Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 374

Geological and Environmental Engineering

Effects of Axial Loads and Soil Density on Pile Group Subjected to Triangular Soil Movement

Laboratory tests have been carried out to investigate the response of 2x2 pile group subjected to triangular soil movement. The pile group was instrumented with displacement and tilting devices at the pile cap and strain gauges on two piles of the group. In this paper, results from four model tests were presented to study the effects of axial loads and soil density on the lateral behavior of piles. The responses in terms of bending moment, shear force, soil pressure, deflection, and rotation of piles were compared. Test results indicate that increasing the soil strength could increase the measured moment, shear, soil pressure, and pile deformations. Most importantly, adding loads to the pile cap induces additional moment to the head of front-pile row unlike the back-pile row which was influenced insignificantly.

Mapping of Alteration Zones in Mineral Rich Belt of South-East Rajasthan Using Remote Sensing Techniques

Remote sensing techniques have emerged as an asset for various geological studies. Satellite images obtained by different sensors contain plenty of information related to the terrain. Digital image processing further helps in customized ways for the prospecting of minerals. In this study, an attempt has been made to map the hydrothermally altered zones using multispectral and hyperspectral datasets of South East Rajasthan. Advanced Space-borne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Hyperion (Level1R) dataset have been processed to generate different Band Ratio Composites (BRCs). For this study, ASTER derived BRCs were generated to delineate the alteration zones, gossans, abundant clays and host rocks. ASTER and Hyperion images were further processed to extract mineral end members and classified mineral maps have been produced using Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) method. Results were validated with the geological map of the area which shows positive agreement with the image processing outputs. Thus, this study concludes that the band ratios and image processing in combination play significant role in demarcation of alteration zones which may provide pathfinders for mineral prospecting studies.

Selection of Rayleigh Damping Coefficients for Seismic Response Analysis of Soil Layers
One good analysis method in seismic response analysis is direct time integration, which widely adopts Rayleigh damping. An approach is presented for selection of Rayleigh damping coefficients to be used in seismic analyses to produce a response that is consistent with Modal damping response. In the presented approach, the expression of the error of peak response, acquired through complete quadratic combination method, and Rayleigh damping coefficients was set up and then the coefficients were produced by minimizing the error. Two finite element modes of soil layers, excited by 28 seismic waves, were used to demonstrate the feasibility and validity.
Precipitation Intensity: Duration Based Threshold Analysis for Initiation of Landslides in Upper Alaknanda Valley

The entire Himalayan range is globally renowned for rainfall-induced landslides. The prime focus of the study is to determine rainfall based threshold for initiation of landslides that can be used as an important component of an early warning system for alerting stake holders. This research deals with temporal dimension of slope failures due to extreme rainfall events along the National Highway-58 from Karanprayag to Badrinath in the Garhwal Himalaya, India. Post processed 3-hourly rainfall intensity data and its corresponding duration from daily rainfall data available from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) were used as the prime source of rainfall data. Landslide event records from Border Road Organization (BRO) and some ancillary landslide inventory data for 2013 and 2014 have been used to determine Intensity Duration (ID) based rainfall threshold. The derived governing threshold equation, I= 4.738D-0.025, has been considered for prediction of landslides of the study region. This equation was validated with an accuracy of 70% landslides during August and September 2014. The derived equation was considered for further prediction of landslides of the study region. From the obtained results and validation, it can be inferred that this equation can be used for initiation of landslides in the study area to work as a part of an early warning system. Results can significantly improve with ground based rainfall estimates and better database on landslide records. Thus, the study has demonstrated a very low cost method to get first-hand information on possibility of impending landslide in any region, thereby providing alert and better preparedness for landslide disaster mitigation.

Kirchhoff’s Depth Migration over Heterogeneous Velocity Models with Ray Tracing Modeling Approach

Complex seismic signatures are generated due to the complexity of the subsurface which is difficult to interpret. In the present study, an attempt has been made to model the complex subsurface using the Ray tracing modeling technique. Add to this, for the imaging of these geological features, Kirchhoff’s prestack depth migration is applied over the synthetic common shot gather dataset. It is found that the Kirchhoff’s migration technique in addition with the Ray tracing modeling concept has the flexibility towards the imaging of various complex geology which gives satisfactory results with proper delineation of the reflectors at their respective true depth position. The entire work has been carried out under the MATLAB environment.

