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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

Scheduled special issues

The following special issue is scheduled for publication in SE:

Dynamics and interaction of processes in the Earth and its space environment: the perspective from low Earth orbiting satellites and beyond (SE/ANGEO inter-journal SI)
01 Sep 2017–31 Mar 2018 | Guest editors: C. Stolle, J. L. Chau, E. Doornbos, M. Korte, A. Kuvshinov, J. Kusche, H. Lühr, R. Nakamura, J. Vogt, and C. M. Krawczyk | Information

The Earth system changes continuously. Variations in Earth's interior, the atmosphere, the oceans, and near-Earth space give rise to changes in global fields, particularly in Earth's magnetic and gravity fields. The underlying processes can be identified and studied through the monitoring and analysis of fundamental geomagnetic and gravity parameters. These are especially suitable to quantifying terrestrial transport mechanisms and solar–terrestrial interactions. This special issue solicits papers that build on data from satellites on low Earth orbits, such as CHAMP, GRACE, GOCE, and Swarm, the latter being of particular interest due to its multi-satellite constellation. In order to improve the understanding of interconnections and coupling processes, submissions are also welcome that bring in further sources of information, such as data from other satellite missions, ground-based observations, and empirical and physical models.

Environmental changes and hazards in the Dead Sea region (NHESS/ACP/HESS/SE inter-journal SI)
26 Jun 2017–30 Jun 2018 | Guest editors: C. M. Krawczyk and A. Agnon | Information

The Dead Sea region constitutes a unique environmental system on Earth. Set in an extraordinary landscape and cultural area, it is central to life in this region and of great economic and ecological importance. Today, the region is faced with rapid environmental changes and a multitude of hazardous natural phenomena. The ongoing lake level decline of the Dead Sea, the desertification process, occasional flash floods, the development of numerous sinkholes, and the existing significant seismic risk indicate that the region can by affected by important human, economic, and ecologic loss in future. Due to its outstanding characteristics, such as sharp climatic gradients, extreme water salinity, its dynamics, and the combination of both natural and anthropogenic drivers, the Dead Sea region represents a unique natural laboratory in which to study multiple disciplines such as geophysics, hydrology, and meteorology.

The environmental changes in Earth, atmosphere, and water are linked to the main geomorphic feature in the region, the Dead Sea Transform fault system. Due to this active fault zone, the region is exposed to severe earthquake hazard, which in turn, considering the exposed assets and the vulnerability of the building stock, determines a significant seismic risk in the region. Knowledge about processes and structures in the underground is also required for the study of sinkholes. Sinkholes form when groundwater, undersaturated with respect to easily soluble minerals, uses faults as conduits to percolate to subsurface salt deposits. The water dissolves and flushes the salt, leading to a collapse of the underground substrate structure. Thus, the development of sinkholes is enabled. Besides triggering sinkhole formation, groundwater recharge determines the available water resources. The Dead Sea being a terminal lake, its water level decline is controlled by changes in subsurface as well as surface water inflow and evaporation. A direct link to hydrology and atmospheric sciences is thereby established. The rapid shrinking of the water surface area is accompanied by a strong local climatic change, which induces changes in atmospheric circulation patterns. Here, the Dead Sea can be viewed as a laboratory for studying effects of climate change under much accelerated conditions compared to the rest of the world.

The objective of the multidisciplinary special issue "Environmental changes and hazards in the Dead Sea region" is to compile research and recent advances on the atmospheric, hydrological, and geophysical processes and dynamics of the Dead Sea and its surroundings, which are also of prototype relevance for other (semi)arid terminal basins of the world. Papers included in this special issue could address the processes of sinkhole genesis, groundwater recharge and movement, flash flooding, as well as seismic or severe meteorological events and could include topics such as the quantification of the water budget components. Moreover, contributions are invited that demonstrate how this knowledge contributes to aspects of risk assessment (or its main components like hazard, exposure, and vulnerability) and could assist in efficient risk mitigation and remediation strategies as well as to appropriate implementation of early warning systems in the region. Both measurement and modelling studies are welcome.

The planned special issue aims to address the unique conditions of the Dead Sea region from different disciplinary views. Given the fast environmental changes in the different spheres, the special issue will be of wide interest to readers from seismologists, geophysicists, engineers, and hydrologists to meteorologists. Interest will not be limited to researchers working in the region as similar changes are occurring in other parts of the world too, many on a much longer timescale.

The special issue is initiated by the Helmholtz Virtual Institute’s DEad SEa Research VEnue (DESERVE). The project brings together researchers working on diverse research fields related to the Dead Sea environment. The special issue will be open for all submissions within its scope.

Two centuries of modelling across scales (SE/ESurf inter-journal SI)
01 Nov 2015–01 Nov 2017 | Guest editors: S. Buiter and A. Lang | Information

Two hundred years ago Sir James Hall provided an explanation for folded rocks at the east coast of Scotland by laterally pushing together pieces of cloth and clay in boxes. This demonstration laid the foundations for utilizing analogue models as a tool for better understanding geological processes and initiated the field of modelling in the Earth sciences. Since then models have become an integral part of many disciplines and are routinely used to gain insights into processes that defy observation, such as those that occur inside the Earth, over long timescales, and/or over large spatial regions. Models have proven to be invaluable for stimulating new ideas, testing hypotheses that would otherwise not be testable, as well as understanding fundamental processes and exploring them in a quantitative manner.

The special issue "Two centuries of modelling across scales" aims at bringing together review articles on modelling in the fields of tectonics, geomorphology, volcanology, rock physics, and geodynamics that emphasise historical developments and current highlights, or explore limitations and future challenges.

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