Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

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
Ocean overturning circulation illustrated. Courtesy of co-author Lynne Talley.

Wind-Blown Antarctic Sea Ice Helps Drive Ocean Circulation

Antarctic sea ice is constantly on the move as powerful winds blow it away from the coast and out toward the open ocean. A new study shows how that ice migration may be more important for the global ocean circulation than anyone realized.

by |June 27, 2016
Martin Stute, a Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientists who will be giving a live-streamed seminar about the CarbFix Project, talks with Edda Sif Arradotir of Reykjavik Energy in front of the piping system that pumps emissions back underground. Photo: Kevin Krajick

Watch Live: Turning CO2 to Stone, Scientists Discuss a Climate Solution

On June 24, a scientist involved in the CarbFix carbon capture and storage project in Iceland will give a live-streamed presentation about the technology and the project’s success at turning CO2 to stone.

by |June 16, 2016
arsenic video snip

Get the Facts: Arsenic in New Jersey Well Water

A new initiative aims to help homeowners in New Jersey cope with arsenic contamination in private wells—a problem that has only come to light in recent years, and about which many homeowners are still unaware.

by |June 16, 2016
Asian elephants, like these in Sri Lanka, are sensitive to temperature. A new study explores the impact of warming on populations in the tropics. Photo: Amila Tennakoon, CC-BY-2.0

An Ecological Traffic Jam in the Warming Tropics?

The tropics are already hot, and they’re getting hotter as global temperatures rise. A new study offers a glimpse into how seriously a couple more degrees could disrupt the region’s ecological map.

by |June 9, 2016
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Photo Essay: Seeking Humanity’s Roots

East Africa’s rift valley is considered by many to be the cradle of humanity. In the Turkana region of northwest Kenya, researchers Christopher Lepre and Tanzhuo Liu of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are cooperating with colleagues to study questions of human evolution, from the creation of the earliest stone tools to climate swings that have affected developing civilizations.

by |June 8, 2016
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Seeking Humanity’s Roots

Who were our earliest ancestors? How and when did they evolve into modern humans? And how do we define “human,” anyway? Scientists are exploring Kenya’s Lake Turkana basin to help answer these questions.

by |June 8, 2016
Research engineer Ted Koczynski explains how rock surfaces representing the rock bed of a glacier put pressure on a block of ice from each side as the ice is pushed downward in the new cryogenic deformation apparatus. Depending on the configuration, sensors throughout the device can measure friction, viscosity and anelasticity. Image: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Crushing Ice to Learn About Glaciers & Icy Moons

To understand how quickly ice from glaciers can raise sea level or how moons far across the solar system evolved to hold vast, ice-covered oceans, we need to be able to measure the forces at work. A new instrument designed and built at Lamont does just that.

by |June 6, 2016
The Eltanin 19 profile, showing the symmetry of magnetic reversals on either side of a mid-ocean ridge, launched the plate tectonics revolution at what was then Lamont Geological Observatory.

The Plate Tectonics Revolution: It Was All About the Data

The young scientists who led the plate tectonics revolution 50 years ago showed how asking the right questions and having access to a wide range of shared data could open doors to an entirely new understanding of our planet.

by |May 24, 2016