Catastrophic events carry forests of trees thousands of miles to a burial at sea

Wood from trees as high as the mountains can travel thousands of miles downriver to the Bay of Bengal as part of an ancient cycle that seems to be triggered by monsoons and other catastrophic events. Credit: Christian France-Lanord, Université de Lorraine

Flooding from torrential rains caused by cyclones and monsoonal storms, as well as other catastrophic events, are responsible for moving huge amounts of fresh wood to a watery grave deep under the ocean, according to Earth scientists.

Their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Oct. 21, shows the first-ever evidence that trees may travel thousands of miles from their mountain homes to settle in the vast sediments extending under the sea from river mouths.
Wood from ancient trees found in the deep sea
An international research team led by Sarah Feakins, associate professor of Earth…

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