• Geosciences, Vol. 9, Pages 319: A Review of Brittleness Index Correlations for Unconventional Tight and Ultra-Tight Reservoirs

      Rock brittleness is pivotal in the development of the unconventional reservoirs. However, the existence of various methods of calculating the brittleness index (BI) such as the mineral-based brittleness index (MBI), the log-based brittleness index (LBI), and the elastic-based brittleness index (EBI) lead to inconclusive estimations of the brittleness index. Hence, in this work, the existing correlations are applied on prolific unconventional plays in the U.S. such as the Marcellus, Bakken, Niobrara, and Chattanooga Formation to examine the various BI methods. A detailed comparison between the MBI, LBI, and EBI has also been conducted. The results show that a universal correlation cannot be derived in order to define brittleness since it is a function of lithology. Correlation parameters vary significantly from one shale play to another. Nevertheless, an overall trend shows that abundant quartz and carbonates content yield high brittleness values, while the high clay content and porosity lower the rock brittleness.

    • Geosciences, Vol. 9, Pages 318: An Evaluation of Catchment Transit Time Model Parameters: A Comparative Study between Two Stable Isotopes of Water

      Using δ18O and δ2H in mean transit time (MTT) modeling can ensure the verifiability of results across catchments. The main objectives of this study were to (i) evaluate the δ18O- and δ2H-based behavioral transit time distributions and (ii) assess if δ18O and δ2H-based MTTs can lead to similar conclusions about catchment hydrologic functioning. A volume weighted δ18O (or δ2H) time series of sampled precipitation was used as an input variable in a 50,000 Monte Carlo (MC) time-based convolution modeling process. An observed streamflow δ18O (or δ2H) time series was used to calibrate the model to obtain the simulated time series of δ18O (or δ2H) of the streamflow within a nested system of eight Prairie catchments in Canada. The model efficiency was assessed via a generalized likelihood uncertainty estimation by setting a minimum Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency threshold of 0.3 for behavioral parameter sets. Results show that the percentage of behavioral parameter sets across both tracers were lower than 50 at the majority of the studied outlets; a phenomenon hypothesized to have resulted from the number of MC runs. Tracer-based verifiability of results could be achieved within five of the eight studied outlets during the model process. The flow process in those five outlets were mainly of a shallow subsurface flow as opposed to the other three outlets, which experienced other additional flow dynamics. The potential impacts of this study on the integrated use of δ18O and δ2H in catchment water storage and release dynamics must be further investigated in multiple catchments within various hydro-physiographic settings across the world.

    • Geosciences, Vol. 9, Pages 317: An Agent-Based Evaluation of Varying Evacuation Scenarios in Merapi: Simultaneous and Staged

      Mass evacuation should be conducted when a disaster threatens within a regional scale. It is reported that 400,000 people were evacuated during the last eruption of Merapi Volcano in 2010. Such a large-scale evacuation can lead to chaos or congestion, unless well managed. Staged evacuation has been investigated as a solution to reducing the degree of chaos during evacuation processes. However, there is a limited conception of how the stages should be ordered in terms of which group should move first and which group should follow. This paper proposes to develop evacuation stage ordering based on the geographical character of the people at risk and examine the ordering scenarios through an agent-based model of evacuation. We use several geographical features, such as proximity to the hazard, road network conditions (accessibility), size of the population, and demographics as the parameters for ranking the order of each population unit in GIS. From this concept, we produced several scenarios of ranking based on different weightings of the parameters. We applied the scenarios in an agent-based model of volcanic evacuation experiment to observe the results. Afterwards, the results were evaluated based on the ability to reduce the risk and spatio-temporal traffic density along road networks compared to the result of simultaneous evacuation to establish the relative effectiveness of the outcome. The result shows that the staged scenario has a better ability to reduce the potential traffic congestion during the peak time of the evacuation compared to the simultaneous strategy. However, the simultaneous strategy has better performance regarding the speed of reducing the risk. An evaluation of the relative performance of the four varying staged scenarios is also presented and discussed in this paper.

    • Geosciences, Vol. 9, Pages 316: The Impact of Salt Tectonics on the Thermal Evolution and the Petroleum System of Confined Rift Basins: Insights from Basin Modeling of the Nordkapp Basin, Norwegian Barents Sea

      Although the thermal effect of large salt tongues and allochthonous salt sheets in passive margins is described in the literature, little is known about the thermal effect of salt structures in confined rift basins where sub-vertical, closely spaced salt diapirs may affect the thermal evolution and petroleum system of the basin. In this study, we combine 2D structural restorations with thermal modeling to investigate the dynamic history of salt movement and its thermal effect in the Nordkapp Basin, a confined salt-bearing basin in the Norwegian Barents Sea. Two sections, one across the central sub-basin and another across the eastern sub-basin, are modeled. The central sub-basin shows deeply rooted, narrow and closely spaced diapirs, while the eastern sub-basin contains a shallower rooted, wide, isolated diapir. Variations through time in stratigraphy (source rocks), structures (salt diapirs and minibasins), and thermal boundary conditions (basal heat flow and sediment-water interface temperatures) are considered in the model. Present-day bottom hole temperatures and vitrinite data provide validation of the model. The modeling results in the eastern sub-basin show a strong but laterally limited thermal anomaly associated with the massive diapir, where temperatures in the diapir are 70 °C cooler than in the adjacent minibasins. In the central sub-basin, the thermal anomalies of closely-spaced diapirs mutually interfere and induce a combined anomaly that reduces the temperature in the minibasins by up to 50 °C with respect to the platform areas. Consequently, source rock maturation in the areas thermally affected by the diapirs is retarded, and the hydrocarbon generation window is expanded. Although subject to uncertainties in the model input parameters, these results demonstrate new exploration concepts (e.g., deep hydrocarbon kitchens) that are important for evaluating the prospectivity of the Nordkapp Basin and similar basins around the world.

