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

their present and combined efficacy is fundamental to improving predictions of coastline retreat. We capture change using repeat laser scanning across a series of near-vertical rock cliffs on the UK North Sea coast over 7 years to determine the controls on the rates, patterns and mechanisms of erosion. For the first time we document that progressive upward propagation of failure dictates the mode and defines the rate at which marine erosion of the toe can accrue retreat of coastline above; notably a failure mechanism not conventionally considered in cliff stability models. Propagation of instability and failure operates over decadal timescales, and is moderated by local rock mass strength and the time-dependence of rock fracture. Once initiated, failure propagation can operate ostensibly independently to external environmental forcing, and so may not be tightly coupled to prevailing conditions, which holds implications for modeling future coastal change.


Rheological controls on the emplacement of extremely high-grade ignimbrites
Genevive Robert et al., Department of Geological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA. First published on 3 July 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34519.1.

Genevive Robert and colleagues used a combination of field observations, rheology experiments, and thermal modeling to constrain the conditions that can lead ash deposits from pyroclastic flows to weld together and flow like lava, forming "lava-like ignimbrites". Their results show that welding and ductile flow are possible during emplacement of ignimbrites if emplacement temperatures are sufficiently high or if viscous heating is efficient in a shear zone at the interface between the deposit and the pyroclastic flow. Furthermore, viscous heating in rapidly-emplaced ignimbrites removes the requirement for high eruption temperatures or for high dissolved water c
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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