Seismic biomarkers in Japan Trench fault zone reveal history of large earthquakes

In the aftermath of the devastating Tohoku-Oki earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan in March 2011, seismologists were stunned by the unprecedented 50 meters of shallow displacement along the fault, which ruptured all the way to the surface of the seafloor. This extreme slip at shallow depths exacerbated the massive tsunami that, together … Read more

‘Melting rock’ models predict mechanical origins of earthquakes

Engineers at Duke University have devised a model that can predict the early mechanical behaviors and origins of an earthquake in multiple types of rock. The model provides new insights into unobservable phenomena that take place miles beneath the Earth’s surface under incredible pressures and temperatures, and could help researchers better predict earthquakes — or … Read more

Formation of a huge underwater volcano offshore the Comoros

A new submarine volcano was formed off the island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean in 2018. This was shown by an oceanographic campaign in May 2019. Now an international team led by the scientist Simone Cesca from the German GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ is illuminating the processes deep inside the earth before and during the formation … Read more

A thick crustal block revealed by reconstructions of early Mars highlands

The highlands of the southern hemisphere of the planet Mars are considered to be homogenous land whose origin dates back more than four billion years. A team of French and American planetary scientist led by Sylvain Bouley, (GEOPS – Université Paris-Saclay / CNRS), involving researchers from the University of Toulouse, the Paris Observatory, the University … Read more

Move over Jules Verne — scientists deploy ocean floats to peer into Earth’s interior

The release of more than 50 floating sensors, called Mobile Earthquake Recording in Marine Areas by Independent Divers (MERMAIDs), is increasing the number of seismic stations around the planet. Scientists will use the floating array to clarify the picture of the massive mantel plume in the lower mantel lying below the South Pacific Ocean. This … Read more

Stormquakes: Powerful storms cause seafloor tremors

Stormquakes are a recently discovered phenomenon characterized by seismic activity originating at the ocean floor due to powerful storms. Catherine de Groot-Hedlin, a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, was part of the group that first observed stormquakes. She will discuss their properties and meteorological significance during … Read more

What makes the Earth’s surface move?

Do tectonic plates move because of motion in the Earth’s mantle, or is the mantle driven by the movement of the plates? Or could it be that this question is ill-posed? This is the point of view adopted by scientists at the École Normale Supérieure – PSL, the CNRS and the University of Rome 3, … Read more

Unearthing History: Boston College researchers and colleagues pinpoint the source of unique chemical composition of volcanic rocks

A new analysis has revealed the source of oxidation found in rock samples from the coast of Greece, where geological activity spawned explosive arc volcanoes about 45 million years ago, a team of researchers reports in the journal Nature Geoscience. Arc volcanic rocks are highly oxidized, which has led scientists to speculate that the fluids … Read more

Imperfect diamonds paved road to historic Deep Earth discoveries

Deep Carbon Observatory highlights 10 top discoveries to celebrate a 10-year global investigation of Earth’s largest, least-known ecosystem; 1,200 scientists from 55 nations, 1,400 peer-reviewed papers. Thousands of diamonds, formed hundreds of kilometers deep inside the planet, paved the road to some of the 10-year Deep Carbon Observatory program’s most historic accomplishments and discoveries, being … Read more