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Geology tracks eruptions, earthquakes, erosion, extinctions & more
Date:7/12/2013

00,000 cubic kilometers, 10 times larger than any other known submarine landslide deposit. The deposit was recognized in 31 industry-drilled wells from the deep-water Gulf of Mexico and on seismic images. These new findings provide crucial evidence of the Chicxulub impact's destructive effects on the Gulf of Mexico region and place doubt on claims of the existence of a separate extraterrestrial impact larger than Chicxulub at the end of the Cretaceous.


11 JULY 2013


A potential barrier to deep Antarctic circumpolar flow until the late Miocene?
I.W.D. Dalziel et al., University of Texas, Institute for Geophysics, 10100 Burnet Road (R2200), Austin, Texas 78758-4445, USA. First published on 11 July 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34352.1.

Scientists have found geologic evidence which casts doubt on one of the conventional explanations for how Antarctica's ice sheet formed. The Antarctic circumpolar current (ACC), an ocean current flowing clockwise around the entire continent, isolates Antarctica from warmer ocean water to the north, thereby helping to maintain the ice sheet. For several decades it has been surmised that the onset of a complete ACC played a critical role in the initial glaciation of the continent about 34 million years ago. Now, dredging in the central Scotia Sea near Antarctica reveals the remnants of a now-submerged volcanic arc that formed from 28 to 12 million years ago and may have formed a physical barrier to the formation of the ACC until after 12 million years ago. This work bolsters an alternate hypothesis which claims that dropping levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide around 34 million years ago was the primary trigger for the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet. Indeed, ocean temperatures globally fell at that time. Hence the onset of the ACC may be related to the well documented descent of the planet into a much colder
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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