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This week from AGU: New study details ocean's role in fourth-largest extinction

American Geophysical Union


New study details ocean's role in fourth-largest mass extinction
Extremely low oxygen levels in Earth's oceans could be responsible for extending the effects of a mass extinction that wiped out millions of species on Earth around 200 million years ago, according to a new study published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. By measuring trace levels of uranium in oceanic limestone that correspond to oxygen levels in seawater present during the rock's formation, the new study finds areas of the seafloor without oxygen increased by a factor of 100 during the end-Triassic extinction event.

"Heartbeats" of an underwater volcano's eruption imaged by ultrasounds (plus VIDEO)
Using acoustic footage of a volcanic eruption and images taken by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), scientists have documented an underwater volcano's eruption off the coast of El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands. The scientific study, which provides details about the 2011-2012 eruption, is published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, and a video summarizing the research can be found here.

A closer look at an undersea source of Alaskan earthquakes
A systematic survey offers a striking portrait of movement along a 500-kilometer-long undersea section of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault off the coast of southeastern Alaska.

Research Spotlights

Simulations give new view of global auroral storms
New computer models capture the movement of the strongest auroral storms as they sweep across Earth at night, challenging scientists' views of what drives them. The study is published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics.

How to find an iceberg's breaking point
Researchers develop a mathematical method of modeling tabular icebergs, like the one that broke away from an Antarctic ice shelf earlier this year. Their new method is published in Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems (JAMES).

Improving water resources management from the ground up
The key to sustainable water resources management isn't satellite technology yet--it's a new spin on time-tested rain and stream gauges. The new study in Water Resources Research will allow scientists to identify the most needed rain and stream gauges and pinpoint where additional gauges should be added.

Powerful Pacific forces disrupt the California current
Scientists create a 66-year data record to shed light on the role of El Niño in the California Current System's shifting temperatures. The new study is published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.


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