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Geological Sciences

The study of our planet and its neighbors, from their deep interiors to the surface, and through their multi-billion year history.

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Latest News Related to Geological Sciences

Images capture a year of exploration despite uncertainty

The fourth annual Stanford Earth Photo Contest drew images of a dramatic sunset, a menacing shark, an intriguing frog, and a perennial favorite – the Milky Way. The winners were selected among 101 submissions. 

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Dozens of Yellowstone-sized volcanoes once drowned Nevada in thousands of feet of lava

New research by Elizabeth Miller suggests the ancestral Sierra Nevada range and the mountains we see today were born at different times.

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Sierra Nevada range should celebrate two birthdays

New research reveals that after its initial formation 100 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada “died” during volcanic eruptions that blasted lava across much of the American West 40 million to 20 million years ago. Then, tens of millions of years later, the Sierra Nevada mountain range as we know it today was “reborn.”

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How life reemerges from cataclysms

Research led by Pedro Monarrez of Stanford Earth shows that the usual rules of body size evolution change not only during mass extinctions but also during subsequent recovery.

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Earth faculty receive HAI seed grant for CO2 sequestration

Jef Caers, Sally Benson and Tapan Mukerji have been awarded a 2021 Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) seed grant to prototype an intelligent agent for CO2 sequestration in saline aquifers.

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New model sheds light on evolution of Earth's oxygen

A new model of ancient asteroids bombarding the Earth has been applied to understand how oxygen levels in Earth’s atmosphere evolved.

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El aumento de oxígeno desaceleró antiguas extinciones masivas

Stanford Earth's Erik Sperling and Richard Stockey describe their research on the connection between rising oxygen levels and a previously unexplained slowdown in mass extinctions.

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Extinction changes rules of body size evolution

A sweeping analysis of marine fossils from most of the past half-billion years shows the usual rules of body size evolution change during mass extinctions and their recoveries. The discovery is an early step toward predicting how evolution will play out on the other side of the current extinction crisis.

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Why extinctions ran amok in ancient oceans, and why they slowed down

A new Stanford University study shows rising oxygen levels may explain why global extinction rates slowed down over the past 541 million years. Below 40 percent of present atmospheric oxygen, ocean dead zones rapidly expand, and extinctions ramp up.

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Wendy Mao named 2021 AGU Fellow

The geological sciences professor is among 59 fellows elected for outstanding achievements and contributions that push the frontiers of science – an honor that AGU has given to fewer than 0.1% of its members since 1962.

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The energy future needs cleaner batteries

Stanford Earth professor Jef Caers talks about working with the company KoBold Metals to develop an algorithm for determining the size and shape of an ore body using the fewest possible drill holes. 

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Dos momentos clave en la evolución de las plantas

Stanford Earth's Andrew Leslie describes his research showing plants evolved complexity in two waves, 250 million years apart.

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Laura Schaefer receives 2021 Scialog Collaborative Innovation Award

Schaefer is among 18 early-career researchers to receive funding in the inaugural year of Scialog: Signatures of Life in the Universe for her proposal, "Could Nucleic Acid-Based Life Survive on Oxygen-Rich M Dwarf Planets?"

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Plants evolved complexity in two bursts – with a 250-million-year hiatus

A new method for quantifying plant evolution reveals that after the onset of early seed plants, complexity halted for 250 million years until the diversification of flowering plants about 100 million years ago.

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Plants evolved in two dramatic bursts 250 million years apart

A new study led by Stanford Earth's Andrew Leslie has found that rather than evolving gradually, land plants evolved in two dramatic bursts which occurred over 250 million years apart.

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Mathieu Lapôtre receives early career award from AGU

The planetary geologist has been recognized for his efforts to advance the field of Earth and planetary surface processes.

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