Recent Submissions

  • Journal Article

    Sterol preservation in hypersaline microbial mats 

    Shen, Yan; Thiel, Volker; Suarez-Gonzalez, Pablo; Rampen, Sebastiaan W.; Reitner, Joachim
    Biogeosciences 2020; 17(3) p.649-666
    Microbial mats are self-sustaining benthic ecosystems composed of highly diverse microbial communities. It has been proposed that microbial mats were widespread in Proterozoic marine environments, prior to the emergence of bioturbating organisms at the Precambrian–Cambrian transition. One characteristic feature of Precambrian biomarker records is that steranes are typically absent or occur in very low concentrations. This has been explained by low eukaryotic source inputs, or degradation of primary produced sterols in benthic microbial mats (“mat-seal effect”). To better understand the preservational pathways of sterols in microbial mats, we analyzed freely extractable and carbonate-bound lipid fractions as well as decalcified extraction residues in different layers of a recent calcifying mat (∼1500 years) from the hypersaline Lake 2 on the island of Kiritimati, central Pacific. A variety of C27–C29 sterols and distinctive C31 4α-methylsterols (4α-methylgorgosterol and 4α-methylgorgostanol, biomarkers for dinoflagellates) were detected in freely extractable and carbonate-bound lipid pools. These sterols most likely originated from organisms living in the water column and the upper mat layers. This autochthonous biomass experienced progressive microbial transformation and degradation in the microbial mat, as reflected by a significant drop in total sterol concentrations, up to 98 %, in the deeper layers, and a concomitant decrease in total organic carbon. Carbonate-bound sterols were generally low in abundance compared to the freely extractable portion, suggesting that incorporation into the mineral matrix does not play a major role in the preservation of eukaryotic sterols in this mat. Likewise, pyrolysis of extraction residues suggested that sequestration of steroid carbon skeletons into insoluble organic matter was low compared to hopanoids. Taken together, our findings argue for a major mat-seal effect affecting the distribution and preservation of steroids in the mat studied. This result markedly differs from recent findings made for another microbial mat growing in the nearby hypersaline Lake 22 on the same island, where sterols showed no systematic decrease with depth. The observed discrepancies in the taphonomic pathways of sterols in microbial mats from Kiritimati may be linked to multiple biotic and abiotic factors including salinity and periods of subaerial exposure, implying that caution has to be exercised in the interpretation of sterol distributions in modern and ancient microbial mat settings.
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  • Journal Article

    FXD-CSD-GUI : a graphical user interface for the X-ray-diffraction-based determination of crystallite size distributions 

    Neher, Sigmund H.; Klein, Helmut; Kuhs, Werner F.
    Journal of Applied Crystallography 2019; 52(6) p.1437-1439
    Bragg intensities can be used to analyse crystal size distributions in a method called FXD-CSD, which is based on the fast measurement of many Bragg spots using two-dimensional detectors. This work presents the Python-based software and its graphical user interface FXD-CSD-GUI. The GUI enables user-friendly data handling and processing and provides both graphical and numerical crystal size distribution results.
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  • Journal Article

    Two new ant species (Formicidae: Dorylinae, Ponerinae) from New Caledonia 

    Ramage, Thibault; Jouault, Corentin; Schmidt, Alexander R.; Seyfullah, Leyla J.; Perrichot, Vincent
    European Journal of Taxonomy(589) p.1-14
    Two new species of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected from New Caledonia are described and figured based on worker specimens: Leptogenys loarelae Ramage sp. nov. (Ponerinae, Ponerini) and Lioponera neocaledonica Jouault, Ramage & Perrichot sp. nov. (Dorylinae, Cerapachyini). All specimens were collected from the South Province of Grande Terre. These two new species are primarily distinguished from the other New Caledonian relatives by the size and shape of petiole for L. loarelae Ramage sp. nov. and by the presence of dorsolateral margins on the mesosoma for L. neocaledonica Jouault, Ramage & Perrichot sp. nov. Keys to New Caledonian Leptogenys and Lioponera are provided.
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  • Journal Article

    A numerical sensitivity study of how permeability, porosity, geological structure, and hydraulic gradient control the lifetime of a geothermal reservoir 

