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2016, 8 (6) Online: 01 December 2016 Previous issue Next issue
  • Probable effects of heat advection on the adjacent environment during oil production at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska
  • Stuart A. Harris
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00451
  • 2016, Vol.8 (6): 451–460 Abstract ( 30) HTML PDF (6479 KB) ( 2 )
  • The latest available data for mean annual air temperature at sites away from the Arctic coast in both Alaska and the Yukon Territory show no significant warming in the last 30~50 years. However, around the Arctic coast of northwest North America centered on Prudhoe Bay, the weather stations show significant warming of both the air and the ocean water, resulting in substantial losses in sea ice west of Prudhoe Bay. These changes appeared shortly after the commencement of shipment of oil through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1977, but have now reached a quasi-stable thermal state. Since more than 17 trillion barrels of oil have passed through the pipeline after being cooled by the adjacent air, which in turn, can then result in the melting of the adjacent sea ice, there appears to be a very strong relationship between these events, and a marked lack of correlation with the changes of the content of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This contrasts with the IPCC interpretation of the available climatic data, which assumes that the maximum climatic warming at Prudhoe Bay is typical of the entire region and is the result of increasing greenhouse gases. Engineers need to consider heat advection by oil or gas from underground when designing pipeline facilities, and to take account of the potential environmental consequences that they may cause.
  • Calculation method for thickness of discontinuous boundary layer of engineering pavement
  • ZhongQiong Zhang, QingBai Wu, Peng Zhang, SiRu Gao
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00461
  • 2016, Vol.8 (6): 461–466 Abstract ( 37) HTML PDF (3109 KB) ( 20 )
  • The boundary layer is a buffer layer of water and heat exchange between the atmosphere and permafrost. Based on the atmospheric boundary layer and heat transfer theory, we established a method for determining the boundary layer thickness of engineering pavement (asphalt and sand pavement) in permafrost region. The boundary layer can be divided into the Boundary Layer Above Surface (BLAS) and the Boundary Layer Below Surface (BLBS). From in-situ monitoring data, the thickness of BLAS was determined through the laminar thickness, and the thickness of BLBS was determined through ground temperature, the heat conduction function, and the mean attenuation function (α). For asphalt pavement, the BLAS thickness varied between 2.90 and 4.31 mm and that of BLBS varied between 28.00 and 45.38 cm. For sand pavement, the BLAS thickness varied between 2.55 and 3.29 mm and that of BLBS varied between 15.00 and 46.44 cm. The thickness varied with freezing and thawing processes. The boundary layer calculation method described in this paper can provide a relatively stable boundary for temperature field analysis.
  • Discussion on applying an analytical method to optimize the anti-freeze design parameters for underground water pipelines in seasonally frozen areas
  • Ji Chen, JingYi Zhao, Kun Li, Yu Sheng
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00467
  • 2016, Vol.8 (6): 467–476 Abstract ( 27) HTML PDF (3447 KB) ( 3 )
  • Adopting the quasi-three-dimensional (Quasi-3D) numerical method to optimize the anti-freeze design parameters of an underground pipeline usually involves heavy numerical calculations. Here, the fitting formulae between the safe conveyance distance (SCD) of a water pipeline and six influencing factors are established based on the lowest water temperature (LWT) along the pipeline axis direction. With reference to the current widely used anti-freeze design approaches for underground pipelines in seasonally frozen areas, this paper first analyzes the feasibility of applying the maximum frozen penetration (MFP) instead of the mean annual ground surface temperature (MAGST) and soil water content (SWC) to calculate the SCD. The results show that the SCD depends on the buried depth if the MFP is fixed and the variation of the MAGST and SWC combination does not significantly change the SCD. A comprehensive formula for the SCD is established based on the relationships between the SCD and several primary influencing factors and the interaction among them. This formula involves five easy-to-access parameters: the MFP, buried depth, pipeline diameter, flow velocity, and inlet water temperature. A comparison between the analytical method and the numerical results based on the Quasi-3D method indicates that the two methods are in good agreement overall. The analytic method can be used to optimize the anti-freeze design parameters of underground water pipelines in seasonally frozen areas under the condition of a 1.5 safety coefficient.
