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Friday fold: Hayward neighbor

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 10:28am
The Friday fold is some crumpled sedimentary rock near the Hayward Fault in California.

Views of strong shaking in Nepal and what they teach us

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 10:20am
When the ground shook throughout Nepal in April, it was neither predicted nor surprising–the paradox of inevitable but chaotic large earthquakes within well known seismic zones. Though warnings of Nepal’s catasrophic earthquake risk have been sounded for years, and though this magnitude 7.8 and its energetic 7.3 aftershock wrought plenty of death, destruction, and tragedy, scientists are finding themselves somewhat surprised at the apparently rather limited degree of overall damage …

A shrinking Mercury is contracting in unexpected ways

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 10:00am
A global survey of the largest, most prominent fault scarps has revealed some unexpected wrinkles in the way Mercury has contracted.

Alaska Sees Earliest 90 Degree Temperatures On Record

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 7:14pm
From today: This temperature map of Alaska shows the unusual warmth on May 23, 2015, at 2 p.m. local time in Fairbanks.  Based on NOAA’s Real-time Mesoscale Analysis data, it shows air temperatures at 2 meters (6.6 feet) above the ground. Temperatures below 45° are shades of blue, and temperatures above 45° are shades of orange and red. The warmest temperatures are located inland—away from the moderating influence of …

Scientists should speak simply to other scientists, too

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:18pm
By Ilissa Ocko The canonical rule of thumb for scientists speaking to nonscientists is to talk as if you were speaking to eighth graders, because a lay audience often has a basic, and certainly not specialized, understanding of science – about the same level as an eighth grader. If you want the information to resonate with the non-scientist audience, you have to strip down to the essentials, craft a story, …

Sol 999: Last MAHLI images before conjunction

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 8:00am
by Ken Herkenhoff Today is the last day we can plan MAHLI activities before the operational stand-down for solar conjunction, to ensure that we have time to confirm that MAHLI’s dust cover is safely closed.  So we worked to include as many MAHLI images as possible in the Sol 999 plan, making for a rather hectic day for me as MAHLI uplink lead.  The plan includes a full set of …

Retreat forms Embayment at Kropotkina Glacier in Novaya Zemlya

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 5:12am
Kropotkina Glacier is a tidewater glacier on the southeast coast of Novaya Zemlya that drain into Vlaseva Bay.  The glaciers terminate in the Kara Sea and has been retreating like all tidewater glaciers in Novaya Zemlya LEGOS, 2006 .  The map shown below from this project indicate the lack of an embayment in 1952, red dashed line and limited retreat from 1952-1988, with 1988 being the yellow line. Carr et al (2014) identified an …

The 12th International Symposium on Landslides, Naples, June 2016

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:00am
The 12th International Symposium on Landslides will be held in Naples, Italy in June 2016

NASA Earth Observation Satellites See Floods in Oklahoma and Arkansas

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 10:58pm
These two images from the NASA Terra and Aqua satellites are almost exactly 2 years apart. You can easily see the difference the flooding rains have had in the Arkansas River, especially around Fort Smith. More flooding rains are likely over the next 3-4 days across the Plains of Texas and Oklahoma.    

NOAA Issues 2015 Hurricane Season Forecast

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 5:58pm
You cannot learn to forecast something if you do not try, and testing predictions is what science is all about, so with that in mind, here is the hurricane forecast from NOAA for 2015. There is not a lot of skill in these forecasts, but this year we have some help. A growing El Nino (that looks like it may be a strong one) is the major factor in the …

Should NASA be Studying the Earth?

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 1:13pm
This past spring, Congress took a number of steps that seemed to imply that NASA should be reprioritizing its focus away from the Earth Sciences. For example, during a hearing on March 12, 2015, some members of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness suggested to NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. that NASA should shift its attention from Earth Science to space exploration and research, which they suggested …

The sounds and songs of climate data

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 9:00am
Have you heard the statement, "any geophysical time series can be represented by music." Look no further than this blog post to listen to the sounds of climate data over time.

Sol 998: Contact Science at Marias Pass

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 8:00am
By Lauren Edgar A short bump on Sol 997 put Curiosity in a great position to investigate a few different rock units in Marias Pass, using the instruments on the rover’s arm.  The 2.5 m drive brings our total odometry to 10,599 m.  With the upcoming solar conjunction (Mars will be on the opposite side of the sun from the Earth, so we can’t communicate with the rover for most …

Sol 997: Preparing for contact science

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 3:00am
By Lauren Edgar Curiosity spent the weekend characterizing the terrain and bedrock exposed in Marias Pass.  Curiosity drove 33 m further into Marias Pass, bringing our total odometry to 10,596 m.   The drive set us up perfectly to investigate the contact between two different types of bedrock – the underlying Pahrump unit and the overlying Stimson unit. Today’s plan is focused on characterizing the contact in this new location, and …

Wind River Canyon in Wyoming: US20 closed by rockslides and debris flows

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 2:55am
On Sunday exceptional rainfall triggered a series of landslides in Wind River Canyon in Wyoming, blocking both US20 and the BNSF railway line

Mack and Velkena Glacier Retreat Novaya Zemlya 1988-2013

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 7:02am
Mack and Velkena Glacier are tidewater glaciers on the northwest coast of Novaya Zemlya that drain into Legzdina Gulf.  The glaciers terminate in the Barents Sea and have been retreating like all tidewater glaciers in northern Novaya Zemlya LEGOS, 2006).  The map shown below from this project indicate the glaciers joined in 1952 and 1976 and separated by less than 1 km in 1988. Carr et al (2014) identified an …

Kali Gandaki: an interesting landslide dam and breach

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 2:58am
On Sunday a landslide blocked the Kali Gandaki river in Nepal for about 15 hours before breaching to release a significant flood.

An El Nino connection to the floods in Oklahoma and Texas?

Mon, 05/25/2015 - 10:55pm
There were more flash floods across the Hill Country of Texas into the eastern part of the state as well on Monday, and a Flash Flood Emergency was declared in the Austin area. Now, look at the sea surface temperature anomalies for the globe right now, with the signs of a developing El Nino (the warm water off south America stretching westward along the Equator), and also note the warm …

Sols 993-996: A long weekend at Marias Pass

Mon, 05/25/2015 - 3:00am
By Lauren Edgar  On Sol 992 Curiosity took a short drive into Marias Pass to get a better look at the terrain ahead.  The 6 m drive on Sol 992 brought our total odometry to 10,562 m.  It also put Curiosity in a great position for targeted science over the long holiday weekend. The 4 sol plan includes some large Mastcam mosaics to characterize the terrain and the contact between …

My Inner Geek

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 8:42pm
We have a popular local program where I work at (WBOC in Salisbury Maryland) called Delmarva Life and reporter Sean Streicher asked me to sit down and talk about myself. Sean explored my inner geek and I thought I’d share it here.