Taxonomy term

october 2011

Return of the Dust Bowl

Geoscientists Predict a Dry, Dusty Future for the American West

Haboobs walloped Arizona last summer. Locals long ago adopted the Arabic word for a major dust storm, but even old-timers say they can’t remember anything quite like this year’s aerial assaults.

28 Oct 2011

Hazardous Living: Collision forces behind devastating Turkey quake

By Tuesday evening local time, close to 500 people have been confirmed dead and more than 1,300 injured following a major magnitude-7.2 earthquake that struck eastern Turkey on Sunday at 1:41 p.m. local time. Countless people are still trapped under debris after the shallow quake, only 20 kilometers deep, leveled at least 2,260 buildings in Van, Ercis and other cities and villages, according to news reports.

25 Oct 2011

Voices: An old Earth for all Muslims but how does evolution fit in?

It’s no secret that many of the protests and rebellions in North Africa and the Middle East this year have been dominated by globally connected, young, educated Muslims. One of the stated goals of many of these young people is improving the science and technology programs in their countries. They understand that to compete in the global marketplace, strong science and technology programs are necessary. That bodes well for these countries’ futures.

24 Oct 2011

Energy Notes: June 2010-2011

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 2011

CryoScoop: A must-read special issue

Arctic enthusiasts: check out the Oct. 13 issue of Nature. The special issue “After the Ice” examines a variety of hot topics in the Arctic, where global warming continues to impact the landscape, science and economics.

13 Oct 2011

Mineral Resource of the Month: Potash

Potash is the generic term for a variety of mined and manufactured salts, all of which contain the mineral potassium in a water-soluble form. Together with nitrogen and phosphate, potash is one of three essential plant nutrients. Potash is used in everything from fertilizers to soaps and detergents, glass and ceramics, dyes, explosives and alkaline batteries. Minor amounts are also used in water softening, sidewalk deicing, and as a table salt substitute. About 85 to 90 percent of potash, however, is consumed for agricultural products.

 
13 Oct 2011

Down to Earth With: The Swindling Geologist

When Clarence Dutton spoke, people listened. As one of the most famous geologists of the late 1800s, he regularly attracted large crowds to his talks. He also had a way with women. The president of an Indiana literary society once wrote to Dutton to confirm a lecture and assured the speaker that “the ladies would be delighted to see him again.”

 
10 Oct 2011

Geologic Column: The double-edged sword of commercialization

Everyone has a mental image of a “commercialized” geologic site — Niagara Falls, anyone? My vision includes crowds, noise, clutter, distracting visual stimuli, neon signs, traffic, and a price on everything from scenic views to water. Souvenirs, including T-shirts, snow globes, shot glasses and fudge, are usually for sale.

07 Oct 2011

Santa Fe impact crater discovery: A series of fortunate events

In the ancient pink and orange hills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Thornton “Tim” McElvain, a retired petroleum geologist, leads me over a concrete highway barrier to a towering granite road cut. McElvain steps onto a rock pile and points to a meter-long block of granite, the freshest offering to fall from the rock face. One side of the block tapers roughly to the shape of a cone, with grooves coming together to form a point.

“This is the best shatter cone example I’ve seen here,” McElvain says.

07 Oct 2011

Getting There and Getting Around the Burren

If you’re in Ireland, the Burren is definitely worth a visit. The Burren’s nearest airport is Shannon Airport, approximately a 45-minute drive away. The trip from Dublin is a four-hour drive. Renting a car is the best way to explore the region in depth. But keep in mind that the roads are narrower than you might presume, and visitors often underestimate how long journeys can take. (Keep in mind also that in Ireland, like in England, you drive on the left side of the road.)

 
07 Oct 2011

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