Skrevet av Emne: Receives NSF Grant to Explore Prehistoric Fire Activity  (Lest 2528 ganger)

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"Cornell College's Rhawn Denniston Receives NSF Grant to Explore Prehistoric Fire Activity

The National Science Foundation has awarded Cornell College Professor of Geology Rhawn Denniston a grant in the amount of $51,645 to examine how prehistoric fire activity may be recorded by stalagmites.

Since 2007, Denniston has studied prehistoric Australian monsoon rains and hurricane activity by measuring chemical compounds and mud layers in stalagmites from caves across the Australian tropics.

The chemistry of the stalagmites preserves past climate variability so that each layer maps out a timeline of past climatic change. Small amounts of uranium incorporated into the stalagmites serve as a stopwatch, recording the time since that layer was formed.

“Many of the chemical signals of past climate are derived from the rain and the soil. The cave we are studying is close to the surface with very little rock or soil above it,” Denniston said. “Thus, as water drips into the cave, the stalagmites record even short-term changes in climate. And whenever there’s a fire, we think the chemical compounds go right into the cave and thus the stalagmites.”"

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"When I try to imagine a faultless love
Or the life to come, what I hear is the murmur
Of underground streams, what I see is a limestone landscape."
W.H. Auden, "In Praise of Limestone"