Posts

August 28, 2014

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10:45 PM | Thinking about spinal cords
I’m scrambling to get everything done before I leave for England and SVPCA this weekend, so no time for a substantive post. Instead, some goodies from old papers I’ve been reading. Explanations will have to come in the comments, if at all. For more noodling about nerves, please see: The world’s longest cells? Speculations on […]
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10:29 PM | sample packaging 2
I recently discussed the various requirements/procedures/biases involved in shipping samples to a commercial lab. So what if you don't use a commercial carrier, but instead either bring the samples over yourself or arrange for a lab courier pickup? Some of the packaging requirements are easier. You're not packaging stuff to travel across the country, kept to a certain temperature for several hours (or more), and with the expectation that the packages may be juggled/kicked/dropped. However, you […]
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10:21 PM | Update on Askja and Bárðarbunga volcanoes at 22:21 UTC
This is a short update on Askja and Bárðarbunga volcanoes. This information is going to get outdated quickly. I am not going to use pictures from now on (in most cases), since the situation now is complex and … Continue reading →
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7:52 PM | Geo 730: August 28, Day 605: Swimmin' Hole
The upper end of the larger and much deeper (15-20 feet) hole is visible as the dark green area in the upper left center of this photo. It's not clear to me just why there's a resistant ledge out to the sheer drop off of the hole, which is quite evident in the FlashEarth view. I suspect the gap between the two prominent knobs of diorite indicates the presence of another, wider, basalt dike- that trend continues as a narrowing notch behind me and to the right. Unfortunately, the last few times […]
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7:42 PM | Reduce, Reuse and Re-(bi)cycle
Audra Stark plans to pedal 300 miles from New York City to Washington, D.C., from Sept. 20-24 to raise money for The Earth Institute and other organizations working on the issues of climate, environment and transportation. “Too often I’ve found myself and others complaining about and debating an issue without taking action in our daily lives," she said. "Joining Climate Ride is one more way I can act on my lifelong concern about climate change, and take a further step on my personal […]
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5:33 PM | NASA’s Big Rocket a Step Closer to Reality
NASA's Space Launch System passed a critical milestone yesterday, but buried within the announcement was news that the first launch could slip by nearly a year.
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5:30 PM | Iceland Volcano Forming Cauldrons Below Surface
Cauldrons forming near Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano suggest an eruption under the ice has already taken place.
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4:17 PM | Canadian Mars Analogue Mission: Field Report, Week 2
Tanya Harrison wraps up the final week of Mars sample return analogue mission operations at the Canadian Space Agency.
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4:12 PM | Poet and Paleontologist – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The German lawyer, author, poet, politician and artist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (born August 28, 1749-1832) was also a mining engineer and quite interested in geology and paleontology. In the year 1775, Goethe, already a highly regarded author, was invited to the court of Duke Carl August in the city of Weimar, where he will [...]
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4:12 PM | Poet and Paleontologist – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The German lawyer, author, poet, politician and artist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (born August 28, 1749-1832) was also a mining engineer and quite interested in geology and paleontology. In the year... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:30 PM | Brutal Winter? Almanac Could Be Wrong, NOAA Says
The Farmers' Almanac predicts another nasty winter in the United States., but a NOAA meteorologist said the publication's forecasts could be mistaken.
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2:35 PM | Electronic organisation of projects
I’ve been working on a number of different small projects recently, consequently I have been improving my file management. When I’m setting up a new project/thesis chapter/paper/etc. I’ve been trying to do it… Continue reading →
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1:34 PM | Update on Bárðarbunga and Askja volcanoes at 13:34 UTC
This is a none picture update on Askja and Bárðarbunga volcanoes. The reason for this none picture update is that I haven’t had time to work on the images yet. This is the first time this has happened … Continue reading →
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11:24 AM | Burrowing by burning
Most kind of mining are low-yield games. For example, the world's annual gold production would fit in a 55 m2 room. But few mining operations I'm aware of are as low yield as the one that ran in Melle, France, from about 500 till 950 CE, producing silver for the Carolingian empire and Charlemagne's coins. I visited the site on Saturday. The tour made it clear just how hard humans had to work to bring about commerce and industry in the Middle Ages. For a start, of course they had no […]
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7:33 AM | One of Geology's Little Mysteries Solved: The Sliding Stones of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley
Bonnie Claire Playa in NevadaThere are side shows that happen in the sciences. There are the big mysteries of the cosmos and earth history that take many years and the work of dozens or hundreds of the greatest minds to solve: atomic theory, quantum physics, plate tectonics, DNA sequencing and so on. In geology, there are the big picture mysteries of how the continents have moved through time, the patterns of evolution of life on the planet, the origins of rock sequences. It's the great human […]
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6:02 AM | US State Department underestimates carbon pollution from Keystone XL
This is like the movie Groundhog Day. I seem forever forced to correct the State Department’s errant analysis of Alberta tar sands emissions. Now, however, other people are agreeing with me. A recent paper published in Nature Climate Change reviewed the State Department’s accounting and found it deeply flawed. The authors, Peter Erickson and Michael Lazarus of the Stockholm Institute included the impacts of Keystone on the global oil markets. This inclusion tripled the climate […]
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1:51 AM | Boistfort Valley Mound - Random Land Form Curiosity
During a visit to the Boisfort Valley I noted this isolated small hill rising from the floor of the valley. I had no time to visit the hill, but noted it is the site of a cemetery. Small hill in the Boistfort ValleySame Boisfort hill from the southwestThe Boistfort Valley is located in the east Willapa Hills. The Boisfort Valley is one of the earliest Euro/American settlement areas in Washington State with some of the earliest donation land claims as well as the oldest public school […]
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1:00 AM | Parapatoceras Ammonite Fossil
Here is a picture of a Parapatoceras sp. ammonite fossil at the Museo di Paleontologia at Sapienza University of Rome Italy. Creatures like this existed in the middle Jurassic Period (ICS geological timescale: Bathonian). Fossil was found in France. Image taken in June 2014. Sources: http://www.ammonites.fr/Fiches/9999.htm