    Bauer, Johanna F.; Krumbholz, Michael; Luijendijk, Elco; Tanner, David C.
    Solid Earth 2019; 10(6) p.2115-2135
    Geothermal energy is an important and sustainable resource that has more potential than is currently utilized. Whether or not a deep geothermal resource can be exploited, mostly depends on, besides temperature, the utilizable reservoir volume over time, which in turn largely depends on petrophysical parameters. We show, using over 1000 (n=1027) 4-D finite-element models of a simple geothermal doublet, that the lifetime of a reservoir is a complex function of its geological parameters, their heterogeneity, and the background hydraulic gradient (BHG). In our models, we test the effects of porosity, permeability, and BHG in an isotropic medium. Furthermore, we simulate the effect of permeability contrast and anisotropy induced by layering, fractures, and a fault. We quantify the lifetime of the reservoir by measuring the time to thermal breakthrough, i.e. how many years pass before the temperature of the produced fluid falls below the 100 ∘C threshold. The results of our sensitivity study attest to the positive effect of high porosity; however, high permeability and BHG can combine to outperform the former. Particular configurations of all the parameters can cause either early thermal breakthrough or extreme longevity of the reservoir. For example, the presence of high-permeability fractures, e.g. in a fault damage zone, can provide initially high yields, but it channels fluid flow and therefore dramatically restricts the exploitable reservoir volume. We demonstrate that the magnitude and orientation of the BHG, provided permeability is sufficiently high, are the prime parameters that affect the lifetime of a reservoir. Our numerical experiments show also that BHGs (low and high) can be outperformed by comparatively small variations in permeability contrast (103) and fracture-induced permeability anisotropy (101) that thus strongly affect the performance of geothermal reservoirs.
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  • Journal Article

    Characterizing a Newly Designed Steel-Wool-Based Household Filter for Safe Drinking Water Provision: Hydraulic Conductivity and Efficiency for Pathogen Removal 

    Tepong-Tsindé, Raoul; Ndé-Tchoupé, Arnaud Igor; Noubactep, Chicgoua; Nassi, Achille; Ruppert, Hans
    Processes 2019; 7(12): Art. 966
    This study characterizes the decrease of the hydraulic conductivity (permeability loss) of a metallic iron-based household water filter (Fe0 filter) for a duration of 12 months. A commercial steel wool (SW) is used as Fe0 source. The Fe0 unit containing 300 g of SW was sandwiched between two conventional biological sand filters (BSFs). The working solution was slightly turbid natural well water polluted with pathogens (total coliform = 1950 UFC mL−1) and contaminated with nitrate ([NO3−] = 24.0 mg L−1). The system was monitored twice per month for pH value, removal of nitrate, coliforms, and turbidity, the iron concentration, as well as the permeability loss. Results revealed a quantitative removal of coliform (>99%), nitrate (>99%) and turbidity (>96%). The whole column effluent depicted drinking water quality. The permeability loss after one year of operation was about 40%, and the filter was still producing 200 L of drinking water per day at a flow velocity of 12.5 L h−1. A progressive increase of the effluent pH value was also recorded from about 5.0 (influent) to 8.4 at the end of the experiment. The effluent iron concentration was constantly lower than 0.2 mg L−1, which is within the drinking-water quality standards. This study presents an affordable design that can be one-to-one translated into the real world to accelerate the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals for safe drinking water.
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  • Journal Article

    Intertwined effects of climate and land use change on environmental dynamics and carbon accumulation in a mangrove‐fringed coastal lagoon in Java, Indonesia 