  • Revisit of event-based rainfall characteristics at Shapotou area in northern China
  • XinPing Wang, YaFeng Zhang, Rui Hu, YanXia Pan, HaoJie Xu, Wei Shi, YanXia Jin, Hiroshi Yasuda
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00477
  • 2016, Vol.8 (6): 477–484 Abstract ( 28) HTML PDF (1901 KB) ( 2 )
  • Distribution of rainfall event sizes and interval lengths between events are important characteristics of arid and semi-arid climates. Understanding their importance will contribute to our ability to understand ecosystem dynamics in these regions. Rainfall event timing and magnitude are important drivers of ecosystem processes and are instrumental in creating landscape heterogeneity in arid and semi-arid regions. Rainfall event characteristics were analyzed using an automatic tipping-bucket rain-gauge record across the entire summer monsoon season from 2008 to 2015 at the arid desert area of Shapotou in the Tengger Desert, China. Changing the minimum inter-event time (MIT) from 30 min to 24 h alters the number of rainfall events from 64 to 25 for the event depth larger than 0.1 mm. The mean rainfall intensity declined from 0.95 mm/h to 0.53 mm/h, and the geometric mean event duration rose from 0.55 h to 4.4 h. The number of rainfall events, mean rainfall intensity, and geometric mean event duration differed under different criteria of individual rainfall depths, except that for an individual rainfall depth of 0.5, 1.0, and 5.0 mm. The aforementioned features differed only at the lowest range of the mean rainfall intensity and depth for MIT=3 and 6 h. These findings suggest that identification of event-based rainfall in this specific arid region can be better achieved by setting the MIT at six hours. The wide variation in rainfall event properties indicate the need for paying more attention to the proper selection and reporting of event criteria in studies that adopt event-based data analysis. This is especially true in quantifying effective rainfall for soil water replenishment in terms of rainfall depth and intensity with infrequent rainfall events.
  • Comparison analysis of sampling methods to estimate regional precipitation based on the Kriging interpolation methods: A case of northwestern China
  • JinKui Wu, ShiWei Liu, LePing Ma, Jia Qin, JiaXin Zhou, Hong Wei
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00485
  • 2016, Vol.8 (6): 485–494 Abstract ( 26) HTML PDF (4838 KB) ( 4 )
  • The accuracy of spatial interpolation of precipitation data is determined by the actual spatial variability of the precipitation, the interpolation method, and the distribution of observatories whose selections are particularly important. In this paper, three spatial sampling programs, including spatial random sampling, spatial stratified sampling, and spatial sandwich sampling, are used to analyze the data from meteorological stations of northwestern China. We compared the accuracy of ordinary Kriging interpolation methods on the basis of the sampling results. The error values of the regional annual precipitation interpolation based on spatial sandwich sampling, including ME(0.1513), RMSE(95.91), ASE(101.84), MSE(-0.0036), and RMSSE(1.0397), were optimal under the premise of abundant prior knowledge. The result of spatial stratified sampling was poor, and spatial random sampling was even worse. Spatial sandwich sampling was the best sampling method, which minimized the error of regional precipitation estimation. It had a higher degree of accuracy compared with the other two methods and a wider scope of application.
  • Comparison of soil physico-chemical properties under different land-use and cover types in northeastern China's Horqin Sandy Land
  • YuQiang Li, JianPeng Zhang, XueYong Zhao, TongHui Zhang, YuLin Li, XinPing Liu, YinPing Chen
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00495
  • 2016, Vol.8 (6): 495–506 Abstract ( 26) HTML PDF (3833 KB) ( 3 )
  • The Horqin Sandy Land of northeastern China was originally a grassland with plenty of water and lush vegetation dominated by palatable grass species along with sparsely scattered woody species. However, it has experienced severe desertification in recent decades due to its fragile ecology together with inappropriate human activities. Currently, the landscape of the Horqin Sandy Land is dominated by irrigated croplands and sand dunes with different degrees of vegetation cover, as the region has become the most important part of the semiarid agro-pastoral ecotone of northern China. In this study, we compared soil physical and chemical properties under different land-use and cover types (irrigated cropland, rainfed cropland, sandy grassland, fixed dunes, and mobile dunes). We found that soil particle size distribution; organic C, total N, and total mineral element, microelement, and available microelement and nutrient contents; pH; CEC; and bulk density differed significantly among the land-use and cover types. In general, soil quality was highest in the cropland, intermediate in the sandy grassland, and lowest in the dunes. The most important soil quality attribute, soil organic carbon (SOC) storage, decreased in the following order: irrigated cropland (5,699 g/m2) > sandy grassland (3,390 g/m2) > rainfed cropland (2,411 g/m2) > fixed dunes (821 g/m2) > mobile dunes (463 g/m2). SOC was significantly positively correlated with a large proportion of the other soil physico-chemical parameters. Our results suggest that the key issue in restoration of the degraded soils will be to increase SOC storage, which would also create a high potential for sequestering soil C in desertified areas of the Horqin Sandy Land.
