The photo shows large pieces of silicified wood washed out from Paleocene (early Cenozoic) strata exposed in Patagonia, Argentina. This petrified wood occurs in the Sarmiento Fossil Forest nature reserve domain (45°47′S, 68°57′W), which is located on the outskirts of Sarmiento, Chubu Province. The fossil forest, ca. 1880 hectares, is underlain by colorful (gray, red, and purple) beds of volcanic ash and sandstone with numerous examples of silicified wood. Discovered in 1927, this fossil monument has attracted tourists since the 1970s, and in 2001 was designated a state natural reserve. Silicified wood contains trunks of palms, ferns, and conifers, some of which reach 1 meter in diameter and several meters in height. In this area, the outdoor temperature varies greatly between day and night, leading to crack formation in rocks and fossils. In severe winters, freezing and expansion of seeping water in these cracks often breaks down silicified wood into smaller pieces. Visitors can observe a myriad of broken fossil wood pieces on the ground just like modern wood chips.
(Photograph & Explanation: Daiji HIRATA)
During the past few decades, China has experienced several institutional changes, which have provided a distinctive background for its urban spaces to restructure. In the planned economic era, despite the strong influence of the USSR, the unique “Danwei” system was created to reflect the state of affairs of the country. A Danwei or work unit is not only a place of employment, but also provides welfare benefits such as housing, education, and health care for employees and their families. Workplace, housing, and facilities needed for daily life are usually built inside one gated enclosure, a Danwei compound, which became the basic spatial unit of urban China. Such proximity between workplace and residence indicates that a clear suburban residential area in the Western sense had not existed during the pre-reform era. Thus, urban spaces were formed to a unique cellular structure, which distinguishes itself from not only models considered in Western cities, but also socialist cities in Eastern Europe. Following reforms and opening-up, the land market started to develop from the late 1980s. Spatial differences in land prices led to a massive shift in land use, including the relocation of low-profit factories away from city centers, and the emergence of central business districts in big cities. In the late 1990s, the commercialization of housing was promoted. Welfare housing allocated by Danwei has been converted into private ownership, and suburban areas started to spring up with the new construction of commoditized housing. Under this process, a separation between home and work started to take place in urban China. Thus, suburban residential areas in the Western sense, with residents commuting long distances to a city center, have finally come into existence. However, due to government regulations on the development of low-density detached housing, this emerging suburban growth is dominated by mid- to high-density collective housing developments. In this sense, it is inaccurate to claim that residents of suburban China changed their ways of living to the distinctive suburban lifestyles found in “typical” Western or Japanese suburbs.
The stratigraphy and spatio-temporal distribution of the Early Pleistocene volcanic rocks in the east of Hakkoda Caldera, Northeast Japan were revealed. The Hachimandake Volcanic Group (HVG) was newly distinguished in this area. Volcanic activity of the HVG occurred during 2.5-1.4 Ma. Basaltic andesite magma erupted from several eruptive centers and formed several small volcanic bodies in the east of the present Hakkoda Caldera. Volcanic activity of the HVG is characterized by repeated outflows of basaltic andesite lava flows, each several meters thick. Volcanic activity of the HVG was notably smaller than that of Minami- and Kita-Hakkoda Volcanic Groups from 1.1 Ma to the present. Dacite to rhyolite pyroclastic flows were found to have occurred simultaneously during HVG activity. Those source vents are unknown.
To reconstruct the tectono-sedimentary histroy of the fore-arc basin that developed along the Cretaceous–Paleogene arc-trench system in Japan, a provenance analysis is carried out by U–Pb dating detrital zircons, particularly for Cretaceous–Paleogene sandstones/conglomerates sporadically found in five distinct areas of the Kanto and southern Tohoku district, i.e., the Shoya Formation in Saku, the Kanohara Conglomerate in Shimonita, the Yorii Formation in Yorii (Kanto Mountains), the Nakaminato Group and Oarai Formation (northern Kanto), and the Futaba Group (southern Tohoku), for which geotectonic identities have been ambiguous. U–Pb dating of detrital zircons from 14 sandstone samples constrains their depositional ages to the Late Cretaceous and early Paleocene, and also their provenance. These results reveal the following new facts. 1) The Shoya Fm and Nakaminato Gr are of the Maastrichtian age; the Kanohara Conglomerate, Yorii Fm, and Oarai Fm are of the Paleocene (mostly Danian and up to Thanetian); and, the top of the Futaba Gr reaches up to the Campanian. 2) In addition to previously known partial similarities in lithofacies and fossils, newly obtained U–Pb age spectra of detrital zircons confirm that all these units represent the eastern extension of the Izumi Group in Shikoku and Kii Peninsula, and they share the same provenance dominated by late Cretaceous granitoids. 3) These new age data indicate that the spatial dimensions of the Cretaceous–Paleogene Izumi fore-arc basin extended over 1,300 km from western Kyushu to southern Tohoku along the arc, whereas its width may have reached 100 km across the arc. 4) The Median Tectonic Line (MTL) in Kanto is represented by a low-angle fault, which separates Ryoke-derived strata of the Izumi affinity from structurally underlying high-P/T Sanbagawa metamorphic rocks. 5) The MTL runs along the northern margin of the Kanto Mountains and extends further to the east, probably even into NE Japan, off-shore from northern Kanto and southern Tohoku district.