    Hapsari, K. Anggi; Jennerjahn, Tim C.; Lukas, Martin C.; Karius, Volker; Behling, Hermann
    Global Change Biology
    The identification and quantification of natural carbon (C) sinks is critical to global climate change mitigation efforts. Tropical coastal wetlands are considered important in this context, yet knowledge of their dynamics and quantitative data are still scarce. In order to quantify the C accumulation rate and understand how it is influenced by land use and climate change, a palaeoecological study was conducted in the mangrove-fringed Segara Anakan Lagoon (SAL) in Java, Indonesia. A sediment core was age-dated and analyzed for its pollen and spore, elemental and biogeochemical compositions. The results indicate that environmental dynamics in the SAL and its C accumulation over the past 400 years were controlled mainly by climate oscillations and anthropogenic activities. The interaction of these two factors changed the lagoon's sediment supply and salinity, which consequently altered the organic matter composition and deposition in the lagoon. Four phases with varying climates were identified. While autochthonous mangrove C was a significant contributor to carbon accumulation in SAL sediments throughout all four phases, varying admixtures of terrestrial C from the hinterland also contributed, with natural mixed forest C predominating in the early phases and agriculture soil C predominating in the later phases. In this context, climate-related precipitation changes are an overarching control, as surface water transport through rivers serves as the "delivery agent" for the outcomes of the anthropogenic impact in the catchment area into the lagoon. Amongst mangrove-dominated ecosystems globally, the SAL is one of the most effective C sinks due to high mangrove carbon input in combination with a high allochthonous carbon input from anthropogenically enhanced sediment from the hinterland and increased preservation. Given the substantial C sequestration capacity of the SAL and other mangrove-fringed coastal lagoons, conservation and restoration of these ecosystems is vitally important for climate change mitigation.
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  • Journal Article

    First evidence of terrestrial ambrein formation in human adipocere 

    von der Lühe, Barbara; Mayes, Robert W.; Thiel, Volker; Dawson, Lorna A.; Graw, Matthias; Rowland, Steven J.; Fiedler, Sabine
    Scientific Reports 2019; 9(1): Art. 18370
    To date, the only known occurrence of ambrein, an important perfumery organic molecule, is in coproliths found in about one in a hundred sperm whales. Jetsam ambergris coproliths from the whale are also found occasionally on beaches worldwide. Here we report on the surprising occurrence of ambrein in human adipocere. Adipocere is a waxy substance formed post-mortem during incomplete anaerobic decomposition of soft tissues. Adipocere samples obtained from grave exhumations were analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In addition to the typical fatty acids of adipocere, lesser amounts of ambrein were identified in the samples, in abundances similar to those of the major accompanying faecal steroids. The distribution of these compounds suggests that ambrein was produced post-mortem during the microbial decomposition of faecal residues and tissues. It is assumed that the adipocere matrix of saturated fatty acidsaided the preservation of ambrein over extended periods of time, because adipocere is stable against degradation. The association of ambrein formation in ageing faecal material, under moist, oxygen-depleted conditions, now requires more attention in studies of other mammalian and geological samples. Indeed, ambrein and its transformation products may be useful novel chemical indicators of aged faecal matter and decomposed bodies.
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  • Journal Article

    The Renchen L5-6 chondrite breccia – The first confirmed meteorite fall from Baden-Württemberg (Germany) 

    Bischoff, Addi; Barrat, Jean-Alix; Berndt, Jasper; Borovicka, Jiri; Burkhardt, Christoph; Busemann, Henner; Hakenmüller, Janina; Heinlein, Dieter; Hertzog, Jasmine; Kaiser, Jozef; et al.
    Maden, ColinMeier, Matthias M.M.Morino, PrécilliaPack, AndreasPatzek, MarkusReitze, Maximilian P.Rüfenacht, MiriamSchmitt-Kopplin, PhilippeSchönbächler, MariaSpurný, PavelWeber, IrisWimmer, KarlZikmund, Tomas
    Geochemistry 2019; 79(4): Art. 125525
    On July 10, 2018 at 21:29 UT extended areas of South-Western Germany were illuminated by a very bright bolide. This fireball was recorded by instruments of the European Fireball Network (EN). The records enabled complex and precise description of this event including the prediction of the impact area. So far six meteorites totaling about 1.23 kg have been found in the predicted location for a given mass during dedicated searches. The first piece of about 12 g was recovered on July 24 close to the village of Renchen (Baden-Württemberg) followed by the largest fragment of 955 g on July 31 about five km north-west of Renchen. Renchen is a moderately-shocked (S4) breccia consisting of abundant highly recrystallized rock fragments as well as impact melt rock clasts. The texture, the large grain size of plagioclase, and the homogeneous compositions of olivine (∼Fa26) and pyroxene (∼Fs22) clearly indicate that Renchen is composed of metamorphosed rock fragments (L5–6). An L-group (and ordinary chondrite) heritage is consistent with the data on the model abundance of metal, the density, the magnetic susceptibility as well as on O-, Ti-, and Cr-isotope characteristics. Renchen does not contain solar wind implanted noble gases and is a fragmental breccia. An unusually large mm-sized merrillite-apatite aggregate shows trace element characteristics like other phosphates from ordinary chondrites. Data on the bulk chemistry, IR-spectroscopy, cosmogenic nuclides, and organic components also indicate similarities to other metamorphosed L chondrites. Noble gas studies reveal that the meteorite has a cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age of 42 Ma and that most of the cosmogenic gases were produced in a meteoroid with a radius of at max. 20 cm based on the radionuclide 26Al and 10–150 cm based on cosmogenic 22Ne/21Ne. K-Ar and U/Th-He gas retention ages are both in the range ∼3.0–3.2 Ga. Both systems do not show evidence for a complete reset 470 Ma ago, and may instead have recorded the same resetting event 3.0 Ga ago.
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  • Journal Article

