129 posts tagged with Geology.
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The Mysterious Stones of Bologna

In 1602, a cobbler strolling outside of Bologna discovered a colorless stone with the curious ability to "accumulate light when exposed to the sun and to emit it in the darkness." His lapis solaris was to be the chemical sensation of the century. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Oct 17, 2011 - 13 comments

The Geology of Omaha Beach

D-Day's Legacy: Remnants of invasion linger in beach sands - an analysis of the debris left in the sands at Omaha Beach from D-Day. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls on Oct 16, 2011 - 28 comments

The Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River, as illustrated by H. N. Fisk, 1944

The Mississippi River has the third largest drainage basin in the world, exceeded in size only by the watersheds of the Amazon and Congo Rivers. It drains 41 percent of the 48 contiguous states of the United States. The basin covers more than 1,245,000 square miles, includes all or parts of 31 states and two Canadian provinces. The US Government has tried to improve navigability of the Mississippi River and its major tributaries for more than a hundred years, focused in part by Mississippi River Commission, created in 1879. The river is ever-changing, and in an attempt to understand their domain, and in 1941, MCR hired Harold Norman Fisk to conduct a geological investigation of the Lower Mississippi Valley. The result was a colorful map that displayed the historical course of the riverway from southern Illinois to southern Louisana. His vivid maps are available online in full, but beware: the files are very large.
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 30, 2011 - 24 comments

SCIENCE!

At the beginning of last month, Scientific American unveiled a new network of 47 blogs with 55 bloggers. Their latest posts can be found here. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 2, 2011 - 15 comments

Death Valley's sliding rocks may actually hitch a ride on ice rafts

The sliding rocks of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley, California have mystified and delighted visitors for decades (previously). Now planetary scientist Ralph Lorenz and colleagues think they've figured out how the rocks get around: ice rafts float the rocks out of the mud, reducing friction enough that modest winds can push them along (PDF of Lorenz et al., American Journal of Physics, Vol. 79, 1 January 2011). [more inside]
posted by Quietgal on Jun 16, 2011 - 25 comments

Learn about a fantastic rock weathering pattern

Jon Boxerman is fascinated with the geological phenomena known as tafoni. (NSFTrypophobes)
posted by Casimir on May 20, 2011 - 32 comments

The Wonder of God in Nature

Die Wunder Gottes in der Natur (1744) illustrates astronomical, meteorological, geological, spiritual, and psychological visions, based on the work of 16th century Alsatian encyclopedist Conrad Lycosthenes.

The cover and title page.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 5, 2011 - 7 comments

Yellowstone is big. No, really. Big.

New electrical conductivity measurements show the subterranean extent of the Yellowstone supervolcano to be a lot larger than previously known.
posted by jjray on Apr 13, 2011 - 40 comments

Maybe not as entertaining as the naked ladies post.

Hot Rocks: the winning entries in Wired's geology photography contest.
posted by helloknitty on Apr 6, 2011 - 10 comments

There are some folks that think a large earthquake could hit the U.S. West Coast in the next few days.

Earth Tides, Syzygy, this weekend's Supermoon, and whale beachings are all things that some folks think point to a possible tectonic event on the U.S. West Coast this weekend. Jim Berkland, retired USGS Geologist thinks so. See his interview here. And, he's got a track record of predicting earthquakes.
posted by bricksNmortar on Mar 18, 2011 - 57 comments

The Orphan Tsunami

Around midnight on January 27, 1700, a mysterious tsunami stole through several villages on the eastern coast of Japan. [more inside]
posted by Danf on Mar 15, 2011 - 18 comments

Fractured Arkansas

Since last fall central Arkansas has experienced a mysterious swarm of earthquakes. It's clear that Arkansas has shaken in the past. But the sheer numbers are largely unprecedented and have been dubbed an earthquake swarm by the USGS. The Arkansas Geological Survey says that the quakes have nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing of the Fayetteville Shale. So do energy companies. Not everyone is convinced. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Feb 7, 2011 - 52 comments

Defining Wealth

SEED Magazine: Wealth of Nations: "Shared natural resources underpin the global economy, but our current economic system does not acknowledge their worth. Can a major new effort to assess the costs of biodiversity loss force a paradigm shift in what we value?" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 30, 2010 - 10 comments

Mojave Desert online

Desert Gazette, "Mojave Desert, True Facts Legends and Lies". With links to other sites about the Mojave, including the excellent Digital Desert. Stories of life and death in the desert. The blogger, Walter Feller's photographs. About the Mojave Desert.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 2, 2010 - 11 comments

