Geology

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.

Meteorite crater found in Southern France

Researchers from Goethe University Frankfurt have found a meteorite crater in the grounds of a winery near the town of Béziers in Southern France.

Ancient meteorite found in England could reveal the origins of life on Earth

A 4.6-billion-year-old meteorite found in a field in Gloucestershire, England, is likely a remnant of cosmic debris left over from the birth of the solar system and could answer questions about how life began on Earth.

Comet strike may have sparked key shift in human civilization

A cluster of comet fragments believed to have hit Earth nearly 13,000 years ago may have shaped the origins of human civilisation, research suggests.

The ‘Great Dying’

The Paleozoic era culminated 251.9 million years ago in the most severe mass extinction recorded in the geologic record.

New research uncovers continental crust emerged 500 million years earlier than thought

The first emergence and persistence of continental crust on Earth during the Archaean (4 billion to 2.5 billion years ago) has important implications for plate tectonics, ocean chemistry, and biological evolution, and it happened about half a billion years earlier than previously thought, according to new research being presented at the EGU General Assembly 2021.

Human land use wasn’t always at nature’s expense

Nearly three-quarters of Earth's land had been transformed by humans by 10,000 BC, but new research shows it largely wasn't at the expense of the natural world.

Lightning Strikes Played a Vital Role in Life’s Origins on Earth

Lightning strikes were just as important as meteorites in creating the perfect conditions for life to emerge on Earth, geologists say.

Organic Molecules Found in 3.5 Billion-Year-Old Rocks

A research team including the geobiologist Dr. Helge Missbach from the University of Cologne has detected organic molecules and gases trapped in 3.5 billion-year-old rocks.

Study Shows Tasmanian Aboriginals Witnessed the Laschamp Geomagnetic Excursion.

Drilling a 270,000-year old core from a Tasmanian lake has provided the first Australian record of a major global event where the Earth's magnetic field 'switched '- and the opportunity to establish a precedent for developing new paleomagnetic dating tools for Australian archaeology and paleosciences.

How Rocks Rusted on Earth and Turned Red

How did rocks rust on Earth and turn red? A Rutgers-led study has shed new light on the important phenomenon and will help address questions about the Late Triassic climate more than 200 million years ago, when greenhouse gas levels were high enough to be a model for what our planet may be like in the future.

Geologists Produce New Timeline of Earth’s Paleozoic Climate Changes

The temperature of a planet is linked with the diversity of life that it can support. MIT geologists have now reconstructed a timeline of the Earth's temperature during the early Paleozoic era, between 510 and 440 million years ago -- a pivotal period when animals became abundant in a previously microbe-dominated world.

A Lost Paradise in the Sahara Desert

Large parts of today's Sahara Desert were green thousands of years ago. Prehistoric engravings of giraffes and crocodiles testify to this, as does a stone-age cave painting in the desert that even shows swimming humans.

Mars Crater Offers Window on Temperatures 3.5 Billion Years Ago

Once upon a time, seasons in Gale Crater probably felt something like those in Iceland. But nobody was there to bundle up more than 3 billion years ago.

Understanding Origins of Arizona’s Sunset Crater Eruption 1,000 Years Ago

Around AD 1085 AD, along the southern rim of Northern Arizona's elevated Colorado Plateau a volcano erupted, forever changing ancient Puebloan fortunes and all nearby life.

Volcanic Eruptions Directly Triggered Ocean Acidification During Early Cretaceous

Around 120 million years ago, the earth experienced an extreme environmental disruption that choked oxygen from its oceans.

Crystals May Help Reveal Hidden Kilauea Volcano Behaviour

Scientists striving to understand how and when volcanoes might erupt face a challenge: many of the processes take place deep underground in lava tubes churning with dangerous molten Earth. Upon eruption, any subterranean markers that could have offered clues leading up to a blast are often destroyed.

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