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.

  • Watching cities grow
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Three million measurement points in one square kilometer: a world record has now been set in information retrieval from satellite data. Thanks to new algorithms, the researchers succeeded in making four-dimensional point clouds of Berlin, Las Vegas, Paris and Washington, D.C. from images stacks of the TerraSAR-X radar satellite. Next the scientists plan to create four-dimensional models of all cities in the world. […]

  • Transforming last night's leftovers into green energy
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    In a classic tale of turning trash into treasure, two different processes soon may be the favored dynamic duo to turn food waste into green energy, according to a study. […]

  • Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of the dinosaurs
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new research has found. […]

  • Keeping California's natural gas system safe
    on June 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    The massive natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon shined a light on California’s aging natural gas infrastructure. And five years of extreme drought also exacted its toll on transmission pipelines. Now the researchers have been awarded millions by the California Energy Commission for two projects aimed at improving the safety and reliability of the state’s natural gas system. […]

  • Seasonal rain and snow trigger small earthquakes on California faults
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    California's earthquake faults continually accumulate stress until they fail in an earthquake. Seismologists studied the impact of the flexing of Earth's crust under the load of winter rains and subsequent unloading during summer drought, and found that the up and down movement of the mountains changes the stresses on the state's faults, making them fail slightly more often as the snows melt and the rivers drain in late summer and early fall. […]

  • Volcanic crystals give a new view of magma
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Volcanologists are gaining a new understanding of what's going on inside the magma reservoir that lies below an active volcano and they're finding a colder, more solid place than previously thought, according to new research. […]

  • Japanese slow earthquakes could shed light on tsunami generation
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Understanding slow-slip earthquakes in subduction zone areas may help researchers understand large earthquakes and the creation of tsunamis, according to researchers who used data from instruments placed on the seafloor and in boreholes east of the Japanese coast. […]

  • New map highlights sinking Louisiana coast
    on June 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    A subsidence map of coastal Louisiana has now been created, putting the rate at which this region is sinking at just over one third of an inch per year. […]

  • Comets may have delivered significant portions of Earth's xenon
    on June 8, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    A new study suggests that roughly 22% of the element xenon found in Earth's atmosphere may have come from comets. […]

  • The mysterious bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor chain
    on June 8, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    The volcanic islands of Hawaii represent the youngest end of a 80 million years old and roughly 6,000 kilometers long mountain chain on the ground of the Pacific Ocean. The so-called Hawaiian-Emperor chain consisting of dozens of volcanoes is well known for its peculiar 60 degrees bend. The cause for this bend has been heavily debated for decades. Scientists now offer an explanation in a new study. […]

  • Seismic CT scan points to rapid uplift of Southern Tibet
    on June 7, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Geophysicists have conducted a three-year seismic CT scan of the upper mantle beneath the Tibetan Plateau and concluded that the southern half of the 'Roof of the World' formed within 10 million years, or less than one-quarter of the time since the beginning of the India-Eurasia continental collision. […]

  • Geology, biology agree on Pangaea supercontinent breakup dates
    on June 7, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Independent estimates from geology and biology agree on the timing of the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent into today's continents, scientists have found. […]

  • High-pressure experiments solve meteorite mystery
    on June 7, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    With high-pressure experiments at DESY's X-ray light source PETRA III and other facilities, a research team has solved a long standing riddle in the analysis of meteorites from Moon and Mars. The study can explain why different versions of silica can coexist in meteorites, although they normally require vastly different conditions to form. The results also mean that previous assessments of conditions at which meteorites have been formed have to be carefully re-considered. […]

  • Why rocks flow slowly in Earth's middle mantle
    on June 5, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Using an anvil made of diamond, researchers discover an secret of Earth's lower mantle. […]

  • Earliest human-made climate change took place 11,500 years ago
    on June 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    A new study has uncovered the earliest known geological indications of humanmade climate change from 11,500 years ago. […]

