Skip to main content
Advanced Search

Filters: Tags: Nature (X)

409 results (137ms)   

View Results as: JSON ATOM CSV
thumbnail
No abstract available.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
Conodonts are an extinct group of jawless vertebrates whose tooth-like elements are the earliest instance of a mineralized skeleton in the vertebrate lineage, inspiring the ‘inside-out’ hypothesis that teeth evolved independently of the vertebrate dermal skeleton and before the origin of jaws. However, these propositions have been based on evidence from derived euconodonts. Here we test hypotheses of a paraconodont ancestry of euconodonts using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy to characterize and compare the microstructure of morphologically similar euconodont and paraconodont elements. Paraconodonts exhibit a range of grades of structural differentiation, including tissues and a pattern of growth...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
Ecology has long been troubled by the controversy over how populations are regulated. Some ecologists focus on the role of environmental effects, whereas others argue that density-dependent feedback mechanisms are central. The relative importance of both processes is still hotly debated, but clear examples of both processes acting in the same population are rare. Keyfactor analysis (regression of population changes on possible causal factors) and time-series analysis are often used to investigate the presence of density dependence, but such approaches may be biased and provide no information on actual demographic rates. Here we report on both density-dependent and density-independent effects in a murid rodent pest...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
The surface of Saturn’s haze-shrouded moon Titan has long been proposed to have oceans or lakes, on the basis of the stability of liquid methane at the surface1,2. Initial visible3 and radar4,5 imaging failed to find any evidence of an ocean, although abundant evidence was found that flowing liquids have existed on the surface5,6. Here we provide definitive evidence for the presence of lakes on the surface of Titan, obtained during the Cassini Radar flyby of Titan on 22 July 2006 (T16). The radar imaging polewards of 70° north shows more than 75 circular to irregular radar-dark patches, in a region where liquid methane and ethane are expected to be abundant and stable on the surface2,7. The radar-dark patches are...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
The invasion of woody vegetation into deserts, grasslands and savannas is generally thought to lead to an increase in the amount of carbon stored in those ecosystems. For this reason, shrub and forest expansion (for example, into grasslands) is also suggested to be a substantial, if uncertain, component of the terrestrial carbon sink. Here we investigate woody plant invasion along a precipitation gradient (200 to 1,100 mm yr(-1)) by comparing carbon and nitrogen budgets and soil delta(13)C profiles between six pairs of adjacent grasslands, in which one of each pair was invaded by woody species 30 to 100 years ago. We found a clear negative relationship between precipitation and changes in soil organic carbon and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation, Journal Citation; Tags: Nature
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
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
thumbnail
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