Physics - Geophysics Publications (50)

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Physics - Geophysics Publications

The mechanism by which the Earth's magnetic field is generated is thought to be thermal convection in the metallic liquid iron core. Computational considerations previously restricted most numerical simulations to a regime where the diffusivities of momentum and electric current are roughly equal, leading to similar spectra for both velocities and magnetic fields. Here we present results of a suite of self-consistent spherical shell computations with ultra-low viscosities. Read More


2017Jan
Affiliations: 1Linné Flow Centre, KTH Mechanics, 2DICCA, University of Genova, 3Linné Flow Centre, KTH Mechanics

Despite the ubiquity of fluid flows interacting with porous and elastic materials, we lack a validated non-empirical macroscale method for characterizing the flow over and through a poroelastic medium. We propose a computational tool to describe such configurations by deriving and validating a continuum model for the poroelastic bed and its interface with the above free fluid. We show that, using stress continuity condition and slip velocity condition at the interface, the effective model captures the effects of small changes in the microstructure anisotropy correctly and predicts the overall behaviour in a physically consistent and controllable manner. Read More


The distributions of size and chemical composition in the regolith on airless bodies provides clues to the evolution of the solar system. Recently, the regolith on asteroid (25143) Itokawa, visited by the JAXA Hayabusa spacecraft, was observed to contain millimeter to centimeter sized particles. Itokawa boulders commonly display well-rounded profiles and surface textures that appear inconsistent with mechanical fragmentation during meteorite impact; the rounded profiles have been hypothesized to arise from rolling and movement on the surface as a consequence of seismic shaking. Read More


Shear banding is widely observed in natural fault zones as well as in gouge layers in laboratory experiments. Understanding the dynamics of strain localization under different loading conditions is essential for quantifying strength evolution of fault gouge, energy partitioning during earthquakes and characterizing rheological transitions and fault zone structure changes. To that end, we develop a physics-based continuum model for strain localization in sheared granular materials. Read More


We present a new approach based on linear integro-differential operators with logarithmic kernel related to the Hadamard fractional calculus in order to generalize, by a parameter $\nu \in (0,1]$, the logarithmic creep law known in rheology as Lomnitz law (obtained for $\nu=1$). We derive the constitutive stress-strain relation of this generalized model in a form that couples memory effects and time-varying viscosity. Then, based on the hereditary theory of linear viscoelasticity, we also derive the corresponding relaxation function by solving numerically a Volterra integral equation of the second kind. Read More


The influence of the channel inclination angle on gravity-driven turbulent bedload transport is studied in an idealised framework considering steady and uniform flow conditions. It is shown that a misconception has led to erroneous results of the slope influence on the critical Shields number corresponding to the onset of motion. Analyzing the phenomenon further in a two-phase continuous framework, the channel inclination angle is shown to not only influence the fluid bed shear stress and the resistance of the granular bed, but also the fluid flow inside the granular bed. Read More


Magmatism in subduction zones builds continental crust and causes most of Earth's subaerial volcanism. The production rate and composition of magmas are controlled by the thermal structure of subduction zones. A range of geochemical and heat flow evidence has recently converged to indicate that subduction zones are hotter than predicted by models of solid-state mantle creep. Read More


Probabilistic inversion methods based on Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation are well suited to quantify parameter and model uncertainty of nonlinear inverse problems. Yet, application of such methods to CPU-intensive forward models can be a daunting task, particularly if the parameter space is high dimensional. Here, we present a two-dimensional (2D) pixel-based MCMC inversion of plane-wave electromagnetic (EM) data. Read More


Geoelectrical techniques are widely used to monitor groundwater processes, while surprisingly few studies have considered audio (AMT) and radio (RMT) magnetotellurics for such purposes. In this numerical investigation, we analyze to what extent inversion results based on AMT and RMT monitoring data can be improved by (1) time-lapse difference inversion; (2) incorporation of statistical information about the expected model update (i.e. Read More


