Current Plate Tectonics News and Events

Current Plate Tectonics News and Events, Plate Tectonics News Articles.
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Can super-Earth interior dynamics set the table for habitability?
New research led by Carnegie's Yingwei Fei provides a framework for understanding the interiors of super-Earths--rocky exoplanets between 1.5 and 2 times the size of our home planet--which is a prerequisite to assess their potential for habitability. Planets of this size are among the most abundant in exoplanetary systems. (2021-02-09)

A billion years in 40 seconds: video reveals our dynamic planet
New research has allowed geoscientists to show the uninterrupted movement of Earth's tectonic plates over the past billion years. (2021-02-08)

Current issue articles for Geosphere posted online in January
GSA's dynamic online journal, Geosphere, posts articles online regularly. Topics for articles posted for Geosphere this month include feldspar recycling in Yosemite National Park; the Ragged Mountain Fault, Alaska; the Khao Khwang Fold and Thrust Belt, Thailand; the northern Sierra Nevada; and the Queen Charlotte Fault. (2021-01-29)

Thick lithosphere casts doubt on plate tectonics in Venus's geologically recent past
A study of a giant impact crater on Venus suggests that its lithosphere was too thick to have had Earth-like plate tectonics, at least for much of the past billion years. (2021-01-28)

Geological phenomenon widening the Atlantic Ocean
An upsurge of matter from deep beneath the Earth's crust could be pushing the continents of North and South America further apart from Europe and Africa, new research has found. (2021-01-27)

Optimal information about the invisible
Laser beams can be used to precisely measure an object's position or velocity. Normally, a clear, unobstructed view of this object is required. Irregular environments scatter the light beam - but as it turns out, precisely this effect can be used to obtain optimum information in difficult situations. (2021-01-25)

Much of Earth's nitrogen was locally sourced
Scientists show evidence that nitrogen acquired during Earth's formation came from both the inner and outer regions of the protoplanetary disk. The study has implications for signs of potential habitability of exoplanets. (2021-01-21)

A scanning transmission X-ray microscope for analysis of chemical states of lithium
A new method to analyze chemical status of lithium was developed by using a synchrotron-based scanning transmission soft X-ray microscope (STXM). A key of the method is installation of a newly designed X-ray lens, a low-pass filtering zone plate, to the STXM to improve quality of a monochromatic X-ray. 2-dimensional chemical state of a test electrode of Li-ion battery was successfully analyzed with spatial resolution of 72 nm. (2021-01-14)

Geologic history written in garnet sand
Syracuse University researchers probe deep secrets of trapped inclusions in garnet sand from Papua New Guinea (2021-01-14)

Enlightening dark ions
Every field has its underlying principles. For economics it's the rational actor; biology has the theory of evolution; modern geology rests on the bedrock of plate tectonics. (2021-01-12)

The liverwort oil body is formed by redirection of the secretory pathway
In the study published in Nature Communications, the evolutionary relationship between two different organelles in liverwort cells has been revealed: the cell plate, which divides cells during cell division, and the oil body, which is a reservoir for various chemical substances. (2020-12-28)

Slow start of plate tectonics despite a hot early Earth
Writing in PNAS, scientists from Cologne university present important new constraints showing that plate tectonics started relatively slow, although the early Earth's interior was much hotter than today. (2020-12-22)

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, slow-slip action may direct largest earthquakes and their tsunamis
Megathrust earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis that originate in subduction zones like Cascadia -- Vancouver Island, Canada, to northern California -- are some of the most severe natural disasters in the world. Now a team of geoscientists thinks the key to understanding some of these destructive events may lie in the deep, gradual slow-slip behaviors beneath the subduction zones. This information might help in planning for future earthquakes in the area. (2020-12-21)

Secret of Australia's volcanoes revealed
New research from the University of Sydney proposes a theory that explains not only Australia's volcanic coast, but provides a framework for other incidences of intraplate volcanism in China, the US and the Caribbean. (2020-12-16)

When strains of E.coli play rock-paper-scissors, it's not the strongest that survives
What happens when different strains of bacteria are present in the same system? Do they co-exist? Do the strongest survive? In a microbial game of rock-paper-scissors, researchers at the University of California San Diego's BioCircuits Institute uncovered a surprising answer. (2020-12-09)

New study helps pinpoint when earth's plate subduction began
According to findings published Dec. 9 in the journal Science Advances, plate subduction could have started 3.75 billion years ago, reshaping Earth's surface and setting the stage for a planet hospitable to life. (2020-12-09)

Experiment to test quantum gravity just got a bit less complicated
Is gravity a quantum phenomenon? That has been one of the big outstanding questions in physics for decades. Together with colleagues from the UK, Anupam Mazumdar, a physicist from the University of Groningen, proposed an experiment that could settle the issue. However, it requires studying two very large entangled quantum systems in freefall. In a new paper, Mazumdar presents a way to reduce background noise to make this experiment more manageable. (2020-12-08)

K9 chemistry: A safer way to train detection dogs
Trained dogs are better at detecting explosives and narcotics than any technological device scientists have invented. However, training dogs to detect hazardous substances can be inconvenient for the trainer and dangerous for the dog. NIST scientists are working to solve this problem with a material that can catch odors and safely release them over time. (2020-12-03)

Continents prone to destruction in their infancy, study finds
Monash University geologists have shed new light on the early history of the Earth through their discovery that continents were weak and prone to destruction in their infancy. (2020-12-02)

Seismic activity of New Zealand's alpine fault more complex than suspected
New evidence of a 19th century earthquake on New Zealand's Alpine fault suggests that in at least one portion of the fault, smaller earthquakes may occur in between such large rupture events. (2020-12-01)

