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Globally, marine turtles are considered threatened throughout their range, and therefore conservation practitioners are increasingly investing resources in marine protected areas to protect key life history stages and critical habitats, including foraging grounds, nesting beaches and inter-nesting areas. Empirical data on the distribution of these habitats and/or the spatial ecology and behaviour of individuals of many marine turtle populations are often lacking, undermining conservation efforts, particularly along the Atlantic coast of Africa. Here we contribute to the knowledge base in this region by describing patterns of habitat use for nine green turtles Chelonia mydas tagged with satellite platform transmitter terminals at a foraging ground in Loango Bay, Republic of the Congo, one of only a few documented mainland foraging grounds for marine turtles in Central Africa. Analyses of these data revealed that core areas of habitat use and occupancy for a wide range of size/age classes were restricted to shallow waters adjacent to Pointe Indienne in Loango Bay, with most individuals showing periods of high fidelity to this area. These data are timely given the Congolese government recently announced its intention to create a marine conservation zone to protect marine turtles in Loango Bay. Despite the small sample size of this study, these data exemplify the need for comprehensive strategies that span national jurisdictions, as we provide the first documented evidence of linkages between green turtle foraging sites in Central Africa (Loango Bay, Republic of the Congo) and Southern Africa (Mussulo Bay, Angola).
Background: The classic ketogenic diet is the main non-pharmacological treatment for refractory epilepsy; however, adherence is often challenging. The low glycemic index diet (LGID) is less strict, almost equally effective, and associated with improved adherence. Little is known about the quality of life of children treated with LGID. The objective of this study was to explore changes in the quality of life of children with epilepsy transitioning to the LGID. Methods: Patients on LGID and their parents filled out Pediatric Quality of Life Epilepsy Module questionnaires; one while being on the LGID, and one retrospectively for the time prior to starting the LGID. Results: Data was collected from five children ages 3-13 and their parents. Complete seizure control was seen in two children, >50% seizure reduction in one, and no change in two children. Parental reported quality of life while on the LGID increased with two participants but decreased in all child self reports. Conclusions: Although the LGID led to improved seizure control in three out of five patients, the child-reported quality of life decreased in all children. Larger prospective studies are warranted to reliably assess the impact of the LGID on the quality of life in children with epilepsy.
The nomenclature of a number of taxa that occur in Southeast Asia in Baeckea, Decaspermum, Leptospermum, Melaleuca, Psidium, Rhodamnia, Rhodomyrtus and Tristaniopsis is discussed: eight lectotypes are designated, six taxa are shown to have been previously lectotypified under Article 9.9 with second-stage lectotypification being deemed unnecessary for two of them, and comments are made on two species that we cannot yet typify.
Lectotypes are designated for eight names in Eriocaulon in tropical Asia, namely E. alatum, E. hamiltonianum, E. hookerianum, E. infirmum, E. lanigerum, E. nautiliforme, E. nigrum and E. ubonense. Additional information on the lectotype of Eriocaulon quinquangulare is given.
Salt-marsh sediments provide accurate and precise reconstructions of late Holocene relative sea-level changes. However, compaction of salt-marsh stratigraphies can cause post-depositional lowering (PDL) of the samples used to reconstruct sea level, creating an estimation of former sea level that is too low and a rate of rise that is too great. We estimated the contribution of compaction to late Holocene sea-level trends reconstructed at Tump Point, North Carolina, USA. We used a geotechnical model that was empirically calibrated by performing tests on surface sediments from modern depositional environments analogous to those encountered in the sediment core. The model generated depth-specific estimates of PDL, allowing samples to be returned to their depositional altitudes. After removing an estimate of land-level change, error-in-variables changepoint analysis of the decompacted and original sea-level reconstructions identified three trends. Compaction did not generate artificial sea-level trends and cannot be invoked as a causal mechanism for the features in the Tump Point record. The maximum relative contribution of compaction to reconstructed sea-level change was 12%. The decompacted sea-level record shows 1.71 mm yr− 1 of rise since AD 1845.
Lower Devonian volcanic rocks in the northern British Isles, especially Scotland, show extensive evidence for contemporaneous subaerial weathering. Basalt and andesite lavas were altered to red iron oxides, commonly accompanied by calcite. Measurement of carbonate contents in 104 samples over a region of 100,000 km2 show an average of 13% calcite. Weighted for outcrop thickness, this represents an estimated 7.3×1016 moles CO2, extracted from surface waters and ultimately the atmosphere. The time frame for this drawdown is difficult to constrain, but complete weathering of a one-metre unit over 1000 years would involve CO2 consumption comparable with the highest rates determined in modern basaltic watersheds. These data demonstrate that volcanic activity can be a major sink, as well as a source for CO2, and provide a data set for modelling of CO2 flux during episodes of volcanic activity in the geological record. The high capacity of the Devonian lavas for CO2 drawdown emphasises the potential of basalts for CO2 sequestration.
