Taxonomy term

geology

Searching for the volcanic origins of iron ore

Most iron ore comes from sedimentary deposits. However, a sizeable minority is mined from volcanic rocks, including those found along the Coastal Cordillera of northern Chile, and in Kiruna, Sweden.

09 Aug 2018

Seismic waves are blind to water

Geoscientists use the seismic waves produced by earthquakes to image the internal structure of the planet. Some seismic waves travel through liquids, while others do not, which is how we know, for instance, that Earth has a solid inner core and a liquid outer core.

08 Aug 2018

A rocky source of nitrogen

Calculations of the planet’s nitrogen balance have always been off: plants and soils seem to sequester far more nitrogen than expected. The atmosphere has long been thought of as the only major source of nitrogen, but a new study indicates an additional source: as much as a quarter of Earth’s terrestrial nitrogen may be supplied by eroding bedrock.

07 Aug 2018

Place-based education: Teaching geoscience in the context of location and culture

Place-based geoscience education integrates scientific and cultural knowledge of local landscapes, environments and communities with an awareness of the different meanings that place can hold for people of various cultural backgrounds. It’s a “new old” method of teaching that is experiencing a resurgence.
06 Aug 2018

Speartips point at south-to-north Clovis dispersal

During the last ice age, long before people first entered North America, much of the Canadian and American Rockies were buried under massive ice sheets. As the ice age waned about 13,000 years ago, an ice-free corridor 1,500-kilometers long and several hundred kilometers wide opened east of the Rocky Mountains.

02 Aug 2018

Charting 500 years of Mississippi floods

The Mississippi River is notorious for flooding its muddy banks, with many critical areas actively managed by the Army Corps of Engineers to control flooding. But despite all the controls, major floods still occur. 

01 Aug 2018

Piecing together the puzzle of Pannotia

Earth’s landmasses have joined together into supercontinents and then split apart again as many as six times in the planet’s history. 

31 Jul 2018

Geologic Column: The raw and the cooked

A humorous take on some paleoanthropological aspects of fire.

23 Jul 2018

Cracking the temperature of columnar jointing

When molten rock cools and contracts, it sometimes cracks to form geometrically shaped columns. This process, called columnar jointing, has led to several famous geological structures.

20 Jul 2018

Mountaintops get less lonely for alpine plants

It takes a hardy plant to live on top of a mountain, but new research shows that summits in the Alps are hosting more species of plants than ever before. Long-term botany surveys conducted on 302 European mountaintops over the past 145 years show that the variety of plant species living on the harsh summits has markedly increased over the last 10 years due to climate change.

18 Jul 2018

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