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You are browsing the archive for Marine Geology.

18 February 2017

Keep Your Shirt On, Save Some Coral?

This is not great news, especially for those of us who like to be out in the sun but get really bad sunburns. As reported by Nature and Scientific American, Hawaii state senator Will Espero has introduced a bill to ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, two chemicals that may pose risks to us, such as endocrine disruption, as well as to coral. The Environmental Working Group maintains lists of …

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22 December 2016

Maine Shake Map Using Surficial Geology and Crowd-Source Responses

Researchers in Maine (Marvinney and Glover 2015) have created a clever earthquake risk shake map using readily available surficial geology maps and online responses from state residents. Did you feel it? That is the name of a USGS Earthquake Hazards Program interactive website that “collects information from people who felt an earthquake and creates maps that show what people experienced and the extent of damage.” I first became interested in …

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28 June 2015

The World’s Beaches (Book Review)

For your summer reading edification, this is a wonderful book to take to the beach. Or, if you can’t make the trip, it’s a vicarious journey to beaches around the globe, and an invitation to appreciate their beauty, idiosyncracies, and vulnerability. The full title is The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline by Orrin H. Pilkey, William J. Neal, Joseph T. Kelley, and J. Andrew …

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2 January 2014

Dams and Demand for Sand Threaten World Beaches

Documentary filmmaker Denis Delestrac has recently completed the movie Sand Wars, which looks at the intense demand for what may seem like an abundant natural resource. In some cases worldwide, the sand business has taken on a dangerous criminal dimension. In a TedxBarcelona Talk called Let’s talk about sand, Delestrac introduces the complex subject of beach sand, including erosion and exploitation, with style and charisma. There are also some good …

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19 July 2012

Introducing the European Geoscience Union – Soil Systems Science Division

The European Geoscience Union, a leader in the free dissemination of scientific research, has rolled out its Soil Systems Science Division (SSSD). The SSSD has a blog newsletter with some fine articles and beautiful images about soils and surface geology of Europe. When Editor Jessica Drake (Soilduck) kindly invited me to write a short “why I do soil science” biographical piece, I jumped at the chance. Being that I’m American, …

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25 June 2010

Multi-Year Sea Ice Thins in the Arctic

Professor David Barber of the University of Manitoba Center for Earth Observation Science recently spoke at the International Polar Year conference in Oslo. An excerpt from his talk refers to the sea ice cover satellite data produced by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which describes areal extent only: “Scientists spend a lot of energy discussing the ‘squiggly line’ generated by satellite data on sea ice extent,” Dr. Barber …

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27 May 2010

Wetland Scientists Wade into Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Wetland Scintists call for inspection of all offshore oil operations, moratorium on new drilling and extraction. In response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the following is a statement released by the Society of Wetland Scientists. Statement from the Environmental Concerns Committee Society of Wetland Scientists Dennis F. Whigham, Chair Stephen W. Broome Curtis J. Richardson Robert L. Simpson Loren M. Smith May 18, 2010 Coastal wetlands are essential components of …

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8 April 2010

Coast of Alaska: Accelerated Erosion 2002-2007

A five-year study in Alaska led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that shoreline erosion along a 40-mile stretch of the Beaufort Sea has been accelerating from about 20-feet per year fifty years ago, to 45-feet per year by 2007. The research makes obvious the importance of considering the specific properties of the earthen materials exposed to erosive forces. In this case, the land contains permafrost, a consituent of …

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13 March 2010

Methane Venting From East Siberian Arctic Shelf

As a greenhouse gas, methane is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. According to University of Alaska Arctic researchers Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov, methane gas is venting from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) at a surprisingly high rate. The vents are coming through leaks in permafrost, which forms a cap over methane stored in deeper sediments. Video interview with Natalia Shakhova While permafrost is generally viewed as …

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