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Sample records for early terrestrial crust

  1. Differentiation of crusts and cores of the terrestrial planets - Lessons for the early earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Solomon, S. C.

    1980-01-01

    The extent and mechanisms of global differentiation and the early thermal and tectonic histories of the terrestrial planets are surveyed in order to provide constraints on the first billion years of earth history. Indirect and direct seismic evidence for crusts on the moon, Mars and Venus is presented, and it is pointed out that substantial portions of these crusts have been in place since the cessation of heavy bombardment of the inner solar system four billion years ago. Evidence for sizable cores on Mars and Mercury and a small core on the moon is also discussed, and the heat involved in core formation is pointed out. Examination of the volcanic and tectonic histories of planets lacking plate tectonics indicates that core formation was not closely linked to crust formation on the moon or Mars, with chemical differentiation restricted to shallow regions, and was much more extensive on Mercury. Extension of these considerations to the earth results in a model of a hot and vigorously convecting mantle with an easily deformable crust immediately following core formation, and the gradual development of a lithosphere and plates.

  2. Combined147,146Sm-143,142Nd constraints on the longevity and residence time of early terrestrial crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roth, Antoine S. G.; Bourdon, Bernard; Mojzsis, Stephen J.; Rudge, John F.; Guitreau, Martin; Blichert-Toft, Janne

    2014-06-01

    silicate differentiation controlled the composition of Earth's oldest crust. Inherited 142Nd anomalies in Archean rocks are vestiges of the mantle-crust differentiation before ca. 4300 Ma. Here we report new whole-rock 147,146Sm-143,142Nd data for the Acasta Gneiss Complex (AGC; Northwest Territories, Canada). Our 147Sm-143Nd data combined with literature data define an age of 3371 ± 141 Ma (2 SD) and yield an initial ɛ143Nd of -5.6 ± 2.1. These results are at odds with the Acasta zircon U-Pb record, which comprises emplacement ages of 3920-3960 Ma. Ten of our thirteen samples show 142Nd deficits of -9.6 ± 4.8 ppm (2 SD) relative to the modern Earth. The discrepancy between 142Nd anomalies and a mid-Archean 147Sm-143Nd age can be reconciled with Nd isotope reequilibration of the AGC during metamorphic perturbations at ca. 3400 Ma. A model age of ca. 4310 Ma is derived for the early enrichment of the Acasta source. Two compositional end-members can be identified: a felsic component with 142Nd/144Nd identical to the modern Earth and a mafic component with 142Nd/144Nd as low as -14.1 ppm. The ca. 4310 Ma AGC source is ˜200 Myr younger than those estimated for Nuvvuagittuq (northern Québec) and Isua (Itsaq Gneiss Complex, West Greenland). The AGC does not have the same decoupled Nd-Hf isotope systematics as these other two terranes, which have been attributed to the crystallization of an early magma ocean. The Acasta signature rather is ascribed to the formation of Hadean crust that was preserved for several hundred Myr. Its longevity can be linked to 142Nd evolution in the mantle and does not require slow mantle stirring times nor modification of its convective mode.

  3. Feldspar palaeo-isochrons from early Archaean TTGs: Pb-isotope evidence for a high U/Pb terrestrial Hadean crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamber, B. S.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Moorbath, S.; Collerson, K. D.

    2001-12-01

    Feldspar lead-isotope data for 22 early Archaean (3.80-3.82 Ga) tonalitic gneisses from an area south of the Isua greenstone belt (IGB),West Greenland, define a steep linear trend in common Pb-isotope space with an apparent age of 4480+/-77 Ma. Feldspars from interleaved amphibolites yield a similar array corresponding to a date of 4455+/-540 Ma. These regression lines are palaeo-isochrons that formed during feldspar-whole rock Pb-isotope homogenisation a long time (1.8 Ga) after rock formation but confirm the extreme antiquity (3.81 Ga) of the gneissic protoliths [1; this study]. Unlike their whole-rock counterparts, feldspar palaeo-isochrons are immune to rotational effects caused by the vagaries of U/Pb fractionation. Hence, comparison of their intercept with mantle Pb-isotope evolution models yields meaningful information regarding the source history of the magmatic precursors. The locus of intersection between the palaeo-isochrons and terrestrial mantle Pb-isotope evolution lines shows that the gneissic precursors of these 3.81 Ga gneisses were derived from a source with a substantially higher time-integrated U/Pb ratio than the mantle. Similar requirements for a high U/Pb source have been found for IGB BIF [2], IGB carbonate [3], and particularly IGB galenas [4]. Significantly, a single high U/Pb source that separated from the MORB-source mantle at ca. 4.3 Ga with a 238U/204Pb of ca. 10.5 provides a good fit to all these observations. In contrast to many previous models based on Nd and Hf-isotope evidence we propose that this reservoir was not a mantle source but the Hadean basaltic crust which, in the absence of an operating subduction process, encased the early Earth. Differentiation of the early high U/Pb basaltic crust could have occurred in response to gravitational sinking of cold mantle material or meteorite impact, and produced zircon-bearing magmatic rocks. The subchondritic Hf-isotope ratios of ca. 3.8 Ga zircons support this model [5] provided that

  4. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust.

    PubMed

    Day, James M D; Ash, Richard D; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J; Rumble, Douglas; McDonough, William F; Walker, Richard J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2009-01-08

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52 +/- 0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System.

  5. Biogeochemical signals from deep microbial life in terrestrial crust.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Yohey; Konno, Uta; Fukuda, Akari; Komatsu, Daisuke D; Hirota, Akinari; Watanabe, Katsuaki; Togo, Yoko; Morikawa, Noritoshi; Hagiwara, Hiroki; Aosai, Daisuke; Iwatsuki, Teruki; Tsunogai, Urumu; Nagao, Seiya; Ito, Kazumasa; Mizuno, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to the deep subseafloor biosphere, a volumetrically vast and stable habitat for microbial life in the terrestrial crust remains poorly explored. For the long-term sustainability of a crustal biome, high-energy fluxes derived from hydrothermal circulation and water radiolysis in uranium-enriched rocks are seemingly essential. However, the crustal habitability depending on a low supply of energy is unknown. We present multi-isotopic evidence of microbially mediated sulfate reduction in a granitic aquifer, a representative of the terrestrial crust habitat. Deep meteoric groundwater was collected from underground boreholes drilled into Cretaceous Toki granite (central Japan). A large sulfur isotopic fractionation of 20-60‰ diagnostic to microbial sulfate reduction is associated with the investigated groundwater containing sulfate below 0.2 mM. In contrast, a small carbon isotopic fractionation (<30‰) is not indicative of methanogenesis. Except for 2011, the concentrations of H2 ranged mostly from 1 to 5 nM, which is also consistent with an aquifer where a terminal electron accepting process is dominantly controlled by ongoing sulfate reduction. High isotopic ratios of mantle-derived 3He relative to radiogenic 4He in groundwater and the flux of H2 along adjacent faults suggest that, in addition to low concentrations of organic matter (<70 µM), H2 from deeper sources might partly fuel metabolic activities. Our results demonstrate that the deep biosphere in the terrestrial crust is metabolically active and playing a crucial role in the formation of reducing groundwater even under low-energy fluxes.

  6. Biogeochemical Signals from Deep Microbial Life in Terrestrial Crust

    PubMed Central

    Fukuda, Akari; Komatsu, Daisuke D.; Hirota, Akinari; Watanabe, Katsuaki; Togo, Yoko; Morikawa, Noritoshi; Hagiwara, Hiroki; Aosai, Daisuke; Iwatsuki, Teruki; Tsunogai, Urumu; Nagao, Seiya; Ito, Kazumasa; Mizuno, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to the deep subseafloor biosphere, a volumetrically vast and stable habitat for microbial life in the terrestrial crust remains poorly explored. For the long-term sustainability of a crustal biome, high-energy fluxes derived from hydrothermal circulation and water radiolysis in uranium-enriched rocks are seemingly essential. However, the crustal habitability depending on a low supply of energy is unknown. We present multi-isotopic evidence of microbially mediated sulfate reduction in a granitic aquifer, a representative of the terrestrial crust habitat. Deep meteoric groundwater was collected from underground boreholes drilled into Cretaceous Toki granite (central Japan). A large sulfur isotopic fractionation of 20–60‰ diagnostic to microbial sulfate reduction is associated with the investigated groundwater containing sulfate below 0.2 mM. In contrast, a small carbon isotopic fractionation (<30‰) is not indicative of methanogenesis. Except for 2011, the concentrations of H2 ranged mostly from 1 to 5 nM, which is also consistent with an aquifer where a terminal electron accepting process is dominantly controlled by ongoing sulfate reduction. High isotopic ratios of mantle-derived 3He relative to radiogenic 4He in groundwater and the flux of H2 along adjacent faults suggest that, in addition to low concentrations of organic matter (<70 µM), H2 from deeper sources might partly fuel metabolic activities. Our results demonstrate that the deep biosphere in the terrestrial crust is metabolically active and playing a crucial role in the formation of reducing groundwater even under low-energy fluxes. PMID:25517230

  7. The Early Evolution of Mars' Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samuel, H.; Baratoux, D.; Kurita, K.

    2014-12-01

    The Mars crustal density and thickness have been recently re-evaluated using petrological constraints from remote sensing, in-situ data, and SNC meteorites. This work indicates that the present-day Martian crust is denser and thicker than previously proposed if essentially basaltic in composition. As a consequence, the average crustal thickness would be commensurable with the depth of the basalt/eclogite transition, re-opening the question of crustal recycling on Early Mars and more generally throughout all its history. We have therefore investigated the conditions under which a thick ancient crust with an eclogitic root could survive through the history of Mars using numerical modelling. Delamination may occur if the combination of poorly constrained physical parameters induces the presence of gravitationally unstable layers and favors a rheological decoupling. To study the conditions and the time scales for the occurrence of crustal delamination on Mars, we investigated the influence of critical parameters for a plausible range of values corresponding to the Martian mantle. For each case we follow the dynamic evolution over geological times of a three-layer system (i.e., crust-mantle with a distinction between low pressure, buoyant basaltic crust and higher pressure, denser eclogitic material). We systematically varied four governing parameters within plausible ranges: (1) the basalt-eclogite transition depth, (2) the density difference between the mantle and the basaltic crust, (3) the density difference between the eclogitic crust and the lithosphere & mantle, (4) the viscous rheology. These experiments allow determining the average Martian crustal thickness at early and late evolutionary stages.

  8. Iron Isotopic Fractionation in Early Planetary Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, K.; Moynier, F.; Dauphas, N.; Barrat, J.; Day, J. M.; Sio, C.; Korotev, R. L.; Zeigler, R. A.

    2012-12-01

    Differentiated meteorites (achondrites) derive from planetary bodies that experienced variable degrees of melting and silicate-metal segregation. The oldest achondrites, such as eucrites, angrites, brachinites and the oligoclase-rich meteorites Graves Nunataks 06128/06129 (GRA 06128/9), were formed ~2-5 Ma after the first Solar System solids. They represent the oldest differentiated silicate samples known in the Solar System and the study of these samples provides insight on the origins and conditions of formation of the first planetary crusts. Here, we present new high-precision data for the Fe isotopic compositions of eucrites, angrites, brachinites and GRA 06128/9 and interpret these results in terms of magmatism during formation of these samples. We find that most eucrites and brachinites are not fractionated compared to undifferentiated chondritic meteorites (δ56Fe = 0.00±0.01, 2se), while the rare Stannern-trend eucrites are slightly enriched in the heavier isotopes of Fe. Angrites are also enriched in the heavier isotopes (δ56Fe = 0.12±0.01, 2se), similar to what is observed for terrestrial basalts, reflecting the relatively high oxidation states of the angrite parent body(ies). Contrastingly to the 'basaltic' achondrites, GRA 06128/9 are enriched in light isotopes of Fe (δ56Fe = -0.08±0.02, 2se). Evidence for light Fe isotope enrichments may be the consequence of the segregation of magma rich in sulphide (usually enriched in light isotopes of Fe compared to silicate and metal in undifferentiated meteorites). If correct, this result not only confirms that GRA 06128/9 represent products from <30% partial melting of an asteroidal body, prior to core formation, but also indicates complementary Fe isotope systematics between GRA 06128/9 and brachinites.

  9. The evolution of the early lunar crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, P. C.; Parmentier, E. M.

    1997-03-01

    In the framework of the plutonic and tectonic processes that acted to create the current configuration of the lunar crust, attention is given to the problems as to why (1) the crust is vertically zoned; (2) there are no plutonic equivalents to mare basalt; and (3) the evolution of lunar crust would shape subsequent and younger volcanic events. The existence of mascons by 3.9 By shows that the entire crust had strengthened, and could support far greater stresses than those generated by mafic plutons.

  10. Stored mafic/ultramafic crust and early Archean mantle depletion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chase, Clement G.; Patchett, P. J.

    1990-01-01

    Both early and late Archean rocks from greenstone belts and felsic gneiss complexes exhibit positive epsilon(Nd) values of +1 to +5 by 3.5 Ga, demonstrating that a depleted mantle reservoir existed very early. The amount of preserved pre-3.0 Ga continental crust cannot explain such high epsilon values in the depleted residue unless the volume of residual mantle was very small: a layer less than 70 km thick by 3.0 Ga. Repeated and exclusive sampling of such a thin layer, especially in forming the felsic gneiss complexes, is implausible. Extraction of enough continental crust to deplete the early mantle and its destructive recycling before 3.0 Ga ago requires another implausibility, that the sites of crustal generation of recycling were substantially distinct. In contrast, formation of mafic or ultramafic crust analogous to present-day oceanic crust was continuous from very early times. Recycled subducted oceanic lithosphere is a likely contributor to present-day hotspot magmas, and forms a reservoir at least comparable in volume to continental crust. Subduction of an early mafic/ultramafic oceanic crust and temporary storage rather than immediate mixing back into undifferentiated mantle may be responsible for the depletion and high epsilon(Nd) values of the Archean upper mantle.

  11. Pristine Igneous Rocks and the Genesis of Early Planetary Crusts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, Paul H.; Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Our studies are highly interdisciplinary, but are focused on the processes and products of early planetary and asteroidal differentiation, especially the genesis of the ancient lunar crust. The compositional diversity that we explore is the residue of process diversity, which has strong relevance for comparative planetology.

  12. Were early pterosaurs inept terrestrial locomotors?

    PubMed

    Witton, Mark P

    2015-01-01

    Pterodactyloid pterosaurs are widely interpreted as terrestrially competent, erect-limbed quadrupeds, but the terrestrial capabilities of non-pterodactyloids are largely thought to have been poor. This is commonly justified by the absence of a non-pterodactyloid footprint record, suggestions that the expansive uropatagia common to early pterosaurs would restrict hindlimb motion in walking or running, and the presence of sprawling forelimbs in some species. Here, these arguments are re-visited and mostly found problematic. Restriction of limb mobility is not a problem faced by extant animals with extensive fight membranes, including species which routinely utilise terrestrial locomotion. The absence of non-pterodactyloid footprints is not necessarily tied to functional or biomechanical constraints. As with other fully terrestrial clades with poor ichnological records, biases in behaviour, preservation, sampling and interpretation likely contribute to the deficit of early pterosaur ichnites. Suggestions that non-pterodactyloids have slender, mechanically weak limbs are demonstrably countered by the proportionally long and robust limbs of many Triassic and Jurassic species. Novel assessments of pterosaur forelimb anatomies conflict with notions that all non-pterodactyloids were obligated to sprawling forelimb postures. Sprawling forelimbs seem appropriate for species with ventrally-restricted glenoid articulations (seemingly occurring in rhamphorhynchines and campylognathoidids). However, some early pterosaurs, such as Dimorphodon macronyx and wukongopterids, have glenoid arthrologies which are not ventrally restricted, and their distal humeri resemble those of pterodactyloids. It seems fully erect forelimb stances were possible in these pterosaurs, and may be probable given proposed correlation between pterodactyloid-like distal humeral morphology and forces incurred through erect forelimb postures. Further indications of terrestrial habits include antungual

  13. Were early pterosaurs inept terrestrial locomotors?

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Pterodactyloid pterosaurs are widely interpreted as terrestrially competent, erect-limbed quadrupeds, but the terrestrial capabilities of non-pterodactyloids are largely thought to have been poor. This is commonly justified by the absence of a non-pterodactyloid footprint record, suggestions that the expansive uropatagia common to early pterosaurs would restrict hindlimb motion in walking or running, and the presence of sprawling forelimbs in some species. Here, these arguments are re-visited and mostly found problematic. Restriction of limb mobility is not a problem faced by extant animals with extensive fight membranes, including species which routinely utilise terrestrial locomotion. The absence of non-pterodactyloid footprints is not necessarily tied to functional or biomechanical constraints. As with other fully terrestrial clades with poor ichnological records, biases in behaviour, preservation, sampling and interpretation likely contribute to the deficit of early pterosaur ichnites. Suggestions that non-pterodactyloids have slender, mechanically weak limbs are demonstrably countered by the proportionally long and robust limbs of many Triassic and Jurassic species. Novel assessments of pterosaur forelimb anatomies conflict with notions that all non-pterodactyloids were obligated to sprawling forelimb postures. Sprawling forelimbs seem appropriate for species with ventrally-restricted glenoid articulations (seemingly occurring in rhamphorhynchines and campylognathoidids). However, some early pterosaurs, such as Dimorphodon macronyx and wukongopterids, have glenoid arthrologies which are not ventrally restricted, and their distal humeri resemble those of pterodactyloids. It seems fully erect forelimb stances were possible in these pterosaurs, and may be probable given proposed correlation between pterodactyloid-like distal humeral morphology and forces incurred through erect forelimb postures. Further indications of terrestrial habits include antungual

  14. Constraints on the development of the early continental crust from isotopic data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacobson, S. B.

    1985-01-01

    Aspects of the origin and development of the early (AE) continential crust are addressed by radiogenic isotope and trace element studies. The most important ones are: (1) at what time did the earliest continental crust form; (2) what was its composition; (3) by what processes did it grow and by what processes was it destroyed; (4) what were the rates of production and destruction as a function of time during this time period? Nd is isotopic data on the oldest terrestrial rocks indicate that the mantle at this time had already suffered substantial depletion in incompatible elements due to earlier continent forming events. Isotopic data on young volcanic rocks derived from the depleted mantle show no evidence of this early history. The observed isotopic patterns of Nd, Sr, Hf and Pb through time together with the presently observed age spectrum of crustal rocks are considered. These patterns can be modelled by a transport model in which the continental growth and destruction rates are allowed to vary as a function of time. It is suggest that the mass of the continents at 3.8 AE ago was about 25% of the current continental mass. However, due to the very high recycling rates obtained in the early Archean only a few percent of this crust has been preserved up to the present.

  15. Building early Archean cratons from recycled Hadean crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Neil, J.; Carlson, R. W.; Boyet, M.

    2013-12-01

    The formation of Earth's early crust and the geological processes leading to creation and preservation of stable Archean cratons are still poorly understood. Archean terrains are dominated by felsic Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTG) rocks. These felsic rocks however, cannot be directly produced from melting of the mantle but must instead be derived from the melting of an older mafic precursor. Despite growing evidence for a basaltic >4.3 Ga primordial crust on Earth, there are only a few occurrences of zircons older than 4.0 Ga; in the Jack Hills conglomerates and in the Acasta gneisses. Only after ~3.8 Ga does the zircon record become more prominent. The zircon age distribution in itself suggests a long quiescence period of over half a billion years before the mafic primitive crust was extensively recycled to produce a significant amount of felsic magma. The Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt (NGB) provides a glimpse at the nature of the mafic primitive crust. The mafic rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt (NGB), called the Ujaraaluk unit, have 146Sm-142Nd systematics consistent with them being formed in the Hadean, between 4.3 and 4.4 Ga. The NGB also comprises multiple generations of TTG ranging from 3.75 Ga to 3.35 Ga. Despite the fact that the mafic and felsic lithologies of the NGB show strong evidence of disturbance in the 147Sm-143Nd and 176Lu-177Hf long-lived isotopic systems, the NGB TTGs yield 142Nd and 182W anomalies that can be only generated in the Hadean. Moreover, zircons from the 3.35 to 3.65 TTGs have strongly subchondritic initial ɛHf values and display an ɛHf vs. age array consistent with their derivation from a Hadean mafic precursor. The NGB TTGs appear to have been formed primarily from melting of a source compositionally similar to the 4.4 Ga Ujaraaluk unit. The crustal history recorded in the NGB seems to be similar to the early crustal evolution recorded in the Jack Hills Hadean zircons where reworking of a >4.3 Ga enriched

  16. Bimodal tholeiitic-dacitic magmatism and the Early Precambrian crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barker, F.; Peterman, Z.E.

    1974-01-01

    Interlayered plagioclase-quartz gneisses and amphibolites from 2.7 to more than 3.6 b.y. old form much of the basement underlying Precambrian greenstone belts of the world; they are especially well-developed and preserved in the Transvaal and Rhodesian cratons. We postulate that these basement rocks are largely a metamorphosed, volcanic, bimodal suite of tholeiite and high-silica low-potash dacite-compositionally similar to the 1.8-b.y.-old Twilight Gneiss - and partly intrusive equivalents injected into the lower parts of such volcanic piles. We speculate that magmatism in the Early Precambrian involved higher heat flow and more hydrous conditions than in the Phanerozoic. Specifically, we suggest that the early degassing of the Earth produced a basaltic crust and pyrolitic upper mantle that contained much amphibole, serpentine, and other hydrous minerals. Dehydration of the lower parts of a downgoing slab of such hydrous crust and upper mantle would release sufficient water to prohibit formation of andesitic liquid in the upper part of the slab. Instead, a dacitic liquid and a residuum of amphibole and other silica-poor phases would form, according to Green and Ringwood's experimental results. Higher temperatures farther down the slab would cause total melting of basalt and generation of the tholeiitic member of the suite. This type of magma generation and volcanism persisted until the early hydrous lithosphere was consumed. An implication of this hypothesis is that about half the present volume of the oceans formed before about 2.6 b.y. ago. ?? 1974.

  17. Growth of early continental crust by partial melting of eclogite.

    PubMed

    Rapp, Robert P; Shimizu, Nobumichi; Norman, Marc D

    2003-10-09

    The tectonic setting in which the first continental crust formed, and the extent to which modern processes of arc magmatism at convergent plate margins were operative on the early Earth, are matters of debate. Geochemical studies have shown that felsic rocks in both Archaean high-grade metamorphic ('grey gneiss') and low-grade granite-greenstone terranes are comprised dominantly of sodium-rich granitoids of the tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) suite of rocks. Here we present direct experimental evidence showing that partial melting of hydrous basalt in the eclogite facies produces granitoid liquids with major- and trace-element compositions equivalent to Archaean TTG, including the low Nb/Ta and high Zr/Sm ratios of 'average' Archaean TTG, but from a source with initially subchondritic Nb/Ta. In modern environments, basalts with low Nb/Ta form by partial melting of subduction-modified depleted mantle, notably in intraoceanic arc settings in the forearc and back-arc regimes. These observations suggest that TTG magmatism may have taken place beneath granite-greenstone complexes developing along Archaean intraoceanic island arcs by imbricate thrust-stacking and tectonic accretion of a diversity of subduction-related terranes. Partial melting accompanying dehydration of these generally basaltic source materials at the base of thickened, 'arc-like' crust would produce compositionally appropriate TTG granitoids in equilibrium with eclogite residues.

  18. Ca isotope fingerprints of early crust-mantle evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreissig, K.; Elliott, T.

    2005-01-01

    The utility of 40Ca/ 44Ca as a tracer of pre-existing crustal contributions in early Archaean cratons has been explored to identify traces of Hadean crust and to assess the style of continental growth. The relatively short half-life of 40K (˜1.3 Gy) means that its decay to 40Ca occurs dominantly during early Earth History. If Archaean crust had a significant component derived from a more ancient protolith, as anticipated by "steady state" crustal evolution models, this should be clearly reflected in radiogenic 40Ca/ 44Ca ratios (or positive initial ɛ Ca) in different Archaean cratons. A high precision thermal ionisation technique has been used to analyse the 40Ca/ 44Ca ratios of plagioclase separates and associated whole rocks in ˜3.6 Ga (early Archaean) samples from Zimbabwe and West Greenland. Three out of four tonalite, trondhjemite, granodiorite (TTG) suite samples from Zimbabwe display initial 40Ca/ 44Ca ratios indistinguishable from our measured modern MORB value (i.e., ɛ Ca(3.6) ˜ 0). Greenland samples, however, are very diverse ranging from ɛ Ca(3.7) = 0.1 in mafic pillow lavas and felsic sheets from the Isua supracrustal belt, up to very radiogenic signatures (ɛ Ca(3.7) = 2.9) in both mafic rocks of the Akilia association and felsic TTG from the coastal Amîtsoq gneisses. At face value, these results imply the Zimbabwe crust is juvenile whereas most Greenland samples include an earlier crustal component. Yet the west Greenland craton, as with many Archaean localities, has experienced a complex geological history and the interpretation of age-corrected initial isotope values requires great care. Both felsic and mafic samples from Greenland display ɛ Ca(3.7) so radiogenic that they are not readily explained by crustal growth scenarios. The presence of such radiogenic 40Ca/ 44Ca found in low K/Ca plagioclases requires Ca isotope exchange between plagioclase and whole rock during later metamorphic event(s). In addition the unexpectedly radiogenic Ca

  19. Coupled zircon Lu-Hf and U-Pb isotopic analyses of the oldest terrestrial crust, the >4.03 Ga Acasta Gneiss Complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Ann M.; Fisher, Christopher M.; Vervoort, Jeffrey D.; Bowring, Samuel A.

    2017-01-01

    The Acasta Gneiss Complex of the Northwest Territories, Canada, contains some of the earliest terrestrial continental crust and thus provides a critical sample set for characterization of crust-forming processes on the early Earth. Here we report the results of a combined Lu-Hf and U-Pb isotopic study of zircons from predominantly felsic orthogneisses from the Acasta Gneiss Complex that crystallized between ∼4.0 and 2.9 Ga, many of which contain complex zoning and therefore require an analytical treatment suited to distinguish amongst compositionally distinct age and Hf isotopic domains. To ensure the reliability of the analyses and of subsequent geologic interpretations, we employed the laser ablation split-stream (LASS) technique to concurrently measure the Lu-Hf and U-Pb isotopic systems in zircon. Our results confirm prior findings of precursor Hadean crust (>4.0 Ga) in the source of these rocks and the continued involvement of this reservoir until ∼3.6 Ga. We present evidence for the input of relatively more juvenile material at ∼3.6 Ga, which we suggest corresponds to a fundamental change in the source of the magmas. This study extends the lower bound of the published Acasta Hf isotopic record from 3.6 Ga to 2.9 Ga and demonstrates that the ∼3.6 Ga-2.9 Ga interval is largely represented by reworking of relatively juvenile ∼3.6 Ga crust and the diminution of the >4.0 Ga crustal signal. Significantly, there is no evidence that rocks within the Acasta Gneiss Complex were derived from a strongly depleted mantle.

  20. The Heat-Pipe Hypothesis for Early Crustal Development of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, A. G.; Moore, W. B.; Simon, J. I.

    2014-12-01

    Crusts of the terrestrial planets other than Earth are dominated by mafic / ultramafic volcanics, with some contractional tectonics and minor extension. This description may also fit the early Earth. Therefore, a single process may have controlled early crustal development. Here we explore the hypothesis that heat-pipe cooling mode dominates early phases of terrestrial planet evolution. Volcanism is the hallmark of heat-pipe cooling: hot magma moves through the lithosphere in narrow channels, then is deposited and cools at the surface. A heat-pipe planet develops a thick, cold, downward-advecting lithosphere dominated by mafic/ultra-mafic flows. Contractional deformation occurs throughout the lithosphere as the surface is buried and forced toward smaller radii. Geologies of the Solar system's terrestrial planets are consistent with early heat-pipe cooling. Mercury's surface evolution is dominated by low-viscosity volcanism until ~4.1-4.0 Ga, with little activity other than global contraction since. Similar, younger features at Venus are commonly interpreted in terms of catastrophic resurfacing events with ~0.5 billion-year periodicity, but early support of high topography suggests a transition from heat-pipe to rigid-lid tectonics. Thick heat-pipe lithosphere may preserve the crustal dichotomy between Mars' northern and southern hemispheres, and explain the range in trace element abundances and isotopic compositions of Martian meteorites. At the Moon, global serial volcanism can explain refinement of ferroan anorthite rich rocks and coeval production of the "Mg-suite" rocks. The Moon's shape is out of hydrostatic equilibrium; it may represent a fossil preserved by thick early lithosphere. Active development of Jupiter's moon Io, which is warmed by tidal heating, is widely interpreted in terms of heat-pipe cooling. Given its potential ubiquity in the Solar system, heat-pipe cooling may be a universal process experienced by all terrestrial bodies of sufficient size.

  1. Comparison of Lunar Basalts and Gabbros with those of the Terrestrial Ocean Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natland, J. H.

    2012-12-01

    Initial studies of lunar samples returned from the Apollo and Luna missions took place before rocks of the Earth's lower ocean crust, chiefly varieties of gabbro cumulates, were widely known or understood. Continuing exploration of the ocean crust invites some new comparisons. When volcanic rocks and glass from Apollo 11 and 17 were discovered to have very high TiO2 contents (8-14%), nothing comparable was known from Earth. The high-TiO2 lunar samples were soon described as primary melts derived from considerable depths in the lunar mantle. Other lunar samples have only very low TiO2 contents (~0.2%) and very low concentrations of highly incompatible elements such as Zr and Sr. Today, dredging and drilling results indicate that oxide gabbros rich in magmatic oxides and sulfides and with up to 12% TiO2 comprise a significant percentage of the gabbroic portion of the ocean crust especially at slowly spreading ridges. These are very late stage differentiates, and are commonly juxtaposed by high-temperature deformation processes with more primitive olivine gabbros and troctolites having only ~0.2% TiO2 and low concentrations of Zr and other incompatible elements. The rocks are mainly adcumulates, with very low concentrations of incompatible elements set by proportions of cumulus minerals, and with little contribution from the liquids that produced them. In addition, some lunar gabbros with highly calcic plagioclase (~An93-98) are similar to gabbros and troctolites found in island arcs. All of these similarities suggest that very few lunar basaltic rocks are pristine; instead they all could be nearly complete shock fusion products produced by meteorite impact into a diverse assemblage of lunar gabbros that included both low- and high-TiO2 gabbroic facies. On this hypothesis, no lunar basalt is a primary melt derived from the Moon's mantle. Although magmatic environments on the ancient Moon and in the modern ocean crust were different in important ways, the general

  2. Early terrestrial ecosystems: the animal evidence

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, J.

    1985-01-01

    Work on fossil spores indicates that plants at a level of vegetative organization comparable to bryophytes and vascular plants existed on land in the Early Silurian. Vascular plants, limnetic fishes, and probable Ascomycetes have Late Silurian records. Charophytes are known in the Late Silurian but may have been marine. The presence of microarthropods in the Ludlovian has been hypothesized from fungal masses in the Burgsvik Sandstone that closely resemble microarthropod frass. A number of microarthropods such as collembolans and mites are microphagous; these animals are among the earliest known from the Early Devonian. These fungal masses as animal traces have been given added credibility by the recovery of animal body fossils from basal Llandovery age fluvial deposits of the Central Appalachians that yield abundant plant spores but that lack marine invertebrates, phytoplankton or chitinozoans. The remains are abundant and sufficiently varied to suggest that they may represent a variety of organisms. Some are eurypterid-like, others grossly arthropod-like, although they may represent an unknown phylum or phyla. Many small invertebrates are associated with extant bryophytes, which have been viewed as stepping stones or halfway houses for them as they emerged from water onto land. The occurrence of these Early Silurian invertebrate remains with abundant spore tetrads, which Gray has hypothesized represent land plants at a bryophyte or hepatic grade of organization, is of great interest in trying to understand the early development of nonmarine ecosystems.

  3. Growth of early continental crust controlled by melting of amphibolite in subduction zones.

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen; Tiepolo, Massimo; Vannucci, Riccardo

    2002-06-20

    It is thought that the first continental crust formed by melting of either eclogite or amphibolite, either at subduction zones or on the underside of thick oceanic crust. However, the observed compositions of early crustal rocks and experimental studies have been unable to distinguish between these possibilities. Here we show a clear contrast in trace-element ratios of melts derived from amphibolites and those from eclogites. Partial melting of low-magnesium amphibolite can explain the low niobium/tantalum and high zirconium/samarium ratios in melts, as required for the early continental crust, whereas the melting of eclogite cannot. This indicates that the earliest continental crust formed by melting of amphibolites in subduction-zone environments and not by the melting of eclogite or magnesium-rich amphibolites in the lower part of thick oceanic crust. Moreover, the low niobium/tantalum ratio seen in subduction-zone igneous rocks of all ages is evidence that the melting of rutile-eclogite has never been a volumetrically important process.

  4. A relatively reduced Hadean continental crust and implications for the early atmosphere and crustal rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xiaozhi; Gaillard, Fabrice; Scaillet, Bruno

    2014-05-01

    It is widely believed that the Earth was strongly reduced during its early accretion, however, the transition from the reduced state that prevailed during Earth's early period to the modern oxidized crust and mantle has never been captured by geochemical surveys on Earth materials as old as ∼4.0 billion years ago. By combining available trace-elements data of igneous zircons of crustal origin, we show that the Hadean continental crust was significantly more reduced than its modern counterpart and experienced progressive oxidation till ∼3.6 billions years ago. We suggest that the increase in the oxidation state of the Hadean continental crust is related to the progressive decline in the intensity of chondritic addition during the late veneer. Inputs of carbon- and hydrogen-rich chondritic materials during the formation of Hadean granitic crust must have favored strongly reduced magmatism. The conjunction of cold, wet and reduced granitic magmatism during the Hadean implies the production of methane-rich fluids, in addition to the CO- and H2-rich volcanic species produced by degassing of hot reduced basaltic melts as modified by delivered materials during the late veneer. When the late veneer events ended, magma produced by normal decompression melting of the mantle imparted more oxidizing conditions to erupted lavas and the related crust, emitting CO2- and H2O-rich gases. Our model suggests that the Hadean continental crust was possibly much weaker than present-day, facilitating intrusion of underplating magma and thus allowing faster crustal growth in the early Earth.

  5. Neodymium and lead isotope evidence for enriched early Archean crust in North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowring, Samuel A.; Housh, Todd B.; Isachsen, Clark E.; Podosek, Frank A.; King, Janet E.

    1989-01-01

    Neodymium and lead isotope measurements and uranium-lead zircon geochronology from Archaean gneisses of the Slave Province in the Northwest Territories of Canada are reported. The gneisses contain zircons with cores older than 3.842 Gyr and an epsilon(Nd) (3.7 Gyr) of - 4.8. This is the oldest reported chondritic model age for a terrestrial sample and provides evidence for strongly enriched pre-3.8-Gyr crust, a reservoir complementary to the depleted mantle already in existence by 3.8 Gyr before the present.

  6. Soil nematode communities are ecologically more mature beneath late- than early-successional stage biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, B.J.; Neher, D.A.; Belnap, J.

    2007-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are key mediators of carbon and nitrogen inputs for arid land soils and often represent a dominant portion of the soil surface cover in arid lands. Free-living soil nematode communities reflect their environment and have been used as biological indicators of soil condition. In this study, we test the hypothesis that nematode communities are successionally more mature beneath well-developed, late-successional stage crusts than immature, early-successional stage crusts. We identified and enumerated nematodes by genus from beneath early- and late-stage crusts from both the Colorado Plateau, Utah (cool, winter rain desert) and Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico (hot, summer rain desert) at 0-10 and 10-30 cm depths. As hypothesized, nematode abundance, richness, diversity, and successional maturity were greater beneath well-developed crusts than immature crusts. The mechanism of this aboveground-belowground link between biological soil crusts and nematode community composition is likely the increased food, habitat, nutrient inputs, moisture retention, and/or environmental stability provided by late-successional crusts. Canonical correspondence analysis of nematode genera demonstrated that nematode community composition differed greatly between geographic locations that contrast in temperature, precipitation, and soil texture. We found unique assemblages of genera among combinations of location and crust type that reveal a gap in scientific knowledge regarding empirically derived characterization of dominant nematode genera in deserts soils and their functional role in a crust-associated food web. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Granodiorite and alkaline suite at Gale crater: continental crust on early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sautter, V.; Toplis, M. J.; Cousin, A.; Fabre, C.; Wiens, R. C.; Mangold, N.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Pinet, P.; Rapin, W.; Fisk, M.; Le Deit, L.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Maurice, S.; Lasue, J.; Stolper, E.; Beck, P.; Wray, J.; Bridges, J. C.; Le Mouelic, S.

    2015-10-01

    The Curiosity rover landed at Gale, an early Hesperian age crater formed within Noachian terrains on Mars. The rover encountered a great variety of felsic igneous float rocks ranging from granodiorite to trachy andesite and trachyte during the first part of the traverse up to sol 550. They are the first in-situ evidence of low density early Noachian crust on Mars, sampled by Peace Vallis river cross-cutting the crater wall over a 2-3km thick vertical section, below the basaltic regolite.

  8. Lichen metabolism identified in Early Devonian terrestrial organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jahren, A. Hope; Porter, Steven; Kuglitsch, Jeffrey J.

    2003-02-01

    We used δ13C values to identify lichen metabolism in the globally distributed Early Devonian (409 386 Ma) macrofossil Spongiophyton minutissimum, which had been alternatively interpreted as a green plant of bryophyte grade or as a lichen, based on its morphology. Extant mosses and hornworts exhibited a range of δ13Ctissue values that was discrete from that of extant lichens. The δ13Ctissue values of 96 S. minutissimum specimens coincided with δ13Ctissue values of extant lichens. In contrast, S. minutissimum δ13Ctissue values showed no similarity to bryophyte carbon isotope values. The identification of large global populations of lichens during the Early Devonian may indicate that lichen-accelerated soil formation fostered the development of Paleozoic terrestrial ecosystems.

  9. The Cool Early Earth: Oxygen Isotope Evidence for Continental Crust and Oceans on Earth at 4.4 Ga

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valley, J. W.; King, E. M.; Peck, W. H.; Graham, C. M.; Wilde, S. A.

    2001-05-01

    Zircons preserve the best record of U-Pb crystallization age and oxygen isotope ratios of igneous rocks. The d18-O of non-metamict zircon is unaffected even by hydrothermal alteration and high-grade metamorphism. Ion microprobe analysis of detrital zircons from the \\sim3 Ga Jack Hills metaconglomerate (Narryer Gneiss Terrane, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia) yield U-Pb ages from 3.1 to 4.4 Ga (SHRIMP II, Wilde et al. 2001 Nature) and d18-O from 5 to 8 permil (Cameca 4f, Peck et al. 2001 GCA). The d18-O of these zircons averages 6.3, and is 1 permil higher than that in equilibrium with the mantle and that of normal Archean granitic zircons (5.3+-0.3, 5.5+-0.4, respectively; King et al. 1998 Pre-C Res, Peck et al. 2000 Geology). The distribution of mantle-like vs. mildly elevated d18-O values for magmas is constant from 2.7 to 4.4 Ga, and on 4 continents. The age of 4.404+-0.008 Ga from one 200 micron zircon is >99% concordant and represents the oldest recognized terrestrial material. This crystal is zoned in d18-O (5.0+-0.7 vs. 7.4+-0.7) and REEs (La=0.3 to 13.6 ppm), and contains inclusions of SiO2. REE patterns are HREE enriched with positive Ce and negative Eu anomalies; calculated melts are LREE enriched. Taken together, these results suggest crystallization from a quartz-saturated granitic magma and thus the existence of continental crust, possibly in a setting like Iceland. The high d18-O portion of the crystal would be in equilibrium with a magma at d18-O(WR)= 8.5-9.5. There is no known mantle reservoir with such high values. d18-O(WR) values above 8.5 are typical of "S-type" granites that have melted or assimilated material that was altered by low temperature interaction with water at the surface of the Earth (i.e., weathering, diagenesis, low T hydrothermal alteration). Thus the high d18-O value of the 4.4 Ga zircon suggests that surface temperatures were cool enough for liquid water suggesting that the early steam-rich atmosphere condensed to form

  10. Geochronologic and isotopic evidence for early Proterozoic crust in the eastern Arabian Shield

    SciTech Connect

    Stacey, J.S.; Hedge, C.E.

    1984-05-01

    The authors report zircon U-Pb, feldspar common Pb, whole-rock Sm-Nd, and Rb-Sr data from sample Z-103, a fine-grained granodiorite from the Jabal Khida region of the Saudi Arabian Shield (lat 21/sup 0/19'N; long 44/sup 0/50'W). The measurements yield conclusive evidence for continental crust of early Proterozoic age (approx.1630 Ma) at that locality. Furthermore, lead-isotope data indicate an even earlier, perhaps Archean, crustal history for the source of the lower Proterozoic rocks. 17 references, 4 figures, 1 table.

  11. Geologically Controlled Isotope-Time Patterns Reveal Early Differentiation and Crust Formation Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, V. C.; Nutman, A. P.

    2014-12-01

    The mechanisms of continental crust production and evolution in the early Earth remain controversial, as are questions of the relative roles of early differentiation versus subsequent tectonic procssing in creating Earth's chemical signatures. Here we present geologic observations integrated with whole rock major, trace element and Sm-Nd isotopic signatures and combined with U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopic compositions of zircon populations from the same rocks, from the most extensive early rock record comprising the 3.9 Ga to 3.6 Ga terranes of southwest Greenland. These data reveal repeated patterns of formation of juvenile TTG crust and associated mafic and ultramafic rocks in convergent margin settings followed by formation of more evolved granites [1]. Our new zircon Lu-Hf data from rare 3.6-3.7 Ga tonalites within the Itsaq Gneiss Complex, obtained from single component, non-migmatitic gneisses with simple zircon populations, limited within sample Hf isotopic variability and accurate U-Pb ages, now document extraction of juvenile tonalites from a near chondritic mantle source between 3.9 Ga and 3.6 Ga. The more evolved, granitic rocks in each area show slightly negative initial ɛHf in accord with crustal reworking of the older (3.8-3.9 Ga) gniesses. There is no evidence for Hadean material in the sources of the granitoids. The Hf isotope-time patterns are consistent with juvenile crust production from a mantle source that experienced only modest amounts of prior crustal extraction. They are distinct from those predicted by reprocessing of an enriched Hadean mafic crust, as has been proposed for this region [2] and for the source of the Hadean Jack Hills zircons [3]. The well-documented, time decreasing, positive 142Nd anomalies [e.g., 4] from these rocks are further evidence of crustal derivation from a convecting mantle source, rather than reworking of an enriched mafic lithosphere. The 143Nd isotopic -time patterns are more complex, reflecting the interplay

  12. Exploring Terrestrial Temperature Changes during the Early Eocene Hyperthermals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snell, K. E.; Clyde, W. C.; Fricke, H. C.; Eiler, J. M.

    2012-12-01

    The Early Eocene is marked by a number of rapid global warming events called hyperthermals. These hyperthermals are associated with negative carbon isotope excursions (CIE) in both marine and terrestrial records. Multiple theories exist to explain the connection of these hyperthermals with the CIEs and each theory predicts different responses by the climate system. Characterizing the timing, duration and magnitude of temperature change that is associated with these hyperthermals is important for determining whether the hyperthermals are all driven by the same underlying climate dynamics or perhaps differ from one another in cause and climatic consequences. In the simplest case, all share a common underlying mechanism; this predicts that the associated temperature changes scale in a predictable way with the magnitude of the CIE (and perhaps exhibit other similarities, such as the relative amplitudes of marine and terrestrial temperature change). To our knowledge, however, the only hyperthermal with paleotemperature data from land is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Here we present preliminary carbonate clumped isotope paleotemperature estimates for Early Eocene hyperthermal ETM2/H2 from paleosol carbonates from the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming, USA. We compare the results to existing clumped isotope paleotemperature estimates for the PETM in the Bighorn Basin. Temperatures recorded by paleosol carbonates (which likely reflect near-peak summer ground temperatures) prior to each CIE are ~30°C and increase to ~40-43°C during the apex of each CIE. Following both CIEs, temperatures drop back to pre-CIE values. In the case of ETM2/H2, temperatures begin to rise again immediately, possibly in association with a later hyperthermal, though further work needs to be done to establish this with certainty. These preliminary data suggest that both the absolute values and the magnitudes of temperature changes associated with the PETM and ETM2/H2 are similar; the

  13. Linking playa surface dust emission potential to feedbacks between surface moisture and salt crust expansion through high resolution terrestrial laser scanning measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nield, J. M.; King, J.; Wiggs, G.

    2012-12-01

    The dust emissivity of salt pans (or playas) can be significant but is controlled by interactions between wind erosivity, surface moisture, salt chemistry and crust morphology. These surface properties influence the aeolian transport threshold and can be highly variable over both short temporal and spatial scales. In the past, field studies have been hampered by practical difficulties in accurately measuring properties controlling sediment availability at the surface in high resolution. Studies typically therefore, have investigated large scale monthly or seasonal change using remote sensing and assume a homogeneous surface when predicting dust emissivity. Here we present the first high resolution measurements (sub-cm) of salt crust expansion related to changes in diurnal moisture over daily and weekly time periods using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS, ground-based LiDAR) on Sua Pan, Botswana. The TLS measures both elevation and relative surface moisture change simultaneously, without disturbing the surface. Measurement sequences enable the variability in aeolian sediment availability to be quantified along with temporal feedbacks associated with crust degradation. On crusts with well-developed polygon ridges (high aerodynamic and surface roughness), daily surface expansion was greater than 30mm. The greatest surface change occurred overnight on the upper, exposed sections of the ridges, particularly when surface temperatures dropping below 10°C. These areas also experienced the greatest moisture variation and became increasingly moist overnight in response to an increase in relative humidity. In contrast, during daylight hours, the ridge areas were drier than the lower lying inter-ridge areas. Positive feedbacks between surface topography and moisture reinforced the maximum diurnal moisture variation at ridge peaks, encouraging crust thrusting due to overnight salt hydration, further enhancing the surface, and therefore, aerodynamic roughness. These feedbacks

  14. Some Speculations Concerning The Abitibi Greenstone Belt As A Possible Analog To The Early Martian Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, M.; Allwood, A.; Anderson, R. B.; Atkinson, B.; Beaty, D.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Hand, K. P.; Halevy, I.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Knoll, A.; McCleese, D. J.; Milliken, R.; Stolper, D. A.; Stolper, E. M.; Tosca, N. J.; Agouron Mars Simulation Field Team

    2011-12-01

    The Noachian crust of Mars comprises basaltic and, potentially, komatiitic lavas derived from a hot mantle slightly more reducing and sulfur-rich than that of the Earth. Ultramafic volcanic sequences of the ~2.7Ga Tisdale Group of the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Ontario, provide a potential analog to these early martian lavas. The Abitibi rocks are a possible source of quartz veins carrying, in places, pyrite, carbonate and gold. These were hydrothermally introduced into volcanic and sedimentary rocks during greenschist metamorphism. Kilometer-scale talc-magnesite zones, resulting from the carbonation of serpentinized ultramafics, may have been the source and seawater, with some magmatic addition, was probably responsible for the pervasive alteration, although the chemical nature of hydrothermal fluids circulating in such piles depends upon the temperature of wall-rock interactions and is largely independent of fluid origin. Any sulfides and gold in unaltered ultramafic putative source rocks may have been lost to the invasive convective fluids. Given high heat flow and the presence of a hydrosphere, hydrothermal convection cells were probably the main mechanism of heat transfer through the crust on both planets. Exploration of the Abitibi belt provides a template for possible martian exploration strategies. Orbital remote sensing indicates that some ultramafic rocks on Mars have also been serpentinized and isolated areas of magnesite have been recently discovered, overlying altered mafic crust, with characteristic ridges at scales of a few hundred meters. While cogent arguments have been made favoring sedimentary exhalative accumulations of hydrothermal silica of the kind that are known to harbor bacteria on our own planet, no in situ siliceous sinters or even quartz veins have been identified with certainty on Mars. Here, we report on the mineralogic and visible to infrared spectral characteristics of mafic and ultramafic lithologies at Abitibi for comparison to

  15. Selection and Characterization of Terrestrial Analogs to the Martian Crust: Field Sites in the U.S. Desert Southwest for Testing Radar Sounders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinwiddie, C. L.; Stamatakos, J. A.; Gonzalez, S. H.; Grimm, R. E.; McKague, H. L.; Browning, L. B.; Ferrill, D. A.

    2004-05-01

    present available site characterization data, including results of complementary geophysical investigations (e.g., electromagnetic and magnetotelluric) for field locations in the U.S. Desert Southwest that satisfy requirements for suitability as terrestrial analogues to the Martian crust. In particular, we have assembled a wide range of geological, hydrogeological, geophysical, and geochemical data from the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These data have been acquired over the past 15 years as part of our on-going technical work to support the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in review of a potential license application for a high-level radioactive waste repository. These data make this region of southern Nevada an ideal site for testing existing and planned Martian exploration devices, including radar sounders.

  16. Biological soil crusts reduce soil erosion in early successional subtropical forests in PR China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, Steffen; Goebes, Philipp; Käppeler, Kathrin; Nebel, Martin; Webber, Carla; Scholten, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) have major influences on terrestrial ecosystems and play significant functional roles in soil systems, such as accelerating soil formation, changing water flows or enhancing soil stability. By that, they have the potential to protect soil surfaces against erosive forces by wind or water. However, the effect of BSCs on erosion processes is rarely mentioned in literature and most of the work done focused on arid and semi-arid environments. Furthermore, compared to the structure and function of BSCs, less attention was paid to their temporal and topographical distribution. This study aims to investigate the influence of BSCs on initial soil erosion, and their topographical development over time in initial subtropical forest ecosystems. Therefore, measurements have been conducted within a biodiversity and ecosystem functioning experiment (BEF China) near Xingangshan, Jiangxi Province, PR China. Interrill erosion was measured on 220 microscale run-off plots (ROPs, 0.4 m × 0.4 m) and the occurrence, distribution and development of BSCs within the measuring setup were recorded. BSC cover in each ROP was determined photogrammetrically in four time steps (autumn 2011, summer 2012, summer 2013 and summer 2014). BSC species were identified by morphological characteristics and classified to higher taxonomic levels. Higher BSC cover led to reduced sediment discharge and runoff volume due to its protection against splash energy, the adherence of soil particles and enhanced infiltration. Canopy ground cover and leaf area index had a positive effect on the development of BSC cover at this initial stage of the forest ecosystem. Moreover, BSC cover decreased with increasing slope, as we presume that developing BSCs are washed away more easily at steep gradients. Elevation and aspect did not show an influence. BSCs in this study were moss-dominated and 26 different moos species were found. Mean BSC cover on ROPs was 14 % in the 3rd year of the tree

  17. Microbial Mg-carbonate Precipitation and Early Diagenetic Dolomite Crust Formation at Hypersaline Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahniuk Rumbelsperger, A. M.; McKenzie, J. A.; Perri, E.; Vögeli, N.; Vasconcelos, C.

    2015-12-01

    Sedimentary dolomite rocks are commonly considered to be primarily a replacement product of the calcium carbonate components comprising the original limestone, a process known as secondary replacement dolomitization. Although numerous dolomite formations in the geologic record are composed of fine-grained crystals of micritic dolomite, an alternative process, i.e., direct precipitation, is often excluded because of the absence of visible or geochemical indicators supporting primary precipitation. We present a study of a modern coastal hypersaline lagoon, Brejo do Espinho, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, which is located in a special climatic regime where a well-defined seasonal cycle of wet and dry conditions occur. The direct precipitation of modern high-Mg calcite and Ca-dolomite mud from the lagoonal waters under low-temperature hypersaline conditions is associated with the activity of microbial organisms living in this restricted environment. The mud undergoes an early diagenetic transformation into a 100% dolomite crust on the margins of the lagoon. The biomineralization process, characterized by the variations of the physico-chemical conditions in this environment during the annual hydrologic cycle, is integrated with isotopic analysis to define the early diagenetic processes responsible for the formation of both dolomitic mud and crust. The carbon isotope values indicate a contribution of respired organic carbon, which is greater for the crust (δ13C = -9.5‰ VPDB) than mud (δ13C = -1.2‰ VPDB). The oxygen isotope values reflect a moderate degree of evaporation during mud formation (δ18O = 1.1‰ VPDB), whereas it is greatly enhanced during early diagenetic crust formation (δ18O = 4.2‰ VPDB). The clumped isotope formation temperatures derived for the Brejo do Espinho mud is 34°C and 32°C for the crust. These temperatures are consistent with the upper range of measured values during the dry season when the lagoon experiences the most hypersaline

  18. Terrestrial Effects of Nearby Supernovae in the Early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, B. C.; Engler, E. E.; Kachelrieß, M.; Melott, A. L.; Overholt, A. C.; Semikoz, D. V.

    2016-07-01

    Recent results have strongly confirmed that multiple supernovae happened at distances of ˜100 pc, consisting of two main events: one at 1.7-3.2 million years ago, and the other at 6.5-8.7 million years ago. These events are said to be responsible for excavating the Local Bubble in the interstellar medium and depositing 60Fe on Earth and the Moon. Other events are indicated by effects in the local cosmic ray (CR) spectrum. Given this updated and refined picture, we ask whether such supernovae are expected to have had substantial effects on the terrestrial atmosphere and biota. In a first look at the most probable cases, combining photon and CR effects, we find that a supernova at 100 pc can have only a small effect on terrestrial organisms from visible light and that chemical changes such as ozone depletion are weak. However, tropospheric ionization right down to the ground, due to the penetration of ≥TeV CRs, will increase by nearly an order of magnitude for thousands of years, and irradiation by muons on the ground and in the upper ocean will increase twentyfold, which will approximately triple the overall radiation load on terrestrial organisms. Such irradiation has been linked to possible changes in climate and increased cancer and mutation rates. This may be related to a minor mass extinction around the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, and further research on the effects is needed.

  19. Nitrogen fixation on early Mars and other terrestrial planets: experimental demonstration of abiotic fixation reactions to nitrite and nitrate.

    PubMed

    Summers, David P; Khare, Bishun

    2007-04-01

    Understanding the abiotic fixation of nitrogen is critical to understanding planetary evolution and the potential origin of life on terrestrial planets. Nitrogen, an essential biochemical element, is certainly necessary for life as we know it to arise. The loss of atmospheric nitrogen can result in an incapacity to sustain liquid water and impact planetary habitability and hydrological processes that shape the surface. However, our current understanding of how such fixation may occur is almost entirely theoretical. This work experimentally examines the chemistry, in both gas and aqueous phases, that would occur from the formation of NO and CO by the shock heating of a model carbon dioxide/nitrogen atmosphere such as is currently thought to exist on early terrestrial planets. The results show that two pathways exist for the abiotic fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere into the crust: one via HNO and another via NO(2). Fixation via HNO, which requires liquid water, could represent fixation on a planet with liquid water (and hence would also be a source of nitrogen for the origin of life). The pathway via NO(2) does not require liquid water and shows that fixation could occur even when liquid water has been lost from a planet's surface (for example, continuing to remove nitrogen through NO(2) reaction with ice, adsorbed water, etc.).

  20. The granulite suite: Impact melts and metamorphic breccias of the early lunar crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cushing, J. A.; Taylor, G. J.; Norman, M. D.; Keil, K.

    1993-01-01

    The granulite suite consists of two major types of rocks. One is coarse-grained and poikilitic with many euhedral crystals of olivine and plagioclase. These characteristics indicate crystallization from a melt; the poikilitic granulites are impact melt breccias. The other group is finer-grained and granoblastic, with numerous triple junctions; the granoblastic granulites are metamorphic rocks. Compositional groups identified by Lindstrom and Lindstrom contain both textural types. Two pyroxene thermometry indicates that both groups equilibrated at 1000 to 1150 C. Calculations suggest that the granoblastic group, which has an average grain size of about 80 microns, was annealed for less than 6 x 10 exp 4 y at 1000 C, and for less than 2500 y at 1150 C. Similar equilibration temperatures suggest that both groups were physically associated after impact events produced the poikilitic melts. Granulitic impactites hold important information about the pre-Nectarian bombardment history of the Moon, and the composition and thermal evolution of the early lunar crust. Granulitic impactites are widely considered to be an important rock type in the lunar crust, but how they formed is poorly understood. Metal compositions and elevated concentrations of meteoritic siderophile elements suggest that most lunar granulites are impact breccias. Their occurrence as clasts in approximately 3.9 Ga breccias, and Ar-(40-39) ages greater than or = 4.2 Ga for some granulites show that they represent a component of the lunar crust which formed prior to the Nectarian cataclysm. Petrographic characteristics of lunar granulites indicate at least two endmember textural variants which apparently formed in fundamentally different ways. One type has granoblastic textures consisting of equant, polygonal to rounded grains, and abundant triple junctions with small dispersions around 120 degrees indicating a close approach to textural equilibrium. As suggested by many authors, granoblastic granulites

  1. A comparative study of the early terrestrial atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durham, Richard; Chamberlain, Joseph W.

    1989-01-01

    The CO2 abundance required for maintenance of the climatic conditions speculated to have existed 4 billion years ago on the earth, Mars, and Venus is presently sought by means of a one-dimensional radiative-convective atmospheric model. It is ascertained on this basis that the terrestrial and Martian atmospheres were highly stable, and unlikely to proceed to a moist or runaway greenhouse state even if CO2 partial pressure were equivalent to 100 bars on earth. The proximity of Venus to the sun rendered its atmosphere highly susceptible to rapid water vapor photodissociation and hydrogen escape.

  2. Freshly brewed continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, E.; Hayes, J. L.; Caddick, M. J.; Madrigal, P.

    2015-12-01

    Earth's crust is the life-sustaining interface between our planet's deep interior and surface. Basaltic crusts similar to Earth's oceanic crust characterize terrestrial planets in the solar system while the continental masses, areas of buoyant, thick silicic crust, are a unique characteristic of Earth. Therefore, understanding the processes responsible for the formation of continents is fundamental to reconstructing the evolution of our planet. We use geochemical and geophysical data to reconstruct the evolution of the Central American Land Bridge (Costa Rica and Panama) over the last 70 Ma. We also include new preliminary data from a key turning point (~12-6 Ma) from the evolution from an oceanic arc depleted in incompatible elements to a juvenile continental mass in order to evaluate current models of continental crust formation. We also discovered that seismic P-waves (body waves) travel through the crust at velocities closer to the ones observed in continental crust worldwide. Based on global statistical analyses of all magmas produced today in oceanic arcs compared to the global average composition of continental crust we developed a continental index. Our goal was to quantitatively correlate geochemical composition with the average P-wave velocity of arc crust. We suggest that although the formation and evolution of continents may involve many processes, melting enriched oceanic crust within a subduction zone, a process probably more common in the Achaean where most continental landmasses formed, can produce the starting material necessary for juvenile continental crust formation.

  3. Workshop on Magmatic Processes of Early Planetary Crusts: Magma Oceans and Stratiform Layered Intrusions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, D. (Editor); Mccallum, I. S. (Editor)

    1981-01-01

    The significance of the lunar highland pristine cumulate samples were reevaluated with the aid of the additional insights provided by geologically constrained terrestrial investigations. This exercise involved a review of the state of knowledge about terrestrial and lunar cumulate rocks as well as an enumeration and reevaluation of the processes hypothesized to have been responsible for their formation, both classically and at present.

  4. Early oxygenation of the terrestrial environment during the Mesoproterozoic.

    PubMed

    Parnell, John; Boyce, Adrian J; Mark, Darren; Bowden, Stephen; Spinks, Sam

    2010-11-11

    Geochemical data from ancient sedimentary successions provide evidence for the progressive evolution of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Key stages in increasing oxygenation are postulated for the Palaeoproterozoic era (∼2.3 billion years ago, Gyr ago) and the late Proterozoic eon (about 0.8 Gyr ago), with the latter implicated in the subsequent metazoan evolutionary expansion. In support of this rise in oxygen concentrations, a large database shows a marked change in the bacterially mediated fractionation of seawater sulphate to sulphide of Δ(34)S < 25‰ before 1 Gyr to ≥50‰ after 0.64 Gyr. This change in Δ(34)S has been interpreted to represent the evolution from single-step bacterial sulphate reduction to a combination of bacterial sulphate reduction and sulphide oxidation, largely bacterially mediated. This evolution is seen as marking the rise in atmospheric oxygen concentrations and the evolution of non-photosynthetic sulphide-oxidizing bacteria. Here we report Δ(34)S values exceeding 50‰ from a terrestrial Mesoproterozoic (1.18 Gyr old) succession in Scotland, a time period that is at present poorly characterized. This level of fractionation implies disproportionation in the sulphur cycle, probably involving sulphide-oxidizing bacteria, that is not evident from Δ(34)S data in the marine record. Disproportionation in both red beds and lacustrine black shales at our study site suggests that the Mesoproterozoic terrestrial environment was sufficiently oxygenated to support a biota that was adapted to an oxygen-rich atmosphere, but had also penetrated into subsurface sediment.

  5. Crusts: biological

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Elias, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and fungi, are an essential part of dryland ecosystems. They are critical in the stabilization of soils, protecting them from wind and water erosion. Similarly, these soil surface communities also stabilized soils on early Earth, allowing vascular plants to establish. They contribute nitrogen and carbon to otherwise relatively infertile dryland soils, and have a strong influence on hydrologic cycles. Their presence can also influence vascular plant establishment and nutrition.

  6. Crustal radiogenic heat production and the selective survival of ancient continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that the oldest terrestrial rocks have so far revealed no evidence of the impact phase of Earth evolution. This observation suggests that processes other than impact were dominant at the time of stabilization of these units. However, a use of the oldest terrestrial rocks as a sample of the early terrestrial crust makes it necessary to consider the possibility that these rocks may represent a biased sample. In the present study, the global continental heat flow data set is used to provide further evidence that potassium, uranium, and thorium abundances are, on the average, low in surviving Archean crust relative to younger continental crust. An investigation is conducted of the implications of relatively low crustal radiogenic heat production to the stabilization of early continental crust, and possible Archean crustal stabilization models are discussed.

  7. Crustal radiogenic heat production and the selective survival of ancient continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that the oldest terrestrial rocks have so far revealed no evidence of the impact phase of earth evolution. This observation suggests that processes other than impact were dominant at the time of stabilization of these units. However, a use of the oldest terrestrial rocks as a sample of the early terrestrial crust makes it necessary to consider the possibility that these rocks may represent a biased sample. In the present study, the global continental heat flow data set is used to provide further evidence that potassium, uranium, and thorium abundances are, on the average, low in surviving Archean crust relative to younger continental crust. An investigation is conducted of the implications of relatively low crustal radiogenic heat production to the stabilization of early continental crust, and possible Archean crustal stabilization models are discussed.

  8. Early Mesozoic deep-crust reworking beneath the central Lhasa terrane (South Tibet): Evidence from intermediate gneiss xenoliths in granites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xiang; Zheng, Jian-Ping; Xiong, Qing; Yang, Jing-Sui; Wu, Yuan-Bao; Zhao, Jun-Hong; Griffin, William L.; Dai, Hong-Kun

    2017-03-01

    Understanding the rheological behavior of the Tibetan Plateau and its response to geodynamic processes requires a clear knowledge of the composition, evolution and lithological properties of the deep crust. Here we present U-Pb-Hf isotopes of zircons, bulk-rock geochemistry and mineral compositions for seven intermediate gneiss xenoliths and their host Early Mesozoic granites (205 ± 6 Ma) in the central Lhasa terrane to probe the deep crust beneath Southern Tibet. The xenoliths contain plagioclase, amphibole, titanite, allanite, quartz, biotite and muscovite, with accessory Fe-Ti oxides, apatite and zircon. Bulk-rock and mineral geochemistry suggests that these xenoliths have a magmatic origin and experienced deformation and amphibolite-facies metamorphism (equilibration at pressures of 0.46-0.83 GPa and temperatures of 650 °C), before they were captured by the host granite at 205 Ma. Zircons in these xenoliths show complex microstructures, including inherited cores, magmatic or metamorphic bands, and high U-Th hydrothermal rims. Inherited zircon cores record U-Pb ages from 2277 Ma to 517 Ma. Igneous zircons show a range of concordant U-Pb ages, suggesting a protracted magmatism from 236 Ma to 203 Ma. Metamorphic zircon zones record the timing of amphibolite-facies metamorphism from 224 to 192 Ma, while the high U-Th hydrothermal rims show a subsequent fluid activity until 150 Ma. Unradiogenic Hf isotopic compositions of both xenoliths and host granites [xenolith εHf(t) = - 11.2 to 0; host granite εHf(t) = - 17.3 to - 3.3] indicate that the Early Mesozoic deep crust in the central Lhasa terrane originated mainly from ancient (i.e., Proterozoic) crust, with little or no interaction with juvenile magmas. This study suggests a possible continental differentiation mechanism during crustal reworking; progressive melting may initiate from the lower mafic crust (at ca. 236 Ma) and gradually migrate into the sediment-rich upper crust (until ca. 203 Ma). The reworking

  9. Historical space psychology: Early terrestrial explorations as Mars analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suedfeld, Peter

    2010-03-01

    The simulation and analogue environments used by psychologists to circumvent the difficulties of conducting research in space lack many of the unique characteristics of future explorations, especially the mission to Mars. This paper suggests that appropriate additional analogues would be the multi-year maritime and terrestrial explorations that mapped the surface of the Earth in previous centuries. These, like Mars, often involved a hazardous trek through unknown territory, flanked by extended, dangerous voyages to and from the exploration sites. Characteristic issues included interpersonal relationships under prolonged stress, stretches of boredom interspersed with intense work demands, the impossibility of rescue, resupply, or other help from home, chronic danger, physical discomfort and lack of privacy, and the crucial role of the leader. Illustrative examples of one important factor, leadership style, are discussed. The examination of such expeditions can help to identify the psychological stressors that are likely to be experienced by Mars explorers, and can also indicate countermeasures to reduce the damaging impact of those stressors.

  10. Trophic network models explain instability of Early Triassic terrestrial communities.

    PubMed

    Roopnarine, Peter D; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Wang, Steve C; Hertog, Rachel

    2007-09-07

    Studies of the end-Permian mass extinction have emphasized potential abiotic causes and their direct biotic effects. Less attention has been devoted to secondary extinctions resulting from ecological crises and the effect of community structure on such extinctions. Here we use a trophic network model that combines topological and dynamic approaches to simulate disruptions of primary productivity in palaeocommunities. We apply the model to Permian and Triassic communities of the Karoo Basin, South Africa, and show that while Permian communities bear no evidence of being especially susceptible to extinction, Early Triassic communities appear to have been inherently less stable. Much of the instability results from the faster post-extinction diversification of amphibian guilds relative to amniotes. The resulting communities differed fundamentally in structure from their Permian predecessors. Additionally, our results imply that changing community structures over time may explain long-term trends like declining rates of Phanerozoic background extinction.

  11. Trophic network models explain instability of Early Triassic terrestrial communities

    PubMed Central

    Roopnarine, Peter D; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Wang, Steve C; Hertog, Rachel

    2007-01-01

    Studies of the end-Permian mass extinction have emphasized potential abiotic causes and their direct biotic effects. Less attention has been devoted to secondary extinctions resulting from ecological crises and the effect of community structure on such extinctions. Here we use a trophic network model that combines topological and dynamic approaches to simulate disruptions of primary productivity in palaeocommunities. We apply the model to Permian and Triassic communities of the Karoo Basin, South Africa, and show that while Permian communities bear no evidence of being especially susceptible to extinction, Early Triassic communities appear to have been inherently less stable. Much of the instability results from the faster post-extinction diversification of amphibian guilds relative to amniotes. The resulting communities differed fundamentally in structure from their Permian predecessors. Additionally, our results imply that changing community structures over time may explain long-term trends like declining rates of Phanerozoic background extinction PMID:17609191

  12. Ecophysiological Response on Dehydration and Temperature in Terrestrial Klebsormidium (Streptophyta) Isolated from Biological Soil Crusts in Central European Grasslands and Forests.

    PubMed

    Donner, Antje; Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Karsten, Ulf

    2016-12-24

    The green algal genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiophyceae, Streptophyta) is a typical member of biological soil crusts (BSCs) worldwide. Ecophysiological studies focused so far on individual strains and thus gave only limited insight on the plasticity of this genus. In the present study, 21 Klebsormidium strains (K. dissectum, K. flaccidum, K. nitens, K. subtile) from temperate BSCs in Central European grassland and forest sites were investigated. Photosynthetic performance under desiccation and temperature stress was measured under identical controlled conditions. Photosynthesis decreased during desiccation within 335-505 min. After controlled rehydration, most isolates recovered, but with large variances between single strains and species. However, all K. dissectum strains had high recovery rates (>69%). All 21 Klebsormidium isolates exhibited the capability to grow under a wide temperature range. Except one strain, all others grew at 8.5 °C and four strains were even able to grow at 6.2 °C. Twenty out of 21 Klebsormidium isolates revealed an optimum growth temperature >17 °C, indicating psychrotrophic features. Growth rates at optimal temperatures varied between strains from 0.26 to 0.77 μ day(-1). Integrating phylogeny and ecophysiological traits, we found no phylogenetic signal in the traits investigated. However, multivariate statistical analysis indicated an influence of the recovery rate and growth rate. The results demonstrate a high infraspecific and interspecific physiological plasticity, and thus wide ecophysiological ability to cope with strong environmental gradients. This might be the reason why members of the genus Klebsormidium successfully colonize terrestrial habitats worldwide.

  13. Experimental investigation of the early interaction between cyanobacterial soil crusts and vascular plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klemens Zaplata, Markus; Veste, Maik; Pohle, Ina; Schümberg, Sabine; Abreu Schonert, Iballa; Hinz, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    While there are hints that biological soil crusts (BSCs) can constitute physical barriers for the emergence of vascular plants, a conceptual approach for the quantitative evaluation of these effects is still missing. Here we present an experimental design to test the emergence of seedlings in situ with (i) capping natural intact, (ii) destroyed and (iii) removed BSC. The selected field site is directly adjacent to the constructed Hühnerwasser catchment (Lusatia, Germany). This site exists since the end of 2008 and consists of loamy sand. Serving as proxy for seedling thrust, we inserted pre-germinated seeds of three confamiliar plant species with different seed masses (members of the Fabaceae family: Lotus corniculatus L., Ornithopus sativus Brot., and Glycine max (L.) Merr.). In each treatment as well as in the control group planting depths were 10 mm. We took care that experimental plots had identical crust thickness, slightly less than 4 mm, serving as proxy for mechanical resistance. A plot became established as follows: Firstly, the pristine crusted surface was vertically cut. To the windward side the BSC remained intact (i: "with BSC" stripe). To the downwind side soil material was temporarily excavated for laterally inserting the seeds beneath the surface of the first stripe. Then at the thereby disturbed second stripe pulverised BSC material became filled as a top layer (ii: "BSC mix" stripe). From the next stripe the BSC was removed (iii: "no BSC" stripe). Thus each plot had each experimental group in spatial contiguity (within 50 cm × 50 cm). The overall 50 plots were distributed across an area of 40 m × 12 m. When individuals of a species either emerged at all stripes, "× × ×", or at no stripe of a plot, "- - -", there was no reason to suppose any effect of a crust. The "- × ×" emergence pattern (depicting the appearance of seedlings in both stripes possessing manipulated surfaces) points towards hindrance more clearly than "- × -" or "- -

  14. Heterogeneity in global vegetation and terrestrial climate change during the late Eocene to early Oligocene transition.

    PubMed

    Pound, Matthew J; Salzmann, Ulrich

    2017-02-24

    Rapid global cooling at the Eocene - Oligocene Transition (EOT), ~33.9-33.5 Ma, is widely considered to mark the onset of the modern icehouse world. A large and rapid drop in atmospheric pCO2 has been proposed as the driving force behind extinctions in the marine realm and glaciation on Antarctica. However, the global terrestrial response to this cooling is uncertain. Here we present the first global vegetation and terrestrial temperature reconstructions for the EOT. Using an extensive palynological dataset, that has been statistically grouped into palaeo-biomes, we show a more transitional nature of terrestrial climate change by indicating a spatial and temporal heterogeneity of vegetation change at the EOT in both hemispheres. The reconstructed terrestrial temperatures show for many regions a cooling that started well before the EOT and continued into the Early Oligocene. We conclude that the heterogeneous pattern of global vegetation change has been controlled by a combination of multiple forcings, such as tectonics, sea-level fall and long-term decline in greenhouse gas concentrations during the late Eocene to early Oligocene, and does not represent a single response to a rapid decline in atmospheric pCO2 at the EOT.

  15. Heterogeneity in global vegetation and terrestrial climate change during the late Eocene to early Oligocene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pound, Matthew J.; Salzmann, Ulrich

    2017-02-01

    Rapid global cooling at the Eocene – Oligocene Transition (EOT), ~33.9–33.5 Ma, is widely considered to mark the onset of the modern icehouse world. A large and rapid drop in atmospheric pCO2 has been proposed as the driving force behind extinctions in the marine realm and glaciation on Antarctica. However, the global terrestrial response to this cooling is uncertain. Here we present the first global vegetation and terrestrial temperature reconstructions for the EOT. Using an extensive palynological dataset, that has been statistically grouped into palaeo-biomes, we show a more transitional nature of terrestrial climate change by indicating a spatial and temporal heterogeneity of vegetation change at the EOT in both hemispheres. The reconstructed terrestrial temperatures show for many regions a cooling that started well before the EOT and continued into the Early Oligocene. We conclude that the heterogeneous pattern of global vegetation change has been controlled by a combination of multiple forcings, such as tectonics, sea-level fall and long-term decline in greenhouse gas concentrations during the late Eocene to early Oligocene, and does not represent a single response to a rapid decline in atmospheric pCO2 at the EOT.

  16. Heterogeneity in global vegetation and terrestrial climate change during the late Eocene to early Oligocene transition

    PubMed Central

    Pound, Matthew J.; Salzmann, Ulrich

    2017-01-01

    Rapid global cooling at the Eocene – Oligocene Transition (EOT), ~33.9–33.5 Ma, is widely considered to mark the onset of the modern icehouse world. A large and rapid drop in atmospheric pCO2 has been proposed as the driving force behind extinctions in the marine realm and glaciation on Antarctica. However, the global terrestrial response to this cooling is uncertain. Here we present the first global vegetation and terrestrial temperature reconstructions for the EOT. Using an extensive palynological dataset, that has been statistically grouped into palaeo-biomes, we show a more transitional nature of terrestrial climate change by indicating a spatial and temporal heterogeneity of vegetation change at the EOT in both hemispheres. The reconstructed terrestrial temperatures show for many regions a cooling that started well before the EOT and continued into the Early Oligocene. We conclude that the heterogeneous pattern of global vegetation change has been controlled by a combination of multiple forcings, such as tectonics, sea-level fall and long-term decline in greenhouse gas concentrations during the late Eocene to early Oligocene, and does not represent a single response to a rapid decline in atmospheric pCO2 at the EOT. PMID:28233862

  17. Eastern Indian 3800-million-year-old crust and early mantle differentiation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Basu, A.R.; Ray, S.L.; Saha, A.K.; Sarkar, S.N.