The geometry and connectivity of fractures exert a strong influence on the flow and transport properties of fracture networks. We present a novel approach to stochastically generate three-dimensional discrete networks of connected fractures that are conditioned to hydrological and geophysical data. A hierarchical rejection sampling algorithm is used to draw realizations from the posterior probability density function at different conditioning levels. Read More


Investigations of solute transport in fractured rock aquifers often rely on tracer test data acquired at a limited number of observation points. Such data do not, by themselves, allow detailed assessments of the spreading of the injected tracer plume. To better understand the transport behavior in a granitic aquifer, we combine tracer test data with single-hole ground-penetrating radar (GPR) reflection monitoring data. Read More


Geophysical methods offer several key advantages over conventional subsurface measurement approaches, yet their use for hydrologic interpretation is often problematic. Here, we introduce theory and concepts of a novel Bayesian approach for high-resolution soil moisture estimation using traveltime observations from crosshole Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) experiments. The recently developed Multi-try DiffeRential Evolution Adaptive Metropolis with sampling from past states, MT-DREAM(ZS) is being used to infer, as closely and consistently as possible, the posterior distribution of spatially distributed vadose zone soil moisture and/or porosity under saturated conditions. Read More


We present the first density model of Stromboli volcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy) obtained by simultaneously inverting land-based (543) and sea-surface (327) relative gravity data. Modern positioning technology, a 1 * 1 m digital elevation model, and a 15 * 15 m bathymetric model made it possible to obtain a detailed 3-D density model through an iteratively reweighted smoothness-constrained least-squares inversion that explained the land-based gravity data to 0.09 mGal and the sea-surface data to 5 mGal. Read More


The near-surface environment is often too complex to enable inference of hydrological and environmental variables using one geophysical data type alone. Joint inversion and coupled inverse modeling involving numerical flow- and transport simulators have, in the last decade, played important roles in pushing applications towards increasingly challenging targets. Joint inversion of geophysical data that is based on structural constraints is often favored over model coupling based on explicit petrophysical relationships. Read More


We propose a new framework to compare alternative geostatistical descriptions of a given site. Multiple realizations of each of the considered geostatistical models and their corresponding tomograms (based on inversion of noise-contaminated simulated data) are used as a multivariate training image. The training image is scanned with a direct sampling algorithm to obtain conditional realizations of hydraulic conductivity that are not only in agreement with the geostatistical model, but also honor the spatially varying resolution of the site-specific tomogram. Read More


Scientific curiosity, exploration of georesources and environmental concerns are pushing the geoscientific research community toward subsurface investigations of ever-increasing complexity. This review explores various approaches to formulate and solve inverse problems in ways that effectively integrate geological concepts with geophysical and hydrogeological data. Modern geostatistical simulation algorithms can produce multiple subsurface realizations that are in agreement with conceptual geological models and statistical rock physics can be used to map these realizations into physical properties that are sensed by the geophysical or hydrogeological data. Read More


Geophysical inversion should ideally produce geologically realistic subsurface models that explain the available data. Multiple-point statistics is a geostatistical approach to construct subsurface models that are consistent with site-specific data, but also display the same type of patterns as those found in a training image. The training image can be seen as a conceptual model of the subsurface and is used as a non-parametric model of spatial variability. Read More


A multi-step steady-state (MSSS) method is proposed here for the measurement of low permeability. This new method can accurately and easily measure very low permeabilities of rock samples using a new setup, where the targeted rock sample and ordinary apparatus components are connected with a reference rock sample to form a series circuit. Any conventional rock sample with high permeability could be used as a reference rock sample such that the traditional steady-state measurement is feasible to accurately determine its permeability to be used as a reference value in the MSSS method. Read More


A strategy is presented to incorporate prior information from conceptual geological models in probabilistic inversion of geophysical data. The conceptual geological models are represented by multiple-point statistics training images (TIs) featuring the expected lithological units and structural patterns. Information from an ensemble of TI realizations is used in two different ways. Read More


In groundwater hydrology, geophysical imaging holds considerable promise for improving parameter estimation, due to the generally high resolution and spatial coverage of geophysical data. However, inversion of geophysical data alone cannot unveil the distribution of hydraulic conductivity. Jointly inverting geophysical and hydrological data allows us to benefit from the advantages of geophysical imaging and, at the same time, recover the hydrological parameters of interest. Read More


