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Aftershock felt in Duncan area

Arizona Geology | 23 November, 2014
Local residents reported feeling an aftershock to the Duncan earthquake on at 7:38 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 21.    The USGS posted the location for the event today, with a magnitude of 2.8.  This is the first aftershock felt in the area for many weeks.  The M=5.3 Duncan earthquake hit the eastern Arizona locale on June 28.   [Right, orange star marks aftershock epicenter.  Credit, USGS]
Categories: None

Nuclear war: A forgotten threat to human sustainability

Resource Insights | 23 November, 2014
The possibility of a new Cold War between Russia and the United States and its NATO allies brings with it the spectre of nuclear war, an all-but-forgotten threat since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Categories: None

Wetlands, Farmland and Drainage on the Nooksack Flood Plain

Before our November sunny break I headed north to Lynden and noted the water logged Nooksack River flood plain south of town.  Nooksack River flood plain south of river and south of Lynden The river was not flooding. The source of water standing over acres of land was the result of lots of local rain and poor drainage. The silty soils, high ground water and subtle topography cause water to accumulate in the fields. The DEM of the area shows the problem of drainage on the flood plain - it is essentially uphill to the river. DEM of Nooksack flood plain
Categories: geology; policy;

A Study of Biodiversity in the World’s Cities

The Nature of Cities | 23 November, 2014
What are the global patterns of biodiversity the world's cities?  Are urban spaces biologically homogeneous and depauperate, or do they harbor significant native biodiversity?  These are the questions of a collaborative studies of biodiversity in...
Categories: Essay; Science & Tools; Biodiverse cities; Conservation; Data and Information; Networks; Tools;

A Random Hike on a Reef

Behind the San Rafael Reef - the answer to geo-challenge 2.
Categories: Utah geology;

South Sheep River Glacier Retreat, Alaska

From a Glaciers Perspective | 23 November, 2014
South Sheep River Glacier is the informal name of the longest glacier in the Talkeetna Mountains of Alaska. This glacier is the headwaters of the Sheep River and is comprised of two major glacier branches from the east and west meeting and turning north down the Sheep River valley. Molnia (2007) noted that all glaciers in the region have retreated since the early 1950′s when the area was mapped. Molnia (2007) noted that all the major termini were retreating and thinning in 2000. Here we examine Landsat imagery from 1986 to 2014. In the early 1950′s the glacier extended 5.5 km north down the Sheep River Valley from the main glacier junction, red arrow.
Categories: Glacier Observations; alaska glacier melt; alaska glacier retreat; sheep river glacier retreat; Talkeetna mountains glacier retreat;

Caves in the Coast Ranges? Really? And a National Park? A Peek at Pinnacles

Geotripper | 22 November, 2014
Bear Gulch Cave at Pinnacles National ParkCalifornia's Coast Ranges hide some real gems (literally: check out benitoite, for instance). One of my favorites is also the nation's newest national park: Pinnacles National Park. The park was first established as a national monument by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908, and given national park status in 2013.
Categories: Bear Gulch cave; Bear Gulch Reservoir; Pinnacles National Park; San Andreas fault; Townsend's big-eared bat;

Kelly Redmond to be honored for climate work

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 22 November, 2014
Kelly Redmond, deputy director of the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno, is being honored at next month's AGU meeting in San Francisco for being generally awesome.
Categories: climate variability; science;

Funny, Scary, Fascinating, and Geeky. What You Missed in Science This Week.

I am going to start doing a weekend post here with links and images from the world of geek that caught my eye this week. First up is Will Marshall and the TED talk below. Data is the fuel that science runs on, and he has figured out a way to harvest ...
Categories: Uncategorized; Climate Change; featured; NASA; Science;

Fault Y in the Kittitas Valley

Waitt (1979)  identified three faults cutting across the Kittatas Valley. While the faults do off set Pleistocene sediments of the Thorpe Gravel, no definitive off sets have been identified within younger (last 11,000 years) sediments. The off set of the Thorp Gravel alluvial plain north of Ellensburg can readily be seen in the DEM: Fault off set is an east-west fault cutting across the center of the DEM with up to the south 
Categories: geology;

Geo 730: November 22, Day 691: Gorge Statuary III - Seaman

Outside the Interzone | 22 November, 2014
So this one was entirely new to me: Lewis and Clark had a Newfie! I love Newfies; they are infallibly loving, friendly, and gentle dogs that look like little black bears, and they love swimming. In fact, my understanding is that they were bred as life savers for fishermen on Canada's east coast. The fact that one was able to take on a deer while swimming is pretty amazing.
Categories: Earth; Geo 730; Geology; Living Things; Oregon;

Geo 730: November 20, Day 689: Gorge Statuary II - Sacagawea

Outside the Interzone | 22 November, 2014
Another gorgeous statue at the Cascade Locks Visitor's Center. Apparently- at least according to Wikipedia, the most common spelling is "Sacagawea," rather than "Sacajawea," which is the way I've always spelled it. It's quite interesting to read that page and learn just how much is asserted in our cultural mythology, but how little is actually known about this amazing woman. Whether she died tragically young, at 24, or lived among the Comanches to the ripe old age of 86 is immaterial, I guess. The tale of Lewis and Clark's (both of whom happen to be ancestors on my father's side) great adventure certainly would have been vastly different without her help.
Categories: Earth; Geo 730; Geology; Oregon;

Geo 730: November 20, Day 689: Gorge Statuary I - Cougar

Outside the Interzone | 22 November, 2014
As we headed back to the car to continue with our gorge transit, we found a nice collection of bronze statues saluting the history- both human and natural- of the area. I really liked the pose of this cougar.
Categories: Earth; Geo 730; Geology; Living Things; Oregon;

How did we miss this story about vampires in abandoned mines in Arizona?

