Posts

November 23, 2014

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8:42 PM | Wetlands, Farmland and Drainage on the Nooksack Flood Plain
Before our November sunny break I headed north to Lynden and noted the water logged Nooksack River flood plain south of town.  Nooksack River flood plain south of river and south of Lynden The river was not flooding. The source of water standing over acres of land was the result of lots of local rain and poor drainage. The silty soils, high ground water and subtle topography cause water to accumulate in the fields. The DEM of the area shows the problem of drainage on […]
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6:46 AM | Caves in the Coast Ranges? Really? And a National Park? A Peek at Pinnacles
Bear Gulch Cave at Pinnacles National ParkCalifornia's Coast Ranges hide some real gems (literally: check out benitoite, for instance). One of my favorites is also the nation's newest national park: Pinnacles National Park. The park was first established as a national monument by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908, and given national park status in 2013.The park preserves the spire-like remains of a rhyolitic stratovolcano that erupted around 23 million years ago. Long after the monument was established, […]
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6:25 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change. Both articles were inititally posted on the blog, Climate Consensus - the 97% hosted on The Guardian.  El Niño Watch  Tropical Pacific Ocean moves closer to […]
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4:29 AM | Kelly Redmond to be honored for climate work
Kelly Redmond, deputy director of the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno, is being honored at next month’s AGU meeting in San Francisco for being generally awesome. Kelly’s one of the best climate scientists I’ve ever encountered at overcoming the “loading dock problem“, by which scientists do knowledge and leave it out there in a box for non-scientists ...Continue reading ‘Kelly Redmond to be honored for climate work’ »
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3:28 AM | Funny, Scary, Fascinating, and Geeky. What You Missed in Science This Week.
I am going to start doing a weekend post here with links and images from the world of geek that caught my eye this week. First up is Will Marshall and the TED talk below. Data is the fuel that science runs on, and he has figured out a way to harvest a LOT of it.   Guess what body of water is the 4th fastest warming on Earth? This …
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2:30 AM | Heavy Snow Boosts Flooding Risk for New York State
Record-breaking snowfall that buried towns near Buffalo, New York, and killed at least 14 people posed a major flooding threat Saturday with temperatures forecast to rise.
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12:36 AM | Fault Y in the Kittitas Valley
Waitt (1979)  identified three faults cutting across the Kittatas Valley. While the faults do off set Pleistocene sediments of the Thorpe Gravel, no definitive off sets have been identified within younger (last 11,000 years) sediments. The off set of the Thorp Gravel alluvial plain north of Ellensburg can readily be seen in the DEM: Fault off set is an east-west fault cutting across the center of the DEM with up to the south This DEM has the fault marked in blackThere are two […]

November 22, 2014

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11:42 PM | Geo 730: November 22, Day 691: Gorge Statuary III - Seaman
So this one was entirely new to me: Lewis and Clark had a Newfie! I love Newfies; they are infallibly loving, friendly, and gentle dogs that look like little black bears, and they love swimming. In fact, my understanding is that they were bred as life savers for fishermen on Canada's east coast. The fact that one was able to take on a deer while swimming is pretty amazing. As an aside, "large Newfound" is redundant.Photo unmodified. October 10, 2012. FlashEarth Location.
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9:49 PM | Geo 730: November 21, Day 690: Gorge Statuary II - Sacagawea
Another gorgeous statue at the Cascade Locks Visitor's Center. Apparently- at least according to Wikipedia, the most common spelling is "Sacagawea," rather than "Sacajawea," which is the way I've always spelled it. It's quite interesting to read that page and learn just how much is asserted in our cultural mythology, but how little is actually known about this amazing woman. Whether she died tragically young, at 24, or lived among the Comanches to the ripe old age of 86 is immaterial, I guess. […]
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8:52 PM | Geo 730: November 20, Day 689: Gorge Statuary I - Cougar
As we headed back to the car to continue with our gorge transit, we found a nice collection of bronze statues saluting the history- both human and natural- of the area. I really liked the pose of this cougar.Photo unmodified. October 10, 2012. FlashEarth Location.
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5:21 PM | How did we miss this story about vampires in abandoned mines in Arizona?
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4:13 PM | Stylolites in Helderberg crinoidal grainstones, Corridor H
Long week, no blog. But, hey – it’s Saturday, and I have a couple of hours of breathing room – so here are some stylolites in a crinoidal grainstrone in the New Creek member of the Helderberg Formation, exposed on Corridor H in West Virginia. Stylolites are pressure solution features, which overall form perpendicular to the maximum squeezing direction (maximum principal stress direction, σ1), and have little wiggle peaks that …
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3:42 PM | In the Colorado River Basin, a slow start to the 2014-15 water year
We’re about 20 percent of the way into the fall-winter-spring snow accumulation season in the Colorado River Basin, and the current snowpack upstream of Lake Powell as estimated by the CBRFC is 61 percent of average: It is worth remembering, as the Bureau of Reclamation notes in its weekly water supply report (pdf), that “values ...Continue reading ‘In the Colorado River Basin, a slow start to the 2014-15 water year’ »
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10:00 AM | Is publishing “just a button”?
Matt’s post yesterday was one of several posts on this blog that have alluded to Clay Shirky’s now-classic article How We Will Read [archived copy]. Here is the key passage that we keep coming back to: Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away. Because the word “publishing” means a cadre of professionals who are […]
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8:19 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a bill forbidding scientists from advising the EPA on their own research NASA CO2 animation recalls 1859 account of the global flow of this gas New Zealand ducking the climate question NRG sets goals to cut carbon emissions Record North […]
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4:22 AM | I guess the pot farmers have junior rights
Al Jazeera Counties, mostly in the more rural northern parts of California, are reporting a surge in thefts and illegal diversions of water from wells and streams. The prime suspects are illegal marijuana farmers desperate for water before the fall harvest, which would explain the surge in water thievery over the summer.
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2:22 AM | Climbing to the Top of Wayna Picchu, Peru
One of the extra-ordinary activities to undertake while visiting the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu is to take the trail to the top of the very obvious "sugarloaf" mountain that is usually framed behind the ruins. I had pre-arranged to obtain a permit to make this trek. I'm so glad I did - the weather was ideal if not a bit steamy and the views were spectacular.The main gate opens at 6 AM and by that time at least 300 people were waiting to enter the sanctuary (as they call Machu Picchu). An […]
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1:34 AM | Through Marsha’s “Friend’s” Window
I finally have a bit of time to catch up on some of the great photos you’ve sent of “the world outside your windows.” I’ve wanted to write about this one for ages; it’s a wonderful view—although a trifle out of the ordinary. Marsha sent this photo, and described it thus: “What the creature in […]
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12:50 AM | Quick update about our website
The last two weeks have been extraordinary for The Planetary Society. As amazing as this increased traffic is, it has brought to light some issues with our website including latency and missing content that we are still working on fixing.
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12:27 AM | Bárðarbunga volcano update Friday 21-November-2014
This is going to be a short update. There are no major changes in the eruption in Holuhraun. From the looks on the web cameras it appears that wall of the crater has possibly collapsed, I don’t have … Continue reading →

