02 Nov 2015

Large igneous provinces linked to extinction events

Mass extinction events are sometimes portrayed in illustrations of volcanic eruptions causing widespread destruction.

This is a side branch of the Yellow River on the north east edge of the Tibetan plateau. CREDIT
Thomas Stevens
12 Oct 2015

Unexpected information about Earth’s climate history from Yellow River sediment

By meticulously examining sediments in China’s Yellow River, a Swedish-Chinese research group are showing that the history of tectonic and climate evolution on Earth may need to be rewritten. Their findings are published today in the highly reputed journal Nature Communications.

Paul Renne inspects a reddened soil horizon between lava flows, a so-called red bole. Mark Richards photo.
08 Oct 2015

Asteroid impact, volcanism were one-two punch for dinosaurs

Berkeley geologists have uncovered compelling evidence that an asteroid impact on Earth 66 million years ago accelerated the eruptions of volcanoes in India for hundreds of thousands of years, and that together these planet-wide catastrophes caused the extinction of many land and marine animals, including the dinosaurs.

07 Oct 2015

New study indicates Earth’s inner core was formed 1-1.5 billion years ago

There have been many estimates for when the earth’s inner core was formed, but scientists from the University of Liverpool have used new data which indicates that the Earth’s inner core was formed 1 – 1.5 billion years ago as it “froze” from the surrounding molten iron outer core.

A sample sawn from a 3.23-billion-year-old rock core sample found in South Africa. CREDIT David Tenenbaum/University of Wisconsin-Madison
07 Oct 2015

Ancient rocks record first evidence for photosynthesis that made oxygen

A new study shows that iron-bearing rocks that formed at the ocean floor 3.2 billion years ago carry unmistakable evidence of oxygen.

05 Oct 2015

Volcanic eruptions affect flow of world’s major rivers, study finds

Major volcanic eruptions can have a significant effect on the flow of the biggest rivers around the world, research shows.

Image Credit : Claude Meisch
04 Oct 2015

Evidence confirms volcanic island collapses may trigger mega-tsunamis

A pre-historical sudden collapse of one of the tallest and most active oceanic volcanoes on Earth — Fogo, in the Cape Verde Islands – triggered a mega-tsunami with waves impacting 220 metres (721 feet) above present sea level resulting in catastrophic consequences, according to a new University of Bristol study.

28 Sep 2015

Ice samples from Greenland and Russia provide clues to past and future climate change

Scientists at the University of Birmingham have discovered evidence of carbonaceous aerosols – organic dust – transported from Asia and deposited in the Arctic over the last 450 years, according to research published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

This photo-like image of South Africa was captured on April 12, 2010, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.
23 Sep 2015

The Karoo Basin and the end Permian mass extinction

Earth’s biosphere witnessed its greatest ecological catastrophe in the latest Permian, dated to about 251.9 million years ago.

This is a volcanic plug in Cape Hillsborough National Park, Queensland. CREDIT : Mike Griinke
15 Sep 2015

World’s longest continental volcano chain in Australia

Scientists have discovered the world’s longest known chain of continental volcanoes, running 2,000 kilometres across Australia, from the Whitsundays in North Queensland to near Melbourne in central Victoria.

Unique double crater in Sweden. CREDIT :University of Gothenburg
11 Sep 2015

Globally unique double crater identified in Sweden

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have found traces of two enormous meteorite impacts in the Swedish county of Jämtland, a twin strike that occurred around 460 million years ago.

This is an inscription from 1891 found in Dayu Cave. It reads: On May 24th, 17th year of the Emperor Guangxu period (June 30th, 1891 CE), Qing Dynasty, the local mayor, Huaizong Zhu led more than 200 people into the cave to get water. A fortuneteller named Zhenrong Ran prayed for rain during a ceremony. Credit : L. Tan
13 Aug 2015

Chinese cave ‘graffiti’ tells a 500-year story of climate change and impact on society

An international team of researchers, including scientists from the University of Cambridge, has discovered unique ‘graffiti’ on the walls of a cave in central China, which describes the effects drought had on the local population over the past 500 years.

10 Aug 2015

NASA simulation indicates ancient flood volcanoes could have altered climate

In June, 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines exploded, blasting millions of tons of ash and gas over 20 miles high – deep into the stratosphere, a stable layer of our atmosphere above most of the clouds and weather.

Credit : Doug Knuth
07 Aug 2015

The Colossal Cave – Hang Son Doong

Drone footage captures the beauty of one of the world’s largest caves, containing dense jungles, immense cliffs and its own climate.

28 Jul 2015

Date of an anomalous cooling event most likely triggered by a cosmic impact

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago­ — give or take a few centuries — a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

11 Jul 2015

Volcanic rocks resembling Roman concrete explain record uplift in Italian caldera

The discovery of a fiber-reinforced, concrete-like rock formed in the depths of a dormant supervolcano could help explain the unusual ground swelling that led to the evacuation of an Italian port city and inspire durable building materials in the future, Stanford scientists say.

Credit : Hans Splinter
08 Jul 2015

Norwegian iron helped build Iron Age Europe

Two thousand years ago, Norway produced iron in significant quantities. Much of it was exported both southward and northward from Trøndelag in central Norway.

30 Jun 2015

Earthquakes in western Solomon Islands have long history, study shows

Researchers have found that parts of the western Solomon Islands, a region thought to be free of large earthquakes until an 8.1 magnitude quake devastated the area in 2007, have a long history of big seismic events.

19 May 2015

“Eternal flames” of ancient times could spark interest of modern geologists

Gas and oil seeps have been part of religious and cultural practices for thousands of years.

01 May 2015

Geological foundations for smart cities: Comparing early Rome and Naples

Geological knowledge is essential for the sustainable development of a “smart city” — one that harmonizes with the geology of its territory.

20 Mar 2015

Did a volcanic cataclysm 40,000 years ago trigger the final demise of the Neanderthals?

The Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption in Italy 40,000 years ago was one of the largest volcanic cataclysms in Europe and injected a significant amount of sulfur-dioxide (SO2) into the stratosphere.

22 Jan 2015

Death of a dynamo – a hard drive from space

Hidden magnetic messages contained within ancient meteorites are providing a unique window into the processes that shaped our solar system, and may give a sneak preview of the fate of the Earth’s core as it continues to freeze.