  • Quantitative retrieval of soil salt content based on measured spectral data
  • HanChen Duan, Tao Wang, Xian Xue, CuiHua Huang, ChangZhen Yan
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00507
  • 2016, Vol.8 (6): 507–515 Abstract ( 35) HTML PDF (2512 KB) ( 16 )
  • Choosing the Minqin Oasis, located downstream of the Shiyang River in Northwest China, as the study area, we used field-measured hyperspectral data and laboratory-measured soil salt content data to analyze the characteristics of saline soil spectral reflectance and its transformation in the area, and elucidated the relations between the soil spectral reflectance, reflectance transformation, and soil salt content. In addition, we screened sensitive wavebands. Then, a multiple linear regression model was established to predict the soil salt content based on the measured spectral data, and the accuracy of the model was verified using field-measured salinity data. The results showed that the overall shapes of the spectral curves of soils with different degrees of salinity were consistent, and the reflectance in visible and near-infrared bands for salinized soil was higher than that for non-salinized soil. After differential transformation, the correlation coefficient between the spectral reflectance and soil salt content was obviously improved. The first-order differential transformation model based on the logarithm of the reciprocal of saline soil spectral reflectance produced the highest accuracy and stability in the bands at 462 and 636 nm; the determination coefficient was 0.603, and the root mean square error was 5.407. Thus, the proposed model provides a good reference for the quantitative extraction and monitoring of regional soil salinization.
  • Relationship between sand-dust weather and water dynamics of desert areas in the middle reaches of Heihe River
  • Yun Niu, XianDe Liu, Xin Li, YanQiang Wei, Hu Zhang, XiaoYan Li
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00516
  • 2016, Vol.8 (6): 516–523 Abstract ( 30) HTML PDF (1487 KB) ( 5 )
  • Sand-dust weather has become an international social-environmental issue of common concern, and constitutes a serious threat to human lives and economic development. In order to explore the responses of natural desert sand and dust to the dynamics of water in desertification, we extracted long-term monitoring data related to precipitation, soil water, groundwater, and sand-dust weather. These data originated from the test stations for desertification control in desert areas of the middle reaches of the Heihe River. We used an algorithm of characteristic parameters, correlations, and multiple regression analysis to establish a regression model for the duration of sand-dust weather. The response characteristics of the natural desert sand and dust and changes of the water inter-annual and annual variance were also examined. Our results showed: (1) From 2006 to 2014 the frequency, duration, and volatility trends of sand-dust weather obviously increased, but the change amplitudes of precipitation, soil water, and groundwater level grew smaller. (2) In the vegetative growth seasons from March to November, the annual variance rates of the soil moisture content in each of four studied layers of soil samples were similar, and the changes in the frequency and duration of sand-dust weather were similar. (3) Our new regression equation for the duration of sand-dust weather passed the R test, F test, and t test. By this regression model we could predict the duration of sand-dust weather with an accuracy of 42.9%. This study can thus provide technological support and reference data for water resource management and research regarding sand-dust weather mechanisms.
  • Interdecadal correlation of solar activity with Tibetan Plateau snow depth and winter atmospheric circulation in East Asia
  • ZhiCai Li, Yan Song, Wei Zhang, Jing Zhang, ZiNiu Xiao
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00524
  • 2016, Vol.8 (6): 524–535 Abstract ( 32) HTML PDF (5362 KB) ( 8 )
  • Studies on the impact of solar activity on climate system are very important in understanding global climate change. Previous studies in this field were mostly focus on temperature, wind and geopotential height. In this paper, interdecadal correlations of solar activity with Winter Snow Depth Index (WSDI) over the Tibetan Plateau, Arctic Oscillation Index (AOI) and the East Asian Winter Monsoon Index (EAWMI) are detected respectively by using Solar Radio Flux (SRF), Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) and Solar Sunspot Number (SSN) data and statistical methods. Arctic Oscillation and East Asian winter monsoon are typical modes of the East Asian atmospheric circulation. Research results show that on interdecadal time scale over 11-year solar cycle, the sun modulated changes of winter snow depth over the Tibetan Plateau and East Asian atmospheric circulation. At the fourth lag year, the correlation coefficient of SRF and snow depth is 0.8013 at 0.05 significance level by Monte-Carlo test method. Our study also shows that winter snow depth over the Tibetan Plateau has significant lead and lag correlations with Arctic Oscillation and the East Asian winter monsoon on long time scale. With more snow in winter, the phase of Arctic Oscillation is positive, and East Asian winter monsoon is weak, while with less snow, the parameters are reversed. An example is the winter of 2012/2013, with decreased Tibetan Plateau snow, phase of Arctic Oscillation was negative, and East Asian winter monsoon was strong.