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Features

Staking a claim: Deep-sea mining nears fruition

At seafloor hydrothermal vents, high-temperature fluids precipitate deposits of minerals and metals beyond any prospector’s wildest dreams. Attempts to tap that mineral wealth are now underway, but questions remain about the environmental consequences of deep-sea mining.
 

27 May 2014

The history, science and poetry of New England's stone walls

The story of New England’s iconic landform — romanticized by Robert Frost and Henry David Thoreau — highlights the intersections of geologic and human history.
 

19 May 2014

Reading the walls

The story of New England’s iconic landform — romanticized by Robert Frost and Henry David Thoreau — highlights the intersections of geologic and human history.

19 May 2014

Travels in Geology: From beaches to bush: Tramping in New Zealand

With its stunningly beautiful landscapes, adrenaline-boosting attractions, renowned wines and craft beers, and easy logistics, New Zealand is one of the world’s foremost tourist destinations. It is especially well known for superb hiking, locally referred to as “tramping” or “bushwalking.” From short strolls through lush temperate rainforest to challenging alpine tracks, New Zealand offers a lifetime’s worth of outstanding walks.

Follow the author and her family on some of New Zealand's Great Walks: multiday backcountry hikes that highlight the awe-inspiring terrain found on this ancient scrap of Gondwanaland.

09 May 2014

Getting there and getting around in New Zealand

Auckland, on the North Island, has the country’s largest airport and is the primary international arrival point. The South Island’s largest airports are at Christchurch and Queenstown, but neither hosts direct flights from the U.S. Getting around will likely involve a car.

09 May 2014

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

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