Topic: Department of Geological Sciences

Rainfall in South Pacific Was More Variable Before 20th Century

Sept. 9, 2013

[caption id="attachment_41948" align="alignright" width="195" caption="Jud Partin inspects a stalagmite in Taurius Cave on the island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. A stalagmite such as this one could be used in a paleoclimate reconstruction."]Jud Partin inspects a stalagmite in Taurius Cave on the island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu[/caption]

AUSTIN, Texas  A new reconstruction of climate in the South Pacific during the past 446 years shows rainfall varied much more dramatically before the start of the 20th century than after. The finding, based on an analysis of a cave formation called a stalagmite from the island nation of Vanuatu, could force climate modelers to adjust their models.

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The geological fingerprint of war

May 25, 2012
The geological fingerprint of war

Scientists find traces of the World War II D-Day invasion buried in the sands of Omaha Beach.

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The geological fingerprint of war in photos

May 25, 2012
The geological fingerprint of war in photos

Scientists find traces of the World War II D-Day invasion buried in the sands of Omaha Beach.

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Iridescent, Feathered Dinosaur Offers Fresh Evidence That Feathers Evolved to Attract Mates

March 8, 2012

A team of American and Chinese researchers has revealed the detailed feather pattern and color of Microraptor, a pigeon-sized, four-winged dinosaur that lived about 120 million years ago. A new specimen shows the dinosaur had a glossy iridescent sheen and that its tail was narrow and adorned with a pair of streamer feathers, suggesting the importance of display in the early evolution of feathers, as presented in the March 9 edition of the journal Science.

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Microraptor suggests feathers evolved to attract mates

March 8, 2012
Microraptor suggests feathers evolved to attract mates

Julia Clarke, assistant professor of paleontology, discusses how a feathered tail on birds may have evolved as a function of communication and not of aerodynamics.

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