Planetary science

  • Article | | open

    Phyllosilicate minerals are critical components of seismogenic fault, shear and subduction zones. Here, the authors provide a new deformation mechanism for phyllosilicates, based on newly discovered crystallographic defects in biotite (ripplocations), affecting our understanding of fault zone processes.

    • Joe Aslin
    • , Elisabetta Mariani
    • , Karl Dawson
    •  & Michel W. Barsoum
  • Article | | open

    The amount of carbon stored in closed hidden reservoirs is unknown. Here the authors use a computational approach to study the evolution of carbon species and observe polymerization of carbon atoms at high pressures, illustrating the potential for a significant carbon reservoir in the Earth’s deep interior.

    • Natalia V. Solomatova
    • , Razvan Caracas
    •  & Craig E. Manning
  • Article | | open

    Using seismic data and numerical modelling, here, the authors characterize the three-month period of unrest occurring prior to the 2017 Agung eruption (Bali, Indonesia). They observe a large uplift signal located at ~5 km from Agung summit corresponding to the emplacement of a 10 km deep magma intrusion between Agung edifice and Batur caldera, suggesting a potential magmatic connection between the two volcanic systems.

    • Fabien Albino
    • , Juliet Biggs
    •  & Devy Kamil Syahbana
  • Article | | open

    Meltwater ponding on top of ice shelves is thought to play a role in ice-shelf flexure and fracture, however in-situ evidence of these mechanisms is lacking. Here, the authors provide field-based evidence showing the impact of the filling and draining of four surface lakes on ice-shelf flexure in Antarctica.

    • Alison F. Banwell
    • , Ian C. Willis
    • , Grant J. Macdonald
    • , Becky Goodsell
    •  & Douglas R. MacAyeal
  • Article | | open

    Multistage crystallization of transition metal oxides often proceeds through a number of metastable intermediates. Here, the authors shed light on this phenomenon by extending Pourbaix diagrams to capture the metastable and nanoscale thermodynamics of manganese oxide nucleation.

    • Wenhao Sun
    • , Daniil A. Kitchaev
    • , Denis Kramer
    •  & Gerbrand Ceder
  • Article | | open

    It remains controversial whether or not impact melt sheets produced by asteroid impacts were able to undergo large-scale igneous differentiation. Here the authors present evidence for large igneous differentiation in one of these sheets and argue that this process has contributed to the evolution and lithological diversity of the proto-crusts on terrestrial planets.

    • Rais Latypov
    • , Sofya Chistyakova
    • , Richard Grieve
    •  & Hannu Huhma
  • Review Article | | open

    The evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is driven by a combination of climate forcing and non-climatic feedbacks. In this review, the authors focus on feedbacks between the Antarctic Ice Sheet and the solid Earth, and the role of these feedbacks in shaping the response of the ice sheet to past and future climate changes.

    • Pippa L. Whitehouse
    • , Natalya Gomez
    • , Matt A. King
    •  & Douglas A. Wiens
  • Article | | open

    Chinese government has implemented regulations to reduce mining-related methane emission since 2010. Here the authors estimated methane emissions in China using GOSAT satellite observation and results reveal a business-as-usual increase in methane emissions since 2010 despite those ambitious targets.

    • Scot M. Miller
    • , Anna M. Michalak
    • , Robert G. Detmers
    • , Otto P. Hasekamp
    • , Lori M. P. Bruhwiler
    •  & Stefan Schwietzke
  • Article | | open

    The estimation of volcanic contribution to climate variability requires identification of global-scale eruptions. Here the authors present a new 2600-year chronology of stratospheric volcanic events that relies on isotopic signature of ice core sulfate, that improves ice core volcanic reconstruction.

    • E. Gautier
    • , J. Savarino
    • , J. Hoek
    • , J. Erbland
    • , N. Caillon
    • , S. Hattori
    • , N. Yoshida
    • , E. Albalat
    • , F. Albarede
    •  & J. Farquhar
  • Article | | open

    The underlying mechanisms structuring dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition and reactivity in rivers remain poorly quantified. Here, the authors pair mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectroscopy to show that hydrology and river geomorphology both shape molecular patterns in DOM composition.

    • Laurel M. Lynch
    • , Nicholas A. Sutfin
    • , Timothy S. Fegel
    • , Claudia M. Boot
    • , Timothy P. Covino
    •  & Matthew D. Wallenstein
  • Article | | open

    Forecasting drought and its impact on agriculture and ecosystems is challenged by a lack of knowledge of vegetation access to deep moisture. Here the authors show that combining vegetation and water storage remote sensing can be used to infer this knowledge, allowing drought impact forecasts months in advance.

    • Siyuan Tian
    • , Albert I. J. M. Van Dijk
    • , Paul Tregoning
    •  & Luigi J. Renzullo
  • Article | | open

    Isotopic thermometry of carbonate minerals postulates that their composition reflects thermodynamic equilibrium constants. Here the authors constrain equilibrium relationships between temperature, 18O/16O and clumped isotopes and find that most natural calcites form out of isotopic equilibrium.

    • M. Daëron
    • , R. N. Drysdale
    • , M. Peral
    • , D. Huyghe
    • , D. Blamart
    • , T. B. Coplen
    • , F. Lartaud
    •  & G. Zanchetta
  • Article | | open

    Shrinking Arctic Canada ice caps are revealing preserved landscapes containing a record of past glacier activity. Here the authors show that 14C ages of plants and cosmogenic 14C concentrations from these landscapes indicate that recently exposed landscapes have been continuously ice covered for > 40,000 years.

    • Simon L. Pendleton
    • , Gifford H. Miller
    • , Nathaniel Lifton
    • , Scott J. Lehman
    • , John Southon
    • , Sarah E. Crump
    •  & Robert S. Anderson
  • Article | | open

    Organic nucleation is an important source of atmospheric aerosol number concentration, especially in pristine continental regions and during the preindustrial period. Here the authors find a 16% reduced radiative forcing associated with anthropogenic aerosols when including organic nucleation together with climate and land use change.

    • Jialei Zhu
    • , Joyce E. Penner
    • , Fangqun Yu
    • , Sanford Sillman
    • , Meinrat O. Andreae
    •  & Hugh Coe
  • Article | | open

    Ocean warming contributes to the thinning of the Antarctic ice shelves, however, lack of observations has prevented a quantification of this contribution. Here the authors use geological records to show that 0.3–1.5 °C ocean warming has played a central role on regional ice shelf instability over the last 9000 years.

    • Johan Etourneau
    • , Giovanni Sgubin
    • , Xavier Crosta
    • , Didier Swingedouw
    • , Verónica Willmott
    • , Loïc Barbara
    • , Marie-Noëlle Houssais
    • , Stefan Schouten
    • , Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté
    • , Hugues Goosse
    • , Carlota Escutia
    • , Julien Crespin
    • , Guillaume Massé
    •  & Jung-Hyun Kim
  • Article | | open

    Tectonic faults weaken during slip in order to accelerate and produce earthquakes. Here the authors show a mechanism for weakening faults through the transformation of quartz to amorphous nanoparticulate wear powders that lubricate friction experiments, and transform back to quartz under geologic conditions.

    • Christie D. Rowe
    • , Kelsey Lamothe
    • , Marieke Rempe
    • , Mark Andrews
    • , Thomas M. Mitchell
    • , Giulio Di Toro
    • , Joseph Clancy White
    •  & Stefano Aretusini
  • Article | | open

    Iron oxides prevail in the deep Earth, at extreme pressures and temperatures, with different stoichiometries than in ambient conditions. Here, high-pressure synchrotron X-ray spectroscopic measurements reveal the oxidation states of Fe and O in iron superoxide, shedding light on the puzzling chemistry of iron and oxygen in the deep Earth

    • Jin Liu
    • , Qingyang Hu
    • , Wenli Bi
    • , Liuxiang Yang
    • , Yuming Xiao
    • , Paul Chow
    • , Yue Meng
    • , Vitali B. Prakapenka
    • , Ho-Kwang Mao
    •  & Wendy L. Mao
  • Article | | open

    The cause of Arctic amplification is still heavily debated. Here the authors present climate change simulations to show that sea-ice loss is essential for the existence of Arctic amplification.

