Solid Earth sciences

Definition

Solid Earth sciences encompass the study of the crust, mantle and core of the Earth and other rocky planetary bodies. Earth sciences include petrology, mineralogy, seismology, core studies, mantle dynamics, tectonics, volcanology, metamorphism, sedimentology, geomagnetism, palaeomagnetism, hydrogeology, and geomorphology. Sedimentary rocks are also used to study palaeontology and palaeoclimate.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Estimates of carbon in the deep mantle vary by more than an order of magnitude. Coupled volcanic CO2 emission data and magma supply rates reveal a carbon-rich mantle plume source region beneath Hawai'i with 40% more carbon than previous estimates.

    • Peter H. Barry
  • News and Views |

    The processes that form and recycle continental crust have changed through time. Numerical models reveal an evolution from extensive recycling on early Earth as the lower crust peeled away, to limited recycling via slab break-off today.

    • Valentina Magni
  • News and Views |

    Fossil evidence is scarce for early stages of evolution in the ape family tree at the time before apes and the ancestors of humans diverged. A 13-million-year-old skull now offers insights into ape development at that time. See Article p.169

    • Brenda R. Benefit
    Nature 548, 160–161
  • Editorial |

    Natural disasters can devastate local communities. However, these rare events also often trigger new ways of thinking, and provide a treasure trove of data that must be used to reduce vulnerability.