Landforms

landforms

Revealing the ghosts of glaciers past

On the ground, it’s hard to fathom the effects that glaciers once had on the now nearly ice-free Rocky Mountains, but from the air, the landscape is clearly haunted by the ghosts of glaciers past. In 2015, pilot and photographer Garrett Fisher set out in his antique 1949 Piper Cub aircraft to photograph all the remaining glaciers in the American Rockies. 
18 Dec 2018

Sulfides in thawing permafrost responsible for carbon dioxide release

After warming the bench since the Pleistocene, a key player in the Arctic carbon cycle is getting back in the game thanks to thawing permafrost. In a new study, researchers report that rising temperatures are freeing sulfide minerals previously bound within Arctic permafrost. These minerals are contributing to stream acidification and accelerated weathering of carbonates — and thus to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — at least in one part of northern Canada.

03 Dec 2018

Ocean tide size linked to supercontinent cycle

Daily tides are driven primarily by Earth’s rotation and the gravitational force of the moon on oceans. However, in a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers suggest that tidal magnitudes are also influenced, on longer timescales, by the size and shape of the ocean basins, and are therefore driven by plate tectonics.

07 Sep 2018

No river meant no floods for ancient Indus settlements

Large Middle Eastern rivers like the Nile, Tigris, Euphrates and Tiber were critical for the development of early urban societies in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Ancient Rome. And researchers have long thought that the rise, and eventual decline, of cities in the ancient Indus Civilization, which spread across about 1 million square kilometers of what’s now northwestern India and Pakistan from roughly 4,600 to 3,900 years ago, also depended on major rivers, namely those emerging from the Himalayas. But a new study looking at river sediments from the time of the civilization and earlier suggests that wasn’t the case for every ancient Indus city; some may have benefited from being farther away from large rivers and their periodic floods.

23 Jan 2018

Megafloods mostly shaped Icelandic canyon landscape

A new study suggests that in one environment prone to catastrophic floods, the Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon in northeastern Iceland, the effects of several megafloods in the past 9,000 years have sculpted the canyon landscape far more so than “background” erosion caused by water and sediment flowing through it.

22 May 2015

Geoscience on Film: A parting ode to an awe-inspiring land

Doug Prose and his wife, Diane LaMacchia, have produced documentaries showcasing Earth and the geosciences through their nonprofit Earth Images Foundation since 1992. Currently at work on their next project, Prose is blogging for EARTH about the filmmaking process, as well as the work of the scientists they're covering, while on location in India.

10 Apr 2015

Geoscience on Film: Of tides and tigers in the world's largest river delta

Doug Prose and his wife, Diane LaMacchia, have produced documentaries showcasing Earth and the geosciences through their nonprofit Earth Images Foundation since 1992. Currently at work on their next project, Prose is blogging for EARTH about the filmmaking process, as well as the work of the scientists they're covering, while on location in India.

07 Apr 2015

Geoscience on Film: Traversing the contours and culture of an ancient delta

Doug Prose and his wife, Diane LaMacchia, have produced documentaries showcasing Earth and the geosciences through their nonprofit Earth Images Foundation since 1992. Currently at work on their next project, Prose is blogging for EARTH about the filmmaking process, as well as the work of the scientists they're covering, while on location in India.

01 Apr 2015

Geomedia: Books: Rediscovering the science behind Thoreau's 'Walden'

Last summer, I had the opportunity to enjoy a personal tour around the world’s most famous kettle pond, Walden Pond in Concord, Mass., led by geologist Robert Thorson, who recently authored the book “Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science.” The rainy, gray day did not diminish our hike or Thorson’s delight in sharing what he had learned from his research into Henry David Thoreau’s lifelong fascination with Walden Pond and the science behind his iconic book, “Walden.”

19 Mar 2015

Gravity builds stone sculptures

Every visitor to Arches National Park in Utah wonders how the spectacular, seemingly improbable sandstone arches form, but although there are many hypotheses, testing different ideas in the field has proved all but impossible. Now a new modeling study suggests that while arches may seem to defy gravity, their formation actually depends on it.

11 Dec 2014

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