Taxonomy term

september 2015

Mineral Resource of the Month: Bromine

Bromine, along with mercury, is one of only two elements that are liquid at room temperature. Bromine is a highly volatile and corrosive reddish-brown liquid that evaporates easily and converts to a metal at extreme pressures — above about 540,000 times atmospheric pressure. Bromine occurs in seawater, evaporitic (salt) lakes and underground brines associated with petroleum deposits. 

06 Sep 2015

Energy Notes: February 2014-2015

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.

06 Sep 2015

Earliest stone tools pre-date Homo

Tool making is thought to be one of the defining characteristics of the transition from apes to early man. Now, the discovery of a set of stone tools dating to 3.3 million years ago is pushing back this critical stage of early human development by more than half a million years, and, according to one researcher involved, disproving “the long-standing assumption that Homo habilis was the first tool maker.”

05 Sep 2015

Ultraviolet lights the way for rare earth recycling

The 17 rare earth elements, widely used in everyday devices from cellphones to magnets and fluorescent lights, aren’t all that rare. They are just finely dispersed in small quantities around the world, making them difficult to mine in substantial quantities. Recycling rare earths is an attractive means to supplement freshly mined stocks, but it remains technically and logistically difficult. Now, a team has developed a more efficient method of recycling two rare earth elements — europium and yttrium — using ultraviolet (UV) light instead of traditional methods involving chemical solvents.
 
03 Sep 2015

Travels in Geology: Australia's Whitsunday Islands: Sun, sand and silicic volcanism

Swimming and snorkeling near the Great Barrier Reef, hiking and ziplining through rainforests and waterfalls, and relaxing on a beach composed of 99 percent pure quartz sand can all be done in a couple days’ trip to the Whitsunday Islands and Queensland, Australia.

01 Sep 2015

Getting there and getting around the Whitsundays

The gateway airports to the Whitsundays are on Hamilton Island and near Proserpine on the mainland. Neither hosts direct flights from the U.S., but both connect to Sydney and Brisbane, Australia’s primary international arrival points, as well as Cairns, the most popular access point to the Great Barrier Reef. From Proserpine, Whitsunday Transit can transport you to accommodations throughout the region.
 
01 Sep 2015

Where on Earth? - September 2015

Where on Earth was this picture taken? Use these clues to guess and submit your answer via mail, email or Web by the last day of the month (September 30, 2015).

01 Sep 2015

Fate of atolls not necessarily tied to sea-level rise

The western Pacific Ocean is home to many atolls: rings of low-lying islands built from calcite sands and the erosional remnants of coral reefs. This region is also home to some of the highest rates of sea-level rise in recent decades — an unsettling fact for the atolls’ inhabitants and others worried that rising waters will eat away at the islands and evict residents for good. But according to a new study documenting long-term change at one Pacific atoll, the future for such islands might not be so bleak.

30 Aug 2015

Snake forebear had two back legs but no front legs

The more than 3,400 species of snakes alive today may have descended from one ancestor that lacked forelimbs, but which had small vestigial hind limbs complete with ankle bones and toes, according to a new study published in BMC Evolutionary Biology.
 
30 Aug 2015

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