and northwest-southeast trending maxima and minima anomalies related to Proterozoic basement lithologies and the varying thickness of cover sequences. The magnetic and gravity derived thickness of cover sequences maps indicate that these thicknesses range from 4.5 to 11.5 km. Both maps in general are in agreement but more detail in the cover thicknesses was determined by the gravity analysis. The gravity-based cover thickness maps indicates regions with shallower depths than the magnetic-based cover thickness t map which may be due to density differences between limestone and shale units within the Paleozoic sediments. The final thickness maps indicate that the Western Desert is a complicated region of basins and uplifts that are more complex than have been shown on previous structural maps of the Western Desert. These basins and uplifts may be related to Paleozoic compressional tectonic events and possibly to the opening of the Tethys Ocean. In addition, petroleum exploration could be extended to three basins outlined by our analysis within the relatively unexplored western portions of the Western Desert.

  1. Desert dust is a risk factor for the incidence of acute myocardial infarction in Western Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsukawa, Ryuichi; Michikawa, Takehiro; Ueda, Kayo; Nitta, Hiroshi; Kawasaki, Tomohiro; Tashiro, Hideki; Mohri, Masahiro; Yamamoto, Yusuke

    2014-09-01

    Recently, there has been increasing concern about adverse health effects of exposure to desert dust events. However, the association between dust and the incidence of ischemic heart diseases is unknown. The aim of the present study was to elucidate whether Asian dust (AD), a windblown sand dust originating from mineral soil in China and Mongolia, is associated with the incidence of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We investigated the data regarding hospitalization because of AMI among 3068 consecutive patients from 4 AMI centers in Fukuoka, Japan, and data for AD from April 2003 to December 2010. We applied a time-stratified case-crossover design to examine the association between AD and the incidence of AMI. Using a conditional logistic regression analysis, we estimated the odds ratios of AMI associated with AD after controlling for ambient temperature and relative humidity. The occurrence of AD events 0 to 4 days before the day of admission was significantly associated with the incidence of AMI. In particular, the occurrence of AD 4 days before admission was significantly associated with the onset of AMI. These data suggest that exposure to AD a few days before symptom onset is associated with the incidence of AMI. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

  2. 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

  3. A new Oligocene site with terrestrial mammals and a selachian fauna from Minqar Tibaghbagh, the Western Desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Jan Van Vliet

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available A new fossil site at Minqar Tibaghbagh, east of Siwa, in the Egyptian Western Desert is described. This represents the first place in Egypt outside the Fayum Depression yielding Paleogene, terrestrial mammals. Initial studies indicate the presence of palaeomastodonts, hyracoids, and anthracotheres, presumably early Oligocene in age. As only surface prospecting has been performed, more taxa will almost certainly be discovered in future investigations here and probably also elsewhere in the surroundings. A comparison is made with the most important contemporaneous sites in Libya and Egypt that yield terrestrial mammal remains. The selachian fauna from a higher level in the section confirms the Paleogene age of the subjacent strata. It is compared with selachians faunas from the early Oligocene Eastern Tethys Ocean at other places (the Fayum Depression in Egypt, and sites in Oman and Pakistan, and differs from these sites in being fully marine. Contrary to earlier studies, the open marine mudstones of the Daba’a Formation at Minqar Tibaghbagh are overlain by Paleogene marine sediments of most probably early Oligocene age and not early Miocene marine sediments as previously reported. These strata represent not only a new site with great potential for future finds, but also allows for biostratigraphic correlation.

  4. Implications of high altitude desert dust transport from Western Sahara to Nile Delta during biomass burning season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Anup K; El-Askary, Hesham; Kafatos, Menas

    2010-11-01

    The air over major cities and rural regions of the Nile Delta is highly polluted during autumn which is the biomass burning season, locally known as black cloud. Previous studies have attributed the increased pollution levels during the black cloud season to the biomass or open burning of agricultural waste, vehicular, industrial emissions, and secondary aerosols. However, new multi-sensor observations (column and vertical profiles) from satellites, dust transport models and associated meteorology present a different picture of the autumn pollution. Here we show, for the first time, the evidence of long range transport of dust at high altitude (2.5-6 km) from Western Sahara and its deposition over the Nile Delta region unlike current Models. The desert dust is found to be a major contributor to the local air quality which was previously considered to be due to pollution from biomass burning enhanced by the dominant northerly winds coming from Europe. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 3D slicing of radiogenic heat production in Bahariya Formation, Tut oil field, North-Western Desert, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Alfy, I M; Nabih, M A

    2013-03-01

    A 3D block of radiogenic heat production was constructed from the subsurface total gamma ray logs of Bahariya Formation, Western Desert, Egypt. The studied rocks possess a range of radiogenic heat production varying from 0.21 μWm(-3) to 2.2 μWm(-3). Sandstone rocks of Bahariya Formation have higher radiogenic heat production than the average for crustal sedimentary rocks. The high values of density log of Bahariya Formation indicate the presence of iron oxides which contribute the uranium radioactive ores that increase the radiogenic heat production of these rocks. The average radiogenic heat production produced from the study area is calculated as 6.3 kW. The histogram and cumulative frequency analyses illustrate that the range from 0.8 to 1.2 μWm(-3) is about 45.3% of radiogenic heat production values. The 3D slicing of the reservoir shows that the southeastern and northeastern parts of the study area have higher radiogenic heat production than other parts. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Isolation and characterization of osmotolerant bacteria from thar desert of western Rajasthan (India).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Ramavtar; Manda, Rajni; Gupta, Shikha; Kumar, Sushil; Kumar, Vinod

    2013-12-01

    The Thar Desert harsher environment harbors a limited diversity of life forms due to extreme conditions like low moisture of sandy soils and high soil temperature. In the present study, osmotolerant bacteria from the Thar soils were isolated and characterized. Bacteria were isolated from 20 soil samples (100 g), collected from sand dunes, suspended in water and absolute alcohol. A total of 11 biochemical and morphological tests were carried out for generic identification of bacteria. Osmotic tolerance capacity of isolates was examined on glycerol, NaCI and alcohol; and sequencing of 16S rRNA gene was also performed for bacterial identification. 16S to 23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer analysis (RISA) was done for phylogenetic analysis of isolates. The soil suspended in water contained 2.5 x 10(6) bacteria/g of soil while alcohol suspended soil had 4.4 x 10(4) bacteria/g. The 24 bacterial isolates were found tolerant to 26% glycerol, 14% NaCI and 10% of alcohol, and 22 out of 24 isolates were found Gram positive. The results showed that 45.83% and 41.67% bacteria belong to Bacillus spp. and Corynebacterium spp., respectively, while Acinetobacter spp., Aeromonas spp. and Staphylococcus spp. were in equal proportion (4.16% each). Six isolates were selected for 16S rRNA gene sequencing and five were found 95% similar with Bacillus licheniformis whereas one isolate was identified as B. subtilis. All the isolates showed good growth up to 50 degrees C with gradual reduction on subsequent increment of temperature. Out of 24 isolates, six could survive at 65 degrees C while one isolate could grow at 63 degrees C. Growth kinetic studies revealed that the reduction in generation time in solute(s) and temperature stress was more as compared to generation time in plain medium. This study suggests that virgin sand dunes may be a rich source of bacteria, tolerant to osmotrophic solutes, and can be examined for plant growth promotion activity in agriculture. Moreover, study

  7. Atmospheric aerosols size distribution properties in winter and pre-monsoon over western Indian Thar Desert location

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Panwar, Chhagan, E-mail: chhaganpanwar@gmail.com; Vyas, B. M. [Department of Physics, M.L. Sukhadia University, Udaipur-313001 (India)

    2016-05-06

    The first ever experimental results over Indian Thar Desert region concerning to height integrated aerosols size distribution function in particles size ranging between 0.09 to 2 µm such as, aerosols columnar size distribution (CSD), effective radius (R{sub eff}), integrated content of total aerosols (N{sub t}), columnar content of accumulation and coarse size aerosols particles concentration (N{sub a}) (size < 0.5 µm) and (N{sub c}) (size between 0.5 to 2 µm) have been described specifically during winter (a stable weather condition and intense anthropogenic pollution activity period) and pre-monsoon (intense dust storms of natural mineral aerosols as well as unstable atmospheric weather condition period) at Jaisalmer (26.90°N, 69.90°E, 220 m above surface level (asl)) located in central Thar desert vicinity of western Indian site. The CSD and various derived other aerosols size parameters are retrieved from their average spectral characteristics of Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) from UV to Infrared wavelength spectrum measured from Multi-Wavelength solar Radiometer (MWR). The natures of CSD are, in general, bio-modal character, instead of uniformly distributed character and power law distributions. The observed primary peaks in CSD plots are seen around about 10{sup 13} m{sup 2} μm{sup −1} at radius range 0.09-0.20 µm during both the seasons. But, in winter months, secondary peaks of relatively lower CSD values of 10{sup 10} to 10{sup 11} m{sup 2}/μm{sup −1} occur within a lower radius size range 0.4 to 0.6 µm. In contrast to this, while in dust dominated and hot season, the dominated secondary maxima of the higher CSD of about 10{sup 12} m{sup 2}μm{sup −3} is found of bigger aerosols size particles in a rage of 0.6 to 1.0 µm which is clearly demonstrating the characteristics of higher aerosols laden of bigger size aerosols in summer months relative to their prevailed lower aerosols loading of smaller size aerosols particles (0

  8. Bioprospecting of plant growth promoting psychrotrophic Bacilli from the cold desert of north western Indian Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Ajar Nath; Sachan, Shashwati Ghosh; Verma, Priyanka; Saxena, Anil Kumar

    2016-02-01

    The plant growth promoting psychrotrophic Bacilli were investigated from different sites in north western Indian Himalayas. A total of 247 morphotypes were obtained from different soil and water samples and were grouped into 43 clusters based on 16S rDNA-RFLP analysis with three restriction endonucleases. Sequencing of representative isolates has revealed that these 43 Bacilli belonged to different species of 11 genera viz., Desemzia, Exiguobacterium, Jeotgalicoccus, Lysinibacillus, Paenibacillus, Planococcus, Pontibacillus, Sinobaca, Sporosarcina, Staphylococcus and Virgibacillus. With an aim to develop microbial inoculants that can perform efficiently at low temperatures, all representative isolates were screened for different plant growth promoting traits at low temperatures (5-15 degrees C). Among the strains, variations were observed for production (%) of indole-3-acetic acid (20), ammonia (19), siderophores (11), gibberellic acid (4) and hydrogen cyanide (2); solubilisation (%) of zinc (14), phosphate (13) and potassium (7); 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase activity (6%) and biocontrol activity (4%) against Rhizoctonia solani and Macrophomina phaseolina. Among all the strains, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus muralis, Desemzia incerta, Paenibacillus tylopili and Sporosarcina globispora were found to be potent candidates to be developed as inoculants as they exhibited multiple PGP traits at low temperature.

  9. Sequence stratigraphy of the Maastrichtian-Paleocene succession at the Dakhla Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewaidy, Abdel Galil A.; Farouk, Sherif; Bazeen, Youssef S.

    2017-12-01

    The Maastrichtian-Paleocene succession at the Dakhla Oasis is marked by the presence of a typical Nile Valley Facies represented by the Dakhla and Tarawan formations in Edmonstone and Qur El Malik sections in the central and western parts of the oasis, while a mixed Nile Valley and Garra Al-Arbain facies represented by Dakhla, Kurkur and Tarawan formations in Teneida section in the eastern part of the oasis adjacent to the Abu Tartur Plateau. These sections were examined for their foraminiferal contents, lithologic characters and stratigraphic boundaries. The distribution of foraminifera in the studied sections is variable and inconstant, as the planktonics are concentrated only at certain levels, which may be considered as a time intervals of transgression and maximum flooding surfaces. Eight planktonic biozones are distinguished in this work; of theses two are of Maastrichtain age and six are of Paleocene age. Eight 3rd order depositional sequences are recognized in the studied Maastrichtian-Paleocene succession based on the time stratigraphic boundaries released from the planktonic foraminifera and sea level changes which are released from the paleoecologic interpretations. The distinguished sequences are subdivided into their systems tracts based on the paleobathymetric interpretations of P/B% and benthic biofacies analysis. These sequences are bounded by eight sequence boundaries (SB A - SB H) represented by unconformity surfaces and depositional hiatuses. The correlation of the sequence boundaries of the established depositional sequences with the eustatic sea level curve, suggesting that these depositional sequences were resulted from the interplay of eustatic sea-level changes and local tectonic activities.

  10. Static reservoir modeling of the Bahariya reservoirs for the oilfields development in South Umbarka area, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Fattah, Mohamed I.; Metwalli, Farouk I.; Mesilhi, El Sayed I.

    2018-02-01

    3D static reservoir modeling of the Bahariya reservoirs using seismic and wells data can be a relevant part of an overall strategy for the oilfields development in South Umbarka area (Western Desert, Egypt). The seismic data is used to build the 3D grid, including fault sticks for the fault modeling, and horizon interpretations and surfaces for horizon modeling. The 3D grid is the digital representation of the structural geology of Bahariya Formation. When we got a reasonably accurate representation, we fill the 3D grid with facies and petrophysical properties to simulate it, to gain a more precise understanding of the reservoir properties behavior. Sequential Indicator Simulation (SIS) and Sequential Gaussian Simulation (SGS) techniques are the stochastic algorithms used to spatially distribute discrete reservoir properties (facies) and continuous reservoir properties (shale volume, porosity, and water saturation) respectively within the created 3D grid throughout property modeling. The structural model of Bahariya Formation exhibits the trapping mechanism which is a fault assisted anticlinal closure trending NW-SE. This major fault breaks the reservoirs into two major fault blocks (North Block and South Block). Petrophysical models classified Lower Bahariya reservoir as a moderate to good reservoir rather than Upper Bahariya reservoir in terms of facies, with good porosity and permeability, low water saturation, and moderate net to gross. The Original Oil In Place (OOIP) values of modeled Bahariya reservoirs show hydrocarbon accumulation in economic quantity, considering the high structural dips at the central part of South Umbarka area. The powerful of 3D static modeling technique has provided a considerable insight into the future prediction of Bahariya reservoirs performance and production behavior.

  11. Assessment of waterlogging in agricultural megaprojects in the closed drainage basins of the Western Desert of Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Bastawesy, M.; Ramadan Ali, R.; Faid, A.; El Osta, M.

    2013-04-01

    This paper investigates the development of waterlogging in the cultivated and arable areas within typical dryland closed drainage basins (e.g. the Farafra and Baharia Oases), which are located in the Western Desert of Egypt. Multi-temporal remote sensing data of the Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) were collected and processed to detect the land cover changes; cultivations, and the extent of water ponds and seepage channels. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM) has been processed to delineate the catchment morphometrical parameters (i.e. drainage networks, catchment divides and surface areas of different basins) and to examine the spatial distribution of cultivated fields and their relation to the extracted drainage networks. The soil of these closed drainage basins is mainly shallow and lithic with high calcium carbonate content; therefore, the downward percolation of excess irrigation water is limited by the development of subsurface hardpan, which also saturates the upper layer of soil with water. The subsurface seepage from the newly cultivated areas in the Farafra Oasis has revealed the pattern of buried alluvial channels, which are waterlogged and outlined by the growth of diagnostic saline shrubs. Furthermore, the courses of these waterlogged channels are coinciding with their counterparts of the SRTM DEM, and the recent satellite images show that the surface playas in the downstream of these channels are partially occupied by water ponds. On the other hand, a large water pond has occupied the main playa and submerged the surrounding fields, as a large area has been cultivated within a relatively small closed drainage basin in the Baharia Oasis. The geomorphology of closed drainage basins has to be considered when planning for a new cultivation in dryland catchments to better control waterlogging hazards. The "dry-drainage" concept can be implemented as the drainage and seepage water can be

  12. A new species of the neopterygian fish Enchodus from the Duwi Formation, Campanian, Late Cretaceous, Western Desert, central Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waymon L. Holloway

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The neopterygian fish Enchodus was a widespread, speciose genus consisting of approximately 30 recognized species that were temporally distributed from the late Early Cretaceous through the Paleocene. Many Enchodus specimens are fragmentary cranial remains or isolated dental elements, as is the case for previously reported occurrences in Egypt. Here, we present the most complete specimen of Enchodus recovered from the Late Cretaceous of northeast Africa. The specimen was collected from the upper Campanian Duwi Formation, near the village of Tineida (Dakhla Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt. The new species, Enchodus tineidae sp. nov., consists of right and left dentaries, a partial ectopterygoid, and other cranial bones. The size of the specimen places it into the upper body-size range for the genus. The palatine tooth, an element often useful for diagnosing Enchodus to the species level, is not preserved, but a combination of other cranial characters supports the referral of this specimen to Enchodus. In particular, the dentary preserves three symphysial rostroventral prongs and two tooth rows, the lateral of which consists of small denticles, whereas the medial row comprises large, mediolaterally-compressed teeth. The rostral-most tooth exhibits the highest crown, whereas the rest of the teeth are of lower, variable crown heights. The eight robust, caudal-most medial-row teeth are distributed in a cluster pattern never before observed in Enchodus. Additionally, the dentary and preopercle are both without dermal ornamentation, and the mandibular sensory canal is closed. Phylogenetic analysis recovers this new species as the sister species to E. dirus from North America. Along with previously described materials from Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Italy, Morocco, and Libya, this specimen represents a thirteenth species from the northwestern Tethyan geographic distribution of Enchodus.

  13. Combining molecular-marker and chemical analysis of Capparis decidua (Capparaceae) in the Thar Desert of Western Rajasthan (india).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sushil; Sharma, Ramavtar; Kumar, Vinod; Vyas, Govind K; Rathore, Abhishek

    2013-03-01

    The Thar Desert, a very inhospitable place, accommodates only plant species that survive acute drought, unpredictable precipitation, and those can grow in the limited moisture of sandy soils. Capparis decidua is among one of the few plants able to grow well under these conditions. This species is highly exploited and has been naturally taken, as local people use it for various purposes like food, timber and fuel, although, no management or conservation efforts have been established. The present study was conducted in this arid area of Western Rajasthan (India) with the aim to obtain preliminary molecular information about this group of plants. We evaluated diversity among 46 samples of C. decidua using chemical parameters and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Fourteen chemical parameters and eight minerals (total 22 variables) of this species fruits were estimated. A total of 14 RAPD primers produced 235 band positions, of which 81.27% were polymorphic. Jaccard's similarity coefficients for RAPD primers ranged from 0.34 to 0.86 with a mean genetic similarity of 0.50. As per observed coefficient of variation, NDF (Neutral Detergent Fiber) content was found to be the most variable trait followed by starch and soluble carbohydrate. The Manhattan dissimilarity coefficient values for chemical parameters ranged between 0.02-0.31 with an average of 0.092. The present study revealed a very low correlation (0.01) between chemical parameters and RAPD-based matrices. The low correlation between chemical- and RAPD-based matrices indicated that the two methods were different and highly variable. The chemical-based diversity will assist in selection of nutritionally rich samples for medicinal purpose, while genetic diversity to face natural challenges and find sustainable ways to promote conservation for future use.

  14. Assessment of waterlogging in agricultural megaprojects in the closed drainage basins of the Western Desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. El Bastawesy

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the development of waterlogging in the cultivated and arable areas within typical dryland closed drainage basins (e.g. the Farafra and Baharia Oases, which are located in the Western Desert of Egypt. Multi-temporal remote sensing data of the Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM and Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+ were collected and processed to detect the land cover changes; cultivations, and the extent of water ponds and seepage channels. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM digital elevation model (DEM has been processed to delineate the catchment morphometrical parameters (i.e. drainage networks, catchment divides and surface areas of different basins and to examine the spatial distribution of cultivated fields and their relation to the extracted drainage networks. The soil of these closed drainage basins is mainly shallow and lithic with high calcium carbonate content; therefore, the downward percolation of excess irrigation water is limited by the development of subsurface hardpan, which also saturates the upper layer of soil with water. The subsurface seepage from the newly cultivated areas in the Farafra Oasis has revealed the pattern of buried alluvial channels, which are waterlogged and outlined by the growth of diagnostic saline shrubs. Furthermore, the courses of these waterlogged channels are coinciding with their counterparts of the SRTM DEM, and the recent satellite images show that the surface playas in the downstream of these channels are partially occupied by water ponds. On the other hand, a large water pond has occupied the main playa and submerged the surrounding fields, as a large area has been cultivated within a relatively small closed drainage basin in the Baharia Oasis. The geomorphology of closed drainage basins has to be considered when planning for a new cultivation in dryland catchments to better control waterlogging hazards. The "dry-drainage" concept can be implemented as the drainage and

  15. Palynostratigraphy and paleoenvironmental significance of the Cretaceous succession in the Gebel Rissu-1 well, north Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Beialy, Salah; El-Soughier, Maher; Mohsen, Sayed Abdel; El Atfy, Haytham

    2011-02-01

    Palynological investigation of the Cretaceous Abu Roash, Bahariya, Kharita, Alamein, Alam El Bueib and Betty formations, encountered in the Gebel Rissu-1 well, north Western Desert, Egypt yielded 27 species of pteridophytic spores, 24 of gymnosperm pollen, 25 of angiosperm pollen and 11 of dinoflagellate cysts in addition to some acritarchs, foraminiferal test linings and freshwater algae. This enabled us to recognize five miospore biozones arranged from youngest to oldest as: Classopollis brasiliensis- Afropollis cf. kahramanensis- Dichastopollenites ghazalataensis Assemblage Zone (Late Cenomanian); Elaterosporites klaszii- Sofrepites legouxae- Afropollis jardinus Assemblage Zone (Middle/Late Albian-Early Cenomanian); Pennipollis peroreticulatus- Duplexisporites generalis-Tricolpates Assemblage Zone (Early Aptian-Early Albian); Tucanopollis crisopolensis- Afropollis sp. Assemblage Zone (Barremian) and Appendicisporites cf. tricornitatus- Ephedripites spp. Assemblage Zone (Late Neocomian). The Early Cretaceous Kharita, Alam El Bueib and the Betty formations encountered in the Gebel Rissu-1 well are interpreted to indicate oxic proximal and distal shelf deposits, characterized by type III/IV, V kerogen, which is gas prone but having little potential to produce hydrocarbons. The Upper Cretaceous Abu Roash and Bahariya formations are characterized by a distal suboxic-anoxic and marginal dysoxic-anoxic environment, and their kerogen type III/II indicates gas/oil prone nature. The Bahariya and Kharita Albian-Cenomanian sediments in the present study witnessed the onset of a semi-arid to arid climate, with local or seasonal humid conditions, based on the continuous high abundance of the elaterates pollen and Afropollis-producing plants that inhabited the paleotropical humid coastal plains.

  16. Audio-magnetotelluric surveys to constrain the origin of a network of narrow synclines in Eocene limestone, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarabees, Elhamy A.; Tewksbury, Barbara J.; Mehrtens, Charlotte J.; Younis, Abdellatif

    2017-12-01

    Recent work with high resolution satellite imagery has revealed a network of narrow synclines developed during the Oligocene or Miocene over tens of thousands of square kilometers in Eocene limestone of the Thebes Group in the Western Desert of Egypt. The synclines are non-tectonic, and their scale and geometry strongly resemble sag synclines in Qatar that were produced by dissolution of subsurface evaporites and resulting sag of overlying layers. Evaporite dissolution cannot explain the Egypt synclines, because subsurface evaporites of any significance have never been reported in this part of Egypt. In this study, we use audio-magnetotelluric surveys to illuminate the subsurface under the synclines in order to constrain possible models for their formation. We suspected karst dissolution at depth, and, given a modern water table depth of over 400 m, we expected that dry fracture networks and void spaces under the synclines might result in higher electrical resistivities than surrounding coherent limestone. We also anticipated a significant change from high to low resistivity at the contact between the Thebes Group and the underlying Esna Shale at depths of 400 m or more. Instead, we found localized low resistivity zones extending from about 50-100 m below the surface to depths of more than 400 m that are strongly correlated with synclines. We suggest that these localized low resistivity zones are filled with artesian groundwater that has insufficient hydraulic head to rise to the modern topographic surface and that is localized in subsurface voids and collapse breccias produced by dissolution. Sag of overlying limestone layers is a reasonable model for syncline formation but, given the Oligocene/Miocene age of the synclines, dissolution and sag would be unrelated to young groundwater processes.

  17. Methanogens at the top of the world: occurrence and potential activity of methanogens in newly deglaciated soils in high-altitude cold deserts in the Western Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin eAschenbach

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Methanogens typically occur in reduced anoxic environments. However, in recent studies it has been shown that many aerated upland soils, including desert soils also host active methanogens. Here we show that soil samples from high–altitude cold deserts in the western Himalayas (Ladakh, India produce CH4 after incubation as slurry under anoxic conditions at rates comparable to those of hot desert soils. Samples of matured soil from three different vegetation belts (arid, steppe, and subnival were compared with younger soils originating from frontal and lateral moraines of receding glaciers. While methanogenic rates were higher in the samples from matured soils, CH4 was also produced in the samples from the recently deglaciated moraines. In both young and matured soils, those covered by a biological soil crust (biocrust were more active than their bare counterparts. Isotopic analysis showed that in both cases CH4 was initially produced from H2/CO2 but later mostly from acetate. Analysis of the archaeal community in the in situ soil samples revealed a clear dominance of sequences related to Thaumarchaeota, while the methanogenic community comprised only a minor fraction of the archaeal community. Similar to other aerated soils, the methanogenic community was comprised almost solely of the genera Methanosarcina and Methanocella, and possibly also Methanobacterium in some cases. Nevertheless, approximately 103 gdw-1 soil methanogens were already present in the young moraine soil together with cyanobacteria. Our results demonstrate that Methanosarcina and Methanocella not only tolerate atmospheric oxygen but are also able to survive in these harsh cold environments. Their occurrence in newly deglaciated soils shows that they are early colonisers of desert soils, similar to cyanobacteria, and may play a role in the development of desert biocrusts.

  18. Methanogens at the top of the world: occurrence and potential activity of methanogens in newly deglaciated soils in high-altitude cold deserts in the Western Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aschenbach, Katrin; Conrad, Ralf; Reháková, Klára; Doležal, Jiří; Janatková, Kateřina; Angel, Roey

    2013-01-01

    Methanogens typically occur in reduced anoxic environments. However, in recent studies it has been shown that many aerated upland soils, including desert soils also host active methanogens. Here we show that soil samples from high-altitude cold deserts in the western Himalayas (Ladakh, India) produce CH4 after incubation as slurry under anoxic conditions at rates comparable to those of hot desert soils. Samples of matured soil from three different vegetation belts (arid, steppe, and subnival) were compared with younger soils originating from frontal and lateral moraines of receding glaciers. While methanogenic rates were higher in the samples from matured soils, CH4 was also produced in the samples from the recently deglaciated moraines. In both young and matured soils, those covered by a biological soil crust (biocrust) were more active than their bare counterparts. Isotopic analysis showed that in both cases CH4 was initially produced from H2/CO2 but later mostly from acetate. Analysis of the archaeal community in the in situ soil samples revealed a clear dominance of sequences related to Thaumarchaeota, while the methanogenic community comprised only a minor fraction of the archaeal community. Similar to other aerated soils, the methanogenic community was comprised almost solely of the genera Methanosarcina and Methanocella, and possibly also Methanobacterium in some cases. Nevertheless, ~10(3) gdw(-1) soil methanogens were already present in the young moraine soil together with cyanobacteria. Our results demonstrate that Methanosarcina and Methanocella not only tolerate atmospheric oxygen but are also able to survive in these harsh cold environments. Their occurrence in newly deglaciated soils shows that they are early colonizers of desert soils, similar to cyanobacteria, and may play a role in the development of desert biocrusts.

  19. The eco-epidemiology of Triatoma infestans in the temperate Monte Desert ecoregion of mid-western Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Laura Carbajal-de-la-Fuente

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND The eco-epidemiological status of Chagas disease in the Monte Desert ecoregion of western Argentina is largely unknown. We investigated the environmental and socio-demographic determinants of house infestation with Triatoma infestans, bug abundance, vector infection with Trypanosoma cruzi and host-feeding sources in a well-defined rural area of Lavalle Department in the Mendoza province. METHODS Technical personnel inspected 198 houses for evidence of infestation with T. infestans, and the 76 houses included in the current study were re-inspected. In parallel with the vector survey, an environmental and socio-demographic survey was also conducted. Univariate risk factor analysis for domiciliary infestation was carried out using Firth penalised logistic regression. We fitted generalised linear models for house infestation and bug abundance. Blood meals were tested with a direct ELISA assay, and T. cruzi infection was determined using a hot-start polymerase chain reaction (PCR targeting the kinetoplast minicircle (kDNA-PCR. FINDINGS The households studied included an aged population living in precarious houses whose main economic activities included goat husbandry. T. infestans was found in 21.2% of 198 houses and in 55.3% of the 76 re-inspected houses. Peridomestic habitats exhibited higher infestation rates and bug abundances than did domiciles, and goat corrals showed high levels of infestation. The main host-feeding sources were goats. Vector infection was present in 10.2% of domiciles and 3.2% of peridomiciles. Generalised linear models showed that peridomestic infestation was positively and significantly associated with the presence of mud walls and the abundance of chickens and goats, and bug abundance increased with the number of all hosts except rabbits. MAIN CONCLUSIONS We highlight the relative importance of specific peridomestic structures (i.e., goat corrals and chicken coops associated with construction materials and host

  20. The eco-epidemiology of Triatoma infestans in the temperate Monte Desert ecoregion of mid-western Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbajal-de-la-Fuente, Ana Laura; Provecho, Yael Mariana; Fernández, María Del Pilar; Cardinal, Marta Victoria; Lencina, Patricia; Spillmann, Cynthia; Gürtler, Ricardo Esteban

    2017-10-01

    The eco-epidemiological status of Chagas disease in the Monte Desert ecoregion of western Argentina is largely unknown. We investigated the environmental and socio-demographic determinants of house infestation with Triatoma infestans, bug abundance, vector infection with Trypanosoma cruzi and host-feeding sources in a well-defined rural area of Lavalle Department in the Mendoza province. Technical personnel inspected 198 houses for evidence of infestation with T. infestans, and the 76 houses included in the current study were re-inspected. In parallel with the vector survey, an environmental and socio-demographic survey was also conducted. Univariate risk factor analysis for domiciliary infestation was carried out using Firth penalised logistic regression. We fitted generalised linear models for house infestation and bug abundance. Blood meals were tested with a direct ELISA assay, and T. cruzi infection was determined using a hot-start polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the kinetoplast minicircle (kDNA-PCR). The households studied included an aged population living in precarious houses whose main economic activities included goat husbandry. T. infestans was found in 21.2% of 198 houses and in 55.3% of the 76 re-inspected houses. Peridomestic habitats exhibited higher infestation rates and bug abundances than did domiciles, and goat corrals showed high levels of infestation. The main host-feeding sources were goats. Vector infection was present in 10.2% of domiciles and 3.2% of peridomiciles. Generalised linear models showed that peridomestic infestation was positively and significantly associated with the presence of mud walls and the abundance of chickens and goats, and bug abundance increased with the number of all hosts except rabbits. We highlight the relative importance of specific peridomestic structures (i.e., goat corrals and chicken coops) associated with construction materials and host abundance as sources of persistent bug infestation driving

  1. A mast-seeding desert shrub regulates population dynamics and behavior of its heteromyid dispersers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janene Auger; Susan E. Meyer; Stephen H. Jenkins

    2016-01-01

    Granivorous rodent populations in deserts are primarily regulated through precipitation-driven resource pulses rather than pulses associated with mast-seeding, a pattern more common in mesic habitats. We studied heteromyid responses to mast-seeding in the desert shrub blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), a regionally dominant species in the Mojave–Great Basin...

