Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences (also referred to as Geosciences), which deals with basic issues surrounding our planet, plays a vital role in the area of energy and raw materials supply.

Earth Sciences comprises subjects such as geology, geography, geological informatics, paleontology, mineralogy, petrography, crystallography, geophysics, geodesy, glaciology, cartography, photogrammetry, meteorology and seismology, early-warning systems, earthquake research and polar research.

Stress relief caused Giant’s Causeway

Ireland’s huge hexagonal columns are a natural consequence of lava cooling.

The Giant’s Causeway is not the work of men or monsters, but a natural consequence of how lava cools and solidifies, new computer simulations suggest.

The causeway is a field of roughly hexagonal basalt columns up to 40 feet high on the shores of County Antrim in Northern Ireland. It arose when a flow of volcanic rock split into hexagonal columns to relieve stress, according to Eduardo Jagla

Floodplains expert to train African environment managers

The delicate balance of life and death in Africa is nowhere more evident than on the banks of the continent`s mighty rivers. Rural communities depend on the rich silt brought down by rivers for farming but they are also at risk of devastating floods, as are urban dwellers in informal settlements that are often built on floodplains.

Dr Sue Marriott, reader in earth sciences at UWE`s Faculty of the Built Environment, is setting off this month to help with training environmental managers in fl

Climate change causes extreme changes to Antarctic Lakes

Results from a 20-year study reveal dramatic ecological changes to lakes in Antarctica caused by a 1°C temperature increase. The findings, reported this week in SCIENCE, are yet more evidence of extreme changes in the Antarctic Peninsula region. This area has experienced some of the most rapid warming of anywhere on Earth in the past 50 years (2.5°C). The study lakes, on Signy Island, lie some 700 km north-east of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Scientists from the Cambridge-based British Antarctic Surv

Seismic rumbling foretold Congo eruption

Scientists received several day’s warning of abnormal seismic activity.

Two seismological stations on Mount Nyiragongo in eastern Congo gave several days’ advance warning of the volcano’s possible eruption, scientists working in the area say.

But the lack of a functioning government in the war-torn region may have prevented the evacuation of the nearby city of Goma, where 45 were confirmed dead and an existing humanitarian crisis was worsened by the eruption.

The earliest Australians

One of the really big challenges in anthropology is to date accurately the arrival of humans in the different continents. New results, to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Quaternary Science, show that humans arrived in Australia a lot earlier than was previously thought.

It is generally argued that humans evolved in Africa and then spread out over the other continents progressively through time, arriving in the most distant, such as Australasia, relatively recently. The

Soviet plans implemented by Nature 90,000 years ag

One of the more controversial environmental issues, which emerged in the final years of the Soviet era, was the plan to dam and reverse the flow of north-flowing rivers in order to irrigate the dry southern steppes. This scheme was roundly criticised by scientists and environmentalists at the time because of fears for the impact on the Arctic Ocean and global climate. It now appears that nature performed this experiment some 90,000 years ago.

This months issue of the Journal of Quaternary

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