Planetary science

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Past Indian summer monsoon (ISM) changes are not well understood. The application of an energetic framework to a transient model simulation shows that ISM influences have changed in the past, with rising water vapor more important during deglaciation, whereas cloud feedbacks dominated during the Holocene.

    • Chetankumar Jalihal
    • , Jayaraman Srinivasan
    •  & Arindam Chakraborty
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The D$${}^{{\prime\prime} }$$ layer in the Earth’s lower mantle involves a seismic discontinuity which is often assigned to a mineral phase transition to post-perovskite, however, as this phase transition occurs over broad region the assignment of seismic boundaries remains unclear. Here, the authors find that due to the kinetics of the bridgmanite to post-perovskite transformation, thick transition layers can be detected by seismic reflections, unlike previously thought.

    • Christopher Langrand
    • , Denis Andrault
    • , Stéphanie Durand
    • , Zuzana Konôpková
    • , Nadège Hilairet
    • , Christine Thomas
    •  & Sébastien Merkel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors here perform experiments to investigate the dihedral angle of olivine-H2O and olivine-H2O-NaCl systems. The observed effect of NaCl to decrease dihedral angles allows fluids to percolate through forearc mantle wedge and to accumulate in the overlying crust, accounting for the high electrical conductivity anomalies in forearc regions.

    • Yongsheng Huang
    • , Takayuki Nakatani
    • , Michihiko Nakamura
    •  & Catherine McCammon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum constitutes one of the largest climate perturbations in Earth’s history, but its exact causes are not well known. New estimates of greenhouse gas fluxes from the North Atlantic Igneous Province at high temporal resolution show that they could have initiated this event.

    • Stephen M. Jones
    • , Murray Hoggett
    • , Sarah E. Greene
    •  & Tom Dunkley Jones
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Some of Earth’s earliest continental crust has been previously inferred to have formed from partial melting of hydrated mafic crust at pressures above 1.5 GPa (more than 50 km deep), pressures typically not reached in post-Archean continental crust. Here, the authors show that such high pressure signatures can result from melting of mantle sources rather than melting of crust, and they suggest there is a lack of evidence that Earth’s earliest crust melted at depths significantly below 40 km.

    • Robert H. Smithies
    • , Yongjun Lu
    • , Tim E. Johnson
    • , Christopher L. Kirkland
    • , Kevin F. Cassidy
    • , David C. Champion
    • , David R. Mole
    • , Ivan Zibra
    • , Klaus Gessner
    • , Jyotindra Sapkota
    • , Matthew C. De Paoli
    •  & Marc Poujol
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lithium use in electronics has increased dramatically, but the environmental impacts are poorly understood. Here the authors show lithium in river and tap water in South Korea is coincident with population density, and that waste water treatment is ineffective at scrubbing this potential toxin.

    • Hye-Bin Choi
    • , Jong-Sik Ryu
    • , Woo-Jin Shin
    •  & Nathalie Vigier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Suture zones are abundant on Antarctic ice shelves and widely observed to impede fracture propagation. Here we show that fracture detainment is principally controlled by the zones’ enhanced seawater contents, reducing fracture-driving stresses by orders of magnitude and therefore greatly enhancing stability.

    • Bernd Kulessa
    • , Adam D. Booth
    • , Martin O’Leary
    • , Daniel McGrath
    • , Edward C. King
    • , Adrian J. Luckman
    • , Paul R. Holland
    • , Daniela Jansen
    • , Suzanne L. Bevan
    • , Sarah S. Thompson
    •  & Bryn Hubbard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Low seismic velocity anomalies reveal a complex scenario of plume upwellings from a deep thermo-chemical anomaly (superplume) in the mantle below the East African Rift, however, geophysical observations alone are insufficient to identify the extent of plume influence on the magmatism along the rift. Here, the authors use Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data to show that superplume mantle underlies the entire rift system, from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean south of Mozambique.

    • John M. O’Connor
    • , Wilfried Jokat
    • , Marcel Regelous
    • , Klaudia F. Kuiper
    • , Daniel P. Miggins
    •  & Anthony A. P. Koppers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The long-term stability of Precambrian continental lithosphere depends on the rheology of the lithospheric mantle as well as the coupling between crust and mantle lithosphere. Here, the authors study crustal seismic anisotropy to reveal that the crust and mantle lithosphere of southern Africa have been coupled since cratonisation, over 2 billion years ago.

