Home » Geology News

Geology and Earth Science News


Father-Daughter Team Helps Discover Giant Prehistoric Sea Beast
Gift Article from the Washington Post
NASA's Juno Gives Aerial Views of Mountain, Lava Lake on Io
NASA

This animation is an artist's concept of Loki Patera, a lava lake on Jupiter's moon Io, made using data from the JunoCam imager aboard NASA's Juno spacecraft. With multiple islands in its interior, Loki is a depression filled with magma and rimmed with molten lava. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Active Volcanoes of Our Solar System
Geology.com

Io, a moon of Jupiter, is the most volcanically active body in our solar system. It has over 100 active volcanic centers, many of which have multiple active vents. Eruptions recurrently resurface large parts of the moon. NASA image.

Brandberg Massif
NASA Earth Observatory

Brandberg Massif is the highest mountain in Namibia. Because there is a lack of deep soil in this area, different types of rocks are plainly visible on the surface, including granite, schist, and sedimentary rocks. Image by the International Space Station (ISS) Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center.

Where Is Namibia?
Geology.com

Namibia is located in southern Africa. Namibia is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Angola to the north, Zambia and Botswana to the east, and South Africa to the southeast.

Massive Mount Ruang Eruption Sends Plumes Nearly 70,000 Feet High
Gift Article from the Washington Post
The explosions in Indonesia may have injected aerosols into the stratosphere. Ruang is a volcano on an island, north of the city of Manado, which is located on the northern peninsula of Sulawesi.
Q: How Does a Desert Turn Green? A: Cloud Seeding?
CNBC
The United Arab Emirates and other "water-stressed" countries in the Middle East are experimenting with cloud seeding in an effort to develop "green landscapes".
The UAE Government Denies Cloud Seeding Took Place Before Dubai Floods
CNBC
The Town That Kept Its Nuclear Bunker a Secret for Three Decades
Smithsonian
Quote from the article: "The people of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, helped keep the Greenbrier resort's bunker - designed to hold the entirety of Congress - hidden from 1958 to 1992."
How King's College Added 438 Solar Panels to a 500-Year-Old Chapel
Smithsonian
Quote from the article: "The project sparked debate over how to decrease carbon emissions while preserving the historic structure's architectural beauty."
Meteorites are Vanishing Below the Antarctic Ice
CNN
More than half of the meteorites that have been collected so far have been found in Antarctica. The dark meteorites are easy to see on the snow-white surface. However, the meteorites' dark color also causes them to heat up in the sun, melting the surrounding ice. The meteorites can sink into the surface little by little, until they disappear from view.
Antarctica: The Best Place to Hunt Meteorites
Geology.com
meteorite find
Meteorite Find: When meteorite hunters find a specimen in the field, it is photographed on-site with a measurement scale and an identification number visible in the background. NASA image.

No Need to Spray for Cicadas
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Trillions of cicadas will be emerging across the United States in a few weeks - but don't panic! The bugs might look creepy, but they cannot bite or sting. They won't eat your flowers or garden produce, and they are for the most part harmless. You may want to protect young trees with netting, but don't use pesticides, as they are harmful to other organisms and will not be effective in keeping cicadas away.
The 2024 Periodical Cicada Emergence
University of Connecticut
If you're really interested in learning more about cicadas, The University of Connecticut has everything you ever wanted to know, and then some.
Pennsylvania Geology (features Women in the Geosciences)
Pennsylvania Geological Survey
The link connects to a PDF downloadable document (13.93MB) and is best viewed on a desktop computer.
Mount Etna Puffs "Smoke Rings" Into the Sky
Smithsonian
See photos and a short video at SmithsonianMag.com - the "rings" are mostly condensed water vapor.
Mount Etna: Plate Tectonics, Geologic Hazards, Eruption History
Geology.com

A night photo of Mount Etna producing an eruption of glowing ejecta in 2008. These spectacular eruptions can be seen from many parts of Sicily. Image copyright iStockphoto / Frizi.

New Jersey Earthquake Fault Is Still Not Found, So USGS Deploys New Aftershock Sensors
NBC News
See the video about 1/2 way down the page.
The Difference Between 99% Eclipse and Totality
Geology.com

The photos above show the same location in Vincennes, Indiana during the 2024 solar eclipse. Believe it or not, these pictures were taken just one minute apart! The top photo was taken when the sun was about 99% covered, and the bottom photo was taken during 100% totality. As you can see, even with 99% coverage, the difference is like day and night! Click the image for a larger view. Photos by Patrick King / Geology.com.

