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We Already Have Pi Day, But Why Not 60 Seconds for Euler?

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 6:56am
Fareed Zakaria of CNN has a very good piece in the Washington Post about STEM and I must say that it makes a lot of sense, although you might not think I would from the title. Check out “Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous” and then come back here for more. Ok, so your back and I hope you agree with what he said, because I do, and …

Friday fold: Isla Escarpada, Chile

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 5:46pm
I’m very nearly delinquent on posting the Friday fold… Here you go – a Google Earth view of a differentially-weathered fold partly above and partly below sea level in Chilean Patagonia, south of Puerto Natales: They call it Isla Escarpada. Awesome. Here’s a Google Maps link if you want to explore it yourself. Happy Friday!

Shell-shocked: Ocean acidification likely hampers tiny shell builders in Southern Ocean

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 1:32pm
A new study shows a ubiquitous type of phytoplankton -- tiny organisms that are the base of the marine food web – appears to be suffering from the effects of ocean acidification caused by climate change.

North Leones Glacier Retreat and new Landslide, Patagonia, Chile

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:32am
Jill Pelto, my daughter returning from fieldwork with UMaine in the Falkland Island took a picture last week out the plane window of Leones Glacier of the northern Patagonia Icefield. The picture illustrated two changes worth further examination, and the fact that if you have a glacier picture that you would like more information on let me know. The picture indicates outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonia icefield fed by …

Peru declares a state of emergency over landslides

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 4:11am
Peru has declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of large debris flows in the Chosica region east of Lima that have left at least 8 people dead.

New Horizons is Approaching Pluto. Here’s How Very, Very, Far Away Pluto Is

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 7:11pm
Most folks are surprised to know that we have no idea what the surface of Pluto looks like. Even using the Hubble Telescope, we only see a bright star like image, but that is about to change this summer when the New Horizon’s spacecraft flies by it. We are sure to see some strange features on both Pluto and its moons. Would you like to help name them? I’ll tell …

On the JOIDES Resolution: Turbidite Transport (+ video)

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:39pm
On this expedition, we’re studying sediments that have been eroded from the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. The Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers carry this sediment to the delta in Bangladesh, but what happens next? How does this material get all the way out to the middle of the Bay of Bengal where we’re drilling, almost 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) away?

“Stop complaining and do something” [Women's History Month]

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 8:31am
My final post for Women's History Month in 2015 celebrates those that have taken a stand and taken action when faced with unequal representation and inappropriate comments towards women in STEM. May we all be just as brave to take action and make the difference we want to see.

The Abe Barek Landslide in Badakhshan, Afghanistan

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 4:14am
In a new paper, Zhang et al. examine the May 2015 Abe Barek landslide in Afghanistan, finding that it was a loess failure on an existing landslide site

Martinsburg Formation outcrops in Edinburg Gap

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 10:53am
A report from the field: new outcrops of Ordovician-aged turbidites featuring geopetal indicators, fossil content, and a structural overprint imparted during Pangaea's assembly.

Bizarre landslide story of the year: an image of Jesus appears in a landslide scar

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 3:52am
The Irish Mirror is reporting that a likeness of Jesus has appeared in a landslide scar in Colombia.

The clothes don’t make the scientist

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 4:00pm
Those of you who saw my somewhat exasperated tweets last week know that I was reacting to this story on the Scientific American Voices Blog about how female scientists are portrayed in media coverage. (Answer: Superficially and with far too much attention to appearances).

Q&A with journalist-turned-geologist Rex Buchanan (Part 2): Walking a political tightrope

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:00pm
About the first of October, we had a ... I think it was a 4.2 [magnitude earthquake]. We had to go down to where the earthquake was and meet with the county commission. It was open to the public. All the Wichita television stations were there. [Many of us] had lunch together, and I said, “I know when I walk in that room, everybody's going to say, ‘well I'm sure glad I'm not that guy.’” And everyone at the table pretty much agreed with me.

Yeager Airport slope failure: deformation for two years prior to collapse

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 9:04am
It is now clear that the Yeager Airport slope failure was preceded by two years of deformation, with some signs of an increase in rate with time

Widespread Retreat Gilkey Glacier System, Alaska

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 8:49am
Gilkey Glacier drains the west side of the Juneau Icefield and has experienced widespread significant changes since I first worked on the glacier in 1981.    Here we examine the changes from the August 17, 1984 Landsat 5 image to the August 21, 2014 image from newly launched Landsat 8.  Landsat 5 was launched in 1984, Landsat 8 launched in 2013. The Landsat images have become a key resource in the examination of …

Monday Geology Picture: Samail Ophiolite Plane View

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 6:43am
I’m busy traveling at the moment, so Georneys will continue to be quiet for another couple of weeks. However, I thought that I’d quickly share a picture from my recent flight for this week’s “Monday Geology Picture” post. This picture shows the impressive topography of the Samail Ophiolite, which is located in northern Oman and the United Arab Emirates.  An ophiolite is a section of oceanic crust and mantle that …

Neil deGrasse Tyson Rocks 60 Minutes

Sun, 03/22/2015 - 10:46pm
In case you missed it, Neil deGrasse Tyson was profiled on CBS’s 60 Minutes Sunday, his attention grabbing interview explaining in itself why he is America’s best science communicator. He mentions at the start something I wrote about back in 2009, the most famous photo ever taken, and the stunning impact it has had on how we see ourselves since. The interview on 60 Minutes is below, in case you missed …

Markovici: impressive drone footage of a large landslide in Montenegro

Sat, 03/21/2015 - 4:49am
A large translational landslide at Markovici in Montenegro has destroyed an important road. A drone has been used to capture a video of the damage

Everything You Thought You Knew About the First Day of Spring is Probably Wrong

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 3:21pm
  The Vernal Equinox (for 2015) occurs at 2245 GMT Friday, and there’s a good chance that just about everything else you were taught about it is wrong. Don’t say it’s the first day of spring, because that’s true only in a traditional sense, and most certainly not a scientific one, and if you live in the Southern Hemisphere it’s wrong on both accounts! The quarter of the year between …

Friday fold: flexed turbidites

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 8:00am
Spring is almost here! As you get ready for the equinox, enjoy this gentle fold on a Friday: These are turbidites (graywacke and shale) of the late Ordovician Martinsburg Formation, seen in Edinburg Gap, western Massanutten Range, greater Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Bedding is flexed very slightly here, from moderately-dipping to more steep, and then back to moderate again. Slickensides on the top of some exposed layers indicate the beds shifted …