A new map plots more than a century's worth of nearly every recorded earthquake. The map shows earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater since 1898; each is marked in a lightning-bug hue that glows brighter with increasing magnitude. In all, 203,186 earthquakes are marked on the map, which is current through 2003. And it reveals the story of plate tectonics itself.
The overall effect is both beautiful and arresting, revealing the silhouettes of Earth's tectonic boundaries in stark, luminous swarms of color.
The long volcanic seams where Earth's crust is born appear as faint, snaking lines cutting through the world's oceans. The earthquakes along these so-called spreading centers tend to be rather mild. The best studied spreading center, called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, bisects the Atlantic Ocean, on the right side of the image.
Its Pacific counterpart wanders along the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean, cutting a wide swath offshore of South America. Another spreading center makes a jog though the Indian Ocean and up through the Red Sea.
But one glance at the map shows that the real earthquake action is elsewhere.
Subduction zones, the places where tectonic plates overlap and one is forced to dive deep beneath the other and into the Earth's crushing interior - a process that generates the biggest earthquakes on the planet - stand out like a light show. This concept hit home particularly for the Ring of Fire, the vast line of subduction zones around the northern and western edge of the Pacific Ocean. Unlike many maps made in the United States, this one is centered over the Pacific Ocean.
The map's maker is John Nelson, the user experience and mapping manager for IDV Solutions, a data visualization company. All the earthquake information and maps are freely available on the Internet courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, university and state partners in California, and NASA.
December 2015 will feature three meteor showers: the Geminids, the Puppid-Velids and the Ursids. The Geminid meteor shower is popularly known as the "king of meteor showers". This year, it is expected to produce up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak, which wi
In the US, farmers have been cultivating GMOs since the 1990s and their consumption is by today widespread across the country. In the EU, on the other hand, usage of GMOs has taken a revolutionary turn after a directive passed in April 2015, which now allows EU member s
Severe winter storm claimed at least 14 lives across the US Midwest over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, media reported. Tens of thousands of homes have been cutoff the power supplies and heavy traffic disruptions due to icy roads have been reported in the affected ar
Heavy rainfalls triggered floods and landslides in portions of West and North Sumatra on November 29, 2015. More than 500 homes have been inundated and some reported severe damage, being completely buried by the landslides.Severe rainstorms which have been affecting par
A new research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that rock salt, used by Germany and the United States as a subsurface storage for nuclear waste, might not be as impermeable as thought or as capable of isolating nuclear waste from groundwater in the event
A spell of extreme weather characterized by strong winds, storm surge and heavy rainfall wrapped northern Europe over the last couple of days. Tens of thousands of people have experienced power outages across parts of Sweden, while portions of Germany, Ireland, Denmark,
The weather might seem like it creates weeks of dreary, grey drizzle. But it can also put on a truly sensational – and, often, deadly – show. But what explains these explosive events?The Earth’s atmosphere is driven by heating from the Sun.
A team of astrophysics led by a Johns Hopkins University (JHU) scientist has for the first time witnessed a black hole swallowing a star and ejecting a flare of matter moving nearly the speed of light (about 300,000 km/s). The finding tracks the star, which is about the
A complex weather system brought heavy rain and caused widespread flooding in several areas across the north Texas on November 26 and 27, 2015, leaving at least 4 people dead. The rain has pushed both Dallas and Fort Worth to their wettest years on record.In Johnson Cou
An unusual plankton growth has been discovered in the North Atlantic, in contrast to the scientific predictions for the area. The discovery suggests a swift environmental change as a result of increased amounts of carbon dioxide may be underway.A team of researchers
The detection of wildfires is the first step in combating them, so it is crucial to people's lives and property to be able to respond to them as quickly as possible. For this reason, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California is putting a lot of effort in a
A rapid beach erosion, known as a 'flow slide' has swallowed up a 100 m (328 feet) wide section of a beach in North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia, locals reported on November 25, 2015.The beach, which is popular between fishermen, swimmers and off roa
A strong and shallow earthquake registered as M6.2 by CSN Chile hit near the coast of Antofagasta, Chile at 21:00 UTC on November 27, 2015. The agency is reporting depth of 37.5 km (23.3 miles). USGS is reporting M6.2 at a depth of 28.9 km (18 miles).According to the US
A large part of the road in Santa Clarita, California experienced rising off the grounds and extensive distortion for at least 3.5 hours on November 10, 2015. In the next couple of days, the road experienced further buckling, and up to date the road was closed over a 3
