When NASA’s New Horizons space probe zipped past Pluto in 2015, it revealed portions of the dwarf planet’s surface were strewn with what could only be described as gigantic blades of ice, many of which extended into the Plutonian sky for hundreds of feet. Finally, after nearly two years of research, a team of…
Climbing Mt. Everest is an arduous grind that requires months of training and the ability to function at the most inhospitable elevations our planet has to offer, but the suite of technical challenges it presents are not as difficult as nearby peaks of comparable height. It’s not, well, a hike exactly, it just doesn’t…
For three weeks in February, torrents of water rushed down the emergency spillway at Oroville dam, prompting fears that the entire structure would collapse. New images show what’s left of the 3,000-foot long concrete spillway—and the tremendous challenge that now confronts repair crews.
On a tiny island at the end of the world, a lonely weather station is slowly tumbling off a cliffside. It’s a perfect metaphor for the state of our planet. Say hello to Vize Island, Russia. It won’t be around much longer.
The desert creates gorgeous structures, and the Eye of the Sahara is no exception. The stunning structure of bare rock peeks out from a sea of sand, forming a beautiful landmark for astronauts overhead. While circular usually means impacts or eruptions, the eye emerged from differential erosion.
Geologists finally understand how sandstone arches get their shape. By studying cubes of sand, researchers showed that areas squeezed by vertical stress are strengthened and protected from erosion. This means that it's gravity — and not erosion — that gives rise to elegant sandstone arches, pillars, and alcoves.
Differential erosion is a simple concept with a beautiful impact. Variability in rock hardness changes how it is sculpted by water and wind. It's a bit of a tease that geoscientists look at any strange landscape and attribute it to differential erosion, but it's not far off.
This well-preserved crater on Mars features evidence of mass wasting — reoccurring slope linea formation. Material is being eroded from the high-elevation crater lip, forming shifting gullies into the basin below.
During the last Ice Age, when sea levels were lower and the Bahama shelf was exposed land. Rainwater drained down the cliffs, carving gullies in soft rocks. Modern sea levels submerge the region, with pale blue water on the shallow shelf, darkening to deep blue in the submarine canyon.
On the same day we learn that lions are all but extinct in West Africa, a new study points to the devastating ecological and environmental impacts of losing large carnivores across the globe.
Biologically speaking, it isn't that hard to create very simple, one-celled organisms. But the leap to multicellular life requires many factors to line up just perfectly. Now a new hypothesis suggests we wouldn't even be here without some well-timed erosion.
Every sixty million years, the biodiversity of our planet's oceans mysteriously crashes. This strange boom and bust cycle goes back 500 million years, and we now might know why: rising continents make the oceans too shallow for species to survive.
South America's Atacama Desert gets less than a millimeter of rain a year, and some areas have probably never received rainfall. Yet there are rocks in the desert that seem to have been eroded by water. What's going on here?