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Science Bulletin

Urban Sprawl: Phoenix

Most people think of urban sprawl as the construction of roads and buildings at a rate that exceeds population growth. Phoenix, Arizona, however, offers a contrasting model of sprawl. Its metropolitan area has grown more than 300 percent in recent decades, but its population has grown even faster. Since the mid-1980's, the city's population density has increased as people continue to move to the region even as the urban area's boundaries have grown more slowly. This trend is by necessity, since the water supply cannot feed an ever-expanding metropolitan area.

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Essay: Stars in Exquisite Accuracy

There’s only one star that astronomers have a firm grasp on: the Sun. Fundamental facts about other stars remain elusive. Find out how a powerful interferometer atop Mount Wilson in Southern California hopes to change that.

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The Enigma of High Energy Cosmic Rays

In 1912, Viktor Hess took to the sky in a hot-air balloon and discovered a radioactive energy now called “cosmic rays.” Travel to Argentina to see how scientists now hope to discover at long last where the highest-energy cosmic rays are coming from.

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Article: Yellowstone National Park is a Volcano

More than three million visitors step onto this charged volcanic landscape every year. Yet the geologists that monitor it are unconcerned about a large, imminent eruption. Find out why.

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Article: Signs of Restlessness

The magma chamber responsible for Yellowstone's volcanic activity is buried 8km beneath the surface. Find out how researchers monitor its geologic moves.

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Article: Zircons Recast Earth's Earliest Era

Rocks older than 4 billion years are not available to study, making the first 500 million years of Earth's history particularly mysterious. But cutting-edge techniques are now allowing geologists to study survivors of Earth's early era.

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Article: GRACE Watches Earth's Water

Earth's water is in constant motion. It cycles through the planet's atmosphere, surface, and depths. This water cycle is fundamental to Earth’s climate — and is being dramatically affected by global warming.

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Shaping a Continent: Version 1.0

Discover how scientists are now marrying traditional fieldwork with cutting-edge computer modeling to produce the first animated, theoretical picture of the Basin and Range Province's geological evolution.

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Article: Follow the Magma

In 1669, the fastest and largest lava flow documented for Mount Etna on the island of Sicily killed most of Catania's 20,000 residents and destroyed much of the city. Why are scientists now watching Etna more than any other volcano in Europe? Find out.

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