Geology in the News

This is a selection of stories, subject to the following rules. First, I don't guarantee close daily coverage of everything that happens (because I have stuff to do apart from maintaining this Web page). Second, the site has to be generally accessible. (Many journals, like Science and Nature, make their pages accessible only to people who have paid a subscription to the written version.) Third, I choose newspapers and news sites that tend to keep their pages accessible for more than two weeks over those that do not. Fourth, to minimize loading time, I take stories off and archive them after a couple of months (see bottom of page for links to archived stories). Fifth, I keep older articles archived for varying lengths of time, depending how important I think they are (or interesting, at least); whether they have been updated or made redundant; and whether the site has dropped them.

Similar pages on the UC Davis Geology Department web site are

Geology in the News

  • December 16, 2002. A new under-ice lake in Antarctica. This one is much more accessible than Lake Vostok, too.

  • December 13, 2002. Increased flow in Arctic rivers: a bad sign. [Removed by the New York Times]. I am inspired by the paper, which was published in Science:
    There's more runoff down Siberian rivers,
    And more water that process delivers.
    That freshwater flow
    Must find somewhere to go:
    That's enough to give Sweden the shivers.

  • December 10, 2002. Melting glaciers in the Andes. BBC News OnLine

  • December 9, 2002. Record ice loss from Arctic seas. BBC News OnLine

  • December 9, 2002. The methane-controlled Archaean climate of Earth. Press release about James Kasting's latest research

  • December 6, 2002. Very old volcanic rocks from Canada. BBC News OnLine. These may be the oldest volcanic rocks so far discovered.

  • December 5, 2002. Earth's changing shape: climate change is probably at the root of it. National Geographic News

  • December 4, 2002. Reminder that earthquakes don't kill people, buildings do. San Francisco Chronicle

  • December 4, 2002. The huge Kashagan oil field, newly discovered in the northern Caspian Sea. BBC News OnLine

  • December 2, 2002. Jupiter-like gas planets formed very quickly. Press release. The paper was in Science.

  • November 27, 2002. Earthquake swarm in the San Francisco Bay area. San Francisco Chronicle

  • November 26, 2002. Ferdinandea, a submarine volcano near Sicily. BBC News OnLine. Older story: March 20, 2000 Time Europe.

  • November 21, 2002. Retrospect on the Nisqually quake in the Seattle area last year. Press release $1.5 billion damage: that should catch your attention. Plus, a sense of complacency in the area instead of heightened awareness. No-one wants fear, but you might expect some common-sense!

  • November 14, 2002. The most energetic eruption ever recorded. This happened last year on Io, the moon of Jupiter. UC Berkeley press release

  • November 6, 2002. Etna eruption seen from space station . BBC News OnLine, November 6, 2002. Previous story: BBC News OnLine October 30, 2002

  • November 5, 2002. New extreme sport: volcano boarding! National Geographic News

  • November 4, 2002. Large earthquake in Alaska. The Alaska pipeline behaved exactly as it was designed to do, and there was little damage and no leak.

  • November 1, 2002. Deadly earthquake in Italy: many schoolchildren killed.

  • October 30, 2002. Water, not carbon dioxide, cut the gullies on Mars. BBC News OnLine. Or so says this story. The story does not quote published research, which is a red flag, or maybe just carelessness.

  • October 29, 2002. New generation of seismic instrumentation. Story in Geotimes, October 2002.

  • October 28, 2002. Lake level change in Central Asia: an effect of climate change? BBC News OnLine

  • October 25, 2002. A link between a salty Mediterranean and ice sheet growth. Press release

  • October 21, 2002. A newly discovered asteroid that shares Earth's orbit. BBC News OnLine

  • October 16, 2002. Mauna Loa is swelling. Press release which includes background information.

  • October 8, 2002. Meteorite falls in Siberia, but there's no money to go and find it. BBC News OnLine

  • October 7, 2002. New huge asteroid found beyond Pluto. It's 800 miles across, the biggest object found in the Solar System for 70 years.

  • October 2, 2002. There's an innermost core inside the Earth's inner core. BBC News OnLine, featuring a new paper in PNAS.

  • September 25, 2002. Ruang erupts in Indonesia. Great NASA imagery

  • September 3, 2002. Perspective on the events at Hubbard Glacier and Russell Fiord. Story removed by the New York Times. Here is a substitute overview from the USGS

  • August 29, 2002. Earth formed fast. The paper is in Nature, so it's not universally available on the Web. BBC News OnLine.

