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GEOLOGY returns to Naica Cave, Mexico, and extends its reach to Mercury
Date:12/21/2012

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Refining paleoaltimetry reconstructions of the Sierra Nevada, California, using air parcel trajectories

Alex R. Lechler and Joseph Galewsky, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA. Posted online 30 Nov. 2012; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G33553.1.

The elevation history of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California remains enigmatic. Debate is generally centered on whether the Sierra has been a high-standing topographic feature, similar to modern, for at least the last 30-40 million years or if the Sierra experienced 1-2 km of elevation increase within the last 10 million years. University of New Mexico researchers Alex Lechler and Joseph Galewsky present a modern (A.D. 1979-2010) air parcel trajectory analysis that shows that high Sierran topography is a dominant control on how precipitating air parcels travel through the Sierra Nevada region. Specifically, precipitation at sites on the leeward (east) side of the Sierra is commonly delivered by parcels that travel around, rather than over, the Sierran crest. This trajectory analysis indicates that stable isotope-based estimates for Sierran paleo-elevations are likely limited by incorrect assumptions that precipitating air parcels surmount Sierra Nevada topography relatively unimpeded. As a result, stable isotope paleoaltimetry approaches alone cannot fully resolve past Sierra Nevada topography and are incapable of ruling out 1-2 km of elevation gain in the last 10 million years.


Small-mammal diversity in Spain during the late Pleistocene to early Holocene: Climate, landscape, and human impact

Juan Manuel Lpez-Garca et al., IPHES (Institut Catal de Paleoecologia Humana i Evoluci Social), C/Escorxador s/n, E- 43003 Tarragona, Spain. Posted online 30 Nov. 2012;

Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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