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August 2008 Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Date:7/23/2008

ric CO2. Their data bolster interpretations of an early (Eocene) marine gateway by confirming the prediction of a continental extensional regime in the region during the period prior to the opening of small basins ca. 42 million years ago. Ghiglione et al.'s findings will have a broad impact, adding key pieces to the puzzle of the opening of the Drake Passage, and allowing a new field of investigation to continue unveiling its effects on global circulation and climate.


Strain rates and contemporary deformation in the Snake River Plain and surrounding Basin and Range from GPS and seismicity

Suzette Payne et al., Idaho National Laboratory, PO Box 1625, MS 2025, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415-2025, USA. Pages 647-650.

Global positioning system (GPS) measurements collected in Idaho from 1994 to 2007 tell us why the Snake River Plain, unlike adjacent regions, does not have large earthquakes. New observations show that the Snake River Plain is not stretching as fast as the Basin and Range (mountains and valleys) northwest of it. Payne et al. explain that large magnitude (M 7+) earthquakes, such as the one in 1983 in central Idaho, occur along the Basin and Range faults northwest of the Snake River Plain. In the Snake River Plain, however, volcanism and earthquakes occur much more infrequently because of its low stretching rate. A zone of shear is present along the northern margin of the Snake River Plain to accommodate the different rates of stretching.


Middle Eocene climate cyclicity in the southern Pacific: Implications for global ice volume

Catherine Burgess et al., School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Main Building, Cardiff CF10 3YE, UK. Pages 651-654.

Cliffs at Hampden Beach on the east coast of South Island, New Zealand, have been found to contain the fossilized remains of microscopic ocean plankton, which can be used to reconstruct the climate of 42
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
303-357-1093
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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