Category Archives: geophysics

The Earth weathers another geomagnetic storm

A couple of days ago, the sun got a bit excitable: This large flare produced what is known as a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), a blob of gas and radiation hurled at high velocities from the surface of the sun … Continue reading

Categories: geophysics, palaeomagic, planets

Does plate tectonics control magnetic reversals?

Possibly, but this paper will not convince you. Continue reading

Categories: Cenozoic, geophysics, Mesozoic, palaeomagic, tectonics

Why does a compass point north? A mystery at the heart of the story of science (book review)

Strange as it might seem, I’m finding North Pole, South Pole, paleomagnetist Gillian Turner’s newly published account of “the epic quest to solve the great mystery of Earth’s magnetism”, a difficult book to review. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy … Continue reading

Categories: geophysics, palaeomagic, public science, reviews

Earthquake ‘precursors’ and the curse of the false positive

Whenever you read a story that describes some phenomenon that preceded a large earthquake, and dangles the carrot of true earthquake prediction, don’t just look at the headline event. Check for false positives. Continue reading

Categories: earthquakes, geohazards, geophysics

Aftershocks of the Sendai earthquake

On a map of global earthquake activity, Japan rather stands out right now: a pulsing boil of seismic activity that all but drowns out the shaking in the rest of the world. As of a few hours ago (5pm Central … Continue reading

Categories: basics, earthquakes, geophysics