    1981-01-01

    Samarium-neodymium data for nine granitic and tonalite gneisses occurring as remnants within the Singhbhum granite batholith in eastern India define an isochron of age 3775 ?? 89 ?? 106 years with an initial 143Nd/144Nd ratio of 0.50798 ?? 0.00007. This age contrasts with the rubidium-strontium age of 3200 ?? 106 years for the same suite of rocks. On the basis of the new samarium-neodynium data, field data, and petrologic data, a scheme of evolution is proposed for the Archean crust in eastern India. The isotopic data provide evidence that parts of the earth's mantle were already differentiated with respect to the chondritic samarium-neodymium ratio 3800 ?? 106 years ago.

  18. Pb-isotopic evidence for an early, enriched crust on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellucci, J. J.; Nemchin, A. A.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Humayun, M.; Hewins, R.; Zanda, B.

    2015-01-01

    Martian meteorite NWA 7533 is a regolith breccia that compositionally resembles the Martian surface measured by orbiters and landers. NWA 7533 contains monzonitic clasts that have zircon with U-Pb ages of 4.428 Ga. The Pb isotopic compositions of plagioclase and alkali feldspars, as well as U-Pb isotopic compositions of chlorapatite in the monzonitic clasts of NWA 7533 have been measured by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). The U-Pb isotopic compositions measured from the chlorapatite in NWA 7533 yield an age of 1.357 ± 81 Ga (2σ). The least radiogenic Pb isotopic compositions measured in plagioclase and K-feldspar lie within error of the 4.428 Ga Geochron. These data indicate that the monzonitic clasts in NWA 7533 are a product of a differentiation history that includes residence in a reservoir that formed prior to 4.428 Ga with a μ-value (238U/204Pb) of at least 13.4 ± 1.7 (2 σ) and a κ-value (232Th/238U) of ∼4.3. This μ-value is more than three times higher than any other documented Martian reservoir. These results indicate either the Martian mantle is significantly more heterogeneous than previously thought (μ-value of 1-14 vs. 1-5) and/or the monzonitic clasts formed by the melting of Martian crust with a μ-value of at least 13.4. Therefore, NWA 7533 may contain the first isotopic evidence for an enriched, differentiated crust on Mars.

  19. Understanding the early Mesozoic world: New geochronological data from terrestrial and marine strata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mundil, Roland; Irmis, Randall B.; Ickert, Ryan B.

    2013-04-01

    The first ~50 Ma of the Mesozoic (the Triassic Period) are marked by two major mass extinctions at the end-Permian and end-Triassic, extensive flood volcanic events (the Siberian Traps and the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province), perturbations of the ocean chemistry, paleoenvironmental changes in a greenhouse world and the origin of modern terrestrial ecosystems. Marine records of events leading to the end-Permian extinction as well as subsequent recovery during the Early and Middle Triassic are now well understood in terms of their relative and absolute timing, mainly due to significant advances in both the quantity and quality of geochronological data. This includes a detailed understanding of the Middle and end-Permian extinction events and their potential causes, their aftermath, and also the timing of large scale perturbations of the global carbon cycle in the Early Triassic. For the remaining ~30 Ma of the Triassic, however, there was until recently virtually no chronostratigraphic framework, and hence there is a major lag in our understanding of major events such as the origin and early diversification of dinosaurs, major reef building episodes in marine ecosystems, paleoenvironmental changes (e.g., the Carnian Pluvial Event), and a large extraterrestrial bolide impact (the Manicouagan impact). In absence of high-resolution radioisotopic ages, assumptions about causal inference and the role of these events, remain poorly constrained. We have therefore started to build a chronostratigraphic framework by applying U-Pb CA-TIMS analyses to zircon from primary and redeposited volcanic strata within both marine and terrestrial sequences of Late Triassic age. In particular, the potential of geochronological techniques applied to redeposited volcanic layers has long been ignored because the time lag between zircon crystallization and deposition is unknown; however, our initial results calibrating terrestrial sequences in North and South America are very promising

  20. Fungal decomposition of terrestrial organic matter accelerated Early Jurassic climate warming

    PubMed Central

    Pieńkowski, Grzegorz; Hodbod, Marta; Ullmann, Clemens V.

    2016-01-01

    Soils – constituting the largest terrestrial carbon pool - are vulnerable to climatic warming. Currently existing uncertainties regarding carbon fluxes within terrestrial systems can be addressed by studies of past carbon cycle dynamics and related climate change recorded in sedimentary successions. Here we show an example from the Early Jurassic (early Toarcian, c. 183 mya) marginal-marine strata from Poland, tracking the hinterland response to climatic changes through a super-greenhouse event. In contrast to anoxia-related enhanced carbon storage in coeval open marine environments, Total Organic Carbon (TOC) concentrations in the Polish successions are substantially reduced during this event. Increasing temperature favoured fungal-mediated decomposition of plant litter – specifically of normally resistant woody tissues. The associated injection of oxidized organic matter into the atmosphere corresponds to abrupt changes in standing vegetation and may have contributed significantly to the amplified greenhouse climate on Earth. The characteristic Toarcian signature of multiple warm pulses coinciding with rapidly decreasing carbon isotope ratios may in part be the result of a radical reduction of the terrestrial carbon pool as a response to climate change. PMID:27554210

  1. Fungal decomposition of terrestrial organic matter accelerated Early Jurassic climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pieńkowski, Grzegorz; Hodbod, Marta; Ullmann, Clemens V.

    2016-08-01

    Soils – constituting the largest terrestrial carbon pool - are vulnerable to climatic warming. Currently existing uncertainties regarding carbon fluxes within terrestrial systems can be addressed by studies of past carbon cycle dynamics and related climate change recorded in sedimentary successions. Here we show an example from the Early Jurassic (early Toarcian, c. 183 mya) marginal-marine strata from Poland, tracking the hinterland response to climatic changes through a super-greenhouse event. In contrast to anoxia-related enhanced carbon storage in coeval open marine environments, Total Organic Carbon (TOC) concentrations in the Polish successions are substantially reduced during this event. Increasing temperature favoured fungal-mediated decomposition of plant litter – specifically of normally resistant woody tissues. The associated injection of oxidized organic matter into the atmosphere corresponds to abrupt changes in standing vegetation and may have contributed significantly to the amplified greenhouse climate on Earth. The characteristic Toarcian signature of multiple warm pulses coinciding with rapidly decreasing carbon isotope ratios may in part be the result of a radical reduction of the terrestrial carbon pool as a response to climate change.

  2. Fungal decomposition of terrestrial organic matter accelerated Early Jurassic climate warming.

    PubMed

    Pieńkowski, Grzegorz; Hodbod, Marta; Ullmann, Clemens V

    2016-08-24

    Soils - constituting the largest terrestrial carbon pool - are vulnerable to climatic warming. Currently existing uncertainties regarding carbon fluxes within terrestrial systems can be addressed by studies of past carbon cycle dynamics and related climate change recorded in sedimentary successions. Here we show an example from the Early Jurassic (early Toarcian, c. 183 mya) marginal-marine strata from Poland, tracking the hinterland response to climatic changes through a super-greenhouse event. In contrast to anoxia-related enhanced carbon storage in coeval open marine environments, Total Organic Carbon (TOC) concentrations in the Polish successions are substantially reduced during this event. Increasing temperature favoured fungal-mediated decomposition of plant litter - specifically of normally resistant woody tissues. The associated injection of oxidized organic matter into the atmosphere corresponds to abrupt changes in standing vegetation and may have contributed significantly to the amplified greenhouse climate on Earth. The characteristic Toarcian signature of multiple warm pulses coinciding with rapidly decreasing carbon isotope ratios may in part be the result of a radical reduction of the terrestrial carbon pool as a response to climate change.

  3. Studies of volatiles and organic materials in early terrestrial and present-day outer solar system environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, Carl; Thompson, W. Reid; Chyba, Christopher F.; Khare, B. N.

    1991-01-01

    A review and partial summary of projects within several areas of research generally involving the origin, distribution, chemistry, and spectral/dielectric properties of volatiles and organic materials in the outer solar system and early terrestrial environments are presented. The major topics covered include: (1) impact delivery of volatiles and organic compounds to the early terrestrial planets; (2) optical constants measurements; (3) spectral classification, chemical processes, and distribution of materials; and (4) radar properties of ice, hydrocarbons, and organic heteropolymers.

  4. Early degassing of lunar urKREEP by crust-breaching impact(s)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, Jessica J.; Tartèse, Romain; Anand, Mahesh; McCubbin, Francis M.; Neal, Clive R.; Franchi, Ian A.

    2016-08-01

    Current models for the Moon's formation have yet to fully account for the thermal evolution of the Moon in the presence of H2O and other volatiles. Of particular importance is chlorine, since most lunar samples are characterised by unique heavy δ37Cl values, significantly deviating from those of other planetary materials, including Earth, for which δ37Cl values cluster around ∼0‰. In order to unravel the cause(s) of the Moon's unique chlorine isotope signature, we performed a comprehensive study of high-precision in situ Cl isotope measurements of apatite from a suite of Apollo samples with a range of geochemical characteristics and petrologic types. The Cl-isotopic compositions measured in lunar apatite in the studied samples display a wide range of δ37Cl values (reaching a maximum value of +36‰), which are positively correlated with the amount of potassium (K), Rare Earth Element (REE) and phosphorous (P) (KREEP) component in each sample. Using these new data, integrated with existing H-isotope data obtained for the same samples, we are able to place these findings in the context of the canonical lunar magma ocean (LMO) model. The results are consistent with the urKREEP reservoir being characterised by a δ37Cl ∼+30‰. Such a heavy Cl isotope signature requires metal-chloride degassing from a Cl-enriched urKREEP LMO residue, a process likely to have been triggered by at least one large crust-breaching impact event that facilitated the transport and exposure of urKREEP liquid to the lunar surface.

  5. Evolution of the earth's crust: Evidence from comparative planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowman, P. D., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    Geochemical data and orbital photography from Apollo, Mariner, and Venera missions were combined with terrestrial geologic evidence to study the problem of why the earth has two contrasting types of crust (oceanic and continental). The following outline of terrestrial crustal evolution is proposed. A global crust of intermediate to acidic composition, high in aluminum, was formed by igneous processes early in the earth's history; portions survive in some shield areas as granitic and anorthositic gneisses. This crust was fractured by major impacts and tectonic processes, followed by basaltic eruptions analogous to the lunar maria and the smooth plains of the north hemisphere of Mars. Seafloor spreading and subduction ensued, during which portions of the early continental crust and sediments derived therefrom were thrust under the remaining continental crust. The process is exemplified today in regions such as the Andes/Peru-Chile trench system. Underplating may have been roughly concentric, and the higher radioactive element content of the underplated sialic material could thus eventually cause concentric zones of regional metamorphism and magmatism.

  6. Intrusions of mixed origin migmatising early Achaean crust in northern Labrador, Canada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schiotte, L.; Bridgwater, D.

    1986-01-01

    Migmatization of Early Archean Uivak gneisses by Late Archean granitic and trondhjemitic injections are described. The rare earth element, major element, and isotopic geochemistry of the felsic sheets is interpreted to indicate both mantle and crustal components, and the sheets with associated fluids were the vehicle for element transport in the crustal column with attendant isotopic modification of the older gneisses.

  7. A terrestrial vegetation turnover in the middle of the Early Triassic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Ryosuke; Kaiho, Kunio; Oba, Masahiro; Takahashi, Satoshi; Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Tong, Jinnan

    2013-06-01

    Land-plant productivity was greatly reduced after the end-Permian mass extinction, causing a pronounced "coal gap" worldwide during the Early Triassic. Newly obtained organic geochemistry data from the Chaohu area, south China, indicated an abrupt and profound terrestrial vegetation change over the middle part of the Early Triassic Smithian-Spathian (S-S) interval. Herbaceous lycopsids and/or bryophytes dominated terrestrial vegetation from Griesbachian to Smithian times. The terrestrial ecosystem underwent an abrupt change, and woody conifers became dominant over the S-S interval. Several important biomarkers, namely retene, simonellite, and dehydroabietane (with multiple sources: conifer, lycopsid, and/or herbaceous bryophyte), were relatively abundant during Griesbachian, Dienerian, and Smithian times. The relatively low C/N ratio values during the Griesbachian-Smithian interval indicate that these biomarkers were likely sourced from herbaceous lycopsids and/or bryophytes. The extremely abundant conifer-sourced pimanthrene, combined with relatively high C/N ratio values, suggested the recovery of woody conifers after the S-S boundary. The new data revealed that the switch from herbaceous vegetation to woody coniferous vegetation marked a terrestrial plant recovery, which occurred globally within 3 million years after the end-Permian crisis rather than at a later date estimated in previous studies. In Chaohu, the S-S terrestrial event was marked by a reappearance of woody vegetation, while the S-S marine event was marked by an increase in ichnodiversity, trace complexity, burrow size, infaunal tiering level, and bioturbation level, and a possible intense upwelling event indicated by the extended tricyclic terpane ratios (ETR). Coeval vegetation changes with comparable patterns have also been documented in Europe and Pakistan based on palynologic studies. The S-S boundaries in Asia and Europe are associated with a positive δ13C excursion, the rebound of woody

  8. Atmospheric oxygen levels affect mudskipper terrestrial performance: implications for early tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Jew, Corey J; Wegner, Nicholas C; Yanagitsuru, Yuzo; Tresguerres, Martin; Graham, Jeffrey B

    2013-08-01

    The Japanese mudskipper (Periophthalmus modestus), an amphibious fish that possesses many respiratory and locomotive specializations for sojourns onto land, was used as a model to study how changing atmospheric oxygen concentrations during the middle and late Paleozoic Era (400-250 million years ago) may have influenced the emergence and subsequent radiation of the first tetrapods. The effects of different atmospheric oxygen concentrations (hyperoxia = 35%, normoxia = 21%, and hypoxia = 7% O2) on terrestrial performance were tested during exercise on a terrestrial treadmill and during recovery from exhaustive exercise. Endurance and elevated post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC; the immediate O2 debt repaid post-exercise) correlated with atmospheric oxygen concentration indicating that when additional oxygen is available P. modestus can increase oxygen utilization both during and following exercise. The time required post-exercise for mudskippers to return to a resting metabolic rate did not differ between treatments. However, in normoxia, oxygen consumption increased above hyperoxic values 13-20 h post-exercise suggesting a delayed repayment of the incurred oxygen debt. Finally, following exercise, ventilatory movements associated with buccopharyngeal aerial respiration returned to their rest-like pattern more quickly at higher concentrations of oxygen. Taken together, the results of this study show that P. modestus can exercise longer and recover quicker under higher oxygen concentrations. Similarities between P. modestus and early tetrapods suggest that increasing atmospheric oxygen levels during the middle and late Paleozoic allowed for elevated aerobic capacity and improved terrestrial performance, and likely led to an accelerated diversification and expansion of vertebrate life into the terrestrial biosphere.

  9. The persistent and pernicious myth of the early CO2-N2 atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, G. H.

    2009-12-01

    The accepted model for early atmospheres of terrestrial planets has settled on a CO2-N2 composition. Unfortunately, while it is largely based on a brilliant geological analysis by Rubey, there is no compelling evidence whatsoever for such a composition as the first “permanent” atmosphere for Earth or any other planet. In fact, geological discoveries of the past 50+ years reveal several problems with a CO2-N2 atmosphere, some of which Rubey recognized in his own analysis. He clearly addressed the problem of timing of degassing, concluding that early massive degassing of CO2 would produce readily observed and profound effects, which are not evident. Modeling and constraints on the timing of planetary accretion and core formation indicate massive early degassing. If early degassing emitted CO2-N2, the effects are concealed. Plate tectonic recycling is not a solution, as conditions would have persisted beyond the time of the earliest rocks, which do not show the effects. Attempts to return degassed CO2 to the mantle are not only ad hoc, but inconsistent with early thermal structure of the Earth. Second, production of prebiotic organic compounds from a CO2-N2 atmosphere has been a nagging problem. At best this has been addressed by invoking hydrogen production from the mantle to provide reducing capacity. While hydrogen may be emitted in volcanic eruptions, it is exceedingly difficult to imagine this process generating enough organics to yield high concentrations in a global ocean. The recent fashion of invoking organic synthesis at deep-sea vents suffers from the same problem: how to achieve sufficient concentrations of organics in a global ocean by abiotic synthesis when hydrothermal activity stirs the solution and carries the prebiotic products off to great dilution? Suggesting life began at deep-sea vents, and continues to carry on chemosynthesis there, begs the question. Unless you get high enough concentrations of prebiotics by abiotic processes, you simply

  10. Basaltic Volcanism and Ancient Planetary Crusts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shervais, John W.

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of this project is to decipher the origin of rocks which form the ancient lunar crust. Our goal is to better understand how the moon evolved chemically and, more generally, the processes involved in the chemical fractionation of terrestrial planetoids. This research has implications for other planetary bodies besides the Moon, especially smaller planetoids which evolved early in the history of the solar system and are now thermally stable. The three main areas focused on in our work (lunar mare basalts, KREEP basalts, and plutonic rocks of the lunar highlands) provide complementary information on the lunar interior and the processes that formed it.

  11. Dermal bone in early tetrapods: a palaeophysiological hypothesis of adaptation for terrestrial acidosis.

    PubMed

    Janis, Christine M; Devlin, Kelly; Warren, Daniel E; Witzmann, Florian

    2012-08-07

    The dermal bone sculpture of early, basal tetrapods of the Permo-Carboniferous is unlike the bone surface of any living vertebrate, and its function has long been obscure. Drawing from physiological studies of extant tetrapods, where dermal bone or other calcified tissues aid in regulating acid-base balance relating to hypercapnia (excess blood carbon dioxide) and/or lactate acidosis, we propose a similar function for these sculptured dermal bones in early tetrapods. Unlike the condition in modern reptiles, which experience hypercapnia when submerged in water, these animals would have experienced hypercapnia on land, owing to likely inefficient means of eliminating carbon dioxide. The different patterns of dermal bone sculpture in these tetrapods largely correlates with levels of terrestriality: sculpture is reduced or lost in stem amniotes that likely had the more efficient lung ventilation mode of costal aspiration, and in small-sized stem amphibians that would have been able to use the skin for gas exchange.

  12. Early tetrapod evolution and the progressive integration of Permo-Carboniferous terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Beerbower, J.R. . Dept. of Geological Science); Olson, E.C. . Dept. of Biology); Hotton, N. III . Dept. of Paleobiology)

    1992-01-01

    Variation among Permo-Carboniferous tetrapod assemblages demonstrates major transformations in pathways and rates of energy and nutrient transfer, in integration of terrestrial ecosystems and in predominant ecologic modes. Early Carboniferous pathways were through plant detritus to aquatic and terrestrial detritivores and thence to arthropod and vertebrate meso-and macro-predators. Transfer rates (and efficiency) were low as was ecosystem integration; the principal ecologic mode was conservation. Late Carboniferous and Early Permian assemblages demonstrate an expansion in herbivory, primarily in utilization of low-fiber plant tissue by insects. But transfer rates, efficiency and integration were still limited because the larger portion of plant biomass, high-fiber tissues, still went into detrital pathways; high-fiber'' herbivores, i.e., tetrapods, were neither abundant or diverse, reflecting limited resources, intense predation and limited capabilities for processing fiber-rich food. The abundance and diversity of tetrapod herbivores in upper Permian assemblages suggests a considerable transfer of energy from high-fiber tissues through these animals to tetrapod predators and thus higher transfer rates and efficiencies. It also brought a shift in ecological mode toward acquisition and regulation and tightened ecosystem integration.

  13. Terrestrial Biomarkers for Early Life on Earth as Analogs for Possible Martian Life Forms: Examples of Minerally Replaced Bacteria and Biofilms From the 3.5 - 3.3-Ga Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K.; deWit, M. J.; Dann, J.; Gerneke, D.; deRonde, C. E. J.

    1998-01-01

    The search for extraterrestrial life and especially martian life hinges on a variety of methods used to identify vestiges of what we could recognize as life, including chemical signatures, morphological fossils, and biogenic precipitates. Although the possibility of extant life on Mars (subsurface) is being considered, most exploration efforts may be directed toward the search for fossil life. Geomorphological evidence points to a warmer and wetter Mars early on in its history, a scenario that encourages comparison with the early Earth. For this reason, study of the early terrestrial life forms and environment in which they lived may provide clues as to how to search for extinct martian life. As a contribution to the early Archean database of terrestrial microfossils, we present new data on morphological fossils from the 3.5-3.3-Ga Barberton greenstone belt (BGB), South Africa. This study underlines the variety of fossil types already present in some of the oldest, best-preserved terrestrial sediments, ranging from minerally replaced bacteria and bacteria molds of vaRious morphologies (coccoid, coccobacillus, bacillus) to minerally replaced biofilm. Biofilm or extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) is produced by bacteria and appears to be more readily fossilisable than bacteria themselves. The BGB fossils occur in shallow water to subaerial sediments interbedded with volcanic lavas, the whole being deposited on oceanic crust. Penecontemporaneous silicification of sediments and volcanics resulted in the chertification of the rocks, which were later subjected to low-grade metamorphism (lower greenschist).

  14. Growth of early archaean crust in the ancient Gneiss complex of Swaziland and adjacent Barberton Greenstone Belt, Southern Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kroener, A.; Compston, W.; Tegtmeyer, A.; Milisenda, C.; Liew, T. C.

    1988-01-01

    The relationship between early Archean greenstones and high grade gneisses in the Ancient Gneiss Complex of Swaziland and the neighboring Barberton greenstone belt in Southern Africa is discussed. New high precision zircon analyses reveal a complex history in individual zircons from tonalitic orthogneisses, with ages as old as 3644 + 4 Ma. This suggests the presence of continental crust prior to the formation of the supracrustal rocks of the Barberton greenstone belt, which have been previously considered the earliest rocks in the area. The author suggested that these data are incompatible with the intraoceanic settings that have been widely accepted for this terrane, and favors either a marginal basin or rift environment. By using the detailed age information obtained from zircons in combination with Ar-40 and Ar-39 and paleomagnetic measurements, the author estimated that plate velocities for this part of Africa craton were about 10 to 70 mm/yr, during the period 3.4 to 2.5 Ga. This is not incompatible with the idea that Archean plate velocities may have been similiar to those of today.

  15. Identification of Lichen Metabolism in an Early Devonian Terrestrial Fossil using Carbon Stable Isotope Signature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, S.; Jahren, H.

    2002-05-01

    The fossil organismSpongiophyton minutissimum is commonly found in early terrestrial assemblages (Devonian age, 430-340 Ma). Suites of morphological descriptions of this fossil have been published, starting in 1954, and have led to two competing hypotheses: 1.) that this early colonizer of land was a primitive bryophyte, and therefore a precursor to modern plant organisms, and 2.) thatS. minutissimum was a lichen: a close association between an alga and a fungus. Because the ultimate mechanisms for carbon supply to the carboxylating enzyme in bryophytes and lichens differ fundamentally, we expect these two types of organisms to exhibit separate ranges of δ 13Ctissue value. In bryophytes, gaseous carbon dioxide diffuses through perforations in cuticle (resulting in δ 13Catmosphere - δ 13Cbryophyte = ~20 ‰ ). Within the lichen, carbon is supplied to the carboxylating enzyme of the photobiont as carbon dioxide dissolved in fungal cell fluids (resulting in δ 13Catmosphere - δ 13Clichen = ~15 ‰ ). By comparing the δ 13Ctissue value ofS. minutissimum (mean = -23 ‰ ;n = 75) with δ 13Ctissue values in twenty-five lichens, representative of the four different phylogenetic clades (mean = -23 ‰ ;n = 25) and thirty different genera of bryophytes including mosses, liverworts, and hornworts (mean = -28 ‰ ;n = 30), we conclude thatS. minutissimum was cycling carbon via processes that much more closely resembled those of lichens, and not bryophytes. We discuss the general strategies associated with lichen biology, such as the ability to withstand dessication during reproduction, and how they may have contributed to the successful colonization of terrestrial environments.

  16. Evolution of the depleted mantle and growth of the continental crust: An early beginning or a slow start?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vervoort, Jeff

    2014-05-01

    A fundamental principle of the geochemical evolution of the Earth holds that continental crust formed by extraction of melts from the mantle leaving part of the mantle depleted in incompatible elements. Nd and Hf isotopes have long been used to show that this process has been an essential feature of the Earth throughout its history, but the details of the record—and its implications for for addressing questions of the mechanisms, timing, and volumes of crustal production—remain hotly debated, particularly for the early Earth. One reason for the uncertainty in the isotopic record is a paucity of Archean rocks > 3.5 Ga and the ones that have survived often have had complex geologic histories, resulting in either compromised isotopic systematics and/or complicated mixtures of components with different ages and isotopic compositions. To address these potential complexities two approaches have been used to constrain the isotopic record: 1) Nd and Hf isotopic compositions of least altered rocks with well-constrained crystallization ages; and 2) Hf isotope composition of zircons in both magmatic rocks and in clastic sediments. The latter approach has found great utility by virtue of coupling U-Pb age constraints with Lu-Hf tracer isotopic information. A further advantage of the integrated U-Pb and Hf approach has been to examine zircons bereft of their corresponding whole rock. This has allowed the extension of the Hf isotopic record to the Hadean by examining detrital zircons from places like the Jack Hills. One unintended consequence of two different (Nd, Hf) approaches has been the creation of isotopic records not in agreement with each other, resulting in different interpretations. The Nd isotopic record, based solely on whole-rock analyses, shows evidence for the development of a depleted mantle signature in the oldest mantle-derived rocks. These data appear to correlate with positive 142 Nd anomalies, consistent with very early development of depleted and

  17. Predicting the Sources and Formation Mechanisms of Evolved Lunar Crust by Linking K/Ca Ratios of Lunar Granites to Analogous Terrestrial Igneous Rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mills, R. D.; Simon, J. I.

    2012-01-01

    Although silicic rocks (i.e. granites and rhyolites) comprise a minor component of the sampled portion of the lunar crust, recent remote sensing studies [e.g., 1-4] indicate that several un-sampled regions of the Moon have significantly higher concentrations of silicic material (also high in [K], [U], and [Th]) than sampled regions. Within these areas are morphological features that are best explained by the existence of chemically evolved volcanic rocks. Observations of silicic domes [e.g., 1-5] suggest that sizable networks of silicic melt were present during crust formation. Isotopic data indicate that silicic melts were generated over a prolonged timespan from 4.3 to 3.9 Ga [e.g., 6-8]. The protracted age range and broad distribution of silicic rocks on the Moon indicate that their petrogenesis was an important mechanism for secondary crust formation. Understanding the origin and evolution of such silicic magmas is critical to determining the composition of the lunar crustal highlands and will help to distinguish between opposing ideas for the Moon's bulk composition and differentiation. The two main hypotheses for generating silicic melts on Earth are fractional crystallization or partial melting. On the Moon silicic melts are thought to have been generated during extreme fractional crystallization involving end-stage silicate liquid immiscibility (SLI) [e.g. 9, 10]. However, SLI cannot account for the production of significant volumes of silicic melt and its wide distribution, as reported by the remote global surveys [1, 2, 3]. In addition, experimental and natural products of SLI show that U and Th, which are abundant in the lunar granites and seen in the remote sensing data of the domes, are preferentially partitioned into the depolymerized ferrobasaltic magma and not the silicic portion [11, 12]. If SLI is not the mechanism that generated silicic magmas on the Moon then alternative processes such as fractional crystallization (only crystal

  18. Terrestrial origin of viviparity in mesozoic marine reptiles indicated by early triassic embryonic fossils.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction.

  19. Terrestrial Origin of Viviparity in Mesozoic Marine Reptiles Indicated by Early Triassic Embryonic Fossils

    PubMed Central

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction. PMID:24533127

  20. Workshop on the Growth of Continental Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ashwal, Lewis D. (Editor)

    1988-01-01

    Constraints and observations were discussed on a fundamental unsolved problem of global scale relating to the growth of planetary crusts. All of the terrestrial planets were considered, but emphasis was placed on the Earth's continental crust. The title of each session is: (1) Extraterrestrial crustal growth and destruction; (2) Constraints for observations and measurements of terrestrial rocks; (3) Models of crustal growth and destruction; and (4) Process of crustal growth and destruction.

  1. The "terminal Triassic catastrophic extinction event" in perspective: a review of carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate extinction patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weems, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    A catastrophic terminal Triassic extinction event among terrestrial vertebrates is not supported by available evidence. The current model for such an extinction is based on at least eight weak or untenable assumptions: (1) a terminal Triassic extinction-inducing asteroid impact occurred, (2) a terminal Triassic synchronous mass extinction of terrestrial vertebrates occurred, (3) a concurrent terminal Triassic marine extinction occurred, (4) all terrestrial vertebrate families have similar diversities and ecologies, (5) changes in familial diversity can be gauged accurately from the known fossil record, (6) extinction of families can be compared through time without normalizing for changes in familial diversity through time, (7) extinction rates can be compared without normalizing for differing lengths of geologic stages, and (8) catastrophic mass extinctions do not select for small size. These assumptions have resulted in unsupportable and (or) erroneous conclusions. Carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate families mostly have evolution and extinction patterns unlike the vertebrate evolution and extinction patterns during the terminal Cretaceous event. Only the Serpukhovian (mid Carboniferous) extinction event shows strong analogy to the terminal Cretaceous event. Available data suggest no terminal Triassic extinction anomaly, but rather a prolonged and nearly steady decline in the global terrestrial vertebrate extinction rate throughout the Triassic and earliest Jurassic. ?? 1992.

  2. The armoured dissorophid Cacops from the Early Permian of Oklahoma and the exploitation of the terrestrial realm by amphibians.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Schoch, Rainer R; Anderson, Jason S

    2009-07-01

    Cacops, one of the most distinctive Paleozoic amphibians, is part of a clade of dissorophoid temnospondyls that diversified in the equatorial region of Pangea during the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian, persisting into the Late Permian in Central Russia and China. Dissorophids were a successful group of fully terrestrial, often spectacularly armoured predators, the only amphibians apparently able to coexist with amniotes when the latter started to dominate terrestrial ecosystems. In this paper, we describe excellent new skulls from the Early Permian of Oklahoma attributed to Cacops, Cacops morrisi sp. nov. and provide for the first time detailed information about this iconic dissorophid. These specimens show anatomical and ontogenetic features that will impact on future studies on the evolution of terrestriality in tetrapods. For example, the large, posteriorly closed tympanic embayment has fine striations on an otherwise smooth surface, documenting the oldest known clear evidence for the presence of a tympanic membrane in the fossil record, a structure that is used for hearing airborne sound in extant tetrapods. The skull of C. morrisi also has several features associated with predatory behaviour, indicating that this dissorophid may have been one of the top terrestrial predators of its time.

  3. Raising the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Ian H.; Davies, D. Rhodri

    2017-02-01

    The changes that occur at the boundary between the Archean and Proterozoic eons are arguably the most fundamental to affect the evolution of Earth's continental crust. The principal component of Archean continental crust is Granite-Greenstone Terranes (GGTs), with granites always dominant. The greenstones consist of a lower sequence of submarine komatiites and basalts, which erupted onto a pre-existing Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTG) crust. These basaltic rocks pass upwards initially into evolved volcanic rocks, such as andesites and dacites and, subsequently, into reworked felsic pyroclastic material and immature sediments. This transition coincides with widespread emplacement of granitoids, which stabilised (cratonised) the continental crust. Proterozoic supra-crustal rocks, on the other hand, are dominated by extensive flat-lying platform sequences of mature sediments, which were deposited on stable cratonic basements, with basaltic rocks appreciably less abundant. The siliceous TTGs cannot be produced by direct melting of the mantle, with most hypotheses for their origin requiring them to be underlain by a complimentary dense amphibole-garnet-pyroxenite root, which we suggest acted as ballast to the early continents. Ubiquitous continental pillow basalts in Archean lower greenstone sequences require the early continental crust to have been sub-marine, whereas the appearance of abundant clastic sediments, at higher stratigraphic levels, shows that it had emerged above sea level by the time of sedimentation. We hypothesise that the production of komatiites and associated basalts, the rise of the continental crust, widespread melting of the continental crust, the onset of sedimentation and subsequent cratonisation form a continuum that is the direct result of removal of the continent's dense amphibole-garnet-pyroxenite roots, triggered at a regional scale by the arrival of a mantle plume at the base of the lithosphere. Our idealised calculations suggest

  4. The coupled 182W-142Nd record of early terrestrial mantle differentiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puchtel, Igor S.; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Touboul, Mathieu; Horan, Mary F.; Walker, Richard J.

    2016-06-01

    New Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, Hf-W, and Re-Os isotope data, in combination with highly siderophile element (HSE, including Re, Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, and Pd) and W abundances, are reported for the 3.55 Ga Schapenburg komatiites, South Africa. The Schapenburg komatiites define a Re-Os isochron with an age of 3550 ± 87 Ma and initial γ187Os = +3.7 ± 0.2 (2SD). The absolute HSE abundances in the mantle source of the Schapenburg komatiite system are estimated to be only 29 ± 5% of those in the present-day bulk silicate Earth (BSE). The komatiites were derived from mantle enriched in the decay products of the long-lived 147Sm and 176Lu nuclides (initial ɛ143Nd = +2.4 ± 0.1, ɛ176Hf = +5.7 ± 0.3, 2SD). By contrast, the komatiites are depleted, relative to the modern mantle, in 142Nd and 182W (μ182W = -8.4 ± 4.5, μ142Nd = -4.9 ± 2.8, 2SD). These results constitute the first observation in terrestrial rocks of coupled depletions in 142Nd and 182W. Such isotopic depletions require derivation of the komatiites from a mantle domain that formed within the first ˜30 Ma of Solar System history and was initially geochemically enriched in highly incompatible trace elements as a result of crystal-liquid fractionation in an early magma ocean. This mantle domain further must have experienced subsequent melt depletion, after 182Hf had gone extinct, to account for the observed initial excesses in 143Nd and 176Hf. The survival of early-formed 182W and 142Nd anomalies in the mantle until at least 3.55 Ga indicates that the products of early planetary differentiation survived both later planetary accretion and convective mantle mixing during the Hadean. This work moreover renders unlikely that variable late accretion, by itself, can account for all of the observed W isotope variations in Archean rocks.

  5. Oxygen isotope ratios and rare earth elements in 3.3 to 4.4 Ga zircons: Ion microprobe evidence for high δ 18O continental crust and oceans in the Early Archean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peck, William H.; Valley, John W.; Wilde, Simon A.; Graham, Colin M.

    2001-11-01

    Ion microprobe analyses of oxygen isotope ratios in Early Archean (Hadean) zircons (4.0- to 4.4-Ga) reveal variable magmatic δ 18O values, including some that are high relative to the mantle, suggesting interaction between magmas and already-formed continental crust during the first 500 million yr of Earth's history. The high average δ 18O value of these zircons is confirmed by conventional analysis. A metaconglomerate from the Jack Hills in the Yilgarn Craton (Western Australia) contains detrital zircons with ages > 4.0 Ga (Compston and Pidgeon, 1986) and one crystal that is 4.40-Ga old (Wilde et al., 2001). The newly discovered 4.40-Ga grain is the oldest recognized terrestrial mineral. The Jack Hills metaconglomerate also contains a large 3.3- to 3.6-Ga-old zircon population with an average δ 18O value of 6.3 ± 0.1‰ (1 s.e.,; n = 32 spot analyses). Two 4.15-Ga zircons have an average δ 18O of 5.7 ± 0.2‰ ( n = 13). In addition, a 4.13-Ga zircon has an average δ 18O of 7.2 ± 0.3‰ ( n = 8) and another 4.01-Ga zircon has an average δ 18O of 6.8 ± 0.4‰ ( n = 10). The oldest grain (4.40 Ga) is zoned with respect trace element composition (especially LREE), and intensity of cathodoluminescence, all of which correlate with oxygen isotope ratios (7.4‰ vs. 5.0‰). High LREE and high-δ 18O values from the 4.01- to 4.40-Ga grains are consistent with growth in evolved granitic magmas (δ 18O(WR) = 8.5 to 9.5‰) that had interacted with supracrustal materials. High δ 18O values show that low-temperature surficial processes (i.e., diagenesis, weathering, or low-temperature alteration) occurred before 4.0 Ga, and even before 4.40 Ga, shortly following the hypothesized date of core differentiation and impact of a Mars-sized body to form the Moon at ˜4.45 Ga. This is the first evidence of continental crust as early as 4.40 Ga and suggests differentiation during the period of intense meteorite bombardment of the early Earth. The magnitude of water and rock

  6. Early crust of the Podolia Domain of the Ukrainian Shield: Isotopic age of terrigenous zircons from quartzites of the Bug Group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bibikova, E. V.; Fedotova, A. A.; Claesson, S.; Stepanyuk, L. M.

    2015-11-01

    Detrital zircons of the ancient metasedimentary rocks bear important information about the early crust of the Earth. In this work, the early crust in the west of the Ukrainian Shield was studied using U-Pb dating of terrigenous zircons from metasedimentary rocks (quartzites) of the lower parts of the Bug Group (Kosharo-Aleksandrovka Formation) of the Podolia Domain and through Sm-Nd isotopic investigation of these rocks. The Nd model age of rocks is 3.4-3.1 Ga. Detrital zircons were studied in two samples of quartzites. The cathodoluminescent images of most zircons support their clastic origin. More than 150 zircon grains were studied on an ion microprobe. The isotope age of zircons is 3775-2000 Ma. These results were compared with previous results of study of terrigenous zircons from garnet schists of the Zaval'e quarry located closely to the studied area. It is concluded that both Paleoarchean and Meso- to Neoarchean rocks were destroyed during formation of terrigenous rocks of the Bug Group. The different amount of ancient zircons in quartzites and garnet schists indicates the different remoteness of the most ancient rocks from sedimentary basins.

  7. The Terrestrial Fossil Organic Matter Record of Global Carbon Cycling: A Late Paleozoic through Early Mesozoic Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montanez, I. P.

    2006-12-01

    plant growth, estimated from measured terrestrial δ13Corg values and contemporaneous marine carbonate δ13C values define a relatively consistent and narrow range (0.45 to 0.6) throughout the 150 million year interval within each depositional basin, regardless of landscape or stratigraphic position. Their narrow range in conjunction with the statistically significant long-term δ13Corg trend indicates that local to regional environmental effects on δ13Corg were secondary to extrabasinal influences such as the carbon isotopic composition of the paleo-atmosphere. This suggests that the long-term terrestrial δ13Corgrecord archives first-order variations in atmospheric δ13C throughout the Late Paleozoic and Early Mesozoic.

  8. Early Archean crust in the northern Wyoming province Evidence from U-Pb ages of detrital zircons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mueller, P.A.; Wooden, J.L.; Nutman, A.P.; Mogk, D.W.

    1998-01-01

    U-Pb ages of individual detrital and metamorphic zircons from 12 Archean metasedimentary rocks, including quartzites, from the Beartooth, Ruby, and Tobacco Root uplifts of the northern Wyoming province indicate that they were deposited between 2.7 and 3.2 Ga. Younger, metamorphic zircons are found as overgrowths and new grains in some samples, and yield ages between 2.7 and 1.9 Ga. They are, however, much less abundant than detrital grains, which constitute >75% of the 355 grains analyzed. The majority of the detrital grains have ages between 3.2 and 3.4 Ga; none are younger than 2.9 Ga. Grains with 207Pb/206Pb ages between 3.4 and 4.0 Ga constituted approximately 15% of all grains with analyses within 10% of concordia, but are concentrated in samples from the eastern Beartooth Mountains. Comparison of the average of the Pb-Pb ages of individual zircons within 10% of concordia with previously published Lu-Hf chondritic model ages for some individual samples suggests that the age distribution recorded by the U-Pb system in these zircons has not been significantly disturbed by pre- or post-depositional Pb-loss. Collectively, these data suggest that the individual metasedimentary rocks did not completely share a common provenance and that a major crust-forming cycle occurred 3.2 to 3.4 Ga. In conjunction with previously published U-Th-Pb whole-rock data, these results suggest that rocks with a relatively high proportion of > 3.4 Ga grains may have had crust of comparable age in their provenance. ?? 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

  9. The hydrologic response of Mars to the onset of a colder climate and to the thermal evolution of its early crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clifford, S. M.

    1993-01-01

    Morphologic similarities between the Martian valley networks and terrestrial runoff channel have been cited as evidence that the early Martian climate was originally more Earth-like, with temperatures and pressures high enough to permit the precipitation of H2O as snow or rain. Although unambiguous evidence that Mars once possessed a warmer, wetter climate is lacking, a study of the transition from such conditions to the present climate can benefit our understanding of both the early development of the cryosphere and the various ways in which the current subsurface hydrology of Mars is likely to differ from that of the Earth. Viewed from this perspective, the early hydrologic evolution of Mars is essentially identical to considering the hydrologic response of the Earth to the onset of a global subfreezing climate.

  10. Collescipoli - An unusual fusion crust glass. [chondrite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nozette, S.

    1979-01-01

    An electron microprobe study was conducted on glass fragments taken from the fusion crust and an internal glass-lined vein in the H-5 chondrite Collescipoli. Microprobe analyses of the glasses revealed an unusual fusion crust composition, and analyses of glass from inside the meteorite showed compositions expected for a melt of an H-group chondrite. Studies of fusion crusts by previous workers, e.g., Krinov and Ramdohr, showed that fusion crusts contain large amounts of magnetite and other oxidized minerals. The Collescipoli fusion crusts do contain these minerals, but they also contain relatively large amounts of reduced metal, sulphide, and a sodium-rich glass. This study seems to indicate that Collescipoli preserved an early type of fusion crust. Oxidation was incomplete in the fusion crust melt that drained into a crack. From this study it is concluded that fusion crust formation does not invariably result in complete oxidation of metal and sulphide phases.

  11. Continental crust subducted deeply into lithospheric mantle: the driving force of Early Carboniferous magmatism in the Variscan collisional orogen (Bohemian Massif)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janoušek, Vojtěch; Schulmann, Karel; Lexa, Ondrej; Holub, František; Franěk, Jan; Vrána, Stanislav

    2014-05-01

    The vigorous Late Devonian-Early Carboniferous plutonic activity in the core of the Bohemian Massif was marked by a transition from normal-K calc-alkaline, arc-related (~375-355 Ma), through high-K calc-alkaline (~346 Ma) to (ultra-)potassic (343-335 Ma) suites, the latter associated with mainly felsic HP granulites enclosing Grt/Spl mantle peridotite bodies. The changing chemistry, especially an increase in K2O/Na2O and 87Sr/86Sri with decrease in 143Nd/144Ndi in the basic end-members, cannot be reconciled by contamination during ascent. Instead it has to reflect the character of the mantle sources, changing over time. The tectonic model invokes an oceanic subduction passing to subduction of the attenuated Saxothuringian crust under the rifted Gondwana margin (Teplá-Barrandian and Moldanubian domains). The deep burial of this mostly refractory felsic metaigneous material is evidenced by the presence of coesite/diamond (Massonne 2001; Kotková et al. 2011) in the detached UHP slices exhumed through the subduction channel and thrusted over the Saxothuringian basement, and by the abundance of felsic HP granulites (> 2.3 GPa), some bearing evidence for small-scale HP melt separation, in the orogen's core (Vrána et al. 2013). The subduction channel was most likely formed by 'dirty' serpentinites contaminated by the melts/fluids derived from the underlying continental-crust slab (Zheng 2012). Upon the passage through the orogenic mantle, the continental crust-slab derived material not only contaminated the adjacent mantle forming small bodies/veins of pyroxenites (Becker 1996), glimmerites (Becker et al. 1999) or even phlogopite- and apatite-bearing peridotites (Naemura et al. 2009) but the felsic HP-HT granulites also sampled the individual peridotite types at various levels. Eventually the subducted felsic material would form an (U)HP continental wedge under the forearc/arc region, to be later redistributed under the Moldanubian crust by channel flow and crustal

  12. Early Giant Planet Migration in the Solar System: Geochemical and Cosmochemical Implications for Terrestrial Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, David P.; Walsh, K. J.; Morbidelli, A.; Raymond, S. N.; Mandell, A. M.; Bond, J. C.

    2010-10-01

    A new terrestrial planet formation model (Walsh et al., this meeting) explores the effects of a two-stage, inward-then-outward migration of Jupiter and Saturn, as found in numerous hydrodynamical simulations of giant planet formation (Masset & Snellgrove 2001, Morbidelli & Crida 2007, Pierens & Nelson 2008). Walsh et al. show that the inward migration of Jupiter truncates the disk of planetesimals and embryos in the terrestrial planet region. Subsequent accretion in that region then forms a realistic system of terrestrial planets, in particular giving a low-mass Mars, which has been difficult to reproduce in simulations with a self-consistent set of initial conditions (see, eg. Raymond et al. 2009). Additionally, the outward migration of the giant planets populates the asteroid belt with distinct populations of bodies, with the inner belt filled by bodies originating inside of 3 AU, and the outer belt filled with bodies originating from beyond the giant planets. From a geochemical and cosmochemical point of view, this scenario differs significantly from the "standard model" in which essentially all of the material in the inner Solar System initially formed there. Specifically, the assumption that the current radial distribution of material in the inner Solar System is reflective of the primordial distribution of material in that region is no longer necessary. This is important for understanding the chemical and isotopic diversity of the inner Solar System as inferred from studies of the terrestrial planets, asteroids, and meteorites, as well as for understanding the origin of Earth's water. We will discuss the geochemical and cosmochemical implications of this model in relation to available constraints, as well as to previous models of terrestrial planet formation. Masset & Snellgrove (2001), MNRAS 320, L55. Morbidelli & Crida (2007), Icarus 191, 158. Pierens & Nelson (2008), A&A 482, 333. Raymond et al. (2009), Icarus 203, 644.

  13. The Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Planets:Clues to the Origins and Early Evolution of Venus, Earth, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baines, Kevin H.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Bullock, Mark A.; Grinspoon, David H,; Mahaffy, Paul; Russell, Christopher T.; Schubert, Gerald; Zahnle, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge of the origin and early evolution of the three largest terrestrial planets - Venus, Earth, and Mars - setting the stage for the chapters on comparative climatological processes to follow. We summarize current models of planetary formation, as revealed by studies of solid materials from Earth and meteorites from Mars. For Venus, we emphasize the known differences and similarities in planetary bulk properties and composition with Earth and Mars, focusing on key properties indicative of planetary formation and early evolution, particularly of the atmospheres of all three planets. We review the need for future in situ measurements for improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of our planetary neighbors and Earth, and suggest the accuracies required of such new in situ data. Finally, we discuss the role new measurements of Mars and Venus have in understanding the state and evolution of planets found in the habitable zones of other stars.

  14. Pristine Noachian crust and key geologic transitions in the lower walls of Valles Marineris: Insights into early igneous processes on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flahaut, Jessica; Quantin, Cathy; Clenet, Harold; Allemand, Pascal; Mustard, John F.; Thomas, Pierre

    2012-09-01

    Valles Marineris is a unique vertical section through the uppermost kilometers of the martian crust. Its location, east of the Tharsis bulge, and its water-related history, fuel a great diversity of rock types in this area (Carr, M.H., Head, J.W. [2010]. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 294, 185-203). HiRISE and CRISM data available over the walls of the canyon were analyzed to infer the importance of magmatic and sedimentary processes through time. This contribution provides a complete morphologic and mineralogic characterization of the cross-section of rocks exposed in the canyon walls. Low-calcium pyroxene and olivine are detected in the lower portion of the walls, in association with morphologically distinct outcrops, leading to the idea that pristine Noachian crust might be exposed. Phyllosilicates are also present within the walls, but they appear to correspond to an alteration product. No proper sedimentary layers were observed within the walls of Valles Marineris at the resolution available today. All these detections are limited to the eastern portion of Valles Marineris, especially Juventae, Coprates, Capri, and Ganges chasmata. Preserved Noachian crustal material is rare on the martian surface and is rarely exposed in its pristine geologic context. Such detections lend precious information about early igneous processes. This survey also supports observations from the nearby impact crater central peaks (Quantin, C., Flahaut, J., Allemand, P. [2009]. Lunar Planet. Sci. 10; Quantin, C., Flahaut, J., Clenet, H., Allemand, P., Thomas, P. [2011]. Icarus, submitted for publication) and suggests that the western part of Valles Marineris may be cut into another material, consistent with lavas or volcanic sediments.

  15. Studies of Constraints from the Terrestrial Planets, Asteroid Belt and Giant Planet Obliquities on the Early Solar System Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesvorny, David

    The planetary instability has been invoked as a convenient way to explain several observables in the present Solar System. This theory, frequently referred to under a broad and somewhat ill-defined umbrella as the ‘Nice model’, postulates that at least one of the ice giants suffered scattering encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. This could explain several things, including the excitation of the proper eccentric mode in Jupiter's orbit, survival of the terrestrial planets during giant planet migration, and, if the instability was conveniently delayed, also the Late Heavy Bombardment of the Moon. These properties/events would be unexpected if the migration histories of the outer planets were ideally smooth (at least no comprehensive model has yet been fully developed to collectively explain them). Additional support for the planetary instability comes from the dynamical properties of the asteroid and Kuiper belts, Trojans, and planetary satellites. We created a large database of dynamical evolutions of the outer planets through and 100 Myr past the instability (Nesvorny and Morbidelli 2012. Many of these dynamical histories have been found to match constraints from the orbits of the outer planets themselves. We now propose to test these different scenarios using constraints from the terrestrial planets, asteroid belt and giant planet obliquities. As we explain in the proposal narrative, we will bring all these constraints together in an attempt to develop a comprehensive model of early Solar System's evolution. This will be a significant improvement over the past work, where different constraints were considered piecewise and in various approximations. Our work has the potential to generate support for the Nice-type instability, or to rule it out, which could help in sparking interest in developing better models. RELEVANCE The proposed research is fundamental to understanding the formation and early evolution of the Solar System. This is a central theme of NASA

  16. A Molecular Approach to the Study of Green Algal Evolution and Early Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodner, R. B.; Summons, R. E.; Knoll, A. H.

    2004-12-01

    The biological nature of pre-land plant terrestrial ecosystems remains an enigmatic chapter of the history of life on earth due to lack of fossil evidence. Molecular phylogenies have shown that Charophycean green algae are the closest relatives of the bryophytes, which have been hypothesized to be the earliest divergent land plants. However, there is no fossil evidence to support this relationship nor is there a reliable fossil record of the earliest land plants. Microfossils representing the earliest land plants appear to have a bryophytes affinity based on limited morphological comparisons but this remains controversial. We are applying a biomolecular approach to study both green algal evolution and its relation to bryophytes using the resistant biopolymer algaenan and phytosterols as biological markers. Algaenan has been shown to have high preservation potential and may be the primary component of enigmatic microfossils assumed to be of algal origin. Algaenan and the green algal sterols, stigmasterol and sitosterol, may also be the precursors of n-alkanes and the hydrocarbon stigmastane that are major components of many Neoproterozoic bitumens. The biological nature and phylogenetic distribution of algaenan is still not well understood. Here we explore the presence and structure of algaenans in terrestrial green algae and bryophytes in relation to their phylogenetic distributions.

  17. The nature of the crust in the Yukon-Koyukuk province as inferred from the chemical and isotopic composition of five Late Cretaceous to Early Tertiary volcanic fields in western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moll-Stalcup, E.; Arth, Joseph G.

    1989-01-01

    Late Cretaceous and early Tertiary volcanic and plutonic rocks in western Alaska comprise a vast magmatic province extending from the Alaska Range north to the Arctic Circle, south to Bristol Bay, and west to the Bering Sea Shelf. The chemical and isotopic composition of five of these Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary volcanic fields in the north central part of this province were studied to determine if Paleozoic or older continental crust underlies the Yukon-Koyukuk province. -from Authors

  18. The Continental Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burchfiel, B. Clark

    1983-01-01

    Continental crust underlies the continents, their margins, and also small shallow regions in oceans. The nature of the crust (much older than oceanic crust) and its dynamics are discussed. Research related to and effects of tectonics, volcanism, erosion, and sedimentation on the crust are considered. (JN)

  19. Differentiating pedogenesis from diagenesis in early terrestrial paleoweathering surfaces formed on granitic composition parent materials

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Driese, S.G.; Medaris, L.G.; Ren, M.; Runkel, Anthony C.; Langford, R.P.

    2007-01-01

    Unconformable surfaces separating Precambrian crystalline basement and overlying Proterozoic to Cambrian sedimentary rocks provide an exceptional opportunity to examine the role of primitive soil ecosystems in weathering and resultant formation of saprolite (weathered rock retaining rock structure) and regolith (weathered rock without rock structure), but many appear to have been affected by burial diagenesis and hydrothermal fluid flow, leading some researchers to discount their suitability for such studies. We examine one modern weathering profile (Cecil series), four Cambrian paleoweathering profiles from the North American craton (Squaw Creek, Franklin Mountains, Core SQ-8, and Core 4), one Neoproterozoic profile (Sheigra), and one late Paleoproterozoic profile (Baraboo), to test the hypothesis that these paleoweathering profiles do provide evidence of primitive terrestrial weathering despite their diagenetic and hydrothermal overprinting, especially additions of potassium. We employ an integrated approach using (1) detailed thin-section investigations to identify characteristic pedogenic features associated with saprolitization and formation of well-drained regoliths, (2) electron microprobe analysis to identify specific weathered and new mineral phases, and (3) geochemical mass balance techniques to characterize volume changes during weathering and elemental gains and losses of major and minor elements relative to the inferred parent materials. There is strong pedogenic evidence of paleoweathering, such as clay illuviation, sepic-plasmic fabrics, redoximorphic features, and dissolution and alteration of feldspars and mafic minerals to kaolinite, gibbsite, and Fe oxides, as well as geochemical evidence, such as whole-rock losses of Na, Ca, Mg, Si, Sr, Fe, and Mn greater than in modern profiles. Evidence of diagenesis includes net additions of K, Ba, and Rb determined through geochemical mass balance, K-feldspar overgrowths in overlying sandstone sections, and

  20. Early results from a terrestrial-marine BGC coupling study in Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fatland, D. R.; Vermilyea, A.; Spencer, R. G.; Hood, E. W.; Stubbins, A.

    2010-12-01

    In 2010 we began a long-term comparative study of watershed contributions to coastal marine nutrients in the northeast Pacific from a modest deployment of sensors combined with sample analysis. The preliminary results presented here establish a baseline for defining and subsequently tracking physical system parameters relevant to marine productivity over two decades, in two contexts: First in the context of research by Hood and others: Comparing glacier-covered to un-glaciated watershed output in a Lagrangian sense of particle and parcel transport. Second, in a more Eulerian sense: How will impact on coastal marine ecosystems from changing terrestrial freshwater input compare over decades to that of changes in physical parameters like pH, upwelling nutrient supply along the continental shelf and temperature? In our initial efforts we trolled two estuary plumes pulling samples for laboratory analysis and operating in situ sensors in tandem with GPS while other in situ sensors collected data from within source rivers (Eagle River and Peterson Creek near Juneau, AK, in respectively glaciated and forested watersheds). The strategy is to produce comparable synoptic datasets across the freshwater-marine mixing regime of the plume using salinity as a mixing proxy. Initial datasets include CDOM, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, chlorophyll-A, and (from samples) total organic carbon, total nitrogen, absorption spectra and excitation-emission matrices. Future work will expand this list to include mass spectrometer and NMR data. In working with this synoptic dataset we are faced with both curation and interpretation challenges; hence a primary objective of the project is to use the trans-disciplinary and data-intensive nature of the research problem set to motivate technology adoption. We have in mind here the notion of electronic publication (exemplified in this AGU poster) that permits collaborators and readers to reach back into source data and trace the origins and processes

  1. Building Archean cratons from Hadean mafic crust.

    PubMed

    O'Neil, Jonathan; Carlson, Richard W

    2017-03-17

    Geologic processing of Earth's surface has removed most of the evidence concerning the nature of Earth's first crust. One region of ancient crust is the Hudson Bay terrane of northeastern Canada, which is mainly composed of Neoarchean felsic crust and forms the nucleus of the Northeastern Superior Province. New data show these ~2.7-billion-year-old rocks to be the youngest to yield variability in neodymium-142 ((142)Nd), the decay product of short-lived samarium-146 ((146)Sm). Combined (146-147)Sm-(142-143)Nd data reveal that this large block of Archean crust formed by reworking of much older (>4.2 billion-year-old) mafic crust over a 1.5-billion-year interval of early Earth history. Thus, unlike on modern Earth, mafic crust apparently could survive for more than 1 billion years to form an important source rock for Archean crustal genesis.

  2. Faunal reorganisation in terrestrial mammalian communities: evidence from France during the Lateglacial-Early Holocene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridault, Anne

    2010-05-01

    The Lateglacial-Early Holocene transition is characterized by rapid oscillations between warm and cold episodes. Their impact on ecosystem dynamics was particularly pronounced in north-western Europe where hunter-gatherer societies experienced a succession of environmental transformations, including the expansion and dispersal of biotic communities and changing herbivore habitats. Recent archaeozoological studies and AMS direct dating on mammalian bones/or bone collagen allow to map and precise this process at a supra-regional scale (France). At regional scales (i.e. Paris Basin & Jura-Northern French Alps), results indicate a rapid faunal reorganisation at the end of Lateglacial that will be presented in detail. Composition of faunal assemblages remains then unchanged during the Early Holocene. By contrast, significant herbivore habitat changes are recorded during the Early Holocene by other proxies (pollen data and isotopic data) and a decrease in Red Deer size through time is evidenced by osteometrical analyses. Hypotheses regarding the kind of adaptation process experienced by the faunal communities through time will be presented. Factors that may have controlled the observed changes will be discussed.

  3. Hydraulics of Asteroxylon mackei, an early Devonian vascular plant, and the early evolution of water transport tissue in terrestrial plants.

    PubMed

    Wilson, J P; Fischer, W W

    2011-03-01

    The core of plant physiology is a set of functional solutions to a tradeoff between CO(2) acquisition and water loss. To provide an important evolutionary perspective on how the earliest land plants met this tradeoff, we constructed a mathematical model (constrained geometrically with measurements of fossils) of the hydraulic resistance of Asteroxylon, an Early Devonian plant. The model results illuminate the water transport physiology of one of the earliest vascular plants. Results show that Asteroxylon's vascular system contains cells with low hydraulic resistances; these resistances are low because cells were covered by scalariform pits, elliptical structures that permit individual cells to have large areas for water to pass from one cell to another. Asteroxylon could move a large amount of water quickly given its large pit areas; however, this would have left these plants particularly vulnerable to damage from excessive evapotranspiration. These results highlight a repeated pattern in plant evolution, wherein the evolution of highly conductive vascular tissue precedes the appearance of adaptations to increase water transport safety. Quantitative insight into the vascular transport of Asteroxylon also allows us to reflect on the quality of CO(2) proxy estimates based on early land plant fossils. Because Asteroxylon's vascular tissue lacked any safety features to prevent permanent damage, it probably used stomatal abundance and behavior to prevent desiccation. If correct, low stomatal frequencies in Asteroxylon reflect the need to limit evapotranspiration, rather than adaptation to high CO(2) concentrations in the atmosphere. More broadly, methods to reveal and understand water transport in extinct plants have a clear use in testing and bolstering fossil plant-based paleoclimate proxies.

  4. Early public impressions of terrestrial carbon capture and storage in a coal-intensive state.

    PubMed

    Carley, Sanya R; Krause, Rachel M; Warren, David C; Rupp, John A; Graham, John D

    2012-07-03

    While carbon capture and storage (CCS) is considered to be critical to achieving long-term climate-protection goals, public concerns about the CCS practice could pose significant obstacles to its deployment. This study reports findings from the first state-wide survey of public perceptions of CCS in a coal-intensive state, with an analysis of which factors predict early attitudes toward CCS. Nearly three-quarters of an Indiana sample (N = 1001) agree that storing carbon underground is a good approach to protecting the environment, despite 80% of the sample being unaware of CCS prior to participation in the two-wave survey. The majority of respondents do not hold strong opinions about CCS technology. Multivariate analyses indicate that support for CCS is predicted by a belief that humankind contributes to climate change, a preference for increased use of renewable energy, and egalitarian and individualistic worldviews, while opposition to CCS is predicted by self-identified political conservatism and by selective attitudes regarding energy and climate change. Knowledge about early impressions of CCS can help inform near-term technology decisions at state regulatory agencies, utilities, and pipeline companies, but follow-up surveys are necessary to assess how public sentiments evolve in response to image-building efforts with different positions on coal and CCS.

  5. Hf-Nd isotope evidence for a transient dynamic regime in the early terrestrial mantle

    PubMed

    Albarede; Blichert-Toft; Vervoort; Gleason; Rosing

    2000-03-30

    Modern basalts have seemingly lost all 'memory' of the primitive Earth's mantle except for an ambiguous isotopic signal observed in some rare gases. Although the Earth is expected to have reached a thermal steady state within several hundred million years of accretion, it is not known how and when the initial chemical fractionations left over from planetary accretion (and perhaps a stage involving a magma ocean) were overshadowed by fractionations imposed by modern-style geodynamics. Because of the lack of samples older than 4 Gyr, this early dynamic regime of the Earth is poorly understood. Here we compare published Hf-Nd isotope data on supracrustals from Isua, Greenland, with similar data on lunar rocks and the SNC (martian) meteorites, and show that, about 3.8 Gyr ago, the geochemical signature of the Archaean mantle was partly inherited from the initial differentiation of the Earth. The observed features seem to indicate that the planet at that time was still losing a substantial amount of primordial heat. The survival of remnants from an early layering in the modern deep mantle may account for some unexplained seismological, thermal and geochemical characteristics of the Earth as observed today.

  6. Early Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia based on food-web and energy-flow models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matsukawa, M.; Saiki, K.; Ito, M.; Obata, I.; Nichols, D.J.; Lockley, M.G.; Kukihara, R.; Shibata, K.

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, there has been global interest in the environments and ecosystems around the world. It is helpful to reconstruct past environments and ecosystems to help understand them in the present and the future. The present environments and ecosystems are an evolving continuum with those of the past and the future. This paper demonstrates the contribution of geology and paleontology to such continua. Using fossils, we can make an estimation of past population density as an ecosystem index based on food-web and energy-flow models. Late Mesozoic nonmarine deposits are distributed widely on the eastern Asian continent and contain various kinds of fossils such as fishes, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, bivalves, gastropods, insects, ostracodes, conchostracans, terrestrial plants, and others. These fossil organisms are useful for late Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystem reconstruction using food-web and energy-flow models. We chose Early Cretaceous fluvio-lacustrine basins in the Choyr area, southeastern Mongolia, and the Tetori area, Japan, for these analyses and as a potential model for reconstruction of other similar basins in East Asia. The food-web models are restored based on taxa that occurred in these basins. They form four or five trophic levels in an energy pyramid consisting of rich primary producers at its base and smaller biotas higher in the food web. This is the general energy pyramid of a typical ecosystem. Concerning the population densities of vertebrate taxa in 1 km2 in these basins, some differences are recognized between Early Cretaceous and the present. For example, Cretaceous estimates suggest 2.3 to 4.8 times as many herbivores and 26.0 to 105.5 times the carnivore population. These differences are useful for the evaluation of past population densities of vertebrate taxa. Such differences may also be caused by the different metabolism of different taxa. Preservation may also be a factor, and we recognize that various problems occur in

  7. Lu-Hf systematics of the ultra-high temperature Napier Complex, East Antarctica: evidence for the early Archean formation of continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, S.; Mukasa, S. B.; Andronikov, A. V.; Osanai, Y.; Harley, S. L.; Kelly, N. M.

    2009-12-01

    The Napier Complex in East Antarctica comprises some of the oldest rocks on earth (~3.8 billion years old), overprinted by an ultra-high temperature (UHT) metamorphic event near the Archean-Proterozoic boundary. Garnet, orthopyroxene, sapphirine, osumilite, rutile and a whole rock representing an equilibrated assemblage from this belt yield a Lu-Hf isochron age of 2,403 ± 43 Ma. Preservation of the UHT mineral assemblage in the rock analyzed suggests rapid cooling with closure likely to have occurred for the Lu-Hf system at post-peak UHT conditions near a temperature of ~800C. Individual zircon grains from Gage Ridge within the Napier Complex yielded a remarkably uniform range of 176Hf/177Hf values between 0.280433 ± 7 and 0.280505 ± 10, corresponding to ɛHf > +5.6 at 3.85 Ga relative to the chondritic uniform reservoir (CHUR). Because of their exceedingly low Lu/Hf values (<0.001), the grains are effectively recording the initial Hf isotope composition of the magmatic systems from which the gneiss protoliths crystallized. These results indicate that (1) the source of the crustal materials that formed the Napier Complex at 3.85 Ga were depleted relative to the CHUR. The extent of depletion involved is higher than has been predicted by extrapolation from the Lu-Hf isotopic evolution inferred for the source of Proterozoic and Phanerozoic basalts, judging from an fLu/Hf value of 0.51, (2) the depleted mantle reservoir has been in existence since very early in Earth’s history, in agreement with the early differentiation of the Earth that the latest core formation models require, and (3) an extremely depleted source also mean that the bulk of continental crust was extracted from the mantle by ~3.8 Ga. Moreover, the results demonstrate that even the oldest silicic rocks in the complex are not likely to have formed from remobilized older crustal materials, but were instead juvenile products of mantle melting. In addition, zircons with metamorphic rims have a similar

  8. Mars Crust: Made of Basalt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, G. J.

    2009-05-01

    By combining data from several sources, Harry Y. (Hap) McSween (University of Tennessee), G. Jeffrey Taylor (University of Hawaii) and Michael B. Wyatt (Brown University) show that the surface of Mars is composed mostly of basalt not unlike those that make up the Earth's oceanic crust. McSween and his colleagues used data from Martian meteorites, analyses of soils and rocks at robotic landing sites, and chemical and mineralogical information from orbiting spacecraft. The data show that Mars is composed mostly of rocks similar to terrestrial basalts called tholeiites, which make up most oceanic islands, mid-ocean ridges, and the seafloor beneath sediments. The Martian samples differ in some respects that reflect differences in the compositions of the Martian and terrestrial interiors, but in general are a lot like Earth basalts. Cosmochemistst have used the compositions of Martian meteorites to discriminate bulk properties of Mars and Earth, but McSween and coworkers' synthesis shows that the meteorites differ from most of the Martian crust (the meteorites have lower aluminum, for example), calling into question how diagnostic the meteorites are for understanding the Martian interior.

  9. Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Braun, David R.; Harris, John W. K.; Levin, Naomi E.; McCoy, Jack T.; Herries, Andy I. R.; Bamford, Marion K.; Bishop, Laura C.; Richmond, Brian G.; Kibunjia, Mzalendo

    2010-01-01

    The manufacture of stone tools and their use to access animal tissues by Pliocene hominins marks the origin of a key adaptation in human evolutionary history. Here we report an in situ archaeological assemblage from the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya that provides a unique combination of faunal remains, some with direct evidence of butchery, and Oldowan artifacts, which are well dated to 1.95 Ma. This site provides the oldest in situ evidence that hominins, predating Homo erectus, enjoyed access to carcasses of terrestrial and aquatic animals that they butchered in a well-watered habitat. It also provides the earliest definitive evidence of the incorporation into the hominin diet of various aquatic animals including turtles, crocodiles, and fish, which are rich sources of specific nutrients needed in human brain growth. The evidence here shows that these critical brain-growth compounds were part of the diets of hominins before the appearance of Homo ergaster/erectus and could have played an important role in the evolution of larger brains in the early history of our lineage. PMID:20534571

  10. A reappraisal of the stratigraphy and chronology of Early Pliocene palaeontological sites from Lanzarote Island containing fossil terrestrial animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lomoschitz, Alejandro; Sánchez Marco, Antonio; Huertas, María José; Betancort, Juan F.; Isern, Arnau; Sanz, Elena; Meco, Joaquín

    2016-11-01

    The Famara massif, in the north of Lanzarote Island, constitutes the remains of a former island inhabited by the oldest known vertebrate fauna of the Canary archipelago off the coast of Africa. In this study, new ages are offered for the underlying and overlying basaltic lava flows of two paleontological sites. The island's three major palaeontological sites, which contain remains of this ancient fauna (Valle Grande, Valle Chico and Fuente de Gusa), are intercorrelated according to their lithologies, sedimentology, palaeontological content and geochronology. The new K/Ar age interval for the fossiliferous sedimentary deposits ranges between 4.3 ± 0.7 and 3.78 ± 0.71 Ma, within the Early Pliocene, and shows that the first known terrestrial animals in Lanzarote were present on the island for about 500 ka. The principal component of the deposits is a bioclastic calcarenite of aeolian origin (sand sheet deposits), which is present in all three sites and constitutes 65% of the beds. The remaining 35% is of fluvial-aeolian origin (mainly stream deposits). All the beds contain the same fossils (insect egg pods, land snails, avian eggshells and tortoise eggshells). The local palaeogeography and the formation of the deposits were conditioned by a flat plain, larger than 16 km2, over which aeolian sands moved freely with a prevailing NNE-WSW wind direction. In agreement with previous investigations, the palaeoclimate in this interval (ca. 4.3 to 3.8 Ma) must have been mainly dry with some rainy episodes.

  11. Ion microprobe zircon geochronology of the Uivak Gneisses: Implications for the evolution of early terrestrial crust in the North Atlantic Craton

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collerson, K. D.

    1983-01-01

    Ion microprobe U-Pb results for zircons from three Uivak I gneisses and one specimen of Uivak II gneiss, from the Saglek-Hebron area of Northern Labrador are reported. These results are compared with interpretations based on published conventional U-Pb zircon results and with conclusions about crustal evolution in the NAC derived from Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd and Pb-Pb isotopic studies.

  12. Early terrestrial impact events: Archean spherule layers in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozdemir, Seda; Koeberl, Christian; Schulz, Toni; Reimold, W. Uwe; Hofmann, Axel

    2015-04-01

    In addition to the oldest known impact structure on Earth, the 2.02-billion-year-old Vredefort Structure in South Africa, the evidence of Early Earth impact events are Archean spherule beds in South Africa and Australia. These spherules have been interpreted as condensation products from impact plumes and molten impact ejecta or/and impact ejecta that were melted during atmospheric re-entry [e.g., 1,2]. The 3.2-3.5 Ga spherule layers in the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa currently represent the oldest known remnants of impact deposits on Earth. Aiming at identification of extraterrestrial components and to determine the diagenetic and metamorphic history of spherule layer intersections recently recovered in the CT3 drill core from the northeastern part of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, we have studied samples from these layers in terms of petrography and geochemistry. All samples, including spherule layer intersections and intercalating country rocks, were studied for mineral identification by optical and electron microscopy, as well as electron microprobe analysis (EPMA) at Natural History Museum Vienna and Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN). Major and trace element compositions were determined via X-ray fluorescence spectrometry at MfN and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) at University of Vienna. Os isotopes were measured by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (N-TIMS) at University of Vienna. Eighteen spherule beds are distributed over 150 meter drill core in CT3. Spherules are variably, deformed or undeformed. The high number of these layers may have been caused by tectonic duplication. Spherule beds are intercalated with shale, chert, carbonate, and/or sulfide deposits (country rocks). The size range of spherules is 0.5 to 2 mm, and some layers exhibit gradation. Shapes of spherules differ from spherical to ovoid, as well as teardrops, and spherules commonly show off-center vesicles, which have been interpreted as a primary

  13. Modeling crust-mantle evolution using radiogenic Sr, Nd, and Pb isotope systematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumari, Seema; Paul, Debajyoti

    2015-04-01

    The present-day elemental and isotopic composition of Earth's terrestrial reservoirs can be used as geochemical constraints to study evolution of the crust-mantle system. A flexible open system evolutionary model of the Earth, comprising continental crust (CC), upper depleted mantle (UM) -source of mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB), and lower mantle (LM) reservoir with a D" layer -source of ocean island basalts (OIB), and incorporating key radioactive isotope systematics (Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, and U-Th-Pb), is solved numerically at 1 Ma time step for 4.55 Ga, the age of the Earth. The best possible solution is the one that produces the present-day concentrations as well as isotopic ratios in terrestrial reservoirs, compiled from published data. Different crustal growth scenarios (exponential, episodic, early and late growth), proposed in earlier studies, and its effect on the evolution of isotope systematics of terrestrial reservoirs is studied. Model simulations strongly favor a layered mantle structure satisfying majority of the isotopic constraints. In the successful model, which is similar to that proposed by Kellogg et al. (1999), the present-day UM comprises of 60% of mantle mass and extends to a depth 1600 km, whereas the LM becomes non-primitive and more enriched than the bulk silicate Earth, mainly due to addition of recycled crustal material. Modeling suggest that isotopic evolution of reservoirs is affected by the mode of crustal growth. Only two scenarios satisfied majority of the Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic constraints but failed to reproduce the present-day Pb-isotope systematics; exponential growth of crust (mean age, tc=2.3 Ga) and delayed and episodic growth (no growth for initial 900 Ma, tc=2.05 Ga) proposed by Patchett and Arndt (1986). However, assuming a slightly young Earth (4.45 Ga) better satisfies the Pb-isotope systematics. Although, the delayed crustal growth model satisfied Sr-Nd isotopic constraints, presence of early Hadean crust (4.03 and 4.4 Ga

  14. The UV-B stimulon of the terrestrial cyanobacterium Nostoc commune comprises early shock proteins and late acclimation proteins.

    PubMed

    Ehling-Schulz, Monika; Schulz, Stefan; Wait, Robin; Görg, Angelika; Scherer, Siegfried

    2002-11-01

    The UV-B and desiccation-tolerant terrestrial cyanobacterium Nostoc commune was grown under defined UV irradiation. Proteome changes were monitored in the membrane and the cytosolic and the extracellular fractions. Tools were developed to separate stress-triggered from growth stage-dependent changes. UV-B changed the relative cellular concentration of 493 out of 1,350 protein spots at least by a factor of three, rendering the UV-B stimulon of N. commune the most complex one described so far. It comprises two different parts: an early shock response influencing 214 proteins and a late acclimation response involving 279 proteins. The shock response comprised many membrane or membrane-associated proteins, whereas the acclimation response mainly changed cytosolic proteins. Most of the shock-induced changes were transient and did not overlap with the acclimation response. In the extracellular fraction, UV irradiation induced superoxide dismutase and the water stress protein. In total, 27 intracellular, UV-B-induced proteins were partially sequenced by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Three functional classes were identified: proteins involved in lipid metabolism, in carbohydrate metabolism and in regulatory pathways. About 50% of the sequenced proteins were homologous to cyanobacterial database entries with un-known function. Interestingly, all of these proteins belong to the UV-B acclimation response. We conclude that the UV-B shock response and the UV-B acclimation response represent two completely different and remarkably complex strategies of N. commune to protect itself against UV-B radiation in its natural environment.

