Fluoridated Water with Inorganic Arsenic Pose US Health Risks        
Clean drinking water is fundamental for good health. But the truth is, home tap water is far from healthy. It is proven that tap waters contain a vast array of disinfection byproducts, chemicals, heavy metals and even pharmaceutical drugs. Among the most dangerous contaminants are fluoride and arsenic. The USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program finds […]

          Interview of Eugene L. Boudette by Brian Shoemaker        
Interview of Eugene L. Boudette by Brian Shoemaker Boudette, Eugene L. Dr. Boudette (Gene) used the G.I. Bill to go to college after WW II. He obtained a B.S. in Geology in1951 from the University of New Hampshire and went to work for the New England Division of the Army Corps of Engineers. The job took him to the Northern Greenland icecap where he completed test drilling for what later became Camp Century. His drills did not work properly and he became the go-between with the manufacturer and the Army to develop equipment that would work in polar conditions in what he calls an “imagination problem.” Later he was involved with work at Camp Tuto in Greenland. In 1952 he applied to go to work for the U.S. Geological Survey – Geologic Division. As he related it, this division was absorbed with determining “how Antarctica was put together” geologically. “It was time to link Antarctica up with the rest of the world.” There were theories, but they needed to be verified. So Gene went to Antarctica in 1959 to take part in a West Antarctic traverse as the geologist. This was the first traverse of 1959-60. It traversed from Byrd Station to the Weddell Sea to the Clarke Mountains and back to Byrd. Gene comments about a reconnaissance flights by VX-6 along the route and the mutual rapport and respect he had with the pilots – and comments that this was key to the success of the traverse. During the traverse, when they passed the Sentinel Mountains Gene discovered they were basically Kenyite. On leg two in the Clark Mountains he discovered rocks older than Kenyite. He also discovered a new province of older rocks that were similar to the Mountains of New Hampshire. He reported this discovery in his findings. Plans were laid for the following season in Antarctica at the USGS in Washington. This was a large-scale program of geological research for Antarctica under his leadership. This led to fielding the Victoria Land traverse of 1960-61. There were problems that year with logistics, communications (due to sun-spots) and weather. He comments that he was stopped in Christchurch by the Navy medical establishment when they detected a problem with his blood sugar. This ended his career in the field in Antarctica although there was no manifestation of disability for years. His work in the field passed to Art Ford and John Aaron. After retiring from the USGS he attended Dartmouth University earning a Doctorate of Geology. He took a position as a Professor of Geology at the University of New Hampshire and concurrently was appointed as the State Geologist of New Hampshire.
          What's killing all the starfish on the West Coast? and other wildlife health news stories        

White-nose syndrome confirmed in bats in Arkansas

White-nose syndrome, a fatal disease to several bat species, has been confirmed in Arkansas, the state Game and Fish Commission said Wednesday. The disease was documented in two northern long-eared bats found at a cave on a natural area managed by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission in Marion County, according to a news release.

... Five bats were found to have the disease during a survey of the Marion County cave on Jan. 11. The fungus was confirmed by tests on two of the bats by the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center, according to an AGFC news release. The bats had damage to wing, ear and tail membranes consistent with white-nose syndrome.

Arkansas News Bureau
29 Jan 2014
Arkansas, USA


More White-Nose Syndrome News
>>> Bat fungus continues to concern biologists
>>> Winter cave surveys track bat numbers, health [Kentucky, USA]
>>> White Nose Syndrome May Be Unstoppable: Deadly Bat Disease Can Thrive in Caves Without Bats

What's killing all the starfish on the West Coast?

Starfish have been mysteriously dying by the millions in recent months along the West Coast, worrying biologists who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.

Scientists first started noticing the mass deaths in June 2013. Different types of starfish, also known as sea stars, were affected, from wild ones along the coast to those in captivity, according to Jonathan Sleeman, director of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center.

