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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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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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

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

By Mark Mancini

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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

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

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

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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

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

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

By Mark Mancini

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

By Laurie L. Dove

Where on the planet can you visit to see with your own eyes the tracks left by dinosaurs? Fossilized dino footprints might be just outside your back door, but here are good places to start.

By Jesslyn Shields

Researchers discovered that everyone's favorite prehistoric cat had some seriously big bones — even as a youngster.

By Robert Lamb

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

By Kate Kershner

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

By Jonathan Strickland