Arizona Geology | 22 November, 2014
Well, Arizona, it looks like we had a chance to rid Arizona of vampires in our abandoned mines, but we blew it.   Joe Hart won re-election as State Mine Inspector  a couple weeks back with over 1 million votes or 98.29% of the votes cast.   Th...
Categories: None

Stylolites in Helderberg crinoidal grainstones, Corridor H

Mountain Beltway | 22 November, 2014
Long week, no blog. But, hey - it's Saturday, and I have a couple of hours of breathing room - so here are some stylolites in a crinoidal grainstrone in the New Creek member of the Helderberg Formation, exposed on Corridor H in West Virginia. ...
Categories: echinoderms; fossils; limestone; structure; stylolites; valley and ridge; west virginia;

In the Colorado River Basin, a slow start to the 2014-15 water year

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 22 November, 2014
We're about 20 percent of the way into the fall-winter-spring snow accumulation season in the Colorado River Basin, and the current snowpack upstream of Lake Powell as estimated by the CBRFC is 61 percent of average:
Categories: Colorado River; water;

A Protocetid Whale from the early Middle Eocene of Togo, West Africa.

Sciency Thoughts | 22 November, 2014
The Earliest Whales appeared in what is now Pakistan and India at the eastern margin of the Tethys Sea then spreading along the southern margin of the Tethys (North Africa) and eventually reaching the Atlantic, then along the west coast of Africa, w...
Categories: Africa; Biodiversity; Ceteceans; Eocene; Palaeobiodiversity; Palaeobiogeography; Palaeontology; Protocetids; Taxonomy; Togo; West Africa; Whales;

Is publishing “just a button”?

Matt's post yesterday was one of several posts on this blog that have alluded to Clay Shirky's now-classic article How We Will Read [archived copy]. Here is the key passage that we keep coming back to:
Categories: open access; Shiny digital future; stinkin' publishers;

I guess the pot farmers have junior rights

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 21 November, 2014
Al Jazeera Counties, mostly in the more rural northern parts of California, are reporting a surge in thefts and illegal diversions of water from wells and streams. The prime suspects are illegal marijuana farmers desperate for water before the fall h...
Categories: California; cawater; water;

Climbing to the Top of Wayna Picchu, Peru

Earthly Musings | 21 November, 2014
One of the extra-ordinary activities to undertake while visiting the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu is to take the trail to the top of the very obvious "sugarloaf" mountain that is usually framed behind the ruins. I had pre-arranged to obtain a permit to make this trek. I'm so glad I did - the weather was ideal if not a bit steamy and the views were spectacular.
Categories: None

Quick update about our website

Planetary Society Weblog | 21 November, 2014
The last two weeks have been extraordinary for The Planetary Society. As amazing as this increased traffic is, it has brought to light some issues with our website including latency and missing content that we are still working on fixing....
Categories: None

Convert Matlab colormap to Surfer colormap

MyCarta | 21 November, 2014
In the comment section of my last post, Steve asked if I had code to generate a Surfer.clr file from my Matlab colormaps. Some time ago I did write a [...]...
Categories: Cartography and mapping; Color; Geoscience; Matlab; Programming and code; VIsualization; .clr; .m; ASCII; colormap; dlmwrite; formatting; fprintf; Surfer;

getting samples shipped

Accidental Remediation | 21 November, 2014
I think I'm at the final piece of my sample shipment/management saga. Part 1 is here, part 2 is here, part 3 is here, and part 4 is here. Let's recap. When shipping samples, you need to make sure that the custody seals are all in place, that the COC is filled out and signed properly, that the samples will stay cold, but not so cold that they'll freeze, that the sample containers won't break, that the samples are sealed in their cooler, that the cooler is sealed and labelled properly...and every step is part of a strict procedure that will cause big headaches for the project if there's a breakdown.
Categories: field rants;

Grand Canyon North Rim quake

Arizona Geology | 21 November, 2014
A magnitude 2.9 earthquake occurred  shortly after noon today on the north side of Grand Canyon.  The USGS placed the epicenter about 19 miles northwest of Grand Canyon Village, but Dr. Jeri Young who runs the Arizona Broadband Seismic Network here at AZGS, places it further northeast. [Right, red star marks USGS epicenter.   The red circle marked "112114" marks the AZGS location]
Categories: None

Geo 730: November 19, Day 688: The Other Bridge of the Gods

Outside the Interzone | 21 November, 2014
There was a bit of confusion at this stop. Dana didn't realize that "Bridge of the Gods" referred to both the landslide-created "bridge" AND to the engineered steel truss bridge. Nor did she realize "Cascade Locks" referred to both the town and the now-disused shipping locks. I think we got that all straightened out, though. This bridge is the one I've crossed the Columbia on most often, probably more than all the others put together. The reason is that I was a student worker in Forest Soils during much of my undergrad time at OSU, and especially early on, one of our field sites was at Wind River Experimental Forest, which is upstream from here a bit, then north from Carson, Wa.
Categories: Earth; Geo 730; Geology; Living Things; Oregon; OSU; Washington;

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