The Jurassic Earth was very different from today - atmospheric CO2 was higher, long-term climate was warmer, and there were no permanent polar ice-caps. The supercontinent Pangea was breaking apart, leading to changes in the configuration of the landmasses, oceans, and seaways. Using geochemical signals from fossilized marine animals, a new study in Palaeo3 looked at how the ocean currents and climates changed in the European and Arctic regions during this Greenhouse period of Earth’s history.
Around 34 million years ago the Earth underwent some major changes, including a drop in global temperatures, disturbances in ocean circulation patterns, and the formation first permanent Antarctic glaciations. But what drove this change? A new study using climate and plate tectonic modelling published in the journal PNAS suggests two additional and connected driving mechanisms from the deep Earth and the high north.
Hawaii and Iceland are two well-known "hotspot" locations, with hot, upwelling mantle plumes lying beneath them today. However, plates and plumes move relative to each other, leaving a volcanic trail in their wake. Under oceans, these "hotspot tracks" are relatively easy to identify but under thick continents it is much more difficult. A new study (Heyn and Conrad, 2022) shows how plume tracks can be identified beneath cratons and continents based on seismic observations and heat flux measurements.
The 1971 Apollo 14 mission to the Moon landed on rocks of the Imbrium Basin, the largest impact basin on the Moon – or did it? For 50 years, this statement was considered to be true, but a new study in The Planetary Science Journal describes a thin veneer of rocks from a different basin and challenges this long-held interpretation.
A new study in Nature Communications explains why spreading ridges jump towards the trench in the upper plate of narrow subduction zones. Nicholas Schliffke (Durham Uni.) and co-authors, including CEED researcher Valentina Magni, developed 3D numerical models designed to investigate the forces responsible for breaking up the lithosphere in the upper plate. They found that the occurrence of ridge jumps is controlled by a competition between the strength of the upper plate and the strength of transform faults bounding the plate.
Short-lived volcanic pulses from 201 million years-old rocks hint at anthropogenic-scale CO2 degassing events. New models reveal the impact of exceptional magmatic activity on the end-Triassic climate and environment, leading to a devastating mass extinction event. The international collaborative study published in Global and Planetary Change was led by CEED postdoc Manfredo Capriolo.
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.