American Geophysical Union

Syndicate content
A Community of Earth and space science blogs
Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

Landslides in Art Part 26: Robyn Collier

19 hours 38 min ago
Robyn Collier, an artist from New South Wales in Australia, has painted The Landslide, a beautiful image of a rockfall scar in the Blue Mountains

A virtual field trip to the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 5:18am
Some of planet Earth's best examples of basaltic cooling columns are found at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. In this post, explore four different kinds of interactive digital media as a way of experiencing the Causeway virtually, from the comfort of your computer.

A peat bog landslide in Galway, Ireland

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 4:59am
On Thursday night heavy rainfall triggered a peat bog landslide in Galway in the far west of Ireland, blocking a main road.

Big Becomes Great

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 2:00pm
There is some debate on what makes a river great. Is it its length? Its width? Ajit always thought it was more a matter of water volume, but after years of observing river plumes, he now opts for permanence. A river is great when its discharge has a detectable impact on the ocean; when its plume remains unmixed or fairly stable for a considerable period of time, without losing its idiosyncrasy.

Friday fold: Dalradian schist at Cushendun, Northern Ireland

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 3:17am
Same beach as the Cushedun conglomerate post earlier in the week – but here we see the schist into which the rhyolite dikes intruded: It’s been folded! Happy Friday. Hope your weekend is rejuvenative and fun.

Can a commons design-pattern lexicon show open-science to its destination?

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 3:30pm
After more than a decade of discussion and argument, the international open-science effort is looking for a roadmap to that single destination where it can consolidate its gains and allow science to reboot itself as entirely open. Several groups are calling for an integrative scholarly commons, where open-science objects—from ideas to published results—can be grown, shared, curated, and mined for new knowledge.

Canadian Columbia Basin Glacier Spring 2016 Field Season (winter 2015-2016 Assessment)

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:20am
Guest Post by Ben Pelto, PhD Candidate, UNBC Geography, During the spring season we visited our four study glaciers (Figure 1), which form a transect of the Columbia Mountains from the Kokanee Glacier in the Selkirk Range to the south, to the Conrad (Purcells) and Nordic (Selkirks) in the center, to the Zillmer of the Premier Range in the north. This post will explore the snowpack of winter 2016 across …

The Thrill of Predictability

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:00am
There are those who argue that predictability is the greatest gift of progress, the biggest merit of civilization. Our ability to explain nature through science makes the world and the universe predictable and understandable. That enables us to have a more informed and productive relationship with our natural environment and its resources.

Mega-trace fossils in the floor of the Old Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:32am
We arrived at Old Bushmills at 4:06pm, and the last tour of the distillery for the day had left at 4:00. But all was not lost – We were delighted to see that the visitor center area was paved in slabs of shale with tremendously large, well-preserved trace fossils – sinuous burrows parallel to the bedding plane, in some cases cross-cutting or looping back over themselves! Great stuff – balm …

Free Book: Understanding Climate Models without the Maths

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 2:53am
I am currently reading an excellent (and FREE) book about climate models that I think many teachers of physics/Earth science etc. will want to get. It will also come in handy for synoptic meteorologists who use numerical weather models (which while similar, are also quite different). In my last post, I had a link to a slide show that the AMS Station Science Committee and Climate Central put together, so …

Sols 1380-1381: Contact Science at “Koes”

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 11:00pm
The drive on Sol 1378 went well, and Curiosity drove ~44 m to the south, bringing our total drive distance to more than 13.2 km. We’re currently making our way through a gap in the Bagnold dunes (part of a dune is visible in the upper left of the drive direction Navcam frame).

New Slide Presentation on Climate Change Dispels Common Myths

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 5:41pm
  My friend Paul Gross (at WDIV in Detroit) is the past chair of the AMS Committee on Station Science (I’m currently the chair), and he had a fantastic idea early this year that is now a reality. The idea was to develop a set of slides for broadcast meteorologists (and even teachers) that they could use to teach climate change and dispel the many myths that are constantly floating …

It is what it is – searching for symbiosis

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 2:00pm
Andreas Novotny thought he would find Hemiaulus here. He has not. “It is what it is, which is fine,” he says. “What we need to do is figure out why.” Andreas is a PhD. student and his research focuses in the symbiotic relationship between a kind of plankton, a Diatom called Rhizosolenia, and a Nitrogen-fixing Cyanobacteria, called Richelia.

June 2016 AGU Meetings Committee

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 1:18pm
This post details my journey as a member of the AGU Meetings Committee, capturing highlights of what we accomplished during our June 2016 meeting about meetings!

Research bolsters case for a present-day subsurface ocean on Pluto

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 10:23am
An updated thermal model for Pluto suggests that liquid water beneath the dwarf planet’s ice shell may not be frozen yet.

Shattered chert breccia cobbles, Church Bay, Rathlin Island

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 6:21am
My GigaPan expedition has landed at Rathlin Island, north of Northern Ireland, within view of Scotland, for a few days. The beach on Church Bay is cobble-covered and steep, and the cobbles reflect the island’s geology, with some anthropogenic components thrown in for flavor: [gigapan src=”,hidetitle/iframe/flash.html” height=”250″ scrolling=”no” width=”100%”] Link GigaPan by Callan Bentley But I was struck by these two cobbles, each showing a pervasively shattered breccia of chert: …

Pingle County: quarry collapse kills seven in Guangxi Zhuang, China

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 3:22am
On Monday a landslide in Pingle County in Guangxi Zhuang in China buried seven workers at a stone quarry. Rescue operations are ongoing.

Sol 1378-1379: Making up for lost distance

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 7:00pm
Over the weekend, the rover stopped after about 17 meters of the planned 65 meter drive. The rover is fine, the drive just tripped one of the (very conservative) limits on how the rover’s suspension was expected to behave, causing Curiosity to stop and check in with Earth. Since there is nothing jumping out at us as a contact science target where we stopped, in today’s plan we will try to make up for some of the lost distance from the weekend plan.

Saturn moon Enceladus’ ice shell likely thinner than expected

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 10:04am
A vast ocean of water beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus may be more accessible than previously thought, according to new research. A new study has revealed that near the moon’s poles, the ice covering Enceladus could be just two kilometers (one mile) thick—the thinnest known ice shell of any ocean-covered moon. The discovery not only changes scientists’ understanding of Enceladus’ structure, but also makes the moon a more appealing target for future exploration, according to the study’s authors.

Porphyritic rhyolite dike seen on the beach at Cushendun

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 8:12am
At the opposite end of the beach at Cushendun, Northern Ireland, we found some outcrops of schist – I’ll be featuring some of them as Friday folds later this week. But cutting across the schist was a pink porphyry, with big well-formed potassium feldspars. I splashed some water from the Irish Sea onto it to increase the contrast: Here’s a handheld GigaPan image, so you can explore it for yourself. …