22 November 2016

Serenity in blue

Serenity in blue

During my visit to Iceland, I got to visit glaciers up close and personal for the first time, and one of the places we stopped was at Jökulsárlón, the pro-glacial lagoon at the terminus of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.

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22 October 2016

Ísland: Floods

Ísland: Floods

When you bring together volcanoes and ice – as many places in Iceland do – you get floods. Specifically, they’re called jökulhlaups, which literally means “glacier run” but in reality means a glacial outburst flood. Originally the term was used for subglacial outburst floods from Vatnajökull ice cap, which covers the Grímsvötn and Öræfajökull volcanoes, but it’s come to mean any large, abrupt release of water from under a glacier or from a lake at the glacier front.

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28 September 2016

Ísland: Volcanoes

Ísland: Volcanoes

If you’re a volcanologist – or really any geology buff who appreciates volcanoes – Iceland is flat-out paradise.

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8 September 2016

Ísland: Rifts

Ísland: Rifts

Flying from the West Coast to Iceland doesn’t leave you a lot of time for sleeping, and neither does the prospect of standing on the on-land expression of a mid-ocean rift.

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9 August 2016

Work or pleasure? Taking a geoscientist on vacation

Work or pleasure? Taking a geoscientist on vacation

I’m getting ready to take my first long vacation-with-friends in quite a while, and I’m very happy to be following the trend of geologists going to Iceland. Suffice to say that there will be scads of photos when I’m there, when I get back, and probably for a few months afterwards. (Can you tell I’m excited?)

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27 June 2016

Yellowstone hot springs: Upsetting your color scale

Yellowstone hot springs: Upsetting your color scale

I was fortunate enough to spend several weeks in Yellowstone National Park this summer, doing geophysical surveys in hydrothermal areas. I’ll be talking about those elsewhere in a few weeks (keep an eye on the AGU Instagram!), but in the meantime I wanted to show off some of the other excellent features of the park. Fieldwork in Yellowstone – and especially fieldwork with electrical equipment – is at the mercy of …

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23 May 2016

Making the fieldwork count

Making the fieldwork count

I’m in the midst of preparing for field work, and it got me to thinking about the public perception of how geologists do research. A lot of us probably extol our chosen profession because of the opportunity for working outside of an office – I know it’s one of the reasons I often bring up when I’m asked why I love volcanology. But I also find that when people follow …

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19 April 2016

Common sense and volcano tourism

Common sense and volcano tourism

It’s not very often that I comment on news articles, but a reader of the blog recently brought this one to my attention, and it hits close to home. The article is in the Washington Post’s Travel section and is entitled, “In Guatemala, a treacherous hike to one of the world’s most active volcanoes”. That title pretty much covers why I’m so upset – and conflicted – about the author of the piece is writing about.

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1 April 2016

Geomancy for the mundane geologist – “Games Wizards Play” by Diane Duane

Geomancy for the mundane geologist - "Games Wizards Play" by Diane Duane

I don’t often do book reviews on here (Callan is your go-to guy for that), but I recently finished a novel by one of my favorite authors and I really wanted to write about it. Diane Duane, if you’re not familiar with her, is the author of a long-running series about wizards. But not just any wizards – in her version of the universe, which is very similar to our own, wizardry is a science in and of itself.

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26 February 2016

Resurrected post: Earth science-y catchphrases

Resurrected post: Earth science-y catchphrases

My father and I share a habit: we tend to point out and grumble over certain catchphrases we hear or read in a news report, mostly because they’re misused, overused, or just plain don’t make sense. He dislikes things such as “address the issue” or “touch base” or “spearhead”. Me? I make faces when I hear Earth science terms getting co-opted.

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