    • H. Thybo
    • , M. Youssof
    •  & I. M. Artemieva
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A reference function for describing the orientation of clay platelets in clay-rich materials is still lacking, but is necessary for applications such as prediction of water and solute transfer and designs of innovative materials. Here, the authors determine a reference orientation function of clay platelets, and validate their function for both engineered and natural clay-rich media.

    • Thomas Dabat
    • , Fabien Hubert
    • , Erwan Paineau
    • , Pascale Launois
    • , Claude Laforest
    • , Brian Grégoire
    • , Baptiste Dazas
    • , Emmanuel Tertre
    • , Alfred Delville
    •  & Eric Ferrage
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Snow cover can affect the Arctic sea-ice system in different ways. Here authors study the relationship between cyclone activity and the seasonal build-up of snow on Arctic sea ice at a multi-decadal and basin-wide scale and find that 44% of the variability in monthly snow accumulation was controlled by cyclone snowfall and 29% by sea-ice freeze-up with strong spatio-temporal differences.

    • M. A. Webster
    • , C. Parker
    • , L. Boisvert
    •  & R. Kwok
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In this study, the authors monitor a hydrothermal fluid surge through seismic anisotropy changes at the Hakone volcanic field, Japan. The authors find the anisotropy changes to be set off by the seismic waves of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, that reactivated the hydrothermal system.

    • Maria Saade
    • , Kohtaro Araragi
    • , Jean Paul Montagner
    • , Edouard Kaminski
    • , Philippe Roux
    • , Yosuke Aoki
    •  & Florent Brenguier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The links between plate tectonics and deep mantle structure remain unclear. Here, the authors demonstrate that transition elements (Ni, Cr, and Fe/Mn) in basaltic rocks can be used as a tool to trace plume-related magmatism through Earth history, and their results indicate the presence of a direct relationship between the intensity of plume magmatism and the supercontinent cycle.

    • Hamed Gamal EL Dien
    • , Luc S. Doucet
    •  & Zheng-Xiang Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The tectonic evolution of southwestern North America remains debated. Here, the authors present a complete time-dependent geodynamic model of the tectonic evolution of southwestern North America, which can explain the extensional collapse of the Basin and Range Province since the Late Eocene.

    • Alireza Bahadori
    •  & William E. Holt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aerosol-cloud interactions are a large source of uncertainty in radiative forcing estimates. Here, the authors show that the radiative effects of clouds are influenced by a combination of aerosol particle distribution, environmental conditions and atmosphere dynamics.

    • S. J. Lowe
    • , D. G. Partridge
    • , J. F. Davies
    • , K. R. Wilson
    • , D. Topping
    •  & I. Riipinen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The variations in overbank flow from rivers onto floodplains from regional to continental scales are understudied. Here, the authors investigate this variation as a function of hydroclimatic parameters and channel size in the conterminous U.S. and find that the timing of floodplain inundation is largely controlled by regional factors, while the frequency, duration and magnitude of these inundations vary consistently with channel size.

    • Durelle T. Scott
    • , Jesus D. Gomez-Velez
    • , C. Nathan Jones
    •  & Judson W. Harvey
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The connection between Arctic sea ice loss and mid-latitude cooling in Eurasia has been widely debated. Here, model experiments reveal that the persistence of sea ice loss-related snow and soil temperature anomalies in Eurasia may lead to further cooling in the following winters.

    • Tetsu Nakamura
    • , Koji Yamazaki
    • , Tomonori Sato
    •  & Jinro Ukita
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global soil carbon dynamics are regulated by the modification of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition by plant carbon input (priming effect). Here, the authors collect soil data along a 2200 km grassland transect on the Tibetan Plateau and find that SOM stability is the major control on priming effect.

    • Leiyi Chen
    • , Li Liu
    • , Shuqi Qin
    • , Guibiao Yang
    • , Kai Fang
    • , Biao Zhu
    • , Yakov Kuzyakov
    • , Pengdong Chen
    • , Yunping Xu
    •  & Yuanhe Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Chromian-spinel from mafic-ultramafic rocks is used as a reliable geotectonic and mantle melting indicator. Here, the authors argue that this only works partially – it can be used to assess information on mantle metasomatic processes but not petrogenesis.

    • Hamed Gamal El Dien
    • , Shoji Arai
    • , Luc-Serge Doucet
    • , Zheng-Xiang Li
    • , Youngwoo Kil
    • , Denis Fougerouse
    • , Steven M. Reddy
    • , David W. Saxey
    •  & Mohamed Hamdy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The permeability of a dome exerts a control on the outgassing efficiency of the underlying magma. The authors investigate the role of hydrothermal alteration on this process in the laboratory and use these data to model whether the overpressures generated are capable of promoting explosive behaviour.