  15. Coupled Nd-142, Nd-143 and Hf-176 Isotopic Data from 3.6-3.9 Ga Rocks: New Constraints on the Timing of Early Terrestrial Chemical Reservoirs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Vickie C.; Brandon, alan D.; Hiess, Joe; Nutman, Allen P.

    2007-01-01

    Increasingly precise data from a range of isotopic decay schemes, including now extinct parent isotopes, from samples of the Earth, Mars, Moon and meteorites are rapidly revising our views of early planetary differentiation. Recognising Nd-142 isotopic variations in terrestrial rocks (which can only arise from events occurring during the lifetime of now extinct Sm-146 [t(sub 1/2)=103 myr]) has been an on-going quest starting with Harper and Jacobsen. The significance of Nd-142 variations is that they unequivocally reflect early silicate differentiation processes operating in the first 500 myr of Earth history, the key time period between accretion and the beginning of the rock record. The recent establishment of the existence of Nd-142 variations in ancient Earth materials has opened a new range of questions including, how widespread is the evidence of early differentiation, how do Nd-142 compositions vary with time, rock type and geographic setting, and, combined with other types of isotopic and geochemical data, what can Nd-142 isotopic variations reveal about the timing and mechanisms of early terrestrial differentiation? To explore these questions we are determining high precision Nd-142, Nd-143 and Hf-176 isotopic compositions from the oldest well preserved (3.63- 3.87 Ga), rock suites from the extensive early Archean terranes of southwest Greenland and western Australia.

  16. Evolution of ore deposits on terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, R. G.

    1991-01-01

    Ore deposits on terrestrial planets materialized after core formation, mantle evolution, crustal development, interactions of surface rocks with the hydrosphere and atmosphere, and, where life exists on a planet, the involvement of biological activity. Core formation removed most of the siderophilic and chalcophilic elements, leaving mantles depleted in many of the strategic and noble metals relative to their chondritic abundances. Basaltic magma derived from partial melting of the mantle transported to the surface several metals contained in immiscible silicate and sulfide melts. Magmatic ore deposits were formed during cooling, fractional crystallization and density stratification from the basaltic melts. Such ore deposits found in earth's Archean rocks were probably generated during early histories of all terrestrial planets and may be the only types of igneous ores on Mars. Where plate tectonic activity was prevalent on a terrestrial planet, temporal evolution of ore deposits took place. Repetitive episodes of subduction modified the chemical compositions of the crust and upper mantles, leading to porphyry copper and molybdenum ores in calc-alkaline igneous rocks and granite-hosted tin and tungsten deposits. Such plate tectonic-induced mineralization in relatively young igneous rocks on earth may also have produced hydrothermal ore deposits on Venus in addition to the massive sulfide and cumulate chromite ores associated with Venusian mafic igneous rock. Sedimentary ore deposits resulting from mechanical and chemical weathering in reducing atmospheres in Archean earth included placer deposits (e.g., uraninite, gold, pyrite ores). Chromite, ilmenite, and other dense unreactive minerals could also be present on channel floors and in valley networks on Mars, while banded iron formations might underlie the Martian northern plains regions. As oxygen evolved in earth's atmosphere, so too did oxide ores. By analogy, gossans above sulfide ores probably occur on Mars

  17. Eoarchean crustal evolution of the Jack Hills zircon source and loss of Hadean crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Elizabeth A.; Harrison, T. Mark; Kohl, Issaku E.; Young, Edward D.

    2014-12-01

    Given the global dearth of Hadean (>4 Ga) rocks, 4.4-4.0 Ga detrital zircons from Jack Hills, Narryer Gneiss Complex (Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia) constitute our best archive of early terrestrial materials. Previous Lu-Hf investigations of these zircons suggested that felsic (low Lu/Hf) crust formation began by ∼4.4 to 4.5 Ga and continued for several hundred million years with evidence of the least radiogenic Hf component persisting until at least ∼4 Ga. However, evidence for the involvement of Hadean materials in later crustal evolution is sparse, and even in the detrital Jack Hills zircon population, the most unradiogenic, ancient isotopic signals have not been definitively identified in the younger (<3.9 Ga) rock and zircon record. Here we show Lu-Hf data from <4 Ga Jack Hills detrital zircons that document a significant and previously unknown transition in Yilgarn Craton crustal evolution between 3.9 and 3.7 Ga. The zircon source region evolved largely by internal reworking through the period 4.0-3.8 Ga, and the most ancient and unradiogenic components of the crust are mostly missing from the record after ∼4 Ga. New juvenile additions to the crust at ca. 3.9-3.8 Ga are accompanied by the disappearance of unradiogenic crust ca. 3.9-3.7 Ga. Additionally, this period is also characterized by a restricted range of δ18O after 3.8 Ga and a shift in several zircon trace element characteristics ca. 3.9-3.6 Ga. The simultaneous loss of ancient crust accompanied by juvenile crust addition can be explained by a mechanism similar to subduction, which effects both processes on modern Earth. The oxygen isotope and trace element information, although less sensitive to tectonic setting, also supports a transition in zircon formation environment in this period.

  18. Genesis of adakitic granitoids by partial melting of thickened lower crust and its implications for early crustal growth: A case study from the Huichizi pluton, Qinling orogen, central China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Zhengwei; Wu, Yuanbao; Siebel, Wolfgang; Gao, Shan; Wang, Hao; Abdallsamed, Mohammed. I. M.; Zhang, Wenxiang; Yang, Saihong

    2015-12-01

    Adakitic rocks are often considered as a key to deciphering the genesis of Archean TTGs and the early crustal growth. Granites from the Huichizi pluton in the North Qinling (NQ) unit have high Sr/Y and (La/Yb)N ratios similar to adakites. Their relatively high SiO2, K2O, and Na2O and very low MgO, Cr, and Ni contents are in the range of high-SiO2 adakites and early Archean TTGs and are compositionally similar to experimental melts derived from metabasalt sources. New SIMS zircon U-Pb dating constrains the emplacement age of the Huichizi pluton at 422 ± 5 Ma. Rock samples from the Huichizi pluton have εNd(t) and zircon εHf(t) values similar to the Neoproterozoic metabasalts in the NQ unit. In combination with their normal mantle-like δ18Ozir values, these adakites are best explained by partial melting of the Neoproterozoic mafic crustal root due to subduction of the Shangdan ocean. Regional geological data suggest that the crust was probably thickened by a ca. 490 Ma arc-collision process prior to the emplacement of the Huichizi pluton. Our results confirm that underplating of mafic magma and its subsequent fusion triggered by slab subduction under high pressure conditions could be an important mechanism for the formation of early continental crust.

  19. The Oceanic Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Francheteau, Jean

    1983-01-01

    The earth's oceanic crust is created and destroyed in a flow outward from midocean ridges to subduction zones, where it plunges back into the mantle. The nature and dynamics of the crust, instrumentation used in investigations of this earth feature, and research efforts/findings are discussed. (JN)

  20. Terrestrial-style feeding in a very early aquatic tetrapod is supported by evidence from experimental analysis of suture morphology

    PubMed Central

    Markey, Molly J.; Marshall, Charles R.

    2007-01-01

    There is no consensus on when in the fish-tetrapod transition suction feeding, the primary method of prey capture in the aquatic realm, evolved into the direct biting on prey typical of terrestrial animals. Here, we show that differences in the morphology of selected cranial sutures between species that span the fish–tetrapod transition (the Devonian osteolepiform fish Eusthenopteron, the aquatic Devonian tetrapod Acanthostega, and the Permian terrestrial tetrapod Phonerpeton) can be used to infer when terrestrial feeding first appeared. Our approach consists of defining a sutural morphospace, assigning functional fields to that morphospace based on our previous measurements of suture function made during feeding in the living fish Polypterus, inferring the functions of the fossil sutures based on where they fall in the morphospace, and then using the correlation between feeding mode and the patterns of inferred suture function across the skull roof in taxa where feeding mode is unambiguous to infer the feeding mode practiced by Acanthostega. Using this procedure, we find that the suture morphologies of Acanthostega are inconsistent with the hypothesis that it captured prey primarily by means of suction, which suggests that it may have bitten directly on prey at or near the water's edge. Thus, our data strongly support the hypothesis that the terrestrial mode of feeding first emerged in aquatic taxa. PMID:17438285

  1. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland

    PubMed Central

    Torsvik, Trond H.; Amundsen, Hans E. F.; Trønnes, Reidar G.; Doubrovine, Pavel V.; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J.; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D.; Griffin, William L.; Werner, Stephanie C.; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-01-01

    The magmatic activity (0–16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland—and especially the Öræfajökull volcano—is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated 87Sr/86Sr and 207Pb/204Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr–Nd–Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2–6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume. PMID:25825769

  2. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland.

    PubMed

    Torsvik, Trond H; Amundsen, Hans E F; Trønnes, Reidar G; Doubrovine, Pavel V; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D; Griffin, William L; Werner, Stephanie C; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-04-14

    The magmatic activity (0-16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland--and especially the Öræfajökull volcano--is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated (87)Sr/(86)Sr and (207)Pb/(204)Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr-Nd-Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2-6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume.

  3. 1900-Ma ocean crust in Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maggs, William Ward

    The oldest known occurrence in North America of an ophiolite, considered to be a piece of ancient ocean crust, has been reported in the Cape Smith Belt in northern Quebec, Canada.The recognition last summer of a key structural component of the characteristic ophiolite suite has buttressed confidence in the theory that the 1900-Ma fragments of an ocean basin were accreted to an early Proterozoic Canadian continent. The tectonic mixing of oceanic and continental crust is strong evidence for the operation of plate tectonics early in Earth's history.

  4. Icelandic-type crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foulger, G.R.; Du, Z.; Julian, B.R.

    2003-01-01

    Numerous seismic studies, in particular using receiver functions and explosion seismology, have provided a detailed picture of the structure and thickness of the crust beneath the Iceland transverse ridge. We review the results and propose a structural model that is consistent with all the observations. The upper crust is typically 7 ?? 1 km thick, heterogeneous and has high velocity gradients. The lower crust is typically 15-30 ?? 5 km thick and begins where the velocity gradient decreases radically. This generally occurs at the V p ??? 6.5 km s-1 level. A low-velocity zone ??? 10 000 km2 in area and up to ??? 15 km thick occupies the lower crust beneath central Iceland, and may represent a submerged, trapped oceanic microplate. The crust-mantle boundary is a transition zone ???5 ?? 3 km thick throughout which V p increases progressively from ???7.2 to ???8.0 km s-1. It may be gradational or a zone of alternating high- and low-velocity layers. There is no seismic evidence for melt or exceptionally high temperatures in or near this zone. Isostasy indicates that the density contrast between the lower crust and the mantle is only ???90 kg m-3 compared with ???300 kg m-3 for normal oceanic crust, indicating compositional anomalies that are as yet not understood. The seismological crust is ???30 km thick beneath the Greenland-Iceland and Iceland-Faeroe ridges, and eastern Iceland, ???20 km beneath western Iceland, and ???40 km thick beneath central Iceland. This pattern is not what is predicted for an eastward-migrating plume. Low attenuation and normal V p/V s ratios in the lower crust beneath central and southwestern Iceland, and normal uppermost mantle velocities in general, suggest that the crust and uppermost mantle are subsolidus and cooler than at equivalent depths beneath the East Pacific Rise. Seismic data from Iceland have historically been interpreted both in terms of thin-hot and thick-cold crust models, both of which have been cited as supporting the plume

  5. Origin of the late Early Cretaceous granodiorite and associated dioritic dikes in the Hongqilafu pluton, northwestern Tibetan Plateau: A case for crust-mantle interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jiyong; Niu, Yaoling; Hu, Yan; Chen, Shuo; Zhang, Yu; Duan, Meng; Sun, Pu

    2016-09-01

    We present a detailed study of geochronology, mineral chemistries, bulk-rock major and trace element abundances, and Sr-Nd-Hf isotope compositions of the granodiorite and associated dioritic dikes in the Hongqilafu pluton at the northwestern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. The granodiorite and dioritic dikes yielded zircon U-Pb ages of 104 Ma and 100 Ma, respectively. The dioritic dikes comprise varying lithologies of gabbroic diorite, diorite porphyry and granodiorite porphyry, exhibiting a compositional spectrum from intermediate to felsic rocks. Their mineral compositions display disequilibrium features such as large major element compositional variations of plagioclase, clinopyroxene and amphibole crystals. These dioritic dikes are enriched in incompatible elements (Ba, Rb, Th, U, K) and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopes (87Sr/86Sri: 0.7066 to 0.7071, εNd(t): - 5.3 to - 7.4, εHf(t): - 3.6 to - 6.2). We suggest that the dioritic dikes were most likely derived from partial melting of mantle wedge metasomatized by the subducted/subducting seafloor with a sediment component, followed by AFC processes with fractional crystallization of clinopyroxene, amphibole and plagioclase and assimilation of lower continental crust. The mantle-wedge derived magma parental to the dioritic dikes underplated and induced the lower continental crust to melt, forming the felsic crustal magma parental to the granodiorite with mantle melt signatures and having more enriched isotope compositions (87Sr/86Sri: 0.7087 to 0.7125, εNd(t): - 9.5 to - 11.6, εHf(t): - 10.3 to - 14.1) than those of the dioritic dikes. The Hongqilafu pluton is thus the product of mantle-crust interaction at an active continental margin subduction setting over the period of several million years. This understanding further indicates that the closure timing of the Shyok back-arc basin and the collision between the Kohistan-Ladakh Arc and the Karakoram Terrane may have taken place later than 100 Ma.

  6. Mineralogy of Inverted Pigeonite and Plagioclase in Cumulate Eucrites Y-980433 and Y-980318 with Reference to Early Crust Formation of the Vesta-Like Body

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Takeda, H.; Ohtake, M.; Hiroi, T.; Nyquist, L. E.; Shih, C.-Y.; Yamaguchi, A.; Nagaoka, H.

    2011-01-01

    On July 16, the Dawn spacecraft became the first probe to enter orbit around asteroid 4 Vesta and will study the asteroid for a year before departing for Ceres. The Vesta-HED link is directly tied to the observed and inferred mineralogy of the asteroid and the mineralogy of the meteorites [1]. Pieters et al. [2] reported reflectance spectra of the Yamato- (Y-)980318 cumulate eucrite as a part of their study on the Asteroid-Meteorite Links in connection with the Dawn Mission. Pyroxenes and calcic plagioclase are the dominant minerals present in HED meteorites and provide multiple clues about how the parent body evolved [1]. The differentiation trends of HED meteorites are much simpler than those of the lunar crust

  7. Partial melting of the mélange for the growth of andesitic crust indicated by the Early Cretaceous arc dioritic/andesitic rocks in southern Qiangtang, central Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, LuLu; Wang, Qiang; Wyman, Derek; Ou, Quan; Dan, Wei; Jiang, ZiQi; Yang, JinHui; Long, XiaoPing; Li, Jie

    2016-04-01

    Deciphering the petrogenesis of andesitic/dioritic rocks is fundamental to understanding the formation of the continental crust. Here we present the detailed petrology, geochronology, major and trace element, Sr-Nd-Hf-O isotope data for the Early Cretaceous (ca. 122 Ma) dioritic rocks in the Bizha area in southern Qiangtang, Tibet. The dioritic rocks are characterized by large ion lithophile elements, Pb and light rare earth elements but depletion of high field strength elements with slightly enriched and variable ɛNd(t) values of -0.01 to -3.31 and initial 87Sr/86Sr isotopic ratios of 0.7053 to 0.7062. They also have variable magmatic zircon Hf-O isotope compositions (ɛHf(t) = -5.3 to +3.6 and δ18O = 7.3 to 9.5 ‰). Combined with contemporary andesitic lavas in southern Qiangtang, we suggest that the intermediate magmatic rocks in this area were most probably derived by partial melting of the mélange, which is a mixture of the middle oceanic ridge basalts (MORBs), sediments and mantle wedge peridotites, formed along the interface between the subducted slab and the overlying mantle wedge in a subduction channel before ~ 124 Ma. The mélange diapir melting was triggered by the asthenospheric upwelling and hot corner flow caused by roll-back of the northward subducted Bangong-Nujiang oceanic slab during the Early Cretaceous. The Early Cretaceous intermediate magmatic rocks in southern Qiangtang have an overall continental crust-like andesitic composition. Therefore, partial melting of the mélange provides an important support for the generation of andesitic magmas in continental arcs and the "andesite model" for crustal growth.

  8. The effect of thicker oceanic crust in the Archaean on the growth of continental crust through time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilks, M. E.

    1988-01-01

    Present crustal evolution models fail to account for the generation of the large volume of continental crust in the required time intervals. All Archaean plate tectonic models, whether invoking faster spreading rates, similar to today's spreading rates, or longer ridge lengths, essentially propose that continental crust has grown by island arc accretion due to the subduction of oceanic crust. The petrological differences that characterize the Archaean from later terrains result from the subduction of hotter oceanic crust into a hotter mantle. If the oceanic crust was appreciably thicker in the Archaean, as geothermal models would indicate, this thicker crust is surely going to have an effect on tectonic processes. A more valid approach is to compare the possible styles of convergence of thick oceanic crust with modern convergence zones. The best modern analog occurs where thick continental crust is colliding with thick continental crust. Oceanic crustal collision on the scale of the present-day Himalayan continental collision zone may have been a frequent occurrence in the Archaean, resulting in extensive partial melting of the hydrous underthrust oceanic crust to produce voluminous tonalite melts, leaving a depleted stabilized basic residuum. Present-day island arc accretion may not have been the dominant mechanism for the growth of the early Archaean crust.

  9. Isotopic and anatomical evidence of an herbivorous diet in the Early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis. Implications for the structure of Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angst, D.; Lécuyer, C.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Fourel, F.; Martineau, F.; Legendre, S.; Abourachid, A.; Herrel, A.

    2014-04-01

    The mode of life of the early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis has long been a matter of controversy. Although it has often been reconstructed as an apex predator feeding on small mammals, according to other interpretations, it was in fact a large herbivore. To determine the diet of this bird, we analyze here the carbon isotope composition of the bone apatite from Gastornis and contemporaneous herbivorous mammals. Based on 13C-enrichment measured between carbonate and diet of carnivorous and herbivorous modern birds, the carbonate δ13C values of Gastornis bone remains, recovered from four Paleocene and Eocene French localities, indicate that this bird fed on plants. This is confirmed by a morphofunctional study showing that the reconstructed jaw musculature of Gastornis was similar to that of living herbivorous birds and unlike that of carnivorous forms. The herbivorous Gastornis was the largest terrestrial tetrapod in the Paleocene biota of Europe, unlike the situation in North America and Asia, where Gastornis is first recorded in the early Eocene, and the largest Paleocene animals were herbivorous mammals. The structure of the Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems of Europe may have been similar to that of some large islands, notably Madagascar, prior to the arrival of humans.

  10. Devonian Nb-enriched basalts and andesites of north-central Tibet: Evidence for the early subduction of the Paleo-Tethyan oceanic crust beneath the North Qiangtang Block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hongrui; Yang, Tiannan; Hou, Zengqian; Bian, Yeke

    2016-07-01

    The early evolution of the Tethyan Ocean in north-central Tibet is currently poorly constrained. A sequence of volcanic rocks ranging from basic to intermediate in composition has been identified in the Zaduo area of the North Qiangtang Block. SHRIMP U-Pb dating of zircons from a sample of Zaduo andesite suggests an eruption age of Late Devonian ( 380 Ma). The Zaduo volcanic rocks exhibit geochemical characteristics similar to those of typical Nb-enriched basalts, with relatively high Nb, Ta, and Zr contents, resulting in high Nb/La ratios (0.70-1.08) and Nb/U ratios (10.57-34.37). The relative enrichment in high field strength elements, together with positive εNd(t) values of + 4.6 to + 5.8 and low (87Sr/86Sr)i ratios of 0.70367-0.70532, indicates the Zaduo volcanic rocks were derived from a depleted mantle source metasomatized by silicate melts of a subducted oceanic slab. The occurrence of Nb-enriched volcanic rocks in the North Qiangtang Block suggests that the subduction of Paleo-Tethyan oceanic crust was initiated in the Late Devonian. Available geochronological data from ophiolites surrounding the North Qiangtang Block suggest that the subducted slab is most likely the Longmucuo-Shuanghu Paleo-Tethyan oceanic crust.

  11. The nature of the crust in the Yukon-Koyukuk Province as inferred from the chemical and isotopic composition of five Late Cretaceous to Early Tertiary volcanic fields in western Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moll-Stalcup, Elizabeth; Arth, J. G.

    1989-11-01

    Late Cretaceous and early Tertiary volcanic and plutonic rocks in western Alaska comprise a vast magmatic province extending from the Alaska Range north to the Arctic Circle, south to Bristol Bay, and west to the Bering Sea Shelf. The chemical and isotopic composition of five of these Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary volcanic fields in the north central part of this province were studied to determine if Paleozoic or older continental crust underlies the Yukon-Koyukuk province. Three of the fields, the Blackburn Hills, Yukon River, and Kanuti, occur within the Yukon-Koyukuk province and two, the Sischu and Nowitna, overlie bordering Precambrian and Paleozoic metamorphic terranes to the southeast. High initial 87Sr/86Sr of 0.7075-0.7079 and moderate initial 143Nd/144Nd of 0.51244-0.51247 of rhyolite, dacite, and high-silica andesite of the Sischu volcanic field indicate that the magmas have interacted with the underlying Paleozoic or older continental crust. The relatively limited variation of isotopic (initial 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7044-0.7051; initial 143Nd/144Nd = 0.51256-0.51257) and elemental compositions of andesites from the Nowitna field can be accounted for by assimilation of small amounts of Paleozoic or older continental crust during crystal fractionation of andesite parent magmas at crustal levels. The Blackburn Hills field, which consists of medium-K basalt, andesite, and rhyolite intruded by a small granitic pluton, has a large range in initial 87Sr/86Sr and initial 143Nd/144Nd that plot in the field for 60 Ma mantle, from near mid-ocean ridge basalts to near "bulk-earth" compositions (initial 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7033-0.7052; initial 143Nd/144Nd = 0.51253-0.51290). Andesites and basalts from the Blackburn Hills are divided into two group on the basis of rare earth element (REE) and isotopic composition. Isotopic variation in the more primitive group 1 is best explained by assimilation of the lower crust of the Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Koyukuk terrane by mantle

  12. Osmium isotope evidence for Early to Middle Proterozoic mantle lithosphere stabilization and concomitant production of juvenile crust in Dish Hill, CA peridotite xenoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armytage, Rosalind M. G.; Brandon, Alan D.; Peslier, Anne H.; Lapen, Thomas J.

    2014-07-01

    The 187Os/188Os compositions in peridotite samples from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) can be used to constrain the timing of melt extraction and potentially test the link between large-scale mantle melting and juvenile crust production. The SCLM has often experienced a complex history such that some lithophile elements such as REEs (rare earth elements) in these rocks typically record overprinting during metasomatism. New 187Os/188Os, major and trace element compositional data were obtained on sixteen Dish Hill peridotite xenoliths (California, USA) and are used to examine these issues. The samples show strong correlations between 187Os/188Os and indicators of melt depletion such as Lu abundance in clinopyroxene, modal abundance of clinopyroxene, bulk rock Al2O3 and the Cr# (Cr/(Cr + Al) in spinel. These relationships indicate that metasomatism did not compromise the 187Os/188Os systematics. The data appear to form two melt depletion trends consistent with Re depletion model ages (TRD) obtained from the two Al2O3 versus 187Os/188Os trends are 2.1 ± 0.5 Ga and 1.3 ± 0.3 Ga (±95% conf.). It has been suggested that the SCLM under Dish Hill may be fragments of oceanic lithosphere emplaced as the result of Farallon plate subduction during the Late Cretaceous (Luffi et al., 2009). However, the strong melt depletion trends, major element compositions and Re-depletion ages are not consistent with the interpretation of this suite of xenoliths having an oceanic lithospheric origin. Rather, the 2.1 Ga age coincides with Nd model ages of 2-2.3 Ga (Bennett and DePaolo, 1987; Rämö and Calzia, 1998) for the overlying Mojavia crustal province. The 1.3 Ga age is consistent with large-scale A-type magmatism in the nearby region at this time that is purported to be the result of mantle plume melting processes. Therefore, data from this study point to the SCLM under Dish Hill being formed by two ancient mantle-melting events, which could be the result of

  13. Ophiolites and oceanic crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moores, E.M.; Jackson, E.D.

    1974-01-01

    OPHIOLITES consist of a pseudostratiform sequence, of harzburgite, tectonite, ultramafic and mafic cumulates sometimes including gabbro and quartz diorite (plagiogranite) intrusions, dolerite dyke swarms, pillow lava 1, and deep-sea sediments2-4. This assemblage occurs in all Phanerozoic mountain systems and is interpreted as fossil oceanic crust and uppermost mantle5-10. Outstanding problems include differences between the chemical properties of Ophiolites and rocks thought to represent present-day oceanic crust11,12, the lack in some complexes of recognised dyke swarms or cumulates, and the relative thinness of ophiolite mafic rocks compared with standard oceanic crustal sections5,8,13. ?? 1974 Nature Publishing Group.

  14. Terrestrial sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Charlie Byrer

    2008-03-10

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  15. Terrestrial sequestration

    ScienceCinema

    Charlie Byrer

    2016-07-12

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  16. Earthquakes in Stable Continental Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Arch C.; Kanter, Lisa R.

    1990-01-01

    Discussed are some of the reasons for earthquakes which occur in stable crust away from familiar zones at the ends of tectonic plates. Crust stability and the reactivation of old faults are described using examples from India and Australia. (CW)

  17. Water depth-composition trends in ferromanganese crusts adjacent to the California margin compared to those in equatorial Pacific crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, T. A.; Hein, J. R.

    2013-12-01

    Ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts have been used as proxies for paleo-seawater chemistry; however, element concentrations and growth rates in crusts can vary depending on the region, latitude, and water depth. Here we will look at 130 Fe-Mn crusts from seven seamounts adjacent to the California (CA) margin to explore trends in composition with water depth and latitude. Crusts were collected by ROV, resulting in a dataset with exact water depth and location coordinates. Water depth ranges from 570 to 3,934 m along a 700-km transect running roughly parallel to the CA margin. Crust samples used for comparison were collected by dredging along transects following the Gilbert Ridge and Tokelau Seamounts in the western equatorial Pacific, with water depths ranging from about 1,500 to 4,800 m. In addition to variations with latitude and water depth, element concentrations in CA margin crusts are influenced by high primary productivity in surface waters, terrestrial input, and upwelling along the continental margin. Elements associated with terrestrial input, including Na, Si, Al, K, Pb, and particularly Th, are enriched in CA margin crusts relative to crusts from the equatorial Pacific transects. Si is also associated with the biogenic phase, as are P, Ba, and Cu but these elements are lower in CA margin crusts. Ba is a proxy for primary productivity. CA margin crusts show Ba increasing with increasing water depth, while equatorial Pacific crusts show the inverse trend. In equatorial Pacific crusts, Ba correlates with decreasing latitude, which reflects increasing proximity to the high productivity zone of equatorial upwelling; additionally, local obstructional upwelling associated with primary productivity around seamounts and islands enhances the productivity signal. Cu, which is associated with the manganese oxide phase, in addition to the biogenic phase, also increases with water depth along the CA margin; this is consistent with the seawater profile for dissolved Cu. In

  18. Psoriasis or crusted scabies.

    PubMed

    Goyal, N N; Wong, G A

    2008-03-01

    We describe a case of a 67-year-old woman with a 1-year history of nail thickening and a non-itchy erythematous scaly eruption on the fingertips. She was diagnosed with psoriasis and started on methotrexate after having had no response to topical calcipotriol. The diagnosis was reviewed after it was revealed by another consultant that the patient's husband had been attending dermatology clinics for several years with chronic pruritus, which had been repeatedly thought to be due to scabies. Our patient was found to have crusted scabies after a positive skin scraping showed numerous mites. She was treated with topical permethrin, keratolytics and oral ivermectin. We also review the literature on crusted scabies and its management, with recommendations.

  19. Petrogenesis of the early Cretaceous volcanic rocks in the North Huaiyang tectono-magmatic unit of the Dabie Orogen, eastern China: Implications for crust-mantle interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xin-Yu; Zhao, Tai-Ping; Zhao, Jun-Hong

    2016-03-01

    New elemental and isotopic data are presented for the early Cretaceous felsic to mafic volcanic rocks in the North Huaiyang tectono-magmatic unit (NHY) of the Dabie Orogen, in order to investigate their petrogenesis and provide insights into the nature of the late Mesozoic lithosphere mantle beneath the region and its tectonic relationship with neighboring blocks. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating reveals that volcanic rocks of the Jingangtai Formation erupted in a quite short interval about 5 Mys during the Early Cretaceous (128-123 Ma). The rocks have wide ranges of SiO2 (48-68 wt.%) and MgO (0.6-5.6 wt.%) contents. They are enriched in large-ion-lithophile-elements (LILE) (e.g. Rb, Ba) and light rare-earth-elements (LREE), and depleted in high field strength elements (e.g. Nb, Ta and Ti) with weak negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu∗ = 0.71-0.94). Meanwhile, the rocks show relatively high whole-rock initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7074-0.7094), strong negative εNd(t) (-19.1 to -15.8) and zircon εHf values (-20.7 to -14.1). Such typical "continental" geochemical characteristics did not result from crustal contamination during magma ascent, but from an enriched mantle source modified by materials from the subducted Yangtze Craton during the Triassic continental collision. We propose that the petrogenesis of the large-scale contemporaneous magmatism of Dabie Orogen including felsic to mafic volcanic rocks in the NHY reflects an intensive lithospheric thinning and extension during the early Cretaceous as a tectonic response to the change of plate motion of westward subducted Pacific Plate beneath the Eurasian continent.

  20. Pre-terrestrial origin of rust in the Nakhla meteorite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wentworth, Susan J.; Gooding, James L.

    1990-01-01

    The authors present quantative elemental compositions and summarize textural evidence for the pre-terrestrial origin of rust on the Nakhla meteorite. The material in question is called 'rust' because its phase composition remains unknown. Compelling evidence for the pre-terrestrial origin of the rust is found in rust veins truncated by fusion crust and preserved as faults in sutured igneous crystals. Rust veins that approach the meteorite's fusion crust become discontinuous and exhibit vugs that suggest partial decrepitation; no veins that penetrate the fusion crust have been found. Because the rust probably contains volatile compounds, it is reasonable to expect that heating near the ablation surface (formed during atmospheric entry to Earth) would encourage devolatilization of the rust. Hence, the absence of rust veins in fusion crust and vugs in rust veins near fusion crust clearly imply that the rust existed in the meteorite before atmospheric entry.

  1. The Mackenzie River magnetic anomaly, Yukon and Northwest Territories, Canada-Evidence for Early Proterozoic magmatic arc crust at the edge of the North American craton

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pilkington, M.; Saltus, R.W.

    2009-01-01

    We characterize the nature of the source of the high-amplitude, long-wavelength, Mackenzie River magnetic anomaly (MRA), Yukon and Northwest Territories, Canada, based on magnetic field data collected at three different altitudes: 300??m, 3.5??km and 400??km. The MRA is the largest amplitude (13??nT) satellite magnetic anomaly over Canada. Within the extent of the MRA, source depth estimates (8-12??km) from Euler deconvolution of low-altitude aeromagnetic data show coincidence with basement depths interpreted from reflection seismic data. Inversion of high-altitude (3.5??km) aeromagnetic data produces an average magnetization of 2.5??A/m within a 15- to 35-km deep layer, a value typical of magmatic arc complexes. Early Proterozoic magmatic arc rocks have been sampled to the southeast of the MRA, within the Fort Simpson magnetic anomaly. The MRA is one of several broad-scale magnetic highs that occur along the inboard margin of the Cordillera in Canada and Alaska, which are coincident with geometric changes in the thrust front transition from the mobile belt to stable cratonic North America. The inferred early Proterozoic magmatic arc complex along the western edge of the North American craton likely influenced later tectonic evolution, by acting as a buttress along the inboard margin of the Cordilleran fold-and-thrust belt. Crown Copyright ?? 2008.

  2. Neoarchean paleoweathering of tonalite and metabasalt: Implications for reconstructions of 2.69Ga early terrestrial ecosystems and paleoatmospheric chemistry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Driese, S.G.; Jirsa, M.A.; Ren, M.; Brantley, S.L.; Sheldon, N.D.; Parker, Dana C.; Schmitz, M.

    2011-01-01

    primitive microbial community) during weathering. Cu metal in the profile may document lower pO2 than present day at the surface. Comparison with previous studies of weathered tonalite and basalt (Denison, 2.45-2.22Ga) in Ontario, Canada, reveal general similarities in paleoweathering with our study, as well as important differences related to lower paleoatmospheric pO2 and terrestrial biosignature for the older Minnesota profile. A falling water table in the Alpine Lake locality is presumed to have promoted formation of this gossan-like deep-weathering system that extends to 50-m depth. ?? 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  3. The (146,147)Sm-(142,143)Nd systematics of early terrestrial differentiation and the lost continents of the early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harper, Charles L., Jr.; Jacobsen, Stein B.

    1992-01-01

    The very early history of the Earth has been one of the great enduring puzzles in the history of geology. We report evidence which clearly can be described as a vestige of a beginning, because the evidence that we report cannot be interpreted in any other way except as a geochemical signal of processes active in the very early history of the Earth. The evidence itself is a very small anomaly in the abundance of SM-146. The primary aims of this study were to: (1) verify the existence of the 'lost continents' of the Hadean era; and (2) determine their mean age.

  4. Relamination of mafic subducting crust throughout Earth's history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maunder, Ben; van Hunen, Jeroen; Magni, Valentina; Bouilhol, Pierre

    2016-09-01

    Earth has likely cooled by several hundred degrees over its history, which has probably affected subduction dynamics and associated magmatism. Today, the process of compositional buoyancy driven upwelling, and subsequent underplating, of subducted materials (commonly referred to as ;relamination;) is thought to play a role in the formation of continental crust. Given that Archean continental crust formation is best explained by the involvement of mafic material, we investigate the feasibility of mafic crust relamination under a wide range of conditions applicable to modern and early Earth subduction zones, to assess if such a process might have been viable in an early Earth setting. Our numerical parametric study illustrates that the hotter, thicker-crust conditions of the early Earth favour the upward relamination of mafic subducting crust. The amount of relaminating subducting crust is observed to vary significantly, with subduction convergence rate having the strongest control on the volume of relaminated material. Indeed, removal of the entire mafic crust from the subducting slab is possible for slow subduction (∼2 cm/yr) under Archean conditions. We also observe great variability in the depth at which this separation occurs (80-120 km), with events corresponding to shallower detachment being more voluminous, and that relaminating material has to remain metastably buoyant until this separation depth, which is supported by geological, geophysical and geodynamical observations. Furthermore, this relamination behaviour is commonly episodic with a typical repeat time of approximately 10 Myrs, similar to timescales of episodicity observed in the Archean rock record. We demonstrate that this relamination process can result in the heating of considerable quantities of mafic material (to temperatures in excess of 900 °C), which is then emplaced below the over-riding lithosphere. As such, our results have implications for Archean subduction zone magmatism, for

  5. The proto-terrestrial mechanism of the appearance of water and early genesis of the global ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergin, S. Ya.

    2016-08-01

    We consider chemical reactions for the appearance of water during the formation of the planet from cosmic gas and dust material to explain the early geological existence of the Earth's hydrosphere. This process is fully supported by the resources of the initial substances and thermal energy. Thus, the concept of V.I. Vernadsly about the geological eternity of the World Ocean and ancient age of the oceanic lithosphere is supported. The identical high location of the ancient and modern continental platforms under the conditions of continual isostatical equilibrium in the asthenosphere-lithosphere-hydrosphere gives grounds to conclude that the ocean water depth is stable. Taking this into account, we can consider that the geological evolution of the Earth began in the conditions of the existence of the World Ocean when the mass of the hydrosphere only slightly exceeded the modern one.

  6. Aleutian basin oceanic crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christeson, Gail L.; Barth, Ginger A.

    2015-01-01

    We present two-dimensional P-wave velocity structure along two wide-angle ocean bottom seismometer profiles from the Aleutian basin in the Bering Sea. The basement here is commonly considered to be trapped oceanic crust, yet there is a change in orientation of magnetic lineations and gravity features within the basin that might reflect later processes. Line 1 extends ∼225 km from southwest to northeast, while Line 2 extends ∼225 km from northwest to southeast and crosses the observed change in magnetic lineation orientation. Velocities of the sediment layer increase from 2.0 km/s at the seafloor to 3.0–3.4 km/s just above basement, crustal velocities increase from 5.1–5.6 km/s at the top of basement to 7.0–7.1 km/s at the base of the crust, and upper mantle velocities are 8.1–8.2 km/s. Average sediment thickness is 3.8–3.9 km for both profiles. Crustal thickness varies from 6.2 to 9.6 km, with average thickness of 7.2 km on Line 1 and 8.8 km on Line 2. There is no clear change in crustal structure associated with a change in orientation of magnetic lineations and gravity features. The velocity structure is consistent with that of normal or thickened oceanic crust. The observed increase in crustal thickness from west to east is interpreted as reflecting an increase in melt supply during crustal formation.

  7. An early Middle Anisian (Middle Triassic) Tubiphytes and cement crusts-dominated reef from North Dobrogea (Romania): facies, depositional environment and diagenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popa, Livia; Panaiotu, Cristina E.; Grădinaru, Eugen

    2014-06-01

    A well-developed Triassic carbonate platform is exposed in the eastern part of the Tulcea Unit, in the Cimmerian North Dobrogean Orogen, southeastern Romania. Facies analysis of the 200 m thick succession of lower Middle Anisian limestones exposed in a large limestone quarry south of the village of Mahmudia suggests a transition from upper slope towards toe-of-slope carbonate facies, reflecting sea-level fluctuations and tectonic tilting. The slope is dominated by in situ microbialites in the upper portion, consisting of reefal boundstone facies, and by molluscan coquina and cement boundstones. A key role is played by the cosmopolitan micro-encruster Tubiphytes, which became common in the aftermath of the mass extinction at the Permian/Triassic boundary, and by autochthonous micrite and synsedimentary marine cement. The absence of metazoan reef builders, such as sponges and corals, reflects the fact that microbes were the first organisms to recover after the Permian/Triassic crisis under unusual marine conditions and that their main role in reef formation was sediment stabilization along the upper slopes. The lower slope is mostly detrital, being dominated by platform-derived bioclastic rudstones and crinoidal floatstones, which are interbedded with basinal carbonate hemipelagics. The toe-of-slope is composed of pelagic wackestones framed by thin tongues of intraclast breccia. All these observations are in agreement with the slopeshedding model described for the Pennsylvanian microbial margin in Asturias (northern Spain) and the Anisian- Ladinian flat-topped, steep-rimmed Latemar platform (Dolomites, Italy). As most of the Anisian reefs were described from western and eastern Tethys (Southern Alps, Hungary, China), the occurrence of the early Middle Anisian Tubiphytes-reef from North Dobrogea (Romania) contributes to resolving the puzzle of the geographic distribution of reef recovery in the Middle Triassic.

  8. Differential Expression of Metallothionein Isoforms in Terrestrial Snail Embryos Reflects Early Life Stage Adaptation to Metal Stress

    PubMed Central

    Baurand, Pierre-Emmanuel; Pedrini-Martha, Veronika; de Vaufleury, Annette; Niederwanger, Michael; Capelli, Nicolas; Scheifler, Renaud; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of three metallothionein (MT) isoform genes (CdMT, CuMT and Cd/CuMT), already known from adults, in the Early Life Stage (ELS) of Cantareus aspersus. This was accomplished by detection of the MT isoform-specific transcription adopting Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification and quantitative Real Time (qRT)-PCR of the three MT genes. Freshly laid eggs were kept for 24 hours under control conditions or exposed to three cadmium (Cd) solutions of increasing concentration (5, 10, and 15 mg Cd/L). The transcription of the three MT isoform genes was detected via PCR in 1, 6 and 12-day-old control or Cd-exposed embryos. Moreover, the transcription of this isoform genes during development was followed by qRT-PCR in 6 and 12-day-old embryos. Our results showed that the CdMT and Cd/CuMT genes, but not the CuMT gene, are expressed in embryos at the first day of development. The transcription of the 3 MT genes in control embryos increased with development time, suggesting that the capacities of metal regulation and detoxification may have gradually increased throughout embryogenesis. However in control embryos, the most highly expressed MT gene was that of the Cd/CuMT isoform, whose transcription levels greatly exceeded those of the other two MT genes. This contrasts with the minor significance of this gene in adult snails and suggests that in embryos, this isoform may play a comparatively more important role in metal physiology compared to adult individuals. This function in adult snails appears not to be related to Cd detoxification. Instead, snail embryos responded to Cd exposure by over-expression of the CdMT gene in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas the expression of the Cd/CuMT gene remained unaffected. Moreover, our study demonstrates the ability of snail embryos to respond very early to Cd exposure by up-regulation of the CdMT gene. PMID:25706953

  9. The main features of the interaction of mantle magmas with granulite complexes of the lower crust and their relationship with granitic melts (exemplified by the Early Caledonides of the West Baikal Region, Russia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vladimirov, Alexandr; Khromykh, Sergei; Mekhonoshin, Alexei; Volkova, Nina; Travin, Alexei; Mikheev, Evgeny; Vladimirova, Anna

    2016-04-01

    Granulite complexes occurring in the Early Caledonian southern folded framing of the Siberian Craton are deeply eroded fragments of the Vendian-Early Paleozoic accretionary prism, which is an indicator of the early stages of the Paleo-Asian Ocean (Gladkochub et al., 2010). The main feature of the granulite complexes is a wide development of gabbro-pyroxenites composing tectonic plates, synmetamorphic intrusive bodies, and numerous disintegrated fragments (boudins and enclaves), immersed in a metamorphic matrix. The volume of basites reaches 5-10 %, which allows us to consider mantle magmatism as a heat source for the granulite metamorphism. The most studied polygon is Chernorud granulite zone, which is a part of the Olkhon metamorphic terrane, West Baikal Region. Just this polygon was used for considering the problems of interaction of mantle magmas with lower crust granulite complexes and their relationship with granitic melts. The Chernorud Zone is a typical example of the accretionary prism with a predominance of metabasalts (70-80 %), subordinate amounts of marbles, quartzites and metapelites that have been subjected to granulite facies metamorphism and viscoelastic flow of rock masses. Study of two-pyroxene granulites (metabasalts) and garnet-sillimanite gneisses (metapelites) allows us to estimate P-T metamorphic conditions (P = 7.7-8.6 kbar, T = 770-820°C) and their U-Pb metamorphic age (530-500 Ma). Metabasalts correspond in their geochemistry to the island-arc tholeiitic series (Volkova et al., 2010; Gladkochub et al., 2010). Sin-metamorphic gabbro-pyroxenites formed in two stages: 1) Chernorud complex - tectonic slices and body's exhumed from deep earth crust levels (10-12 kb) and composed of arc tholeiitic series rocks (age T ≥ 500 Ma); 2) Ulan-Khargana complex - supply magmatic canals and fragmented tabular intrusions. This rocks composition corresponds to subalkaline petrochemical series (OIB) and U/Pb age is equal to 485±10 Ma (Travin et al., 2009

  10. Seismic anisotropy in the continental crust of northwestern Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, Colleen A.; Gaherty, James B.

    2013-04-01

    Most studies of the seismic structure of continental crust assume that the wave speeds are isotropic at seismic wavelengths. The ability to measure surface wave propagation speed from the cross-correlation of ambient seismic noise provides new opportunities to image the crust and uppermost mantle. We investigate radial anisotropy in the continental crust of northwestern Canada from group-velocity curves of Love and Rayleigh waves obtained from ambient-noise cross-correlation. We test the null hypothesis that the Love and Rayleigh group-speed curves can be simultaneously fit by an earth model containing isotropic seismic velocities throughout the crust. Group velocity is predicted for 200 000 one-dimensional earth models, which are generated by randomly varying the crustal shear velocity and radial anisotropy within a prescribed range. The goodness-of-fit of the predictions is assessed by comparison with two sets of observed dispersion curves that correspond to two tectonically distinct terranes: the Archean/early Proterozoic craton and the transition from craton to Cordillera. The majority of best-fitting models contain VSH > VSV (4-5 per cent) in the middle crust. The finding that the middle/lower crust is seismically anisotropic across a large swath of northwestern Canada, combined with recent observations of anisotropic crust in much of the western United States, suggests that anisotropy may be ubiquitous in the continental crust.

  11. Microtopography of manganese crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Charles L.

    Quantitative examination of the seafloor surface roughness will be necessary for any design of equipment intended for use in collecting surface deposits such as cobalt-rich manganese crusts or nodules. Furthermore, it is an essential prerequisite to the confident interpretation of returns from high frequency side-scan and other acoustic systems. The objectives of the project were to develop the capability at the University of Hawaii of generating high resolution (less than 1 cm horizontal and vertical) topographic models of the seafloor from 35 mm stereo photographs; to produce such models from existing photographs of cobalt-rich manganese crust deposits; and to optimize the configuration of the existing Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) camera system for stereo photograph collection and correlation of acoustic data with the photographic ground-truth. These tasks were accomplished and have also led to the development of a follow-on project (MMTC/OBD Project 1512) dedicated to the simultaneous acquisition of both optical and side-scan acoustic data for future accurate determination of seabed microtopography.

  12. The Crust Has Changed: Evidence for and implications of age dependent Sm/Nd ratios in juvenile continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, S. T.

    2011-12-01

    The Nd isotope systematics of crustal granites and their presumed source materials are used to reconstruct the Sm/Nd ratios of the continental crust with distinct mantle extraction ages (based on DePaolo, 1988 EPSL and Bennett and DePaolo, 1987 GSA Bull). A more extensive, literature-derived data set for the western USA supports the isotopic mapping of Bennett and DePaolo. Calculated Sm/Nd ratios of the crust show a secular increase from the Archean to approximately 1.5 Ga. Modern island arc lavas, analogs for juvenile continental crust have the lowest Sm/Nd, consistent with the inferred trend from the granites. Possible reasons for the increasing Sm/Nd include changes in the Sm/Nd ratio of the mantle reservoir and/or changes in the mineralogy of the reservoir from which the crust was extracted. It is postulated that the primary control of Sm/Nd in the continental crust is the residual mineralogy in the reservoirs from which the crust was extracted. This is possible because changes in the geothermal gradient through Earth's history affect the residual mineralogy during the extraction of continental crust. Recent phase equilibria studies relevant to modern island arcs suggest that accessory minerals such as allanite buffer the LREE budget from the subducting sediment and basaltic slab, the primary source of REE in island arc lavas. Crust production early in Earth's history likely occurred at temperatures too high for allanite stability, meaning Sm/Nd ratios were likely controlled by garnet and/or amphibole in either subducted crust or the mantle reservoir. Modeling results will show how changing residual mineralogy during crust extractions can produce the observed changes in Sm/Nd ratios. More broadly the inferred time dependence for Sm/Nd may relate to the silica content of juvenile crust throughout Earth's history.

  13. On the early processing of terrestrial organic matter released to (sub-)Arctic coastal waters as deduced from biomarkers, isotopes and a simple model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gustafsson, Örjan; Vonk, Jorien; van Dongen, Bart; Dudarev, Oleg; Semiletov, Igor

    2010-05-01

    The surface layer of the vast sub-Arctic and Arctic tundra and taiga holds over a third of the global soil carbon and this area is now experiencing among the largest climate warming of anywhere on Earth. Yet, there is a shortage of investigations of the biogeochemical fate of coastally exported terrestrial organic matter (terrOM) from these systems, in part due to the inaccessibility of the large Eurasian-Arctic shelves. This paper seeks to synthesize initial findings from a large-scale survey of single surface sediments outside the five Great Russian Arctic Rivers (GRARs; Ob,Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma and Indigirka) and from detailed process-studies of a water column and surface sediment transect off pristine sub-Arctic Kalix River, one of the largest unregulated rivers in Europe draining into the northernmost Baltic Sea. There is at present a discrepancy in the literature of how the early (water column) fate of terrestrial organic matter is believed to occur between the northern Baltic Sea and the Eurasian Arctic shelf seas. For the Baltic, one suggests substantial DOC degradation but no consideration of POC degradation. For the Arctic, terrestrial DOC is believed to be conservatively mixed while POC is assumed to follow a generic "global" average degradation. Our studies to date show that terrOM entering sub-Arctic Baltic and Eurasian-Arctic seas follows continent-scale trends in molecular and isotopic composition. Sphagnum is a key contributor to the pre-aged (1000s of 14C years) terrOM in these coastal waters with greatest Sphagnum contribution but youngest terrOM toward the west. The Kalix-Baltic transect revealed rapid degradation of acyl lipids along the 80 km distance from river mouth to the open bay. For instance, the ratio of HMW n-alkanoic acids to HMW n-alkanes in surface water suspended particles dropped from 2.7 to 1.2. There was also rapid degradation during settling and in the surface sediment as the same ratio in sediments dropped between the estuary

  14. On the early processing of terrestrial organic matter released to (sub-)Arctic coastal waters as deduced from biomarkers, isotopes and a simple model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gustafsson, Ö.; Vonk, J.; van Dongen, B.; Dudarev, O.; Semiletov, I.

    2009-04-01

    The surface layer of the vast sub-Arctic and Arctic tundra and taiga holds over a third of the global soil carbon and this area is now experiencing among the largest climate warming of anywhere on Earth. Yet, there is a shortage of investigations of the biogeochemical fate of coastally exported terrestrial organic matter (terrOM) from these systems, in part due to the inaccessibility of the large Eurasian-Arctic shelves. This paper seeks to synthesize initial findings from a large-scale survey of single surface sediments outside the five Great Russian Arctic Rivers (GRARs; Ob,Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma and Indigirka) and from detailed process-studies of a water column and surface sediment transect off pristine sub-Arctic Kalix River, one of the largest unregulated rivers in Europe draining into the northernmost Baltic Sea. There is at present a discrepancy in the literature of how the early (water column) fate of terrestrial organic matter is believed to occur between the northern Baltic Sea and the Eurasian Arctic shelf seas. For the Baltic, one suggests substantial DOC degradation but no consideration of POC degradation. For the Arctic, terrestrial DOC is believed to be conservatively mixed while POC is assumed to follow a "global" average degradation. Our studies to date show that terrOM entering sub-Arctic Baltic and Eurasian-Arctic seas follows continent-scale trends in molecular and isotopic composition. Sphagnum is a key contributor to the pre-aged (1000s of 14C years) terrOM in these coastal waters with greatest Sphagnum contribution but youngest terrOM toward the west. The Kalix-Baltic transect revealed rapid degradation of acyl lipids along the 80 km distance from river mouth to the open bay. For instance, the ratio of HMW n-alkanoic acids to HMW n-alkanes in surface water suspended particles dropped from 2.7 to 1.2. There was also rapid degradation during settling and in the surface sediment as the same ratio in sediments dropped between the estuary - open

  15. Evolution of the Archaean crust by delamination and shallow subduction.

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen F; Buhre, Stephan; Jacob, Dorrit E

    2003-01-16

    The Archaean oceanic crust was probably thicker than present-day oceanic crust owing to higher heat flow and thus higher degrees of melting at mid-ocean ridges. These conditions would also have led to a different bulk composition of oceanic crust in the early Archaean, that would probably have consisted of magnesium-rich picrite (with variably differentiated portions made up of basalt, gabbro, ultramafic cumulates and picrite). It is unclear whether these differences would have influenced crustal subduction and recycling processes, as experiments that have investigated the metamorphic reactions that take place during subduction have to date considered only modern mid-ocean-ridge basalts. Here we present data from high-pressure experiments that show that metamorphism of ultramafic cumulates and picrites produces pyroxenites, which we infer would have delaminated and melted to produce basaltic rocks, rather than continental crust as has previously been thought. Instead, the formation of continental crust requires subduction and melting of garnet-amphibolite--formed only in the upper regions of oceanic crust--which is thought to have first occurred on a large scale during subduction in the late Archaean. We deduce from this that shallow subduction and recycling of oceanic crust took place in the early Archaean, and that this would have resulted in strong depletion of only a thin layer of the uppermost mantle. The misfit between geochemical depletion models and geophysical models for mantle convection (which include deep subduction) might therefore be explained by continuous deepening of this depleted layer through geological time.

  16. TERRESTRIAL ECOTOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Terrestrial ecotoxicology is the study of how environmental pollutants affect land-dependent organisms and their environment. It requires three elements: (1) a source, (2) a receptor, and (3) an exposure pathway. This article reviews the basic principles of each of each element...

  17. A glimpse of Earth's primordial crust: The Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt as a vestige of mafic Hadean oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Neil, J.; Carlson, R. W.

    2010-12-01

    Investigation of Earth’s primitive crust is biased towards felsic rocks because they contain zircons that provide robust geochronological constraints. Felsic rocks, however, cannot be derived directly from the mantle thus the first crust had to be mafic in composition. Obtaining precise ages on old mafic rocks is however difficult due to their lack of zircon and the metamorphic overprinting they have suffered. 143Nd and 142Nd analyses on the Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt suggests that its mafic components formed more than 4 billion years ago and that the dominant lithology of the belt, known as the “faux-amphibolite”, represents the only relict of Hadean crust formed at ~4.3 Ga. Its protolith is interpreted to be mafic volcanic rocks and volcanic pyroclastic deposits. The faux-amphibolite can be divided into three distinct geochemical group stratigraphically superimposed. The faux-amphibolite at the base of the sequence is tholeiitic with a composition indicating derivation of primary melts from an undepleted mantle and fractionation under dry conditions. Towards the top of the volcanic sequence, the faux-amphibolites are characterized by higher Al/Ti ratios. They appear to have fractionated under elevated water pressure and are geochemically similar to modern boninite and calc-alkaline volcanic rocks. A new series of faux-amphibolite was analysed for 142Nd isotopic composition. 21 samples have deficits in 142Nd ranging from -7 to -18 ppm compared to the terrestrial standard. These deficits have now been confirmed by measurements of the same samples at ETH (Roth et al., GCA, A886, 2010). A 146Sm-142Nd isochron constructed for all faux-amphibolite yields an age of 4368 +72-142 Ma (n=30). A line fit only to the faux-amphibolite compositional group that shows the widest range in LREE enrichment, including corresponding co-genetic ultramafic sills gives a 146Sm-142Nd age of 4381 +67-123 Ma (n=21). The Hadean age for the faux-amphibolite is supported by a 4079

  18. Depositional styles of Early Ediacaran terrestrial volcanosedimentary succession in Gebel El Urf area, North Eastern Desert, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eliwa, Hassan; Breitkreuz, Christoph; Khalaf, Ibrahim; Gameel, Khaled El

    2010-06-01

    Located 100 km northwest of Hurghada, the volcanosedimentary successions of Gebel El Urf is exposed between latitude 27° 45' 30″ and 27° 51' 00″ N and longitude 32° 49' 00″ and 32° 59' 00″ E. The volcanosedimentary successions of Gebel El Urf crop out in an area dominated by different Late Proterozoic plutonic complexes. Both, erosional and intrusive contacts with different granitoid units have been identified. Two SHRIMP ages have been obtained from crystal-rich and lithic-poor ignimbrites yielding 615 ± 4 and 616.0 ± 5.4 Ma placing the evolution of the inter-montane basins, described here, into the Early Ediacaran. In the Gebel El Urf area, a southeastward dipping succession (Gebel El Urf Succession, GUS) of ca. 2000 m thickness rests on coarse-grained granite with an erosional unconformity. Another succession present in the area (Wadi Kefri Succession, WKS) represents volcanogenic sediments which exhibit degrees of metamorphic overprint. In places, it is presumed to be older than GUS. For the GUS, 14 lithofacies types have been differentiated and grouped to seven lithofacies associations. Subdivided into four depositional phases, GUS starts with a thick, massive and clast-supported conglomerate of alluvial fan facies (well-rounded clasts up to 100 cm). GUS continues with pelitic to sandy-turbiditic lacustrine and sandy braided river deposits with occasional volcanic glassy fragments (now illite) (Phase 2). The upper half of the GUS is dominated by volcanic deposits, starting with a 50 m thick package of alternating ignimbrites and synvolcanic sedimentary mass flow deposits, the latter related to phreatomagmatic vents (Phase 3). A thick succession of welded to non-welded ignimbrites follows, with one 20 m intercalation of coarse well-rounded conglomerates (Phase 4). Numerous SiO 2-rich and - poor dykes and sills emplaced into GUS. The GUS development displays a cycle from high to low energy sedimentation and back, under humid climatic conditions

  19. Paleoclimatic and paleoecological reconstruction of early Miocene terrestrial equatorial deposits, Rusinga and Mfangano Islands, Lake Victoria, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, L. A.; Peppe, D. J.; McNulty, K. P.; Driese, S. G.; Lutz, J.; Nightingale, S.; Maxbauer, D. P.; Horner, W. H.; DiPietro, L. M.; Lehmann, T.; Dunsworth, H. M.; Harcourt-Smith, W. E.; Ogondo, J.

    2012-12-01

    Biological responses to climatic shifts are often studied to inform us on future anthropogenic-driven climate change. However, few of these climatic shifts occur over time scales appropriate to modern change and few occur with biota similar to modern. The Miocene Climatic Optimum is an ideal interval to study because of its rapid duration and because it occurred during the rise and proliferation of apes. The sediments on Rusinga and Mfangano Islands, Lake Victoria, Kenya were deposited between 18 and 20 Ma and record a changing equatorial climate just prior to the Miocene Climate Optimum. This location also offers an opportunity to use multiple proxies to constrain climate and landscape, including paleosol geochemistry, paleobotany and paleontology. Additionally, due to the rich fossil preservation on the islands, climatic shifts are framed within the context of early caterrhine evolution. Here, we report a climate shift recorded through three time slices spanning two formations over ~2 myr. The oldest unit, the Wayando Formation, records an arid, probably open ecosystem with pedogenic calcite rhizoliths, a high groundwater table, poorly-formed paleosols and permineralized sedges. The middle time slice, the Grit Member-Fossil Bed Member contact of the Hiwegi Formation, shows evidence of a local saline lake, with desiccation features, satin-spar after gypsum deposits and salt hoppers. Paleobotanical and sedimentological data from roughly contemporaneous strata indicate a warm, highly seasonal environment that supported a mixture of woodland and forested elements across the landscape. The youngest unit, which is within the Kibanga Member of the Hiwegi Formation, displays demonstrable evidence for a closed-canopy multistoried forest with the presence of tree-stump casts and permineralized root systems within a red-brown paleosol. Within the same paleosol horizon, the dental remains of the catarrhines Proconsul and Dendropithecus have been discovered in situ. This

  20. Analysis of environmental factors determining development and succession in biological soil crusts.

    PubMed

    Lan, Shubin; Wu, Li; Zhang, Delu; Hu, Chunxiang

    2015-12-15

    Biological soil crusts play important ecological functions in arid and semi-arid regions, while different crust successional patterns appeared in different regions. Therefore in this study, the environmental conditions between Shapotou (with cyanobacterial, lichen and moss crusts) and Dalate Banner (with only cyanobacterial and moss crusts) regions of China were compared to investigate why lichen crusts only appeared in Shapotou; at the same time, artificial moss inoculation was conducted to find out the environmental factors promoting crust succession to moss stage. The results showed lichen crusts always developed from cyanobacterial crusts, which provide not only the stable soil surface, but also the biomass basis for lichen formation; furthermore, addition of crust physicochemical characteristics (primarily silt content) play a facilitating effect on lichen emergence (R(2)=0.53). The inoculation experiment demonstrated early crust soil surface and enough water holding content (>4%) provided the essential guarantee for moss germination. Our results show that there is heterogeneity in crust succession in different regions, which may be mainly affected by the ambient soil microenvironments. It is concluded that a positive feedback mechanism is expected between crust succession and ambient soil microenvironments; while a negative feedback mechanism forms between crust succession and free living cyanobacteria and algae.

  1. Two-types of Early Cretaceous adakitic porphyries from the Luxi terrane, eastern North China Block: Melting of subducted Paleo-Pacific slab and delaminated newly underplated lower crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hao; Xu, Zhaowen; Lu, Xiancai; Fu, Bin; Lu, Jianjun; Yang, Xiaonan; Zhao, Zengxia

    2016-01-01

    Mengyin adakitic porphyry was most likely derived from partial melting of subducted oceanic slab with some input of NCB Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic lower crust components. The Liujing adakitic porphyry was probably derived from partial melting of delaminated newly underplated thick lower crust, which then interacted with above asthenospheric mantle peridotite. Slab rollback together with the ridge subduction of the Paleo-Pacific slab was the most likely geodynamic mechanism for formation of the Early Cretaceous Mengyin and Liujing adakitic porphyries.

  2. A relatively reduced Hadean continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xiaozhi; Gaillard, Fabrice; Scaillet, Bruno

    2014-05-01

    Among the physical and chemical parameters used to characterize the Earth, oxidation state, as reflected by its prevailing oxygen fugacity (fO2), is a particularly important one. It controls many physicochemical properties and geological processes of the Earth's different reservoirs, and affects the partitioning of elements between coexisting phases and the speciation of degassed volatiles in melts. In the past decades, numerous studies have been conducted to document the evolution of mantle and atmospheric oxidation state with time and in particular the possible transition from an early reduced state to the present oxidized conditions. So far, it has been established that the oxidation state of the uppermost mantle is within ±2 log units of the quartz-fayalite-magnetite (QFM) buffer, probably back to ~4.4 billion years ago (Ga) based on trace-elements studies of mantle-derived komatiites, kimberlites, basalts, volcanics and zircons, and that the O2 levels of atmosphere were initially low and rose markedly ~2.3 Ga known as the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), progressively reaching its present oxidation state of ~10 log units above QFM. In contrast, the secular evolution of oxidation state of the continental crust, an important boundary separating the underlying upper mantle from the surrounding atmosphere and buffering the exchanges and interactions between the Earth's interior and exterior, has rarely been addressed, although the presence of evolved crustal materials on the Earth can be traced back to ~4.4 Ga, e.g. by detrital zircons. Zircon is a common accessory mineral in nature, occurring in a wide variety of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, and is almost ubiquitous in crustal rocks. The physical and chemical durability of zircons makes them widely used in geochemical studies in terms of trace-elements, isotopes, ages and melt/mineral inclusions; in particular, zircons are persistent under most crustal conditions and can survive many secondary

  3. Magnetostratigraphy of the Lowermost Paleocene Fort Union Formation in the Williston Basin of North Dakota: Base of a Terrestrial Reference Section for Early Cenozoic Global Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peppe, D. J.; Evans, D. D.

    2006-05-01

    lead to more accurate and detailed correlations of the terrestrial and marine climate records through the early Cenozoic.

  4. Evidence for a (15)N positive excursion in terrestrial foodwebs at the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in south-western France: Implications for early modern human palaeodiet and palaeoenvironment.

    PubMed

    Bocherens, Hervé; Drucker, Dorothée G; Madelaine, Stéphane

    2014-04-01

    The Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition around 35,000 years ago coincides with the replacement of Neanderthals by anatomically modern humans in Europe. Several hypotheses have been suggested to explain this replacement, one of them being the ability of anatomically modern humans to broaden their dietary spectrum beyond the large ungulate prey that Neanderthals consumed exclusively. This scenario is notably based on higher nitrogen-15 amounts in early Upper Palaeolithic anatomically modern human bone collagen compared with late Neanderthals. In this paper, we document a clear increase of nitrogen-15 in bone collagen of terrestrial herbivores during the early Aurignacian associated with anatomically modern humans compared with the stratigraphically older Châtelperronian and late Mousterian fauna associated with Neanderthals. Carnivores such as wolves also exhibit a significant increase in nitrogen-15, which is similar to that documented for early anatomically modern humans compared with Neanderthals in Europe. A shift in nitrogen-15 at the base of the terrestrial foodweb is responsible for such a pattern, with a preserved foodweb structure before and after the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in south-western France. Such an isotopic shift in the terrestrial ecosystem may be due to an increase in aridity during the time of deposition of the early Aurignacian layers. If it occurred across Europe, such a shift in nitrogen-15 in terrestrial foodwebs would be enough to explain the observed isotopic trend between late Neanderthals and early anatomically modern humans, without any significant change in the diet composition at the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition.

  5. The global oxidation state of the upper oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutter, J.; Harris, M.; Coggon, R. M.; Alt, J.; Smith-Duque, C. E.; Teagle, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    The oxidation state of the oceanic crust is an important component of the Earth system. The widespread oxidation of the crust is a major contributor to the redox state of the mantle due to the subduction of hydrothermally altered oceanic crust, which supplies 10 - 25 % of the net ferric iron flux to the global mantle Fe3+/FeTOT budget (Lécuyer and Ricard, 1999). Secondly, the degree of oxidation of the upper oceanic crust provides a measure of the biomass of microbial life sub-basement (Bach and Edwards, 2003). Thirdly, oxidation state analyses of oceanic basalt give information on the environment and relative timings of local hydrothermal alteration events. To date comprehensive measurements of Fe3+/FeTOT for the oceanic crust are lacking. Post crystallisation oxidation processes, occurring predominantly in the upper basaltic layers of the crust, elevate ratios of ferric to total iron (Fe3+/FeTOT) from mantle levels of 0.16 ± 0.01 (Cottrell and Kelley, 2011). Ferrous (Fe2+/) iron is oxidised to ferric (Fe3+/) iron during reaction with oxidised seawater, which circulates through oceanic crust for tens of millions of years following crustal formation. This study integrates published data with new analyses from six ocean crustal boreholes to categorise the global oxidation state of the upper crust. Samples range from <1 to 129 Ma, and represent basalt from medium to superfast spreading centres, depths between <100 - 2000 mbsf, and at a variety of sedimentary cover rates and thicknesses. Results show that by 1 Ma, the Fe3+/FeTOT ratio of the bulk crust is already raised to an average of 0.28 ± 0.07, implying that the oxidation state is established very early in the lifetime of the ocean crust. Post 1 Ma, Fe3+/FeTOT ratios are more variable, reflecting the effects of prolonged exposure to circulating seawater, but are on average ~0.35.

  6. Analytical, Experimental, and Modelling Studies of Lunar and Terrestrial Rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haskin, Larry A.

    1997-01-01

    The goal of our research has been to understand the paths and the processes of planetary evolution that produced planetary surface materials as we find them. Most of our work has been on lunar materials and processes. We have done studies that obtain geological knowledge from detailed examination of regolith materials and we have reported implications for future sample-collecting and on-surface robotic sensing missions. Our approach has been to study a suite of materials that we have chosen in order to answer specific geologic questions. We continue this work under NAG5-4172. The foundation of our work has been the study of materials with precise chemical and petrographic analyses, emphasizing analysis for trace chemical elements. We have used quantitative models as tests to account for the chemical compositions and mineralogical properties of the materials in terms of regolith processes and igneous processes. We have done experiments as needed to provide values for geochemical parameters used in the models. Our models take explicitly into account the physical as well as the chemical processes that produced or modified the materials. Our approach to planetary geoscience owes much to our experience in terrestrial geoscience, where samples can be collected in field context and sampling sites revisited if necessary. Through studies of terrestrial analog materials, we have tested our ideas about the origins of lunar materials. We have been mainly concerned with the materials of the lunar highland regolith, their properties, their modes of origin, their provenance, and how to extrapolate from their characteristics to learn about the origin and evolution of the Moon's early igneous crust. From this work a modified model for the Moon's structure and evolution is emerging, one of globally asymmetric differentiation of the crust and mantle to produce a crust consisting mainly of ferroan and magnesian igneous rocks containing on average 70-80% plagioclase, with a large

  7. Continental crust: a geophysical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Meissner, R.

    1986-01-01

    This book develops an integrated and balanced picture of present knowledge of the continental crust. Crust and lithosphere are first defined, and the formation of crusts as a general planetary phenomenon is described. The background and methods of geophysical studies of the earth's crust and the collection of related geophysical parameters are examined. Creep and friction experiments and the various methods of radiometric age dating are addressed, and geophysical and geological investigations of the crustal structure in various age provinces of the continents are studied. Specific tectonic structures such as rifts, continental margins, and geothermal areas are discussed. Finally, an attempt is made to give a comprehensive view of the evolution of the continental crust and to collect and develop arguments for crustal accretion and recycling. 647 references.

  8. Abstracts for the International Workshop on Meteorite Impact on the Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts that were accepted for presentation at the International Workshop on Meteorite Impact on the Early Earth, September 21-22, 1990, in Perth, Western Australia. The effects these impacts had on the young Earth are emphasized and a few of the topics covered are as follows: impact induced hot atmosphere, crater size and distribution, late heavy bombardment, terrestrial mantle and crust, impact damage, continental growth, volcanism, climate catastrophes, shocked quartz, and others.

  9. Abstracts for the International Workshop on Meteorite Impact on the Early Earth

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-09-01

    This volume contains abstracts that were accepted for presentation at the International Workshop on Meteorite Impact on the Early Earth, September 21-22, 1990, in Perth, Western Australia. The effects these impacts had on the young Earth are emphasized and a few of the topics covered are as follows: impact induced hot atmosphere, crater size and distribution, late heavy bombardment, terrestrial mantle and crust, impact damage, continental growth, volcanism, climate catastrophes, shocked quartz, and others.

  10. Terrestrial planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Righter, K.; O’Brien, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (∼106 y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few × 106 y), and finally embryos to planets (107–108 y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  11. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  12. Geological Models for the Uppermost Martian Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spray, J.

    2004-05-01

    Prototype cross-sections through the uppermost 100 m of the Martian crust are attempted for several distinct terrains: (a) young and uncratered (northern lowlands); (b) young and cratered (northern lowlands); (c) older and cratered (southern highlands) and (d) older and uncratered (southern highlands). Polar regions are also considered. The cross-sections are built from four main materials (1) uncemented sediment (i.e., dust and aeolian deposits); (2) cemented sediment (e.g., evaporites, sediments consolidated by diagenesis); (3) igneous rock (e.g., basaltic lavas and related hypabyssal intrusions, impact melt); and (4) megaregolith (i.e., impact-bombarded and impact-mixed material derived from 1-3 above). Megaregolith constitutes the foundation component, given that the entire crust had probably been impact processed by the end of the heavy bombardment period. The cross-sections have been constructed primarily in order to optimize the design of an orbiting synthetic aperture radar (SAR)/Sounder system for Mars. The cross-sections are also intended for use in mission planning (i.e., site selection, rover design and equipment selection). Understanding the composition and structure of the uppermost 100 m of the Martian crust is important for future missions. We need to estimate the likely substructure for landing sites so that we can optimize mission design. This is particularly important for rover-based drilling, ground-penetrating radar technology, sampling for evidence of life, and accessing H2O. Constructing cross-sections is an iterative process, largely based on existing remote sensing data (Mariner, Viking, MGS, Odyssey), combined with analogies with other terrestrial planets, especially Earth and the Moon. In this respect, Mars shows similarities with both the Moon (e.g., in megaregolith development and its preservation) and Earth (e.g., recent volcanism, presence of sedimentary deposits).

  13. Fe and O isotope composition of meteorite fusion crusts: Possible natural analogues to chondrule formation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hezel, Dominik C.; Poole, Graeme M.; Hoyes, Jack; Coles, Barry J.; Unsworth, Catherine; Albrecht, Nina; Smith, Caroline; RehkäMper, Mark; Pack, Andreas; Genge, Matthew; Russell, Sara S.

    2015-02-01

    Meteorite fusion crust formation is a brief event in a high-temperature (2000-12,000 K) and high-pressure (2-5 MPa) regime. We studied fusion crusts and bulk samples of 10 ordinary chondrite falls and 10 ordinary chondrite finds. The fusion crusts show a typical layering and most contain vesicles. All fusion crusts are enriched in heavy Fe isotopes, with δ56Fe values up to +0.35‰ relative to the solar system mean. On average, the δ56Fe of fusion crusts from finds is +0.23‰, which is 0.08‰ higher than the average from falls (+0.15‰). Higher δ56Fe in fusion crusts of finds correlate with bulk chondrite enrichments in mobile elements such as Ba and Sr. The δ56Fe signature of meteorite fusion crusts was produced by two processes (1) evaporation during atmospheric entry and (2) terrestrial weathering. Fusion crusts have either the same or higher δ18O (0.9-1.5‰) than their host chondrites, and the same is true for Δ17O. The differences in bulk chondrite and fusion crust oxygen isotope composition are explained by exchange of oxygen between the molten surface of the meteorites with the atmosphere and weathering. Meteorite fusion crust formation is qualitatively similar to conditions of chondrule formation. Therefore, fusion crusts may, at least to some extent, serve as a natural analogue to chondrule formation processes. Meteorite fusion crust and chondrules exhibit a similar extent of Fe isotope fractionation, supporting the idea that the Fe isotope signature of chondrules was established in a high-pressure environment that prevented large isotope fractionations. The exchange of O between a chondrule melt and an 16O-poor nebula as the cause for the observed nonmass dependent O isotope compositions in chondrules is supported by the same process, although to a much lower extent, in meteorite fusion crusts.

  14. Habitability Of Europa's Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, R.; Tufts, B. R.; Geissler, P.; Hoppa, G.

