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Nohokomeen Glacier

Last summer I had a nice view of the north side of Jack Mountain in the North Cascades.
Categories: climate; geology;

Street Plants in Laramie in December?!

From asphalt and snow, some grass will grow.When Lucy suggested we post about street plants four times a year, I was not optimistic for December.  We live at 7000 ft elevation in the continental interior, far from the equator.  I set out looking for an escaped juniper or pine tree, that seemed my best bet.  I didn't find any, but in the process I learned that I hadn't given our herbaceous plants enough credit.  Some stay green through the winter.  I wonder if they photosynthesize on sunny days, when they're not covered with snow?
Categories: #urbanwildplants; Polygonum aviculare; prostrate knotweed; urban botany;

Monday Geology Picture: Written in Stone

Georneys | 22 December, 2014
Yours truly posing with the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum. November 2014.
Categories: archaeology; Egypt; Monday Geology Picture; Rosetta Stone;

Prehistoric Shorebirds Waded Alongside Their Dinosaur Cousins

Laelaps | 22 December, 2014
Birds are dinosaurs. This fact is easily understood by looking at the scaly feet of a chickadee or by comparing a chicken wing to a Velociraptor arm. But given that birds are the only "terrible lizards" around today, it's easy to forget that they also thrived alongside their non-avian kin for 84 million years. The first birds evolved in the Late Jurassic, roundabout 150 million years ago, and they became a widespread and successful branch of the dinosaur family tree.
Categories: Anatomy; Birds; Evolution; Feathered dinosaurs; Fossils; Paleontology; bird; Buckley; Cedar Mountain; Foster; Kirkland; Lockley; trace; track; Utah;

Guest Blog: The Solite Experience through the Eyes of an Educator

New on the Updates blog - Guest Blog Posts! The first in this series is from Sydney Brown, one of the VMNH Educators. Since her first day of excavating, Sydney has been a regular part of the Solite Quarry excavation team. In this blog, Sydney shares her thoughts and experiences gained while out in the field.
Categories: Newark Supergroup; Science, education, and philosophy; Solite Quarry;

Highlights—Mixed Deposits of the Sego

JSR Paper Clips | 22 December, 2014
Siliciclastic systems are lumped into wave- or tide-dominated classes, and many detailed facies and sequence-stratigraphic analyses interpret pronounced changes to a shift from one to the other caused by major (commonly external) perturbations. To explore fundamental assumptions of some of these studies, Legler et al. document distal deposits near the pinchout of the widely studied lower Sego Sandstone in the Book Cliffs, western Colorado, a unit generally regarded as the type example of an ancient tide-dominated delta. The analysis of facies and stratigraphic architecture suggests that coeval waves and storms were equally prominent in controlling its deposition. The re-interpretation of the lower Sego Sandstone as a mixed, tide- and wave-influenced delta is important in three ways: (1) the prevailing, widely used archetype of an ancient tide-dominated delta should be viewed as recording a wider mixture of depositional processes; (2) the recognition that wave- and tide-dominated deposits can be coeval; and, as a result, (3) sequence stratigraphic framework of the lower Sego Sandstone and other ancient tide-dominated/influenced, regressive strata may need to be re-assessed.
Categories: None

Why is the Dead Sea dead?

Earth Learning Idea | 22 December, 2014
The new Earthlearningidea, published today is 'Why is the Dead Sea dead? - measuting salinity'. This involves a simple activity to measure the density of water of different salinities. Pupils can visualise how the measurement of the density of a liquid equates to the commercial measurement of density in situations like that of the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake.
Categories: Resources and Environment;

2014 retrospective

Agile Geoscience | 22 December, 2014
At this time of year, we look back at the best of the blog -- what were the most read, the most contentious, the most informative posts of the year? If you only stop by once every 12 months, this is the post for you!
Categories: Fun; News; blog; blogging; retrospective;

Rain? In a Rain Forest? Exploring California and Oregon on the 50th Anniversary of the Biggest Flood Ever

Geotripper | 22 December, 2014
It starts with little cascades like this...
Categories: Eel River; flooding; Humboldt Redwoods State Park; Redwood National Park; Smith River; Umpqua River;

December Puzzler

Earth Matters | 22 December, 2014
Every month on Earth Matters, we offer a puzzling satellite image. The December 2014 puzzler is above. Your challenge is to use the comments section to tell us what part of the world we are looking at, when the image was acquired, what the image ...
Categories: EO's Satellite Puzzler;

Veteran geophysical tool preps for new horizons at Europa

Geospace | 22 December, 2014
By Kerry Klein Researchers from MIT and NASA hope that their imaging instrument will be selected for a flyby mission of Jupiter's moon Europa.Credit:ASA/JPL/SETI Institute Jupiter's moon Europa has tantalized scientists with its potential for har...
Categories: 2014 Fall Meeting; Europa; Fall Meeting; featured; planetary science; spacecraft;

Picture Perfect and Water Wise: Images May Someday Predict the Hazards of Volcanic Gas

Geospace | 22 December, 2014
By James Urton Gassy Mount Erebus served as a proving ground for Girona's efforts to measure water vapor content of degassed plumes.Credit: Jeaneeem Earlier this year, superheated water within Japan's Mount Ontake triggered a hydrothermal explosi...
Categories: 2014 Fall Meeting; Geohazards; Fall Meeting; featured; volcano;

Climate forecasts for 2015

Climate Lab Book | 22 December, 2014
As we reach the end of a likely record breaking year for global temperatures, what might we expect for 2015? Global average temperature: The Met Office have released their annual forecast: 0.64°C (95% range: 0.52-0.76°C) above the 1961-1990 average...
Categories: Arctic; forecast; observations; temperature; uncertainty; variability;

Digitate stromatolites

Mountain Beltway | 22 December, 2014
Want to see something cool? Itty bitty stromatolites... like baby's fingers! There's a big weathered-out stylolite at the base of this stromatolite-bearing layer, too.   These elfin stromatolites are part of the boulder in the lower left (...
Categories: alberta; canada; GEODE; gigapan; m.a.g.i.c.; stromatolites; stylolites; weathering;

THEMIS: Antoniadi Crater false color

Red Planet Report | 22 December, 2014
THEMIS Image of the Day, December 22, 2014. The THEMIS VIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. These false color images may reveal subtle variations ... Continue r...
Categories: Reports; Antoniadi Crater; Arizona State University; ASU; color; erosion; Mars Odyssey; NASA; THEMIS; Thermal Emission Imaging System;

Jots and Tittles of Beaks and Feet

The wide variety of modern bird behaviors - as well as the traces that result from these behaviors - continue to captivate and fascinate me. Given recent revelations of birds' dinosaurian ancestry and the interrelationships of modern birds (an evolutionary history spanning more than 150 million years), this wonderment should be expected. Accordingly, then, the traces made by modern birds can be equally varied, and can serve as guides to the behaviors of their predecessors, especially when made by birds interacting with ecological margins (ecotones).
Categories: Blog post; bird behavior; bird evolution; bird traces; birds; boat-tailed grackles; grackle tracks; neoichnology; shorebird traces;

Two new species of Electric Knifefish from the Amazonian river system.

Sciency Thoughts | 22 December, 2014
Electric Knifefish, Hypopomidae, are small freshwater fish found in still and slow moving waterways in South America. They are members of the Order Gymnotiformes, which also includes the Electric Eel, Electrophorus electricus, and like it are capabl...
Categories: Amazon Basin; Biodiversity; Bony Fish; Brazil; Columbia; Ecology; Ecuador; Electric Fish; Gymnotiformes; Ichthyology; Peru; South America; Taxonomy;

How to Make Good on the Promise of Water as a Human Right?

State of the Planet | 22 December, 2014
By Romit Sen and Kamal Vatta Water, one of the most basic life-sustaining resources, is under stress. A rising population, growing pollution and climate change threaten the availability and quality of water across the world. India, with a population ...
Categories: General Earth Institute; Water; Climate; India; policy; Sustainable Development; water matters;

