Anna Reusch, a doctoral student at ETH Zurich's Geological Institute, was making a routine research vessel run on Lake Neuchâtel when she noticed an unusual shape on the control panel screen.

At a depth of over 100 mettrs, she found something no one had ever detected before: a crater measuring 10 meters deep and 160 meters in diameter. 

Reusch investigates the sediment in the lakes on the western Swiss Plateau for traces of past earthquakes, which involves taking high-resolution measurements of the floor of Lake Neuchâtel to find evidence of tectonically active zones that could trigger major earthquakes. The period Reusch is looking at is geologically speaking very recent: sometime in the past 12,000 years. 

New natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has been the biggest reason American CO2 emissions have dropped but it is not without controversy. Environmentalists have taken to videos showing 'flaming tapwater' and seek to blame natural gas for it.

Thousands of years ago those same phenomena were similar religious belief - gas and oil seeps have been part of cultural practices for thousands of years. From the Oracle at Delphi to the Chimera fires, people from Indonesia and Iran to Italy and Azerbaijan have studied and been mystified by “eternal flames”.

In a new paper, researchers address the "uncomfortably close" occurrence of the Chicxulub impact in the Yucatán and the most voluminous phase of the Deccan Traps flood basalt eruptions in India.  Specifically, the researchers argue that the impact likely triggered most of the immense eruptions of lava in India -- that it was not a coincidence but was a cause-and-effect relationship.

A new analysis of water and other elements contained in olivine-rich basalt samples gathered from cinder cone volcanoes that surround Lassen Peak in Northern California, at the southern edge of the Cascade chain, shows water is key for how magma forms deep underground and produces explosive volcanoes in the Cascade Range.

Detecting an earthquake on Venus is no trivial task.

For one thing, it is not a surface like we think of surface. It is under crushing pressure and the temperate is almost 900 degrees. Ordinary seismic instruments aren't suited for that. But the upper atmosphere is not so bad by comparison and so researchers hope to deploy an array of balloons or satellites that could detect Venusian seismic activity.

And instead of using vibrations they will use sound.

Antarctica's Dry Valleys may not be so dry. A helicopter-borne sensor that penetrates below the surface of large swathes of terrain has found compelling evidence that ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys may be hiding a salty aquifer.

Brines, or salty water, form extensive aquifers below glaciers, lakes and within permanently frozen soils. If they are present, it might provide answers about the biological adaptations of previously unknown ecosystems that persist in the extreme cold and dark of the Antarctic winter.

On April 25th, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, claiming over 5,000 lives and affecting millions more. Relief efforts are under way and satellite imagery is helping to visualize the damage but radar images from the ESA Sentinel-1A satellite showed why Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, experienced so much damage

The maximum land deformation, shown in before and after pictures, is 8 miles away. The two acquisition dates lead to rainbow-colored interference patterns in the combined image, known as an ‘interferogram’, enabling scientists to quantify the ground movement.

Some of the ocean's underwater volcanoes did not erupt from hot spots in the Earth's mantle but instead formed from cracks or fractures in the oceanic crust, which would help explain the spectacular bend in the famous underwater range known as the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, where the bottom half kinks at a sixty degree angle to the east of its top half. 

It has long been accepted that as the Earth's plates move over fixed hot spots in its underlying mantle, resulting eruptions create chains of now extinct underwater volcanoes or 'seamounts'.

Can earthquakes ever be predicted? This question is timely after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal recently. If authorities had more warning that the earthquake was coming, they may have been able to save more lives.

While Nepal is a documented area of previous seismic activity, at the moment there is no technique that provides predictions of sufficient clarity to allow for evacuations at short notice. So if we cannot predict these events now, are there avenues of research to provide useful predictions in the future?

In the ongoing conflict between science and young Earth creationism, evolution is usually a main point of contention. The idea that all life on Earth evolved from a common ancestor is a major problem for young Earth creationists. 

As a geologist, though, I think that the rocks beneath our feet offer even better arguments against young Earth creationism. For the young Earth creationist model doesn’t square with what you can see for yourself. And this has been known since before Darwin wrote a word about evolution.