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As 2012 comes to a close, The Geochemical Society would like to wish its members, partners, and the geochemical community a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year in geochemistry, we would like to provide the readers of the Geochemical News a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013.

Building blocks of early earth survived collision that created moon
University of Maryland    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 28, 2012: Unexpected new findings by a University of Maryland team of geochemists show that some portions of the Earth's mantle (the rocky layer between Earth's metallic core and crust) formed when the planet was much smaller than it is now, and that some of this early-formed mantle survived Earth's turbulent formation, including a collision with another planet-sized body that many scientists believe led to the creation of the Moon. More




NASA's Curiosity rover 'sniffs' Martian air
BBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Sept. 11, 2012: NASA's Curiosity rover has measured the Red Planet's atmospheric composition. The robot sucked the air into its big Sample Analysis at Mars (Sam) instrument to reveal the concentration of different gases. More

Mystery of isotope separation in lava is solved
Physics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 14, 2012: Different isotopes of an element behave almost identically, but surprisingly, within matter that is at uneven temperature, such as magma that is slowly solidifying, heavier isotopes diffuse faster than lighter ones. In Physical Review Letters, a team of physicists and earth scientists now explains why. Their experiments and computer simulations suggest that the heavier molecules and atoms use their slightly larger momentum to push past the light-weights when moving from hot regions to colder ones. The results may give new insights into the physics of magma and the rocks that form from it. More

Scientists unravel the mystery of marine methane oxidation
R&D Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Nov. 20, 2012: Microbiologists and geochemists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, along with their colleagues from Vienna and Mainz, show that marine methane oxidation coupled to sulfate respiration can be performed by a single microorganism, a member of the ancient kingdom of the Archaea, and does not need to be carried out in collaboration with a bacterium, as previously thought. They published their discovery as an article in the renowned scientific journal Nature. More

What really happened prior to 'Snowball Earth'?
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Jan. 31, 2012: In a study published in the journal Geology, scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggest that the large changes in the carbon isotopic composition of carbonates which occurred prior to the major climatic event more than 500 million years ago, known as 'Snowball Earth,' are unrelated to worldwide glacial events. More

Most of Earth's copper is buried deep
Laboratory Equipment    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From April 10, 2012: Earth is clingy when it comes to copper. A new Rice University study in the journal Science finds that nature conspires at scales both large and small — from the realms of tectonic plates down to molecular bonds — to keep most of Earth's copper buried dozens of miles below ground. More

Volcanic arcs fed by rapid pulsed fluid flow through subducting slabs
Nature Geoscience (paid subscription required)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From June 5, 2012: At subduction zones, oceanic lithosphere that has interacted with sea water is returned to the mantle, heats up during descent and releases fluids by devolatilization of hydrous minerals. Models for the formation of magmas feeding volcanoes above subduction zones require large scale transport of these fluids into overlying mantle wedges. More

Where Yellowstone's hot water comes from
Our Amazing Planet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From March 6, 2012: When you think of Yellowstone National Park's famous Old Faithful geyser, you may think of its power, its size or even its reliability. But you probably don't think about where its water comes from. Unless you're a geochemist. A team from the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., recently dove into the question of just where Yellowstone's water comes from. Their findings indicate that the region — and its variety of geysers, mud pots and hydrothermal pools — could be supplied by a single water source that continuously boils, mixes and flows its way through the park. More

Scientists find clues of plate tectonics on Mars
Universe Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Aug. 28, 2012: Until now, Earth was thought to be the only planet with plate tectonics. But a huge "crack" in Mars' surface — the massive Valles Marinaris — shows evidence of the movement of huge crustal plates beneath the planet's surface, meaning Mars may be showing the early stages of plate tectonics. This discovery can perhaps also shed light on how the plate tectonics process began here on Earth. More

Breaking through the ice at Lake Vostok, Russia
Astrobiology Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 21, 2012: After more than 15 years of stop-and-go drilling, a team of Russian scientists and engineers have drilled through the ice of Lake Vostok. Scientists are eager to discover what sort of extreme life might lurk in the deep dark waters. More


 

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