    • Michael J. Heap
    • , Valentin R. Troll
    • , Alexandra R. L. Kushnir
    • , H. Albert Gilg
    • , Amy S. D. Collinson
    • , Frances M. Deegan
    • , Herlan Darmawan
    • , Nadhirah Seraphine
    • , Juergen Neuberg
    •  & Thomas R. Walter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The role of solar and wind energy (SWE) in management of water-food-energy (WFE) nexus is largely neglected. Here the authors developed a trade-off frontier framework to quantify the water sustainability value of SWE and applied it in California, where they found that SWE penetration creates beneficial feedback for the WFE nexus by enhancing drought resilience and benefits groundwater sustainability over long run.

    • Xiaogang He
    • , Kairui Feng
    • , Xiaoyuan Li
    • , Amy B. Craft
    • , Yoshihide Wada
    • , Peter Burek
    • , Eric F. Wood
    •  & Justin Sheffield
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The elevation and high heat flow of Southern South Africa has controversially been attributed to a mantle plume. Here, the authors link degassed CO2 to a non-degassed mantle source rather than the convecting upper mantle, confirming plume-related mantle melting.

    • S. M. V. Gilfillan
    • , D. Györe
    • , S. Flude
    • , G. Johnson
    • , C. E. Bond
    • , N. Hicks
    • , R. Lister
    • , D. G. Jones
    • , Y. Kremer
    • , R. S. Haszeldine
    •  & F. M. Stuart
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Banded iron formations could have formed in the early oceans due to microbial metabolism. Here Dodd and colleagues find little organic carbon in these formations, indicating microbial iron cycling was minimal and could have limited the recycling of important nutrients to overlying waters.

    • Matthew S. Dodd
    • , Dominic Papineau
    • , Franco Pirajno
    • , Yusheng Wan
    •  & Juha A. Karhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Diamonds can give us clues to the processes regulating deep carbon transport within the Earth. Here, the author discovers evidence from diamond coatings that organic compounds exist at great depth in Earth’s interior, and furthermore, that organic molecules may provide scaffolds for diamond nucleation and growth.

    • Maria Luce Frezzotti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There still lacks a forecast system that inform end-users regarding the drought impacts, which will be however important for drought management. Here the authors assess the feasibility of forecasting drought impacts using machine-learning and confirm that models, which were built with sufficient amount of reported drought impacts in a certain sector, are able to forecast drought impacts a few months ahead.

    • Samuel J. Sutanto
    • , Melati van der Weert
    • , Niko Wanders
    • , Veit Blauhut
    •  & Henny A. J. Van Lanen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The loss of anomalous sulfur isotope compositions from sedimentary rocks has been considered a symptom of permanent atmospheric oxygenation. Here the authors show sulfur and oxygen isotope evidence from < 2.31 Ga sedimentary barium sulphates (barites) from the Turee Creek Basin, W. Australia, demonstrating the influence of local non-atmospheric processes on anomalous sulfur isotope signals.

    • B. A. Killingsworth
    • , P. Sansjofre
    • , P. Philippot
    • , P. Cartigny
    • , C. Thomazo
    •  & S. V. Lalonde
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Gale Crater on Mars has been demonstrated to have once hosted water, but its chemistry is still under debate. Here the authors use mineralogical rock compositions and show the once saline character of Gale Crater—a result of warmer climate periods during the Hesperian period.

    • Keisuke Fukushi
    • , Yasuhito Sekine
    • , Hiroshi Sakuma
    • , Koki Morida
    •  & Robin Wordsworth
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The occurrence of longitudinal ridges on large landslide masses on planetary bodies is enabled by long runout distances, which have so far been attributed to the presence of ice. The authors here present a challenging model based on mechanical instabilities within the flow, suggesting that ice is not needed.

    • Giulia Magnarini
    • , Thomas M. Mitchell
    • , Peter M. Grindrod
    • , Liran Goren
    •  & Harrison H. Schmitt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study seeks to tackle the question of why intermediate magmatic rock compositions are poorly represented on the Earth’s surface. The authors do so by tracking the evolution of the physical behaviour of immiscible Fe-rich liquids within a sample suite from the lava lake on the Kilauea Iki volcano, Hawaii.

    • Victoria C. Honour
    • , Marian B. Holness
    • , Bernard Charlier
    • , Sandra C. Piazolo
    • , Olivier Namur
    • , Ty J. Prosa
    • , Isabelle Martin
    • , Rosalind T. Helz
    • , John Maclennan
    •  & Marlon M. Jean
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fractured rocks of impact craters have been suggested to be suitable hosts for deep microbial communities on Earth, and potentially other terrestrial planets, yet direct evidence remains elusive. Here, the authors show that the Siljan impact structure is host to long-term deep methane-cycling microbial activity.

