Geology Research Works

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    Dataset for "Anomalous 33S in the lunar mantle"
    (2023) Dottin III, James; Kim, Sang-Tae; Wing, Boswell; Farquhar, James; Shearer, Charles
    This item includes the sulfur isotope data reported in the journal article titled "Anomalous 33S in the lunar mantle" that is planned for publication in JGR: Planets.
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    Estimation of trace element concentrations in the lunar magma ocean using mineral- and metal-silicate melt partition coefficients
    (The Meteoritical Society, 2015) Sharp, Miriam; Righter, Kevin; Walker, Richard J.; Walker, Richard J.
    Abstract–This study uses experimentally determined plagioclase-melt D values to estimate the trace element concentrations of Sr, Hf, Ga, W, Mo, Ru, Pd, Au, Ni, and Co in a crystallizing lunar magma ocean at the point of plagioclase flotation. Similarly, experimentally determined metal-silicate partition experiments combined with a composition model for the Moon are used to constrain the concentrations of W, Mo, Ru, Pd, Au, Ni, and Co in the lunar magma ocean at the time of core formation. The metal-silicate derived lunar mantle estimates are generally consistent with previous estimates for the concentration of these elements in the lunar mantle. Plagioclase-melt derived concentrations for Sr, Ga, Ru, Pd, Au, Ni, and Co are also consistent with prior estimates. Estimates for Hf, W, and Mo, however, are higher. These elements may be concentrated in the residual liquid during fractional crystallization due to their incompatibility. Alternatively, the apparent enrichment could reflect the inappropriate use of bulk anorthosite data, rather than data for plagioclase separates.
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    Meter-Scale Chemical and Isotopic Heterogeneities in the Oceanic Mantle, Leka Ophiolite Complex, Norway
    (Oxford, 2021-07-13) Haller, Mitchell B.; O'Driscoll, Brian; Day, James M.D.; Daley, J. Stephen; Piccoli, Philip M.; Walker, Richard J.; Walker, Richard
    Mantle peridotites from three 3 x 3-meter grids sampled at kilometer distances from one another in the ca. 497 Ma Leka Ophiolite Complex (LOC), Norway, are examined to investigate the chemical and isotopic nature of oceanic mantle domains at the centimeter to kilometer scale. The lithology of each grid locality is predominantly harzburgite, but includes layers and lenses of dunite and pyroxenite. Major and lithophile trace element compositions indicate a history of prior melting at pressures at or slightly below the garnet stability field. The common presence of orthopyroxenite veins likely reflects infiltration of silicic melts associated with supra-subduction zone processes. Osmium isotopes and highly siderophile element (HSE) abundance data for centimeter-scale sampling of traverses from the pyroxenites into the harzburgites reveal that the formation of the veins had little effect on Os isotopic compositions, and Os, Ir, Ru and Re abundances in the harzburgites. Adjacent to one of the orthopyroxenite veins studied, however, Pt and Pd abundances appear to have been strongly modified by interactions with vein-forming melts or fluids at distances of as much as 4– 6 cm from the pyroxenite-harzburgite contact. Leka harzburgites have initial gammaOs values (% deviation from a chondritic reference) that range from -4.7 to +2.2 (6.9% variation), with individual uncertainties of 60.2 units. Averaged initial Os isotopic compositions for harzburgites from the three grid sites separated by as much as 6 km, by contrast, differ by only a maximum of 2.6%. Isotopic heterogeneity on the centimeter to meter scale is, therefore, larger than kilometer-scale heterogeneity, indicating that at least some of the Os isotopic heterogeneity commonly observed globally among mantle peridotites is the result of processes that acted on a local scale. The general uniformity of these isotopic compositions among the three grid sites suggests that the portion of the oceanic mantle sampled by the LOC was homogenous at the kilometer scale with respect to the long-term Re/Os ratio. The long-term projected Re/Os for LOC harzburgites is similar to the average required for modern abyssal peridotites. This observation strengthens previous interpretations, based largely on data for abyssal peridotites, that state the Os isotopic evolution of oceanic mantle is consistent with a long-term 187Re/188Os of ~0.38. The present ~3 to 4% difference between the Os isotopic composition of the modern oceanic mantle and estimates for primitive mantle suggests that at least ~6% of the mass of the oceanic mantle has been removed from it in the form of Re- enriched, mafic oceanic crust. Despite the recycling of this crust back into the mantle, most of it has evidently not been mixed back into accessible portions of the upper oceanic peridotite mantle. Compared to composition estimates for the primitive mantle, the median HSE compositions for the three grid sites are moderately to strongly depleted in Pd and Re, consistent with the corresponding lithophile element evidence for 20–30% melt depletion. As with initial cOs values, most harzburgites from a given grid are characterized by greater variations in absolute and relative HSE abundances than the differences between the median abundances of the three grid sampling locales. This observation indicates that as with Os isotopes, the HSE abundance heterogeneity among the harzburgites most strongly reflects centimeter- to meter-scale melting and remobilization effects. Except for Ru, median HSE abundances for grid harzburgites are similar to median abundances for abyssal peridotites. The 30% lower median Ru/Ir in the LOC compared to the median ratio for abyssal peridotites suggests that the abundance of Ru in the oceanic mantle may be more variable than generally thought.
