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Enough is never enough

State of the Planet | 17 December, 2017
But enough is never enough when you have traveled so far for data! Almost from nowhere we were given a surprise opportunity to fly one of our survey lines the second-to-last day of our Antarctic season and we jumped at it!
Categories: Climate; Earth Sciences; General Earth Institute; Antarctica; climate change; Decoding the mysteries of the Ross Ice Shelf; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Rosetta Project; Ross Ice Shelf;

Platecarpus Mosasaur Fossil

Louisville Fossils and Beyond | 17 December, 2017
This image is of Platecarpus ictericus mosasaur skull fossil on display at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (August 2017). It dates to the Campanian Age (about 80-85 million years ago), Late Cretaceous Period. The fossil was found in the Upper ...
Categories: Cretaceous; iowa; mace brown museum of natural history; mosasaur; niobrara formation; skull;

Determining the origin of scoriaceous micrometeorites.

Sciency Thoughts | 16 December, 2017
Micrometeorites are particles of extra-terrestrial material less than 2 mm across. These have been collected from a number of environments, including Antarctic blue ice and snow, deep sea sediments and even rooftops, and are the most abundant form of meteorite material available to scientists. Scoriaceous micrometeorites are micrometeorites dominated by micron-sized equant iron-rich olivine crystals within a glassy mesostasis, which is thought to be indicative of having undergone caused by superheating from friction with the Earth's atmosphere due to the orbital momentum of the asteroid, which is greater than that caused by simply falling.
Categories: Asteroids; Carbonaceous Chondrites; Koronis Family Asteroids; Meteorites; Micrometeorites; Mineralogy; Scoriaceous Micrometeorites; Themis Family of Asteroids; Veritas Family Asteroids;

Announcing "Ancient Landscapes of Western North America" My Newest Book Published by Springer for 2018

Earthly Musings | 16 December, 2017
My latest book, Ancient Landscapes of Western North America, is now available online in print and e-book formats. With a publication date of 2018 this is a brand new title just in time for the new year. ALWNA is the second book in the Ancient Landsca...
Categories: None

Three confirmed dead as Tropical Storm Kai-Tek sweeps across the Philippines.

Sciency Thoughts | 16 December, 2017
Three people have been confirmed dead after Tropical Storm Kai-Tek swept across the Philippines on Saturday 16 December 2017. The storm made landfall on Samar Island, where 77 000 people have been evacuated from low lying areas, and seven people are known to have been injured amid widespread flooding. All three confirmed deaths occurred on the neighbouring island of Leyte, and include a woman killed by a landslide, a three-year-old boy who drowned and another person who was sucked down a manhole. Two further deaths have been reported on the islands of Biliran and Dinagat, though authorities have not yet been able to confirm these.
Categories: Biliran Island; Dinagat Island; Flooding; Geohazards; Landslips; Leyte Island; Pacific Ocean; Philippines; Samar Island; Storms; Tropical Storms;

Possible metoerite impact near Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Sciency Thoughts | 16 December, 2017
Police officers called to a suspect explosion in the Thunder Bay area of Ontatio, Canada, late on the evening of Thursday 14 December 2017, have reported a possible meteorite impact. The officers reported finding a hole in the snow about a meter across, close to Highway 61, with a small amount of  'rock-like' material in the centre. Since there were no Human footprints close to the site they suspect a meteorite impact was the most likely cause of the event. The site was inspected on Wednesday 15 December by Stephen Kissen of the Geology Department at Lakehead University, who could not find any traces of meteorite material, though he does not rule out a meteorite as the cause of the incident. Small meteorites are often completely vapourised in explosions caused by superheating from friction with the Earth's atmosphere, which is greater than that caused by simply falling, due to the orbital momentum of the asteroid, and such a superheated small object would have a high chance of being destroyed if it hit a snowfield.
Categories: Asteroids; Canada; Meteorites; Meteors; Near Earth Asteroids; North America; Ontario; Solar System;

Door 16 – …Cromerty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger, Fisher…

This is a map discovered rolled and stowed within a remote cranny in the Archivist's Office, provenance uncertain.  It is presumed a former member of staff was a keen weekend sailor, or perhaps a radio ham.
Categories: 2017 Advent Calendar; Advent calendar;

High-resolution climate models present alarming new projections for U.S.

