Rock Doc column: Clues lead to source of huge eruption

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences PULLMAN, Wash. – When I was a child, I read a lot of murder mysteries. At a young age I favored the books featuring Miss Marple by Agatha Christie. When I was a bit older I fell in love with Lord Peter Wimsey in […]

Stalagmites speak of climate history

PULLMAN, Wash. – Caves fascinate people. I visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico as a kid when my family was on a summer vacation. Maybe that early exposure to the wonders of what geologic processes can do helped influence my decision to study natural science in college. With any luck, you’ve been in a big […]

Science abounds when cruising through Alaskan landscapes

Each year at this time thousands of tourists embark on cruises along Alaska stunning coastal waters. If they are lucky, the tourists experience dry weather, relatively calm seas and breathtaking vistas. In some places the ships can get up close and personal to dramatic scenes of glaciers “calving” ice that breaks off and falls into […]

Researcher journeys to the bottom of the Earth

The mountains of Antarctica, lying several thousand feet below the ice, as detected by radar.  Image courtesy of Michael Studinger, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory   Geologist Jeff Vervoort with a 1.86-billion-year-old piece of gneiss he found near Clarkia, Idaho, typical of the rocks at the core of the ancient supercontinent of Rodinia. Jeff Vervoort’s research […]

Riches unearthed in the midst of war

    PULLMAN – Some geologists are heroes.   That was the thought that came to my mind when I read of what Afghan geologists had done during the long and difficult time the Taliban had run their country.   Even without real hope they might ever do geology again, but with fears about what […]

New microprobe hones detail

John Wolff looks at the microprobe computer screen to view an analysis of a rock sample. (Photos by Becky Phillips, WSU Today)     Nick Foit holding a garnet crystal. The geologists had warned them — but people were still caught off guard when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. The ferocity of that explosion […]

Demonstration explores the mechanics of volcanoes

(Photo by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services).Several volcano eruptions were witnessed on campus recently. Water volcanoes that is…Geology students watched simulations of how a volcano’s pressure builds up and releases energy, sending a trail of water about 30 feet high in the air. According to Kurt Wilkie, an instructor in the Geology department, Geology 101 uses the water […]