Articles on Geoscience

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The author began hearing the sound at night, between the hours of 10 and 11 p.m. 'Street' via

Cracking the mystery of the ‘Worldwide Hum’

Shortly after Glen MacPherson started hearing strange humming noises, he created the World Hum and Database Project so people around the world could document their own experiences with the Hum.
Despite the noble intentions behind charity wells, they may not be the best thing. Franco Volpato/Shutterstock

Africa’s aquifers aren’t being protected as they should

The digging of wells in Africa has often been thought of as the solution to helping rural women walking to get water, but they may cause more harm than good.
The April 2015 earthquake flattened villages and towns, but more may be to come. AAP Image/Jonathan Hyams/Save The Children

Nepal earthquake may have ‘unzipped’ fault line, boosting risk of future quake

New research shows the earthquake that struck central Nepal in April this year was only a partial rupture of the fault line, meaning another strong quake could be due in future.
Magnetic traces suggest iron crystals in the innermost core are aligned east-west, rather than north-south. Lachina Publishing Services

Our view of Earth’s inner core is flipped on its side

The planet Earth’s inner core is not a single solid mass but comprised of two layers, and new evidence about the core’s composition from a team of US and Chinese geophysicists suggests that the innermost…
The author posing with a fully-functional model of the Curiosity rover on Earth, not Mars.

Scientists at work: my other office is on Mars

“All systems go!” I said cautiously with a long sigh of relief. I had approved plans for the first soil analysis that would give humankind clues to the past and future habitability of Mars. One small word…
Volcanism, driven by plate tectonics, built Earth’s atmosphere to make a habitable planet. Simon Redfern/University of Cambridge

How the air we breathe was created by Earth’s tectonic plates

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…
Over time, Earth’s plates went from static to dynamic. Modestas Jonauskas/Flickr

What a crack up: hefty continents got tectonic plates moving

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…
It’s good that mount Sinabung isn’t a supervolcano. Binsar Bakkara/AP

How Earth’s devastating supervolcanoes erupt

Devastating supervolcanoes can erupt simply due to changes that happen in their giant magma chambers as they slowly cool, according to a new study. This finding marks the first time researchers have been…
Earth crust cutaway. Jeremy Kemp

Meet the earthquakes that happen 600km underground

A little more than 90 years ago, British geologist Herbert Hall Turner noticed some earthquake data that suggested a surprising explanation. The only way to explain it was if the quake had occurred hundreds…
Broken plates? Thank your nearest shale gas well. pugshi

Can fracking cause bigger, more frequent earthquakes?

Injecting fluids into the Earth, whether to recover natural gas or to obtain thermal energy from the planet, can cause earthquakes. New reports that look at American fracking, deep waste-water injection…

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