Gas bubbles effervesce from a mound of muck on the seafloor in a deep submarine canyon off the west coast of Canada. Microbes beneath the sediment belch the bubbles after feasting on the ancient remains of algae, sea critters and their poop: a primordial stew that’s been simmering since long before humans walked the Earth.
This gassy oasis attracts an odd collection of critters. Worms...
To those who live there, east Africa’s Afar region is “the place the devil plows.” One of the hottest and lowest areas on Earth, it is a landscape of baking desert and barren lava flows. To scientists, though, Afar means something more promising: geology in the raw.
There, on the edge of Africa, the continent is splitting apart. Pulled inexorably by the...
View the videoDevil schmevil. Idle computers are doing scientists’ work, helping researchers make all kinds of advances in fields from epidemiology to nanoscience to mathematics. Now home computers crunching away in Iowa and Germany have helped astronomers discover a neutron star known as a pulsar, a research team reports online August 12 in Science.
The discovery is another...
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The geological tremblings caused by a small earthquake off the coast of Washington State in June 1999 died out rather quickly and caused no damage onshore, but ripples are still spreading through the scientific community.
Data collected by sensors located in the undersea neighborhood where the earthquake struck are now changing ideas about how fluids circulate within rocks...