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Articles on Earth science

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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.
A copper mine in Phalaborwa, South Africa. The African continent is home to vast mineral resources. Mark Schwettmann/Shutterstock

Why African countries must invest more in earth sciences

It seems the production of Earth science knowledge in Africa is simply not progressing, despite the world’s interest in (and exploitation of) the continent’s mineral wealth.
Ilya Bobrovskiy

Ancient sponges or just algae? New research overturns chemical evidence for the earliest animals

Ancient fatty molecules, once believed to be traces of some of the first animals to live on Earth, may have been produced by algae instead.
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.

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