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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Landslides can be triggered by intense or prolonged rainfall. Rain gauge measurements are commonly used to predict landslides even if satellite rainfall estimates are available. Recent research focuses on the comparison of satellite estimates and gauge measurements. The rain gauge data from the Italian network (collected in the system database Verifica Rischio Frana" (VRF)) are compared with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) products. For the purpose, we couple point gauge and satellite rainfall estimates at individual grid cells, evaluating the correlation between gauge and satellite data in different morpho-climatological conditions. We then analyze the statistical distributions of both rainfall data types and the rainfall events derived from them. Results show that satellite data underestimates ground data, with the largest differences in mountainous areas. Power-law models, are more appropriate to correlate gauge and satellite data. The gauge and satellite-based products exhibit different statistical distributions and the rainfall events derived from them differ. In conclusion, satellite rainfall cannot be directly compared with ground data, requiring local investigation to account for specific morpho-climatological settings. Results suggest that satellite data can be used for forecasting landslides, only performing a local scaling between satellite and ground data.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN53122 , Climate (e-ISSN 2225-1154); 5; 4; 90
    Format: text
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2016-01-07
    Description: As water scarcity problems will probably increase over the next decade, it is important to explore ways to reduce water consumption in everyday individual behaviors. In line with previous field research, we aimed to show in a laboratory setting that descriptive norms could effectively influence water reduction actions. Moreover, because the impact of such actions would be valuable if repeated over time, we investigated whether the effect of descriptive norms interventions can last for at least a week. We conducted three studies using two messages targeting different ways to achieve a reduction in water consumption (i.e., closing the tap and using as little water as possible) for hand washing. We provide additional empirical evidence that descriptive norms are effective in increasing water conservation actions and that this influence remains for at least a week.
    Print ISSN: 0013-9165
    Electronic ISSN: 1552-390X
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Psychology
    Published by Sage
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: This paper reports the results on the agronomic performance of organic amendments in the EU 7th FP project “FERTIPLUS—reducing mineral fertilizers and agro-chemicals by recycling treated organic waste as compost and bio-char”. Four case studies on field-scale application of biochar, compost and biochar-blended compost were established and studied for three consecutive years in four distinct cropping systems and under different agro-climatic conditions in Europe. These included the following sites: olive groves in Murcia (Spain), greenhouse grown tomatoes in Almeria (Spain), an arable crop rotation in Oost-Vlaanderen (Merelbeke, Belgium), and three vineyards in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy). A slow pyrolysis oak biochar was applied, either alone or in combination with organic residues: compost from olive wastes in Murcia (Spain), sheep manure in Almeria (Spain), and compost from biowaste and green waste in Belgium and Italy. The agronomical benefits were evaluated based on different aspects of soil fertility (soil total organic carbon (TOC), pH, nutrient cycling and microbial activity) and crop nutritional status and productivity. All amendments were effective in increasing soil organic C in all the field trials. On average, the increase with respect to the control was about 11% for compost, 20% for biochar-blended compost, and 36% for biochar. The amendments also raised the pH by 0.15–0.50 units in acidic soils. Only biochar had a negligible fertilization effect. On the contrary, compost and biochar-blended compost were effective in enhancing soil fertility by increasing nutrient cycling (25% mean increase in extractable organic C and 44% increase in extractable N), element availability (26% increase in available K), and soil microbial activity (26% increase in soil respiration and 2–4 fold enhancement of denitrifying activity). In general, the tested amendments did not show any negative effect on crop yield and quality. Furthermore, in vineyards and greenhouse grown tomatoes cropping systems, compost and biochar-blended compost were also effective in enhancing key crop quality parameters (9% increase in grape must acidity and 16% increase in weight, 9% increase in diameter and 8% increase in hardness of tomato fruits) important for the quality and marketability of the crops. The overall results of the project suggest that the application of a mixture of biochar and compost can benefit crops. Therefore, biochar-blended compost can support and maintain soil fertility.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4395
