January 31, 2001
From the New York Times: Rescuers Find Handful of Survivors of Indian Earthquake. Here's a good article summarizing the tragic news of last Fridays devasting earthquake in India (7.9 on the Richter scale). Lots of links too, inlcuding video footage of the damage. If you don't get the NYTimes on-line, you'll have to subscribe to read the article. Don't worry, its free and well worth it!
January 23, 2001
From the International Herald Tribune: Warming of Earth Raises New Alarm. "The debate over global warming gained new intensity Monday with the release of an authoritative new report showing that global temperatures are rising faster and higher than most experts feared only a short time ago - faster, in fact, than at any time during the past 10,000 years according to one climate scientist"
"The new climate report, more than 1,000 pages in length, was the work of 123 lead authors and 516 contributing experts. It is the most comprehensive study ever made of the global warming phenomenon." Sounds authoritative.
January 18, 2001
From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Proof of Kilauea’s big bang shocks Hawaii geologists. Sometime before 1000 A.D., Kilauea appears to have had a Mt. St. Helens-style eruption never before known among the Hawaiian islands. So rather than the typical "effusive" style of eruption associated with the island's volcanoes, a highly explosive eruption occurred sending rock and dust 18 miles into the air. The evidence for this includes 3 to 4 pound volcanic bombs five miles from the summit. That's explosive!
January 14, 2001
From Reuters News: Earthquake Kills Hundreds in Central America. "More than 234 people died and at least 1,200 more were missing in El Salvador on Sunday, a day after a strong earthquake struck the Central American nation setting off landslides and burying hundreds of homes, officials said. A National Police spokesman told Reuters 234 deaths had been confirmed, most of them in a massive landslide that buried as many as 500 homes in the San Salvador suburb of Santa Tecla....The 7.6 magnitude quake occurred at 11:34 a.m. (1734 GMT) Saturday and was felt across El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras and as far north as Mexico City." For a view of the damage, click here. Tragic....
January 12, 2001
From EurekAlert: Liquid water at Earth's surface 4.3 billion years ago, scientists discover. Give this a read. Much of the evidence comes from looking at oxygen isotopes in zircons, something that geologists have only recently been able to do.
From the New York Times: Ancient Rock May Alter Theories of Earth History. "In a grain-size crystal from western Australia, geologists have identified the oldest piece of Earth yet discovered. The find may lead scientists to reconsider theories about when life first appeared on the planet, as well as the origin of the Moon. The geologists, who describe their discovery in today's issue of the journal Nature, said the crystal — a transparent pink speck of zircon only about as wide as a strand of human hair — crystallized 4.4 billion years ago, when Earth was a mere 150 million years old." Another account of this incredible find can be found here.
January 05, 2001
From Nature: Earth scientists iron out their differences. (yuck, yuck...gotta love those geology puns....). This article contains probably all you want to know about iron and iron-loving elements (i.e. siderophiles) in the Earth's interior. Still it is interesting, particularly if you (like me) never really understood how geologists are able to estimate the chemical composition of the Earth's interior.
From the Ann Arbor (MI) News: U-M scientist offers solution to debate about Earths former super-continent. This is an interesting newspaper article on some of the latest thinking about the configuration of Pangea as deciphered from paleomagnetic data. Give it a read.
January 04, 2001
From Geotimes: Redefining the Core-Mantle Boundary. "Scientists from the United States and Canada are proposing a new layer in the “onion” model of Earth, essentially a zone of material with properties of both the outer core and lower mantle. Their idea suggests that the boundary between core and mantle may not be sharp. It proposes a conducting layer at the core-mantle boundary that could explain Earth’s wobble and, potentially, the zones of low seismic velocity found in the lower mantle."