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Snails tell of the rise and fall of the Tibetan Plateau
Date:8/29/2014

rian complex organisms were the Rangeomorphs and their possible taphomorphs (ivesheadiamorphs). Unfortunately, the timing of key biological events relating to the evolution of these organisms is relatively poorly constrained due to a paucity of high-precision dates worldwide. New U-Pb geochronology data presented here by Stephen R. Noble and colleagues contribute significantly to the temporal constraints on these organisms, showing that Charnian fossils (older than 569 to 557 million years) partly overlap in age with the other key Rangeomorph locality in the paleo-region (Mistaken Point, Newfoundland), and also with macro-organism communities from very different environmental settings (e.g. White Sea, Russia). Together, this indicates that paleoenvironmental differences rather than temporal control are a first-order control on biota composition at this time.


Sinkholes, pit craters, and small calderas: Analog models of depletion-induced collapse analyzed by computed X-ray microtomography
S. Poppe et al., Dept. of Geography, Earth System Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium. Published online 26 Aug. 2014; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/B30989.1.

In nature, sub-surface bodies of molten or ductile rock might become abruptly depleted, resulting in the collapse of the overlying rock and the sometimes catastrophic formation of a "hole in the ground" at surface. These are termed sinkholes in karst terrains and pit-craters or calderas on volcanoes. For the first time, S. Poppe and colleagues use computed X-ray micro-tomography (μCT), similar to the imaging of patients using CT-scanners, to image laboratory-scale models of such collapse process. Their simulations illustrate how collapse rates within the collapsing rock are varying in space and time, with the highest rates before and shortly after the surface depression is form
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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