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21 September 2016
Utah’s iconic Rainbow Bridge hums with natural and man-made vibrations, according to a new study accepted for publication today in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The study found both natural waves in Lake Powell and induced earthquakes in Oklahoma cause the rock bridge to vibrate at different resonant frequencies.
14 September 2016
This is the third in a series of dispatches from Rebecca Fowler, a science writer documenting the work of scientists conducting fieldwork at the Atlin ophiolite in British Columbia.
8 September 2016
This is the second in a series of dispatches from Rebecca Fowler, a science writer documenting the work of scientists conducting fieldwork at the Atlin ophiolite in British Columbia.
2 September 2016
This is the first in a series of dispatches from Rebecca Fowler, a science writer documenting the work of scientists conducting fieldwork at the Atlin ophiolite in British Columbia.
5 April 2016
Erosion by summertime melt-driven streams on Greenland’s ice sheet shapes landscapes similarly to, but much faster, than do rivers on land, according to a new study. The approach used to study the drainage system of the ice sheet should serve to broaden the scientific understanding of melt rates and improve projections about ice sheet response to climate change, said Leif Karlstrom, a geologist at the University of Oregon in Eugene and lead author of the study.
20 January 2016
In the early 1900s, before Alaska was part of the United States, geologists roamed this northern territory on foot and horseback, noting its features and terrain on hand-drawn maps. Nearly 100 years later in 1996, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research geologist Frederic Wilson and a dozen colleagues undertook the task of using some of the information contained in these field notes, sketches and maps, along with many other sources of data, to create the first fully digitalized geological map of Alaska.
17 December 2015
Stanford University’s Miles Traer, once again, is cartooning from the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
19 December 2014
Scientists have used satellites to more accurately measure the slow creep of land along the Calaveras and Hayward faults east of the San Francisco Bay, a finding that helped the researchers estimate the magnitude of future earthquakes. Both the Calaveras and Hayward faults are part of the San Andreas system, which sits at the boundary of two massive slabs of the Earth’s crust called the North American and Pacific plates. The plates slide slowly past one another, sometimes getting stuck and then slipping, releasing energy and causing the Earth to shake. Along the Calaveras and Hayward faults—smaller cracks on top of the plates—the land also moves steadily, a movement that geologists call creep
Sooner or later, mountains crumble into boulders, boulders crumble into rocks and pebbles, and so on, until wind and rivers carry sand and dust into the ocean, completing the geologic rock cycle. “But how [rocks] go from the mountain into that ocean bottom, that’s what is not understood very well,” said Jaakko Putkonen, a geologist with the University of North Dakota. Scientists from UND and other institutions discovered that chunks of rock break off of boulders in Antarctica once every 1,900 years on average, and those smaller chunks break apart once every 510,000 years. Putkonen thinks that heat flow through rocks might be responsible for the dramatic difference in how fast bigger rocks crumble compared to smaller rocks. Knowing how fast boulders break down into smaller and smaller chunks will help geologists understand how the mountains crumble to the sea everywhere.
29 September 2014
Amy West is the science writer and outreach and education officer for the JOIDES Resolution, a drill ship operated by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) that is on a two-month expedition studying the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc in the region where the Pacific Plate is descending under the Philippine Plate to form the Mariana Trench and the deepest point in the ocean–the Challenger Deep.