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Latest Nature Geoscience Stories

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2009-09-28 11:22:46

Seismologists reported Sunday that last year's violent 7.9-magnitude Sichuan earthquake was likely to be a once-in-4,000-year event. Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, Shen Zhengkang of the China Earthquake Administration and colleagues used Global Positioning System data as well as Synthetic Aperture Radar data to create a model of the Longmen Shan fault, which lies on the northwest portion of the Sichuan basin, and separates Sichuan from Tibet. Shen's team found that the quake was...

2009-09-15 10:27:51

Physicists at the University of Toronto have discovered that changes in the Earth's ozone layer due to climate change will reduce the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in northern high latitude regions such as Siberia, Scandinavia and northern Canada. Other regions of the Earth, such as the tropics and Antarctica, will instead face increasing levels of UV radiation. "Climate change is an established fact, but scientists are only just beginning to understand its regional manifestations,"...

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2009-08-25 14:15:00

A new and likely controversial paper has just been published online in Nature Geoscience by LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology Chair Patrick Hesp and United States Geological Survey scientist David Rubin. The paper, "Multiple origins of linear dunes on Earth and Titan," examines a possible new mechanism for the development of very large linear dunes formed on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The authors examined the linear "“ or longitudinal "“ dunes that...

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2009-08-24 12:45:00

Duke University researchers have captured images of lightning bolts shooting upwards. The rare phenomenon, known as "gigantic jets," was photographed during tropical storm Cristobal last year. The gigantic jets shot more than 40 miles high, Duke Professor Steven Cummer and colleagues wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience. "Despite poor viewing conditions as a result of a full moon and a hazy atmosphere, we were able to clearly capture the gigantic jet," said Cummer. "What we were able to...

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2009-07-26 14:45:31

The oil and gas that fuels our homes and cars started out as living organisms that died, were compressed, and heated under heavy layers of sediments in the Earth's crust. Scientists have debated for years whether some of these hydrocarbons could also have been created deeper in the Earth and formed without organic matter. Now for the first time, scientists have found that ethane and heavier hydrocarbons can be synthesized under the pressure-temperature conditions of the upper mantle...

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2009-07-20 14:52:59

A new study published this week takes scientists a step further in their quest to understand how Antarctica's vast glaciers will contribute to future sea-level rise. Reporting in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and University of Durham describe how a new 3-d map created from radar measurements reveals features in the landscape beneath a vast river of ice, ten times wider than the Rhine*, in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. During 2007, two...

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2009-07-17 10:25:00

Natural disaster killed 138,000 Tropical cyclone Nargis made landfall in the Asian nation of Myanmar on May 2, 2008, causing the worst natural disaster in the country's recorded history "“ with a death toll that may have exceeded 138,000. In the July 2009 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, researchers report on a field survey done three months after the disaster to document the extent of the flooding and resulting damage. The information "“ which may be the first reliable...

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2009-06-21 12:40:00

Findings are relevant to modern Greenland ice sheet, says UB researcher Modern glaciers, such as those making up the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, are capable of undergoing periods of rapid shrinkage or retreat, according to new findings by paleoclimatologists at the University at Buffalo. The paper, published on June 21 in Nature Geoscience, describes fieldwork demonstrating that a prehistoric glacier in the Canadian Arctic rapidly retreated in just a few hundred years. The proof of...

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2009-05-26 15:17:08

New fossil findings discovered by scientists at UC Santa Barbara challenge prevailing views about the effects of "Snowball Earth" glaciations on life, according to an article in the June issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. By analyzing microfossils in rocks from the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the authors have challenged the view that has been generally assumed to be correct for the widespread die-off of early life on Earth. "Snowball Earth" is the popular term for glaciations that...

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2009-05-18 07:35:00

U.S. researchers say a new study of nascent clouds has revealed that a number of microorganisms"”including bacteria, spores and plants"”may play a role in cloud formation and weather patterns.Computer models have typically been the tool of choice for climatologists attempting to predict emerging weather patterns, partly due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to capture and measure ice crystals as they are forming in young clouds.The new study, published in the journal...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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