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GEOLOGY starts 2013 with 25 new articles posted online ahead of print
Date:1/30/2013

es from around the world and extrapolated rates to unmeasured watersheds to determine where most sediment was produced. Their findings show that even the steepest, most erosion-prone slopes make up only a small fraction of Earth's surface. So, while mountains may have very high rates of erosion and soil production per unit area, they are far outstripped by the much more abundant expanses of gently sloping land. This result challenges previous studies, which suggested that mountainous rivers contribute most of the sediment to the oceans and that recent mountain uplift cooled the planet via weathering and carbon dioxide drawdown.


Mobilization of radiogenic Pb in zircon revealed by ion imaging: Implications for early Earth geochronology
Monika A. Kusiak et al., Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE104 05 Stockholm, Sweden Dept. of Applied Geology, Curtin University, PO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia. Posted online 4 Jan. 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G33920.1.

The isotopic disturbance of zircons from ~3.4 billion-year-old Archean high-grade metamorphic rocks of the Napier Complex, Antarctica, has been known for many years. Here, Monika Kusiak and colleagues use a novel high spatial resolution ion imaging technique to generate Pb-isotopic "age maps" for these zircons. These record patchy variations in the isotopic ratios that result in spurious ages, including some that are Hadean (older than 4.0 billion years). These data provide the first unambiguous demonstration of the distribution of unsupported ancient radiogenic lead in zircon. The authors relate this feature to the ultrahigh temperature metamorphism (UHT) in this region which occurred about 2.5 billion years ago. Their results raise the possibility that other old ages from zircon subject to similar metamorphism may be erroneous. Given that zircon is the only direct sample we have of the Hadean
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
303-357-1057
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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