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Latest Earth science Stories

2009-05-27 15:56:08

Arizona State University researchers say they have discovered a large cylindrical blob of cold material far below the surface of central Nevada. Led by geologist John West, the scientists determined the blob was formed when portions of the lithosphere -- the Earth's crust and uppermost mantle -- had sunk into the more fluid upper mantle beneath the U.S. Western Great Basin. West said it was an extremely unexpected finding in a location that showed no corresponding changes in surface...

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2009-05-26 15:30:00

There are very few places in the world where dynamic activity taking place beneath Earth's surface goes undetected. Volcanoes, earthquakes, and even the sudden uplifting or sinking of the ground are all visible results of restlessness far below, but according to research by Arizona State University (ASU) seismologists, dynamic activity deep beneath us isn't always expressed on the surface. The Great Basin in the western United States is a desert region largely devoid of major surface changes....

2009-05-19 16:23:18

U.S. scientists say they've made the first direct observations of biological particles in high-altitude clouds. A team of atmospheric chemists led by Kimberly Prather and Kerri Pratt of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego sampled water droplet and ice crystal residues at high speeds while flying through clouds in the skies over Wyoming. An analysis revealed the particles were made up nearly entirely of either dust or biological material, such as...

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2009-03-05 10:25:12

A Monash geoscientist and a team of international researchers have discovered the existence of an ocean floor was destroyed 50 to 20 million years ago, proving that New Caledonia and New Zealand are geographically connected. Using new computer modelling programs Wouter Schellart and the team reconstructed the prehistoric cataclysm that took place when a tectonic plate between Australia and New Zealand was subducted 1100 kilometres into the Earth's interior and at the same time formed a long...

2009-01-28 13:11:02

The Dead Sea lies in a basin structure situated below the sea level. This deep subsidence is a result of a tectonic concurrence between processes in the upper lithosphere that led to subsiding and a compensating upward flow of rocks in the deeper layers of the lithosphere. This is a result presented by A. Petrunin and A. Sobolev from the GFZ - German Research Centre for Geosciences in the current issue of "PHYSICS OF THE EARTH AND PLANETARY INTERIORS" (Vol. 171, S. 387 - 399). In a series of...

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2008-10-17 09:20:00

A new technique using X-rays has enabled scientists to play 'detective' and solve the debate about the origins of a three billion year old rock fragment. In the study, published today in the journal Nature, a scientist describes the new technique and shows how it can be used to analyze tiny samples of molten rock called magma, yielding important clues about the Earth's early history. Working in conjunction with Australian and US scientists, an Imperial College London researcher analyzed a...

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2008-09-28 10:25:00

A strip of bedrock located in the eastern area of Canada's Hudson Bay was discovered to have the oldest rocks on Earth, said scientists on Thursday. The rocks were formed about 4.28 billion years ago, shortly after the planet was created. It might even contain evidence of movement by ancient creatures. If these findings are indeed correct, this would definitely be the first proof of life on Earth. However, co-author of the article, Don Francis, warned that this had not been verified as of...

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2008-09-18 10:50:00

Materials deep inside Earth have unexpected atomic properties that might force earth scientists to revise their models of Earth's internal processes, a team of researchers has discovered. The researchers recreated in the lab the materials, crushing pressures and infernal temperatures they believe exist in the lowermost mantle, nearly 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) below Earth's surface. They report in the journal Nature Geoscience the materials exhibit rare and unexpected atomic properties...

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2008-05-14 10:00:41

Scientists from Durham University will use robots to explore the depths of the Atlantic Ocean to study the growth of underwater volcanoes that build the Earth's crust.The Durham experts will lead an international team of 12 scientists aboard Britain's Royal Research Ship James Cook which will set sail from Ponta Delgada, San Miguel, in the Azores on Friday, May 23.During the five-week expedition they will use explorer robots to map individual volcanoes on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge tectonic plate...

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2008-05-13 10:35:00

A new study of possible links between climate and geophysics on Earth and similar planets finds that prolonged heating of the atmosphere can shut down plate tectonics and cause a planet's crust to become locked in place."The heat required goes far beyond anything we expect from human-induced climate change, but things like volcanic activity and changes in the sun's luminosity could lead to this level of heating," said lead author Adrian Lenardic, associate professor of Earth science at Rice...


Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.