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The dawn of plate tectonics
A journey to the Mariana Trench, the deepest crevice on Earth's surface, reveals the great Pacific tectonic plate descending deep into the planet where it recycles back into mantle rock. This recycling of old tectonic plate, called subduction, drives plate tectonics and is nothing new to scientists, but exactly when the process got started is a hot debate. A new study may put that to rest by unmasking a sequence of 4.4-billion-year-old lavas as the remnants of the first subduction zone on Earth. If correct, the discovery marks the dawn of plate tectonics and thus several geological processes critical to Earth's environment and perhaps even its life.
Goldschmidt2014: Abstracts and program
Over 2,700 abstracts have been received for the Goldschmidt2014 conference. The Program Committee is currently in the process of grouping them into the most effective program for the conference and giving them date and room assignments. The full program will be available on the Goldschmidt2014 website in early April.
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Geochemical Career Center
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Director, Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA)
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New in GCA (v.126, 1 February 2014)
Cr(III) solubility in aqueous fluids at high pressures and temperatures
Selenium redox cycling during weathering of Se-rich shales: A selenium isotope study
Mapping and defining sources of variability in bioavailable strontium isotope ratios in the Eastern Mediterranean
The source of halogens in geothermal fluids from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, North Island, New Zealand
Petrographic, chemical and spectroscopic evidence for thermal metamorphism in carbonaceous chondrites I: CI and CM chondrites
Assessment of the mechanism of elemental incorporation into bivalve shells (Arctica islandica) based on elemental distribution at the microstructural scale
Molecular transformation and degradation of refractory dissolved organic matter in the Atlantic and Southern Ocean
Application of the Akinfiev–Diamond equation of state to neutral hydroxides of metalloids (B(OH)3, Si(OH)4, As(OH)3) at infinite dilution in water over a wide range of the state parameters, including steam conditions
Lithium isotope fractionation by diffusion in minerals. Part 1: Pyroxenes
Carbonation rates of peridotite in the Samail Ophiolite, Sultanate of Oman, constrained through 14C dating and stable isotopes
Importance of surface structure on dissolution of fluorite: Implications for surface dynamics and dissolution rates
Siderite 'clumped' isotope thermometry: A new paleoclimate proxy for humid continental environments
New in G-Cubed (v.15, issue 1)
Accurate Hf isotope determinations of complex zircons using the "laser ablation split stream" method
[open] Processes and time scales of dacite magma assembly and eruption at Tauhara volcano, Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand
[open] Ultrahigh resolution total organic carbon analysis using Fourier Transform Near Infrarred Reflectance Spectroscopy (FT-NIRS)
Volcanoes can go from dormant to active in a few months
A new study suggests that the magma sitting 4-5 kilometers beneath the surface of Oregon's Mount Hood has been stored in near-solid conditions for thousands of years, but that the time it takes to liquefy and potentially erupt is surprisingly short — perhaps as little as a couple of months.
First geologic map of Jupiter's largest moon made with Voyager data
The United States Geological Survey just released a geologic map of Jupiter's moon Ganymede — an icy satellite larger than Mercury. The map was created through the hard work of a team led by Wheaton College's Geoffrey Collins using imagery from the Voyager probes and the more recent Galileo mission. Much in the way that geologists can determine the relative ages of Earth rocks by noting which rocks cut into or through others, Ganymede's surface can tell us about its own geologic history.
Scientists seek better predictions of volcanic behavior
The New Zealand Herald
Scientists may be able to better predict how quickly some volcanoes erupt after studying material thrown out of Mt Tauhara, overlooking Taupo.
The imposing mountain, formed about 65,000 years ago, had some "peculiar aspects" which have allowed scientists to gain new knowledge about volcanic eruptions, said Victoria University researcher Dr. Monica Handler, who has been part of a team studying the volcano.
Geologists hit the fossil jackpot in Canada
An "epic" fossil discovery inside Canada's Kootenay National Park is shedding light on some of earliest animals ever seen from the Cambrian explosion. All of the species are underwater creatures, distant ancestors of today's insects and crustaceans. The Cambrian explosion was 545 million years ago when most animal phylums first appeared.
Scientists say they've discovered the true source of world's largest river
The origin of the world's largest river — by volume — has been surprisingly hard to pin down. Explorers and scientists have argued over where to locate the start of the Amazon River since at least the mid-1600s, with no fewer than five rivers in southwestern Peru given the honor over the years. Now the authors of a study published in the journal Area say they've located the mighty river's true source.
Chronology of geological events prior to the great extinction 66 million years ago
New research focusing on the last 3 million years of the Cretaceous period, managed to detail exactly the chronology of the climatic, magnetic and biological events prior to the great extinction of 66 million years ago (Ma.), which includes the disappearance of almost all dinosaurs (except birds). Scientists analyzed gravitational interactions between the Earth, the Moon, the Sun and the planets of the solar system (principally Jupiter) in their work.
First ExoMars landing site selection workshop
European Space Astronomy Centre
This workshop will be held at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, Spain from March 26-28. Visit their website to view the workshop's agenda. Accommodations must be booked by Feb. 28, and registration must be submitted by March 20.
First NASA-JPL landing site workshop
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be holding a workshop May 14-16 in the Washington, D.C. area. Visit the website for more information on the workshop and how to participate. Interested individuals should indicate their intent to attend by April 1.
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