We propose a new approach to model ground penetrating radar signals that propagate through a homogeneous and isotropic medium, and are scattered at thin planar fractures of arbitrary dip, azimuth, thickness and material filling. We use analytical expressions for the Maxwell equations in a homogeneous space to describe the propagation of the signal in the rock matrix, and account for frequency-dependent dispersion and attenuation through the empirical Jonscher formulation. We discretize fractures into elements that are linearly polarized by the incoming electric field that arrives from the source to each element, locally, as a plane wave. Read More


The in situ characterization of transport processes in fractured media is particularly challenging due to the considerable spatial uncertainty on tracer pathways and dominant controlling processes, such as dispersion, channeling, trapping, matrix diffusion, ambient and density driven flows. We attempted to reduce this uncertainty by coupling push-pull tracer experiments with single-hole ground penetrating radar (GPR) time-lapse imaging. The experiments involved different injection fractures, chaser volumes and resting times, and were performed at the fractured rock research site of Ploemeur in France (H+ network, hplus. Read More


Direct numerical simulations of the magnetohydrodynamics in a spherical shell have been widely used to study the internal magnetic field of the Earth. However, despite continuing progress, the regime in which these simulations operate is in many aspects still far from what is expected in the Earth's core. This undermines the confidence in scaling the simulation outputs to actual planetary cores. Read More


A high-resolution finite volume method approach to incorporating time-dependent slip across rectangular subfaults when modeling general fault geometry is presented. The fault slip is induced by a modification of the Riemann problem to the linear elasticity equations across cell interfaces aligned with the subfaults. This is illustrated in the context of the high-resolution wave-propagation algorithms that are implemented in the open source Clawpack software (www. Read More


Identifying transport pathways in fractured rock is extremely challenging as flow is often organized in a few fractures that occupy a very small portion of the rock volume. We demonstrate that saline tracer experiments combined with single-hole ground penetrating radar (GPR) reflection imaging can be used to monitor saline tracer movement within mm-aperture fractures. A dipole tracer test was performed in a granitic aquifer by injecting a saline solution in a known fracture, while repeatedly acquiring single-hole GPR sections in the pumping borehole located 6 m away. Read More


The sparsely spaced highly permeable fractures of the granitic rock aquifer at Stang-er-Brune (Brittany, France) form a well-connected fracture network of high permeability but unknown geometry. Previous work based on optical and acoustic logging together with single-hole and cross-hole flowmeter data acquired in 3 neighboring boreholes (70-100 m deep) have identified the most important permeable fractures crossing the boreholes and their hydraulic connections. To constrain possible flow paths by estimating the geometries of known and previously unknown fractures, we have acquired, processed and interpreted multifold, single- and cross-hole GPR data using 100 and 250 MHz antennas. Read More


The Morgan-Morgan-Finney (MMF) model is a widely used semi-physically based soil erosion model that has been tested and validated in various land use types and climatic regions. The latest version of the model, the modified MMF (MMMF) model, improved its conceptual physical representations through several modifications of the original model. However, the MMMF model has three problematic parts to be corrected: 1) the effective rainfall equation, 2) the interflow equation, and 3) the improperly normalized C-factor of the transport capacity equation. Read More


In addition to the weak-dipolar state and to the fluctuating-multipolar state, widely discussed in the literature, a third regime has been identified in Dormy (2016). It corresponds to a strong-dipolar branch which appears to approach, in a numerically affordable regime, the magnetostrophic limit relevant to the dynamics of the Earth's core. We discuss the relevance to this strong-dipolar state to Geodynamo modelling. Read More


This paper contributes to the field of modeling and hindcasting of the total solar irradiance (TSI) based on different proxy data that extend further back in time than the TSI that is measured from satellites. We introduce a simple method to analyze persistent frequency-dependent correlations (FDCs) between the time series and use these correlations to hindcast missing historical TSI values. We try to avoid arbitrary choices of the free parameters of the model by computing them using an optimization procedure. Read More


