What is a lava tube and how is it formed?
By: B. J. Deming
A lava tube is an underground tunnel made by very fluid lava. According to the US Geological Survey, this low-viscosity lava tends to flow in just a few main channels during a long-lived eruption. Over time, the moving lava develops a crust at its outer...
By: B. J. Deming
The loose gemstone that Michael Caine, in his role as Alfred the butler in "The Dark Knight," described as “a ruby the size of a tangerine” would have been much less interesting had he been telling Master Wayne about “a lump of...
By: B. J. Deming
The serene beauty of an emerald’s green depths gives no hint to the casual observer of the extreme conditions where it formed. Only on closer inspection can you see inclusions that are the tell-tale signs of ancient violence: little fissures and minicrystals; hollow cavities...
By: B. J. Deming
Scott Johnson, a geologist and "Ars Technica" contributor, recently wrote that “[c]ontrary to popular culture, diamonds are not formed from the metamorphosis of coal under tremendous heat and pressure. It makes for nice poetry, but it’s not true.” Indeed, scientists know quite...
By: Blaise Pascal
Although volcanoes seem to be more prevalent on the surface of the earth, approximately 75 to 80% of all volcanic activity occurs under the surface of the ocean. The eruptions of these volcanic areas are almost always low level lava flows but recent research has...
By: B. J. Deming
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the blue precious stone to emerald’s green, ruby’s red and diamond’s scintillating transparency. This gem variety of the mineral corundum also comes in the rainbow of other colors found in fancy sapphires. However, sapphire is...
Explaining earthquakes
By: Christopher Anderson - 466259
What is an earthquake? An earthquake is what happens when two large land masses pass over one another. On the surface where the quake is most visible is called a fault or fault plane. Below the surface, the point at which the earthquake starts is...
By: Janet Grischy
The first step to understanding the formation of the ice caves at Lava Beds National Monument in California is to understand how lava tubes form. The ice caves of the park are all set within lava tubes, and the special characteristics of the tubes preserve...
Understanding the formation of the ice caves at Lava Beds National Monument, CA
By: Blaise Pascal
Lava Beds National Monument in California has amazing geological features that incorporate over 700 caves formed by intense volcanic and geological activity. One of the most interesting features of the Monument are the ice caves which are present in several of the lava tubes at...
By: Gioia Degenaars
There are five major biomes on Earth: Aquatic, Desert, Grassland, Forest and Tundra. Each biome has unique characteristics that make its environment habitable for billions of creatures on Earth. The biomes are determined by their main characteristics. Aquatic biomes are what they sound like they...

 

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