Research Summaries - 2011-2012

Contracts and Grants Administered

July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012


Ralph Archuleta                                                                         

Department of Interior, 10600014 (ARU11)          1/1/11-12/31/12                                 $72,170


Strong Ground Motions in Salt Lake City and Other Metropolitan Areas From Large Earthquakes on the Wasatch Fault.


Nearly 80% of the population of Utah lives near the Wasatch fault (Utah Geological Survey, 1996). The metropolitan areas of Salt Lake City and Provo/Orem are among the most hazardous regions of the United States (USGS, 1998). Besides the question: When will the next large earthquake occur? The most important question is: What will the ground motion be? Large earthquakes, even moderate sized events, are relatively rare on the Wasatch fault. The geological setting—where most of the infrastructure and the population are sitting on alluvial filled valleys—exacerbates the situation. We propose to mitigate the seismic risk by using dynamic and kinematic simulations of different earthquake scenarios to derive estimates of the expected ground motion from large earthquakes on the Wasatch fault. These simulations will account for: 1) geometry of the fault, 2) the velocity structure, in particular, the 3D structure with sediments juxtaposed against the granite of the mountains, 3) topography, 4) heterogeneous stress on the fault, and 5) physics of the constitutive laws for friction. Many different earthquake scenarios, based on different hypocenters and variations of the input parameters, will be simulated in order to determine the range of the ground motion. These simulations will provide ground motion for frequencies up to 1-2 Hz. We will make use of the extensive investigations already done for the Wasatch fault that document the geometry of the fault, active tectonics and the velocity and attenuation structure. Recent USGS funded projects will provide more details about the 3D velocity structure as well as the near-surface velocities for some limited regions. Professor Robert Smith, University of Utah, has been either directly or indirectly involved with most of the studies that provide these basic data. We have used the 3D community velocity model and the USGS description of the fault geometry as the baseline for our simulations. We have incorporated these features in our initial simulations of the dynamics of a spontaneously propagating fracture. We use the finite element code MAFE [Ma and Beroza, 2008; Ma and Archuleta, 2006; Ma et al., 2007] to simulate dynamic ruptures on dipping faults. The dynamics includes heterogeneous stress conditions and a slip weakening constitutive law for friction that couples the heterogeneous stresses on the fault with the elastic response during a spontaneous shear fracture. While this method includes the realistic effects of geology, fault structure and the physics of a spontaneously propagating shear fracture, the ground motion is computationally limited to frequencies less than 1-2 Hz. To extend the frequency range to higher frequencies ~10-20 Hz, we will collaborate with Professor Jacobo Bielak, Carnegie Mellon University, who has developed a hierarchical finite element method that can take our dynamic results of faulting as input to a kinematic model and propagate the motion to higher frequencies. With many different faulting scenarios there will be many different ground motion maps. The purpose of the project is to estimate the range of ground motion that should be expected from a MW ~7 earthquake on the Wasatch Fault. Preliminary results for normal faulting earthquakes show that the ground motion on the hanging wall (the side of the fault where most of population resides) has large ground motion and long duration due both to the proximity of the fault plane and the sediment filled basin. The largest amplitudes are within ±5 km of the fault trace, with the largest amplitudes on the vertical component. Basically, we have very limited direct knowledge of what to expect from a large normal-faulting earthquake. Through simulations of many scenario earthquakes that include realistic geological structure and fault geometries we will provide robust estimates for the expected ground motion from a MW~7 earthquake on the Wasatch fault.



Ralph Archuleta                                                   

Department of Interior, G11AP20186 (ARU12)                     7/1/11-12/31/11                $15,000


4th IASPEI/IAEE International Symposium on the Effects of Surface Geology on Seismic Motion


The Fourth ESG International Symposium will address current issues in earthquake ground motion prediction with an emphasis on the effects of surface geology on seismic motion. ESG4 will present recent studies, taking into account advances in research since 2006, and help to guide future studies of the effects of surface geology on seismic motion. We expect approximately 200 persons. Attendees will be an international group of earthquake scientists and engineers (and students) who will speak on diverse topics from the state of the art of ground motion research and practice.



Ralph Archuleta        

National Science Foundation, 1143751 (ARF01) 9/1/11-8/31/12                                   $28,237


4th International IASPEI Symposium on Effects of Surface Geology on Seismic Motion UC Santa Barbara, 23 - 26 August, 2011


The Fourth ESG International Symposium will address current issues in earthquake ground motion prediction with an emphasis on the effects of surface geology on seismic motion. ESG4 will present recent studies, taking into account advances in research since 2006, and help to guide future studies of the effects of surface geology on seismic motion. We expect approximately 200 persons. Attendees will be an international group of earthquake scientists and engineers (and students) who will speak on diverse topics from the state of the art of ground motion research and practice.



Ralph Archuleta                  11/1/10-10/31/12                                                                 $60,000

University of California, 20110295(ARS01)


Peer NGA-EAST Finite Fault Simulations.


We propose to compute ground motions from a kinematic source description that is based on correlated random distributions for the slip amplitude, rupture velocity, peak time (time of maximum sliprate) and rise time (duration of sliprate) on the fault (Schmedes et al., 2009). The distributions are determined from dynamic ruptures as are the correlations between slip amplitude, rupture velocity, and rise time (Schmedes et al., 2009). The method of using correlated random source parameters, based on the work of Liu et al. (2006), is very flexible and can be easily modified to adjust to our evolving understanding of earthquake ruptures. This kinematic approach is similar then the one proposed by Liu et al. (2006), but instead of creating separate normal distributed fields as a starting point, we propose to use a 4-dimensional Gauss distribution that is constructed using the covariance matrix of the normal score transformed parameters slip, rise time, peak time, and rupture velocity. To account for the effect of scattering on the high frequency radiation pattern, a frequency-dependent perturbation of azimuth, dip and rake of each subfault is implemented similar to Pitarka et al. (2000). The complexity of the source process is represented by spatial distributions of randomized source parameters, but the integrated characteristics of these parameters are constrained by the total seismic moment, radiated energy and the high-frequency decay of the spectral amplitudes in the source spectrum. The ground motions can be computed in either a 1D (horizontally layered) or 3D viscoelastic structure. If a 3D structure is used, only the low frequencies (f < ~1-2 Hz) are computed for that structure. A 1D structure, with travel times consistent with the 3D structure, is used for high frequencies. It needs to be emphasized that this method is not meant to give a single ground motion at a given station; it is meant to give a range of ground motions. We do not know the exact description of faulting for a future earthquake. We only know —statistically— the properties of past earthquakes. These properties are what we use in conjunction with the representation theorem and wave propagation to predict the range of ground motion at a given station or stations for a specified earthquake. We have validated this method against data from the Northridge and Loma Prieta earthquakes. We have also compared with Landers, but have not incorporated a multi-segmented fault, which is a much closer approximation to the actual rupture. The proposed method has already been implemented on the SCEC/USGS Broadband Platform.



Ralph Archuleta                                     2/1/08-1/31/12                                 $43,000.00

University of Southern California, 120044(ARP38)


SCEC3: Rupture Nucleation and the Evolution of DC


This is a continuation of prior research, goals as follows: 1) to complete our work on the effect of heterogeneities on nucleation and 2) to focus on dynamic ruptures where the effect of heterogeneous strength and stress fields are analyzed in terms of the rupture velocity and slip rate functions that they produce. The first objective will allow us to examine how fracture energy scales as the rupture initially grows. At some point the relevant length scales are likely to come from the correlation lengths found in the strength/stress fields. Exactly how the heterogeneity affects the friction law seems to follow the predictions of Campillo et al. (2001), but this still has be examined further.


Once a rupture is propagating, the correlation lengths of the strength/stress fields looks to be of primary importance. We have already shown that if the fields are strongly correlated, the rupture velocity can range from sub- to super-shear. Whereas if the fields are weakly correlated, the rupture velocity is generally limited to sub-shear.


The dynamics of the rupture, from initiation through completion, forms the basis for earthquake physics. Phenomena from earthquake scaling, spontaneous triggering, crack behavior versus pulse-like to ground motion prediction depend fundamentally on what happens during the spontaneous propagation of a frictional shear fracture. It is only recently that we have had the tools and the computational power to explore the fundamentals of the earthquake process. However, we cannot model the stress heterogeneity on all scales. Thus we must determine an “effective” friction law that accounts for the stress heterogeneity at scales smaller than what can be modeled. Using this effective friction we will explore its consequences on the dynamics of a propagating rupture.




Ralph Archuleta                  2/1/08-1/31/12                                                                      $120,000

University of Southern California, 120044(ARP37)


SCEC3: Prediction of Broadband Time Histories


We will continue to improve this new method for predicting broadband ground motion. We propose 4 main tasks:

1)      Use dynamic modeling to get a better understanding of the spatial interdependency between kinematic parameters and selecting parameters that are most suitable for implementation in a kinematic rupture model.  In short, we need to select the best possible correlated parameters as input to the kinematic models.

2)      Use a different slip rate function than the one proposed in Liu et al. (2006). Looking at the slip rate functions in the more than 250 dynamic models that we have computed thus far, we find that the slip rate model of Liu et al. (2006) has a different convexity following the peak slip rate than that in Liu et al. (2006).  

3)      Implement the new results in the kinematic rupture model generator and repeat the validations. The validations will include both Northridge and Loma Prieta.

4)      Implement new rupture model generator in broadband simulation platform.

We will work on refinement of our rupture model generator based on insights gained from dynamic modeling (Schmedes et al., 2008b). Our current analysis suggests that average rupture velocity and slip show a wide range of positive and negative correlations. Furthermore, slip and local rupture velocity do not seem to be a good parameter pair to use because there is basically no correlation between the two when the rupture attains its larger speeds. This observation is illustrated in Figure 3 (top). We show the joint probability distribution for rupture velocity/shear wave velocity and slip amplitude/ average slip for one of the dynashake shakeout ruptures computed by Steve Day and Luis Dalguer. Once the rupture gained a certain speed there is no dependency of the rupture speed with the slip amplitude. We also observe this in the about 250 dynamic rupture models we have computed so far. Hence, a different parameterization of the kinematic model, for example using correlated peak slip rate and rupture velocity, is necessary.



Ralph Archuleta                           2/1/09-1/31/12                                               $30,000

University of Southern California, 120044(ARP41)


SCEC3 Participations: Validation of High Frequency Ground Motion Simulations on the SCEC Broadband Platform


Task 1.  Set up validation of the 1994 Northridge earthquake

We validated our simulation methods for the 1994 Northridge earthquake before the Platform was developed.  In this task we will set up the validation of our high frequency simulation method for the 1994 Northridge earthquake on the Platform using our simulation method.  The Platform will be set up so that other investigators can repeat the validation exercises of these earthquakes on the Platform. URS will provide the following data and metadata:  rupture models derived using 3D velocity models, lists of recording stations and their Vs30 values, and generic 1D velocity models. 

Task 2.  Set up validation of the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1992 Landers earthquakes

We will set up the validation of our high frequency simulation method for the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1992 Landers earthquakes on the Platform.  The Platform will be set up so that other investigators can repeat the validation exercises of these earthquakes on the Platform.  URS will provide the following data and metadata:  rupture models derived using 3D velocity models, lists of recording stations and their Vs30 values, and generic 1D velocity models. 

Task 3.  Implement improvements to the broadband simulation procedures that have been made since the initial installation of the Broadband Platform

Improvements to the broadband simulation procedures have been made to the procedures that were initially installed on the platform.  The improved simulation procedures will be implemented on the Broadband Platform.

Task 4.  Separation of ground motion simulation and site response simulation into separate modules in the Broadband Platform

Currently, the strong motion simulation codes incorporate site response in the same module.  The site response component needs to placed into a separate module so that the user of the platform can select from alternative site response modules.  In due course, additional site response modules from other SCEC investigators such as Assimaki will be added to the platform, but they will not be usable with the broadband simulation methods until this separation is made.

Task 5.  Verification of methods for measuring goodness of fit for validation of simulations on the Broadband Platform

Validation of strong motion simulation procedures against strong motion recordings requires measures of goodness of fit.  The purpose of this task is to install and test a comprehensive suite of measures of goodness of fit on the platform, to allow the user of the platform to select and use implement their preferred measures in the course of validation exercises.  SDSU will take the lead (in a separate contract) in developing these modules for the Platform, and UCSB and URS will review and test the modules.




Ralph Archuleta                  2/1/07-1/31/12                                                                        $8,000

University of Southern California, 120044(ARP42)


A Collaborative Project: Rupture Dynamics, Validation of the Numerical Simulation Method.


In 2011 we plan to visit heterogeneous initial stress conditions on a planar vertical fault, TPV18. With classic benchmark TPV5 we have already addressed light stress heterogeneity on a vertical strike-slip fault, but it was so light as to be almost homogeneous. Instead we wish to address the true variability that is envisioned for most faults by earthquake geologists and seismologists. Many members of our SCEC code community participated in a PGE/SCEC workshop in May 2010 where different approaches to assigning heterogeneous initial stress conditions were presented and discussed. Subsequently, a hybrid method has been developed and implemented to assign heterogeneous initial conditions in the limited-PI PGE/SCEC dipping-fault 100-runs project. It is now time that we investigate this heterogeneity topic as an open group exercise. TPV18 is proposed to be an implementation of the a hybrid method, but on a vertical strike-slip fault. It is also hoped that TPV18 will help address some interesting issues that have arisen in the 100-runs project whereby the near-surface results produced by the three assigned codes, although matching well at some of the synthetic ground motion stations, do not match as perfectly as we had originally hoped, for the dipping-fault scenario. By having our entire code group tackle a related benchmark on a vertical fault, we hope that we can solve this problem, and move forward with future heterogeneous initial conditions research and implementation. UCSB will work on only this problem within the Collaborative Project.



Ralph Archuleta                              2/1/07-1/31/12                                            $20,053

Dylan Rood                                                                                                                      

University of Southern California, 120044(ARP44)


Evolution of Precariously Balanced Rocks in the Mojave Desert: Constraints on San Andreas Fault Rupture and Hazard Models.


The primary goal of this study is to constrain the evolution (timing and formation rate) and comparative geomorphic development of precariously balanced rocks (PBRs) at two well- characterized but contrasting, sites in the Mojave Desert: one in a region of low seismicity (Granite Pediment) and another (Lovejoy Buttes) with high hazard from numerous large (~M7.5) San Andreas fault (SAF) ruptures. Results from PBRs (ages and fragilities) will directly test seismicity models, ground motion prediction equations, and hazard estimates associated with the 2008 USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps (NSHM) and Cybershake.


Detailed work will be conducted in one catchment at each site. Morphometric characteristics of each catchment (e.g. area, slope, hypsometry, channel steepness) will be analyzed using a digital elevation model (DEM) constructed using ground-based LiDAR and differential-GPS survey data (with collaborator B. Bookhagen). 10Be stream sediment samples will allow us to estimate the average denudation rate in each basin where PBRs were exhumed. Saprolite will be sampled near a PBR in each catchment to address the site-specific denudation rate. Detailed profiles will be collected from a total of 5 additional PBRs (3 rocks from Granite Pediment and 2 additional rocks from Lovejoy Buttes) in order to address the timing of PBR exhumation (with collaborator G. Balco). At Granite Pediment, a 10Be sample from a slowly eroding bedrock exposure on the pediment surface will be used to estimate the grain-by-grain rock erosion rate.

Our goal is to compile new and existing shape models, tipping test, 10Be data and VML limiting ages for the Mojave Desert PBRs. We will systematically compare results from (1) 2-D alpha and 3-D overturning probability estimates from shape models with quasi-static toppling accelerations and alpha calculations from force-inclination (tipping) tests, and (2) model 10Be exposure ages with minimum VML ages.




Ralph Archuleta                              2/1/07-1/31/12                                                          $24,000

University of Southern California, 120044(ARP45)


Rupture Dynamics on Sulti-Segment Faults      


The basic goals of this research are as following:

1)      Calculate multiple earthquake scenarios on a multi-segment fault to understand how the absolute initial stress conditions influence the rupture behavior and the resulting ground motion.

Assigning absolute stress values in the dynamic rupture calculations is controversial. For example, with constant static and dynamic coefficients of friction, one would expect the stress drop to increase with depth if σN increases with depth —as would be expected because of the lithostatic overburden. However estimates of stress drop show no clear evidence of increasing with depth. We can have nearly constant shear stress as well as stress drop out of uniform normal stress σN. However, with increasing normal stress σN along depth we tend to get depth dependent stress drops (Dalguer and Mai, 2010). Previous research (Shearer et al 2006, Allmann and Shearer 2007, Hardebeck 2009) shows that the median stress drop tends to be depth independent for depths as much as 15 km. An approach taken by Aagaard and Heaton (2001) reconciles the depth dependent normal stress and depth independent stress drop by making the friction coefficient depth dependent. Rice (1992) proposed making the effective normal stress constant by allowing the pore pressure to increase linearly with depth. It is likely that the configuration of the initial stress conditions has a pronounced effect on allowing the jump from one fault to another. Both a depth dependent and a depth independent initial stress will be considered. Of course, in both cases the stress will be overprinted stress heterogeneity (Lavallée et al, 2006). 2)        Investigate the geometrical conditions (degree of overlapping and step over between adjacent segments) under which a cascading earthquake can occur.  Whether an earthquake will be limited to a single fault or will jump over physical boundaries between faults makes a significant difference in the seismic moment and ground motion. To give a more reliable estimate of seismic hazard in areas with multi-segmented faults, we will focus on two parameters: separation distance and overlapping distance between the adjacent fault segments. We will systematically alter these two parameters to quantify the conditions when a rupture jumps from one segment to another.  3) Study the velocity strengthening layer, its depth and its implementation. In rupture dynamics as well as rock physics studies, it is well known that the friction on the fault plane is slip rate dependent (e.g. Dieterich, 1979). Based on laboratory experiments (Blanpied et al., 1991), the upper 3-4 km of the crust would show velocity strengthening. In this zone the friction increases with the slip rate and thus would inhibit slip (Scholz, 1998). Earthquakes such as Morgan Hill, Loma Prieta, Tottori, Parkfield are events with M > 6 but with no obvious co- seismic slip at the surface. There are different ways to mimic the friction in the velocity strengthening zone when using a slip weakening friction law. For example, one can make the critical distance dc infinite in the zone (e.g. Day and Ely, 2002), increase dynamic friction 1coefficient to static coefficient level (e.g., Barall et al, 2010), or make the dynamic friction coefficient velocity dependent (e.g., Aagaard et al, 2004). We will test each of these implementations.



Ralph Archuleta                  2/1/07-1/31/12                                                                      $24,000

University of Southern California, 120044(ARP46)


Stress Drop and Source Description for Earthquakes 4 M 5.5 in Southern California.


Systematic evaluation of stress drops for the approximately 65 earthquakes 4.0 < M < 5.5 recorded at BVDA. We will use the BVDA data and the data from the SCEC deployment that coincide with events recorded at BVDA. In doing this we will determine Q(f). We will also try to determine site amplification factors for the SCEC portable stations; we will back out the amplification using BVDA data or by using representative shallow velocity structure measured in Imperial Valley. We will compare stress drops of the aftershocks with those on the San Jacinto to see i) if the same spatial distribution exists as found by Shearer et al. (2006) and ii) if stress drops for 4.0 < M < 5.5 have the same median and variation found for events in other magnitude ranges. We will use the spatial variation of the stress on the northern end (Paso Superior fault) as a proxy for the slip in a finite fault simulation (Schmedes et al., 2010). Our intent is to use an empirical Green’s function approach (Archuleta et al., 2003) to simulate the mainshock ground motion at BVDA. Simulations of the mainshock by Graves and Aagaard (2010) show that the radiated waves are strongly refracted by the velocity structure causing focusing in the region near BVDA as opposed to the expected strong directivity along strike. This may explain why the spectrum of the El Mayor mainshock at BVDA is amplified and its corner frequency much higher than expected.



Ralph Archuleta        

University of Southern California, 20121443 (ARP47)                2/1/12-1/31/13           $25,000


SCEC4 Participation, Project E: Dynamic Ruptures with Off-Fault Dissipation Processes: Constraints on Energy Partition, Size-Dependent Levels of Prestress and Ground Motion Predictions.

         We propose to critically investigate the different modes of energy partition in earthquakes and the relevant implications on ground motions, rupture speed and levels of prestress by doing self-consistent dynamic rupture simulations. The primary focus is to estimate the relative contribution of on and off-fault dissipation mechanism to the total energy budget. We will start by investigating the conditions under which a steady slip pulse can propagate on a velocity- weakening friction interface embedded in an elasto-plastic bulk. Steady propagation will allow us to examine the relationship between the width of the plastically deforming zone surrounding the fault and the constant width of the slip pulse. Because steady propagation does not emit radiated energy, accurate bounds can be placed, in this case, on the energy dissipated in the inelastic and frictional processes. Steady propagation will also allow us to investigate, in a more systematic way, the effect of perturbations in the material properties, material response, and prestress on the rupture dynamics including variability in rupture speed, maximum slip rate and ultimately rupture arrest.

         We will also address several seismologically-relevant questions. For example, we will be examine the effect of off-fault plasticity on seismic observables like rupture speed, acceleration to limiting speed in sub-shear ruptures, transition to super shear and slip rate functions (in terms of the maximum and the average values of slip rates). Moreover, we will also be able to assess the impact of off-fault dissipation on the high frequency content of ground motion. This is relevant for developing physically-based models for ground motion prediction.



Ralph Archuleta        

University of Southern California, Y86552-D (ARP48)           2/1/12-1/31/14              $25,000


SCEC4 Participation, Project D: 1987 Superstition Hills Earthquake: A Triggered Event with a Complex Nucleation and Rupture Dynamics


The basic goals of this research are as following:

1. Dynamic rupture model for Elmore Ranch earthquake.

Although the Elmore Ranch Fault (ERF) earthquake is relatively simple (most researchers have treated it as a point source), we want to construct a more comprehensive stress model for the ERF earthquake. We want to construct the initial stress on the ERF fault first, using existing methods (e.g., Hauksson, 1994), considering its local tectonic context and fault geometry and also taking into account the aftershock sequence of the ERF earthquake during the 12 hours preceding the Superstition Hills Fault (SHF) earthquake.

2. Evaluate the stress perturbation on the SHF due to the Elmore Ranch earthquake

Based on the results from Step 1, as well as the location and focal information of the aftershock sequence of the ERF earthquake, we will evaluate the stress perturbation on the main SHF. We will account for the fault geometry with great care to insure the relative accuracy of the Coulomb stress change estimates. It is obvious that the MW 6.2 ERF earthquake will have a major influence on the SHF nucleation.

3. Dynamic rupture model for Superstition Hills earthquake.

We are going to combine the results from first two steps as outlined and previous research to constrain our stress model. We will take into account the heterogeneous velocity structure such as variable basement depth, material property contrast across the fault, as well as the non-planar feature of the fault (gradual fault strike changes, segment stepover). We wish to integrate as much previous research as possible to construct our rupture dynamics model. We want to construct an initial stress field that could produce the key rupture patterns obtained from the observations. The relocated aftershock dataset gives us a chance to look at the possibility of stress transfer and triggering. The strong motion waveforms and the surface rupture measurements place strong constraints on the stress conditions in the upper kilometers, which have almost no aftershocks in the double difference catalog. In particular we will analyze the stress conditions for the dynamic rupture model paying specific attention to the emergent nucleation and the partitioning of the seismic radiation into and high- and low-frequency energy.



Jim Boles           2/1/10-1/31/13                                                                                      $287,219

Department of Energy, DE-SC0003676(BJD02)


Fault-Related CO2 Degassing, Geothermics, & Fluid FLow in Southern California Basins---Physiochemical Evidence & Modeling


In this renewal proposal, we advance our studies of the geohydrology and geochemistry of active faults and young petroleum reservoirs in southern California, including the South Ellwood field in the Santa Barbara basin (SBB), the Newport-Inglewood Fault zone (NIFZ) in the Los Angeles basin, and the Lost Hills field in the San Joaquin basin (SJB).  Subsurface core samples, outcrop samples, well logs, reservoir properties, pore pressures, thermal gradients, fluid compositions and structural-seismic sections are being studied to characterize the geohydrologic/diagenetic history and degree of compartmentalization for these known fault networks in a transpressional tectonic setting.  We are also investigating the isotopic and trace elements signatures in calcium carbonate minerals, including vaterite, that characterizes rapid CO2 degassing, as observed in scales from production well tubing in several petroleum and geothermal reservoirs.  These data provide the constraints for our geohydrologic models that are being developed to predict fluid pressures, multiphase fluid saturations, rates and patterns of deformation and fluid flow, subsurface temperature, geothermal heat flow, and fluid geochemistry associated with large fault systems.  In past DOE-sponsored research, we mathematically modeled reactions associated with the transport of petroleum SBB-sourced methane and meteoric groundwater mixing in faulted submarine reservoirs, which are partially uplifted along coastal Santa Barbara.  This fluid mixing simulation resulted in carbonate mineralization along the Carneros-Refugio fault, as observed in outcrops. We have also recently developed basin-scale models that incorporate coupled processes of poroelastic deformation and fluid flow, as well as field-scale models of multiphase flow for the NIFZ and Long Beach fields. Applications of the discrete element deformation model RICEBAL (as developed by J.K. Morgan, Rice University) are underway, and these will allow us to predict the opening and closing of fault conduits as the sedimentary basins undergo extension and contraction/inversion within the California plate boundary regions. We are also currently developing a new coupled flow-heat-poroelastic deformation model, TUFTS2D-FE, and a multiphase flow model, TUFTS2D-FV, and reactive flow applications for the NIFZ in the Los Angeles basin. There are plans for new industry-funded drilling of this fault zone in 2010, and if successful we will have access to remarkable core samples and borehole geology.  This renewal proposal requests support for additional 3 years of work, and details the field and modeling studies scheduled for these fascinating faults, reservoirs, and sedimentary basins.  Our past collaborative research has been very productive, and this new work will make new and important geologic contributions to understanding the leakage behavior of active faults in sedimentary basins.  As these types of reservoirs become the primary targets for anthropogenic carbon sequestration, we feel we are making fundamental contributions to science and an important contribution to society.




Bodo Bookhagen                 9/1/09-8/31/12                                                                      $90,000

G. Fisher                                       

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX09AO24H(BBN01)


ASTER-Derived River Widths and Spatial Implications for Erosion in the Tectonically Active Himalaya.


The work funded by this fellowship incorporates remotely sensed, field, and numerical analyses to understand how river widths scale as a function of precipitation and tectonic regime within the world’s largest mountain belt, the Himalaya.  The role that bedrock-channel incision plays in the evolution of tectonically active mountain belts has become a central topic in tectonic-geomorphology over the last two decades and has lead to the development of the stream power law, which directly links erosional efficacy per unit area of the channel bed to discharge, slope, specific weight of water, and channel-width. Previous studies have relied on simple power-law scalings to estimate channel-widths based on discharge, while more sophisticated techniques have recently been proposed that are based on regionally limited data and/or contain fundamental underlying assumptions that preclude their ubiquitous application. Our research improves on previous studies of channel width scalings in orogenic systems by calibrating spatially ubiquitous ASTER imagery with higher resolution Google Earth imagery (GeoEye-1 and SPOT) and field surveys to yield reliable sub-pixel mixing models for application to width-extraction algorithms for the Himalaya.  These channel widths will then be combined with ASTER GDEM topography (slopes), TRMM precipitation data (discharge), and MODIS imagery (snowcover and evapotranspiration values) into a specific stream power analysis (proxy for erosion) for the Himalaya. This work has implications for both the spatial heterogeneity of erosional foci across the Himalaya as well as the long-term evolution of tectonically active landscapes.


Bodo Bookhagen       

Maiana Hanshaw       (BBN02)

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, NNX11AL4GH 10/1/11-9/30/12        $30,000


Volumetric Glacial Changes in the Central Andes During the Past Four Decades: Climate Change, Debris Coverage, or ENSO Variability.


Melting glaciers in polar regions receive high visibility, but tropical glaciers (such as those found in the central Andes of South America) are also melting. These highly seasonal glacial meltwaters have immediate consequences for the water, food, and power supplies of densely populated regions in adjacent countries including Peru and Bolivia. In the central Andes, glacial mass-balance studies are extremely rare and both spatially and temporally limited. While glacial inventories exist in this region, they are incomplete and the databases do not contain crucial parameters such as debris coverage, a parameter increasingly gaining attention in predicting and understanding glacial mass balance changes. As a result, quantifying the extent of the disequilibrium of these central Andean tropical glaciers remains a challenge, and observation and understanding of these terrestrial water stores and fluxes remains poorly constrained, despite their importance for downstream populations. Glacial dynamics are not uniform throughout the central Andes. However, the degree to which varying parameters affect glacial volumetric changes has not been systematically investigated for the tropical glaciers of Peru and Bolivia. For example, large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns (e.g., ENSO) are known to be a dominant forcing factor determining glacial advance and retreat in this region, yet this impact has not been consistently quantified. This study will use Digital Elevation Models produced from Corona (~1970s) and ASTER (2000-2010) stereo pairs and the SRTM (2000) to quantify volumetric changes. Additionally, areal changes and debris coverage will be analyzed with Landsat TM/ETM+ and ASTER imagery in combination with glacial surface velocities derived from image cross-correlation techniques. This four-decade long timeseries will be used to investigate the spatial variability of central Andean glacial dynamics in relation to glacial debris cover, topographic (e.g., elevation, relief, channel slope) and climatic (seasonality and impact of ENSO) factors. Data and results derived from these remote-sensing based measurements and novel techniques will contribute to an improved inventory and understanding of varying parameters on glacial change in the Andes.



Douglas Burbank                            1/1/10-12/31/11                                                       $57,838

Department of Interior, G10AP00015(BDU02)


Temporal Patterns of Fault Slip Rates on the Genoa Fault


A deeper understanding of the temporal and spatial dynamics of faults and the associated seismicity requires knowledge of the timing, rate, and spatial variation of tectonic processes that control the deformation. A fundamental assumption that underpins many brittle crustal deformation models is that tectonic rates are steady once integrated across a sufficient number of seismic events. Short-term interseismic deformation rates are commonly assumed to be constant across time and space and, therefore, can be used to predict long-term deformation patterns. We know that this assumption may well be inaccurate on million-year time scales, but the “steady rate” assumption remains largely untested at shorter time scales. Thus, a tantalizing but unanswered question persists:


Do deformation rates accelerate and decelerate at scales of 102 to 105 years?


Using an integrated geomorphic-paleoseismic-geodetic approach, our team proposes to focus on answering this question in a spatially-restricted and well-mapped region where we can quantify a record of fault-related deformation over the past 103-105 yr along the Genoa fault at the eastern boundary of the central Sierra Nevada, California-Nevada. The Genoa fault is experiencing some of the highest strain rates and fastest Holocene slip rates in the western Great Basin. Whereas this fault has been the site of at least two pre-historic Holocene earthquakes M>7, its long-term slip rate history is poorly known. Over 10- to 200-ky time scales, our proposed geomorphic approach is to quantify fault displacements of multiple geomorphic features, including glacial outwash terraces and alluvial fans, and to determine the age of those features using cosmogenic radionuclide (CRN) exposure dating techniques. By comparing offsets of different ages along individual fault segments and modeling their slip rates, we will define how the locus, magnitude, and rate of fault slip changes through time.


Paleoseismic trench studies (funded by NEHRP through our FY09 proposal) will reduce uncertainty concerning how these geomorphic offsets are produced by fault rupture. Presently funded paleoseismic excavations and mapping were an appropriate first step in constraining strain in this region, and this trench data will offer a unique opportunity to compare timing of earthquake events, displacement magnitude/event, and geometry of underlying faults to the slip-rates calculated from offset geomorphic features (proposed in this study) on the southern segment of the Genoa fault. By integrating geologic and paleoseismic datasets, we will be able to investigate what frequency and magnitudes of earthquake rupture were required to build observed geomorphic offsets. These data will be compared to modern geodetic deformation rates from a dense local GPS network in order to test models of the earthquake cycle.


Despite numerous past studies, the 104-105 yr time span has been poorly explored due either to the paucity of dating techniques with sufficient resolution in this interval or to the absence of datable materials. CRN dating of surface boulders and depth profiles will allow more accurate, high-resolution chronologies to be developed for numerous geomorphic features that are deformed by active faults in this temporal (104-105 yr) window. This proposal intentionally focuses on field sites where slip rates are modest (generally 1-3 mm/yr). In such a region, the use of multiple displaced markers with high-resolution dates will permit a robust discrimination of temporal changes in fault behavior. On rapidly moving faults, temporal resolution is typically insufficient to unambiguously discriminate among such geomorphic displacement rates. Our late Quaternary data will synthesized with Holocene paleoseismic (102-103 yr) and modern geodetic rates in this same region, thereby providing tests of key assumptions about the temporal constancy of slip rates.



Douglas Burbank                         1/16/08-1/15/13                                                        $347,739

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, 05-ESI/05-0014(BDF03)


Quantification of Climate-Erosion Coupling in the Himalaya


This proposal addresses the NASA scientific challenge of "How do tectonics and climate interact to shape the Earth's surface and create natural hazards? " Overall, we propose to combine remotely sensed data with field-based and laboratory analyses to understand how climate and tectonics combine to create landscapes and natural hazards in active collisional mountain belts and to define how variations in climate influence landscape character and processes. Our study will be conducted in the Himalaya and is focused on these goals: to explore potential linkages between climate, erosion, and tectonics in a very active collision almountain belt; to define spatial and temporal variations in monsoonal precipitation along and across strike as a function of both topography and typical storm tracks; to quantify erosion-ratevariationsat10^3-to10^6-yr time scales both along and across strike; to examine topographic characteristics that may be responsive to changes in climate, erosion rate, and erosion process; and to determine the correlation between precipitation events and land slide hazards in remote mountains. Our research "tools" include: SRTM topography for the Himalaya and adjacent areas (with gaps filled), existing and forth coming TRMM precipitation data at high spatial resolution (5km), ASTER imagery, (U-Th)/Hedating of detritalapatite, and cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in detrital sediments within the Himalaya. Previous data indicate that a long-strike variations in erosion exist, but are poorly quantified in the Himalaya. Helium dating of apatite and measurement of cosmogenic nuclide concentrations will enable us to estimate erosion at two very different time scales. These data will then be interpreted in the context of: the TRMM precipitation data and its variations along and across the Himalaya; topographic variations along the range; and model edindices of erosion that integrate rain fall, topography, and erosion models. Furthermore, repeat ASTER imagery will be used to identify large land slides, define spatial variations in land slide size and frequency, and examine the correlations of these spatial variations with rain fall and topographic anomalies. This project's significance resides in three aspects. First, we will develop some of the highest resolution data that has ever generated for large mountain belt with respect to relationships among erosion, climate, and topography. Second, the integration and numerical exploration of these data will permit us to quantify the controls on erosion and the relationship of climate to climate on long and short timescales. Such studies are crucial for understanding how climate and tectonic interact to shape the landscape. Third, we will be able to make statistical predictions of land slide hazards as a function of different rain fall scenarios in various regions of the Himalaya. This last contribution will directly affect societal risk assessment in the serugged mountains.



Douglas Burbank                                   9/15/09-9/14/11                                                 $23,500           National Geographic Society, 8685-09(BDP02)


Controls on Deformation of the Kyrgyz Tien Shan.


What controls patterns of active faulting in compressional orogens? Rapid Cenozoic convergence within the Tien Shan of Kyrgyzstan has produced clear evidence for episodic shifting of the loci of faulting from the bedrock-bounded margins of sedimentary basins to their interiors. This observation is consistent with predictions of analogue and numerical models in which active deformation is modulated by erosion or addition of topographic loads [Harris et al., 1995; Simpson, 2004; Tucker and Slingerland, 1996; Turpeinen et al., 2008]. Analogue models predict that removal of mass from hanging walls by erosion and addition of mass to footwalls by sedimentation serve to retard the formation of new faults within a basin [Hoth et al., 2006]. Numerical models similarly predict that erosion above a fault can promote fault activity by decreasing the normal stress across the fault [Hilley et al., 2005; Simpson, 2006]. Other numerical studies indicate that, without removal of sedimentary fill by river networks, closed basins can persist with little internal deformation for long periods of time [Sobel, 2003].

We propose to address some of the key controls on changes in patterns of deformation within actively deforming contractional ranges. We pose the following questions:

• Under what conditions do former intermontane basins become sites of active, localized deformation?

• When deformation migrates from the basin margin to its interior, are the new faults juvenile structures that rupture the underlying basement or are they low-angle structures, such as decollements, that are linked to the basin marginal faults?

• When a basin narrows as basin-bounding thrusts impinge across its margins, do rates of shortening decrease and does the loci of deformation shift into other basins?

We hypothesize that migration of deformation into former depocenters is modulated by erosional evacuation and unloading of basins, and that as a basin is zippered closed by thrusts, the loads of the marginal ranges decrease the magnitude of deformation within the basin itself.




Douglas Burbank                            9/1/05-8/31/11                                                         $408,674

National Science Foundation, 0507431(BDN07)


Collaborative Research: Upward and Outward: Tibetan Plateau Growth and Climatic Consequences


This proposal responds to the SESWG scientific challenge of “How do tectonics and climate interact to shape the Earth’s surface and create natural hazards?” Overall, we are combining remotely sensed data with field-based and laboratory analyses to understand how climate and tectonics combine to create landscapes and natural hazards in active collisional mountain belts and to define how variations in climate influence landscape character and processes. We are integrating existing SRTM topography, existing and forthcoming TRMM precipitation data, ASTER imagery, (U-Th)/He dating of detrital apatite, and cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in detrital sediments within the Himalaya in order to:

•        to explore potential linkages between climate, erosion, and tectonics in a very active collisional mountain belt;

•        to define spatial and temporal variations in monsoonal precipitation along and across strike as a function of both topography and typical storm tracks;

•        to quantify erosion-rate variations at 103- to 106-yr scales both along and across strike;

•        to examine topographic characteristics that may be responsive to changes in climate, erosion rate, and erosion process; and

•        to determine the correlation between precipitation events and landslide hazards in remote mountains.



Douglas Burbank                            08/01/08-07/31/12                                                   $280,000

Bodo Bookhagen

National Science Foundation, 0819874(BDN09)


Collaborative Research: Orogeny, orography, and unsteady erosion: evolution of the Himalaya


Many aspects of climate-erosion-tectonic interactions remain unresolved. This research attempts to understand how Himalayan rates of erosion vary as a function of space and time and what drives such changes. Some detrital cooling-age data suggest that, irrespective of how spatially irregular erosion may be at short time scales, erosion rates become much steadier at longer time scales. This research will test that contention. The PIs hypothesize that, at decadal to millennial scales, spatial variations in rainfall distributions modulate differences in erosion rates. Specific stream power (the product of discharge and channel gradient) is hypothesized to provide a reliable proxy for modern erosion rates. To underpin tests of these hypotheses, the PIs have developed and calibrated the highest resolution, remotely sensed data on rainfall currently available for the Himalaya. When combined with digital topography, rainfall is routed through the Himalayan landscape and predicts pronounced along-strike variations in stream power. To test whether stream power successfully predicts variations in erosion rates, the PIs will collect 50 detrital cosmogenic nuclide samples within 10 catchments that exhibit strong contrasts in stream power. With judicious placement of sampling sites, this large new data set should also permit testing of a much-debated question: is the rate of erosion controlled by large trunk rivers or by the erosive power of much smaller catchments (<20 km2) that cover most of the landscape?


