Taxonomy term

april 2018

Battery recycling underlies elevated lead in African soils

Of all the recycling industries in the world, lead-acid battery recycling is one of the most profitable — and one of the most toxic. In the U.S., regulations on the industry have dramatically reduced lead exposure and pollution at battery recycling plants. But in Africa, where the industry is growing and largely unregulated, lead levels are skyrocketing. A new study in Environmental Research looking at environmental lead levels in seven African countries is shining a spotlight on the ongoing public health crisis.

19 Apr 2018

Geoscience on Film: Roadcuts and rockfalls in mountainous Mizoram

Doug Prose has co-produced documentaries showcasing Earth and the geosciences with his partner and wife, Diane LaMacchia, through their nonprofit Earth Images Foundation since 1992. Their latest documentary, “The Himalaya Connection,” began airing on PBS stations in April. Prose has previously written and blogged for EARTH about the pair’s experience shooting and preparing “Connection,” which involved six separate trips to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Mongolia and Nepal from 2011 to 2016. They recently traveled back to the region for their next project.

18 Apr 2018

Unprecedented exploration of undersea volcano yields surprising results

Underwater volcanic eruptions happen every day, but because of the vastness of the ocean and the great depth of water blocking the view, catching an active eruption is a game of chance. In fact, the largest-known underwater eruption of the past century was something of a fluke discovery. In July 2012, an airline passenger spotted a huge pumice raft floating in the South Pacific during a flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Upon landing, she alerted researchers, and scientists confirmed the 400-square-kilometer pumice raft near the Havre Seamount using NASA satellite imagery.

18 Apr 2018

World's longest underwater cave found in Mexico

In January, scientists and underwater explorers working with the Great Maya Aquifer (Gran Acuífero Maya, or GAM) project discovered the world’s longest flooded cave system, which stretches 347 kilometers in Quintana Roo on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.

17 Apr 2018

Geomedia: Books: Solar eclipses past, present and future

The two books reviewed here — “Totality” and “American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World” by Colorado science writer David Baron — both capture the historical scientific significance and the excitement that still exists today in viewing solar eclipses, particularly those that pass over our own piece of the planet.

16 Apr 2018

Acid rain triggered deadly Chinese landslide

On June 5, 2009, a catastrophic landslide killed 74 people in southwestern China. But a lack of recent earthquake activity or heavy rainfall left geologists questioning what had triggered the slide. A new study suggests that China’s acid rain may have played a role in weakening the limestone and shale slope in unexpected ways.

13 Apr 2018

Mineral Resource of the Month: Sulfur

Sulfur is one of the few elements found in elemental form in nature and has been used in elemental form since ancient times. It forms near volcanic vents and fumaroles, and small quantities of native sulfur form during the weathering of sulfate and sulfide minerals. However, the largest concentrations of sulfur are found associated with sulfide ore mineral deposits and with evaporative minerals in salt domes. As the 16th-most abundant element in Earth’s crust, sulfur is plentiful and can be found around the world.

 
12 Apr 2018

Geomedia: Television: "One Strange Rock" is Superlative

National Geographic's new 10-part documentary series, "One Strange Rock," is, in a word, superlative, according to our reviewer. Featuring gorgeous footage and state-of-the-art, digitally generated animations, and perhaps covering a wider range of earth science topics than other documentaries in the genre, it’s worthy of the adjective.

11 Apr 2018

Geologic Column: Over the hills and far away

English author G.K. Chesterton thought that “over the hills and far away” was the most poetic line in all of literature. The tune “Over the Hills and Far Away” mentioned in the nursery rhyme is a traditional British song from the late 17th or early 18th century. It was a siren’s song that promised wonder and adventure beyond the blue horizon. Gwyn Thomas, a fine though neglected Welsh writer, heard the song during his early-20th-century childhood in the Rhondda Valley, the heart of the south Wales coal region. Honeycombed by mines, the Rhondda’s spirit lay at the core of Thomas’ heart and imagination, and he distilled a mordant humor from the dark vibes of the life that he knew there.

10 Apr 2018

Getting there and getting around the Causses

Toulouse is the best gateway to the Causses region. Toulouse-Blagnac Airport hosts plenty of flights to connecting cities in Europe, but no direct flights from the United States. Rent a car at the airport and head north to explore the region. The main highway going north to the Causses is well maintained, with fueling stations along the way that offer everything a traveler might need, including showers. Figuring out how to pay for gasoline was tricky — but that’s part of the adventure of travel.

06 Apr 2018

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