In this paper, we analyze one reconnection event observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission at the earth’s magnetopause. In this event, the spacecraft crossed the reconnection current sheet from the magnetospheric side to the magnetosheath side, and whistler waves were observed on both the magnetospheric and magnetosheath sides. On the magnetospheric side, the whistler waves propagated quasi-parallel to the magnetic field and toward the X-line, while on the magnetosheath side they propagated almost anti-parallel to the magnetic field and away from the X-line. Associated with the enhancement of the whistler waves, we find that the fluxes of energetic electrons are concentrated around the pitch angle 90° when their energies are higher than the minimum energy that is necessary for the resonant interactions between the energetic electrons and whistler waves. This observation provides in situ observational evidence of resonant interactions between energetic electrons and whistler waves in the magnetic reconnection.
The ion-to-electron temperature ratio is a good indicator of the processes involved in the plasma sheet. Observations have suggested that patchy reconnection and the resulting earthward bursty bulk flows (BBFs) transport may be involved in causing the lower temperature ratios at smaller radial distances during southward IMF periods. In this paper, we estimate theoretically how a patchy magnetic reconnection electric field can accelerate ions and electrons differently. If both ions and electrons are non-adiabatically accelerated only once within each reconnection, the temperature ratio would be preserved. However, when reconnection occurs closer to the Earth where magnetic field lines are shorter, particles mirrored back from the ionosphere can cross the reconnection region more than once within one reconnection; and electrons, moving faster than ions, can have more crossings than do ions, leading to electrons being accelerated more than ions. Thus as particles are transported from tail to the near-Earth by BBFs through multiple reconnection, electrons should be accelerated by the reconnection electric field more times than are ions, which can explain the lower temperature ratios observed closer to the Earth.
On May 12, 2008, an Mw7.9 earthquake occurred in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, China. Movement of Yingxiu–Beichuan Fault in the Longmenshan Fault Zone was considered to be the main cause of the earthquake. Earthquakes are closely related to fault activities. Therefore, studying the strain distribution and evolution process around active fault zones is important to the understanding of seismic activities. In this study, we conduct laboratory experiments with uniaxial compression applied to marble sheets with intentionally fabricated cracks. The speckle patterns of the rock samples under different loading conditions are recorded in real time by a digital camera. To calculate the deformation fields of the deliberately cracked marble sheets during different stages of the loading processes, the recorded images are processed by the digital image correlation method. The distribution and variation of the displacement and strain are further analyzed in order to understand the strain localization of and observed damage in the experimental fracture zones. Finally, we compare these laboratory results with the GPS-observed coseismic displacements during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, to assess the consistency between our laboratory observations and the field observations of the earthquake, but also to suggest how laboratory results can improve thinking about how earthquake patterns do and do not reflect fault patterns.
P-wave waveforms in the distance range between 12° and 30° were analyzed to investigate upper-mantle P velocity structures beneath the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding areas. The waveform data from 504 earthquakes with magnitudes larger than 5.0 between 1990 and 2005 that occurred within 30° from the center of the Plateau were modelled. We divided the study area into 6 regions and modeled upper-mantle-distance P waveforms with turning points beneath each region separately. The results show that the upper-mantle P-wave velocity structures beneath India, the Himalayas, and the Lhasa Terrane are similar and contain a high-velocity lid about 250 km thick. The upper-mantle velocities down to 200 km beneath the Qiangtang Terrane, the Tarim Basin, and especially the Songpan-Garzê Terrane are lower than those in the south. The 410-km discontinuity beneath these two terranes is elevated by about 20 km. High-velocity anomalies are found in the transition zone below 500 km under the Lhasa and Qiangtang Terranes. The results suggest that the Tibetan Plateau was generated by thrusting of the Indian mantle lithosphere under the southern part of Tibet. Portions of the thickened Eurasian mantle lithosphere were delaminated; they are now sitting in the transition zone beneath southern Tibet and atop of the 410-km discontinuity underneath northern Tibet.
