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The mobility and bioavailability of Se depend on its redox state, and reduction of Se oxyanions to less mobile, reduced species controls transport of this potentially toxic element in the environment. Stable isotope fractionation of Se is currently being developed as an indicator of Se immobilization through reduction. In this study, Se isotope fractionation resulting from reduction of Se(VI) and Se(IV) oxyanions by natural microbial consortia was measured in sediment slurry experiments under nearly natural conditions, with no substrate added. Experiments were conducted with a wide range of initial Se concentrations and with sediment and water from three locations with contrasting environmental settings. The products...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Chemical Geology
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Population growth and unrestricted development policies are driving low-density urbanization and fragmentation of peri-urban landscapes across North America. While private individuals own most undeveloped land, little is known about how their decision-making processes shape landscape-scale patterns of urbanization over time. We introduce a hybrid agent-based modeling (ABM) – cellular automata (CA) modeling approach, developed for analyzing dynamic feedbacks between landowners’ decisions to sell their land for development, and resulting patterns of landscape fragmentation. Our modeling approach builds on existing conceptual frameworks in land systems modeling by integrating an ABM into an established grid-based land-change...
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The extensive development of oil and natural-gas resources in south Texas during the past 10 years has led to questions regarding possible environmental effects of processes associated with oil and natural-gas production, in particular the process of hydraulic fracturing, on water and other natural resources. Part of the lower San Antonio River watershed intersects an area of oil and natural-gas production from the sedimentary rocks that compose the Eagle Ford Group.The rapid expansion of infrastructure associated with oil and natural-gas production increases potential pathways for inorganic and organic contaminants to enter surface-water systems. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the San Antonio River...
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A combination of overgrazing and exotic species introduction has led to the degradation of habitats worldwide. It is often unclear whether removal of exotic ungulates will lead to the natural reestablishment of native plant communities without further management inputs. I describe here my return to sites on Santa Cruz Island, California, 12 years after initial sampling in order to gain a long-term view on native shrub reestablishment into exotic grasslands after exotic grazer removal. Santa Cruz Island was grazed by feral sheep and cattle for over a century; these exotic grazers were removed in the late 1980s and feral pigs were removed in 2005–2006. I resampled 5 sites on south-facing slopes in the Central Valley...
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The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has discovered bright soil deposits in its wheel tracks that previously have been confirmed to contain ferric sulfates and/or opaline silica. Repeated Pancam multispectral observations have been acquired at four of these deposits to monitor spectral and textural changes over time during exposure to Martian surface conditions. Previous studies suggested that temporal spectral changes occur because of mineralogic changes (e.g., phase transitions accompanying dehydration). In this study, we present a multispectral and temporal analysis of eight Pancam image sequences at the Tyrone exposure, three at the Gertrude Weise exposure, two at the Kit Carson exposure, and ten at the Ulysses...
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An integrated interpretation of field experimental cross-hole radar, tracer, and hydraulic data demonstrates the value of combining time-lapse geophysical monitoring with conventional hydrologic measurements for improved characterization of a fractured-rock aquifer. Time-lapse difference-attenuation radar tomography was conducted during saline tracer experiments at the US Geological Survey Fractured Rock Hydrology Research Site near Mirror Lake, Grafton County, New Hampshire, USA. The presence of electrically conductive saline tracer effectively illuminates permeable fractures or pathways for geophysical imaging. The geophysical results guide the construction of three-dimensional numerical models of ground-water...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Hydrogeology Journal
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The martian polar regions have layered deposits of ice and dust. The stratigraphy of these deposits is exposed within scarps and trough walls and is thought to have formed due to climate variations in the past. Insolation has varied significantly over time and caused dramatic changes in climate, but it has remained unclear whether insolation variations could be linked to the stratigraphic record. We present a model of layer formation based on physical processes that expresses polar deposition rates of ice and dust in terms of insolation. In this model, layer formation is controlled by the insolation record, and dust-rich layers form by two mechanisms: (1) increased summer sublimation during high obliquity, and (2)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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The health consequences of contaminants in the environment, with respect to the health of children and infants, recently have been dramatically brought to public attention by the motion pictures Erin Brockovich and A Civil Action. These productions focused public attention on the potential link between water contaminants and pediatric health, a continuing subject of public concern. As a consequence of the increasing production of new commercial chemicals, many chemicals have appeared in the scientific and public awareness as potential threats to health. These new or novel compounds eventually distribute in the environment and often are termed emerging contaminants. Gitterman and Bearer stated, "Children may serve...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Pediatrics
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Processes, environments, and the energy associated with the transport and deposition of sand at Gusev Crater are characterized at the microscopic scale through the comparison of statistical moments for particle size and shape distributions. Bivariate and factor analyses define distinct textural groups at 51 sites along the traverse completed by the Spirit rover as it crossed the plains and went into the Columbia Hills. Fine-to-medium sand is ubiquitous in ripples and wind drifts. Most distributions show excess fine material, consistent with a predominance of wind erosion over the last 3.8 billion years. Negative skewness at West Valley is explained by the removal of fine sand during active erosion, or alternatively,...