  2. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems - Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S [UNR; Smith, Stanley D [UNLV; Evans, Dave [WSU; Ogle, Kiona [ASU; Fenstermaker, Lynn [DRI

    2012-12-13

    Our results from the 10-year elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration study at the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) indicate that the Mojave Desert is a dynamic ecosystem with the capacity to respond quickly to environmental changes. The Mojave Desert ecosystem is accumulating carbon (C), and over the 10-year experiment, C accumulation was significantly greater under elevated [CO{sub 2}] than under ambient, despite great fluctuations in C inputs from year to year and even apparent reversals in which [CO{sub 2}] treatment had greater C accumulations.

  3. 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....

  4. The formation of the patterns of desert shrub communities on the Western Ordos Plateau, China: the roles of seed dispersal and sand burial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yange; Yang, Xiaohui; Shi, Zhongjie

    2013-01-01

    The western Ordos Plateau is a key area of shrub diversity and a National Nature Reserve of endangered shrub species in north-west China. Desert expansion is becoming the most important threat to these endangered species. However, little is known about the effects of sand burial on the dynamics of the shrub community. This study aims to investigate how the shrubs as a community and as different individual shrubs respond to the disturbances caused by the desert expansion. The approach used by this study is to separate the seed-dispersal strategy from the sand-burial forces that are involved in structuring the shrub communities at different disturbance stages. Four communities for different disturbance stages were surveyed by using 50×50 m plots. The individual shrubs were classified into coloniser and successor groups at the seed-dispersal stage and strong and weak sand-burial tolerance groups at the sand-expansion stage. We employed spatial point pattern analysis with null models for each community to examine the seed-dispersal strategy and sand-burial forces affecting community distribution patterns. At the seed-dispersal stage, the interactions between the colonisers and the successors showed significant positive correlation at a scale of 0-1 m and significant negative correlation at a scale of 2 m; significant negative correlations between the groups with strong and weak sand-burial tolerance in the early stage of sand expansion at scales of 3-6 m, and significant positive correlation in the later stage of sand expansion at a scale of 13 m, were found. Seed-dispersal strategy is a reasonable mechanism to explain the shrub community pattern formation in the earlier stages, whereas sand burial is the primary reason for the disappearance of shrubs with weak sand-burial tolerance, this irreversible disturbance causes homogenisation of the community structure and produces aging populations of shrub species. This has an important influence on the succession direction

  5. A potential predator-prey interaction of an American badger and an Agassiz's desert tortoise with a review of badger predation on turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Amanda L.; Puffer, Shellie R.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Tennant, Laura A.; Arundel, Terry; Vamstad, Michael S.; Brundige, Kathleen D.

    2016-01-01

    The federally threatened Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) was listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1990, but thus far, recovery efforts have been unsuccessful (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS] 2015). Predation has been identified as a contributing factor to declining G. agassizii populations range-wide (e.g., Esque et al. 2010, Lovich et al. 2014). Understanding and managing for predator-prey dynamics is thus an important part of the recovery and conservation of this threatened species (USFWS 2011). Desert tortoises have a host of predators at all stages of their life cycle. Over 20 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles have been recorded as known or suspected predators (Woodbury and Hardy 1948, Luckenbach 1982, Ernst and Lovich 2009). American badgers (Taxidea taxus, family: Mustelidae) are confirmed excavators of desert tortoise nests (Turner and Berry 1984). They are also suspected predators of adult desert tortoises, a possibility which has been presented in some studies but without empirical verification (Luckenbach 1982, Turner and Berry 1984). Active mostly at night, badgers are solitary, secretive predators (Lindzey 1978, 1982; Armitage 2004) that are extremely difficult to observe in predatory encounters. Recently, strong circumstantial evidence presented by Emblidge et al. (2015) suggests that badgers do prey on adult Agassiz’s desert tortoises based on observations of more than two dozen dead tortoises in the Western Mojave Desert of California. In this note, we present another case of potential badger predation on a large adult desert tortoise in the Sonoran Desert of California. Collectively, these recent two cases potentially indicate that badger predation may be more common and widespread than previously thought. In addition, we review the worldwide literature of badger predation on turtles in general and summarize reported badger observations in Joshua Tree National Park, where our observation occurred, over a

  6. Studies on the nutritional status of children aged 0-5 years in a drought-affected desert area of western Rajasthan, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Madhu B; Fotedar, Ranjana; Lakshminarayana, J; Anand, P K

    2006-12-01

    The present study was undertaken to assess the impact of drought on the nutritional status of pre-school children aged 0-5 years from a rural population in a desert area facing drought conditions very frequently. The sampling design for assessment was the three-stage sampling technique. The study was carried out in 24 villages belonging to six tehsils (sub-units of district) of Jodhpur District, a drought-affected desert district of western Rajasthan, during a drought in 2003. A total of 914 children were examined at household level, with nutritional status assessed by anthropometry, dietary intake and clinical signs of nutritional deficiency. The results revealed growth retardation. Stunting (malnutrition of long duration) was observed in 53% of children and underweight in 60%. Wasting, an indicator of short-duration malnutrition, was present in 28% of children. The extent of malnutrition was significantly higher in girls than boys (Plivestock losses and reduced harvests, leading to increased poverty and poor food intake of the inhabitants. Due to inadequate consumption of daily food the children were suffering from wasting and PEM. Efforts should be made to incorporate measures, such as ensuring the supply of adequate energy and protein to all age groups and especially pre-school children, into ongoing nutrition programmes in order to improve the food security of local inhabitants in this area.

  7. Cumulative biological impacts framework for solar energy projects in the California Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Frank W.; Kreitler, Jason R.; Soong, Oliver; Stoms, David M.; Dashiell, Stephanie; Hannah, Lee; Wilkinson, Whitney; Dingman, John

    2013-01-01

    This project developed analytical approaches, tools and geospatial data to support conservation planning for renewable energy development in the California deserts. Research focused on geographical analysis to avoid, minimize and mitigate the cumulative biological effects of utility-scale solar energy development. A hierarchical logic model was created to map the compatibility of new solar energy projects with current biological conservation values. The research indicated that the extent of compatible areas is much greater than the estimated land area required to achieve 2040 greenhouse gas reduction goals. Species distribution models were produced for 65 animal and plant species that were of potential conservation significance to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan process. These models mapped historical and projected future habitat suitability using 270 meter resolution climate grids. The results were integrated into analytical frameworks to locate potential sites for offsetting project impacts and evaluating the cumulative effects of multiple solar energy projects. Examples applying these frameworks in the Western Mojave Desert ecoregion show the potential of these publicly-available tools to assist regional planning efforts. Results also highlight the necessity to explicitly consider projected land use change and climate change when prioritizing areas for conservation and mitigation offsets. Project data, software and model results are all available online.

  8. ESR analyses for herbivore teeth and molluscs from Kharga, Dakhleh, and Bir Tarfawi Oases: Constraining water availability and hominin paleolithic activity in the Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackwell, B. A. B.; Skinner, A. R.; Smith, J. R.; Hill, C. L.; Churcher, C. S.; Kieniewicz, J. M.; Adelsberger, K. A.; Blickstein, J. I. B.; Florentin, J. A.; Deely, A. E.; Spillar, K. V.

    2017-12-01

    Today, Bir Tarfawi, Kharga and Dakhleh Oases all sit in Egypt's hyperarid Western Desert. A dearth of naturally occurring surface water coupled with ≤ 0.1 mm/y of precipitation, and evaporation rates > 2 m/y make Bir Tarfawi uninhabitable today, while Dakhleh and Kharga depend on borehole water to support human inhabitation. Yet in scattered locations dotting the Quaternary surfaces and deposits near each oasis, Paleolithic artefacts, fossil ungulate teeth, and snails record times when surface water did exist in wetlands, small ponds, and even large lakes. At Bir Tarfawi in Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5, 7, and 13, wetlands or small lakes supported freshwater snails, large herbivores, and hominins. Dakhleh Oasis hosted a large lake in MIS 6 that provided a deep reliable water supply for many millennia subsequently. ESR dates on fossils and tufa dates show thriving lacustrine and terrestrial ecosystems at Dakhleh during MIS 5, 7, 9, 11, and 17, and in shorter episodes in MIS 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12. At Kharga Oasis, springs discharged along the Libyan Escarpment edge, but the water was ponded in small basins dammed within tufa deposits. These dated deposits and fossils attest that water existed there in MIS 2-11, and one spot dating to ∼ 2.3 Ma. This proxy evidence suggest that, thanks to higher rainfall and/or groundwater tables, sufficient water persisted for much of the Pleistocene, supporting food resources, like large herbivores and molluscs, to thrive and enabling hominin habitation. and activity in the Western Desert.

  9. Combining molecular-marker and chemical analysis of Capparis deciduas (Capparaceae in the Thar Desert of Western Rajasthan (India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sushil Kumar

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Thar Desert, a very inhospitable place, accommodates only plant species that survive acute drought, unpredictable precipitation, and those can grow in the limited moisture of sandy soils. Capparis decidua is among one of the few plants able to grow well under these conditions. This species is highly exploited and has been naturally taken, as local people use it for various purposes like food, timber and fuel, although, no management or conservation efforts have been established. The present study was conducted in this arid area of Western Rajasthan (India with the aim to obtain preliminary molecular information about this group of plants. We evaluated diversity among 46 samples of C. decidua using chemical parameters and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD markers. Fourteen chemical parameters and eight minerals (total 22 variables of this species fruits were estimated. A total of 14 RAPD primers produced 235 band positions, of which 81.27% were polymorphic. Jaccard s similarity coefficients for RAPD primers ranged from 0.34 to 0.86 with a mean genetic similarity of 0.50. As per observed coefficient of variation, NDF (Neutral Detergent Fiber content was found to be the most variable trait followed by starch and soluble carbohydrate. The Manhattan dissimilarity coefficient values for chemical parameters ranged between 0.02-0.31 with an average of 0.092. The present study revealed a very low correlation (0.01 between chemical parameters and RAPD-based matrices. The low correlation between chemical- and RAPD-based matrices indicated that the two methods were different and highly variable. The chemical-based diversity will assist in selection of nutritionally rich samples for medicinal purpose, while genetic diversity to face natural challenges and find sustainable ways to promote conservation for future use.El desierto de Thar, un lugar muy inhóspito, alberga sólo a las especies de plantas capaces de resistir a condiciones de sequ

  10. Bacterial succession within an ephemeral hypereutrophic mojave desert playa lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, J.B.; Moser, D.P.; Flores, A.; Ross, C.; Rosen, Michael R.; Dong, H.; Zhang, G.; Hedlund, B.P.

    2009-01-01

    Ephemerally wet playas are conspicuous features of arid landscapes worldwide; however, they have not been well studied as habitats for microorganisms. We tracked the geochemistry and microbial community in Silver Lake playa, California, over one flooding/desiccation cycle following the unusually wet winter of 2004-2005. Over the course of the study, total dissolved solids increased by 10-fold and pH increased by nearly one unit. As the lake contracted and temperatures increased over the summer, a moderately dense planktonic population of 1 ?????106 cells ml-1 of culturable heterotrophs was replaced by a dense population of more than 1????????109 cells ml-1, which appears to be the highest concentration of culturable planktonic heterotrophs reported in any natural aquatic ecosystem. This correlated with a dramatic depletion of nitrate as well as changes in the microbial community, as assessed by small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequencing of bacterial isolates and uncultivated clones. Isolates from the early-phase flooded playa were primarily Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes, yet clone libraries were dominated by Betaproteobacteria and yet uncultivated Actinobacteria. Isolates from the late-flooded phase ecosystem were predominantly Proteobacteria, particularly alkalitolerant isolates of Rhodobaca, Porphyrobacter, Hydrogenophaga, Alishwenella, and relatives of Thauera; however, clone libraries were composed almost entirely of Synechococcus (Cyanobacteria). A sample taken after the playa surface was completely desiccated contained diverse culturable Actinobacteria typically isolated from soils. In total, 205 isolates and 166 clones represented 82 and 44 species-level groups, respectively, including a wide diversity of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Gemmatimonadetes, Acidobacteria, and Cyanobacteria. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  11. Study of atmospheric scattering and absorbing aerosols at 550 nm over nearby western Indian tropical sites of Thar Desert effected region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vyas, B. M., E-mail: bmvyas@yahoo.com; Saxenna, Abhishek; Panwar, Chhagan [Department of Physics, M.L. Sukhadia University, Udaipur-313001 (India)

    2016-05-06

    The first time experimental results based on spaced satellite observations of different kinds of aerosols properties have been described over two different contrast environmental conditions locations in western tropical Indian region specifically first at Jaisalmer (26.90°N, 69.90°E, 220 m above mean sea level (amsl)) located in central Thar dessert vicinity of western Indian site over Indian Thar Desert region and another at Udaipur (24.6° N, 73.7° E, 560 m amsl) site concerning to semi-urban and semi arid place of hilly areas. The daily values of aerosols optical depth absorption at 500nm (AOD abs 500nm), aerosols optical depth extinction at 500nm (AOD ext 500nm) along with aerosols optical depth at 500nmon (AOD 500nm) of eleven year period from Jan., 2004 to Dec., 2014 are basis of primary database of the present investigation. From the synthesis if the above database and the basis of rigorous statistical approach, following some of interesting facts are noted (i) larger annual monthly AOD variation of 0.93 is noted over JSM when compared to observed annual monthly change in AOD cycle, over UDP, of only 0.50 clearly indicating the more impact of desert influence activities about more than double times over JSM than UDP (ii) The higher abundance of absorbing aerosols occurrences about two time higher are seen in JSM in comparison to UDP. It indicates the clear evidence of strong optical absorption properties of useful solar mid visible wavelength at 550nm as the results of presence of more availability of dust aerosols as mineral natural type in pre-monsoon to post-monsoon over JSM which is also more predominant over JSM than the UDP region located far away from desert activity regime (iii) The greater sharing of extinction solar radiation effect on aerosols are more effective in pre-monsoon in UDP in reference to over JSM, where as in case of UDP, the aerosols effect through the scattering mechanism gradually reduce from monsoon to winter months as compared

  12. Study of atmospheric scattering and absorbing aerosols at 550nm over nearby western Indian tropical sites of Thar Desert effected region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, B. M.; Saxenna, Abhishek; Panwar, Chhagan

    2016-05-01

    The first time experimental results based on spaced satellite observations of different kinds of aerosols properties have been described over two different contrast environmental conditions locations in western tropical Indian region specifically first at Jaisalmer (26.90°N, 69.90°E, 220 m above mean sea level (amsl)) located in central Thar dessert vicinity of western Indian site over Indian Thar Desert region and another at Udaipur (24.6° N, 73.7° E, 560 m amsl) site concerning to semi-urban and semi arid place of hilly areas. The daily values of aerosols optical depth absorption at 500nm (AOD abs 500nm), aerosols optical depth extinction at 500nm (AOD ext 500nm) along with aerosols optical depth at 500nmon (AOD 500nm) of eleven year period from Jan., 2004 to Dec., 2014 are basis of primary database of the present investigation. From the synthesis if the above database and the basis of rigorous statistical approach, following some of interesting facts are noted (i) larger annual monthly AOD variation of 0.93 is noted over JSM when compared to observed annual monthly change in AOD cycle, over UDP, of only 0.50 clearly indicating the more impact of desert influence activities about more than double times over JSM than UDP (ii) The higher abundance of absorbing aerosols occurrences about two time higher are seen in JSM in comparison to UDP. It indicates the clear evidence of strong optical absorption properties of useful solar mid visible wavelength at 550nm as the results of presence of more availability of dust aerosols as mineral natural type in pre-monsoon to post-monsoon over JSM which is also more predominant over JSM than the UDP region located far away from desert activity regime (iii) The greater sharing of extinction solar radiation effect on aerosols are more effective in pre-monsoon in UDP in reference to over JSM, where as in case of UDP, the aerosols effect through the scattering mechanism gradually reduce from monsoon to winter months as compared

  13. The Formation of the Patterns of Desert Shrub Communities on the Western Ordos Plateau, China: The Roles of Seed Dispersal and Sand Burial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yange; Yang, Xiaohui; Shi, Zhongjie

    2013-01-01

    The western Ordos Plateau is a key area of shrub diversity and a National Nature Reserve of endangered shrub species in north-west China. Desert expansion is becoming the most important threat to these endangered species. However, little is known about the effects of sand burial on the dynamics of the shrub community. This study aims to investigate how the shrubs as a community and as different individual shrubs respond to the disturbances caused by the desert expansion. The approach used by this study is to separate the seed-dispersal strategy from the sand-burial forces that are involved in structuring the shrub communities at different disturbance stages. Four communities for different disturbance stages were surveyed by using 50×50 m plots. The individual shrubs were classified into coloniser and successor groups at the seed-dispersal stage and strong and weak sand-burial tolerance groups at the sand-expansion stage. We employed spatial point pattern analysis with null models for each community to examine the seed-dispersal strategy and sand-burial forces affecting community distribution patterns. At the seed-dispersal stage, the interactions between the colonisers and the successors showed significant positive correlation at a scale of 0–1 m and significant negative correlation at a scale of 2 m; significant negative correlations between the groups with strong and weak sand-burial tolerance in the early stage of sand expansion at scales of 3–6 m, and significant positive correlation in the later stage of sand expansion at a scale of 13 m, were found. Seed-dispersal strategy is a reasonable mechanism to explain the shrub community pattern formation in the earlier stages, whereas sand burial is the primary reason for the disappearance of shrubs with weak sand-burial tolerance, this irreversible disturbance causes homogenisation of the community structure and produces aging populations of shrub species. This has an important influence on the succession

  14. 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.

  15. 77 FR 16447 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-21

    ... amendments include Riverside County, Western Mojave Desert, South Coast Air Basin, Eastern Kern County, and... Western Mojave Desert area as a moderate nonattainment area for the 1997 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air...-hour ozone standard. See 75 FR 24409 (May 5, 2010). The Western Mojave Desert was not among the areas...

  16. Morphostructural record of iron deposits in paleosols, cretaceous Nubia Sandstone of Lake Naser basin, Egypt, Western Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.M. Salem

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The use of processed Landsat ETM + images and the application of geomorphotectonic concepts supplemented by extensive geological field work enabled the effective record of iron occurrences in the area located to the west of Lake Nasser. Three clearly newly differentiated landforms are evaluated for the possible presence of iron occurrences. Each landform is controlled by a specific tectonic environment and includes one of the three stratigraphic formations hosting iron deposits in the area. These landforms are: Area 1 (Kurkur landform, including plunging anticlines and domes affecting the Abu Aggag Formation. This formation is unconformably overlain by horizontal sandstone beds belonging to the Temsah Formation. The unconformity surface includes paleosols rich in limonite, crystallized gypsum in the form of roses and clay minerals. Area 2 (Tushka landform extends to the south of the Allaqi fault. The area includes yardangs carved in horizontal sandstone beds interstratified with some hematite bed, in addition to several fragments of hematite and magnetite as wadi deposits and desert varnish. Area 3 (Abu Simbel landform includes conical hills constituted by flattened horizontal beds belonging to the El Burg Formation. Each hill is capped by thick hematite/magnetite beds extending from Tushka to the border with Sudan. The Nubia Sandstone, here, includes three formations, namely: the Abu Aggag, Temsah, and Um Baramil.

  17. Resilience to stress and disturbance, and resistance to Bromus tectorum L. invasion in cold desert shrublands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Bradley, Bethany A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; D'Antonio, Carla; Germino, Matthew J.; Grace, James B.; Hardegree, Stuart P.; Miller, Richard F.; Pyke, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Alien grass invasions in arid and semi-arid ecosystems are resulting in grass–fire cycles and ecosystem-level transformations that severely diminish ecosystem services. Our capacity to address the rapid and complex changes occurring in these ecosystems can be enhanced by developing an understanding of the environmental factors and ecosystem attributes that determine resilience of native ecosystems to stress and disturbance, and resistance to invasion. Cold desert shrublands occur over strong environmental gradients and exhibit significant differences in resilience and resistance. They provide an excellent opportunity to increase our understanding of these concepts. Herein, we examine a series of linked questions about (a) ecosystem attributes that determine resilience and resistance along environmental gradients, (b) effects of disturbances like livestock grazing and altered fire regimes and of stressors like rapid climate change, rising CO2, and N deposition on resilience and resistance, and (c) interacting effects of resilience and resistance on ecosystems with different environmental conditions. We conclude by providing strategies for the use of resilience and resistance concepts in a management context. At ecological site scales, state and transition models are used to illustrate how differences in resilience and resistance influence potential alternative vegetation states, transitions among states, and thresholds. At landscape scales management strategies based on resilience and resistance—protection, prevention, restoration, and monitoring and adaptive management—are used to determine priority management areas and appropriate actions.

  18. The Climate and its Impacts on deterioration and weathering rate of EI-Nadura Temple in El- Kharga Oasis, Western Desert of Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismael, Hossam

    2015-04-01

    Undoubtedly, El-Kharga Oasis monumental sites are considered an important part of our world's cultural heritage in the South Western Desert of Egypt. These sites are scattered on the floor of the oasis representing ancient civilizations. The Roman stone monuments in Kharga represent cultural heritage of an outstanding universal value. Such those monuments have suffered weathering deterioration. There are various elements which affect the weathering process of stone monuments: climate conditions, shapes of cultural heritages, exposed time periods, terrains, and vegetation around them, etc. Among these, climate conditions are the most significant factor affecting the deterioration of Archeological sites in Egypt. El- Kharga Oasis belongs administratively to the New Valley Governorate. It is located in the southern part of the western desert of Egypt, lies between latitudes 22°30'14" and 26°00'00" N, and between 30°27'00" and 30°47'00" E. The area of El Kharga Oasis covers about 7500 square kilometers. Pilot studies were carried out on the EI-Nadura Temple, composed of sandstones originating from the great sand sea. The major objective of this study is to monitor and measure the weathering features and the weathering rate affecting the building stones forming El-Nadora Roman building rocks in cubic cm. To achieve these aims, the present study used analysis of climatic data such as annual and seasonal solar radiation, Monthly average number of hours of sunshine, maximum and minimum air temperatures, wind speed, which have obtained from actual field measurements and data Meteorological Authority of El-Kharga station for the period 1977 to 2010 (33 years), and from the period 1941-2050 (110 years) as a long term of temperature data. Several samples were collected and examined by polarizing microscopy (PLM), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray analysis system (SEM-EDX). The results were in

  19. Mineral evolution and processes of ferruginous microbialite accretion - an example from the Middle Eocene stromatolitic and ooidal ironstones of the Bahariya Depression, Western Desert, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salama, W; El Aref, M M; Gaupp, R

    2013-01-01

    Peritidal ferruginous microbialites form the main bulk of the Middle Eocene ironstone deposits of the Bahariya Depression, Western Desert, Egypt. They include ferruginous stromatolites and microbially coated grains (ferruginous oncoids and ooids). Their internal structures reveal repeated cycles of microbial and Fe oxyhydroxide laminae. The microbial laminae consist of fossilised neutrophilic filamentous iron-oxidising bacteria. These bacteria oxidised the Fe(II)-rich acidic groundwater upon meeting the marine water at an approximately neutral pH. The iron oxyhydroxide laminae were initially precipitated as amorphous iron oxhydroxides and subsequently recrystallised into nanocrystalline goethite during early diagenesis. Organic remains such as proteinaceous compounds, lipids, carbohydrates and carotenoids are preserved and can be identified by Raman spectroscopy. The ferruginous microbialites were subjected to post-depositional subaerial weathering associated with sea-level retreat and subsurface alteration by continued ascent of the Fe(II)-rich acidic groundwater. At this stage, another iron-oxidising bacterial generation prevailed in the acidic environment. The acidity of the groundwater was caused by oxidation of pyrite in the underlying Cenomanian Bahariya formation. The positive iron isotopic ratios and presence of ferrous and ferric iron sulphates may result from partial iron oxidation along the redox boundary in an oxygen-depleted environment. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. High frequency peritidal cycles in the lower member of the Late Cretaceous (Turonian, Coniasian-Santonian) El Hefhuf Formation, Bahariya Oases, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalifa, M. A.; Tanner, Lawrence H.

    2017-06-01

    Carbonate lithofacies of the lower member of the El Hefhuf Formation (Turonian, Coniasian-Santonian) in the Bahariya Oases, Western Desert of Egypt comprise dolostone, burrowed dolostone, cherty dolostone, calcareous dedolostone, dolomitic quartzose lime-mudstone, and caliche. The dolostone and cherty dolostone formed in intertidal to supratidal environments, while dedolostone and caliche were formed during subaerial exposure. The dolomitic quartzose lime-mudstone was deposited in a restricted subtidal environment. Stable isotope analyses of the dolostone lithofacies are consistent with dolomitization by normal marine to evaporatively enriched dolomitizing fluids with only slight mixing of meteoric water. Therefore, dolomitization occurred in the intertidal and supratidal environments immediately following deposition. The dolostone and cherty dolostone lithofacies display pronounced cyclicity at the sub-meter scale, with individual cycles consisting of one (monolithic), two (diad) or at most three (triad) lithofacies. Most of all cycles show evidence of subaerial exposure at the top, such as brecciations, and many cycles are capped by calcareous palaeosol layers (caliche). In the absence of evidence for cycle periods at Milankovitch-scale frequencies, we reject orbital forcing as the cause of the cyclicity and suggest instead autocyclic depositional processes in the peritidal environment as the primary control on cyclicity, possibly modified by eustatic fluctuations at periods longer than the cycles recorded here. The significance of this study is to suggest formation of dolomite cycles due to high-frequency in sea level with intermittent subaerial exposure.

  1. Reservoir quality using the routine core analysis data of Abu Roash ;C; in Badr El Din-15 oil field, Abu Gharadig basin, north Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barakat, Moataz Kh.; Nooh, Ahmed Z.

    2017-05-01

    The Abu Gharadig basin is one of the most prolific basins in the northern part of the Western Desert, Egypt. It has attracted the attention of many geologists and geophysicists for oil and gas exploration. This is due to existence of the huge subsurface sedimentary section in the basin which includes important thickness of reservoir rocks. The study area occupies the northwestern part of Abu Gharadig basin between latitudes 29° 45‧ and 30° 05‧ N, and longitudes 27° 30‧ and 28° 10‧ E. The present work deals with the routine core analysis for petrophysical evaluation of the Abu Roash ;C; Member. The available core samples belong to BED 15-3 and BED 15-7 wells in BED 15 oil field. The conventional core analyses include laboratory measurement of density (grain and bulk), helium porosity and permeability (horizontal and vertical). The core analysis data indicate that Abu Roash ;C; Member in BED-15 oil field is characterized by good reservoir quality due to high values of porosity and permeability. The statistical analysis of core data can be used to generate new relations which help to determine one petrophysical parameters in term of other.

  2. Alluvial flash-flood stratigraphy of a large dryland river: the Luni River, Thar Desert, Western India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carling, Paul; Leclair, Suzanne; Robinson, Ruth

    2017-04-01

    Detailed descriptions of the fluvial architecture of large dryland rivers are few, which hinders the understanding of stratigraphic development in aggradational settings. The aim of this study was to obtain new generic insight of the fluvial dynamics and resultant stratigraphy of such a river. The novelty of this investigation is that an unusually extensive and deep section across a major active dryland river was logged and the dated stratigraphy related to the behaviour of the discharge regimen. The results should help improve understanding of the stratigraphic development in modern dryland rivers and in characterizing oil, gas and groundwater reservoirs in the dryland geological record more generally. The Luni River is the largest river in the Thar desert, India, but yet details of the channel stratigraphy are sparse. Discharges can reach 14,000 m3s-1 but the bed is dry most of the year. GPS positioning and mm-resolution surveys within a 700m long, 5m deep trench enabled logging and photography of the strata associations, dated using optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL). The deposits consist of planar, sandy, upper-stage plane bed lamination and low-angle stratification, sandwiching less-frequent dune trough cross-sets. Mud clasts are abundant at any elevation. Water-ripple cross-sets or silt-clay layers occur rarely, usually near the top of sections. Aeolian dune cross-sets also appear sparsely at higher elevations. Consequently, the majority of preserved strata are due to supercritical flows. Localized deep scour causes massive collapse and soft-sediment deformation. Scour holes are infilled by rapidly-deposited massive sands adjacent to older bedded-deposits. Within bedform phase diagrams, estimated hydraulic parameters indicate a dominance of the upper-stage plane bed state, but the presence of dune cross-sets is also related to the flood hydrograph. Repeated deep scour results in units of deposition of different OSL ages (50 to 500 years BP) found at

  3. CALCULATION OF WATER BALANCE FOR THE SOUTH DESERT AREA OF WESTERN SIBERIA BY INTERNATIONAL MONITORING NETWORK DATA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Meissner

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of the water balance is not only of great practical importance, but also of interest from the standpoint of basic science for the researchers of the steppe zone, which has traditionally attracted people for its climate and soil resources. The article presents the results obtained from a network of automatic stations deployed in the framework of the Russian-German scientific cooperation in the field of climate, soil, and hydrological monitoring for 2012-2015. The instrumental data were obtained and the method of soil water balance calculation was performed on the basis of data of automatic weather station observations and lysimetric stations of new generation in the conditions of Western Siberia.

  4. POPULATION STRUCTURE OF THE RED-SPOTTED TOAD, BUFO PUNCTATUS, IN A NATURALLY FRAGMENTED DESERT LANDSCAPE

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated the spatial scale at which genetic structure of Bufo punctatus within the MojaveDesert is organized by sequencing a portion of mitochondrial DNA control region for 831 toadscollected from 43 sites around Las Vegas, Nevada. We grouped these collecti...

  5. Characterization of magnetic spherical fractions in sand deposits for interpretation of environmental change around the El- Zayyan temple, Kharga Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Makiko; Koizumi, Natsuko; Kato, Sayuri; Kikuchi, Ryohei; Kamei, Hiroyuki

    2014-05-01

    Desertification in North Africa has rapidly advanced over the last 6,000 years. Such environmental changes began in the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt (4200 - 3150 BC), and the occupation of Achaemenid Persian and Roman cultures in Egypt occurred under even drier climates. Kharga is the largest oasis of the five oases, located in the western desert of Egypt that contains a treasure trove of archaeological resources. This oasis has been highlighted to promote resource exploration and development of archaeological tourism since the 1980's. The El-Zayyan temple is located 27 km south of the central Kharga oasis. Zayyan was once called 'Tchonemyris', which has connection with the means of 'huge well' in Greek. Although major portions of the temple were rebuilt in 140 AD during the rule of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, this temple is considered to be originally built in the Ptolemaic period (4c-1c BC). It is likely that the area had a sufficient water supply in the past as the El-Zayyan temple stands at the lowest point (-18 m a.s.l.) in the Kharga oasis. Furthermore, the El-Ghueita temple that stands on a hill top at 68.5 m a.s.l., 4 km northward from the El-Zayyan temple, has given name that means 'beautiful garden' in Greek. From these facts, we can imagine that the past landscape of this area contained green surroundings. The El-Ghueita temple was well known as a production centre of high quality wine since the mid-Dynastic age (2050 -1786 BC). As this area is currently arid, it is expected that there were irrigation facilities to maintain the vast farm land during the ancient period. To deepen our knowledge of how people developed their technologies and conducted their life within the natural environment of a drastic drying period, understanding the process of environmental change on a region scale is necessary. The aim of this study was to extract proxies from sand deposits in the western desert area to estimate the change in the environment. We examined the

  6. The Climate and Its Impacts on Egyptian Civilized Heritage: Ei-Nadura Temple in El- Kharga Oasis, Western Desert of Egypt As a Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossam Ismael

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Undoubtedly, El-Kharga Oasis monumental sites are considered an important part of our world´s cultural heritage in the South Western Desert of Egypt. These sites are scattered on the floor of the oasis representing ancient civilizations. The Roman stone monuments in Kharga represent cultural heritage of an outstanding universal value. Such those monuments have suffered weathering deterioration. There are various elements which affect the weathering process of stone monuments: climate conditions, shapes of cultural heritages, exposed time periods, terrains, and vegetation around them, etc. Among these, climate conditions are the most significant factor affecting the deterioration Archeological sites in Egypt. El- Kharga Oasis belongs administratively to the New Valley Governorate. It is located in the southern part of the western desert of Egypt, lies between latitudes 22º30'14" and 26º00'00" N, and between 30º27'00" and 30º47'00" E. The area of El Kharga Oasis covers about 7500 square kilometers. Pilot studies were carried out on the EI-Nadura Temple, composed of sandstones originating from the great sand sea. The major objective of this study is to monitor and measure the weathering features and the weathering rate affecting the building stones forming El- Nadora Roman building rocks in cubic cm. To achieve that aims the present study used analysis of climatic data such as annual and seasonal solar radiation, Monthly average number of hours of sunshine, maximum and minimum air temperatures, wind speed, which have obtained from actual field measurements and data Meteorological Authority of El-Kharga station for the period 1941 to 2000 (60 years, and from the period 1941-2050 (110 years as a long term of temperature data. Several samples were collected and examined by polarizing microscopy (PLM, X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD and scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray analysis system (SEM-EDX. The results were

  7. Sand-grain micromorphology used as a sediment-source indicator for Kharga Depression dunes (Western Desert, S Egypt)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woronko, B.; Dłużewski, M.; Woronko, D.

    2017-12-01

    Roundness and surface-feature characteristics of sand grains collected from two dune ridges in Kharga Depression (southern Egypt) were tested for potential use as source-to-sink indicators of dunes movement. Grain examination was accommodated through Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis. Five grain types were distinguished: A) fresh; B) sheet precipitated with ;raindrop; structures; C) platy precipitated; D) broken; and E) with chemically etched surfaces-each type diagnostic of a specific geomorphic inheritance. Regarding the level of sphericity, these grains were subdivided into nine roundness classes (0.1-0.9), where angular grains are marked by 0.1 and very well-rounded grains by 0.9. Significant roundness and grain-type surface variations are observed both along dune ridges and between them. Poorly and medium-rounded grain populations dominate, along with sheet-precipitated grains. The contribution of well- and very well-rounded grains is low. The northern part of both eastern and western dune ridges is characterized by grains that represent high-energy aqueous environments with well-rounded grains, whereas platy precipitated grains with a lower level of roundness are concentrated in the middle part of the dune ridges. The southern part of the Kharga Depression is again characterized by sheet-precipitated grains. Our results indicate that the northern part of dune ridges in the Kharga Depression is mainly built of sands that originate from beyond the depression (e.g., Ghard Abu-Maharik) and the weathered deposits of the Nubian and Moghra Sandstones. The dunes in central and southern part of the Kharga Depression also derive sand from a local depression bottom comprised of playa and fluvial deposits. The growing importance of the local sand source may be explained by the lowering of the local groundwater table, which resulted in playa drying. This groundwater loss resulted in the degradation of the vegetation cover, facilitating an increase in wind

  8. Seismic data interpretation for hydrocarbon potential, for Safwa/Sabbar field, East Ghazalat onshore area, Abu Gharadig basin, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameed El Redini, Naser A.; Ali Bakr, Ali M.; Dahroug, Said M.

    2017-12-01

    Safwa/Sabbar oil field located in the East Ghazalat Concession in the proven and prolific Abu Gharadig basin, Western Desert, Egypt, and about 250 km to the southwest of Cairo, it's located in the vicinity of several producing oil fields ranging from small to large size hydrocarbon accumulation, adjacent to the NW-SE trending major Abu Gharadig fault which is throwing to the Southwest. All the geological, "structure and stratigraphic" elements, have been identified after interpreting the recent high quality 3D seismic survey for prospect generation, evaluation and their relation to the hydrocarbon exploration. Synthetic seismograms have been carried out for all available wells to tie horizons to seismic data and to define the lateral variation characters of the beds. The analysis has been done using the suitable seismic attributes to understand the characteristics of different types of the reservoir formations, type of trap system, identify channels and faults, and delineating the stratigraphic plays of good reservoirs such as Eocene Apollonia Limestone, AR "F", AR "G" members, Upper Bahariya, Jurassic Khatatba Sandstone, upper Safa and Lower Safa Sandstone. The top Cenomanian Bahariya level is the main oil reservoir in the Study area, which consist of Sandstone, Siltstone and Shale, the thickness is varying from 1 to 50 ft along the study area. In addition to Upper-Bahariya there are a good accessibility of hydrocarbon potential within the Jurassic Khatatba Sandstone and the Eocene Apollonia Limestone. More exploring of these reservoirs are important to increase productivity of Oil and/or Gas in the study area.

  9. Constraints from Mesozoic siliciclastic cover rocks and satellite image analysis on the slip history of regional E-W faults in the southeast Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tewksbury, Barbara J.; Mehrtens, Charlotte J.; Gohlke, Steven A.; Tarabees, Elhamy A.; Hogan, John P.

    2017-12-01

    In the southeast Western Desert of Egypt, a prominent set of E-W faults and co-located domes and basins involve sedimentary cover rock as young as the early Eocene. Although earlier Mesozoic slip on faults in southern Egypt has been widely mentioned in the literature and attributed to repeated reactivation of basement faults, evidence is indirect and based on the idea that regional stresses associated with tectonic events in the Syrian Arc would likely have reactivated basement faults in south Egypt in dextral strike slip during the Mesozoic as well as the Cenozoic. Here, we present direct evidence from the rock record for the sequence of development of features along these faults. Southwest of Aswan, a small structural dome in Mesozoic Nubia facies rocks occurs where the Seiyal Fault bends northward from west to east. The dome is cut by strands of the Seiyal Fault and a related set of cataclastic deformation bands showing dominantly right lateral strike slip, as well as by younger calcite veins with related patchy poikilotopic cement. High resolution satellite image analysis of the remote southwest Kharga Valley shows a similar sequence of events: older structural domes and basins located where E-W faults bend northward from west to east, right lateral offset of domes and basins along the E-W faults, and two sets of deformation band faults that lack co-located domes and basins. We suggest that field data, image analysis, and burial depth estimates are best explained by diachronous development of features along the E-W fault system. We propose that Late Mesozoic right lateral strike slip produced domes and basins in Nubia facies rocks in stepover regions above reactivated basement faults. We further suggest that the extensively linked segments of the E-W fault system in Nubia facies rocks, plus the deformation band systems, formed during the late Eocene when basement faults were again reactivated in dominantly right lateral strike slip.

  10. Isolation and Pharmacological Characterization of α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a, a Short-Chain Postsynaptic Neurotoxin from the Venom of the Western Desert Taipan, Oxyuranus temporalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel M. Barber

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Taipans (Oxyuranus spp. are elapids with highly potent venoms containing presynaptic (β and postsynaptic (α neurotoxins. O. temporalis (Western Desert taipan, a newly discovered member of this genus, has been shown to possess venom which displays marked in vitro neurotoxicity. No components have been isolated from this venom. We describe the characterization of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (α-EPTX-Ot1a; 6712 Da, a short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin, which accounts for approximately 30% of O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1–1 µM produced concentration-dependent inhibition of indirect-twitches, and abolished contractile responses to exogenous acetylcholine and carbachol, in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. The inhibition of indirect twitches by α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM was not reversed by washing the tissue. Prior addition of taipan antivenom (10 U/mL delayed the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM and markedly attenuated the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1 µM. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a displayed pseudo-irreversible antagonism of concentration-response curves to carbachol with a pA2 value of 8.02 ± 0.05. De novo sequencing revealed the main sequence of the short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin (i.e., α-elapitoxin-Ot1a as well as three other isoforms found in O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a shows high sequence similarity (i.e., >87% with other taipan short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxins.

  11. Isolation and Pharmacological Characterization of α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a, a Short-Chain Postsynaptic Neurotoxin from the Venom of the Western Desert Taipan, Oxyuranus temporalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Carmel M; Rusmili, Muhamad Rusdi Ahmad; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2016-02-29

    Taipans (Oxyuranus spp.) are elapids with highly potent venoms containing presynaptic (β) and postsynaptic (α) neurotoxins. O. temporalis (Western Desert taipan), a newly discovered member of this genus, has been shown to possess venom which displays marked in vitro neurotoxicity. No components have been isolated from this venom. We describe the characterization of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (α-EPTX-Ot1a; 6712 Da), a short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin, which accounts for approximately 30% of O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1-1 µM) produced concentration-dependent inhibition of indirect-twitches, and abolished contractile responses to exogenous acetylcholine and carbachol, in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. The inhibition of indirect twitches by α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM) was not reversed by washing the tissue. Prior addition of taipan antivenom (10 U/mL) delayed the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM) and markedly attenuated the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1 µM). α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a displayed pseudo-irreversible antagonism of concentration-response curves to carbachol with a pA₂ value of 8.02 ± 0.05. De novo sequencing revealed the main sequence of the short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin (i.e., α-elapitoxin-Ot1a) as well as three other isoforms found in O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a shows high sequence similarity (i.e., >87%) with other taipan short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxins.

  12. Sensitivity of growth and biomass allocation patterns to increasing nitrogen: a comparison between ephemerals and annuals in the Gurbantunggut Desert, north-western China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaobing; Zhang, Yuanming; Niklas, Karl J

    2014-02-01

    Biomass accumulation and allocation patterns are critical to quantifying ecosystem dynamics. However, these patterns differ among species, and they can change in response to nutrient availability even among genetically related individuals. In order to understand this complexity further, this study examined three ephemeral species (with very short vegetative growth periods) and three annual species (with significantly longer vegetative growth periods) in the Gurbantunggut Desert, north-western China, to determine their responses to different nitrogen (N) supplements under natural conditions. Nitrogen was added to the soil at rates of 0, 0.5, 1.0, 3.0, 6.0 and 24.0 g N m(-2) year(-1). Plants were sampled at various intervals to measure relative growth rate and shoot and root dry mass. Compared with annuals, ephemerals grew more rapidly, increased shoot and root biomass with increasing N application rates and significantly decreased root/shoot ratios. Nevertheless, changes in the biomass allocation of some species (i.e. Erodium oxyrrhynchum) in response to the N treatment were largely a consequence of changes in overall plant size, which was inconsistent with an optimal partitioning model. An isometric log shoot vs. log root scaling relationship for the final biomass harvest was observed for each species and all annuals, while pooled data of three ephemerals showed an allometric scaling relationship. These results indicate that ephemerals and annuals differ observably in their biomass allocation patterns in response to soil N supplements, although an isometric log shoot vs. log root scaling relationship was maintained across all species. These findings highlight that different life history strategies behave differently in response to N application even when interspecific scaling relationships remain nearly isometric.

  13. A Dynamic Simulation Model of the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) Habitat in the Central Mojave Desert

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Westervelt, James

    1997-01-01

    .... Across the nation, Army and civilian land management offices responsible for the management of natural resources, endangered species, water quality, aesthetics, and economic productivity of the land...

  14. Serologic and molecular evidence for Testudinid herpesvirus 2 infection in wild Agassiz's desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Elliott R; Berry, Kristin H; Wellehan, James F X; Origgi, Francesco; Childress, April L; Braun, Josephine; Schrenzel, Mark; Yee, Julie; Rideout, Bruce

    2012-07-01

    Following field observations of wild Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) with oral lesions similar to those seen in captive tortoises with herpesvirus infection, we measured the prevalence of antibodies to Testudinid herpesvirus (TeHV) 3 in wild populations of desert tortoises in California. The survey revealed 30.9% antibody prevalence. In 2009 and 2010, two wild adult male desert tortoises, with gross lesions consistent with trauma and puncture wounds, respectively, were necropsied. Tortoise 1 was from the central Mojave Desert and tortoise 2 was from the northeastern Mojave Desert. We extracted DNA from the tongue of tortoise 1 and from the tongue and nasal mucosa of tortoise 2. Sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products of the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene and the UL39 gene respectively showed 100% nucleotide identity with TeHV2, which was previously detected in an ill captive desert tortoise in California. Although several cases of herpesvirus infection have been described in captive desert tortoises, our findings represent the first conclusive molecular evidence of TeHV2 infection in wild desert tortoises. The serologic findings support cross-reactivity between TeHV2 and TeHV3. Further studies to determine the ecology, prevalence, and clinical significance of this virus in tortoise populations are needed.

  15. Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are selective herbivores that track the flowering phenology of their preferred food plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, W Bryan; Berry, Kristin H

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies of desert tortoise foraging ecology in the western Mojave Desert suggest that these animals are selective herbivores, which alter their diet according to the temporal availability of preferred food plants. These studies, however, did not estimate availability of potential food plants by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability in ephemeral plant abundance that occurs within the spring season. In this study, we observed 18 free-ranging adult tortoises take 35,388 bites during the spring foraging season. We also estimated the relative abundance of potential food plants by stratifying our sampling across different phenological periods of the 3-month long spring season and by different habitats and microhabitats. This methodology allowed us to conduct statistical tests comparing tortoise diet against plant abundance. Our results show that tortoises choose food plants non-randomly throughout the foraging season, a finding that corroborates the hypothesis that desert tortoises rely on key plants during different phenological periods of spring. Moreover, tortoises only consumed plants in a succulent state until the last few weeks of spring, at which time most annuals and herbaceous perennials had dried and most tortoises had ceased foraging. Many species of food plants--including several frequently eaten species--were not detected in our plant surveys, yet tortoises located these rare plants in their home ranges. Over 50% of bites consumed were in the group of undetected species. Interestingly, tortoises focused heavily on several leguminous species, which could be nutritious foods owing to their presumably high nitrogen contents. We suggest that herbaceous perennials, which were rare on our study area but represented ~30% of tortoise diet, may be important in sustaining tortoise populations during droughts when native annuals are absent. These findings highlight the vulnerability of desert tortoises to climate change if such changes alter

  16. Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) Are Selective Herbivores that Track the Flowering Phenology of Their Preferred Food Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, W. Bryan; Berry, Kristin H.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies of desert tortoise foraging ecology in the western Mojave Desert suggest that these animals are selective herbivores, which alter their diet according to the temporal availability of preferred food plants. These studies, however, did not estimate availability of potential food plants by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability in ephemeral plant abundance that occurs within the spring season. In this study, we observed 18 free-ranging adult tortoises take 35,388 bites during the spring foraging season. We also estimated the relative abundance of potential food plants by stratifying our sampling across different phenological periods of the 3-month long spring season and by different habitats and microhabitats. This methodology allowed us to conduct statistical tests comparing tortoise diet against plant abundance. Our results show that tortoises choose food plants non-randomly throughout the foraging season, a finding that corroborates the hypothesis that desert tortoises rely on key plants during different phenological periods of spring. Moreover, tortoises only consumed plants in a succulent state until the last few weeks of spring, at which time most annuals and herbaceous perennials had dried and most tortoises had ceased foraging. Many species of food plants—including several frequently eaten species—were not detected in our plant surveys, yet tortoises located these rare plants in their home ranges. Over 50% of bites consumed were in the group of undetected species. Interestingly, tortoises focused heavily on several leguminous species, which could be nutritious foods owing to their presumably high nitrogen contents. We suggest that herbaceous perennials, which were rare on our study area but represented ~30% of tortoise diet, may be important in sustaining tortoise populations during droughts when native annuals are absent. These findings highlight the vulnerability of desert tortoises to climate change if such changes

  17. Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii are selective herbivores that track the flowering phenology of their preferred food plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W Bryan Jennings

    Full Text Available Previous studies of desert tortoise foraging ecology in the western Mojave Desert suggest that these animals are selective herbivores, which alter their diet according to the temporal availability of preferred food plants. These studies, however, did not estimate availability of potential food plants by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability in ephemeral plant abundance that occurs within the spring season. In this study, we observed 18 free-ranging adult tortoises take 35,388 bites during the spring foraging season. We also estimated the relative abundance of potential food plants by stratifying our sampling across different phenological periods of the 3-month long spring season and by different habitats and microhabitats. This methodology allowed us to conduct statistical tests comparing tortoise diet against plant abundance. Our results show that tortoises choose food plants non-randomly throughout the foraging season, a finding that corroborates the hypothesis that desert tortoises rely on key plants during different phenological periods of spring. Moreover, tortoises only consumed plants in a succulent state until the last few weeks of spring, at which time most annuals and herbaceous perennials had dried and most tortoises had ceased foraging. Many species of food plants--including several frequently eaten species--were not detected in our plant surveys, yet tortoises located these rare plants in their home ranges. Over 50% of bites consumed were in the group of undetected species. Interestingly, tortoises focused heavily on several leguminous species, which could be nutritious foods owing to their presumably high nitrogen contents. We suggest that herbaceous perennials, which were rare on our study area but represented ~30% of tortoise diet, may be important in sustaining tortoise populations during droughts when native annuals are absent. These findings highlight the vulnerability of desert tortoises to climate change

  18. Whole-genome optical mapping and finished genome sequence of Sphingobacterium deserti sp. nov., a new species isolated from the Western Desert of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Chao; Zhou, Zhengfu; Molnár, István; Li, Xinna; Tang, Ran; Chen, Ming; Wang, Lin; Su, Shiyou; Zhang, Wei; Lin, Min

    2015-01-01

    A novel Gram-negative bacterium, designated ZWT, was isolated from a soil sample of the Western Desert of China, and its phenotypic properties and phylogenetic position were investigated using a polyphasic approach. Growth occurred on TGY medium at 5-42°C with an optimum of 30°C, and at pH 7.0-11.0 with an optimum of pH 9.0. The predominant cellular fatty acids were summed feature 3 (C16:1ω7c/C16:1ω6c or C16:1ω6c/C16:1ω7c) (39.22%), iso-C15:0 (27.91%), iso-C17:0 3OH (15.21%), C16:0 (4.98%), iso-C15:0 3OH (3.03%), C16:0 3OH (5.39%) and C14:0 (1.74%). The major polar lipid of strain ZWT is phosphatidylethanolamine. The only menaquinone observed was MK-7. The GC content of the DNA of strain ZWT is 44.9 mol%. rDNA phylogeny, genome relatedness and chemotaxonomic characteristics all indicate that strain ZWT represents a novel species of the genus Sphingobacterium. We propose the name S. deserti sp. nov., with ZWT (= KCTC 32092T = ACCC 05744T) as the type strain. Whole genome optical mapping and next-generation sequencing was used to derive a finished genome sequence for strain ZWT, consisting of a circular chromosome of 4,615,818 bp in size. The genome of strain ZWT features 3,391 protein-encoding and 48 tRNA-encoding genes. Comparison of the predicted proteome of ZWT with those of other sphingobacteria identified 925 species-unique proteins that may contribute to the adaptation of ZWT to its native, extremely arid and inhospitable environment. As the first finished genome sequence for any Sphingobacterium, our work will serve as a useful reference for subsequent sequencing and mapping efforts for additional strains and species within this genus.

  19. [Long-Term Different Fertilizations Changed the Chemical and Spectrum Characteristics of DOM of the Irrigation-Desert Soil in North-Western China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Dan-na; Cao, Wei-dong; Bag, Xing-guo; Bai, Jin-shun; Zhang, Jiu-dong; Lu, Bing-lin; Gao, Song-juan; Zeng, Nao-hua; Wang, Xue-cui; Katsuyoshi, Shimizu

    2016-01-01

    By using Ultraviolet-visible Spectrometry, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer and Elemental Analyzer, spectrum and chemical characteristics of soil DOM affected by long-term different fertilizations were investigated in irrigation-desert soil in North-western China based on an experiment started from 1988. Four different fertilization treatments were included, i. e., organic fertilizer (OF), green manure (GM), chemical fertilizer (CF) and a control of no fertilization (CK). The results showed that fertilization could increase the contents of DOM. Compared to CK, the treatments of OF, GM, CF increased the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) by 37%, 29%, 16%; increased the dissolved nitrogen (DON) by 334%, 257%, 182%; increased the total carbohydrate (TCs) by 90%, 25%, 2%; and increased the total organic acids (TOAs) by 195%, 116%, 58%; respectively. Furthermore, DOC, DON, TCs, and TOAs in the OF treatment were significantly higher than those in CK, they were also significantly higher in the GM and CF treatments except for TCs. The ultraviolet-visible analysis showed that fertilizations enhanced the SUVA(254), SUVA(260), SUVA(272) and SUVA(280) of DOM, indicating that fertilizations increased the aromatic and hydrophobic percentage, humification degree, and average molecular weight, and thus resulting in more stability of DOM. Same trends were showed for all the 4 ultraviolet spectrum absorption values in different fertilizations, i. e., the strongest effect was found in the OF treatment, and then was the GM treatment and CF treatment successively. From the results by the Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry, the characteristic peak of aromatic in the OF treatment was observed shifting from 1 625 to 1 649 cm(-1), which was close to the characteristic peak of humin, suggesting that the aromaticity of DOM in the OF treatment was higher than the other treatments. The characteristic peaks of C-O at 1 260-1 000 cm(-1) belonging to sugar, alcohol, and carboxylic acid

  20. 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.

  1. Heavy mineral concentrations in the sandstones of Amij Formation with particular emphasis on the mineral chemistry and petrographic characteristics of monazite, western desert of Iraq

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kettanah, Yawooz A.; Ismail, Sabah A.

    2016-11-01

    The heavy minerals in the clastic unit of the Lower Jurassic Amij Formation exposed in the western desert of Iraq were studied. The uppermost part of the clastic unit contains thin, placer-like black sandstone horizons that are radioactive and abnormally rich in heavy minerals (0.6-56%), dominated by opaque (65%) and transparent (35%) heavy minerals. The minerals, in the order of decreasing abundance are pseudorutile, goethite, zircon, hematite, magnetite, monazite, rutile, leucoxene, tourmaline, ilmenite, chromite, and few others. Electron probe microanalysis (EPMA), microscopic and autoradiographic observations and analysis showed that the monazite is monazite-(Ce) type with an average composition of (Ce0.39Nd0.16La0.19Pr0.04Sm0.02Gd0.02Eu0.01Y0·04Th0·06U0·01Ca0·05Fe0.01)(P0·98Si0.03)O4. Monazite consists predominantly of REE-oxides (57.93%) and P2O5 (29.31%), with minor amounts of ThO2 (6.60%), Y2O3 (1.92%), UO2 (0.76%), CaO (1.14%), SiO2 (0.69%), and FeOt (0.17%). The dominant compositional substitution operating between REE and P were a mixture of the complex cheralite type substitution ([REE]-2 [Th][Ca]) and the coupled huttonite type substitution ([REE]-1 [P]-1 [Th][Si]). The chondrite-normalized REE distribution patterns of monazite show enrichment in LREE with positive Eu- and Pr-anomalies of 1.46 and 9.13, respectively. The median values of (La/Sm)CN and (La/Nd)CN ratios are 4.35 and 1.97, respectively. Zircon which is the dominant transparent mineral is Hf-rich that is composed of 30.61% SiO2, 57.58% ZrO2, 7.03% HfO2, 2.04% Y2O3, 0.56% ThO2, 0.19% UO2, and 0.19% Al2O3 corresponding to a formula (Zr0.909Hf0.065Th0·004U0·001Y0.031)Σ1.011(Si3·966Al0.028)Σ0.999O4. Rutile and tourmaline form 7% and 4% of the heavy minerals. Ilmenite which is one of the predominant heavy minerals forms 2.5% of the opaques because it is pervasively altered to Ti-Fe oxides. In addition of zircon and monazite, the chemical compositions of most of the other heavy

  2. Methanogens at the top of the world: occurrence and potential activity of methanogens in newly deglaciated soils in high-altitude cold deserts in the Western Himalayas

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Aschenbach, K.; Conrad, R.; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, Jiří; Janatková, Kateřina; Angel, R.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 4, Dec 2013 (2013), Ar.359 ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-13368S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : methanogens * desert areas * cold climate Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.941, year: 2013

  3. Pseudospherulitic fibrous calcite from the Quaternary shallow lacustrine carbonates of the Farafra Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt: A primary precipitate with possible bacterial influence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanas, H. A.

    2012-04-01

    Pseudospherulitic fibrous calcite (PFC) has been found as a major constituent (85-90%) within thin massive limestone beds of the Quaternary mudflat-shallow lacustrine facies association (1.5-2 m thick) that forms part of combined facies associations of the Quaternary clastic-carbonate unit (25-30 m thick) at Bir-Karawein area in the Farafra Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt. The thin massive limestone beds (2-5 cm thick) are devoid of pedogenic features and marine fossils. They form a rhythmic cyclic succession with thin massive mudrocks (5-10 cm thick). The mudflat-shallow lacustrine facies association herein occurs within a depositional sequence of distal alluvial-floodplain (6-12 m thick) and palustrine (1.5-4.5 m thick) facies associations. The PFC is a composed of loosely packed rounded to sub-rounded single low-Mg-calcite crystals (150-250 μm-sized) with intracrystalline fibrous microfabric marked by fibers (150-250 μm long and 10-20 μm wide) radiating from the center of the individual crystals and displaying irregular internal growth with lobate pattern. The PFC crystals show non-planar to highly irregular intercrystalline boundaries. Under SEM, the individual crystal fibers group of PFC form ellipsoid to sub-globular bodies. Each PFC crystal exhibits successive zones of thick non-luminescence and thin brightly orange to dull luminescence. The matrix (10-15%) between the PFC crystals is mainly a honeycomb-like smectite. The PFC is postulated to be a primary precipitate. This concept is reached because the PFC: (i) does not display the criteria of typical Microcodium structures, root-calcification, speleothem structures, calcite spherulites of laminar calcretes, and calcitization of precursor dolomite or aragonite, (ii) possesses homogenous compositional and textural characteristics, and (iii) occurs within limestone beds that lie in between impermeable massive mudrock beds that dampen diagenesis. A role for possible bacterial contribution in crystallization of

  4. 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…

  5. Recovery of secular deformation field of Mojave Shear Zone in Southern California from historical terrestrial and GPS measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shaozhuo; Shen, Zheng-Kang; Bürgmann, Roland

    2015-05-01

    The 1992 Mw 7.3 Landers and 1999 Mw 7.1 Hector Mine earthquakes struck the Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) in the Mojave Desert, Southern California. Coseismic and postseismic deformation from these events affect efforts to use Global Positioning System (GPS) observations collected since these events to establish a secular surface velocity field, especially in the near field of the coseismic ruptures. We devise block motion models constrained by both historical pre-Landers triangulation and trilateration observations and post-Landers GPS measurements to recover the secular deformation field and differentiate the postseismic transients in the Mojave region. Postseismic transients are found to remain in the Southern California Earthquake Center Crustal Motion Map Version 4, Plate Boundary Observatory, and Scripps Orbit and Permanent Array Center GPS velocity solutions in the form of 2-3 mm/yr excess right-lateral shear across the Landers and Hector Mine coseismic ruptures. The cumulative deformation rate across the Mojave ECSZ is 13.2-14.4 mm/yr, at least twice the geologic rate since the late Pleistocene (≤6.2 ± 1.9 mm/yr). Postseismic GPS time series based on our secular velocity field reveal enduring late-stage transient motions in the near field of the coseismic ruptures that provide new constraints on the rheological structure of the lower crust and upper mantle.

  6. Serologic and molecular evidence for testudinid herpesvirus 2 infection in wild Agassiz’s desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Elliott R.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wellehan, James F. X.; Origgi, Francesco; Childress, April L.; Braun, Josephine; Schrenzel, Mark; Yee, Julie; Rideout, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Following field observations of wild Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) with oral lesions similar to those seen in captive tortoises with herpesvirus infection, we measured the prevalence of antibodies to Testudinid herpesvirus (TeHV) 3 in wild populations of desert tortoises in California. The survey revealed 30.9% antibody prevalence. In 2009 and 2010, two wild adult male desert tortoises, with gross lesions consistent with trauma and puncture wounds, respectively, were necropsied. Tortoise 1 was from the central Mojave Desert and tortoise 2 was from the northeastern Mojave Desert. We extracted DNA from the tongue of tortoise 1 and from the tongue and nasal mucosa of tortoise 2. Sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products of the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene and the UL39 gene respectively showed 100% nucleotide identity with TeHV2, which was previously detected in an ill captive desert tortoise in California. Although several cases of herpesvirus infection have been described in captive desert tortoises, our findings represent the first conclusive molecular evidence of TeHV2 infection in wild desert tortoises. The serologic findings support cross-reactivity between TeHV2 and TeHV3. Further studies to determine the ecology, prevalence, and clinical significance of this virus in tortoise populations are needed.

  7. Attempt of Serendipitous Science During the Mojave Volatile Prospector Field Expedition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roush, T. L.; Colaprete, A.; Heldmann, J.; Lim, D. S. S.; Cook, A.; Elphic, R.; Deans, M.; Fluckiger, L.; Fritzler, E.; Hunt, David

    2015-01-01

    On 23 October a partial solar eclipse occurred across parts of the southwest United States between approximately 21:09 and 23:40 (UT), with maximum obscuration, 36%, occurring at 22:29 (UT). During 21-26 October 2014 the Mojave Volatile Prospector (MVP) field expedition deployed and operated the NASA Ames Krex2 rover in the Mojave desert west of Baker, California (Fig. 1, bottom). The MVP field expedition primary goal was to characterize the surface and sub-surface soil moisture properties within desert alluvial fans, and as a secondary goal to provide mission operations simulations of the Resource Prospector (RP) mission to a Lunar pole. The partial solar eclipse provided an opportunity during MVP operations to address serendipitous science. Science instruments on Krex2 included a neutron spectrometer, a near-infrared spectrometer with associated imaging camera, and an independent camera coupled with software to characterize the surface textures of the areas encountered. All of these devices are focused upon the surface and as a result are downward looking. In addition to these science instruments, two hazard cameras are mounted on Krex2. The chief device used to monitor the partial solar eclipse was the engineering development unit of the Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System (NIRVSS) near-infrared spectrometer. This device uses two separate fiber optic fed Hadamard transform spectrometers. The short-wave and long-wave spectrometers measure the 1600-2400 and 2300-3400 nm wavelength regions with resolutions of 10 and 13 nm, respectively. Data are obtained approximately every 8 seconds. The NIRVSS stares in the opposite direction as the front Krex2.

  8. Faulting and groundwater in a desert environment: constraining hydrogeology using time-domain electromagnetic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedrosian, Paul A.; Burgess, Matthew K.; Nishikawa, Tracy

    2013-01-01

    Within the south-western Mojave Desert, the Joshua Basin Water District is considering applying imported water into infiltration ponds in the Joshua Tree groundwater sub-basin in an attempt to artificially recharge the underlying aquifer. Scarce subsurface hydrogeological data are available near the proposed recharge site; therefore, time-domain electromagnetic (TDEM) data were collected and analysed to characterize the subsurface. TDEM soundings were acquired to estimate the depth to water on either side of the Pinto Mountain Fault, a major east-west trending strike-slip fault that transects the proposed recharge site. While TDEM is a standard technique for groundwater investigations, special care must be taken when acquiring and interpreting TDEM data in a twodimensional (2D) faulted environment. A subset of the TDEM data consistent with a layered-earth interpretation was identified through a combination of three-dimensional (3D) forward modelling and diffusion time-distance estimates. Inverse modelling indicates an offset in water table elevation of nearly 40 m across the fault. These findings imply that the fault acts as a low-permeability barrier to groundwater flow in the vicinity of the proposed recharge site. Existing production wells on the south side of the fault, together with a thick unsaturated zone and permeable near-surface deposits, suggest the southern half of the study area is suitable for artificial recharge. These results illustrate the effectiveness of targeted TDEM in support of hydrological studies in a heavily faulted desert environment where data are scarce and the cost of obtaining these data by conventional drilling techniques is prohibitive.

