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

isotopic composition of the carbonate is also dependent on that of seawater. Since the latter was not constant over time, this unknown was constrained in this study by using boron isotope ratios of foraminifera from the deep sea, where changes in pH are smaller compared to the sea surface. The variations in boron isotopes found in these deep-sea foraminifera are consistent between different oceans and water depths, suggesting that the obtained record reflects changes in secular variations in the seawater boron isotopic composition. This record will help to more accurately constrain past seawater pH and hence atmospheric CO2 concentrations.


Growth and form of the mound in Gale Crater, Mars: Slope wind enhanced erosion and transport

Edwin S. Kite et al., Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA. Posted online ahead of print of 26 March 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G33909.1.

Ancient sediments provide archives of climate and habitability on Mars. Gale Crater, the landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), hosts a 5-km-high sedimentary mound (Mount Sharp/Aeolis Mons). Hypotheses for mound formation include evaporitic, lacustrine, fluviodeltaic, and aeolian processes, but the origin and original extent of Gale's mound is still unknown. Here Edwin S. Kite and colleagues show new measurements of sedimentary strata within the mound that indicate ~3-degree outward dips oriented radially away from the mound center, inconsistent with the first three hypotheses. Moreover, they find that the Gale mound's current form is close to its maximal extent. Thus, Kite and colleagues propose that the mound's structure, stratigraphy, and current shape can be explained by growth in place near the center of the crater mediated by wind-topography feedbacks. Their model shows how sediment can initially accrete near
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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