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Features

A truly global system

Like the GPS navigation system in your car or smartphone, a high-precision GPS receiver uses signals from satellites to determine the distance from the receiver to the satellite. But that’s where the similarities end. 

30 Apr 2014

Observing a plate boundary

The U.S. Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO), a component of EarthScope, includes more than a thousand continuous GPS stations arrayed across the western United States and Alaska. 

30 Apr 2014

Precise to a fault: How GPS revolutionized seismic research

Conceived in the 1960s to provide precise time and position for the U.S. military, GPS was soon embraced by geodesists and earth scientists. Today, it is an essential tool for geoscience research that extends far below — and above — Earth's surface.

30 Apr 2014

A new tool for atmospheric studies

Scientists are putting GPS to work in some unexpected new ways, including in atmospheric research.

30 Apr 2014

Faking quakes at full scale: Giant shake tables simulate earthquakes to make buildings safer

At a few select facilites around the world, engineers are able to shake full-size buildings to learn how to make them safer during earthquakes. Take a look at the massive shake tables that make it possible.

23 Apr 2014

Travels in Geology: Gubbio, Italy: A geologist's mecca

The author makes a pilgrimage to the medieval Apennine mountain town of Gubbio, Italy, where studies of the limestone layers just outside the town’s encircling walls produced one of the greatest geological discoveries of the 20th century.
02 Apr 2014

Getting there and getting around Gubbio

Most flights to Italy from the U.S. land in Rome or Milan. If you are heading directly to Umbria, it is possible to fly from Rome to Perugia’s San Francesco d’Assisi airport, 42 kilometers from Gubbio. Direct international flights to Gubbio are possible only from London and a few other European cities. 
 
02 Apr 2014

The trouble with turtles: Paleontology at a crossroads

Turtles are the last big vertebrate group to be placed firmly on the tree of life, and the arguments are getting messy. Scientists in three fields in particular — paleontolgy, developmental biology and microbiology/genomics — disagree about how, and from what, turtles may have evolved. 

31 Mar 2014

Scientists go to extremes to monitor Arctic permafrost loss

Researchers are studying coastal erosion in the Arctic — where sea-ice extent has recently reached record lows, permafrost soils are rapidly thawing and the coast is retreating at an astonishing rate of 15 meters per year, more than double the rate of several decades ago.

24 Mar 2014

Geoscience inspires glass artist Adam Frus

Adam Frus' true love for art took off when, at the age of 16, he took a glass-blowing class with his father and brother. Frus has now been working in blown glass for the better part of two decades, and in 2007, he started his own company, Frus Glass. He wasn’t always sure he wanted to be a professional artist, however, and he first pursued geology, graduating with a degree in geology from Arizona State University in 2007. Now he uses that geological background and love of the earth sciences to inform his art.

12 Mar 2014

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