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The potential for the biological conversion of long-chain saturated hydrocarbons to methane under anaerobic conditions has been demonstrated by using an enrichment culture of bacteria to degrade pure-phase hexadecane. The formation of methane in hydrocarbon-rich subsurface zones could be explained if a similar conversion of long-chain alkanes to methane were to take place in subsurface environments. If this process could be stimulated in the subsurface, it could be used to enhance hydrocarbon recovery from petroleum reserves. Parkes, however, questions the environmental significance of the enrichment-culture results1 on the grounds that alkane conversion to methane is very slow and because sulphate-reducing and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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PUBLISHED reconstructions of Gondwana continent1 (Fig. la) show a gap in fit near the junction of the Americas and Africa. To study this critical area, the Unitedgeo I made geophysical measurements and collected rock samples across the continental margin of Liberia (USGS-IDOE cruise leg 5) in November 1971. Figure Ib indicates the location of the 5,400 km of ship track on a generalised bathymetric map2. We shall discuss the data in detail elsewhere. Here we present the evidence for the existence of three fracture zones, two of which have not been reported previously, intersecting the continental margin at the north end of the South Atlantic, which remained closed probably until Cretaceous time. We suggest that Precambrian...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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A reflection observed on multi-channel seismic profiles along and across the East Pacific Rise between 8??50??? N and 13??30??? N is interpreted to arise from the top of a crustal magma chamber located 1.2-2.4 km below the sea floor. The magma chamber is quite narrow (<4 - 6 km wide), but can be traced as a nearly continuous feature for tens of kilometres along the rise axis. ?? 1987 Nature Publishing Group.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The 25-km-long section of the San Andreas fault near Parkfield, California ruptured in similar magnitude-6 earthquakes in 1881, 1901, 1922, 1934 and 1966. On the basis of a number of lines of seismological evidence, a section of the San Andreas fault, now termed the Parkfield preparation zone, has been identified as the locus of the next Parkfield earthquake1,3. Here we describe coincident changes in surface creep rates and deep seismicity near the Parkfield preparation zone following the 2 May 1983 Coalinga earthquake, and suggest that both respond to the same stimuli. These changes were concentrated near the point of initiation of the magnitude-6 characteristic Parkfield earthquakes, lending credence to the hypothesis...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Io and Earth are the only planetary bodies known to be volcanically active; the energetics of the eruptive plumes on Io have important structural implications and are closely linked with the presence of sulphur and SO 2. ?? 1979 Nature Publishing Group.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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An umbrella-shaped plume detected above Io confirms that Io is volcanically active. Preliminary analyses of eight such eruptive plumes are presented. ?? 1979 Nature Publishing Group.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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It is commonly thought that the longer the time since last earthquake, the larger the next earthquake's slip will be. But this logical predictor of earthquake size, unsuccessful for large earthquakes on a strike-slip fault, fails also with the giant 1960 Chile earthquake of magnitude 9.5 (ref. 3). Although the time since the preceding earthquake spanned 123 years (refs 4, 5), the estimated slip in 1960, which occurred on a fault between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates, equalled 250-350 years' worth of the plate motion. Thus the average interval between such giant earthquakes on this fault should span several centuries. Here we present evidence that such long intervals were indeed typical of the last...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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CALCIUM is the fifth most abundant element in trees, and is an essential component for wood formation and the maintenance of cell walls. Depletion of Ca from the rooting zone can result in acidification of soil1 and surface water2 and possibly growth decline and dieback of red spruce3,4. During the past six decades, concentrations of root-available Ca (exchangeable and acid-ex tract able forms) in forest-floor soils have decreased in the northeastern United States5,6. Both net forest growth and acid deposition have been put forth as mechanisms that can account for this Ca depletion5,6. Here, however, we present data collected in red spruce forests in the northeastern United States that are inconsistent with either...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The early hominids of East Africa were dated by determining the ages of tuff beds at the sites. Despite much research using palaeomagnetic and K/Ar-dating techniques, some of those ages are still controversial 1,2. To obtain independent age estimates for these tephra layers, we have examined cores from DSDP Sites 231 and 232 in the Gulf of Aden (Fig. 1a) which consist mainly of calcareous nannofossil ooze, but also contain rare tephra horizons3 dated by interpolation from the established nannofossil stratigraphy (Fig. 1b). Chemical analysis confirms that the identity and sequence of these horizons is the same as that at the East African sites. We conclude that the age of the Tulu Bor Tuff is <3.4 Myr and hence that...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Although dynamic stress changes associated with the passage of seismic waves are thought to trigger earthquakes at great distances, more than 60 per cent of all aftershocks appear to be triggered by static stress changes within two rupture lengths of a mainshock. The observed distribution of aftershocks may thus be used to infer details of mainshock rupture geometry. Aftershocks following large mid-continental earthquakes, where background stressing rates are low, are known to persist for centuries, and models based on rate-and-state friction laws provide theoretical support for this inference. Most past studies of the New Madrid earthquake sequence have indeed assumed ongoing microseismicity to be a continuing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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THE magnitude 7.5 Landers earthquake of 28 June 1992 was the largest earthquake to strike California in 40 years. The slip that occurs in such an earthquake would be expected to induce large changes in the static stress on neighbouring faults; these changes in stress should in turn affect the likelihood of future earthquakes. Stress changes that load faults towards failure have been cited as the cause of small1-5, moderate6 and large7 earthquakes; conversely, those that relax neighbouring faults have been related to a decrease in seismicity5. Here we use an elastic half-space model8 to estimate the stress changes produced by the Landers earthquake on selected southern California faults, including the San Andreas....