Researchers from Rice University say that around 4.4 billion years ago, a Mercury-like planet smashed into Earth, seeding our primordial planet with life-giving carbon. Had this never occurred, it’s an open question as to whether or not life could have ever emerged.
Every geoscientist in North America has a favourite story of helicopters, bears, or both, but these epic field stories take it up a notch to nearly incredible.
Judging from this photograph, Camp No.1 on the Ochlockonee River in Florida is the best-dressed field camp I've ever seen. This dashing geoscientist was at a United States Geologic Survey field camp in 1907 to 1908.
Back in 1904, placer miners combed the Shoshone River for any trace of precious metals. With gold and silver found nearby, long days and hard work sorting through stream deposits had the chance of paying off big.
Our dynamic planet has an apparent paradox: the more ice melts from landlocked glaciers, the lower the sea level gets in nearby areas. How does this happen? Through the physics of isostatic rebound, when the surface of the planet acts as an elastic sheet dimpling and rebounding under changing loads.
Forest fires are a danger in many places in the world. But, even when comparing similar forests, North America's fires are still stronger, hotter, smokier, and faster than fires elsewhere. Why? The answer is hidden deep in the forests themselves.
Here's something you don't see every day: An ultra-HD time-lapse of Earth, as seen in infrared.
The Earth's climate has always changed. All species eventually become extinct. But a new study has brought into sharp relief the fact that humans have, in the context of geological timescales, produced near instantaneous planetary-scale disruption. We are sowing the seeds of havoc on the Earth, it suggests, and the…
Japanese chef Takayo "Tama-cha" Kiyota uses carefully arranged food to create cross-sectional sushi-roll art. Her subjects include everything from popular iconography to Japanese demons, but I'm particularly impressed by the rolls with some scientific flair. This single roll depicts different stages of embryological…
You've probably heard of absolute zero, but what do you call the opposite end of the temperature spectrum?
Mars is covered in craters. Most of them are very old. The one you see here is, at most, two years and four months young – certified fresh, in cosmic terms.
Every December, geoscientists descend on San Francisco for the American Geophysical Union annual meeting. It's the time for announcements big and small over a daunting diversity of topics. Summarizing the breadth of research is an exercise in futility, so instead, here's a tiny taste of what was shared.
Via Natural Resources Canada comes a gorgeously detailed geological map of the Arctic, served up hot and fresh for all your wallpaper needs.
We all rely on our senses to make sense of the world around us – but our senses can only take us so far. To better understand the Earth and its processes, geoscientists rely on a host of strange tools and bizarre research methods to expand the powers of their usual senses.
Ever wondered how marble is quarried? The process, documented in this stunning short by Italian artist and filmmaker Yuri Ancarani, is utterly transfixing.
You can't blame hydraulic fracturing for every natural disaster, but newly published research has linked 400 small earthquakes in Ohio last year to the geology-busting technique.
I can't get enough of this richly colored soil map of Kenya. So I made some wallpapers.
This morning's eruption at Mount Ontake in Japan is the latest in a recent spate of volcanic blasts to have threatened lives and forced evacuations. The timing and global distribution of these recent eruptions raise an intriguing question: Is there such a thing as a season for volcanic eruptions?
It's easy to forget neglect the wonder of our planet in the bustle of the every-day, until you stop to really think about the terrific forces at play to shape the world around us. Here's my quicklinks from around the web on amazing (and terrifying) things about our planet.