November 21, 2014

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11:56 PM | getting samples shipped
I think I'm at the final piece of my sample shipment/management saga. Part 1 is here, part 2 is here, part 3 is here, and part 4 is here. Let's recap. When shipping samples, you need to make sure that the custody seals are all in place, that the COC is filled out and signed properly, that the samples will stay cold, but not so cold that they'll freeze, that the sample containers won't break, that the samples are sealed in their cooler, that the cooler is sealed and labelled properly...and […]
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11:40 PM | Grand Canyon North Rim quake
A magnitude 2.9 earthquake occurred  shortly after noon today on the north side of Grand Canyon.  The USGS placed the epicenter about 19 miles northwest of Grand Canyon Village, but Dr. Jeri Young who runs the Arizona Broadband Seismic Network here at AZGS, places it further northeast. [Right, red star marks USGS epicenter.   The red circle marked "112114" marks the AZGS location]
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11:35 PM | Geo 730: November 19, Day 688: The Other Bridge of the Gods
There was a bit of confusion at this stop. Dana didn't realize that "Bridge of the Gods" referred to both the landslide-created "bridge" AND to the engineered steel truss bridge. Nor did she realize "Cascade Locks" referred to both the town and the now-disused shipping locks. I think we got that all straightened out, though. This bridge is the one I've crossed the Columbia on most often, probably more than all the others put together. The reason is that I was a student worker in Forest Soils […]
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10:55 PM | Random bits of Whidbey Island History
I was digging a bit into the history of the water front area of Oak Harbor related to a project I was working on and came across a couple of unrelated but interesting bits on the history of Whidbey Island by David Wilma at http://www.historylink.org."The settlers learned to dose deer carcasses with strychnine and the wolves eventually became extinct on Whidbey Island."A good reminder as to how wide spread wolves were and that returning to some natural condition ecosystem may not be so […]
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10:54 PM | What Warming Means for Lake Effect Snow
Global warming could fuel more lake effect snows like the one that buried Buffalo, at least for awhile.
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9:51 PM | Geo 730: November 18, Day 687: Bonneville Slide
Back to the cliffs I've pointed out in earlier posts, this slide was very likely due in part to oversteepening caused by incision during the Missoula Floods. Indeed, the many waterfalls in the gorge, particularly along the north-facing Oregon side, are thought to have their origins in these monstrous floods, which left nearly vertical cliffs in many places. The nice thing about this shot is that you can see both the headwall- the slide's source- and the runout into the river. I don't recall the […]
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8:38 PM | Don't Miss This Great New Video About Europa
JPL released a slick new video highlighting the significance of Europa, the moon of Jupiter with more liquid water than the Earth.
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6:41 PM | Neglected near-surface workhorses
Yesterday afternoon, I attended a talk at Dalhousie by Peter Cary who has begun the CSEG distinguished lecture tour series. Peter's work is well known in the seismic processing world, and he's now spreading his insights to the broader geoscience community. This was only his fourth stop out of 26 on the tour, so there's plenty of time to catch it. Three steps of seismic processing In the head-spinning jargon of seismic processing, if you're lost, it's maybe not be your fault. Sometimes it might […]
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6:12 PM | Chemical Change Causing Lakes to Get Gooey
Acid rain and deforestation runoff are causing a drop in the calcium content of some lakes in North America and western Europe, with ominous potential effects.
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5:00 PM | MPA Alumnus Honored With NASPAA Spotlight Award
Todd Miner, a 2011 alumnus of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, was honored by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) for his work as the Director of Friends of Rockaway, an organization devoted to recovery after Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
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