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The Coconino's starring role in the creationist-geologist battle

Arizona’s Coconino Sandstone — a deposit seen in the Grand Canyon and elsewhere — plays a central role in the creationist argument that the upper rocks of the Grand Canyon were deposited during Noah’s Flood. In fact, the posters presented by students and faculty of Cedarville University at the 2010 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Denver, Colo., pushed a consistent narrative: The Coconino did not form in an eolian (wind-blown) environment. Why is this so important? If the Coconino is eolian, it means the Flood did not happen.

10 Jun 2011

Gauging nuclear disasters

A nuclear accident is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an incident in which people died or property damage topped $50,000. In 1990, IAEA introduced the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) to rate and rank nuclear accidents. INES is a logarithmic scale that consists of seven levels: 0 (Deviation, no safety significance), 1 (Anomaly), 2 (Incident), 3 (Serious incident), 4 (Accident with local consequences), 5 (Accident with wider consequences), 6 (Serious accident) and 7 (Major accident).

31 May 2011

Who deals with coal fires?

Currently (and historically), most people who deal with underground coal fires and gob fires are employed by government agencies, mining and engineering companies, and firefighting agencies. Today, as in the past, these institutions undertake various responsibilities that include recording the location of coal fires, tracking their progression, and extinguishing the most problematic ones, if physically and economically feasible.

01 Sep 2010

Further reading and international collaborations

The growing interest in coal fires has led to the largest collection of peer-reviewed publications about this topic ever undertaken for publication, which includes the work of scientists and engineers around the world interested in peat, the precursor of coal, and peat fires. This project has resulted in a four-volume book, entitled “Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective,” to be published later this year by Elsevier. It will include an interactive online world map of coal and peat fires.

01 Sep 2010

The impact at El'gygytgyn crater

Moment of impact: As the asteroid hits the ground with a velocity of several tens of kilometers per second, a shock wave is generated that penetrates radially into the ground and compresses the rocks.

Contact/compression stage
Christian Koeberl, University of Vienna










20 Jul 2010

Early results

Although our final results won’t begin to be published until early next year, our team met in May to review all the data we had collected so far.

We had drilled several types of cores. Our initial pilot cores, taken in 1998 and 2003, provided proof of concept, demonstrating the importance of these cores as a climate record, as they contain climate data that extend back in time 300,000 years — roughly three times longer back in time than the oldest portions of the Greenland ice core records.

20 Jul 2010

A history of "Big Ones"

The last time Chile experienced an earthquake larger than magnitude 8.8 was on May 22, 1960, when a magnitude-9.5 earthquake rocked the South American nation, killing 1,655 people and leaving 2 million people homeless, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was the largest earthquake in recorded history. Prior to that, a magnitude-8.5 quake struck central Chile near its border with Argentina on Nov. 11, 1922 — the 13th-largest earthquake on record.

01 Mar 2010

Connect with EARTH

Follow us! EARTH is now on multiple social networking sites. Stay up-to-date with the latest EARTH stories and info at our pages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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13 Jan 2010

Xeriscaping: Not just rocks and cactus

“The word ‘xeriscape’ brings to mind a lot of pebbles with cacti,” says Janet Ward, public relations manager for the City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management. “That’s not what xeriscaping is, but that’s what people think it is.” Xeriscaping is simply minimum-water landscaping. It can involve everything from stones and cacti, to sedums, drought-tolerant plants and native bushes. Indeed, a glimpse into yards in Denver, Colo., often reveals fiery blanketflowers, magenta poppy mallows and sky-blue forget-me-nots.

31 Dec 2009

Cash for Clunkers' footprint

In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that a little-known chemical was playing a big role in the Cash for Clunkers program. The federal government required dealerships to pour sodium silicate, or liquid glass, into the engines of the traded-in clunkers. The solution destroys the engine, ensuring that the old cars and trucks never end up back on the road. The Journal noted that chemical companies couldn’t keep up with the sodium silicate orders that were pouring in.

09 Dec 2009