... The most commonly observed symptoms are white lesions on the arms of the sea star. The lesions spread rapidly, resulting in the loss of the arm. Within days, the infection consumes the creature's entire body, and it dies.

Entire populations have been wiped out in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state, in the Salish Sea off Canada's British Columbia as well as along the coast of California. The mortality rate is estimated at 95 percent.

... “What we currently think is likely happening is that there is a pathogen, like a parasite or a virus or a bacteria, that is infecting the sea stars and that compromises in some way their immune system,” Pete Raimondi, chair of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told AFP.

San Jose Mercury News
2014 Feb 02
Jean-Louis Santini
Washington, and California, USA, and British Columbia, Cananda 


Assorted South West parasites favour cleaner habitat

BIOLOGISTS investigating parasites on freshwater fish in the South West believe they have discovered at least 42 native parasite species that were previously undescribed...Murdoch University Associate Professor Alan Lymbery, who presented the research at the WA Freshwater Fish Symposium, says two known introduced parasite species were found.

In addition to the introduced species, 42 morphologically different native parasites appeared to be different species.... Dr Lymbery says 30–40 per cent of the parasites were only found in a single species of fish, which had serious implications for the parasite’s conservation risk if the fish was endangered.

“[Parasites] are probably at more risk than the fish host species because although some of the parasites we found have a direct life cycle, which means that the fish is their only host, a large number of them also had an indirect life cycle, which means they rely on other hosts as well,” he says.

... Dr Lymbery says the finding most fish biologists found interesting was that parasitism generally increased with improving water quality. He says parasites, particularly those with complex life cycles, are quite sensitive indicators of environmental quality....“Contrary to what most people think, which is that the worse the conditions are, the more disease or parasitism you have, you actually don’t find that,” Dr Lymbery says.

“What we found was that the better the quality of the habitat, the more fish were parasitised and the greater number of species of parasites you found.”

ScienceNetwork Western Australia
2014 Jan 13
M Wheeler


Some Good News Amid Bad News, for Hawai`i’s Endangered Honeycreepers

Warming temperatures due to climate change are exposing endangered Hawaiian forest birds to greater risk of avian malaria. But new research led by the U.S. Geological Survey holds out some hope that the birds may be able to adapt.

For decades, scientists have documented declines and extinctions among species of Hawaiian honeycreepers due to the spread of avian malaria and other diseases. At one time, the Hawaiian Islands had no mosquitoes—and no mosquito-borne diseases. But, by the late 1800s, mosquitoes were firmly established in the islands. Another invasive species—feral pigs—helped the mosquito population boom by creating larval habitat as they rooted through forests. The honeycreepers had no natural defense against a disease they had never before experienced.

"Honeycreepers are exquisitely sensitive to avian malaria," said Dr. Carter Atkinson, a USGS microbiologist based at the USGS Pacific Islands Ecosystems Research Center in Hawai’i. Atkinson is the lead author of two new research papers examining how climate change is increasing the honeycreepers’ risk of infection.

USGS Newsroom
31 Jan 2014


Cited Journal Article
Carter T. Atkinson et al. (2014). Changing Climate and the Altitudinal Range of Avian Malaria in the Hawaiian Islands - an Ongoing Conservation Crisis on the Island of Kaua'i. Global Change Biology; [Epub ahead of print]. doi:10.1111/gcb.12535

Carter T. Atkinson et al. (2014). Experimental Evidence for Evolved Tolerance to Avian Malaria in a Wild Population of Low Elevation Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (Hemignathus virens). EcoHealth. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1007/s10393-013-0899-2

One Health News Corner
It Ain't All Bad News

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Asterios wrote:
problem is, those numbers are what is put in the budget, not what is added later to foreign aid. which has a habit of happening all to often, or are you saying the government can predict natural disasters in foreign countries? before they happen even? or certain Serbian immigrant situations ?

There are projections and estimates... A number of my professional acquaintances have worked in government agencies like the USGS and the like, where their job was to use historical data combined with "up to the minute" data (think, volcanic activity, fault line readings, that sort of thing).

This is why, on a state level, in a state like Colorado, you may hear a negative news report in January stating that the upcoming blizzard will be especially bad, because the blizzard in November used too much of the state's "snow money."

As for reacting to foreign natural disasters, I know from those same people that the USGS works with most other nation's similar bureau's to project disasters, and when things like the Nepal quakes, or flooding/tidal waves around Bali happen, we have some sort of fund that is annually budgeted for, which is in part why we do not always send aid to every single disaster area.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Gordon Shumway wrote:
Asterios wrote:
 Gordon Shumway wrote:
@Asterios, you are welcome. You are correct, people who are not looking for jobs are not considered unemployed, they are considered to have left the workforce. Those numbers are recorded as well. The rest of your post there really just speaks to either your complete lack of knowledge to how scientific polls and surveys are run or your willful disregard. But, hey, I'm sure you know more than people professionally trained. Maybe you should try getting a job with them and teach them a few things.

ok answer this someone calls you with a survey, do you take time out to answer it? especially if they call around dinner time like most survey takers do? if so you are doing a lot more then I would.

That really depends on the survey. I haven't been called by BLS (they must be made up and aren't really contacting people based on my personal experience ), but if I were, I would take the time as it is important information for a govt. to know. I'm taking the time to discuss something on a Dakka forum with someone who doesn't seem to want to learn anything though, so I might be a bad example.

Well, I know back during the 08 economic thing, my dad lost his job, and was on unemployment... Part of the unemployment agreement was, aside from actively looking for work, was also to answer those phone surveys if called.
          Scientists turn to big data in hunt for minerals, oil and gas        

OSLO: Scientists searching for everything from oil and gas to copper and gold are adopting techniques used by companies such as Netflix or Amazon to sift through vast amounts of data, a study showed on Tuesday.

The method has already helped to discover 10 carbon-bearing minerals and could be widely applied to exploration, they wrote in the journal American Mineralogist. "Big data points to new minerals, new deposits," they wrote of the findings.

The technique goes beyond traditional geology by amassing data about how and where minerals have formed, for instance by the cooling of lava after volcanic eruptions. The data can then be used to help find other deposits.

"Minerals occur on Earth in clusters," said Robert Hazen, executive director of the Deep Carbon Observatory at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington and an author of the study.

"When you see minerals together it's very like the way that humans interact in social networks such as Facebook," he said.

Hazen said the technique was also like Amazon, which recommends books based on a client's previous orders, or by media streaming company Netflix, which proposes movies based on a customer's past viewing habits.

"They are using vast amounts of data and make correlations that you could never make," he told Reuters.

Lead author Shaunna Morrison, also at the Deep Carbon Observatory and the Carnegie Institution, said luck often played a big role for geologists searching for new deposits.

"We are looking at it in a much more systematic way," she said of the project.

Among the 10 rare carbon-bearing minerals discovered by the project were abellaite and parisaite-(La). The minerals, whose existence was predicted before they were found, have no known economic applications.

Gilpin Robinson, of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) who was not involved in the study, said the USGS had started to collaborate with the big data project.

"The use of large data sets and analytical tools is very important in our studies of mineral and energy resources," he wrote in an email.

The DCO project will also try to collect data to examine the geological history of the Moon and Mars.

          USGS: Possibility of supply disruption more critical than ever        
USGS: Possibility of supply disruption more critical than ever

In another article warning of foreign dependency, the U.S. Geological Survey uses smartphones as a cautionary example….

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          Liberals Mislead On GOP Cuts To USGS In Wake Of Earthquake, Still Reason For Concern        

This is a guest post by Jamie L. Vernon, Ph.D., a research scientist, policy analyst and science communications strategist, who encourages the scientific community to get engaged in the policy-making process My tweet deck nearly exploded yesterday during and following the earthquake. The tweets were so fast and furious that I couldn’t read my main […]

The post Liberals Mislead On GOP Cuts To USGS In Wake Of Earthquake, Still Reason For Concern appeared first on The Intersection.

