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16 October 2017
Waves in lakes make waves in the Earth
Scientists at the University of Utah report that small seismic signals emanating from lakes can aid science. As a record of wave motion in a lake, they can reveal when a lake freezes over and when it thaws. And as a small, constant source of seismic energy in the surrounding earth, lake microseisms can shine a light on the geology surrounding a lake.
9 August 2017
Rapidly rising seas: Scientists discover cause of Atlantic coastline’s sea level rise hot spots
Sea level rise hot spots — bursts of accelerated sea rise that last three to five years — happen along the U.S. East Coast thanks to a one-two punch from naturally occurring climate variations, a new study shows.
31 July 2017
Bacteria found near abandoned mines could shed light on early Earth
Acidified water draining from abandoned mines, studied primarily as a modern environmental hazard, may offer insight into the oxygenation of Earth’s early atmosphere and development of life on other planets, according to a new study.
25 July 2017
Researchers uncover 200-year-old sunspot drawings in Maine
In April of 1815, the volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia caused a global decrease in temperatures for the following few years, and 1816 came to be known as the “year without a summer.” New England states were particularly hard hit by these temperature changes, which significantly affected agriculture production and quality of life. Alongside his journal entries, Reverend Jonathan Fisher of Blue Hill, Maine sketched the sunspots during the summer of 1816, thinking they might be responsible for the cold summer temperatures.
21 July 2017
Mountain glaciers recharge vital aquifers
Small mountain glaciers play a big role in recharging vital aquifers and in keeping rivers flowing during the winter, according to a new study. It suggests that the accelerated melting of mountain glaciers in recent decades may explain why arctic and subarctic rivers have increased their water flow during the winter even without a correlative increase in rain or snowfall.
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.
5 June 2017
What caused the most toxic algal bloom ever observed in Monterey Bay?
In late spring 2015, the West Coast of North America experienced one of the most toxic algal blooms on record. A new study shows that, at least in Monterey Bay, California, the diatoms in this bloom became particularly toxic because of an unusually low ratio of silicate to nitrate in the waters of the bay.
15 March 2017
Relativistic electrons uncovered with NASA’s Van Allen Probes
Earth’s radiation belts were discovered over fifty years ago, but their behavior is still not completely understood. Now, a new study finds there typically isn’t as much radiation in the inner belt as previously assumed – good news for spacecraft flying in the region.
14 March 2017
Volcanic eruption expanded ozone hole to record size
On April 22, 2015, the Chilean volcano Calbuco erupted, spewing volcanic ash 10 kilometers (six miles) skyward. But Calbuco didn’t just tear a hole in the Earth that day. A new study suggests it also tore a hole in the sky.
13 September 2016
Fungi make steep slopes more stable
Fungi are fantastic. They give us beer, bread and cheese. And if those delicious reasons aren’t sufficient, then here’s another: a new study suggests some fungi can help prevent shallow landslides and surface erosion.