ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1811.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: sustainability; social-ecological system; natural capital; ecosystem services; biodiversity agent-based model
Online: 29 November 2023 (02:11:36 CET)
At the Rio Conference in 1992, the sustainable development agenda promised a new era for natural resource management, where the well-being of human society would be enhanced through the sustainable use of natural capital. Several decades on, economic growth continues unabated at the expense of natural capital, as evidenced by biodiversity loss, climate change and further environmental issues. Why is this happening and what can be done about it? In this research, we present three Agent-Based Models that explore the social, economic and governance factors driving (un)sustainability in complex social-ecological systems. Our modelling results reinforce the idea that the current economic system does not protect the natural capital on which it depends. This is due to a disjunction between the economic and environmental elements upon which the sustainable development paradigm is founded. Additionally, various factors appear to enhance social-ecological system unsustainability: the role of financial entities and monetary debt; economic speculation; technological development and efficiency; lack of long-term views and late government interventions; inefficient tipping point management; and the absence of strong top-down and bottom-up conservation forces. Interestingly, alternative scenarios showed that these same factors could be redirected to enhance sustainable development. The current economic system may, therefore, not be inherently unsustainable, but rather specific economic mechanisms, agents’ decision-making, and the kinds of links between economic and natural systems could be at the root of the problem. We argue that short- and medium-term sustainability can be enhanced by implementing mechanisms that shift capitalist forces to support environmental conservation. Long-term sustainability, however, requires further paradigm change: where the economy integrates, and fully accounts for, externalities and recognises the actual value of natural capital.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1770.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: user-inspired science; drought impacts; Canada; United States; Mexico; Pacific Islands; Caribbean Islands; user engagement; Kö ppen climate zones; climate change; drought in tropical climates; drought in polar climates
Online: 28 November 2023 (09:09:54 CET)
: Drought monitoring and early detection have improved greatly in recent decades through the development and refinement of numerous indices and indicators. However, a lack of guidance, based on user experience, exists as to which drought monitoring tools are most appropriate in a given location. This review paper summarizes the results of targeted user engagement and the published literature to improve the understanding of drought across North America, and to enhance the utility of drought monitoring tools. Workshops and surveys were used to assess and make general conclusions about the perceived performance of drought indicators, indices and impacts information used for monitoring drought in the five main Köppen climate types (Tropical, Temperate, Continental, Polar Tundra, Dry) found across Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In Tropical, humid Temperate, and southerly Continental climates, droughts are perceived to be more short-term (less than 6 months) in duration rather than long-term (more than 6 months). In Polar Tundra climates, Dry climates, Temperate climates with dry warm seasons, and northerly Continental climates, droughts are perceived to be more long-term than short-term. In general, agricultural and hydrological droughts were considered to be the most important drought types. Drought impacts related to agriculture, water supply, ecosystem, and human health were rated to be of greatest importance. Users identified the most effective indices and indicators for monitoring drought across North America to be the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) and Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) (or another measure of precipitation anomaly), followed by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (or another satellite-observed vegetation index), temperature anomalies, crop status, soil moisture, streamflow, reservoir storage, water use (demand), and reported drought impacts. Users also noted the importance of indices that measure evapotranspiration, evaporative demand, and snow water content. Drought indices and indicators were generally thought to perform equally well across seasons in Tropical and the colder Continental climates, but their performance was perceived to vary seasonally in Dry, Temperate, Polar Tundra, and the warmer Continental climates, with improved performance during warm and wet times of the year. The drought indices and indicators, in general, were not perceived to perform equally well across geographies. This review paper provides guidance on when (time of year) and where (climate zone) the more popular drought indices and indicators should be used. The paper concludes by noting the importance of understanding how drought, its impacts, and indicators are changing over time as the climate warms, and by recommending ways to strengthen the use of indices and indicators in drought decision-making.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1710.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Quantitative and qualitative analysis; Nexus Energy-Water-Waste-Land-agricultural products; sustainability; consumption and production; Cameroon
Online: 28 November 2023 (08:05:35 CET)
To ensure sustainable production and consumption in the agricultural sector, it is necessary to assess the contribution of each element of the nexus in the agricultural production chain. The aim of this study is to make a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the contributions of each element of the energy, water, waste and land nexus to agricultural products. A composite method approach combining aspects based on input-output model, Location Quotient (LQ) as well as competitive position is adopted. A database of nexus elements over a period from 2009 to 2018 is used for Cameroon, with ten regions considered. The results show proportions of around 0.42% energy, 67.88% water withdrawal, 11.91% harvested area, 97.81% waste for agricultural products. The geolocation of harvested areas shows that the largest portion is in the far north (1,373,829 ha) and the smallest in Adamawa (224,038 ha). Maximum production is in the central region (4,334,095 tons) and minimum in the Adamawa region (915,841 tons). The central, littoral and west regions are more representative of agricultural products. The analysis of the competitive position of agricultural products contributes to a better orientation of national strategies for agricultural sustainability according to existing potentials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1698.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA); Bibliometric Analysis; Crisp-SetQCA; Fuzzy-SetQCA; Multi-valueQCA
Online: 27 November 2023 (11:27:51 CET)
The article explores Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), an approach for establishing causal relationships between conditions and outcomes. QCA, applied in case studies and empirical analyses, facilitates generalizations for future research and addresses causal complexity by identifying various causal "recipes" leading to the same outcome. Three widely used QCA variants are Crisp-Set QCA (csQCA), Multi-value QCA (mvQCA), and Fuzzy-Set QCA (fsQCA), each with unique approaches. The article emphasizes the significance of bibliometric analysis in mapping a research field's intellectual structure, revealing key contributions and trends. In QCA, bibliometric analysis identifies leading researchers, affiliations, and influential countries. Results show QCA's widespread adoption across disciplines, with continuous growth in article production since 2013. The favored variant is fsQCA, followed by csQCA, and China notably contributes to QCA-related research. In conclusion, QCA proves a potent tool for discerning complex causal relationships in empirical studies, with its increasing interdisciplinary use indicating substantial potential for advancing scientific knowledge.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1582.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: technically complex device; gas turbine installation; carbon footprint; life cycle assessment
Online: 24 November 2023 (11:26:29 CET)
Gas turbine installations (GTIs) are widely used to generate electrical and thermal energy mainly by burning gaseous fuels. The use of GTIs to burn hydrogen as part of the development of hydrogen energy technology is currently of particular interest. In order to assess the prospects of using GTIs in such a way, it is necessary, among other things, to understand the carbon footprint of the gas turbine as part of the carbon footprint of the entire life cycle of hydrogen. The article provides an overview of the results of previously published studies on life cycle assessment (LCA) of technically complex devices associated with the production and consumption of fuel and energy, which, from the point of view of the complexity of LCA, are most similar to gas turbine installation. The characteristics of the considered stages and resources used in the assessment of the stages of the life cycle of technically complex equipment are presented, including an analysis of the amount of materials used in production and construction. Taking into account its specific application in Russia, an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions at the stages of the GTI life cycle per MWh of produced capacity was carried out.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1304.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Celtis sinensis; Alternaria alternata; Alternaria koreana; fungi; identification; fungicides
Online: 21 November 2023 (09:39:54 CET)
Celtis sinensis is an adaptable species that is widely grown in southern China. In June 2022, a leaf blotch disease of C. sinensis was observed in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Based on morphological characterization, three isolates were identified as Alternaria species. Phylogenetic analysis of combined ITS, GAPDH, TEF1-α, RPB2 and Alt a 1 sequences identified the three isolates we obtained as Alternaria alternata and Alternaria koreana. Koch’s postulates were fulfilled in the greenhouse, and the pathogenicity of A. alternata and A. koreana was determined by leaf inoculation tests on C. sinensis seedlings. The symptoms of indoor inoculation were consistent with those in the field. A. alternata and A. koreana can grow at 15-35 °C, with an optimal growth temperature of 25 °C. The results of fungicide sensitivity experiments indicated that A. alternata and A. koreana were the most sensitive to prochloraz, which may be a useful strategy for the future prevention and control management of A. alternata and A. koreana. This study provides the first step for further research on A. alternata and A. koreana as pathogens of C. sinensis and provides a theoretical basis for future control strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1129.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Agriculture; Agro-ecological zone; Adaptive capacity; Least Developed Countries; Paris Agreement
Online: 17 November 2023 (15:29:45 CET)
Climate change impacts threaten sustainable development efforts. The magnitude of the impacts, however, varies with socio-ecological characteristics of locations. This is the reason there is con-sensus on the necessity for climate change adaptive capacity building that is country driven, based on and responsive to local needs. However, information on context specific capacity building needs in developing countries is not readily available. The objective of this study was to establish location specific awareness, training, educational, research and technology capacity building needs for climate change adaptation among small-holder farmers in Uganda. Structured interviews were undertaken with 465 households from five agro-ecological zones selected based on the level of vulnerability of agricultural systems to the main climate variation and change hazards. Results reveal substantial capacity building needs in all the zones. Majority of the farmers needed capacity building for interventions on soil water conservation practices for adapting to drought and un-predictable rainfall. For all zones, education, research, and technology were perceived as key needs. However, the needs varied among zones. These results demonstrate the importance of context specificity in adaptation efforts. The study provides agro-ecological and social system specific in-formation for climate change adaptation planning and policy interventions for effective capacity building
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0943.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: salinity modeling; groundwater transport modeling; hydrogeology; aquifers system; Ca Mau; Kien Giang; Soc Trang; Hau Giang; Bac Lieu
Online: 14 November 2023 (15:11:46 CET)
Ca Mau Peninsula (CMP), the southernmost region of the Mekong Delta, is facing a severe loss of land and freshwater. Particularly, the groundwater resources in the complex multilayered aquifer system of CMP are subject to salinization processes, which are not yet fully understood. In this study, an existing groundwater flow model for the CMP was enhanced to a density-dependent transient transport model using the FEFLOW software package, which is based on the finite element method. The study focuses on simulating groundwater salinity in order to better understand the dynamics of groundwater salinization and potential saltwater intrusion pathways in the study area. Time series of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) concentrations at observation wells were used to compare simulated and observed salinity data in different aquifers. The model allows a multi-factorial evaluation of the spatial groundwater salinity and could also confirm significant inter-annual variability, particularly in the case of shallow aquifers due to the influence of tides and seasonal rainy/dry seasons. Using sensitivity analysis, leakage from upper saline aquifers into lower freshwater aquifers through natural hydrogeological windows and poorly sealed boreholes was identified as a potential major cause for groundwater salinization occurring in the region. The results obtained can serve as an important basis for developing decision-making tools to promote the sustainable use of water resources on the CMP in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0545.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: sandstone; high-temperature; heating rate; physical and mechanical properties; acoustic emission; macroscopic de-structive characteristic; microscopic morphology
Online: 9 November 2023 (07:19:03 CET)
The physical and mechanical properties of rocks will change significantly after being subjected to high temperatures, which poses safety hazards to underground projects such as coal underground gasification. In order to investigate the effect of temperature on the macroscopic and microscopic properties of rocks, this paper has taken sandstone as the research object and conducted uniaxial compression tests on sandstone specimens at different temperatures (20-1000 ℃) and different heating rates (5-30 ℃/min) at 1200 ℃. At the same time, the acoustic emission (AE) test system was used to observe the acoustic emission characteristics of the rock damage process, and the microstructural changes after high temperature were analyzed with the help of a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The test results show that the effect of temperature on sandstone is mainly divided into three stages: Ⅰ (20-500 ℃) stage is the strengthening zone, the evaporation of water and the contraction of primary fissures, sandstone densification is enhanced. Specifically, the compressive strength and elastic modulus increase, the macroscopic damage mode is dominated by shear damage, and the fracture micro-morphology is mainly brittle fracture. Stage II (500-600°C) is the transition zone, 500°C is the threshold temperature for compressive strength and modulus of elasticity, and the damage mode changes from shear to cleavage damage, and the sandstone undergoes brittle-ductile transition in this temperature interval. Stage III is the physicochemical deterioration stage. The changes in physical and chemical properties make the sandstone compressive strength and modulus of elasticity continue to decline, the macroscopic damage mode is mainly dominated by cleavage damage, and the fracture microscopic morphology is more toughness fracture. The effect of different heating rates on the mechanical properties of sandstone was further studied, and it was found that the mechanical properties of the rock were more deteriorated under higher heating rates.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0116.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Cemented paste backfill; alkali-activated slag; slag fineness; ultrasonic pulse velocity; micro-structure; durability
Online: 2 November 2023 (09:02:29 CET)
Cement paste backfill (CPB) is an effective waste management method allowing the storage of fine process tailings into underground mined-out voids. CPB performance generally depends on the sulfur content of the tailings and the type of binder. In recent years, there has been an in-creasing trend on the use of alkali-activated slag (AAS) to improve the performance properties of CPB. This study focuses on the ultrasonic and microstructural investigation of the effect of slag fineness on the mechanical, geochemical and durability properties of CPB made up of AAS (AAS-CPB) over 360 days. In this scope, AAS-CPB samples were prepared at three different fineness (3100-4650-6300 cm2/g). Fineness of slag significantly improved the early age- and long-term strength (~2.3 fold and ~6.6 fold, respectively) of CPB. However, further increase of slag fineness may have adverse effect on CPB microstructure and strength in the long term. Ultrasonic pulse velocity monitoring displayed very high relation with the strength evolution and durability assessment of CPB. Slag fineness at a degree was seen to improve the pore structure evolution of AAS-CPB. Microstructural studies are in good agreement with the geochemical and durability behavior of AAS-CPB. Microstructural and ultrasonic findings suggest that while slag fineness enhances the mechanical properties of AAS-CPB, further increase of the fineness of slag has no additional important technical advantages.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.2090.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: data-driven models; eutrophication; coastal water quality; self-organizing map; feed-forward neural network
Online: 1 November 2023 (02:38:33 CET)
Eutrophication is a major environmental issue with many negative consequences, such as hypoxia and harmful cyanotoxins production. Monitoring coastal eutrophication is a crucial, especially for island countries like the Republic of Cyprus, which are economically dependent on the touristic sector. Additionally, the open-sea aquaculture industry in Cyprus has been exhibiting an increase in the last decades and environmental monitoring to identify possible signs of eutrophication is mandatory according to the legislation. Therefore, in this modelling study, two different types of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are developed based on in situ-data collected from stations located in the coastal waters of Cyprus. Theses ANNs aim to model the eutrophication phenomenon based on two different data-driven modelling procedures. Firstly, the self-organizing map (SOM) ANN examines several water quality parameters (specifically water temperature, salinity, nitrogen species, ortho-phosphates, dissolved oxygen and electrical conductivity) interactions with the Chlorophyll-a parameter. The SOM model enables us to visualize the monitored parameters relationships and to comprehend complex biological mechanisms related to Chlorophyll-a production. A second feed-forward ANN model is also developed for predicting the Chlorophyll-a levels. Based on this ANN model, several scenarios associated to the eutrophication-related water quality parameters can be extracted. The combination of these two ANNs models is considered a holistic modelling approximation for the identification of eutrophication scenarios, since it enables not only the prediction of the Chlorophyll-a parameter levels, but also the “capturing” of hidden biological mechanisms associated with algal production.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1863.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: emissions accounting; LULUCF; deforestation; avoided deforestation; carbon offsets; effective radiative forcing; carbon opportunity cost; emission sectors; animal agriculture; fossil fuel emissions.
