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Curiosity: Around the butte, and through the gap…

Red Planet Report | 31 August, 2016
Sol 1446, August 30, 2016. Three Navcam frames show the rover's route forward, as it rounds the wide east-west butte (left) that has stood blocking views of Mt. Sharp. The butte on the right flank of the gap is the ... Continue reading â†'...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Bagnold Dunes; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Buttes; Murray Formation; NASA; Naukluft Plateau; Stimson Formation;

Podocarpoxylon donghuaiense: Podocarp Wood with growth rings from the Eocene of Guangxi Province in South China.

Sciency Thoughts | 31 August, 2016
Podocarps are the second largest family of Conifers today, with 194 species in 19 genera known. Unlike most Conifers, Podocarps are entirely tropical distribution, with most species being found in montain rainforests, though they are also found in lowland forests. The group is quite ancient, becoming widespread in both hemispheres early in the Jurassic, which suggests an origin late in the Triassic or very early in the Jurassic, though molecular evidence suggests most living species are descended from a common ancestor that lived in the late Cretaceous ot early Palaeocene.
Categories: Biodiversity; Botany; China; Conifers; Eocene; Fossil Wood; Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; Nadu Formation; Palaeobiodiversity; Palaeobotany; Palaeontology; Podocarp Trees; Taxonomy;

Another day, another Elsevier power-grab

As explained in careful detail over at Stupid Patent of the Month, Elsevier has applied for, and been granted, a patent for online peer-review. The special sauce that persuaded the US Patent Office that this is a new invention is cascading peer review -- an idea so obvious and so well-established that even The Scholarly Kitchen was writing about it as a commonplace in 2010.
Categories: moral dimensions; Peer review; Shiny digital future; stinkin' lawyers; stinkin' publishers;

Snakes on a Ship!

Notes from the field | 31 August, 2016
By Eric Lindstrom A longstanding technical challenge for oceanography has been how to measure the sea surface - temperature, salinity, gas exchange, or surfactants - to name a few examples. Obviously enough, the surface is where the ocean and at...
Categories: Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS); climate; oceanography; Pacific Ocean; salinity; water cycle;

Good at helping communities conserve water? Albuquerque would like to chat….

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 31 August, 2016
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority is looking to hire a new Water Conservation Program Manager. Pass the word, we're already pretty good at conservation here (I brag about this a lot!) but we're not letting up. More info can be found at the water authority's hiring web site. Click on "open positions" in the left bar.
Categories: New Mexico; water;

Anomalous Phobos grooves caused by impacts

Red Planet Report | 31 August, 2016
Some of the mysterious grooves on the surface of Mars' moon Phobos are the result of debris ejected by impacts eventually falling back onto the surface to form linear chains of craters, according to a new study. One set of ... Continue reading â†'...
Categories: Reports; crater ejecta; craters; Phobos;

MARCI weather report, August 22-28, 2016

Red Planet Report | 31 August, 2016
Continued large-scale dust activity over the Acidalia storm-track and northern plains of Mars this past week. The dust storm over Chryse, mentioned in the previous week still had some momentum as it lofted clouds of dust over eastern Valles Marineris...
Categories: Reports; atmosphere; clouds; dust; haze; Malin Space Science Systems; MARCI; Mars Color Imager; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; MSSS; NASA; storms; weather; wind;

Manihot pachycaulis: A new species of Cassava from Goiás State, Brazil.

Sciency Thoughts | 31 August, 2016
Cassavas, Manihot spp., are a group of trees and shrubs in the Milkspurge family, Euphorbiaceae, which includes the widely cultivated Edible Cassava, Manihot esculenta. The genus is thought to have originated in Central America, but reaches its maximum diversity in the Cerrado (savanah), Caatinga (thornscrub), and Amazon (rainforest) ecosystems of Brazil, where about 80 of the 100 known species are found.
Categories: Angiosperms; Biodiversity; Botany; Brazil; Cassava; Cerrado; Euphorbiaceae; Goiás State; Milkspurge; Plants; South America; Taxonomy;

What's up in the solar system, September 2016 edition: OSIRIS-REx launches, Rosetta ends

Planetary Society Weblog | 31 August, 2016
The month of September begins with an annular solar eclipse visible from much of Africa on September 1. On or after September 8, we'll see OSIRIS-REx launch into a two-year cruise toward a rendezvous with asteroid Bennu. But September will close, sad...
Categories: None

Hurricane Watch Continues for TD 9; Hawaii Hunkers Down for Madeline

A Hurricane Watch continues for the Florida Gulf Coast from the Anclote River to Indian Pass, and Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for portions of the Florida and Georgia Atlantic coasts as Tropical Depression Nine sits nearly stationary in t...
Categories: None

Leadfield: Scams with a Side of Geology

Looking for Detachment | 31 August, 2016
I've personally run into several mining or exploration scams doing field work in the west; these were small-scale attempted hoaxes perpetrated by smalltime, would-be hucksters, most of whom lacked any finesse whatsoever and all of whom were technically outside the mining or exploration industry (most were posers trying to pass themselves off as prospectors, a few were lawyers or accountants, others were swindlers of unknown affinity). Stories about these scams are mostly unwritten and therefore unpublished. I've also heard rumors of a few other larger scale hustles or double-dealings effected by people in the mining or exploration business, people I usually knew only from a distance. The reports of these particular offenses have come to me by way of rumor and innuendo, so I don't know enough about either the details or the truths behind the vague to extravagant allegations to write about them myself. Of the noteworthy historic scams I've lived through or read about, I'd have to say that the two that have impressed me the most have been the Bre-X scam and the Leadfield scam or swindle. One C.C (Courtney Chauncey) Julian was the main player at Leadfield.  More on that a little later.
Categories: buildings; california; d.v.; economics; exploration; geology; lead; mining; old junk; parks; road trip; roadside; scams; titus;

Life Began As Clay Crystals

Reporting on a Revolution | 31 August, 2016
There is a fine article on BBC Earth by Martha Henriques on the work of chemist Graham Cairns-Smith and his theory that life may have begun as clay crystals. Cairns-Smith reasoned that clay minerals are made up of sheets of atoms bonded in a regular lattice pattern that is stacked in layers.  Pieces of this latticework break off, forming offspring crystals often with minor dislocations to the latticework. These offspring crystals grow ..break off with more minor changes... grow.. and so on. Organic molecules like the precursors of DNA might have used such a "replicating entity" as a scaffolding to build an organic replicating system.
Categories: biology; chemistry; evolution; geology; people and personalities; research;

THEMIS: Juventae Chasma – false color

Red Planet Report | 31 August, 2016
THEMIS Image of the Day, August 31, 2016. Today's false color images shows part of Juventae Chasma. The THEMIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. These ... Con...
Categories: Reports; Arizona State University; ASU; Juventae Chasma; landslides; Mars Odyssey; mass wasting; NASA; THEMIS; Themis Image of the Day; Thermal Emission Imaging System;

Ball & pillow and other sedimentary structures in Graafwater Formation, Table Mountain

Mountain Beltway | 31 August, 2016
I hiked Table Mountain yesterday, south of Cape Town, via the notoriously steep Platteklip Gorge. I detoured a wee bit on the "contour trail" which heads toward Devil's Peak to see some fine exposures of the Graafwater Formation. It's mainly a red shale with some green shale, and some fine sandstone. This outcrop particularly caught my eye:
Categories: africa; primary structures; sediment; south africa; trace fossils; featured;

Open doors and open eyes

The churchyard at St Thomas the Martyr, Oxford
Categories: Events;

The start of a major new research Carol Arrowsmith

Carol trying out a snowmobile at the British Antarctic SurveyA major new project to investigate how heat and carbon is transferred around the oceans kicked off in April. Here Carol Arrowsmith, a senior technician with the Stable Isotope Facility at the British Geological Survey (BGS) tells us how the BGS are contributing to this important research........ After years of planning, NERC commissioned several highly ambitious research programmes that required its Research Centres to work together to tackle several major scientific and societal challenges. One of these is a programme called "Ocean Regulation of Climate through Heat and carbon Sequestration and Transports" or ORCHESTRA involves the BGS, and in particular me as one of the major analysts. We aim to use a long term survey, together with computer simulations, to improve our ability to understand and predict the role of the Southern Ocean currents to modulate global climate.
Categories: British Antarctic Survey; Carol Arrowsmith; Melanie Leng; NERC; ORCHESTRA; Professor Mike Meredith; Research Centres. oxygen and carbon isotopres; Stable Isotope Facility;