The Solar Eclipse, In Photos
CNN
CNN has a nice collection of people enjoying the eclipse on April 8.
The Solar Eclipse, As Seen From Space
NASA Earth Observatory

From a million miles away, the solar eclipse appeared as a dark shadow crossing over North America. NASA Earth Observatory images by Michala Garrison and Wanmei Liang, using data from DSCOVR EPIC and VIIRS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE, GIBS/Worldview, and the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS).

Webinar: Unbottling the Environmental & Health Impacts of Nanoplastics
Columbia University Climate School
Just 57 Companies Linked to 80% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Guardian
Quote from the article: "Although governments pledged in Paris to cut greenhouse gases... most mega-producers increased their output of fossil fuels and related emissions in the seven years after that climate agreement, compared with the seven years before."
Studies Reveal Presence and Distribution of PFAs in New Mexico's Water Resources
United States Geological Survey

A USGS water quality sampler deployed on the Rio Grande to collect an integrated sample of PFAS in the water near Alameda, New Mexico. USGS photo.

What Are the Energy Impacts of the Port of Baltimore Closure
Energy Information Administration
Earth Day Resources for Science Teachers
National Science Teaching Association
Earth Day is on Monday, April 22, 2024. The National Science Teaching Association has a wealth of resources and free lesson plans available for teachers at all grade levels.
Seabed 2030: Mapping the Ocean Floor
EOS Science News

A project called Seabed 2030 aims to map the Earth's seafloor by the year 2030. They gather data from a variety of sources, and their findings are uploaded to the GEBCO grid - a free-access global terrain model. Shown above is a portion of a bathymetric map of the Arctic Ocean in color and shaded relief. Map by Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and others.

No Canadian Volcanoes Meet Monitoring Standards
EOS Science News
Quote from the article: "A new analysis reveals serious monitoring gaps at even the highest-threat volcanoes."
Watch the Solar Eclipse on Your Computer or Phone
Smithsonian

Here's how you can see the solar elcipse from the comfort of your own home - even if you live thousands of miles away. This article links to 5 different organizations that are offering a live stream of the solar eclipse, which can be viewed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Image by Don McCrady, displayed here under a Creative Commons License.

Big Oil Is Scaling Up Carbon Capture to Slash Emissions Against Immense Challenges
CNBC
See What the Solar Eclipse Will Look Like in Your City
Gift Article from the Washington Post
A Guide to Watching the Solar Eclipse in the D.C. Area
Gift Article from the Washington Post
Aftershocks From Northeast Earthquake Could Continue for a Week
CBS News
Eclipse and Other Information from Sky & Telescope
Sky & Telescope
More Earthquake Aftershocks in N.J. Region Are Very Likely in the Next 7 Days
NJ.com
Gold Miners Work to Restore Peru's Amazon Rainforest
NPR
Illegal gold mining can transform a lush rainforest into a barren landscape with contaminated soil. In Peru, there is an initiative underway to help the miners restore part of the rainforest in Madre de Dios. The miners are also taught how to extract gold without the use of toxic mercury, which poisons the soil, water, fish, and the local people.
Where is Peru?
Geology.com

Peru is located in western South America. Peru is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Chile to the south, Bolivia and Brazil to the east, and Colombia and Ecuador to the north.

East Coast Earthquake - Did You Feel It?
United States Geological Survey

Over 15,000 people contributed their observation to the USGS "Did you feel it?" map. Earthquakes of 4.7 magnitude are very rare in the eastern United States. When they occur, they are usually felt over broad areas. If you felt this earthquake and want to contribute, go here.

M4.7 Earthquake Shakes NJ, NY, NYC, Boston, Philly Region -- Video, Live Updates
NBC News
Interactive Sea Level Rise Viewer for American Samoa
EOS
In the coming decades, rising sea levels and subsiding land will cause the inundation of coastal areas in American Samoa. Researchers and community leaders have created an interactive tool that can be used to visualize which areas are most at risk.
Illegal Oil and Gas Wastewater Dumps Disrupt Foundations of Fragile Desert Ecosystems
United States Geological Survey
NASA Eclipse Explorer ** Highly Recommended! **
NASA

The NASA Eclipse Explorer is an interactive map that allows you to zoom in and click on U.S. cities to see eclipse-related information for that location. Find the duration of totality (or the maximum percent coverage), an illustrated timeline, live local weather conditions, and more.

How the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Is Different than the 2017 Eclipse
NASA

There are several ways in which the two eclipses differ. Image by Ernest Wright / NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio.

