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September Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Date:8/22/2008

fast-spreading East Pacific Rise, changes in its depth below sea level have been used to infer regional-scale variations in magma supply or mantle temperature. Toomey and Hooft, however, show that segment-scale, rise-parallel undulations of both on- and off-axis seafloor depth result primarily from variations in the bulk density of oceanic crust. Seismic images of crustal and upper mantle structure are combined with gravity data and lava chemistry to demonstrate that variations in crustal density are caused by magmatic differentiation. This study concludes that the origin of rise-parallel changes in magmatic differentiation and seafloor depth is a newly discovered skew between the axes of mantle upwelling and plate spreading. The depth of fast-spreading ridges is thus controlled primarily by the geometry of mantle upwelling.


Stable carbon and hydrogen isotopes from bat guano in the Grand Canyon, USA, reveal Younger Dryas and 8.2 ka events

Christopher Wurster et al., School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St Andrews, Irvine Building, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL, Scotland, UK. Pages 683-686.

Free-tailed bats roost in huge populations in some caves in the southwestern United States. Over thousands of years, they collectively have left deep deposits of guano, once highly valued as fertilizer. These deposits also contain a record of past climate and plant life. Stable hydrogen and carbon isotope values of guano reflect local precipitation patterns and the relative amounts of succulents, such as cacti and warm-weather grasses, compared with trees, shrubs, and cool-weather grasses. A bat guano deposit from the Grand Canyon tells the story of the North American monsoon during times when global temperatures shifted rapidly. During the "globally" cool Younger Dryas, the Grand Canyon was cooler and possibly dry. However, contemporary climate patterns took another couple of millennia to set as the monsoon gradually gained str
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
303-357-1093
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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