“Unlike Earth, with its numerous tectonic plates, Mercury has a single rigid, top rocky layer. [...] New global imaging and topographic data from MESSENGER show that the innermost planet has contracted far more than previous estimates.” Quoted from the Carnegie Institution for Science press release.
Erik Klemetti posts an update on recent activity at Ubinas Volcano in Peru. In addition, some people have expressed concern about the recent magnitude 8.2 earthquake triggering an eruption at one of several nearby volcanos, Erik comments on these concerns plus, in another post, on the recent earthquake at Yellowstone.
Did you know that there are seven distinct depressions on Earth that are over 100 meters below sea level, and twenty-three that are over 10 meters below sea level and ten more that are at least two meters below sea level? We have a google map that points to ten of these depressions and a list of the remaining locations.
USGS has released a new video that looks back at the Magnitude 9.2 event now known as “The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami”. This event changed scientific understanding of earthquakes because it was the first major earthquake that was studied from a plate tectonics perspective.
“The Northridge 20 Virtual Exhibit website presents teachable moments – to learn and reflect, to share and to act. Teeming with content, graphics and video recounting the events of January 1994, this exhibit seeks to empower and motivate us to make ourselves safer in future earthquakes.” Quoted from EarthquakeCountry.org.
“Scientists using GPS to study changes in the Earth’s shape accurately forecasted the size and location of the magnitude 7.6 Nicoya earthquake that occurred in 2012 in Costa Rica.” Quoted from the Georgia Tech press release.
“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 next big earthquake on the Seattle fault could trigger destructive landslides in the city, potentially affecting a much larger area than previously thought, and in areas outside those currently considered to be landslide prone.” Quoted from the University of Washington press release.
“The next big earthquake on the Seattle Fault could trigger destructive landslides in the city, potentially affecting a much larger area than previously thought, and in areas outside those currently considered to be landslide prone.” Quoted from the University of Washington press release.
“University at Buffalo researchers are developing a deep-sea Internet. The technological breakthrough could lead to improvements in tsunami detection, offshore oil and natural gas exploration, surveillance, pollution monitoring and other activities.” Quoted from the University at Buffalo press release.
“Scientists broke new ground in the study of deep earthquakes, a poorly understood phenomenon that occurs where the oceanic lithosphere, driven by tectonics, plunges under continental plates – examples are off the coasts of the western United States, Russia and Japan.” Quoted from the Argonne National Laboratory press release.
At least 200 people were killed by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.
There is a report that a mud volcano formed an island off the coast in the Arabian Sea at the same time that the earthquake was occurring. The Weather Channel video has comments on this from a USGS scientist.
“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.
“A new subduction zone forming off the coast of Portugal heralds the beginning of a cycle that will see the Atlantic Ocean close as continental Europe moves closer to America.” Quoted from the Monash University press release.
“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.
“To the west of Wellington, the equivalent of a magnitude 7 earthquake is happening right now, 40 km below ground. This would be Wellington’s largest earthquake in 150 years, yet nothing is felt at the surface.” Quoted from the GeoNet press release.
“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.
“Magma forms far deeper than geologists previously thought. [...] A study simulating pressures in the mantle beneath the ocean floor shows that rocks can melt at depths up to 250 kilometers.” Quoted from the NSF press release.
“New Caltech research suggests creeping faults can turn destructive which could explain the unexpectedly large 2011 earthquake in Japan and give new insight on potential future quakes along the San Andreas Fault. In contrast to some current theories, the research suggests that earthquake ruptures might not stop at creeping fault segments—which are considered stable—instead activating the supposedly stable segments and triggering a bigger quake with more destructive power across a large area.” Quoted from a Caltech media release.
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