UW Today

geology


May 9, 2016

Early Earth’s air weighed less than half of today’s atmosphere

swirly rocks

The idea that the young Earth had a thicker atmosphere turns out to be wrong. New research from the University of Washington uses bubbles trapped in 2.7 billion-year-old rocks to show that air at that time exerted at most half the pressure of today’s atmosphere. The results, published online May 9 in Nature Geoscience, reverse…


March 25, 2016

Geology and art connect at UW light rail station

station interior with blue walls

Alison Duvall talks about the geology of the UW light rail station in a narration to accompany the station’s art installation, which was created by UW alumnus Leo Saul Berk.


December 22, 2015

Dating historic activity at Oso site shows recurring major landslides

person standing in mud

The large, fast-moving mudslide that buried much of Oso, Washington in March 2014 was the deadliest landslide in U.S. history. Since then it’s been revealed that this area has experienced major slides before, but it’s not known how long ago they occurred. University of Washington geologists analyzed woody debris buried in earlier slides and used…


November 12, 2015

From garden to gut: New book from UW’s David Montgomery explores an unfolding scientific revolution

The Hidden Half cover

A new book by University of Washington geologist David Montgomery weaves history, science and personal challenges into an exploration of humanity’s tangled relationship with microbes, perhaps the least loved and most misunderstood creatures on Earth — and in you. “The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health” comes out Nov. 16…


February 16, 2015

Ancient rocks show life could have flourished on Earth 3.2 billion years ago

photo of red rocks and blue sky

Some of the oldest rocks on the planet push back scientific estimates of when life could have covered the Earth by 1 billion years.


September 22, 2014

Snail shells show high-rise plateau is much lower than it used to be

The Zhada Basin on the southwest Tibetan Plateau, with the Himalayas to the south.

Geologists have long debated when and how the Tibetan Plateau reached a 14,000-foot-plus elevation, but new UW-led research shows it once was probably even higher.


June 18, 2014

Scientists ready to study magma formation beneath Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens as it appeared two years after its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980.

Scientists are embarking on research to improve volcanic eruption forecasting by learning more about how a deep-underground feeder system creates and supplies magma to Mount St. Helens.


January 16, 2014

Soil production breaks geologic speed record

person on mountain ridge

Samples from steep mountaintops in New Zealand shows that rock can transform into soil more than twice as fast as previously believed possible.


August 14, 2012

New book explores Noah’s Flood; says Bible and science can get along

The cover of "The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood."

David Montgomery, a University of Washington geologist, is the author of a new book that explores the long history of religious thinking on matters of geological discovery, particularly flood stories such as the biblical account of Noah’s ark.