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24 October 2017

Scientists use seismic waves to measure tornado intensity

Seismic waves generated by tornadoes when they touch down could be used to measure a twister’s intensity, according to a new study that examined the May 2011 Joplin tornado. The findings could open the door to devising more accurate methods to study tornadoes from the ground.

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7 September 2017

Increases in wildfire-caused erosion could impact water supply and quality in the West

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study.

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14 August 2017

New study details ocean’s role in fourth-largest mass extinction

Extremely low oxygen levels in Earth’s oceans could be responsible for extending the effects of a mass extinction that wiped out millions of species on Earth around 200 million years ago, according to a new study.

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11 August 2017

“Heartbeats” of an underwater volcano’s eruption imaged by ultrasounds (plus VIDEO)

Using acoustic footage of a volcanic eruption and images taken by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), scientists have documented an underwater volcano’s eruption off the coast of El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands.

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7 June 2017

Offshore wind turbines vulnerable to Category 5 hurricane gusts

Offshore wind turbines built according to current standards may not be able to withstand the powerful gusts of a Category 5 hurricane, creating potential risk for any such turbines built in hurricane-prone areas, new University of Colorado Boulder-led research shows. The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, highlights the limitations of current turbine design and could provide guidance for manufacturers and engineers looking to build more hurricane-resilient turbines in the future.

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10 May 2017

Research finds spike in dust storms in American Southwest driven by ocean changes

People living in the American Southwest have experienced a dramatic increase in windblown dust storms in the last two decades, likely driven by large-scale changes in sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean drying the region’s soil, according to new NOAA-led research. With the increase in dust storms, scientists have also documented a spike in Valley fever, an infectious disease caught by inhaling a soil-dwelling fungus found primarily in the Southwest.

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27 April 2017

Glass formed by volcanic lightning could be used to study eruptions

Researchers have developed a method to measure one of the most striking and difficult to measure volcanic features – volcanic lightning – using the tiny glass spheres formed by hot volcanic ash.

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6 February 2017

New climate index based on atmospheric pressure produces more accurate predictions of storm wave conditions

A method based on the north-south atmospheric pressure gradient along the Atlantic coast of Europe could lead to enhanced forecasting of extreme wave conditions and increased preparedness within coastal communities, a new study suggests.

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22 December 2016

Humidity may cloud sediment deposits used to study storms

Using sediment as an indicator of past hurricanes may not work well in hot, humid environments, a new study finds. The finding could change the way scientists hunt for evidence of past storms, according to the study’s authors.

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21 December 2016

New study differentiates between Utah’s natural and induced earthquakes

Mining activity caused nearly half of all earthquakes in Utah over the past three decades, according to a new study. By studying the epicenters of 6,846 earthquakes occurring in the state between 1982 and 2016, scientists at the University of Utah determined 3,957 of them occurred naturally and 2,889 were caused by coal mining.

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