Table of contents


Plate tectonic rifting

Top

Editorial

Focus: Plate tectonic rifting

What lies beneath p229

doi:10.1038/ngeo1448

The mid-ocean ridges mark the lines along which the Earth is turning itself inside out through the process of plate tectonics. Advances in technology are helping to reveal the intricate details of the magma systems that feed the rifting process.


Top

Correspondence

Constraints on hyperthermals p231

Appy Sluijs, James C. Zachos & Richard E. Zeebe

doi:10.1038/ngeo1423

Subject term: Palaeoclimate and palaeoceanography

See also: Correspondence by Cui et al.


Reply to 'Constraints on hyperthermals' pp231 - 232

Ying Cui, Lee R. Kump, Andy J. Ridgwell, Adam J. Charles, Christopher K. Junium, Aaron F. Diefendorf, Katherine H. Freeman, Nathan M. Urban & Ian C. Harding

doi:10.1038/ngeo1424

Subject term: Palaeoclimate and palaeoceanography

See also: Correspondence by Sluijs et al.


Top

In the press

Before the big volcano blows p233

Alexandra Witze

doi:10.1038/ngeo1437


Top

News and Views

Focus: Plate tectonic rifting

Plate tectonics: Piecing together rifts pp235 - 236

Douglas R. Toomey

doi:10.1038/ngeo1435

Earth's crust is formed where tectonic plates rift apart and upwelling magma solidifies. Disparate observations from rifts beneath the oceans and on land provide insights into the dynamics of rifting and opportunities for synthesis.

Subject terms: Structural geology, tectonics and geodynamics | Volcanology, mineralogy and petrology | Seismology | Geochemistry

See also: Letter by Canales et al. | Letter by Rioux et al. | Letter by Pagli et al.


Climate science: Constraints on the high end pp236 - 237

Isaac Held

doi:10.1038/ngeo1436

The plausibility of the high end of global warming projections in recent assessments is a subject of debate. A study of multi-model climate simulations argues that we need to take the possibility of strong warming seriously.

Subject terms: Climate science | Atmospheric science | Oceanography

See also: Letter by Rowlands et al.


Volcanology: Opening wide the magma spigot pp238 - 239

Matthew Pritchard

doi:10.1038/ngeo1439

The supply of magma to Kīlauea Volcano was relatively stable for 50 years. But between 2003 and 2007, the volcano experienced a surge in the supply of magma from the mantle that implies short-term changes in the underlying Hawaiian hotspot.

Subject terms: Volcanology, mineralogy and petrology | Structural geology, tectonics and geodynamics | Seismology | Geochemistry

See also: Article by Poland et al.


Palaeoclimate: Fossils from above p239

Alicia Newton

doi:10.1038/ngeo1440

Subject terms: Palaeoclimate and palaeoceanography | Palaeontology


Moon formation: Earth's titanium twin pp240 - 241

Matthias M. M. Meier

doi:10.1038/ngeo1434

A giant impact on the young proto-Earth is thought to explain the formation of the Moon. High-precision analysis of titanium isotopes in lunar rocks suggests that the Moon and Earth's mantle are more similar than existing models permit.

Subject terms: Geochemistry | Planetary science

See also: Letter by Zhang et al.


Top

Review

Focus: Plate tectonic rifting

Geophysical constraints on the dynamics of spreading centres from rifting episodes on land pp242 - 250

Tim J. Wright, Freysteinn Sigmundsson, Carolina Pagli, Manahloh Belachew, Ian J. Hamling, Bryndís Brandsdóttir, Derek Keir, Rikke Pedersen, Atalay Ayele, Cindy Ebinger, Páll Einarsson, Elias Lewi & Eric Calais

doi:10.1038/ngeo1428

Most of Earth's crust is created at mid-ocean ridges that are submerged deep beneath the oceans. Analyses of geodetic and seismic data from rare sections of ridges that are exposed on land in Iceland and the Afar region in east Africa demonstrate that rifting episodes at these sites operate with remarkably similar mechanisms.

