Posts

March 04, 2015

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10:23 AM | Interview with Jez Gibson-Harris
To those interested in palaeoart and the world of dinosaur reconstructions, the name Jez Gibson-Harris might not be familiar at all, and yet I can guarantee that almost everyone reading this has seen a number of his models and puppets since he and his crew put together all the live-action animals used in Walking with […]
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8:31 AM | Chitral and Humla – two new valley-blocking landslides in the high mountains of South Asia?
Reports emerged yesterday of two new valley-blocking landslides in the high mountains of South Asia, one in Humla, Nepal and one in Chitral, Pakistan
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3:25 AM | Amendments to museum transfer bill
State Senator Gail Griffin amended her bill, SB1200, that transfers the former Mining & Mineral Museum to AZGS to reopen it as a Mining, Mineral, & Natural Resources Education Museum.  [Right, artists vision of the original plans for the Centennial Museum]The Senate engrossed version would change the membership of the Advisory Council to add one member from the gem community, one from timber interests, a State Senator and a State Representative.    The number of […]
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1:10 AM | California's Precious Disappearing Prairies: A trip to the Willms Road Pond
One of California's precious landscapes is being lost, again. The state once had a vast prairie extending for 400 miles from Redding to Bakersfield. The grasslands were of course put to the plow, and agriculture rules the environment today. Less than 5% of the original grasslands of the Great Valley remain, and they've been under renewed assault in just the past few years.The problem is nuts, and specifically almonds. The valley and nearby hills produce 80% of the world's supply, and they […]
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12:47 AM | Geo 1095: March 2, Day 791: Pointy Grotto
As in yesterday's photo, there appears to be a correlation between tone and age in these stalactites and drapes: older ones look darker, younger ones, brighter. Also, it appears that the younger deposits are being laid down faster than in the past.Photo unmodified. May 9, 2013. FlashEarth Location. (Since we're underground, I have only a vague idea where this is with respect to the surface.)

