Earth, Planets and Space

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ISSN / EISSN : 1880-5981 / 1880-5981
Published by: Springer Nature (10.1186)
Total articles ≅ 3,884
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Masahiro Miyawaki, Arito Sakaguchi
Published: 21 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01526-w

Abstract:
The Median Tectonic Line (MTL) is a thousand-kilometer-long fault that extends across southwest Japan. Near the Nyugawa region of Shikoku, the MTL comprises (i) a low-angle inactive terrane boundary fault (the MTLTB) that divides the Jurassic and Cretaceous geological terranes, and (ii) a subparallel high-angle active fault zone (the MTLAFZ; Kawakami Fault). To better understand the relationship between the MTLTB and MTLAFZ fault traces, we exposed a ten-meter-long trench of approximately 2-m depth across the Kawakami Fault. We also drilled and cored five boreholes with lengths 80‒330 m along a 100 m transect to understand the cross-cutting relationship between the MTL faults and to determine the fault plane geometries and their dipping values. The Kawakami Fault was found to be a high-angle (> 70°) active fault exposed at the surface; however, it represents a non-vertical or listric fault that converges to the low-angle MTLTB fault dipping to the north at 30°. The Kawakami Fault was originally formed as a reverse fault, and subsequent dextral strike–slip displacement occurred along the same fault plane. Although the MTLTB is poorly oriented with respect to the regional stress field, it is capable of rupturing owing to its significantly weak interface; the properties of local faulted rock material are expected to play an important role in determining slip behavior.
, Társilo Girona, Arthur Jolly, Bruce Christenson, Martha Kane Savage, Roberto Carniel, Thomas Lecocq, Ben Kennedy, Ivan Lokmer, Alexander Yates, et al.
Published: 21 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-21; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01506-0

Abstract:
The Whakaari/White Island volcano, located ~ 50 km off the east coast of the North Island in New Zealand, has experienced sequences of quiescence, unrest, magmatic and phreatic eruptions over the last decades. For the last 15 years, seismic data have been continuously archived providing potential insight into this frequently active volcano. Here we take advantage of this unusually long time series to retrospectively process the seismic data using ambient noise and tremor-based methodologies. We investigate the time (RSAM) and frequency (Power Spectral Density) evolution of the volcanic tremor, then estimate the changes in the shallow subsurface using the Displacement Seismic Amplitude Ratio (DSAR), relative seismic velocity (dv/v) and decorrelation, and the Luni-Seismic Correlation (LSC). By combining our new set of observations with the long-term evolution of earthquakes, deformation, visual observations and geochemistry, we review the activity of Whakaari/White Island between 2007 and the end of 2018. Our analysis reveals the existence of distinct patterns related to the volcano activity with periods of calm followed by cycles of pressurization and eruptions. We finally put these results in the wider context of forecasting phreatic eruptions using continuous seismic records.
Published: 19 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-13; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01508-y

Abstract:
Discovering such structures as the third radiation belt (or “storage ring”) has been a major observational achievement of the NASA Radiation Belt Storm Probes program (renamed the “Van Allen Probes” mission in November 2012). A goal of that program was to understand more thoroughly how high-energy electrons are accelerated deep inside the radiation belts—and ultimately lost—due to various wave–particle interactions. Van Allen Probes studies have demonstrated that electrons ranging up to 10 megaelectron volts (MeV) or more can be produced over broad regions of the outer Van Allen zone on timescales as short as a few minutes. The key to such rapid acceleration is the interaction of “seed” populations of ~ 10–200 keV electrons (and subsequently higher energies) with electromagnetic waves in the lower band (whistler-mode) chorus frequency range. Van Allen Probes data show that “source” electrons (in a typical energy range of one to a few tens of keV energy) produced by magnetospheric substorms play a crucial role in feeding free energy into the chorus waves in the outer zone. These chorus waves then, in turn, rapidly heat and accelerate the tens to hundreds of keV seed electrons injected by substorms to much higher energies. Hence, we often see that geomagnetic activity driven by strong solar storms (coronal mass ejections, or CMEs) commonly leads to ultra-relativistic electron production through the intermediary step of waves produced during intense magnetospheric substorms. More generally, wave–particle interactions are of fundamental importance over a broad range of energies and in virtually all regions of the magnetosphere. We provide a summary of many of the wave modes and particle interactions that have been studied in recent times.
Xiaowen You, Linguo Yuan
Published: 19 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-17; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01525-x

