How mud can be used for understanding Earth surface processes and time

Speaker Angela Coe fromThe Open University. Part of The Geological Society’s 2015 Year of Mud. Event information More information will soon be available. The talk will be given twice on the same day, once at 3pm and once at 6pm – please note that if you would like to attend the talks, the 3pm matinees […]

Science Behind the Photo #42

The Giant’s Causeway: World Heritage site, celebrity of ‘Visit Ireland’ publicity campaigns, subject of myth and legend Its beautiful, sculpted steps are iconic, but it may shock people to realise the lavas which formed this stunning landscape are only 60 million years old, produced in what’s known as the Paleogene period. To give an idea […]

Science Behind the Photo #39

With thanks to Adair Farrar The San Juan River Goosenecks State Park in Utah, USA, overlooks a deep meander of the San Juan River, a 600-km-long tributary of the Colorado River. One of the best examples of entrenched river meanders in the world, the river flows through 8 kms of canyon while progressing westwards only […]

Interview With a Deep Sea Biologist

Dr Brian Bett was interviewed for our Exploring the Deep feature. This is the full transcript of that interview. JC: What is like exploring the deep sea from a personal perspective? BB: In many ways I am a traditional field ecologist, it just happens that my field lies under 3-miles of water. So this means […]

Sub-Surface Life?

This article is taken from the Winter 2011 issue of I, Science magazine Antonio Torrisi uncovers the secrets held by the mysterious Lake Vostok, Antarctica’s as-yet unexplored sub-surface lake. The Antarctic is one of the most extreme places on Earth, so it follows it would be one of the least explored. However, remote areas spark […]

Science Behind the Photo #30

Peak District, UK, April 2009 – This is what your stylish kitchen worktop looks like in raw form. Granite is among the hardest of the igneous rocks – those created when molten magma cools and solidifies.  It usually forms at subduction zones where one of the earth’s tectonic plates slips under another. Rock melted by friction […]

The volcanic tsunami that broke an empire

3700 years ago, Mount Thera exploded with a force that ruptured the fabric of an entire civilisation. Humans had been coping with the area’s angry tectonics for centuries, but for the Minoans of Crete, something made this eruption truly devastating. In 2000, scientists found tsunami traces in sediments from Crete and Turkey. Now, researchers have […]

Getting over the ‘Great Dying’

It’s not how you fail, it’s how you bounce back.  And while the end-Permian mass extinction may have been nature’s greatest failure, new evidence shows its recovery was even more impressive than we thought. Two hundred and fifty million years ago, life nearly died.  96% of marine species were lost, 70% of land vertebrates perished, […]

Is this the end for space travel?

Atlantis, the Space Shuttle, landed for the final time last week and ended thirty years of routine space flight. NASA has since been fighting to prove it’s not given up on space exploration, and that there are plenty more missions to make with new, better technology. “The things that you’ve done will set us up […]

Antarctica’s chilling tale

How did Antarctica come to be a barren, treeless land of ice?  Once carpeted with flowers and forests, today it’s a frozen desert, good only for mosses, lichens and a few hardy species of grass.  So what happened?  Scientists drilling off the Antarctic Peninsula – the last refuge for plants as temperatures fell – have […]

Moon birth theory holds no water

Four and half billion years ago, a meteorite the size of Mars slammed into Earth, melting the entire surface of our planet and throwing billions of tonnes of rock into space.  In time, the ejected rubble – baked dry by the explosion’s searing heat – condensed into a parched, lifeless satellite, the Moon.  This is […]