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22 November 2021

Staff Picks: Toxic City Under the Ice

In 1959, the United States built an unusual military base under the surface of the Greenland ice Sheet. Camp Century was a hub for scientific research, but it also doubled as a top-secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles from the Arctic. When Camp Century was decommissioned in 1967, its infrastructure and waste were abandoned under the assumption they would be forever entombed beneath the colossal sheet of ice.  

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1 April 2020

Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell – Kim Cobb, Standing Up for Women in Science

Kim Cobb loves being out in the field. She talks about the euphoria and passion she has for it, saying “It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced literally, and I’ve given birth to four children.”

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9 May 2018

E5 – Bonus Clip: Wildlife of Svalbard

Check out this clip that didn’t make it into our recent episode, Journey to the Center of the Ice, with glaciologist Kiya Riverman, about her close encounters with animals of the far north.

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1 May 2018

E5 – Journey to the Center of the Ice

From the outside, glaciers appear to be solid masses of unmoving ice. But meltwater flowing from the surface down to the glacier bed carves canyons, gorges and even caves into the dense sheets of ice. Over time, the fissures form labyrinthine tunnels that open into vast ice caverns few people have ever seen.

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28 February 2016

Elephant’s Eye Cave Hike in Pictures

On Monday I shared one picture from a recent hike to Elephant’s Eye cave in Silvermine Nature Reserve here in the Cape Town region of South Africa. Today I’m sharing some more pictures from that hike, which took place last weekend. I really enjoy hiking to Elephant’s Eye.The hike consists of a fairly easy 3 hour round trip route that takes you through some beautiful fynbos vegetation and past some lovely rock …

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22 February 2016

Monday Geology Picture: Elephant’s Eye Cave

This week’s “Monday Geology Picture” post features a natural rock formation that resembles an elephant. A small cave named “Elephant’s Eye” is located at the eye of this rock elephant’s head. The elephant consists of Table Mountain Sandstone and is located in the Silvermine Nature Reserve here in the Cape Town region of South Africa. On Saturday I hiked up to Elephant’s Eye with some friends. We hiked on a rare …

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10 February 2015

Pisolites in the Tansil Formation, Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Pisolites are large primary concretions that develop in backreef or lagoonal settings such as the Permian Tansil Formation of New Mexico, into which is cut the enormous hole called Carlsbad Caverns.

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19 July 2012

The Geology of Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode “Chain of Command, Part I”

Like my fellow geoblogger Jessica Ball, I wish that I could be a geologist on Star Trek. I can think of no better, more exciting job than traveling the universe as a geological researcher for the United Federation of Planets. Sign me up, Starfleet! Maybe one day in my life– or in my children’s or grandchildren’s lives– there will be opportunities for Earth geologists to travel to other planets and …

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18 November 2011

Cango Caves in Pictures

I haven’t yet received a reply to my letter to Dr. Sheldon Cooper about why geology is a real and valuable science and why caves are interesting, but that’s okay. For those of you who agree that caves are interesting, I thought I’d share some pictures from my most recent spelunking trip. Back in September, my husband and I took a weekend trip to Outdshoorn, South Africa, where I rode …

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10 November 2011

Do You Know What’s Interesting About Caves, Sheldon? Everything.

Dear Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Let me first say that I greatly admire the documentary “The Big Bang Theory” that follows the daily lives of you and some of your scientific colleagues* at Caltech. “The Big Bang Theory” provides refreshing, mentally stimulating programming in a time when television is, sadly, dominated by fluffy reality TV shows about weddings, cakes, and orange-colored inhabitants of the Jersey Shore who will probably develop melanoma …

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25 November 2009

Lava Tubes on the Moon!

Ever wonder how astronauts on the moon are going to avoid deadly space radiation? One option is to live in caves, and luckily the Kaguya team has found one! Read more about it in my article over at Universe Today.

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21 October 2008

Massive Crystals: The coolest thing I've ever seen.

Really, that’s all I said for like 5 minutes after seeing this picture for the first time: Those are PEOPLE, for scale. Here’s another pic, just to put you in a little more awe: These are the largest crystals yet to be found on Earth, with some reaching over 30 feet in length! As reported in NG, The Cueva de los Cristales is located 1000 feet below ground in the …

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7 March 2008

How old is the Grand Canyon? The speleologist knows…

I learned a new word in Science this week: Speleology: the study or exploration of caves. Think “spelunking.” The word was in an article by UNM geologists Polyak et al. on a new age estimate of the Grand Canyon. For many years now, geologists have estimated the formation time of the Canyon at around 6 million years. The new study puts the age at close to 20 million. This may …

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