A hunk of Earth’s surface lies 400 miles under China

A piece of Earth's lithosphere deep below China offers clues about the fate of tectonic plates that sink deep in Earth's mantle.

Jade Boyd-Rice • futurity
Nov. 16, 2020 ~8 min

china plate-tectonics science-and-technology

Magnetism of Himalayan rocks reveals the mountains' complex tectonic history

Earth's magnetic field locks information into lava as it cools into rock. Millions of years later, scientists can decipher this magnetic data to build geologic timelines and maps.

Craig Robert Martin, Ph.D. Student in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology • conversation
Nov. 2, 2020 ~9 min

geology lava plate-tectonics india magnetism rocks mountains himalayas magnetic-fields mantle earths-mantle tectonic-plates subduction paleomagnetism

Marie Tharp pioneered mapping the bottom of the ocean 6 decades ago – scientists are still learning about Earth's last frontier

Born on July 30, 1920, geologist and cartographer Tharp changed scientific thinking about what lay at the bottom of the ocean – not a featureless flat, but rugged and varied terrain.

Suzanne OConnell, Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University • conversation
July 28, 2020 ~10 min

earth-science geology women-in-science women plate-tectonics maps mapping oceans cartography continents ocean-floor geosciences seamounts marine-geology continental-shelf

Ancient rocks may determine earthquakes in Australia

"We found that in regions where weaker rocks are present, earthquakes may rupture faults under low friction."

Lito Vilisoni Wilson-U. Melbourne • futurity
June 10, 2020 ~5 min

earthquakes plate-tectonics australia science-and-technology rocks

Tectonic plates are a lot older than we thought

Earth's underground network of tectonic plates was in place more than 4 billion years ago—about a billion years earlier than scientists had thought.

Jim Shelton-Yale • futurity
May 29, 2020 ~4 min

volcanoes earthquakes plate-tectonics science-and-technology early-earth

The moon may be cracking up

There's evidence that the moon has an active tectonic system that may hint at a long-ago impact that nearly tore it apart.

Kevin Stacey-Brown • futurity
April 30, 2020 ~7 min

plate-tectonics science-and-technology moons

Modern-like tectonic plate motion on the early Earth

Harvard researchers detect some of the earliest evidence for modern-like plate motion.

Juan Siliezar • harvard
April 28, 2020 ~8 min

science-technology faculty-of-arts-and-sciences earth-and-planetary-sciences science-advances alec-brenner pilbara-craton plate-tectonics roger-fu

What exoplanets can tell us about Earth

"We don't only look at other planets to know what's out there. It's also a way for us to learn things about the planet that's under our own feet."

Josie Garthwaite-Stanford • futurity
March 6, 2020 ~10 min

space exoplanets planets water plate-tectonics earth alien-life science-and-technology magnetic-fields

Collision course: a geological mystery in the Himalayas

MIT geologists use paleomagnetism to determine the chain of events that resulted in the Himalayan mountains, with the support of MISTI-India.

Fernanda Ferreira | School of Science • mit
Oct. 28, 2019 ~6 min

geology environment climate plate-tectonics research students school-of-science school-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences planetary-science misti eaps

Earth’s volcanic ‘hot spots’ are in constant motion

Scientists have long thought of volcanic hot spots as stationary points, but a new study finds they are very much on the move.

Lindsey Valich-Rochester • futurity
Aug. 2, 2019 ~5 min

hawaii volcanoes plate-tectonics earth-and-environment magma