Online: 30 October 2023 (09:46:56 CET)
Conventional greenhouse accounting inadequately describes land use/land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emissions, cooling emissions, and sequestration potential. As we enter the age of drawdown, we propose an accounting framework that offers greater consistency and transparency. By unfolding net accounting of LULUCF CO2 emissions; aggregating biosphere sinks; accounting for all emissions (heating and cooling); com-paring sectors with emissions-based Effective Radiative Forcing (ERF) rather than global warming potential; and including drawdown potential of land use carbon opportunity cost (COC), this reveals fresh insight into sector contributions and mitigation potential. Consistent gross emissions reporting of LULUCF CO2 emissions finds these to be at least 3.5 times greater than conventionally understood. Consolidating natural sequestration on ‘managed’ and ‘intact’ land, we find that since 1750 vegetation and the oceans have removed from the atmosphere an amount equivalent to 2.4 times cumulative fossil fuel CO2 emissions, demonstrating the immense drawdown potential of the biosphere. This accounting places deforestation (responsible for 77% of LULUCF emissions) as the main source of historic CO2 emissions, and attributes drawdown potential COC to sectors. The most extensive land use sector, animal agriculture, was found to have contributed the greatest warming (52% of net ERF since 1750) and to offer the greatest drawdown potential COC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1860.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: lifecycle assessment; citrus extract; broiler; swine; feed additives
Online: 30 October 2023 (08:40:19 CET)
The rapid expansion of livestock production sector to meet the world population demand is posing a big challenge to environmental sustainability. Plant-based feed additives extracted from food by-products could potentially result in a double outcome: improving animal zootechnical performances and mitigating environmental impacts of meat production chains. This presented study was carried out to assess the environmental impacts of the supplementation of a commercial Citrus extract feed additive (CEFA) in swine and broiler farming. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was applied to assess the impact of manufacturing and distributing 1 bag of 25 kg of CEFA and its use in feed in broiler and swine productions. With regard to CEFA manufacturing and distribution, results showed that the majority of impact came from the production of CEFA ingredients, accounting for 70% impact generated. The remaining 30% effect was divided to transportation to customer (25%), CEFA packaging (3%), CEFA manufacture, and production loss (2%). When enlarging the scope, the use of CEFA in piglet and broiler diets showed improving the measured environmental indicators, compared to such standard systems. Indeed, feed supplemented CEFA have demonstrated in elevating zootechnical performances, hence saving feed consumed. Consequently, that helped reduce environmental issues from animal feed ingredients’ agriculture. To be more specific, the supplementation of 25 kg of CEFA in feed led to a reduction of 6 tons of CO2 emitted along the life cycle of broiler production and 5 tons in the case of fattening pig. 0.7 hectares of land used had been saved as well as, 201 m3 of water (broiler) and 82 m3 (swine) were economized. Environmental performance assessment showed the interest in using this CEFA in swine and broiler diets to mitigate the environmental impacts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1832.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Pingdingshan No. 10 coal mine; Coalbed gas reservoir; pore-fracture characteristics; adsorption characteristics; gas-bearing properties
Online: 30 October 2023 (07:17:11 CET)
The physical properties of coal reservoirs are the main restrictions to exploration and development of CBM. The study of the physical characteristics of coal reservoirs and their controlling factors is of great significance to the safe and efficient development and utilization of CBM resources in the mining area. The Pingdingshan No. 10 coal mine was chosen for this study because of its better gas production effect at the test wells. The reservoir properties of the main coal seams of the No. 10 coal mine were tested and analyzed to comprehensively evaluate the reservoir properties. The results indicate that (1) The gas content and methane purity of the No. 4 coal seam are significantly higher than the No. 2 seam, and therefore they have better development potential than the No. 2 seam; (2) The average adsorption time of the No. 2 coal seam is less than that of the No. 4 seam, making it easier to reach the peak production capacity of CBM wells in the short term, but is not conducive to long-term stable production of CBM. The Langmuir volume of the No. 2 coal seam samples was significantly greater than for the No. 4 coal seam; however, the No. 4 coal seam contains about three times the amount of gas in the No. 2 seam; (3) All three coal seams have high porosity, which is favorable for large amounts of CBM adsorption and storage. Micropores predominate, transitional pores are less frequent, and a few mesopores occur; macropores are the least common. Samples from the No. 4 seam contained the highest proportion of micropores; (4) Organic pores were common in the all coal samples, with pore diameters not more than 30 µm, mainly concentrated between 50.5 and 1000 nm. Microfractures with aperture less than 70 nm were relatively frequent, mainly in the 50–65 nm range. A large number of the nanoscale microfractures were curved or jagged; (5) Fractures in the No. 2 and No. 4 coal seam samples with widths of 50 nm to 20 µm were more developed, and many were filled with kaolinite, quartz and other minerals; (6) The samples contained mostly layered silicate minerals (kaolinite), with hard granular minerals (quartz) next, and a very small quantity of iron-type minerals such as siderite and pyrite in dendritic form. The results of this study can provide a reference basis for the large-scale development and utilization of subsequent CBM wells.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1677.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Stable water isotopes; Craig-Gordon model; Surface water evaporation; E/I ratio; Bayesian framework; Tropical catchment
Online: 26 October 2023 (03:34:27 CEST)
Understanding surface water evaporation in tropical catchments is pivotal for effective water management, but limited research exists on stable isotopic (δ2H and δ18O) assessment of water evaporation losses. Our study bridges that gap, examining stable isotopes in meteoric water and surface waters across tropical regions, both humid and semi-arid. Using the Craig-Gordon model, we calibrated evaporation-to-inflow (E/I) ratios, identifying distinct E/I variations between seasons and regions. Notably, the semi-arid region consistently exhibited higher E/I ratios due to climatic characteristics. By integrating the Hamiltonian Monte Carlo and the No-U-Turn Sampler, we were able to quantify uncertainties in isotopic and meteorological parameters, resulting in E/I estimates within 68% and 95% confidence intervals. Our Bayesian model insights are critical for freshwater resource optimization and hydrological modeling in tropical regions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1471.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: multibeam echosounder; geomorphology; benthic terrain modeler; reef mapping; semi-automatic delineation
Online: 24 October 2023 (08:38:30 CEST)
Multibeam echo-sounders provide ideal data for semi-automated seabed feature extraction and accurate morphometric measurements. However, these methods have not been tested in morphologically highly complex environments. In this study, bathymetric and raw backscatter data were initially used to manually map the complex reef morphology found in the semi-enclosed Gera Gulf, in the northern Aegean Sea (Greece). A large number of reefs (more than 7000) were detected, making manual mapping extremely time-consuming. Benthic Terrain Modeller (BTM) was selected as a semi-automated method to map the reefs. The BTM did not function properly in this irregular relief and the results were discouraging. Trying to improve the BTM functionality, both bathymetry and slope were modified (enhanced); this time, the BTM outcome was unexpectedly improved, producing accurate results that appeared to exceed the accuracy of manual mapping. To compare the final maps with the distribution of the reefs, mapcurves were created to estimate the Goodness-of-Fit (GOF), while Precision, Recall, and F1 Score were also calculated. GOF values suggest more than 50% overlap between the resulting polygons while, Precision, Recall and F1 score resulted in values higher than 0.78 suggesting good detection accuracy for the semi-automated method. It becomes apparent that BTM provided more efficient results in comparison to the time-consuming manual mapping. This study asserts that semi-automated mapping stands as an effective method for delineating the geomorphometry of intricate relief and serves as a powerful tool for habitat mapping and decision-making.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1250.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: yerba mate; breeding; methylxanthines; phenolic compunds; HPLC
Online: 20 October 2023 (08:32:12 CEST)
An especially important species in southern Brazil, yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is traditionally consumed as tea, chimarrão and tererê. Yerba mate consumption has been stimulated by scientific discoveries that have identified high concentrations of bioactive compounds and their health benefits. There are no studies or scientific evidence to certify or guarantee stability of these compounds’ concentrations during different years in the same plants. We were interested in quantifying caffeine, theobromine, total phenolic compounds and proteins concentrations in leaves of yerba mate genotypes and their stability in the same plants over four consecutive years. Mature leaves from yerba mate genotypes selected on a provenance and progenies trial were collected in August of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine), total phenolic compounds and total protein contents were quantified. Our results indicate large variations between genotypes regarding caffeine (0.035 to 2.385 g 100 g-1), theobromine (0.0004 to 1.772 g 100 g-1), total phenolic compounds (7.028 to 9.424 g 100 g-1) and proteins (10.39 to 16.58 g 100 g-1) contents, and also high stability of those compounds over the four evaluated years. A great variation of the studied bioactive compounds in different Ilex paraguariensis genotypes was found and its stability over four consecutive years was showed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0570.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: ecological security pattern; minimum cumulative resistance model; morphological spatial pattern analysis; harbin central district
Online: 10 October 2023 (08:10:41 CEST)
Rapid urbanization has led to many ecological problems such as landscape fragmentation, decreased landscape connectivity, and decreased biodiversity. Building an ecological security pattern is an important way to ensure ecological security and maintain sustainable urban development. Harbin is an important large-scale city in northeastern China, and the urban central district of Harbin is used as the study area. Ecological sensitivity assessment, MSPA, gravity model, landscape connectivity assessment and MCR model were used to extract ecological source areas, ecological corridors and ecological nodes in the study area to construct and optimize the ecological security pattern. Research shows that: A total of 23 ecological source areas were identified, mainly located along the Songhua River in the central part of the study area and in the mountain forest areas within the A-cheng District in the southeastern part of the study area. 48 ecological corridors were extracted, mainly in Daowai District, A-cheng District and the eastern part of Xiangfang District. There are 8 important ecological corridors and 10 important connecting corridors. 61 ecological nodes of the first level and 65 ecological nodes of the second level were extracted. High, higher, medium, lower and low security areas were classified based on the minimum cumulative resistance surface, with the highest proportion of high ecological security areas accounting for 45.75% of the study area. 65 ecological breakpoints were extracted and restoration measures were proposed. Finally, The structure of the ecological security pattern optimization of "two axes, two belts and four areas" is proposed, and corresponding ecological management measures are put forward. The experimental system of this study can provide new ideas for the construction of ecological security patterns in other regions and provide scientific support for the ecological sustainable development of similar urban areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0335.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Geoforensics (Forensic Geology); Sedimentology; Provenance; Comparative analyses; Optical Microscopy; SEM-EDS; Image Analysis; Missing Persons and Fugitives.