    • Aiguo Dai
    • , Dehai Luo
    • , Mirong Song
    •  & Jiping Liu
  • Article | | open

    A planetary-scale streak structure in the Venusian lower-cloud layer was observed by the Akatsuki orbiter. Here the authors present numerical simulations that reproduce such structure and reveal that a low-stability layer, which induces baroclinic disturbances, is essential for its formation.

    • Hiroki Kashimura
    • , Norihiko Sugimoto
    • , Masahiro Takagi
    • , Yoshihisa Matsuda
    • , Wataru Ohfuchi
    • , Takeshi Enomoto
    • , Kensuke Nakajima
    • , Masaki Ishiwatari
    • , Takao M. Sato
    • , George L. Hashimoto
    • , Takehiko Satoh
    • , Yoshiyuki O. Takahashi
    •  & Yoshi-Yuki Hayashi
  • Article | | open

    The solubility of sulfur in basaltic melt has important implications for the formation of magmatic ore deposits. Here, the authors show that magma ascent and sulfur-degassing influence the degree to which basaltic magmas are enriched in economically-important chalcophile and siderophile elements.

    • C. D. J. Reekie
    • , F. E. Jenner
    • , D. J. Smythe
    • , E. H. Hauri
    • , E. S. Bullock
    •  & H. M. Williams
  • Article | | open

    Volatile exchange between the Earth’s interior and surface layers is one of the central issues in mantle geochemistry. Here the authors present evidence that chlorine is transferred from the surface to the deep mantle by subducted oceanic crust, forming a chlorine-rich mantle reservoir.

    • Takeshi Hanyu
    • , Kenji Shimizu
    • , Takayuki Ushikubo
    • , Jun-Ichi Kimura
    • , Qing Chang
    • , Morihisa Hamada
    • , Motoo Ito
    • , Hikaru Iwamori
    •  & Tsuyoshi Ishikawa
  • Article | | open

    There is increasing evidence that the seismicity of large Himalayan earthquakes can be bimodal, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, the authors present a model and show that the bimodal seismicity results from a relatively higher friction and a non-planar geometry of the Himalayan megathrust.

    • Luca Dal Zilio
    • , Ylona van Dinther
    • , Taras Gerya
    •  & Jean-Philippe Avouac
  • Article | | open

    Antarctic sea ice extent declined dramatically in austral spring 2016. This study shows the decline was initially driven by tropical convection resulting in a wave-3 circulation pattern, followed by weakened circumpolar surface westerlies initialised in the polar stratospheric vortex.

    • Guomin Wang
    • , Harry H. Hendon
    • , Julie M. Arblaster
    • , Eun-Pa Lim
    • , S. Abhik
    •  & Peter van Rensch
  • Article | | open

    The occurrence and distribution of permafrost region disturbances (PRDs) remain poorly resolved across the Arctic and Subarctic. Here, the authors quantify the abundance and distribution of three primary PRDs using a time-series analysis of 30-m resolution Landsat imagery between 1999 and 2014.

    • I. Nitze
    • , G. Grosse
    • , B. M. Jones
    • , V. E. Romanovsky
    •  & J. Boike
  • Article | | open

    The causes of Mid-Pleistocene Transition global cooling 1 million years ago are still unknown. Here, the authors find the subarctic North Pacific became stratified during these glaciations due to closure of the Bering Strait, which would have removed CO2 from the atmosphere and caused global cooling.

    • Sev Kender
    • , Ana Christina Ravelo
    • , Savannah Worne
    • , George E. A. Swann
    • , Melanie J. Leng
    • , Hirofumi Asahi
    • , Julia Becker
    • , Henrieka Detlef
    • , Ivano W. Aiello
    • , Dyke Andreasen
    •  & Ian R. Hall
  • Article | | open

    Permafrost thaw poses a serious threat to the sustainable development of Arctic communities. Here the authors show that most fundamental Arctic infrastructure and population will be at high hazard risk, even if the Paris Agreement target is achieved.

