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High salt levels in Saharan groundwater endanger oases farming
For more than 40 years, snowmelt and runoff from Morocco's High Atlas Mountains has been dammed and redirected hundreds of kilometers to the south to irrigate oases farms in the arid, sub-Saharan Draa Basin. But a new study by American and Moroccan scientists finds that far from alleviating water woes for the six farm oases in the basin, the inflow of imported water has exacerbated problems by dramatically increasing the natural saltiness of their groundwater.
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ELEMENTS: Serpentinites
The April issue of Elements magazine (volume 9, issue 2) is in press and mailing is planned for April 24. As so ably outlined by Guest Editors Stéphane Guillot and Keiko Hattori and the authors of this issue, the study of serpentinites — rocks consisting mostly of the serpentine-group minerals chrysotile, lizardite, and antigorite — leads to just about every area of the Earth sciences. From being a lubricant along plate boundaries during aseismic creep, to serving as a reservoir of water and fluid-mobile elements in the mantle, to sequestering CO2, serpentinites play essential roles in numerous geological settings.

Current Geochemical Society members can access this issue now via the Elements online archive using your email address (UserID) and member number (Password).

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ELEMENTS: Call for Thematic Topic Proposals
Every year, Elements chooses six topics for its thematic content and each topic is covered in five to seven articles. Elements is now taking proposals for its 2015 issues. Is your exciting and pertinent field of research not being covered by Elements? If so, consider submitting a proposal. For more information, also visit guidelines for guest editors and instructions to authors. For questions, please contact the Managing Editor Pierrette Tremblay or one of the Principal Editors: George Calas, John Valley or Patricia Dove. Proposals will be reviewed and the 2015 lineup determined this October.
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Geochemical Career Center
All jobs posted in the Geochemical Career Center are cross-promoted through our Facebook page and right here in Geochemical News.

Associate professor in metamorphic petrology/ structural geology (Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)

Maersk Oil Chair in Applied Geophysics (Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)

Postdoctoral position: FT-ICR mass spectrometry and IR laser spectroscopy of ion clusters (Hong Kong University, Hong Kong, China)

Job Seekers: View current openings | Post your resume | Career resources

Employers: Post jobs | Search resumes | Employer resources

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New in GCA (v.109, 15 May 2013)
Record of S-rich vapors on asteroid 4 Vesta: Sulfurization in the Northwest Africa 2339 eucrite

Combining cross flow ultrafiltration and diffusion gradients in thin-films approaches to determine trace metal speciation in freshwaters

Determination of low-level mercury in coralline aragonite by calcination-isotope dilution-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and its application to Diploria specimens from Castle Harbour, Bermuda

Small molecule – Silica interactions in porous silica structures

Metaproteomic characterization of high molecular weight dissolved organic matter in surface seawaters in the South China Sea

Cesium stability in a typical mica structure in dry and wet environments from first-principles

Diffusion of U(VI) in Opalinus Clay: Influence of temperature and humic acid

Hydrothermal modification of the Sikhote-Alin iron meteorite under low pH geothermal environments. A plausibly prebiotic route to activated phosphorus on the early Earth

Direct observations of the influence of solution composition on magnesite dissolution

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Volcano event lines up with pre-dino die-offs
New evidence from around the world links the abrupt disappearance of half of Earth's species 200 million years ago to a precisely dated set of gigantic volcanic eruptions. The eruptions may have caused climate changes so sudden that many creatures were unable to adapt — possibly on a pace similar to that of human - influenced climate warming today.
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Islands in the rain
MIT News Office
If you've ever stood on a hill during a rainstorm, you've probably witnessed landscape evolution, at least on a small scale: rivulets of water streaming down a slope, cutting deeper trenches in the earth when the rain turns heavier. It's a simple phenomenon that scientists have long believed applies to large-scale landforms as well — that is, rivers cut faster into mountains that receive heavier precipitation.
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Elusive atmospheric intermediates reveal some secrets
Scientists have found further evidence for the existence of an elusive intermediate implicated in chemical reactions that degrade atmospheric pollutants. A new method of directly detecting the simplest form of this intermediate, as well as more measurements of the intermediate's reactivity, provide indications that atmospheric models need to improve how they account for them.
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Iceland volcano ash cloud triggers plankton bloom
BBC News
The 2010 Icelandic volcanic eruption, which disrupted European flights, also had a "significant but short-lived" impact on ocean life, a study shows. Ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano deposited dissolved iron into the North Atlantic, triggering a plankton bloom.
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Modeling the Yellowstone magma plume with a vat of sugar water
Ars Technica
If you're a fan of volcanoes — and really, who isn't? — you're probably aware of the Yellowstone supervolcano. The current caldera sits above a plume of magma that currently powers the national park's geysers and hot springs, but in the past has been the source of massive eruptions. And since the North American plate is drifting across the site of the mantle plume, each of these earlier eruptions took place further to the west of the one that came after it. By traveling west from Yellowstone, you can track eruptions backward in time.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Discovery of 1,800-year-old 'Rosetta Stone' for tropical ice cores (ScienceDaily)
Meteorites could have been source of life's batteries (NewScientist)
Carbon-dioxide storage with less earthquake risk (MIT Technology Review)
A 'green' Sahara was far less dusty than today (MIT News Office)


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