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Geological Society of America's top journal, Geology, begins 2014 with 10 new articles
Date:1/8/2014

30 million years ago, was very different than the chemistry of the modern ocean. Estimates by Natalie Spear and colleagues suggest that mid-Neoproterozoic marine sulfate concentrations were almost 90% lower than modern values. The major-ion composition (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl-, SO42-, and HCO3-) of seawater has varied considerably during Phanerozoic time (the past 541 million years). This is the first direct measurement of the composition of mid-Neoproterozoic seawater, making it the oldest measurement of seawater chemistry. This research extends present-day knowledge of seawater chemistry by approximately 300 million years.


Basins and bedrock: Spatial variation in 10Be erosion rates and increasing relief in the southern Rocky Mountains, USA
David P. Dethier et al., Department of Geosciences, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267, USA; ddethier@williams.edu. Published online ahead of print on 6 Jan. 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34922.1.

David Dethier and colleagues show that long-term erosion rates can be influenced by rock strength. In the southern Rocky Mountain landscape, weaker sedimentary rocks erode more rapidly than strong rocks such as granite, helping to produce sharp topographic contrasts. On a global basis, slope is the primary control of long-term erosion rates. To estimate erosion rates at time scales of thousands to tens of thousands of years, Dethier and colleagues used the concentration of 10Be (a cosmogenic isotope) in alluvial sediment in 60 small Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming watersheds. Their results demonstrate that at a constant slope, sedimentary rocks in Cenozoic basins (e.g., North Park, Colorado) are eroding at about 75 mm per thousand years, two to four times faster than the granitic rocks of the adjacent Rocky Mountains. Concentrations of 10Be and 26Al in near-surface gran
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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