What the pangeaists don't want you to know

Don't continue fooling yourself. The earth is growing and expanding rapidly. Despite plate tectonics' popular acceptance in the 60s, Samuel Warren Carey, the father of modern expansion tectonics, was publicly promoting his theories of an expanded earth as late as 1981. One of the theory's most prominent modern spokesmen is comics artist Neal Adams, who has created a number of informative videos about a new model of the universe that even manages to explain why the dinosaurs died out. [more inside]
posted by Lorc on Aug 7, 2010 - 77 comments

What the Earth knows

Experts are little help in the constant struggle in this conversation to separate myth from reality, because they have the same difficulty, and routinely demonstrate it by talking past each other. Respected scientists warn of imminent energy shortages as geologic fuel supplies run out. Wall Street executives dismiss their predictions as myths and call for more drilling. Environmentalists describe the destruction to the earth from burning coal, oil, and natural gas. Economists ignore them and describe the danger to the earth of failing to burn coal, oil, and natural gas. Geology researchers report fresh findings about what the earth was like millions of years ago. Creationist researchers report fresh findings that the earth didn’t exist millions of years ago. The only way not to get lost in this awful swamp is to review the basics and decide for yourself what you believe and what you don’t. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Jun 27, 2010 - 31 comments

Baby, I love your curves

Alluvial porn (SFW) [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jun 18, 2010 - 29 comments

Lovely Hawaii and its volcanoes

Oh cool, a thermal video of a Hawaiian volcano. More cool, but non thermal, video of another volcano in Hawaii. Another awesome geographical happening in you know where. Wow, the place is a hotspot for shield volcanoes, even has its own observatory.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 3, 2010 - 12 comments

Friends of the Pleistocene

Friends of the Pleistocene (and their blog) [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on May 28, 2010 - 10 comments

Liquid Hills

For Sale: Rural Italian countryside, Priced to MOVE! A landslide (mud flow?) splits a hillside apart in the southern Italian town of Maierato.
posted by thisisdrew on May 12, 2010 - 24 comments

Life, rekindled.

How does an ecosystem rebound from catastrophe? Thirty years after the blast, Mount St. Helens is reborn again. Interactive Graphic: Blast Zone. Also see National Geographic's feature article from 1981, chronicling that year's eruption. Previously on MeFi [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 20, 2010 - 18 comments

Pathological Geomorphology

Pathological geomorphology, the blog. Featuring: dunes vs. river, parabolic [not Barchan] dunes, annular drainage, salt! glaciers, thermokarst, and another structurally controlled lake.
posted by ennui.bz on Apr 3, 2010 - 22 comments

Jared Diamond on Haiti

Jared Diamond on the unique cultural and geological challenges Haiti has faced since its colonial days. Diamond shows how these reasons have caused the nation to fare considerably poorer than its neighbor, The Dominican Republic. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 28, 2010 - 35 comments

Twilight of the Giants

Last chance to see: Video of Mexico's Naica Cave of Crystals (Previously, and previously.) [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser on Jan 20, 2010 - 20 comments

Petoskey Stones or "Crown Jewels"

Petoskey Stones are stones of fossilized coral (Hexagonaria percarinata ) that can be found along the shore of Lake Michigan near the town of Petoskey (Population 6,000). Once polished, they can be beautiful, and are often made into jewelry. It is the state stone of Michigan and is celebrated in an annual festival. The origin of the name of the stone, however, is under contention. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Nov 29, 2009 - 33 comments

Expeditions to the Polar Regions

The Polar Discovery team has documented science in action from pole to pole during the historic 2007-2009 International Polar Year, and covered five scientific expeditions. The science projects explored a range of topics from climate change and glaciers, to Earth’s geology, biology, ocean chemistry, circulation, and technology at the icy ends of the earth. Through photo essays and other multimedia, they explain how scientists collected data and what they discovered about the rapidly changing polar regions. From the awesome folks at WHOI.
posted by netbros on Nov 9, 2009 - 4 comments

Philadelphia Underground

Native American Sites in the City of Philadelphia is a superbly illustrated exposition of the historical development of Philadelphia, with a focus on those few surviving Native American sites which lie under the urban fabric. Lots more excellent Public Archaeology is available from the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum. Bonus link: Philly's lost creeks and streams. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Oct 5, 2009 - 12 comments

3D Mapping

Durango Bill's Home Page. With topics that include: 3D end-to-end tour of the Grand Canyon, the origin and formation of the Colorado River, and examples of river systems that cut through mountain ranges instead of taking easier routes around them in Ancestral Rivers of the World. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jul 22, 2009 - 5 comments

KRAKADOOM!

