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19 May 2017

High levels of radioactive material migrating down into soil around Fukushima

High levels of radioactive material migrating down into soil around Fukushima

High levels of radioactive cesium remain in the soil near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and these radionuclides have migrated at least 5 centimeters down into the ground at several areas since the nuclear accident five years ago, according to preliminary results of a massive sampling project being presented at the JpGU-AGU joint meeting in Chiba, Japan.

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24 April 2017

Study finds pond expansion a significant factor in loss of Mississippi delta land

Study finds pond expansion a significant factor in loss of Mississippi delta land

Wind-driven expansion of marsh ponds on the Mississippi River Delta is a significant factor in the loss of crucial land in the Delta region, according to new research. The study found 17 percent of land loss in the area resulted from pond expansion, much of it caused by waves that eroded away the edges of the pond.

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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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29 December 2016

Scientists test less invasive methods of locating oil in deep sea

Scientists test less invasive methods of locating oil in deep sea

New techniques for finding oil beneath the seafloor could reduce the frequency of seismic testing or exploratory drilling, which is harmful to marine animals, according to new research.

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14 December 2016

Finger-like structures on Mars could be the result of ancient microbes

Finger-like structures on Mars could be the result of ancient microbes

Finger-like rock structures on Mars could harbor potential evidence of past life on the Red Planet, according to new research. In 2007, NASA’s Spirit rover landed on Mars’ “Home Plate,” a flat 90-meter-long area within the Gusev crater. Since then, researchers have been trying to make sense of finger-like rock structures splayed across the landscape. The working hypothesis at the time was that these rocks started out as continuous layers but eroded into odd shapes by the touch of wind and sand over the years.

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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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25 October 2016

Stone walls, railway lines and carbon fibers record Turkey’s westward drift

Stone walls, railway lines and carbon fibers record Turkey’s westward drift

A new study finds movement of North Anatolian fault may provide clues to future earthquakes.

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11 October 2016

Large precipitation events critical in replenishing groundwater resources

Large precipitation events critical in replenishing groundwater resources

Large precipitation events that occur about every 10 years are a critical source of recharge for replenishing groundwater resources, according to a new study. Groundwater is a vital source of water in the western United States and will be increasingly important with continued population growth and climate variability. Understanding the role of these large recharge events in replenishing aquifers and sustaining water supplies is crucial for long-term groundwater management.

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21 September 2016

Human activities rattle natural rock of Utah’s Rainbow Bridge

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.

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14 September 2016

The Atlin Ophiolite Rocks

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.

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