Posts

September 09, 2014

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4:45 PM | The Lion – Tales of the Finger
Sometimes, an injury is totally worth it. If you’re gonna get hurt, may as well do it in a real cool way. People keep asking me what I did to hurt my finger – that annoying injury that’s been driving … Continue reading →
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3:27 PM | SESE Planetary Science Faculty search
Assistant Professor (JOB #10878) Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration The School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) at Arizona State University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Planetary Science to begin August 2015. Preference will be given to candidates whose research focus is on Solar System planetary science, and […]
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2:02 PM | So Close and Yet So Far: Why isn't Siding Spring going to sandblast Mars?
Comet Siding Spring is going to make a very close approach to Mars in October. Any comet dust that reaches Mars has the potential to inflict significant damage on the spacecraft orbiting the planet. As it turns out, however, Mars and its orbiters are likely to see very few, if any, impacts. Why?
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12:19 PM | Please welcome Rukwatitan (over on Mark Witton’s blog)
I just read Mark Witton’s piece on the new new titanosaur Rukwatitan (as opposed to the old new titanosaur Dreadnaughtus). I was going to write something about it, but I realised that Mark has already said everything I would have, but better. So get yourselves over to his piece and enjoy the titanosaurianness of it […]
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11:00 AM | Warming Paradoxically Could Cause More Cold Snaps
Shrinking sea ice, which allows more energy to transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere, could cause more brutal winter weather events. Continue reading →
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10:02 AM | Remotely India # 7: Mesozoic Domes Of The Kachchh Basin
Remotely India # 7A recent paper in Current Science (open access) on the geomorphology and tectonics of domal structures in Mesozoic strata prompted me to resurrect this old series titled Remotely India. In these posts I put up a satellite image(s) of an interesting geological feature somewhere in India followed by a brief explanation.Today's post is on the Kachchh basin in western India. In Mesozoic times this region was a long lasting marine basin in which hundred's of feet of sediments […]
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5:51 AM | Cutting Emissions Pays for Itself
This is a re-post from Audrey Resutek at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change  Study finds that savings from healthier air can make up for some or all of the cost of carbon reduction policies.  Lower rates of asthma and other health problems are frequently cited as benefits of policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions from sources like power plants and vehicles, because these policies also lead to reductions in other harmful types of air pollution. […]
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4:31 AM | Boxall on the modesty of California’s approach to groundwater regulation
Bettina Boxall: California is finally about to join the rest of the West in regulating groundwater supplies. But the package of bills awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature is not an instant fix for the state’s shrinking, over-pumped aquifers. It could be decades, experts say, before the most depleted groundwater basins recover under the legislation, which ...Continue reading ‘Boxall on the modesty of California’s approach to groundwater regulation’ »
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4:24 AM | Growth. Peak. Collapse. Planetary exploration from 1959 - 1989
The first three decades of planetary exploration tell a story that sounds all-too-familiar to modern day space advocates. Growth, peak, and then collapse of hard-earned capability. This is the story of planetary science for the first half of its existence.
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4:00 AM | Permits issued for helium exploration
The Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission has approved permits for two new wells in the Holbrook area, reportedly to evaluate helium potential.  State permits #1194 and #1195 are posted on the AZOGCC website.    The permits were issued to Ranger Development LLC, based in Ft. Worth, Texas.The well proposed in Sec. 33-20n-26e is located in the old Pinta Dome helium field [right, from AZGS report "Oil, Gas and Helium in Arizona: Its Occurrence and Potential," 1961]. The […]
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3:35 AM | A day of flooding across Arizona
We sent AZGS employees home a little early today after the City of Tucson sent their non-essential staff home at 3 p.m. News reports said the city had closed or was closing bridges across the Santa Cruz River, which lies only a block west of our offices.  There were fears that the high waters might undermine the river banks and threaten the structural integrity of the bridges.   I left at 5 p.m. worried that I would not be be able to get over the river to get to our home in the […]
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2:35 AM | Memo to Labour: Calling fossil fuels “transition fuels” doesn’t make the carbon go away
The New Zealand Labour Party announced their climate change policy on 24 August; the Sunday before last Sunday. At first glance, it sounds refreshingly like a policy that takes anthropogenic global warming seriously. From the announcement: A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish […]
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1:20 AM | Meteorite impact i NIcargua: brief report
The crater from the meteorite impactFrom this referenceA fragment of the meteorite passing close to earth has made a crater in Nicaragua. I'll post more when I've got some reliable information.http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/08/tech/innovation/nicaragua-meteorite/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
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1:14 AM | Possible eruption under the glacier might have started in Bárðarbunga volcano [Unconfirmed!]
This is a short notice. I think that eruption has started under the glacier in Bárðarbunga or maybe in the dyke area. I base this on the change in harmonic tremor that is now taking place. Please note … Continue reading →
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12:30 AM | Placenticeras meeki Ammonite Fossil
Here is a picture of a Placenticeras meeki ammonite fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Creatures like this existed in the western interior seaway at the time of the upper/late Cretaceous Period (ICS geological timescale: Maastrichtian). Fossil was found in Cheyenne River of South Dakota USA. Image taken in June 2014.

