The best of Geology and Earth Science on the web
Welcome to


Future shock – the failure to learn from the 2015 earthquake in Nepal

The Landslide Blog | 16 January, 2017
Future Shock: The exceptional vulnerability of buildings in Nepal to a future earthquake
Categories: Earthquake-induced landslide; earthquake; featured; hazard; nepal; risk; South Asia; vulnerability;

The Most Beloved Weather Forecast You’ve Never Heard About

If you are reading this from the UK, you know already what I'm writing about, but to those elsewhere, the "Shipping Forecast" is mostly unknown. It's heard on BBC Radio 4 each day, and It's far more than a weather forecast, it's an insti...
Categories: Uncategorized; bbc shipping forecast;

How much water does Arizona need?

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 15 January, 2017
The question of the headline, which was the title for the talks I gave last week in Phoenix was, I admit, a little cheeky. I'm just some schlub from New Mexico with an academic title and a book. That doesn't mean I know the answer to the question. But to the extent I have an answer, it is this - Arizona (and lots of other places) probably don't need as much water as they think.
Categories: Arizona; economics; water;

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VII: Awash in Creationist Nonsense

En Tequila Es Verdad | 15 January, 2017
Take your seasickness prevention pills and weigh anchor, my darlings. We are embarking on a long voyage, and I'm afraid it isn't the lovely salt sea, but an ocean of creationist bilge we be sailin'. BJU has got a lot to say about oceanography. A good portion of it is utter bunkum. And there's three bloody chapters of this shite.
Categories: Adventures in Christianist Earth Sci Ed; creationism; religion; science; a beka; BJU; christian; curriculum; earth science; Earth Science 4th Edition; geology; homeschool; indoctrination; Science of the Physical Creation;

Liveblogging the Deluge: Wrapping Things Up (for now)

Geotripper | 15 January, 2017
A week ago, I looked eastward from my science lab and saw the sun setting on the Sierra Nevada crest from 80 or 90 miles away. It was quite literally moments before the first outliers of the storm arrived and hid the mountains from view. Over the next six days or so, California was pummeled by the worst storm in two decades. Flooding was widespread, and there were some huge changes in my local bailiwick, the drainages of the Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus rivers. I've been able to directly document some out-of-control drainages like Dry Creek, and some barely controlled drainages like the Tuolumne River (short story, flood with Don Pedro dam, 9,000 cubic feet per second; flood without the dam, 45,000 cubic feet per second). I couldn't get up there, but I followed events in Yosemite Valley as the park service prepared for the biggest flood in a long time. One of the most incredible moments of the week was the opportunity that I had to inspect the activity at La Grange Reservoir, where the Tuolumne River was plunging over the dam ramparts at 7,000 cubic feet per second. I also took some video (below) that I wasn't able to post yesterday.
Categories: 2017 floods; California drought; Don Pedro Reservoir; Lake McClure; Liveblogging the Deluge; Merced River; Sierra Nevada; snowpack; Tuolumne River;

fantasy comment response

Accidental Remediation | 13 January, 2017
"This comment is so totally wrong on so many levels that it would be best to take your comments back, think about them, and send another try."
Categories: writing;

A New Year, A Look Back

Deep Sea News | 13 January, 2017
January. A time for half-baked resolutions, fully-baked apple crisp, 2.5 weeks of dutifully honoring my pre-paid annual gym membership, and a buttload of retrospective, end-of-the-year lists.
Categories: Conservation & Environment; Opinion & Editorial; Policy; End of Year; Ocean News;

Scientists try to mitigate methane, from cows

Geospace | 13 January, 2017
By Ned Rozell Scientists measure a cow's respiration at a lab in Toluca, Mexico. Photo by Octavio Castelán-Ortega. Many creatures, including you and me, emit methane from time to time. Microbes within our guts break down one substance and turn it ...
Categories: 2016 Fall Meeting; agriculture; Atmospheric science; carbon dioxide; climate; climate change; Fall Meeting; featured; global warming; methane;

Highlights: On Hybrids (Event Beds, not Cars)

JSR Paper Clips | 11 January, 2017
Although hybrid event beds (HEBs) occur in many of deep-water systems, the mechanisms responsible for their formation remain ambiguous. Most workers agree that acquisition of mud or muddy material is a key factor, with many hybrid flow models favoring an origin for the mud in up-dip channels, channel-lobe transition zones or slope sectors. In this study, Fonnesu and others describe outer-fan-lobe and confined-basin-plain sheet deposits of the Cretaceous-Paleocene Gottero Sandstone cropping out on Mount Ramaceto and Mount Zatta (NW Apennines, Italy). The succession includes cm- to m-deep erosional scours below sheet-like HEBs, features which appear to provide the mud necessary for local flow transformation. Extensive substrate delamination in distal deep-water environments has not been described in detail before nor linked to the local formation of HEBs.This hybrid flow model may apply generally, with implications for the distribution and heterogeneity of HEB muddy divisions and hence hydrocarbon reservoir properties.
Categories: None

MARCI weather report, January 2-8, 2017

Red Planet Report | 11 January, 2017
There was a slight increase in local-scale dust storm activity this past week on Mars. Short-lived dust storms were observed over Alba, Tempe, Acidalia, and Chryse Planitia. Dust hazes were spotted over Xanthe Terra on the sol following activity over...
Categories: Reports; atmosphere; clouds; dust; haze; Malin Space Science Systems; MARCI; Mars Color Imager; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; MSSS; NASA; storms; weather; wind;

