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13 January 2020

Board game educates Japan about new energy source

A three-dimensional box that mimics an underwater ocean scene teaches players about an underwater fossil fuel resource in a new Japanese board game. Methane hydrate is a natural energy resource buried deep below the ocean floor surrounding Japan. This mixture of methane and ice, once extracted, can be converted into methane gas, a viable energy source. Chiharu Aoyama, an ocean resources professor at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, suspects Japan’s citizens do not know about this natural resource. In 2016, Aoyama worked with Daiki Aoyama, a family member and game hobbyist, to design a board game to raise awareness about methane hydrate among Japanese people of all ages.

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19 December 2019

Survey reveals low awareness of volcanic hazards in Australia

On December 9, several Australians were among the dozens of tourists who were killed, injured, or went missing after a deadly eruption on Whakaari/White Island in New Zealand. Whakaari/White Island has seen more volcanic activity in the past 10 years than neighboring Australia has seen for 5,000, but according to volcanologists, the country is not free from the risks of a potential eruption. And according to a new survey, Australian citizens are mostly unaware of their country’s potential volcanic hazards.

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16 October 2019

Ancient Moon rock provides evidence of giant lunar impact 4.3 billion years ago

An Apollo 16 lunar rock sample shows evidence of intense meteorite bombardment on the Moon 4.3 billion years ago, according to new research. The results provide new insights for the Moon’s early history, showing lunar impacts were common throughout the Moon’s formation than previously thought.

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4 March 2019

Seemingly dormant geologic fault damaged famous Roman buildings 1,500 years ago

A geologic fault system in central Italy that produced a deadly earthquake in 2016 is also responsible for a fifth-century earthquake that damaged many Roman monuments, including the Colosseum, according to new research. The Mount Vettore fault system, which winds through Italy’s Apennine Mountains, ruptured in the middle of the night on August 24, 2016. The magnitude 6.2 earthquake it generated killed nearly 300 people and destroyed several villages in the surrounding region. The fault ruptured again in October 2016, producing two more earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 6.

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27 February 2019

Old stone walls record history of Earth’s magnetic wanderings

Some of the remnant walls snaking through the forests of New York and New England from long-abandoned early American farms can be used as references to deduce the position of Earth’s magnetic field in previous centuries.

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16 January 2019

New study quantifies deep reaction behind “superdeep” diamonds

By Joshua Rapp Learn Whether they are found in an engagement ring or an antique necklace, diamonds usually generate quick reactions from their recipients. Now, new research shows deep inside the Earth, fast reactions between subducted tectonic plates and the mantle at specific depths may be responsible for generating the most valuable diamonds. The diamonds mined most often around the world are formed in the Earth’s mantle at depths of …

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28 November 2018

New automated volcano warning system forecasts imminent eruptions

Scientists have developed an automated early warning system for volcanic eruptions, according to a new study. The new system helped government officials warn the public of impending eruptions in Italy and could potentially do the same around the globe, according to the study’s authors. The new research details the new system that monitors volcanic noises and automatically alerts officials if an eruption is imminent. The study’s authors tested this system over a period of eight years on Mount Etna, a volcano on the island of Sicily. Using the new system, the Italian government activated an emergency plan about one hour prior to an eruption for the first time in late 2015.

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2 October 2018

Tracking exploding ice cracks on Himalayan glaciers

In 2017, Evgeny Podolskiy spent more than a week trekking through the Nepalese Himalayas to test the seismic activity of the Trakarding-Trambau Glacier system. In October, the research team and a group of sherpas and porters traveled to an open, debris-free glacier about five kilometers (3.1 miles) above sea level, in full view of Mount Everest.

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17 July 2018

New magnetic anomaly map helps unveil Antarctica

The most comprehensive magnetic map of Antarctica ever produced was published online this week in a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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10 July 2018

Scientists discover “ghost dunes” on Mars

Scientists have discovered hundreds of crescent-shaped pits on Mars where sand dunes stood billions of years ago. The curves of these ancient dune impressions record the direction of prevailing winds on the Red Planet, providing potential clues to Mars’s past climate, and may hold evidence of ancient life.

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26 June 2018

New study offers new evidence for how the Adirondack Mountains formed

The formation mechanism of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York has long posed a geologic mystery. A few mechanisms have been proposed, but until recently tools for evaluating them were not in place. Now, using an advanced seismic imaging method and data available only in the past five years, researchers have constructed a detailed model of the tectonic plate – the crust and the uppermost rigid mantle of the lithosphere under the northeast United States – down to about 62 miles (100 kilometers), in which they discovered a “pillow” of low-density, relatively light rock material. They say a column of this lighter material appears to have squeezed up under the Adirondacks, possibly expanded by heat, to form the dome-shaped mountains.

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12 June 2018

South Napa Earthquake linked to summer groundwater dip

A summertime expansion in the Earth’s crust caused by changes in groundwater may have triggered the magnitude-6.0 earthquake in California’s wine country in 2014, according to a new study.

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24 May 2018

Subglacial valleys and mountain ranges discovered near South Pole

Extensive ice-penetrating radar data reveal three vast valleys under glaciers in West Antarctica. These valleys could be important in the future as they help to channel the flow of ice from the center of the continent towards the coast.

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17 April 2018

Scientists decipher the magma bodies under Yellowstone

Using supercomputer modeling, scientists have unveiled a new explanation for the geology underlying recent seismic imaging of magma bodies below Yellowstone National Park.

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4 April 2018

Infrasound recordings give scientists a peek inside volcano’s plume

High-resolution recordings of the powerful infrasound waves generated by an eruption at Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano have given scientists a rare view inside the activity at the volcano’s mouth. The acoustic waves generated by the July 2013 eruption were one of the most powerful volcanic infrasound recordings ever captured. The low-frequency infrasound waves from the eruption are too low for human ears to hear but were as powerful as waves one meter (three feet) away from a jet engine.

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8 February 2018

New Hayward Fault earthquake simulations increase fidelity of ground motions

Scientists have used some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to model ground shaking for a magnitude (M) 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault and show more realistic motions than ever before.

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15 December 2017

Lava-filled blocks on Venus may indicate geological activity

A global view of some well-known deformation features on Venus’s surface may indicate it’s capable of crustal motion, and that motion might even be happening today, scientists report.

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Subterranean Serendipity: Scientists stumble upon a new way to sample magma

Scientists have never directly observed magma beneath the Earth’s surface. But thanks to the discovery of easily accessible magma chambers, it may now be possible, report scientists at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans.

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11 December 2017

Ancient weakening of Earth’s crust explains unusual intraplate earthquakes

New research reveals that mysterious intraplate seismic zones underwent significant deformation hundreds of millions of years ago.

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6 December 2017

Scientists capture Earth’s “hum” on ocean floor

Researchers have successfully quantified Earth’s vibrational “hum” using seismic instruments on the bottom of the ocean. A new study determined at the ocean bottom the frequencies at which the Earth naturally vibrates, and confirmed the viability of using ocean instruments to study the phenomenon.

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