Geology

Study analyses organic material from 3.5 billion-year-old biomass

Researchers from the University of Göttingen are using high resolution techniques to trace the origin and composition of a 3.5 billion-year-old biomass.

Source of Snowball Earth solved

Geologists have solved the source of Snowball Earth, a period when the planet’s environment was an extreme "icehouse".

Study suggests that nature played a role in the origins of the Great Sphinx

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature characterised by the combination of a human head and a lion's body.

Geological puzzle of lost continent of Argoland solved

Approximately 155 million years ago, a 5000 km piece of continent broke off from western Australia, leaving behind a basin hidden below the ocean known as the Argo Abyssal Plain.

The Cave of Crystals

The Cave of Crystals is a large chamber containing giant crystals in the Naica Mine, located in Mexico’s State of Chihuahua.

Santorini eruption: new theory says ‘pyroclastic flows’ caused devastating Bronze Age tsunamis

Take the ferry to the beautiful Greek islands of Santorini and you will sail into a truly unique landscape forged by a cataclysm towards the end of the Bronze Age. From either the north or south your ship will leave the brilliant blue seas of the Aegean and enter a natural harbour flanked by majestic cliffs.

Massive ‘lake’ discovered under volcano that could unlock why and how volcanoes erupt

Scientists from the University of Bristol and partner universities in Germany, France, Canada and Wales, have discovered a huge magmatic lake, 15 kilometres below a dormant volcano in Bolivia, South America.

Life took hold on land 300 million years earlier than thought

Life took hold on land at least as early as 3.2 billion years ago, suggests a study by scientists from Berlin, Potsdam and Jena (Germany). The team led by Sami Nabhan of the Freie Universität Berlin studied ancient rock formations from South Africa's Barberton greenstone belt.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science diamond collection brings deep Earth to the surface

Researchers at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and University of British Columbia recently analyzed diamonds from the Museum's collection and learned how an unusual chunk of Africa formed.

Unusual Martian region leaves clues to planet’s past

Researcher Don Hood from LSU and colleagues from collaborating universities studied an unusual region on Mars -- an area with high elevation called Thaumasia Planum. They analyzed the geography and mineralogy of this area they termed Greater Thaumasia, which is about the size of North America.

Popcorn-rocks solve the mystery of the magma chambers

Since the 18th century, geologists have struggled to explain how big magma chambers form in the Earth's crust. In particular, it has been difficult to explain where the surrounding rock goes when the magma intrudes.

Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it

A new analysis of the topography of the central Andes shows the uplifting of the Earth's second highest continental plateau was driven in part by a huge zone of melted rock in the crust, known as a magma body.

Earthquake series cause uplift variations at continental margins

A new mechanism may explain how great earthquakes with magnitudes larger than M7 are linked to coastal uplift in many regions worldwide.

Case of the missing continental crust solved: It sank

How do you make half the mass of two continents disappear? To answer the question you first need to discover that it's missing. That's what a trio of University of Chicago geoscientists and their collaborators did.

Stalagmites in Indiana cave may record past earthquakes

Stalagmites rising from the floor of a cave in southern Indiana may contain traces of past earthquakes in the region, according to a report published September 13 in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Magma build-up at Japanese volcano poses threat to ‘Naples of the Eastern World’

One of Japan's most active volcanoes could be close to a major eruption, threatening the safety of hundreds and thousands of residents of a nearby city, a new study has shown.

Geological data provide support for legendary Chinese flood

Researchers have provided geological evidence for China's "Great Flood," a disastrous event on the Yellow River from which the Xia dynasty is thought to...

Distant volcanic eruptions foster saguaro cacti baby booms

One hundred and thirty years ago, the volcano Krakatoa erupted in what is now Indonesia, unleashing a cataclysm locally and years of cool temperatures and rain globally. On the far side of the world, a bumper crop of saguaro cacti were getting their start in life in Arizona's Sonoran Desert.

Fire clues in cave dripwater

When mineral-rich water drips from a cave's ceiling over centuries and millennia, it forms rocky cones that hold clues to the Earth's past climate. Now, researchers in Australia and the UK have found that these structures can also help trace past wildfires that burned above the cave.

Ancient rocks reveal how Earth recovered from mass extinction

Scientists have shed light on why life on Earth took millions of years to recover from the greatest mass extinction of all time.

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