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New geology research explores intriguing questions
Date:12/18/2013

ral Taiwan to be used when assessing seismic risk in this area. They found that a structural model in which preexisting, rift-related extensional faults are reactivated and basins that were located on the Eurasian margin are inverted better fits the available data than does the wedge-shaped, detachment model.


Temporal and spatial evolution of a waxing then waning catastrophic density current revealed by chemical mapping
Rebecca Williams et al., Dept. of Geology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK; Current address: Dept. of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK; rebecca.williams@hull.ac.uk; dr.williams.r@gmail.com. Posted online ahead of print on 13 Dec. 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34830.1.

Searing-hot, ground-hugging pyroclastic density currents of ash and gases are the most deadly volcanic phenomena and are difficult to observe to understand their flow behavior. Rebecca Williams and colleagues have developed a novel technique to reconstruct snapshots of a catastrophic radial current as it evolved through time, by using chemical variations within the deposit of a single current, combined with detailed fieldwork. For the first time with any type of density current, they have revealed where this current flowed at timescales of several minutes, demonstrating how such currents gradually envelop the landscape, shifting their flow-paths and responding to large topographic barriers, and eventually overtopping all hills to a climax during which the entire landscape was inundated. Then, as the eruption waned, the current's extent retreated sourceward until only a small area of land was covered. The current in this study left behind a remarkable deposit, the Green Tuff ignimbrite (Pantelleria, Italy), t
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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