Quito, Ecuador

The National Polytechnic School , also known as EPN, is a public university located in Quito, Ecuador.EPN is known for research and education in the applied science, astronomy, atmospheric physics, engineering and physical science. The Geophysics Institute monitors over the country`s seismic, tectonic and volcanic activity in the continental territory and in the Galápagos Islands.EPN adopted the polytechnic university model that stresses laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering.One of the oldest observatories in South America is the Quito Astronomical Observatory. Founded in 1873 and located 12 minutes south of the Equator in Quito, Ecuador. The Quito Astronomical Observatory is the National Observatory of Ecuador and is located in the Historic Center of Quito and is managed by the National Polytechnic School. Wikipedia.


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Donoso D.A.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2017

Communities change with time. Studying long-term change in community structure permits deeper understanding of community dynamics, and allows us to forecast community responses to perturbations at local (e.g. fire, secondary succession) and global (e.g. desertification, global warming) spatial scales. Monitoring efforts exploring the temporal dynamics of indicator taxa are therefore a critical part of conservation agendas. Here, the temporal dynamics of the Otongachi leaf litter ant community, occurring in a cloud forest in coastal Ecuador, were explored. By sampling this community six times over eleven years, I assessed how the ant fauna caught by Winkler traps (more diverse and cryptic fauna) and caught by pitfall traps (larger, more mobile fauna) changed over time. The Otongachi leaf litter ant community was dynamic. Although species richness in the community remained constant, temporal turnover of species was high: on average, 51% of the ant species in Winkler traps, and 56% of those in pitfall traps, were replaced with other ant species from one year to the other. Shifts in the rank abundance of species in the community were also large across the eleven years and, on average, shifts in the rank abundance of species collected by Winkler traps doubled those occurring in pitfall traps from one census to the other. In spite of these trends, the Otongachi ant fauna showed no (Winkler) or weak (pitfall) evidence of directional change (towards a new community). Thus, this tropical ant community can be divided in two community compartments. The Winkler compartment composed by a more diverse and cryptic ant fauna appears to be resilient and stable in time. The pitfall compartment composed by larger and more mobile ants may be prone to respond to disturbance. This study suggests that 1) species appearing/disappearing from a site may be rather the rule, difficult to separate from responses to ecological stress. 2) Conclusions made in short-term studies, or studies comparing two (e.g. before and after) snapshots of a community, should thus be revisited. Finally, 3) the ant fauna caught by pitfall traps (a rather simple and cheap survey method) is the most likely community compartment to indicate ecological perturbation. This study adds to the growing evidence that using ants as ecological indicators should incorporate long-term temporal dynamics. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.


Chiaradia M.,University of Geneva | Muntener O.,University of Lausanne | Beate B.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador
Journal of Petrology | Year: 2011

The origin of andesite is an important issue in petrology because andesite is the main eruptive product at convergent margins, corresponds to the average crustal composition and is often associated with major Cu-Au mineralization. In this study we present petrographic, mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic data for basaltic andesites of the latest Pleistocene Pilavo volcano, one of the most frontal volcanoes of the Ecuadorian Quaternary arc, situated upon thick (30-50 km) mafic crust composed of accreted Cretaceous oceanic plateau rocks and overlying mafic to intermediate Late Cretaceous-Late Tertiary magmatic arcs. The Pilavo rocks are basaltic andesites (54-57·5 wt % SiO. 2) with a tholeiitic affinity as opposed to the typical calc-alkaline high-silica andesites and dacites (SiO. 2 59-66 wt %) of other frontal arc volcanoes of Ecuador (e.g. Pichincha, Pululahua). They have much higher incompatible element contents (e.g. Sr 650-1350 ppm, Ba 650-1800 ppm, Zr 100-225 ppm, Th 5-25 ppm, La 15-65 ppm) and Th/La ratios (0·28-0·36) than Pichincha and Pululahua, and more primitive Sr (.87Sr/.86Sr ∼0·7038-0·7039) and Nd (e{open}. Nd ∼ +5·5 to +6·1) isotopic signatures. Pilavo andesites have geochemical affinities with modern and recent high-MgO andesites (e.g. low-silica adakites, Setouchi sanukites) and, especially, with Archean sanukitoids, for both of which incompatible element enrichments are believed to result from interactions of slab melts with peridotitic mantle. Petrographic, mineral chemistry, bulk-rock geochemical and isotopic data indicate that the Pilavo magmatic rocks have evolved through three main stages: (1) generation of a basaltic magma in the mantle wedge region by flux melting induced by slab-derived fluids (aqueous, supercritical or melts); (2) high-pressure differentiation of the basaltic melt (at the mantle-crust boundary or at lower crustal levels) through sustained fractionation of olivine and clinopyroxene, leading to hydrous, high-alumina basaltic andesite melts with a tholeiitic affinity, enriched in incompatible elements and strongly impoverished in Ni and Cr; (3) establishment of one or more mid-crustal magma storage reservoirs in which the magmas evolved through dominant amphibole and clinopyroxene (but no plagioclase) fractionation accompanied by assimilation of the modified plutonic roots of the arc and recharge by incoming batches of more primitive magma from depth. The latter process has resulted in strongly increasing incompatible element concentrations in the Pilavo basaltic andesites, coupled with slightly increasing crustal isotopic signatures and a shift towards a more calc-alkaline affinity. Our data show that, although ultimately originating from the slab, incompatible element abundances in arc andesites with primitive isotopic signatures can be significantly enhanced by intra-crustal processes within a thick juvenile mafic crust, thus providing an additional process for the generation of enriched andesites. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Eychenne J.,CNRS Magmas and Volcanoes Laboratory | Le Pennec J.-L.,CNRS Magmas and Volcanoes Laboratory | Ramon P.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador | Yepes H.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2013

Long-lasting andesitic eruptions sometimes include strong short-lived explosive events, which can pose significant hazards in populated regions. The origin and dynamics of such violent eruptions remain poorly known and may involve a combination of different factors. Tungurahua volcano, Ecuador, reawakens in 1999 and is an example of such an open-vent system that experienced a strong and deadly andesitic pyroclastic flow-forming event in August 2006. Inspection of the deposits suggested that the event could have been triggered by magma mixing (coexistence of both silicic pumices and andesitic scoria in the tephra), magma-water interaction (presence of xenolithic clasts) or deep andesitic magma reinjection (based on mineral chemistry). Here we investigate these options by performing a high-resolution mass budget analysis of the scoria fall deposit. This is achieved by analysing componentry compositions and their mass distribution pattern in the layer, which allow us to document and integrate exponential and power laws mass decay rates over wide areas. The results yield a total mass for the tephra layer of ~2×1010kg. The pumice mass fraction is far too small (<0.4%) to account for the high explosivity of the 2006 event. Similarly, the xenoclastic mass fraction is unexpectedly small (0.2%) and suggests limited magma-water interaction. Instead, we interpret these xenoclasts as a result of upper conduit erosion at a rate of ~30cm/h during the paroxysm. Altogether our results support an explosive event fed by a deep gas-rich andesitic reinjection, which would have incorporated a pocket of older differentiated magma and eroded the upper conduit during the sub-plinian event. The high-resolution mass-based approach reveals useful to decipher the origin of the violent 2006 paroxysm and has potential to improve magnitude determinations of ancient eruption by considering componentry mass instead of volume. It is also applicable for monitoring purposes in the context of ongoing crises at andesitic volcanoes worldwide. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Font Y.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Segovia M.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador | Vaca S.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador | Theunissen T.,Montpellier University
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2013

To improve earthquake location, we create a 3-D a priori P-wave velocity model (3-DVM) that approximates the large velocity variations of the Ecuadorian subduction system. The 3-DVM is constructed from the integration of geophysical and geological data that depend on the structural geometry and velocity properties of the crust and the upper mantle. In addition, specific station selection is carried out to compensate for the high station density on the Andean Chain. 3-D synthetic experiments are then designed to evaluate the network capacity to recover the event position using only P arrivals and the MAXI technique. Three synthetic earthquake location experiments are proposed: (1) noise-free and (2) noisy arrivals used in the 3-DVM, and (3) noise-free arrivals used in a 1-DVM. Synthetic results indicate that, under the best conditions (exact arrival data set and 3-DVM), the spatiotemporal configuration of the Ecuadorian network can accurately locate 70 per cent of events in the frontal part of the subduction zone (average azimuthal gap is 289° ± 44°). Noisy P arrivals (up to ± 0.3 s) can accurately located 50 per cent of earthquakes. Processing earthquake location within a 1-DVM almost never allows accurate hypocentre position for offshore earthquakes (15 per cent), which highlights the role of using a 3-DVM in subduction zone. For the application to real data, the seismicity distribution from the 3-D-MAXI catalogue is also compared to the determinations obtained in a 1-D-layered VM. In addition to good-quality location uncertainties, the clustering and the depth distribution confirm the 3-D-MAXI catalogue reliability. The pattern of the seismicity distribution (a 13 yr record during the inter-seismic period of the seismic cycle) is compared to the pattern of rupture zone and asperity of the MW = 7.9 1942 and the MW = 7.7 1958 events (the MW = 8.8 1906 asperity patch is not defined). We observe that the nucleation of 1942, 1958 and 1906 events coincides with areas of positive Simple Bouguer anomalies and areas where marine terraces are still preserved on the coastal morphology. From north to south: (1) the 1958 rupture zone is almost aseismic and is attributed to a zone of high coupling; (2) south of the Galera alignment (perpendicular to the trench), the 1942 rupture zone presents moderate seismicity, deeper on the seismogenic interplate zone, and abutting on the Jama cluster (to the south). This cluster is facing the Cabo Pasado cap and positive Bouguer anomalies on the overriding margin.We suspect that this cluster reflects a zone of local asperity (partial coupling). South of the Jama cluster, the spherical aseismic zone in the Bahia area is interpreted as having a low seismic coupling (steady creep motion or slow slip events). We suspect that the site that generated the three M > 7 events (1896, 1956 and 1998) correspond to a small patch of strong coupling. To the south, in the Manta-Puerto Lopez zone, the seismicity is mainly organized in earthquake swarms (1998, 2002, 2005). Although slow slip events have been observed in the area (Vallée et al. submitted), we infer from the coastline shape, the marine terraces and the high positive Bouguer anomalies that the seismicity here might reveal a significant amount of seismic coupling. © The Authors 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society.


