October 21, 2014

1:18 PM | Geosonnet 15
The ants which scuttle by between our toes Dissolve the min’rals of the Earth we tread The calcic feldspar, slipped under their nose Ten trillion insects weather, pit, and shred. The Himalayan mountains cool the Earth Though mangroves and the grasses do their part, But ants may do what was the work of turf By min’ralizing CO2, they start Evaporating seas in Neogene Drying the Earth to

October 17, 2014

10:07 PM | Gender representation in Geology
A week and a half ago, I pointed out the gender imbalance apparent in the September issue of Geology.  My particular gripe was that it would be hard to achieve gender balance in my ongoing geopoetry series if issues (like the September one) had three or fewer papers by women authors.  With encouragements from commenters and the geotwitter rock stars, I had a slightly deeper look into what is
12:55 PM | A brief word on Earthquakes and fracking.
Since the Keranen et al. paper a few months ago, there has been much discussion on the relationship between earthquakes and wastewater disposal wells from unconventional hydrocarbon extraction (a.k.a. fracking). Most of this discussion related to earthquake swarms on Oklahoma, where seismicity has dramatically increased in recent years.   However, it is worth pointing out that Oklahoma is by

October 14, 2014

5:06 PM | Geosonnet 14
New biostratigraphic data may Help Cryogenian stratigraphy The timing’s known from rhenium decay The vase shaped fossils match from every sea. Were they amoebas wearing armor plate? Or protist tanks, cilia on the brink? Eukaryotic arms race tempted fate Destabilizing carbon source and sink. Darwinian selection did not give Thoughtful reflection, cool restraint, or mirth. Organics

October 10, 2014

2:08 PM | A conservative response to climate change
Climate change is in the news again, with the liberals renewing their call for collectivist action, and the anti-science branch of conservative practicing various forms of do-nothingness.  As a goal-oriented, pro science conservative, I am not really comfortable with either of these approaches. And the lack of a broad tent conservative response irks me, so I suggest we go with the following,

October 08, 2014

12:06 PM | Total eclipse of the train
Tokyo is a busy city.  Thirty-six million people go call the region home, and go about their industrious, detailed lives with an energy and rigor unique on this planet. It is hard to know exactly what they are thinking; Japanese culture creates an aura or privacy and personal space that the geography tries to deny.  And for an outsider accustomed to wide open spaces, the locals here can

October 07, 2014

8:58 PM | Geosonnet 13
The rhyolite of Huckleberry Ridge Discharged a hundred cubic miles yield The timing of this eruption did bridge Reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field. We measure timing of this ancient blast With argon from potassium decay This cataclysm from the recent past might warn us should another come today. The crystals froze, then thawed, then froze again. The magma chamber did not slowly stew

October 05, 2014

2:20 PM | A brief note on Geopoetical gender imbalance
Like many physical science journals, Geology has a severe male/female author imbalance.  In part, this may reflect the imbalance in researches publishing in the field.  When I started the Geopoetry series, one of my goals was to reduce the underrepresentation of women in science in my selection of papers to poetify. Initially, this was easy; I was picking the very most interesting papers from
4:12 AM | Onsen selfie
You know that you have been soaking in the hot spring for too long when you look up and notice that you have regressed into a colony of thermophillic Archaea.

September 30, 2014

10:31 PM | Geosonnet 12
The oxidation of the atmosphere, And buffered ocean water do record Life’s radiation into a frontier. When proxies tell this tale, they are adored. While sulfur oxidation can detect Stagnation deep in Neptune’s dusky realm, A noisy delta S makes us suspect Metabolism signals overwhelm. Portentous albatross foresaw the brine, Which makes the sea the beverage of the dead, Has sulfate

September 23, 2014

6:28 PM | Geosonnet 11
For fifty million years, ‘tis understood A vanished forest froze in permafrost. The isotopes of carbon in the wood Tell secrets of the climate we have lost. Then brackish duckpond, now a frozen sea, Ex-crocodiles where Franklin did maroon. Those Rains of Castamere, we can’t agree: Cold drizzle or a tropical monsoon? Extinct sequoia yearns for rain no more Yet in its fossil rings it has
1:30 PM | Geopoetry disclaimers
 A few notes on the Geosonnet series I will try to keep them going on Wednesdays as long as I can manage, but I have some travel coming up, so they might be a few misses if my queue runs down. Selection of a paper for poetry does not constitute an endorsement of the methodology, or agreement of the conclusions; basically, it means that the paper caught my eye and I read it (Reading and
12 Results