  9. 2012 Water Levels - Mojave River and the Morongo Groundwater Basins

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — During 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies made approximately 2,500 water-level measurements in the Mojave River and Morongo groundwater basins....

  10. Neutron Spectrometer Prospecting in the Mojave Volatiles Project Analog Field Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elphic, R. C.; Heldmann, J. L.; Colaprete, A.; Hunt, D. R.; Deans, M. C.; Lim, D. S.; Foil, G.; Fong, T.

    2015-01-01

    We know that volatiles are sequestered at the poles of the Moon. While we have evidence of water ice and a number of other compounds based on remote sensing, the detailed distribution, and physical and chemical form are largely unknown. Additional orbital studies of lunar polar volatiles may yield further insights, but the most important next step is to use landed assets to fully characterize the volatile composition and distribution at scales of tens to hundreds of meters. To achieve this range of scales, mobility is needed. Because of the proximity of the Moon, near real-time operation of the surface assets is possible, with an associated reduction in risk and cost. This concept of operations is very different from that of rovers on Mars, and new operational approaches are required to carry out such real-time robotic exploration. The Mojave Volatiles Project (MVP) was a Moon-Mars Analog Mission Activities (MMAMA) program project aimed at (1) determining effective approaches to operating a real-time but short-duration lunar surface robotic mission, and (2) performing prospecting science in a natural setting, as a test of these approaches. Here we describe some results from the first such test, carried out in the Mojave Desert between 16 and 24 October, 2014. The test site was an alluvial fan just E of the Soda Mountains, SW of Baker, California. This site contains desert pavements, ranging from the late Pleistocene to early-Holocene in age. These pavements are undergoing dissection by the ongoing development of washes. A principal objective was to determine the hydration state of different types of desert pavement and bare ground features. The mobility element of the test was provided by the KREX-2 rover, designed and operated by the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA Ames Research Center. The rover-borne neutron spectrometer measured the neutron albedo at both thermal and epithermal energies. Assuming uniform geochemistry and material bulk density, hydrogen as

  11. Evaluation Of Present-Day Climate-Induced Desertification In El-Dakhla Oasis, Western Desert Of Egypt, Based On Integration Of MEDALUS Method, GIS And RS Techniques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael Hossam

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Limited to fourth percent or less of the country’s total land area, Egypt’s agricultural landscape is threatened by the repercussions of climate change, desertification, soil depletion, and looming water scarcity. Outside of the Nile river valley and scattered fertile pockets in the desert oases, the vast majority of land is desert: rocky, parched and unable to support conventional farming. According to Egyptian National Action Program 2005 (ENAP, Egypt covers an area of about one million km2 ~ 100 million hectares, out of which about of 76.5 thousands km2 ~ 7.6% of the total area are inhabited, and the remaining (92.4% area is desert. Desertification is a very complex process governed by several variables which influence each other. It is thus not possible to conclude for the general picture from a single factor alone. This process has a high rate in arid and hyper-arid countries such as Egypt. The main objective of this research was to evaluation the present-day climate-induced desertification in El-Dakhla Oasis, so in this study, the newest method for evaluating and mapping of desertification was used. The mathematic method was carried out by European Commission (EC, (MEditerranean Desertification And Land Use at the MEDALUS project and booked as ESAs in 1999 integrated with remote sensing and GIS. All indices of the model were revised before using, and regarding to the region condition these indices were defined as key indices which were: Temperature, precipitation, wind, albedo, ground water and soil benchmark, and each benchmark has some sub-layers getting from their geometric mean. Based on the MEDALUS model, each sub-benchmark was quantified according to its quality and given a weighting of between 1.0 and 2.0. All benchmarks should be reinvestigated and adjusted to local conditions. Ultimately, desertification severity was classified in four level including low, moderate, Severe and high Severe. ArcGIS 10 was used to analysis and

  12. Desert Dust Air Mass Mapping in the Western Sahara, using Particle Properties Derived from Space-based Multi-angle Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Ralph; Petzold, Andreas; Wendisch, Manfred; Bierwirth, Eike; Dinter, Tilman; Fiebig, Marcus; Schladitz, Alexander; von Hoyningen-Huene, Wolfgang

    2008-01-01

    Coincident observations made over the Moroccan desert during the SAhara Mineral dUst experiMent (SAMUM) 2006 field campaign are used both to validate aerosol amount and type retrieved from Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) observations, and to place the sub-orbital aerosol measurements into the satellite's larger regional context. On three moderately dusty days for which coincident observations were made, MISR mid-visible aerosol optical thickness (AOT) agrees with field measurements point-by-point to within 0.05 to 0.1. This is about as well as can be expected given spatial sampling differences; the space-based observations capture AOT trends and variability over an extended region. The field data also validate MISR's ability to distinguish and to map aerosol air masses, from the combination of retrieved constraints on particle size, shape, and single-scattering albedo. For the three study days, the satellite observations (a) highlight regional gradients in the mix of dust and background spherical particles, (b) identify a dust plume most likely part of a density flow, and (c) show an air mass containing a higher proportion of small, spherical particles than the surroundings, that appears to be aerosol pollution transported from several thousand kilometers away.

  13. Desert Dust Aerosol Air Mass Mapping in the Western Sahara, Using Particle Properties Derived from Space-Based Multi-Angle Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Ralph; Petzold, Andreas; Wendisch, Manfred; Bierwirth, Eike; Dinter, Tilman; Esselborn, Michael; Fiebig, Marcus; Heese, Birgit; Knippertz, Peter; Mueller, Detlef; hide

    2008-01-01

    Coincident observations made over the Moroccan desert during the Sahara mineral dust experiment (SAMUM) 2006 field campaign are used both to validate aerosol amount and type retrieved from multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR) observations, and to place the suborbital aerosol measurements into the satellite s larger regional context. On three moderately dusty days during which coincident observations were made, MISR mid-visible aerosol optical thickness (AOT) agrees with field measurements point-by-point to within 0.05 0.1. This is about as well as can be expected given spatial sampling differences; the space-based observations capture AOT trends and variability over an extended region. The field data also validate MISR s ability to distinguish and to map aerosol air masses, from the combination of retrieved constraints on particle size, shape and single-scattering albedo. For the three study days, the satellite observations (1) highlight regional gradients in the mix of dust and background spherical particles, (2) identify a dust plume most likely part of a density flow and (3) show an aerosol air mass containing a higher proportion of small, spherical particles than the surroundings, that appears to be aerosol pollution transported from several thousand kilometres away.

  14. Phylogeographic Structure of a Tethyan Relict Capparis spinosa (Capparaceae) Traces Pleistocene Geologic and Climatic Changes in the Western Himalayas, Tianshan Mountains, and Adjacent Desert Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qian; Zhang, Ming-Li; Yin, Lin-Ke

    2016-01-01

    Complex geological movements more or less affected or changed floristic structures, while the alternation of glacials and interglacials is presumed to have further shaped the present discontinuous genetic pattern of temperate plants. Here we consider Capparis spinosa, a xeromorphic Tethyan relict, to discuss its divergence pattern and explore how it responded in a stepwise fashion to Pleistocene geologic and climatic changes. 267 individuals from 31 populations were sampled and 24 haplotypes were identified, based on three cpDNA fragments (trnL-trnF, rps12-rpl20, and ndhF). SAMOVA clustered the 31 populations into 5 major clades. AMOVA suggests that gene flow between them might be restricted by vicariance. Molecular clock dating indicates that intraspecific divergence began in early Pleistocene, consistent with a time of intense uplift of the Himalaya and Tianshan Mountains, and intensified in mid-Pleistocene. Species distribution modeling suggests range reduction in the high mountains during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) as a result of cold climates when glacier advanced, while gorges at midelevations in Tianshan appear to have served as refugia. Populations of low-altitude desert regions, on the other hand, probably experienced only marginal impacts from glaciation, according to the high levels of genetic diversity.

  15. Phylogeographic Structure of a Tethyan Relict Capparis spinosa (Capparaceae Traces Pleistocene Geologic and Climatic Changes in the Western Himalayas, Tianshan Mountains, and Adjacent Desert Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Complex geological movements more or less affected or changed floristic structures, while the alternation of glacials and interglacials is presumed to have further shaped the present discontinuous genetic pattern of temperate plants. Here we consider Capparis spinosa, a xeromorphic Tethyan relict, to discuss its divergence pattern and explore how it responded in a stepwise fashion to Pleistocene geologic and climatic changes. 267 individuals from 31 populations were sampled and 24 haplotypes were identified, based on three cpDNA fragments (trnL-trnF, rps12-rpl20, and ndhF. SAMOVA clustered the 31 populations into 5 major clades. AMOVA suggests that gene flow between them might be restricted by vicariance. Molecular clock dating indicates that intraspecific divergence began in early Pleistocene, consistent with a time of intense uplift of the Himalaya and Tianshan Mountains, and intensified in mid-Pleistocene. Species distribution modeling suggests range reduction in the high mountains during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM as a result of cold climates when glacier advanced, while gorges at midelevations in Tianshan appear to have served as refugia. Populations of low-altitude desert regions, on the other hand, probably experienced only marginal impacts from glaciation, according to the high levels of genetic diversity.

  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. Annual report on paleoclimate studies for the Yucca Mountain project site characterization conducted by the Desert Research Institute

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-31

    The prospect that Yucca Mountain may become a repository for high-level radionuclides with especially long half-lives means that the intended waste containment area must be well beyond the reach of the hydrologic system for at least ten millennia. Through the integration of several avenues of paleoclimatic proxy data, the authors intend to arrive at definite conclusions regarding rates of change, and extremes and stabilities of past climate regimes. These will in turn lead to rough estimates of: the amounts of rainfall available for recharge during past periods of effectively wetter climate, and the durations and frequencies of recharge periods. The paper gives summaries of the following studies: Late Quaternary and Holocene climate derived from vegetation history and plant cellulose stable isotope records from the Great basin of western North America; Accomplishments of paleofaunal studies, 1993--1994; Geomorphology studies in the Great Basin; Alluvial fan response to climatic change, Buena Vista Valley, central Nevada; Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and chronology of lacustrine deposition in the Fernley Basin, west-central Nevada; Tree-rings, lake chronologies, alluvial sequences and climate--Implications for Great Basin paleoenvironmental studies; Stable isotopic validation studies--Fossil snails; and Late Pleistocene and Holocene eolian activity in the Mojave Desert.

  18. Neutron Spectrometer Prospecting During the Mojave Volatiles Project Analog Field Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elphic, R. C.; Heldmann, J. L.; Colaprete, A.; Hunt, D. R.; Deans, M C.; Lim, D. S.; Foil, G.; Fong, T.

    2015-01-01

    Mojave Volatiles Project (MVP) is a Moon- Mars Analog Mission Activities (MMAMA) program effort aimed at (1) determining effective approaches to operating a real-time but short-duration lunar surface robotic mission, and (2) performing prospecting science in a natural setting, as a test of these approaches. Here we describe some results from the first such test, carried out in the Mojave Desert between 16 and 24 October, 2014. The test site was an alluvial fan just E of the Soda Mountains, SW of Baker, California. This site contains desert pavements, ranging from the late Pleistocene to early-Holocene in age. These pavements are undergoing dissection by the ongoing development of washes. A principal objective was to determine the hydration state of different types of desert pavement and bare ground features. The mobility element of the test was provided by the KREX-2 rover, designed and operated by the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA Ames Research Center.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Sediment Fan Evolution and Hydrologic Activity in Mojave Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goddard, K.; Gupta, S.; Densmore, A. L.; Kim, J.-R.; Warner, N. H.; Carbonneau, P.; Muller, J.-P.

    2011-03-01

    Catchment-fans with channel networks have been observed in Mojave Crater, Mars. We used a ~1m resolution HiRISE DTM to look at fan formation processes and past water activity. We have observed geomorphology suggesting episodic water availability.

  3. SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY AND PALEONTOLOGY OF THE UPPER MIOCENE PISCO FORMATION ALONG THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE LOWER ICA VALLEY (ICA DESERT, PERU

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CLAUDIO DI CELMA

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The sequence stratigraphic framework and a summary of the fossil fauna of the upper Miocene portion of the Pisco Formation exposed along the western side of the Ica River (southern Peru is presented through a new geological map encompassing an area of about 200 km2 and detailed chronostratigraphic analyses. Extensive field mapping and sedimentological study of outcrop sections have shown that the Pisco Formation is a cyclical sediment unit composed of at least three fining-upward, unconformity-bounded depositional sequences, designated P0, P1, and P2 from oldest to youngest. In the study area, these sequences progressively onlap a composite basal unconformity from southwest to northeast. Integration of biostratigraphic and tephrochronologic age determinations constrains the ages of the three Pisco sequences within the study area. Based on the age of surrounding sediments, a conservative estimate of the age of P0 suggests deposition of these strata between 17.99 ± 0.10 Ma and 9.00 ± 0.02 Ma, whereas diatom biostratigraphy and calculated 40Ar/39Ar ages converge to indicate that strata of the P1 sequence were deposited sometime between 9.5 Ma and 8.9 Ma and that those of the P2 sequence are younger than 8.5 Ma and older than 6.71 ± 0.02 Ma. Our survey for both vertebrate and macro-invertebrate remains in the three sequences confirms the outstanding paleontological value of the Pisco Formation and contributes to depict regional faunal shifts in the fossil assemblage.

  4. Landscape-scale distribution and density of raptor populations wintering in anthropogenic-dominated desert landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duerr, Adam E.; Miller, Tricia A.; Cornell Duerr, Kerri L; Lanzone, Michael J.; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd E.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic development has great potential to affect fragile desert environments. Large-scale development of renewable energy infrastructure is planned for many desert ecosystems. Development plans should account for anthropogenic effects to distributions and abundance of rare or sensitive wildlife; however, baseline data on abundance and distribution of such wildlife are often lacking. We surveyed for predatory birds in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of southern California, USA, in an area designated for protection under the “Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan”, to determine how these birds are distributed across the landscape and how this distribution is affected by existing development. We developed species-specific models of resight probability to adjust estimates of abundance and density of each individual common species. Second, we developed combined-species models of resight probability for common and rare species so that we could make use of sparse data on the latter. We determined that many common species, such as red-tailed hawks, loggerhead shrikes, and especially common ravens, are associated with human development and likely subsidized by human activity. Species-specific and combined-species models of resight probability performed similarly, although the former model type provided higher quality information. Comparing abundance estimates with past surveys in the Mojave Desert suggests numbers of predatory birds associated with human development have increased while other sensitive species not associated with development have decreased. This approach gave us information beyond what we would have collected by focusing either on common or rare species, thus it provides a low-cost framework for others conducting surveys in similar desert environments outside of California.

  5. Negative impacts of invasive plants on conservation of sensitive desert wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, K. Kristina; Bowen, Lizabeth; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Berger, Andrew J.; Custer, Nathan; Waters, Shannon C.; Johnson, Jay D.; Miles, A. Keith; Lewison, Rebecca L.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat disturbance from development, resource extraction, off-road vehicle use, and energy development ranks highly among threats to desert systems worldwide. In the Mojave Desert, United States, these disturbances have promoted the establishment of nonnative plants, so that native grasses and forbs are now intermixed with, or have been replaced by invasive, nonnative Mediterranean grasses. This shift in plant composition has altered food availability for Mojave Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), a federally listed species. We hypothesized that this change in forage would negatively influence the physiological ecology, immune competence, and health of neonatal and yearling tortoises. To test this, we monitored the effects of diet on growth, body condition, immunological responses (measured by gene transcription), and survival for 100 captive Mojave tortoises. Tortoises were assigned to one of five diets: native forbs, native grass, invasive grass, and native forbs combined with either the native or invasive grass. Tortoises eating native forbs had better body condition and immune functions, grew more, and had higher survival rates (>95%) than tortoises consuming any other diet. At the end of the experiment, 32% of individuals fed only native grass and 37% fed only invasive grass were found dead or removed from the experiment due to poor body conditions. In contrast, all tortoises fed either the native forb or combined native forb and native grass diets survived and were in good condition. Health and body condition quickly declined for tortoises fed only the native grass (Festuca octoflora) or invasive grass (Bromus rubens) with notable loss of fat and muscle mass and increased muscular atrophy. Bromus rubens seeds were found embedded in the oral mucosa and tongue in most individuals eating that diet, which led to mucosal inflammation. Genes indicative of physiological, immune, and metabolic functions were transcribed at lower levels for individuals fed B

  6. Seedling ecology and restoration of blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) in the Mojave Desert, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Lisa C.; Schwinning, Susanne; Esque, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    Increases in fire frequency are disrupting many ecological communities not historically subjected to fire. In the southwestern United States, the blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) community is among the most threatened, often replaced by invasive annual grasses after fire. This long-lived shrub is vulnerable because it recruits sporadically, partially due to mast seeding and the absence of a seed bank. The goal of this study was to evaluate if shrub restoration can be enhanced by identifying and ameliorating recruitment limitations. Specifically, we tested the effect of encapsulating seeds in predation-deterring “seed balls.” We also tested the effects of nurse plants and mammalian exclusion cages on seedling emergence, growth, and survivorship. These experiments were conducted in a full-factorial design across three sites differing in elevation. Over 2 years, 13% of all planted seeds emerged and the effect of seed balls was overwhelmingly negative because of low emergence. Nurse plants had overall positive effects at Low Elevation, but negative effects at Mid- and High Elevation. Emergence and survival were highest in caged plots everywhere, and effect sizes increased with elevation. Interactions between the cage and the nurse plant treatments indicated that nurse plants tended to attract mammalian predators, lowering emergence and seedling survivorship, particularly at higher elevations. Findings conform to the stress-gradient hypothesis in that interactions among seedlings and mature plants shifted from facilitation to competition as environmental stress decreased with increasing elevation, suggesting that they are transferable to ecologically similar communities elsewhere. Knowledge of site-specific recruitment limitations can help minimize ineffective restoration efforts.

  7. Morphology of calcite crystals in clast coatings from four soils in the Mojave desert region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick, Oliver A.; Sowers, Janet M.; Amundson, Ronald G.

    1989-01-01

    Pedogenic calcite-crystal coatings on clasts were examined in four soils along an altitudinal gradient on Kyle Canyon alluvium in southern Nevada. Clast coatings were studied rather than matrix carbonate to avoid the effects of soil matrix on crystallization. Six crystal sizes and shapes were recognized and distinguished. Equant micrite was the dominant crystal form with similar abundance at all elevations. The distributions of five categories of spar and microspar appear to be influenced by altitudinally induced changes in effective moisture. In the drier, lower elevation soils, crystals were equant or parallel prismatic with irregular, interlocking boundaries while in the more moist, higher elevation soils they were randomly oriented, euhedral, prismatic, and fibrous. There was little support for the supposition that Mg(+2) substitution or increased (Mg + Ca)/HCO3 ratios in the precipitating solution produced crystal elongation.

  8. Vegetation dynamics at a Mojave Desert restoration site, 1992 to 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey E. Ott; E. Durant McArthur; Stewart C. Sanderson

    2011-01-01

    The Twist Hollow restoration site on BLM land near St. George, Utah, had been badly disturbed by sand mining, rock quarrying, dumping, off-road vehicles and target shooting prior to its closure and treatment. In December 1992 the site was sculpted and drill seeded with Indian ricegrass (Stipa hymenoides), sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus), galleta (Hilaria jamesii...

  9. Analysis and Assessment of Impacts on Biodiversity: Investigating Alternative Futures for the California Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-07-01

    males, but females and juveniles generally have the marking to some degree. The Side- blotched Lizard eats insects (frequently Hymenoptera, Coleoptera ... Phylogeny and biodiversity: Conserving our evolutionary legacy. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 7:55-59. Burke, I. C., T. G. F. Kettel, W. K. Lauenroth, P

  10. The structure and chemical layering of Proterozoic stromatolites in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Susanne; Perry, Meredith E.; Abbey, William J.; Tanaka, Zuki; Chen, Bin; McKay, Christopher P.

    2015-07-01

    The Proterozoic carbonate stromatolites of the Pahrump Group from the Crystal Spring formation exhibit interesting layering patterns. In continuous vertical formations, there are sections of chevron-shaped stromatolites alternating with sections of simple horizontal layering. This apparent cycle of stromatolite formation and lack of formation repeats several times over a vertical distance of at least 30 m at the locality investigated. Small representative samples from each layer were taken and analysed using X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), environmental scanning electron microscopy - energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry, and were optically analysed in thin section. Optical and spectroscopic analyses of stromatolite and of non-stromatolite samples were undertaken with the objective of determining the differences between them. Elemental analysis of samples from within each of the four stromatolite layers and the four intervening layers shows that the two types of layers are chemically and mineralogically distinct. In the layers that contain stromatolites the Ca/Si ratio is high; in layers without stromatolites the Ca/Si ratio is low. In the high Si layers, both K and Al are positively correlated with the presence and levels of Si. This, together with XRD analysis, suggested a high K-feldspar (microcline) content in the non-stromatolitic layers. This variation between these two types of rocks could be due to changes in biological growth rates in an otherwise uniform environment or variations in detrital influx and the resultant impact on biology. The current analysis does not allow us to choose between these two alternatives. A Mars rover would have adequate resolution to image these structures and instrumentation capable of conducting a similar elemental analysis.

  11. Desert Tortoise Ecology and Precipitation, Mojave and Sonoran Deserts—Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These estimated precipitation data were compiled using the WestMap web site (http://www.cefa.dri.edu/Westmap/). We selected pixels on the map shown on their web site...

  12. Temperature-independent, seasonal fluctuations in immune function of the Mojave Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Horn, K.R; Sandmeier, F.C; Tracy, C.R

    2016-01-01

    .... agassizii at a controlled, constant ambient temperature, we quantified predominantly temperature-independent, seasonal fluctuations in innate immune function and circulating leukocytes in a reptile...

  13. Blood variable data for clinically normal and clinically abnormal Mojave Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — To improve our understanding of health and immune function in tortoises, we evaluated both standard blood diagnostic (body condition, hematologic, plasma...

  14. Coupled Environmental Processes in the Mojave Desert and Implications for ET Covers as Stable Landforms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. Shafer; M. Y oung; S. Zitzer; E. McDonald; T. Caldwell

    2006-01-18

    Monolayer evapotranspiration (ET) covers are the baseline method for closure of disposal sites for low-level radioactive waste (LLW), mixed LLW, and transuranic (TRU) waste at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The regulatory timeline is typically 1,000 years for LLW and 10,000 years for TRU waste. Covers for such waste have different technical considerations than those with shorter timelines because they are subject to environmental change for longer periods of time, and because the environmental processes are often coupled. To evaluate these changes, four analog sites (approximately 30, 1,000 to 2,000, 7,000 to 12,500, and 125,000 years in age) on the NTS were analyzed to address the early post-institutional control period (the youngest site), the 1,000-year compliance period for disposal of LLW, and the 10,000-year period for TRU waste. Tests included soil texture, structure, and morphology; surface soil infiltration and hydraulic conductivity; vegetation and faunal surveys; and literature reviews. Separate measurements were made in plant undercanopy and intercanopy areas. The results showed a progressive increase in silt and clay content of surface soils with age. Changes in soil texture and structure led to a fivefold decline in saturated hydraulic conductivity in intercanopy areas, but no change in undercanopies, which were subject to bioturbation. These changes may have been responsible for the reduction in total plant cover, most dramatically in intercanopy areas, primarily because more precipitation either runs off the site or is held nearer to the surface where plant roots are less common. The results suggest that covers may evolve over longer timeframes to stable landforms that minimize the need for active maintenance.

  15. Range-Wide Monitoring of the Mojave Desert Tortoise (Gopherus Agassizii): 2008 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-01

    so the updated proportions through December 2011 are reported here and used to estimate abundance in walkable areas of each stratum. Because...0-, 6-, or 12-km were actually walked, but of course all of the distances between these options might actually have been walkable . Transects that...given stratum covers 5000 km2, but only 90% was walkable and represented by our sampling design, then the density estimate applies to 4500 km2, and can

  16. Plant-Damage Assessment Technique for Evaluating Military Vehicular Impacts to Vegetation in the Mojave Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. J. Hansen; W. K. Ostler

    2001-09-01

    A new plant damage assessment technique was developed by plant ecologists from Bechtel Nevada at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Security Administration Nevada Operations Office and funded by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project CS-1131 in cooperation with the U.S. Army's National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California. The technique establishes linear transects the width of vehicle tracts from evidence of vehicle tracks in the soil (usually during a prior training rotation period of 30 days or since the last rain or wind storm), and measures vegetation within the tracks to determine the area of plant parts being run over, the percent of the impacted parts damaged, and the percent of impacted parts expected to recover. It documents prior-damage classes based on estimated of damage that plants have apparently experienced previously (as assessed from field indicators of damage such as plant shape and height). The technique was used to evaluate different vehicle types (rubber-tire wheels vs. tracks) in six area at the NTC with different soils and training intensity levels. The technique provides tabular data that can be sorted and queried to show a variety of trends related to military vehicular impacts. The technique also appears suitable for assessing other non-military off-road traffic impacts. Findings report: (1) differences in plant sensitivity of different vehicular impacts, (2) plant cover and density by species and training area, (3) the degree to which wheels have less impact than tracks, and (4) the mean percent survival is inversely proportional to the degree of prior damage received by the vegetation (i.e., plants previously impacted have lower survival than plants not previously impacted).

  17. 77 FR 47536 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert, Northern Sierra, Sacramento...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-09

    ..., October 2005, ] 4. ``Control Techniques Guidelines for Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings..., automobile refinishing, metal parts and products, and miscellaneous coating and refinishing operations. We... Order Reviews I. The State' Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? Table 1 lists the rules we are...

  18. Geology and mammalian paleontology of the Horned Toad Hills, Mojave Desert, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, S.R.; Woodburne, M.O.; Lindsay, E.H.; Albright, L.B.; Sarna-Wojcicki, A.; Wan, E.; Wahl, D.B.

    2011-01-01

    The Horned Toad Formation includes five lithostratigraphic members that record alluvial fan, fluvial, lake margin, and lacustrine deposition within a relatively small basin just south of the active Garlock fault during the late Miocene to early Pliocene. These sediments experienced northwest-southeast contractional deformation during the Pliocene-Pleistocene associated with basement-involved reverse faults. Member Two of the Horned Toad Formation has yielded 24 taxa of fossil mammals, referred to as the Warren Local Fauna, including Cryptotis sp., cf. Scapanus, Hypolagus vetus, Hypolagus edensis,? Spermophilus sp., Prothomomys warrenensis n. gen., n. sp., Perognathus sp., Repomys gustelyi, Postcopemys valensis, Peromyscus sp. A, Peromyscus sp. B, Jacobsomys dailyi n. sp., Borophagus cf. B. secundus, cf. Agriotherium, Machairodus sp. cf. M. coloradensis, Rhynchotherium sp. cf. R. edensis, Pliomastodon vexillarius, Dinohippus edensis, Teleoceras sp. cf. T. fossiger, cf. Prosthennops, Megatylopus sp. cf. M. matthewi, Hemiauchenia vera, Camelidae gen. et. sp. indet., and the antilocaprid cf. Sphenophalos. The majority of fossil localities are confined to a 20 m thick stratigraphic interval within a reversed polarity magnetozone. The fauna demonstrates affinity with other late Hemphillian faunas from California, Nevada, Nebraska, Texas, and Mexico. The Lawlor Tuff, dated elsewhere in California at 4.83 ?? 0.04 Ma and geochemically identified in the Horned Toad Formation, overlies most of the fossil mammal localities. Magnetic polarity data are correlated with Chrons 3n.3r, 3n.3n, and 3n.2r, suggesting an age of approximately 5.0 - 4.6 Ma. These constraints indicate an age for the late Hemphillian Warren Local Fauna of 4.85 - 5.0 Ma. ?? Society of Vertebrate Paleontology November 2011.

  19. Home in the heat: Dramatic seasonal variation in home range of desert golden eagles informs management for renewable energy development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braham, Melissa; Miller, Tricia A.; Duerr, Adam E.; Lanzone, Michael; Fesnock, Amy; LaPre, Larry; Driscoll, Daniel; Katzner, Todd E.

    2015-01-01

    Renewable energy is expanding quickly with sometimes dramatic impacts to species and ecosystems. To understand the degree to which sensitive species may be impacted by renewable energy projects, it is informative to know how much space individuals use and how that space may overlap with planned development. We used global positioning system–global system for mobile communications (GPS-GSM) telemetry to measure year-round movements of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) from the Mojave Desert of California, USA. We estimated monthly space use with adaptive local convex hulls to identify the temporal and spatial scales at which eagles may encounter renewable energy projects in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan area. Mean size of home ranges was lowest and least variable from November through January and greatest in February–March and May–August. These monthly home range patterns coincided with seasonal variation in breeding ecology, habitat associations, and temperature. The expanded home ranges in hot summer months included movements to cooler, prey-dense, mountainous areas characterized by forest, grasslands, and scrublands. Breeding-season home ranges (October–May) included more lowland semi-desert and rock vegetation. Overlap of eagle home ranges and focus areas for renewable energy development was greatest when eagle home ranges were smallest, during the breeding season. Golden eagles in the Mojave Desert used more space and a wider range of habitat types than expected and renewable energy projects could affect a larger section of the regional population than was previously thought.

  20. 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%.

  1. 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

  2. Palinspastic restoration of NAVDat and its implications for the origins of magmatism in western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuarrie, N.; Oskin, M.

    2008-12-01

    Simultaneous palinspastic restoration of deformation and volcanism illuminates relationships between magmatism and tectonics in western North America. Using ArcGIS and custom software, we retrodeformed the NAVDat (North American Volcanic Database, navdat.geongrid.org) using the western North America reconstruction of McQuarrie and Wernicke (2005). We compare this data to strain rates calculated over a 50 km-grid forward-deformed from 36 Ma to present. With the deformed grid and palinspastically restored volcanic dataset we quantitatively compare rates of magmatism and deformation and evaluate the age, location, and migration of Cenozoic volcanic arcs. These relationships are shown in a series of palinspastic maps as well as an animation highlighting migrating extension and volcanism with time. We group western North America into 8 different regions with distinct relationships between strain and volcanism. In the northern Basin and Range, southern Arizona and Rio Grande rift areas, a peak in andesitic compositions reflects arc volcanism that preceded significant extension by 5-10 m.y. In the northern Basin and Range, southwestward migration of volcanism in conjunction with westward expansion of the continental margin strongly supports the contention that extension was driven by slab rollback. Southern Arizona and the Colorado River extensional corridor (CEC) have a remarkably similar migration of extension and volcanism that occurred ~10 m.y. later than in the northern Basin and Range. The migration of volcanism from southern Arizona to the CEC and Mojave Desert has been argued to reflect northwestward migration of the volcanic arc from 30 to 15 Ma. However, we note that by 20 Ma both the CEC and the Mojave region directly overlie the slab window in the Farallon plate. In this region extension peaks with or immediately after volcanism and suggests thermal failure of the lithosphere above a growing slab window. At the latitude of Death Valley there is a strong

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Resistance to invasion and resilience to fire in desert shrublands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Matthew L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.

    2011-01-01

    Settlement by Anglo-Americans in the desert shrublands of North America resulted in the introduction and subsequent invasion of multiple nonnative grass species. These invasions have altered presettlement fire regimes, resulted in conversion of native perennial shrublands to nonnative annual grasslands, and placed many native desert species at risk. Effective management of these ecosystems requires an understanding of their ecological resistance to invasion and resilience to fire. Resistance and resilience differ among the cold and hot desert shrublands of the Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts in North America. These differences are largely determined by spatial and temporal patterns of productivity but also are affected by ecological memory, severity and frequency of disturbance, and feedbacks among invasive species and disturbance regimes. Strategies for preventing or managing invasive plant/fire regimes cycles in desert shrublands include: 1) conducting periodic resource assessments to evaluate the probability of establishment of an altered fire regime; 2) developing an understanding of ecological thresholds associate within invasion resistance and fire resilience that characterize transitions from desirable to undesirable fire regimes; and 3) prioritizing management activities based on resistance of areas to invasion and resilience to fire.

  6. The Agassiz's desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollis, Marc; DeNardo, Dale F; Cornelius, John A; Dolby, Greer A; Edwards, Taylor; Henen, Brian T; Karl, Alice E; Murphy, Robert W; Kusumi, Kenro

    2017-01-01

    Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1) that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2) amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3) fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex.

  7. The Agassiz's desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Tollis

    Full Text Available Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1 that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2 amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3 fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex.

  8. 76 FR 50494 - Water Resources Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Mojave National Preserve, San...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

    ... National Park Service Water Resources Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Mojave National... Scoping Period for Water Resources Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for Mojave National... National Park Service is preparing a Water Resources Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (WRMP...

  9. The source, discharge, and chemical characteristics of selected springs, and the abundance and health of associated endemic anuran species in the Mojave network parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Roy A.; Smith, Gregory A.; Martin, Peter; Flint, Alan L.; Gallegos, Elizabeth; Fisher, Robert N.; Martin, Peter; Schroeder, Roy A.

    2015-01-01

    Hydrological and biological investigations were done during 2005 and 2006 in cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service to investigate the source, discharge, and chemical characteristics of selected springs and the abundance and health of endemic anuran (frog and toad) species at Darwin Falls in Death Valley National Park, Piute Spring in Mojave National Preserve, and Fortynine Palms Oasis in Joshua Tree National Park. Discharge from the springs at these sites sustains isolated riparian habitats in the normally dry Mojave Desert. Data were collected on water quantity (discharge) and quality, air and water temperature, and abundance and health of endemic anuran species. In addition, a single survey of the abundance and health of endemic anuran species was completed at Rattlesnake Canyon in Joshua Tree National Park. Results from this study were compared to limited historical data, where they exist, and can provide a baseline for future hydrological and biological investigations to evaluate the health and sustainability of the resource and its response to changing climate and increasing human use.

  10. Cold desert fire and invasive species management: Resources, strategies, tactics, and response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Elizabeth Leger; Erin Goergen

    2009-01-01

    The cold desert of North America, sometimes referred to as the Intermountain area, is comprised of a western Great Basin section and an eastern Colorado Plateau section. In general, the cold desert receives more than half of its annual precipitation as snow, and because of its more northern latitude or higher elevations, has relatively low average annual temperatures....

  11. 78 FR 18625 - Call for Nominations for the California Desert District Advisory Council

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-27

    ... Land Management, California Desert District Office, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley... public land in the California Desert Conservation Area of Mono, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial counties, as well as 300,000 acres of scattered parcels in San Diego, western...

  12. Publications of the Western Earth Surfaces Processes Team 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Charles; Stone, Paul

    2007-01-01

    Introduction The Western Earth Surface Processes Team (WESPT) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducts geologic mapping, earth-surface process investigations, and related topical earth science studies in the western United States. This work is focused on areas where modern geologic maps and associated earth-science data are needed to address key societal and environmental issues such as ground-water quality, landslides and other potential geologic hazards, and land-use decisions. Areas of primary emphasis in 2005 included southern California, the San Francisco Bay region, the Mojave Desert, the Colorado Plateau region of northern Arizona, and the Pacific Northwest. The team has its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and maintains smaller field offices at several other locations in the western United States. The results of research conducted by the WESPT are released to the public as a variety of databases, maps, text reports, and abstracts, both through the internal publication system of the USGS and in diverse external publications such as scientific journals and books. This report lists publications of the WESPT released in 2005 as well as additional 2002, 2003, and 2004 publications that were not included in the previous lists (USGS Open-File Reports 03-363, 2004- 1267, 2005-1362). Most of the publications listed were authored or coauthored by WESPT staff. The list also includes some publications authored by non-USGS cooperators with the WESPT, as well as some authored by USGS staff outside the WESPT in cooperation with WESPT projects. Several of the publications listed are available on the World Wide Web; for these, URL addresses are provided. Many of these web publications are USGS Open-File reports that contain large digital databases of geologic map and related information. Information on ordering USGS publications can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.usgs.gov/pubprod/, or by calling 1-888-ASK-USGS. The U.S. Geological Survey's web

  13. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    G. X. Wu; Y. Liu; X. Zhu; W. Li; R. Ren; A. Duan; X. Liang

    2009-01-01

    .... To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity...

  14. Shrubland carbon sink depends upon winter water availability in the warm deserts of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Joel A.; Scott, Russell L.; John A. Arnone,; Jasoni, Richard L.; Litvak, Marcy E.; Moreo, Michael T.; Papuga, Shirley A.; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Schreiner-McGraw, Adam P.; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2018-01-01

    Global-scale studies suggest that dryland ecosystems dominate an increasing trend in the magnitude and interannual variability of the land CO2 sink. However, such model-based analyses are poorly constrained by measured CO2 exchange in open shrublands, which is the most common global land cover type, covering ∼14% of Earth’s surface. Here we evaluate how the amount and seasonal timing of water availability regulate CO2 exchange between shrublands and the atmosphere. We use eddy covariance data from six US sites across the three warm deserts of North America with observed ranges in annual precipitation of ∼100–400mm, annual temperatures of 13–18°C, and records of 2–8 years (33 site-years in total). The Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mojave Deserts present gradients in both mean annual precipitation and its seasonal distribution between the wet-winter Mojave Desert and the wet-summer Chihuahuan Desert. We found that due to hydrologic losses during the wettest summers in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, evapotranspiration (ET) was a better metric than precipitation of water available to drive dryland CO2 exchange. In contrast with recent synthesis studies across diverse dryland biomes, we found that NEP could not be directly predicted from ET due to wintertime decoupling of the relationship between ecosystem respiration (Reco) and gross ecosystem productivity (GEP). Ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE=GEP/ET) did not differ between winter and summer. Carbon use efficiency (CUE=NEP/GEP), however, was greater in winter because Reco returned a smaller fraction of carbon to the atmosphere (23% of GEP) than in summer (77%). Combining the water-carbon relations found here with historical precipitation since 1980, we estimate that lower average winter precipitation during the 21st century reduced the net carbon sink of the three deserts by an average of 6.8TgC yr1. Our results highlight that winter precipitation is critical to the annual carbon balance of these

  15. 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...

  16. Geology and geochemistry of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Seed banks in a degraded desert shrubland: Influence of soil surface condition and harvester ant activity on seed abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, L.A.; Esque, T.C.; Kane, J.M.; Nicklas, M.B.

    2009-01-01

    We compared seed banks between two contrasting anthropogenic surface disturbances (compacted, trenched) and adjacent undisturbed controls to determine whether site condition influences viable seed densities of perennial and annual Mojave Desert species. Viable seeds of perennials were rare in undisturbed areas (3-4 seeds/m2) and declined to ant explained annual seed densities better than any other surface characteristics that were examined. Surface disturbances can have a varied impact on the condition of the soil surface in arid lands. Nevertheless, the consistently positive relationship between ground cover of litter and viable seed density emphasizes the importance of litter as an indicator of site degradation and recovery potential in arid lands.

  18. Applications of GIS, Advanced Sensors and Habitat Modeling in Support of Desert Tortoise Line Distance, Sampling and Translocation Studies Related to the Proposed Expansion of the Ft. Irwin NTC

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-09-25

    0.52 No Paula Akompong 0.06 No Peter Moresi 0.75 No Petya Maneva 0.67 No Richard Inman 0.90 No Rob Lavelle 0.60 No Ruben Ortiz 0.33 No Sabine...of High-PEP Plants in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts in a Year of High Rainfall. Desert Tortoise Council Symposium. Tucson, AZ. Leuteritz, T., Paul ...Melissa Brenneman 0.75 No Michael Spencer 0.75 No Monica Hally 0.44 No Naicong Li 0.85 No Nathan Jimerson 0.34 No Nathan Strout 0.76 No Paul Burgess

  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. 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.

  1. Erosion Potential of a Burn Site in the Mojave-Great Basin Transition Zone: Interim Summary of One Year of Measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Etyemezian, V.; Shafer, D.; Miller, J.; Kavouras, I.; Campbell, S.; DuBois, D.; King, J.; Nikolich, G.; Zitzer, S.

    2010-05-18

    A historic return interval of 100 years for large fires in deserts in the Southwest U.S. is being replaced by one where fires may reoccur as frequently as every 20 to 30 years. This increase in fires has implications for management of Soil Sub-Project Corrective Action Units (CAUs) for which the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site office (NNSA/NSO) has responsibility. A series of studies has been initiated at uncontaminated analog sites to better understand the possible impacts of erosion and transport by wind and water should contaminated soil sites burn over to understand technical and perceived risk they might pose to site workers and public receptors in communities around the NTS, TTR, and NTTR; and to develop recommendations for stabilization and restoration after a fire. The first of these studies was undertaken at the Jacob fire, a lightning-caused fire approximately 12 kilometers north of Hiko, Nevada, that burned approximately 200 ha between August 6-8, 2008, and is representative of a transition zone on the NTS between the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts, where the largest number of Soil Sub-Project CAUs/CASs are located.

  2. The Agassiz’s desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollis, Marc; DeNardo, Dale F.; Cornelius, John A.; Dolby, Greer A.; Edwards, Taylor; Henen, Brian T.; Karl, Alice E.; Murphy, Robert W.

    2017-01-01

    Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1) that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2) amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3) fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex. PMID:28562605

  3. Differentiation of Secular and Postseismic Deformation in the Mojave Shear Zone in Southern California and Inference of Lithospheric Rheology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Z.; Liu, S.; Burgmann, R.

    2015-12-01

    The 1992 Mw 7.3 Landers and 1999 Mw7.1 Hector Mine earthquakes struck the Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) in the Mojave Desert, Southern California. Coseismic and postseismic deformation from these events affect efforts to use Global Positioning System (GPS) observations collected since these events to establish a secular surface velocity field, especially in the near field of the coseismic ruptures. We devise block motion models constrained by both historical pre-Landers triangulation and trilateration observations and post-Landers GPS measurements to recover the secular deformation field and differentiate the postseismic transients in the Mojave region. Postseismic transients are found to remain in various "interseismic" GPS velocity solutions in the form of 2-3 mm/yr excess right-lateral shear across the Landers and Hector Mine coseismic ruptures [Liu et al., 2015 JGR]. Postseismic GPS time series differentiated from the secular velocity field reveal enduring late-stage transient motions in the near field of the coseismic ruptures. Using the postseismic time series data as model constraints, we develop postseismic deformation model invoking afterlip on faults and viscoelastic relaxation in the lower crust and upper mantle. A Burgers body material and a Maxwell material are assumed for the lower crust and upper mantle respectively. Our preliminary modeling result, constrained using GPS time series data from the SCEC Crustal Motion Map 4.0 (covering the time period of 1992-2004), reveals that both the long-term viscosities for the lower crust and upper mantle are on the order of e+19 Pa-s. This finding differs significantly from the "Crème Brulee" model predictions about the rheological structure of the lower crust and upper mantle, in which the lower crust has a substantially higher viscosity. We are incorporating more GPS time series data into our model, particularly the ones from continuous sites of the Plate Boundary Observatory network with post-2004

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Water developments and canids in two North American deserts: a test of the indirect effect of water hypothesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas K Hall

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic modifications to landscapes intended to benefit wildlife may negatively influence wildlife communities. Anthropogenic provisioning of free water (water developments to enhance abundance and distribution of wildlife is a common management practice in arid regions where water is limiting. Despite the long-term and widespread use of water developments, little is known about how they influence native species. Water developments may negatively influence arid-adapted species (e.g., kit fox, Vulpes macrotis by enabling water-dependent competitors (e.g., coyote, Canis latrans to expand distribution in arid landscapes (i.e., indirect effect of water hypothesis. We tested the two predictions of the indirect effect of water hypothesis (i.e., coyotes will visit areas with free water more frequently and kit foxes will spatially and temporally avoid coyotes and evaluated relative use of free water by canids in the Great Basin and Mojave Deserts from 2010 to 2012. We established scent stations in areas with (wet and without (dry free water and monitored visitation by canids to these sites and visitation to water sources using infrared-triggered cameras. There was no difference in the proportions of visits to scent stations in wet or dry areas by coyotes or kit foxes at either study area. We did not detect spatial (no negative correlation between visits to scent stations or temporal (no difference between times when stations were visited segregation between coyotes and kit foxes. Visitation to water sources was not different for coyotes between study areas, but kit foxes visited water sources more in Mojave than Great Basin. Our results did not support the indirect effect of water hypothesis in the Great Basin or Mojave Deserts for these two canids.

  11. Water Developments and Canids in Two North American Deserts: A Test of the Indirect Effect of Water Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Lucas K.; Larsen, Randy T.; Knight, Robert N.; Bunnell, Kevin D.; McMillan, Brock R.

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic modifications to landscapes intended to benefit wildlife may negatively influence wildlife communities. Anthropogenic provisioning of free water (water developments) to enhance abundance and distribution of wildlife is a common management practice in arid regions where water is limiting. Despite the long-term and widespread use of water developments, little is known about how they influence native species. Water developments may negatively influence arid-adapted species (e.g., kit fox, Vulpes macrotis) by enabling water-dependent competitors (e.g., coyote, Canis latrans) to expand distribution in arid landscapes (i.e., indirect effect of water hypothesis). We tested the two predictions of the indirect effect of water hypothesis (i.e., coyotes will visit areas with free water more frequently and kit foxes will spatially and temporally avoid coyotes) and evaluated relative use of free water by canids in the Great Basin and Mojave Deserts from 2010 to 2012. We established scent stations in areas with (wet) and without (dry) free water and monitored visitation by canids to these sites and visitation to water sources using infrared-triggered cameras. There was no difference in the proportions of visits to scent stations in wet or dry areas by coyotes or kit foxes at either study area. We did not detect spatial (no negative correlation between visits to scent stations) or temporal (no difference between times when stations were visited) segregation between coyotes and kit foxes. Visitation to water sources was not different for coyotes between study areas, but kit foxes visited water sources more in Mojave than Great Basin. Our results did not support the indirect effect of water hypothesis in the Great Basin or Mojave Deserts for these two canids. PMID:23844097

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Renewable Energy Development on Fort Mojave Reservation Feasiblity Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell Gum, ERCC analytics LLC

    2008-03-17

    The Ft. Mojave tribe, whose reservation is located along the Colorado River in the states of Arizona, California, and Nevada near the point where all three states meet, has a need for increased energy supplies. This need is a direct result of the aggressive and successful economic development projects undertaken by the tribe in the last decade. While it is possible to contract for additional energy supplies from fossil fuel sources it was the desire of the tribal power company, AHA MACAV Power Service (AMPS) to investigate the feasibility and desirability of producing power from renewable sources as an alternative to increased purchase of fossil fuel generated power and as a possible enterprise to export green power. Renewable energy generated on the reservation would serve to reduce the energy dependence of the tribal enterprises on off reservation sources of energy and if produced in excess of reservation needs, add a new enterprise to the current mix of economic activities on the reservation. Renewable energy development would also demonstrate the tribe’s support for improving environmental quality, sustainability, and energy independence both on the reservation and for the larger community.

  16. Active layer physical processes at Broeggerhalvoya, western Spitsbergen, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — These data have been collected from an Arctic desert site (latitude 78o57'29N, longitude 12o27'42E), Broeggerhalvoya in western Spitsbergen, 10 km NW from Ny...

  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. Operational Monitoring of the Desert Locust Habitat with Earth Observation: An Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    François Waldner; Mohamed Abdallahi Babah Ebbe; Keith Cressman; Pierre Defourny

    2015-01-01

    Desert locust swarms intermittently damage crops and pastures in sixty countries from Africa to western Asia, threatening the food security of 10% of the world’s population. During the 20th century, desert locust control operations began organizing, and nowadays, they are coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which promotes a preventative strategy based on early warning and rapid response. This strategy implies a constant monitoring of the populations and of the ecologic...

  20. Threats to desert tortoise populations: a critical review of the literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boarman, William I.

    2002-01-01

    Decision in resource management are generally based on a combination of sociopolitical, economic, and environmental factors, and may be biased by personal values. These three components often contradict each other resulting in controversy. Controversies can usually be reduced when solid scientific evidence is used to support or refute a decision. However, it is important to recognize that data often do little to alter antagonists' positions when differences in values are the bases if the dispute. But, supporting data can make the decision more defensible, both legally and ethically, especially if the data supporting all opposing viewpoints are included in the decision-making process. Resource management decisions must be made using the best scientific information currently available. However, scientific data vary in two important measures of quality: reliability and validity. The reliability of the data is a measure of the degree to which the observations or conclusion can be repeated. Validity of the data is a measure of the degree to which the observation or conclusion reflects what actually occurs in nature. How the data are collected strongly affects the reliability of validity of ecological conclusions that can be made. Research data potentially relevant to management come from different sources, and the source often provides clues to the reliability and, to a certain extent, validity of data. Understanding the quality of data being used to make management decisions helps to separate the philosophical or value-based aspects of arguments from the objective ones, thus helping to clarify the decisions and judgments that need to be made. The West Mojave Plan is a multispecies, bioregional plan for the management of natural resources within a 9.4 million-acre area of the Mojave Desert in California. The plan addresses the legal requirements for the recovery of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agazzizii), a threatened species, but also covers an additional

  1. Life-history traits predict perennial species response to fire in a desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shryock, Daniel F.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    The Mojave Desert of North America has become fire-prone in recent decades due to invasive annual grasses that fuel wildfires following years of high rainfall. Perennial species are poorly adapted to fire in this system, and post-fire shifts in species composition have been substantial but variable across community types. To generalize across a range of conditions, we investigated whether simple life-history traits could predict how species responded to fire. Further, we classified species into plant functional types (PFTs) based on combinations of life-history traits and evaluated whether these groups exhibited a consistent fire-response. Six life-history traits varied significantly between burned and unburned areas in short (up to 4 years) or long-term (up to 52 years) post-fire datasets, including growth form, lifespan, seed size, seed dispersal, height, and leaf longevity. Forbs and grasses consistently increased in abundance after fire, while cacti were reduced and woody species exhibited a variable response. Woody species were classified into three PFTs based on combinations of life-history traits. Species in Group 1 increased in abundance after fire and were characterized by short lifespans, small, wind-dispersed seeds, low height, and deciduous leaves. Species in Group 2 were reduced by fire and distinguished from Group 1 by longer lifespans and evergreen leaves. Group 3 species, which also decreased after fire, were characterized by long lifespans, large non-wind dispersed seeds, and taller heights. Our results show that PFTs based on life-history traits can reliably predict the responses of most species to fire in the Mojave Desert. Dominant, long-lived species of this region possess a combination of traits limiting their ability to recover, presenting a clear example of how a novel disturbance regime may shift selective environmental pressures to favor alternative life-history strategies.

  2. Cover of woody and herbaceous functional groups in burned and unburned plots, Mojave Desert, 2009-2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Arid ecosystems are often vulnerable to transformation to invasive-dominated states following fire, but data on persistence of these states are sparse. The...

  3. Conservation Planning for Offsetting the Impacts of Development: A Case Study of Biodiversity and Renewable Energy in the Mojave Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Jason Kreitler; Schloss, Carrie A.; Oliver Soong; Lee Hannah; Frank W Davis

    2015-01-01

    © 2015, Public Library of Science. All rights reserved. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. Balancing society's competing needs of development and conservation requires careful consideration of tradeoffs. Renewable energy development and biodiversity conservation ...

  4. AGN Jet Kinematics on Parsec-Scales: The MOJAVE Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Lister

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Very long baseline interferometry offers the best means of investigating the complex dynamics of relativistic jets powered by active galactic nuclei, via multi-epoch, sub-milliarcsecond, full-polarization imaging at radio wavelengths. Although targeted studies have yielded important information on the structures of individual AGN jets, the strong selection effects associated with relativistically beaming imply that general aspects of the flows can only be determined via large statistical studies. In this review I discuss major results from the Monitoring of Jets in Active Galactic Nuclei With VLBA Experiments (MOJAVE program, which has gathered multi-epoch Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA data at 15 GHz on over 400 AGN jets over the course of two decades. The sample is large enough to encompass a range of AGN optical class, radio luminosity and synchrotron peak frequency, and has been used to show that within a particular jet, individual bright features have a spread of apparent speed and velocity vector position angle about a characteristic value. We have found that in some cases there is a secular evolution of launch angle direction over time, indicative of evolving narrow energized channels within a wider outflow. The majority of the jet features are superluminal and accelerating, with changes in speed more common than changes in direction. Within approximately 100 pc of the AGN, the flows are generally accelerating, while beyond this distance the flows begin to decelerate or remain nearly constant in speed. We also find evidence for a maximum bulk flow Lorentz factor of 50 in the pc-scale radio regime, and a trend of higher jet speeds in lower-synchrotron peaked and gamma-ray-loud blazars.

  5. 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...

  6. Drawing a line in the sand: Effectiveness of off-highway vehicle management in California's Sonoran desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custer, Nathan A; DeFalco, Lesley A; Nussear, Kenneth E; Esque, Todd C

    2017-05-15

    Public land policies manage multiple uses while striving to protect vulnerable plant and wildlife habitats from degradation; yet the effectiveness of such policies are infrequently evaluated, particularly for remote landscapes that are difficult to monitor. We assessed the use and impacts of recreational vehicles on Mojave Desert washes (intermittent streams) in the Chemehuevi Desert Wildlife Management Area (DWMA) of southern California. Wash zones designated as open and closed to off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity were designed in part to protect Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) habitat while allowing recreation in designated areas. OHV tracks were monitored in washes located near access roads during winter and early spring holidays - when recreation is typically high - and at randomly dispersed locations away from roads. Washes near access roads had fewer vehicle tracks within closed than open zones; further away from roads, OHV tracks were infrequent and their occurrence was not different between wash designations. Washes were in better condition in closed zones following major holidays as indicated by less vegetation damage, presence of trash, and wash bank damage. Furthermore, the frequency of washes with live tortoises and their sign was marginally greater in closed than open wash zones. Collectively, these results suggest that low impacts to habitats in designated closed wash zones reflect public compliance with federal OHV policy and regulations in the Chemehuevi DWMA during our study. Future monitoring to contrast wash use and impacts during other seasons as well as in other DWMAs will elucidate spatial and temporal patterns of recreation in these important conservation areas. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Drawing a line in the sand: Effectiveness of off-highway vehicle management in California's Sonoran desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custer, Nathan; Defalco, Lesley A.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.

    2017-01-01

    Public land policies manage multiple uses while striving to protect vulnerable plant and wildlife habitats from degradation; yet the effectiveness of such policies are infrequently evaluated, particularly for remote landscapes that are difficult to monitor. We assessed the use and impacts of recreational vehicles on Mojave Desert washes (intermittent streams) in the Chemehuevi Desert Wildlife Management Area (DWMA) of southern California. Wash zones designated as open and closed to off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity were designed in part to protect Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) habitat while allowing recreation in designated areas. OHV tracks were monitored in washes located near access roads during winter and early spring holidays – when recreation is typically high – and at randomly dispersed locations away from roads. Washes near access roads had fewer vehicle tracks within closed than open zones; further away from roads, OHV tracks were infrequent and their occurrence was not different between wash designations. Washes were in better condition in closed zones following major holidays as indicated by less vegetation damage, presence of trash, and wash bank damage. Furthermore, the frequency of washes with live tortoises and their sign was marginally greater in closed than open wash zones. Collectively, these results suggest that low impacts to habitats in designated closed wash zones reflect public compliance with federal OHV policy and regulations in the Chemehuevi DWMA during our study. Future monitoring to contrast wash use and impacts during other seasons as well as in other DWMAs will elucidate spatial and temporal patterns of recreation in these important conservation areas.

  8. The desert tortoise trichotomy: Mexico hosts a third, new sister-species of tortoise in the Gopherus morafkai-G. agassizii group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Taylor; Karl, Alice E; Vaughn, Mercy; Rosen, Philip C; Torres, Cristina Meléndez; Murphy, Robert W

    2016-01-01

    Desert tortoises (Testudines; Testudinidae; Gopherus agassizii group) have an extensive distribution throughout the Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran desert regions. Not surprisingly, they exhibit a tremendous amount of ecological, behavioral, morphological and genetic variation. Gopherus agassizii was considered a single species for almost 150 years but recently the species was split into the nominate form and Morafka's desert tortoise, Gopherus morafkai, the latter occurring south and east of the Colorado River. Whereas a large body of literature focuses on tortoises in the United States, a dearth of investigations exists for Mexican animals. Notwithstanding, Mexican populations of desert tortoises in the southern part of the range of Gopherus morafkai are distinct, particularly where the tortoises occur in tropical thornscrub and tropical deciduous forest. Recent studies have shed light on the ecology, morphology and genetics of these southern 'desert' tortoises. All evidence warrants recognition of this clade as a distinctive taxon and herein we describe it as Gopherus evgoodei sp. n. The description of the new species significantly reduces and limits the distribution of Gopherus morafkai to desertscrub habitat only. By contrast, Gopherus evgoodei sp. n. occurs in thornscrub and tropical deciduous forests only and this leaves it with the smallest range of the three sister species. We present conservation implications for the newly described Gopherus evgoodei, which already faces impending threats.

  9. Characterization and phylogenetic analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes for two desert cyprinodontoid fishes, Empetrichthys latos and Crenichthys baileyi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, Miguel; Goodchild, Shawn C; Stockwell, Craig A; Lema, Sean C

    2017-08-30

    The Pahrump poolfish (Empetrichthys latos) and White River springfish (Crenichthys baileyi) are small-bodied teleost fishes (order Cyprinodontiformes) endemic to the arid Great Basin and Mojave Desert regions of western North America. These taxa survive as small, isolated populations in remote streams and springs and evolved to tolerate extreme conditions of high temperature and low dissolved oxygen. Both species have experienced severe population declines over the last 50-60years that led to some subspecies being categorized with protected status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here we report the first sequencing of the complete mitochondrial DNA genomes for both E. l. latos and the moapae subspecies of C. baileyi. Complete mitogenomes of 16,546bp nucleotides were obtained from two E. l. latos individuals collected from introduced populations at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and Shoshone Ponds Natural Area, Nevada, USA, while a single mitogenome of 16,537bp was sequenced for C. b. moapae. The mitogenomes of both species contain 13 protein-encoding genes, twenty-two tRNAs, and two rRNAs (12S and 18S) following the syntenic arrangement typical of Actinopterygiian fish mitogenomes, as well as D-loop control regions of 858bp for E. latos and 842bp for C. baileyi moapae. The two E. latos individuals exhibited only 0.0181% nucleotide sequence divergence across the entire mitogenome, implying little intraspecific mtDNA genetic variation. Comparative phylogenetic analysis of the poolfish and springfish mitochondrial genomes to available mitogenomes of other Cyprinodontoid fishes confirmed the close relationship of these oviparous Empetrichthys and Crenichthys genera to the viviparous goodeid fishes of central Mexico, and showed the combined clade of these fishes to be a sister group to the Profundulidae killifishes. Despite several significant life history and morphological differences between the Empetrichthyinae and Goodienae, estimates of evolutionary genetic

  10. 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...

  11. 76 FR 27344 - Water Resources Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Mojave National Preserve, San...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-11

    ..., and other interested parties, in keeping with existing laws, regulations, and NPS management policies... also multifaceted, and may be complicated by the potential effects of climate change. The Draft WRMP.... SUMMARY: In accordance with Sec. 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Mojave...

  12. Interseismic strain and rotation rates in the northeast Mojave domain, eastern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, J. C.; Svarc, J. L.; Prescott, W. H.

    2004-02-01

    The northeast Mojave domain, a type locality for bookshelf faulting, is a region of east striking, left-lateral faults in the northeast corner of the Mojave block, a block otherwise dominated by ˜N40°W striking, right-lateral faults. Paleomagnetic evidence suggests that blocks within the domain have rotated clockwise about a vertical axis as much as 60° since 12.8 Ma [, 1996]. In 1994, and again in 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey surveyed an array of 14 geodetic monuments distributed across the northeast Mojave domain. The 2002 survey results were adjusted to remove the coseismic offsets imposed by the nearby Hector Mine earthquake (16 October 1999, Mw = 7.1). The adjusted deformation across the array appears to be uniform and can be approximated by the principal strain rates ɛ1 = 28.9 ± 9.1 N77.2°W ± 4.8° and ɛ2 = -48.2 ± 8.9 N12.8°E ± 4.8° nstrain yr-1; extension reckoned positive, and quoted uncertainties are standard deviations. That strain accumulation could be released by slip on faults striking N32°W but not by bookshelf faulting on the east striking faults alone. The vertical axis rotation rate of the northeast Mojave domain as a whole relative to fixed North America is 71.0 ± 6.4 nrad yr-1 (4.07° ± 0.37° Myr-1) clockwise, about twice the maximum tensor shear strain rate. The observed rotation rate acting over 12.8 Myr would produce a clockwise rotation of 52.1° ± 4.7°, exclusive of possible coseismic rotations. That rotation is in rough agreement with the paleomagnetic rotation accumulated in the individual fault blocks within the northeast Mojave domain since 12.8 Ma.

  13. 2010 Water-Table Contours of the Mojave River and the Morongo Groundwater Basins, San Bernardino County, California

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — During 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies made approximately 2,500 water-level measurements in the Mojave River and Morongo groundwater basins....

  14. Gujarat, Western India

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Extremely high sediment loads are delivered to the Arabian Sea along the coast of Pakistan (upper left) and western India. In the case of the Indus River (far upper left) this sedimentation, containing large quantities of desert sand, combines with wave action to create a large sand-bar like delta. In the arid environment, the delta lacks much vegetation, but contains numerous mangrove-lined channels. This true-color image from May 2001 shows the transition from India's arid northwest to the wetter regions farther south along the coast. The increase in vegetation along the coast is brought about by the moisture trapping effect of the Western Ghats Mountain Range that runs north-south along the coast. Heavy sediment is visible in the Gulf of Kachchh (north) and the Gulf of Khambhat(south), which surround the Gujarat Peninsula.

  15. 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...

  16. Eghindi among Sahrawi refugees of Western Sahara

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volpato, G.

    2014-01-01

    Eghindi is an illness built around a set of pathological states experienced by Sahrawi in the desert environment of Western Sahara. Its core symptoms are caused by osmotic imbalances related to salt consumption. In 1975, many Sahrawi were exiled into refugee camps, and they have since experienced

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

    The biology and ecology of biological soil crusts, a soil surface community of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, green algae, fungi, and bacteria, have only recently been a topic of research. Most efforts began in the western U.S. (Cameron, Harper, Rushforth, and St. Clair), Australia (Rogers), and Israel (Friedmann, Evenari, and Lange) in the late 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Friedmann et al. 1967; Evenari 1985reviewed in Harper and Marble 1988). However, these groups worked independently of each other and, in fact, were often not aware of each other’s work. In addition, biological soil crust communities were seen as more a novelty than a critical component of dryland ecosystems. Since then, researchers have investigated many different aspects of these communities and have shown that although small to microscopic, biological soil crusts are critical in many ecological processes of deserts. They often cover most of desert soil surfaces and substantially mediate inputs and outputs from desert soils (Belnap et al. 2003). They can be a large source of biodiversity for deserts, as they can contain more species than the surrounding vascular plant community (Rosentreter 1986). These communities are important in reducing soil erosion and increasing soil fertility through the capture of dust and the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and carbon into forms available to other life forms (Elbert et al. 2012). Because of their many effects on soil characteristics, such as external and internal morphological characteristics, aggregate stability, soil moisture, and permeability, they also affect seed germination and establishment and local hydrological cycles. Covering up to 70% of the surface area in many arid and semi-arid regions around the world (Belnap and Lange 2003), biological soil crusts are a key component within desert environments.

  20. The desert tortoise trichotomy: Mexico hosts a third, new sister-species of tortoise in the Gopherus morafkai–G. agassizii group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Taylor; Karl, Alice E.; Vaughn, Mercy; Rosen, Philip C.; Torres, Cristina Meléndez; Murphy, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Desert tortoises (Testudines; Testudinidae; Gopherus agassizii group) have an extensive distribution throughout the Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran desert regions. Not surprisingly, they exhibit a tremendous amount of ecological, behavioral, morphological and genetic variation. Gopherus agassizii was considered a single species for almost 150 years but recently the species was split into the nominate form and Morafka’s desert tortoise, Gopherus morafkai, the latter occurring south and east of the Colorado River. Whereas a large body of literature focuses on tortoises in the United States, a dearth of investigations exists for Mexican animals. Notwithstanding, Mexican populations of desert tortoises in the southern part of the range of Gopherus morafkai are distinct, particularly where the tortoises occur in tropical thornscrub and tropical deciduous forest. Recent studies have shed light on the ecology, morphology and genetics of these southern ‘desert’ tortoises. All evidence warrants recognition of this clade as a distinctive taxon and herein we describe it as Gopherus evgoodei sp. n. The description of the new species significantly reduces and limits the distribution of Gopherus morafkai to desertscrub habitat only. By contrast, Gopherus evgoodei sp. n. occurs in thornscrub and tropical deciduous forests only and this leaves it with the smallest range of the three sister species. We present conservation implications for the newly described Gopherus evgoodei, which already faces impending threats. PMID:27006625

  1. Pre-treating Seed to Enhance Germination of Desert Shrubs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    W. K. Ostler; D. C. Anderson; D. J. Hansen

    2002-06-01

    Creosotebush [Larrea tridentata (D.C.) Cav.] and white bursage [Ambrosia dumosa (A. Gray) W.W. Payne] seeds were subjected to pre-treatments of rinsing and soaking in water and thiourea to enhance germination in laboratory experiments. The effects of darkness, temperature, seed source, and soil moisture were also evaluated in the laboratory. The best pre-treatment from the laboratory experiments, rinsing with water for 36 hours followed by drying, was field-tested at Fort Irwin, California. Two sites and two seeding dates (early March and mid April) were determined for each site. Five mulch treatments (no mulch, straw, gravel, chemical stabilizer, and plastic) were evaluated in combination with the seed pre-treatments. Field emergence was greatly enhanced with the seed pre-treatment for white bursage during the March (18-42% increase in germination) and April seedings (16-23% increase in germination). Creosotebush showed poor germination during March (2-5%) when soil temperatures averaged 15 C, but germination increased during the April trials (6-43%) when soil temperatures averaged 23 C. The seed pre-treatment during the April trials increased germination from 16-23%. The plastic mulch treatment increased germination dramatically during both the March and April trials. The plastic mulch increased soil temperatures (8-10 C)and maintained high humidity during germination. Both the chemical stabilizer and the gravel mulches improved germination over the control while the straw mulch decreased germination. These results suggest that seed pre-treatments combined with irrigation and mulch are effective techniques to establish these two dominant Mojave Desert species from seed.

  2. Gopherus Agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Predation/Mountain Lions (Pre-Print)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul D. Greger and Philip A. Medica

    2009-01-01

    During a long-term study on tortoise growth within 3 fenced 9-ha enclosures in Rock Valley, Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada, USA, tortoises have been captured annually since 1964 (Medica et al. 1975. Copeia 1975:630-643; Turner et al. 1987. Copeia 1987:974-979). Between early August and mid October 2003 we observed a significant mortality event. The Rock Valley enclosures were constructed of 6 x 6 mm mesh 1.2 m wide hardware cloth, buried 0.3 m in the soil with deflective flashing on both sides on the top to restrict the movement of small mammals and lizards from entering or leaving the enclosures (Rundel and Gibson 1996, Ecological communities and process in a Mojave Desert ecosystem: Rock Valley, Nevada, Cambridge University Press, Great Britain. 369 pp.). On August 6, 2003, the carcass of an adult female Desert Tortoise No.1411 (carapace length 234 mm when alive) was collected while adult male tortoise No.4414 (carapace length 269 mm) was observed alive and in good health on the same day. Subsequently the carcass of No.4414 was found on October 16, 2003. Between October 16-17, 2003, the remains of 6 (5 adult and 1 juvenile) Desert Tortoises were found, some within each of the 3 enclosures in Rock Valley. A seventh adult tortoise was found on September 26, 2006, its death also attributed to the 2003 mortality event based upon the forensic evidence. Each of the 7 adult Desert Tortoises had the central portion of their carapace broken open approximately to the dorsal portion of the marginal scutes while the plastron was still intact (Figure 1A). Adjacent to 7 of the 8 remains we located numerous bone fragments including parts of the carapace and limbs as well as dried intestines in a nearby Range Rhatany (Krameria parvifolia) shrub. The significance of the frequent use of this shrub is puzzling. Three of the Desert Tortoise shell remains possessed distinctive intercanine punctures measuring 55-60 mm center to center indicating that this was an adult

  3. 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)…

  4. 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

  5. Tertiary Normal Faulting in the Canyon Range, Eastern Sevier Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wills; Anders

    1999-11-01

    The contact between pre-Mesozoic and Tertiary rocks in the western Canyon Range, west-central Utah, has been interpreted as a large, low-angle normal fault that marks the breakaway zone of the hypothesized, basin-forming Sevier Desert detachment. Recent fieldwork suggests that the contact may in fact be depositional along much or all of its length. Deformational fabric in the supposed footwall likely traces to the Mesozoic Sevier orogeny rather than to Tertiary detachment faulting. Kinematic indicators at the range front are not generally consistent with low-angle normal-fault motion; instead, well-exposed high-angle faults are the dominant range-bounding structures. The Tertiary conglomerates of the western Canyon Range foothills, previously viewed as an evolving syntectonic deposit related to detachment faulting, are here reinterpreted as three distinct units that reflect different periods and tectonic settings. The pattern in these conglomerates, and in fault-offset gravity-slide deposits that mantle the western foothills, is consistent with block faulting and rotation along several generations of high-angle structures. Local seismic-reflection data lend qualitative support to this interpretation, and underscore the need to consider alternative working hypotheses for evolution of the Sevier Desert basin.

  6. 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

  7. Morphological characteristics of interactions between deserts and rivers in northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Ping; Li, XiaoMei; Ma, YuFeng; Wu, Wei; Qian, Yao

    2015-12-01

    Arid regions are affected by long-term interactions between various factors including water and wind. Recent research has concentrated on aeolian-fluvial interactions in dryland environments, including the important role of rivers in providing sand and spaces for deserts development, as well as the influences of aeolian activity upon river landforms. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive data at the large watershed scale to support such research. In this study, we analyzed statistically the morphological parameters related to twelve deserts and ten watersheds in dryland regions of northern China using remote sensing data, maps of desert and watershed distributions, and classification of aeolian landforms. Results indicate that, in view of the relationship between deserts and rivers, the geomorphic structures of drainage basins in northern China can be overall divided into five large drainage zones: northwestern drainage (ND), western drainage (WD), drainage of northern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (PD), middle drainage (MD) and eastern drainage (ED). In the terms of percent area of desert in drainages, it can be sequenced as WD > MD > ND > ED > PD. For percent area of shifting dunes in deserts, WD > PD > MD > ED > ND. Considering the classification of aeolian dunes, transverse dune dominates in all drainages, and its proportion can be sorted as PD > ED > MD > WD > ND. There is a significant difference in their morphological parameters between interior and exterior watersheds. In exterior watersheds, desert area, shifting dune or transverse dune areas are not significantly associated with drainage area respectively, but interior watersheds have good correlations between them. And in three rivers of Tarim Basin, along with increasing distance from the river bank, the types of aeolian dune (complexity) increased step-wisely, implying that sand dune extends along the river terrace. Those data and preliminary findings confirm that the rivers are indispensable to the

  8. Chronology of desert margin in western India using improved ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Naveen Chauhan

    2017-11-23

    Nov 23, 2017 ... protocol and decision making schemes based on distribution of doses and beta heterogeneity concept for luminescence dating of sediments. Observations suggest that quartz suffered from significant sensitivity changes during natural signal measurement and partial bleaching. A combination of NCF-SAR ...

  9. Chronology of Desert Margin in Western India using Improved ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    27

    The age of the alluvial sequence is now bracketed between 10 ka (upper aeolian unit) and 75 ka (lowermost fluvial unit). Keywords: Quartz; Feldspar; Luminescence; Dose distribution; NCF-SAR; Beta heterogeneity; India. 1. Introduction. Over the years, luminescence dating is extensively used to establish the chronology of.

  10. Geophysical Evaluation for Wadi Rayan Field, Western Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adel Othman

    2016-03-01

    There are two intervals of producing sandstone which not only vary from one well to another but also not deposited in some wells. For these reasons, it is important to integrate all available geological and geophysical data to come up with a model for ARG reservoir.

  11. Reservoir characteristics of some Cretaceous sandstones, North Western Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed A. Kassab

    2017-06-01

    FZI (flow zone indicator and R35 (pore aperture corresponding to the mercury saturation of 35% pore volume were calculated from the measured porosity and permeability, by defining FZI and R35, four hydraulic flow units (HFU1, HFU2, HFU3 and HFU4 in a reservoir have been identified. HFU1 is distinguished by FZI values that lie between 3.71and 8.11 μm, meanwhile, the values of R35 are greater than 10 μm. HFU2 is marked where the FZI values are between 1.32 and 3.70 μm, while the values of R35 are between 2 and 10 μm. HFU3 is noticed where FZI shows values between 0.40 and 1.31 μm, while the values of R35 are between 0.5 and 2 μm. The HFU4 is evaluated where FZI values are between 0.06 and 0.39 μm, and the R35 values are less than 0.5 μm.

  12. Rainbows in the Indian rock art of desert western America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sassen, K

    1991-08-20

    For thousands of years the image of the rainbow was pecked and painted by native Americans onto the rocks of the Great Basin and the Southwest. This long-lived tradition, which transcended major developments in lifestyles and cultures, underscores the important symbolic significance of the rainbow to the inhabitants of this arid region. The rainbow rock art depictions were usually associated with humanlike ceremonial figures, snakes, clouds, rain, and lightning bolts, suggesting that the rainbow symbol was employed as part of an elaborate sacred tradition. Although such ceremonial usage of the rainbow image tends to lead to abstraction and symbolic representation, there are examples, including a properly colorized rainbow painting from central Utah (approximately a thousand years old), that indicate observationally based rainbow reproductions of relatively great antiquity.

  13. Chronology of desert margin in western India using improved ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The present work tries to explore the possibility of using blue light stimulated luminescence (BLSL) of quartz, infra-red stimulated luminescence (IRSL) of feldspar and the newly developed methodologies, like natural correction factor based single aliquot regeneration (NCF-SAR) protocol and decision making schemes ...

  14. Genetic Basis for Variation of Metalloproteinase-Associated Biochemical Activity in Venom of the Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagda, Ruben K; Gasanov, Sardar; De La Oiii, Ysidro; Rael, Eppie D; Lieb, Carl S

    2013-01-01

    The metalloproteinase composition and biochemical profiles of rattlesnake venom can be highly variable among rattlesnakes of the same species. We have previously shown that the neurotoxic properties of the Mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus) are associated with the presence of the Mojave toxin A subunit suggesting the existence of a genetic basis for rattlesnake venom composition. In this report, we hypothesized the existence of a genetic basis for intraspecies variation in metalloproteinase-associated biochemical properties of rattlesnake venom of the Mojave rattlesnake. To address this question, we PCR-amplified and compared the genomic DNA nucleotide sequences that code for the mature metalloproteinase domain of fourteen Mojave rattlesnakes captured from different geographical locations across the southwest region of the United States. In addition, the venoms from the same rattlesnakes were tested for their ability to hydrolyze fibrinogen, fibrin, casein, and hide powder azure and for induction of hemorrhage in mice. Overall, based on genomic sequencing and biochemical data, we classified Mojave rattlesnake venom into four distinct groups of metalloproteinases. These findings indicate that differences in nucleotide sequences encoding the mature proteinase domain and noncoding regions contribute to differences in venom metalloproteinase activities among rattlesnakes of the same species.

  15. Genetic Basis for Variation of Metalloproteinase-Associated Biochemical Activity in Venom of the Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruben K. Dagda

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The metalloproteinase composition and biochemical profiles of rattlesnake venom can be highly variable among rattlesnakes of the same species. We have previously shown that the neurotoxic properties of the Mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus are associated with the presence of the Mojave toxin A subunit suggesting the existence of a genetic basis for rattlesnake venom composition. In this report, we hypothesized the existence of a genetic basis for intraspecies variation in metalloproteinase-associated biochemical properties of rattlesnake venom of the Mojave rattlesnake. To address this question, we PCR-amplified and compared the genomic DNA nucleotide sequences that code for the mature metalloproteinase domain of fourteen Mojave rattlesnakes captured from different geographical locations across the southwest region of the United States. In addition, the venoms from the same rattlesnakes were tested for their ability to hydrolyze fibrinogen, fibrin, casein, and hide powder azure and for induction of hemorrhage in mice. Overall, based on genomic sequencing and biochemical data, we classified Mojave rattlesnake venom into four distinct groups of metalloproteinases. These findings indicate that differences in nucleotide sequences encoding the mature proteinase domain and noncoding regions contribute to differences in venom metalloproteinase activities among rattlesnakes of the same species.

  16. Spatial and temporal changes in desertification in the southern region of the Tengger Desert from 1973 to 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Qingyu; Guan, Wenqian; Yang, Jing; Zhao, Shilei; Pan, Baotian; Wang, Lei; Song, Na; Lu, Min; Li, Fuchun

    2017-07-01

    The sandy land in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is adjacent to cities and towns, and land desertification poses a threat to the livelihood and production of local residents. To determine dynamic changes in local desertification, five periods (1973, 1987, 1992, 2001, and 2009) of remote sensing data are studied by remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS). The desert contraction area is primarily centered around three units (Wuwei, Gulang, and Jingtai) and nearby regions of Zhongwei City. The primary desert expansion areas include the west side of Helan Mountain (WSHM), the Central Mountainous Area (CMA), and the eastern and western Zhongwei units far from towns. From 1973 to 2009, the degree of change in the contracting part of the primary desert expansion unit showed an increasing trend; in brief, most of the desert (especially after 2001) has been developing in a direction in which desertification has been gradually controlled. The primary desert expansion areas are less affected by human activity, but they are primarily controlled by natural factors (especially wind and terrain). The desert contraction areas occur around the towns and nearby regions with frequent human activity; desertification is primarily controlled by human factors. With rapid economic development (especially after 2000), the scale of the cultivated area, town, and ecological protection engineering has gradually expanded, and the latter two are primarily built on a previous desert, which is the root cause of the reduction in the desert areas around the towns and the shrinkage toward north of border. Therefore, reasonable and effective human activity in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is playing a crucial role in preventing desertification.

  17. Two closely related species of Caloplaca (Teloschistaceae, Lichenes from the Namib Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Kärnefelt

    1988-12-01

    Full Text Available The anatomical and reproductive adaptations of two closely related lichen species.  Caloplaca elegantissima (Nyl. Zahlbr. and C. namibensis Karnef., sp. nov., occurring in the outer Namib fog desert, are discussed. Both species belong to the cmstose forms, frequently found in the remarkably rich lichen communities, which largely depend on fog precipitation for their water supply. Both species are endemic to the Namib Desert. They are mainly distributed in South West Africa/Namibia but also extend into south-western Angola. The asexual isidiate species.  C. namibensis Karnef., is described as new.

  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. 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...

  1. Linking Populus euphratica hydraulic redistribution to diversity assembly in the arid desert zone of Xinjiang, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiao-Dong; Zhang, Xue-Ni; Lv, Guang-Hui; Ali, Arshad

    2014-01-01

    The hydraulic redistribution (HR) of deep-rooted plants significantly improves the survival of shallow-rooted shrubs and herbs in arid deserts, which subsequently maintain species diversity. This study was conducted in the Ebinur desert located in the western margin of the Gurbantonggut Desert. Isotope tracing, community investigation and comparison analysis were employed to validate the HR of Populus euphratica and to explore its effects on species richness and abundance. The results showed that, P. euphratica has HR. Shrubs and herbs that grew under the P. euphratica canopy (under community: UC) showed better growth than the ones growing outside (Outside community: OC), exhibiting significantly higher species richness and abundance in UC than OC (pdesert communities.

  2. One year in the life of Bufo punctatus: annual patterns of body temperature in a free-ranging desert anuran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rausch, Candice M.; Starkweather, Peter L.; van Breukelen, Frank

    2008-06-01

    The Mojave Desert is characterized by hot dry summers and cold winters. The red-spotted toad ( Bufo ( Anaxyrus) punctatus) is the predominant anuran species; yet little is known of their thermal histories and strategies to avoid temperature extremes. We measured body temperature ( T b) in free-ranging adult toads across all four seasons of a year using implanted data loggers. There is marked individual variation in the temperatures experienced by these toads. As expected, toads generally escape extreme seasonal and diel temperature fluctuations. However, our data demonstrate a much wider estimated T b range than was previously assumed. Though often for short periods, red-spotted toads do experience T b as low as 3.1°C and as high as 39.1°C. All animals showed periods of prolonged thermal stability in cooler months and wider diel oscillations in warmer months. Red-spotted toad thermal history is likely a function of site choice; the exploitation of different refuges results in diverse thermal experiences. These data represent the most complete record of thermal experiences for a desert anuran and reveal greater extremes in body temperature than previously suggested.

  3. DESERT PAVEMENTS AND SOILS ON BASALTIC PYROCLASTIC DEPOSITS AT LATHROP WELLS AND RED CONE VOLCANOES, SOUTHERN NEVADA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G.A. Valentine; C.D. Harrington

    2005-08-10

    Formation of desert pavement and accretionary soils are intimately linked in arid environments such as the Mojave Desert. Well-sorted fallout scoria lapilli at Lathrop Wells (75-80 ky) and Red Cone ({approx}1 Ma) volcanoes (southern Nevada) formed an excellent starting material for pavement, allowing infiltration of eolian silt and fine sand that first clogs the pore space of underlying tephra and then aggrades and develops vesicular A (Av) horizons. Variations in original pyroclast sizes provide insight into minimum and maximum clast sizes that promote pavement and soil formation: pavement becomes ineffective when clasts can saltate under the strongest winds, while clasts larger than coarse lapilli are unable to form an interlocking pavement that promotes silt accumulation (necessary for Av development). Contrary to predictions that all pavements above altitudes of {approx}400 m would have been ''reset'' in their development after late Pleistocene vegetation advances (about 15 ka), the soils and pavements show clear differences in maturity between the two volcanoes. This indicates that either the pavement soils develop slowly over many 10,000's of years and then are very stable, or that, if they are disrupted by vegetation advances, subsequent pavements are reestablished with successively more mature characteristics.

  4. 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

  5. Clinical disease and laboratory abnormalities in free-ranging desert tortoises in California (1990-1995)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, Mary M.; Berry, Kristin H.; Henen, Brian T.; Nagy, Kenneth A.

    2003-01-01

    Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations have experienced precipitous declines resulting from the cumulative impact of habitat loss and human and disease-related mortality. Diagnosis of disease in live, free-ranging tortoises is facilitated by evaluation of clinical signs and laboratory test results but may be complicated by seasonal and environmental effects. The goals of this study were: 1) to describe and monitor clinical and laboratory signs of disease in adult, free-ranging desert tortoises at three sites in the Mojave Desert of California (USA) between October 1990 and October 1995; 2) to evaluate associations between clinical signs and hematologic, biochemical, serologic, and microbiologic test results; 3) to characterize disease patterns by site, season, and sex; and 4) to assess the utility of diagnostic tests in predicting morbidity and mortality. Venous blood samples were obtained four times per year from tortoises of both sexes at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area (DTNA), Goffs/Fenner Valley, and Ivanpah Valley. Tortoises were given a physical examination, and clinical abnormalities were graded by type and severity. Of 108 tortoises, 68.5% had clinical signs of upper respiratory tract disease consistent with mycoplasmosis at least once during the study period. In addition, 48.1% developed moderate to severe shell lesions consistent with cutaneous dyskeratosis. Ulcerated or plaque-like oral lesions were noted on single occasions in 23% of tortoises at Goffs and 6% of tortoises at Ivanpah. Tortoises with oral lesions were significantly more likely than tortoises without lesions to have positive nasal cultures for Mycoplasma agassizii(P=0.001) and to be dehydrated (P=0.0007). Nine tortoises had marked azotemia (blood urea nitrogen [BUN] >100 mg/dl) or persistent azotemia (BUN 63–76 mg/dl); four of these died, three of which had necropsy confirmation of urinary tract disease. Laboratory tests had low sensitivity but high specificity in

  6. Namib Desert Soil Microbial Community Diversity, Assembly, and Function Along a Natural Xeric Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scola, Vincent; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Frossard, Aline; Zablocki, Olivier; Adriaenssens, Evelien M; Johnson, Riegardt M; Seely, Mary; Cowan, Don A

    2018-01-01

    The hyperarid Namib desert is a coastal desert in southwestern Africa and one of the oldest and driest deserts on the planet. It is characterized by a west/east increasing precipitation gradient and by regular coastal fog events (extending up to 75 km inland) that can also provide soil moisture. In this study, we evaluated the role of this natural aridity and xeric gradient on edaphic microbial community structure and function in the Namib desert. A total of 80 individual soil samples were collected at 10-km intervals along a 190-km transect from the fog-dominated western coastal region to the eastern desert boundary. Seventeen physicochemical parameters were measured for each soil sample. Soil parameters reflected the three a priori defined climatic/xeric zones along the transect ("fog," "low rain," and "high rain"). Microbial community structures were characterized by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting and shotgun metaviromics, and their functional capacities were determined by extracellular enzyme activity assays. Both microbial community structures and activities differed significantly between the three xeric zones. The deep sequencing of surface soil metavirome libraries also showed shifts in viral composition along the xeric transect. While bacterial community assembly was influenced by soil chemistry and stochasticity along the transect, variations in community "function" were apparently tuned by xeric stress.

  7. Cyanobacterial ecology across environmental gradients and spatial scales in China's hot and cold deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, Kimberley A; Rhodes, Kevin L; Boyle, Linda Ng; Pointing, Stephen B; Chen, Yong; Liu, Shuangjiang; Zhuo, Peijin; McKay, Christopher P

    2007-09-01

    Lithic photoautotrophic communities function as principal primary producers in the world's driest deserts, yet many aspects of their ecology remain unknown. This is particularly true for Asia, where some of the Earth's oldest and driest deserts occur. Using methods derived from plant landscape ecology, we measured the abundance and spatial distribution of cyanobacterial colonization on quartz stony pavement across environmental gradients of rainfall and temperature in the isolated Taklimakan and Qaidam Basin deserts of western China. Colonization within available habitat ranged from 0.37+/-0.16% to 12.6+/-1.8%, with cold dry desert sites exhibiting the lowest abundance. Variation between sites was most strongly correlated with moisture-related variables and was independent of substrate availability. Cyanobacterial communities were spatially aggregated at multiple scales in patterns distinct from the underlying rock pattern. Site-level differences in cyanobacterial spatial pattern (e.g. mean inter-patch distance) were linked with rainfall, whereas patchiness within sites was correlated with local geology (greater colonization frequency of large rocks) and biology (dispersal during rainfall). We suggest that cyanobacterial patchiness may also in part be self-organized - that is, an outcome of soil water-biological feedbacks. We propose that landscape ecology concepts and models linking desert vegetation, biological feedbacks and ecohydrological processes are applicable to microbial communities.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Zeng

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 characterize the movement of water in soil. In order to understand the drying front in the Badain Jaran Desert, a field campaign was conducted by the observations of soil physical parameters and micrometeorological parameters. With the field data, the performance of a vadose zone soil water balance model, the HYDRUS, was verified and calibrated. Then, the HYDRUS was used to produce the spatial and temporal information of coupled water, water vapour and heat transport in sand to characterize the variation pattern of the drying front before, during and after the rainfall. Finally, the deepest drying front was applied to determine the effective infiltration, which is defined as the amount of soil water captured by the sand beneath the deepest drying front by infiltrating water of an incident rainfall event.

  9. Great Basin cold desert shrublands and the Desert Experimental Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley G. Kitchen; Stephanie L. Carlson

    2008-01-01

    The Great Basin is a vast, internally drained region of the Western United States, bounded by the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Mountain ranges to the west and the Wasatch Mountains and western rim of the Colorado Plateau to the east. Although less discrete, northern and southern boundaries are generally defined by the drainages of the Columbia and Colorado Rivers...

  10. 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

  11. 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 ...

  12. Continuous Particle Size Mapping of Alluvial Fan Material in Mojave Crater from HiRISE Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonneau, P.; Goddard, K.; Densmore, A. L.; Gupta, S.

    2010-12-01

    In terrestrial environments, the need to understand sediment size distributions across entire watersheds has led to the development of remote sensing methods that allow grain sizes to be automatically measured and continuously mapped from imagery. These methods use local image texture values empirically calibrated with field data or, alternatively, with direct on-screen measurements of visible particles. Crucially, some of these methods are designed to operate in patches where particles can be as small as 0.5 image pixels. This new approach to grain size measurement therefore opens up the possibility of using HiRISE imagery in order to measure and map coarse material grain sizes on the Martian surface. In this paper, we successfully transfer methods developed for terrestrial environments to HiRISE imagery in order to produce continuous maps of coarse sediment sizes in the range of 128mm to 4000mm for alluvial fan material in Mojave crater, Xanthe terra, Mars. Figure 1 shows some typical results with grain size data overlain onto the original HiRISE imagery. Grain size data is presented in logarithmic phi units which are commonly used in terrestrial sedimentology. Figure 1 demonstrates that this method can quantitatively categorize a range of sediment types from cobbles to boulders. Such an approach therefore has the potential to make an important contribution to the understanding of Martian sedimentology and to the selection of future landing sites. Figure 1. Example of particle size mapping applied to alluvial fan material in Mojave crater, Xanthe Terra,Mars.

  13. Distance to human populations influences epidemiology of respiratory disease in desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Ashley A. Coble (formerly Emerson), no longer USGS; Yee, Julie L.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Perry, William M.; Anderson, Kemp M.; Brown, Mary B.

    2014-01-01

    We explored variables likely to affect health of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in a 1,183-km2 study area in the central Mojave Desert of California between 2005 and 2008. We evaluated 1,004 tortoises for prevalence and spatial distribution of 2 pathogens, Mycoplasma agassizii and M. testudineum, that cause upper respiratory tract disease. We defined tortoises as test-positive if they were positive by culture and/or DNA identification or positive or suspect for specific antibody for either of the two pathogens. We used covariates of habitat (vegetation, elevation, slope, and aspect), tortoise size and sex, distance from another test-positive tortoise, and anthropogenic variables (distances to roads, agricultural areas, playas, urban areas, and centroids of human-populated census blocks). We used both logistic regression models and regression trees to evaluate the 2 species of Mycoplasma separately. The prevalence of test-positive tortoises was low: 1.49% (15/1,004) for M. agassizii and 2.89% (29/1,004) for M. testudineum. The spatial distributions of test-positive tortoises for the 2 Mycoplasma species showed little overlap; only 2 tortoises were test-positive for both diseases. However, the spatial distributions did not differ statistically between the 2 species. We consistently found higher prevalence of test-positive tortoises with shorter distances to centroids of human-populated census blocks. The relationship between distance to human-populated census blocks and tortoises that are test-positive for M. agassizii and potentially M. testudineum may be related to release or escape of captive tortoises because the prevalence of M. agassizii in captive tortoises is high. Our findings have application to other species of chelonians where both domestic captive and wild populations exist. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  14. Effects of an invasive plant on a desert sand dune landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrows, C.W.; Allen, E.B.; Brooks, M.L.; Allen, M.F.

    2009-01-01

    Given the abundance of non-native species invading wildland habitats, managers need to employ informed triage to focus control efforts on weeds with the greatest potential for negative impacts. Our objective here was to determine the level of threat Sahara mustard, Brassica tournefortii, represents to meeting regional goals for protecting biodiversity. Sahara mustard has spread throughout much of the Mojave and lower Sonoran Deserts. It has occurred in southern California's Coachella Valley for nearly 80 years, punctuated by years of extremely high abundance following high rainfall. In those years the mustard has clear negative impacts on the native flora. Using mustard removal experiments we identified reductions in native plant reproduction, shifting composition increasingly toward Sahara mustard while decreasing the fraction of native species. High between-year variance in precipitation may be a key to maintaining biodiversity as the mustard is less abundant in drier years. Sahara mustard impacts to the native fauna were much less evident. Of the animal species evaluated, only the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, Uma inornata, demonstrated a negative response to mustard abundance; however the impacts were short-lived, lasting no more than a year after the mustard's dominance waned. Without control measures the long-term impacts to desert biodiversity may rest on the changing climate. Wetter conditions or increased periodicity of high rainfall years will favor Sahara mustard and result in reduced biodiversity, especially of native annual plants. Drier conditions will keep the mustard from becoming dominant but may have other negative consequences on the native flora and fauna. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  15. 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.

  16. PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF BUFO PUNCTATUS: LONG TERM EVOLUTION WITHIN THE WARM DESERTS OF NORTH AMERICA AND LATE QUATERNARY RANGE SHIFTING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bufo punctatus, the red-spotted toad, is a widespread anuran of the warm-desert regions of western North America. This distribution makes this species ideal for evaluating biotic response to geotectonically and climatically mediated episodes of landscape transformation (e.g., ear...

  17. Asian fish tapeworm Bothriocephalus acheilognathi in the desert southwestern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archdeacon, Thomas P; Iles, Alison; Kline, S Jason; Bonar, Scott A

    2010-12-01

    The Asian fish tapeworm Bothriocephalus acheilognathi (Cestoda: Bothriocephalidea) is an introduced fish parasite in the southwestern United States and is often considered a serious threat to native desert fishes. Determining the geographic distribution of nonnative fish parasites is important for recovery efforts of native fishes. We examined 1,140 individuals belonging to nine fish species from southwestern U.S. streams and springs between January 2005 and April 2007. The Asian fish tapeworm was present in the Gila River, Salt River, Verde River, San Pedro River, Aravaipa Creek, and Fossil Creek, Arizona, and in Lake Tuendae at Zzyzx Springs and Afton Canyon of the Mojave River, California. Overall prevalence of the Asian fish tapeworm in Arizona fish populations was 19% (range = 0-100%) and varied by location, time, and fish species. In California, the prevalence, abundance, and intensity of the Asian fish tapeworm in Mohave tui chub Gila bicolor mohavensis were higher during warmer months than during cooler months. Three new definitive host species--Yaqui chub G. purpurea, headwater chub G. nigra, and longfin dace agosia chrysogaster--were identified. Widespread occurrence of the Asian fish tapeworm in southwestern U.S. waters suggests that the lack of detection in other systems where nonnative fishes occur is due to a lack of effort as opposed to true absence of the parasite. To limit further spread of diseases to small, isolated systems, we recommend treatment for both endo- and exoparasites when management actions include translocation of fishes.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 76 FR 50493 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

    ... 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...

