Posts

November 26, 2014

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2:30 AM | Leperditia carbonaria Ostracod Fossil
The fossil in this picture appears to be a Leperditia carbonaria ostracod. It was found in Meade County, Kentucky, USA. The creature existed in the Mississippian Period. Field of view in picture is about 2 mm. Thanks to Kenny for the picture.
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1:20 AM | the great outoors
While I was writing this post, I was wrestling with issues of privilege and class. I've always been wary of condescension when working around folks living in rural poverty, or folks who chose a lifestyle that mimics that rural poverty, such as survivalists. The original post that I had linked to had some of that condescension, and possibly one reason it prompted so much discussion.I grew up in a suburban, relatively wealthy town. At the same time, most of my extended family lived in a rough […]
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12:11 AM | M3.5 quake near Sedona is felt locally; preceded by foreshocks
Residents in the Sedona-Flagstaff area report feeling a magnitude 3.5 earthquake that hit about 6 - 10(?) miles north-northeast of Sedona at 2:19 a.m. local time this morning. Dr. Jeri Young, who runs the Arizona Broadband Seismic Network here at AZGS, reports there were two smaller events in the area prior to the quake and one aftershock. The foreshocks were at 12:25 and 12:39 a.m. and the aftershock at 9:04 a.m. today.She also says her preliminary epicenter location is further north, […]

November 25, 2014

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11:41 PM | Fog Returns to the Great Valley! I hate it, but it's a good thing (tentatively)
Buffalo has apocalyptic lake-effect snow, Minnesota has blizzards, Phoenix has horrific dust storms, Kansas has tornadoes, New Orleans has hurricanes. In the big picture, those of us who live in the Great Valley of California don't have much in the way of weather issues. I have yet this year to put on a jacket in the morning, and I only stopped wearing shorts a few weeks ago because I wore a hole in the pocket. It gets hot in the summer, but only occasionally drops below freezing. We've had two […]
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10:32 PM | P.K. (Rana) Medhi
The Arizona Geological Society reports that "Long-time AGS member P. K. (Rana) Medhi [photo credit, AGS] passed away Nov. 7, 2014 at his home in Casa Grande. Medhi, former chairman of the Board of Governors of the Arizona Dept. of Mines and Mineral Resources, former adjunct professor of geology at Central Arizona College, and former Governor of the Mining Foundation of the Southwest retired in 1994 after 28 years at Cyprus Amax Minerals Company. He had a M.S. degree from the University of […]
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10:00 PM | Not quite News yet – Part IV
In this series we present fictive “News Articles” which some of us wrote when participating in a Science Communication Workshop at ANU. If you want to know more about the Why and How, please see this post here. While the … Continue reading →
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6:23 PM | Silesaurid-Herrerasaurid-Neotheropod Assemblage from the Late Triassic of Poland
This is currently free from the Palaeontology Online website.Niedźwiedzki, G., Brusatte, S. L., Sulej, T., and R. J. Butler. 2014. Basal dinosauriform and theropod dinosaurs from the mid–late Norian (Late Triassic) of Poland: implications for Triassic dinosaur evolution and distribution. Palaeontology 57(6): 1121–1142 DOI: 10.1111/pala.12107 Abstract - The rise of dinosaurs during the Triassic is a widely studied evolutionary radiation, but there are still many unanswered […]
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1:20 PM | It's the GGGG (giant geoscience gift guide)
I expect you've been wondering what to get me and Evan for Christmas. Wonder no more! Or, if you aren't that into Agile, I suppose other geoscientists might even like some of this stuff. If you're feeling more needy than generous, just leave this post up on a computer where people who love you will definitely see it, or print it out and mail it to everyone you know with prominent red arrows pointing to the things you like best. That's what I do. Geology in the home If there is a finer object […]

