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25 October 2016
Wastewater disposal likely induced February 2016 magnitude 5.1 Oklahoma earthquake
Distant wastewater disposal wells likely induced the third largest earthquake in recent Oklahoma record, the February 13, 2016, magnitude 5.1 event roughly 32 kilometers (nearly 20 miles) northwest of Fairview, Oklahoma, according to a new study.
3 June 2015
Rebuilding Sandbars in the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a bit closer to how it was before one of the country’s largest dams was installed upstream. Three years of releasing water from Glen Canyon Dam to generate controlled floods has resulted in rebuilding sandbars in the Grand Canyon, according to a new USGS article published in Eos, the daily Earth and space science website published by the American Geophysical Union. These simulated floods redistribute sand and mud, which helps develop this critical feature.
6 October 2014
Scientists turn Hurricane Sandy destruction into future readiness
This December, USGS will release a beta version of interactive computer models created from data collected by that laser-equipped plane—known as the second generation Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL-B)—and other equipment that mapped and monitored the New Jersey coast. The online portal will allow anyone to look at storm intensities and directions, evaluate wave attack scenarios and coastal vulnerabilities, and anticipate the impacts to landscapes ahead of time, said Neil Ganju, a USGS research oceanographer, at a 19 September congressional briefing on the Department of the Interior’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
12 June 2014
Where it burns, it floods: predicting post-fire mudslides in the West
By Alexandra Branscombe WASHINGTON, DC – Just a week after a 21,000-acre wildfire between Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona, residents there are already bracing for mudslides that could surge down the burned slopes. These water-fueled flows of burned-out trees, loose rocks and mud can pack enough power to wipe out homes and roads. A new online hazard assessment system could help threatened communities in central Arizona and elsewhere in the western …
11 March 2014
The grapes of Landsat
California’s persistent drought is forcing grape growers to keep a more-attentive-than-normal eye on their vines, as water shortages and elevated temperatures alter this year’s growing season.
26 August 2013
Why sunspots won’t help you make a fortune on wheat futures
A claim by 1800s astronomer William Herschel says the Sun’s moods influence things here on Earth in a more immediate way. Herschel asserted that the number of dark splotches on the Sun, called sunspots, significantly affects the wholesale price of wheat grain. Jeffery Love, a geophysicist for the US Geological Survey, decided to put this claim to the test. Such correlations, if they existed, would provide a useful analog for scientists researching historical solar activity.
23 August 2012
The rare 5.8 Virginia earthquake: One year later
One year ago today, the Washington Monument – along with many other buildings in Washington, D.C. – shook as a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered near Mineral, Va., rattled the ground beneath it. Since then, experts have deemed the structure unsafe for tourists to enter and estimated that the monument suffered tens of millions of dollars in damage that will take years to repair. Despite these setbacks, the rare seismic event sparked a new era in earthquake assessment in the eastern U.S.
2 June 2010
(UPDATED*) Sinkholes: A chronic geohazard
Guatemala has been struck by the full wrath of nature in the last week – first, the volcano Pacaya erupted, killing at least three people, and blanketing the region in ash. Soon after, tropical storm Agatha passed through the country near the Guatemala-Mexico border killing at least 152 people. Heavy rainfalls led to widespread flooding and the formation of a dramatic sight – a sinkhole over 20 meters (65.6 feet) …