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Geologic Processes

Geological processes have helped to create many iconic features on Earth. Processes, such as plate tectonics, are what shapes the face of the Earth. Here you can discover the power of geological processes.

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Why Does the 'Dirty Dancing' Lake Keep Draining?

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.

How the Ancient Land Blob Gondwana Became Today's Continents

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.

Plate Tectonics Puts Together the Puzzle of Earth's Shifting Crust

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

The Anthropocene Epoch: Humans vs. the Earth

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

Is Permafrost Really, Well, Permanent?

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

The Geology Behind 5 American Landmarks

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

Toadstools Are Mother Nature's Geological Mushrooms

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

Fettuccine Rock Could Signal Life on Mars

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

What Is Cave Popcorn?

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

Antarctic Prone To 'Ice Quakes' Every Night, Study Finds

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

Nevada's Fly Geyser Is a Manmade Wonder

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.

Mexico's Giant Crystal Cave Is Beautiful But Deadly

Massive gypsum crystals were discovered beneath Mexico's Sierra de Naica Mountain in very inhospitable environs — to humans anyway.

Ancient Rock Arches Sing Songs

These ancient wonders aren't static sculptures; they vibrate and shift throughout the day, creating a variety of sounds as they stretch their aging, eroding 'bones.'

Earth's Missing Crust Was Removed by Glaciers, New Study Says

Researchers hypothesize that missing rocks from the geologic record, known as the Great Unconformity, were sheared away by glaciers at a time when most — or all — of the world's surface was coated with ice.

Gigantic Undiscovered Cave Found in British Columbia

How, in today's world, could a cave this massive go undetected for so long?

Earthquakes on the Mississippi: The New Madrid Seismic Zone

Will a town in southern Missouri be the epicenter of the next 'big one'?

Rising Rock: Earth's Crust Has Its Own Tides, Too

The oceans on planet Earth cycle through daily tidal changes. But the ground beneath our feet experiences tides of its own, too.

The Sahara Desert Is Getting Bigger

The Sahara has expanded by about 10 percent in the past century, mostly due to natural causes, but not all. We can blame the rest on man-made climate change.

How Does Petrified Wood Form?

Petrified wood can be found all over the world, but how is it created?

Earth and Mars Experience Mysterious Mega-avalanches

Scientist have figured out why two historic avalanches happened on the same unlikely slopes within weeks of one another.

Mountain Heights Are Always Changing

If geology has taught us anything about Earth's history, it's that nothing is permanent. And that goes for mountain ranges, all of which are constantly rising and falling.

Most Scientists Agree Another Pangaea Is Certain, Disagree How It Will Look

Geologists agree that the world's landmasses were once all one supercontinent. Is it likely to happen again?

Scientists Identify Third-Largest Eruption in Earth’s History

The beautiful scenery in Washington state hides a darker history. It was formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption that cooled the planet.

How Rain and Snow Could Play a Role in Triggering Earthquakes

Scientists have found that snow and rain trigger earthquakes. Could their study help predict the Big One?

Scientists Crack Another Mystery Behind Blood Falls

Antarctica's Blood Falls looks like a geological horror scene. For decades, scientists weren't sure why. Until now.

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