Geology, News, Physics

Smartphones used as sensors for earthquake early warnings

Smartphone-powered-earthquake-detector

There’s so much you can do with a smartphone today – much more than just browsing the web or social media. When you can combine them in a network, however, the possibilities might be endless. For instance, researchers at Caltech and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) are working on an earthquake early warning system based on the collective data fed in by thousands of smartphones. Only a couple of countries in the world give vulnerable cities an early warning – often just enough time to hit cover and save your life – but smartphones are virtually ubiquitous all over the world, even in poor countries which lack basic infrastructure like roads or flushing toilets.

Astronomy, Geology, News

Mars has giant belts of glaciers, Danish researchers claim

Mars may have many non-polar glaciers.

Astronomers have known for quite a while that Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but the Red Planet might also have belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres. These huge glaciers are covered by a thick layer of dust which masks them and makes them seem like they are actually part of the surface of the ground.

Biology, Geology, News

Tyrannosaur injuries reveal cannibalistic past

The animal may not have died fighting, but shows signs of being eaten.

When tyrannosaurs ruled the world, no one was safe from them – not even other tyrannosaurs. The skull of an unfortunate adolescent tyrannosaur shows signs of brutal fight; the individual was defeated and then eaten by members of its own species, new research shows.

Geology, News

Scientists discover another layer in the Earth’s mantle

earth mantle layer

Most people tend to think of the Earth in terms of crust, mantle and core, and while those are indeed the largest “layers” (you can’t properly call the mantle a layer though), each one of them is made from other, thinner layers. Now, researchers from the University of Utah have identified another one of these thinner layers, 930 miles beneath our feet.

Biology, Geology, News

Car-sized Salamander roamed Portugal 230 million years ago

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Paleontologists have found the remains of a “super salamander” – a previously unknown car-sized species of early amphibian. The predatory salamander likely feasted on fish and even small dinosaurs.

Geology, News

World’s largest asteroid impact zone found in Australia

image_2627-Warburton-West-Basin

Australian researchers have uncovered what might be the biggest impact asteroid impact zone in the world – at over 400 kilometers (250 miles)! Naturally, the crater isn’t visible today, but geophysicists have found the impact’s scars deep below the surface. Lead researcher Dr Andrew Glikson from the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology explains: “The two asteroids must each have been over

Geology, Videos

Stunning video shows lava in all its might

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Even as a geologist, I can’t help myself from looking at lava with an almost childish fascination – it’s something from the depths of the Earth (literally), with the potential to destroy everything and anything in its path, and also to create new landscapes, drastically changing the surface of the Earth. In the short film above, Lance Page managed to capture the sheer force

Biology, Geology, News

Beaked whale reveals Africa’s tectonic secrets

Pictured: James G. Mead excavating the whale specimen in the "Open Pit Turtle Mine”, Williams’ Flat Loperot, Kenya, Summer 1964. (Photo : James G. Mead)

Some 17 million years ago, a beaked whale took a wrong turn up an African river, something which ultimately proved to be its demise. But now, geologists studying the whale’s fossils believe the whale’s unfortunate end might shed a new light on early human evolution.

Biology, Geology, News

This giant arthropod was the biggest creature of its time

illustration by Marianne Collins, ArtofFact

Some 480 million years ago the seven-foot-long Aegirocassis benmoulae swam in a shallow sea covering what is today the Sahara desert. This giant arthropod, much larger than arthropods existing today, was likely the biggest creature in the world at the time.

Astronomy, Geology, News

Chinese Lunar Rover Reveals Secrets from The Dark Side of the Moon

Image via Xinhua.

The Moon’s geologic past was much more interesting and active than previously thought, results from the Chinese lunar rover indicate. The Yutu moon rover found evidence of at least nine distinct rock layers deep beneath its wheels, something which seems to indicate a more complex setting.