In order to assess the extent to which erosion rates change at longer time scales, the PIs will collect relief transects of bedrock samples in each of the CRN-sampled catchments and will measure ~100 cooling ages each for apatite, zircon, and muscovite, representing closure temperatures of  ~80°, ~200°, and ~375°C, respectively. Reflecting different times and depths of cooling, these ages will be analyzed using thermokinematic models to create reliable reconstructions of temporal changes in erosion rates at each of 10 catchments.


Furthermore, the PIsÕ current analysis suggests that topographic relief exerts a fundamental control on the distribution of Himalayan rainfall and that valleys of large rivers “guide” moisture into the orogen. At time scales for which Himalayan topography and climate are “constant”, spatial variations in rainfall, stream power, and, hence, erosion are, therefore, envisioned to remain steady. The Himalayas, however, are an active collisional orogen in which rocks advect laterally faster than they move vertically. The PIs hypothesize that topography also advects laterally, especially in the rain shadow north of the Himalayan peaks where erosion rates appear lower. Moreover, this advection is hypothesized to cause major re-organization of Himalayan drainages and related topography. If so, new avenues for rainfall to move into the orogen will open, old ones will close, and, as a consequence, new patterns of erosion should emerge. As advection leads to stream capture and creation of new Transhimalayan rivers with greatly enhanced erosive power, other trunk channels will be beheaded, thereby losing power. Such changes in stream power should be expressed by changes in both erosion rates and topographic relief. The PIs propose to test these novel ideas by reconstructing changes in topographic relief using bedrock cooling ages both from their relief transects and from equal-elevation transects. Such dynamic Transhimalayan channels would stand in contrast to the persistence of rivers at the Himalayan “indentor corners”. Despite the challenges presented by Himalayan landscapes, they provide a propitious setting: stark lateral variations exist in rainfall, erosion, and topography; cooling ages are almost ubiquitously reset, and strong signals of differential erosion should rise above the inevitable geomorphic and tectonic noise.




Douglas Burbank      

Bodo Bookhagen       

National Science Foundation, 1050070 (BDF04)                       8/1/11-7/31/14            $275,006


The Pamir Frontal Thrust System: Rates, Style, and Controls on Deformation.


Our goals include defining how, where, and at what rates shortening has been accommodated within the Pamir-Tian Shan structural corridor, and exploring the extent to which erosion by an axial river modulates shortening rates on faults proximal to the river.  We will focus our work along the axis of the structural corridor where we can examine a rich suite of along- strike structural variability in the style, orientation, and (likely) rate of deformation. The Pamir Frontal Thrust (PFT) is the leading edge of the Pamir orogen. In reality, some apparently Pamir-related faults occur to the north of the PFT, including nearby faults that ruptured in the 1985 M7.4 Wuqia earthquake [Feng et al., 1988]. Within the study area, the PFT tends to be localized within lower Paleogene gypsum beds, and it typically carries the entire Cenozoic stratigraphic succession (up to 8 km thick) in its hanging wall. Where the PFT is exposed in the Bozi Tage Range near the Kezilesu River, it tends to be a low-angle thrust dipping from 0° to 15°. Ongoing slip on the PFT is evidenced by offset talus slopes that show fresh scarps. Typically, the PFT slices across the Xiyu conglomerate, an upper Cenozoic, time-transgressive fluvial conglomerate that ranges in age from 16 to 0 Ma within the foreland [Heermance et al., 2007], but which is less than 1.6 Ma where it has been paleomagnetically dated a few kilometers north of the PFT in the corridor [Chen et al., 2005]. On the eastern margin of the Mayikake Basin, the PFT cuts nearly horizontally across a 50°-dipping, 3-km-thick panel of Xiyu conglomerate for about 4 kilometers.



Douglas Burbank      

Bodo Bookhagen       

National Science Foundation, EAR-1148268 (BDF05)              5/15/12-4/30/14          $143,370


Collaborative Research: Reconstructing Mid-Miocene-to-Recent Paleo-Erosion Rates in the Eastern Andes, Northern Argentina

This project will focus on the analyses required to characterize long-term erosion rates throughout the entire section, while also gaining insight into how erosion rates may respond to variations in climate at sub-100 kyr timescales. We plan to use ~30 10Be analyses to undertake a low-resolution sampling of the 1-12 Ma portion of the section, at a density of ~1 sample per 330 Myr. We plan to use several 10Be samples on modern sediment, and divide the remaining 10Be samples between two sections of the stratigraphy that show the best opportunity for developing a high-resolution record of paleo-erosion rates. Such sections will be characterized by well-resolved paleomagnetic reversals, anchored by new tephrachronology with high-resolution U- Pb zircon ages. As mentioned above, we will likely focus on a 1.2-Myr interval between 7.4 – 6.2 Ma, which is currently bracketed by two ashes and contains 7 reversals. Nine additional samples in this interval would provide a resolution of ~1 sample per 100 kyr, capable of resolving 400-kyr cyclicity. An additional 11 samples would then be collected from a ~100 kyr long interval, allowing a nominal resolution of ~8.3 kyr per sample, capable of resolving variations as short as 23 ka. For comparison, we would like to repeat the above sampling strategy on a ~ 1-Myr-long interval in the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene, after the onset of northern hemisphere glaciation at ~ 2.8 Ma. The 20 additional 10Be samples focused on this interval would be paired with 26Al and 21Ne analyses in the same samples, in an effort to implement the full 3-isotope approach described above. 5-10 of these 21Ne analyses will be paired with 10Be samples to develop a cross-calibration and compute nucleogenic 21Ne, whereas the remaining 10-15 21Ne samples will be used to extend the low-resolution record back as far as 12 Ma.



Douglas Burbank                            7/1/09-6/30/13                                                         $282,370

National Science Foundation, 0838265(BDN10)


Controls on growth of the Puna Plateau, NW Argentina


Both the mechanisms of growth of orogenic plateaus and the processes that control or limit their growth remain controversial. Within currently active orogens, only two large-scale orogenic plateaus have developed during Cenozoic times. At the broadest scale, their growth has been driven by sustained plate convergence. If such convergence continues into the future, will these plateaus continue to expand? What controls whether they reach a stable size, continuously expand, or begin to shrink or collapse? This proposal focuses on the limits to outward growth of plateaus and the interplay between tectonic forcing and erosion that modulates changes in plateau margins. We focus on one mode of plateau growth: synchronous growth of thrust-related ranges with filling of high, ponded intermontane basins that is hypothesized to be favored during times of relative aridity. The enhanced crustal loads represented by the basin-range couplet are proposed to drive outward propagation of deformation.


Whereas this concept is not new, few studies have tested the synchrony of thrusting, basin filling, and climate change. Little is known of the rates at which these processes occur or of the trade-offs that develop as climate and tectonics conspire to modulate active thrusting, aggradation, and erosion. Do rates of fault slip regulate base level and control when internal versus external drainages prevail? Or, do changes in regional climate cause significant variations in rates of erosion and basin filling that, in turn, influence slip on nearby thrust faults? Do intermontane aggradational intervals correspond with times of outward propagation of the thrust belt, or is increased aridity a key control, or both? How do the style, pace, and rate of thrusting respond to pulses of sediment loading and removal?


The answers to these questions will place valuable constraints on the viability of this “range and basin” model for plateau growth. Any test of the model requires excellent time control on a clearly delineated depositional and erosional history of intermontane basins and of the growing ranges to which they are potentially linked. We propose a study along the NE margin of the Puna Plateau and the adjacent Eastern Cordillera of NW Argentina. This region lies astride an abrupt climatic boundary and boasts multiple generations of late Cenozoic thrusting and basin filling and emptying. Successive faults overthrust alluvial strata and are then buried by younger gravels. Perhaps most importantly, numerous volcanic ashes are preserved within the basin fills, as well as within strata that are intricately interbedded with stacked sequences of thrust faults. These ashes promise to permit unprecedentedly tight time control on the growth and decay of this dynamic plateau margin and will underpin a detailed reconstruction of the interplay of range growth, evolving fluvial networks, and multiple cycles of basin filling and emptying. Ultimately, a new, temporally constrained view of the plateau margin will emerge from this study.


The data collected in this study will permit us to assess the following hypotheses: 1) Range-building by active thrusting is coeval with aggradation in the intermontane basin on the hinterland side of the faults and is promoted by drier climatic conditions; 2) Outward growth of plateau margin can be stalled by breaching and erosion of intermontane basin-filling sequences; 3) Erosion of an intermontane-basin fill causes hinterland-stepping thrusting to restore topographic taper; and 4) A strengthened monsoon drives enhanced erosion and is temporally coincident with the breaching of intermontane basin fills.


Our research effort will delineate the thrust-controlled growth of the Eastern Cordillera and the history of intermontane basin-filling in two basins that straddle the Puna Plateau’s margin. When synthesized with new chronologic data, these will permit testing of the synchrony (or lack thereof) of changes in regional paleoclimate with changes in tectonics, sedimentation, and erosion across the plateau margin.



Cathy Busby               7/15/07-6/30/13                                                                          $257,748

National Science Foundation, 0711181(BCN03)


Geological Contraints on Landscape Evolution of the Sierra Nevada, California: Paleochannels, Magmatism and Structure


The Sierra Nevada is the longest and tallest mountain chain in the coterminous U.S. and has long been considered among the youngest. The age and uplift history of the Sierra are currently the subject of geologic debate by workers using a variety of data sources and analytical tools, including U-Th-He thermochronology, fission track analyses, paleobotanical studies, dating of cave sediments, oxygen isotope analysis of authigenic minerals, and analysis of relict landscape. This study will address the following questions: (1) What can Tertiary strata preserved in paleochannels tell us about the evolution of the central Sierran landscape, and how does its evolution compare with the rest of the range? (2) What can Neogene volcanic and intrusive rocks centers in the central Sierra Nevada tell us about the paleogeographic and tectonic evolution of the Tertiary Ancestral Cascades arc? (3) When did Neogene range-front faulting begin in the central Sierra Nevada, what is its nature, and has it proceeded continuously or episodically? Faults at the Sierra Nevada - Basin and Range boundary are important for determining the kinematic boundary conditions for transtensional deformation in the Walker Lane Belt.


Detailed mapping in crestal areas of the central Sierra, where Tertiary strata are abundant, will concentrate on areas with excellent exposure, and mappable, dateable, unaltered volcanic stratigraphy, described here. Field work will include detailed mapping of volcanic-volcaniclastic lithofacies, paleocanyon boundaries, bedrock structure, and faults using satellite images, air photos, and digital terrain models at various scales, compiled in ARC-GIS with GPS data. Standard basin analysis techniques will be applied, including paleocurrent analysis, measurement of sections, documentation of key stratigraphic and structural relationships on photomosaics, and construction of fence diagrams and cross sections that illustrate stratigraphic relationships across canyons. Age controls will be provided by 39Ar/40Ar geochronology on volcanic rocks, and petrographic and geochemical analysis of volcanic rocks will strengthen lithologic correlations.



Cathy Busby               3/15/11-5/31/13                                                                           $226,036

National Science Foundation, EAR-1019559(BCN04)


Steady State to Flare-Up ARC Magmatism in the Largest Cenozoic Silicic Igneous Province on Earth: The Sierra Madre Occidental (Mexico)


This project will carry on with the laboratory and collaborative components of our work. This “proof of concept” study will gather results to evaluate the feasibility of developing this project more robustly in the future. The revised work plan will enable us to continue to push forward our work in this very important and very poorly known region. It will allow us to continue an ongoing, very committed collaboration with Mexican colleagues from UNAM, Luca Ferrari (since 2007) and Elena Centeno-Garcia (since 2005). The research is as follows:

1. We will digitally compile and synthesize all previous available work, including unpublished maps and field data held by McDowell at UT Austin, and integrate it with the new results obtained by this study (see below). We will then interpret these data in the context of rapidly-evolving models for the origin of silicic large igneous provinces, and publish our findings. This will enable us to move forward with a well informed field plan once the security situation improves in Chihuahua.

2. We will perform Hf, O and U-Pb isotopic analysis of zircons from several sites in the northern SMO, to gain insight into the origin of the magmas in this world-class silicic large igneous province. This work will be done in close collaboration with Luca Ferrari, who is doing the same kind of work on his samples from the southern SMO, with Scott Bryan. Ferrari is very interested in this work, and is giving us a very good price to do the Hf and U-Pb analytical work at Juriquilla; the total comes to about half the in-house rate for Busby at UCSB, and substantially less than the rate posted on the University of Arizona website. In addition, a UCSB Senior Honors Thesis student (to be named) will carry out textural and modal analysis of thin sections, and interpret new geochemical data we will gather on pumices from the ignimbrites, as well as whole rock analyses of lava flows and intrusions.



Cathy Busby                                     8/1/09-12/31/12                                                       $12,489

University of California, SB100022(BCS02)


Transition from Steady state to flare-up arc magmatism in the largest cenozoic sillicic igneous and epitheral deposit on earth: Sierra Madre Occidental (Mexico)


The Sierra Madre Occidental is one of the most inaccessible, poorly understood,  and richest gold and silver mining areas of the world. These mineral deposits  formed in one of the largest supervolcano fields in Earth history. Recent  improvement in access, in part due to a new gold rush, makes it possible to produce the first geologic  maps of a large sector of this province, and date the volcanic and intrusive  rocks. This will allow us to understand the eruptive processes and feeder types that may be unique to supervolcanoes, and to determine the conditions that givebirth to them.   The SMO supervolcano field represents Earth’s most well preserved silicic large  igneous province; there, high-silica magmas were repeatedly erupted in  extremely large volumes (>1,000 cubic kilometers) through highly explosive  eruptions. Magmatism in the SMO represents the precursor of lithospheric  rupture that eventually led to the formation of the Gulf of California.  Professors Cathy Busby (UC Santa Barbara) and Elena Centeno Garcia (UNAM) and a  graduate student from each of their own universities will work together to  carry out frontier research in this important province, by making mugeologic maps, and obtaining the first age dates on a large region.



Jean Carlson                                    2/1/07-1/31/2012                                        $22,000

University of Southern California, 120044(CJ2P04)


SCEC3 Participation: Dynamic Fault Weakening due to Shear Strain Localization: Constitutive Laws, Rupture Dynamics, and Ground Motion


This project addresses uncertainty in the inverse earthquake problem. Using methods from robust control theory [Dullerus and Paganini, 2005], this project develops bounds on source characteristics by defining and solving a series of optimization problems which maximize the information extracted from seismic inversions and determine which features are well-constrained by the data. Quantifying uncertainty in kinematic inversions is necessary in order to interpret the variability and features seen in source models.  While kinematic inversions provide direct images of the seismic source, the robust features of these images are not well known.  A thorough treatment of the consequences of uncertain models and statistical correlations in seismic inversions is necessary in order to characterize the inherent variability of the seismic process.   


This work fits SCEC3 objectives A4, A10, and B1.  Objective A4 calls for statistical analysis and mapping of source parameters with an emphasis on their relation to known faults.  Our project focuses on better understanding the statistical correlations between possible models of slip (and therefore stress change) on the Parkfield segment of the San Andreas fault. Also, Objective A10 describes the development of statistical descriptions of heterogeneities over multiple earthquake cycles.  Indeed, the Parkfield segment is ideal for studying the earthquake cycle, as data from multiple moderately sized earthquakes have been recorded there.  It is necessary to know the error in inversion methods in order to determine to what extent the Parkfield earthquake are “characteristic”. Finally, Objective B1 asks for the development of kinematic rupture scenarios consistent with observations.  Our project seeks to better describe this large solution space that is consistent with observations (as opposed to selecting only a few arbitrary models from this space). 



Jean Carlson                       2/1/09-1/31/12                                                                     $25,000

University of Southern California, 120044(CJ2P05)


SCEC3 Participation: Shear Strain Localization in Dynamic Earthquake Rupture: Shear Heating, Dynamic Weakening, and Slip Below the Seismogenic Zone


 Constitutive Laws and Thermal Heating

*  Determine how frictional dissipation during seismic slip is distributed between

configurational entropy and thermal heating  

* Add thermal weakening mechanisms to STZ Theory to determine how localization and thermal heating in concert influence rupture propagation

Slip Below the Seismogenic Zone

* Extend models of earthquake slip to include dynamic formation of shear bands in a rate strengthening region below the seismogenic zone

*Study discrete block-slider models that represent distinct rheological layers in the crust

by blocks connected by springs

* Model slip in the lower crust using spontaneous elastodynamic ruptures, with constitutive parameters that transition from rate weakening to rate strengthening continuously

*Determine the contribution of the lower crust to the overall slip in earthquake rupture



Jean Carlson                        2/1/07-1/31/12                                                                      $21,000

Jim Langer

Ralph Archuleta                        

University of Southern California, 120044(CJ2P07)


Multi-Statistical Theories for Frictional Weakening and Variability in Earthquakes.


This project will accomplish the following tasks:

*Extension of STZ constitutive laws describing plasticity to include additional geophysical mechanisms for dissipation such as material evolution and wear.

* Inclusion of a broad spectrum of trapping energies and transition rates in STZ theory to capture inherent variability arising from the broad range of grain sizes in fault gouge.

* Resolution of dynamics, which arise from these constitutive laws to obtain predictive results for dissipation and fracture from laboratory to tectonic scales.

* Analysis of energy balance and thermal heating during large earthquakes based on general thermodynamic principles as well as specific information regarding the materials and failure mechanisms that occur in faults.



Jean Carlson                        2/1/10-1/31/12                                                                      $20,000

Jim Langer                          

Ralph Archuleta

University of Southern California, 20110062(CJ2P06)


Earthquake Dynamics with STZ Friction: A Statistical Physics Approach to Dynamic Weakening, Energy Partitioning, and Fault Evolution.


This project will accomplish the following tasks:

• An analysis of energy balance and thermal heating during large earthquakes. This will be based on general thermodynamic principles as well as more specific information regarding the materials and failure mechanisms that occur in faults.

• Incorporation of additional geophysical mechanisms in the STZ friction law. These include material fracture and evolution of the gouge as well as changes in material properties due to thermal heating.

• Investigations of STZ theory in the presence material gradients and heterogeneity in the earth and analogous laboratory scale composites. Analysis will include investigations of how the velocity-strengthening lower crust interacts with ruptures initiated in the seismogenic zone. Methods include analysis of long lived transient dynamical instabilities, which may be overlooked in traditional steady state analysis.

• Investigation of fault heterogeneity and the dynamics of pinning centers. This builds on recent work on dislocation dynamics at explosively large driving forces, where a thermodynamic analysis for dislocations has shown that the observable strain rate is determined by the strength of the forces that pin dislocations.



Jean Carlson    

Ralph Archuleta

University of Southern California, 20121441 (CJ2P08)          2/1/12-1/31/13               $20,000


SCEC4 Participation, Project C: Implications of Physical Dissipation Mechanisms for Dynamic Faulting and Styructural Resiliance.


This project will accomplish the following tasks:


         * Construct an integrated view for different weakening mechanisms through the extension of STZ constitutive laws describing plasticity to include additional geophysical mechanisms for dissipation such as granularity, breakage and thermal effects.

         * Develop better models of friction in fault gouge through reformulation of the STZ theory in terms of concepts more appropriate for strictly granular systems (perfectly hard spheres) in which there is no intrinsic energy scale, to extract the broad spectrum of transition rates and trapping volumes and to capture inherent variability arising from the broad range of grain sizes in fault gouge.

         * Develop a multi-scale approach to the dynamic rupture problem through the resolution of dynamics that arise from these constitutive laws and the material properties of the fault gouge to obtain predictive results for dissipation and fracture from laboratory to tectonic scales.

         * Assess the heat flow paradox through the analysis of energy balance and thermal heating during large earthquakes based on general thermodynamic principles as well as specific information regarding the materials and failure mechanisms that occur in faults.

         * Design control techniques, for improving seismic response of engineering structures, that are motivated by our better understanding for the role of entropic deformation in dissipating energy and increasing toughness in systems like fault gouge and abalone shells.



Leila Carvalho 

Charles Jones  

International Potato Center (CIP), SB120184 (CLP02)               1/1/12-12/31/12      $150,000


Regional Climate Variability and Changes in the Central Andes


This collaborative work focuses on regional climate variability and changes over the central Andes with an emphasis on potential impacts on water resources and food security particularly potato crop productions and vulnerability. Research activities will be developed under the theme “Integration for decision making” and divided in the following objectives:


I. Analysis of climate variability and changes in the central Andes This objective will analyze atmospheric reanalysis to characterize climate variability and trends during 1948-present to identify key changes in the South American Monsoon System. In particular, we will develop several observational analyses to identify potential regional atmospheric changes over the central Andes. We will also analyze data from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 5 (CMIP5). CMIP5 model simulations are being used for preparation of the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We will analyze model simulations for the present climate and projections.


II. Development of climate downscaling methods

The specific research problem addressed in this objective will be the development of downscaling methods to properly represent the complex topography of the central Andes and the associated atmospheric variability particularly in precipitation and air temperature. The tasks will include analysis of conventional observations as well as regional climate model simulations. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model will be used to develop regional simulations over the central Andes. Conventional observations and regional climate model products will be used as inputs for multi-fractal downscaling at high resolutions over the Peruvian Andes.


III. Analysis of climate variability in South America and vulnerability assessments This objective will consist in summarizing the analysis of climate variability and changes in the South American Monsoon (Objective-I) and develop geo-referenced data that will be applied in vulnerability assessments over the central Andes.



Leila Carvalho                     8/1/10-7/31/13                                                                    $370,984

Charles Jones                     

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NA10OAR4310170(CLB01)


An Integrated View of the American Monsoon Systems: Observations, Models and Probabilistic Forecasts.


This project focuses on the interactions between the North American Monsoon System (NAMS) and South American Monsoon System (SAMS) and identification of common sources and limits of summer season predictability. The main theme of this proposal is to develop a unified view of the American Monsoon System (AMS). The project evaluates the ability of global models from the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) to simulate the variability of the AMS in the present climate. The project is comprised of four interconnected main goals. First, the project will investigate the extent to which the annual evolution of NAMS and SAMS and their temporal variability on ISI time scales can be represented with metrics that effectively describe changes in precipitation and atmospheric circulation in the Americas. Second, this will identify regional physical processes and teleconnections that control the interactions between NAMS and SAMS. Third, this project will evaluate the skill of WCRP CMIP coupled models in representing the observed variations in the AMS. Lastly, this project will implement diagnostic monitoring tools, identify sources of potential predictability and develop probabilistic forecasts of the AMS on subseasonal to seasonal scales.

Specific objectives are:

I. Develop and validate indices for a unified approach to monitor and forecast the variability of the monsoon systems in the Americas.

II. Investigate the associations between the two monsoon systems, the importance of regional processes and remote atmosphere-ocean variations on intraseasonal-to-interannual (ISI) time scales in explaining these linkages.

III. Examine the degree to which simulations from the WCRP Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP-3 and CMIP-5) realistically represent the AMS and associations between the monsoons in the Americas.

IV. Use NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS) model outputs (reforecasts and operational) to develop probabilistic forecasts of the American Monsoon Systems on subseasonal to seasonal lead times. Identify potential predictability sources of the AMS on ISI time scales.



Leila Carvalho                     07/01/11-06/30/13                                                                $30,000

Charles Jones  

National Science Foundation, AGS-1126804(CLF01)


Decadal Variability of the American Monsoons: An Assessment of CMIP5 Simulations.


The main goals of this RAPID project are to: 1) develop an extensive assessment of how realistic simulations from the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) are in representing the observed characteristics of the American Monsoon Systems (AMS) in the recent past and 2) assess uncertainties in projected decadal climate changes in the AMS. The specific objectives are to:

I. Assess the skill of CMIP5 model simulations in representing the climatological and statistical characteristics of the monsoons in the Americas including: circulation and precipitation features, subseasonal variance, onsets and demises, amplitudes and cross equatorial transitions.

II. Determine which CMIP5 models realistically represent the spatiotemporal variability of the monsoons in the present climate including near-term trends, frequency of very dry/wet seasons and statistical distributions of extreme precipitation events.

III. Examine which CMIP5 models skillfully represent the observed relationships between remote forcings and the American monsoons. These include the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Antarctic Oscillation (AAO), Atlantic Ocean and Intra-Americas Sea forcings.

IV. Explore how much of the climate changes projected for the next decades in the Americas are explained by natural decadal variability and how much by greenhouse gases increases.



Leila Carvalho 

Charles Jones  

Bodo Bookhagen       

National Science Foundation, 1116105 (CLF02)                        8/15/11-7/31/14         $563,506


Climate Variability and Impacts on Regional Surface Runoff in High Asia Mountains.


The current state and future fate of the ‘High Asian water towers’ (i.e., freshwater reservoirs at high elevations) are of central importance for water, food, and power supply of densely populated regions in south, east, and central Asia. In addition to the highly seasonal summer rainfall, winter precipitation is important for snowmelt and discharge in the pre-monsoon (spring) season. Runoff from snow is especially significant in the central Asian and western Himalayan regions, where hundreds of millions of people reside, but observation, understanding, and prediction of terrestrial water storage and fluxes remain poorly understood. Quantification of seasonal amounts of rain, snow, glacial and snowmelt waters and associated physical processes are largely unknown, despite their importance to pre-monsoon and dry-season water for irrigation, drinking and power generation.

The main goal of this project is to advance our current understanding of climate processes on regional-to-continental scales and how they affect the water balance in the High Asia Mountains. The project focuses on multiannual-to-decadal variations in the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) and winter western disturbances (WD) and their impacts on rainfall, snow and runoff variability in High Asia. The project will focus on three specific objectives:

I. Characterize and investigate multi-annual-to-decadal variations in the Indian Summer Monsoon and western disturbances and their regional impacts on the surface water budget in the High Asia Mountains.

II. Examine the spatiotemporal variability of the surface water budget including changes in rainfall and snow and their relative roles in driving runoff variations in High Asia.

III. Develop case studies to investigate changes in Indian Summer Monsoon and western disturbances seasons and their influences on the long-term variability of snow and associated runoff in the High Asia Mountains. Changes in the Indian Summer Monsoon and western disturbances include extremely wet/dry monsoon seasons, high/low frequency and precipitation intensity of winter storms and teleconnections associated with warm/cold El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phases.



Leila Carvalho                                 4/15/10-3/31/12                                          $50,000

Charles Jones

USAID, SB100085(CLP01)


Statistical Physics Climatic Downscaling: Combining Wavelet, Multifractal and Neural Network Approaches in a Unified Scaling Methodology.


The specific research problem addressed by this study is the development of a downscaling model based on wavelet-multifractal and artificial neural network approaches to generate climate data at appropriate temporal (daily) and spatial (20 Km) scales using global circulation model outputs. Although computational performances have increased exponentially in the last few years, there are still strong limitations in global climate modeling in simulating regional processes on short spatial and temporal time-scales. As of today, most Global Climate Models (GCMs) have typical horizontal resolution of 150-300 km with 30-50 vertical layers. Much of the improved computational resources have been used to incorporate more sophisticated physical parameterizations, interactive earth system components, and ensemble simulations of extended lengths. To date, major model biases remain in global climate simulations that limit their ability to provide climate information with sufficient reliability and spatial specificity for societal use. Perhaps the most persistent and pervasive biases are related to the representation of the hydrological cycle. Consequences of an inaccurate hydrological cycle in fully coupled GCM simulations of the climate system are far reaching, since water integrates the physical, biological, and chemical components. Most climate change projections are currently based on models that simulate coupled atmospheric and oceanic processes on coarse resolutions. Among the most important impacts of regional-scale predictions of climate changes is on food production and security. Simulations on regional scales of precipitation and temperature are absolutely crucial to understand how global warming will affect fresh water storage and the ability to grow potato, wheat, corn, and other staples. Dynamical regional model simulations using GCMs as boundary conditions have been largely applied but challenges in this area still abounds. In some cases, improvements to GCMs are considered marginal given the necessary computational efforts. The objective of the present work is to develop a downscaling statistical model based on wavelet-multifractal and artificial neural network approaches. The focus of this analysis will be on South America and on the regional modeling of temperature and precipitation. More specifically, our objectives are:

1) Implement some existing stochastic downscaling models based on cascade techniques such as spatial disaggregation (Sharma et al. 2007), multiplicative random cascade (Srestha et al., 2004) or rainfall downscaling in a space-time multifractal (Deidda, 2000).

2) Review and assess different empirical statistical downscaling models and performance of statistical downscaling models in GCM validation and regional climate change estimation.

3) Compare the empirical statistical downscaling models with simulations of the present climate with the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) over eastern South America.

4) Elaborate a complementary new proposal to be submitted to NSF to expand the present study to other regions and meteorological variables.



Jordan Clark                                    4/1/09-9/30/11                                          $101,961

Desert Research Institute, 646.9951.02(CJP05)


UCSB Sub-Award: Investigation of Methods Of Potential Value To Monitor Groundwater Recharge In The Mountains of California


This project will use exploratory field studies to address the major research needs suggested in the PIER report of Earman and Dettinger (2008) with the objective to advance the knowledge of methods that are appropriate for long-term monitoring of groundwater recharge in the mountains of California.  The primary task of the UCSB group is to develop and apply 35S methodology to determine the portion of streamflow derived from the previous winter’s snowpack.  35S, a radioactive isotope with a half-life 87.4 days, is produced in the upper atmosphere and enters the hydrologic cycle as dissolved SO42- through precipitation.   Because radioactive decay causes the activity of this isotope to decrease below detection limits after about four half-lives (approximately one year), its presence in water indicates that a fraction is derived from recent precipitation.  Given the seasonality of precipitation in the Sierra, this new method will allow us to quantify the fraction of stream flow derived from the most recent snowmelt.  Stream water derived from snow that fell two or more winters before will not contain detectable 35S. 




Jordan Clark              9/1/10-8/31/12                                                                             $104,399

National Science Foundation, 7003595(CJN03)


Collaborative Research: Large-scale, Long-term, Multi-directional, Cross-hole Experiments in the Upper Oceanic Crust Using a Borehole Observatory Network.

Intellectual Merit


This is a proposal for support of multidisciplinary borehole experiments in oceanic crust, to assess hydrogeologic, solute and colloid transport, and microbiological processes and properties at multiple spatial and temporal scales (meters to kilometers, minutes to years). Results of these experiments will comprise a major advance in our understanding of hydrogeologic properties and fluid processes within oceanic crust, and will help to develop new tools and methods that can be applied in many settings. Earlier grants funded engineering design and testing in preparation for these experiments; the present proposal is for support of scientific activities that will occur after IODP Expedition 327, beginning in Fall 2010. IODP Expedition 327 will drill and deepen three basement holes and install three new subseafloor, borehole observatory systems (CORKs).  Expedition 327 will include single and cross-hole hydrogeologic testing, to assess multi-scale formation properties, including the nature of hypothesized azimuthal and vertical crustal anisotropy. IODP researchers will also conduct singleand multi-hole tracer experiments, injecting a mixture of tracers during a 24-hour pumping test in one of the new basement holes, and monitoring for tracer arrival at holes 35 m to 2400 m away. We request support for two dive programs, in Summer 2011 and 2012, one and two years after drilling, followed by analytical and modeling work. The Summer 2011 expedition will include: downloading pressure data and collecting borehole fluid samples from several observatories at multiple depth using valves and samplers at the seafloor, exchanging long-term wellhead OsmoSamplers and microbial fluid samplers, and attaching an autonomous flow meter to one wellhead and opening a ball valve, initiating a long-term cross-hole experiment. We anticipate fluid discharge from the naturally-overpressured formation at 5–10 L/s for the subsequent year. The Summer 2012 expedition will be similar, except that we will recover the flow meter and close the valve on the free-flowing CORK, allowing formation pressure to recover. Analytical work will determine fluid and microbial characteristics and relationships, and numerical studies will evaluate coupled fluid-thermal-chemical flow processes in the crust with three-dimensional modeling and conditional simulation.



Jordan Clark                                    1/1/09-02/29/12                                          $38,673

Water Replenishment District of So Cal, SB090078(CJP04)


2009 Rio Hondo-Groundwater Tracer Study


The 2009 Rio Hondo Groundwater Tracer Study is intended to directly determine groundwater transit times from the northern Rio Hondo Spreading Grounds (RHSG) to nearby production and monitoring wells. It will be conducted in conjunction with the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) and coordinated with modifications to Well# 200065 designed to isolate different portions of the screen at the well. The experiment will test the hypothesis that the travel time of recharge water from the RHSG to Well#200065 can be increased from 16 weeks (4 months) as defined in the 2003 and 2005 experiments to beyond 26 weeks (6 months) following well modifications. Additional productions wells and monitoring wells will also be sampled to compare with the results from the earlier tests. The experiment will follow similar procedures of the 2003 and 2005 tracer experiments, which are described by McDermott et al. (2008).



Jordan Clark              10/1/10-2/1/14                                                                             $110,875

WateReuse Association (Foundation), SB090078(CJP06)


Development of New Tracers for Determining Travel Time Near MAR Operations.


The objective of the proposed study is to evaluate two new tracers to determine subsurface travel times near manage aquifer recharge (MAR) sites, which could be used instead of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) for compliance with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reuse regulations. The tracers to be tested are boron–10 (as 10B enriched borate) and radio-sulfur (35S).  Multi-tracer experiments with SF6, 10B, and 35S will be conducted on a variety of scales, ranging from laboratory columns (travel time of minutes) to MAR operations (travel time of months), to evaluate the relative performance of the different tracers.  The proposed study will address issues critical to the operation and regulation of many water reuse projects in California, the United States and elsewhere around the world and will increase the available tools for evaluating travel times and hydraulic connections near MAR operations.  These data are critical for understanding water quality changes that occur in the subsurface and permitting (in California). The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is in the process of regulating emission of SF6. Although an exemption for research is being discussed and will probably be included, the rules will require new methods for the introduction of SF6 into the recharge water that minimize its loss to the atmosphere.  Furthermore, the EPA has recently determined that SF6 and other greenhouse gases, such as CO2, are pollutants.  Future federal regulations may supersede California’s and prevent the use of this tracer at MAR locations. 



John Cottle                          5/1/11-4/30/13                                                                    $133,321

National Science Foundation, 1050043(CJ1N01)


Collaborative Research: Improving the Accuracy and Precision of Monazite and Allanite Geochronology via ID Th-Pb Ages for Reference Materials.


The principal limitation for obtaining high-precision, accurate standard-based 208Pb/232Th ages from monazite and allanite is the lack of appropriate, well-characterized reference materials. Because both monazite and allanite are compositionally variable and SIMS, LA-ICP-MS incur instrumental mass-dependent fractionation, it is essential to closely match standards with unknowns. This proposal seeks to determine isotope dilution (ID) Th-Pb ages for the Th-rich accessory minerals monazite and allanite. Th-Pb ages currently exist for only one reference material that is commonly used-'554'. Consequently, all standard-based geochronologic measurements require an assumption that Th-Pb and U-Pb ages are equivalent. This assumption is unnecessary and, in many cases, invalid. By obtaining high-precision ID Th-Pb ages for a suite of well-characterized, community-wide reference materials, this research will provide a means of independently calibrating Th-Pb ages for minerals that can be linked to fundamental tectonic processes.


The proposal has three distinct but interlinked objectives: 1. Sample Characterization by Electron Probe Microanalyzer (EPMA); 2. LA-ICP-MS U-Pb Dating of potential monazite reference materials; and 3. Development of a ‘spike’ specifically for isotope dilution analysis of monazite by ICP-MS and ID-TIMS.



John Cottle                                      10/1/09-9/30/12                                          $41,411

National Science Foundation, 0911416(CJ1N03)


Collaborative Research:Orogen-parallel mid-crustal flow and exhumation of domes along the southern maring of the Tibetan plateau


The Himalayas provide an exceptional opportunity to investigate the evolution of mid-crustal rocks that are bounded by active fault systems. Here, high-grade rocks that have been exhumed along orogen-parallel thrust faults and low angle detachment faults that were active until the middle Miocene have received considerable attention.  In several regions, the major structures that bound these mid-crustal rocks, the Main Central thrust (MCTZ) below and South Tibetan detachment system (STDS) above, are offset or reactivated by young metamorphic domes. Our recently obtained data from the Ama Drime Massif (ADM) suggest that it is another example of active orogen-parallel extension that has dominated the southern margin of the Tibetan Plateau since the middle Miocene.  Young metamorphic domes and their interaction with older shear zone/fault systems provide an important opportunity to study orogen-parallel mid-crustal flow and exhumation within an active convergent setting.



John Cottle      

National Science Foundation, ANT-1043152 (CJ1N02)              7/1/11-6/30/14         $311,385


Exploring the Significance of Na-Alkalkine Magmatism in Subduction Systems, a Case Study From the Ross Orogen, Antartica.         


This research aims to map and study basement rocks exposed in the Royal Society Range (2011−2012 season) and the Darwin Glacier regions (2012−2013 season) of the TransAntarctic Mountains. The Royal Society Range lies approximately 90km ESE of McMurdo Station in the TransAntarctic Mountains while the Darwin Glacier area is 200 km SW from McMurdo Station, immediately north of the Byrd Glacier. I hypothesize that these two areas represent the northern and southern boundaries (respectively) of a geologically distinct segment within the southern Victoria Land sector of the 550−500 Ma Ross Orogen. I will test our hypothesis in the field by conducting detailed geologic mapping and sample collecting. In subsequent laboratory work we will determine the ages and chemistry of the basement rocks. These two datasets combined will thus build up a more complete picture of the geologic evolution of this part of the TransAntacrtic Mountains.



John Cottle      

Dawn Kellett    

National Science Foundation, EAR-1119380 (CJ1N04)   7/1/11-6/30/12                     $126,078


How Does the Mid-crust Accomodate Deformation in Large, Hot Collisional Orogens? Insight From the Himalaya-Tibet System.


This research involves target fieldwork aimed at lithotectonic and structural characterization, and specimen collection. Detailed structural mapping of faults and shear zones and analysis of spatial variations in strain paths followed by rocks within the Main Central thrust system will follow the approach previously applied by the P.I.’s to other structures in the Himalaya (e.g. Cottle et al. 2007, 2009a, b; Kellett & Godin 2009; Kellett et al. 2009, 2010; Larson and Godin, 2009; Larson et al. 2010a; Jessup & Cottle, 2010). Macro- scale structural mapping will include documentation of all standard fabrics with an emphasis on lineations, high-strain domains, melt-associated deformation as well as boudins, flanking structures and over-printing relationships. Shear sense and deformation temperatures will be characterized through both micro-structural analysis (following the methods of e.g. Hirth and Tullis (1992)) and through optical and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis of crystal lattice preferred orientations (LPO) and the asymmetry of [c] and <a> axes patterns in quartz and feldspar grains (following e.g. Law et al. 1990 and Kruhl, 1998). Diffraction patterns will be collected using an FEI Quanta 400 FEG scanning electron microscope coupled with a HKL Nordlys 2 EBSD camera at UCSB.

Timing constraints on deformation within structures identified in the field will come from U(- Th)-Pb dating of 1) intrusive bodies that either cut or are deformed by the shear zones (Figure 3C); and 2) metamorphic monazite that can be texturally linked to pre-, syn-, and post-kinematic porphyroblasts (see thermobarometry and metamorphic ages sections).


The distribution of deformation domains will provide important information regarding the spatial variations in fabric development during the evolution of the Greater Himalaya series-Main Central thrust system and the relative importance of distributed versus focused (e.g., shear zone) deformation. Within the context of the models proposed, Hypothesis 1 predicts that deformation will be concentrated in the vicinity of the major thrust faults. Furthermore, deformation temperatures attained would be expected to decrease abruptly down structural section. In contrast, Hypothesis 2 predicts that deformation is pervasive throughout the rocks to be examined, and that all rocks were deformed at high temperatures; any change in deformation temperature should be gradational. Thus, understanding the distribution of deformation and its relative and absolute timing and duration of movement will provide a direct test of the competing models. In either case, this study will provide a detailed account of structures including microstructural characteristics and vorticity, both of which provide significant constraints on the structural evolution of the Himalayan front.



