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Geology and Earth Science News



The World*s Oceans Are Being Starved of Oxygen
December 15 | Smithsonian.comCuriosity Rover Reveals Oxygen Mystery in Martian Atmosphere
December 15 | EOS Earth & Space Science News

An air-sampling study has captured long-term trends in the concentrations of five key atmospheric gases for the first time. Image by NASA / JPL / Caltech / MSSS.The Surprising Ads Once Used to Sell Tours to Deadly Volcano
December 15 | CNNPrint and Assemble: Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator from NASA
December 14 | NASA

Have you ever wondered when the next full moon will be? How about the first quarter moon? Now you can have all the dates and times for all the moon phases for the year at your fingertips by building your own moon phases calendar and calculator!Some CVD Diamonds Temporarily Display a Bluish or Grayish Coloration After Exposure to UV Radiation
December 14 | JCK OnlineU.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves Climbing to Record Levels
December 14 | Energy Information Administration

In 2008, the downward trend for crude oil reversed when innovations in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing were applied to tight oil-bearing formations, such as the Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin. The upward trends continued until 2015, when the industry experienced a significant price drop for both oil and gas, and natural gas proved reserves were revised downward because of economics. From 2016 to year-end 2018, prices and reserves trended upwards, annually.USGS Provides Update for the National Seismic Hazard Model
December 13 | United States Geological Survey

Map showing the chance of damaging earthquake shaking in 100 years from the 2018 National Seismic Hazard Model. The shaking is equivalent to Modified Mercalli Intensity VI and is based on the average 1-second horizontal spectral response acceleration. Ground motions are computed for topographic-based VS30 values (Wald and Allen, 2007). Population density (from LandScan with 1 km x 1 km resolution Dobson et al., 2000) is superimposed on the map.Record Levels of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas Exports in October and November
December 13 | Energy Information Administration

The Arctic May Have Crossed a Key Threshold, Emitting Billions of Tons of Carbon into the Air
December 13 | The Washington PostTexas On Track to Complete Fewer Oil and Gas Wells in 2019
December 13 | ReutersU.S. Coal Production Employment Has Fallen 42% Since 2011
December 13 | Energy Information Administration

Coal mining employment has declined in the past decade as coal demand has decreased. Most U.S. coal is consumed in the electric power sector and has faced increased competition from electricity generation from natural gas and renewable technologies. Coal Through a Microscope
December 13 |

A highly magnified view of a thin section of coal through a microscope.Saudi Aramco Hits $2 Trillion Market Cap on Second Day of Trading
December 13 | CNBCChevron Is Writing Down as Much as $11B in Assets - and It Could Cost the Entire Market
December 13 | CNBCIndia*s Projected Energy Consumption
December 13 | Energy Information Administration

India has the fastest growing rate of energy consumption globally through 2050. By 2050, EIA projects in the IEO2019 Reference case that India will consume more energy than the United States by the mid-2040s, and its consumption will remain second only to China through 2050. Why New Zealand*s Deadly Volcano Took People by Surprise
December 12 | NBC NewsThe Return to Venus and What It Means for Earth
December 12 | NASA

Venus hides a wealth of information that could help us better understand Earth and exoplanets. NASA*s JPL is designing mission concepts to survive the planet*s extreme temperatures and atmospheric pressure. This image is a composite of data from NASA*s Magellan spacecraft and Pioneer Venus Orbiter. Image Credit: NASA / JPL - Caltech.Ship-Based Measurements Overestimate Southern Ocean Carbon Sink
December 12 | EOS Earth & Space Science News
New research suggests that combining ship- and float-based observations provides a more accurate measure of how much carbon the Southern Ocean absorbs.Jupiter*s Great Red Spot May Not Be Dying Out Just Yet
December 12 | Smithsonian.com

Image by NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstadt / Justin Cowart.Sediment Sloshes in Solway Firth
December 12 | NASA Earth Observatory

The Landsat 8 satellite captured the data for this image of Solway Firth, a funnel-shaped bay on the coast of Great Britain, on the boundary between Scotland and England. On that day, the waters along the coast were rich with sediment and dissolved organic matter (plant debris, soils, plankton) that was likely stirred up by the tides. The water changes color abruptly offshore where the shallower bay meets deeper waters of the Irish Sea.We Finally Know Where That Giant Mass of Pumice Drifting Towards Australia Came From
December 12 | ScienceAlertWhat Is Pumice?
December 12 |

Pumice is a light-colored, extremely porous igneous rock that forms during explosive volcanic eruptions. It is used as crushed stone in lightweight concrete, as landscaping aggregate, and as an abrasive in a variety of industrial and consumer products. Many specimens have a high enough porosity that they can float on water until they slowly become waterlogged.Greenland*s Rapid Melt Will Mean More Flooding
December 11 | NASA

The Greenland Ice Sheet, seen here in October, 2018, is melting at a rapidly accelerating rate because of Earth*s warming climate. As the ice melts into the ocean, it raises the sea level around the world, causing flooding and other damage to coastal communities. Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechThe Expansion of Shanghai
December 11 | NASA Earth Observatory

The metropolitan area of Shanghai, China has ranked high on lists of economic and population growth in recent decades. So it is hardly surprising that the city of 24 million people stands out in another way: the amount of new land that people have created, or *reclaimed.* Images by NASA Earth Observatory.Lice-Filled Dinosaur Feathers Found Trapped in 100-Million-Year-Old Amber
December 11 | Smithsonian.comThe Map That Remade an Empire
December 11 | MotherJonesNew Biomass Map to Take Stock of the World*s Carbon
December 11 | European Space Agency

Map by the European Space Agency.Resources for Whakaari / White Island Eruption Information
December 10 | Magma Cum LaudeAssessing Emissions from Active and Abandoned Coal Mines
December 10 | United States Geological Survey

Gas emission zone liberates and accumulates significant amounts of coal mine methane as a by-product of active mining. In most active mines, coal mine methane is controlled by wellbores, called gob gas ventholes. Despite the presence of these wellbores, it is not possible to capture all of the methane generated within the gas emission zone. As a consequence, a large amount of gas migrates into the mine and is exhausted to the atmosphere with ventilation air. In the Field with Kate Scharer
December 10 | United States Geological Survey

Kate Scharer takes field notes. Photo by Hannah Hamilton, USGS.How the New York City Subway Is Preparing for Climate Change
December 10 | Smithsonian.comNew Zealand Volcano: White Island*s Eruption in Pictures
December 10 | BBCWhy White Island*s Volcano Erupted and Why There Was No Warning (New Zealand)
December 10 | The Conversation
Five Dead, Several Missing and *No Signs of Life* After Volcanic Eruption in New Zealand
December 9 | The Washington PostSusquehanna Sediment Hits Chesapeake Bay
December 9 | NASA Earth Observatory

On Halloween 2019, a series of strong thunderstorms unleashed downpours and flooding in central Pennsylvania. In the days following, the rainwater runoff picked up sediment from farmland in the region and carried it into the Susquehanna River, past the Conowingo Dam, and into the Upper Chesapeake Bay.

A follow-up story on the above image from NASA Earth Observatory.


Cities Around the Globe Are Eagerly Importing a Dutch Speciality - Flood Prevention
December 9 | Smithsonian.comNOAA Data Snapshots: Reusable Climate Maps
December 9 | NOAA

Explore a range of easy-to-understand climate maps in a single interface. Featuring the work of NOAA scientists, each *snapshot* is a public-friendly version of an existing data product.New Zealand Cliff Collapse
December 9 | Stuff.co.nz
Fires, Floods and Free Parking: California*s Unending Fight Against Climate Change
December 9 | The Washington PostA Tiny Leak Led to a Massive, Unexpected Collapse at Kilauea Volcano
December 8 | LiveScience

After May 1, 2018, the summit lava lake dropped significantly over several days. On the evening of May 6, 2018 (shown here), it was roughly 220 m (720 ft) below the crater rim. This wide angle camera view captures the entire north portion of the Overlook vent. Image and caption by USGS. Filling the Gaps in Ocean Maps
December 8 | EOS Earth & Space Science News

Data from two satellites can be merged to remove missing data in images caused by clouds, sun glint and other disturbances. Image by NOAA/Star Ocean Color Team.What Caused the Mysterious Seismic Signal in Oklahoma?
December 8 | Los Alamos National Lab on YouTube
Can a Big Oil Company Go Carbon-Free?
December 8 | Scientific AmericanUK*s Largest Gold Nugget Discovered in a Scottish River
December 7 | BBCNatural Gas Venting and Flaring Increased in North Dakota and Texas in 2018
December 7 | Energy Information Administration

Image by the Energy Information Administration.German Ship Sunk During WWI Found Off Falkland Islands
December 7 | Smithsonian.com
The Falkland Islands are located off the southern coast of Argentina and are shown on this map.A Spacecraft Will Follow NASA*s Asteroid-Smashing Mission to Measure the Effects of the Impact
December 7 | Smithsonian.com
How Does the Solar Wind Affect Earth?
December 7 | EarthSky
Climate Trends in the United States
December 7 | Climate.gov

Change in the average minimum ("overnight low") temperature for September-November between 1895-2016.A Comet From Another Star Hints That Our Solar System Isn*t One-Of-A-Kind
December 6 | National Public Radio
Peatlands Are Drying Out Across Europe
December 6 | EOS Earth & Space Science NewsA Phytoplankton Bloom in the Strait of Hormuz
December 6 | NASA Earth Observatory

A phytoplankton bloom appeared in one of the world*s busiest oil waterways.What Is A Phytoplankton Bloom?
December 6 |

Phytoplankton are microscopic plant-like organisms that grow, multiply, and drift in the sunlit surface waters of most bodies of water on Earth. When present in high concentrations in the water, the chlorophyll in their bodies gives the water a green color. Other phytoplankton secrete skeletal material composed of calcium carbonate. In high concentrations these can impart a light turquoise color to the water.The Only Human Known to to Have Been Injured by Direct Impact of a Meteorite
December 6 | Smithsonian.comOil and Gas Report for Sudan and South Sudan
December 6 | Energy Information Administration
Where Is Sudan and South Sudan?
December 6 |
An Energy Paradigm Shift Will Pressure Prices in 2020, Next Decade
December 5 | Bloomberg Professional ServicesData with Flippers? Studying the Ocean from a Seal*s Point of View
December 5 | NASAWhy Rising Sea Levels Will be Deadly Across Europe
December 5 | University of Cambridge
It was the worst natural disaster experienced by Britain in the 20th century. On 31 January 1953, the east coast was battered by high tides, storm surge, wind and large waves, leading to devastating flooding. In Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Lincolnshire, 307 people were killed. Nineteen were killed in Scotland, while across the North Sea in The Netherlands, 1,800 people lost their lives.Drone Images Show Greenland Ice Sheet Becoming More Unstable as It Fractures
December 5 | University of CambridgeHow Do You Keep a Subway From Flooding in the Age of Rising Seas?
December 4 | Atlas ObscuraU.S. Coal Plant Retirements Linked to Plants with Higher Operating Costs
December 4 | Energy Information Administration

Image by the Energy Information Administration.The Permian Basin Playbook: Optimizing Design Experimentation
December 4 | DeloitteOil Sands Crude Could Be Made Even Heavier to Cut Shipping Costs
December 4 | BNN BloombergVideo: How Does a Fire Tornado Form?
December 4 | Scientific AmericanWorking Beneath Public Lands: A GeoCorps Cave Management Story
December 4 | Speaking of Geoscience Blog

Squeezing out of a tight karst feature in the Pryor Mountains. Photo by Penelope Vorster, US Forest Service, Custer Gallatin National Forest.A High-Tech Shallow Water Buoy that Can Detect Small Movements in Earth*s Seafloor
December 3 | University of South Florida

University of South Florida geoscientists have successfully developed and tested a new high-tech shallow water buoy that can detect the small movements and changes in the Earth*s seafloor that are often a precursor to deadly natural hazards, like earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.What If an Earthquake Early Warning System Was Operating During the M6.9 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake?
December 3 | United States Geological Survey

Timeline for Simulated Earthquake Early Warning for M6.9 Loma Prieta showing the estimated arrival times for felt shaking at various locations (right side) and for various alerts (left side). Image by the United States Geological Survey.California Historic Earthquake Map Collection
December 3 |

Riverside County Earthquake, 1948: The earthquake probably was caused by displacement on the Mission Creek fault, one of the major branches of the San Andreas fault system in southern California. The highest intensities in the area were reported from the upper Coachella Valley from Thousand Palms to White Water, which also was the most densely populated area near the epicenter. A Review of the Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2019
December 3 | Scientific AmericanExploring Five of the Most Iconic Wreckage Sites in Bermuda
December 2 | Smithsonian.comMaking Sense of Amazon Deforestation Patterns
December 3 | NASA Earth Observatory

Decades of satellite data make it possible to map how deforestation has evolved over time. Image by NASA Earth Observatory.Archaeologists Use Georadar Tech to Find Buried Viking Ship in Norway
December 2 | Smithsonian.comDaily Cycles of Harmful Algal Blooms
December 2 | National Science Foundation

A freshwater harmful algal bloom turned Lake Erie a bright blue-green. Image by NASA.West Pokot: a Landslide Disaster in Kenya
December 2 | The Landslide BlogAt Least 56 Dead After Kenya Floods and Landslide (Silent Video)
December 2 | Voice Of America
Deadly Flash Floods and Landslides in Kenya
December 2 | BBCUnderwater Telecom Cables Make a Superb Seismic Network
December 1 | UC BerkeleyScientists Spot an Undersea Fault Using Fiber-Optic Cables
December 1 | WiredWith Waters Rising And Its Population Falling, What Is Venice*s Future?
December 1 | National Public RadioGermany Is Closing All Its Nuclear Power Plants. Now It Needs a Place to Bury the Waste
December 1 | CNN12 Historic Places at Risk From Rising Waters
November 30 | Atlas Obscura M 4.6 Earthquake On the Oregon Coast
November 30 | United States Geological Survey

Map by the United States Geological Survey.Rio Tinto Buys a 60% Stake in a Proposed Diamond Mine in Saskatchewan
November 30 | The Star PhoenixHow Extreme Events Impact Earth*s Surface
November 30 | European Geosciences UnionSeismic Location and Tracking of Snow Avalanches and Slush Flows on Mt. Fuji, Japan
November 30 | Earth Surface DynamicsScientists Probe the Limits of Ice
November 29 | National Science Foundation

The coexistence of ice and liquid water breaks down at the nanoscale. A Wikimedia Commons image.The Race to Stay Ahead of Wildfires
November 29 | UC San Diego

UC San Diego*s wildfire map that integrates information that includes weather, landscape conditions and ongoing fire spread to generate predictive maps of a fire*s potential path for up to six hours. Image by Ilkay Altintas, San Diego Supercomputer Center/UC San Diego.How to Explain California*s Recent Earthquake Hiatus?
November 29 | Seismological Society of America
There have been no major ground rupturing earthquakes along California*s three highest slip rate faults - the San Andreas, the San Jacinto and the Hayward - in the past 100 years.Extending Rupture History in Grand Tetons National Park
November 29 | Seismological Society of AmericaFlesh-Ripping Dinosaurs Replaced Their Teeth Multiple Times a Year
November 29 | Smithsonian.com*Bomb Cyclone* Whips Through The West As Winter Storms Snarl Thanksgiving Travel
November 28 | National Public RadioWhat Is A *Bomb Cyclone*?
November 28 | Wikipedia

A powerful typhoon-force extratropical cyclone east of the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia late on October 24 2017. It was the strongest extratropical cyclone of the Northern Hemisphere in 2017, which central pressure reached 934 hPa earlier. The energy from the remnants of Typhoon Lan triggered explosive cyglogenesis (aka *bomb cyclone*). Public domain image from the Japan Meteorological Agency.Why Are Big Storms Bringing So Much More Rain
November 28 | National Science Foundation

Photograph by the South Carolina National Guard.How Urban Development Can Reduce Flash Flooding in the Arid West
November 28 | PennStateHow Scientists Resolved the Mystery of the Devil*s Corkscrews
November 28 | Smithsonian.comFive Things You Probably Didn*t Know GPS Could Do
November 28 | Smithsonian.com

Logo for the Navstar GPS system, operated by the United States Air Force. Global Storms on Mars Launch Dust Towers Into the Sky
November 27 | NASA

Dust storms are common on Mars. But every decade or so, something unpredictable happens: A series of runaway storms breaks out, covering the entire planet in a dusty haze. Images by NASA.The Tallest Volcano on Mars - and the Deepest Point in an Asteroid Impact Basin
November 27 |

Topographic Map of Mars: The image above is a colorized topographic map of Mars. This Mercator projection map shows low elevations as a deep blue color and high elevations as a white color (see elevation scale below). Map by NASA.Piedmont Region Drinking Wells Exceed North Carolina*s Hexavalent Chromium Standards
November 27 | National Science Foundation

Areas of the state with the largest number of groundwater users, such as Wake and Mecklenburg Counties, coincide with some of the highest probabilities for finding hexavalent chromium above state health advisory levels (shown in red). Credit: Rachel Coyte, Duke University. Environmental Change in Africa: Will It Lead to a Drying Lake Victoria?
November 27 | National Science Foundation

Lake Victoria: Bordered by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.Will Earth*s Grandest Canyon Keep Getting Grander? (great photos)
November 27 | EOS Earth & Space Science NewsUndersea Volcanic Eruption in the Tonga Chain Produces a New Island
November 27 | NASA Earth Observatory

Images by NASA Earth Observatory.Albania Hit by a Shallow 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake
November 26 | BBCM6.4 Earthquake - Mamurras, Albania
November 26 | United States Geological Survey
Where Is Albania?
November 26 |
Explore the World*s Weather in Real-Time
November 26 | NOAA

NOAA has several web maps that you can use to zoom in on real-time weather patterns developing around the world.Measuring Winds to Help Predict the Weather
November 26 | NOAA

Image by NOAA / NWS.American Samoa Energy Facts
November 26 | Energy Information AdministrationThe Global Natural Gas Glut Makes U.S. Exporters Face Their Worst-Case Scenario
November 26 | Yahoo! FinanceThe Climate Crisis Has Sparked a Siberian Mammoth Tusk Gold Rush
November 26 | Wired.comA Day in the Life of a Participant in the GeoCorps America Program
November 25 | GeoCorps America Program

2019 GeoCorps participant Jackie Rambo produced and edited the video *A Day in the Life of a BLM Intern GeoCorps America Program* to describe her project as a Geology Assistant with the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office. She created the video as her GeoCorps final report.As Oil Prices Drop And Money Dries Up, Is The U.S. Shale Boom Going Bust?
November 25 | National Public RadioThe U.S. Government Tries to Spur Gulf of Mexico Drilling With a Royalty Exemption
November 25 | Associated PressFour LNG Export Permits Approved in Texas
November 25 | Houston ChronicleSatellite Studying Volcanoes Finds Giant Oilfield Methane Plume
November 25 | BloombergNOAA Teacher at Sea Application Deadline is November 30
November 24 | NOAACindy Byers, Teacher at Sea: Southeast Alaska Hydrographic Survey
November 24 | NOAAToxic Algal Blooms Are Worsening with Climate Change
November 24 | EOS Earth & Space Science NewsFirst Fossil Evidence of Feathered Polar Dinosaurs Found in Australia
November 24 | Smithsonian.comThe World*s Highest Permanent Settlement of 50,000 People Is a Gold Mine
November 23 | NASA Earth Observatory

High in the Andes Mountains of Peru is the highest permanent settlement in the world. It does not have running water, sewage or trash disposal - but it has gold. Fifty-thousand people live there.The Many Uses of Gold
November 23 |

Gold in Jewelry: The most important use of gold in the United States (exclusive of bullion) is the manufacturing of jewelry.Long-Term Drought Parches Chile
November 23 | NASA Earth Observatory
Archaeologists Identify 143 New Nazca Lines
November 23 | Smithsonian.comThe Hard Part of Life: The Secrets of Biomineralization
November 22 | European Geosciences UnionAs Seas Rise, King Tides Increasingly Inundate the Atlantic Coast
November 22 | Scientific AmericanUnited States Crude Oil Production Projections by Region
November 22 | Energy Information Administration
Is This Rock Fragment the Oldest Object in the World?
November 22 | Smithsonian.comDrones Capture Iceland*s Shrinking Glaciers
November 21 | EOS Earth & Space Science NewsPermafrost Becoming a Carbon Source Instead of a Carbon Sink
November 21 | NASA
Making a Connection in the Kingdom of Tonga
November 21 | NASA Earth Observatory

Archaeologists Race to Preserve Artifacts as the Ice Melts in Mongolia
November 21 | Smithsonian.comNearly Half of U.S. Geothermal Power Capacity Came Online in the 1980s
November 21 | Energy Information Administration
NASA Soil Data Joins the Air Force
November 20 | NASA

Military weather forecasters. Photo by the United States Air Force.Incredible Solar Power Generation Growth in Brazil
November 20 | Energy Information Administration

Brazil*s growth in distributed generation from renewable resources - especially solar - has increased since it implemented net metering policies in 2012. As of mid-November 2019, owners have installed more than 135,000 renewable distributed generation systems in Brazil, totaling about 1.72 gigawatts of capacity.A Challenging Environment for New LNG Projects
November 20 | PlattsClimate Change Is Hitting the Insurance Industry Hard
November 20 | FortuneDeforestation in Brazil*s Amazon Hits *Highest Level in a Decade*
November 20 | Mining.comLooking Back on Attacks that Killed 39 Gold Mine Employees in Burkina Faso
November 20 | Mining.comWhere is Burkina Faso?
November 20 |

Image by How Venice*s Plan to Protect Itself from Flooding Became a Disaster in Itself
November 20 | The Washington Post
Success Rates of Proposals Submitted to NSF*s Geosciences Directorate
November 20 | American Geosciences Institute

The funding rate of proposals submitted to the NSF Geosciences Directorate fluctuated between 25% and 37% between fiscal years 2010 and 2019.Podcast: Plate Tectonics, the Theory That Changed Earth Science
November 20 | EOS Earth & Space Science News
Third Pod from the Sun talks with pioneering geophysicist Xavier Le Pichon about what it was like to be a young scientist challenging deeply held theories.The First Global Geologic Map of Titan, a Moon of Saturn
November 19 | NASA

The first map showing the global geology of Saturn*s largest moon, Titan, has been completed and fully reveals a dynamic world of dunes, lakes, plains, craters and other terrains.Aquatic Rover Goes for a Drive Under the Ice
November 19 | NASA

A little robotic explorer will be rolling into Antarctica this month to perform a gymnastic feat - driving upside down under sea ice.NASA*s Curiosity Rover Finds Strange Fluctuating Oxygen Levels on Mars
November 19 | Smithsonian.comOil Firms Braces for a Credit Crunch as Lender Patience Wears Thin
November 19 | Yahoo! FinanceSUVs Are Driving the World*s Oil Demand
November 19 | Associated PressKyanite: A Mineral Used to Make Porcelain, Abrasives and Occasionally a Gem
November 19 |

Blue Kyanite Crystals: A very common crystal habit of kyanite is blue bladed crystals that have a Mohs hardness of 4.5 to 5 along the length of the crystals and 6.5 to 7 across the width of the crystals. Image by Aelwyn, Creative Commons license.Where Does the Carbon Go When Permafrost Coasts Erode?
November 19 | EOS Earth & Space Science News