    A light, chondritic xenolith in the Murchison (CM) chondrite – Formation by fluid-assisted percolation during metasomatism? 

    Kerraouch, Imene; Ebert, Samuel; Patzek, Markus; Bischoff, Addi; Zolensky, Michael E.; Pack, Andreas; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Belhai, Djelloul; Bendaoud, Abderrahmane; Le, Loan
    Geochemistry 2019; 79(4): Art. 125518
    The main mineralogical characteristics of a large light-colored clast within the Murchison CM breccia are discussed in detail including data on the mineralogy, bulk chemistry, organics, and oxygen isotopes. Petrographic study shows that the white clast consists of two areas with different granoblastic textures: (1) a coarse-grained (average grain size: ∼200 μm) and (2) a fine-grained lithology (average grain-size: ∼20 μm). The Fa-content of olivine in the clast is the same as Fa within olivine from Rumuruti (R) chondrites (Fa: ∼38 mol%); however, the concentrations of the elements Ni and Ca in olivine are significantly different. The fragment also contains Ca-rich pyroxene, ∼An30-38-plagioclase/maskelynite, Cr-rich spinel, several sulfide phases, a nepheline-normative glass, and traces of merrillite and metal. The occurrence of maskelynite and nepheline-normative amorphous phase in restricted areas of the well-recrystallized rock may indicate remarkable P-T-excursions during shock metamorphism. The O-isotope composition of the clast falls below the terrestrial fractionation line (TFL), lying in the field of CM chondrites and is significantly different from data for bulk R chondrites. The study of the soluble organic matter revealed a highly-oxidized carbon chemistry and organomagnesium compounds reflecting high temperature and pressure processes.
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  • Journal Article

    Morphological stasis in the first myxomycete from the Mesozoic, and the likely role of cryptobiosis 

    Rikkinen, Jouko; Grimaldi, David A.; Schmidt, Alexander R.
    Scientific Reports 2019; 9(1): Art. 19730
    Myxomycetes constitute a group within the Amoebozoa well known for their motile plasmodia and morphologically complex fruiting bodies. One obstacle hindering studies of myxomycete evolution is that their fossils are exceedingly rare, so evolutionary analyses of this supposedly ancient lineage of amoebozoans are restricted to extant taxa. Molecular data have significantly advanced myxomycete systematics, but the evolutionary history of individual lineages and their ecological adaptations remain unknown. Here, we report exquisitely preserved myxomycete sporocarps in amber from Myanmar, ca. 100 million years old, one of the few fossil myxomycetes, and the only definitive Mesozoic one. Six densely-arranged stalked sporocarps were engulfed in tree resin while young, with almost the entire spore mass still inside the sporotheca. All morphological features are indistinguishable from those of the modern, cosmopolitan genus Stemonitis, demonstrating that sporocarp morphology has been static since at least the mid-Cretaceous. The ability of myxomycetes to develop into dormant stages, which can last years, may account for the phenotypic stasis between living Stemonitis species and this fossil one, similar to the situation found in other organisms that have cryptobiosis. We also interpret Stemonitis morphological stasis as evidence of strong environmental selection favouring the maintenance of adaptations that promote wind dispersal.
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  • Journal Article

