Science Snippets

Want some fun facts and interesting snippets of science? Then you came to the right place.

Filter Total Items: 286
Date published: February 1, 2016

EarthWord – Nuée Ardente

A nuée ardente is a turbulent, fast moving cloud of hot gas and ash erupted from a volcano. 

Date published: January 7, 2016

Getting Down to Earth with Space Hazards

Magnetic storms can interfere with the operation of electric power grids and damage grid infrastructure. They can also disrupt directional drilling for oil and gas, radio communications, communication satellites and GPS systems.

Date published: December 18, 2015

EarthWord – Medical Geology

Medical Geology is an earth science specialty that concerns how geologic materials and earth processes affect human health. 

Date published: December 18, 2015

EarthWord – Leachate

No, it’s not a sports drink for leeches, although that’s what it sounds like. Leachate is the solution (or suspension) that forms when liquid travels through a solid and removes some components of that solid with it. Those components may be dissolved or suspended within the liquid.

Date published: November 9, 2015

EarthWord: Katabatic Winds

Sounding almost like acrobatic winds, katabatic winds do bear a resemblance to tumbling, since they are essentially winds that flow downhill. Also known as fall winds, katabatic winds are usually caused by gravity pulling higher density air downslope to lower density air.

Date published: November 2, 2015

EarthWord – Juvenile Water

Juvenile water is “new” water that is in, or derived from, materials deep within the Earth and has not previously appeared at the Earth’s surface or circulated in the atmosphere. 

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: October 26, 2015

EarthWord: Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN)

Infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) is an infectious viral disease of salmon and trout.

Date published: October 19, 2015

EarthWord: Hypoxia

Hypoxia sounds as bad as it is. It refers to an environment that is too low on oxygen to sustain most aerobic life, particularly an aquatic environment. Hypoxia is most problematic when it happens where oxygen is normally plentiful, because most living organisms require oxygen to continue living.

Date published: October 12, 2015

EarthWord: Graben

A graben is a piece of Earth’s crust that is shifted downward in comparison to adjacent crust known as “horsts,” which are shifted upward.

Date published: October 5, 2015

EarthWord: Fumarole

Fumaroles are openings in the earth’s surface that emit steam and volcanic gases, such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. They can occur as holes, cracks, or fissures near active volcanoes or in areas where magma has risen into the earth’s crust without erupting. A fumarole can vent for centuries or quickly go extinct, depending on the longevity of its heat source.

Date published: September 30, 2015

Aurora Borealis Painting Pays Tribute to Civil War’s End

USGS explores the meaning behind Frederic Edwin Church's 1865 painting, “Aurora Borealis.”

Date published: September 28, 2015

Join America’s PrepareAthon! Practice what to do in the event of a disaster or emergency.

Join millions of people participating in America’s PrepareAthon! on Sept. 30. This campaign encourages the nation to conduct drills, discussions and exercises to practice what to do before, during and after a disaster or emergency strikes.