Tag Geology

“Ring around bathtub” at giant volcano field shows movement of subterranean magma

It’s a major task to understand a Laguna del Maule mountaintop region that has erupted 50 times over the past 20,000 years. But the starting point of a UW–Madison study is simple: It’s the ring that standing water leaves on a bathtub.

In ‘Origins,’ UW–Madison and South African scientists tackle mysteries of our shared beginnings

The quest to understand our beginnings — of our universe, of life on Earth, of our species — inspires people all over the world. At UW–Madison, researchers have forged partnerships with colleagues in South Africa and are uncovering answers and opening new scientific frontiers.

More homes built near wild lands leading to greater wildfire risk

New research out of the University of Wisconsin–Madison shows that a flurry of homebuilding near wild areas since 1990 has greatly increased the number of homes at risk from wildfires while increasing the costs associated with fighting those fires in increasingly dense developments.

Scouting the eagles: Evidence that protecting nests aids reproduction

Reproduction among bald eagles in a remote national park in Minnesota was aided when their nests were protected from human disturbance, according to a new study.

Wisconsin corn maze features 480-foot trilobite

Wiped out more than 250 million years ago, a trilobite today is the Wisconsin state fossil. It is also the defining feature of this year’s award-winning Treinen Farm Corn Maze in Lodi.

UW-Madison course examines natural disasters

When Harold Tobin was planning the course on "Natural Hazards and Disasters" last spring, he could not know that hurricanes and wildfires would own the news cycle this semester.

Charles Bentley, pioneering UW–Madison glaciologist, dies

Bentley was among the first scientists to measure the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the late 1950s. His findings resonate today as marine ice sheets are particularly vulnerable to melting and collapse in climate change scenarios.

Geologists use radioactive clock to document longest earthquake record

UW-Madison geoscience department researchers have peered back in time more than 400,000 years to illuminate a record of earthquakes along the Loma Blanca fault in New Mexico.

Returning adult students honored for overcoming obstacles

The winners of the Outstanding Undergraduate Returning Adult Student Award have resumed their academic pursuits after a significant interruption and have attained senior status while handling all the demands of adult life.

Massive, computer-analyzed geological database reveals chemistry of ancient ocean

Why did easy-to-see and once-common structures called stromatolites essentially cease forming over the long arc of earth history?

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a ‘chaotic solar system’

New evidence confirms a critical theory of how the planets in our solar system behave in their orbits around the sun, producing big changes in Earth's climate.

Fossil fuel formation: Key to atmosphere’s oxygen?

“Why is there oxygen in the atmosphere?" asks researcher Shanan Peters. The high school explanation is 'photosynthesis.' But we’ve known for a long time ... that building up oxygen requires the formation of rocks like black shale."

Life in ancient oceans enabled by erosion from land

As scientists continue finding evidence for life in the ocean more than 3 billion years ago, those ancient fossils pose a paradox that raises questions about whether there was more land mass than previously thought.

Cataclysm at Meteor Crater: Crystal sheds light on Earth, moon, Mars

In molten sandstone extracted by prospectors a century ago, an international team of scientists has discovered microscopic crystals telling of unimaginable pressures and temperatures when an asteroid formed Meteor Crater in northern Arizona some 49,000 years ago.