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The Tanjung Bungah landslide: a very challenging site

The Landslide Blog | 24 October, 2017
In Malaysia, the fall out from the Tanjung Bungah landslide, which killed 11 construction workers in Penang on Saturday, continues unabated.  The Penang State Government is reported to have stated that the cause of the landslide was human error.  That may be true, but it is far from clear as to what this means.  Was there a failure to understand the ground conditions properly? Or was the slope design incorrect? Or was there a failure to construct to the agreed design?  Errors can occur at any stage; often there are multiple small elements.  It is also important to emphasise that human error does not necessarily mean that someone was negligent (although this is sometimes the case).
Categories: landslide report; construction; cutslope; featured; malaysia; SE. Asia;

Ghosts of the Empty Lands East of the Sierra Nevada: The Town of Bodie

Geotripper | 24 October, 2017
The Matterhorn Crest of the Sierra Nevada from Bridgeport. Bodie is another twenty miles to the east.Central California is almost literally a "land flowing with milk and honey". The Great Valley (called by those who live elsewhere the Central Valley) is one of the richest agricultural regions on planet Earth, producing most of the nation's nuts, and a significant portion of its vegetables and fruits. And lots of honey, from the bee colonies used to pollinate the crops, and milk from the hundreds of dairy farms. The rich harvest is made possible by the imposing wall of the Sierra Nevada, a 400-mile-long mountain range that wrings out practically all the moisture in the storm systems that roll in from the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It is in so many ways a gentle land where extreme weather events are relatively rare (recent floods and droughts notwithstanding). The fault lines for which California is famous are relatively far to the west, so earthquakes don't often affect the towns and cities of the valley (although the possibility is certainly there).
Categories: Bodie Ghost Town; Bridgeport; Eastern Sierra Nevada; ghost town; Matterhorn Crest;

Asteroid 2017 TE5 passes the Earth.

Sciency Thoughts | 24 October, 2017
Asteroid 2017 TE5 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 513 850 km (1.34 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.34% of the distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly before 11.10 am GMT on Tuesday 17 October 2017. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though were it to do so it would not have presented a significant threat. 2017 TE5 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 12-38 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 12-38 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to explode in an airburst (an explosion caused by superheating from friction with the Earth's atmosphere, which is greater than that caused by simply falling, due to the orbital momentum of the asteroid) in the atmosphere between 30 and 12 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.
Categories: 2017 TE5; Apollo Group Asteroids; Asteroids; Near Earth Asteroids; Solar System;

Opportunity: Northern composite view

Red Planet Report | 24 October, 2017
Sol 4886, October 22, 2017. Above is a composite view of Navcam shots starting with one that looks straight up the slope Opportunity is parked on (left side) and continuing on the north side around to look straight downslope (right ... Continue readi...
Categories: Reports; Cape Byron; Endeavour Crater; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity; Perseverance Valley;

HiRISE: Window into the past

Red Planet Report | 23 October, 2017
The layered sedimentary deposits inside the giant canyons of Mars have puzzled scientists for decades. These light toned deposits have fine, horizontal laminations that are unlike the rugged rim rock of the Valles Marineris. Various ideas for the ori...
Categories: Reports; Candor Chasma; Ceti Mensa; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; ILDs; interior layered deposits; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; sediments; University of Arizona; Valles Marineris;

TetZooCon 2017

On Saturday October 21, Natee and I once again attended TetZooCon, the convention spun off (lest we forget) from Darren Naish's long-running blog, Tetrapod Zoology (currentlyhostedatScientificAmerican), and the incredibly tightly focused and well-edited TetZoo Podcast. It's becoming the very best kind of annual tradition. Better even than Christmas; all the boozing is there*, but you get to hear awesome zoology-themed talks and schmooze it up with renowned scientists and artists, rather than having to pretend to like your extended family. For its fourth iteration, the show moved venues and was even bigger and grander than ever; a bit like Jurassic World with more convincing dinosaurs and female characters. Here's how it all went down.
Categories: 2017; Darren Naish; farts; head on a stick; James Robins; Steve White; Tetzoocon;

Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship Applications due Nov. 15th

Women in Planetary Science | 23 October, 2017
From Ella Sciamma O'Brien: The goal of the Amelia Earhart (AE) Fellowship, established in 1938 in honor of the legendary pilot and Zontian, is to assist the future of women in the fields of aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineer...
Categories: planetary science;

Monday Geology Picture: Basaltic Weathering

Georneys | 23 October, 2017
Olivine crystals (little yellow-green particles) weathering out of a young basaltic surface.
Categories: basalt; Monday Geology Picture; olivine; Reunion;

Kick starting the new Red River Delta project in Vietnam…by Ginnie Panizzo

Ginnie sampling watersEarlier this year, four members of the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry (Suzanne McGowan and Ginnie Panizzo; University of Nottingham with Chris Vane and Melanie Leng; BGS) travelled to Hanoi, Vietnam to meet their Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) collaborators on a new 3 year project. The project entitled "Assessing human impacts on the Red River system, Vietnam, to enable sustainable management" was awarded to  Suzanne McGowan (UK) and Do Thu Nga (VN) under the Newton Fund RCUK-NAFOSTED Research Partnership Call and includes a 10 strong research team. Here Ginnie tells us about the trip...
Categories: Centre for Environmental Geochemistry; Ginnie Panizzo; Red River Delta; river sediments; University of Nottingham; Vietnam; Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology;

THEMIS: Thin lines of dunes on Meroe Patera

Red Planet Report | 23 October, 2017
THEMIS Image of the Day, October 23, 2017. This image shows part of the dune field near Meroe Patera. High resolution imaging by other spacecraft has revealed that the dunes in this region are moving. Winds are blowing the dunes ... Continue reading ...
Categories: Reports; Arizona State University; ASU; Mars Odyssey; Meroe Patera; NASA; sand dunes; Syrtis Major; THEMIS; THEMIS Image of the Day; Thermal Emission Imaging System; volcanics;

The Human and Financial Cost of Pollution

State of the Planet | 23 October, 2017
We need to ensure that our air, water and soil is free of poisons and to do that we need to take pollution control more seriously than we do today. Many industries have found that environmental regulation is compatible with long term production and p...
Categories: Health; Sustainability; air pollution; MS in Sustainability Management News; Pollution; Sustainability Management; toxic chemicals;

Hawkins’ St George and the, errr, ‘dragon’

I was recently introduced to the image below and thought it was something I should share. Given my interest in pterosaurs and palaeoart I was rather surpised by it as I was completely unaware of its existence. That is is by a British artist with a major influence on early depicitons of fossil animals only added to my surpise that it had passed me by. Perhaps it is well known and I've simply managed to miss it, but I rather supect it may not be common knowledge at all since it was apparently not created for a palaeontological audience.
Categories: Palaeoart;

Expedition Planning and Flying Fish

Notes from the field | 23 October, 2017
I try not to make this blog a travel diary, but sometimes an event is worth a sidebar. So, before I launch into words about our voyage planning, I must tell you about the flying fish.
Categories: Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS); ocean salinity; oceanography; SPURS2;

New York Is Still Feeling the Effects of Hurricane Sandy, Five Years Later

State of the Planet | 23 October, 2017
In October 2012, Sandy devastated large swaths of the city with floods and fire. How well have we recovered? And will we be ready for the next big storm?...
Categories: Climate; Natural Disasters; Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs; Hurricane Sandy; hurricanes; Infrastructure; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; MTA; national center for disaster preparedness; New York City; resiliency;

Seven dead in Thailand flooding.

Sciency Thoughts | 23 October, 2017
Seven people have died in flooding in northern Thailand since 10 October 2017, as the country has suffered its heaviest rains for thirty years, with 214 mm of rain falling on Bangkok in a single night this weekend (more than two thirds of the rain that would usually be expected to fall on the city in the entire of October). In order to protect the city, authorities have restricted the outflow of water from the Chao Phraya Barrage, leading to flooding in communities behind the dam; this comes after a decision to increase the outflow from the dam earlier this month that resulted in flooding in communities downstream of the dam, an operation which cannot be repeated without effecting the city, as high rain levels have prevented the floods from subsiding.
Categories: Bangkok; Chao Phraya Barrage; Flooding; Monsoon; Southeast Asia; Thailand;

Imaggeo on Mondays: Ice forming on Chesapeake Bay

EGU Geolog | 23 October, 2017
Sandwiched between the U.S states of Mayland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York State, the District of Columbia and Virginia, lies Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. It is of huge ecological importance: "the bay, its rivers, wetlands and forests provide homes, food and protection for countless animals and plants", says the Chesapeake Bay Program. Up to 150 major rivers and streams feed into the bay's watershed.
Categories: Biogeosciences; Climate; Geodynamics; Geomorphology; Hydrological Sciences; Imaggeo; Imaggeo on Mondays; Natural Hazards; Ocean Sciences; Regular Features; Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Palaeontology; bolide impact; Chesapeake Bay; ecology; Eocene; estuary; sea level rise; watershed; wetlands;

