Science is the poetry of Nature.







Contributing Authors

Ancient Forest Thaws From Melting Glacial Tomb

An ancient forest has thawed from under a melting glacier in Alaska and is now exposed to the world for the first time in more than 1,000 years.

Stumps and logs have been popping out from under southern Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier — a 36.8-square-mile (95.3 square kilometers) river of ice flowing into a lake near Juneau — for nearly the past 50 years. However, just within the past year or so, researchers based at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau have noticed considerably more trees popping up, many in their original upright position and some still bearing roots and even a bit of bark, the Juneau Empire first reported last week.

"There are a lot of them, and being in a growth position is exciting because we can see the outermost part of the tree and count back to see how old the tree was," Cathy Connor, a geology professor at the University of Alaska Southeast who was involved in the investigation, told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet. "Mostly, people find chunks of wood helter-skelter, but to see these intact upright is kind of cool."

The team has tentatively identified the trees as either spruce or hemlock, based on the diameter of the trunks and because these are the types of trees growing in the region today, Connor said, but the researchers still need to further assess the samples to verify the tree type.

A protective tomb of gravel likely encased the trees more than 1,000 years ago, when the glacier was advancing, Connor said, basing the date on radiocarbon ages of the newly revealed wood. As glaciers advance, Connor explained, they often emit summer meltwater streams that spew aprons of gravel beyond the glacier’s edge.

[Full Story]

  1. wolf-and-dragon reblogged this from scinerds
  2. swiminthestars-fucker reblogged this from scinerds and added:
    Wow, awesome!
  3. danceindownpours reblogged this from winds-of-the-past
  4. greengreenthunder reblogged this from lightworker-queers
  5. brightnightqueen reblogged this from lightworker-queers
  6. wespeakoflove reblogged this from lightworker-queers
  7. lightworker-queers reblogged this from embracinginfinity
  8. srsuger reblogged this from embracinginfinity
  9. high-tea--in-the-sea reblogged this from scinerds
  10. mirage-mew reblogged this from fabintro815
  11. fabintro815 reblogged this from mygoodrabbit
  12. radon-t reblogged this from taylor-renee
  13. taylor-renee reblogged this from lantur
  14. akzidens reblogged this from afro-dominicano
  15. hornedtrickery reblogged this from austro-nesian
  16. savdisci reblogged this from afro-dominicano
  17. i-believe-in-stardust reblogged this from bryarly
  18. tassium reblogged this from bryarly
  19. fannywhanny reblogged this from koushiis
  20. eusonyme reblogged this from havenotweaffections
  21. havenotweaffections reblogged this from rhinocerium
  22. rhinocerium reblogged this from bryarly
  23. stopdropandbeauty reblogged this from wrestlingaknife
  24. throwinglettuceatsharks reblogged this from drparisa
  25. wideawakeandhalfasleep reblogged this from bryarly
  26. dancingfeethappyheart reblogged this from lifetakesalifetime
  27. earlgreyandlattes reblogged this from bryarly
  28. jack-and-jill reblogged this from toadlessgirl
  29. renegade-centigrade reblogged this from atarashiihajimari
  30. bossstatuss reblogged this from vivalacecily
  31. lifetakesalifetime reblogged this from strykerkhaos
  32. spookyskookin reblogged this from hyena-princess
  33. strykerkhaos reblogged this from awildpikachuappears
  34. lusttforlifee reblogged this from neo-filipino