Clues about rainfall in the distant past — from river mud to tiny seashells — come to rest on the ocean floor. Sampling layers of sediment from the Indian Ocean will help researchers build an accurate picture of Indian monsoon activity going back 15 million years or more.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — When the research vessel JOIDES Resolution returned to port in late January after a two-month cruise, it had harvested more than 550 sediment cores from deep beneath the Indian Ocean. Locked within those tubes of muck is a record of monsoon rainfall dating back millions of years. Brown geologist Steven Clemens, co-chief scientist on the expedition, says this glimpse of monsoons past could help scientists predict what may become of the rains in the future. (more…)