Taxonomy term

august 2009

Getting a master's in social geology

At first glance, it seems like an obvious solution to a problem: Villagers need vegetables and an aid organization has money to buy tools and seeds. Striving to create a sustainable program, the aid organization develops a training plan to teach the villagers how to garden, invests in local workshops, and purchases tools to distribute to the participants. All plans seem in order and the project is poised for success. However, the project’s managers encounter the first of potentially many obstacles when they realize that shovels are impossible to use if you don’t have shoes.

24 Sep 2009

Travels in Geology: Arkansas: A geologic diamond in the rough

If the budget belt is a little tighter this year, consider packing your diamond-digging trowel, bathing suit and camping gear and heading to a little-known geologic hot spot in the middle of the United States. Arkansas, “the Natural State,” boasts the world’s only public diamond mine, uniquely heated mineral springs and the Ozark Mountains of Wilson Rawls’ “Where the Red Fern Grows” lore, all within a day’s drive from much of the United States.

10 Sep 2009

Re-examining the Burgess Shale

About 505 million years ago, the continent that would become North America straddled the equator. With no terrestrial plants or animals, the land was a barren landscape. The warm, shallow sea bordering the continent, however, hosted a carbonated reef teeming with a diverse array of organisms, most of which were relatively small bottom-dwellers. Periodically, the animals would get washed over the reef and deposited at its base, where their bodies accumulated in the muddy sediments. Today, these creatures are beautifully preserved in the Burgess Shale.

24 Aug 2009

Down to Earth With: Ted Irving

Geoscience students today may take plate tectonics for granted, but the concept that Earth has a mobile crust has only been generally accepted for the past 40 years. This modern concept is due in part to the work of Ted Irving, a geologist and scientist emeritus with the Geological Survey of Canada. In the 1950s, Irving was one of the first scientists to perform a physical test of — and find hard evidence for — Alfred Wegener’s 1912 hypothesis of continental drift. Continental drift was a precursor to plate tectonics theory, which describes how Earth’s surface is not a single shell, but is divided into large plates that are constantly moving past each other.

23 Aug 2009

Air pollutants from "megacities" a growing problem

Megacities — cities with populations equaling or greater than 10 million people — are producing an unprecedented amount of air pollution, according to scientists at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

21 Aug 2009

Energy Notes: April 2008-2009

Oil and petroleum imports data are preliminary numbers taken from the American Petroleum Institute’s Monthly Statistical Report. For more information visit www.api.org.

 
20 Aug 2009

Moonquake mystery deepens

Between 1969 and 1972, five Apollo missions installed seismic stations at their landing sites on the nearside of the moon. Because the moon was thought to be seismically dead, the instruments were left almost as an afterthought to detect meteor strikes. But from the time the stations were switched on until they were decommissioned in 1977, they recorded hundreds of internally generated moonquakes, some as strong as magnitude 5.5 on the Richter scale.

19 Aug 2009

Benchmarks: August 17, 1959: Hebgen Lake earthquake and landslide

By Callan Bentley

You’re camping in Montana, doing some fly fishing on the Madison River. You’ve had a full day of beautiful Big Sky country weather, and had fresh trout for dinner. In your campsite at the Rock Creek Campground, you go to bed satisfied and happy. It’s a nice enough evening that you sleep out in the open, to better appreciate the stars. The waters of the Madison gurgle by, gently lulling you to sleep while Orion shines above.

18 Aug 2009

Mineral Resource of the Month: Ferrous Slag

Ferrous slag is a byproduct of iron- and steelmaking. It is produced through the addition of materials such as limestone, dolomite, lime and silica sand to blast furnaces and steel furnaces to strip impurities from iron ore, scrap and other ferrous feeds, and to lower the heat requirements of the iron- and steelmaking processes. The slag forms as a dominantly calcium silicate melt that floats on top of the molten crude iron or steel; the slag is then removed from the liquid metal. 

 
14 Aug 2009

Asia's hazardous month

August is shaping up to be a hazardous month for Asia — from the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean to Japan. In just the first half of the month, several earthquakes and two typhoons have struck the region. Here’s an update on these damaging events.

Japan

At 7:55 p.m. local time on Aug. 9, a magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck near Japan’s Izu Islands, 325 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. No death or damages have been reported.

11 Aug 2009

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