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.

  • Antarctic ice sheet is melting, but rising bedrock below could slow it down
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    An international team of researchers has found that the bedrock below the remote West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much more rapidly than previously thought, in response to ongoing ice melt. […]

  • Learning about the Himalayas using Mars technology
    on June 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    he Himalayan Range includes some of the youngest and most spectacular mountains on Earth, but the rugged landscape that lends it the striking beauty for which it is known can also keep scientists from fully understanding how these mountains formed. […]

  • Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle
    on June 20, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    A team of scientists ran quantum simulations to develop a new model of the behavior of water at extremely high temperatures and pressures. The computational measurements should help scientists understand water's role in the makeup of the mantle and potentially in other planets. […]

  • Machine learning may be a game-changer for climate prediction
    on June 19, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    New research demonstrates that machine-learning techniques can be used to accurately represent clouds and their atmospheric heating and moistening, and better represent clouds in coarse resolution climate models, with the potential to narrow the range of climate prediction. This could be a major advance in accurate predictions of global warming in response to increased greenhouse gas concentrations that are essential for policy-makers (e.g. the Paris climate agreement). […]

  • Site of the next major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault?
    on June 19, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Many researchers hypothesize that the southern tip of the 1300-km-long San Andreas fault zone (SAFZ) could be the nucleation site of the next major earthquake on the fault, yet geoscientists cannot evaluate this hazard until the location and geometry of the fault zone is documented. […]

  • 'Slow earthquakes' on San Andreas Fault increase risk of large quakes
    on June 18, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    A detailed study of the California fault has discovered a new kind of movement that isn't accounted for in earthquake forecasting. […]

  • What saved the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 10,000 years ago will not save it today
    on June 14, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    The retreat of the West Antarctic ice masses after the last Ice Age was reversed surprisingly about 10,000 years ago, scientists found. The reason for the rebound is that, relieved from the weight of the retreating ice, the Earth crust lifted. This made the ice re-advance towards the ocean. Unfortunately, this mechanism is much to slow to prevent dangerous sea-level rise caused by West Antarctica's ice-loss in the present and near future. […]

  • True origin of ancient turquoise
    on June 14, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    New research overturns more than a century of claims that the source of turquoise used and revered by ancient civilizations in Mexico, such as the Aztecs, came from the Southwestern US Geochemical analyses show the origin of the turquoise is Mesoamerica (Central Mexico to Central America). […]

  • Ammonia distribution in Earth's upper atmosphere
    on June 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    A new study helps clarify how ammonia is present in Earth's upper atmosphere. Using computer modeling, the researchers found ammonia molecules trapped in liquid cloud droplets are released during convection where these particles freeze and subsequently collide in the upper atmosphere. […]

  • Simple chemical process that may have led to the origin of life on Earth
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Research has shown that reactions of alpha-hydroxy acids, similar to the alpha-amino acids that make up modern proteins, form large polymers easily under conditions presumed prevalent on early Earth. These alpha-hydroxy acid polymers may have aided in the formation of living systems on early Earth. […]

  • Scientists use 4D scanning to predict behavior of volcanoes
    on June 7, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Scientists are using the latest in 4D technology to predict the behavior of lava flows and its implications for volcanic eruptions. The results explain why some lava flows can cover kilometers in just a few hours, whilst others travel more slowly during an eruption, highlighting the hazard posed by fast-moving flows which often pose the most danger to civilian populations close to volcanoes. […]

  • Earth could have supported continental crust, life earlier than thought
    on June 5, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    The early Earth might have been habitable much earlier than thought, according to new research. […]

  • Groundwater pumping can increase arsenic levels in irrigation and drinking water
    on June 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Pumping an aquifer to the last drop squeezes out more than water. A new study finds it can also unlock dangerous arsenic from buried clays -- and reveals how sinking land can provide an early warning and measure of contamination. […]

  • Scientists find pre-earthquake activity in central Alaska
    on June 5, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    New research may help future work in early warning systems for earthquakes. Scientists found evidence for accelerating activity before a 2016 earthquake in a laterally moving fault zone in central Alaska including a process that has previously only been seen in laboratory experiments. […]

  • Large igneous provinces contribute to ups and downs in atmospheric carbon dioxide
    on June 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Modelling the location of large igneous provinces for the past 400 million years shows that their eruptions and subsequent weathering modulate global climate. […]

  • New insight into Earth's crust, mantle and outer core interactions
    on June 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    A new study uses previously unavailable data to confirm a correlation between the movement of plate tectonics on the Earth's surface, the flow of mantle above the Earth's core and the rate of reversal of the Earth's magnetic field, which has long been hypothesized. […]