Online: 6 October 2023 (11:31:13 CEST)
Criminal investigations aimed to track the route walked by Missing Persons and Fugitives (MPFs) usually involve Intelligence analysts, military planners, experts in mobile forensics, traditional investigative methods, and sniffer dog handlers. Notwithstanding, when MPFs are devoid of any technological device and move in uninhabited rural areas devoid of tele cameras and densely covered by vegetation, tracking backwards the route walked by MPFs may be a much more arduous task. In such complex cases, a very efficient approach may consist in comparing the geological traces found on the MPFs with soils and plants exposed in the event scenes. In particular, the search for peculiar or rare particles and aggregates may strengthen the weight of the geological evidence comparisons. A match of mineralogical, textural, and botanical data may demonstrate the provenance of the traces from the soil of a specific site, linking in this way the MPFs to the scene of events. Based on the above, the present paper reports geological and botanical determinations accomplished for a “mediatic” casework. Results allowed to ascertain a general high degree of compatibility among traces collected on the MPFs and on the soil from the scene of events. The most significant positive matches, based on the finding of a ten of peculiar and rare particles and assemblages, allowed reconstructing a route about 1.1 km long, as the crow flies, on the event site. Notwithstanding this procedure was extremely time consuming and available only in a backwards reconstruction linked to the MPFs’ findings, it was of uttermost importance in strengthen the inferences proposed, where other methods could not provide any information.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0218.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: pesticide packaging waste; social norms; environmental regulation; moderating effects
Online: 4 October 2023 (09:49:44 CEST)
The agricultural ecological environment provides an important resource guarantee for social development. The extensive management mode of agriculture in China has not fundamentally changed; the contradiction between production and governance is still prominent, and the management of agricultural surface pollution has a long way to go. Based on the data of 547 rural households in Jiangxi province, this paper uses the Ordered Logit, 2SLS, and moderation effect model to analyze the mechanism between social norms (SNs) and rural households’ (RHs) disposal of pesticide packaging waste (PPW) and to test the moderation effect of environmental regulation (ER) in the influence path of SN to RHs’ disposal of PPW. The results show that (1) descriptive and directive norms can promote RHs not to litter PPW. However, the role of surrounding crowd supervision (directive norms) is more obvious than the behavior of the surrounding crowd (descriptive norms). The consistent conclusion was still obtained after the robustness test and endogeneity treatment. (2) The results of the moderation effect test showed that reputational incentives strengthened the promotional effect of directive norms on RHs' behavior of not littering PPW; punitive regulation hindered the promotional effect of descriptive norms on RHs' behavior of not littering PPW. Based on the findings of the study, the following policy recommendations are put forward: continue to strengthen the guidance and soft binding force of informal institutions such as SNs; accurately locate the target groups and formulate differentiated measures; pay attention to the complementary nature of formal and informal institutions, and reasonably formulate environmental regulations to fit in with SNs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.2079.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Energy literacy; energy reviews; energy-related knowledge; energy transitions; energy education.
Online: 3 October 2023 (03:21:33 CEST)
The world is facing an energy crisis. Governments are seeking to provide universal energy access and guarantee energy security while trying to mitigate climate change. One possible solution is energy transitions towards low carbon energy systems. Among other things (physical infrastructure, public policy and regulatory enablers and knowledge and capacities) changes in the energy systems require a well informed and participative citizenship. Within this context the concept of energy literacy appears. Energy literacy is the understanding of how energy is generated, transported, stored, distributed and used, awareness about its environmental and social impacts and the knowledge to use it efficiently in the different sectors of the economy. This paper provides a systematic literature review in the Web of Science’s Core Collection. Most of the work done around energy literacy addresses its evaluation among different groups, particularly students at different levels, and the construction, application and evaluation of tools for improving energy literacy. Other frequently studied issues are the influence of energy literacy in decision making, its drivers and conceptual research about the topic. Energy enables citizens to effectively contribute to energy efficiency and sustainable development, nevertheless energy literacy is not strongly correlated to energy consumption habits.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1873.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: white oak mortality; soil properties; soil moisture; spatial patterns; clustered
Online: 27 September 2023 (10:51:58 CEST)
White oak mortality is a significant concern in forest ecosystems due to its impact on biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Understanding the factors influencing white oak mortality, particularly the soil properties, is crucial for effective forest management and conservation efforts. In this study, we aimed to investigate the spatial pattern of white oak mortality and examine the influence of soil properties on mortality rates. Multicycle Forest Inventory and Analysis data were compiled to capture white oak plots across the eastern US. White oak mortality data were collected across plot systems that utilized Diameter at Breast Height between two periods. Soil variables were analyzed to assess soil properties. Spatial analysis techniques, including geostatistics and regression modeling, were used to analyze the relationship between white oak mortality and soil characteristics. Results found clustered spatial patterns of white oak mortality across a broad scale depicting the significant effects of coarser soil textures, nutrient-deficient sites, and extreme soil moisture levels. Our findings demonstrated the importance of soil properties in shaping the spatial pattern of the white oak mortality rate. This idea can inform forest management practices for the conservation of white oak populations. Future research is needed for comprehensive soil assessment including biotic and abiotic factors for forest management strategies at a broader scale aimed at mitigating white oak mortality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1770.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Afforestation; Water resource; Ecological risk; Inner Mongolia
Online: 26 September 2023 (10:21:54 CEST)
In recent years, a large-scale afforestation campaign has taken place in Inner Mongolia, China, to control desertification and soil erosion. However, the water consumption associated with large-scale afforestation significantly impacts the water resources in Inner Mongolia, resulting in a substantial ecological risk. This study aimed to evaluate the ecological risk of water resources caused by afforestation in the region. In this study, based on land cover data, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data, and meteorological data, used trend analysis, water balance equation, and Water resources Security Index (WSI) index to analyze the ecological risks of water resources caused by afforestation in Inner Mongolia from 2000 to 2020. The results show that:(1) The afforestation area in Inner Mongolia was 5.37×104 km2 in 2000-2020; (2) Afforestation in arid and semi-arid areas leads to the reduction of water resources. (3) Afforestation reduces water resources in the study area by 0.76×108m3/year; (4) ~76% of afforestation regions face ecological risks of water resources.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1602.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: weathering; granite; built heritage; decay; salts; biological colonization.
Online: 25 September 2023 (13:05:26 CEST)
The main aim of this work is to compare and characterize the state of decay developed in a set of 14 monuments, including churches and Pazos (Galician traditional house) of the architectural heritage of the Barbanza Peninsula (Galicia), considering its relationship with the influence of the environmental factor. A macroscopic inspection was carried out to determine the deterioration patterns. The most reported pathology across the peninsula, due to the moisture regime, was the formation of dark areas (generally as biofilms) and the lichen growth (biological colonization). Depending on the proximity to the coast, the study area was divided into two zones. Zone 1, closer to the sea (<1 km) with an important influence of sea salts and wind and zone 2, further from the sea with higher altitudes (center of the peninsula) and important rainfall, humidity and therefore, fauna growth. Crusts (to a lesser degree, because it is a mainly rural area) are more frequent in zone 1, but the state of conservation of stone is better than in zone 2 due to the concentration of urban centers that require aesthetics and constant maintenance. In zone 2, however, abandonment is greater and biological colonization (mainly by lichens and plants) is more developed along with deterioration patterns due to biological damage. The synergy of several factors such as salt, climatic conditions and spatial characteristics of the architectural heritage studied define the degree of deterioration of each heritage objective. The research has a potential contribution to the conservation measures to be undertaken.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1984.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: geosites; geoheritage; sedimentary rocks; Breggia; educational; Virtual Reality
Online: 30 August 2023 (03:02:16 CEST)
This work is aimed at showcasing one of the most engaging geoparks in Europe, the Gole della Breggia Geopark. By following its geotrail, the visitors can observe a great deal of features that encompass a wide variety of sedimentary, stratigraphic, tectonic and paleogeographic processes. Its contents are valorized by a comprehensive geotrail that encompasses 23 geostops, enriched with explanatory panels, which enable viewers to gain an overall picture of the complex processes that led to the present-day configuration of the outcrops encountered in the Geopark. We have selected five significative outcrops, which we have regarded as fully-fledged geosites, and which encompass the whole 170-million-year interval, from Early Jurassic to Late Miocene times, during which the rocks of the Geopark were deposited and deformed. We have performed an assessment of the five geosites, using the most common criteria that can be applied for geosite evaluation. The result of the assessment show that the most valuable geosite is the Lombardian Maiolica, highly representative of a pelagic limestone, which is rich in fossil contents, marked by integrity, scien-tific interest and has a major educational value. All geosites, thanks to a QR code added to each figure along the text, can be viewed as Virtual Geosites (VGs), integrated by 360° videos.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1491.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Municipal water supply; intergranular aquifers; karstic spring; contamination of water sources; Albania
Online: 22 August 2023 (10:56:02 CEST)
The municipal water supply, related mainly to the cities of Albanian, began to develop in the second half of the 19th century and much intensively after 1945. Today the reported mean water production for the cities, on average, is about 300 l/capita/d including drinking and industrial water supply. The territory of Albania consists of uneven distribution of very heterogeneous aquifers conditioning the reach variety of the municipal water supply solutions. In this article are analyzed and classified the hydrogeological aspects of water supply sources of the settlements, which are summarized in five groups: (a) Wells in alluvial intergranular aquifers; (b) karst springs; (c) wells in karst aquifers; (d) springs in fissured rocks, and (e) mixed water sources. For each group of the water supply sources the main concerns regarding the quantity and quality problems are analyzed facilitated by the description of a variety of representative examples of different situations. Based on the gained experience important recommendation are given for the better understanding of hydrogeological aspects of water supply systems emphasizing the problematics along the river water recharge areas and on the seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers, as well as on transboundary aquifers. However, the main problems of public water supply of Albania remain the poor management of water supply systems which is reflected in the e high water losses, as well as the low public awareness of request for sustainable use.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1515.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: pesticide residues; pesticide residue monitoring, multiple residues; acute exposure assessment, hazard index, food consumption surveys
Online: 22 August 2023 (08:06:49 CEST)
The short-term intake (ESTI) of Hungarian consumers to pesticide residues was assessed based on 2331 test results obtained during 2017-2021 monitoring program in the frequently analyzed apples, sour cherries, table grapes, peaches, nectarines, peppers and strawberries (23.5% of all samples taken from 119 crops). The age-specific consumption data were obtained from two representative national food consumption surveys (2009 and 2018-2020). The exposure was characterized with Hazard Quotient and Hazard Index considering the acute reference doses of pesticide residues detected in the samples. When ESTI was calculated with all detected “single“ residues and variability factor of 3.6, recommended for evaluation of monitoring results, the HI only exceeded 1 for children <3 years old eating grape (1.50-1.81). HI was <1 when any of the 6 foods were eaten together within one day. Between forty and fifty percent of samples contained 2-23 residues. Though, the individual residue concentrations were below the corresponding MRLs, multiple residues being present in one sample resulted in maximum HI values in apples (1.14); grapes (6.57); peaches and nectarines (2.57); strawberries (2.74); peppers (10.44). Residues with low ARfD values contributed most. Applying HI is simple, but provides only point estimates; therefore, it should only be used in first-tier risk assessment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0751.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Slope; Overburden; Artificial rainfall; Infiltration coefficient; Vegetation
Online: 9 August 2023 (10:31:09 CEST)
This paper investigates the influence of different vegetation on the permeability of the shallow soil layers of slopes under rainfall infiltration. Firstly, four large slopes are filled in the outdoor natural environment, and the overburdens of the four slopes are Magnolia multiflora, Cynodon dactylon, Magnolia multiflora mixed with Cynodon dactylon, and no vegetation. Secondly, the four slopes are cultivated in the outdoor natural environment for one year. After the vegetation overburdens are matured, the field artificial rainfall test is carried out through the self-developed artificial rainfall device to monitor the water migration law inside the four slopes in real time. Finally, the unsaturated permeability coefficients of the shallow soil layers of slopes are calculated. The results show that the infiltration rate of rainwater in each overburden slope from fast to slow is Magnolia multiflora overburden slope, no vegetation slope, Cynodon dactylon overburden slope, Magnolia multiflora mixed with Cynodon dactylon overburden slope. In the early stage of rainfall, Magnolia multiflora increases the permeability coefficient of the shallow soil layer of the slope, thus weakening the anti-seepage ability of the slope, but the influence of Magnolia multiflora is not obvious in the later stage. Cynodon dactylon and Magnolia multiflora mixed with Cynodon dactylon can significantly reduce the permeability coefficient of the shallow soil layers of the slopes, thereby increasing the anti-seepage ability of the slopes, and the mixed planting of Magnolia multiflora and Cynodon dactylon can minimize the permeability coefficient of the shallow soil of the slope, resulting in the best anti-seepage effect.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0273.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: andalusite; kyanite; Fe- and Al-rich metapelites; Al2SiO5 concentrates; Yenisey Ridge
Online: 3 August 2023 (05:23:59 CEST)
