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Away From the Ice Sheet Until the Fall

Notes from the field | 5 May, 2015
Hi there! I am writing this post from Iceland, a few days after the last team members left Kulusuk, Greenland. Back from the field, we spent five days packing up our equipment and organizing the container for the end-of-summer field campaign. Overal...
Categories: Greenland Aquifer Expedition; cryosphere; drilling; Greenland; Greenland Aquifer Expedition 2015; ice;

Crater collapse triggers explosion on Kilauea volcano, Hawaii.

Sciency Thoughts | 5 May, 2015
A portion of the rim of the Halema'uma'u Crater on Mount Kilauea, Hawaii, collapsed on Sunday 3 May 2015, triggering a dramatic, but harmless explosion. Halema'uma'u is a small crater located within the main caldera of Kilauea, which contains a lava lake. This lava lake has been at its highest levels since 2008 this month, actually overtopping the rim of the crater on Saturday 29 April, and in addition releasing a large amount of volcanic gas. This appears to have weakened the rocks around the rim of the crater, eventually leading to a partial collapse with rocks tumbling into the crater. The sudden impact of the rocks onto lava with a high dissolved gas content triggered an explosive release of gas, similar to a shaken fizzy drink bottle, throwing fragments of rock up to 85 m from the crater.
Categories: Big Island; Geohazards; Hawai'i; Hawai'i Hotspot; Kilauea;

Asteroid 2011 EX4 passes the Earth.

Sciency Thoughts | 5 May, 2015
Asteroid 2011 EX4 passed by the Earth at a distance of 11 000 000 km (28.6 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 7.35% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly after 1.20 am GMT on Thursday 30 April 2015. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented only a minor threat. 2011 EX4 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 23-71 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 23-71 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to explode in an airburst (an explosion caused by superheating from friction with the Earth's atmosphere, which is greater than that caused by simply falling, due to the orbital momentum of the asteroid) in the atmosphere between 20 and 3 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface, although since an object at the upper end of this range would be expected to release an amount of energy equivalent to about 16 megatons of TNT (roughly 940 times the energy released by the Hiroshima bomb), then being directly underneath it might be fairly unpleasant.
Categories: 2011 EX4; Asteroids; Aten Family Asteroids; Near Earth Asteroids; Solar System;

Geo 1095: May 4, Day 854: Dee Wright Volcano Observatory

DWVO has a weird kind of esthetic to me. On one hand, it's ugly as sin, looking like a big pile of poop on a hill. On the other, that's true of the entire landscape surrounding McKenzie Pass, and I find this area, with its blasted, stark beauty, incredibly appealing. I'd imagine, to a new parent, the gruesomeness of afterbirth is invisible in light of the beauty of a new child. This landscape is newborn, and yes, there are some aspects that aren't pretty. Get over it. The beauty and awe of the earth renewing itself are, to me, a near-religious experience.
Categories: Earth; Geo 1095; Geology; Oregon;

WATCH as a Massive Eruption of Incandescent Plasma Explodes Far Into Space From the Sun

ImaGeo | 5 May, 2015
An elongated filament of plasma suspended above the Sun by titanic magnetic forces suddenly broke free on April 28 and 29, 2015. To watch the ensuing explosive spray of incandescent material out into space -- a phenomenon known as a coronal mass e...
Categories: None

Living With Lava

State of the Planet | 5 May, 2015
When the most recent eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano started last June, Melvin Sugimoto at first did not think much of it. Hawaii, where he has lived all his life, is entirely hardened lava, and Kilauea, one of the world's most active volc...
Categories: Earth Sciences; hawaii; Kilauea; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; lava; natural hazards; Volcanoes;

Magnitude 7.5 Earthquake off the east coast of New Britain.

Sciency Thoughts | 5 May, 2015
The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 7.5 Earthquake at a depth of 10 km off the east coast of New Britain slightly before 11.45 am local time (slightly before 1.45 am GMT) on Tuesday 5 May 2015. There are no reports of any casualties associated with this event, but many people on the island are reporting minor damage, and a small, non-destructive tsunami was was also reported from coastal areas. A number of violent aftershocks have occurred since the initial event.
Categories: Earthquake; New Britain; Papua New Guinea; Solomon Sea Plate; South Bismarck Plate; Subductive Plate Margin; Tsunami;

A week's worth of "RC3" images from Dawn at Ceres

Now that Dawn is in its science orbit at Ceres, the mission has been releasing new images every weekday!...
Categories: None

Rio Grande runoff forecast: 44 percent at Otowi

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 5 May, 2015
March - July snowmelt runoff on central New Mexico's Rio Grande, which provides the bulk of the river's water, is forecast to be 44 percent of the 1981-2010 average, according to a federal forecast out this morning. The measurement point for that number is the Otowi Bridge, which is on the road from Santa Fe to Los Alamos. It is down from a 55 percent forecast on April 1.
Categories: New Mexico; water;

Ancient links between climate and vegatation... by Jonathan Dean

Skyline of MinneapolisDr Jonathan Dean is part of a new multi-million pound project that hopes to shed new light on the possible links between environmental change and the emergence of our species...
Categories: Aberystwyth University; core; Jonathan Dean; lake; Minneapolis; paleoclimate; PHD; sediment; Stable Isotope Facility;

Low Pressure Between Southeast Florida and Bahamas has Potential to Develop

Heavy thunderstorms and strong winds are increasing over the waters between Southeast Florida and the Bahama Islands, where a non-tropical region of surface low pressure is developing. Radar out of Miami shows no organization to the shower activity, ...
Categories: None

Eruptive activity on Axial Seamount.

