Geology

Adam Hardin's 2.38-carat brown diamond "Frankenstone" is the size of a pinto bean.

Cool Finds

Treasure Hunter Unearths 2.38-Carat 'Frankenstone' Diamond

Adam Hardin discovered the impressive brown gem at an Arkansas state park

A view of a Palouse Falls in Palouse Falls State Park in Washington. Geologists believe massive floods carved out this canyon and others in the Scablands.

Devastating Ice Age Floods That Occurred in the Pacific Northwest Fascinate Scientists

The Scablands were formed by tremendous and rapid change, and may have something to teach us about geological processes on Mars

Bon Ami Mine is located in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, about 50 miles northeast of Asheville.

Black Lights Turn This North Carolina Mine Into a Psychedelic Wonderland

The Bon Ami Mine’s deposits of the mineral hyalite glow fluorescent green under ultraviolet light

Geologic processes have led to changes in the water and gases released by mudpots, geysers and springs—like this one.

Five Big Changes Scientists Have Documented During Yellowstone National Park's 150-Year History

Scientists have monitored the region closely for generations, and these are some of the most dramatic shifts they've seen

Eileen McSaveney (left) and Terry Tickhill (right) use a hand augur to drill Lake Vanda, Wright Valley, Antarctica, during the 1969-1970 field season. Water collected during this effort was used to date the lake.

Ten Pioneering Women of Antarctica and the Places Named for Them

These coves, peaks, glaciers and other landmarks honor female explorers and scientists who have contributed to our understanding of the continent

Ochre, an iron-rich rock, has been used as paint pigment by humans for hundreds of years in various applications, such as body paint, sunscreen and as a component in adhesives.
 

Researchers Discover Oldest-Known Ochre Workshop in East Asia

Tools and pieces of the clay earth pigment found in northern China date to about 40,000 years old, and introduce new theories about early human migration

The Carnegie under full sail.  Cruise VII, Pacific Ocean.  November 14, 1928.

Inside the Last Journey of the 'Carnegie'

The groundbreaking ship and its dedicated captain shaped our understanding of the Earth’s magnetic field

Frozen ground preserved the body of this seven-week-old wolf pup, which lived during the Ice Age.

Five Fascinating Ice Age Finds Discovered in Yukon Permafrost

From a pristinely preserved wolf pup to ancient camels, remains found in northern Canada's frozen earth have provided remarkable glimpses into the Ice Age

The recent explosion was so powerful that it obliterated parts of the volcanic island of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, splitting it in two.

NASA Says Tonga Eruption Was More Powerful Than an Atomic Bomb

The recent blast was the equivalent of 4 to 18 megatons of TNT, according to scientists

The 55-faceted gemstone is believed to be the largest cut black diamond in the world.

A Huge Black Diamond, Purportedly From Outer Space, Is Now Up for Sale

The gem known as the 'Enigma' is expected to fetch around $7 million at auction, though experts are skeptical of its cosmic origin

The explosion was likely the biggest volcanic eruption recorded anywhere on the planet in more than 30 years.

Why the Eruption in Tonga Was a 'Once-in-a-Millennium' Event for the Volcano

The blast, which sent tsunami waves across the Pacific, left thousands of Tongans without access to water and power

A humpback whale and her calf swim underwater. A recent study in Nature found whales eat and poop way more than previously thought—and that feces plays an important role in fertilizing the ocean.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2021

From the discovery of a large bioluminescent shark to the use of an innovative drone to study hurricanes, these are the best marine stories of the year

In the mountains of southwestern Nevada, the dark fossilized remnants of extinct archaeocyath reefs dot the tops of the hills. Millions of years ago, these peaks were at the bottom of the sea.

Fossils From One of the World's First Reefs Can Be Found on Mountains in Nevada

Archaeocyaths were the original reef builders, and one of the best places to see them is in the desert

None

The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best Science Books of 2021

From captivating memoirs by researchers to illuminating narratives by veteran science journalists, these works affected us the most this year

The fact that Osgood’s collection survives intact—or at all—is notable and perhaps inseparable from her lifelong friendship with a famous writer.

Women Who Shaped History

In 19th-Century New England, This Amateur Geologist Created Her Own Cabinet of Curiosities

A friend of Henry David Thoreau, Ellen Sewall Osgood's pursuit of her scientific passion illuminates the limits and possibilities placed on the era's women

The researchers named the mineral davemaoite, after the well-known geophysicist Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao.

From Deep Within Earth's Mantle, This Never-Before-Seen Mineral Hitched a Ride to the Surface in a Diamond

Scientists previously synthesized the mineral in a lab using immense amounts of pressure, but they were surprised to find it in nature

Labyrinths of stones form in cold landscapes when water freezes into ice needles that push pebbles to one side. Overtime, the rising and falling of ice needles move the pebbles into intricate shapes—like the ones pictured here in Svalbard, Norway.

 

 

How Ice 'Needles' Sculpt Stone Patterns in Frigid Landscapes

The self-organized natural patterns appear gradually as the ground freezes and thaws in a cycle

In 2015, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck beneath Japan's Bonin Islands.

The Deepest Earthquake Ever Recorded Happened 467 Miles Underground, Surprising Scientists

Because of intense heat and pressure, quakes are rare beyond 186 miles deep beneath Earth's crust

Three giant rocks—Tokia, Rebua, and Kamatoa—sit in the ocean south of Makin Island in the Republic of Kiribati.

How Indigenous Stories Helped Scientists Understand the Origin of Three Huge Boulders

Legends spurred researchers to form a theory about Makin Island's distinctively out-of-place rocks

Researchers estimate that ancient builders used roughly 226,085,379 square feet of rock, dirt and adobe to construct the three main pyramid complexes in Teotihuacán's city center. Pictured here is the Pyramid of the Sun.

Mexico's Ancient Inhabitants Moved Land and Bent Rivers to Build Teotihuacán

Architects of the Mesoamerican city transformed the landscape in ways that continue to impact modern development today, a new study finds

loading icon