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29 July 2022

A high-country Eden for sockeye salmon

In late summer, a few months before this mossy valley will feel the sting of 40-below air, bright red salmon dart through a crystal-clear pool amid fragrant green vegetation. The Gulkana Hatchery has a Garden-of-Eden feel, which is fitting since millions of sockeye salmon begin life here each year.

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19 May 2022

Wading into the icy Yukon River for science

Snow geese flew in a ragged V overhead, rasping as they looked down upon Alaska’s bumpy face for the first time in 2022. Nine hundred feet below, the Yukon River flowed by quietly, except for the dull thuds of icebergs skidding along the river bottom near the shore. Sensing a break in the ice traffic, U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist Heather Best — wearing chest waders with a hole she would soon discover — stepped into the river.

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13 May 2022

Alaska’s big river breaks up at Eagle

While most of the town was sleeping, the ice slipped out. Breakup happened on the Yukon River here at its first settlement in the United States at around 2 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2022. That’s when meltwater rushing from side creeks into the colossal groove of the Yukon lifted a winter-hardened sheet in front of the town.

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12 May 2022

Awaiting river breakup on the Yukon

Andy Bassich lives on the south bank of the Yukon River, about 12 miles downstream from Eagle, Alaska, the first community in America along the largest waterway in Alaska. Like all of the few-thousand people who live along the big river in Alaska, Bassich hopes that river ice formed by the cold air of winter will continue to disappear in a mushy fashion, one that does not cause flooding.

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2 May 2022

Alaska’s water crop is a natural resource

As much of Alaska’s landmass crosses the magical temperature threshold that turns ice and snow into water, it’s time to consider the state’s richness in a resource more essential to humans than oil or gas. Clear as gin, brown as iced tea or tinted aquamarine by glacial dust, Alaska’s freshwater supply is so abundant the numbers are hard to comprehend.

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20 April 2020

Re-thinking watersheds from the bottom up

Despite a few decades of progress on groundwater-surface water interaction and the advent of integrated groundwater-surface water models, it was clear that very different conceptual models of how groundwater fits into the hydrologic cycle were held by different communities within hydrology.

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12 December 2019

One of Europe’s worst famines likely caused by devastating floods

Europe’s Great Famine of 1315–1317 is considered one of the worst population collapses in the continent’s history. Historical records tell of unrelenting rain accompanied by mass crop failure…Now, new research using tree ring records confirms the historical data, showing the years of the Great Famine were some of Europe’s wettest.

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3 October 2019

Groundwater pumping poses worldwide threat to riverine ecosystems

With the climate strikes happening all over the world, I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball that would allow me to look into the future. Or even better, a crystal ball that could show me different scenarios of what will happen if we change, or not. Well, I do not have a crystal ball, but I do have a global scale hydrological model.

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25 July 2019

Melting ice may change shape of Arctic river deltas

Thawing ice cover and easily erodible permafrost may destabilize Arctic river deltas, according to new research. A new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters finds sea ice and permafrost both act to stabilize channels on Arctic river deltas.

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8 May 2019

Video: Linking water planetary boundaries and UN Sustainable Development Goals

Water Underground creator Tom Gleeson prepared this quick research video (with no more than a toothbrush, a file holder, and a doughnut, in one take!) for the Ripples project meeting at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, that was held in April. In this video, he talks about using doughnut economics for linking water planetary boundaries and UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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29 April 2019

The landslide that is too big to notice

The southeast slope of Sinking Creek Mountain in Craig County, Virginia hosts what is certainly one of the largest landslide complexes in eastern North America–and possibly the least noticeable. Despite extending for 15 miles (25 km) along the mountainside…this group of translational blockslides was not documented until 1986 by Art Schultz of the USGS.

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1 April 2019

Have you ever wondered if groundwater is connected to climate?

‘Groundwater-surface water interactions’ has become standard hydrologic lexicon and a perennial favorite session title at various conferences… but how often do you hear the phrase ‘groundwater-climate interactions’?

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25 March 2019

Celestial groundwater – the subsurface plumbing for extraterrestrial life support

Have you ever taken a walk on the beach during a lowering (ebbing) tide and see mini-rivers grow and create beautiful drainage patterns before your eyes? These short-lived groundwater seepage features are tiny (and fast) analogs of how groundwater has shaped some parts of Mars! It appears that groundwater loosening sediments can lead to all sorts of scales of erosion on both Earth and Mars.

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19 March 2019

Western droughts caused permanent loss to major California groundwater source

According to new research, the San Joaquin Valley aquifer in the Central Valley shrank permanently by up to 3 percent due to excess pumping during the sustained dry spell.

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18 February 2019

Water: underground source for billions could take more than a century to respond fully to climate change

While climate change makes dramatic changes to weather and ecosystems on the surface, the impact on the world’s groundwater is likely to be delayed, representing a challenge for future generations.

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17 November 2018

Pescadero Vent Diving — Week Two Video

There have been amazing results and very exciting discoveries in the first two weeks of the expedition. Hear firsthand from the scientists and engineers how technology is empowering innovation and exploration in these unique hydrothermal vent fields.

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16 November 2018

the true meaning of life for a hydrogeologist….

I stumbled upon this quote from Nelson Henderson (a farmer from Manitoba) which encapsulates what I have been thinking about groundwater sustainability for a number of years…

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6 November 2018

Unconventional Oil and Gas Development and Groundwater – Comparing the English and Canadian Experiences

The differences between the English and Canadian experiences of unconventional hydrocarbon development were apparent at a meeting co-hosted by the British Geological Survey, Geological Society of London and IAH in London in July 2018.

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18 October 2018

Twist hackles, kayaks, and stream capture…for real!

This week’s post was inspired by the photo below. Seldom will you see such lovely patterns generated by tensional failure of any material, much less polyethylene! If this type of feature is unfamiliar, just google “plumose structures” and you’ll find all you need.

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21 September 2018

Kerala Floods – Rescue and Rehabilitation using Information Technology and Social Media

The south Indian state of Kerala used a new model of rescue and rehabilitation during worst floods of the century.

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