Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Answers How Ancient Waterway Circulated

16.11.2011
A Boise State University study has shed new light on how a shallow seaway that once extended across the central part of North America circulated during one of earth’s warmest periods, about 82 to 87 million years ago. The findings could help explain why animals differ in the North and South regions.

Called the Interior Seaway, it stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic. Scientists have thought for years that the water circulation was one long cell, with water moving in a large counter-clockwise circulation.

But now, thanks to research by Boise State geoscientists, that collective thought has been put into question. The study found that the water circulation actually was separated into two cells: one southern circulation, stretching from the Gulf to modern-day Kansas, and a northern circulation, from Kansas to the Arctic.

The results appear online in the journal Nature Geoscience.

“This study unequivocally proves that the southern fauna lived in warmer and saltier water, which led to different animals in that area from the north,” said study coauthor Matthew Kohn, professor of geosciences at Boise State. “The difference in temperature between the two circulations was about seven degrees Fahrenheit, which is a major difference between the two circulations and a major difference for animals.”

Boise State researchers measured the ratio of different masses of oxygen atoms in nearly 100 turtle bones and fish teeth. They found large differences in temperature and salt content between the Gulf of Mexico and Kansas. The researchers said these differences indicate that circulation must have been separated into southern and northern circulation cells, rather than having one long cell stretching from the Gulf to the Arctic.

The researchers said the differences explain why marine animals are so different in the North versus the South.

“This issue is important for understanding climate fundamentals,” Kohn said. “If we can understand how mass, heat and water moved in Earth’s other climate states, especially the warm ones, we might be able to make predictions about future climatic warming and cooling periods.”

The project was funded by the American Chemical Society and the National Science Foundation.

Learn More About Research at Boise State University
An emerging metropolitan research university of distinction, Boise State University has launched a new website – beyondtheblue.boisestate.edu – to showcase the research expertise and innovative spirit that exists in many fields at the university. Known for its unique blue turf and nationally ranked football program, Boise State is demonstrating its creativity beyond the blue in an ongoing series of faculty podcasts where faculty experts provide insight into today’s issues, challenges and topics of interest.

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

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New Measurement Device: Carbon Dioxide As Geothermometer
21.05.2019 | Universität Heidelberg

nachricht Cause for variability in Arctic sea ice clarified
14.05.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Synthesis of helical ladder polymers

21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

Ultra-thin superlattices from gold nanoparticles for nanophotonics

21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

Chaperones keep the tumor suppressor protein p53 in check: How molecular escorts help prevent cancer

21.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>