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The loss of coastal marshes is a topic of great concern, because these habitats provide tangible ecosystem services and are at risk from sea-level rise and human activities. In recent years, significant effort has gone into understanding and modeling the relationships between the biological and physical factors that contribute to marsh stability. Simulation-based process models suggest that marsh stability is the product of a complex feedback between sediment supply, flooding regime and vegetation response, resulting in elevation gains sufficient to match the combination of relative sea-level rise and losses from erosion. However, there have been few direct, empirical tests of these models, because long-term datasets...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Documenting the evolving processes associated with habitat restoration and how long it takes to detect avian demographic responses is crucial to evaluate the success of restoration initiatives and to identify ways to improve their effectiveness. The importance of this endeavor prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to evaluate their sun‐to‐shade coffee restoration program in Puerto Rico initiated in 2003. We quantified the responses of 12 resident avian species using estimates of local occupancy and extinction probabilities based on surveys conducted in 2015–2017 at 65 restored farms grouped according to time‐since‐initial‐restoration (TSIR): new (2011–2014),...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Restoration Ecology
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Uranium mill tailings (UMT) are a high volume, low specific activity radioactive waste typically disposed in surface impoundments. This review focuses on research on UMT and related earth materials during the past decade relevant to the assessment of: (1) mineral hosts of radionuclides; (2) the use of soil analogs in predicting long-term fate of radionuclides; (3) microbial and diagenetic processes that may alter radionuclide mobility in the surficial environment; (4) waste-management technologies to limit radionuclide migration; and (5) the impact of UMT on biota.
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Analyses of samples of untreated ground water from 413 community-, non-community- (such as restaurants), and domestic-supply wells throughout the US were used to determine the frequency of detection of halogenated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in drinking-water sources. The VOC data were compiled from archived chromatograms of samples analyzed originally for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by purge-and-trap gas chromatography with an electron-capture detector (GC-ECD). Concentrations of the VOCs could not be ascertained because standards were not routinely analyzed for VOCs other than trichloromonofluoromethane (CFC-11), dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC-12) and 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane (CFC-113). Nevertheless,...
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[1] Management of agricultural soil plays an important role in present and future atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4). Pesticides are used as management tools in crop production, but little is known about their effects on soil‐atmosphere exchange of CO2, N2O, and CH4. Field studies described in this paper determined the effect of two commonly used fungicides, mancozeb and chlorothalonil, on trace gas exchange. Separate experimental plots, 1 m2, were established in nitrogen fertilized no‐tilled native grassland and tilled soils with and without fungicide application. Two studies were conducted. The first study was initiated in June 1999 and...
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Four laboratories involved in the routine analysis of wet-deposition samples participated in an interlaboratory comparison program managed by the U.S. Geological Survey. The four participants were: Illinois State Water Survey central analytical laboratory in Champaign, Illinois; U.S. Geological Survey national water-quality laboratories in Atlanta, Georgia, and Denver, Colorado; and Inland Waters Directorate national water-quality laboratory in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Analyses of interlaboratory samples performed by the four laboratories from October 1983 through December 1984 were compared.Participating laboratories analyzed three types of interlaboratory samples--natural wet deposition, simulated wet deposition,...
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Chemical and isotopic data for groundwater from throughout the Middle Rio Grande Basin, central New Mexico, USA, were used to identify and map groundwater flow from 12 sources of water to the basin, evaluate radiocarbon ages, and refine the conceptual model of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system.Hydrochemical zones, representing groundwater flow over thousands to tens of thousands of years, can be traced over large distances through the primarily siliciclastic aquifer system. The locations of the hydrochemical zones mostly reflect the “modern” predevelopment hydraulic-head distribution, but are inconsistent with a trough in predevelopment water levels in the west-central part of the basin, indicating that this trough...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Hydrogeology Journal
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Experimental data for uranium adsorption on a complex weathered rock were simulated by twelve modelling teams from eight countries using surface complexation (SC) models. This intercomparison was part of an international project to evaluate the present capabilities and limitations of SC models in representing sorption by geologic materials. The models were assessed in terms of their predictive ability, data requirements, number of optimised parameters, ability to simulate diverse chemical conditions and transferability to other substrates. A particular aim was to compare the generalised composite (GC) and component additivity (CA) approaches for modelling sorption by complex substrates. Both types of SC models showed...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Radiochimica Acta
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A variety of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) extraction procedures have been investigated for their applicability to samples from aquatic environments. The cold sulfuric-oxalic acid procedure was best suited to samples consisting of water, periphyton, and sediments. Due to cation and fulvic acid interferences, a spike with a known quantity of ATP was necessary to estimate losses when sediments were extracted. Variable colonization densities for periphyton required that several replicates be extracted to characterize acdurately the periphyton community. Extracted samples were stable at room temperature for one to five hours, depending on the ATP concentration, if the pH was below 2. Neutralized samples which were quick...
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A commercially available electromagnetic flowmeter is attached to a seepage cylinder to create an electromagnetic seepage meter (ESM) for automating measurement of fluxes across the sediment/water interface between ground water and surface water. The ESM is evaluated through its application at two lakes in New England, one where water seeps into the lake and one where water seeps out of the lake. The electromagnetic flowmeter replaces the seepage-meter bag and provides a continuous series of measurements from which temporal seepage processes can be investigated. It provides flow measurements over a range of three orders of magnitude, and contains no protruding components or moving parts. The ESM was used to evaluate...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ground Water
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Regional relations are defined for estimating the depths of floods having recurrence intervals ranging from 2 to 100 years for both natural and urban streams in Oklahoma. Contributing drainage area and the 2-year 24-hour rainfall are the only independent variables required for estimating flood depths for natural streams. For urban streams the percentage of the basin impervious and served by storm sewers is also required. The only limitations are that the stream be unregulated, that the main channels be unimproved, and that the contributing drainage area and the 2-year 24-hour rainfall be in the range of values used to derive the relations. The standard errors of estimate range from 24 percent for the 50- and 100-year...