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We examine the scaling law B is proportional to M(alpha)which connects organismal resting metabolic rate B with organismal mass M, where alpha is commonly held to be 3/4. Since simple dimensional analysis suggests alpha = 2/3, we consider this to be a null hypothesis testable by empirical studies. We re-analyse data sets for mammals and birds compiled by(More)
The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe biodiversity crisis in Earth history. To better constrain the timing, and ultimately the causes of this event, we collected a suite of geochronologic, isotopic, and biostratigraphic data on several well-preserved sedimentary sections in South China. High-precision U-Pb dating reveals that the extinction(More)
Scaling laws that describe the structure of river networks are shown to follow from three simple assumptions. These assumptions are (1) river networks are structurally self-similar, (2) single channels are self-affine, and (3) overland flow into channels occurs over a characteristic distance (drainage density is uniform). We obtain a complete set of scaling(More)
The existence of unusually large fluctuations in the Neoproterozoic (1,000-543 million years ago) carbon-isotopic record implies strong perturbations to the Earth's carbon cycle. To analyze these fluctuations, we examine records of both the isotopic content of carbonate carbon and the fractionation between carbonate and marine organic carbon. Together,(More)
One proposed growth law for channel development suggests that the velocity at which channel heads advance is proportional to the flux of groundwater to the heads 17. Here we use field observations and physical theory to show that this simple model, combined with a second linear response that relates channel branching to the total groundwater flux to the(More)
Carbon removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis is released back by respiration. Although some organic carbon is degraded quickly, older carbon persists; consequently carbon stocks are much larger than predicted by initial decomposition rates. This disparity can be traced to a wide range of first-order decay-rate constants, but the rate distributions(More)
[1] We propose a dynamical model for channels incised into an erodible bed by subsurface water flow. The model is validated by the time-resolved topographic measurements of channel growth in a laboratory-scale experiment. Surface heights in the experiment are measured via a novel laser-aided imaging technique. The erosion rate in the model is composed of(More)
  • D H Rothman
  • 2001
Paleontological data for the diversity of marine animals and land plants are shown to correlate significantly with a concurrent measure of stable carbon isotope fractionation for approximately the last 400 million years. The correlations can be deduced from the assumption that increasing plant diversity led to increasing chemical weathering of rocks and(More)
Although amphitheatre-shaped valley heads can be cut by groundwater flows emerging from springs, recent geological evidence suggests that other processes may also produce similar features, thus confounding the interpretations of such valley heads on Earth and Mars. To better understand the origin of this topographic form, we combine field observations,(More)