2005 News Archives

  • Unmanned submersible sheds light on an undersea volcano

    December 4, 2005

    Rock samples collected last year show surprising variation in the chemistry of an undersea volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge near Seattle. The variation comes from the mantle, the source of the magma that erupted from the volcano to form the rocks, and may influence the microbial communities that now inhabit the volcano, said James Gill, professor of Earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

  • Simulations shed light on Earth's history of magnetic field reversals

    December 4, 2005

    A new analysis of computer simulations of Earth's magnetic field suggests that its behavior was different early in Earth's history, resulting in greater stability and fewer reversals of the magnetic field. Robert Coe and Gary Glatzmaier, both professors of Earth sciences at UCSC, combine studies of the paleomagnetic records preserved in rocks with complex computer models of the "geodynamo" that generates the magnetic field. Working together, they are gaining new insights into the effects on the magnetic field of processes occurring deep within the Earth

  • Rapidly accelerating glaciers may increase how fast the sea level rises

    November 13, 2005

    A paper describing these findings will be published this month in Geophysical Research Letters. The study focused on the Helheim glacier, one of the largest outlet glaciers in Greenland. Warming air and sea temperatures in the area likely caused the glacier to speed up, said Slawek Tulaczyk, associate professor of Earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a coauthor of the paper.

  • Living with the Changing California Coast: Essential reading for coast dwellers from UCSC geologists

    November 1, 2005

    For those determined to live next to this dynamic shoreline, the new book Living with the Changing California Coast should be required reading. Written by Gary Griggs, Kiki Patsch, and Lauret Savoy, with contributions from more than a dozen other coastal experts, the book was released in November from the University of California Press. Griggs is a professor of Earth sciences and director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

  • California's oak woodlands face a new threat: climate change

    October 30, 2005

    Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have taken a close look at the implications of climate change for two familiar California oak species--blue oak and valley oak. Their findings will be published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and will appear in the November 8 issue of the journal.

  • New findings show a slow recovery from extreme global warming episode 55 million years ago

    June 9, 2005

    James Zachos, professor of Earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, led an international team of scientists that analyzed marine sediments deposited during a period of extreme global warming known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Sediment cores drilled from the ocean floor revealed an abrupt change in ocean chemistry at the start of the PETM 55 million years ago, followed by a long, slow recovery.

  • Seismologists publish detailed analysis of the great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake

    May 20, 2005

    We wanted to give as unified and comprehensive a report as possible, rather than having bits and pieces of it come out in separate papers," said Thorne Lay, professor of Earth sciences and director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and chair of the board of directors of IRIS.

  • Are Santa Cruz beaches destined to shrink?

    April 28, 2005

    That is the hypothesis championed by Gerald Weber, lecturer emeritus in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. According to Weber, northern Monterey Bay beaches have been kept abnormally wide over the past 200 to 300 years by an excess of sand drifting down the coast from a large temporary source north of Año Nuevo.

  • UCSC to host public lecture on earthquakes, including discussion of the recent earthquake and tsunami in South Asia

    January 12, 2005

    Susan Hough, a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist, will speak on "The Very Long Reach of Very Large Earthquakes" on January 26. Preceding her talk, UCSC scientists will answer questions from the audience about recent events in South Asia. Hough's talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Imaging and Dynamics of the Earth (CSIDE) at UC Santa Cruz, is part of the Distinguished Lecture Series of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and the Seismological Society of America.