Comparison of Different Techniques to Estimate Surface Soil Moisture

Land subsidence is a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the land surface from changes that take place underground. There are different causes of land subsidence; most notably, ground-water overdraft and severe weather conditions. Subsidence of the land surface due to ground water overdraft is caused by an increase in the intergranular pressure in unconsolidated aquifers, which results in a loss of buoyancy of solid particles in the zone dewatered by the falling water table and accordingly compaction of the aquifer. On the other hand, exploitation of underground water may result in significant changes in degree of saturation of soil layers above the water table, increasing the effective stress in these layers, and considerable soil settlements. This study focuses on estimation of soil moisture at surface using different methods. Specifically, different methods for the estimation of moisture content at the soil surface, as an important term to solve Richard’s equation and estimate soil moisture profile are presented, and their results are discussed through comparison with field measurements obtained from Yanco1 station in south-eastern Australia. Surface soil moisture is not easy to measure at the spatial scale of a catchment. Due to the heterogeneity of soil type, land use, and topography, surface soil moisture may change considerably in space and time.

An Experimental Study to Mitigate Swelling Pressure of Expansive Tabuk Shale, Saudi Arabia

In Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there are several areas where expansive soil exists in the form of variable-thicknesses layers in the developed regions. Severe distress to infrastructures can be caused by the development of heave and swelling pressure in this kind of expansive shale. Among the various techniques for expansive soil mitigation, the removal and replacement technique is very popular for lightly loaded structures and shallow foundations. This paper presents the result of an experimental study conducted for evaluating the effect of type and thickness of the cushion soils on mitigation of swelling characteristics of expanded shale. Seven undisturbed shale samples collected from Al Qadsiyah district, which is located in the Tabuk town north Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are treated with two types of cushion coarse-grained sediments (CCS); sand and gravel. Each type is represented with three thicknesses, 22%, 33% and 44% in relation to the depth of the active zone. The test results indicated that the replacement of expansive shale by CCS reduces the swelling potential and pressure. It is found that the reduction in swelling depends on the type and thickness of CCS. The treatment by removing the original expansive shale and replacing it by cushion sand with 44% thickness reduced the swelling potential and pressure of about 53.29% and 62.78 %, respectively.

Combination of Geological, Geophysical and Reservoir Engineering Analyses in Field Development: A Case Study
A sequence of different Reservoir Engineering methods and tools in reservoir characterization and field development are presented in this paper. The real data of Jin Gas Field of L-Basin of Pakistan is used. The basic concept behind this work is to enlighten the importance of well test analysis in a broader way (i.e. reservoir characterization and field development) unlike to just determine the permeability and skin parameters. Normally in the case of reservoir characterization we rely on well test analysis to some extent but for field development plan, the well test analysis has become a forgotten tool specifically for locations of new development wells. This paper describes the successful implementation of well test analysis in Jin Gas Field where the main uncertainties are identified during initial stage of field development when location of new development well was marked only on the basis of G&G (Geologic and Geophysical) data. The seismic interpretation could not encounter one of the boundary (fault, sub-seismic fault, heterogeneity) near the main and only producing well of Jin Gas Field whereas the results of the model from the well test analysis played a very crucial rule in order to propose the location of second well of the newly discovered field. The results from different methods of well test analysis of Jin Gas Field are also integrated with and supported by other tools of Reservoir Engineering i.e. Material Balance Method and Volumetric Method. In this way, a comprehensive way out and algorithm is obtained in order to integrate the well test analyses with Geological and Geophysical analyses for reservoir characterization and field development. On the strong basis of this working and algorithm, it was successfully evaluated that the proposed location of new development well was not justified and it must be somewhere else except South direction.
Trend Analysis of Annual Total Precipitation Data in Konya
Hydroclimatic observation values ​​are used in the planning of the project of water resources. Climate variables are the first of the values ​​used in planning projects. At the same time, the climate system is a complex and interactive system involving the atmosphere, land surfaces, snow and bubbles, the oceans and other water structures. The amount and distribution of precipitation, which is an important climate parameter, is a limiting environmental factor for dispersed living things. Trend analysis is applied to the detection of the presence of a pattern or trend in the data set. Many trends work in different parts of the world are usually made for the determination of climate change. The detection and attribution of past trends and variability in climatic variables is essential for explaining potential future alteration resulting from anthropogenic activities. Parametric and non-parametric tests are used for determining the trends in climatic variables. In this study, trend tests were applied to annual total precipitation data obtained in period of 1972 and 2012, in the Konya Basin. Non-parametric trend tests, (Sen’s T, Spearman’s Rho, Mann-Kendal, Sen’s T trend, Wald-Wolfowitz) and parametric test (mean square) were applied to annual total precipitations of 15 stations for trend analysis. The linear slopes (change per unit time) of trends are calculated by using a non-parametric estimator developed by Sen. The beginning of trends is determined by using the Mann-Kendall rank correlation test. In addition, homogeneities in precipitation trends are tested by using a method developed by Van Belle and Hughes. As a result of tests, negative linear slopes were found in annual total precipitations in Konya.
Determining the Spatial Vulnerability Levels and Typologies of Coastal Cities to Climate Change: Case of Turkey

