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Antarctic ice shivers from distant earthquakes

Antarctic ice shivers from distant earthquakes

Science | Earth
Thursday October 07, 2021

Antarctica is the most remote continent on Earth, but new research shows it is still connected to what happens in the rest of the world. A new study finds large earthquakes can cause ice on the slopes of Antarctica's Mt. Erebus to quiver and vibrate, even when the quake happens thousands of miles away.


Tapping Erebus's Power

Tapping Erebus's Power

Science | Earth
Monday July 26, 2021

The heat given off by Antarctica's Mount Erebus could help power instruments monitoring the volcano, giving scientists a way to study Erebus's lava lake during the long polar night for the first time. Researchers have found a way to harness the heat from the magma underneath Erebus and turn it into electricity that can power scientific instruments.


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May
26
2020

Pumping Iron

Science | Earth

Cold, hard iron is on the move. Particles of the ferrous metal are trickling into Antarctica's oceans, and marine algae are gobbling it up.


Jul
08
2019

Listening to Rock Music

Science | Earth

Rocks are cracking up all over Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys. Though it may take hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years, the slow but inevitable processes of weathering eventually reduce all rocks into sand or even clay.


Jun
17
2019

Digging For Fishies

Science | Earth

The mountains of Antarctica may seem an unlikely place to find fish, but they were exactly what a team of paleontologists working along the edge of the Polar Plateau last winter were looking for. In a region now defined by dry rocky terrain poking up through vast sheets of thick ice, the five-member team spent much of December and January scouring the exposed landscape for the remains of ancient fish.


Apr
22
2019

The Dry Valleys' Briny Deep

Science | Earth

Hunting for groundwater has come a long way from divining rods in the days of yore. This past austral summer, scientists in Antarctica used a sophisticated and highly sensitive instrument to look for water in one of the continent's driest regions.


Oct
17
2018

Researchers Release the Highest Resolution Antarctic Map Ever Produced

Science | Earth

Researchers at the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Polar Geospatial Center in September released the biggest and most detailed map of Antarctica ever produced.


Jun
13
2018

A Chemical Detective Story: Why is Don Juan Pond So Salty?

Science | Earth

During winter, nearly everything in Antarctica freezes solid. Except Don Juan Pond. Though only about twice the area of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and barely a foot deep, Don Juan Pond is famous for being the saltiest body of water on the entire planet. It is saltier even than the Dead Sea.


May
03
2018

Paleo Gondwanaland Was Full Of Lystrosaurs

Science | Earth

An expedition studying the aftermath of one of Earth's greatest global extinctions collected hundreds of prehistoric animal fossils from the mountains of Antarctica this past season. Ten researchers spent nearly six weeks camped in the Transantarctic Mountains, collecting fossils that formed following the great extinction at the end of the Permian era.


Jun
30
2017

The Prehistoric Forests of the Frozen Continent

Science | Earth

Paleontologists uncovered the fossil remnants of the oldest forest yet discovered in Antarctica. At about 270 million years old, the fossils come from an extinct species of tree known as Glossopteris. The fossils promise to offer paleontologists insights into the prehistoric climate and ecology of Antarctica, and the dramatic ecological changes that were about to sweep across the continent.


May
17
2017

Tag! You're it!

Science | Earth

A number of Adelie penguins around the Ross Sea are sporting sophisticated new leg bands this year. Ornithologist David Ainley and his team attached new electronic tags to about 150 penguins to record where each penguin goes and how deeply it dives under water. The tagging project ties in with a broader effort that he's been spearheading for 20 years, monitoring Adelie penguin populations and demographics around Ross Island.


Apr
26
2017

Caves Of Gas

Science | Earth

Planet Earth is gassy. All over the world, plumes of gasses that formed deep under the planet's surface, pour out of active volcanoes and mix with the atmosphere. Tobias Fischer, a volcanologist at the University of New Mexico, spent two seasons exploring the frozen face of Antarctica's Mount Erebus, the world's southernmost active volcano, to better understand these fumes escaping from the depths of the Earth.


Mar
14
2017

Tracking Earth's Past Magnetic Moments

Science | Earth

The key to understanding Earth's prehistoric magnetic field lies hidden in the rocks. Specifically, igneous rocks, basalts that cooled from liquid magma spewed out of volcanos. Geologist Lisa Tauxe of the University of California, San Diego, and her team, traveled to Antarctica to collect rock samples that can tell them more about the planet's magnetic field over the past few million years. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program.


Nov
30
2016

The Polar Geospatial Center

Science | Earth

The icy surface of Antarctica is a dynamic environment; and conditions can change drastically from year to year or even week to week. Because of these endless changes, making a map of the ever-changing ice cover can be like putting together a map of the clouds. The Polar Geospatial Center has been using satellite data to provide invaluable, up-to-date information about surface conditions across the continent for nearly a decade.


May
25
2016

Scientists Recover an Abundance of Fossils and Geologic Data from Antarctica

Science | Earth

Using everything from pickaxes to helicopters, paleontologists scoured multiple islands off the Antarctic Peninsula in February and March for the remains of prehistoric beasts and returned with a trove of fossils from the end of the time of the dinosaurs.


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