Arctic Sea Ice Animation

Surface currents under Arctic sea ice detected from space.

Monitoring the surface circulation of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean is generally limited in space, time or both. We present a new 12-year record of geostrophic currents at monthly resolution in the ice-covered and ice-free Arctic Ocean derived from satellite radar altimetry and characterise their seasonal to decadal variability from 2003 to 2014, a period of rapid environmental change in the Arctic. Geostrophic currents around the Arctic basin increased in the late 2000s, with the largest increases observed in summer. More...

MSc Students papers

Our MSc Geoscience students publish their research.

Former UCL MSc students David King and Cherry Newsam have published their UCL MSc Geoscience research in a peer-reviewed journal. Both projects focused on the use of microscopic fossils to investigate extinction and palaeoenvironmental change.
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News from the Earth Sciences

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Precambrian Research Group


The Precambrian is the informal name for the first 90% of Earth history during which life began its incredibly long journey towards biological complexity. 


This journey culminated in the appearance and diversification of animals between about 750 and 540 million years ago. Sedimentary rocks become increasingly scarce the further back in time one looks. For this reason, Precambrian studies are multidisciplinary by necessity, piecing together clues from a range of fields: geochemistry, palaeobiology, biochemistry, sedimentology, genetics and a range of earth system models (atmospheric, ocean circulation, climate and biogeochemical).

Our research group primarily uses the chemical, mineral and isotopic composition of sedimentary rocks to reconstruct earth system evolution during the two billion year interval from the end of the Archaean Eon (about 2500 million years ago) to the beginning of the Phanerozoic Eon (about 540 million years ago). During this Proterozoic Eon, extraordinary perturbations occurred to our planet’s surface environment. Some disturbances were extreme but transient, such as the ‘Snowball Earth’ intervals of global glaciation. Others caused irreversible changes that shaped the modern earth system, such as the ‘Great Oxidation Event’ and the ‘Neoproterozoic Oxygenation Event’ without which we would not be here today.