Geology

What can machine learning tell us about the solid Earth?

Scientists are training machine learning algorithms to help shed light on earthquake hazards, volcanic eruptions, groundwater flow and longstanding mysteries about what goes on beneath the Earth’s surface.

Rescuing geologic and climate records

Postdoc Daniel Ibarra recently traveled to the Philippines to collect cave deposits that are considered key to understanding changes in climate during ancient times.

Volcanoes, archaeology and the secrets of Roman concrete

Geophysical processes have shaped Pozzuoli, Italy, like few other places in the world. Stanford students applied modern tools to understand those links and what it means to live with natural hazards as both threat and inspiration.

Catalina Island is sinking and tilting

A new analysis of marine fossils and seismic data offers keys to better modeling of global sea levels and earthquake risk in Southern California.

Researchers map susceptibility to human-made earthquakes

Stanford researchers have mapped local susceptibility to human-made earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas. The new model incorporates physical properties of the Earth’s subsurface and forecasts a decline in potentially damaging shaking through 2020.

What makes volcanoes dangerous?

Recent eruptions offer reminders that lava, ash and size don’t fully explain how volcanoes become deadly.

Overpumping groundwater increases contamination risk

Pumping an aquifer to the last drop squeezes out more than water. A Stanford study finds it can also unlock dangerous arsenic from buried clays – and reveals how sinking land can provide an early warning and measure of contamination.

Sterol-producing bacteria may change interpretation of geological history

Geologists assume when they find molecules called sterols in soils or rocks they indicate the presence of plants, animals or fungi in ancient environments. In new research from Paula Welander, discovering how some bacteria also produce and modify sterols could change those interpretations.