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  1. Abstract

    The water vapor transport associated with latent heat flux (LE) in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) is critical for the atmospheric hydrological cycle, radiation balance, and cloud formation. The spatiotemporal variability of LE and water vapor mixing ratio (rv) are poorly understood due to the scale‐dependent and nonlinear atmospheric transport responses to land surface heterogeneity. Here, airborne in situ measurements with the wavelet technique are utilized to investigate scale‐dependent relationships among LE, vertical velocity (w) variance (), andrvvariance () over a heterogeneous surface during the Chequamegon Heterogeneous Ecosystem Energy‐balance Study Enabled by a High‐density Extensive Array of Detectors 2019 (CHEESEHEAD19) field campaign. Our findings reveal distinct scale distributions of LE, , and at 100 m height, with a majority scale range of 120 m–4 km in LE, 32 m–2 km in , and 200 m–8 km in . The scales are classified into three scale ranges, the turbulent scale (8–200 m), large‐eddy scale (200 m–2 km), and mesoscale (2–8 km) to evaluate scale‐resolved LE contributed by and . The large‐eddy scale in PBL contributes over 70% of the monthly mean total LE with equal parts (50%) of contributions from and . The monthly temporal variations mainly come from the first two major contributing classified scales in LE, , and . These results confirm the dominant role of the large‐eddy scale in the PBL in the vertical moisture transport from the surface to the PBL, while the mesoscale is shown to contribute an additional ∼20%. This analysis complements published scale‐dependent LE variations, which lack detailed scale‐dependent vertical velocity and moisture information.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 16, 2025
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  5. There has been a growth in the number of composite indicator tools used to assess community risk, vulnerability, and resilience, to assist study and policy planning. However, existing research shows that these composite indicators vary extensively in method, selected variables, aggregation methods, and sample size. The result is a plethora of qualitative and quantitative composite indices to choose from. Despite each providing valuable location-based information about specific communities and their qualities, the results of studies, each using disparate methods, cannot easily be integrated for use in decision making, given the different index attributes and study locations. Like many regions in the world, the Arctic is experiencing increased variability in temperatures as a direct consequence of a changing planetary climate. Cascading effects of changes in permafrost are poorly characterized, thus limiting response at multiple scales. We offer that by considering the spatial interaction between the effects of permafrost, infrastructure, and diverse patterns of community characteristics, existing research using different composite indices and frameworks can be augmented. We used a system-science and place-based knowledge approach that accounts for sub-system and cascade impacts through a proximity model of spatial interaction. An estimated ‘permafrost vulnerability surface’ was calculated across Alaska using two existing indices: relevant infrastructure and permafrost extent. The value of this surface in 186 communities and 30 military facilities was extracted and ordered to match the numerical rankings of the Denali Commission in their assessment of permafrost threat, allowing accurate comparison between the permafrost threat ranks and the PVI rankings. The methods behind the PVI provide a tool that can incorporate multiple risk, resilience, and vulnerability indices to aid adaptation planning, especially where large-scale studies with good geographic sample distribution using the same criteria and methods do not exist. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  6. Abstract

    The thawing of permafrost in the Arctic has led to an increase in coastal land loss, flooding, and ground subsidence, seriously threatening civil infrastructure and coastal communities. However, a lack of tools for synthetic hazard assessment of the Arctic coast has hindered effective response measures. We developed a holistic framework, the Arctic Coastal Hazard Index (ACHI), to assess the vulnerability of Arctic coasts to permafrost thawing, coastal erosion, and coastal flooding. We quantified the coastal permafrost thaw potential (PTP) through regional assessment of thaw subsidence using ground settlement index. The calculations of the ground settlement index involve utilizing projections of permafrost conditions, including future regional mean annual ground temperature, active layer thickness, and talik thickness. The predicted thaw subsidence was validated through a comparison with observed long-term subsidence data. The ACHI incorporates the PTP into seven physical and ecological variables for coastal hazard assessment: shoreline type, habitat, relief, wind exposure, wave exposure, surge potential, and sea-level rise. The coastal hazard assessment was conducted for each 1 km2coastline of North Slope Borough, Alaska in the 2060s under the Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 and 8.5 forcing scenarios. The areas that are prone to coastal hazards were identified by mapping the distribution pattern of the ACHI. The calculated coastal hazards potential was subjected to validation by comparing it with the observed and historical long-term coastal erosion mean rates. This framework for Arctic coastal assessment may assist policy and decision-making for adaptation, mitigation strategies, and civil infrastructure planning.

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  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 15, 2024
  8. Phosphate rock bears both geologically and environmentally significant information. Rare earth elements and yttrium (i.e., REY) characteristics have been commonly used for reconstructing the redox conditions of depositional environments of and the effects of post-depositional diagenetic alteration on phosphate rock. In addition, phosphate rock is typically enriched in a range of trace elements such as uranium (U) and cadium (Cd) that can be dispersed as contaminants into the environment with phosphate mining and phosphate fertilizer application. Here we report the lead (Pb) isotope compositions combined with Pb and REY concentrations of both global sedimentary and igneous phosphate rocks, aiming to evalute the geological origin of phosphate rocks over time and the potential of using them for environmental tracing. Phopshate rocks samples analyzed in this study were sourced from major economic phosphate deposits in the world, including China, Southern Tethys (e.g., Morocco, Tunisia, Israel), the U.S., India, South Africa and Russia. Our results show a wide range of 208Pb/204Pb (35.70 to 60.58), 207Pb/204Pb (15.20 to 18.25), and 206Pb/204Pb (16.369 to 71.806) ratios in phosphate rocks, with sedimentary phosphate rocks being significantly more radiogenic than igneous rocks. The majority of the sedimentray phosphate rocks show a notable isotopic overprinting by non-radiogenic terrestrial Pb, except for those from Israel and Morocco that have the most radiogenic Pb isotope compositions. Correspondingly, phosphate rocks with more radiogenic Pb isotope ratios show relatively pristine seawater REY features, likely suggesting their preservation of the original oxic seawater conditions and/or minimal diagenetic alteration. In contrast, phosphate rocks with less radiogenic Pb isotope compositions show REY indications for more anoxic seawater redox conditions and/or greater diagenetic alteration. We further evaluate the potential utility of Pb isotopes for tracing the associated contamination with phosphate rock mining and fertilizer application in the environment. In most cases, the radiogenic Pb isotope composition of phosphate rocks and corresponding P-fertilizers is distinctive from both natural crustal Pb and major anthropogenic Pb sources (e.g., Pb ore deposits and pesticides), which provides a great advantage for applying Pb isotopes as environmental tracers for metal(loid) contamination from phosphate sources. The combination of Pb isotope ratios and REY proxies could further constrain the Pb source discrimination. Overall, this study provides new Pb isotopic and REY geochemical data on global phosphate rocks and fertilizers, which lays the groundwork for future regional and local studies on both their geological and environmental implications. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
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