Geology

The Calbuco volcano, a 2,000 meter peak in southern Chile, sent a column of ash about 15 kilometers skywards twice on the night of April 22 and early the following morning. 

As the risk of deadly flows of ash and hot air was immediate, a 20 kilometer radius evacuation zone was declared.

The event was spectacularly visible from Puerto Montt, a city of nearly 200,000 inhabitants, only 30 km away. It seems to have begun within barely five hours of warning signs being first detected by local seismometers.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people and destroying nearly $3 billion worth of property in the Philippines. While the country is still recovering from the storm, researchers have found that an aquifer on the island of Samar inundated with salt water by the storm surge could remain undrinkable for up to 10 years - a second aquifer on the island that was also inundated has recovered much more quickly.

Geology and infrastructure play key roles in determining whether aquifers that provide drinking water are inundated with seawater during a typhoon or hurricane and how long the contamination lasts.



New details of a nightmare period on Earth with surface conditions as frigid as present-day central Antarctica at the equator have been revealed thanks to the publication of a study of ancient glacier water.

The research, by an international team led by Daniel Herwartz, is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and shows that even tropical regions were once covered in snow and ice.

The same processes that determined how continents were generated on Earth more than 2.5 billion years ago have continued within the last 70 million years - and they profoundly affect the planet's current life and climate.

A new study details how relatively recent geologic events , namely volcanic activity 10 million years ago in what is now Panama and Costa Rica, hold the secrets of the extreme continent-building that took place billions of years earlier. This provides new understanding about the formation of the Earth's continental crust, the masses of buoyant rock rich with silica, a compound that combines silicon and oxygen. 


One canyon on Earth has two mouths - but that is not the only mystery.

First formally documented by western explorers mapping the Colorado Territory in the 1800s, Unaweep Canyon is a puzzling landscape and so it has inspired numerous scientific hypotheses for its origin. A new paper published in Geosphere by Gerilyn S. Soreghan and colleagues brings together old and new geologic data of this region to further the hypothesis that Unaweep Canyon was formed in multiple stages.
The leading theory of what causes ice ages around the world -- changes in the way the Earth orbits the sun- has been cast into doubt by a new study.

The study raises questions about the Milankovitch theory of climate, which says the expansion and contraction of Northern Hemisphere continental ice sheets are influenced by cyclic fluctuations in solar radiation intensity due to wobbles in the Earth's orbit; those orbital fluctuations should have an opposite effect on Southern Hemisphere glaciers.
The link between volcanism and the formation of copper ore could lead to discovery of new copper deposits.

Copper has been in use for 6,000 years and it shows no signs of slowing down. The average home has about a hundred pounds of it and we are going to have more people and homes, not fewer. Volcanoes may be the answer.
 
Vast ranges of volcanoes hidden under the oceans ooze lava at slow, steady rates along mid-ocean ridges.

A new study shows that they flare up on strikingly regular cycles, ranging from two weeks to 100,000 years, and, that they erupt almost exclusively during the first six months of each year because they are apparently tied to short- and long-term changes in earth's orbit and to sea levels. And so they may be helping trigger natural climate swings. 

Published in 1815, Smith’s Geological Map of England and Wales and Part of Scotland was the first geologic map to cover such a large area in such fine detail. William Smith, British Geological Survey

By John Howell, Professor, Chair in Geology and Petroleum Geology at University of Aberdeen.

NWA 7034 - Black Beauty - is a meteorite found a few years ago in the Moroccan desert. Now it has been shown to be a 4.4 billion-year-old chunk of the Martian crust, and according to a new analysis, rocks just like it may cover vast swaths of Mars.

In a new paper, scientists report that spectroscopic measurements of the meteorite are a spot-on match with orbital measurements of the Martian dark plains, areas where the planet's coating of red dust is thin and the rocks beneath are exposed. The findings suggest that the meteorite, nicknamed Black Beauty, is representative of the "bulk background" of rocks on the Martian surface, says Kevin Cannon, a Brown University graduate student and lead author of the new paper.