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Geophysical Research Letters

Cover image for Vol. 38 Issue 21

November 2011

Volume 38, Issue 21

  1. Atmospheric Science

    1. Top of page
    2. Atmospheric Science
    3. Climate
    4. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    5. Oceans
    6. Planets
    7. Solid Earth
    8. Space Sciences
    9. The Cryosphere
    1. You have free access to this content
      Modulation of radiative heating by the Madden-Julian Oscillation and convectively coupled Kelvin waves as observed by CloudSat

      Ding Ma and Zhiming Kuang

      Article first published online: 15 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049734

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      Key Points

      • Constructed the vertical distribution of radiative heating for MJO/Kelvin waves
      • Radiative heating anomalies of MJO are slightly more bottom-heavy than KWs
      • Cloud condensate anomalies of MJO are significantly more bottom-heavy than KWs
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      Recent global trends in atmospheric fronts

      Gareth Berry, Christian Jakob and Michael Reeder

      Article first published online: 11 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049481

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      Key Points

      • Large regions of statistically significant trends in front frequency
      • Northern hemisphere mid latitude fronts reduced by 10–20% in past 20 years
      • Large increase in frequency of fronts in the subtropics
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      Co-existence of temperature and amount effects on precipitation δ18O in the Asian monsoon region

      Xiaoxin Yang, Tandong Yao, Wulin Yang, Wusheng Yu and Dongmei Qu

      Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049353

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      Key Points

      • There is a close correlation between monsoon intensity and daily precipitation
      • Temperature effect coexists with amount effect in different seasons
      • High-resolution precipitation data reveals micro-scale climate dynamics
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      Light-absorbing soluble organic aerosol in Los Angeles and Atlanta: A contrast in secondary organic aerosol

      Xiaolu Zhang, Ying-Hsuan Lin, Jason D. Surratt, Peter Zotter, Andre S. H. Prévôt and Rodney J. Weber

      Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049385

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      Key Points

      • LA fresh SOA is 4–6 times more brown than Atlanta fresh SOA
      • Nitro-aromatics are identified as a component of LA anthropogenic brown SOA
      • Atlanta SOA forms differently to LA due to biogenic/anthropogenic VOC mix
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      Estimation of SO2 emissions using OMI retrievals

      V. E. Fioletov, C. A. McLinden, N. Krotkov, M. D. Moran and K. Yang

      Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049402

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      Key Points

      • Satellite instruments (OMI) can see individual SO2 emission sources in the US
      • There is a high correlation between SO2 emissions and OMI data
      • OMI confirms a decline in SO2 emissions as a result of pollution control measure
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      Ultra-low clouds over the southern West African monsoon region

      Peter Knippertz, Andreas H. Fink, Robert Schuster, Jörg Trentmann, Jon M. Schrage and Charles Yorke

      Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049278

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      Key Points

      • New observations allow analysis of low stratus over West Africa for first time
      • Cloud formation is closely linked to mixing under nocturnal low-level jets
      • Climate models show large biases in low-level clouds, wind, and solar radiation
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      Primary marine organic aerosol: A dichotomy of low hygroscopicity and high CCN activity

      Jurgita Ovadnevaite, Darius Ceburnis, Giovanni Martucci, Jakub Bialek, Ciaran Monahan, Matteo Rinaldi, Maria Cristina Facchini, Harald Berresheim, Douglas R. Worsnop and Colin O'Dowd

      Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL048869

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      Key Points

      • Primary marine organic aerosol has low water uptake
      • Primary marine organic aerosl has high CCN efficiency and major impact on clouds
      • This dichotomy is explained by marine hydrogels
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      The Earth's electromagnetic environment

      Martin Füllekrug and Antony C. Fraser-Smith

      Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049572

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      Key Points

      • Geomagnetic and atmospheric electric fields follow one fundamental scaling law
      • The spectral extent of the scaling law is unparalleled in physics
      • The scaling law enables differential studies and novel instrumental development
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      Glaciation temperatures of convective clouds ingesting desert dust, air pollution and smoke from forest fires

      Daniel Rosenfeld, Xing Yu, Guihua Liu, Xiaohong Xu, Yannian Zhu, Zhiguo Yue, Jin Dai, Zipeng Dong, Yan Dong and Yan Peng

      Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049423

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      Key Points

      • Air pollution aerosols over East Asia are as potent ice nuclei as desert dust
      • Both heavily polluted and dusty convective clouds glaciate at temperatures above −20°C
      • The glaciation restores at least some of the suppressed rain by these aerosols
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      The three-dimensional distribution of clouds around Southern Hemisphere extratropical cyclones

