A scale model of one of the two LAGEOS satellites.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
We know much about the true shape of our planet is thanks to two satellites that act as targets for lasers fired from Earth.
Up a bit, right a bit – Australia is always on the move.
Australia is always on the move thanks to continental drift which means the mapped coordinates of any place can get out of line with any GPS locating system. So what's the plan to fix it?
Residents walk through rubble in central Italy.
Central Italy has been hit by a magnitude 6.2 earthquake, only seven years after a similar devastating quake in the region.
A satellite image of the 2004 boxing day tsunami striking the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Could a similar tsunami hit Australia?
Australia is surrounded by ocean, so is not immune to the effects of tsunamis. But how significant is the risk?
Satellite image of California’s San Andreas fault, where two continental plates come together.
NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
Fifty years on from a groundbreaking paper, geophysicists have progressed from believing continents never moved to thinking that every movement may leave a lasting memory on our planet.
Some of the Earth’s fault lines between tectonic plates in the East Asia region.
Earth is the only planet in our solar system with both plate tectonics and life. Is there a connection?
The recent earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador were large, but were they connected?
EPA/Everett Kennedy Brown
When two major earthquakes occur within days of each other thousands of kilometres apart, it can look like they're connected. But are they? Here's what the science says.
The Earth’s surface is in a constant state of motion, before, during and after earthquakes.
Shutterstock/Natee K Jindakum
The earth around you might seem static but it's constantly in motion. We need to track this motion in fine detail if we're to keep our GPS networks up to date.
Many marine reptiles like this nothosaur went extinct at the end of the Triassic, one of five major mass extinction events on Earth.
A fall in vital trace elements in our oceans could be one of the driving forces behind a number of mass extinction events during Earth's history.
Piton de la Fournaise or “Peak of the Furnace” on Reunion Island is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, shown erupting in August 2015.
What happens beneath the surface before a volcano erupts? Can we predict when one will blow? And how can typhoons and melting glaciers contribute to big eruptions?
The cycles of nutrients into the oceans following the building of mountains may have been a prime driver of evolutionary change.
John Long, Flinders University
The rise and fall of the essential elements for life could have influenced the way life evolved over many millions of years.
Surface measurements hint at what’s going on within.
For seismologists, there's much to be learned after a major earthquake, as aftershocks help them map out the fault with high precision. More data now can prepare a region for its next big one.
Volcanism, driven by plate tectonics, built Earth’s atmosphere to make a habitable planet.
Simon Redfern/University of Cambridge
How is it that Earth developed an atmosphere that made the development of life possible? A study published in the journal Nature Geoscience links the origins of Earth’s nitrogen-rich atmosphere to the…
How many continents can you count on one hand?
From the 1950s until recently, we thought we had a clear idea of how continents form. Most people will have heard of plate tectonics: moving pieces on the surface of the planet that collide, pull away…
Over time, Earth’s plates went from static to dynamic.
Plate tectonics – the large-scale movement of Earth’s lithosphere or outer layers – started around three billion years ago, but how those movements started was a bit of a mystery – until today. With colleagues…
New research into early plate tectonics suggests the conditions for life on Earth may have existed up to a billion years…
A global map of subduction zones has been developed, which will allow researchers to more accurately pinpoint areas capable…
We’re learning how the earliest rocks formed, and they’re providing a pretty weird picture of the young Earth.
New evidence is shedding light on the processes that formed Earth’s oldest rock and mineral record – processes that influenced the early evolution of life. Over the past 30 years our knowledge of the earliest…
Lucy, born 3.2m years ago.
It should not be a surprise that East Africa was a hotbed of evolution, because over the last five million years everything about the landscape has changed. The extraordinary forces of plate tectonics…
Scientists have discovered the elixir to the world’s most renown mountains’ exceedingly long health: landslides and erosion…