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.

Learn More / Page 2

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

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

Advertisement

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

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

Advertisement

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

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

Advertisement

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

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

Advertisement

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

By Mark Mancini

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

Advertisement

Twitter was abuzz with reports that pretty green gems were spewing out of the Kiluaea volcano in Hawaii. But the experts took the shine off these speculations.

By Nathan Chandler

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

By Mark Mancini

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

Advertisement

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

By Mark Mancini

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.

By Mark Mancini