Fe- and Al-rich metapelite from the Transangarian segment of the Yenisey Ridge (East Siberia, Russia) is a potential new source of high-alumina refractories. The rocks have relatively high average contents of Al2O3 (20 wt.%) and Fe2O3 (7.91 wt%), moderate K2O (3.44 wt%), and low CaO (0.74 wt%). Their dominant mineral assemblages are andalusite + muscovite + margarite + chlorite + biotite + quartz or staurolite + kyanite or/and andalusite + chlorite + muscovite + biotite + quartz with ±garnet and ±plagioclase. Al2SiO5 polymorphs occur as up to 1.5 cm andalusite porphyroblasts and partial or complete pseudomorphs after andalusite (kyanite and staurolite). Accessories include abundant Fe-Ti oxides and sporadic REE-, Y-, Ca-phosphates; sulfides are negligible. The composition of Al2SiO5 concentrates obtained in laboratory by heavy-media and magnetic separation from ≥0.06 mm fractions meet all requirements for raw material of this type: >56 wt% Al2O3, <42 wt% SiO2, <1 wt% Fe2O3, <1.2 wt% TiO2, and <0.2 wt% (CaO+MgO). The andalusite, kyanite, and mixed ores yield 0.7-4.1 wt%, 0.7-2.2 wt%, and 1.9-6.0 wt% of concentrate, respectively. The best-quality ores rich in Al2SiO5 polymorphs reside in zones of contact and/or dynamic metamorphism superimposed over regional metamorphism of Al-rich rocks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1311.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Nakdong River estuary; shoreline survey; discharge; sediment; erosion; bathymetry; sandbar; topography
Online: 19 July 2023 (09:52:46 CEST)
Changes in coastal topography can affect the ecological environment and marine industries. In this study, we analyzed the patterns and causes of changes in shoreline and undersea topography in the Nakdong River estuary in the southeast of South Korea using depth and shoreline surveys of the estuary, as well as data on discharge, suspended sediments, and precipitation in the Nakdong River basin. The results showed that erosion and sedimentation occurred repeatedly owing to complex factors such as the discharge of the estuary and invasion by open sea waves. However, no clear unilateral trend was observed. Unlike previous survey data, a large amount of erosion occurred in the second half of 2020. Previously, sedimentation was the main process, but erosion occurred rapidly, which was observed in the summer of 2020 when the erosion was three times higher than that in other periods owing to the severe rainy season and torrential rains for over a month. In addition, regarding the flow rate and force of the river water outflow, the amount of discharge increased rapidly, causing erosion. Moreover, a strong typhoon in the summer of 2020 affected the topography of the estuary.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1161.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Geodatabase; Health risk assessment; Spatial distribution; Avenue trees
Online: 18 July 2023 (07:29:03 CEST)
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0925.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: vector watermarking; vector copyright protection; vector geographic data; copyright protection; digital watermarking; zero-watermarking
Online: 13 July 2023 (10:53:23 CEST)
Vector geographic data play an important role in the natural resources and environment sector and other location information services. This is also one of the types of data where the cost to create it is relatively large because of the difficulty in surveying, collecting, and authorizing. The rapid development of the Internet has created many advantages in the distribution, exploitation, and use of vector geographic data, but it also gives rise to many problems such as duplication, redistribution, forgery, and illegal data use. The theft on the Internet is becoming more and more sophisticated and the number of violations is increasing, showing the urgent need to research and develop an effective solution to protect the copyright of vector geographic data and prevent them from being illegally collected and used. Among the major studies and solutions, digital watermarking emerges as an effective method and is an active research area for copyright protection. Towards a good solution for copyright protection of vector geographic data, our study proposes a new algorithm with three main contributions, including: (1) generating short, pseudo-random meaningful watermarks to increase robustness and to enable automated as well as visual manual verifying; (2) building a uniformly distributed mapping between the vertex coordinates and the watermark bit indexes to increase the robustness of the watermarks; and (3) integrate two types of watermarks, namely, spatial domain-based watermarking and zero-watermarking to be resistant to most common attacks on geographic vector data. The algorithm also allows working on all types of vector geographic data, including points, polylines, and polygons.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0372.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: urban freight transport; freight fleet optimization; vehicle replacement; electric vehicle; regulatory measures; mixed-integer linear programming
Online: 6 July 2023 (07:08:42 CEST)
Since the 1990’s, studies and pilot tests have been conducted to reduce traffic, accidents, and pollution due to urban freight transport (UFT). These ended up in several policies, regulations, and restrictions for UFT, such as low emission zones, delivery time windows, and vehicle size and weight restrictions. However, issues in UFT under regulatory measures still persevere. This study introduces an optimization framework for deriving an optimal combination of various types of vehicles with different capacities for vehicle replacement in UFT. This framework allows an understanding of how an urban freight company with a limited budget efficiently satisfies its freight demand within an urban area in the presence of regulatory measures by urban administrators. The introduced formulation, which is a mixed-integer linear programming, will assist the operator in choosing the best investment strategy for introducing new vehicles of certain types and sizes, for operation in different zones, into its fleet while gaining economic benefits and having a positive impact on the liveability of the urban area. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis is performed to consider the effects of specific uncertain parameters on the total cost. The numerical results show that the share of electric vehicles in the fleet increases, and they are more competitive than diesel vehicles.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0289.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: precision agriculture; site-specific fertilization; ifarma; PreFer
Online: 5 July 2023 (11:26:58 CEST)
Profitability is an underestimated concept in precision agriculture. In this research, a new module is developed within a pre-existing farm management system to assess the profitability of precision agriculture applications in extended crops. The module is regulated on a 5-meter spatial resolution, thus allowing scaling up of original and processed data on a zone-, field-, cultivar-, and farm-scale. A bottom-up approach, taking advantage of the full functionality of the farm management system, together with a flexible architecture and an easy-to-use interface, renders the new module an innovative commercial application.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0122.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Belt and Road; Green Total Factor Productivity of Agricultural Product Circulation; System GMM; Spatial Spillover
Online: 3 July 2023 (15:36:33 CEST)
This paper bases on panel data from 30 provinces and municipalities in China spanning the period of 2010 to 2021 to examine the evolving mechanisms and influencing factors of agricultural product circulation efficiency in the provinces along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) within the context of green total factor productivity (TFP). The study research employs various methodologies including the SBM-DDF model, GML index, system GMM, and global Moran's I index. The findings are as follows: Initially, the provinces along the BRI exhibit an overall negative growth trend in the green TFP of agricultural product circulation, with a noticeable decline observed particularly after the initiation of the BRI in 2014. Secondly, foreign investment levels significantly contribute to the positive enhancement of green TFP in agricultural product circulation among the provinces along the BRI. Eventually, environmental regulations, government support, and the level of international trade in agricultural products exert significant negative impacts. Thirdly, the results of spatial effect tests reveal substantial spatial spillover effects in the green TFP of agricultural product circulation among the provinces along the BRI, as demonstrated through examinations utilizing three distinct spatial matrices.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2237.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: concentrator photovoltaic; solar tracker; optics; tracking-integrated
Online: 30 June 2023 (11:23:13 CEST)
Concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology offers an alternative to conventional photovoltaic systems, focusing on the concentration of solar radiation through the optics of the system onto smaller and more efficient solar cells. However, the surface on which the solar beam is incident must remain oriented towards the position of the sun, which requires the use of large and heavy external elements known as solar trackers. In addition to their size, these elements must be as accurate as possible to avoid misalignment. To avoid the need of these solar trackers, the concept of tracking-integrated concentrating systems has been developed. This technology has been researched to make CPV systems accessible in places where conventional systems are not viable, such as building roofs or agrivoltaic fields. This review presents a detailed classification of the existing designs in the literature and providing an overview of this type of system. By eliminating the need for external solar trackers, tracking-integrated CPV systems offer a promising solution to increase the adoption of this technology. Therefore, it is expected that these systems will be a viable and effective option for solar power generation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2175.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: afforestation; baseflow; deforestation; FLR; infiltration trade-off; reforestation; soil degradation
Online: 30 June 2023 (07:22:41 CEST)
The large areas being targeted for tropical forest restoration as part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration will have major consequences for the flow of water through landscapes. Whilst the prevailing mantra that ‘more forest implies less streamflow’ remains true in terms of annual water yields, we demonstrate that opportunities for increased tree cover to improve seasonal flow regimes of streams, particularly baseflows, are important. We discuss several potential positive feedbacks of forest restoration on hydrological processes at various scales, including ‘trade-offs’ between changes in vegetation water use and infiltration after foresting degraded land; the recovery of the capacity of vegetation to capture ‘occult’ precipitation in specific coastal and montane settings; and enhanced moisture recycling and transport at various scales. Modelled changes in baseflow after foresting all degraded land climatically capable of carrying forest in the tropics suggested a positive effect in 10% of the land. For an additional 8%, the effect was predicted to be about neutral (<2 mm/y). We conclude that a more positive narrative regarding the relationship between tropical forestation and water availability is justified. It is time for greater involvement of hydrologists and atmospheric scientists in the development and assessment of forest landscape restoration efforts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1816.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: grazing; grassland type; soil aggregates; aggregates stability; nutrients
Online: 26 June 2023 (13:51:27 CEST)
Soil aggregates, as the basic component of soil, make great contributions to the stability of soil structure and soil carbon (C) sequestration. Recently, grassland is experiencing continuous grazing, which greatly affects soil aggregation and soil C storage. However, how soil aggregates and soil C in different grassland respond to grazing remain unclear. In this study, three national fenced grassland monitoring field stations which represented mountain meadow (MM), temperate steppe (TS), temperate steppe desert (TSD) were selected, soil samples at 0–10 cm depth of inside and outside the fence were collected to explore the effect of grazing and grassland type on composition, stability and nutrients of soil aggregates. The results showed that the bulk soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), available nitrogen (AN) and available phosphorus (AP) varied greatly among the three grassland types, with the highest values in MM. Soil aggregates composition showed significantly response to both grassland type and grazing, especially the proportion of soil aggregates >2 mm, which significantly decreased 51.68% on average in grazing plots compared with fenced plots, whereas sharply decreased in MM and TSD. A significant decrease (on average 25.08%) of the mean weight diameter (MWD) of soil aggregates under grazing was detected across all grassland types. The effect of grazing on nutrients in macroaggregates (>0.25 mm) was greater than that in microaggregates (<0.25 mm). Aggregate-associated SOC concentration decreased under grazing in MM and TSD, however, SOC density showed different response to grazing across all grassland types, with minor effect on MM, decreasing SOC density in TS and increasing on TSD, respectively. The magnitude of grazing effect size on aggregate-associated SOC varied in different soil particle size, with greater response in aggregates > 2 mm and the biggest value in TDS. In addition, correlation analysis showed that MWD of soil aggregates had significant negative correlation with soil bulk density, but significant positive correlation with SOC, TN and TP concentration. Results of RDA showed that BD, soil nutrients were the main influence factors of the composition and stability of aggregates. Overall, grazing had significant influence on soil aggregation, stability and SOC, played a crucial role in grassland soil stability and the accumulation of SOC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1684.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Vaalharts area; water quality; HMPI; HEI; Trace elements
Online: 23 June 2023 (12:48:40 CEST)
This paper evaluated the quality and suitability of surface water in the Vaalharts area, South Africa, for human consumption, drinking, and irrigation purposes. Water quality constituents include water pH, EC, TDS, HCO3-, Cl-, SO4, Mg, Ca, k, Na, NO3, F, Fe, PO4, As, Al, Mn, Cr, Cu, Zn, B, Cd, Hg, Pb, N, Sb, Se, and the biological parameter included E. coli along surface waters as well as canals and dams. Sodium Adsorption Ratio, Sodium Percentage, Permeability Index, Residual Sodium Carbonate, Kelley’s Ratio, Magnesium Hazard, and Potential salinity irrigation water parameters indicated that the majority of the water samples are suitable for irrigation. The water quality index values showed that the majority of the samples are unsuitable for drinking but suitable for irrigation and industrial uses. E. coli in the surface water samples in the study area show unsafe water quality with high and very high risk for human health. Based on the classifying criterion of the Heavy Metal Pollution Index and Heavy Metal Evaluation Index, all the water samples are above the critical limit, therefore, unsuitable for human consumption. The carcinogenic risk (CR) concentrations of As, Cr and Cd were above the target risk.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1126.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: MICP; Sandy slope; Pore water pressure; Fluid-slip pattern
Online: 15 June 2023 (12:45:48 CEST)
With the development of free trade port in Hainan Island, the construction of tourist roads around the island is also in full swing. Under the weather conditions of strong typhoon and rainstorm in Hainan, the highway cutting slope built on the coastal weak sandy terraces has strong sand loss and is easy to be scour by rainfall. MICP green spray irrigation solidification technology is used to strengthen the sandy cutting, and pore water pressure monitoring is carried out on the slope model during MICP solidification and rainfall scour. Combined with the model pore water pressure and flow slip failure pattern, dynamic analysis was carried out. The results show that MICP sprinkler irrigation technology can solidified the surface of the slope model in a short time, and the cementation depth of the model reaches 4cm after three sets of rotation reinforcement. The surface reinforcement effect is good, and the sand samples are closely connected. Under the erosion effect of simulated rainfall intensity, the sand loss of the slope is weakened, and no sand binding damage occurs, and the integrity is enhanced. Due to the cementation between sand grains, most of the rainfall was converted into runoff, and the slope slid after 150s. When the slope began to slip, the leading edge of the slope model lost sand and unloaded, and the failure mode was graded creep slip failure. Finally, the slope was divided into several blocks due to the continuous expansion of cracks after the slope failure. The erosion stability of the sandy slope under heavy rains is optimized and the sand loss is prevented effectively. In this study, a new method of MICP remediation techniques is proposed, which provides a new test basis for the application of MICP technology in practical engineering.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0856.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: plants; living wall; cooling effect; temperature; microclimate; vertical greenery systems; urban green infrastructure; climate change adaption; temperature sensor; thermal imaging
