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It's the silly season

Through The Sandglass | 29 June, 2016
OK, granular materials behave strangely, but I really don't think this is going to work.   [I have no idea where this picture was taken - it's been circulating on the net]...
Categories: Humour;

Trace fossils in sandstone from Barns Ness

Mountain Beltway | 29 June, 2016
Check out this sandstone cobble I saw at Barns Ness - it comes bearing gorgeous trace fossils. Can you spot them?
Categories: sandstone; scotland; trace fossils;

A massive secondary landslide in Devdoraki Gorge, Georgia

The Landslide Blog | 29 June, 2016
In 2014 I posted about a very large landslide that caused extensive damage in the Devdoraki Gorge (which is often described as the Dariali Gorge) in Georgia.  That landslide left a very large volume of debris in the river bed. On 23rd June this debris mobilised into a new, secondary, landslide that caused extensive damage along the key highway that links with Georgia and Russia via the Kazbegi Customs checkpoint.  Thanks to a warning system installed after the 2014 events, no-one was injured, but the damage appears to be significant.  The road remains closed.
Categories: landslide report; Europe; featured; Georgia; hydroelectric powe; Russia;

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education IIa: In Which We Are Told About Science!

En Tequila Es Verdad | 29 June, 2016
The best thing about being an adult is that I get to read textbooks by choice*, something my younger self would find fairly horrifying. The other best thing is that I don't have to read them sober.
Categories: Adventures in Christianist Earth Sci Ed; creationism; religion; science; a beka; BJU; christian; curriculum; earth science; Earth Science 4th Edition; geology; homeschool; indoctrination; Science of the Physical Creation;

Considering the Wild Diversity of Frills Among Horned Dinosaurs

The frills sported by horned dinosaurs are fascinating, as are the creative and wide ranging hypotheses proffered to explain this "exaggerated" feature.  Two of the most difficult aspects of drafting this post may have been (1) keeping from getting mired in the vigorous debate over explanations for those frills (I am deliberately cursory in my treatment below), and (2) refraining from a title that grossly punned on the word "frill" (e.g., A Frilling Debate).
Categories: ceratopsian dinosaurs; frills; Scott Sampson;

Big booster blasts Utah hillside, and NASA discusses Journey to Mars

Planetary Society Weblog | 29 June, 2016
NASA and Orbital ATK successfully completed a qualification motor firing of a five-segment solid rocket booster that will fly on the Space Launch System in 2018....
Categories: None

Curiosity: Mesas and buttes ahead

Red Planet Report | 28 June, 2016
Sol 1384, June 28, 2016. Looking toward the south, Curiosity's Navcam shows a relatively sand-free and rolling surface of cracked rock, with several mesas and buttes in the distance. At left is a small part of Helgas Dune. For the ... Continue read...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Helgas Dune; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Formation; NASA; Naukluft Plateau; Stimson Formation;

Up to 8 Inches of Rain Fall on the Eastern Shore of Maryland

I live here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and we had a severe flood event last night. Nearly 6 inches of rain fell at my house. This comes after my post yesterday about the difficulty in forecasting extreme events like floods. Look below and read...
Categories: Uncategorized; featured; maryland flooding; science education; weather; West Virginia Flooding;

Asteroid (441987) 2010 NY65 passes the Earth.

Sciency Thoughts | 28 June, 2016
Asteroid (441987) 2010 NY65 passed by the Earth at a distance of 4 118 000 km (10.7 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 2.75% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 10.30 am GMT on Friday 24 June 2016. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented a considerable threat. (441987) 2010 NY65 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 94-300 m (i.e. a spherical body with the same mass would be 94-300 m in diameter), and an towards the upper end of this range would pass through the atmosphere and directly impact the ground with a force of about 1110 megatons (about 65 300 times the explosive energy of the Hiroshima bomb), causing devastation over a wide area and creating a crater about 4.6 km across, and resulting in global climatic problems that could last for decades or even centuries.
Categories: (441987) 2010 NY65; Asteroids; Aten Family Asteroids; Near Earth Asteroids; Potentially Hazardous Asteroids; Solar System;

Ushering in a New Era of Drones

Speaking of Geoscience | 28 June, 2016
A lot more drones the size of full-grown poodles will soon be zooming over rooftops, thanks to new federal regulations.
Categories: Public Policy; Science Communication; drones; earth science; FAA; geology; geoscience; UAS; unmanned aerial vehicle; unmanned aircraft system;

Curiosity update: Baynes Mountain

Red Planet Report | 28 June, 2016
Sol 1384, June 27, 2016, update from USGS scientist Ryan Anderson: Our weekend soliday plan was successful, putting us about halfway to our next likely drilling location. We are now in "unrestricted" planning again, meaning we will be getting dat...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Baynes Mountain; Berseba; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Formation; NASA; Naukluft Plateau; Stimson Formation;

The argument for California to make a Colorado River deal

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 28 June, 2016
The trick now is for the three U.S. states sharing the Colorado River's water downstream of of Lake Mead - Nevada, Arizona, and California - to negotiate some sort of a deal that reduces their collective take on the river. That's trick one. Trick two is for state negotiators to then sell the deal back home to sometimes recalcitrant local water agencies that take a dim view of giving up water.
Categories: Colorado River; water;

