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  1. Abstract

    Mangroves buffer inland ecosystems from hurricane winds and storm surge. However, their ability to withstand harsh cyclone conditions depends on plant resilience traits and geomorphology. Using airborne lidar and satellite imagery collected before and after Hurricane Irma, we estimated that 62% of mangroves in southwest Florida suffered canopy damage, with largest impacts in tall forests (>10 m). Mangroves on well-drained sites (83%) resprouted new leaves within one year after the storm. By contrast, in poorly-drained inland sites, we detected one of the largest mangrove diebacks on record (10,760 ha), triggered by Irma. We found evidence that the combination of low elevationmore »(median = 9.4 cm asl), storm surge water levels (>1.4 m above the ground surface), and hydrologic isolation drove coastal forest vulnerability and were independent of tree height or wind exposure. Our results indicated that storm surge and ponding caused dieback, not wind. Tidal restoration and hydrologic management in these vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas can reduce mangrove mortality and improve resilience to future cyclones.

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  2. Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often associated with microstructural tissue damage in the brain, which results from its complex biomechanical behavior. Recent studies have shown that the deep white matter (WM) region of the human brain is susceptible to being damaged due to strain localization in that region. Motivated by these studies, in this paper, we propose a geometrically nonlinear dynamical reduced order model (ROM) to model and study the dynamics of the deep WM region of the human brain under coronal excitation. In this model, the brain hemispheres were modeled as lumped masses connected via viscoelastic links, resemblingmore »the geometry of the corpus callosum (CC). Employing system identification techniques, we determined the unknown parameters of the ROM, and ensured the accuracy of the ROM by comparing its response against the response of an advanced finite element (FE) model. Next, utilizing modal analysis techniques, we determined the energy distribution among the governing modes of vibration of the ROM and concluded that the demonstrated nonlinear behavior of the FE model might be predominantly due to the special geometry of the brain deep WM region. Furthermore, we observed that, for sufficiently high input energies, high frequency harmonics at approximately 45 Hz, were generated in the response of the CC, which, in turn, are associated with high-frequency oscillations of the CC. Such harmonics might potentially lead to strain localization in the CC. This work is a step toward understanding the brain dynamics during traumatic injury.« less
  3. ABSTRACT We present results from spectroscopic observations of AT 2018hyz, a transient discovered by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernova survey at an absolute magnitude of MV ∼ −20.2 mag, in the nucleus of a quiescent galaxy with strong Balmer absorption lines. AT 2018hyz shows a blue spectral continuum and broad emission lines, consistent with previous TDE candidates. High cadence follow-up spectra show broad Balmer lines and He i in early spectra, with He ii making an appearance after ∼70–100 d. The Balmer lines evolve from a smooth broad profile, through a boxy, asymmetric double-peaked phase consistent with accretion disc emission, and back to smoothmore »at late times. The Balmer lines are unlike typical active galactic nucleus in that they show a flat Balmer decrement (Hα/Hβ ∼ 1.5), suggesting the lines are collisionally excited rather than being produced via photoionization. The flat Balmer decrement together with the complex profiles suggests that the emission lines originate in a disc chromosphere, analogous to those seen in cataclysmic variables. The low optical depth of material due to a possible partial disruption may be what allows us to observe these double-peaked, collisionally excited lines. The late appearance of He ii may be due to an expanding photosphere or outflow, or late-time shocks in debris collisions.« less