    • Jan Hjort
    • , Olli Karjalainen
    • , Juha Aalto
    • , Sebastian Westermann
    • , Vladimir E. Romanovsky
    • , Frederick E. Nelson
    • , Bernd Etzelmüller
    •  & Miska Luoto
  • Article | | open

    Short-lived natural bromocarbons, which contribute to ozone depletion in the atmosphere, are believed to be produced through light-driven processes, mainly in oceans. Here the authors present bromocarbon measurements in snow, sea ice, and air during polar winter that show an unexpected source of bromine to the polar atmosphere during periods of no sunlight.

    • Katarina Abrahamsson
    • , Anna Granfors
    • , Martin Ahnoff
    • , Carlos A. Cuevas
    •  & Alfonso Saiz-Lopez
  • Article | | open

    The role of thermochemical oxidation of methane (TOM) by high-valence metal oxides as a potential methane sink remains poorly understood. Here, the authors present evidence of TOM induced by Mn(Fe) oxides in a sedimentary basin, which yields calcite with extremely negative δ13C values (−70 to −22.5‰, VPDB).

    • Wen-Xuan Hu
    • , Xun Kang
    • , Jian Cao
    • , Xiao-Lin Wang
    • , Bin Fu
    •  & Hai-Guang Wu
  • Article | | open

    Mantle-sourced magmas erupted at hotspot volcanoes can provide clues to the sulphur cycle over geological timescales. In this work, sulphur isotopes were analysed in crystal-hosted inclusions entrapped at depth, and reveal the presence of post-Archaean recycled material in the Canary Island mantle.

    • Patrick Beaudry
    • , Marc-Antoine Longpré
    • , Rita Economos
    • , Boswell A. Wing
    • , Thi Hao Bui
    •  & John Stix
  • Article | | open

    Radial diffusion is the only mechanism considered to accelerate trapped electrons to relativistic energies in Saturn’s magnetic field, forming radiation belts. Here the authors show another mechanism, electron acceleration via Doppler shifted cyclotron resonant interaction with Z-mode waves, which can form radiation belts inside the orbit of Enceladus.

    • E. E. Woodfield
    • , R. B. Horne
    • , S. A. Glauert
    • , J. D. Menietti
    • , Y. Y. Shprits
    •  & W. S. Kurth
  • Article | | open

    Thermodynamic calculations suggest that condensed carbonaceous matter should be the dominant product of abiotic organic synthesis during serpentinization of the oceanic crust at Mid-Ocean Ridges. Here the authors report natural occurrences of such carbonaceous matter formed during low temperature alteration.

    • Marie Catherine Sforna
    • , Daniele Brunelli
    • , Céline Pisapia
    • , Valerio Pasini
    • , Daniele Malferrari
    •  & Bénédicte Ménez
  • Article | | open

    Weak lower crustal flow in Tibet has been invoked to reconcile geophysical observations, yet viscosity estimates vary from 1016 to 1021 Pa·s. Here the authors show that viscous buckling of the upper crust in response to lower crust flow (viscosity ~1020 Pa·s) is responsible for the observed extension in Tibet.

    • Sarah H. Bischoff
    •  & Lucy M. Flesch
  • Article | | open

    Salt particles in the Amazon basin are typically attributed to marine aerosols transported from the Atlantic Ocean. Here the authors show the potential importance of fungal spores as a source of sodium-salt particles in the Amazon rainforest.

    • Swarup China
    • , Susannah M. Burrows
    • , Bingbing Wang
    • , Tristan H. Harder
    • , Johannes Weis
    • , Meryem Tanarhte
    • , Luciana V. Rizzo
    • , Joel Brito
    • , Glauber G. Cirino
    • , Po-Lun Ma
    • , John Cliff
    • , Paulo Artaxo
    • , Mary K. Gilles
    •  & Alexander Laskin
  • Article | | open

    As silica melts are believed to be important components of the Earth’s mantle, their structure should determine many of its properties. Here, the authors identify two crystalline modifications of SiO2, whose local structures closely resemble those of known melts, providing a structural model for their atomic ordering at the nanoscale.

