Monthly Archives: February 2018

Euoplocephalus

Flipside of a dinosaur mystery: ‘Bloat-and-float’ explains belly-up ankylosaur fossils

A scientist with the Canadian Museum of Nature has answered a long-standing mystery about why fossils of ankylosaurs—the "armoured tanks" of the dinosaur world—are...
A fieldwork photo from Réunion Island shows the flank of the Cirque de Cilaos, looking out towards the Indian Ocean.

Modern volcanism tied to events occurring soon after Earth’s birth

Plumes of hot magma from the volcanic hotspot that formed Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean rise from an unusually primitive source deep beneath...
Earth’s geomagnetic field

New data helps explain recent fluctuations in Earth’s magnetic field

Using new data gathered from sites in southern Africa, University of Rochester researchers have extended their record of Earth's magnetic field back thousands of...
A tiny extinct rail (30-40g) is overshadowed by a regular duck.

Miniscule flightless birds have lived in New Zealand’s wetlands for millions of years

Fossilized bones of two new species of tiny, flightless extinct birds have been discovered by Australasian scientists in 19 to 16-million-year-old sediments of an...

Volcanic tramping in Eastern Sicily: An old system feeds “young” Etna

Mount Etna in southern Italy is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, while the Hyblean Volcanoes, located further south, are extinct today....
This is crushed dentine from a Woolly Mammoth for DNA extraction.

Complete genomes of extinct and living elephants sequenced

An international team of researchers has produced one of the most comprehensive evolutionary pictures to date by looking at one of the world's most...
This moisture in the layer of weathered rock that is commonly located beneath soils is an important part of the water cycle on the local and global level. Tree roots tap into the rock moisture and release it back into the atmosphere as water vapor, and water flows through the fractures and becomes part of the seasonal groundwater storage (blue arrows).

Hidden ‘rock moisture’ could be key to understanding forest response to drought

Research conducted by The University of Texas at Austin and University of California, Berkeley has found that a little-studied, underground layer of rock can...
Cremastosperma brevipes, French Guiana.

Geological change confirmed as a factor behind the extensive diversity in tropical rainforests

The tropical rainforests of Central and South America are home to the largest diversity of plants on this planet. Nowhere else are there quite...
Hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert.

Life in world’s driest desert seen as sign of potential life on Mars

For the first time, researchers have seen life rebounding in the world's driest desert, demonstrating that it could also be lurking in the soils...
This is the sampling site Lomas Bayas in the core region of the Atacama.

Life under extreme drought conditions

The core region of the Atacama Desert in South America is one of the most arid places on earth. Sometimes it is raining only...
Ground-running bird model may predict bipedal dinosaur locomotion.

Locomotion of bipedal dinosaurs might be predicted from that of ground-running birds

A new model based on ground-running birds could predict locomotion of bipedal dinosaurs based on their speed and body size, according to a study...
Schematic evolution of retrogressive slope failure due to overpressured gas below the gas haydrate stability zone (GHSZ)

Stable gas hydrates can trigger landslides

Like avalanches onshore, there are different processes that cause submarine landslides. One very widespread assumption is that they are associated with dissociating gas hydrates...
Teide volcano in Tenerife.

New insight into how magma feeds volcanic eruptions

A novel research study by scientists at the University of Liverpool has provided new insights into how molten rock (magma) moves through the Earth's...
Erosional Pleistocene shorelines in Surprise Valley, California, USA.

Extinct lakes of the American desert west

The vestiges of lakes long extinct dot the landscape of the American desert west. These fossilized landforms provide clues of how dynamic climate has...
Cratonic lithosphere with a high-density root undergoes delamination when perturbed by mantle plumes from beneath. The removed cratonic root then thermally grows back, with its rock fabrics preserving recent mantle deformation.

Continental interiors may not be as tectonically stable as geologists think

A University of Illinois-led team has identified unexpected geophysical signals underneath tectonically stable interiors of South America and Africa. The data suggest that geologic...
Rhynia gwynne-vaughanii -- 400 million-year-old fossil plant stem from Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Plants colonized Earth 100 million years earlier than previously thought

For the first four billion years of Earth's history, our planet's continents would have been devoid of all life except microbes. All of this changed...

Earthquakes follow wastewater disposal patterns in southern Kansas

Wastewater created during oil and gas production and disposed of by deep injection into underlying rock layers is the probable cause for a surge...
This schematic illustration of the 2014 Iquique earthquake off the coast of Chile (magnitude 8.1) shows the locations of foreshocks (blue) and aftershocks (red) relative to the area of large slip on the fault (contour lines).

Analysis of major earthquakes supports stress reduction assumptions

A comprehensive analysis of 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific ring of fire between 1990 and 2016 shows that most of the aftershock activity...
The oceanic slow carbon cycle.

How seafloor weathering drives the slow carbon cycle

A previously unknown connection between geological atmospheric carbon dioxide cycles and the fluctuating capacity of the ocean crust to store carbon dioxide has been...
Aerial view of Villarica volcano.

Scientists eavesdrop on volcanic rumblings to forecast eruptions

A new study has shown that monitoring inaudible low frequencies called infrasound produced by a type of active volcano could improve the forecasting of...

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