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Great Lakes Ice Unprecedented? Hardly.

The headline above is on the Huffington Posts front page this evening, and it's rather misleading. Yes, it's been a rather cold winter around the Great Lakes and a cold spring has slowed the ice melt as well. It's really not  that big of a dea...
Categories: Uncategorized; Arctic blast climate change Greenland; featured; great lakes; lake superior ice;

Reconstructing the Paluxy River Dinosaur Chase Sequence.

Sciency Thoughts | 17 April, 2014
In 1940 palaeontologist Roland Bird of the American Museum of Natural History in New York described and partially excavated a sequence of Dinosaur footprints along the Paluxy River at Glen Rose in Texas. In the intervening time this sequence has become one of the best known Dinosaur trackways in the world, most notably a chase sequence which apparently showed a Theropod Dinosaur in pursuit of a Sauropod, which for many years became a standard inclusion in popular books on Dinosaurs.
Categories: Dinosaur; Ichnology; Palaeontology; Paluxy River; Sauropod; Texas; Theropods; Trace Fossils; Tracks;

Sticks n' Stones n' Dinosaur Bones: Jersey Boys Review

Several weeks ago I received an email from Ted Enik, author of the new children's book, Sticks n' Stones n' Dinosaur Bones.  Since I have a background in science AND putting up with little kids he was wondering if I would be willing to accept an early copy of his work and review in on the site. 
Categories: None

Magnitude 3.2 Earthquake in Rutland, England.

Sciency Thoughts | 17 April, 2014
The British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 3.2 Earthquake at a depth of 4 km roughly 7 km northwest of Oakham in Rutland, England, slightly after 7.05 am British Summertime (slightly after 6.05 am GMT) on Thursday 17 April 2014. This is a large quake for the area, and was felt across much of Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, although there are no reports of any damage or injuries.
Categories: Earthquake; England; Eurasian Plate; Glacial Rebound; Rutland; UK;

Curiosity: Sol 603, April 17, 2014

Red Planet Report | 17 April, 2014
Driving around the southern end of Mount Remarkable, visible in part at right. NASA description: This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 603 (2014-04-17 16:54:58 UTC). More Sol 603 images (f...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Kimberley; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Remarkable; Mount Sharp; MSL; NASA;

Aneto Glacier, Spain-Retreating and Disappearing

The glacier is too small to rely on our usual Landsat imagery. Here we focus on images from Google Earth and the Digital Globe. The glacier's maximum top to bottom length by 2005 is no more than 600 meters, black dots indicate glaciers lower margin. The area in 2007 is 0.4 square kilometers by which time the glacier has developed a number of rock outcrops protruding through the thin ice. Snowcover in most images by late summer is minimal. This indicates the lack of a consistent accumulation zone, which a glacier cannot survive without (Pelto, 2010). The glacier has many exposed annual layers extending well upglacier, this is a further indication of the poor preservation of even old glacier ice. In 2005 and 2007 less than 10% of the glacier is snowcovered in the images which are not even at the end of the summer. This glacier is disappearing and like the Careser Glacier, Italy will break into several parts. The thin nature of the glacier is evident by looking up glacier from the terminus, last image from Gus Llobet (llobetgus-on Panaramio)
Categories: Glacier Observations; Aneto Glacier melt; pyrenees glacier retreat; Spain glacier melt; Spain glacier retreat;


Arctic Sea Ice Blog | 17 April, 2014
I have collected a couple of interesting news articles and interviews over the past few weeks, and now it's time to share with those of you who haven't seen them. I'm posting what I found the most interesting excerpts, follow the links if you want to read the rest.
Categories: Alfred Wegener Institute; IPCC; Ocean acidification; Ocean heat flux; Science; Uni Hamburg; Weblogs;

HiRISE: Calligraphic Mars

Red Planet Report | 17 April, 2014
Beautiful Mars series. Calligraphic Mars. More Beautiful Mars images....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; dunes; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; sand; sand dunes; University of Arizona;

Preserved wood from an Early Eocene kimberlite pipe in northwestern Canada’s Slave Province.

