Current Geology News and Events

Current Geology News and Events, Geology News Articles.
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Fuel for earliest life forms: Organic molecules found in 3.5 billion-year-old rocks
For the first time, biologically-relevant organic molecules have been detected in Archaean fluid inclusions, which most likely served as nutrients for early life on Earth. (2021-02-18)

Past earthquakes triggered large rockslides in the Eastern Alps
Geologists from the University of Innsbruck shed new light on a long-lasting debate about the trigger mechanism of large rockslides. Lake mud in two Alpine lakes in Tyrol reveal that rare strong earthquakes are the final cause of multiple, prehistoric rockslides in the Eastern Alps. The steep rock slopes were degraded by a series of prehistoric earthquakes, larger than any of the historically documented events in the region of the past ~1000 years. The study has now been published in the Journal Nature Communications. (2021-02-16)

Experiments show the record of early life could be full of "false positives"
For most of Earth's history, life was limited to the microscopic realm, with bacteria occupying nearly every possible niche. Life is generally thought to have evolved in some of the most extreme environments, like hydrothermal vents deep in the ocean or hot springs that still simmer in Yellowstone. (2021-01-28)

Deep-sea plastic accumulations by turbidity currents: NW South China sea
Benthic plastic litter is a main source of pollutants in oceans, but how it disperses is largely unknown. This study by Guangfa Zhong and Xiaotong Peng, published today in Geology, presents novel findings on the distribution patterns and dispersion mechanisms of deep-sea plastic waste in a submarined canyon located in the northwestern South China Sea. (2021-01-26)

Mystery of Martian glaciers revealed
On Earth, glaciers covered wide swaths of the planet during the last Ice Age, which reached its peak about 20,000 years ago, before receding to the poles and leaving behind the rocks they pushed behind. On Mars, however, the glaciers never left, remaining frozen on the Red Planet's cold surface for more than 300 million years, covered in debris. (2021-01-19)

Wetland methane cycling increased during ancient global warming event
Wetland methane cycling increased during a rapid global warming event 56 million years ago and could foreshadow changes the methane cycle will experience in the future, according to new research led by the University of Bristol. (2021-01-13)

Study find physical weathering of rock breakdown more important than previously recognized
Anisovolumetric weathering is much more common than previously thought, and variations in this process can be explained by climate and erosion. (2021-01-13)

Gas pressure depletion and seismicity
Europe's largest gas field, the Groningen field in the Netherlands, is widely known for induced subsidence and seismicity caused by gas pressure depletion and associated compaction of the sandstone reservoir. Whether compaction is elastic or partly inelastic, as implied by recent experiments, is key to forecasting system behavior and seismic hazard. (2021-01-04)

St Petersburg University scientists discover an ancient island arc in the Kyrgyz Tien Shan
Researchers at St Petersburg University, as part of an international team, have discovered in the Tien Shan mountains a specific complex of rocks that formed in the Cambrian ocean about 500 million years ago. The age of the rock assemblage was established thanks to adakites - a group of acid volcanic rocks, described from one of the islands in the Aleutian arc. (2020-12-31)

Fluvial mapping of Mars
It took fifteen years of imaging and nearly three years of stitching the pieces together to create the largest image ever made, the 8-trillion-pixel mosaic of Mars' surface. Now, the first study to utilize the image in its entirety provides unprecedented insight into the ancient river systems that once covered the expansive plains in the planet's southern hemisphere. (2020-12-22)

Deep-sea volcanoes: Windows into the subsurface
New research at the Brothers submarine arc volcano sheds light on the complexity of microbial composition on the seafloor and provides insights into how past and the present subsurface process could be imprinted in microbial diversity. (2020-11-30)

Electromagnetic imaging reveals freshwater cache off Hawai'ian coast
Pointing toward a much-needed future reservoir of freshwater for the island of Hawai'i in the face of climate-driven drought, electromagnetic images of the island have revealed multilayered basalt, ash and soil formations that serve as a previously unknown conduit to move freshwater offshore to the submarine flank of the island. (2020-11-25)

Paleontologists uncover three new species of extinct walruses in Orange County
Millions of years ago, in the warm Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California, walrus species without tusks lived abundantly. But in a new study, Cal State Fullerton paleontologists have identified three new walrus species discovered in Orange County and one of the new species has ''semi-tusks'' -- or longer teeth. (2020-11-16)

East African Rift System is slowly breaking away, with Madagascar splitting into pieces
''The rate of present-day break-up is millimeters per year, so it will be millions of years before new oceans start to form,'' said Stamps, an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech College of Science.  (2020-11-13)