Abstract:
Ocean tide loading (OTL) displacements are sensitive to the shallow structure of the solid Earth; hence, the high-resolution spatial pattern of OTL displacement can provide knowledge to constrain the shallow Earth structure, especially in coastal areas. In this study, we investigate the sensitivity of the modeled M2 OTL displacement over Taiwan Island to perturbations of three physical quantities, namely, the density, bulk modulus, and shear modulus in the upper mantle and crust. Then, we compare the sensitivity of the modeled M2 OTL displacement to Earth models with the sensitivity to ocean tide models using root mean square (RMS) differences. We compute the displacement Green’s function and OTL displacement relative to the center of mass of the solid Earth (CE) reference frame, analyze the sensitivity to the three physical quantities in the CRUST1.0 model and the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM), and present their spatial patterns. We find that displacement Green’s functions and OTL displacements are more sensitive to the two elastic moduli than the density in the upper mantle and crust. Moreover, their distinctive sensitivity patterns suggest that the three physical quantities might be constrained independently. The specific relationships between the perturbed structural depths and the distance ranges of peak sensitivities from the observation points to the coastline revealed by the shear modulus can mitigate the nonuniqueness problem in inversion. In particular, the horizontal tidal components observed by the Global Positioning System (GPS) can yield better results in inversions than the vertical component owing to the smaller OTL model errors and the higher structural sensitivity (except for the shear modulus in the asthenosphere).
Hiroshi Munekane
Published: 19 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-15; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01512-2

Abstract:
Long-term deformation of Kusatsu-Shirane and Asama volcanoes in central Japan were investigated using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) measurements. Large postseismic deformation caused by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake—which obscures the long-term volcanic deformation—was effectively removed by approximating the postseismic and other recent tectonic deformation in terms of quadrature of the geographical eastings/northings. Subsequently, deformation source parameters were estimated by the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method and linear inversion, employing an analytical model that calculates the deformation from an arbitrary oriented prolate/oblate spheroid. The deformation source of Kusatsu-Shirane volcano was found to be a sill-like oblate spheroid located a few kilometers northwest of the Yugama crater at a depth of approximately 4 $$\text {km}$$ km , while that of Asama was also estimated to be a sill-like oblate spheroid beneath the western flank of the edifice at a depth of approximately 12 $$\text {km}$$ km , along with the previously reported shallow east–west striking dike at a depth of approximately 1 $$\text {km}$$ km . It was revealed that (1) volume changes of the Kusatsu-Shirane deformation source and the shallow deformation source of Asama were correlated with the volcanic activities of the corresponding volcanoes, and (2) the Asama deep source has been steadily losing volume, which may indicate that the volcano will experience fewer eruptions in the near future.
, Jyrki K. Manninen, Jemina T. Manninen, Tauno Turunen
Published: 19 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01516-y

Abstract:
Using numerical filtering techniques allowing us to reduce noise from sferics, we are able to clearly study a new type of differently structured very low frequency (VLF) radio waves above f = 4 kHz at the ground station of Kannuslehto in northern Finland (KAN, MLAT = 64.4°N, L = 5.5). These emissions are intriguing, since they are detected at frequencies above half the electron gyrofrequency in the equatorial plane (f ce) for the L-shell of Kannuslehto (f ce ~ 5–6 kHz). They are commonly observed at Kannuslehto, but have also been infrequently reported at other stations, sometimes under different names. Their possible common origin and manner of propagation is still under investigation. This paper unifies the nomenclature by regrouping all these waves detected at frequencies higher than the local equatorial 0.5 f ce at the L-shell of observation under the name of VLF bursty-patches. While these waves have different spectral features, they appeared mostly composed of hiss bursts with durations of a few seconds to several minutes. They also show periodic features with varying periodicity and shape. They are sometimes characterized by single bursts covering very large frequency ranges of several kHz. We also give a review of the different characteristics of VLF bursty-patches observed at Kannuslehto, which at the moment, is the station with the highest observation rate. We present recent observations between 2019 and 2021.
Published: 19 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-18; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01507-z

Abstract:
Each International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) model released under the auspices of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy comprises a secular variation component that describes the evolution of the main magnetic field anticipated for the 5 years to come. Every Gauss coefficient, up to spherical harmonic degree and order 8, is assumed to undergo its own independent linear evolution. With a mathematical model of the core magnetic field and its time rate of change constructed from geomagnetic observations at hand, a standard prediction of the secular variation (SV) consists of taking the time rate of change of each Gauss coefficient at the final time of analysis as the predicted rate of change. The last three generations of the IGRF have additionally witnessed a growing number of candidate SV models relying upon physics-based forecasts. This surge is motivated by satellite data that now span more than two decades and by the concurrent progress in the numerical modelling of Earth’s core dynamics. Satellite data reveal rapid (interannual) geomagnetic features whose imprint can be detrimental to the quality of the IGRF prediction. This calls for forecasting frameworks able to incorporate at least part of the processes responsible for short-term geomagnetic variations. In this letter, we perform a retrospective analysis of the performance of past IGRF SV models and candidates over the past 35 years; we emphasize that over the satellite era, the quality of the 5-year forecasts worsens at times of rapid geomagnetic changes. After the definition of the time scales that are relevant for the IGRF prediction exercise, we cover the strategies followed by past physics-based candidates, which we categorize into a “‘core–surface flow” family and a “dynamo” family, noting that both strategies resort to “input” models of the main field and its secular variation constructed from observations. We next review practical lessons learned from our previous attempts. Finally, we discuss possible improvements on the current state of affairs in two directions: the feasibility of incorporating rapid physical processes into the analysis on the one hand, and the accuracy and quantification of the uncertainty impacting input models on the other hand.
Published: 18 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-15; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01523-z