    Composition, Diversity and Functional Analysis of the Modern Microbiome of the Middle Triassic Cava Superiore Beds (Monte San Giorgio, Switzerland) 

    Arif, Sania; Reitner, Joachim; Hoppert, Michael
    Scientific Reports 2019; 9(1): Art. 20394
    Organic-rich laminated shales and limestones from the Monte San Giorgio (Lugano Prealps, Switzerland) are known as famous fossil lagerstätten for excellently preserved fossils from the Middle Triassic Period. The various bituminous shales from Monte San Giorgio are thermally immature and rich in diverse organic compounds, which provide unique substrates for active soil microbial communities. We selected the Cava superior beds of the Acqua del Ghiffo site for this study. To investigate its microbial structure and diversity, contig assembly, Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) clustering, and rarefaction analysis were performed for bacterial 16S rDNA preparations from bituminous and non-bituminous limestone strata with the MetaAmp pipeline. Principal coordinates analysis shows that the microbial communities from the bituminous strata differ significantly from limestone samples (P < 0.05 Unifrac weighted). Moreover, metagenomic tools could also be used effectively to analyze the microbial communities shift during enrichment in specific growth media. In the nutrient-rich media, one or few taxa, mainly Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, were enriched which led to the drastic diversity loss while oligotrophic media could enrich many taxa simultaneously and sustain the richness and diversity of the inoculum. Piphillin, METAGENassist and MicrobiomeAnalyst pipeline also predicted that the Monte San Giorgio bituminous shales and oligotrophic enriched microbiomes degrade complex polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
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  • Journal Article

    Sensitivity of Bistatic TanDEM-X Data to Stand Structural Parameters in Temperate Forests 

    Erasmi, Stefan; Semmler, Malte; Schall, Peter; Schlund, Michael
    Remote Sensing 2019; 11(24): Art. 2966
    Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite data provide a valuable means for the large-scale and long-term monitoring of structural components of forest stands. The potential of TanDEM-X interferometric SAR (InSAR) for the assessment of forest structural properties has been widely verified. However, present studies are mostly restricted to homogeneous forests and do not account for stratification in assessing model performance. A systematic sensitivity analysis of the TanDEM-X SAR signal to forest structural parameters was carried out with emphasis on different strata of forest stands (location of the study site, forest type, and development stage). Forest structure was parameterized by forest height metrics and stem volume. Results show that X-band volume coherence is highly sensitive to the forest canopy. Volume scattering within the canopy is dependent on the vertical heterogeneity of the forest stand. In general, TanDEM-X coherence is more sensitive to forest vertical structure compared to backscatter. The relations between TanDEM-X volume coherence and forest structural properties were significant at the level of a single test site as well as across sites in temperate forests in Germany. Forest type does not affect the overall relationship between the SAR signal and the forests’ vertical structure. The prediction of forest structural parameters based on the outcome of the sensitivity analysis yielded model accuracies between 15% (relative root mean square error) for Lorey’s height and 32% for stem volume. The global database of single-polarized bistatic TanDEM-X data provides an important source for mapping structural parameters in temperate forests at large scale, irrespective of forest type.
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  • Journal Article

    Nonvolcanic Carbon Dioxide Emission at Continental Rifts: The Bublak Mofette Area, Western Eger Rift, Czech Republic 