The history of Alpine geology from a Swiss mountain top with Anna Bidgood

The Traveling Geologist | 23 October, 2017
Anna is a PhD student at Oxford University. You can read more about her adventures here.
Categories: Anna Bidgood; Recent; Alpine geology; mountains; Switzerland; women in science;

Geoscientist and singer-songwriter shares her creative side at AGU’s Open Mic Night – and you can, too!

The Plainspoken Scientist | 23 October, 2017
By Bronwen Konecky Bronwen Konecky at a home recording session with Providence, Rhode Island-based band The SwampBirds. Bronwen, a paleoclimatologist, uses music to communicate about geology. Photo credit: Jen Long. Science is about discovering unive...
Categories: AGU Fall Meeting; SciArt; Science and art; science and society; featured; plainspoken scientist; science communication; science outreach; Sharing Science;

x lines of Python: load curves from LAS

Agile Geoscience | 23 October, 2017
Welcome to the latest x lines of Python post, in which we have a crack at some fundamental subsurface workflows... in as few lines of code as possible. Ideally, x < 10.
Categories: X Lines; Workflows;

Jesse Zondervan’s #GfGDPicks (Oct 2017): Tsunami risk in Geneva, storms in Mumbai, floating runways in Fiji, a river with legal rights, #SciComm

Each month, Jesse Zondervan picks his favourite posts from geoscience and development blogs/news, relevant to the work and interests of  Geology for Global Development . Here's a round-up of Jesse's selections for the past two weeks:
Categories: Climate change; Disaster Risk Reduction; Environmental Management; Geohazards; Jesse Zondervan; UNISDR;

Modelling earthquake wave amplification

Earth Learning Idea | 23 October, 2017
Our new Earthlearningidea is 'Jelly/biscuit modelling of how earthquake waves amplify and devastate; demonstrating how seismic shaking depends on local geology'
Categories: Natural Hazards;

Tanjung Bungah: a major construction site landslide in Malaysia that killed 11 people

The Landslide Blog | 23 October, 2017
A landslide at a construction site at Tanjung Bungah, which is a suburb of George Town in Penang in NW Malaysia, on Saturday killed 11 site workers.  The slide, which occurred at the construction site for two 49 storey residential towers, is known to have killed workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan, as well as the site supervisor from Malaysia.  The best image that I have seen of the failure is this one, via the Sun Daily:
Categories: landslide report; construction; cutslope; featured; malaysia; SE. Asia;

How Does a Pristine Cavern Look? Black Chasm Provides a Clue

Geotripper | 23 October, 2017
Some things can only be experienced once. The discovery of a new plant or animal that no one has ever seen, a new mineral, a new planet in space, to see a vista that no one has witnessed before. Exploration of new things is one of the great joys of being human. One of the saddest lines I've ever seen in a move was from The Truman Show (1998):
Categories: Black Chasm Cavern; dripstone; flowstone; Helictites; Sierra Nevada Mother Lode;

Outbreak of Marburg Virus thought to have killed at least two in Kween District, Uganda.

Sciency Thoughts | 22 October, 2017
Two people have died and two more are sick in an of Marburg Virus, a form of hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, in the Kween District of eastern Uganda. The alarm was raised after a 50-year-old woman died in a health clinic on 11 October 2017, of a fever combined with extensive bleeding and diarrhoea. Blood samples collected from the patient were sent for testing, and were confirmed to contain the Marburg Virus on 17 October. An investigation found that the woman's brother had died of a similar fever three weeks earlier, in what is thought to be an almost certain second case of the disease, as the man is known to have been a hunter who operated in an area with caves home to Fruit Bats of the genus Rousettus, the natural hosts of the Virus. 
Categories: Africa; Bats; Biodiversity; East Africa; Epidemiology; Filoviruses; Fruit Bats; Kween District; Marburg Virus; Microbiology; RNA Viruses; Uganda; Viruses; Zoonotic Diseases;

on democracy

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 22 October, 2017
Erik Loomis is writing here about capitalism and socialism and forestry, but this generalizes:
Categories: Uncategorized;

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