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Troubled waters

Cabot Institute Blog | 29 May, 2015
Water seems like the simplest of molecules, but its complexities have enabled all life on Earth. Its high specific heat capacity allowed early aquatic life to survive extreme temperature fluctuations, its ability to dissolve a wide range of compounds means it is used as a solvent for cellular compounds, and its powerful cohesive properties allow tree sap and blood to move upwards, against the flow of gravity.
Categories: #droughtshaming; Alok Jha; Brazil; Bristol Festival of Ideas; Cabot Institute; drought; Sarah Jose; water; Watershed;

Why partnerships are so vital to the University of Bristol and the Cabot Institute

Cabot Institute Blog | 29 May, 2015
Launching VENTURE during Bristol 2015 (Part 1) 
Categories: Bristol; Bristol 2015; Cabot Institute; collaboration; corporate; partnerships; RED; resilience; Rich Pancost; Venture;

Reveal That Metazoan! Frenchman Coulee Fuzzy Critter Edition

En Tequila Es Verdad | 29 May, 2015
Let me tear you away from the slopes and Silver Lakes of Mount St. Helens for just a moment here, and take you back in time to the previous trip, when B and I headed to the dry side. We saw some pretty super-awesome things on that journey. One of them was barely visible. I'd never have noticed it, but B's brain is really good with the something's-not-like-the-others game. Let's see if you can spot it.
Categories: bit o' fun; science; Uncategorized;

Grand Canyon Field Institute 10-Day Colorado River Rafting Trip - Part 1 Lees Ferry to Phantom Ranch

Earthly Musings | 28 May, 2015
Each year, I lead a trip for the Grand Canyon Field Institute for 10-days of rafting and exploring the Colorado River. We use the outfitter Arizona Raft Adventures (AzRA). On this years trip 14 lucky passengers experienced the wonder and awe of the Grand Canyon boat.
Categories: None

Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: Petrified conifer wood

Wooster Geologists | 28 May, 2015
It is hard to believe as we look closer and closer at the specimen that this is a fossil and not modern wood. Here we see the structure of the annual rings. The light-colored section is the new growth, the darker is when growth slowed at the end of the season. Our Wooster dendrochronologists, Greg Wiles and Nick Wiesenberg, could tell from this view that our tree was some kind of conifer.
Categories: Uncategorized; Fossil of the Week; fossils; tree ring; wood;

Possession Point Landslide: Fluid Landslide in the Summer

 A bit of follow up on the landslide shown in yesterday's post. The emphasis of the post was that large run outs on tide lands tend to get erased and thus the scale of the risk might be missed with the lack of evidence.
Categories: geology; landslides;

Geo 1095: May 28, Day 878: Where the Water Goes

As we left Proxy Falls during our July 2013 (my first) visit, I asked Anne if she knew where the water came back out. She grinned and nodded "yes." I don't know if she had intended to stop at this spot or not, but it's gorgeous, and I'm awfully glad we did. This is merely the edge of a vast area where water reemerges as springs and pools, so it's not just where the water from Proxy Falls comes back to the surface, but likely the main set of springs for this entire drainage, up onto the western portion of the High Cascades Platform. To find it (It's maybe 6 or 7 miles down the road from the Proxy parking area.), look for a large field on the north side of the road, with a large Douglas fir standing out from the rest of the forest toward the back. There's a dirt road across that field, which circles the tree. The path to the springs is pretty much directly opposite the tree from the highway, and it's a very short and easy walk from the field to the pools. The FlashEarth view should make it pretty clear, and drag the view to the WNW to get a sense of the extent of these springs.
Categories: Earth; Geo 1095; Geology; Oregon;

Alaska Sees Earliest 90 Degree Temperatures On Record

From today: This temperature map of Alaska shows the unusual warmth on May 23, 2015, at 2 p.m. local time in Fairbanks.  Based on NOAA's Real-time Mesoscale Analysis data, it shows air temperatures at 2 meters (6.6 feet) above the...
Categories: Uncategorized; Alaska heat; climate; Climate Change; featured; NOAA;

Niagara Falls Erosion - Part II

In my previous post, Niagara Falls Erosion - Part I, I discussed the geologic setting of the Niagara Escarpment and how the average rate of erosion of the falls since the last Ice Age has been about 3 feet a year.  This is based on the total distance of movement of Niagara Falls from the Niagara Escarpment since the last Ice Age.
Categories: None

STARS Sustainability Summit: Ramping up Sustainability at Columbia

State of the Planet | 28 May, 2015
Columbia University received a gold star rating as part of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS), a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. In May 2...
Categories: General Earth Institute; Columbia University; Office of Environmental Stewardship; Sustainability; sustainability metrics;

Scientists should speak simply to other scientists, too

By Ilissa Ocko. By Ilissa Ocko The canonical rule of thumb for scientists speaking to nonscientists is to talk as if you were speaking to eighth graders, because a lay audience often has a basic, and certainly not specialized, understanding of scienc...
Categories: Science and art; Science in plain English; Education; featured; from a scientist's perspective; how to; plainspoken scientist; science communication;

Finally we have the basement from Laxmi Basin!

