Magnetic reconnection is the most fundamental energy-transfer mechanism in the universe that converts magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy of charged particles. For reconnection to occur, the frozen-in condition must break down in a localized region, commonly called the ‘diffusion region’. In Earth’s magnetosphere, ion diffusion regions have already been observed, while electron diffusion regions have not been detected due to their small scales (of the order of a few km) (
In the last decade a New Geophysics has been proposed, whereby the crust and uppermost ~400 km of the mantle of the Earth are so pervaded by closely-spaced stress-aligned microcracks (intergranular films of hydrated melt in the mantle) that in situ rocks verge on failure by fracturing, and hence are critical-systems that impose a range of fundamentally-new properties on conventional sub-critical geophysics. Enough of these new properties have been observed to confirm that New Geophysics is a new understanding of fluid/rock deformation with important implications and applications. Evidence supporting New Geophysics has been published in a wide variety of publications. Here, for clarification, we summarise in one document the evidence supporting New Geophysics.
A map of the average atomic number of lunar rock and soil can be used to differentiate lithology and soil type on the lunar surface. This paper establishes a linear relationship between the average atomic number of lunar rock or soil and the flux of position annihilation radiation (0.512-MeV gamma-ray) from the lunar surface. The relationship is confirmed by Monte Carlo simulation with data from lunar rock or soil samples collected by Luna (Russia) and Apollo (USA) missions. A map of the average atomic number of the lunar rock and soil on the lunar surface has been derived from the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer data collected by Chang’e-1, an unmanned Chinese lunar-orbiting spacecraft. In the map, the higher average atomic numbers (ZA > 12.5), which are related to different types of basalt, are in the maria region; the highest ZA (13.2) readings are associated with Sinus Aestuum. The middle ZA (~12.1) regions, in the shape of irregular oval rings, are in West Oceanus Procellarum and Mare Frigoris, which seems to be consistent with the distribution of potassium, rare earth elements, and phosphorus as a unique feature on the lunar surface. The lower average atomic numbers (ZA < 11.5) are found to be correlated with the anorthosite on the far side of the Moon.
The X-discontinuity, which appears at the depth of approximately 300 km, is an important seismic interface with positive velocity contrasts in the upper mantle. Detecting its presence and topography can be useful to understand phase transformations of relevant mantle minerals under the high-temperature and high-pressure circumstance of the Earth's interior. In this study, we detect the X-discontinuity beneath the Ryukyu subduction zone using five intermediate-depth events recorded by the dense Alaska Regional Network (AK). The X-discontinuity is successfully revealed from the robust slant stacking of the secondary down-going and converting SdP phases. From the depth distribution of conversion points, we find that the X-discontinuity's depth ranges between 269 km and 313 km, with an average depth of 295 km. All the conversion points are located beneath the down-dipping side of the Philippine Sea slab. From energy comparisons in vespagrams for observed and synthetic seismograms, the strong converted energy is more likely from a thin high-velocity layer, and the S-wave velocity jumps across the X-discontinuity are up to 5% to 8% with an average of 6.0%. According to previous petrological and seismological studies, the X-discontinuity we detected can be interpreted as the phase transformation of coesite to stishovite in eclogitic materials within the oceanic crust.
Data obtained by GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) have been used to invert for the seismic source parameters of megathrust earthquakes under the assumption of either uniform slip over an entire fault or a point-like seismic source. Herein, we further extend the inversion of GRACE long-wavelength gravity changes to heterogeneous slip distributions during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake using three fault models: (I) a constant-strike and constant-dip fault, (II) a variable dip fault, and (III) a realistically varying strike fault. By removing the post-seismic signal from the time series, and taking the effect of ocean water redistribution into account, we invert for slip models I, II, and III using co-seismic gravity changes measured by GRACE, de-striped by DDK3 decorrelation filter. The total seismic moments of our slip models, with respective values of 4.9×1022 Nm, 5.1×1022 Nm, and 5.0×1022 Nm, are smaller than those obtained by other studies relying on GRACE data. The resulting centroids are also located at greater depths (20 km, 19.8 km, and 17.4 km, respectively). By combining onshore GPS, GPS-Acoustic, and GRACE data, we obtain a jointly inverted slip model with a seismic moment of 4.8×1022 Nm, which is larger than the seismic moment obtained using only the GPS displacements. We show that the slip inverted from low degree space-borne gravimetric data, which contains information at the ocean region, is affected by the strike of the arcuate trench. The space-borne gravimetric data help us constrain the source parameters of a megathrust earthquake within the frame of heterogeneous slip models.
The 13 November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake occurred in the northeastern coastal region of the South Island, New Zealand. The Mw 7.8 mainshock generated a complex pattern of surface ruptures, and was followed within about 12 hours by three moderate shocks of Mw ≥ 6.0. Here we use teleseismic waveforms to invert for the source rupture of the Kaikoura earthquake. The resulting slip-distribution model exhibits insignificant slip near the hypocenter and three pockets of major slip zones with distinct senses of motion. The mainshock started from a rupture near the hypocenter, grew into thrust on shallow crustal faults ~50 km northeast of the hypocenter, and then developed into two slip zones: a deeper one with oblique thrust and a shallower one with almost purely right-lateral strike-slip. Locations of the thrust and strike-slip motions in the slip-distribution model agree well with reported coastal uplifts and horizontal offsets. The overall slip pattern is dominated by horizontal motion, especially at shallow depth, due to the partitioning of thrust and strike-slip motions above the subduction zone megathrust. Aftershock distribution suggests that most aftershocks tend to occur near the edges of the major slip zones of the mainshock. This observation on aftershock locations may provide useful information for seismic hazard assessments after large earthquakes.
This study tested five methods widely used in estimating the complete magnitudes (MC) of earthquake catalogs. Using catalogs of observed earthquake properties, we test the performance of these five algorithms under several challenging conditions, such as small volume of events and spatial-temporal heterogeneity, in order to see whether the algorithms are stable and in agreement with known data. We find that the maximum curvature method (MAXC) has perfect stability, but will significantly underestimate MC unless heterogeneity is absent. MC estimated by the b-value stability method (MBS) requires many events to reach a stable result. Results from the goodness of fit method (GFT) were unstable when heterogeneity lowered the fitness level. The entire magnitude range method (EMR) is relatively stable in most conditions, and can reflect the change in MC when heterogeneity exists, but when the incomplete part of the earthquake catalog is dismissed, this method fails. The median-based analysis of the segment slope method (MBASS) can tolerate small sample size, but is incapable of reflecting the missing degree of small events in aftershock sequences. In conditions where MC changes rapidly, such as in aftershock sequences, observing the time sequence directly can give a precise estimation of the complete sub-catalog, but only when the number of events available for study is large enough can the MAXC, GFT, and MBS methods give a similarly reliable estimation.