Online: 12 June 2023 (16:03:23 CEST)
Living walls (LWs) are a climate change adaptation strategy for cities, as they have a cooling effect. Previous studies of the cooling effect of LWs were carried out in different climatic zones. These studies differed in their experimental design, or simulated data via models. Plants’ cooling capacity is explained by shading and transpiration, and depends on physical plant parameters, environmental factors, and system-related influences. A three-year-long trial was carried out between 2017 and 2019 at an experimental garden in Geisenheim, Germany. We chose a textile-based LW system with high water demand and plants from a wet/fresh habitat. We assumed that this would achieve high evaporative cooling. The experimental setup included four experimental walls which were exposed to the north, south, east, and west, respectively. The plant choice was divided into three plant mix variants (Cascade, Ground cover, and Meadow) and a Control with no vegetation. We measured the temperature with sensors and a thermal imaging (IR) camera in different setups. The main results were that the measured vegetation temperature (TV) depends on air temperature (TA), measurement position, plant mix variant, and plant species. We could detect the cooling effect only at a small distance from the LW (microclimatic). Our methodological approaches should be continued in further studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0589.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: activated carbon; hydrogen sulfide; biogas; physical adsorption; micropores; biogas; solid fibrous digestate; carbon dioxide; mesopores
Online: 8 June 2023 (04:31:16 CEST)
The goal of this work is to develop a sustainable value chain of carbonaceous adsorbents that can be produced from the solid fibrous digestate (SFD) of biogas plants and further applied in integrated desulphurisation-upgrading (CO2/CH4 separation) processes of biogas to yield high purity biomethane. On this purpose, physical and chemical activation of the SFD derived biochar was optimised to afford micro-mesoporous activated carbons (ACs) of high BET surface area (590-2300 m2g−1) and enhanced pore volume (0.57-1.0 cm3g−1). Gas breakthrough experiments from fixed bed columns of the obtained ACs, using real biogas mixture as feedstock, unveiled that the physical and chemical activation conclude to different types of ACs which are sufficient for biogas upgrade and biogas desulphurisation respectively. Performing breakthrough experiments at three temperatures close to ambient it was possible to define the optimum conditions for enhanced H2S/CO2 separation. It was also concluded that the H2S adsorption capacity is significantly affected by restriction to gas diffusion. Hence, the best performance was obtained at 50 oC and the maximum observed in the H2S adsorption capacity vs the temperature is attributed to the counterbalance between adsorption and diffusion processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0561.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: nature-based solutions; indigenous and local knowledge; China
Online: 7 June 2023 (13:26:17 CEST)
China promotes nature-based solutions (NbS) as key approaches to addressing climate change, ecosystem damage, and biodiversity loss. However, indigenous and local knowledge (ILK), which is recognized by international scholars as an essential element of successful NbS, has not been thoroughly studied in the Chinese context. By conducting a comprehensive review of Chinese central governmental policies and semi-structured interviews with typical cases, this study finds out diversified sources of ILK and five pathways of ILK integration, including education, supervision, participation, knowledge preservation, and knowledge adoption. An increasing emphasis on community engagement has been driven by central policies such as the ecological civilization, carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals. From a practical perspective, consistent core ideas of ILK exist in selected typical Chinese cases and studies in other countries, namely co-existence and reciprocity with nature. While supportive central policies can set the scene, ILK integration could not be realized without local governmental endorsement, context-based implementation, and long-term multi-stakeholder participation. Furthermore, this study also figures out a potential deficiency in terms of realizing effective ILK integration in mainstream and conventional practices, which can be further investigated by future studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0433.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Hengduan mountains; rainfall erosivity; distribution; projection
Online: 6 June 2023 (09:51:42 CEST)
The spatiotemporal variations of rainfall erosivity in the Hengduan Mountains, charac-terized by rugged terrain and high potential soil erosion risks, over the past 30 years was exam-ined. The changing trends of rainfall erosivity for 2025-2040 was also be investigated under the comprehensive scenario of moderate socio-economic development (SSP2-4.5) combined with me-dium-low radiative forcing, using four global climate models (GCMs) based on CMIP6. The results indicated that: (1) The annual distribution of rainfall erosivity in the Hengduan Mountains exhib-ited significant seasonal variations, with the order of erosivity being summer > autumn > spring > winter on a seasonal scale. (2) Over the past 30 years, there has been a slight decrease in annual precipitation and a slight increase in rainfall erosivity, with periodic extreme values occurring every 6-8 years. (3) Rainfall erosivity showed a decreasing gradient from southeast to northwest in terms of spatial distribution. There was a significant positive correlation between rainfall ero-sivity and precipitation, while a significant negative correlation existed with elevation in the ver-tical direction. Moreover, there was an increasing trend of rainfall erosivity in the northeastern part of the Hengduan Mountains and a decreasing trend in the southern region. (4) Under the joint driving forces of increased precipitation and erosive rainfall events, rainfall erosivity in the future is expected to significantly increase, posing a more severe risk of soil erosion in the Heng-duan Mountains.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0383.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: anaerobic digestion; hydrolytic bacteria; biogas additives; evogen biogas additive; supplements
Online: 6 June 2023 (05:32:29 CEST)
Biogas production from organic waste is a promising renewable energy source, but achieving optimal production and digester stability can be challenging. This study investigated the impact of the Evogen microbial additive on biogas production and digester quality through microbial abundance and physicochemical parameter analysis. Two biogas plants, BG01 and BG02, were examined using 16S rRNA profiling to assess microbial abundance. Simultaneously, physicochemical parameters, including FOS/TAC ratio, total solids, volatile solids, biogas production, and VFA profile, were measured to evaluate digester performance. Results revealed distinct microbial community shifts in Evogen-treated digesters. Increased abundance of methanogenic archaea and hydrolytic bacteria indicated improved anaerobic digestion. Evogen supplementation also positively affected digester performance, with higher FOS/TAC ratios indicating enhanced acidification and methanogenesis. Reductions in total solids and volatile solids demonstrated improved organic matter degradation. Significantly higher biogas production was observed in Evogen-treated digesters, highlighting its potential as a microbial additive. Furthermore, VFA profiling demonstrated improved process stability and reduced substrate inhibition in Evogen-treated digesters. In summary, Evogen microbial additive positively influenced microbial dynamics, improving biogas production and digester quality. These findings contribute to optimizing biogas production systems and understanding the complex microbial interactions within anaerobic digesters.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0299.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: anaerobic digestion; microbial structure; microbial interactions; operating parameters; digestion efficiency
Online: 5 June 2023 (10:09:58 CEST)
Anaerobic digestion has emerged as an increasingly popular method for the effective management of organic waste and wastewater with the potential to generate renewable energy. However, efficient digestion depends heavily on the complex and diverse microbial communities mediating this process. This review paper delves into the complex microbiome that exists within anaerobic digestion digesters, playing a critical role in the efficient and sustainable conversion of organic waste into biogas. Its primary focus falls within the scope of how various operational and environmental factors, including temperature, pH, hydraulic retention time, substrate loading rates, and the presence of inhibitory compounds, can substantially impact the microbiome of these systems. Through an extensive analysis of the existing literature, the microbial ecology of anaerobic digestion, including the composition and function of the microbial community, their interactions, and responses to different stressors, are evaluated. By offering critical insights into the distribution patterns of active microbial populations upon alterations in various process parameters, a better understanding of the microbial dynamics within these systems is provided, enhancing their efficiency. Overall, this paper emphasizes the importance of unraveling the microbial evolution within AD reactors to optimize biogas production and sustainable waste management and proposes future perspectives in this direction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0160.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Doppler-aided smoothed code; BDS-2; BDS-3; un-GEO; satellite code bias (SCB); multipath combination
Online: 2 June 2023 (08:51:35 CEST)
The extensive use of carrier-aided smoothing code (CSC) filter has led to reduce the noise level of raw code measurements in GNSS positioning and navigation applications. However, the existing CSC technique is sensitive to the changes of the integer ambiguity and then the smoothing proce-dure needs to be restarted in the presence of cycle-slips. As the Doppler shift is instantaneous ob-servation and immune to cycle-slips, Doppler-aided smoothing code (DSC) algorithm would be more promising in challenged environment. Based on the Hatch-filter, an optimal DSC approach is proposed with the principle of minimum variance. Meanwhile, to inhibit the effect of integral cumulative error of Doppler, a balance factor is adopted to adjust the contributions of raw code and DSC. The noise level of code observable is not only affected by thermal noise, but also limited by systematic bias. Satellite code bias (SCB) has been identified in the raw code observable on each frequency for each BDS-2 satellite. By minimizing the sum of absolute value of residuals, polyno-mial segment fitting algorithm as a function of elevation-angles is applied to establish the SCB cor-rection model based on epoch-differenced Multipath (MP) deviations. Finally, numerical experi-ments demonstrate the validity and efficiency of the refined DSC filter with SCB corrections on each available frequency for BDS-2 un-GEO satellites.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2263.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: fire risk; wildland-urban interface; rural-urban interface; machine learning classification; GIS
Online: 31 May 2023 (14:29:50 CEST)
As in many parts of the world, rural-urban, forest-urban interface areas surrounding urban regions expose the natural areas they interact with to a threat of fire risk that can reach various sizes. This risk has been assessed for various regions of the world using many different methods and numerical models so far. Among these, it is seen that machine learning models have successful applications in risk assessment and risk prediction studies. For the fire risk prediction of Istanbul's yet unurbanized regions, but where the city is anticipated to potentially shift, data was collected using the opportunities provided by Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing technologies based on fires that occurred between 2000-2021, and the region was examined. Machine learning methods' Random Forest (RF), Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGB), and Light Gradient Boosting (LGB) models were applied for the classification of factors effective in fire. The best result was given by the RF model with 0.93 accuracy, 0.062 F1 score, and 0.753 Area Under Curve (AUC) value. In the classification of factors in the RF model, the grouping between fire-initiating factors and factors effective in spreading is evident, while this distinction is partially noticeable in the other two models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1886.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: India; Urban; Climate Vulnerability; Disaster resilience; Climate hazards; Vulnerability Assess-ment framework
Online: 26 May 2023 (07:59:12 CEST)
There has been an increase in the inefficiencies of urban infrastructure services in Indian cities as a result of rapid and unplanned urbanization (UNDP, 2017). Indian cities have grown multidimensional as a result of massive industrializa-tion and technological spread backed by globalization impacting the early 2000. It has transformed the city fabric and the associated challenges. Therefore, an Urban Climate Vulnerability Assessment (UCVA) is needed to identify, target and recognize climate vulnerable urban cities, sectors, or populations. The UCVA framework consists of seven broad thematic indicators — physical, hazard, social, demographic, financial provisioning, infrastructure and admin-istration vulnerabilities, and their sub indicators to represent the climate vul-nerability of Indian cities. This assessment is for seven Indian cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Srinagar, Shillong, and Ahmedabad which were selected based on their geographical location, population, ecosystem types and hazards/ hazard trends to understand and assess the respective vul-nerabilities. The Assessment is done through a comprehensive approach using a robust and predictive qualitative framework. It helps in determining respec-tive risks and in improving community resilience to the climate hazards by in-tegrated planning and improved preparedness. UCVA can support as a deci-sion support mechanism for devising suitable mitigation and adaptation strategies for building urban climate resilience.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1567.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Energy imports; gross domestic product; gross value added; research & development investments; renewable energy; European Union
Online: 23 May 2023 (04:42:32 CEST)
Energy imports and the transition to renewable energy sources are of critical importance in the current geopolitical context, which necessitates concrete actions to tackle the energy crisis at the European Union level. The study aims to explore the impact of imported non-renewable energy resources on the EU-27 economy. It examines the correlations and causal relationships between GDP, GVA, R&D investments, and energy imports from 2000 to 2021. Data normality was assessed using the Shapiro-Wilk test, while Pearson's test identified correlations between variables. Linear and multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the effects of changes in independent variables on dependent variables. The study found a strong association between natural gas imports and GDP, with increases in GDP leading to a more than fourfold rise in imports. Furthermore, multiple regression analysis indicated that a 1% increase in R&D investments results in a 2.21% decrease in fossil fuel imports in 91.7% of cases. This suggests that R&D investments contribute to improved efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1360.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Collective Impact; Social Impact Assessment; Community Capital Framework
Online: 19 May 2023 (02:45:16 CEST)
