The onset of the most recent ice age about 2.6 million years ago changed where the western Gulf of Mexico gets its supply of sediments. The finding adds new insight into how extreme climate change can directly impact fundamental geological processes and how those impacts play out across different environments.

The research found that the same climatic changes that grew glaciers across the northern hemisphere reduced sediment production in southern Mexico while ramping up sediment production along the catchment of the Mississippi River.

The study was published in print on Nov.1, 2018, in the journal Geology. Angela Hessler, the director of the Deep Time Institute, led the research. It was co-authored by Jacob Covault, a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin Bureau of Economic Geology; Daniel Stockli, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the UT Jackson School of Geosciences; and Andrea Fildani, a scientist at the Equinor Research Center Austin.

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