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19 May 2017

New technique provides earthquake risk for major cities worldwide

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

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

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)

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

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

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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17 January 2017

How darkness and cold killed the dinosaurs

How darkness and cold killed the dinosaurs

Climate scientists have now reconstructed how tiny droplets of sulfuric acid formed high up in the air after a large asteroid impact 66 million years ago. The new research shows the sulfuric acid cooled Earth’s climate for years to come.

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22 December 2016

Humidity may cloud sediment deposits used to study storms

Humidity may cloud sediment deposits used to study storms

Using sediment as an indicator of past hurricanes may not work well in hot, humid environments, a new study finds. The finding could change the way scientists hunt for evidence of past storms, according to the study’s authors.

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14 December 2016

Magnetic fields help target buried mine waste for removal

Magnetic fields help target buried mine waste for removal

Butte, Montana made national headlines last month after thousands of snow geese died in the toxic and acidic waters of the Berkeley Pit. The large, deep pool is the former site of a massive copper mine and is just one remnant of Butte’s extensive mining history. Over the past century and a half, heavy metals and acid from numerous local mines have seeped into the groundwater, forcing the city of Butte to rely on reservoirs for drinking water.

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15 November 2016

New maps reveal safe locations for wastewater injection

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.

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