There are many active faults in the southeast margin of Tibetan Plateau, where three large active faults zones, the Longmenshan, Xianshuihe and Anninghe, merge to form a "Y" shape. Strong crustal deformation and a complicated fault distribution accompany strong earthquake activity in this zone. In this paper, we investigate a multi-scale gravity anomaly in the southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau using the wavelet transform; we find that the pattern of the gravity field is closely related to the fault system in the study area. Analyzing the characteristics of this Bouguer gravity anomaly at different orders indicates that the eastern Himalayan syntaxis has produced a strong eastward push during its northward movement, resulting in a shortening of the crust from west to east and a rapid uplift of the Tibetan Plateau. The Songpan–Garzê and Sichuan–Yunnan blocks have been forced to slip and extrude southward and eastward laterally. The distributions of seven large earthquakes from 1970 to 2018 reflects the relationship between large earthquakes and characteristics of the gravity anomaly. Comparing the tectonic backgrounds of several earthquakes reveals that the large earthquakes occur usually in the high gravity anomaly gradient zone, which corresponds in general to the boundary zones of the blocks. We infer that large earthquakes occur primarily in high Bouguer gravity anomaly zones in the upper crust, while low Bouguer gravity anomalies encompass the lower crust and the uppermost mantle.
The wind and temperature fields at 20 to 55 km above the Antigua launch site (17°N, 61°W) were analyzed by using sounding rocket data published by the research organization on Stratosphere-Troposphere Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC). The results showed distinct variations in the wind and temperature fields at different heights from the 1960s to the 1990s. The overall zonal wind speed showed a significant increasing trend with the year, and the overall change in meridional wind speed showed a falling trend from 1976 to 1990, whereas the temperature field showed a significant cooling trend from 1964 to 1990. The times the trends mutated varied at different levels. By taking the altitudes at 20, 35, and 50 km as representatives, we found that the zonal wind speed trend had mutated in 1988, 1986, and 1986, respectively; that the meridional wind speed trend had mutated in 1990, 1986, and 1990, respectively; and that the temperature trend had mutated separately in 1977, 1973, and 1967, respectively. Characteristics of the periodic wind and temperature field variations at different heights were also analyzed, and obvious differences were found in time scale variations across the different layers. The zonal and meridional wind fields were basically characterized as having a significant periodic variation of 5 years across the three layers, and each level was characterized as having a periodic variation of less than 5 years. Temperature field variation at the three levels was basically characterized as occurring in 10-year and 5-year cycles.
An extraordinary (X-mode) electromagnetic wave, injected into the ionosphere by the ground-based heating facility at Tromsø, Norway, was utilized to modify the ionosphere on November 6, 2017. The high-power high-frequency transmitter facility located at Tromsø belongs to the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association. In the experiment, stimulated electromagnetic emission (SEE) spectra were observed. A narrow continuum occurred under cold-start conditions and showed an overshoot effect lasting several seconds. Cascading peaks occurred on both sides of the heating frequency only in the preconditioned ionosphere and also showed an overshoot effect. These SEE features are probably related to the ponderomotive process in the X-mode heating experiment and are helpful for understanding the physical mechanism that generated them during the X-mode heating experiment. The features observed in the X-mode heating experiments are novel and require further investigation.
Twenty-seven FHDZ-M15 combined geomagnetic observation systems (each of which is equipped with a fluxgate magnetometer and a proton magnetometer) had been installed in the China geomagnetic network before the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, during which coseismic disturbances were recorded by 26 fluxgate magnetometer observatories. The geomagnetic disturbances have similar spatial and temporal patterns to seismic waves, except for various delays. Six proton magnetometer observatories recorded coseismic disturbances with very small amplitudes. In addition, fluxgate magnetometers registered large-amplitude disturbances that are likely to have included responses to seismic waves. However, two problems remain unresolved. First, why do these geomagnetic disturbances always arrive later than P waves? Second, why do the geomagnetic disturbances have spatial and temporal directivity similar to the main rupture direction of the earthquake? Solving these two problems may be crucial to find the mechanism responsible for generating these geomagnetic anomalies.
