After years of lagging behind Japan, Mexico and other quake-prone countries, the U.S. government has been quietly testing an earthquake early warning system in California since February. Experts developing the systems say that even a 5-second advance notice can be precious.
Their critics weren't convinced the first time, but Rice University researchers didn't give up on the "ice that burns." The Rice team has expanded upon previous research to locate and quantify the amount of methane hydrates—a potentially vast source of energy—that may be trapped under the seabed by analyzing shallow core samples.
Capturing carbon dioxide from power stations and storing it deep underground carries no significant threat to human health, despite recently voiced fears that it might, a study has shown. Researchers found that the risk of death from poisoning as a result of exposure to carbon dioxide leaks from underground rocks is about one in 100 million.
Ultra-high precision analyses of some of the oldest rock samples on Earth by researchers at the University of Bristol provides clear evidence that the planet’s accessible reserves of precious metals are the result of a bombardment of meteorites more than 200 million years after the Earth was formed.
Researchers have confirmed the age of possibly our oldest direct human ancestor at 1.98 million years old. The discovery was made after researchers conducted further dating of the early human fossils, Australopithecus sediba , found in South Africa last year.
Snapping pictures like a tourist, NASA’s solar-powered rover is beaming back images of the horizon, soil, and rocks unlike any it has seen during its seven years roaming the Martian plains. At the western rim of the crater Endeavour, Opportunity has a few more missions to complete.
Globally, irrigation increases agricultural productivity by an amount roughly equivalent to the entire agricultural output of the United States, according to a new University of Wisconsin-Madison study. That adds up to a sizeable impact on carbon uptake from the atmosphere. It also means that water shortages could contribute to yet more warming through a positive feedback loop.
After studying temperature variations at hundreds of inactive oil wells researchers with Brazil's National Observatory have concluded that an underground river as long as the Amazon is running thousands of meters underneath the world’s largest river system.
Tuesday's 5.8-magnitude earthquake, while a rarity for the Eastern seaboard, happens twice a year in Oregon. But this one was felt for more than 1,000 miles from the epicenter. Another difference: When a quake happens in California, geologists usually know what fault ruptured, but in this case a mystery fault is to blame.
With the help of billions of data points captured by European, Japanese and Canadian satellites to weed out cloud cover, solar glare and other blocking features, NASA-funded researchers have created the first complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica.
That old moon might not be as antique as we thought, some scientists think. In a new study regarding Apollo 16 moon rocks, they say it's possible that it isn't a day over 4.4 billion years old. But detractors stick to another number.
According to the latest studies of volcanic samples, rock of the oceanic crust, which sinks deep into the earth due to the movement of tectonic plates, reemerges through volcanic eruptions after around 500 million years. Geologists had thought this process would take about 2 billion years.
Located about 250 miles off the Oregon coast, the volcanic Axial Seamount was recently found to have erupted, fulfilling the predictions of two scientists five years earlier. The feat is the first successful forecast of an undersea volcanic eruption.
Paleontologists have discovered a group of more than 20 polar dinosaur tracks on the coast of Victoria, Australia, offering a rare glimpse into animal behavior during the last period of pronounced global warming, about 105 million years ago.
The Tohoku Tsunami triggered by a major earthquake in northern Japan this spring did more than devastate northern Japan. It also freed massive icebergs from Sulzberger Ice Shelf. Scientists just published the first study that directly observes this type of connection.
Scientists are recreating ancient forms of the mineral pyrite—dubbed fool's gold for its metallic luster—that reveal details of past geological events. Detailed analysis of the mineral is giving fresh insight into the Earth before the Great Oxygenation Event, which took place 2.4 billion years ago.
The Earth’s interior continually radiates some 44 terawatts of heat. Researchers had identified the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium as a principal source, and now, five years after beginning their study, physicists and geologists have released hard numbers of radioactivity’s contribution.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have become the first to record an airglow signature in the upper atmosphere produced by a tsunami using a camera system based in Maui, Hawaii. It preceded the tsunami by one hour, suggesting that the technology could be used as an early-warning system in the future.
After digging holes in the Earth's crust for nearly two decades, Princeton University geoscientist Tullis Onstott has unearthed "worms from hell." Onstott's research team recently made a startling discovery: nematodes living nearly two-and-a-half miles beneath the Earth's surface in several South African gold mines.
Arizona State University researchers have released a striking image of the Moon’s prominent impact crater Tycho, taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera last month. The photograph was planned for its dramatic effect. The boulder in this closeup detail is about 400 feet wide.
Scientists who study tectonic motions have known for decades that the ongoing "pull" and "push" movements of the plates are responsible for sculpting continental features around the planet. Now, evidence has been presented to support the idea that hot spots of magma plumes from deep in the Earth could propel plate motions around the globe.
The drilling team from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have pushed Hole 1256D, a deep scientific borehole, more than 1,500 m below the seafloor and into the Pacific Ocean's igneous crust. They are now encountering metamorphic rocks that is sometimes even tougher than the most resilient of hard formation drilling and coring bits.
NASA’s voyager to the innermost planet is the first to ever enter orbit around the planet, which has yielded important clues to both its origin and geological history. In addition to the presence of large amounts of sulfur and mysterious formations on crater floors, Messenger has also found evidence for the presence of water ice in shaded, dark areas away from the sun.
Researchers at MIT, Harvard Univ., and Smith College have discovered hundreds of microscopic fossils in rocks dating back nearly 710 million years, around the time when the planet emerged from a global glaciation, or "Snowball Earth," event. The fossils are remnants of tiny, amoeba-like organisms that likely survived the harsh post-glacial environment by building armor and reaching out with microscopic "feet" to grab minerals from the environment, cobbling particles together to make protective shells.
Meteorites collected from a British Columbia meteoroid strike in British Columbia 11 years ago are among history’s best preserved. They reveal that asteroids not only hold the stuff of life, like carbon and amino acids—the building blocks of protein—they also are wildly different in the level of amino acids they have. And astronomers now have a theory as to why.