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World Water Day on the shores of old Lake Bonneville

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 23 March, 2017
Flying into Salt Lake City this afternoon, I noticed the old shoreline benches of Lake Bonneville, the great Pleistocene inland sea that once filled a big chunk of what we now call the Great Basin. The benches are these big flat topographic features a few hundred feet above the valley floor. One one, south of town, they've built a neighborhood, a modern repurposing. It's one of those geologic features that's dead obvious from the air, but harder to see when you're on it.
Categories: water;

Warm Gjulf Stream may portend energetic spring-time storms in the midwest

Geology in Motion | 22 March, 2017
From Washington Post Capital Weather Gang on 3/22/17.Weather in the Midwest is a fight between the receding Arctic cold air and the encrouching warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. The battle scars of this fight are the tornadoes of the Midwest. Today the Washingto Post summarized the current situation: "freakisly warm" waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Houston to Miami have had historically warm days (while we in the Pacific Northwest have had unusually cold and rainy times). Please see source in the figure caption for details and credits.
Categories: None

Bring the hammer.

Deep Sea News | 22 March, 2017
Prepare yourself for the hammer.
Categories: Adaptations; Biology; Ecology; Favorite Species; Habitats; Mollusk; adaptation; bivalve; Clam; evolution; hammer; oyster;

HiRISE: To great depths

Red Planet Report | 22 March, 2017
Hellas is an ancient impact structure and is the deepest and broadest enclosed basin on Mars. It measures about 2,300 kilometers across and the floor of the basin, Hellas Planitia, contains the lowest elevations on Mars. The Hellas region can ... Con...
Categories: Reports; Hellas Planitia; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; honeycomb terrain; layered deposits; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; sediments; University of Arizona;

Two Death Valleys in One: Travels in Death Valley Version 1.0

Geotripper | 22 March, 2017
It's certainly not the first time I've talked about Death Valley, Version 1.0 (see this post, for instance), but it's also a story of unending fascination. The deep and very long fault graben that forms the main axis of Death Valley National Park is only the latest in a series of fault valleys that have formed here over millions of years. One of the most popular stops in the park, Zabriskie Point, reveals the uplifted remains of a desert graben that existed several million years before the present valley formed.
Categories: Death Valley National Park; Furnace Creek Formation; Manly Beacon; Zabriskie Point;

Curiosity: Mastcam looks southeast

Red Planet Report | 22 March, 2017
Sol 1643, March 21, 2017. The Mastcam (using its 34-mm lens) shot a five-frame composite looking southeast. On the left it catches a few outlier Murray Buttes, then captures layered rocks near and far. Click the image (5 MB) to ... Continue reading ...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Bagnold Dunes; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Buttes; Murray Formation; NASA;

Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake beneath southern Bali.

Sciency Thoughts | 22 March, 2017
The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake at a depth of 118.5 km about 2 km to the northwest of Banjar Pasekan on Bali in Indonesia at about 7.10 am on Wednesday 22 March 2017 local time (about 11.10 pm on Tuesday 21 March GMT) . The event was felt across most of Bali, Lombok and East Java, but there are no reports of any damage or injuries.
Categories: Bali; Earthquakes; Geohazards; Indo-Australian Plate; Indonesia; Subductive Plate Margin; Sunda Plate; Sunda Trench;

Staff vs Student Lawn Bowls

oncirculation | 22 March, 2017
The Research School of Earth Sciences has a long history of pitching the staff against the students in a biannual sporting competition. The staff have dominated in the last few student vs staff sporting competitions, especially cricket, where many of...
Categories: What We Do;

Record Low Ice at Both Poles

We are getting used to hearing about a record melt out of the Arctic in the early autumn each year, but now we are seeing the lowest wintertime ice on record as well. It's not official yet, but it looks like the Arctic Ice is now in a steady melt, ...
Categories: Uncategorized; Arctic Sea Ice; NSIDC;

Mangrove Carbon With a Grain of Salt

Notes from the field | 22 March, 2017
Ominous clouds form in the distance. The sunny sky slowly turns grey. There is a sweet smell of fresh rain on hot pavement. Then the downpour ensues. Huddled under a small overhang are 11 ecologists trying to stay dry while the storm subsides so they can board their boat for Pongara National Park.
Categories: African Blue Carbon Systems;

Highlights: The Skinny on Limestone Micropores

JSR Paper Clips | 22 March, 2017
Although most agree that micropores are important for scientific and economic reasons, geologists and material scientists have diverse opinions on the very definition of microporosity and its possible origin(s). To explore the nature and genesis of micropores, Hasiuk and others examine bulk stable-isotope and elemental analyses from a range of microporous limestone hydrocarbon reservoirs and a compilation of geochemical data from previous studies of subsurface microporous limestones from the Phanerozoic. Results illustrate microcrystals are composed of low-Mg calcite, and geochemical data suggest most are abiotic origin, but modified by shallow-burial diagenesis. On this basis, the authors suggest a uniform, diagenetic origin during early burial for the micrite that hosts most microporosity in limestone oil reservoirs. This understanding is a first step in modeling the distribution of microporosity in reservoirs, enhancing accurate prediction of reservoir performance.
Categories: None

HiRISE: Hanging valleys in Dao Vallis

Red Planet Report | 22 March, 2017
Hanging valleys in Dao Vallis. Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; Dao Vallis; gullies; hanging valleys; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; University of Arizona;

Why do we manage academia so badly?

