The magma that rises from the mantle, forming new islands, may blast more than it bubbles. Where those plumes of magma originate — at the core-mantle boundary or the mantle-crust boundary — and how fast they rise to the surface are still open questions among volcanologists. But now a new study of minerals from the volcano Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii suggests that some elements made a 2,900-kilometer-long journey from the core-mantle boundary to Earth’s surface in as little as half a million years — quadruple the speed found by previous studies. Continue reading
Northern Europe may have gotten stormier since the late Victorian Era. Looking at a fresh analysis of old atmospheric pressure data, researchers found that the annual number of windy days may have risen by one to five days per century in parts of northern Europe, and the intensity of such storms may have grown too. Continue reading
Researchers are taking the long view, combined with a birds’-eye view, of Venice’s salt marshes to try to preserve them from rising seawater. They are relying on aerial photographs that reveal the wetlands’ changing shape. Continue reading
A pair of mineral clues recently found in a fossil seafloor may be signs that ancient bacteria helped create banded iron formations — Precambrian-aged sedimentary rocks known for their vibrant, reddish- brown-colored thin layers — that researchers use to reconstruct ancient interactions between the atmosphere, the ocean and the seafloor.