Community co-creation is increasingly crucial to the building of sustainable societies. Communities must proactively and independently create value chains in the face of many wicked problems. However, practical frameworks and tools for facilitating community co-creation require further development. As such, for this paper, we propose a theoretical framework for analyzing community co-creation value chain mechanisms based on a narrative review of literature on Collective Impact, social impact assessment, and Community Capital from the perspective of collective impact, a framework with a fair amount of previous research. We argue for the importance of applying knowledge of social impact assessment, particularly for the collective impact conditions of common agenda and shared measurement system. We discuss its relationship with the Theory of Change and the use of systems thinking to mitigate the subjectivity and arbitrariness of design thinking. Furthermore, we emphasize the value of employing the community capital concept as a framework for analyzing interrelationships among elements. By integrating multiple concepts, we enhance the collective impact framework and outline potential avenues for future research on analyzing and effectively implementing co-creation value chain mechanism in a community-based approach.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1273.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: forest ecosystem services; rental income; wood production function of forests; water protection and regulation function of forests
Online: 18 May 2023 (05:18:40 CEST)
The owners of forests with water protection functions in Bulgaria do not receive compensation for their limited right to use wood and non-wood forest products from the forest areas they own. At the same time, the contribution derived from forests with water protection functions is received by water users and water consumers, whereas the costs of managing the forests are borne by their owners. The problem thus defined is not a forestry one, but an economic one, and the purpose of this paper ensues therefrom, namely to propose and test a methodology for valuating the produc-tion function of forest areas with water protection function in Bulgaria, allowing a fair distribu-tion of income between the forest owner and the user of forest ecosystem services. The methodol-ogy is based on the form of forest management and the analytical expression of the economic rela-tionship between a forest owner and a user of forest ecosystem services, constructed using Schen-rock’s formula. It has been tested with actual data on forest areas with water protection functions falling within the administrative and territorial scope of Velingrad municipality and based on the obtained results proposals have been made for the distribution of the contributions generated by forest ecosystems between the forest owner and the user of the forest ecosystem services.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1012.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Coffea arabica; stand correction; compensatory effect; unbalanced experiments
Online: 15 May 2023 (09:49:23 CEST)
Plant loss in experimental plots occurs occasionally in field experiments with coffee crops. In breeding programmes, such loss can be extremely harmful, especially when the statistical analysis methods used are not consistent with the data generated in the experiments. In this study, we analysed a set of productivity data to determine whether the compensatory effect occurs in coffee crops, analyse the need for correcting the number of failures in experiments, and identify the best stand correction method to use. Productivity data from six harvests of 11 experiments with Coffea arabica plants were used. The experiments were implemented in a randomised block design, with four replications and six plants per plot. The following stand correction methods were evaluated: rule of three, Zuber , Vencovsky and Cruz covariance of the average or ideal stands, and Cruz  and compared to data without correction adjustments. The most adequate correction methods were chosen based on the existence of genetic variance, selective accuracy, and progeny ordering. The compensatory effect was evident from the analysed data, with stand correction shown to be beneficial in progeny competition experiments. The covariance methods using average or ideal stands presented the best results, followed by the method proposed by Cruz . The rule of three and Zuber  methods showed unsatisfactory results and are not recommended for stand correction in progeny competition experiments with coffee crops
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0681.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: alunogen; sulfate; geothermal field; Kamchatka; hydrated; crystal structure; hydrogen bonding; structure complexity; volcano
Online: 10 May 2023 (04:08:11 CEST)
Alunogen, Al2(SO4)3·17H2O, occurs as an efflorescent in acid mine drainage, low-temperature fumarolic or pseudofumarolic (at coal fires) terrestrial environments. It is considered as one of the main Al-sulfates of Martian soils demanding comprehensive crystal chemical data of natural terrestrial samples. However, structural studies of natural alunogen were carried out in 1970s without localization of H atoms and have not previously been performed for samples from geothermal fields, despite the fact that these environments are considered as proxies of the Martian conditions. The studied alunogen sample comes from Verkhne-Koshelevsky geothermal field (Koshelev volcano, Kamchatka, Russia). Its chemical formula is somewhat dehydrated, Al2(SO4)3×15.8 H2O. The crystal structure was solved and refined to R1 = 0.068 based on 5112 unique observed reflections with I > 2σ(I). Alunogen crystalizes in P-1 space group, a = 7.4194(3), b = 26.9763(9), c = 6.0549(2) Å, α = 90.043(3), β = 97.703(3), γ = 91.673(3) °, V = 1200.41(7) Å3, Z = 2. The crystal structure consists of isolated SO4 tetrahedra, Al(H2O)6 octahedra and H2O molecules connected by hydrogen bonds. The structure refinement includes Al, S and O positions that are similar to previous structure determinations and thirty-four H positions localized for the natural sample first. The study also shows the absence of isomorphic substitutions in the composition of alunogen despite the iron-enriched environment of mineral crystallization. The variability of the alunogen crystal structure is reflected in the number of “zeolite” H2O molecules and their splitting. The structure complexity of alunogen and its modifications ranges from 333-346 bits/cell for models with non-localized H atoms to 783-828 bits/cell for models with localized H atoms. The higher values correspond to higher hydration state of alunogen.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0388.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: rainfall thresholds; rainstorms; runoff erosion; weather radar; early warning system; risk reduction; resilience
Online: 6 May 2023 (07:55:26 CEST)
The effects of global warming combined with the progressive expansion of urbanization have considerably increased exposure to urban flooding and runoff widespread erosion risk, also causing shallow landslides and mud flows, respectively in urbanized areas of lowland and hill/foothill environments. Increasing urban flooding resilience has become a priority at virtually all levels of governance. The analysis of a different hazard scenarios, in which various hydro-meteorological conditions and management alternatives are examined, should act as the basis for the effective design and evaluation of interventions to improve urban flooding resilience. Turin Metropolitan Area (TMA), located in north-western Italy, represents a unique case due to its complex orography, with a mountainous sector in the west side and a flat or hilly part in the east side. During the warm season, these environmental conditions make the urban area prone to severe atmospheric convection causing frequent hailstorms and rainstorms of high intensity that may impact on urban infrastructures (i.e., drainage system and road network), thus requiring an adequate management as a key factor to reducing risk and losses. The urban areas of TMA are monitored by polarimetric Doppler weather radars and by a dense rain gauges network. Analyzing several case studies of urban flooding, this research work assesses the feasibility of a meteorological radar early warning system based on the identification of rainfall thresholds that characterize urban flooding, occurring in the lowlands, and the runoff erosion phenomena affecting the urbanized hills and foothills.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0253.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: quintinite; hydrotalcite; layered double hydroxide; natural; mineral; crystal structure; carbonate; cation ordering; Jacupiranga
Online: 4 May 2023 (10:09:41 CEST)
The crystal structure of quintinite, Mg4Al2(OH)12(CO3)·3H2O, from Jacupiranga alkaline complex (Cajati, São Paulo, Brazil) has been refined for two samples (91002 and C7029) using single-crystal X-ray diffraction data. The mineral crystallizes in the P-3c1 space group, a = 5.246/5.298, c = 15.110/15.199 Å for the samples 91002/C7029. The crystal structure consists of octahedral sheets with Mg and Al ordering according to the 3 × 3 superstructure. The Mg and Al atoms are coordinated by six hydroxylated oxygen atoms each with the average <Mg–O> and <Al–O> bond distances being in the ranges 2.022–2.053 Å and 1.974–1.978 Å, respectively. The interlayer structures are identical (in contradiction to the previous assumptions) and compose from disordered (CO3)2- groups and (H2O)0 molecules. The samples from Jacupiranga can be identified as quintinite-2T that is the second find of the polytype after the Kovdor alkaline complex (Kola peninsula, Russia). The powder X-ray diffraction pattern of quintinite-2T contains weak superstructure reflection at 4.57 Å (010) indicative of Mg and Al ordering. An important crystal-chemical criterion of quintinite is the interlayer distance (d00n-value) of ~ 7.56 Å, which is steady for natural specimens from various findings worldwide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0192.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: allometry; root; carbon; El Chico National Park
Online: 4 May 2023 (04:41:59 CEST)
The use of allometric tools allows estimating the biomass of a plant species with greater precision. Tree roots are the least studied part of the vegetation due to the difficulty in obtaining complete root systems. For this reason, the objective was to generate an allometric model to estimate the amount of biomass accumulated in the root system of Abies religiosa trees in El Chico National Park, Hidalgo. For this purpose, 61 trees of A. religiosa were extracted from 0.06 to 3.56 m in height, using a backpack sprayer of pressurized water that detached the soil from the root. The response variable was root fresh weight and the independent variables were height, diameter and age+1, according to the fit of the models tested. Diameter was the variable with the best fit (r2 = 0.95 ± 0.04), obtaining the following equation PFR = (20.918 + D (2.4475)). The allometric model accurately estimates the below-ground biomass contained in the roots, which will allow us to obtain the complete biomass of an A. religiosa forest by having access to data on both the aerial and root components.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0124.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: air pollutants; COVID-19; land surface temperature; road traffic
Online: 3 May 2023 (09:36:46 CEST)
Substantial reductions of the human and economic activities like road traffic for several months in 2020 were one of the consequences of the Coronavirus disease. This unprecedented change in urban metabolism also affected temperature and air pollutants. This study investigates the effects of the first COVID-19 lockdown over 43 cities in Europe. It determines the influence of anthropogenic activities on nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and particulate matter (PM2.5) as well as on land surface temperature (LST), and the surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII), using satellite, modelled, and mobility data. Our findings show that there are great temporal and spatial differences and distinct patterns between the cities regarding the magnitude of change of the variables under study. In general, the results indicate a significant decrease in NO2 concentrations in most of the studied cities compared to the reference period 2015-2019. However, reductions could not be attributed to mobility changes like less traffic at transit stations, contrary to the results of previous studies. O3 levels increased during the first lockdown mainly influenced by the decreasing NO2 concentrations. The PM pattern was inconsistent over time and space. Similar as the NO2 results, no relation to the altered mobility behavior was found. No clear signal could be detected for LST and the SUHII, likely due to dominating meteorological influences. Therefore, single city case studies may be misleading.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0069.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: machine learning; mineral prospectivity mapping; few-shot learning; SMOTE; tungsten mineralization; southern Jiangxi Province
Online: 2 May 2023 (07:55:40 CEST)
Mineral prospectivity mapping (MPM), aiming to outline and prioritize mineral exploration targets, has been spurred by data-driven machine learning algorithms. Supervised data-driven MPM is a typical few-shot task, suffering from the scarcity of labeled data, over-fitting of models and uncertainty of predictions. The main objective of this contribution is to propose a robust framework of few-shot learning (FSL) combining data augmentation and transfer learning, which enables generation of prospectivity models with excellent predictive efficiency and low uncertainty. The mineral systems approach was used to transfer a conceptual mineral system into mappable exploration criteria. Synthetic minority over-sampling technique (SMOTE) was employed to augment and balance the labeled dataset, allowing for model pre-training with a large synthetic training dataset of source domain. The knowledge derived from pre-trained models was then transferred to the target domain by fine-tuning, and the prospectivity model was generated in light of over-fitting and uncertainty assessment. The proposed FSL framework was applied to tungsten prospectivity mapping in southern Jiangxi Province. The results indicate that the SMOTE-ed balanced dataset boosts the classification accuracy in the training process. The FSL models yield an arch-shaped prediction point pattern favorable for focusing potential targets with high probability and low uncertainty. The FSL models achieve a high predictive performance (test AUC=0.9172) and the lowest quantitative over-fitting value, compared to the models derived from the benchmark algorithms of random forest and support vector machine. Four levels of potential targeting zones, considering both predictive efficiency and uncertainty, are extracted from the resulting FSL prospectivity map. The final high-potential and low-risk exploration targets only cover 4.27% of the area, but capture 41.53% known tungsten deposits, achieving superior predictive performance. This study highlights the capability of FSL framework for controlling over-fitting and generating high-confidence exploration targets with low uncertainty.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0825.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Green finance; Carbon dioxide emissions; COVID-19 pandemic; Impulse response model
Online: 24 April 2023 (05:09:15 CEST)
The Chinese government has expressed great confidence in the role of green finance in fulfilling its carbon neutrality commitment. However, the effectiveness of green finance, especially under the impact of emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic scenario, requires further examination. Using data from 2000 to 2020 in China, the correlation between green finance and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has been analyzed, both in BaU scenario and the COVID-19 scenario. The following conclusions were drawn: (1) In BaU scenario, green finance can effectively reduce CO2 emissions, especially through government green expenditure and green credit; (2) In COVID-19 scenario, although there is no direct relationship between the pandemic and carbon emissions, the data shows that the pandemic has hindered the progress of green finance, weakened its ability to curb carbon emissions, and indirectly led to an increase in carbon emissions. This study not only clarifies the mechanism by which the COVID-19 pandemic affects carbon emissions through the green finance system but also addresses the common problem of data scarcity in green finance research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0737.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Geoheritage; Geosites; Northern Marche Region; Geoconservation; Geopark
Online: 23 April 2023 (03:13:10 CEST)
The North-Marchean Apennines (central Italy) host an extraordinary geological and geomor-phological heritage, significant for its richness, diversity, rarity, scientific interest, aesthetic ap-peal, naturalistic, cultural, and educational values. The area, which covers 600 square kilometres and includes numerous spectacular geosites, embraces 18 municipalities in the provinces of Pesaro-Urbino and Ancona. These municipalities are distributed along the ridge that includes the peaks of Mts. Strega, Catria, Acuto, Petrano, Tenetra and Nerone and covers the parallel ridge of Mts. Paganuccio-Pietralata, together with the spectacular Furlo Gorge. It is a real geological museum outdoors, which, with its continuous stratigraphic succession of 200 million years, its geosites, and a vast system of karstic caves, is distinctive for geologists all over the world. This study aims to analyse the environmental heritage of the North-Marchean Apennines through the integrated study and description of the geo-environmental aspects of 7 geosites, se-lected from a list of 44, presented here and localized. These 7 geosites were chosen as being par-ticularly significant from a scientific, naturalistic as well as aesthetic, and cultural point of view. The richness of its geological and geomorphological heritage and the great wealth of its naturalistic, historical, and cultural aspects make it an area with high educational, tourist and recreational potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0313.v1
