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19 March 2020
Darkness, not cold, likely responsible for dinosaur-killing extinction
New research finds soot from global fires ignited by an asteroid impact could have blocked sunlight long enough to drive the mass extinction that killed most life on Earth, including the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.
11 February 2020
Climate change could trigger more landslides in High Mountain Asia
More frequent and intense rainfall events due to climate change could cause more landslides in the High Mountain Asia region of China, Tibet and Nepal, according to the first quantitative study of the link between precipitation and landslides in the region.
30 December 2019
Wildfire modeling helps predict fires in Colombia
A new wildfire model helps predict where and when wildfires will start in the Aburrá Valley of Colombia. This research, presented earlier this month at the 2019 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco, is helping local cities avoid the devastating environmental and health impacts of fires.
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.
21 November 2019
Geoscientists develop technology to improve forecasting of earthquakes, tsunamis
University of South Florida geoscientists have successfully developed and tested a new high-tech shallow water buoy that can detect the small movements and changes in the Earth’s seafloor that are often a precursor to deadly natural hazards, like earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.
22 April 2019
New research explains why Hurricane Harvey intensified immediately before landfall
A new study explains the mechanism behind Hurricane Harvey’s unusual intensification off the Texas coast and how the finding could improve future hurricane forecasting.
2 January 2019
Dangerous sneaker waves puzzle scientists
On January 16, 2016, a sudden swath of large and powerful waves swept through seaside communities along 450 kilometers (280 miles) of Pacific Northwest coastline. From Washington to northern California, water rushed past normal tide lines and filled beaches and streets, stretching hundreds of meters inland. These “sneaker waves” are aptly named given their unannounced arrival, which occurs when massive waves push extra water onshore—a higher-than-usual water level that scientists refer to as runup. At best, these events take beachgoers by surprise. At worst, they are disastrous and fatal.
21 December 2018
Landslide probability may depend more on riverside steepness than on hillsides above
On April 25, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake stuck the Gorkha region of Nepal near the capital city of Kathmandu. Approximately 9,000 people died and more than 22,000 suffered injuries. The quake also triggered more than 20,000 landslides in the surrounding area. A team of scientists at the University of Southern California is studying how the topography of the Melamchi Valley in Gorkha affected the incidence of landslides after the 2015 earthquake.
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.
30 May 2018
Seismometer readings could offer debris flow early warning
Instruments designed to record earthquakes revealed information about debris-ﬂow speed, the width of the ﬂow and the size of boulders carried by the January 2017 mudslide in Montecito, California, and the location of the event, suggesting that the current generation of seismometers in the ﬁeld could be used to provide an early warning of an incoming debris ﬂow to residents in mudslide-prone areas.