Solid Earth

Processes occurring deep within Earth constantly are shaping landforms. Although originating from below the surface, these processes can be analyzed from ground, air, or space-based measurements.

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Solid Earth

We live on a restless planet: tectonic plates shift, coasts erode, and volcanoes erupt. These changes happen on longer geologic timescales and in sudden, catastrophic moments.

Earth is continually influenced by the Sun, gravitational forces, processes emanating from deep within the core, and by complex interactions with the ocean and atmosphere. Understanding these dynamics is critical for developing an interconnected view of Earth science. Although many solid Earth processes originate from below Earth’s surface, they can be analyzed using measurements from ground, air, or space-based instruments. NASA gravity, geomagnetism, tectonics, and ground motion data provide insight into landscape changes, water resources, and the effects of global climate change. These data also provide timely information to first responders during disasters.

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Researchers Matthew Pritchard and Gabriel Gonzalez examine a large crack caused by an earthquake in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.
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A tsunami strikes northeast Japan after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, generating waves up to 133 feet high along some areas of the coast.
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U.S. Navy officer Jonathan Myers explains to his colleague April Beldo how to use a marine sextant during a demonstration of celestial navigation.
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The April 2010 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake revealed a previously undiscovered fault in the desert of Baja California, Mexico.
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This artist’s depiction shows the Mars Rover on the surface of Mars. Because of precise information about Earth’s length of day and orientation, NASA was able to directly land the Rover on Mars.
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An artistic rendering shows that Earth’s rotation has dragged space-time with it.
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A three-dimensional view, looking to the southeast, shows the fault that ruptured during the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
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Lascar volcano in Chile is the most active volcano in the central Andes, with several eruptions occurring during the 1990s.
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