Geology

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Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork: 2017 and Beyond

On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers are studying the dynamics of climate, geology, natural hazards, ecology and other subjects with direct applications to the challenges facing humanity.

by |March 6, 2017
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Exploring Obama’s Seafloor Canyons by Mini Submarine

Only a few people have ever explored deep inside the seafloor canyons that President Obama just designated a national marine monument. Bill Ryan is one of them. In this podcast he describes what his team saw and learned.

by |September 21, 2016
Illustrations show how (a) pressure gradient-driven flow and (b) density-driven small-scale convection could work in the asthenosphere. At the top is the surface view showing the locations of the NoMelt seismometers. The red arrows indicated the flow direction.  (Lin et al., Nature 2016)

New Study Upends a Theory of How Earth’s Mantle Flows

A new study carried out on the floor of Pacific Ocean provides the most detailed view yet of how the earth’s mantle flows beneath the ocean’s tectonic plates.

by |July 6, 2016
A side view of the June 28, 2016, Glacier Bay landslide. Photo: Paul Swanstrom/Mountain Flying Service.

Massive Landslide Detected in Glacier Bay’s Fragile Mountains

A 4,000-foot-high mountainside collapsed in Glacier Bay National Park this week in a massive landslide that spread debris for miles across the glacier below. Scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying it to improve understanding of landslide risks.

by |July 2, 2016
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John Imbrie, a Pioneer of Paleoceanography

Imbrie, a former head of the Department of Geological Sciences, helped confirmed connections between changes in Earth’s orbit and the timing of the ice ages and was a co-founder of CLIMAP, an international effort to use sediment cores to map Earth’s climate at the height of the last ice age.

by |May 19, 2016
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How Does Earth’s Continental Crust Form? A New Bottom-Up Theory

Scientists have long believed that continental crust forms in volcanic arcs. The lingering question has been how exactly that happens.

by |February 22, 2016
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Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork, 2016 and Beyond

  On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers are studying the dynamics of climate, geology, natural hazards and ecology, and their practical applications to modern problems. Below, a list of expeditions in rough chronological order. Work in and around New York City and the U.S. Northeast is listed separately toward bottom. Unless otherwise stated, projects originate with… read more

by |February 2, 2016
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American Geophysical Union 2015: Key Earth Institute Events

Scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute will present important findings at the American Geophysical Union fall 2015 meeting, Dec. 14-18–the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists.

by |December 3, 2015
In 1980s and 1990s, prospecting teams worked their way northward through remote terrains, including the Canadian Rockies, where this crew member was landed by helicopter.  (Courtesy Paul Derkson)

Photo Essay: The Mystery of North American Diamonds

People have been finding loose diamonds across the United States and Canada since the early 1800s, but for the most part, no one knows where they came from. It was not until the 1990s that geologists tracked down the first commercial deposits, on the remote tundra of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Yaakov Weiss, a geochemist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, is investigating the origins of these rich diamond mines.

by |August 24, 2015
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Cracking Open Diamonds for Messages From the Deep Earth

“After a diamond captures something, from that moment until millions of years later in my lab, that material stays the same. We can look at diamonds as time capsules, as messengers from a place we have no other way of seeing.”

by |August 24, 2015