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Latest and Breaking Earth Science News

Ancient deformation of the lithosphere revealed in Eastern China
(Geological Society of America) Seismic investigations from the Qinling-Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt in eastern China suggest that this region was affected by extreme mantle perturbation and crust-mantle interaction during the Mesozoic era. The Qinling-Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt formed through the collision between the North and South China blocks, which produced large-scale destruction of the cratonic lithosphere, accompanied by widespread magmatism and metallogeny.

Arsenic stubbornly taints many US wells, say new reports
(The Earth Institute at Columbia University) Naturally occurring arsenic in private wells threatens people in many US states and parts of Canada, according to a package of a dozen scientific papers to be published next week. The studies, focused mainly on New England but applicable elsewhere, say private wells present continuing risks due to almost nonexistent regulation in most states, homeowner inaction and inadequate mitigation measures.

NASA gathers wind, rain, cloud data on major Tropical Cyclone Eunice
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's RapidScat, GPM and Terra satellite have been actively providing wind, rain and cloud data to forecasters about Tropical Cyclone Eunice. The storm reached Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale on Jan. 30.

EARTH Magazine: Asbestos found in Nevada and Arizona
(American Geosciences Institute) The discoveries, in Clark County in southern Nevada and across the border in northwestern Arizona, suggest that asbestos may be more widespread than previously thought; they also raise questions about the potential health hazards of naturally occurring asbestos.

Scientists use knowledge from the food industry to understand mass extinction
(Geological Society of America) The close of the Permian Period around 250 million years ago saw Earth's biggest extinction ever. At this time large volcanic eruptions were occurring in what is now Siberia. The volcanoes pumped out gases that led to acid rain. Falling on the supercontinent Pangaea, the acid rain killed off end-Permian forests. The demise of forests led to soil erosion and the production of organic-rich sediments in shallow marine waters.

Population genomics unveil seahorse domain
(City College of New York) In a finding vital to effective species management, a team including City College of New York biologists has determined that the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is more a permanent resident of the western mid-Atlantic Ocean than a vagrant.

PNNL recognized for moving biofuel, chemical analysis innovations to market
(DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) Developing renewable fuel from wet algae and enabling analysis of complex liquids are two of the latest innovations Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has successfully driven to the market with the help of commercial partners.

Blue mussels not yet the bellwether of NE coastal environment
(Brown University) Mussels could be the perfect 'sentinel' species to signal the health of coastal ecosystems. But a new study of blue mussels in estuary ecosystems along 600 kilometers of coastline in the Northeast uncovered three key mysteries that will have to be solved first.

Scientists trial system to improve safety at sea
(University of Leicester) New satellite imaging concept proposed by University of Leicester-led team could significantly reduce search areas for missing boats and planes.

Why do zebras have stripes?
(University of California - Los Angeles) One of nature's fascinating questions is how zebras got their stripes.A team of life scientists led by UCLA's Brenda Larison has found at least part of the answer: The amount and intensity of striping can be best predicted by the temperature of the environment in which zebras live.

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