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An increasing number of external beam treatment modalities including intensity modulated radiation therapy, volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and stereotactic radiosurgery uses very small fields for treatment planning and delivery. However, there are major challenges in small photon field dosimetry, due to the partial occlusion of the direct photon beam source’s view from the measurement point, lack of lateral charged particle equilibrium, steep dose-rate gradient and volume averaging effect of the detector response and variation of the energy fluence in the lateral direction of the beam. Therefore, experimental measurements of dosimetric parameters such as percent depth doses (PDDs), beam profiles and relative output factors (ROFs) for small fields continue to be a challenge.
Materials and Methods:
In this study, we used a homogeneous water phantom and the heterogeneous anthropomorphic stereotactic end-to-end verification (STEEV) head phantom for all dose measurements and calculations. PDDs, lateral dose proﬁles and ROFs were calculated in the Eclipse Treatment Planning System version 13·6 using the Acuros XB (AXB) and the analytical anisotropic algorithms (AAAs) in a homogenous water phantom. Monte Carlo (MC) simulations and measurements using the Exradin W1 Scintillator were also accomplished for four photon energies: 6 MV, 6FFF, 10 MV and 10FFF. Two VMAT treatment plans were generated for two different targets: one located in the brain and the other in the neck (close to the trachea) in the head phantom (CIRS, Norfolk, VA, USA). A Varian Truebeam linear accelerator (Varian, Palo Alto, CA, USA) was used for all treatment deliveries. Calculated results with AXB and AAA were compared with MC simulations and measurements.
The average difference of PDDs between W1 Exradin Scintillator measurements and MC simulations, AAA and AXB algorithm calculations were 1·2, 2·4 and 3·2%, respectively, for all field sizes and energies. AXB and AAA showed differences in ROF of about 0·3 and 2·9%, respectively, compared with W1 Exradin Scintillator measured values. For the target located in the brain in the head phantom, the average dose difference between W1 Exradin Scintillator and the MC simulations, AAA and AXB were 0·2, 3·2 and 2·7%, respectively, for all field sizes. Similarly, for the target located in the neck, the respective dose differences were 3·8, 5·7 and 3·5%.
In this study, we compared dosimetric parameters such as PDD, beam profile and ROFs in water phantom and isocenter point dose measurements in an anthropomorphic head phantom representing a patient. We observed that measurements using the W1 Exradin scintillator agreed well with MC simulations and can be used efficiently for dosimetric parameters such as PDDs and dose profiles and patient-specific quality assurance measurements for small fields. In both homogenous and heterogeneous media, the AXB algorithm dose prediction agrees well with MC and measurements and was found to be superior to the AAA algorithm.
A number of theoretical and empirical studies analyze the effect of inclement weather on voter turnout and in turn on parties’ vote share. However, empirical findings suggest that the effect of weather on parties’ vote share is greater than can be explained by its influence on voter turnout alone. This article provides experimental evidence of the effect of weather on vote choice between more- versus less-risky candidates. Findings show that bad weather significantly and sizeably depresses risk tolerance making voters less likely to vote for risky candidates. This article also provides evidence of a possible mechanism: unpleasant weather conditions depress agents’ mood, making agents less inclined to vote for candidates who are perceived as more risky.
During the 1820s, Colombia's diplomats in London, Washington and Philadelphia worked hard to obtain diplomatic recognition for their nascent republic. Their efforts were also geared towards making Colombia attractive to European and North American settlers whose industry and work ethic would, they hoped, turn it into a civilised and modern Euro-Atlantic nation. The immigration schemes they promoted enable us to understand the type of nations the nation-makers of post-independence Spanish America envisioned and how, by appealing to sentiments of hemispheric solidarity – among other means – they sought to turn their visions into reality. A comparison with similar eighteenth-century schemes promoted by the Bourbons, moreover, reveals the persistence, albeit with some critical modifications, of late-colonial ways of thinking and envisioning society.
Data from automated in situ measurements of surface displacements on Unteraargletscher, Bernese Alps, Switzerland, made a few times a day from late June until late October 1998 are presented. Two short-term speed-up events were observed, and partial evidence for a third motion event was seen. Short-term motion events are thus not limited to the start of the melting season. Strong correlation between the timing of the motion events and periods of heavy rainfall, in conjunction with the large size of the area of the glacier which becomes activated during the events, both point towards an external triggering mechanism. In the time periods between two motion events, surface velocities do not vary significantly with time. After a motion event, surface velocities do not return to previous values, suggesting that the events have a lasting effect on the structure of the subglacial drainage system.
