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December 10, 2012

Earthquakes as weathering agents: the rubbing boulders of the Atacama

A fairly unique study came out a few months ago in the journal Geology, in which the authors propose a novel mechanism of erosion: abrasion during earthquake shaking. Seismicity and the strange rubbing boulders of the Atacama desert, northern Chile The researchers were puzzled by fields of boulders sitting hardly buried atop the silty floor of Chile’s hyper-arid Atacama desert. They noted odd “moats” in broken silt crust around the boulders, …