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October 2008 GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY media highlights
Date:9/25/2008

sils were preserved and whether these fossils are preserved similarly or via different pathways in different deposits. Previous studies have focused on the Burgess Shale and the Chengjiang Biota, which have been compromised by metamorphism and intensive weathering, respectively. In this study, Gaines et al. present data from eleven other Burgess Shaletype deposits found worldwide that demonstrate unambiguously that a single mode of fossilization is common to all deposits; the conservation of organic tissues as carbon. These results significantly narrow the field of hypotheses that might explain how this enigmatic style of fossilization occurred and suggest that trophic web reconstruction may be possible via carbon isotope (delta 13-C) analysis.


Hydrothermal circulation at slow spreading mid-ocean ridges: The role of along-axis variations in axial lithospheric thickness
Fabrice J. Fontaine et al., IPGP-Boite 89, 4 place Jussieu 75252, Paris Cedex 05, France. Pages 759-762.

Hydrothermal circulation in the crust of mid-ocean ridges is one of the main mechanisms responsible for the cooling of Earth. One key question that needs to be addressed to better understand and quantify the spatial and temporal variability of heat and mass exchanges between the solid earth and the oceans is the distribution of seafloor hydrothermal sites. Fontaine et al. show, by means of numerical models, that variations in the depth of penetration of fluids in the crust along the ridge axis can explain the observed heterogeneous distribution of sites along ridge portions. Their models highlight the differences in the hydrothermal cooling regime between fast-spreading ridges, where the depth of penetration is constant, and slow-spreading ridges, where variations are expected.


Extrusion tectonics and subduction in the eastern South Caspian region since 10 Ma
James Hollingsworth et al., University of Cambridge, Departmen
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
303-357-1093
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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