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5 December 2017
Dark fiber: Using sensors beneath our feet to tell us about earthquakes, water and other geophysical phenomena
Scientists have shown for the first time that dark fiber – the vast network of unused fiber-optic cables installed throughout the country and the world – can be used as sensors for detecting earthquakes, the presence of groundwater, changes in permafrost conditions, and a variety of other subsurface activity.
17 December 2015
Stanford University’s Miles Traer, once again, is cartooning from the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
30 September 2014
Thorbjorg Agustsdottir, a Ph.D. student studying seismology at the University of Cambridge, had the rare opportunity to witness a volcanic eruption up close when Iceland’s Bardarbunda volcano erupted while she and fellow researchers were servicing seismometer stations around the volcano.
31 March 2014
There are so many ways that repositories for canisters of nuclear waste can leak that at least one country, Sweden, is engineering the canisters themselves to last a million years. In general, however, the integrity of nuclear waste repositories depends on a host of geologic factors, Jean Bahr, a professor of geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said at a briefing earlier this month on Capitol Hill.
16 December 2013
Seismologists at James Madison University are analyzing 20 years worth of seismic data to create a map of the Earth’s crust and a possible mantle plume underneath the Samoan Islands.
4 June 2013
There’s a hole in the bottom of the ocean near Japan, the deepest ever drilled for science. It leads to the heart of one of the world’s most dangerous faults, the one that unleashed the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which devastated Japan’s east coast. The earthquake’s power astonished geologists, who didn’t think the fault was capable of such destruction.To find out why the quake was so massive, an international team drilled through more than 800 meters of rock, seven kilometers beneath the waves, to take the fault’s temperature.
12 April 2013
A previously unknown underground cavity might help trigger the timely eruptions of the famous Yellowstone geyser Old Faithful, a new study shows. The researchers who uncovered new evidence of a chamber suspect that it stores the pressurized near-boiling water, steam, and other gases that propel Old Faithful’s eruptions.
21 May 2012
When the March 2011 earthquake shook Japan, scientists needed about 20 minutes to conduct a full analysis. But now, researchers have found a way to shrink that critical analysis time for large earthquakes to two minutes. The speedup results from using data from GPS networks for the initial evaluation, rather than readings of seismometers.
9 December 2011
One man’s noise is another man’s data — which is why seismologists are giving marine biologists an unexpected boost these days.
14 September 2011
Just before the recent huge earthquake in Japan, electron counts in the atmosphere high above the epicenter took a surprising turn, a new study indicates. Measurements gleaned from GPS satellites recorded more electrons in the ionosphere over the soon-to rupture fault than expected. A similar uptick occurred before extra-large quakes in Chile in 2010 and Sumatra in 2004, the researcher found.
A tantalizing question for seismologists and atmospheric scientists is whether this high-altitude electron bump, if confirmed by other studies, is a true early-warning signal for devastating earthquakes.