Taxonomy term

julia rosen

Wind whips canyons into shape

As a force of nature, wind is usually afforded less respect than water. Sure, it can topple trees and, in extreme cases, peel roofs off houses. But it can’t carve mighty canyons like water can — or can it? A new study suggests that geologists may have underestimated wind’s role in shaping valleys in arid environments, both on Earth and on Mars.
13 Jul 2015

Deforestation hangs climate out to dry

Across the tropics, vast swaths of forest have been cleared to make room for crops and livestock. Beyond releasing vast stores of carbon trapped in soil and biomass, tropical deforestation has the potential to alter hydrological cycles in ways that could affect temperature and precipitation patterns around the planet, according to a new report in Nature Climate Change.
13 Jul 2015

Did crustal chemistry buoy Western Plains?

The mighty mountains of the American West may captivate artists and adventurers with their rugged allure, but it’s the humble High Plains that intrigue certain geologists. For decades, scientists have puzzled over the origins of this vast plateau, which stretches for more than 500 kilometers east of the Rockies.
12 Jul 2015

Laser experiments illuminate landslide physics

How does cereal pour from the box? Why do grains of wheat become wedged inside a hopper? What happens to soil when a slope collapses in a landslide? And, more broadly, what do these diverse phenomena have to do with each other?
11 Jul 2015

Soil may supply surging streams after earthquakes

Earthquakes don’t just rattle buildings and psyches — they shake up the hydrological cycle too. Scientists have long noticed spikes in streamflow following big quakes, but they have yet to pinpoint the causes of these surges. While most proposed explanations conjure different ways of uncorking groundwater reservoirs, a new study suggests that at least some of this extra water may actually get shaken out of the soil.
09 Jul 2015

Introducing Earth's inner inner core

A humongous hunk of iron — that’s how scientists have long thought of Earth’s solid inner core. But new research suggests there’s more to it than that: namely, that the inner part of the inner core may have different physical properties than the outer part. In addition to revealing a new feature in Earth’s layer-cake internal structure, the discovery may shed light on the planet’s formation, say the authors of the study, published in Nature Geoscience.
06 Jul 2015

Geomedia: On the Web: Dinologue: A dino blog

Wherever you want to go, the Internet can take you there. Space? No problem. The bottom of the ocean? Sure. Now, you can add another stop to the itinerary: the Mesozoic. A new website,, aims to transport visitors back to the time of the dinosaurs.
05 Jul 2015

Amateur radio users help scientists study space weather

F5VIH. KM3T. PY1NB. These strings of letters and numbers aren’t license plate numbers but call signs. They belong to a handful of Ham radio operators, just three of the more than 2 million amateur enthusiasts whose chatter fills the global airwaves day and night. Now, research suggests these communications may represent a vast trove of data that could help scientists study and monitor space weather.
03 Jul 2015

Studies re-examine how major copper deposits form

Every year, the world consumes about 20 million tons of copper primarily for construction materials like electrical wiring and water pipes. Most nonrecycled supplies come from porphyry copper deposits (PCDs), which form when hot, metal-bearing fluids percolate up through Earth’s crust. But while geologists have long recognized — and exploited — PCDs, two new studies suggest they may need to rethink how these deposits form.
21 Jun 2015

Science Illustrators: Making the invisible visible

Science illustrators visualize data, revealing what otherwise can’t be seen: the deep Earth, distant worlds, quantum particles and extinct life.

16 Jun 2015