Latest News

Omega Centauri Unlikely to Harbor Life

"Forthcoming in The Astrophysical Journal, the study was led by Stephen Kane , an associate professor of planetary astrophysics in UCR’s Department of Earth Sciences and a pioneer in the search for habitable planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. Sarah Deveny, a graduate student at San Francisco State who is working with Kane,...

Scientists Honored by American Geophysical Union

Marilyn Fogel , the Wilbur W. Mayhew Endowed Chair in Geo-Ecology, and Timothy Lyons , Distinguished Professor of Biogeochemistry, will be honored at a ceremony and banquet during the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., in December. Both professors are faculty in the Department of Earth Sciences in UCR’s College of Natural and Agricultural...

UCR Team Among Scientists Developing Guidebook for Finding Life Beyond Earth

"If you’re looking for a manual on the hunt for alien life, you’re in luck. Some of the leading experts in the field, including a UC Riverside team of researchers, have written a major series of review papers on the past, present, and future of the search for life on other planets. Published in Astrobiology,...

Two New Creatures Discovered from Dawn of Animal Life

"Earth’s first complex animals were an eclectic bunch that lived in the shallow oceans between 580-540 million years ago. The iconic Dickinsonia — large flat animals with a quilt-like appearance — were joined by tube-shaped organisms, frond-like creatures that looked more like plants, and several dozen other varieties already characterized by scientists." Read More

Search for Life Beyond the Solar System Topic of Faculty Research Lecture

" Timothy Lyons , a distinguished professor of biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences and director of the Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center, will deliver the 66th annual Faculty Research Lecture at UC Riverside. The Faculty Research Lecturer Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Academic Senate." Read More

Earthquake Risk Elevated with Detection of Spontaneous Tectonic Tremor in Anza Gap

"Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have detected spontaneous tectonic tremor — a signature of slow earthquakes deep below the earth’s surface — in the Anza Gap region of the San Jacinto Fault. Tectonic tremors are believed to increase the likelihood of a moderate to large, damaging earthquake occurring close to the earth’s surface...
| Earthquakes & Geophysics

Great California ShakeOut Drill Set for 10:19 a.m. on 10/19

"Faculty, staff, and students at the University of California, Riverside will join about 10 million people expected to participate in the annual Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill on Oct. 19 at 10:19 a.m." Read More
| Earthquakes & Geophysics

Slow Earthquakes Occur Continuously in the Alaska-Aleutian Subduction Zone

"Seismologists at the University of California, Riverside studying earthquakes in the seismically and volcanically active Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone have found that “slow earthquakes” are occurring continuously, and could encourage damaging earthquakes." Read More
| Earthquakes & Geophysics

California Projected to Get Wetter Through This Century

"Under business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions, climate models predict California will get warmer during the rest of the century and most also predict the state will get drier." Read More

Earthquake Drill Set for 10:20 a.m. on 10/20

"Faculty, staff, and students at the University of California, Riverside will join about 10 million people expected to participate in the annual Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill on Oct. 20 at 10:20 a.m." Read More
| Earthquakes & Geophysics

Methane Muted: How Did Early Earth Stay Warm?

"For at least a billion years of the distant past, planet Earth should have been frozen over but wasn’t. Scientists thought they knew why, but a new modeling study from the Alternative Earths team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute has fired the lead actor in that long-accepted scenario." Read More

Low Oxygen Levels May Have Delayed Emergence of Animals

"Records of the earliest animals on Earth extend to roughly 700 to 800 million years ago, despite much older traces of microbial life in rocks deposited 3.7 billion years ago. Multiple factors might have contributed to this delay — but not with equal effect and in ways that are often not well understood." Read More

Better Understanding Post-Earthquake Fault Movement

"Preparation and good timing enabled Gareth Funning and a team of researchers to collect a unique data set following the 2014 South Napa earthquake that showed different parts of the fault, sometimes only a few kilometers apart, moved at different speeds and at different times. Aided by GPS measurements made just weeks before the earthquake...

Clouds are Moving Higher, Subtropical Dry Zones Expanding

"A University of California, Riverside assistant professor and a team of researchers have found that the cloudy storm tracks on Earth are moving toward the poles and subtropical dry zones are expanding. Cloud tops are also moving higher in the atmosphere. The findings, based on satellite cloud records, confirm computer climate models that have predicted...

Study Proposes Common Mechanism for Shallow and Deep Earthquakes

"Earthquakes are labeled “shallow” if they occur at less than 50 kilometers depth. They are labeled “deep” if they occur at 300-700 kilometers depth. When slippage occurs during these earthquakes, the faults weaken. How this fault weakening takes place is central to understanding earthquake sliding. A new study published online in Nature Geoscience today by...

Carbon Released Faster Today than Anytime in Past 66 Million Years

"The earliest instrumental records of Earth’s climate, as measured by thermometers and other tools, start in the 1850s. To look further back in time, scientists investigate air bubbles trapped in ice cores, which expands the window to less than a million years. But to study Earth’s history over tens to hundreds of millions of years,...
| Astrobiology

Double Dose of Bad Earthquake News

"A team of researchers, including one from the University of California, Riverside, has discovered that earthquake ruptures can jump much further than previously thought, a finding that could have severe implications on the Los Angeles area and other regions in the world. The scientists found that an earthquake that initiates on one thrust fault can...

Oxygen Was Once A Sometime Thing on Earth

"An understanding of the history of Earth is incomplete without an understanding of how and why the planet developed an oxygenated atmosphere. A team of scientists, including Timothy Lyons, a distinguished professor of biogeochemistry, reports new isotopic data in Science Advances that illustrate how photosynthetic cyanobacteria temporarily spiked concentrations of oxygen around 2.5 billion years...

Tracking Life’s Evolution

"How life’s evolution can be tracked using ancient lipid biomarkers preserved in petroleum and rocks is the topic of a free public lecture at the University of California, Riverside. Gordon Love , a professor of biogeochemistry at UC Riverside, will give the hour-long talk starting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12, in Room A265, Bourns...