    Kämpf, Horst; Broge, Alena Sophie; Marzban, Pouria; Allahbakhshi, Masoud; Nickschick, Tobias
    Geofluids 2019; 2019 p.1-19: Art. 4852706
    This study presents the results of gas flux measurements of cold, mantle-derived CO2 release at the Bublák mofette field (BMF), located inside of the N-S directed Počátky Plesná fault zone (PPFZ). The PPFZ is presently seismically active, located in the eastern part of the Cheb Basin, western Eger Rift, Central Europe. The goal of the work was to identify the linkage between tectonics and gas flux. The investigated area has a size of 0,43 km2 in which 1.115 locations have been measured. Besides classical soil CO2 gas flux measurements using the closed chamber method (West Systems), drone-based orthophotos were used in combination with knowledge of plant zonation to find zones of high degassing in the agriculturally unused part of the BMF. The highest observed soil CO2 gas flux is 177.926,17 g m-2 d-1, and the lowest is 0,28 g m-2 d-1. Three statistical methods were used for the calculation of the gas flux: arithmetic mean, kriging, and trans-Gaussian kriging. The average CO2 soil degassing of the BMF is 30 t d-1 for an area of 0,43 km2. Since the CO2 soil degassing of the Hartoušov mofette field (HMF) amounts to 23 t d-1 for an area of 0,35 km2, the average dry degassing values of the BMF and HMF are in the same magnitude of order. The amount of CO2 flux from wet mofettes is 3 t d-1 for the BMF and 0,6 t d-1 for the HMF. It was found that the degassing in the BMF and HMF is not in accordance with the pull-apart basin interpretation, based on the direction of degassing as well as topography and sediment fill of the suggested basins. En-echelon faults inside of the PPFZ act as fluid channels to depth (CO2 conduits). These structures inside the PPFZ show beginning faulting and act as tectonic control of CO2 degassing.
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  • Journal Article

    The Preparation and Preliminary Characterisation of Three Synthetic Andesite Reference Glass Materials (ARM‐1, ARM‐2, ARM‐3) for In Situ Microanalysis 

    Wu, Shitou; Wörner, Gerhard; Jochum, Klaus Peter; Stoll, Brigitte; Simon, Klaus; Kronz, Andreas
    Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 2019; 43(4) p.567-584
    Three synthetic reference glasses were prepared by directly fusing and stirring 3.8 kg of high-purity oxide powders to provide reference materials for microanalytical work. These glasses have andesitic major compositions and are doped with fifty-four trace elements in nearly identical abundance (500, 50, 5 µg g-1) using oxide powders or element solutions, and are named ARM-1, 2 and 3, respectively. We further document that sector-field (SF) ICP-MS (Element 2 or Element XR) is capable of sweeping seventy-seven isotopes (from 7Li to 238U, a total of sixty-eight elements) in 1 s and, thus, is able to quantify up to sixty-eight elements by laser sampling. Micro- and bulk analyses indicate that the glasses are homogeneous with respect to major and trace elements. This paper provides preliminary data for the ARM glasses using a variety of analytical techniques (EPMA, XRF, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, LA-Q-ICP-MS and LA-SF-ICP-MS) performed in ten laboratories. Discrepancies in the data of V, Cr, Ni and Tl exist, mainly caused by analytical limitations. Preliminary reference and information values for fifty-six elements were calculated with uncertainties [2 relative standard error (RSE)] estimated in the range of 1–20%.
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  • Journal Article

    OH defect contents in quartz in a granitic system at 1–5 kbar 

    Potrafke, Alexander; Stalder, Roland; Schmidt, Burkhard C.; Ludwig, Thomas
    Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 2019; 174(12)
    Quartz is able to incorporate trace elements (e.g., H, Li, Al, B) depending on the formation conditions (P, T, and chemical system). Consequently, quartz can be used as a tracer for petrogenetic information of silicic plutonic bodies. In this experimental study, we provide the first data set on the OH defect incorporation in quartz from granites over a pressure/temperature range realistic for the emplacement of granitic melts in the upper crust. Piston cylinder and internally heated pressure vessel synthesis experiments were performed in a water-saturated granitic system at 1-5 kbar and 700-950 °C. Crystals from successful runs were analysed by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and their homogeneity was verified by FTIR imaging. IR absorption bands can be assigned to specific OH defects and analysed qualitatively and quantitatively and reveal that (1) the AlOH band triplet at 3310, 3378 and 3430 cm-1 is the dominating absorption feature in all spectra, (2) no simple trend of total OH defect incorporation with pressure can be observed, (3) the LiOH defect band at 3470-3480 cm-1 increases strongly in a narrow pressure interval from 4 kbar (220 µg/g H2O) to 4.5 kbar (500 µg/g H2O), and declines equally strong towards 5 kbar (180 µg/g H2O). Proton incorporation is charge balanced according to the equation H+ + A+ + P5+ = M3+ + B3+, with A+ = alkali ions and M3+ = trivalent metal ions.
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  • Journal Article