Saying goodbye and reflecting on lessons from the field

Cabot Institute Blog | 31 August, 2016
Last week I said goodbye to the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) where I have spent the last three months learning about Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD). I'm currently in the second year of my PhD at the University of Bristol, where I'm researching how CBSD viruses cause symptoms, replicate and move inside plants.
Categories: Cabot Institute; cassava; farmers; food security; Katherine Tomlinson; NaCRRI; Uganda; University of Bristol;

Paying a visit to the Plant Doctor in Uganda

Cabot Institute Blog | 31 August, 2016
Two weeks ago I organised a visit to a plant clinic in the Mukono district of central Uganda. The plant clinics are run by district local government extension staff with support from CABI's Plantwise programme and offer a place where farmers can bring crop samples to get advice on how to prevent and cure diseases.
Categories: Cabot Institute; cassava; food security; Katherine Tomlinson; Plantwise; Uganda; University of Bristol;

Landslides from the 2016 Central Italy earthquake

The Landslide Blog | 31 August, 2016
The M=6.2 2016 Central Italy Earthquake on 24th August has been devastating for a number of traditional towns in the Central Apennines.  Whilst not particularly powerful, the very shallow depth of this earthquake lead to very intense shaking over a comparatively small area.  In this respect it is not dissimilar to the Christchurch earthquakes, which also caused catastrophic damage in the comparatively limited spatial areas affected by high intensity shaking.
Categories: Earthquake-induced landslide; Europe; featured; Italy; landslide report;

Microbes and volcanoes in Oregon and Mars with Matthew Nikitczuk

The Traveling Geologist | 31 August, 2016
Matthew Nikitczuk is a graduate student at Brock University exploring subsurface microbial activity in hydrovolcanic rocks. You can read more about Matthew's research here.
Categories: Matthew Nikitczuk; Recent; geobiology; Mars; Oregon; volcano; volcanoes; volcanology;

A note on Arctic sea ice loss

Geospace | 31 August, 2016
This is the latest in a series of dispatches from scientists and education officers aboard the National Science Foundation's R/V Sikuliaq. Track the Sikuliaq's progress here.
Categories: Ocean sciences; Antarctica; arctic ice; climate change; featured; ocean science; ocean sciences;

Benthosuchus Fossil Amphibian Skull

Picture is of a Benthosuchus sushkini amphibian skull fossil. It dates to the Triassic Period. Fossil found in Scharzhenga River of Vachnevo Russia. Extinct creature is a distant relative to today's salamanders and frogs. It lived in rivers and lakes...
Categories: amphibian; natural history museum london; russia; skull; triassic;

The Tropics Are Hoppin, and The Danger May Be High Far from the Storms

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Gaston has been producing high swells and dangerous rip currents on the Mid-Atlantic beaches. I was in Ocean City Md. yesterday evening at high tide, and water came up much farther than normal, with powerful waves crashing ...
Categories: Uncategorized; featured; hurricane; science education;

Hurricane Warning for Hawaii, a Watch for Florida; TD 9 Headed Towards NE U.S.?

NHC has issued a Hurricane Watch for the Florida Gulf Coast from the Anclote River to Indian Pass, and a Tropical Storm Watch for the Florida Gulf Coast west of Indian Pass to the Walton/Bay County line. You'd wouldn't guess from Tropical Depress...
Categories: None

What’s an Earthquake?

JOIDES Resolution Blogs | 30 August, 2016
Earthquakes may bring to mind fear and danger or perhaps confusion and curiosity. Some earthquakes can be very destructive, as we have seen in several recent events. To help mitigate the damage and loss of life, earthquake scientists aim to better understand the physical context of great earthquakes, like the 2004 M 9 Sumatra-Adaman Earthquake. That's part of the goal of Expedition 362. But first, we need to know what an earthquake is.
Categories: earthquakes; Expedition 362 Sumatra Seismogenic Zone; Geology and earth science; plate tectonics; seismicity; seismogenesis;

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