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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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