Taxonomy term

july 2015

Mineral Resource of the Month: Gold

Gold was highly valued by early civilizations for its scarcity, durability and characteristic color, reminiscent of the sun, which was worshiped by some as a deity. It was first recovered from streambed gravels (placers), where it occurred in native form, and thus did not require extraction from ores. It was both essentially indestructible and easily worked. Gold nuggets were prized possessions that could be fashioned into bars of different standard weights and into ornaments and items of adornment that also served as portable wealth. Gold leaf (gold beaten into thin sheets) has been used to decorate significant architectural structures since ancient times. In the 7th century B.C., the Etruscans used gold to make false teeth, and it is still used in dentistry today due to its nontoxicity, durability and beauty.

26 Jun 2015

Energy Notes: December 2013-2014

U.S. Oil & Petroleum Imports (million of barrels per day)

26 Jun 2015

Comment: The arrival of the energy future

In the U.S., both solar and wind energy more than tripled between 2008 and 2013. Renewables are now the fastest growing energy sources. But the first steps on a new path often are tentative and require reinforcement.
25 Jun 2015

Studies re-examine how major copper deposits form

Every year, the world consumes about 20 million tons of copper primarily for construction materials like electrical wiring and water pipes. Most nonrecycled supplies come from porphyry copper deposits (PCDs), which form when hot, metal-bearing fluids percolate up through Earth’s crust. But while geologists have long recognized — and exploited — PCDs, two new studies suggest they may need to rethink how these deposits form.
 
21 Jun 2015

Down to Earth With: Geophysicist Peter Molnar

As a graduate student in geophysics at Columbia University in the late 1960s, Peter Molnar — who had studied physics as an undergraduate — decided to sit in on a geology course for a term. When the professor began discussing cratons one day, Molnar raised his hand and asked what a craton was. Molnar still remembers the strange look he received, as if the professor were wondering, “Who let this guy in?”
 
20 Jun 2015

Travels in Geology: Hiking the Catskill Mountain Front

Take a trek through the geologic remnants of the last ice age on display in the Hudson River Valley.

18 Jun 2015

Getting there and getting around the Catskill Mountain Front

We began our journey near fabled Woodstock, N.Y., which is best known for the 1969 outdoor concert that did not actually occur there. Woodstock, the music festival, was held some 100 kilometers away in the village of Bethel. Nonetheless, Woodstock is an interesting town to visit, with a vibrant arts community, and is a good spot to begin your trek. Driving is the easiest way to get to Woodstock from New York City or Albany. The Overlook Mountain trailhead is just a few kilometers from the center of Woodstock. 
 
18 Jun 2015

Geoheritage: Preserving Earth's legacy

When it comes to geology, what is lost cannot be regained. Can geoparks preserve Earth’s geologic wonders?
17 Jun 2015

Science Illustrators: Making the invisible visible

Science illustrators visualize data, revealing what otherwise can’t be seen: the deep Earth, distant worlds, quantum particles and extinct life.

16 Jun 2015

Tools of the trade

Until a few decades ago, illustrators most often plied their trade with pencil and paper, ink, watercolors, or maybe airbrushed paints. While some still work in these media, most now rely heavily on computers, at least for the finished product. Some artists, like New Jersey-based illustrator Frank Ippolito, made the switch early on. “The promise was already there, so I was one of those early adopters who jumped in with both feet,” he says. For others, going digital became a necessity when clients started changing their expectations, says Lynette Cook, who previously worked as an artist and photographer at the Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. 
 
16 Jun 2015

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