Taxonomy term

november 2013

Bare Earth Elements: IceCube observatory spurs "dawn of new age" in astronomy

The main purpose of the world’s largest neutrino observatory — the $270-million IceCube project — is to detect and hopefully identify the as-yet-only-theorized sources of exceptionally high-energy subatomic neutrinos that stream through space. In a new study, the members of the project, comprising about 250 scientists, laid out their case showing that the first of those goals — detection — has been accomplished. They detailed 28 detection events of neutrinos ranging in energy from about 30 tera-electronvolts (TeV) to 1.14 peta-electronvolts (PeV) — far higher than for any neutrinos previously observed — and suspected of having originated outside the solar system in violent phenomena like quasars and gamma ray bursts.

25 Nov 2013

Old photos help scientists relocate 1906 San Francisco quake rupture point

Portola Valley, just south of San Francisco, is famous for its progressive approach to geology. The town was the subject of the first geologic map of California and the first municipality in the state to hire its very own resident geologist. There’s a good reason: The section of the San Andreas Fault that produced the deadly San Francisco quake of 1906 runs right through the town. But where exactly the fault trace lies has long been a mystery. Now, in a new study, researchers have used a combination of new technology and old photographs to relocate the fault line.

25 Nov 2013

Getting There and Getting Around Wyoming

To drive all or part of this loop, fly into Cheyenne and rent a car. You can also fly into Denver, 160 kilometers south of Cheyenne. The loop runs from Cheyenne to Laramie, then up through Casper, Buffalo, Gillette and Devils Tower before returning back south to Cheyenne via U.S. Highway 85. Primitive and developed camping opportunities abound in Wyoming, and hotels, motels and other accommodations can be found in the cities along the loop. 

 
24 Nov 2013

Boondocking 101: How to camp for free in Wyoming

When I drove this loop around Wyoming last spring, I did it in 10 days, camped out every night and didn’t pay for a single campsite. Wyoming is replete with public land: Nearly half of the state’s lands are held by the federal government and managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Travelers are free to camp on BLM lands or national grasslands or in national forests,  a practice known as dispersed camping, boondocking or coyote camping. You can stay in one site up to 14 days, but you must honor “Leave No Trace” ethics: After you leave your campsite, there should be no trace that you were ever there. 

 
24 Nov 2013

Travels in Geology: The wild east of Wyoming: Bone wars, outlaw hideouts and crack climbing

When vacationers plan trips to Wyoming, the western half of the state, with its grizzly bears, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park, tends to be the biggest draw. But Eastern Wyoming — home to bone wars, outlaw hideouts and the nation’s first national monument — also boasts a captivating mix of Wild West history and geologic marvels.

24 Nov 2013

World War G: Zombies, energy and the geosciences

In lieu of doing a "year in review" issue this year, EARTH asked our staff and some frequent contributors to write a short commentary on something that grabbed their attention in 2013. We gave everyone carte blanche. What follows is a collection of extremely varied, often very personal insights into how the planet impacted each individual. In this commentary, EARTH contributing editor Michael Webber draws parallels between zombies and the geosciences.

22 Nov 2013

Witnessing geology in action: A rockfall in the garden of the gods

In lieu of doing a "year in review" issue this year, EARTH asked our staff and some frequent contributors to write a short commentary on something that grabbed their attention in 2013. We gave everyone carte blanche. What follows is a collection of extremely varied, often very personal insights into how the planet impacted each individual. In this commentary, EARTH's roving reporter Mary Caperton Morton muses on on how witnessing a rockfall made her think about geologic time.

21 Nov 2013

Science denialism: The problem that just won't go away

In lieu of doing a "year in review" issue this year, EARTH asked our staff and some frequent contributors to write a short commentary on something that grabbed their attention in 2013. We gave everyone carte blanche. What follows is a collection of extremely varied, often very personal insights into how the planet impacted each individual. In this commentary, EARTH contributor and cartoonist Callan Bentley discusses his run-ins with science denialism.

20 Nov 2013

A public service announcement: Improve geologic literacy starting on the home front

In lieu of doing a "year in review" issue this year, EARTH asked our staff and some frequent contributors to write a short commentary on something that grabbed their attention in 2013. We gave everyone carte blanche. What follows is a collection of extremely varied, often very personal insights into how the planet impacted each individual. In this essay, EARTH's managing editor Megan Sever discusses how she annoys her friends and family with geologic trivia and why you should do the same.

19 Nov 2013

Mineral Resource of the Month: Thallium

Thallium, a grayish-white metal similar to tin in appearance, was discovered spectroscopically in 1861. Like lead, it is heavy yet soft, and can be cut easily with a knife. When exposed to air, thallium’s luster quickly tarnishes to a blue-gray color owing to the formation of a film of thallium oxide. Its concentration in Earth’s crust is estimated at 0.7 parts per million; mostly it is found in association with potassium minerals in clays, soils and granites, but in general it is not commercially recoverable from those sources. Manganese nodules, found on the ocean floor, also contain thallium.

 
19 Nov 2013

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