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Articles on Geology

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Rose out of thin water. Sana Baloch

Devastating earthquake in Pakistan creates a new island

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit south-central Pakistan on Tuesday this week. Reports of hundreds of casualties highlight the awful scale of the tragedy, made more difficult for rescuers by the remote location…
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…
Fracking would exacerbate problems with low water levels in reservoirs. John Giles/PA

Water supplies may struggle to cope with fracking demands

The drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of wells for oil or gas is a well-established technique and requires large quantities of water. During the initial drilling of the well, water is needed…
EU states have agreed that CCS is vital, but progress is slow. Owen Humphreys/PA

Explainer: what is carbon capture and storage?

The Energy Technologies Institute recently reported that without carbon capture and storage (CCS), the cost of reaching the UK’s climate change targets will double from around £30 billion per year in 2050…
Sinkholes can have a sinking effect on house prices. BGS

Explainer: what are sinkholes?

Sinkholes seem to be popping up everywhere this year. March saw the tragic death of Jeff Bush in Seffner, Florida, when his bedroom collapsed into a sinkhole below his house. The same month saw the disappearance…
Irazu volcano climbs 3,432 m above Costa Rica. Rafael Golan

Magma refills could predict volcano eruptions

Because of their location’s geology, Icelandic volcanoes are known to be directly connected to the Earth’s mantle. New research shows that a volcano in Costa Rica may have a direct connection to the mantle…
Copper clad, steel containers for geological disposal: what the best dressed nuclear waste is wearing in Sweden these days. kallerna/Wikipedia

Reaping nuclear rewards means paying the costs

It was said originally that nuclear-powered electricity would be “too cheap to meter”, but in the current climate it is nuclear’s capacity to deliver secure, low-carbon energy that appeals. We all use…

Origins of opal uncovered

Researchers have uncovered the geological events that created opal. The formation of Australian opal was due to an extraordinary…

Sea level affected tropics in ice age

University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers have investigated preserved geological rainfall pattern clues, or “proxies”, during…
And you think your neighbours are bad: millions live alongside active volcanoes. Smithsonian Institute Global Volcanism Program

Mexico’s smoking giant El Popo lights up again

The Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico is throwing out plumes of smoke and ash, an eruption that threatens the one million inhabitants of the towns and villages nearby. Mexico City, the world’s third largest…
“There remains no consensus at the present time on the climatic or ecological impacts of Toba.” Victor Hazeldine/EPA

Armageddon and its aftermath: dating the Toba super-eruption

No-one alive today has witnessed a volcanic eruption remotely as big as the Toba “super” eruption. But our ancestors may have done, tens of thousands of years ago, when northern Sumatra exploded, creating…
The theory of plate tectonics is the foundation for understanding geodynamics. rgordon

Breaking new ground – the rise of plate tectonics

Exactly 100 years ago, German geophysicist Alfred Wegener presented his theory of continental drift – the idea that the continents of Earth are gradually drifting apart. And now we have some compelling…
It’s time to let go of our old identity. Matthew McVickar

Australia: moving on up from down under

WHAT IS AUSTRALIA FOR? Australia is no longer small, remote or isolated. It’s time to ask What Is Australia For?, and to acknowledge the wealth of resources we have beyond mining. Currently The Conversation…

How to power a moon base

The sun’s energy can be stored in large blocks of lunar soil (called regolith), potentially powering technology on a future…
The East African Rift holds evidence of a continent under strain. dearanxiety/Flickr

Splitting Africa: what happens when a continent breaks apart?

Modern-day Africa was the keystone of Gondwana, the aggregated mass of southern continents that co-existed for nearly 400m years. That supercontinent has since split apart, creating the land masses we…

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