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Grades 9-12

Monitoring Mount Etna: Magma on the Move

Science Bulletin

Monitoring Mount Etna: Magma on the Move

Scientists in Sicily are collecting an enormous amount of data to monitor moving magma inside Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Nearly a million people live on the volcano's flanks, so being able to predict an eruption could be a matter of life and death. In this Earth Bulletin, visit the volcano's snowy slopes and learn how scientists from the Italian National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology record seismic activity, measure gases seeping up through the ground, sense the volcano's temperature changes, and assess disturbances in gravitational and magnetic fields to predict eruptions weeks ahead of time.

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Science Bulletin

Archived in Ice: Rescuing the Climate Record

Follow scientist-adventurer Lonnie Thompson to the 5,670-meter-high Quelccaya ice cap in the Peruvian Andes. Thompson and his team from Ohio State University are racing to core a cylinder of 1,500-year-old ice to unravel the past climate patterns of this region - before our gradually warming climate melts this invaluable record away. By analyzing global ice cores, glaciologists like Thompson now have a well-preserved record for 150,000 years of climate history, allowing us to better predict future climate change.

On Shaky Ground: Building a Safer Future in Haiti

Science Bulletin

On Shaky Ground: Building a Safer Future in Haiti

In November 2010, ten months after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake flattened huge sections of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a team of geologists commissioned by the United Nations set out to make the first detailed soil map of the city. Armed with sledgehammers and vibration sensors, the scientists surveyed how soils throughout Port-au-Prince either amplify or muffle seismic vibrations. The resulting map can now be used to guide reconstruction efforts. In this Science Bulletins feature, learn how geologists and engineers in Haiti and San Francisco are improving our resilience to powerful shifts of Earth's crust.
Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

Moving Mountains

Science Bulletin

Moving Mountains

One paradox of geology is that weathering a mountain down can actually make it rise higher. Scientists have learned of this peculiar feedback process only in recent years, and the St. Elias Erosion/tectonics Project (STEEP) team is at the forefront of understanding how climate and the movements of Earth's crust interact to build towering peaks. In this feature video, meet geologists of every stripe collaborating on STEEP in Alaska's St. Elias Range, one of the most rapidly growing mountain ranges in the world.
To orient yourself to this obscure yet spectacular locale, click "Explore the St. Elias Range" at left. Read more about the science behind the paradigm shift in the essay A Mountain Theory on the Rise.

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Science Bulletin

Zircons: Time Capsules from the Early Earth

Zircons are tiny crystals with a big story to tell. Some of these minerals are the oldest Earth materials ever discovered, and therefore yield clues about what the planet was like after it formed 4.5 billion years ago. In this new Science Bulletins video, travel to a remote island off Greenland's coast and a zircon-making lab in New York State to learn how geologists are using these time capsules to build new hypotheses about the early Earth.
Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Each Bulletin is produced by AMNHs curatorial and scientific staff and a team of video producers, designers, writers, and educators using state-of-the-art technologies such as high-definition video, data visualization, and 3-D computer graphics to present the latest research.

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