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition , Economics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: The emergence of new technologies such as the Internet of Things, big data, and advanced robotics, together with risks such as climate change, rising labour costs, and a fluctuating economy, are challenging the current UK manufacturing model. In this paper, business models for re-distributed manufacture (RdM) are developed using anIDEF (Icam DEFinition for Function Modelling) description to serve as a guide for the implementation of the RdM concept in the consumer goods industry. This paper explores the viability of a re-distributed business model for manufacturers employing new manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing or three-dimensional (3D) printing, as part of a sustainable and circular production and consumption system. An As-Is value chain model is presented alongside the proposed new business model for a sustainable re-distributed manufacturing system. Both are illustrated via a case study drawn from the shoe manufacturing industry. The case study shows that there is a need for robust facilities in close proximity to the customer. These facilities are store fronts which can also manufacture, remanufacture, and provide services. The reduction in transportation and increase in customer involvement throughout the process are the main benefits that would accrue if a re-distributed model is implemented in the given industry.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-10-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 17, Pages 2314: Soft Smart Garments for Lower Limb Joint Position Analysis Sensors doi: 10.3390/s17102314 Authors: Massimo Totaro Tommaso Poliero Alessio Mondini Chiara Lucarotti Giovanni Cairoli Jesùs Ortiz Lucia Beccai Revealing human movement requires lightweight, flexible systems capable of detecting mechanical parameters (like strain and pressure) while being worn comfortably by the user, and not interfering with his/her activity. In this work we address such multifaceted challenge with the development of smart garments for lower limb motion detection, like a textile kneepad and anklet in which soft sensors and readout electronics are embedded for retrieving movement of the specific joint. Stretchable capacitive sensors with a three-electrode configuration are built combining conductive textiles and elastomeric layers, and distributed around knee and ankle. Results show an excellent behavior in the ~30% strain range, hence the correlation between sensors’ responses and the optically tracked Euler angles is allowed for basic lower limb movements. Bending during knee flexion/extension is detected, and it is discriminated from any external contact by implementing in real time a low computational algorithm. The smart anklet is designed to address joint motion detection in and off the sagittal plane. Ankle dorsi/plantar flexion, adduction/abduction, and rotation are retrieved. Both knee and ankle smart garments show a high accuracy in movement detection, with a RMSE less than 4° in the worst case.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: 〈div data-abstract-type="normal"〉〈p〉This survey presents the first high-throughput characterisation of fungal distribution based on ITS2 Illumina sequencing of uncultured microbiome from a 1500 years old perennial ice deposit in Scărișoara Ice Cave, Romania. Of the total of 1 751 957 ITS2 sequences, 64% corresponded to 182 fungal operational taxonomic units, showing a low diversity, particularly in older ice strata, and a distinct temporal distribution pattern. Ascomycota was the major phylum in all ice samples, dominating the 400 and 1500 years old ice strata deposited during the cold Little Ice Age (LIA) and Dark Ages Cold Period, while Basidiomycota was mostly present in 900-years old ice formed during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). Chytridiomycota and Mucoromycota phyla were present in recently formed and 400-years old ice, respectively. Among the 80 identified genera, 〈span〉Cryptococcus victoriae〈/span〉, commonly found in glacial habitats, was identified in all strata. A positive correlation between fungal distribution and ice conductivity, Ca, Na and Sr concentrations was observed across the ice block, with pH values trailing climate variations during LIA and MWP, respectively. Our record highlighted the presence of a complex climate and environmental-driven fungal community in perennial ice strata accumulated during the last 1500 years in Scărișoara Ice Cave.〈/p〉〈/div〉
    Print ISSN: 0260-3055
    Electronic ISSN: 1727-5644
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2013-08-09