John Cottle      

US Geological Survey, G12AP20049 (CJ1U01)                   2/28/12-3/1/13                    $26,645


Evaluating Mechanisms for Rare Earth Phosphate Mineralization in the Proterozoic Pinto Gneiss, Music Valley, Eastern Mojave, California


Music Valley lies immediately to the north and east of Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave desert of eastern California. The study area lies within the Valley Mountain and Hexie Mountains 15’ quadrangles, mapped at 1:62500 scale by Dibblee (2008). The Twentynine Palms Mountain and Fried Liver Wash 7.5’ quadrangles provide 1:24000 topographic base for more detailed mapping and targeted sample collection. Field work will involve sample collection of at least 50 bulk rock and 20 alluvial samples from the several previously mapped deposits, including the U-Thor, Uranus 2-6, Baby Blue, and Hansen, and other deposits delineated by Evans (1964). GPS location, field relations, and photographs to indicate the precise location and context of the samples will also be collected. In addition, this study will employ a multi-faceted petrologic, geochemical, and geochronologic approach to determine the mechanism of rare earth phosphate mineralization. The proposed tools for this research include U-Th-Pb geochronology, in-situ Sm/Nd isotope geochemistry, trace element analysis, and chemical mapping of xenotime and monazite grains.

Sampling strategy: 50 bulk rock samples: host gneisses as well as leucosomes, inside and outside of the Th-anomaly, and at several of the deposits identified by Evans (1964) will be collected for further analysis during year 1 of the project. In addition, 20 alluvial samples will be collected in order to make a reconnaissance assessment over a wider to assess the likely spatial extent of the deposit. Analysis will begin with detailed petrographic thin section analysis of bulk rock samples. From this it will be determined which samples contain sufficient REE-phosphates for further study (we anticipate making detailed analyses of a subset of the most appropriate 25- 30 samples over the two year period).

Chemical Petrography: To characterize zoning patterns in xenotime and monazite, chemical mapping by two electron microbeam instruments will be carried out. Preliminary mapping of monazite and xenotime inclusions will be done on a FEI Quanta scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with a back-scattered electon detector (BSE). This will allow for the rapid location and identification of monazite and xenotime grains, as well as an initial view to the internal zoning patterns. Following this initial screening, x-ray maps of individual grains will be produced using a Cameca-SX100 electron probe micro analyzer (EPMA) equipped with five spectrometers to measure Y, Th, U, La, Pb and Nd zoning patterns. Distinguishing between zones of different chemical composition will be crucial for in-situ laser ablation. We expect the majority of chemical petrography to be complete by the end of year one.



Carla D'Antonio       

California Energy Commission, 20111150 (DCW01)      8/16/11-6/30/14                   $600,000


Quantifying the Impacts of Interactions Between Fire, Invasive Species, and Hydrologic Cycles.


We will examine on-going vegetation change in areas of high fire activity and subsequent changes to hydrologic cycles (e.g., timing and amounts of stream flow, nutrients in run-off) caused by fire in specific watersheds of California, where invasive species have come to dominate over portions of the watersheds or where type conversion is occurring. Our collaborators at UC Berkeley (Max Moritz and postdoc) will evaluate cover changes (trees to shrubs) and their consequences in Sierran watersheds while the UCSB group will focus on southern California coastal mountain ranges and eco-hydrological modeling. At UCSB, we will use a combination of historic aerial photos, GIS and fire occurrence records to evaluate factors contributing to watershed conversion in order to project areas vulnerable to future change.  To study the consequences of land cover change, we will select relatively fine-scale study areas to be compared, stratified according to those that are dominated by native species and those that have largely been “type converted” into non-native invasive species. Local scale measurements of water infiltration, vegetation evapotranspiration, and soil surface conditions will be used to parameterize watershed scale models to predict changes in water yield and nitrate run-off relative to vegetation condition.  Small scale measurements will be used to parameterize and test the ecosystem watershed model, RhesSys to evaluate the potential for largescale changes in water yield due to land cover change.  RhesSys models will be developed for both the Sierran watersheds and a southern California watershed. 



Carla D’Antonio                           7/3/09 – 8/31/12                                                          $12,051

Jennifer Thorsch                         

National Science Foundation, DBI-0946917 (TJF02)


NSF REU Infrastructure Upgrade & Curation of CCBER


The primary objective of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) award is to provide the opportunity for a student to 1) participate in the curation and conservation of CCBER’s plant specimens and 2) to assist with teaching and developing lesson plans and activities focused on plant taxonomy, plant collecting, pressing, mounting, and establishing a classroom herbarium for three 5th grade classes participating in the Kids in Nature (KIN) environmental education program. 



Frank Davis                         3/7/11-9/9/13                                                                       $383,787

David Stoms                        

California Energy Commission, 20101173(DFP45)


Cumulative Biological Impacts Framework for Solar Energy Projects in the California Desert.


Burgeoning interest in development of renewable energy projects in the California Desert and elsewhere is raising alarms about the potential impacts on biological resources. Many areas of high energy potential are in fragile environments that are easily disturbed and hard to restore. Our understanding of impacts of energy projects and associated infrastructure is still in its infancy (Western Governors’ Association 2008). Utility scale solar projects, having less implementation track record than wind, have potential impacts that are garnering increasing attention: habitat loss; alteration of water sources; elimination of crucial seasonal habitats; habitat fragmentation; disruption of movement patterns and connectivity and loss of gene flow; avoidance of project areas due to noise or human activity; invasive species that take advantage of disturbed sites; wildlife mortality on service roads; collisions or electrocutions from new transmission lines; or increasing predation as a result of additional prey perches on powerline poles (Western Governors’ Association [WGA] 2008).

Improvement in understanding is needed both about habitat‐related effects and about cumulative impacts. By modeling the cumulative impacts from renewable energy development, climate change, and urban growth in the Western Mojave region, Bare et al. (2009) were able to show where connectivity for desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep would likely decrease. Avoidance behavior by wildlife of energy projects can lead to high energy costs to individuals from the cumulative effect when multiple projects occur along a species movement corridor (Fox et al. 2006). Each species, however, has different sensitivities to these habitat alterations. Adding to the uncertainty about specific impacts is the diversity of solar technologies. Some systems require high power towers at the center of the farm of heliostats. Tracking systems require greater spacing between rows of panels to avoid artificial shading. Habitat models that operate on the scale of these impacts have been missing, but are now possible with recent advances in modeling.

NEPA prescribes a mitigation hierarchy: avoid, minimize, restore, or offset in descending order of preference. The bustle of planning activity for renewable energy in the West has focused on avoiding crucial habitats and minimizing impact on significant biological resources. The WGA has been assessing energy potential and wildlife impacts for several years. They established a process of selecting renewable energy zones (REZs). Sites of sufficient energy density were

screened for statutory or regulatory limitations (e.g., designated wilderness areas) or general environmental or land use constraints. To rank these sites to inform the process of establishing REZs, the Western Governors’ Wildlife Council defined categories of High Sensitive Areas that are irreplaceable for wildlife, Sensitive Areas where development would likely pose a significant risk to wildlife, and Areas with Insufficient Data. NatureServe (2009) was contracted to map these sensitivity classes according to data and classification rules chosen by each state.



Frank Davis      

Conservation International, SB120025 (DFP47)                 8/1/11-12/31/11                 $10,000


Modeling the Impacts of Climate Change on Indochina's Primates.

This research is a joint project, developed with the Vietnam program of Conservation International, to examine the impact of climate change on endangered primates. The project will model changes in primate ranges in response to climate change in 2050 and 2100, across a variety of Global Climate Models and emissions scenarios. These models will be valuable in helping the conservation community in Vietnam anticipate long-°©‐term consequences of climate change on highly endangered primates. The project results will be useful to government and NGO planning efforts, and can be used to design conservation strategies that will allow threatened primate conservation to endure in the face of long-°©‐term human-°©‐induced climate change. The work to be done under this agreement by UCSB (Bren School) is modeling of species ranges in the present and in the future using multiple GCM scenarios. Conservation International will provide species location data for the modeling. This agreement supports the time of the modeling researcher to prepare the data, prepare climatologies from multiple GCMs, run species distribution models (SDM) for all species having sufficient location data, and to analyze the results of the SDM modeling. The SDM model used will be Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) an emerging state-°©‐of-°©‐the art SDM. At least 4 GCM-°©‐ emissions scenario combinations will be modeled in MaxEnt for each species. Species numbers are anticipated to be 8-°©‐12, depending on data availability and quality. The Bren team will assess amount of range loss or gain expected in 2050 and 2100 for each GCM/scenario combination. They will also assess the applicability of the BioMove dispersal model for each species. Expected completion date for the modeling is September 30, 2011.



Frank Davis      

Conservation International, SB120091 (DFP48)                1/1/12-5/31/12                    $12,361


Food Security and Ecosystem-based Adaptation - Global Indicator Development and Mapping.

This research will focus on modeling in food security in support of analyses being conducted by the Science + Knowledge Division of Conservation International (CI), together with its Food Security Team.


This work will allow us to increase understanding of where the need for interventions is greatest, by helping to identify where human communities are most vulnerable to climate change driven increases in food insecurity. The IPCC defines vulnerable regions as regions where physical exposure of climate change is highest, sensitivity of people and communities is greatest and where adaptive capacity is lowest. In this project, the researcher will identify, generate and map indicators of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity, at the global scale, that are relevant within the context of food security. More specifically, and in close collaboration with various researchers within S&K, the UCSB research will:

1)      Identify, develop and map spatially explicit indicators for defining exposure, at the global scale, with respect to agricultural systems and other food production systems.

2)      Identify, develop and map spatially explicit indicators for defining sensitivity, at the global scale, in those same systems.

3)      Integrate the above layers, following existing protocols and/or based on novel methodologies (as necessary) into a global map in order to define regions at risk of climate change driven increases in food insecurity.

4)      Aid CI with general advice in defining and mapping of exposure, sensitivity and potential EbA interventions.



Frank Davis                                      8/31/08-9/30/12                                        $143,350

Department of Interior, J8C07080005(DFP42)


Preparing of Natural Resources Condition Assessment for Santa Monica Mountains NRA, Pinnacles NM, and John Muir NHS.


The Mediterranean Coast Network and San Francisco Bay Area Network have joined with University of California, Santa Barbara in the preparation of natural resource condition assessments (hereafter, assessments) for three parks in the Pacific West Region: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SAMO), Pinnacles National Monument (PINN), and John Muir National Historic Site (JOMU).  The assessments will characterize natural resources in these parks in terms of their setting and significance, provide an interdisciplinary evaluation of current condition status for park natural resources (spatial report-out, by park subareas), identify and document critical resource data and knowledge gaps, and highlight existing/emerging resource condition threats and stressors. 


The National Park Service (NPS) and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) will collaborate on a natural resource condition assessments (hereafter, assessments) for three parks in the Mediterranean (MEDN) and San Francisco Bay Area (SFAN) Vital Signs Monitoring Networks:  Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SAMO), Pinnacles National Monument (PINN), and John Muir National Historic Site (JOMU).  The assessments will characterize natural resources in these parks in terms of their setting and significance, provide an interdisciplinary evaluation of current condition status for park natural resources (spatial report-out, by park subareas), identify and document critical resource data and knowledge gaps, and highlight existing/emerging resource condition threats and stressors.



Frank Davis                         6/1/11-5/31/16                                                                 $2,288,985

National Science Foundation, EF-1065864(DFF03)


Collaborative Research: Do Micro-environments Govern Macro-ecology?


Lead Institution: UC Santa Barbara Collaborators: UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, Arizona State University, Conservation Biology Institute, Desert Research Institute, Conservation International


This project examines the effect of microenvironments (i.e. areas of high habitat suitability for individual species on macroecological processes, including species distribution responses to climate change and consequent extinction risk. Microenvironments have played critical roles in rapid vegetation response to past climate change, such as the emergence from the last glacial maximum. This project tests the importance of these difficult-to-model features in vegetation response to future climate change. The overarching research question addressed is ""How does macroecological response to climate change emerge from finer scale climate and population processes?"


The project uses a combination of modeling and field experimentation to answer this question. A collaborative research team will model microenvironment impacts on species distribution, abundance and diversity under rapid climate change for four tree species across four study sites in the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges of California. This proposed research design is a novel combination of site trials, distribution models and population models, incorporating measured (rather than inferred) species' tolerances relevant to microenvironments at scales that vary over five orders of magnitude (30m-3000km). Analytical tools will include reciprocal transplant experiments, field surveys, species trait-based distribution models, population models and biogeographic models of climate change. Physical models of microenvironments are linked to models of tree species occupation of microenvironments, which in turn inform models of population-level responses. Climate change is simulated using Regional Earth Systems Models and statistical downscaling from global climate model simulations. Field experiments examine the response of establishment phase (seedling) dynamics, the life history stage most sensitive to altered climate, through transplanting protocols to lower (warmer) elevations. The frequency of fire in the landscape is projected using correlations of fire to landscape conditions under current climate. Establishment phase and fire information is then used in models of single species population responses and multi-taxa responses in complex landscapes. These population-level models will give clear indication of whether microenvironments change species dynamics in rapid climate change in ways that will dramatically change range-wide and continental-scale biological responses to climate change.



Jeff Dozier        (DJN12)

National Aeronautics & Space Administration, NNX12AJ87G   4/1/12-3/31/13       $183,156


Assessing Water Resources in Remote, Sparsely Gauged, Snow-Dominated Mountain Basins.


Our objective is to estimate seasonal snow volumes, relative to historical trends and extremes, in snow-dominated mountains that have austere infrastructure, sparse gauging, challenges of accessibility, and emerging or enduring insecurity related to water resources.


To judge feasibility, the proposed effort looks at two regions, a validation case and a case representing the characteristics outlined above. For the validation case, we propose to use the Sierra Nevada of California, a mountain range of extensive historical study, emerging scientific innovation, and conflicting priorities in managing water for agriculture, urban areas, hydropower, recreation, habitat, and flood control. For the austere regional focus, we will examine southwest and south Asia, where some of the most persistent drought in the world causes food insecurity and combines with political instability, and occasional flooding, to affect US national security. Our approach will use a mix of satellite data and a spare modeling approach to present information essential for planning and decision making, ranging from optimization of proposed infrastructure projects to assessment of water resources stored as snow for seasonal forecasts.


We will combine optical imagery (MODIS on Terra/Aqua, VIIRS on NPP), passive microwave data (SSM/I, AMSR-E), retrospective reconstruction with energy balance calculations, and gridded feed-forward, uncoupled land surface modeling to establish retrospective context. Specifically, we will use the period spanning the decade-long record from Terra and Aqua to bracket the historical record. In the California Sierra Nevada, surface measurements have sufficient spatial and temporal resolution for us to validate our approach, which we will extend to the Hindu Kush of High Asia where surface data are sparse and where access presents significant difficulties. The world's mountains accumulate substantial snow and, in some areas, produce the bulk of the runoff. In ranges like Afghanistan's Hindu Kush, availability of water resources affects US policy, martial and humanitarian operations, and national security. The rugged terrain makes surface measurements difficult and also affects the analysis of remotely sensed data. The analysis would leverage several techniques developed from NASA-sponsored research and use NASA instruments. While using data from the Sierra Nevada for validation, the activity would also improve water resource assessment in that region where statistically based forecasts occasionally produce significantly errors. Partner organizations include the US Army Corps of Engineers and the NOAA Office of Hydrology, organizations that work together in the NOAA-led IWRSS (Integrated Water Resources Science and Services).



Jeff Dozier                           10/1/10-9/30/12                                                                    $18,740

National Science Foundation, EAR-1015057(DJF03)


Rapid Quantitative Snow Stratigraphy for Avalanche Forecasting Using Near-Infrared Photography.


Over two snow seasons, we made detailed time-series observations of snow stratigraphy and sintering throughout the depth profile of the snowpack. We used optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to measure snow grain geometry and chemical composition. Our findings agree with laboratory experiments and sintering theory. Because of the time required for sampling and microscopy, we sampled in just two locations. We now plan to extend our sampling to learn how stratigraphy and sintering vary spatially. Other studies we recently published examine how spatial variability is the driving mechanism that produces power laws in avalanche depth distributions. We will use a new method, near-infrared digital photography, for rapid quantitative stratigraphy and to cover the range of variability over a large mountain. We will apply this technique to snow stability evaluation and the general study of snow metamorphism. Since the measurement of snow properties with near-infrared photography is a new technique, it has not been widely used, and there are no peer-reviewed studies that apply it to snow stability. While the heterogeneity of grain sizes at the snow surface has been investigated with remote sensing, there are many fewer studies of the heterogeneity of snow properties in buried layers, especially at the slope scale. Our experience, extensive instrumentation, site accessibility, and large number of avalanche control records make our field location, Mammoth Mountain, an ideal site to test how near-infrared photography can be used for avalanche hazard evaluation. We will relate mechanical strength to specific signs of instability, called lemons, i.e. yellow flags. We propose that four of five common lemons can be identified with nearinfrared photography alone. We will also use spatial statistics and machine-learning techniques to classify stable and unstable near-infrared snow profiles. The funding requested will supply materials and travel expenses for one PhD student, who is supported by an ORISE fellowship through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.




Jeff Dozier                           9/1/08-8/31/13                                                                      $35,500

US Department of Agriculture, 58-5362-8-415(DJP11)


Using a Modeling System to Extend Hydrologic parameters and Processes from Experimental Watersheds to larger Regions Within Mountainous Regions of the Western US.


In the Western US, water quality and quantity is the foundation of all agricultural and urban development.  Increasing demand for this limited resource requires improved management, including simulation models that describe the timing and availability and quality of water in the region.  The Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed (RCEW) is the most intensively monitored watershed in the region and has a 48-year data record. We are able to effectively and accurately simulate the distribution of precipitation, snow deposition and melt, soil moisture and streamflow within the RCEW. It is not clear how to extend these findings over wider regions within the semi-arid Great Basin in the western US. While the cost of duplicating the detailed measurement and monitoring programs in place within RCEW to other mountainous drainages within the Western US is prohibitive, the National Science Foundation (NSF) WATer and Environmental Research Systems (WATERS) Network has requested that ARS join them in undertaking an effort determine which measurements and the critical measurement density required, to extend the detailed information available within RCEW to other mountain drainages across the Western US.


This project will: 1) Apply the modified Penn State Integrated Hydrology Modeling (PIHM) system over RCEW using all available data; 2) Selectively reduce input data to determine the minimum input forcing data required to achieve acceptable simulation accuracy; 3) Recommend augmentation of existing measurement facilities and models that would be required to achieve this level of simulation accuracy over other mountain drainages in the Western US.



Jeff Dozier                                       6/24/11-6/23/15                                        $675,795

James Frew

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX11AK35A(DJN11)


Error Analysis of MODIS Fractional Snow-Covered Area and Snow Albedo in Mountain Regions.


With the significant maturation of Earth science products in the EOS era, we are on the verge of true quantitative integration of these high-resolution, spatially explicit data records into water resource management and research. Snowmelt runoff forecasting in mountainous areas, such as the western United States, has developed as empirical models forced by sparse, in situ measurements of snow water equivalent that lie primarily in subalpine regions. Not only do the seasonal forecast models already have large errors in some years, they rely on a data record that assumes stationarity, and, therefore, are theoretically ill suited for water manage- ment in a changing climate. Moreover, they are unable to accurately address water resources during extreme events, such as persisting spring snow or new snowfall in the alpine zone above almost all measurement sites.

In response to this need for better assessment of the snow resource in mountain areas, new Earth System Data Records that use MODIS data have become available. However, they have not been rigorously validated, and uncertainties and the possible presence of systematic error are not known. In this investigation, we propose to undertake this necessary validation, through four years because the products will evolve. The specific Earth System Data Records are:

·        Daily MODIS fractional snow cover.

-        MODIS fractional snow cover based on the normalized difference snow index originally developed for Landsat [Dozier, 1989; Hall et al., 2006], available from Terra (product MOD10A1) since 2000 and from Aqua (product MYD10A1) since 2002 [Salomonson and Appel, 2004, 2006].

-        MODIS fractional snow cover based on spectral mixing [Painter et al., 2009], available for the Sierra Nevada since 2000 but produced on demand for any MODIS scene. The al- gorithm will be used for the NOAA/NOHRSC National Snow Model starting in water year 2010-11 and has been adopted for the GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), sched- uled for launch in the 2015 timeframe.

·        Snow albedo of the fractional snow cover, based on choosing the snow endmember from spectral mixing that minimizes the residual error [Painter et al., 2009]. A snow albedo prod- uct is also available for the normal “binary” (snow vs no-snow) snow-covered area product [Klein and Stroeve, 2002], but it is usually applied to continuous snow cover.

·        MODIS fractional snow cover and albedo, smoothed and interpolated across time and space to compensate for cloud cover, off-nadir viewing, and data dropouts [Dozier et al., 2008]. The analyses are available as monthly data cubes, during the snow seasons, for the Sierra Nevada since 2000.

The coupling presented here of fractional snow cover and the albedo of that snow provides water managers with spatially and temporally dense data records that populate modeling in- puts for forecasting and research. Their use in snowmelt models and reservoir operations would be advanced by our proposed investigation, which would validate the products, analyze the structure of errors, and advise users of caveats and likely accuracy. Of greatest interest is their potential combination with surface data and energy balance models to help estimate the

-1-spatial distribution of snow water equivalent (SWE). SWE can be interpolated in near real time from snow pillow and snow course measurements, constraining the surface measurements by satellite snow-cover estimates [Fassnacht et al., 2003]. In addition, SWE can be reconstructed from satellite snow-cover estimates and snow-depletion models [Martinec and Rango, 1981; Cline et al., 1998; Molotch, 2009].




Jeff Dozier                                    2/1/04-1/31/12                                          $3,950,000

James Frew

Jiancheng Shi

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNG04GC52A(DIN09)


Multi-Resolution Snow Products for the Hydrologic Sciences


For three decades satellite remote sensing instruments operating at visible, near-infrared, and microwave wavelengths have measured snow properties. In all snow products, and in remote sensing in general, there is a tradeoff between spatial resolution and swath width (and thus frequency of observations). Because most hydrologic applications require regular, frequent measurements, the instruments that provide the bulk of the data used have been AVHRR and MODIS in the optical part of the spectrum, with spatial resolutions of 1.1km and 500m at nadir, and the passive microwave sensors, with spatial resolutions of tens of kilometers. Because snow-covered area usually varies at a spatial scale finer than that of the resolution of the remote sensing instrument (i.e., the ground instantaneous field-of-view), this subpixel heterogeneity introduces artifacts into the measurements. The sensors usually measure radiation reflected or emitted from a mixture of snow, rock, soil, and vegetation. We contend that the errors introduced by subpixel heterogeneity can be systematic, and therefore they are not always eliminated by integrating over many pixels. We propose to develop a new set of products—snowcovered area, albedo, and snow-water equivalence—that fuse optical (MODIS, AVHRR) and microwave data (SSM/R, SSM/I, AMSR-E, and AMSR) and that incorporate spatial heterogeneity into the analysis.  Data product creation and distribution will be provided through a local infrastructure for Earth science product management: a technology suite we call the Earth System Science Server (ES-cubed), an environment for managing the creation, maintenance, updating, and dissemination of Earth science data products. The technology is based on the Microsoft TerraServer and runs on clusters of small computers. In addition to being robust and capacious enough to support public access, the infrastructure is flexible enough to manage the idiosyncratic computing ensembles that typify scientific research.



Jeff Dozier                  10/1/09-3/31/12                                                                             $76,000

Karl Rittger                        

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX09AN75H(DJN10)


Improving Runoff Forecasting with Enhanced Estimates of Snow Properties.


This investigation implements an interpolation scheme that estimates basin wide volumes of snow water equivalent (SWE), relying on patterns of SWE from an energy balance model, remote sensing, and in situ measurements. The interpolation scheme has potential for operating in real time for seasonal runoff forecasting to inform decision-making. With 25 years of snow-covered area data, the interpolation scheme can be used to examine peak SWE in Sierra Nevada River basins to investigate natural variability and trends. The approach examines patterns from estimates of the spatial distribution of snow from a retrospective energy balance method, and thereby incorporates hypsometric and land cover characteristics of snow in the Sierra Nevada. The objective is a better understanding of hydrologic sensitivity and land-atmosphere coupling through space-based remote sensing and distributed basin modeling. The overarching science objective is the development of an interpolation method to integrate satellite and in situ observations to produce real time estimates of spatially distributed SWE that can be used for runoff forecasting. The investigation addresses the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) research objective to improve our capability to predict extreme events such as floods caused by

rain on snow. I will use spectral mixing analysis to quantify fractional snow-covered area (fSCA) and an energy balance model to quantify SWE, two key variables in the energy and water cycles that represent another SMD research objective. Finally, I will address SMD research objectives by developing historical fSCA and SWE datasets that can be used in climate simulations for predictability of water, carbon and nitrogen.



Thomas Dunne          11/15/07-11/30/13                                                                        $286,582

California Department of Water Resources, 460007708(DTW05/TDW03)


San Joaquin River Restoration Program


This project involves field and computational research to assist the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) in providing Chinook salmon habitat in Reach 1 of the San Joaquin River.  Completion will involve both field data collection and computer modeling activities designed to answer the question:  "How will the form and bed conditions of the gravel bed reach of the San Joaquin River respond to an alteration of flow regime and to manipulation of the sediment within the reach, and how will the changes affect the quality of habitat for Chinook salmon?"



Thomas Dunne                    4/1/11-3/31/13                                                                    $102,876

Erin Bray                           

UC Sea Grant College Program, R/SF-49(DTW06/07)


Effect of Direct and Interactive Disturbances of the Streamflow Regime of the Middle San Joaquin River on Key Instream Abiotic Drivers of Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Habitat.


This research proposal describes computational research and supplemental field/data collection in ecohydrology and river quality modeling to characterize how variations in flow regime relate to instream abiotic conditions in order to provide favorable habitat for Chinook salmon in Reach 1 of the Middle San Joaquin River. The aim of this project is to develop a pair of interlocking, dynamic models and field analyses to quantify the availability and distribution of stream temperature, dissolved oxygen, and sediment conditions that support Chinook populations. This will be done by coupling an existing hydrodynamic model with an existing stream network population model to 1) perturb existing flow releases from the Friant Dam (timing, frequency, magnitude, duration, rate of change), 2) advance our understanding of habitat suitability across gradients of temperature and dissolved oxygen, 3) predict fish population response to direct and interactive flow/habitat disturbances, and 5) identify critical cause and effect pathways to defining a restored ecosystem for Chinook salmon throughout the Bay Delta. Doing so gives rise to emergent complex dynamics that can be examined only through an integrated study of flow, abiotic effects, and fish populations. Each of these has a potentially unique spatial signature that is in part controlled by hydrograph manipulation, and fish will thrive only where all of these coincide. Planning for flow releases in Bay Delta systems may be better informed if we understand the abiotic and ecological significance.



Tom Dunne                                      6/1/06-6/30/13                              $1,400,000

Frank Davis

Bruce Kendall

Hunter Lenihan

CalFed Bay-Delta Program, U-05-SC-058(DFW05/06, DTW02/TDW04, KBW01/02, LHW01/02)


How Abiotic Processes, Biotic Processes, and Their Interactions Sustain Habitat Characteristics and Functions in River Channels and their Floodplains: An Investigation of the Response of a Gravel-Bed Reach of the Merced River to Restoration


Understanding how conservation and restoration interventions influence biological resources in California rivers is a key objective of state and federal resource agencies. The prevailing paradigm for river restoration within central California, and specifically within the California Bay-Delta Restoration Program, is that establishment of a naturalized, self-regulating, alluvial river channel, connected to its floodplain, will produce a cascade of benefits through the re-establishment of spawning and rearing conditions, initially for salmon, and coincidentally for the successful development of a number of other native aquatic, riparian, and floodplain organisms. Based upon decades of study by the community of aquatic ecologists and river restoration professionals in California, summarized in both the scientific literature and in various resource assessments and baseline survey reports [e.g. Stillwater Sciences, 2001, 2002; Trush et al., 2000], it has been proposed that a self-regulating alluvial river, supporting a diversity and abundance of native species including salmonids, has the following components:

•     Unconstrained banks that allow the river channel to migrate laterally to create, maintain, and rejuvenate pools (rearing habitat), point bars (shallow margin rearing habitat), riffles (spawning habitat), and floodplains (riparian and terrestrial habitat).

•     A gravel-bottomed river that is mobilized and redeposited frequently enough to destroy, create, and maintain sufficient spawning and rearing habitat.

•     Temporal patterns of flow conditions, sediment loads, water quality, and water temperatures that favor the long-term survival of numerous native species whose life cycles are adjusted to these variations.


This conceptual framework constitutes the richest and most thoroughly elaborated paradigm available to river restoration professionals for re-establishing the linkages between what was formerly a dynamic physical environment and the biogeochemical and biological processes that yielded the biodiversity and productivity which are now diminished. However, it is essentially a qualitative model, conceptualized through comparative studies and informal observations in several rivers. We are not aware of any published quantitative study of the process linkages underlying this broad conceptual model. a fact that hinders its application to planning, design, and assessment of restoration projects. Now that some examples of the paradigm have been implemented, it is possible to use them to:

•     refine and elaborate some of the original design concepts,

•     answer questions about the desired biological responses by expanding studies of fish, invertebrates, and plants,

•     quantify the strengths of the hypothesized linkages between abiotic and biotic processes as the river systems evolve after restoration,

•     quantify how the reach-scale changes operate within the larger river systems in which they are nested.


The project utilizes a ~5 km long reach of the Merced River as an outdoor, natural-scale laboratory in which to observe, model, and test hypotheses about the linkages between geomorphic and hydrologic conditions and processes and the creation and maintenance of biological habitat.



Erica Fleishman                           2/1/10-12/31/12                              $266,000

BP Exploration - Alaska, SB100049(FEP05)


Cumulative Effects of Anthropogenic Underwater Sound on Marine Mammals.


 The project will (1) provide a summary and synthesis of the peer-reviewed and, where appropriate, gray literature on cumulative effects of anthropogenic underwater sound on marine mammals and related information, (2) develop one or more suggested methods or approaches for routinely assessing cumulative effects of anthropogenic underwater sound on marine mammals on the basis of the best available scientific information (that is, methods that do not require substantial primary research), and (3) suggest future primary research approaches or studies likely to enhance the ability of industry to assess cumulative effects of anthropogenic underwater sound on marine mammals.



Erica Fleishman                           7/1/09-4/30/12                                             $176,073

Kresge Foundation, 20091450(FEP01)


Identification of Research Questions with Great Potential to Inform Conservation Policy and Investment Strategies in the United States.


If science is to be relevant to the needs of policy makers rather than merely a curiosity-driven exercise, it must transcend refinement of concepts and lend itself to solving real-world problems. The decisions facing society, and the needs for credible science to inform those decisions, are increasingly critical. The unexpected speed and magnitude of climate change increases the emphasis on developing effective and near-term policy responses under considerable ecological, economic, social, and institutional uncertainties.


Researchers in the natural and social sciences may not have the insight or experience to frame questions with tangible bearing on conservation policy. We propose to lead a collaborative process by which policy makers in the United States convey their specific and greatest needs for information to conservation scientists concerned with the potential impacts of climate change on ecological systems that already are stressed. Development of a set of high-priority questions on which researchers might focus long has been recognized as an effective mechanism for advancing a discipline. Our work will build on broadly inclusive and highly successful efforts to identify ecological or conservation questions of notable relevance to policy makers and managers in the United Kingdom, Australia, and globally. Our work in the United States will be conducted in parallel with an effort in Canada that is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Thus, we ultimately will be able to compare results at a continental level. We define the United States as the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the adjacent waters over which the United States has jurisdiction.


To specify topic areas under which questions will be nested, to generate a large pool of questions, to cull those questions, and to ensure the exercise is inclusive of the conservation community within the United States, we will seek comprehensive input from policy makers (and those who work closely with policy makers) in federal and state governments, nongovernmental organizations (including professional societies), and charitable foundations. The breadth and depth of participants’ understanding of practical application of science will ensure high salience of the questions with policy makers. After 40 questions have been selected, we will conduct surveys of (1) policy makers (or those who work closely with policy makers) in the governmental sector, (2) policy specialists in the nongovernmental sector, and (3) conservation researchers in the both the natural and social sciences. The goal of the surveys is to prioritize research questions and to compare ranked priorities among and within the groups.



Erica Fleishman                           6/1/09-12/30/12                                                        $224,779

Office of Naval Research, N00014-09-1-0896(FEO01)


Population Consequences of Acoustic Disturbance of Marine Mammals.


In 2005, a National Research Council (NRC) committee examined how the behavior of marine mammals responds to anthropogenic sound. The committee provided a valuable conceptual framework to structure future studies of the potential population-level effects of changes in behavior of marine mammals. However, developments since the committee issued its report, and advances in research that were not considered explicitly by the committee, have made it possible to transform this framework into a more formal model structure. For example, evolutionary biologists have developed an approach for investigating trait-mediated interactions, which describe how the behavior of individuals affects the dynamics of interacting populations. In addition, new developments in computationally intensive analytic methods have made it possible to fit trait-mediated interactions to empirical data with techniques such as hierarchical Bayesian analysis.


The NRC committee identified several levels at which anthropogenic sound may affect marine mammals, including behavior (e.g., diving, resting), life functions (e.g., feeding, breeding, migrating), vital rates (e.g. adult survival, reproduction), and populations (e.g., growth rate, probability of persistence). The Office of Naval Research is addressing the potential behavioral response of animals to sound exposure through controlled-exposure experiments. Knowledge of how effects transfer between behavior and life functions, and between life functions and vital rates, is limited. Improved understanding of transfer functions, whether theoretical or empirical, might help to guide research and management efforts, and to project how marine mammals may respond to alternative future scenarios of anthropogenic sound. Inferences also are directly relevant to assessing the potential effects on marine systems of climate change or changes in human density and development in coastal regions.


We expect to develop a multidisciplinary project team with 12 to 15 participants. This group will collaborate to implement an array of modeling approaches using existing data sets on marine mammals. This team will collaborate over the course of the project and will hold regular meetings to further develop models, analyze data, and work through conceptual challenges and interpretation of modeling efforts. In addition to work at participants’ home institutions, we are planning five meetings of the project team.



Erica Fleishman                           1/7/10-8/31/13                                 $130,500

USDA Forest Service, 10-JV-11221632-028(FEP04)


Decision-support Tools for Conserving Greater Sage-grouse During Fire and Fuels Management Projects in Pinyon and Juniper Woodlands.


The configuration, species composition, and connectivity of sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) ecosystems across the Intermountain West is changing as a result of expansion of native singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla) and Utah and western juniper (Juniperus osteosperma, J. occidentalis) trees, invasion by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and other non-native plants, and human land uses such as agriculture, grazing by domestic livestock, energy extraction, and exurban infrastructure. Climate change directly affects the distribution and viability of sagebrush and exacerbates the influence of many existing stressors. The probability of listings of sagebrush-obligate or sagebrush-associated species, including birds, under federal and state endangered species acts is increasing as a result. The status of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is of particular concern. The historical range of Greater Sage-Grouse overlapped with 12 western states and with three Canadian provinces. Greater Sage-Grouse currently occupy ~50% of their historical range, and the abundances of many populations are declining by as much as 2% per year. Population trends of many other sagebrush-associated species are similar. For example, abundances of populations of Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella brewerii) have been declining by 3% per year. Whether Greater Sage-Grouse warrant listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act has been debated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and district courts for more than five years. In the meantime, efforts to conserve the species and its habitat are well underway. In June 2008, the Western Governors’ Association issued Policy Resolution 08–12, Sagegrouse and Sagebrush Conservation, which recognized “a continuing need to evaluate the species’ status and develop overall management criteria at the range-wide level so conservation needs and successes can be assessed.” On 29 October 2008, the Governor of Nevada announced an Executive Order declaring that the state’s policy is to preserve and protect habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse whenever possible. Prescribed fire and other fuels management treatments have been suggested as mechanisms to slow expansion of pinyon and juniper woodlands while minimizing potential expansion of non-native plants and increasing habitat quality and quantity for Greater Sage-Grouse. These treatments also may reduce the probability of severe wildfires, which can have undesirable effects on social, economic, cultural, and ecological values. However, achieving long-term goals related to fire and fuels may conflict with short-term goals related to survival and viability of threatened and endangered species. Explicit evaluation of spatial and temporal tradeoffs in management of woodlands to reduce wildfire risk, maintain sagebrush systems, and conserve rare or sensitive species can identify strategies that are either consistent or incompatible with achieving simultaneously these and other objectives.



Erica Fleishman                                     4/17/09-4/30/13                     $50,000

Wilburforce Foundation, 20091083(FEP02)


Maintaining Connectivity in the Great Basin in the Face of Climate and Land-Cover Change.


Climate change directly and indirectly will affect the viability of numerous species that are priorities for conservation and management in the Great Basin, and will exacerbate the influence of existing drivers on those species. It is uncertain how climate change, land use, and management treatments may change the quality and connectivity of habitat for species of concern. We will use newly developed conservation-planning approaches to optimize the quantity and connectivity of habitat for multiple species under different scenarios of environmental change. We will classify current land cover, project land cover and connectivity of habitat for target species under different scenarios of environmental change, optimize habitat quality and connectivity for multiple species under different scenarios of climate change and management, and share outcomes with the conservation and management community. We will capitalize on existing relationships with decision makers and managers in federal, state, and nongovernmental organizations to maximize the ability of our work to inform policy and management interventions. Analyses related to human-ignited fire and Greater Sage-grouse are especially ripe for application.



Roland Geyer                       10/1/09-9/30/13                                                                   $218,120

Frank Davis                        

David Stoms                        

National Science Foundation, CBET-0932369(GRF01)


Spatially-explicit Life Cycle Assessment Tools for Environmental Sustainability.


The goal of this project is to expand and enhance Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) theory and practice by   coupling LCA tools with the spatial analytical functions of geographic information systems (GIS). The project will apply these coupled LCA-GIS tools to model inventory flows and assess impacts on biodiversity of land use dynamics associated with biofuel crop production. Whereas land use and biodiversity are acknowledged as important elements in evaluating the environmental sustainability of product systems, there are as yet no standard methods for accounting for them. Effects of land use on biodiversity depend on scale and spatial pattern of land use and land cover. In contrast, LCA is traditionally linear and aspatial, using average values for input and output flows. For types of impacts withM small land requirements, this averaging approach may be sufficient. For products with large land requirements such as agriculture and biofuels, however, the location and arrangement of production activities cannot be ignored. Combining LCA with GIS creates the potential to develop indicators that are meaningful for biodiversity and that can account for the spatially-dependent and non-linear consequences of land use change. This project will develop the tools to make this coupling of software systems feasible and practical for all LCA studies of product systems that have large land use requirements. GIS tools will be developed to generate inventory flows from land use in Life Cycle Inventory. Flow data will be integrated with ecological databases to create and compare various biodiversity characterization models and impact indicators. In addition to methodology and tool development, it will also conduct a multidisciplinary graduate seminar in environmental sustainability and impact assessment with LCA and GIS to train a cadre of industrial ecology graduate students in this cutting-edge integration of technologies. The intellectual merit of the proposed activity is twofold: overcoming the barriers to incorporating spatial differentiation in LCA methodology, and solving the omission of biodiversity concerns in LCA. Biofuel production has been chosen as a prototype product system for several reasons. Environmental, economic, and political concerns about fossil fuels have dramatically increased the demand for biofuel alternatives. Although the potential of biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and some other environmental impacts has been studied extensively, habitat and biodiversity consequences of largescale biofuel production systems have not been rigorously analyzed. Such impacts could be substantial and could be positive or negative depending on location-specific changes in land use and land management practices. However, the developed approach will be sufficiently general to be applicable to a wide range of production processes and product systems that require spatially-explicit analysis. The broader impacts of the project, therefore, are that it will enable the coupling of GIS and LCA more generally and that it will enhance LCA to more fully quantify environmental sustainability and the tradeoffs between biodiversity and other concerns.



