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Stanford Earth Matters

Science and insights for people who care about Earth, its resources and its environment

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shiny metal

Tiny Diamond Anvils Trigger Chemical Reactions

Experiments with 'molecular anvils' mark an important advance for mechanochemistry, which has the potential to make chemistry greener and more precise

Great Salt Lake, Utah

Extinct Lakes of the American West

Extinct lake landforms provide clues of climate change over millions of years and inform our understanding of rainfall patterns and water management in the arid American West.

The front of Antarctica's Getz Ice Shelf. Photo credit: Jeremy Harbeck/NASA

New Study Reveals Strong El Niño Events Cause Large Changes in Antarctic Ice Shelves

Matthew Siegfried, a postdoctoral researcher working with Dustin Schroeder in the Stanford Radio Glaciology Group, co-authored a study showing oscillations of water temperature in the tropical Pacific Ocean can induce rapid melting of Antarctic ice shelves.

Satellite image of first light from NASA's Aqua satellite.

Scientists Probe Water Inside Leaves via Satellite

Earth System Science professor Alexandra Konings and postdoctoral researcher Mostafa Momen help improve satellite-based analysis of vegetation optical depth, a critical indicator for regional and global climate.

2017

Top 10 Stanford Earth research stories of 2017

From laying the groundwork for a billion-sensor quake network to finding lithium deposits around supervolcanoes, these were our favorite research stories of 2017.

military c-130 plane in Antarctica

Vintage film provides Stanford scientists new insights about Antarctica

Applying modern film scanning technology and machine learning to a rare trove of historical airborne radar measurements could provide new insights about how Antarctica’s ice sheets will change in a warming world.

Molten Lava

Puzzle at the center of the Earth

Mysterious patches on the planet’s core that dampen seismic waves could be the result of ancient seawater chemically reacting with iron under extreme conditions.

Man overlooking Meteor Crater in Arizona.

Scientists make first observations of how a meteor-like shock turns silica into glass

Research with SLAC’s X-ray laser simulates what happens when a meteor hits Earth’s crust. The results suggest that scientists studying impact sites have been overestimating the sizes of the meteors that made them.

Greg Beroza showing off earthquake data.

21st-century Earth science is computer intensive and data driven

If asked to imagine a geologist, you might envision a tanned and dusty figure, hardy and weathered like the ancient rocks that he or she spends days studying out “in the field."

Jupiter's moon Europa

Alien ice on Earth

A flash of green laser followed by pulses of X-rays, and mere nanoseconds later an extraterrestrial form of ice has formed. The miniature crystal reveals how water solidifies under high pressures, like those expected in icy comets, moons and planets.

Dustin Schroeder stands in front of airplane in Antarctica

Frozen secrets: Geophysicist explores glaciers with radar

Stanford Earth’s Dustin Schroeder researches new ways of observing, understanding, and predicting the configuration of ice sheets using ice-penetrating radar data.

Point Lobos rock formations

Navigating the guts of an ancient submarine canyon

Tourists flock to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve near Monterey, Calif., for its breathtaking coastal views and glimpses of the playful sea otters and other marine mammals that can be found among its waters. But the site has long attracted geologists for a very different reason.

satellite illustration

Study tracks “memory” of soil moisture

First year of data from SMAP satellite provides new insights for weather, agriculture, and climate.

New maps reveal safe locations for wastewater injection

New maps of the geologic forces contributing to earthquakes in Texas and Oklahoma could help reduce the likelihood of manmade temblors associated with wastewater injection.

Hangay Mountains

Central Asia’s 'de-greening'

The first large-scale map of rainfall declines revealed by signatures in ancient soil could help researchers better understand profound regional and global climate transformation.

Tiziana Vanorio and Dulcie Head

3-D printing experiment could shed light on alien rocks

A new 3-D printing technique developed at Stanford will help pave the way for studying delicate or hard-to-collect rock samples from afar, whether they be from a volcano on Earth or the surface of Mars.

TEDxStanford: High-purpose computing for natural disaster reduction

Jenny Suckale shows us how the behavior of a melting glacier in the Antarctic doesn’t act like a melting ice cube, and why that matters.

river delta

Training computer models to accurately simulate nature's variability

A new method developed by Stanford Earth researchers uses training images to refine models of uncertainty about subsurface processes and structures.

Sierra Nevada reflections

Stanford scientists crack mystery of the Sierra Nevada's age

Recent research by Stanford Earth scientists uses new techniques to shed light on the contentious history of California's iconic mountain range.

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