    Quantifying a critical marl thickness for vertical fracture extension using field data and numerical experiments 

    Afşar, Filiz; Luijendijk, Elco
    Geoscience Frontiers 2019; 10(6) p.2135-2145
    In fractured reservoirs characterized by low matrix permeability, fracture networks control the main fluid flow paths. However, in layered reservoirs, the vertical extension of fractures is often restricted to single layers. In this study, we explored the effect of changing marl/shale thickness on fracture extension using comprehensive field data and numerical modeling. The field data were sampled from coastal exposures of Liassic limestone-marl/shale alternations in Wales and Somerset (Bristol Channel Basin, UK). The vertical fracture traces of more than 4000 fractures were mapped in detail. Six sections were selected to represent a variety of layer thicknesses. Besides the field data also thin sections were analyzed. Numerical models of fracture extension in a two-layer limestone-marl system were based on field data and laboratory measurements of Young's moduli. The modeled principal stress magnitude σ3 along the lithological contact was used as an indication for fracture extension through marls. Field data exhibit good correlation (R2 = 0.76) between fracture extension and marl thickness, the thicker the marl layer the fewer fractures propagate through. The model results show that almost no tensile stress reaches the top of the marl layer when the marls are thicker than 30 cm. For marls that are less than 20 cm, the propagation of stress is more dependent on the stiffness of the marls. The higher the contrast between limestone and marl stiffness the lower the stress that is transmitted into the marl layer. In both model experiments and field data the critical marl thickness for fracture extension is ca. 15–20 cm. This quantification of critical marl thicknesses can be used to improve predictions of fracture networks and permeability in layered rocks. Up- or downsampling methods often ignore spatially continuous impermeable layers with thicknesses that are under the detection limit of seismic data. However, ignoring these layers can lead to overestimates of the overall permeability. Therefore, the understanding of how fractures propagate and terminate through impermeable layers will help to improve the characterization of conventional reservoirs.
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  • Journal Article

    A Novel and Facile Method to Characterize the Suitability of Metallic Iron for Water Treatment 

    Lufingo, Mesia; Ndé-Tchoupé, Arnaud Igor; Hu, Rui; Njau, Karoli N.; Noubactep, Chicgoua
    Water 2019; 11(12): Art. 2465
    Metallic iron (Fe0) materials have been industrially used for water treatment since the 1850s. There are still many fundamental challenges in affordably and reliably characterizing the Fe0 intrinsic reactivity. From the available methods, the one using Fe0 dissolution in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA—2 mM) was demonstrated the most applicable as it uses only four affordable chemicals: Ascorbic acid, an ascorbate salt, EDTA and 1,10-Phenanthroline (Phen). A careful look at these chemicals reveals that EDTA and Phen are complexing agents for dissolved iron species. Fe3-EDTA is very stable and difficult to destabilize; ascorbic acid is one of the few appropriate reducing agents, therefore. On the other hand, the Fe2-Phen complex is so stable that oxidation by dissolved O2 is not possible. This article positively tests Fe0 (0.1 g) dissolution in 2 mM Phen (50 mL) as a characterization tool for the intrinsic reactivity, using 9 commercial steel wool (Fe0 SW) specimens as probe materials. The results are compared with those obtained by the EDTA method. The apparent iron dissolution rate in EDTA (kEDTA) and in Phen (kPhen) were such that 0.53 ≤ kEDTA (μg h−1) ≤ 4.81 and 0.07 ≤ kPhen (μg h−1) ≤ 1.30. Higher kEDTA values, relative to kPhen, are a reflection of disturbing Fe3 species originating from Fe2 oxidation by dissolved O2 and dissolution of iron corrosion products. It appears that the Phen method considers only the forward dissolution of Fe0. The Phen method is reliable and represents the most affordable approach for characterizing the suitability of Fe0 for water treatment.
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  • Journal Article

