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16 May 2017

The Pas de l’Ours landslide: an actively moving rockslide in the Queyras Valley of France

The Pas de l’Ours landslide: a very large and potentially-problematic actively-moving rockslide in the Queyras Valley of France

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15 May 2017

Sols 1698-1699: It’s Touch and Go on the Climb to Vera Rubin Ridge

The road to Vera Rubin Ridge, a feature believed to be enriched in the mineral hematite, is getting steeper, so we are stopping frequently to study the composition of the bedrock beneath our wheels.

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Azaubashi Glacier Fragmenting, Mount Elbrus, Russia

Azaubashi Glacier (W) and Azau Glacier (A) in 1985 Landsat and 2016 Sentinel Image. Orange arrows indicate particular areas of fragmentation and bedrock expansion.  Pink arrows indicate connection  with Azau Glacier the terminus of which in 1985 is at red arrow and in 2016 is at yellow arrow.  Azaubashi Glacier is on the southwest side of Mount Elbrus, Caucasus Mountains of Russia, merging with the Greater Azau Glacier. The glacier drains …

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Our power to inspire and encourage

By Janine Krippner As soon as I learned that ‘volcanologist’ was a real job, I wanted to be one. I knew no scientists in my hometown of Te Awamutu, New Zealand, but I was lucky enough to have a Mum who told me I could be anything I wanted to be. Not everyone gets that kind of encouragement, though, and that’s why I think it’s important for those of us …

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Clinch Mountain in Hawkins County: a large rockslide in Tennessee

This weekend a classic and reasonably large planar rockslide blocked Highway 70 at Clinch Mountain in Hawkins County, Tennessee

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14 May 2017

Sols 1695 -1697: Observations of land, rover and sky

Curiosity continued her detailed investigation of the interesting suite of outcrops we have been picking our way across during the last week. As we climb up Mount Sharp, recently over slopes of 4-6 degrees, we have seen more varied outcrop structures and chemistries than the rest of the Murray formation, and such changes catch the collective eye of the team.

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13 May 2017

Our Past Climate Is A Warning For the Future

There are some excellent books for non-scientists about our climate, but some of the best are written by Brian Fagan- an Archaeologist! His book The Long Summer is superb, and I am currently listening to a series of lectures he made for The Great Courses. Any story of human history is incomplete without looking at the role of climate, and in The Long Summer, Fagan points out that all of written …

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12 May 2017

Mountains full of snow and birds

In the early going of my second hike across Alaska along the route of the Trans-Alaska pipeline, I chose to walk the highway rather than the pipe’s route to get up Thompson Pass north of Valdez. The road added six miles to our day. But I tried the pipe route up the pass 20 years ago and it was like trying to climb a 90-meter ski jump.

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The 2013 Bingham Canyon mine failure: insights into the giant Manefay landslide

Brad Ross, a mining engineer, has provided extensive insights into the events leading up to the vast Manefay landslide at the Bingham Canyon mine in 2013

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11 May 2017

Groundwater Speed Dating! Can you find a match?

Welcome to the first edition of groundwater speed dating. In today’s post I introduce you to a motley crew of isotopes and chemicals that hydrogeologists and geochemists use to date the age of groundwater.

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Borden Peninsula Ice Caps, Baffin Island Snowcover Where Art Thou

Borden Peninsula Ice Cap in 1997 and 2016 Landsat images.  Purple dots indicate the transient snowline.  Orange arrows indicate specific location of glacier thinning, retreat or area loss.  The Borden Peninsula is in the northeastern most section of Baffin Island.  Here we examine an ice cap that is on the edge of Lancaster Sound in Sirmilik National Park.  We use Landsat imagery from 1997 through 2016 to identify change.  This …

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Warmer temps cause decline in key runoff measure

Since the mid-1980s, the percentage of precipitation that becomes streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande watershed has fallen more steeply than at any point in at least 445 years, according to a new study. While this decline was driven in part by the transition from an unusually wet period to an unusually dry period, rising temperatures deepened the trend.

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Taiwan landslide hotspots: changing patterns through time

Taiwan landslide hotspots: a new paper shows changing patterns through time in response to the extreme Typhoon Morakot event in 2008

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10 May 2017

Research finds spike in dust storms in American Southwest driven by ocean changes

People living in the American Southwest have experienced a dramatic increase in windblown dust storms in the last two decades, likely driven by large-scale changes in sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean drying the region’s soil, according to new NOAA-led research. With the increase in dust storms, scientists have also documented a spike in Valley fever, an infectious disease caught by inhaling a soil-dwelling fungus found primarily in the Southwest.

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Geiranger Fjord in Norway: the spectacular rockslide video

On Monday a significant rockslide on the flanks of Geiranger Fjord in Norway was captured on a video now posted to Youtube

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9 May 2017

Sol 1692: Science frenzy!

After the drive on Sol 1691, the workspace in front of the Curiosity rover had plenty of interesting rocks in front of us to keep us busy.

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Sols 1693-1694: Remote science and onward!

Today we planned two sols, 1693 and 1694. On the first sol, we will conduct a suite of remote science observations before driving away and resuming our trek up Mount Sharp.

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Paris 1.5°C target may be smashed by 2026

Global temperatures could break through the 1.5°C barrier negotiated at the Paris conference as early as 2026 if a slow-moving, natural climate driver known as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) has, as suspected, moved into a positive phase.

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Landslide vs Jeep: a new video on Youtube

A video has appeared on video showing what happens when a debris slide side-swipes a Jeep. The circumstances of the landslide are unknown

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This is Long, but it Explains a Lot.

A friend of mine told me about this essay, and while Foreign Affairs magazine is not on my usual reading list, I see why it has such a high reputation. Take the time to read this.

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