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Bruckl E.,Vienna University of Technology | Hammerl C.,ZAMG Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics
Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences

In his treatise "Die Entstehung der Alpen", Eduard Suess presents a wealth of geological observations and a fascinating concep¬tion of the orogeny of the Alps and mountain chains in general. It is an inspiring task to review the state of the Physics of the Earth at the time when Suess worked on this treatise and to estimate its impact on Suess' work. We find that only seismology, a discipline to which Suess himself contributed a substantial amount of research, supported his geological work and tectonic reasoning to some extent. Since the publication of "Die Entstehung der Alpen", Physics of the Earth has made tremendous progress and geophysical data and models have become of fundamental importance for tectonic theories. We review this evolution as well as modern geophysical data closely related to the orogeny of the Eastern Alps. We consider fundamental observations and findings of Suess and relate them to modern geophysical data on the structure and kinematics of the lithosphere. Issues we wish to highlight are the significant asymmetry and arcuate shape of mountain ranges and in particular the Alpine system. Suess related these observations to absolute movements of crustal blocks. In the case of the Alps, an Adriatic crustal block moves from south toward the axes of the mountain range. For the Himalayas, the direction is opposite and the Asian crust moves from north towards India. Suess' conception is consistent within the frame of the contraction theory, generally accepted at that time. We interpret the moving crustal block sensu Suess as the upper plate of a continent-continent collision. We show that this transformation of Suess' conception to a platetectonic frame is consistent with modern geophysical data and models of the lithosphere and upper mantle. Suess' ideas would require a uniform subduction of European continental lower lithosphere under the Adratic plate to be realizable. Suess points out that the architecture of the Southern Alps does not follow the general scheme of one-sided northward movement. We show that also a modern model of the lithospheric structure and kinematics addresses this observation and needs a minor modification of the general plate tectonic principles, i.e. some north-south oriented compression of the Adriatic plate. Finally we emphasize Suess' considerations regarding the tectonic situation south-east of the Bohemian promontory. Here the axis of the mountain range bends to the northeast and, according to Suess, the moving crustal masses are deflected to the east, thus introducing tension and forming the Vienna Basin. We value this interpretation as an ancestor of the extrusion model. We address the same issue on the basis of the modern geophysical data and present a tectonic model of the lithospheric mantle, which explains extrusion as a plate tectonic process. Source

Hirtl M.,ZAMG Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics | Kruger B.C.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Baumann-Stanzer K.,ZAMG Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics | Skomorowski P.,ZAMG Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics
International Journal of Environment and Pollution

An overview of the main findings of recent sensitivity studies and evaluations of ozone forecasts of the Air Quality model for Austria (AQA) is presented. Before the operational forecasts were started at the ZAMG, studies with different model input were conducted to find the appropriate model set-up. The performance of the chemical mechanisms CB-IV and SAPRC99 is shown for a hot period with numerous exceedances of ozone thresholds in August 2003. The operational model forecasts of ozone concentrations in 2006 and 2007 are evaluated with the observations of 121 air quality stations in Austria. In addition to the evaluation of the operational forecasts, sensitivity studies with different input parameters for the model were conducted. The results of the implementation of the emission model SMOKE for biogenic emissions are shown for a selected period in 2007 and reveal the importance of these emissions in comparison with the anthropogenic contribution. Copyright © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Source

Hirtl M.,ZAMG Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics | Mantovani S.,SISTEMA GmbH | Kruger B.C.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Triebnig G.,EOX IT Services GmbH | And 3 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment

Daily regional scale forecasts of particulate air pollution are simulated for public information and warning. An increasing amount of air pollution measurements is available in real-time from ground stations as well as from satellite observations. In this paper, the Support Vector Regression technique is applied to derive highly-resolved PM10 initial fields for air quality modeling from satellite measurements of the Aerosol Optical Thickness.Additionally, PM10-ground measurements are assimilated using optimum interpolation. The performance of both approaches is shown for a selected PM10 episode. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Schicker I.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Schicker I.,ZAMG Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics | Arnold Arias D.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Arnold Arias D.,Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics | And 2 more authors.
Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

Numerical simulations were carried out with the weather research and forecasting model to study the influence of different land-use datasets for two Austrian regions, the high-alpine Inn Valley area and the hilly Vienna Basin area. The three land-use datasets used were USGS, MODIS and a reclassified European dataset based on the CORINE CLC06 data. Simulations covered an episode in July 2007 applying a resolution of 0.8 km. Results were compared with surface observation data, radiosoundings, and satellite data. It was found that land-use both in the original CLC06 and the version where it had been reclassified to USGS classes for use in WRF was significantly more realistic than the built-in land-use datasets (USGS and MODIS). Synoptic processes during the episode considered were reproduced well by all simulations, where CLC06 and MODIS improved the model performance in both regions in terms of the surface temperatures and other meteorological parameters. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Wien Source

Brugnara Y.,Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research | Brugnara Y.,University of Bern | Auchmann R.,Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research | Auchmann R.,University of Bern | And 32 more authors.
Climate of the Past

The eruption of Mount Tambora (Indonesia) in April 1815 is the largest documented volcanic eruption in history. It is associated with a large global cooling during the following year, felt particularly in parts of Europe and North America, where the year 1816 became known as the "year without a summer". This paper describes an effort made to collect surface meteorological observations from the early instrumental period, with a focus on the years of and immediately following the eruption (1815-1817). Although the collection aimed in particular at pressure observations, correspondent temperature observations were also recovered. Some of the series had already been described in the literature, but a large part of the data, recently digitised from original weather diaries and contemporary magazines and newspapers, is presented here for the first time. The collection puts together more than 50 sub-daily series from land observatories in Europe and North America and from ships in the tropics. The pressure observations have been corrected for temperature and gravity and reduced to mean sea level. Moreover, an additional statistical correction was applied to take into account common error sources in mercury barometers. To assess the reliability of the corrected data set, the variance in the pressure observations is compared with modern climatologies, and single observations are used for synoptic analyses of three case studies in Europe. All raw observations will be made available to the scientific community in the International Surface Pressure Databank. © 2015. CC Attribution 3.0 License. Source

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