Geomagnetic storms and substorms play a central role in both the daily life of mankind and in academic space physics. The profiles of storms, especially their initial phase morphology and the intensity of their substorms under different interplanetary conditions, have usually been ignored in previous studies. In this study, 97 intense geomagnetic storms (Dstmin ≤ –100 nT) between 1998 and 2018 were studied statistically using the double superposed epoch analysis (DSEA) and normalized superposed epoch analysis (NSEA) methods. These storms are categorized into two types according to different interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) Bz orientations: geomagnetic storms whose IMF is northward, both upstream and downstream relative to the interplanetary shock, and geomagnetic storms whose upstream and downstream IMF is consistently southward. We further divide these two types into two subsets, by different geomagnetic storm profiles: Type I/Type II — one/two-step geomagnetic storms with northward IMF both upstream and downstream of the interplanetary shock; Type III/TypeIV — one/two-step geomagnetic storms with southward IMF both upstream and downstream of the interplanetary shock. The results show that: (1) geomagnetic storms with northward IMF both upstream and downstream of the interplanetary shock have a clear initial phase; geomagnetic storms with southward IMF in both upstream and downstream of the interplanetary shock do not; (2) the IMF is an important controlling factor in affecting the intensity characteristics of substorms. When Bz is positive before and after the interplanetary shock arrival, the Auroral Electrojet (AE) index changes gently during the initial phase of geomagnetic storms, the median value of AE index is maintained at 500–1000 nT; (3) when Bz is negative before and after the interplanetary shock arrival, the AE index rises rapidly and reaches its maxmum value about one hour after storm sudden commencements (SSC), although the time is scaled between reference points and the maximum value of AE is usually greater than 1,000 nT, representing intense substorms; (4) for most cases, the Dst0 usually reaches its minimum at least one hour after Bz. These results are useful in improving contemporary space weather models, especially for those that address geomagnetic storms and substorms.
Photoelectrons are produced by solar Extreme Ultraviolet radiation and contribute significantly to the local ionization and heat balances in planetary upper atmospheres. When the effect of transport is negligible, the photoelectron energy distribution is controlled by a balance between local production and loss, a condition usually referred to as local energy degradation. In this study, we examine such a condition for photoelectrons near Mars, with the aid of a multi-instrument Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution data set gathered over the inbound portions of a representative dayside MAVEN orbit. Various photoelectron production and loss processes considered here include primary and secondary ionization, inelastic collisions with atmospheric neutrals associated with both excitation and ionization, as well as Coulomb collisions with ionospheric thermal electrons. Our calculations indicate that photoelectron production occurs mainly via primary ionization and degradation from higher energy states during inelastic collisions; photoelectron loss appears to occur almost exclusively via degradation towards lower energy states via inelastic collisions above 10 eV, but the effect of Coulomb collisions becomes important at lower energies. Over the energy range of 30–55 eV (chosen to reduce the influence of the uncertainty in spacecraft charging), we find that the condition of local energy degradation is very well satisfied for dayside photoelectrons from 160 to 250 km. No evidence of photoelectron transport is present over this energy range.
The cold tongue mode (CTM), which represents the out-of-phase relationship in sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) variability between the Pacific cold tongue region and elsewhere in the tropical Pacific, shows a long-term cooling trend in the eastern equatorial Pacific. In this study, we investigate how well the CTM is reproduced in historical simulations generated by the 20 models considered in Phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Qualitatively, all 20 models roughly capture the cooling SSTA associated with the CTM. However, a quantitative assessment (i.e., Taylor diagrams and the ratio of the trend between the simulations and observations) shows that only five of these 20 models (i.e., CESM1-CAM5, CMCC-CM, FGOALS-g2, IPSL-CM5B-LR, and NorESM1-M) can reproduce with useful accuracy the spatial pattern and long-term trend of the CTM. We find that these five models generally simulate the main ocean dynamical process associated with the CTM. That is, these models adequately capture the long-term cooling trend in the vertical advection of the anomalous temperature by the mean upwelling. We conclude that the performance of these CMIP5 models, with respect to simulations of the long-term cooling trend associated with the vertical advection, and the related long-term decreasing trend of the vertical gradient of the oceanic temperature anomaly, can play an important role in successful reproduction of the CTM.