Brad Hacker                         7/15/07-6/30/12                                                                    $312,317

National Science Foundation, 0708934(HBN11)


Collaborative Research: How is Rifting Exhuming the Youngest HP/UHP Rocks on Earth?


At the Woodlark rift of eastern Papua New Guinea, an active oceanic spreading center terminates along strike into a continental rift. In this region of active and rapid continental extension, Late Miocene-Pliocene eclogites have been exhumed at cm/yr rates within the lower plates of metamorphic core complexes (MCCs). We propose a 5-year multidisciplinary project to address two key questions in continental dynamics: How does lithosphere rupture? How are HP/UHP terranes formed and exhumed? We will use eastern Papua New Guinea as a field laboratory to examine how the lithosphere has evolved petrologically, rheologically, and thermally during the transition from subduction to rifting and seafloor spreading. Geologic fieldwork will document the spatial distribution, temporal sequence, and kinematics of ductile to brittle fabrics in metamorphic, magmatic and sedimentary rocks of the conjugate rifted margins, the MCCs west of the active seafloor spreading rift tip, and the inferred youngest MCC (Dayman Dome). Analytical work will document the pressure-temperature-time deformation n evolution tion of exhumed rocks, as well as the melting conditions and sources that have given rise to volcanic rocks. A passive seismic deployment will image the crust and mantle beneath and north of MCCs where partially exhumed HP/UHP rocks may occur at depth. Rock physical properties modeling will integrate petrophysical lab measurements of HP/UHP field samples, electron back-scatter diffraction studies of lattice preferred orientations, and quantitative mineral-physical-properties calculations for determining seismic wave speeds of rocks. GPS surveys will provide direct measurements of horizontal strain rates associated with HP/UHP exhumation and microplate kinematics. Geodynamic modeling will numerically simulate MCC evolution and exhumation of HP/UHP rocks. All data will be integrated by tectonic synthesis to test end-member models proposed for the tectonic evolution of the region and address the two key questions above. The eastern Papua New Guinea HP/UHP terrane will be compared to similar terranes globally to assess whether exhumation mechanisms documented in this region can be applied to other HP/UHP terranes. Results will contribute to an improved understanding of the processes governing the origin, structure, composition, and dynamic evolution of continental building blocks. These processes include deformation localization within the crust, exhumation of UHP rocks, and the fundamental processes by which the Earth’s tectonic plates rift and rupture.       



Brad Hacker                         2/1/09-1/31/13                                                                    $227,664

National Science Foundation, 0838264(HBN13)


Collaborative Research: Testing Channel-Flow Models Using Middle-Crustal Rocks of North Himalayan Gneiss Domes


This project will investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of kinematics, vorticity (a measure of the relative contributions of pure and simple shear), finite strain, and deformation temperature in strongly deformed middle crustal rocks exposed in the North Himalayan gneiss domes, southern Tibet, using structural petrology, finite strain analysis, electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), and metamorphic monazite geochronology. The research is motivated by recently formulated thermal-mechanical channel flow/extrusion models which postulate that the middle crust exposed in the high Himalaya and southern Tibet was a low-viscosity, ductile material, bounded above and below by coeval normal- and thrust-sense shear zones, respectively, that flowed and extruded to the south. In light of these provocative models, it is time to test the channel flow hypothesis by determining whether the predicted low-viscosity channel is exposed in the North Himalayan gneiss domes and whether it shows the expected combination of southward flow and vertical thinning.


Flow within a channel can range from pure Couette flow to Poiseuille flow, or be a combination of the two. Couette (or linear) flow develops between rigid plates moving relative to one another and is characterized by simple shear (high vorticity number) with the highest velocities toward the top or bottom of the channel. Poiseuille (or parabolic) flow develops between stationary rigid plates in which a horizontal gradient in lithostatic pressure produces the highest velocities in the center of the channel and decreasing, but opposite, shear velocities toward the top and bottom of the channel. Poiseuille flow is characterized by high vorticity number (simple shear) at the top and bottom of the channel, decreasing vorticity number (mix of simple shear and pure shear or general shear) toward the center of the channel, and low vorticity number (pure shear) at the center of the channel.


This project will document the deformation vorticities, finite strain, temperatures, and timing during ductile flow, combined with existing thermobarometric, geochronologic, and thermochronologic data, will provide a comprehensive spatial, thermal, and temporal history of deformation and flow in middle crustal rocks, southern Tibet. Furthermore, our studies, combined with similar published and ongoing studies in middle crustal rocks exposed in the high Himalaya, will provide an unprecedented view of middle crustal flow parallel to the transport direction over a distance of 50100 km. Characterization of deformation over a broad range of spatial, thermal, and temporal scales is critical to testing models of middle crustal channel flow/extrusion within a collisional orogen and will provide invaluable insight into the role of the middle crust in the geodynamic development of the HimalayanTibetaan orogenic belt, and orogenic belts in general.   



Bradley Hacker                                      03/01/08-02/28/12                                    $279,279

National Science Foundation, 0745620(HBN03)


 Using Mineral Physics to Interpret Seismic Anisotropy of the Lower Crust Collaborative Research:   Using Mineral Physics to Interpret Seismic Anisotropy of Basin & Range Crust   George Zandt, Arizona & Bradley Hacker, UCSB


Rock samples will be studied from two xenolith pipes and three crustal sections in the Basin and Range. Electron-backscatter diffraction will be used to measure orientations of all crystals in representative samples. Single-crystal stiffness data will be used to calculate the elasticities of the samples. These elasticities will be combined with rock abundance and structure data collected in the field to yield bulk km-scale elasticities for each of the five study sites. Armed with km-scale elasticities for the five study sites plus elasticities for the constituent lithologies we will interpret the anisotropy of the Basin and Range lower crust measured from EarthScope’s USArray.



Bradley Hacker                                9/15/09-8/31/12                            $477,500

John Cottle

James Mattinson

Frank Spera

David Valentine

National Science Foundation, 0923552(HBN16)


MRI: Acquisition of an Electron Microprobe for UCSB Researchers and Educators


This project supports the acquisition electron-probbe microanalyzer (EPMA); which will transform our ability to investigate a broad range of Earth science questions. In metamorphic petrology, the EPMA will be used to address key tectonic problems such as the exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure rocks, melting of sediments in subduction zones, flow of the lower crust, and heating and cooling histories of xenoliths. It will also be used to address methodological issues such as linking thermobarometry and accessory phase chemistry to geochronology. In igneous petrology, we will use the EPMA to understand magma-body dynamics through analyses of crystal zoning, to test thermodynamic models of trace-element distributions, and to understand magma PT paths through analysis of glass inclusions. In sedimentary petrology, EPMA can be used to understand erosion and sediment transport during orogenesis, and to understand surface processes and shallow-crustal deformation by providing a superior tuff-correlation tool. In geochronology, a modern EPMA is central to making progress in using rutile as a thermochronometer, characterizing the complexity of phases such as rutile and sphene prior to age determination, interpreting U-Pb REE ages in light of garnet trace-element zoning, understanding complex dissolution systematics and behavior during chemical-abrasion TIMS of zircon and monazite, and in characterizing standards for laser-ablation ICPMS. In structural geology, EPMA (and ICP) measurements of Ti in quartz will give us a previously unexploited means for assigning temperatures to deformation mechanisms. In geobiology, EPMA may help break new ground in assessing how microbes acquire energy from sources physically bound or concealed in solids, identifying intracellular inclusions in methanotrophs, and identifying the imprint of anaerobic methanotrophs in the geologic record.        



Bradley Hacker          6/1/11-5/31/13                                                                             $143,467

Stacia Gordon           

National Science Foundation, EAR-1008760(HBN17)


Collaborative Research: The Suturing Process: Insight from the India-Asia Collision Zone.


The suturing of continental fragments following the subduction of intervening oceanic lithosphere is a fundamental process in lithospheric dynamics and the shaping and growth of Earth’s continents. However, our understanding of this fundamental process remains limited. Can we use geological observations in some particularly well-exposed suture zones to make general statements about how landscapes and sedimentary basins evolve during suturing? What geodynamic processes lead to decreases in plate convergence rate? Are Mediterranean-style rollback of remnant oceanic lithosphere and opening of marginal oceanic basins characteristic of all or most pre-climax collision zones? Do presuturing ophiolite obduction and intraoceanic arc–continental margin interactions leave predictable signatures in suture zones? How is the upper continental plate preconditioned by pre-suturing tectonism and how does the upper plate evolve during the transition from oceanic to continental subduction? Is there a predictable mode of deformation in the downgoing continental plate? And what do we expect the balance to be among continental subduction and erosive removal of mass from a collisional orogenic system? We propose to address such questions through a 4-year investigation of the archetypal India–Asia collision zone (IACZ) in southern Tibet that involves 19 investigators and 14 graduate students from 9 different institutions. Techniques to be employed include structural geology, stratigraphy, geochronology, thermochronology, stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology, paleomagnetism, and geodynamical modeling. We aim to determine the: (1) evolution of paleogeography and paleoelevation during the transition from oceanic subduction to mature continental collision; (2) geodynamic processes that caused marked decreases in India–Asia convergence rate; (3) role of Mediterranean-style opening and closing of marginal basins prior to terminal collision; (4) metamorphic evolution of lower-plate (Indian) rocks in response to ophiolite emplacement, possible intra-oceanic arc collision, and continent collision; (5) role of pre-collisional Andean-style magmatism and deformation in preconditioning the upper-plate lithosphere and how this Andean-style system evolved during continent collision; (6) paleogeography of the Neo-Tethys margins and the history of subduction, exhumation, thickening, and underthrusting/rollback of Greater Indian continental lithosphere; and (7) spatial pattern, magnitude, and history of erosion and sediment dispersal. Our aims are ambitious but feasible because of the presence of rich, but as yet untapped geological records of appropriate age (Cretaceous to Miocene) adjacent to and within the India–Asia suture zone. Geodynamical modeling of suturing processes will run in parallel with the geological studies; this vital effort will help guide the evolving project. Whereas the IACZ will be used as our lab, we expect that our project deliverables (3-D pre-, syn-, and post-suturing reconstructions at the lithosphere scale) will provide fresh, well-constrained, and testable ideas about the suturing process and its role in continental crustal genesis. 



Bradley Hacker                               8/1/09-7/31/13                               $341,828

James Mattinson

National Science Foundation, EAR-0838269(HBN15)


How Does the Lower Crust Thicken and Grow During Continent Collisions? A Case Study of the Pamir


Continent collisions, past and present, are studied to understand their influences on plate driving forces, the refining of the continental crust, geochemical recycling, topography, climate change, etc. For many years, and for good reasons, Tibet has been the preferred site of study. Tibet, however, has one significant limitation: it has few exposures of Cenozoic lower crustal rocks. In contrast, the Pamir the western extension of the Tibetan Plateau has multiple domes s exposing Cenozoic lower crustal rocks. The Pamir thus present an important opportunity for understanding the role of the lower crust in continent collisions. This proposal focuses on determining how the lower crust thickened and grew during the Cenozoic evolution of the Pamir, with the expectation that these findings will apply to continent collisions in general. There are two endmember models for crustal thickening and growth during collision, a ‘brittle’ model el based on folding and imbrication of the crust and subduction of mantle lithosphere, and a ‘ductile’ model that calls upon large-scale flow of the lower crust in response to gravitational potential energy gradients. We can test these models in the Pamir within the framework of three hypotheses: The Pamir lower crust was 1) thickened and exhumed by local intracontinental shortening during the Cenozoic, 2) thickened by Cenozoic long-distance flow and exhumed by local intracontinental shortening during the Cenozoic, or 3) thickened and exhumed mostly before the India–Asia collision. These hypotheses can be evaluated by studying the Pamir domes and measuring the distribution in space and time of ages of magmatism, ages of crustal thickening, ages of exhumation, depths of exhumation, and deformation associated with formation and exhumation of the domes. This is a collaborative work: UCSB researchers will use U/Pb dating of zircon to determine crystallization ages of plutons, Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd dating to measure crustal thickening ages, and thermobarometry to determine exhumation depths; Freiberg researchers will use 40Ar/39Ar, fission-track, and (U-Th)/He/He dating to constrain thermal histories, and conduct structural analysis to determine the deformation histories of the domes.    



Bradley Hacker                     8/1/09-7/31/12                     $391,382

James Mattinson

Andrew Kylander-Clark

National Science Foundation, 0911485(HBN14A)


The Dynamics of UHP Tectonism: Does the Western Gneiss Region Consist of Multiple (U)HP Blocks With Different Histories? The Dynamics of UHP Tectonism: Does the Western Gneiss Region Consist of Multiple (U)HP Blocks With Different Histories?


Understanding the formation and exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) rocks continues to be one of the outstanding tectonic questions of our time because of the impact such processes have had on the exchange of material between the crust and mantle, the generation and collapse of mountain belts, the formation and processing of continental crust, and tectonic plate motions. A major advance would be to understand the number, sizes, and histories of the various blocks that make up a UHP terrane.


This proposal is to test whether UHP orogens form through repeated subduction of the same tectonic unit or through sequential subduction of different units, by examining a specific example, the Western Gneiss Region of Norway. Following careful petrology, zircon genesis will be assessed by optical and back-scattered electron petrography, cathodoluminescence, trace-element abundances, and Raman spectroscopy. Single grains and grain fragments will be analyzed by TIMS, select populations by CA-TIMS, and inherited cores by LA-MC-ICP-MS. Following reconnaissance SIMS dating, single grains and grain fragments will be analyzed by TIMS. The strength of this approach lies in its use of state-of-the-art zircon geochronology and petrology, collaboration with researchers at cutting-edge facilities, and our familiarity with other ultrahigh-pressure orogens. The impact of this research should be considerable and broadly applicable because of the archetypal nature of the Norwegian UHP terrane.



Lee Hannah                                      6/1/09-12/30/12                                        $300,000

Frank Davis

California Energy Commission, 500-08-020 (HL1P01)


Advanced Modeling of the Biological Effects of Climate Change in California.


Among the greatest challenges currently facing modeling of biological effects of climate change are those of temporal and spatial scale. Current models of species responses to climate change are generally at scales of 5-100 km, and use climate projections with single windows of 50-80 years, which is a very coarse resolution relative to the generation times and processes of plants and animals.  Therefore, moving down in spatial scale and incorporating multiple time steps opens many productive research pathways for collaboration between climatologists and biologists.  Refining spatial and temporal scale comes with a series of challenges.  Computational time increases exponentially rather than linearly with dimensions of scale. Stochastic processes become much more important as well, leading to multiple outcomes as the model uncertainty increases. 


This research program will apply the BioMove model and other tools to climate change assessment at biologically relevant scales.  It will pioneer new methods of working at fine scale, as well as test the established model BioMove in these applications.  Products of this research will include an analysis that will identify optimal networks of sites important for the conservation of species through multiple time-steps as climate changes in California.  The project will also improve fire modeling, develop a better understanding of vegetation regeneration and fire interactions at fine scale, develop methods at annual temporal scales and create solutions for temporal, spatial and computation problems.



Lee Hannah                         6/15/10-12/31/11                                                                 $71,769

California Energy Commission, POCE01-T06(HL1P03)


Statewide Climate Change Impact Assessment for Conservation and Biodiversity

Subtask 2.2 Projected Ranges of Dominant Plant Taxa under Future Climates


Projected ranges of dominant plant taxa under future climates will be generated using a new set of downscaled climatologies that build on Energy Commission climate scenarios and provide estimates of water deficit at fine spatial scales. Results of species distribution models will be compared with projections for vegetation type distribution generated by dynamic global vegetation models (MC1). The projections generated by this project will provide a set of standardized plant response maps that can be used for wildlife habitat modeling, integrated into fire models, and used to inform the analysis of mechanisms of vegetation change.

This research will:

• Develop a set of downscaled climatologies for the state that will be made available to all project participants. These will be prepared using methodologies from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

• Determine downscaled water balance variables from various climate models.

• Create a set of standardized plant response maps that can be used for wildlife habitat modeling, integrated into fire models, and used to inform the analysis of mechanisms of vegetation change. • Provide data sets in a format that can be used for the GoogleEarth applications.

• Prepare a technical report on the modeled effects of climate change on California ecosystems.



Laura Hess                  3/16/09-9/30/12                                                                           $441,708

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1367520(HLP01)


An Inundated Wetlands Earth System Data Record: Global Monitoring of Wetland Extent and Dynamics


Year 1 work will focus on 1) documentation of classification system and procedures, 2) setting up data processing infrastructure, and 3) generating products for the central Amazon region. An LCCS2-based classification system for wetland cover and inundation, cross-referenced to ALOS K&C wetlands products, will be developed. Optimal segmentation parameters for ScanSAR and Fine Beam data will be assessed, using empirical metrics. Procedures will be established for watershed-based low-resolution assessment of seasonality of precipitation and river stage from existing datasets.Using existing validated algorithms for tropical wetlands mapping, wetland extent, vegetation structure, and seasonal inundation will be mapped for the central Amazon region and high-water validation datasets will be assembled.



Laura Hess                                                                              1/6/12-1/5/13                     $311,000

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX12AD27G (HLN01)


Land and Resource Use on the Amazon Floodplain Under Evolving Management Systems and Environmental Change: Fish, Forests, Cattle, and Settlements.


We propose to carry out integrated remote sensing, field, and modeling studies in order to quantify key drivers of land cover and land use change on the lower Amazon floodplain. We will use existing and new satellite (ALOS PALSAR, Landsat TM), aerial (historic aerial photography and videography), and socioeconomic data sets to address the following questions:

1) What have been the main trends in land cover change in the Lower Amazon region over the last fifty years?

2) What are the economic strategies of the three main groups of resource users: ranchers, smallholders and commercial fishers?

3) What has been the impact of the settlement and co-management policies now being implemented on land and resource use and floodplain vegetation cover?

4) How might climate induced changes in the Amazon flood regime impact floodplain land and resource use and consequently vegetation cover?

The study area for the proposed work encompasses the Amazon floodplain from the western border of the state of Para, Brazil, downstream to the mouth of the Xingu River.



Patricia Holden                   07/01/10 - 06/30/14                                                            $573,500

Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCRWP)(HPP13)




This is the Source Identification Protocol Project (SIPP), a multi-institutional effort between the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), UCLA, UCSB, and Stanford University, funded through SCCWRP by the State of California using Proposition 84 funds. The project aims to develop and implement source identification (ID) protocols to enhance the State of California Clean Beach Initiative grant applicants’ ability to design and submit competitive implementation projects for Proposition 84 funding.   The program includes (1) evaluating and selecting reliable DNA-based source ID protocols, and (2) testing the methods to find bacterial sources at high priority beaches.   The knowledge will be transferred to local agencies and an infrastructure will be created so that future source investigations can be carried out more consistently and successfully.     In addition, a source identification manual for AB538 (Assembly Bill 538) will be created and results will be disseminated.



Patricia Holden                                               4/1/10-7/31/11                                          $18,986

 US Geological Survey, G10PX01310(HPP11)


Microbial Communities in Malibu Lagoon.


Malibu, CA is a southern California coastal community whose domestic wastewater is managed through on-site treatment. The US Geological Survey (USGS) Research contracted with the Holden Lab at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to perform microbial community analysis of water samples in the Fall of 2009 for a prior study of the Malibu Lagoon. Because microbial communities may be altered by the introduction of effluent or wastewater (i.e. via direct inoculation of waste-associated microbes or via introduction of nutrients or other chemicals that could exert selective pressures on indigenous populations), and because microbial communities can be interrogated using culture-independent methods yielding dense datasets (amenable to powerful statistical analysis by multivariate methods), assaying microbial community composition from water samples at suspected impacted, positive control, and negative control sites can comparatively reveal the degree of impact. The objective of this project was to analyze microbial communities that exist in water samples collected by the USGS at Malibu Lagoon in the spring of 2010. The microbial community analysis data were provided to the USGS for their statistical analysis and for comparison to other datasets they generated. The community analysis approach used here was Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (TRFLP) analysis; additionally, one other DNA-based source tracking method (qPCR of a human-specific Bacteriodales gene), and qPCR of Enterococcus sp., were applied to extracted DNA to aid in assessing fecal contamination of the water samples.  The research is now published in the Annals of Environmental Science (Izbicki et al., 2012, V6, pp. 35-86).



Chen Ji                                 1/1/10-12/31/11                                        $68,846

Department of Interior, G10AP00010(JCU06)


Inversion and Prediction of Ground Motion ofr the 2009 L'Aquilla Italy Mw 6.3 Earthquake


The 6 April 2009 L’Aquila MW 6.3 earthquake provides a watershed of new data for normal faulting earthquakes. It is the best-recorded normal faulting earthquake in terms of near-source accelerograms. Additionally it has static field measurements that include both GPS and InSAR. There are 17 strong motion accelerographs within 50 km of the surface projection of the fault. Among them 10 are within 20 km and four accelerographs are on the hanging wall above the fault plane. Prior to this earthquake, there were very few near-source accelerograms for normal faulting earthquakes. In the Next Generation of Attenuation relations Excel spreadsheet that has the metadata for the accelerograms [Chiou et al., 2008] only 12 normal-faulting earthquakes (MW 6.0) are listed; from these events there are only 28 strong motion records within 50 km of the fault. Thus the results of this work will be an important addition to the dataset of normal faulting earthquakes. The basic objective of this proposed research is to invert the strong motion, regional seismograms, GPS vectors and InSAR data to determine the kinematic parameters that describe the faulting. We will then use that faulting model to predict the broadband ground motion by summing empirical Green’s functions based on the aftershocks recorded on the accelerographs. For the mainshock we have obtained all of the strong motion data, all of the regional broadband seismograms and the regional 3D velocity structure in a 100 km x 100 km area that encompasses the epicentral region. Through our cooperation with Italian scientists (M. Cocco and R. Paolucci) at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) in both Rome and Milano we will obtain the GPS and InSAR data. Focal mechanisms have already been published for the aftershocks with ML 4.0. To get a better description of the velocity structure in the epicentral region we will collaborate with an Italian scientist (G. De Luca) at the National Laboratory of Gran Sasso of National Institut of Nuclear Physics who has been operating a local seismic array in the Aterno Valley and has published on the local velocity structure and site effects. With these data we have the fundamental building blocks to start our analysis.

Care has to be taken in various steps of the analysis and multiple approaches are possible for each step. We will explore various approaches and perform comprehensive analysis for this important normalfaulting data set. We will use two different nonlinear inversion methods [Ji et al., 2002; Liu and Archuleta, 2004] to invert the data. We will include the static measurements (GPS and InSAR) in a two-step approach, vis-àvis, Page et al., [2009] and Custódio et al., [2009], and also as a joint inversion, vis-à-vis, Ji et al., [2002]. Given the excellent InSAR data, it will be important to determine what constraints it puts on the temporal evolution of the faulting. It is well documented that many different faulting models can produce equally good low-frequency waveform fits to the seismic data. The critical questions revolve around how the velocity structure, the station distribution, the band-limited data, etc. produce uncertainty in the spatial and temporal parameters of the faulting model. We will address these questions as we find the faulting models that are consistent with all the data. The faulting models found by inversions are limited to low frequencies, generally a maximum around 1.0 Hz. By using isochrones we will do forensics on the models to evaluate their ability to predict the timing and relative amplitudes of peak velocities and acceleration. This will provide an independent check on the rupture velocity and spatial distribution of slip. To complete the study we will use aftershocks as empirical Green’s functions. We will sum the empirical Green’s functions, weighted by the slip distribution, and with the rupture time that was determined from the inversion. With this approach we can generate broadband synthetic time histories forcomparison with the data. We will use Fourier amplitude spectra and Husid plots to evaluate the comparison between synthetics and the data.



Chen Ji                                             7/1/09-12/31/12                                        $361,394

National Science Foundation, 0911769(JCN01)


Kinematic and Dynamic Rupture Characterazation of the 2008 Ms 8 Wenchuan Earthquake Sequence.


The 12 May 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan, China earthquake is the largest intra-continental earthquake recorded by modern geophysical observations. It ruptured unilaterally about 250 km beneath the predominantly northeast-trending Longmen Shan, a steep high mountain range that bounds the Tibetan Plateau to the northwest and the Sichuan Basin to the southeast. The strong ground shaking caused over 5 million buildings to collapse and nearly 70,000 fatalities. The occurrence of this major earthquake surprised most of the geoscience community because the source region historically lacks large earthquakes and has a very low slip rate based on geological and geodetic data. Preliminary analysis revealed a highly complex rupture process where the seismic moment was roughly equally partitioned on the sub-parallel low-angle Pengguan and the high-angle Beichuan faults—a feature that has never been documented in the literature. This event has few large aftershocks, which might be a common feature of large earthquakes in the Tibetan plateau and its vicinity though the reason for this is not clear. This catastrophic earthquake and its aftershock sequence will be investigated with seismic, geodetic and geological observations. The rupture process will be constrained to match the tectonic background and surface observations, and at the same time be consistent with rupture dynamics that includes a constitutive friction law. This research addresses the following questions: i) Are the rupture characteristics of this event different from other well studied thrust earthquakes, such as 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake, perhaps reflecting its abnormal tectonic loading process? ii) How could the thrust rupture initiate on the high angle Beichuan fault? What effect did the nucleation have on the subsequent rupture? iii) How did the ruptures on two faults dynamically interact? iv) What are the characteristics of the ground motion excited by this earthquake? Are the ground motions unusual compared with other large thrust events?  



Chen Ji                                                                                 7/1/11-6/30/12                         $1,160

University of California, SB120026 (JCW01)


Modeling of Large Earthquakes in the Mexican Subduction Zone: Estimating the Distribution of Slip During an Hypothetical Earthquake.


Mexico is an earthquake prone country with a long history of loss of life and property in devastating seismic events. The Department of Seismology at the IGF (Institute of Geophysics) at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de exico) is now coordinating a project to prepare for the scientific response to such an earthquake. The scientific response includes estimating the parameters of the earthquake, such as the location, orientation and size of the fault plane, the magnitude and pattern of slip, the possible effects of the earthquakes as well as the response to measure aftershocks.  Currently the researchers at UNAM do not have access to tools that could integrate all the available (synthetic) data sets to estimate the slip on the fault plane. However, we here at UCSB have extensive experience with this type of analysis and have developed software that integrates seismograms recorded in the vicinity of the earthquake, those recorded at seismic stations around the world and the permanent surface displacements recorded close to the earthquake. This project seeks to fund the visit of one of the researchers at IGF of UNAM to specifically: Visit UCSB to learn to incorporate all the available data sets to model the pattern of co-seismic slip during a large earthquake in Mexico, and generally to initiate a collaboration between the IGF at UNAM and UCSB in the modeling of large earthquakes in Mexico.



Chen Ji                       2/1/07-1/31/12                                                                                $70,000

University of Southern California, 120044(JCP01)


SCEC3 Participation: Finite fault parameterization of intermediate and large earthquakes in Southern California


With the support of SCEC, we will implement the quick finite fault software package, which is currently used to monitor the global large earthquakes, to routinely study finite fault parameters of the intermediate and large earthquakes in the California. This includes following four tasks:

•     Modify the data processing programs to use realtime data flow from the SCEC STP data server.

•     Construct the Green’s function banks for 1D smooth SoCal model, and lookup tables for each CISN station which stores the differential P and S time between the 1D SoCal model and the 3D Hauksson Model. 

•     Modify the finite fault inverse method to include frequency dependent 3D “timeshift” and “AAF” (amplitude amplification factor) corrections, e.g., Tan and Helmberger [2007].

•     Revisit two events, 1999 Mw 7.1 Hector Mine and 2003 Big Bear earthquakes, to benchmark the system.



Chen Ji                       2/10/07-1/31/12                                                                             $24,000

Ralph Archuleta

University of Southern California, 120044(JCP02)


A Comprehensive Kinematic Investigation of 2010 Mw 7.3 El Mayor Earthquake by Joint Inverting Teleseismic, Strong Motion.


This project will:

1) Finishing the kinematic study of the 2010 El Mayor-Cacupah earthquake by joint inverting seismic and geodetic data. The research of study will focus on the interpretation of the abnormal Rayleigh waves at GPS station P491 and P492 as well as the joint inversion with additional INSAR data.

2) Developing a software package to invert the earthquake source as multiple point sources using the local and regional surface waves with period from 20 s to 50 s. All algorithms would be optimized with OpenMP techniques so that the result could be available in a few minutes. Further development also includes the strategy to quickly construct an irregular fault plane with help of inverted multiple point source solutions.



Charles Jones                               8/1/07-7/31/11                                             $309,000

Leila Carvalho

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NA07OAR4310211(CJB05)


Understanding the mechanisms of onset and demise of the South American Monsoon system.


Intense convective activity and heavy precipitation begins in northwestern South America in late August and marches progressively southeastward until it reaches the Brazilian highland. The wet season peaks in the core of the Amazon in austral summer, while deep convection begins to weaken over the Amazon in early March and the dry season persists throughout most of the austral winter. It has been increasingly common to refer to this strong summertime convective activity, intense precipitation, and large-scale atmospheric circulation features as the South American monsoon system (SAMS).


One of the main goals of the Climate Prediction Program for the Americas (CPPA) is “to improve operational monitoring and prediction of intraseasonal to interannual climate and hydrologic variations in the Americas through improved physical process understanding and modeling”. SAMS has been extensively investigated over the years and its variability is recognized to play a major role in the climate of tropical and subtropical South America. While some mechanisms for the onset and demise of SAMS have been proposed, a thorough understanding of the dominant dynamical processes determining the migration of SAMS still elude the research community. This proposal will develop extensive observational and diagnostic analyses to improve and unify our current understanding and monitoring of the onset and demise of SAMS. The specific objectives include:

I.       Development of metrics to characterize onset/demise of SAMS

II.      Investigation of mechanisms associated with precursors of early/late onsets of SAMS

III.    Analysis of regional impacts on rivers basins in the Cerrado regions

IV.    Examine the ability of climate models participating in the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) realistically simulate SAMS variability



Charles Jones                               7/1/08-12/31/11                               $159,267

Leila Carvalho

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NA08OAR4310698(JC1B06)


Probabilistic Forecasts of Extreme Events and Weather Hazards Over the United States


The occurrence of extreme weather events such as heavy precipitation, high surface wind speeds and low temperatures are frequently associated with severe and hazardous conditions with major socio-economic impacts. This project aims to contribute to the goals of the NOAA Climate Test Bed (CTB) Program by carrying on a study of probabilistic forecasts of extreme events and weather hazards over the contiguous United States, Alaska and Hawaii during winter. The project uses retrospective forecasts (RF) from the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS) model to specifically develop probabilistic forecasts of extreme events in precipitation, surface temperature and wind speeds on 30-day lead times. Second, an important and novel aspect of this project is the probabilistic forecasts of winter hazards conditioned on the probability of extreme events in precipitation, surface temperature and wind speeds. This component of the project will make use of historical records of weather related hazards in the U.S. and available from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The proposed research consists of four objectives:

I.       Evaluate the skills of CFS RF probabilistic forecasts of extreme events of precipitation, surface temperature and wind speeds on 30-day lead times.

II.     Develop probabilistic forecasts of extreme events of precipitation, surface temperature and wind speeds on 30-day lead times.

III.   Develop conditional probabilistic forecasts of winter hazards over the U.S.

IV. Implement experimental probabilistic forecasts of extreme events of precipitation, surface temperature, wind speeds and winter hazards over the U.S.



Charles Jones                                                                      7/15/11-6/30/13                    $361,518

Leila Carvalho 

National Science Foundation, AGS-1053294 (JC1F01)


The Madden-Julian Oscillation and Predictability of Extreme Precipitation in the United States


Extreme precipitation events are among the most devastating weather phenomena and are oftentimes associated with loss of life and property. The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO is the most prominent form of tropical intraseasonal variability in the climate system and has significant influences on the occurrence of extreme precipitation and forecast skills in the medium-to-extended ranges. The main goal of this proposal is to advance our understanding of the influence of the MJO on the predictability of extreme precipitation in the contiguous United States on lead times of 1-14 days during boreal winter. The specific objectives are:

I. Examine how the amplitude of the MJO modulates the predictability of extreme precipitation.

II. Investigate the relationships between the life cycle of the MJO and predictive skill of extreme precipitation.

III. Study the mechanisms by which the MJO influences the predictability of extreme precipitation.

The project has two main elements: 1) develop a detailed analysis of the relationships between the MJO and its impact on the predictive skill of extreme precipitation, 2) Investigate teleconnection mechanisms by which distinct properties of the MJO may have different impacts on the predictability of extreme precipitation. The proposal will test the hypothesis that variations in the characteristics of the MJO (e.g., amplitude, duration and eastward propagation speed, primary and successive events, phase evolution and El Niño /Southern Oscillation- ENSO state) have different influences on the predictability of extreme precipitation.



Matthew Kay                                                                          2/13/12-12/31/12                 $25,000

California Wildlife Foundation, UCSB2012 (KMW03)


Fishery Overview Chapter for California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management plan


This effort is a literature review in order to gather data in order to produce a Fishery Overview Chapter for a California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan. In addition to the literature review, a second approach to gathering current information will be through communication with fellow researchers in California and Baja. This will allow inclusion of recent research or unpublished results. Upon completing the literature search, I will synthesize the key elements of P. interruptus biology and natural history. The result will be a thorough bibliography and a concise summary of my findings.



Arturo Keller                       1/1/10-12/31/11                                                                 $106,000

Electric Power Research Institute, EP-P34405/C15680(KAP23)


Targeted Watersheds Grant for Water Quality Trading in Ohio River Basin.


Water quality trading (WQT) is a flexible tool offering a mechanism to achieve additional economic and environmental benefits when used in conjunction with traditional command and control approaches. A permitted discharger facing high costs to accommodate new growth or meet more stringent effluent limits can “trade” for discharge reduction credits generated by another source having lower costs (e.g., an agricultural producer implementing conservation practices). Developing a regional trading program in the Ohio River Basin will require participation by multiple stakeholders and trading partners. Trading partners will likely include power companies, POTWs, regulators and non-point sources. Other key stakeholders will include, but not limited to conservation and environmental organizations as well as constituent interest groups. Program design will require intensive stakeholder involvement over three to five years.  The design of the trading framework will be shaped by several attributes that will constrain the overall program. These will include consistency with The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) trading policy and developing trading ratios or other factors to account for the position of the buyers and sellers over a large project area as well as for pollutant equivalency. Arrangements will need to be made between state regulatory agencies, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) and EPA to address how interstate trading will occur. Development of trading zones (or districts) and rules governing where buyers may purchase credits are two possible methods that will need to be developed to account for geographic scale. 


Potential drivers for trading in the Ohio River Basin include both localized and systemic water quality issues. On the local level, water quality issues in various reaches of the Ohio River and its major tributaries include local eutrophication (related to phosphorus), algal blooms (taste and odor problems), ammonia (local toxicity), bacteria (localized Combined Sewer Overflow discharges and background NPSs), temperature (aquatic life and ammonia), flow (urban storm water, hydraulics), and acid mine drainage.



Arturo Keller                                                                     11/1/11-6/30/13                        $35,944

Electric Power Research Institute, EP-P42069/C18398 (KAP26)


Modeling Nutrient Credit Calculations in Ohio River Basin

The scope of this research includes the following tasks:

1. WARMF model simulations to support credit estimation

UCSB will provide supporting information from available WARMF model simulations to assist in calculating credit values between credit suppliers and identified coal-fired power plant buyer facilities. These efforts will also include updated assessments of credit needs based on WQT drivers applicable to each potential buyer.

2. Participate in two ORB committee meetings

UCSB will participate in two ORB committee meetings to share WARMF model simulation results and integrate findings or their assessments into other tasks being addressed by the project team.

3. Evaluate pilot trades and test an interstate trading framework

UCSB will run WARMF simulations to assess the potential water quality outcomes of proposed trades.




Arturo Keller                                                                       1/1/12-12/31/12                      $48,652

Electric Power Research Institute, EP-P42266/C18443 (KAP27)


Scientific Basis for Water Quality Trading


The purpose of this project is to develop a scientifically defensible protocol for water quality crediting. Although there are 85 water quality trading programs in the U.S., there are no peer-reviewed protocols to ensure these programs will achieve the promised in-stream benefits, which creates liability for power companies who purchase those credits for permit compliance. This

will be the first attempt to raise the caliber of WQ crediting protocols, and may result in the only peer-reviewed publication demonstrating a scientifically-informed crediting approach.


Water quality trading (WQT) is a flexible tool offering a mechanism to achieve additional economic and environmental benefits when used in conjunction with traditional command and control approaches for managing water quality in the United States. Analogous to carbon credit trading, a permitted discharger facing high costs to accommodate new growth or meet more stringent water quality limits can “trade” for credits generated by another source having lower

costs (e.g., an agricultural producer implementing conservation practices). EPRI is spearheading the pilot testing of the largest WQT program in the world in the Ohio River Basin. During the implementation of this project, one scientific gap in has become apparent: the absence of a rigorous, scientifically-based, crediting protocol. This effort will follow the successful model of EPRI’s Nitrous Oxide Protocol, which lead to the first peer-reviewed carbon crediting protocol to be submitted to the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) verification process (Climate Program, Adam Diamant). While water quality trading still lacks an analogous body such as VCS for verifying the crediting system, we believe that the only way to ensure that any WQT program stands on solid footing is to base it on a strong, defensible, scientific method.


Without a scientifically robust crediting protocol, the viability of WQT being accessible to power companies is seriously limited. The reason for this is that in WQT the credit buyer retains full liability for demonstrating that the purchased credits achieve the intended water benefits. If the credits fail (the credit seller fails to implement the necessary actions to generate in-stream benefits), the buyer will be liable by way of not be in compliance with their NPDES permit. The

buyer will be subject to punishment for not meeting their permit limit. The seller will not be subject to disciplinary action. (This is contrast to carbon, species, or wetland credit markets where the buyer is absolved of all future liability after purchasing credits). While there are 85 WQT programs in the U.S, power companies will not have the confidence to participate in these markets without more defensible crediting protocols. Therefore, this effort, if funded, may break through the barriers for the power industry to use WQT to cost-effectively meet their water quality effluent permit limits.



Arturo Keller                                3/1/07-3/1/12                                               $100,000

Friends of the Santa Clara River, SB070098(KAP15)


Water Quality Assessment of Wetland Restoration in HRNA.


This project will focus on four areas:


1.   Develop PAEP, monitoring and QAPP plans

UCSB will lead the development of the Project Assessment Evaluation Plan (PAEP), the Monitoring Plan (MP) and the Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for the treatment systems, including decisions on instrumentation, method of collection of samples, analysis, frequency and location.


2.   Project monitoring

UCSB will work with Friends of the Santa Clara River to train a group of volunteers to collect the samples according to the monitoring plan, and following the quality assurance plan. UCSB’s research team will also participate from time to time in the collection of samples and measurement of field parameters, as needed. All samples will be analyzed at UCSB using existing instrumentation in Dr. Keller’s laboratory. The results of the sampling will be provided to all project members on a regular basis.


