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Updated: 3 hours 11 min ago

Mentors wanted for AGU Sharing Science Mentoring Program

4 hours 42 min ago
"Just one meeting with your mentee during Fall Meeting... can make a big difference for a graduate student who doesn't see an opportunity to do research *and* outreach"

Ball & pillow and other sedimentary structures in Graafwater Formation, Table Mountain

12 hours 46 min ago
In Cape Town for the International Geological Congress, Callan hikes up Table Mountain and finds some superb primary sedimentary structures in sands and shales of the Graafwater Formation.

My Dinner with Senator Whitehouse

13 hours 44 min ago
This blog post was written by Annie Putman, a Ph.D. student in the Geology and Geophysics Department at the University of Utah. On August 8, I dined with climate champion U. S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and six Utah academics. The dinner was part of the Senator’s climate tour of Utah to understand how Utahns experience climate change and to persuade Utah Senators to support The American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act, …

Landslides from the 2016 Central Italy earthquake

20 hours 18 min ago
alvatore Martino of CERI in Rome has kindly provided a first report and images of landslides triggered by the 24th August 2016 Central Italy Earthquake

A note on Arctic sea ice loss

22 hours 30 min ago
This is the latest in a series of dispatches from scientists and education officers aboard the National Science Foundation’s R/V Sikuliaq. Track the Sikuliaq’s progress here. By Kim Kenny We probably won’t see much of this view during our trip – fragments of ice in the ship’s wake, a thin white sheet stretching to the horizon. We’re more likely to see the endless blue of 2°C (35°F) water uninterrupted by …

The Tropics Are Hoppin, and The Danger May Be High Far from the Storms

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 8:41pm
In the Atlantic, Hurricane Gaston has been producing high swells and dangerous rip currents on the Mid-Atlantic beaches. I was in Ocean City Md. yesterday evening at high tide, and water came up much farther than normal, with powerful waves crashing on the coast. A Hurricane Watch was also posted for the Gulf Coast of Florida north of Tampa this evening, and the depression off the Carolinas may make it …

35th International Geological Congress: Day #2

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 5:32pm
This post continues my daily blogging about the 35th International Geological Congress (IGC) being held in here in my home city of Cape Town, South Africa. You can read my post on Day #1 here. Today was another busy day at the congress! In the morning I attended a few talks on the history of geology and was particularly interested in a talk by Martin Pickford on the history of geological research …

The demise of the Maya civilization: water shortage can destroy cultures

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 4:59pm
Something really drastic must have happened to the ancient Maya at the end of the Classic Period in the 9th Century. Within a short period of time, this advanced civilization in Central America went from flourishing to collapsing – the population dwindling rapidly and monumental stone structures, like the ones built at Yucatán, were no longer being constructed. The reason for this demise remains the subject of debate even today. Now, researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) may have found the explanation: the irrigation technology that served the Mayans well during periods of drought may have actually made their society more vulnerable to major catastrophes.

Wildfire smoke hacks clouds

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 10:33am
Plumes of wildfire smoke envelop and alter clouds, potentially affecting local weather, according to new research based on serendipitous airborne measurements of clouds in smoke from Canadian fires. The new data confirms clouds embedded in smoke are likely to warm up the atmosphere around clouds, causing the clouds to dissipate faster.

The official report into the Samarco Tailings Dam failure in Brazil

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 3:18am
Yesterday the official report into the Samarco Tailings Dam failure in Brazil was released. A website has been created to allow the report to be downloaded. The investigation documents a long series of management problems at the site prior to the final collapse.

Northwest Highlands unconformities (3 of 3): Sub-Ardvreck

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 1:31am
It’s time to cover the third and final unconformity I observed this summer in the North-West Highlands of Scotland: the unconformity between the Neoproterozoic Torridonian Group below and the Cambrian Ardvreck Group above. Where I saw it, south of Loch Assynt on the mountain called Canisp, it actually is displayed alongside the sub-Torridonian unconformity. The mountain hosts a “double unconformity”! Here is a view, looking south: The bottom of the …

Sols 1446-1447: Back on the road

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 11:00pm
The MSL activities planned for last weekend went well, and the rover’s batteries have enough energy to proceed with another drive on Sol 1446. We started the day looking at the beautiful new Mastcam images of the nearby buttes, then got down to planning the details of the 2-sol plan.  On Sol 1446, Mastcam will extend coverage of previously-planned mosaics, and ChemCam will use its laser to measure the chemistry …

Monday Geology Picture: Namibian Desert Landscape

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 4:51pm
While I’m busy reviving Georneys, I thought that I should revive my “Monday Geology Picture” posts. Today’s picture features a Namibian desert landscape along the road to Fish River Canyon in Namibia. After I finish blogging about the International Geological Congress, which I’m attending this week, I’ll blog about my recent hike through the canyon. I plan to write up a post on the geology of the canyon, so stay …

35th International Geological Congress: Day #1

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 4:30pm
I’ve been neglecting Georneys over the past few months, due to some travel and an extremely busy workload for my day job as an industry geologist. However, I’m attending the 35th International Geological Congress (IGC) in Cape Town, South Africa (my home city!), this week, and I think that blogging about IGC is the perfect way to revive Georneys and, hopefully, to start to blog more regularly for the rest …

New study identifies next faults to fail along California-Nevada border

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 11:46am
A handful of faults lining the border of California and Nevada may be near the point of rupture, according to a new study assessing earthquakes in the region as far back as 1,400 years ago. Scientists report that earthquakes in a fault network east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains are not random, but are likely triggered from stress bestowed by past earthquakes. This same type of stress has built up in six faults near Death Valley, California, and Reno, Nevada, according to the new research.

Lednikovoye Glaciers, Novaya Zemlya 1999-2016 retreat

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 10:24am
Comparison of glaciers terminating in Lednikovoye Lake in central Svalbard in 2000 and 2016. Red arrow is the 2000 terminus location and yellow arrows the 2016 terminus location. Lednikovoye Lake in central Svalbard has four glaciers terminating in it. Here we examine the two unnamed glaciers that discharge into the northwest portion of the lake. The glaciers are retreating like all tidewater glaciers in northern Novaya Zemlya, though they are not …

Less ice, more food?

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 10:22am
This is the latest in a series of dispatches from scientists and education officers aboard the National Science Foundation’s R/V Sikuliaq. Track the Sikuliaq’s progress here. By Kim Kenny An introduction to the research Two teams will do separate but related scientific work aboard the Sikuliaq over the next month. The following is an overview of their proposed research and what they expect to find: Dr. Laurie Juranek leads a …

#SciWords: 1 word, multiple meanings

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 8:30am
By Shane M Hanlon Jargon—it’s everywhere, from your favorite sport to politics to your profession. This fact is especially true in the sciences where scientific jargon is often seen as a barrier to effectively communicating with non-science audiences. We in the Sharing Science program usually spend an entire section of our science communication workshops with tips to avoid jargon (here are a few). There are all kinds of resources out there …

Sols 1443-1445: A very power heavy and complex weekend plan

Sun, 08/28/2016 - 11:00pm
The drive planned on Wednesday did not execute due to an unanticipated flight software interaction.  However, the problem is now understood and we will attempt the drive again next week. Today’s three-sol weekend plan is focused on SAM activities and contact science.  On the first sol we’ll do a SAM pre-conditioning activity to prepare the sample cup prior to delivery of the Marimba2 drill sample.  We’ll also acquire a ChemCam observation of …

What is it About Climate Physics That Makes Politicians Nuts

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 11:36pm
Two politicians: one right-wing, and one left wing, made stunningly ignorant statements about climate change in the past two weeks. A U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (Ron Johnson) claimed the globe is not warming and actually is cooling, while Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President claimed we will see “yards of sea level rise” in 50 years. First let’s talk about the sea level rise. This is a serious issue, …