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Institute for Geophysics News Archive


Scientists have created the first map that shows how the Greenland Ice Sheet has moved over time, revealing that ice in the interior is moving more slowly toward the edges than it has, on average, during the past 9,000 years. The findings, which researchers said don’t change the fact that the ice sheet is losing…

Climate Change Can Tear Down Mountains

The St. Elias Mountains in Alaska are more than 5000 meters tall, testament to a tectonic plate wedged underneath the region that is driving them up like a snowplow. But the St. Elias range also contains some of the world’s largest glaciers, which inexhaustibly scour the mountains and dump sediment in the sea. Now, a…

Researchers for the first time have attempted to measure all the material leaving and entering a mountain range over more than a million years and discovered that erosion caused by glaciation during ice ages can, in the right circumstances, wear down mountains faster than plate tectonics can build them. The international study conducted by the…

Two new studies are adding to concerns about one of the most troubling scenarios for future climate change: the possibility that global warming could slow or shut down the Atlantic’s great ocean circulation systems, with dramatic implications for North America and Europe. One study, by three scientists from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute, uses computers to model how…

Mapping as Mexico Opens for Exploration

MEXICO CITY — Now that Mexico’s potential oil and gas riches are open to outside investment, how does the industry figure out what’s there? North of an east-west line across the Gulf of Mexico are United States waters, where the bedrock deep below the ocean floor has proved to hold vast reservoirs of oil and…

Researchers for the first time have used seismic sensors to track meltwater flowing through glaciers and into the ocean, an essential step to understanding the future of the world’s largest glaciers as climate changes. The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) helped pioneer this new method on glaciers in Greenland and Alaska. The study…

James Austin, a senior research scientist and associate director at The University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), has been selected as forum chair of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), a coalition of 26 countries dedicated to studying some of the planet’s most important environmental and earth science topics by sampling sub-seafloor…

University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) Professor and Jackson Chair in Applied Seismology Mrinal Sen has been awarded the place of Honorary Membership in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). According to the SEG official website, the award of Honorary Membership “shall be conferred upon persons who, in the unanimous opinion of the Honors…

The catastrophic asteroid crash blamed for the demise of the dinosaurs also left a gaping scar in the Earth. That sprawling crater made 65.5 million years ago may hold the answers to many mysteries surrounding the space-rock event. Now, scientists plan to drill 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface of the Chicxulub crater in Mexico to…

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) in the Jackson School of Geosciences have discovered two seafloor gateways that could allow warm ocean water to reach the base of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica’s largest and most rapidly thinning glacier. The discovery, reported in the March 16 edition of the journal…

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