The journey for volcanic rocks found on many volcanic islands began deep within the Earth. Brought to the Earth's surface in eruptions of deep volcanic material, these rocks hold clues as to what is going on deep beneath Earth's surface. A group of current and
A storm system passing over Japan on November 26, 2015, brought the first significant winter storm of the season. At the same time, a cold air mass is getting settled over parts of northeastern Asia.A spell of rain and low temperature conditions has been expected in low
New activity/unrest was observed at 5 volcanoes from November 18 - 24, 2015. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 25 volcanoes.New activity/unrest: Awu, Sangihe Islands (Indonesia) | Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Kanlaon, Philippines | Telica, Nicara
Sandra developed over the warm eastern Pacific waters on November 24, 2015 and quickly intensified into a hurricane. The system is now a major Category 4 hurricane, about 800 km southwest of Mexico and moving northwards. The hurricane poses no threat to the mainland at
Severe rainfall caused the worst flooding in the last 40 years in Addu City, Maldives, on November 26, 2015. Numerous homes sustained serious damage, however, luckily, no victims have been reported so far.Torrential downpours began on the afternoon (local time) of Novem
Heavy rainfalls were affecting Doha, Qatar and central and eastern parts of Saudi Arabia throughout November 25, 2015. More than one year of average rainfall was recorded in only 24 hours in Doha and one person was reported dead in Riyadh Region, so far.Seasonal storms
An airborne survey of polar ice, NASA's operation named IceBridge, has recently discovered a big drop in the height of two glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula and collected a large amount of data on the status of land and sea ice at the end of the Arctic summer melt
Following the international expedition drilling into the Pacific ocean floor, the scientists have for the first time discovered what happens after one tectonic plate gets pushed under another, Australian National University reports.During the drilling expeditions, resea
The movements of the world's densest and coldest water around Antarctica has been simulated using Australia's most powerful supercomputer, Raijin, for the first time. Massive amount of data has been processed in order to create a highly detailed, remarkable anim
New research, conducted in collaboration between the Materials Dynamics Laboratory at the RIKEN SPring-8 Center and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has successfully measured the speed of sound in mixtures of liquid iron and carbon in extreme conditions, for the first
Severe flooding across Somalia, on-going since October 19, 2015, has triggered an epidemic in water-borne diseases, an escalation of local commodity prices and an interruption of humanitarian aid delivery, according to the United Nation's (UN) report from November 2
Two very strong and deep, M7.6 earthquakes (USGS) hit sparsely populated Peru-Brazil border region at 22:45 and 22:50 UTC on November 24, 2015. The agency is reporting depths of 600.6 km (373 miles) and 611.7 km (380 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.0 at a depth of 593 km (
Toxic mining waste spill in Brazil reaches the Atlantic Ocean in an unprecedented environmental disaster
A flow of toxic mining waste which spilled into a main river in the city of Mariana, Minas Gerais state, Brazil on November 5, 2015, devastated the village of Bento Rodrigues and affected thousands of hectares of land and water has now reached the Atlantic Ocean, acc
A group of researchers have studied ancient volcanic rocks to conclude that Earth's magnetic field is a long time away from "flipping" even if the magnetic field's intensity is reducing fairly fast. This is because Earth's current magnetic field
Tropical Storm "Sandra" formed over the warm waters of eastern Pacific, southwest of Mexico, on November 24, 2015, National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported. The system is currently located in an environment of high water temperature and low vertical wind shear
A new research, conducted by scientists of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, suggests that Earth is surrounded by long, 'hairy' filaments of dark matter. Theoretically, the hairy filaments, if detected could be used to map out the inn
Following a period of heavy rainfall, multiple sinkholes have appeared across the grounds of Nayanoripalle village in Kadapa District of Andhra Pradesh State, India. Local officials ordered local residents to evacuate the area on November 22, 2015.Large sinkholes most l
A major tornado multivortex wreaked havoc across the western portion of the Brazilian state of Parana on November 19, 2015. The system has passed 12 cities causing major devastation along its way. Video credit: João Luiz CassanelliA large storm system spawned a t
A series of large landslides, triggered by the strong earthquake that hit near the west coast of Greece on November 17, 2015, caused one of the world's most beautiful beaches, on the island of Lefkada, to perish.In bad geological news, Egremni beach basically disapp
This video is the first segment of Episode 4 Symbol of an Alien Sky documentary series. It provides an update of comet science, starting where the earlier documentary made by The Thunderbolts Project titled "The Electric Comet" left off. The objective of both
An intense snow storm hit Chicago on November 20, 2015. Heavy storm brought large amount of snowfall across parts of Chicago, causing traffic delays across the city. According to the National Weather Service (NWS) this snow event was for the record book. The first measu