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  • Viscous relaxation, rather than afterslip, most likely dominated ground deformation after two large earthquakes in Iceland. This suggests that afterslip may play a relatively less important role in immature fault zones as compared with more mature ones such as the San Andreas fault.

    • Sigurjón Jónsson
  • Nanoscale evidence suggests that the Tumbiana Formation stromatolites in Australia were influenced by microbial activity. In the stromatolites, clusters of organic globules are closely associated with 2,724-million-year-old aragonite crystals.

    • Kevin Lepot
    • Karim Benzerara
    • Pascal Philippot
  • It may be possible to predict eruptions of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano by continuously monitoring changes at depth using very small fluctuations in the ambient seismic noise. The changes are probably related to inflation caused by movement of magma at depth.

    • Florent Brenguier
    • Nikolai M. Shapiro
    • Alexandre Nercessian
  • A strong radar reflection in the West Antarctic ice sheet is related to the eruption of the newly identified Hudson Mountains Subglacial Volcano dated to 207 BC. This eruption probably caused short term changes in regional glacial and meltwater flow.

    • Hugh F. J. Corr
    • David G. Vaughan
  • Rivers may be efficient environments for metabolizing terrestrial organic carbon that was previously thought to be recalcitrant, owing to pockets that provide geophysical opportunities by retaining material for longer, and to the adaptation of microbial communities, which has enabled them to exploit the energy that escapes upstream ecosystems.

    • Tom J. Battin
    • Louis A. Kaplan
    • Francesc Sabater
    Progress Article
  • Observed estimates of ice losses in Antarctica combined with regional modelling of ice accumulation in the interior suggest that East Antarctica is close to a balanced mass budget, but large losses of ice occur in the narrow outlet channels of West Antarctic glaciers and at the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula.

    • Eric Rignot
    • Jonathan L. Bamber
    • Erik van Meijgaard
  • Nature Geoscience launches at the beginning of the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth 2008, subtitled 'Earth sciences for society'. We applaud this theme, but cast our net wider.

  • Kate Moran and Jan Backman took an ice-hardened drillship, two icebreakers and two helicopters to the high Arctic to recover many million-year-old sediments from the Lomonosov Ridge.

  • India and Arabia collide with Eurasia at slightly different velocities. Detailed mapping of the Arabian Sea suggests that this motion started between 3 and 8 million years ago, possibly with a transfer of an Arabian plate wedge to the Indian plate.

    • Charles DeMets
    News & Views
  • In aerosol hot spots around the globe, solar radiation is dimmed down on its way to the Earth's surface. The resulting surface cooling turns out to be almost in balance with heating of the atmosphere due to black carbon.

    • John Seinfeld
    News & Views
  • Neither recycled oceanic crust nor sediments alone can explain the composition of ocean-island basalts, but how about a mixture of the two? Recent modelling using the isotopes of hafnium and neodymium appears to support this contention.

    • Terry Plank
    • Peter E. van Keken
    News & Views
  • Modern deep waters form in the Nordic seas when high-salinity surface waters cool and sink. An analysis of Arctic Ocean sediments suggests that throughout the past fifteen million years, brines created during sea-ice formation controlled the sinking of water.

    • Ellen Martin
    News & Views
  • The atmosphere's lowermost 10 km have long been assumed to be almost solely responsible for weather and climate on Earth. Emerging evidence points to the layer above as an important influence on surface winds and temperatures on seasonal to decadal timescales.

    • Tiffany A. Shaw
    • Theodore G. Shepherd
    News & Views
  • 'Polar-Palooza', a travelling roadshow celebrating the International Polar Year 2007–2009, highlights the scientific passion of those working on Arctic and Antarctic research, along with their ecological concerns.

    • Ronald Amundson
    Books & Arts
  • From about 470 million years ago, the Middle Ordovician period witnessed a rapid increase in biodiversity. This explosion in numbers of species is almost perfectly contemporaneous with an increased frequency of meteorite impacts.

    • Florentin Paris
    News & Views