Online: 13 April 2023 (08:34:00 CEST)
The upper ocean heat content in the equatorial Pacific usually serves as a primary precursor for an upcoming El Niño, while the strong atmospheric perturbations such as westerly wind burst and easterly wind surge sometimes play a decisive role in determining the final intensity of the event. The tropical Pacific Ocean has just experienced a rare 3-year La Niña, which accumulated a huge amount of warm water in the western basin by the winter of 2022. Using a state-of-the-art climate prediction system, here we show that the restored warm water is sufficient to boost a strong El Niño toward the end of 2023, and that an extreme event could take place if a few sizable westerly wind bursts would occur in spring and early summer. This prediction is not sensitive to initial errors within the tropical Pacific, but may be subject to some uncertainties brought about by influences from elsewhere.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0165.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Zea Mays; abiotic stress; microorganisms; salinity; water deficit
Online: 10 April 2023 (10:15:50 CEST)
The use of plant growth-promoting bacteria can be one option for mitigating the impact of abiotic constraints on different cropping systems in the tropical semi-arid region. The aim of this study was to evaluate growth, leaf gas exchange and yield in maize inoculated with Bacillus aryabhattai, and subjected to water and salt stress. The experiment followed a randomised block design, in a split plot arrangement, with six repetitions. The plots comprised two levels of electrical conductivity for the irrigation water (ECw): 0.3 dS m-1 and 3.0 dS m-1; the subplots consisted of three irrigation depths (ID1: 50%, ID2: 75%, and ID3: 100% of the crop evapotranspiration (ETc)); while the sub-subplots included the presence or absence of Bacillus aryabhattai inoculant. A water deficit of 50% of the ETc resulted in the principal negative effects on growth, reducing the leaf area and stem diameter. The use of Bacillus aryabhattai mitigated salt stress and promoted better leaf gas exchange by increasing the CO2 assimilation rate, stomatal conductance, and internal CO2 concentration. However, irrigation with brackish water (3.0 dS m-1) reduced the instantaneous water use efficiency of the maize. Inoculation partially reduced the effects of abiotic stress due to morpho-physiological traits, and increased yield potential under water deficit with no salt stress.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0336.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Discreteness; Topology; Space-Time Representation; Epistemology; Face Centered Cubic Packing
Online: 21 October 2022 (11:38:12 CEST)
The continuous nature of space and time is a fundamental tenet of many scientific endeavours. That digital representation imposes granularity is well recognized but whether it is possible to address space completely remains unanswered. Part 1 argues that Hales’ proof of Keppler’s conjecture on the packing of hard spheres suggests the answer to be ‘no’, providing examples of why this matters in GIS generally and spatio-temporal GIS in particular. Part 2 seeks to resolve the dichotomy between continuous and granular space, showing how a continuous space may be emergent over a random graph. However, its projection into 3D/4D imposes granularity. Perhaps surprisingly, representing space and time as locally conjugate may be key to addressing a ‘smooth’ spatial continuum. This insight leads to the suggestion of Face Centered Cubic Packing as a space-time topology but also raises further questions for spatio-temporal representation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0328.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Geographic information science; gerrymandering; formal science; empirical science; spatial data science; DIKW paradigm; Metascience
Online: 21 October 2022 (10:04:08 CEST)
Sometimes there are clear and natural limits to the scope of action of a science, and in other cases they are simply convenient ones. Geographic Information Science (GISc) is a transversal science, with contacts with all geosciences but also with various formal sciences such as Mathematics, Logic and Computer Science. A first approach to specifying the limits of a science is through its definition. Definitions of GISc are often so expansive that they have been rightly criticized for practicing gerrymandering, in particular with the rest of the geosciences. To avoid this, an operational definition is proposed that places GISc among the sciences that handle Data and not Information. This solves the gerrymandering problem without really implying a significant cut of what is usually considered within GISc. As an unforeseen consequence, this delimitation will allow it to be characterized as Formal Science, leaving it as the only geoscience with this characteristic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0337.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: landslide susceptibility; stacking ensemble; machine learning; random forest; gradient boosting decision tree; extreme gradient boosting
Online: 5 October 2022 (10:29:51 CEST)
The current study aims to apply and compare the performance of six machine learning algorithms, including three basic classifiers: random forest (RF), gradient boosting decision tree (GBDT), and extreme gradient boosting (XGB), as well as their hybrid classifiers, using the logistic regression (LR) method (RF+LR, GBDT+LR, and XGB+LR), in order to map the landslide susceptibility of Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province, China. First, a landslide inventory map was created with 206 historical landslide points and 412 non-landslide points, which was randomly divided into two datasets for model training (80%) and model testing (20%). Second, 15 landslide conditioning factors (i.e., altitude, slope, aspect, plane curvature, profile curvature, relief, roughness, rainfall, topographic wetness index (TWI), normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI), distance to roads, distance to rivers, land use/land cover (LULC), soil texture, and lithology) were initially selected to establish a landslide factor database. Thereafter, the multicollinearity test and information gain ratio (IGR) technique were applied to rank the importance of the factors. Subsequently, we used a series of metrics (e.g., accuracy, precision, recall, f-measure, area under the ROC (receiver operating characteristic) curve (AUC), kappa index, mean absolute error (MAE), and root mean square error (RMSE)) to evaluate the accuracy and performance of the six models. Based on the AUC values derived from the models, the GBDT+LR model with the highest AUC value (0.8168) was identified as the most efficient model for mapping landslide susceptibility, followed by the XGB+LR, XGB, RF+LR, GBDT, and RF models, which achieved AUC values of 0.8124, 0.8118, 0.8060, 0.7927, and 0.7883, respectively. The results from this study suggest that the stacking ensemble machine learning method is promising for use in landslide susceptibility mapping in the Zhangjiajie area and is capable of targeting the areas prone to landslides.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0222.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: multimedia; geoscience videos; geoscience education; GEGVL; earth systems science education; educational technology; place-based education; active learning
Online: 17 May 2022 (04:37:00 CEST)
Place-based education (PBE) and active learning are effective strategies for geoscience education. However, traditional PBE via field trips requires significant resources, time, physical abilities, and expertise of teachers. We provide an alternative PBE experience by showing how different kinds of geoscience videos can be spatially organized into one digital interactive virtual environment. Here, we present the Google Earth Geoscience Video Library (GEGVL) which uses Google Earth and location specific videos about Earth events to create a virtual PBE experience. Using Google Earth, GEGVL organizes place-based videos by locations and links pertinent non-place-based videos and allows users to roam the globe in search of geoscientific videos that are pertinent to them or their students. Currently GEGVL contains 150 videos organized into ten different geoscience disciplines: Plate Tectonics, Minerals, Structural Geology, Metamorphism, Magmatism, Hydrology, Environmental Science, Sedimentology, Paleontology, and Paleomagnetism. Despite stability challenges with Google Earth integration, results of user surveys among lower division undergraduates show that the design logic of GEGVL is promising virtual PBE organizer for interesting students in and helping them learn about Earth sciences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0767.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: onchocerciasis; perception; socio-environmental determinants; human ecology; coast; Tanzania
Online: 31 December 2020 (06:56:40 CET)
Onchocerciasis volvulus is the second highest infectious cause of blindness in the world, and is estimated to affect 37 million people, of whom 99% reside in sub-Saharan Africa. As a public health problem the disease is most closely associated with Africa, where it constitutes a serious obstacle to socio-economic development. Using the human ecology triad, this paper evaluates the dynamic interplay of population, habitat and behavioural factors in predicting perceived exposure to onchocerciasis among coastal inhabitants in Tanzania. Generalized linear models with log-log link function were fitted to cross-sectional survey data on 1253 individuals in three contiguous coastal regions. A significant proportion of respondents (28%) perceived that they were exposed to onchocerciasis. Residents in urban locations irrespective of wealth status were less likely to report living in onchocerciasis endemic environment compared with their rural counterparts. This is understandable given that urban areas of Tanga and Dar es Salaam are definitely non-endemic and perceived risk of onchocerciasis is related to the fact of living in an endemic area with active onchocercasis transmission. Individuals who had attained secondary (OR=0.51, p<0.01) or tertiary education (OR=0.37, p<0.001), and reported easy access to health facility (OR=0.53, p<0.001) were all less likely to report perceived exposure to onchocerciasis. This is not surprising because higher level of education and easy access to health facilities are characteristics of urban compared with rural areas. Policy implications suggest the need for the Tanzanian national neglected tropical disease control programme (TZNTDCP) to intensify health and educational campaigns at the community level and address susceptibility of vulnerable populations to the disease especially, for rural dwellers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0386.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Geoethics; social-ecological systems; ethical imperatives; COVID-19 pandemic; responsible science
Online: 18 August 2020 (11:15:13 CEST)
Geoscientists developed geoethics, an intra-disciplinary field of applied philosophical studies, during the last decade. Reaching beyond the sphere of professional geosciences, it led to professional, cultural, and philosophical approaches to handle the social-ecological structures of our planet ‘wherever human activities interact with the Earth system’. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 and considering geoscientists’ experiences dealing with disasters (related to hazards like tsunamis, floods, climate changes.), this essay (1) explores the geoethical approach, (2) re-casts geoethics within western philosophical systems, such as the Kantian imperatives, Kohlberg scale of moral adequacy, Jonas’ imperative of responsibility, and (3) advances a ‘geoethical thesis’. The latter takes the form of a hypothesis of a much broader scope of geoethics than initially envisioned. That hypothesis appears by suspecting a relationship between the relative successes in the COVID-19 battle with the positioning of agents (individual, collective, institutional) into ethical frameworks. The turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for the transfer of experiences between different disciplinary domains to further sustainable governance, hence generalising the geoethical approach. It is emphasized that only when behaving as responsible and knowledgeable citizens, then people of any trade (including [geo-]scientists) can transgress the boundaries of ordinary governance practices with legitimacy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0155.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: CLC 2018 level of detail; comparison of remote sensing and geodetic data; settlement; land use monitoring; urban sprawl
Online: 9 May 2020 (08:22:55 CEST)
The article describes the results of comparison of occurence of buildings (and address points) in Poland with delimitations of land use belonging to particular classes in the CORINE Land Cover (CLC) 2018 dataset. Large discrepancies have been identified, which reach on average approx. 34% of addresses and 35% of buildings located outside class 1 (artificial surfaces), mainly on terrains of class 2 (agricultural areas). Among single-family buildings it was 37% and among new addresses (forecasted or ‘under construction’ buildings) – as much as 50%. This puts a question mark over the possibility of using CLC data with resolution of 25 ha for monitoring of spatial planning and development in Poland for purposes of the diagnosis and assessment of the scale of dispersion of built-up areas. It is worth carrying out similar analyses in other countries, known for the deconcentration processes and a relatively large share of dispersed settlement e.g. other CEE countries, Spain, Portugal, Italy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0370.v1
Online: 20 April 2020 (16:07:13 CEST)
The world tsunami hazard map is developed to understand the pattern of occurrence of tsunami across the globe and for using this database for preparing effective evacuation plan and rescue operations. It has been developed by using Web GIS tools. HTML, CSS, Java Script, JQuery, IIS and Maps API are utilized to develop hazard map. These data can be even used by government authorities as well as by other nodal agencies.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Volcanic plumes; Periodicity; Basaltic volcanism; Passive degassing; Fluid dynamics
Online: 19 July 2019 (10:38:28 CEST)
Persistent, non-explosive passive degassing is a common characteristic of active volcanoes. Distinct periodic components in measurable parameters of gas release have been widely identified over timescales ranging from seconds to months. The development and implementation of high temporal resolution gas measurement techniques now enables the robust quantification of high frequency processes operating on timescales comparable to those detectable in geophysical datasets. This review presents an overview of the current state of understanding regarding periodic volcanic degassing, and evaluates the methods available for detecting periodicity, e.g., autocorrelation, variations of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), and the continuous wavelet transform (CWT). Periodicities in volcanic degassing from published studies are summarised and statistically analysed, together with analyses of literature-derived datasets where periodicity had not previously been investigated. Finally, an overview of current knowledge on drivers of periodicity is presented and discussed in the framework of four main generating categories, including: (1) non-volcanic (e.g., atmospheric or tidally generated); (2) gas-driven, shallow conduit processes; (3) magma movement, intermediate to shallow storage zone; and (4) deep magmatic processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0171.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: GI; DSN; Geostatistics; Spatial Modeling; KDE; OHSA; IDW; Tourism; Coimbra
Online: 19 February 2019 (10:24:18 CET)
Spatial modeling in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) always involves choices. The existence of constraints, either of a financial nature or related to the specifics of the software itself, to the algorithms, the uncertainty and even the reliability of the data, the purposes and the applications of the studies, make this a kind of guiding compass for GIS analysts. Building on a previous exercise of data acquisition (check-ins) based on two Digital Social Networks (DSN — Facebook and Foursquare) and on the awareness of the use of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) generated by tourists sharing their topophilic ties through DSN, the present analysis aims to evaluate the contribution of modern techniques of spatial analysis applied to tourism in the “Alta and University of Coimbra” area. Concepts and procedural tasks related to density determination, cluster analysis and identification of patterns associated with regionalized variables have thus been implemented with the purpose of evaluating and comparing the results obtained through the application of two techniques of spatial analysis, Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) and Optimized Hot-Spot Analysis (OHSA) & Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) Interpolation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0265.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: CAMELS; flood frequency; hydrological signatures; extreme value theory; random forests; spatial modelling
