Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surf Not Up For Palaeozoic Creatures - New Model Reveals Ancient Sea Was A Giant Lake

Date:
May 9, 2005
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
The ancient sea was more like a giant salty lake than a rolling ocean, report scientists from Imperial College London in the May edition of the Journal of the Geological Society. A new computer model that simulates how tides in North West Europe would have behaved 300 million years ago shows a sea with so little movement that it was unlike any on Earth today.

Model showing how the ocean in North West Europe would have looked 300 million years ago, when the continents were flooded by vast shallow seas.
Credit: Image courtesy of Imperial College London

The ancient sea was more like a giant salty lake than a rolling ocean, report scientists from Imperial College London in the May edition of the Journal of the Geological Society. A new computer model that simulates how tides in North West Europe would have behaved 300 million years ago shows a sea with so little movement that it was unlike any on Earth today.

Using information on the ancient land masses and the tidal pull of the Moon, the new computer modelling system reveals a picture of a Palaeozoic ocean in which even basic lifeforms would have struggled to survive. Without tides, shallow coastal water is not mixed up, preventing life-saving oxygen from being circulated.

This shortage of oxygen causes lifeforms such as plankton to die and the decay of these lifeforms uses up further oxygen, contributing to the creation of an environment unable to support life. The Palaeozoic period lasted from 570 to 245 million years ago.

Dr Peter Allison, from the Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering and one of the authors of the study, said: "It is very difficult to understand how these huge ancient seas behaved, since we have no examples of this sort of water body on Earth today.

"We have used a new computer model to deduce the tidal range in ancient seas and show that they were almost tideless. Understanding the behaviour of these vast shallow expanses is critical to our knowledge of the ancient climate and environments and to understand how early marine life evolved and diversified," says Dr Allison.

According to the researchers' estimates, the new computer programme can model the behaviour of the sea many times faster than existing modelling systems. The model, developed by Dr Chris Pain, Dr Matthew Piggott and Martin Wells, has great potential for examining other patterns of ocean behaviour.

PhD student Martin Wells adds: "The modelling technology developed here at Imperial is a novel and fascinating means of investigating the ancient Earth. Although this is 'blue-skies' research now, we are validating an exciting new modelling technology which will ultimately help us to predict climate change."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Surf Not Up For Palaeozoic Creatures - New Model Reveals Ancient Sea Was A Giant Lake." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050509113645.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2005, May 9). Surf Not Up For Palaeozoic Creatures - New Model Reveals Ancient Sea Was A Giant Lake. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050509113645.htm
Imperial College London. "Surf Not Up For Palaeozoic Creatures - New Model Reveals Ancient Sea Was A Giant Lake." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050509113645.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins