Taxonomy term

natural hazards

Hazardous Living: Geologists to be charged for not predicting earthquake?

News out of Italy suggests that seven researchers who did not predict the L’Aquila earthquake in April 2009 are under formal investigation and may be charged with gross negligent manslaughter.

15 Jun 2010

Finding water in the heart of darkness: Afghanistan's ongoing water challenges

Fieldwork in Afghanistan is not like most geology fieldwork. “When I landed, the first thing I had to do was to put on a bulletproof vest,” says Tom Mack. He was part of a U.S. Geological Survey team that evaluated water resources in the Kabul Basin, in the north-central part of eastern Afghanistan, a couple of years ago. “It was strange to wear the vest, but eventually you get used to it.” There was a lot to get used to, he says. No matter where Mack went, he had to get special permission to be there.

14 Jun 2010

Slippery Slopes: How do we insure against landslides?

Feb. 5, 2010: A landslide in Maggie Valley, N.C., damages three homes after wet weather destabilizes the mountainside. No one is injured, but officials must dig out one family from its home. Feb. 6, 2010: A storm causes landslides in La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., damaging at least 43 homes. The event is set off by heavy winter rains that hit hillsides already denuded of vegetation by wildfires the previous summer. Feb. 6, 2010: City officials evacuate 11 families from their homes in Wheelwright, Ky., a month after a landslide began slowly ripping apart the hillside.

02 Jun 2010

Hazardous Living: Thirty years after Mount St. Helens exploded

Thirty years ago today, sometime not long after 8:30 a.m. Pacific time, Mount St. Helens explosively erupted. The shock wave from the eruption washed over Oregon and Washington, shaking the ground up to 400 kilometers away. Two earthquakes followed, at 8:32 and 8:34 a.m. Shortly thereafter, with a tremendous burst, the upper north flank gave way as gas, steam and ash vented outward and sent out an immense landslide of hot rock, mud, water, ash and debris.

18 May 2010

Natural gas production linked to earthquakes in Texas

A saltwater disposal well, a part of the natural gas production process, may have been responsible for triggering a series of minor earthquakes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas in 2008, according to a recent study.

11 May 2010

Fire and ice produced Eyjafjalla's explosion

When an Icelandic volcano with a nearly unpronounceable name erupted after 200 years of quiet in March, it was little more than a curiosity. But when it erupted again in April — this time spewing huge clouds of ash as high as 11 kilometers into the stratosphere, quickly choking airways across Europe and costing airlines billions of dollars — it captured the world’s attention. As the ashfall decreased and airlines resumed normal routes this week, the headlines began to fade.

23 Apr 2010

Hazardous Living: Good reading - is the apocalypse upon us?

Earthquakes, volcanoes and blizzards, oh my. Is this year anomalous? Has Mother Nature turned on us and decided to shake up the planet? Are we headed toward an apocalypse?

21 Apr 2010

Blogging on EARTH linkfest: More on the Iceland eruption

Blogging on EARTH: Iceland links and Volcanoes 301

There's a lot of great info out there about the Iceland eruption's geology, if you know where to link.

19 Apr 2010

Hazardous Living: Iceland afire

When Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano began erupting March 20, few people expected it to wind up wreaking havoc on the world’s travel. Yet that’s what it has done, as the eruption has ramped up in the last few days and is now spewing steam and ash several kilometers into the air. The winds over the North Atlantic have blown the ash cloud over Northern Europe, grounding tens of thousands of flights for myriad reasons, not the least of which is that ash can clog jet engines, causing them to fail.

16 Apr 2010

Tracking volcanic ash: Helping airplanes avoid catastrophe

For more than 9,000 years, Chaitén volcano quietly towered 1,122 meters over southern Chile. The volcano seemed almost asleep: Its wide crater, shaped by layers of ash and pumice from an ancient eruption, held two lakes and a giant dome of obsidian — the same glossy black rock that was used in prehistoric times to shape artifacts found at archaeological sites as far as 400 kilometers away. Almost at the foot of the volcano, just 10 kilometers to the southwest, a small village grew into the town of Chaitén, population 4,200.

15 Apr 2010

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