Natural time analysis reveals novel dynamical features hidden behind time series in complex systems. By applying it to the time series of earthquakes, we find that the order parameter of seismicity exhibits a unique change approximately at the date(s) at which Seismic Electric Signals (SES) activities have been reported to initiate. In particular, we show that the fluctuations of the order parameter of seismicity in Japan exhibits a clearly detectable minimum approximately at the time of the initiation of the SES activity observed by Uyeda and coworkers almost two months before the onset of the Volcanic-seismic swarm activity in 2000 in the Izu Island region, Japan. Read More


A characteristic change of seismicity has been recently uncovered when the precursory Seismic Electric Signals activities initiate before an earthquake occurrence. In particular, the fluctuations of the order parameter of seismicity exhibit a simultaneous distinct minimum upon analyzing the seismic catalogue in a new time domain termed natural time and employing a sliding natural time window comprising a number of events that would occur in a few months. Here, we focus on the minima preceding all earthquakes of magnitude 8 (and 9) class that occurred in Japanese area from 1 January 1984 to 11 March 2011 (the day of the M9 Tohoku earthquake). Read More


We apply the Postprocessing Galerkin method to a recently introduced continuous data assimilation (downscaling) algorithm for obtaining a numerical approximation of the solution of the two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations corresponding to given measurements from a coarse spatial mesh. Under suitable conditions on the relaxation (nudging) parameter, the resolution of the coarse spatial mesh and the resolution of the numerical scheme, we obtain uniform in time estimates for the error between the numerical approximation given by the Postprocessing Galerkin method and the reference solution corresponding to the measurements. Our results are valid for a large class of interpolant operators, including low Fourier modes and local averages over finite volume elements. Read More


Simulating the deformation of fractured media requires the coupling of different models for the deformation of fractures and the formation surrounding them. Motivated by its applicability to coupled flow and mechanical deformation in porous media, we propose a method for calculating the deformation that is constructed using a cell-centred finite-volume approximation, in particular from the family of multi-point stress approximations (MPSA). By coupling the deformation of pre-existing fractures with that of the surrounding domain through internal boundary conditions, the existing MPSA methods are extended to include models with fractures. Read More


Mercury is expected to deviate from the classical Cassini state since this state is defined for a uniformly precessing rigid planet. We develop an extended Cassini state model that includes the variations (or nutations) in obliquity and deviation induced by the slow precession of the pericenter. The model also describes the constant shift over time in mean obliquity and deviation associated with the short-periodic tidal deformations of Mercury, characterized by the tidal love number k2 and by the ratio k2/Q of the tidal Love number over the tidal quality factor, respectively. Read More


The investigation of dynamics of intense solitary wave groups of collinear surface waves is performed by means of numerical simulations of the Euler equations and laboratory experiments. The processes of solitary wave generation, reflection from a wall and collisions are considered. Steep solitary wave groups with characteristic steepness up to $kA_{cr} = 0. Read More


Marine magnetic anomalies of the tiny wiggles (TW) type can be used to solve geohistorical and paleomagnetic problems. The model fields corresponding to Paleocene-Eocene anomalies in the northwestern Indian Ocean, which were formed during the fasts preading stage, were studied. For these fields, widely used interpretation methods were compared. Read More


Conventional full-waveform inversion (FWI) using the least-squares norm ($L_2$) as a misfit function is known to suffer from cycle skipping. This increases the risk of computing a local rather than the global minimum of the misfit. In our previous work, we proposed the quadratic Wasserstein metric ($W_2$) as a new misfit function for FWI. Read More


On April 15, 2016, the Kumamoto earthquake (Mw 7.3) occurred in Japan with no warning signals. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers provide useful information on disturbances in ionosphere by calculating the changes in Total Electron Content (TEC), which is the number of electrons in ionosphere. Read More


The SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structures) instrument onboard the InSight mission to Mars is the critical instrument for determining the interior structure of Mars, the current level of tectonic activity and the meteorite flux. Meeting the performance requirements of the SEIS instrument is vital to successfully achieve these mission objectives. Here we analyse in-situ wind measurements from previous Mars space missions to understand the wind environment that we are likely to encounter on Mars, and then we use an elastic ground deformation model to evaluate the mechanical noise contributions on the SEIS instrument due to the interaction between the Martian winds and the InSight lander. Read More


The characteristic time-dependent viscosity of the intergranular pore-fluid in Buckingham's grain-shearing (GS) model [Buckingham, J. Acoust. Soc. Read More


We apply cross correlation between multichannel seismic waveforms as a technique for signal detection and automatic event building at the International Data Centre (IDC). This technique allows detecting signals with amplitudes by at least a factor of two lower than those found in the current version of IDC processing. Previously, we processed with a cross correlation detector aftershock sequences of a large earthquake with thousands of aftershocks detected by the International Monitoring System (IMS) and a middle-size earthquake (hundreds of aftershocks). Read More


Muography techniques applied to geological structures greatly improved in the past ten years. Recent applications demonstrate the interest of the method not only to perform structural imaging but also to monitor the dynamics of inner movements like magma ascent inside volcanoes or density variations in hydrothermal systems. Muography time-resolution has been studied thanks to dedicated experiments, e. Read More


Recent technological advances in optical atomic clocks are opening new perspectives for the direct determination of geopotential differences between any two points at a centimeter-level accuracy in geoid height. However, so far detailed quantitative estimates of the possible improvement in geoid determination when adding such clock measurements to existing data are lacking. We present a first step in that direction with the aim and hope of triggering further work and efforts in this emerging field of chronometric geodesy and geophysics. Read More


A new method is proposed to divide a spherical surface into equal-area cells. This method is based on dividing a sphere into several latitudinal bands of near-constant span with further division of each band into equal-area cells. It is simple in construction and provides more uniform latitude step between the latitudinal bands than other simple methods of equal-area tessellation of a spherical surface. Read More


A universal particle velocity based algorithm for simulating hydraulic fracture with leak-off, previously demonstrated for the PKN and KGD models, is extended to obtain solutions for a penny-shaped crack. The numerical scheme is capable of dealing with both the viscosity and toughness dominated regimes, with the fracture being driven by a power-law fluid. The computational approach utilizes two dependent variables; the fracture aperture and the reduced particle velocity. Read More


This paper discusses a continuum approach to track the evolution of permeability in granular rocks by accounting for the combined effect of porosity changes, grain breakage and cement bond damage. To account for such a broad range of microscopic processes under general loading paths, the Breakage Mechanics theory is used and the computed mechanical response is linked with the Kozeny equation, i.e. Read More


Passive microseismic data are commonly buried in noise, which presents a significant challenge for signal detection and recovery. For recordings from a surface sensor array where each trace contains a time-delayed arrival from the event, we propose an autocorrelation-based stacking method that designs a denoising filter from all the traces, as well as a multi-channel detection scheme. This approach circumvents the issue of time aligning the traces prior to stacking because every trace's autocorrelation is centered at zero in the lag domain. Read More


It is shown that a slip wave solution exists for anti-plane sliding of an elastic layer on an elastic half-space. It is a companion solution to the well-known Love wave solution. Read More


Geoneutrinos are electron antineutrinos ($\bar\nu_e$) generated by the beta-decays of radionuclides naturally occurring inside the Earth, in particular $^{238}$U, $^{232}$Th, and $^{40}$K. Measurement of these neutrinos provides powerful constraints on the radiogenic heat of the Earth and tests on the Earth models. Since the prediction of $\bar\nu_e$'s in geoneutrino flux is subject to neutrino oscillation effects, we performed a calculation including detailed oscillation analysis in the propagation of geoneutrinos and reactor neutrinos generated around the Earth. Read More


Small near-Earth asteroids (>20 meters) are interesting because they are progenitors for meteorites in our terrestrial collection. Crucial to our understanding of the effectiveness of our atmosphere in filtering low-strength impactors is the physical characteristics of these small near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). In the past, characterization of small NEAs has been a challenge because of the difficulty in detecting them prior to close Earth flyby. Read More