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Kositsky A.P.,Ashima Research | Avouac J.-P.,California Institute of Technology
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth | Year: 2010

The Global Positioning System (GPS) system now makes it possible to monitor deformation of the Earth's surface along plate boundaries with unprecedented accuracy. In theory, the spatiotemporal evolution of slip on the plate boundary at depth, associated with either seismic or aseismic slip, can be inferred from these measurements through some inversion procedure based on the theory of dislocations in an elastic half-space. We describe and test a principal component analysis-based inversion method (PCAIM), an inversion strategy that relies on principal component analysis of the surface displacement time series. We prove that the fault slip history can be recovered from the inversion of each principal component. Because PCAIM does not require externally imposed temporal filtering, it can deal with any kind of time variation of fault slip. We test the approach by applying the technique to synthetic geodetic time series to show that a complicated slip history combining coseismic, postseismic, and nonstationary interseismic slip can be retrieved from this approach. PCAIM produces slip models comparable to those obtained from standard inversion techniques with less computational complexity. We also compare an afterslip model derived from the PCAIM inversion of postseismic displacements following the 2005 8.6 Nias earthquake with another solution obtained from the extended network inversion filter (ENIF). We introduce several extensions of the algorithm to allow statistically rigorous integration of multiple data sources (e.g., both GPS and interferometric synthetic aperture radar time series) over multiple timescales. PCAIM can be generalized to any linear inversion algorithm. © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Lorenz R.D.,JHU Applied Physics Laboratory | Tokano T.,University of Cologne | Newman C.E.,Ashima Research
Planetary and Space Science | Year: 2012

We use two independent General Circulation Models (GCMs) to estimate surface winds at Titan's Ligeia Mare (78° N, 250° W), motivated by a proposed mission to land a floating capsule in this ∼500 km hydrocarbon sea. The models agree on the overall magnitude (∼0.51 m/s) and seasonal variation (strongest in summer) of windspeeds, but details of seasonal and diurnal variation of windspeed and direction differ somewhat, with the role of surface exchanges being more significant than that of gravitational tides in the atmosphere. We also investigate the tidal dynamics in the sea using a numerical ocean dynamics model: assuming a rigid lithosphere, the tidal amplitude is up to ∼0.8 m. Tidal currents are overall proportional to the reciprocal of depth - with an assumed central depth of 300 m, the characteristic tidal currents are ∼1 cm/s, with notable motions being a slosh between Ligeia's eastern and western lobes, and a clockwise flow pattern. We find that a capsule will drift at approximately one tenth of the windspeed, unless measures are adopted to augment the drag areas above or below the waterline. Thus motion of a floating capsule is dominated by the wind, and is likely to be several km per Earth day, a rate that will be readily measured from Earth by radio navigation methods. In some instances, the wind vector rotates diurnally such that the drift trajectory is epicyclic. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Wang H.,Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | Richardson M.I.,Ashima Research
Icarus | Year: 2013

Mars Daily Global Maps (MDGM) derived from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mars Color Imager (MARCI) are used to study the distribution and evolution of large dust storms over the period from Mars years 24-30 (1999-2001). Large storms are defined here as discrete dust events visible in image sequences extending over at least 5 sols (Mars days) and where the dust covers areas beyond the origination region. A total of 65 large dust storms meeting these criteria are identified during the observational period and all are observed during the Ls = 135-30° seasonal window. Dust storms originating in the northern and southern hemispheres appear to form two distinct families. All but two of the storms originating in the northern hemisphere are observed in two seasonal windows at Ls = 180-240° and Ls = 305-350°; while all but two of those originating in the southern hemisphere are observed during Ls = 135-245°. None of the large dust storms originating in the northern hemisphere are observed to develop to global scale, but some of them develop into large regional storms with peak area >1 × 107 km2 and duration on the order of several weeks. In comparison, large dust storms originating in the southern hemisphere are typically much smaller, except notably in the two cases that expanded to global scale (the 2001 and 2007 global storms). Distinct locations of preferred storm origination emerge from the dust storm image sequences, including Acidalia, Utopia, Arcadia and Hellas. A route (trajectory) 'graph' for the observed sequences is provided. The routes are highly asymmetric between the two hemispheres. In the south, for non-global dust storms, the main routes are primarily oriented eastwest, whereas in the north, the routes are primarily north-south and zonally-concentrated into meridional channels. In a few impressive cases, storms originating in the northern hemisphere are observed to "flush" through Acidalia and Utopia, across the equator, and then branch in the low- and mid-southern latitudes. The origin of the 2007 global dust storm is ambiguous from the imaging data. Immediately prior to the global storm, a dust storm sequence from Chryse is identified. This storm's connection to the explosive expansion observed to start from Noachis/West Hellas is unclear due to image coverage. This paper further identifies and describes three different styles of dust storm development, which we refer to as "consecutive dust storms", "sequential activation" and "merging." The evolution of a given dust storm sequence can exhibit different combinations of these growth styles at different stages of development. Dust storm sequences can overlap in time, which makes them good candidate to grow into larger scale. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Lorenz R.D.,Johns Hopkins University | Newman C.,Ashima Research | Newman C.,California Institute of Technology | Lunine J.I.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Icarus | Year: 2010