August 27, 2014

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11:38 PM | Unclear what is happening in Bárðarbunga volcano
This information is going to get outdated extremely fast. Earthquake activity remains high. Cauldron have formed in Vatnajökull glacier just SE and SSE of Bárðarbunga volcano. The cauldrons are 4 to 6 km long and about 1 km … Continue reading →
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9:29 PM | Roy Spencer jumps the shark
I’m delighted to announce that Roy Spencer has joined the select company of such as Lindzen (sea ice; also emeritus), Curry (septic capture) and von S (wikipedia) as a shark jumper. Its all there in full public view. How Much of Atmospheric CO2 Increase is Natural?… Natural Variations in CO2 are LARGE… We should remember…
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9:11 PM | Geo 730: August 27, Day 604: Basalt Dike
This is where we generally have lunch- it's not frequented by others, it's nice to have the music of the water in the background, and whether you like sun or shade, you can find a spot that suits you. On top of that, on the bare rock, you don't need to worry about dirt or bugs very much. You can also contemplate the sights and geology as you munch away. In this case I was contemplating the dike beyond Dana's feet. It's easy to get the impression that sills are horizontal tabular (sheet-like) […]
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8:15 PM | Mystery of Death Valley's Moving Rocks Solved
Scientists obsessed with Death Valley's sailing stones have solved the Racetrack Playa mystery.
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7:59 PM | Practicum Introduces Students to Earth Institute Research
Each fall the Earth Institute offers a broad survey of the applications of frontier research to the practice of sustainable development through contributions from Earth Institute researchers and directors in the Earth Institute Practicum. The practicum provides an opportunity to learn about salient issues in sustainable development, sustainability management and environmental science from world-class faculty and researchers in these areas.
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7:40 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #35A
Act now on climate change or face growing health risks - UN Climate change may disrupt global food system within a decade Climate sceptics see a conspiracy in Australia's record breaking heat Cutting emissions pays for itself, research shows Greenhouse gas emissions are growing, and growing more dangerous 'Incredible' rate of polar ice loss alarms scientists IPCC attribution statements redux: A response to Judith Curry Obama pursuing climate accord in lieu of treaty Pacific watch: Is El […]
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6:26 PM | Preliminary Announcement: Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazards Summit III
The Utah Geological Survey and Western States Seismic Policy Council will convene a Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazard Summit III (BRPSHSIII) January 12 - 17, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The purpose of BRPSHSIII is to bring together geologists, seismologists, geodesists, engineers, emergency managers, and policy makers to present and discuss the […]
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4:59 PM | Solite excavation, Day 4
Last Saturday we had nice weather for continuing our salvage operation at the Solite Quarry. We were also fortunate to have a lot of additional Triassic expertise, as we were joined by Sterling Nesbitt and Michelle Stocker from Virginia Tech, … Continue reading →
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3:40 PM | Strange Spikes Over Siberia Puzzle Astronauts
Strange spikes in Siberia seen from space have an Earthly explanation.
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3:33 PM | Magnitude 4,5 earthquake in Askja volcano
Today (27-August-2014) at 01:52 UTC a magnitude 4,5 earthquake took place in Askja volcano. This is the largest earthquake in Askja volcano since 1992 according to news in Iceland. There are currently some minor earthquake taking place in … Continue reading →
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3:02 PM | On the back of the beast
We’ve joined scientists atop a frozen debris lobe, a slow-moving landslide in permafrost. They say we’re ‘on the back of the beast’. In the heavy rain and among fog-shrouded mountains, the scientists are making these uphill treks to record how temperature, water pressure, and local geological properties determine the slope movement of the massive lobes. These repeat measurements obtained at incredible accuracy can one day help us decode the secrets of the many massive […]
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2:00 PM | Quiet Shifts, Crazy Crossovers…
This past week we completed drilling and geophysical logging of the hole at Site 1440B, and then we used the ship’s thruster system to slowly motor back the ~8 km to Site 1439, where at midnight we deployed a re-entry cone to set up for hard-rock drilling near Site A – first they quick-drill through the sediments, then they case the hole for stability before deploying their hard-rock RCB drill bit read more
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