          Why the Los Angeles Times Accidentally Tweeted About an Earthquake That Happened 90 Years Ago        

On Monday, a bot led to incorrect information going out on Twitter. That’s hardly unprecedented. But this case was different: It was the Los Angeles Times telling the public there had been a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Isla Vista, California, even though no such quake had taken place.

The tweet was prompted by an alert from the U.S. Geological Survey that said the earthquake happened on June 29, 2025. But it was actually referring to a real earthquake that happened almost a century ago.

So how did this happen?

A system at USGS records ground motion, analyzes is compared to other motion in the area to detect where it’s coming from, and then declares if an earthquake is occurring. This week, researchers tried to update the location of an earthquake from 1925. Thanks to a bug with the software that sends out email updates, subscribers received an email notification telling them an earthquake had occurred in 2025.

The Los Angeles Times Quakebot received this information and did what it’s designed to do: It wrote up basic information about the quake (location and magnitude) and then tweeted it out. As Will Oremus explained in Slate in 2014, the bot is in place not to replace real, live journalists, but to make it easier to release quick information about emergency situations.

However, this small mistake led some to think an actual, fairly large earthquake had taken place. Had that had been true, that’s guaranteed to change your day around a bit, especially if you’re a local reporter.

Soon enough people were taking to Twitter to ask what was going on. The Los Angeles Times quickly deleted the tweet and published an article explaining what had occurred.

So does this flub suggest that we should stop depending on bots to alert people to earthquakes? Lucy Jones, a seismologist and USGS scientist emerita, doesn’t think so.

Previously, updates would have to be run by a person, and Jones said that takes too much time in the case of a real emergency.

“The only way to not have misinformation is to not have information. [The bot] is completely accurate if the USGS email’s accurate,” she said. “This is the first mistake of this type that we’ve seen … and now it’s been fixed.” She thinks the bot is still worthwhile, particularly because when we expect flawless information, we stop thinking about where that data came from.

“I’m a little concerned about how people think information just sort of magically appears,” Jones said. “We get so accustomed to the weather showing up on our watch now, you don’t think about the billions of dollars of satellites and people and computers that go in to do weather modeling.”

Thankfully, this mistake doesn’t seem like a career ending move for the Los Angeles Times bot. Hopefully other early detection systems can also stay in place, like the tsunami monitoring stations in the Pacific Ocean, which this administration seeks to cut U.S. funding for.

          Angler's Pint Presentation Box        
The Angler's Pint presentation box customized with a USGS topographical map background and a hand-painted fly on the lid is the perfect gift for the angler who has everything! (Pictured here without the Cutthroat Trout Angler's Pint)

Maine Made Angler's Pint Presentation Box with 4 Angler's Pints

This handsome presentation box is perhaps the best way to give Angler's Pints as a gift to the angler who has everything. The box itself is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship made right here in Maine and de..

Price: $125.00

          What does science say about drilling and earthquakes?        

As more and more towns experience tremors in regions that have historically never reported seismic events, scientists are investigating whether hydraulic fracturing could be responsible for earthquakes.

study conducted in 2012 by the National Research Council  examined whether hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and the disposal of injection waste could catalyze earthquakes.

What researchers found was that the greatest risk for earthquakes does not come from the fracking’s method of cracking deep shale with pressurized water and chemicals, but rather from pumping the wastewater from those operations back down into deep sandstone or other formations for permanent disposal.

Geologists looked at destabilizing cracks in underground shale deposits which subsequently triggers movement of nearby faults. 

The study’s findings corroborated earthquakes that occurred in Jan. 2013 in Youngstown, Ohio, on Christmas Eve and again on New Year's Eve, measuring 2.7 and 4.0 on the Richter scale, respectively. 

Another later study published in Science in 2013, led by researchers from Columbia University’s Earth Institute, looked at deep wastewater disposal wells, (which, again, are different than the shale gas wells where fracking actually takes place). What they found was no different from National Research Council’s conclusion. 

“…the pressure created by pumping millions upon millions of gallons underground seemed to put extra pressure on nearby fault lines—so much so that when major quakes struck  thousands of miles away, like the March 2011 quake in northern Japan that caused an epic tsunami, the resulting seismic waves could trigger swarms of small quakes near the injection sites."

A third major study found that earthquakes (specifically, those near Oklahoma drilling sites) were likely attributable to underground injection of wastewater derived from "dewatering,” separating crude oil from the soupy brine reaped through a drilling technique that allows previously inaccessible oil to be pumped up. 

The study, published in 2013 Geology by scientists from the USGS and Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, investigated the effects of wastewater injection from oil production.

Currently, wastewater is disposed by being pumped into one of the more than 30,000 deep disposal wells around the country. Although underground disposal has long been an industry-accepted form of wastewater disposal, the natural gas boom in recent years promises to exacerbate the amount of water (sometimes tainted with harmful hydraulic fracturing fluids) produced by gas extraction projects. Together, oil and gas extraction and production generate about 878 billion gallons of wastewater annually, roughly what tumbles over Niagara Falls every two weeks. More than a third is injected back into disposal wells. With natural gas production on the rise—it has jumped 26 percent since 2007.

At The Wilderness Society, we work to ensure that any natural gas extraction developed on America’s wildlands is done responsibly. This means:

  • Requiring gas companies to disclose chemicals used in drilling processes
  • Honoring the rights of surface owners to protect their lands and waters in split-estate situations
  • Closing loopholes in federal laws that protect drinking water and surface water quality

While there are currently no oil and gas industry standards that regulate wastewater injection as it relates to earthquakes, we can mitigate the effect of development on sensitive wildlands and cultural sites by marking them as off-limits to oil and gas leasing and development.


Seismograph reading.

Hitchster, Flickr

          U.S. should merge NOAA, USGS to form national Environmental Agency        
The United States should establish a new agency "to meet the unprecedented environmental and economic challenges facing the nation" argue a group of former senior federal officials in an editorial published in the journal Science.
          Milwaukee Common Council Vote Bans Dangerous Pavement Sealants        
Today the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously voted to ban a material called coal tar. The black, shiny liquid is sprayed or painted on surfaces such as driveways, parking lots and playgrounds.The ban also includes other pavement sealant products that contain more than one percent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs. Coal tar sealants have been shown to contain dangerous levels of the cancer-causing compound. Runoff from pavement treated with coal tar is also impacting rivers and streams. The U.S. Geological Survey partnered with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to sample 40 area streambed sites. The resulting study showed coal tar sealants are the primary source of toxic chemicals found in the muck around Milwaukee area waterways. Scientists also gathered dust samples from area parking lots. According to the USGS website: dust from coal-tar-sealant contributed about 42 to 94 percents of the PAHs to the samples, with the remainder of PAHs coming from sources such as
          Preparing for Earthquakes with ShakeAlert        
News Writer: 
Lori Dajose
A ShakeMap for the 1994 M6.7 Northridge earthquake with a typical seismogram recorded in Pasadena superimposed.
Credit: Caltech

A few seconds may not seem like long, but it is enough time to turn off a stove, open an elevator door, or take cover under a desk. And before an earthquake strikes, a few seconds of warning can save lives. The U.S. Geological Survey aims to provide those seconds of warning with ShakeAlert, an earthquake early-warning system now being tested on the west coast of the United States. On July 30, the USGS announced approximately $4 million in awards to Caltech, UC Berkeley, the University of Washington and the University of Oregon, for the expansion and improvement of the ShakeAlert system.