      Pallavi D. Govekar, Christian Jakob, Michael J. Reeder and John Haynes

      Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049091

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      Key Points

      • The 3-D cloud structure around cyclone resembles the conceptual models
      • Dynamical, precipitation and radiation fields are in agreement with cloud field
      • The used methodology provides an opportunity for evaluation of climate models
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      Arctic methane sources: Isotopic evidence for atmospheric inputs

      R. E. Fisher, S. Sriskantharajah, D. Lowry, M. Lanoisellé, C. M. R. Fowler, R. H. James, O. Hermansen, C. Lund Myhre, A. Stohl, J. Greinert, P. B. R. Nisbet-Jones, J. Mienert and E. G. Nisbet

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049319

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      Key Points

      • Isotopic measurements have been used to identify major sources of Arctic methane
      • In late summer biogenic methane sources dominate the bulk Arctic source mix
      • Seabed emissions near Spitsbergen have not been detected reaching the atmosphere
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      Direct radiative effect of aerosols estimated using ensemble-based data assimilation in a global aerosol climate model

      K. Yumimoto and T. Takemura

      Article first published online: 3 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049258

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      Key Points

      • A new data assimilation system with a global climate aerosol model was developed
      • A posteriori showed significant improvement in the independent validation
      • Aerosol direct radiative effect was estimated with the assimilated aerosol field
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      Contribution of mixed-phase boundary layer clouds to the termination of ozone depletion events in the Arctic

      Xiao-Ming Hu, Fuqing Zhang, Guo Yu, Jose D. Fuentes and Longtao Wu

      Article first published online: 3 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049229

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      Key Points

      • Mixed-phase boundary layer clouds can terminate the Arctic ODEs
  2. Climate

    1. Top of page
    2. Atmospheric Science
    3. Climate
    4. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    5. Oceans
    6. Planets
    7. Solid Earth
    8. Space Sciences
    9. The Cryosphere
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      Origin of the Arctic warming in climate models

      Chul E. Chung and Petri Räisänen

      Article first published online: 12 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049816

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      Key Points

      • In models, the forcing in lower latitudes produces much of the Arctic warming
      • Observations indicate that the forcing in lower latitudes plays a smaller role
      • The problem in climate models is in either climate feedback or aerosol
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      Are secular correlations between sunspots, geomagnetic activity, and global temperature significant?

      Jeffrey J. Love, Kalevi Mursula, Victor C. Tsai and David M. Perkins

      Article first published online: 11 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049380

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      Key Points

      • Hypothesis of no solar-terrestrial role in climate change cannot be rejected
      • Sunspots, geomagnetism, and temperature do not clearly show man-made signal
      • Additional physics and new data methods are needed for climate change studies
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      Sensitivity of the attribution of near surface temperature warming to the choice of observational dataset

      G. S. Jones and P. A. Stott

      Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049324

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      Key Points

      • First exploration of the full impact of observational uncertainty on attribution
      • Headline IPCC conclusion on attribution is robust to observational uncertainty
      • Details of attribution results depend on observational dataset
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      A new index for more accurate winter predictions

      Judah Cohen and Justin Jones

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049626

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      Key Points

      • We develop a new snow index that measures the rate of change rather than extent
      • This new index is much more highly correlated with the AO than previous indices
      • This index shows great potential to improve winter climate forecasts
  3. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies

    1. Top of page
    2. Atmospheric Science
    3. Climate
    4. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    5. Oceans
    6. Planets
    7. Solid Earth
    8. Space Sciences
    9. The Cryosphere
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      An evaluation of subsidence rates and sea-level variability in the northern Gulf of Mexico

      Alexander S. Kolker, Mead A. Allison and Sultan Hameed

      Article first published online: 11 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049458

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      Key Points

      • An understanding of sea level variability can be used to evaluate subsidence
      • Fluid withdrawal, subsidence and land loss are closely interrelated
      • Current subsidence rates in the Mississippi River Delta are relatively slow
    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Residual CO2 imaged with X-ray micro-tomography

      Stefan Iglauer, Adriana Paluszny, Christopher H. Pentland and Martin J. Blunt

      Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049680

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      Key Points

      • First direct observation/evidence of capillary trapping
      • Development of a special high pressure-elevated temperature micro-CT cell
      • Observation of large cluster size distribution and wettability alteration
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      Magnetic susceptibility as a proxy for investigating microbially mediated iron reduction

