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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2014-04-01
    Description: PurposeWhen dealing with remediation projects in zones affected by mining activities, the risk posed by the ingestion of the plants by fauna is often forgotten. The purpose of this study is the assessment of arsenic assimilation by the natural vegetation in these areas. To study the transfer to the trophic chain two mammals, the sheep and the vole are selected. The risk analysis is founded on the contribution of these natural plants to the ingestion.Material and methodsSoil samples and the same number of plants (165) growing in the soils were collected in an old mining area in the southeast of Spain. Physico-chemical properties were calculated by means of the usual procedures. To determine the arsenic content, the soil samples and plant materials were digested by means of a microwave system and the arsenic concentration was determined using atomic fluorescence spectrometry with automated continuous flow hydride generation (HG-AFS). A semiquantitative estimation of the mineralogical composition of the samples was made by X-ray diffraction analysis.Results and discussionThe mineralogy and As content of the soils studied depends on the materials related with the mining activity. The descriptive statistical analysis of the population of plants studied points to an As range of 0.31–150 mg/kg in roots, although the concentration in shoots was lower (0.21–83.4 mg/kg). Bioconcentration (BCF) and transfer factors (TF) were studied for each plant species and soil type on which it grew. The results show that As transfer depends on the plant species and the characteristics of the soil. The potential risk of As entering the food chain through the plant species was evaluated. The exposure pathway considered was oral ingestion, calculating the contribution of the plant to the daily dose based on the arsenic concentration in the shoots of the plants analysed.ConclusionsIn the samples studied, the levels of As in roots were higher than in shoots, and increased with the As concentration in the soil. The BCFs were generally very low, and the TFs while slightly higher, seldom exceeded unity. When undertaking with the phytoremediation of contaminated sites, the contribution of the As level in plants to the daily diet of animals should be used as an indicator for the screening of the vegetal species to be used. ©2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
    Print ISSN: 1439-0108
    Electronic ISSN: 1614-7480
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geosciences
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2014-04-01
    Description: PurposeGreen areas in urban parks are special ecosystems because of social and ecological benefits.Materials and methodsWe investigated the ecological impacts of green spaces by comparing the properties of soils, with emphasis on metals, in green spaces and bare soil playgrounds in four urban parks in Murcia City (SE Spain).Results and discussionOrganic matter (OM) contents in green areas are higher than playground soils due to litter decomposition from grass. Cation exchange capacity in green areas ranged from 10 to 14 compared to 2 cmol+kg−1 in playground soils, showing the effect of OM (and clay) contents in green areas due to the presence of vegetation. Soil total metal contents in urban parks are below the environmental threshold values for soils in Spain and other European countries, and come from atmospheric deposition and fertilizers application. Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable soil Cd in green areas (4% of total Cd) is lower than in playground soils (58% of total Cd). We attributed the reduced DTPA- and water-extractable Cd, Co, Cr, Mn, and Mo to the formation of stable complexes between metals and OM produced from the continued decomposition of roots of grasses in green spaces.ConclusionsGrasses accumulate less metal than soils except in roots where Cr and Zn are higher than soils by as much as 31 and 17%, respectively. We conclude that grasses increased (up to 8×) soil OM content in green areas to significantly increase the ability of soils to accumulate nutrients for plants, and to retain and reduce the mobility and toxicity of metals in soils in urban parks. ©2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
    Print ISSN: 1439-0108
    Electronic ISSN: 1614-7480
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geosciences
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 1995-02-01
    Description: Synkinematic quartz veins are ubiquitous in the shear zone separating the Veleta unit from the Calar Alto unit in the internal part of the Betic Cordilleras. They have been studied with respect to quartz c-axis fabrics, microstructures and fluid inclusions. Veins were probably generated during syn-metamorphic stacking of the units at P = 500 − 600 MPa and T = 400 − 500°C. Quartz displays two groups of microstructures in the shear zone: (1) older coarse-grained mosaics (CGM) resulting from exaggerated grain growth; and (2) younger fine-grained mosaics (FGM) developed at the expense of the former. The fine-grained mosaics show polygonal granoblastic and elongate mosaic microstructures in general, with ribbon microstructures often found near the boundary of the units. Fluids contained in secondary inclusions vary from high salinity brines to different types of CO2—brine mixtures and low density CO2 fluids. Differences in composition