Latest Structure of the Earth Stories

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....

2010-06-25 14:44:31

California's San Andreas fault is notorious for repeatedly generating major earthquakes and for being on the brink of producing the next "big one" in a heavily populated area. But the famously violent fault also has quieter sections, where rocks easily slide against each other without giving rise to damaging quakes. The relatively smooth movement, called creep, happens because the fault creates its own lubricants---slippery clays that form ultra-thin coatings on rock fragments, geologist Ben...

2010-05-10 15:47:18

Scientists have used quantum mechanics to reveal that the most common mineral on Earth is relatively uncommon deep within the planet. Using several of the largest supercomputers in the nation, a team of physicists led by Ohio State University has been able to simulate the behavior of silica in a high-temperature, high-pressure form that is particularly difficult to study firsthand in the lab. The resulting discovery -- reported in this week's early online edition of the Proceedings of the...

2010-04-28 11:30:29

University of Calgary researchers listen to earthquake "whispers" reveals new clues about Earth's formation We know more about distant galaxies than we do about the interior of our own planet. However, by observing distant earthquakes, researchers at the University of Calgary have revealed new clues about the top of the Earth's core in a paper published in the May edition of the journal Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. Knowledge of the composition and state in this zone is key to...

2010-03-23 08:30:00

SAN DIEGO, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- For decades, an unsuspected geological blunder has limited crucial technical understanding of how, where and why petroleum and natural gas deposits form. Exposing and correcting that vital mistake offer the promise of new insights and potentially vast new energy-resource discoveries. Since the 1930s, the idea of mantle convection has been inextricably rooted in common geological interpretations of the Earth's dynamics. In a paper just published in the...

2010-03-23 08:52:02

Study yields precise estimates of tectonic plate movements When it comes to three-dimensional puzzles, Rubik's Cube pales in comparison with the latest creation of Rice University geoscientist Richard Gordon. Gordon and collaborators Chuck DeMets of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Donald Argus of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have just put the finishing touches on a 20-year labor of love, a precise description of the relative movements of the interlocking...

2010-02-17 12:52:00

Clues point to 'density trap' in early mantle When Earth was young, it exhaled the atmosphere. During a period of intense volcanic activity, lava carried light elements from the planet's molten interior and released them into the sky. However, some light elements got trapped inside the planet. In this week's issue of Nature, a Rice University-based team of scientists is offering a new answer to a longstanding mystery: What caused Earth to hold its last breath? For some time, scientists have...

2010-01-25 12:45:30

Ocean drilling expedition off New Zealand helps predict global sea level changes For eight weeks beginning in November 2009, off the coast of New Zealand, an international team of 34 scientists and 92 support staff and crew on board the scientific drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution (JR) were at work investigating sea-level change in a region called the Canterbury Basin. It proved to be a record-breaking trip for the research team. The JR is one of the primary research vessels of an...

2009-12-23 06:49:54

"Terra firma." It's Latin for "solid Earth." Most of the time, at least from our perspective here on the ground, Earth seems to be just that: solid. Yet the Earth beneath our feet is actually in constant motion. It moves through time and space, of course, along with the other objects in the universe, but it moves internally as well. The powerful forces of wind, water and ice constantly erode its surface, redistributing Earth's mass in the process. Within Earth's solid crust, faulting...

2009-12-14 06:55:00

Plume slants northwest; magma body bigger than thought The most detailed seismic images yet published of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano shows a plume of hot and molten rock rising at an angle from the northwest at a depth of at least 410 miles, contradicting claims that there is no deep plume, only shallow hot rock moving like slowly boiling soup. A related University of Utah study used gravity measurements to indicate the banana-shaped magma chamber of hot and molten...

Latest Structure of the Earth Reference Libraries

2014-01-12 00:00:00

Seismology is the scientific study of earthquakes and the spread of elastic waves through the Earth or through other planet-like bodies. The field includes studies of earthquake effects, such as tsunamis in addition to diverse seismic sources such as tectonic, volcanic, oceanic, atmospheric, and artificial processes. A related field that utilizes geology to infer information regarding past earthquakes is paleoseismology. A recording of earth motion as a function of time is a seismogram. A...

2014-01-12 00:00:00

Earth science (or geoscience) is the science of the planet Earth. Earth science can be broken down into four major disciplines, which are: geography, geology, geophysics, and geodesy. These disciplines use physics, chemistry, biology, chronology and mathematics to arrive to a greater understanding of the principal areas of the Earth system. Since Earth is the only known life-bearing planet, Earth science is solely dedicated to the geophysical makeup of our own planet. One discipline,...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Meteorite -- A meteorite is a relatively small extraterrestrial material body that reaches the Earth's surface. While in space these bodies are called meteoroids. Upon entering the atmosphere air drag and friction will cause the body to heat up, emitting light, thus forming a meteor, fireball, or shooting star. Most meteors disintegrate in the air, making impact events (Earth impacts) on the surface of Earth uncommon. About 500 baseball sized rocks a year reach the surface. Large...

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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Word of the Day
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'