One of the important impacts of climate change is the sea level rise. Turkey is a peninsula, so the coastal areas of the country are threatened by the problem of sea level rise. Therefore, the urbanized coastal areas are highly vulnerable to climate change. At the aim of enhancing spatial resilience of urbanized areas, this question arises: What should be the priority intervention subject in the urban planning process for a given city. To answer this question, by focusing on the problem of sea level rise, this study aims to determine spatial vulnerability typologies and levels of Turkey coastal cities based on morphological, physical and social characteristics. As a method, spatial vulnerability of coastal cities is determined by two steps as level and type. Firstly, physical structure, morphological structure and social structure were examined in determining spatial vulnerability levels. By determining these levels, most vulnerable areas were revealed as a priority in adaptation studies. Secondly, all parameters are also used to determine spatial typologies. Typologies are determined for coastal cities in order to use as a base for urban planning studies. Adaptation to climate change is crucial for developing countries like Turkey so, this methodology and created typologies could be a guide for urban planners as spatial directors and an example for other developing countries in the context of adaptation to climate change. The results demonstrate that the urban settlements located on the coasts of the Marmara Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean respectively, are more vulnerable than the cities located on the Black Sea’s coasts to sea level rise.

Cuban Shelf Results of Exploration and Petroleum Potential

Oil-and-gas potential of Cuba is found through the discoveries among which there are the most large-scale deposits, such as the Boca de Jaruco and Varadero fields of heavy oils. Currently, the petroleum and petroleum products needs of the island state are satisfied by own sources by less than a half. The prospects of the hydrocarbon resource base development are connected with the adjacent water area of the Gulf of Mexico where foreign companies had been granted license blocks for geological study and further development since 2001. Two Russian companies - JSC Gazprom Neft and OJSC Zarubezhneft, among others, took part in the development of the Cuban part of the Gulf of Mexico. Since 2004, five oil wells have been drilled by various companies in the deep waters of the exclusive economic zone of Cuba. Commercial oil-and-gas bearing prospects have been established in neither of them for both geological and technological reasons. However, only a small part of the water area has been covered by drilling and the productivity of the drill core has been tested at the depth of Cretaceous sediments only. In our opinion, oil-and-gas bearing prospects of the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cuba in the Gulf of Mexico remain undervalued and the mentioned water area needs additional geological exploration. The planning of exploration work in this poorly explored region shall be carried out systematically and it shall be based on the results of the regional scientific research.

Limestone Briquette Production and Characterization

Modern agriculture requires productivity, efficiency and quality. Therefore, there is need for agricultural limestone implementation that provides adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium carbonates in order to correct soil acidity. During the limestone process, fine particles (with average size under 400#) are generated. These particles do not have economic value in agricultural and metallurgical sectors due their size. When limestone is used for agriculture purposes, these fine particles can be easily transported by wind generated air pollution. Therefore, briquetting, a mineral processing technique, was used to mitigate this problem resulting in an agglomerated product suitable for agriculture use. Briquetting uses compressive pressure to agglomerate fine particles. It can be aided by agglutination agents, allowing adjustments in shape, size and mechanical parameters of the mass. Briquettes can generate extra profits for mineral industry, presenting as a distinct product for agriculture, and can reduce the environmental liabilities of the fine particles storage or disposition. The produced limestone briquettes were subjected to shatter and water action resistance tests. The results show that after six minutes completely submerged in water, the briquettes where fully diluted, a highly favorable result considering its use for soil acidity correction.

Effect of Fractional Flow Curves on the Heavy Oil and Light Oil Recoveries in Petroleum Reservoirs

This paper evaluates and compares the effect of fractional flow curves on the heavy oil and light oil recoveries in a petroleum reservoir. Fingering of flowing water is one of the serious problems of the oil displacement by water and another problem is the estimation of the amount of recover oil from a petroleum reservoir. To address these problems, the fractional flow of heavy oil and light oil are investigated. The fractional flow approach treats the multi-phases flow rate as a total mixed fluid and then describes the individual phases as fractional of the total flow. Laboratory experiments are implemented for two different types of oils, heavy oil, and light oil, to experimentally obtain relative permeability and fractional flow curves. Application of the light oil fractional curve, which exhibits a regular S-shape, to the water flooding method showed that a large amount of mobile oil in the reservoir is displaced by water injection. In contrast, the fractional flow curve of heavy oil does not display an S-shape because of its high viscosity. Although the advance of the injected waterfront is faster than in light oil reservoirs, a significant amount of mobile oil remains behind the waterfront.

Hydrogeological Factors of the Ore Genesis in the Sedimentary Basins

The present work was made for the purpose of evaluating the interstitial water’s role in the mobilization of metal elements of clay deposits and occurrences in sedimentary formation in the hydro-geological basins. The experiments were performed by using a special facility, which allows adjusting the pressure, temperature, and the frequency of the acoustic vibrations. The dates for study were samples of the oil shales (Baltic career, O2kk) and clay rocks, mainly montmorillonite composition (Borehole SG-12000, the depth of selection 1000–3600 m, the Azov-Kuban trough, N1). After interstitial water squeezing from the rock samples, decrease in the original content of the rock forming components including trace metals V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Zr, Mo, Pb, W, Ti, and others was recorded. The experiments made it possible to evaluate the ore elements output and organic matters with the interstitial waters. Calculations have shown that, in standard conditions, from each ton of the oil shales, 5-6 kg of ore elements and 9-10 kg of organic matter can be escaped. A quantity of matter, migrating from clays in the process of solidification, is changed depending on the lithogenesis stage: more recent unrealized deposits lose more ore and organic materials than the clay rocks, selected from depth over 3000 m. Each ton of clays in the depth interval 1000-1500 m is able to generate 3-5 kg of the ore elements and 6-8 kg of the organic matters. The interstitial waters are a freight forwarder over transferring these matters in the reservoir beds. It was concluded that the interstitial waters which escaped from the study samples are solutions with abnormal high concentrations of the metals and organic matters. In the discharge zones of the sediment basins, such fluids can create paragenetic associations of the sedimentary-catagenetic ore and hydrocarbon mineral resources accumulations.

