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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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Harnessing data science to understand Earth’s subsurface

The Stanford Natural Gas Initiative hosts the first big data workshop for students and industry leaders on data science techniques for better understanding and managing subsurface resources.

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Global analysis of submarine canyons may shed light on Martian landscapes

On a map, submarine canyons seem identical to land canyons – so much so that researchers surmised they are shaped by the same physical laws. New research reveals distinct differences for the first time.

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Under pressure: Viewing how hydrogen transforms

Researchers have determined how hydrogen molecules are packed at extremely high pressures. Their work solves the long-standing mystery of the structure of the dense form of hydrogen, called phase IV. 

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Stanford researchers discuss changes to Endangered Species Act

America’s signature legislation for saving species faces a major overhaul. Conservation and legal experts examine likely impacts of the new rules and legal options for challenging them.

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Geological sciences alumna receives GSA award

Kimberly Lau, PhD '16, has been named the 2019 Doris M. Curtis Outstanding Woman in Science by the Geological Society of America. Lau's award is based on the impact of her dissertation research, which she conducted as an advisee of Jon Payne and Kate Maher.

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Why are mountains so high?

Researchers have analyzed mountain ranges worldwide to show that a theory relating erosion and mountain height doesn’t always add up.

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Long before dinosaurs, virtually all life on Earth was wiped off the face of the planet

Research by PhD student Malcolm Hodgskiss finds new evidence for a mass extinction event 2.05 billion years ago in barite samples from Hudson Bay, Canada .

 

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Stanford geomathematician John W. Harbaugh, dies at 92

Harbaugh, former chair of the Department of Geology, was a foundational figure in mathematical geology and active in campus leadership. He died July 28 at age 92.

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Ancient die-off greater than the dinosaur extinction

When significant oxygen entered the atmosphere, ancient life multiplied. But after a few hundred million years, Earth’s oxygen plummeted, resulting in a die-off likely greater than the extinction of the dinosaurs.

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Q&A: Modeling an exoplanet’s atmosphere

New research using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has provided a rare glimpse at the surface of a rocky planet outside our solar system. The planet may be similar to Mercury or Earth’s moon, with little to no atmosphere.

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Humans versus Earth: the quest to define the Anthropocene

“We hope to create a real ‘motion picture’ of the Bay Area over the last century to millennium,” says Liz Hadly on an investigation into a potential new epoch of geological time.

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12 class recommendations for fall quarter

George Hilley's class, EARTH 42: Landscapes and Tectonics of the San Francisco Bay Area, made the Stanford Daily's list of 12 class recommendations for fall quarter.

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How the weathering of rocks cooled the Earth

Earth’s climate entered a long phase of cooling 15 million years ago, resulting in an ice age. A team of researchers has now found new indications as to what initiated this cooling and kept it going.

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Summer reading: Sparking curiosity and conversations about our planet

Faculty at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences recommend these 22 books for your summer reading.

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Stanford Earth graduates: Meet the planet’s challenges

Stanford Earth graduates are uniquely prepared to deliver solutions for humanity’s critical challenges, according to Dean Stephan Graham.

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Plan to reclassify radioactive nuclear waste spurs anger

Yucca Mountain has suffered from "technical and political disagreement" for decades, says Rod Ewing of Stanford. "There's an understandable pressure to do something with at least some of the waste." Navigate to Plan to reclassify radioactive nuclear waste spurs anger
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