Geophysical Reviews

Syndicate content Reviews of Geophysics
Table of Contents for Reviews of Geophysics. List of articles from both the latest and EarlyView issues.
Updated: 1 day 1 hour ago

Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis at Regional and National Scales: State of the Art and Future Challenges

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 15:31
Abstract

Seismic hazard modeling is a multidisciplinary science that aims to forecast earthquake occurrence and its resultant ground shaking. Such models consist of a probabilistic framework that quantifies uncertainty across a complex system; typically, this includes at least two model components developed from Earth science: seismic source and ground motion models. Although there is no scientific prescription for the forecast length, the most common probabilistic seismic hazard analyses consider forecasting windows of 30 to 50 years, which are typically an engineering demand for building code purposes. These types of analyses are the topic of this review paper. Although the core methods and assumptions of seismic hazard modeling have largely remained unchanged for more than 50 years, we review the most recent initiatives, which face the difficult task of meeting both the increasingly sophisticated demands of society and keeping pace with advances in scientific understanding. A need for more accurate and spatially precise hazard forecasting must be balanced with increased quantification of uncertainty and new challenges such as moving from time‐independent hazard to forecasts that are time dependent and specific to the time period of interest. Meeting these challenges requires the development of science‐driven models, which integrate all information available, the adoption of proper mathematical frameworks to quantify the different types of uncertainties in the hazard model, and the development of a proper testing phase of the model to quantify its consistency and skill. We review the state of the art of the National Seismic Hazard Modeling and how the most innovative approaches try to address future challenges.

Categories:

FOUR THEORIES OF THE MADDEN‐JULIAN OSCILLATION

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 19:00
ABSTRACT

Studies of the Madden‐Julian Oscillation (MJO) have progressed considerably during the past decades in observations, numerical modeling, and theoretical understanding. Many theoretical attempts have been made to identify the most essential processes responsible for the existence of the MJO. Criteria are proposed to separate a hypothesis from a theory (based on the first principles with quantitative and testable assumptions, able to predict quantitatively the fundamental scales and eastward propagation of the MJO). Four MJO theories are selected to be summarized and compared in this article: the skeleton theory, moisture‐mode theory, gravity‐wave theory, and trio‐interaction theory of the MJO. These four MJO theories are distinct from each other in their key assumptions, parameterized processes, and particularly, selection mechanisms for the zonal spatial scale, time scale, and eastward propagation of the MJO. The comparison of the four theories and more recent development in MJO dynamical approaches lead to a realization that theoretical thinking of the MJO is diverse and understanding of MJO dynamics needs to be further advanced.

Categories:

FOUR THEORIES OF THE MADDEN‐JULIAN OSCILLATION

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 11:07
ABSTRACT

Studies of the Madden‐Julian Oscillation (MJO) have progressed considerably during the past decades in observations, numerical modeling, and theoretical understanding. Many theoretical attempts have been made to identify the most essential processes responsible for the existence of the MJO. Criteria are proposed to separate a hypothesis from a theory (based on the first principles with quantitative and testable assumptions, able to predict quantitatively the fundamental scales and eastward propagation of the MJO). Four MJO theories are selected to be summarized and compared in this article: the skeleton theory, moisture‐mode theory, gravity‐wave theory, and trio‐interaction theory of the MJO. These four MJO theories are distinct from each other in their key assumptions, parameterized processes, and particularly, selection mechanisms for the zonal spatial scale, time scale, and eastward propagation of the MJO. The comparison of the four theories and more recent development in MJO dynamical approaches lead to a realization that theoretical thinking of the MJO is diverse and understanding of MJO dynamics needs to be further advanced.