Japan's municipal merger policy in the 2000s created many merged municipalities without a core area, which seems to have produced more local development problems than in other municipalities. To determine their local development strategies, how they establish and use new local images in their development policies is examined. The focus is on Hokuto City in Yamanashi Prefecture as a case of merged municipalities without a core area. Hokuto City developed from a municipal merger that excluded the regional core, Nirasaki City. The jurisdiction of Hokuto City is divided by cliffs into three areas, which are represented respectively by mountains. It is difficult for the Hokuto City administration to use an image of one of these areas for fear of objections by the other areas. Therefore, it requires new images for the developmental policies of the Hokuto jurisdiction. The city administration is attempting to communicate “sunshine” as the image of Hokuto City. This was once the image of Akeno-mura, a former municipality that later became part of Hokuto, where the longest period of sunshine in Japan was recorded. The image has contributed to attracting mega solar energy systems to a national research project in Hokuto. Following the research, these solar energy systems will be owned by the Hokuto City administration and will support the city's finances by selling the electricity generated. This can be interpreted as a case of the city administration scale jumping the image of “sunshine” from Akeno to Hokuto. This scale-jumped image contributed to attracting the mega solar energy systems; then, the presence of the solar energy systems improved the plausibility of the scale-jumped image. Such scale jumping of images seems to be effective in the local development policies of merged municipalities.
The 2008 Iwate–Miyagi Nairiku Earthquake (Mj 7.2, MW 6.9) occurred in an area where no active fault had been indicated by maps and previous studies. A movement of the concealed source fault of the earthquake resulted in linear but fragmental surface ruptures over a short range. However, geodetical observations revealed a wide uplift at the mountainous side of the surface ruptures. A geomorphological and geological approach is discussed for estimating the active fault length in the area where the displacement accompanied by the active fault movement hardly appears on the ground surface. In order to estimate the length of the concealed fault, a series of geomorphological and geological observations are carried out focusing on the following points: 1) Wide uplift zone shown by relative heights of fluvial terrace surfaces. 2) Folded zone in Neogene strata with the eastern side steeply inclined. Both are presumed to be the results of surface deformation caused by the concealed fault. Additionally, the folded zone is sometimes accompanied by a flexural-slip fault that causes a displacement in the late Quaternary terrace gravel layer. As a result of integrated surveys on these points, it is suggested that the concealed fault is 30 kilometers long from Shitomae-gawa river to Sanhasama-gawa river with N–S strike and west dip. The fault length is equivalent to Mj = 7.3 from the empirical relationship between earthquake magnitude and fault length (Matsuda's formula), which is comparable to the magnitude of the 2008 Iwate–Miyagi Nairiku Earthquake.
Based on a sedimentological analysis and tephrochronology, development of the Ara River terrace is reconstructed focusing on the Nagatoro Gorge between the Chichibu Basin and the Arakawa Fan. Terrace treads along the Nagatoro Gorge can be classified into Oy1, Oy2 and Hg. Oy1 comprises eroded remnants of the fill terrace probably formed in Marine oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 6. Oy2 and Hg are toe-cut terraces formed by tributaries from MIS 3 to MIS 2 and early Holocene, respectively. The possible range of the elevation of the Ara River floodplain in the Nagatoro Gorge during MIS 3 and MIS 2 is reconstructed by extending the cross-sectional profiles of Oy2 terrace treads. The longitudinal profile of Ara River in the Nagatoro Gorge during MIS 3 and MIS 2 continues to that of paired terraces formed in the last glacial period: Kagemori Terrace in the Chichibu Basin and Miizugahara-1 Terrace in the Arakawa Fan. The profile of the Ohnohara Terrace of the Chichibu Basin and the Nagatoro Gorge continues to that of the Hanazono Terrace of the Arakawa Fan. As a result of continued lateral erosion of the Ara River during the two periods, wide floodplains formed throughout the three segments of the Chichibu Basin, the Nagatoro Gorge and the Arakawa Fan in the last glacial period and the early Holocene. During these periods, most sediments passed through the Nagatoro Gorge and were discharged onto the Kanto Plain. The river began to incise in the Holocene throughout all three segments.
An initial estimate of the amount of methane carried by a single methane plume was calculated to be 4 × 109 g (4,000 ton CH4) to 2 × 109 g (2,000 ton CH4) per year (Aoyama and Matsumoto, 2009), based on quantitative echo sounder measurements of the methane plume and bubble capture and release experiments. The estimate generated considerable interest because it suggested the potential importance of plumes as natural gas resources. However, a critical mistake in the calculations was found in converting mole amounts to weight of methane. Revised and corrected estimates of annual methane transported by a single plume are between 2.63 × 106 g (2.63 ton CH4) to 1.60 × 106 g (1.60 ton CH4), which are only 0.07% to 0.08% of the original estimates. For comparison, the revised amount of methane discharged from an individual methane seep is estimated based on direct measurements of gas bubbles from seep sites at Joetsu Knoll and Umitaka Spur, Joetsu basin. A total of 200 ml to 1,150 ml of bubbles were captured within 642 to 481 seconds. Total gas flux depends on the composition of the bubbles. Assuming pure gas, the annual discharge is estimated to be 0.71 ton to 4.84 ton CH4. If the bubbles consist of pure hydrate, the seepage is slightly higher at 1.15 ton to 8.83 ton CH4 per year.
Naumann (1885) was translated by the authors for a 2013 issue of this journal. Two errors in translation were noticed after publication. One is a misquotation by Naumann of a formula Siebold applied. The other derives from a false surmise by the translators, because in the 2013 version we neglected to refer to Siebold's original text (Siebold, 1852) for confirmation. Moreover, the entire original text of Siebold had already been translated by Nomura (2013). In this paper, based on information from M. Nomura, two errors are corrected.