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Geology

This category contains 38 posts

Benthic biology on a thermally boring deep-sea ridge

The deep ocean is vast and full of neat ocean dwellers, many of which scientists know little about. One way to investigate them is from images and videos captured during deep-sea exploration efforts using submersibles. A group of scientists did just that to quantify the benthic assemblages at different depths and a variety of substate types on a ridge in the Indian Ocean.

Glaciers have big league role in silica budget.

Glaciers get a lot of attention because they’re expansive sheets of ice. They’re important to understand because they can impact sea level, circulation, climate, albedo, and they are homes to microbial organisms and large animals. A new reason they are getting attention is their recently realized importance to the global silica budget. Researchers found that melting glaciers deliver enough silica to the surface ocean that their contribution should not be ignored.

Sharkcano, a melting pot for biology

No, a Sharkcano is not a volcano that erupts sharks. IT IS WAY COOLER THAN THAT! It is a submarine volcano that hosts a diverse macro community in water that is much warmer and more acidic that the surrounding seawater. Read more to find out about this alien-esc ecosystem in the South Pacific Ocean.

Mediterranean Magnetism shows Ancient Oceanic Crust

Compared to the continents, oceanic crust is relatively young, less than 200 million years. But in a corner of the Mediterranean Sea, a remnant of the ancient Neo-Tethys Ocean lurks from the time of Pangaea.

Pluto perhaps not so icy after all

Pluto, the ex-planet at the far reaches of our solar system, recently had a nice photo op as a NASA vehicle drifted by. The pictures gave an unprecedented view of the object and, perhaps, point to the presence liquid water.

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin

207 years ago, a renowned naturalist and geologist was born; Charles Darwin. Today OceanBites is honoring Charles Darwin and his insatiable quest for knowledge by exploring some of his marine observations.

A Slick Study! Natural Oil Seeps and Chlorophyll

Oil seeps are naturally occurring sources of oil to the marine environment. This study looks at the impacts of oil seeps on chlorophyll concentrations near the surface of the ocean and the results are pretty slick!

Mountains vs. Climate, Recorded in Marine Sediment

Mountain ranges can actively evolve with Earth’s climate. A new study of the St. Elias Range in coastal Alaska demonstrates how dynamic and coupled our planet’s crust is to climate, and how we can investigate past erosion through marine sediments.

Beyond the Science (Part 2): Sci-Com, Media, and Policy at GSA

I attended the annual meeting for the Geological Society of America as a first-timer, joining scientists, educators, policy-makers, industry buffs, and students from the international community at the second-largest geology conference in the United States. I had attended a geology conference before, but I had not been involved to the extent that I was at GSA. The conference provided me with so much more than just a platform to speak to a wide audience.

A First-Timer’s Look at a Scientist Congressional Visits Day

At Geosciences Congressional Visits Day, 2015, I joined a diverse group of over 60 geoscientists that gathered in Washington, D.C. to learn how to speak to policymakers and how to craft our message requesting continued strong federal support for earth sciences.

The Down, Up, and Down Again of Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay region is a densely populated area, and also experiences more rapid sea level rise than anywhere else along the North American Atlantic Coast. Why? Scientists look to the lithosphere for answers, finding that the subsidence of an ancient lithospheric bulge may be partially to blame, and will continue for millennia.

Retreat! Barrier Beaches Meet Their Demise Despite Modest Sea Level Rise

Future sea level rise poses many challenges for communities on barrier islands. However, sea level rise alone may not be the only factor that determines the fate of barrier islands in a future of rising seas.

Climate Transgressions and Barrier Islands

Barrier Islands support local economies, residents, tourism, fragile environments, and sometimes valuable resources. Yet, they are extremely susceptible to storms and sea level change. A new study examines the past 12,000 years in sediments to try to understand how these coastal landforms may be affected in the future.

There is a need for healthy parrotfish to maintain the reef islands

When you think of sediment erosion and island building physical processes and volcanism may come to mind. Well, you may be pleased to learn that fish build islands too, and get this- they do it with material they erode! However, the eco-geological relationship of island formation and sustainability with biology is not well quantified. This paper discusses research from the Maldives that is directed at quantifying the amount of sediment produced by parrotfish and Halimeda, and how it influences the maintenance of reef islands.

A 2.5 billion year old story about iron in the ocean, told by a rock

New light has been shed on the possibility of an alternative iron sink than previous thought prior to the oxygenation of the oceans 2.45 billion years ago. The findings could affect our interpretations of the early seawater chemistry, nutrient cycling, and trace metal distribution in the Precambrian.

One billion and one anaerobic nights: on the journey to atmospheric oxidation

Take a breather, and learn how cyanobacteria struggled to bring the world oxygen.

Barrier Island Stability Rooted in Their Plant Life

How stable are the barrier islands that outline many coastal communities around the world? To answer this question, scientists look at the relationship between barrier island elevation and the plant life that populates the dunes.

Double Whammy: A Second Source of the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami

A powerful offshore earthquake was quickly identified as the source of the catastrophic 2011 Tohoku tsunami, which devastated portions of coastal Japan. Numerous studies have shown that an earthquake was not the sole contributor to the tsunami and that an unidentified tsunami source remains at large. New research has identified a second suspect.

Glacial crevasses: how deep do they go? What does it mean?

The techniques applied here provide a much needed coastal view of the Greenland ice sheets. Work done in previous studies have successfully provided insight to glacial geometry inland, however, the information yielded about ice on the edge is weak. The results of this study agree with previous work inland while also significantly refining what is known about the coast.

A volcano, a tropical cyclone, and a computer model walked into a room…

Like with bad jokes, timing is everything. The punch line doesn’t make sense if you don’t know the back story, just like when mixing active volcanoes, tropical cyclones, and new volcanic smog dispersion models.

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