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Before an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, Earth experienced a short burst of intense volcanism
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via
Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid more than five miles wide smashed into the Earth at 70,000 miles per hour, instantly vaporizing upon impact. The strike obliterated most terrestrial life, including the dinosaurs, in a geological instant: Heavy dust blocked out the sun, setting off a cataclysmic chain of events from the bottom of the food chain to the top, killing off more than three-quarters of Earth's species — or so the popular theory goes. But now scientists at MIT and elsewhere have found evidence that a major volcanic eruption began just before the impact, possibly also playing a role in the extinction.
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Director election ends Monday
Over 4,700 email ballots were issued last Wednesday to elect two new directors of the Board of Directors. If you are a current member and have not done so already, please locate your ballot and vote (subject line: Geochemical Society 2015 BOD Election Ballot -- Please vote by 22 December). The election will close on Monday, Dec. 22, at 11:59 p.m. (GMT). On the 2015 Slate of Officers are Anne Peslier (NASA-Johnson Space Center) and Colleen Hansel (WHOI) for Director – Position 1; and Yuji Sano (University of Tokyo) and Yigang Xu (Chinese Academy of Science) for Director – Position 2.

Finally, if you are a current member and did not receive a ballot, please check your spam and/or junk folder. If it is not there, you may still cast your vote by using this Ballot Link. Your member number and email address are required, and all ballots will be verified before being counted.

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Geochemical Career Center

Postdoctoral Associate (Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA)

University Lecturer in Earth Sciences (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty: Sustainable Mining Geomicrobiologist (UMD, Duluth, MN, USA)

Experimental and Computational Geochemistry Postdoctoral Fellow (multiple openings) (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA)

Post-doctoral Fellowship or Research Associateship Geochemical Data Integration (CMIC-NSERC Exploration Footprints Network, Sudbury, ON, Canada)

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Lunar & Asteroid Exploration Science - Petrology and Geochemistry (Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, USA)

Faculty Position in Environmental Chemistry and Engineering (Pontificia Universidad Coatolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile)

Associate Research Scientist (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA)

Post Doctoral Appointee (Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA)

Assistant Professor in Water Science, The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX, USA)

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New in GCA (v.145, 15 November 2014)
Chemistry and petrology of Fe–Ni beads from different types of cosmic spherules: Implication for precursors

Noble gas residence times of saline waters within crystalline bedrock, Outokumpu Deep Drill Hole, Finland

New estimates of the production of volatile gases from ablating carbonaceous micrometeoroids at Earth and Mars during an E-belt-type Late Heavy Bombardment

Calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions with fractionation and unknown nuclear effects (FUN CAIs): I. Mineralogy, petrology, and oxygen isotopic compositions

Accretion and core formation: The effects of sulfur on metal–silicate partition coefficients

Termination and hydration of forsteritic olivine (0 1 0) surface

Raman spectroscopic determination of carbon speciation and quartz solubility in H2O + Na2CO3 and H2O + NaHCO3 fluids to 600 °C and 1.53 GPa

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New in G-Cubed (v.15, issue 10)
Enhanced N2-fixation and NH4+ recycling during oceanic anoxic event 2 in the proto-North Atlantic

Flow dynamics of Nankai Trough submarine landslide inferred from internal deformation using magnetic fabric

Eruptive modes and hiatus of volcanism at West Mata seamount, NE Lau basin: 1996–2012

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Conference Calendar January deadlines
Registration Deadlines
Jan 01: 27th International Applied Geochemistry Symposium (IAGS) USA
Jan 30: 249th ACS National Meeting & Exposition USA

Conference organizers — be sure to add your conference to our conference calendar.

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Abandoned wells can be 'super-emitters' of greenhouse gas
Princeton University via Science Daily
Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown, and possibly substantial, source of the greenhouse gas methane to Earth's atmosphere. After testing a sample of abandoned oil and natural gas wells in northwestern Pennsylvania, the researchers found that many of the old wells leaked substantial quantities of methane. Because there are many abandoned wells nationwide, the researchers believe the overall contribution of leaking wells could be significant.
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Rocky Mountain storms lead to new findings about hailstones
Montana State University
Hailstones from three Rocky Mountain storms formed around biological material, then bounced around the clouds picking up layers of ice, according to a new Montana State University study. The discovery of a biological embryo extends previous findings about the formation of snow and rain, applies to hailstones globally and provides basic information about a little-studied topic, said the researchers who published their findings Nov. 6 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Nature makes research papers open-access to the public (Science Alert)
Traces of possible Martian biological activity inside a meteorite (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne via

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