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  • Pulleniatina U1486 coiling sequence. Grant abstract: This grant supports the participation of UK scientists Professor Paul Pearson in Expedition 363 of the International Ocean Discovery Program which plans to study the history of the 'Indo-Pacific Warm Pool' over the last 15 million years. It includes costs to cover his time while on board ship (2 months at sea) and post-expedition scientific study. Sea surface temperatures exceed 28oC across a huge area of the tropical western Pacific and Indian Oceans. Known as the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP), this area is fundamental to the global atmospheric circulation and hydrologic cycle. The IPWP is intensifying with global warming, but modelling its likely future is challenging. Expedition n363 aims to study its temperature and climatic history over the past 15 million years, including through glacial to interglacial climate cycles and back to the globally warm Miocene epoch. Understanding its past history will help determine if its current temperature is near to its likely maximum or if global warming can cause much greater intensification in the future. Professor Pearson is a specialist in the study of microscopic fossils called planktonic foraminifera. He will study the evolution of the ocean plankton in the region over the study period, in relation to climatic change and sea level fluctuations which greatly affect the distribution of land masses and shallow seas and hence ocean current patterns. The foraminifera are also used to determine the age of the sediments drilled (called biostratigraphy) and providing other expedition scientists with a high quality planktonic foraminifer biostratigraphy will be one of the main features of this project. In additional there is a particular focus on an evolutionary lineage of foraminifera called Pulleniatina which has considerable untapped potential for stratigraphic work and also as a case study in the detailed speciation and extinction of a group of plankton. Study of this group will be facilitated by the large populations and varying morphology exhibited by them and because, like snails, they can be left or right handed and the pattern of coiling through time and across space is highly complex and potentially very informative.

  • Experimental results used to parameterise and a test a mathematical model of uranium diffusion and reaction in soil. The exeperiments and model are described in Darmovzalova J., Boghi A., Otten W., Eades, L., Roose T. & Kirk G.J.D. (2019) Uranium diffusion and time-dependent adsorption-desorption in soil: a model and experimental testing of the model. Eur. J. Soil Sci., doi: 10.1111/ejss.12814. The research was funded by NERC, Radioactive Waste Management Ltd and the Environment Agency through the Radioactivity and the Environment (RATE) programme (Grant Ref NE/L000288/1, Long-lived Radionuclides in the Surface Environment (LO-RISE)).

  • Posters and presentations from the UKCCSRC Call 1 Project: Mixed matrix membranes for post combustion carbon capture (Mar 2013 to Dec 2015). Membrane processes are a promising alternative to the more classical post-combustion capture technologies due to the reduced maintenance of the process, the absence of dangerous solvents and their smaller footprint. This project aims at supporting the development of new mixed matrix membranes for post-combustion applications. Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) are composite materials formed by embedding inorganic fillers into a polymeric matrix in order to overcome the upper bound and combine the characteristics of the two solid phases: mechanical properties, economical processing capabilities and permeability of the polymer and selectivity of the filler. Despite several studies on the concept, the interactions between the two phases and their effect on the transport properties are not well understood. Yet, this fundamental knowledge is crucial in order to design the reliable materials needed for real-world-applications.

  • Numerical model predictions of present-day solid Earth deformation and gravity field change due to ongoing glacial isostatic adjustment processes. Model accounts for 3D spatial variations in Earth rheology using a finite element approach.

  • This report give detailed results, conclusions and recommendations of the Joule II project CT92-0031. 'The Underground Disposal of Carbon Dioxide'. A summary of the results of the project is given in the Summary Report of the project which was compiled on 28 February 1995. The report is available at http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/502763/.

