Copper chains: Study reveals Earth's deep-seated hold on copper

Earth is clingy when it comes to copper. A new Rice University study this week in the journal Science finds that nature conspires at scales both large and small -- from the realms of tectonic plates down to molecular bonds ...

Diamonds pinpoint start of colliding continents

Jewelers abhor diamond impurities, but they are a bonanza for scientists. Safely encased in the super-hard diamond, impurities are unaltered, ancient minerals that can tell the story of Earth's distant past. Researchers analyzed ...

Jade sheds light on Guatemala's geologic history

The shifting of tectonic plates in Central America has been poorly understood -- until now. New research on jade found along fault lines in Guatemala is helping geologists piece the puzzle of the past 130 million years.

Radiometric dating sheds light on tectonic debate

At the far edges of continents, where the continental shelf transitions into the deep ocean, continental and oceanic plates come face to face. At many of these margins, the denser oceanic plate is pushed below the continental ...

Continuous activity of small earthquakes makes mountains grow

From a human perspective, earthquakes are natural disasters—in the past hundred years, they have caused more than 200,000 deaths and enormous economic damage. Mega-earthquakes with a magnitude of nine or higher on the Richter ...

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