Waste Burial to the Pressure Deficit Areas in the Eastern Siberia
Important executive decisions on oil and gas production stimulation in Eastern Siberia have been recently taken. There are unique and large fields of oil, gas, and gas-condensate in Eastern Siberia. The Talakan, Koyumbinskoye, Yurubcheno-Tahomskoye, Kovykta, Chayadinskoye fields are supposed to be developed first. It will result in an abrupt increase in environmental load on the nature of Eastern Siberia. In Eastern Siberia, the introduction of ecological imperatives in hydrocarbon production is still realistic. Underground water movement is the one of the most important factors of the ecosystems condition management. Oil and gas production is associated with the forced displacement of huge water masses, mixing waters of different composition, and origin that determines the extent of anthropogenic impact on water drive systems and their protective reaction. An extensive hydrogeological system of the depression type is identified in the pre-salt deposits here. Pressure relieve here is steady up to the basement. The decrease of the hydrodynamic potential towards the basement with such a gradient resulted in reformation of the fields in process of historical (geological) development of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise. The depression hydrodynamic systems are characterized by extremely high isolation and can only exist under such closed conditions. A steady nature of water movement due to a strictly negative gradient of reservoir pressure makes it quite possible to use environmentally-harmful liquid substances instead of water. Disposal of the most hazardous wastes is the most expedient in the deposits of the crystalline basement in certain structures distant from oil and gas fields. The time period for storage of environmentally-harmful liquid substances may be calculated by means of the geological time scales ensuring their complete prevention from releasing into environment or air even during strong earthquakes. Disposal of wastes of chemical and nuclear industries is a matter of special consideration. The existing methods of storage and disposal of wastes are very expensive. The methods applied at the moment for storage of nuclear wastes at the depth of several meters, even in the most durable containers, constitute a potential danger. The enormous size of the depression system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise makes it possible to easily identify such objects at the depth below 1500 m where nuclear wastes will be stored indefinitely without any environmental impact. Thus, the water drive system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise is the ideal object for large-volume injection of environmentally harmful liquid substances even if there are large oil and gas accumulations in the subsurface. Specific geological and hydrodynamic conditions of the system allow the production of hydrocarbons from the subsurface simultaneously with the disposal of industrial wastes of oil and gas, mining, chemical, and nuclear industries without any environmental impact.
Geotechnical Characteristics of Miocenemarl in the Region of Medea North-South Highway, Algeria
The purpose of this paper aims for a geotechnical analysis based on experimental physical and mechanical characteristics of Miocene marl situated at Medea region in Algeria. More than 150 soil samples were taken in the investigation part of the North-South Highway which extends over than 53 km from Chiffa in the North to Berrouaghia in the South of Algeria. The analysis of data in terms of Atterberg limits, plasticity index, and clay content reflects an acceptable correlation justified by a high coefficient of regression which was compared with the previous works in the region. Finally, approximated equations that serve as a guideline for geotechnical design locally have been suggested.
Determination of Unsaturated Soil Permeability Based on Geometric Factor Development of Constant Discharge Model
After Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006, the main problem that occurred in the first yard of Prambanan Temple is ponding area that occurred after rainfall. Soil characterization needs to be determined by conducting several processes, especially permeability coefficient (k) in both saturated and unsaturated conditions to solve this problem. More accurate and efficient field testing procedure is required to obtain permeability data that present the field condition. One of the field permeability test equipment is Constant Discharge procedure to determine the permeability coefficient. Necessary adjustments of the Constant Discharge procedure are needed to be determined especially the value of geometric factor (F) to improve the corresponding value of permeability coefficient. The value of k will be correlated with the value of volumetric water content (θ) of an unsaturated condition until saturated condition. The principle procedure of Constant Discharge model provides a constant flow in permeameter tube that flows into the ground until the water level in the tube becomes constant. Constant water level in the tube is highly dependent on the tube dimension. Every tube dimension has a shape factor called the geometric factor that affects the result of the test. Geometric factor value is defined as the characteristic of shape and radius of the tube. This research has modified the geometric factor parameters by using empty material tube method so that the geometric factor will change. Saturation level is monitored by using soil moisture sensor. The field test results were compared with the results of laboratory tests to validate the results of the test. Field and laboratory test results of empty tube material method have an average difference of 3.33 x 10-4 cm/sec. The test results showed that modified geometric factor provides more accurate data. The improved methods of constant discharge procedure provide more relevant results.
Effect of Bamboo Chips in Cemented Sand Soil on Permeability and Mechanical Properties in Triaxial Compression
Cement utilization to improve the properties of soil is a well-known method applied in field. However, its addition in large quantity must be controlled. This study presents utilization of natural and environmental-friendly material mixed with small amount of cement content in soil improvement, i.e. bamboo chips. Absorbability, elongation, and flatness ratio of bamboo chips were examined to investigate and understand the influence of its characteristics in the mixture. Improvement of dilation behavior as a problem of loose and poorly graded sand soil is discussed. Bamboo chips are able to improve the permeability value that affects the dilation behavior of cemented sand soil. It is proved by the stress path as the result of triaxial compression test in the undrained condition. The effect of size and content variation of bamboo chips, as well as the curing time variation are presented and discussed.  
Effect of Weathering on the Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Sediments of the Hyper Saline Urmia Salt Lake, Iran
Urmia Salt Lake (USL) is a hypersaline lake in the northwest of Iran. It contains halite as main dissolved and precipitated mineral and the major mineral mixed with lake bed sediments. Other detrital minerals such as calcite, aragonite, dolomite, quartz, feldspars, augite are forming lake sediments. This study examined the impact of weathering of this sediments collected from 1.5 meters depth and augite placers. The study indicated that weathering of tephritic and adakite rocks of the Islamic Island at the immediate boundary of the lake play a main control of lake bed sediments and has produced a large volume of augite placer along the lake bank. Weathering increases from south to toward north with increasing distance from Islamic Island. Geochemistry of lake sediments demonstrated the enrichment of MgO, CaO, Sr with an elevated anomaly of Eu, possibly due to surface absorbance of Mn and Fe associated Sr elevation originating from adakite volcanic rocks in the vicinity of the lake basin. The study shows the local geology is the major factor in origin of lake sediments than chemical and biochemical produced mineral during diagenetic processes.
Application of Post-Stack and Pre-Stack Seismic Inversion for Prediction of Hydrocarbon Reservoirs in a Persian Gulf Gas Field
Seismic inversion is a technique which has been in use for years and its main goal is to estimate and to model physical characteristics of rocks and fluids. Generally, it is a combination of seismic and well-log data. Seismic inversion can be carried out through different methods; we have conducted and compared post-stack and pre- stack seismic inversion methods on real data in one of the fields in the Persian Gulf. Pre-stack seismic inversion can transform seismic data to rock physics such as P-impedance, S-impedance and density. While post- stack seismic inversion can just estimate P-impedance. Then these parameters can be used in reservoir identification. Based on the results of inverting seismic data, a gas reservoir was detected in one of Hydrocarbon oil fields in south of Iran (Persian Gulf). By comparing post stack and pre-stack seismic inversion it can be concluded that the pre-stack seismic inversion provides a more reliable and detailed information for identification and prediction of hydrocarbon reservoirs.
Performance of On-site Earthquake Early Warning Systems for Different Sensor Locations
Regional earthquake early warning (EEW) systems are not suitable for Taiwan, as most destructive seismic hazards arise due to in-land earthquakes. These likely cause the lead-time provided by regional EEW systems before a destructive earthquake wave arrives to become null. On the other hand, an on-site EEW system can provide more lead-time at a region closer to an epicenter, since only seismic information of the target site is required. Instead of leveraging the information of several stations, the on-site system extracts some P-wave features from the first few seconds of vertical ground acceleration of a single station and performs a prediction of the oncoming earthquake intensity at the same station according to these features. Since seismometers could be triggered by non-earthquake events such as a passing of a truck or other human activities, to reduce the likelihood of false alarms, a seismometer was installed at three different locations on the same site and the performance of the EEW system for these three sensor locations were discussed. The results show that the location on the ground of the first floor of a school building maybe a good choice, since the false alarms could be reduced and the cost for installation and maintenance is the lowest.
Effects of an Added Foaming Agent on Hydro-Mechanical Properties of Soil
Earth pressure balance (EPB) tunnel boring machines are designed for digging in different types of soil, especially clay soils. This operation requires the treatment of soil by lubricants to facilitate the procedure of excavation. A possible use of this soil is limited by the effect of treatment on the hydro-mechanical properties of the soil. This work aims to study the effect of a foaming agent on the hydro-mechanical properties of clay soil. The injection of the foam agent in the soil leads to create a soil matrix in which they are incorporated gas bubbles. The state of the foam in the soil is scalable thanks to the degradation of the gas bubbles in the soil.
Land Use Land Cover Changes in Response to Urban Sprawl within North-West Anatolia, Turkey
In the present study, an attempt was made to state the Land Use Land Cover (LULC) transformation over three decades around the urban regions of Balıkesir, Bursa, and Çanakkale provincial centers (PCs) in Turkey. Landsat imageries acquired in 1984, 1999 and 2014 were used to determine the LULC change. Images were classified using the supervised classification technique and five main LULC classes were considered including forest (F), agricultural land (A), residential area (urban) - bare soil (R-B), water surface (W), and other (O). Change detection analyses were conducted for 1984-1999 and 1999-2014, and the results were evaluated. Conversions of LULC types to R-B class were investigated. In addition, population changes (1985-2014) were assessed depending on census data, the relations between population and the urban areas were stated, and future populations and urban area needs were forecasted for 2030. The results of LULC analysis indicated that urban areas, which are