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Geophysical Research Letters

Cover image for Geophysical Research Letters

February 2012

Volume 39, Issue 3

  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
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      Total and monomethyl mercury in fog water from the central California coast

      Peter S. Weiss-Penzias, Cruz Ortiz Jr., R. Paul Acosta, Wesley Heim, John P. Ryan, Daniel Fernandez, Jeffrey L. Collett Jr. and A. Russell Flegal

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050324

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      Key Points

      • Mercury in coastal fog water was elevated compared to that observed in rain
      • Monomethyl mercury concentrations were especially elevated
      • MMHg in fog may be formed biotically from oceanic upwelling
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      Evidence for 13-carbon enrichment in oxalic acid via iron catalyzed photolysis in aqueous phase

      Chandra Mouli Pavuluri and Kimitaka Kawamura

      Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050398

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      Key Points

      • Photolysis of oxalic acid under H2O2-Fe-UV system in aqueous phase
      • The 13C enrichment in oxalic acid with photochemical aging in presence of Fe species
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      Advanced Asian summer monsoon onset in recent decades

      Yoshiyuki Kajikawa, Tetsuzo Yasunari, Shuhei Yoshida and Hatsuki Fujinami

      Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050540

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      Key Points

      • Seasonality in the long-term monsoon trend
      • Advanced monsoon onset
      • New sight on the interpretation of the long-term change in seasonal mean
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      Stability and turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer: A comparison of remote sensing and tower observations

      Katja Friedrich, Julie K. Lundquist, Matthew Aitken, Evan A. Kalina and Robert F. Marshall

      Article first published online: 8 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050413

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      Key Points

      • Shows advantages of remote sensing instruments for wind farm applications
      • Emphazises importance of humidity profiels for Richardson number
      • Shows accuracy of wind and temperature from remote sensing instruments
  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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      Changes in seasonal land precipitation during the latter twentieth-century

      K. Noake, D. Polson, G. Hegerl and X. Zhang

      Article first published online: 15 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050405

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      Key Points

      • Seasonal precipitation changes can be attributed to external climate forcing
      • Pattern of change is consistent across 3 independent observational datasets
      • Multi-model mean trends tend to underestimate the observed trends
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      Holocene aridification of India

      Camilo Ponton, Liviu Giosan, Tim I. Eglinton, Dorian Q. Fuller, Joel E. Johnson, Pushpendra Kumar and Tim S. Collett

      Article first published online: 14 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050722

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      Key Points

      • Under low insolation, central India was as arid in late Holocene as during LGM
      • High salinity events in Bay of Bengal suggest dry episodes during late Holocene
      • Late Holocene cultural changes in India coincide with steps in aridification
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      Contrasting urban and rural heat stress responses to climate change

      E. M. Fischer, K. W. Oleson and D. M. Lawrence

      Article first published online: 14 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050576

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      Key Points

      • Urban heat stress is ampflied particularly at night and in the hottest episodes
      • Occurrence of high-heat-stress nights increases particularly in urban areas
      • The tropics are impacted most despite a relatively weak warming
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      Atmospheric forcing of the Eastern Mediterranean Transient by midlatitude cyclones

      Joy Romanski, Anastasia Romanou, Michael Bauer and George Tselioudis

      Article first published online: 8 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050298

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      Key Points

      • Meridional temperature advection controls turbulent fluxes from the Aegean
      • Cyclones in the eastern and central Med control meridional temp advection
      • Cyclone patterns changed during the EMT, enhancing turb fluxes from the Aegean
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      The Pacific-Atlantic seesaw and the Bering Strait

      Aixue Hu, Gerald A. Meehl, Weiqing Han, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Carrie Morrill, Yusuke Okazaki and Megume O. Chikamoto

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050567

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      Key Points

      • Pacific-Atlantic seesaw-like climate change can only occur during glacial time
      • The closure of the Bering Strait made this seesaw climate change possible
      • The Bering Strait transport depends on the strength of the AMOC
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      Global cloud height fluctuations measured by MISR on Terra from 2000 to 2010