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    Evaluating the ecology of Spinosaurus: Shoreline generalist or aquatic pursuit specialist?
    (Coquina Press, 2021-01) Hone, David W E; Holtz, Thomas R Jr
    The giant theropod Spinosaurus was an unusual animal and highly derived in many ways, and interpretations of its ecology remain controversial. Recent papers have added considerable knowledge of the anatomy of the genus with the discovery of a new and much more complete specimen, but this has also brought new and dramatic interpretations of its ecology as a highly specialised semi-aquatic animal that actively pursued aquatic prey. Here we assess the arguments about the functional morphology of this animal and the available data on its ecology and possible habits in the light of these new finds. We conclude that based on the available data, the degree of adaptations for aquatic life are questionable, other interpretations for the tail fin and other features are supported (e.g., socio-sexual signalling), and the pursuit predation hypothesis for Spinosaurus as a “highly specialized aquatic predator” is not supported. In contrast, a ‘wading’ model for an animal that predominantly fished from shorelines or within shallow waters is not contradicted by any line of evidence and is well supported. Spinosaurus almost certainly fed primarily from the water and may have swum, but there is no evidence that it was a specialised aquatic pursuit predator.
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    Lower rotational inertia and larger leg muscles indicate more rapid turns in tyrannosaurids than in other large theropods
    (2019-02-21) Snively, Eric; O'Brien, Haley; Henderson, Donald M; Mallison, Heinrich; Surring, Lara A; Burns, Michael E; Holtz, Thomas R Jr; Russell, Anthony P; Witmer, Lawrence M; Currie, Philip J; Hartman, Scott A; Cotton, John R
    Synopsis Tyrannosaurid dinosaurs had large preserved leg muscle attachments and low rotational inertia relative to their body mass, indicating that they could turn more quickly than other large theropods. Methods To compare turning capability in theropods, we regressed agility estimates against body mass, incorporating superellipse-based modeled mass, centers of mass, and rotational inertia (mass moment of inertia). Muscle force relative to body mass is a direct correlate of agility in humans, and torque gives potential angular acceleration. Agility scores therefore include rotational inertia values divided by proxies for (1) muscle force (ilium area and estimates of m. caudofemoralis longus cross-section), and (2) musculoskeletal torque. Phylogenetic ANCOVA (phylANCOVA) allow assessment of differences in agility between tyrannosaurids and non-tyrannosaurid theropods (accounting for both ontogeny and phylogeny). We applied conditional error probabilities a(p) to stringently test the null hypothesis of equal agility. Results Tyrannosaurids consistently have agility index magnitudes twice those of allosauroids and some other theropods of equivalent mass, turning the body with both legs planted or pivoting over a stance leg. PhylANCOVA demonstrates definitively greater agilities in tyrannosaurids, and phylogeny explains nearly all covariance. Mass property results are consistent with those of other studies based on skeletal mounts, and between different figure-based methods (our main mathematical slicing procedures, lofted 3D computer models, and simplified graphical double integration). Implications The capacity for relatively rapid turns in tyrannosaurids is ecologically intriguing in light of their monopolization of large (>400 kg), toothed dinosaurian predator niches in their habitats.