The Earth Sciences Portal
Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science related to the planet Earth. This is a branch of science dealing with the physical, chemical, and biological complex constitutions and synergistic linkages of Earth's four spheres: the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere (or lithosphere). Earth science can be considered to be a branch of planetary science, but with a much older history.
There are reductionist and holistic approaches to Earth sciences. It is also the study of Earth and its neighbors in space. Some Earth scientists use their knowledge of the planet to locate and develop energy and mineral resources. Others study the impact of human activity on Earth's environment, and design methods to protect the planet. Some use their knowledge about Earth processes such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes to help protect people from these dangerous events. (Full article...)
An ice core is a core sample that is typically removed from an ice sheet or a high mountain glacier. Since the ice forms from the incremental buildup of annual layers of snow, lower layers are older than upper ones, and an ice core contains ice formed over a range of years. Cores are drilled with hand augers (for shallow holes) or powered drills; they can reach depths of over two miles (3.2 km), and contain ice up to 800,000 years old.
The physical properties of the ice and of material trapped in it can be used to reconstruct the climate over the age range of the core. The proportions of different oxygen and hydrogen isotopes provide information about ancient temperatures, and the air trapped in tiny bubbles can be analysed to determine the level of atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide. Since heat flow in a large ice sheet is very slow, the borehole temperature is another indicator of temperature in the past. These data can be combined to find the climate model that best fits all the available data. (Full article...)
Hurricane Lili was the second costliest, deadliest, and strongest hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season, only surpassed by Hurricane Isidore, which affected the same areas around a week before Lili. Lili was the twelfth named storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm developed from a tropical disturbance in the open Atlantic on September 21. It continued westward, affecting the Lesser Antilles as a tropical storm, then entered the Caribbean. As it moved west, the storm dissipated while being affected by wind shear south of Cuba, and regenerated when the vertical wind shear weakened. It turned to the northwest and strengthened up to category 2 strength on October 1. Lili made two landfalls in western Cuba later that day, and then entered the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane rapidly strengthened on October 2, reaching Category 4 strength that afternoon. It weakened rapidly thereafter, and hit Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane on October 3. It moved inland and dissipated on October 6.
Lili caused extensive damage through the Caribbean, particularly to crops and poorly built homes. Mudslides were common on the more mountainous islands, particularly Haiti and Jamaica. In the United States, the storm cut off the production of oil within the Gulf of Mexico, and caused severe damage in parts of Louisiana. Lili was also responsible for severe damage to the barrier islands and marshes in the southern portion of the state. Total damage amounted to $925 million (2002 USD), and the storm killed 15 people during its existence. (Full article...)
Yellowstone National Park is an American national park located in the western United States, largely in the northwest corner of Wyoming and extending into Montana and Idaho. It was established by the 42nd U.S. Congress with the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone was the first national park in the U.S. and is also widely held to be the first national park in the world. The park is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially the Old Faithful geyser, one of its most popular. While it represents many types of biomes, the subalpine forest is the most abundant. It is part of the South Central Rockies forests ecoregion.
While Native Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years, aside from visits by mountain men during the early-to-mid-19th century, organized exploration did not begin until the late 1860s. Management and control of the park originally fell under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the first Secretary of the Interior to supervise the park being Columbus Delano. However, the U.S. Army was eventually commissioned to oversee the management of Yellowstone for 30 years between 1886 and 1916. In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year. Hundreds of structures have been built and are protected for their architectural and historical significance, and researchers have examined more than a thousand archaeological sites. (Full article...)
The climate of India consists of a wide range of weather conditions across a vast geographic scale and varied topography. Based on the Köppen system, India hosts six major climatic sub types, ranging from arid deserts in the west, alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, and humid tropical regions supporting rain forests in the southwest and the island territories. Many regions have starkly different microclimates, making it one of the most climatically diverse countries in the world. The country's meteorological department follows the international standard of four seasons with some local adjustments: winter (December to February), summer (March to May), monsoon (rainy) season (June to September), and a post-monsoon period (October and November).
India's geography and geology are climatically pivotal: the Thar Desert in the northwest and the Himalayas in the north work in tandem to create a culturally and economically important monsoonal regime. As Earth's highest and most massive mountain range, the Himalayas bar the influx of frigid katabatic winds from the icy Tibetan Plateau and northerly Central Asia. Most of North India is thus kept warm or is only mildly chilly or cold during winter; the same thermal dam keeps most regions in India hot in summer. Climate in South India is generally warmer, and more humid due to its coastlines. (Full article...)
