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14 December 2016
Butte, Montana made national headlines last month after thousands of snow geese died in the toxic and acidic waters of the Berkeley Pit. The large, deep pool is the former site of a massive copper mine and is just one remnant of Butte’s extensive mining history. Over the past century and a half, heavy metals and acid from numerous local mines have seeped into the groundwater, forcing the city of Butte to rely on reservoirs for drinking water.
22 November 2016
Avalanches can throw up a powdery cloud of snow as they violently charge down mountains, obscuring their inner workings from scientists. But new observations of artificially-triggered avalanches in Switzerland’s Vallée de la Sionne have penetrated this powdery veil.
24 November 2015
This is the latest in a series of dispatches from scientists and education officers aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor. This November, scientists aboard the research vessel Falkor will aim to shed light on the Mariana Back-arc, which is expected to be teeming with activity and life. Over the course of their 27 day mission at sea they will explore the back-arc spreading center to find new sites of hydrothermal activity and to better understand the physical, chemical, and geological forces that shape biodiversity in these unique ecosystems. Read more posts here, and track the Falkor’s progress here.
26 April 2013
Mark Zoback, a geophysicist at Stanford University, cringes at the word “fracking”. He doesn’t oppose this controversial process of extracting fossil fuels from shale rock, or hydraulic fracturing. He just laments the stigma of its nickname.
24 August 2012
Pour yourself a flute of champagne and bubbles of carbon dioxide will rise, bursting when they reach the surface. A question troubling some researchers is whether carbon dioxide behaves similarly underground. They’d like to know whether the gas, stored beneath the surface to cut down on greenhouse emissions, would make its way through cracks in the rock, and bubble out into the atmosphere.