and P-T trapping conditions are indicated for the different types of inclusions. Some fluid inclusions are older than the FGM, whereas others are younger, thus constraining the P- T conditions at which the two microstructural events took place. Fluid inclusion evidence suggests conditions of Pfluid 〉 170 MPa and T ≧ 370−430°C for the CGM and Pfluid ≧ 20−80 MPa and T 〉 340°C for the FGM. The quartz c-axis fabrics dealt with here correspond to the second recrystallization event, as little evidence of older fabrics is preserved in the shear zone. C-axis patterns vary across the shear zone from slightly asymmetrical type I crossed girdles in the hanging wall and footwall to more asymmetrical crossed girdles at the boundary of the units. This indicates a correlative increase in the magnitude of the heterogeneous shear strain in the same direction. Most of the deformation is concentrated at the top of the Veleta unit. The sense of movement is top to the west, in agreement with other kinematic markers. The quartz c-axis fabrics resulted from dynamic recrystallization during simple shear. The retrograde P-T path inferred from fluid inclusion analysis, along with other geological and geochronological evidence, indicates that this deformation is coeval with a reduction in the crustal overburden. Geochronological and stratigraphic data show that the proposed Dos Picos extensional detachment, separating the Calar Alto and Veleta units, took place during the early Miocene, synchronous with the intense thinning of the Nevado-Filábride Complex and of the whole continental crust underlying the Alborán Basin. ©1995 Springer-Verlag
    Print ISSN: 1437-3254
    Electronic ISSN: 1437-3262
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2011-02-01
    Description: Parasites are undoubtedly a biotic factor that produces stress. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are important molecules buffering cellular damage under adverse conditions. During the breeding season, blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus (L.) adults are affected by blood parasites, nest-dwelling parasites and biting flies, potentially affecting their HSP-mediated responses. Here, we treated females with primaquine to reduce blood parasites and fumigated nests with permethrin to reduce nest-dwelling parasites to test whether these treatments affect HSP60 level during the breeding season. Medicated females, but not controls, had a significant reduction of the intensity of infection by Haemoproteus spp. blood parasites. However, final intensity of infection did not differ significantly between groups, and we did not find an effect of medication on change in HSP60 level. Fumigation reduced the abundance of nest-dwelling parasites (mites, fleas and blowfly larvae) and engorged biting midges in nests. Females breeding in non-fumigated nests increased HSP60 levels during the season more than those breeding in fumigated nests. Furthermore, the change in HSP60 level was positively correlated with the abundance of biting midges. These results show how infections by nest ectoparasites during the breeding period can increase the level of HSPs and suggest that biting midges impose physiological costs on breeding female blue tits. Although plausible, the alternative that biting midges prefer to feed on more stressed birds is poorly supported by previous studies. ©2010 Springer-Verlag
    Print ISSN: 0028-1042
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-1904
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2001-08-01
    Description: We report here on bioturbation traces, with micro-dendrite textures, composed of a mixture of altered aluminum and polycarbonate, which have been developed in a common compact disk (CD), destroying information pits. Fungal hyphae proliferated in these deteriorated zones, and Geotrichum -type fungus was isolated from surface-sterilized CD fragments. The severe biodeterioration described is attributed to the slow growth of this arthroconidial fungus on the CD material in the tropical indoor environment of Belize, Central America (~30°C, ~90% humidity). ©2001 Springer-Verlag
    Print ISSN: 0028-1042
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-1904
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2015-12-10
    Description: This study is in the frame of the cooperative line that several Spanish Universities and other foreign partners started with the Haitian government in 2010. According to our studies (Benito et al. in An evaluation of seismic hazard in La Hispaniola, after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, 33rd General Assembly of the European Seismological Commission, Moscow, Russia, 2012 ) and recent scientific literature, the earthquake hazard in Haiti remains high (Calais et al. in Nat Geosci 3:794–799, 2010 ). In view of this, we wonder whether the country is currently ready to face another earthquake. In this sense, we estimated several damage scenarios in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien associated to realistic possible major earthquakes. Our findings show that almost 50 % of the building stock of both cities would result uninhabitable due to structural damage. Around 80 % of the buildings in both cities have reinforced concrete structure with concrete block infill; however, the presence of masonry buildings becomes significant (between 25 and 45 % of the reinforced concrete buildings) in rural areas and informal settlements on the outskirts, where the estimated damage is higher. The influence of the soil effect on the damage spatial distribution is evident in both cities. We have found that the percentage of uninhabitable buildings in soft soil areas may be double the percentage obtained in nearby districts located in hard soil. These results reveal that a new seismic catastrophe of similar or even greater consequences than the 2010 Haiti earthquake might happen if the earthquake resilience is not improved in the country. Nowadays, the design of prevention actions and mitigation policies is the best instrument the society has to face seismic risk. In this sense, the results of this research might contribute to define measures oriented to earthquake risk reduction in Haiti, which should be a real priority for national and international institutions. ©2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
    Print ISSN: 1570-761X
    Electronic ISSN: 1573-1456
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2006-12-01
    Description: The Aguablanca Ni–(Cu) sulfide deposit is hosted by a breccia pipe within a gabbro–diorite pluton. The deposit probably formed due to the disruption of a partially crystallized layered mafic complex at about 12–19 km depth and the subsequent emplacement of melts and breccias at shallow levels (〈2 km). The ore-hosting breccias are interpreted as fragments of an ultramafic cumulate, which were transported to the near surface along with a molten sulfide melt. Phlogopite Ar–Ar ages are 341–332 Ma in the breccia pipe, and 338–334 Ma in the layered mafic complex, and are similar to recently reported U–Pb ages of the host Aguablanca Stock and other nearby calc-alkaline metaluminous intrusions (ca. 350–330 Ma). Ore deposition resulted from the combination of two critical factors, the emplacement of a layered mafic complex deep in the continental crust and the development of small dilational structures along transcrustal strike-slip faults that triggered the forceful intrusion of magmas to shallow levels. The emplacement of basaltic magmas in the lower middle crust was accompanied by major interaction with the host rocks, immiscibility of a sulfide melt, and the formation of a magma chamber with ultramafic cumulates and sulfide melt at the bottom and a vertically zoned mafic to intermediate magmas above. Dismembered bodies of mafic/ultramafic rocks thought to be parts of the complex crop out about 50 km southwest of the deposit in a tectonically uplifted block (Cortegana Igneous Complex, Aracena Massif). Reactivation of Variscan structures that merged at the depth of the mafic complex led to sequential extraction of melts, cumulates, and sulfide magma. Lithogeochemistry and Sr and Nd isotope data of the Aguablanca Stock reflect the mixing from two distinct reservoirs, i.e., an evolved siliciclastic middle-upper continental crust and a primitive tholeiitic melt. Crustal contamination in the deep magma chamber was so intense that orthopyroxene replaced olivine as the main mineral phase controlling the early fractional crystallization of the melt. Geochemical evidence includes enrichment in SiO2 and incompatible elements, and Sr and Nd isotope compositions (87Sr/86Sri 0.708–0.710; 143Nd/144Ndi 0.512–0.513). However, rocks of the Cortegana Igneous Complex have low initial 87Sr/86Sr and high initial 143Nd/144Nd values suggesting contamination by lower crustal rocks. Comparison of the geochemical and geological features of igneous rocks in the Aguablanca deposit and the Cortegana Igneous Complex indicates that, although probably part of the same magmatic system, they are rather different and the rocks of the Cortegana Igneous Complex were not the direct source of the Aguablanca deposit. Crust–magma interaction was a complex process, and the generation of orebodies was controlled by local but highly variable factors. The model for the formation of the Aguablanca deposit presented in this study implies that dense sulfide melts can effectively travel long distances through the continental crust and that dilational zones within compressional belts can effectively focus such melt transport into shallow environments. ©2006 Springer-Verlag
    Print ISSN: 0026-4598
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-1866
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2016-03-04
    Description: Some Mediterranean seismic codes consider wide-beam reinforced concrete moment resisting frames (WBF) as horizontal load carrying systems that cannot guarantee high ductility performances. Conversely, Eurocode 8 allows High Ductility Class (DCH) design for such structural systems. Code prescriptions related to WBF are systematically investigated. In particular, lesson learnt for previous earthquakes, historical reasons, and experimental and numerical studies underpinning specific prescriptions on wide beams in worldwide seismic codes are discussed. Local and global ductility of WBF are then analytically investigated through (1) a parametric study on chord rotations of wide beams with respect to that of deep beams, and (2) a spectral-based comparison of WBF with conventional reinforced concrete moment resisting frames (i.e. with deep beams). Results show that the set of prescriptions given by modern seismic codes provides sufficient ductility to WBF designed in DCH. In fact, global capacity of WBF relies more on the lateral stiffness of the frames and on the overstrength of columns rather than on the local ductility of wide beams, which is systematically lower with respect to that of deep beams. ©2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