November 24, 2014

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11:51 PM | Thin Ice edit for US TV funded in full
The Thin Ice Kickstarter campaign was resounding success, with the total pledged reaching NZ$34,448 from 228 backers. The extra funds are likely to be used in a PR effort to get the newly-edited film shown on as many TV stations in the US as possible. Thanks to everyone who chipped in. You’ve made some climate […]
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1:39 PM | A population of Shantungosaurus, the largest ornithischian
Sadly I have to report that after many years working on various diapsids and having published plenty of papers on dinosaurs generally and theropods specifically, and yes even sauropods, I’ve gone and published two papers on ornithischians. I hang my head in shame, obviously, and I hope too many readers won’t think too little of […]
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8:48 AM | Beipiao Sturgeon Fish Fossil
I saw an interesting fish fossil for sale at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park gift shop in October 2014. The label said, "The Beipiao sturgeon was discovered in the area of west Liaoning Province of China. It was formed in land facies layer of the Late Jurassic Period. It was about 130,000,000 years ago." If I recall correctly, the length was over 20 cm and the price was
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6:54 AM | Carbon News 24/11/14: penny-pinching on climate funding
Govt slammed for weak climate fund contribution The Government is under fire for the size of its contribution to a global fund to help developing countries to combat climate change. New Zealand last week agreed to donate $3 million to the Green Climate Fund. That’s half the amount pledged by Luxembourg and the Czech Republic, […]
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6:52 AM | The Governor of New York Owes an Apology to a Bunch of Meteorologists
The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, really stepped in it on Saturday. He’s now getting a firestorm of criticism, and he deserves every bit of it, but I want you to understand why before I go into what he said. There is an old rule among weather forecasters, and it goes like this- “Never forecast a record, you will probably be wrong!”. Now I, and many others, have broken …

November 23, 2014

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11:37 PM | Aftershock felt in Duncan area
Local residents reported feeling an aftershock to the Duncan earthquake on at 7:38 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 21.    The USGS posted the location for the event today, with a magnitude of 2.8.  This is the first aftershock felt in the area for many weeks.  The M=5.3 Duncan earthquake hit the eastern Arizona locale on June 28.   [Right, orange star marks aftershock epicenter.  Credit, USGS]AZGS has posted an article online describing the main shock and our […]
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6:46 AM | Caves in the Coast Ranges? Really? And a National Park? A Peek at Pinnacles
Bear Gulch Cave at Pinnacles National ParkCalifornia's Coast Ranges hide some real gems (literally: check out benitoite, for instance). One of my favorites is also the nation's newest national park: Pinnacles National Park. The park was first established as a national monument by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908, and given national park status in 2013.The park preserves the spire-like remains of a rhyolitic stratovolcano that erupted around 23 million years ago. Long after the monument was established, […]
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3:28 AM | Funny, Scary, Fascinating, and Geeky. What You Missed in Science This Week.
I am going to start doing a weekend post here with links and images from the world of geek that caught my eye this week. First up is Will Marshall and the TED talk below. Data is the fuel that science runs on, and he has figured out a way to harvest a LOT of it.   Guess what body of water is the 4th fastest warming on Earth? This …

November 22, 2014

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5:21 PM | How did we miss this story about vampires in abandoned mines in Arizona?
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2:22 AM | Climbing to the Top of Wayna Picchu, Peru
One of the extra-ordinary activities to undertake while visiting the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu is to take the trail to the top of the very obvious "sugarloaf" mountain that is usually framed behind the ruins. I had pre-arranged to obtain a permit to make this trek. I'm so glad I did - the weather was ideal if not a bit steamy and the views were spectacular.The main gate opens at 6 AM and by that time at least 300 people were waiting to enter the sanctuary (as they call Machu Picchu). An […]
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1:34 AM | Through Marsha’s “Friend’s” Window
I finally have a bit of time to catch up on some of the great photos you’ve sent of “the world outside your windows.” I’ve wanted to write about this one for ages; it’s a wonderful view—although a trifle out of the ordinary. Marsha sent this photo, and described it thus: “What the creature in […]

