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Geology
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The Mother of all Sciences
The Mother of all Sciences

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With the help of a tiny fragment of zircon extracted from a remote rock outcrop in Australia, the picture of how our planet became habitable to life about 4.4 billion years ago is coming into sharper focus.
Writing today (Feb. 23, 2014) in the journal Nature Geoscience, an international team of researchers led by University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscience Professor John Valley reveals data that confirm the Earth’s crust first formed at least 4.4 billion years ago, just 160 million years after the formation of our solar system. The work shows, Valley says, that the time when our planet was a fiery ball covered in a magma ocean came earlier...
#oldestcrust #zircon #Australia  
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Virtual fly-through of San Francisco Bay revealing the seafloor as if the water was drained from the Bay. The movie flies through the south and central Bay, pausing over prominent seafloor features including, large sand waves, rock pinnacles, current scour pits, as well as many human impacts on the seafloor.
http://gallery.usgs.gov/videos/536
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Science or Soundbite? Shale Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Induced Earthquakes
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Conglomerate rock from the local canyon shows an interesting variety of minerals including calcite and decomposed granite fragments. Behind the angle of the photo there is a large clast of what is probably dolomite.
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