    Physical characterization of Europa's crust shows it to be rich in potentially habitable niches, with several timescales for change that would allow stability for organisms to prosper and still require and drive evolution and adaptation. Studies of tectonics on Europa indicate that tidal stress causes much of the surface cracking, that cracks pen- etrate through to liquid water (so the ice must be thin), and that cracks continue to be worked by tidal stress. Thus a global ocean is (or was until recently) well linked to the surface. Daily tidal flow (period~days) transports substances up and down through the active cracks, mixing surface oxidants and fuels (cometary material) with the oceanic reservoir of endogenic and exogenic substances. Organisms moving with the flow or anchored to the walls could exploit the disequilibrium chemistry, and those within a few meters of the surface could photosynthesize. Cracks remain active for at least ~10,000 yr, but deactivate as nonsynchronous rotation moves them to different stress regimes in less than a million yr. Thus, to survive, organisms squeezed into the ocean must migrate to new cracks, and those frozen in place must hibernate. Most sites remelt and would release captive organisms within about a million yr based on the prevalence of chaotic terrain, which covers nearly half of Europa. Linkage of the ocean to the surface also could help sustain life in the ocean by delivering oxidants and fuels. Suboceanic volcanism (if any) could provide additional sites and support for life, but is not necessary. Recent results support this model. We further constrain the non-synchronous rotation rate, demonstrate the plausibility of episodic melt-through, show that characteristics of pits and uplift features do not imply thick ice, and demonstrate polar wander, i.e. that the ice crust is detached from the solid interior and has slipped as a unit relative to the spin axis. Thus Europa's biosphere (habitable if not inhabited) likely

  15. Geochemistry, zircon U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopes of an Early Cretaceous intrusive suite in northeastern Jiangxi Province, South China Block: Implications for petrogenesis, crust/mantle interactions and geodynamic processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Zhengbin; Liu, Shuwen; Zhang, Lifei; Wang, Zongqi; Wang, Wei; Yang, Pengtao; Luo, Ping; Guo, Boran

    2014-07-01

    The Early Cretaceous Tieshan intrusive suite, in northeastern Jiangxi Province along the northern margin of the Eastern Cathaysia Block, is composed of diabase porphyrites, monzodiorites, syenite porphyries, quartz monzonites, monzogranites and granite porphyries. LA-ICPMS zircon U-Pb isotopic analyses reveal that this intrusive complex was emplaced between 142 Ma and 117 Ma. The ~ 135 Ma diabase porphyrites, monzodiorites, and syenite porphyries are characterized by low to moderate SiO2 and MgO contents, with high K2O and total alkaline contents. These rocks exhibit slightly to strongly fractionated REE patterns and upper crust-like multi-element patterns with depletions of Nb, Ta and Ti, and show strongly negative εHf (t) values of - 9.0 to - 11.8. All these patterns are identical to those of the Caiyuan syenites, Huangtuling gabbros in the east, and Lengshuikeng trachyandesites and quartz syenites in the west. These geochemical and zircon Lu-Hf isotopic features indicate that their magmatic precursors were generated by 0.2%-2% partial melting of a phlogopite-bearing enriched subcontinental lithospheric mantle source that was metasomatized by sediments. The ~ 117 Ma quartz monzonite has slightly higher εHf (t) values (- 5.6 to - 8.7) like those of the Honggong syenites, indicating an interaction between the asthenosphere and the lithosphere. The ~ 142-134 Ma granite porphyries and monzogranites are characterized by high SiO2 levels but low concentrations of refractory elements, and show enrichment of LREEs and LILEs, with variable negative anomalies of Nb, Ta, Ti, Sr, P and Ba in multi-element diagrams normalized by primitive mantle. The monzogranite exhibits strongly negative εHf (t) values of - 10.5 to - 13.3 and TDM2 (Hf) values of 1849-2023 Ma, and the granite porphyries display relatively wide εHf (t) values of - 7.2 to - 13.4 and TDM2 (Hf) values of 1645-2043 Ma, indicating that these monzogranites and granite porphyries are highly fractionated granites

  16. CHIC - Coupling Habitability, Interior and Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, Lena; Labbe, Francois; Boiveau, Thomas; Rivoldini, Attilio; Van Hoolst, Tim

    2014-05-01

    We present a new code developed for simulating convection in terrestrial planets and icy moons. The code CHIC is written in Fortran and employs the finite volume method and finite difference method for solving energy, mass and momentum equations in either silicate or icy mantles. The code uses either Cartesian (2D and 3D box) or spherical coordinates (2D cylinder or annulus). It furthermore contains a 1D parametrised model to obtain temperature profiles in specific regions, for example in the iron core or in the silicate mantle (solving only the energy equation). The 2D/3D convection model uses the same input parameters as the 1D model, which allows for comparison of the different models and adaptation of the 1D model, if needed. The code has already been benchmarked for the following aspects: - viscosity-dependent rheology (Blankenbach et al., 1989) - pseudo-plastic deformation (Tosi et al., in preparation phase) - subduction mechanism and plastic deformation (Quinquis et al., in preparation phase) New features that are currently developed and benchmarked include: - compressibility (following King et al., 2009 and Leng and Zhong, 2008) - different melt modules (Plesa et al., in preparation phase) - freezing of an inner core (comparison with GAIA code, Huettig and Stemmer, 2008) - build-up of oceanic and continental crust (Noack et al., in preparation phase) The code represents a useful tool to couple the interior with the surface of a planet (e.g. via build-up and erosion of crust) and it's atmosphere (via outgassing on the one hand and subduction of hydrated crust and carbonates back into the mantle). It will be applied to investigate several factors that might influence the habitability of a terrestrial planet, and will also be used to simulate icy bodies with high-pressure ice phases. References: Blankenbach et al. (1989). A benchmark comparison for mantle convection codes. GJI 98, 23-38. Huettig and Stemmer (2008). Finite volume discretization for dynamic

  17. The origin of continental crust: Outlines of a general theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowman, P. D., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    The lower continental crust, formerly very poorly understood, has recently been investigated by various geological and geophysical techniques that are beginning to yield a generally agreed on though still vague model (Lowman, 1984). As typified by at least some exposed high grade terranes, such as the Scottish Scourian complex, the lower crust in areas not affected by Phanerozoic orogeny or crustal extension appears to consist of gently dipping granulite gneisses of intermediate bulk composition, formed from partly or largely supracrustal precursors. This model, to the degree that it is correct, has important implications for early crustal genesis and the origin of continental crust in general. Most important, it implies that except for areas of major overthrusting (which may of course be considerable) normal superposition relations prevail, and that since even the oldest exposed rocks are underlain by tens of kilometers of sial, true primordial crust may still survive in the lower crustal levels (of. Phinney, 1981).

  18. Soil crusts to warm the planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Couradeau, Estelle; Karaoz, Ulas; da Rocha Ulisses, Nunes; Lim Hsiao, Chiem; Northen, Trent; Brodie, Eoin

    2016-04-01

    Soil surface temperature, an important driver of terrestrial biogeochemical processes, depends strongly on soil albedo, which can be significantly modified by factors such as plant cover. In sparsely vegetated lands, the soil surface can also be colonized by photosynthetic microbes that build biocrust communities. We used concurrent physical, biochemical and microbiological analyses to show that mature biocrusts can increase surface soil temperature by as much as 10 °C through the accumulation of large quantities of a secondary metabolite, the microbial sunscreen scytonemin, produced by a group of late-successional cyanobacteria. Scytonemin accumulation decreases soil albedo significantly. Such localized warming had apparent and immediate consequences for the crust soil microbiome, inducing the replacement of thermosensitive bacterial species with more thermotolerant forms. These results reveal that not only vegetation but also microorganisms are a factor in modifying terrestrial albedo, potentially impacting biosphere feedbacks on past and future climate, and call for a direct assessment of such effects at larger scales. Based on estimates of the global biomass of cyanobacteria in soil biocrusts, one can easily calculate that there must currently exist about 15 million metric tons of scytonemin at work, warming soil surfaces worldwide

  19. Composition of the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudnick, R. L.; Gao, S.

    2003-12-01

    The Earth is an unusual planet in our solar system in having a bimodal topography that reflects the two distinct types of crust found on our planet. The low-lying oceanic crust is thin (˜7 km on average), composed of relatively dense rock types such as basalt and is young (≤200 Ma old) (see Chapter 3.13). In contrast, the high-standing continental crust is thick (˜40 km on average), is composed of highly diverse lithologies (virtually every rock type known on Earth) that yield an average intermediate or "andesitic" bulk composition (Taylor and McLennan (1985) and references therein), and contains the oldest rocks and minerals yet observed on Earth (currently the 4.0 Ga Acasta gneisses (Bowring and Williams, 1999) and 4.4 Ga detrital zircons from the Yilgarn Block, Western Australia (Wilde et al., 2001)), respectively. Thus, the continents preserve a rich geological history of our planet's evolution and understanding their origin is critical for understanding the origin and differentiation of the Earth.The origin of the continents has received wide attention within the geological community, with hundreds of papers and several books devoted to the topic (the reader is referred to the following general references for further reading: Taylor and McLennan (1985), Windley (1995), and Condie (1997). Knowledge of the age and composition of the continental crust is essential for understanding its origin. Patchett and Samson (Chapter 3.10) review the present-day age distribution of the continental crust and Kemp and Hawkesworth (Chapter 3.11) review secular evolution of crust composition. Moreover, to understand fully the origin and evolution of continents requires an understanding of not only the crust, but also the mantle lithosphere that formed more-or-less contemporaneously with the crust and translates with it as the continents move across the Earth's surface. The latter topic is reviewed in Chapter 2.05.This chapter reviews the present-day composition of the

  20. Late veneer and late accretion to the terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brasser, R.; Mojzsis, S. J.; Werner, S. C.; Matsumura, S.; Ida, S.

    2016-12-01

    It is generally accepted that silicate-metal ('rocky') planet formation relies on coagulation from a mixture of sub-Mars sized planetary embryos and (smaller) planetesimals that dynamically emerge from the evolving circum-solar disc in the first few million years of our Solar System. Once the planets have, for the most part, assembled after a giant impact phase, they continue to be bombarded by a multitude of planetesimals left over from accretion. Here we place limits on the mass and evolution of these planetesimals based on constraints from the highly siderophile element (HSE) budget of the Moon. Outcomes from a combination of N-body and Monte Carlo simulations of planet formation lead us to four key conclusions about the nature of this early epoch. First, matching the terrestrial to lunar HSE ratio requires either that the late veneer on Earth consisted of a single lunar-size impactor striking the Earth before 4.45 Ga, or that it originated from the impact that created the Moon. An added complication is that analysis of lunar samples indicates the Moon does not preserve convincing evidence for a late veneer like Earth. Second, the expected chondritic veneer component on Mars is 0.06 weight percent. Third, the flux of terrestrial impactors must have been low (≲10-6 M⊕ Myr-1) to avoid wholesale melting of Earth's crust after 4.4 Ga, and to simultaneously match the number of observed lunar basins. This conclusion leads to an Hadean eon which is more clement than assumed previously. Last, after the terrestrial planets had fully formed, the mass in remnant planetesimals was ∼10-3 M⊕, lower by at least an order of magnitude than most previous models suggest. Our dynamically and geochemically self-consistent scenario requires that future N-body simulations of rocky planet formation either directly incorporate collisional grinding or rely on pebble accretion.

  1. Soil stabilization by biological soil crusts in arid Tunisia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidez, Sabine; Couté, Alain; Bardat, Jacques

    2015-04-01

    As part of the fight against desertification (LCD) in arid Tunisia, we have been able to highlight the important role played by biological soil crusts (BSC) in soil stabilization. The identification of the major species of cyanobacteria, lichens and bryophytes, their adaptation and terrestrial colonization strategies in this high climatic constraints area through their morpho-anatomical criteria have been set. In addition to their biological composition, their internal arrangement (i.e. texture and microstructure) reflects the structural stability of BSC against erosion. Precisely, the aggregative power of cyanobacteria and their ways of moving inside a soil, the capacity of mosses to grow through the sediments and lichens ability to bind at particles on surface, thus stabilizing the substrate have been demonstrated. Then, the three biological components ability to capture soil particles has been widely illustrated, proving the major environmental contribution of BSC in arid areas biological crusts formation, providing that soils will experience an increase of organic matter and fine particles rates subsequently gaining faster and better stability. Although the thickness and the morphology of crusts are related to the cover rates of these different biological components, the water properties of the latter, studied at the environmental SEM, illustrate their important role in altering the water cycle. Thus, the mixed crusts, i.e. with good presence of three biological components, cause the highest runoff rates by their ability to retain the water and spread on the surface. In spite of a swelling coefficient in presence of water higher than cryptogams, the cyanobacterial crusts located in newly stabilized areas of our studied region, remain finally insufficiently dense to impact surface hydrology. But, we showed after all that the cyanobacteria, pioneer species, have a certain environmental role. The lichen crusts cause a increased runoff because the lichens have a

  2. Palaeomagnetism and the continental crust

    SciTech Connect

    Piper, J.D.A.

    1987-01-01

    This book is an introduction to palaeomagnetism offering treatment of theory and practice. It analyzes the palaeomagnetic record over the whole of geological time, from the Archaean to the Cenozoic, and goes on to examine the impact of past geometries and movements of the continental crust at each geological stage. Topics covered include theory of rock and mineral magnetism, field and laboratory methods, growth and consolidation of the continental crust in Archaean and Proterozoic times, Palaeozoic palaeomagnetism and the formation of Pangaea, the geomagnetic fields, continental movements, configurations and mantle convection.

  3. Helium isotopes in ferromanganese crusts from the central Pacific Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Basu, S.; Stuart, F.M.; Klemm, V.; Korschinek, G.; Knie, K.; Hein, J.R.

    2006-01-01

    Helium isotopes have been measured in samples of two ferromanganese crusts (VA13/2 and CD29-2) from the central Pacific Ocean. With the exception of the deepest part of crust CD29-2 the data can be explained by a mixture of implanted solar- and galactic cosmic ray-produced (GCR) He, in extraterrestrial grains, and radiogenic He in wind-borne continental dust grains. 4He concentrations are invariant and require retention of less than 12% of the in situ He produced since crust formation. Loss has occurred by recoil and diffusion. High 4He in CD29-2 samples older than 42 Ma are correlated with phosphatization and can be explained by retention of up to 12% of the in situ-produced 4He. 3He/4He of VA13/2 samples varies from 18.5 to 1852 Ra due almost entirely to variation in the extraterrestrial He contribution. The highest 3He/4He is comparable to the highest values measured in interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and micrometeorites (MMs). Helium concentrations are orders of magnitude lower than in oceanic sediments reflecting the low trapping efficiency for in-falling terrestrial and extraterrestrial grains of Fe-Mn crusts. The extraterrestrial 3He concentration of the crusts rules out whole, undegassed 4–40 μm diameter IDPs as the host. Instead it requires that the extraterrestrial He inventory is carried by numerous particles with significantly lower He concentrations, and occasional high concentration GCR-He-bearing particles.

  4. Carbonaceous Material in Extra-terrestrial Matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, Zita

    2016-10-01

    Comets, asteroids, meteorites, micrometeorites, interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), and ultra-carbonaceous Antarctic micrometeorites (UCAMMs) may contain carbonaceous material, which was exogenously delivered to the early Earth. Carbonaceous chondrites have an enormous variety of extra-terrestrial compounds, including all the key compounds important in terrestrial biochemistry. Comets contain several carbon-rich species and, in addition, the hypervelocity impact-shock of a comet can produce several α-amino acids. The analysis of the carbonaceous content of extra-terrestrial matter provides a window into the resources delivered to the early Earth, which may have been used by the first living organisms.

  5. Two-stage models for lunar and terrestrial anorthosites: Petrogenesis without a magma ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longhi, John; Ashwal, Lewis D.

    1985-02-01

    Two-stage diapiric models for lunar ferroan anorthosites and terrestrial massif anorthosites are examined. The lunar model is developed to explain early lunar differentiation in the absence of a magma ocean. If correct, the terrestrial model serves as an analog for the development of lunar anorthositic diapirs. There is field and textural evidence of transport of mostly crystalline anorthositic material within the terrestrial complexes. This evidence, combined with the absence of anorthositic lavas and phase equilibrium constraints inhibiting the production of hyperaluminous magmas, is consistent with the detachment of plagioclase-rich crystalline mushes from large, uppermost mantle plutons and multiple diapiric intrusion of these mushes into the upper sialic crust with attendant anatexis. Rudimentary dynamical calculations suggest that a simple, single-layer source for the diapirs is improbable: either there were several parental magma chambers or there was a single large chamber that was repeatedly replenished. The lunar model is a development of Wetherill's (1975) suggestion that, following accretion, the outer portion of the moon consisted of a stack of overlapping layered intrusions and that reheating of these intrusions mobilized their anorthositic layers, which intruded upwards to produce the anorthositic lunar crust. Dynamical calculations show that gravitational instabilities in anorthositic layers (≤ 1 km thick) could develop into diapirs on a reasonable time scale (50-100 m.y.) only if the outer portion of the moon was partially remelted. We suggest that partial melting of the interior due to the decay of long-lived radionuclides with the subsequent onset of global convection heated the stack of intrusions from below, thus causing melting and allowing the anorthositic diapirs to grow and ascend fairly rapidly. As the convecting zone thickened, a mass expulsion of anorthositic material out of the lunar interior may have occurred.

  6. Ozone generation by rock fracture: Earthquake early warning?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baragiola, Raúl A.; Dukes, Catherine A.; Hedges, Dawn

    2011-11-01

    We report the production of up to 10 ppm ozone during crushing and grinding of typical terrestrial crust rocks in air, O2 and CO2 at atmospheric pressure, but not in helium or nitrogen. Ozone is formed by exoelectrons emitted by high electric fields, resulting from charge separation during fracture. The results suggest that ground level ozone produced by rock fracture, besides its potential health hazard, can be used for early warning in earthquakes and other catastrophes, such as landslides or land shifts in excavation tunnels and underground mines.

  7. Ozone generation by rock fracture: Earthquake early warning?

    SciTech Connect

    Baragiola, Raul A.; Dukes, Catherine A.; Hedges, Dawn

    2011-11-14

    We report the production of up to 10 ppm ozone during crushing and grinding of typical terrestrial crust rocks in air, O{sub 2} and CO{sub 2} at atmospheric pressure, but not in helium or nitrogen. Ozone is formed by exoelectrons emitted by high electric fields, resulting from charge separation during fracture. The results suggest that ground level ozone produced by rock fracture, besides its potential health hazard, can be used for early warning in earthquakes and other catastrophes, such as landslides or land shifts in excavation tunnels and underground mines.

  8. GALENICALS IN THE TREATMENT OF CRUSTED SCABIES

    PubMed Central

    Sugathan, P; Martin, Abhay Mani

    2010-01-01

    Crusted scabies is rare. It is a therapeutic challenge, as the common drugs used against scabies are unsatisfactory. The successful use of galenicals in a 10-year-old girl with crusted scabies is reported. PMID:20606896

  9. Ontong Java volcanism initiated long-term climate warming that caused substantial changes in terrestrial vegetation several tens of thousand years before the onset of OAE1a (Early Aptian, Cretaceous)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Christina E.; Hochuli, Peter A.; Giorgioni, Martino; Garcia, Therese I.; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Weissert, Helmut

    2010-05-01

    During Cretaceous times, several intense volcanic episodes are proposed as trigger for episodic climate warming, for changes in marine circulation patterns and for elevated marine productivity, which resulted in the widespread black shale deposits of the Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAE). In the sediments underlying the early Aptian OAE1a black shales, a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion is recorded. Its origin had long been controversial (e.g. Arthur, 2000; Jahren et al., 2001) before recent studies attributed it to the Ontong Java volcanism (Méhay et al., 2009; Tejada et al., 2009). Volcanic outgassing results in an increased pCO2 and should lead to a rise in global temperatures. We therefore investigated if the volcanically-induced increase in pCO2 at the onset of OAE1a in the early Aptian led to a temperature rise that was sufficient to affect terrestrial vegetation assemblages. In order to analyse changes in terrestrial palynomorph assemblages, we examined 15 samples from 12 black shale horizons throughout the early Aptian negative C-isotope spike interval of the Pusiano section (Maiolica Formation; N-Italy). These sediments were deposited at the southern continental margin of the alpine Tethys Ocean and have been bio- and magnetostratigraphically dated by Channell et al. (1995). In order to obtain a continuous palynological record of the negative C-isotope spike interval and the base of OAE1a, we combined this pre-OAE1a interval of Pusiano with the OAE1a interval of the nearby Cismon section (Hochuli et al., 1999). The sporomorph assemblages at the base of this composite succession feature abundant bisaccate pollen, which reflects a warm-temperate climate. Rather arid conditions are inferred from low trilete spore percentages. Several tens of thousand years before the onset of OAE1a, C-isotope values started to decrease. Some thousand years later, bisaccate pollen began to decrease, whereas an increase of Classopollis spp. and Araucariacites spp

  10. Post-glacial ocean acidification and the decline of reefal microbial crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riding, R.; Liang, L.; Braga, J.

    2011-12-01

    Data from Pacific, Indian Ocean and Caribbean coral reefs indicate marked Late Pleistocene to Holocene decline in the maximum thickness of microbial carbonate crusts in reef cavities. Using estimated values of pH, temperature, CO2, and ionic composition, we calculated calcite saturation ratio (Ωcalcite) of tropical surface seawater for the past 16 Ka. This shows a declining trend of Ωcalcite, paralleling that of reefal microbial crust thickness. We suggest that thinning of reefal microbial crusts could reflect decrease in seawater carbonate saturation due to ocean acidification in response to deglacial CO2 increase. Previously, decline in reefal microbial crusts, for example at Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean, has mainly been attributed to changes in nutrient supply associated with ocean upwelling and/or terrestrial run-off. Ocean acidification does not preclude such effects on microbial crust development produced by localized changes, but two features in particular are consistent with a global link with carbonate saturation state. Firstly, post-glacial decline in reefal microbial crust thickness affected tropical coral reefs in several oceans. Secondly, seawater carbonate saturation is a major long-term control on microbial carbonate abundance; microbially-induced biocalcification requires elevated seawater saturation for CaCO3 minerals and can be expected to fluctuate with carbonate saturation. In addition to compiling published crust thickness data, we measured thicknesses of microbial carbonate crusts in cavities in Tahiti reefs sampled by Integrated Ocean Drilling Program coring in 2005. This indicates halving of maximum crust thickness, during the same period as steep decline in mean-ocean calcite saturation, near the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Reefal microbial crusts have been common since skeletal reefs became widespread during the Ordovician Period, 475 Ma ago. The habitat for cryptic crusts expanded as scleractinian corals developed cavernous

  11. Carbon and nitrogen fixation differ between successional stages of biological soil crusts in the Colorado Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Housman, D.C.; Powers, H.H.; Collins, A.D.; Belnap, J.

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (cyanobacteria, mosses and lichens collectively) perform essential ecosystem services, including carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) fixation. Climate and land-use change are converting later successional soil crusts to early successional soil crusts with lower C and N fixation rates. To quantify the effect of such conversions on C and N dynamics in desert ecosystems we seasonally measured diurnal fixation rates in different biological soil crusts. We classified plots on the Colorado Plateau (Canyonlands) and Chihuahuan Desert (Jornada) as early (Microcoleus) or later successional (Nostoc/Scytonema or Placidium/Collema) and measured photosynthesis (Pn), nitrogenase activity (NA), and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) on metabolically active (moist) soil crusts. Later successional crusts typically had greater Pn, averaging 1.2-1.3-fold higher daily C fixation in Canyonlands and 2.4-2.8-fold higher in the Jornada. Later successional crusts also had greater NA, averaging 1.3-7.5-fold higher daily N fixation in Canyonlands and 1.3-25.0-fold higher in the Jornada. Mean daily Fv/Fm was also greater in later successional Canyonlands crusts during winter, and Jornada crusts during all seasons except summer. Together these findings indicate conversion of soil crusts back to early successional stages results in large reductions of C and N inputs into these ecosystems.

  12. Impacts of biological soil crust disturbance and composition on C and N loss from water erosion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barger, N.N.; Herrick, J.E.; Van Zee, J.; Belnap, J.

    2006-01-01

    In this study, we conducted rainfall simulation experiments in a cool desert ecosystem to examine the role of biological soil crust disturbance and composition on dissolved and sediment C and N losses. We compared runoff and sediment C and N losses from intact late-successional dark cyanolichen crusts (intact) to both trampled dark crusts (trampled) and dark crusts where the top 1 cm of the soil surface was removed (scraped). In a second experiment, we compared C and N losses in runoff and sediments in early-successional light cyanobacterial crusts (light) to that of intact late-successional dark cyanolichen crusts (dark). A relatively high rainfall intensity of approximately 38 mm per 10-min period was used to ensure that at least some runoff was generated from all plots. Losses of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), and ammonium (NH 4+ ) were significantly higher from trampled plots as compared to scraped and intact plots. Sediment C and N losses, which made up more than 98% of total nutrient losses in all treatments, were more than 4-fold higher from trampled plots relative to intact plots (sediment C g/m2, intact = 0.74, trampled = 3.47; sediment N g/m2, intact = 0.06, trampled = 0.28). In light crusts, DOC loss was higher relative to dark crusts, but no differences were observed in dissolved N. Higher sediment loss in light crusts relative to dark crusts resulted in 5-fold higher loss of sediment-bound C and N. Total C flux (sediment + dissolved) was on the order of 0.9 and 7.9 g/m2 for dark and light crusts, respectively. Sediment N concentration in the first minutes after runoff from light crusts was 3-fold higher than the percent N of the top 1 cm of soil, suggesting that even short-term runoff events may have a high potential for N loss due to the movement of sediments highly enriched in N. Total N loss from dark crusts was an order of magnitude lower than light crusts (dark = 0.06 g N/m2, light = 0.63 g/m2). Overall, our

  13. Fossil worm burrows reveal very early terrestrial animal activity and shed light on trophic resources after the end-cretaceous mass extinction.

    PubMed

    Chin, Karen; Pearson, Dean; Ekdale, A A

    2013-01-01

    The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty sandstone, and reveal intense faunal activity within centimeters of the boundary clay. Estimated rates of sedimentation and coal formation suggest that the burrows were made less than ten thousand years after the end-Cretaceous impact. The burrow characteristics are most consistent with burrows of extant earthworms. Moreover, the burrowing and detritivorous habits of these annelids fit models that predict the trophic and sheltering lifestyles of terrestrial animals that survived the K/Pg extinction event. In turn, such detritus-eaters would have played a critical role in supporting secondary consumers. Thus, some of the carnivorous vertebrates that radiated after the K/Pg extinction may owe their evolutionary success to thriving populations of earthworms.

  14. Fossil Worm Burrows Reveal Very Early Terrestrial Animal Activity and Shed Light on Trophic Resources after the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Karen; Pearson, Dean; Ekdale, A. A.

    2013-01-01

    The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty sandstone, and reveal intense faunal activity within centimeters of the boundary clay. Estimated rates of sedimentation and coal formation suggest that the burrows were made less than ten thousand years after the end-Cretaceous impact. The burrow characteristics are most consistent with burrows of extant earthworms. Moreover, the burrowing and detritivorous habits of these annelids fit models that predict the trophic and sheltering lifestyles of terrestrial animals that survived the K/Pg extinction event. In turn, such detritus-eaters would have played a critical role in supporting secondary consumers. Thus, some of the carnivorous vertebrates that radiated after the K/Pg extinction may owe their evolutionary success to thriving populations of earthworms. PMID:23951041

  15. Magnetic structure of the crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wasilewski, P.

    1985-01-01

    The bibuniqueness aspect of geophysical interpretation must be constrained by geological insight to limit the range of theoretically possible models. An additional step in depth understanding of the relationship between rock magnetization and geological circumstances on a grand scale is required. Views about crustal structure and the distribution of lithologies suggests a complex situation with lateral and vertical variability at all levels in the crust. Volcanic, plutonic, and metamorphic processes together with each of the observed anomalies. Important questions are addressed: (1) the location of the magnetic bottom; (2) whether the source is a discrete one or are certain parts of the crust cumulatively contributing to the overall magnetization; (3) if the anomaly to some recognizable surface expression is localized, how to arrive at a geologically realistic model incorporating magnetization contrasts which are realistic; (3) in the way the primary mineralogies are altered by metamorphism and the resulting magnetic contracts; (4) the effects of temperature and pressure on magnetization.

  16. Earthquakes in stable continental crust

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, A.C.; Kanter, L.R. )

    1990-03-01

    Earthquakes can strike even in stable crust, well away from the familiar earthquake zones at the edges of tectonic plates, but their mere occurrence is both a source of concern in planning critical facilities such as nuclear power plants. The authors sought answers to two major questions: Just how much seismic activity does take place within the stable parts of continents And are there specific geologic features that make some areas of stable crust particularly susceptible to earthquakes They began by studying North America alone, but it soon became clear that the fairly short record of these rare events on a single continent would not provide enough data for reliable analysis. Hence, they decided to substitute space for time--to survey earthquake frequency and distribution in stable continental areas worldwide. This paper discusses their findings.

  17. Evaporative sodium salt crust development and its wind tunnel derived transport dynamics under variable climatic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nield, Joanna M.; McKenna Neuman, Cheryl; O'Brien, Patrick; Bryant, Robert G.; Wiggs, Giles F. S.

    2016-12-01

    Playas (or ephemeral lakes) can be significant sources of dust, but they are typically covered by salt crusts of variable mineralogy and these introduce uncertainty into dust emission predictions. Despite the importance of crust mineralogy to emission potential, little is known about (i) the effect of short-term changes in temperature and relative humidity on the erodibility of these crusts, and (ii) the influence of crust degradation and mineralogy on wind speed threshold for dust emission. Our understanding of systems where emission is not driven by impacts from saltators is particularly poor. This paper describes a wind tunnel study in which dust emission in the absence of saltating particles was measured for a suite of climatic conditions and salt crust types commonly found on Sua Pan, Botswana. The crusts were found to be non-emissive under climate conditions characteristic of dawn and early morning, as compared to hot and dry daytime conditions when the wind speed threshold for dust emission appears to be highly variable, depending upon salt crust physicochemistry. Significantly, sodium sulphate rich crusts were found to be more emissive than crusts formed from sodium chloride, while degraded versions of both crusts had a lower emission threshold than fresh, continuous crusts. The results from this study are in agreement with in-situ field measurements and confirm that dust emission from salt crusted surfaces can occur without saltation, although the vertical fluxes are orders of magnitude lower (∼10 μg/m/s) than for aeolian systems where entrainment is driven by particle impact.

  18. Metamorphism in the Martian crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McSween, Harry Y.; Labotka, Theodore C.; Viviano-Beck, Christina E.

    2015-04-01

    Compositions of basaltic and ultramafic rocks analyzed by Mars rovers and occurring as Martian meteorites allow predictions of metamorphic mineral assemblages that would form under various thermophysical conditions. Key minerals identified by remote sensing roughly constrain temperatures and pressures in the Martian crust. We use a traditional metamorphic approach (phase diagrams) to assess low-grade/hydrothermal equilibrium assemblages. Basaltic rocks should produce chlorite + actinolite + albite + silica, accompanied by laumontite, pumpellyite, prehnite, or serpentine/talc. Only prehnite-bearing assemblages have been spectrally identified on Mars, although laumontite and pumpellyite have spectra similar to other uncharacterized zeolites and phyllosilicates. Ultramafic rocks are predicted to produce serpentine, talc, and magnesite, all of which have been detected spectrally on Mars. Mineral assemblages in both basaltic and ultramafic rocks constrain fluid compositions to be H2O-rich and CO2-poor. We confirm the hypothesis that low-grade/hydrothermal metamorphism affected the Noachian crust on Mars, which has been excavated in large craters. We estimate the geothermal gradient (>20 °C km-1) required to produce the observed assemblages. This gradient is higher than that estimated from radiogenic heat-producing elements in the crust, suggesting extra heating by regional hydrothermal activity.

  19. Magnetization of the Lunar Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carley, R. A.; Whaler, K. A.; Purucker, M. E.; Halekas, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Magnetic fields measured by the satellite Lunar Prospector show large scale features resulting from remanently magnetized crust. Vector data synthesized at satellite altitude from a spherical harmonic model of the lunar crustal field, and the radial component of the magnetometer data, have been used to produce spatially continuous global magnetization models for the lunar crust. The magnetization is expressed in terms of localized basis functions, with a magnetization solution selected having the smallest root-mean square magnetization for a given fit to the data, controlled by a damping parameter. Suites of magnetization models for layers with thicknesses between 10 and 50 km are able to reproduce much of the input data, with global misfits of less than 0.5 nT (within the uncertainties of the data), and some surface field estimates. The magnetization distributions show robust magnitudes for a range of model thicknesses and damping parameters, however the magnetization direction is unconstrained. These global models suggest that magnetized sources of the lunar crust can be represented by a 30 km thick magnetized layer. Average magnetization values in magnetized regions are 30-40 mA/m, similar to the measured magnetizations of the Apollo samples and significantly weaker than crustal magnetizations for Mars and the Earth. These are the first global magnetization models for the Moon, providing lower bounds on the magnitude of lunar crustal magnetization in the absence of multiple sample returns, and can be used to predict the crustal contribution to the lunar magnetic field at a particular location.

  20. Workshop on Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Lunar Metal Grains: Solar, Lunar or Terrestrial Origin? 22) Isotopic Zoning in the Inner Solar System; 23) Redox Conditions on Small Bodies; 24) Determining the Oxygen Fugacity of Lunar Pyroclastic Glasses Using Vanadium Valence - An Update; 25) Mantle Redox Evolution and the Rise of Atmospheric O2; 26) Variation of Kd for Fe-Mg Exchange Between Olivine and Melt for Compositions Ranging from Alkaline Basalt to Rhyolite; 27) Determining the Partial Pressure of Oxygen (PO,) in Solutions on Mars; 28) The Influence of Oxygen Environment on Kinetic Properties of Silicate Rocks and Minerals; 29) Redox Evolution of Magmatic Systems; 30) The Constancy of Upper Mantlefo, Through Time Inferred from V/Sc Ratios in Basalts: Implications for the Rise in Atmospheric 0 2; 31) Nitrogen Solubility in Basaltic Melt. Effects of Oxygen Fugacity, Melt Composition and Gas Speciation; 32) Oxygen Isotope Anomalies in the Atmospheres of Earth and Mars; 33) The Effect of Oxygen Fugacity on Interdiffusion of Iron and Magnesium in Magnesiowiistite 34) The Calibration of the Pyroxene Eu-Oxybarometer for the Martian Meteorites; 35) The Europium Oxybarometer: Power and Pitfalls; 36) Oxygen Fugacity of the Martian Mantle from PigeoniteMelt Partitioning of Samarium, Europium and Gadolinium; 37) Oxidation-Reduction Processes on the Moon: Experimental Verification of Graphite Oxidation in the Apollo 17 Orange Glasses; 38) Oxygen and Core Formation in the Earth; 39) Geologic Record of the Atmospheric Sulfur Chemistry Before the Oxygenation of the Early Earth s Atmosphere; 40) Comparative Planetary Mineralogy: V/(CrCAl) Systematics in Chromite as an Indicator of Relative Oxygen Fugacity; 41) How Well do Sulfur Isotopes Constrain Oxygen Abundance in the Ancient Atmospheres? 42) Experimental Constraints on the Oxygen Isotope (O-18/ O-16) Fractionation in the Ice vapor and Adsorbant vapor Systems of CO2 at Conditions Relevant to the Surface of Mars; 43) Micro-XANES Measurements on Experimental Spinels andhe

  1. Continental crust generated in oceanic arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, Esteban; Hayes, Jorden L.; Hoernle, Kaj; Kelemen, Peter; Everson, Erik; Holbrook, W. Steven; Hauff, Folkmar; van den Bogaard, Paul; Vance, Eric A.; Chu, Shuyu; Calvert, Andrew J.; Carr, Michael J.; Yogodzinski, Gene M.

    2015-04-01

    Thin oceanic crust is formed by decompression melting of the upper mantle at mid-ocean ridges, but the origin of the thick and buoyant continental crust is enigmatic. Juvenile continental crust may form from magmas erupted above intra-oceanic subduction zones, where oceanic lithosphere subducts beneath other oceanic lithosphere. However, it is unclear why the subduction of dominantly basaltic oceanic crust would result in the formation of andesitic continental crust at the surface. Here we use geochemical and geophysical data to reconstruct the evolution of the Central American land bridge, which formed above an intra-oceanic subduction system over the past 70 Myr. We find that the geochemical signature of erupted lavas evolved from basaltic to andesitic about 10 Myr ago--coincident with the onset of subduction of more oceanic crust that originally formed above the Galápagos mantle plume. We also find that seismic P-waves travel through the crust at velocities intermediate between those typically observed for oceanic and continental crust. We develop a continentality index to quantitatively correlate geochemical composition with the average P-wave velocity of arc crust globally. We conclude that although the formation and evolution of continents may involve many processes, melting enriched oceanic crust within a subduction zone--a process probably more common in the Archaean--can produce juvenile continental crust.

  2. New estimates of global CH4 and C2H6 production in the Precambrian crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutcliffe, Chelsea N.; Lacrampe-Couloume, Georges; Ballentine, Chris J.; Sherwood Lollar, Barbara

    2015-04-01

    Saline fracture fluids found deep within the Precambrian shield possess isotopic and geochemical signatures consistent with prolonged water rock interaction. Noble gas-derived residence times of these fluids, on the order of millions to billions of years, highlight their significance as an ancient deep hydrosphere (Lippmann-Pipke et al., 2011; Holland et al., 2013). With mM concentrations of dissolved gases such as H2 and hydrocarbons, these fracture fluids are energy rich and capable of sustaining microbial communities of H2-utilizing methanogens and sulphate reducers (Lin et al., 2006). Globally, Precambrian rocks constitute over 70% of the volume of the continental crust (Goodwin, 1996) and represent a substantial under-investigated source of such dissolved gases. Recent calculations of global H2 production from these Precambrian Shield rocks, including both hydration reactions and radiolysis, doubles previous estimates to an increased rate of 0.4-2.3 x 1011 mol/yr (Sherwood Lollar et al., 2014). This has important consequences for hydrocarbon production, reflected in the high abundance of CH4 and C2H6 in dissolved fracture gases, up to 80 and 10 vol %, respectively. Given the long residence times of these fluids, hydrocarbon production could have persisted on geological timescales. To date, production from this source has not been incorporated into models of evolution of the early atmosphere. Additionally, the quantification of abiotic sources of methane and ethane in the analogous terrestrial Precambrian crust could contribute to our understanding of the origin of the episodic traces of methane recently detected on Mars (Webster et al., 2014). Investigating the origin of these gases has important implications for the global carbon cycle, as well as the distribution of life in the terrestrial deep subsurface and on other planets. We examine the isotopic evolution of these fracture fluids in the Canadian Shield and provide the first attempts to estimate methane

  3. Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Tang, Ming; Chen, Kang; Rudnick, Roberta L

    2016-01-22

    The Archean Eon witnessed the production of early continental crust, the emergence of life, and fundamental changes to the atmosphere. The nature of the first continental crust, which was the interface between the surface and deep Earth, has been obscured by the weathering, erosion, and tectonism that followed its formation. We used Ni/Co and Cr/Zn ratios in Archean terrigenous sedimentary rocks and Archean igneous/metaigneous rocks to track the bulk MgO composition of the Archean upper continental crust. This crust evolved from a highly mafic bulk composition before 3.0 billion years ago to a felsic bulk composition by 2.5 billion years ago. This compositional change was attended by a fivefold increase in the mass of the upper continental crust due to addition of granitic rocks, suggesting the onset of global plate tectonics at ~3.0 billion years ago.

  4. Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Ming; Chen, Kang; Rudnick, Roberta L.

    2016-01-01

    The Archean Eon witnessed the production of early continental crust, the emergence of life, and fundamental changes to the atmosphere. The nature of the first continental crust, which was the interface between the surface and deep Earth, has been obscured by the weathering, erosion, and tectonism that followed its formation. We used Ni/Co and Cr/Zn ratios in Archean terrigenous sedimentary rocks and Archean igneous/metaigneous rocks to track the bulk MgO composition of the Archean upper continental crust. This crust evolved from a highly mafic bulk composition before 3.0 billion years ago to a felsic bulk composition by 2.5 billion years ago. This compositional change was attended by a fivefold increase in the mass of the upper continental crust due to addition of granitic rocks, suggesting the onset of global plate tectonics at ~3.0 billion years ago.

  5. Copper-nickel-rich, amalgamated ferromanganese crust-nodule deposits from Shatsky Rise, NW Pacific

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hein, J.R.; Conrad, T.A.; Frank, M.; Christl, M.; Sager, W.W.

    2012-01-01

    A unique set of ferromanganese crusts and nodules collected from Shatsky Rise (SR), NW Pacific, were analyzed for mineralogical and chemical compositions, and dated using Be isotopes and cobalt chronometry. The composition of these midlatitude, deep-water deposits is markedly different from northwest-equatorial Pacific (PCZ) crusts, where most studies have been conducted. Crusts and nodules on SR formed in close proximity and some nodule deposits were cemented and overgrown by crusts, forming amalgamated deposits. The deep-water SR crusts are high in Cu, Li, and Th and low in Co, Te, and Tl concentrations compared to PCZ crusts. Thorium concentrations (ppm) are especially striking with a high of 152 (mean 56), compared to PCZ crusts (mean 11). The deep-water SR crusts show a diagenetic chemical signal, but not a diagenetic mineralogy, which together constrain the redox conditions to early oxic diagenesis. Diagenetic input to crusts is rare, but unequivocal in these deep-water crusts. Copper, Ni, and Li are strongly enriched in SR deep-water deposits, but only in layers older than about 3.4 Ma. Diagenetic reactions in the sediment and dissolution of biogenic calcite in the water column are the likely sources of these metals. The highest concentrations of Li are in crust layers that formed near the calcite compensation depth. The onset of Ni, Cu, and Li enrichment in the middle Miocene and cessation at about 3.4 Ma were accompanied by changes in the deep-water environment, especially composition and flow rates of water masses, and location of the carbonate compensation depth.

  6. Friis Hills Drilling Project - Coring an Early to mid-Miocene terrestrial sequence in the Transantarctic Mountains to examine climate gradients and ice sheet variability along an inland-to-offshore transect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, A. R.; Levy, R. H.; Naish, T.; Gorman, A. R.; Golledge, N.; Dickinson, W. W.; Kraus, C.; Florindo, F.; Ashworth, A. C.; Pyne, A.; Kingan, T.

    2015-12-01

    The Early to mid-Miocene is a compelling interval to study Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) sensitivity. Circulation patterns in the southern hemisphere were broadly similar to present and reconstructed atmospheric CO2 concentrations were analogous to those projected for the next several decades. Geologic records from locations proximal to the AIS are required to examine ice sheet response to climate variability during this time. Coastal and offshore drill core records recovered by ANDRILL and IODP provide information regarding ice sheet variability along and beyond the coastal margin but they cannot constrain the extent of inland retreat. Additional environmental data from the continental interior is required to constrain the magnitude of ice sheet variability and inform numerical ice sheet models. The only well-dated terrestrial deposits that register early to mid-Miocene interior ice extent and climate are in the Friis Hills, 80 km inland. The deposits record multiple glacial-interglacial cycles and fossiliferous non-glacial beds show that interglacial climate was warm enough for a diverse biota. Drifts are preserved in a shallow valley with the oldest beds exposed along the edges where they terminate at sharp erosional margins. These margins reveal drifts in short stratigraphic sections but none is more than 13 m thick. A 34 m-thick composite stratigraphic sequence has been produced from exposed drift sequences but correlating beds in scattered exposures is problematic. Moreover, much of the sequence is buried and inaccessible in the basin center. New seismic data collected during 2014 reveal a sequence of sediments at least 50 m thick. This stratigraphic package likely preserves a detailed and more complete sedimentary sequence for the Friis Hills that can be used to refine and augment the outcrop-based composite stratigraphy. We aim to drill through this sequence using a helicopter-transportable diamond coring system. These new cores will allow us to obtain

  7. Terrestrial analogs for space exploration habitation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, Paul D.; Brown, Jeri W.

    1992-01-01

    The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) can use early earth-based analogs to simulate many aspects of space flight missions and system operation. These analogs can thus provide information supporting future missions to the moon and to Mars. A study was performed to investigate the potential of terrestrial analogs in simulating human space exploration missions. The study resulted in preliminary requirements and concepts for analog habitation systems, and further study in this area is necessary for SEI terrestrial analog development.

  8. Rare earth element systematics of the chemically precipitated component in Early Precambrian iron formations and the evolution of the terrestrial atmosphere-hydrosphere-lithosphere system

    SciTech Connect

    Bau, M.; Moeller, P. )

    1993-05-01

    The chemically precipitated component in Early Precambrian (> 2.3 Ga) iron formations (IFs) displays (Sm/Yb)[sub CN] < 1 and (Eu/Sm)[sub SN] > 1 which reflects the corresponding ratios of contemporaneous seawater. In conjunction with [epsilon][sub Nd-IF] > [epsilon][sub Nd-shale] this rare earth element (REE) signature reveals that the REE distribution in Early Precambrian IFs must be explained by mixing between a marine bottom and a surface water component, and that the REEs (and by analogy the Fe) cannot be derived from weathering of a continental source. Mixing calculations reveal that (Sm/Yb)[sub CN] in Early Precambrian marine surface waters was significantly lower than it is today. To explain this difference, two mechanisms are discussed on the basis of higher P[sub CO[sub 2

  9. Terrestrial Planet Geophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    Terrestrial planet geophysics beyond our home sphere had its start arguably in the early 1960s, with Keith Runcorn contending that the second-degree shape of the Moon is due to convection and Mariner 2 flying past Venus and detecting no planetary magnetic field. Within a decade, in situ surface geophysical measurements were carried out on the Moon with the Apollo program, portions of the lunar magnetic and gravity fields were mapped, and Jack Lorell and his colleagues at JPL were producing spherical harmonic gravity field models for Mars using tracking data from Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Moreover, Mariner 10 discovered a planetary magnetic field at Mercury, and a young Sean Solomon was using geological evidence of surface contraction to constrain the thermal evolution of the innermost planet. In situ geophysical experiments (such as seismic networks) were essentially never carried out after Apollo, although they were sometimes planned just beyond the believability horizon in planetary mission queues. Over the last three decades, the discipline of terrestrial planet geophysics has matured, making the most out of orbital magnetic and gravity field data, altimetric measurements of surface topography, and the integration of geochemical information. Powerful constraints are provided by tectonic and volcanic information gleaned from surface images, and the engagement of geologists in geophysical exercises is actually quite useful. Accompanying these endeavors, modeling techniques, largely adopted from the Earth Science community, have become increasingly sophisticated and have been greatly enhanced by the dramatic increase in computing power over the last two decades. The future looks bright with exciting new data sets emerging from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the promise of the GRAIL gravity mission to the Moon, and the re-emergence of Venus as a worthy target for exploration. Who knows? With the unflagging optimism and persistence

  10. Evolution of the continental crust as recorded in accessory minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iizuka, Tsuyoshi

    2013-04-01

    Recent developments in precise in situ isotopic analysis by LA-ICPMS and SIMS allow correlating multiple isotopic systems within single grains of accessory minerals such as zircon and monazite. The combined isotope systematics have provided valuable insights into the evolution of the continental crust. Zircon, a common accessory phase in granitoids, can be precisely dated by the U-Pb system. Zircon Lu-Hf isotopic composition is a function of crustal residence time of the magmatic protolith, whereas the O isotopic composition is a sensitive record of reworking of mature sediments such as pelite. An integration of U-Pb, Lu-Hf and O isotopic data for detrital zircons from modern large rivers indicates that: (1) the preserved continental crust dominantly formed between 3.6 and 1.0 Ga, (2) the major mode of crustal development would change during the supercontinent cycle, i.e., the generation of juvenile crust during supercontinent fragmentation versus the stabilization of the generated crust via crustal remelting during supercontinent fragmentation, and (3) reworking of mature sediments increased abruptly at ca. 2.1 Ga. No granitoids are known to have survived since 4.03 Ga. Yet evidence of an even older evolved crust is provided by detrital zircons with ages up to 4.4 Ga from Mt. Narryer and Jack Hills metasedimentary rocks in the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. Recently, such Hadean zircons have been found from outside the Yilgarn Craton, indicating that the young Earth had widespread granitoid crust. In addition, another accessory phase, monazite, in the Mt. Narryer and Jack Hills metasedimentary rocks offers an unique opportunity to advance our knowledge of early crustal evolution. Monazite, a light rare earth element phosphate mineral, occurs as an igneous accessory phase particularly in low-Ca granitoids, in contrast to the occurrence of igneous zircon in a wide range of granitoids. U-Pb and Sm-Nd isotope systematic of monazite are analogous to U-Pb and Lu

  11. The evolution of the moon and the terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toksoez, M. N.; Johnston, D. H.

    1974-01-01

    The thermal evolutions of the Moon, Mars, Venus and Mercury are calculated theoretically starting from cosmochemical condensation models. An assortment of geological, geochemical and geophysical data are used to constrain both the present day temperatures and the thermal histories of the planets' interiors. Such data imply that the planets were heated during or shortly after formation and that all the terrestrial planets started their differentiations early in their history. The moon, smallest in size, is characterized as a differentiated body with a crust, a thick solid mantle and an interior region which may be partially molten. Mars, intermediate in size, is assumed to have differentiated an Fe-FeS core. Venus is characterized as a planet not unlike the earth in many respects. Core formation has occurred probably during the first billion years after the formation. Mercury, which probably has a large core, may have a 500 km thick solid lithosphere and a partially molten core if it is assumed that some heat sources exist in the core.

  12. What Hf isotopes in zircon tell us about crust-mantle evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iizuka, Tsuyoshi; Yamaguchi, Takao; Itano, Keita; Hibiya, Yuki; Suzuki, Kazue

    2017-03-01

    The 176Lu-176Hf radioactive decay system has been widely used to study planetary crust-mantle differentiation. Of considerable utility in this regard is zircon, a resistant mineral that can be precisely dated by the U-Pb chronometer and record its initial Hf isotope composition due to having low Lu/Hf. Here we review zircon U-Pb age and Hf isotopic data mainly obtained over the last two decades and discuss their contributions to our current understanding of crust-mantle evolution, with emphasis on the Lu-Hf isotope composition of the bulk silicate Earth (BSE), early differentiation of the silicate Earth, and the evolution of the continental crust over geologic history. Meteorite zircon encapsulates the most primitive Hf isotope composition of our solar system, which was used to identify chondritic meteorites best representative of the BSE (176Hf/177Hf = 0.282793 ± 0.000011; 176Lu/177Hf = 0.0338 ± 0.0001). Hadean-Eoarchean detrital zircons yield highly unradiogenic Hf isotope compositions relative to the BSE, providing evidence for the development of a geochemically enriched silicate reservoir as early as 4.5 Ga. By combining the Hf and O isotope systematics, we propose that the early enriched silicate reservoir has resided at depth within the Earth rather than near the surface and may represent a fractionated residuum of a magma ocean underlying the proto-crust, like urKREEP beneath the anorthositic crust on the Moon. Detrital zircons from world major rivers potentially provide the most robust Hf isotope record of the preserved granitoid crust on a continental scale, whereas mafic rocks with various emplacement ages offer an opportunity to trace the Hf isotope evolution of juvenile continental crust (from εHf[4.5 Ga] = 0 to εHf[present] = + 13). The river zircon data as compared to the juvenile crust composition highlight that the supercontinent cycle has controlled the evolution of the continental crust by regulating the rates of crustal generation and intra

  13. Sink or swim? Geodynamic and petrological model constraints on the fate of Archaean primary crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaus, B.; Johnson, T.; Brown, M.; VanTongeren, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    Ambient mantle potential temperatures in the Archaean were significantly higher than 1500 °C, leading to a high percent of melting and generating thick MgO-rich primary crust underlain by highly residual mantle. However, the preserved volume of this crust is low suggesting much of it was recycled. Here we couple calculated phase equilibria for hydrated and anhydrous low to high MgO crust compositions and their complementary mantle residues with 2-D numerical geodynamic models to investigate lithosphere dynamics in the early Earth. We show that, with increasing ambient mantle potential temperature, the density of primary crust increases more dramatically than the density of residual mantle decreases and the base of MgO-rich primary crust becomes gravitationally unstable with respect to the underlying mantle even when fully hydrated. To study this process we use geodynamic models that include the effects of melt extraction, crust formation and depletion of the mantle in combination with laboratory-constrained dislocation and diffusion creep rheologies for the mantle. The models show that the base of the gravitationally unstable lithosphere delaminates through relatively small-scale Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, but only if the viscosity of the mantle lithosphere is sufficiently low. Thickening of the crust above upwelling mantle and heating at the base of the crust are the main mechanisms that trigger the delamination process. Scaling laws were developed that are in good agreement with the numerical simulations and show that the key parameters that control the instability are the density contrast between crust and underlying mantle lithosphere, the thickness of the unstable layer and the effective viscosity of the upper mantle. Depending on uncertainties in the melting relations and rheology (hydrous or anhydrous) of the mantle, this process is shown to efficiently recycle the crust above potential temperatures of 1550-1600 °C. However, below these temperatures

  14. Pacific ferromanganese crust geology and geochemistry

    SciTech Connect

    Andreev, S.I.; Vanstein, B.G.; Anikeeva, L.I. )

    1990-06-01

    Cobaltiferous ferromanganese crusts form part of a large series of oceanic ferromanganese oxide deposits. The crusts show high cobalt (commonly over 0.4%), low nickel and copper sum (0.4-0.8%), considerably high manganese (18-20%), and iron (14-18%). Less abundant elements in crusts are represented by molybdenum and vanadium; the rare-earth elements cerium, lanthenum, and yttrium; and the noble metals platinum and rhodium. Co-rich crusts form at water depths of 600 to 2,500 m. Crust thicknesses range from millimeters to 15-17 cm, averaging 2-6 cm. The most favorable conditions for 4-10 cm thick crusts to occur is at water depths of 1,200-2,200 m. The crusts formed on basaltic, calcareous, siliceous, and breccia bedrock surfaces provided there were conditions preventing bottom sedimentation at them. If the sedimentation takes place, it may be accompanied by nodules similar in composition to the crusts. The most favorable topography for extensive crust formation is considered to be subdued (up to 20{degree}) slopes and summit platforms of conical seamounts, frequently near faults and their intersection zones. Subhorizontal guyot summits do not usually favor crust growth. Crust geochemistry is primarily defined by mineralogy and manganese hydroxides (vernadite)/iron ratio. The first associated group of compounds includes cobalt, nickel, molybdenum, vanadium, cerium, and titanium; the other is strontium, yttrium, cerium, and cadmium. The aluminosilicate phase is associated with titanium, iron, chromium, and vanadium; phosphate biogenic phase includes copper, nickel, zinc, lead, and barium. The crucial point in cobaltiferous crust formation is their growth rate on which is dependent the degree of ferromanganese matrix sorption saturation with cobalt. The optimum for cobalt-rich ferromanganese ores is the conditions facilitating long-term and continuous hydrogenic processes.

  15. 60025 - RELICT of primitive lunar crust?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanan, B. B.; Tilton, G. R.

    1987-06-01

    An analysis of three plagioclase-rich fractions and one mafic fraction from ferroan anorthosite 60025 is presented. The observed Pb-206/Pb-204 ratios are found to vary between 52.5 and 60.5, all much greater than the ratio for terrestrial contamination. The apparent Pb-Pb age found does not correlate with the Pb-206/Pb-204 ratios and U contents of the samples, suggesting that it is not controlled by terrestrial lead contamination. The time-averaged mu values found for the plagioclase leads are much lower than the values noted for mafic rocks or their sources, indicating that the anorthosite lead has never been associated for a substantial length of time with any high-mu source. The data suggest that the present average model Pb ages of 4.51 + or - 0.01 AE closely approximate the crystallization age for the plagioclase fraction of the anorthosite, dating back to an early phase in lunar history.

  16. Osmium isotope and highly siderophile element systematics of the lunar crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Day, J.M.D.; Walker, R.J.; James, O.B.; Puchtel, I.S.

    2010-01-01

    Coupled 187Os/188Os and highly siderophile element (HSE: Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, and Re) abundance data are reported for pristine lunar crustal rocks 60025, 62255, 65315 (ferroan anorthosites, FAN) and 76535, 78235, 77215 and a norite clast in 15455 (magnesian-suite rocks, MGS). Osmium isotopes permit more refined discrimination than previously possible of samples that have been contaminated by meteoritic additions and the new results show that some rocks, previously identified as pristine, contain meteorite-derived HSE. Low HSE abundances in FAN and MGS rocks are consistent with derivation from a strongly HSE-depleted lunar mantle. At the time of formation, the lunar floatation crust, represented by FAN, had 1.4 ?? 0.3 pg g- 1 Os, 1.5 ?? 0.6 pg g- 1 Ir, 6.8 ?? 2.7 pg g- 1 Ru, 16 ?? 15 pg g- 1 Pt, 33 ?? 30 pg g- 1 Pd and 0.29 ?? 0.10 pg g- 1 Re (??? 0.00002 ?? CI) and Re/Os ratios that were modestly elevated (187Re/188Os = 0.6 to 1.7) relative to CI chondrites. MGS samples are, on average, characterised by more elevated HSE abundances (??? 0.00007 ?? CI) compared with FAN. This either reflects contrasting mantle-source HSE characteristics of FAN and MGS rocks, or different mantle-crust HSE fractionation behaviour during production of these lithologies. Previous studies of lunar impact-melt rocks have identified possible elevated Ru and Pd in lunar crustal target rocks. The new results provide no supporting evidence for such enrichments. If maximum estimates for HSE in the lunar mantle are compared with FAN and MGS averages, crust-mantle concentration ratios (D-values) must be ??? 0.3. Such D-values are broadly similar to those estimated for partitioning between the terrestrial crust and upper mantle, with the notable exception of Re. Given the presumably completely different mode of origin for the primary lunar floatation crust and tertiary terrestrial continental crust, the potential similarities in crust-mantle HSE partitioning for the Earth and Moon are somewhat

  17. Pulsar glitches: the crust is not enough.

    PubMed

    Andersson, N; Glampedakis, K; Ho, W C G; Espinoza, C M

    2012-12-14

    Pulsar glitches are traditionally viewed as a manifestation of vortex dynamics associated with a neutron superfluid reservoir confined to the inner crust of the star. In this Letter we show that the nondissipative entrainment coupling between the neutron superfluid and the nuclear lattice leads to a less mobile crust superfluid, effectively reducing the moment of inertia associated with the angular momentum reservoir. Combining the latest observational data for prolific glitching pulsars with theoretical results for the crust entrainment, we find that the required superfluid reservoir exceeds that available in the crust. This challenges our understanding of the glitch phenomenon, and we discuss possible resolutions to the problem.

  18. Climate during the Roman and early-medieval periods in North-western Europe: a review of climate reconstructions from terrestrial archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichelmann, Dana F. C.; Gouw-Bouman, Marjolein T. I. J.; Hoek, Wim Z.; van Lanen, Rowin J.; Stouthamer, Esther; Jansma, Esther

    2016-04-01

    High-resolution palaeoclimate reconstructions are essential to identify possible influences of climate variability on landscape evolution and landscape-related cultural changes (e.g., shifting settlement patterns and long-distance trade relations). North-western Europe is an ideal research area for comparison between climate variability and cultural transitions given its geomorphological diversity and the significant cultural changes that took place in this region during the last two millennia (e.g., the decline of the Roman Empire and the transition to medieval kingdoms). Compared to more global climate records, such as ice cores and marine sediments, terrestrial climate proxies have the advantage of representing a relatively short response time to regional climatic change. Furthermore for this region large quantity of climate reconstructions is available covering the last millennium, whereas for the first millennium AD only few high resolution climate reconstructions are available. We compiled climate reconstructions for sites in North-western Europe from the literature and its underlying data. All these reconstructions cover the time period of AD 1 to 1000. We only selected data with an annual to decadal resolution and a minimum resolution of 50 years. This resulted in 18 climate reconstructions from different archives such as chironomids (1), pollen (4), Sphagnum cellulose (1), stalagmites (6), testate amoebae (4), and tree-rings (2). The compilation of the different temperature reconstructions shows similar trends in most of the records. Colder conditions since AD 300 for a period of approximately 400 years and warmer conditions after AD 700 become apparent. A contradicting signal is found before AD 300 with warmer conditions indicated by most of the records but not all. This is likely the result of the use of different proxies, reflecting temperatures linked to different seasons. The compilation of the different precipitation reconstructions also show similar

  19. Primitive layered gabbros from fast-spreading lower oceanic crust.

    PubMed

    Gillis, Kathryn M; Snow, Jonathan E; Klaus, Adam; Abe, Natsue; Adrião, Alden B; Akizawa, Norikatsu; Ceuleneer, Georges; Cheadle, Michael J; Faak, Kathrin; Falloon, Trevor J; Friedman, Sarah A; Godard, Marguerite; Guerin, Gilles; Harigane, Yumiko; Horst, Andrew J; Hoshide, Takashi; Ildefonse, Benoit; Jean, Marlon M; John, Barbara E; Koepke, Juergen; Machi, Sumiaki; Maeda, Jinichiro; Marks, Naomi E; McCaig, Andrew M; Meyer, Romain; Morris, Antony; Nozaka, Toshio; Python, Marie; Saha, Abhishek; Wintsch, Robert P

    2014-01-09

    Three-quarters of the oceanic crust formed at fast-spreading ridges is composed of plutonic rocks whose mineral assemblages, textures and compositions record the history of melt transport and crystallization between the mantle and the sea floor. Despite the importance of these rocks, sampling them in situ is extremely challenging owing to the overlying dykes and lavas. This means that models for understanding the formation of the lower crust are based largely on geophysical studies and ancient analogues (ophiolites) that did not form at typical mid-ocean ridges. Here we describe cored intervals of primitive, modally layered gabbroic rocks from the lower plutonic crust formed at a fast-spreading ridge, sampled by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program at the Hess Deep rift. Centimetre-scale, modally layered rocks, some of which have a strong layering-parallel foliation, confirm a long-held belief that such rocks are a key constituent of the lower oceanic crust formed at fast-spreading ridges. Geochemical analysis of these primitive lower plutonic rocks--in combination with previous geochemical data for shallow-level plutonic rocks, sheeted dykes and lavas--provides the most completely constrained estimate of the bulk composition of fast-spreading oceanic crust so far. Simple crystallization models using this bulk crustal composition as the parental melt accurately predict the bulk composition of both the lavas and the plutonic rocks. However, the recovered plutonic rocks show early crystallization of orthopyroxene, which is not predicted by current models of melt extraction from the mantle and mid-ocean-ridge basalt differentiation. The simplest explanation of this observation is that compositionally diverse melts are extracted from the mantle and partly crystallize before mixing to produce the more homogeneous magmas that erupt.

  20. Primitive layered gabbros from fast-spreading lower oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillis, Kathryn M.; Snow, Jonathan E.; Klaus, Adam; Abe, Natsue; Adrião, Álden B.; Akizawa, Norikatsu; Ceuleneer, Georges; Cheadle, Michael J.; Faak, Kathrin; Falloon, Trevor J.; Friedman, Sarah A.; Godard, Marguerite; Guerin, Gilles; Harigane, Yumiko; Horst, Andrew J.; Hoshide, Takashi; Ildefonse, Benoit; Jean, Marlon M.; John, Barbara E.; Koepke, Juergen; Machi, Sumiaki; Maeda, Jinichiro; Marks, Naomi E.; McCaig, Andrew M.; Meyer, Romain; Morris, Antony; Nozaka, Toshio; Python, Marie; Saha, Abhishek; Wintsch, Robert P.

    2014-01-01

    Three-quarters of the oceanic crust formed at fast-spreading ridges is composed of plutonic rocks whose mineral assemblages, textures and compositions record the history of melt transport and crystallization between the mantle and the sea floor. Despite the importance of these rocks, sampling them in situ is extremely challenging owing to the overlying dykes and lavas. This means that models for understanding the formation of the lower crust are based largely on geophysical studies and ancient analogues (ophiolites) that did not form at typical mid-ocean ridges. Here we describe cored intervals of primitive, modally layered gabbroic rocks from the lower plutonic crust formed at a fast-spreading ridge, sampled by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program at the Hess Deep rift. Centimetre-scale, modally layered rocks, some of which have a strong layering-parallel foliation, confirm a long-held belief that such rocks are a key constituent of the lower oceanic crust formed at fast-spreading ridges. Geochemical analysis of these primitive lower plutonic rocks--in combination with previous geochemical data for shallow-level plutonic rocks, sheeted dykes and lavas--provides the most completely constrained estimate of the bulk composition of fast-spreading oceanic crust so far. Simple crystallization models using this bulk crustal composition as the parental melt accurately predict the bulk composition of both the lavas and the plutonic rocks. However, the recovered plutonic rocks show early crystallization of orthopyroxene, which is not predicted by current models of melt extraction from the mantle and mid-ocean-ridge basalt differentiation. The simplest explanation of this observation is that compositionally diverse melts are extracted from the mantle and partly crystallize before mixing to produce the more homogeneous magmas that erupt.

  1. Evolving morphology of thermochemical piles caused by accumulation of subducted oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, M.; McNamara, A. K.

    2015-12-01

    Seismic tomography results have shown two large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs) in the lowermost mantle beneath Africa and Pacific. The LLSVPs have been hypothesized to be caused by large-scale compositional heterogeneity. Two hypotheses have been proposed for the origin of this compositional heterogeneity: (1) primordial material formed during Earth's early differentiation, and (2) accumulations of subducted oceanic crust on the core-mantle boundary (CMB). Previous geodynamical calculations often show that stable thermochemical piles caused by primordial material have sharp boundaries. So, if the accumulation of subducted oceanic crust has different morphology than that of piles caused by primordial material, we may be able to constrain the origin of compositional heterogeneity from high resolution seismic observations of the boundaries of LLSVPs.Here, we performed geodynamic calculations to investigate the morphology of accumulation of subducted oceanic crust on the CMB. We found that the ability of subducted oceanic crust to accumulate on the CMB and the sharpness of the boundaries of the accumulations both strongly depends on the crustal thickness. A thick (e.g., ~30 km) oceanic crust produced from the early hot mantle can form into large-scale accumulations on the CMB, but with fuzzy and diffuse top boundaries. However, as the oceanic crust becomes thinner, it becomes more difficult to accumulate on the CMB, and the top boundaries of the accumulations of subducted oceanic crust also gradually become sharp, more like that of piles caused by primordial material. Thus, a sharp top boundaries of LLSVPs in the present-day Earth does not guarantee that they are caused by piles of primordial material. In addition, as the oceanic crust becomes thinner, more subducted oceanic crust is entrained and recycled to shallow depth, which may have important implications for geochemical observations on Earth's surface.

  2. A molecular palaeobiological exploration of arthropod terrestrialization

    PubMed Central

    Carton, Robert; Edgecombe, Gregory D.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding animal terrestrialization, the process through which animals colonized the land, is crucial to clarify extant biodiversity and biological adaptation. Arthropoda (insects, spiders, centipedes and their allies) represent the largest majority of terrestrial biodiversity. Here we implemented a molecular palaeobiological approach, merging molecular and fossil evidence, to elucidate the deepest history of the terrestrial arthropods. We focused on the three independent, Palaeozoic arthropod terrestrialization events (those of Myriapoda, Hexapoda and Arachnida) and showed that a marine route to the colonization of land is the most likely scenario. Molecular clock analyses confirmed an origin for the three terrestrial lineages bracketed between the Cambrian and the Silurian. While molecular divergence times for Arachnida are consistent with the fossil record, Myriapoda are inferred to have colonized land earlier, substantially predating trace or body fossil evidence. An estimated origin of myriapods by the Early Cambrian precedes the appearance of embryophytes and perhaps even terrestrial fungi, raising the possibility that terrestrialization had independent origins in crown-group myriapod lineages, consistent with morphological arguments for convergence in tracheal systems. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks’. PMID:27325830

  3. A molecular palaeobiological exploration of arthropod terrestrialization.

    PubMed

    Lozano-Fernandez, Jesus; Carton, Robert; Tanner, Alastair R; Puttick, Mark N; Blaxter, Mark; Vinther, Jakob; Olesen, Jørgen; Giribet, Gonzalo; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Pisani, Davide

    2016-07-19

    Understanding animal terrestrialization, the process through which animals colonized the land, is crucial to clarify extant biodiversity and biological adaptation. Arthropoda (insects, spiders, centipedes and their allies) represent the largest majority of terrestrial biodiversity. Here we implemented a molecular palaeobiological approach, merging molecular and fossil evidence, to elucidate the deepest history of the terrestrial arthropods. We focused on the three independent, Palaeozoic arthropod terrestrialization events (those of Myriapoda, Hexapoda and Arachnida) and showed that a marine route to the colonization of land is the most likely scenario. Molecular clock analyses confirmed an origin for the three terrestrial lineages bracketed between the Cambrian and the Silurian. While molecular divergence times for Arachnida are consistent with the fossil record, Myriapoda are inferred to have colonized land earlier, substantially predating trace or body fossil evidence. An estimated origin of myriapods by the Early Cambrian precedes the appearance of embryophytes and perhaps even terrestrial fungi, raising the possibility that terrestrialization had independent origins in crown-group myriapod lineages, consistent with morphological arguments for convergence in tracheal systems.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks'.

  4. Ultramafic Terranes and Associated Springs as Analogs for Mars and Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blake, David; Schulte, Mitch; Cullings, Ken; DeVincezi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Putative extinct or extant Martian organisms, like their terrestrial counterparts, must adopt metabolic strategies based on the environments in which they live. In order for organisms to derive metabolic energy from the natural environment (Martian or terrestrial), a state of thermodynamic disequilibrium must exist. The most widespread environment of chemical disequilibrium on present-day Earth results from the interaction of mafic rocks of the ocean crust with liquid water. Such environments were even more pervasive and important on the Archean Earth due to increased geothermal heat flow and the absence of widespread continental crust formation. The composition of the lower crust and upper mantle of the Earth is essentially the-same as that of Mars, and the early histories of these two planets are similar. It follows that a knowledge of the mineralogy, water-rock chemistry and microbial ecology of Earth's oceanic crust could be of great value in devising a search strategy for evidence of past or present life on Mars. In some tectonic regimes, cross-sections of lower oceanic crust and upper mantle are exposed on land as so-called "ophiolite suites." Such is the case in the state of California (USA) as a result of its location adjacent to active plate margins. These mafic and ultramafic rocks contain numerous springs that offer an easily accessible field laboratory for studying water/rock interactions and the microbial communities that are supported by the resulting geochemical energy. A preliminary screen of Archaean biodiversity was conducted in a cold spring located in a presently serpentinizing ultramafic terrane. PCR and phylogenetic analysis of partial 16s rRNA, sequences were performed on water and sediment samples. Archaea of recent phylogenetic origin were detected with sequences nearly identical to those of organisms living in ultra-high pH lakes of Africa.

  5. Plagioclase flotation and lunar crust formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, D.; Hays, J. F.

    1977-01-01

    Anorthitic plagioclase floats in liquids parental to the lunar highlands crust. The plagioclase enrichment that is characteristic of lunar highlands rocks can be the result of plagioclase flotation. Such rocks would form a gravitationally stable upper crust on their parental magma.

  6. A Mercury-like component of early Earth yields uranium in the core and high mantle 142Nd

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohlers, Anke; Wood, Bernard J.

    2015-04-01

    Recent 142Nd isotope data indicate that the silicate Earth (its crust plus the mantle) has a samarium to neodymium elemental ratio (Sm/Nd) that is greater than that of the supposed chondritic building blocks of the planet. This elevated Sm/Nd has been ascribed either to a `hidden' reservoir in the Earth or to loss of an early-formed terrestrial crust by impact ablation. Since removal of crust by ablation would also remove the heat-producing elements--potassium, uranium and thorium--such removal would make it extremely difficult to balance terrestrial heat production with the observed heat flow. In the `hidden' reservoir alternative, a complementary low-Sm/Nd layer is usually considered to reside unobserved in the silicate lower mantle. We have previously shown, however, that the core is a likely reservoir for some lithophile elements such as niobium. We therefore address the question of whether core formation could have fractionated Nd from Sm and also acted as a sink for heat-producing elements. We show here that addition of a reduced Mercury-like body (or, alternatively, an enstatite-chondrite-like body) rich in sulfur to the early Earth would generate a superchondritic Sm/Nd in the mantle and an 142Nd/144Nd anomaly of approximately +14 parts per million relative to chondrite. In addition, the sulfur-rich core would partition uranium strongly and thorium slightly, supplying a substantial part of the `missing' heat source for the geodynamo.

  7. A Mercury-like component of early Earth yields uranium in the core and high mantle (142)Nd.

    PubMed

    Wohlers, Anke; Wood, Bernard J

    2015-04-16

    Recent (142)Nd isotope data indicate that the silicate Earth (its crust plus the mantle) has a samarium to neodymium elemental ratio (Sm/Nd) that is greater than that of the supposed chondritic building blocks of the planet. This elevated Sm/Nd has been ascribed either to a 'hidden' reservoir in the Earth or to loss of an early-formed terrestrial crust by impact ablation. Since removal of crust by ablation would also remove the heat-producing elements--potassium, uranium and thorium--such removal would make it extremely difficult to balance terrestrial heat production with the observed heat flow. In the 'hidden' reservoir alternative, a complementary low-Sm/Nd layer is usually considered to reside unobserved in the silicate lower mantle. We have previously shown, however, that the core is a likely reservoir for some lithophile elements such as niobium. We therefore address the question of whether core formation could have fractionated Nd from Sm and also acted as a sink for heat-producing elements. We show here that addition of a reduced Mercury-like body (or, alternatively, an enstatite-chondrite-like body) rich in sulfur to the early Earth would generate a superchondritic Sm/Nd in the mantle and an (142)Nd/(144)Nd anomaly of approximately +14 parts per million relative to chondrite. In addition, the sulfur-rich core would partition uranium strongly and thorium slightly, supplying a substantial part of the 'missing' heat source for the geodynamo.

  8. Evaluating mineralogy at terrestrial analogs for early Mars: Detection and characterization of clays with XRD and investigation of iron substitution in natroalunite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beckerman, Laura Grace

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover is equipped with CheMin, the first x-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument on Mars, for in situ mineralogy as part of its mission to seek evidence of past habitability at Gale Crater. Detection and characterization of hydrated minerals like clays and sulfates provides crucial insight into Mars' early geochemistry. For example, clays are often interpreted as having formed in lacustrine environments at neutral pHs, while sulfates such as jarosite are evidence of acid sulfate alteration. However, CheMin's inability to remove non-clay minerals and to preferentially orient samples may pose significant challenges to clay detection and characterization at Gale Crater. To evaluate the effect of particle size separation (<0.2 microm), removal of non-clay minerals, preferred orientation, and ethylene glycol solvation on XRD analyses of clays, we used both a CheMin analog instrument and a traditional laboratory XRD to identify clays in acid sulfate altered basalt from Mars analog sites in Costa Rica. We detected kaolinite in four of the fourteen samples studied, one of which also contained montmorillonite. Kaolinite was not detected in two samples with the analog instrument prior to clay isolation. These results suggest that CheMin may miss detection of some clays at Gale Crater, which could affect interpretations of early Mars' habitability. Mistaking iron-rich natroalunite (Na[Al,Fe]3(SO4) 2(OH)6) for jarosite (KFe3(SO4) 2(OH)6) could also impact interpretations of early Mars, as natroalunite can form over a broader range of pH, water:rock ratios, and redox conditions than can jarosite. To determine if iron-rich natroalunite is a common alteration product at Mars analog sites, we assessed iron content in natroalunite from Costa Rica. We detected up to 30% iron substitution in natroalunite at diverse geochemical settings. We also evaluated the feasibility of using XRD or Raman spectroscopy for in situ iron-rich natroalunite

  9. Application of 34S analysis for elucidating terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems: Evidence of animal movement/husbandry practices in an early Viking community around Lake Mývatn, Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayle, Kerry L.; Cook, Gordon T.; Ascough, Philippa L.; Hastie, Helen R.; Einarsson, Árni; McGovern, Thomas H.; Hicks, Megan T.; Edwald, Ágústa; Friðriksson, Adolf

    2013-11-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) have been used widely in archaeology to investigate palaeodiet. Sulphur stable isotope ratios (δ34S) have shown great promise in this regard but the potential of this technique within archaeological science has yet to be fully explored. Here we report δ34S, δ13C and δ15N values for 129 samples of animal bone collagen from Skútustaðir, an early Viking age (landnám) settlement in north-east Iceland. This dataset represents the most comprehensive study to date of its kind on archaeological material and the results show a clear offset in δ34S values between animals deriving their dietary resources from terrestrial (mean = +5.6 ± 2.8‰), freshwater (mean = -2.7 ± 1.4‰) or marine (mean = +15.9 ± 1.5‰) reservoirs (with the three food groups being significantly different at 2σ). This offset allows reconstruction of the dietary history of domesticated herbivores and demonstrates differences in husbandry practices and animal movement/trade, which would be otherwise impossible using only δ13C and δ15N values. For example, several terrestrial herbivores displayed enriched bone collagen δ34S values compared to the geology of the Lake Mývatn region, indicating they may have been affected by sea-spray whilst being pastured closer to the coast, before being traded inland. Additionally, the combination of heavy δ15N values coupled with light δ34S values within pig bone collagen suggests that these omnivores were consuming freshwater fish as a significant portion of their diet. Arctic foxes were also found to be consuming large quantities of freshwater resources and radiocarbon dating of both the pigs and foxes confirmed previous studies showing that a large freshwater radiocarbon (14C) reservoir effect exists within the lake. Overall, these stable isotope and 14C data have important implications for obtaining a fuller reconstruction of the diets of the early Viking settlers in Iceland, and may allow

  10. The Lunar Highland Crust: Complex or Simple Petrogenesis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, S. R.; Koeberl, C.

    1992-07-01

    Following the general acceptance of the magma ocean hypothesis, models for the evolution of the highland crust of the Moon have become increasingly complicated, just as religious and philosophical systems have always diverged from the teachings of their founder. Three components make up the highland crust: the ferroan anorthosite, which crystallizes early from the magma ocean, depletes the deep interior in Eu, and adds a large Eu enrichment to the crust. KREEP, choked with incompatible trace elements from the residual 2% melt resulting from the crystallization of the magma ocean is pervasively mixed into the crust by cratering. KREEP adds a deep Eu depletion, with high abundances of the other REE parallel to those of the ferroan anorthosites. The third well-recognized component is the Mg Suite, commonly about 100-200 Ma younger, with intermediate REE patterns parallel to the ferroan anorthosites and KREEP (Fig. 1). If the highland crust were formed from many igneous events, in which the Mg suite comes from several separate plutons, crystallization and separation of mineral phases would surely result in REE patterns with diverse slopes, as is observed on Earth. This does not seem to have occurred. For example, the deep-seated troctolite 76535 has a well-established age of 4236 +- 15 Ma (Premo and Tatsumoto, 1992), much younger than the 4440 +- 20 Ma crystallization age of the lunar crust (Carlson and Lugmair, 1988), and the 4400-Ma closure ages for the source regions of the lunar mare basalts. If 76535 formed as a separate intrusion by partial melting during "serial magmatism" 200 Ma after the ferroan anorthosites crystallized, why is its REE pattern parallel to those of all the other highland rocks (Fig. 1)? Two explanations seem viable. The first possibility is that a diverse crust may have been homogenized by cratering. Alternatively, only one major igneous event produced the lunar highland crust. All subsequent complexity in ages and production of "igneous

  11. Biological soil crusts as soil stabilizers: Chapter 16

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Buedel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina; Buedel, Burkhard; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    Soil erosion is of particular concern in dryland regions, as the sparse cover of vascular plants results in large interspaces unprotected from the erosive forces of wind and water. Thus, most of these soil surfaces are stabilized by physical or biological soil crusts. However, as drylands are extensively used by humans and their animals, these crusts are often disturbed, compromising their stabilizing abilities. As a result, approximately 17.5% of the global terrestrial lands are currently being degraded by wind and water erosion. All components of biocrusts stabilize soils, including green algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, lichens, and bryophytes, and as the biomass of these organisms increases, so does soil stability. In addition, as lichens and bryophytes live atop the soil surface, they provide added protection from raindrop impact that cyanobacteria and fungi, living within the soil, cannot. Much research is still needed to determine the relative ability of individual species and suites of species to stabilize soils. We also need a better understanding of why some individuals or combination of species are better than others, especially as these organisms become more frequently used in restoration efforts.

  12. Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Papers were presented at the 47th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting on the Comparative planetology of Terrestrial Planets. Subject matter explored concerning terrestrial planets includes: interrelationships among planets; plaentary evolution; planetary structure; planetary composition; planetary Atmospheres; noble gases in meteorites; and planetary magnetic fields.

  13. TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM SIMULATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Terrestrial Habitats Project at the Western Ecology Division (Corvallis, OR) is developing tools and databases to meet the needs of Program Office clients for assessing risks to wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems. Because habitat is a dynamic condition in real-world environm...

  14. Millennial-scale ocean acidification and late Quaternary decline of cryptic bacterial crusts in tropical reefs.

    PubMed

    Riding, R; Liang, L; Braga, J C

    2014-09-01

    Ocean acidification by atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased almost continuously since the last glacial maximum (LGM), 21,000 years ago. It is expected to impair tropical reef development, but effects on reefs at the present day and in the recent past have proved difficult to evaluate. We present evidence that acidification has already significantly reduced the formation of calcified bacterial crusts in tropical reefs. Unlike major reef builders such as coralline algae and corals that more closely control their calcification, bacterial calcification is very sensitive to ambient changes in carbonate chemistry. Bacterial crusts in reef cavities have declined in thickness over the past 14,000 years with largest reduction occurring 12,000-10,000 years ago. We interpret this as an early effect of deglacial ocean acidification on reef calcification and infer that similar crusts were likely to have been thicker when seawater carbonate saturation was increased during earlier glacial intervals, and thinner during interglacials. These changes in crust thickness could have substantially affected reef development over glacial cycles, as rigid crusts significantly strengthen framework and their reduction would have increased the susceptibility of reefs to biological and physical erosion. Bacterial crust decline reveals previously unrecognized millennial-scale acidification effects on tropical reefs. This directs attention to the role of crusts in reef formation and the ability of bioinduced calcification to reflect changes in seawater chemistry. It also provides a long-term context for assessing anticipated anthropogenic effects.

  15. No evidence for Hadean continental crust within Earth's oldest evolved rock unit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimink, J. R.; Davies, J. H. F. L.; Chacko, T.; Stern, R. A.; Heaman, L. M.; Sarkar, C.; Schaltegger, U.; Creaser, R. A.; Pearson, D. G.

    2016-10-01

    Due to the acute scarcity of very ancient rocks, the composition of Earth's embryonic crust during the Hadean eon (>4.0 billion years ago) is a critical unknown in our search to understand how the earliest continents evolved. Whether the Hadean Earth was dominated by mafic-composition crust, similar to today's oceanic crust, or included significant amounts of continental crust remains an unsolved question that carries major implications for the earliest atmosphere, the origin of life, and the geochemical evolution of the crust-mantle system. Here we present new U-Pb and Hf isotope data on zircons from the only precisely dated Hadean rock unit on Earth--a 4,019.6 +/- 1.8 Myr tonalitic gneiss unit in the Acasta Gneiss Complex, Canada. Combined zircon and whole-rock geochemical data from this ancient unit shows no indication of derivation from, or interaction with, older Hadean continental crust. Instead, the data provide the first direct evidence that the oldest known evolved crust on Earth was generated from an older ultramafic or mafic reservoir that probably surfaced the early Earth.

  16. Felsic Magmatism through Intracrustal Melting of Previously Formed Volcanic-Arc Crust: Implications for Differentiation and Secular Evolution of the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    G R, R. K.; C, S.

    2015-12-01

    The fundamental challenge in understanding the origin and evolution of the continental crust is to recognize how primary mantle source, and oceanic crust, which are essentially mafic to ultramafic in composition, could differentiate into a more or less felsic compositions. It is possible to understand growth and differentiation of the continental crust by constraining the interplay of magmatism, deformation, and high-grade metamorphism in the lower crust. Here, we apply this knowledge on the lower crustal granitoids of southern India and speculate on the variations in geochemistry as a consequence of differentiation and secular evolution of the continental crust.The major groups of granitoids of southern India are classified as metatonalites, comparable to typical Archaean TTGs with pronounced calc-alkaline affinity, and metagranites which are magmatic fractionation produced by reworking of early crust. Metatonalites are sodic-trondhjemites with slightly magnesian, moderate LREE (average LaN = 103) and low HREE (average YbN = 2) characerestics, where as metagranites are calc-alkaline ferroan types with enriched LREE (average LaN = 427) and HREE (average YbN = 23). Petrogenetic characteristics of granitoids illustrate continuous evolution of a primary crust into diverse magmatic units by multiple stages of intracrustal differentiation processes attributed to following tectonic scenarios: (1) formation of tonalitic magma by low- to moderate-degree partial melting of hydrated basaltic crust at pressures high enough to stabilize garnet-amphibole residue and (2) genesis of granite in a continental arc-accretion setting by an episode of crustal remelting of the tonalitic crust, within plagioclase stability field. The first-stage formed in a flat-subduction setting of an volcanic-arc, leading to the formation of tonalites. The heat budget required is ascribed to the upwelling of the mantle and/or basaltic underplating. Progressive decline in mantle potential temperature

  17. Continental Lower Crust: Wavespeeds, Composition, and Relamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hacker, B. R.; Kelemen, P. B.; Behn, M. D.

    2015-12-01

    The composition of much of Earth's lower continental crust is enigmatic. The available heat-flow and wavespeed constraints can be satisfied if lower continental crust elsewhere contains anywhere from 49 to 62 wt% SiO2 (similar to andesite and dacite), with high to moderate concentrations of K, Th and U. Beneath shields and platforms, Vp suggests that 20-30% of lower crust is mafic. A large fraction of this material could be denser than peridotite. In these settings the underlying upper mantle is too cold to permit development of a convective instability. High Vp lithologies in these settings may be the result of mafic underplating, or slow metamorphic growth of large proportions of garnet. Vp from lower crust of Paleozoic-Mesozoic orogens indicates a smaller amount of mafic rock and little or no material that is denser than peridotite. Beneath rifts, arcs, and volcanic plateaux and beneath continent-collision zones, ~10-20% of lower crust is mafic, and about half that is denser than peridotite. The inferred gravitational instability and high Moho temperatures suggest that the mafic lower crust in these regions may be temporary. During sediment subduction, subduction erosion, arc subduction, and continent subduction, mafic rocks become eclogite and may continue to descend into the mantle, whereas more silica-rich rocks are transformed into felsic gneisses that are less dense than peridotite but more dense than continental upper crust. These more-felsic rocks may rise buoyantly, undergo decompression melting and melt extraction, and may be relaminated to the base of the crust. As a result of this refining/differentiation process, such relatively felsic rocks could form much of lower crust.

  18. Microphytic crusts: 'topsoil' of the desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne

    1990-01-01

    Deserts throughout the world are the home of microphytic, or cryptogamic, crusts. These crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria, previously called blue-green algae, and also include lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria. They are critical components of desert ecosystems, significantly modifying the surfaces on which they occur. In the cold deserts of the Colorado Plateau (including parts of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico), these crusts are extraordinarily well-developed, and may represent 70-80% of the living ground cover.

  19. Models of a partially hydrated Titan interior with clathrate crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunine, J. I.; Castillo-Rogez, J.

    2012-04-01

    We present an updated model of the interior evolution of Titan over time, assuming the silicate core was hydrated early in Titan's history and is dehydrating over time. The original model presented in Castillo-Rogez and Lunine (2010) was motivated by a Cassini-derived moment of inertia (Iess et al., 2010) for Titan too large to be accommodated by classical fully differentiated models in which an anhydrous silicate core was overlain by a water ice (with possible perched ocean) mantle. Our model consisted of a silicate core still in the process of dehydrating today, a situation made possible by the leaching of radiogenic potassium from the silicates into the liquid water ocean. The crust of Titan was assumed to be pure water ice I. The model was consistent with the moment of inertia of Titan, but neglected the presence of large amounts of methane in the upper crust invoked to explain methane's persistence at present and through geologic time (Tobie et al. 2006). We have updated our model with such a feature. We have also improved our modeling with a better physical model for the dehydration of antigorite and other hydrated minerals. In particular our modeling now simulates heat advection resulting from water circulation (e.g., Seipold and Schilling 2003), rather than the purely conductive heat transfer regime assumed in the first version of our model. The modeling proceeds as in Castillo-Rogez and Lunine (2010), with the thermal conductivity of the methane clathrate crust rather than that of ice I. The former is several times lower than that of the latter, and the two have rather different temperature dependences (English and Tse, 2009). The crust turns out to have essentially no bearing on the temperature of the silicate core and hence the timing of dehydration, but it profoundly affects the thickness of the high-pressure ice layer beneath the ocean. Indeed, with the insulating methane clathrate crust, there must be a liquid water ocean beneath the methane clathrate

  20. [Impact of moss soil crust on vegetation indexes interpretation].

    PubMed

    Fang, Shi-bo; Zhang, Xin-shi

    2011-03-01

    Vegetation indexes were the most common and the most important parameters to characterizing large-scale terrestrial ecosystems. It is vital to get precise vegetation indexes for running land surface process models and computation of NPP change, moisture and heat fluxes over surface. Biological soil crusts (BSC) are widely distributed in arid and semi-arid, polar and sub-polar regions. The spectral characteristics of dry and wet BSCs were quite different, which could produce much higher vegetation indexes value for the wet BSC than for the dry BSC as reported. But no research was reported about whether the BSC would impact on regional vegetation indexes and how much dry and wet BSC had impact on regional vegetation indexes. In the present paper, the most common vegetation index NDVI were used to analyze how the moss soil crusts (MSC) dry and wet changes affect regional NDVI values. It was showed that 100% coverage of the wet MSC have a much higher NDVI value (0.657) than the dry MSC NDVI value (0.320), with increased 0.337. Dry and wet MSC NDVI value reached significant difference between the levels of 0.000. In the study area, MSC, which had the average coverage of 12.25%, would have a great contribution to the composition of vegetation index. Linear mixed model was employed to analyze how the NDVI would change in regional scale as wet MSC become dry MSC inversion. The impact of wet moss crust than the dry moss crust in the study area can make the regional NDVI increasing by 0.04 (14.3%). Due to the MSC existence and rainfall variation in arid and semi-arid zones, it was bound to result in NDVI change instability in a short time in the region. For the wet MSC's spectral reflectance curve is similar to those of the higher plants, misinterpretation of the vegetation dynamics could be more severe due to the "maximum value composite" (MVC) technique used to compose the global vegetation maps in the study of vegetation dynamics. The researches would be useful for

  1. Crust-atmosphere coupling and carbon sequestration on palaeo-Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macartney, Adrienne; Lee, Martin; Harkness, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    The modern surface of Mars displays evidence for past liquid water flows, with mounds and polygons in the Chryse-Acidalia region possibly indicating large bodies of ancient standing liquid [1]. For liquid water to be stable at the planet's surface, temperatures of >273.2K and a saturation water vapour pressure of >6.1 mbar are required [2]. To achieve such conditions, atmospheric pressures >1 bar CO2 have been hypothesised during the late Noachian/early Hesperian period (i.e. ~1.4-3.0 Ga [3]). Mars' currently thin (6 mbar) atmosphere poses the question of the fate of the hypothesised multi-bar CO2 atmosphere. Estimates for ~270 mbar lost to space [4], with ~5 mbar at the poles [5], leaves a minimum 750 mbar unaccounted for. The nakhlite martian meteorites display clear evidence of low water to rock (W/R) ratio isochemical silicate mineral carbonation [6]. Such carbonation processes can also be observed in basic terrestrial rock exposures, such as the Leka ophiolite, Norway [7]. Hydration and carbonation of silicate rocks is an important negative feedback process in the terrestrial carbon cycle. Significant atmospheric CO2 removal via silicate weathering partly balances the volcanic CO2 output. Peridotite contains >40% olivine, which can hydrate to form quartz, magnesite and serpentine and these reactions may be followed by carbon sequestration, forming highly alkaline travertine springs (pH>11), which have been observed in terrestrial ophiolites worldwide. Carbonation is exothermic, with the total fully carbonated solid products possessing 44% greater mass than the reactants [8]. This causes cracking [9], exposing fresh reactant surfaces, although this can be offset by expansion causing reduced porosity [10]. The raised temperatures increase reaction rates, and a positive feedback mechanism of sustained carbonation can develop. The crust of Mars is composed of similarly basic minerals, mostly basalt on the surface [11]. By investigating carbonated terrestrial

  2. Constraints on the Composition and Petrogenesis of the Martian Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McSween, Harry Y., Jr.; Grove, Timothy L.; Wyatt, Michael B.

    2003-01-01

    Spectral interpretation that silicic rocks are widespread on Mars implies that Earth's differentiated crust is not unique. Evaluation of observations bearing on the composition of the Martian crust (Martian meteorite petrology and a possible crustal assimilant, analysis of Mars Pathfinder rocks, composition of Martian fines, interpretation of spacecraft thermal emission spectra, and inferred crustal densities) indicates that the crust can be either basalt plus andesite or basalt plus weathering products. New calculated chemical compositions for Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) global surface units indicate that surface type 1 has basaltic andesite composition and surface type 2 has the composition of andesite. If these materials represent volcanic rocks, their calc-alkaline compositions on a FeO*/MgO versus silica diagram suggest formation by hydrous melting and fractional crystallization. On Earth, this petrogenesis requires subduction, and it may suggest an early period of plate tectonics on Mars. However, anorogenic production of andesite might have been possible if the primitive Martian mantle was wet. Alternatively, chemical weathering diagrams suggest that surface type 2 materials could have formed by partial weathering of surface type 1 rocks, leading to depletion in soluble cations and mobility of silica. A weathered crust model is consistent with the occurrence of surface type 2 materials as sediments in a depocenter and with the alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) analysis of excess oxygen suggesting weathering rinds on Pathfinder rocks. If surface type 1 materials are also weathered or mixed with weathered materials, this might eliminate the need for hydrous melting, consistent with a relatively dry Martian mantle without tectonics.

  3. Drilling to gabbro in intact ocean crust.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Douglas S; Teagle, Damon A H; Alt, Jeffrey C; Banerjee, Neil R; Umino, Susumu; Miyashita, Sumio; Acton, Gary D; Anma, Ryo; Barr, Samantha R; Belghoul, Akram; Carlut, Julie; Christie, David M; Coggon, Rosalind M; Cooper, Kari M; Cordier, Carole; Crispini, Laura; Durand, Sedelia Rodriguez; Einaudi, Florence; Galli, Laura; Gao, Yongjun; Geldmacher, Jörg; Gilbert, Lisa A; Hayman, Nicholas W; Herrero-Bervera, Emilio; Hirano, Nobuo; Holter, Sara; Ingle, Stephanie; Jiang, Shijun; Kalberkamp, Ulrich; Kerneklian, Marcie; Koepke, Jürgen; Laverne, Christine; Vasquez, Haroldo L Lledo; Maclennan, John; Morgan, Sally; Neo, Natsuki; Nichols, Holly J; Park, Sung-Hyun; Reichow, Marc K; Sakuyama, Tetsuya; Sano, Takashi; Sandwell, Rachel; Scheibner, Birgit; Smith-Duque, Chris E; Swift, Stephen A; Tartarotti, Paola; Tikku, Anahita A; Tominaga, Masako; Veloso, Eugenio A; Yamasaki, Toru; Yamazaki, Shusaku; Ziegler, Christa

    2006-05-19

    Sampling an intact sequence of oceanic crust through lavas, dikes, and gabbros is necessary to advance the understanding of the formation and evolution of crust formed at mid-ocean ridges, but it has been an elusive goal of scientific ocean drilling for decades. Recent drilling in the eastern Pacific Ocean in Hole 1256D reached gabbro within seismic layer 2, 1157 meters into crust formed at a superfast spreading rate. The gabbros are the crystallized melt lenses that formed beneath a mid-ocean ridge. The depth at which gabbro was reached confirms predictions extrapolated from seismic experiments at modern mid-ocean ridges: Melt lenses occur at shallower depths at faster spreading rates. The gabbros intrude metamorphosed sheeted dikes and have compositions similar to the overlying lavas, precluding formation of the cumulate lower oceanic crust from melt lenses so far penetrated by Hole 1256D.

  4. The breaking strain of neutron star crust

    SciTech Connect

    Kadau, Kai; Horowitz, C J

    2009-01-01

    Mountains on rapidly rotating neutron stars efficiently radiate gravitational waves. The maximum possible size of these mountains depends on the breaking strain of neutron star crust. With multimillion ion molecular dynamics simulations of Coulomb solids representing the crust, we show that the breaking strain of pure single crystals is very large and that impurities, defects, and grain boundaries only modestly reduce the breaking strain to around 0.1. Due to the collective behavior of the ions during failure found in our simulations, the neutron star crust is likely very strong and can support mountains large enough so that their gTavitational wave radiation could limit the spin periods of some stars and might be detectable in large scale interferometers. Furthermore, our microscopic modeling of neutron star crust material can help analyze mechanisms relevant in Magnetar Giant and Micro Flares.

  5. Terrestrial photovoltaic measurements, 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The following major topics are discussed; (1) Terrestrial solar irradiance; (2) Solar simulation and reference cell calibration; and (3) Cell and array measurement procedures. Numerous related subtopics are also discussed within each major topic area.

  6. Oxygen consumption in subseafloor basaltic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orcutt, B. N.; Wheat, C. G.; Hulme, S.; Edwards, K. J.; Bach, W.

    2012-12-01

    Oceanic crust is the largest potential habitat for life on Earth and may contain a significant fraction of Earth's total microbial biomass, yet little is known about the form and function of life in this vast subseafloor realm that covers nearly two-thirds of the Earth's surface. A deep biosphere hosted in subseafloor basalts has been suggested from several lines of evidence; yet, empirical analysis of metabolic reaction rates in basaltic crust is lacking. Here we report the first measure of oxygen consumption in young (~ 8 Ma) and cool (<25 degrees C) basaltic crust, calculated from modeling oxygen and strontium profiles in basal sediments collected during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 336 to 'North Pond', a sediment 'pond' on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), where vigorous fluid circulation within basaltic crust occurs. Dissolved oxygen concentrations increased towards the sediment-basement interface, indicating an upward diffusional supply from oxic fluids circulating within the crust. A parametric reaction-transport model suggests oxygen consumption rates on the order of 0.5-500 nmol per cubic centimeter fluid per day in young and cool basaltic crust, providing sufficient energy to support a subsurface crustal biosphere.

  7. Frozen magma lenses below the oceanic crust.

    PubMed

    Nedimović, Mladen R; Carbotte, Suzanne M; Harding, Alistair J; Detrick, Robert S; Canales, J Pablo; Diebold, John B; Kent, Graham M; Tischer, Michael; Babcock, Jeffrey M

    2005-08-25

    The Earth's oceanic crust crystallizes from magmatic systems generated at mid-ocean ridges. Whereas a single magma body residing within the mid-crust is thought to be responsible for the generation of the upper oceanic crust, it remains unclear if the lower crust is formed from the same magma body, or if it mainly crystallizes from magma lenses located at the base of the crust. Thermal modelling, tomography, compliance and wide-angle seismic studies, supported by geological evidence, suggest the presence of gabbroic-melt accumulations within the Moho transition zone in the vicinity of fast- to intermediate-spreading centres. Until now, however, no reflection images have been obtained of such a structure within the Moho transition zone. Here we show images of groups of Moho transition zone reflection events that resulted from the analysis of approximately 1,500 km of multichannel seismic data collected across the intermediate-spreading-rate Juan de Fuca ridge. From our observations we suggest that gabbro lenses and melt accumulations embedded within dunite or residual mantle peridotite are the most probable cause for the observed reflectivity, thus providing support for the hypothesis that the crust is generated from multiple magma bodies.

  8. Granitic Perspectives on the Generation and Secular Evolution of the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemp, A. I. S.; Hawkesworth, C. J.

    2003-12-01

    contrary arguments of Kelemen (1995) and Chapter 3.18). The average age of the continental crust is old, almost 2 Ga, the processes of crust generation may have changed with time, and the early crust may have been generated and destroyed more rapidly than in more recent times (Armstrong, 1991; Bowring and Housh, 1995).

  9. The solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chappell, C. R.

    1978-01-01

    The larger system of the earth environment is controlled externally by electromagnetic and particle energy from the sun. Recent studies have shown that the sun is a variable star with changes in its radiation which produce significant effects in the earth's climate and weather. The study of the solar-terrestrial system requires simultaneous, long-duration observations of the different elements or 'links' in the solar-terrestrial chain. Many investigations must be conducted in space from a vantage point above the earth's atmosphere where all of the sun's emissions can be observed free from atmospheric distortion, where the magnetospheric particles and fields can be measured directly, and where the atmosphere can be observed on a global scale. The extension of the Shuttle on-orbit capability in connection with the development of the power module will offer an important near-term step in an evolutionary process leading toward a permanent manned Solar Terrestrial Observatory capability in low-earth orbit. Attention is given to the required solar-terrestrial measurements, the operation of the Solar Terrestrial Observatory, and an evolutionary approach to the Solar Terrestrial Observatory.

  10. Lithium systematics in howardite-eucrite-diogenite meteorites: Implications for crust-mantle evolution of planetary embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magna, Tomáš; Šimčíková, Magdalena; Moynier, Frédéric

    2014-01-01

    We present lithium (Li) abundances and isotope compositions in a suite of howardites, eucrites and diogenites (HEDs). These meteorites most likely originated from asteroid Vesta and were delivered to Earth by a series of independent impact events. The Li concentrations show striking differences between Li-poor diogenites plus cumulate eucrites and Li-enriched eucrites whilst howardites have Li abundances intermediate between eucrites and diogenites. Contrary to Li elemental inter-group differences, Li isotope compositions are irresolvable among these individual groups of HED meteorites despite their wildly distinct petrography, attesting to insignificant Li isotope fractionation during formation of a thick basaltic crust by melting of the Vestan mantle. The mean Li isotope composition of Bulk Silicate Vesta is estimated at 3.7 ± 0.6‰ (1σ), intermediate to that of the Earth versus Mars and Moon but identical with these terrestrial bodies within uncertainty. This further validates largely homogeneous inner Solar System solids from the Li isotope perspective and supports the lack of loss of moderately volatile elements from planetary embryos during their magmatic histories because Li does not follow depletion trends inferred from more volatile elements. Pasamonte eucrite has the same Li isotope composition as other eucrites although it may not be directly linked to Vesta. These observations are also important for generating Li elemental and isotope signatures in juvenile basaltic crusts of large terrestrial planets and numerous planetary embryos in the early Solar System. A combination of CV + L chondrites may be less suitable for building Vesta from Li perspective but this may face sampling bias of available data and only further analyses may resolve this issue. Alternatively, significant shift of ∼1‰ towards heavier Li isotope compositions must have occurred during thermal processing of CV + L (2.2-2.8‰) mixture in order to account for the observed Li

  11. Transdomes sampling of lower and middle crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teyssier, C. P.; Whitney, D. L.; Roger, F.; Rey, P. F.

    2015-12-01

    Migmatite transdomes are formed by lateral and upward flow of partially molten crust in transtension zones (pull-apart structures). In order to understand the flow leading to this type of domes, 3D numerical models were set-up to simulate the general case of an extensional domain located between two strike-slip faults (pull-apart or dilational bridge). Results show that upper crust extension induces flow of the deep, low-viscosity crust, with rapid upward movement of transdome material when extension becomes localized. At this point a rolling hinge detachment allows rapid removal of upper crust. The internal structure of transdomes includes a subvertical high strain zone located beneath the zone of localized upper crust extension; this shear zone separates two elongate subdomes of foliation that show refolded/sheath folds. Lineation tends to be oriented dominantly subhorizontal when the amount of strike-slip motion is greater than the amount of upward flow of dome rocks. Models also predict nearly isothermal decompression of transdome material and rapid transfer of ~50 km deep rocks to the near surface. These model results are compared to the structural and metamorphic history of several transdomes, and in particular the Variscan Montagne Noire dome (French Massif Central) that consists of two domes separated by a complex high strain zone. The Montagne Noire dome contains ~315 Ma eclogite bodies (U-Pb zircon age) that record 1.4 GPa peak pressure. The eclogite bodies are wrapped in highly sheared migmatite that yield 314-310 Ma monazite ages interpreted as the metamorphism and deformation age. Based on these relations we conclude that the Montagne Noire transdome developed a channel of partially molten crust that likely entrained eclogite bodies from the deep crust (~50 km) before ascending to the near-surface. One implication of this work is that the flowing crust was deeply seated in the orogen although it remained a poor recorder of peak pressure of metamorphism

  12. Europa's Crust and Ocean: Origin, Composition, and the Prospects for Life

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kargel, J.S.; Kaye, J.Z.; Head, J. W.; Marion, G.M.; Sassen, R.; Crowley, J.K.; Ballesteros, O.P.; Grant, S.A.; Hogenboom, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    We have considered a wide array of scenarios for Europa's chemical evolution in an attempt to explain the presence of ice and hydrated materials on its surface and to understand the physical and chemical nature of any ocean that may lie below. We postulate that, following formation of the jovian system, the europan evolutionary sequence has as its major links: (a) initial carbonaceous chondrite rock, (b) global primordial aqueous differentiation and formation of an impure primordial hydrous crust, (c) brine evolution and intracrustal differentiation, (d) degassing of Europa's mantle and gas venting, (e) hydrothermal processes, and (f) chemical surface alteration. Our models were developed in the context of constraints provided by Galileo imaging, near infrared reflectance spectroscopy, and gravity and magnetometer data. Low-temperature aqueous differentiation from a carbonaceous CI or CM chondrite precursor, without further chemical processing, would result in a crust/ocean enriched in magnesium sulfate and sodium sulfate, consistent with Galileo spectroscopy. Within the bounds of this simple model, a wide range of possible layered structures may result; the final state depends on the details of intracrustal differentiation. Devolatilization of the rocky mantle and hydrothermal brine reactions could have produced very different ocean/crust compositions, e.g., an ocean/crust of sodium carbonate or sulfuric acid, or a crust containing abundant clathrate hydrates. Realistic chemical-physical evolution scenarios differ greatly in detailed predictions, but they generally call for a highly impure and chemically layered crust. Some of these models could lead also to lateral chemical heterogeneities by diapiric upwellings and/or cryovolcanism. We describe some plausible geological consequences of the physical-chemical structures predicted from these scenarios. These predicted consequences and observed aspects of Europa's geology may serve as a basis for further analys is

  13. Europa's Crust and Ocean: Origin, Composition, and the Prospects for Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Kaye, Jonathan Z.; Head, James W.; Marion, Giles M.; Sassen, Roger; Crowley, James K.; Ballesteros, Olga Prieto; Grant, Steven A.; Hogenboom, David L.

    2000-11-01

    We have considered a wide array of scenarios for Europa's chemical evolution in an attempt to explain the presence of ice and hydrated materials on its surface and to understand the physical and chemical nature of any ocean that may lie below. We postulate that, following formation of the jovian system, the europan evolutionary sequence has as its major links: (a) initial carbonaceous chondrite rock, (b) global primordial aqueous differentiation and formation of an impure primordial hydrous crust, (c) brine evolution and intracrustal differentiation, (d) degassing of Europa's mantle and gas venting, (e) hydrothermal processes, and (f) chemical surface alteration. Our models were developed in the context of constraints provided by Galileo imaging, near infrared reflectance spectroscopy, and gravity and magnetometer data. Low-temperature aqueous differentiation from a carbonaceous CI or CM chondrite precursor, without further chemical processing, would result in a crust/ocean enriched in magnesium sulfate and sodium sulfate, consistent with Galileo spectroscopy. Within the bounds of this simple model, a wide range of possible layered structures may result; the final state depends on the details of intracrustal differentiation. Devolatilization of the rocky mantle and hydrothermal brine reactions could have produced very different ocean/crust compositions, e.g., an ocean/crust of sodium carbonate or sulfuric acid, or a crust containing abundant clathrate hydrates. Realistic chemical-physical evolution scenarios differ greatly in detailed predictions, but they generally call for a highly impure and chemically layered crust. Some of these models could lead also to lateral chemical heterogeneities by diapiric upwellings and/or cryovolcanism. We describe some plausible geological consequences of the physical-chemical structures predicted from these scenarios. These predicted consequences and observed aspects of Europa's geology may serve as a basis for further analys is

  14. Mammalian faunal response to the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (~53.5-48.5 mya) and a new terrestrial record of the associated carbon isotope excursion from Raven Ridge in the Uinta Basin, Colorado-Utah

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutchak, A. R.

    2010-12-01

    Raven Ridge straddles the Colorado-Utah border on the northeastern edge of the Uinta Basin and consists of intertonguing units of the fluvial Colton and lacustrine Green River Formations. Fossil vertebrate localities along the ridge have produced a diverse mammalian fauna comprising 64 genera in 34 families. Included are the index taxa Smilodectes, Omomys, Heptodon, and Lambdotherium which suggest an age range of mid-Wasatchian (Wa5, ~53.5mya) through mid Bridgerian (Br2, ~48.5mya) for the Raven Ridge fauna. Others have shown that this time interval coincides with the onset, peak, and decline of the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO), an extended interval of globally warm temperatures following the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) that is coincident with a large negative carbon excursion. The Raven Ridge fauna provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the effects of a lengthy interval of global warmth on mammalian diversity and ecosystem structure. To study changes in the mammalian fauna that occurred during the EECO, it was necessary to constrain the onset, peak, and decline of the EECO at Raven Ridge through chemostratigraphic correlation with established marine isotope curves. This was accomplished by analysis of approximately 300 sediment samples for Total Organic Carbon (TOC) content. TOC has been used successfully in the Bighorn Basin to identify the stratigraphic occurrence of the Carbon Isotope Excursion (CIE) associated with the PETM, which has roughly the same amplitude as the negative excursion associated with the EECO. The Raven Ridge TOC data show a large negative carbon excursion that starts during the Wa6 biochron, peaks during the Wa7 biochron, and is followed by a positive excursion near the Wa-Br boundary. This terrestrial δ13C pattern is consistent with results seen in established marine isotope curves across the EECO interval. The minimum δ13C value of the negative excursion is -29.67‰, which is comparable to the Bighorn CIE

  15. Contraction or expansion of the Moon's crust during magma ocean freezing?

    PubMed Central

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.; Bercovici, David

    2014-01-01

    The lack of contraction features on the Moon has been used to argue that the Moon underwent limited secular cooling, and thus had a relatively cool initial state. A cool early state in turn limits the depth of the lunar magma ocean. Recent GRAIL gravity measurements, however, suggest that dikes were emplaced in the lower crust, requiring global lunar expansion. Starting from the magma ocean state, we show that solidification of the lunar magma ocean would most likely result in expansion of the young lunar crust, and that viscous relaxation of the crust would prevent early tectonic features of contraction or expansion from being recorded permanently. The most likely process for creating the expansion recorded by the dikes is melting during cumulate overturn of the newly solidified lunar mantle. PMID:25114310

  16. Heterogeneous Hadean hafnium: evidence of continental crust at 4.4 to 4.5 ga.

    PubMed

    Harrison, T M; Blichert-Toft, J; Müller, W; Albarede, F; Holden, P; Mojzsis, S J

    2005-12-23

    The long-favored paradigm for the development of continental crust is one of progressive growth beginning at approximately 4 billion years ago (Ga). To test this hypothesis, we measured initial 176Hf/177Hf values of 4.01- to 4.37-Ga detrital zircons from Jack Hills, Western Australia. epsilonHf (deviations of 176Hf/177Hf from bulk Earth in parts per 10(4)) values show large positive and negative deviations from those of the bulk Earth. Negative values indicate the development of a Lu/Hf reservoir that is consistent with the formation of continental crust (Lu/Hf approximately 0.01), perhaps as early as 4.5 Ga. Positive epsilon(Hf) deviations require early and likely widespread depletion of the upper mantle. These results support the view that continental crust had formed by 4.4 to 4.5 Ga and was rapidly recycled into the mantle.

  17. Mars primordial crust: unique sites for investigating proto-biologic properties.

    PubMed

    Perry, Randall S; Hartmann, William K

    2006-12-01

    The Martian meteorite collection suggests that intact outcrops or boulder-scale fragments of the 4.5 Ga Martian crust exist within tens of meters of the present day surface of Mars. Mars may be the only planet where such primordial crust samples, representing the first 100 Ma of a planet's environment, are available. The primordial crust has been destroyed on Earth by plate tectonics and other geological phenomena and is buried on the Moon under hundreds or thousands of meters of megaregoltih. Early Mars appears to have been remarkably similar to early Earth, and samples of rock from the first few Ma or first 100 Ma may reveal "missing link" proto-biological forms that could shed light on the transition from abiotic organic chemistry to living cells. Such organic snapshots of nascent life are unlikely to be found on Earth.

  18. Non-chondritic sulphur isotope composition of the terrestrial mantle.

    PubMed

    Labidi, J; Cartigny, P; Moreira, M

    2013-09-12

    Core-mantle differentiation is the largest event experienced by a growing planet during its early history. Terrestrial core segregation imprinted the residual mantle composition by scavenging siderophile (iron-loving) elements such as tungsten, cobalt and sulphur. Cosmochemical constraints suggest that about 97% of Earth's sulphur should at present reside in the core, which implies that the residual silicate mantle should exhibit fractionated (34)S/(32)S ratios according to the relevant metal-silicate partition coefficients, together with fractionated siderophile element abundances. However, Earth's mantle has long been thought to be both homogeneous and chondritic for (34)S/(32)S, similar to Canyon Diablo troilite, as it is for most siderophile elements. This belief was consistent with a mantle sulphur budget dominated by late-accreted chondritic components. Here we show that the mantle, as sampled by mid-ocean ridge basalts from the south Atlantic ridge, displays heterogeneous (34)S/(32)S ratios, directly correlated to the strontium and neodymium isotope ratios (87)Sr/(86)Sr and (143)Nd/(144)Nd. These isotope trends are compatible with binary mixing between a low-(34)S/(32)S ambient mantle and a high-(34)S/(32)S recycled component that we infer to be subducted sediments. The depleted end-member is characterized by a significantly negative δ(34)S of -1.28 ± 0.33‰ that cannot reach a chondritic value even when surface sulphur (from continents, altered oceanic crust, sediments and oceans) is added. Such a non-chondritic (34)S/(32)S ratio for the silicate Earth could be accounted for by a core-mantle differentiation record in which the core has a (34)S/(32)S ratio slightly higher than that of chondrites (δ(34)S = +0.07‰). Despite evidence for late-veneer addition of siderophile elements (and therefore sulphur) after core formation, our results imply that the mantle sulphur budget retains fingerprints of core-mantle differentiation.

  19. Sr and Nd isotopic variations in ferromanganese crusts from the Central Pacific: Implications for age and source provenance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Futa, K.; Peterman, Z.E.; Hein, J.R.

    1988-01-01

    Isotopic analyses of two hydrogenetic ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts from volcanic edifices in the central Pacific Ocean reveal systematic variations in 87Sr 86Sr and 143Nd 144Nd, with both ratios decreasing as a function of depth into the Fe-Mn crusts. Leaching experiments suggest that Sr in the crusts is contained in at least two discrete sites. A loosely bound Sr, dominated by modern marine Sr, is removed by leaching with a 10 percent acetic acid solution. The 87Sr 86Sr ratio of the residue is significantly less than the 87Sr 86Sr ratio of the unleached material. The Sr-isotope ratios of leached samples are compared with the temporal variation in seawater to provide ages for layers within the Fe-Mn crusts. These data suggest that the oldest crust layers began to accrete in the early to middle Miocene. Correlated to the 87Sr 86Sr variations, 143Nd 144Nd ratios suggest that the Nd-isotope composition of central Pacific Ocean seawater also changed systematically over this time interval, or that the Fe-Mn crusts simply incorporated Nd from various parts of an isotopieally heterogeneous ocean as the crusts were carried along with the oceanic plate. In contrast to the layered ferromanganese crust, the phosphatized volcaniclastic substrates have Sr and Nd isotope compositions that are consistent with their volcanic origin. ?? 1988.

  20. Basin Excavation, Lower Crust, Composition, and Bulk Moon Mass balance in Light of a Thin Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jolliff, B. L.; Korotev, R. L.; Ziegler, R. A.

    2013-01-01

    New lunar gravity results from GRAIL have been interpreted to reflect an overall thin and low-density lunar crust. Accordingly, crustal thickness has been modeled as ranging from 0 to 60 km, with thinnest crust at the locations of Crisium and Moscoviense basins and thickest crust in the central farside highlands. The thin crust has cosmochemical significance, namely in terms of implications for the Moon s bulk composition, especially refractory lithophile elements that are strongly concentrated in the crust. Wieczorek et al. concluded that the bulk Moon need not be enriched compared to Earth in refractory lithophile elements such as Al. Less Al in the crust means less Al has been extracted from the mantle, permitting relatively low bulk lunar mantle Al contents and low pre- and post-crust-extraction values for the mantle (or the upper mantle if only the upper mantle underwent LMO melting). Simple mass-balance calculations using the method of [4] suggests that the same conclusion might hold for Th and the entire suite of refractory lithophile elements that are incompatible in olivine and pyroxene, including the KREEP elements, that are likewise concentrated in the crust.

  1. Astrobiological and Planetary Exploration Implications of Microbial Ichnofossils in Terrestrial Basaltic Glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridge, N. J.; Izawa, M. M.; Banerjee, N. R.; Flemming, R. L.; Schultz, C.

    2009-05-01

    Over the past decade, studies have demonstrated that terrestrial basaltic glass in pillow rims and hyaloclastites are suitable microbial habitats. Microbes rapidly begin colonizing the glassy surfaces along fractures and cracks that have been exposed to water. Microbial colonization of basaltic glass leads to the alteration and modification of the rocks to produce characteristic granular and/or tubular bioalteration textures. The early precipitation of sub-micron titanite grains within the biologically etched alteration structures serves as an agent for preservation that may persist for geologically extended periods of time in the absence of later penetrative deformation. These microbial alteration structures have been observed in several Archean greenstone belts including the Abitibi greenstone belt (2.7 Ga), Pilbara craton (3.35 Ga), and the Barberton greenstone belt (3.5 Ga). Archean subaqueous volcanic rocks provide an excellent analogue for a potential habitat for possible early Martian life, given that basaltic rocks are a major component of the Martian crust. A wide variety of recent evidence strongly suggests the long-term existence of abundant liquid water on ancient Mars. Recent orbiter, lander, and rover missions have found evidence for the presence of transient liquid water on Mars, perhaps persisting to the present day. Beyond Mars, other solar system bodies, notably Europa, Enceladus, and other icy satellites, may well host subaqueous basaltic glasses. We will explore the implications of the newly discovered geological record of basaltic glass bioalteration and basaltic glass as a microbial habitat for planetary exploration and astrobiology.

  2. Growth of the lower continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rudnick, Roberta L.

    1988-01-01

    One of the largest uncertainties in crustal composition and growth models is the nature of the lower continental crust. Specifically, by what processes is it formed and modified, and when is it formed, particularly in reference to the upper crust? The main reason for this lack of information is the scarcity of lower crustal rock samples. These are restricted to two types: rocks which outcrop in granulite facies terrains and granulite facies xenoliths which are transported to the earth's surface by young volcanics. The important conclusions arising from the xenolith studies are: the majority of mafic lower crustal xenoliths formed through cumulate process, resitic xenoliths are rare; and formation and metamorphism of the deep crust is intimately linked to igneous activity and/or orogeny which are manifest in one form or another at the earth's surface. Therefore, estimates of crustal growth based on surface exposures is representative, although the proportion of remobilized pre-existing crust may be significantly greater at the surface than in the deep crust.

  3. MODIS-Derived Terrestrial Primary Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Maosheng; Running, Steven; Heinsch, Faith Ann; Nemani, Ramakrishna

    Temporal and spatial changes in terrestrial biological productivity have a large impact on humankind because terrestrial ecosystems not only create environments suitable for human habitation, but also provide materials essential for survival, such as food, fiber and fuel. A recent study estimated that consumption of terrestrial net primary production (NPP; a list of all the acronyms is available in the appendix at the end of the chapter) by the human population accounts for about 14-26% of global NPP (Imhoff et al. 2004). Rapid global climate change is induced by increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration, especially CO2, which results from human activities such as fossil fuel combustion and deforestation. This directly impacts terrestrial NPP, which continues to change in both space and time (Melillo et al. 1993; Prentice et al. 2001; Nemani et al. 2003), and ultimately impacts the well-being of human society (Milesi et al. 2005). Additionally, substantial evidence show that the oceans and the biosphere, especially terrestrial ecosystems, currently play a major role in reducing the rate of the atmospheric CO2 increase (Prentice et al. 2001; Schimel et al. 2001). NPP is the first step needed to quantify the amount of atmospheric carbon fixed by plants and accumulated as biomass. Continuous and accurate measurements of terrestrial NPP at the global scale are possible using satellite data. Since early 2000, for the first time, the MODIS sensors onboard the Terra and Aqua satellites, have operationally provided scientists with near real-time global terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) and net photosynthesis (PsnNet) data. These data are provided at 1 km spatial resolution and an 8-day interval, and annual NPP covers 109,782,756 km2 of vegetated land. These GPP, PsnNet and NPP products are collectively known as MOD17 and are part of a larger suite of MODIS land products (Justice et al. 2002), one of the core Earth System or Climate Data Records (ESDR or

  4. Platinum stable isotopes in ferromanganese crust and nodules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corcoran, Loretta; Seward, Terry; Handler, Monica R.

    2015-04-01

    Hydrogenetic ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crust and nodules are slow-growing chemical sediments that form by direct precipitation from seawater, resulting in a record of changing seawater chemistry. These sediments are the primary sink for platinum in the modern oxic marine environment, hosting well-documented enrichments over other platinum-group elements (PGEs): the Pt anomaly [1]. Platinum is a non-bio-essential, highly siderophile, transition metal with six stable isotopes (190Pt, 192Pt, 194Pt, 195Pt, 196Pt, and 198Pt) with several oxidation states (Pt0, Pt2+ and Pt4+). Platinum is generally considered to exist in the hydrosphere as Pt2+ although its behaviour in the marine environment is poorly constrained, and Pt4+may also be present. Variations in ocean redox state, together with changes in source fluxes to the oceans, may therefore lead to small variations (< ±1) in the stable isotopic composition of marine platinum, raising the potential of adding platinum to the growing arsenal of paleoceanographic tracers. A method has been developed to measure the platinum isotopic composition using double spike MC-ICPMS analysis [2]and applied to a global suite of modern Fe-Mn crust and nodules. Combining synchrotron XAFS analyses of platinum adsorbed onto Fe-Mn oxide and oxyhydroxide surfaces to determine oxidation state and bonding environment, with platinum stable isotopic measurements allowing us to evaluate both platinum incorporation onto these sediments and the associated degree of platinum isotopic fractionation. Leaching experiments conducted on platinum rich terrestrial materials underwent platinum stable isotopic measurement as an analogue for the Pt isotopic fractionation associated with continental weathering. [1] Hodge, V.F. et al. (1985) Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 72, 158-162. [2] Creech, J. et al. (2013) Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 28. 853-865.

  5. Arctic terrestrial ecosystem contamination.

    PubMed

    Thomas, D J; Tracey, B; Marshall, H; Norstrom, R J

    1992-07-15

    Limited data have been collected on the presence of contaminants in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem, with the exception of radioactive fallout from atmospheric weapons testing. Although southern and temperate biological systems have largely cleansed themselves of radioactive fallout deposited during the 1950s and 1960s, Arctic environments have not. Lichens accumulate radioactivity more than many other plants because of their large surface area and long life span; the presence and persistence of radioisotopes in the Arctic is of concern because of the lichen----reindeer----human ecosystem. Effective biological half-life of cesium 137 is reckoned to be substantially less than its physical half-life. The database on organochlorines in Canadian Arctic terrestrial mammals and birds is very limited, but indications are that the air/plant/animal contaminant pathway is the major route of these compounds into the terrestrial food chain. For terrestrial herbivores, the most abundant organochlorine is usually hexachlorobenzene followed by hexachlorocyclohexane isomers. PCB accumulation favours the hexachlorobiphenyl, pentachlorobiphenyl and heptachlorobiphenyl homologous series. The concentrations of the various classes of organochlorine compounds are substantially lower in terrestrial herbivore tissues than in marine mammal tissues. PCBs and DDT are the most abundant residues in peregrine falcons (a terrestrial carnivore) reaching average levels of 9.2 and 10.4 micrograms.g-1, respectively, more than 10 times higher than other organochlorines and higher than in marine mammals, including the polar bear. Contaminants from local sources include metals from mining activities, hydrocarbons and waste drilling fluids from oil and gas exploration and production, wastes from DEW line sites, naturally occurring radionuclides associated with uranium mineralization, and smoke containing SO2 and H2SO4 aerosol from the Smoking Hills at Cape Bathurst, N.W.T.

  6. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations.

    PubMed

    Harms, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10(-23) Hz(-1/2) above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our understanding of

  7. Formation of the terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetherill, G. W.

    1980-01-01

    Two growth mechanisms are identified for the development of the terrestrial planets: (1) gravitational instability leading to a collapse, and (2) gravitational accumulation caused by two-body collisions and coherence. The presence of a dynamically-significant gas phase would not affect either mechanism. Theoretical expressions are presented for the production of giant gaseous protoplanets by gravitational instability within a central dust layer. Gravitational accumulation is discussed with reference to the accumulation of planetesimals from a gas-free circumsolar swarm of bodies. Numerical simulations are given for the early stages of accumulation. The Safronov steady-state velocity is considered, noting that the competition between mutual collisional damping and gravitational acceleration by the members of a solar swarm yields a steady-state velocity distribution where the mean velocity is comparable to the escape velocity of the largest body. A time scale for accumulation is postulated on the basis of the radial distribution of a swarm of non-accreting bodies of equal size. The simultaneous gas-free accumulation of several terrestrial planets is noted. Attention is also given to growth mechanisms in gas-rich interplanetary media.

  8. Geomicrobiology and Metagenomics of Terrestrial Deep Subsurface Microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Itävaara, M; Salavirta, H; Marjamaa, K; Ruskeeniemi, T

    2016-01-01

    Fractures in the deep subsurface of Earth's crust are inhabited by diverse microbial communities that participate in biogeochemical cycles of the Earth. Life on Earth, which arose c. 3.5-4.0 billion years ago, reaches down at least 5 km in the crust. Deep mines, caves, and boreholes have provided scientists with opportunities to sample deep subsurface microbiomes and to obtain information on the species diversity and functions. A wide variety of bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, and viruses are now known to reside in the crust, but their functions are still largely unknown. The crust at different depths has varying geological composition and hosts endemic microbiomes accordingly. The diversity is driven by geological formations and gases evolving from deeper depths. Cooperation among different species is still mostly unexplored, but viruses are known to restrict density of bacterial and archaeal populations. Due to the complex growth requirements of the deep subsurface microbiomes, the new knowledge about their diversity and functions is mostly obtained by molecular methods, eg, meta'omics'. Geomicrobiology is a multidisciplinary research area combining disciplines from geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, and microbiology. Geomicrobiology is concerned with the interaction of microorganisms and geological processes. At the surface of mineralogical or rock surfaces, geomicrobial processes occur mainly under aerobic conditions. In the deep subsurface, however, the environmental conditions are reducing and anaerobic. The present chapter describes the world of microbiomes in deep terrestrial geological environments as well as metagenomic and metatranscriptomic methods suitable for studies of these enigmatic communities.

  9. Elemental composition of the Martian crust.

    PubMed

    McSween, Harry Y; Taylor, G Jeffrey; Wyatt, Michael B

    2009-05-08

    The composition of Mars' crust records the planet's integrated geologic history and provides clues to its differentiation. Spacecraft and meteorite data now provide a global view of the chemistry of the igneous crust that can be used to assess this history. Surface rocks on Mars are dominantly tholeiitic basalts formed by extensive partial melting and are not highly weathered. Siliceous or calc-alkaline rocks produced by melting and/or fractional crystallization of hydrated, recycled mantle sources, and silica-poor rocks produced by limited melting of alkali-rich mantle sources, are uncommon or absent. Spacecraft data suggest that martian meteorites are not representative of older, more voluminous crust and prompt questions about their use in defining diagnostic geochemical characteristics and in constraining mantle compositional models for Mars.

  10. Deep-ocean ferromanganese crusts and nodules

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hein, James R.; Koschinsky, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Ferromanganese crusts and nodules may provide a future resource for a large variety of metals, including many that are essential for emerging high- and green-technology applications. A brief review of nodules and crusts provides a setting for a discussion on the latest (past 10 years) research related to the geochemistry of sequestration of metals from seawater. Special attention is given to cobalt, nickel, titanium, rare earth elements and yttrium, bismuth, platinum, tungsten, tantalum, hafnium, tellurium, molybdenum, niobium, zirconium, and lithium. Sequestration from seawater by sorption, surface oxidation, substitution, and precipitation of discrete phases is discussed. Mechanisms of metal enrichment reflect modes of formation of the crusts and nodules, such as hydrogenetic (from seawater), diagenetic (from porewaters), and mixed diagenetic–hydrogenetic processes.

  11. Elemental Composition of the Martian Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McSween, Harry Y.; Taylor, G. Jeffrey; Wyatt, Michael B.

    2009-05-01

    The composition of Mars’ crust records the planet’s integrated geologic history and provides clues to its differentiation. Spacecraft and meteorite data now provide a global view of the chemistry of the igneous crust that can be used to assess this history. Surface rocks on Mars are dominantly tholeiitic basalts formed by extensive partial melting and are not highly weathered. Siliceous or calc-alkaline rocks produced by melting and/or fractional crystallization of hydrated, recycled mantle sources, and silica-poor rocks produced by limited melting of alkali-rich mantle sources, are uncommon or absent. Spacecraft data suggest that martian meteorites are not representative of older, more voluminous crust and prompt questions about their use in defining diagnostic geochemical characteristics and in constraining mantle compositional models for Mars.

  12. Lunar apatite with terrestrial volatile abundances.

    PubMed

    Boyce, Jeremy W; Liu, Yang; Rossman, George R; Guan, Yunbin; Eiler, John M; Stolper, Edward M; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2010-07-22

    The Moon is thought to be depleted relative to the Earth in volatile elements such as H, Cl and the alkalis. Nevertheless, evidence for lunar explosive volcanism has been used to infer that some lunar magmas exsolved a CO-rich and CO(2)-rich vapour phase before or during eruption. Although there is also evidence for other volatile species on glass spherules, until recently there had been no unambiguous reports of indigenous H in lunar rocks. Here we report quantitative ion microprobe measurements of late-stage apatite from lunar basalt 14053 that document concentrations of H, Cl and S that are indistinguishable from apatites in common terrestrial igneous rocks. These volatile contents could reflect post-magmatic metamorphic volatile addition or growth from a late-stage, interstitial, sulphide-saturated melt that contained approximately 1,600 parts per million H(2)O and approximately 3,500 parts per million Cl. Both metamorphic and igneous models of apatite formation suggest a volatile inventory for at least some lunar materials that is similar to comparable terrestrial materials. One possible implication is that portions of the lunar mantle or crust are more volatile-rich than previously thought.

  13. Hafnium isotope stratigraphy of ferromanganese crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, D.-C.; Halliday, A.N.; Hein, J.R.; Burton, K.W.; Christensen, J.N.; Gunther, D.

    1999-01-01

    A Cenozoic record of hafnium isotopic compositions of central Pacific deep water has been obtained from two ferromanganese crusts. The crusts are separated by more than 3000 kilometers but display similar secular variations. Significant fluctuations in hafnium isotopic composition occurred in the Eocene and Oligocene, possibly related to direct advection from the Indian and Atlantic oceans. Hafnium isotopic compositions have remained approximately uniform for the past 20 million years, probably reflecting increased isolation of the central Pacific. The mechanisms responsible for the increase in 87Sr/86Sr in seawater through the Cenozoic apparently had no effect on central Pacific deep-water hafnium.

  14. Crusted scabies and multiple dosages of ivermectin.

    PubMed

    Ortega-Loayza, Alex G; McCall, Calvin O; Nunley, Julia R

    2013-05-01

    We present the case of a bone marrow transplant patient who was diagnosed with crusted scabies but did not respond to the usual approach with topical permethrin and ivermectin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were contacted and suggested a 7-dose regimen of ivermectin. The patient started to improve remarkably after the third dose, and the skin eruption was resolved after 7 doses. This case supports the use of a more prolonged course of oral ivermectin for crusted scabies in those who fail the conventional approach.

  15. The measurement of 129I in ferromanganese crusts and aerosol samples with AMS at CIAE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Kejun; Jiang, Shan; He, Ming; Lin, Min; Ouyang, Yinggen; Wu, Shaoyong; Xie, Linbo; Liu, Guangshan; Ji, Lihong; Li, Qi; Wang, Shilian

    2015-06-01

    The determination of long-lived nuclide 129I in terrestrial formations has many important applications. The AMS measurement method of 129I has been set up for many years at China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). For further exploring the potential applications of 129I, samples of Deep Sea Ferromanganese Crusts (DSFC) and aerosol were analyzed by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS). The results show that 129I is not only a good tool for dating, but also an ideal nuclide for nuclear safety monitoring. The newest experimental progress and the main results are detailed in this presentation.

  16. Microbial Life of North Pacific Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumann, G.; Koos, R.; Manz, W.; Reitner, J.

    2003-12-01

    Information on the microbiology of the deep subsurface is necessary in order to understand the factors controlling the rate and extent of the microbially catalyzed reactions that influence the geophysical properties of these environments. Drilling into 45-Ma oceanic basaltic crust in a deepwater environment during ODP Leg 200 provided a promising opportunity to explore the abundance, diversity and activity of micro-organisms. The combined use of culture-independent molecular phylogenetic analyses and enrichment culture techniques is an advantageous approach in investigating subsurface microbial ecosystems. Enrichment culture methods allow the evaluation of potential activities and functions. Microbiological investigations revealed few aerobic cultivable, in part hitherto unknown, micro-organisms in deep submarine sediments and basaltic lava flows. 16S rDNA sequencing of isolates from sediment revealed the next relatives to be members of the genera Halomonas, Pseudomonas, and Lactobacillus. Within the Pseudomonadaceae the closest relative is Acinetobacter sp., which was isolated from a deep subsurface environment. The next phylogenetical relatives within the Halomonadaceae are bacteria typically isolated from Soda lakes, which are considered as model of early life conditions. Interestingly, not only sediment bacteria could be obtained in pure culture. Aerobic strains could also be successfully isolated from the massive tholeiitic basalt layer at a depth of 76.16 mbsf (46 m below the sediment/basement contact). These particular isolates are gram-positive with low G+C content of DNA, phylogenetically affiliated to the phylum Firmicutes. The closest neighbors are e.g. a marine Bacillus isolated from the Gulf of Mexico and a low G+C gram-positive bacterium, which belongs to the microbial flora in the deepest sea mud of the Mariana Trench, isolated from a depth of 10,897 m. Based on the similarity values, the isolates represent hitherto undescribed species of the deep

  17. Pristine Igneous Rocks and the Early Differentiation of Planetary Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, Paul H.

    1998-01-01

    Our studies are highly interdisciplinary, but are focused on the processes and products of early planetary and asteroidal differentiation, especially the genesis of the ancient lunar crust. Most of the accessible lunar crust consists of materials hybridized by impact-mixing. Rare pristine (unmixed) samples reflect the original genetic diversity of the early crust. We studied the relative importance of internally generated melt (including the putative magma ocean) versus large impact melts in early lunar magmatism, through both sample analysis and physical modeling. Other topics under investigation included: lunar and SNC (martian?) meteorites; igneous meteorites in general; impact breccias, especially metal-rich Apollo samples and polymict eucrites; effects of regolith/megaregolith insulation on thermal evolution and geochronology; and planetary bulk compositions and origins. We investigated the theoretical petrology of impact melts, especially those formed in large masses, such as the unejected parts of the melts of the largest lunar and terrestrial impact basins. We developed constraints on several key effects that variations in melting/displacement ratio (a strong function of both crater size and planetary g) have on impact melt petrology. Modeling results indicate that the impact melt-derived rock in the sampled, megaregolith part of the Moon is probably material that was ejected from deeper average levels than the non-impact-melted material (fragmental breccias and unbrecciated pristine rocks). In the largest lunar impacts, most of the impact melt is of mantle origin and avoids ejection from the crater, while most of the crust, and virtually all of the impact-melted crust, in the area of the crater is ejected. We investigated numerous extraordinary meteorites and Apollo rocks, emphasizing pristine rocks, siderophile and volatile trace elements, and the identification of primary partial melts, as opposed to partial cumulates. Apollo 15 sample 15434,28 is an

  18. Compositional dependence of sulfur speciation in Terrestrial and Martian magmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nash, William; Wood, Bernard; Smythe, Duane

    2016-04-01

    The capacity of magmas to transport sulfur from mantle to crust strongly influences a planet's surface chemistry. Sulfur is perhaps exceptional among the elements in the diversity of it's chemical speciation, exhibiting four redox species at geologically relevant conditions: sulfide (2-), elemental sulfur (0), sulfite (4+) and sulphate (6+). Furthermore, the solubility of sulfur in a magma (and hence the magma's capacity for delivering mantle-derived sulfur to the crust) depends critically on it's oxidation state. Our aim with this experimental study was to quantitatively determine the chemical speciation of sulfur within several common magmas, as a function of oxygen fugacity (fO2). We have performed a series of experiments on six sulfur-bearing silicate melts, which together represent a broad range of naturally occurring compositions: two putative Martian basalts, two terrestrial MORBs (one primitive, one evolved), an andesite, and a dacite. These melts were equilibrated together (at one-atmosphere pressure, 1300°C) with various CO-CO2-SO2 gas mixtures, which imposed a range of fO2s. This range spanned -2 to +1.6 log units (relative to the Quartz-Fayalite-Magnetite or QFM buffer), and the step-size was 0.25 log units. The quenched glasses were analyzed by X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (specifically XANES) at the Diamond synchrotron (UK), and the spectra obtained were used to determine the species of sulfur present in each glass. The chemical composition of each glass (including their sulfur contents) was characterized by electron-probe microanalysis. Despite the generally low concentrations of sulfur in our glasses (never exceeding 0.24 wt%), we have clearly resolved the crossover between reduced (S2-) and oxidized (S6+) species for three of our basalts. The other three melts yielded more noisy XANES spectra, and as a result their redox crossovers are visible, but less clearly resolved. For every melt composition, the redox crossover is a continuous (though

  19. Reconstruction of food webs in biological soil crusts using metabolomics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baran, Richard; Brodie, Eoin L.; Mayberry-Lewis, Jazmine; Nunes Da Rocha, Ulisses; Bowen, Benjamin P.; Karaoz, Ulas; Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Northen, Trent R.

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are communities of organisms inhabiting the upper layer of soil in arid environments. BSCs persist in a dessicated dormant state for extended periods of time and experience pulsed periods of activity facilitated by infrequent rainfall. Microcoleus vaginatus, a non-diazotrophic filamentous cyanobacterium, is the key primary producer in BSCs in the Colorado Plateau and is an early pioneer in colonizing arid environments. Over decades, BSCs proceed through developmental stages with increasing complexity of constituent microorganisms and macroscopic properties. Metabolic interactions among BSC microorganisms probably play a key role in determining the community dynamics and cycling of carbon and nitrogen. However, these metabolic interactions have not been studied systematically. Towards this goal, exometabolomic analysis was performed using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry on biological soil crust pore water and spent media of key soil bacterial isolates. Comparison of spent vs. fresh media was used to determine uptake or release of metabolites by specific microbes. To link pore water experiments with isolate studies, metabolite extracts of authentic soil were used as supplements for isolate exometabolomic profiling. Our soil metabolomics methods detected hundreds of metabolites from soils including many novel compounds. Overall, Microcoleus vaginatus was found to release and utilize a broad range of metabolites. Many of these metabolites were also taken up by heterotrophs but there were surprisingly few metabolites uptaken by all isolates. This points to a competition for a small set of central metabolites and specialization of individual heterotrophs towards a diverse pool of available organic nutrients. Overall, these data suggest that understanding the substrate specialization of biological soil crust bacteria can help link community structure to nutrient cycling.

  20. Correlates of biological soil crust abundance across a continuum of spatial scales: Support for a hierarchical conceptual model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowker, M.A.; Belnap, J.; Davidson, D.W.; Goldstein, H.

    2006-01-01

    1. Desertification negatively impacts a large proportion of the global human population and > 30% of the terrestrial land surface. Better methods are needed to detect areas that are at risk of desertification and to ameliorate desertified areas. Biological soil crusts are an important soil lichen-moss-microbial community that can be used toward these goals, as (i) bioindicators of desertification damage and (ii) promoters of soil stability and fertility. 2. We identified environmental factors that correlate with soil crust occurrence on the landscape and might be manipulated to assist recovery of soil crusts in degraded areas. We conducted three studies on the Colorado Plateau, USA, to investigate the hypotheses that soil fertility [particularly phosphorus (P), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn)] and/or moisture limit soil crust lichens and mosses at four spatial scales. 3. In support of the soil fertility hypothesis, we found that lichen-moss crusts were positively correlated with several nutrients [Mn, Zn, potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) were most consistent] at three of four spatial scales ranging from 3.5 cm2 in area to c. 800 km2. In contrast, P was negatively correlated with lichen-moss crusts at three scales. 4. Community composition varied with micro-aspect on ridges in the soil crust. Three micro-aspects [north-north-west (NNW), east-north-east (ENE) and TOP] supported greater lichen and moss cover than the warmer, windward and more xeric micro-aspects [west-south-west (WSW) and south-south-east (SSE)]. This pattern was poorly related to soil fertility; rather, it was consistent with the moisture limitation hypothesis. 5. Synthesis and application. Use of crusts as desertification bioindicators requires knowledge of a site's potential for crust cover in the absence of desertification. We present a multi-scale model of crust potential as a function of site properties. Future quantitative studies can use this model to guide sampling efforts. Also, our results

  1. Resonant Shattering of Neutron Star Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsang, David; Read, Jocelyn; Piro, Anthony; Hinderer, Tanja

    2014-08-01

    The resonant excitation of neutron star (NS) modes by tides is investigated as a source of short gamma-ray burst (sGRB) precursors. We find that the driving of a crust-core interface mode can lead to shattering of the NS crust, liberating ~10^46-10^47 erg of energy secondsbefore the merger of a NS-NS or NS-black hole binary. Such properties are consistent with Swift/BAT detections of sGRB precursors, and we use the timing of the observed precursors to place weak constraints on the crust equation of state. We describe how a larger sample of precursor detections could be used alongside coincident gravitational wave detections of the inspiral by Advanced LIGO class detectors to probe the NS structure. These two types of observations nicely complement one another, since the former constrains the equation of state and structure near the crust-core boundary, while the latter is more sensitive to the core equation of state. I will also discuss shattering flares as electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave bursts during parabolic and elliptic encounters in dense star clusters.

  2. Electrical conductivity of the continental crust

    SciTech Connect

    Glover, P.W.J.; Vine, F.J. |

    1994-11-01

    Geophysical measurements indicate that the Earth`s continental lower crust has a high electrical conductivity for which no simple cause has been found. Explanation usually relies on either saline fluids saturating the pores, or interconnected highly conducting minerals such as graphite, Fe/Ti oxides and sulfides, providing conducting pathways. Attempts in the laboratory to clarify the problem have, hitherto, been unable to recreate conditions likely to be present at depth by controlling the confining pressure and pore fluid pressure applied to a rock saturated with saline fluids at temperatures between 270 C and 1000 C. Here we report conductivity data obtained using a cell designed to make such measurements on rocks saturated with saline fluids. Our results show that the conductivity of saturated samples of acidic rocks is explicable entirely in terms of conduction through the pore fluid whereas the conductivity of saturated basic rocks requires the presence of an additional conduction mechanism(s). We have used the experimental data to construct electrical conductivity/depth profiles for the continental crust, which, when compared with profiles obtained from magnetotelluric observations, demonstrate that a mid to lower crust composed of amphibolite saturated with 0.5 M NaCl shows electrical conductivities sufficient to explain conductivity/depth profiles for the continental crust inferred from geophysical measurements.

  3. Norwegian crusted scabies: an unusual case presentation.

    PubMed

    Maghrabi, Michael M; Lum, Shireen; Joba, Ameha T; Meier, Molly J; Holmbeck, Ryan J; Kennedy, Kate

    2014-01-01

    Scabies is a contagious condition that is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person and has been frequently associated with institutional and healthcare-facility outbreaks. The subtype Norwegian crusted scabies can masquerade as other dermatologic diseases owing to the heavy plaque formation. Successful treatment has been documented in published reports, including oral ivermectin and topical permethrin. Few case studies documenting the treatment of Norwegian crusted scabies have reported the use of surgical debridement as an aid to topical and/or oral treatment when severe plaque formation has been noted. A nursing home patient was admitted to the hospital for severe plaque formation of both feet. A superficial biopsy was negative for both fungus and scabies because of the severity of the plaque formation on both feet. The patient underwent a surgical, diagnostic biopsy of both feet, leading to the diagnosis of Norwegian crusted scabies. A second surgical debridement was then performed to remove the extensive plaque formation and aid the oral ivermectin and topical permethrin treatment. The patient subsequently made a full recovery and was discharged back to the nursing home. At 2 and 6 months after treatment, the patient remained free of scabies infestation, and the surgical wound had healed uneventfully. The present case presentation has demonstrated that surgical debridement can be complementary to the standard topical and oral medications in the treatment of those with Norwegian crusted scabies infestation.

  4. Continental crust in deep-water basins of East Arctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artyushkov, Eugene; Belyaev, Igor; Chekhovich, Peter; Poselov, Victor

    2013-04-01

    The nature of the crust in deep-water basins (1.5-4 km) in East Arctic is a matter of debates. The occurrence of continental crust has been demonstrated by deep-sea drilling only for the central part of the Lomonosov Ridge. Many authors suggest that the Mendeleev High and the Makarov and Podvodnikov basins in the Amerasian Basin are underlain by oceanic crust. In these regions the mean P-wave velocities in the consolidated crust are higher than in most continental areas. However, the thickness of this layer is several times larger (15-30 km) than that of the oceanic crust (7 km) and it includes a thin granitic layer (2-5 km). To explain this anomalous structure and thickness of the crust it is commonly supposed that in the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous the oceanic crust was formed in the above regions by sea-floor spreading accompanies by melting out of large masses of crustal material on a hot spot like on the present Iceland hot spot. Other investigators consider the crust in the above regions as a continental one. An important argument is the evolution of the subsidence in time which is quite different from a square root of time that typical of oceanic crust. Thus, according to the dredging data, the Mendeleev High remained near to sea level for 170 Myr since the Late Silurian and until the Early Permian. This would be absolutely impossible for a cooling hot spot on the oceanic crust. Furthermore, the structure of consolidated crust in these areas is similar to that in some ultradeep basins within the continents and on their passive margins, e.g., in the East Barents, North Caspian and North Chukchi basins which were originally formed on continental crust. To produce the water loaded subsidence by 1.5-4 km by lithospheric stretching, the lithosphere should be stretched by 1.5-4 times. However, in most of the seismic reflection profiles, no large tensile deformations can be observed. Under such circumstances the transformation of gabbro in the lower crust into

  5. Solar Terrestrial Observatory Space Station Workshop Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, W. T. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    In response to a need to develop and document requirements of the Solar Terrestrial Observatory at an early time, a mini-workshop was organized and held on June 6, 1985. The participants at this workshop set as their goal the preliminary definition of the following areas: (1) instrument descriptions; (2) placement of instrumentation on the IOC Space Station; (3) servicing and repair assessment; and (4) operational scenarios. This report provides a synopsis of the results of that workshop.

  6. Misho mafic complex - A part of paleotethyan oceanic crust or a magmatism in continental rift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azimzadeh, Zohreh; Jahangiri, Ahmad; Saccani, Emilio; Dilek, Yildirim

    2013-04-01

    Misho Mafic Complex (NW Iran) represents a significant component of the West Cimmerian domain in Paleo-Tethys. The Misho Mafic Complex (MMC) consists of gabbro (mainly) and norıte,olivine gabbro, anorthosite and diorite with the east- west sereight. MMC has ıntrussıved ın Kahar sedımrtery Infta- Cambrıan rocks, crosscut by abundant basaltic dykes and the overlying basaltic sheeted dyke complex. Kahar sedimentary rocks are representing the northern margin of Gondwana. Misho mafic complex are covered by Permian sedimentary rocks. The gabbros and basaltic dykes have MORB affinities. MMC formed as a product of interactions between a depleted MORB-type asthenosphere and plume-type material. Mafic rocks represent an early Carboniferous magmatic event developed during the continental break-up of the northern edge of Gondwanaland that led to the opening of Paleotethys. Alternatively, these magmas may have been emplaced into the continental crust at the continental margin soon after the oceanic crust was formed (that is the oceanic crust was still narrow). There is no data for discriminating between these two hypotheses. In first hypothesis MMC is a part of ophiolites related to paleotethyan oceanic crust and the rocks that were above this crustal level should have necessarily been eroded. In another hypothesis Misho complex represents an aborted rift in a triple junction. Above a mantle plume, the continental crust breaks along three directions at 120 degrees. But, soon after, the extension proceeds along two of these three direction. Between them is formed the oceanic crust. The continental extension along the third direction is aborted. Here no oceanic crust if formed and there is only rifted, thinned continental crust. But, also in the aborted branch MORB magmatism can occur for short time. In this hypothesis, the Misho complex was never associated with oceanic crust, but was anyway associated with the opening of the Paleotethys. This magmatism was originally

  7. Drought effect on biocrust resilience: High-speed winds result in crust burial and crust rupture and flaking.

    PubMed

    Kidron, Giora J; Ying, Wang; Starinsky, Abraham; Herzberg, Moshe

    2017-02-01

    Once established, biocrusts (known also as biological soil crusts or microbiotic crusts) are thought to be relatively resilient to wind erosion, with crust burial being considered as the main mechanism responsible for crust death. Thus far, to the best of our knowledge, crust flaking and rupture under natural conditions were not reported. We report herein a two-year study during two severe drought years (2010-2012) in a dunefield in the Negev Desert during which in addition to crust burial, crust rupture and flaking also took place. As for crust burial, it took place under sand sheets or coppice dunes (mounds). Subsequent removal of the coppice dunes by wind resulted in crust disintegration and erosion of the formerly buried crust and the formation of patches devoid of crusts termed herein 'erosion cirques'. As for crust flaking and rupture, it is explained by a large change in the properties of the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) composing the crust. The EPS adherence and viscoelastic properties were monitored using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCD-M) technology. EPS adherence and viscoelastic properties deduced from the QCM-D experiments suggest that crust coherence and elasticity, mediated by the EPS, were affected by droughts. Although crust flaking affected up to 25% of the interdunal surface, it is suggested that with continuous rain shortage, further crust flaking is likely to take place under continuous drought-driven dry surface conditions. This positive feedback mechanism, during which initially eroded crusts trigger additional crust erosion, may have severe consequences on the structure and function of drought-prone ecosystems, and may endanger the stability of dunefields, causing dust storms, triggering dune encroachment and declining air quality.

  8. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  9. Acid fog Deposition of Crusts on Basaltic Tephra Deposits in the Sand Wash Region of Kilauea Volcano: A Possible Mechanism for Siliceous-Sulfatic Crusts on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiffman, P.; Zierenberg, R.; Marks, N.; Bishop, J. L.

