September 16, 2014

11:02 PM | Geosonnet 10
The Ediacaran saw creatures grow Diversify as animals evolved. But Cambrian descendants do not show A lineage, preserved or else dissolved. A missing fossil yearns to be dug up. The flinders ranges burn to tell their tale Trace fossils, both a spicule and a cup Mean evolutionary theories can prevail. Coronacollina was once a sponge With opaline supports to hold it flat Choia’s ancestor

September 13, 2014

11:48 PM | Perfect Little Killing Machines: The Jaws of Death
There’s a bit of a pardox of public opinion regarding the effectiveness of spiny dogfish as predators.  Depend on who you ask, they’re either forming a swimming wall of teeth annihilating everything in their path or they’re weak scavengers, poor excuses for sharks.  This much-maligned species gets the double-whammy of both being a pest and […]

September 10, 2014

1:46 PM | Geosonnet 9
The vast caldera of the Yellowstone Erupts siliceous ash from time to time. It’s far from the Cascade subduction zone Therefore, a mantle plume’s the suspect prime. But magma conducts electricity Conductors in the mantle lie out west The tomographic maps are very pretty But show no melt where theory would suggest A plume, with mantle source below the crust Should yield a seismic and

September 09, 2014

3:25 AM | Perfect Little Killing Machines: an Introduction to the Series
Spiny dogfish have had a long history of interactions with humans.  These sharks, once reviled as pests, became valued food fish (particularly in Europe), were declared overfished, rebounded much more quickly than expected, and are now targeted by a certified sustainable fishery on the U.S. east coast.  All of this has not happened without controversy, […]

September 06, 2014

8:45 PM | Spring!
No summary available for this post.

September 05, 2014

1:12 PM | Effect of impact energy on SIMS U–Pb zircon geochronology
I have a paper out in pre-publication online availability. The basic gist of it is that we are investigating exactly why SHRIMP is so good at geochronology.  It is a short format conference proceedings paper, so there isn't that much to it.  Basically, we investigated the oxide formation used to calibrate relative U/Pb ionization yields by bombarding natural zircon with a primary ion beam made of

September 03, 2014

1:18 PM | Geosonnet 8
The sunset lion, as Britannia aged Survived, with every man, the frigid waste. Industrial hostility upstaged The sanctity of souls, their wreck encased In icy seas and grinding floes made cold By deep Antarctic circumpolar flow. Dark isolation froze this land, how old Are continental glaciers, ceaseless snow? Six desperate heroes sailed the Scotia Sea Dead arc, live backarc ridge

August 31, 2014

6:59 AM | Tea drinking temperature
No summary available for this post.

August 29, 2014

12:39 PM | Geology sonnet roundup
Firstly, I would like to place all six science week sonnets (plus the bonus poem) in stratigraphic order.  That is, youngest rocks described at the top. An analysis will follow the poetry: A pox on all those proxies non-unique Which make interpretation hard to do. Magnesium to calcium we seek Sea temp'rature, and not pCO2. So lithium, uranium are used to disambiguate the Mg curve O.
3:40 AM | Geosonnet 7
The Schrödinger bacteria’s Barsoom, Where robots scan the wadi of the Styx. There died, or never lived a microbe bloom When déjà vu and Dejah Thoris mix, Her hungry eyes fixed on Hadean seas, Lowell’s canal dream just an aquifer. The playa droid with X-ray vision sees; Areocalcrete Earthings infer. With carbonate and opal intergrown, Australia’s prayer of cheap uranium, As vengeful

August 28, 2014

2:15 AM | Every Post is a Comeback Post
So I had originally intended to have a mini-blitz of material posted during Shark Week involving some of the topics that slip under the Shark Week radar, but for some reason technical difficulties arose that prevented me from successfully posting.  Also, in the middle of that I attended the annual AFS meeting in Quebec, which […]

August 27, 2014

6:50 AM | 3QD blogging contest metadata
The long-lived, old-school blogging site 3 quarks daily is holding its annual science blogging contest  They have nominated eighty-five blog posts upon which one can vote to advance it into the finals round.  In theory, this means that everyone voting should read all 85 posts, and make an honest choice.  If that doesn't work, then they should at least skim each post- OK, how about simply

August 23, 2014

9:23 PM | Geology Sonnet 6
Nobody studies fucking iodine. The halogen too rare for us to care, But iodate to carbonate’s inclined So we might have a useful proxy there. This IO3 requires oxygen, And thus does not exist in reduced seas. Its presence in old carbonates means then Ozone and oxygen were in the breeze. Archean carbonates do not have I, But it appears when O first graced the air. And thus another tool

August 22, 2014

9:32 PM | Geology Sonnet 5
Australia is a dry and stable land. No mountain range, no active slipping fault, And yet this plain had lava seas erupt. We call them Kalkarindji flood basalt. It’s hard to know just when these rocks were formed. The weathering and rock type complicates Radiometric dates of dykes that swarmed When seas contained the first protochordates. For ten long years they searched the outback rocks
7:20 AM | How many?
"Sand people always ride single file, to hide their numbers."

August 21, 2014

9:24 PM | Geology Sonnet 4
Enough with carbon, climate variation Let’s look at rocks from a far older time, Which lacked much copper min’ralization, And when anorthosites were at their prime. Earth’s middle age- boring for a reason? Tectonics were remarkably unchanged. Ice and iron were both out of season. A billion years of uniform exchange Of isotopes, strontium, and S The active margins ringed the continent.
1:23 AM | Geology Sonnet 3
Science week geology sonnet number three!  See previous posts for background. A pox on all those proxies non-unique Which make interpretation hard to do. Magnesium to calcium we seek Sea Temp'rature, and not pCO2. So lithium, uranium are used To disambiguate the Mg curve. O. umbonatus' data's not recused, Antarctice ice growth isotopes observe. But whence the melting in the Miocene? Here
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