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Debris flows, landslides, fossil microatolls, paleo-seasonality, and carbonate ore deposits
Date:8/2/2012

nd related degrading permafrost areas -- a zone where debris flows are quite frequently initiated. This study by F. Kober and colleagues investigates the impact of episodic debris flows on catchment-wide denudation rates in alpine catchments obtained with cosmogenic nuclides. This method is convenient in establishing alpine denudation rates over larger areas and offers the opportunity of quantifying and charactering mountain range erosion and its driving forces (e.g., by climate, glacial history, or tectonics). This method also assumes that episodic events are balanced spatially and over the time the erosion rate is established. The result of this study shows for the Aare catchment (Switzerland), localized debris flows events can significantly perturb cosmogenic denudation rates by a factor of two. Kober and colleagues also suggest that only events with a large magnitude (and commonly with a low frequency) events perturb the system, if they are additionally coupled with the trunk stream.


Mid-Pacific microatolls record sea-level stability over the past 5000 yr

Colin D. Woodroffe et al., School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Posted online 1 August 2012; doi: 10.1130/G33344.1.

Radiometric dating of fossil corals and accurate survey of their elevations on Christmas Island in the central Pacific provides a record of sea level over the past 5000 years. Corals that grow into the intertidal zone adopt a "microatoll" form that is dead on top but can grow laterally to several meters in diameter. These are one of the more accurate indicators of sea-level change because their upper surface is constrained by low tide and growth around their perimeters responds quickly to rising or falling sea levels. Comparison of the height of many fossil microatolls with the elevation to which living counterparts grow implies that sea level has remained close to its present level (plus or minus 20 to
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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