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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CORES of a lower Tertiary lateritic palaeosol resting on basalt were recovered1 from Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 336 (Leg 38) on the north-east flank of the Iceland-Faeroe Ridge (Fig. 1), a major aseismic oceanic ridge that, together with Iceland, forms the Icelandic transverse ridge 2. The transverse ridge extends from the West European continental margin to the East Greenland continental margin, forming the geographic boundary and a partial barrier to flow of water between the Norwegian-Greenland Sea to the north and the northern North Atlantic Ocean to the south. The palaeosol indicates that at least part of the Iceland-Faeroe Ridge was above sea level during early Tertiary time3. Palaeogeographic and palaeooceanographic...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The CLIMAP project's reconstruction of past sea surface temperature inferred limited ice-age cooling in the tropical oceans. This conclusion has been controversial, however, because of the greater cooling indicated by other terrestrial and ocean proxy data. A new faunal sea surface temperature reconstruction, calibrated using the variation of foraminiferal species through time, better represents ice-age faunal assemblages and so reveals greater cooling than CLIMAP in the equatorial current systems of the eastern Pacific and tropical Atlantic oceans. Here we explore the climatic implications of this revised sea surface temperature field for the Last Glacial Maximum using an atmospheric general circulation model....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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AN understanding of the nature of seismic discontinuities in the Earth's upper mantle is important for understanding mantle processes: in particular, the amplitude and sharpness of these discontinuities are critical for assessing models of upper-mantle phase changes and chemical layering. So far, seismic studies aimed at determining the thickness and lateral variability of upper-mantle discontinuities have yielded equivocal results, particularly for the discontinuity at 410km depth1,2. Here we present short-period (0.8-2.0 s) recordings of upper-mantle precursors to the seismic phase P???P??? (PKPPKP) from two South American earthquakes recorded by the ???700-station short-period array in California. Our results...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Most petroleum is formed through the partial decomposition of kerogen (an insoluble sedimentary organic material) in response to thermal stress during subsurface burial in a sedimentary basin. Knowing the mechanisms and kinetics of this process allows the determination of the extent and timing of petroleum formation, which, in turn, are critical for evaluating the potential for petroleum occurrences within a sedimentary basin. Kinetic models of petroleum generation are derived mainly from pyrolysis experiments, in which it is usually assumed that formation rates are controlled by the strength of the bonds within the precursor compounds: this agrees with the observation that petroleum formation rates increase with...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The most striking characteristic of Europa is the network of long linear albedo markings over the surface, suggestive of global-scale tectonic processes. Various explanations for the fractures have been proposed: Freezing and expansion of an early liquid water ocean1, planetary expansion due to dehydration of hydrated silicates2, localization by weak points in the crust generated by impacts3, and a combination of stresses due to planetary volume change and tidal distortions from orbital recession and orbital eccentricity4,5. Calculations by Yoder6 and Greenberg and Weidenschilling7 have shown that Europa may rotate slightly more rapidly than the synchronous rate, with a rotation period (reorientation through 360??)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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A SEEMING paradox has puzzled investigators of the crustal structure of the Gulf of Mexico since Ewing et al.1 calculated that a unit area of the rather thick crust in the gulf contains less mass than does a combination of the crust and enough of the upper mantle to make a comparable thickness in the Atlantic Ocean. They also noted that the free-air gravity of the gulf is essentially normal and fails by a large factor to be low enough to reflect the mass difference that they calculated. We propose a solution to this problem. ?? 1972 Nature Publishing Group.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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THE time gap between the upper limit of radiocarbon dating (???60,000 yr BP) and the lower limit of dates generally obtainable using the K-Ar method (???250,000 yr BP) accounts for the scarcity of dates for the last two interglaciations (the Ipswichian and Hoxnian of Britain; the Eemian and Holsteinian of northern Europe). Accordingly, the ages of such important fossils as the Swanscombe and Steinheim skulls can only be guessed at. For that reason, the adaptation of a method that may date these interglacial periods is highly desirable. We discuss here the application of a uranium-series dating technique pertaining to that span of time. ?? 1975 Nature Publishing Group.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Review info: Mangroves and saltmarshes. Edited by Eric Wolanski and Charles S. Hopkinson Jr., 1996.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Resolving whether static or dynamic stress triggers most aftershocks and subsequent mainshocks is essential to understand earthquake interaction and to forecast seismic hazard. Felzer and Brodsky examined the distance distribution of earthquakes occurring in the first five minutes after 2 ≤ M < 3 and 3 ≤ M < 4 mainshocks and found that their magnitude  M ≥ 2 aftershocks showed a uniform power-law decay with slope −1.35 out to 50 km from the mainshocks. From this they argued that the distance decay could be explained only by dynamic triggering. Here we propose an alternative explanation for the decay, and subject their hypothesis to a series of tests, none of which it passes. At distances more than 300 m from the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature