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Posts

April 20, 2014

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8:55 PM | Tucson-based Mintec acquired by Hexagon
Mintec, Inc., announced that Hexagon AB, a leading provider of design, measurement and visualization technologies, has of today entered into an agreement to acquire the company, a resource modeling, optimization, mine planning and scheduling software developer for the mining industry."Headquartered in Tucson, AZ, USA, Mintec has with its 232 employees grown into a global network of mining professionals providing technology, service and support in some of the most complex mining operations […]
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8:50 PM | electricity and crow
This is our 21st spring in the house on Aliso Drive, the longest (by a significant margin) that I’ve lived in the same place. The utility pole in the back corner of our yard has been at the fringe of my perception that whole time. I never completely ignored it, but I never thought much ...Continue reading ‘electricity and crow’ » Related posts:Dad always had a camera The Blues electricity and beer
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6:27 PM | Geo 730: April 20, Day 476: Weathered Wall
Taking a break from the basalt and sandstone of the surf area (though you can still see a bit a blue from the bay at the top), this is a close-up of the wall along the sidewalk of the Depoe Bay waterfront. I would describe this as cavernous weathering, with ribs between pits forming in vesicular (bubbly) basalt.Photo unmodified. July 10, 2012. FlashEarth location.
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5:00 PM | How to make graphene in a kitchen blender
Don’t try this at home. No really, don’t: it almost certainly won’t work and you won’t be able to use your kitchen blender for food afterwards. But buried in the supplementary information of a research paper published today is a domestic recipe for producing large quantities of clean flakes of graphene.  Read more
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4:21 PM | Perverse outcomes: Lifting U.S. oil export ban would mean greater dependence on foreign oil
The United States today is a large net importer of crude oil and refined products. And, yet the story that the country can somehow export crude oil as a foreign policy measure to help reduce Ukraine's dependence on Russia won't die. Oil executives and their surrogates keep bringing it up, and unsuspecting reporters amplify a message that has absolutely no basis.The reason for this oil industry public relations blitz on the Ukraine is rooted in the industry's desire to end a decades-old ban on […]
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4:06 PM | This Week's Geo-Quiz: Plate Tectonics
Over 200 years ago, we began to glimpse the outlines of the great engine that sculpts and maintains the Earth as we know and love it. It took a century and a half to come up with a paradigm—a body of theory and worldview—that we could sink our teeth into: plate tectonics. Today the general public is familiar with the basics of plates. But this quiz gets into the deep details that only a Geo-Whiz has mastered. Could you be one? Give the quiz a try.
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3:31 PM | the ants of spring
This crew is building an architectural masterpiece in our driveway. Related posts:Pulse flow, from outer space Portal to the past? Pulse flow slows
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2:43 PM | At The Cutting Edge of Science
The information that is gathered during these marine geoscience expeditions contributes hugely to our knowledge and understanding of how the Earth evolved and is still evolving. It underpins our models of climate change, the emplacement of valuable minerals and the distribution of natural hazards in both space and time. read more
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2:24 PM | Notes from the West Side of Marrowstone
I had a project on the southwest shore of Marrowstone Island near the upper end of Mystery Bay. The beach here is primarily gravel at the surface but with a mix of sand and silts under the gravel as well. Except for the upper beach the tidelands here are crunchy with various tidal sea life too the point of influence where I walked.barnacle encrusted beach gravelGreat heron sharing the beach with meThe protected nature of the bay is such that the gravel remains undisturbed for long periods and […]
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7:44 AM | Vernal Fall in Yosemite and a Sense of Scale (or, How to Feel Very Small)
It's a sense of scale that helps us keep perspective. I was at Washburn Point in Yosemite National Park today, and I took a few shots with the zoom of the same spot across the way. We have a bunch of people apparently enjoying themselves on a flat slab of rock next to a fair sized river. But why the fence? Why aren't they letting people cool their feet in the river on this reasonably warm day? Maybe it is the fact that they are standing at the top of a 318 foot (97 meter) waterfall. And a hell […]
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6:38 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #16
SkS Highlights Peter Hatfield's video, The consequences of climate change (in our lifetimes), introduced by Rob Honeycutt, drew the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Dana's Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn attracted the second highest number of comments. Toon of the Week   h/t to I Heart Climate Scientists Quote of the Week "So is the climate threat solved? Well, it should be. The science is solid; the […]
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4:23 AM | Kinder Morgan permits 5 wells in St Johns CO2 field
The Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission approved permits (#1189-1193) to Kinder Morgan CO2 Co. for 5 wells to develop the St. John's carbon dioxide field in eastern Arizona.Kinder Morgan plans on investing $1 billion in the CO2 operation - $700 million for field development and $300 million for a 230 mile pipeline to move the gas to a main pipeline in New Mexico that takes it to the Permian Basin oil fields where it will be used in enhanced oil recovery.

