Articles on Geology

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Tharp with an undersea map at her desk. Rolled sonar profiles of the ocean floor are on the shelf behind her. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the estate of Marie Tharp

Marie Tharp pioneered mapping the bottom of the ocean 6 decades ago – scientists are still learning about Earth’s last frontier

Born on July 30, 1920, geologist and cartographer Tharp changed scientific thinking about what lay at the bottom of the ocean – not a featureless flat, but rugged and varied terrain.
Half Dome in California is constituted from granite, a relatively less dense type of rock. (Shutterstock)

Earth’s rock-solid connections between Canada and Australia contain clues about the origin of life

How the earliest continents formed has been a matter of debate. Analysis of zircons in Canada and Australia suggest that those historical processes are similar to current tectonic movements.
Surface detail of the Tomanowos meteorite, showing cavities produced by dissolution of iron. Eden, Janine and Jim/Wikipedia

Tomanowos, the meteorite that survived mega-floods and human folly

Tomanowos, aka the Willamette Meteorite, may be the world's most interesting rock. Its story includes catastrophic ice age floods, theft of Native American cultural heritage and plenty of human folly.
The ancient landscape at Yarrabubba preserves traces of the world’s oldest known asteroid impact. Shutterstock

We found the world’s oldest asteroid strike in Western Australia. It might have triggered a global thaw

The Yarrabubba asteroid landed 2.2 billion years ago. Around the same time, the icy Earth went through a big thaw.
This started as a mountain range. Bas Meelker/Shutterstock.com

Where does beach sand come from?

Sand may seem abundant when your toes are buried in it, but it's becoming scarce along many coastlines around the world.

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