News articles tagged with "geology"

07/31/2014 15:28:36
Kimm Fesenmaier
Ken Farley, Caltech's W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry and chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, is serving as project scientist for Mars 2020. We recently sat down with him to talk about the mission and his new role.
04/10/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

The second-largest mass extinction in Earth's history coincided with a short but intense ice age. Although it has long been agreed that the so-called Late Ordovician mass extinction was related to climate change, exactly how the change produced the extinction has not been known. Now, a team led by Caltech scientists has determined that the majority of extinctions were caused by habitat loss due to falling sea levels and cooling of the tropical oceans.

02/21/2012 08:00:00
Katie Neith

The field of study of Andrew Thompson, assistant professor of environmental science and engineering at Caltech, presents not only theoretical challenges but logistical ones as well. That's because he is interested in the circulation and ecology of the Southern Ocean and the role it plays in global climate. The hostile environment of this area makes long-term research difficult, so he's part of a team that is seeking to monitor the region with autonomous underwater vehicles called gliders.

12/20/2011 08:00:00
Katie Neith

Identifying the composition of the earth's core is key to understanding how our planet formed and the current behavior of its interior. While it has been known for many years that iron is the main element in the core, many questions have remained about just how iron behaves under the conditions found deep in the earth. Now, a team led by mineral-physics researchers at Caltech has honed in on those behaviors by conducting extremely high-pressure experiments on the element.

11/11/2011 08:00:00
Katie Neith

A catastrophic landslide 22,500 years ago dammed the upper reaches of northern California's Eel River, forming a 30-mile-long lake—which has since disappeared—and leaving a living legacy found today in the genes of the region's steelhead trout, according to scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Oregon.

09/16/2011 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

An international team led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath a desert on Earth.

08/29/2011 07:00:00
Katie Neith

For Andrew Thompson, assistant professor of environmental science and engineering who joined GPS in August, growing up in Rhode Island gave him a natural affinity for the ocean. Now, he studies physical ocean science, focusing on eddies. While Thompson studies the way sea storms move things around, new faculty member and alum Victor Tsai, assistant professor of geophysics, is busy measuring the seismic noise produced by the movements of the ocean—partly from the crashing of waves onto the shore.

06/23/2011 18:00:00
Marcus Woo

Were dinosaurs slow and lumbering, or quick and agile? It depends largely on whether they were cold or warm blooded. Now, a team of researchers led by Caltech has developed a new approach to take body temperatures of dinosaurs for the first time, providing new insights into whether dinosaurs were cold or warm blooded.

06/06/2011 07:00:00
Katie Neith

When geologists survey an area of land for the potential that gas or petroleum deposits could exist there, they must take into account the composition of rocks that lie below the surface. Previous research had suggested that compaction bands might act as barriers to the flow of oil or gas. Now, researchers led by José Andrade have analyzed X-ray images of Aztec sandstone and revealed that compaction bands are actually more permeable than earlier models indicated.

 

 

05/25/2011 07:00:00
Lori Oliwenstein

A team of scientists led by researchers from Caltech report in this week's issue of the journal Nature that the rocks on which much of a theory on how the "Snowball Earth" ice age ended was based were formed millions of years after the ice age ended, and were formed at temperatures so high there could have been no living creatures associated with them. 

05/18/2011 23:00:00
Katie Neith

When the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and resulting tsunami struck off the northeast coast of Japan on March 11, they caused widespread destruction and death. Using observations from a dense regional geodetic network (allowing measurements of earth movement to be gathered from GPS satellite data), globally distributed broadband seismographic networks, and open-ocean tsunami data, researchers have begun to construct numerous models that describe how the earth moved that day.

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