Scientists at the University of Bristol in England are finding clues to the earth’s carbon cycle by studying diamonds that were once 435 miles below the earth’s surface. By examining the microscopic impurities within the diamonds, scientists are unlocking the many mysteries that remain regarding the carbon cycle and its many interrelated earth cycles. The worlds oceans are large carbon sinks that could be help answer solve some environmental questions. The discovery will also help researchers improve on the theory of plate tectonics. “The mantle is the biggest reservoir of carbon, and we know very little about it,” Dr. Michael Walter said. The scientists say that while the presence of this deep carbon will not influence climate, but there is a potential long-term sink for carbon in the lower mantle.Filed under geology, global warming, minerals, plate tectonics | Tags: carbon cycle, diamonds, earth, plate tectonics | Comment (0)
A documentary on PBS shows in details how the rising water levels as a result of climate change will affect regions around the world that live close to the coasts. Check it out.Filed under environment, geological hazards, global warming, health, sustainability, water resources | Tags: climate change, earth, environment, habitat, health, hurricanes, storms, water resources | Comment (0)
Guest blog by Shannon Maylath and Hanifah Paul
Hawaii is home to some of the world’s most active and largest volcanoes. The volcanoes that make up the Hawaiian islands are a chain of shield volcanoes that have formed over a hot spot in the pacific ocean, starting around 70 million years ago. The islands have progressed from northwest to southeast over time, making Kohala the oldest, Kilauea the youngest, and Mauna Kea, Hualalai, and Mauna Loa in between. Kilauea is labeled one of Earth’s most active volcanoes. Eruptions at Kilauaea primarily occur along the East and Southwest rift zones. Kilauea has been issuing lava continuously since 1983 while written records for volcanic eruption at this site go as far back as 1820.
Mauna Loa is the most massive volcano on Earth with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles. The low silica content of Mauna Loa produces fast moving lava and gentle, non-explosive eruptions. The drifting of the Pacific Plate will eventually carry Mauna Loa away from the hot spot in about 500,000 years, leaving the volcano extinct.
While Haualalai, the third most active volcano in Hawaii, has not issued an eruption since 1801, geologists project an eruption within the next 100 years, labeling it potentially dangerous. Earthquakes recorded in the 1970′s have been linked to the rising magma levels in Haualalai.
The Hawaiian volcanoes affect many aspects of life on the islands. They can be destructive to property, often shutting down roads and occasionally requiring evacuation, or beneficial by bringing in tourism and interest in the state’s unusual environment.Filed under geological hazards, geology | Tags: earth, geology | Comment (0)
Guest blog by Ryan Riols and Jacqueline Casteel
A super eruption is a scaled up version of a typical volcanic outburst. Each is caused by a rising and growing chamber of hot molten rock known as magma.
So now that we know this, what would happen if the super volcano known as Yellowstone were to erupt? The eruption of Yellowstone would easily be the greatest catastrophe that the modern world has ever experienced. The eruption would be preceded by several massive earthquakes and the Yellowstone Plateau would begin to rise to extreme levels. Gases would begin to build and once released the explosion would affect the majority of North America. Massive ash falls would cover up to half of the United States and travel throughout the atmosphere blocking the sun. This would cause temperatures to fall and would lead to devastating agricultural failures. Link. Most scientists predict that this eruption will not occur for thousands of years, however, it is inevitable and a disaster the United States will eventually be faced with.Filed under environment, geological hazards, geology | Tags: earth, environment, geology | Comment (0)