    • Henrik Drake
    • , Nick M. W. Roberts
    • , Christine Heim
    • , Martin J. Whitehouse
    • , Sandra Siljeström
    • , Ellen Kooijman
    • , Curt Broman
    • , Magnus Ivarsson
    •  & Mats E. Åström
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The geodynamic evolution of mountain ranges can be reconstructed using the pressure recorded by minerals in metamorphic rocks, under the key assumption that rock pressure is lithostatic. Here, the authors challenge the lithostatic pressure paradigm by showing that there can be significant outcrop-scale pressure gradients due to compression- and reaction-induced stress.

    • Cindy Luisier
    • , Lukas Baumgartner
    • , Stefan M. Schmalholz
    • , Guillaume Siron
    •  & Torsten Vennemann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Flash droughts are widely discussed in the scientific community since the rapid onset of the 2012 drought in the USA. Here, the authors model the temporal frequency of potential flash drought events and the exposure risk over China for the next 80 years.

    • Xing Yuan
    • , Linying Wang
    • , Peili Wu
    • , Peng Ji
    • , Justin Sheffield
    •  & Miao Zhang
  • Matters Arising
    | Open Access

    • Alan G. Hogg
    • , Colin J. N. Wilson
    • , David J. Lowe
    • , Chris S. M. Turney
    • , Paul White
    • , Andrew M. Lorrey
    • , Sturt W. Manning
    • , Jonathan G. Palmer
    • , Sarah Bury
    • , Julie Brown
    • , John Southon
    •  & Fiona Petchey
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Remote sensing observations of mountain snow depth are still lacking for the Northern Hemisphere mountains. Here authors use Sentinel-1 satellite radar measurements to assess the snow depth in mountainous areas at 1 km² resolution and show that the Sentinel-1 retrievals capture the spatial variability between and within mountain ranges, as well as their inter-annual differences.

    • Hans Lievens
    • , Matthias Demuzere
    • , Hans-Peter Marshall
    • , Rolf H. Reichle
    • , Ludovic Brucker
    • , Isis Brangers
    • , Patricia de Rosnay
    • , Marie Dumont
    • , Manuela Girotto
    • , Walter W. Immerzeel
    • , Tobias Jonas
    • , Edward J. Kim
    • , Inka Koch
    • , Christoph Marty
    • , Tuomo Saloranta
    • , Johannes Schöber
    •  & Gabrielle J. M. De Lannoy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Accurate measurements of the past extent of the Greenland ice sheet are crucial to understand its response to changing climate conditions. Here, the authors present a dust record from an ice core from the east coast of Greenland to provide detailed time constraints on ice sheet advance and retreat over the last interglacials.

    • Marius Folden Simonsen
    • , Giovanni Baccolo
    • , Thomas Blunier
    • , Alejandra Borunda
    • , Barbara Delmonte
    • , Robert Frei
    • , Steven Goldstein
    • , Aslak Grinsted
    • , Helle Astrid Kjær
    • , Todd Sowers
    • , Anders Svensson
    • , Bo Vinther
    • , Diana Vladimirova
    • , Gisela Winckler
    • , Mai Winstrup
    •  & Paul Vallelonga
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The India-Asia collision has formed the highest mountains on Earth and is associated with extensive intraplate deformation. Here, the authors present geodynamic experiments of continental deformation across Central, East, and Southeast Asia which suggest that the Pacfic and Sunda subduction zones played an active role during intraplate deformation.

    • W. P. Schellart
    • , Z. Chen
    • , V. Strak
    • , J. C. Duarte
    •  & F. M. Rosas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    On 22 December 2018, the western flank of Anak Krakatau collapsed into the sea of the Sunda Strait triggering a tsunami which killed approximately 430 people and displaced 33,000. Here, the authors show that Anak Krakatau exhibited an elevated state of activity several months prior to the collapse, including precursory thermal anomalies, an increase in the island’s surface area, and a gradual seaward motion of the southwestern flank.

