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Hot Topic Solar System Earth Geology
Does a Planet Need Life to Create Continents?
Topic: Geology
Earth may not have possessed the continents it does now if not for life, instead becoming a planet covered nearly entirely in ocean.

A 3.45-Million-Year-Old Diet
Topic: Geology
Researchers are providing new information about the ‘diet’ of microorganisms on the early Earth. By studying 3.45-billion-year-old rocks, the team uncovered clues about ancient microbial metabolism.

New Study Finds Apex Fossils Aren´t Life
Topic: Geology
Scientists have been arguing for years about microscopic structures in 3.5-billion-year-old rocks: some think they are the earliest fossilized life yet found, while others see just geology. A new study says the structures are not fossils after all, and cautions that how we interpret such structures will affect our search for life beyond Earth.

Rock Bands Spin an Oxygen Record
Topic: Geology
The rise of oxygen on early Earth may have been caused by a microbial changing of the guard between methane-producers and oxygen-producers. This swap may have been initiated by a drop in the ocean's nickel abundance. Continuing studies of the world's largest iron ore deposits could cement the case.

Plate Tectonics Could be Essential for Life
Topic: Geology
Planetary scientists have been considering the potential importance of plate tectonics. Some believe that this geological process is essential for the development of complex lifeforms, and in the future could even be used as a biosignature to detect habitable worlds.

Diamonds May Be Life's Birthstone
Topic: Geology
Researchers have come up with a new model in which the first molecules of life formed on diamonds.

Deep Hydrogen
Topic: Geology
Molecular hydrogen provides energy for many bacteria, in hot springs at Yellowstone and in rocks several kilometers beneath the surface. How did molecular hydrogen get inside these deep rocks, and what does this tell us about the origin of life on Earth?

Building a Habitable Earth
Topic: Geology
To understand the origin of life we need to know about the conditions on the early Earth, but the rock record for the first 700 million years of Earth history is gone. From Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition is a story about techniques scientists are using to peer farther back in time.

Rocking the Cradle of Life
Topic: Geology
When did life begin? One evidential clue stems from the fossil records in Western Australia, although whether these layered sediments are biological or chemical has spawned a spirited debate. Oxford researcher, Nicola McLoughlin, describes some of the issues in contention.

Pebbles from an Overheated Earth?
Topic: Geology
The current understanding is that life evolved in a dramatically different environment than exists today. One way primordia differs depends on the carbon dioxide level for the early Earth. Pebbles from a South African goldmine may lock those secrets into their geological makeup.
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