    Description: In the last few years, several advances have been made in the use of radar images to detect, map and monitor ground deformations. DInSAR (Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry) and A-DInSAR/PSI (Advanced DInSAR/Persistent Scatterers Interferometry) technologies have been successfully applied in the study of deformation phenomena induced by, for example, active tectonics, volcanic activity, ground water exploitation, mining, and landslides, both at local and regional scales. In this paper, the existing European Space Agency (ESA) archives (acquired as part of the FP7-DORIS project), which were collected by the ERS-1/2 and ENVISAT satellites operating in the microwave C-band, were analyzed and exploited to understand the dynamics of landslide and subsidence phenomena. In particular, this paper presents the results obtained as part of the FP7-DORIS project to demonstrate that the full exploitation of very long deformation time series (more than 15 years) can play a key role in understanding the dynamics of natural and human-induced hazards.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2013-01-02
    Description: Three-dimensional wave-equation migration techniques are still quite expensive because of the huge matrices that need to be inverted. Several techniques have been proposed to reduce this cost by splitting the full 3D problem into a sequence of 2D problems. To reduce errors, the Li correction is applied at regular multiples of depth extrapolation increment. We compare the performance of splitting techniques in wave propagation for 3D finite-difference (FD) migration in terms of image quality and computational cost. We study the behaviour of the complex Padé approximation in combination with two- and alternating four-way splitting, that is, splitting into the coordinate directions at one depth and the diagonal directions at the next depth level. We also extend the Li correction for use with the complex Padé expansion and diagonal directions. From numerical examples in inhomogeneous media, we conclude that alternate four-way splitting is the most cost-effective strategy to reduce numerical anisotropy in complex Padé 3D FD migration.
    Print ISSN: 1687-885X
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-8868
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Hindawi
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2013-01-22
    Description: Three-dimensional wave-equation migration techniques are still quite expensive because of the huge matrices that need to be inverted. Several techniques have been proposed to reduce this cost by splitting the full 3D problem into a sequence of 2D problems. To reduce errors, the Li correction is applied at regular multiples of depth extrapolation increment. We compare the performance of splitting techniques in wave propagation for 3D finite-difference (FD) migration in terms of image quality and computational cost. We study the behaviour of the complex Padé approximation in combination with two- and alternating four-way splitting, that is, splitting into the coordinate directions at one depth and the diagonal directions at the next depth level. We also extend the Li correction for use with the complex Padé expansion and diagonal directions. From numerical examples in inhomogeneous media, we conclude that alternate four-way splitting is the most cost-effective strategy to reduce numerical anisotropy in complex Padé 3D FD migration.
    Print ISSN: 1687-885X
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-8868
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Hindawi
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2011-01-14
    Description: This paper is an overview of the diverse, predominantly molecular techniques, used in assessing plant genetic diversity. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the application of molecular genetic methods for assessing the conservation and use of plant genetic resources. Molecular techniques have been applied in the analysis of specific genes, as well as to increase understanding of gene action, generate genetic maps and assist in the development of gene transfer technologies. Molecular techniques have also had critical roles in studies of phylogeny and species evolution, and have been applied to increase our understanding of the distribution and extent of genetic variation within and between species. These techniques are well established and their advantages as well as limitations have been realized and described in this work. Recently, a new class of advanced techniques has emerged, primarily derived from a combination of earlier, more basic techniques. Advanced marker techniques tend to amalgamate advantageous features of several basic techniques, in order to increase the sensitivity and resolution to detect genetic discontinuity and distinctiveness. Some of the advanced marker techniques utilize newer classes of DNA elements, such as retrotransposons, mitochondrial and chloroplast based microsatellites, thereby revealing genetic variation through increased genome coverage. Techniques such as RAPD and AFLP are also being applied to cDNA-based templates to study patterns of gene expression and uncover the genetic basis of biological responses. The most important and recent advances made in molecular marker techniques are discussed in this review, along with their applications, advantages and limitations applied to plant sciences.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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