geology

Meteorites Show Transport of Material in Early Solar System

September 08, 2020

New studies of a rare type of meteorite show that material from close to the sun reached the outer solar system even as the planet Jupiter cleared a gap in the disk of dust and gas from which the planets formed. The results, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to an emerging understanding of how our solar system formed and how planets form around other stars.

Ichthyosaur’s Last Meal is Evidence of Triassic Megapredation

August 19, 2020

Some 240 million years ago, a dolphin-like ichthyosaur ripped to pieces and swallowed another marine reptile only a little smaller than itself. Then it almost immediately died and was fossilized, preserving the first evidence of megapredation, or a large animal preying on another large animal. The fossil, discovered in 2010 in southwestern China, is described in a paper published Aug. 20 in the journal iScience.

Newly Formed Center to Study Principles That Affect Planetary Bodies

August 10, 2020
University of California, Davis, will be part of a new National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center focusing on understanding the physics and astrophysical implications of matter under pressures so high that the structure of individual atoms is disrupted.

New Clues to Deep Earthquake Mystery

May 27, 2020
A new understanding of our planet’s deepest earthquakes could help unravel one of the most mysterious geophysical processes on Earth.

Arizona Meteorite Points to Source of LL Chondrites

April 27, 2020

The 2016 Dishchii’bikoh meteorite fall in the White Mountain Apache reservation in central Arizona has given scientists a big clue to finding out where so-called LL chondrites call home. 

New Leak Detector for Earth’s Core

April 10, 2020
Earth’s molten core may be leaking iron, according to researchers who analyzed how iron behaves inside our planet.

Managing Resources in a Water-Limited World

March 06, 2020
An interdisciplinary team from UC Davis is collaborating with the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education—the largest graduate water education facility in the world, based in the Netherlands—to develop a summer school on “Sustainable Water Management in a Water-Limited World.”

Explaining the Tiger Stripes of Enceladus

December 09, 2019
Saturn’s tiny, frozen moon Enceladus is a strange place. Just 300 miles across, the moon is thought to have an outer shell of ice covering a global ocean 20 miles deep, encasing a rocky core. Slashed across Enceladus’ south pole are four straight, parallel fissures or “tiger stripes” from which water erupts. These fissures aren’t quite like anything else in the solar system. 

Mutant Fern Spores Point to Mass Extinction Culprit

October 24, 2019
About 200 million years ago, much of the life on Earth was wiped out in the end-Triassic mass extinction. The catastrophe may have been caused by climate change related to massive volcanic eruptions.

Four Limbs Good, Three Legs Bad?

October 01, 2019
If “Why?” is the first question in science, “Why not?” must be a close second. Sometimes it’s worth thinking about why something does not exist. Such as a truly three-legged animal.