Strongest Earthquake in 25 Years Rocks Taiwan, Killing 9 People and Trapping 70 Workers in Quarries
Associated Press
How Hot Is Long Valley Caldera?
United States Geological Survey

Quote from the article: "Measuring the temperature of lava erupting on the Earth's surface is possible with the right equipment. But how do you figure out the temperature of something miles below the surface? This week, we explore how scientists have tried to take the temperature of the Long Valley Caldera."

About the photo: "USGS scientists measuring temperature in a deep borehole in Long Valley Caldera with the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. USGS photo by Chris Farrar."

Diagrammatic Cross Section of Long Valley Caldera
United States Geological Survey

Cross section of Long Valley Caldera. The resurgent dome, Doe Ridge, Mammoth Mountain, and the Inyo Craters and Domes all reflect volcanic activity since 760,000 years ago, when a giant eruption formed the caldera. The thermal springs in Hot Creek are fed by Sierra Nevada snowmelt that seeps underground and migrates eastward in the vicinity of partially molten rock (magma) beneath the western part of the caldera. The water cools as it migrates eastward beneath the ground (red arrows). Image and caption by USGS.

For more information see: Hot Water in the Long Valley Caldera -- The Benefits and Hazards of this Large Natural Resource. (USGS Fact Sheet 2018-3009, March 2018.)

Landslide Damages California's Highway 1 After Heavy Rains
Associated Press
Eclipse Science Along the Path of Totality
EOS

The upcoming solar eclipse on April 8 will provide unique opportunities for science-minded people across the continental United States. From Texas to Maine, researchers and citizen scientists alike will be collecting a wide range of data to help us better understand our planet, the sun, and the moon. Map by NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio.

Partial: The Solar Eclipse for the Rest of Us
Sky & Telescope
If you live in North America but won't be in the path of totality on April 8, don't despair. There are still a number of things you can see to make the most of a partial eclipse!
Medieval Castle Revealed Beneath Hotel in France
CBS News
At an excavation site in Vannes, France, archaeologists have uncovered the well-preserved remains of a medieval castle. The castle and its moat contained a variety of treasures and other items, such as coins, jewelry, and kitchenware.
Birthstone for the Month of April: Diamond
Geology.com

Diamond is the traditional birthstone for the month of April. There are numerous choices for people who are looking for diamond birthstone jewelry. These days, shoppers can choose to buy lab-grown diamonds, Canadian diamonds, or even colored diamonds! Image copyright iStockphoto / Greg Stanfield.

The U.S. was the World's Largest Liquefied Natural Gas Exporter in 2023
U.S. Energy Information Association

In 2023, LNG exports from the United States averaged almost 12 billion cubic feet per day. Graph by EIA.

What is LNG - Liquefied Natural Gas?
Geology.com
LNG carrier ship
An LNG carrier ship docked at the Bontang LNG liquefaction terminal in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The LNG is carried in the ship's four dome-shaped tanks. Image copyright iStockphoto / Mayumi Terao.

Las Vegas Is Going All In on Its Water Conservation Plan
Smithsonian

Las Vegas is known for excess and indulgence, so it might be surprising to hear that the city is leading the way in its water conservation efforts. As the Colorado River shrinks, but the population continues to grow, this juxtaposition has prompted local officials to come up with some ingenious solutions to ensure that there is still enough water to go around.
Shown above: A Landsat satellite image of Las Vegas, Nevada. Image created by Geology.com, using data from NASA's GeoCover. Click the image for a larger view.

Video: Why the 2024 Solar Eclipse is Such a Big Deal
PBS

Scientists Are Deep-Freezing Corals to Repopulate Future Oceans
Smithsonian
Stone Age Humans Chose Their Rocks with Care
EOS

Prehistoric people became highly skilled at making tools and projectile points from rocks. National Park Service image.

Flint: The Preferred Tool-Making Material
Geology.com

Flint is a variety of microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline quartz. It is a hard, tough material that has been used by humans to make tools for millions of years.

Why Scientists Want the Moon to Be Protected From Development
Smithsonian
Quote from the article: "Only a few lunar sites are ideal for certain cutting-edge research - and they're under threat from mining, satellites and bases."
Who Owns the Moon?
Geology.com

Does any country, company, or individual have the right to own celestial bodies or their minerals? Shown above is an artist depiction of what mining in space might look like. NASA image.

Quiet Night Over Eastern Canada
NASA Earth Observatory

In this photo, taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station, the aurora borealis looks like it is "floating" over the Earth. Image provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center.

Aurora Australis from Space
Geology.com

The Aurora Australis, also known as the "Southern Lights," is a natural light display that occurs in Earth's atmosphere above Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The image was compiled by superimposing data of the Aurora Australis collected by NASA's IMAGE satellite atop of an image of Earth from a south polar perspective from the Blue Marble project. The result simulates what the Aurora Australis would look like from a satellite orbiting above. Image by NASA.