  • Although the terrestrial mantle comprises ~80 vol.% of our planet, its compositional architecture is not well understood despite the importance such knowledge holds for constraining Earth's thermal and chemical evolution over ~4.5 billion years of geological time. Our lack of detailed insight into the mantle stems in part from the fact that it is rarely exposed at our planets surface, making direct observation and study difficult. It is clear from recent study, however, that the mantle cannot be assumed to be compositionally homogenous or static over geological time. Peridotites from the ocean basins (abyssal peridotites) and from ophiolites preserve evidence for a convecting upper mantle that is chemically and isotopically heterogeneous at regional (100's km) and small (cm-to-m) scales. Complex formation and alteration upper mantle histories involving processes of melt-depletion, refertilisation (whereby originally refractory residues such as harzburgites become lherzolites again via melt addition) and melt-rock reaction have been held responsible, but the causes, timing and distribution of such processes are poorly resolved. Ophiolites, which represent partially-to-wholly preserved slivers of obducted oceanic mantle, are particularly valuable resources for assessing the timing, causes and extent of mantle heterogeneity, as they allow field-based observation to be coupled with geochemical investigation on otherwise inaccessible mantle material. Furthermore, ophiolites preserve a range of oceanic mantle lithologies (e.g., harzburgites, lherzolite and dunite) and such variation allows detailed assessment of the distribution and relative timing of events acting upon the mantle that is preserved. A distinctive attribute of some ophiolites, which contrasts with abyssal peridotites, is the presence of podiform chromitite seams, typically in the region of the petrological Moho, which are often associated with Platinum-group element mineralization. The timing and genesis of ophiolite podiform chromitites is controversial, but it has been suggested that they represent zones of focused melt channeling in supra-subduction zone settings. The Shetland (UK) and Leka (Norway) supra-subduction zone ophiolites comprise oceanic lithosphere separated at ~620 Ma on either side of a mid-ocean ridge and subsequently obducted over continental crust ~130 Ma later, each on opposite sides of the northern Iapetus Ocean. A pilot study already carried out on the Shetland ophiolite by the PI and Project Partner reveals that it preserves evidence for a complex sequence of melt depletion, percolation and refertilisation events that occurred over the lifetime of the Iapetus mantle. The critical observation made from the pilot dataset is that later mantle events only partially overprint the compositional heterogeneities developed from earlier mantle processes and that the relatively high degrees of partial melting associated with the supra-subduction zone are very effective at generating such heterogeneity. This important observation will be tested in the proposed research by 1) extending the Shetland study to greater levels of detail; 2) inclusion of a comparative study of carefully selected samples from the well-preserved Leka ophiolite; 3) drawing comparisons with existing geochemical and isotopic datasets from ophiolites that formed in other (e.g., mid-ocean ridge) tectonic settings. In order to achieve this, the powerful combination of the Re-Os isotopic system and highly-siderophile element (Os, Ir, Ru, Rh, Pt, Pd, Re, Au) abundance measurements will be utilised to discriminate between the processes responsible for generating mantle heterogeneities such as melt depletion, refertilisation and melt-rock reaction. Thus, profound insight will be gained into the chemical evolution of a piece of oceanic mantle and the development of compositional heterogeneity therein, from outcrop to oceanic plate scales, over much of the lifetime of the Iapetus Ocean.

  • NERC Grant NE/M011488/1 Electron microprobe analyses of Fe-oxide and Fe-oxyhydroxide phases as elemental percentages per point analysis. The phases were within limonites from Acoje (Philippines), Caldag (Turkey), Nkamouna (Cameroon), Piaui (Brazil) and Shevchenko (Kazakhstan) laterite deposits. The data were acquired during the NERC SoS Minerals CoG3 project between 2015 and 2018 using a Cameca SX100 electron microprobe at the Natural History Museum, London, UK. Point analyses were performed on samples set within epoxy resin blocks, polished and coated with carbon. All elements were analysed using wavelength dispersive X-ray spectrometers. These data were used to identify the Co and Ni bearing host minerals within each natural resource and to assess the amount and variability of these elements within specific Fe-oxide or Fe-oxyhydroxide phases. This may be useful within the mining sector, resource assessment, processing or prospecting, geo- or material scientists and processing engineers / metallurgists. The data were acquired in the Core Research Laboratories, Natural History Museum by the NHM CoG3 team. NERC grant: CoG3: The geology, geometallurgy and geomicrobiology of cobalt resources leading to new product streams

  • This is THE first CO2 storage publication produced in the UK. The Association of the Coal Producers of the European Community are agreed that immediate action is required to reduce the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Harrison, 1990). This is considered necessary even though the effect of these gases on global climate and the human race, are very uncertain mainly because the factors and processes affecting climatic change are poorly understood. http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/511485/

  • Data from laboratory experiments conducted as part of project NE/K011464/1 (associated with NE/K011626/1) Multiscale Impacts of Cyanobacterial Crusts on Landscape stability. Soils were collected from eastern Australia and transferred to a laboratory at Griffith University, Queensland for conduct of experiments. Soils were characterised before, during and after simulated rainfall to determine impact of rainfall on soil surface roughness and physical crusting. For two soils (#13 DL Clay_cyano; #14 DL sand_cyano) cyanobacterial crusts were grown on subsamples and these were used to compare the response of soils with, and without, cyanobacterial soil crusts to rainfall treatment. Rainfall intensity of 60 mm hr-1 was used and rainfall was applied for 2 minutes (achieving 2 mm application), 5 minutes (achieving 5 mm application), 2 minutes (achieving 2 mm application) at 24-hour intervals with soils dried at 35°C and 30% humidity between applications in a temperature/humidity-controlled room. Variables measured were soil texture, penetrometry, salinity, splash loss, infiltration, organic matter content, occurrence of ponding, three-dimensional topography. Details of rainfall simulator, growth of cyanobacteria (where soil #13 = Acbc, soil #14 = Bcbc) and all other methods can be found in Bullard et al. 2018, 2019. Bullard, J.E., Ockelford, A., Strong, C.L., Aubault, H. 2018. Impact of multi-day rainfall events onsurface roughness and physical crusting of very fine soils. Geoderma, 313, 181-192. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.10.038. Bullard, J.E., Ockelford, A., Strong, C.L., Aubault, H. 2019. Effects of cyanobacterial soil crusts on surface roughness and splash erosion. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences. doi: 10.1029/2018 tbc

  • This data set contains 119 unwrapped and geocoded inteferograms derived from Cosmo-SkyMed (CSK) SAR scenes aquired over the Northen Main Ethiopian Rift between June 2014 and December 2015. This data set also contains displacement time series derived from processed CSK and Sentinel-1 inteferograms at the locations specified in the accompanying README files