  • August 27, 2002. Meteorite hits girl. BBC News OnLine. This happened in northern England: photos of girl and meteorite on the page. She's OK, and the meteorite didn't feel a thing. Nothing to do with the August 19th asteroid.

  • August 16, 2002. A visible asteroid will zip by Earth on August 19th. BBC News OnLine, with sky map.

  • August 15, 2002. New tsunami threat to Japan. BBC News OnLine

  • August 14, 2002. Crater wall collapses at Pinatubo. I have no Web site for this. A dramatic outflow of water from the crater lake was less disastrous than it might have been because of the pro-active construction done by the Filipinos last year. Previous stories:

  • July 31, 2002. Impact crater discovered under the North Sea. National Geographic News. Date uncertain, could be late Cretaceous or early Cenozoic: it couldn't be AT the K-T boundary, could it??? Careful about the date: this reporter got it wrong. It might be LATER than the KT boundary, but NOT older. The paper in Nature (not freely available on the Web) is really elegant.

  • July 30, 2002. New eruption threatens Goma, in the Congo. Satellite photo

  • July 22, 2002. A part of the Grand Canyon is really young. Press release

  • July 18, 2002. Alaska's glaciers are melting faster than we thought. BBC News OnLine. This result comes from better surveying. The research, and a comment, are published in Science. Previous story: National Geographic News, December 18, 2001.

  • July 16, 2002. Revised history of the Yellowstone hot spot eruptions. Press release about a new paper in the GSA Bulletin

  • July 11 2002. Here we go again in Iceland: a potential jokulhlaup from under the ice of Vatnajokull. BBC News OnLine. The last one was awesome, a few years ago...

  • June 23, 2002. Florida sinkholes: new developments, old problem. St Petersburg Times. Previous stories:

  • June 21, 2002. A canyon on Mars, cut by a giant lake overflowing (a long time ago). BBC News Online. The paper is excellent, in Science. I need to think this through a bit, but I think the unwritten story here is that Mars had lakes but no rain.

  • June 20, 2002. Another very close shave for Earth: a small asteroid passed (too) close. BBC News OnLine

  • June 17, 2002. Noah's Flood story about the Black Sea is contradicted. Press release about a recent paper in Geology. Some of you may have heard of the story (relentlessly promoted by National Geographic) that an event that flooded the Black Sea basin several thousand years BC may have been the basis for the story of Noah's Flood. New evidence can sometimes kill attractive hypotheses. In this case, evidence from the Sea of Marmora suggests that the story is either not true or has to be seriously modified: either way, the drama disappears. There's a lot more science to be done in the area.

  • June 15, 2002. Quick review of extraterrestrial impacts. Science News Article by Ron Cowen, no relative.

  • June 14, 2002. Quick survey of volcanic hazards. National Geographic News

  • June 12, 2002. Huge floods in the Yellow River basin in China. BBC News OnLine. The Yellow River basin has been mismanaged and/or unmanaged for fifty years, and the bill is coming due. See stories from April 14, 2002.

  • June 10, 2002. Mount Pinatubo, atmospheric dust, global warming and plant growth. Press release

  • June 5, 2002. Melting on Everest. National Geographic News

  • May 17, 2002. New estimates of oil in Northern Alaska. US Geological Survey press release. You have to read between the lines. There is a VERY large difference in the amount of economically recoverable oil, depending how expensive it is. We would be nuts to drill this oil now, with the current price fluctuating around $25. Leave it in the ground while we burn relatively cheap "foreign" oil, and when we really need it, 25?, 50? years from now when the price is through the roof, we have it available. But governments are not run by reason and logic and economic sense....

  • May 14, 2002. Magnitude 5.2 earthquake near Gilroy, California. Probably on the San Andreas Fault. San Francisco Chronicle. See also the Chronicle's general earthquake page

  • May 7, 2002. Danger of glacial outbursts from the Himalayas. National Geographic News

  • April 22, 2002. Massive Sahara dust storm strikes Canary Islands. NASA photograph

  • April 14, 2002. Massive dust storms continue to blast North China, Korea, and Japan. Story removed by New York Times. Previous stories:

  • April 10, 2002. Eruption at Sheveluch, in Kamchatka. Again, not a big eruption, , but a nice photo from NASA.

  • April 9, 2002. Asteroid may hit Earth in 2880.

  • April 2, 2002. Continuing eruption at Miyake-Jime, in Japan. Not a big one, but a nice photo from NASA

  • March 30, 2002. Happening right now: a "slow earthquake" in the Pacific Northwest.