  • New way to estimate magma beneath Yellowstone supervolcano
    on June 4, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Researchers have found a new way to estimate how fast magma is recharging beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano. While their findings offer no help in predicting if the volcano will erupt, they can now get a better understanding of a key factor -- a pool of basalt magma recharging the system -- in how it works. […]

  • Thank the moon for Earth's lengthening day
    on June 4, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    A new study that reconstructs the deep history of our planet's relationship to the moon shows that 1.4 billion years ago, a day on Earth lasted just over 18 hours. This is at least in part because the moon was closer and changed the way the Earth spun around its axis. […]

  • Ancient Greenland was much warmer than previously thought
    on June 4, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Although researchers have long known that the last two interglacial periods experienced warming in the Arctic due to changes in the Earth's orbit, a mix of fly species preserved from these times in a rare lake sediment core shows that Greenland was even warmer than previously thought. This information could help researchers better gauge Greenland's sensitivity to warming, by testing and improving models of climate and ice sheet behavior. […]

  • Long thought silent because of ice, study shows east Antarctica seismically active
    on June 4, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Half of Antarctica has long thought to be seismically dormant, but a researcher tripled the number of recorded earthquakes by monitoring for just one year. […]

  • Doubt cast on the predictive value of earthquake foreshocks
    on June 4, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    A new study questions previous findings about the value of foreshocks as warning signs that a big earthquake is coming, instead showing them to be indistinguishable from ordinary earthquakes. […]

  • Scientists rethink co-evolution of marine life, oxygenated oceans
    on May 31, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Researchers have confirmed that rising oceanic and atmospheric oxygen levels co-evolved with marine life hundreds of millions of years ago. […]

  • How Earth slows the solar wind to a gentle breeze
    on May 31, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    A new study describes the first observations of the process of electron heating in Earth's bow shock. The researchers found that when the electrons in the solar wind encounter the bow shock, they momentarily accelerate to such a high speed that the electron stream becomes unstable and breaks down. This breakdown process robs the electrons of their high speed and converts the energy to heat. […]

  • Flow in the asthenosphere drags tectonic plates along
    on May 29, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    New simulations of the asthenosphere find that convective cycling and pressure-driven flow can sometimes cause Earth's most fluid layer of mantle to move even faster than the tectonic plates that ride atop it. […]

  • Tall and older Amazonian forests more resistant to droughts
    on May 28, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    A new study shows that photosynthesis in tall Amazonian forests -- forests above 30m -- is 3x less sensitive to precipitation variability than in shorter forests of less than 20m. Taller Amazonian forests were also found to be older, have more biomass and deeper rooting systems that enable them to access deeper soil moisture, making them more resilient to drought. The findings suggest that forest height + age are an important regulator of photosynthesis in response to droughts. […]

  • Dusty rainfall records reveal new understanding of Earth's long-term climate
    on May 24, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Ancient rainfall records stretching 550,000 years into the past may upend scientists' understanding of what controls the Asian summer monsoon and other aspects of the Earth's long-term climate. Milankovitch theory says solar heating of the northernmost part of the globe drives the world's climate swings between ice ages and warmer periods. The new work turns Milankovitch in its head by suggesting climate is driven by differential heating of the Earth's tropical and subtropical regions. […]

  • Did the Chicxulub asteroid knock Earth's thermometer out of the ballpark?
    on May 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    When the Chicxulub asteroid smashed into Earth 65 million years ago, the event drove an abrupt and long-lasting era of global warming, with a rapid temperature increase of 5° Celsius (C) that endured for roughly 100,000 years, a new study reports. […]

  • Cold production of new seafloor
    on May 24, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Magma steadily emerges between oceanic plates. It pushes the plates apart, builds large underwater mountains and forms new seafloor. This is one of the fundamental processes that constantly change the face of the Earth. But there are also times when new seabed is created without any volcanism, by un-roofing mantle material directly at the seafloor. Scientists have now published the first estimation based on seismic data on how much seafloor is produced this way. […]

  • Volcano 'libraries' could help plan for future volcanic crises
    on May 24, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Crystals from the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption have demonstrated a new way to recognize pre-eruption signals at Eyjafjallajökull and potentially other, similar volcanoes around the world. […]

  • Land rising above the sea 2.4 billion years ago changed planet Earth
    on May 23, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Chemical signatures in shale, the Earth's most common sedimentary rock, point to a rapid rise of land above the ocean 2.4 billion years ago that possibly triggered dramatic changes in climate and life. […]