Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Create New Weathering Index to Measure Rainfall in Ancient Ecosystems

05.05.2010
Two Baylor University researchers have published a paper on their creation of a new equation for estimating rainfall amounts in ancient ecosystems.

Understanding climate and rainfall through geologic time is crucial because they relate to plant and animal evolution, ecosystem function and the hydrological cycle, including erosional and depositional events.

The paper appears in the May edition of the journal Geology.

Dr. Lee Nordt, professor of geology and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor, and Dr. Steve Driese, professor and chair of the department of geology at Baylor, have created a unique equation that uses soil characterization data and whole-soil geochemical analyses to show that estimates of rainfall can be improved using a new geochemical “proxy,” called CALMAG. The Baylor researchers said the previously used chemical index of alteration minus potassium (CIA-K) proxy was giving less precise estimates of ancient rainfall and in many cases, under estimating the amount of rainfall. The new proxy created by the Baylor researchers works well for ancient soils buried and turned into rock known as paleosols, and specifically high clay-content paleosols known as paleo-Vertisols. Vertisols are arguably the most common fossil soil type, preserving much information about the ecosystems.

“What we discovered is by looking at the principles of these chemical compounds, that CIA-K estimated rainfall somewhat effectively, but also for the wrong reason, or not for the reasons originally purported, and for sure, not for most soil types we see in the rock record,” Nordt said. “The difference is mainly that CALMAG estimates higher rainfall amounts than CIA-K and with greater statistical reliability. This is important because we use past climate and ecosystem response relationships to predict what might happen in the future with global change.”

The paper also gives for the first time the underlying geochemical principles that explain why this and other equations relate to rainfall in the first place. Nordt said rather than documenting the hydrolysis of minerals common in many other soils, the CALMAG equation principally tracks the flux of calcium and magnesium sourced from calcium carbonate and detrital clay in the Vertisols.

Matt Pene | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.baylor.edu/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht A promising target in the quest for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core
24.05.2018 | University of Washington

nachricht Tropical Peat Swamps: Restoration of Endangered Carbon Reservoirs
24.05.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>