Researchers in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, led by Prof. Jim Russell, are traveling to Indonesia this weekend to launch a 2-month project to drill long sediment cores from the floor of Lake Towuti, a large tectonic lake hosted in the East Sulawesi ophiolite. They will be leading a team of ~40 scientists to investigate the climate and environmental history of the region recorded in these cores, and the geomicrobiology of the lake's metal-rich sediments.
Undergrads in Geol-0240 after taking sediment cores in Succotash Marsh (southern RI). The cores will be taken back to Brown and examined for evidence of prehistoric and historic hurricane strikes in southern Rhode Island over the past 1000 years.
Clues about rainfall in the distant past — from river mud to tiny seashells — come to rest on the ocean floor. Sampling layers of sediment from the Indian Ocean will help researchers build an accurate picture of Indian monsoon activity going back 15 million years or more. Read about research conducted by Steve Clemens on a 2 month cruise on the JOIDES Resolution.
Gullies carved into impact craters on Mars provide a window into climate change on the Red Planet. A new analysis suggests Mars has undergone several ice ages in the last several million years. The driver of these climate swings is likely the Red Planet's wobbly axis tilt. Read the study, in press in the journal Icarus, by lead author Jay Dickson.
A dramatic increase in rainfall at the end of the last ice age marked the beginning of the African Humid Period. Researchers using complex modeling systems have figured out the forces that drove that transition, including an important role for greenhouse gasses. Prof. Jim Russell was a co-author of a study published in Science. He discussed his findings and their implications with Kevin Stacey.