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.

  • Scientists home in on a potential Anthropocene 'Golden Spike'
    on January 16, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Scientists are reviewing the potential settings where a global reference section for the Anthropocene might be searched. […]

  • Rates of great earthquakes not affected by moon phases, day of year
    on January 16, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    There is an enduring myth that large earthquakes tend to happen during certain phases of the Moon or at certain times during the year. But a new analysis confirms that this bit of earthquake lore is incorrect. […]

  • International study identify the process of rock formed by meteors or nuclear blasts
    on January 16, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Scientists have made a model to map out the phases in which silica (SiO2) transforms into coesite, by analyzing how the inelastic scattering of light among molecules changes according to pressure variation. […]

  • Scientists home in on a potential Anthropocene 'Golden Spike'
    on January 15, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    A new study suggests that key geological markers align towards a start for the Anthropocene somewhere between 1952 to 1955, based on signals from nuclear testing and fossil fuel burning. […]

  • Machine learning predicts new details of geothermal heat flux beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet
    on January 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    A new article uses machine learning for the first time to craft an improved model for understanding geothermal heat flux -- heat emanating from the Earth's interior -- below the Greenland Ice Sheet. […]

  • A close-up look at an uncommon underwater eruption
    on January 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    A new article describes the first up-close investigation of the largest underwater volcanic eruption of the past century. […]

  • Extra-terrestrial Hypatia stone rattles solar system status quo
    on January 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Analyses on a small pebble found in south-west Egypt cast significant questions on a widely-held view about the primitive pre-solar dust cloud which our Sun, Earth and other planets were formed from. Researchers found exotic micro-mineral compounds in the 'Hypatia' stone that are not known to occur on Earth, elsewhere in our solar system, or in known meteorites or comets. […]

  • Evolution of Alpine landscape recorded by sedimentary rocks
    on January 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Rock avalanches and torrents started to form V-shaped valleys in the Swiss Alps approximately 25 million years ago. This landscape contrasts to the flat and hilly scenery, which characterized the Alps a few millions of years before. Geologists applied digital technologies to unravel these changes in landscape evolution. They analyzed 30 to 25 million-year old lithified rivers in Central Switzerland and came out with a detailed picture of how the Alps evolved within a short time interval. […]

  • We need one global network of 1000 stations to build an Earth observatory
    on January 4, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Scientists call for a continuous, comprehensive monitoring of interactions between the planet's surface and atmosphere. […]

  • Origins of photosynthesis in plants dated to 1.25 billion years ago
    on December 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    The world's oldest algae fossils are a billion years old, according to a new analysis by earth scientists. Based on this finding, the researchers also estimate that the basis for photosynthesis in today's plants was set in place 1.25 billion years ago. […]

  • Life on the ice: For the first time scientists have directly observed living bacteria in polar ice...
    on December 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    For the first time scientists have directly observed living bacteria in polar ice and snow -- an environment once considered sterile. The new evidence has the potential to alter perceptions about which planets in the universe could sustain life and may mean that humans are having an even greater impact on levels of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere than accepted evidence from climate history studies of ice cores suggests. […]

  • Ancient fossil microorganisms indicate that life in the universe is common
    on December 18, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    A new analysis of the oldest known fossil microorganisms provides strong evidence to support an increasingly widespread understanding that life in the universe is common. […]

  • Heat from below Pacific Ocean fuels Yellowstone, study finds
    on December 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Recent stories in the national media are magnifying fears of a catastrophic eruption of the Yellowstone volcanic area, but scientists remain uncertain about the likelihood of such an event. To better understand the region's subsurface geology, geologists have rewound and played back a portion of its geologic history, finding that Yellowstone volcanism is more far more complex and dynamic than previously thought. […]

  • Computing the way to the center of the Earth
    on December 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Scientists have been studying high-pressure and- temperature material interactions deep below the surface of the Earth. […]

  • Heavy-petroleum fuels raising vanadium emissions
    on December 15, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth's atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry's growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen and petroleum coke for energy, a new Duke study finds. These emissions now exceed those from all natural sources combined. Growing evidence suggests exposure to vanadium-rich aerosols can impair respiratory functions and exacerbate conditions such as asthma or COPD. […]