Amchitka (/æmˈtʃɪtkə/; Aleut: Amchixtax̂;[page needed] Russian: Амчитка) is a volcanic, tectonically unstable and uninhabited
island in the Rat Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska. It is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The island, with a land area of roughly 116 square miles (300 km2), is about 42 miles (68 km) long and 1 to 4 miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) wide. The area has a maritime climate, with many storms, and mostly overcast skies.
Amchitka was populated for more than 2,500 years by the Aleut people, but has had no permanent population since 1832. The island has been part of the United States since the Alaska Purchase of 1867. During World War II, it was used as an airfield by US forces in the Aleutian Islands Campaign. (Full article...)
Plate tectonics (from the Late Latin: tectonicus, from the Ancient Greek: τεκτονικός, lit. 'pertaining to building') is the generally accepted scientific theory that considers the Earth's lithosphere to comprise a number of large tectonic plates which have been slowly moving since about 3.4 billion years ago. The model builds on the concept of continental drift, an idea developed during the first decades of the 20th century. Plate tectonics came to be generally accepted by geoscientists after seafloor spreading was validated in the mid to late 1960s.
Earth's lithosphere, which is the rigid outermost shell of the planet (the crust and upper mantle), is broken into seven or eight major plates (depending on how they are defined) and many minor plates or "platelets". Where the plates meet, their relative motion determines the type of plate boundary: convergent, divergent, or transform. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries (or faults). The relative movement of the plates typically ranges from zero to 10 cm annually. (Full article...)
The 1867 Manhattan earthquake struck Riley County, Kansas, in the United States on April 24, 1867, at 20:22 UTC, or about 14:30 local time. The strongest earthquake to originate in the state, it measured 5.1 on a seismic scale that is based on an isoseismal map or the event's felt area. The earthquake's epicenter was near the town of Manhattan.
The earthquake had a maximum perceived intensity of VII (Very strong) on the Mercalli intensity scale. It caused minor damage, reports of which were confined to Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, according to the United States Geological Survey. Felt over an area of 200,000 square miles (520,000 km2), the earthquake reached the states of Indiana, Illinois, and possibly Ohio, though the latter reports have been questioned. (Full article...)
Charles Robert Darwin FRS FRGS FLS FZS JP (/ˈdɑːrwɪn/ DAR-win; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist, widely known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. His proposition that all species of life have descended from a common ancestor is now generally accepted and considered a fundamental concept in science. In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey.
Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. His studies at the University of Cambridge's Christ's College from 1828 to 1831 encouraged his passion for natural science. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle from 1831 to 1836 established Darwin as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's concept of gradual geological change. Publication of his journal of the voyage made Darwin famous as a popular author. (Full article...)
The geology of solar terrestrial planets mainly deals with the geological aspects of the four terrestrial planets of the Solar System – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – and one terrestrial dwarf planet: Ceres. Earth is the only terrestrial planet known to have an active hydrosphere.
Terrestrial planets are substantially different from the giant planets, which might not have solid surfaces and are composed mostly of some combination of hydrogen, helium, and water existing in various physical states. Terrestrial planets have a compact, rocky surfaces, and Venus, Earth, and Mars each also has an atmosphere. Their size, radius, and density are all similar. (Full article...)
Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist who became known around the world for the discoveries she made in Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channel at Lyme Regis in the county of Dorset in Southwest England. Anning's findings contributed to changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the Earth.
Anning searched for fossils in the area's Blue Lias and Charmouth Mudstone cliffs, particularly during the winter months when landslides exposed new fossils that had to be collected quickly before they were lost to the sea. Her discoveries included the first correctly identified ichthyosaur skeleton when she was twelve years old; the first two nearly complete plesiosaur skeletons; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany; and fish fossils. Her observations played a key role in the discovery that coprolites, known as bezoar stones at the time, were fossilised faeces, and she also discovered that belemnite fossils contained fossilised ink sacs like those of modern cephalopods. (Full article...)
The Ediacaran Period ( /iːdiˈækərən, ɛdi-/ ee-dee-AK-ər-ən, ed-ee-) is a geological period that spans 96 million years from the end of the Cryogenian Period 635 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Cambrian Period 538.8 Mya. It marks the end of the Proterozoic Eon, and the beginning of the Phanerozoic Eon. It is named after the Ediacara Hills of South Australia.
The Ediacaran Period's status as an official geological period was ratified in 2004 by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), making it the first new geological period declared in 120 years.
Although the period takes its name from the Ediacara Hills where geologist Reg Sprigg first discovered fossils of the eponymous Ediacaran biota in 1946, the type section is located in the bed of the Enorama Creek within Brachina Gorge in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, at . (Full article...)
Bryce Canyon National Park (/braɪs/) is an American national park located in southwestern Utah. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce Canyon National Park is much smaller and sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet (2,400 to 2,700 m).
The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1874. The area around Bryce Canyon was originally designated as a national monument by President Warren G. Harding in 1923 and was redesignated as a national park by Congress in 1928. The park covers 35,835 acres (55.992 sq mi; 14,502 ha; 145.02 km2) and receives substantially fewer visitors than Zion National Park (nearly 4.3 million in 2016) or Grand Canyon National Park (nearly 6 million in 2016), largely due to Bryce's more remote location. In 2018, Bryce Canyon received 2,679,478 recreational visitors, which was an increase of 107,794 visitors from the prior year. (Full article...)
Crater Lake (Klamath: Giiwas) is a volcanic crater lake in south-central Oregon in the western United States. It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. The lake partly fills a 2,148-foot-deep (655 m) caldera that was formed around 7,700 (± 150) years ago
by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. There are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake; the evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years. With a depth of 1,949 feet (594 m), the lake is the deepest in the United States. In the world, it ranks ninth for maximum depth, and third for mean (average) depth.
Crater Lake features two small islands. Wizard Island, located near the western shore of the lake, is a cinder cone approximately 316 acres (128 ha) in size. Phantom Ship, a natural rock pillar, is located near the southern shore. (Full article...)
The 2002 Bou'in-Zahra earthquake (also known as the 2002 Avaj earthquake or the 2002 Changureh earthquake) occurred on 22 June 2002. The epicenter was near the city of Bou'in-Zahra in Qazvin Province, a region of northwestern Iran which is crossed by several major faults that is known for destructive earthquakes. The shock measured 6.5 on the Mwc scale, had a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe), and was followed by more than 20 aftershocks. At least 230 people were killed and 1,500 more were injured.
According to the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), the earthquake was felt as far away as the capital city of Tehran, approximately 290 kilometres (180 mi) east of the epicenter, although no damage was reported there. Most houses in the region were single-story masonry buildings, and virtually all of these collapsed. The public became angry due to the slow official response to victims who needed supplies. Residents of the town of Avaj resorted to throwing stones at the car of a government minister. (Full article...)
The retreat of glaciers since 1850 affects the availability of fresh water for irrigation and domestic use, mountain recreation, animals and plants that depend on glacier-melt, and, in the longer term, the level of the oceans. Deglaciation occurs naturally at the end of ice ages, but glaciologists find the current glacier retreat is accelerated by the measured increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases and is an effect of climate change. Mid-latitude mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, Rockies, Alps, Cascades, Southern Alps, and the southern Andes, as well as isolated tropical summits such as Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, are showing some of the largest proportionate glacial losses. Excluding peripheral glaciers of ice sheets, the total cumulated global glacial losses over the 26 year period from 1993–2018 were likely 5500 gigatons, or 210 gigatons per yr.
The retreat of mountain glaciers, notably in western North America, Asia, the Alps and tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Africa and Indonesia, provide evidence for the rise in global temperatures since the late 19th century. The acceleration of the rate of retreat since 1995 of key outlet glaciers of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets may foreshadow a rise in sea level, which would affect coastal regions. (Full article...)
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gemstone and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. Like most other opaque gems, turquoise has been devalued by the introduction of treatments, imitations and synthetics into the market. The robin's egg blue or sky blue color of the Persian turquoise mined near the modern city of Nishapur in Iran has been used as a guiding reference for evaluating turquoise quality. (Full article...)
The Lassen volcanic area presents a geological record of sedimentation and volcanic activity in and around Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California, U.S. The park is located in the southernmost part of the Cascade Mountain Range in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Pacific Oceanic tectonic plates have plunged below the North American Plate in this part of North America for hundreds of millions of years. Heat and molten rock from these subducting plates has fed scores of volcanoes in California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia over at least the past 30 million years, including these in the Lassen volcanic areas.
Between 3 and 4 million years ago, volcanic-derived mud flows called lahars streamed down several major mountains that included nearby but now extinct Mount Yana and Mount Maidu to become the Tuscan Formation. Basaltic and later andesitic to dacitic flows of lava covered increasingly larger areas of this formation to eventually form the lava plateau upon which the park is situated. About 600,000 years ago, Mount Tehama started to rise as a stratovolcano in the southwestern corner of the park, eventually reaching an estimated 11,000 ft (3,400 m) in height. (Full article...)
Archaeopteryx (/ˌɑːrkiːˈɒptərɪks/; lit. 'old-wing'), sometimes referred to by its German name, "Urvogel" (lit. Primeval Bird), is a genus of bird-like dinosaurs. The name derives from the ancient Greek ἀρχαῖος (archaīos), meaning "ancient", and πτέρυξ (ptéryx), meaning "feather" or "wing". Between the late 19th century and the early 21st century, Archaeopteryx was generally accepted by palaeontologists and popular reference books as the oldest known bird (member of the group Avialae). Older potential avialans have since been identified, including Anchiornis, Xiaotingia, and Aurornis.
Archaeopteryx lived in the Late Jurassic around 150 million years ago, in what is now southern Germany, during a time when Europe was an archipelago of islands in a shallow warm tropical sea, much closer to the equator than it is now. Similar in size to a Eurasian magpie, with the largest individuals possibly attaining the size of a raven, the largest species of Archaeopteryx could grow to about 0.5 m (1 ft 8 in) in length. Despite their small size, broad wings, and inferred ability to fly or glide, Archaeopteryx had more in common with other small Mesozoic dinosaurs than with modern birds. In particular, they shared the following features with the dromaeosaurids and troodontids: jaws with sharp teeth, three fingers with claws, a long bony tail, hyperextensible second toes ("killing claw"), feathers (which also suggest warm-bloodedness), and various features of the skeleton. (Full article...)
Hurricane Gloria was a powerful hurricane that caused significant damage along the east coast of the United States and in Atlantic Canada during the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the first significant tropical cyclone to strike the northeastern United States since Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and the first major storm to affect New York City and Long Island directly since Hurricane Donna in 1960. Gloria was a powerful Cape Verde hurricane originating from a tropical wave on September 16 in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. After remaining a weak tropical cyclone for several days, Gloria intensified into a hurricane on September 22 north of the Lesser Antilles. During that time, the storm had moved generally westward, although it turned to the northwest due to a weakening of the ridge. Gloria quickly intensified on September 24, and the next day reached peak winds of 145 mph (233 km/h). The hurricane weakened before striking the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 27. Later that day, Gloria made two subsequent landfalls on Long Island and across the coastline of western Connecticut, before becoming extratropical on September 28 over New England. The remnants moved through Atlantic Canada and went on to impact Western Europe, eventually dissipating on October 4.
Before Gloria made landfall, the National Hurricane Center issued hurricane warnings at some point for the East Coast of the United States from South Carolina to Maine. Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated, and the hurricane was described as the "storm of the century." In general, Gloria's strongest winds remained east of the center, which largely spared locations from North Carolina to New Jersey, and the passage at low tide reduced storm surge. Hurricane-force winds and gusts affected much of the path, which knocked down trees and power lines. This left over 4 million people without power, causing the worst power outage in Connecticut history related to a natural disaster. The extended power outage on Long Island, affecting 1.5 million people at some point, caused the Long Island Lighting Company to be shut down and be replaced with a public company. Fallen trees caused six of the storm's fourteen deaths. (Full article...)
Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only place known in the universe where life has originated and found habitability. While Earth may not contain the largest volumes of water in the Solar System, only Earth sustains liquid surface water, extending over 70.8% of the Earth with its ocean, making Earth an ocean world. Earth's polar regions currently retain most of all other water with large sheets of ice covering ocean and land, dwarfing Earth's groundwater, lakes, rivers and atmospheric water. Land, consisting of continents and islands, extends over 29.2% of the Earth and is widely covered by vegetation. Below Earth's surface material lies Earth's crust consisting of several slowly moving tectonic plates, which interact to produce mountain ranges, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Earth's liquid outer core generates a magnetic field that shapes the magnetosphere of Earth, largely deflecting destructive solar winds and cosmic radiation.
