Earth Science

Antarctic Subglacial Lakes Might Offer Unique Surprises

Radar measurements of subterranean Antarctica have revealed that a massive network of rivers, streams and lakes exist beneath the ice sheet in Antarctica. These regions are host to a number of Antarctic aquatic environments beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Subglacial Lakes in Antarctica The radar measurements used include both surface and airborne radar measurements that have managed to identify greater than 400 Antarctic subglacial lakes (Seigert et al., 2016). The largest of these is Lake...

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Lake Vostok of Antarctica | What does it really reveal

Covering a total area of about 10,000 sq km, Lake Vostok in Antarctica is one of the largest sub-glacial lakes in the world. Lake Vostok in Antarctica is buried under greater than about 3.7 km of ice and is located near the Vostok research station run by Russia. Lake Vostok in Antarctica was once a large surface lake in eastern Antarctica that is now covered by a layer of ice about 3.7 km deep. Covered by a layer of ice for a millennia, Lake Vostok in Antarctica provides one of Earth’s most...

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Plate tectonics | Quick recycling of Earth’s crust in less than 500 million years

Plate tectonics and the mantle You may feel that the grounds you play football on every evening is unchanging as ever. However, nothing can be further from the truth. The earth's crust too undergoes a cycle of birth and death that have changed the way our planet looks over millions of years. In 2011, scientists found evidence that this cycle was quicker than thought: 500 million years instead of 2 billion. The tectonic plates that constitute the crust are pushing, pulling or brushing past one another,...

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Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 and New Learnings for Science

In what is being called the 2017 Great American Eclipse, about all of North America was swathed in different shades of darkness on August 21, 2017 in the event of a total solar eclipse (Fig 1). The total solar eclipse was viewed by people in North America, and a partial eclipse was visible to people in parts of South America, Europe and Africa. The path of totality, or the line sketched by the 2017 Great American Eclipse covering narrow regions in total darkness passed through areas of 14 American...

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Ten Most Saline Locations on Earth

The most saline locations on Earth contain salt, or sodium chloride, and also other minerals and contain these in much greater quantities than the ocean. The following are the locations in the world with the greatest concentration of salt, with salinity levels that in many cases are inimical for life to survive in these places. Don Juan Pond Among the most saline locations on Earth, in terms of natural water bodies, the most saline is the Don Juan Pond in Antarctica. The pond has a salinity...

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Pink Rainbows Appear in the United Kingdom

A pink rainbow was observed from parts of Western England on August 7, 2017 which is a rare occurrence. Pink rainbows occur as optical effects depending on how we view phenomena and is caused by the refraction of sunlight from a reddish evening sun by droplets of water in the Earth’s atmosphere. In the evening the angle of sunlight reaching an area on Earth makes it pass through a greater depth of atmosphere than in the daytime. In such a circumstance, colours occupying shorter wavelengths...

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Wind Types | Why They are Not the Same at all Times

World wind types Ascertaining wind types is important to understand disaster's. On May 30, 2017, a severe cyclonic storm ‘Mora’ crossed the Bangladesh coast in the forenoon, with a peak surface wind speed of 130 kmph (IMD, 2017). The cyclone claimed 9 lives in Bangladesh along with massive damage to property. Mizoram reported heavy rainfall accompanied with strong gusts of wind that is reported to have damaged about 80 buildings, most particularly in Siaha district, where damages were reported...

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Stunning Limestone caverns | Debating how they were ever formed

Have you ever visited the Son Doong Cave in the forests of Vietnam. It is among the largest and most spectacular limestone caverns in the world, measuring 5.5 miles in length, with some of its largest  caverns high enough to house a 40 storey building. Inside the cave is a pristine jungle 600 feet below the surface with an underground river flowing through it. Mammoth National Park in Kentucky possesses an area of 80 square miles of a maze of caves. The cave has not yet been fully explored, with...

Earth Science

Illegal Mining monitoring by Indian Space Research Organization

Illegal mining and its control has always been troublesome for India. Mining activity is illegal if it is done without licenses or outside the permitted leased areas. Even extraction above the permissible limit is illegal. Though hazards from illegal mining are similar to normal mining, it intensifies the hazard condition without any gain. It leads to rapid environmental degradation, illegal forest cutting, ecological changes, severe health hazards, corruption, etc. So, monitoring illegal mining...

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Five Types of Natural Springs found in India

Natural springs are an important part of the hydrological cycle and interestingly is classified into different types. Some of these are presented below.