  3. Western Sufism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sedgwick, Mark

    Western Sufism is sometimes dismissed as a relatively recent "new age" phenomenon, but in this book, Mark Sedgwick argues that it actually has very deep roots, both in the Muslim world and in the West. In fact, although the first significant Western Sufi organization was not established until 1915...... to the internet, Mark Sedgwick demonstrates that the phenomenon of Western Sufism not only draws on centuries of intercultural transfers, but is also part of a long-established relationship between Western thought and Islam that can be productive, not confrontational....

  4. Origin and distribution of desert ants across the Gibraltar Straits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villalta, Irene; Amor, Fernando; Galarza, Juan A; Dupont, Simon; Ortega, Patrocinio; Hefetz, Abraham; Dahbi, Abdallah; Cerdá, Xim; Boulay, Raphaël

    2017-10-03

    The creation of geographic barriers has long been suspected to contribute to the formation of new species. We investigated the phylogeography of desert ants in the western Mediterranean basin in order to elucidate their mode of diversification. These insects which have a low dispersal capacity are recently becoming important model systems in evolutionary studies. We conducted an extensive sampling of species belonging to the Cataglyphis albicans group in the Iberian Peninsula (IP) and the northern Morocco (North Africa; NA). We then combined genetic, chemical and morphological analyses. The results suggest the existence of at least three and five clades in the IP and NA, respectively, whose delineation partially encompass current taxonomic classification. The three Iberian clades are monophyletic, but their origin in NA is uncertain (79% and 22% for Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood support, respectively). The estimation of divergence time suggests that a speciation process was initiated after the last reopening of the Gibraltar Straits ≈5.33 Ma. In the IP, the clades are parapatric and their formation may have been triggered by the fragmentation of a large population during the Pleistocene due to extended periods of glaciation. This scenario is supported by demographic analyses pointing at a recent expansion of Iberian populations that contrasts with the progressive contraction of the NA clades. Niche modeling reveals that this area, governed by favorable climatic conditions for desert ants, has recently increased in the IP and decreased in NA. Altogether, our data points at geoclimatic events as major determinants of species formation in desert ants, reinforcing the role of allopatric speciation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C L Free

    Full Text Available Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species. The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. X. Wu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates three types of atmospheric forcing across the summertime subtropics that are shown to contribute in various ways to the occurrence of dry and wet climates in the subtropics. To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation that occurs via meridional advection of planetary vorticity and temperature. Monsoon and desert are demonstrated to coexist as twin features of multi-scale forcing, as follows. First, continent-scale heating over land and cooling over ocean induce the ascent of air over the eastern parts of continents and western parts of oceans, and descent over eastern parts of oceans and western parts of continents. Second, local-scale sea-breeze forcing along coastal regions enhances air descent over eastern parts of oceans and ascent over eastern parts of continents. This leads to the formation of the well-defined summertime subtropical LOSECOD quadruplet-heating pattern across each continent and adjacent oceans, with long-wave radiative cooling (LO over eastern parts of oceans, sensible heating (SE over western parts of continents, condensation heating (CO over eastern parts of continents, and double dominant heating (D: LO+CO over western parts of oceans. Such a quadruplet heating pattern corresponds to a dry climate over the western parts of continents and a wet climate over eastern parts. Third, regional-scale orographic-uplift-heating generates poleward ascending flow to the east of orography and equatorward descending flow to the west. The Tibetan Plateau (TP is located over the eastern Eurasian continent. The TP-forced circulation pattern is in phase with that produced by continental-scale forcing, and the strongest monsoon and largest deserts are formed over the Afro-Eurasian Continent. In contrast, the Rockies and the Andes are located over the western

  9. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. X. Wu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates three types of atmospheric forcing across the summertime subtropics that are shown to contribute in various ways to the occurrence of dry and wet climates in the subtropics. To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation that occurs via meridional advection of planetary vorticity and temperature. Monsoon and desert are demonstrated to coexist as twin features of multi-scale forcing, as follows.

    First, continent-scale heating over land and cooling over ocean induce the ascent of air over the eastern parts of continents and western parts of oceans, and descent over eastern parts of oceans and western parts of continents. Second, local-scale sea-breeze forcing along coastal regions enhances air descent over eastern parts of oceans and ascent over eastern parts of continents. This leads to the formation of the well-defined summertime subtropical LOSECOD quadruplet-heating pattern across each continent and adjacent oceans, with long-wave radiative cooling (LO over eastern parts of oceans, sensible heating (SE over western parts of continents, condensation heating (CO over eastern parts of continents, and double dominant heating (D: LO+CO over western parts of oceans. Such a quadruplet heating pattern corresponds to a dry climate over the western parts of continents and a wet climate over eastern parts. Third, regional-scale orographic-uplift-heating generates poleward ascending flow to the east of orography and equatorward descending flow to the west.

    The Tibetan Plateau (TP is located over the eastern Eurasian continent. The TP-forced circulation pattern is in phase with that produced by continental-scale forcing, and the strongest monsoon and largest deserts are formed over the Afro-Eurasian Continent. In contrast, the Rockies and the Andes are

  10. Geospatial Data Used in Water-Level and Land-Subsidence Studies in the Mojave River and Morongo Groundwater Basins for 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — During 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies made approximately 2,500 water-level measurements in the Mojave River and Morongo ground-water basins....

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Populations at risk: conservation genetics of kangaroo mice (Microdipodops) of the Great Basin Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, John J; Portnoy, David S; Hafner, John C; Light, Jessica E

    2013-08-01

    The Great Basin Desert of western North America has experienced frequent habitat alterations due to a complex biogeographic history and recent anthropogenic impacts, with the more recent alterations likely resulting in the decline of native fauna and flora. Dark (Microdipodops megacephalus) and pallid (M. pallidus) kangaroo mice are ecological specialists found within the Great Basin Desert and are potentially ideal organisms for assessing ecosystem health and inferring the biogeographic history of this vulnerable region. Herein, newly acquired nuclear-encoded microsatellite loci were utilized to assess patterns of variation within and among spatially discrete groups of kangaroo mice and to evaluate gene flow, demographic trends, and genetic integrity. Results confirm that there are at least three genetically distinct units within M. megacephalus and two such units within M. pallidus. The three units of M. megacephalus appear to have different demographic histories, with effectively no gene flow among them since their divergence. Similarly, the two units of M. pallidus also appear to have experienced different demographic histories, with effectively no gene exchange. Contemporary effective population sizes of all groups within Microdipodops appear to be low (Desert ecosystem. The Great Basin Desert of western North America has experienced frequent habitat alterations due to a complex biogeographic history and recent anthropogenic impacts, with the more recent alterations likely resulting in the decline of native fauna and flora. Herein, newly acquired nuclear-encoded microsatellite loci were utilized to assess patterns of variation within and among spatially discrete groups of the dark (Microdipodops megacephalus) and pallid (M. pallidus) kangaroo mouse, and to evaluate gene flow, demographic trends, and genetic integrity. Results of this study indicate that each Microdipodops group should be recognized, and therefore managed, as a separate unit in an effort

  14. Mojave Vegetation

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — CDF-FRAP compiled the 'best available' land cover data into a single data layer, to support the various analyses required for the 2002 Forest and Range Assessment....

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Satellite Observations of Desert Dust-induced Himalayan Snow Darkening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautam, Ritesh; Hsu, N. Christina; Lau, William K.-M.; Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2013-01-01

    The optically thick aerosol layer along the southern edge of the Himalaya has been subject of several recent investigations relating to its radiative impacts on the South Asian summer monsoon and regional climate forcing. Prior to the onset of summer monsoon, mineral dust from southwest Asian deserts is transported over the Himalayan foothills on an annual basis. Episodic dust plumes are also advected over the Himalaya, visible as dust-laden snow surface in satellite imagery, particularly in western Himalaya. We examined spectral surface reflectance retrieved from spaceborne MODIS observations that show characteristic reduction in the visible wavelengths (0.47 nm) over western Himalaya, associated with dust-induced solar absorption. Case studies as well as seasonal variations of reflectance indicate a significant gradient across the visible (0.47 nm) to near-infrared (0.86 nm) spectrum (VIS-NIR), during premonsoon period. Enhanced absorption at shorter visible wavelengths and the resulting VIS-NIR gradient is consistent with model calculations of snow reflectance with dust impurity. While the role of black carbon in snow cannot be ruled out, our satellite-based analysis suggests the observed spectral reflectance gradient dominated by dust-induced solar absorption during premonsoon season. From an observational viewpoint, this study underscores the importance of mineral dust deposition toward darkening of the western Himalayan snow cover, with potential implications to accelerated seasonal snowmelt and regional snow albedo feedbacks.

  19. Impact of the Desert dust on the summer monsoon system over Southwestern North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Zhao

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The radiative forcing of dust emitted from the Southwest United States (US deserts and its impact on monsoon circulation and precipitation over the North America monsoon (NAM region are simulated using a coupled meteorology and aerosol/chemistry model (WRF-Chem for 15 years (1995–2009. During the monsoon season, dust has a cooling effect (−0.90 W m−2 at the surface, a warming effect (0.40 W m−2 in the atmosphere, and a negative top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA forcing (−0.50 W m−2 over the deserts on 24-h average. Most of the dust emitted from the deserts concentrates below 800 hPa and accumulates over the western slope of the Rocky Mountains and Mexican Plateau. The absorption of shortwave radiation by dust heats the lower atmosphere by up to 0.5 K day−1 over the western slope of the Mountains. Model sensitivity simulations with and without dust for 15 summers (June-July-August show that dust heating of the lower atmosphere over the deserts strengthens the low-level southerly moisture fluxes on both sides of the Sierra Madre Occidental. It also results in an eastward migration of NAM-driven moisture convergence over the western slope of the Mountains. These monsoonal circulation changes lead to a statistically significant increase of precipitation by up to ~40 % over the eastern slope of the Mountains (Arizona-New~Mexico-Texas regions. This study highlights the interaction between dust and the NAM system and motivates further investigation of possible dust feedback on monsoon precipitation under climate change and the mega-drought conditions projected for the future.

  20. Little Ice Age Wetting of Interior Asian Deserts and the Rise of the Mongol Empire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putnam, A. E.; Putnam, D.; Andreu-Hayles, L.; Cook, E. R.; Palmer, J. G.; Clark, E. H.; WANG, C.; Chen, F.; Denton, G.; Boyle, D. P.; Bassett, S.; Birkel, S. D.; Martin Fernandez, J.; Hajdas, I.; Southon, J. R.; Garner, C.; Broecker, W. S.

    2015-12-01

    Documenting hydrological responses to past climate changes may provide insights into how ongoing warming will alter the distribution of Earth's water resources. Here we report evidence suggesting that wetter-than-present conditions persisted during the past millennium in the deserts of the Tarim Basin, western China, located at the heart of Asia - Earth's largest and most populous continent. Our assessment is based on observations of landforms composed of waterlain sediments occurring throughout the Taklamakan and Lop Deserts of the Tarim Basin. These landforms are associated with subfossil phreatophyte trees, reeds, and mollusk shells. We applied 14C and dendrochronological dating techniques to construct a chronology for when the Tarim Basin was wetter than today. We also employed hydrological modeling to estimate plausible climatic conditions under which the observed wet environment could have been sustained. Our results indicate that the core of the Asian desert belt was dominantly wetter than today during the last major cold spell of the Holocene: The Little Ice Age. Wetter conditions in the Tarim Basin deserts accompanied northern cooling, snowline lowering, a strengthened boreal jet, and coeval weakening of south Asian monsoons. Southward migration of grasslands in response to wetter conditions may have aided the spread of the Mongol Empire across Asian drylands. On the other hand, net drying over the 20th century has led to drought that is unprecedented for at least the past ~830 years, and which could intensify with further warming.

  1. Linking Populus euphratica hydraulic redistribution to diversity assembly in the arid desert zone of Xinjiang, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Dong Yang

    Full Text Available The hydraulic redistribution (HR of deep-rooted plants significantly improves the survival of shallow-rooted shrubs and herbs in arid deserts, which subsequently maintain species diversity. This study was conducted in the Ebinur desert located in the western margin of the Gurbantonggut Desert. Isotope tracing, community investigation and comparison analysis were employed to validate the HR of Populus euphratica and to explore its effects on species richness and abundance. The results showed that, P. euphratica has HR. Shrubs and herbs that grew under the P. euphratica canopy (under community: UC showed better growth than the ones growing outside (Outside community: OC, exhibiting significantly higher species richness and abundance in UC than OC (p<0.05 along the plant growing season. Species richness and abundance were significantly logarithmically correlated with the P. euphratica crown area in UC (R² = 0.51 and 0.84, p<0.001. In conclusion, P. euphratica HR significantly ameliorates the water conditions of the shallow soil, which then influences the diversity assembly in arid desert communities.

  2. Roebuck Bay and the Town of Broome, Western Australia, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    Roebuck Bay (18.0S, 122.0E) is a prominent bay on the arid northwest coast of Western Australia and the town of Broome is one of the few prominent towns along this very sparsley settled coast. The large gray area extending back from the shoreline of the bay is the Roebuck Plains slowly being filled with sediment by local streams draining the Great Sandy Desert. The irregular bare patches on the desert to the south are burn scars from brush fires.

  3. Molecular models of the Mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus) venom metalloproteinases reveal a structural basis for differences in hemorrhagic activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagda, Ruben K; Gasanov, Sardar E; Zhang, Boris; Welch, William; Rael, Eppie D

    2014-03-01

    Rattlesnake venom can differ in composition and in metalloproteinase-associated activities. The molecular basis for this intra-species variation in Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mojave rattlesnake) remains an enigma. To understand the molecular basis for intra-species variation of metalloproteinase-associated activities, we modeled the three-dimensional structures of four metalloproteinases based on the amino acid sequence of four variations of the proteinase domain of the C. s. scutulatus metalloproteinase gene (GP1, GP2, GP3, and GP4). For comparative purposes, we modeled the atrolysin metalloproteinases of C. atrox as well. All molecular models shared the same topology. While the atrolysin metalloproteinase molecular models contained highly conserved substrate binding sites, the Mojave rattlesnake metalloproteinases showed higher structural divergence when superimposed onto each other. The highest structural divergence among the four C. s. scutulatus molecular models was located at the northern cleft wall and the S'1-pocket of the substrate binding site, molecular regions that modulate substrate selectivity. Molecular dynamics and field potential maps for each C. s. scutulatus metalloproteinase model demonstrated that the non-hemorrhagic metalloproteinases (GP2 and GP3) contain highly basic molecular and field potential surfaces while the hemorrhagic metalloproteinases GP1 and atrolysin C showed extensive acidic field potential maps and shallow but less dynamic active site pockets. Hence, differences in the spatial arrangement of the northern cleft wall, the S'1-pocket, and the physico-chemical environment surrounding the catalytic site contribute to differences in metalloproteinase activities in the Mojave rattlesnake. Our results provide a structural basis for variation of metalloproteinase-associated activities in the rattlesnake venom of the Mojave rattlesnake.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Desert Studies - A Global View

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-08-23

    International School of Climatology course on the climatic aspects of desertification in Erice, Italy (Breed, 1983; Breed and others, 1983). In 1983...Tengger, Kumuntag, Garbantunggut, Turpan, and Talkimakan sand seas and gobi plains. As a member of this group, Ms. Breed was the first Western...Winds Project, in Ypersele, J. P. (ed.), Climatological aspects of desertification : Proceedings of the International School of Climatology, Erice

  7. 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 ...

  8. Ploidy race distributions since the Last Glacial Maximum in the North American desert shrub, Larrea tridentata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, K.L.; Betancourt, J.L.; Riddle, B.R.; Van Devender, T. R.; Cole, K.L.; Geoffrey, Spaulding W.

    2000-01-01

    1 A classic biogeographic pattern is the alignment of diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid races of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) across the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mohave Deserts of western North America. We used statistically robust differences in guard cell size of modern plants and fossil leaves from packrat middens to map current and past distributions of these ploidy races since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). 2 Glacial/early Holocene (26-10 14C kyr BP or thousands of radiocarbon years before present) populations included diploids along the lower Rio Grande of west Texas, 650 km removed from sympatric diploids and tetraploids in the lower Colorado River Basin of south-eastern California/south-western Arizona. Diploids migrated slowly from lower Rio Grande refugia with expansion into the northern Chihuahuan Desert sites forestalled until after ???4.0 14C kyr BP. Tetraploids expanded from the lower Colorado River Basin into the northern limits of the Sonoran Desert in central Arizona by 6.4 14C kyr BP. Hexaploids appeared by 8.5 14C kyr BP in the lower Colorado River Basin, reaching their northernmost limits (???37??N) in the Mohave Desert between 5.6 and 3.9 14C kyr BP. 3 Modern diploid isolates may have resulted from both vicariant and dispersal events. In central Baja California and the lower Colorado River Basin, modern diploids probably originated from relict populations near glacial refugia. Founder events in the middle and late Holocene established diploid outposts on isolated limestone outcrops in areas of central and southern Arizona dominated by tetraploid populations. 4 Geographic alignment of the three ploidy races along the modern gradient of increasingly drier and hotter summers is clearly a postglacial phenomenon, but evolution of both higher ploidy races must have happened before the Holocene. The exact timing and mechanism of polyploidy evolution in creosote bush remains a matter of conjecture. ?? 2001 Blackwell Science Ltd.

  9. Using Cross Entropy Optimization to Model Active Galactic Nuclei Light Curves from VLBA MOJAVE Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitoriano, R. P.; Botti, L. C. L.

    2018-02-01

    We present in this article a new method to derive the observed properties of outbursts in relativistic jets. We use the VLBI MOJAVE maps to obtain the light curves, based on the principle that the variability of extragalactic sources, in this case 3C 279 and 4C +29.45, should appear in high resolution observations since 1996 until 2016. The use of the cross entropy method (CE) can accurately determine the ranges of parameters for a sequence of outbursts based on the shock-wave model, where the decay/rise timescale ratio has a small spread and the use of a unique index 1.3 generates a good fit modeled by functions of outbursts and by the model of the three stages. By the CE method, one can automatically get the start epochs as well as the occurrence of rise and decline times of the outbursts in the light curves. The values found are in agreement with the power-law distribution of energy, which shows that the cooling of electrons is a predominant process during the initial phase of the shock model evolution. The results of the decomposition show that the outbursts match the VLBI components observed in jets in addition to showing strong evidence of the peaks in the frequencies of 15.3 GHz. With this, we can model the shock waves with reference to the distance at the core of AGN to obtain the Doppler factor and the Lorentz factor.

  10. Micromorphology of takyrs and the desert ``papyrus'' of Southwestern Turkmenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebedeva-Verba, M. P.; Gerasimova, M. I.

    2010-11-01

    The perception of takyrs as clayey mineral soils extremely poor in humus and occurring in deserts was supported by micromorphological studies with the first ones being performed by I.I. Feofarova for the takyrs in Western Turkmenia. However, in the fundamental monograph of 1956, there were abundant data on the contribution of biota (primarily of algae and invertebrates) to the takyr formation. The importance of the biota was emphasized by N.I. Bazilevich, who was an active participant in terrain and analytical investigations of Western Turkmenia takyrs. The micromorphological analysis, along with the studies of the chemical and mineralogical properties of the algal takyr on the Kopet-Dag piedmont plain, made it possible to introduce some corrections to the concepts concerning the mechanisms of takyr development; the contribution of bluegreen algae, microorganisms, and zooplankton was shown to be prominent. The available information on the properties and ecology of blue-green algae enabled the authors to interpret both their own data and the micromorphological descriptions made by I.I. Feofarova in the 1950s. The uppermost subhorizons are proposed to be regarded as the soil miniprofiles, whose properties are strongly affected by the activity of aquatic and terrestrial microorganisms, rather than the sedimentation strata.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Disease dynamics during wildlife translocations: disruptions to the host population and potential consequences for transmission in desert tortoise contact networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiello, Christina M.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Walde, Andrew D.; Esque, Todd C.; Emblidge, Patrick G.; Sah, Pratha; Bansal, S.; Hudson, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Wildlife managers consider animal translocation a means of increasing the viability of a local population. However, augmentation may disrupt existing resident disease dynamics and initiate an outbreak that would effectively offset any advantages the translocation may have achieved. This paper examines fundamental concepts of disease ecology and identifies the conditions that will increase the likelihood of a disease outbreak following translocation. We highlight the importance of susceptibility to infection, population size and population connectivity – a characteristic likely affected by translocation but not often considered in risk assessments – in estimating outbreak risk due to translocation. We then explore these features in a species of conservation concern often translocated in the presence of infectious disease, the Mojave Desert tortoise, and use data from experimental tortoise translocations to detect changes in population connectivity that may influence pathogen transmission. Preliminary analyses comparing contact networks inferred from spatial data at control and translocation plots and infection simulation results through these networks suggest increased outbreak risk following translocation due to dispersal-driven changes in contact frequency and network structure. We outline future research goals to test these concepts and aid managers in designing effective risk assessment and intervention strategies that will improve translocation success.

  14. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  15. Health effects of particulate air pollution and airborne desert dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lelieveld, J.; Pozzer, A.; Giannadaki, D.; Fnais, M.

    2013-12-01

    Air pollution by fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has increased strongly with industrialization and urbanization. In the past decades this increase has taken place at a particularly high pace in South and East Asia. We estimate the premature mortality and the years of human life lost (YLL) caused by anthropogenic PM2.5 and airborne desert dust (DU2.5) on regional and national scales (Giannadaki et al., 2013; Lelieveld et al., 2013). This is based on high-resolution global model calculations that resolve urban and industrial regions in relatively great detail. We apply an epidemiological health impact function and find that especially in large countries with extensive suburban and rural populations, air pollution-induced mortality rates have been underestimated given that previous studies largely focused on the urban environment. We calculate a global premature mortality by anthropogenic aerosols of 2.2 million/year (YLL ≈ 16 million/year) due to lung cancer and cardiopulmonary disease. High mortality rates by PM2.5 are found in China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia. Desert dust DU2.5 aerosols add about 0.4 million/year (YLL ≈ 3.6 million/year). Particularly significant mortality rates by DU2.5 occur in Pakistan, China and India. The estimated global mean per capita mortality caused by airborne particulates is about 0.1%/year (about two thirds of that caused by tobacco smoking). We show that the highest premature mortality rates are found in the Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions (about 25% and 46% of the global rate, respectively) where more than a dozen of the most highly polluted megacities are located. References: Giannadaki, D., A. Pozzer, and J. Lelieveld, Modeled global effects of airborne desert dust on air quality and premature mortality, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. (submitted), 2013. Lelieveld, J., C. Barlas, D. Giannadaki, and A. Pozzer, Model calculated global, regional and megacity premature mortality due to air pollution by ozone

  16. 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

  17. 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,

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Dust Availability in Desert Terrains

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-01-01

    Netivot AS 30 - 60 bc o60 - 86 Bbca 86 -100 2. Loossial Soil Alluvial - LL!e Seat-arid western Negev 0936 0840 A 0 - 40 Terrace (270) ID 40 - 77 8 77 -112...10YR8/4 Bbca 10 - 85 1.0 - 7.7 48.2 44.1 7.5YR4.6/4 7.6YR4/4 lbca 86 -100 1.8 - 0.9 46.0 44.1 7.BYR8/4 7.5YR4/4 Negev 0938 0840 A 0 - 40 0.4 - 63.6 29.8

  4. Eclipse program QF-106 aircraft taxies at airport in Mojave, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    View of QF-106 airplane for the Eclipse project taxiing on the runway at Mojave Airport, California. In 1997 and 1998, the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California, supported and hosted a Kelly Space & Technology, Inc. project called Eclipse, which sought to demonstrate the feasibility of a reusable tow-launch vehicle concept. The project goal was to successfully tow, inflight, a modified QF-106 delta-wing aircraft with an Air Force C-141A transport aircraft. This would demonstrate the possibility of towing and launching an actual launch vehicle from behind a tow plane. Dryden was the responsible test organization and had flight safety responsibility for the Eclipse project. Dryden provided engineering, instrumentation, simulation, modification, maintenance, range support, and research pilots for the test program. The Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), Edwards, California, supplied the C-141A transport aircraft and crew and configured the aircraft as needed for the tests. The AFFTC also provided the concept and detail design and analysis as well as hardware for the tow system and QF-106 modifications. Dryden performed the modifications to convert the QF-106 drone into the piloted EXD-01 (Eclipse eXperimental Demonstrator-01) experimental aircraft. Kelly Space & Technology hoped to use the results gleaned from the tow test in developing a series of low-cost, reusable launch vehicles. These tests demonstrated the validity of towing a delta-wing aircraft having high wing loading, validated the tow simulation model, and demonstrated various operational procedures, such as ground processing of in-flight maneuvers and emergency abort scenarios.

  5. Eclipse program F-106 aircraft takeoff from airport in Mojave, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    Shot of QF-106 aircraft taking off from Mojave Airport, California. In 1997 and 1998, the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California, supported and hosted a Kelly Space & Technology, Inc. project called Eclipse, which sought to demonstrate the feasibility of a reusable tow-launch vehicle concept. The project goal was to successfully tow, inflight, a modified QF-106 delta-wing aircraft with an Air Force C-141A transport aircraft. This would demonstrate the possibility of towing and launching an actual launch vehicle from behind a tow plane. Dryden was the responsible test organization and had flight safety responsibility for the Eclipse project. Dryden provided engineering, instrumentation, simulation, modification, maintenance, range support, and research pilots for the test program. The Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), Edwards, California, supplied the C-141A transport aircraft and crew and configured the aircraft as needed for the tests. The AFFTC also provided the concept and detail design and analysis as well as hardware for the tow system and QF-106 modifications. Dryden performed the modifications to convert the QF-106 drone into the piloted EXD-01 (Eclipse eXperimental Demonstrator-01) experimental aircraft. Kelly Space & Technology hoped to use the results gleaned from the tow test in developing a series of low-cost, reusable launch vehicles. These tests demonstrated the validity of towing a delta-wing aircraft having high wing loading, validated the tow simulation model, and demonstrated various operational procedures, such as ground processing of in-flight maneuvers and emergency abort scenarios.

  6. Kurtzmanomyces shapotouensis sp. nov., an anamorphic, basidiomycetous yeast isolated from desert soil crusts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Jia, Rong-Liang; Zhang, Yu-Qin; Liu, Hong-Yu; Su, Jing; Yu, Li-Yan

    2013-10-01

    Two yeast strains isolated from soil crusts in the Shapotou region of Tengger Desert (north-western China) were grouped in the genus Kurtzmanomyces based on morphological characteristics. rRNA gene sequence analyses (including the D1/D2 domain of the large subunit rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer region) indicated that these two strains represented a novel species of the genus Kurtzmanomyces, for which the name Kurtzmanomyces shapotouensis sp. nov. is proposed (type strain: CPCC 300020(T) = DSM 26579(T) = CBS 12707(T)). The MycoBank number of the novel species is MB 804959.

  7. Mapping Palaeohydrography in Deserts: Contribution from Space-Borne Imaging Radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Paillou

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR has the capability to image subsurface features down to several meters in arid regions. A first demonstration of this capability was performed in the Egyptian desert during the early eighties, thanks to the first Shuttle Imaging Radar mission. Global coverage provided by recent SARs, such as the Japanese ALOS/PALSAR sensor, allowed the mapping of vast ancient hydrographic systems in Northern Africa. We present a summary of palaeohydrography results obtained using PALSAR data over large deserts such as the Sahara and the Gobi. An ancient river system was discovered in eastern Lybia, connecting in the past the Kufrah oasis to the Mediterranean Sea, and the terminal part of the Tamanrasett river was mapped in western Mauritania, ending with a large submarine canyon. In southern Mongolia, PALSAR images combined with topography analysis allowed the mapping of the ancient Ulaan Nuur lake. We finally show the potentials of future low frequency SAR sensors by comparing L-band (1.25 GHz and P-band (435 MHz airborne SAR acquisitions over a desert site in southern Tunisia.

  8. Epidemiology and clinical presentation of stroke in Upper Egypt (desert area).

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Tallawy, Hamdy N; Farghaly, Wafaa M; Badry, Reda; Hamdy, Nermin A; Shehata, Ghaydaa A; Rageh, Tarek A; Metwally, Nabil A; Hassan, Enas M; Elsayed, Sayed S; Yehia, Mohamed A; Soliman, Wael T

    2015-01-01

    Stroke is a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Four out of five strokes occur in the low- and middle-income countries. This study aims to find lifetime prevalence of stroke in Upper Egypt and to identify clinical presentations and possible risk factors of stroke in this population. This is a door-to-door (every door) study conducted on all inhabitants in Al Kharga district (representative of western desert) and Al Quseir city (representative of eastern desert). The study was conducted in two stages, and every stage consisted of three phases (screening, diagnostic, and investigatory). The total lifetime prevalence of stroke was 8.5/1,000 in the population aged 20 years and more. It increased with advancing age and was higher among males than females among all age groups except in the childbearing period (20 years to desert area) lies within the range that is recorded in developing countries. Clinical presentation and risk factors are similar to those recorded from developing and developed countries.

  9. 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.

  10. Eghindi among Sahrawi refugees of Western Sahara.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volpato, Gabriele; Waldstein, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Eghindi is an illness built around a set of pathological states experienced by Sahrawi in the desert environment of Western Sahara. Its core symptoms are caused by osmotic imbalances related to salt consumption. In 1975, many Sahrawi were exiled into refugee camps, and they have since experienced radical sociocultural changes, which are reflected in changing explanatory models of eghindi. Older and conservative refugees, attached to traditional Sahrawi culture, have expanded its conceptualization to include new pathogenic factors, while younger and progressive refugees, acculturated with Western culture, began challenging its existence. Eghindi became embodied within a broader process of negotiation of Sahrawi cultural identity. Our findings provide a framework for thinking about the evolution of illness in response to displacement, and highlight that when explanatory models evolve, intracultural tensions can arise within a population.

  11. Multiscale Local Forcing of the Arabian Desert Daytime Boundary Layer, and Implications for the Dispersion of Surface-Released Contaminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Thomas T.; Sheu, Rong-Shyang

    2000-05-01

    Four 6-day simulations of the atmospheric conditions over the Arabian Desert during the time of the 1991 detonation and release of toxic material at the Khamisiyah, Iraq, weapons depot were performed using a mesoscale model run in a data-assimilation mode. These atmospheric simulations are being employed in a forensic analysis of the potential contribution of the toxic material to so-called Gulf War illness. The transport and concentration of such surface-released contaminants are related strongly to the planetary boundary layer (PBL) depth and the horizontal wind speed in the PBL. The product of the PBL depth and the mean wind speed within it is referred to as the ventilation and is used as a metric of the horizontal transport within the PBL. Thus, a corollary study to the larger forensic analysis involves employing the model solutions and available data in an analysis of the multiscale spatial variability of the daytime desert PBL depth and ventilation as they are affected by surface forcing from terrain elevation variations, coastal circulations, and contrasts in surface physical properties.The coarsest computational grid spanned the entire northern Arabian Desert and surrounding areas of the Middle East, and represented the large-scale PBL modulation by the orography. The PBL depths were greatest over the high elevations of the western Arabian Peninsula and over the Zagros Mountains in western Iran and were shallowest over water bodies and the lower elevations in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. Higher-resolution grids in the nest (the smallest grid increment was 3.3 km) showed that the PBL depth minimum in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley was likely a consequence of compensating subsidence associated with the thermally forced daytime upward motion over the Zagros Mountains to the east in Iran, with possible contributions from an elevated mixed layer. Further local modulation of the daytime desert PBL occurred as a result of the inland penetration of the coastal sea

  12. Operational Monitoring of the Desert Locust Habitat with Earth Observation: An Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Waldner

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Desert locust swarms intermittently damage crops and pastures in sixty countries from Africa to western Asia, threatening the food security of 10% of the world’s population. During the 20th century, desert locust control operations began organizing, and nowadays, they are coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, which promotes a preventative strategy based on early warning and rapid response. This strategy implies a constant monitoring of the populations and of the ecological conditions favorable to their development. Satellite remote sensing can provide a near real-time monitoring of these conditions at the continental scale. Thus, the desert locust control community needs a reliable detection of green vegetation in arid and semi-arid areas as an indicator of potential desert locust habitat. To meet this need, a colorimetric transformation has been developed on both SPOT-VEGETATION and MODIS data to produce dynamic greenness maps. After their integration in the daily locust control activities, this research aimed at assessing those dynamic greenness maps from the producers’ and the users’ points of view. Eight confusion matrices and Pareto boundaries were derived from high resolution reference maps representative of the temporal and spatial diversity of Mauritanian habitats. The dynamic greenness maps were found to be accurate in summer breeding areas (F-score = 0.64–0.87, but accuracy dropped in winter breeding areas (F-score = 0.28–0.40. Accuracy is related to landscape fragmentation (R2 = 0.9: the current spatial resolution remains too coarse to resolve complex fragmented patterns and accounts for a substantial (60% part of the error. The exploitation of PROBA-V 100-m images at the finest resolution (100-m would enhance by 20% the vegetation detection in fragmented habitat. A survey revealed that end-users are satisfied with the product and find it fit for monitoring, thanks to an intuitive interpretation, leading

  13. 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.

