A battered diamond that survived a trip from "hell" confirms a long-held theory: Earth's mantle holds an ocean's worth of water.
Plate tectonics is relatively new, put forth in the last 30 years or so — its forerunner was the now-discarded continental drift theory. The theory states that Earth's outer shell is made up of huge slabs of rock called plates that glide over the planet's inner layer, or mantle. As these plates shift, they sometimes collide with other plates, making for some interesting, and even deadly, results on Earth's surface, from erupting volcanoes, to earthquakes, to new mountain ranges. Here's a look at Live Science's news and features related to this constantly moving jigsaw puzzle.
A new model helps explain why the Sahara settled east of the Atlantic instead of sailing off with South America — it's all about the angles.
Researchers recently discovered a new crystal defect in olivine that helps explain how the mantle drives plate tectonics.
At subduction zones, where one plate bends deep beneath another, the sinking plate can carry more than an ocean's worth of water into the mantle over billions of years.
Bizarre electrical flashes known as earthquake lights may occur at rifts where a buildup of stress causes the flow of electrical current from magmatic rocks, new research suggests.
Io is the most volcanically active object in the solar system, dissipating its massive stores of internal heat via intense eruptions.
The heat near Earth's core flows at a slower rate than previously thought. The findings shed light on how the world's innards move and drive major events on the planet's surface.