  • March 28, 2002. Arsenic in drinking water is linked to heart disease. Press release from American Heart Association

  • March 25, 2002. The ancient supercontinent Columbia? (at 1500 Ma). BBC News OnLine, 25 March, 2002.

  • March 19, 2002. The Larsen B ice shelf of Antarctica suddenly disintegrates. BBC News OnLine, March 19, 2002.

  • March 19, 2002, The geology of the oracle of Delphi. Story removed by the New York Times. Not new news anyway, but a good overview. Previous story: The oracle of Delphi was high on natural gas. Press release about paper in Geology, August 7, 2001.

  • March 15, 2002. Many of the channels on Mars may have been eroded by liquid carbon dioxide, not water. AGU press release

  • March 5, 2002. The new Bay Bridge will be earthquake-proof (so they say!). Sacramento Bee story from National Geographic news site

  • March 4, 2002. The Yellow River and northern China's water supply. San Francisco Chronicle. This article is badly written, but the facts are frightening.

  • March 2, 2002. Nevada plans to cut off the water supply for the Yucca Mountain nukewaste project. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Background note: a government report said on January 25 that DOE didn't know what it was doing in some aspects of long-range safety of the proposed nuclear waste dump. DOE now says, yes, it's true we don't know what we're doing, but we can go ahead and build Yucca Mountain and fix it as we go if it turns out we made some bad decisions.
    I don't make this stuff up, you know! Imagine you have finally saved up enough to build your dream home. Your architect comes to you and says, "I don't really know what I'm doing, but give me the go-ahead (and the money) to start building, and I'll figure it out as I go along."
    I seriously doubt whether you would say yes: after all, it IS your money.
    Any bets about the response of Bush and Cheney: you KNOW they are going to say "Go ahead!" Course, it's not their money, is it? It's yours and mine...

  • February 28, 2002. Is a slice of Hawaii going to fall into the ocean?

  • February 27, 2002. Buried ice on Mars? San Francisco Chronicle

  • February 27, 2002. The quake threat facing Seattle: diagnosis and prognosis.

  • February 25, 2002. Sand and gravel as geological resources (in Washington). Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

  • February 25, 2002. Ash eruption from Mount Oyama, Japan: great image from NASA. NASA web site

  • February 18, 2002. The African rift: splitting Africa apart (maybe!). BBC News OnLine.

  • February 15, 2002. Trying to save the California coast from more offshore oil drilling. The California perspective, from the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • February 14, 2002. Valentine's Day: does the Moon have a slushy heart? Love waves say so. How corny can you get? From the nerds at the Jet Propulsion Lab. JPL press release

  • February 11, 2002. The first formation of large continents. Press release, UC Davis. The latest from our very own Eldridge Moores: the paper is in the GSA Bulletin.

  • February 8, 2002. The February 3 earthquake that killed dozens in Turkey.

  • February 4, 2002. Colima volcano in Mexico is approaching a crisis (perhaps). BBC News OnLine

  • January 30, 2002. Black shales, carbon, and petroleum. A new look at the role of clay in fostering hydrocarbon burial and petroleum formation. Press release from UC Riverside. The paper is Kennedy, M. J., et al. 2002. Mineral surface control of organic carbon in black shale. Science 295: 657-660.

  • January 28, 2002. Deadly eruption of Nyiragongo volcano in Africa.

  • January 28, 2002. More meteorites-from-Mars discovered. BBC News OnLine

  • January 25, 2002. Flood danger to Paris. BBC News OnLine

  • January 25, 2002. An Icelandic lake is now dry (it drained into an underground volcanic system.) Story removed by Iceland News. Previous story from October 2001 National Geographic News.

  • January 16, 2002. End of an eruption (of Piton de la Fournaise) on the island of Reunion. NASA imagery and news brief.

  • January 15, 2001. The Bush administration wants to drill offshore California. San Francisco Chronicle

  • January 13, 2002. The Bush administration, mining, and the environment: reversing the Clinton era. Three stories removed by the New York Times. No matter how you feel about it, this is a real change in policy. For example, this previous story: Mining on a California Indian reservation, from High Country News, late 2001.

  • January 7, 2002. Asteroid just misses Earth.

    All links checked June 2007.

    [For news items archived from 2001, see Geology News from 2001.

    [For news items archived from 2000, see Geology News from 2000.

    [For news items archived from 1999, see Geology News from 1999.

    [Return to Geology Department at UC Davis