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This is an archive of AGU's GeoSpace blog through 1 July 2020. New content about AGU research can be found on Eos and the AGU newsroom.

You are browsing the archive for natural hazards.

28 December 2018

Who is vulnerable to the impacts of tropical cyclones and why?

Tropical cyclones, and the torrential rains and strong winds these storms bring along with them, threaten coastal communities around the world and are expected to increase in intensity due to climate change. Whether or not a natural hazard, such as a tropical cyclone, becomes a natural disaster depends on whether the hazard overwhelms existing human infrastructure in a particular country or region. But when does a natural disaster result in fatalities?

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19 November 2018

Oil extraction likely triggered mid-century earthquakes in Los Angeles

Six independent earthquakes and two aftershocks of magnitude 4.4 to 5.1 shook LA between 1935 and 1944, a rate of about one every two years. A new study re-examined historical information about the earthquakes from archived damage reports to refine the earthquake locations identified by early earth-motion sensors, placing them closer to many active oil fields.

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26 October 2018

Study finds unexpected levels of bromine in power plant exhaust

Some coal-fired power plants in the United States emit gases that may produce harmful compounds in drinking water and can have significant effects on the atmosphere, according to new research. A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, finds unexpectedly high levels of reactive bromine-containing chemicals in plumes emitted by coal-fired power plants not using a particular type of exhaust-cleaning technology.

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22 October 2018

Quiescent British Columbia fault capable of producing large earthquakes

A Canadian fault scientists thought was inactive may actually be capable of producing large-magnitude earthquakes, a new study finds.

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17 August 2018

New technology could improve radiation risk warnings for future deep-space astronauts

New technology that detects radiation from the Sun in real time and immediately predicts subsequent health risks could protect astronauts on future deep-space missions, according to a new study. Astronauts face dangers during solar energetic particle, or SEP, events, which occur when an eruption in the Sun’s atmosphere hurls high-energy protons out into space. These protons can penetrate the walls of a spacecraft and enter the human body. This radiation can cause immediate effects such as nausea, performance degradation and other acute radiation syndromes, while long-term effects can include cancer, degenerative tissue damage, heart disease and damage to the central nervous system.

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7 August 2018

New study predicts warming climate will drive thousands to ER for heat illness

Even under the most charitable climate scenario where emissions are restricted across the globe, ER visits for hyperthermia in the United States could still increase by 21,000 by 2050, costing up to $38 million according to a new study in GeoHealth.

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1 June 2018

Reconstructing America’s longest water level and instrumented flood record in Boston

By Jan Lathrop Using newly-discovered archival measurements to construct an instrumental record of water levels and storm tides in Boston since 1825, researchers report that local averaged relative sea level rose by nearly a foot (0.28 meters) over the past 200 years, with the greatest increase occurring since 1920. The work also highlights tides and their significant effect on flooding in the city. The evaluation of storm events since 1825 …

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30 May 2018

Seismometer readings could offer debris flow early warning

Instruments designed to record earthquakes revealed information about debris-flow speed, the width of the flow and the size of boulders carried by the January 2017 mudslide in Montecito, California, and the location of the event, suggesting that the current generation of seismometers in the field could be used to provide an early warning of an incoming debris flow to residents in mudslide-prone areas.

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26 April 2018

Satellites could further help mitigate river floods

Now, a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, analyzes what it would take for river-observing satellites to become an even more useful tool to mitigate flood damage and improve reservoir management globally in near real-time.

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18 April 2018

Tohoku tsunami impacted home-building habits of eco-engineer heart urchins

In a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, researchers explore how tsunamis impact shallow marine environments, also known as benthic environments, and the small, burrowing animals that dwell there.

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