"Caltech's role in ShakeAlert will focus on research and development of the system so that future versions will be faster and more reliable," says Thomas Heaton (PhD '78), professor of engineering seismology and director of Caltech's Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory. "We currently collect data from approximately 400 seismic stations throughout California. The USGS grant will allow Caltech to upgrade or install new stations in strategic locations that will significantly improve the performance of ShakeAlert."

Earthquakes radiate two kinds of seismic waves: fast-moving and often harmless P-waves, followed by S-waves, which can cause strong ground shaking. A system of seismometers called the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) acquires data streams literally at the speed of light and uses several algorithms to quickly pinpoint the earthquake's epicenter and determine its strength. ShakeAlert analyzes the first P-waves in the CISN data streams to send out digital alerts, providing the "early warning" to a region before the slower, destructive S-waves arrive.

While predicting when and where an earthquake will occur is impossible, this early-warning system can give necessary seconds of preparation. Current beta-test users receive these alerts as a pop-up on their computers, displaying a map of the affected region, the amount of time until shaking begins, the estimated magnitude of the quake, and other data. In the future, alerts may be available through text messages and phone apps.

Though still technically in testing stages, ShakeAlert has already provided successful warnings. In August 2014, the system provided a nine-second warning to the city of San Francisco during a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in South Napa. In May, during a magnitude 3.8 quake in Los Angeles, an alert was issued before S-waves had even reached the earth's surface.

"With this new USGS funding, we will be able to add 20 new sensors to CISN, making coverage more robust and thus lengthening warning times," says Egill Hauksson, a research professor of geophysics and a principal investigator along with Heaton on the ShakeAlert project. "Caltech and its partners will be able to continue the high-quality seismological research that is such a necessary foundation for a reliable earthquake early-warning system."

In 2011, Caltech, along with UC Berkeley and the University of Washington, Seattle, received $6 million from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for the research and development of ShakeAlert.

          An Earthquake Warning System in Our Pockets?        
Researchers Test Smartphones for Advance-Notice System
News Writer: 
Kimm Fesenmaier
Credit: iStock

While you are checking your email, scrolling through social-media feeds, or just going about your daily life with your trusty smartphone in your pocket, the sensors in that little computer could also be contributing to an earthquake early warning system. So says a new study led by researchers at Caltech and the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The study suggests that all of our phones and other personal electronic devices could function as a distributed network, detecting any ground movements caused by a large earthquake, and, ultimately, giving people crucial seconds to prepare for a temblor.

"Crowd-sourced alerting means that the community will benefit by data generated by the community," said Sarah Minson (PhD '10), a USGS geophysicist and lead author of the study, which appears in the April 10 issue of the new journal Science Advances. Minson completed the work while a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech in the laboratory of Thomas Heaton, professor of engineering seismology.

Earthquake early warning (EEW) systems detect the start of an earthquake and rapidly transmit warnings to people and automated systems before they experience shaking at their location. While much of the world's population is susceptible to damaging earthquakes, EEW systems are currently operating in only a few regions around the globe, including Japan and Mexico. "Most of the world does not receive earthquake warnings mainly due to the cost of building the necessary scientific monitoring networks," says USGS geophysicist and project lead Benjamin Brooks.

Despite being less accurate than scientific-grade equipment, the GPS receivers in smartphones are sufficient to detect the permanent ground movement, or displacement, caused by fault motion in earthquakes that are approximately magnitude 7 and larger. And, of course, they are already widely distributed. Once displacements are detected by participating users' phones, the collected information could be analyzed quickly in order to produce customized earthquake alerts that would then be transmitted back to users.

"Thirty years ago it took months to assemble a crude picture of the deformations from an earthquake. This new technology promises to provide a near-instantaneous picture with much greater resolution," says Heaton, a coauthor of the new study.