April 19, 2014

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7:49 PM | Geo 730: April 19, Day 475: Pillows and Beds
One notable feature of the Depoe Bay basalts is the way the pillows are interbedded with sediments. In some spots, such as this one, the pillows appear to be completely surrounded by, and supported in, the sandstone. My best guess would be that discrete pillows formed on the sea floor, then foundered into the underlying unconsolidated sediment. Alternatively, they might be invasive- that is the pillows may have formed by intrusion of lava into the sediment below- but that seems less likely, to […]
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7:33 PM | Trillium Season
Trillium is an April flower and its brief appearance of large while flowers in the otherwise dark forest floor marks the change over from bare branches to the return of the western Washington jungle. The flower always just beats the leafing out of the red alder and big leaf maple.
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6:01 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #16
6 things you need to know about reducing emissions Climate change and desertification a threat to social stability Climate concerns in a time of growing ‘climate fatigue’? Costs of climate change may prove high for future Drunken trees: dramatic signs of climate change Entire marine food chain at risk from rising CO2 levels in water EPA drastically underestimates methane released at drilling sites Pope Francis urged to back fossil fuel divestment campaign Salvation gets […]
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3:08 PM | Down the Landsat rabbit hole, Albuquerque edition
Now that I’ve figured out how to easily download NASA Landsat imagery, (thanks, USGS!) I don’t think I’m going to get much else done this weekend. It’s an amazing conceptual tool for helping to think about how water moves through western North America. Here’s Albuquerque on April 13, with the colors tweaked to highlight growing plants. ...Continue reading ‘Down the Landsat rabbit hole, Albuquerque edition’ » Related posts:River Beat: Lake […]
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2:56 PM | Geological Legacies of the Paris Basin: Part I – Plaster of Paris, the Windmills of Montmartre, the Park of Buttes-Chaumont and a new Artistic Creativity
In March, I escaped from the frigid grip of the Polar Vortex that enveloped New England and found climatic, cultural and culinary refuge in Paris and London. Not expecting to encounter any geological discoveries worthy of a post, I found precisely the opposite. Herein is the first of two posts on the Geological Legacies of the Paris Basin, and later, a few worthy geo-gems I found in London. WHAT'S IN A NAME?The Romans called their settlement on the south bank of […]
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2:35 PM | Happy Easter with a (fake) Dozen Dinosaur Eggs
Roy Chapman Andrews was not only an intrepid explorer and palaeontologist, but also a gifted promoter. The Central Asiatic Expeditions were accompanied by cameras to document the entire work. As the conditions were most time prohibitive – relief from the burning sun was given only by frequent sandstorms – many scenes showing the discovery and [...]
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2:35 PM | Happy Easter with a (fake) Dozen Dinosaur Eggs
Roy Chapman Andrews was not only an intrepid explorer and palaeontologist, but also a gifted promoter. The Central Asiatic Expeditions were accompanied by cameras to document the entire work. As the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:13 PM | A Rose By Any Other Name
I love the way Bob (one of our amazing geomagnetists, who uncovers the history and magnetic secrets of the Earth by looking at tiny cubes of mud!) so willingly agreed to model this beautiful rose. What more fitting setting could there be? Here is an ‘undertaker’, in a hard hat, in the middle of the ocean, with a flower of remembrance! read more
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12:06 PM | “Q” is for Quickmatic
“Q” is for the Olympus Quickmatic, a camera for 126 cartridge film. While Kodak had the Instamatic, Olympus responded with the Quickmatic. We have two Quickmatics in our collection. Both Quickmatic here were manufactured in 1967. The EES has a … Continue reading →
