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Sedimentary history of Europe

Geology Detective

A team of geologists led by Liviu Giosan pieced together the most complete picture illustrating the growth and destruction of the Danube delta at the mouth of the principal European river linking the east and west sides of the continent. Here, Giosan analyzes a core that records the delta’s life history, marked by deforestation, agricultural cultivation, and the construction of dams, which researchers estimate may have reduced sedimentation on the Danube River by at least 70 percent. From this study, Giosan and his colleagues compiled simple, inexpensive strategies for other deltas to enhance their natural ability to trap sediment and maintain their floodplains. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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