A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Volcano's special 'voice' is key to understanding the linguistics of volcanoes

Credit: Etna Eruption 2022: Getty images

Tune changed in hours leading up to a kilometer-high lava fountain

Mount Etna, Italy: one of the most active volcanoes in the world. For Boise State University geoscientist Jeffrey Johnson, this volcano's special "voice" is proving key to understanding the linguistics of volcanoes.

Johnson and collaborators studied inaudible infrasound at Mount Etna and identified an infrasonic signal from the volcano, the tune of which changed in the hours leading up to a kilometer-high lava fountain, lasting hours.

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Gravitational forces deep in Earth impact landscape evolution

Credit: Getty images

Research centers on integrating tectonics, climate and mammal diversity

Research led by Stony Brook University scientists focuses on the interplay among the evolution of the landscape, climate and fossil record of mammal evolution, and mammal diversification in the Western U.S.

A little-explored aspect of the research is the connection between gravitational forces deep in the Earth and landscape evolution. Now, in a U.S. National Science Foundation-supported paper in Nature Communications, the researchers show through computer modeling that deep roots under mountain belts (analogous to the massive ice below the tips of icebergs) trigger dramatic movements along faults. These movements ultimately result in a collapse of the mountain belt and exposure of rocks once some 15 miles below the surface.

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Deepest scientific ocean drilling sheds light on Japan's next great earthquake

Credit: Getty images

Tectonic stress in Japan's Nankai subduction zone is less than expected

Scientists who drilled deeper into an undersea earthquake fault than ever before have found that the tectonic stress in Japan's Nankai subduction zone is less than expected, according to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Washington.

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Researchers pull a record of 700,000 years of tropical climate change from an Andean lakebed

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Scientists obtain the longest glacier record for the tropics

When Mark Abbott and his team pulled a 300-foot-long core of mud from a lakebed high in the Peruvian Andes, he hoped it might provide a glimpse of the past 160,000 years of climate change.

Instead, the U.S. National Science Foundation-supported researchers revealed in the journal Nature that the lakebed had recorded the ebb and flow of glaciers for more than 700,000 years — the longest glacier record for the tropics, and among the longest records of historical climate. In that lake mud, the team found clues for how climate change may shape the modern-day world.

"This is unlike anything we had before," said Abbott, a geologist and environmental scientist at the University of Pittsburgh. "We now have a land-based record of glaciation from the tropics that is in many ways equal to our records from the ice caps at the poles and from the ocean, and that's really been lacking."

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Keeping one step ahead of earthquakes

Credit: Gettyimages

As technologies continue to improve, earthquake-prone cities will be better prepared

While accurately predicting earthquakes is in the realm of science fiction, early warning systems are very much a reality. As advances in research and technology make these systems increasingly effective, they're vital to reducing an earthquake's human, social and economic toll.

Damaging earthquakes can strike at any time. While we can't prevent them from occurring, we can make sure casualties, economic loss and disruption of essential services are kept to a minimum.

Building more resilient cities is key to withstanding earthquake disasters. If we had a better idea of when earthquakes would strike, authorities could initiate local emergency, evacuation and shelter plans. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

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As tectonic plates pull apart, what drives the formation of rifts?

A view of the graben that emerged near the Holuhraun lava field in Iceland; Credit: Stephan Kolzenburg

Research on a young rift in Iceland sheds new light on the process

At the boundaries between tectonic plates, narrow rifts can form as Earth's crust slowly pulls apart. But how, exactly, does this rifting happen?

Does pressure from magma rising from belowground force the land apart? Or is a rift just a rip, created mainly by the pulling motion of tectonic plates that are drifting away from each other?

A study published in the journal Geology explores these questions and sheds new light on how this process works.

Past research has pointed to magma as a key driver in rifting events. But the new findings highlight that "rift processes do not have to operate identically across the entire globe," says lead scientist Stephan Kolzenburg at the University at Buffalo.

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Billion-plus years of deep-Earth history hidden in African Diamonds

South African diamonds used in the study, held by fine tweezers; Photo credit: Yaakov Weiss

Scientists find a new way to determine the age of diamonds, and what made them

Diamonds are sometimes described as messengers from the deep Earth; scientists study them closely for insights into the otherwise inaccessible depths from which they come. But the messages are often hard to read.

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SSA Recent Posts

02 December 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Portrait of Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939) as he sits behind his desk in his study, Vienna, Austria, 1930s. The office is filled with figurines and statuettes of various origins. (Photo by Authenticated News/Getty Images) V...
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30 November 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: American artist, musician and producer of Haitian and Puerto Rican origins Jean-Michel Basquiat, in front of one of his paintings, during an exhibition at the Yvon Lambert gallery. (Photo by julio donoso/Sygma via Getty Images) The art of Bas...
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27 November 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Portrait Franz Kafka, around 1905; Getty Images Thoughts to reflect on 1. "A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity." 2. "All language is but a poor translation." 3. "By believing passionately in something that still does not exist...
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