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20 September 2017

Sol 1822: Onward and upward!

Curiosity successfully completed contact science activities at ‘Pennessewassee’ and ‘Passadumkeag’.

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19 September 2017

Sol 1821: Heading for Half a Million Laser Shots

Yestersol Curiosity missed its ‘phone call’ from Earth due to a small issue at one of NASA’s Deep Space Network stations.

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13 September 2017

Sol 1815 – 1816: Stopping to Smell the Rocks

Planning for Curiosity this morning was a bit like reading a great mystery novel. There were several twists and turns along the way…

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Sols 1811-1814: Mars of Many Colors

The focus of the weekend plan fro Curiosity was on carefully documenting the changes in stratigraphy as we leave the Murray bedrock. Fortunately, we are privy to a bevy of interesting targets and contrasting colors.

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30 August 2017

Sol 1802: Stereo party

Curiosity’s drive on Sol 1801 brought us to an excellent location for some contact and remote science in today’s 3-sol plan (setting up for a long Labor Day weekend).

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Computer earthquake prediction in lab shows promise

By listening to the acoustic signal emitted by a laboratory-created earthquake, a computer science approach using machine learning can predict the time remaining before the fault fails. Not only does the work have potential significance to earthquake forecasting, but the approach is far-reaching, applicable to potentially all failure scenarios, including avalanches and other events.

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28 August 2017

Sol 1797-1799: Scrutinizing Vera Rubin Ridge

Yesterday’s drive went perfectly, putting us in a good position for a busy weekend plan. Curiosity will start off on Sol 1797 with a long (2h 45m) science block full of a variety of remote sensing.

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Valleys and Ridges: Understanding the Geologic Structures in Central Virginia, Pt. 2

In this second part of a four part series, Dr. Phil Prince explains why we get the valleys and ridges that are the namesake of the Valley and Ridge province of Virginia.

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22 August 2017

Sol 1795: Skirting around Vera Rubin Ridge

Curiosity is now tantalizingly close to climbing up Vera Rubin Ridge. For the past several weeks we have been skirting around the ridge, documenting sedimentary structures and bedrock composition along the way as we work toward our intended ascent route.

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18 July 2017

The science before (and during) the storm – Part 2

Caught in the Storm By Robert Emberson Sampling landslides in the field varies in difficulty; some are high up on hillslopes or in the headwaters of steep catchments, while others tumble into easily accessed river valleys. When planning for such sampling, we had mainly anticipated that the weather would not be the biggest obstacle, but that’s what transpired for a major portion of our fieldwork in central Taiwan. The typical …

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17 July 2017

The science before (and during) the storm – Part 1

Setting the Scene By Robert Emberson Recently I was fortunate to participate in a fieldtrip to one of most interesting places I’ve ever worked – the central mountains of Taiwan. We were looking to sample the products of chemical weathering (the dissolution of rocks by fluid) within landslides, as well as their impact on the chemistry of the highly dynamic rivers draining these tropical mountains. We ended up getting caught …

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27 June 2017

Sol 1739 – 1740: More Touch and Go on the Way to Vera Rubin Ridge

This past weekend, Curiosity continued to journey east along the contact between the lower portion of Vera Rubin Ridge and the Murray formation with a drive that was a little over 20 m long.

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26 June 2017

We Probably Should Have Waterproofed That: Welcome to Dominica!

Welcome to Dominica, the Nature Island! Located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean Sea, Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a tropical island with nine active volcanic centers and is a great place to study geology.

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24 June 2017

Sol 1736-1739: A Roving Astronomer

Curiosity has presented us with another beautiful workspace following a 16.6 meter drive. The majority of this week’s activities were focused on imaging Vera Rubin Ridge to observe its stratigraphic and structural relationship to the underlying Murray formation.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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