Like our planet’s vast surface oceans, subduction is a process unique to Earth. Active and extinct subduction zones - the surface point where one tectonic plate plunges under another - can be found all over our planet. However, we don’t know a lot about the conditions under which they initiate. A brand new interdisciplinary database on Subduction Zone Initiation www.szidatabase.org and accompanying paper has been published today in Nature Communications. The paper (Crameri et al., 2020) reviews a wide range of existing literature, presents new and clear definitions, key insights into subduction ingredients, and encourages community participation.
Welcome to the CEED blog
An open-access paper entitled “Neotectonics of the Sea of Galilee (northeast Israel): implication for geodynamics and seismicity along the Dead Sea Fault system” was recently published in Scientific Reports. It includes results of a geological study carried out by an international team of scientists from Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and Germany (Gasperini et al., 2020), including CEED's Adriano Mazzini. The paper deals with the problem of earthquake generation and tectonics in a key region along the Dead Sea Fault, a major continental transform separating the African/Sinai and Arabian plates.
Researchers from the CEED Earth Crises group, led by Dr. Thea Hatlen Heimdal, have published a new study in PNAS showing that carbon release from the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) was responsible for major carbon cycle changes. Using a numerical carbon cycle model, they found that the release of 24,000 billion tons of carbon replicates proxy data for climate change from geological records.
In an exciting new paper out today, researchers looked to Earth's volcanoes in order to explain the formation of some lava-like flow morphologies on Mars. The mud flows on the red planet were simulated low-pressure chamber at cold temperatures, and may hold implications for other features found in the solar system! The paper, published in Nature Geoscience, was a collaborative study involving CEED Researcher Adriano Mazzini.
A research team from the University of Padova, including (returning) CEED postdoc Sara Callegaro, reported in Nature Communications (Capriolo et al., 2020) direct evidence of abundant CO2 in basaltic rocks from the end-Triassic Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP). Part of the carbon budget comes from the mantle and/or the deep crust, adding to shallower carbon sources from volcano-sedimentary basins. A degassing scenario disturbingly similar to the one mankind is responsible for in the Anthropocene.
An all-CEED team, led by Krister S. Karlsen, recently developed an Python-based algorithm that automatically generates grids of the seafloor age. Using their new algorithm now in press with Computers & Geosciences, they generated the first set of palaeo-seafloor age grids that extend back from present-day to the mid-Palaeozoic (~400 Million years ago). Using the age of the oceanic lithosphere to determine bathymetry, the grids were also used to estimate changes in sea level through time which showed good agreement with the independent sea level record.
It is something that many of us can only dream of, but CEED PhD student Maaike Weerdesteijn just returned from a two-month stay in Antarctica. She took time off from her official PhD research to gain additional experience in polar fieldwork (also having been in Greenland last year as part of CEED’s MAGPIE project).
Does everyday sexism exist within the scientific community? The answer is unfortunately yes, still. What can we do to overcome this persisting problem? Well, the Did this really happen?! team, which Maëlis Arnould, Postdoctoral researcher at CEED, is part of, has decided to increase awareness about sexist situations encountered by female scientists. How? By drawing comic strips based on real anonymous experiences which describe such behaviours to denounce them.
Fossil fuels are typically generated within buried organic-rich sediments over long geological timescales. However, these processes may be accelerated when the sediments are exposed to migrating magmatic fluids, such as those related to nearby volcanic activity. A new international collaborative study in Scientific Reports led by CEED PhD student Alexandra Zaputlyaeva including CEED researchers Adriano Mazzini and Morgan Jones, investigates the ongoing reactions below the largest active mud eruption on Earth – Lusi - located in north-east Java (Indonesia). Results reveal that hydrocarbon generation is occurring ~4.5 km below Lusi and that this is largely driven by the recent magmatism.
Earth’s relief is in continuous change; mountains are eroded by wind and water, the valleys, seas and oceans are filling up with the scoured sediments, and the continents get thinner or thicker during these processes. But this is not all! Deep down, sometimes hundred of kilometres from the surface, much slower forces at work carving the continents upside down. New work published in Nature Communications reveals just that for Africa!