    2004-12-01

    Although the presence of sulfate minerals in martian outcrops may imply the prior existence of standing bodies of surface water, in terrestrial volcanic settings, sulfatic alteration may also occur above the water table within the vadose zone. On the summit of Kilauea volcano, sulfur dioxide, which is continuously emitted from Halemaumau crater and rapidly sequestered into sulfuric acid-rich aerosol entrained in the prevailing trade winds, is subsequently precipitated as acid-fog immediately downwind from the caldera in the Kau Desert. The characteristic pH of surface tephra deposits is < 4.0 in Sand Wash, a region of continuous, acidic aerosol fall-out immediately SW of the caldera. The upper portion of the Keanakakoi Ash tephra in Sand Wash, deposited in the late 18th century, has a ubiquitous, 0.1-0.2 mm-thick coating of amorphous silica. Conversely, vertical walls of unconsolidated tephra, exposed within small, dry gullies eroded into the ca. 3-4 m-thick Keanakakoi section at Sand Wash, are coated with ca. 0.5-1.0 mm-thick, mixed amorphous silica and jarosite-bearing crusts. Since these crusts are denuded from their outcrops during ephemeral, but probably annual flooding events in Sand Wash, we believe that they must accumulate rapidly. These crusts are apparently formed via an evaporative mechanism whereby acidic pore fluids, circulating in the upper few m's within the highly porous tephra, are wicked towards the walls of the gullies. Geochemical modeling of the crust-forming process implies that the sulfate formation via evaporation occurs subsequent to minimal interaction of acidic pore fluids with the basaltic tephra. This also suggests that the cycle from acid-fog fall-out to precipitation of the siliceous-sulfatic crusts must occur quite rapidly. Production of siliceous-sulfatic crusts via acid-fog alteration may also be occurring on Mars. The occurrence of evaporitic sulfate and silica at Sand Wash in Kilauea may serve as an example of how the jarosite

  10. Stability of clathrate hydrates in Martian crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gloesener, Elodie; Karatekin, Özgür; Dehant, Véronique

    2014-05-01

    Clathrate hydrates are crystalline compounds constituted by cages formed by hydrogen-bonded water molecules inside of which guest gas molecules are trapped. These materials are typically stable at high pressure and low temperature and are present on Earth mainly in marine sediments and in permafrost. Moreover, clathrate hydrates are expected to exist on celestial bodies like the icy moons Titan, Europa or Enceladus. Current conditions in the Martian crust are favourable to the presence of clathrate hydrates. In this study, we focused on the stability of methane and carbon dioxide clathrates in the Martian crust. We coupled the stability conditions of clathrates with a 1D thermal model in order to obtain the variations of the clathrate stability zone in the crust of Mars with time and for different crust compositions. Indeed, the type of soil directly controls the geothermal conditions and therefore the depth of clathrates formation. Unconsolidated soil acts as a thermal insulator and prevents the clathrates formation in the crust except on a small part of a few tens of meters thick. In contrast, sandstone or ice-cemented soil allows the clathrates formation with a stability zone of several kilometers. This is explained by the fact that they evacuate heat more efficiently and thus maintain lower temperatures. We also studied the stability zone of clathrates formed from a mixture of methane and hydrogen sulphide as well as from a mixture of methane and nitrogen. Contrary to the addition of N2, the addition of H2S to CH4 clathrates extends the stability zone and thus brings it closer to the surface. Therefore, mixed clathrates CH4-H2S will be more easily destabilized by changes in surface temperature than CH4 clathrates.

  11. Geophysical and geochemical nature of relaminated arc-derived lower crust underneath oceanic domain in southern Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guy, Alexandra; Schulmann, Karel; Janoušek, Vojtech; Štípská, Pavla; Armstrong, Robin; Belousova, Elena; Dolgopolova, Alla; Seltmann, Reimar; Lexa, Ondrej; Jiang, Yingde; Hanžl, Pavel

    2016-04-01

    The Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) in southern Mongolia consists of E-W trending Neoproterozoic cratons and Silurian-Devonian oceanic tectonic zones. Previous study revealed that the Early Paleozoic accretionary wedge and the oceanic tectonic zone are underlain by a layer giving a homogeneous gravity signal. Forward gravity modelling suggests that this layer is not formed of high-density material typical of lower oceanic crust but is composed of low- to intermediate-density rocks resembling continental crust. The nature of this lower crust is constrained by the whole-rock geochemistry and zircon Hf isotopic signature of abundant Late Carboniferous high-K calc-alkaline and Early Permian A-type granitoids intruding the two Early Paleozoic domains. It is possible to explain the genesis of these granitoids by anatexis of juvenile, metaigneous (tonalitic-gabbroic) rocks of Late Cambrian age, the source of which is presumed to lie in the "Khantaishir" arc (520-495Ma) further north. In order to test this hypothesis, the likely modal composition and density of Khantaishir arc-like protoliths are thermodynamically modelled at granulite- and higher amphibolite-facies conditions. It is shown that the current average density of the lower crust inferred by gravity modelling (2730 ±20kg/m3) matches best metamorphosed leucotonalite to diorite. Based on these results, it is now proposed that Mongolian CAOB has an architecture in which the accretionary wedge and oceanic upper crust is underlain by allochthonous lower crust that originated in a Cambrian arc. A tectonic model explaining relamination of allochthonous felsic to intermediate lower crust beneath mafic upper crust is proposed.

  12. Volcanic ash - Terrestrial versus extraterrestrial

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, J. A.

    1976-01-01

    A principal difference between terrestrial and extraterrestrial lavas may consist in the greater ability of terrestrial lavas to form thin films (like those of soap bubbles) and hence foams. It would follow that, in place of the pumice and spiny shards found in terrestrial volcanic ash, an extraterrestrial ash should contain minute spherules. This hypothesis may help to explain lunar microspherules.

  13. Hydrothermal hydration of Martian crust: illustration via geochemical model calculations.

    PubMed

    Griffith, L L; Shock, E L

    1997-04-25

    If hydrothermal Systems existed on Mars, hydration of crustal rocks may have had the potential to affect the water budget of the planet. We have conducted geochemical model calculations to investigate the relative roles of host rock composition, temperature, water-to-rock ratio, and initial fluid oxygen fugacity on the mineralogy of hydrothermal alteration assemblages, as well as the effectiveness of alteration to store water in the crust as hydrous minerals. In order to place calculations for Mars in perspective, models of hydrothermal alteration of three genetically related Icelandic volcanics (a basalt, andesite, and rhyolite) are presented, together with results for compositions based on SNC meteorite samples (Shergotty and Chassigny). Temperatures from 150 degrees C to 250 degrees C, water-to-rock ratios from 0.1 to 1000, and two initial fluid oxygen fugacities are considered in the models. Model results for water-to-rock ratios less than 10 are emphasized because they are likely to be more applicable to Mars. In accord with studies of low-grade alteration of terrestrial rocks, we find that the major controls on hydrous mineral production are host rock composition and temperature. Over the range of conditions considered, the alteration of Shergotty shows the greatest potential for storing water as hydrous minerals, and the alteration of Icelandic rhyolite has the lowest potential.

  14. Hydrothermal hydration of Martian crust: illustration via geochemical model calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffith, L. L.; Shock, E. L.

    1997-01-01

    If hydrothermal Systems existed on Mars, hydration of crustal rocks may have had the potential to affect the water budget of the planet. We have conducted geochemical model calculations to investigate the relative roles of host rock composition, temperature, water-to-rock ratio, and initial fluid oxygen fugacity on the mineralogy of hydrothermal alteration assemblages, as well as the effectiveness of alteration to store water in the crust as hydrous minerals. In order to place calculations for Mars in perspective, models of hydrothermal alteration of three genetically related Icelandic volcanics (a basalt, andesite, and rhyolite) are presented, together with results for compositions based on SNC meteorite samples (Shergotty and Chassigny). Temperatures from 150 degrees C to 250 degrees C, water-to-rock ratios from 0.1 to 1000, and two initial fluid oxygen fugacities are considered in the models. Model results for water-to-rock ratios less than 10 are emphasized because they are likely to be more applicable to Mars. In accord with studies of low-grade alteration of terrestrial rocks, we find that the major controls on hydrous mineral production are host rock composition and temperature. Over the range of conditions considered, the alteration of Shergotty shows the greatest potential for storing water as hydrous minerals, and the alteration of Icelandic rhyolite has the lowest potential.

  15. The Mafic Lower Crust of Neoproterozoic age beneath Western Arabia: Implications for Understanding African Lower Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, R. J.; Mooney, W. D.

    2011-12-01

    We review evidence that the lower crust of Arabia - and by implication, that beneath much of Africa was formed at the same time as the upper crust, rather than being a product of Cenozoic magmatic underplating. Arabia is a recent orphan of Africa, separated by opening of the Red Sea ~20 Ma, so our understanding of its lower crust provides insights into that of Africa. Arabian Shield (exposed in W. Arabia) is mostly Neoproterozoic (880-540 Ma) reflecting a 300-million year process of continental crustal growth due to amalgamated juvenile magmatic arcs welded together by granitoid intrusions that make up as much as 50% of the Shield's surface. Seismic refraction studies of SW Arabia (Mooney et al., 1985) reveal two layers, each ~20 km thick, separated by a well-defined Conrad discontinuity. The upper crust has average Vp ~6.3 km/sec whereas the lower crust has average Vp ~7.0 km/sec, corresponding to a granitic upper crust and gabbroic lower crust. Neogene (<30 ma) lava fields in Arabia (harrats) extend over 2500 km, from Yemen to Syria. Many of these lavas contain xenoliths, providing a remarkable glimpse of the lower-crustal and upper-mantle lithosphere beneath W. Arabia. Lower crustal xenoliths brought up in 8 harrats in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria are mostly 2-pyroxene granulites of igneous (gabbroic, anorthositic, and dioritic) origin. They contain plagioclase, orthopyroxene, and clinopyroxene, and a few contain garnet and rare amphibole and yield mineral-equilibrium temperatures of 700-900°C. Pyroxene-rich and plagioclase-rich suites have mean Al2O3 contents of 13% and 19%, respectively: otherwise the two groups have similar elemental compositions, with ~50% SiO2 and ~1% TiO2, with low K2O (<0.5%) and Na2O (1-3%). Both groups show tholeiitic affinities, unrelated to their alkali basalt hosts. Mean pyroxene-rich and plagioclase-rich suites show distinct mean MgO contents (11% vs. 7%), Mg# (67 vs. 55), and contents of compatible elements Ni (169 vs. 66 ppm

  16. Vlasov formalism for extended relativistic mean field models: The crust-core transition and the stellar matter equation of state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pais, Helena; Providência, Constança

    2016-07-01

    The Vlasov formalism is extended to relativistic mean field hadron models with nonlinear terms up to fourth order and applied to the calculation of the crust-core transition density. The effect of the nonlinear ω ρ and σ ρ coupling terms on the crust-core transition density and pressure and on the macroscopic properties of some families of hadronic stars is investigated. For that purpose, six families of relativistic mean field models are considered. Within each family, the members differ in the symmetry energy behavior. For all the models, the dynamical spinodals are calculated, and the crust-core transition density and pressure and the neutron star mass-radius relations are obtained. The effect on the star radius of the inclusion of a pasta calculation in the inner crust is discussed. The set of six models that best satisfy terrestrial and observational constraints predicts a radius of 13.6 ±0.3 km and a crust thickness of 1.36 ±0.06 km for a 1.4 M⊙ star.

  17. A review of noble gas geochemistry in relation to early Earth history

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurz, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    One of the most fundamental noble gas constraints on early Earth history is derived from isotopic differences in (129)Xe/(130)Xe between various terrestrial materials. The short half life (17 m.y.) of extinct (129I, parent of (129)Xe, means that these differences must have been produced within the first 100 m.y. after terrestrial accretion. The identification of large anomalies in (129)Xe/(130)Xe in mid ocean ridge basalts (MORB), with respect to atmospheric xenon, suggests that the atmosphere and upper mantle have remained separate since that time. This alone is a very strong argument for early catastrophic degassing, which would be consistent with an early fractionation resulting in core formation. However, noble gas isotopic systematics of oceanic basalts show that the mantle cannot necessarily be regarded as a homogeneous system, since there are significant variations in (3)He/(4)He, (40)Ar/(36)Ar, and (129)Xe/(130)Xe. Therefore, the early degassing cannot be considered to have acted on the whole mantle. The specific mechanisms of degassing, in particular the thickness and growth of the early crust, is an important variable in understanding present day noble gas inventories. Another constraint can be obtained from rocks that are thought to be derived from near the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary: ultramafic xenoliths.

  18. Emergence of blueschists on Earth linked to secular changes in oceanic crust composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palin, Richard M.; White, Richard W.

    2016-01-01

    The oldest blueschists--metamorphic rocks formed during subduction--are of Neoproterozoic age, and 0.7-0.8 billion years old. Yet, subduction of oceanic crust to mantle depths is thought to have occurred since the Hadean, over 4 billion years ago. Blueschists typically form under cold geothermal gradients of less than 400 °C GPa-1, so their absence in the ancient rock record is typically attributed to hotter pre-Neoproterozoic mantle prohibiting such low-temperature metamorphism; however, modern analogues of Archaean subduction suggest that blueschist-facies metamorphic conditions are attainable at the slab surface. Here we show that the absence of blueschists in the ancient geological record can be attributed to the changing composition of oceanic crust throughout Earth history, which is a consequence of secular cooling of the mantle since the Archaean. Oceanic crust formed on the hot, early Earth would have been rich in magnesium oxide (MgO). We use phase equilibria calculations to show that blueschists do not form in high-MgO rocks under subduction-related geothermal gradients. Instead, the subduction of MgO-rich oceanic crust would have created greenschist-like rocks--metamorphic rocks formed today at low temperatures and pressures. These ancient metamorphic products can hold about 20% more water than younger metamorphosed oceanic crust, implying that the global hydrologic cycle was more efficient in the deep geological past than today.

  19. Melt flow and hypersolidus deformation in the lower ocean crust: Preliminary observations from IODP Leg 345

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snow, J. E.; Koepke, J.; Falloon, T.; Abe, N.; Hoshide, T.; Akizawa, N.; Maeda, J.; Jean, M. M.; Cheadle, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    Models for the construction of the fast-spreading lower ocean crust include the gabbro glacier model (GGM), in which most crystallization occurs within a shallow melt lens and the resulting crystal mush subsides downwards and outwards by crystal sliding. Second, the Sheeted Sill Model (SSM) predicts magmatic injection at many levels in the crust, and requires rapid cooling of the lithosphere. A second set of models seeks to reconcile the relatively unevolved nature of most MORB with the existence of an extensive lower crust with both layering (in the lower crust) and highly evolved gabbros (in the upper plutonic sequence). The mechanisms involved here are melt aggregation during vertical porous flow in the lower crust as opposed to lateral sill injection and in-situ crystallization. Here we report new observations from IODP Expedition 345 to the Hess Deep Rift, where propagation of the Cocos Nazca Ridge (CNR) into young, fast-spreading East Pacific Rise (EPR) crust exposes a dismembered lower crustal section. Drilling in ~4850 m water depth produced 3 holes of 35 to 100 mbsf with ~30% recovery of primitive (Mg# 79-87) plutonic lithologies including troctolite, olivine gabbro, and olivine gabbronorite, showing cumulate textures found in layered mafic intrusions and some ophiolite complexes including: 1. Spectacular modal layering 2. Orthopyroxene very early on the liquidus compared to canonical MORB. 3. Delicate large (2-5 cm) skeletal and hopper structures in olivine. 4. Oikocrystic clinopyroxene enclosing chadacrysts different from the host assemblage. These complex relationships are only hinted at in the existing observations from the ocean floor, and will require significant lab study, however some preliminary inferences can be drawn from the petrographic observations. First, the textures observed in olivine throughout the cores are consistent with rapid crystallization, possibly due to steep thermal gradients in the lower crust. They occur early in the

  20. Estimating terrestrial uranium and thorium by antineutrino flux measurements.

    PubMed

    Dye, Stephen T; Guillian, Eugene H

    2008-01-08

    Uranium and thorium within the Earth produce a major portion of terrestrial heat along with a measurable flux of electron antineutrinos. These elements are key components in geophysical and geochemical models. Their quantity and distribution drive the dynamics, define the thermal history, and are a consequence of the differentiation of the Earth. Knowledge of uranium and thorium concentrations in geological reservoirs relies largely on geochemical model calculations. This article describes the methods and criteria to experimentally determine average concentrations of uranium and thorium in the continental crust and in the mantle by using site-specific measurements of the terrestrial antineutrino flux. Optimal, model-independent determinations involve significant exposures of antineutrino detectors remote from nuclear reactors at both a midcontinental and a midoceanic site. This would require major, new antineutrino detection projects. The results of such projects could yield a greatly improved understanding of the deep interior of the Earth.

  1. Time Scales: Terrestrial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, G.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Terrestrial time is at present derived from atomic clocks. The SI second, the unit of time of the international system of units, has been defined since 1967 in terms of a hyperfine transition of the cesium atom and the best primary frequency standards now realize it with a relative uncertainty of a few parts in 1015, which makes it the most accurately measurable physical quantity. INTERNATIONAL A...

  2. Interworking evolution of mobile satellite and terrestrial networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matyas, R.; Kelleher, P.; Moller, P.; Jones, T.

    1993-01-01

    There is considerable interest among mobile satellite service providers in interworking with terrestrial networks to provide a universal global network. With such interworking, subscribers may be provided a common set of services such as those planned for the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), and future Intelligent Networks (IN's). This paper first reviews issues in satellite interworking. Next the status and interworking plans of terrestrial mobile communications service providers are examined with early examples of mobile satellite interworking including a discussion of the anticipated evolution towards full interworking between mobile satellite and both fixed and mobile terrestrial networks.

  3. The fate of Ceres' original crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, James H.; Rivkin, Andrew S.

    2015-11-01

    The bulk density of Ceres implies that water ice comprises a substantial fraction of Ceres’ interior. However, water ice is not stable at Ceres orbital distance and if exposed would have a loss rate of 1 km Myr-1 or more. The near-hydrostatic shape of Ceres, and relatively low melting point of ice suggests that the interior is at least partly differentiated. Because Ceres’ surface remains exposed to space, it radiates very effectively, and models predicting differentiation retain an undifferentiated crust. This would be denser than the ice shell beneath it resulting in an unstable stratification. This has led to expectations that the crust would founder and the surface of Ceres might be very smooth and relaxed. But could the crust have remained to the present day?Here, we model global-scale overturn on Ceres using both analytical two-layer linear stability analyses, and numerical models to predict the most unstable wavelength, and growth timescales for Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. We find that for a 10 km-thick crust above a 75 km-thick ice layer, instabilities grow fastest at spherical harmonic degree l=4. The growth timescale is a function of the viscosity of the upper layer. This timescale is less than the age of the solar system unless the effective viscosity of the crust is > 1024 Pa s. We conclude that the crust of Ceres could remain at the surface if it either has some finite elastic strength over a ~800 km length scale, or is an unconsolidated regolith with a large, (> 50%) macro-porosity, such that the regolith is buoyant relative to water ice.Neither end-member for the crustal strength precludes convective activity in the underlying ice layer. However we note that a thick, porous regolith is a fantastic insulator and may promote heating of the interior and potential foundering of the regolith if the top of the ice becomes too warm. This possibility can be evaluated by models of thermal evolution (e.g., Castillo-Rogez et al., 2010). An episode of

  4. Influence of substrate rocks on Fe-Mn crust composition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hein, J.R.; Morgan, C.L.

    1999-01-01

    Principal Component and other statistical analyses of chemical and mineralogical data of Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide crusts and their underlying rock substrates in the central Pacific indicate that substrate rocks do not influence crust composition. Two ridges near Johnston Atoll were dredged repetitively and up to seven substrate rock types were recovered from small areas of similar water depths. Crusts were analyzed mineralogically and chemically for 24 elements, and substrates were analyzed mineralogically and chemically for the 10 major oxides. Compositions of crusts on phosphatized substrates are distinctly different from crusts on substrates containing no phosphorite. However, that relationship only indicates that the episodes of phosphatization that mineralized the substrate rocks also mineralized the crusts that grew on them. A two-fold increase in copper contents in crusts that grew on phosphatized clastic substrate rocks, relative to crusts on other substrate rock types, is also associated with phosphatization and must have resulted from chemical reorganization during diagenesis. Phosphatized crusts show increases in Sr, Zn, Ca, Ba, Cu, Ce, V, and Mo contents and decreases in Fe, Si, and As contents relative to non-phosphatized crusts. Our statistical results support previous studies which show that crust compositions reflect predominantly direct precipitation from seawater (hydrogenetic), and to lesser extents reflect detrital input and diagenetic replacement of parts of the older crust generation by carbonate fluorapatite.

  5. Melt evolution and residence in extending crust: Thermal modeling of the crust and crustal magmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karakas, Ozge; Dufek, Josef

    2015-09-01

    Tectonic extension and magmatism often act in concert to modify the thermal, mechanical, and chemical structure of the crust. Quantifying the effects of extension and magma flux on melting relationships in the crust is fundamental to determining the rate of crustal melting versus fractionation, magma residence time, and the growth of continental crust in rift environments. In order to understand the coupled control of tectonic extension and magma emplacement on crustal thermal evolution, we develop a numerical model that accounts for extension and thermal-petrographic processes in diverse extensional settings. We show that magma flux exerts the primary control on melt generation and tectonic extension amplifies the volume of melt residing in the crustal column. Diking into an extending crust produces hybrid magmas composed of 1) residual melt remaining after partial crystallization of basalt (mantle-derived melt) and 2) melt from partial melting of the crust (crustal melt). In an extending crust, mantle-derived melts are more prevalent than crustal melts across a range of magma fluxes, tectonic extension rates, and magmatic water contents. In most of the conditions, crustal temperatures do not reach their solidus temperatures to initiate partial melting of these igneous lithologies. Energy balance calculations show that the total enthalpy transported by dikes is primarily used for increasing the sensible heat of the cold surrounding crust with little energy contributing to latent heat of melting the crust (maximum crustal melting efficiency is 6%). In the lower crust, an extensive mush region develops for most of the conditions. Upper crustal crystalline mush is produced by continuous emplacement of magma with geologically reasonable flux and extension rates on timescales of 106 yr. Addition of tectonic effects and non-linear melt fraction relationships demonstrates that the magma flux required to sustain partially molten regions in the upper crust is within the

  6. Structure and Composition of the Lunar Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spudis, P. D.; Bussey, D. B. J.; Hawke, B. R.

    1999-01-01

    Since the first return of lunar samples indicated that global differentiation of the Moon had occurred, numerous models of crustal structure have been proposed. With the completion of the first global reconnaissance mapping by Clementine and Lunar Prospector, we are now in position to re-evaluate crustal structure and composition at a global scale. Although this is a difficult and complex task, and one requiring significant study, some first-order results are apparent now and are quite telling. We here summarize our current view of crustal structure and identify some required knowledge to better understand the origin and evolution of the lunar crust. Wood et al. attempted to estimate the amount of plagioclase in the crust, based on the average elevation difference between mare and highlands and some simple assumptions about anorthosite and basalt as responsible for the principal lunar rock types. Later, more complex models emerged, involving layered crusts of feldspathic material over more basaltic material or a laterally variable crust, with Mg-suite plutons intruding a grossly anorthositic crust. Later models attempted to reconcile these contrasting styles by incorporating both features. In part, crustal structure was inferred by the envisioned mode of crustal formation. A decade-long debate on the reality of the lunar "magma ocean," stimulated by the provocative notion of Walker that the Moon never had a magma ocean, and the recognition that the anorthosites and Mg suite probably recorded different and unrelated magmatic events. Such a scenario leaves much about crustal structure an open question, but allows for both lateral and vertical heterogeneity, thus accommodating both principal crustal models. Global maps of Fe , Ti, and Th both confirm old ideas and create new problems. It is clear that vast areas of the lunar highlands are extremely low in Fe, consistent with a significant amount of anorthosite. Such a distribution supports the magma ocean. However

  7. Terrestrial Subsurface Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Wilkins, Michael J.; Fredrickson, Jim K.

    2015-10-15

    The Earth’s crust is a solid cool layer that overlays the mantle, with a varying thickness of between 30-50 km on continental plates, and 5-10 km on oceanic plates. Continental crust is composed of a variety of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks that weather and re-form over geologic cycles lasting millions to billions of years. At the crust surface, these weathered minerals and organic material combine to produce a variety of soils types that provide suitable habitats and niches for abundant microbial diversity (see Chapter 4). Beneath this soil zone is the subsurface. Once thought to be relatively free of microorganisms, recent estimates have calculated that between 1016-1017 g C biomass (2-19% of Earth’s total biomass) may be present in this environment (Whitman et al., 1998;McMahon and Parnell, 2014). Microbial life in the subsurface exists across a wide range of habitats: in pores associated with relatively shallow unconsolidated aquifer sediments to fractures in bedrock formations that are more than a kilometer deep, where extreme lithostatic pressures and temperatures are encountered. While these different environments contain varying physical and chemical conditions, the absence of light is a constant. Despite this, diverse physiologies and metabolisms enable microorganisms to harness energy and carbon for growth in water-filled pore spaces and fractures. Carbon and other element cycles are driven by microbial activity, which has implications for both natural processes and human activities in the subsurface, e.g., bacteria play key roles in both hydrocarbon formation and degradation. Hydrocarbons are a major focus for human utilization of the subsurface, via oil and gas extraction and potential geologic CO2 sequestration. The subsurface is also utilized or being considered for sequestered storage of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power generation and residual waste from past production of weapons grade nuclear materials. While our

  8. Density Sorting During the Evolution of Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelemen, P. B.; Behn, M. D.; Hacker, B. R.

    2015-12-01

    We consider two settings - in addition to "delamination" of arc lower crust - in which dense, mafic eclogites founder into the convecting mantle while buoyant, felsic lithologies accumulate at the base of evolving continental crust. Arc processes play a central role in generating continental crust, but it remains uncertain how basaltic arc crust is transformed to andesitic continental crust. Dense, SiO2-poor products of fractionation may founder from the base of arc crust by "delamination", but lower arc crust after delamination has significantly different trace elements compared to lower continental crust (LCC). In an alternative model, buoyant magmatic rocks generated at arcs are first subducted, mainly via subduction erosion. Upon heating, these buoyant lithologies ascend through the mantle wedge or along a subduction channel, and are "relaminated" at
the base of overlying crust (e.g., Hacker et al EPSL 11, AREPS 15). Average buoyant lavas and plutons
for the Aleutians, Izu-Bonin-Marianas, Kohistan and Talkeetna arcs fall within the range of estimated LCC major and trace elements. Relamination is more efficient in generating continental crust than delamination. Himalayan cross-sections show Indian crust thrust beneath Tibetan crust, with no intervening mantle. There is a horizontal Moho at ca 80 km depth, extending from thickened Indian crust, across the region where Tibetan crust overlies Indian crust, into thickened Tibetan crust. About half the subducted Indian crust is present, whereas the other half is missing. Data (Vp/Vs; Miocene lavas formed by interaction of continental crust with mantle; xenolith thermometry) indicate 1000°C or more from ca 50 km depth to the Moho since the Miocene. We build on earlier studies (LePichon et al Tectonics 92, T'phys 97; Schulte-Pelkum et al Nature 05; Monsalve et al JGR 08) to advance the hypothesis that rapid growth of garnet occurs at 70-80 km and 1000°C within subducting Indian crust. Dense eclogites founder

  9. Towards a metallurgy of neutron star crusts.

    PubMed

    Kobyakov, D; Pethick, C J

    2014-03-21

    In the standard picture of the crust of a neutron star, matter there is simple: a body-centered-cubic lattice of nuclei immersed in an essentially uniform electron gas. We show that, at densities above that for neutron drip (∼ 4 × 1 0(11)  g cm(-3) or roughly one-thousandth of nuclear matter density), the interstitial neutrons give rise to an attractive interaction between nuclei that renders the lattice unstable. We argue that the likely equilibrium structure is similar to that in displacive ferroelectric materials such as BaTiO3. As a consequence, the properties of matter in the inner crust are expected to be much richer than previously appreciated, and we mention possible consequences for observable neutron star properties.

  10. Outer crust of nonaccreting cold neutron stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rüster, Stefan B.; Hempel, Matthias; Schaffner-Bielich, Jürgen

    2006-03-01

    The properties of the outer crust of nonaccreting cold neutron stars are studied by using modern nuclear data and theoretical mass tables, updating in particular the classic work of Baym, Pethick, and Sutherland. Experimental data from the atomic mass table from Audi, Wapstra, and Thibault of 2003 are used and a thorough comparison of many modern theoretical nuclear models, both relativistic and nonrelativistic, is performed for the first time. In addition, the influences of pairing and deformation are investigated. State-of-the-art theoretical nuclear mass tables are compared to check their differences concerning the neutron drip line, magic neutron numbers, the equation of state, and the sequence of neutron-rich nuclei up to the drip line in the outer crust of nonaccreting cold neutron stars.

  11. Temperature distribution in the crust and mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeanloz, R.; Morris, S.

    1986-01-01

    In an attempt to understand the temperature distribution in the earth, experimental constraints on the geotherm in the crust and mantle are considered. The basic form of the geotherm is interpreted on the basis of two dominant mechanisms by which heat is transported in the earth: (1) conduction through the rock, and (2) advection by thermal flow. Data reveal that: (1) the temperature distributions through continental lithosphere and through oceanic lithosphere more than 60 million years old are practically indistinguishable, (2) crustal uplift is instrumental in modifying continental geotherms, and (3) the average temperature through the Archean crust and mantle was similar to that at present. It is noted that current limitations in understanding the constitution of the lower mantle can lead to significant uncertainties in the thermal response time of the planetary interior.

  12. Hall Effect in Neutron Star Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gourgouliatos, K. N.; Cumming, A.

    2014-08-01

    The crust of Neutron Stars can be approximated by a highly conducting solid crystal lattice. The evolution of the magnetic field in the crust is mediated through Hall effect, namely the electric current is carried by the free electrons of the lattice and the magnetic field lines are advected by the electron fluid. Here, we present the results of a time-dependent evolution code which shows the effect Hall drift has in the large-scale evolution of the magnetic field. In particular we link analytical predictions with simulation results. We find that there are two basic evolutionary paths, depending on the initial conditions compared to Hall equilibrium. We also show the effect axial symmetry combined with density gradient have on suppressing turbulent cascade.

  13. [Crusted scabies (Norwegian scabies) a case report].

    PubMed

    Fernández-Tamayo, Nora; Flores-Villa, Rebeca; Blanco-Aguilar, Jaime; Dueñas-Arau, Maria de los Angeles; Peña-Flores, María del Pilar Cristal; Rubio-Calva, Carolina; Santos-Marcial, Edgar

    2006-01-01

    Different types of scabies have been described based on their clinical outcome, one of which is the Crusted (Norwegian) type. This is an extreme manifestation of scabies that can be observed mainly among immunosupressed patients. A case ofa 42 year-old homosexual man is described. The patient was diagnosed with HIV, presenting pruritic lesions with a 4 month evolution in trunk and extremities. Lesions included xerosis, decapitated papules, badges with erythema, residual hyperchromic stains, multiple abrasions and ungueal pigmentation in both feet. At the beginning it was treated as apsorasiform dermatitis with steroids and antipruritics without success. Through a biopsy the suspected diagnosis of Crusted (Norwegian) scabies was confirmed. The patient was treated with a dose of oral ivermectin and topical benzyl benzoate and showed remission after two days.

  14. Chemical remanent magnetization of oceanic crust

    SciTech Connect

    Verhoef, J. ); Arkani-Hamed, J. )

    1990-10-01

    The effects of chemical remanent magnetization (CRM) of oceanic crust on the anomalous skewness of sea-floor spreading magnetic anomalies are investigated. Considering a realistic constraint that the actual magnetization at anomaly M0 is reversed, the CRM of layer 2A basalts fails to explain the anomalous skewness of the magnetic anomalies. The CRM of the deeper layers does contribute to the anomalous skewness of anomalies 33/34, but the major contribution comes from thermal remanent magnetization.

  15. Cyclic growth in Atlantic region continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodwin, A. M.

    1986-01-01

    Atlantic region continental crust evolved in successive stages under the influence of regular, approximately 400 Ma-long tectonic cycles. Data point to a variety of operative tectonic processes ranging from widespread ocean floor consumption (Wilson cycle) to entirely ensialic (Ampferer-style subduction or simple crustal attenuation-compression). Different processes may have operated concurrently in some or different belts. Resolving this remains the major challenge.

  16. Ferromanganese crusts and nodules, rocks that grow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mizell, Kira; Hein, James

    2016-01-01

    Ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts and nodules are marine sed- imentary mineral deposits, composed mostly of iron and manganese oxides. They precipitate very slowly from seawa- ter, or for nodules also from deep-sea sediment pore waters, recording the chemical signature of these source waters as they grow. Additional elements incorporate via sorption pro- cesses onto the Fe-Mn oxides, including rare and valuable metals that can reach concentrations that are economically valuable.

  17. Three-dimensional structure and cyanobacterial activity within a desert biological soil crust.

    PubMed

    Raanan, Hagai; Felde, Vincent J M N L; Peth, Stephan; Drahorad, Sylvie; Ionescu, Danny; Eshkol, Gil; Treves, Haim; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Berkowicz, Simon M; Keren, Nir; Horn, Rainer; Hagemann, Martin; Kaplan, Aaron

    2016-02-01

    Desert biological soil crusts (BSCs) are formed by adhesion of soil particles to polysaccharides excreted by filamentous cyanobacteria, the pioneers and main producers in this habitat. Biological soil crust destruction is a central factor leading to land degradation and desertification. We study the effect of BSC structure on cyanobacterial activity. Micro-scale structural analysis using X-ray microtomography revealed a vesiculated layer 1.5-2.5 mm beneath the surface in close proximity to the cyanobacterial location. Light profiles showed attenuation with depth of 1%-5% of surface light within 1 mm but also revealed the presence of 'light pockets', coinciding with the vesiculated layer, where the irradiance was 10-fold higher than adjacent crust parts at the same depth. Maximal photosynthetic activity, examined by O2 concentration profiles, was observed 1 mm beneath the surface and another peak in association with the 'light pockets'. Thus, photosynthetic activity may not be visible to currently used remote sensing techniques, suggesting that BSCs' contribution to terrestrial productivity is underestimated. Exposure to irradiance higher than 10% full sunlight diminished chlorophyll fluorescence, whereas O2 evolution and CO2 uptake rose, indicating that fluorescence did not reflect cyanobacterial photosynthetic activity. Our data also indicate that although resistant to high illumination, the BSC-inhabiting cyanobacteria function as 'low-light adapted' organisms.

  18. Exotic crust formation on Mercury: Consequences of a shallow, FeO-poor mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vander Kaaden, Kathleen E.; McCubbin, Francis M.

    2015-02-01

    The range in density and compressibility of Mercurian melt compositions was determined to better understand the products of a possible Mercurian magma ocean and subsequent volcanism. Our experiments indicate that the only mineral to remain buoyant with respect to melts of the Mercurian mantle is graphite; consequently, it is the only candidate mineral to have composed a primary floatation crust during a global magma ocean. This exotic result is further supported by Mercury's volatile-rich nature and inexplicably darkened surface. Additionally, our experiments illustrate that partial melts of the Mercurian mantle that compose the secondary crust were buoyant over the entire mantle depth and could have come from as deep as the core-mantle boundary. Furthermore, Mercury could have erupted higher percentages of its partial melts compared to other terrestrial planets because magmas would not have stalled during ascent due to gravitational forces. These findings stem from the FeO-poor composition and shallow depth of Mercury's mantle, which has resulted in both low-melt density and a very limited range in melt density responsible for Mercury's primary and secondary crusts. The enigmatically darkened, yet low-FeO surface, which is observed today, can be explained by secondary volcanism and impact processes that have since mixed the primary and secondary crustal materials.

  19. Thickness of the magnetic crust of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voorhies, Coerte V.

    2008-04-01

    To estimate the thickness of the magnetic crust of Mars, six observational magnetic spectra are fitted with the theoretical spectrum expected from a novel, bimodal distribution of magnetic sources. Observational spectra differ, for each comes from a different map or model of variously selected and analyzed Mars Global Surveyor Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer measurements of the vector magnetic field around Mars. The new theoretical spectrum represents fields from both compact sources and extended, laterally correlated sources on a spherical shell, so the estimated shell depth can now be doubled to obtain layer thickness. This typical magnetic crustal thickness is put at 47.8 +/- 8.4 km. The extensive sources are enormous, typically 650 km across, and account for over half the magnetic energy at low degrees. There is some indication that these sources are relatively shallow, but the typical area remains about 330,000 km2. Granted such extended sources represent magnetization of Mars' ancient crust in a core source field dominated by a reversing, areocentric paleodipole, each one arguably formed during a single polarity chron. How did such vast regions of magnetic crust form? A survey of many eligible mechanisms suggests magnetization of cooling igneous rock at minimal rates of about 1 to 0.1 km3/a during superchrons of order 15 to 150 Ma long.

  20. FAST TRACK PAPER: Older crust underlies Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foulger, G. R.

    2006-05-01

    The oldest rocks outcropping in northwest Iceland are ~16 Myr old and in east Iceland ~13 Myr. The full plate spreading rate in this region during the Cenozoic has been ~2 cm a-1, and thus these rocks are expected to be separated by ~290 km. They are, however, ~500 km apart. The conclusion is inescapable that an expanse of older crust ~210 km wide underlies Iceland, submerged beneath younger lavas. This conclusion is independent of any considerations regarding spreading ridge migrations, jumps, the simultaneous existence of multiple active ridges, three-dimensionality, or subsidence of the lava pile. Such complexities bear on the distribution and age of the older crust, but not on its existence or its width. If it is entirely oceanic its maximum age is most likely 26-37 Ma. It is at least 150 km in north-south extent, but may taper and extend beneath south Iceland. Part of it might be continental-a southerly extension of the Jan Mayen microcontinent. This older crust contributes significantly to crustal thickness beneath Iceland and the ~40 km local thickness measured seismically is thus probably an overestimate of present-day steady-state crustal production at Iceland.

  1. Water uptake mechanism in crispy bread crust.

    PubMed

    van Nieuwenhuijzen, Neleke H; Meinders, Marcel B J; Tromp, R Hans; Hamer, Rob J; van Vliet, Ton

    2008-08-13

    Crispness is an important quality characteristic of dry solid food products such as crispy rolls. Its retention is directly related to the kinetics of water uptake by the crust. In this study, a method for the evaluation of the water sorption kinetics in bread crust is proposed. Two different sorption experiments were used: an oscillatory sorption test and a sorption test in which the air relative humidity (RH) was increased stepwise. These two experiments had different time scales, which made it possible to get a better understanding of the mechanisms involved. Results show that the adsorption and desorption dynamics of the oscillatory sorption test could be described by a single exponential in time. The water uptake rate ( k) was one of the fitting parameters. A maximum in the water uptake rate was found for a RH value between 50 and 70%. The rate parameters of the experiment where RH was increased stepwise were around a factor 10 lower than those derived from oscillatory sorption experiments. This is an important factor when designing experiments for the determination of water uptake rates. In addition, also a parameter describing the time dependence of the rate parameters of the oscillatory sorption experiment was calculated (C), again by fitting a single exponential to the rate parameters. C was in the same range as the rate parameter of the isotherm experiment. This indicates that different (relaxation) processes are acting at the same time in the bread crust during water uptake.

  2. Permian and Triassic Meliata-related rift and drift processes in Eastern Alps: middle and lower crust and its potential correlation with sedimentary units

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neubauer, Franz

    2016-04-01

    The poorly studied middle and lower crust (MLC) of passive continental margins, a key plate tectonic element, is often preserved in thick-skinned tectonic wedges of mountain belts. We studied the Permian to early Norian Meliata Ocean-related rift-characteristics of MLC and detached upper crust (UC) of the Austroalpine nappes of Eastern Alps (and Western Carpathians) with the aim to assess rift models, composition and temporal and spatial distribution of magmatism. We also compare the development of UC sedimentary units with similar successions of the eastern Southalpine unit. There, rifting started already during Early Permian, and a major extensional event occurred during late Early Permian separating Lower and Upper Permian carbonate platforms. In Austroalpine units, rifting occurred later, and the response of LMC to rifting includes acidic and subordinate, mostly earlier mafic magmatism, high-temperature/low-pressure metamorphism (ca. 0.46 GPa, 540 °C), and pure and simple shear deformation in shallow parts of MLC. In UC, the poorly dated rift-onset unconformity formed in Early or Middle Permian and resulted in N-S to NE-SW striking halfgrabens filled with up to 1.5 km thick terrestrial clastics. First marine ingressions occurred during latest Permian, since Anisian carbonate deposition dominated (loss of the clastic hinterland). We recently detected a break-up angular unconformity in central Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) on top of tilted Lower Anisian Gutenstein Limestone and wedge-shaped Middle Triassic carbonates covered by Norian Dachstein Reef Limestone indicating the break-off and spreading in the Meliata oceanic tract. In Permian evaporites, polyhalite veins and grains crystallized between 235 and 225 Ma and at ca. 210 Ma testifying intense fluid flow along normal faults similar as Anisian/Ladinian strata-bound iron and Pb-Zn-Ba-F mineralizations do. In the underlying basement, we detected similar Permian to Triassic ductile shear zones with Ar

  3. Evaluation of Terrestrial LIDAR for Monitoring Geomorphic Change at Archeological Sites in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collins, Brian D.; Brown, Kristin M.; Fairley, Helen C.

    2008-01-01

    This report presents the results of an evaluation of terrestrial light detection and ranging (LIDAR) for monitoring geomorphic change at archeological sites located within Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. Traditionally, topographic change-detection studies have used total station methods for the collection of data related to key measurable features of site erosion such as the location of thalwegs and knickpoints of gullies that traverse archeological sites (for example, Pederson and others, 2003). Total station methods require survey teams to walk within and on the features of interest within the archeological sites to take accurate measurements. As a result, site impacts may develop such as trailing, damage to cryptogamic crusts, and surface compaction that can exacerbate future erosion of the sites. National Park Service (NPS) resource managers have become increasingly concerned that repeated surveys for research and monitoring purposes may have a detrimental impact on the resources that researchers are trying to study and protect. Beginning in 2006, the Sociocultural Program of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC) initiated an evaluation of terrestrial LIDAR as a new monitoring tool that might enhance data quality and reduce site impacts. This evaluation was conducted as one part of an ongoing study to develop objective, replicable, quantifiable monitoring protocols for tracking the status and trend of variables affecting archeological site condition along the Colorado River corridor. The overall study consists of two elements: (1) an evaluation of the methodology through direct comparison to geomorphologic metrics already being collected by total station methods (this report) and (2) an evaluation of terrestrial LIDAR's ability to detect topographic change through the collection of temporally different datasets (a report on this portion of the study is anticipated early in 2009). The main goals of the first

  4. Solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Eight basic solar-terrestrial scientific objectives that benefit from the Shuttle/Platform approach and a program of measurements for each are discussed. The objectives are to understand: (1) solar variability, (2) wave-particle processes, (3) magnetosphere-ionosphere mass transport, (4) the global electric circuit, (5) upper atmospheric dynamics, (6) middle atmospheric chemistry and energetics, (7) lower atmospheric turbidity, and (8) planetary atmospheric waves. A two stage approach to a multidisciplinary payload is developed: an initial STO, that uses a single platform in a low-Earth orbit, and an advanced STO that uses two platforms in differing orbits.

  5. Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, D.W.H.

    1987-01-01

    The Maritime and Continental Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are considered in the context of environmental impacts - habitat destruction, alien introductions, and pollution. Four types of pollution are considered: nutrients, radionuclides, inert materials, and noxious chemicals. Their ability to recover from perturbation is discussed in the light of present scientific knowledge, and the methods used to control impacts are reviewed. It is concluded that techniques of waste disposal are still inadequate, adequate training in environmental and conservation principles for Antarctic personnel in many countries is lacking, and scientific investigations may be a much more serious threat than tourism to the integrity of these ecosystems. Some priorities crucial to future management are suggested.

  6. Proterozoic oxygen rise linked to shifting balance between seafloor and terrestrial weathering

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Benjamin; Lenton, Timothy M.; Watson, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    A shift toward higher atmospheric oxygen concentration during the late Proterozoic has been inferred from multiple indirect proxies and is seen by many as a prerequisite for the emergence of complex animal life. However, the mechanisms controlling the level of oxygen throughout the Proterozoic and its eventual rise remain uncertain. Here we use a simple biogeochemical model to show that the balance between long-term carbon removal fluxes via terrestrial silicate weathering and ocean crust alteration plays a key role in determining atmospheric oxygen concentration. This balance may be shifted by changes in terrestrial weatherability or in the generation rate of oceanic crust. As a result, the terrestrial chemical weathering flux may be permanently altered—contrasting with the conventional view that the global silicate weathering flux must adjust to equal the volcanic CO2 degassing flux. Changes in chemical weathering flux in turn alter the long-term supply of phosphorus to the ocean, and therefore the flux of organic carbon burial, which is the long-term source of atmospheric oxygen. Hence we propose that increasing solar luminosity and a decrease in seafloor spreading rate over 1,500–500 Ma drove a gradual shift from seafloor weathering to terrestrial weathering, and a corresponding steady rise in atmospheric oxygen. Furthermore, increased terrestrial weatherability during the late Neoproterozoic may explain low temperature, increases in ocean phosphate, ocean sulfate, and atmospheric oxygen concentration at this time. PMID:24927553

  7. Proterozoic oxygen rise linked to shifting balance between seafloor and terrestrial weathering.

    PubMed

    Mills, Benjamin; Lenton, Timothy M; Watson, Andrew J

    2014-06-24

    A shift toward higher atmospheric oxygen concentration during the late Proterozoic has been inferred from multiple indirect proxies and is seen by many as a prerequisite for the emergence of complex animal life. However, the mechanisms controlling the level of oxygen throughout the Proterozoic and its eventual rise remain uncertain. Here we use a simple biogeochemical model to show that the balance between long-term carbon removal fluxes via terrestrial silicate weathering and ocean crust alteration plays a key role in determining atmospheric oxygen concentration. This balance may be shifted by changes in terrestrial weatherability or in the generation rate of oceanic crust. As a result, the terrestrial chemical weathering flux may be permanently altered--contrasting with the conventional view that the global silicate weathering flux must adjust to equal the volcanic CO2 degassing flux. Changes in chemical weathering flux in turn alter the long-term supply of phosphorus to the ocean, and therefore the flux of organic carbon burial, which is the long-term source of atmospheric oxygen. Hence we propose that increasing solar luminosity and a decrease in seafloor spreading rate over 1,500-500 Ma drove a gradual shift from seafloor weathering to terrestrial weathering, and a corresponding steady rise in atmospheric oxygen. Furthermore, increased terrestrial weatherability during the late Neoproterozoic may explain low temperature, increases in ocean phosphate, ocean sulfate, and atmospheric oxygen concentration at this time.

  8. Biological soil crusts: a fundamental organizing agent in global drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belnap, J.; Zhang, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem function is profoundly affected by plant community composition, which is ultimately determined by factors that govern seed retention. Dryland ecosystems constitute ~35% of terrestrial surfaces, with most soils in these regions covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts), a community whose autotrophs are dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses. Studies at 550 sites revealed that plant community composition was controlled by the interaction among biocrust type, disturbance regime, and external morphology of seeds. In bare soils (due to disturbance), all seed types were present in the seedbank and plant community. As biocrusts became better developed (i.e., the cover of lichens and mosses increased), they more strongly filtered out seeds with appendages. Thus, soils under late successional biocrusts contained seedbanks dominated by smooth seeds and vascular plants growing in late successional biocrusts were dominated by those with smooth seeds. Therefore, the tension between the removal of biocrusts by soil surface disturbance and their recovery creates a shifting mosaic of plant patch types in both space and time. Because changes in vascular plant communities reverberate throughout both below ground and above ground food webs and thus affect multiple trophic levels, we propose that biocrusts are a fundamental organizing agent in drylands worldwide. Future increased demand for resources will intensify land use both temporally and spatially, resulting in an increased rate of biocrust loss across larger areas. As a result, we can expect shifts in the composition and distribution of plant communities, accompanied by concomitant changes in many aspects of dryland ecosystems. Conceptual model of shifting dryland plant mosaics through space and time. Within the large circles, soil surface type changes with time in the same space, going from bare uncrusted soil (B) to cyanobacterial biocrust (C) to lichen/moss (L/M) biocrust. Disturbance (D) drives the

  9. The precambrian evolution of terrestrial life.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knoll, A. H.

    The early appearance of life on Earth suggests that under appropriate environmental conditions the probability of chemical evolution proceeding to the point of biogenesis may be reasonably high. Most of biological history has been the history of microorganisms, with tissue-grade plants and animals characterizing only the most recent 15% or so of the fossil record. Intelligent life has occupied only the latest instant in geological time. The time table of terrestrial evolution is governed more by the particulars of our planet's physical and biological history than by some universal tempo of evolutionary change. One aspect of terrestrial life that is likely to be universal is the organization of populations into efficient biogeochemical systems.

  10. Application of Terrestrial Environments in Orion Assessments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barbre, Robert E.

    2016-01-01

    This presentation summarizes the Marshall Space Flight Center Natural Environments Terrestrial and Planetary Environments (TPE) Team support to the NASA Orion space vehicle. The TPE utilizes meteorological data to assess the sensitivities of the vehicle due to the terrestrial environment. The Orion vehicle, part of the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Program, is designed to carry astronauts beyond low-earth orbit and is currently undergoing a series of tests including Exploration Test Flight (EFT) - 1. The presentation describes examples of TPE support for vehicle design and several tests, as well as support for EFT-1 and planning for upcoming Exploration Missions while emphasizing the importance of accounting for the natural environment's impact to the vehicle early in the vehicle's program.

  11. Chemical analysis of black crust on the Angkor sandstone at the Bayon temple, Cambodia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Wonsuh; Oguchi, Chiaki; Waragai, Tetsuya

    2014-05-01

    The Angkor complex is the one of the greatest cultural heritages in the world. It is constructed in the early 12th century, designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1992. The temples at the Angkor complex are mainly made of sandstone and laterite. However, due to the tropical climate, plants, lichens and various microorganisms are growing well on the rock surface. Black crusts are also easily found on the stone surface. The 21st technical session of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC-Angkor) held in 2012 recommended that to preserve both the biofilms and the forest cover and to prohibit the biocides (chlorine-based) and organic biocides. However, there are many reports that lichens and microorganisms accelerate rock weathering. It is important to clarify that how the biofilm on the Angkor temples affect Angkor sandstones. We sampled Angkor sandstone covered by black crust at the Bayon temple, Angkor complex, and observed the section and the surface of the rock sample by using SEM. Surfaces of the samples are not polished in order to observe the original condition. The samples are coated with gold for 180 seconds. The depth of the black crust is up to 1 mm. Many filamentous materials were found on the black crust. Average energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy data of the five areas of ca. 20 μm ×15 μm in the black crusts shows that over 80 % of the filamentous materials are compounds of carbon. It seems that these materials are hyphae. The shape of the hypha is like a thread and its size is few μm in diameter and up to several centimeters in length. Black crusts are consisted of elements and compounds of carbon, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Cl, K, Ca, and Fe. Further research has to be done to find out the better and proper way of conservation for the Angkor complex.

  12. Ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism: tracing continental crust into the mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chopin, Christian

    2003-07-01

    velocities (1-2 cm/yr), especially during early stages of exhumation, and bear no relation to normal erosion rates. Important observations are that: (i) as a result of strain partitioning and fluid channelling, significant volumes of subducted crust may remain unreacted (i.e. metastable) even at conditions as high as 700°C and 3 GPa - with implications as to geophysical modeling; (ii) subducted continental crust shows no isotopic or geochemical evidence of interaction with mantle material. An unknown proportion of subducted continental crust must have escaped exhumation and effectively recycled into the mantle, with geochemical implications still to be explored, bearing in mind the above inefficiency of mixing. The repeated occurrence of UHP metamorphism, hence of continental subduction, through time and space since at least the late Proterozoic shows that it must be considered a common process, inherent to continental collision. Evidence of older, Precambrian UHP metamorphism is to be sought in high-pressure granulite-facies terranes.

  13. One View of the Genesis of Cratonic Mantle and Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelemen, P. B.; Jull, M.; Kelly, R.

    2002-12-01

    Kelemen et al. [1] proposed that SiO2-rich, cratonic mantle peridotite xenoliths from Kaapvaal and Siberia had a two stage history. First, they underwent ca. 40% polybaric decompression melting, ending in spinel peridotite facies, to produce depleted, SiO2-poor residues [2]. Second, residues reacted with migrating, felsic melt to become SiO2-rich and light REE-enriched, in accord with previous work [3-5]. Modified melt rose to form continental crust. In this way, cratonic upper mantle and crust may be genetically linked. This differs from theories in which SiO2-rich cratonic mantle formed via high pressure melting and crystal fractionation involving komatiitic melts, with a coincidental relationship between SiO2-rich peridotites and SiO2-rich crust. With regard to Stage 1, average melt removed from primitive mantle [6] to form depleted, SiO2-poor, Archean mantle in Greenland is similar to experimental partial melts at 2.5 to 3 GPa [2]. Also, heavy REE in cratonic peridotite xenoliths are correlated with Ca, suggesting that residual garnet was exhausted early in melting, long before residual clinopyroxene [1]. This, combined with data on melting as a function of pressure [7], yields an average pressure for polybaric melting ca. 3 GPa. Thus, depleted cratonic peridotites recording equilibration pressures greater than 3 GPa have undergone subsolidus pressure increase and garnet growth. Pressure increase could be in response to thickening via tectonic imbrication, pure shear during continental collision, viscous flow in a "mantle wedge", or diapirism of buoyant, depleted residues through dense, subducting, basaltic crust. We will examine these hypotheses in the light of new calculations of the density of cratonic peridotites as a function of P and T. With regard to Stage 2, this provides an explanation for positive correlation between Ni in olivine and modal orthopyroxene, seen in xenolith suites from some kimberlites, and in a global comparison of cratonic xenoliths

  14. Space and Terrestrial Photovoltaics: Synergy and Diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Sheila; Raffaelle, Ryne; Emery, Keith

    2002-10-01

    A historical view of the research and development in photovoltaics from the perspective of both the terrestrial and the space communities is presented from the early days through the '70s and '80s and the '90s and beyond. The synergy of both communities in the beginning and once again in the present and hopefully future are highlighted, with examples of the important features in each program. The space community which was impressed by the light-weight and reliability of photovoltaics drove much of the early development. Even up to today, nearly every satellites and other scientific space probe that has been launched has included some solar power. However, since the cost of these power systems were only a small fraction of the satellite and launch cost, the use of much of this technology for the terrestrial marketplace was not feasible. It was clear that the focus of the terrestrial community would be best served by reducing costs. This would include addressing a variety of manufacturing issues and raising the rate of production. Success in these programs and a resulting globalization of effort resulted in major strides in the reduction of PV module costs and increased production. Although, the space community derived benefit from some of these advancements, its focus was on pushing the envelope with regard to cell efficiency. The gap between theoretical efficiencies and experimental efficiencies for silicon, gallium arsenide and indium phosphide became almost non-existent. Recent work by both communities have focused on the development thin film cells of amorphous silicon, CuInSe2 and CdTe. These cells hold the promise of lower costs for the terrestrial community as well as possible flexible substrates, better radiation resistance, and higher specific power for the space community. It is predicted that future trends in both communities will be directed toward advances through the application of nanotechnology. A picture is emerging in which the space and

  15. Space and Terrestrial Photovoltaics: Synergy and Diversity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailey, Sheila; Raffaelle, Ryne; Emery, Keith

    2002-01-01

    A historical view of the research and development in photovoltaics from the perspective of both the terrestrial and the space communities is presented from the early days through the '70s and '80s and the '90s and beyond. The synergy of both communities in the beginning and once again in the present and hopefully future are highlighted, with examples of the important features in each program. The space community which was impressed by the light-weight and reliability of photovoltaics drove much of the early development. Even up to today, nearly every satellites and other scientific space probe that has been launched has included some solar power. However, since the cost of these power systems were only a small fraction of the satellite and launch cost, the use of much of this technology for the terrestrial marketplace was not feasible. It was clear that the focus of the terrestrial community would be best served by reducing costs. This would include addressing a variety of manufacturing issues and raising the rate of production. Success in these programs and a resulting globalization of effort resulted in major strides in the reduction of PV module costs and increased production. Although, the space community derived benefit from some of these advancements, its focus was on pushing the envelope with regard to cell efficiency. The gap between theoretical efficiencies and experimental efficiencies for silicon, gallium arsenide and indium phosphide became almost non-existent. Recent work by both communities have focused on the development thin film cells of amorphous silicon, CuInSe2 and CdTe. These cells hold the promise of lower costs for the terrestrial community as well as possible flexible substrates, better radiation resistance, and higher specific power for the space community. It is predicted that future trends in both communities will be directed toward advances through the application of nanotechnology. A picture is emerging in which the space and

  16. Asteroids and Archaean crustal evolution: Tests of possible genetic links between major mantle/crust melting events and clustered extraterrestrial bombardments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glikson, A. Y.

    1992-01-01

    Since the oldest intact terrestrial rocks of ca. 4.0 Ga and oldest zircon xenocrysts of ca. 4.3 Ga measured to date overlap with the lunar late heavy bombardment, the early Precambrian record requires close reexamination vis a vis the effects of megaimpacts. The identification of microtektite-bearing horizons containing spinals of chondritic chemistry and Ir anomalies in 3.5-3.4-Ga greenstone belts provides the first direct evidence for large-scale Archaean impacts. The Archaean crustal record contains evidence for several major greenstone-granite-forming episodes where deep upwelling and adiabatic fusion of the mantle was accompanied by contemporaneous crustal anatexis. Isotopic age studies suggest evidence for principal age clusters about 3.5, 3.0, and 2.7 (+/- 0.8) Ga, relics of a ca. 3.8-Ga event, and several less well defined episodes. These peak events were accompanied and followed by protracted thermal fluctuations in intracrustal high-grade metamorphic zones. Interpretations of these events in terms of internal dynamics of the Earth are difficult to reconcile with the thermal behavior of silicate rheologies in a continuously convecting mantle regime. A triggering of these episodes by mantle rebound response to intermittent extraterrestrial asteroid impacts is supported by (1) identification of major Archaean impacts from microtektite and distal ejecta horizons marked by Ir anomalies; (2) geochemical and experimental evidence for mantle upwelling, possibly from levels as deep as the transition zone; and (3) catastrophic adiabatic melting required to generate peridotitic komatites. Episodic differentiation/accretion growth of sial consequent on these events is capable of resolving the volume problem that arises from comparisons between modern continental crust and the estimated sial produced by continuous two-stage mantle melting processes. The volume problem is exacerbated by projected high accretion rates under Archaean geotherms. It is suggested that

  17. The terrestrial uranium isotope cycle.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Morten B; Elliott, Tim; Freymuth, Heye; Sims, Kenneth W W; Niu, Yaoling; Kelley, Katherine A

    2015-01-15

    Changing conditions on the Earth's surface can have a remarkable influence on the composition of its overwhelmingly more massive interior. The global distribution of uranium is a notable example. In early Earth history, the continental crust was enriched in uranium. Yet after the initial rise in atmospheric oxygen, about 2.4 billion years ago, the aqueous mobility of oxidized uranium resulted in its significant transport to the oceans and, ultimately, by means of subduction, back to the mantle. Here we explore the isotopic characteristics of this global uranium cycle. We show that the subducted flux of uranium is isotopically distinct, with high (238)U/(235)U ratios, as a result of alteration processes at the bottom of an oxic ocean. We also find that mid-ocean-ridge basalts (MORBs) have (238)U/(235)U ratios higher than does the bulk Earth, confirming the widespread pollution of the upper mantle with this recycled uranium. Although many ocean island basalts (OIBs) are argued to contain a recycled component, their uranium isotopic compositions do not differ from those of the bulk Earth. Because subducted uranium was probably isotopically unfractionated before full oceanic oxidation, about 600 million years ago, this observation reflects the greater antiquity of OIB sources. Elemental and isotope systematics of uranium in OIBs are strikingly consistent with previous OIB lead model ages, indicating that these mantle reservoirs formed between 2.4 and 1.8 billion years ago. In contrast, the uranium isotopic composition of MORB requires the convective stirring of recycled uranium throughout the upper mantle within the past 600 million years.

  18. Thermal conductivity of lunar and terrestrial igneous rocks in their melting range.

    PubMed

    Murase, T; McBirney, A R

    1970-10-09

    The thermal conductivity of a synthetic lunar rock in its melting range is about half that of a terrestrial basalt. The low conductivity and increased efficiency of insulating crusts on lunar lavas will enable flows to cover great distances without being quenched by high radiant heat losses from the surface. For a given rate of heat production, the thermal gradient of the moon would be significantly steeper than that of the earth.

  19. Geologic history of Martian regolith breccia Northwest Africa 7034: Evidence for hydrothermal activity and lithologic diversity in the Martian crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCubbin, Francis M.; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Novak-Szabo, Timea; Santos, Alison; Tartese, Romain; Muttik, Nele; Domokos, Gabor; Vazquez, Jorge A.; Keller, Lindsay P.; Moser, Desmond E.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Shearer, Charles K.; Steele, Andrew; Elardo, Stephen M.; Rahman, Zia; Anand, Mahesh; Delhaye, Thomas; Agee, Carl B.

    2016-01-01

    The timing and mode of deposition for Martian regolith breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 were determined by combining petrography, shape analysis, and thermochronology. NWA 7034 is composed of igneous, impact, and brecciated clasts within a thermally annealed submicron matrix of pulverized crustal rocks and devitrified impact/volcanic glass. The brecciated clasts are likely lithified portions of Martian regolith with some evidence of past hydrothermal activity. Represented lithologies are primarily ancient crustal materials with crystallization ages as old as 4.4 Ga. One ancient zircon was hosted by an alkali-rich basalt clast, confirming that alkalic volcanism occurred on Mars very early. NWA 7034 is composed of fragmented particles that do not exhibit evidence of having undergone bed load transport by wind or water. The clast size distribution is similar to terrestrial pyroclastic deposits. We infer that the clasts were deposited by atmospheric rainout subsequent to a pyroclastic eruption(s) and/or impact event(s), although the ancient ages of igneous components favor mobilization by impact(s). Despite ancient components, the breccia has undergone a single pervasive thermal event at 500–800°C, evident by groundmass texture and concordance of ~1.5 Ga dates for bulk rock K-Ar, U-Pb in apatite, and U-Pb in metamict zircons. The 1.5 Ga age is likely a thermal event that coincides with rainout/breccia lithification. We infer that the episodic process of regolith lithification dominated sedimentary processes during the Amazonian Epoch. The absence of pre-Amazonian high-temperature metamorphic events recorded in ancient zircons indicates source domains of static southern highland crust punctuated by episodic impact modification.

  20. Geologic history of Martian regolith breccia Northwest Africa 7034: Evidence for hydrothermal activity and lithologic diversity in the Martian crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCubbin, Francis M.; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Novák-Szabó, Tímea; Santos, Alison R.; Tartèse, Romain; Muttik, Nele; Domokos, Gabor; Vazquez, Jorge; Keller, Lindsay P.; Moser, Desmond E.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Shearer, Charles K.; Steele, Andrew; Elardo, Stephen M.; Rahman, Zia; Anand, Mahesh; Delhaye, Thomas; Agee, Carl B.

    2016-10-01

    The timing and mode of deposition for Martian regolith breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 were determined by combining petrography, shape analysis, and thermochronology. NWA 7034 is composed of igneous, impact, and brecciated clasts within a thermally annealed submicron matrix of pulverized crustal rocks and devitrified impact/volcanic glass. The brecciated clasts are likely lithified portions of Martian regolith with some evidence of past hydrothermal activity. Represented lithologies are primarily ancient crustal materials with crystallization ages as old as 4.4 Ga. One ancient zircon was hosted by an alkali-rich basalt clast, confirming that alkalic volcanism occurred on Mars very early. NWA 7034 is composed of fragmented particles that do not exhibit evidence of having undergone bed load transport by wind or water. The clast size distribution is similar to terrestrial pyroclastic deposits. We infer that the clasts were deposited by atmospheric rainout subsequent to a pyroclastic eruption(s) and/or impact event(s), although the ancient ages of igneous components favor mobilization by impact(s). Despite ancient components, the breccia has undergone a single pervasive thermal event at 500-800°C, evident by groundmass texture and concordance of 1.5 Ga dates for bulk rock K-Ar, U-Pb in apatite, and U-Pb in metamict zircons. The 1.5 Ga age is likely a thermal event that coincides with rainout/breccia lithification. We infer that the episodic process of regolith lithification dominated sedimentary processes during the Amazonian Epoch. The absence of pre-Amazonian high-temperature metamorphic events recorded in ancient zircons indicates source domains of static southern highland crust punctuated by episodic impact modification.

  1. Constraints from loess on the Hf-Nd isotopic composition of the upper continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chauvel, Catherine; Garçon, Marion; Bureau, Sarah; Besnault, Adeline; Jahn, Bor-ming; Ding, Zhongli

    2014-02-01

    Knowledge of the average composition of the upper continental crust is crucial to establish not only how it formed but also when. While well constrained averages have been suggested for its major and trace element composition, no values exist for its Nd and Hf isotopic compositions even though radiogenic isotopic systems provide valuable information on its average model age. Here we present Nd and Hf isotopic data determined on a large number of loess deposits from several continents. We demonstrate that these deposits have very uniform Nd and Hf isotopic compositions. We obtain an average Nd isotopic composition that is similar to previous estimates for the upper continental crust (εNd=-10.3±1.2(1σ)) and we establish a new Hf average value at εHf=-13.2±2(1σ). This average falls on the “Terrestrial Array”, demonstrating that the two parent-daughter ratios are not decoupled during crust formation. Trace element data acquired on the same set of samples allow us to calculate an average 147Sm/144Nd ratio for the upper continental crust: 0.1193±0.0026, a value slightly higher than previous estimates. Based on the relationship between Sm/Nd and Nd isotopes, we estimate the average Nd extraction age of upper continental crust from the depleted mantle at TDM(Nd)=1.82±0.07 Ga. This model age is entirely consistent with previous suggestions made for example by Goldstein et al. (1984). Assuming that for each individual sample, the Hf model age cannot be younger than the Nd model age, our new Nd-Hf isotopic data provide a value for the very poorly known 176Lu/177Hf ratio of the upper crust. Our estimate is 176Lu/177Hf = 0.0125 ± 0.0018, a value significantly lower than commonly used values (0.0150-0.0159; Griffin et al., 2002; Goodge and Vervoort, 2006; Hawkesworth et al., 2010) but higher than Rudnick and Gao's (2003) estimate of 0.0083. The impact of our new 176Lu/177Hf ratio on crustal model ages of zircon populations is not simple to evaluate but the Hf model

  2. Li Isotopic Composition and Concentration of the Upper Continental Crust: New Insights from Desert Loess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauzeat, L.; Rudnick, R. L.; Chauvel, C.

    2014-12-01

    The isotopic composition of lithium (δ7Li) is recognized to be an excellent proxy of near-surface fluid-rock reactions during weathering. Using Li as a tracer of these processes however requires constraints on the average Li composition of terrestrial reservoirs, in particular that of the upper continental crust. To date, only one value for the average δ7Li value of the upper continental crust, derived from periglacial loess, shales, and granites is available in the literature (7δLi = 0 ± 4 (2σ), Teng et al., 2004). Several values exist for the average [Li] of the upper crust, but they differ by more than 30%. We measured the Li isotopic composition of about 30 desert and periglacial loess (unweathered windblown sediments) from several parts of the world (Europe, Argentina, China and Tajikistan). We demonstrate that desert loess, which is more homogeneous and representative of larger portions of the Earth's surface, provides a better proxy for the average composition of the upper continental crust compared to periglacial loess. The Li isotopic compositions and concentrations of desert loess are controlled by eolian sorting, which can be quantified as a binary isotopic mixing between a weathered fine-grained end-member and an unweathered coarse-grained end-member. Using correlations between Li isotopic compositions, Li concentrations and trace element concentrations in desert loess, we estimate new average values for the upper continental crust: 1 ± 2 (2σ); [Li] = 35.3 ± 4.6 (2σ) ppm. This δ7Li value is slightly higher than that previously published in Teng et al. (2004), but overlaps within uncertainty, whereas the [Li] is identical to that of Teng et al. (2004: 35 ± 11, 2σ); both new estimates have lower uncertainty. Our new estimate of [Li], along with that of Teng et al. (2004), are higher than all previous estimates for the upper continental crust, raising the question as to whether the average concentrations of other mobile alkali metals such as

  3. Terrestrial ecology of semi-aquatic giant gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halstead, Brian J.; Skalos, Shannon M.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands are a vital component of habitat for semiaquatic herpetofauna, but for most species adjacent terrestrial habitats are also essential. We examined the use of terrestrial environments by Giant Gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas) to provide behavioral information relevant to conservation of this state and federally listed threatened species. We used radio telemetry data collected 1995–2011 from adults at several sites throughout the Sacramento Valley, California, USA, to examine Giant Gartersnake use of the terrestrial environment. We found Giant Gartersnakes in terrestrial environments more than half the time during the summer, with the use of terrestrial habitats increasing to nearly 100% during brumation. While in terrestrial habitats, we found Giant Gartersnakes underground more than half the time in the early afternoon during summer, and the probability of being underground increased to nearly 100% of the time at all hours during brumation. Extreme temperatures also increased the probability that we would find Giant Gartersnakes underground. Under most conditions, we found Giant Gartersnakes to be within 10 m of water at 95% of observations. For females during brumation and individuals that we found underground, however, the average individual had a 10% probability of being located > 20 m from water. Individual variation in each of the response variables was extensive; therefore, predicting the behavior of an individual was fraught with uncertainty. Nonetheless, our estimates provide resource managers with valuable information about the importance of protecting and carefully managing terrestrial habitats for conserving a rare semiaquatic snake.

  4. Radiogenic heat production in the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaupart, Claude; Mareschal, Jean-Claude; Iarotsky, Lidia

    2016-10-01

    The thermal structure and evolution of continents depend strongly on the amount and distribution of radioactive heat sources in the crust. Determining the contribution of crustal rocks beneath a superficial layer is a major challenge because heat production depends weakly on major element composition and physical properties such as seismic wavespeed and density. Enriched granitic intrusives that lie at the current erosion level have a large impact on the surface heat flux but little influence on temperatures in the deep crust. Many lower crustal rocks that are poor in heat producing elements are restites from ancient orogenic events, implying that enrichment of the upper crust was achieved at the expense of deeper crustal levels. For the same total heat production, concentrating heat sources in an upper layer acts to reduce temperatures in the lower crust, thereby allowing stabilization of the crust. The present-day structure of the crust is a consequence of orogeny and should not be adopted for thermal models of the orogenic event itself. This review summarizes information extracted from large data sets on heat flow and heat production and provides estimates of crustal stratification and heat production in several geological provinces. Analysis of global and regional data sets reveals the absence of a positive correlation between surface heat flow and crustal thickness, showing that the average crustal heat production is not constant. Differences of heat flow between geological provinces are due in large part to changes of crustal structure and bulk composition. Collating values of the bulk crustal heat production in a few age intervals reveals a clear trend of decrease with increasing age. This trend can be accounted for by radioactive decay, indicating that thermal conditions at the time of crustal stabilization have not changed significantly. For the average crustal thickness of 40 km, Moho temperatures are near solidus values at the time of stabilization

  5. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability.

    PubMed

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2, temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y (-1)) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y (-1)), and

  6. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability

    PubMed Central

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2, temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y -1) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y -1), and

  7. Functions of biological soil crusts on central European inland dunes: Water repellency and pore clogging influence water infiltration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Thomas; Spröte, Roland; Veste, Maik; Wiehe, Wolfgang; Lange, Philipp; Bens, Oliver; Raab, Thomas; Hüttl, Reinhard F.

    2010-05-01

    Biological soil crusts play a key role for hydrological processes in many open landscapes. They seal and stabilize the topsoil and promote surface run-off. Three crust types were identified on two inland dunes in Brandenburg, North-East Germany: A natural, active dune, located in a former military training area near Lieberose, and an artificial dune, which was constructed in 2001 and which serves as a study area for geo-ecological monitoring of flora and fauna from the forefield of an opencast-mine ("Neuer Lugteich"). Both dunes consisted of Quarternary, carbonate-free, siliceous sandy substrate. Utilization of the mineral substrate at early stages of microbiotic crust development was assessed using chlorophyll concentrations, scanning electron (SEM) and optical microscopy. Water repellency indices, which are an indication of surface polarity and wettability, were measured using the ethanol/water microinfiltrometer method, and steady state water flow was determined on the dry crusts and after 0, 300, 600, 1200 and 1800 seconds of wetting, thus allowing to follow pore clogging through swelling of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Chlorophyll concentrations indicated early stages of crust development at both sites. In crust type 1, dominating sand grains were physically stabilized in their contact zones by accumulated organic matter and by few filamentous cyanobacteria and filamentous green algae. The pore space was defined by the mineral matrix only. In crust type 2, filamentous cyanobacteria and algae partially filled in the matrix pores and enmeshed sand grains. In the dry sample, the pore space was dominated by crust organisms but still micropore channels, which are known to increase water infiltration, were left. Crust type 3 was characterized by intense growth of filamentous and coccoid algae and cyanobacteria, and by few mosses, which covered less than 5% of the surface. Crust organisms completely utilized the substrate and clogged the pores between

  8. A metasomatic mechanism for the formation of Earth's earliest evolved crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, Don R.; Sofonio, Kassandra

    2017-04-01

    Following giant impacts the early Hadean Earth was shrouded in a steam atmosphere for durations on the order of 1 Ma. In order to investigate the potential of this atmosphere to fractionate major elements between various silicate reservoirs and influence a planet's geochemical evolution, we performed experiments simulating the interaction of a post-giant-impact steam atmosphere with a bulk silicate Earth (BSE) composition. Our experiments indicate that the composition of the solute in a water-rich atmosphere at 10 MPa and ∼727 °C is remarkably similar to that of Earth's modern continental crust and would constitute up to 10% of the solution mass. This solute composition is similar to solute compositions previously measured at higher pressures, but distinct from those of near-solidus peridotite melts. Mass balance calculations based upon the hypothesis that Earth's initial water concentration was similar to that in CI carbonaceous chondrites, and that degassing and metasomatism produced the BSE, indicate that metasomatism could produce from 10 to 300% of the mass of the modern crust. If instead the amount of metasomatism is estimated by the difference between the water concentration in the BSE and in the depleted upper mantle, then a mass of up to approximately 4% of the current crust could be produced by metasomatism. Using results of earlier research we find that the solute is expected to have a smaller Sm/Nd ratio than the residual BSE, and if the solute was formed early in Earth's history its Nd isotopic signatures would be highly enriched. Although we cannot be certain that the metasomatic process created a significant fraction of Earth's crust in the early Hadean, our research indicates that it has the potential to form crustal nuclei and possibly was responsible for the production of incompatible-element enriched reservoirs in the early Earth, as seen in the isotopic signatures of Archean rocks.

