You are browsing the archive for geology Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

13 June 2017

Dispatches from field camp: Our mini shiprock

Shiprock in New Mexico is a classic example of a volcanic neck. It is a vertical column of volcanic rock that sticks up around the surrounding landscape, with dikes that radiate from the central core. Although ours isn’t as high, we have a literal version of Shiprock in our field area.

Read More >>


12 June 2017

Dispatches from field camp: The Big Sky rocks

In my last post, I showed off some of the metamorphic rocks we can see that formed about 1.8 billion years ago during a mountain building event known as the Big Sky Orogeny. The textures in these rocks are fascinating. They contained a variety of protolith lithologies, making them immediately complicated. They are highly deformed; so one lithology bends into another very rapidly.

Read More >>


8 June 2017

Dispatches from Field Camp: How about some rocks?

Here’s an intro to some of the rocks we’re actually mapping. On our first day in the field, we walked the section of rocks exposed in this area from oldest to the youngest rocks we had time to get to. Students were literally standing on 2.5 billion years or so of Earth’s history – more than half the time this planet has existed.

Read More >>


7 June 2017

Dispatches from field camp: Meeting local wildlife

Although the area where we’ve been mapping is pretty dry, dealing with wildlife in various forms has been pretty constant. This is potentially on my mind as today I set my personal best by peeling 6 ticks off of me. Our camp is pretty large and has broken into separate groups, each group shifting between different areas.

Read More >>


23 May 2017

Greetings from Japan

Hello everyone! A group of AGU staff, including me, are in Japan for the inaugural JpGU-AGU joint meeting. We landed Friday afternoon and took a half-hour bus ride into Chiba where the meeting is being held.

Read More >>


2 March 2017

Historic earthquakes discovered along San Andreas Fault

A new U.S. Geological Survey study offers a view into the past behavior of large earthquakes along the southern San Andreas Fault. In the study, USGS geologist Kate Scharer and her team excavated trenches across the fault near Frazier Mountain in northeastern Ventura County. This section of the San Andreas previously had no long paleoearthquake record. The researchers found evidence of 10 ground-rupturing earthquakes on this section of the fault between 800 A.D. and the last rupture in 1857.

Read More >>


16 February 2017

Lauren and the giant pumice

The submarine volcanism Chapman Conference is at an end, and by all means it was a success. We had 102 scientists from 13 countries, including 27 students, attend. Submarine volcanologists got to talk to subaerial volcanologists. We saw cool videos of scientists pouring lava over water and ice. We went on a field trip and saw seals and dolphins. We talked about lots and lots of volcanoes (I stopped counting at 27).

Read More >>


13 February 2017

Surveying the rugged beauty of Tasmania’s coast

After our morning of watching Tasmanian Devils tear apart scraps of meat and me trying desperately to take a selfie with a kangaroo, we finished the mid-conference field trip with a 3-hour eco-cruise around the Tasman Peninsula. The peninsula has some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, which includes some amazing exposed rock formations, which our group of geologists were all too happy to see.

Read More >>


9 January 2017

Sol 1575: Investigating Dorr Mountain

After a 25-meter drive on Sol 1574, Curiosity again has bedrock exposed in her arm workspace. To balance desires to sample the composition of the rocks along the traverse and to make good progress toward the south, contact science and another drive are both planned for Sol 1575.

Read More >>


15 November 2016

New maps reveal safe locations for wastewater injection

Geophysicists have compiled the most detailed maps yet of the geologic forces controlling the locations, types and magnitudes of earthquakes in Texas and Oklahoma. These new “stress maps” provide insight into the nature of the faults associated with recent temblors, many of which appear to have been triggered by the injection of wastewater deep underground.

Read More >>


21 September 2016

Human activities rattle natural rock of Utah’s Rainbow Bridge

Utah’s iconic Rainbow Bridge hums with natural and man-made vibrations, according to a new study accepted for publication today in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The study found both natural waves in Lake Powell and induced earthquakes in Oklahoma cause the rock bridge to vibrate at different resonant frequencies.

Read More >>


14 September 2016

The Atlin Ophiolite Rocks

This is the third in a series of dispatches from Rebecca Fowler, a science writer documenting the work of scientists conducting fieldwork at the Atlin ophiolite in British Columbia.

Read More >>


8 September 2016

Into the Atlin wild

This is the second in a series of dispatches from Rebecca Fowler, a science writer documenting the work of scientists conducting fieldwork at the Atlin ophiolite in British Columbia.

Read More >>


2 September 2016

A Tale of Atlin Ophiolite

This is the first in a series of dispatches from Rebecca Fowler, a science writer documenting the work of scientists conducting fieldwork at the Atlin ophiolite in British Columbia.

Read More >>


5 April 2016

Melt-driven streams on Greenland’s ice sheet shape landscapes faster than rivers on land

Erosion by summertime melt-driven streams on Greenland’s ice sheet shapes landscapes similarly to, but much faster, than do rivers on land, according to a new study. The approach used to study the drainage system of the ice sheet should serve to broaden the scientific understanding of melt rates and improve projections about ice sheet response to climate change, said Leif Karlstrom, a geologist at the University of Oregon in Eugene and lead author of the study.

Read More >>


20 January 2016

Going digital: Building a better geological map of Alaska

In the early 1900s, before Alaska was part of the United States, geologists roamed this northern territory on foot and horseback, noting its features and terrain on hand-drawn maps. Nearly 100 years later in 1996, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research geologist Frederic Wilson and a dozen colleagues undertook the task of using some of the information contained in these field notes, sketches and maps, along with many other sources of data, to create the first fully digitalized geological map of Alaska.

Read More >>


17 December 2015

Hillslopes and Hobbes

Stanford University’s Miles Traer, once again, is cartooning from the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Read More >>


20 October 2015

Sol 1140: Zapping the drill hole wall

The ChemCam RMI images of the drill hole planned yesterday were successfully acquired and received, and were used today to plan 2 parallel LIBS rasters down the hole.  The additional LIBS raster should be useful in measuring variations in chemistry among individual sand grains and in detecting thin veins.  ChemCam and Mastcam will also observe a target dubbed “Marshall” to see whether silica enrichment extends along other fractures near the …

Read More >>


27 May 2015

Sol 998: Contact Science at Marias Pass

By Lauren Edgar A short bump on Sol 997 put Curiosity in a great position to investigate a few different rock units in Marias Pass, using the instruments on the rover’s arm.  The 2.5 m drive brings our total odometry to 10,599 m.  With the upcoming solar conjunction (Mars will be on the opposite side of the sun from the Earth, so we can’t communicate with the rover for most …

Read More >>


Sol 997: Preparing for contact science

By Lauren Edgar Curiosity spent the weekend characterizing the terrain and bedrock exposed in Marias Pass.  Curiosity drove 33 m further into Marias Pass, bringing our total odometry to 10,596 m.   The drive set us up perfectly to investigate the contact between two different types of bedrock – the underlying Pahrump unit and the overlying Stimson unit. Today’s plan is focused on characterizing the contact in this new location, and …

Read More >>