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Creators/Authors contains: "Shirzaei, Manoochehr"

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  1. Abstract

    In the face of climate change, climate literacy is becoming increasingly important. With wide access to generative AI tools, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, we explore the potential of AI platforms for ordinary citizens asking climate literacy questions. Here, we focus on a global scale and collect responses from ChatGPT (GPT-3.5 and GPT-4) on climate change-related hazard prompts over multiple iterations by utilizing the OpenAI’s API and comparing the results with credible hazard risk indices. We find a general sense of agreement in comparisons and consistency in ChatGPT over the iterations. GPT-4 displayed fewer errors than GPT-3.5. Generative AI tools may be used in climate literacy, a timely topic of importance, but must be scrutinized for potential biases and inaccuracies moving forward and considered in a social context. Future work should identify and disseminate best practices for optimal use across various generative AI tools.

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  2. Abstract

    The vulnerability of coastal environments to sea-level rise varies spatially, particularly due to local land subsidence. However, high-resolution observations and models of coastal subsidence are scarce, hindering an accurate vulnerability assessment. We use satellite data from 2007 to 2020 to create high-resolution map of subsidence rate at mm-level accuracy for different land covers along the ~3,500 km long US Atlantic coast. Here, we show that subsidence rate exceeding 3 mm per year affects most coastal areas, including wetlands, forests, agricultural areas, and developed regions. Coastal marshes represent the dominant land cover type along the US Atlantic coast and are particularly vulnerable to subsidence. We estimate that 58 to 100% of coastal marshes are losing elevation relative to sea level and show that previous studies substantially underestimate marsh vulnerability by not fully accounting for subsidence.

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  3. Recent seismic and geodetic observations indicate that interseismic creep rate varies in both time and space. The spatial extent of creep pinpoints locked asperities, while its temporary accelerations, known as slow-slip events, may trigger earthquakes. Although the conditions promoting fault creep are well-studied, the mechanisms for initiating episodic slow-slip events are enigmatic. Here we investigate surface deformation measured by radar interferometry along the central San Andreas Fault between 2003 and 2010 to constrain the temporal evolution of creep. We show that slow-slip events are ensembles of localized creep bursts that aseismically rupture isolated fault compartments. Using a rate-and-state friction model, we show that effective normal stress is temporally variable on the fault, and support this using seismic observations. We propose that compaction-driven elevated pore fluid pressure in the hydraulically isolated fault zone and subsequent frictional dilation cause the observed slow-slip episodes. We further suggest that the 2004 Mw 6 Parkfield earthquake might have been triggered by a slow-slip event, which increased the Coulomb failure stress by up to 0.45 bar per year. This implies that while creeping segments are suggested to act as seismic rupture barriers, slow-slip events on these zones might promote seismicity on adjacent locked segments. 
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  4. Abstract

    Imaging tectonic creep along active faults is critical for measuring strain accumulation and ultimately understanding the physical processes that guide creep and the potential for seismicity. We image tectonic deformation along the central creeping section of the San Andreas Fault at the Dry Lake Valley paleoseismic site (36.468°N, 121.055°W) using three data sets with varying spatial and temporal scales: (1) an Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) velocity field with an ~100‐km footprint produced from Sentinel‐1 satellite imagery, (2) light detection and ranging (lidar) and structure‐from‐motion 3‐D topographic differencing that resolves a decade of deformation over a 1‐km aperture, and (3) surface fractures that formed over the 3‐ to 4‐m wide fault zone during a drought from late 2012 to 2014. The InSAR velocity map shows that shallow deformation is localized to the San Andreas Fault. We demonstrate a novel approach for differencing airborne lidar and structure‐from‐motion topography that facilitates resolving deformation along and adjacent to the San Andreas Fault. The 40‐m resolution topographic differencing resolves a 2.5 ± 0.2 cm/yr slip rate localized to the fault. The opening‐mode fractures accommodate cm/yr of fault slip. A 90% ± 30% of the 1‐km aperture deformation is accommodated over the several meter‐wide surface trace of the San Andreas Fault. The extension direction inferred from the opening‐mode fractures and topographic differencing is 40°–48° from the local trend of the San Andreas Fault. The localization of deformation likely reflects the well‐oriented and mature fault.

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  5. Abstract

    We develop finite element models of the coseismic displacement field accounting for the 3D elastic structures surrounding the epicentral area of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence containing two major events of Mw7.1 and Mw6.4. The coseismic slip distribution is inferred from the surface displacement field recorded by interferometric synthetic aperture radar. The rupture dip geometry is further optimized using a novel nonlinear‐crossover‐linear inversion approach. It is found that accounting for elastic heterogeneity and fault along‐strike curvilinearity improves the fit to the observed displacement field and yields a more accurate estimate of geodetic moment and Coulomb stress changes. We observe spatial correlations among the locations of aftershocks and patches of high slip, and rock anomalous elastic properties, suggesting that the shallow crust's elastic structures possibly controlled the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence. Most of the coseismic slip with a peak slip of 7.4 m at 3.6 km depth occurred above a zone of reducedS‐wave velocity and significant post‐Mw7.1 afterslip. This implies that viscous materials or fluid presence might have contributed to the low rupture velocity of the mainshock. Moreover, the zone of high slip on the northwest‐trending fault segment is laterally bounded by two aftershock clusters, whose location is characterized by intermediate rock rigidity. Notably, some minor orthogonal faults consistently end above a subsurface rigid body. Overall, these observations of structural controls improve our understandings of the seismogenesis within incipient fault systems.

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