The carbon isotopic (δ13C) composition of shallow-water carbonates often is interpreted to reflect the δ13C of the global ocean and is used as a proxy for changes in the global carbon cycle. However, local platform processes, in addition to meteoric and marine diagenesis, may decouple carbonate δ13C from that of the global ocean. To shed light on the extent to which changing sediment grain composition may produce δ13C shifts in the stratigraphic record, we present new δ13C measurements of benthic foraminifera, solitary corals, calcifying green algae, ooids, coated grains, and lime mud from the modern Great Bahama Bank (GBB). This survey of a modern carbonate environment reveals δ13C variability comparable to the largest δ13C excursions in the last two billion years of Earth history.
The history of organismal evolution, seawater chemistry, and paleoclimate is recorded in layers of carbonate sedimentary rock. Meter-scale cyclic stacking patterns in these carbonates often are interpreted as representing sea level change. A reliable sedimentary proxy for eustasy would be profoundly useful for reconstructing paleoclimate, since sea level responds to changes in temperature and ice volume. However, the translation from water depth to carbonate layering has proven difficult, with recent surveys of modern shallow water platforms revealing little correlation between carbonate facies (i.e., grain size, sedimentary bed forms, ecology) and water depth. We train a convolutional neural network with satellite imagery and new field observations from a 3,000 km2 region northwest of Andros Island (Bahamas) to generate a facies map with 5 m resolution. Leveraging a newly-published bathymetry for the same region, we test the hypothesis that one can extract a signal of water depth change, not simply from individual facies, but from sequences of facies transitions analogous to vertically stacked carbonate strata. Our Hidden Markov Model (HMM) can distinguish relative sea level fall from random variability with ∼90% accuracy. Finally, since shallowing-upward patterns can result from local (autogenic) processes in addition to forced mechanisms such as eustasy, we search for statistical tools to diagnose the presence or absence of external forcings on relative sea level. With a new data-driven forward model that simulates how modern facies mosaics evolve to stack strata, we show how different sea level forcings generate characteristic patterns of cycle thicknesses in shallow carbonates, providing a new tool for quantitative reconstruction of ancient sea level conditions from the geologic record.
The prevalence of ooids in the stratigraphic record, and their association with shallow-water carbonate environments, make ooids an important paleoenvironmental indicator. Recent advances in the theoretical understanding of ooid morphology, along with empirical studies from Turks and Caicos, Great Salt Lake, and The Bahamas, have demonstrated that the morphology of ooids is indicative of depositional environment and hydraulic conditions. To apply this knowledge from modern environments to the stratigraphic record of Earth history, researchers measure the size and shape of lithified ooids on two-dimensional surfaces (i.e., thin sections or polished slabs), often assuming that random 2D slices intersect the nuclei and that the orientation of the ooids is known. Here we demonstrate that these assumptions rarely are true, resulting in errors of up to 35% on metrics like major axis length. We present a method for making 3D reconstructions by serial grinding and imaging, which enables accurate measurement of the morphology of individual ooids within an oolite, as well as the sorting and porosity of a sample. We also provide three case studies that use the morphology of ooids in oolites to extract environmental information. Each case study demonstrates that 2D measurements can be useful if the environmental signal is large relative to the error from 2D measurements. However, 3D measurements substantially improve the accuracy and precision of environmental interpretations. This study focuses on oolites, but errors from 2D measurements are not unique to oolites; this method can be used to extract accurate grain and porosity measurements from any lithified granular sample.
The lithium vapor-box divertor is a possible fusion power exhaust solution.It uses condensation pumping to create a gradient of vapor density in a divertor slot; this should allow a stable detachment front without active feedback.As initial explorations of the concept, two test stands which take the form of three connected cylindrical stainless steel boxes are being developed: one without plasma at PPPL, to test models of lithium evaporation and flow; and one for the linear plasma device Magnum-PSI (at DIFFER in Eindhoven, The Netherlands) to test the ability of a lithium vapor cloud to induce volumetric detachment and redistribute the plasma power.The first experiment uses boxes with diameters of 6 cm, joined by apertures with diameters of 2.2 cm. Up to 1 g of Li is placed in one box, which is heated to up to 600 degrees C. The Li evaporates, then flows to and condenses in the two other, cooler boxes over several minutes. The quantity of Li transported is assessed by weighing the boxes before and after the heating cycle, and is compared to the quantity predicted to flow for the box at its measured temperature using a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo code, SPARTA. With good experimental conditions, the two values agree to within 15%.The experiment on Magnum-PSI is in the conceptual design stage.The design is assessed by simulations using the code B2.5-Eunomia.They show that when the hydrogen-ion plasma beam, with n_e = 4e20 per cubic meter, T_e = 1.5 eV, and r = 1 cm, is passed through a 16 cm long, 12 Pa, 625 degree C Li vapor cloud, the plasma heat flux and pressure on the target are significantly reduced compared to the case without Li.With the Li present, the plasma is cooled by excitation of Li neutrals followed by radiation until it volumetrically recombines, lowering the heat flux from 3.7 MW/m^2 to 0.13 MW/m^2, and the pressure is reduced by 93%, largely by collisions of hydrogen ions with neutral Li.
Lampert,Mate; Diallo,Ahmed; Myra,James R.; Zweben, Stewart J.
Edge localized modes (ELMs) are routinely observed in H-mode plasma regimes of the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). Due to the explosive nature of the instability, only diagnostics with high temporal and spatial resolution could provide a detailed insight into the dynamics associated with the ELMs. Gas-puff imaging (GPI) at NSTX provides 2D measurements of the magnetic field aligned fluctuations (e.g. ELM filaments) in the scrape-off layer and the at the plasma edge with 2.5 us temporal and 10 mm optical resolution.A novel analysis technique was developed to estimate the frame-by-frame velocities and the spatial parameters of the dominant structures associated with the ELMs. The analysis was applied to single ELM events to characterize the ELM crash dynamics, and then extended to a database of 169 ELM events.Statistical analysis was performed in order to find the characterizing dynamics of the ELM crash. The results show that on average an ELM crash consists of a filament with a circular cross-section which is propelled outwards with a characterizing peak radial velocity of ~3.3 km/s. The radial velocity was found to be linearly dependent on the distance of the filament from the separatrix, which has never been seen before. The ELM filament is characterized by propagation in the ion-diamagnetic direction poloidally with a peak velocity of 11.4 km/s. The ELM crash lasts for approximately 100us until the radial propulsion settles back to the pre-ELM level. The experimental findings were compared with analytical theory. Two possible mechanisms were identified for explaining the observations: the curvature interchange model and the current-filament interaction model.