Earth has an atmosphere, which sustains Earth's surface conditions and protects it from most meteoroids and UV-light at entry. It has a composition of primarily nitrogen and oxygen. Water vapor is widely present in the atmosphere, forming clouds that cover most of the planet. The water vapor, like the liquid surface water, mainly persists by traping together with other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), energy from the Sun's light, creating a crucial average surface temperature of currently 14.76°C. Differences in the amount of captured energy between geographic regions (as with the equatorial region receiving more sunlight than the polar regions) drive atmospheric and ocean currents, producing a global climate system with different climate regions, and a range of weather phenomena such as precipitation, allowing components such as nitrogen to cycle. (Full article...)
The tornado outbreak of April 6–8, 2006, was a major tornado outbreak in the central and parts of the southern United States that began on April 6, 2006, in the Great Plains and continued until April 8 in South Carolina, with most of the activity on April 7. The hardest-hit region was Middle Tennessee, where several strong tornadoes devastated entire neighborhoods and left ten people dead. Some of the worst damage took place in Gallatin, Tennessee, and other communities north of Nashville also sustained significant damage.
There were 73 tornadoes confirmed across 13 states, with the bulk of them coming on the afternoon and evening of April 7 across the South, particularly in Tennessee. In total, 10 deaths were reported as a result of the tornadoes, and over $650 million in damage was reported, of which over $630 million was in Middle Tennessee. It was the third major outbreak of 2006, occurring just days after another major outbreak on April 2. It was also considered by some to be the worst disaster event in Middle Tennessee since the 1998 tornado outbreak. (Full article...)
In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate change in a broader sense also includes previous long-term changes to Earth's climate. The current rise in global average temperature is more rapid than previous changes, and is primarily caused by humans burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuel use, deforestation, and some agricultural and industrial practices increase greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide and methane. Greenhouse gases absorb some of the heat that the Earth radiates after it warms from sunlight. Larger amounts of these gases trap more heat in Earth's lower atmosphere, causing global warming.
Due to climate change, deserts are expanding, while heat waves and wildfires are becoming more common. Increased warming in the Arctic has contributed to melting permafrost, glacial retreat and sea ice loss. Higher temperatures are also causing more intense storms, droughts, and other weather extremes. Rapid environmental change in mountains, coral reefs, and the Arctic is forcing many species to relocate or become extinct. Even if efforts to minimise future warming are successful, some effects will continue for centuries. These include ocean heating, ocean acidification and sea level rise. (Full article...)
In 1257, a catastrophic eruption occurred at the Samalas volcano on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The event had a probable Volcanic Explosivity Index of 7, making it one of the largest volcanic eruptions during the current Holocene epoch. It left behind a large caldera that contains Lake Segara Anak. Later volcanic activity created more volcanic centres in the caldera, including the Barujari cone, which remains active.
The event created eruption columns reaching tens of kilometres into the atmosphere and pyroclastic flows that buried much of Lombok and crossed the sea to reach the neighbouring island of Sumbawa. The flows destroyed human habitations, including the city of Pamatan, which was the capital of a kingdom on Lombok. Ash from the eruption fell as far as 340 kilometres (210 mi) away in Java; the volcano deposited more than 10 cubic kilometres (2.4 cu mi) of rocks and ash. (Full article...)
- The Paleocene, (IPA: /ˈpæli.əsiːn, -i.oʊ-, ˈpeɪli-/ PAL-ee-ə-seen, -ee-oh-, PAY-lee-) or Palaeocene, is a geological epoch that lasted from about 66 to 56 million years ago (mya). It is the first epoch of the Paleogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era. The name is a combination of the Ancient Greek παλαιός palaiós meaning "old" and the Eocene Epoch (which succeeds the Paleocene), translating to "the old part of the Eocene".
The epoch is bracketed by two major events in Earth's history. The K–Pg extinction event, brought on by an asteroid impact (Chicxulub impact) and possibly volcanism (Deccan Traps), marked the beginning of the Paleocene and killed off 75% of species, most famously the non-avian dinosaurs. The end of the epoch was marked by the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which was a major climatic event wherein about 2,500–4,500 gigatons of carbon were released into the atmosphere and ocean systems, causing a spike in global temperatures and ocean acidification. (Full article...)
The geography of Indonesia is dominated by volcanoes that are formed due to subduction zones between the Eurasian plate and the Indo-Australian plate.</includeonly> (Full article...)
Did you know (auto-generated)
- ... that supplied-air respirators, unlike N95 masks, can be used in atmospheres that are oxygen-deficient or immediately dangerous to life or health?
- ... that the geology of the Ellsworth Mountains was explored by geologists using motor toboggans in 1961?
- ... that the most significant rock from New Caledonia is peridotite, which comes from the Earth's mantle?
- ... that the Iowa Colored Cowboys played softball for audiences of over a thousand people, in an atmosphere similar to a Harlem Globetrotters show?
- ... that the Danish geologist Tove Birkelund received a gold medal for her early work on fossils of Scaphites in Greenland?
More did you know? -
- ...that Louis Agassiz (pictured) was the first to scientifically propose that the Earth had been subject to a past ice age?
- ...that Diorite is a grey to dark grey intermediate intrusive igneous rock composed principally of plagioclase feldspar (typically andesine), hornblende, and/or pyroxene?
- ...that Black smokers are a type of hydrothermal vent found on the ocean floor?
- ...that the troposphere is the lowermost portion of Earth's atmosphere and the one in which most weather phenomena occur?
- ...that tuff is a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption?
- ...that Io is the most volcanically active body in the Solar System, due to the tides exerted upon the satellite by Jupiter?
Erosion of the bluff in Pacifica, by mbz1 (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)
palaeontological site of Lebanon, by Mila Zinkova (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)Specimen from a
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, by David Rydevik (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)Tsunami in Thailand at
Moon partially obscured by the atmosphere of Earth. The image was recorded with an electronic still camera at 15:15:15 GMT, Dec. 21, 1999. (Credit: NASA.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery recorded this rarely seen phenomenon of the full
Glacier retreat is a type of glacial motion in which more material ablates from its terminus of the glacier than is replenished by flow into that region. In this region of the Bhutan-Himalaya, glacial lakes have been rapidly forming on the surface of the debris-covered glaciers and researchers have found a strong correlation between increasing temperatures and glacial retreat. (Credit: NASA & USGS.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)
Mount Redoubt eruption, by R. Clucas (USGS) (edited by Janke) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)
thunderstorm is a form of severe weather involving lightning and thunder. Thunderstorms have had a lasting and powerful influence on mankind. Romans thought them to be battles waged by Jupiter. Thunderstorms were associated with the Thunderbird, held by Native Americans to be a servant of the Great Spirit. (Credit: John Kerstholt.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)A
Antarctica, the continent surrounding the Earth's South Pole, is the coldest place on earth and is almost entirely covered by ice. Antarctica was discovered in late January 1820. Too cold and dry to support virtually any vascular plants, Antarctica's flora presently consists of around 250 lichens, 100 mosses, 25-30 liverworts, and around 700 terrestrial and aquatic algal species. (Credit: NASA.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)
tephra, by Godot13 (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)Volcanic
Richat Structure is a depression in the country of Mauritania, almost 50 km (30 mi) across. It was originally thought to be the impact of a meteorite. Now it is thought to be a symmetrical uplift (circular anticline or dome) that has been exposed to erosion. In this false-color photo, bedrock is brown, sand is yellow and white, vegetation is green, and salty sediments are blue. (Credit: Landsat 7.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)The
Shield volcano, by J.D. Griggs, USGS (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)Incandescent Pahoeoe Fountain at
Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon. (Credit: Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)
Cirrus clouds are composed of ice crystals and shaped like hairlike filaments. They are formed at an altitudes above 5000 metres (16,500 feet). The streaks are made of snowflakes that are falling from the cloud and being caught by the high level winds. The streaks point in the direction of the wind and may appear straight giving the clouds the appearance of a comma (cirrus uncinus), or may by seem tangled, an indication of high level turbulence. (Credit: Piccolo Namek.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)
Ireland, as seen from space, with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Irish Sea to the east. (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)A true-color picture of
Oceans cover almost three quarters (71%) of the surface of the Earth, and nearly half of the world's marine waters are over 3000 m deep. This global, interconnected body of salt water, called the World Ocean, is divided by the continents and archipelagos into the following five bodies, from the largest to the smallest: the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. Official boundaries are defined by the International Hydrographic Organization. (Credit: Alexandre Van de Sande.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)
Mount Etna, a volcano on the Italian island of Sicily, viewed from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA, with image edits by User:Darkone.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)A 2002 eruption of
Petrified Forest National Park, by Moondigger (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)Petrified log at
Sand particles, by Siim (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)
meadows of Sihlsee, an artificial lake near Einsiedeln in the Canton of Schwyz, Switzerland. (Credit: Markus Bernet.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)Northern shore
Erg Chebbi (Arabic: عرج شبّي) is the sole Saharan erg in Morocco. It is 22 km long (North-South) and 5 km wide. Its dunes reach a maximum height of 150 meters. It is located roughly 40 kilometers south-east of Erfoud. The local center for tourists is the village of Merzouga. (Credit: Rosa Cabecinhas and Alcino Cunha.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)
Pressure release of granite in the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area of Texas, United States. The photo shows the geological exfoliation of granite dome rock. (Taken by Wing-Chi Poon on 2nd April 2005.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)
amber, by Baltic-amber-beetle (edited by AmericanXplorer13) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)Ant trapped in Baltic
Explosive eruption, by NASA (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)Sarychev Peak at
Joshua Tree National Park, by Mila Zinkova (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)Weathered rocks at
Hurricane Katrina was the third most powerful storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It first made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane just north of Miami, Florida on August 25, 2005, then again on August 29 along the Central Gulf Coast near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana as a Category 4 storm. This photograph of the eye of the hurricane was taken from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft on August 28, 2005. (Credit: NOAA.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)
Cyclone Gafilo, a powerful Category 5 tropical cyclone which struck Madagascar in March 2004, causing devastating damage. This was taken just before landfall, when the system was at its peak intensity about 333 km (207 mi) east of Madagascar, with sustained windspeed of 260 km/h (160 mph). At least 250 people were listed dead, with more missing, and 300,000 people were left homeless due to Gafilo. (Credit: Terra satellite, NASA.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)Satellite image of
NASA's Earth Observatory.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)Atmospheric gases scatter blue wavelengths of visible light more than other wavelengths, giving the Earth’s visible edge a blue halo. At higher and higher altitudes, the atmosphere becomes so thin that it essentially ceases to exist. Gradually, the atmospheric halo fades into the blackness of space. (Credit:
Thin section scan, by Kallerna (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)
compass rose, drawn on the desert floor at Edwards Air Force Base in California, United States. Painted on the playa near Dryden Flight Research Center, it is inclined to magnetic north and is used by pilots for calibrating heading indicators. (Credit: NASA.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)The world's largest
Mount Etna, a volcano on the Italian island of Sicily, as seen from the International Space Station. Etna is the largest of Italy's three active volcanoes and one of the most active in the whole entire world. This eruption, one of Etna's most vigorous in years, was triggered by a series of earthquakes. Ashfall was reported as far away as Libya, 600 km (373 mi) to the south. (Credit: Expedition 5 crew.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)An October 2002 eruption of
Winter is one of the four seasons of temperate zones. Meteorological winter is the season having the shortest days (which vary greatly according to latitude) and the lowest temperatures. (Credit: Richard Fabi.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, by Vasily V. Titov, NOAA (edited by Veledan) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake tsunami at
tropical cyclones that formed worldwide from 1985 to 2005. The points show the locations of the storms at six-hourly intervals and use the color scheme shown on the right from the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. (Credit: Nilfanion.) (from Portal:Earth sciences/Selected pictures)This map shows the tracks of all
Blairmorite, by Paul Glombick (edited by Bammesk) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)
dolomite and magnesite, by Didier Descouens (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Sciences/Geology)Crystalline
In the news
- 21 March 2023 – 2023 Badakhshan earthquake
- An earthquake strikes Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province, killing at least 30 people and injuring over 300. 20 deaths are in neighboring Pakistan. (BBC News)
- 18 March 2023 – 2023 Guayas earthquake
- A 6.8 earthquake strikes the Ecuadorian province of Guayas, damaging buildings, killing at least 18 people, including two in neighboring Peru, and injuring over 400. (The Guardian)
- 11 March 2023 –
- Indonesia's Merapi volcano erupts. Eight villages have been affected by volcanic ash. (Reuters) (AFP)
- 4 March 2023 –
- United Nations member states finalize the text of the High Seas Treaty, which aims to declare 30% of the world's oceans marine protected areas by 2030. (BBC News)
- 27 February 2023 – Aftermath of the 2023 Turkey–Syria earthquake
- List of foreshocks and aftershocks of the 2023 Turkey–Syria earthquake
- One person is killed and over 100 others are injured by a magnitude 5.6 aftershock in Yeşilyurt, Malatya, Turkey. (Sky News)
- Select [►] to view subcategories
- Climate change (More...)
Global warming · Rachel Carson · Retreat of glaciers since 1850
- Earthquakes (More...)
1949 Ambato earthquake · 1968 Illinois earthquake · 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens · 1997 Qayen earthquake · 2002 Bou'in-Zahra earthquake · 2005 Qeshm earthquake · 2007–2008 Nazko earthquakes
- Volcanoes (More...)
1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens · 2007–2008 Nazko earthquakes · Amchitka · Armero tragedy · Calabozos · Cerro Azul (Chile volcano) · Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve · David A. Johnston · Geology of the Lassen volcanic area · Loihi Seamount · Mauna Kea · Mauna Loa · Metacomet Ridge · Mono–Inyo Craters · Mount Cayley volcanic field · Mount St. Helens · Mount Tambora · Nevado del Ruiz · Surtsey · The Volcano (British Columbia) · Upper and Lower Table Rock · Volcano (South Park) · Yellowstone National Park
- Other geology (More...)
Mary Anning · Archaea · Archaeopteryx · Cerro Azul (Chile volcano) · Bryce Canyon National Park · Calabozos · Chicxulub crater · Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event · Charles Darwin · Earth · Ediacara biota · Geology of the Bryce Canyon area · Geology of the Capitol Reef area · Geology of the Death Valley area · Geology of the Grand Canyon area · Geology of the Lassen volcanic area · Geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area · Global warming · Iridium · Oil shale · The Volcano (British Columbia) · Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory · Volcanology of Io · Yellowstone National Park
- Geography (More...)
Antarctica · Australia · Bryce Canyon National Park · Carlsbad Caverns National Park · Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve · Death Valley National Park · Geography of India · Geography of Ireland · National parks of England and Wales · Niagara Falls · Rondane National Park · Shoshone National Forest · Yellowstone National Park · Yosemite National Park · Zion National Park
1941 Atlantic hurricane season · 1991 Atlantic hurricane season · 1995 Pacific hurricane season · 1998 Pacific hurricane season · 2002 Atlantic hurricane season · 2003 Atlantic hurricane season · Category 5 Pacific hurricanes · Hurricane Isabel · Lists of Florida hurricanes · Lists of North Carolina hurricanes· Retired Pacific hurricanes
- Baja California Peninsula hurricanes
- California hurricanes
- Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes
- Category 5 Pacific hurricanes
- Delaware hurricanes
- Florida hurricanes
- Florida hurricanes (pre-1900)
- Florida hurricanes (1900–1949)
- Florida hurricanes (1950–1974)
- Florida hurricanes (1975–1999)
- Florida hurricanes (2000–present)
- Largest volcanic eruptions
- New Jersey hurricanes
- New York hurricanes
- North Carolina hurricanes
- North Carolina hurricanes (pre-1900)
- North Carolina hurricanes (1900–1949)
- North Carolina hurricanes (1950–1979)
- North Carolina hurricanes (1980–present)
- Retired Pacific hurricane names
- Retired Pacific typhoon names (JMA)
- Sites of special scientific interest in Cornwall
- Snow events in Florida
- South America tropical cyclones
- Storms in the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season
- Storms in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season
- Timeline of the far future
- United States hurricanes
- volcanoes in the Hawaiian – Emperor seamount chain
- Volcanoes in Indonesia
- Wettest tropical cyclones in the United States
Things you can do
- Edit an Earth sciences article
- Whether you are an expert or a novice, be bold, improve an article by editing it. If you're not sure how to do it, practice in the sandbox.
- Add new articles:
- John H. Roscoe
- G.D. Blodgett
- Cross section (geology)
- Koscierzyna borehole
- Versoyen unit
- Magnetic chronozone
- Mineralogical Association of Canada
- Yuanshan Formation
- Internal Valais
- David J. Siveter
- Moûtiers unit
- Join one of the WikiProjects listed below.
- Watch its talk page for earth science-related issues on Wikipedia.
- Improve this portal
- Add to the Did you know list.
- Add new Selected articles and Selected pictures to the queues.
- See Contributing to Wikipedia for more ideas.
The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:
Free media repository
Free textbooks and manuals
Free knowledge base
Collection of quotations
Free learning tools
Dictionary and thesaurus