The unique hydraulics in the Barbegal water mills, the world's first industrial plant
The Barbegal watermills in southern France are a unique complex dating back to the 2nd century AD. The construction with 16 waterwheels is, as far as is known, the first attempt in Europe to build a machine complex on an industrial scale. A team of scientists has now gained new knowledge about the construction and principle of the water supply to the mills in Barbegal. (2020-11-13)

Study of LGBTQ+ experience in the geosciences finds difficulties, dangers in fieldwork
An investigation from University of Kansas researchers examines the challenges of fieldwork for LGBTQ+ geoscientists. (2020-11-10)

Magma 'conveyor belt' fuelled world's longest erupting supervolcanoes
International research led by geologists from Curtin University has found that a volcanic province in the Indian Ocean was the world's most continuously active -- erupting for 30 million years -- fuelled by a constantly moving 'conveyor belt' of magma. (2020-11-03)

Floating gardens: More than just a pretty place
Floating gardens sound so idyllic. Now, a study proves that they are more than just a pretty place. The study, by researchers at Illinois State University, demonstrates that such constructed gardens can have a measurable, positive impact on water quality. (2020-10-26)

Lost and found: UH geologists 'resurrect' missing tectonic plate
A team of geologists at the University of Houston College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics believes they have found the lost plate known as Resurrection in northern Canada by using existing mantle tomography images. (2020-10-20)

Is it one or two species? The case of the cluster anemones
Their scientific name is ''Parazoanthus axinellae'' and they are among the most fascinating corals of the Mediterranean Sea. A genetic analysis suggests they may belong to two different species and, therefore, there could be two types of cluster anemone. Researchers claim this may lead to more effective conservation strategies against the negative impact of climate change on this sea population (2020-09-29)

Ancient Adélie penguin colony revealed by snowmelt at Cape Irizar, Ross Sea, Antarctica
Researcher Steven Emslie encountered a puzzle at Cape Irizar, a rocky cape located just south of the Drygalski Ice Tongue on the Scott Coast, Ross Sea. He found both ancient and what appeared to be fresh remains of Adelie penguins, mostly of chicks, which frequently die and accumulate at these colonies. However, the ''fresh'' remains were puzzling, he says, because there are no records of an active penguin colony at this site. (2020-09-28)

Genomic adaptations to a rice-based diet mitigate the risk of obesity and diabetes
Populations of China, Korea, and Japan first adopted rice as their main source of nutrition more than 10,000 years ago. As a result, they have developed genomic adaptations that are protecting them from the risks entailed by the westernization of their diets. (2020-09-21)

Venus' ancient layered, folded rocks point to volcanic origin
An international team of researchers has found that some of the oldest terrain on Venus, known as tesserae, have layering that seems consistent with volcanic activity. The finding could provide insights into the enigmatic planet's geological history. (2020-09-17)

Dust may have controlled ancient human civilization
When early humans began to travel out of Africa and spread into Eurasia over a hundred thousand years ago, a fertile region around the eastern Mediterranean Sea called the Levant served as a critical gateway between northern Africa and Eurasia. A new study, published in Geology, shows that the existence of that oasis depended almost entirely on something we almost never think about: dust. (2020-09-15)

Sustained planetwide storms may have filled lakes, rivers on ancient mars
A new study from The University of Texas at Austin is helping scientists piece together the ancient climate of Mars by revealing how much rainfall and snowmelt filled its lake beds and river valleys 3.5 billion to 4 billion years ago. (2020-08-19)

Model links patterns in sediment to rain, uplift and sea level change
In a recent study, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin show that a natural record - sediments packed together at basin margins - offers scientists a powerful tool for understanding the forces that shaped our planet over millions of years, with implications on present day understanding. (2020-07-27)

Evolution after Chicxulub asteroid impact: Rapid response of life to end-cretaceous mass
The impact event that formed the Chicxulub crater (Yucatán Peninsula, México) caused the extinction of 75% of species on Earth 66 million years ago, including non-avian dinosaurs. One place that did not experience much extinction was the deep, as organisms living in the abyss made it through the mass extinction event with just some changes to community structure. (2020-07-14)

New method solves old mystery: Hafnium isotopes clinch origin of high-quality Roman glass
Archaeological glass contains information about the movement of goods and ancient economies, yet the understanding of critical aspects of the ancient glass industry is fragmentary. Until now, it has been challenging to scientifically determine the origin of the colourless and clear glass, which was particularly favoured by the Romans. The Romans distinguished between two types of clear glass: Alexandrian and Levantine. Now researchers have found a way to localize the furnaces of the two types. (2020-07-09)