Sciency Thoughts | 17 April, 2014
Kimberlite pipes are produced by rapid volcanic intrusions carrying magma from the Earth's mantle rapidly to the surface, often resulting in explosive phreatomagmatic eruptions (explosions caused by hot magma coming into contact with water). These pipes are considered high value economic resources due to the common occurrence of diamonds within them. Surprisingly kimberlite pipes also often contain fossil material. This can come from two separate sources; organisms can fall directly into the erupting lava and be entombed within it as it cools (such intrusions of non-volcanic material, organic or otherwise, are known as xenoliths by volcanologists), alternatively material can be preserved in volcanic craters after the eruption, as organisms are buried in fine-grained volcanic ash and clay (volcanic maar), which has high preservational potential.
Categories: Biodiversity; Conifers; Diamond Mining; Eocene; Kimberlite Pipes; Palaeobotony; Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum; Palaeoclimatology; Redwoods;

Science snap (#23): Pacaya Volcano

NASA satellite image of the erupting Pacaya volcano, Guatemala. Credit: NASA
Categories: Science snap; Volcanoes;

The Confidence Gap – Excellent Summary

In the last few years the number of research articles/books/popular articles about women in traditionally male dominated fields (science, leadership in large companies, etc.) has been on the rise - it has become a hot topic!
Categories: planetary science;

Geo 730: April 17, Day 473: Whale Cove Sandstone

Outside the Interzone | 17 April, 2014
Looking more or less north from the southern end of the city of Depoe Bay, in the foreground we see the basalt of Depoe Bay. The buff cliffs under the buildings in the distance are composed of sandstone, referred to as the sandstone of Whale Cove (a small cove just to the south), and the darker rocks out on the point are made of Cape Foulweather basalt. Overall, this represents a pair of Columbia River Basalt flows separated by an interval of sedimentation. It wouldn't surprise me to find that work done in the 40+ years since the geological sketch map I posted Monday has reorganized current understanding and nomenclature of these rocks. For example, the sandstone could have logically been demoted to "member" status in the larger and more extensive Astoria Formation. It's source and environment are probably very similar to the latter formation, with the only real distinction being that it was deposited after a basalt flow reached the area.
Categories: Earth; Geo 730; Geology; Oregon;

A Visit To The Science Museum

Maitri's Vatul Blog | 17 April, 2014
Last Friday, budding paleontologist O, his mother and I visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Its paleo hall is one of the best in the world! The gem and minerals exhibit isn't bad either, but can use a larger variety of minerals and better labels. Speaking of labels, take some guesses at fossil and mineral identification in the pictures below.
Categories: geology; houston; photographs; science & technology;

Curiosity at Mount Remarkable

Red Planet Report | 17 April, 2014
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used its Navigation Camera (Navcam) to record this scene of a butte called "Mount Remarkable" and surrounding outcrops at a waypoint called "the Kimberley" inside Gale Crater. The butte stands about 16 feet (5 me...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Kimberley; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Remarkable; Mount Sharp; MSL; NASA;

Oxygen, magnetic reversals and mass extinctions

Earth-Pages | 17 April, 2014
In April 2005 EPN reported evidence for a late Permian fall in atmospheric oxygen concentration to about 16% from its all-time high of 30% in the Carboniferous and earlier Permian.. This would have reduced the highest elevation on land where animals could live to about 2.7 km above sea level, compared with 4 to 5 today. Such an event would have placed a great deal of stress on terrestrial animal families. Moreover, it implies anoxic conditions in the oceans that would stress marine animals too. At the time, it seemed unlikely that declining oxygen was the main trigger for the end-Permian mass extinction as the decline would probably have been gradual; for instance by oxygen being locked into iron-3 compounds that give Permian and Triassic terrestrial sediments their unrelenting red coloration. By most accounts the greatest mass extinction of the Phanerozoic was extremely swift.
Categories: Geobiology, palaeontology, and evolution; Planetary, extraterrestrial geology, and meteoritics; extinction; Magnetic field reversal; Oxygen levels; Solar wind;

Meteorites yield clues to early Mars atmosphere

Red Planet Report | 17 April, 2014
Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published April 17 in the journal Nature, shows that the atmospheres ...
Categories: Reports; atmosphere; augite; Mars meteorites; sulfur cycle;

Characterizing Radioactivity

GeoMika | 17 April, 2014
Detection of radioactivity depends on the type of radiation being targeted.
Categories: Geoscience; alpha particle; characterization; gamma radiation; geologic materials; Gieger counter; independent study; labwork; measurement; physical properties; radioactivity; scintillometers; Thursday Properties;

Opportunity’s Selfie shows clean machine

Red Planet Report | 17 April, 2014
In its sixth Martian winter, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity now has cleaner solar arrays than in any Martian winter since its first on the Red Planet, in 2005. Cleaning effects of wind events in March boosted the amount of ... Continue r...
Categories: Reports; Endeavour Crater; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; Murray Ridge; NASA; Opportunity; Solander Point;

California Drought, Midwest Chill Tied to Climate Change?

ImaGeo | 17 April, 2014
The Great Lakes on the night of April 16, 2014, as seen by the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite. Ice is still present on all the Great Lakes except Lake Ontario. (Source: CIMSS Satellite Blog)
Categories: Climate Change; Drought; Environment; Global Warming; select; Top Posts; climate change; El Niño; ENSO; geopotential height; global warming;

Magnitude 1.4 Earthquake near Dumfries, southwest Scotland.

Sciency Thoughts | 17 April, 2014
The British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 1.4 Earthquake at a depth of 6 km, toughly 2 km to the northwest of Dumfries in southwest Scotland, slightly before 7.30 pm British Summertime (slightly before 6.30 pm GMT) on Wednesday 16 April 2014. This is a small quake, highly unlikely to have caused any damage or injuries, though it may have been felt locally.
Categories: Dumfries and Galloway; Earthquake; Eurasian Plate; Glacial Rebound; Scotland; UK;

Will the next El Nino break a global temperature record?

Maribo | 17 April, 2014
by Simon Donner Cherry trees blossomed in Vancouver in early February during 2009-10 El Nino Long-term forecasts say El Nino could be on the way. This periodic climate warming of parts of the equatorial Pacific Ocean can affect weather around the w...
Categories: Features;

“I know a tree”

Wooster Geologists | 17 April, 2014
MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL-I met this particular tree in 2003 when searching for a good place to have lunch. Yoav said, "I know a tree", and then we drove a half-hour to get to it. As you can tell, trees are not particularly common in Makhtesh Gadol. Now this acacia has served as a resting place for a dozen Wooster geology students over the years. Its patchy shade is welcome indeed. Today I had a lonely little lunch of nuts and fruit underneath it, with the magnificent makhtesh walls surrounding me.
Categories: Uncategorized; Israel; Negev;

When the Clock Strikes Twelve

JOIDES Resolution Blogs | 17 April, 2014
When the hand reaches 12 noon it is time for the 'day shift' scientists to start work.
Categories: None

Bony body tube for a bizarre marine reptile

Prehistoric marine reptiles were a weird lot, especially in light of their lizard-like ancestors on land. You take something that roughly looks like an iguana, and evolve it into the shape of a dolphin (icthyosaurs), or evolve it into the shape of a turtle (turtles), or stretch out its neck and grow paddles on the limbs (plesiosaurs). That said, as a paleontologist I've grown fairly jaded when it comes to marine reptiles. Most of the major groups have been widely known since the dawn of paleontology, so I read all about them as a kid. I knew the story of Mary Anning and her 19th century quest for fossils, and how long-necked elasmosaurs used to swim over what are now the farms, ranches, and prairies of my home state of South Dakota. So, it's nice to be surprised by a new marine reptile every once in awhile!
Categories: Paleontology; PLOS ONE; Hupehsuchia; marine reptile; Parahupehsuchus; Triassic;

Tipping Points Annual Report 2013-14

IHRR's Tipping Points project has now published its fourth annual report. It provides recent updates on the multiple strands of its research that combines different fields in the physical and social sciences, and arts and humanities. The project ha...
Categories: Tipping Points; durham university; IHRR; research; science; tipping point;

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