    • E. Bykova
    • , M. Bykov
    • , A. Černok
    • , J. Tidholm
    • , S. I. Simak
    • , O. Hellman
    • , M. P. Belov
    • , I. A. Abrikosov
    • , H.-P. Liermann
    • , M. Hanfland
    • , V. B. Prakapenka
    • , C. Prescher
    • , N. Dubrovinskaia
    •  & L. Dubrovinsky
  • Article | | open

    Reduction of gaseous Hg(II) compounds drives atmospheric mercury wet and dry deposition to Earth surface ecosystems. Global Hg models assume this reduction takes place in clouds. Here the authors report a new gas-phase Hg photochemical mechanism that changes atmospheric mercury lifetime and its deposition to the surface.

    • Alfonso Saiz-Lopez
    • , Sebastian P. Sitkiewicz
    • , Daniel Roca-Sanjuán
    • , Josep M. Oliva-Enrich
    • , Juan Z. Dávalos
    • , Rafael Notario
    • , Martin Jiskra
    • , Yang Xu
    • , Feiyue Wang
    • , Colin P. Thackray
    • , Elsie M. Sunderland
    • , Daniel J. Jacob
    • , Oleg Travnikov
    • , Carlos A. Cuevas
    • , A. Ulises Acuña
    • , Daniel Rivero
    • , John M. C. Plane
    • , Douglas E. Kinnison
    •  & Jeroen E. Sonke
  • Article | | open

    A unified model for the formation of martian rock types is required to understand Mars’s formation and evolution. Here the authors show that nakhlite and chassignite meteorites originate from melting of metasomatized depleted mantle lithosphere, whereas shergottite melts originate from deep plume sources.

    • James M. D. Day
    • , Kimberly T. Tait
    • , Arya Udry
    • , Frédéric Moynier
    • , Yang Liu
    •  & Clive R. Neal
  • Article | | open

    Previous work has argued for a CO2 control on the development of the Plio-Pleistocene Transition (PPT, 3.0–2.5 Ma) Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Here based on transient ice sheet experiments, the authors demonstrate the pivotal role of modern-like CO2 on the onset and dynamism of the PPT GrIS.

    • Ning Tan
    • , Jean-Baptiste Ladant
    • , Gilles Ramstein
    • , Christophe Dumas
    • , Paul Bachem
    •  & Eystein Jansen
  • Article | | open

    Recent observations of silicic eruptions show that they can be both effusive and explosive at the same time. Here the authors use scaled experiments to demonstrate that magma in effusive eruptions will fracture during flow to the Earth’s surface, accommodating mixed eruption styles.

    • Fabian B. Wadsworth
    • , Taylor Witcher
    • , Caron E. J. Vossen
    • , Kai-Uwe Hess
    • , Holly E. Unwin
    • , Bettina Scheu
    • , Jonathan M. Castro
    •  & Donald B. Dingwell
  • Article | | open

    Subsurface ice-sheet radar images reveal large plume-shaped bodies rising from the base, with their origin not yet understood. Here, the authors show that freeze-on of water at the ice-sheet base combined with ice-flux explains the vertical extent, shape and structure of the observed plumes.

    • G. J.-M. C. Leysinger Vieli
    • , C. Martín
    • , R. C. A. Hindmarsh
    •  & M. P. Lüthi
  • Article | | open

    Boron is one of the main proxies for seawater-derived fluids in subduction zone volcanics and it is vital to characterise the location and concentration of boron in the oceanic lithosphere. Here the authors show that boron concentration in the mantle of downgoing slabs has been overestimated, because boron is strongly decoupled from water in the hydration process.

    • Andrew M. McCaig
    • , Sofya S. Titarenko
    • , Ivan P. Savov
    • , Robert A. Cliff
    • , David Banks
    • , Adrian Boyce
    •  & Samuele Agostini
  • Article | | open

    Earth degassing of CO2-rich fluids contributes significantly to the global carbon budget but its link to tectonic regimes remains unclear. Here, the authors use global geological datasets to show that there is a positive spatial correlation between CO2 discharges and extensional tectonic regimes.