Categories:

Understanding of Contemporary Regional Sea‐level Change and the Implications for the Future

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 09:50
Abstract

Global sea level provides an important indicator of the state of the warming climate, but changes in regional sea level are most relevant for coastal communities around the world. With improvements to the sea‐level observing system, the knowledge of regional sea‐level change has advanced dramatically in recent years. Satellite measurements coupled with in situ observations have allowed for comprehensive study and improved understanding of the diverse set of drivers that lead to variations in sea level in space and time. Despite the advances, gaps in the understanding of contemporary sea‐level change remain, and inhibit the ability to predict how the relevant processes may lead to future change. These gaps arise in part due to the complexity of the linkages between the drivers of sea‐level change. Here, we review the individual processes which lead to sea‐level change, and then describe how they combine and vary regionally. The intent of the paper is to provide an overview of the current state of understanding of the processes that cause regional sea‐level change, and to identify and discuss limitations and uncertainty in our understanding of these processes. Areas where the lack of understanding or gaps in knowledge inhibit the ability to provide the needed information for comprehensive planning efforts are of particular focus. Finally, a goal of this paper is to highlight the role of the expanded sea‐level observation network – particularly as related to satellite observations – in the improved scientific understanding of the contributors to regional sea‐level change.

Categories:

Understanding of Contemporary Regional Sea‐level Change and the Implications for the Future

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 09:50
Abstract

Global sea level provides an important indicator of the state of the warming climate, but changes in regional sea level are most relevant for coastal communities around the world. With improvements to the sea‐level observing system, the knowledge of regional sea‐level change has advanced dramatically in recent years. Satellite measurements coupled with in situ observations have allowed for comprehensive study and improved understanding of the diverse set of drivers that lead to variations in sea level in space and time. Despite the advances, gaps in the understanding of contemporary sea‐level change remain, and inhibit the ability to predict how the relevant processes may lead to future change. These gaps arise in part due to the complexity of the linkages between the drivers of sea‐level change. Here, we review the individual processes which lead to sea‐level change, and then describe how they combine and vary regionally. The intent of the paper is to provide an overview of the current state of understanding of the processes that cause regional sea‐level change, and to identify and discuss limitations and uncertainty in our understanding of these processes. Areas where the lack of understanding or gaps in knowledge inhibit the ability to provide the needed information for comprehensive planning efforts are of particular focus. Finally, a goal of this paper is to highlight the role of the expanded sea‐level observation network – particularly as related to satellite observations – in the improved scientific understanding of the contributors to regional sea‐level change.

Categories:

Issue Information

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 19:00

No abstract is available for this article.

Categories:

Issue Information

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 19:00

No abstract is available for this article.

Categories:

The Structure of Climate Variability Across Scales

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 19:00
Abstract

One of the most intriguing facets of the climate system is that it exhibits variability across all temporal and spatial scales; pronounced examples are temperature and precipitation. The structure of this variability, however, is not arbitrary. Over certain spatial and temporal ranges, it can be described by scaling relationships in the form of power laws in probability density distributions and autocorrelation functions. These scaling relationships can be quantified by scaling exponents which measure how the variability changes across scales and how the intensity changes with frequency of occurrence. Scaling determines the relative magnitudes and persistence of natural climate fluctuations. Here, we review various scaling mechanisms and their relevance for the climate system. We show observational evidence of scaling and discuss the application of scaling properties and methods in trend detection, climate sensitivity analyses, and climate prediction.

Categories:

The Structure of Climate Variability Across Scales

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 19:00
Abstract

One of the most intriguing facets of the climate system is that it exhibits variability across all temporal and spatial scales; pronounced examples are temperature and precipitation. The structure of this variability, however, is not arbitrary. Over certain spatial and temporal ranges, it can be described by scaling relationships in the form of power laws in probability density distributions and autocorrelation functions. These scaling relationships can be quantified by scaling exponents which measure how the variability changes across scales and how the intensity changes with frequency of occurrence. Scaling determines the relative magnitudes and persistence of natural climate fluctuations. Here, we review various scaling mechanisms and their relevance for the climate system. We show observational evidence of scaling and discuss the application of scaling properties and methods in trend detection, climate sensitivity analyses, and climate prediction.

Categories:

Thank You to Our Peer Reviewers for 2019

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Plain Language Summary

On behalf of the authors and readers of Reviews of Geophysics (RoG), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and the broader scientific community, the editors wish to wholeheartedly thank those who reviewed manuscripts for RoG in 2019.

