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Posts Tagged "geology"

Anthropology in Practice

On My Shelf: Geologic City (A Review)

Ed Note: “On My Shelf” is my review series, covering notable books and events. For more notables, please see the reviews still housed at the old home of Anthropology in Practice. “New York is not composed of solid substances. It is a dynamic system of multi-layered flows of earth materials that travel through time and [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

When You Think “Hydrothermal Vents”, You Shouldn’t Think “Tube Worms”

octopus_vent_Antarctica_PLOS_200

In 1977, scientists and the world were shocked to discover the first deep-sea hydrothermal vent community at the Galapagos Rift in the eastern Pacific (see a great story on this at NPR here). At this site, chimneys spewing black, superheated and chemically supersaturated water towered over fields of blood-red tube worms encased in white sheaths, [...]

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Compound Eye

The US Geological Survey Has Photographs That Rock

USGS7f

I just spent an hour surfing about in the United States Geological Survey photographic library. What a trove of treasures! The archive isn’t all just old images of rocks, volcanos, national parks, and earthquakes, either. The library also holds early photographs of native cultures, political figures, historical events, and more. Here is a sample:

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Critical Opalescence

What Happens to Google Maps When Tectonic Plates Move?

A couple of weeks ago, I was writing up a description of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and I thought I’d compare the warping of spacetime to the motion of Earth’s tectonic plates. Nothing on Earth’s surface has fixed coordinates, because the surface is ever-shifting. Same goes for spacetime. But then it struck me: if [...]

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Culturing Science

Urban ecology doesn’t have enough humans in it

citynature2

When you read the word “nature,” what do you think of? Maybe you imagine a dark wood with sunlight reaching a mottled floor of foliage, thrushes singing and chipmunks hopping. Maybe you peer through grassy dunes at sanderlings running back and forth in the surf , occasionally halting to frantically peck at the sand. Or [...]

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Doing Good Science

Complacent in earthquake country.

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A week ago, there was a 6.0 earthquake North of San Francisco. I didn’t feel it, because I was with my family in Santa Barbara that weekend. Even if we had been home, it’s not clear that we would have noticed it; reports are that some folks in San Jose felt some shaking but others [...]

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Guest Blog

Nature’s Nuclear Reactors: The 2-Billion-Year-Old Natural Fission Reactors in Gabon, Western Africa

Two billion years ago— eons before humans developed the first commercial nuclear power plants in the 1950s— seventeen natural nuclear fission reactors operated in what is today known as Gabon in Western Africa [Figures 1 and 2]. The energy produced by these natural nuclear reactors was modest. The average power output of the Gabon reactors [...]

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Guest Blog

Linking Erosional and Depositional Landscapes

The surface of Earth is being reshaped constantly. Mountainous uplands are broken down by water and wind producing sediment that is moved by rivers to lowlands. Some of this sediment is deposited along the way, some is delivered to the coast and continental shelf, and some makes its way to the ultimate sink, the deep [...]

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Guest Blog

Earthquake triggering, and why we don’t know where the next big one will strike

As I came through airport security in Connecticut, upon presentation of my California driver’s license, the TSA officer asked me, "Aren’t you folks worried about how that big Japan quake is going to hit you next?" I was glad to be able to tell him that we’re not any more worried than we were before, [...]

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Guest Blog

Climate research in the geologic past

"Fire and Ice" Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. Robert [...]

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Guest Blog

The discovery of the ruins of ice: The birth of glacier research

"It has already been said, that no small part of the present work refers to the nature and phenomena of glaciers. It may be well, therefore, before proceeding to details, to explain a little the state of our present knowledge respecting these great ice-masses, which are objects of a kind to interest even those who [...]

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Observations

Did Climate Shocks Shape Human Evolution? [Video]

In a video, noted scientists debate the connections between ancient climate changes and the emergence of modern human traits.

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Observations

Will Next-Generation Mars Rovers Have C-Shaped Legs?

Anyone who’s tried to move through fine sand—whether running along the beach or driving through the desert—knows the difficulty that a loose, granular track presents to locomotion. Now with the aid of a six-legged robot, a team of researchers has determined how much the depth, orientation and direction of a foot, wheel or other means [...]

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Observations

Cave Bacteria Finding Suggests Ancient Origins of Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

Lechuquilla cave

Our pill-popping culture and over-zealous livestock farmers typically take the blame for the widespread resistance of many harmful strains of bacteria to entire classes of antibiotics. And the Food and Drug Administration took a bold move today with a new voluntary plan to help curtail the over-use of antibiotics in agriculture. But the capacity to [...]

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Observations

Newfound lunar landforms point to moon’s recent shrinkage

Thrust fault scarps on the moon as seen by LRO

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that people often shrink a bit as they age. But we can at least take solace in the fact that the moon, too, seems to be have gotten a bit smaller of late. New imagery from a NASA spacecraft suggests that the moon may have contracted somewhat in relatively [...]

