Taxonomy term

june 2014

Magma mobilizes quickly beneath Mount Hood

In a recent study in Nature, researchers found that magma beneath Oregon’s Mount Hood spends minimal time in an eruptible state. Instead, magma remobilization and eruption occur within a short time frame. What this means for volcanic hazards in the Pacific Northwest has yet to be determined. 

10 Jun 2014

Geomedia: Books: A changing literary climate

Climate fiction, or cli-fi, is a new literary genre. Using climate science as a launching pad, these books, films, poetry and other media imagine life on a planet altered by human activity. The genre is still a niche but becoming more common as climate change has captured popular attention.

09 Jun 2014

Dueling dinosaurs hit the auction block

In 2006, fossil collector Clayton Phipps (a Montana rancher known as the “Dinosaur Cowboy”) and his crew discovered a rare fossil on private land in Montana’s Hell Creek Formation: the bones of two fully articulated dinosaurs that appeared to have died together, locked in battle. The fossil duo — a small, pony-sized carnivorous tyrannosaurid and a slightly larger herbivorous ceratopsian, both now preserved in plaster — became known as the “Montana Dueling Dinosaurs.” Last November, the fossils were put on the block at Bonhams auction house in New York City — but they did not sell. Had the set fetched the nearly $9 million it was expected to, it would have set a record for a fossil sale. For now, the Dueling Dinosaurs remain locked in an unidentified warehouse somewhere in the United States — along with any scientific information the unique specimens may reveal.

09 Jun 2014

Southeastern caves shuttered to slow the spread of bat-killing disease

On June 2, the U.S. Forest Service moved to close all caves and underground mines on national forest lands in the 13 states in its southern division for five years. The goal is to halt the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a disease that has already killed 5 million bats. 

06 Jun 2014

Longmenshan fault zone in the spotlight after two major quakes in five years

In May 2008, a magnitude-7.9 earthquake struck near Wenchuan, China, killing more than 80,000 people in the country’s biggest quake since 1950. Then, in April 2013, the magnitude-6.6 Lushan earthquake hit just 90 kilometers to the south — also within China’s Longmenshan Fault Zone, which separates the Tibetan Plateau to the west from the Sichuan Basin to the east — and caused another 200 deaths. Now, scientists have found that a roughly 60-kilometer segment of the fault zone between the epicenters of the two big temblors could be the next to rupture, although no one knows when or how big it might be.

05 Jun 2014

Ionospheric charge could forewarn of earthquakes

On Jan. 12, 2010, a magnitude-7 earthquake rocked Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, destroying much of the city and killing more than 200,000 people. Satellite records of atmospheric electron activity high above the island reveal an unusual pattern of behavior in the ionosphere in the months leading up to the quake — information that could be used in the future to forewarn of major earthquakes.

01 Jun 2014

Where on Earth? - June 2014

Clues for June 2014:

1.  This crescent-shaped island is about 42 kilometers long, just 1.5 kilometers at its widest, and sits about 175 kilometers offshore of its host country. It is thought to have formed initially as a result of Pleistocene glaciers piling debris near the edge of the continental shelf when sea levels were much lower than today, although the exact timing and details of the process remain unclear.
 

Staking a claim: Deep-sea mining nears fruition

At seafloor hydrothermal vents, high-temperature fluids precipitate deposits of minerals and metals beyond any prospector’s wildest dreams. Attempts to tap that mineral wealth are now underway, but questions remain about the environmental consequences of deep-sea mining.
 

27 May 2014

Comment: Preparing for the death of Earth

About 5 billion years from now, Earth will meet its end in a fiery blaze as it is swallowed by the expanding sun. What happens between now and then, in large part, is up to us and our ability to prepare for the distant future.

22 May 2014

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