    • Giancarlo Tamburello
    • , Silvia Pondrelli
    • , Giovanni Chiodini
    •  & Dmitri Rouwet
  • Article | | open

    Iron oxides exist in a variety of polymorphs at different pressure and temperature conditions, displaying important magnetic properties, and are major constituents of the Earth’s interior. Here the authors investigate the structural and electronic changes in the uncommon epsilon phase under compression to deep Mantle pressures.

    • J. A. Sans
    • , V. Monteseguro
    • , G. Garbarino
    • , M. Gich
    • , V. Cerantola
    • , V. Cuartero
    • , M. Monte
    • , T. Irifune
    • , A. Muñoz
    •  & C. Popescu
  • Article | | open

    Subglacial landforms, formed by glacial processes operating over long timescales, influence ice dynamics. Here, the authors show how mega-scale landforms at an Antarctic ice stream grounding zone modulate basal water flow, causing extensive channels in the ice shelf downstream that may impact its structure.

    • Hafeez Jeofry
    • , Neil Ross
    • , Anne Le Brocq
    • , Alastair G.C. Graham
    • , Jilu Li
    • , Prasad Gogineni
    • , Mathieu Morlighem
    • , Thomas Jordan
    •  & Martin J. Siegert
  • Article | | open

    Red beds contain reduction spheroids that formed underground millions of years ago and whose origin remains poorly constrained. Here the authors use uranium isotopes to identify ancient fingerprints of bacteria in these features, confirming that they were produced by subsurface life in the geological past.

    • Sean McMahon
    • , Ashleigh v. S. Hood
    • , John Parnell
    •  & Stephen Bowden
  • Article | | open

    The long-term evolution of the sulfur budget in the lithosphere is poorly constrained. Here, using mass independent isotope fractionation as an indelible tracer, the authors track the pathway of sulfur from the Earth’s surface to punctuated episodes of granitoid magmatism during collisional orogenesis.

    • Crystal LaFlamme
    • , Marco L. Fiorentini
    • , Mark D. Lindsay
    •  & Thi Hao Bui
  • Article | | open

    Storm runoff extremes dominate flash flood formation and generation, posing a grand threat to ecosystems and communities across the world. Here the authors show that current projected response of these storm runoff extremes to climate and anthropogenic changes are underestimated.

    • Jiabo Yin
    • , Pierre Gentine
    • , Sha Zhou
    • , Sylvia C. Sullivan
    • , Ren Wang
    • , Yao Zhang
    •  & Shenglian Guo
  • Article | | open

    The reaction of hydroxyl and methylperoxy radicals has recently been suggested as the source of missing methanol in the remote troposphere. Here, the authors present direct experimental measurements demonstrating the reaction leads to further underprediction of modelled methanol.

    • Rebecca L. Caravan
    • , M. Anwar H. Khan
    • , Judit Zádor
    • , Leonid Sheps
    • , Ivan O. Antonov
    • , Brandon Rotavera
    • , Krupa Ramasesha
    • , Kendrew Au
    • , Ming-Wei Chen
    • , Daniel Rösch
    • , David L. Osborn
    • , Christa Fittschen
    • , Coralie Schoemaecker
    • , Marius Duncianu
    • , Asma Grira
    • , Sebastien Dusanter
    • , Alexandre Tomas
    • , Carl J. Percival
    • , Dudley E. Shallcross
    •  & Craig A. Taatjes
  • Article | | open

    The atmospheric response to subseasonal variability of Tibetan Plateau snow cover has been largely ignored. Here the authors show that the fast subseasonal variability of Tibetan Plateau snow cover is closely related to the subsequent East Asian atmospheric circulation at medium-range time scales.

    • Wenkai Li
    • , Weidong Guo
    • , Bo Qiu
    • , Yongkang Xue
    • , Pang-Chi Hsu
    •  & Jiangfeng Wei