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Latest Nature Geoscience Stories

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2010-09-27 07:30:00

A better way to pinpoint where volcanic eruptions are likely to occur has been produced by an international team of geophysicists. Scientists from the universities of Leeds, Purdue, Indiana and Addis Ababa, investigated volcanic activity occurring in the remote Afar desert of Northern Ethiopia between 2005 and 2009. By studying a rare sequence of 13 magmatic events "“ where hot molten rock was intruded into a crack between the African and Arabian plates "“ they found that the...

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2010-08-23 06:35:00

According to a study published on Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience, the solar system could be close to two million years older than previously thought. Evidence of a meteorite from the Moroccan desert in 2004 contains a "relict" mineral, which is one of the oldest solid materials formed after the birth of the Sun. The meteorite that was discovered was 3.2 pounds. An analysis of a lead isotope suggests the mineral was formed 4.4 billion years ago.  The analysis has found...

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2010-08-03 09:20:21

A new study has found that a mixing of two different types of magma is the key to the historic eruptions of Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain, and that eruptions often happen in a relatively short time "“ weeks or months "“ after this mixing occurs. This behavior is somewhat different than that of most other Cascade Range volcanoes, researchers said, including Mount Hood's nearby, more explosive neighbor, Mount St. Helens. The research is being reported this week in Nature...

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2010-07-13 09:40:00

Greenhouse gases are playing a role in changes, say scientists Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean, including the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Java, appear to be at least partly a result of human-induced increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases, says a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. The study, which combined sea surface measurements going back to the 1960s and satellite observations, indicates...

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2010-07-12 12:35:00

Earth could be as much as 70 million years younger than scientists originally believed, according to a new study which claims that it could have taken the planet 100 million years to reach its current size instead of the widely believed 30 million years. Dr. John Rudge, a research fellow at the University of Cambridge's Trinity College, along with an international team of experts, compared geochemical information originally found in the Earth's mantle and compared it to the same material from...

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2010-07-06 06:05:00

The Moon's geological past could be better understood by a mineral that Japanese astronomers report they have found. Using an instrument-loaded probe - Kaguya - placed in orbit around the lunar body in 2007, the team of scientists found abundant sources of the mineral in concentric rings in three distinct crater regions. Olivine, as the mineral is known, is believed to be a revealing sign of mantle -- the deep inner layer of iron- and magnesium-rich rock that lies beneath the Moon's crust....

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2010-06-21 07:15:00

Study of how canyon formed offers insight into ancient flood events on Earth and Mars In the summer of 2002, a week of heavy rains in Central Texas caused Canyon Lake"”the reservoir of the Canyon Dam"”to flood over its spillway and down the Guadalupe River Valley in a planned diversion to save the dam from catastrophic failure. The flood, which continued for six weeks, stripped the valley of mesquite, oak trees, and soil; destroyed a bridge; and plucked meter-wide boulders from...

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2010-06-21 06:00:00

A robotic yellow submarine that has been launched deep beneath the Pine Island Glacier has helped to solve a mystery about one of Antarctica's fastest-melting glaciers, adding to unease about how climate change may lead to higher world sea levels, scientists reported on Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience. Scientists captured ocean and sea-floor measurements using the robotic submarine, called Autosub. The team found that the glacier was no longer resting on a sub-sea ridge that had...

2010-05-24 07:12:18

The "mineral-breathing" bacteria found in many oxygen-free environments may be "carbon-breathing" as well. Oxygen-free, or anaerobic, environments contain microbes sometimes described as "mineral-breathing" because they use iron oxides and other minerals in the same way we use oxygen. According to a study published online May 23 in the journal Nature Geoscience, this bacterial respiration may be accelerated by solid organic compounds in the soil. Led by University of Wisconsin-Madison...

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2010-05-18 13:25:00

Scientists from the University of Miami are surprised at how rapidly the ice is melting in Greenland and how quickly the land is rising in response. Their findings are published in Nature Geoscience. Greenland is situated in the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast of Canada. It has stunning fjords on its rocky coast formed by moving glaciers, and a dense icecap up to 2 km thick that covers much of the island--pressing down the land beneath and lowering its elevation. Now, scientists at the...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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