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Geophysics/Seismology News Archive


Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics helped develop a blueprint for a possible future NASA lander mission to Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter that has a global ocean covered by an ice shell. Europa’s large reservoir of liquid water has long enchanted planetary scientists with the possibility of harboring…

For the first time, scientists have documented an acceleration in the melt rate of permafrost, or ground ice, in a section of Antarctica where the ice had been considered stable. The melt rates are comparable with the Arctic, where accelerated melting of permafrost has become a regularly recurring phenomenon, and the change could offer a…

Austin American-Statesman, July 14, 2013 Featuring: Dusty Schroeder, Don Blankenship, Duncan Young, UTIG A team of University of Texas researchers recently discovered a swamplike system of water under an Antarctic glacier the size of New Mexico — a finding that might hold the key to how quickly the polar ice will melt and the seas…

Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2013 Featuring: Ian Dalziel Ancient volcanoes discovered deep in the ocean off Antarctica may explain a climate mystery critical to predicting Earth’s fate as humans pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. University of Texas geologists dredging thousands of feet below the surface of the central Scotia Sea off the…

AUSTIN, Texas — In a development that will help predict potential sea level rise from the Antarctic ice sheet, scientists from The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics have used an innovation in radar analysis to accurately image the vast subglacial water system under West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier. They have detected a swamp-like…

Rising Sea Level Tied to Faster Melt

Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2013 Featuring: Clark Wilson Accelerated melting of polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers was the driving factor behind a rise in the global sea level of 16.8 millimeters, or about two-thirds of an inch, between 2005 and 2011, according to a study published Sunday in Nature Geoscience. The study resolves long-standing…

Peter Flemings was on a family vacation hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire when his cell phone rang. It was U.S. energy secretary Stephen Chu’s assistant. Could he join a web conference with Secretary Chu, and dozens of scientists from government, academia and industry, in a few hours? After packing up and making…

A tectonic plate that disappeared millions of years ago has turned up in Central California and Mexico. New research from Brown University found that part of the Baja region of Mexico and part of central California near the Sierra Nevada mountains sit upon slabs of this long-lost plate. It’s a big breakthrough in how we…

Andrew Smith studies undersea gas vents, large volcano-like features on the seafloor that spew plumes of oil and gas into the ocean. Scientists have long been interested in them because many contain large amounts of gas hydrate, an icy substance made of natural gas and water. Gas hydrates might be mined someday as an alternative…

Congress has now agreed to give some $60 billion to states damaged by Hurricane Sandy. A lot will go to Long Island, one of the hardest hit areas. Besides damages to homes and businesses, its system of protective barrier islands and beaches were partially washed away. Scientists are trying to find out where that sand…

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