Geospace | 15 December, 2017
By Lois Yoksoulian Approaching the second half of the century, the United States is likely to experience increases in the number of days with extreme heat, the frequency and duration of heat waves, and the length of the growing season. In response, i...
Categories: climate change; Earth's Future; Featured; Modeling; climate model; featured; global warming;

Lava-filled blocks on Venus may indicate geological activity

Geospace | 15 December, 2017
By Jeremy Rehm Global elevational view of Venus with locations of tectonic blocks circled around the poles. The global regularity and distribution of these blocks possibly indicate the presence of a global systematic geologic process. Image credit: P...
Categories: 2017 Fall Meeting; Featured; Geology; Planetary science; Space; Venus; crustal motion; featured; planetary science; venus;

Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake beneath West Java, Indonesia.

Sciency Thoughts | 15 December, 2017
The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake at a depth of 91.9 km under the district of Cipatujah in West Java, Indonesia, slightly after 11.45 pm local time (slightly after 4.45 pm GMT) on Friday 15 December March 2017. The event was felt across most of Java, as well as on Bali and Christmas Island. The event is reported to have caused a number of building collapses and several deaths, though the extent of the damage is as yet unclear.
Categories: Cipatujah District; Earthquakes; Geohazards; Indo-Australian Plate; Indonesia; Java; Subductive Plate Margin; Sunda Plate; Sunda Trench; West Java;

Shark remains from the Early Cretaceous of Argentina.

Sciency Thoughts | 15 December, 2017
Sharks first appeared during the Devonian, and are still dominant predators in the seas of today. They form an important part of the marine fossil record in many areas, and are occasionally used for stratigraphy (dating rocks), though often they are usually only represented by their teeth, which are mineralised and grown and shed throughout their lives. Despite this, as with all groups. there are gaps in their fossil record, with areas where, despite apparently having good Shark habitats, Sharks remains are absent from the fossil record. One such area is southwestern Gondwana (South America and Antarctica), where Shark remains are common from the Late Cretaceous and Cainozoic, but almost entirely absent from the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous.
Categories: Agrio Formation; Argentina; Chondrichthys; Cretaceous; Gondwana; Hybodonts; Mackeral Sharks; Marine Biology; Neuquén Province; Palaeobiodiversity; Palaeobiogeography; Palaeontology; Sharks; South America;

HiRISE: Colorful and ancient bedrock

Red Planet Report | 15 December, 2017
Craters can be very useful in exposing features that were once hidden beneath the surface. Here, the edge of a crater wall exposes a cross-section of enhanced color bedrock in Syrtis Major, a relatively dust-free region of Mars. The diverse ... Conti...
Categories: Reports; craters; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; Syrtis Major; University of Arizona;

What Caused the Great Famine?

State of the Planet | 15 December, 2017
Scientists are unraveling the driving forces of one of the worst environmental disasters in human history, in hopes of predicting and preparing for the next global drought.
Categories: Climate; American Geophysical Union; American Geophysical Union 2017; climate change; drought; El Niño; famine;

Guest Post: The Cactus Field(s) of Sheep Mountain

[Many thanks to Larry Haimowitz for this contribution! See bio at end of post.] Driving to Sheep Mountain.If you've ever driven west from Laramie to Centennial on Wyoming Highway 130 you're likely familiar with this scene - that's Sheep Mountain on the left. Most of the mountain is National Forest, but is surrounded by private property, which limits public access. You'll find a very steep trail, just out of sight in this photo, near the NW corner of the mountain. Parking is very limited and there is no sign at the trailhead. Trails from the south end of the mountain have much gentler slopes.
Categories: Cactaceae; cactus; Wyoming botany;

Coastal erosion threatens archaeological sites along Greenland’s fjords

Geospace | 15 December, 2017
By Jeremy Rehm The distribution of registered archaeological settlements in the Nuuk region in western Greenland.Credit: Google Earth Hundreds of archaeology sites lie along the shores of Greenland's fjords and coasts, revealing the entirety of the...
Categories: 2017 Fall Meeting; climate change; Featured; geoarchaeology; Greenland; Archaeology; erosion; featured;

Dubai – Arid Lands Innovator

The Nature of Cities | 15 December, 2017
We step off the plane at Dubai International Airport--the third busiest in the world--and the surroundings are familiar: faux granite, glass, stainless steel, arrival/departure screens, duty-free shops, food courts, escalators, the usual. Maybe a bit grander than most, but familiar. We move through customs, hit the duty-free for a few bottles of wine (we'll want ... Continue reading Dubai - Arid Lands Innovator '
Categories: Essay; Place & Design; Asia; Culture; Design; Development; Economics; Energy; Landscape; Livability; Middle East; Sustainability; Tools; Value; Water;