Mesozoic Miscellany 71

Newsie BitsThe Danek Edmontosaurus Bonebed is the subject of the new issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. An important site for both research and outreach, the bonebed has produced over 800 specimens, dominated by E. regalis, but also containing the northernmost specimen of Albertosaurus, Troodon, and a bonus ceratopsian horncore. More: Everything Dinosaur and both featured articles about the bonebed. University of Alberta PhD candidate Michael Burns was interviewed about the issue in general at Canadian Science Publishing. The introduction is available for free[PDF link]. Around the DinoblogosphereRebecca Groom's rooster-y troodontid is gorgeous! The superlatives are tripping over themselves to stampede out my mouth. More book reviews from Herman Diaz at ART Evolved, this time focusing on a pair of titles from the Walking With Dinosaurs franchise. Gareth Monger is really delivering the goods in the early days of his Pteroformer blog, including this post about the need to stay open-minded as research changes the look of prehistoric animals. At SV-POW, Matt Wedel tips us off to the publication of his description of a new Haplocanthosaurus specimen, in the free-to-access journal Volumina Jurassica's new issue, which focuses on the Morrison formation. Brian Switek writes about research into the ranges of the Cretaceous sea bird Hesperornis, taking the approach of studying extant penguin growth rings. Liz Martin writes about one of the big reasons 2014 has been good to paleontology fans: two new pterosaur bonebed sites, which are exceedlingly rare. The Brazilian and Chinese sites feature multiple three-dimensionally preserved specimens of Caiuajara and Hamipterus, respectively. They really are treasure troves, adding new insights into social behavior, egg morphology, sexual dimorphism, ontogeny, and habitat. Read on at Gimpasaura. Ben Miller offers a look at The Last American Dinosaurs, an exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History. It looks amazing, and I agree when he writes that he's "...a fan of this personalized approach to science communication. In-house scientists are museums' most important and unique resources, and placing them front-and-center reminds visitors that science is done by real and diverse people, not caricatures in lab coats." You may see Albertonykus at The Last American Dinosaurs in his role as a docent, but his recent museum visit post takes you to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History instead. Fernanda Castano wrote a nice primer on the Anthropocene at Letters from Gondwana. A clumsy Aucasaurus was the subject of one of Mark Witton's paleoart commission specials, and a unique piece it is - a bit of slapstick humor but beautifully rendered. Lisa Buckley wrote about visiting the type locality of the ichnotaxa Ignotornis mcconnelli, sharing plenty of great photos from the site. The Dinosaur Toy blog featured a review of the new CollectA Mosasaurus. They also previewed a mixed bag of upcoming figures from Schleich. The Kentrosaurus is nice, at least. Extant Theropod AppreciationGray-Necked Wood Rails are Awesome (and Kind of Obnoxious). Paleoart PickApsaravis has done a gorgeous series on carcharodontosaurids, including this Acrocanthosaurus. You can and should buy prints of her work at DeviantArt.
Categories: mesozoic miscellany;

Imaggeo on Mondays: Wadis in a war zone

EGU Geolog | 22 December, 2014
The range of challenges scientists face when carrying out Earth science research in the field are vast. However, the story behind Vincent Felde's, a PhD candidate at Giessen University, image of the wadi, is truly remarkable and highlights how geoscientific research is not limited by borders or conflict.
Categories: Geomorphology; Hydrological Sciences; Imaggeo on Mondays; News; Soil Sciences; biological soil crusts; Sinai Peninsula; wadi;

A new species of Frog Crab from the Early Cretaceous of Colombia.

Sciency Thoughts | 22 December, 2014
Frog Crabs, Raninoidia, are well represented in the fossil record across much of the globe in the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic, but poorly recorded from the Early Cretaceous, when the group is thought to have originated. For a long time the majority...
Categories: Columbia; Crabs; Cretaceous; Frog Crabs; Paja Formation; Palaeobiodiversity; Palaeobiogeography; Palaeontology; Raninoidea; South America; Taxonomy;

Door 22: The Geological Society Christmas Quiz

Everybody loves a quiz, right?  (If your answer to that question is no, you might want to move on now.  Come back tomorrow, when normal service will be resumed.  At least in so far as service on the Geological Society blog is ever normal.) If the...
Categories: Advent calendar; advent calendar; christmas; quiz; winter;

Eleven Years of Hard Work for A Few Frantic Days of Science

I'm eating lunch and talking with my friend Bud Ward (Yale Climate Connections) at the AGU meeting in San francisco Wednesday, when I see a gentleman with a sticker on his lap-top that says "MY OTHER VEHICLE IS ON THE WAY TO PLUTO". Now, I had ...
Categories: Uncategorized; featured; NASA; New Horizons; Pluto;

Harpes perradiatus Trilobite Fossil

Louisville Fossils and Beyond | 21 December, 2014
Image of  a Harpes perradiatus trilobite fossil. This creature existed in the Middle Devonain Period. While visiting the Gallery of Natural History at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park (1300 N. College Ave, Tempe Arizona 85281)...
Categories: Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park; devonian; morocco; Trilobite;

2014 - So this was our year ...

Geonet - Shaken Not Stirred | 21 December, 2014
Another year almost over!  I thought i would keep it simple and just show you how our year was (its interactive so you can hover over the graphs and see the numbers)
Categories: None

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