From EARTH Magazine, 01/15/2016 -- Toba volcano erupted 74,000 years ago, and is thought to have been the largest eruption in the last 2.5 million years. Some scientists have thought the fallout from the eruption caused a volcanic winter so catastrophic it almost drove humans to extinction. A new high-resolution study of lake sediments from East Africa disputes that idea, however, suggesting that the early humans in the area probably experienced little or no cooling following the massive eruption.
AGI press release
From EARTH Magazine -- While expanding a reservoir in Snowmass Village, Colorado, workers stumbled upon a big bone. And then another, and another, and another. Realizing they found something special, the workers called in the experts at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS), who drove several hours to examine the site. Scientists quickly realized that this was no ordinary boneyard. Work on the reservoir halted, as DMNS scientists called in dozens of volunteers and experts from around the country to help excavate the site before construction continued.
From EARTH Magazine, 12/22/2015 -- Do mantle plumes exist? EARTH Magazine explores one of the most hotly debated topics within the geoscience community. From the origin of plate tectonic theory to the results of the most recent experiments using techniques like isotope geochemistry and seismic tomography, the results of mantle studies are often contradictory, giving rise to the longstanding debate.
From EARTH Magazine, 11/30/2015 -- A new study from geoscience researchers has important implications for studies of Mesoamerica and North America prior to the arrival of European settlers. Using isotope geochemistry, scientists at Pennsylvania's Dickenson College and the University of Arizona are trying to identify if turquoise mineral specimens record the signature of their parent ore deposits.
From EARTH Magazine, 11/13/2015 -- For years historians and scientists have tried to understand the ancient marvel of the Roman aqueducts to better understand Rome itself. Now archaeologists are using a new method - the buildup of travertine within the Anio Novus aqueduct - to determine how much water flowed into Rome.
From EARTH Magazine, 10/28/2015 -- In a Utah cave, paleontologists are exploring the fossil record preserved in owl pellets since the Pleistocene glaciation. The fossils in the pellets are giving the scientists a glimpse of how the ecosystems have changed over time both from natural variation and more recent changes brought on by human settlement.
From EARTH Magazine, 10/21/2015 -- What's the origin of the smartphone you're holding or the tablet from which you are reading this? They're made from minerals such as tin, tantalum and tungsten - minerals that aren't found in many places in the world. One place they are found in relative abundance is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where these minerals have been fueling militias in an ongoing war for the last 25 years.
From EARTH Magazine, 10/13/2015 -- Typically, mountains get steeper with increasing altitude. However, during the Pleistocene, a geologic epoch with extensive glaciation, the tops of some mountains, like the Alps, were scoured away. This left mountains that were steeper at a lower elevation than they were at a higher elevation.