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Department of Geological Sciences News Archive


Researchers studying marine fossil beds in Italy have found that the world’s worst mass extinction was followed by two other extinction events, a conclusion that could explain why it took ecosystems around the globe millions of years to recover. The extinction events are linked to climate change caused by massive volcanic activity, according to the…

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin have found that high levels of methane in well water from two counties near Fort Worth are probably from shallow natural gas deposits, not natural gas leaks caused by hydraulic fracturing operations in the underlying Barnett Shale. The research, published in the journal Groundwater, builds on previous…

On Mars, wind rules. Wind has been shaping the Red Planet’s landscapes for billions of years and continues to do so today. Studies using both a NASA orbiter and a rover reveal its effects on scales grand to tiny on the strangely structured landscapes within Gale Crater. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, on the lower slope…

New research from The University of Texas at Austin reveals that the Earth’s unique iron composition isn’t linked to the formation of the planet’s core. The results call into a question a prevailing theory about the events that shaped our planet during its earliest years The Science Times, Feb.22, 2017 Featuring: Jung-Fu “Afu” Lin, Professor,…

Severe weather brings up climate change

San Antonio is cleaning up after an assault this week by an astounding four tornadoes. Is this what the future holds for us? We’ll hear from a University of Texas expert on the impact of climate change from Africa to Central Texas and from a San Antonio official whose job is to help the city…

New research from The University of Texas at Austin reveals that the Earth’s unique iron composition isn’t linked to the formation of the planet’s core, calling into question a prevailing theory about the events that shaped our planet during its earliest years. The research, published in Nature Communications on Feb. 20, opens the door for…

Taxidermy for Paleontologists

By Monica Kortsha The life of a paleontologist doesn’t always mean working with rock-encased fossils. Sometimes specimens can be downright fluffy. Last week Becky Desjardins, a preparator at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands, taught Jackson School paleontology students how to preserve modern birds using specimens housed in the collections at the Jackson School…

By Monica Kortsha Beneath the glowing chandeliers of The University of Texas at Austin’s Union ballroom, people and ideas mixed among research posters. The sound of presentations and discussions, questions and anecdotes, advice and encouragement, created an amiable buzz that kept up throughout the Jackson School’s Sixth Annual Research Symposium, an event organized by the…

The Earth’s mantle—the layer between the crust and the outer core—is home to a primordial soup even older than the moon. Among the main ingredients is helium-3 (He-3), a vestige of the Big Bang and nuclear fusion reactions in stars. And the mantle is its only terrestrial source. Scientists studying volcanic hotspots have strong evidence…

Rare Jurassic Fossils Found Near Banff

A trove of exceptionally preserved fossils has been discovered at Ya Ha Tinda Ranch near Banff National Park, helping to expand scientists’ knowledge of marine life that existed here more than 180 million years ago. The Calgary Herald, Jan. 27, 2017 The International Business Times, Jan. 27, 2017   Featuring:  Rowan Martidale, Assistant Professor, Department of…

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