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Rubbing boulders, fossil mammal teeth, barrier islands, and a change in volcanic behavior
Date:7/24/2012

horter than in A.D. 2005/2010. The "8.2 ka event"-related glacier advance can be seen as one of the few interruptions of generally reduced glacier and ice extent in the Alps during the first half of the Holocene.


Neogene aridification of the Northern Hemisphere

Jussi T. Eronen et al., Dept. of Geosciences and Geography, P.O. Box 64, University of Helsinki, Helsinki FI-00014, Finland; and Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (LOEWE BiK-F), Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Posted online 18 July 2012; doi: 10.1130/G33147.1.

This paper by Jussi T. Eronen and colleagues uses a novel approach -- information from fossil mammals --to track changing aridity patterns across the Northern Hemisphere over the past 23 million years (the Neogene). Eronen and colleagues have shown previously that the distribution of tooth crown height (hypsodonty) in communities of herbivores (ungulates, or hoofed mammals) correlates well with mean annual precipitation, and they apply those proxies here. The mammal communities show that, while both Eurasia and North America had mesic (moderately moist habitat) conditions at the start of the Neogene, and both become more arid moving toward the present day, onset of aridity in North America preceded that in Eurasia (commencing at 15 million of years ago versus 10 million years ago), and this aridity was also more severe. These predicted changes can be explained by patterns of ocean circulation and paleogeography, with key influences being the proximity of North America to the Pacific Ocean and changes in the North Atlantic resulting from the formation of the Isthmus of Panama. The difference in the history of aridity of the two continental landmasses may also explain why North American ungulate immigrants to Eurasia throughout the Neogene tended to fare well, while the reverse was not true until around 5 million years ago.


Seismicity and the strange rubbin
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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