The surface beneath the feet is always moving (although we do not notice it) and is partially sculpted; our ever-changing planet; the process is far from fully understood. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Sydney in Australia allows us to contemplate it because they model how the Earth has changed. in the last 100 million years taking into account both the movements of the tectonic plates and the impact of the climate on the movement of the sediments of rivers and seas.
The new model provides a high-resolution understanding of how today’s Earth’s geophysics was created and how millions of tons of it flowed into the oceans.
“To predict the future, we must understand the past. But our geological models are only limited to understanding how our planet’s modern physical features were formed,” explained Tristan Salles, researcher at the University of Sydney and lead author of the paper published in the journal Science.
Help in the future
“If you want a continuous pattern of interaction between river basins, global-scale erosion, and sediment deposition at high resolution over 100 million years, it simply isn’t there. Then this is a disruption.” Not only is it a tool to help us investigate the past, but it will also help scientists understand and predict the future.”continued the expert.
The new model, calibrated and tested with predictions from real-world natural samples, will also help to understand how sediment movement controls the Earth’s carbon cycle over time.
“This unprecedented high-resolution model of the Earth’s recent past will provide geoscientists with a more complete and dynamic understanding of the Earth’s surface,” said Laurent Husson, researcher at the Institut des Sciences de la Terre and co-author of the paper. “Critically, the movement of sediment from the land to the oceans takes place in a way we could not do before. Understanding the flow of sediment from land to marine environments is vital to understanding the chemistry of the ocean current.. As ocean chemistry is rapidly changing due to climate change-induced changes, it provides a more complete picture for understanding the marine environment.”
I already know that climate change to modify the chemical composition of the oceans and the processes that take place in them, so the team hopes that the model will allow a better understanding of the impact that everything has on sedimentary processes now and in the future.
“Our findings will provide dynamic and accurate information for scientists in other fields to prepare and test hypotheses; as in life cycles or in biological evolution.
Tristan Salles, Laurent Husson, Patrice Rey, Claire Mallard, Sabin Zahirovic, Beatriz Hadler Boggiani, Nicolas Coltice, Maëlis Arnould. Hundreds of millions of years of dynamics known from the catchment to the global scale. Science, 2023; 379 (6635): 918 DOI: 10.1126/science.add2541