Approach to Titus Canyon: To Red Pass

Looking for Detachment | 28 June, 2016
It looks to me like you can see Quail Rock from White Pass!We've gone over White Pass--btw, here's a gigapan looking west from White Pass--and we've gone across the flats in the east fork of upper Titanothere Canyon. The road has become a fairly normal dirt road, and although it's still a little narrow, there are places to pull over, or pass, if you happen to be traveling faster than someone ahead of you--although by this point on the road, there is plenty to look at, everywhere, all around, so going slow behind someone (back far enough not to eat any of their dust) is an acceptable option. All through this section, until about the unnamed pass between the east and west forks of upper Titanothere Canyon, the age of the rock formations is Cambrian to the south and Tertiary to the north. The unnamed pass is marked by "Gate" and a gate symbol on the USGS topographic map of the area (USGS TNM 2.0 Viewer)--not that I noticed a gate.
Categories: california; d.v.; fossils; geography; geology; maps; parks; road trip; roadside; sedimentary rocks; tertiary; titus; volcanic rocks;

A Gallery of Tropical Influences: MJO, CCKW, TIW, and La Niña

Given the quick start we've seen to the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season--with Tropical Storms Danielle and Colin the earliest third and fourth named storms on record--the Atlantic may not need much help working its way well through the alphabet. Eve...
Categories: None

Science Spoiler Alert: Finding Dory

Deep Sea News | 28 June, 2016
In which Dr. Milton Love ruins the magic behind Finding Dory with Science, but we love him anyways. TUNE IN HERE...
Categories: Adaptations; Biology; Coral; Ecology; Favorite Species; Fish; Fishing; Mating & Reproduction; Organisms; Pictures and Movies; clownfish; Finding Dory; Finding Nemo; Tang;

THEMIS: Vernal Crater floor – false color

Red Planet Report | 28 June, 2016
THEMIS Image of the Day, June 28, 2016. Today's false color image shows part of the floor of Vernal Crater. Dark blue in this band configuration often indicates sand or basaltic materials. The THEMIS VIS camera contains 5 filters. The data ... Con...
Categories: Reports; Arizona State University; ASU; dunes; Mars Odyssey; NASA; sand dunes; THEMIS; Themis Image of the Day; Thermal Emission Imaging System; Vernal Crater;

Brexit, trust and the future of global environmental governance

Cabot Institute Blog | 28 June, 2016
Post-Brexit vote, we are posting some blogs from our Cabot Institute members outlining their thoughts on Brexit and potential implications for environmental research, environmental law and the environment.  
Categories: air; Brexit; Cabot Institute; climate change; environment; governance; Malcolm Fairbrother; pollution; Sean Fox; University of Bristol; vote; water;

Brexit II and Volcanoes

With a fair bit of field work travel including camping I have had a fair bit of radio Brexit exposure from NPR, CBC and BBC.  
Categories: odds and ends;

Guest Blog: Liz’s Summer Internship

My name is Elizabeth Mizikar, and I am a rising senior at Pennsylvania State University. I am majoring in Geobiology and plan on pursuing graduate school in the future. Recently, I began a five week internship at the Virginia Museum of Natural Histo...
Categories: Uncategorized;

Climate change causing oceanic boundary currents to intensify and shift poleward

Geospace | 28 June, 2016
by Sina Löschke and Lauren Lipuma
Categories: Atmospheric science; climate change; Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans; Ocean sciences; atmosphere; featured; oceans;

Despite Strategic Focus on Resilience, Nature-Based Solutions May Remain Under-Utilized in Indian Cities

The Nature of Cities | 28 June, 2016
Cities are considered to be at the forefront of sustainability practices (Rosenzweig et al., 2010) aimed at addressing the impacts of global environmental change and socio-economic inequality. Recent developments in research on urban resilience promo...
Categories: Essay; Place & Design; Science & Tools; Asia; Climate change; Disasters/Red zone; Green Infrastructure; Infrastructure; Justice; Policy; Resilience;

“Dunbar marble” at Barns Ness, Scotland

Mountain Beltway | 28 June, 2016
Thanks to the website, run by Angus Miller, I learned of Barns Ness, a Mississippian-aged limestone fossil site on the shore not far from where we are staying at Dunbar. We ventured out there on Saturday afternoon, in search of fossils.
Categories: beach; corals; faults; fossils; GEODE; gigapan; groundwater; limestone; m.a.g.i.c.; scotland; shale; stromatolites; trace fossils; weathering; featured;

New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering report on the Kumamoto Earthquake

The Landslide Blog | 28 June, 2016
The New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering has produced a report, available online, on the Kumamoto Earthquake.  This is apt given that this area is once again suffering very heavy rainfall today - this is the Japan Meteorological Agency landslide hazard map as I write:
Categories: Earthquake-induced landslide; earthquake; East Asia; featured; japan; Kumamoto;

The Hawai'i That Was: How Can the Biggest Mountain in the World Stay So Hidden?

Geotripper | 28 June, 2016
Mauna Loa from the Mauna Kea Road near the Onizuka CenterThe answer is easy: clouds. This whole post is a temper tantrum, a tantrum that resulted from the fact that we were on the Big Island of Hawai'i, the site of the biggest mountain on planet Earth, for nine days a few weeks ago. Despite repeated opportunities, my students never had a clear view of Mauna Loa, the volcano that covers more than half of the island. It was a rainy stretch of weather, so the best we ever got were brief peeks, kind of like watching an old-fashioned feather boa dance. So in response, I've drawn from the Geotripper archives to find pictures of Mauna Loa from earlier trips. Very sunny trips.
Categories: Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park; Mauna Kea; Mauna Loa; Ninole Hills; shield volcano; The Hawai'i that was;


Inkstain (John Fleck) | 28 June, 2016
Lake Mead this evening is passing through a historic milestone - below elevation 1,072 feet above sea level for the first time since it was filled in the 1930s.
Categories: Colorado River; water;

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