The interior structures of planets are attracting more and more detailed attention; these studies could be of great value in improving our understanding of the early evolution of Earth. Seismological investigations of planet interiors rely primarily on seismic waves excited by seismic events. Since tectonic activities are much weaker on other planets, e.g. Mars, the magnitudes of their seismic events are much smaller than those on Earth. It is therefore a challenge to detect seismic events on planets using such conventional techniques as short-time average/long-time average (STA/LTA) triggers. In pursuit of an effective and robust scheme to detect small-magnitude events on Mars in the near future, we have taken Apollo lunar seismic observations as an example of weak-activity data and developed an event-detection scheme. The scheme reported here is actually a two-step processing approach: the first step involves a despike filter to remove large-amplitude impulses arising from large temperature variations; the second step employs a matched filter to unmask the seismic signals from a weak event hidden in the ambient and scattering noise. The proposed scheme has been used successfully to detect a moonquake that was not in the known moonquake catalogue, demonstrating that the two-step strategy is a feasible method for detecting seismic events on planets. Our scheme will provide a powerful tool for seismic data analysis of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission, and China’s future lunar missions.
The Lidang circular structure in the center of the Guangxi Province is about 8 km in diameter. This structure appears as an abnormal shallow depression that has disturbed the rather harmonic regional joint systems. Its unique occurrence in the whole region, the circular morphology, negative topography, and the spatial distribution of interior and exterior strata are all consistent with those of impact craters that are formed by asteroidal or cometary collision. To test the impact hypothesis, we carried out both field investigation and remote sensing study of this structure. Regional geological history suggests that if the impact hypothesis were correct, the impact event should have occurred at or after the Early Permian. Field investigation found that the strata inside and outside the crater are dominated by parallel stacks of Lower and Upper Permian limestone that have various thicknesses and different mud contents. The layers of limestone within and outside the circular structure have identical attitudes; no structural disturbances were visible in the outcrops. Field investigations provide conclusive evidence against the impact cratering hypothesis. A high-resolution digital elevation model shows that the spatial distribution of rounded mountains within the structure is controlled by faint but continual extension of joints, suggesting that the crater interior has gone through a much higher degree of erosion. Therefore, regional joints that had once existed within the crater are preserved less well than exterior terrains, forming the abruptly disrupted circular depression. Differential erosion, as the possible formation mechanism of the Lidang structure, is consistent with the different mud contents found between the interior and exterior limestone. The circular outline of this structure may correspond to the shape of the original deposition basin. In conclusion, the Lidang circular structure is a polje formed by karstification, not an astrobleme.
In Earth's high-latitude ionosphere, the poleward motion of east–west elongated auroral arcs has been attributed to standing hydromagnetic waves, especially when the auroral arcs appear quasi-periodically with a recurrence time of a few minutes. The validation of this scenario requires spacecraft observations of ultra-low-frequency hydromagnetic waves in the magnetosphere and simultaneous observations of poleward-moving auroral arcs near the spacecraft footprints. Here we present the first observational evidence from the multi-spacecraft THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) mission and the conjugated all-sky imager to support the scenario that standing hydromagnetic waves can generate the quasi-periodic appearance of poleward-moving auroral arcs. In this specific event, the observed waves were toroidal branches of the standing hydromagnetic waves, which were excited by a pulse in the solar wind dynamic pressure. Multi-spacecraft measurements from THEMIS also suggest higher wave frequencies at lower L shells (consistent with the distribution of magnetic field line eigenfrequencies), which indicates that the phase difference across latitudes would increase with time. As time proceeds, the enlarged phase difference corresponds to a lower propagation speed of the auroral arcs, which agrees very well with the ground-based optical data.