A supervolcano may be brewing beneath Mount St Helens
posted by Artw on Jun 10, 2009 - 86 comments

Geology, Archaeology and History of Seattle

Waterlines is a new online exhibit from the excellent Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Seattle. It tells the story of the land underlying Seattle, one of the United States' most geologically active city sites, and of the human attempts to engineer this landform. Closely related are the archaeology of West Point and Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound (e.g., read the story of North Wind and Storm Wind).
posted by Rumple on May 2, 2009 - 3 comments

Redoubt blows its top

After months of pre-eruptive activity, Alaska's Mount Redoubt has erupted 6 times since Sunday night. Telegraphing its eruption with massive shallow earthquake activity in the range of 26 earthquakes every 10 minutes, the volcano, located around 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, spewed an ash column 10km high, and is expected to continue erupting for weeks or months. The last time this massive volcano erupted in 1989 a commercial airliner was caught in the ash column, causing the engines to seize and the plane to lose two miles of altitude before the engines were restarted. That eruption, which lasted for 5 months, produced this spectacular photo. Follow this amazing event at the Alaska Volcano Observatory. [more inside]
posted by baphomet on Mar 24, 2009 - 35 comments

Video of underwater volcano

Cool video of an undersea volcano erupting off Tonga. Spectacular clouds began spewing out of the sea on Monday about 10km from the southwest coast off the main island of Tongatapu, where up to 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered. More on these volcanism blogs.
posted by CunningLinguist on Mar 19, 2009 - 39 comments

"The flood of fire flowed with the speed of a great river swollen with meltwater on a spring day"

On June 8, 1783, the volcano Laki in south Iceland tore open a 16-mile fissure that erupted over nine cubic miles of lava. Not only would this eruption kill over 50% of Iceland's livestock population, leading to famine which killed approximately 25% of the population; its effects were felt the world over, with flourine, sulfur dioxide, ash, sand and drastically cooled tempertaures from the blotted-out sun reaching as far afield as North America and Africa. The eruption lasted for nearly eight months. And from the day the eruption began, a humble priest named Jón Steingrímsson would make his mark in history. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Mar 11, 2009 - 25 comments

You're soaking in it

Where does your water come from? Global water supply chart. Global freshwater resources from the UN.
posted by baphomet on Mar 10, 2009 - 43 comments

The capitvating and deadly pyroclastic flow

An erupting stratovolcano poses numerous hazards for nearby habitation, but none nearly so terrifying and deadly as the pyroclastic flow. Pyroclastic flows, comprised of tons of superheated sulfuric gases, particulate rock materials and ash, can reach temperatures of 1,830 °F and travel at alarming speeds up to 450mph. Convection of materials within the clouds causes them to become a suspension, fluidizing and thundering noxiously across the surrounding landscape for miles, in some cases even uphill or across open water. Wherever these clouds come in contact with humans the result is catastrophe, as the residents of Herculaneum and St. Pierre, Martinique learned within minutes of the eruptions of Vesuvius in 79AD and Pelee in 1902-- both towns were overwhelmed by pyroclastic clouds, igniting all flammable materials and incinerating and suffocating the inhabitants. None survived Herculaneum, while just two of St. Pierre's 26,000 survived, one of whom was a prisoner condemned to death and awaiting his execution in a dungeon cell. Despite their incredible capacity for violence, pyroclastic flows are also capable of producing mesmerizing, awe-inspiring beauty.
posted by baphomet on Feb 18, 2009 - 18 comments

What happens when the Big One hits?

Is Oakland supposed to...ripple like that? [more inside]
posted by rtha on Nov 12, 2008 - 63 comments

Birth of an Ocean

Birth of an Ocean: The Evolution of Ethiopia's Afar Depression. "Formation of an ocean is a rare event, one few scientists have ever witnessed. Yet this geophysical nativity is unfolding today in one of the hottest and most inhospitable corners of the globe." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 2, 2008 - 26 comments

I Didn't Know That

Science Hack is a unique search engine for science videos focusing on Physics, Chemistry, and Space. For example, things to do with sulfur hexafluoride. Still growing, the editors are presently indexing other scientific fields of study including Geology, Psychology, Robotics and Computers. Ever wonder why things go bang?
posted by netbros on Aug 7, 2008 - 6 comments

Its a digital world after all

OneGeology is an international initiative of the geological surveys of the world which is taking the data from the individual surveys and combining their data into a consistent format to produce the first digital geological map of the world. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Aug 6, 2008 - 6 comments

