Geology News -- ScienceDaily Geology news. From the discovery of new properties of deep earth and finds in fossil magma chambers to fossil fuels and more.

  • Water cooling for the Earth's crust
    on November 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    How deep can seawater penetrate through cracks and fissures into the seafloor? By applying a new analysis method, an international team of researchers has now discovered that the water can penetrate to depths of more than 10 kilometers below the seafloor. This result suggests a stronger cooling effect on the hot mantle. […]

  • Clay mineral waters Earth's mantle from the inside
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    The first observation of a super-hydrated phase of the clay mineral kaolinite could improve our understanding of processes leading to volcanism and affecting earthquakes. In the lab, scientists created conditions similar to those in subduction zones where an oceanic plate dives under the continental crust. Transport of water with subducting plates causes volcanic activity, according to new research. […]

  • Hydrological implications of rapid global warming
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Researchers studying a rapid global warming event, around 56 million years ago, have shown evidence of major changes in the intensity of rainfall and flood events. The findings indicate some of the likely implications should current trends of rising carbon dioxide and global warming continue. […]

  • Rise in oxygen levels links to ancient explosion of life, researchers find
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Scientists have found that oxygen levels appear to increase by roughly 80 percent at about the same time as a three-fold increase in biodiversity during the Ordovician Period, between 445 and 485 million years ago. […]

  • Space dust may transport life between worlds, research suggests
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Life on Earth might have originated from tiny organisms brought to our planet in streams of fast-moving space dust, according to a new study. […]

  • Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Researchers have discovered a planetary-scale tug-of-war between life, deep Earth and the upper atmosphere that is expressed in atmospheric nitrogen. […]

  • A popular tool to trace Earth's oxygen history can give false positives
    on November 17, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    If someone cries 'Eureka!' because it looks like oxygen appeared in Earth's ancient atmosphere long before the body of evidence indicated, be careful. If it was a chromium isotope system reading that caused the enthusiasm, it might need to be curbed. […]

  • Salt pond in Antarctica, among the saltiest waters on Earth, is fed from beneath
    on November 15, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    One of the saltiest bodies on Earth, an analog for what water might look like on Mars, is just one piece of a larger aquifer. […]

  • Off track: How storms will veer in a warmer world
    on November 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    The dry, semi-arid regions are expanding into higher latitudes, and temperate, rainy regions are migrating poleward. In a new paper, researchers provide new insight into this phenomenon by discovering that mid-latitude storms are steered further toward the poles in a warmer climate. […]

  • Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
    on November 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    The Colorado River's initial trip to the ocean didn't come easy, but its story has emerged from layers of sediment preserved within tectonically active stretches of the waterway's lower reaches. Researchers theorize that the river's route off the Colorado Plateau was influenced by tectonic deformation and changing sea levels that produced a series of stops and starts between roughly 6.3 and 4.8 million years ago. […]

  • Study settles prehistoric puzzle, confirms modern link of carbon dioxide and global warming
    on November 14, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Fossil leaves from Africa resolve a prehistoric climate puzzle and confirm the link between carbon dioxide and global warming. Research previously found conflicting data on high carbon levels and its link to climate change about 22 million years ago. But a new study found the link existed then as now. The finding sheds light on recent and future increases in atmospheric carbon and its impact on our planet. […]

  • Expanded networks, faculty mentorship bolster female undergrads' pursuit of geoscience
    on November 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    To retain more undergraduate women in geoscience majors, a supportive network that includes faculty mentorship seems to be a key driver, according to a new study. […]

  • When water met iron deep inside the Earth, did it create conditions for life?
    on November 14, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Reservoirs of oxygen-rich iron between the Earth's core and mantle could have played a major role in Earth's history, including the breakup of supercontinents, drastic changes in Earth's atmospheric makeup, and the creation of life, according to recent research. […]

  • Geologists uncover Antarctica’s fossil forests
    on November 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Prehistoric polar forests were built for survival, but were not hardy enough to live in ultra-high concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A geologist is studying the tree fossil record in Antarctica from a mass extinction 250 million years ago, looking for clues to how greenhouse gases affected plants -- then and now. […]

  • When continents break it gets warm on Earth
    on November 13, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state. Before humans began to have an impact on the amount of CO2 in the air, it depended solely on the interplay of geological and biological processes, the global carbon cycle. This study shows that the break-up of continents - also known as rifting -- contributed significantly to higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. […]