The northeastern margin of the South China Sea (SCS), developed from continental rifting and breakup, is usually thought of as a non-volcanic margin. However, post-spreading volcanism is massive and lower crustal high-velocity anomalies are widespread, which complicate the nature of the margin here. To better understand crustal seismic velocities, lithology, and geophysical properties, we present an S-wave velocity (VS) model and a VP/VS model for the northeastern margin by using an existing P-wave velocity (VP) model as the starting model for 2-D kinematic S-wave forward ray tracing. The Mesozoic sedimentary sequence has lower VP/VS ratios than the Cenozoic sequence; in between is a main interface of P-S conversion. Two isolated high-velocity zones (HVZ) are found in the lower crust of the continental slope, showing S-wave velocities of 4.0–4.2 km/s and VP/VS ratios of 1.73–1.78. These values indicate a mafic composition, most likely of amphibolite facies. Also, a VP/VS versus VP plot indicates a magnesium-rich gabbro facies from post-spreading mantle melting at temperatures higher than normal. A third high-velocity zone (VP : 7.0–7.8 km/s; VP/VS: 1.85–1.96), 70-km wide and 4-km thick in the continent-ocean transition zone, is most likely to be a consequence of serpentinization of upwelled upper mantle. Seismic velocity structures and also gravity anomalies indicate that mantle upwelling/ serpentinization could be the most severe in the northeasternmost continent-ocean boundary of the SCS. Empirical relationships between seismic velocity and degree of serpentinization suggest that serpentinite content decreases with depth, from 43% in the lower crust to 37% into the mantle.
The hourly data of the vertical Z and the horizontal H components of 37 ground–based DC–ULF geomagnetic stations are examined during 20 April–12 May 2008. On 9 May 2008, three days before the Wenchuan MS 8.0 shock, anomalies — a double low-point and a decreased amplitude — are registered on the curves of the Z component at 25 stations in a large-scale area surrounding the Wenchuan epicentral area. The H component shows none of the double low-point phenomenon but does exhibit a reduced magnitude at the same time. The geomagnetic index Kp is also examined and indicates that the anomalies appear at a solar quiet period. The appearing time shift (Tzs) between the first low-point on May 9 and the minimum point occurring time of May 1–5, 2008 is also checked. The results show that Tzs is on the order of 1–2 hours earlier or later than usual and there is a 2–6 hours’ gap between these two low-points. However, there is still a transition area which includes the epicenter where Tzs = 0. Variation amplitude examined on vertical Z increases as the distance from the epicenter decreases. An Earth–air–ionosphere model has been employed to investigate a possible mechanism of this phenomenon and positive results have been unexpectedly attained. All these above-related results tend to prove that the variations of the Z and H on May 9, 2008 during the solar quiet period are probably associated with the forthcoming Wenchuan MS 8.0 earthquake.
In the adjoint-state method, the forward-propagated source wavefield and the backward-propagated receiver wavefield must be available simultaneously either for seismic imaging in migration or for gradient calculation in inversion. A feasible way to avoid the excessive storage demand is to reconstruct the source wavefield backward in time by storing the entire history of the wavefield in perfectly matched layers. In this paper, we make full use of the elementwise global property of the Laplace operator of the spectral element method (SEM) and propose an efficient source wavefield reconstruction method at the cost of storing the wavefield history only at single boundary layer nodes. Numerical experiments indicate that the accuracy of the proposed method is identical to that of the conventional method and is independent of the order of the Lagrange polynomials, the element type, and the temporal discretization method. In contrast, the memory-saving ratios of the conventional method versus our method is at least N when using either quadrilateral or hexahedron elements, respectively, where N is the order of the Lagrange polynomials used in the SEM. A higher memory-saving ratio is achieved with triangular elements versus quadrilaterals. The new method is applied to reverse time migration by considering the Marmousi model as a benchmark. Numerical results demonstrate that the method is able to provide the same result as the conventional method but with about 1/25 times lower storage demand. With the proposed wavefield reconstruction method, the storage demand is dramatically reduced; therefore, in-core memory storage is feasible even for large-scale three-dimensional adjoint inversion problems.
Magnetosonic (MS) waves are believed to have the ability to affect the dynamics of ring current protons both inside and outside the plasmasphere. However, previous studies have focused primarily on the effect of high-frequency MS waves (f > 20 Hz) on ring current protons. In this study, we investigate interactions between ring current protons and low-frequency MS waves (< 20 Hz) inside the plasmasphere. We find that low-frequency MS waves can effectively accelerate < 20 keV ring current protons on time scales from several hours to a day, and their scattering efficiency is comparable to that due to high-frequency MS waves (>20 Hz), from which we infer that omitting the effect of low-frequency MS waves will considerably underestimate proton depletion at middle pitch angles and proton enhancement at large pitch angles. Therefore, ring current proton modeling should take into account the effects of both low- and high-frequency MS waves.