MI weekly selection #356

NY forest fossils date back 386M years

The 386-million-year-old fossils of trees found in New York’s Catskills are likely the remains of the world’s oldest forest. Researchers found the remains of three different types of trees in what is now a quarry.

New Scientist

Ancient seawall finally gave way to rising waters

A seawall dating back 7,000 years and the village it was protecting have been found off the coast of Israel. The seawall protected the Neolithic village for about 500 years before the people who lived there had to abandon it.

Gizmodo

Earth’s moving magnetic field

The Earth’s last magnetic-field reversal took 22,000 years to complete 770,000 years ago. Scientists, who analyze lava flows, ocean sediments and ice cores to monitor the constantly moving magnetic poles, say the north magnetic pole is heading toward Russia at a current rate of nearly 40 kilometers per year.

CNN

Timing of Homo erectus’ last presence on Java narrowed

Homo erectus likely last lived on the Indonesian island of Java between 108,000 and 117,000 years ago before dying out as the climate changed. “We can’t say we dated the extinction, but we dated the last occurrence of it,” said researcher Russell Ciochon.

Science Daily

Diamonds may indicate fluid’s role in deep quakes

Diamonds that formed up to 800 kilometers inside the Earth are helping scientists study liquid’s effect on deep earthquakes. Researchers say diamonds, which contain inclusions made by liquid, may have formed where fluid is moving in the mantle transition zone.

Live Science

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