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A Scary Story for Halloween: Rainfall Totals in My Neck of the Woods

Geotripper | 31 October, 2014
It's Halloween night, and a lot of children are no doubt disappointed that it is raining outside. We've had four kids in one group so far. Waiting for trick-or-treaters this evening has been a little like waiting for rainstorms in California over the last three years.
Categories: California drought; Great Valley; Modesto; Rainfall Totals; Tioga Pass;

Encope micorpora Echinoderm

While visiting the Gallery of Natural History at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park (1300 N. College Ave, Tempe Arizona 85281) I saw fossil specimen (AHS-NH#9854) Encope micorpora (Agassiz, 1841) sand dollar. Creatures like thi...
Categories: Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park; echinoderm; mexico; pliocene;

The A-Team: Protecting Northern Ireland's Kirstin Lemon

In 2014, a team of crack scientists from the British Geological Survey was sent out into the field to help protect Northern Ireland's finest geological features. These geologists promptly set to work amidst some of the heaviest rain seen for months, traversing gushing streams, dodging excited cattle, battling fading light, and climbing over a multitude of fences to achieve their goal.
Categories: ASSI; Caledonian Igneous Complex; Clay-with-Flints; Earth Science Conservation Review; ESCR; Game of Thrones; GSNI; Kirstin Lemon; Mark Cooper; NIEA; Northern Ireland;

Chang'e 5 test vehicle "Xiaofei" lands successfully

Planetary Society Weblog | 31 October, 2014
The Chang'e 5 test vehicle landed successfully in Inner Mongolia today after an 8-day mission. It demonstrated technology that China plans to use for automated sample return by the Chang'e 5 mission in 2017....
Categories: None

Geological issues in the 2014 election

Oakland Geology | 31 October, 2014
Nobody asked for my guidance in this fall's elections. That's OK--this isn't guidance, just a few observations from October.
Categories: other;

A Halloween treat: Lake Mead’s not quite as empty as we expected

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 31 October, 2014
I was wrong when I wrote in April that Lake Mead would continue to set "lowest ever for this point in the year" records for all of 2014. As I write this, with a few hours left in October, Mead's surface elevation is 1,082.79 feet above seal level. That is more than five whole inches above the last really dry year, 2010! (data here)
Categories: Colorado River; water;

An honest view of sea level change?

Writing for the National Parks Traveller, ecologist  Daniel Botkin claims
Categories: climate; Fake climate sceptics; Silliness; Daniel Botkin;

being famous

Accidental Remediation | 31 October, 2014
When I had my very first annual review, my manager asked where I wanted to go with my career. I had no idea: at the time, I was just focused on learning everything I could about the basics of fieldwork, analysis of results, and writing reports. I'd never thought of myself as particularly ambitious, but as my career gained steam, I did develop Ideas about where I'd like to end up.
Categories: short psychology;

Pedaling for Sustainability

From The Prow | 31 October, 2014
Living in Washington, D.C. for 30 plus years I have seen more than my fair share of police-escorted motorcades and had the opportunity to attend several high-profile events, such as Presidential inaugurations and the march commemorating the 50th anni...
Categories: leadership;

Geo 730: October 31, Day 669: Faulty Loading?

Outside the Interzone | 31 October, 2014
The faults from yesterday's panorama are visible in the lower right, but here we can also see the overlying Columbia River Basalt, which I'm nearly convinced now invaded in an igneous form of ball-and-pillow structure. That form of deformation is normally the purview of soft sediments but in the case of Elephant Rock, the denser, sinking, mass was basaltic lava. The vertical columnar joints strongly imply that the feature is not a dike, as it appears to be, and it took a couple days of puzzled frustration for me to come up with a plausible alternative.
Categories: Earth; Geo 730; Geology; Oregon;

MAVEN Status update: October 31, 2014

Red Planet Report | 31 October, 2014
October was a very busy time for the team. We performed a total of three engine burns this month in order to get MAVEN down to its planned science orbit with an orbital period of 4.6 hours and a periapsis ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Comet C/2013 A1; Comet Siding Spring; Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph; IUVS; Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN; MAVEN; NASA; University of Colorado;

Double, double, toil and trouble…

Magma Cum Laude | 31 October, 2014
Sulfur Works mud pot at Lassen Volcanic National Park
Categories: California Geology; Field Work; Volcanology; california; featured; fumaroles; hydrothermal; Lassen; volcanoes;

Curiosity: Chinle textures

Red Planet Report | 31 October, 2014
Sol 794, October 30, 2014. The ChemCam profiles two different targets on the Chinle outcrop. Note the fault in the layers shown in the upper image (right). The layers in the lower image show a coarser texture than those in ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; ChemCam; Chemistry and Camera; Chinle; Curiosity; Gale Crater; layers; Mars Science Laboratory; MSL;

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Destroyed in Testing Accident

Planetary Society Weblog | 31 October, 2014
The private spaceflight company's spaceplane was destroyed in an accident over California's Mojave Desert....
Categories: None

Opportunity: Ejecta, sand ripples, and a view

Red Planet Report | 31 October, 2014
Sol 3828, October 30, 2014. Opportunity is working its way higher up Wdowiak Ridge on Cape Tribulation, leaving Ulysses Crater behind -- but the rover is still within the Ulysses impact debris field. The rocks in the left foreground may ... Continue...
Categories: Reports; Cape Tribulation; Endeavour Crater; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity; sand ripples; Ulysses Crater; Wdowiak Ridge;

Zombies: A Seismic Defense

GeoMika | 31 October, 2014
A farewell note to a former coworker, inspired by John Rennie at PLOS:
Categories: Geoscience; fiction; geophysics; goodbye; seismic; zombies;

HiRISE: Sand sources near Athabasca Valles

Red Planet Report | 31 October, 2014
This image shows a small channel cutting into young volcanic lavas in a region where massive catastrophic flooding took place in the relatively recent past. The Athabasca Valles region includes a vast lava flow, thought to be the youngest on ... Cont...
Categories: Reports; Athabasca Valles; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; sand; University of Arizona;

Climate & Society Institute Opens 1st International Office in Uruguay

State of the Planet | 31 October, 2014
The International Research Institute for Climate and Society has signed an agreement with Uruguay's Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria to open an IRI office outside of Montevideo and to expand ongoing scientific collaboration between...
Categories: General Earth Institute;

The Art of Planetary Science

Planetary Society Weblog | 31 October, 2014
On October 17-19, 2014, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory on the University of Arizona campus hosted the second annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition. This exhibition featured works of art inspired by the solar system, alongside works by scient...
Categories: None

Traces of the Red Queen

The seagull looked peaceful on that beach, lying on its left side with its eyes closed. Yet it was a permanent quietude, as only its head was there.
Categories: Blog post; bird; eagle; evolution; evolution of bird flight; ichnology; Red Queen hypothesis; seagull; taphonomy; theropod; Wassaw Island;

Frontiers of Science: Stimulating conversations between scientists

Cabot Institute Blog | 31 October, 2014
It's been a fantastic start to the UK-India Frontiers of Science meeting in Khandala, India. The Royal Society organises Frontiers of Science meetings to stimulate conversations between scientists of different disciplines, and between scientists from different countries.Bringing together people who don't normally talk to each other is key: you have no idea until to you talk to them that there are other scientists out there who, for example, have developed a method that does exactly what you want to do, but in a different context. Or, equally, would benefit from your analytical method or computational model.It's also just plain refreshing to hear about subjects that you don't study, and how different people tackle problems.Networks while networking, and motoring on the microscopic level!Today, there were two sessions: one on statistical models and one on cellular motors. We heard about how to use networks to figure out flavour combinations in cookery (bring on Heston Blumenthal...), and how extraordinary molecules "walk" through cells, carrying cargo around that is essential for our bodies to function. And all the time, my mind was buzzing with ideas and inspiration.We then had a policy session, based on the use of biotechnology in agriculture, which was a lively discussion with lots of excellent ideas about how we, as scientists, can contribute to the subject and (probably most importantly) to the communication of the relevant science to society.Waves in waterJal Tarang bowlsAll of this is going on in the magical surroundings of Khandala, in a hill top retreat just over an hour away from the bustle of Mumbai. After the excitement of the science, we had an opportunity to relax with some traditional Indian music, a form called Jal Tarang meaning "waves in water", which consists of carefully tuned ceramic bowls of water (tuned according to the amount of water in each bowl), struck with drumsticks to produce a clear, ringing tone, accompanied by Indian drums such as the tabla.And finally...Other than having the opportunity to take part in such a wonderful meeting, my other piece of good news this week was that I received a Royal Society research grant to fund a new piece of laboratory equipment, which will mean I can measure a lot more samples than previously.All-in-all, not a bad few days!--------------------------------------This blog has been reproduced with kind permission by the Royal Society.  You can view the original blog on their website.This blog is written by Cabot Institute member Kate Hendry, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol.Kate Hendry
Categories: Cabot Institute; Frontiers of Science; India University; Kate Hendry; royal society;

HiRISE: Hardened dunes in Arcadia Planitia

Red Planet Report | 31 October, 2014
HiRISE, with its high resolution and 8 years in orbit about Mars, has shown that many dunes and ripples on the planet are active. This demonstrates that in some areas sand is loose enough and winds strong enough, that significant ... Continue reading...
Categories: Reports; dunes; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; sand; sand dunes; sand ripples; University of Arizona;

Vance Forms in the Eastern Pacific; the Atlantic Goes Quiet

Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog | 31 October, 2014
Tropical Storm Vance formed in the Eastern Pacific on Thursday afternoon. Satellite images show that Vance is struggling with dry air and wind shear, with just a modest area of heavy thunderstorms that had not improved in organization since Thursday....
Categories: None

Just waiting for a fumehood

Finding Fossils | 31 October, 2014
So Close! We're still missing a few key things (namely a fumehood) but I think the lab is looking pretty awesome!
Categories: Fossil; fossils; Lab; research; UT Austin;


State of the Planet | 31 October, 2014
We are high mountain people, hunters and artists, Our view from this base camp is brilliant and clear. Cold, thin air sweeps the rocky plateau; You need a strong heart to live here....
Categories: General Earth Institute; Andes Mountains; archaeology; Geopoetry; peru; Pleistocene;

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