Scientists Report Surprising New Results from
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Crater fragments found more than 1,000 kilometers away from the impact site, unexpected ancient volcanoes, evidence of long-ago global warming, and clues to recent climate change are just a few of the surprising results of a recent National Science Foundation (NSF) Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) research expedition.
Says Robert Corell, NSF assistant director for geosciences, "The global effects of this impact were so severe that it closed one chapter in Earth history, and opened another. The Caribbean Sea ODP research expedition has led to new information about millions of years of our planet's past."
drilling deep into the ocean floor in the
American Volcanism Totally unexpected on this expedition was the discovery that
volcanic eruptions in
These ash layers indicate that Central American volcanic activity was particularly severe during two periods in the geologic record, about 34 and 19 million years ago. The sources of these volcanic ash layers lie over 1,000 kilometers to the west, in the ancient volcanoes of Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras, from which the Mayans quarried volcanic rocks to build the great pyramid at Coban. The majority of these volcanic eruptions were larger than any recent-history volcanic event.
Ancient Global Warming, An Analogy to Today? Scientists have been probing the Earth's geologic record for past events that might help us understand the effects of rapid climate changes. During the last few years, geologists have found evidence, in sediment cored from the deep ocean basins, for dramatic global warming about 55 million years ago. This warming was coincident with massive extinction of microscopic organisms living on the sea floor, the most devastating event to strike these microorganisms in the past 100 million years.
the expedition, striking records of the dramatic warming episode were brought
up from the
Recent Climate Change Bridging the gap between ancient and modern climate is a
quarter-million-year record of tropical climate change preserved in
Cheryl L. Dybas, NSF (703) 292-8070 email@example.com
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