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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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.

How England Broke off From Mainland Europe 450,000 Years Ago

Talk about a Brexit! Scientists have clues to catastrophic flooding that destroyed a land bridge that once connected England and France.

Arctic World Archive Puts Data on Ice for 1,000 Years

You might be in trouble when the end of the world is near, but at least your data won't be.

Hot or Not: What Makes Some Places Naturally High in Radioactivity

Surprisingly, living in a city with a high level of natural radiation doesn't have any ill effects.

Changing Climate Taking Its Toll on Colorado River Flow

The American West may seem rugged, but it's a fragile environment. 21st-century flow levels for the Colorado are down 19 percent from 20th-century averages.

World's Largest Tropical Peatland Identified in Remote Congo Swamps

The Cuvette Centrale peatlands hold astounding amounts of carbon scientists had never fully mapped. The new discovery emphasizes a need for protection.

World War II Relics Still Haunt Pacific Waters

Decades after the massive conflict, reminders of battles linger in pristine Pacific waters.

Antarctic Ice Shelf Melting From the Inside Out, Which Is Not a Good Thing

Recent icebergs and unexpected glacial rifts are indicating that something troubling is going on beneath the ice.

Do People Still Die in Quicksand?

Science has determined that disappearing completely into quicksand isn't possible — but that doesn't mean that getting stuck still won't kill you.

Earth Is in a New Epoch Because of Humans, Scientists Say

Sea level change, plastic pollution and invasive species aren’t just political issues — they’re likely signs of a new epoch called the Anthropocene, geologists say.

Underwater 'Lost City' Wasn't Built by Humans, Study Shows

Snorkelers found what looked to be the ancient ruins near the Greek island of Zakynthos, but not all that glitters is gold.

A Catastrophic Ancient Landslide Shaped Zion National Park

Geologists have for the first time recreated the details of the enormous event that created the terrain in what became one of the West's most iconic national parks.

What will Earth look like in 500 years?

"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?

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