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7:44 AM | Science Snap (#24): The psychedelic Zambezi flood plain
This colourful image shows the Zambezi River’s floodplain in Zambia. The image was created from three acquisitions from Envisat’s radar instrument that were merged together. Each acquisition was assigned a colour and when combined show changes in the floodplain between each satellite acquisition. The white patch of pixels in the upper right quadrant marks the […]
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4:20 AM | Edge States: Wendover Launch
residency support unit and Exhibition Hall 2, CLUI Wendover, UT We’re happy to announce the opening of Look Only at the Movement in Wendover, Utah.  Wendover is located 2,292 miles west of New York City via Interstate 80. The  work can be found in Exhibition Hall 2 of the CLUI Wendover complex, directly next door to the […]
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3:00 AM | Pulse flow, from outer space
I’ve apparently got more time on my hands than skill, but I figured out, somewhat crudely, how to downland LANDSAT maps and make some pictures. Here’s the largely dry bed of the Colorado River on February 27. Apologies for the large file size, but it should have enough resolution to click and zoom if you’re ...Continue reading ‘Pulse flow, from outer space’ » Related posts:a boy and his river Pulse flow slows A pickup, stuck in the Colorado River sand
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12:56 AM | Mexico's 7.2 earthquake and it's early warning system
Seismic record from the Guerrero April 18 earthquakeFrom Earthquake-Report.com A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck in the Acapulco/Mexico City region early this morning, a Good Friday holiday morning when many residents had apparently slept in or gone away on vacation. The earthquake lasted about 30 seconds. The epicenter was in the state of Guerrero, north of Acapulco. The U.S. Geological Survey has an automatic damage estimator here. The USGS estimates deaths between 1-100, and economic […]
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12:52 AM | In drought-stressed Sacramento, relaxing lawn water rules
In Sacramento, you no longer need fear getting a citation for letting your lawn go brown. What’s next – water meters? Related posts:California Drought Those Wacky Californians Drought’s over! (not)
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12:02 AM | Do We Need Hadean Eras?
In geology, the rocks have a way of messing with our pretty schemes. One instance I'm thinking of involves the base of the geologic time scale. The Earth itself is about 4.5 billion years old--but the time scale starts at the base of the Archean Eon with a time unit called the Eoarchean Era, running from 4.0 billion years ago (4 Ga) to 3.6 Ga. Like most of the Precambrian time periods...Read Full Post

April 18, 2014

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11:46 PM | Out of the Valley of Death and into an Upside Down Mountain
The Grapevine Mountains form the eastern margin of the Death Valley north of Stovepipe Wells, reaching elevations of nearly 9,000 feet in places. It's an imposing range, stark, barren, and rugged. All of the mountains of Death Valley are rugged pretty much by default, but erosion has not pierced deeply into many of them. They're too young geologically to have been effected much by mudflows and flashfloods in this arid environment.There are exceptions to everything though, and there is a canyon […]
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11:42 PM | Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 10: Trans Neptunian Objects including Pluto, KBOs, Comets
Explore the worlds beyond Neptune including Pluto, Kuiper Belt Objects and comets in this video of class 10 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.
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10:48 PM | Suomi Satellite Night Vision Sees Great Lakes Ice
The CIMMS Satellite blog has posted a fantastic image of the ice cover on the Great Lakes. See my previous post for more info. This is a visible light (not IR) image made by the VIRRS sensor on Suomi is below: (click for full resolution)
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