Rebuilding the Seawalls in Washington, D.C.
National Park Service
In Washington, D.C., the seawalls around the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park are in need of repair. The land around the basin has settled by about 5 feet since the seawalls were built over a century ago. Additionally, the water level has risen by more than a foot, and now the sidewalks flood twice a day with the tide. Site preparation will begin this May, and the new seawalls are expected to be complete in 2027.
Global Subsidence Map
UNESCO

If you have any interest in land subsidence, you probably should know about this interactive map. It is the UNESCO Global Subsidence Map published by Herrera-Garcia et al. in Science (2021). Click the map above to view.

Fires in the Appalachians
NASA Earth Observatory

Smoke billowed from multiple wildfires in Virginia and West Virginia on March 21st as the eastern United States had dry and windy weather. NASA Earth Observatory image by Michala Garrison, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS/Worldview. Story by Emily Cassidy.

Man Finds "England's Largest" Gold Nugget, Despite Metal Detector Failing
CNN
USGS Updates Pennsylvania Drought Condition Web Tool
United States Geological Survey

The Pennsylvania Drought Condition Monitoring Web Tool shows the current drought status for each county and hydrologic conditions for precipitation, streamflow, groundwater levels, and Palmer Drought Index used by PADEP for drought monitoring.

Belgium Arrests Diamond Traders for Importing Russian Rough
JCKonline
Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know
Smithsonian

Most people have heard of Marie Curie (shown above with husband Pierre), but they might not be able to name many other female scientists from times past. Learn about 10 trailblazing women from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

Uraninite
Geology.com

Uraninite is a radioactive mineral and the most important ore of uranium. Shown above is a botryoidal uraninite crust from the state of Saxony in Germany. Photo by Geomartin, used here under a GNU Free Documentation License.

One Schist, Two Schist, Greenschist, Blueschist: Metamorphosed Volcanic Rocks in California
United States Geological Survey

While California has plenty of active volcanoes, it also has a rich history of volcanism preserved in its Franciscan Complex rocks. The green tinge on some of the "pillows" is the result of metamorphism, replacing primary minerals with greener ones such as chlorite and epidote. About the photo: an outcrop of metabasalt pillows, Bay Area, California. Photo by Jessica Ball, USGS.

Almost 2,000 Earthquakes in One Day Off Canada's West Coast
LiveScience
These earthquakes off the coast of British Columbia's Vancouver Island "could be a sign that new oceanic crust is about to be birthed via a deep sea magmatic rupture." Quotes from the article.
Diamonds Provide a New Meaning to the Term "Fantasy Cuts"
JCKonline
In Gems and Jewelry: Greenwashing Class Actions Are on the Rise
JCKonline
Quote from the article: "Class actions over environmental claims have become a hot trend in the legal world, and jewelry companies should take precautions to ensure they're not the next target", Tiffany Stevens, President Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

If you are going to make claims about your product being "environmentally friendly" or "carbon neutral" or any similar term... you better have your proof ready and be willing to defend yourself in court. This extends far beyond jewelry and into vehicles, buildings, and anything that people decide to boast about.

Gold Price Has Topped $2,200 an Ounce, a New Record
JCKonline
Quote from the article: "The spot price of gold briefly passed $2,200 an ounce on March 21 -- a new world record."
The Many Uses of Gold
Geology.com

The United States government currently mints coins from gold and other precious metals; however, they are intended for investment and collecting. They are not intended for use as legal tender.

Establishing a Monitoring Program for Pico Basile Volcano in Equatorial Guinea
USGS

Pico Basile volcano, located on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea (western Africa). Public domain image by USGS.

Where Is Equatorial Guinea?
Geology.com

Equatorial Guinea is located in western Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Cameroon to the north, and Gabon to the east and south.

Submarine Avalanche Deposits Hold Clues to Past Earthquakes
EOS Science News

Quote from the article: "Scientists are making progress on illuminating how undersea sedimentary deposits called turbidites form and on reconstructing the complex histories they record." Photo of rocks formed from turbidite deposits in Cornwall, England by Kevin Walsh. Displayed here under a Creative Commons License.

Fossils Reveal: Alaska's Frigid North Slope Was Once a Lush, Wet, Dinosaur Hotspot
Smithsonian
Quote from the article: "Conditions north of the Arctic Circle, where dinosaurs roamed in abundance during the mid-Cretaceous, were warmer than today, with rainfall comparable to 'modern-day Miami.'"