Online: 12 November 2018 (04:59:22 CET)
The finding of important explanatory variables for the location parameter and the scale parameter of the generalized extreme value (GEV) distribution, when the latter is used for the modelling of annual streamflow maxima, is known to have reduced the uncertainties in inferences, as estimated through regional flood frequency analysis frameworks. However, important explanatory variables have not been found for the GEV shape parameter, despite its critical significance, which stems from the fact that it determines the behaviour of the upper tail of the distribution. Here we examine the nature of the shape parameter by revealing its relationships with basin attributes. We use a dataset that comprises information about daily streamflow and forcing, climatic indices, topographic, land cover, soil and geological characteristics of 591 basins with minimal human influence in the contiguous United States. We propose a framework that uses random forests and linear models to find (a) important predictor variables of the shape parameter and (b) an interpretable model with high predictive performance. The process of study comprises of assessing the predictive performance of the models, selecting a parsimonious predicting model and interpreting the results in an ad-hoc manner. The findings suggest that the shape parameter mostly depends on climatic indices, while the selected prediction model results in more than 20% higher accuracy in terms of RMSE compared to a naïve approach. The implications are important, since incorporating the regression model into regional flood frequency analysis frameworks can considerably reduce the predictive uncertainties.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Anthropocene, series/epoch, chronostratigraphic units, formalization, Anthropocene Working Group
Online: 15 October 2018 (13:56:46 CEST)
In the coming years, the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) will submit its proposal on the ‘Anthropocene’ as a new geological epoch to the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) for approval. If approved, the proposal will be send to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) for ratification. If the proposal is approved and ratified, the ‘Anthropocene’ will be formalised and the Holocene Series/Epoch will be officially terminated. Currently, the ‘Anthropocene’ is a broadly used term and concept in a wide range of scientific and non-scientific situations and, for many, the official acceptance of this term is only a matter of time. However, the AWG proposal, in its present state, seems to not fully meet the ICS requirements for a new geological epoch. This paper asks what could happen if the current ‘Anthropocene’ proposal is not formalised by the ICS/IUGS. The possible stratigraphic alternatives are evaluated on the basis of the more recent literature and the personal opinions of distinguished AWG and ICS members. The eventual impact on environmental sciences and on non-scientific sectors, where the ‘Anthropocene’ seems already firmly rooted and de facto accepted as a new geological epoch, are also discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0127.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: hierarchical origin of life; RNA/protein world; biological information system; translation and the genetic code; coevolution of translation machine and the genetic code; MVC architecture pattern and biological information; AnyLogic software for computer simulation of translation machine
Online: 8 October 2018 (05:33:22 CEST)
The Late Heavy Bombardment Period (4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago) of heightened impact cratering activity on young Earth is likely the driving force for the origin of life. During the Eoarchean, asteroids such as carbonaceous chondrites delivered the building blocks of life and water to early Earth. Asteroid collisions created innumerable hydrothermal crater lakes in the Eoarchean crust which inadvertently became the perfect cradle for prebiotic chemistry. These hydrothermal crater lakes were filled with cosmic water and the building blocks of life. forming a thick prebiotic soup. The unique combination of exogenous delivery of extraterrestrial building blocks of life, and the endogenous biosynthesis in hydrothermal impact crater lakes very likely gave rise to life. A new symbiotic model for the origin of life within the hydrothermal crater lakes is here proposed. In this scenario, life arose around four billion years ago through five hierarchical stages of increasing molecular complexity: cosmic, geologic, chemical, information, and biological. During the prebiotic synthesis, membranes first appeared in the hydrothermal crater lakes, followed by the simultaneous origin of RNA and protein molecules, creating the RNA/protein world. These proteins were noncoded protein enzymes that facilitated chemical reactions. RNA molecules formed in the hydrothermal crater basin by polymerization of the nucleotides on the montmorillonite mineral substrate. Similarly, the initial synthesis of abiotic protein enzymes was mediated by the condensation of amino acids on pyrite surfaces. The regular wet-dry cycles within the crater lakes assisted further concentration, condensation, and polymerization of the RNAs and proteins. Lipid membranes randomly encapsulated amino acids, RNA, and protein molecules from the prebiotic soup to initiate a molecular symbiosis inside the protocells, this led to the hierarchical emergence of several cell components. As the role of protein enzymes became essential for catalytic process in the RNA/protein world, Darwinian selection from noncoded to coded protein synthesis led to translation systems and the genetic code, heralding the information stage. In this stage, the biochemical pathways suggest the successive emergence of translation machineries such as tRNAs, aaRS, mRNAs, and of ribosomes for protein synthesis. The molecular attraction between tRNA and amino acid led to the emergence of translation machinery and the genetic code. tRNA is an ancient molecule that created mRNA for the purpose of storing amino acid information like a digital strip. Each mRNA strand became the storage device for genetic information that encoded the amino acid sequences in triplet nucleotides. As information became available in the digital languages of the codon within mRNA, biosynthesis became less random and more organized and directional. The original translation machinery was simpler before the emergence of the ribosome than that of today. We review three main concepts on the origin and evolution of the genetic code: the stereochemical theory, the coevolution theory, and adaptive theory. We believe that these three theories are not mutually exclusive, but are compatible with our coevolution model of translations machines and the genetic code. We suggest biosynthetic pathways as the origin of the translation machine that provided the framework for the origin of the genetic code. During translation, the genetic code developed in three stages coincident with the refinement of the translation machinery: GNC code with four codons and four amino acids during interactions of pre-tRNA/pre-aaRS /pre-mRNA, SNS code consisting of 16 codons and 10 amino acids appeared during the tRNA/aaRS/mRNA interaction, and finally the universal genetic code evolved with the emergence of the tRNA/aaRS/mRNA/ribosome machine. The universal code consists of 64 codons and 20 amino acids, with a redundancy that minimizes errors in translation. To address the question of the origin of the biological information system in the RNA/protein world, we converted letter codons into numerical codons in the Universal Genetic Code Table. We developed a software called CATI (Codon-Amino Acid-Translator-Imitator) to translate randomly chosen numerical codons into corresponding amino acids and vice versa, gaining insight into how translation might have worked in the RNA/protein world. We simulated the likely biochemical pathways for the origin of translation and the genetic code using the Model-View-Controller (MVC) software framework, and the translation machinery step-by-step. We used AnyLogic software to simulate and visualize the evolution of the translation machines and the genetic code. We conclude that the emergence of the information age from the RNA/protein world was a watershed event in the origin of life about four billion years ago.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0144.v1
Online: 9 July 2018 (13:35:05 CEST)
We studied generalization of a method for extending configurational studies to variables that are not exclusively geographical, in order to allow investigation of generic relationships in the built environment. We observed a number of limitations of the classical approach of configurational studies and we considered how a complex analytical method could be implemented in the study of non-topological variables, such as land use, noise pollution and financial or property rents. In order to do this we established a system of relationships based on a labeled primary graph. Categorization of the labels of the links was performed on a generic variable, specifically, the predominant use of roads. The graph was then contracted using an optimization algorithm, which we describe. The algorithm allows the network to be reduced to a more streamlined system that can better analyze the relationships between the different categories. Application of the method showed that it is faster to identify weaknesses in urban networks, and then take measures to resolve them. The case study concerns the pedestrianization of the Colosseum area in Rome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0338.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: crowdsourced data; relevance; semantics; geographic information retrieval; natural language processing
Online: 26 April 2018 (10:19:02 CEST)
Crowdsourced Data (CSD) generated by citizens is becoming more popular as its potential utilisation in many applications is increasing due to its currency and availability. However, the quality of CSD, including its relevance, is often questioned as the data is not generated by professionals nor follows standard data collection procedures. The quality of CSD can be assessed according to a range of attributes including its relevance. Information relevance has been explored through using in Geographic Information Retrieval (GIR) techniques to identify relevant information. This research tested a relevance assessment approach for CSD by adapting relevance assessment techniques available in the GIR domain. The thematic and geographic relevance were assessed using the Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF), Vector Space Model (VSM) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. The thematic and geographic specificities of the queries were calculated as 0.44 and 0.67 respectively, which indicates the queries used were more geographically specific than thematically specific. The Spearman's rho value of 0.62 indicated that the final ranked relevance lists showed reasonable agreement with a manually classified list and confirmed the potential of the approach for CSD relevance assessment for other possible crowdsourced data analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0293.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: 3D-Var; matrix; dimension-reduction algorithm
Online: 1 February 2018 (14:37:58 CET)
Numerical weather prediction is an initial-value problem, for determination of the initial conditions, there are many methods and one of the most classical methods is variational methods in three dimensions, or 3D-Var. In this approach, with a defined cost function proportional to the square of the distance between the analysis and both the background and the observations, one can obtain the analysis. In the cost function, the background and the observations are reshaped to vectors; within this step, the order of the background error covariance matrix and the observational error covariance matrix becomes huge, which is not convenient to one to obtain the analysis. In this paper, according to the matrix analysis approach, we put forward some possible improvements to the dimension-reduction algorithm of 3D-Var, so that provide some references for data assimilation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0201.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: virtual geographic environment; virtual geographic experiment; virtual reality; VRGIS; heterogeneous distributed clients
Online: 30 December 2017 (14:43:41 CET)
Due to their strong immersion and real-time interactivity, helmet-mounted VR devices are becoming increasingly popular. Based on these devices, an immersive virtual geographic environment (VGE) provides a promising method for research into crowd behavior in an emergency. However, the current cheaper helmet-mounted VR devices are not popular enough and will continue to coexist with PC-based systems for a long time. Therefore, a heterogeneous distributed virtual geographic environment (HDVGE) could be a feasible solution to solve the heterogeneous problems caused by various types of clients, and support implementation of virtual crowd evacuation experiments, with large numbers of concurrent participants. In this study, we developed an HDVGE framework and put forward a set of design principles to define the similarities between the real world and the VGE. We discussed the HDVGE architecture and proposed an abstract interaction layer, a protocol-based interaction algorithm and an adjusted dead reckoning algorithm to solve the heterogeneous distributed problems. We then implemented an HDVGE prototype system focusing on subway fire evacuation experiments. Two types of clients are considered in the system, PC and all-in-one VR. Finally, we evaluated the performances of the prototype system and the key algorithms. The results showed that in a low-latency LAN environment, the prototype system can smoothly support 90 concurrent users consisting of PC and all-in-one VR clients. HDVGE could serve as a new means of obtaining observational data about individual and group behavior in support of human geography research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0057.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: dimension reduction; feature extraction; hyperspectral image; weighted feature space; low rank representation; spectral clustering
Online: 11 December 2017 (06:55:22 CET)
Containing hundreds of spectral bands (features), hyperspectral images (HSIs) have high ability in discrimination of land cover classes. Traditional HSIs data processing methods consider the same importance for all bands in the original feature space (OFS), while different spectral bands play different roles in identification of samples of different classes. In order to explore the relative importance of each feature, we learn a weighting matrix and obtain the relative weighted feature space (RWFS) as an enriched feature space for HSIs data analysis in this paper. To overcome the difficulty of limited labeled samples which is common case in HSIs data analysis, we extend our method to semisupervised framework. To transfer available knowledge to unlabeled samples, we employ graph based clustering where low rank representation (LRR) is used to define the similarity function for graph. After construction the RWFS, any arbitrary dimension reduction method and classification algorithm can be employed in RWFS. The experimental results on two well-known HSIs data set show that some dimension reduction algorithms have better performance in the new weighted feature space.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0035.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: noise measurement; road traffic noise; neighborhood noise; informal settings; developing country; South Africa.
Online: 9 August 2017 (06:03:00 CEST)
In developing countries, noise exposure and its negative health effects have been little explored. The present study aimed to assess the noise exposure situation in adults living in informal settings in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. We conducted continuous one-week outdoor noise measurements at 134 homes in four different areas. These data were used to develop a land use regression (LUR) model to predict A-weighted day-evening-night equivalent sound level (Lden) from geographic information system (GIS) variables. Mean noise exposure during day (6:00-18:00) was 60.0 A-weighted decibels (dB(A)) (interquartile range 56.9-62.9 dB(A)), during night (22:00-6:00) 52.9 dB(A) (49.3-55.8 dB(A)) and average Lden was 63.0 dB(A) (60.1-66.5 dB(A)). Main predictors of the LUR model were related to road traffic and household density. Model performance was low (adjusted R2=0.130) suggesting that other influences than represented in the geographic predictors are relevant for noise exposure. This is one of the few studies on the noise exposure situation in low- and middle-income countries. It demonstrates that noise exposure levels are high in these settings.