3.   Modeling of system

UCSB will develop a simple model of the effectiveness of wetland, based on the physical and biogeochemical characteristics of the systems as well as the driving functions (e.g. climate, vegetation type, pesticide type, etc.).


4.   Reporting

UCSB will participate in the preparation quarterly and final project reports that Friends of the Santa Clara River will provide to the State Water Resources Control Board, providing scientific and technical advice, as well as the data generated from the monitoring program, and the results of the modeling effort.




Arturo Keller                       1/1/11-12/31/14                                                                  $549,519

Nascent Water Technologies, Inc., SB110051(KAP24)


Developing Mag-PCMAs for Commercial Application.


The initial research to synthesize Mag-PCMAs and evaluate the feasibility of using them to adsorb hydrophobic organic compounds from the contaminated waters has been conducted, with very successful results. However, there is a need to conduct further research and development of the Mag-PCMAs for various commercial applications. In addition, there is a need to scale up the synthesis of Mag-PCMAs so that batches of a few pounds can be used for pilot-scale trials. Tasks to be completed on this project include: 1. Removal of pharmaceuticals from water supplies; 2. Removal of oil & grease from water supplies; 3. Removal of pesticides from water supplies; 4. Removal of PAHs and PCBs from water supplies; 5. Removal of water-borne viruses from water supplies; 6. Evaluation of the effect of environmental conditions on removal effectiveness; 7. Evaluation of the effect of high pollutant concentrations on removal effectiveness; 8. Scale up of synthesis of Mag-PCMAs for pilot scale studies; and 9. Pilot scale studies to identify a few sites where pilot scale studies can be conducted, (once these have been identified, a testing protocol will be developed for each site).



Arturo Keller                       9/1/08-8/31/13                                                                 $6,717,651

Patricia Holden                   (HPF03)

Barbara Harthorn               (HB1F01, FBF01/02)

Hunter Lenihan                            (LHF01/02; CBF01)

Ed McCauley                        (MEF01)

Roger Nisbet                        (NRF01)

Joshua Schimel                           

Galen Stucky                       (SGF01)

Sangwon Suh   

National Science Foundation, SB090050(KAF01/02/03/04)


CEIN-Predictive Toxicological Assessment and Safe Implementation of Nanotechnology in the Environment.


The UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN) studies the effects of nanomaterials on a range of biological systems in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments. From this research, the UC CEIN will design a comprehensive risk-ranking model, based on the potential toxicity, mobility, and persistence of the nanomaterials. With the rapid development of nanotechnology, little is known about the possible environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanomaterials.


UC CEIN research is primarily conducted at UC Los Angeles and UC Santa Barbara, with several important partner institutions. Within the UC CEIN, UCSB takes the lead on fate and transport, ecotoxicological, and risk perception studies, collaborating primarily with researchers at UCLA, UC Davis, UC Riverside, University of Texas at El Paso, Columbia University, and University of British Columbia.



Arturo Keller                       3/31/11-3/30/16                                                                  $103,713

Ohio Water Development Authority, SB110060(KAP25)


Water Quality Modeling of the Ohio State Component of the Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Program.


We will implement the WARMF model for the two sections of the Ohio River,

(USGS HUC 0503 and 0509) that run through Ohio, as well as the Great Miami River (HUC 0508) watershed (Figure 2). For hydrological connectivity, small sections of surrounding states will also be modeled. For those major tributaries that are not yet modeled (e.g. HUC 0502, Monongahela) and that drain into this section of the Ohio River, we will use the ORSANCO monitoring data as a placeholder for the flows and loads from these watersheds. This proposed project will benefit from our existing efforts funded by USEPA, since we have already established the connections with Ohio EPA and ORSANCO to obtain the needed point source and observed water quality information. Implementing the model involves obtaining a number of datasets such as topography (digital elevation model), hydrologic network and observed hydrology from USGS; land use data from the 2001 National Land Cover Dataset, supplemented with the 2008 Cropland Survey for Ohio from USDA; point source and water quality observations data from Ohio EPA; ORSANCO monitoring data. The TWG project has allowed us to develop a number of software tools and algorithms for processing these large datasets to more rapidly implement each new watershed. If we did not have these tools, the cost of implementing the model for these three HUCs (0503, 0508 and 0509) would be approximately twice the proposed budget, given the large area considered. The watersheds will be modeled at the 10-digit HUC level, as shown in Figure 2. For practical purposes, the models are implemented as distinct subwatersheds that can be run independently or together in a master project. Thus, if someone needs to run a scenario for a small section within a watershed, it is not necessary to run the entire master model. Data set collection and incorporation into the model will take approximately 3 months. Once the model is implemented and calibrated, the model will be used to develop the “trading coefficients” for the entire state of Ohio. This involves evaluating the effect of a load reduction in a given location, and its impact on the rest of the downstream watersheds. A matrix of the trading coefficients will be generated, for use in the broader WQT program. The matrix will also be displayed graphically using ArcView or any other accepted Geographical Information System software. A number (approx. 20) of trading

scenarios within Ohio will be evaluated, to illustrate the use of the model for WQT. The final report will detail the model implementation, calibration, analysis of the WQT scenarios, and an explanation of the trading coefficient matrix. A proposed water quality monitoring program in support of the WQT program for the state of Ohio will also be included in the final report.



Edward Keller                               2/1/07-1/31/12                                               $25,000

University of Southern California, 120044(KEP02)


SCEC3 Participation: Active Tectonics of the Camarillo Fold Belt: Establishing the Chronology


The primary objective of this proposal is to determine the age of the Saugus Fm. and long-term (103-105 yr) rates and timing of deformation of the CFB. Determination of the deformational history of the last unstudied fold belt in southern California is essential to understanding the temporal and spatial patterns of deformation in the western Transverse Ranges, and to elucidating how this region accommodates plate boundary deformation. In order to successfully achieve this goal, we will need to determine the middle Pleistocene-Holocene chronology of deformed strata in the CFB. Terrestrial strata in the CFB are currently correlated with the Saugus Formation deformed at South Mountain and regions to the north and west.  The upper age limit of Pleistocene strata in this part of the western Transverse Ranges is unknown. Because the age of these deposits is beyond the reliable range of most Quaternary chronometers, we propose to date these deposits using U-series dating of pedogenic carbonates, of which, are abundant within the Saugus Formation in the CFB and elsewhere.



Bruce Kendall                               9/15/06-8/31/11                               $201,944

National Science Foundation, 0615024(KBF01)


Collaborative Research: Demographic heterogeneity within populations and its consequences.


The simple models described above suggest that demographic heterogeneity is likely to be an important determinant of a population’s dynamics, impacting demographic stochasticity, low-density growth rate, equilibrium density, and rate of spatial spread.  These are of fundamental ecological importance, and may have evolutionary consequences as well; they certainly will influence a population’s risk of extinction or invasion.  However, these models are, by dint of their simplicity, limited in a variety of ways.  They are for the most part non-spatial, and focus on asymptotic, rather than transient, dynamics.  Where interactions between individuals is included (e.g., density-dependence), it is modeled as a mean-field effect, with no consideration of potential variability in local density.  Interspecific interactions have not been examined.  And finally, while many studies have empirically documented heterogeneity of various sorts, there has been no integrated assessment of the effects of heterogeneity on the dynamics of an actual population.

We propose to extend our understanding of the population impacts of demographic heterogeneity in a variety of ways.


Demographic heterogeneity and spatially local interactions: spatial heterogeneity in environmental conditions is an important driver of demographic heterogeneity, especially in sessile organisms such as plants.  In these species competitive interactions, and often dispersal, are local, and mean field models may be inappropriate.  We will use spatially explicit models to analyze the effects of demographic heterogeneity in such populations, adding spatial pattern to the endpoints we have already examined in nonspatial models.


Demographic heterogeneity and invasion dynamics: our previous work used idealized dispersal kernels and deterministic dynamics, but low densities in the leading edge of the invasion front mean that both demography and realized dispersal can be highly stochastic.  We will use individual-based spatial models to evaluate how demographic heterogeneity affects the mean and variance of invasion speed. We will also use the model to investigate the conditions required to generate the pattern (observed, e.g., in the cane toad invasion) of increasingly strong dispersal ability in the leading edge of the invasion.


Demographic heterogeneity and interspecific interactions:  we will introduce demographic heterogeneity into models of interacting species (both competitive and consumer-resource interactions) to evaluate how such heterogeneity impacts coexistence criteria and qualitative features of predator-prey cycles.


Demographic heterogeneity and the dynamics of a threatened bird species: in collaboration with scientists at the Archbold Biological Station, we will use recently developed statistical tools to quantify demographic heterogeneity in a well-studied population of Florida scrub-jays. We will then use our model framework to evaluate how this heterogeneity affects the population dynamics and long-term viability of the population.


Insights for metapopulation dynamics:  exploiting the qualitative similarity between the density-dependent population model in Stover et al. (2011a) and classic metapopulation models, we will develop models that introduce heterogeneity in patch characteristics (extinction and colonization rates). We will investigate whether these models can provide insights into the dynamics of heterogeneous metapopulations that complement or generalize the results of spatially explicit metapopulation models.




Bruce Kendall                                                                    8/1/11-7/31/14                       $136,520

National Science Foundation, DEB-1120865 (KBF02)


Collaborative Research: Demographic heterogeneity in landscapes and communities


The simple models described above suggest that demographic heterogeneity is likely to be an important determinant of a population’s dynamics, impacting demographic stochasticity, low-density growth rate, equilibrium density, and rate of spatial spread. These are of fundamental ecological importance, and may have evolutionary consequences as well; they certainly will influence a population’s risk of extinction or invasion. However, these models are, by dint of their simplicity, limited in a variety of ways. They are for the most part non-spatial, and focus on asymptotic, rather than transient, dynamics. Where interactions between individuals is included (e.g., density-dependence), it is modeled as a mean-field effect, with no consideration of potential variability in local density. Interspecific interactions have not been examined. And finally, while many studies have empirically documented heterogeneity of various sorts, there has been no integrated assessment of the effects of heterogeneity on the dynamics of an actual population.

We propose to extend our understanding of the population impacts of demographic heterogeneity in a variety of ways.

Demographic heterogeneity and spatially local interactions: spatial heterogeneity in environmental conditions is an important driver of demographic heterogeneity, especially in sessile organisms such as plants. In these species competitive interactions, and often dispersal, are local, and mean field models may be inappropriate. We will use spatially explicit models to analyze the effects of demographic heterogeneity in such populations, adding spatial pattern to the endpoints we have already examined in non- spatial models.

Demographic heterogeneity and invasion dynamics: our previous work used idealized dispersal kernels and deterministic dynamics, but low densities in the leading edge of the invasion front mean that both demography and realized dispersal can be highly stochastic. We will use individual-based spatial models to evaluate how demographic heterogeneity affects the mean and variance of invasion speed. We will also use the model to investigate the conditions required to generate the pattern (observed, e.g., in the cane toad invasion) of increasingly strong dispersal ability in the leading edge of the invasion.

Demographic heterogeneity and interspecific interactions: we will introduce demographic heterogeneity into models of interacting species (both competitive and consumer-resource interactions) to evaluate how such heterogeneity impacts coexistence criteria and qualitative features of predator-prey cycles.

Demographic heterogeneity and the dynamics of a threatened bird species: in collaboration with scientists at the Archbold Biological Station, we will use recently developed statistical tools to quantify demographic heterogeneity in a well-studied population of Florida scrub-jays. We will then use our model framework to evaluate how this heterogeneity affects the population dynamics and long-term viability of the population.

Insights for metapopulation dynamics: exploiting the qualitative similarity between the density- dependent population model in Stover et al. (2011a) and classic metapopulation models, we will develop models that introduce heterogeneity in patch characteristics (extinction and colonization rates). We will investigate whether these models can provide insights into the dynamics of heterogeneous metapopulations that complement or generalize the results of spatially explicit metapopulation models.



Daniel Lavallee                               2/1/09-1/31/12                                                         $15,000

University of Southern California, 120044(LDP05)


SCEC3 Participation: Stairway to Meso-Scale (~100 M) Stress Heterogeneity: Applications to numerical Computations of Earthquake Rupture Processes


In this reserach we proposed first to compute the random properties of measurements of slip for the 1999 Izmit and Durze earthquakes and second to develop random model for the computed slip inversions of the 1999 Izmit earthquake.




Ira Leifer                     3/1/10-2/28/13                                                                             $101,735

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, UAF 10-0081(LIG01)


Long-term monitoring of submerged, permafrost methane emissions


The Arctic is warming dramatically, threatening catastrophic climate change through rapid mobilization of vulnerable carbon reservoirs sequestered by permafrost, yet we currently lack the sustained observations and realistic biogeochemical models required to understand the feedback to the global climate. The majority of submerged arctic permafrost (>80%) lies in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), where studies in recent years indicate strong and widespread seep bubble ebullition from the vast, permafrost deposits underlying this shallow Arctic seas, estimated to sequester 1400 x 109 tons carbon primarily in the form of methane. However, methane budgets are currently poorly quantified, particularly, the direct bubble flux; which for such shallow water can be the dominant emission mechanism.


Seepage varies significantly on a range of time scales with transient emissions potentially important, thus a long-term monitoring capability is critical, but currently unavailable. Hence we propose a pilot study to develop and Arctic deploy a mooring to measure critical oceanographic, bubble, and bubble plume parameters related to seabed dissolved and ebullition emissions. In this study, we will integrate instrumentation (custom-developed and off-the shelf previously Arctic-deployed) into an adaptive (smart) long-term, Arctic-capable, mooring package. We also will map areas of the ESAS for bubble fluxes.


Instrumentation will measure: bubble fluxes with active (multibeam scanning sonar). The key acoustic approaches are innovative technological outgrowths of prior NURP-funded research. UCSB pioneered using single-beam sonar to characterize bubble fluxes, supported under a previous NURP study and now is adapting state-of-the-art multibeam sonar to quantify bubble flux. Multibeam sonar is critical to reliable flux calibration.


Arctic mooring deployment was during a Laptev Sea research cruise during year 1 for a period of half a day. Prior to deployment, multibeam sonar and geochemical surveys will characterize site areas. Year 2 will involve multibeam sonar mapping efforts.



Hunter Lenihan                            2/1/11-12/31/11                                                                             $36,975

AECOM, SB110068(LHP04)


Determining Risk Factors for 3 Zero Valent Iron Materials.


Scope of work for UCSB to conduct a bench-scale risk assessment study for three types of zero valent iron (ZVI): (1) catalyzed Z-Loy product from On Materials, Inc.; (2)  G-nZVI; and (3) micro ZVI, that may be used for in situ remediation of chlorinated volatile organic compounds in groundwater at the former Lockheed Martin Adhesive Bond Plant site in North Charleston, South Carolina (the Site). We will also evaluate the use of Adventus EHC-L, a ferrous iron composite that has also been shown to remediate chlorinated volatile organic compounds in groundwater.


The proposed study will use groundwater and geologic materials from the Site to evaluate the mobility, persistence and toxicity to various aquatic organisms of the three types of ZVI provided by AECOM.


The objectives of the proposed bench-scale study include:

1)   To determine the size of the three types of ZVI as received, and in groundwater from the site;

2)   To determine the mobility of the three types of ZVI and their by-products in groundwater and geologic materials from the site, and to consider the mobility of Adventus EHC-L and its by-products;

3)   To determine the persistence of the three types of ZVI and Adventus EHC-L in groundwater and geologic materials from the site; and

4)   To determine the potential toxicity of the three types of ZVI and Adventus EHC-L to a freshwater organism (Daphnia).



Bruce Luyendyk                  11/1/09-12/31/11                                                                $155,455

University of Nebraska(LBP01)


ANDRILL: Investigating Antartica's Role in Cenozoic Global Environmental Change-Coulman High Project


ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing) is an international, multidisciplinary program designed to investigate Antarctica's role in Cenozoic global environmental change. After two successful drilling projects, ANDRILL proposes to drill two sites on Coulman High (CH), moving eastward and outside the well-understood Victoria Land Basin (VLB) to target a Cretaceous(?) to middle Miocene section to address fundamental questions of global climate evolution and regional tectonics. This will enable us to determine both fundamental shifts as well as transient excursions in the Antarctic cryosphere that impacted global ocean and climate reorganization. We will use the excellent chronostratigraphic framework for the western Ross Sea (RS) region to provide needed stratigraphic constraint on an extensive network of seismic data across the rest of the RS. CH drilling will provide a high-resolution record of climate and glacial history from a site outside the VLB, which can be applied directly to the interpretation of the seismic records. Four scientific themes will be addressed by an integrated approach involving site surveys, core recovery and analysis, regional interpretation, and numerical modeling: (1) history of Antarctic climate and ice sheets; (2) Antarctica’s role in Earth’s ocean-ice-climate system; (3) evolution of polar biota; and (4) Antarctic tectonics. This proposal requests funding for the participation of U.S. scientists in the international CH Project, which will acquire and study high-quality continuous sediment cores from two (>1200 m-deep) drill holes. Additional funding is requested for over-ice seismic reflection data acquisition and processing, subcontracts for radar and environmental surveys, project management and institutional support for ANDRILL’s research community’s involvement in these projects, and, continuation of a diverse and highly visible education and outreach program. CH Project results will provide insights on: (1) Development of the Antarctic cryosphere; (2) Magnitude and frequency of cryosphere changes on millennial timescales; (3) Influence of Antarctic ice sheets on Eocene to Miocene climate; (4) Influence of Paleogene Antarctic ice sheets on thermohaline circulation and eustasy; and (5) Timing of Antarctic tectonic episodes leading to an understanding of the role of Antarctic plate motion in the global plate circuit, and the development of sedimentary basins.



Sally MacIntyre                                     9/15/07-8/31/11                     $262,415

National Science Foundation, ARC-0714085(MSF05)


Arctic lakes are seives: Will global warming close the pores?


The hydrodynamics of lakes have major impacts on lacustrine productivity and the rate at which toxins enter aquatic foodwebs.   Over the last eight years we have collected a unique time series of temperature and meteorological data from arctic lakes of different sizes in which ecosystem processes are currently being studied by the Arctic LTER.  This data set, when analyzed in conjunction LTER data and data on distributions of elemental mercury and methyl mercury collected by William Fitzerald and his colleagues via NSF OPP 0425562, provides an unprecedented opportunity to quantify how the thermal structure of arctic lakes changes with meteorological forcing and thereby understand the coupled physical-chemical-biological processes which govern production in these ultra-oligotrophic systems and the fate of atmospherically derived pollutants.


Remarkable differences in thermal structure and mixing dynamics occur in warm versus cold summers in the Arctic. During warm years, nutrients added to the upper water column are sequestered within it. In contrast, during cold summers, the flux of nutrients between the upper and lower regions of small lakes occurs on time scales of days.  These differences in time scales will determine whether nutrients originating from the landscape and atmospheric deposition will support benthic or pelagic production.  As the energy to support higher trophic levels in arctic lakes is primarily supported by benthic food webs, shifts in thermal structure which support pelagic productivity will have major ecological consequences for energy flow in the Arctic.


The mixing dynamics in arctic lakes are unique in comparison to temperate lakes of similar size.  During windy periods, coefficients of eddy diffusivity become high in the metalimnion (10-6 m2 s-1) and hypolimnion (10-5m2s-1). These high values occur because wind forcing results in nonlinear waves whose breaking induces turbulence. In contrast, wind forcing produces linear waves in similarly sized temperate lakes and transfers between hypolimnetic and epilimnetic waters occur at molecular rates.  This difference arises because of the stronger temperature gradient between the upper and lower layers of temperate lakes compared to arctic lakes.  Understanding how the climate in the Arctic leads to within season and year to year variations in thermal structure and mixing dynamics is crucial for predicting how these lakes will change over time.  Changes will affect not only primary production but also the percentage of lakes which remain anoxic after ice off, again with implications for benthic food webs, and budgets of mercury.



Sally MacIntyre                  9/1/09-8/31/13                                                                                        $407,061

National Science Foundation, DEB-0919603(MSF06)/(REU MSF07)                         $7,494


Collaborative Research: Arctic to the Amazon: Physical Processes Controlling Gas Exchange from Freshwater Ecosystems.


Despite the small overall surface area of lakes, reservoirs, streams and rivers, estimates of carbon dioxide and methane emissions indicate aquatic ecosystems play an important role in regional carbon balances (Richey et al., 2002; Melack et al. 2004). Further, lakes are anticipated to be sentinels of climate change, with the balance between autotrophic growth and respiration in lakes anticipated to change with increased anthropogenic activity in their watersheds and with climate change. Studies have been and are being conducted worldwide to assess the role of lakes and reservoirs in regional and global carbon cycles and efforts are underway to estimate metabolic activity in lakes. Essential to both efforts are accurate estimates of gas fluxes at the air-water interface.


The gas transfer coefficient, used in the calculation of fluxes, depends upon turbulence at the air-water interface, but in most biogeochemical studies either a fixed conservative value is used or one based on wind speed alone. Other processes which cause turbulence are neglected. We estimate that regional carbon budgets are in error by at least a factor of two and likely higher in warm water lakes due to incorrect parameterization of the gas transfer coefficient. The error is unknown in cold water lakes. The surface renewal model takes into account the various processes which induce turbulence in near-surface waters yet has never been validated for lakes. We propose to combine direct air-water flux measurements of carbon dioxide using eddy covariance techniques with in situ measurements of the water-side CO2 concentration profile, turbulence and energy fluxes to evaluate and improve upon the surface renewal model of the gas transfer coefficient. We further propose studies using SF6 in lakes too small for EC studies with measurements taken on time scales of events which drive gas flux. We propose studies in an arctic, temperate zone, and tropical lake to capture the latitudinal variations in physical forcing which affect turbulence near the air-water interface. Our overarching goal is a formulation of the gas transfer coefficient which can be readily applied in ecosystem studies of lakes at any latitude.



Stéphane Maritorena                            2/1/08-1/31/12                                    $397,652

David Siegel

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX08AF99A(MS1N04)


Algorithm refinement for ocean color ESDR's.


We propose to maintain and refine the current MODIS-Aqua chlorophyll (OC3M) and K490 algorithms and to develop spectral inherent optical property (IOP) products. Chlorophyll (Chl) alone is not sufficient to monitor how the global ocean ecosystem is changing or how it responds to or affects global environmental change and the carbon cycle (NASA's Earth Science Research questions #3 and 11). To address these questions, other ocean color products are necessary. Specifically, we will develop and test a model that will accurately predict spectral values of the absorption coefficient of the combined dissolved and detrital material, acdm(), spectral values of the phytoplankton absorption coefficient, aph() and spectral values of the particulate backscattering coefficient, bbp(). The Chl, K490 and IOP products now have all the necessary characteristics to qualify as Earth System Data Records (ESDR). These IOP products will be generated using an updated version of our in-house semi-analytical ocean color model, GSM, with improved parameterizations. In addition, we will test methods to generate new products such as the spectral slope of backscattering, the spectral slope of dissolved and detrital absorption, the diffuse attenuation coefficient for ultraviolet (UV) radiation which will better describe the state and function of the ocean ecosystems than observations of Chl alone. We will also test recently published techniques to identify phytoplankton functional groups from ocean color satellite data. The results from the GSM model will also be compared to those of other models.  Statistical and errors analyses using the in situ measurements, matchup data and global imagery will be used to assess and validate all products.



Stéphane Maritorena                     5/12/08-5/11/13                                                                           $2,836,882

David Siegel                                 

James Frew                                    

Norm Nelson                                

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX08AP36A(MS1N05)


Beyond Chlorophyll: Implementation and Distribution of Innovative Ocean Color Earth Science Data Records.


Satellite ocean color imagery is all too frequently relegated to a single product, the chlorophyll concentration. Along with required determination of the spectral normalized water-leaving radiance, the chlorophyll concentration is the oldest ocean color variable derived from satellite ocean color data because of the relative ease of its derivation and validation as well as it provides a link to net primary production (NPP) rates. Thanks to advances in both the theory of ocean color and measurements of core variables over the last couple decades many innovative science products can now be derived from satellite measurements. These new algorithms include the satellite determination of inherent optical properties (e.g., Maritorena et al. 2002; Lee et al., 2002; Siegel et al. 2002; 2005a; 2005b; IOCCG, 2006; Hoge and Lyon, 2005; Hu et al. 2006; Loisel et al. 2001; 2006; Lee and Hu, 2006), discrimination of phytoplankton functional groups (Alvain et al., 2005, 2006, Brown and Yoder, 1994; Westberry et al. 2005; Westberry and Siegel, 2006), near-direct assessments of phytoplankton physiology (e.g., Behrenfeld et al. 2005; 2006; Westberry et al. 2007) and the algorithm based merging of satellite data streams (Maritorena and Siegel, 2005). It is the creation, distribution and management of these emerging and innovative Ocean Color Earth Science Data Records (OC-ESDR’s) which is the focus of this MEaSUREs proposal.



Stéphane Maritorena                  2/8/11-2/7/13                                                                                 $259,800

David Siegel                                 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX11AE87G(MS1N06)


From UV to Fluorescence, a Semi-analytical Ocean Color Model for MODIS and Beyond.


We propose to develop the GSM model which is a well documented and vastly used multispectral semi-analytical ocean color model that we have developed at ICESS/UCSB. We propose to modify the GSM model so it can account for fluorescence which should help better constraint the model and improve Chlorophyll and phytoplankton absorption retrievals in both oceanic and coastal waters. Although MODIS does not have UV bands, we also propose to extend the GSM model into the UV region to help discriminate better between phytoplankton and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) absorption which are not well separated by the current 412 nm band in ocean color sensors. In upgrading GSM, we also plan on making it fully hyperspectral so it can be adapted and applied to MODIS and other sensors. Model development and later tests and validations of the different components of the model will performed using existing in situ data from our field campaigns and other existing public data sets. The model will be adapted to the MODIS bands and applied to the satellite data. In parallel, we will conduct a complete error and uncertainty analysis of the model and data as we have done in the past.

In summary, our objectives are to:

- Develop and add a fluorescence module for the GSM model

- Investigate and add a UV component to the GSM model

- Make the GSM model hyperspectral and adaptable to multispectral sensors like MODIS

- Develop a complete end-to-end error budget (inputs, model, outputs)

- Apply the model and error budget to the MODIS data



Stéphane Maritorena                  4/19/11-4/18/12                                                                             $48,615

David Siegel                                 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX11AH74G(MS1N07)


Bio-optical algorithm studies for ACE: Benefits of UV bands to discriminate between CDM and phytoplankton light absorption in oceanic waters and other sensitivity analyses.

Statement of work


We propose to conduct two complementary studies relevant to bio-optical algorithms and the wavebands set selected for the ACE ocean ecology program. The first and main study would look into the potential benefits of the UV bands to better discriminate between CDOM and phytoplankton light absorption. Currently, ocean color products are derived from bio-optical algorithms and models that use reflectance data from wavebands in the visible. Sub-surface chlorophyll- concentration (CHL) and the combined absorption of colored dissolved organic matter and detritic matter (CDM) are two typical products derived from ocean color data but it is often difficult to separate and accurately quantify them as both are strong absorbers at short visible wavelengths (typically 412 and 443 nm in ocean color sensors). The UV domain may offer the possibility to better discriminate between CHL and CDM as differences in their light absorption characteristics may be more pronounced in the UV. While CDM absorption in the UV is relatively well documented, there are much more uncertainties and variability in phytoplankton UV absorption. We thus propose to analyze in situ CDM and CHL absorption measurements that include UV bands from the largest and most diverse possible data set we will assemble from our own field campaigns (e.g. CLIVAR, BBOP, Plumes & Blooms), the NOMAD data set and the SeaBASS archive. We will then determine the optimal parameterization for the CHL and CDM absorption terms in the UV in our semi- analytical ocean color model (GSM) and conduct tests to assess the benefits and usefulness of these bands to accurately retrieve the CDM and CHL components during the inversion of spectral reflectance data similar to what the ACE ocean radiometer will provide.

The second part of the proposed study will complement the sensitivity analyses already performed to determine the required signal-to-noise ratio in the visible bands of the ACE ocean radiometer. These additional analyses will compare the performance of the GSM model inversion with the wavebands set envisioned for the ACE ocean radiometer relative to a fully hyperspectral sensor and a SeaWiFS or MODIS-like sensor with a more limited set of bands. These tests will be conducted using modeled synthetic data sets which will be adapted to each sensor case.


In addition, the sensitivity analyses on the influence of noise in the radiometric data will be performed on a SeaWiFS-like CHL algorithm to assess the benefits and difficulties associated with the use of a semi-analytical model.



Jim Mattinson                              1/1/07-12/31/11                               $240,919

National Science Foundation, 0549674(MJ2N03)


Development of the CA-TIMS method: Refining U-Pb Zircon Geochronology


The precise and especially accurate measurement of geologic time continues to be one of most demanding requirements for deciphering a wide range of petrologic, tectonic, and paleobiologic problems. The U-Pb system in zircon is widely regarded as the “gold standard” of geochronology, but despite ca. a half-century of research into the behavior of this system, challenges in terms of open system behavior, decay constant uncertainties, and intermediate daughter isotope disequilibrium, etc., still remain. New techniques promise to move zircon geochronology to the next level, both in terms of understanding the behavior of U and Pb in zircon, and also in terms of zircon geochronology methods themselves.


This research will continue development of the “CA-TIMS” method of zircon U-Pb geochronology, a new method for highresolution geochronology (Mattinson, 2005), and to attack five inter-related problems: 1) developing a thorough understanding of the physics and chemistry of the CA-TIMS method at the micron scale; 2) understanding low-temperature fluid and radiation-damage mediated Pb loss in zircon, and its implications for both zircon geochronology and sequestration of radioactive waste in synthetic zircon or zircon-like materials; 3) investigation of the extent to which alpha-recoil processes produce small-scale local normal and reverse discordance in zoned zircons, and the limitations this might impose on high-accuracy geochronology; 4) evaluating the significance of 231Pa disequilibrium in producing 207Pb/206Pb age anomalies in igneous zircons; and 5) refining the decay constant of 235U, relative to 238U. A major breakthrough that sets the CA-TIMS method apart is the understanding that high-temperature annealing of natural radiation damage in zircons eliminates elemental and isotopic “leaching” effects that have severely limited the usefulness of partial dissolution techniques in the past. This understanding makes it possible to design experiments that completely strip off zircon zones that have lost Pb, then to analyze residual zircon that has behaved as a perfect closed system. Thus, the age-old problem of dealing with Pb loss appears to be resolved for most zircons. We now must turn to developing a better understanding of exactly how the CATIMS “works” (1, above), plus other problems (2-5, above) that limit: a) determination of concordance in zircons; b) the accuracy and precision of concordia intercept ages; c) understanding of the mechanisms by which zircons lose Pb; and d) determination of the suitability of synthetic zircon-like materials for sequestration of radioactive waste.



Joseph McFadden                            9/1/09-2/28/13                              $499,945

Jennifer King

National Science Foundation, BCS-0908549(MJ1F01)


Collaborative Research: Coupling Human Choice and Biogeochemical Cycling in Urban Ecosystems.


This project will investigate the coupling between household biogeochemical fluxes and socioeconomic factors along an urban to exurban gradient in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota. The proposed research aims to (1) use an existing household survey and vegetation measurement database to examine how socioeconomic and biophysical factors influence household decisions and, thus, the fluxes of C, N, and P through households along a gradient of housing density; (2) determine the effect of consumption and pollution production by single family homes on fluxes of C, N, and P at the scale of the urban-exurban study region; and (3) examine how behavioral influences can be altered through social networks to change consumption choices and, therefore, elemental fluxes. Thus, the study will establish a feedback loop between household choices, elemental fluxes, and back to household choices. At U.C. Santa Barbara, PI McFadden will be responsible for the development and implementation of satellite data-driven models to scale vegetation carbon fluxes from a set of 400 field-measured households to the urban study region. PI King will be responsible for the analyses of relationships between household-level choices and biogeochemical fluxes of C, N, and P. All PIs on the project will contribute to advising the post-docs and graduate students on the research team, synthesizing the findings from the different components of the project, and publication of the results. Elucidating the nature of such socio-environmental coupling should stimulate novel approaches to making cities more sustainable, reducing urban pollution, and reducing urban contributions to climate change.



John Melack               1/1/10-12/31/12                                                                           $249,825

Laura Hess                 

Sally MacIntyre        

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX10AB66G(MJN12)


Analysis and Synthesis of Carbon Dynamics on Amazon Floodplains.


Our research on the ecology, hydrology and biogeochemistry of Amazon wetlands under the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA-ECO) addressed important aspects of the regional carbon dynamics of the Amazon basin, combining remote sensing and field measurements to calculate evasion of methane and carbon dioxide from rivers and wetlands. Our proposed work synthesizes newly available remote sensing datasets and analyses, recently completed field measurements, and recent modeling advances with past results in order to target important remaining uncertainties regarding carbon dioxide and methane dynamics on Amazonian floodplains.  This work will contribute to understanding of tropical riverine and wetland systems in the global context of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dynamics. Furthermore, recent studies have indicated that lakes and wetlands make a significant contribution to the global carbon budget because of the high rates of carbon uptake and metabolism in these systems. Therefore, our research in the large and productive Amazon basin is likely to be quantitatively important globally.


About 20% of the Amazon basin is seasonally inundated, and these wetlands are sites of intense biological activity that can have a strong influence on the regional carbon dynamics.  Understanding the effects of these dynamics on air-water exchanges of CO2 and CH4 is of critical importance if we are to estimate the net contribution of Amazon wetlands to greenhouse gas emissions. To quantify this influence it is necessary to improve estimates of the fluxes and balance of carbon, incorporating the principal sources of spatial and temporal variability and developing numerical models to simulate and integrate their effects.  Hence, we propose to study the organic carbon dynamics and its influence on the net emissions of CO2 and CH4 on central Amazon floodplains.

         We propose to examine three unresolved issues:

1.   The role of aquatic herbaceous macrophytes and litterfall from flooded forests as sources of organic carbon fueling the outgassing of carbon dioxide and methane from wetlands and rivers.

2.   The regional, seasonal and interannual variations in evasion of methane and carbon dioxide.

3.   The inundation dynamics of floodplains on multiple scales, and their function as a physical template for biogeochemical processes.

To resolve these issues and to advance predictive capability and understanding of how the carbon balance of Amazon floodplains will respond to environmental changes requires several coordinated activities. Hydrological and hydrodynamic models will be integrated with biogeochemical analyses and models and with remotely sensed-based estimates of plant growth and phenology.



John Melack               3/15/07-2/28/13                                                                           $423,548

National Science Foundation, DEB-0614207(MJF02)


Responses of high elevation, aquatic ecosystems to interannual climate variability and trends in nutrient inputs (LTREB Program).


Aquatic ecosystems integrate environmental conditions and can provide indications of how montane regions are responding to warming climate, changing snow regime and altered atmospheric composition. Twenty-three years of research at the Emerald Lake watershed (Sequoia National Park) has shown that runoff patterns and the timing of snowmelt alter nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) biogeochemistry with concomitant changes in lake trophic conditions. Recent evidence indicates that Sierran lakes are undergoing eutrophication while shifting from P to N limitation; altered rates of atmospheric deposition of N and P and changes in P biogeochemistry of soils and lake sediments are likely causes. Observing and understanding the causes and consequences of these multi-year trends and variations in ecological conditions, requires appropriately designed long-term measurements) complemented by experiments and modeling. The project investigators propose to continue long-term study of the Emerald Lake watershed and nearby catchments in order to test conceptual hypotheses regarding drivers of environmental change in high-elevation aquatic ecosystems. The primary foci of the proposed study are: i) continued assessment of the response of lake phytoplankton to changing inputs of N and P and ii) continued study of the coupling between climate variability and N and P biogeochemistry. To further examine the effects of ongoing eutrophication, the proposed study also seeks to answer the following questions:

a) At what rate is phosphorus being atmospherically deposited in the Sierra Nevada from anthropogenic and natural sources like fire?

b) How do modern input rates of P to Emerald Lake and similar sites differ from those over the last two hundred years?

c) How is P in the soils mobilized and transformed and how are these processes modified by variation in climate and hydrology?

d) How much P is released from lacustrine sediments and how do the rates of release change as a function of variations in stratification, pH, dissolved oxygen and dissolved metals?

These questions will be answered through the continuation of ongoing watershed measurements; additional study of P pools, transformation and fluxes in soils and sediments; enhanced measurements of atmospheric deposition; and paleolimnological study of lake sediments.  Climate conditions have a strong influence on potential P source areas, on the incidence of fires, on transport and deposition, and on ecological impacts. Hence, as a consequence of the considerable interannual variability in California’s Mediterranean climate, it is essential to conduct these studies for at least five to ten years.



Norm Nelson              5/29/09-5/28/13                                                                           $573,811

Craig Carlson           

David Siegel              

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX09AL09G(NNN06)


Ocean Color Observations on CLIVAR: Inherent Optical Properties and Community Structure on Trans-Ocean Sections.


Community structure, the taxonomic and functional composition of pelagic plankton communities, has an important bearing on global rates of net primary production, the export of carbon from the euphotic zone and the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and associated nutrients. Present-day numerical models used to simulate global ocean biogeochemical cycles parameterize both the function and the size of components of the plankton community. However, there is still precious little observational data to validate the results of these model simulations of plankton community structure and their biogeochemical impacts. In recent years, new capabilities have been developed to assess phytoplankton community structure and organic carbon cycling from satellite ocean color observations. However, validation of these novel remote sensing retrieval approaches and their further development is limited by scarcity of field observations over the variety of biogeochemical provinces of the global ocean.


Since 2003, we have been studying the distribution and dynamics and implications of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in the global ocean "piggybacking" on hydrographic sections of the CO2/CLIVAR Repeat Hydrography Project. With NASA support, we have collected and analyzed radiometric profiles, particle and CDOM absorption spectra, and surface phytoplankton pigment (HPLC and fluorometric chlorophyll a) data. To date we have collected a broad and diverse data set from the North and Equatorial Atlantic, North and South Pacific, and Indian Ocean basins with some lines continuing through the Southern Ocean to the Antarctic. Our major science achievement to date resulted in a new understanding of the relative roles of biogeochemical vs. ventilation on subsurface CDOM distributions. This work also has provided considerable validation data in poorly sampled areas of the ocean.


Here, we propose to continue this effort on upcoming CO2/CLIVAR sections in the Arabian Sea, South Atlantic, Southern Ocean, and North Atlantic, and to further enhance the program by adding a newly constructed flow-through system that will also measure surface inherent optical properties (IOPs) such as spectral absorption, backscattering and particle size spectra (and chlorophyll and CDOM fluorescence), in whole water and 0.2 micron filtered water. Our field effort will be closely coupled to our ongoing collaborative efforts in developing new ocean color products useful for assessing global productivity and carbon cycling. The combination of field and satellite data analyses will enable us to understand the controls on plankton community structure allowing an understanding of the processes by which phytoplankton community structure affects open ocean IOPs and how one can best assess community structure characteristics from IOPs.



Norm Nelson                                 1/30/08-7/29/11                               $867,500

David A. Siegel

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX08AH17G(NNN05)


The Bermuda Bio-Optics Project: Biological and biogeochemical responses to decade-scale climate forcing.


