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Melting glaciers, enough sand to bury London, and ancient ecosystem engineering
Date:3/19/2012

s at the Castle Butte Trading Post volcanic complex (Hopi Buttes volcanic field, Arizona, USA), exposed about 150 m below the paleosurface, present an outstanding record of this transition. They record pulsatory magma rise and eruption, fissure extension, vent stepping, and conduit wall-rock failure, providing a critical link to activity during historic eruptions of well-observed and well-monitored large-volume basaltic volcanoes. N.S. Lefebvre of the University of Otago, New Zealand, and colleagues offer a detailed study of the Castle Butte Trading Post volcanic complex.


Rapid response of Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland, to early Holocene climate warming
Anna L.C. Hughes et al., Dept. of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Allgaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway. Posted online 19 Mar. 2012; doi: 10.1130/G32730.1.

Recent changes at the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet have raised concerns about its future stability -- specifically, the potential for a sudden increase in the ice sheet's contribution to rising global sea levels. The past behavior of the ice sheet allows Anna L.C. Hughes of Universitat Bergen (Norway) and colleagues to investigate what may be driving these changes and how rapidly they can occur. The team shows that at the end of the last glaciation, Helheim Glacier retreated ~80 km within 1000 years following abrupt rises in air temperatures across Greenland. The slowest rate these results represent is similar to the fastest observed retreat rates of modern-day Greenlandic glaciers. Measurement limitations mean that Hughes and colleagues cannot distinguish whether retreat rates were potentially much faster than present or sustained for the entire millennium. In either case, results represent rapid and sustained changes to the ice sheet and a period of significant sea-level contribution. Hughes and colleagues suggest that this phase of glacial retreat progressed without pause due to the depth of the fjord un
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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Related biology news :

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8. Black carbon a significant factor in melting of Himalayan glaciers
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