      Roger Davies and Matthew Molloy

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050506

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      Key Points

      • MISR measures global effective height with an annual sampling error of 8 m
      • Regional height changes correlate well with ENSO showing global teleconnections
      • Decreasing global cloud heights suggest negative feedback over the last decade
  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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      Drought, groundwater storage and stream flow decline in southwestern Australia

      J. D. Hughes, K. C. Petrone and R. P. Silberstein

      Article first published online: 15 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050797

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      Key Points

      • Groundwater storage is falling rapidly in south-western Australia
      • Groundwater storage is a major influence on the volume of runoff produced
      • Groundwater storage is influenced by rainfall at decadal timescales
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      Impact of vegetation die-off on spatial flow patterns over a tidal marsh

      Stijn Temmerman, Pieter Moonen, Jonas Schoelynck, Gerard Govers and Tjeerd J. Bouma

      Article first published online: 14 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050502

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      Key Points

      • Vegetation die-off impacts flow patterns on tidal marsh platforms and channels
      • Flow concentration and acceleration towards channels is importantly reduced
      • This will result in channel infilling and further limitation of plant growth
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      Urban precipitation extremes: How reliable are regional climate models?

      Vimal Mishra, Francina Dominguez and Dennis P. Lettenmaier

      Article first published online: 14 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050658

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      Key Points

      • RCMs show large bias in 3-hour urban precipitation extremes simulations
      • RCMs with the GCM and reanalysis boundary conditions behave similarly
      • RCMs reproduce seasonality of precipitation extremes at majority of locations
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      Tropical cyclones and the ecohydrology of Australia's recent continental-scale drought

      Gavan S. McGrath, Rohan Sadler, Kevin Fleming, Paul Tregoning, Christoph Hinz and Erik J. Veneklaas

      Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050263

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      Key Points

      • We identified a continent-wide drought
      • Ecohydrology associated with tropical cyclone frequency
      • Indian Ocean variability drives decadal-scale variability in Australia's ecology
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      Improving historical precipitation estimates over the Lake Superior basin

      K. D. Holman, A. Gronewold, M. Notaro and A. Zarrin

      Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050468

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      Key Points

      • Historical precipitation estimates over Lake Superior may have seasonal biases
      • Atmospheric stability affects over-lake precipitation estimates on Lake Superior
      • RCMs provide alternative method to estimate over-lake precipitation on Superior
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      Permeability correction factor for fractures with permeable walls

      R. Mohais, C. Xu, P. A. Dowd and M. Hand

      Article first published online: 7 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050519

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      Key Points

      • The cubic law is used to describe flow in fractures with impermeable walls
      • Hydrofracturing of crystalline rocks may create fractures with permeable walls
      • We derived a correction factor for permeable walled fractures
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      Saturation dependence of the quadrature conductivity of oil-bearing sands

      M. Schmutz, A. Blondel and A. Revil

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050474

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      Key Points

      • Strongly water repellent oils show a specific complex conductivity behavior
      • New dataset for induced polarization of oil-bearing sands
      • Better assessment of oil contamination with geophysics
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      The effects of gentle topographic variation on dispersal kernels of inertial particles

      G. G. Katul and D. Poggi

      Article first published online: 1 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050811

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      Key Points

      • Wald kernel derived for flat terrain maintains its shape
      • Complex terrain impacts mean dispersal distances by 35%
      • Complex terrain impacts LDD by an order of magnitude
  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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      Winter sea-ice melt in the Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean

      Jennifer M. Jackson, William J. Williams and Eddy C. Carmack

      Article first published online: 15 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050219

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      Key Points

      • Stored solar radiation can melt sea ice during winter
      • Winter storms enable the release of stored solar radiation
      • Stored solar radiation delays sea ice growth
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      Carbon dioxide emissions from Indian monsoonal estuaries

      V. V. S. S. Sarma, R. Viswanadham, G. D. Rao, V. R. Prasad, B. S. K. Kumar, S. A. Naidu, N. A. Kumar, D. B. Rao, T. Sridevi, M. S. Krishna, N. P. C. Reddy, Y. Sadhuram and T. V. R. Murty

      Article first published online: 15 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050709

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      Key Points

      • Indian estuaries emits ~2TgC annually to atmosphere
      • An order of magnitude high fluxes during discharge period
      • Intensive microbial decomposition of organic matter is the major source
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      Mechanism for export of sediment-derived iron in an upwelling regime