  9. The history of the earth's crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eicher, D. L.; McAlester, A. L.; Rottman, M. L.

    The history of the earth's crust since its formation 4.6 Gyr ago is traced in an introductory textbook, with consideration of the global climate and the general outline of biological evolution. The methodology of paleogeology is introduced, and the origin of the solar system, the accumulation and differentiation of the earth, the beginnings of life, and the history of the moon are examined. Separate chapters are then devoted to the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic earth. Photographs, maps, diagrams, and drawings are provided.

  10. A crust-scale 3D structural model of the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin (Arctic Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sippel, Judith; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Lewerenz, Björn; Kroeger, Karsten Friedrich

    2013-04-01

    The Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin was initiated in the Early Jurassic as part of an Arctic rifted passive continental margin which soon after became overprinted by Cordilleran foreland tectonics. Decades of industrial exploration and scientific research in this petroliferous region have produced a wide spectrum of geological and geophysical data as well as geoscientific knowledge. We have integrated available grids of sedimentary horizons, well data, seismic reflection and refraction data, and the observed regional gravity field into the first crust-scale 3D structural model of the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin. Many characteristics of this model reflect the complex geodynamic and tectonostratigraphic history of the basin. The Mesozoic-Cenozoic sedimentary part of the model comprises seven clastic units (predominantly sandy shales) of which the modelled thickness distributions allow to retrace the well-established history of the basin comprising a gradual north(east)ward shift of the main depocentres as well as diverse phases of localised erosion. As a result of this development, the present-day configuration of the basin reveals that the sedimentary units tend to be younger, more porous, and thus less dense towards the north at a constant depth level. By integrating three refraction seismic profiles and performing combined isostatic and 3D gravity modelling, we have modelled the sub-sedimentary basement of the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin. The continental basement spans from unstretched domains (as thick as about 42 km) in the south to extremely thinned domains (of less than 5 km thickness) in the north where it probably represents transitional crust attached to the oceanic crust of the Canada Basin. The uppermost parts of the continental crust are less dense (ρ = 2710 kg/m3) and most probably made up by pre-Mesozoic meta-sediments overlying a heavier igneous and metamorphic crust (ρ = 2850 kg/m3). The presented crust-scale 3D structural model shows that the greatest

  11. From a collage of microplates to stable continental crust - an example from Precambrian Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korja, Annakaisa

    2013-04-01

    Svecofennian orogen (2.0-1.7 Ga) comprises the oldest undispersed orogenic belt on Baltica and Eurasian plate. Svecofennian orogenic belt evolved from a series of short-lived terrane accretions around Baltica's Archean nucleus during the formation of the Precambrian Nuna supercontinent. Geological and geophysical datasets indicate W-SW growth of Baltica with NE-ward dipping subduction zones. The data suggest a long-lived retreating subduction system in the southwestern parts whereas in the northern and central parts the northeasterly transport of continental fragments or microplates towards the continental nucleus is also documented. The geotectonic environment resembles that of the early stages of the Alpine-Himalayan or Indonesian orogenic system, in which dispersed continental fragments, arcs and microplates have been attached to the Eurasian plate margin. Thus the Svecofennian orogeny can be viewed as proxy for the initial stages of an internal orogenic system. Svecofennian orogeny is a Paleoproterozoic analogue of an evolved orogenic system where terrane accretion is followed by lateral spreading or collapse induced by change in the plate architecture. The exposed parts are composed of granitoid intrusions as well as highly deformed supracrustal units. Supracrustal rocks have been metamorphosed in LP-HT conditions in either paleo-lower-upper crust or paleo-upper-middle crust. Large scale seismic reflection profiles (BABEL and FIRE) across Baltica image the crust as a collage of terranes suggesting that the bedrock has been formed and thickened in sequential accretions. The profiles also image three fold layering of the thickened crust (>55 km) to transect old terrane boundaries, suggesting that the over-thickened bedrock structures have been rearranged in post-collisional spreading and/or collapse processes. The middle crust displays typical large scale flow structures: herringbone and anticlinal ramps, rooted onto large scale listric surfaces also suggestive

  12. Response of desert biological soil crusts to alterations in precipitation frequency.

    PubMed

    Belnap, Jayne; Phillips, Susan L; Miller, Mark E

    2004-10-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses that live on the soil surface, occur in deserts throughout the world. They are a critical component of desert ecosystems, as they are important contributors to soil fertility and stability. Future climate scenarios predict alteration of the timing and amount of precipitation in desert environments. Because biological soil crust organisms are only metabolically active when wet, and as soil surfaces dry quickly in deserts during late spring, summer, and early fall, the amount and timing of precipitation is likely to have significant impacts on the physiological functioning of these communities. Using the three dominant soil crust types found in the western United States, we applied three levels of precipitation frequency (50% below-average, average, and 50% above-average) while maintaining average precipitation amount (therefore changing both timing and size of applied events). We measured the impact of these treatments on photosynthetic performance (as indicated by dark-adapted quantum yield and chlorophyll a concentrations), nitrogenase activity, and the ability of these organisms to maintain concentrations of radiation-protective pigments (scytonemin, beta-carotene, echinenone, xanthophylls, and canthaxanthin). Increased precipitation frequency produced little response after 2.5 months exposure during spring (1 April-15 June) or summer (15 June-31 August). In contrast, most of the above variables had a large, negative response after exposure to increased precipitation frequency for 6 months spring-fall (1 April-31 October) treatment. The crusts dominated by the soil lichen Collema, being dark and protruding above the surface, dried the most rapidly, followed by the dark surface cyanobacterial crusts (Nostoc- Scytonema- Microcoleus), and then by the light cyanobacterial crusts (Microcoleus). This order reflected the magnitude of the observed response: crusts dominated by the lichen Collema

  13. Response of desert biological soil crusts to alterations in precipitation frequency

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Miller, M.E.

    2004-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses that live on the soil surface, occur in deserts throughout the world. They are a critical component of desert ecosystems, as they are important contributors to soil fertility and stability. Future climate scenarios predict alteration of the timing and amount of precipitation in desert environments. Because biological soil crust organisms are only metabolically active when wet, and as soil surfaces dry quickly in deserts during late spring, summer, and early fall, the amount and timing of precipitation is likely to have significant impacts on the physiological functioning of these communities. Using the three dominant soil crust types found in the western United States, we applied three levels of precipitation frequency (50% below-average, average, and 50% above-average) while maintaining average precipitation amount (therefore changing both timing and size of applied events). We measured the impact of these treatments on photosynthetic performance (as indicated by dark-adapted quantum yield and chlorophyll a concentrations), nitrogenase activity, and the ability of these organisms to maintain concentrations of radiation-protective pigments (scytonemin, beta-carotene, echinenone, xanthophylls, and canthaxanthin). Increased precipitation frequency produced little response after 2.5 months exposure during spring (1 April-15 June) or summer (15 June-31 August). In contrast, most of the above variables had a large, negative response after exposure to increased precipitation frequency for 6 months spring-fall (1 April-31 October) treatment. The crusts dominated by the soil lichen Collema, being dark and protruding above the surface, dried the most rapidly, followed by the dark surface cyanobacterial crusts (Nostoc-Scytonema-Microcoleus), and then by the light cyanobacterial crusts (Microcoleus). This order reflected the magnitude of the observed response: crusts dominated by the lichen Collema

  14. Terrestrial Water Storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodell, M.; Chambers, D. P.; Famiglietti, J. S.

    2015-01-01

    During 2014 dryness continued in the Northern Hemisphere and relative wetness continued in the Southern Hemisphere (Fig. 2.21; Plate 2.1g). These largely canceled out such that the global land surface began and ended the year with a terrestrial water storage (TWS) anomaly slightly below 0 cm (equivalent height of water; Fig. 2.22). TWS is the sum of groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow, and ice. Groundwater responds more slowly to meteorological phenomena than the other components because the overlying soil acts as a low pass filter, but often it has a larger range of variability on multiannual timescales (Rodell and Famiglietti 2001; Alley et al. 2002).In situ groundwater data are only archived and made and Tanzania. The rest of the continent experienced mixed to dry conditions. Significant reductions in TWS in Greenland, Antarctica, and southern coastal Alaska reflect ongoing ice sheet and glacier ablation, not groundwater depletion.

  15. Evidence for oceanic crust in the Herodotus Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granot, Roi

    2016-04-01

    Some of the fundamental tectonic problems of the Eastern Mediterranean remain unresolved due to the extremely thick sedimentary cover (10 to 15 km) and the lack of accurate magnetic anomaly data. I have collected 7,000 km of marine magnetic profiles (2012-2014) across the Herodotus and Levant Basins, Eastern Mediterranean, to study the nature and age of the underlying igneous crust. The towed magnetometer array consisted of two Overhauser sensors recording the total magnetic anomaly field in a longitudinal gradiometer mode, and a fully oriented vector magnetometer. The total field data from the Herodotus Basin reveal a newly detected short sequence of long-wavelength NE-SW lineated anomalies that straddle the entire basin suggesting a deep two-dimensional magnetic source layer. The three components of the magnetic vector data indicate that an abrupt transition from a 2D to 3D magnetic structure occurs east of the Herodotus Basin, along where a prominent NE-SW gravity feature is found. Altogether, these new findings confirm that the Herodotus Basin preserves remnants of oceanic crust that formed along the Neotethyan mid-ocean ridge system. The continuous northward and counterclockwise motion of the African Plate during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic allow predicting the evolution of remanent magnetization directions, which in-turn dictate that shape of the anomalies. The shape of the Herodotus anomalies best fit Late Carboniferous to Early Permian (300±20 Myr old) magnetization directions. Finally, I will discuss the implications of these results on the tectonic architecture of the region as well as on various geodynamic processes.

  16. Terrestrial Planets Accreted Dry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albarede, F.; Blichert-Toft, J.

    2007-12-01

    Plate tectonics shaped the Earth, whereas the Moon is a dry and inactive desert. Mars probably came to rest within the first billion years of its history, and Venus, although internally very active, has a dry inferno for its surface. The strong gravity field of a large planet allows for an enormous amount of gravitational energy to be released, causing the outer part of the planetary body to melt (magma ocean), helps retain water on the planet, and increases the pressure gradient. The weak gravity field and anhydrous conditions prevailing on the Moon stabilized, on top of its magma ocean, a thick buoyant plagioclase lithosphere, which insulated the molten interior. On Earth, the buoyant hydrous phases (serpentines) produced by reactions between the terrestrial magma ocean and the wet impactors received from the outer Solar System isolated the magma and kept it molten for some few tens of million years. The elemental distributions and the range of condensation temperatures show that the planets from the inner Solar System accreted dry. The interior of planets that lost up to 95% of their K cannot contain much water. Foundering of their wet surface material softened the terrestrial mantle and set the scene for the onset of plate tectonics. This very same process may have removed all the water from the surface of Venus 500 My ago and added enough water to its mantle to make its internal dynamics very strong and keep the surface very young. Because of a radius smaller than that of the Earth, not enough water could be drawn into the Martian mantle before it was lost to space and Martian plate tectonics never began. The radius of a planet therefore is the key parameter controlling most of its evolutional features.

  17. On the Ways That Planetesimals Were Analogs to Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial planets are now understood to accrete from smaller bodies - both planetesimals and planetary embryos - that are, at least in many cases, already internally differentiated into a metallic core and a silicate mantle. The final terrestrial planet retains few or no unmodified vestiges of the first bodies from which it formed; each planet is the result of multiple heating, melting, and differentiation events as it grew and also on the bodies from which it grew. Planetesimals and embryos, however, are imperfect miniature physical analogs to today's Earth. The small gravity fields produce different physical processes, as would the potentially higher temperatures, the dominance of internal radiogenic heating, and the possibility of far higher volatile fractions. The meteorite collection contains samples of undifferentiated primitive material from planetesimals along with both silicates and iron-nickel metal from differentiated planetesimals. Conspicuously lacking is olivine-dominated material similar to the Earth's mantle or resulting from magmatic fractionation. Perhaps our collection simply lacks these samples but they did originally exist. Perhaps, however, in the small gravity field of a planetesimal magmas cannot efficiently fractionate, and no olivine-dominated material can be produced; the mantles and crusts of planetesimals may have been significantly different than our Earth, Venus, and Mars examples. Even in the low-gravity environment, however, metal can segregate into a core, and this core can produce a magnetic dynamo. And because each planetary core is the result of combining many smaller, pre-differentiated cores from other bodies, each core (except the very first differentiation event) is a combination of many others that went through multiple melting, solidification, collision, and disruption events. Thus core materials and processes on planetesimals may have been higher-fidelity analogs to the cores of terrestrial planets than are their

  18. Controls of biological soil crust cover and composition shift with succession in sagebrush shrub-steppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dettweiler-Robinson, E.; Bakker, J.D.; Grace, J.B.

    2013-01-01

    Successional stage may determine strength and causal direction of interactions among abiotic and biotic factors; e.g., species that facilitate the establishment of other species may later compete with them. We evaluated multivariate hypotheses about abiotic and biotic factors shaping biological soil crusts (BSCs) in early and late successional stages. We surveyed vegetation and BSC in the shrub-steppe ecosystem of the Columbia Basin. We analyzed the relationships with bryophyte and lichen covers using structural equation models, and analyzed the relationships with BSC composition using Indicator Species Analysis and distance-based linear models. Cover, indicator species, and composition varied with successional stage. Increasing elevation and bryophyte cover had higher lichen cover early in succession; these relationships were negative in the later successional stage. Lichen cover did not appear to impede B. tectorum cover, but B. tectorum appeared to strongly negatively affect lichen cover in both stages. Biological soil crust composition varied with bunchgrass cover in the early successional stage, but with elevation and B. tectorum cover later in succession. Our findings support the hypotheses that as succession progresses, the strength and direction of certain community interactions shift, and B. tectorum leads to reductions in biological soil crust cover regardless of successional stage.

  19. Terrestrial Coordinate Systems and Frames

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boucher, C.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    A terrestrial reference system (TRS) is a spatial reference system corotating with the Earth in its DIURNAL MOTION in space. In such a system, the positions of points anchored on the Earth's solid surface have coordinates which have only small variations with time, as a result of geophysical effects (tectonic or tidal deformations; see TECTONICS, EARTH'S INTERIOR, TIDES). A terrestrial reference ...

  20. Sensitivity of desert cryptograms to air pollutants: soil crusts and rock lichens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.

    1991-01-01

    Parks throughout the West are being faced with increasing air pollution threats from current or proposed industries near their boundaries. For this reason, it is important to understand the effects these industries may have on desert ecosystems. Rock lichens can be excellent biomonitors, acting as early warning systems of impending damage to other components of the desert ecosystem. Cryptogamic crusts, consisting mostly of cyanobacteria and lichens, may not only be excellent bioindicators, but also are an essential part of the desert ecosystem. Their presence is critical for soil stability as well as for the contribution of nitrogen to the ecosystem in a form available to higher plants. Air pollutants, such as emissions from coal-fired power plants, may threaten the healthy functioning of these non-vascular plants. The purpose of this study is to determine if, in fact, air pollutants do have an impact on the physiological functioning of cryptogamic crusts or rock lichens in desert systems and, if so, to what extent. Some results have already been obtained. Both rock lichens and cryptogamic crusts exhibit physiological damage in the vicinity of the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona. Increased electrolyte leakage and chlorophyll degradation, along with reduced nitrogen fixation, have been found. Preliminary studies comparing sensitivity between substrates indicate that crusts on limestone and sandstone substrates may be more sensitive than those on gypsum.

  1. Remote sensing evidence for an ancient carbon-bearing crust on Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peplowski, Patrick N.; Klima, Rachel L.; Lawrence, David J.; Ernst, Carolyn M.; Denevi, Brett W.; Frank, Elizabeth A.; Goldsten, John O.; Murchie, Scott L.; Nittler, Larry R.; Solomon, Sean C.

    2016-04-01

    Mercury’s global surface is markedly darker than predicted from its measured elemental composition. The darkening agent, which has not been previously identified, is most concentrated within Mercury’s lowest-reflectance spectral unit, the low-reflectance material. This low-reflectance material is generally found in large impact craters and their ejecta, which suggests a mid-to-lower crustal origin. Here we present neutron spectroscopy measurements of Mercury’s surface from the MESSENGER spacecraft that reveal increases in thermal-neutron count rates that correlate spatially with deposits of low-reflectance material. The only element consistent with both the neutron measurements and visible to near-infrared spectra of low-reflectance material is carbon, at an abundance that is 1-3 wt% greater than surrounding, higher-reflectance material. We infer that carbon is the primary darkening agent on Mercury and that the low-reflectance material samples carbon-bearing deposits within the planet’s crust. Our findings are consistent with the formation of a graphite flotation crust from an early magma ocean, and we propose that the heavily disrupted remnants of this ancient layer persist beneath the present upper crust. Under this scenario, Mercury’s globally low reflectance results from mixing of the ancient graphite-rich crust with overlying volcanic materials via impact processes or assimilation of carbon into rising magmas during secondary crustal formation.

  2. What we could learn from observations of terrestrial exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meadows, Victoria; Schwieterman, Edward; Arney, Giada; Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob; Lincowski, Andrew; Robinson, Tyler D.; Deming, Drake; NASA Astrobiology Institute - Virtual Planetary Laboratory

    2016-10-01

    Observations of terrestrial exoplanet environments remain an important frontier in comparative planetology. Studies of habitable zone terrestrial planets will set our own Earth in a broader context. Hot, post-runaway terrestrial exoplanets can provide insights into terrestrial planet evolution - and may reveal planetary processes that could mimic signs of life, such as photochemically-produced oxygen. While transmission spectroscopy observations of terrestrial planet atmospheres with JWST will be extremely challenging, they will afford our first chance to characterize the atmospheres of planets orbiting in the habitable zone of M dwarfs. However, due to the effects of refraction, clouds and hazes, JWST will likely sample the stratospheres of habitable zone terrestrial planets, and will not be able to observe the planetary surface or near-surface atmosphere. These limitations will hamper the search for signs of habitability and life, by precluding detection of water vapor in the deep atmosphere, and confining biosignature searches to gases that are prevalent in the stratosphere, such as evenly-mixed O2, or photochemical byproducts of biogenic gases. In contrast, direct imaging missions can potentially probe the entire atmospheric column and planetary surface, and can typically obtain broader wavelength coverage for habitable zone planets orbiting more Sun-like stars, complementing the M dwarf planet observations favored by transmission spectroscopy. In this presentation we will show results from theoretical modeling of terrestrial exoplanet environments for habitable Earth-like, early Earth and highly-evolved hot terrestrial planets - with photochemistry and climates that are driven by host stars of different spectral types. We will also present simulated observations of these planets for both transmission (JWST) and direct imaging (LUVOIR-class) observations. These photometric measurements and spectra help us identify the most - and least - observable features of

  3. Longitudinal photosynthetic gradient in crust lichens' thalli.

    PubMed

    Wu, Li; Zhang, Gaoke; Lan, Shubin; Zhang, Delu; Hu, Chunxiang

    2014-05-01

    In order to evaluate the self-shading protection for inner photobionts, the photosynthetic activities of three crust lichens were detected using Microscope-Imaging-PAM. The false color images showed that longitudinal photosynthetic gradient was found in both the green algal lichen Placidium sp. and the cyanolichen Peltula sp. In longitudinal direction, all the four chlorophyll fluorescence parameters Fv/Fm, Yield, qP, and rETR gradually decreased with depth in the thalli of both of these two lichens. In Placidium sp., qN values decreased with depth, whereas an opposite trend was found in Peltula sp. However, no such photosynthetic heterogeneity was found in the thalli of Collema sp. in longitudinal direction. Microscope observation showed that photobiont cells are compactly arranged in Placidium sp. and Peltula sp. while loosely distributed in Collema sp. It was considered that the longitudinal photosynthetic heterogeneity was ascribed to the result of gradual decrease of incidence caused by the compact arrangement of photobiont cells in the thalli. The results indicate a good protection from the self-shading for the inner photobionts against high radiation in crust lichens.

  4. Surface coating for prevention of crust formation

    DOEpatents

    Kronberg, James W.

    1994-01-01

    A flexible surface coating which promotes the removal of deposits as they reach the surface by preventing adhesion and crust formation. Flexible layers are attached to each side of a flexible mesh substrate comprising of a plurality of zones composed of one or more neighboring cells, each zone having a different compressibility than its adjacent zones. The substrate is composed of a mesh made of strands and open cells. The cells may be filled with foam. Studs or bearings may also be positioned in the cells to increase the variation in compressibility and thus the degree of flexing of the coating. Surface loading produces varying amounts of compression from point to point causing the coating to flex as deposits reach it, breaking up any hardening deposits before a continuous crust forms. Preferably one or more additional layers are also used, such as an outer layer of a non-stick material such as TEFLON, which may be pigmented, and an inner, adhesive layer to facilitate applying the coating to a surface.

  5. Color characterization of Arctic Biological Soil Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mele, Giacono; Gargiulo, Laura; Ventura, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    Global climate change makes large areas lacking the vegetation coverage continuously available to primary colonization by biological soil crusts (BSCs). This happens in many different environments, included high mountains and Polar Regions where new areas can become available due to glaciers retreat. Presence of BSCs leads to the stabilization of the substrate and to a possible development of protosoil, with an increase of fertility and resilience against erosion. Polar BSCs can exhibit many different proportions of cyanobacteria, algae, microfungi, lichens, and bryophytes which induce a large variability of the crust morphology and specific ecosystem functions. An effective and easy way for identifying the BSCs in the field would be very useful to rapidly recognize their development stage and help in understanding the overall impact of climate change in the delicate polar environments. Color analysis has long been applied as an easily measurable physical attribute of soil closely correlated with pedogenic processes and some soil functions. In this preliminary work we used RGB and CIE-L*a*b* color models in order to physically characterize fourteen different BSCs identified in Spitsbergen island of Svalbard archipelago in Arctic Ocean at 79° north latitude. We found that the "redness parameter "a*" of CIE-L*a*b* model was well correlated to the succession process of some BSCs at given geomorphology condition. Most of color parameters showed, moreover, a great potential to be correlated to photosynthetic activity and other ecosystem functions of BSCs.

  6. Is Ishtar Terra a thickened basaltic crust?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arkani-Hamed, Jafar

    1992-01-01

    The mountain belts of Ishtar Terra and the surrounding tesserae are interpreted as compressional regions. The gravity and surface topography of western Ishtar Terra suggest a thick crust of 60-110 km that results from crustal thickening through tectonic processes. Underthrusting was proposed for the regions along Danu Montes and Itzpapalotl Tessera. Crustal thickening was suggested for the entire Ishtar Terra. In this study, three lithospheric models with total thicknesses of 40.75 and 120 km and initial crustal thicknesses of 3.9 and 18 km are examined. These models could be produced by partial melting and chemical differentiation in the upper mantle of a colder, an Earth-like, and a hotter Venus having temperatures of respectively 1300 C, 1400 C, and 1500 C at the base of their thermal boundary layers associated with mantle convection. The effects of basalt-granulite-eclogite transformation (BGET) on the surface topography of a thickening basaltic crust is investigated adopting the experimental phase diagram and density variations through the phase transformation.

  7. CHAMP Magnetic Anomalies of the Antarctic Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Hyung Rae; Gaya-Pique, Luis R.; vonFrese, Ralph R. B.; Taylor, Patrick T.; Kim, Jeong Woo

    2003-01-01

    Regional magnetic signals of the crust are strongly masked by the core field and its secular variations components and hence difficult to isolate in the satellite measurements. In particular, the un-modeled effects of the strong auroral external fields and the complicated- behavior of the core field near the geomagnetic poles conspire to greatly reduce the crustal magnetic signal-to-noise ratio in the polar regions relative to the rest of the Earth. We can, however, use spectral correlation theory to filter the static lithospheric and core field components from the dynamic external field effects. To help isolate regional lithospheric from core field components, the correlations between CHAMP magnetic anomalies and the pseudo magnetic effects inferred from gravity-derived crustal thickness variations can also be exploited.. Employing these procedures, we processed the CHAMP magnetic observations for an improved magnetic anomaly map of the Antarctic crust. Relative to the much higher altitude Orsted and noisier Magsat observations, the CHAMP magnetic anomalies at 400 km altitude reveal new details on the effects of intracrustal magnetic features and crustal thickness variations of the Antarctic.

  8. Does subduction zone magmatism produce average continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ellam, R. M.; Hawkesworth, C. J.

    1988-01-01

    The question of whether present day subduction zone magmatism produces material of average continental crust composition, which perhaps most would agree is andesitic, is addressed. It was argued that modern andesitic to dacitic rocks in Andean-type settings are produced by plagioclase fractionation of mantle derived basalts, leaving a complementary residue with low Rb/Sr and a positive Eu anomaly. This residue must be removed, for example by delamination, if the average crust produced in these settings is andesitic. The author argued against this, pointing out the absence of evidence for such a signature in the mantle. Either the average crust is not andesitic, a conclusion the author was not entirely comfortable with, or other crust forming processes must be sought. One possibility is that during the Archean, direct slab melting of basaltic or eclogitic oceanic crust produced felsic melts, which together with about 65 percent mafic material, yielded an average crust of andesitic composition.

  9. Kinetics of the crust thickness development of bread during baking.

    PubMed

    Soleimani Pour-Damanab, Alireza; Jafary, A; Rafiee, Sh

    2014-11-01

    The development of crust thickness of bread during baking is an important aspect of bread quality and shelf-life. Computer vision system was used for measuring the crust thickness via colorimetric properties of bread surface during baking process. Crust thickness had a negative and positive relationship with Lightness (L (*) ) and total color change (E (*) ) of bread surface, respectively. A linear negative trend was found between crust thickness and moisture ratio of bread samples. A simple mathematical model was proposed to predict the development of crust thickness of bread during baking, where the crust thickness was depended on moisture ratio that was described by the Page moisture losing model. The independent variables of the model were baking conditions, i.e. oven temperature and air velocity, and baking time. Consequently, the proposed model had well prediction ability, as the mean absolute estimation error of the model was 7.93 %.

  10. Growth response of a deep-water ferromanganese crust to evolution of the Neogene Indian Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banakar, V.K.; Hein, J.R.

    2000-01-01

    A deep-water ferromanganese crust from a Central Indian Ocean seamount dated previously by 10Be and 230Th(excess) was studied for compositional and textural variations that occurred throughout its growth history. The 10Be/9Be dated interval (upper 32 mm) yields an uniform growth rate of 2.8 ?? 0.1 mm/Ma [Frank, M., O'Nions, R.K., 1998. Sources of Pb for Indian Ocean ferromanganese crusts: a record of Himalayan erosion. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 158, pp. 121-130.] which gives an extrapolated age of ~ 26 Ma for the base of the crust at 72 mm and is comparable to the maximum age derived from the Co-model based growth rate estimates. This study shows that Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide precipitation did not occur from the time of emplacement of the seamount during the Eocene (~ 53 Ma) until the late Oligocene (~ 26 Ma). This paucity probably was the result of a nearly overlapping palaeo-CCD and palaeo-depth of crust formation, increased early Eocene productivity, instability and reworking of the surface rocks on the flanks of the seamount, and lack of oxic deep-water in the nascent Indian Ocean. Crust accretion began (older zone) with the formation of isolated cusps of Fe-Mn oxide during a time of high detritus influx, probably due to the early-Miocene intense erosion associated with maximum exhumation of the Himalayas (op. cit.). This cuspate textured zone extends from 72 mm to 42 mm representing the early-Miocene period. Intense polar cooling and increased mixing of deep and intermediate waters at the close of the Oligocene might have led to the increased oxygenation of the bottom-water in the basin. A considerable expansion in the vertical distance between the seafloor depth and the CCD during the early Miocene in addition to the influx of oxygenated bottom-water likely initiated Fe-Mn crust formation. Pillar structure characterises the younger zone, which extends from 40 mm to the surface of the crust, i.e., ~ 15 Ma to Present. This zone is characterised by > 25% higher

  11. Treatment of crusted scabies with albendazole: A case report.

    PubMed

    Douri, Thaer; Shawaf, A Z

    2009-10-15

    Crusted scabies is a severe variant of scabies caused by the ectoparasite Sarcoptes scabiei. It is characterized by high mite burden, extensive hyperkeratotic scaling, crusted lesions, variable pruritus, generalized lymphadenopathy, erythroderma, and eosinophilia, in some cases. There is an increased incidence of crusted scabies, particularly among patients with HIV infection. We describe a 22-year-old Syrian immunocompetent female who had hyperkeratotic psoriasiform plaques and hyperkeratosis without itching. She was treated with oral albendazole and topical crotamiton with salicylic acid 5 percent.

  12. Biological Soil Crusts: Webs of Life in the Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne

    2001-01-01

    Although the soil surface may look like dirt to you, it is full of living organisms that are a vital part of desert ecosystems. This veneer of life is called a biological soil crust. These crusts are found throughout the world, from hot deserts to polar regions. Crusts generally cover all soil spaces not occupied by green plants. In many areas, they comprise over 70% of the living ground cover and are key in reducing erosion, increasing water retention, and increasing soil fertility. In most dry regions, these crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria (previously called blue-green algae), which are one of the oldest known life forms. Communities of soil crusts also include lichens, mosses, microfungi, bacteria, and green algae. These living organisms and their by-products create a continuous crust on the soil surface. The general color, surface appearance, and amount of coverage of these crusts vary depending on climate and disturbance patterns. Immature crusts are generally flat and the color of the soil, which makes them difficult to distinguish from bare ground. Mature crusts, in contrast, are usually bumpy and dark-colored due to the presence of lichens, mosses, and high densities of cyanobacteria and other organisms.

  13. Quantifying glassy and crystalline basalt partitioning in the oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Rachael; Ménez, Bénédicte

    2016-04-01

    The upper layers of the oceanic crust are predominately basaltic rock, some of which hosts microbial life. Current studies of microbial life within the ocean crust mainly focus on the sedimentary rock fraction, or those organisms found within glassy basalts while the potential habitability of crystalline basalts are poorly explored. Recently, there has been recognition that microbial life develops within fractures and grain boundaries of crystalline basalts, therefore estimations of total biomass within the oceanic crust may be largely under evaluated. A deeper understanding of the bulk composition and fractionation of rocks within the oceanic crust is required before more accurate estimations of biomass can be made. To augment our understanding of glassy and crystalline basalts within the oceanic crust we created two end-member models describing basalt fractionation: a pillow basalt with massive, or sheet, flows crust and a pillow basalt with sheeted dike crust. Using known measurements of massive flow thickness, dike thickness, chilled margin thickness, pillow lava size, and pillow lava glass thickness, we have calculated the percentage of glassy versus crystalline basalts within the oceanic crust for each model. These models aid our understanding of textural fractionation within the oceanic crust, and can be applied with bioenergetics models to better constrain deep biomass estimates.

  14. Thinning and flow of Tibetan crust constrained by seismic anisotropy.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Nikolai M; Ritzwoller, Michael H; Molnar, Peter; Levin, Vadim

    2004-07-09

    Intermediate-period Rayleigh and Love waves propagating across Tibet indicate marked radial anisotropy within the middle-to-lower crust, consistent with a thinning of the middle crust by about 30%. The anisotropy is largest in the western part of the plateau, where moment tensors of earthquakes indicate active crustal thinning. The preferred orientation of mica crystals resulting from the crustal thinning can account for the observed anisotropy. The middle-to-lower crust of Tibet appears to have thinned more than the upper crust, consistent with deformation of a mechanically weak layer that flows as if confined to a channel.

  15. Nitrogen fixation in biological soil crusts from southeast Utah, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.

    2002-01-01

    Biological soil crusts can be the dominant source of N for arid land ecosystems. We measured potential N fixation rates biweekly for 2 years, using three types of soil crusts: (1) crusts whose directly counted cells were >98% Microcoleus vaginatus (light crusts); (2) crusts dominated by M. vaginatus, but with 20% or more of the directly counted cells represented by Nostoc commune and Scytonema myochrous (dark crusts); and (3) the soil lichen Collema sp. At all observation times, Collema had higher nitrogenase activity (NA) than dark crusts, which had higher NA than light crusts, indicating that species composition is critical when estimating N inputs. In addition, all three types of crusts generally responded in a similar fashion to climate conditions. Without precipitation within a week of collection, no NA was recorded, regardless of other conditions being favorable. Low (26??C) temperatures precluded NA, even if soils were moist. If rain or snow melt had occurred 3 or less days before collection, NA levels were highly correlated with daily average temperatures of the previous 3 days (r2=0.93 for Collema crusts; r2=0.86 for dark crusts and r2=0.83 for light crusts) for temperatures between 1??C and 26??C. If a precipitation event followed a long dry period, NA levels were lower than if collection followed a time when soils were wet for extended periods (e.g., winter). Using a combination of data from a recording weather datalogger, time-domain reflectometry, manual dry-down curves, and N fixation rates at different temperatures, annual N input from the different crust types was estimated. Annual N input from dark crusts found at relatively undisturbed sites was estimated at 9 kg ha-1 year-1. With 20% cover of the N-fixing soil lichen Collema, inputs are estimated at 13 kg ha-1 year-1. N input from light crusts, generally indicating soil surface disturbance, was estimated at 1.4 kg ha-1 year-1. The rates in light crusts are expected to be highly variable, as

  16. Crust formation and its effect on the molten pool coolability

    SciTech Connect

    Park, R.J.; Lee, S.J.; Sim, S.K.

    1995-09-01

    Experimental and analytical studies of the crust formation and its effect on the molten pool coolability have been performed to examine the crust formation process as a function of boundary temperatures as well as to investigate heat transfer characteristics between molten pool and overlying water in order to evaluate coolability of the molten pool. The experimental test results have shown that the surface temperature of the bottom plate is a dominant parameter in the crust formation process of the molten pool. It is also found that the crust thickness of the case with direct coolant injection into the molten pool is greater than that of the case with a heat exchanger. Increasing mass flow rate of direct coolant injection to the molten pool does not affect the temperature of molten pool after the crust has been formed in the molten pool because the crust behaves as a thermal barrier. The Nusselt number between the molten pool and the coolant of the case with no crust formation is greater than that of the case with crust formation. The results of FLOW-3D analyses have shown that the temperature distribution contributes to the crust formation process due to Rayleigh-Benard natural convection flow.

  17. Martian mud volcanism: Terrestrial analogs and implications for formational scenarios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skinner, J.A.; Mazzini, A.

    2009-01-01

    The geology of Mars and the stratigraphic characteristics of its uppermost crust (mega-regolith) suggest that some of the pervasively-occurring pitted cones, mounds, and flows may have formed through processes akin to terrestrial mud volcanism. A comparison of terrestrial mud volcanism suggests that equivalent Martian processes likely required discrete sedimentary depocenters, volatile-enriched strata, buried rheological instabilities, and a mechanism of destabilization to initiate subsurface flow. We outline five formational scenarios whereby Martian mud volcanism might have occurred: (A) rapid deposition of sediments, (B) volcano-induced destabilization, (C) tectonic shortening, (D) long-term, load-induced subsidence, and (E) seismic shaking. We describe locations within and around the Martian northern plains that broadly fit the geological context of these scenarios and which contain mud volcano-like landforms. We compare terrestrial and Martian satellite images and examine the geological settings of mud volcano provinces on Earth in order to describe potential target areas for piercement structures on Mars. Our comparisons help to evaluate not only the role of water as a functional component of geological processes on Mars but also how Martian mud volcanoes could provide samples of otherwise inaccessible strata, some of which could contain astrobiological evidence.

  18. Vulnerability of desert biological soil crusts to wind erosion: The influences of crust development, soil texture, and disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Gillette, Dale A.

    1998-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, consisting of cyanobacteria, green algae, lichens, and mosses, are important in stabilizing soils in semi-arid and arid lands. Integrity of these crusts is compromised by compressional disturbances such as foot, vehicle, or livestock traffic. Using a portable wind tunnel, we found threshold friction velocities (TFVs) of undisturbed crusts well above wind forces experienced at these sites; consequently, these soils are not vulnerable to wind erosion. However, recently disturbed soils or soils with less well-developed crusts frequently experience wind speeds that exceed the stability thresholds of the crusts. Crustal biomass is concentrated in the top 3 mm of soils. Sandblasting by wind can quickly remove this material, thereby reducing N and C inputs from these organisms. This loss can result in reduced site productivity, as well as exposure of unprotected subsurface sediments to wind and water erosion. Actions to reduce impacts to these crusts can include adjustments in type, intensity, and timing of use.

  19. Crustal redistribution, crust-mantle recycling and Phanerozoic evolution of the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clift, Peter D.; Vannucchi, Paola; Morgan, Jason Phipps

    2009-12-01

    We here attempt a global scale mass balance of the continental crust during the Phanerozoic and especially the Cenozoic (65 Ma). Continental crust is mostly recycled back into the mantle as a result of the subduction of sediment in trenches (1.65 km 3/a), by the subduction of eroded forearc basement (1.3 km 3/a) and by the delamination of lower crustal material from orogenic plateaus (ca. 1.1 km 3/a). Subduction of rifted crust in continent-continent collision zones (0.4 km 3/a), and dissolved materials fixed into the oceanic crust (ca. 0.4 km 3/a) are less important crustal sinks. At these rates the entire continental crust could be reworked in around 1.8 Ga. Nd isotope data indicate that ca. 80% of the subducted continental crust is not recycled by melting at shallow levels back into arcs, but is subducted to depth into the upper mantle. Continent-continent collision zones do not generally form new crust, but rather cause crustal loss by subduction and as a result of their physical erosion, which exports crust from the orogen to ocean basins where it may be subducted. Regional sedimentation rates suggest that most orogens have their topography eliminated within 100-200 million years. We estimate that during the Cenozoic the global rivers exported an average of 1.8 km 3/a to the oceans, approximately balancing the subducted loss. Accretion of sediment to active continental margins is a small contribution to crustal construction (ca. 0.3 km 3/a). Similarly, continental large igneous provinces (flood basalts) represent construction of only around 0.12 km 3/a, even after accounting for their intrusive roots. If oceanic plateaus are accreted to continental margins then they would average construction rates of 1.1 km 3/a, meaning that to keep constant crustal volumes, arc magmatism would have to maintain production of around 3.8 km 3/a (or 94 km 3/Ma/km of trench). This slightly exceeds the rates derived from sparse seismic experiments in oceanic arc systems. Although

  20. Anatexis in Himalayan Crust: Evidences and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, X.; Ma, J.

    2004-12-01

    Here we present results of chemical features of migmatites in Higher Himalayan Crystallines (HHC) and K-Ar and Ar-Ar ages of the leucosomes (type-I and type-II) in the migmatites. The mass leucosomes distributed in HHC were generated by partial melting and consequently they are ideal specimens to determine the timing of anatexis, to study the relationship between migmatization and leucogranite formation, and to understand the role of partial melting in crustal evolution in continental collision orogenic belt. Mass balance relationship among mesosome, type-I leucosome and melanosome implies that they are likely generated in the same process. The compositions of Type-I leucosome are identical with those of melt produced by dehydration melting of biotite-plagioclase gneiss but different from those of type-II leucosome which compositions are similar to HHL. These compositional characteristics of leucosomes reflect that Type-I leucosome is the product of crystallization from melt generated by partial melting of mesosome in the source region, but Type-II leucosome and HHL probably underwent crystallization differentiation of plagioclase during melt aggregation and migration. Prime partial melting occurred at 22.7-24.7 Ma based on the date of type-I leucosome. The ages of type-II leucosomes (ranging from 14.82 to 18.37 Ma) are consistent with that of HHL. Very young age of 6.2-8.3 Ma of type-II leucosome provides a new time constraint on magma activity in the central segment of Higher Himalayas. These ages reveal some dynamic correlation summarized as follows. (1) The age of about 24 Ma (the beginning of anatexis), which is a little younger than that of MCT movement, does not support the view that anatexis was derived from MCT movement; on the contrary, but rather, the anatexis may have played an important role in the formation of MCT and Southern Tibetan Detachment System. (2) Decompression melting associated with STDS movement and crust uplifting contributed greatly to

  1. Utility terrestrial biodiversity issues

    SciTech Connect

    Breece, G.A.; Ward, B.J.

    1996-11-01

    Results from a survey of power utility biologists indicate that terrestrial biodiversity is considered a major issued by only a few utilities; however, a majority believe it may be a future issue. Over half of the respondents indicated that their company is involved in some management for biodiversity, and nearly all feel that it should be a goal for resource management. Only a few utilities are funding biodiversity research, but a majority felt more research was needed. Generally, larger utilities with extensive land holdings had greater opportunities and resources for biodiversity management. Biodiversity will most likely be a concern with transmission rights-of-way construction and maintenance, endangered species issues and general land resource management, including mining reclamation and hydro relicensing commitments. Over half of the companies surveyed have established voluntary partnerships with management groups, and biodiversity is a goal in nearly all the joint projects. Endangered species management and protection, prevention of forest fragmentation, wetland protection, and habitat creation and protection are the most common partnerships involving utility companies. Common management practices and unique approaches are presented, along with details of the survey. 4 refs.

  2. Space or terrestrial energy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boulet, L.

    Consideration is given to the possibility of generating sufficient energy at acceptable costs on earth to offset the need to build solar power satellite systems (SPS). Electricity usage, one of the basic driving forces of developed nations, grows with the population. Currently comprising 33 pct of the total world energy used, electricity is projected to grow to a 50-55 pct share in the 21st century. Future terrestrial electrical energy sources include carbon-based fuels, nuclear (fusion or fission), and the renewable solar technologies. Carbon-based fuel supplies can last until 2030 AD, about the same as fission plants with recycled fuel. Breeder reactors would stretch the nuclear fuels to the year 3000. Solar technologies offer more immediate solutions than fusion reactors and can produce 50 pct of the power available from the construction of the maximum number of nuclear power plants. The addition of SPS would further augment the total. Combinations of all the technologies are recommended, with local research for the most appropriate technology for each nation.

  3. Evidence of extinct 244Pu in ancient terrestrial zircons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, T. M.; Turner, G.; Holland, G.; Gilmour, J. D.; Mojzsis, S. J.

    2003-04-01

    The Pu/U ratio of the early Earth is an important parameter in models of mantle evolution based on noble gas isotopes. Current estimates assume the Earth accreted with a chondritic Pu/U and are based on analyses of the chondrite St Severin and the achondrite Angra dos Reis. These estimates are poorly constrained, ranging from 0.004 to 0.008. On account of its short, 82 Ma, half-life, 244Pu was essentially extinct 3,900 Ma ago, and consequently there exists no reliable measurement of Pu/U for the Earth. The discovery of zircons dating from the period when 244Pu was "live" offers the first opportunity to measure the former terrestrial abundance of 244Pu directly. Xenon isotopes are produced by spontaneous fission and, in principle, are readily distinguishable from those produced by 238U-fission (e.g. 131Xe/136Xe = 0.24 and 0.08 respectively). However the expected levels of fission xenon in individual zircons, weighing 1 - 2 μg and containing 100 - 200 ppm U, are below, or at best comparable to, the Xe blank levels (˜10-15 ccSTP) typical of conventional noble gas mass spectrometers. In order to analyse these minute amounts of xenon we have made use of a uniquely sensitive instrument, developed in Manchester, based on the principle of laser resonance ionisation. RELAX (Refrigerator Enhanced Laser Analyser for Xenon) is capable of analysing samples of only a few thousand atoms, some two orders of magnitude smaller than conventional mass spectrometers. We have carried out preliminary analyses of 4 individual 4,150 Ma zircons and one 3,600 Ma zircon from Jack Hills, Western Australia, and obtained five clear fission spectra. All but one were essentially free from significant atmospheric blank (the average 130Xe blank was 3× 10-18 ccSTP, i.e. 80 atoms). The spectra of the older zircons clearly demonstrated the presence of varying amounts of 244Pu fission xenon. The highest 131Xe/136Xe, 0.136 ± 0.003, corresponds to an initial Pu/U ratio of 0.0057. The lower ratios

  4. Synthetic spectra of simulated terrestrial atmospheres containing possible biomarker gases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schindler, T. L.; Kasting, J. F.

    2000-01-01

    NASA's proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder, a space-based interferometer, will eventually allow spectroscopic analyses of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. Such analyses would provide information about the existence of life on these planets. One strategy in the search for life is to look for evidence of O3 (and hence O2) in a planet's atmosphere; another is to look for gases that might be present in an atmosphere analogous to that of the inhabited early Earth. In order to investigate these possibilities, we have calculated synthetic spectra for several hypothetical terrestrial-type atmospheres. The model atmospheres represent four different scenarios. The first two, representing inhabited terrestrial planets, are an Earth-like atmosphere containing variable amounts of oxygen and an early Earth-type atmosphere containing methane. In addition, two cases representing Mars-like and early Venus-like atmospheres were evaluated, to provide possible "false positive" spectra. The calculated spectra suggest that ozone could be detected by an instrument like Terrestrial Planet Finder if the O2 concentration in the planet's atmosphere is > or = 200 ppm, or 10(-3) times the present atmospheric level. Methane should be observable on an early-Earth type planet if it is present in concentrations of 100 ppm or more. Methane has both biogenic and abiogenic sources, but concentrations exceeding 1000 ppm, or 0.1% by volume, would be difficult to produce from abiogenic sources alone. High methane concentrations in a planet's atmosphere are therefore another potential indicator for extraterrestrial life.

  5. Physical constraints on dolomite crust formation, Ambergris Cay Belize

    SciTech Connect

    Birdwell, B.A.; Bischoff, W.D.; Mazzullo, S.J. )

    1990-05-01

    Dolomitic crusts forming on a peritidal flat on Ambergris Cay, Belize, occur beneath surface sediment adjacent to, but not within, small saline (60-90 ppt) ponds. Upper crusts, 2-12 cm thick forming at or slightly below the water table (approximately equivalent to lagoon water level) are areally restricted by (1) ponds where sediment lies below 20-50 cm of water, (2) high and relatively dry areas where sediment accumulation of more than 15 cm above water level supports diverse vegetation, and (3) low areas affected by mangrove encroachment where preexisting crusts are perforated by roots and displaced. The lower crusts occur immediately above the Pleistocene in lows beneath the Holocene sediment and on exposed Pleistocene surfaces. Estimates from x-ray diffraction analysis indicate 80-100% dolomite content within the upper crusts and 50-60% dolomite content in the lower crusts. Unlithified sediment above and below the upper crust contain up to 80% dolomite. Compositions range from Ca{sub 56}, Mg{sub 44} in the upper crusts to Ca{sub 60} Mg{sub 40} in the lower crusts. There is no correlation between stoichiometry and ordering in the dolomites; all are poorly ordered as indicated by very weak (015) and (021) superstructure peaks. Where crusts are not 100% dolomite, the dolomite is evident as euhedral cements within pores, especially within foraminiferal tests, and as micrite along algal laminations and walls of burrows. However, preliminary examinations with scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray mapping show that magnesium enrichment is pervasive within these crusts and may represent Mg-enrichment of calcite as an intermediate stage in dolomite formation.

  6. Sources of Mesoproterozoic igneous rocks and formation time of the continental crust of the Kokchetav Massif (Northern Kazakhstan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tretyakov, A. A.; Kovach, V. P.; Degtyarev, K. E.; Shatagin, K. N.

    2016-12-01

    Within the Kokchetav massif (Northern Kazakhstan), Mesoproterozoic granites and acid volcanics are widespread: these are the youngest Precambrian igneous rocks forming basement of the region. The Nd isotopic characteristics (ɛNd( t)-4.4 ÷-9.6, t Nd(DM) 2.1-2.6 Ga) obtained for these rocks indicate that the source of their melts was the Early Precambrian continental crust. Thus, the continental crust of the Kokchetav Massif had basically been formed by the beginning of the Mesoproterozoic and during the Late Precambrian: later it became a source for the granitoid melts.

  7. High resolution mapping of Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) of biological soil crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, T.; Veste, M.; Eisele, A.; Bens, O.; Spyra, W.; Hüttl, R. F.

    2012-04-01

    . Perspectively, the new method could be used for field monitoring of both biological soil crusts and vascular vegetation. Literature: Fischer, T., Veste, M., Eisele, A., Bens, O., Spyra, W., Hüttl, R.F. (2012) Small Scale Spatial Heterogeneity of Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) and Hot Spots of Photosynthesis in Biological Soil Crusts. Flora (accepted) DOI: 10.1016/j.flora.2012.01.001 Spröte, R., Fischer, T., Veste, M., Raab, T., Wiehe, W., Lange, P., Bens, O., Hüttl, R.F. (2010): Biological topsoil crusts at early successional stages on Quaternary substrates dumped by mining in Brandenburg, NE Germany. Géomorphologie: relief, processus, environnement 4/2010: 359-370

  8. Izu-Bonin-Mariana forearc crust as a modern ophiolite analogue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishizuka, Osamu; Tani, Kenichiro; Reagan, Mark; Kanayama, Kyoko; Umino, Susumu; Harigane, Yumiko

    2013-04-01

    initiation. Alternatively, subduction could have begun spontaneously, facilitated by the density contrast between the arc-bearing Mesozoic Asian crust and the old oceanic Pacific crust to its west. This volcanic stratigraphy and their time-progressive development in the IBM system are analogous to those documented from suprasubduction (SSZ) ophiolites. Most SSZ ophiolites are on-land fragments of forearc oceanic crust, produced at subduction initiation and during the early stages of island arc development (Dilek and Furnes, 2009, 2011). Similarities between the oceanic lithosphere of both forearc settings and SSZ ophiolites also extend to the upper mantle units, which are composed of extremely depleted peridotites.

  9. Neodymium-142 evidence for Hadean mafic crust.

    PubMed

    O'Neil, Jonathan; Carlson, Richard W; Francis, Don; Stevenson, Ross K

    2008-09-26

    Neodymium-142 data for rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt in northern Quebec, Canada, show that some rock types have lower 142Nd/144Nd ratios than the terrestrial standard (epsilon142Nd = -0.07 to -0.15). Within a mafic amphibolite unit, 142Nd/144Nd ratios correlate positively with Sm/Nd ratios and produce a 146Sm-142Nd isochron with an age of 4280(-81)(+53) million years. These rocks thus sample incompatible-element-enriched material formed shortly after Earth formation and may represent the oldest preserved crustal section on Earth.

  10. Biological soil crusts as an organizing principle in drylands: Chapter 1

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina; Büdel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina; Buedel, Burkhard; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) have been present on Earth’s terrestrial surfaces for billions of years. They are a critical part of ecosystem processes in dryland regions, as they cover most of the soil surface and thus mediate almost all inputs and outputs from soils in these areas. There are many intriguing, but understudied, roles these communities may play in drylands. These include their function in nutrient capture and transformation, influence on the movement and distribution of nutrients and water within dryland soils, ability to structure vascular plant communities, role in creating biodiversity hotspots, and the possibility that they can be used as indicators of soil health. There are still many fascinating aspects of these communities that need study, and we hope that this chapter will facilitate such efforts.

  11. Coils and polygonal crust in the Athabasca Valles region, Mars, as evidence for a volcanic history.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Andrew J; Christensen, Philip R

    2012-04-27

    Athabasca Valles is a near-equatorial martian outflow channel that contains many well-preserved features whose formation and composition have been a point of contention. Large plates of terrain that have clearly fractured and drifted may have once been ice rafts or the rocky solidification crust of a large lava flow. We have identified 269 spiral coils ranging from 5 to 30 meters wide on the polygonally patterned interplate terrain that are morphologically consistent with terrestrial lava coils that form in zones of flow shear. This patterned terrain also exhibits signs of fracture and drift, indicating that it is platelike as well. The coils in the Athabasca region are inconsistent with ice rheology, and the plates, spirals, and polygons are interpreted to be of volcanic origin.

  12. Radiocarbon dating of terrestrial carbonates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Rink, W. Jack; Thompson, Jeroen

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial carbonates encompass a wide range of materials that potentially could be used for radiocarbon (14C) dating. Biogenic carbonates, including shells and tests of terrestrial and aquatic gastropods, bivalves, ostracodes, and foraminifera, are preserved in a variety of late Quaternary deposits and may be suitable for 14C dating. Primary calcareous deposits (marls, tufa, speleothems) and secondary carbonates (rhizoliths, fracture fill, soil carbonate) may also be targeted for dating when conditions are favorable. This chapter discusses issues that are commonly encountered in 14C dating of terrestrial carbonates, including isotopic disequilibrium and open-system behavior, as well as methods used to determine the reliability of ages derived from these materials. Recent methodological advancements that may improve the accuracy and precision of 14C ages of terrestrial carbonates are also highlighted.

  13. Contaminant Exposure in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    EPA Science Inventory

    Manuscript is a critical review of the state of the science for quantifying exposures of terrestrial wildlife species to chemical contamination. It describes the unique aspects of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and threatened and endangered species. Fate and transport of ...

  14. Emergence of modern continental crust about 3 billion years ago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhuime, Bruno; Wuestefeld, Andreas; Hawkesworth, Chris J.

    2015-07-01

    The continental crust is the principal record of conditions on the Earth during the past 4.4 billion years. However, how the continental crust formed and evolved through time remains highly controversial. In particular, the composition and thickness of juvenile continental crust are unknown. Here we show that Rb/Sr ratios can be used as a proxy for both the silica content and the thickness of the continental crust. We calculate Rb/Sr ratios of the juvenile crust for over 13,000 samples, with Nd model ages ranging from the Hadean to Phanerozoic. The ratios were calculated based on the evolution of Sr isotopes in the period between the TDM Nd model age and the crystallization of the samples analysed. We find that the juvenile crust had a low silica content and was largely mafic in composition during the first 1.5 billion years of Earth’s evolution, consistent with magmatism on a pre-plate tectonics planet. About 3 billion years ago, the Rb/Sr ratios of the juvenile continental crust increased, indicating that the newly formed crust became more silica-rich and probably thicker. This transition is in turn linked to the onset of plate tectonics and an increase of continental detritus into the oceans.

  15. Continental crust composition constrained by measurements of crustal Poisson's ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zandt, George; Ammon, Charles J.

    1995-03-01

    DECIPHERING the geological evolution of the Earth's continental crust requires knowledge of its bulk composition and global variability. The main uncertainties are associated with the composition of the lower crust. Seismic measurements probe the elastic properties of the crust at depth, from which composition can be inferred. Of particular note is Poisson's ratio,Σ ; this elastic parameter can be determined uniquely from the ratio of P- to S-wave seismic velocity, and provides a better diagnostic of crustal composition than either P- or S-wave velocity alone1. Previous attempts to measure Σ have been limited by difficulties in obtaining coincident P- and S-wave data sampling the entire crust2. Here we report 76 new estimates of crustal Σ spanning all of the continents except Antarctica. We find that, on average, Σ increases with the age of the crust. Our results strongly support the presence of a mafic lower crust beneath cratons, and suggest either a uniformitarian craton formation process involving delamination of the lower crust during continental collisions, followed by magmatic underplating, or a model in which crust formation processes have changed since the Precambrian era.

  16. Composition of the crust beneath the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooney, W.D.; Christensen, N.I.

    1994-01-01

    We infer the composition of the crust beneath and on the flanks of the Kenya rift based on a comparison of the KRISP-90 crustal velocity structure with laboratory measurements of compressional-wave velocities of rock samples from Kenya. The rock samples studied, which are representative of the major lithologies exposed in Kenya, include volcanic tuffs and flows (primarily basalts and phonolites), and felsic to intermediate composition gneisses. This comparison indicates that the upper crust (5-12 km depth) consists primarily of quartzo-feldspathic gneisses and schists similar to rocks exposed on the flanks of the rift, whereas the middle crust (12-22 km depth) consists of more mafic, hornblende-rich metamorphic rocks, probably intruded by mafic rocks beneath the rift axis. The lower crust on the flanks of the rift may consist of mafic granulite facies rocks. Along the rift axis, the lower crust varies in thickness from 9 km in the southern rift to only 2-3 km in the north, and has a seismic velocity substantially higher than the samples investigated in this study. The lower crust of the rift probably consists of a crust/mantle mix of high-grade metamorphic rocks, mafic intrusives, and an igneous mafic residuum accreted to the base of the crust during differentiation of a melt derived from the upper mantle. ?? 1994.

  17. Diapirs and cantaloupes: Layering and overturn of Triton's crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, P.; Jackson, M. P. A.

    1993-01-01

    It has recently been proposed that cantaloupe terrain formed as a result of instability and overturn (i.e., diapirism) of Triton's crust. Morphologic evidence implicates compositional layering within Triton's crust as the driving mechanism for the overturn. Here, we review the morphologic evidence for this origin and evaluate some of the implications.

  18. Geodynamic investigation of the processes that control Lu-Hf isotopic differences between different mantle domains and the crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Rosie; van Keken, Peter; Hauri, Erik; Vervoort, Jeff; Ballentine, Chris J.

    2016-04-01

    The chemical and isotopic composition of both the Earth's mantle and the continental crust are greatly influenced by subduction zone processes, such as the formation of continental crust through arc volcanism and the recycling of surface material into the deep mantle. Here we use a combined geodynamical-geochemical approach to investigate the long term role of subduction on the Lu-Hf isotopic evolution of the mantle and the continental crust. We apply the geodynamic model developed by Brandenburg et al., 2008. This model satisfies the geophysical constraints of oceanic heat flow and average plate velocities, as well as geochemical observations such as 40Ar in the atmosphere, and reproduces the geochemical distributions observed in multiple isotope systems which define the HIMU, MORB and EM1 mantle endmembers. We extend this application to investigate the detail of terrestrial Lu-Hf isotope distribution and evolution, and specifically to investigate the role of sediment recycling in the generation of EM2 mantle compositions. The model has been updated to produce higher resolution results and to include a self-consistent reorganisation of the plates with regions of up-/down-wellings. The model assumes that subduction is initiated at 4.5 Ga and that a transition from 'dry' to 'wet' subduction occurred at 2.5 Ga. The modelling suggests that the epsilon Hf evolution of the upper mantle can be generated through the extraction and recycling of the oceanic crust, and that the formation of continental crust plays a lesser role. Our future intention is to utilise the model presented here to investigate the differences observed in the noble gas compositions (e.g., 40Ar/36Ar, 3He/4He) of MORB and OIB. Brandenburg, J.P., Hauri, E.H., van Keken, P.E., Ballentine, C.J., 2008. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 276, 1-13.

  19. Geological cycles and a two-stage history of the Continental Crust (Robert Wilhelm Bunsen Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkesworth, Chris J.; Cawood, Peter A.; Dhuime, Bruno

    2014-05-01

    with an increase of continental input into the oceans and the onset of plate tectonics. The 60-70% of the present volume of the continental crust estimated to have been present at 3 Ga, contrasts markedly with the <10% of crust of that age apparently still preserved and it requires ongoing destruction (recycling) of early formed crust and subcontinental mantle lithosphere back into the mantle through processes such as subduction and delamination.

  20. Persistent crust-core spin lag in neutron stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glampedakis, Kostas; Lasky, Paul D.

    2015-06-01

    It is commonly believed that the magnetic field threading a neutron star provides the ultimate mechanism (on top of fluid viscosity) for enforcing long-term corotation between the slowly spun-down solid crust and the liquid core. We show that this argument fails for axisymmetric magnetic fields with closed field lines in the core, the commonly used `twisted torus' field being the most prominent example. The failure of such magnetic fields to enforce global crust-core corotation leads to the development of a persistent spin lag between the core region occupied by the closed field lines and the rest of the crust and core. We discuss the repercussions of this spin lag for the evolution of the magnetic field, suggesting that, in order for a neutron star to settle to a stable state of crust-core corotation, the bulk of the toroidal field component should be deposited into the crust soon after the neutron star's birth.

  1. The Oldest Caseid Synapsid from the Late Pennsylvanian of Kansas, and the Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Reisz, Robert R.; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) led to major changes in the structure and hierarchy of terrestrial ecosystems. The first appearance of herbivores played a pivotal role in this transformation. After an early bifurcation into Reptilia and Synapsida (including mammals) 315 Ma, synapsids dominated Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrate communities, with the herbivorous caseids representing the largest vertebrates on land. Eocasea martini gen. et sp. nov., a small carnivorous caseid from the Late Carboniferous, extends significantly the fossil record of Caseidae, and permits the first clade-based study of the origin and initial evolution of herbivory in terrestrial tetrapods. Our results demonstrate for the first time that large caseid herbivores evolved from small, non-herbivorous caseids. This pattern is mirrored by three other clades, documenting multiple, independent, but temporally staggered origins of herbivory and increase in body size among early terrestrial tetrapods, leading to patterns consistent with modern terrestrial ecosystem. PMID:24739998

  2. The oldest caseid synapsid from the Late Pennsylvanian of Kansas, and the evolution of herbivory in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) led to major changes in the structure and hierarchy of terrestrial ecosystems. The first appearance of herbivores played a pivotal role in this transformation. After an early bifurcation into Reptilia and Synapsida (including mammals) 315 Ma, synapsids dominated Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrate communities, with the herbivorous caseids representing the largest vertebrates on land. Eocasea martini gen. et sp. nov., a small carnivorous caseid from the Late Carboniferous, extends significantly the fossil record of Caseidae, and permits the first clade-based study of the origin and initial evolution of herbivory in terrestrial tetrapods. Our results demonstrate for the first time that large caseid herbivores evolved from small, non-herbivorous caseids. This pattern is mirrored by three other clades, documenting multiple, independent, but temporally staggered origins of herbivory and increase in body size among early terrestrial tetrapods, leading to patterns consistent with modern terrestrial ecosystem.

  3. Anomalous sulphur isotopes in plume lavas reveal deep mantle storage of Archaean crust.

    PubMed

    Cabral, Rita A; Jackson, Matthew G; Rose-Koga, Estelle F; Koga, Kenneth T; Whitehouse, Martin J; Antonelli, Michael A; Farquhar, James; Day, James M D; Hauri, Erik H

    2013-04-25

    Basaltic lavas erupted at some oceanic intraplate hotspot volcanoes are thought to sample ancient subducted crustal materials. However, the residence time of these subducted materials in the mantle is uncertain and model-dependent, and compelling evidence for their return to the surface in regions of mantle upwelling beneath hotspots is lacking. Here we report anomalous sulphur isotope signatures indicating mass-independent fractionation (MIF) in olivine-hosted sulphides from 20-million-year-old ocean island basalts from Mangaia, Cook Islands (Polynesia), which have been suggested to sample recycled oceanic crust. Terrestrial MIF sulphur isotope signatures (in which the amount of fractionation does not scale in proportion with the difference in the masses of the isotopes) were generated exclusively through atmospheric photochemical reactions until about 2.45 billion years ago. Therefore, the discovery of MIF sulphur in these young plume lavas suggests that sulphur--probably derived from hydrothermally altered oceanic crust--was subducted into the mantle before 2.45 billion years ago and recycled into the mantle source of Mangaia lavas. These new data provide evidence for ancient materials, with negative Δ(33)S values, in the mantle source for Mangaia lavas. Our data also complement evidence for recycling of the sulphur content of ancient sedimentary materials to the subcontinental lithospheric mantle that has been identified in diamond-hosted sulphide inclusions. This Archaean age for recycled oceanic crust also provides key constraints on the length of time that subducted crustal material can survive in the mantle, and on the timescales of mantle convection from subduction to upwelling beneath hotspots.

  4. Imaging proto-oceanic crust off the Brazilian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klingelhoefer, F.; Evain, M.; Afilhado, A.; Rigoti, C.; Loureiro, A.; Alves, D.; Leprêtre, A.; Moulin, M.; Schnurle, P.; Benabdellouahed, M.; Baltzer, A.; Rabineau, M.; Feld, A.; Viana, A.; Aslanian, D.

    2015-01-01

    During the Sanba (Santos basin seismic transect) experiment in 2010-2011, a 380-km-long combined wide-angle and reflection seismic profile has been acquired using 30 ocean-bottom seismometers, a 4.5 km seismic streamer and a 8900 in.3 airgun array. The Sanba 3 profile crosses the southern flank of the Sao Paulo Plateau, the Sao Paulo Ridge and the easternmost Santos Basin in an east-west direction. Its eastern end is located on undisturbed oceanic crust. Tomographic and forward modelling of the wide-angle seismic data reveals that the sedimentary thickness is variable with only 1-2 km on top of the ridge and thickening to 4-5 km in the basin. Crustal thickness at the ridge is about 18 km and the relative layer thickness and velocity gradients indicate a continental origin of this ridge. The eastern Santos Basin is underlain by crust of only 5 km thickness, characterized by high seismic velocities between 6.20 km s-1 in the upper crust and 7.40 km s-1 in the lower crust. Three hypotheses for the nature of the crust in this region are tested here: (i) thinned continental crust, (ii) serpentinized upper mantle material, (iii) thin oceanic crust. As seismic velocity gradients seem to rule out a continental origin of this region, and clear Moho reflections argue against serpentinized upper mantle, we propose that the crust underlying the easternmost Santos Basin is of oceanic origin. Deviations from normal oceanic crustal velocities in the lower crust (6.70-7.00 km s-1) can be explained by accretion at slow spreading rates leading to the inclusion of serpentinite into the lower crust at the onset of organized seafloor spreading.

  5. Has 7% of Continental Crust been Lost since Pangea Broke Up?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholl, D. W.; Stern, R. J.

    2012-12-01

    After modern plate tectonics began, the net growth or loss of continental crust predominantly involved the mass balance at subduction zones (SZs) between the yin of adding mantle-sourced arc igneous rocks and the subtracting yang of recycling existing crust back into the mantle. Field observations suggest that during Mesozoic and Cenozoic time, a rough long-term balance existed at ocean-margin SZs (e.g., W. N. America, Andes). But a different picture, one of net loss, emerges when additions and losses at collisional or crust-suturing SZs (e.g., India-Tibet) are considered. GAINS AND LOSSES SINCE ~200 Ma Because Mesozoic and Cenozoic convergent margins can be field inspected, the net growth of continental crust after the breakup of Pangea at ~200 Ma can be estimated. Pangea breakup also marked the beginning of the present supercontinent cycle. Newly established (Eocene) ocean-margin SZs (e.g., IBM, Tonga-Kermadec) added juvenile arc crust for at least 10-15 Myr at rates ~10-15 times higher than later and elsewhere at long-established SZs (~30 km3/Myr/km). During the Cenozoic, at colliding SZs (e.g., Alps, India-Tibet, Arabia-Eurasia) tomographic and geological data document losses of subducted continental crust sustained for 15-50 Myr at rates ~15 times that typical from the upper plate at ocean-margin SZs (~70 km3/Myr/km). For additions, we considered that as the Atlantic opened in early Jurassic time, new, prodigiously productive SZs were initiated along the western margin of North and Middle America but not along western South America and the eastern margin of Eurasia. In the Cretaceous, new SZs formed along much of the northern margin of the Tethys, along western Sumatra and southern Java, and at the great arc of the Caribbean. In the early Eocene, in the offshore, a lengthy (~20,000 km) curtain of new, voluminously productive intra-oceanic SZs formed from the Aleutian Islands southward to the Kermadec Islands. For subtractions, we applied subduction losses (~70

  6. Self-consistent formation of continents on early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, Lena; Van Hoolst, Tim; Breuer, Doris; Dehant, Véronique

    2013-04-01

    In our study we want to understand how Earth evolved with time and examine the initiation of plate tectonics and the possible formation of continents on Earth. Plate tectonics and continents seem to influence the likelihood of a planet to harbour life [1], and both are strongly influenced by the planetary interior (e.g. mantle temperature and rheology) and surface conditions (e.g. stabilizing effect of continents, atmospheric temperature), and may also depend on the biosphere. Earth is the only terrestrial planet (i.e. with a rocky mantle and iron core) in the solar system where long-term plate tectonics evolved. Knowing the factors that have a strong influence on the occurrence of plate tectonics allows for prognoses about plate tectonics on terrestrial exoplanets that have been detected in the past decade, and about the likelihood of these planets to harbour Earth-like life. For this purpose, planetary interior and surface processes are coupled via 'particles' as computational tracers in the 3D code GAIA [2,3]. These particles are dispersed in the mantle and crust of the modelled planet and can track the relevant rock properties (e.g. density or water content) over time. During the thermal evolution of the planet, the particles are advected due to mantle convection and along melt paths towards the surface and help to gain information about the thermo-chemical system. This way basaltic crust that is subducted into the silicate mantle is traced in our model. It is treated differently than mantle silicates when re-molten, such that granitic (felsic) crust is produced (similar to the evolution of continental crust on early Earth [4]), which is stored in the particle properties. We apply a pseudo-plastic rheology and use small friction coefficients (since an increased reference viscosity is used in our model). We obtain initiation of plate tectonics and self-consistent formation of pre-continents after a few Myr up to several Gyr - depending on the initial conditions

  7. Weak Faults, Yet Strong Middle Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Platt, J. P.; Behr, W. M.

    2013-12-01

    A global compilation of stress magnitude from mylonites developed along major fault zones suggests that maximum differential stresses between 140 and 200 MPa are reached at temperatures between 300 and 350°C on normal, thrust, and strike-slip faults. These differential stresses are consistent with brittle rock strengths estimated based on Coulomb fracture (e.g., Byerlee's law), and with in-situ measurements of crustal stress measured in boreholes. This confirms previous suggestions that many parts of the continental crust are stressed close to failure down to the brittle-ductile transition. Many major active faults in all tectonic regimes are considered to be relatively weak, however, based on various lines of evidence, including their unfavorable orientation with respect to regional stresses, the absence of heat flow anomalies, the mechanical properties of fault gouge, and evidence for high fluid pressures along subduction zone megathrusts. Peak differential stresses estimated by a variety of techniques lie mostly in the range 1 - 20 MPa. The sharp contrast between differential stresses estimated on the seismogenic parts of major faults and those estimated from ductile rocks immediately below the brittle-ductile transition has the following implications: 1. The lower limit of seismicity in major fault zones is not controlled by the intersection of brittle fracture laws such as Byerlee's law with ductile creep laws. Rather, it represents an abrupt downward termination, probably controlled by temperature, of the weakening processes that govern fault behavior in the upper crust. 2. The seismogenic parts of major fault zones contribute little to lithospheric strength, and are unlikely to have much influence on either the slip rate or the location of the faults. Conversely, the high strength segments of ductile shear zones immediately below the brittle-ductile transition constitute a major load-bearing element within the lithosphere. Displacement rates are governed by

  8. Lichen-moss interactions within biological soil crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruckteschler, Nina; Williams, Laura; Büdel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) create well-known hotspots of microbial activity, being important components of hot and cold arid terrestrial regions. They colonize the uppermost millimeters of the soil, being composed of fungi, (cyano-) bacteria, algae, lichens, bryophytes and archaea in varying proportions. Biocrusts protect the (semi-) arid landscape from wind and water erosion, and also increase water holding capacity and nutrient content. Depending on location and developmental stage, composition and species abundance vary within biocrusts. As species live in close contact, they are expected to influence each other, but only a few interactions between different organisms have so far been explored. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the lichen Fulgensia fulgens whilst growing on the moss Trichostomum crispulum. While 77% of Fulgensia fulgens thalli were found growing associated with mosses in a German biocrust, up to 95% of Fulgensia bracteata thalli were moss-associated in a Swedish biocrust. In 49% (Germany) and in 78% (Sweden) of cases, thalli were observed on the moss T. crispulum and less frequently on four and three different moss species. Beneath F. fulgens and F. bracteata thalli, the mosses were dead and in close vicinity to the lichens the mosses appeared frail, bringing us to the assumption that the lichens may release substances harming the moss. We prepared a water extract from the lichen F. fulgens and used this to water the moss thalli (n = 6) on a daily basis over a time-span of three weeks. In a control setup, artificial rainwater was applied to the moss thalli (n = 6). Once a week, maximum CO2 gas exchange rates of the thalli were measured under constant conditions and at the end of the experiment the chlorophyll content of the moss samples was determined. In the course of the experiment net photosynthesis (NP) of the treatment samples decreased concurrently with an increase in dark respiration (DR). The control samples

  9. Crust-mantle interactions and crustal deformations, some geological observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolivet, Laurent; Clerc, Camille; Sternai, Pietro; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Faccenna, Claudio; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude; Gorini, Christian; Leroy, Sylvie; Pik, Raphaël

    2015-04-01

    Crustal deformations at plate boundaries or intracontinental are governed by the relative movements of plates, and most published models consider the lithosphere as the main stress guide in extensional or compressional contexts. The possible contribution of the underlying asthenospheric flow to crustal deformation through viscous coupling is often neglected. Since the early days of plate tectonics, and even earlier, two schools of thought have been developed in parallel whether mantle convection is considered or not. This reflects nowadays in the difficulty of reconciling lithospheric-scale models and global-scale convection models to explain tectonic features observed at the surface. Still, recent studies reemphasized the role of mantle convection in shaping mountain belts or rifts and the consequences of different styles of convection on the geometry and kinematics of mountain belts. We present here a number of geological observations in convergent or divergent contexts that may suggest a strong coupling between asthenospheric flow and crustal deformation. Several of these examples, especially in extensional contexts, show a deformation distributed over wide zones, accommodated by shallow-dipping shear zones and with a constant asymmetry over large distances. This is the case of the Mediterranean back-arc basins, such as the Aegean Sea, the northern Tyrrhenian Sea or the Alboran domain, where extension is taken up by shallow-dipping extensional shear zones and normal faults with a constant asymmetry. A similar image is also observed across the Gulf of Lion passive margin that also belongs to the Mediterranean back-arc basins. Such is also the case of some of the Atlantic passive margins where shallow-dipping normal faults and extensional shear zones control the extraction of the lower crust and the mantle with a constant asymmetry across the entire margin. Finally, the distribution and geometry of normal faults across the Afar region also show a constant

  10. Regional study of the Archean to Proterozoic crust at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO+), Ontario: Predicting the geoneutrino flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Yu; Strati, Virginia; Mantovani, Fabio; Shirey, Steven B.; McDonough, William F.

    2014-10-01

    SNO+ detector that is currently under construction in Ontario, Canada, will be a new kiloton-scale liquid scintillation detector with the capability of recording geoneutrino events that can be used to constrain the strength of the Earth's radiogenic power, and in turn, to test compositional models of the bulk silicate Earth (BSE). We constructed a detailed 3-D model of the regional crust centered at SNO+ from compiled geological, geophysical, and geochemical information. Crustal cross sections obtained from refraction and reflection seismic surveys were used to characterize the crust and assign uncertainties to its structure. The average Moho depth in the study area is 42.3 ± 2.6 km. The upper crust was divided into seven dominant lithologic units on the basis of regional geology. The abundances of U and Th and their uncertainties in each upper crustal lithologic unit were determined from analyses of representative outcrop samples. The average chemical compositions of the middle and lower crust beneath the SNO+ region were determined by coupling local seismic velocity profiles with a global compilation of the chemical compositions of amphibolite and granulite facies rocks. Monte Carlo simulations were used to predict the geoneutrino signal originating from the regional crust at SNO+ and to track asymmetrical uncertainties of U and Th abundances. The total regional crust contribution of the geoneutrino signal at SNO+ is predicted to be 15.6-3.4+5.3 TNU (a Terrestrial Neutrino Unit is one geoneutrino event per 1032 target protons per year), with the Huronian Supergroup near SNO+ dominantly contributing 7.3-3.0+5.0 TNU to this total. Future systematically sampling of this regional unit and denser seismic surveys will better model its composition and structure, and thus reduce the uncertainty on geoneutrino signal at SNO+. The bulk crustal geoneutrino signal at SNO+ is estimated to be 30.7-4.2+6.0 TNU, which is lower than that predicted in a global-scale reference

  11. Oceanic crust of the Grenada Basin in the Southern Lesser Antilles Arc Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speed, R. C.; Walker, J. A.