System can sterilize medical tools using solar heat
Autoclaves, which are used to sterilize medical tools, require a steady supply of hot, pressurized steam. Researchers at MIT and the Indian Institute of Technology have come up with a way to generate that steam passively, using just the power of sunlight, to help maintain safe, sterile equipment at low cost in remote locations. (2020-11-18)

Ancient zircon minerals from Mars reveal the elusive internal structure of the red planet
Analysis of an ancient meteorite from Mars suggests that the mineral zircon may be abundant on the surface of the red planet. By determining the age and hafnium isotope composition of these zircons, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have shown that a population of these crystals were sourced from the deep interior of Mars. If the researchers are correct, it means that the young zircons contain information about the deep, inaccessible interior of Mars, which provides insights into the internal structure of the planet. (2020-11-17)

Piecing together the Alaska coastline's fractured volcanic activity
Among seismologists, the geology of Alaska's earthquake- and volcano-rich coast from the Aleutian Islands to the southeast is fascinating, but not well understood. Now, with more sophisticated tools than before, a University of Massachusetts Amherst team reports unexpected new details about the area's tectonic plates and their relationships to volcanoes. (2020-11-17)

Former piece of Pacific Ocean floor imaged deep beneath China
In a study that gives new meaning to the term ''rock bottom,'' seismic researchers have discovered the underside of a rocky slab of Earth's lithosphere that has been pulled more than 400 miles beneath northeastern China by the process of tectonic subduction. (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 connectivity of multicomponent fluids in subduction zones
A team of researchers has discovered more about the grain-scale fluid connectivity beneath the earth's surface, shedding new light on fluid circulation and seismic velocity anomalies in subduction zones. (2020-11-12)

Radioactive elements may be crucial to the habitability of rocky planets
The amount of long-lived radioactive elements incorporated into a rocky planet as it forms may be a crucial factor in determining its future habitability. That's because internal heating from the radioactive decay of the heavy elements thorium and uranium drives plate tectonics and may be necessary for the planet to generate a magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field protects the planet from solar winds and cosmic rays. (2020-11-10)

New genus of chimaerid fish classified with help from Kazan University expert
A dental plate was found by Canadian national Stephen Suntok on the Pacific coast of British Columbia. Evgeny Popov, a renowned expert in chimaerids, was asked to assist in classification. (2020-11-05)

Finally, a way to see molecules 'wobble'
Researchers at the University of Rochester and the Fresnel Institute in France have found a way to visualize those molecules in even greater detail, showing their position and orientation in 3D, and even how they wobble and oscillate. This could shed invaluable insights into the biological processes involved, for example, when a cell and the proteins that regulate its functions react to a COVID-19 virus. (2020-10-22)

Deep magma facilitates the movement of tectonic plates
A small amount of molten rock located under tectonic plates encourages them to move. This is what scientists from the LGL-TPE (CNRS/ENS de Lyon/UCBL1) have recently discovered. Their new model takes into account not only the velocity of seismic waves but also the way in which they are attenuated by the medium they pass through. The velocity of tectonic plates near the surface is thus directly correlated with the quantity of magma present. (2020-10-21)

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)

New evidence for geologically recent earthquakes near Portland, Oregon metro area
A paleoseismic trench dug across the Gales Creek fault, located about 35 kilometers (roughly 22 miles) west of Portland, Oregon, documents evidence for three surface-rupturing earthquakes that took place about 8,800, 4,200 and 1,000 years ago. (2020-10-20)

Solar-powered system extracts drinkable water from "dry" air
Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have significantly boosted the output from a system that can extract drinkable water directly from the air even in dry regions, using heat from the sun or another source. (2020-10-14)

Aerodynamicists reveal link between fish scales and aircraft drag
A new research study conducted by City, University of London's Professor Christoph Bruecker and his team, has revealed that fish scale arrays generate a streaky base flow on the surface of the animal which yields important clues into reducing drag - the aerodynamic force that opposes an aircraft's motion through the air - by more than 25 percent. (2020-10-07)

Seismic data explains continental collision beneath Tibet
New imagery reveals the causes of seismic activity deep beneath the Himalaya region, contributing to an ongoing debate over the continental collision process when two tectonic plates crash into each other. (2020-09-22)

Detaching and uplifting, not bulldozing
ETH researchers have used a computer model to test a new hypothesis about the formation of the Alps while simulating seismic activity in Switzerland. This will help improve current earthquake risk models. (2020-09-17)

New high-speed test shows how antibiotics combine to kill bacteria
Researchers at Uppsala University have developed a new method to determine - rapidly, easily and cheaply - how effective two antibiotics combined can be in stopping bacterial growth. The new method is simple for laboratories to use and can provide greater scope for customising treatment of bacterial infections. The study is published in PLOS Biology. (2020-09-17)

SwRI scientist searches for stellar phosphorus to find potentially habitable exoplanets
SAN ANTONIO -- Sept. 16, 2020 -- A Southwest Research Institute scientist has identified stellar phosphorus as a probable marker in narrowing the search for life in the cosmos. She has developed techniques to identify stars likely to host exoplanets, based on the composition of stars known to have planets, and proposes that upcoming studies target stellar phosphorus to find systems with the greatest probability for hosting life as we know it. (2020-09-16)

Turbulence affects aerosols and cloud formation
Turbulent air in the atmosphere affects how cloud droplets form. New research from Michigan Technological University's cloud chamber changes the way clouds, and therefore climate, are modeled. (2020-09-16)

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