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16 December 2016

How do you track the mass of a tree over time? Watch it move.

Dancing trees may be able to teach scientists about tree health during a drought, according to a new study.

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New equation describes how Earth cooled from magma into rock

A new mathematical model shows strong evidence that when Earth formed, it cooled from the inside out rather that bottom up. Scientists who presented the research at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting said the new model helps scientists better understand Earth’s early history—how it cooled and became the rocky planet it is today.

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15 December 2016

Some corals and scallops better able to handle ocean acidification, study finds

Some coral and mollusk species are adjusting to acidifying ocean waters better than previously thought, according to new research.

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Ancient monsoons helped prehistoric humans colonize Tibetan Plateau

Humans first colonized the Tibetan Plateau roughly 10,000 years ago when the climate warmed enough to bring heavy rains, new research finds.

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Deposits discovered in Monterey Canyon’s mouth may cause marine landslides, study finds

Researchers have discovered a large concentration of sediment deposits at the end of Monterey Canyon, an underwater chasm beneath Monterey Bay, California. The sediment deposits are relatively young and may be more likely to catalyze underwater landslides than other sections of the canyon, according to the researchers who presented their discovery at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

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14 December 2016

Lake sediments may be key to predicting melting sea ice in Canadian Arctic

Sediment layers from a lake in the western Canadian Arctic may hold the key to predicting sea-ice loss and warming Arctic temperatures, new research finds.

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Finger-like structures on Mars could be the result of ancient microbes

Finger-like rock structures on Mars could harbor potential evidence of past life on the Red Planet, according to new research. In 2007, NASA’s Spirit rover landed on Mars’ “Home Plate,” a flat 90-meter-long area within the Gusev crater. Since then, researchers have been trying to make sense of finger-like rock structures splayed across the landscape. The working hypothesis at the time was that these rocks started out as continuous layers but eroded into odd shapes by the touch of wind and sand over the years.

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Magnetic fields help target buried mine waste for removal

Butte, Montana made national headlines last month after thousands of snow geese died in the toxic and acidic waters of the Berkeley Pit. The large, deep pool is the former site of a massive copper mine and is just one remnant of Butte’s extensive mining history. Over the past century and a half, heavy metals and acid from numerous local mines have seeped into the groundwater, forcing the city of Butte to rely on reservoirs for drinking water.

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22 November 2016

Avalanches more complex than previously thought

Avalanches can throw up a powdery cloud of snow as they violently charge down mountains, obscuring their inner workings from scientists. But new observations of artificially-triggered avalanches in Switzerland’s Vallée de la Sionne have penetrated this powdery veil.

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3 November 2016

Rare molecule on Venus could shed light on planet’s weather

Scientists’ keen detective work may have solved one of Venus’s oldest secrets: why the planet’s atmosphere absorbs ultraviolet light of a specific frequency. The new findings could help scientists better understand Venus’s thick atmosphere and its heat-trapping clouds, according to the study’s authors.

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