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7 September 2017

Increases in wildfire-caused erosion could impact water supply and quality in the West

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study.

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30 August 2017

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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14 August 2017

New study details ocean’s role in fourth-largest mass extinction

Extremely low oxygen levels in Earth’s oceans could be responsible for extending the effects of a mass extinction that wiped out millions of species on Earth around 200 million years ago, according to a new study.

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11 August 2017

“Heartbeats” of an underwater volcano’s eruption imaged by ultrasounds (plus VIDEO)

Using acoustic footage of a volcanic eruption and images taken by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), scientists have documented an underwater volcano’s eruption off the coast of El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands.

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19 May 2017

New technique provides earthquake risk for major cities worldwide

Scientists have developed snapshots of the likelihood of major earthquakes occurring in megacities around the world using a new statistical approach for estimating earthquake risk. The new technique, called seismic nowcasting, estimates the progress of a defined seismically-active geographic region through its repetitive cycle of major earthquakes.

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1 May 2017

Study of historic Chilean quake warns of a future tsunami

The most populated central region of Chile could be vulnerable to large tsunamis generated by a deceptively moderate kind of earthquake that might be overdue, say scientists who have sorted out the source of an earthquake and tsunami that struck the area 287 years ago. The region is the same that trembled from a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on April 24.

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27 April 2017

Glass formed by volcanic lightning could be used to study eruptions

Researchers have developed a method to measure one of the most striking and difficult to measure volcanic features – volcanic lightning – using the tiny glass spheres formed by hot volcanic ash.

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26 April 2017

New study challenges long-held tsunami formation theory (plus video)

A new study is challenging a long-held theory that tsunamis form and acquire their energy mostly from vertical movement of the seafloor. The finding validates an approach developed by researchers that uses GPS technology to detect a tsunami’s size and strength for early warnings.

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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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15 February 2017

Researchers catch extreme waves with higher resolution modeling

Surfers aren’t the only people trying to catch big waves. Using decades of global climate data generated at a spatial resolution of about 25 square kilometers (10 square miles), researchers were able to capture the formation of tropical cyclones and the extreme waves that they generate. Those same models, when run at resolutions of about 100 kilometers (60 miles), missed the tropical cyclones and the big waves up to 30 meters (100 feet) high.

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