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You are browsing the archive for geology Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

7 December 2022

The coastal section at Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica

Callan documents a geological stroll along the coast of Esterillos Oeste, in central southern Costa Rica, investigating the sequence of sediment in the Punta Judas Formation (Mid-Miocene) exposed there. Fossils, sedimentary structure, diagenetic features, structural deformation, and modern weathering all make prominent appearances.

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13 November 2022

A Geological Miscellany, by G.Y. Craig & E.J. Jones

A fun, if a little musty, compendium of random writings about geology and geologists from a wide variety of sources, excerpted and packed together into a slim paperback volume. It begins with Mark Twain and concludes with Russell Baker, and there are hundreds of entries in between – some poems, some short essays, some clipped correspondence, some newspaper articles, and so on. It’s miscellaneous, as the title suggests. Many of …

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21 October 2022

24-Storied Careers: Gaining a footing in landslide science

How do you study something that’s constantly shifting? That’s the challenge that USGS geologist Richard Iverson faced when he began his career in landslide research. He and his team developed a first-of-its-kind experimental facility to study how landslides happen, in order to better understand and prepare for them.

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12 October 2022

Geopedia, by Marcia Bjornerud

My favorite popularizer of modern geology is Marcia Bjornerud. Her sensibility for what is interesting and important matches very nicely with my own – I feel she is a kindred spirit, though one infinitely more talented with language than I am. Lovers of geology found much to delight them in Reading the Rocks. She took the geological into the realm of the philosophical and political in Timefulness. This book (her …

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23 September 2022

20-Storied careers: The unexpected path to Ethiopian rifts

Choosing a major and university is one of the earliest major life decisions—but what if you had to leave those choices up to chance?

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16 September 2022

19-Storied careers: What you didn’t learn in (geo)science class

In the past couple of decades, Earth and space science education for K-12 has evolved significantly, much due to the work of geologist, educator, and writer, Michael Wysession. This is a time where the science education we receive plays a big role in our response to climate change; an adaptive and engaging curriculum, beyond the usual textbook, is paramount – and way more fun!

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19 August 2022

16-Ice: Shells of an ice-less past

Brian Huber is a climate detective at the Smithsonian who grew up collecting arrowheads in the woods of Ohio, but now collects and studies fossils from sediment cores. Brian uses fossils of tiny organisms − foraminifera − to track climate over millions of years, including the Cretaceous Hot Greenhouse climate.

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22 July 2022

12.5-A podcast of ice and fire

Cool off from the summer heat with our next six-part miniseries all about ice – from those who call it home to its use as a tool in science.

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8 July 2022

11-Extinctions: Oddballs of the Triassic

Hans Sues is a fossil guy at the Smithsonian. Born in Germany, he has been all over the world finding and interpreting fossils for more than 40 years. His focus is on vertebrates – both in his professional work and his personal attachment to cats.

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1 July 2022

10-Extinctions: Showdown of the giant space rocks

Dani DellaGiustina is one of the youngest leaders of a NASA mission, and she was in charge of image processing for OSIRIS-REx before she even got her PhD. OSIRIS-REx is a spacecraft sent to study asteroid Bennu and scheduled to return a sample to Earth in 2023.

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17 June 2022

8-Extinctions: The (Maybe) Cambrian (Not Really) Explosion

The Cambrian explosion is commonly labelled as the time in Earth’s history when animals suddenly appear. But research from geoscientist Rachel Wood and her team turns this explanation on its head.

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16 August 2021

Staff Picks: Parking Lot Lava

In a parking lot behind the Comstock Art Facility at Syracuse University, geologist Jeff Karson and sculptor Bob Wysocki cook up something almost unimaginable – homemade lava. Using a gas furnace the size of a small truck, the two professors melt gravel typically used for roadbeds into hot molten rock that they pour onto sand to recreate natural lava flows seen in places like Hawaii, Iceland and Italy.

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4 May 2021

Interesting sedimentary basin structures in fold-thrust belt outcrop patterns

By Philip S. Prince Fold-thrust belts developed in sedimentary rock sequences produce interesting and complex patterns on Earth’s surface. These patterns become even more complex and intriguing when the folded and faulted sedimentary layer sequence contains internal structures that pre-date thrust belt development. A particularly outstanding example of this effect is the Talar Syncline of the Makran fold-thrust belt, in which an extensional growth fault depocenter has been folded, uplifted, …

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18 November 2020

Songs of the Arches (with Helicopters)

The wind that carved the sandstone of Arches National Park into spectacular arches and towers also plucks them, like giant guitar strings, making them ring at low frequencies. Geoscientist Riley Finnegan and her colleagues in the Geohazards research group at the University of Utah are recording these arch songs in the Park and around Utah with seismometers, the same basic technology geologists use to listen for earthquakes, to learn their characteristic vibration frequencies—and how human noise affects them.

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13 July 2020

Escape from Thera

About 3,600 years ago, a colossal volcanic eruption blew apart the Greek island Thera, now the popular tourist destination known as Santorini. Falling volcanic rock and dust buried the Bronze Age settlement Akrotiri, on the south side of the island, preserving multi-story buildings, frescoes, tools, furniture and food, until archaeological excavations uncovered them in the last century, much like the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE famously buried Pompeii and Herculaneum. But unlike the Roman cities, Akrotiri has a notable lack of bodies.

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18 May 2020

Mt. St. Helens: 40 Years Later

On May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helens erupted in Washington state, capping off a series of volcanic events that began on March 27th of that year. The May 18th explosions is credited with causing 57 deaths, >$1 billion in property damage, and forever changed the surrounding landscape.

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30 March 2020

Stepping-Stones, by Katharine Fowler-Billings

This memoir by one of America’s earliest female geologists is an enjoyable read about adventure and professional working conditions in the 1920s and 1930s, and up though the 1950s and 1960s. Fowler-Billings (née Fowler) led an interesting life, ranging from growing up in an urban Boston that still had a significant horse population to post-retirement conservation and environmental activism. In between, Kay was a field geologist and an educator. She …

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13 December 2019

Redoubt’s big impact 30 years ago

On December 15, 1989, a pilot who had flown a 747 passenger jet all the way from Amsterdam was looking forward to landing in Anchorage. There, he would take a short break before continuing to Tokyo.

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9 December 2019

Third Pod Live: O-klahoma, Where There’s Fracking, Oil, Faults, and More!

What’s it like to be a seismologist who’s studied the Marcellus Shale and San Andreas Fault, worked around the world from Pennsylvania to Rome, and is now a professor at the University of Oklahoma? We found out at AAA’s annual meeting earlier this year when we talked to assistant professor Brett Carpenter.

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4 December 2019

E24 Part 2- A Walk in the Vault with Jeff Post

Mineralogist Jeff Post has a one-of-a-kind job: he’s curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection, a collection of over 375,000 rock and mineral specimens housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. In this episode, Jeff takes Third Pod producers on a tour of the vault, where the collection’s most valuable and rare specimens are kept. Jeff

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