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  • News in Brief

    World's largest volcano lurks beneath Pacific Ocean

    The most massive volcano in the world, with a footprint the size of New Mexico, crouches in the dark depths of the western Pacific Ocean. With its hollowed peak lying beneath 2 kilometers of water, Tamu Massif, a basaltic mound, may rival the largest known volcano in the solar system: Mars’ Olympus Mons.

    A team led by oceanographer William Sager then of Texas A&M University bounced...

    09/06/2013 - 09:34 Earth
  • News in Brief

    Japan's 2011 earthquake upped Tokyo's risk

    The magnitude 9 earthquake that shook Japan in 2011 more than doubled the risk that a big quake will rattle Tokyo in the next five years, geologists report May 2 in Geophysical Research Letters.

    The 2011 quake hit 373 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. Afterwards, seismic activity around Japan’s capital spiked, and small earthquakes are now three times as frequent as they were before the...

    05/10/2013 - 10:26 Earth
  • News

    Magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits Iran

    A magnitude 7.8 earthquake rattled southeastern Iran April 16 at 3:14 p.m. local time. The quake struck about 80 kilometers east of the city of Khash in a thinly populated mountainous region near the border with Pakistan. The jolt was felt as far away as northern India and throughout parts of the Middle East.

    The quake killed at least 13 people in Pakistan, Reuters reports. The...

    04/16/2013 - 14:12 Earth
  • News

    Magnitude 8.0 earthquake strikes Solomon Islands

    A magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck off Santa Cruz Island, part of the Solomon Islands, in the southwest Pacific Ocean February 6 at 12:12 p.m. local time. The quake triggered a tsunami and numerous aftershocks, including at least three with magnitudes greater than 6.0.

    The tsunami killed at least five people and damaged homes in several villages, according to a Reuters news story...

    02/06/2013 - 11:51 Earth
  • News in Brief

    Indonesian mud eruption will soon die out, scientists predict

    The end may be near for an erupting mud volcano that has wreaked havoc in Indonesia. In a few years, the volcano will spew just 10 percent as much mud as it does today, scientists predict.

    The mud volcano known as Lusi began erupting in May 2006 after a drilling accident at a nearby gas exploration well. Since then, the eruption has buried an area about twice the size of New York’...

    02/01/2013 - 16:06 Earth
  • News

    How the Frankenstorm came to life

    She was born, like all hurricanes, as a faintly inauspicious stirring of winds. But she didn’t come from off the coast of Africa, as many tropical Atlantic storms do. She was a child of the Caribbean.

    On the evening of October 19, a trough of low air pressure drifted slowly in the Caribbean Sea, east of Costa Rica and south of Haiti. The U.S. National Hurricane Center gave this...

    10/31/2012 - 18:42 Earth
  • News

    Low central pressure among Hurricane Sandy’s unusual features

    Hurricane Sandy barreled into the U.S. East Coast on October 29, bringing heavy rains, high winds and severe storm surges from the Carolinas to New England.

    Sandy began its life inauspiciously the week before as “Tropical Depression 18” in the southwestern Caribbean Sea. Warm ocean waters, combined with little wind shear that could have torn the embryonic storm apart, allowed it...

    10/29/2012 - 12:37 Earth
  • News

    Spanish quake linked to groundwater pumping

    Farmers and other residents pumping groundwater from Earth’s crust probably triggered an earthquake that killed nine people last year in southeastern Spain, scientists have found.

    Sucking up water for decades would have unloaded stresses within the ground and hastened a quake that was likely to happen anyway, says Pablo González, a geologist at the University of Western Ontario in London...

    10/22/2012 - 11:01 Earth
  • News

    Intraplate quakes signal tectonic breakup

    Two giant earthquakes in the eastern Indian Ocean have shown geologists that breaking up is easy to do — for tectonic plates, that is.

    The pair of quakes hit on April 11, startling seismologists with their size (magnitudes 8.6 and 8.2) and location (hundreds of kilometers from the active zone that spawned the deadly 2004 magnitude 9.1 earthquake and tsunami). Now, three studies...

    09/26/2012 - 13:33 Earth
  • News

    Warming indicted for extreme weather

    Texans sweltered through the hottest, driest spring and summer on record last year. Much of the blame can be attributed to a recurring climate pattern known as La Ni±a, which emerges every few years as surface waters chill in the eastern equatorial Pacific. But Earth’s steadily warming climate contributed as well, a new analysis concludes.

    Since the 1960s, the likelihood of Texas seeing...

    07/11/2012 - 13:24 Earth