Taxonomy term

october 2009

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

Nanoscale carbon capture

Thanks to a bit of luck, the key to carbon sequestration may lie in a circular, bowl-shaped compound that draws carbon dioxide right out of the air.

27 Oct 2009

Down to Earth With: Jessica Whiteside

From Morocco to Connecticut, Jessica Whiteside has explored almost every Mesozoic rock outcrop there is. And she’s only three years out of graduate school. With a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., and two master’s degrees and a doctorate from Columbia University in New York, N.Y., under her belt, Whitehouse is now in Providence, R.I., working as an assistant professor of geological sciences at Brown University.

23 Oct 2009

New cousin joins primate family tree - but it's also no missing link

Blogging on EARTH

Darwinius — the purported primate “missing link” that made headlines last spring — is back, sort of. Scientists have now found a close cousin of the primate — and they say the new fossil is no more a missing link than Darwinius was.

21 Oct 2009

Surviving field school: Better than reality TV

David Harwood’s geology field course for future teachers is not a network reality show — but it should be. The three-week course has all the humor, drama, exacting challenges and bleepable moments of “Survivor.” But in contrast to the staged setups of TV “reality” shows, Geology 160 offers billions of years’ worth of authentic geological history that students see, taste and scrape from under their fingernails.

20 Oct 2009

Geology 101: Reading the story in the rocks

David Harwood’s field geology course gives future teachers an introduction to several of geology’s most fundamental principles, including the stratigraphic basics described by Nicholas Steno in 1669. Go to the head of the class with this quick primer.

20 Oct 2009

Energy Notes: June 2008-2009

Oil and petroleum imports data are preliminary numbers taken from the American Petroleum Institute’s Monthly Statistical Report. For more information visit www.api.org.

 
20 Oct 2009

Mineral Resource of the Month: Gallium

The metal element gallium occurs in very small concentrations in rocks and ores of other metals — native gallium is not known. As society gets more and more high-tech, gallium becomes more useful. Gallium is one of only five metals that are liquid at or close to room temperature. It has one of the longest liquid ranges of any metal (29.8 degrees Celsius to 2204 degrees Celsius) and has a low vapor pressure even at high temperatures. Ultra-pure gallium has a brilliant silvery appearance, and the solid metal exhibits conchoidal fracture similar to glass.

 
14 Oct 2009

NASA's LCROSS crashes on the moon

Blogging on EARTH

Usually, NASA hopes its space probes land safely at their destinations. This morning, the agency was planning for a big explosion on the moon — all in the hopes of confirming the presence of water on our nearest neighbor.

09 Oct 2009

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