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7 August 2015
Natural arches ring like guitar strings, plucked by seismic energy and the wind. New research shows how those seismic chords can be used to determine whether the arches are in danger of collapsing.
2 June 2015
Waves in the northern Gulf of Mexico are higher than they were 30 years ago, contributing to a greater risk of coastal erosion and flooding in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, according to a new study.
17 February 2015
New research has revealed the faults associated with more than 3,600 earthquakes that have been recorded in Oklahoma since 2009. The study also finds that recently reactivated ancient faults in the center of the state could generate higher-magnitude and more destructive earthquakes than the region has experienced since earthquake activity picked up there five years ago.
22 December 2014
Earlier this year, superheated water within Japan’s Mount Ontake triggered a hydrothermal explosion. Scientists monitoring the volcano had seen no signs of impending danger. The resulting steam-triggered eruption killed 57 people. Clusters of earthquakes often precede major eruptions of lava and ash. The same is not true for smaller steam-triggered eruptions of gas like the Ontake event. But those are the sorts of events that Társilo Girona would like to predict, and he believes that cameras may be the key.
13 November 2014
More people around the world live in flood-prone regions than did 20 years ago, increasing death tolls and economic damage from floods and the chances that flooding will cause similar losses in the future, a new study finds. The increased concentration of human populations in flood-risk zones could exacerbate an already expected upsurge in flood-related destruction in a warming climate, the researchers report.
The study has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Its authors used satellite images to show that a widely used proxy for population—the number of lights seen at night—increased globally along rivers by an average of 1.2 percent each year between 1992 and 2012.
5 August 2014
Unforeseen, short-term increases in sea level caused by strong winds, pressure changes and fluctuating ocean currents can cause more damage to beaches on the East Coast over the course of a year than a powerful hurricane making landfall, according to a new study. The new research suggests that these sea-level anomalies could be more of a threat to coastal homes and businesses than previously thought, and could become higher and more frequent as a result of climate change.
22 July 2014
The disastrous March 22 landslide that killed 43 people in the rural Washington state community of Oso involved the “remobilization” of a 2006 landslide on the same hillside, a new federally sponsored geological study concludes.
14 August 2013
Atmospheric physicist Nick Gorkavyi missed witnessing an event of the century last winter when a meteor exploded over his hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia. From Greenbelt, Md., however, NASA’s Gorkavyi and colleagues witnessed a never-before-seen view of the atmospheric aftermath of the explosion.
4 June 2013
There’s a hole in the bottom of the ocean near Japan, the deepest ever drilled for science. It leads to the heart of one of the world’s most dangerous faults, the one that unleashed the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which devastated Japan’s east coast. The earthquake’s power astonished geologists, who didn’t think the fault was capable of such destruction.To find out why the quake was so massive, an international team drilled through more than 800 meters of rock, seven kilometers beneath the waves, to take the fault’s temperature.
3 June 2013
Hurricane Sandy’s peculiar path was exceedingly rare, but whether or not climate change influenced the trajectory remains unknown, new research suggests. Sandy differed from most North Atlantic hurricanes by veering west over the northeastern United States and merging with a winter storm. But nothing proved more unusual about the “superstorm” than the nearly perpendicular angle at which it approached the New Jersey shoreline and collided with the coast on October 29, 2012. Usually, hurricanes graze the coast rather than plunging into it head on.