Abstract:
Open-vent volcanoes provide opportunities to perform various methods of observation that can be used to study shallow plumbing systems. The depth of the magma–air interface in the shallow portion of the conduit can be used as an indicator of the volcanic activity of open-vent volcanoes. Although there are many methods used to estimate the depth, most of them cannot constrain the depth to a narrow range due to other unknown parameters. To constrain the depth more accurately, we combine two methods commonly used for estimating the depth of the magma–air interface. They consider the acoustic resonant frequency and the time delay of arrivals between the seismic and infrasound signals of explosions. Both methods have the same unknown parameters: the depth of the magma–air interface and the sound velocity inside the vent. Therefore, these unknowns are constrained so that both the observed resonant frequency and time delay can be explained simultaneously. We use seismo-acoustic data of Strombolian explosions recorded in the vicinity of Aso volcano, Japan, in 2015. The estimated depths and the sound velocities are 40–200 m and 300–680 m/s, respectively. The depth range is narrower than that of a previous study using only the time delay of arrivals. However, only a small amount of the observed data can be used for the estimation, as the rest of the data cannot provide realistic depths or sound velocities. In particular, a wide distribution of the observed time delay data cannot be explained by our simple assumptions. By considering a more complicated environment of explosions, such as source positions of explosions distributed across the whole surface of a lava pond in the conduit, most of the observed data can be used for estimation. This suggests that the factor controlling the observed time delay is not as simple as generally expected. Graphic abstract
Published: 18 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-10; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01527-9

Abstract:
Oxygen is a potential biosignature for terrestrial Earth-like planets. The primary source of oxygen on Earth is oxygenic photosynthesis, which may be limited by the supply of riverine phosphorus. Therefore, phosphorus supply from the chemical weathering of continents is crucial for the evolution of pO2. Chemical weathering occurs on both the continents and seafloor and stabilizes the climate, but phosphorus is only supplied by continental weathering. The amount of continental weathering relative to seafloor weathering may be critical for primary productivity and pO2. The area of continents could change as a result of continental growth and the amount of ocean mass on the planetary surface, and these factors could be very different on extrasolar Earth-like planets. Here, we investigated the effects of continental and seafloor weathering on the atmospheric oxygen levels, in terms of the Earth-like phosphorus-limited marine biosphere. We used a simple biogeochemical model and investigated a possible relationship between continental growth and atmospheric oxygen levels. We found that the atmosphere could evolve totally different redox conditions (an abrupt rise of atmospheric oxygen levels or a reducing condition to form organic haze) caused by continental growth, which changes the relative contribution of silicate weathering feedback from seafloor to continent. We also found that conditions with lower solar luminosity and a larger land fraction provided a preferable condition for the phosphorus-limited marine biosphere to produce high levels of oxygen in the atmosphere. We also found that the atmospheric oxygen level is strongly affected by the activity of the anaerobic marine microbial ecosystem. Our results suggest that the area of land on the planetary surface may be crucial for achieving high oxygen levels in a phosphorus-limited marine biosphere. These results contribute to the fundamental understanding of the general behaviors of Earth-like planets with oceans and an Earth-like marine biosphere.
, Kazuya Tateiwa, Keisuke Yano,
Published: 15 October 2021
Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, pp 1-10; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-021-01524-y

Abstract:
Low-frequency tremors have been widely detected in many tectonic zones, and are often located adjacent to megathrust zones, indicating that their spatiotemporal evolution provides important insights into megathrust events. The envelope correlation method (ECM) is commonly used to detect tremors. However, the ECM also detects regular earthquakes, which requires the separation of these two signals after the initial detection. In addition, signals of tremors are weak, so classifying tremors from noises is also an essential problem. We develop a convolutional neural network (CNN)-based method using a single S-net station located off Sanriku region, Northeast Japan, to classify local earthquakes, tremors, and noise. Along the Japan Trench, especially in a region focused in this study, local earthquakes and tremors occurred in coexistence within a small region, so detection, location, and discrimination of these events are the key to understand the relationship between slow and regular earthquakes. The spectrograms of the three-component velocity waveforms that were recorded during 16 August 2016 to 14 August 2018 are used as the training and test datasets for the CNN. The CNN successfully classified 100%, 96%, and 98% of the earthquakes, tremors, and noise, respectively. We also showed a successful application of our method to continuous waveform data including a tremor to explore the feasibility of the proposed method in classifying tremors and noise in continuous streaming data. The output probabilities for the true classifications decrease with increasing epicentral distance and/or decreasing event magnitude. This highlights the need to train the CNN using tremors proximal to the seismic stations for detecting tremors using multiple stations.
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