BBSR will support one research technician (hereafter called BBOP technician; Level I) under the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) timeshare technician program. The time-share technician program is a service in which BBSR technicians carry out specific services (i.e. sample collection) for scientists "piggybacking" on BATS cruise time. Day-to-day supervision of the technician is done by the BATS program (R. Johnson/M. Lomas). The BBOP technician, selected and trained by Dr. N. Nelson, will be employed by the Bermuda Biological Station for Research, Inc. and be resident in Bermuda. This arrangement has been operating successfully for the last three years in its present form.


The BBOP technician will be responsible for operation of the BBOP spectroradiometer and other relevant instruments on each of the monthly (or biweekly) BATS cruises, sample collection and analysis, and delivery of data to UCSB. In addition to these core and bloom BATS cruises, the technician will be responsible for sample collection on relevant BATS validation cruises conducted throughout the year.  The technician will be responsible for all routine maintenance on project instruments. The BBOP technician will also travel with the instruments to California for calibration and other necessary efforts three times per year.


The BATS program will continue to collaborate with Dr. N. Nelson’s laboratory closely on issues of mutual interest, in particular BATS spatial data collections and validation cruises, and phytoplankton pigment analysis calibration. It is also anticipated that other BATS technical staff will cross-train along with the BBOP Technician to ensure some level of technical redundancy in routine sampling procedures in order to maintain the integrity of this very valuable dataset.


Through this subcontract, the BBOP technician will perform the at-sea sampling of spectroradiometry and in situ Inherent Optical Property (IOP) profiles, solar transmittance spectra, and dissolved and particulate absorption coefficients on each BATS core and bloom cruise (16 to 20 per year) and during Bermuda Testbed Mooring (BTM) deployment and recovery cruises.  In addition, data will be collected on other cruises of opportunity if space is available aboard the R/V Weatherbird II, such as the BATS spatial variability "validation" cruises (2-4 cruises per year, ca. 5 days each cruise).



Norm Nelson                       2/8/11-2/7/14                                                                      $459,443

David Siegel                       

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX11AE99G(NNN07)


Bermuda Bio-Optics Project: Enhancement of Measurements for New Ocean Color Applications.


This project will revitalize ongoing time-series of high quality optical measurements in the field at the Bermuda time-series site. New applications for ocean color (algorithms, etc) will require novel and enhanced existing measurements of radiometric and inherent optical properties. This project will apply and test against field data, prospective algorithms addressing aspects of community structure and carbon flux, taking advantage of our time-series data records and ongoing related research at the site. We intend to introduce and test evolutionary improvements to techniques for measuring radiometric optical properties at the site. In particular the beginning part of the project will include development of an autonomous free-floating profiling optical buoy system (the Near-Surface Profiling Buoy, NSPB). The NSPB is a flexible, easily deployed, and is a cost-effective alternative to long-term, moored optical buoy installations. The NSPB eliminates the need to address biofouling and extrapolation to the sea surface from discrete fixed depths, which complicate data analysis from long-term moored optical buoy data. This approach also avoids modeling of upwelling radiance from the reflected sky radiance, which bedevils above-water approaches. We believe a global network of short-term, autonomous profile systems, patterned after the system proposed here, would change how ocean color satellite vicarious calibration is performed. The NSPB system will also make direct and diffuse incident irradiance determinations which will be useful for assessing aerosol and cloud optical properties and incident spectral irradiance at the sea surface. BBOP will provide a proving ground for this instrumentation, which will replace currently-conducted handheld optics profiles.



Roger Nisbet                        10/1/10-9/30/12                                                                  $221,542

University of California, 20110022(NRP02)


Investigations in Fisheries Ecology.


Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory uses systems of differential equations to describe the rates at which individual organisms assimilate and utilize energy and elemental matter from food for maintenance, growth, reproduction and development. These rates depend on the state of the organism (age, size, sex, nutritional status, etc.) and on the state of its environment (food density, temperature,etc.). The objective of the research is to develop a DEB model for Chinook salmon that links the available knowledge on all stages from eggs to mature adult, and opens the way to future modeling of the complex salmon dynamics in space and time. Characterization of the physical and biotic environments that determine the forcing functions for the model will come from models provided by other investigators. The primary product will be a prototype

“full life cycle” DEB with parameters estimated from literature data. By the end of the project, the model will be available for coupling different forcing functions; this will involve resolving theoretical issues relating to matching of spatial scales. Components of the work will include:

• Initial selection of state variables for each life stage

• Literature search for empirical guidance on the “maturity” variable characterizing the transitions between stages

• Formulation of submodel for feeding

• Model parameterization from literature – first cut

• Preliminary model testing and refinement as needed

• Evaluation of implications of environmental forcing at different spatial scales

• Preparation of peer‐reviewed papers

• Attendance at project meetings



J. Carter Ohlmann             12/1/08-3/31/12                                                                  $146,651

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1360271(OCP10)


Impact of NASA Satellite Data and Models on U.S. Coast Guard's Decision Support Tool for Search and Rescue in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean.


A drifter study is being proposed for a quantitative indication of horizontal advection and diffusion processes in the study region over a wide range of time and space scales.  Drifters provide a direct measure of transport pathways taken by surface water parcels.  In addition, dispersion values are accurately obtained from drifter data by considering the relative motion of drifter pairs.  Finally, drifter data can quantify sub-grid-scale motions averaged in H.F. radar fields, and provide a means for quantifying trajectories determined from both Eulerian data (i.e. H.F. radar) and numerical models. 


The primary goals of the proposed drifter work are:

● observe the eddy energy on scales not resolved by HF radar

● validate HF radar derived velocities

● quantify the skill of trajectories determined from numerical models


Data from a set of drifting buoys, or drifters, will be collected and used to achieve the project goals.   A total of 12 drifters will be repetitively deployed in a variety of configurations so as to achieve the project goals during the ~2 week intensive sampling program.  The first sampling configuration (hereafter “small scale deployment”) will involve placing all 12 drifters uniformly within a 1x1 km HF radar grid cell.  As the drifters leave the box, they will be retrieved and redeployed so as to maintain a nearly uniform distribution throughout the box.  This sampling configuration will give in situ time and space average surface current values over the same scales as observed with HF radar, thus allowing for validation HF radar data and quantification of the eddy kinetic energy (EKE) that exists on sub HF radar scales (i.e. Ohlmann et al 2007). Knowledge of the quality of HF radar data and the aliased energy are crucial parameters that must accompany assimilation of HF radar data in numerical models. 


The second sampling configuration (hereafter “large scale deployment”) will involve successive deployment of clusters of 3 drifters throughout a day.  The drifters will be left to sample the circulation for roughly 3 days, or until it appears they are near beaching or exiting the sound. This sampling configuration will give in situ trajectories that can be used for quantifying skill of trajectories obtained from numerical model results.  In addition, the data will give examples of how trajectories can change with small variations in the deployment time. Finally, computation of eddy diffusivity values on a number of scales from drifter pair separation statistics will provide direct observations of eddy motions that are parameterized in numerical models.


Small scale deployments will occur within an HF radar grid cell located where radials are near orthogonal so as to avoid errors from geometric dilution of precision.  This sampling configuration will be carried out for 1 day at the beginning, middle, and end of the observational period.  Drifters will be drogued at a depth of 1 meter, close to integration depth of the radar which depends on HF radar operating frequency.  Large scale deployments will occur during the first and second weeks of the intensive observational period so as to (presumably) capture flows during two unique synoptic events.  Drogue depth, primarily at 1 meter, will be altered on one of the cluster releases to look at variation in the effect of wind drift with depth.  This will be especially useful for model validation which assimilates surface data and predicts subsurface values.  A recent study shows the significance of vertical shear in the horizontal current field over the top few meters of the ocean on determination of trajectories (French McCay et al. 2007)


High resolution Microstar drifters, built by Pacific Gyre Corporation (Carlsbad, CA), are proposed. The recently developed Microstar (Ohlmann et al. 2005) records its position with GPS and transmits the position data to a host computer using the Iridium satellite communications network.  Data transmission is near real-time allowing drifter positions to be monitored from any computer with internet access.  Position data, sampled every 10 minutes, is accurate to within ~10 m.  The sampling frequency provides a high signal-to-noise ratio even in small velocity regimes.  The spatial accuracy and near real-time transmission enables drifters to be recovered and redeployed.  The Microstar uses a collapsible scaled-down tri-star type drogue with a drag-area-ratio greater than 41 that is centered at ~1 m depth.  Slip is ~0.1% of the wind speed (~1 cm/s in 10 m/s of wind) which is typical of modern-day drifters.  The Microstar is appropriate for the proposed work for a number of reasons.  First, it has extremely high spatial and temporal resolution, required to resolve the small scales of motion that characterize coastal flows.  Second, it is extremely economical.  The drifters are recoverable (rather than expendable).  Finally, drifter slip is minimal, and known.



J. Carter Ohlmann             3/15/11-2/28/13                                                                  $199,378

Oregon State University, S1364A-A(OCP12)


DYNAmics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation / DYNAMO Subsurface Fluxes.


Solar radiation plays a primary role in the diurnal (mixed layer) stratification process influencing both daytime EKE dissipation and setting up nighttime convection (e.g. Simpson and Dickey 1981, Price et al. 1986, Brainerd and Gregg 1993, Hosegood et al. 2008). Direct measurement of the in-water solar flux divergence, or radiant heating rates, allows variations in solar forcing of stratification, that can be significant, to be accurately quantified (e.g. Ohlmann et al. 1996, Ohlmann et al. 1998, Ohlmann et al. 2000, Hosegood et al. 2008). Solar attenuation depends primarily on upper ocean chlorophyll biomass concentration in open ocean waters. Chlorophyll biomass depends (to first order) on the availability of light and nutrients. When measured together, these data inform on bio-physical feedbacks. This statement of work describes the proposed measurement of surface irradiance and in water solar flux profiles during the Dynamo field experiment. Collecting solar flux profiles allows upper ocean stratification, an important component of upper ocean mixed layer evolution, to be quantified. It is also proposed that water samples be collected for laboratory analysis of chlorophyll biomass and nutrients. These data are necessary to understand why the in-water solar flux divergence varies, and the sampling adds little cost to the project. Upper ocean models work with solar transmission, defined as solar flux at depth relative to the incident value just above the surface. Surface irradiance will thus be sampled with a radiometer mounted on the ship’s mast. The complete data set, to be collected throughout the MJO-evolution cruises, will provide the necessary solar transmission information for accurate quantification of upper-ocean mixing, and will allow the bio-physical influence on stratification/dissipation to be better understood. Profiles of downwelling irradiance and upwelling radiance in 11 spectral bands (~300 to ~700 nm) will be measured using a Satlantic Profiler II Radiometer ( The radiometer is a long (122 cm) slender (9 cm in diameter) hand-deployed freefalling instrument (retrieved using a small winch) that eludes ship motion and shadow. Coincident measurements of downwelling spectral irradiance and total solar radiation incident at the surface will be made so that solar transmission profiles can be computed. It is estimated that solar flux profiles will be made to ~40 meters every few hours each day. It is possible that profiles in the morning and evening hours, when total solar energy is reduced, can be made shallower. Water samples at discrete depths will be collected once each day with the ship’s CTD/Rosette system and analyzed for chlorophyll concentration and nutrients. The noontime CTD/Rosette casts will be performed to ~150 meters so that the deep chlorophyll maximum and nutricline are resolved. The radiometer primarily resolves the visible portion of the entire solar spectrum. This is sufficient to resolve the solar flux at depths beneath ~5 m as energy in the ultra-violet and near-infrared spectral regions is completely attenuated in the top few meters of the ocean.



J. Carter Ohlmann                      7/1/08-6/30/12                                                          $212,000

University of California, SB090036(OCP09)


Observations of Surface Current Trajectories from the Inshore California Current Region.


This is a proposal to participate in the collection of Lagrangian surface current observations in the California Current System, primarily off California’s central coast.  The drifter velocity observations are intended to supplement Eulerian current profiles collected along “line 90” as part of the CalCOFI program, and will provide new insight into the connection between continental shelf flows and the larger scale California Current located further offshore.


• Organize drifter deployments during each of 4 quarterly CalCOFI cruises

• Facilitate additional “regional” drifter deployments along the Central California coast

• Obtain and organize historical drifter data relevant to the proposed study region

The proposed work involves release of drifters on each of four quarterly CalCOFI cruises and along the inner-edge of the California Current System off the Central California coast during additional cruises. I will arrange the loading of equipment and coordinate release locations with the Chief Scientist on each of the CalCOFI cruises. I will determine the cruise schedules for research vessels affiliated with the local research institutions (i.e. UCSB, Cal Poly SLO, MBARI, SF state, UCD) and facilitate the loading of equipment and deployment of drifters during a set of additional cruises. These cruises will be spaced between the CalCOFI cruises in time and in be in regions over the outer edge of the continental shelf. Finally, in order to help identify optimal locations for drifter deployments, I will gather and organize all historical drifter data collected in the proposed study region. This includes obtaining SVP data archived at AOML as well as the CODE-type drifter data collected by Winant and colleagues (UCSD/SIO) with MMS funding. The latter data set is focused on the Santa Barbara Channel region, but many drifters sample well beyond.



J. Carter Ohlmann                      2/1/11-1/31/13                                                              $37,450

University of California, SB110079(OCP11)


Improving the Understanding of Submesoscale Eddies, Fronts, and Filaments with Coincident Satellite, in situ, and Aircraft Measurements


In this drifter study, Dr. Ohlmann will be involved in instrument preparation, data collection, data processing, and data analysis. The analysis will involve combining the drifter position data and their derived products with other data sets collected as part of this project to achieve the project goals.



Susannah Porter                             9/1/09-8/31/13                                          $214,813

National Science Foundation, 0922305(PSN01)


COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Ocean Oxidation and the Biosphere During Neoproterozoic  Glaciation


An increase in Earth surface oxygen levels has long been invoked as a driver of biological innovation at the end of the Neoproterozoic Era (1000 to ~541 million years ago), when diverse macroscopic life, including animals, first flourished. Recent work suggests that a pulse in ocean oxygenation ~580 million years ago may have permitted the evolution of animals, but almost no consideration has been paid to the relationship between biology and fluctuating oxygen levels earlier in the Neoproterozoic, in particular spanning the Cryogenian (a.k.a. ‘snowball Earth’) glaciations ~720 to 635 million years ago, when Earth may have been entombed in ice. The aim of this project is two-fold: (1) reconstruct oxygen levels and biology during the Cryogenian glacial interval; and (2) test the hypothesis that fluctuating oxygen levels are linked to changes in the diversity and composition of biological communities observed during this time. To address these goals, the Senior Personnel and their collaborators will undertake micropaleontological, geochemical, and geochronologic analyses of shales collected from successions in Svalbard, an archipelago north of Norway, and in four separate basins in Australia. Collectively, these units span the entire interval of Cryogenian glaciation. Samples from Svalbard have already been collected; samples from Australia will be collected during two field seasons, one in Tasmania, the other on the Australian mainland. All analyses will be performed on the same suite of stratigraphically well-defined samples, allowing records of life and oxygen availability to be unambiguously linked and placed within the context of Neoproterozoic climate change.



Simone Pulver                     7/1/09-2/28/13                                                                    $253,556

National Science Foundation, SES-100317(PS1F01)


Collaborative Research: Creating Carbon Markets in Brazil and India: A Comparative Study of Firm Environmental  Investment Decisions Under the Clean Development Mechanism


Looking forward, three sets of activities remain to be completed:

1. Complete data collection: Context and on-site interviews for Brazil’s cement sector will be conducted in July/August 2009. In addition, firm-level data collection in the cement and sugar sectors in both countries will be completed by end of 2009. This data will be collected via both telephone interviews and on-site interviews with research assistants.

2. Data analysis: The data analysis phase will be conducted at PI Pulver and collaborating PI Hultman’s respective home institutions in the United States. Data analysis will include data processing, collaboration with a statistics consultant, and several meetings of the research team at both the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Maryland. Data analysis may also involve some follow-up contact with firm interviewees in both Brazil and India.

3. Dissemination of research findings: The dissemination phase involves, foremost, publication in appropriate peer-reviewed journals and a book format and presentation of papers at academic conferences. However, we believe this research has wider relevance for international environmental policy and investment decisions, so we also intend to expand the audience for this research by presenting at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (December 2009) and organizing two 1-day capstone conferences (in São Paulo, June 2010; and New Delhi, January 2011).



Matthew Rioux                                                                    2/15/12-7/31/13                      $35,046

National Science Foundation, OCE-1144648 (RMF01)


Collaborative Research: Plutons as ingredients for continental crust: Pilot study of the differences between intermediate plutons and lavas in the intra-Aleutian arc


We propose a pilot study of Paleogene and Neogene plutonic rocks, together with a limited number of the volcanic and volcanoclastic rocks intruded by these plutons. Our work will focus on collection of full whole rock major element, trace element and radiogenic isotope data and geochronologic data on plutonic rocks and a few older volcanic samples, for comparison with the much larger existing data set for Holocene volcanic rocks. Our main goals are constraining (a) the systematic chemical differences between plutons and volcanic rocks, (b) the origin of these differences via melting of different sources and/or different crustal differentiation processes, (c) the presence or absence of an age progression in the composition of Aleutian magmatic rocks.

We will analyze existing samples from three islands, Atka, Umnak, and Unalaska. We will use published XRF and/or K/Ar data as a guide to sample selection, but in most cases we may need to choose spatially related samples, rather than those previously analyzed, in order to ensure that we have enough material for our proposed work. Samples will undergo zircon U/Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, XRF and ICP-MS whole geochemistry, and Sr, Nd, Pb and Hf isotope analyses.



Leonel Romero                                                                    1/1/12-12/31/12                      $24,355

UC San Diego, 20042310 (RLW01)


Modeling and Analysis of Measurements of Waves Interacting with Eddies in the Gulf of Mexico


This project involves the analysis and modeling of airborne surface wave observations. The subcontract is part of a project between UCSD and British Petroleum (BP) to study wind- waves and currents in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). The goal is to develop new techniques for the monitoring of the surface waves and currents as well as improved numerical models for the prediction of waves and currents in the Gulf of Mexico.


In October 2011, novel airborne measurements were collected during a two-week experiment in the GoM. The airborne instrumentation included a scanning LIDAR to measure the surface waves and geostrophic currents, a downward-looking camera to detect breaking waves, and an Infrared camera to measure the fine structure of the temperature field near the surface. The wave measurements have a spatial resolution nearly 100 times better than other similar data in the literature (e.g. Romero and Melville, 2010). This will allow testing and improving the numerical wind-wave predictions a across multiple scales (100m to 30cm). The scope of the proposed work is to analyze and model the airborne wave observations from the GoM. The findings of this work will lead to an improved wind-wave model including the interaction between surface waves and currents.



Dylan Rood                                                                          9/15/11-8/31/14                       $89,382

National Science Foundation, 1103532 (RD1F01)


Collaborative Research: Synchronizing ther North American Varve Chronology and the Greenland Ice Core Record Using Meteoric 10-BE-Flux.


This project will investigate the systematics of 10Be concentrations in glacial and nonglacial varved sediments from the NAVC, with the goal of determining how best to extract a record of 10Be fallout variations. Second, we will use the information gained in this first part of the project to plan and carry out a sampling and measurement scheme most likely to yield a record of centennial variability in 10Be fallout flux that can be matched to the 10Be flux record from the Greenland ice cores.


Measurement of bulk 10Be in NAVC sediments: The specific analytical tasks in this project include locating and obtaining samples of NAVC sediments, subsampling them for 10Be analysis, and measuring 10Be concentrations by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Our primary source of samples will be an extensive archive of cores of NAVC sediments that PI Ridge has collected over many years and that are stored at Tufts University. One important aspect of this part of the project, however, is to ensure that subsamples are not cross-contaminated, or contaminated with modern 10Be, during collection. This requirement may restrict use of archived cores that are highly fractured or otherwise difficult to sample cleanly. If we can not obtain the samples we need from this archive, we will revisit source outcrops and collect new samples, typically by collecting short cores from outcrops using a hammered-PVC-pipe procedure that Ridge has employed for many years. Ridge will have primary responsibility for locating archived and new sample material and correlating it to the NAVC, although students will also be closely involved in this process and all project personnel will participate.


10Be concentrations are measured by an isotope dilution method in which a 9Be carrier is added to the sample, the entire sample is digested and the Be extracted, and the Be isotope ratio is measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). All aspects of this process are proven, reliable, and efficient. We will carry out Be extraction from sediments in a purpose-built chemistry laboratory at the University of Vermont (see Facilities and Resources), using a total-fusion method described by Stone (1996) and further refined during the past few years by Balco, Bierman, and Bierman’s students. At the 10Be concentrations we expect to measure in this project (> 107 atoms g␣1), AMS measurement is rapid (a few minutes per sample) and precise (␣1-2% analytical uncertainty).


Research focus 1: systematics of 10Be deposition in varved sediments. We will use several strategies in the first part of the project. First, we will investigate how 10Be is delivered to glacial and nonglacial varved sediments. We hypothesize that 10Be deposition is seasonally focused due to effects such as more effective scavenging by fine sediment during winter, suppression of fallout 10Be delivery to the lake during winter due to snow and ice cover, and the strong overall seasonality of sediment transport and deposition. We will investigate this by characterizing 10Be concentrations and their variability within both summer and winter layers to investigate seasonal effects, as well as laterally within a single varve to investigate the effect of sediment source variation between direct glacial sediment and runoff from the landscape. Understanding which, if any, of these processes are important may suggest means to preferentially sample fallout 10Be rather than recycled 10Be. Second, we will determine whether or not short-period solar variability, in particular the diagnostic 11-year Schwabe cycle, is present. As noted in many ice-core studies (Beer et al., 1994; Yiou et al., 1997; Steig et al., 1998), observing the 11-year cycle in a 10Be concentration record clearly shows that 10Be fallout variations are recorded (the reverse is not necessarily true: if we did not observe the 11-year cycle, it could signal only that it was suppressed by a multi-year residence time for fallout 10Be in the lake and catchment, which would not affect recording of centennial-scale variability). Analytical work for this part of the project will require approximately 90 10Be measurements, including paired summer and winter analyses on a number of glacial and nonglacial sections (approx. 40 analyses) and analyses of at least two short continuous sections at a resolution adequate to observe the 11-year period (e.g., two-year spacing over a 50-year period; 50 samples).


Research focus 2: generating a long 10Be flux record suitable for correlation. In the second part of the project we will choose a section of the NAVC from which to generate a long 10Be record with resolution appropriate to matching the centennial-scale variations in 10Be flux observed in the Greenland ice cores, and then generate this record. At present, absent any new information we may gain from the first part of the project described above, we think the nonglacial varve section at Newbury is the most likely section of the NAVC to yield such a record, for three reasons. First, varves are relatively thin, which limits dilution of the fallout signal. Second, centennial-scale variations in 10Be flux during this time interval are suitable for correlation at the needed precision, as demonstrated by Muscheler et al. (2008). Third, this section is one of the longest continuous sections in the NAVC, which permits us to generate as long a record as possible from a single site: this avoids any potential complications related to patching together 10Be records from multiple locations within the lake system.



Dylan Rood                                                                          9/15/11-8/31/14                     $150,017

National Science Foundation, 1114436 (RD1F02)


Collaborative Research: Deciphering Connections Among Land Management, Soil Erosion, and Sediment Yield in Large River Basins.


This research is a systematic, multidisciplinary study of the relationship between land-use and fluvial sediment transport in a mountainous region of western China. In this region, a unique hydrological dataset provides a framework to relate sediment transport changes to land-use, in the context of rapid urbanization and climate change. We will use hydrological observations and isotopic measurements to estimate sediment transport over a variety of temporal and spatial scales, determine the sources and sinks of the sediment, and tie our findings to regional land-use history. We anticipate these efforts will demonstrate that understanding the source and fate of sediment is important as it will allow us to unravel the effect of land-use on sediment transport in sensitive mountain regions undergoing population expansion, provide critical information for development and environmental conservation projects, and better allow us to use sediment flux measurements on a variety of time scales to estimate geological-time-scale rates of mass export from the landscape.



Joshua Schimel                                     9/1/09-8/31/13                                    $313,386

National Science Foundation, ARC-0902038(SJF03)


Collaborative Research: The Changing Seasonality of Tundra Nutrient Cycling: Inplications for Ecosystem and Arctic System Functioning.


The UCSB research group will participate in the summer field campaigns measuring soil nutrients. This will involve sending a graduate student to the Arctic for the summer each year. This work will involve extensive sampling to capture the high-frequency changes we are studying. The student will also have two main responsibilities during the rest of the year: they will be in charge of soil carbohydrate and amino acid analyses using the Schimel lab HPLC, and they will be responsible for doing most of the project’s modeling. The student will spend time each year in Woods Hole Massachusetts working with Ed Rastetter on the modeling. Schimel will spend time each year in Alaska working on the field project and in Woods Hole Massachusetts working with Rastetter and the Ph.D. student.



Joshua Schimel                                               9/1/09-8/31/13                          $301,642

National Science Foundation, ARC-0909510(SJF02)


Collaborative Research: Environmental Changes Alter the Carbon Cycle of High Arctic Ecosystems: Shifts in the Ages and Sources of CO2 and DOC.


UCSB will be responsible for soil microbial measurements on this project. That will involve several trips to Greenland each year to collect samples. They will return those samples to Santa Barbara and analyze them for nitrogen mineralization, microbial biomass, soil enzyme activities, and microbial community composition. Together, they will be responsible for integrating these measurements with other researchers on the project. This work will involve roughly 1.5 months in the field each year for the student. Schimel will spend 1-2 weeks in the field each year.



Joshua Schimel                                                                   9/15/11-8/31/13                    $275,736

National Science Foundation, DEB-0919049 (SJF04)


Collaborative Research: MSB: Microbial Control of Litter Decay at the Cellulose-Lignin Interface


The PI and a graduate student will travel to Ohio regularly to coordinate with the University of Toledo and cooperating groups on the field work, setting up and running incubations on the litter samples in Dr. Mike Weintraub’s lab. We will then return litter samples to UCSB and analyze them for 13C-labeled phospholipid fatty acids. These provide indicators of specific microbial groups that were active in taking up particular chemical substrates (cellulose and lignin). The UCSB group will analyze these results and coordinate with the modeling group to validate the microbial guild model that is at the heart of this project.



Joshua Schimel                                                                     5/1/12-4/30/13                    $408,228

Patricia Holden

National Science Foundation, DEB-1145875 (SJF06)


Collaborative Research: Controls over C Sequestration: Physiology vs. Physics


In this project, we will focus on an annual grassland to evaluate the mechanisms that regulate the fate of C. Grasslands in California cover over 10 million hectares (Jackson, 1985), are dominated by annual grasses, and are important ecosystems in the State. However, we have found comparable microbial dynamics in California grassland and Bishop pine forest, so we have confidence that the mechanisms we evaluate occur in other ecosystem types as well.


The research will take place at the UCSB Sedgwick Reserve, which is located 50 km from the coast in the Santa Ynez Valley (43o42 ́30 ́ ́N, 120o2 ́30 ́ ́W). The climate is Mediterranean and characteristic of interior California, with hot dry summers and cool wet winters. Average rainfall is 380 mm/yr, but varies widely; El Niño years are notably rainy. The soils are pachic argixerolls in valley bottoms and typic argixerolls on slopes. The vegetation is dominated by Mediterranean annual grasses including Bromus diandrus, B. hordaceous, and Avena fatua. Our main site will be in the Figueroa watershed previously studied by Schimel and Holden.


Analyzing the mechanisms involved requires controlled microcosm experiments that will be described below, but to explore how these mechanisms regulate how varying plant C inputs and moisture influence soil C storage, we propose a field experiment in which we modify: 1) plant C- inputs during the growing season (by thinning), and 2) the length of the dry season (by watering & rainout shelters). We will establish 3 blocks of 16 plots each (1 m x 1m) and establish a factorial design in which we create gradients of plant inputs and the length of the summer drought. We will use modeling to integrate between the micro- and macro-scales.

To modify plant inputs we will thin plots by hand to remove either 1/3, 2/3 or all the biomass (plus a control). Plots will be established initially after plants germinate in the fall of 2012 and new sprouts will be removed weekly or as necessary to maintain these approximate proportions. Soil moisture is likely to vary as transpiration losses will be lower in the thinned plots, but surface evaporation may partially compensate. Importantly, annual grasses senescence and die shortly after seed-set, not when the soils dry out. Thus, at the beginning of the summer, there will be a suite of plots with different amounts of dead roots to serve as substrate within the soils, with relatively similar moisture conditions (depending on the timing of spring rainfall). Dry-down after senescence will be purely by evaporation.


Moisture manipulations will include control, lengthened summer drought, shortened drought, and no drought. To extend the drought, we will build rainout shelters to prevent rewetting during the winter following the thinning treatments. To shorten the drought, we will use weekly drip irrigation. The goal is not to keep soils constantly wet, but to mimic episodic precipitation and prevent soils from drying fully. The short-drought treatment will be irrigated into July, then allowed to dry normally, roughly halving the length of the typical drought. The no-drought treatment will be watered into October. We will regularly weed the watered-plots during the summer to remove new sprouts.


Soil moisture will be monitored continuously (using soil moisture probes and dataloggers) in the experimental plots. Soil samples will be collected from all treatments to analyze C dynamics at four points through the year: 1) At peak live plant biomass late in the growing season (April/May), 2) early summer (just before the short-drought watering ends; late June), 3) midsummer (August), and 4) the end of the dry season (October or early January for the extended drought treatment). We will collect samples from the top 10 cm and analyze the essential C pools, including roots, light and heavy fraction OM, microbial biomass, etc. As these measures will be coupled to the work specifically testing the research hypotheses, we describe the details of those analyses in those sections. The field sampling will assess how environmental factors (C-supply and moisture) regulate C-pools and microbial activities, and the begin identifying the mechanisms connecting them. We will couple these to laboratory incubation studies to tease apart the specific mechanisms.



Joshua Schimel                            09/01/11 – 08/30/13                                                                       $15,000

Seeta Sistla                                  

National Science Foundation, 1110843(SJF05)


Dissertation Rersearch: Exploring the Impacts of Long-Term Warming on Arctic Soils: Linking Microbial Communities with Seasonal Biogeochemical Dynamics.


1.      Estimate changes in soil C and N stocks with warming (July, 2008).Characterize extractable C and N, soil incubation-derived C-mineralization rates, extracellular enzymatic potential and microbial biomass across soil horizons and seasons.

2.      Characterize differences in actively growing and overall microbial community composition in response to warming and link this community data with concurrently collected biogeochemical data (preliminary data from May 2009, through seasons 2010, data analysis through 2012).

3.      Incorporate biogeochemical data from the project into a model framework (2010 - 2013).



Joshua Schimel                   9/15/09-8/31/12                                                                                       $183,643

National Science Foundation, DEB-0919049(SJF04)


Collaborative Research: MSB: Microbial Control of Litter Decay at the Cellulose-Lignin Interface.


Schimel and the graduate student will travel to Ohio regularly to coordinate with the U. Toledo and cooperating groups on the field work, setting up and running incubations on the litter samples in Dr. Mike Weintraub’s lab. We will then return litter samples to UCSB and analyze them for 13C-labeled phospholipid fatty acids. These provide indicators of specific microbial groups that were active in taking up particular chemical substrates (cellulose and lignin). Our group will analyze these results and coordinate with the modeling group to validate the microbial guild model that is at the heart of this project.




Sandra Seale                                                                       1/1/12-12/31/12                      $63,193

Ralph Archuleta        

Department of Interior, 20111352 (SS1U01)


Liquefaction Hazard in Western Washington


New data are available from liquefaction arrays where pore pressure and earthquake ground accelerations are recorded in the same location. With these new data, it is now possible to study the direct relationship between ground response and pore pressure generated by the same source. A suite of 20 events is available from liquefaction arrays, where pore pressure increases are observed and surface waves generate long-period response. Using wavelet decomposition, we propose to find a relationship between pore pressure and ground motion that includes the effects of long-period, cyclic signals. Preliminary analysis indicates that long-period motions have a profound influence on pore pressure and thus must be included in a comprehensive survey of liquefaction hazard. The pore pressure response is sensitive to shear strain and peak velocity at low frequencies.


The results of this study will provide a new risk assessment tool for the reduction of hazard due to liquefaction caused by large earthquakes. Data collected from recent events have demonstrated that pore pressure increase is a strain-based phenomenon that responds to long-period signals from surface waves well after the peak accelerations of an earthquake have passed. Saturated areas of western Oregon and Washington are particularly vulnerable to the effects of strong motions generated by Cascadia subduction zone events. With new data from recent events, we show that the cycles and sustained high velocities of surface waves have a dramatic effect on pore pressure increase, even in the absence of large accelerations. Our analysis of these data offers an additional tool, to be applied in conjunction with standard engineering practice, in the evaluation of the liquefaction hazard for areas in the near field (Seattle) of a M9 event.



Jiancheng Shi                     12/1/08-12/31/12                                                                $311,004

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1360781(SJ2P04)


Technical Development for SMAP Soil Moisture Retrieval.


The Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) mission, to be launched in 2013, will use a combined L-band radiometer (40 km) and high-resolution radar (1-3 km) to measure surface soil moisture and freeze-thaw state. Dr. Jiancheng Shi at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) will contribute to the SMAP mission through two complementary efforts.


(1) Dr. Jiancheng Shi will contribute, along with other SMAP team members, to establish the soil moisture algorithm test-beds for SMAP mission. Specifically, Dr. Jiancheng Shi will provide computer simulations of the SMAP backscatter and brightness temperature response to a geophysical scene typical of that to be observed by SMAP.  The backscatter and brightness temperature simulations will include effects of soil and vegetation, and noise and calibration error characteristics typical of those expected for SMAP.  The output of the simulations will be a database that will be made available to other members of the SMAP team.

(2) Dr. Jiancheng Shi will participate with other SMAP team members to provide the guidance and associated physical theory on the directions of soil moisture retrieval algorithm developments using passive, active, and combined active-passive approaches by the performance of validation, analyses and documents on the current and any new algorithms. Specifically, Dr. Jiancheng Shi will

□   Using the current state-art microwave theoretical models to evaluate the algorithm’s basic assumptions and sensitivities on soil moisture, surface roughness, and vegetation properties to direct improvements on algorithms;

□   Using the current available ground, airborne, and satellite experimental data to evaluate the algorithm’s basic assumptions and sensitivities on soil moisture, surface roughness, and vegetation properties to direct improvements on algorithms.

□   Retrievals will be performed by the current available algorithms on this database to assess the ability to recover soil moisture in the presence of vegetation and other instrument and geophysical noise.



Jiancheng Shi                                                                     6/20/11-6/19/13                      $51,600

University of Washington, 727195 (SJ2P05)


Forward Physical Radiative Transfer Models and Retrieval Algorithms for Radar Remote Sensing of Terrestrial Snow at X Band and Ku Band.

Statement of Work


This research will support: a) the Snow and Cold Land process (SCLP) Satellite Mission that has been recommended by the Decadal Study for a NASA space borne mission, and b) the Cold Regions Hydrology High Resolution Observatory (CoReH2O) mission of the European Space Agency. Both missions in active remote sensing of terrestrial snow at X band and Ku band. Dr. Jiancheng Shi will contribute through two complementary efforts, as follows:

(1) Dr. Shi will use the snow volume scattering phase functions produced by the Maxwell equations of 3 Dimensional Simulations to develop a parameterized snow backscattering model will be in a simple form with the similar level of accuracy with the complex DMRT model for retrieval algorithm development. The parameterized model will be validated with the CLPX data and the other available field experimental data.

(2) Through sensitivity analyses and evaluations of the relationships between radar cross-and co-polarizations and between X-band and Ku-band signals in each scattering component and in total signals, Dr. Shi will develop a new research Snow Water Equivalency (SWE) retrieval algorithm. The developed algorithm will be validated with the CLPX data and the other available field experimental data.



David Siegel                                                                            7/7/11-7/6/14                    $275,000

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX11AL94G (SDN32)


Evaluating NPP Ocean Color Data Products in a Complex Coastal Environment: The Plumes and Blooms Program.


This effort will continue the Plumes and Blooms (PnB) satellite ocean color observational and analysis program and will use theses observations to understand the quality of NPP data products in the complex coastal environments. The scientific aim of the PnB program is the understanding of the dynamics of sediment plumes and phytoplankton blooms in a complex coastal ocean using satellite, ship and bio-optical glider observations. This aim is well suited for evaluating and creating new NPP ocean color data products. Specifically, we propose to:

¥       Continue the PnB monthly field sampling program of optical, biological, biogeochemical & hydrographic parameters in the Santa Barbara Channel,

¥       Use PnB data to evaluate NPP ocean color data products & algorithms,

¥       Supplement the PnB observational program with bimonthly, month-long oceanographic

glider deployments of physical and bio-optical parameters,

¥       Understand how phytoplankton functional type (PFT) regulates ocean color and inherent optical property (IOP) variability,

¥       Investigate the relationships among the particle size distribution (PSD) and IOP’s and develop methods for the robust assessment of PSD using NPP-VIIRS ocean color imagery,

¥       Use the coupled PnB ship, glider and satellite observations to investigate the dynamics of phytoplankton blooms and sediment plumes in a complex coastal ocean.



David Siegel                                                                          9/1/11-8/31/12                      $30,000

Fernanda Henderikx-Freit         

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX11AQ26H (SDN33)


Bio-optical Variability of Plumes, Blooms and Relaxations in the Santa Barbara Channel: How Biased are our Current Assessments?


Coastal waters are dynamic systems influenced by numerous atmospheric, marine and terrestrial processes that control the distribution of water column constituents in different temporal and spatial scales. Wind relaxation events, plumes and blooms are some of the mechanisms responsible for the mixing and transport of organic and inorganic materials such as larvae, nutrients, pollutants and sediments along the continental shelf. In the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC), California, these mechanisms cause dramatic changes in the color of the ocean on time scales of days to weeks. The variability of ocean color on short timescales has not been well characterized or accounted for by satellite remote sensing due to revisit time and sampling issues, which makes such observations impossible. Moreover, many ocean processes tend to develop under overcast conditions, when no imagery or in situ data is being collected, biasing the assessment of those systems to clear sky conditions. Underestimation of ocean productivity is also expected because phytoplankton pigmentation adapts to changes in light availability, and we might be biasing satellite observations of phytoplankton biomass to high light, clear sky conditions.


My research objective is to characterize the variability of bio-optical properties on time scales of days to weeks in the Santa Barbara Channel and account for the observations that have been missed by satellite systems due to unfavorable meteorological conditions. An electric glider will be used to make repeated bio-optical and physical measurements of the water column during plumes, blooms and relaxation events at excellent temporal and spatial resolutions, nearly independent of weather conditions. An extensive set of in situ data will be synthesized and used to complement NASA satellite ocean color data. The characterization of ocean color variability in the SBC in finer time scale will provide new insights about how the ocean responds to physical disturbances, what are the ecological implications of rapid changes in bio-optical properties of the water, and how the current under sampling influences how much we know about coastal marine ecosystems and primary productivity. This research will help answer questions related to bias and aliasing of remote sensing data, providing a new perspective about ocean dynamics in the SBC.



David Siegel                        9/1/10-8/31/12                                                                    $60,000

Rebecca Lawson                  

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NH10AP28H(SDN29)


Phytoplankton Community Composition and Inherent Optical Properties (IOP) in a Complex Coastal Environment.


