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16 October 2017

The missing mass — what is causing a geoid low in the Indian Ocean?

In a recent study, scientists explored the reasons behind the existence of the Indian Ocean Geoid Low, a point of low gravity found just south of the Indian peninsula.

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11 October 2017

Secrets of hidden ice canyons revealed

In a new study, scientists have discovered huge canyons cutting through the underbelly of Antarctica’s ice shelves, meaning they may be more fragile than previously thought. Thanks to the CryoSat and Sentinel-1 missions, new light is being shed on this hidden world.

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6 October 2017

Old Faithful’s geological heart revealed

Old Faithful is Yellowstone National Park’s most famous landmark. Millions of visitors come to the park every year to see the geyser erupt every 44-125 minutes. But despite Old Faithful’s fame, relatively little was known about the geologic anatomy of the structure and the fluid pathways that fuel the geyser below the surface. Until now.

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4 October 2017

New study explains how continents leave their roots behind

In some areas of the seafloor, a tectonic mystery lies buried deep underground. The ocean floor contains some of the newest rock on Earth, but underneath these young oceanic plates are large swatches of much older continents that have been dislocated from their continental plates and overtaken by the younger, denser oceanic plate. Researchers have been puzzled by this phenomenon for some time: how does a continental plate leave some of itself behind?

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25 September 2017

New study may help identify areas with and without accessible water ice on Mars

New findings reveal deposits on Mars that could be interpreted to be ice-rich may contain little or no ice at all, based on an analysis of radar sounder data for Meridiani Planum—an area on the planet’s equator being explored by the Opportunity rover. This new insight into Meridiani Planum may help identify areas with and without accessible water ice, a resource critical to future human exploration and possible colonization of Mars.

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19 September 2017

Researchers identify ‘substantial’ amount of Mercury’s water ice

Researchers have identified three new craters and four small-scale cold traps on Mercury filled with surface ice and suspect the planet may harbor many smaller patches of exposed ice too small to observe directly. The newly observed ice makes a substantial contribution to the amount of exposed ice thought to exist on Mercury’s surface, which the researchers estimate to be approximately 3,400 square kilometers (1,313 square miles), or just smaller than Rhode Island in size.

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13 September 2017

Early volcanic activity may have caused bumps to erupt across lunar plains

Scientists have discovered a new feature on the surface of the Moon: small mounds that grew on its dark plains, likely from volcanic activity.

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7 September 2017

Increases in wildfire-caused erosion could impact water supply and quality in the West

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study.

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5 September 2017

Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability

The discovery of boron on Mars gives scientists more clues about whether life could have ever existed on the planet, according to a paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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31 August 2017

Record-low 2016 Antarctic sea ice due to ‘perfect storm’ of tropical, polar conditions

While winter sea ice in the Arctic is declining so dramatically that ships can now navigate those waters without any icebreaker escort, the scene in the Southern Hemisphere is very different. Sea ice area around Antarctica has actually increased slightly in winter — that is, until last year. A new study shows the lack of Antarctic sea ice in 2016 was in part due to a unique one-two punch from atmospheric conditions both in the tropical Pacific Ocean and around the South Pole.

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