Magma at shallow depth under Hawaii

Ohio State University researchers have found a new way to gauge the depth of the magma chamber that forms the Hawaiian Island volcanic chain, and determined that the magma lies much closer to the surface than previously thought. The finding could help scientists predict when Hawaiian volcanoes are going to erupt. It also suggests that…

The ups and downs of early atmospheric oxygen

A team of biogeochemists at the University of California, Riverside, give us a nontraditional way of thinking about the earliest accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere, arguably the most important biological event in Earth history. A general consensus asserts that appreciable oxygen first accumulated in Earth’s atmosphere around 2.3 billion years ago during the so-called…

Yellowstone supereruption would send ash across North America

In the unlikely event of a volcanic supereruption at Yellowstone National Park, the northern Rocky Mountains would be blanketed in meters of ash, and millimeters would be deposited as far away as New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, according to a new study. An improved computer model developed by the study’s authors finds that…