    1991-03-01

    Seismic refraction data permit the southern Lesser Antilles arc and surrounding regions to be divided by the velocity of their basement. We propose that high-velocity basement of the arc platform beneath the Grenadine islands and below a part of the Tobago Trough forearc basin is oceanic and continuous and was originally connected with oceanic crust of the Grenada Basin. Low-velocity basements of the Tobago terrane and the arc platform from St. Vincent north lie south and north, respectively, of the high-velocity basement of the arc platform. An oceanic origin of this high-velocity crust in the Grenadines is argued to be more plausible than an origin as unroofed lower arc crust. The segment of probable oceanic crust in the arc platform was greatly uplifted during development of the present island arc, mainly in late Neogene time, relative to the Grenada Basin and Tobago Trough. Accepting the proposition of shallow oceanic crust in the Grenadines, early middle Eocene and possibly older pillow basalts of Mayreau, the oldest rock unit of the southern Lesser Antilles arc platform, may be an exposure of such basement. Major and minor element compositions of Mayreau Basalt are indicative of a spreading rather than arc origin. The stratigraphy of the pillow basalts indicates extrusion in an open marine environment, distant or shielded from sources of arc or continental sediment, followed by a period of pelagic sedimentation above the carbonate compensation depth. The Eocene basalt and pelagic cover formed a relatively deep floor of a marine basin in which arc-derived turbidites and pelagic sediments accumulated over the succeeding 25-30 ma. Such basalts thus indicate a probable spreading origin of the Grenada Basin and an age of cessation of spreading in the region of Mayreau in Eocene time. The configuration of the Eocene basin and the direction of spreading, however, are unknowns. Regional structural relationships imply the spreading was probably backarc, an origin also

  12. Are high p-wave velocity sediments on thin Tethyan crust, deep-water carbonates?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutscher, Marc-Andre; Graindorge, David; Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Dellong, David; Kopp, Heidrun; Sallares, Valenti; Bartolome, Rafael; Gallais, Flora

    2016-04-01

    Seismic reflection profiles from the Central Mediterranean and Gulf of Cadiz regions indicate the widespread presence of a seismic unit, marked by strong continuous reflectors, directly overlying the basement. Seismic velocity analysis from seismic reflection and refraction studies indicate high p-wave velocities of 3.5 - 4.5 km/s in this layer. These same seismic studies image a thin crust, typically 6-9 km thick, in most cases thought to be oceanic in nature and related to the Tethys oceanic domain separating Africa (Gondwana) from Laurussia. We interpret this 2-3 km thick reflective layer to be carbonates, deposited in the late Triassic, Jurassic and early Cretaceous in the Tethys Ocean, in deep marine basins. Few drilling studies have penetrated into this layer. In one case (DSDP site 135, drilled at 4152 m water depth on Coral Patch Ridge in the western Gulf of Cadiz), Aptian (early Cretaceous) marls and limestone were drilled (560-689 m sub-seafloor depth). The Calcite compensation depth during the Jurassic to Early Cretaceous was about 4000 m to 3500 m according to compilations from the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and is consistent with deposition of deep-water carbonates. For the NW Moroccan margin (Mazagan transect near El Jadida) there is a 2 km thick sedimentary layer with p-wave velocities of 4.0 - 4.5 km/s at the base of a 4 - 6 km thick sedimentary section. This layer extends from seafloor thought to be oceanic crust (west of the West African Coast magnetic anomaly) across a domain of thin/transitional crust with abundant Triassic salt diapirs to the foot of the margin. This reflective basal layer is also observed in reflection and refraction profiles from the Seine abyssal plain, below the toe of the Cadiz accretionary wedge (S. Algarve margin), in the Ionian abyssal plain and below the toe of the Calabrian accretionary wedge, all regions floored by this thin Tethyan crust. Work is in progress to determine the exact nature of this crust.

  13. Anorthositic oceanic crust in the Archean Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jagoutz, E.; Dawson, J. B.; Hoernes, S.; Spettel, B.; Waenke, H.

    1985-01-01

    Ultrapure minerals separated from eclogite inclusions in kimberlites were analyzed for Sm, Nd, Sr, and oxygen isotopes and for major and trace elements. Clinopyroxene (cpx) and garnet (gnt) are the only primary mineral phases in these rocks, and mineral phases and their alteration products. The WR sub calc. is the reconstructed bulk composition excluding all the contamination influences. Two groups of eclogites: are distinguished: (1) type A Noritic-anorthositic eclogites; and (2) type B Ti-ferrogabbroic eclogites. The oxygen isotopes are primary mantle-derived features of these rocks and are not caused by posteruption processes, as they were measured on unaltered, clean mineral separates and show a correlation with REE pattern and Sr and Nd isotopes. It is suggested that the variation of the oxygen isotopes are caused by crustal-level fluid-rock interaction at relatively low temperature. It is shown that oxygen isotopes variation in MORB basalts caused by the hydrothermal system are in the same range as the observed oxygen isotope variation in eclogites. A model to explain the new set of data is proposed. It is thought that some of these eclogites might be emplaced into the upper lithosphere or lower crust at the time corresponding to their internal isochron age. The calculated WR composition was used to estimate model ages for these rocks.

  14. The dual role of soil crusts in desertification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Assouline, S.; Thompson, S. E.; Chen, L.; Svoray, T.; Sela, S.; Katul, G. G.

    2015-10-01

    Vegetation cover in dry regions is a key variable in determining desertification. Soils exposed to rainfall by desertification can form physical crusts that reduce infiltration, exacerbating water stress on the remaining vegetation. Paradoxically, field studies show that crust removal is associated with plant mortality in desert systems, while artificial biological crusts can improve plant regeneration. Here it is shown how physical crusts can act as either drivers of or buffers against desertification depending on their environmental context. The behavior of crusts is first explored using a simplified theory for water movement on a uniform, partly vegetated slope subject to stationary hydrologic conditions. Numerical model runs supplemented with field data from a semiarid Long-Term Ecological Research site are then applied to represent more realistic environmental conditions. When vegetation cover is significant, crusts can drive desertification, but this process is potentially self-limiting. For low vegetation cover, crusts mitigate against desertification by providing water subsidy to plant communities through a runoff-runon mechanism.

  15. Secular changes recorded in mineralization of African crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mabidi, T.; Thiart, C.; de Wit, M. J.

    2007-02-01

    Variations in enrichment of mineral deposits in continental crust over time may be one way to test for secular changes in crustal genesis. We present spatial and chemical information about African mineral deposits with which to 'fingerprint' the metal endowment of African crust of different age. We then compare three regions of juvenile African crust, all with similar geology, tectonic history, and mineral deposits, but each of a different age. Each region was formed during rapid accretion of similar tectonic units derived from the mantle over ˜500 million years, and is apparently devoid of older recycled continental crust. Together, the three areas span 2500 million years of Earth history, from 0.5 Ga to 3.0 Ga, (e.g. the Zimbabwe Craton (2.5-3.0 Ga), the Birimian Shield (1.8-2.3 Ga), and the Arabian-Nubian Shield (0.5-1.0 Ga)). The three areas have a studied total of 2671 mineral deposits that are divided into six groups according to their geochemical affinities. Using these known deposits, a measure of spatial association (spatial coefficient) is derived. We show that each region has a unique metal endowment and that, per unit area, there is a greater concentration of mineral deposits in the crust of the Archean Zimbabwe Craton relative to the younger crust of the Birimian Shield and in turn the Arabian-Nubian Shield. This study quantitatively corroborates past studies that suggest older crust is more mineral diverse and enriched in mineral deposits than younger crust. Thus, a secular change in mineralization is implicated, and the mantle derived metal endowment of the African crust has undergone major evolutionary changes from Archean to Neoproterozoic time.

  16. Microscopic characterisation of black crusts on different substrates.

    PubMed

    Pozo-Antonio, J S; Pereira, M F C; Rocha, C S A

    2017-04-15

    Black crusts on different substrates (carbonate and silicate stones, cement-based mortar and carbonate detrital deposits) in urban environments were characterized microscopically by analysing their morphologies and compositions. The objective of this article is to study the interaction between the substrate and the crust and the influence of the environmental conditions on the crust development. On the one hand, the internal structure and morphology of each sample were evaluated with stereo and scanning electron microscopies. On the other hand, the black crust composition was accessed by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy in backscattered electron mode combined with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. The results of these analytical techniques provided interesting information about the composition and the mineralogical phases present in the collected black crusts. In most of the cases, gypsum was detected as the main component exhibiting different habits. Calcite was also detected in all the evaluated gypsum black crusts; its presence was attributed to different origins. The substrate-crust interaction was also evaluated, contributing to distinguish different crust development processes in relation to the substrate. In carbonate substrates (limestones, mortar and carbonate detrital deposits), it was detected a continuous diffuse boundary related to the replacement of Ca-carbonate by Ca-sulphate, while this boundary was significantly more defined for the granitic stone. This study shows that the substrate, the presence of different construction materials, (e.g. mortars), the motor exhaust particulate substances and the concentrations of atmospheric pollutants, the marine influence as well as biological or other anthropogenic compounds are decisive factors in the development of the black crust. Some ideas about the establishment of conservation strategies are also shown.

  17. The stability of the crust of the dwarf planet Ceres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Formisano, M.; Federico, C.; De Angelis, S.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Magni, G.

    2016-11-01

    In this article, we study the possibility that Ceres has, or had in the past, a crust heavier than a pure or muddy ice mantle, in principle gravitationally unstable. Such a structure is not unusual in the Solar system: Callisto is an example. In this work, we test how the composition (i.e. the volumetric quantity of ice) and the size of the crust can affect its survival during thermo-physical evolution after differentiation. We have considered two different configurations: the first characterized by a dehydrated silicate core and a mantle made of pure ice, the second with a hydrated silicate core and a muddy mantle (ice with silicate impurities). In both cases, the crust is composed of a mixture of ice and silicates. These structures are constrained by a recent measurement of the mean density by Park et al. The Rayleigh-Taylor instability, which operates in such an unstable structure, could reverse all or part of the crust. The whole unstable crust (or part of it) can interact chemically with the underlying mantle and what is currently observed could be a partially/totally new crust. Our results suggest that, in the case of a pure ice mantle, the primordial crust has not survived until today, with a stability timespan always less than 3 Gyr. Conversely, in the case of a muddy mantle, with some `favourable' conditions (low volumetric ice percentage in the crust and small crustal thickness), the primordial crust could be characterized by a stability timespan compatible with the lifetime of the Solar system.

  18. Busting Dust: From Cosmic Grains to Terrestrial Microbes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendis, D. A.

    Electrostatic charging can have important consequences for both the growth and disruption of microparticulates immersed in a plasma. In this topical review, my emphasis is on the latter process, while I extend the term microparticulates not only to include ordinary inanimate cosmic or terrestrial dust but also to include terrestrial microbes whose sizes range from tens of nanometers (viruses) to tens of micrometers (bacteria). Following a description of the basic mechanism of electrostatic disruption of a solid body, I will discuss the role of size, shape and surface irregularity on the process. I will also consider the mitigating role of electric field emission of electrons on the disruption process of a negatively charged grain as its size falls below a critical size. I will conclude by reviewing some early evidence for the electrostatic disruption of cosmic grains, and the very recent evidence for the electrostatic disruption of the bacterial cell membranes in terrestrial sterilization experiments.

  19. Mercury cycling in terrestrial watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shanley, James B.; Bishop, Kevin; Banks, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter discusses mercury cycling in the terrestrial landscape, including inputs from the atmosphere, accumulation in soils and vegetation, outputs in streamflow and volatilization, and effects of land disturbance. Mercury mobility in the terrestrial landscape is strongly controlled by organic matter. About 90% of the atmospheric mercury input is retained in vegetation and organic matter in soils, causing a buildup of legacy mercury. Some mercury is volatilized back to the atmosphere, but most export of mercury from watersheds occurs by streamflow. Stream mercury export is episodic, in association with dissolved and particulate organic carbon, as stormflow and snowmelt flush organic-rich shallow soil horizons. The terrestrial landscape is thus a major source of mercury to downstream aquatic environments, where mercury is methylated and enters the aquatic food web. With ample organic matter and sulfur, methylmercury forms in uplands as well—in wetlands, riparian zones, and other anoxic sites. Watershed features (topography, land cover type, and soil drainage class) are often more important than atmospheric mercury deposition in controlling the amount of stream mercury and methylmercury export. While reductions in atmospheric mercury deposition may rapidly benefit lakes, the terrestrial landscape will respond only over decades, because of the large stock and slow turnover of legacy mercury. We conclude with a discussion of future scenarios and the challenge of managing terrestrial mercury.

  20. The End of Monterey Submarine Canyon Incision and Potential River Source Areas-Os, Nd, and Pb Isotope Constraints from Hydrogenetic Fe-Mn Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, T. A.; Nielsen, S.; Ehrenbrink, B. P. E.; Blusztajn, J.; Hein, J. R.; Paytan, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Monterey Canyon off central California is the largest submarine canyon off North America and is comparable in scale to the Grand Canyon. The age and history of the Monterey Canyon are poorly constrained due to thick sediment cover and sediment disruption from turbidity currents. To address this deficit we analyzed isotopic proxies (Os, Pb, Nd) from hydrogenetic ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts, which grow over millions of years on elevated rock surfaces by precipitation of metals from seawater. Fe-Mn crusts were studied from Davidson Seamount near the base of the Monterey submarine fan, the Taney Seamount Chain, and from Hoss Seamount, which serves as a regional control (Fig.). Fe-Mn crusts were dated using Os isotope ratios compared to those that define the Cenozoic Os isotope seawater curve. Four Fe-Mn crust samples from Davidson and Taney Seamounts deviate from the Os isotopic seawater curve towards radiogenic values after 4.5±1 Ma. Osmium is well mixed in the global ocean and is not subject to significant diffusive reequilibration in Fe-Mn crusts. We therefore attribute deviations from the Os isotope seawater curve to large-scale terrestrial input that ended about 4.5±1 Ma. The two Davidson samples also show more radiogenic Nd isotope values from about 4.5±1 Ma. Lead isotopes in one Davidson Seamount crust, measured by LA-ICPMS, deviate from regional values after 4.5±1 Ma for about 500 ka towards terrestrial sources. The Taney Seamount Fe-Mn crust does not deviate from regional Nd nor Pb isotope values due to its greater distance from Monterey Canyon and the shorter marine residence times of Nd and Pb. Isotope plots of our crust data and compiled data for potential source rocks indicate that the river that carved Monterey Canyon carried sediment with values closer to the Sierra Nevada than to a Colorado Plateau source, with cessation of major riverine input occurring approximately 4.5±1 Ma, an age that we interpret as the end of the Monterey Canyon

  1. The Lunar Highland Crust: The Origin of the MG Suite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, S. R.; Norman, M. D.; Esat, T.

    1993-07-01

    overturning of the upper 400 km of the solid lunar interior after 4400 m.y. Near-surface remelting of such early refractory Mg-rich cumulates would be difficult in the absence of an obvious internal source of energy. Subsequent melting in the lunar interior that produced the mare basalts took place much later within differentiated cumulates. These lavas do not have the primitive and evolved characteristics nor the mineralogy of the Mg-suite. The total amount of mare basalt melt was very small, about 0.1% of lunar volume. This was produced over 1000 m.y. in more than 20 separate locations and was essentially trivial on a Moon-wide scale. The Mg suite with a volume about 20 times that of the mare basalts, was produced in 100-200 m.y. The formation of the Mg suite thus requires a major source of energy and a large volume of a primitive component. Large-scale overturning of the lunar mantle seems unlikely to produce the compositionally distinct and voluminous Mg-suite magmas. If the primitive compositions cannot be derived from the interior, then they may have come from above. The giant impact hypothesis for lunar origin spins out the silicate mantle of the impactor into Earth orbit. It thus provides a ring of debris of primitive lunar composition from which the Moon accreted. If accretion of this material into the Moon is not 100% efficient, sweep-up of some left-over bodies at relatively low velocities could occur following the formation of the lunar crust. The impact of such bodies could result in mixing of whole Moon, hence "primitive" compositions with some remelted ferroan anorthosite and with the residual KREEP liquid. The magmas so formed could then pond beneath the ferroan anorthositic crust and subsequently intrude the crust. Such a model can account for the mineralogy of the Mg suite, for the old ages, and provide both the primitive "whole Moon" component and an adequate energy source.

  2. Stop hitting yourself: did most terrestrial impactors originate from the terrestrial planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Alan; Asphaug, Erik; Elkins-Tanton, Linda

    2014-11-01

    Although the asteroid belt is the main source of impactors in the inner solar system today, it contains only 0.0006 Earth mass, or 0.05 Lunar mass. While the asteroid belt would have been more massive when it formed, it is unlikely to have had greater than 0.5 Lunar mass since the formation of Jupiter and the dissipation of the solar nebula. By comparison, giant impacts onto the terrestrial planets typically release debris equal to several per cent of the planets mass. The Moon-forming impact on Earth and the dichotomy forming impact on Mars, to consider but two of these major events, released 1.3 and 0.3 Lunar mass in debris respectively, many times the mass of the present day asteroid belt. This escaping impact debris is less long lived than the main asteroid belt, as it is injected on unstable, planet-crossing orbits, but this same factor also increases the impact probability with the terrestrial planets and asteroids. We show that as a result terrestrial ejecta played a major role in the impact history of the early inner solar system, and we expect the same is also likely to be true in other planetary systems.

  3. Hawaiian submarine manganese-iron oxide crusts - A dating tool?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, J.G.; Clague, D.A.

    2004-01-01

    Black manganese-iron oxide crusts form on most exposed rock on the ocean floor. Such crusts are well developed on the steep lava slopes of the Hawaiian Ridge and have been sampled during dredging and submersible dives. The crusts also occur on fragments detached from bedrock by mass wasting, on submerged coral reefs, and on poorly lithified sedimentary rocks. The thickness of the crusts was measured on samples collected since 1965 on the Hawaiian Ridge from 140 dive or dredge localities. Fifty-nine (42%) of the sites were collected in 2001 by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The thinner crusts on many samples apparently result from post-depositional breakage, landsliding, and intermittent burial of outcrops by sediment. The maximum crust thickness was selected from each dredge or dive site to best represent crusts on the original rock surface at that site. The measurements show an irregular progressive thickening of the crusts toward the northwest-i.e., progressive thickening toward the older volcanic features with increasing distance from the Hawaiian hotspot. Comparison of the maximum crust thickness with radiometric ages of related subaerial features supports previous studies that indicate a crust-growth rate of about 2.5 mm/m.y. The thickness information not only allows a comparison of the relative exposure ages of two or more features offshore from different volcanoes, but also provides specific age estimates of volcanic and landslide deposits. The data indicate that some of the landslide blocks within the south Kona landslide are the oldest exposed rock on Mauna Loa, Kilauea, or Loihi volcanoes. Crusts on the floors of submarine canyons off Kohala and East Molokai volcanoes indicate that these canyons are no longer serving as channelways for downslope, sediment-laden currents. Mahukona volcano was approximately synchronous with Hilo Ridge, both being younger than Hana Ridge. The Nuuanu landslide is considerably older than the Wailau landslide. The Waianae

  4. Cenozoic analogues support a plate tectonic origin for the Earth’s earliest continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hastie, A. R.; Kerr, A. C.; Mitchell, S. F.; McDonald, I.; Pearce, J. A.; Millar, I. L.; Wolstencroft, M.

    2009-12-01

    Eocene rhyodacite lavas from the Wagwater Basin in eastern Jamaica have adakitic-like major element compositions, low Y and heavy rare Earth element (REE) concentrations and negative Nb and Ta anomalies on a normal mid-ocean ridge basalt normalised multi-element diagram. They also have lower Sr (<400 ppm), MgO (≤2.0 wt.%), Ni (mostly ≤30 ppm) and Cr (mostly ≤40 ppm) concentrations compared to other modern adakites and middle-late Archaean (3.5-2.5 Ga) trondhjemite, tonalite and granodiorite/dacites (TTGs). ɛNd(i) and ɛHf(i) values indicate that the adakites can not been formed by assimilation and fractional crystallisation processes involving any other igneous rock in the area and so the composition of the adakites is the result of the residual mineralogy in the source region. Low Sr and Al2O3 contents indicate a fluid/vapour-absent source with residual plagioclase, and REE systematics point to residual amphibole and garnet in the source region. The plagioclase and garnet residue implies that the Newcastle magmas were derived from partially melting a metabasic protolith at 1.0-1.6 GPa, which would intersect the amphibole dehydration partial melt solidus at ~ 850-900oC. Radiogenic isotopes along with the low MgO, Ni and Cr concentrations in the adakites demonstrate that the garnet amphibolite source region can not be part of (1) the lower Jamaican arc crust, (2) delaminated lower crust or (3) subducted Proto-Caribbean “normal” oceanic crust that may, or may not, have detached. This data, in addition to partial melting models involving a theoretical garnet-amphibolite source region for the Newcastle lavas, shows that the adakites are derived from metamorphosed Caribbean oceanic plateau crust that underthrust Jamaica in the early Tertiary. The underplated oceanic plateau crust partially melted by either (1) influx of basaltic magma during lithospheric extension in the early Tertiary or (2) direct partial melting of the underthrusting (subducting) plateau

  5. Cenozoic marine geochemistry of thallium deduced from isotopic studies of ferromanganese crusts and pelagic sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rehkamper, M.; Frank, M.; Hein, J.R.; Halliday, A.

    2004-01-01

    Cenozoic records of Tl isotope compositions recorded by ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts have been obtained. Such records are of interest because recent growth surfaces of Fe-Mn crusts display a nearly constant Tl isotope fractionation relative to seawater. The time-series data are complemented by results for bulk samples and leachates of various marine sediments. Oxic pelagic sediments and anoxic marine deposits can be distinguished by their Tl isotope compositions. Both pelagic clays and biogenic oozes are typically characterized by ??205Tl greater than +2.5, whereas anoxic sediments have ??205Tl of less than -1.5 (??205Tl is the deviation of the 205Tl/203Tl isotope ratio of a sample from NIST SRM 997 Tl in parts per 104). Leaching experiments indicate that the high ??205Tl values of oxic sediments probably reflect authigenic Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides. Time-resolved Tl isotope compositions were obtained from six Fe-Mn crusts from the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans and a number of observations indicate that these records were not biased by diagenetic alteration. Over the last 25 Myr, the data do not show isotopic variations that significantly exceed the range of Tl isotope compositions observed for surface layers of Fe-Mn crusts distributed globally (??205 Tl=+12.8??1.2). This indicates that variations in deep-ocean temperature were not recorded by Tl isotopes. The results most likely reflect a constant Tl isotope composition for seawater. The growth layers of three Fe-Mn crusts that are older than 25 Ma show a systematic increase of ??205Tl with decreasing age, from about +6 at 60-50 Ma to about +12 at 25 Ma. These trends are thought to be due to variations in the Tl isotope composition of seawater, which requires that the oceans of the early Cenozoic either had smaller output fluxes or received larger input fluxes of Tl with low ??205Tl. Larger inputs of isotopically light Tl may have been supplied by benthic fluxes from reducing sediments, rivers, and/or volcanic

  6. Continued Evidence for Input of Chlorine into the Martian Crust from Degassing of Chlorine-Rich Martian Magmas with Implications for Potential Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filiberto, J.; Gross, J.

    2014-12-01

    The chlorine-concentration (or salinity) of a fluid affects the potential for that fluid to be a habitable environment, with most known terrestrial organisms preferring low salinity fluids [1, 2]. The Martian crust (as analyzed by the Gamma Ray Spectrometer) is chlorine-rich with up to 0.8 wt% Cl; while the MER rovers Spirit and Opportunity as well as MSL Curiosity have analyzed rocks with even higher chlorine concentrations [e.g., 3]. This suggests that any potential fluid flowing through the crust would have high chlorine concentrations and therefore high salinity. Here we investigate the bulk and mineral chemistry of the SNC meteorites to constrain the pre-eruptive chlorine concentrations of Martian magmas as the potential source of chlorine in the Martian crust. Bulk SNC meteorites have Cl concentrations similar to terrestrial Mid Ocean Ridge Basalts which would suggest a Cl content of the Martian interior similar to that of the Earth [4]. However, based on Cl/La ratios, the Martian interior actually has 2-3 times more Cl than the Earth [5]. This is also reflected in the composition of Cl-rich minerals within the SNC meteorites [5, 6] and suggests that the pre-eruptive parental magmas to the SNC meteorites were Cl-rich. Eruption and degassing of such Cl-rich magmas would have delivered Cl to the Martian crust, thereby increasing the salinity of any fluids within the crust. [1] Rothschild L.J. and R.L. Mancinelli (2001) Nature. 409: 1092-1101. [2] Sharp Z.D. and D.S. Draper (2013) EPSL. 369-370: 71-77. [3] Taylor G.J. et al. (2010) GRL. 37: L12204. [4]. Burgess R. et al (2013) GCA 77: 793. [5] Filiberto J. and A.H. Treiman (2009) Geology. 37: 1087-1090. [6] McCubbin F.M. et al. (2013) MaPS. 48: 819-853.

  7. Utilization of the terrestrial cyanobacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katoh, Hiroshi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Furukawa, Jun; Kimura, Shunta; Yokoshima, Mika; Yamaguchi, Yuji; Takenaka, Hiroyuki

    The terrestrial, N _{2}-fixing cyanobacterium, Nostoc commune has expected to utilize for agriculture, food and terraforming cause of its extracellular polysaccharide, desiccation tolerance and nitrogen fixation. Previously, the first author indicated that desiccation related genes were analyzed and the suggested that the genes were related to nitrogen fixation and metabolisms. In this report, we suggest possibility of agriculture, using the cyanobacterium. Further, we also found radioactive compounds accumulated N. commune (cyanobacterium) in Fukushima, Japan after nuclear accident. Thus, it is investigated to decontaminate radioactive compounds from the surface soil by the cyanobacterium and showed to accumulate radioactive compounds using the cyanobacterium. We will discuss utilization of terrestrial cyanobacteria under closed environment. Keyword: Desiccation, terrestrial cyanobacteria, bioremediation, agriculture

  8. IODP Expedition 345: Primitive Layered Gabbros From Fast-Spreading Lower Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ildefonse, Benoit; Gillis, Kathryn M.; Snow, Jonathan E.; Klaus, Adam

    2014-05-01

    , sheeted dikes and lavas, provides the best constrained estimate to date of the bulk composition of crust formed at a fast-spreading ridge. Simple crystallization models using this bulk crustal composition as the parental melt accurately predict the composition of both the lavas and plutonics. However, the recovered plutonic rocks show unanticipated early crystallization of orthopyroxene, challenging current models of melt extraction from the mantle and mid-ocean ridge basalt differentiation. The core recovered at Site U1415 originated at a stratigraphic level at least 2 km beneath the sheeted dike-plutonic transition, representing intervals of the lower half to one third of the EPR plutonic crust. A more precise depth cannot be assigned as the results of Expedition 345 (e.g., magnetic inclinations) and site survey indicate that the sampled units are tilted, mass-wasted blocks. However, sampling four large blocks of relatively fresh rocks proved facilitated observations of the wide variety and complexity of rock types and textures present in fast spread primitive lowermost crust.

  9. Titanite evidence for Triassic thickened lower crust along southeastern margin of North China Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Jing-Liang; Gao, Shan; Wu, Yuan-Bao; Hu, Zhao-Chu; Xu, Wen-Liang; Zong, Ke-Qing; Liu, Yong-Sheng; Yuan, Hong-Lin

    2014-10-01

    Titanite U-Pb isotopic and major and trace element compositions of one mafic garnet granulite from a rare suite of lower crustal xenoliths (e.g., eclogite, garnet pyroxenite, and mafic garnet granulite) hosted in Early Cretaceous dioritic porphyries in the Xu-Huai area along the southeastern margin of the North China Craton (NCC) were analyzed by laser ablation ICP-MS. Titanite occurs as granular grains or coronary rims on rutile. The coronary titanite is clearly a secondary product of rutile decomposition. The granular titanite exhibits zonation in U-Pb age and chemical composition. Petrographic and geochemical evidence suggests that the zonation was formed by thermal diffusion and later fluid-assisted recrystallization. Occurrences of granular titanite between garnet grains point to a pressure of > 10 kbar, while inclusions of rutile inside granular titanite rims imply that the pressure might have reached 15 kbar. Granular titanite cores give U-Pb ages of 237-241 Ma and Zr-temperatures of 794-831 °C at 10 kbar and 850-892 °C at 15 kbar, indicating high-pressure granulite-facies metamorphism. Together with previous P-T estimates of coeval eclogite-facies xenoliths, a geotherm of above 60 mW m- 2 is implied. The geotherm plots below the temperature field of amphibole dehydration melting, consistent with presence of abundant amphibole. This geotherm is similar to that of the Kohistan arc, which has preserved a 12-km-thick dense lower crust, but significantly cooler than the geotherm of the Talkeetna arc, where most of the dense lower crust has been foundered. Our results provide new evidence for Triassic thickened dense lower crust along the southeastern margin of the NCC. By comparison with the Kohistan and Talkeetna arc crusts, we suggest that this dense lower crust was not hot enough to be foundered in the Triassic. Foundering must have occurred in the Jurassic-Cretaceous in order to explain the present-day seismic velocity structure characterized by a sharp

  10. Local response to warm Antarctic terrestrial temperatures in the Eocene: evidence from terrestrial biomarkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toney, J. L.; Bendle, J. A.; Inglis, G.; Bijl, P.; Pross, J.; Contreras, L.; van de Flierdt, T.; Huck, C. E.; Jamieson, S.; Huber, M.; Schouten, S.; Roehl, U.; Bohaty, S. M.; Brinkhuis, H.

    2011-12-01

    The early Eocene (~55 to 49 Ma) was characterized by long-term, high global temperatures and elevated atmospheric pCO2 levels (ca. 1000 ppm to more than 2000 ppm). Superimposed on top of this long-term warmth were a series of abrupt high pCO2 (>2000 ppm) and high temperature events. This greenhouse world may be used as an analogue for the future response of the biosphere and global carbon cycle to recent anthropogenic, atmospheric CO2 emissions. A major uncertainty, however, is the response of high polar latitudes to these climate conditions. Here we show evidence of early Eocene warmth measured from terrestrial, bacteria-derived tetraethers at IODP Site U1356, situated along the Wilkes Land margin in East Antarctica. The presence of soil bacteria-derived hopanes and higher plant n-alkanes in drillcores obtained from this site are also used to help understand the terrestrial Antarctic climate evolution in a warmer world. Methyl-branched and cyclised tetraether compounds are derived from terrestrial, soil bacteria. The number of branches and cycles are related directly to the environmental temperature and pH. These compounds indicate that temperatures on Eastern Antarctica likely exceeded 22°C during the Eocene. These temperatures reflect locally sourced terrestrial material input from a variety of elevations along the coastal plain and from the hinterland. A local source region is supported by the palynological and neodymium isotope records and by the presence of hopanes that suggest input from terrigenous soil and/or wetland environments. In particular, the existence of the C31 (17α,21β) homohopane within a relatively immature hopane assemblage is reported at Site U1356 and suggests the presence of methane-producing, wetland environments on Antarctica. Compound-specific carbon isotopes analyzed on the bacterial derived hopanes are used to characterize changes in wetland carbon cycling and methanogenesis. Local adiabatic lapse rate and precipitation amount

  11. Dynamic cyanobacterial response to hydration and dehydration in a desert biological soil crust.

    PubMed

    Rajeev, Lara; da Rocha, Ulisses Nunes; Klitgord, Niels; Luning, Eric G; Fortney, Julian; Axen, Seth D; Shih, Patrick M; Bouskill, Nicholas J; Bowen, Benjamin P; Kerfeld, Cheryl A; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Brodie, Eoin L; Northen, Trent R; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2013-11-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) cover extensive portions of the earth's deserts. In order to survive desiccation cycles and utilize short periods of activity during infrequent precipitation, crust microorganisms must rely on the unique capabilities of vegetative cells to enter a dormant state and be poised for rapid resuscitation upon wetting. To elucidate the key events involved in the exit from dormancy, we performed a wetting experiment of a BSC and followed the response of the dominant cyanobacterium, Microcoleus vaginatus, in situ using a whole-genome transcriptional time course that included two diel cycles. Immediate, but transient, induction of DNA repair and regulatory genes signaled the hydration event. Recovery of photosynthesis occurred within 1 h, accompanied by upregulation of anabolic pathways. Onset of desiccation was characterized by the induction of genes for oxidative and photo-oxidative stress responses, osmotic stress response and the synthesis of C and N storage polymers. Early expression of genes for the production of exopolysaccharides, additional storage molecules and genes for membrane unsaturation occurred before drying and hints at preparedness for desiccation. We also observed signatures of preparation for future precipitation, notably the expression of genes for anaplerotic reactions in drying crusts, and the stable maintenance of mRNA through dormancy. These data shed light on possible synchronization between this cyanobacterium and its environment, and provides key mechanistic insights into its metabolism in situ that may be used to predict its response to climate, and or, land-use driven perturbations.

  12. A spectroscopic analysis of Martian crater central peaks: Formation of the ancient crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skok, J. R.; Mustard, J. F.; Tornabene, L. L.; Pan, C.; Rogers, D.; Murchie, S. L.

    2012-11-01

    The earliest formed crust on a single plate planet such as Mars should be preserved, deeply buried under subsequent surface materials. Mars' extensive cratering history would have fractured and disrupted the upper layers of this ancient crust. Large impacts occurring late in Martian geologic history would have excavated and exposed this deeply buried material. We report the compositional analysis of unaltered mafic Martian crater central peaks with high-resolution spectral data that was used to characterize the presence, distribution and composition of mafic mineralogy. Reflectance spectra of mafic outcrops are modeled with the Modified Gaussian Model (MGM) to determine cation composition of olivine and pyroxene mineral deposits. Observations show that central peaks with unaltered mafic units are only observed in four general regions of Mars. Each mafic unit exhibits spectrally unmixed outcrops of olivine or pyroxene, indicating dunite and pyroxenite dominated compositions instead of basaltic composition common throughout much of the planet. Compositional analysis shows a wide range of olivine Fo# ranging from Fo60 to Fo5. This variation is best explained by a high degree of fractionation in a slowly cooling, differentiating magma body. Pyroxene analysis shows that all the sites in the Southern Highlands are consistent with moderately Fe-rich, low-Ca pyroxene. Mineral segregation in the ancient crust could be caused by cumulate crystallization and settling in a large, potentially global, lava lake or near surface plutons driven by a hypothesized early Martian mantle overturn.

  13. Rapid dewatering of the crust deduced from ages of mesothermal gold deposits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldfarb, R.J.; Snee, L.W.; Miller, L.D.; Newberry, R.J.

    1991-01-01

    The large-scale migration of fluids through the continental crust has been well documented, but there is no consensus regarding the timing of fluid migration relative to erogenic episodes, or rates of crustal dewatering1. Here we present 40Ar/39Ar dates for muscovites from quartz veins along a major shear zone in southeast Alaska, which show that the veins were emplaced in the early Eocene, during the late stages of orogenic deformation. Hydrothermal activity took place for only about 1 Myr and along a distance of at least 200 km. The fluids were generated by metamorphic reactions in subducted crust along the North American plate margin, and were apparently trapped in the crust by the low permeabilities accompanying a convergent tectonic regime until 56 Myr ago. The rapid dewatering event coincided with a change in plate motion at 56-55 Myr, which caused a shift from convergent to partly transcurrent tectonics. We suggest that this change in tectonic regime led to increased crustal permeabilities and hence the possibility of large-scale fluid migration.

  14. Dynamic cyanobacterial response to hydration and dehydration in a desert biological soil crust

    PubMed Central

    Rajeev, Lara; da Rocha, Ulisses Nunes; Klitgord, Niels; Luning, Eric G; Fortney, Julian; Axen, Seth D; Shih, Patrick M; Bouskill, Nicholas J; Bowen, Benjamin P; Kerfeld, Cheryl A; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Brodie, Eoin L; Northen, Trent R; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) cover extensive portions of the earth's deserts. In order to survive desiccation cycles and utilize short periods of activity during infrequent precipitation, crust microorganisms must rely on the unique capabilities of vegetative cells to enter a dormant state and be poised for rapid resuscitation upon wetting. To elucidate the key events involved in the exit from dormancy, we performed a wetting experiment of a BSC and followed the response of the dominant cyanobacterium, Microcoleus vaginatus, in situ using a whole-genome transcriptional time course that included two diel cycles. Immediate, but transient, induction of DNA repair and regulatory genes signaled the hydration event. Recovery of photosynthesis occurred within 1 h, accompanied by upregulation of anabolic pathways. Onset of desiccation was characterized by the induction of genes for oxidative and photo-oxidative stress responses, osmotic stress response and the synthesis of C and N storage polymers. Early expression of genes for the production of exopolysaccharides, additional storage molecules and genes for membrane unsaturation occurred before drying and hints at preparedness for desiccation. We also observed signatures of preparation for future precipitation, notably the expression of genes for anaplerotic reactions in drying crusts, and the stable maintenance of mRNA through dormancy. These data shed light on possible synchronization between this cyanobacterium and its environment, and provides key mechanistic insights into its metabolism in situ that may be used to predict its response to climate, and or, land-use driven perturbations. PMID:23739051

  15. Terrestrial planet formation from a truncated disk -- The 'Grand Tack'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, K. J.; Morbidelli, A.; Raymond, S.; O'Brien, D. P.; Mandell, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    A new terrestrial planet formation model (Walsh et al., 2011) explores the effects of a two-stage, inward-then-outward migration of Jupiter and Saturn, as found in numerous hydrodynamical simulations of giant planet formation (Masset & Snellgrove 2001, Morbidelli & Crida 2007, Pierens & Nelson 2008, Pierens & Raymond 2011). The inward migration of Jupiter truncates the disk of planetesimals and embryos in the terrestrial planet region. Subsequent accretion in that region then forms the terrestrial planets, in particular it produces the correct Earth/Mars mass ratio, which has been difficult to reproduce in simulations with a self-consistent set of initial conditions (see, eg. Raymond et al. 2009, Hansen 2009). Additionally, the outward migration of the giant planets populates the asteroid belt with distinct populations of bodies, with the inner belt filled by bodies originating inside of 3 AU, and the outer belt filled with bodies originating from beyond the giant planets. This differs from previous models of terrestrial planet formation due to the early radial mixing of material due to the giant planet's substantial migration. Specifically, the assumption that the current radial distribution of material in the inner Solar System is reflective of the primordial distribution of material in that region is no longer necessary. We will discuss the implications of this model in relation to previous models of terrestrial planet formation as well as available chemical and isotopic constraints.

  16. Groundwater and Terrestrial Water Storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodell, Matthew; Chambers, Don P.; Famiglietti, James S.

    2012-01-01

    Groundwater is a vital resource and also a dynamic component of the water cycle. Unconfined aquifer storage is less responsive to short term weather conditions than the near surface terrestrial water storage (TWS) components (soil moisture, surface water, and snow). However, save for the permanently frozen regions, it typically exhibits a larger range of variability over multi-annual periods than the other components. Groundwater is poorly monitored at the global scale, but terrestrial water storage (TWS) change data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission are a reasonable proxy for unconfined groundwater at climatic scales.

  17. Large-Scale Impact Cratering and Early Earth Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grieve, R. A. F.; Cintala, M. J.

    1997-01-01

    largest impacts, where the melt volume would have reached well into the mantle. Any contribution from adiabatic melting or shock heating of the asthenosphere would have had similar mafic compositions. The depth of the melt sheets is unknown but would have been in the multilkilometer range. Bodies of basaltic melt > or = 300 m thick differentiate in the terrestrial environment, with the degree of differentiation being a function of the thickness of the body. We therefore expect that these thick, closed-system melt pools would have differentiated into an ultramafic-mafic base and felsic top. If only 10% of the impact melt produced in a single event creating a 400-km diameter transient cavity evolved into felsic differentiates, they would be comparable in volume to the Columbia River basalts. It has been estimated that at least 200 impact events of this size or larger occurred on the early Earth during a period of heavy bombardment. We speculate that these massive differentiated melt sheets may have had a role in the formation of the initial felsic component of the Earth's crust. Additional information is contained in the original.

  18. Formation of Vesicles Within the Fusion Crust of Eucritic Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolau-Kuklińska, A.; Łosiak, A. I.

    2016-08-01

    Studying the development of fusion crusts will allow for the determination of the extent to which re-processing during atmospheric passage is changing the initial material of both meteorites and micrometeorites.

  19. Evolution of Olivine Composition in the Meteorite Fusion Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pittarello, L.; McKibbin, S.; Debaille, V.; Claeys, Ph.

    2016-08-01

    The change in composition in olivine overgrowth (multiple zoning) and in the newly crystallized olivine in the fusion crust of ureilite and H-chondrites can be explained by oxidation reactions, due to interaction between melt and atmosphere.

  20. A Coupled Vegetation-Crust Model for Patchy Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinast, Shai; Ashkenazy, Yosef; Meron, Ehud

    2016-03-01

    A new model for patchy landscapes in drylands is introduced. The model captures the dynamics of biogenic soil crusts and their mutual interactions with vegetation growth. The model is used to identify spatially uniform and spatially periodic solutions that represent different vegetation-crust states, and map them along the rainfall gradient. The results are consistent extensions of the vegetation states found in earlier models. A significant difference between the current and earlier models of patchy landscapes is found in the bistability range of vegetated and unvegetated states; the incorporation of crust dynamics shifts the onset of vegetation patterns to a higher precipitation value and increases the biomass amplitude. These results can shed new light on the involvement of biogenic crusts in desertification processes that involve vegetation loss.

  1. Another one bites the rust: Microbes weathering subsurface oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orcutt, B.

    2014-12-01

    The marine deep biosphere consists of deeply buried sediment and igneous oceanic crust; yet, the existence, extent, and activity of life hosted in igneous oceanic crust is considerably less understood than in the sedimentaty realm. The role of microbial metabolic reactions in altering basaltic crust is not yet clear. This presentation will summarize what is currently known or speculated about rates of microbial activity in crust, focusing on the cycling of iron and oxygen, based on data from a few basalt-dominated sites that have been examined recently, including the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and the Dorado Outcrop. Microbial community diversity, activity and genomic data will seek to address the question: how do you think microbes get along without iron when it's gone?

  2. Under the sea: microbial life in volcanic oceanic crust.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Katrina J; Wheat, C Geoffrey; Sylvan, Jason B

    2011-09-06

    Exploration of the microbiology in igneous, 'hard rock' oceanic crust represents a major scientific frontier. The igneous crust harbours the largest aquifer system on Earth, most of which is hydrologically active, resulting in a substantial exchange of fluids, chemicals and microorganisms between oceanic basins and crustal reservoirs. Study of the deep-subsurface biosphere in the igneous crust is technically challenging. However, technologies have improved over the past decade, providing exciting new opportunities for the study of deep-seated marine life, including in situ and cross-disciplinary experimentation in microbiology, geochemistry and hydrogeology. In this Progress article, we describe the recent advances, available technology and remaining challenges in the study of the marine intraterrestrial microbial life that is harboured in igneous oceanic crust.

  3. [Crusted scabies induced by topical corticosteroids: A case report].

    PubMed

    Bilan, P; Colin-Gorski, A-M; Chapelon, E; Sigal, M-L; Mahé, E

    2015-12-01

    The frequency of scabies is increasing in France. Crusted (or Norwegian) scabies is a very contagious form of scabies because of the huge number of mites in the skin. It is observed in patients suffering from immunodepression, motor or sensory deficiency, or mental retardation. The clinical presentation, except for the classic manifestation of scabies, is characterized by crusted lesions. Treatment is not easy and requires hospitalization. Topical corticosteroids are frequently used for children's dermatological diseases. Their long-term and inappropriate application in an infested scabies child can induce crusted scabies. We report on a case of an 8-year-old boy who developed crusted scabies induced by topical corticosteroid application. We discuss the therapeutic aspects of this severe form of scabies.

  4. The evolution of Mercury's crust: a global perspective from MESSENGER.

    PubMed

    Denevi, Brett W; Robinson, Mark S; Solomon, Sean C; Murchie, Scott L; Blewett, David T; Domingue, Deborah L; McCoy, Timothy J; Ernst, Carolyn M; Head, James W; Watters, Thomas R; Chabot, Nancy L

    2009-05-01

    Mapping the distribution and extent of major terrain types on a planet's surface helps to constrain the origin and evolution of its crust. Together, MESSENGER and Mariner 10 observations of Mercury now provide a near-global look at the planet, revealing lateral and vertical heterogeneities in the color and thus composition of Mercury's crust. Smooth plains cover approximately 40% of the surface, and evidence for the volcanic origin of large expanses of plains suggests that a substantial portion of the crust originated volcanically. A low-reflectance, relatively blue component affects at least 15% of the surface and is concentrated in crater and basin ejecta. Its spectral characteristics and likely origin at depth are consistent with its apparent excavation from a lower crust or upper mantle enriched in iron- and titanium-bearing oxides.

  5. Generation of continental crust in intra-oceanic arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, E.; Hayes, J. L.; Kelemen, P. B.; Everson, E. D.; Holbrook, W. S.; Vance, E.

    2014-12-01

    The origin of continental crust is still an unsolved mystery in the evolution of our planet. Although the best candidates to produce juvenile continental crust are intra-oceanic arcs these systems are dominated by basaltic lavas, and when silicic magmas are produced, the incompatible-element compositions are generally too depleted to be a good match for continental crust estimates. Others, such as the W. Aleutians, are dominated by andesitic melts with trace element compositions similar to average continental crust. In order to evaluate which intra-oceanic arcs produced modern continental crust, we developed a geochemical continental index (CI) through a statistical analysis that compared all available data from modern intra-oceanic arcs with global estimates of continental crust. Our results suggest that magmas from Costa Rica (<10 Ma) have a CI <50, closer to the CI (~20) computed from available average continental crust estimates. Transitional CI values of 50-100 were found in the Aleutians, the Iwo-Jima segment of Izu-Bonin, the L. Antilles, Panama, Nicaragua, and Vanuatu. The geochemical signature of the Costa Rican lavas is controlled by melts from the subducting Galapagos tracks. Iwo-Jima and Vanuatu are in a similar tectonic scenario with subducting intraplate seamounts. Melts from the subducting oceanic crust are thought to significantly control the geochemical signature in the W. Aleutians and Panama. In the L. Antilles and E. Aleutians the continental signature may reflect recycling of a component derived from subducting continental sediments. Most of Izu-Bonin, Marianas, S. Scotia and Tonga arcs with a CI >100 have the least continent-like geochemical signatures. In these arcs the subducting plate is old (>100 Ma), not overprinted by enriched intraplate volcanism and the geochemistry may be dominated by slab-derived, aqueous fluids. We also found a strong correlation between the CI and average crustal P-wave velocity, validating the geochemical index

  6. Miocene Antarctic Terrestrial Realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashworth, A. C.; Lewis, A.; Marchant, D. R.

    2009-12-01

    The discovery of several locations in the Transantarctic Mountains that contain macrofossils and pollen is transforming our understanding of late Cenozoic Antarctica. The most southerly location is on the Beardmore Glacier (85.1°S) about 500 km from the South Pole. The environment was an active glacial margin in which plants, insects and freshwater mollusks inhabited the sand and gravel bars and small lakes on an outwash plain. In addition to leaves and wood of dwarf Nothofagus (Southern Beech) shrubs, achenes of Ranunculus (Buttercup), in situ cushion growth forms of mosses and a vascular plant, the assemblages contains various exoskeletal parts of carabid and curculionid beetles and a cyclorrhaphan fly, the shells of freshwater bivalve and gastropod species and a fish tooth. Initially the deposits were assigned a Pliocene age (3.5 Ma) but a mid- to early Miocene age is more probable (c. 14 - 25 Ma) based on correlation of fossil pollen from the deposits with 39Ar/40Ar dated pollen assemblages from the McMurdo Dry Valleys locations. The oldest location within the Dry Valleys also involved an active ice margin but was part of a valley system that was completely deglaciated for intervals long enough for thick paleosols to develop. The Friis Hills fossil deposits of the Taylor Valley region (77.8°S) are at least 19.76 Ma based on the 39Ar/40Ar age of a volcanic ash bed. The valley floor during the non-glacial phases had poorly-drained soils and the extensive development of mossy mires. Wood and leaves of Nothofagus are abundant in lacustrine deposits. The silts of shallow fluvial channels contain abundant megaspores and spiky leaves of the aquatic lycopod Isoetes (Quillwort). Fossils of beetles are also present in these deposits. During the glacial phases, proglacial lakes were surrounded by dwarfed, deciduous Nothofagus shrubs. The youngest fossils recovered from the Dry Valleys are from the Olympus Range (77.5°S) with an age of 14.07 Ma. The environment was an

  7. Permeability of continental crust influenced by internal and external forcing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rojstaczer, S.A.; Ingebritsen, S.E.; Hayba, D.O.

    2008-01-01

    The permeability of continental crust is so highly variable that it is often considered to defy systematic characterization. However, despite this variability, some order has been gleaned from globally compiled data. What accounts for the apparent coherence of mean permeability in the continental crust (and permeability-depth relations) on a very large scale? Here we argue that large-scale crustal permeability adjusts to accommodate rates of internal and external forcing. In the deeper crust, internal forcing - fluxes induced by metamorphism, magmatism, and mantle degassing - is dominant, whereas in the shallow crust, external forcing - the vigor of the hydrologic cycle - is a primary control. Crustal petrologists have long recognized the likelihood of a causal relation between fluid flux and permeability in the deep, ductile crust, where fluid pressures are typically near-lithostatic. It is less obvious that such a relation should pertain in the relatively cool, brittle upper crust, where near-hydrostatic fluid pressures are the norm. We use first-order calculations and numerical modeling to explore the hypothesis that upper-crustal permeability is influenced by the magnitude of external fluid sources, much as lower-crustal permeability is influenced by the magnitude of internal fluid sources. We compare model-generated permeability structures with various observations of crustal permeability. ?? 2008 The Authors Journal compilation ?? 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. FERROMANGANESE CRUST RESOURCES IN THE PACIFIC AND ATLANTIC OCEANS.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Commeau, R.F.; Clark, A.; Johnson, Chad; Manheim, F. T.; Aruscavage, P. J.; Lane, C.M.

    1984-01-01

    Ferromanganese crusts on raised areas of the ocean floor have joined abyssal manganese nodules and hydrothermal sulfides as potential marine resources. Significant volumes of cobalt-rich (about 1% Co) crusts have been identified to date within the US Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Central Pacific: in the NW Hawaiian Ridge and Seamount region and in the seamounts in the Johnston Island and Palmyra Island regions. Large volumes of lower grade crusts, slabs, and nodules are also present in shallow ( greater than 1000 m) waters on the Blake plateau, off Florida-South Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean. Data on ferromanganese crusts have been increased by recent German and USGS cruises, but are still sparse, and other regions having crust potential are under current investigation. The authors discuss economic potentials for cobalt-rich crusts in the Central Pacific and Western North Atlantic oceans, with special reference to US EEZ areas. Additional research is needed before more quantitative resource estimates can be made.

  9. Solar Variability and Terrestrial Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mörner, N.-A.

    The thermal conditions on Planet Earth are primarily the function of the energy in- put from the Sun. The variations in climate on Planet Earth is, however, primarily the function of the redistribution and reorganisation of the internal terrestrial heat balance. Solar variability may affect terrestrial climate (1) by direct changes in irradiance, a fac- tor, however, which is known to be very small, (2) by the solar wind interaction with the geomagnetic field increasing and decreasing the shielding capacity to infalling cosmic-ray, which is known to affect the formation of clouds thereby also affecting global terrestrial climat, and (3) by the solar wind interaction with the geomagnetic field leading to changes in the EarthSs rate of rotation which affect ocean and atmo- sphere circulation thereby also affecting global climate (and sea level). INTAS Project 97-301008 concerns the interaction between geomagnetic field changes and global climatic changes. No doubts, we see important links between externally and internally driven changes in the EarthSs geomagnetic field and changes in terrestrial climate.

  10. Wolbachia in Neotropical terrestrial isopods.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Bianca L; Bouchon, Didier; Almerão, Maurício P; Araujo, Paula B

    2015-04-01

    Despite Wolbachia being widespread among terrestrial isopods, studies on this symbiotic relationship are still incipient in the Neotropical region. The aims of the present study were to investigate the presence and prevalence of Wolbachia in natural populations of terrestrial isopod species in South America, and to analyze the diversity and phylogenetic relationships of Wolbachia strains. A total of 1172 individuals representing 11 families and 35 species were analyzed. We observed distinct evolutionary scenarios according to the geographical origins of the species: strains harbored by most of the introduced species belong to the Oniclade in supergroup B and are identical to those found in their original ecozone (i.e. Palearctic). On the other hand, the strains found in native Neotropical terrestrial isopods showed low prevalence, high diversity and none of them belonged to the Oniclade, although most belonged to supergroup B. The dynamics of infection in Neotropical species seems to be the result of several events of loss and acquisition of the bacteria, which refutes the hypothesis of an ancestral acquisition of Wolbachia in Oniscidea. The presence of strains from supergroups A and F was also detected for the first time in terrestrial isopods, revealing a Wolbachia diversity previously unknown for this group of host.

  11. Petrology and geochemistry of primitive lower oceanic crust from Pito Deep: Implications for the accretion of the lower crust at the Southern East Pacific Rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perk, N.W.; Coogan, L.A.; Karson, J.A.; Klein, E.M.; Hanna, H.D.

    2007-01-01

    A suite of samples collected from the uppermost part of the plutonic section of the oceanic crust formed at the southern East Pacific Rise and exposed at the Pito Deep has been examined. These rocks were sampled in situ by ROV and lie beneath a complete upper crustal section providing geological context. This is only the second area (after the Hess Deep) in which a substantial depth into the plutonic complex formed at the East Pacific Rise has been sampled in situ and reveals significant spatial heterogeneity in the plutonic complex. In contrast to the uppermost plutonic rocks at Hess Deep, the rocks studied here are generally primitive with olivine forsterite contents mainly between 85 and 88 and including many troctolites. The melt that the majority of the samples crystallized from was aggregated normal mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB). Despite this high Mg# clinopyroxene is common despite model predictions that clinopyroxene should not reach the liquidus early during low-pressure crystallization of MORB. Stochastic modeling of melt crystallisation at various levels in the crust suggests that it is unlikely that a significant melt mass crystallized in the deeper crust (for example in sills) because this would lead to more evolved shallow level plutonic rocks. Similar to the upper plutonic section at Hess Deep, and in the Oman ophiolite, many samples show a steeply dipping, axis-parallel, magmatic fabric. This suggests that vertical magmatic flow is an important process in the upper part of the seismic low velocity zone beneath fast-spreading ridges. We suggest that both temporal and spatial (along-axis) variability in the magmatic and hydrothermal systems can explain the differences observed between the Hess Deep and Pito Deep plutonics. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.

  12. Redox Conditions Among the Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, J. H.

    2004-01-01

    Early solar system conditions should have been extremely reducing. The redox state of the early solar nebula was determined by the H2O/H2 of the gas, which is calculated (based on solar composition) to have been about IW-5. At high temperature under such conditions, ferrous iron would exist only as a trace element in silicates and the most common type of chondritic material should have been enstatite chondrites. The observation that E-chondrites form only a subset of the chondrite suite and that the terrestrial planets (Earth, Moon, Mars, Venus, 4 Vesta) contain ferrous and ferric iron as major and minor elements, respectively, implies that either most chondritic materials formed under conditions that were not solar or that early-formed metals oxidized at low temperature, producing FeO. For example, equilibrated ordinary chondrites (by definition, common chondritic materials), by their phase assemblage of olivine, orthopyroxene and metal, must fall not far from the QFI (Quartz-Fayalite-Iron) oxygen buffer. The QFI buffer is about IW-0.5 and, as we shall see, this fo2 is close to that inferred for many materials in the inner solar system.

  13. Platinum group elements and gold in ferromanganese crusts from Afanasiy-Nikitin seamount, equatorial Indian Ocean: Sources and fractionation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banakar, V.K.; Hein, J.R.; Rajani, R.P.; Chodankar, A.R.

    2007-01-01

    The major element relationships in ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts from Afanasiy-Nikitin seamount (ANS), eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, appear to be atypical. High positive correlations (r = 0.99) between Mn/Co and Fe/Co ratios, and lack of correlation of those ratios with Co, Ce, and Ce/Co, indicate that the ANS Fe-Mn crusts are distinct from Pacific seamount Fe-Mn crusts, and reflect region-specific chemical characteristics. The platinum group elements (PGE: Ir, Ru, Rh, Pt, and Pd) and Au in ANS Fe-Mn crusts are derived from seawater and are mainly of terrestrial origin, with a minor cosmogenic component. The Ru/Rh (0.5-2) and Pt/Ru ratios (7-28) are closely comparable to ratios in continental basalts, whereas Pd/Ir ratios exhibit values ( 0.75) correlations between water depth and Mn/Co, Fe/Co, Ce/Co, Co, and the PGEs. Fractionation of the PGE-Au from seawater during colloidal precipitation of the major-oxide phases is indicated by well-defined linear positive correlations (r > 0.8) of Co and Ce with Ir, Ru, Rh, and Pt; Au/Co with Mn/Co; and by weak or no correlations of Pd with water depth, Co-normalized major-element ratios, and with the other PGE (r < 0.5). The strong enrichment of Pt (up to 1 ppm) relative to the other PGE and its positive correlations with Ce and Co demonstrate a common link for the high concentrations of all three elements, which likely involves an oxidation reaction on the Mn-oxide and Fe-oxyhydroxide surfaces. The documented fractionation of PGE-Au and their positive association with redox sensitive Co and Ce may have applications in reconstructing past-ocean redox conditions and water masses.

  14. Early Earth differentiation [rapid communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Michael J.; Trønnes, Reidar G.

    2004-09-01

    The birth and infancy of Earth was a time of profound differentiation involving massive internal reorganization into core, mantle and proto-crust, all within a few hundred million years of solar system formation ( t0). Physical and isotopic evidence indicate that the formation of iron-rich cores generally occurred very early in planetesimals, the building blocks of proto-Earth, within about 3 million years of t0. The final stages of terrestrial planetary accretion involved violent and tremendously energetic giant impacts among core-segregated Mercury- to Mars-sized objects and planetary embryos. As a consequence of impact heating, the early Earth was at times partially or wholly molten, increasing the likelihood for high-pressure and high-temperature equilibration among core- and mantle-forming materials. The Earth's silicate mantle harmoniously possesses abundance levels of the siderophile elements Ni and Co that can be reconciled by equilibration between iron alloy and silicate at conditions comparable to those expected for a deep magma ocean. Solidification of a deep magma ocean possibly involved crystal-melt segregation at high pressures, but subsequent convective stirring of the mantle could have largely erased nascent layering. However, primitive upper mantle rocks apparently have some nonchondritic major and trace element refractory lithophile element ratios that can be plausibly linked to early mantle differentiation of ultra-high-pressure mantle phases. The geochemical effects of crystal fractionation in a deep magma ocean are partly constrained by high-pressure experimentation. Comparison between compositional models for the primitive convecting mantle and bulk silicate Earth generally allows, and possibly favors, 10-15% total fractionation of a deep mantle assemblage comprised predominantly of Mg-perovskite and with minor but geochemically important amounts of Ca-perovskite and ferropericlase. Long-term isolation of such a crystal pile is generally

  15. Formation of the terrestrial planets from planetesimals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetherill, George W.

    1991-01-01

    Formation of the terrestrial planets from planetesimals is discussed. The following subject areas are covered: (1) formation of the original planetesimals; (2) growth of planetesimals into planetary embryos; and (3) growth of runaway planetary embryos into terrestrial planets.

  16. The role of low temperature alteration of the oceanic crust in global carbon cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coogan, L. A.; Gillis, K. M.; Parrish, R. R.; Austin-Giddings, W.; Dosso, S. E.; Moore, A.

    2013-12-01

    including directly dating carbonates using in situ MC-ICP-MS U-Pb analyses. Preliminary data suggest that carbonate minerals precipitate early (within 20 Myr of crustal accretion). We have also re-modeled the Sr-isotopic compositions of carbonates, via comparison to the paleo-seawater isotopic, composition as another chronometer. A numerical inversion procedure minimizes the misfit across all data for both the fraction of basaltic Sr and precipitation age. We are currently coupling the modeled fraction of basaltic Sr to the O-isotope derived fluid temperature. Current versions of the model also indicate carbonate precipitation largely occurs within <20 Myr of crustal accretion. This relatively rapid alteration of the crust suggests that changes in extent of alteration of the oceanic crust in response to changing environmental parameters can provide a relatively rapidly feedback on the Earth system. [1] Spivack, A.J. and Staudigel, H., 1994. Chem. Geol., 115: 239-247. [2] Coogan, L.A. and Gillis, K.M., 2013. Geochem. Geophys. Geosys., 14(6): doi:10.1002/ggge.20113. [3] Gillis, K.M. and Coogan, L.A., 2011. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 302: 385-392.

  17. No significant production of continental crust prior to 3.8 Ga

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vervoort, J. D.; Kemp, T.; Fisher, C. M.

    2012-12-01

    In his final paper before his death in 1991 (The Persistent Myth of Crustal Growth), Dick Armstrong argued that continental crustal recycling has kept pace with crustal growth and that the volume of continental crust has been in an approximate steady state (no net growth) for at least the past 4 Ga. Although this has been a minority viewpoint (most scientists favor some manner of progressive crustal growth) Armstrong's no-growth model has had some vehement supporters over the years. Since this paper was published, most of the discussion in the literature has focused on the isotopic record—particularly that of the oldest preserved igneous rocks. Recently, attention has shifted to detrital zircons and, in particular, the Hf isotopic record in the oldest known zircons. Two main features from these data have been used to argue for widespread crust in the early Earth: 1) heterogeneous Hf isotopic compositions of the oldest zircons; and 2) Hf model ages in Archean detrital zircons that are much older than their crystallization ages. The dataset on which these observations have been based, however, is not robust. Many data are compromised by complexities in age and isotopic composition. Hf zircon model ages are even more problematic as they are loaded with assumptions and based on a depleted mantle evolution reference that is not well known, is most likely wrong prior to 3.8 Ga, and has uncertain relevance for understanding crustal growth. In order to provide a less ambiguous isotopic record, a better approach is needed: the integration of age (U-Pb zircon) and isotopic information (Hf-Nd whole rock, Hf-O in zircons) from the oldest, but also least complicated and altered, magmatic samples. Several lines of evidence suggest that formation of continental crust did not begin in earnest until ca. 3.8-3.5 Ga: 1) lack of older crust or inherited pre-4 Ga zircon cores in the geological record in shield areas; 2) conspicuous lack of pre-4 Ga zircons in nearly all Archean

  18. Metamorphism of the ca. 3800 Ma supracrustal rocks at Isua, West Greenland: implications for early Archaean crustal evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boak, Jeremy L.; Dymek, Robert F.

    1982-06-01

    A detailed mineralogical and petrological study has been carried out on samples from two clastic metasedimentary lithologies from the ˜ 3800 Ma Isua Supracrustal Belt, West Greenland. Semipelitic to pelitic "garnet-biotite schist" contains the limiting AKFM assemblage: muscovite-biotite-garnet-staurolite (+ quartz + plagioclase + ilmenite), whereas "muscovite-biotite gneiss", derived from felsic volcanogenic graywacke, locally contains kyanite (+ quartz+ plagioclase + Ca-, Mn-rich garnet). Temperatures calculated from Fe-Mg partitioning between coexisting garnet- biotite indicate equilibration for garnet coresat T ˜550°C, and ˜460°C for garnet rims. We interpret the higher T as a minimum estimate for prograde regional metamorphism which we argue occurred before 3600 Ma, whereas the lower T reflects later retrogression as indicated by the development of chlorite ± sericite in many samples. The presence of kyanite as the stable aluminosilicate polymorph, combined with phase assemblage data, indicate P ˜5 kbar during prograde metamorphism, and a depthof burial of at least 15 km. The Isua supracrustals are the oldest comprehensively dated rocks on Earth, and the metamorphic mineral assemblages reported here constitute the earliest direct record of thermal regimes in Archaean crust. Therefore, characterization of the metamorphic history of the Isua region places an important constraint on models of early Earth history. Our data and observations indicate that prograde regional metamorphism at Isua occurred at conditions which are considered "normal" for an orogenic system, with a metamorphic thermal gradient ˜35°C/km. Moreover, our results contraindicate the universal occurrence of "thin" Archaean crust and excessively "steep" crustal thermal gradients as proposed by some investigators. Such conclusion appears at odds with estimates for higher terrestrial heat production during the early Archaean, but can be resolved by appealing to more rapid convection and

  19. The evolution of the moon and the terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toksoez, M. N.; Johnston, D. H.

    1977-01-01

    The thermal evolutions of the Moon, Mars, Venus, and Mercury were calculated theoretically starting from cosmochemical condensation models. An assortment of geological, geochemical, and geophysical data were used to constrain both the present day temperature and the thermal histories of the planets' interiors. Such data imply that the planets were heated during or shortly after formation and that all the terrestrial planets started their differentiations early in their history.

  20. Snow and Ice Crust Changes over Northern Eurasia since 1966

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulygina, O.; Groisman, P. Y.; Razuvaev, V.; Radionov, V.

    2009-12-01

    When temperature of snow cover reaches zero Celsius first time since its establishment, snowmelt starts. In many parts of the world this process can be lengthy. The initial amount of heat that “arrives” to the snowpack might be insufficient for complete snowmelt, during the colder nights re-freeze of the melted snow may occur (thus creating the ice crust layers), and a new cold front (or the departure of the warm front that initiated melt) can decrease temperatures below the freezing point again and stop the snowmelt completely. It well can be that first such snowmelt occurs in winter (thaw day) and for several months thereafter snowpack stays on the ground. However, even the first such melt initiates a process of snow metamorphosis on its surface changing snow albedo and generating snow crust as well as on its bottom generating ice crust. Once emerged, the crusts will not disappear until the complete snowmelt. Furthermore, these crusts have numerous pathways of impact on the wild birds and animals in the Arctic environment as well as on domesticated reindeers. In extreme cases, the crusts may kill some wild species and prevent reindeers’ migration and feeding. Ongoing warming in high latitudes created situations when in the western half of Eurasian continent days with thaw became more frequent. Keeping in mind potential detrimental impacts of winter thaws and associated with them snow/ice crust development, it is worthwhile to study directly what are the major features of snow and ice crust over Eurasia and what is their dynamics. For the purpose of this study, we employed the national snow survey data set archived at the Russian Institute for Hydrometeorological Information. The dataset has routine snow surveys run throughout the cold season each decade (during the intense snowmelt, each 5 days) at all meteorological stations of the former USSR, thereafter, in Russia since 1966. Prior to 1966 snow surveys are also available but the methodology of

  1. Long-term solar-terrestrial observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The results of an 18-month study of the requirements for long-term monitoring and archiving of solar-terrestrial data is presented. The value of long-term solar-terrestrial observations is discussed together with parameters, associated measurements, and observational problem areas in each of the solar-terrestrial links (the sun, the interplanetary medium, the magnetosphere, and the thermosphere-ionosphere). Some recommendations are offered for coordinated planning for long-term solar-terrestrial observations.

  2. Siderophile Element Compositions of Lunar Impact Breccias: Implications for the Cataclysm and Early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norman, M.; Bennett, V.; Ryder, G.

    2001-12-01

    Highly siderophile element signatures of the two main textural and compositional groups of Apollo 17 impact melt breccias (poikilitics and aphanites) are consistent with EH chondrite impactor(s). Similar siderophile element signatures in both types of breccias implies either that multiple EH chondritic impactors were delivered to the Serenitatis region of the Moon within a narrow time interval, or that the two groups of breccias are petrogenetically related to a single impact event. To the extent that these breccias can be linked with the Serenitatis basin-forming event, this identifies one type of planetesimal responsible for creating a large nearside lunar basin, possibly during a terminal cataclysm. Owing to its larger size and greater gravitational focusing, the Earth would have experienced a significantly greater cratering rate (20x) and mass accretion rate (100x) compared to the Moon. If there was a terminal cataclysm, the Earth must have been hit by several large impacts during the crucial period in which the oldest preserved continental crust was forming and early life was evolving. If EH chondrites are found to be an important population for creating the 3.8 to 4.0 Ga lunar basins, their fractionated HSE pattern may have contributed to mantle heterogeneity on Earth. However, the dry and highly reduced nature of EH chondrites would preclude a significant contribution from these planetesimals to the volatile budget of the Earth and the oxidation of the terrestrial mantle. Additional studies of highly siderophile elements in lunar impact breccias and ancient terrestrial rocks are needed to establish the composition of infalling planetesimals on the early Earth and Moon, and the contribution of large impact events to the subsequent evolution of the Earth and other terrestrial planets.

  3. Deciphering Deep Crustal Structure Based on Gravity and Seismic Modeling of the Western Hawaiian Jurassic-Cretaceous Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, L.; Feng, H.; Tominaga, M.; Tivey, M.; Lizarralde, D.

    2014-12-01

    We conducted gravity forward modeling to investigate and gain insight into the evolution and structure of Jurassic-aged ocean crust that has been intruded and disturbed by numerous Cretaceous age seamounts in the western Pacific Basin. Free-air gravity, reflection and refraction seismic, and bathymetry data were collected during R/V T. G. Thompson cruise TN272 over an 800-km-long transect of Mid Jurassic - Early Cretaceous Pacific ocean crust. The geophysical data are used to model the morphology of the sediment layer, upper and lower crust, and the Moho. Seafloor bathymetry reveals topographic highs, including seamounts and other relief shown by the seismic data, to be associated with volcanic intrusions of various sizes that have disturbed the basement and sediment layers along the transect. We were able to infer the shape of the Moho by constraining the thickness and density of the sediment layer and upper crust with seismic reflection and refraction data, and then adjusting the thickness of the lower crustal layer to satisfy the gravity observations. From our forward modeling, we identify three distinct segments along the survey transect characterized by differences in layer thickness of the sediment and crustal sequences and the depth to Moho. Segment-1 is characterized by volcanic intrusions that cause variations in the thickness and density of the layers of sediments and upper crust with the greatest variation in the thickness of layer 3. The Moho reaches ~20km depth. Segment-2, where no seamounts are present, shows the lack of bathymetric features at the seafloor and only small changes in sediment thickness, the upper crust, and layer 3. Segment-3 also lacks bathymetric features at the seafloor and shows the least change in thickness of the sediments, upper crust, and layer 3 in all the three segments. Our modeling suggests that the Cretaceous volcanic overprint on the Jurassic basement has a strong influence on the overall structure of the underlying

  4. The effects of extracellular sugar extraction on the 3D-structure of biological soil crusts from different ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felde, Vincent; Rossi, Federico; Colesie, Claudia; Uteau-Puschmann, Daniel; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Peth, Stephan; De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) play important roles in the hydrological cycles of many different ecosystems around the world. In arid and semi-arid regions, they alter the availability and redistribution of water. Especially in early successional stage BSCs, this feature can be attributed to the presence and characteristics of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) that are excreted by the crusts' organisms. In a previous study, the extraction of EPS from BSCs of the SW United States lead to a significant change in their hydrological behavior, namely the sorptivity of water (Rossi et al. 2012). This was concluded to be the effect of a change in the pore structure of these crusts, which is why in this work we investigated the effect of the EPS-extraction on soil structure using 3D-computed micro-tomography (µCT). We studied different types of BSCs from Svalbard, Germany, Israel and South Africa with varying grain sizes and species compositions (from green algae to light and dark cyanobacterial crusts with and without lichens and/or mosses). Unlike other EPS-extraction methods, the one utilized here is aimed at removing the extracellular matrix from crust samples whilst acting non-destructively (Rossi et al. 2012). For every crust sample, we physically cut out a small piece (1cm) from a larger sample contained in Petri dish, and scanned it in a CT at a high resolution (voxel edge length: 7µm). After putting it back in the dish, approximately in the same former position, it was treated for EPS-extraction and then removed and scanned again in order to check for a possible effect of the EPS-extraction. Our results show that the utilized EPS-extraction method had varying extraction efficiencies: while in some cases the amount removed was barely significant, in other cases up to 50% of the total content was recovered. Notwithstanding, no difference in soil micro-structure could be detected, neither in total porosity, nor in the distribution of pore sizes, the

  5. Petrology and geochronology of crustal xenoliths from the Bering Strait region: Linking deep and shallow processes in extending continental crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Akinin, V.V.; Miller, E.L.; Wooden, J.L.

    2009-01-01

    -crustal seismic-reflection and refraction data reveal a 30-35-km-thick crust, a sharp Moho and refl ective lower and middle crust. Velocities do not support a largely mafic (underplated) lower crust, but together with xenolith data suggest that Late Cretaceous to early Paleocene maficintrusions are likely increasingly important with depth in the crust and that the elevated temperatures during granulite-facies metamorphism led to large-scale flow of crustal rocks to produce gneiss domes and the observed subhorizontal refl ectivity of the crust. This unique combined data set for the Bering Shelf region provides compelling evidence for the complete reconstitution/re-equilibration of continental crust from the bottom up during mantle-driven magmatic events associated with crustal extension. Thus, despite Precambrian and Paleozoic rocks at the surface and Alaska's accretionary tectonic history, it is likely that a significant portion of the Bering Sea region lower crust is much younger and related to post-accretionary tectonic and magmatic events. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  6. The nature of orogenic crust in the central Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, Susan L.; Zandt, George

    2002-10-01

    The central Andes (16°-22°S) are part of an active continental margin mountain belt and the result of shortening of the weak western edge of South America between the strong lithospheres of the subducting Nazca plate and the underthrusting Brazilian shield. We have combined receiver function and surface wave dispersion results from the BANJO-SEDA project with other geophysical studies to characterize the nature of the continental crust and mantle lithospheric structure. The major results are as follows: (1) The crust supporting the high elevations is thick and has a felsic to intermediate bulk composition. (2) The relatively strong Brazilian lithosphere is underthrusting as far west (65.5°W) as the high elevations of the western part of the Eastern Cordillera (EC) but does not underthrust the entire Altiplano. (3) The subcrustal lithosphere is delaminating piecemeal under the Altiplano-EC boundary but is not completely removed beneath the central Altiplano. The Altiplano crust is characterized by a brittle upper crust decoupled from a very weak lower crust that is dominated by ductile deformation, leading to lower crustal flow and flat topography. In contrast, in the high-relief, inland-sloping regions of the EC and sub-Andean zone, the upper crust is still strongly coupled across the basal thrust of th