"No one knows precisely what the composition of the center of the Earth is. This is one of the best kept secrets of our planet as mankind has never reached deeper than 12 km below its surface." writes Tristan Vey in Le Figaro. In fact only laboratory experiments, seismological analysis and thermodynamic models can help us get a better understanding of this mysterious inner core. These show the existence of a liquid metallic outer core with a diameter of about 5000 km that contains a “small” and spinning solid inner core about 2400 km wide. While this solid part is almost exclusively composed of iron-nickel alloy (with a 16/1 ratio), seismological surveys have shown that the surrounding environment of liquified metal contains significant quantities of lighter elements such as sulphur, carbon, silicon as well as oxygen. But in what proportion? More...
Coupled climate models have partly failed to predict the remarkable acceleration in the retreat of Arctic sea ice since the mid 1970s. Michel Tsamados with colleagues from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at Reading University use a bottom-up approach: including new physics in a stand alone (uncoupled) version of the Los Alamos CICE sea ice model, which in turn can be used in ocean-sea ice coupled models and fully coupled climate models. With thorough validation of the models against observations this methodology can contribute to significantly reduce the model response uncertainty in the next round of General Circulation Models (GCMs) results, CMIP6. More...
The Ainsa Deepwater Channel Project, Spanish Pyrenees
An Integrated Outcrop Study: Project Manager: Professor Kevin T. Pickering
Introduction to the Ainsa Channel System
The Ainsa Channel System, south-central Pyrenees, occurs in the oldest part of the Campodarbe Group, and it is of Upper Eocene age. The Ainsa Channel Complex is per- haps the most famous of the submarine channel outcrops within Western Europe. The Ainsa channels consist of two principal channel complexes (Ainsa I and Ainsa II) which are separated by thin- and very thin-bedded sandy turbidites and marls. The Ainsa I Channel Complex is an example of an erosional-depositional system. The Ainsa II Chan- nel Complex contains significant erosional cut-downs, with infill of essentially non- erosive sandy facies. The channel dimensions are at a seismic scale.