November 21, 2014

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11:56 PM | getting samples shipped
I think I'm at the final piece of my sample shipment/management saga. Part 1 is here, part 2 is here, part 3 is here, and part 4 is here. Let's recap. When shipping samples, you need to make sure that the custody seals are all in place, that the COC is filled out and signed properly, that the samples will stay cold, but not so cold that they'll freeze, that the sample containers won't break, that the samples are sealed in their cooler, that the cooler is sealed and labelled properly...and […]
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11:40 PM | Grand Canyon North Rim quake
A magnitude 2.9 earthquake occurred  shortly after noon today on the north side of Grand Canyon.  The USGS placed the epicenter about 19 miles northwest of Grand Canyon Village, but Dr. Jeri Young who runs the Arizona Broadband Seismic Network here at AZGS, places it further northeast. [Right, red star marks USGS epicenter.   The red circle marked "112114" marks the AZGS location]
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6:41 PM | Neglected near-surface workhorses
Yesterday afternoon, I attended a talk at Dalhousie by Peter Cary who has begun the CSEG distinguished lecture tour series. Peter's work is well known in the seismic processing world, and he's now spreading his insights to the broader geoscience community. This was only his fourth stop out of 26 on the tour, so there's plenty of time to catch it. Three steps of seismic processing In the head-spinning jargon of seismic processing, if you're lost, it's maybe not be your fault. Sometimes it might […]
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4:25 PM | Radioactivity and Earth´s Age
For a long time the apparent discrepancy between the age of earth and the age of the cosmos posed a great problem to geologists and astronomers alike. Geologists had calculated, using methods like erosion or sedimentation rates, ages for earth spanning from just three million to 15 billion years. Physicists and astronomers, based mostly on [...]
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4:25 PM | Radioactivity and Earth´s Age
For a long time the apparent discrepancy between the age of earth and the age of the cosmos posed a great problem to geologists and astronomers alike. Geologists had calculated, using methods like... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:53 PM | Thinking of giving a TEDx-style talk? Do it – but with plenty of preparation!
Although presenting my research to scientific audiences has always been one of my favorite parts of being a scientist, I’ve never found the opportunity or the courage to share my work more publicly. But that changed last March...
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12:42 PM | Coastal rocks of Saint Lucia
The pictures below were taken while I was kayaking along the western coast of Saint Lucia. The rock formation below is conglomerate and on top of it seems to be a volcanoclastic sedimentary unit. These pictures nicely demonstrate the two dominant natural forces shaping this island – Earth’s internal heat expressed as volcanic eruptions and [...] The post Coastal rocks of Saint Lucia appeared first on Sandatlas.
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8:12 AM | Fossil Friday – packrat molar
For this week’s Fossil Friday I’m sticking with teeth. In contrast to last week’s large camel molar, this time I chose the other end of the size spectrum with a tiny tooth that’s only about 3 mm long. For all … Continue reading →
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2:24 AM | 2014 On Way to Hottest Year on Record
My friends at Climate Central produced an excellent video that you should see and share.

November 20, 2014

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10:21 PM | The San Juan Bautista Earthquakes as recorded at Modesto Junior College
We have a simple classroom seismometer installed on the third floor of our Science Community Center at Modesto Junior College. It nicely captured the two earthquakes from San Juan Bautista that took place last night just five minutes apart. In the record above you can see the 3.6 magnitude foreshock on the left side, and the larger 4.2 magnitude quake in the center. This seismogram nicely illustrates the vast difference in the size of the two quakes. In terms of energy release, a magnitude 4 […]
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9:50 AM | Geologists’ Manslaughter Verdict Overturned and Other Stories: A Cornucopia of Earth Science Links
Whilst I’ve been off designing geology-themed holiday cards and working on other time-devouring things, other folks in the geoblogosphere have been doing some fascinating writing. I thought... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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