geology

On Icy Enceladus, Expansion Cracks Let Inner Ocean Boil Out

In 2006, the Cassini spacecraft recorded geyser curtains shooting forth from “tiger stripe” fissures near the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus — sometimes as much as 200 kilograms of water per second. A new study suggests how expanding ice during millennia-long cooling cycles could sometimes crack the moon’s icy shell and let its inner ocean out, providing a possible explanation for the geysers.

Ridgecrest Shows How Earthquakes Damage Earth’s Crust

In July 2019, a series of earthquakes — including two major shocks of magnitude 6.4 and 7.1 — struck near Ridgecrest, California, between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. For local residents, it was a violent interruption to the Fourth of July holiday. For seismologists, it was a rare opportunity to study how earthquakes damage the Earth’s crust.

Putting Science Into Practice: Preparing for Volcanic Eruptions

Coordinating the emergency response to an erupting volcano is an all-hands-on-deck affair that leaves little time for extra work, such as answering boatloads of inquiries from researchers who want to collect rock samples. On the other hand, science done during eruptions provides essential data for understanding and forecasting future volcanic flare-ups.

Dwarf Planet Vesta Is a Window to the Early Solar System

The dwarf planet Vesta is helping scientists better understand the earliest era in the formation of our solar system. Two recent papers involving UC Davis scientists use data from meteorites derived from Vesta to resolve the "missing mantle problem" and push back our knowledge of the solar system to just a couple of million years after it began to form. The papers were published in Nature Communications Sept. 14 and Nature Astronomy Sept. 30.

Isabel Montañez Wins UC Davis Teaching Prize

Distinguished Professor Isabel Montañez’s commitment to undergraduate learning and development was recognized today (May 4) with the 2021 UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement.

Dating the Dinosaur Pompeii

Northeastern China is home to one of the world’s most remarkable collections of dinosaur fossils. The Jehol biota contains fossils of dinosaurs, plants, insects and fish, many of them preserved in unusual detail with traces of skin and feathers, dating back to the Early Cretaceous period 101 to 143 million years ago.

Professor Tessa Hill Elected AAAS Fellow

Professor Tessa Hill, a leading expert in marine geochemistry and a strong advocate for public outreach and education access, has been elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society.