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LATEST FROM THE GEOBLOGOSPHERE:

Neovahlkampfia nana: A new species of Heterolobosean Amoeba from the Czech Republic.

Sciency Thoughts | 19 August, 2017
Heteroloboseans are flagellated Amoebas closely related to Slime Molds, and generally though to be the most primitive group of flagellated Eukaryotes (i.e. the group closest to the first such organisms to have appeared. They typically have a life-cycle which includes both flagellated and non-flagellated stages, as well as an inert cyst stage that can survive periods of hostile conditions, such as a cold, or dry season.
Categories: Amoebas; Biodiversity; Czech Republic; Europa; Heterolobosean Amoebas; Microbiology; Parasites; Parasitology; Taxonomy; Trout;

Explosion kills one and injures five as theft from gas pipeline goes wrong in Veracruz State, Mexico.

Sciency Thoughts | 19 August, 2017
At least one person has died and another five have been injured following an explosion on a natural gas pipeline near Ixtaczoquitlán in Veracruz State, Mexico, apparently caused by thieves drilling into the pipeline on the morning of Saturday 19 August 2017. No details about the dead person have been released at this time, but the injured have been identified as men aged 20, 25, 36 and 65, plus a pregnant 15-year-old girl, all of whom suffered extensive burns; it is not clear whether any of the known casualties were involved in the theft, or were Innocent victims of the incident. 
Categories: Health and Safety; Hydrocarbons; Law Enforcement; Mexico; Natural Gas; North America; Pipelines; Veracruz State;

The science behind the science

EAG Blog | 19 August, 2017
What do you think - in five days of Goldschmidt presentations, the product of how many years worth of labwork have you seen projected onto the screen, how many months of troubleshooting, how many weeks of tuning ICP-MS and calibrating microprobes? I reckon they must be plentiful. Confronted with such an impressive cumulative dedication to clean labs and mass specs, one naturally starts longing to dive back into the labcoat and re-enter the homely world of hotplates and cleaning acids, of mass biases and gain corrections, to spend some quality time with your loved ones (the machines), to produce data with tiny error bars! At least that's how I felt on Thursday. Luckily, I had signed up for one of the CAMECA factory tours, which allowed me not only to properly dive back into a (disposable) labcoat, but also got me in touch with some breathtakingly potent analytical tools.
Categories: General; Goldschmidt 2017;

Nothodichocarpum lingyuanensis: A new species of Angiosperm from the Jehol Biota.

Sciency Thoughts | 19 August, 2017
The Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Lioaning Province, China, has produced a wide range of well preserved animals and plants, including many Vertebrates and Insects, collectively known as the Jehol Biota. The plants from these deposits include the earliest known diverse community of Angiosperms (Flowering Plants), providing a valuable insight into the earliest members and initial diversification of this group.
Categories: Angiosperms; China; Cretaceous; Flowering Plants; Jehol Biota; Liaoning Province; Palaeobiodiversity; Palaeobiology; Palaeobotony; Plants; Yixian Formation;

Eleven injured by landslide in Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

Sciency Thoughts | 19 August, 2017
Eleven people have been injured, three of them seriously, after a landslide hit a section of the Chuo Expressway in Mizunami, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, at about 9.30 pm local time on Friday 18 August 2017. The event buried a section of the road over sixty meters long in debris up to a meter depth, strikingfour vehicles, three cars and a truck, with all of the injured being inside these vehicles. The event happened after several days of heavy rain in the area. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall.
Categories: Geohazards; Gifu Prefecture; Honshu; Japan; Landslips; Okhotsk High;

Magnitude 4.8 Earthquake to the north of Puerto Rico.

Sciency Thoughts | 19 August, 2017
The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 4.8 Earthquake at a depth of 42 km roughly 50 km north of Puerto RIco, slightly before 4.15 pm local time (slightly before 8.15 pm GMT) on Friday 18 August 2017. This was a moderate quake, and at some depth as well as some way offshore, and there are no reports of any casualties or serious damage, though the quake was felt across Peurto Rico.  The approximate location of the 18 August 2017 Puerto Rico Earthquake. USGS. Puerto Rico is located at the northeastern fringe of the Caribbean Tectonic Plate. The Atlantic Plate (strictly speaking, an extension of the South American Plate which runs to the northeast of the Caribbean) is being subducted beneath this. The subduction of the Atlantic Plate beneath the Caribbean Plate is not a smooth process, with the two plates constantly sticking together then breaking apart as the tectonic pressure builds up, causing Earthquakes in the process, though since the boundary between the two plates is some way to the north and east of the islands, Earthquakes in this area tend to be both deep and offshore, which lessens their destructive potential.   The subduction of the Atlantic Plate beneath the Caribbean Plate fuels the volcanoes of the Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc. George Pararas-Carayannis. Witness accounts of quakes can help geologists to understand these events and the rock structures that cause them. If you felt this quake (or if you were in the area but did not, which is also useful information) you can report it to the USGS here.   See also... Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook. 
Categories: Atlantic Plate; Caribbean; Caribbean Plate; Earthquakes; Geohazards; Puerto Rico; South American Plate; Subductive Plate Margin; US;