Designing is a key component of professional practice in many fields of human endeavor (e.g., architecture, engineering, industrial design, art, and literature). For engineers, designing integrates engineering knowledge, skill, and vision in the pursuit of innovations to solve problems and enable modern life.
With this understanding, engineering educators have, for several decades, been infusing their programs with design curricula and pedagogical experiences in order to enhance the design competencies of engineering graduates. Paralleling the development of these curricula and experiences, a growing body of research has been providing a scholarly basis for engineering design education.
The goal of this chapter is to acquaint readers with engineering design education research and practice. To situate engineering design education in the larger context, we first present a brief history of research on design processes across several fields and then move to a more specific description of research on engineering design processes. We then focus on research that investigates effective ways to teach and assess the design process and review curricular structures and pedagogies that are commonly used in undergraduate engineering programs.
Cadmium sulfide mineralization occurs in grey-black shales of the late Mesoproterozoic Stoer Group, Torridonian Supergroup, northwest Scotland. Cadmium is strongly redox-controlled, and normally concentrated in anoxic marine sediments or epigenetic mineralization involving organic matter. However the Stoer Group was deposited in a terrestrial environment, including lacustrine deposits of shale. At the limited levels of atmospheric oxygenation in the Mesoproterozoic (∼10% of present), the near-surface environment could have fluctuated between oxic and anoxic, allowing fractionation of Cd from Zn, and the formation of Cd sulfide rather than Cd-bearing sphalerite. This occurrence emphasizes the importance of the Stoer Group as a record of the Mesoproterozoic terrestrial environment.
The quantity of methane in Mars' atmosphere, and the potential mechanism(s) responsible for its production, are still unknown. In order to test viable, abiotic, methangenic processes, we experimentally investigated two possible impact mechanisms for generating methane. In the first suite of experiments, basaltic rocks were impacted at 5 km s−1 and the quantity of gases (CH4, H2, He, N2, O2, Ar and CO2) released by the impacts was measured. In the second suite of experiments, a mixture of water ice, CO2 ice and anhydrous olivine grains was impacted to see if the shock induced rapid serpentinization of the olivine, and thus production of methane. The results of both suites of experiments demonstrate that impacts (at scales achievable in the laboratory) do not give rise to detectably enhanced quantities of methane release above background levels. Supporting hydrocode modelling was also performed to gain insight into the pressures and temperatures occurring during the impact events.
The false killer whale Pseudorca crassidens is currently documented from only six eastern tropical Atlantic (ETA) range states, five of which are evidenced by strandings, by-catch or skeletal remains rather than at-sea sightings and consequently provide no information on habitat or behaviour. Here we report six false killer whale records from cetacean surveys carried out off Gabon (four records) and Côte d'Ivoire (two records) between 2002 and 2012, providing the first at-sea sightings in those two existing range states. All six sightings were located in continental shelf waters (≤103 m depth) and in relatively nearshore (mean = 13.9 km) habitat. Forty-three false killer whales were photo-identified during three encounters on the Gabonese shelf; seven individuals were matched between 2002 and 2006, including two individuals that were present during all three sightings. Observations included predation of Atlantic sailfish Istiophoms albicans and two occurrences in proximity to humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae. Whistles recorded during one sighting had simple structure, short duration and a mean fundamental frequency of 7.8 kHz. These are the first verified records of false killer whales using continental shelf waters in the ETA, indicating that the species occupies neritic habitat in the region in addition to its previously-documented oceanic habitat. The re-sightings of marked individuals between sightings and years suggest that at least some individuals exhibit a degree of site fidelity to Gabonese shelf waters. Further information on distribution, abundance, movements, population structure and mortality rates are required for effective management of the species in the ETA.
The source of Martian atmospheric methane is unknown. On Earth, hydrothermal mineral deposits contain ancient methane together with a host of chemical and geological lines of evidence for the mechanism of gas production. Such deposits are therefore potentially attractive sampling sites on Mars. In order to evaluate this potential, hydrothermal calcite veins were sampled across the Caithness region of Scotland and analysed for methane by an incremental-crushing mass spectrometry technique that may be adaptable to Mars rovers. Methane was detected in all samples. Variations in the quantity of methane released were found to relate directly to the geological history of the localities. Calcite particle size was found to affect measurements in a systematic and informative way. Oxidative weathering had no discernable effect on methane recoverability. These results suggest that the technique is sensitive and informative enough to deserve consideration for missions to Mars.