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Observations

More evidence suggests Venus has recent volcanic activity

Volcano on Venus

Venus, the closest planet to Earth in both size and proximity, remains a source of considerable mystery. Its reflective clouds prevent a clear view of the planet, and for centuries little was known about its surface and inner workings. But radar and gravity data acquired in the past few decades by spacecraft such as NASA’s [...]

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Roots of Unity

Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin. Image: Smithsonian Libraries, via Wikimedia Commons. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Today is the 189th anniversary of the birth of William Thomson, better known as Lord Kelvin. I don’t usually make a big deal about 189th birthdays, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Lord Kelvin recently. Yesterday I came across this quote of his on Pat Ballew’s blog, which reminded me that it’s his birthday: [...]

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Rosetta Stones

Building Sochi’s Olympic Village: An Olympian Task in a Geologically Risky Area

A beautiful image of Sochi with a pink sky and red-roofed white buildings, one of the charming ponds, and the mountains in the distance. Not bad! Image by Stefan Krasowski, Flickr, under a CC BY 2.0 license.

This blog appears in the In-Depth Report Science at the Sochi Olympics So, Sochi! The Olympics are about to start, you’re going to see all sorts of shiny new buildings and ski slopes, and you’ll be so excited by the events you may not pause to consider how they got there. You may have spent [...]

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Symbiartic

Bone Dusters Paleo Ale, Brewed from Real Fossils!

14-010FEATURE

With craft brewing on the rise and many breweries tinkering with flavorings that range from the somewhat obvious (honey or citrus) to the eyebrow-raising (jalapeño, hemp, or even peanut butter cup) it was only a matter of time before someone stared a 35-million year old fossil in the face and thought, “would you make a [...]

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Symbiartic

Modern Art Upsetting Your Stomach? Take a Dose of David

TumsDavid-sq

It is widely believed that Michaelangelo’s favorite medium to work with was Carrara marble. The single gigantic piece of quarried marble had been more or less ruined a generation earlier by the efforts of the sculptor Agostino who had carved deeply into the block. It languished for 25 years exposed to the elements in a [...]

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Symbiartic

What Did You Miss?

Last month, we posted a wide variety of science-art here at Symbiartic. We thought it’d be nice to post an overview in case you missed or wanted to revisit any. Enjoy!

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Symbiartic

SciArt of the Day: MicROCKScopica

Bernardo Cesare's MicROCKScopica - Ocean Jasper

Most people equate geology with dull, grey rocks, but petrology Professor Bernardo Cesare is tapping into their spectacular beauty with his MicROCKScopica project. Using a standard technique for analyzing mineral composition of rocks, Cesare cuts and grinds sections of rock into 30-micron-thick slices (that’s three-hundredths of a millimeter), mounts them onto microscope slides and shines [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt of the Day: Earth’s Pulse

K_Brimblecombe-Fox_EPsmall

Earth’s Pulse by Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox. 2006, oil on linen. For more about this painting, visit Kathryn’s blog. Portfolio: Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox Blog: Art @ Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox Twitter: @brimblecombe LinkedIn Profile This artist’s blog is featured on the Science Artists Feed. – - Welcome to the first SciArt of the Day!  Throughout the month of September, we’ll be [...]

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Symbiartic

Will the real Sam Illustrator please stand up?

In researching the carbon cycle recently, I came across the diagram above illustrating how carbon cycles through the atmosphere and into the ocean, through shells and rock, then magma only to be spewn out as gas into the atmosphere again via volcanoes. I thought it did a nice job of conveying the information, but I [...]

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Symbiartic

We Blew a Bubble for a Man Named Edison

1937 advertisement for Corning's Pyrex

When you think of chemistry, no doubt images of scientists in white lab coats swirling beakers and test tubes come to mind. Ever wonder where those beakers and test tubes originated? If your answer is a big science catalog like Fisher Scientific or Chemglass or the like, you’re probably right… some percentage of the time. [...]

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The Urban Scientist

#IamScience: Charlette Clark, Geologist

Charlette Clark, Geologist

Today’s post is a guest post by a friend of mine and Sister in Science. She and I met in college. I was an Agriculture major and she was a Geology major. At the time, we were both the only black female students in our respective departments. In fact, she was the very first African-American [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Traditional Ecological Knowledge offers lessons about science too long overlooked

sacnas

I attended the 2011 SACNAS Convention in San Jose, California, October 27-30. I had an amazing time.  SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to advancing Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in science. We are a national nonprofit organization of individuals and organizations interested in quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research, teaching, leadership, and [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Urban Science Adventure: Rock Flipping

Sunday, September 11, 2011 was 5th Annual International Rock Flipping Day.  I walked my favorite nearby park and basked in the sunshine and taking in the lovely scenery.  I wasn’t handling the news coverage of the 9/11 commemoration very well, so being outside and enjoying the quiet was exactly what I needed; and thanks to [...]

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