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July 2008 GEOLOGY and GSA Today media highlights
Date:6/20/2008

n continental crust and Proterozoic geodynamics in general.


Unique Quaternary environment for discoveries of woolly rhinoceroses in Starunia, fore-Carpathian region, Ukraine: Geochemical and geoelectric studies

Maciej J. Kotarba et al., AGH - University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, Mickiewicza Ave. 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland. Pages 567-570.

In 1907, remnants of a mammoth and a woolly rhinoceros were discovered in the Pleistocene clays of an earth-wax mine in Starunia village in the Ukraine. Then, in 1929, a near-fully preserved woolly rhinoceros was found in the same mine. A unique combination of clays, oil, and brine, into which the animals had sunk, is responsible for their almost perfect preservation. The herbivorous mammals migrating in search of food and water became trapped in such places and drowned in the clayey substance that was saturated with brines and oils. It seems possible that during the Pleistocene tundra winters, when a thick ice and snow cover was present in the tundra, "paleoswamps"--the areas of inflow of brines, oils, helium, and thermogenic hydrocarbon gases--had a higher temperature, which resulted in melting and cracking of the cover. Kotarba et al. performed geoelectric measurements, as well as molecular and stable isotope analyses of gases in the near-surface zone within the paleoswamp to reveal a few places within the paleoswamp where thermogenic gases occur, indicating sites favorable to the burial and preservation of Pleistocene large mammals, and most likely human remains as well.


Naturally occurring gold nanoparticles and nanoplates

R.M. Hough et al., ARRC, CSIRO Exploration and Mining, 26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, Perth, Western Australia 6151, Australia. Pages 571-574.

Gold nanoplates and nanoparticles are important materials with unique properties defined by their size and shape. They
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
303-357-1093
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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