Using diamond anvils and powerful laser beams, researchers have simulated the conditions believed to be present at the center of the earth. Their estimated temperature of that location is 6000 degrees Celsius – 1000 degrees hotter than previous experimental estimates.
“We detected seismic waves created by the oceans waves both hitting the East Coast and smashing into each other,” with the most intense seismic activity recorded when Sandy turned toward Long Island, New York and New Jersey.
“Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have found a layer of liquefied molten rock in Earth’s mantle that may be acting as a lubricant for the sliding motions of the planet’s massive tectonic plates.” Quoted from the Scripps press release.
“Recent airborne geophysical surveys near Decorah, Iowa are providing an unprecedented look at a 470- million-year-old meteorite crater concealed beneath bedrock and sediments. [...] The extent of the shale, which was deposited after the impact by an ancient seaway, defines a “nice circular basin” of 5.5 km width.” Quoted from the University of Iowa press release.
“Nearly three months after Tolbachik began erupting, lava continues to flow from the Kamchatkan volcano. Over time, the lava flows change location and shift across the landscape. In this image, infrared data is superimposed on a natural-color image to highlight active flows.” Quoted from the Earth Observatory image release.
“In a clever reuse of hardware originally built to test parts of NASA’s QuikScat satellite, the agency will launch the ISS-RapidScat instrument to the International Space Station in 2014 to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“The new [gravity map of the moon] created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon’s internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
A CNN.com article describes a proposed attempt to drill to Earth’s mantle in the Pacific Ocean using the Japanese deep drilling ship, Chikyu.
“It will be the equivalent of dangling a steel string the width of a human hair in the deep end of a swimming pool and inserting it into a thimble 1/10 mm wide.” Quote from project leader, Damon Teagle.
“Analysis of small, repeating earthquakes in an Antarctic ice sheet may not only lead to an understanding of glacial movement, but may also shed light on stick slip earthquakes like those on the San Andreas Fault or in Haiti.” Quoted from the PSU press release.
USGS has a new mapping technique known as “terrestrial lidar” to map urban flooding during events like Hurricane Isaac. “In a four-to-five minute scan, the instrument collects millions of topographic data points in a full 360-degree view to quickly produce highly accurate topographic information and can map areas up to two-thirds of a mile away.” Quote from the USGS press release.
“Coronado Cave is a limestone solution cave formed in the Paleozoic Naco Group limestone of southeastern Arizona. [...] Montezuma Caldera, in which Coronado National Memorial completely resides, produced collapse megabreccia with Paleozoic blocks up to 1 km in length, the block housing Coronado Cave is simply a roof pendant resting on top of the intruded Jurassic Huachuca Granite.” Quoted from Arizona Geology Magazine.
“The growth of high topography on the Tibetan Plateau in Sichuan, China, began much earlier than previously thought, according to an international team of geologists who looked at mountain ranges along the eastern edge of the plateau.” Quoted from the Penn State press release.
Researchers believe that they have found the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that plays an important role in several scientific theories. It has eluded detection because it decays almost immediately upon creation.
“From the highest peak in the continental United States, Mt. Whitney at 14,000 feet in elevation, to the 10,000-foot-peaks near Lake Tahoe, scientific evidence from the University of Nevada, Reno shows the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range is rising at the relatively fast rate of 1 to 2 millimeters every year.” Quoted from the University of Nevada, Reno press release.
“Using ice-penetrating radar instruments flown on aircraft, a team of scientists from the U.S. and U.K. have uncovered a previously unknown sub-glacial basin nearly the size of New Jersey beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet near the Weddell Sea. The location, shape and texture of the mile-deep basin suggest that this region of the ice sheet is at a greater risk of collapse than previously thought.” Quoted from the University of Texas at Austin press release.
“Our study describes a methodology to assimilate geologic, seismologic, and geodetic data surrounding a seismic fault to form a physical model of the cycle of earthquakes that has predictive power,” says Sylvain Barbot, a postdoctoral scholar in geology at Caltech. Quoted from the Caltech press release.
The Nevada Geodetic Laboratory has a map showing the displacement of Earth’s surface as measured by GPS stations during the March 11, 2011 Sendai M9.0 Earthquake. “Japan’s coastline has moved up to 5 meters (>16 feet), and the location of the North Pole has been estimated to have moved about 10 cm (4 inches).” Quote from the NGL blog post.
“The chances of rogue fractures due to shale gas fracking operations extending beyond 0.6 kilometres from the injection source is a fraction of one percent, according to new research led by Durham University. The analysis is based on data from thousands of fracking operations in the USA and natural rock fractures in Europe and Africa.” Quoted from the Durham University press release.
“The river’s course through southern Colorado and New Mexico is controlled by a geologic feature known as the Rio Grande rift, which formed when Earth’s crust stretched and thinned in an east-west direction starting about 36 million years ago (36 Ma). The stretching and thinning of the crust allowed hot mantle to well upward, creating youthful volcanoes, hot springs, and mineral deposits, as well as forming a topographically low area along which the river flows.”