UCL Earth Sciences

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The Earth has rusted heart.

"No one knows precisely what the composition of the center of the Earth is. This is one of the best kept secrets of our planet as mankind has never reached deeper than 12 km below its surface." writes  Tristan Vey in Le Figaro. In fact only laboratory experiments, seismological analysis and thermodynamic models can help us get a better understanding of this mysterious inner core. These show the existence of a liquid metallic outer core with a diameter of about 5000 km that contains a “small” and spinning solid inner core about 2400 km wide. While this solid part is almost exclusively composed of iron-nickel alloy (with a 16/1 ratio), seismological surveys have shown that the surrounding environment of liquified metal contains significant quantities of lighter elements such as sulphur, carbon, silicon as well as oxygen. But in what proportion?  More...

Published: Sep 24, 2015 3:26:00 PM

Arctic Melt

Processes controlling top, bottom and lateral melt of Arctic sea ice.

Coupled climate models have partly failed to predict the remarkable acceleration in the retreat of Arctic sea ice since the mid 1970s. Michel Tsamados with colleagues from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at Reading University use a bottom-up approach: including new physics in a stand alone (uncoupled) version of the Los Alamos CICE sea ice model, which in turn can be used in ocean-sea ice coupled models and fully coupled climate models. With thorough validation of the models against observations this methodology can contribute to significantly reduce the model response uncertainty in the next round of General Circulation Models (GCMs) results, CMIP6. More...

Published: Sep 7, 2015 10:26:00 AM


The core thermal history - it is cooling more quickly than assumed.

Joined study published in Nature Geoscience with UCL contributors:  Monica Pozzo and Dario Alfe. More...

Published: Sep 2, 2015 10:26:00 AM

2015 - Arctic study

Cool summer of 2013 boosted Arctic sea ice

The lead author of the Nature paper, PhD student Rachel Tilling, talks about her scientific findings.  More...

Published: Jul 22, 2015 10:26:00 AM

Shields-Nature Communication

Animals breathe freely for the first time 520 million-years ago.

Joined study published in Nature Communications shows that the 'Cambrian explosion' was in step with the expansion of oxygenated bottom waters in the global ocean.   More...

Published: Jul 9, 2015 10:26:00 AM


Outreach Event: I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!

Prof Lidunka Vočadlo will be joining the Extreme Force Zone to answer students’ questions. Event runs: 15 -26th of June. More...

Published: Jun 4, 2015 10:26:00 AM

Chris Poole

Linking genetic and fossil data of marine zooplankton

The recently released paper published in the open access online journal PLoS ONE reveals the existence of two distinct lineages in the planktonic foraminifera genus Globigerinoides using molecular genetic evidence from extant members of the genus and morphometric (shape analysis) evidence from fossil representatives. More...

Published: Jun 3, 2015 10:26:00 AM

Liz Gunt image

GSA's classic papers

Congratulations to Liz Gaunt (NERC PhD Student 2009-13) whose paper on “Pathways for degassing during the eruption of Mount St Helens” published in Geology has had the biggest social media response ever received by the Geological Society of America for a paper, including the GSA’s classic papers. When promoted last Thursday on GSA’s Facebook page, it accumulated more than 540 likes and 70 shares. My guess is that your paper will pop up near the top of Geology's most-read list." More...

Published: May 29, 2015 1:26:00 PM

Soapbox Science 2015 - bringing Sciences to the People

The planet Mercury is approximately 48 million miles away, but this summer I’m bringing Mercury to the SouthBank! More...

Published: May 21, 2015 10:26:00 AM


Job Opportunity - Research Associates level.

Applications are invited for two research associates positions in the Mineral Physics group in the Department of Earth Sciences whose aim is to understand the dynamics and evolution of the deep Earth and planets. The research will focus on pre-melting behaviour in iron, in simple metals and in other simple materials. The research will determine whether or not there are significant changes in material properties (such as elastic constants, sound velocities and other thermoelastic properties) just prior to melting. More...

Published: May 15, 2015 10:26:00 AM