THEMIS: Landscapes control winds, dunes in Rabe Crater

Red Planet Report | 15 December, 2017
THEMIS Image of the Day, December 15, 2017. This VIS image provides another instance where the topography of the upper floor material affects the winds and dune formation. At the edges of the dune field, the dunes become smaller and ... Continue read...
Categories: Reports; Arizona State University; ASU; dunes; layered deposits; Mars Odyssey; NASA; Rabe Crater; sand dunes; THEMIS; THEMIS Image of the Day; Thermal Emission Imaging System; wind;

Subterranean Serendipity: Scientists stumble upon a new way to sample magma

Geospace | 15 December, 2017
By Annie Roth Krafla Caldera in northeast Iceland. The large red building near the center is the Landsvirkjun National Power Company's 60 MWe power plant. Some of the pipes that carry steam from the geothermal wells to the plant are visible.Credit:...
Categories: 2017 Fall Meeting; Featured; Geology; Volcano; featured; magma; Magma chamber; volcanology;

Aerial Geology, by Mary Caperton Morton

Mountain Beltway | 15 December, 2017
There's a lovely new coffee table book out, just in time for holiday shopping. My fellow EARTH magazine contributor Mary Capterton Morton is the author of Aerial Geology, a beautiful massive tome that profiles a hundred geologically interesting locations across the North American continent. Mary was kind enough to forward me a copy for review, and I was delighted to flip through its gorgeous pages. It's a visual feast, with a mix of satellite imagery, airplane imagery, and on-the-scene regular-scale photos. Each site gets a two- to four-page write up, most of which is photographic imagery, but sometimes it's augmented by excellent schematic illustrations by the talented Kat Cantner. The sites are sometimes can be as broad as the entire Canadian Rockies or the Great Plains, and sometimes as specific as a single petite meteorite impact crater or mountain peak. I learned a lot. Some of these places I had never heard of before. One particular strength of the collection is a profusion of craters - it reaches a critical threshold where you get a fuller sense of their diversity and commonalities. Others of the selected places I am familiar with through travel or work. In most cases, the descriptions are spot-on: informative and accurate, written with an economy of words. In one case (the Blue Ridge), I found some errors in the description, and I've reported these to Mary, who assures me they will be corrected in future editions. But that's a drop in the bucket, and the bucket is quite full: this book would make an ideal holiday gift for anyone who has an affinity for Earth processes and pretty pictures.
Categories: art; books; satellite imagery;

The Landslide Blog – the first ten years

The Landslide Blog | 15 December, 2017
Tomorrow, 16th December, will mark the end 10th anniversary of The Landslide Blog.  My first post on what was then Dave's Landslide Blog was made whilst I was at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.  I followed it up quickly with a couple more posts in those first few days.  A back of the envelope calculation suggests I have probably made over 1,000 posts since then, and maybe nearer to 1,500.  I moved the blog to the AGU blog site in October 2010, and have hugely appreciated the support that they have provided since. The stats of the blog since then continue to amaze me:
Categories: blogging; blog; featured;

GeoTalk: Maribel García-Ibáñez, Early Career Scientist Representative

EGU Geolog | 15 December, 2017
In addition to the usual GeoTalk interviews, were we highlight the work and achievements of early career researchers, this month we'll also introduce one of the (outgoing) Division early career scientist representatives (ECS). The representatives are responsible for ensuring that the voice of EGU ECS membership is heard. From organising short courses during the General Assembly, through to running division blogs and attending regular ECS representative meetings, their tasks in this role are varied.  Their work is entirely voluntary and they are all active members of their research community, so we'll also be touching on their scientific work during the interview.
Categories: Early Career Scientists; EGU GA 2018; General Assembly; GeoTalk; Ocean Sciences; Regular Features; #EGU18; early career researchers; Early Career Scientist Representative; EGU General Assembly; EGU General Assembly 2018; EGUecs;

Door 15 – Dispatch from Patagonia: The amazing Torres del Paine National Park

Flo Bullough continues her Patagonia reporting with a dispatch from the incredibly Torres del Paine National Park!
Categories: 100 Great Geosites; 2017 Advent Calendar; advent calendar; christmas; patagonia;

No more rainbows!

Agile Geoscience | 15 December, 2017
File under "Aaarrrrrrgghhhhhhh"
Categories: Workflows;

Take Three Minutes and Study These Two Graphs

One of the biggest science meetings on the planet is underway in New Orleans right now. The AGU meeting is huge and a LOT of newsmaking science comes out of it. This year is no different. The AMS published a special edition of the Bulletin of the Ame...
Categories: Uncategorized; AGU Meeting; ams annual meeting; Arctic Sea Ice; california drought; climate; Climate Change; featured; NOAA; weather forecasting;

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