Categories:

Issue Information

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10

No abstract is available for this article.

Categories:

Dry Deposition of Ozone Over Land: Processes, Measurement, and Modeling

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Abstract

Dry deposition of ozone is an important sink of ozone in near‐surface air. When dry deposition occurs through plant stomata, ozone can injure the plant, altering water and carbon cycling and reducing crop yields. Quantifying both stomatal and nonstomatal uptake accurately is relevant for understanding ozone's impact on human health as an air pollutant and on climate as a potent short‐lived greenhouse gas and primary control on the removal of several reactive greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Robust ozone dry deposition estimates require knowledge of the relative importance of individual deposition pathways, but spatiotemporal variability in nonstomatal deposition is poorly understood. Here we integrate understanding of ozone deposition processes by synthesizing research from fields such as atmospheric chemistry, ecology, and meteorology. We critically review methods for measurements and modeling, highlighting the empiricism that underpins modeling and thus the interpretation of observations. Our unprecedented synthesis of knowledge on deposition pathways, particularly soil and leaf cuticles, reveals process understanding not yet included in widely used models. If coordinated with short‐term field intensives, laboratory studies, and mechanistic modeling, measurements from a few long‐term sites would bridge the molecular to ecosystem scales necessary to establish the relative importance of individual deposition pathways and the extent to which they vary in space and time. Our recommended approaches seek to close knowledge gaps that currently limit quantifying the impact of ozone dry deposition on air quality, ecosystems, and climate.

Categories:

Recent Advances and Challenges of Waveform‐Based Seismic Location Methods at Multiple Scales

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Abstract

Source locations provide fundamental information on earthquakes and lay the foundation for seismic monitoring at all scales. Seismic source location as a classical inverse problem has experienced significant methodological progress during the past century. Unlike the conventional traveltime‐based location methods that mainly utilize kinematic information, a new category of waveform‐based methods, including partial waveform stacking, time reverse imaging, wavefront tomography, and full waveform inversion, adapted from migration or stacking techniques in exploration seismology has emerged. Waveform‐based methods have shown promising results in characterizing weak seismic events at multiple scales, especially for abundant microearthquakes induced by hydraulic fracturing in unconventional and geothermal reservoirs or foreshock and aftershock activity potentially preceding tectonic earthquakes. This review presents a comprehensive summary of the current status of waveform‐based location methods, through elaboration of the methodological principles, categorization, and connections, as well as illustration of the applications to natural and induced/triggered seismicity, ranging from laboratory acoustic emission to field hydraulic fracturing‐induced seismicity, regional tectonic, and volcanic earthquakes. Taking into account recent developments in instrumentation and the increasing availability of more powerful computational resources, we highlight recent accomplishments and prevailing challenges of different waveform‐based location methods and what they promise to offer in the near future.

Categories:

Methane Mitigation: Methods to Reduce Emissions, on the Path to the Paris Agreement

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Abstract

The atmospheric methane burden is increasing rapidly, contrary to pathways compatible with the goals of the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement. Urgent action is required to bring methane back to a pathway more in line with the Paris goals. Emission reduction from “tractable” (easier to mitigate) anthropogenic sources such as the fossil fuel industries and landfills is being much facilitated by technical advances in the past decade, which have radically improved our ability to locate, identify, quantify, and reduce emissions. Measures to reduce emissions from “intractable” (harder to mitigate) anthropogenic sources such as agriculture and biomass burning have received less attention and are also becoming more feasible, including removal from elevated‐methane ambient air near to sources. The wider effort to use microbiological and dietary intervention to reduce emissions from cattle (and humans) is not addressed in detail in this essentially geophysical review. Though they cannot replace the need to reach “net‐zero” emissions of CO2, significant reductions in the methane burden will ease the timescales needed to reach required CO2 reduction targets for any particular future temperature limit. There is no single magic bullet, but implementation of a wide array of mitigation and emission reduction strategies could substantially cut the global methane burden, at a cost that is relatively low compared to the parallel and necessary measures to reduce CO2, and thereby reduce the atmospheric methane burden back toward pathways consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Categories:

The Physics of Sediment Transport Initiation, Cessation, and Entrainment Across Aeolian and Fluvial Environments

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Abstract

Predicting the morphodynamics of sedimentary landscapes due to fluvial and aeolian flows requires answering the following questions: Is the flow strong enough to initiate sediment transport, is the flow strong enough to sustain sediment transport once initiated, and how much sediment is transported by the flow in the saturated state (i.e., what is the transport capacity)? In the geomorphological and related literature, the widespread consensus has been that the initiation, cessation, and capacity of fluvial transport, and the initiation of aeolian transport, are controlled by fluid entrainment of bed sediment caused by flow forces overcoming local resisting forces, whereas aeolian transport cessation and capacity are controlled by impact entrainment caused by the impacts of transported particles with the bed. Here the physics of sediment transport initiation, cessation, and capacity is reviewed with emphasis on recent consensus‐challenging developments in sediment transport experiments, two‐phase flow modeling, and the incorporation of granular physics' concepts. Highlighted are the similarities between dense granular flows and sediment transport, such as a superslow granular motion known as creeping (which occurs for arbitrarily weak driving flows) and system‐spanning force networks that resist bed sediment entrainment; the roles of the magnitude and duration of turbulent fluctuation events in fluid entrainment; the traditionally overlooked role of particle‐bed impacts in triggering entrainment events in fluvial transport; and the common physical underpinning of transport thresholds across aeolian and fluvial environments. This sheds a new light on the well‐known Shields diagram, where measurements of fluid entrainment thresholds could actually correspond to entrainment‐independent cessation thresholds.

Categories:

The Tides They Are A‐Changin': A Comprehensive Review of Past and Future Nonastronomical Changes in Tides, Their Driving Mechanisms, and Future Implications

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Abstract

Scientists and engineers have observed for some time that tidal amplitudes at many locations are shifting considerably due to nonastronomical factors. Here we review comprehensively these important changes in tidal properties, many of which remain poorly understood. Over long geological time scales, tectonic processes drive variations in basin size, depth, and shape and hence the resonant properties of ocean basins. On shorter geological time scales, changes in oceanic tidal properties are dominated by variations in water depth. A growing number of studies have identified widespread, sometimes regionally coherent, positive, and negative trends in tidal constituents and levels during the 19th, 20th, and early 21st centuries. Determining the causes is challenging because a tide measured at a coastal gauge integrates the effects of local, regional, and oceanic changes. Here, we highlight six main factors that can cause changes in measured tidal statistics on local scales and a further eight possible regional/global driving mechanisms. Since only a few studies have combined observations and models, or modeled at a temporal/spatial resolution capable of resolving both ultralocal and large‐scale global changes, the individual contributions from local and regional mechanisms remain uncertain. Nonetheless, modeling studies project that sea level rise and climate change will continue to alter tides over the next several centuries, with regionally coherent modes of change caused by alterations to coastal morphology and ice sheet extent. Hence, a better understanding of the causes and consequences of tidal variations is needed to help assess the implications for coastal defense, risk assessment, and ecological change.

Categories:

Sustainable Observations of the AMOC: Methodology and Technology

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Abstract

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a key mechanism of heat, freshwater, and carbon redistribution in the climate system. The precept that the AMOC has changed abruptly in the past, notably during and at the end of the last ice age, and that it is “very likely” to weaken in the coming century due to anthropogenic climate change is a key motivation for sustained observations of the AMOC. This paper reviews the methodology and technology used to observe the AMOC and assesses these ideas and systems for accuracy, shortcomings, potential improvements, and sustainability. We review hydrographic techniques and look at how these traditional techniques can meet modern requirements. Transport mooring arrays (TMAs) provide the “gold standard” for sustained AMOC observing, utilizing dynamic height, current meter, and other instrumentation and techniques to produce continuous observations of the AMOC. We consider the principle of these systems and how they can be sustained and improved into the future. Techniques utilizing indirect measurements, such as satellite altimetry, coupled with in situ measurements, such as the Argo float array, are also discussed. Existing technologies that perhaps have not been fully exploited for estimating AMOC are reviewed and considered for this purpose. Technology is constantly evolving, and we look to the future of technology and how it can be deployed for sustained and expanded AMOC measurements. Finally, all of these methodologies and technologies are considered with a view to a sustained and sustainable future for AMOC observation.

