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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.

Date published: September 28, 2015

The EarthWord: Evapotranspiration

A Frankenword portmanteau of evaporation and transpiration that is used to account for all of the water that moves from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere. Transpiration is the amount of water that leaves plants as water vapor through openings in the plant known as stomata, while evaporation is the conversion of water into water vapor.

Date published: September 21, 2015

EarthWord: Dedolomitization

The process in which magnesium is removed from the mineral dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate) leaving behind the minerals calcite (calcium carbonate) and periclase (magnesium oxide.)

Date published: September 14, 2015

EarthWord: Crepuscular

The term crepuscular describes events relating to, resembling, or occurring during twilight, meaning morning and evening hours. An animal described as crepuscular is active during twilight.

Date published: September 7, 2015

EarthWord: Batholith

Despite sounding like something out of Harry Potter, a batholith is a type of igneous rock that forms when magma rises into the earth’s crust, but does not erupt onto the surface. The magma cools beneath the earth’s surface, forming a rock structure that extends at least one hundred square kilometers across (40 square miles), and extends to an unknown depth.

Date published: September 1, 2015

EarthWord: Anthropogenic

Scientists use the word “anthropogenic” in referring to environmental change caused or influenced by people, either directly or indirectly.

Date published: June 15, 2010

June Science Picks: Hot News about Cool Science

In this edition of Science Picks, learn what the USGS is doing in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and how satellite imagery can be used to get information after a major disaster. Also, learn how the USGS is helping restore the Chesapeake Bay and how to receive text messages from rivers and streams. You can even go on a pollinator safari and follow a sea turtle named Bertha!

Date published: May 5, 2010

May Science Picks - Hot News about Cool Science

In this edition of Science Picks, learn why it seems like the world is experiencing more earthquakes than normal. Also, see how easy it is to become a citizen scientist, and watch a new USGS movie to learn why the Mojave Desert tortoise is endangered. You’ll also find information about major flooding this spring, dust from Africa that is potentially harming coral in the Caribbean...