Mountains keep growing and growing and growing for many millions of years until they are so heavy that they can no longer grow taller, only wider.
Photo by Jeff Finley on Unsplash
When I was little, geologists worked out Earth's surface was made of pieces, like a giant puzzle. Those pieces, called “tectonic plates”, move and bump into each other and mountains form.
Svetlana.Is / shutterstock
Our research shows that, millions of years from now, fossilised chicken bones will mark the era of human domination.
It’s core to life on Earth.
The Earth's core is cooling down, and one day it will be completely solid – when that happens, Earth might look a lot like Mars.
The green blob is metal-rich molten sulfide in an ore from the Norilsk area in Siberia, the most valuable accumulation of metals of any kind on the planet.
Liquid minerals containing sulfur behave like a hot knife through butter – they're so corrosive they can melt their way through solid rock.
Academics from different disciplines come Head to Head in this series to tackle topical debates.
The active Erta Ale volcano in the northern Afar region of Ethiopia.
To be better prepared for future eruptions there's a need to understand and monitor poorly known volcanoes, even in remote places.
The Tianshan mountains frame Sayram Lake in the Bortala Prefecture in Xinjiang, China.
Setting the scene for ancient Silk Road trading and now China's Belt and Road initiative, the Tianshan has changed humanity. Geological evidence shows us how this incredible mountain range formed.
The beaches of Koh Phangan are set within rocky crags made of granites, the type of rocks studied to piece Thailand to Australia.
Australia's slowly heading north to one day become part of Asia, but a study of the rocks tell us that's not the first time there's been a connection.
Scientists working at the central peak of Gosses Bluff meteorite crater in Northern Territory.
A meteorite hitting Earth at many kilometres per second puts 'ground zero' target rocks under immense pressure. A shock wave faster than the speed of sound can result – and new materials created.
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Gravity, not magma, is forcing Etna to move, increasing the chances of collapse.
The scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution arrives in Honolulu after successful sea trials and testing of scientific and drilling equipment.
The ocean floor holds unique information about Earth's history. Scientific ocean drilling, which started 50 years ago, has yielded insights into climate change, geohazards and the key conditions for life.
Cumberland Island National Seashore off the coast of Georgia.
How do the narrow ribbons of sand that line the Atlantic and Gulf coasts withstand the force of hurricanes? The answer lies in their shape-shifting abilities.
India’s Mawmluh Cave, home of the reference stalagmite for the newly named age.
2018 brought the announcement of a new geologic age that covers the last 4,200 years. How do scientists divide up Earth's timeline and what do these demarcations mean?
Storage site for wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations just outside Reno, Texas.
AP Photo/LM Otero
New research shows that injecting wastewater deep underground can cause earthquakes far from the injection site. It also raises questions about which rock layers are the safest injection targets.
Luckily, monitoring systems at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano allowed some warning before fissures opened up in 2018.
United States Geological Survey/AAP
Melbourne lies at the eastern end of a volcanic province, but when's it going to blow? Understanding the geology of Melbourne and comparing it to Hawaii is really helpful in calculating risk.
Feeling blue? An Oppenheimer Blue diamond of 14.62 carats.
Some diamonds come from depths of more than 650km. Tiny imperfections in these gems give us clues about what's happening in Earth's hidden geological layers.
Successive governments have seen the Great Barrier Reef not just as a scientific wonder, but as a channel to further economic development.
The $444 million awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has been criticised as a politically calculated move. But governments have been asking what the reef can do for them ever since colonial times.
A handful of europium.
A geologist explains the basics about these elements, which are crucial for modern electronics.
Diamond or zirconia? Apart from the price, it can be hard to tell these two gems apart.
Zirconia is a mineral with a crystal structure made from the elements zirconium and oxygen. It looks pretty like diamond, but is only worth a fraction of the value.
Sapphire beads in a Jaipur workshop.
Sapphires and rubies are both crystals of the mineral corundum - but with different impurities to create blue and red hues. Australian sapphires are renowned for being inky blue.