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Monday Geology Picture: Conglomerate Near Outdshoorn, South Africa

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 2:35pm
A couple of weeks ago I spent part of a weekend staying near Outdshoorn, South Africa. During a hike, I walked by and, at times, across a beautiful Cretaceous age conglomerate. Here’s one image of the conglomerate, taken when I hiked across it. I’ll share some more pictures in another post.

Dzhikiugankez Glacier Poised to Melt Away, Mount Elbrus, Russia.

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 6:38am
Dzhikiugankez Glacier (Frozen Lake) is a large glacier on the northeast side of Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in the Caucasus Range. The primary portion of the glacier indicated in the map of the region does not extend to the upper mountain, the adjoining glacier extending to the submit is the Kynchyr Syrt Glacier. The glacier is 5 km long extending from 4000 m to 3200 m. Shahgedanova et al …

Sol 959-961: Daughter of the Sun

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 3:00am
by Ryan Anderson The short drive on sol 958 was a success, placing us at the top of a small ridge, facing an outcrop dubbed “Daughter of the Sun”. The plan for sol 959 is to do some ChemCam and Mastcam of targets “Gold” and “Espinoza”, followed by several Mastcam mosaics. The biggest mosaic will be a 26×2 stereo mosaic looking toward Logan Pass. We also have a 7×3 stereo …

The Bolshaya Talda earthflow in Russia was a mine waste failure

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 2:41am
The Bolshaya Talda earthflow, which I featured on this blog on Friday was a mine waster landslide. Readers have helped identify the location of the slide.

Welcome To Oklahoma, The State of Denial

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 4:43am
  Just as I started putting together this post tonight, I had an instant message from my daughter in Oklahoma City. It said one word  “EARTHQUAKE”. This has become the standard practice, where she messages me, and I let her know within a few minutes where the quake was, and what the magnitude was. We have our own intensity scale that ranges from “I barely felt it” to “It felt …

Volcanic soundscapes reveal differences in undersea eruptions (+ video)

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:23am
New research matching different types of underwater volcanic eruptions with their unique sound signatures could help scientists better detect and understand emissions occurring on the seafloor.

Fault breccia in Beekmantown limestone

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 8:14am
Here’s another sight at the Eocene dikes site in Bluegrass Valley, Virginia, mentioned yesterday: That’s a gorgeous fault breccia, emplaced parallel to bedding, and parallel to the felsic dike (which can be found a few feet to the west / right of these photos): It was very poorly lithified, shockingly crumbly to the touch, considering the big slab of rock downhill (to the right) of it. Here’s a link to …

New landslide video: a fascinating and huge Russian earthflow

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 2:55am
Youtube has an amazing new video of a huge Russian earthflow in motion, taken on 1st April 2015. The location is apparently Zarechnyi in Penzenskaya.

Tearing through California Part 1: the Central San Andreas

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 2:53am
On display in central and northern California is the rare and troublesome phenomenon that’s the mischievous cousin to sudden, wrenching earthquakes: slow, steady fault creep. Rather than remaining pressed firmly together until they lurch past each other in violent earthquakes, the two sides of a creeping fault glide gradually along, generally silently carrying along everything above them. The good news is that this process takes up strain that would otherwise be …

Climate scientists and faith-based groups come together this Earth Day for GreenFaith Day 2015

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 9:39am
A wide range of climate science experts, including researchers, state climatologists, and Fulbright students, will volunteer their time to meet with churches, synagogues, mosques, and other faith groups in more than 20 U.S. states to speak on climate change and explore solutions on a local level.

Eocene dike and sill in Ordovician limestone

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 9:01am
A virtual field trip to a quarry in far western Virginia, showing anomalous igneous intrusions (a dike and a sill) of Eocene age cross-cutting early Paleozoic carbonates.

Langfjordjokulen, Norway Retreat-Thinning

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 6:25am
Langfjordjokulen is in the Finnmark region of northern Norway. This is a plateau glacier with a valley glacier extending east toward Langfjordhamm. The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate has monitored the length change and mass balance of this glacier from 1989-2014. The mean mass balance has been significantly negative averaging -0.7 m/year, with every year being a net loss since 1997. This is no way to sustain a glacier …

Review of a paper:- The 2005 waste landslide at the Leuwigajah dumpsite in Indonesia

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 3:40am
In a recent open access paper, Lavigne et al (2005) have investigated a catastrophic landslide at the Leuwigajah dumpsite Indonesia, which killed 143 people

Sol 958: Officially 10k!

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 3:00am
by Ryan Anderson The Sol 957 drive went well, and the rover has officially driven 10 kilometers! (Last week I announced that we had reached 10k, but that was 10k measured by how many times the wheels have spun, not how far across the surface of Mars the rover has gone. Now, no matter how you measure it, we’ve gone 10,000 meters!). Unfortunately, we stopped with a ridge in front …

Spring time

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 9:01am
This past weekend, I had a chance to visit Bath, Highland, and Alleghany Counties, Virginia, three amazingly beautiful places I had never before seen. I was tagging along on my colleague Rick Diecchio’s annual sedimentology & stratigraphy field trip for George Mason University. I was eager to learn from some awesome field sites from him in the year before he retires. We saw some terrific sedimentary rocks, of which more …

Undergraduate Research Week 2015

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 7:06am
Whereas the week of April 11, 2011, would be an appropriate week to designate as ‘‘Undergraduate Research Week’’: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives— (1) supports the designation of ‘‘Undergraduate Research Week’’; (2) recognizes the importance of undergraduate research and of providing research opportunities for the Nation’s talented youth to cultivate innovative, creative, and enterprising young researchers, in collaboration with dedicated faculty; (3) encourages institutions of …

The Himara viaduct landslide in Sicily, Italy

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 4:15am
A landslide last week damaged the Himara viaduct, part of the key A19 highway in Sicily. The landslide has triggered a big row over the use of funds earmarked for landslide mitigation

Sol 957: Fine Views and Limited Downlink

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 3:00am
  by Ken Herkenhoff MSL drove about 65 meters on Sol 956, then took some nice images of the path ahead.  As we continue to drive each sol, acquiring images of the terrain around us is important to the science team.  We don’t want to miss anything!  So the Sol 957 plan includes ChemCam RMI and Mastcam images of outcrops to the south and a Mastcam image of the windblown …

Compare and contrast: Two Chesapectens

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 6:21am
Two new GIGAmacro images of fossil scallops from Virginia’s Coastal Plain - Chesapecten nefrens: [gigapan src=",hidetitle/iframe/flash.html" height="250" scrolling="no" width="100%"] link Chesapecten jeffersonius: [gigapan src=",hidetitle/iframe/flash.html" height="250" scrolling="no" width="100%"] link My vision is to get the opposite side of each of these samples as well as a half-dozen other species in this genus, perhaps even multiple individual specimens of each species, to allow students to do a lab where they plot morphological …

Climate Denial Disappearing Among TV Weathercasters

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 3:44am
A new study by George Mason University shows something that a lot of us who work in broadcast meteorology have noticed- the rapid disappearance of climate change deniers among TV weathercasters. I’m not the only one who has noticed it, because I frequently hear talk about it from colleagues at various conferences. It’s very rare to hear ridiculous pronouncements about climate change from TV weathercasters these days, but it was far different …