Vertebrate Palaeontology
VP News Feed:
Feed icon

News from the Earth Sciences

Sumatra - IODP map

Sediments tell a tsunami story.

Plate-boundary fault rupture during the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman subduction earthquake extended closer to the trench than expected, increasing earthquake and tsunami size. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 362 sampled incoming sediments offshore northern Sumatra, revealing recent release of fresh water within the deep sediments. Thermal modeling links this freshening to amorphous silica dehydration driven by rapid burial-induced temperature increases in the past 9 million years. Complete dehydration of silicates is expected before plate subduction, contrasting with prevailing models for subduction seismogenesis calling for fluid production during subduction. Shallow slip offshore Sumatra appears driven by diagenetic strengthening of deeply buried fault-forming sediments, contrasting with weakening proposed for the shallow Tohoku-Oki 2011 rupture, but our results are applicable to other thickly sedimented subduction zones including those with limited earthquake records. More...

Published: May 26, 2017 3:00:00 PM

VP Twitter Feed:

Vertebrate Palaeontology


Vertebrate palaeontology is the study of the fossil record of organisms with a backbone (Chordates). Vertebrate groups range from the first marine fish through the earliest air-breathing amphibians through to fully terrestrial reptiles and mammals.

A detailed examination of ancient vertebrate fossils can give us an insight to patterns of evolution, ecology and ontogeny as well as providing information through isotopic analysis of recent changes in climate.