skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on October 3, 2023

Title: Meteorological Controls on Reversible Resonance Changes in Natural Rock Arches

Continuous ambient seismic monitoring is becoming common for structural health assessment of geologic features. However, the ability to detect or predict permanent mechanical change associated with damage requires detailed understanding of reversible drifts in resonance attributes associated with changing meteorological conditions. Here, we analyze the response of 17 sandstone rock arches to changing meteorological conditions during extended vibration‐based monitoring, with a focus on 1 arch in Utah which was continuously monitored for 15 months. Our results show that variations in resonance are correlated with temperature on daily and yearly time scales, but that the temperature sensitivity of frequency changes are variable at different sites and resonance modes, generally ranging from 0.5% to 6% per 10°C. Numerical modeling suggests the primary mechanism governing these frequency drifts is stress stiffening, where confined thermal dilation induces bulk stress changes in the low‐stress, nonlinear elastic regime via fracture closure. Secondary mechanisms affecting resonance attributes are driven by moisture, including formation of shallow pore ice, which can generate sharp frequency changes of up to 17% per −10°C, and moisture‐induced softening. Daily lag times of several hours between temperature and frequency extrema provide constraints on the rock volumes affected by these mechanisms, indicating modal attributes are more » sensitive to thermally driven changes occurring in the outermost centimeters of the structure. Through improved understanding of the reversible variations of rock mass resonance, our results aid future assessment of irreversible frequency changes associated with damage, and thus structural health monitoring of fragile geologic features.

« less
 ;  ;  
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract. Natural rock arches are rare and beautiful geologic landforms with important cultural value. As such, their management requires periodic assessment of structural integrity to understand environmental and anthropogenic influences on arch stability. Measurements of passive seismic vibrations represent a rapid and non-invasive technique to describe the dynamic properties of natural arches, including resonant frequencies, modal damping ratios, and mode shapes, which can be monitored over time for structural health assessment. However, commonly applied spectral analysis tools are often limited in their ability to resolve characteristics of closely spaced or complex higher-order modes. Therefore, we investigate two techniques well-established in the field of civil engineering through application to a set of natural arches previously characterized using polarization analysis and spectral peak-picking techniques. Results from enhanced frequency domain decomposition and parametric covariance-driven stochastic subspace identification modal analyses showed generally good agreement with spectral peak-picking and frequency-dependent polarizationanalyses. However, we show that these advanced techniques offer the capability to resolve closely spaced modes including their corresponding modal damping ratios. In addition, due to preservation of phase information, enhanced frequency domain decomposition allows for direct and convenient three-dimensional visualization of mode shapes. These techniques provide detailed characterization of dynamic parameters, which can bemore »monitored to detect structural changes indicating damage and failure, and in addition have the potential to improve numerical models used for arch stability assessment. Results of our study encourage broad adoption and application of these advanced modal analysis techniques for dynamic analysis of a wide range of geological features.« less
  2. Abstract

    Simultaneous heatwaves affecting multiple regions (referred to as concurrent heatwaves) pose compounding threats to various natural and societal systems, including global food chains, emergency response systems, and reinsurance industries. While anthropogenic climate change is increasing heatwave risks across most regions, the interactions between warming and circulation changes that yield concurrent heatwaves remain understudied. Here, we quantify historical (1979–2019) trends in concurrent heatwaves during the warm season [May–September (MJJAS)] across the Northern Hemisphere mid- to high latitudes. We find a significant increase of ∼46% in the mean spatial extent of concurrent heatwaves and ∼17% increase in their maximum intensity, and an approximately sixfold increase in their frequency. Using self-organizing maps, we identify large-scale circulation patterns (300 hPa) associated with specific concurrent heatwave configurations across Northern Hemisphere regions. We show that observed changes in the frequency of specific circulation patterns preferentially increase the risk of concurrent heatwaves across particular regions. Patterns linking concurrent heatwaves across eastern North America, eastern and northern Europe, parts of Asia, and the Barents and Kara Seas show the largest increases in frequency (∼5.9 additional days per decade). We also quantify the relative contributions of circulation pattern changes and warming to overall observed concurrent heatwave day frequencymore »trends. While warming has a predominant and positive influence on increasing concurrent heatwave frequency, circulation pattern changes have a varying influence and account for up to 0.8 additional concurrent heatwave days per decade. Identifying regions with an elevated risk of concurrent heatwaves and understanding their drivers is indispensable for evaluating projected climate risks on interconnected societal systems and fostering regional preparedness in a changing climate.

    Significance Statement

    Heatwaves pose a major threat to human health, ecosystems, and human systems. Simultaneous heatwaves affecting multiple regions can exacerbate such threats. For example, multiple food-producing regions simultaneously undergoing heat-related crop damage could drive global food shortages. We assess recent changes in the occurrence of simultaneous large heatwaves. Such simultaneous heatwaves are 7 times more likely now than 40 years ago. They are also hotter and affect a larger area. Their increasing occurrence is mainly driven by warming baseline temperatures due to global heating, but changes in weather patterns contribute to disproportionate increases over parts of Europe, the eastern United States, and Asia. Better understanding the drivers of weather pattern changes is therefore important for understanding future concurrent heatwave characteristics and their impacts.

