For your clicking pleasure: the most interesting stories and links that we came across this week in our internet meanderings.
- Many geobloggers were considering volcanoes this week. Not, as it turns out, due to the undersea eruption El Hierro in the Canary Islands; instead, they were contemplating which one they’d employ in their nefarious schemes to take over the word. The Geological Society of London were the surprising initiators of this debate, with a post listing what they considered to be the top 5 volcanic lairs for evil geologists. But, as with any list of this kind, objections to its order and composition soon abounded. Eric, Jess, Gary, and Dana all chimed in, whilst Silver Fox made the case for a non-volcanic lair – less dramatic, perhaps, but also less likely to blow up underneath you.
- However, we did find a volcano that was definitely not a good candidate for evil lair: this InSAR animation of growing lava dome at Cleveland volcano was pretty awesome, but not good for the health of your death ray.
- Interesting data from experimental seismology: ‘flash heating’ at asperities may mean faults weaken as they move faster
- Christchurch earthquake commission highlights risks of 1000s of unreinforced masonry buildings around NZ.
- Meanwhile, it seems that people in Christchurch have been caught out by assuming that a green tag on their building following a quick post-quake inspection meant that it was completely safe.
(via @CPPGeophysics, @CBSNews)
- Random Variability Explains Apparent Global Clustering of Large Earthquakes. A paper in press in GRL that maybe someone should forward to Simon Winchester…
- Some cool drainage-fault interactions ~1 min in to this San Andreas fault LIDAR video tour presented by Ramon Arrowsmith at GSA.
- Some quite jaw-dropping comparisons between repeat photos of Himalayan glaciers in early 20th century & today (video)
- Why 2015 is an important year for climate policy – but why wait? by @wanderinggaia
- Narrow rifted seas would have remained open? How life might have survived ‘Snowball Earth’
- Fascinating: Aborigines’ arrival in Australia may have dramatically altered water cycle of whole continent
- More floods in Pakistan as bad as last year, but we’re still not paying attention
- Meanwhile, India and Pakistan are at odds over shrinking (low flows on the) Indus River – overconsumption and water wastage important implications for environment, economies and political stability.
(via @rivrchik, @EnvironUpdates)
- Thai flooding: Rural areas swamped, Bangkok braces for uncertain flooding
- Bangkok bolsters flood defences –
- Via @drjerque, an Arizona flash flood of interest…
- Could resource depletion and climate change undermine population projections that (apparently) ignore them as factors?
- Interesting interview with chair of a controversial geoengineering taskforce: grappling with many difficult issues, not least the huge mismatch between need (“zero-emission energy system as fast as possible.”) and political and social reality (thumb-twiddling while more oil burns)
- X-Prize competition winners improve efficiency of oil spill clean-up three-fold. Let’s hope this tech gets deployed…
- Anti-science still thrives in Texas government. A shameless search and delete of any ref to sea level change or human impact in an environmental report:
- A celebration of one of the geologists who trained the Apollo astronauts to bring decent rocks back from the Moon
- Eris is smaller, and brighter, than we thought — Pluto’s frozen twin
- Very good decryption/discussion of dynamic topography – the effect of mantle circulation in shape of Earth’s surface.
- How do we know how hot and squashed metamorphic rocks got when they formed? Metageologist explains.
- A geological perspective on Transatlantic flight by @volcan01010: fuelled by plankton that died before ocean existed!
- Unlike some we could name, neutrinos from inside the Earth obey the laws of physics; and possibly tell us useful things
- Geology amongst amazing pics in Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition: granulite at #9, dinosaur bone at #21
- This is priceless: @GeoEvelyn’s Mum provides useful – and hilarious – tips on the care & feeding of a young Geologist
- Science communication is “the public advocacy of natural objects”? I think that would resonate with most geoscientists. A lovely post by Alice Bell.
- An interview with Terry Pratchett. Need I say more?
- Nice discussion of the language of certainty and uncertainty by @kwinkunks: