Geology

  • A Breathable Earth
    Geologists have determined when Earth may have first supported an oxygen-rich atmosphere similar to that of today. The study provides clues about how life on Earth has evolved alongside our planet's changing climate.
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  • Earth’s Life-Giving Rocks
    If minerals deep in the Earth's mantle were not able to store oxygen, there might not be life on our planet's surface. New research results provide insight into how the subsurface of our planet helps maintain the Earth's habitability.
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  • A Volcanic Switch
    A switch from predominantly undersea volcanoes to a mix of undersea and terrestrial ones may have helped to increase oxygen levels in the ancient Earth's atmosphere. This increase allowed for the evolution of complex oxygen-breathing organisms.
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  • Different at the Core
    Silicon isotopes from the Earth, meteorites and planetary material have shown that the Earth's core may have formed differently than that of Mars. Additionally, the data shows that atoms of silicon from the Earth and Moon were likely mixed in the early stages of their
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  • The Dreadful Hammers of Jules Verne
    In the nineteenth century, the new science of geology was greatly affected by technological innovations. From Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition is an essay about how Jules Verne used his novels, such as "Journey to the Centre of the Earth," to explore the latest geological
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  • Building a Habitable Earth
    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
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  • 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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