Earth Sciences

Undersea origins of Earth’s mysterious Love waves

Supercomputer simulations of planetary-scale interactions show how ocean storms and the structure of Earth’s upper layers together generate much of the world’s seismic waves. Decoding the faint but ubiquitous vibrations known as Love waves could yield insights about Earth’s storm history, changing climate and interior.

Stanford Earth —

Restless Earth: The science behind earthquakes

A collection of research and insights from Stanford experts on where and how earthquakes happen, why prediction remains elusive, advances in detection and monitoring, links to human activities, how to prepare for “The Big One,” and more.

U.S. corn crop increasingly sensitive to drought

New management approaches and technology have allowed the U.S. Corn Belt to increase yields despite some changes in climate. However, soil sensitivity to drought has increased significantly, according to a new study that could help identify ways to reverse the trend.

AI detects hidden earthquakes

Tiny movements in Earth’s outermost layer may provide a Rosetta Stone for deciphering the physics and warning signs of big quakes. New algorithms that work a little like human vision are now detecting these long-hidden microquakes in the growing mountain of seismic data.

How earthquake swarms arise

A new fault simulator maps out how interactions between pressure, friction and fluids rising through a fault zone can lead to slow-motion quakes and seismic swarms.

Gravity wave insights from internet-beaming balloons

A better understanding of how gravity waves in the upper atmosphere interact with the jet stream, polar vortex and other phenomena could be key to improved weather predictions and climate models.

COVID-19 opportunities

The researchers hypothesize outcomes of the pandemic’s unprecedented socioeconomic disruption, and outline research priorities for advancing our understanding of humans’ impact on the environment.

Methane emissions climb

The pandemic has tugged carbon emissions down, temporarily. But levels of the powerful heat-trapping gas methane continue to climb, dragging the world further away from a path that skirts the worst effects of global warming.