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Sikuliaq week 3 recap: the home stretch

5 hours 43 min ago
We’re on the home stretch! Much of the scientific equipment has already been packed and the mood has changed from a final scramble to squeeze every bit of data out of ship time as possible, to a subdued transit lull in which people are catching up on sleep, tying loose ends, and coming to terms with wrapping up this 28 day cruise.

Strike-slip deformation with erosion and cross sections

6 hours 34 min ago
In this model we show how different subsequent types of faults form in relationship to a strike-slip fault like the San Andreas fault.

Friday fold: Torqued talc from the 2016 Biggs awardee

12 hours 35 min ago
Callan's colleague Joshua Villalobos won the 2016 Biggs Award. He also makes GigaPans of folds, like these talc-bearing rocks of the Allamoore Formation.

Historic Rainfall Event in Maryland and Delaware

19 hours 49 min ago
In my last post, I wrote about the possibility of a severe flood/rain event in Eastern Virginia/Delaware/Maryland. Unfortunately my forecast was correct, and in short, it’s still raining. The town of Harbeson Delaware had over a foot of rain in 24 hours! Schools were closed, roads washed out, and many other closed.  I mentioned yesterday that the water temps in the Atlantic are at record levels, and it’s hard to …

Lake Erie Algae Blooms Correlate to June Rainfall

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 11:58pm
June precipitation appears to be positively correlated to algae blooms in Lake Erie. Looking at monthly precipitation data readily-available from Weather Underground and comparing it to the Western Lake Erie Algae Bloom Severity Index, I was surprised by the strength of the correlation (0.6, 0.85 with an “outlier” removed). June precipitation was the only month to correlate to the Severity Index in my data set and I was surprised that …

Questions From Students

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 5:03pm
Her students have questions, 6th grade science teacher Ms. Callaghan has answers from aboard the R/V Sikuliaq.

Research suggests Saturn’s moon Dione may harbor a subsurface ocean

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 11:26am
A subsurface ocean could lie deep within Saturn’s moon Dione, according to a new study using publicly available data from the Cassini mission to Saturn. In 2013, images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft hinted that Dione had a subsurface ocean when the moon formed, but the new study suggests the ocean could still exist today.

Sols 1475-1476: Finishing up on Jwaneng

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:00pm
Finally, the rover will get some sleep in preparation for what will likely be a busy weekend.

Another Severe Flood Event May Be On The Way for the Mid-Atlantic

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 7:06pm
The location of the heaviest rainfall will likely be different from this model run (See below), but very heavy rainfall threat is increasing for the next 72 hours. I rarely post raw model data here, since it can lead to people assuming they’re not going to get the worst of the storm, when they are at risk, but I am making an exception because of the threat to so many …

Ísland: Volcanoes

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 6:00pm
If you're a volcanologist - or really any geology buff who appreciates volcanoes - Iceland is flat-out paradise.

Virginia Museum of Natural History specimens in GIGAmacro view

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:37am
One of the small sub-projects of my 2015-2017 Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship is to create some GIGAmacro images of cool fossil specimens from the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville. Curator of paleontology Alex Hastings was good enough to loan us a few specimens to image, and hopefully there will soon be more where they came from. Here are three examples: a fossil plant, and two fossil vertebrates: Strobilus cone …

Storglombreen Glacier Loss, Norway

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 10:33am
Landsat images from 199, 2002 and 2016 comparing glaciers draining into Storglomvatnet.  Red arrows indicate 1999 terminus locations, purple dots the snowline.  Storglomvatnet has several glacier that terminated in the lake in 1999, Storglombreen Nord, Sorglombreen Sud and Tretten. This lake is the main reservoir, 3.5 billion cubic meters that feeds the 350 MW Svartisen Hydropower plant. The lake has an elevation of 585 m, while the power plant is at …

Rizhao rockslide: a narrow escape in a new public park in Shandong, China

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 2:30am
On Saturday a large rockslide occurred at a brand new public park in Rizhao in Shandong, eastern China. The event appears to have been a lucky escape.

Sol 1474: Murray cross-bedding

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:00pm
The 16-meter drive on Sol 1473 completed perfectly, placing the rover in position for contact science on an outcrop of cross-bedded Murray bedrock. The primary goal for Sol 1474 is to characterize the cross-bedding and measure grain sizes using MAHLI, and we were able to squeeze in a lot of other good observations.  Before the arm is deployed, ChemCam will measure the chemical composition of the “Kopong” bedrock target, Mastcam …

New research explores how wetlands and agriculture could be causing a global rise in methane

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:05am
New research shows recent rises in methane levels in the atmosphere are most likely driven by biological sources, such as swamp gas, cow burps, or rice fields, rather than fossil fuel emissions.

2016 GSA Presidential Address: Mission-Driven Geoscience

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 8:48am
"Harnessing scientific understanding to resolve large, complex problems is fundamentally important to a healthy, safe, and prosperous nation and will remain a challenge to future geo-generations." -- GSA President Dr. Claudia Mora

The Only Science in The Debate

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:33am
Since the whole world is talking about the debate, it’s worth mentioning the only science question that came up. Fact check: The images on the left were published on Slate. The tweet is apparently still there. Just to be clear every major science body on Earth has said the IPCC reports are good science. That includes NOAA/NASA, and The Royal Society/National Academies of Science, the American Meteorological Society, and the …

Sol 1473: In search of a contact science location

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 11:00pm
Over the weekend Curiosity drove 43 m to the south, in search of a good place for contact science.  Unfortunately, our present location is in a small valley, and we don’t have many good rock targets in the workspace.  After evaluating the Mastcam drive direction imaging, we decided to drive further to the southwest. This should put us in front of a small exposure of cross-bedding for contact science in …

Monday Geology Picture: Travertine Timeline

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 3:46pm
This week I’m featuring one of my all-time favorite geology pictures: a snapshot of layers of travertine, representing the build-up of carbonate crusts precipitated from springs over many years. This picture was taken several years ago during my Ph.D fieldwork in the Sultanate of Oman. The layers in this picture took several thousand years to accumulate.

Being mindful as a public scientist

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 8:30am
Want to open a Twitter account but are hesitant about everyone seeing your every tweet? Here are some tips to shape your public profile.