      Farag M. Mewafy, Estella A. Atekwana, D. Dale Werkema Jr., Lee D. Slater, Dimitrios Ntarlagiannis, André Revil, Magnus Skold and Geoffrey N. Delin

      Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049271

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      Key Points

      • Magnetic susceptibility is a proxy for iron reduction
      • Magnetic susceptibility suggests oxidation of methane coupled to iron reduction
      • Magnetic susceptibility is a proxy for intrinsic bioremediation
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      Understanding and predicting wave erosion of marsh edges

      M. Marani, A. D'Alpaos, S. Lanzoni and M. Santalucia

      Article first published online: 2 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL048995

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      Key Points

      • Marsh edge erosion rate is a linear function of wave power density
      • Marsh edge erosion rate is a function of marsh cliff height
      • Traditional, power-law, formulas are inconsistent with theory and observations
  4. Oceans

    1. Top of page
    2. Atmospheric Science
    3. Climate
    4. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    5. Oceans
    6. Planets
    7. Solid Earth
    8. Space Sciences
    9. The Cryosphere
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      Is horizontal convection really “non-turbulent?”

      A. Scotti and B. White

      Article first published online: 11 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049701

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      Key Points

      • Horizontal convection is turbulent
      • Horizontal convection has high mixing efficiency
      • Horizontal convection is relevant in the ocean
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      Observed volume fluxes in the Bosphorus Strait

      Ewa Jarosz, William J. Teague, Jeffrey W. Book and Şükrü Beşiktepe

      Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049557

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      Key Points

      • Volume fluxes showed distinct temporal variability
      • Flux variability was mainly related to variations of bottom pressure differences
      • Fluxes can be fairly well predicted from the bottom pressure differences
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      Estimating the effects of ENSO upon the observed freshening trends of the western tropical Pacific Ocean

      Awnesh Singh and Thierry Delcroix

      Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049636

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      Key Points

      • Freshening trends in the Pacific due to ENSO have been quantified
      • Fresh pool expansion is mostly due to climate change rather than ENSO
      • The influence of EP ENSO to the freshening/saltening trends is negligible
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      Regional sea level trends due to a Pacific trade wind intensification

      Mark A. Merrifield and Mathew E. Maltrud

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049576

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      Key Points

      • Trade wind intensification drives regional sea level change
      • The intensification leads to broad changes in the Pacific circulation
      • The modeling study focuses attention on the need for wind product validation
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      The Lagrangian progression of nitrous oxide within filaments formed in the Mauritanian upwelling

      Andrew P. Rees, Ian J. Brown, Darren R. Clark and Ricardo Torres

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049322

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      Key Points

      • Filaments of the Mauritanian upwelling provide source of atmospheric N2O
      • Dominant process of N2O generation is mid-water nitrification (∼0.1% yield)
      • Water-mass characteristics impact on remineralization and N2O production
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      Long-term regional sea level changes due to variations in water mass density during the period 1981–2007

      Tatsuo Suzuki and Masayoshi Ishii

      Article first published online: 4 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049326

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      Key Points

      • Observed regional distribution of sea level changes for recent decades
      • Regional sea level changes due to density changes in water masses
      • Decomposition of baroclinic response of sea level change
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      Impact of ocean acidification on benthic and water column ammonia oxidation

      Vassilis Kitidis, Bonnie Laverock, Louise C. McNeill, Amanda Beesley, Denise Cummings, Karen Tait, Mark A. Osborn and Stephen Widdicombe

      Article first published online: 2 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049095

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      Key Points

      • Ocean acidification decreased ammonia oxidation in water column
      • Ocean acidification did not affect benthic ammonia oxidation
      • A re-evaluation of the ocean acidification impact on N-cycling is required
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      Estimation of the Agulhas ring impacts on meridional heat fluxes and transport using ARGO floats and satellite data

      J. M. A. C. Souza, C. de Boyer Montégut, C. Cabanes and P. Klein

      Article first published online: 1 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049359

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      Key Points

      • Validate a new method to study the vertical structure of mesoscale eddies
      • Give direct estimates of the Agulhas rings heat flux and volume transport
      • Direct observations of strong interannual variability
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      Seismic reflection imaging of large-amplitude lee waves in the Caribbean Sea

      Dan Eakin, W. S. Holbrook and Ilker Fer

      Article first published online: 1 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049157

