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  1. Abstract

    Ambient vibration measurements can detect resonance frequency changes related to rock slope instability damage or boundary condition changes during progressive failure. However, the impact of slope kinematics on resonance changes and the expected form and sensitivity of frequency evolution during destabilization require clarification to improve the implementation of this technique across diverse settings. Since instrumented rock slope failures are rare, numerical modeling is needed to study the anticipated spectral response from in situ monitoring. We used 2D distinct‐element modeling to evaluate the sensitivity and evolution of rock slope resonance behavior for slab toppling, flexural toppling, and planar sliding instabilities during progressive failure. Model simulations revealed that fundamental resonance frequency decreases between 20% and 60% with changes correlated with increasing length of open joints. Changes to higher‐order frequencies associated with landslide sub‐volumes were also detectable for cases with multiple fracture networks. Resonance behavior was most pronounced for failures dominated by steeply dipping open tension cracks, that is, flexural and slab toppling. Additionally, amplification patterns across the slope varied for the flexural toppling and sliding cases, providing potential new information with which to characterize landslide failure mechanisms using ambient vibration array measurements. Our results demonstrate landslide characteristics well‐suited for in situ ambient resonance monitoring and provide new data describing the anticipated changes in resonance frequencies during progressive rock slope failure.

     
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    Abstract Ancient DNA is transforming our ability to reconstruct historical patterns and mechanisms shaping modern diversity and distributions. In particular, molecular data from extinct Holocene island faunas have revealed surprising biogeographic scenarios. Here, we recovered partial mitochondrial (mt) genomes for 1300–1400 year old specimens ( n  = 2) of the extinct “horned” crocodile, Voay robustus , collected from Holocene deposits in southwestern Madagascar. Phylogenetic analyses of partial mt genomes and tip-dated timetrees based on molecular, fossil, and stratigraphic data favor a sister group relationship between Voay and Crocodylus (true crocodiles). These well supported trees conflict with recent morphological systematic work that has consistently placed Voay within Osteolaeminae (dwarf crocodiles and kin) and provide evidence for likely homoplasy in crocodylian cranial anatomy and snout shape. The close relationship between Voay and Crocodylus lends additional context for understanding the biogeographic origins of these genera and refines competing hypotheses for the recent extinction of Voay from Madagascar. 
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  4. Abstract

    Cirrus ice crystals are produced heterogeneously on ice‐nucleating particles (INPs) and homogeneously in supercooled liquid solution droplets. They grow by uptake of water molecules from the ice‐supersaturated vapor. The precursor particles, characterized by disparate ice nucleation abilities and number concentrations, compete for available vapor during ice formation events. We investigate cirrus formation events systematically in different temperature and updraft regimes, and for different INP number concentrations and time‐independent nucleation efficiencies. We consider vertical air motion variability due to mesoscale gravity waves and effects of supersaturation‐dependent deposition coefficients for water molecules on ice surfaces. We analyze ice crystal properties to better understand the dynamics of competing nucleation processes. We study the reduction of ice crystal numbers produced by homogeneous freezing due to INPs in both, individual simulations assuming constant updraft speeds and in ensemble simulations based on a stochastic representation of vertical wind speed fluctuations. We simulate and interpret probability distributions of total nucleated ice crystal number concentrations, showing signatures of homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation. At typically observed, mean updraft speeds (≈15 cm s−1) competing nucleation should occur frequently, even at rather low INP number concentrations (<10 L−1). INPs increase cirrus occurrence and may alter cirrus microphysical properties without entirely suppressing homogeneous freezing events. We suggest to improve ice growth models, especially for low cirrus temperatures (<220 K) and low ice supersaturation (<0.3).

     
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  5. We report the discovery and characterization of two small transiting planets orbiting the bright M3.0V star TOI-1468 (LSPM J0106+1913), whose transit signals were detected in the photometric time series in three sectors of the TESS mission. We confirm the planetary nature of both of them using precise radial velocity measurements from the CARMENES and MAROON-X spectrographs, and supplement them with ground-based transit photometry. A joint analysis of all these data reveals that the shorter-period planet, TOI-1468 b ( P b = 1.88 d), has a planetary mass of M b = 3.21 ± 0.24 M ⊕ and a radius of R b = 1.280 −0.039 +0.038 R ⊕ , resulting in a density of ρ b = 8.39 −0.92 +1.05 g cm −3 , which is consistent with a mostly rocky composition. For the outer planet, TOI-1468 c ( P c = 15.53 d), we derive a mass of M c = 6.64 −0.68 +0.67 M ⊕ ,aradius of R c = 2.06 ± 0.04 R ⊕ , and a bulk density of ρ c = 2.00 −0.19 +0.21 g cm −3 , which corresponds to a rocky core composition with a H/He gas envelope. These planets are located on opposite sides of the radius valley, making our system an interesting discovery as there are only a handful of other systems with the same properties. This discovery can further help determine a more precise location of the radius valley for small planets around M dwarfs and, therefore, shed more light on planet formation and evolution scenarios. 
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  6. Kassite Babylonia counts among the great powers of the Late Bronze Age Near East. Its kings exchanged diplomatic letters with the pharaohs of Egypt and held their own against their Assyrian and Elamite neighbors. Babylonia’s internal workings, however, remain understood in their outlines only, as do its elite’s expansionary ambitions, the degrees to which they may have been realized, and the nature of ensuing imperial encounters. This is especially the case for the region to the northeast, where the Mesopotamian lowlands meet the Zagros piedmonts in the Diyala River valley and where a series of corridors of movement intersect to form a strategic highland-lowland borderland. In this paper, we present critical new results of regional survey in the Upper Diyala plains of northeast Iraq and excavations at the Late Bronze Age site of Khani Masi. Not only do our data and analyses expand considerably the known extent of Babylonia’s cultural sphere, but also the monumental character of Khani Masi and its wider settlement context prompt a fundamental rethinking of the nature and chronology of Babylonian presence in this transitional landscape. As such, this paper contributes an important new case study to the field of archaeological empire and borderland studies. 
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  7. We report the discovery of a Neptune-like planet (LP 714-47 b, P = 4.05204 d, m b = 30.8 ± 1.5 M ⊕ , R b = 4.7 ± 0.3 R ⊕ ) located in the “hot Neptune desert”. Confirmation of the TESS Object of Interest (TOI 442.01) was achieved with radial-velocity follow-up using CARMENES, ESPRESSO, HIRES, iSHELL, and PFS, as well as from photometric data using TESS, Spitzer , and ground-based photometry from MuSCAT2, TRAPPIST-South, MONET-South, the George Mason University telescope, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope network, the El Sauce telescope, the TÜBİTAK National Observatory, the University of Louisville Manner Telescope, and WASP-South. We also present high-spatial resolution adaptive optics imaging with the Gemini Near-Infrared Imager. The low uncertainties in the mass and radius determination place LP 714-47 b among physically well-characterised planets, allowing for a meaningful comparison with planet structure models. The host star LP 714-47 is a slowly rotating early M dwarf ( T eff = 3950 ± 51 K) with a mass of 0.59 ± 0.02 M ⊙ and a radius of 0.58 ± 0.02 R ⊙ . From long-term photometric monitoring and spectroscopic activity indicators, we determine a stellar rotation period of about 33 d. The stellar activity is also manifested as correlated noise in the radial-velocity data. In the power spectrum of the radial-velocity data, we detect a second signal with a period of 16 days in addition to the four-day signal of the planet. This could be shown to be a harmonic of the stellar rotation period or the signal of a second planet. It may be possible to tell the difference once more TESS data and radial-velocity data are obtained. 
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