Geology

A volcanic eruption moves toward the outskirts of the evacuated town of Grindavik on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula.

Iceland's Recent Volcanic Eruptions Are Unleashing Deep Secrets

Each dramatic episode over the past few years has led to fresh geologic revelations, and researchers think another bout is on the way

People watch Thursday's volcanic eruption in Iceland. The Icelandic Meteorological Office said Friday afternoon local time that there were no more signs of eruptive activity.

Iceland Volcano Erupts Again, Cutting Off Hot Water From Towns and Spewing Fountains of Lava

This marks the third eruption since December in a region that, prior to 2021, hadn't seen volcanic activity for centuries

This small, bucolic waterfall in Western New York has one highly photogenic feature: a grotto lit by a dancing orange flame.

Seven Natural Phenomena Worth Traveling For

You need to be in the right place at the right time to see these celestial and earthly wonders

A church with a red roof and steeple sticks out against the sprawling landscape as the sun pokes through the hazy clouds.

Get an Eyeful of Iceland in These 15 Photos That Capture Its Natural Beauty

These selections from the Smithsonian magazine photo contest will transport you to the small Scandinavian island

The mineral-rich soak at Chena Hot Springs, about 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, has been attracting tourists since the early 1900s.

You Can Soak in These Eight Hot Springs in Alaska

From resorts to remote spots, natural thermal waters throughout the state beckon tourists

Returning Rapids Project investigator Chris Benson examines old photos of the Colorado River to see how it has changed over time.

Citizen Scientists Document a Recovering Colorado River

The Returning Rapids Project charts a resurgent waterway and its surrounding ecosystems

The 7.46-carat brown diamond is about the size of a gumdrop.

French Tourist Finds 7.46-Carat Diamond at Arkansas State Park

Julien Navas plans to have the brown gem split into two pieces so he can give half to his fiancée and half to his daughter

Ocean drainage basins of the world

These Entrancing Maps Capture Where the World's Rivers Go

Cartographer Robert Szucs uses satellite data to make stunning art that shows which oceans waterways empty into

Costa Rica's Arenal volcano spews geysers of lava, ash and toxic gases

Why Central American Volcanoes Are Ideal for Studying Earth's Evolution

The volcanic arc extending from Mexico to Costa Rica expels a variety of magma types that make for a geological paradise

Dividing the estimated length of 240,000 miles of stone wall by the geographic area of the New England heartland yields about six linear miles of stone per square mile of land.

How Stone Walls Became a Signature Landform of New England

Originally built as barriers between fields and farms, the region’s abandoned farmstead walls have since become the binding threads of its cultural fabric

An artist's rendition of the collision between Earth and the protoplanet Theia, which, according to the prevailing theory, resulted in the moon's formation.

Mysterious Lumps in Earth's Mantle May Be Remains of the Crash That Formed the Moon

Chunks of a protoplanet called Theia became lodged within Earth after the two worlds smashed together, new computer simulations suggest

Previous analyses of seismic activity on Mars suggested its core was surprisingly large, with a low density. Two new studies suggest the opposite.

Mars' Core May Be Smaller Than Thought, Wrapped in a Sea of Molten Rock

Based on seismic waves from a meteorite impact, two teams of scientists suggest the Red Planet has another layer deep beneath its surface

A photograph of the moon by the Apollo 17 crew on their return trip back to Earth. The new study analyzes material gathered from the lunar surface during the 1972 mission.

The Moon Is 40 Million Years Older Than Thought, Lunar Rock Samples Suggest

A new analysis of crystals from the moon pushes its age back to just 110 million years after the solar system formed

NASA's InSight lander peers down at the Martian surface. The mission recorded more than 1,300 quakes during its four years of operation.

Mars' Most Powerful Quake Likely Triggered by Tectonic Forces

Researchers searched for signs of a meteorite impact that caused the quake but were unable to find any

Fossilized footprints in White Sands National Park

North America's Oldest Known Footprints Point to Earlier Human Arrival to the Continent

New dating methods have added more evidence that these fossils date to 23,000 years ago, pushing back migration to the Americas by thousands of years

Warming spurred by Earth's next supercontinent could lead to widespread desert conditions, a new modeling study suggests. Pictured is the Tengger Desert in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China.

Earth's Next Supercontinent Could Wipe Out Mammals in 250 Million Years

Termed “Pangea Ultima,” the predicted future landmass might be extremely hot, plagued by volcanoes and largely inhospitable, per a new modeling study

The shoe still has a piece of flax or linen attached, which may have once served as a shoelace.

2,000-Year-Old Child's Shoe Found in Austrian Mine

The leather shoe in "outstanding" condition is comparable to a U.S. children's size 12

Pink diamonds form when the gems' crystalline structure gets bent under intense pressure.

Geologists Unravel the Mysteries of Australia's Rare Pink Diamonds

The dazzling, blush-colored gems likely emerged from Earth's mantle some 1.3 billion years ago, when a supercontinent named Nuna broke up, study suggests

Aspen Brown unearthed the golden-brown diamond while visiting Crater of Diamonds State Park with her family.

Girl Celebrating 7th Birthday Finds 2.95-Carat Diamond

Aspen Brown stumbled upon the pea-sized, golden-brown gem while visiting an Arkansas park

Marc Abrahams, creator of the Ig Nobel Prizes, speaks at the 2003 ceremony. The first ceremony was held in 1991.

Smart Toilets and Licking Rocks: Ig Nobel Prizes Celebrate Strange Scientific Achievements

Winning research projects reanimated dead spiders and examined how anchovy sexual activity influences ocean mixing

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