The previous post (Every attempt to manage academia makes it worse) has been a surprise hit, and is now by far the most-read post in this blog's nearly-ten-year history. It evidently struck a chord with a lot of people, and I've been surprised -- amazed, really -- at how nearly unanimously people have agreed with it, both in the comments here and on Twitter.
Categories: craven administrators; Look, this isn't complicated; moral dimensions; science policy; stinkin' academics;

Pocketknife for scale

Mountain Beltway | 22 March, 2017
Check out this lovely granite: Pocketknife for scale   ...But there's a trick! (Scroll down for the big reveal!)       Check it out: This is how Crocodile Dundee would say "That's not a sense of scale... Now that's a sense of scale!"...
Categories: Uncategorized; featured;

Opportunity: Short drive to the south

Red Planet Report | 22 March, 2017
Sol 4677, March 21, 2017. Mission controllers drove Opportunity (in reverse) about 20 meters (about 66 feet) southward, continuing its course toward Perseverance Valley. Above is a three-frame Navcam composite centered on azimuth 180° (due south). T...
Categories: Reports; Cape Byron; Endeavour Crater; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity; Perseverance Valley;

Ice in Ceres’ shadowed craters linked to tilt history

Geospace | 22 March, 2017
The tilt of Ceres' rotation axis could be related to ice in shadowed regions, new research from NASA's Dawn mission suggests By Elizabeth Landau This image of Ceres was taken by NASA's Dawn mission during its approach to the dwarf planet on Feb...
Categories: Ceres; Featured; Geophysical Research Letters; Planetary science; featured; planetary science;

Field Notes: CMS Africa Summit

geoliterate | 22 March, 2017
Automatticians, the people who build, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do in the community.
Categories: Automattic; Events; CMS Africa Summit; Field Notes; Nigeria; open source;

Managing Informal Markets and Limiting Citizen Marginalization

The Nature of Cities | 22 March, 2017
Street vendors. Market peddlers. Musicians walking through subway cars. Parking spot guards and car watchers. Van drivers with handmade signs competing for passengers. Hawkers who sell stuff out of the trunks of their cars, out of baby carriages, and from bicycle carts. Hagglers looking to pocket some cash along the road, at a red light, ... Continue reading Managing Informal Markets and Limiting Citizen Marginalization '
Categories: Bangkok to Barcelona on foot; Essay; People & Communities; Business; Economics; Governance; Justice; Policy; Transportation;

Curiosity update: Staying put

Red Planet Report | 22 March, 2017
Sol 1644, March 21, 2017, update by USGS scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The Sol 1644 plan focuses on arm activities, because the volume of data expected to be relayed via the MRO and Mars Odyssey orbiters in time for planning tomorrow ... Continue reading...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Bagnold Dunes; Caucomgomoc Lake; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Heald Mountain; Mars Science Laboratory; Mooselookmeguntic Lake; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Formation; NASA; The Hop; The Horns;

Climate change in 2016 — and continuing into 2017 — has brought the planet into "truly uncharted territory"

ImaGeo | 22 March, 2017
A new report confirms that last year brought record global temperatures, exceptionally low sea ice, and unabated sea level rise Yesterday I reported that even though the warming influence of El Niño is long gone, February of 2017 brought very ...
Categories: None

It’s Time to Give Air Quality the Attention It Deserves

Each day of every year, a quiet disaster unfolds in households and hospitals across the world. More than 10,000 lives are lost worldwide every 24 hours as a direct or indirect consequence of poor air quality. Bad air takes its toll quietly, with no n...
Categories: None

THEMIS: Pit and dunes in Rabe Crater

Red Planet Report | 22 March, 2017
THEMIS Image of the Day, March 22, 2017. Today's false color image shows part of the floor of Rabe Crater's western floor, including a deep pit and a portion of the extensive dune field found in this crater. (A view ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Arizona State University; ASU; dunes; Mars Odyssey; NASA; Rabe Crater; sand dunes; sand sheet; THEMIS; Themis Image of the Day; Thermal Emission Imaging System;

Making a poster or PICO presentation: top tips from the Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award judges

EGU Geolog | 22 March, 2017
Every year at the General Assembly hundreds of students present their research at the conference with a lot of time and effort going into preparing these presentations. With the aim to further improve the overall quality of poster presentations and more importantly, to encourage early career scientists to present their work in the form of a poster, the OSP Awards (as they were formerly known), were born. Since last year's General Assembly, PICO presentations are included in the Outstanding Student Poster Awards, which have been renamed to Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards.
Categories: Conferences; EGU GA 2017; General Assembly; PICO; Posters; Sessions; early career researchers; Early Career Scientists; EGU General Assembly 2017; EGUecs; Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards; poster presentation;

Routine science turns clever- laser ICP vs SHRIMP analysis of Archean detrital zircons

Lounge of the Lab Lemming | 22 March, 2017
So, last year I published a Geology paper. It is summarized in Geosonnet 42...
Categories: After-hours analysis; carbonado confusion; Geochronological goodness;

Comet 67P: a large landslide on another world

The Landslide Blog | 22 March, 2017
In a paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy (Pajola et al. 2017), Maurizio Pajola and a cost of dozens have recorded a large rockfall event occurring on Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  This event was recorded by the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission over the period between 2014 and 2015.
Categories: landslide report; astronomy; comet; featured; planet; rockfall; space;

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