Chemical transformations in minerals deep beneath the seafloor could explain why Indonesia’s 2004 mega-earthquake was unexpectedly destructive, researchers report in the May 26 Science.
The magnitude 9.2 quake and the tsunami that it triggered killed more than 250,000 people, flattened villages, and swept homes out to sea across Southeast Asia. It was one of the deadliest tsunamis in...
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The footprints of long-gone glaciers and icebergs are now frozen in time in a stunning new collection of images of Earth’s seafloor.
The Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms is a comprehensive, high-resolution atlas of underwater landscapes that have been shaped by glaciers, largely in polar and subpolar regions, and provides a comparative look at how glaciers,...
Ice-Lolly\AIS LOL-ee\ n.05/10/2017 - 07:00 Earth, Climate
A small ice particle made of a needle-shaped ice crystal and a single drizzle-sized water droplet
Right now, somewhere in the world, it could be raining lollies. A 2009 research flight through clouds above the British Isles gathered ice particles with an unusually sweet look. Each millimeter-sized particle consisted of a stick-shaped piece of ice with a single...
The 180-kilometer-long crack threatening one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves has branched out, new satellite observations reveal. The main rift in the Larsen C ice shelf hasn’t grown longer since February. But radar mapping shows that a second crack has split off from the main rupture like a snake’s forked tongue, members of the Antarctic research group Project MIDAS reported May 1. That...
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The 180-kilometer-long crack threatening one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves has branched out, new satellite observations reveal. The main rift in the Larsen C ice shelf hasn’t grown longer since February. But radar mapping shows that a crack has split off from the main rupture like a snake’s forked tongue, members of Project MIDAS, an Antarctic research group, report May 1. That new...
Leave it to a researcher who studies icy moons in the outer solar system to come up with an out-there scheme to restore vanishing sea ice in the Arctic.
Ice is a good insulator, says Steven Desch, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe. That’s why moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus, among others, may be able to maintain liquid oceans beneath their...
Groundwater that has lingered in Earth’s depths for more than 12,000 years is surprisingly vulnerable to modern pollution from human activities. Once in place, that pollution could stick around for thousands of years, researchers report online April 25 in Nature Geoscience. Scientists previously assumed such deep waters were largely immune to contamination from the surface.
50 Years Ago
Drifting theories shake up geology
Continental drift, a theory often considered amusing but rarely important, seems about to become the focus of a revolution in geology. At the least, it has already split the geological community into those who find the evidence for it “formidable” and those who think it is not yet formidable enough to constitute a proof. — Science News, April 29, 1967...
River piracy\RIV-er PAHY-ruh-see \ n.04/17/2017 - 11:00 Earth, Climate
The diversion of headwaters from one stream into another
Ahoy! There be liquid booty on the move in the high mountains. Since May 2016, a channel carved through one of northwestern Canada’s largest glaciers has allowed one river to pillage water from another, new observations reveal. This phenomenon, almost certainly the result of climate change, is...
Earthquake-powered shifts along the seafloor that push water forward, not just up, could help supersize tsunamis.
By combining laboratory experiments, computer simulations and real-world observations, researchers discovered that the horizontal movement of sloped seafloor during an underwater earthquake can give tsunamis a critical boost. Scientists previously assumed that vertical...