Taxonomy term

november 2014

Ohio millers imported French stone

What’s the difference between France and Ohio? A few fossils. Common Ohio chert looks like a rock called French buhr found around Paris, except for a couple of fossils. Researchers say these fossils can be used to distinguish the Ohio flint from its often-misidentified French lookalike.

04 Nov 2014

Tiny ants are heroic weathering agents

Over geologic timescales, weathering of silicate minerals — which account for more than 90 percent of all crustal rocks on Earth — plays a significant role in decreasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as carbon dioxide is consumed in chemical weathering reactions and the resultant carbonate becomes sequestered in the form of limestone and dolomite.

Now, a new study has identified an unsung all-star of weathering agents: ants, which appear to be among the most powerful biological agents of mineral decay yet observed. Whether the weathering prowess of the ubiquitous tiny titans can be harnessed to draw down carbon dioxide levels, however, remains to be seen.

02 Nov 2014

Mineral Resource of the Month: Zeolites

Zeolites comprise a group of silicate minerals with very open crystalline structures that make them suitable for catalytic, ion exchange and molecular sieving applications. Aluminum, silicon and oxygen atoms are arranged in a 3-D framework of channels and cages. Water molecules and cations, such as calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium, occupy these interconnected channels and cages. The cations can readily substitute for one another, and water molecules may be gained or lost without any major changes to the basic zeolite crystal structure.

01 Nov 2014

Where on Earth? - November 2014

Clues for November 2014:

1. This rock arch composed of pillow basalts forms part of the seaside headlands in what is the largest urban national park in the U.S., according to the National Park Service.

Travels in Geology: Bali beckons

Bali, Indonesia's top tourist destination, boasts everything a visitor could want: copious sun, sand and surf, flavorful food and fruity libations, stunning sunsets, and verdant rice paddies tucked beneath misty mountains. It also hosts a number of geo-attractions, including hot springs and Indonesia's first global geopark. 

30 Oct 2014

Getting there and getting around Bali

Visitors to Bali arrive at the Ngurah Rai International Airport on the island’s southern side. No direct flights are available from the U.S.; most itineraries route through a major East Asian hub. To travel between Bali and the neighboring islands of Java or Lombok, you can either catch a short domestic flight (options include Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air) or take a short, though frequently rough, ferry ride.

30 Oct 2014

Down to Earth With: Molecular biologist Sarah L. Anzick

In May 1968, when Sarah L. Anzick was 2 years old, the 12,600-year-old remains of a male toddler were discovered at the base of a bluff on her family’s ranch near Wilsall, Mont. The Anzick infant — one of just a handful of ancient skeletons to have been found in North America and the only known Clovis burial site —  had been carefully buried with more than 100 stone and bone tools.

28 Oct 2014

Can renewable energy and desalination tackle two problems at once?

In an era of extended droughts combined with increasing water demand, water-scarce areas of the world are considering expensive and far-flung water sources. At the same time, electric grids are straining to meet surging demand for electricity. Could wind- and solar-powered desalination plants be the solution to both problems?

26 Oct 2014

Seasonal ice-cover reduction throughout Arctic waters mapped

Nowhere is climatic warming more evident than in the Arctic. Arctic air has warmed almost twice as much compared to the global average in recent decades, and Arctic sea-ice extent has hit historic lows in the last decade.

25 Oct 2014

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