An international team of geoscientists investigated the formation of an old subduction zone – where one plate dives under the other – in an area that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean. They aimed to answer the question: What was the cause for splitting Earth’s crust along thousands of kilometers in an east-west direction while the large African plate was moving north towards Eurasia? They concluded in Nature Geoscience that the only explanation could be a mantle plume, an enormous upwelling of hot rock which led to the eruption of a supervolcano. Mantle plumes shaped the outer layer of the Earth frequently in geological times by forcing continents and oceans to break and by changing their courses.
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A study published this month suggests that a mantle plume below Reunion triggered the initiation of subduction in the South Neotethys during the Late Cretaceous times. The results are published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, and involved former CEED postdoc Maëlis Arnould. The event led to a series of plate reorganization events and ultimately to the closure of the South Neotethys Ocean, which used to separate Asia and India.
This week in Scientific Reports a ground-breaking study quantifies the amount of methane emissions from one of largest natural gas systems on Earth. The results deepen the scientific debate on the global emission of geological methane sources, and suggests that recent pre-industrial estimates are significantly underestimated. The study is part of an international collaborative study led by CEED Researcher Adriano Mazzini in the framework of the ERC grant LUSI LAB.
The European Space Agency (ESA) have formally adopted Ariel, the first mission dedicated to study the nature, formation and evolution of exoplanets. CEED's Professor Stephanie Werner is a co-PI of the Ariel Consortium, which includes more than 50 institutes from 17 ESA countries, and NASA. The mission holds big opportunities for the future of comparative planetology science, and the Norway space and technical industry too. See the ESA Press release here.
A European research effort with a contribution from the Natural History Museum and CEED (Fritz et al., 2020) has found and characterised a new mineral in the lunar meteorite - Oued Awlitis 001. The mineral, named donwilhelmsite, is also present in minor quantities in the Earth's mantle, in the 460-700 km depth range.
The CEED blog covers some behind-the-scenes about our latest research and activities. The contributors are a mix of students and staff from The Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, Dept. of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway.