The group's emerging plan is discussed in an article in the Nov. 14 edition of Eos, a publication of the American Geophysical Union. The authors are Millard (Mike) Coffin of the University of Tokyo; Dale Sawyer of Rice University, Houston; Timothy Reston of University of Birmingham, UK; and Joann Stock of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
Continental-rifting and continental break-up are not yet well understood by scientists. Mike Coffin, lead author and one of the meeting's co-chairs, explains: "We do not yet understand the driving forces of rifting and break-up, or the tectonic processes that control and accompany the phenomena. We need to investigate the mechanisms that generate huge volumes of magma that flow very quickly over broad areas of rifting margins, and the role of fluids and volatiles during rifting. Also, there is an unknown heat budget associated with rifting." He adds, "Only a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach that includes ocean drilling will move us to greater understanding of these processes."
The emerging scientific drilling proposal includes sampling relatively young, active rifting zones in the western Pacific Ocean (near Papua New Guinea) and the Gulf of California; sampling ancient continental margins off East Greenland, Norway, the British Isles, and western Australia to investigate magma-forming and eruption processes associated with rifting and breakup; and testing tectonic hypotheses at hyper-extended margins in the south Atlantic Ocean, off the Iberian peninsula, and off the coast of Newfoundland.
The researchers involved with the continental rifting and break-up proposal expect to submit their drilling proposal to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), the world's most ambitious international marine research program, next April. IODP undertakes scientific ocean drilling expeditions to investigate solid Earth cycles and geodynamics; environmental change, processes and effects; the deep biosphere and the subseafloor ocean. Expeditions are developed from drilling proposals submitted by scientists, individually or in groups. Submitted proposals are accepted and evaluated twice a year: April 1 and October 1.
Nancy Light | EurekAlert!
In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy