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  1. Abstract The provocative hypothesis that the Shinumo Sandstone in the depths of Grand Canyon was the source for clasts of orthoquartzite in conglomerate of the Sespe Formation of coastal California, if verified, would indicate that a major river system flowed southwest from the Colorado Plateau to the Pacific Ocean prior to opening of the Gulf of California, and would imply that Grand Canyon had been carved to within a few hundred meters of its modern depth at the time of this drainage connection. The proposed Eocene Shinumo-Sespe connection, however, is not supported by detrital zircon nor paleomagnetic-inclination data and ismore »refuted by thermochronology that shows that the Shinumo Sandstone of eastern Grand Canyon was >60 °C (∼1.8 km deep) and hence not incised at this time. A proposed 20 Ma (Miocene) Shinumo-Sespe drainage connection based on clasts in the Sespe Formation is also refuted. We point out numerous caveats and non-unique interpretations of paleomagnetic data from clasts. Further, our detrital zircon analysis requires diverse sources for Sespe clasts, with better statistical matches for the four “most-Shinumo-like” Sespe clasts with quartzites of the Big Bear Group and Ontario Ridge metasedimentary succession of the Transverse Ranges, Horse Thief Springs Formation from Death Valley, and Troy Quartzite of central Arizona. Diverse thermochronologic and geologic data also refute a Miocene river pathway through western Grand Canyon and Grand Wash trough. Thus, Sespe clasts do not require a drainage connection from Grand Canyon or the Colorado Plateau and provide no constraints for the history of carving of Grand Canyon. Instead, abundant evidence refutes the “old” (70–17 Ma) Grand Canyon models and supports a <6 Ma Grand Canyon.« less
  2. Gravitational waves provide a unique tool for observational astronomy. While the first LIGO–Virgo catalogue of gravitational wave transients (GWTC-1) contains 11 signals from black hole and neutron star binaries, the number of observations is increasing rapidly as detector sensitivity improves. To extract information from the observed signals, it is imperative to have fast, flexible, and scalable inference techniques. In a previous paper, we introduced BILBY: a modular and user-friendly Bayesian inference library adapted to address the needs of gravitational-wave inference. In this work, we demonstrate that BILBY produces reliable results for simulated gravitational-wave signals from compact binary mergers, and verifymore »that it accurately reproduces results reported for the 11 GWTC-1 signals. Additionally, we provide configuration and output files for all analyses to allow for easy reproduction, modification, and future use. This work establishes that BILBY is primed and ready to analyse the rapidly growing population of compact binary coalescence gravitational-wave signals.« less
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  5. Abstract We search for gravitational-wave signals associated with gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Fermi and Swift satellites during the second half of the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (2019 November 1 15:00 UTC–2020 March 27 17:00 UTC). We conduct two independent searches: a generic gravitational-wave transients search to analyze 86 GRBs and an analysis to target binary mergers with at least one neutron star as short GRB progenitors for 17 events. We find no significant evidence for gravitational-wave signals associated with any of these GRBs. A weighted binomial test of the combined results finds nomore »evidence for subthreshold gravitational-wave signals associated with this GRB ensemble either. We use several source types and signal morphologies during the searches, resulting in lower bounds on the estimated distance to each GRB. Finally, we constrain the population of low-luminosity short GRBs using results from the first to the third observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. The resulting population is in accordance with the local binary neutron star merger rate.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  7. Intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) span the approximate mass range 100−10 5   M ⊙ , between black holes (BHs) that formed by stellar collapse and the supermassive BHs at the centers of galaxies. Mergers of IMBH binaries are the most energetic gravitational-wave sources accessible by the terrestrial detector network. Searches of the first two observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo did not yield any significant IMBH binary signals. In the third observing run (O3), the increased network sensitivity enabled the detection of GW190521, a signal consistent with a binary merger of mass ∼150  M ⊙ providing direct evidencemore »of IMBH formation. Here, we report on a dedicated search of O3 data for further IMBH binary mergers, combining both modeled (matched filter) and model-independent search methods. We find some marginal candidates, but none are sufficiently significant to indicate detection of further IMBH mergers. We quantify the sensitivity of the individual search methods and of the combined search using a suite of IMBH binary signals obtained via numerical relativity, including the effects of spins misaligned with the binary orbital axis, and present the resulting upper limits on astrophysical merger rates. Our most stringent limit is for equal mass and aligned spin BH binary of total mass 200  M ⊙ and effective aligned spin 0.8 at 0.056 Gpc −3 yr −1 (90% confidence), a factor of 3.5 more constraining than previous LIGO-Virgo limits. We also update the estimated rate of mergers similar to GW190521 to 0.08 Gpc −3 yr −1 .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023