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Northern Cyprus' "Peace Water" Pipeline

With its semi-arid climate and growing population, Cyprus suffers from the highest level of water stress in Europe and is ranked in the top five most water-stressed countries in the world, according to the World Resources Institute. Demand in the larger southern Republic of Cyprus is predicted to increase to 314 million cubic meters per year by 2020, up from 266 million cubic meters in 2004.
04 Nov 2015

Getting there and getting around Cyprus

Cyprus has been populated for centuries by a mix of ethnic Greeks and Turks. Periodic ethnic tensions erupted into communal violence in 1963, leading to a Turkish invasion in 1974. Turkey has controlled the northern third of the island ever since. The Troödos Mountains, which host the ophiolitic rocks, rise in the center of the island, within the Republic of Cyprus.
04 Nov 2015

Travels in Geology: Cyprus: Island of Oceanic Crust

The soul of Cyprus, the third-largest island in the Mediterranean, lies in the Troödos Mountains — a rare, intact sliver of ancient oceanic crust that played a pivotal role in the development of plate tectonic theory. But don’t miss the Neolithic, Roman and Byzantine ruins, or the stunning beaches.

04 Nov 2015

Flaring our way out of a water crisis

The production of oil and gas consumes and produces vast amounts of freshwater and wastewater, respectively, and burns tons of natural gas, emitting potent greenhouse gases and wasting a potential energy source. However, with some clever engineering, we could solve all three of these environmental concerns at once.

31 Oct 2015

Finding and tracking conflict minerals in the heart of darkness

Conflict minerals such as tantalum, used in electronics, are fueling violence. But the financial, technology, mining and geologic communities are coming together to identify, track and remove these tainted minerals from the global supply chain, with the goal of helping reduce war.

18 Oct 2015

Toxic Gardens: The long legacy of urban lead

Many urban soils, including those in parks, playgrounds and community gardens, remain contaminated with lead from its historic use in gasoline and house paint. But there are ways to mitigate the risks of this legacy lead.
11 Oct 2015

Step one: Soil testing

The first step in planning a community or backyard garden should always be to get the soil tested, getting a read on not only pH and nutrient levels, but possible contaminants like lead and arsenic. “Some cities have public health programs to help residents get their gardens tested for low or no cost, but it’s kind of hit or miss,” says Gabriel Filippelli, a biogeochemist at Indiana University in Indianapolis. Some cities such as Philadelphia have also held one-day “soil kitchen” workshops where people can bring in samples of soil for immediate testing with an X-ray fluorescence instrument. 
11 Oct 2015

Travels in Geology: Rafting the Pacific Northwest's heavenly Hells Canyon

Few roads and only steep, difficult trails run down into Hells Canyon — the deepest canyon in North America — which forms part of the border between Oregon and Idaho. But the location is popular among boaters, whitewater rafters and fishermen, and a trip down the river reveals some spectacular rocks.

18 Sep 2015

Damming the salmon

In the 1940s, the state of Idaho decided that the Salmon River would be left to flow freely while the Snake would be developed for hydroelectric power to become Idaho’s workhorse river. To date, a total of 15 dams have been built along the Snake for a variety of purposes, from irrigation to flood control to hydroelectricity. Hells Canyon is home to three hydroelectric impoundments: the Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon dams, built in 1959, 1961 and 1967, respectively. Together they have a maximum capacity of 391 megawatts of power production. 
18 Sep 2015

Getting there and getting around Hells Canyon

The closest major airports to Hells Canyon are Missoula, Mont., Boise, Idaho, and Spokane, Wash. If you book a multiday trip with a reputable rafting company, the company will likely help you arrange shuttles to the beginning and end of the canyon, or you may need to rent a car. Most Hells Canyon river trips end in Lewiston, Idaho, which also has a small airport with regularly scheduled flights to Salt Lake City, Seattle and Boise. 
18 Sep 2015