Subject terms: Structural geology, tectonics and geodynamics | Volcanology, mineralogy and petrology | Seismology


Top

Letters

The proto-Earth as a significant source of lunar material pp251 - 255

Junjun Zhang, Nicolas Dauphas, Andrew M. Davis, Ingo Leya & Alexei Fedkin

doi:10.1038/ngeo1429

Geochemical evidence continues to challenge giant impact models, which predict that the Moon formed from both proto-Earth and impactor material. Analyses of lunar samples reveal isotopic homogeneity in titanium, a highly refractory element, suggesting lunar material was derived predominantly from the mantle of the proto-Earth.

Subject terms: Geochemistry | Planetary science

See also: News and Views by Meier


Broad range of 2050 warming from an observationally constrained large climate model ensemble pp256 - 260

Daniel J. Rowlands, David J. Frame, Duncan Ackerley, Tolu Aina, Ben B. B. Booth, Carl Christensen, Matthew Collins, Nicholas Faull, Chris E. Forest, Benjamin S. Grandey, Edward Gryspeerdt, Eleanor J. Highwood, William J. Ingram, Sylvia Knight, Ana Lopez, Neil Massey, Frances McNamara, Nicolai Meinshausen, Claudio Piani, Suzanne M. Rosier, Benjamin M. Sanderson, Leonard A. Smith, Dáithí A. Stone, Milo Thurston, Kuniko Yamazaki, Y. Hiro Yamazaki & Myles R. Allen

doi:10.1038/ngeo1430

The global-mean temperature evolution over the course of the twenty-first century is uncertain. Simulations with an ensemble of thousands of climate models that reproduce observed warming over the past 50 years suggest that a mid-range greenhouse-gas emissions scenario without mitigation could lead to a warming of between 1.4 and 3K by 2050, relative to 1961–1990.

Subject terms: Climate science | Atmospheric science | Oceanography

See also: News and Views by Held


Trends and seasonal cycles in the isotopic composition of nitrous oxide since 1940 pp261 - 265

S. Park, P. Croteau, K. A. Boering, D. M. Etheridge, D. Ferretti, P. J. Fraser, K-R. Kim, P. B. Krummel, R. L. Langenfelds, T. D. van Ommen, L. P. Steele & C. M. Trudinger

doi:10.1038/ngeo1421

The atmospheric nitrous oxide concentration has increased by 20% since 1750. Analyses of Antarctic firn and archived air samples reveal seasonal cycles in the isotopic signature of nitrous oxide, which can help to disentangle the contribution of surface sources.

Subject term: Biogeochemistry


Influence of the tropics and southern westerlies on glacial interhemispheric asymmetry pp266 - 269

Patrick De Deckker, Matthias Moros, Kerstin Perner & Eystein Jansen

doi:10.1038/ngeo1431

Latitudinal variations in the location of the southern westerly wind belt have been associated with millennial-scale climate variations during the last glacial period. A reconstruction of sea-surface temperatures off the southern coast of Australia suggests that these climate variations also drove changes in the location of the oceanic subtropical front.

Subject terms: Palaeoclimate and palaeoceanography | Climate science


Links between iron input and opal deposition in the Pleistocene equatorial Pacific Ocean pp270 - 274

Richard W. Murray, Margaret Leinen & Christopher W. Knowlton

doi:10.1038/ngeo1422

Iron is often a limiting nutrient in ocean regions that have a constant supply of other macro-nutrients, and changes in iron supply over time have been linked to fluctuations in primary productivity. Marine sediments from the equatorial Pacific Ocean show that over the past million years, iron input was linked to the export and burial of biogenic silica.

