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Geology News
Pacific Ocean Current Events

The Nicaragua Canal?
April 3, 2014 | National Geographic

A National Geographic article describes and maps the canal that will likely be built in Nicaragua by a Chinese company to compete with the Panama Canal.

Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake Off the California Coast
March 11, 2014 | San Jose Mercury News

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred off the coast of California. Fortunately it was about 50 miles from land, which reduced the impact on coastline communities.

A Canal Across Nicaragua?
February 25, 2014 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article about a Chinese plan to build a canal across Central America that will pass through Nicaragua and compete with the Panama Canal.

Underwater Eruption from Space
February 16, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

“Kavachi is an undersea volcano on the southern edge of the Solomon Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It erupted dozens of times in the 20th century, often breaking the water surface, only to be eroded back below the water line within a few months.” Satellite view from NASA Earth Observatory.

Perpetual Ocean Video
February 9, 2014 | NASA on

“This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through Decemeber 2007. The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.” Quoted from the NASA YouTube Channel.

Fluorescent Sharks?
January 23, 2014 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an interesting video about how divers have discovered biofluorescent fish in many parts of the World’s oceans.

Resistance of Coral to Acidification at Palau
January 21, 2014 | National Science Foundation

Marine scientists working on the coral reefs of Palau have made two unexpected discoveries: 1) at each location they found that the seawater became increasingly more acidic as they moved toward land; and, 2) the corals living in those more acidic waters were unexpectedly diverse and healthy.

Sea Level Rise on the California Coast
January 14, 2014 | University of Southern California

“Los Angeles, a metropolis perched on the edge of a coast, can expect to experience sea level rise of as much as two feet due by 2050 due to climate change, according to current projections.” Quoted from the USC press release.

IRD Image
Global Chimney in the Pacific
January 9, 2014 | National Science Foundation

“Although few people live in the Western tropical Pacific Ocean region, the remote waters there affect billions of people by shaping climate and air chemistry worldwide.

Next week, scientists will head to the region to better understand its influence on the atmosphere–including how that influence may change in coming decades if storms over the Pacific become more powerful with rising global temperatures.” Quoted from the NSF press release.

New Island South of Japan Continues Growing
January 1, 2014 | National Geographic

Niijima, the new volcanic island that first appeared about 600 miles south of Japan continues to grow. Now it is about 13.8 acres in size with a maximum elevation of about 80 feet.

December 30, 2013 | NASA

An aerial view of Niijima, the new volcanic island growing in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles south of Japan.

Dissipation of Energy by Deep Earthquakes
December 29, 2013 | NBC News

“An investigation of the most powerful earthquake ever recorded deep within the Earth suggests deep quakes may be better at dissipating pent-up energy than similar quakes near the surface.” Quoted from the NBC News story.

The New Island South of Japan is Growing!
December 15, 2013 | The Australian

Last month a volcanic island surfaced and began growing about 600 miles south of Japan. The eruption continues and the size of the island is growing.

Most Popular Items for November
December 2, 2013 |

The World’s Largest Emerald Mine

What is Iris Agate?

New Volcanic Island Southeast of Japan

The Enormous Volcanic Eruption that Historians Never Recorded

A Super River from the Southwestern United States to the Labrador Sea?

Typhoon Haiyan Images

Comet Ison is Visible to the Naked Eye

New Super Predator Dinosaur

Understanding Galapagos Volcanoes
November 25, 2013 | USGS

“The chance transit of a satellite over the April 2009 eruption of Fernandina volcano — the most active in South America’s famed Galápagos archipelago — has revealed for the first time the mechanism behind the characteristic pattern of eruptive fissures on the island chain’s volcanoes.” Quoted from the USGS Newsroom.

New Volcanic Island Southeast of Japan
November 21, 2013 | National Geographic

National Geographic has a short video that shows a new island erupting from the sea in the Bonin Islands, about 500 miles southeast of Japan.

Haiyan Windspeed Map
November 12, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has a map showing a snapshot of wind direction and speed as Typhoon Haiyan approached the Philippines.

Why Does it Rain More in the Northern Hemisphere?
October 30, 2013 | University of Washington

“It rains more in the Northern Hemisphere because it’s warmer,” said corresponding author Dargan Frierson, a UW associate professor of atmospheric sciences. “The question is: What makes the Northern Hemisphere warmer? And we’ve found that it’s the ocean circulation.” Quoted from the University of Washington press release.

Earth’s Largest Volcano
October 21, 2013 |

Tamu Massif is Earth’s “largest volcano” but Mauna Kea and Ojos del Salado exceed Tamu in height and altitude.

