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28 February 2017

Going with the flow

Trying to sleep on a trampoline while somebody is jumping on it – this is how it feels during many nights at sea as the ship zig-zags in an imaginary box around our drifting instruments in the North Pacific during winter. This is when biological activity is lowest, but clearly there is no absence of physical forces, such as waves. Clearly.

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27 February 2017

Bedding / cleavage intersections at Indian Spring, Fort Valley

A new outcrop in Fort Valley shows Devonian fossil-rich mudrocks overprinted by a tectonic cleavage imparted during Pangaea’s birth throes.

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A River Runs 40 km Across the Greenland Ice Sheet

A River Runs 40 km Across the Greenland Ice Sheet

Supraglacial stream, on July 26, 2016 Landsat image, stretching 40 km across the ice sheet from the transient snowline, which marks the boundary between the percolation zone and the wet snow zone,  west toward the ice sheet margin, note black arrows.   The Greenland Ice Sheet has experienced a significant increase in surface melt.  This is due both to warmer temperatures and enhanced melt due to a reduction in reflectivity-albedo. The expansion …

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Measuring the pulse of the ocean

At the unholy hour of 0400, I find myself on the aft deck of the world-class research vessel Falkor, bubbling with excitement stemming from a unique combination of four shots of espresso, generally being a morning person, and, most importantly, preparing to test an experimental device that I have put my blood, sweat, and tears into. I take a moment to silently congratulate myself on the superb display of stamina and posture; it appears that my sea legs have finally decided to make an appearance.

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Finding Forward Momentum in Local Actions – Reflections from the Women’s March in DC

A US scientist’s reflections on the women’s march, making sense of the current political landscape, and finding answers in local science communication activities.

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NIWA maps huge submarine landslides triggered by the Kaikoura earthquakes

In New Zealand, two research cruises by NIWA have mapped massive submarine landslides triggered by the Kaikoura earthquakes

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26 February 2017

Abstract deadline approaching – 2017 Earth Educators’ Rendezvous

The 2017 EER events will include workshops, oral and poster sessions, teaching demonstrations, panel discussions, plenary talks, and working groups. Abstract deadline is March 3rd.

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Kakanj – an enormous mine waste landslide in Bosnia last Friday

On Friday an enormous landslide occurred in mine waste from the Kakanj coal mine in Bosnia, causing the evacuation of over 150 people.

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25 February 2017

Concretions in the Millboro Formation, Fort Valley

Some enormous concretions are encountered in a shale quarry in the central Fort Valley. Concretions like these are typical of the Devonian-aged Millboro Formation.

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24 February 2017

(Geo)science Matters: Snow surveys aren’t just for TV

Everyone (in California, at least) has seen those clips that get run every winter of the snow surveys: people walking out into a white-blanketed meadow to shove a pole into the snow and record the depth. Or, in the case of the 2015 broadcast, walking out onto muddy grass and gesturing sadly at a lack of snow in which to do this. It’s a good photo op, but the broadcasts rarely follow up with much of the science behind the survey.

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Shoup Glacier, Alaska Retreat, Thinning, Velocity Decline

Shoup Glacier comparison in 1986 and 2016 Landsat images.  The glacier retreated 1900 m in this interval.  Red arrow is 1986 terminus, yellow arrow the 2016 terminus, green arrow rock rib emerging from beneath glacier, purple dots a landslide deposit, and purple arrow the snowline. Shoup Glacier is between the Columbia Glacier and Valdez draining from the Chugach Mountains in southern Alaska.  The glacier was a tidewater terminating glacier until …

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Ponzano di Civitella del Tronto: a highly destructive landslide in Italy

In Italy, a landslide at Ponzano di Civitella del Tronto is moving at a rate of about one metre per day, destroying the houses of about 120 people

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22 February 2017

The first 100 days of climate science

Climate Central is underscoring the value of science and rational approaches to policy making over the first 100 days our new President is in office with facts, stories, and videos

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The 170 km/h Sanxicun landslide in Sichuan Province, China

In 2013 the catastrophic Sanxicun landslide in Sichuan Province in China killed 166 people. A new paper suggests that it reached a peak velocity of 170 km/h

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Sol 1618: A second stop at the dunes

By Lauren Edgar The drive on Sol 1617 went well, and Curiosity drove 20 m to the south, which put us in a good position for another stop at the Bagnold Dunes.  This site was selected to enable comparison of the leading and trailing edges of the dunes.  Today’s plan includes ChemCam observations of disturbed and undisturbed soil, at targets named “Tomhegan” and “Macworth.”  We’ll also acquire a Mastcam multispectral …

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21 February 2017

Sulmeneva Glacier Retreat from Lakes, Novaya Zemlya

Sulmeneva Glacier retreat in comparison of 1999 and 2016 Landsat images. Red arrow indicate the 1999 terminus position and yellow arrows 2016 terminus location.  Sulmeneva Bay is on the west coast of Novaya Zemlya and is the southern most extent of the continuous glaciation that extends along the northern half of the island.  Here we examine an unnamed glaciers that terminates in a piedmont lobe near the shore of Sulmeneva Bay. The …

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Science communication needs you

We need scientists to meet with legislators, speak at public events, and foster relationships with journalists. Will that be you?

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Q&A, episode 3

A reader asks about the use of zircons in isotopic dating, and the argument for submerged continental crust beneath Mauritius.

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Mega-landslides as a vehicle for colonisation of distant islands

In a paper just published in the Journal of Biogeography, the authors propose that landslides play a key role in the transport of species between islands

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How Do Climate Models Work? Answer Here.

Keith Dixon is one of my go-to people when I have a question about climate modelling, so when Climate Central said they were going to host a webinar with Keith, I begged them to record it. They did! Now, this was done for meteorologists, so a bit of a geek alert here, but I think you will find it fascinating, even if you have no atmospheric science background. So, watch …

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