Roots face many challenges in the soil in order to supply the plant with the necessary water and nutrients. New work shows that one of these challenges, salinity, can cause root cells to explode if the risk is not properly sensed. Salinity has deleterious effects on plant health and limits crop yields, because salt inhibits water uptake and can be toxic for plants. But plant biologists discovered a never-before-described effect that salt has on the plant cell wall.
Scientists have identified a mineral signature for sites that are more likely to contain rare fossils that preserve evidence of soft tissue -- essential information to understanding ancient life.
Sound waves generated by burbling lakes of lava atop some volcanoes point to greater odds of magmatic outbursts. This finding could provide advance warning to people who live near active volcanoes.
Dust that blew into the North Pacific Ocean could help explain why the Earth's climate cooled 2.7 million years ago, according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances.
Shutting down oil and gas wastewater injection wells may not stop human-induced earthquakes quickly, say seismologists at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The scientists analyzed earthquakes at DFW Airport that began in 2008 and found that even though wastewater injection was halted after a year, earthquakes continued for at least seven more years. They concluded that high-volume injection, even for a short time, can induce long-lasting seismicity when it's near a critically stressed fault.
Pleistocene basaltic lavas form a small volcanic field that was erupted from seven vents in the northwestern Lake Tahoe basin. Most of these lavas were erupted above the water and produced lava flows that dammed the lake outlet and flowed into an early Lake Tahoe. The resulting steam explosions produced deltas composed of fragmental deposits as well as pillow lavas.
When the seabed loses its stability and starts to move, it often happens in much larger dimensions than landslides ashore -- and at slopes with very low gradients. At the same time, discplacement of large amounts of sediment under water scan cause devastating tsunamis. However, why and when submarine landslides develop is hardly understood. Marine scientists from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel have now published possible causes based on observations on submarine landslides off the coast of northwest Africa in the international journal Geology.
The biggest landslides on Earth aren't on land, but on the seafloor. These mega-slides can move thousands of cubic kilometers of material, and sometimes trigger tsunamis. Yet, remarkably, they occur on nearly flat slopes of less than three degrees.
Large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane are locked up as solid gas hydrates in the continental slopes of ocean margins. Their stability depends on low temperatures and high pressure. However, other factors that influence gas hydrate stability are not as well understood. A German-Norwegian research team has found evidence off the coast of Norway that the amount of sediment deposited on the seafloor can play a crucial role. The study has been published today in the international journal Nature Communications.
A Duke-led study has found high levels of mercury and methylmercury in soils, sediments and rivers near artisanal gold mines in Senegal. Nearly every sample collected from four mining villages contained mercury levels at least ten times higher than World Health Organization and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.