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Rising from the floor of Gale Crater on Mars, a stack of sedimentary rock called Mount Sharp towers 5.5 kilometers above the ground. The mountain is only a little shorter than North America’s tallest peak, Alaska’s Mount Denali (nearly 6.2 kilometers high). Monstrous mountains on Earth are usually created by colliding  plates of the planet’s…

What can erosion tell us about climate change? Sean Gulick, a geophysicist at the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, explains how climate can grind mountains faster than they can be rebuilt. Sean Gulick is a research scientist and professor at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas…

Drilling for Earthquakes

To Cathy Wallace, the earthquakes that have been rattling her tidy suburban home in Dallas feel like underground thunderstorms. First comes a distant roar, then a boom and a jolt. Her house shakes, and the windows shudder. Framed prints on the walls clatter and tilt. A heavy glass vase tips over with a crash. The…

Geoscientist Dr. Katherine Kelly Ellins is working with the Earthquake Unit of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona to establish a network across Jamaica that will allow persons to have greater access to information regarding earthquakes. The Jamaican-born Dr. Ellins is the Programme Director of Outreach and Diversity in the Jackson School of…

Penguins used to be very different tens of millions of years ago – for one thing, they could fly. Eventually, they transitioned to becoming expert divers and adapted to foraging food from the depths of the ocean. It’s a logical assumption to make that this drastic change in lifestyle would have also led to a…

The University of Texas announced Wednesday that researchers have discovered a new kind of extinct lizard — the first creature to be called the Lone Star lizard. The ancient lizard was officially named Solastella cookei. It was the only kind of “worm lizard” known to have lived in Texas. Worm lizards are a group of…

More than 65 million years ago, a six-mile wide asteroid smashed into Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, triggering earthquakes, tsunamis and an explosion of debris that blanketed the Earth in layers of dust and sediment. Now analysis of commercial oil drilling data—denied to the academic community until recently—offers the first detailed look at how the Chicxulub impact…

Antarctica was a temperate environment with tremendous biodiversity millions of years ago. It wasn’t as far south as it is today, so the continent teemed with flora and fauna before becoming the sheet of ice we know it as. And the biodiversity — in particular dinosaurs — is why UT professor and paleontologist Julia Clarke…

UT Researcher Discusses Glacier Research

When it comes to learning about how glaciers change and move, scientists have only scratched the tip of the iceberg, according to one UT researcher. Timothy Bartholomaus, glaciologist and postdoctoral research associate in the Institute of Geophysics, discussed his research on glacier movement as part of the De Ford lecture series Thursday. The Daily Texan,…

This summer, 16 students from UT and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico will participate in an exchange program to study and develop computation techniques that will help scientists collect and analyze geoscience data. According to Jorge Pinon, program manager for the Jackson School of Geosciences, as the need for energy reform becomes…

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