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Travel Through Deep Time With This Interactive Earth

Travel Through Deep Time With This Interactive Earth | NetGeology | Scoop.it
Explore key moments in Earth’s transformative history as continents drift and climate fluctuates over 4.6 billion years
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Earthquakes of the First 15 Years of the 21st Century

This animation shows every recorded earthquake in sequence as they occurred from January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2015, at a rate of 30 days pe
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The Air On Mars Has A Mysterious Glow, Here's Why

The Air On Mars Has A Mysterious Glow, Here's Why | NetGeology | Scoop.it
New ultraviolet images from NASA show that Mars' atmosphere lights up at night! What is a nightglow and what causes it?
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Quest to drill into Earth’s mantle restarts

Quest to drill into Earth’s mantle restarts | NetGeology | Scoop.it
Indian Ocean expedition resumes a six-decade campaign to bore right through the planet’s crust.

Via Catherine Russell
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Tiny Welsh therapod is world's earliest Jurassic dinosaur

Tiny Welsh therapod is world's earliest Jurassic dinosaur | NetGeology | Scoop.it

Newly-classified therapod Dracoraptor hanigani is the oldest known dinosaur from the Jurassic period


Via Catherine Russell
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Curiosity Rover Continues to Gather Martian Soil Samples

Curiosity Rover Continues to Gather Martian Soil Samples | NetGeology | Scoop.it

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover continues its campaign to study active sand dune on Mars, scooping and analyzing samples.

At its current location for inspecting an active sand dune, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is adding some sample-processing...


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Earth’s mineralogy unique in the cosmos

New research from a team led by Carnegie's Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of ...

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Scientists on a mission to drill a hole deep enough to reach the Earth's crust

Scientists on a mission to drill a hole deep enough to reach the Earth's crust | NetGeology | Scoop.it

Scientists will set out this week to drill a hole into the Indian Ocean floor to try to get below the Earth's crust for the first time.

 

They want to sample rock from the planet's mantle - its deep interior. In the process, the researchers hope to check their assumptions about the materials from which the crust itself is made. It will probably take several years to drop the full 5 to 5.5km, says co-team leader, Prof Chris MacLeod. This is in addition to the 700m of water between the drilling ship, the Joides Resolution (JR), and the seabed.

 

"In total, we think it will take three expeditions," the Cardiff University geologist told BBC News. "The science is approved and we have funding for this initial two-month investigation. But we will need to come back and we may not complete the task until the 2020s."

 

There have been several attempts to drill into the mantle, but none has yet succeeded. This latest effort may fare better, however, because faulting and erosion have already thinned the crust at the targeted drill site, known as Atlantis Bank on the South West Indian Ridge of the Indian Ocean.

 

The project, which is running under the auspices of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), would give scientists access ultimately to fresh, unaltered peridotite - the rock, rich in olivine minerals, that, because of the size of the mantle, makes up the bulk material of the planet's interior.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The real sea monsters

The real sea monsters | NetGeology | Scoop.it
No known dinosaurs lived in the oceans. But there were lots of big aquatic reptiles that were every bit as ferocious and awesome.
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Mineralogy on Mars

A lecture on the mineralogy of Mars, using the latest data from the Mars rovers and orbiters. Fairly technical.

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Réptil que conviveu com os dinossauros descoberto por equipa de português

Réptil que conviveu com os dinossauros descoberto por equipa de português | NetGeology | Scoop.it
Fóssil recebeu nome de um feitiço que aparece na saga Harry Potter.
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Did dinosaur-killing asteroid trigger largest lava flows Earth ever saw?

Did dinosaur-killing asteroid trigger largest lava flows Earth ever saw? | NetGeology | Scoop.it

The asteroid that slammed into the ocean off Mexico 66 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs probably rang the Earth like a bell, triggering volcanic eruptions around the globe that may have contributed to the devastation, according to a team of University of California, Berkeley, geophysicists.

 

Specifically, the researchers argue that the impact likely triggered most of the immense eruptions of lava in India known as the Deccan Traps, explaining the "uncomfortably close" coincidence between the Deccan Traps eruptions and the impact, which has always cast doubt on the theory that the asteroid was the sole cause of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

 

"If you try to explain why the largest impact we know of in the last billion years happened within 100,000 years of these massive lava flows at Deccan ... the chances of that occurring at random are minuscule," said team leader Mark Richards, UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science. "It's not a very credible coincidence."

 

Richards and his colleagues marshal evidence for their theory that the impact reignited the Deccan flood lavas in a paper to be published in The Geological Society of America Bulletin, available online today (April 30) in advance of publication.

 

While the Deccan lava flows, which started before the impact but erupted for several hundred thousand years after re-ignition, probably spewed immense amounts of carbon dioxide and other noxious, climate-modifying gases into the atmosphere, it's still unclear if this contributed to the demise of most of life on Earth at the end of the Age of Dinosaurs, Richards said.

 

Richards proposed in 1989 that plumes of hot rock, called "plume heads," rise through Earth's mantle every 20-30 million years and generate huge lava flows, called flood basalts, like the Deccan Traps. It struck him as more than coincidence that the last four of the six known mass extinctions of life occurred at the same time as one of these massive eruptions.

 

"Paul Renne's group at Berkeley showed years ago that the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province is associated with the mass extinction at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary 200 million years ago, and the Siberian Traps are associated with the end Permian extinction 250 million years ago, and now we also know that a big volcanic eruption in China called the Emeishan Traps is associated with the end-Guadalupian extinction 260 million years ago," Richards said. "Then you have the Deccan eruptions -- including the largest mapped lava flows on Earth -- occurring 66 million years ago coincident with the KT mass extinction.

 

Michael Manga, a professor in the same department, has shown over the past decade that large earthquakes -- equivalent to Japan's 9.0 Tohoku quake in 2011 -- can trigger nearby volcanic eruptions. Richards calculates that the asteroid that created the Chicxulub crater might have generated the equivalent of a magnitude 9 or larger earthquake everywhere on Earth, sufficient to ignite the Deccan flood basalts and perhaps eruptions many places around the globe, including at mid-ocean ridges.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The mineral sourced from illegal mines that powers your electronics

Mica is used in electronic devices and car paint -- and it's dug by landless Indian labourers and their children, caught in a culture of debt and corruption
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Space Snails on Pluto

Space Snails on Pluto | NetGeology | Scoop.it
NASA’s New Horizons captures a strange sight on the surface of Pluto. Snail-like figures and apparent trails behind them. What are they actually?
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This 99-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Tail Trapped in Amber Hints at Feather Evolution

This 99-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Tail Trapped in Amber Hints at Feather Evolution | NetGeology | Scoop.it

The rare specimen provides new insights into how feathers came to be
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What's Really Warming the World?

What's Really Warming the World? | NetGeology | Scoop.it

Climate deniers blame natural factors; NASA data proves otherwise


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Peter Phillips's curator insight, January 21, 2016 3:06 AM
Excellent set of graphs and explanations provide clarity by contrasting natural and human effects on climate change.
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Compression can expand energy storage

Compression can expand energy storage | NetGeology | Scoop.it

The answer to powering Earth lies in renewables and hot air


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Study is first to map Earth's hidden groundwater

Study is first to map Earth's hidden groundwater | NetGeology | Scoop.it
Groundwater: it's one of the planet's most exploited, most precious natural resources. It ranges in age from months to millions of years old. Around the world, there's increasing demand to know how much we have and how long before it's tapped out.

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breanna mae johnson's curator insight, December 2, 2015 9:57 AM

This map may help people understand how much groundwater we actually have remaining. This could influence a better perception of water preservation and conservation. With the growing demand of water, people need to know how important it is to use our water wisely for the well-being of future generations.

 

                                                                                       BJ

Violet Knight's curator insight, December 2, 2015 9:59 AM

I believe that this is an important discovery. Now we will be able to conserve enough water to last us until our water supply is replenished. 

Raven Stroud's curator insight, December 3, 2015 10:20 AM

I think that if we do not limit ourselves when it comes to using groundwater, we could end up running out of it and that would cause many problems with the human race and with the environment. -R.S.

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Mystery of how snakes lost their legs solved by reptile fossil

Mystery of how snakes lost their legs solved by reptile fossil | NetGeology | Scoop.it
Fresh analysis of a reptile fossil is helping scientists solve an evolutionary puzzle -- how snakes lost their limbs. The findings show snakes did not lose their limbs in order to live in the sea, as was previously suggested.

 

The 90 million-year-old skull is giving researchers vital clues about how snakes evolved. Comparisons between CT scans of the fossil and modern reptiles indicate that snakes lost their legs when their ancestors evolved to live and hunt in burrows, which many snakes still do today.

The findings show snakes did not lose their limbs in order to live in the sea, as was previously suggested.

 

Scientists used CT scans to examine the bony inner ear of Dinilysia patagonica, a 2-meter long reptile closely linked to modern snakes. These bony canals and cavities, like those in the ears of modern burrowing snakes, controlled its hearing and balance. They built 3D virtual models to compare the inner ears of the fossils with those of modern lizards and snakes. Researchers found a distinctive structure within the inner ear of animals that actively burrow, which may help them detect prey and predators. This shape was not present in modern snakes that live in water or above ground.

 

The findings help scientists fill gaps in the story of snake evolution, and confirm Dinilysia patagonica as the largest burrowing snake ever known. They also offer clues about a hypothetical ancestral species from which all modern snakes descended, which was likely a burrower.

 

Reference:

H. Yi, M. A. Norell. The burrowing origin of modern snakes. Science Advances, 2015; 1 (10): e1500743 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500743

 


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Volcanic Rock Hints at Source of Earth's Water

Volcanic Rock Hints at Source of Earth's Water | NetGeology | Scoop.it
Hydrogen isotopes suggest that some water was present when the planet formed
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World's longest continental volcanic chain has been discovered in Australia - ScienceAlert

World's longest continental volcanic chain has been discovered in Australia - ScienceAlert | NetGeology | Scoop.it

Three times longer than the Yellowstone hotspot.


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Soil is a non-renewable resource. Its preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future

Soil is a non-renewable resource. Its preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future | NetGeology | Scoop.it
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Sex and parasites: genomic and transcriptomic analysis of Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae, the biotrophic and plant-castrating anther smut fungus

Sex and parasites: genomic and transcriptomic analysis of Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae, the biotrophic and plant-castrating anther smut fungus | NetGeology | Scoop.it

The genus Microbotryum includes plant pathogenic fungi afflicting a wide variety of hosts with anther smut disease. Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae infects Silene latifolia and replaces host pollen with fungal spores, exhibiting biotrophy and necrosis associated with altering plant development.

We determined the haploid genome sequence for M. lychnidis-dioicae and analyzed whole transcriptome data from plant infections and other stages of the fungal lifecycle, revealing the inventory and expression level of genes that facilitate pathogenic growth. Compared to related fungi, an expanded number of major facilitator superfamily transporters and secretory lipases were detected; lipase gene expression was found to be altered by exposure to lipid compounds, which signaled a switch to dikaryotic, pathogenic growth. In addition, while enzymes to digest cellulose, xylan, xyloglucan, and highly substituted forms of pectin were absent, along with depletion of peroxidases and superoxide dismutases that protect the fungus from oxidative stress, the repertoire of glycosyltransferases and of enzymes that could manipulate host development has expanded. A total of 14 % of the genome was categorized as repetitive sequences. Transposable elements have accumulated in mating-type chromosomal regions and were also associated across the genome with gene clusters of small secreted proteins, which may mediate host interactions.

 

The unique absence of enzyme classes for plant cell wall degradation and maintenance of enzymes that break down components of pollen tubes and flowers provides a striking example of biotrophic host adaptation.


Via Francis Martin
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Fossils rewrite history of penetrative sex

Fossils rewrite history of penetrative sex | NetGeology | Scoop.it
The history of sex may have to be rewritten thanks to a group of unsightly, long-extinct fish called placoderms. A careful study of fossils of these armour-plated creatures, which gave rise to all current vertebrates with jaws, suggests that their descendants — our ancient ancestors — switched their sexual practices from internal to external fertilization, an event previously thought to be evolutionarily improbable.
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World's Earliest Flower may Date back 162 million Years

World's Earliest Flower may Date back 162 million Years | NetGeology | Scoop.it
The world's first typical flower may date back to 162 million years ago, more than 37 million years earlier than previously thought, Chinese researchers reported in a new study.


The fossil flower, named Euanthus panii, was found in western Liaoning Province, according to the study, which was published in the recent edition of the UK-based Historical Biology, an international journal of paleobiology.
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