Pacific Ocean Temperatures Influence Tornado Activity
October 19, 2013 | University of Missouri

“Meteorologists often use information about warm and cold fronts to determine whether a tornado will occur in a particular area. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that the temperature of the Pacific Ocean could help scientists predict the type and location of tornado activity in the U.S.” Quoted from the University of Missouri press release.

The Largest Deep Earthquake Ever Recorded
September 22, 2013 | University of California Santa Cruz

“A magnitude 8.3 earthquake that struck deep beneath the Sea of Okhotsk on May 24, 2013, has left seismologists struggling to explain how it happened. At a depth of about 609 kilometers (378 miles), the intense pressure on the fault should inhibit the kind of rupture that took place.” Quoted from the University of California Santa Cruz press release.

The Need for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles
September 18, 2013 | Boeing on YouTube

This video from Boeing explains why unmanned underwater vehicles are important for exploring the depths of the ocean and for performing many underwater tasks.

Fukushima and the Ocean
September 16, 2013 |

The Spring 2013 issue of Oceanus Magazine, published by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is titled Fukushima and the Ocean. It looks at the triple disaster that hit Japan with an earthquake, a tsunami and a power plant failure.

September 5, 2013 | Adrift

An interesting website is “Adrift” ( On this site you can click on a point in the ocean and a computer model will map the direction that floating debris would travel – both forward in time and backwards.

Vog from Ambrym Volcano
August 16, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has an image of vog (volcanic smog) flowing from the craters of Ambrym Volcano in the Vanatu Islands of the South Pacific.

Eruption at Gaua
June 19, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

Gaua Island is the above-sea-level portion of a volcano that rises 10,000 feet above the floor of the Pacific Ocean. It has been producing steam plumes for the past few months.

Earthquake Acoustics and Tsunami Warnings
June 11, 2013 | Stanford University

“Stanford scientists have identified key acoustic characteristics of the 2011 Japan earthquake that indicated it would cause a large tsunami. The technique could be applied worldwide to create an early warning system for massive tsunamis.” Quoted from the Stanford University press release.

Life 500 Meters Below the Juan de Fuca Ridge
May 16, 2013 | Deep Carbon Observatory

Researchers have discovered evidence of life 500 meters below the seafloor of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. “They found genetic evidence of Methanosarcinales, anaerobic archaea known to metabolize methane. Further experiments showed that microbes have affected the chemical signature of sulfur in the host basalt, suggesting they could harness energy from the breakdown of sulfates.” Quoted from the Deep Carbon Observatory press release.

Sea Level Rise and Small Pacific Islands
April 18, 2013 | USGS

“Dynamic modeling of sea-level rise, which takes storm wind and wave action into account, paints a much graver picture for some low-lying Pacific islands under climate-change scenarios than the passive computer modeling used in earlier research.” Quote from the USGS press release.

The Methane Hydrate Gas Boom?
April 2, 2013 | NPR

Methane hydrate is the world’s largest natural gas resource. Japanese engineers recently became the first to produce methane hydrate from a well in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. NPR asks if this could become another natural gas boom?

Related: What is Methane Hydrate?

Spectacular Eruption Photos
March 20, 2013 |

A collection of some of the most interesting photos of volcanic eruptions that we have seen from USGS, NASA and NOAA.

Bacteria in the Mariana Trench
March 20, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

Bacteria are thriving at a depth of 36,000 feet at the bottom of the Mariana Trench where the pressure is more than 1000 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level.

M8.0 Earthquake: Santa Cruz Islands
February 5, 2013 | USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

A Magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurred in the Santa Cruz Islands area at about 8:12 PM EST. Tsunami warnings were issued for numerous islands in the South Pacific and waves up to 3 feet in amplitude have been reported.

USAToday reports that dozens of homes were damaged in the Solomon Islands.

January 2013: Most Popular
February 3, 2013 | News

Giant Squid in the North Pacific

Every Field Geologist Should Know This…

Why Lava Has a Red Glow

Falling Water Levels in the Great Lakes

Eruption at Copahue

How Deep Does Magma Form?

M6.1 Earthquake on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

2012: Hottest and Second Most Extreme

M6.1 Earthquake on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge
January 15, 2013 | USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

Earthquakes stronger than M6.0 are unusual on a mid-ocean ridge.

USGS reports that a M6.1 earthquake occurred on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge today at about 11:00 AM local time.

Giant Squid in the North Pacific
January 10, 2013 | CNN

CNN has an interview with Richard Ellis, author of “Search for the Giant Squid”, who explains the significance of a new video of a giant squid, filmed alive, 3,000 feet below the surface of the North Pacific ocean.

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.

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