Lyons J.J.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador | Waite G.P.,Michigan Technological University | Ichihara M.,University of Tokyo | Lees J.M.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2012

Ground tilt is measured from broadband seismic records prior to frequent explosions at Fuego volcano, Guatemala. We are able to resolve tilt beginning 20-30 minutes prior to explosions, followed by a rapid reversal in deformation coincident with explosion onsets. The tilt amplitude and polarity recorded on the horizontal channels vary from station to station such that the steep and unusual topography of the upper cone of Fuego appears to affect the ultra-long-period signals. We account for the effect of topography and attempt to constrain the tilt source depth and geometry through finite-difference modeling. The results indicate a shallow spherical pressure source, and that topography must be considered when attempting to model tilt sources at volcanoes with steep topography. The tilt signals are interpreted as pressurization of the shallow conduit beneath a crystallized plug followed by elastic deflation concurrent with explosive pressure release. © 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.


Torres L.M.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador | Wagler A.K.,CNRS Laboratory of Informatics, Modeling and Optimization of Systems
RAIRO - Operations Research | Year: 2013

To model the dynamics of discrete deterministic systems, we extend the Petri nets framework by a priority relation between conflicting transitions, which is encoded by orienting the edges of a transition conflict graph. The aim of this paper is to gain some insight into the structure of this conflict graph and to characterize a class of suitable orientations by an analysis in the context of hypergraph theory. © EDP Sciences, ROADEF, SMAI 2013.


Kim K.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Lees J.M.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Ruiz M.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2012

Volcanic explosions are accompanied by strong acoustic pressure disturbances in the atmosphere. With a proper source model, these acoustic signals provide invaluable information about volcanic explosion dynamics. Far-field solutions to volcanic infrasound radiation have been derived above a rigid half-space boundary, and a simple inversion method was developed based on the half-space model. Acoustic monopole and dipole sources were estimated simultaneously from infrasound waveforms. Stability of the inversion procedure was assessed in terms of variances of source parameters, and the procedure was reliable with at least three stations around the infrasound source. Application of this method to infrasound observations recorded at Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador successfully produced a reasonable range of source parameters with acceptable variances. Observed strong directivity of infrasound radiation from explosions at Tungurahua are successfully explained by the directivity of a dipole source model. The resultant dipole axis, in turn, shows good agreement with the opening direction of the vent at Tungurahua, which is considered to be the origin of the dipole source. The method is general and can be utilized to study any monopole, dipole or combined sources generated by explosions. © 2012 The Authors Geophysical Journal International © 2012 RAS.


Rodriguez L.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador | Cardenas-Garcia J.F.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador | Vera C.C.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador
Optics Letters | Year: 2014

A frequency-resolved thermal lensing (TL) approach to measure thermal diffusivity properties of both diluted liquid solutions and silver nanoparticle colloidal suspensions is demonstrated. The experiment is based on a classical twocolor pump-probe TL configuration, which is adapted to measure the induced TL signal as a function of the chopping frequency of the pump beam. Because of the thermal diffusivity lengths in the samples, the TL signal decreases exponentially with the increment of the frequency. The exponential decay factor can be associated with the thermal diffusivity of the medium. Measurements are performed on diluted liquid solutions and silver nanoparticles suspended in a PVP solution. A suitable fitting to a theoretical model based on the Fresnel diffraction approximation of the experimental data is obtained. This work demonstrates the feasibility of using this approach for the thermal characterization of nanoparticles in liquid solutions. Thermal diffusivity as low as 0.094 × 10-7 m2 s-1 can be estimated by using this approach. © 2014 Optical Society of America.


Torres L.M.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador | Wagler A.K.,University Blaise Pascal
Mathematical Methods of Operations Research | Year: 2011

We present a model for the dynamics of discrete deterministic systems, based on an extension of the Petri nets framework. Our model relies on the definition of a priority relation between conflicting transitions, which is encoded by orienting the edges of a transition conflict graph. We provide a characterization in terms of a local consistency condition of those deterministic systems whose dynamic behavior can be encoded using our approach. Finally, we consider the problem of recognizing when an orientation of the transition conflict graph is valid for encoding the dynamic behavior of a system. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Cortez F.,National Polytechnic School of Ecuador
Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences | Year: 2016

In this paper, we consider the b-family of equations on the torus ut-utxx+(b + 1)uux=buxuxx+uuxxx, which for appropriate values of b reduces to well-known models, such as the Camassa-Holm equation or the Degasperis-Procesi equation. We establish a local-in-space blow-up criterion. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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