September 08, 2014

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11:37 PM | drill rig breakdowns
If it's raining and the driller has to disappear into the drill rig's innards to chase an electrical gremlin, you know it's going to be a long day.
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10:30 PM | The how to, and how not to, guide to interviewing for the Australian Public Service (1)
By Kelly First, I must apologise for the delay in getting this post up. My brain appears to have softened post submission…. However I do appreciate those who ‘liked’ the fact the advice page was empty! There are two questions on every PhD’s … Continue reading →
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10:00 PM | Summary from LPSC WIPS Event 2014 – Anti-harassment Policies
Harassment and Anti-harassment Policies As I am about to announce the upcoming DPS WIPS event, I thought I should really get around to posting a summary from the amazing Susan Niebur Women in Planetary Science Networking event held in March 2014 at LPSC. Zibi Turtle was the event lead this year. The overarching topic was harassment […]
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9:01 PM | Geo 730: September 8, Day 616: Milky Quartz
When not contaminated by impurities, quartz tends to be colorless and clear, or milky-white. I can't say with any authority what differences in environments lead to one or the other, but my guess is that transparent quartz is likely the result of slow, orderly, relatively low-temperature deposition from aqueous solution, while milky quartz results from rapid deposition, with resulting fluid inclusions (Too small to see here, but I have seen macroscopic examples elsewhere, in the related Blue […]
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7:42 PM | The Big Ratchet
Environmental geographer Ruth DeFries, a pioneer in studying how humans have transformed earth’s surface, is author of the new book The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. She argues that we have  continually created new technologies that allow our numbers to grow. But  each new invention creates a new problem—which [...]
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6:49 PM | After Oakland’s Big One, expect a rush of water
In the days since the South Napa earthquake of 24 August, the people and press appear to be astonished as the local streams have filled with water. The Chronicle published a good summary yesterday. But this always happens with a decent-sized earthquake. It will happen here. You can expect to see this stretch of Lion […]
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5:59 PM | Update for Bárðarbunga volcano eruption at 17:59 UTC
This information is going to get outdated quickly. Current status on Báðarbunga volcano eruption Eruption continues in Holuhraun. Most of the craters have stopped erupting for now. The main craters continue to erupt. It is my view that … Continue reading →
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5:56 PM | Ongoing Exfoliation Event at Twain Harte Lake in the Sierra Nevada
There is an ongoing geological drama going on the Sierra Nevada that may be unique (to the extent of my knowledge, which is admittedly limited in this area). Exfoliation, a process long recognized as the shaper of granitic domes and monoliths, is presently busting up the surface of a small dome at Twain Harte Lake a few miles east of the Mother Lode town of Sonora. The process has been captured on video, and is presently being monitored, due to the effects it is having on a reservoir […]
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5:40 PM | Landlocked Switzerland Threatened by Tsunamis
Switzerland's lakes produced devastating tsunamis in the past, raising worries that 13 million people may be at risk. Continue reading →
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5:35 PM | MPA Program: Apply Now for Fellowship Opportunities
The early decision deadline to apply for the Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs is approaching on November 1. By submitting your application for our early decision deadline, you will be considered for a prestigious Environmental Sustainability Fellows award, so start your application today!
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5:25 PM | Drunk on Geology - Riff Pinot Grigio
Our next bottle up on our Drunk on Geology series is Riff. Riff (German for reef) wines are Italian wines made by Cantina Riff Progetto Lageder. The ammonite shown on the bottle of the 2012 bottle (pictured below) has also been changed for the 2013 wines, so it is likely I may feature this wine again.  The ammonite pictured on the bottle is a simple goniatitic ammonite, meaning that the sutures between each chamber (septa) have a gentle curved pattern.A comparable fossil ammonite to the […]
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5:00 PM | Volcano Booms as Tourist's Camera Rolls
A vacationing taxi driver captures on video the exact moment a volcano blows its top, followed by a sonic boom.
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4:30 PM | Varying Water Levels at a Few Reservoirs in California
When MOH and I drove to Butt Valley Reservoir a couple weeks ago, we were surprised by the lake low lake level: it looked lower than we remembered seeing it, although we haven't been frequenting the area routinely for several years.Standing on a wider-than-usual beach near the boat ramp on the east shore, looking south. The boat ramp is the dark, shadowed line below the tall trees on the same shore I'm standing on. The dam is a ways around the corner to the southeast behind the tall […]
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4:30 PM | Varying Water Levels at a Few Reservoirs in California
When MOH and I drove to Butt Valley Reservoir a couple weeks ago, we were surprised by the lake low lake level: it looked lower than we remembered seeing it, although we haven't been frequenting the area routinely for several years.Standing on a wider-than-usual beach near the boat ramp on the east shore, looking south. The boat ramp is the dark, shadowed line below the tall trees on the same shore I'm standing on. The dam is a ways around the corner to the southeast behind the tall […]
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3:33 PM | Solite Excavation, Day 5 and Blog 7th Anniversary
After taking a break for the Labor Day weekend, we went back to Solite last Saturday to continue our operation. We had our usual crew of VMNH folks along with 3 graduate students from Virginia Tech. Our excavation time was … Continue reading →
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