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Solid Earth Tectonic Processes News Archive


Traditionally, geothermal energy has been associated with regions of intense volcanic or hydrothermal activity, like Iceland. For decades, however, scientists have wondered if the less volatile subsurface in areas such as Texas could provide economically viable locations for geothermal power. Bruce Cutright, a research associate at the Bureau of Economic Geology, and colleagues are helping answer that question through several…

Like many kids in the Indiana Jones generation, Danny Stockli wanted to be an archaeologist when he grew up. In high school, he volunteered at ancient Roman digs in his native Switzerland. Like most of us though, the dream changed somewhere along the way. “I don’t have a gun or a whip,” he said, “but…

Ian Dalziel is a jocular and spirited Scotsman. As a boy growing up in Glasgow, he and his parents would spend their summers in the Scottish Highlands. They’d rent a cottage on a windy speck of an island called Iona, which had an ancient stone abbey, puffins, and more sheep than people. You could walk…

Researchers have found the strongest evidence yet that North America and Antarctica were connected 1.1 billion years ago. ”I can go to … West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica,” said Staci Loewy, a geochemist at California State University, Bakersfield, who led the study. “That’s so amazing.”

An international team of geoscientists has discovered an unusual geological formation that helps explain how an undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in December 2004 spawned the deadliest tsunami in recorded history. ”The results suggest we should be concerned about locations with large thicknesses of sediments in the trench, especially those which have built marginal…

The following geophysicists, engineers, and social scientists with expertise in earthquakes, some specifically regarding Japan and the Pacific Rim, are available to talk on today’s earthquake in Japan, the tsunami affecting the Pacific region, impacts of earlier earthquakes and tsunamis on Japan, and safety issues related to construction and nuclear engineering in Japan. Earthquakes &…

Haiti still at risk of large earthquake

A year ago Wednesday, one of the five deadliest earthquakes in recorded history struck the island nation of Haiti. Paul Mann, a senior research scientist at the university’s Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) and expert on Caribbean tectonics, was there just weeks after the quake to study the geological causes and determine what, if any, risks remained…

Jaime Barnes is happy to be back home. A San Antonio native who received her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin, Barnes left the Lone Star State to pursue her graduate education. Now, the assistant professor at the Jackson School of Geosciences returns to Austin having built an impressive standing in the…

Most of us learned in school that the Himalayan mountains were formed over millions of years as India plowed into Asia. As the two continued to pile into each other, the land in between crumpled, forming a landscape that makes mountaineers salivate. Geologists figured that as the crumpling progressed, a succession of faults opened up…

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