Subject terms: Palaeoclimate and palaeoceanography | Biogeochemistry | Oceanography


Focus: Plate tectonic rifting

Protracted timescales of lower crustal growth at the fast-spreading East Pacific Rise pp275 - 278

Matthew Rioux, C. Johan Lissenberg, Noah M. McLean, Samuel A. Bowring, Christopher J. MacLeod, Eric Hellebrand & Nobumichi Shimizu

doi:10.1038/ngeo1378

Rates of crust formation at mid-ocean ridges are expected to vary with rates of plate spreading. U–Pb dating of zircon minerals from the fast-spreading East Pacific Rise reveals protracted formation of gabbroic rocks over timescales comparable with slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges, suggesting similar timescales of magmatic processes at slow- and fast-spreading ridges.

Subject terms: Structural geology, tectonics and geodynamics | Volcanology, mineralogy and petrology | Geochemistry

See also: News and Views by Toomey


Focus: Plate tectonic rifting

Network of off-axis melt bodies at the East Pacific Rise pp279 - 283

J. P. Canales, H. Carton, S. M. Carbotte, J. C. Mutter, M. R. Nedimović, M. Xu, O. Aghaei, M. Marjanović & K. Newman

doi:10.1038/ngeo1377

At faster-spreading mid-ocean ridges, the creation of new oceanic crust through magmatism usually occurs within a narrow zone on the ridge axis. Three-dimensional seismic images of the fast-spreading East Pacific Rise reveal a network of magmatic bodies 4–8km away from the ridge axis that seem to be connected to the axial magma chamber.

Subject terms: Structural geology, tectonics and geodynamics | Volcanology, mineralogy and petrology

See also: News and Views by Toomey


Focus: Plate tectonic rifting

Shallow axial magma chamber at the slow-spreading Erta Ale Ridge pp284 - 288

Carolina Pagli, Tim J. Wright, Cynthia J. Ebinger, Sang-Ho Yun, Johnson R. Cann, Talfan Barnie & Atalay Ayele

doi:10.1038/ngeo1414

Thermal models predict that spreading velocity at mid-ocean rifts should influence the geometry of the underlying magma chamber. InSAR data from the slow-spreading Ethiopian Rift identify a shallow, elongated magma chamber—a feature usually associated with fast-spreading rifts—beneath the Erta Ale segment, implying that spreading velocity may not be so important after all.

Subject terms: Volcanology, mineralogy and petrology | Structural geology, tectonics and geodynamics

See also: News and Views by Toomey


Top

Articles

Focus: Plate tectonic rifting

Initiation of the western branch of the East African Rift coeval with the eastern branch pp289 - 294

E. M. Roberts, N. J. Stevens, P. M. O’Connor, P. H. G. M. Dirks, M. D. Gottfried, W. C. Clyde, R. A. Armstrong, A. I. S. Kemp & S. Hemming

doi:10.1038/ngeo1432

Rifting of the eastern part of the East African Rift System was thought to have begun several million years before its western counterpart. Reconstructions of drainage development, combined with dating of rift-related volcanic activity, suggest that rifting in the western branch may instead have begun at the same time as in the eastern branch.

Subject terms: Palaeoclimate and palaeoceanography | Biogeochemistry | Oceanography


A mantle-driven surge in magma supply to Kīlauea Volcano during 2003–2007 pp295 - 300

Michael P. Poland, Asta Miklius, A. Jeff Sutton & Carl R. Thornber

doi:10.1038/ngeo1426

The supply of magma to Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i, was thought to have been steady over the past decades. Measurements of deformation, gas emissions, seismicity and lava composition and temperatures show that instead magma supply from the mantle doubled in 2003–2007, implying that hotspots can provide varying amounts of magma over just a few years.

Subject terms: Volcanology, mineralogy and petrology | Structural geology, tectonics and geodynamics | Seismology | Geochemistry

See also: News and Views by Pritchard


Top

Erratum

Hydroxyl radical buffered by isoprene oxidation over tropical forests p300

D. Taraborrelli, M. G. Lawrence, J. N. Crowley, T. J. Dillon, S. Gromov, C. B. M. Groß, L. Vereecken & J. Lelieveld

doi:10.1038/ngeo1433


Top

Extra navigation

Subscribe to Nature Geoscience

Subscribe

naturejobs

natureevents

ADVERTISEMENT