  • Site of asteroid impact changed the history of life
    on November 10, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    An asteroid, also known as the Chicxulub Impactor, hit Earth some 66 million years ago, causing a crater 180 km wide. The impact of the asteroid heated organic matter in rocks and ejected it into the atmosphere, forming soot in the stratosphere. […]

  • Why did the Earth's ancient oceans disappear?
    on November 9, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    We think of oceans as being stable and permanent. However, they move at about the same speed as your fingernails grow. Geoscientists have now found a novel way of mapping the Earth’s ancient oceans. […]

  • We should use central pressure deficit, not wind speed, to predict hurricane damage
    on November 8, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    New research provides a physical understanding for why central pressure deficit is a better indicator of economic damage from hurricanes than peak wind speed. […]

  • Hot news from the Antarctic underground
    on November 7, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    A new study adds evidence that a geothermal heat source called a mantle plume lies deep below Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land, explaining some of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet. […]

  • First coast-to-coast land motion map of Scotland derived from satellite radar images
    on November 7, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Using hundreds of satellite radar images a research team has created a complete map of mainland Scotland. […]

  • Cool idea: Magma held in 'cold storage' before giant volcano eruption
    on November 6, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Long Valley, California, has long defined the 'super-eruption.' About 765,000 years ago, a pool of molten rock exploded into the sky. Within one nightmarish week, 760 cubic kilometers of lava and ash spewed out in the kind of volcanic cataclysm we hope never to witness. A new study shows that the giant body of magma -- molten rock -- at Long Valley was much cooler before the eruption than previously thought. […]

  • Newly discovered volcanic rock minerals may offer new insights into earth's evolution
    on November 2, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Scientists have found evidence showing that komatiites, or three-billion-year old volcanic rock found within the Earth's mantle, had a different composition than modern ones. Their discovery may offer new information about the first one billion years of Earth's development and early origins of life. […]

  • Japanese earthquake zone strongly influenced by the effects of friction
    on October 26, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Researchers have identified that subduction-related friction and pre-existing fault structures in the Eurasian/Philippine Sea plate boundary significantly influences earthquake location and rupturing behavior. The degree of friction decreases towards the Nankai Trough, resulting in non-uniform stress accumulation that has influenced the location of historic and modern earthquakes in the region. […]

  • Yellowstone spawned twin super-eruptions that altered global climate
    on October 26, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    A new geological record of the Yellowstone supervolcano's last catastrophic eruption is rewriting the story of what happened 630,000 years ago and how it affected Earth's climate. This eruption formed the vast Yellowstone caldera observed today, the second largest on Earth. […]

  • Current climate change unparalleled over the last 100 million years?
    on October 26, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    A team of researchers has discovered a flaw in the way past ocean temperatures have been estimated up to now. Their findings could mean that the current period of climate change is unparalleled over the last 100 million years. […]

  • 6,000-year-old skull could be from the world's earliest known tsunami victim
    on October 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Scientists have discovered what they believe is the skull of the earliest known tsunami victim, a person who lived 6,000 years ago in Papua New Guinea. The skull itself was found almost a hundred years ago, but recent analysis of the sediments found with the skull reveals that they bear distinctive hallmarks of tsunami activity. […]

  • Determining when humans started impacting the planet on a large scale
    on October 25, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Humans have so profoundly altered the Earth that, some scientists argue, our current geologic epoch requires a new name: the Anthropocene. But defining the precise start of the era is tricky. Would it begin with the spread of domesticated farm animals or the appearance of radioactive elements from nuclear bomb tests? Scientists report a method to measure levels of human-made contaminants in sediments that could help pinpoint the Anthropocene's onset. […]

  • Siletzia's origin along an oceanic spreading center: What's Bremerton got to do with it?
    on October 24, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Fifty million years ago, Bremerton, Washington, may have looked a lot like Iceland: hot new land atop an oceanic spreading center. That land was part of the Siletzia terrane, a thick wedge of basaltic crust that extends from Oregon to British Columbia. […]

  • Raton Basin earthquakes linked to oil and gas fluid injections
    on October 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    A rash of earthquakes in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico recorded between 2008 and 2010 was likely due to fluids pumped deep underground during oil and gas wastewater disposal, suggests a new study. […]

  • New magma pathways after giant lateral volcano collapses
    on October 23, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Giant lateral collapses are huge landslides occurring at the flanks of a volcano. Such collapses are rather common events during the evolution of a large volcanic edifice, often with dramatic consequences such as tsunami and volcano explosions. These catastrophic events interact with the magmatic activity of the volcano, as new research suggests. […]