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Sun Jun 2, 2019, 07:27 AM

 

Scientists Are About to Unlock the Secrets of 20,000-Year-Old Seawater

Scientists Are About to Unlock the Secrets of 20,000-Year-Old Seawater
It was stored inside limestone beneath the seafloor.


This story was originally published by Atlas Obscura and is shared here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

You may have heard that 20,000 years ago, our planet was experiencing an ice age that froze much of its surface and, in tandem, shrunk many of its bodies of water. Scientists studying the period’s seas have historically been limited to looking at things such as fossilized coral, or sediment cores found on the seafloor—useful, but ultimately circumstantial evidence of the Last Glacial Maximum’s marine environment.

Finally, Live Science reports, a team of researchers will go straight to the source after discovering what appears to be 20,000-year-old water inside a sediment core from the Maldives archipelago, in the Indian Ocean. They will publish their findings in a forthcoming issue of the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

The scientists were in the Maldives not to study the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), but the relationship between regional monsoons and the formation of sediments. Using their research ship’s specially outfitted drill, the team extracted cores from limestone deposits hidden beneath the seafloor and then dried them out with a hydraulic press. The water that soaked out of these cores was noticeably saltier than anything you’d expect to find in seawater, and the researchers were compelled to ask why. “That was the first indication we had something unusual on our hands,” said the lead author Clara Blättler, a geophysicist at the University of Chicago, in a statement.

continues . . . .

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/06/scientists-are-about-to-unlock-the-secrets-of-20000-year-old-seawater/

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Reply Scientists Are About to Unlock the Secrets of 20,000-Year-Old Seawater (Original post)
pdsimdars Jun 2 OP
malaise Jun 2 #1

Response to pdsimdars (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2019, 07:35 AM

1. Get thee to the greatest page

Fascinating

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