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Articles on Plate tectonics

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The greenhouse effect and plate tectonics are essential for maintaining water on the Earth’s surface. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Reto Stöckli

Why is the Earth blue?

The presence of water on the Earth's surface is the result of a subtle balance between different mechanisms in the atmosphere and below the surface.
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.
The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church lies in ruins after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, Jan. 7, 2020. AP Photo/Carlos Giusti

Earthquake forecast for Puerto Rico: Dozens more large aftershocks are likely

Puerto Rico's January earthquakes came after many foreshocks and have been followed by numerous aftershocks. Scientists are studying these sequences to improve earthquake forecasting.
On June 5-6, 2012, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory collected images of one of the rarest predictable solar events: the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. NASA/SDO, AIA

Why we need to get back to Venus

This hot, acidic neighbor with its surface veiled in thick clouds hasn't benefited from the attention showered on Mars and the Moon. But Venus may offer insights into the fate of the Earth.
Material from the Earth’s core has been leaking into the mantle through activity that led to volcanic eruptions such as that helped form the Hawaiian islands. EPA/Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters

Earth’s core has been leaking for billions of years

New findings suggest the core has been leaking for the past 2.5 billion years, and that could help scientists understand how the core was formed.
Scientists have pieced together Game of Thrones’ geology as the show draws last breath on television. Kal242382 from Wikimedia Commons

We made a moving tectonic map of the Game of Thrones landscape

Even in this fantasy world, geological processes like tectonic plate movement, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions would have built the mountains, carved the rivers, and created vast oceans.
In the field studying the rock association in the Doolena Gap greenstone belt, 30 km north of Marble bar in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. David Murphy

How the Pilbara was formed more than 3 billion years ago

The remote Pilbara region of Western Australian formed many billions of years ago when the Earth was much hotter and the crust softer than it is today.
Ten-year-old Stanton in the ruins of his home following the earthquake that hit Papua New Guinea in February. EPA/Thomas Nybo/UNICEF

Aftershocks hit Papua New Guinea as it recovers from a remote major earthquake

Fresh earthquakes and aftershocks hit parts of Papua New Guinea following February's deadly quake. It's Australia's slow push north that's part of PNG's seismic activity.

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