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Institute for Geophysics News Archive


Melting from Below

Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, but it is also being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) report in the June 24, 2014, edition of the Proceedings of…

Catch a Falling Sediment

Planktic foraminifer Globigerinoides ruber (G. ruber)—a single-cell organism with a hard outer shell—is perhaps one of the most widely used species for reconstructing past sea-surface conditions. Recent studies suggest two subspecies, or morphotypes, called G. ruber sensu stricto and G. ruber sensu lato live at different depths and therefore must not be mixed when reconstructing…

Looking for Life

In a finding relevant to the search for life in our solar system, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research showed that the subsurface ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa may have deep currents and circulation patterns with…

Dissecting a Glacier

A decade of research on Thwaites Glacier has greatly advanced knowledge of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet’s potential contribution to sea level rise By Tim Green About a decade ago, a de Havilland Twin Otter aircraft flew back and forth over an area the size of New Mexico in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, sending radar…

  AUSTIN, Texas — A research team led by The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded approximately $58 million to analyze deposits of frozen methane under the Gulf of Mexico that hold enormous potential to increase the world’s energy supply.   The grant, one of the largest ever awarded to the university, will…

The University of Texas at Austin has won $58 million to investigate a potentially massive energy resource: methane trapped in ice-like crystals under the Gulf of Mexico and oceans around the world. The Department of Energy is providing $41.2 million toward the grant, one of the largest government grants ever awarded to the university, with…

  A team led by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics has for the first time directly observed multiple parts of Greenland’s subglacial plumbing system and how that system evolves each summer to slow down the ice sheet’s movement toward the sea. These new observations could be important in accurately…

AUSTIN, Texas — Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it’s being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of…

Hurricane Sandy last year did more harm to coastal cities and homes than any hurricane in U.S. history, except Katrina. Most of that damage has been repaired. But there’s other damage that people can’t see to the underwater coastline, known as the shoreface. Apparently, Long Island’s shoreface did remarkably well against the storm of the…

As coastal communities continue to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, scientists at this week’s annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union offer some encouraging news: The storm did not seriously damage the offshore barrier system that controls erosion on Long Island. Long-term concerns remain about the effects on the region of sea-level rise,…

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