Ocean color remote sensing has revolutionized our understanding of the global ocean by providing information about primary productivity, biogeochemical cycling and particle size distributions in the surface ocean (Behrenfeld et al., 2005; Kostadinov et al., 2009). Space-borne satellites allow us to remotely sense light reflectance on spatial and temporal scales impossible to achieve by any other means. The remote-sensing reflectance of ocean waters, RRS (), is a function of the absorption and backscattering coefficients of seawater, termed inherent optical properties (IOP’s). IOP’s are in turn an additive function of seawater’s IOP’s (considered constant), and the IOP’s of in-water constituents, such as phytoplankton, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), detrital particulates and suspended sediments. Various empirical and semi-analytical algorithms exist to inversely model these bio-optical properties from ocean reflectance data (e.g., Maritorena et al. 2002).


Both the Sea-viewing Wide Field of View Sensor (SeaWiFS) and the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are widely used satellite sensors for measuring ocean reflectance. Standard NASA algorithms (OC4v4 & OC3M) quantifies chlorophyll a concentration from ocean reflectance using an empirical relationship between RRS () and in situ measurements of chlorophyll a (O’Reilly et al., 1998 and updates). This algorithm works well for areas of the open ocean where ocean color is dominated by phytoplankton properties and other constituents are assumed to roughly covary with changes in chlorophyll a (IOCCG, 2000). The Garver-Siegel-Maritorena algorithm (GSM) is a semi-analytical model that quantifies three IOP’s from RRS (): backscattering due to particles, absorption of light due to phytoplankton and absorption of light due to dissolved and detrital organic material (Maritorena et al., 2002; Siegel et al., 2005). Empirical coefficients for the three IOP’s are determined by in situ measurements and held constant in the model based on a global data summary. Recent studies have shown that remote sensing is also a useful too for inversely modeling phytoplankton community structure (e.g., Alvain et al., 2008). Some phytoplankton pigments absorb and/or reflect light with a unique spectral shape. Alvain et al. (2006) was able to explain the variability in chlorophyll a concentrations modeled with the empirical algorithm by the direct relationship of LwN () spectral shape with phytoplankton community composition (Alvain et al, 2004; Alvain et al., 2006). Chemotaxonomic pigment data, used to identify phytoplankton groups or functional types, is becoming increasingly available and this novel approach will boost our understanding about community structure for the global ocean.


Coastal areas can be optically complex due to high turbidity, primary productivity and CDOM from deepwater upwelling and/or river inputs and the associated IOP’s may vary independently (IOCCG, 2000). Such areas of optical complexity, termed Case II areas, often require local calibration for empirical coefficients used in remote sensing algorithms such as the GSM. Magnuson et al. (2004) found that locally tuning the GSM Model for the Chesapeake Bay and the Mid-Atlantic Bight resulted in better-calculated chlorophyll a measurements than the global GSM and OC4v4 Models. However, Kostadinov et al. (2007) locally calibrated the GSM Model for the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and found no improvement in model performance for any of the IOP’s compared with the global version of the GSM Model. The lack of model improvement was attributed to the assumption that spectral shape of the IOP’s is constant in time; therefore the empirical coefficients are held constant. IOP characteristics for the SBC are in fact much more dynamic. Taking a similar approach to that of Alvain et al. (2004), my overarching research question is “How do changes in phytoplankton community structure influence inherent optical properties and thereby ocean color in a complex coastal ocean?”



David Siegel                                  1/29/08-1/28/12                               $850,000

Stéphane Maritorena

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX08AG82G(SDN26)


Ocean color study of plumes and blooms in the Santa Barbara Channel.


We propose to continue the PnB field program which started August of 1996.  Each PnB cruise is made up of seven oceanographic stations (Figure 1), all taken on one day.  At each station, a variety of optical, physical, biological, chemical and geological oceanographic parameters are sampled (Table 1). All sampling protocols and analysis methods have been consistently applied and are consistent with those recommended by the SeaWiFS, SIMBIOS and JGOFS programs (e.g., Knap et al. 1993; Mueller and Austin, 1995; Fargion and Mueller, 2000).  Documentation for PnB field procedures is available at


Determinations of water leaving radiance spectra LwN(l) are the key ingredient in any ocean color field effort.  Estimates of LwN(l) will be determined by analysis of spectroradiometry profiles (a BSI PRR-2600 system).  We have published an intercomparison analysis using PnB data which indicates that determinations of LwN(l) are best made using determinations of the upwelling radiance leaving the ocean and measurements of incident irradiance (Toole et al. 2000).  In addition, vertical profiles of diffuse attenuation coefficient spectra, Kd(z,l), are measured.  All radiometric measurements are calibrated at UCSB against NIST traceable standards (O’Brien et al. 2000).  The UCSB facility has participated in all SIRREX and SIMBIOS calibration studies (O’Brien et al. 2000; 


At each station, discrete water samples will be collected for surface waters using our SeaBird CTD/rosette sampler (12 5-liter Niskin bottles).  Analyses will be made for chlorophyll a (Turner fluorometry), inorganic nutrient (SiO4, NO3, NO2 & PO4; UCSB analytical lab), particulate organic material (POC & PON; UCSB analytical lab), dissolved organic material (DOC & DON; Craig Carlson’s lab - UCSB) and lithogenic and biogenic particulate silica (Mark Brzezinski’s lab - UCSB) concentrations.  The POC/PON and DOC/DON sampling is new for PnB and we started collected samples for analysis in January of this year.  Samples will also be taken for phytoplankton pigment concentrations.


Spectrophotometric analysis of absorption coefficients for colored dissolved organic material, particulate detritus and phytoplankton (analyzed by our group).  We find that use of the Mitchell [1990] beta correction results in the overestimate of aph(675) by as much as 70%.  We have conducted several experiments to produce a beta correction algorithm for PnB which produce much more reasonable results (Guillocheau, 2003).  At PnB station 4 (the SB Channel center), profiles of most discrete determinations are made at 6 depths over the upper 75 m. This results in 13 discrete samples per PnB cruise. Hydrographic parameters are available from the CTD for analyses of water mass variability (Siegel et al., 2006a).


A suite of inherent optical property (IOP) instrumentation is also deployed with the CTD/rosette system (WETLabs AC9 and HOBI Labs Hydroscat-6).  This enables us to determine in situ profiles of spectral absorption, a(z,l), beam attenuation, c(z,l), total scattering b(z,l) and backscattering, bb(z,l), coefficients.  Clear water calibrations are done for the AC9 instrumentation before each cruise using a Mille-Q clean water system dedicated for this task.  Uncertainties in our clear water calibrations are typically within 0.015 m-1 which is more than a order of magnitude smaller than the signals that we sample.  Further, we calibrate the backscatter meter before each cruise using a calibration fixture of HOBI Labs' design.  Over time, this instrument has shown good stability (within 3%) in its factory calibration coefficients.   


David Siegel                        9/1/08-8/31/11                                                                      $90,000

James Watson  

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX08AV01H(SDN27)


Integrating Satellite Observations into Fisheries Science: Quantifying Abiotic and in-flight Biotic Larval Mortality as a Means to Better Predict Population Connectivity.


Fishery yields and ecological diversity have come under increasing scrutiny of late. Environmentalists, politicians and scientists are coming to an agreement that marine resources need to be managed more effectively. Much of this crisis has come from our inadequacy to forecast the future state of marine ecosystems and fish biomass. This has led to the adoption of ecosystem-based management (EBM) methods (White et al, 2008, Botsford et al, 2003, Halpern & Warner, 2002). The work that I am proposing will improve our ability to predict a fundamental aspect of EBM: larval connectivity (Kinlan & Gaines, 2003). For many important, nearshore, fished stocks population connectivity, mediated by larval dispersal, is a fundamental driving force behind population dynamics. My work aims to predict larval connectivity. I will develop an inter-disciplinary model that integrates numerical ocean simulations with NASA data products. This model will focus, in a spatially explicit manner, on the two dominant forms of larval mortality:

Abiotic mortality due to advection, by ocean currents, away from suitable habitat.

• In-flight biotic mortality, due to predation and starvation, along the larval dispersal trajectory.


By considering both the abiotic and biotic forms of larval mortality my work will describe larval connectivity in unprecedented detail. I propose to:

• Develop simulations of larval dispersal, using the results of existing high resolution hydrodynamic simulations of the waters off Southern California. This will generate estimates of abiotic larval mortality.

• Use satellite sea-surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll (Chl) data products to quantify the in-flight nutritional experience of dispersing larvae.

• Investigate the relationship between in-flight larval mortality and SST and Chl experience.

• Use an existing stock-harvest model to explore the economic consequences of abiotic and in-flight biotic mortality.


This work will take the Southern California Bight (SoCal Bight) as a test bed. We will develop Lagrangian particle advection simulations of larval dispersal, representing the cutting edge in our ability to predict patterns of larvae dispersal, and by integrating information generated from several NASA assets (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor/SeaWiFS, MODIS/AQUA and the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer/AVHRR), we will, for the first time, generate estimates of both the abiotic loss of larvae and the in-flight biotic loss of larvae. This will allow us to make estimates of population connectivity at an unprecedented level of temporal and spatial detail.



David Siegel                        4/1/11-3/31/14                                                                    $451,754

Norm Nelson    

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX11AF63G(SDN30)


A Mechanistic Approach Towards the Remote Assessment of Carbon Export by Sinking Particles in the Open Ocean.


Carbon export, the vertical transport of organic carbon from the surface ocean into its interior via sinking particles, is a critical part of the upper ocean carbon budget. However, our ability to remotely assess carbon export rates globally remains primitive at best as carbon export is most commonly estimated as the product of remotely sensed values of net primary production (NPP) multiplied by a very simple export-ratio model. These models may provide a reasonable assessment of present state of mean carbon export, but they will not assess changes in export as these are purely empirical models and none of the critical information about mechanisms driving export are included. To make that next step towards a mechanistic assessment of ocean carbon flux we need knowledge of upper ocean particle source material concentrations and characteristics and knowledge of how physical oceanographic processes alter upper ocean particle fields and package suspended materials into sinking particles that are exported into the ocean interior. Here we propose a coupled field, imagery analysis and modeling program aimed at understanding the mechanisms driving carbon export and developing novel tools for its remote assessment. Specifically, we will conduct two ~3200 km long meridional transects across the North Atlantic (~40 to 20ºN) collaborating with the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series (BATS). We will sample carbon export (via 234Th disequilibria) from vertical water samples and surface samples from underway collection (with 10 km spatial resolution). Concentrations of the radioisotope thorium-234 are an excellent index for euphotic zone particle removal as measured by its disequilibrium with its parent (238U) and recent technical advances enable its high spatial resolution sampling from a ship’s underway flow system. Upper ocean particle concentrations and characteristics will be sampled by measuring inherent optical properties, phytoplankton abundances and pigments, size-fractionated inherent optical property and chlorophyll concentrations, particulate organic carbon, transparent exopolymer particle (TEP) concentrations, and the particle size distribution (PSD) spectrum. These observations will be made both underway from the ship’s surface underway system and as vertical profiles. This work will constrain the types and concentrations of particles and processes that are leading to particle export. Satellite ocean color observations of inherent optical properties and the PSD will be integrated into the interpretation of the field observations. A key element of our proposal is the simultaneous observations of particle export and source material characteristics and the physical drivers of particle aggregation. Recent modeling studies have shown that Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs) can be determined from merged satellite altimetry observations. LCSs define the attracting and repelling surfaces in 2-D flow fields and provide an excellent, diagnostic tool for assessing regions where submesoscale particle aggregation will occur as well as vertical motions at fronts. The relationships among LCS locations and intensities will be evaluated using observations from the ship transects and from advance ocean color data products. The proposed combination of high-resolution field observations, remote sensing data analysis and assessment of LCSs is a unique feature of our work.



David Siegel                        3/1/11-2/29/12                                                                      $50,000

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX11AG80G(SDN31)


Proposal for an ACE Ocean Productivity and Carbon Cycle (OPCC) Workshop.


The Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) mission is one of the future NASA Earth science missions recommended in the NRC's 2007 Decadal Survey. Obviously ACE has many goals and masters; the relevant one here is the determination of ocean ecosystem productivity and carbon cycling processes on local to global scales. This is a tall order and a science working group led by Chuck McClain (NASA/GSFC) has been focused on setting mission requirements. One area where the ocean science working group has been having difficulties is for Ocean Productivity and Carbon Cycle (OPCC) parameters beyond NPP. Relevant OPCC parameters include carbon export, net community production, air-sea CO2 exchange, N2 fixation, etc. Clearly this requires a discussion among observational biogeochemists, ocean modelers and remote sensing scientists. We would like to initiate this conversation by holding a two and one-half day workshop at UCSB to address these issues June 6-8 of this year. The goals of the ACE OPCC workshop are to:  1) Prioritize the essential OPCC parameters required for answering the ACE science questions;     2) Review existing field and remote sensing methodologies for the assessment of essential OPCC parameters (on fluxes, not stocks); 3) Create product assessments for the essential OPCC parameters; 4) Address what can be achieved from satellite orbit today and identify the path forward to resolving the full suite of OPCC parameters using both models and satellite observations; 5) Propose an appropriate cal/val plan for developing & validating the essential OPCC parameters and the creation of new satellite algorithms; 6) Write a high level vision document describing our approach for assessing essential OPCC parameters from satellite observables.



David Siegel                        1/1/11-12/31/13                                                                  $765,235

Norm Nelson                      

National Science Foundation, 1040502(SDF10)


MRI: Development of Novel Profiling Buoy Technology for Satellite Ocean Color Calibration and Data Product Validation.


The Near Surface Profiling Buoy system is a floating/profiling optical sensor system that will enhance the calibration and validation of ocean color data from satellite instruments, enabling the collection of long-term climate data records of the ocean biosphere. Intellectual Merit: We propose to develop and evaluate the performance of a novel profiling buoy system for the calibration of satellite ocean color observations and the validation of their data products. This measurement capability is essential for creating longterm satellite climate data records of the ocean biosphere – but the costs of building and deploying existing moored buoy systems are excessive ($M’s to build & ~$1M/y to deploy for each site). Our system, the Near Surface Profiling Buoy (NSPB), will autonomously collect 100’s of high-quality, near-surface irradiance / radiance profiles during each multi-day deployment as part of a standard oceanographic research cruise. The NSPB is built upon recent advances in optical profiling instrumentation designed for turbid water environments that is adapted to the calibration and validation of ocean color satellite data. The NSPB system is aimed at making day-long to week-long deployments improving the likelihood of high quality match-ups with satellite data than is possible with conventional profiling techniques. This will alleviate wire time constraints for shared research cruises, maximizing the return on research vessel time (often >$50K/day). The NSPB will be a cost-effective alternative to long-term, moored optical buoy installations for satellite ocean color sensor calibration and eliminates the need for addressing biofouling and extrapolation of subsurface signals to the sea surface, which are the major sources of uncertainty for long-term moored systems. We will test and deploy the NSPB system in both coastal and open ocean conditions as part of on-going UCSB research projects in the Santa Barbara Channel (PnB) and the Sargasso Sea (BBOP). System performance will be assessed and compared with traditional long-term moored buoy systems and conventional ship-based spectroradiometry profiling. All radiometric measurements will be fully characterized and tied to NIST standards and system radiometric performance will be monitored at UCSB. Broader Impacts: This equipment development will help reenergize long-term field research programs conducted by the UCSB group. More importantly, it will help solve a national need for a low-cost, high-performance, flexible buoy system for the calibration and validation of satellite ocean color observations. This development project has the potential to greatly improve the accuracy of present and future satellite ocean color sensors, which will have impacts far beyond this instrumentation development request. It will also involve a significant collaboration between academic researchers and the private sector that will advance the state of the art in optical technology and facilitate acquisition of quality data and instrumentation for long-term records of the ocean biosphere.



David Siegel                                                                          2/1/12-1/31/15                    $370,141

Rachel Simons 

Bruce Kendall  

National Science Foundation, OCE-1155813 (SDF11)


Quantifying the importance of biological factors in the estimation of larval connectivity and population dynamics in the coastal ocean.


This project will quantitatively assess the importance of biological factors in estimates of larval connectivity and long-term population growth in the coastal ocean. We will generate significant insights about the ecological and oceanographic contexts under which various aspects of larval biology are critical to estimating larval connectivity and to projecting population dynamics. Our interdisciplinary approach to this project will be successful using our unique combination of expertise; PI Siegel in larval connectivity and Lagrangian approaches to understanding transport and mixing in ocean systems, PI Kendall in spatial marine ecology and population dynamics, and PI Simons in biophysical modeling of larval transport.



Alexander Simms                            7/1/10-9/30/11                                            $15,515

Department of Interior, G10AC00384(SAU01)


Mapping the Terraces of the Bull Creek Drainage of Beaver County, Oklahoma


The drainages of the Oklahoma Panhandle have provided a valuable record of past environmental conditions throughout the late Pleistocene and Holocene. These archives have become very important to the archeological community as providing a place to find artifacts as well as a record of the changes that the early Native American people adapted to. However key to locating new sites and placing existing archeological finds into context is an understanding of the modern landscape and how the underlying geology affected the evolution of these forms. The purpose of this proposal is to map the underlying geology as well as the Quaternary terraces found along the Bull Creek drainage and its confluence with the Beaver River. This project will aid a current ongoing project conducted by archeologists, soil scientist, and nanoscientists to look for nanodiamonds across the Younger Dryas Boundary within the paleosols of the Bull Creek Drainage. Nanodiamonds found by previous studies at the onset of the Younger Dryas have been used as evidence to support an impact-related cause for the extinction of some megafauna, the climatic cooling of the Younger Dryas, and the change from Folsum to Clovis societies in North America. Mapping the terraces and underlying geology for the Bull Creek Drainage will allow for a better characterization of the deposits and controls on geomorphology for this important drainage system. This project will be the subject of a Masters Thesis of Mr. David Milburn – an MS candidate at Oklahoma State University, soon to be at the University of California at Santa Barbara. 



Alexander Simms                         7/1/10-6/30/13                                                            $91,087

Oklahoma State University, AA-5-30220(SAP02)


Constraining the Deglaciation of the Antarctic Peninsula Using OSL Dated Beach Deposits        


Despite many recent studies documenting the extent of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet (APIS) on the continental shelf, the ice sheet’s thickness remains largely unconstrained.  As a result, models of the APIS since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) vary dramatically.  One method of estimating the past thickness of ice sheets is the inversion of sea-level data using geophysical techniques.  However, along the Antarctic Peninsula few sea-level curves exist and the few curves that do exist are in areas of known tectonic activity or subject to the limitations of a radiocarbon-derived chronology, such as a scarcity of material to date, the uncertainties associated with radiocarbon reservoir affects, and the imprecise relationship of datable material to past sea levels.  Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating is a method not subject to the same limitations as radiocarbon dating.  As a result it is possible to date features that are not accessible with radiocarbon methods, in particular cobbles within raised beach ridges and boulder pavements.  Preliminary OSL ages from beach ridges in the South Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula show agreement with existing reservoir-corrected radiocarbon-derived sea-level curves.  The purpose of this proposal is to acquire OSL dates from whole cobbles within raised beach ridges and boulder pavements from five areas in the Antarctic Peninsula.  This research is transformative in the methods for obtaining ages from raised beach deposits for the creation of sea level curves for the region.  Our central hypothesis is that systematic differences in sea-level histories can be seen from north to south and east to west across the Antarctic Peninsula.  These systematic differences in the sea-level curves will provide important constraints on the thickness and retreat history of the APIS since the LGM.  Accurate reconstructions of the ice sheet are particularly important for researchers attempting to disentangle the isostatic adjustment from satellite gravity measurements suggesting mass loss (melting) in the region and predicting the future fate of ice sheets in light of predictions of sea-level rise and global warming.



Alexander Simms                         7/1/10-9/30/12                                                          $123,084

Oklahoma State University, AA-5-31560(SAP01)


New Approaches to Unraveling the Climatic and Sea-Level History of the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico


Recent hurricanes such as Katrina and Ike have reminded policy makers and planners of the susceptibility of coastal communities to natural forces such as storms, climate change, subsidence, and eustatic sea-level rise. A large backstepping event has been identified within several Gulf Coast estuaries around 2.6 ka. The continued debate concerning the nature of sea-level change over the last 5 ka, coupled with the lack of century-scale records of climate change, leaves the cause of this event unclear. We propose to use two methods of sea-level and climate reconstructions not previously used in Gulf of Mexico studies to provide tighter constraints on the sea-level and climate history of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico over the last 5 ky. The overall objective of this proposal is to determine the sea-level and climate history along the south Texas coast at a decade-to century-scale resolution over the last 5 ky. Our central hypothesis is that the large backstepping event at 2.6 ka and the formation of higher-than-present beach ridges around Baffin Bay, Texas is not a response to a mid-Holocene highstand along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico but instead occurred in conjunction with severe drought conditions during the middle to late Holocene. In order to test our central hypothesis we propose three specific objectives: (1) create a sea-level curve based on algal mats from the mud flats of upper Baffin Bay, (2) create a detailed record of drought based on isotopes and mineralogy of sediments within a playa lake near Baffin Bay, and (3) date and survey the existing beach ridges found along the shores of Baffin Bay using OSL. In addition to testing our central hypothesis, these new records will provide tighter constraints on the glacio-hydro-isostatic conditions affecting sea levels within the Gulf of Mexico, which will allow a better reconstruction of background rates of sea-level rise throughout the region including Louisiana. The new data will also provide a longer record of century-scale drought than currently exists for the south-central USA. The transformative concepts introduced by this research include the innovative nature of our sea-level reconstruction and testing the possibility that backstepping can be caused not only by elevated rates of sea-level rise but also by climate shifts (e.g., drought conditions).



Christopher Sorlien                                                             5/1/12-4/30/13                      $56,267

Department of Interior, G12AP20069 (SCU01)


Plio-Quaternary Reactivation of Miocene Faults by the Newport-Inglewood-Rose Canyon-San Mateo-Carlsbad-Descanso-Coronado Bank Fault System: Newport Beach to San Diego, California.


In addition to hazard to coastal cities including San Diego, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is located on late Cenozoic sedimentary rocks in the hanging-wall above a right-reverse oblique part of the San Mateo-Carslbad fault (or, alternatively, above the Oceanside thrust). The maximum earthquake magnitude expected on a fault depends in part on its geometrical continuity. In the California near-shore Inner Borderland, there are rather important differences in interpreted fault geometry and continuity, slip type, age of deformed strata, and thus fault activity. These interpretations are available in reports and publications, from 2009 and 2010. Fault databases currently do not take into account certain recent interpretations. For example, the Descanso fault has been mapped from far south in Mexican waters to 5 km offshore San Diego. An additional 30 km of this fault continues northwest of where it has been mapped before. There, it is kinematically and geometrically linked to the 70 km-long San Mateo-Carlsbad fault, which in turn is part of a 3D “Flower Structure” with the Newport-Inglewood fault. An order of magnitude difference in published or reported estimated ages of Quaternary strata implies a 10 times difference in modeled slip rates.



Christopher Sorlien                              9/1/09-11/30/12                                    $49,999

National Science Foundation, 0929063(SCN04)


Collaborative Research: The North Anatolian Fault in the Marmara Sea, Turkey: The Growth of Continental Transform Basins


The 1500-km-long North Anatolian continental transform (NAF) accommodates westward motion of Anatolia relative to Asia at ~25 mm/yr. At its western end the NAF splinters into several strands with bends and jogs. These geometries and fault interactions are responsible for the extensional Marmara Sea trough, a composite Quaternary structure that includes three main basins with water depths >1200m, separated by submarine ridges. This boundary has been widely considered the type-transform for “pull-apart” structures, and the resulting Marmara basin is one of the best-studied transform basins in the world. Marmara is thus an ideal setting in which to address the following fundamental questions regarding transform basins: 1) What are the patterns of basin growth in space and time, and how do they relate to the deformation at depth? 2) Can the recent tectonic regime be extrapolated back to the onset of the sedimentary basins (i.e., steady-state tectonics), or have tectonics changed through time? 3) What are the geometries of major faults, and how is plate motion partitioned between them? 4) How are faults in Marmara influenced by pre-existing structures?


The recent international focus on the Marmara Sea has led to shallow, very high-resolution seismic surveys that map the surface and near-surface traces of faults and sediment failures as well as deep penetration, low-resolution multichannel seismic (MCS) surveys that image the deep basin and crustal structure. In July 2008, the proponents acquired >2700 km of high-resolution MCS reflection data throughout Marmara that fills the resolution gap between those datasets. The TAMAM (Turkish- American Marmara Multichannel) Project was funded by NSF in 2003, but was delayed by scheduling difficulties. In 2008, the proponents used the science budget to lease the R/V K. Piri Reis, operated by Dokuz Eylül University (DEU) in Izmir. Two additional days will be collected in Summer 2009. This dataset ties the faults at depth to their shallower structure where they interact with gravity-collapse and sedimentation patterns, and is thus ideal to resolve the pattern of growth in the basins. Processing and interpretation are ongoing together with our Turkish collaborators at DEU and Istanbul Technical University (ITU), within the constraints of our depleted science budget.


This research will continue analysis and interpretation of TAMAM and other datasets to reconstruct the tectonic evolution of Marmara in the last ~1 Ma and to address the questions above. More advanced processing and detailed stratigraphic and structural interpretations of existing seismic data will be undertaken to determine the times at which different fault systems were active, slip rates on major faults, and the stratigraphic response to tectonics and climate. These observations can be used to quantify slip partitioning and changes in tectonics through time. Initial inspection of the TAMAM data indicates that downslope motion and gas are common throughout the basin, and their distribution will be mapped in order to assess their importance in filling the basin and their response to tectonics. Pre-stack depth migration (PSDM) will also be applied to select profiles from the deep-penetration Seismarmara survey to obtain better estimates of fault geometry. Finally, isostatically-balanced kinematic reconstructions will be performed using the mapped sequences to test the predicted subsidence and sedimentation patterns arising from competing models for fault configuration at depth.



Christopher Sorlien                       02/01/07-01/31/12                                      $15,000

University of Southern California, 120044(SCP08)


SCEC3 Participation: Santa Monica Bay revisited: Digital representations for the Community Fault Model using newly-available industry seismic reflection data


Digital representations of faults will be completed but the stratigraphic effort to correlate offshore Quaternary reflections to onshore scientific core holes might be reduced. This work will complete interpretations and manuscripts related to past SCEC support, focusing on careful stratigraphic correlations to data from wells and sea floor outcrop, and then through multiple grids of digital and paper seismic reflection.



Frank Spera                                  7/1/08-6/30/12                                             $250,448

National Science Foundation, 0810127(SFN11)


Collaborative research: Testing models that describe the origin of compositional diversity of subduction zone magmatism, Aeolian Islands


Volcanic rocks integrate the records of crustal and mantle processes that govern the compositional diversity of magmas on Earth. At shallow-levels, recharge, crustal assimilation, and fractional crystallization (RAFC), as well as the temperature-pressure conditions of ascent, and composition(s) of surrounding crust dominate development of compositional diversity. In the mantle, particularly in subduction zones, melts acquire their characteristics from the intricate interplay of source composition (including slab- and sediment-derived fluids, sediments and their associated partial melts), intensive parameter constraints (e.g., P, T, fO2) and the style and extent of melting. Despite much study and hundreds of important contributions on these topics, challenges remain. Among these are quantification of RAFC and partial melting processes using geochemical computational tools now available that simultaneously address major and trace element, phase equilibria, and isotopic constraints, and the testing of quantitative predictions by exploiting advances in laboratory methods for textural and in situ chemical and isotopic analyses of crystals, glass and melt inclusions. 


We propose to explore these challenges by studying subduction zone volcanism of the Aeolian Islands, Italy. We have two primary objectives: (1) For selected suites of volcanic rocks from Alicudi, Filicudi and Salina, test the efficacy of the Magma Chamber Simulator (which has combined the capabilities of MELTS and Energy-Constrained Recharge, Assimilation, Fractional Crystallization) for modeling the compositional evolution from basalt to dacite by generating quantitative models that reproduce  published major and trace element and Sr isotope trends. Model results will provide predictions about the compositions and abundances of melt+minerals along open-system liquid lines of descent. With the framework provided by these models, we propose collection of selected suites of rocks followed by acquisition of new textural and in situ (major element by electron probe, trace element by laser ablation ICPMS, and microsampled Sr isotopes) data of crystals, glass and melt inclusions. These new data will be evaluated in context of MCS results to explore two fundamental questions: (a) Is the MCS an effective modeling tool for complex systems? (b) What can we learn about the structure and dynamics of magma bodies associated with these islands? (2) Develop thermal models of the subducted slab and mantle wedge and, in conjunction with phase equilibria constraints (Perple_X and pMELTS), constrain the range of intensive thermodynamic variables relevant to mantle wedge partial melting. Then, based on a Monte-Carlo approach, using pMELTS, we will forward model (1) the composition of wedge partial melts by varying source composition, pressure, fO2, H2O content and style of melting, and (2) using the compositions of these melts, explore compositional changes that occur as melts ascend polybarically and partially crystallize. Best results from this two-stage approach will inform trace element analysis, which will apply published mineral-melt-fluid partition coefficients to closed system melting and crystallization equations for fluid-saturated systems. Model data will be compared with major and trace element and phase equilibria data of the most mafic samples identified on Alicudi, Filicudi and Salina. The fundamental question being explored is what are the dominant controls on parental magma compositions in this subduction setting? Novel aspects of our proposed work include using innovative (but tested) computational models to simultaneously model major and trace element ± Sr isotopes variations in complex magmatic suites. Predictions about characteristics of components of volcanic rocks—crystals, glass, melt inclusions—are tested by taking advantage of recent innovations in textural and in situ data analysis. The end result of this marriage of state-of-the-art petrologic tools is testable models of how magmas form and evolve. If this approach is successful, it will impact how petrologists approach studying complex magmatic systems and will also provide a methodology by which source to surface compositional diversity can be understood by combining computational and analytical methods.



Jamison Steidl                                                                    10/1/06-6/30/12                    $311,636

Carnegie-Mellon University, 1120855-186144 (SJ1P10)


NEESR-SG: High-Fidelity Site Characterization by Experimentation, Field Observation, and Inversion-Based Modeling


The availability of resources enabled by the George E. Brown, Jr. NEES sites, along with recently developed powerful inversion methods, and the increasing availability of earthquake records, will make it possible for the first time to reconstruct the three-dimensional material profile of local sites and complex basins alike. The problem of site and basin characterization is of great importance to hazard mitigation because knowledge of the in-situ material properties of soil deposits and deeper geological structure is essential for assessing earthquake ground motion; and forecasting this ground motion is an essential first step in designing earthquake resistant facilities and retrofitting existing structures. Thus, a proper knowledge of the geology and soil conditions at local and regional scales is a necessary precursor of the design process.


The main objective of the proposed research is to develop the capability for estimating the three-dimensional geological structure and mechanical properties of individual sites and complete basins, and to apply this capability to the nees@UCSB site at the Garner Valley Downhole Array (GVDA) and the entire Garner Valley. This high-resolution estimation will be based on integrating (a) in-situ dynamic excitation using NEES equipment primarily at the University of Texas at Austin (nees@UTexas) developed for advancing the state-of-the-art in in-situ dynamic material property characterization and field testing of soil deposits, (b) earthquake records from new strong-motion and broadband sensor networks, and (c) new inversion methods based on partial differential equations (PDE)-constrained optimization being developed under separate NSF grants. Our reasons for choosing these particular NEES sites are: (1) The equipment at the nees@UTexas site will allow us to apply loads at a wide range of frequencies and loading levels, which will enable us to examine the variability of the soil properties with these parameters. In addition to estimating shear-wave velocity and primary-wave velocity, we propose to include damping in our inversion model as a key soil property to be estimated simultaneously with the two velocities. Despite the critical influence that material attenuation in soils has on dynamic phenomena such as site amplification, damping remains, perhaps, the most poorly known dynamic mechanical soil property. (2) The GVDA is a test site located in a narrow valley in a highly seismic region in southern California, which is ideally suited for monitoring ground motion. The site consists of a set of seven downhole strong-motion instruments. The hundreds of small earthquakes that have been recorded at the site and at other, free surface, locations throughout this valley in the last 15 years make it an invaluable source of data for our regional deep structure inversions. To increase the fidelity of the inverted models, we propose to augment this dataset with data from instruments of the USArray component of EarthScope that we plan to deploy over periods of time that will overlap the periods of active testing. In-situ tests will provide data for characterizing the upper layers at the GVDA site and throughout the valley. Observations from these tests, both downhole and on the free surface, will be used as part of the data set for the inversion of our three-dimensional, high-resolution models, along with earthquake observations.




Jamison Steidl                                                                    10/1/11-9/30/12                        $4,401

Northeastern University, 501947-78052 (SJ1P13)


Induced-Partial Saturation Through Transport and Reactivity for Liquefaction Mitigation.


UCSB, as an equipment site within the NSF George E. Brown, Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation program, provides assistance to researchers in using the NEES@UCSB field sites for conducting experiments related to earthquake engineering. In this proposal, UCSB will be working as a subcontractor to Northeastern University, the lead institution.


UCSB will be providing scientific expertise and technical assistance in the planning, deployment of instrumentation and the induced partial saturation delivery system, and experiments using active mobile shakers from UT Austin, all taking place at the NEES@UCSB Wildlife Liquefaction Array facility. UCSB will work as an advisor to the project PI and co-PI’s in order to help assure that the experiments are successful and are conducted without affecting the existing permanent instrumentation at the facility. Technical assistance will be provided during the field work and experimentation at the facility.


The NEES@UCSB field site will provide access to the facility, and assistance with the integration of the collected data into the NEEShub for this project. No charge for the data telemetry and IT services are being charged in this subcontract, as these will be covered by the NEES@UCSB operations contract with NEEScomm at Purdue. In addition, NEES@UCSB student lab assistants who work on the operations contract may assist in the field work, depending on the schedule.




Jamison Steidl                    10/1/09-9/30/12                                                               $1,575,448

Purdue University, NEES-4101-31902(SJ1C06/07/08)


NEES Consortium Operations: 2004-2014.

The NEES@UCSB facility consists of permanently instrumented geotechnical test sites designed to improve our understanding of the effects of surface geology on strong ground motion. The instrumentation at these sites includes surface and borehole arrays of accelerometers and pore pressure transducers designed to record strong ground motions, excess pore pressure generation and liquefaction that occurs during large earthquakes. An instrumented structure is also monitored to improve our understanding of soil-foundation-structure interaction (SFSI) effects.


Located in the Imperial Valley of Southern California within the Imperial Wildlife Management Area, the Wildlife Liquefaction Array is a fully instrumented site in an area that has historically produced significant ground motion and liquefaction effects. The Garner Valley Array is a thoroughly characterized strong-motion monitoring site with surface accelerometers, borehole pore pressure transducers and accelerometers, and an extensively instrumented SFSI test facility. Both the Garner Valley and Wildlife Field Sites records earthquakes on a daily basis, and are used in active testing experiments.


Data from these field sites is recorded continuously in real-time on a 24/7 basis, and 100’s of earthquakes are segmented out of the continuous stream and included in a web-based data dissemination portal. These event data are also transmitted to NEEShub and stored in the NEES Project Warehouse database. Serving the experimental research community that use these facilities for active testing, and analysis of the data these sites produce, is our primary goal for this project. The operations and maintenance of these field sites, to ensure that the next “Big One” is recorded and all sensors are operational is another primary goal of this project.




Jamison Steidl                    2/1/07-1/31/12                                                                    $135,000

Ralph Archuleta                             

University of Southern California, 120044(SJ1P12)


SCEC3 Participation: SCEC Borehole Instrumentation Program.


The SCEC borehole program continues to be a collaborative effort between SCEC and other agencies to maintain the existing network of borehole stations in California and to facilitate the integration of this data into CISN and the SCEC data center. The borehole program is highly leveraged, taking advantage of the resources of other programs and agencies that are active in monitoring southern California earthquake activity. This data is made available online to the public and research community.

The SCEC borehole data gathering effort is contributing to the overall scientific goals of the SCEC collaboratory. For example, the borehole data available online at the SCEDC and at IRIS from the SCEC/PBO stations in the Anza region are providing a unique new high-resolution data set for analysis of earthquake source parameters (Priority A4), as well as providing observations of non-volcanic tremor induced events in the region following large regional and very large global earthquakes. In addition, the borehole instrumentation is critical to improving our understanding of nonlinear effects and to developing methodologies to include these effects into ground motion simulations (Priority B4, B5).

As has been the case for many years, joint monitoring efforts continue between SCEC and the US Geological Survey and Caltech through ANSS, NSMP, and CISN, and the California Geological Survey to maintain the existing network of borehole stations. Other collaborators include the NSF funded NEES and HPWREN programs, as well as a newly funded NSF project to look at the San Jacinto Fault zone, including the installation of additional borehole sensors.

In 2011, SCEC borehole stations will continue to be upgraded along with the CISN network stations in southern California. This includes migration to new datalogger technology and the upgrade of surface sensors. As the SCEC borehole stations come up on the schedule for network wide upgrades, we will continue to work with the SCSN field technicians during the upgrade process.  The SCEC borehole program will also continue the collaboration with the NEES program (Priority B6) through processing and data dissemination of the SCEC borehole data; the SCEC/EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory borehole strainmeter program that includes both weak- and strong-motion seismic monitoring in the Anza region; and the strong-motion borehole sensors being installed as part of a new NSF funded study of the San Jacinto fault zone.



Jamison Steidl           2/1/08-1/31/12                                                                             $135,000

University of Southern California, 120044(SJ1P11)


SCEC3 Participation: SCEC Borehole Instrumentation Center 


In 2011, the Portable Broadband Instrument Center (PBIC) will continue to support individual PI project driven deployments of the older style RefTek and the newer next generation real-time data acquisition systems. The new systems use commercial grade cellular VPN routers or other available Internet based telemetry that allows for continuous transmission of data back to the USGS/Caltech component of CISN. Ongoing projects using PBIC equipment include: real-time deployment of the PBIC stations along the Elsinore fault zone; array deployment of 10 RefTek stations at Pinon Flat to monitor potential tremor activity in the region; and use of the broadband CMG-40T sensors at stations in the Anza regional network.

There are no upcoming project on the schedule for 2011 although there have been a couple of inquiries as to instrument availability. What typically happens is projects will develop throughout the course of the year that utilize the PBIC equipment, and we will continue to support these projects as instruments are requested. Maintaining a pool of working stations for rapid deployment in the event of a significant earthquake in California remains the first priority of the PBIC.

In addition to support of field deployments, the PBIC project will continue to maintain the existing pool of older instruments including the long-term loan equipment from the IRIS PASSCAL instrument center and newly acquired RefTek 72A series instruments from the DOE. Heavy involvement of undergraduates is an important part of the PBIC operations as these student laboratory assistants perform the majority of the routine maintenance work under the supervision of the PI and/or engineering staff at the Earth Research Institute. These students also participate in deployments getting hands-on training in the use of the PBIC seismic monitoring equipment and software processing tools. Outreach demonstrations and presentations to local K-12 schools is also a regular activity for the PBIC and will continue for 2011.


Jamison Steidl 

Ralph Archuleta        

University of Southern California, 20121440 (SJ1P14)       2/1/12-1/31/13                 $30,000


SCEC4 Participation, Project B: The SCEC Portable Broadband Instrument Center


The PBIC was established in 1991 by Prof. Ralph Archuleta through funding from SCEC to provide a "pool" of digital seismic recording equipment for use in post earthquake response and on individual PI driven research experiments within southern California. The PBIC is currently managed at the Earth Research Institute (ERI) by Dr. Jamison Steidl with support from undergraduate student laboratory assistants from the department of geological sciences and electrical and computer engineering.

