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7 December 2016

Return to Daikoku

After two cancelled dives in the back-arc, we transit to our northern-most destination: Daikoku seamount. The winds and seas are calmer there, and it is a chance to revisit a fascinating underwater volcano. We get the confirmation we have been hoping for at 6.30am – conditions are good enough and ROV SuBastian is ready for its first dive.

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Using Listly for “lists made social” (and #AGU16 presentations)

Looking for a way to create, curate, and share lists? Perhaps Listly can help (especially with recommended #AGU16 presentations and events)

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The Icy Bay landslide in Alaska: a nice video describing the link with glacial melting

. The Icy Bay landslide in Alaska A very nice video has been posted on Youtube describing the link between the giant Icy Bay landslide in Alaska in 2015 (this landslide is also variously known as the Taan Fjord landslide and the Tyndall Glacier landslide), which is the largest known recent landslide in North America, and the melting of the adjacent glacier.  The video features Dr Michael Loso, physical scientist …

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6 December 2016

Sol 1542: More drill testing

Curiosity’s ChemCam will observe Hunters Beach again to further investigate the the chemical variations that LIBS measured there previously. ChemCam and the Right Mastcam will also observe bedrock targets “Sargent Mountain” and “Youngs Mountain.” Finally, Navcam and Mastcam will take one more set of images at 8 AM on Sol 1543, to complete the photometry dataset started on Sol 1537.

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Another Smoking Gun that the Earth’s Thermostat is Going Haywire

While those who do not live in the world of facts share fake news stories about the planet’s temperature dropping, the real data is far different. We will almost certainly set a new hottest year on record this year, breaking the previous record, last year, and the current second place holder, the year before that! Meteorologist Guy Walton keeps close track of the number of record highs versus record lows …

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5 December 2016

Sol 1541: Change detection

This is really important for planning MAHLI observations, because we’ve noticed a lot of movement of fines through this area at this time of year, and we’ve mostly been taking MAHLI images with the dust cover closed to protect the instrument. If we can better understand when and where the sand is most active, we can better plan MAHLI observations, and we can improve our understanding of the eolian environment!

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Nevado Soral, Bolivia Glacier Retreat Separation Imminent 1988-2016

Landsat comparison from 1988 to 2016 of Nevado Soral Glaciers, Bolivia.  Red arrow is the 1988 terminus, yellow arrow the 2016 terminus, orange arrow is the glacier junction and the purple arrow areas of rock expansion indicating upglacier thinning. Nevado Soral is in the Cordillera Apolobamba Range of the Bolivian Andes.  A significant valley glacier flows south from the mountain joining a northward flowing glacier shortly above the terminus.  The …

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Cinder cones in Iceland (with lichen)

What makes an Icelandic cinder cone even better? A coating of fuzzy lichens, perhaps…

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Lidar – the amazing landslide mapping tool

An example from Washington State in the USA illustrates how Lidar is transforming the mapping of landslides in vegetated areas

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3 December 2016

Sols 1538-1540: Targeted Remote Sensing

We’re still at the “Precipice” site, assessing the composition and sedimentary structures in the Murray bedrock and carrying out some long distance observations.

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2 December 2016

Friday fold: Dalradian kinks, crenulations, and folded crenulations on Arran

For the Friday fold, let’s travel to the northern edge of the Isle of Arran in southwestern Scotland, where near the town of Lochranza, you can find Dalradian metagraywackes that display a lovely suite of folds. There are kink bands, like this one: And this one: And these en echelon kink bands: And these: But there’s also a more pervasive structural fabric to be seen: symmetrical crenulations: And in places …

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To the opposite end of the Earth

Joanna Young does not seem to fear change very much. The spunky redhead first came to Fairbanks from Egypt, where her parents were teaching English and running a school. Raised in Toronto, she knew what cold was. But this was January 2010, a colder-than-average month. The temperature bottomed out at minus 41 F as she arrived.

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The North Canterbury Landslide Dams website

Canterbury Maps has created the North Canterbury Landslide Dams portal to provide information about valley blocking landslides after the Kaikoura Earthquake

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1 December 2016

Semienova Glacier, Kyrgyzstan Area, Volume, Velocity Decline

Landsat comparison of Semenova Glacier in 1998 and 2016.  Red arrow is the 1998 terminus, yellow arrow is the 2016 terminus and purple are locations where tributaries are separating from each other or disconnecting from the main glacier. Semienova Glacier is a valley glacier in the northeast corner of Kyrgyzstan draining into the Sary Dzhaz (Aksu) River which then flows into the Tarim Basin, China. Farinotti et al. (2015) used three approaches …

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30 November 2016

Setting sail on the Hydrothermal Hunt

The truth is that we have barely scratched the seafloor; making this trip a real adventure into the unknown. We do know that chemosynthetic life loves to gather around energy-producing vents, but what organisms are there in this back-arc area? How are they distributed? How do they travel, survive, and evolve? In order to find out, the research vessel Falkor is loaded with a crack team of scientists and a brand new Remotely Operated Vehicle – SuBastian.

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Permafrost loss dramatically changes Yukon River chemistry

Permafrost loss due to a warming Alaska is leading to changes in the chemistry of the Yukon River Basin with potential global climate implications. This is the first time a Yukon River study has been able to use long-term continuous water chemistry data to document hydrological changes over such an enormous geographic area and long time span.

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Little mine in Big Sur: Perpetuating mercury contamination in California’s Central Coast

Wildfires can perpetuate mercury contamination by releasing it from soil and plants and spreading it through smoke and ash. It doesn’t take much heat to convert mercury to a gas.

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Earthquake induced landslides in the Himalayan mountains – new evidence for earthquake potential in Bhutan

A recently-published paper suggests that the Himalayan country of Bhutan suffered a major (approx M=8.0) earthquake in 1714, emphasing the potential for a future event that would probably lead to extensive landsliding.

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Take-home final exam – Earth Science for Future Presidents

The book that has yet to be written is “Earth Science for Future Presidents,” to make sure every President is prepared when it comes to Earth science and Earth issues. For your take-home exam, you are writing a nonfiction book proposal titled “Earth Science for Future Presidents”…

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29 November 2016

Islay’s Port Askaig tillite

The Port Askaig Tillite is a Neoproterozoic diamictite on the eastern shore of Islay (Scotland) that may record a “Snowball Earth” glaciation.

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