Geology in the News:

Here is a summary of news, discoveries, and stories from the America Geophysical Union (AGU);

Check out this site that summarizes Geology in the News from Science Daily;

Here is another site from;

Geology News from Sci News;

Geology News from Discover Magazine;

and Nature.


Researchers track volcanic activity using earthquake data.


Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing about 2 ppm per year, and the concentration is very well known, carefully measured, and increasing rapidly due to burning fossil fuels, and greenhouse effect is one of the best understood aspects of climate science (and has been known for over 100 years).


Here is global pollution and wind circulation displayed almost in real time.


Earth’s Core-Mantle Boundary May Be Decorated in Marble and Diamonds


red sandstone outcrop
Forbes Magazine rated Geology as one of the top 15 college majors photo of geologist


Seafloor adsorbs Carbon to Stabilize the Climate



Arctic Sea ice has been reaching record lows. The lowest amount of Arctic Sea ice was in 2007. Here is a short story on NPR.

Sea ice melting is the result of global warming, but there are critical positive feedbacks involved. Sea ice reflects almost 90% of the suns energy, whereas seawater absorbs almost 90%, so as warming melts more ice, the oceans get warmer -- melting more sea ice.

These are complex feedback systems, because as sea ice melts, more clouds form over the arctic, and clouds also reflect sunlight. The amount of sunlight reflected back into space is called the albedo.

Labrador Sea. Photo by Eric Hiatt

Labrador Sea with scattered icebergs in distance. Photo by Eric Hiatt


Information on recent earthquakes

Go to this site by the US Geological Survey to see the latest earthquakes in the U.S. and around the world.

Earthquakes are mostly distributed around the edge of the Earth's plates, but this one appears to have been due to movement on an intra-plate fault. This fault was likely a much older fault that was reactivated due to stress on the North American Plate. The mid-ocean ridge in the Atlantic is spreading and pushing North America to the west at about 2-3 cm per year. On the west coast, the Pacific Plate is moving to the northwest at about 5 cm per year. These forces exert a great deal of stress on the North American Plate.



This US Geological Survey site provides resources and links to understand earthquakes and plate tectonics.
The New Madrid Fault system is the best known and most dangerous intra-plate fault system in North America, Here is a brief story (with audio option) from NPR.


Information on the earthquake that struck Japan in 2011:

** Here is an excellent NOVA documentary about the earthquake and tsunami on PBS called "Japan's Killer Quake" Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.






Climate and Environment:




UW-Oshkosh Geology Dept. Home Page Eric Hiatt's Home Page