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      Key Points

      • Seismic reflection imaging of large-amplitude lee waves
      • Our results show that it is possible to image these oceanic phenomena in full
      • Regions of observed lee waves contain spectral energy greater than Garrett-Munk
  5. Planets

    1. Top of page
    2. Atmospheric Science
    3. Climate
    4. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    5. Oceans
    6. Planets
    7. Solid Earth
    8. Space Sciences
    9. The Cryosphere
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      The Mairan domes: Silicic volcanic constructs on the Moon

      Timothy D. Glotch, Justin J. Hagerty, Paul G. Lucey, B. Ray Hawke, Thomas A. Giguere, Jessica A. Arnold, Jean-Pierre Williams, Bradley L. Jolliff and David A. Paige

      Article first published online: 15 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049548

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      Key Points

      • The Mairan domes are silicic volcanic constructs
      • Their formation requires either liquid immiscibility or basaltic underplating
      • These volcanoes are prime targets for future lunar exploration
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      The rotation of the plasmapause-like boundary at high latitudes in Saturn's magnetosphere and its relation to the eccentric rotation of the northern and southern auroral ovals

      D. A. Gurnett, A. M. Persoon, J. B. Groene, W. S. Kurth, M. Morooka, J.-E. Wahlund and J. D. Nichols

      Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049547

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      Key Points

      • Plasma over Saturn's two polar regions rotate at different rates
      • The rotation rates match the modulation rates of Saturn kilometric radiation
      • The rotation rates match the eccentric rotation rates of the auroral ovals
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      CO2 gas fluidization in the initiation and formation of Martian polar gullies

      Yolanda Cedillo-Flores, Allan H. Treiman, Jeremie Lasue and Stephen M. Clifford

      Article first published online: 4 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049403

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      Key Points

      • Martian polar gullies can form by CO2 fluidization
      • Martian gullies can form by several mechanisms
      • CO2 sublimation can start gullies in loose dune sand or in wind-deposited dust
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      The pressure-weakening effect in super-Earths: Consequences of a decrease in lower mantle viscosity on surface dynamics

      C. Stein, A. Finnenkötter, J. P. Lowman and U. Hansen

      Article first published online: 3 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049341

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      Key Points

      • We present a numerical convection study applying new mineralogical results
      • The mineralogical results suggest a viscosity decrease in the lowermost mantle
      • A viscosity decrease in the deep mantle leads to a decrease in surface mobility
  6. Solid Earth

    1. Top of page
    2. Atmospheric Science
    3. Climate
    4. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    5. Oceans
    6. Planets
    7. Solid Earth
    8. Space Sciences
    9. The Cryosphere
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      Along-dip variation of teleseismic short-period radiation from the 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake (Mw 9.0)

      K. D. Koper, A. R. Hutko and T. Lay

      Article first published online: 12 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049689

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      Key Points

      • Short-period energy from the Tohoku EQ is radiated down-dip of the main slip
      • Tohoku EQ rupture properties are segmented along-dip
      • Other recent megathrust EQs appear to have behaved similarly
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      Estimating eruption temperature from thermal emission spectra of lava fountain activity in the Erta'Ale (Ethiopia) volcano lava lake: Implications for observing Io's volcanoes

      Ashley Gerard Davies, Laszlo Keszthelyi and Alfred S. McEwen

      Article first published online: 11 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049418

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      Key Points

      • To derive eruption temperatures, high spatial resolution data are needed
      • Multi-wavelength data acquisition has to be very fast to measure Terupt
      • These constraints have to be built into future instruments for Io observations
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      A mechanism for preseismic steady rupture fronts observed in laboratory experiments

      Y. Kaneko and J.-P. Ampuero

      Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049953

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      Key Points

      • Preseismic steady rupture fronts occur in numerical models of seismic cycles
      • A generation mechanism of preseismic steady rupture fronts is explained
      • The speed of a slow steady rupture front is sensitive to physical parameters
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      A slow slip event triggered by teleseismic surface waves

      Satoshi Itaba and Ryosuke Ando

      Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049593

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      Key Points

      • Capture direct geodetic evidence of triggered interplate slow slip event (SSEs)
      • Provide teleseismic, tidal and tectonic stress conditions for the trigged SSEs
      • Estimate tectonic stress levels by using rapid nature of SSE recurrence there
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      3D modeling of the cycle of a great Tohoku-oki earthquake, considering frictional behavior at low to high slip velocities