Planet Hunter Jerry Green

Planet Hunters | 19 August, 2017
Dear Planet Hunters, I am sorry to report that Gerald Green passed away on Wednesday Aug 16th. He was an active contributor to the Planet Hunter project and a co-author on two key papers (Boyajian et al. 2016, Wang et al. 2015). Our thoughts and cond...
Categories: Site News;

Planet Hunter Jerry Green

Planet Hunters | 19 August, 2017
Dear Planet Hunters, I am sorry to report that Gerald Green passed away on Wednesday Aug 16th. He was an active contributor to the Planet Hunter project and a co-author on two key papers (Boyajian et al. 2016, Wang et al. 2015). Our thoughts and cond...
Categories: Site News;

Professor Oldrich Hungr

The Landslide Blog | 19 August, 2017
Professor Oldrich Hungr Professor Oldrich Hungr It was with great sadness that I learnt this week of the passing of Oldrich Hungr, Emeritus Professor of Engineering Geology at UBC, in Grenoble last Friday.  Oldrich was one of the most significant la...
Categories: obituary; featured; Oldrich Hungr;

The Lake Silvaplana papers

Intrigued by the slightest of hints of rare mønsters in the Lake Żabińskie chironomid data, I decided to re-read all the papers on the chironomid stratigraphy from the varved Lake Silvaplana, Switzerland, by the same author. These papers, which reconstruct July air temperature, cover different time periods and use different reconstruction methods: here is a brief synopsis.
Categories: Peer reviewed literature; calibration-in-time; chironomids; Lake Silvaplana;

Guest blog: Tuk toy what?

Arctic Sea Ice Blog | 18 August, 2017
Here's a guest blog that was sent to me by Sam Hayes, a PhD student from Northumbria University and regular commenter at the Arctic Sea Ice Forum. For his studies Sam is out on a research expedition in the Arctic Circle.   In this first guest bl...
Categories: Coastal erosion; Expeditions; Permafrost; Science;

Chilesaurus diegosuarezi: How an enigmatic Dinosaur sheds light on the evolution of the whole group.

Sciency Thoughts | 18 August, 2017
Chilesaurus diegosuarezi is a Late Jurassic Dinosaur from the Toqui Formation of Chile first described in 2015. It shows an unusual combination of features, combining elements usually associated with Therapods, Protosauropods and Ornithischian Dinosaurs. At the time of its description it was considered that, on the balance of probability, it was a Tetanuran Theropod (the group that also includes Tyrannosaurids, Megalosaurids, Ornithomimids, Allosaurids, Maniraptorforms, and Birds), with a number of unTheropod-like features that derive from its adaptation to a herbivorous lifestyle, leading to convergent evolution of some features with the herbivorous Protosauropods and Ornithischians.
Categories: Chile; Cladisitcs; Dinosaurs; Evolution; Jurassic; Ornithischian Dinosaurs; Palaeobiodiversity; Palaeontology; South America; Theropods; Toqui Formation;

Curiosity udate: Inching closer

Red Planet Report | 18 August, 2017
Sol 1789, August 17, 2017, update by MSL scientist Mark Salvatore: As Curiosity inches closer towards ascending Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR), the science team is continuing to be diligent in both characterizing the local surroundings while also looking ahe...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Leadbetter; Mars Science Laboratory; Megee; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Formation; NASA; Vera Rubin Ridge;

Over 100 feared dead after landslide in Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sciency Thoughts | 18 August, 2017
Over a hundred people are feared to have died after a landslide swept through the village of Tora on the shores of Lake Albert in Ituri Province in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday 16 August 2017. The event happened after several days of heavy rain in the area, when a section of hillside collapsed onto the village. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall.
Categories: Africa; Central Africa; Democratic Republic of Congo; Geohazards; Ituri Province; Lake Albert; Landslips;

