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october 2013

Benchmarks: October 9, 1963: The Vajont Landslide kills 2,500 in Italy

In 45 seconds, everything changed. What had been a towering mountainside collapsed into a pile of rubble; what had been a deep reservoir of placid water became a lethal flood; what had been a valley of small Italian villages was leveled to a barren outwash plain.

09 Oct 2014

Energy Notes: July 2012-2013

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.

 
19 Nov 2013

XPRIZE offers new ocean health awards

XPRIZE, the organization that used competition to propel the development of private space travel and super-efficient vehicles, is now making a commitment to improving ocean health.

31 Oct 2013

World's largest deep earthquake recorded

The seismology world may have a new leader in superlatives: On May 24, 2013, the largest, deep earthquake ever recorded struck beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, between the Kamchatka Peninsula and Russian mainland. Scientists are still puzzling over how such a large event could occur so deep.

30 Oct 2013

CSI La Brea: Tiny traces reveal big secrets of the tar pits

The La Brea tar pits in the middle of Los Angeles are known for turning up spectacularly preserved specimens of dire wolves, saber-tooth cats and woolly mammoths. But how long it took for the animals to sink down into the sticky tar after they became trapped has long been a mystery. Now a new study looking at the traces left by hungry bone-eating insects is providing a minimum time span for burial, as well as confirming some long-held suspicions about when the tar pits were at their most lethal.

27 Oct 2013

Getting There and Getting Around Nebraska

Many visitors to western Nebraska’s geoheritage sites will probably be “driving through” en route to more famous sites, such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain national parks to the west or the Badlands and Mount Rushmore just to the north. But commercial air service is available directly into Scottsbluff, Neb., as well as Cheyenne, Wyo., and Denver, Colo. (about 160 and 320 kilometers away, respectively). A car is necessary to get around the area; you can rent one at any of these airports if you choose to fly in. If you’re driving through the area on Interstate 80, which runs from New York to San Francisco, you’ll pass through the Nebraskan panhandle.

 
24 Oct 2013

Travels in Geology: Western Nebraska's geoheritage gems

Western Nebraska does not usually appear on lists of travel destinations, yet this region has a historical and cultural significance as vast as its landscape. For more than 500,000 westbound pioneers who tenaciously crossed the continent along the Oregon, California and Mormon trails, this region — where the flat plains give way to a rugged terrain of sculpted badlands and rocky bluffs — heralded their arrival in the West.

24 Oct 2013

Gaming the system in the Caspian Sea: Can game theory solve a decades-old dispute?

Water-rights disputes are never easy. Whether they are over pumping from aquifers shared among adjacent landowners, allocation of resources at the municipal, county or state level, or division of a river or lake shared between neighboring countries, there is an inevitable push and pull among stakeholders over who gets what and how much. In the end, resolutions tend to be compromises — often meted out by governing authorities — which, while not ideal from any one party’s standpoint, appeal to the desire of the group for stability over strife.

20 Oct 2013

Caspian Sea: Negotiation Support System

To supplement their efforts at modeling the Caspian conflict using game theory and, potentially, to aid the five littoral countries as they continue to negotiate over how to govern and apportion the sea and its resources, Kaveh Madani, a civil engineer at the University of Central Florida, and his colleagues have developed a computer model dubbed the Caspian Sea Negotiation Support System (NSS).

20 Oct 2013

Energy Notes: June 2012-2013

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.

 
19 Oct 2013

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