Surface roughness enhances the net ablation rate associated with direct solar radiation relative to smooth surfaces, because roughness allows solar energy reflected from one part of the surface to be absorbed by another part. In this study we examine the feedback between solar-radiation-driven ablation and growth of surface roughness on the Greenland ice sheet, using a numerical model of radiative transfer. Our experiments extend previous work by examining: (1) the effects of diurnal and seasonal variation of solar zenith angle and azimuth relative to incipient roughness features, (2) the evolution of roughness geometry in response to radiatively driven ablation and (3) the relative solar energy collection efficiencies of various roughness geometries and geographic locations and orientations. A notable result of this examination is that the time evolution of the aspect ratio of surface features under solar-driven ablation collapses onto a roughly universal curve that depends only on latitude, not the detailed shape of the feature. The total enhancement of surface melt relative to a smooth surface over a full ablation season varies with this ratio, and this dependence suggests a way to parameterize roughness effects in large-scale models that cannot treat individual roughness features. Overall, our model results suggest that surface roughness at the latitudes spanned by the Greenland ice sheet tends to dissipate as the ablation season progresses.
Previous observations have shown that rift propagation on the Amery Ice Shelf (AIS), East Antarctica, is episodic, occurring in bursts of several hours with typical recurrence times of several weeks. Propagation events were deduced from seismic swarms (detected with seismometers) concurrent with rapid rift widening (detected with GPS receivers). In this study, we extend these results by deploying seismometers and GPS receivers in a dense network around the tip of a propagating rift on the AIS over three field seasons (2002/03, 2004/05 and 2005/06). The pattern of seismic event locations shows that icequakes cluster along the rift axis, extending several kilometers back from where the rift tip was visible in the field. Patterns of icequake event locations also appear aligned with the ice-shelf flow direction, along transverse-to-rift crevasses. However, we found some key differences in the seismicity between field seasons. Both the number of swarms and the number of events within each swarm decreased during the final field season. The timing of the slowdown closely corresponds to the rift tip entering a suture zone, formed where two ice streams merge upstream. Beneath the suture zone lies a thick band of marine ice. We propose two hypotheses for the observed slowdown: (1) defects within the ice in the suture zone cause a reduction in stress concentration ahead of the rift tip; (2) increased marine ice thickness in the rift path slows propagation. We show that the size–frequency distribution of icequakes approximately follows a power law, similar to the well-known Gutenberg–Richter law for earthquakes. However, large icequakes are not preceded by foreshocks nor are they followed by aftershocks. Thus rift-related seismicity differs from the classic foreshock and aftershock distribution that is characteristic of large earth quakes.
Determining a calving law valid for all glaciological and environmental regimes has proven to be a difficult problem in glaciology. For this reason, most models of the calving process are semi-empirical, with little connection to the underlying fracture processes. In this study, I introduce methods rooted in statistical physics to show how calving laws, valid for any glaciological domain, can emerge naturally as a large-spatial-scale/long-temporal-scale limit of an underlying continuous or discrete fracture process. An important element of the method developed here is that iceberg calving is treated as a stochastic process and that the probability an iceberg will detach in a given interval of time can be described by a probability distribution function. Using limiting assumptions about the underlying probability distribution, the theory is shown to be able to simulate a range of calving styles, including the sporadic detachment of large, tabular icebergs from ice tongues and ice shelves and the more steady detachment of smaller-sized bergs from tidewater/outlet glaciers. The method developed has the potential to provide a physical basis to include iceberg calving into numerical ice-sheet models that can be used to produce more realistic estimates of the glaciological contribution to sea-level rise.
Ice-sheet modelers tend to be more familiar with the Newtonian, vectorial formulation of continuum mechanics, in which the motion of an ice sheet or glacier is determined by the balance of stresses acting on the ice at any instant in time. However, there is also an equivalent and alternative formulation of mechanics where the equations of motion are instead found by invoking a variational principle, often called Hamilton’s principle. In this study, we show that a slightly modified version of Hamilton’s principle can be used to derive the equations of ice-sheet motion. Moreover, Hamilton’s principle provides a pathway in which analytic and numeric approximations can be made directly to the variational principle using the Rayleigh–Ritz method. To this end, we use the Rayleigh–Ritz method to derive a variational principle describing the large-scale flow of ice sheets that stitches the shallow-ice and shallow-shelf approximations together. Numerical examples show that the approximation yields realistic steady-state ice-sheet configurations for a variety of basal tractions and sliding laws. Small parameter expansions show that the approximation reduces to the appropriate asymptotic limits of shallow ice and shallow stream for large and small values of the basal traction number.
Seismometers deployed over a 3 year period on icebergs in the Ross Sea and on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, reveal that impulsive sources of ocean surface waves are frequent (e.g. ∼200 events per year in the Ross Sea) in the ice-shelf and iceberg-covered environment of coastal Antarctica. The 368 events recorded by our field deployment suggest that these impulsive events are generated by glaciological mechanisms, such as (1) small-scale calving and edge wasting of icebergs and ice-shelf fronts, (2) edge-on-edge closing and opening associated with iceberg collisions and (3) possibly the impulsive opening of void space associated with ice-shelf rifting and basal crevasse formation. The observations described here provide a background of glaciogenic ocean-wave phenomena relevant to the Ross Sea and suggest that these phenomena may be exploited in the future (using more purposefully designed observation schemes) to understand iceberg calving and ice-shelf disintegration processes.
For three field seasons (2002/03, 2004/05, 2005/06) we have deployed a network of GPS receivers and seismometers around the tip of a propagating rift on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. During these campaigns we detected seven bursts of episodic rift propagation. To determine whether these rift propagation events were triggered by short-term environmental forcings, we analyzed simultaneous ancillary data such as wind speeds, tidal amplitudes and sea-ice fraction (a proxy variable for ocean swell). We find that none of these environmental forcings, separately or together, correlated with rift propagation. This apparent insensitivity of ice-shelf rift propagation to short-term environmental forcings leads us to suggest that the rifting process is primarily driven by the internal glaciological stress. Our hypothesis is supported by order-of-magnitude calculations that the glaciological stress is the dominant term in the force balance. However, our calculations also indicate that as the ice shelf thins or the rift system matures and iceberg detachment becomes imminent, short-term stresses due to winds and ocean swell may become more important.
Iceberg calving and basal melting are the two primary mass loss processes from the Antarctic ice sheet, accounting for approximately equal amounts of mass loss. Basal melting under ice shelves has been increasingly well constrained in recent work, but changes in iceberg calving rates remain poorly quantified. Here we examine the processes that precede iceberg calving, and focus on initiation and propagation of ice-shelf rifts. Using satellite imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR), we monitored five active rifts on the Amery Ice Shelf, Antarctica, from 2002 to 2014. We found a strong seasonal component: propagation rates were highest during (austral) summer and nearly zero during winter. We found substantial variability in summer propagation rates, but found no evidence that the variability was correlated with large-scale environmental drivers, such as atmospheric temperature, winds or sea-ice concentration. We did find a positive correlation between large propagation events and the arrival of tsunamis in the region. The variability appears to be related to visible structural boundaries within the ice shelf, e.g. suture zones or crevasse fields. This suggests that a complete understanding of rift propagation and iceberg calving needs to consider local heterogeneities within an ice shelf.
Calving is a complex process subject to several cooperating atmospheric, oceanographic and glaciological forcings that vary in space and time, and whose relative effects are challenging to separate. Statistical ‘Systems Analysis’ is commonly used in engineering and economics to extricate complex ‘force–response’ relationships. Here we apply Systems Analysis to the Amery rift system, East Antarctica. We develop a scalable ‘System Model’ driven by a coarsely-sampled dataset characteristic of glaciological observations in remote locations, and validate it using rift lengths observed in 2000–06 and 2012. In this initial demonstration, we forecast a detachment date of ~2019 ± 5 years for the large tabular iceberg colloquially known as the ‘Loose Tooth’, for which relative humidity surprisingly emerges as the best statistical predictor. RACMO2 climate modelling reveals that relative humidity correlates best with surface albedo and snowmelt, both of which are intimately linked to firn compaction and ice shelf temperature and flow. We postulate that relative humidity can therefore serve as a proxy for internal stress, a known key control of ‘Loose Tooth’ calving. Although no physical causality is implied in Systems Analysis, postulates such as this can aid in setting priorities in studies of complex glaciological processes.
Baspa Glacier occupies an area of about 35 km2 in the south-eastern part of Kinnaur District, Himachal Pradesh, and it is the source of the Baspa River, a major tributary of the Sutlej. It is a longitudinal valley-type glacier with a large cirque area. The field evidence indicates that the glacier has retreated considerably in the recent past.