Dinosaurs of China in Nottingham: part 2 - Feathered Flyers

While the reconstructed skeletons of big scaly beasts dominate the main downstairs area of Dinosaurs of China, the real treasures are upstairs, where far more delicate, intricately preserved and altogether fluffy animals await. While some of our scientist readers will have seen these in person before, DoC is a unique opportunity for us mere laypeople to get up close to feathered beauties from China. And yes, many of them are originals, including Stripy Longtail here!
Categories: Dinosaurs of China; feathered dinosaurs; fish; museum visits; they love to eat fish;

East Antarctic Ice Sheet Should Remain Stable Even if the West Melts

State of the Planet | 18 August, 2017
A new look inside the ice sheet validates predictions that it probably won't melt as quickly as its neighbor--good news, since East Antarctica contains enough water to raise sea levels by 200 feet....
Categories: Climate; Earth Sciences; Press Release; Antarctica; climate change; ice sheets; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; polar research; sea level rise;

HiRISE: Mid-latitude terrain sample

Red Planet Report | 18 August, 2017
Mid-latitude terrain sample. These cutouts utilize the infrared-red-blue (IRB) filter. Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; University of Arizona;

THEMIS: Western floor of Hebes Chasma

Red Planet Report | 18 August, 2017
THEMIS Image of the Day, August 18, 2017. This image shows part of the western side of Hebes Chasma. The large central mesa is on the right side of the image. The smooth region in the lower left side of ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Arizona State University; ASU; Hebes Chasma; Hebes Mensa; landslides; Mars Odyssey; mass wasting; NASA; THEMIS; Themis Image of the Day; Thermal Emission Imaging System; Valles Marineris;

Antarctic Ice-Mapping Project Will Fly for the Last Time in October

State of the Planet | 18 August, 2017
With its mission complete, the Rosetta-Ice Project will give scientists an unprecedented look at the Ross Ice Shelf and how it's changing with the climate....
Categories: Climate; Earth Sciences; climate change; ice sheets; ice shelves; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Rosetta Project; Ross Ice Shelf;

Conscripting plants and the microbial community for mineral exploration

EAG Blog | 18 August, 2017
After seismic and electromagnetics, the potential of geomicrobiology is being investigated. Last Tuesday, Rachel Simister from the University of British Columbia presented her research on the application of Genomics to Mineral exploration. Studying microbial genomics DNA from soil samples collected along the Deerhorn Cu-Au porphyry deposit, she showed evidence that microorganisms can potentially be used as vectoring to mineral deposits.
Categories: General; Goldschmidt 2017;

What happens in the sea during a solar eclipse?

Deep Sea News | 18 August, 2017
Solar eclipse. From Wikimedia commons.
Categories: Abyss; Adaptations; Biology; Ecology; Environmental Sciences; Fish; Jellyfish; Organisms; Pelagic; Shelf; Weird;

Book review 24: "Law and Policy for a New Economy: Sustainable, Just and Democratic"

Melissa K. Scanlan (Ed.).Law and Policy for a New Economy: Sustainable, Just and Democratic. Elgar, Mass. USA. 280pp.Available from the publisher.All but one of the 14 contributors to this book are based in the USA and of these, most are Faculty memb...
Categories: Anthropocene; Economics; Law; New Economy;

Linking global temperature and Arctic sea ice changes

Climate Lab Book | 18 August, 2017
As the annual September sea ice minimum in the Arctic approaches, the usual questions arise about whether this year will set a new record for the extent or volume of ice left at the end of the summer. Although there was a new winter record low in 201...
Categories: Arctic; sea-ice; temperature; variability;

Sol 1789: Inching Closer

The Martian Chronicles | 18 August, 2017
As Curiosity inches closer towards ascending Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR), the science team is continuing to be diligent in both characterizing the local surroundings while also looking ahead and imaging the ridge upon approach. Today's plan is a perfec...
Categories: Field Work; Mission Update; ChemCam; Curiosity; featured; mars; Mastcam; MSL; NASA; Navcam; pretty pictures; USGS;

NASA experiments will watch eclipse's effect on atmosphere

Planetary Society Weblog | 18 August, 2017
The upcoming solar eclipse isn't just about watching the Moon block out the Sun. A suite of NASA-funded science experiments will to study the unseen effects of the eclipse on Earth's atmosphere....
Categories: None

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