covered under R-B class, were expanded in all PCs. During 1984-1999 R-B class within Balıkesir, Bursa and Çanakkale PCs were found to have increased by 7.1%, 8.4%, and 2.9%, respectively. The trend continued in the 1999-2014 term and the increment percentages reached to 15.7%, 15.5%, and 10.2% at the end of 30-year period (1984-2014). Furthermore, since A class in all provinces was found to be the principal contributor for the R-B class, urban sprawl lead to the loss of agricultural lands. Moreover, the areas of R-B classes were highly correlated with population within all PCs (R2>0.992). Depending on this situation, both future populations and R-B class areas were forecasted. The estimated values of increase in the R-B class areas for Balıkesir, Bursa, and Çanakkale PCs were 1,586 ha, 7,999 ha and 854 ha, respectively. Due to this fact, the forecasted values for 2,030 are 7,838 ha, 27,866, and 2,486 ha for Balıkesir, Bursa, and Çanakkale, and thus, 7.7%, 8.2%, and 9.7% more R-B class areas are expected to locate in PCs in respect to the same order.
Comprehensive Regional Drought Assessment Index
Drought is an inevitable part of the earth’s climate. It occurs regularly with no clear warning and without recognizing borders. In addition, its impact is cumulative and not immediately discernible. Iran is located in a semi-arid region where droughts occur periodically as natural hazard. Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), Surface Water Supply Index (SWSI), and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) are three well-known indices which describe drought severity; each has its own advantages and disadvantages and can be used for specific types of drought. These indices take into account some factors such as precipitation, reservoir storage and discharge, temperature, and potential evapotranspiration in determining drought severity. In this paper, first all three indices are calculated in Aharchay river watershed located in northwestern part of Iran in East Azarbaijan province. Next, based on two other important parameters which are groundwater level and solar radiation, two new indices are defined. Finally, considering all five aforementioned indices, a combined drought index (CDI) is presented and calculated for the region. This combined index is based on all the meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural features of the region. The results show that the most severe drought condition in Aharchay watershed happened in Jun, 2004. The result of this study can be used for monitoring drought and prepare for the drought mitigation planning.
Co-Disposal of Coal Ash with Mine Tailings in Surface Paste Disposal Practices: A Gold Mining Case Study
The present paper describes the study of paste tailings prepared in laboratory using gold tailings, produced in a Finnish gold mine with the incorporation of coal ash. Natural leaching tests were conducted with the original materials (tailings, fly and bottom ashes) and also with paste mixtures that were prepared with different percentages of tailings and ashes. After leaching, the solid wastes were physically and chemically characterized and the results were compared to those selected as blank – the unleached samples. The tailings and the coal ash, as well as the prepared mixtures, were characterized, in addition to the textural parameters, by the following measurements: grain size distribution, chemical composition and pH. Mixtures were also tested in order to characterize their mechanical behavior by measuring the flexural strength, the compressive strength and the consistency. The original tailing samples presented an alkaline pH because during their processing they were previously submitted to pressure oxidation with destruction of the sulfides. Therefore, it was not possible to ascertain the effect of the coal ashes in the acid mine drainage. However, it was possible to verify that the paste reactivity was affected mostly by the bottom ash and that the tailings blended with bottom ash present lower mechanical strength than when blended with a combination of fly and bottom ash. Surface paste disposal offer an attractive alternative to traditional methods in addition to the environmental benefits of incorporating large-volume wastes (e.g. bottom ash). However, a comprehensive characterization of the paste mixtures is crucial to optimize paste design in order to enhance engineer and environmental properties.
Effect of Crude Oil on Soil-Water Characteristic Curve of Clayey Soil
The measured soil suction values when related to water content is called suction-water content relationship (SWR) or soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) and forms the basis of unsaturated soil behavior assessment. The SWCC can be measured or predicted based on soil index properties such as grain-size distribution and plasticity index. In this paper, the SWCC of clean and contaminated clayey soil classified as clay with low plasticity (CL) are presented. Laboratory studies were conducted on virgin (disturbed-uncontaminated soil collected from vicinity of Tehran oil refinery) soil and soil samples simulated to varying degrees of contamination with crude oil (i.e., 3, 6, and 9% by dry weight of soil) to compare the results before and after contamination. Laboratory tests were conducted using a device which is capable of measuring volume change and pore pressures. The soil matric suction at the ends of samples controlled by using the axis translation technique. The results show that contamination with crude oil facilitates the movement of water and reduces the soil suction.
Optical Parametric Oscillators Lidar Sounding of Trace Atmospheric Gases in the 3-4 µm Spectral Range
Applicability of a KTA crystal-based laser system with optical parametric oscillators (OPO) generation to lidar sounding of the atmosphere in the spectral range 3–4 µm is studied in this work. A technique based on differential absorption lidar (DIAL) method and differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) is developed for lidar sounding of trace atmospheric gases (TAG). The DIAL-DOAS technique is tested to estimate its efficiency for lidar sounding of atmospheric trace gases.
DIAL Measurements of Vertical Distribution of Ozone at the Siberian Lidar Station in Tomsk

