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21 October 2016

Friday fold: a miniature ramp and flat

Sometimes you find big ideas in small places. Here, a South African chert boulder mimics in miniature fold and thrust belts the world over.


Tasermiut Fjord, Greenland loses its Glacier Connection

  Landsat image sequence from 1999-2016.  Red arrows mark the 1999 terminus, yellow arrows the 2016 terminus and the purple arrow a tributary that detaches from Semitsiaq (S). Tasermiut Sermeq (T) retreats from the fjord.  Tasermuit Fjord in southern Greenland is noted for its beauty, and until recently the fjord terminated at a glacier front. Currently no glacier reaches to the fjord. The retreat over the last two decades is …


Life on barrier islands, north and south

There are connections between the Deep South and Far North: some of the shorebirds probing the beach on the Gulf of Mexico emerged from eggs this summer on northern tundra. The tankers sitting just offshore awaiting transit to Houston are filled with the same liquid that fuels the Alaska economy. And this barrier island 27 miles long and two miles wide is at constant risk of being hammered by a storm.


20 October 2016

The Aberfan tragedy – what happened next?

Events after the Aberfan tragedy are remarkable. The Tribunal robustly criticised the National Coal Board for their behaviour during the proceedings, but they still extracted £150,000 from the disaster fund to clean up their own mess


19 October 2016

Sol 1495: Full drill

The thumbnail of the Sol 1494 MAHLI image showed that the Quela dump pile had been moved by the wind again!


Basin Inversion

In this video continental crust is first pulled apart during extension and then tectonic forces change direction and the crust is put under compression. What results is first a basin and then an inverted basin.


Aberfan: The National Coal Board failures part 2

The official Tribunal for the Aberfan disaster strongly criticised the National Board for their failure to manage water in the spoil tip that failed


NASA: September 2016 was Hottest on Record

It was by a razor thin margin over 2015, but this September was the hottest on record based on NASA GISS data. NOAA does a separate analysis and puts it as number two after last Sept. NOAA did report that the land temps. in Sept. were the hottest on record, beating last year. Here is the stunning statistic: September 2016 was the 381st consecutive month with above average global temperatures. …


18 October 2016

U.S. Model Issues Reach Main-Stream Media

Meteorologists have been talking about the long-range model issues for several years now, and many viewers of local weather already know that their local forecaster depends on the European long-range model much of the time. The superior performance of the European ECMWF global model made news during Hurricane Sandy, and the public likely first heard about the issue then. Congress did, because due to public pressure (and embarrassment?) NOAA finally …


Soil moisture, snowpack data could help predict ‘flash droughts’

New research suggests “flash droughts” — like the one that unexpectedly gripped the Southern Rockies and Midwest in the summer of 2012 — could be predicted months in advance using soil moisture and snowpack data. Researchers analyzed the conditions leading up to the 2012 drought, which ultimately caused $30 billion in economic losses, looking for any warning signs that a drought was on the way.


Kangersuneq Qingordleq, Greenland Retreat Causes Separation

Landsat comparison from 1999, 2001, 2013 and 2016 of Kangersuneq Qingordleq.  Red arrow is 1999 terminus, yellow arrow is 2016 terminus.  Purple dots mark the transient snowline and the purple arrow a detached tributary.  Kangersuneq Qingordleq is one of the most southerly tidewater glaciers in Greenland.  It is a 15 km long glacier flowing from the mountains between Prince Christian Sound and Lindenow Fjord. It is more akin to an …


Aberfan: the National Coal Board failures part 1

The tribunal into the Aberfan disaster robustly criticised the National Coal Board for their failure to learn from a number of previous significant landslides in spoil heaps, including some at Aberfan itself


17 October 2016

Sols 1491-1492: Soliday at Sebina

With the weekend plan, we officially started our drill campaign on the target “Sebina,” so we will be staying in this location through the week. On Sol 1491 we dumped out the post-sieve sample from our previous drill hole at “Quela,” and did some brushing on Sebina, followed by APXS and MAHLI imaging. On Sol 1492, the rover did a lot of remote sensing, starting off with an early morning …


Watch your words: Geoscience jargon

A hand list of science-y words, and ways to avoid them.


The Aberfan Disaster: a simple guide to what happened

A simple guide to what happened on the day of the Aberfan disaster, which killed 144 people, most of them children, 50 years ago this week


16 October 2016

JTC1 Workshop: Advances in Landslide Understanding

JTC1 is organising a three day workshop on Advances in Landslide Understanding to be held in Barcelona, Spain in May 2016


14 October 2016

Hurricane Force Winds Coming to Oregon/Washington

The last time that the NWS office in Portland,Oregon issued a tornado warning was in November of 2014, but they issued one today as an intense low moved through the Straits of Juan de Fuca and brought gusts over hurricane force on the aptly named Hurricane Ridge at Olympic Nat. Park. Winds are gusting to 44 mph south in Astoria,Oregon and this is just the first storm. The storm tomorrow will be …


2016 Field Season Results-North Cascade Glacier Climate Project

For Mount Baker, Washington the freezing level from January-April 20 was not as high as the record from 2015, but still was 400 m above the long term mean. April 1 snowpack at the key long term sites in the North Cascades was 8% above average. A warm spring altered this, with April being the warmest on record. The three-four weeks ahead of normal on June 10th, but three weeks …


Ghost towns scattered across Alaska map

During our 200-mile trip down the Porcupine’s length in Alaska, we saw no current villages, just the remains of a dozen former ones. That got me wondering about one of my favorite Alaska subjects. Do we have more than our share of ghost towns?


Aletsch landslide: significant acceleration of movement

The movement rate of the Aletsch landslide in Switzerland has increased significantly in the last few days, and is now about 80 cm per day