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17.09.2010 | The biggest crash on Earth

During the collision of India with the Eurasian continent, the Indian plate is pushed about 500 kilometers under Tibet, reaching a depth of 250 kilometers. The result of this largest collision in the world is the world’s highest mountain range, but the tsunami in the Indian Ocean from 2004 was also created by earthquakes generated by this collision. The clash of the two continents is very complex, the Indian plate, for example, is compressed where it collides with the very rigid plate of the Tarim Basin at the north-western edge of Tibet. On the eastern edge of Tibet, the Wenchuan earthquake in May 2008 claimed over 70,000 deaths. Scientists at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences report in the latest issue of the scientific journal "Science" (vol. 329, Sept. 17, 2010) on the results of a new seismic method which was used to investigate the collision process.


09.09.2010 | A tectonic zip

The complex fracture pattern created by the earthquake in Concepción (Chile) on 27 February 2010 was to a certain extent predictable. GPS observations from the years before the earthquake showed the pattern of stresses that had accumulated through the plate movements during the past 175 years in this area. The stress distribution derived from the observations correlates highly with the subsequent fracture distribution. In all likelihood the tremor removed all the stress that had accumulated since the last earthquake in this region, which was observed by Charles Darwin in 1835. An earthquake of similar magnitude in this area is therefore unlikely in the near future. This result was presented by scientists of the GFZ German Centre for Geosciences (Helmholtz Association) in the latest edition of the scientific journal "Nature" (09 September 2010).


10.08.2010 | Unconventional natural gas on Bornholm

Today, Wednesday, a scientific drilling project to investigate natural gas in shale rock is launched on the Danish island of Bornholm. The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences together with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) will be performing a shallow drilling of 40 meters into the Alum Shale of the island within the research project GASH (Gas Shales in Europe). These dense claystone packages from the Cambrian era are some 500 million years old and may contain natural gas (methane). Also known as shale gas, this methane is regarded as a so-called unconventional natural gas and could be an interesting new energy resource for Europe.


15.07.2010 | Birthday in Space: Recap of the life of a satellite

Today, on the 15th July at 14:32 GMT, the georesearch satellite CHAMP orbits the Earth for the 57217th time, thus heralding its 10th anniversary in service. Exactly one decade ago, the satellite was set into an almost polar orbit at the head of a Russian COSMOS-rocket following a text-book launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome.


15.07.2010 | Diamonds as Signposts

The source of diamonds is closely linked with processes, which take place deep in the Earth’s interior, at the core-mantle boundary at depths of approximately 2900 kilometres. The same procedures, which led to the formation of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), also sculpted the areas in the cores of the continents, in which today the richest diamond deposits of the world are found. That is a result of the investigation of Kimberlite rocks, presented by a group of scientists from Norway, South Africa, Germany and the USA in the latest volume of “Nature”.


22.06.2010 | Radar Satellite Mission TanDEM-X: how high is the Earth's surface?

From the spaceport Baikonur (Kazakhstan) the German Earth Observation Satellite, TanDEM-X, was brought into orbit at a height of 514 km on 21 June at 04:14:02 MESZ. On board: the navigational instrument TOR, developed by scientists at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. TanDEM-X will record data on the elevation of the Earth's surface with a dissolution unattained to date – thus, the TOR instrument is the technical basis, without which the mission would not be possible.


10.06.2010 | Geowissenschaftliches Gipfeltreffen Berliner und Potsdamer Forscher (only available in German)

Am Donnerstag, den 10. Juni 2010 fand die erste Mitgliederversammlung des geowissenschaftlichen Kompetenznetzwerkes Geo.X im Henry-Ford-Bau der Freien Universität Berlin statt. Unter dem Dach von Geo.X haben sich die Freie Universität, die Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, die Technische Universität Berlin, das Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, die Universität Potsdam und das Helmholtz Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ mit dem Ziel zusammengeschlossen, diese europaweit größte regionale Kompetenz in den Geowissenschaften zu bündeln.

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