The paper presents the results of DIAL measurements of the vertical ozone distribution. The ozone lidar operate as part of the measurement complex at Siberian Lidar Station (SLS) of V.E. Zuev Institute of Atmospheric Optics SB RAS, Tomsk (56.5ºN; 85.0ºE) and designed for study of the vertical ozone distribution in the upper troposphere–lower stratosphere. Most suitable wavelengths for measurements of ozone profiles are selected. We present an algorithm for retrieval of vertical distribution of ozone with temperature and aerosol correction during DIAL lidar sounding of the atmosphere. The temperature correction of ozone absorption coefficients is introduced in the software to reduce the retrieval errors. Results of lidar measurement at wavelengths of 299 and 341 nm agree with model estimates, which point to acceptable accuracy of ozone sounding in the 6–18 km altitude range.

Concentrations and History of Heavy Metals in Sediment Cores: Geochemistry and Geochronology Using 210Pb

This paper aims at assessing the concentrations of heavy metals and the isotopic composition of lead 210Pb in different fractions of sediment produced in the watershed that makes up the Mãe d'água dam and thus characterizing the distribution of metals along the sedimentary column and inferencing in the urbanization of the same process. Sample collection was carried out in June 2014; eight sediment cores were sampled in the lake of the dam. For extraction of the sediments core, a core sampler “Piston Core” was used. The trace metal concentrations were determined by conventional atomic absorption spectrophotometric methods. The samples were subjected to radiochemical analysis of 210Po. 210Pb activity was obtained by measuring 210Po activity. The chronology was calculated using the constant rate of supply (CRS). 210Pb is used to estimate the sedimentation rate.

Petro-Mineralogical Studies of Phosphorite Deposit of Sallopat Block of Banswara District, Rajasthan, India

The Paleoproterozoic phosphorite deposit of Sallopat block of Banswara district of Rajasthan belongs to kalinjara formation of lunavada group of Aravalli Super Group. The phosphorites are found to occur as massive, brecciated, laminated and stromatolitic associated with calcareous quartzite, interbedded dolomite and multi coloured chert. The phosphorites are showing alternate brown and grey coloured concentric rims which are composed of phosphate, calcite and quartz minerals. Petro-mineralogical studies of phosphorite samples using petrological microscope, XRD, FEG- SEM and EDX reveal that apatite-(CaF) and apatite-(CaOH) are phosphate minerals which are intermixed with minor amount of carbonate materials. Sporadic findings of the uniform tiny granules of partially anisotropic apatite-(CaF) along with dolomite, calcite, quartz, muscovite, zeolite and other gangue minerals have been observed with the replacement of phosphate material by quartz and carbonate. The presence of microbial filaments of organic matter and alternate concentric rims of stromatolitic structure may suggest that the deposition of the phosphate took place in shallow marine oxidizing environmental conditions leading to the formation of phosphorite layers as primary biogenic precipitates by bacterial or algal activities. Different forms and texture of phosphate minerals may be due to environmental vicissitudes at the time of deposition followed by some replacement processes and biogenic activities.

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