Curtin study could rewrite Earth's history
Curtin University-led research has found new evidence to suggest that the Earth's first continents were not formed by subduction in a modern-like plate tectonics environment as previously thought, and instead may have been created by an entirely different process. (2020-07-07)

3D magnetotelluric imaging reveals magma recharging beneath Weishan volcano
Researches have succeeded in obtaining a high-resolution 3D resistivity model of approximately 20 km depth beneath the Weishan volcano in the Wudalianchi volcanic field (WVF) for the first time. The study evealed the image of potential magma chambers and the estimated melt fractions. (2020-06-28)

Analysis of volcanic tuff gives new data about Permian-Triassic extinction event
It's not often that scientists are able to find tuff in continental sedimentation, but this was accomplished in the PreUrals region by Kazan Federal University, Borisyak Institute of Paleontology, and Institute of Geology (the latter two are parts of the Russian Academy of Sciences). This was a first such finding on the territory of European Russia. Radioisotopic analysis was conducted by Boise State University. (2020-06-26)

The geological record of mud deposits
The UPV/EHU's HAREA: Coastal Geology research group has conducted a study into how human activities may have influenced the mud depocentres on the Basque shelf, in other words, in the area of the Basque Mud Patch (BMP) on the coast of Gipuzkoa down the ages. The research by the UPV/EHU has been published in the scientific journal Quaternary International. (2020-06-26)

Human activity on rivers outpaces, compounds effects of climate change
The livelihoods of millions of people living along the world's biggest river systems are under threat by a range of stressors caused by the daily economic, societal and political activity of humans -- in addition to the long-term effects of climate change, researchers report. (2020-06-19)

Discovery of ancient super-eruptions indicates the yellowstone hotspot may be waning
Throughout Earth's long history, volcanic super-eruptions have been some of the most extreme events ever to affect our planet's rugged surface. Surprisingly, even though these explosions eject enormous volumes of material -- at least 1,000 times more than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens--and have the potential to alter the planet's climate, relatively few have been documented in the geologic record. (2020-06-03)

Study shows today's atmospheric carbon dioxide levels greater than 23 million-year record
A common message in use to convey the seriousness of climate change to the public is: 'Carbon dioxide levels are higher today than they have been for the past one million years!' This new study by Brian Schubert (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and coauthors Ying Cui and A. Hope Jahren used a novel method to conclude that today's carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are actually higher than they have been for the past 23 million years. (2020-06-01)

Airborne science discovers complex geomorphic controls on Bornean forests
Using tree chemistry maps created by ASU's Global Airborne Observatory, high-resolution topography data, and computer models, researchers at Stanford University and Arizona State University's Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science uncovered new insights into the processes behind how life coevolved with our planet. (2020-05-26)

Study: Ancient ocean oxygen levels associated with changing atmospheric carbon dioxide
Why do carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere wax and wane in conjunction with the warm and cold periods of Earth's past? Scientists have been trying to answer this question for many years, and thanks to chemical clues left in sediment cores extracted from deep in the ocean floor, they are starting to put together the pieces of that puzzle. (2020-05-20)

Modern sea-level rise linked to human activities, Rutgers research reaffirms
New research by Rutgers scientists reaffirms that modern sea-level rise is linked to human activities and not to changes in Earth's orbit. Surprisingly, the Earth had nearly ice-free conditions with carbon dioxide levels not much higher than today and had glacial periods in times previously believed to be ice-free over the last 66 million years, according to a paper published in the journal Science Advances. (2020-05-15)

Hayabusa2's touchdown on Ryugu reveals its surface in stunning detail
High-resolution images and video were taken by the Japanese space agency's Hayabusa2 spacecraft as it briefly landed to collect samples from Ryugu -- a nearby asteroid that orbits mostly between Earth and Mars -- allowing researchers to get an up-close look at its rocky surface, according to a new report. (2020-05-07)

Catastrophic outburst floods carved Greenland's 'Grand Canyon'
Buried a mile beneath Greenland's thick ice sheet is a network of canyons so deep and long that the largest of these has been called Greenland's 'Grand Canyon.' This megacanyon's shape suggests it was carved by running water prior to widespread glaciation, but exactly when and how the island's grandest canyon formed are topics of intense debate. (2020-04-30)

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