Categories:

Understanding Hail in the Earth System

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Abstract

The processes leading to the development of hail and the distribution of these events worldwide are reviewed. Microphysical and physical characteristics of hail development are described to provide context of the notable gaps in our understanding of what drives hail to grow large, or what determines how it falls to the ground. Distributional characteristics of hail are explored, utilizing both surface observations of hailstones and remotely sensed observational data sets to identify opportunities and needs for new observations. These observational deficiencies contribute to our limited capacity to both forecast hail or its expected size and reduce the effectiveness of using favorable conditions for hail development as a proxy to frequency where observations are unavailable. Given the substantive influences of both climate variability and the changing Earth system on hail, the latest understanding of their contributions to risk are addressed. Applying this understanding of the distribution and physical characteristics of hail, the damage by hail to agriculture and insured property is assessed. Much remains unknown about the processes leading to hail growth and environmental controls on hail occurrence, size, and magnitude, particularly outside of the United States and Europe. A better understanding of the global occurrence of hail is also needed to better anticipate the hazard and associated impacts.

Categories:

Bounding Global Aerosol Radiative Forcing of Climate Change

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Abstract

Aerosols interact with radiation and clouds. Substantial progress made over the past 40 years in observing, understanding, and modeling these processes helped quantify the imbalance in the Earth's radiation budget caused by anthropogenic aerosols, called aerosol radiative forcing, but uncertainties remain large. This review provides a new range of aerosol radiative forcing over the industrial era based on multiple, traceable, and arguable lines of evidence, including modeling approaches, theoretical considerations, and observations. Improved understanding of aerosol absorption and the causes of trends in surface radiative fluxes constrain the forcing from aerosol‐radiation interactions. A robust theoretical foundation and convincing evidence constrain the forcing caused by aerosol‐driven increases in liquid cloud droplet number concentration. However, the influence of anthropogenic aerosols on cloud liquid water content and cloud fraction is less clear, and the influence on mixed‐phase and ice clouds remains poorly constrained. Observed changes in surface temperature and radiative fluxes provide additional constraints. These multiple lines of evidence lead to a 68% confidence interval for the total aerosol effective radiative forcing of ‐1.6 to ‐0.6 W m−2, or ‐2.0 to ‐0.4 W m−2 with a 90% likelihood. Those intervals are of similar width to the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment but shifted toward more negative values. The uncertainty will narrow in the future by continuing to critically combine multiple lines of evidence, especially those addressing industrial‐era changes in aerosol sources and aerosol effects on liquid cloud amount and on ice clouds.

Categories:

Space‐Based Observations for Understanding Changes in the Arctic‐Boreal Zone

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:10
Abstract

Observations taken over the last few decades indicate that dramatic changes are occurring in the Arctic‐Boreal Zone (ABZ), which are having significant impacts on ABZ inhabitants, infrastructure, flora and fauna, and economies. While suitable for detecting overall change, the current capability is inadequate for systematic monitoring and for improving process‐based and large‐scale understanding of the integrated components of the ABZ, which includes the cryosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Such knowledge will lead to improvements in Earth system models, enabling more accurate prediction of future changes and development of informed adaptation and mitigation strategies. In this article, we review the strengths and limitations of current space‐based observational capabilities for several important ABZ components and make recommendations for improving upon these current capabilities. We recommend an interdisciplinary and stepwise approach to develop a comprehensive ABZ Observing Network (ABZ‐ON), beginning with an initial focus on observing networks designed to gain process‐based understanding for individual ABZ components and systems that can then serve as the building blocks for a comprehensive ABZ‐ON.

Categories:

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer