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Tidal Troubles In The Mid-Atlantic

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 10:23pm
NOTE: This post is based on some research I did for an on-air story that aired today: Sea level rise is what’s called a slow motion disaster. These kind of events tend to be blamed on the symptoms rather than the cause, and often the preparation/ response to these type of events is inadequate. This is much the case where I live and work here in the Mid-Atlantic, on the …

Making the fieldwork count

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 4:34pm
I’m in the midst of preparing for field work, and it got me to thinking about the public perception of how geologists do research. A lot of us probably extol our chosen profession because of the opportunity for working outside of an office – I know it’s one of the reasons I often bring up when I’m asked why I love volcanology. But I also find that when people follow …

History of Greenland snowfall hidden in ancient leaf waxes

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 11:41am
The history of Greenland’s snowfall is chronicled in an unlikely place: the remains of aquatic plants that died long ago, collecting at the bottom of lakes in horizontal layers that document the passing years. Using this ancient record, scientists are attempting to reconstruct how Arctic precipitation fluctuated over the past several millennia, potentially influencing the size of the Greenland Ice Sheet as the Earth warmed and cooled.

Bernardo Glacier, Patagonia, Chile Accelerated Retreat in Expanding Lake Complex

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 9:56am
Comparison of 1986 and 2015 Landsat image of Bernardo Glaciers three termini, north, main and south. Red arrows indicate 1986 terminus location and yellow arrows the 2016 terminus location.  Indicating the substantial retreat of each terminus and lake expansion for the north and main terminus, while the lake drained at the southern terminus.  Bernardo Glacier is a difficult to reach outlet glacier on the west side of the Southern Patagonia …

Where The Fault Lies

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 7:26pm
Rural students in America who want a good education have a steep mountain to climb. Rural areas are generally poor, conservative, and tend toward fundamental religious beliefs, and this is turning out to be a real issue when it comes to teaching science. If you don’t believe me, ask a Biology teacher in rural Alabama, or almost anywhere in Texas. Too often, it’s not just angry parents they have to …

New landslide video: the mobility of the Aranayake landslide

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 3:56am
A new video has appeared on Youtube showing the mobility of a small secondary failure at the site of the Aranayake landslide in Sri Lanka

Data science for collaboration and community-building

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 10:00am
Many of us are interested in social networking sites like Facebook. In addition to cat videos and food pictures, it's a great way to keep up to date and engage with friends. Recently, it's even become a way to share and engage in science. Yet, there's another, sometimes overlooked, aspect of social networks that can contribute to better science—analysis of the underlying network itself.

Clephane Bay Ice Cap, Baffin Island Being Erased from Map

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 7:25am
Comparison of 1995 and 2014 Landsat images of ice caps A, B, C, D and E.  Pink arrows indicate where A, B and E separated. C and D have disappeared.  F is an outlet glacier with a retreating terminus. The southern part of the Cumberland Peninsula on Baffin Island features many small ice caps. Here we examine the disappearance of two and the separation of two others from 1995 to …

Friday fold: core

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 6:28am
At the Rocky Mountain Section meeting of the Geological Society of America this week, there were several displays of interesting cores. I’m not sure where this one came from, but it had a fold in it, and since no one else had volunteered a Friday fold for this week, I took a photo: It’s standard core diameter; I’d guess that’s about 2 inches. Given that I’m headed out on an …

The GFDRR ThinkHazard! tool

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 2:46am
Yesterday the GFDRR launched its new ThinkHazard! tool, intended to provide high level mapping and advice on the likelihood of natural hazards in poor countries

Van Allen Probes reveal long-term behavior of Earth’s ring current

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 1:46pm
New findings based on a year’s worth of observations from NASA’s Van Allen Probes have revealed that the ring current — an electrical current carried by energetic ions that encircles our planet — behaves in a much different way than previously understood.

The Aranayake landslide in Sri Lanka

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 3:12am
The Aranayake landslide in Sri Lanka is now thought to have killed about 140 people. Images are becoming available of this complex landslide

Sols 1346-1347: Onward to Fracture Town

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 7:00pm
We are coming up on the edge of Naukluft plateau (again!). The plan for Sol 1346 starts off with ChemCam observations of the targets “Etusis” and “Etiro,” to continue measuring the variations in silica abundance around large fractures. Mastcam has a context image of these two targets, plus a mosaic looking ahead to an area we’ve been calling “Fracture Town.” After that, the rover will drive and do standard post-drive …

NOAA: April Temps Hottest On Record for 12th Straight Month

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 6:00pm
NOAA has followed NASA with their own analysis of the global temp. in April, and it’s nothing less than stunning. Another NOAA report out shows that Human activity has increased the direct warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by 50 percent above pre-industrial levels during the past 25 years From NOAA: The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for April 2016 was the highest for …

Drawn to Geoscience: Asteroid-like Comet Could Reveal Solar System’s Secrets

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 1:50pm
How do you turn a news a story about an asteroid-like comet into a super-interesting comic? Our first Drawn to Science shows you how!

Pillow basalt exposures in the Columbia River basalts

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 10:33am
Pillow basalts form when mafic lava erupts underwater. Here are several examples from the Miocene Columbia River flood basalts, a large igneous province in eastern Washington state.

What was your #sparkofscience? Nautilus magazine wants to know

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 8:12am
"How do people get interested in science? Whether it's professional scientists, sci-fi enthusiasts or the general public — everyone has their own story. The "Spark of Science" series is all about how the story starts. Come here to read the personal narratives of some of today's best scientists, and add your own!"

Fatal landslides in 2016 so far

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 3:55am
A review of fatal landslides in 2016 to date suggests that so far the number of events and number of deaths is very similar to 2015

Triggers in science communication: getting the audience tuned in

Tue, 05/17/2016 - 8:30am
How do you get high school students interested in science? Teach them about the highest wave ever surfed!

Spheroidal weathering in Columbia River basalt

Tue, 05/17/2016 - 5:53am
I’m in Idaho for the Rocky Mountain section meeting of the Geological Society of America. Yesterday, I was delighted to tour around in eastern Washington’s Channeled Scablands with my colleague Bill Richards (North Idaho College). I took a lot of photos, but here are two to start – lovely examples of “onion skin” style weathering in fractured basalt, producing “kernstones” of increasingly spherical shape: This is a particularly well expressed …