For the first time, Michael Meyer and Luke Gliganic from the Department of Geology at the University of Innsbruck have used a new optical dating technique to directly constrain the age of prehistoric stone artefacts from an archaeological site in southern Tibet. The findings are more than 5,000 years old and thus the oldest evidence of human presence in this part of the Tibetan Plateau. The study has been published in the journal Science Advances.
Swedish researchers from institutions including Uppsala University have spent four years gathering data from the areas affected by the major forest fire of 2014. In their study of how the ecosystem as a whole has been altered, they could see that water quality in watercourses quickly returned to normal, while forested areas continued to lose carbon for many years after the fire.
Ozone depletion following the Toba eruption around 74,000 years ago compounded the ensuing volcanic winter and caused a human population bottleneck.
Up to three quarters of the biodiversity living on Western Australia's iconic ironstone mountains in the State's Mid West (known as Banded Iron Formations) could be difficult or impossible to return quickly to its previous state after the landscape has been mined, a Curtin University study has found.
An international archaeological study, led by researchers from the Culture and Socio-Ecological Dynamics (CaSEs) research group, has advanced in the understanding and preservation of archaeological sites and in improving their analysis, thanks to the application of pXRF (portable X-ray fluorescence analysis) to anthropogenic sediments in Africa. It is a rapid, inexpensive, non-invasive procedure, which enables generating an additional archaeological record from the anthropogenic deposit by analysing chemical elements, combined with geostatistics.
Lead paint and leaded gasoline have been banned for decades, but unsafe levels of lead remain in some urban soils, a Duke University study finds. The researchers mapped soil lead concentrations along 25 miles of streets in Durham, N.C. Though contamination generally has declined since the 1970s, soil collected near houses predating 1978 still averaged 649 milligrams of lead per kilogram of soil, well above the 400 mg/kg threshold associated with health risks to children.
The study was conducted in a Brazilian national park and was based on analysis of tree rings in the species Amburana cearensis, as well as satellite images.
The cause of Earth's deepest earthquakes has been a mystery to science for more than a century, but a team of Carnegie scientists may have cracked the case. New research published in AGU Advances provides evidence that fluids play a key role in deep-focus earthquakes--which occur between 300 and 700 kilometers below the planet's surface.
There has long been controversy about whether the world's highest region, Tibet, has grown taller during the recent geological past. New results from the University of Copenhagen indicate that the 'Roof of the World' appears to have risen by up to 600 meters and the answer was found in underwater lava. The knowledge sheds new light on Earth's evolution.
A multi-national effort involving scientists from Denmark, Canada, Germany and Japan reports the first-ever direct measurements of mercury deposition in the deepest trenches of the Pacific Ocean, 8 to 10 kilometers under the sea, revealing unprecedented amounts of highly toxic mercury. The high mercury levels may be representative of the collective increase in anthropogenic emissions of mercury into our oceans. On the other hand, ocean trenches may act as a permanent dump.