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Geology

The hidden threat from rising coastal groundwater

OPINION: Sea level rise won’t hit just homes on shorefronts, but also the infrastructure beneath our feet

Central American volcanoes offer clues to Earth’s geological evolution

Along 1,100 kilometers, from Mexico to Costa Rica, lies the Central American volcanic arc, where the variety of magma types make for a geological paradise

Is this ‘age of the delta’ coming to an end?

The wet landmasses, though inherently impermanent, have been essential to both people and wildlife for thousands of years. But recent shifts have brought on some rapid losses that worry scientists.

The long-awaited mission that could transform our understanding of Mars

A next-generation instrument on a delayed Martian rover may be the key to answering the question of life on the Red Planet

Fiber optics take the pulse of the planet

It’s like radar, but with light. Distributed acoustic sensing — DAS — picks up tremors from volcanoes, quaking ice and deep-sea faults, as well as traffic rumbles and whale calls.

There are more active volcanoes than you think

OPINION: Volcanologists warn that magma-filled vents evolve over time, leading to an underestimation of the number that might erupt — especially those capable of the biggest explosions

The origins and future of the Grand Canyon

VIDEO: How old is the Grand Canyon? Will the Colorado River run dry? Learn about how the Big Ditch formed and the present state and uncertain future of the Colorado River watershed.

The race against radon

Scientists are working to map out the risks of the permafrost thaw, which could expose millions of people to the invisible cancer-causing gas

The history of climate change offers clues to Earth’s future

PODCAST: Digging — quite literally — into our planet’s past to study its paleoclimate has shed light on bygone ice ages and hints at trouble ahead for our now-warming world (Season 2/Episode 4)

Eyes on the deep

Decades of exploring the seafloor have helped oceanographer Samantha Joye tackle marine issues — from the underwater movement of oil from Deepwater Horizon to the biology of remote microbial communities

Keeping time with zircons

Crystals of the mineral zircon are rugged enough to survive the most violent geologic events. Impurities within them provide a time capsule of planetary history.

How coral atolls get their gorgeous ring shapes

Sea levels rising and falling over hundreds of thousands of years helped build up these special islands

The story of Snowball Earth

Ancient rocks suggest that ice entirely covered our planet on at least two occasions. This theory may help explain the rise of complex life that followed.

A deeper understanding of the Grand Canyon

After 100 years as a national park and eons as a geological wonder, the American icon continues to reveal layers of its past and of the landscape ahead

If mammoth tusks could talk

Five new things we’re learning about the extinct animals and their ancient kin

How to build a mountain range

Geologists explore the rise of the Andes, whose high-altitude peaks and plateau alter global climate

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