Posts

October 21, 2014

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4:01 PM | Volcanic Plumbing at Mid-Ocean Ridges Goes Far Deeper than Thought
New pictures in the journal Nature Geoscience may help resolve a debate about how new crust forms at mid-ocean ridges where earth’s tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart.
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3:13 PM | Climate, Water and Hay Aligned in Kittitas Valley
Climate, available irrigation water and good soils align in the Kittitas Valley to make this central Washington valley an attractive area for growing livestock feed. Some history might play a role as well.Climate in the Kittitas consists of warm and dry spring, summer and fall weather. Spring comes fairly early in the year and warm temperatures linger well into October (particularly this year!). Winters are cold with sub 0 degree F not unusual. In addition, the Kittitas Valley is a bit on […]
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2:08 PM | I’m on TV!!
About a year ago I was asked to appear as a guest on a kids television show about rocks and minerals called Finding Stuff Out. I was asked to come an talk about rocks, minerals, geology in general and how I got interested in geology. The show is for 8-10 year olds and it is […]
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2:08 PM | The inevitability of Westlands’ woes
Bettina Boxall on the Westlands Water District: [T]he nation’s largest irrigation district is in the wrong place.
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2:00 PM | Orange Rhymes with Door-Hinge
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Orange is a colour that people either hate or love: tell us how you feel about it. —— Orange. It’s not a bad color, necessarily. We have a giant … Continue reading →
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1:18 PM | Geosonnet 15
The ants which scuttle by between our toes Dissolve the min’rals of the Earth we tread The calcic feldspar, slipped under their nose Ten trillion insects weather, pit, and shred. The Himalayan mountains cool the Earth Though mangroves and the grasses do their part, But ants may do what was the work of turf By min’ralizing CO2, they start Evaporating seas in Neogene Drying the Earth to
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12:30 PM | Monday dispatches from GSA: Vancouver
The arrival of the long-threatened rain did not dampen lots of cool science.. Continue reading →
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12:08 PM | Why don't people use viz rooms?
Matteo Niccoli asked me why I thought the use of immersive viz rooms had declined. Certainly, most big companies were building them in about 1998 to 2002, but it's rare to see them today. My stock answer was always "Linux workstations", but of course there's more to it than that. What exactly is a viz room? I am not talking about 'collaboration rooms', which are really just meeting rooms with a workstation and a video conference phone, a lot of wires, and wireless mice with low batteries. These […]
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7:39 AM | Tutorial 29, Appendix A: good, bad and ugly titles of Mike’s papers
In light of yesterday’s tutorial on choosing titles, here are the titles of all my own published papers (including co-authored ones), in chronological order, with my own sense of whether I’m happy with them now I look back. All the full references are on my publications page (along with the PDFs). I’ll mark the good ones […]
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7:00 AM | 500-Year-Old Traces of Monster Hawaii Tsunami Discovered
Fragments of corals, shells and coarse sand in a natural sinkhole suggest that a mighty tsunami hit the Hawaiian Islands about 500 years ago.
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6:56 AM | Another global warming contrarian paper found to be unrealistic and inaccurate
It’s hard to find a reputable scientist who denies that human emissions of greenhouse gases are warming the planet and that there will be consequences for human society and the biological health of the planet. There are a few holdouts who, for various reasons, either think humans are not causing warming or that the warming will not have much consequence. Some members of this vocal minority spend a lot of time trying to convince the public that they are right. They write letters to […]
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5:22 AM | Sunday dispatches from GSA: Vancouver
View the story “GSA Day 1″ on Storify
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5:18 AM | Invertebrate of the Week #12 – Osmia bicolor: a shell-nesting bee
Acknowledgement: hat tip to Paul Bee (@solitarybee) and John Walters (@JWentomologist) for bringing this insect to my attention. Meet Osmia bicolor, this week’s Invertebrate of the Week.  Unlike the more social […]
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4:18 AM | Biological Soil Crust Science Forum videos and transcripts available
Follow the link to download videos or transcripts. I can't bear to watch a video of myself, so i can't tell you if they're good or not….hope so. Also featured are Drs. Jayne Belnap, Janice Boettinger, Kim Anderson, and Fee Busby. This was an all day event in which panel members answered questions from the public about biocrusts in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The event was meant to summarize the state of knowledge about biocrusts specifically to inform the environmental […]
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4:09 AM | "Head Smashed In"... um, sounds like a great place to visit...
The High Plains have their quiet times. Sure, there are the vicious winter storms,  the days when the wind blows hard, and the summer thunderstorms. But other times the wind may be just a light breeze through the grass, maybe a hawk soaring overhead. Or a huge marmot standing guard on a sandstone outcrop. But I can also stand in this place and imagine a similar quiet day a few thousand years ago. It's quiet, but then the ground starts to tremble, and a dust cloud rises over the crest of […]
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2:39 AM | October 2014 Open Thread
More thread.
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2:18 AM | Wordless Wednesday – A Well-Used Path
The RocNaNo blog offers weekly “Wordless Wednesday” writing challenges. The most recent challenge was to use this photo as a jumping-off place for a story. Let’s see where I get with this… A Well-Used Path The path was well-traveled, with … Continue reading →
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1:30 AM | Woodworthia arizonica Fossil
While touring the Natural History section of the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park (1300 N. College Ave, Tempe Arizona 85281) I saw fossil specimen (AHS-NH#11646) from Chinle Formation of Holbrook, Navajo County, Arizona USA. It is a Woodworthia arizonica Jeffrey 1910 tree fossil. This plant existed in the Upper or Late Triassic Period. Images of museum specimen taken
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12:59 AM | Bárðarbunga volcano Monday update on 20-October-2014
I am sorry for this late update. I was working on my server computer. More details at the end of this article. Overview of weekend (18 – 19-October-2014) activity in Bárðarbunga volcano Strongest earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano during … Continue reading →