Sciency Thoughts | 5 May, 2015
A seismic monitoring system beneath the northeast Pacific operated by the Ocean Observatories Initiative has detected a probable eruption on Axial Seamount, a submarine volcano roughly 480 km off the coast of Oregon. The network has detected around 8000 minor Earthquakes since Friday 1 May, accompanied by a drop in the sea-floor level of about 2.4 meters. Minor tremors around volcanoes are most commonly caused by magma moving through subterranean chambers beneath the vent of the volcano, and are therefore used as advances warning of eruptions. In this instance any eruption would be hard to directly observe due to its remote location, but presents little danger to any human settlement for the same reason.
Categories: Axial Seamount; Cobb Hotspot Seamount Chain; Juan de Fuca Plate; Juan de Fuca Ridge; Submarine Eruption; Volcano;

Explorations in outreach – Creating a Twitter bot for the Neotoma Paleoecological Database.

downwithtime | 5 May, 2015
If you've ever been in doubt about whether you chose the right programming language to learn I want to lay those concerns to rest here.
Categories: Little Victories; Random; academia; APIs; coding; Neotoma; python; R; twitter;

Oak Creek Canyon - Kachina Village aftershocks

Arizona Geology | 5 May, 2015
There have been two notable Flagstaff-Sedona area earthquakes since Sunday, both likely aftershocks from the November 30, 2014, M=4.7 earthquake that occurred in Oak Creek Canyon near the Kachina Village area between Flagstaff and Sedona.
Categories: None

Another fun structural geology 3D model

Dr. Ryan Shackleton | 5 May, 2015
Geology - Anticline in the Oriskany by Ryan Shackleton on Sketchfab
Categories: Uncategorized;

Power, policy and piranhas: Martin Bigg on energy

Cabot Institute Blog | 5 May, 2015
"When it comes to energy solutions we
Categories: Cabot Institute; CO2; coal; Drax power station; energy; Keri McNamara; Martin Bigg; offshore wind; onshore wind farm; solar;

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Logs Sol 4000, Digs Spirit of St. Louis Crater

After investigating some flat, light and dark toned rocks around Spirit of St. Louis Crater in April, Opportunity chalked up another milestone achievement - the 4000th sol or Martian day of surface operations....
Categories: None

Protoplecid Flies from the Middle Jurassic Daohugou Biota of Inner Mongolia.

Sciency Thoughts | 5 May, 2015
Protoplecid Flies are a group of True Flies, Diptera, known from Jurassic deposits across Eurasia. They are thought to be ancestral to the modern Bibionidae (March Flies and Love Bugs) and the group is therefore considered paraphyletic (i.e. not eve...
Categories: Bibionidae; China; Daohuguo Biota; Diptera; Inner Mongolia; Jiulongshan Formation; Jurassic; Palaeobiodiversity; Palaeoentomology; Palaeontology; Protoplecid Flies; Taxonomy; True Flies;

Live-blog: the Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication, part 2

I'll try to live-blog the first day of part 2 of the Royal Society's Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication meeting, as I did for the first day of part 1. We'll see how it goes.
Categories: live blogging; Shiny digital future; What counts?;

Searching for porphyry copper in the Peruvian Andes with Anna Bidgood: Part 1 | Peru

Background As a 4th year undergraduate geologist at Oxford University, I really relish the opportunity to work abroad and gain the experience of working as an exploration geologist. It's fantastic that there are opportunities for me and my peers th...
Categories: Anna Bidgood; Recent; Andes; colca canyon; moquegua; peru; porphyry copper;

The Langtang ice and rock avalanche in the Gorkha Earthquake

The Landslide Blog | 5 May, 2015
Over the weekend the picture is slowly becoming clearer in terms of landslides associated with the Gorkha Earthquake in Nepal.  It is now apparent that the level of landsliding in the Hill Districts at least is rather lower than we might have feared, although it is still far from insignificant.  Understanding the situation in the higher mountains remains very challenging due to the amount of cloud cover that is still preventing satellite images from being available.  We have to hope that a window opens up before the monsoon.
Categories: Earthquake-induced landslide; landslide report; avalanche; featured; nepal; rock avalanche; South Asia;

The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth

oncirculation | 5 May, 2015
By Hannah In a research school dedicated mainly to studying rocks and the environment, I like to think studying human remains is a bit of a novelty. I am part of the Archaeogeochemistry group, (introduced a few weeks ago by Kelsie), who work on using...
Categories: In the news; Latest research; Opinion; archaeology; isotopes; migration; paleodiets; teeth;

Sols 976-977: Onward to Jocko Butte

by Ryan Anderson With our weekend contact science done, it's time to hit the road again. The sol 976 plan includes some final Mastcam mosaics of the interesting outcrops that we have been studying, plus a Mastcam multispectral observation of the t...
Categories: Curiosity; Featured; Pictures; Uncategorized; featured; mars;

Eyewitness Account Of A Great Nepal Earthquake

From 1934 - as reported by military officer Bhrama Shumsher Rana in his book  Mahabhukamp (The Great Earthquake) -
Categories: earthquakes; historical events; Nepal;

How to Watch the Humans to Mars Summit This Week

Our friends at Explore Mars are live-streaming their Humans to Mars Summit this week, happening in Washington, D.C....
Categories: None

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