Reviews & Analysis

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  • Corals reveal that part of the plate-boundary fault near Sumatra slipped slowly and quietly for three decades before a large earthquake in 1868. The exceptional duration of this slip event has implications for interpreting deformation to assess seismic hazard.

    • Daniel Melnick
    News & Views
  • Near-surface stress patterns, influenced by topography, control the size and location of the largest landslides — but not necessarily smaller ones — according to a study of mountains at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau.

    • Peter van der Beek
    News & Views
  • European mineral soils may lose less organic carbon due to climate change than previously suggested, according to analyses of climate responses from two physical fractions of soil carbon.

    • Lauric Cécillon
    News & Views
  • Nutrient availability influences the susceptibility of marine primary producers to viral infection. For diatoms in iron-limited waters, reduced infection rates impact marine biogeochemical cycles by enhancing the flux of material to depth.

    • Alex J. Poulton
    News & Views
  • Low viscosities may not preclude brittle magma fragmentation under certain conditions, according to field observations and experimental evidence that suggest the conditions for brittle fragmentation may be met in many explosive mafic eruptions.

    • Emma J. Liu
    News & Views
  • Pesticide pollution is a widespread issue. A global risk assessment of 92 active pesticide ingredients suggests 2.5 billion hectares of agricultural land are at risk of pollution by more than one active ingredient.

    • Rupert Lloyd Hough
    News & Views
  • Warm and wet conditions could have episodically punctuated a generally cold early climate on Mars, according to a multidisciplinary modelling approach that potentially solves a five-decade long debate regarding warm conditions on early Mars.

    • Nicolas Mangold
    News & Views
  • Hydrogen ions move freely within the crystal structure of a hydrous mineral under lower mantle conditions, resulting in high electrical conductivity that may make it possible to map water in the deep mantle.

    • Tetsuya Komabayashi
    News & Views
  • Turbidites record ground motion in the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake. Recent events are now revealing how turbidites record earthquakes, but turbidites are triggered in many ways, and testing if ancient turbidites are earthquake-triggered remains challenging.

    • Peter J. Talling
    News & Views
  • Chloride-rich particulate matter has been identified as a major contributor to air-quality deterioration in cities across India. Identification and reduction of chloride emissions could therefore improve visibility and human health across the region.

    • Gufran Beig
    News & Views
  • Time capsules of fluid, trapped within the oxide minerals from two iron ore deposits reveal an important role for sediment-derived carbonate–sulfate-rich melts in the concentration of iron, a crucial element for humanity’s development.

    • James M. Brenan
    News & Views
  • Permanent surface deformation caused by the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes has been directly measured, constraining the mechanics of surface damage in earthquakes.

    • Wanpeng Feng
    • Rafael V. Almeida
    News & Views
  • Deep, carbon-rich Pacific waters intruded into the South Atlantic some 38 to 28 thousand years ago. This deep Pacific expansion could have represented a considerable sink of atmospheric CO2, one that helped initiate the Last Glacial Maximum.

    • Brian A. Haley
    News & Views
  • A review of the organic carbon cycle explores the interactions between the Earth’s surface and deeper reservoirs, the expanding inorganic controls on the organic carbon cycle, and how these links have strengthened through geological time.

    • Matthieu E. Galvez
    • Woodward W. Fischer
    • Timothy I. Eglinton
    Review Article
  • The Archaean atmosphere may have been well oxygenated, according to a reconsideration of sulfur cycling at that time. This challenges the view that sedimentary sulfur records oxygen-poor conditions during Earth’s first two billion years.

    • Desiree Roerdink
    News & Views