  14. Regional changes and global connections: monitoring climate variability and change in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry F. Diaz

    2004-01-01

    Mountain ecosystems of the Western United States are complex and include cold desert biomes, such as those found in Nevada; subpolar biomes found in the upper treeline zone; and tundra ecosystems, occurring above timberline. Many studies (for example, Thompson 2000) suggest that high-elevation environments, comprising glaciers, snow, permafrost, water, and the...

  15. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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, ...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 78 FR 49165 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Sphaeralcea...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-13

    ... brome (bromus rubens) and cheatgrass (bromus tectorum). Both cheatgrass and red brome tend to not grow... brome into the Mojave Desert of western North America poses similar threats to fire regimes, native...) also found that high interspace biomass of red brome and cheatgrass resulted in greater fire danger in...

  2. How fault evolution changes strain partitioning and fault slip rates in Southern California: Results from geodynamic modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Jiyang; Liu, Mian

    2017-08-01

    In Southern California, the Pacific-North America relative plate motion is accommodated by the complex southern San Andreas Fault system that includes many young faults (western Transverse Ranges and along the dextral faults across the Mojave Desert, where numerous damaging earthquakes occurred in recent years.

  3. Compositional Changes In Atmospheric Dust In Western United States During The Past 150 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R. L.; Goldstein, H.; Ketterer, M.; Moser, K.; Neff, J.; Reheis, M. C.; Rosenbaum, J. G.

    2009-12-01

    Dust emission in dryland regions is strongly influenced by human activity and landscape disturbance. The magnitude of such influence can be estimated by comparing dated geologic records that span times before and after human settlement. Chemical, magnetic, and textural studies of eolian dust, deposited in lakes or captured in natural subaerial traps, yield information about the influences of human activities on recent and contemporary dust composition compared to dust composition before settlement in mostly dryland western United States. Lake sediments in the Uinta Mountains (Utah), San Juan Mountains (Colorado), and Yellowstone National Park (Crevice Lake, Montana) have large shifts in chemistry within the top 15 cm that include the past ca. 150 years, from Pb-210 dating or varve chronology. Increased dust flux over this period is demonstrated by mass accumulation rates (San Juan Mountains) or implied by sedimentation rates (Uinta Mountains). In one lake, about 90 km east of Salt Lake City, many elements increase greatly above nearly constant background values that represent deposition over a few centuries prior to about AD 1850: Ag, by 4.0x; As, 4.2x; Cd, 5.3x; Co, 1.6x; Cu, 2.2x; Fe, 2.3x; Mo, 2.5x; Pb, 11.0x; Sb, 4.9x; Sn, 2.8x; W, 1.6x; Te, 5.3x; and Zn, 1.7x. Fly ash from coal combustion occurs in the upper 10 cm where S increases by 2.4x. In the other lakes, similar enrichments are evident over the past ca. 125-150 years for Ag, As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb, and Te. Stable isotopes of lead reveal widespread effects of anthropogenic sources. Increases in P in the Uinta and San Juan settings (4x and 8x, respectively) may be related to increases in eolian P deposition. Changes in dust composition also appear in fine-grained sediments on isolated bedrock surfaces that represent natural dust collectors, along a 700-km-long transect from the Mojave Desert to the Colorado Plateau. Sediment trapped in the upper 1-2 cm that likely represents dust from the past century, on the

  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. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, G.X.; Liu, Y.; Ren, R.; Duan, A. [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (CN). State Key Lab. of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG); Zhu, X. [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (CN). State Key Lab. of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG); Graduate Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China); Li, W.; Liang, X. [China Meteorological Administration, Beijing (China). National Climate Center

    2009-07-01

    This study investigates three types of atmospheric forcing across the summertime subtropics that are shown to contribute in various ways to the occurrence of dry and wet climates in the subtropics. To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation that occurs via meridional advection of planetary vorticity and temperature. Monsoon and desert are demonstrated to coexist as twin features of multi-scale forcing, as follows. First, continent-scale heating over land and cooling over ocean induce the ascent of air over the eastern parts of continents and western parts of oceans, and descent over eastern parts of oceans and western parts of continents. Second, local-scale sea-breeze forcing along coastal regions enhances air descent over eastern parts of oceans and ascent over eastern parts of continents. This leads to the formation of the well-defined summertime subtropical LOSECOD quadruplet-heating pattern across each continent and adjacent oceans, with long-wave radiative cooling (LO) over eastern parts of oceans, sensible heating (SE) over western parts of continents, condensation heating (CO) over eastern parts of continents, and double dominant heating (D: LO+CO) over western parts of oceans. Such a quadruplet heating pattern corresponds to a dry climate over the western parts of continents and a wet climate over eastern parts. Third, regional-scale orographic-uplift-heating generates poleward ascending flow to the east of orography and equatorward descending flow to the west. A new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation, which occurs via meridional transfer of heat and planetary vorticity, is proposed as a means of explaining the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon. Strong low-level longwave radiative cooling over eastern parts of oceans and strong surface

  7. 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...

  8. Altererythrobacter soli sp. nov., isolated from desert sand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qi; Li, Hui-Ru; Han, Qing-Qing; He, Ao-Lei; Nie, Cong-Yuan; Wang, Suo-Min; Zhang, Jin-Lin

    2017-02-01

    An alkaliphilic strain designed MN-1T was isolated from a desert sand sample collected from Tengger desert, north-western China. To delineate its taxonomic position, this Gram-stain-negative, rod-shaped, strictly aerobic bacterium was subjected to a polyphasic taxonomic study. Growth was observed at temperatures from 4 to 37 °C (optimum 30-32 °C), at salinities from 0 to 2 % (optimum 1 %) and at pH from 6.5 to 12.0 (optimum 7.0-9.0). Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that strain MN-1T was a member of the genus Altererythrobacterbut could be distinguished from recognized species of this genus. Compared to the reference strains, the novel strain was flagellated and motile by means of polar flagella. The predominant respiratory quinone was ubiquinone-10 and the major polar lipids were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, sphingoglycolipid, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine, one unidentified glycolipid, one unidentified phospholipid and four unidentified lipids. The predominant fatty acids were C18 : 1ω7c, summed feature 3 (C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c) and C16 : 0. These chemotaxonomic traits were in agreement with the characteristics of the genus Altererythrobacter. Strain MN-1T was most closely related to Altererythrobacter xinjiangensis S3-63T (96.9 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity), followed by Altererythrobacter dongtanensis JM27T (96.4 %) and Altererythrobacter marinus H32T (96.1 %). The G+C content of the genomic DNA of strain MN-1T was 67.0 mol%. On the basis of data from this polyphasic taxonomic study, strain MN-1T is proposed as the type strain of a novel species of the genus Altererythrobacter, named as Altererythrobacter soli sp. nov. (=KCTC 52135T=MCCC 1K02066T).

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. The politics of accessing desert land in Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naber, Al Majd; Molle, Francois

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. MOJAVE. X. PARSEC-SCALE JET ORIENTATION VARIATIONS AND SUPERLUMINAL MOTION IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lister, M. L.; Richards, J. L. [Department of Physics, Purdue University, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (United States); Aller, M. F.; Aller, H. D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 817 Dennison Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Homan, D. C. [Department of Physics, Denison University, Granville, OH 43023 (United States); Kellermann, K. I. [National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States); Kovalev, Y. Y. [Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute, Profsoyuznaya 84/32, 117997 Moscow (Russian Federation); Pushkarev, A. B.; Ros, E.; Savolainen, T., E-mail: mlister@purdue.edu [Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn (Germany)

    2013-11-01

    We describe the parsec-scale kinematics of 200 active galactic nucleus (AGN) jets based on 15 GHz Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) data obtained between 1994 August 31 and 2011 May 1. We present new VLBA 15 GHz images of these and 59 additional AGNs from the MOJAVE and 2 cm Survey programs. Nearly all of the 60 most heavily observed jets show significant changes in their innermost position angle over a 12-16 yr interval, ranging from 10° to 150° on the sky, corresponding to intrinsic variations of ∼0.°5 to ∼2°. The BL Lac jets show smaller variations than quasars. Roughly half of the heavily observed jets show systematic position angle trends with time, and 20 show indications of oscillatory behavior. The time spans of the data sets are too short compared to the fitted periods (5-12 yr), however, to reliably establish periodicity. The rapid changes and large jumps in position angle seen in many cases suggest that the superluminal AGN jet features occupy only a portion of the entire jet cross section and may be energized portions of thin instability structures within the jet. We have derived vector proper motions for 887 moving features in 200 jets having at least five VLBA epochs. For 557 well-sampled features, there are sufficient data to additionally study possible accelerations. We find that the moving features are generally non-ballistic, with 70% of the well-sampled features showing either significant accelerations or non-radial motions. Inward motions are rare (2% of all features), are slow (<0.1 mas yr{sup –1}), are more prevalent in BL Lac jets, and are typically found within 1 mas of the unresolved core feature. There is a general trend of increasing apparent speed with distance down the jet for both radio galaxies and BL Lac objects. In most jets, the speeds of the features cluster around a characteristic value, yet there is a considerable dispersion in the distribution. Orientation variations within the jet cannot fully account for the

  2. Groundwater Quality Data in the Mojave Study Unit, 2008: Results from the California GAMA Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathany, Timothy M.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2009-01-01

    Groundwater quality in the approximately 1,500 square-mile Mojave (MOJO) study unit was investigated from February to April 2008, as part of the Priority Basin Project of the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The GAMA Priority Basin Project was developed in response to the Groundwater Quality Monitoring Act of 2001 and is being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). MOJO was the 23rd of 37 study units to be sampled as part of the GAMA Priority Basin Project. The MOJO study was designed to provide a spatially unbiased assessment of the quality of untreated ground water used for public water supplies within MOJO, and to facilitate statistically consistent comparisons of groundwater quality throughout California. Samples were collected from 59 wells in San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties. Fifty-two of the wells were selected using a spatially distributed, randomized grid-based method to provide statistical representation of the study area (grid wells), and seven were selected to aid in evaluation of specific water-quality issues (understanding wells). The groundwater samples were analyzed for a large number of organic constituents [volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides and pesticide degradates, and pharmaceutical compounds], constituents of special interest (perchlorate and N-nitrosodimethylamine [NDMA]) naturally occurring inorganic constituents (nutrients, dissolved organic carbon [DOC], major and minor ions, silica, total dissolved solids [TDS], and trace elements), and radioactive constituents (gross alpha and gross beta radioactivity, radium isotopes, and radon-222). Naturally occurring isotopes (stable isotopes of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, stable isotopes of nitrogen and oxygen in nitrate, and activities of tritium and carbon-14), and dissolved noble gases also were measured to help identify the sources and ages of the sampled

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Monitoring Soil Erosion on a Burned Site in the Mojave-Great Basin Transition Zone: Final Report for the Jacob Fire Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Julianne [DRI; Etyemezian, Vic [DRI; Cablk, Mary E. [DRI; Shillito, Rose [DRI; Shafer, David [DOE Grand Junction, Colorado

    2013-06-01

    A historic return interval of 100 years for large fires in the U.S. southwestern deserts is being replaced by one where fires may reoccur as frequently as every 20 to 30 years. The shortened return interval, which translates to an increase in fires, has implications for management of Soil Corrective Action Units (CAUs) and Corrective Action Sites (CASs) for which the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Field Office has responsibility. A series of studies was initiated at uncontaminated analog sites to better understand the possible impacts of erosion and transport by wind and water should contaminated soil sites burn. The first of these studies was undertaken at the Jacob Fire site approximately 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) north of Hiko, Nevada. A lightning-caused fire burned approximately 200 hectares during August 6-8, 2008. The site is representative of a transition between Mojave and Great Basin desert ecoregions on the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), where the largest number of Soil CAUs/CASs are located. The area that burned at the Jacob Fire site was primarily a Coleogyne ramosissima (blackbrush) and Ephedra nevadensis (Mormon tea) community, also an abundant shrub assemblage in the similar transition zone on the NNSS. This report summarizes three years of measurements after the fire. Seven measurement campaigns at the Jacob Fire site were completed. Measurements were made on burned ridge (upland) and drainage sites, and on burned and unburned sites beneath and between vegetation. A Portable In-Situ Wind Erosion Lab (PI-SWERL) was used to estimate emissions of suspended particles at different wind speeds. Context for these measurements was provided through a meteorological tower that was installed at the Jacob Fire site to obtain local, relevant environmental parameters. Filter samples, collected from the exhaust of the PI-SWERL during measurements, were analyzed for chemical composition. Runoff and water erosion were

  7. 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

  8. Intensive measurements of gas, water, and energy exchange between vegetation and troposhere during the MONTES campaign in a vegetation gradient from short semi-desertic shrublands to tall wet temperate forests in the NW Mediterranean Basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Penuelas, J.; Guenther, A.; Rapparini, F.; Llusia, J.; Vilà-Guerau De Arellano, J.

    2013-01-01

    MONTES (“Woodlands”) was a multidisciplinary international field campaign aimed at measuring energy, water and especially gas exchange between vegetation and atmosphere in a gradient from short semi-desertic shrublands to tall wet temperate forests in NE Spain in the North Western Mediterranean

  9. Hydrologic characterization of desert soils with varying degrees of pedogenesis: 2. Inverse modeling for eff ective properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirus, B.B.; Perkins, K.S.; Nimmo, J.R.; Singha, K.

    2009-01-01

    To understand their relation to pedogenic development, soil hydraulic properties in the Mojave Desert were investi- gated for three deposit types: (i) recently deposited sediments in an active wash, (ii) a soil of early Holocene age, and (iii) a highly developed soil of late Pleistocene age. Eff ective parameter values were estimated for a simplifi ed model based on Richards' equation using a fl ow simulator (VS2D), an inverse algorithm (UCODE-2005), and matric pressure and water content data from three ponded infi ltration experiments. The inverse problem framework was designed to account for the eff ects of subsurface lateral spreading of infi ltrated water. Although none of the inverse problems converged on a unique, best-fi t parameter set, a minimum standard error of regression was reached for each deposit type. Parameter sets from the numerous inversions that reached the minimum error were used to develop probability distribu tions for each parameter and deposit type. Electrical resistance imaging obtained for two of the three infi ltration experiments was used to independently test fl ow model performance. Simulations for the active wash and Holocene soil successfully depicted the lateral and vertical fl uxes. Simulations of the more pedogenically developed Pleistocene soil did not adequately replicate the observed fl ow processes, which would require a more complex conceptual model to include smaller scale heterogeneities. The inverse-modeling results, however, indicate that with increasing age, the steep slope of the soil water retention curve shitis toward more negative matric pressures. Assigning eff ective soil hydraulic properties based on soil age provides a promising framework for future development of regional-scale models of soil moisture dynamics in arid environments for land-management applications. ?? Soil Science Society of America.

  10. 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

  11. Radiatively-driven processes in forest fire and desert dust plumes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weinzierl, Bernadett Barbara

    2008-07-01

    -volatile components and contain absorbing material. After regional-scale transport from the Sahara to South-western Europe, the volatile fraction in the dust plume did not significantly increase. The lofted forest fire plumes were found during ITOP at altitudes between 3 and 9 km above sea level (ASL), while the lofted desert dust plumes were found during SAMUM between 1 and 6 km ASL. The transition of the aerosol plumes to the free tropospheric background above and below the plumes was remarkably sharp and characterised by strong inversions. Within a height range of 200-300 m, the particle concentrations decreased by more than one order of magnitude. The results of plume dilution were evident only in the upper part of the lofted forest fire and desert dust plumes. The daily mean heating rates in the forest fire and desert dust plumes showed maximum values of {proportional_to}0.2 K day{sup -1} and {proportional_to}0.24 K day{sup -1}, respectively. Vertical profiles of the heating rate suggest that the processes caused by the interaction between the aerosol particles and the solar radiation stabilise the plume itself and decelerate plume dilution. Apparently, the aerosol in such plumes ages in an almost ''closed'' system, where suppressed entrainment of condensable gases from the surface inhibits particle nucleation and the formation of coated particles inside the plume. The processes described tend to extend the lifetime of the layer allowing the transport over long distances. (orig.)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Desert Affairs Program: An initiative on integrating research, education and application for sustainable development in arid and semi-arid lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Qian; Glantz, Michael H.; Pan, Xiaoling; Gao, Wei; Ma, Yingjun

    2003-07-01

    By recognizing the issues related with drought, desertification, diversity and development (i.e., the 4Ds) in arid and semi-arid lands in Central and Western Asia, The need of developing an interdisciplinary and environment-oriented education and training program, named "Desert Affairs Program", is discussed. Its aim is to train present and future researchers, policymakers and educators for dealing with issues related to environmental science, impacts, policy, economy and ethics in arid and semi-arid lands in Central and Western Asia.

  2. The role of East Asian monsoon system in shaping population divergence and dynamics of a constructive desert shrub Reaumuria soongarica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Hengxia; Yan, Xia; Shi, Yong; Qian, Chaoju; Li, Zhonghu; Zhang, Wen; Wang, Lirong; Li, Yi; Li, Xiaoze; Chen, Guoxiong; Li, Xinrong; Nevo, Eviatar; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-10-29

    Both of the uplift of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) and the development of East Asian monsoon system (EAMS) could have comprehensively impacted the formation and evolution of Arid Central Asia (ACA). To understand how desert plants endemic to ACA responded to these two factors, we profiled the historical population dynamics and distribution range shift of a constructive desert shrub Reaumuria soongarica (Tamaricaceae) based on species wide investigation of sequence variation of chloroplast DNA and nuclear ribosomal ITS. Phylogenetic analysis uncovered a deep divergence occurring at ca. 2.96 Mya between the western and eastern lineages of R. soongarica, and ecological niche modeling analysis strongly supported that the monsoonal climate could have fragmented its habitats in both glacial and interglacial periods and impelled its intraspecific divergence. Additionally, the population from the east monsoonal zone expanded rapidly, suggesting that the local monsoonal climate significantly impacted its population dynamics. The isolation by distance tests supported strong maternal gene flow along the direction of the East Asian winter monsoon, whose intensification induced the genetic admixture along the latitudinal populations of R. soongarica. Our results presented a new case that the development of EAMS had prominently impacted the intraspecific divergence and population dynamics of this desert plant.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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,...

  17. 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

  18. Phenological synchrony of bird migration with tree flowering at desert riparian stopover sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellermann, Jherime L.; van Riper, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Small-bodied songbirds replenish fat reserves during migration at stopover sites where they continually encounter novel and often unpredictable environmental conditions. The ability to select and utilize high quality habitats is critical to survival and fitness. Vegetation phenology is closely linked with emergence of insect prey and may provide valid cues of food availability for stopover habitat selection. Climate change is disrupting phenological synchrony across trophic levels with negative impacts on bird populations. However, whether synchrony or mismatch indicates historic or disrupted systems remains unclear. Many Neotropical migratory songbirds of western North America must cross arid regions where drought conditions related to climate change and human water use are expected to increase. We studied migrant abundance and the diversity (niche breadth) and proportional use of vegetation species as foraging substrates and their synchrony with vegetation flowering during spring migration along the lower Colorado River in the Sonoran Desert of the U.S. and Mexico.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Epidemiology and clinical presentation of stroke in Upper Egypt (desert area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El Tallawy HN

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Hamdy N El Tallawy,1 Wafaa M Farghaly,1 Reda Badry,1 Nermin A Hamdy,2 Ghaydaa A Shehata,1 Tarek A Rageh,1 Nabil A Metwally,3 Enas M Hassan,2 Sayed S Elsayed,2 Mohamed A Yehia,2 Wael T Soliman2 1Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Assiut University, Assiut, 2Department of Neurology, El Minia University, El-Minia City, 3Department of Neurology, Al-Azhar University (Assuit Branch, Assiut, Egypt Background: Stroke is a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Four out of five strokes occur in the low- and middle-income countries. This study aims to find lifetime prevalence of stroke in Upper Egypt and to identify clinical presentations and possible risk factors of stroke in this population.Methods: This is a door-to-door (every door study conducted on all inhabitants in Al Kharga district (representative of western desert and Al Quseir city (representative of eastern desert. The study was conducted in two stages, and every stage consisted of three phases (screening, diagnostic, and investigatory.Results: The total lifetime prevalence of stroke was 8.5/1,000 in the population aged 20 years and more. It increased with advancing age and was higher among males than females among all age groups except in the childbearing period (20 years to <40 years of age. Lifetime prevalence of ischemic stroke (7.2/1,000 was higher than hemorrhagic stroke (1.1/1,000. Hemiparesis and hemiplegia were the commonest presentation of stroke. Headache, vomiting, and vertigo were found to be significantly more common accompaniments of hemorrhagic stroke. The most common risk factor was hypertension, followed by hyperlipidemia and diabetes mellitus.Conclusion: The total lifetime prevalence of stroke in the population aged 20 years and more in Upper Egypt (desert area lies within the range that is recorded in developing countries. Clinical presentation and risk factors are similar to those recorded from developing and developed countries. Keywords: stroke

  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. Origen of Alexandria and the paradigm of desert spirituality - doi: 10.4025/actascieduc.v35i1.19327

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Ciner

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we shall call ‘spirituality of the desert’ the experience that urges the human being to leave the safety and comfort of the known world in order to follow the inner voice that leads them to the encounter with the divine. This decision involves very great risks and uncertainties, because in the desert there is only silence and solitude and nothing guarantees success in the search of God. However, going through the desert offers, to those who take the risk, the most precious gifts that a human being can aspire: freedom and peace. In this regard and as a provisional essay of a ‘mystic phenomenology of the desert’, the main objective will be aimed at deepening the theological and mystical reflections on the desert done by an author such as Origen of Alexandria. The choice has been based on the immense influence this great theologian has had in the history of Western mysticism. The analysis of the significance of the desert in the theology of Origen, was held in his beautiful homilies on Exodus. This article will show how this theological line has full validity for the contemporary world.  

  6. Why the 16th Century Spanish Conquistadors likely did not descend into Grand Canyon near Desert View: A new perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ray Kenny

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available There is probably no more historically significant or culturally pivotal event in the history of the south-western USA than the ambitious expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado. Although the exploits of Coronado’s army have been examined for hundreds of years, new information has emerged from on-going studies of surviving documents and field work. This paper presents a new hypothesis and supportive evidence which suggest that a dispatch of Coronado’s men (led by Don Garcia López de Cárdenas with the goal of discovering the Colorado River, likely did not descend off the south rim of Grand Canyon near the present day Desert View area in eastern Grand Canyon, as proposed by Bartlett in 1940. Surviving documents indicate that the Cárdenas Expedition traveled 20 days and 130 miles before attempting a descent into the canyon; only three or four days of travel are needed to arrive at the Desert View area from the Hopi Village of Awat’ovi (the starting location of the Cárdenas expedition. In this paper, topographic, anthropologic and historic evidence along with new distance calculations are presented which suggest that the 16th Century Spanish descent into Grand Canyon did not occur near the present day Desert View area, but likely occurred at least 35 to 40 (linear miles west of this area near the present day South Bass Trail. Ramifications of the proposed hypothesis include: (1 focusing the search for Spanish artefacts and surviving evidence at a new location in western Grand Canyon; and, (2 rectifying the historical record.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Twenty-first century projected summer mean climate in the Mediterranean interpreted through the monsoon-desert mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherchi, Annalisa; Annamalai, H.; Masina, Simona; Navarra, Antonio; Alessandri, Andrea

    2016-10-01

    The term "monsoon-desert mechanism" indicates the relationship between the diabatic heating associated with the South Asian summer monsoon rainfall and the remote response in the western sub-tropics where long Rossby waves anchor strong descent with high subsidence. In CMIP5 twenty-first century climate scenarios, the precipitation over South Asia is projected to increase. This study investigates how this change could affect the summer climate projections in the Mediterranean region. In a linear framework the monsoon-desert mechanism in the context of climate change would imply that the change in subsidence over the Mediterranean should be strongly linked with the changes in South Asian monsoon precipitation. The steady-state solution from a linear model forced with CMIP5 model projected precipitation change over South Asia shows a broad region of descent in the Mediterranean, while the results from CMIP5 projections differ having increased descent mostly in the western sector but also decreased descent in parts of the eastern sector. Local changes in circulation, particularly the meridional wind, promote cold air advection that anchors the descent but the barotropic Rossby wave nature of the wind anomalies consisting of alternating northerlies/southerlies favors alternating descent/ascent locations. In fact, the local mid-tropospheric meridional wind changes have the strongest correlation with the regions where the difference in subsidence is largest. There decreased rainfall is mostly balanced by changes in moisture, omega and in the horizontal advection of moisture.

  11. Lynch 002: A New Lunar Meteorite from the Nullarbor Desert, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, C. L.; Kearsley, A. T.; Bermingham, K. R.; Deacon, G. L.; Kurahashi, E.; Franchi, I. A.; Bevan, A. W. R.

    2012-09-01

    Lynch 002, found in September 2010, is a highly brecciated meteorite containing diverse lunar lithologies and mineral phases, reflecting a wide range of igneous activity and multiple phases of impact and regolith processing.

  12. Mineralogical, geochemical and hydrocarbon potential of subsurface Cretaceous shales, Northern Western Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.A. Mousa

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Twenty four Cretaceous shale core samples of Gibb Afia-1, Betty-1, Salam-1X and Mersa Matruh-1 wells were mineralogically and geochemically studied using XRD, XRF and Rock Eval Pyrolysis. Kaolinite, smectite and illite are the main clay minerals in addition to rare chlorite, while the non-clay minerals include quartz, calcite, dolomite and rare siderite. The shales were derived through intensive chemical weathering of mafic basement and older sedimentary rocks. These sediments were deposited in a near-shore shallow marine environment with some terrestrial material input. The shales have poor to fair organic content. It is marginally to rarely mature.

  13. Why women hunt: risk and contemporary foraging in a Western Desert aboriginal community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, Rebecca Bliege; Bird, Douglas W

    2008-08-01

    An old anthropological theory ascribes gender differences in hunter-gatherer subsistence to an economy of scale in household economic production: women pursue child-care-compatible tasks and men, of necessity, provision wives and offspring with hunted meat. This theory explains little about the division of labor among the Australian Martu, where women hunt extensively and gendered asymmetry in foraging decisions is linked to men's and women's different social strategies. Women hunt primarily small, predictable game (lizards) to provision small kin networks, to feed children, and to maintain their cooperative relationships with other women. They trade off large harvests against greater certainty. Men hunt as a political strategy, using a form of "competitive magnanimity" to rise in the ritual hierarchy and demonstrate their capacity to keep sacred knowledge. Resources that can provision the most people with the most meat best fit this strategy, resulting in an emphasis on kangaroo. Men trade off reliable consumption benefits to the hunter's family for more unpredictable benefits in social standing for the individual hunter. Gender differences in the costs and benefits of engaging in competitive magnanimity structure men's more risk-prone and women's more risk-averse foraging decisions.

  14. 2 Anti-tank regiment, SAA -tank and anti-tank in the western desert ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MovIng into the Gazala Line. By the end of January Rommel's counter-attack had put him in possession of Benghazi, while XIII Corps attempted to make the best of a fighting retreat eastwards across the Jebel. The Axis forces' petrol difficulties had convinced Rommel that he would have to halt the main body of his ...

  15. 2 Anti-tank regiment, SAA - Tank and anti-tank in the western desert ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In December 1941 as 'Crusader' ground to a halt, Auchinleck was already being pushed by his political masters in London to consider the complete eviction of Axis forces from North Africa. Various plans had been mooted by Churchill, who for some time past had exhorted his generals to provide a convincing victory in the ...

  16. Magnetization of three Nubia Sandstone formations from Central Western Desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. El-Shayeb

    2013-06-01

    The first magnetic component obtained from the two older formations is considered primary, as the corresponding pole reflects the age when compared with the previously obtained Cretaceous poles for North Africa. On other hand, the second pole obtained from the Maghrabi formation (the younger is inconsistent with the Cretaceous pole positions for North Africa, but falls closer to the Eocene pole indicating that the rocks of this formation could have suffered remagnetization during the late Eocene time.

  17. Prospect evaluation of BED 3 and Sitra oilfields, Abu Gharadig Basin, North Western Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibrahim Salem

    2015-12-01

    Sealing mechanisms were applied to explain why certain reservoirs have hydrocarbon and others don’t. Allan’s juxtaposition diagram for the main faults in the study area shows that Kharita sands in BED 3 area have excellent juxtaposition as Kharita juxtapose to upper Bahariya and intra Bahariya, which consist of shale and limestone. Abu Roash G sands in BED 3 area have bad juxtaposition as the Abu Roash G juxtapose to Abu Roash C sand (sand juxtaposed sand. Allan’s diagram shows that the Abu Roash G reservoir (main target in Sitra 8 is juxtaposing Abu Roash D which is composed of limestone and shale, which acts as very good seal rock, while the Kharita reservoir is juxtaposing Abu Roash G sand (sand juxtaposed sand from the crest position which can explain the bad juxtaposition.

  18. Application of electrical resistivity method for groundwater exploration at the Moghra area, Western Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.I.I. Mohamaden

    2016-09-01

    Structurally, the study area is influenced by three faults two of them are geological/geoelectrical faults forming a graben structure at the central part; the third fault is a geoelectrical fault and is located to the west of the graben structure forming a horest structure.

  19. From Powerlessness to Control: Psychosis, Spirit Possession and Recovery in the Western Desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Rashed

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This article explores an aspect of the cultural modulation of recovery in psychosis. It begins with the idea that recovery hinges on the ability of subjects to relate to their distressing experiences in ways that expand rather than diminish agency.  Based on fieldwork in the Dakhla oasis of Egypt and subsequent analysis, it is argued that interpretations of psychosis as spirit possession offer a broader range of intentionality than biomedical interpretations and therefore broader possibilities of relating to psychotic states. Modes of relating to spirits may take active or passive forms, the former consistent with the recovery goal of symptom control. Factors constitutive of the active, agency-expanding mode of relating include: the nature of spirits; the values and beliefs of the subject; the broader cultural/religious discourses which may make it either more or less likely for the subject to achieve the desired state of control over symptoms.

  20. 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