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The Threat of Silent Earthquakes

A lack of rumbling does not necessarily make an earthquake harmless. Some of the quiet types could presage devastating tsunamis or larger, ground-shaking shocks

By Peter Cervelli

The Mid-Cretaceous Superplume Episode

Earth has an erratic "heartbeat" that can release vast amounts of heat from deep within the planet. The latest "pulse" occurred 120 million years ago

By Roger L. Larson

The Evolution of Continental Crust

The high-standing continents owe their existence to Earth's long history of plate-tectonic activity

By S. Ross Taylor and Scott M. McLennan

Sculpting Earth from Inside Out

Powerful motions deep inside the planet do not merely shove fragments of the rocky shell horizontally around the globe-- they also lift and lower entire continents

By Michael Gurnis

Probing the Geodynamo

Scientists have wondered why the polarity of Earth's magnetic field occasionally reverses. Recent studies of fer intriguing clues about how the next reversal may begin

By Gary A. Glatzmaier and Peter Olson

Panoramas of the Seafloor

Modern sonar techniques map the continental margins of the U.S. and reveal the richly varied scenery usually hidden underwater.

By Lincoln F. Pratson and William F. Haxby

How Erosion Builds Mountains

An understanding of how tectonic, erosional and climatic forces interact to shape mountains permits clearer insights into Earth's history

By Mark T. Brandon and Nicholas Pinter

Evolution of Earth

The evolution of this planet and its atmosphere gave rise to life, which shaped Earth's subsequent development. Our future lies in interpreting this geologic past and considering what changes--good and bad--may lie ahead

By Claude J. Allgre and Stephen H. Schneider

Earthquake Conversations

Contrary to prevailing wisdom, large earthquakes can trigger or inhibit one another in unexpected ways. This exciting discovery could dramatically improve scientists' ability to pinpoint future shocks

By Ross S. Stein

Earth's Mantle below the Oceans

Samples collected from the ocean floor reveal how the mantle's convective forces shape Earth's surface, create its crust and perhaps even affect its rotation

By Enrico Bonatti

Earth before Pangaea

The North American continent may be more nomadic than most of its inhabitants

By Ian W. D. Dalziel

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