The young island Surtsey

Surtsey was first observed on November 14, 1963, as a pillar of smoke on the water some ways south of Iceland. The very next day lava and tephra broke the surface of the Atlantic and by May, 1964 the formation had grown to 2.4 km². Over the next three years lava eruptions continued, coating the loose debris in a hard shell and protecting it from erosion. An island born. Naturally, Surtsey has been under close scientific observation since its emergence, and courtesy The Surtsey Research Society you can read published reports on the geology and biological colonization of this new earth.
posted by carsonb on Jul 17, 2008 - 9 comments

They're not available from Edmund Scientific

Later this year, geophysicist Dan Lathrop's DIY Planet Earth will be filled with liquid sodium, weigh in at 26 tons, and will be spun-up to 80mph at its equator in an effort to discover how the earth's magnetic field is generated. Currently undergoing tests, even those can be pretty impressive.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Jun 4, 2008 - 34 comments

Global Cooling

In 1987, the Caltech biomagnetist and paleomagnetist Joe Kirschvink gave undergraduate Dawn Sumner a rock sample [from South Australia] to study for her senior thesis. The apparent glacial origin of this rock lead directly to the theory that periodically the Earth has been thoroughly glaciated from the poles to the Equator: the so-called Snowball Earth events. A website dedicated to this theory includes detailed teaching slides, a FAQ, and many other resources on this interesting period in Earth's history.
posted by Rumple on Apr 21, 2008 - 7 comments

Suspending Life

Suspending Life. "If almost every species on Earth was killed some 250 million years ago, how did our ancient ancestors survive and evolve into us?"
posted by homunculus on Apr 18, 2008 - 31 comments

The Door to Hell

The Burning Crater of Darvaza. [Via.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 26, 2008 - 31 comments

New peer-reviewed Creationist Research Journal

Answers Research Journal is a new "professional peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework." Current Volume. Call for Papers.
posted by Rumple on Feb 2, 2008 - 32 comments

Slip Sliding Away

The Mystery of the Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa. One of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park is the sliding rocks at Racetrack Playa (a playa is a dry lake bed). These rocks can be found on the floor of the playa with long trails behind them. Somehow these rocks slide across the playa, cutting a furrow in the sediment as they move. Some of these rocks weigh several hundred pounds. That makes the question: "How do they move?" a very challenging one. [Via]. For more in-depth information, including maps and additional pictures, see Paula Messina's website about the Sliding Rocks.
posted by amyms on Dec 2, 2007 - 37 comments

William Hamilton and the Flaming Fields of Vesuvius

British diplomat William Hamilton (whose 2nd wife Emma is perhaps best known for having a scandalous public affair with Horatio Nelson) loved volcanoes. His 1776 book Campi Flegrei: Observations on the volcanoes of the two Sicilies* used stunning hand-coloured illustrations by Peter Fabris to demonstrate to the scientific world that volcanic processes can be beautifully creative as well as horribly destructive. [via this post at the nonist, which, in case you hadn't noticed, has been really great lately] [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Nov 4, 2007 - 14 comments

Look up...and watch down

The GTC (Great Telescope Canaries) sees first light today. Apart from the sheer size (10.4 m) of its mirror and from the science it will deliver, the GTC is remarkable by its location at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory 2426 m high at the rim of the Caldera de Taburiente in the island of La Palma. La Palma is also, for a number of reasons, also interesting for geologists. In that regard, it made headlines a couple of years back due to a paper about the risk of a collapse of the island which could cause a devastating tsunami. Oh, and it's also a really nice place for a holiday.
posted by Skeptic on Jul 13, 2007 - 15 comments

That's one humungous fungus.

Prototaxites, what is it? Is it wood? Is it algae? Why, it's a humungous fungus. Scientists were long baffled by the mystery organism, which was recently verified to be a 350 million year old fungus that stood more than twenty feet tall. It doesn't look like much in the hands of Geologist Kevin Boyce, but the far sexier artist's rendering gives you a better idea of what an odd geological bird Prototaxites was.
posted by The Straightener on Apr 26, 2007 - 22 comments

The ozone layer was just jealous.

There are holes in the earth's crust! It turns out that the ozone layer was just keeping up with the Jones's; in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, there is a patch of several thousand square kilometers where the mantle is exposed. 'The team of scientists from Cardiff University stress there is no need for the public to panic about the giant hole even though they describe it as "a gaping open wound in the Earth's skin".' The scientific team departs today to investigate the hole. They will be detailing their progress on a blog. And you can ask them questions about their project, which they may answer online.
posted by louigi on Mar 5, 2007 - 67 comments

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