Science news: Continental plates dancing “pirouettes“, revised date of the Laacher See eruption, grain size of sand and the slope of the beach, Mercury’s big iron core

Graphic showing the mantle plume feeding the super volcano which forced the plates apart. The arrows indicate the different movements. Credit: Alisha Steinberger

Recent discoveries about our planet, its rocks, and other “stone” topics

105 million years ago, a supervolcano split the Earth’s crust over a length of 7,500 km, pushing the Indian Plate away from the African Plate. The aftermath can still be felt today in the “pirouettes“ danced by continental plates‘

13,000-year-old tree trunk from the volcanic deposits of the Laacher See eruption in the vicinity of Miesenheim, Germany. Photo: Olaf JörisRevised date of the Laacher See eruption 13,077 years ago provides crucial information about historical climate fluctuations at the end of the last Ice Age

Scientists making a transect of a rocky New England Beach. Image courtesy Jon WoodruffNew findings on how the grain size of beach sand relates to the slope of the beach itself are critical to understanding how New England’s beaches will respond to both rising sea levels and increased storm activity

Mercury from Nasa‘s Messenger mission, simulated color by Jason Harwell / Wikimedia CommonsWhy Mercury has a big iron core relative to its mantle has been discussed among scientists for decades. New research reveals that collisions with celestial bodies are not to blame – the sun’s magnetism is

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(13.07.2021, USA: 07.13.2021)