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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Nutty Putty Cave, near Salt Lake City, Utah, was discovered in 1960 and sealed up forever in 2009. This is the story.

By Dave Roos

Not all deserts have sand and they're certainly not all hot. They're just extremely dry and have little vegetation. That means deserts are located all over the planet, including at super-high elevations.

By Sharise Cunningham

There are caves all over the world, but some are in places that are hard to explore — hidden by rocks, ruins or even under ice. We've found seven secret caves you probably never knew existed.

By Stephanie Parker

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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

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

"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

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

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

By Mark Mancini

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

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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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

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

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

By Mark Mancini

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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.'

By Nathan Chandler

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.

By Mark Mancini

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

By Mark Mancini

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

By Mark Mancini

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.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler