Menu Close

Articles on Rocks

Displaying all articles

Perseverance took a selfie next to its biggest accomplishment yet – the two small drill holes where the rover took samples of Martian rocks. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Perseverance’s first major successes on Mars – an update from mission scientists

Perseverance and its helicopter sidekick, Ingenuity, have been on Mars for nearly nine months. The duo have taken rock samples, performed first flights and taken images of the delta in Jezero Crater.
New research suggests that Venus’ crust is broken into large blocks – the dark reddish–purple areas – that are surrounded by belts of tectonic structures shown in lighter yellow–red. Paul K. Byrne/NASA/USGS

The surface of Venus is cracked and moves like ice floating on the ocean – likely due to tectonic activity

Researchers used decades-old radar data and found that some low-lying areas of Venus’ crust are moving and jostling. This evidence is some of the strongest yet of tectonic activity on Venus.
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.
Weathering of rocks like these basalt formations in Idaho triggers chemical processes that remove carbon dioxide from the air. Matthew Dillon/Flickr

An effective climate change solution may lie in rocks beneath our feet

To avoid global warming on a catastrophic scale, nations need to reduce emissions and find ways to pull carbon from the air. One promising solution: spreading rock dust on farm fields.
Long’s Peak framed by rock outcrop, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Roy Luck

Nitrogen from rock could fuel more plant growth around the world – but not enough to prevent climate change

Scientists have long thought most nitrogen in Earth’s ecosystems comes from the air, but new research shows it also is released as rocks weather. This could boost plant growth and help sequester carbon – but not fast enough to avert climate change, as some pundits have claimed.
A rockfall following the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand in 2011. Reuters/Tim Wimborne

Humans can make rockfalls from earthquakes more dangerous

A new study of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake shows boulders from rockfalls fell much further than in earlier quakes that happened before humans arrived and changed the landscape.
Spectacular landscape of the Nuweveld escarpment showing exposures of the Beaufort Group. SUPPLIED

Why South Africa’s Karoo is a palaeontological wonderland

The Karoo provides not only a historical record of biological change over a period of Earth’s history but also a means to test theories of evolutionary processes over long periods of time.

Top contributors

More