      B. Shibazaki, T. Matsuzawa, A. Tsutsumi, K. Ujiie, A. Hasegawa and Y. Ito

      Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049308

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      Key Points

      • 3D modeling of the cycle of a great Tohoku-oki earthquake
      • Use a friction law that exhibits strong velocity weakening at high slip rates
      • Large and megathrust earthquakes are repoduced within the same subduction zone
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      Observations of Earth's toroidal free oscillations with a rotation sensor: The 2011 magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake

      Heiner Igel, Maria-Fernanda Nader, Dieter Kurrle, Ana M. G. Ferreira, Joachim Wassermann and K. Ulrich Schreiber

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049045

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      Key Points

      • Ring lasers are sensitive enough to observe free oscillations
      • Pure toroidal motions can be observed with ring laser systems
      • The observations are sensitive to source and structure
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      Helium isotopes at Rungwe Volcanic Province, Tanzania, and the origin of East African Plateaux

      D. R. Hilton, S. A. Halldórsson, P. H. Barry, T. P. Fischer, J. M. de Moor, C. J. Ramirez, F. Mangasini and P. Scarsi

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049589

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      Key Points

      • High 3He/4He ratios in Rungwe Volcanic Province
      • First observation of high 3He/4He for Kenya Dome
      • Widespread occurrence of deep-seated African Superplume
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      Inter event times of fluid induced earthquakes suggest their Poisson nature

      C. Langenbruch, C. Dinske and S. A. Shapiro

      Article first published online: 4 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049474

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      Key Points

      • The inter event times of fluid induced earthquakes are exponentially distributed
      • The Poisson model can be applied to calculate occurrence probabilities of events
      • Aftershock triggering seems to be negligible for fluid induced earthquakes
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      Random variability explains apparent global clustering of large earthquakes

      Andrew J. Michael

      Article first published online: 2 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049443

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      Key Points

      • Large global earthquakes are temporally random plus aftershocks
      • Apparent global clustering proposed by others is due to random variability
      • Current risk of future earthquakes is not elevated except for local aftershocks
  7. Space Sciences

    1. Top of page
    2. Atmospheric Science
    3. Climate
    4. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    5. Oceans
    6. Planets
    7. Solid Earth
    8. Space Sciences
    9. The Cryosphere
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      Enhanced lunar semidiurnal equatorial vertical plasma drifts during sudden stratospheric warmings

      B. G. Fejer, B. D. Tracy, M. E. Olson and J. L. Chau

      Article first published online: 15 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049788

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      Key Points

      • Lunar tidal drift enhancements are strongly conductance dependent
      • SSW lunar tidal drifts are largest in the early morning
      • Lunar tidal drifts are largest during low solar flux SSW periods
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      Monitoring the F-region peak electron density using HF backscatter interferometry

      P. V. Ponomarenko, A. V. Koustov, J.-P. St.-Maurice and J. Wiid

      Article first published online: 4 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049675

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      Key Points

      • A technique allows to extract new ionospheric information from existing data
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      Equatorial spread F-related currents: Three-dimensional simulations and observations

      H. C. Aveiro, D. L. Hysell, J. Park and H. Lühr

      Article first published online: 4 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049586

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      Key Points

      • Transverse mag. perturbations are due almost entirely to field-aligned currents
      • Parallel mag. perturbations are due almost entirely to diamagnetic currents
      • It argues against an Alfvenic interpretation of the CHAMP mag. field observation
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      SAID/SAPS-related VLF waves and the outer radiation belt boundary

      Evgeny Mishin, Jay Albert and Ondrej Santolik

      Article first published online: 3 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049613

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      Key Points

      • SAID/SAPS-related VLF emissions represent a subset of substorm VLF activity
      • Substorm-injected ions generate hiss-like emissions inward of the plasmapause
      • SAID/SAPS-related VLF emissions shape the outer radiation belt boundary
  8. The Cryosphere

    1. Top of page
    2. Atmospheric Science
    3. Climate
    4. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    5. Oceans
    6. Planets
    7. Solid Earth
    8. Space Sciences
    9. The Cryosphere
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      High variability of Greenland surface temperature over the past 4000 years estimated from trapped air in an ice core

      Takuro Kobashi, Kenji Kawamura, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus, Jean-Marc Barnola, Toshiyuki Nakaegawa, Bo M. Vinther, Sigfús J. Johnsen and Jason E. Box

      Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049444

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      Key Points

      • Greenland surface temperature reconstructed over the past 4000 years
      • Current Greenland temperature not exceeded natural variability of the period
      • Greenland temperature would exceed the natural variability by 2100

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