Glacial sediments greased the gears of plate tectonics

Earth's outer layer is composed of giant plates that grind together, sliding past or dipping beneath one another, giving rise to earthquakes and volcanoes. These plates also separate at undersea mountain ridges, where molten ...

Mexico's 2017 Tehuantepec quake suggests a new worry

Last September's magnitude 8.2 Tehuantepec earthquake happened deep, rupturing both mantle and crust, on the landward side of major subduction zone in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico's far south coast.

How the Pilbara was formed more than 3 billion years ago

The remote Pilbara region of northern Western Australia is one of Earth's oldest blocks of continental crust, and we now think we know how it formed, as explained in research published today in Nature Geoscience.

How continents were recycled

Plate tectonics shape the Earth's dynamic surface. But when did these dynamics first emerge? And will the present-day continents last forever?

Earth's first example of recycling—its own crust

Rock samples from northeastern Canada retain chemical signals that help explain what Earth's crust was like more than 4 billion years ago, reveals new work from Carnegie's Richard Carlson and Jonathan O'Neil of the University ...

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