  • East Antarctic Ice Sheet has history of instability
    on December 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    The East Antarctic Ice Sheet locks away enough water to raise sea level an estimated 53 meters (174 feet). It's also thought to be among the most stable, not gaining or losing mass even as ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland shrink. New research has found that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet may not be as stable as it seems. […]

  • Chemical tipping point of magma determines explosive potential of volcanoes
    on December 13, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Scientists provide evidence, for the first time, that a subtle tipping point of the chemistry of magmas clearly separates effusive from explosive eruptions worldwide. […]

  • Residual strain despite mega earthquake
    on December 13, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    On Christmas Day 2016, the earth trembled in southern Chile. In the same region, the strongest earthquake ever measured occurred in 1960. A comparison of data from seismic and geodetic measurements during and after both earthquakes shows that the energy released by the 2016 quake accumulated over more than 56 years. According to this, the 1960 quake, despite its immense strength, must have left some strain in the underground. […]

  • Oldest ice core ever drilled outside the polar regions
    on December 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    The oldest ice core ever drilled outside the polar regions may contain ice that formed during the Stone Age -- more than 600,000 years ago, long before modern humans appeared. […]

  • Sea-level rise projections made hazy by Antarctic instability
    on December 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    It may take until the 2060s to know how much the sea level will rise by the end of this century, according to a new analysis. The study is the first to link global and local sea-level rise projections with simulations of two major mechanisms by which climate change can affect the vast Antarctic ice sheet. […]

  • Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents
    on December 11, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    The most extensive, long-term effort to monitor turbidity currents ever attempted has just been completed. The results of this two-year project challenge existing paradigms about what causes turbidity currents, what they look like, and how they work. […]

  • The origin of the Andes unravelled
    on December 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Why do the Andes exist? Why is it not a place of lowlands or narrow seas? A geophysicist has been pondering these questions for more than a decade. Now, he has found the answers using an advanced computer model. […]

  • Unearthing the underground effects of earthquakes and volcanoes
    on December 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Researchers analyzed high-resolution seismic velocity data from 36 seismograph stations across the island of Kyushu to identify variations before, during, and after the MW 7.0 2016 Kumamoto earthquake. Velocity decreased in the region of the rupture fault when the earthquake struck, and then gradually recovered, although this recovery showed spatial variability. This variability corresponded to aftershock concentration and volcanic activity. The findings may be useful for disaster prediction and preparedness. […]

  • Discovery about rare nitrogen molecules offers clues to makeup of life-supporting planets
    on December 6, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    A new study on atmospheric nitrogen provides a clue about what geochemical signatures of other planets might look like, especially if they are capable of supporting life as we know it. […]

  • Meteorite analysis shows reduced salt is key in Earth's new recipe
    on December 5, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Scientists have found the halogen levels in the meteorites that formed the Earth billions of years ago are much lower than previously thought. […]

  • Trickle-down is the solution (to the planetary core formation problem)
    on December 4, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Scientists have long pondered how rocky bodies in the solar system -- including our own Earth -- got their metal cores. According to new research, evidence points to the downwards percolation of molten metal toward the center of the planet through tiny channels between grains of rock. […]

  • Understanding the climate impact of natural atmospheric particles
    on December 4, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Scientists have quantified the relationship between natural sources of particles in the atmosphere and climate change. Their research shows that the cooling effect of natural atmospheric particles is greater during warmer years and could therefore slightly reduce the amount that temperatures rise as a result of climate change. […]

  • Earthquakes in the Himalaya are bigger than in the Alps because tectonic plates collide faster
    on December 4, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Earthquakes that happen in densely populated mountainous regions, such as the Himalaya, spell bigger earthquakes because of a fast tectonic-plate collision, according to a new study. […]

  • Submarine volcanoes add to ocean soundscape
    on December 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Most volcanoes erupt beneath the ocean, but scientists know little about them compared to what they know about volcanoes that eject their lava on dry land. […]

  • New early gravity signals to quantify the magnitude of strong earthquakes
    on November 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    After an earthquake, there is a disturbance in the field of gravity almost instantaneously. This could be recorded before the seismic waves. Researchers have managed to observe these weak signals and to understand where they come from. Because they are sensitive to the magnitude of earthquakes, these signals may play an important role in the early identification of the occurrence of a major earthquake. […]