An isolated cylindrical void is located inside an incompressible nonlinear-elastic medium whose constitutive behaviour is governed by a neo-Hookean strain energy function. In-plane hydrostatic pressure is applied in the far-field so that the void changes its radius and an inhomogeneous region of deformation arises in the vicinity of the void. We consider scattering from the void in the deformed configuration due to an incident field (of small amplitude) generated by a horizontally polarized shear (SH) line source, a distance r0 (R0) away from the centre of the void in the deformed (undeformed) configuration. We show that the scattering coefficients of this scattered field are unaffected by the pre-stress (initial deformation). In particular, they depend not on the deformed void radius a or distance r0, but instead on the original void size A and original distance R0.
The analysis of sulphur isotopic compositions in three sets of surface sulphate samples from the soil zone in the Haughton impact structure shows that they are distinct. They include surface gypsum crusts remobilized from the pre-impact gypsum bedrock (mean δ34S +31‰), efflorescent copiapite and fibroferrite associated with hydrothermal marcasite (mean δ34S −37‰), and gypsum-iron oxide crusts representing weathering of pyritic crater-fill sediments (mean δ34S +7‰). Their different compositions reflect different histories of sulphur cycling. Two of the three sulphates have isotopically light (low δ34S) compositions compared with the gypsum bedrock (mean δ34S +31‰), reflecting derivation by weathering of sulphides (three sets of pyrite/marcasite samples with mean δ34S of −41, −20 and −8‰), which had in turn been precipitated by microbial sulphate reduction. Thus, even in the absence of the parent sulphides due to surface oxidation, evidence of life would be preserved. This indicates that on Mars, where surface oxidation may rule out sampling of sulphides during robotic exploration, but where sulphates are widespread, sulphur isotope analysis is a valuable tool that could be sensitive to any near-surface microbial activity. Other causes of sulphur isotopic fractionation on the surface of Mars are feasible, but any anomalous fractionation would indicate the desirability of further analysis.
If life occurs elsewhere in the Solar System, there is a strong likelihood that it occurs in a deep biosphere beneath the planetary surface. The evidence for methane in the martian atmosphere has drawn attention to the possible role of serpentinites in fuelling a deep biosphere through the generation of hydrogen and/or methane. Serpentinites represent a good target for the search for biosignatures in a range of reaction products. Isotopic measurements in each of methane, sulphide and carbonate in serpentinites can help determine evidence of biological activity. We show that ancient terrestrial serpentinites retain methane that could be subject to the measurement of carbon and hydrogen isotopes. There is, therefore, potential to sample serpentinites on Mars and test for evidence of life in the deep geological record of Mars.
Hypervelocity impacts (HVIs) where organic-bearing ice constitutes the target material are important in several aspects of planetary and space science: (1) sampling of planetary surfaces using a hypervelocity projectile to impact the surface and eject surface materials for measurement or collection by a spacecraft; (2) the transfer of organic material between planetary bodies; and (3) providing energy for chemical processes involving surface materials. While small organic molecules (~6 carbon atoms), if present in surface materials, will likely be present in HVI-ejecta, uncertainty remains for larger organic molecules. It is the larger molecular weight compounds which could constitute direct evidence of life, and thus their survival within an HVI-ejecta plume is of key importance when evaluating strategies for life detection on icy bodies. It is not currently known what large organic molecules, and in what concentrations, may be present on icy bodies in the Solar System, but it is highly likely some will be more chemically stable during a HVI than others. Accordingly, in this study we examined a range of chemicals (β,β carotene, stearic acid and anthracene) with molecular weights between 178 and 536 daltons, and three different types of chemical structure. The compounds were solvated in a dimethylsulfoxide/water mixture and frozen. The frozen targets were impacted with steel spheres 1 and 1.5 mm in diameter at velocities of about 4.9 km s−1. Ice ejected during the impact was collected and underwent chemical analysis. The most labile compound (β,β carotene) was only detected (in small amounts) in the ejecta (and only that emitted at the lowest angles of ejection), although the other compounds were present in larger quantities and at a range of ejection angles. A concentration gradient was observed within the ejecta as a function of angle of ejection. This was not the same for both stearic acid and anthracene: the greatest concentrations of stearic acid were found at shallow angles of ejection whereas anthracene was most abundant at both intermediate and large angles of ejection, implying an inverted concentration gradient. These observations may indicate that organic compounds are variably altered and destroyed during a HVI with ice and that the ejecta plume does not sample the original materials equally at all angles of ejection. Future work is planned and will evaluate fractional survival for a greater range of compound types, impact materials and velocities.
