California Cavern, in Calaveras County east of Stockton, is one of hundreds of caves hidden beneath the Sierra Nevada foothills. By cracking open stalagmites from these caves, Distinguished Professor Isabel Montañez and her students have teased out a timeline of Northern California’s climate history stretching back nearly 20,000 years.
Two professors from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences were inducted into the ranks of California Academy of Sciences Fellows. They are among 14 new fellows honored at the Academy’s annual meeting, held virtually this year on Oct. 13.
New studies of a rare type of meteorite show that material from close to the sun reached the outer solar system even as the planet Jupiter cleared a gap in the disk of dust and gas from which the planets formed. The results, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to an emerging understanding of how our solar system formed and how planets form around other stars.
The Earth formed relatively quickly from the cloud of dust and gas around the sun, trapping water and gases in the planet’s mantle, according to research published Dec. 5 in the journal Nature. Apart from settling Earth’s origins, the work could help in identifying extrasolar systems that could support habitable planets.
Three UC Davis geochemists who improved our understanding of Earth and the solar system will be honored at the Geochemical Society’s 2016 Goldschmidt Conference in Yokohama, Japan, on June 30 and July 1. This is the first time in the history of the Geochemical Society that three researchers from the same institution will receive society honors in the same year.
Rock soil droplets formed by heating most likely came from Stone Age house fires and not from a disastrous cosmic impact 12,900 years ago, according to new research from the University of California, Davis. The study, of soil from Syria, is the latest to discredit the controversial theory that a cosmic impact triggered the Younger Dryas cold period.