Geology

The makeup of the Earth's lower mantle, which makes up the largest part of the Earth by volume, is significantly different than previously thought.


Global warming has been implicated in many things, it is certainly being implicated in the latest drought in California, the worst since 2002, which was the worst since the early 1990s -and now it is being linked to a change in tectonic plates.

Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at U.C. San Diego say that the loss of water is causing the entire western U.S. to rise up like an uncoiled spring.


Water has been detected on Mars in the form of permafrost and there is strong evidence that liquid water was a major component of the martian surface in the past.

Clays are an important mineral group for discovering the past on Mars, not only to the presence of water, since clays are hydrous minerals, but they also provide clues as to the source, type, and volume of fluids, along with indications of timescale and mineral alteration. If you are going to search for textural and chemical biosignatures, clay is a good place to start.
Nearly forgotten research from decades ago complicates the task of quantifying earthquake hazards in the Pacific Northwest, according to a new report.

The report focuses on the Cascadia subduction zone—a giant active fault that slants eastward beneath the Pacific coast of southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California.

Geologic studies in the past three decades have provided increasingly specific estimates of Cascadia earthquake sizes and repeat times. The estimates affect public safety through seismic provisions in building design and tsunami limits on evacuation maps.

Tokyo is a city of more than 13 million people and they are no strangers to earthquakes. The city, like much of Japan, has been devastated by earthquakes in the past and likely will be again - but when?

Ongoing slow-slip earthquakes can't usually be felt at the surface but they play a role in relieving or building up geological stress and recent research examining plate movements under Tokyo has found that, since the massive magnitude-9 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, recurrence intervals for non-damaging slow-slip quakes beneath Japan's capital have shortened. 

This has led some seismologists to wonder if this aseismic creep could be signaling a countdown to Tokyo's next "big one."


A long lasting foreshock series controlled the rupture process of this year's great earthquake near Iquique in northern Chile, according to an international research team

The earthquake was heralded by a three quarter year long foreshock series of ever increasing magnitudes culminating in a Mw 6.7 event two weeks before the mainshock.

The mainshock (magnitude 8.2) finally broke, on April 1st, a central piece out of the most important seismic gap along the South American subduction zone. The study reveals that the Iquique earthquake occurred in a region where the two colliding tectonic plates where only partly locked.


The biggest mystery in the mid-east is why countries of one religion won't put the country of another religion on any geographical maps in any of its schools, but the second biggest mystery is why many of the oldest parts of Jerusalem's Western Wall look like they could have been placed yesterday.

The Western Wall is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the courtyard of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. It is located in Jerusalem's Old City at the foot of the Temple Mount.


Hydraulic fracturing is in the news because more natural gas has meant substantially fewer carbon emissions - and it has also been implicated in a variety of environmental issues.

Man is doing what nature has always done, albeit on a different time scale. A new GSA BULLETIN study  examines how long it takes natural Earth processes to form hydraulic fractures and whether the formation is driven by sediment compaction, oil and gas generation or something else. Plus, in order to make environmental models about modern hydraulic fracturing production, it's important to know what role these natural fractures play.


A new study has found that more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources., which means the extent of groundwater loss may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought.

This study is the first to quantify the amount that groundwater contributes to the water needs of western states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the federal water management agency, the basin has been suffering from prolonged, severe drought since 2000 and has experienced the driest 14-year period in the last hundred years.


A new study suggests that Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to produce the island chain's carbonate-based foundation.