The globally distributed leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is subject to fisheries bycatch throughout its range. Protection from fisheries within pelagic foraging habitats is difficult to achieve but may be more tractable when populations are concentrated near neritic breeding and nesting grounds. We used satellite telemetry to describe patterns of habitat utilization during the inter-nesting period for seven leatherback turtles nesting at Mayumba National Park in Gabon on the equatorial West African coast. The National Park includes critical nesting grounds and a marine protected area to 15 km offshore. Turtles dispersed widely from the nesting beach spending a mean of 62 ± SD 26% of tracking time outside the confines of the National Park. This propensity to disperse is likely to increase the chance of deleterious interactions with fisheries in the region. Patterns of habitat utilization indicate the need for wider spatial scale planning on the West African continental shelf to enhance protection of leatherback turtles when they are seasonally occupying these habitats in great numbers for breeding and nesting.
Industrial logging is expanding rapidly in Central African rainforests. We suggest that logging operations in this region pose an indirect threat to nesting marine turtles, especially the Critically Endangered leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea. This occurs because some logs are being lost or abandoned during downriver transport to coastal timber yards; the lost logs float out to sea and then often wash ashore, where they accumulate on beaches used by nesting turtles. We used a light aircraft to survey logs along the entire coastline of Gabon, and also studied the impacts of logs at Pongara Beach, one of the world's most important turtle nesting areas, during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 breeding seasons. Nearly 11,000 lost logs were counted along Gabon's beaches, with an estimated commercial value of USD 11.1 million. Logs were unevenly distributed along the coast, reaching a peak density of 247 logs km-1. At Pongara, logs blocked 30.5% of the beach. These logs had a number of negative effects on marine turtles, causing 8-14% of all nesting attempts (n = 2,163) to be aborted or disrupted. Initiatives to remove lost logs and driftwood from critical nesting beaches may be the most effective means to reduce their deleterious impacts on threatened marine turtles.
The discovery of icy bodies in our Solar System has opened up the possibility that life may exist on and below their surfaces. Snow and ice are good sites for the preservation of biomarkers as they trap and preserve organic matter that is deposited onto their surfaces. Terrestrial samples of snow and ice collected from Ben Macdui in north east Scotland have been analysed for organic compounds contained within them. A range of n-alkanes and n-alkanoic acids were found in both samples. The particulate matter contained proportionally more higher weight n-alkanols than the melted water. This is because higher molecular weight molecules are less soluble in water. Therefore, the volume of snow and ice to be sampled on other icy bodies is an important factor, as many important biomarkers have high molecular weights and may not be detected in small quantities of melted water.
The idea that life migrates naturally between planetary bodies has grown in strength in recent years. This idea (panspermia) is believed to be possible via the mechanism of impact events. Previous research on this topic has concentrated on small meteoroids (micrometres to centimetres in diameter), with giant objects (metres to kilometres in diameter) being relatively ignored. This is due to the common belief that the larger objects vaporize on impact with the Earth's surface, which in most studies is taken as rock. Here we examine experimentally whether hypervelocity impacts into water result in significant survival of the impactors. For this study the University of Kent's two-stage light gas gun was used to accelerate millimetre-sized shale projectiles obliquely into a relatively deep water layer, at approximately 5 km s−1. Two shots have been made with surviving fragments being recovered from each. The surviving fragments appear highly shocked and display clear signs of cracking. The fragments that have been isolated contribute to a significant percentage (~10%) of the original unfired projectile mass and are as large as ~20% of the original projectile diameter. This indicates that oceanic hypervelocity impact events of large asteroids may deliver significant volumes of solid material to the Earth and thus provide a possible mechanism for successful panspermia.
Holocene and modern travertine formed in spring-fed Havasu Creek of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, was studied to determine the factors governing its oxygen-isotope composition. Analysis of substrate-grown travertine indicates that calculated calcite-formation temperatures compare favorably with measured water temperatures, and include silt-rich laminae deposited by monsoon-driven floods. Ancient spring-pool travertine is dated by U-series at 7380 ± 110 yr and consists of 14 travertine-silt couplets of probable annual deposition. One hundred eighty high-resolution δ18O analyses of this mid-Holocene sample average −11.0‰ PDB. The average value for modern travertine is ∼0.5‰ lower, perhaps because mid-Holocene temperature was higher or there was proportionally greater summer recharge. δ18O cyclicity in the mid-Holocene travertine has average amplitude of 1.9 ± 0.5‰ PDB, slightly less than the inferred modern-day annual temperature range of Havasu Creek. The annual temperature range might have been reduced during the 14-yr interval compared to present, although other non-temperature factors could account for the muted annual variation. Silt-rich laminae within isotopically lower calcite in the modern and mid-Holocene travertine verifies the seasonal resolution of both samples, and suggests that similar temperature-precipitation conditions, as well as monsoon-generated summer floods, prevailed in the mid-Holocene as they do throughout the Grand Canyon region today.