      S. A. Siedlecki, A. Mahadevan and D. E. Archer

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050366

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      Key Points

      • Shelf-sediment derived iron is transported subsurface to the ocean interior
      • The export mechanism results from oscillating wind direction and slope currents
      • Export of iron from shelf sediments in upwelling regimes rivals the dust source
  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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      Hot oxygen atoms in the Venus nightside exosphere

      H. Gröller, H. Lammer, H. I. M. Lichtenegger, M. Pfleger, O. Dutuit, V. I. Shematovich, Y. N. Kulikov and H. K. Biernat

      Article first published online: 10 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050421

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      Key Points

      • Dissociative recombination of O2+ is the main source of hot O at Venus nightside
      • For high solar activity, hot O density at nightside is ~10 lower than at dayside
      • Our simulated nightside densities are 2-10 times higher than previous studies
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      Degassing history of Mars and the lifespan of its magnetic dynamo

      Constantin Sandu and Walter S. Kiefer

      Article first published online: 2 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050225

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      Key Points

      • Magmatic water loss from mantle is a strong control on convective vigor
      • Reduced convective vigor results in termination of Mars geodynamo around 4 Ga
      • An alternative to models invoking large impacts to control dynamo history
  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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      Slow rupture of frictional interfaces

      Yohai Bar Sinai, Efim A. Brener and Eran Bouchbinder

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050554

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      Key Points

      • Slow rupture is an intrinsic and robust property of rate-and-state friction laws
      • A new minimal, friction-controlled, slow rupture velocity is derived
      • Rupture occurs in a continuum of states and slow and fast rupture are distinct
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      Mechanical basis for slip along low-angle normal faults

      Emmanuel Lecomte, Laetitia Le Pourhiet and Olivier Lacombe

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050756

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      Key Points

      • Slip on low-angle normal faults is possible for peak friction as high as 0.4
      • Low-angle normal faults are not themselves generating earthquakes when they slip
      • Slip on Riedel shears within LANFs can generate the micro-seismicity observed
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      A free plate surface and weak oceanic crust produce single-sided subduction on Earth

      F. Crameri, P. J. Tackley, I. Meilick, T. V. Gerya and B. J. P. Kaus

      Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050046

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      Key Points

      • A free surface allows subduction to become one-sided
      • Weak hydrated crust helps to stabilize one-sided subduction
      • Single-sided subduction causes characteristic, arcuate trench curvature
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      On the role of slab pull in the Cenozoic motion of the Pacific plate

      Claudio Faccenna, Thorsten W. Becker, Serge Lallemand and Bernhard Steinberger

      Article first published online: 8 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050155

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      Key Points

      • The Pacific plate shows sharp changes during the Cenozoic
      • Slab pull torque along the Pacific subduction zone during the last 70 Ma
      • Pacific plate motions can be matched varying the subduction zones configuration
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      Field experiment provides ground truth for surface nuclear magnetic resonance measurement

      Rosemary Knight, Elliot Grunewald, Trevor Irons, Katherine Dlubac, Yiqiao Song, Henry N. Bachman, Ben Grau, Dave Walsh, Jared D. Abraham and Jim Cannia

      Article first published online: 4 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050167

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      Key Points

      • Field experiment provides direct comparison of logging and surface NMR
      • Magnetic field variation and measurement time account for observed differences
      • New insights into potential link from surface NMR to hydraulic conductivity
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      Correction to “Anomalous seismic structure beneath the Klyuchevskoy Group, Kamchatka”

      Alex Nikulin, Vadim Levin, Ashley Shuler and Michael West

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2012GL050850

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      This article corrects:

      Anomalous seismic structure beneath the Klyuchevskoy Group, Kamchatka

      Vol. 37, Issue 14, Article first published online: 29 JUL 2010

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      Rupture directivity of the 2011, Mw 5.2 Lorca earthquake (Spain)

      José-Ángel López-Comino, Flor de Lis Mancilla, Jose Morales and Daniel Stich

      Article first published online: 2 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050498

