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Current Earth and Environmental News.

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Mohs Hardness Scale | Geology Page 04/12/2023

Mohs Hardness Scale | Geology Page The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is a qualitative scale that characterizes the scratch resistance of minerals. Check out for more info and mineral list


Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. It was created by the eruptions from the Koʻolau Volcano and is estimated to be about 400,000 to 500,000 years old.

More details/photos:


Argonaut Octopus, Victoria, Australia. A few weeks ago, a young girl saw this rare Argonaut - often called a Paper Nautilus - washed onto the beach at East Cape Conran. She told locals about it and Myke Mollard went and picked up the little dude then released her back into deeper water.

Full story:


Californian super-volcano remains restless.

This week's most-read article, "Mammoth Mountain and its mafic periphery—A late Quaternary volcanic field in eastern California," by Wes Hildreth & colleagues, says the area "remains restless and potentially active."

Photo: North side of Mammoth Mountain, from the paper.


The Inca road system was the most extensive and advanced transportation system in pre-Columbian South America. It was at least 40,000 kilometres long (25,000 mi). Only 25% of the system remains visible today.



Reptile Trackway in Permian sandstone near Sedona

Arizona is today a desert environment and it has also been one long, long ago in the distant past. Sandstone deposits near Sedona reveal that this area was once covered in vast, wind-swept dune fields, much like the modern Sahara. On the fringes of these dunes or near desert oases, where water was available, reptiles roamed and left their mark. This trackway (below) is preserved in the Permian Schnebly Hill Formation and it clearly shows footprints with front and rear foot pads, digits (toes and fingers) and even claw marks. Such preservation brings to life the ancient world as it existed near Sedona some 280 million years ago. Note the faint wind ripples ripples that trend from lower left to upper right. "

Photo & caption credit 2009 to Wayne Ranney​
As seen here:



Geologic time.

For reference, geological time (by extension, the history of the Earth) is split into four eons that mark the most major geological changes in Earth's history and can span more than a billion years. These are further divided into eras based on orders of the magnitude of time smaller that span hundreds of millions of years, then periods (tens of millions), epochs, and so on.

Credit Ray Troll


How does an idea for a short article about visiting a road cut become a 700 page investigation of North American geology? Find out in this archival interview with GSA Fellow John McPhee, recorded after his book ‘Annals of the Former World’ won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 1999.

Listen to John McPhee’s interview with Ira Flatow from Science Friday or read the transcript here:

Princeton University NPR The New Yorker Columbia University


The Earth is warming. Action is overdue.

The global August climate report came out last week...
- August 2023 was the warmest August in the 174-year NOAA record
- The year-to-date global surface temperature ranked as the 2nd warmest on record
- There is a 95% probability that 2023 will rank among the 2 warmest years on record
Read more:


An eruption 43 years ago dramatically altered the landscape at Mount St. Helens. But that was just one of many changes. This new poster from the USGS and educational partners takes you on a journey of transformation at this volcano from 272,000 years ago to present.

Download the poster, "lawilátɬa—Mount St. Helens—Land in transformation" at

Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission
Cowlitz Indian Tribe
Mount St Helens Institute
Gifford Pinchot National Forest- U.S. Forest Service
Portland District, US Army Corps of Engineers

What Caused the Morocco Earthquake 2023? 09/09/2023

Causes of Moroccan earthquake.

What Caused the Morocco Earthquake 2023? The Geology Behind the Deadly Earthquakes in Morocco A powerful earthquake struck Morocco on Friday night. The magnitude-6.8 earthquake occu...

Photos from Earthquake News Everyday's post 09/09/2023

Deadly earthquake in Morocco followed by numerous aftershocks.


Lithospheric composition of Africa

One of the most-cited Geosphere articles this month presents an analysis of the lithospheric architecture of Africa and its evolution from about 3.6 billion years ago to the present.


Even after 1000 years, the ancient Persian vertical-axis windmills are still operational today. See more:


Back to the ichthyosaurs today and to some beautiful Jurassic ichthyosaurs from Holzmaden, Germany.

I studied these specimens last year whilst at the Coburg Natural History Museum. I’m currently working on some exciting research, which I hope will be published soon.


Wonderful, six naturally joined Pyrite cubes from Navajún, La Rioja, Spain.

Photographed for Mario Pauwels, thanks Fine mineral photography for posting.

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