geology

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DC Is Sinking, Literally

Slow-moving process will make rising sea levels even worse, say geologists

(Newser) - It sounds like a metaphor but is geological reality: Washington, DC, is sinking. In fact, researchers led by a team at the University of Vermont predict that the ground will drop another six inches by the end of the century, reports UPI . The cause isn't man-made: It's the... More »

Enormous Magma Reservoir Found Under Yellowstone

There's enough to fill 11 Grand Canyons

(Newser) - There's enough magma under Yellowstone National Park to fill up the Great Lakes—and then some, according to scientists who say they've taken the best look yet at the "plumbing" system under the volcanic hot spot. The University of Utah researchers used a technique called seismic tomography,... More »

Why the Earth 'Hums'

Vibrations are tied to ocean waves, researchers say

(Newser) - Even though we can't feel it, the Earth is humming all the time. "If you played it at 10,000 times the speed, you could hear 'white noise' like an old TV set between channels," Fabrice Ardhuin, an oceanographer in France, tells the Huffington Post . Experts... More »

Why 'Mile-High City' Is So High Up

It has to do with water from millions of years ago

(Newser) - What makes the High Plains so darned high? Well, geologists say, maybe the Earth just got lighter and floated up like a plank of wood for millions of years. In the journal Geology , experts say water beneath the Western US may have infiltrated an area of the continental plate and... More »

Scientists Argue That 'Age of Man' Began in 1610

We are in the midst of a new geologic time period, but when exactly did it begin?

(Newser) - It may have been more than a century after Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but some scientists are arguing that 1610 marks a "golden spike" in the geologic record that kickstarted what is being called the Anthropocene era, or "Age of Man," and that this spike is... More »

Earth's Core Has Its Own Core

Earthquake waves reveal mystery beneath us

(Newser) - In research that didn't involve incredible advances in drilling technology, researchers have found some surprising secrets at our planet's core. What was once thought to be a single core of solid iron actually contains an inner core of its own with properties very different from what geologists who... More »

Ancient Canyon Found Buried Deep in Tibet

Geologists say it appears to have formed in an unusual way

(Newser) - A very old and very deep canyon lies alongside the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet, near the eastern end of the Himalayas, and its recent discovery is prompting geologists to rethink a popular model currently used to explain how the gorges of the Himalayas came to form so quickly... More »

How Did This Sand Dune Swallow a Boy?

Smithsonian: Decaying buried trees might be the culprit

(Newser) - It's been more than a year since a 6-year-old boy found a hole in a sand dune near the southern shore of Lake Michigan, began to lower himself in, and was swallowed several feet under for more than three hours . "I'm scared," his father heard the... More »

Huge Mountains Fed Ocean Life 600M Years Ago

Range stretched 1.5K miles from Africa to South America

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered evidence of an ancient mountain range that spread 1,550 miles from Africa to South America back when the two continents were one. And strange as it may sound, the massive mountain range on the supercontinent Gondwana, similar in size to the Himalayas, actually fed our oceans... More »

Mystery Crater Surfaces on Utah Farm

Theories include collapsed soil, earthquakes, or 'Martian art'

(Newser) - Gary Dalton was draining the irrigation pond on his farmland in Circleville, Utah, when he made a startling discovery: a giant crater staring back up at him from the bottom of the basin. "The sun was just right, so I saw this blasted thing that no one had ever... More »

Drought Lifts Western US —Literally

California mountains half an inch higher these days

(Newser) - If you're in the western US, the ground you're standing on may be a little higher than it was a few years ago. The drought that's been plaguing the West has resulted in an "uplift effect," scientists find. The "growing, broad-scale loss of water"... More »

Huge Crack Appears in the Earth

Underground stream may have caused fissure in Mexico

(Newser) - Scientists are scratching their heads over a crack in the Earth that's more than half a mile long, Sky News reports. A drone captured video footage of the 16-foot-wide, 26-foot-deep crack, which appeared last week in remote farmland and cuts across Highway 26 between the coast and Hermosillo in... More »

Why the Amazon River Reversed Its Flow

It's linked to erosion and the Andes, researcher finds

(Newser) - The Amazon River flows eastward toward the Atlantic, but researchers know that wasn't always the case, notes the Latin Times . Long ago, the region's water moved in the opposite direction. Just what was it, though, that caused the reversal? Earlier findings linked the shift to the movement of... More »

Yellowstone Closes Road Because It's Melting

Park hopes to have geyser route in operation again soon

(Newser) - You'll never guess why "Firehole Lake Drive" is temporarily off-limits to tourists in Yellowstone National Park. Yes, the popular 3.3-mile loop is closed for a while because the asphalt is melting, reports National Parks Traveler . "Extreme heat from surrounding thermal areas has caused thick oil to... More »

Mystery of West's Mammoth Ancient Lakes Solved

Study: Lower evaporation rates led to far larger lakes

(Newser) - During the period known as the Last Glacial Maximum some 21,000 years ago, mammoth lakes spread out across large swaths of the West, and scientists have long wondered why the now-dry lakes used to be so big. Mystery solved: A new study finds that the reason has nothing to... More »

Water 'Missing for Decades' Found 400 Miles Beneath US

But the water is neither liquid, ice, nor vapor: researchers

(Newser) - Four hundred miles beneath the United States, there appears to be enough water to fill all our oceans—almost three times. Researchers have for the first time discovered direct evidence of the water, which exists as a fourth form: not liquid, not ice, not vapor, but hydrogen and oxygen molecules... More »

Experts Warned of 'Catastrophic' Landslide in Wash.

'We’ve known it would happen at some point. We just didn’t know when.'

(Newser) - "This came out of nowhere," a county official said yesterday of the landslide that killed at least 14 and left 176 more missing in Washington. "This was a completely unforseen slide." But geologists have actually been making dire predictions about the hill that collapsed since the... More »

Blarney Stone Mystery Solved

It's not a chunk of Stonehenge, tests reveal

(Newser) - Ireland's famous Blarney Stone isn't a slice of Stonehenge, part of Robert the Bruce's "Stone of Destiny," or anything else more exotic than local limestone, researchers say. The stone reputed to give those who kiss it the "gift of the gab" has been revealed... More »

'Hell Diamond' Signals Vast, Deep Water Deposit

Earth's mantle may have as much water as the oceans

(Newser) - A huge "wet zone" hundreds of miles beneath the surface of the Earth could hold as much water as all the oceans put together, according to researchers analyzing a mineral from deep in the mantle. The water is "not a Jules Verne-style ocean you can sail a boat... More »

Earth's Oldest Rocks: 4.4B-Year-Old Crystals

They're not much younger than the planet itself

(Newser) - When scientists claimed more than a decade ago that tiny crystals in Australia were 4.4 billion years old, they faced skepticism. The Earth itself, after all, is 4.5 billion years old, the Sydney Morning Herald notes. "Nothing in science goes without being questioned," geochemist John Valley... More »

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