Memories of the largest lava flood in the history of Iceland, recorded in an apocalyptic medieval poem, were used to drive the island's conversion to Christianity, new research suggests.
Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) are helping to improve understanding of how rocks in Earth's hot, deep interior enable the motions of tectonic plates, which regulate the water cycle that is critical for a habitable planet.
Researchers got a rare opportunity to study an underwater volcano in the Caribbean when it erupted while they were surveying the area.
For the first time, scientists have found Earth's fourth most abundant mineral -- calcium silicate perovskite -- at Earth's surface.
South Africa's history and economy has been built on its rich natural treasures of a number of precious metals, stones and minerals. The country's mineral deposits have been created over hundreds of millions of years through processes that are still not completely understood. One of these processes is the origin of chromitite layers hosted by layered intrusions -- a major source of chromium on our planet. The study reveals the formation of these layers.
Using new data gathered from sites in southern Africa, researchers have extended their record of Earth's magnetic field back thousands of years to the first millennium. The new data also provides more evidence that the region may play a unique role in magnetic pole reversals.
Plumes of hot magma from the volcanic hotspot that formed Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean rise from an unusually primitive source deep beneath the Earth's surface. The mantle differentiation event preserved in these hotspot plumes can both teach scientists about early Earth geochemical processes and explain the mysterious seismic signatures created by dense deep-mantle zones.
The risk of man-made earthquakes due to fracking is greatly reduced if high-pressure fluid injection used to crack underground rocks is 895m away from faults in the Earth's crust, according to new research.
Recent studies have suggested that the Hawaiian hotspot moved relatively quickly southward in the period from 60 to about 50 million years ago. This hypothesis is supported by a new study of Kevin Konrad and colleagues. They have evaluated new rock dating of the Rurutu volcanic chain and added data from the Hawaiian-Emperor chain and the Louisville chain. It shows that the Hawaiian-Emperor hotspot displays strong motion between 60 and 48 million years ago.
A University of Illinois-led team has identified unexpected geophysical signals underneath tectonically stable interiors of South America and Africa. The data suggest that geologic activity within stable portions of Earth's uppermost layer may have occurred more recently than previously believed. The findings, published in Nature Geoscience, challenge some of today's leading theories regarding plate tectonics.