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WiPS in the News

Congratulations to our female planetary science colleagues who have recently received awards for their research and accomplishments!
Categories: Awards; Graduate Students;

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4060 - June 26, 2015

Planetary Society Weblog | 29 July, 2015
Larry Crumpler gives an update on the Opportunity rover's activities in Spirit of St. Louis crater....
Categories: None

Invest 94L Off the Coast of Africa May Slowly Develop

The first African tropical wave worthy of being classified by NHC as an area of interest (an "Invest") has emerged from the coast of Africa, and lies a few hundred miles southeast of the Cape Verde Islands. Invest 94L has conditions that favor some s...
Categories: None

Should the PhD thesis still exist in the 21st Century?

Fourth Rock From the Sun | 29 July, 2015
There is one thing that a PhD student fears more than their research failing, exploding or becoming sentient and that is the oncoming dread of having to write up several years of hard work into a thesis at the end of their project. In the UK, where I'm based, a PhD thesis typically consists of 40,000 to 100,000 words describing the research area, methods and results. I'm approaching the end of writing mine and it's been a particularly gruelling experience.
Categories: Uncategorized;

Do a few sand grains reveal the ‘lost’ mid-Cretaceous deserts of North Africa? Andy Newell

Quartz grain viewed through a scanning electron microscopeThe image to the right might look like a NASA image of some distant planet but it is actually a grain of sand recovered from a deep borehole in the Sahara desert of central Algeria. The quartz grain, magnified many times using a scanning electron microscope, comes from the 'Continental Intercalaire', a thick unit of snadstones, mudstones and carbonates which lies below much of the Sahara desert. Vast quantities of groundwater are stored within the Continental Intercalaire deposits.
Categories: #BGSGroundwater; aeolian; Algeria; Andrew Newell; aquifer; Continental Intercalaire; Cretaceous; groundwater; In Salah; Kechba; NASA; North Africa; Sahara desert;

Dusty comet releases mysterious clumps

Geospace | 29 July, 2015
By Larry O'Hanlon Images of an unusually dusty comet have revealed strange streaming clumps that could hold the secrets to how comets create their beautiful, sweeping, striated tails. Comet C/2011 L4 barged into the research of solar physicist Nour...
Categories: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics; Uncategorized; comet; featured;

Dinosaur Footprints in Culpeper VA

Luck Stone Quarry The paleontology crew from the VMNH headed up to Culpeper, Virginia to attend a special viewing of the impressive dinosaur trackways of the Luck Stone quarry. These fossils come from a roughly 210-million-year-old mudflat preserved...
Categories: Newark Supergroup; Vertebrate Paleontology;

Positively-weathering volcanic dike near Granby, Colorado

Mountain Beltway | 29 July, 2015
My friend Barbara am Ende sent along this lovely image of a dike in Colorado:
Categories: blue ridge; colorado; igneous; piedmont; virginia; weathering;

All you ever wanted to know about EGU publications

EGU Geolog | 29 July, 2015
Did you know that, the EGU, through Copernicus Publications, publishes 17 peer-reviewed open-access journals? The journals cover a range of topics within the Earth, planetary and space sciences: with publications spanning the cryospheric sciences, soil system sciences, through to non-linear processes in geophysics, there is something for everyone. Whatever your area of research, chances are you'll be represented within the range of EGU publications!
Categories: EGU; Open Access; Publications; Social Media; EGU Journals; Interactive public peer review; peer review; publications;

Five bizarre fossil discoveries that got scientists excited

GEES-ology | 29 July, 2015
By Liam HerringshawFrom trilobites to tyrannosaurs, most fossils are of creatures with hard shells or bones. These materials don't easily biodegrade and sediment has time to build up around them and turn them into a record of the creature that is s...
Categories: coprolites; fossil sperm; ostracods; palaentology;

GPS, Geocaching, and Greenland Glaciers

Icy Seas | 29 July, 2015
Navigating ice, ocean, and land, brave women and men have always used the stars for guidance. Just think of the three kings who followed a star to witness the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem 2015 years ago. They were 6 days late. Keeping track of time track was always difficult for navigating, especially at sea and the British Navy lost many ships as a result of poor time keeping. There are books written on the history of determining longitude, the best of which is called, well, "Longitude." Now why would I ponder these questions and histories two hours before I am boarding the Swedish icebreaker Oden to travel by sea and ice to Petermann Glacier?
Categories: Greenland; History; Petermann Glacier; Petermann2015; geocaching; glaciers; GPS; Kangerlussuaq; Longitude; oceanography; Petermann; travel;

Happy International Tiger Day! We’re Celebrating With Pretty Tigers and Tiger’s Eye

En Tequila Es Verdad | 29 July, 2015
It's International Tiger Day! The fifth annual, in fact - July 29th was designated as a day to bring attention to tiger conservation by the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit back in 2010. Tigers are in serious need of help: we've lost 97% or more of our wild tigers in the last century. There may be as few as 3,000 left in the wild. They're in the worst shape of any of the big cats. Which is sad, because tigers are awesome!
Categories: nature; science;

In Pictures: West Virginia from Space

Planetary Society Weblog | 29 July, 2015
Jason Davis shares five images of his home state, West Virginia, taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station....
Categories: None

Two wonderful new landslide videos, one from Taiwan and one from Japan

The Landslide Blog | 29 July, 2015
. Two new landslide videos Two new landslide videos are now available.  Unfortunately I cannot embed either, so you will need to follow the links.  You won't be disappointed! 1. A dramatic rockfall in Taiwan The image above is taken from an amaz...
Categories: landslide video; East Asia; featured; japan; taiwan;

Beyond the Caldera – Back to the Beartooths

Watch for Rocks | 28 July, 2015
In 2011, I spent barely 30 minutes crawling around a patch of outcrops on the road to Lulu Pass. In 2012, I took eight hours to drive the 64 miles across it, stopping to take a picture approximately every 30 feet.In 2013, I slept overnight in a diml...
Categories: Beartooth Highway; Beartooth Loop National Recreation Trail; Beartooth Plateau; cirque; Gardner Lake; Island Lake; Line Creek Plateau; paternoster lake; Precambrian granitic gneiss; tarn; watermelon snow;

Small Dasciocrinus Crinoid Calyx Fossil

This picture appears to show a Dasciocrinus sp. crinoid calyx fossil. It was found in the Big Clifty Formation of Crawford County, Indiana, USA. The fossil dates to the Mississippian Period. It is quite small about 1 cm tall. Thanks to Kenny for ...
Categories: big clifty formation; calyx; crinoid; mississippian;

Study: Rosemont Copper mine has lost $3 billion in value due to permitting delays

Arizona Geology | 28 July, 2015
Permitting delays have reduced the economic value of the proposed Rosemont copper mine by $3 billion according to a new study commissioned by the National Mining Association.
Categories: None

MetSoc poster session

Earth & Solar System | 28 July, 2015
Like every good conference MetSoc has a poster session which is on right now.
Categories: Events; News; Space;

From the Journal of Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis Studies

The Journal of Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis Studies (formerly the prestigious journal known as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; PNAS) has just published Kennett et al, yet another paper promoting the hypothesis that the Younger Dryas, mass extinction of the megafauna, and the demise of the Clovis culture was due to a cosmic impact event.
Categories: Peer reviewed literature; impact; Kennett et al 2015; Younger Dryas;

Bomb threat empties state office complex

Arizona Geology | 28 July, 2015
A bomb threat to the Attorney General's office prompted evacuation this morning just after 10 am, of the State Office Complex in Tucson where AZGS is  housed.   Police just gave us clearance to return to our offices after 3 and a half hours.  They brought in bomb-sniffing dogs and a robot from the Tucson Police Bomb Squad [right, robot rolling off the ramp.  bottom, robot on its way to investigate backpack. Trucks in the street carried the canine units].
Categories: None

A Dash to the Field

Notes from the field | 28 July, 2015
Our team's season has gotten off to a great start! So good that the field team was whisked into the field site early; so fast they couldn't even get off a blog post. So I will fill you in from a nice comfy office in Colorado.
Categories: Greenland Aquifer Expedition; cryosphere; drilling; Greenland; Greenland Aquifer Expedition 2015; ice;

Sol 1057-1058: Getting Ready to Drill Buckskin

The Martian Chronicles | 28 July, 2015
The "bump" over the weekend was successful, so we are right where we want to be to attempt drilling at "Buckskin" in the "Lion" area. I was on duty as ChemCam sPUL (science payload uplink lead) today, and it was a fun day to be on duty. Sometimes it can be stressful trying to make sure that all the settings are correct and that the instrument will be safe, but today everything was easy and I got to spend more time on the fun stuff like choosing targets and their names!
Categories: Curiosity; Featured; ChemCam; featured; mars;

Guest blog by Yu Zhou (Oxford): The 2013 Mw 7.7 Balochistan earthquake in Pakistan: NOT SO UNUSUAL

Paleoseismicity | 28 July, 2015
In 2013, a MW7.7 earthquake struck Balochistan, caused a huge surface offset and triggered a small tsunami in the Arabian Sea. Immediately, the apparently strange fault behaviour caused the attention of scientists world wide and a number of papers were published. The discussion is highly interesting and still ongoing. This an interesting case for paleoseismologists, too, not only because of the cascading earthquake effects, but also because of the surface rupture distribution, from which we might learn some important lessons for our future work. Now my colleague Yu Zhou and his colleagues from Oxford University published a new paper on this event, arguing that it might be not as unusual as it seems. Their research is based on the analysis of Pleiades stereo satellite imagery, which has proven to be a very useful data source already. Yu send me a nice summary of his recent research:
Categories: Earthquake; Paper; Balochistan; Earthquake Environmental Effects; EEE; InSAR; iran; Pakistan; paleoseismology; Pleiades; surface rupture;

What to Expect from El Niño: North America

We're now well into the ramp-up phase of what promises to be one of the top three El Niño events of the last 60-plus years. Sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Niño3.4 region--an area straddling the eastern tropical Pacific--are the most widel...
Categories: None

Overstocked Forest and Fire

I know just enough about wildfire and land management to know I don't know much. Its complicated stuff. Lots of factors that cause me to be always a bit skeptical whenever I read anything regarding fires in areas I do not know well. Fire and its role on the landscape is far from simple. Any given fire is a mix of causes. 
Categories: environment; flora;

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