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geology

  1. Science

    This Video Of An Underwater Volcanic Eruption Is Appropriately Epic [Video]

    It occasionally happens that we need a quick reminder that the world we live in is an amazing and beautiful place, and today is one of those days. In the interest of keeping our eyes on big pictures and finding some strange beauty to appreciate in the world, we offer up this video of a river of molten rock flowing into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii. Courtesy of PBS Digital Studios, these images of the Earth literally opening up and remaking itself -- and of course boiling the very oceans that surround it in the process -- are pretty incredible, offering visions of underwater eruptions, avalanches, and the transformation of a small corner of our planet. Take a look below. We hope you dig it. 

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  2. Science

    Giant Oklahoma Earthquake Might Have Been Our Own Fault

    Earthquakes just happen. It's no one's fault, really. Well, it is faulting, the vertical or lateral shifting of rock, but this time it might be another sort of fault: Ours. In a study published in Geology this week, scientists link oil-drilling wastewater to the 5.7-magnitude quake that struck Oklahoma in 2011.

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  3. Science

    Sunken Microcontinent Discovered Hiding Beneath Indian Ocean

    If you're the hidden remains of a microcontinent that sank beneath the waves billions of years ago and you're trying to stay hidden, don't go letting trace amounts of you wash up on tropical beaches. We're just saying, it doesn't help. Case in point: A study of the sand on the volcanic island of Mauritius now leads geologists to conclude that there may be the remains of a microcontinent lurking beneath the Indian Ocean. There are no lost treasures from ancient civilizations washing up yet, but if movies have taught us anything, that's just a matter of time.

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  4. Science

    Hawaii Is Slowly Dissolving, Sinking Into The Sea

    We may have ducked the end of the world last week, but a new study by researchers from Brigham Young University reminds us, that in some small way or another, the world is always kind of ending. The study suggests that Hawaii's volcanic islands are, ever so slowly, being returned to the sea. The culprit is not erosion, or rising sea levels brought on by climate change, but something much more insidious. The islands, it seems, are being dissolved by their own groundwater.

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  5. Science

    Is The Venus Express Probe Watching Volcanoes Erupt On The Planet As We Speak?

    Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) are seeing increased levels of sulfur dioxide in the already rather poisonous atmosphere of Venus. There are a couple of possible explanations for the spike in levels of the gas, but right now, we're going to get excited about the coolest possibility, which is that the ESA's Venus Express probe is seeing the results of some not insignificant volcanic activity on the surface of the planet.

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  6. Science

    Geologists Study Crater Formation by Making Craters With Dynamite — Let’s Watch!

    Geologists at the University of Buffalo are making us think we picked the wrong career today, publishing a study in the journal Physical Review Letters that explores the nature and formation of volcanic maar craters -- bowl-like craters that are formed by volcanic activity, but resemble the impact craters left behind by some meteorites. How, you may ask does one recreate a crater in the lab? The immensely satisfying answer is "in slow motion with a lot of dynamite." As you can see in the short video below which replicates the explosion and aftermath that go into forming one of these craters, we may have missed our calling.

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  7. Science

    Serious Business: LotR’s Mount Doom Is an Actual Volcano That’s About to Erupt

    Geologists are warning hikers to stay off of Mount Ruapehu, the New Zealand volcano that stood in for Mount Doom in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. A variety of signs suggest that pressure is building beneath the volcano, and researchers are concerned that an eruption may be imminent. Still, even if Ruapehu does blow its top, it will probably be a fairly run of the mill explosion of fire from the bowels of the earth, with the number of uruk hai set to be loosed on an unsuspecting island nation expected to be minimal. So, hey -- things could be worse!

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  8. Science

    Researchers Could Predict Eruptions By Taking A Volcano’s Pulse From Space

    A new study from the University of Miami shows that satellite images of inflating magma balloons deep beneath the ground can predict the eruptions of some volcanoes. The groundbreaking study marks the first solid evidence that factors like ground deformation can suggest a volcanic eruption in the offing -- and opens the possibility that, with some fine-tuning, satellite images could help improve eruption preparedness and let people know when they need to get to safety.

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  9. Science

    One-of-a-Kind Giant Magma Bubble in South America Looks Just Like a Sombrero

    A team of geologists has identified one of the largest magma bubbles on the face of the planet, and delightfully, it happens to look like a giant sombrero. A bubble of superheated magma 62 miles across is constantly growing and rising in the center of the geologic uplift, while all around it, the rest of the valley sinks incrementally lower each year, turning the sombrero uplift into the new Most Awesome Geologic Phenomenon Named After a Thing You Wear On Your Head. Sorry, Mount Hood, Helmet Peak, and Hat Mountain.

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  10. Science

    Russia Reveals Enormous Diamond Supply, Could Shake Up Spectacularly Rigged Market For Shiny Rocks

    Russia has revealed a secret it has been sitting on since before the Cold War ended. No, it's not an army of cybernetic supermen driven by hatred of capitalism and rapidly degrading plutonium power cores, though that would be kind of awesome. Also kind of awesome, though, is the country is sitting on one of the largest diamond fields ever discovered, a 62-mile-wide cache of the stones situated beneath the Siberian crater known as the Popigai Astroblem and containing an estimated 1 trillion carats worth of diamonds.

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  11. Science

    Iron “Blueberries” on Mars Could Be Clues To Ancient Microbial Life

    The above picture may not look like much, but it could be a huge deal. The photograph, taken by the Opportunity Rover at Mars' Cape York site, shows iron spherules that researchers commonly refer to as "blueberries." Similar formations are found here on Earth. The catch is that, here, they are formed with help from microbial organisms, suggesting that these unassuming iron marbles could be a telltale sign of ancient life on the red planet.

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  12. Science

    Syracuse University Fake Volcano Puts Your 3rd Grade Science Project to Shame

    In a stirring reminder of what art and science can do when they put their minds together, faculty from the art and geology departments at Syracuse University have joined forces to make a DIY lava flow in one of the school's parking lots. The picture above is not an artistic exploration of the nature of molten rock, or a very convincing substitute that helps students better understand the nature of a geological phenomenon that isn't often seen in upstate New York. No siree, that is honest-to-goodness homemade molten basalt right there. Hit the jump for more info on the project and a video of the homemade lava flow in action.

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