    OH in detrital quartz grains as tool for provenance analysis: Case studies on various settings from Cambrian to Recent 

    Stalder, Roland; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Costamoling, Julian; Potrafke, Alexander; Dunkl, István; Meinhold, Guido
    Sedimentary Geology 2019; 389 p.121-126
    Detrital quartz grains from Paleozoic and Mesozoic sandstones from North Africa and central Europe, respectively, and from recent siliciclastic sediments of the Elbe River from Germany were analysed by IR spectroscopy with respect to their OH defect content. Sample sets were carefully chosen to cover different stratigraphic units fromdifferent localities and according to previous findings that indicate a significant change in the source region in the respective sedimentary system. The validity of the new method is compared to heavy mineral and zircon age spectra analysis from previous studies. Results reveal that the OH defect inventory in quartz shows in all investigated sedimentary successions significant internal variations from sample to sample and thus may be used as a tool to identify changes in the source region. The degree of changes observedwith the new method does not necessarily reflect the magnitude in differences observed by other methods (such as heavy minerals and/or zircon age spectra), underlining the potential as complementary tool for provenance analysis. The new tool is also tested to estimate mixing proportions between the Variscan and the Scandinavian signal in the Elbe River, resulting in a surprisingly high contribution of the Nordic source.
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  • Journal Article

    Precipitation of dolomite from seawater on a Carnian coastal plain (Dolomites, northern Italy): evidence from carbonate petrography and Sr isotopes 

    Rieder, Maximilian; Wegner, Wencke; Horschinegg, Monika; Klackl, Stefanie; Preto, Nereo; Breda, Anna; Gier, Susanne; Klötzli, Urs; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Arp, Gernot; et al.
    Meister, Patrick
    Solid Earth 2019; 10(4) p.1243-1267
    The geochemical conditions conducive to dolomite formation in shallow evaporitic environments along the Triassic Tethyan margin are still poorly understood. Large parts of the Triassic dolomites in the Austroalpine and the southern Alpine realm are affected by late diagenetic or hydrothermal overprinting, but recent studies from the Carnian Travenanzes Formation (southern Alps) provide evidence of primary dolomite. Here a petrographic and geochemical study of dolomites intercalated in a 100 m thick Carnian sequence of distal alluvial plain deposits is presented to gain better insight into the conditions and processes of dolomite formation. The dolomites occur as 10 to 50 cm thick homogeneous beds, millimetre-scale laminated beds, and nodules associated with palaeosols. The dolomite is nearly stoichiometric with slightly attenuated ordering reflections. Sedimentary structures indicate that the initial primary dolomite or precursor phase consisted largely of unlithified mud. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr∕86Sr) of homogeneous and laminated dolomites reflect Triassic seawater composition, suggesting precipitation in evaporating seawater in a coastal ephemeral lake or sabkha system. However, the setting differed from modern sabkha or coastal ephemeral lake systems by being exposed to seasonally wet conditions with significant siliciclastic input and the inhibition of significant lateral groundwater flow by impermeable clay deposits. Thus, the ancient Tethyan margin was different from modern analogues of primary dolomite formation.
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  • Journal Article

    Redirecting Research on Fe0 for Environmental Remediation: The Search for Synergy 

    Hu, Rui; Noubactep, Chicgoua
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2019; 16(22): Art. 4465
    A survey of the literature on using metallic iron (Fe0) for environmental remediation suggests that the time is ripe to center research on the basic relationship between iron corrosion and contaminant removal. This communication identifies the main problem, which is based on the consideration that contaminant reductive transformation is the cathodic reaction of iron oxidative dissolution. Properly considering the inherent complexities of the Fe0/H2O system will favor an appropriate research design that will enable more e cient and sustainable remediation systems. Successful applications of Fe0/H2O systems require the collective consideration of progress achieved in understanding these systems. More e orts should be made to decipher the long-term kinetics of iron corrosion, so as to provide better approaches to accurately predict the performance of the next generation Fe0-based water treatment systems.
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