Farming families on the plains of Japan arrange small forest-like woodlands in their farmyards and villages; these woodlands are called “Yashikirin.” While Yashikirin have various functions, geographers are interested in their windbreak function, and have conducted many studies. In recent Yashikirin studies, researchers consider Yashikirin conservation and report that woodland use affects sustainability. On the other hand, recent research on normal forests analyzes forest ownership with the goal of sustainable maintenance. However, in the case of agglomerated settlements, these man-made woodlands can be regarded as normal forests because they are dense and cover relatively large areas. Area variations and ownership of woodlands are investigated with aerial photography, cadaster, and interviews referring to agglomerated settlements in northern Saitama, which experience strong, cold, and dry winds in winter. Combined with meteorological data, the sustainability of these woodlands and their effects on micro-climates are clarified. In some cases, the owner of a woodland at the northern edge of a village does not reside next to it, but in a remote area within the village. In such cases, it becomes difficult for the owner to manage the woodland; as a result, the woodland tends to decline. These woodlands function as windbreaks to protect the entire village from strong winds. Yashikirin have various purposes, but due to socioeconomic changes, they are only used as windbreaks or boundaries between neighboring houses.
The historiography of geoscience in the 20th century in Japan is reconsidered through 57 volumes of diaries (1914-1963) of Mochizuki Katsumi (1905-1963), a geology professor at Shizuoka University, from the following four viewpoints: 1) Scientific thought of geotectonics: Considering Mochizuki's own theory of geotectonics from his relations with other researchers such as Otuka Yanosuke (1903-1950), professor at the Earthquake Research Institute and the Faculty of Science of the Imperial University of Tokyo; 2) Mutual relationship between geology and geography: Tracing Mochizuki's teachings and research in the two disciplines at the higher schools of Kanazawa and Shizuoka; 3) History of geoscience education: Illustrating the transition of ‘geoscience’ including human geography, from the World War II era to the post-war period; 4) The life history of a scientist: Positioning a personal history, which records details of educational reforms in the history of universities and cultural history of Japan.
The remediation effects of a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) using sulfur-limestone are investigated. The results show that highly concentrated NO3− (133-180 mg/L) in shallow groundwater decreased below the detection limit within the PRB. This phenomenon was maintained for approximately 300 days; therefore, the remediation effects within the PRB and its durability are demonstrated. It is suggested that the remediation effects due to the PRB are not solely restricted to the area within the barrier, because the decrease in NO3− extended 4.0 m downstream. Furthermore, the results of ORPSHE, δ15N, and isotopic fractionation factor (ɛ) indicate that a reductive condition forms within the PRB, where sulfur-oxidizing denitrifying bacterium preferentially exists. Before installing the PRB, three-dimensional (3-D) groundwater flow systems around the study site and detailed hydrogeological setting should be investigated first.
Conglomeratic beachrocks develop on the northern coast of Geruma Island, located to the west of Okinawa Island. They are divided into seven rows, three of which lie below the mean low-tide level. In order to determine formation ages of conglomeratic beachrocks four fine sandy and muddy calcareous deposits (cement) consolidating cobbles and boulders were collected from four landward rows. They were radiocarbon dated with Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and yielded formation ages of 1192 ± 58 yr BP, 2842 ± 61 yr BP, 4661 ± 63 yr BP, and 5240 ± 65 yr BP from landward to seaward rows, respectively. Elemental analyses to determine Ca concentration of cements were conducted with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) resulting in values of 24.6% for the eastern beachrock, and 31.2% for the western beachrock, which are equivalent to 61.6% and 78.2% of CaCO3, respectively. These high CaCO3 concentrations made it possible to form the conglomeratic beachrocks that developed on the northern coast of Geruma Island.
An attitude survey is conducted on students taking the Earth Science course at Nihon University College of Law. The survey analyzes factors that encourage students in the humanities and social sciences to take the Earth Science course. Data are collected in the first semester of 2021 through a web-based survey via Google Forms, with a total of 689 respondents. The course's themes are meteorology and climatology. The results reveal that students who took Geography B in high school showed a great interest in natural disasters, while students who took Geography B and Geoscience in high school showed a strong interest in global warming. It was also revealed that students in the humanities and social sciences emphasize knowledge acquisition over comprehension in science courses. This suggests that in order to encourage liberal arts students to take science courses, it is necessary to include in the course contents both knowledge that is useful in daily life and knowledge on disaster prevention. In addition, the syllabus should emphasize that this knowledge can be acquired by taking the course.