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How (and When) Earth Got its Plated Shell
Topic: Geology
New research suggests how and when Earth came to develop one of its most distinct features — rigid tectonic plates — and why Venus, Earth’s twin-like neighbor, never has.

A Hypothesis for Continued Habitability on Earth
Topic: Geology
Throughout Earth's history, geological cycles may have acted to provide a balance of hot and cold that has helped maintain our planet's habitability.

Understanding How Mountains and Rivers Make Life Possible
Topic: Geology
A new study describes how features of a landscape affect our Earth's carbon cycle.

Vast Oceans Beneath the Earth
Topic: Geology
The first-ever sample of the mineral ringwoodite could indicate that vast volumes of water are trapped between Earth's upper and lower mantle.

Volcanoes helped species survive ice ages
Topic: Geology
Steam and heat from volcanoes may have allowed plants and animals to survive during ancient ice ages on Earth.

Impacting the Hadean Earth
Topic: Geology
A new study on the effect of frequent impacts on the crust of the early Earth could help determine whether or not evidence of these violent events can still be found in the planet's geological record.

An Extinction in the Blink of an Eye
Topic: Geology
MIT researchers find that the end-Permian extinction happened in 60,000 years — much faster than earlier estimates.

Earth's Unstable Archean Crust
Topic: Geology
Earth's crust was unstable in the Archean eon and dripped down into the mantle. Model calculations indicate that the extreme density of the base of the thickened primary crust caused it to subside into Earth's mantle.

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.

Diamonds in the Oldest Zircons are Lab Contaminants
Topic: Geology
New research finds that the 4.3 billion-year-old diamonds reported in two papers in 2007 and 2008 could actually be contaminants introduced into geological samples from Australia.

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