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Latest Crust Stories

cc9e2d6bed1a481d55f8e5f79abec256
2008-05-01 13:25:59

The Earth's crust is, on global average around 40 kilometers deep. In relation to the total diameter of the Earth with approx. 12800 kilometers this appears to be rather shallow, but precisely these upper kilometers of the crust, the human habitat, is of special interest for us. Europe's crust shows an astonishing diversity: for example the crust under Finland is as deep as one only expects for crust under a mountain range such as the Alps. It is also amazing that the crust under Iceland and...

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2008-05-01 12:30:00

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Working with colleagues from NASA, a Florida State University researcher has published a paper that calls into question three decades of conventional wisdom regarding some of the physical processes that helped shape the Earth as we know it today. Munir Humayun, an associate professor in FSU's Department of Geological Sciences and a researcher at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, co-authored a paper, "Partitioning of Palladium at High Pressures and Temperatures...

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2008-04-11 08:35:00

Uncovering a rare, two-billion-year-old window into the Earth's mantle, a University of Houston professor and his team have found our planet's geological history is more complex than previously thought. Jonathan Snow, assistant professor of geosciences at UH, led a team of researchers in a North Pole expedition, resulting in a discovery that could shed new light on the mantle, the vast layer that lies beneath the planet's outer crust. These findings are described in a paper titled "Ancient,...

5976f9a2e3e0d4108719c7b60ee84acb
2008-04-01 16:20:00

Study measures effects of chemical weathering on the composition of continentsNew research suggests that the geological staying power of continents comes partly from their losing battle with the Earth's oceans over magnesium. The research finds continents lose more than 20 percent of their initial mass via chemical reactions involving the Earth's crust, water and atmosphere. Because much of the lost mass is dominated by magnesium and calcium, continents ultimately gain because the lighter,...

a2bb0a36498559697e02b91749bc0d7f1
2008-03-17 15:00:00

Patterns of scalloped-edged cliffs or lobate scarps on Mercury's surface are thrust faults that are consistent with the planet shrinking and cooling with time. However, compression occurred in the planet's early history and Mariner 10 images revealed decades ago that lobate scarps are among the youngest' features on Mercury. Why don't we find more evidence of older compressive features?Scott D. King, professor of geosciences at Virginia Tech, reports in Nature Geoscience this week that mantle...

2008-03-05 14:26:56

Earth scientists are in the business of backing into history -- extrapolating what happened millions of years ago based on what they can observe now. Using this method, a team of Cornell researchers has created a mathematical computer model of the formation of granulite, a fine-grained metamorphic rock, in the Earth's crust. By studying what were once pockets of hot, melted rock 13 kilometers (about 8 miles) deep in the Earth's crust 55 million years ago and calculating the period of...

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2008-02-21 13:43:35

The first direct evidence of how and when tectonic plates move into the deepest reaches of the Earth is published in Nature today. Scientists hope their description of how plates collide with one sliding below the other into the rocky mantle could potentially improve their ability to assess earthquake risks. The UK and Swiss team found that, contrary to common scientific predictions, dense plates tend to be held in the upper mantle, while younger and lighter plates sink more readily into the...

2008-01-25 06:48:37

Earth’s middle layer may be squishier than previously thought. A new study suggests the intense heat and pressure deep in the Earth makes sound waves travel more slowly through parts of the lower mantle than had been previously estimated, suggesting that part of this layer of the inner Earth is softer than expected. Below the crust of the Earth (the layer we stand on) lies the viscous mantle. The lower portion of the mantle lies below the more rigid upper mantle and above...

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2008-01-16 08:55:00

Our planet is changing before our eyes, and as a result, many species are living on the edge. Yet Earth has been on the edge of habitability from the beginning. New work by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shows that if Earth had been slightly smaller and less massive, it would not have plate tectonics - the forces that move continents and build mountains. And without plate tectonics, life might never have gained a foothold on our world. "Plate tectonics are...

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2008-01-09 14:20:00

The motion, formation, and recycling of Earth's crust"”commonly known as plate tectonics"”have long been thought to be continuous processes. But new research by geophysicists suggests that plate tectonic motions have occasionally stopped in Earth's geologic history, and may do so again. The findings could reshape our understanding of the history and evolution of the Earth's crust and continents. Synthesizing a wide range of observations and constructing a new theoretical model,...


Latest Crust Reference Libraries

4_33609f8ebef994f54be143abe0bef9f42
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Earth -- in geology and astronomy, fifth largest planet of the solar system and the only planet definitely known to support life. Gravitational forces have molded the earth, like all celestial bodies, into a spherical shape. However, the earth is not an exact sphere, being slightly flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator. The equatorial diameter is c.7,926 mi (12,760 km) and the polar diameter 7,900 mi (12,720 km); the circumference at the equator is c.24,830 mi (40,000 km)....

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