Geology

  • Life’s Slimy Beginnings
    From Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition is a podcast interview with Frances Westall of the Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire in France. She discusses her search for traces of life in the Earth´s most ancient rocks, and explains how fossilized microbial mats provide information about life´s slimy
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  • Earth’s Early Quakes
    The oldest preserved pieces of Earth's crust have provided evidence of active plate tectonics as early as 3.8 billion years ago. The rocks also yield information about the historical chemical composition of the oceans, providing a better understanding of how Earth's oceans may have affected
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  • Reading History in Rocks
    Scientists are refining a technique to pin down the dates of events in the lives of rocks, including the collisions of continents or a rock's journey through the crust of the Earth.
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  • Water World
    Seismologists have created a new 3-D model that reveals the existence of an underground water reservoir deep in the Earth's mantle. The research could have implications in understanding our planet's global environment.
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  • Mountains of Play-Doh
    New research may help refine the accepted models used by earth scientists to describe the ways in which continents clash to form the Earth's landscape.
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  • Earth’s Early Temperature
    Analysis of the world's oldest sedimentary rocks has shown that carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has become a bane of modern society, may have saved Earth from freezing over early in the planet's history.
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  • Catching an Underwater Eruption
    Being in the right place at the right time allowed scientists to capture and record an undersea volcanic eruption. This provided a view of the death and birth of a mid-ocean ridge from various perspectives – geological, biological, and geophysical -- providing new insight
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  • Earth in the Balance
    Imagine a shift in the Earth so profound that it could force our entire planet to spin on its side after a few million years, tilting it so far that Alaska would sit at the equator. Princeton scientists have now provided the first compelling evidence
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  • Sulfur Stinks up Oxygen Theories
    Ancient sediments that once resided on a lake bed and the ocean floor show sulfur isotope ratios unlike those found in other samples from the same time, calling into question accepted ideas about when the Earth's atmosphere began to contain oxygen, according to researchers from
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  • Jigsaw Earth
    Like pieces in a giant jigsaw puzzle, continents have split, drifted and merged again many times throughout Earth's history, but geologists haven't understood the mechanism behind the moves.
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  • Bobbing Mountains
    Two new studies by a University of Rochester researcher show that mountain ranges rise to their height in as little as two million years--several times faster than geologists have always thought. Each of the findings came from two pioneering methods of measuring ancient mountain elevations,
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  • Sculpting Mountains
    Glaciers, rivers and shifting tectonic plates have shaped mountains over millions of years, but earth scientists have struggled to understand the relative roles of these forces and the rates at which they work.
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  • Early Earth with Crust Please
    A surprising new study by an international team of researchers has concluded Earth's continents most likely were in place soon after the planet was formed, overturning a long-held theory that the early planet was either moon-like or dominated by oceans.
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  • Earth’s Super Rotating Core
    Scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have ended a nine-year debate over whether the Earth's inner core is undergoing changes that can be detected on a human timescale.
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  • Snowball Earth Culprit Found?
    For several years geologists have been gathering evidence indicating that Earth has gone into a deep freeze on several occasions, with ice covering even the equator and with potentially devastating consequences for life.
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