Menu Close

Articles on Earth science

Displaying 1 - 20 of 89 articles

Two crystalline materials together: kyanite (blue) embedded in quartz (white). Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

How do crystals form?

There are a lot of myths about crystals − for example, that they are magical rocks with healing powers. An earth scientist explains some of their amazing true science.
The Jharia coal field in India has been on fire underground since 1916. Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

Why don’t rocks burn?

Some rocks will burn, and others will melt, depending on how they were formed and what minerals they contain.
Engineers have tried to corral a mud volcano in Indonesia that has covered more than 1,700 acres with mud. Eka Dharma/AFP via Getty Images

What are mud volcanoes?

When mud, fluids and gases erupt at the Earth’s surface, they hint at what’s happening underground, allowing scientists to build a more comprehensive 3D view of what’s going on inside our planet.
Earth’s interior 80 million years ago with hot structures in yellow to red (darker is shallower) and cold structures in blue (darker is deeper). Ömer Bodur/Nature

Volcanoes, diamonds, and blobs: a billion-year history of Earth’s interior shows it’s more mobile than we thought

Ancient blobs deep inside the Earth gather together and break apart like continents, according to new research.
Lava flows from a fissure in the aftermath of eruptions from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, May 22, 2018. Andrew Richard Hara/Ena Media Hawaii via Getty Images

Why can’t we throw all our trash into a volcano and burn it up?

Volcanoes might seem like nature’s incinerators, but using them to burn up trash would be dangerous and disrespectful to indigenous people who view them as sacred.
Tube worms, anemones and mussels clustered near a hydrothermal vent on the Galapagos Rift. NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Galapagos Rift Expedition 2011/Flickr

Explorer Robert Ballard’s memoir finds shipwrecks and strange life forms in the ocean’s darkest reaches

Oceanographer Robert D. Ballard, who is best known for finding the wreck of Titanic, has written a memoir recounting his biggest discoveries and calling for more ocean exploration.

Top contributors

More