Geology

A team skis from the remote Taku D site to the Camp 10 sleeping quarters. Students often travel as much as 8 to 10 miles a day, carrying packs a third of their body weight.

These Students Are Part of a 75-Year Study to Map Alaska’s Glaciers

Traversing an icefield by foot and on skis, the young researchers experience one of the coolest classrooms in the nation

The sun sets over the Susquehanna River in northern Pennsylvania.

America's Waterways: The Past, Present and Future

In a series of articles, <em>Smithsonian</em> magazine highlights all that draws our eyes to our nation's fresh and coastal waters

A father shows his son the awful-smelling algae hugging the shoreline of the St. Lucie River during a summer bloom in Stuart, Florida, in 2016. The algae fouled coastal waterways, created angry communities, closed beaches and had an economic impact as tourists and others were driven away by the smell and inability to enjoy the waterways.

Florida’s Love-Hate Relationship With Phosphorus

The state has mined and abused the Devil's Element for decades, and now it is increasingly fouling precious coastal waters

Some scientists think that Earth&#39;s inner core is actually made up of two similar but distinct layers.

Scientists Find Evidence of Another Core Within Earth's Center

The newly proposed layer might have a different structure from the rest of the inner core

Untold tsunamis hit coastal communities before anyone logged them in written records. Paleotsunami researchers are on a quest to uncover these forgotten disasters.

These Tsunami Detectives Search for Ancient Disasters

The gigantic waves have been decimating coastlines since time immemorial. We ignore these prehistoric warnings at our own peril.

NASA&#39;s Perseverance Mars rover took this selfie with some of the sample tubes it left on the Red Planet&#39;s surface using the camera at the end of its robotic arm.

Perseverance Rover Completes Depot of Mars Rock Samples

The collection is a failsafe for the Mars Sample Return project, which aims to deliver Martian rocks to Earth

An artist&#39;s rendition of a cross-section of Earth. The innermost layer, the inner core, is a 1,500-mile-wide ball of iron.

The Spin of Earth's Inner Core May Be Changing, Scientists Say

A new study finds our planet's iron center shifts between spinning slightly faster and slightly slower than the surface—but not all experts agree

The vaunted unobtanium from&nbsp;Avatar.

The Etymology of Unobtanium

The much-mocked wonder-rock from the 2009 blockbuster 'Avatar' doesn’t have an atomic number, but engineers have used the actual word for decades

The Grand Prismatic Spring inside Yellowstone National Park

A Surprising Amount of Magma Is Under Yellowstone’s Supervolcano

New research suggests more melted rock lies beneath the Yellowstone Caldera—but it’s still not likely to erupt anytime soon

A house damaged by last week&#39;s earthquake.

What Made Indonesia’s Recent Earthquake So Deadly?

The 5.6-magnitude earthquake that rocked the island of Java last week has killed at least 321 people

A NASA Earth Observatory satellite captured an image of the eruption on September 14. The greener, discolored water near the eruption site likely contains particulate matter, rock fragments and sulfur from the volcano.&nbsp;

Volcanic Eruption Creates a New Island in the South Pacific

The growing land mass is larger than 8 acres and visible from space

The lava lake that sits atop Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the largest in the world.&nbsp;

How a Volcanic Eruption Caught Seismologists by Surprise

Scientists reveal why Africa's Mount Nyiragongo erupted without any perceived warning signs in May last year

Lava rises from the volcano eruption in Iceland&#39;s&nbsp;Meradalir valley late on August 6.

Why Hikers Are Clamoring to Photograph a Volcanic Eruption in Iceland, Despite Risks

Toxic gas, hypothermia and fragile terrain are among the site’s dangers

The spacecraft will study the moon for at least a year.

South Korea to Send Its First Mission to the Moon

The unmanned spacecraft will launch next week and begin to orbit the moon in mid-December

The trunk, ears and tail of this baby woolly mammoth, named&nbsp;Nun cho ga, are almost perfectly preserved.

Well-Preserved, 30,000-Year-Old Baby Woolly Mammoth Emerges From Yukon Permafrost

The mummified creature is helping to heal the rift between the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in people and the miners and scientists who came to their lands

The Earth&rsquo;s oceans have risen and fallen over the millennia. But they have, on average, been relatively stable over billions of years. The balance of the deep water cycle&mdash;the exchange of water between the Earth&rsquo;s surface and its interior&mdash;has an important role to play in maintaining that stability.

How the Earth's Mantle Sends Water Up Toward the Surface

A new model suggests "mantle rain" ensures we will always have a surface ocean

Blue holes, like the Great Blue Hole in Belize, are vast caverns that descend into the seafloor. Sediment accumulates at the bottom of a blue hole, giving researchers a way to gauge historical hurricane activity.

Blue Holes Show Hurricane Activity in the Bahamas Is at a Centuries-Long Low

Many more powerful storms battered the region in the past

A fossilized Modocia typicalis trilobite from Utah

Five Places to See Trilobites in the United States

In a new book, fossil collector Andy Secher takes readers on a worldwide trek of trilobite hotspots

Located alongside New Jersey&rsquo;s southernmost point, Cape May is a stunning Victorian shore community that once played a role in guiding Black enslaved laborers to freedom.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2022

From the alleged birthplace of Paul Bunyan to the original gateway to Yellowstone, these towns are buzzing with activity

Grotto Geyser in Yellowstone National Park

Scientists Map Yellowstone’s Underground ‘Plumbing’

The new survey could be useful for everything from microbiology to thermal energy

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