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20 September 2019

This is an ex-eruption!

Recently, as chronicled in Scientific American, I was involved with amending the eruptive record at California’s Mount Shasta to remove an eruption that was supposedly seen by a French mapping expedition in 1786. USGS researchers had already been puzzling over it for years – evidence was slim, since the area was already prone to forest fires and there was nothing in the geologic record to suggest that it happened. William …


7 March 2019

The Breaks rock slide: Revisiting Schultz and Southworth (1989) 30 years later

By Philip S. Prince, Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources (Scroll down for summary video link) The Breaks rock slide, a large slide feature at the western edge of the Appalachian fold-thrust belt, was first described 30 years ago in Schultz and Southworth (1989). In an impressive display of imagery analysis and general geologic know-how, the authors successfully identified several large but topographically subtle ancient landslide features without the …


26 February 2019

Some examples of the geology of “gaps” and travel on the early American frontier

The topographic features of the Powell Valley Anticline (PVA) played a significant role in the lives of both indigenous and Euro-American peoples on the American frontier in the late 18th century… Here I focus on two subjects inextricably connected to PVA topography: The Wilderness Road and Robert Benge, also known as Chief Benge, Captain Benge, Bob Benge, or simply “The Bench.” Benge and Wilderness Road users had two very opposite goals, leading to numerous clashes and Benge’s ultimate demise in the mountains of the PVA.


28 August 2018

Mapping global landslides

As part of our work on mapping the distribution of global landslides, Melanie Froude has set up an online GIS tool to visualise the data


6 December 2017

Cartogram maps provide new view of climate change risk

Scientists have developed cartograms — maps that convey information by contorting areas — to visualize the risks of climate change in a novel way.


17 August 2017

A celestial celebration of Earth’s place in the Cosmos, mapped onto Earth

It’s been repeated now a million times, but its grandeur bears another announcement: on August 21, 2017, a long-awaited total solar eclipse will cast the moon’s narrow shadow directly across the United States. The reverse perspective–the vantage that humans have always had, although they haven’t necessarily understood it–is that the sun will be gradually but briefly blocked by the invisible day-time visage of the new moon. Although the eclipse will …


18 November 2011

Mapping the Moon

As a reader of this blog, you’re probably at least passingly familiar with the progression of maps of Mars, from the first fuzzy sketches, to the intricate maps of “canals” to today’s exquisite data. But maps of our closest neighbor – the Moon – have also evolved quite a bit. For a nice pictorial history of moon maps, and an explanation for the names of some of the lunar features, go check out this post over on The Awl.