    • Geosciences, Vol. 9, Pages 315: Using PS-InSAR with Sentinel-1 Images for Deformation Monitoring in Northeast Algeria

      Constantine city, Algeria, and its surroundings have always been affected by natural and human-induced slope instability and subsidence. Neogene clay-conglomeratic formations, which form the largest part of Constantine city, are extremely sensitive to the presence of water, which makes them susceptible to landslides. Fast and accurate identification and monitoring of the main areas facing existing or potential hazardous risks at a regional scale, as well as measuring the amount of displacement is essential for the conservation and sustainable development of Constantine. In the last three decades, the application of radar interferometry techniques for the measurement of millimeter-level terrain motions has become one of the most powerful tools for ground deformation monitoring due to its large coverage and low costs. Persistent scatterer interferometry (PS-InSAR) has a demonstrated potential for monitoring a range of hazard event scenarios and tracking their spatiotemporal evolution. We demonstrate the efficiency of Sentinel-1 data for deformation monitoring in Constantine located in the northeast of Algeria, and how an array of information such as geological maps and ground-measurements are integrated for deformation mapping. We conclude this article with a discussion of the potential of advanced differential radar interferometry approaches and their applicability for structural and ground deformation monitoring, including the advantages and challenges of these approaches in the north of Algeria.

    • Word embeddings for application in geosciences: development, evaluation, and examples of soil-related concepts

      Word embeddings for application in geosciences: development, evaluation, and examples of soil-related concepts José Padarian and Ignacio Fuentes SOIL, 5, 177-187,, 2019 A large amount of descriptive information is available in geosciences. Considering the advances in natural language it is possible to rescue this information and transform it into a numerical form (embeddings). We used 280764 full-text scientific articles to train a language model capable of generating such embeddings. Our domain-specific embeddings (GeoVec) outperformed general domain embedding tasks such as analogies, relatedness, and categorisation, and can be used in novel applications.

    • Effects of microplastic and microglass particles on soil microbial community structure in an arable soil (Chernozem)

      Effects of microplastic and microglass particles on soil microbial community structure in an arable soil (Chernozem) Katja Wiedner and Steven Polifka SOIL Discuss., https//,2019 Manuscript under review for SOIL (discussion: open, 1 comment) Microplastics and microglass are used in a wide range of everyday and industrial application acting as abrasives, filler and binding agents, which could enter aquatic and terrestrial environments with unexpected consequences for ecosystems. Our study provides hints, that different types of microparticles seem to have contrary effects on soil microorganisms depending on the origin and properties of microparticles. This study should be seen as basis for further research which is urgently needed.

    • Identification of new microbial functional standards for soil quality assessment

      Identification of new microbial functional standards for soil quality assessment Sören Thiele-Bruhn, Michael Schloter, Berndt-Michael Wilke, Lee A. Beaudette, Fabrice Martin-Laurent, Nathalie Cheviron, Christian Mougin, and Jörg Römbke SOIL Discuss., https//,2019 Manuscript under review for SOIL (discussion: open, 0 comments) Soil quality depends on the functioning of soil microbiota. Only few standardized methods are available to assess this as well as adverse effects of human activities. So, it is needed to identify promising additional methods that target soil microbial function. Discussed are (i) molecular methods using qPCR for new endpoints, e.g. in N and P cycling and greenhouse gas emissions, (ii) techniques for fungal enzyme activities, and (iii) field methods on carbon turnover such as the litter bag test.

    • Soil lacquer peel do-it-yourself: simply capturing beauty

      Soil lacquer peel do-it-yourself: simply capturing beauty Cathelijne R. Stoof, Jasper H. J. Candel, Laszlo A. G. M. van der Wal, and Gert Peek SOIL, 5, 159-175,, 2019 Teaching and outreach of soils is often done with real-life snapshots of soils and sediments in lacquer or glue peels. While it may seem hard, anyone can make such a peel. Illustrated with handmade drawings and an instructional video, we explain how to capture soils in peels using readily available materials. A new twist to old methods makes this safer, simpler, and more successful, and thus a true DIY (do-it-yourself) activity, highlighting the value and beauty of the ground below our feet.

    • A review of the global soil property maps for Earth system models

      A review of the global soil property maps for Earth system models Yongjiu Dai, Wei Shangguan, Nan Wei, Qinchuan Xin, Hua Yuan, Shupeng Zhang, Shaofeng Liu, Xingjie Lu, Dagang Wang, and Fapeng Yan SOIL, 5, 137-158,, 2019 Soil data are widely used in various Earth science fields. We reviewed soil property maps for Earth system models, which can also offer insights to soil data developers and users. Old soil datasets are often based on limited observations and have various uncertainties. Updated and comprehensive soil data are made available to the public and can benefit related research. Good-quality soil data are identified and suggestions on how to improve and use them are provided.