    « less
  3. Abstract

    The dynamic properties of freestanding rock landforms are a function of fundamental material and mechanical parameters, facilitating noninvasive vibration‐based structural assessment. Characterization of resonant frequencies, mode shapes, and damping ratios, however, can be challenging at culturally sensitive geologic features, such as rock arches, where physical access is limited. Using sparse ambient vibration measurements, we describe three resonant modes between 1 and 40 Hz for 17 natural arches in Utah spanning a range of lengths from 3–88 m. Modal polarization data are evaluated to combine field observations with 3‐D numerical models. We find outcrop‐scale elastic moduli vary from 0.8 to 8.0 GPa, correlated with diagenetic processes and identify low damping at all sites. Correlation of dense‐array measurements from one arch validates predictions of simple bending modes and fixed boundary conditions. Our results establish use of sparse ambient resonance measurements for structural assessment and monitoring of arches and similar freestanding geologic features worldwide.

  4. Ryckman, Kelli K (Ed.)
    Background Technology enables the continuous monitoring of personal health parameter data during pregnancy regardless of the disruption of normal daily life patterns. Our research group has established a project investigating the usefulness of an Internet of Things–based system and smartwatch technology for monitoring women during pregnancy to explore variations in stress, physical activity and sleep. The aim of this study was to examine daily patterns of well-being in pregnant women before and during the national stay-at-home restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland. Methods A longitudinal cohort study design was used to monitor pregnant women in their everyday settings. Two cohorts of pregnant women were recruited. In the first wave in January-December 2019, pregnant women with histories of preterm births (gestational weeks 22–36) or late miscarriages (gestational weeks 12–21); and in the second wave between October 2019 and March 2020, pregnant women with histories of full-term births (gestational weeks 37–42) and no pregnancy losses were recruited. The final sample size for this study was 38 pregnant women. The participants continuously used the Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch and their heart rate variability, and physical activity and sleep data were collected. Subjective stress, activity and sleep reports were collected using amore »smartphone application developed for this study. Data between February 12 to April 8, 2020 were included to cover four-week periods before and during the national stay-at-home restrictions. Hierarchical linear mixed models were exploited to analyze the trends in the outcome variables. Results The pandemic-related restrictions were associated with changes in heart rate variability: the standard deviation of all normal inter-beat intervals (p = 0.034), low-frequency power (p = 0.040) and the low-frequency/high-frequency ratio (p = 0.013) increased compared with the weeks before the restrictions. Women’s subjectively evaluated stress levels also increased significantly. Physical activity decreased when the restrictions were set and as pregnancy proceeded. The total sleep time also decreased as pregnancy proceeded, but pandemic-related restrictions were not associated with sleep. Daily rhythms changed in that the participants overall started to sleep later and woke up later. Conclusions The findings showed that Finnish pregnant women coped well with the pandemic-related restrictions and lockdown environment in terms of stress, physical activity and sleep.« less
  5. Abstract

    Humans’ essential ability to combat heat stress through sweat-based evaporative cooling is modulated by ambient air temperature and humidity, making humid heat a critical factor for human health. In this study, we relate the occurrence of extreme humid heat in two focus regions to two related modes of intraseasonal climate variability: the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO). In the Persian Gulf and South Asia during the May–June and July–August seasons, wet-bulb temperatures of 28°C are found to be almost twice as likely during certain oscillation phases than in others. Variations in moisture are found, to varying degrees, to be an important ingredient in anomalously high wet-bulb temperatures in all three areas studied, influenced by distinct local circulation anomalies. In the Persian Gulf, weakening of climatological winds associated with the intraseasonal oscillation’s propagating center of convection allows for anomalous onshore advection of humid air. Anomalously high wet-bulb temperatures in the northwestern region of South Asia are closely aligned with positive specific humidity anomalies associated with the convectively active phase of the oscillation. On the southeastern coast of India, high wet-bulb temperatures are associated with convectively inactive phases of the intraseasonal oscillation, suggesting that they maymore »be driven by increased surface insolation and reduced evaporative cooling during monsoon breaks. Our results aid in building a foundation for subseasonal predictions of extreme humid heat in regions where it is highly impactful.

    Significance Statement

    Understanding when and why extreme humid heat occurs is essential for informing public health efforts protecting against heat stress. This analysis works to improve our understanding of humid heat variability in two at-risk regions, the Persian Gulf and South Asia. By exploring how subseasonal oscillations affect daily extreme events, this analysis helps bridge the prediction gap between weather and climate. We find that extreme humid heat is more than twice as likely during specific phases of these oscillations than in others. Extremes depend to different extents upon combinations of above-average temperature and humidity. This new knowledge of the regional drivers of humid heat variability is important to better prepare for the increasingly widespread health and socioeconomic impacts of heat stress.

    « less