    • Thomas R. Walter
    • , Mahmud Haghshenas Haghighi
    • , Felix M. Schneider
    • , Diego Coppola
    • , Mahdi Motagh
    • , Joachim Saul
    • , Andrey Babeyko
    • , Torsten Dahm
    • , Valentin R. Troll
    • , Frederik Tilmann
    • , Sebastian Heimann
    • , Sébastien Valade
    • , Rahmat Triyono
    • , Rokhis Khomarudin
    • , Nugraha Kartadinata
    • , Marco Laiolo
    • , Francesco Massimetti
    •  & Peter Gaebler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Condensation of organic vapors is a main factor controlling the growth of atmospheric particles. Here the authors identify a distribution of organic vapors in a forested environment able to explain nanoparticle growth at the same location, contributing to understanding aerosol climate effects.

    • Claudia Mohr
    • , Joel A. Thornton
    • , Arto Heitto
    • , Felipe D. Lopez-Hilfiker
    • , Anna Lutz
    • , Ilona Riipinen
    • , Juan Hong
    • , Neil M. Donahue
    • , Mattias Hallquist
    • , Tuukka Petäjä
    • , Markku Kulmala
    •  & Taina Yli-Juuti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The USArray of EarthScope is a seismic broadband network acquiring global seismic data. Here, the authors apply an iterative rank-reduction method to obtain free earthquake data at locations where no seismic stations are available as well as enhancing existing data recorded by the USArray.

    • Yangkang Chen
    • , Min Bai
    •  & Yunfeng Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The formation of nucleobases can take place in extraterrestrial environments. Here the authors show the simultaneous synthesis of three purine nucleobases and three pyrimidine from interstellar ice analogues that suggest the evolution from molecular clouds to stars and planets provide suitable environment for nucleobase synthesis in space.

    • Yasuhiro Oba
    • , Yoshinori Takano
    • , Hiroshi Naraoka
    • , Naoki Watanabe
    •  & Akira Kouchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Can we pump water into deep active volcanic areas? Here, the authors model the effect of water circulation into supercritical geothermal systems and show that the effect of rock cooling dominates the seismicity increase over the pore pressure changes.

    • Francesco Parisio
    • , Victor Vilarrasa
    • , Wenqing Wang
    • , Olaf Kolditz
    •  & Thomas Nagel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Gigantic jets, lightning discharges originating from tropical thunderstorms that can reach the base of the ionosphere at 90 km altitude, have not been captured using high-speed video cameras before. Here, the first such images are reported, showing a step-wise evolution of gigantic jets during their rising phase.

    • Oscar A. van der Velde
    • , Joan Montanyà
    • , Jesús A. López
    •  & Steven A. Cummer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forests emit compounds into the atmosphere that are oxidized into highly oxygenated molecules that serve as precursors for cloud condensation nuclei–a process that impacts the climate, but is poorly represented in models. Here the authors create a new model that accurately depicts highly oxygenated molecule and climate dynamics over Boreal forests.

    • Pontus Roldin
    • , Mikael Ehn
    • , Theo Kurtén
    • , Tinja Olenius
    • , Matti P. Rissanen
    • , Nina Sarnela
    • , Jonas Elm
    • , Pekka Rantala
    • , Liqing Hao
    • , Noora Hyttinen
    • , Liine Heikkinen
    • , Douglas R. Worsnop
    • , Lukas Pichelstorfer
    • , Carlton Xavier
    • , Petri Clusius
    • , Emilie Öström
    • , Tuukka Petäjä
    • , Markku Kulmala
    • , Hanna Vehkamäki
    • , Annele Virtanen
    • , Ilona Riipinen
    •  & Michael Boy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate dynamics in Earth’s distant history can provide important forecasting for future changes, but uncertainties in proxy-derived carbon dioxide results are common. Here Da and colleagues present a refined paleosol proxy for carbon dioxide reconstruction, and report persistently low levels ( < 300 ppm) throughout the Pleistocene interglacials.

    • Jiawei Da
    • , Yi Ge Zhang
    • , Gen Li
    • , Xianqiang Meng
    •  & Junfeng Ji
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Chang’E-4 mission in January 2019 had the major challenge to land on the lunar far side without traditional radiometric techniques due to the missing line-of-sight. The authors here describe landing trajectory reconstruction and positioning techniques based upon the Moon’s digital terrain model that allowed reproducing the entire process of a successful landing.

    • Jianjun Liu
    • , Xin Ren
    • , Wei Yan
    • , Chunlai Li
    • , He Zhang
    • , Yang Jia
    • , Xingguo Zeng
    • , Wangli Chen
    • , Xingye Gao
    • , Dawei Liu
    • , Xu Tan
    • , Xiaoxia Zhang
    • , Tao Ni
    • , Hongbo Zhang
    • , Wei Zuo
    • , Yan Su
    •  & Weibin Wen