    Print ISSN: 1570-761X
    Electronic ISSN: 1573-1456
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2014-10-01
    Description: In this work we analyze the tectonic setting of the recent damaging seismic series occurred in the Internal Zones of the eastern Betic Cordillera (SE Spain) and surrounding areas, the tectonic region where took place the 11th May 2011 Mw 5.2 Lorca earthquake. We revisit and make a synthesis of the seven largest and damaging seismic series occurred from 1984 to 2011. We analyze their seismotectonic setting, and their geological sources under the light of recent advances in the knowledge on active faults, neotectonics, seismotectonics and stress regime, with special attention focused on the Lorca Earthquake. These seismic series are characterized by two types of focal mechanisms, produced mainly by two sets of active faults, NNW–SSE to NNE–SSW small (no larger than 20–30 km) extensional faults with some strike slip component, and E–W to NE–SW large strike slip faults (more than 50 km long) with some compressional component (oblique slip faults). The normal fault earthquakes related to the smaller faults are dominant in the interior of large crustal tectonic blocks that are bounded by the large E–W to NE–SW strike-slip faults. The strike slip earthquakes are associated to the reactivation of segments or intersegment regions of the large E–W to NE–SW faults bounding those crustal tectonic blocks. Most of the seismic series studied in this work can be interpreted as part of the background seismicity that occurs within the crustal blocks that are strained under a transpressional regime driven by the major strike slip shear corridors bounding the blocks. The seismotectonic analysis and the phenomenology of the studied series indicate that it is usual the occurrence of damaging compound earthquakes of M  $$sim $$ ∼  5.0 associated with triggering processes driven by coseismic stress transfer. These processes mainly occur in the seismic series generated by NNW–SSE to NNE–SSW faults. These mechanical interaction processes may induce a higher frequency of occurrence of this kind of earthquakes than considered in traditional probabilistic seismic hazard assessments and it should be taken into account in future seismic hazard assessments. ©2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
    Print ISSN: 1570-761X
    Electronic ISSN: 1573-1456
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2014-05-22
    Description: Lakes formed in the Aysén region of southern Chile after the retreat of mountain glaciers, established by ~17,900 calendar years before present (cal years BP) or earlier, contain numerous late-glacial and Holocene tephra layers derived from 〉70 eruptions of the volcanoes in the region, including Hudson, the southernmost in the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone (SVZ). Sediment cores from seven of these lakes contain an unusually thick late-glacial age tephra layer, which based on its distribution and bulk trace-element composition was derived from a large explosive eruption of Hudson volcano between 17,300 and 17,440 cal years BP and is termed Ho. In 13 cores from six of these lakes, each located ~100 km generally northeast of Hudson, the Ho tephra layer ranges between 50 and 88 cm in thickness, and contains pumice grains up to 2 cm in maximum diameter. Comparison with three previously documented large explosive Holocene Hudson eruptions (H1 at 7,750 cal years BP, H2 at 3,920 cal years BP, and H3 in 1991 AD) suggests that Ho was larger, with an estimated tephra volume of 〉20 km3, the largest post-glacial eruption documented for any volcano in the southern Andes and most likely responsible for the formation of the Hudson caldera. In total, Hudson has erupted ≥45 km3 of pyroclastic material in the last ~17,500 years, making it the most productive volcano in the southern Andes in terms of the total volume erupted since the beginning of deglaciation in the region. Chemical stratification is not seen in the waterlain Ho tephra, but these deposits are bi-modal, consisting of a much greater proportion of dark glassy basaltic-trachyandesite dense fragments and pumice, with glasses which range between 55 and 59 wt.% SiO_2, along with volumetrically less-significant lighter-colored trachydacite pumice, with glass of 66 wt.% SiO_2. In contrast, H1 products are trachyandesitic in composition, H2 ones are more felsic than H1, being composed essentially of trachydacite, and although H3 1991 AD again produced tephra of bi-modal compositions, it erupted a much smaller proportion of mafic compared to felsic material than did Ho. Thus, the repetitive large explosive eruptions of Hudson volcano have evolved to progressively less-mafic overall compositions from late-glacial to historic times, and their volumes have decreased. Sr-isotopic composition of bulk samples of the most mafic dense glass and most felsic pumice components of the Ho tephra, as well as samples from other Hudson eruptions, which overall range from 51 to 66 wt.% SiO_2, with 525 to 227 ppm Sr, are all similar (0.70444 ± 0.00007), indicating that crystal-liquid fractionation rather than crustal assimilation was the main process responsible for these chemical variations. ©2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
    Print ISSN: 0258-8900
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0819
    Topics: Geosciences
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