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      Key Points

      • A small magnitude earthquake (Mw 5.2) caused large accelerations (0.36g)
      • Rupture directivity shows up in aftershock locations and source time functions
      • Location, radiation and directivity combine to a very unfavorable scenario
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      Stress before and after the 2011 great Tohoku-oki earthquake and induced earthquakes in inland areas of eastern Japan

      Keisuke Yoshida, Akira Hasegawa, Tomomi Okada, Takeshi Iinuma, Yoshihiro Ito and Youichi Asano

      Article first published online: 1 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049729

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      Key Points

      • Stress change in N and SE Tohoku suggesting small differential stress magnitudes
      • No stress change in C Tohoku suggesting stress magnitudes greater than a few MPa
      • Remarkable induced seismicity in Kanto-Chubu caused by simple stress increase
  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
    1. You have free access to this content
      Occurrence of elves and lightning during El Niño and La Niña

      Y. J. Wu, A. B. Chen, H. H. Hsu, J. K. Chou, S. C. Chang, L. J. Lee, Y. J. Lee, H. T. Su, C. L. Kuo, R. R. Hsu, H. U. Frey, S. B. Mende, Y. Takahashi and L. C. Lee

      Article first published online: 10 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049831

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      Key Points

      • Elve activity in the lower ionosphere (~90 km) is modulated by the ENSO events
      • Elve and lightning both can be regarded as good indices of ENSO events
    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Detection of exospheric O2+ at Saturn's moon Dione

      R. L. Tokar, R. E. Johnson, M. F. Thomsen, E. C. Sittler, A. J. Coates, R. J. Wilson, F. J. Crary, D. T. Young and G. H. Jones

      Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050452

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      Key Points

      • Dione exosphere inferred via Cassini detection of molecular oxygen pick-up ions
      • Column density of exosphere calculated with range 0.9 to 7 X 10^11 / cm^2
      • Density of molecular oxygen ions calculated with range 0.01 to 0.09 per cc
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      A chain of magnetic flux ropes in the magnetotail of Mars

      J. P. Eastwood, J. J. H. Videira, D. A. Brain and J. S. Halekas

      Article first published online: 7 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050444

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      Key Points

      • A chain of magnetic flux ropes was observed in Mars's magnetotail
      • Modelling indicates force free structure and sequential tailward motion
      • These flux ropes are likely associated with nearby crustal magnetic fields
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      Rapid acceleration of radiation belt energetic electrons by Z-mode waves

      Fuliang Xiao, Sai Zhang, Zhenpeng Su, Zhaoguo He and Lijun Tang

      Article first published online: 4 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050625

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      Key Points

      • A first simulation to examine effect of Z-mode waves on radiation belt dynamics
      • Z-mode waves produce a substantial enhancement in electron PSD very rapidly
      • Momentum diffusion rate exceeds pitch angle diffusion rates at 0.5MeV or above
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      Anomalous ISR echoes preceding auroral breakup: Evidence for strong Langmuir turbulence

      H. Akbari, J. L. Semeter, H. Dahlgren, M. Diaz, M. Zettergren, A. Strømme, M. J. Nicolls and C. Heinselman

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050288

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      Key Points

      • Evidence of natural strong Langmuir turbulence in the ionosphere
      • First observation of double-peaked plasma line in the ionosphere
      • Results suggest new application of ISR for investigating magnetosphere processes
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      Low-energy ions: A previously hidden solar system particle population

      M. André and C. M. Cully

      Article first published online: 1 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050242

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      Key Points

      • Previously hidden low-energy ions often dominate the magnetosphere
      • Much of the atmospheric escape is due to low-energy ions
      • The new spacecraft wake method can detect low-energy ions
  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
    1. You have free access to this content
      Net carbon accumulation of a high-latitude permafrost palsa mire similar to permafrost-free peatlands

      David Olefeldt, Nigel T Roulet, Onil Bergeron, Patrick Crill, Kristina Bäckstrand and Torben R. Christensen

      Article first published online: 1 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050355

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      Key Points

      • Ecosystem C balance of a palsa mire is similar to non-permafrost peatlands
      • Restricted DOC and CH4 fluxes facilitate C accumulation in palsa mires
      • Projections of high latitude C storage need to account for all C fluxes

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