Finally we have it! Just a few hours are left in the winding up operations of Expedition 355 in the Arabian Sea and we just recovered what we have been looking for past 60 days! We got the Ba...
Categories: None

The Navajo Rug

Along Utah Highway 163 west of Bluff, I stopped where tourists stop, and took this photo.  The pinnacle in the center is the Mexican Hat, one of many rock features on the Colorado Plateau curious enough to be named.  And if they're named, people will stop and take photos.  But that's not why I stopped.  I was interested in the curious slope behind - the west flank of a ridge with many names.
Categories: Utah geology;

Forecast Sees a Stronger El Niño

State of the Planet | 28 May, 2015
El Niño is back, and it looks like it will be getting stronger. While it's difficult to predict the impact precisely, El Niño can alter patterns of drought and rainfall around the world....
Categories: Climate; Climate Science; El Niño; International Research Institute for Climate and Society;

Carbonate Geophysics Short Course

Seismos | 28 May, 2015
Just a note to let everyone know that I will be teaching my new 1-day short course on Carbonate Geophysics (CG) for the first time on June 16 at the China University of Petroleum in Qingdao. Many thanks to the Chinese American Petroleum Association (CAPA) for arranging and facilitating this course. It culminates over 10 years of working on carbonates at Saudi Aramco, the University of Houston and now at the University of Arkansas. After my SEG President term winds down in Fall 2015, I will be available to teach CG on a request basis worldwide as an in-house or public offering. Contact me for details.
Categories: None

Tropical Storm Andres Forms in the Northeast Pacific; Not a Threat to Mexico

The Northeast Pacific's first named storm of 2015 is here. Tropical Storm Andres formed at 11 am EDT on Thursday, in the waters about 690 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. The first named storm of the Northeast Pacific hurricane season usually f...
Categories: None

Highlights—Thriving Devonian microbialite reefs

JSR Paper Clips | 28 May, 2015
The abundance of reefs and the biota that they include vary through geologic time, punctuated by periods of rapid change. To understand the dynamics of such change, Matysik et al.document the structure, dimensions, and spatial patterns of microbial-dominated patch reefs in mixed carbonate-siliciclastic environments on the northern margin of Gondwana during the Early Devonian "crisis" in metazoan reef development. Despite different composition, these reefs show close similarities in shape and spatial arrangement with present-day coral patch reefs, suggesting comparable controls. Additionally, the strata show a close relation between metazoans and microbialites in reefs and reef-associated strata, illustrating that microbialites can compete successfully, even in the presence of metazoans, given elevated nutrient supply and elevated temperatures.
Categories: None

Rio Grande flows again through southern New Mexico

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 28 May, 2015
My friend Phil King, a professor at New Mexico State University and water advisor to the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, has been following the water down through the Rio Grande southern New Mexico valleys as irrigation season starts:
Categories: New Mexico; water;

Symposium on Mega Earthquake Induced Geo-disasters – The field trips part I: Wenchuan epicenter

Paleoseismicity | 28 May, 2015
In my last post I blogged about the International Symposium on Mega Earthquake Induced Geo-disasters and Long Term Effects in Chengdu, China, and now I want to report about one of the field trips that I participated after the symposium. While we spent the morning and early afternoon at the Qipan gully to look at a giant debris flow that occurred five years after the earthquake, in the afternoon we had the chance to visit the memorial site of the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, which is basically the collapsed building of a middle school close to the epicenter that was left as it was after the earthquake. I want to report about this site first because it is more about the earthquake itself. In my next post I will report about the Qipan gully debris flow.
Categories: Earthquake; Meeting; China; Conference; earthquake; earthquake damage;

Four mission assembly progress reports: ExoMars TGO, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, and BepiColombo

2015 has seen few deep-space-craft launches, but 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year with three launches, followed quickly by a fourth in early 2017. All of the missions under development have reported significant milestones recently....
Categories: None

The 12th International Symposium on Landslides, Naples, June 2016

The Landslide Blog | 28 May, 2015
The 12th International Symposium on Landslides (12 ISL) will be held on 12-19 June 2016 at the Royal Continental Hotel in Naples, Italy. This is a symposium jointly organized by FedIGS, ISSMGE, ISRM, IGS, JTC1. The previous symposia were as follows:
Categories: Conference; conference; Europe; International Symposium on Landslides; Italy; landslides; symposium;

NASA Earth Observation Satellites See Floods in Oklahoma and Arkansas

These two images from the NASA Terra and Aqua satellites are almost exactly 2 years apart. You can easily see the difference the flooding rains have had in the Arkansas River, especially around Fort Smith. More flooding rains are likely over the next...
Categories: Uncategorized; featured; Modis; NASA; oklahoma;

Short anatomy of a bentonite deposit

The Lost Geologist | 27 May, 2015
Bentonite deposits in Bavaria, Southern Germany, are located in a 10 by 40 km wide belt between Mainburg, Moosburg and Landshut, roughly northeast of Munich. Among non-geologists the region is more famous for its hop fields, and bentonite mines are scenically located between hop and gently rolling green hills. Underneath the hop, bentonites are hosted in fluviatile-lacustrine gravels of the Nördlicher Vollschotter (Northern Main Gravel) unit.
Categories: Bavaria; Bentonite;

Geo 1095: May 27, Day 877: Simple Contact, or Channel?

Down in those vine maples, you can see the contact between the edge of the Collier Cone Lava Flow (right) and the older, glacially carved, volcanic rock of the valley floor (left). The question is, has this contact been modified by rare to occasional burst floods from above the valley? It seems clear to me that there has been no such activity recently; the thick-bedded moss would not be so consistent. Likewise, there's some down logs in pretty advanced states of decay near the center of the photo. Any recent (past decade or so) would have left both of those features more chewed up. The contact seems rounded, which might indicate erosional modification... but look at all that living and dead plant material! Surely that might be the explanation for the apparent rounding.
Categories: Earth; Geo 1095; Geology; Living Things; Oregon; Volcanoes;

Procrastiantion (Note to self: fix this typo …. later)

oncirculation | 27 May, 2015
Warning: This post is procrastination in the form of a rant. Reading it counts as procrastination, so if you wish to work turn back. But you already started, eh? Yeah well, read on then...
Categories: A day in the life...;

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