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Understanding Earth processes and human impacts, plus another look at Mars
Date:3/27/2013

in this sequence was within ~650 feet of active wastewater disposal wells, in the same sedimentary rocks into which disposal occurs. Earthquake triggering by fluid injection occurs if pore pressure at the fault increases beyond a critical threshold, allowing the fault to slip. In this case, earthquakes began 17 years after injection commenced, and the study highlights that fluid pressure can rise slowly in confined reservoirs, causing delayed seismicity. The authors recommend modifying the criteria for induced earthquakes based on these results. The Oklahoma sequence was also important in that the volume and rate of fluid injection were relatively small, but the authors show that rupture of even a small fault was capable of triggering a cascading sequence of earthquakes leading up to the magnitude 5.7. Because of this possibility of sequential triggering, the risk of humans inducing large earthquakes from injection activities may be higher than previously considered.


Cenozoic boron isotope variations in benthic foraminifers

Markus Raitzsch (corresponding) and Brbel Hnisch, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, New York 10964, USA. Posted online ahead of print of 26 March 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34031.1.

Because carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere tends to equilibrate with the oceans, an increase in atmospheric CO2 leads to increased uptake of CO2 by the oceans, resulting in lowered pH. Hence, past changes in CO2 levels on geological time scales can be inferred if past ocean pH is known. One approach to estimate pH is the use of boron isotopes archived in fossil carbonate shells of surface-dwelling foraminifera. The ratio between the two boron isotopes incorporated into the carbonate lattice is governed by pH at the time when the shell was built. However, the boron
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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