The ability for SCEC to respond rapidly to a major southern California earthquake with the deployment of seismographs in the near-source region was a catalyst for the creation of the PBIC and is a critical asset of SCEC earthquake research community. This has been highlighted recently by the successful deployment of PBIC equipment in the 2010 El Mayor–Cucapah earthquake as well as the 2008 shakeout experiments along the southern San Andreas. Other PBIC successful RAMP deployments occurred in conjunction with the 2004 Parkfield and 2003 San Simeon earthquakes, as well as the four major earthquake sequences in the previous decade (1992 M6.1 Joshua Tree and M7.3 Landers, 1994 M6.7 Northridge, and 1999 M7.1 Hector Mine). The ability to conduct individual PI driven research experiments in between these major earthquake sequences using PBIC equipment is another very important asset. One of the main goals of the PBIC is to facilitate research in the earthquake community by providing readily accessible seismic monitoring stations for deployment in the southern California region.

This year, as we embark on SCEC4, the Portable Instrument Center is starting to upgrade the data acquisition technology to current real-time systems, capable of integrating directly with the SCSN operations. Over the course of SCEC3, using its two newer real-time stations, the PBIC has demonstrated the capability to deploy and integrate it’s stations into the regional network, providing high-quality observations that are being used for earthquake locations and shake map applications. These stations have proven to be dependable and require very little maintenance. The previous generation of SCEC portable equipment is now coming up on two decades of operations. This older equipment is no longer completely reliable or cost-effective to deploy, as it requires regular site visits and post-processing efforts. Data recovery is about 75% in the winter months and as low as 50% in the summer months due to the age of the equipment, and failure of the older SCSI hard drives in the warmer summer temperatures. This year equipment will be added to provide a third modern real-time station to be used by the SCEC community, as well as maintenance and operations of the other two currently deployed stations.




Jamison Steidl 

Ralph Archuleta

University of Southern California, 20121439 (SJ1P15)   2/1/12-1/31/13                      $30,000


SCEC4 Participation, Project A: SCEC Borehole Instrumentation Center


The SCEC borehole program continues to be a highly leveraged and collaborative effort between SCEC and other agencies to maintain the existing network of borehole stations in California and to facilitate the integration of this data into CISN and the SCEC data center. The borehole program is highly leveraged, taking advantage of the resources of other programs and agencies that are active in monitoring southern California earthquake activity. This data is made available online to the public and research community.

As has been the case for many years, joint monitoring efforts continue between SCEC and the US Geological Survey and Caltech through ANSS, NSMP, and CISN, and the California Geological Survey to maintain the existing network of borehole stations. Other collaborators include the NSF funded NEES and HPWREN programs, as well as an NSF funded project to image the San Jacinto Fault zone, which has been leveraged to include the installation of additional borehole sensors along the San Jacinto.

In 2012, the SCEC borehole program will continue to maintain the existing borehole stations in the southern California region, and also continue the collaborations with; the NEES program through processing and data dissemination of the SCEC borehole data; the SCEC/EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory borehole strainmeter program that includes pore pressure observations, and both weak- and strong-motion seismic monitoring in the Anza region; and the strong-motion borehole sensors being installed as part of a new NSF funded study of the San Jacinto fault zone.---------------



Lisa Stratton                                 05/02/11-09/30/12                                                     $175,000

California Coastal Conservancy, 10-037(SLW02)


Campus Lagoon Accessway


This project funds construction of an accessway, including an elevated stairway and a blufftop trail, over an eroding bluff and restoration of the adjacent degraded bluff slope near the Campus Lagoon on the southeast corner of the UCSB campus. The elevated stairway shall allow people to safely traverse the bluff and shall be designed to blend into and eliminate human pressure on the adjacent fragile environment.



Lisa Stratton                        6/16/10-12/31/11                                                                  $32,000

Goleta Valley Land Trust(SLP01)


Restoration of Bluff Edge at West Campus Bluffs       


West Campus Bluffs is 37 acres of protected coastal bluffs and open space between the west end of Isla Vista and Coal Oil Point Reserve.   The site is heavily used by students and members of the community for coastal access, biking, running, bird watching, painting, and numerous other forms of recreation. With funding from the Coastal Conservancy, UCSB recently replaced the entire trail from Isla Vista to Coal Oil Point Reserve with a new 8 foot wide decomposed granite trail that is intended to reduce the amount of off-trail use and associated impacts.   The new trail has been highly effective at concentrating traffic, and will greatly reduce the amount of disturbance to nearby native grassland, coastal shrub, and wetland habitats. With additional grant funding from the Goleta Valley Land Trust and the Associated Students Coastal Fund, CCBER has been able to restore native vegetation along the trail and bluff edges at West Campus.



Lisa Stratton                                                                          1/1/12-3/31/13                      $36,000

Jennifer Thorsch      

Goleta Valley Land Trust, SB120116 (SLP02)


Restoration of Bluff Edge at West Campus Bluffs.


This project is an expansion of a current grant for West Campus Bluffs restoration to address the threat to the site posed by an acre sized patch of fennel and acacia on the western portion of the trail and to restore a 25 foot wide swath of bluff from the Eucalyptus trees to the fennel patch to connect the restored bluff to the naturally occurring vernal pools and vernal meadows on site. In addition the funding will allow CCBER to maintain and enhance the GVLT restoration implemented over the past year. West Campus Bluffs is a 37 acre area with amazing coastal views, easy access and is a unique opportunity to restore coastal grassland. It was recently protected from development through the 2004 Ellwood-Devereux Joint Open Space Agreement. The joint management committee (City of Goleta, UCSB, County of Santa Barbara) have been meeting over the past three years to collaborate on planning efforts for restoration, trails and signs. CCBER has been working with the State Coastal Conservancy and Coastal Fund on restoration associated with the new decomposed granite trail that runs the length of the bluff and GVLT supported restoration of the eastern bluff edge. This trail brings people to the larger 652 open space area protected through the joint agreement. Excitingly, and with GVLT support, CCBER is simultaneously working with TPL to acquire and restore the upper arms of Devereux Slough and South parcel. Thus, this area is important both ecologically and as an important aesthetic and practical access point to popular surfing points, snowy plover protection areas and future large scale restoration projects.


Over the past year CCBER has implemented restoration of the bluff (funded by GVLT) and the trail edge (Coastal Fund support). These successful projects have been enthusiastically welcomed by bluff trail users. The restored areas are still establishing and we feel that the most valuable path to follow is to continue to maintain those areas while expanding the restoration on the western end where there is a clear threat from fennel and the opportunity to link the trail restoration to the existing vernal meadows. This will not only greatly enhance the visitor experience of being on a natural, native coastal bluff, but will also protect and enhance the restoration that has already been implemented from future weed invasion.



Lisa Stratton                        11/5/10-10/1/11                                                                    $24,000

Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project SB110009(SLW01)


UCSB San Nicolas Wetland Enhancement


The goals of the San Nicolas Wetland Enhancement project are to restore a degraded slope, create a freshwater filtration marsh, enhance the wetland function and restore native plant communities to approximately 1.5 acres of area adjacent to the campus lagoon, while retaining and enhancing the hydrology of the site. The enhancements effectively offset impacts of a UCSB facilities project that included the installation of a 48-inch storm drain and outfall structure in the area.   This project has showcased how an initial investment by the campus and collaboration with land managers can lead to projects that provide significant benefits in terms of habitat value, water quality and aesthetics.   It has been well-received by the campus community, won the Higher Education Sustainability Award for Water Quality, and serves as model for future projects in similar areas.



Sangwon Suh                                1/3/11-1/2/12                                                              $112,000

Exxon Mobile Corporation(SS2P01)


Incorporating Water Quality and Quantity in Water-Use Impact Assessment Modeling for Life Cycle Assessment: With Case Studies of Coal and Natural Gas-powered Electricity Generation


Water quality issue has been traditionally handled in other impact categories such as human health and ecosystem health in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Therefore, we will explore how water quality issue can be incorporated into mid-point approach and then integrated into water quantity issue after weighting. In parallel, we will explore the possibilities of combining water quality and water quantity issues into ecologically degraded area following end-point approach.


An example of a simplified classification of water use categories can be drawn from looking at a nuclear power plant, as it withdraws water from a stream and part of the water withdrawn will be evaporated to the atmosphere and will not immediately come back to the same source of water, and the rest will come back to the water stream with certain quality alteration.  The consumptive use portion of water withdrawn will not be available to the neighboring ecosystem, and therefore it adversely affects the production of water-constrained NPP of the area. This impact can be modeled using the framework developed by Pfister et al. (2009). However, the framework

by Pfister et al. (2009) is not adequate for addressing the impacts associated with degradative use portion of the withdrawal. In order to quantify the impact of degradative use of water, we propose the following two approaches.


A. Mid-point approach

Use of acute toxicity data such as lethal concentration 50 (LC50) or chronic toxicity data such as no observed effect concentration (NOEC) is widely adopted to mid-point approaches for quantifying ecosystem health impacts (Guinée et al., 2002; Wenzel et al., 1997; Wenzel and Hauschild, 1997). In these approaches the impact of various human interventions to ecosystem health is quantified using either the concentration of a pollutant that harms 50% of the total population of a certain species or the maximum level of intervention without observed effect. The impact of water quality alteration can be translated into relevant mid-point characterization factors following the same reasoning. For instance, it has long been known that certain larvae are highly sensitive to alteration of water temperature by power plants (see e.g., Hall, 1979). In this case, temperature-response curve provides similar data required to calculate characterization factors for ecosystem health impacts. Once degradative water use is quantified using mid-point approach, the result can be integrated with consumptive water use results by using normalization and weighting procedure (ISO 2006; Guinée et al., 2002).


B. End-point approach

Another option is to translate the damage on higher trophic level into NPP and use the ecologically degraded area following Pfister et al. (2009). Energy captured by NPP is partly transferred to the species in higher trophic level along the food-chain, and the rest is dissipated through respiration and decay. Therefore, in principle, the amount of energy held by certain species can be translated into NPP using energy balance approach (Suh, 2005). Under this framework, damages to the species in higher trophic level will have larger “NPP equivalency” as more energy is lost along the food web as it propagates.


We will develop the framework using each of the two approaches. The two approaches will be compared using case studies on coal- and natural gas-powered electricity generation process. The case study will be based on life-cycle impact considering all direct and supply-chain water uses impacts.



Samuel Sweet                     9/10/10-12/31/12                                                                  $45,644

US Department of Agriculture 2010-CS-11052007-113 (SSP01)


Conservation status of California Amphibians and Reptiles


The Pacific Southwest Region of the US Forest Service (encompassing all Forest Service lands in California) maintains lists of Forest Sensitive Species. This designation is separate from listings under the federal Endangered Species Act, and also from lists of fully protected species established by the California Department of Fish and Game. The USFS evaluation is tailored to identify species of conservation concern that may be affected by policy and management decisions on Forest lands, to ensure that USFS actions do not negatively affect their conservation status. The USFS is issuing a contract to Prof. Sam Sweet, EEM Biology, UCSB, to conduct a thorough review of amphibian and reptile species native to California which are now listed as Forest Sensitive Species, or have been proposed for such consideration, and to recommend changes to the existing list based on the best scientific evidence available. This involves integrating several types of information: (a) bringing the existing list (which was composed piecemeal over 2-3 decades) up to the current level of detail based on published research findings in taxonomy and molecular phylogeography; (b) assessing newer distributional and ecological research to determine the degree to which each species has a significant presence on Forest lands; and (c) identifying specific activities (and locations) statewide where land-use decisions and the ecology of candidate species may come into conflict. USFS has identified 66 species (41 amphibians, 25 reptiles) of which 30 (20, 10) are now listed as Forest Sensitive. A number of these are partitioned into geographic subspecies that may merit independent evaluations. The goal is to produce a revised listing proposal that is internally consistent and scientifically defensible. Formal and specific details of the project are appended to this general preface. Prof. Sweet has 40 years of field experience with the ecology and distribution of amphibian and reptile species throughout California, and this scope was recognized by USFS in approaching him to conduct this review as a joint venture agreement between the agency and the University.



Christina Tague                           1/1/10-6/30/12                                                                               $72,115

Kearney Foundation, 2009.030(TCP05)


Optimized Soil Moisture Sampling Design to Represent the Impact of Annual Climate Variability on Dominant Ecohydrological Orecesses in Snow-Dominated Watersheds.


Snow dominated mountain ecosystems are particularly sensitive to changes in climate (Barnett et al., 2005, Krajick, K. 2004). Warmer temperatures lead to earlier snowmelt and a transition from snow to rain dominated water inputs.  Empirical and model-based studies have shown that, for the Western US, these changes are likely to lead to significant changes in the seasonal timing of streamflow ().  Changes in the timing of water inputs will also alter seasonal soil wetting-drying patterns and soil-vegetation biogeochemical cycling processes that depend on moisture conditions.   How ecosystems will respond to these climate driven changes in mountain environment remains a key question in climate change research (Diaz and Miller, 2004; CCSP, 2003, Bales et al., 2006).  The goal of this project is to characterize soil moisture and coupled ecosystem responses to climate-driven changes in timing of water inputs for a watershed located at the sensitive rain-snow transition zone within the California Sierra.  One of the key challenges in any investigation of soil moisture driven processes is accounting for spatial heterogeneity at multiple scales. Soil moisture is highly spatially variable () and controls on this variation shift with spatial and temporal scale and extent ().  In snow-melt driven watersheds, soil hydraulic properties may dominate at very fine scales; while spatial variation in snow accumulation and melt, vegetation cover, radiation and micro-meteorology play a varying roles at increasingly coarser scales (). Soil moisture sampling directed at understanding how the system responds to climate variation must take into account these multiple controls. In this project, we develop a strategic soil moisture (and vegetation water flux) sampling strategy that is explicitly designed to capture spatial heterogeneity that is likely to be important in characterizing system responses to inter-annual climate variability. We use an integrated field-sampling-hydrologic modeling approach to maximize the utility of measurements and then use results in an assessment of how changes in snow accumulation and melt will alter soil moisture and its control on vegetation water use. Our research site, King River Experiment Watershed (KREW) has recently been established as a Critical Zone Observatory. This project leverages an extensive set of ongoing field measurements at this site and links this work with other research initiatives, including several focused on soil biogeochemical cycling. 


One of the key contributions of this project will be the development and application of a strategic soil moisture and sap flux sampling design based on a physical-based spatially distributed ecohydrologic model and associated statistical analysis to represent the impact of annual climate variability on dominant ecohydrologic processes. We will use this approach to calibrate and validate the model to reproduce soil moisture and sap flux spatial patterns as well as streamflow, thus maximuizing the use of information in available monitoring data. The validated model will be then be used to generate the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE), soil moisture and transpiration under historic and projected future inter-annual climate variation.



Christina Tague                           07/01/11-06/30/12                                                                          $41,765

Oregon State University, S1343H-A(TCP10)


Ecohydrological Component of Willamette Water 2100 Project.


Watershed scale paired-catchment experiments have clearly demonstrated that the relationship between vegetation and streamflow varies strongly with geographic and climatic settings. Process-based modeling provides a non-destructive method to generalize results from site specific field studies to a broad range of scenarios characterized by climate, geomorphology, species type and disturbance regimes within a given region. This proposed work explores these interactions through a series of five questions designed such that the knowledge gained from one step informs the next. Broadly, this work focuses on how streamflow is influenced in a forested, temperate watershed with particular attention to growth/regeneration processes and climate. Specifically, the questions emphasize abiotic, biotic and disturbance themes:

1.      Abiotic: How does the timing of water inputs (snowmelt, rain v. snow partitioning) change forest AET/PET? How do soil storage and vegetation characteristics influence this relationship between timing and AET/PET?

2.      Biotic: How does a dynamic carbon allocation cycling strategy (fixed ratio, age-based, resource-based) in conifers influence the streamflow response under current climate conditions? And with warmer temperatures?

3. Disturbance: a.Spatial: How does streamflow respond to a change in forest species at variable spatial extents—i.e., entire watershed versus the riparian zone?

 b.Temporal: How does the trajectory of post-fire recovery of biomass and associated hydrologic response vary with inter-annual climate variability? Does this relationship change under a warmer climate?

4.  What climate conditions would push Doug Fir to widespread mortality in the Cascades?


 We initially approach these questions using Lookout Creek as our study site. Lookout Creek is a 64 sq-km watershed within the McKenzie River basin. Elevation ranges within the watershed frequently include the rain-snow transition zone, thus it is likely to be highly sensitive to climate warming. We address our research questions using RHESSys, a coupled ecohydrological model designed to represent feedbacks between hydrologic and vegetation carbon cycling processes ( This project builds on an       existing implementation or RHESSys for Lookout Creek.  Vegetation in the basin will be represented by a single canopy layer composed of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), and Red alder (Alnus rubra). Topography (and finest spatial resolution) will be represented with a 30-m digital elevation model (DEM) (available through the HJA data portal and soil depth map (developed by Vache and McDonnell). Historical climate recorded at CS2Met will be used as baseline temperature and precipitation inputs at a daily time scale with PRISM data sets used for spatial scaling of temperature and precipitation. Model performance will be evaluated using daily streamflow records and published estimates of aboveground net primary productivity1,2,3. Additionally, model estimates of canopy height will be checked against a recently completed LIDAR survey and sapflow data of stands of different age in W1 will be used to check calculated transpiration.

After we have gained a process-based understanding of key linkages between vegetation change and streamflow at the Lookout Creek scale, we will use the model to explore scenarios at a larger spatial scale, the 2409 sq-km basin of McKenzie River at Vida. The future scenarios will be developed in conjunction with other researchers in the WW2100 project and will include changes in climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) and shifts in species types and ranges.

We anticipate that each of the research questions (1-4 above) will lead to a paper to be published in a peer reviewed journal as well as the basis for presentations at professional conferences. Elizabeth Garcia would be the UCSB PhD student funded through this project.



Christina Tague                           6/8/09-9/30/11                                                                               $146,458

University of California, 73720-00-09(TCP03)


Water Security and Climate Change


Climate is changing due to fossil fuel use and other human activities, resulting in an observed increase of 1ºC in globally-averaged surface temperature and a predicted additional 2-4ºC over the next 100 years. While climate change is a global phenomenon, climate change impacts will be region specific. In Southwest US, climate change is predicted to lead to increases in droughts, increases in heat waves and decreases in snowpack. These changes are expected to have profound consequences on water management practices in the Southwest. We propose to develop a method of assessing the vulnerability of water supply at the scale of a municipal watershed with the expectation that our results will be immediately useful to both the scientific community and water managers. Our approach will address several key scientific challenges that arise in assessing climate change impacts at local watershed scales. Specifically we will explicitly consider coupled eco-hydrologic responses to climate change, including the impact of drought on vegetation water use through plant physiologic responses and indirectly through fire and disease. We will also assess different approaches for downscaling climate model scenarios to local watershed scales and quantify the sensitivity of model predictions to downscaling approaches. Our goal is to quantify likely changes to seasonal and annual water yields under climate change scenarios and explore how these projections may be altered by vegetation responses and land management practices designed to reduce ecosystem vulnerability to climate drivers and associated disturbances.



Christina Tague                              4/1/10-9/30/11                              $100,000

University of California, 500-09-025-UCSB(TCP06)


Continued Climate Observations and Analyses.


In mountain environments, spatial and temporal patterns of snow accumulation and melt are dominant controls on hydrologic responses to climate change. Within the Western US, spatial differences in subsurface drainage rates (groundwater recharge) can exacerbate summer streamflow losses associated with diminishing snowpacks due to climate change.  So far in California, the PIER program has funded the use of a macro-scale hydrological model (Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model) to study how climate change may impact water resources.  More detailed, process-based distributed hydrologic models may produce different hydrological responses to climate change, especially with their more detailed representation of groundwater recharge.


The goal of this subtask is to explore the uncertainty in regional hydrologic projections under climate change by comparing the results of a distributed hydrological model known as the Regional Hydro-Ecologic Simulation System (RHESSYS) with the VIC model using the same conditions.



Christina Tague                           9/1/07-8/31/13                                                                               $327,599

University of California, Merced, EAR 0725097(TCP01)


The California Critical Zone Observatory


The goal of the proposed California Critical Zone Observatory is to develop data sets and an interdisciplinary research program to provide a process-level understanding of critical zone dynamics in the Sierra Nevada. The Observatory will link intensive field measurement with modeling to improve understanding of hydrology, biogeochemical cycling and vegetation dynamics in the critical zone and the sensitivity of these interactions to climate and land cover disturbances.   My involvement in the California CZO, will focus on the use of modeling to integrate and scale field measurements and address questions about whole watershed behavior under different climate and land cover scenarios. I will apply RHESSys (Regional hydro-ecologic system) to the four nested catchments within the Kings River field site (primary Observatory field site). Existing datasets will be used for preliminary model simulations that can be used to guide the locating of intensive instrumentation. I will then work closely with other Co-PIs to integrate field measurements of critical zone hydrologic function, vegetation dynamics and biogeochemical cycling into the RHESSys modeling framework – both through improved parameterization and revisions to sub-models as needed.



Christina Tague                           9/1/10-8/31/12                                                                               $31,203

University of North Carolina, Charlotte, 20100588-01-UCS(TCP08)


Influence of Stormwater Management Structures on Ecological Function in Urban Streams.


Tague will contribute to the implementation, evaluation and testing of the RHESSys model as part of this project.   She will also contribute to analysis of model scenario results and resulting publications. As principle developer of RHESSys, Tague will be responsible for any modifications to the model if needed, and in particular will work with University of Carolina team to appropriately include BMP functionality within the RHESSys landscape patch framework. Tague will help to supervise the graduate student who will apply RHESSys to the study site.  Tague will also supervise a research technician at University of California, Santa Barbara who will provide training on RHESSys set up and use for the University of Carolina team. 



Christina Tague                              5/15/10-6/30/12                                                        $156,240

US Geological Survey, G10AC00309(TCP07)


The Western Mountain Initiative: Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Western Mountain Ecosystems.


Climate warming is affecting Western mountain ecosystems, directly through changes in water dynamics and indirectly through altered disturbance regimes. The Western Mountain Initiative (WMI; team explores the effects of climate change on ecological disturbance, responses of forest vegetation, mountain hydrology, and the coupled hydro-ecological responses that determine vulnerability of Western mountain ecosystems to change. Extensive data sets, empirical studies, surveys, and monitoring programs are linked via models to hindcast and forecast the effects of changing climate on forest dynamics, distribution, and productivity; fire occurrence and insect outbreaks; recovery of vegetation after disturbance; hydrologic changes and glacier dynamics; and the consequences of an altered water cycle for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and chemistry. We will address the extent to which climate drivers are mediated by regional- or watershed-scale controls on ecosystem processes, thus quantifying vulnerability to climate change in mountain ecosystems. Region-specific results and emergent West-wide patterns will be shared with resource managers through workshops and a comprehensive web-based toolkit on climate-change science and adaptation management. WMI seeks to understand climate-ecosystem interactions, forecast ecological change, and provide adaptation information for managers. We build on the foundation of our ongoing research program, which includes hundreds of publications, long-term datasets, and a mature network of collaborators. WMI addresses Ecosystem and Climate Change goals of the USGS Global Change Science Strategy, and Goals 4 and 5 of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan. Both the National Park Service and US Forest Service are developing science-based management approaches for adapting to climate change, and WMI will collaborate directly with both agencies to ensure scientific consistency in the implementation of adaptation strategies.


In the preceding phase of WMI research, we used RHESSys to model ecosystem processes and hydrology in five forested montane watersheds representing diverse conditions across the western U.S. (sites in MT, CO, NM, CA, WA) (Christensen et al. 2008). In addition, ongoing RHESSys applications as part of other projects include a range of watersheds throughout the West (Tague et al. 2008; Tague et al. in review). Analysis at the scale of these sites (<800 km2) is critical given that management of resources takes place at small watershed scales where process-based interactions are determined by gradients in snow, temperature, and radiation; spatial distribution of moisture; vegetation structure and pattern; and disturbances (fire, insects, mass movements). This abundant RHESSys model output is ready to be carried to the next level of interpretation. Tague role in the WMI project will be to continue the refinement and application of RHESSys, as a coupled eco-hydrologic model for use in hypothesis generation and scenario development.



Christina Tague                           4/1/11-3/31/16                                                                               $403,484

Washington State University (Pullman, WA), 115320 G002931(TCP09)


Collaborative Research: Type 2: Understanding Biogeochemical Cycling in the Context of Climate Variability Using a Regional Earth System Modeling Framework.


One of the greatest science & engineering challenges of the 21st Century is managing nitrogen (N) in the environment to maximize agricultural productivity while minimizing negative environmental effects. Developing a clear understanding of climate & human-induced changes in environmental N cycling in tightly coupled atmospheric, terrestrial, & aquatic systems & understanding how these changes feed back into the climate system are critical to addressing this challenge. In the Pacific Northwest (PNW), the interactions among N, carbon (C), climate & human activities are complex. The region has extensive & diverse agricultural lands surrounded by pristine natural ecosystems, interspersed with heavily populated urban areas. The topography of the area is diverse, & the terrain is drained by extensive river systems, including the vast Columbia River Basin (CRB). Storm patterns are closely tied to the jet stream position & sensitive to long-term circulation patterns including the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) & Pacific Decadal Oscillations (PDO). Given this complexity, a challenge is to understand & quantify the interactions & feedbacks between N & C cycling in coupled atmospheric, terrestrial, & aquatic systems as they are affected by the climate system at inter-annual to decadal time-scales over the PNW region. The overarching goal of this project is to improve understanding of the interactions among C, N, & H2O at the regional scale in the context of global change to inform decision makers’ strategies regarding natural & agricultural resource management. The approach will create a regional modeling framework by integrating and/or linking a network of state-of-the-art process-based models that are currently in existence & that are undergoing continuous development & evaluation, & to do so in collaboration with stakeholders. The Bio-EASM framework includes: WRF for meteorology, CMAQ for atmospheric chemistry & transport, VIC for hydrology, CropSyst for agricultural dynamics, RHESSys for natural ecosystem dynamics, NEWS for aquatic nutrient transport & CREM for economic interactions. Subcontract PI is the principle developer of RHESSys. The subcontract allows PI expertise to integrate RHESSys within the EASM framework & contribute to application of the integrated modeling framework to improving understanding of environmental change. With this framework, UCSB will be involved in integration process: simulations in a series of steps with increasing model integration & coupling to address questions related to 1) how climate variability affects regional biogeochemical cycling with specific focus on N & C, 2) how do regional N & C cycles feed back to climate in terms of greenhouse gas fluxes in the context of landuse change & inter-annual variability, & 3) how do land use & agricultural production decisions affect the interactions of N, C & climate & how do these interactions interplay with economic drivers. PI will supervise a post-doctoral scholar who will work on the RHESSys evaluation for a series of focus study sites, & RHESSys integration into Bio-EAsSM. Evaluation of RHESSys will include set-up, calibration & sensitivity analysis of RHESSys carbon, nitrogen & hydrologic estimates at the focus study sites with particular emphasis on evaluation the nitrogen cycling component. UCSB will undertake any necessary refinements to RHESSys based on retrospective, site-specific analysis. PI will work with other PIs to decide on appropriate data sets for retrospective, & N-deposition & climate change scenarios for stand-alone RHESSys modeling, and will work with other PIs to develop papers on these off-line RHESSys model applications. PI will work with the other Bio-EaSM modelers to embed RHESSys within VIC & contribute to analysis of coupled modeled results; & will work with the Bio_EaSM team in the design & application of the fully coupled model & participate in developing papers, presentations & outreach.



Toshiro Tanimoto                        2/1/07-1/31/12                                               $45,000

University of Southern California, 120044(TTP09)


SCEC3: Constraining the Evolving Architecture of the Plate Boundary Zone Through 3D Seismic Velocity and Anisotropy Mapping


Our efforts in 2008 clarified some of the points we need to focus in order to understand the discrepancy between surface wave anisotropy and SKS splitting data. Specific tasks are:


§  Re-examination of SKS data: While our surface wave model shows strong anisotropy close to the major faults, there is no such reports on SKS data so far. We have examined SKS data in Southern California in 2008 but we need to extend the region toward north in order to conclusively determine the change in anisotropic pattern.

§  Re-examination of long-period surface wave data: It seems almost certain that deeper anisotropic layer is required to explain the two types of data simultaneously. However, our current Rayleigh-wave data do not contain long period (> 100 sec) information and thus it would be hard to examine internal consistency between SKS data and Rayleigh wave data. We will re-examine long-period (>100 sec) surface wave data and expand the frequency range of the data set.

§  Develop finite-frequency approach for SKS splitting data and perform joint inversion: As both SKS data and surface wave data are long period and differ in their lateral wavelengths, it is important to take into account finite-frequency effects. We intend to reformulate both approaches and invert the data.

§  Anisotropy and S velocities in the SCEC_CLM and SCEC_CVM: Our data on S velocities and anisotropy will be input to the California Lithosphere model. In addition we will include data from the Sierra Nevada Earthscope Project (SNEP), which is adding significantly to the SKS determinations. We will also input results to the higher resolution, but more localized SCEC_CVM.



Toshiro Tanimoto                        2/1/07-1/31/12                                               $60,000

University of Southern California, 120044(TTP10)


SCEC3 Participation: Using Seismic noise for the purpose of improving shallow S-wave velocity models


Our goal is to improve shallow S-wave velocity structure using seismic noise recorded by California Integrated Seismic Network. Our specific tasks in 2009 are:


(1) Re-examination of phase velocity data from noise cross-correlation: Rayleigh-wave phase velocities have been re-derived from cross-correlation of about 6000 paths in Southern California. They provide constraints on S-wave velocity structure from surface to about 20 km in depth.

(2) Joint inversion of Rayleigh-wave phase velocity data from noise correlation and the Z/H data: Derive of shallow S-wave velocity results (depth 0-10 km) by the joint inversion of phase velocity and the ZH ratio of Rayleigh waves, derived from seismic noise. Rayleigh wave data constrain the upper 20 km while the Z/H data constrain the upper 5-10 km.

Contribution to CVM: We will then communicate the results to the Harvard group for updating CVM.



Toshiro Tanimoto                                           2/1/07-1/31/12                            $15,000

University of Southern California 120044 (TTP11)


SCEC3: Using Seismic noise for the purpose of improving shallow S-wave velocity models


Our goal is to improve shallow S-wave velocity structure in the upper 10 km of the urban area of the greater Los Angeles region, using seismic noise recorded by California Integrated Seismic Network. Our specific tasks in 2011 will be:

(1) Apply our method to the most recent CVM-H model: The method has been applied to CVM-H6.2. During our study, the CVM-H model was revised again. In this final year, the method will be applied to the most recent CVM-H model.

(2) Contribution to CVM and Publication: We will then communicate the results to the Harvard group for updating CVM and the results will be written up for publication.




Jennifer Thorsch       3/28/11-12/31/11                                                                              $7,800

Coastal Fund  - UCSB Associated Students WIN 11-11 (TJS02)


CCBER Kids in Nature Peer-to-Peer Environmental Education Program


With funding from The Coastal Fund, CCBER has continued our Kids in Nature program (KIN) that trains UCSB undergraduate students to provide hands-on place-based environmental education.  We trained 12 UCSB undergraduate students to serve as KIN docents spring quarter 2011 and 4 during fall quarter 2011. The KIN docents serve as mentors for the UCSB students who are taking the course for credit and as role models for over 100 local 5th grade students from Franklin and Adelante Schools.



Jennifer Thorsch       3/28/11-6/30/12                                                                                $1,000

Coastal Fund  - UCSB Associated Students SPR11-14 (TJS03)


CCBER Raptor Watch: Birds of Prey on the UCSB Campus


Along with the CCBER Native Plant book and the Native Algae book, this identification guide will add to CCBER’s growing body of local field guides with a focus on the birds of prey that can be found on the ecologically-important habitats of the UCSB campus. These guides will feature full-color photos for roughly 13 species, spanning both immature and mature life stages, all accompanied by concise descriptions to aid with quick identification when in the field. They will be available for purchase at UCSB and throughout the community.



Jennifer Thorsch       9/1/10-8/31/15                                                                              $149,369

National Science Foundation DBI-0956281 (TJF03)


Collaborative Proposal: Harnessing the Power of Herbarium Specimens to Understand the Changing Flora of a Biodiversity Hotspot in Peril


The Consortium of California Herbaria (CCH) proposes to database 338,600 specimens and georeference 500,000 specimens of California plants to support the national effort to predict, understand, and monitor the effects of climate change.  Taxa targeted for databasing and georeferencing are dominants in California habitats and those that are most imperiled by threats to biodiversity (including climate change). The nineteen partner institutions participating in this collaborative project will make available databased and georeferenced records providing tangible benefits to the public, students of all levels, and the research community.



Jennifer Thorsch                                                                  8/1/11-7/31/13                      $80,655

Samuel Sweet  

The Institute of Museum and Library Services IMLS, MA-05-11-0256-11 (TJP01)


Vertebrate Collections Management Project.


The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER), will utilize IMLS funding for a two year Vertebrate Collection Management project to complete the curation, documentation, cataloging, and databasing of its 24,875 herpetological, ornithological, and mammalian specimens. With the exception of UC Berkeley’s Consortium of Natural History Museums, CCBER is unique in its multiple roles of 1) curating, under one administrative structure, diverse biological research collections that are integrated into the teaching and research missions of the University of California; 2) directing ecological restoration projects that rely on the collections for biodiversity data; and 3) offering specimen-based K-12 education, scientific workshops, and evening seminars open to the public. Although our vertebrate collections are modest in size, they represent both a thorough synoptic collection for specimen based teaching and strong regional collections for research in evolution, ecology and biogeography. The vertebrate collections have been used for research purposes mostly by students associated with the curators. They are used by academic personnel in several departments both at UCSB and elsewhere for teaching, by the general public for conservation-based education, and for our K-12 environmental education program, Kids in Nature. The herpetology collection (over 13,000 catalogued specimens of amphibians and reptiles) was started in 1977 to serve both research and teaching needs. The UCSB herpetological collections are focused on southwestern California, a region that is significantly underrepresented elsewhere, yet contains the contact areas for most of the state's main zoogeographic regions (i.e., the Coast Ranges, San Joaquin Valley, Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Transverse Ranges, and southern coastal plain). Southwestern California is at the hub of rapid tectonic and regional climate changes that are driving phylogeographic patterning in a majority of the resident species. The collection has had two primary foci. From 1977-1990 the primary emphasis was on collection-building, targeting remote areas, ecotones, relict populations, and areas soon to be alienated as natural habitat. Targeted work was directed at intergrade zones in a number of reptile taxa and isolated habitat areas with unusual species compositions, as well as towards building useful series of hard-to-collect species. Since about 1990 the emphasis has shifted to documentation of the distributions and life histories of regionally declining, threatened, and endangered species. Life history materials, particularly for amphibians, are seldom well represented in western North American collections, and the CCBER collection has strength in this area. Some of the most compelling arguments for federal listing of amphibian and reptile species in southern California have depended on the vouchers and data housed in CCBER, and in the current regulatory environment, these vouchers have been invaluable to state and

federal agencies. Herpetological specimens were used in providing some of the biological and distributional data that resulted in the official listing of the California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) and the Arroyo Toad (Bufo microscaphus californicus) as endangered species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (see Sweet, 1991 1993, and Jennings 1994). Dr. Sam Sweet regularly uses the collection in his upper division courses at UCSB and to educate agency biologists regarding species of critical concern for this region and for general identification workshops. Most of the specimens are preserved in 70% denatured ethanol, and some in 10% in formaldehyde.


The CCBER ornithology collection (6245 catalogued specimens) and mammal collection (1,745 specimens) are important regional collections that will exhibit modest, targeted growth in the future. The collections were started by Drs. Mary Erickson and Barbara DeWolfe, former faculty members in the department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology (EEMB). The mammal collection includes 172 addition, our website contains images and information on the collections, and the library and archives are used by campus and community members. Our award winning “Kids in Nature” program (received 2007 Governor’s award in Environmental Education) with over 100 5th graders enrolled as well as other K-12 classes visit our museum several times each year and participate in hands-on activities with various collections. The Vertebrate Collection Management Project fulfills several goals in our five-year strategic plan. For the past two years, we have focused on improving collection usage and collection management procedures such as documentation, data accessibility, and preservation of our collections through museum best practices. As part of our strategic plan, in 2008 we asked an external review panel of university faculty from across the country to meet with our faculty curators, our directors and key staff (Goal 8). Their invaluable experience with university natural history collections similar to ours provided us with recommendations in several key areas: improving staffing and storage space for all collections, databasing of all biological specimens and uploading them to appropriate federated databases, and increasing faculty use of the collections campus-wide. We also successfully established a formal curator title on the UCSB campus (a two-year process) that will acknowledge the contributions of the faculty curators during their merit review process and appointed three new adjunct curators and three affiliates to CCBER.



Claudia Tyler                      08/07/05-08/06/12                                                $120,000

Santa Barbara County, 06-00881(TC1P02)


Santa Barbara County Oak Restoration Project


The Santa Barbara County Oak Restoration Program (SBCORP) was funded as alternative mitigation for the loss of more than 2000 oaks during installation of the All American Pipeline.  As described in the original request for proposals, this program was intended to promote the regeneration of oak habitats within Santa Barbara County through fencing and cattle grazing management.


Initiated in 1995 by investigators at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Oak Restoration Program was designed with the multiple objectives of research and restoration.  This Program represents a long-term commitment by the principal investigators, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the UC’s Natural Reserve System to: 1) restore several hundred acres of oak savanna and woodlands on Sedgwick Reserve, a 5896-acre ranch at the base of Figueroa Mountain; 2) conduct large-scale grazing and related experiments that will give practical guidance to resource managers and land owners in Santa Barbara County who are concerned with management and restoration of local oak woodlands; 3) disseminate findings in the form of presentations, onsite demonstration projects, and literature that is directed towards locals landowners and resource managers.  A Final Report, dated August 2005, summarized the program’s main accomplishments, research findings, and work completed within the initial 10-year contract period.  Investigators presented these findings on April 5, 2006 to the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission, which approved renewal of the contract with UCSB for an additional 7-year period.



Zhengming Wan                           3/11/11-3/10/13                                                        $406,523

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NNX11AG43G(WZN07)


Science Data Analysis Including TIR BRDF Retrieval for Improvements of the MODIS Land-Surface Temperature/Emissivity Products in Long-term Accuracy and Consistancy.

Revised Work Plan (09-TERRAQUA09-0023) for Two Years


In this Science Data Analysis proposal, science data analysis with various approaches including TIR BRDF retrieval will be made to refine the existing algorithms and PGE code for the standard MODIS Land-Surface Temperature/Emissivity (LST/E) products in order to improve their long-term accuracy and consistency. Major refinements include 1) using yearly or seasonal averaged surface emissivities from C6 MODIS LST products as initial values in the day/night algorithm; 2) using multi-day Terra and Aqua MODIS data in a BRDF scheme for retrieving stable BRDF parameters in bands 20, 22 and 23 so that the angular variation in surface emissivities in all bands may be well modeled; 3) refining the MODIS cloudmask product collaboratively with the cloudmask group to fix the discontinuity problem in LSTs along latitude of ±60o. The long-term quality and consistency of the MODIS LST/E products will be verified by science data analysis of the LST/E correlations with independent data sets of MODIS NDVI, surface observation data of precipitation and soil moisture. Combined with surface emissivity spectra measured by a high-quality TIR Fourier-transfer spectroradiometer with a sun-shadow method in the field and by a TIR spectroradiometer and integrating sphere system in laboratory from terrestrial samples, atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles from conventional radiosonde and NCEP will be used in a radiance-based approach to validate the LST products over 40 sites on the global land. Error and uncertainty analysis will be made to quantify errors and uncertainties associated with input data and algorithms.