Tags Plate tectonics

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Volcanoes at fault if the Earth slips

The 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes shocked inhabitants of the western island of Kyushu, causing hundreds of casualties and serious damage to vital infrastructure. The epicenter...

Earliest geochemical evidence of plate tectonics found in 3.8-billion-year-old crystal

A handful of ancient zircon crystals found in South Africa hold the oldest evidence of subduction, a key element of plate tectonics, according to...

Sampling the deep graveyard of Earth’s earliest crust

In an international collaboration, Earth scientists at the University of Cologne and Freie Universität Berlin discovered that some magmas on Earth, which made their...

Seafloor spreading has been slowing down

A new global analysis of the last 19 million years of seafloor spreading rates found they have been slowing down. Geologists want to know...

A slow-motion section of the San Andreas fault may not be...

Most people have heard about the San Andreas Fault. It's the 800-mile-long monster that cleaves California from south to north, as two tectonic plates...

X-ray view of subducting tectonic plates

Earth's thin crust softens considerably when it dives down into the Earth attached to a tectonic plate. That is demonstrated by X-ray studies carried...

Mineral dating reveals new clues about important tectonic process

Ancient rocks on the coast of Oman that were once driven deep down toward Earth’s mantle may reveal new insights into subduction, an important...

Fiber-optic cables can produce high-resolution underground maps

How much the ground moves during an earthquake strongly depends on properties of rock and soil just beneath Earth's surface. Modeling studies suggest that...

How does a major subduction zone get started? It may begin...

One longstanding enigma in geology is how one tectonic plate can break Earth's rock-hard shell and begin diving under another in the process known...

As tectonic plates pull apart, what drives the formation of rifts?

At the boundaries between tectonic plates, narrow rifts can form as Earth's crust slowly pulls apart. But how, exactly, does this rifting happen? Does pressure from...

Supermountains controlled the evolution of life on Earth

Giant mountain ranges at least as high as the Himalayas and stretching up to 8,000 kilometres across entire supercontinents played a crucial role in...

How fault lines in a kitchen sink are changing what we...

In a new paper recently published in the journal Geology, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst unveiled a physical model that yields an...

New research strengthens link between glaciers and Earth’s ‘Great Unconformity’

New research provides further evidence that rocks representing up to a billion years of geological time were carved away by ancient glaciers during the...

Crushed resistance: Tectonic plate sinking into a subduction zone

The Earth's surface consists of a few large plates and numerous smaller ones that are continuously moving either away from or towards each other...

Fate of sinking tectonic plates is revealed

Our world's surface is a jumble of jostling tectonic plates, with new ones emerging as others are pulled under. The ongoing cycle keeps our...

Geologists take Earth’s inner temperature using erupted sea glass

If the Earth's oceans were drained completely, they would reveal a massive chain of undersea volcanoes snaking around the planet. This sprawling ocean ridge...

Sea levels influence eruptions on volcanic island

The rise and fall of sea levels influence the likelihood of volcanic eruptions on the Greek island of Santorini, new research led by Oxford...

Supervolcano fed from Earth’s mantle caused crustal plates to rotate

The plates of the Earth's crust perform complicated movements that can be attributed to quite simple mechanisms. That is the short version of the...

Earth’s oldest minerals date onset of plate tectonics to 3.6 billion...

Scientists led by Michael Ackerson, a research geologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, provide new evidence that modern plate tectonics, a...

Discovery of new geologic process calls for changes to plate tectonic...

Geoscientists at the University of Toronto (U of T) and Istanbul Technical University have discovered a new process in plate tectonics which shows that...

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