  • Antarctic ice rift close to calving, after growing 17km in 6 days, latest data from ice shelf shows
    on June 2, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    The rift in the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica has grown by 17km in the last few days and is now only 13km from the ice front, indicating that calving of an iceberg is probably very close, researchers revealed after studying satellite data. The rift is likely to lead to one of the largest icebergs ever recorded. […]

  • Deep magma reservoirs are key to volcanic 'super-eruptions,' new research suggests
    on June 2, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    A new study shows the importance of large reservoirs in creating Earth’s most powerful volcanic eruptions and explains why they are so rare. […]

  • Extreme geothermal activity discovered beneath New Zealand’s Southern Alps
    on June 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Unusually high temperatures, greater than 100°C, have been found close to Earth’s surface in New Zealand – a phenomenon typically only seen in volcanic areas such as Iceland or Yellowstone, USA. […]

  • Volcanoes: Referees for the life on Earth
    on June 1, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    At the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, 200 million years ago, some 60% of species living on Earth disappeared. Scientists suspected that magmatic activity and the release of carbon dioxide were responsible for this environmental disaster. To corroborate this, one would need to find and to precisely date traces of this activity and make sure that it coincides with this mass extinction. […]

  • A new twist on uranium's origin story
    on June 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Biogeochemists found biogenic, non-crystalline uranium occurring naturally in a Wyoming roll front, offering new clues to the mineral's origins. […]

  • Death by volcano?
    on May 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    The discovery of anomalously high levels of mercury in rocks from the Ordivician geological period has led to a new interpretation of the ensuing mass extinction. A sequence of disturbances may have led to catastrophic cooling by reflective sulfate aerosols injected into the atmosphere by massive volcanism. The finding is important since aerosol cooling is under consideration as a way to temper global warming. […]

  • Hotspots show that vegetation alters climate by up to 30 percent
    on May 29, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    A new study that analyzes global satellite observations shows that vegetation alters climate and weather patterns by as much as 30 percent. The researchers used a new approach and found feedbacks between the atmosphere and vegetation can be strong, explaining up to 30 percent of variability in precipitation and surface radiation. […]

  • Why the Sumatra earthquake was so severe
    on May 25, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    An international team of scientists has found evidence suggesting the dehydration of minerals deep below the ocean floor influenced the severity of the Sumatra earthquake, which took place on Dec. 26, 2004. […]

  • The birth and death of a tectonic plate
    on May 24, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    A new technique to investigate the underwater volcanoes that produce Earth's tectonic plates has been developed by a geophysicist. […]

  • How X-rays helped to solve mystery of floating rocks in the ocean
    on May 23, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Experiments have helped scientists to solve a mystery of why some rocks can float for years in the ocean, traveling thousands of miles before sinking. […]

  • Smoke from wildfires can have lasting climate impact
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Researchers have found that carbon particles released into the air from burning trees and other organic matter are much more likely than previously thought to travel to the upper levels of the atmosphere, where they can interfere with rays from the sun -- sometimes cooling the air and at other times warming it. […]

  • Hottest lavas that erupted in past 2.5 billion years revealed
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Deep portions of Earth's mantle might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago, an international team of researchers has recently discovered. […]

  • Weathering of rocks a poor regulator of global temperatures
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Evidence from the age of the dinosaurs to today shows that chemical weathering of rocks is less sensitive to global temperature, and may depend on the steepness of the surface. The results call into question the role of rocks in setting our planet's temperature over millions of years. […]

  • Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Geologists have created a computer model of tectonic activity so effective that they believe it has potential to predict where earthquakes and volcanoes will occur. Scientists focused on the deep mantle and its relationship to plate tectonics. […]

  • Sea level as a metronome of Earth's history
    on May 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Sedimentary layers contain stratigraphic cycles and patterns that precisely reveal the succession of climatic and tectonic conditions that have occurred over millennia. Researchers have been working on an analytical method that combines observing deep-water sedimentary strata and measuring in them the isotopic ratio between heavy and light carbon. They have discovered that the cycles that punctuate these sedimentary successions are ascribable to sea level changes. […]