Motivated by radar and near-infrared data indicating that Titan's polar lakes are extremely smooth, we consider the conditions under which a lake surface will be ruffled by wind to form capillary waves. We evaluate laboratory data on wind generation and derive, without scaling for surface tension effects, a threshold for pure methane/ethane of ∼0.5-1. m/s. However, we compute the physical properties of predicted Titan lake compositions using the National Institute for Standards Technology (NIST) code and note that dissolved amounts of C3 and C4 compounds are likely to make Titan lakes much more viscous than pure ethane or methane, even without allowing for suspended particulates which would increase the viscosity further. Wind tunnel experiments show a strong dependence of capillary wave growth on liquid viscosity, and this effect may explain the apparent absence so far of waves, contrary to prior expectations that generation of gravity waves by wind should be easy on Titan. On the other hand, we note that winds over Titan lakes predicted with the TitanWRF Global Circulation Model indicate radar observations so far have in any case been when winds have been low (∼0.5-0.7. m/s), possibly below the wave generation threshold, while peak winds during summer may reach 1-2. m/s. Thus observations of Titan's northern lakes during the coming years by the Cassini Solstice mission offer the highest probability of observing wind-roughening of lake surfaces, while observations of Ontario Lacus in the south will likely continue to show it to be flat and smooth. © 2009.

Parmentier V.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Showman A.P.,University of Arizona | Lian Y.,Ashima Research
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. Hot Jupiters exhibit atmospheric temperatures ranging from hundreds to thousands of Kelvin. Because of their large day-night temperature differences, condensable species that are stable in the gas phase on the dayside-such as TiO and silicates-may condense and gravitationally settle on the nightside. Atmospheric circulation may counterbalance this tendency to gravitationally settle. This three-dimensional (3D) mixing of condensable species has not previously been studied for hot Jupiters, yet it is crucial to assess the existence and distribution of TiO and silicates in the atmospheres of these planets. Aims. We investigate the strength of the nightside cold trap in hot Jupiters atmospheres by investigating the mechanisms and strength of the vertical mixing in these stably stratified atmospheres. We apply our model to the particular case of TiO to address the question of whether TiO can exist at low pressure in sufficient abundances to produce stratospheric thermal inversions despite the nightside cold trap. Methods. We modeled the 3D circulation of HD 209458b including passive (i.e. radiatively inactive) tracers that advect with the 3D flow, with a source and sink term on the nightside to represent their condensation into haze particles and their gravitational settling. Results. We show that global advection patterns produce strong vertical mixing that can keep condensable species aloft as long as they are trapped in particles of sizes of a few microns or less on the nightside. We show that vertical mixing results not from small-scale convection but from the large-scale circulation driven by the day-night heating contrast. Although this vertical mixing is not diffusive in any rigorous sense, a comparison of our results with idealized diffusion models allows a rough estimate of the effective vertical eddy diffusivities in these atmospheres. The parametrization K zz=5 × 104/Pbar m2s -1Kzz=5 × 104Pbarm2s-1, valid from ~1 bar to a few μbar, can be used in 1D models of HD 209458b. Moreover, our models exhibit strong spatial and temporal variability in the tracer concentration that could result in observable variations during either transit or secondary eclipse measurements. Finally, we apply our model to the case of TiO in HD 209458b and show that the day-night cold trap would deplete TiO if it condenses into particles bigger than a few microns on the planet's nightside, keeping it from creating the observed stratosphere of the planet. © 2013 ESO.

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