March 03, 2015

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9:45 PM | Thousands Evacuated as Chile Volcano Erupts: Photos
A volcano in southern Chile erupted Tuesday, spewing fiery plumes of lava into the night sky and forcing the evacuation of about 3,600 people from nearby towns.
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9:40 PM | Stoat-tastic!
ZOMG: I can’t see anything ever beating that. Source: Indy.
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9:12 PM | April-July Colorado River runoff: 71 percent
With a dry February, the chances of a big snowpack and “bonus water” flow in 2015 that might begin to refill Lake Mead and Lake Powell are just about gone. April-July runoff into Lake Powell, the big reservoir in the Colorado River’s “Upper Basin”, is forecast to be 71 percent of average, according to the ...Continue reading ‘April-July Colorado River runoff: 71 percent’ »
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8:55 PM | Watch Ceres rotate: A guide to interpreting Dawn's images
NASA held a press briefing on the Dawn mission yesterday, sharing some new images and early interpretations of them. I see lots of things that intrigue me, and I'm looking forward to Dawn investigating them in more detail. I invite you to check out these photos yourself, and offer you some guidance on things to look for.
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6:38 PM | Minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge
During the night (3-March-2015) there was a minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquake had the magnitude of 3,1. Other earthquakes where smaller. Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge during the night. Copyright of this image … Continue reading →
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5:30 PM | Inside an Alaskan Ice Cave
Go inside Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, Alaska -- a-12-mile-long sheet of ice.
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4:28 PM | OUTPACE Cruise: Setting Sail
The OUTPACE 2015 cruise has set sail on February 20! We left port in Nouméa at 8:30 a.m. last Friday morning. I lost sight of land around 10 a.m. or so, and I won’t see it again until we return to port in Papeete, Tahiti on April 3. Preparations before departure were so hectic that [...]
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3:20 PM | Chilean Volcano Spews a Spectacular Lava Fountain
Villarrica unleashed an impressive lava fountain as the recent unrest continues at the Chilean volcano. The post Chilean Volcano Spews a Spectacular Lava Fountain appeared first on WIRED.
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2:00 PM | Alphabet Soup and the Budget
Paul's off to Washington this week for the annual alphabet soup convention, a/k/a budget pushing time in DC. The first week of March is customarily when NOAA's CZM programs — the NERRS and the SGCPs — get together with EPA's NEPs for a few days on the hill. Reserve director Dest will hunch over the tureen with his colleagues to taste test their parent agencies' justifications for spending. They'll explore nuances and compare notes, discerning seasonings before whisking to their […]
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1:07 PM | Ichnofossils in Gog quartzite
At the Spiral Tunnels overlook on the Trans-Canada Highway, you can look at trains. Or, you can check out some lovely trace fossils in boulders which divide the viewing area from the highway: These are in the Gog Formation, a Cambrian-aged quartz arenite, mostly fused to quartzite nowadays… I know which subject I would choose to spend my time looking at…
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9:41 AM | How big was ‘Huanghetitan’ ruyangensis? I mean, really?
I’ve been taking a long-overdue look at some of the recently-described giant sauropods from China, trying to sort out just how big they were. Not a new pursuit for me, just one I hadn’t been back to in a while. Also, I’m not trying to debunk anything about this animal – as far as I […]
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8:51 AM | Villarrica erupts. March 3, 2015, Chile.
  Villarrica is one of the most active volcanoes of southern Chile, and is a popular tourist destination in the heart of the Chilean Lake district. Villarrica has been in a continuous state of steady degassing for much of the past 30 years, since the last eruption in 1984-5, and began showing signs of increased unrest (seismicity, […]
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8:44 AM | Women in Geoblogging I: Maps, Science Education, and Geology in Space
Yesterday, I gave you a ginormous list of women geobloggers. Let us now explore their blogs. Settle in for some terrific geoscience, my darlings! A Cartographer’s Toolkit by Gretchen Peterson... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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8:00 AM | Wildfires and soil: Where are we now?
Lorena M. Zavala. University of Seville, Sevilla, Spain Antonio Jordán. University of Seville, Sevilla, Spain Jorge Mataix-Solera. University Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain Artemi Cerdà. University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain Are wildfires a natural ecological factor or an environmental problem? According to official statistics, during the 1990’s, about 1.5 millions ha were burned in Spain. In the first decade of this century, the burned area in Spain also surpassed […]
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5:46 AM | How Did Fish Get into the Desert of the Basin and Range Province?
Source: "Pleistocene Lakes and Rivers of Mojave" by Philip Stoffer (14 January 2004). Changing Climates and Ancient Lakes (.html). Desert Landforms and Surface Processes in the Mojave National Preserve and Vicinity. USGS, US Department of the Interior. Retrieved on 2009-09-12. - http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2004/1007/images/glaciallakes.gif. Following a pair of posts that mention fish in the desert (here and here), I received a comment asking where the connections were that allowed fish to make the […]
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5:20 AM | Back to Back with Mr. Spock: An Appreciation of Leonard Nimoy
Guest post by Kendrick Frazier I am finding myself surprisingly affected by the death of Leonard Nimoy Friday (Feb. 27). The character of Mr. Spock he brought to life on Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry, was one of the most memorable in television, perhaps even in modern fiction generally. He certainly was original and thought-provoking. Something about Spock’s half-Vulcan, half-human self illuminated for us all some of what it …
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5:07 AM | Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 1
Today marks the first of two things: VMNH’s first CCQ excavation of 2015 and my first excavation where I am the organizer and leader. Many thanks to Martin Marietta Quarry for continuing to support VMNH’s efforts in the quarry. Due to … Continue reading →
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3:20 AM | State agency transition documents posted online
Prior to the November election, former Governor Jan Brewer directed a number of state agencies, commissions, and boards to prepare reports for the incoming governor and his administration.  The transition documents describe not only a lot of the organizations' operations but also list challenges they face.AZGS was not asked to prepare a transition report but readers of this blog may find the reports from other resource and environment agencies of interest, including from Water Resources, […]
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2:28 AM | Seiche and Tsunami: Geology Hazard Regulations
I have been doing some volunteer work on the Whatcom County update of the County's Critical Areas regulations. Critical areas are mandated by the Washington State Growth Management Act to be regulated. Critical areas include wetlands, flood areas, wildlife habitat, aquifer recharge areas and geologic hazard areas. I am on the technical committee due to the later part - those pesky geology troubles.One geologic risk that we recently addressed were tsunami and seiche hazard areas. Wikipedia has a […]
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1:30 AM | luggage
Field folks/road warriors, when you're going out on a multi-day trip, what do you bring?I use one of two suitcases: one is small, for just a couple days in the field in the summer or for a conference. The other is reasonably large (but not gigantic). Both are a color that's relatively popular, but they're not black and I never have a problem recognizing them at the baggage claim.Many of my coworkers tend to use giant duffel bags. I will bring along a smaller duffel in the winter for the […]
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1:03 AM | Geo 1095: March 1, Day 790: Drapery Regenesis
This spot is apparently called Angel Falls (page 22 of this PDF). The photographic tour doesn't mention it, so I'm speculating here, but that broken drape near the center, with the large, regrown, bright white stalactite, looks as if it might be more souvenir collecting, with the regrowth occurring in the past century or so. As we saw earlier, though, natural processes can also break these speleothems in the absence of human defacement, so that must be considered as another possibility. We're […]
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12:45 AM | Exp 354 Halfway Milestone
Yesterday was "Hump" Day. This means we are halfway through the expedition, which officially started on January 29 and will end on March 31. Camels started to appear literally everywhere around the JR. There were camels in the stairwell, camels on the television screens, and there was even a camel in the chem lab. read more
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12:30 AM | Crowd-funding and meteorite hunting – a success story!
By Eleanor My former research group has just done something amazing…  and today, ended up on ABC news! The photo above is my friend Alastair holding a particularly nice looking meteorite. Alastair and I both spent our honours year researching meteorites under … Continue reading →

March 02, 2015

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11:57 PM | West’s snowpack improves, still not great
It is testimony to a lousy January and most of February that the spectacular snowstorm I drove home into over the weekend left the key watersheds that provide water to the Rio Grande and Colorado River still behind average for the year. The 9 inches of snow at my house was the most since December ...Continue reading ‘West’s snowpack improves, still not great’ »
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10:08 PM | Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrived safely in Argentina. Don't know why the world is so cruel? I leave town after 3 months at home and it snows like crazy on my lovely wife. Nary a flake while I was there to help her. Some would say it's a sign - stay home! I agree it's a sign. But it tells me - bring her with you!Here are some views of Buenos Aires in the dog days of summer.Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and serves as the New York, London, and Beijing of the country. But BA has trees. Sycamores to be exact. It […]
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