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2017 Survey of Paleoartists: One Week Left!

Just a quick note: there's one week left to respond to the 2017 Survey of Paleoartists. If you missed my earlier post on the survey, please read it to learn more. And head to to take it! It will only take a few minutes, and is relevant for hobbyist and professional alike.
Categories: paleoart;

Opportunity: Rolling southward

Red Planet Report | 24 March, 2017
Sol 4679, March 23, 2017. After Opportunity drove about 30 meters (100 feet) farther south, two Pancam frames scouted the landscape ahead. The bright "mesa" is a point of interest; while it may simply be covered with bright dust, its ... Continue...
Categories: Reports; Cape Byron; Endeavour Crater; Iazu Crater; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity;

Weird Coastal El Nino Clobbers Peru: 80 Killed, $1.4 Billion in Damage

The world's costliest flood disaster of 2017 is still unfolding across parts of coastal Peru, where extreme rainfall atop normally dry terrain has led to episodes of major flooding over the last few weeks. More than 110,000 people have been displaced by flooding since December, according to Reuters, and more than 80 deaths have been reported.
Categories: None

The man who split the dinosaurs in two

A guest post from the Sedgwick Museum's Douglas Palmer
Categories: History; archives; dinosaurs; fossils; geology; geoscientist; history; palaeontology; Sedgwick museum; Seeley;

ExoMars: TGO aerobraking, ‘So far, so good’

Red Planet Report | 24 March, 2017
Aerobraking progress as of 22 March: To date, periapsis passage speed reduced by 33 cm/sec Still to go: 99,967 cm/sec There's news from the ExoMars/TGO mission control team at ESOC following the first ten days of the 'walk-in' to aerobraking, ...
Categories: Reports; aerobraking; ESA; European Space Agency; ExoMars; ExoMars 2016; Roscosmos; TGO; Trace Gas Orbiter;

Park Williams Discovers History and Science in a Tree Ring

State of the Planet | 24 March, 2017
Park Williams studies trees and climate, in particular the causes of drought and the effects of climate change on forests. In this latest in a series of Earth Institute videos, we spoke to him about what he does, what's important about it, and how ...
Categories: Climate; Earth Sciences; Climate Science; forest ecology; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; research-home; Tree Ring Lab; tree ring research; What We Do;

A New WordPress App Update, Designed for the iPad

geoliterate | 24 March, 2017
Over the past few months we've been working to dramatically improve users' experience on iPad -- and we're proud to share those with you now, in our WordPress app for iOS, available in the iTunes Store.
Categories: Admin Bar;

Curiosity update: Traction control driving

Red Planet Report | 24 March, 2017
Sol 1646, March 23, 2017, update by USGS scientist Ken Herkenhoff: MSL drove a little over 20 meters on Sol 1645, toward the big sand dune to the east that is the subject of a science campaign that will hopefully ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Bagnold Dunes; Bald Rock Ledge; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Formation; NASA; Porcupine Dry Ledge;

Study shows as US drilling surged, methane emissions didn’t

Geospace | 24 March, 2017
An aerial view of a Bakken formation well pad, a site of oil production, in North Dakota taken in 2014. A new study shows U.S. methane emissions are not likely an important driver of the increase in atmospheric methane levels observed worldwide after 2007, as other studies have suggested.Credit: NOAA/Tim Newberger.
Categories: climate change; Featured; Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres; Natural resources; climate; featured; oil and gas;

R – Change columns names in a spatial dataframe

scottishsnow | 24 March, 2017
Ordnance Survey have a great OpenRoads dataset, but unfortunately it contains a column called 'primary', which is a keyword in SQL. This makes it challenging/impossible to import the OpenRoads dataset into a SQL database (e.g. GRASS), without changing the offending column name.
Categories: Computing; GIS; R; SQL;

The Mitchell Creek landslide in British Columbia, Canada

The Landslide Blog | 24 March, 2017
The Mitchell Creek landslide is a very large, complex failure that has developed in response to the retreat of the Mitchell Valley Glacier in British Columbia, Canada.  In a paper just published in the journal Landslides, Clayton et al. (2017) describe how this very complex and large (more than 1 km wide and 1 km long) landslide started to develop sometime between 1956 and 1972 as the slope was debuttressed due to the loss of ice at the toe.  Since then parts of the landslide have moved by 40 metres or more.
Categories: Review of a paper; Canada; debuttressing; featured; glacier; landslide report; North America; paper; research;

The Great Wenchuan Earthquake eight years on: earthquake damage and coseismic landslides

Paleoseismicity | 24 March, 2017
Last October I was given the chance to attend the "iRALL school on field data collection, monitoring, and modeling of large landslides" in Chengdu, China. During the school, we spent one week in the epicentral area of the Ms=8.0 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, where I was able to take some interesting pictures of earthquake damage and coseismic landslides. Then other things happened, like the earthquakes in Italy and New Zealand, with exciting sights from the field shared here, and I never ended up sharing my Wenchuan pics, which I want to do now.
Categories: Uncategorized; archeoseismology; earthquake; EEE; field trip; landslide; surface rupture; Wenchuan;

Re-examining the dinosaur evolutionary tree.

Letters from Gondwana | 24 March, 2017
Close up of "Sue" at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, IL (From Wikimedia Commons)
Categories: Uncategorized; dinosaur evolution; Earth Sciences; History of Science; Ornithischians; Ornithoscelida; paleontology; phylogeny; Saurischians;

Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Strophomenid brachiopods from the Upper Ordovician of southern Ohio

Wooster Geologists | 24 March, 2017
Usually I find fossils in the field or lab and then craft a Fossil of the Week entry around them. This time, though, I started with a paper and then searched for fossils to illustrate it. I found this recent paper very well done:
Categories: Uncategorized; Fossil of the Week; fossils; Ohio; Ordovician;

HiRISE: Dunes of the Southern Highlands

Red Planet Report | 23 March, 2017
Sand dunes are scattered across Mars and one of the larger populations exists in the Southern hemisphere, just west of the Hellas impact basin. The Hellespontus region features numerous collections of dark, dune formations that collect both within de...
Categories: Reports; barchan dunes; dunes; Hellespontus; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; sand dunes; seif dunes; University of Arizona;

Sea Ice and China Smog

Even Antarctica saw record low ice area during their summer (boreal winter), but there's new research that seems to show a link between the Arctic ice loss and increased air pollution in China. With dark, heat-absorbing water now replacing what w...
Categories: Uncategorized; Arctic Ice; china smog; Climate Change;

Here's our exhaustive guide to Trump's 392-word NASA budget

Planetary Society Weblog | 23 March, 2017
We break down every sentence from Trump's new NASA budget, so you don't have to...
Categories: None

Opportunity: Coming down Cape Tribulation

Red Planet Report | 23 March, 2017
Sol 4678, March 22, 2017. Opportunity's path is taking it down from the summit of one Endeavour Crater rim segment (Cape Tribulation) as it heads for Perseverance Valley, which is a feature in the next segment, Cape Byron. The Navcam ... Continue r...
Categories: Reports; Cape Byron; Cape Tribulation; Endeavour Crater; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity; Perseverance Valley;

Asteroid 2017 FD3 passes the Earth.

Sciency Thoughts | 23 March, 2017
Asteroid 2017 FD3 passed by the Earth at a distance of 180 000 km (0.47 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, 0.12% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly before 2.30 pm GMT on Friday 17 March 2017. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented no threat. 2017 FD3 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 5-17 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 5-17 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to explode in an airburst (an explosion 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) in the atmosphere between 40 and 25 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.
Categories: 2017 FD3; Apollo Group Asteroids; Asteroids; Near Earth Asteroids; Solar System;

Curiosity update: Searching for dust devils

Red Planet Report | 23 March, 2017
Sol 1645, March 22, 2017, update by atmospheric scientist Michael Battalio and USGS scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The APXS will still be deployed on The Hop early on Sol 1645, and to avoid using battery power to heat up the arm, ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Bagnold Dunes; Clam Ledge; Curiosity; dust devils; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Formation; NASA; Snows Point; The Hop;

A Point With Multiple Dimensions

I manage to confine my collecting to a few, discrete interests, though the temptation is always there to add another.  I admit I felt a tug as I read novelist Gary Shteyngart's account of his obsession with expensive, mechanical wristwatches, spar...
Categories: chert; collecting; crinoids; Gary Shteyngart; Native American projectile points;

HiRISE: Ridge and mesa in Utopia Planitia

Red Planet Report | 23 March, 2017
Ridge and mesa in Utopia Planitia. Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; linear ridges; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; mesas; MRO; NASA; University of Arizona; Utopia Planitia;

Black Hills Montane Grassland Infographic

This picture is worth 620 words! (Click on this map and those below to view details.)
Categories: Black Hills botany; Black Hills montane grasslands; conservation; infographics;

‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ in the world of dinosaurs

A guest post from the Sedgwick Museum's Douglas Palmer
Categories: News; dinosaurs; evolution; fossils; history; Sedgwick museum;

This Year's First Skunk

Just about the time daffodils are providing early color to landscaped yards skunk cabbage brings bright green and yellow to wet areas in the forest of western Washington. 
Categories: flora;

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