Venus stays out in the cold

Highly Allochthonous | 11 January, 2017
We basically have a huge generation gap with Venus, and we really need something to launch in the early- to mid-2020s so we can maintain some kind of continuity." I'm not a planetary scientist, but I'm still disappointed that two proposed Ven...
Categories: planets; tectonics; Venus;

As Earth Warms Up, The Sun Is Remarkably Quiet

Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog | 11 January, 2017
If you're looking toward the sun to help explain this decade's record global heat on Earth, look again. Solar activity has been below average for more than a decade, and the pattern appears set to continue, according to several top solar research...
Categories: None

Postcards from my childhood

Who doesn't adore a load of loveable lizardy dinosaurs dragging their tails through a bland, generic desertscape - especially when said dinosaurs are endearingly retro, carefully sculpted models? Back in the day, Toyway (known now for filling the Natural History Museum gift shop with awful tat) produced a range of postcards with just such a subject matter...and here are some of them.
Categories: 1990s; I think I'm getting old; I'm turning 30 this year you know; nostalgia; postcards; Toyway;

Particles, Holograms, and the iPhone 5: My Top Three Activities During the Sea to Space Particle Investigation

Notes from the field | 11 January, 2017
Research Vessel Falkor. Credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute
Categories: Sea to Space Particle Investigation; Carbon cycle; ocean science; phytoplankton; Sea to Space 2017;

CYGNSS Launch: The Human Side

Planetary Society Weblog | 11 January, 2017
What is it like behind the scenes before, during, and after the launch of a spacecraft?...
Categories: None

Building for Birds: An Online Tool to Evaluate How Different Development Designs Impact Forest Bird Habitat

The Nature of Cities | 11 January, 2017
Often, city forest fragments and tree canopies are overlooked by city planners and developers as important bird habitat. More often than not, people only regard large patches as beneficial. The message from conservationists is that we want to avoid fragmentation and to conserve large forested areas. While this goal is important, the message tends to ... Continue reading Building for Birds: An Online Tool to Evaluate How Different Development Designs Impact Forest Bird Habitat '
Categories: Essay; Place & Design; Science & Tools; Biodiversity; Birds; Conservation; Development; Housing; Tools; What is urban nature?; Wildlife People Interactions;

Trilobite Reproductive Biology: Insights From Pyritized Fossil Eggs

Reporting on a Revolution | 11 January, 2017
The delicacy of mineral replacement and the serendipity of finding something so small and fragile. This is spectacular.
Categories: fossils; palaeontology;

Global Warming’s Record Year

Open Mind | 11 January, 2017
It is widely publicized that 2016 will certainly break the record for yearly average global temperature. Again. This will be the third year in a row we've set a new record. It's time we paid attention. I've often emphasized that ... Continue re...
Categories: climate change; Global Warming;

Extended abstract deadline for EGU 2017

Paleoseismicity | 11 January, 2017
Dear all, due to technical difficulties, the abstract deadline for the EGU 2017 has been extended until tomorrow, Jan. 12th at 1 pm Central European Time.  ...
Categories: Events;

Silos are a feature, not a bug

Agile Geoscience | 11 January, 2017
"Break down the silos" is such a hackneyed phrase that it's probably not even useful any more. But I still hear it all the time -- especially in our work in governments and large enterprises. It's the wrong idea -- silos are awesome.
Categories: Business;

More Messengers from the Mantle

Mountain Beltway | 11 January, 2017
Since I showed off the 3D kimberlite intrusion breccias yesterday, I feel as if I owe you some other photos from that lovely exhibit at the IGC.
Categories: africa; conferences; igneous; lineation; mantle; microscopy; minerals; museums; south africa; volcano; featured;

The Sarstoon-Temash National Park, Belize: forest communities and conservation

Cabot Institute Blog | 11 January, 2017
This is the second blog post from former Environmental Policy MSc student Rachel Simon. During her time at the University Rachel was a member of the Fossil Free Bristol University group. Following the completion of her MSc in 2016 Rachel spent time with an indigenous conservation organisation in Belize, recording voices of land rights activists for the Latin American Bureau's [] forthcoming book, Voices of Latin America.
Categories: None

GeoPolicy: Have your say on Horizon 2020

EGU Geolog | 11 January, 2017
The European Union provides almost 75 billion euros of funding through the Horizon 2020 scheme. This money can fund research projects, studentships, post-doctorates and scientific outreach (to name but a few!). The EU is now calling for feedback and comments about the scheme. This month's GeoPolicy explains how you can have your say.
Categories: GeoPolicy; Policy; ERC; european commission; European Research Council; european union; feedback; FP9; funding; h2020; Horizon 2020; science funding; survey;

Geochemistry in Michael Watts, Elliott Hamilton, Belinda Kaninga, Kenneth Maseka and Godfrey Sakala

Victoria Falls. Michael Watts and Elliott Hamilton returned to Africa to undertake two main tasks; (1) find a conference venue for the Society for Environmental Geochemistry 2018 international conference to be hosted in Victoria Falls, and (2) undertake fieldwork in the Zambian copperbelt as part of the Royal Society-DFID project.
Categories: Africa; Centre for Environmental Geochemistry; conservation agriculture; Copperbelt University; DFID; Michael Watts; Royal Society; SEGH; Victoria Falls; Zambia; ZARI;

Wir kommen wieder! - We'll be back! (bilingual)

JOIDES Resolution Blogs | 11 January, 2017
Display on Kids page
Categories: None

Latest: Venus stays out in the cold

Latest: Unifying Theory of Geology Class

Latest: Recommended sources of information on Katla volcano

Latest: The many metamorphoses of the Moine

- The new timelapse timesink

- Are geologists mostly lefties?