October 20, 2014

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10:30 PM | Hot News: 2014 On Track to Become Warmest Year
The odds are good that 2014 will become the warmest year in the books, fueled by record ocean warmth.
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9:50 PM | Cohen: China’s Pollution Problems Mirroring U.S. Experience
China’s problems with air pollution mirror what the United States went through during the rapid economic growth following World War II, and the solutions will likely be the same, Earth Institute Executive Director Steven Cohen said Saturday on an English-language news program on China Central Television.
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9:15 PM | Record Warm September Increases Odds that 2014 Will be Hottest on Record
From NOAA. From NOAA. NOAA announced today that both August and September were the hottest globally since reliable instrument records began in the 1880′s. From NOAA: Global Highlights The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for September 2014 was the highest on record for September, at 0.72°C (1.30°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). The global land surface temperature was 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th …
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6:43 PM | Geo 730: October 20, Day 658: Looking Back
This is the view from Devils Punchbowl, looking back north to the site of yesterday's photo, Otter Crest. That headland and the next one beyond are composed of Columbia River Basalt. The yellow to gray tilted beds in the middle promontory are Astoria Formation, which was deposited but not yet lithified when the basalt arrived. Those beds, in turn, were beveled off to create a flat marine terrace, upon which the much lighter, flat-lying sands were deposited. The the whole kit and kaboodle was […]
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6:30 PM | When Good Rockets Go Bad: Orion's Launch Abort System
One of the tricky parts of launching humans into space is deciding what to do if something goes wrong. And that's where Orion's Launch Abort System comes in.
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5:59 PM | California Lake Poisoned to Get Rid of Invasive Fish
In San Francisco, officials are being forced to resort to a fish-killing chemical to get rid of a lake's invasive species. Continue reading →
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5:15 PM | Australia Hopeful of Revised Antarctic Sanctuary Success
Australia said Monday it was hopeful of winning support for its plan to create a vast marine reserve off Antarctica, after revising the proposal to make it smaller.
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5:07 PM | Status update: All Mars missions fine after Siding Spring flyby
All seven Mars spacecraft are doing perfectly fine after comet Siding Spring's close encounter with Mars.
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4:00 PM | Watch Your Step: the Alpha Predator of the Ordovician
Frozen into the stone floor of a stairway landing, several flights up in Columbia’s Lewisohn Hall, sits a stark reminder of how life has evolved in the sea. Part 6 of the Columbia Geology Tour.
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3:35 PM | Collaboration Between OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa-2
The University of Arizona (UA) hosted representatives of the Hayabusa-2 asteroid sample return mission to explore opportunities for collaboration with the OSIRIS-REx team.
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2:00 PM | Not Anxious, For a Change?
National Blog Posting Month – September 2014 – Crunch Prompt – Autumn reminds us that everything changes. What do you wish you could change in your life right now? —— Today’s post is timely. Yesterday, I had a relatively relaxing … Continue reading →
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