Geology

Geology is the study of the composition and physical properties of rocks, minerals, gems and other related earth materials, including diamonds and crystals. Scientists gain an understanding of the Earth's history by studying its composition.

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It's found all over Earth — and Mars, too. It's the main source of iron but is also used in jewelry and painting. Get to know the amazing mineral hematite.

By Trevor English

Drones are helping researchers bolster scientific understanding of the ecology of a greening Arctic.

By Lesley Evans Ogden

One term might give you the impression of something grand and mysterious, while the other makes you think of claustrophobia-inducing environs that threaten human life. But what's the real difference?

By Nathan Chandler

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Birds are — quite literally — living dinosaurs. Our quiz will test your knowledge of the fluffy, downy and winged dinos of the bygone Mesozoic era, from little Microraptor to the enormous Yutyrannus.

By Mark Mancini

The Pacific's Ring of Fire is a 25,000 mile long "ring" that's home to 75 percent of all the world's volcanic activity and 90 percent of the planet's earthquakes. So what makes this area so active?

By Mark Mancini

Not all fossils are found on dry land. In fact some of the most fascinating fossil finds in history have been submerged for centuries.

By Mark Mancini

"The 26th century" doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as "the 21st century" does. But that hasn't stopped us from imagining what our hometown planet will be like in a few hundred years. Any guesses?

By Robert Lamb

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Mountain Lake in Virginia is best known for its starring role in 'Dirty Dancing.' But today, it's nothing more than a muddy pit that's all but dried up ... and geologists think they may know why.

By Stephanie Parker

Gondwana was a humongous landmass that persisted for 300 million years before it began to break up, forming all the continents in the modern Southern Hemisphere.

By Jesslyn Shields

The Earth is unique in the solar system because its surface is made of moving plates, which may enable the very existence of life.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Cultures all over the world have treasured turquoise for its color and rarity for thousands of years — from Native American jewelry and Aztec and Mesoamerican art to King Tutankhamun's death mask.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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Many scientists believe that humans influence Earth at a rate so massive that a change to the geologic time scale is in order.

By Mark Mancini

Cobalt is associated with the color blue, but it's so needed for rechargeable batteries that the U.S. put it on the list of minerals it can't live without.

By Dave Roos

It's perhaps one of the strangest fossils ever discovered. We'll explain how it came to be 15 million years ago, and how hikers found it in the '30s.

By Mark Mancini

What's as strong as steel but half the weight; able to live in almost any body part and an important part of both airplanes and cake frosting? Would you believe, titanium?

By Dave Roos

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Permafrost across the globe is rapidly melting. What could this mean for the future of the planet?

By Mark Mancini

This white-hot metal not only makes beautiful jewelry, it's coveted for industrial, medical and military purposes too.

By Alia Hoyt

The U.S. is full of exceptional geological formations. But these five set the bar high as far as landmarks go.

By Mark Mancini

You can see these rocky formations in the Badlands of Nebraska, and they're as awe-inspiring as they are eerie.

By Mark Mancini

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If fettuccine rock exists on Mars, it would suggest the existence of microbial life there.

By Patrick J. Kiger

To honor their prehistoric pasts, most U.S. states have designated official state fossils, ranging from trilobites to dinosaurs. Take our quiz to learn more!

By Mark Mancini

Caves are full of incredible geological formations, including stalagmites and stalactites. But you've probably never seen anything like cave popcorn before.

By Mark Mancini

"Will draw dinosaurs for food" is what they like to think they do. But it's actually way more complicated.

By Mark Mancini

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Scientists set up two stations to capture this strange seismic activity.

By Mark Mancini

The decades-old geyser was created by accident when a geothermal company tried to drill a well. Now the strange geyser is open to tourists for the first time ever.

By Oisin Curran