In the study, the researchers tested the feasibility of crowd-sourced EEW with a simulation of a hypothetical magnitude 7 earthquake, and with real data from the 2011 magnitude 9 Tohoku-oki, Japan earthquake. The results show that crowd-sourced EEW could be achieved with only a tiny percentage of people in a given area contributing information from their smartphones. For example, if phones from fewer than 5,000 people in a large metropolitan area responded, the earthquake could be detected and analyzed fast enough to issue a warning to areas farther away before the onset of strong shaking.

The researchers note that the GPS receivers in smartphones and similar devices would not be sufficient to detect earthquakes smaller than magnitude 7, which could still be potentially damaging. However, smartphones also have microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers that are capable of recording any earthquake motions large enough to be felt; this means that smartphones may be useful in earthquakes as small as magnitude 5. In a separate project, Caltech's Community Seismic Network Project has been developing the framework to record and utilize data from an inexpensive array of such MEMS accelerometers.

Comprehensive EEW requires a dense network of scientific instruments. Scientific-grade EEW, such as the USGS's ShakeAlert system that is currently being implemented on the west coast of the United States, will be able to help minimize the impact of earthquakes over a wide range of magnitudes. However, in many parts of the world where there are insufficient resources to build and maintain scientific networks but consumer electronics are increasingly common, crowd-sourced EEW has significant potential.

"The U.S. earthquake early warning system is being built on our high-quality scientific earthquake networks, but crowd-sourced approaches can augment our system and have real potential to make warnings possible in places that don't have high-quality networks," says Douglas Given, USGS coordinator of the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System. The U.S. Agency for International Development has already agreed to fund a pilot project, in collaboration with the Chilean Centro Sismólogico Nacional, to test a pilot hybrid earthquake warning system comprising stand-alone smartphone sensors and scientific-grade sensors along the Chilean coast.

"Crowd-sourced data are less precise, but for larger earthquakes that cause large shifts in the ground surface, they contain enough information to detect that an earthquake has occurred, information necessary for early warning," says study coauthor Susan Owen of JPL.

Additional coauthors on the paper, "Crowdsourced earthquake early warning," are from the USGS, Carnegie Mellon University–Silicon Valley, and the University of Houston. The work was supported in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the USGS Innovation Center for Earth Sciences, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology.

          Alert - CNEI4 - Cedar River near Conesville (Iowa)        
Alert conditions are not currently being met.

Flood Categories

Primary (ft)

  • Action : 12 ft
  • Minor : 13 ft
  • Moderate : 15 ft
  • Major : 16.5 ft

Secondary (kcfs)

  • Action : Not Set
  • Minor : Not Set
  • Moderate : Not Set
  • Major : Not Set

The forecast flood categories are the same as the observation flood categories.

Gauge Data


Latest Observation Category: Normal
Latest Observation: 6.6 ft
Latest Observation (Secondary): 3.23 kcfs
Observation Time: Aug 10, 2017 03:00 PM -0500


Forecast Issued: N/A

There is currently no forecast data available.


Recent Projected Forecast Available: N/A
Recent Projected Forecast Time: N/A


Highest Projected Forecast Available: N/A
Highest Projected Forecast Time: N/A


Last Projected Forecast Available: N/A
Last Projected Forecast Time: N/A

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data and Site Info for Conesville: USGS ID: 05465000

          See Secchi,, See The Kinni,, We Are The First        
Good morning Great news! As you know, driving an hour to get to your favorite trout stream and finding it muddy can be disheartening to the angler. New editions to the USGS water flow data site for the Kinnickinnic River have been installed to help monitor the water quality and fishability of the river. The site will now […]
          USGS Kanawha Basin Facts        
Description of the Kanawha River BasinThe Kanawha River Basin drains 12,223 mi2 in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia (Messinger and Hughes, 2000). The New River, the major tributary of the Kanawha River, is formed in North Carolina (fig. 1). Major tributaries (> 400 mi2) of the New River are the Bluestone and Greenbrier Rivers in West Virginia. The Kanawha River is formed at Gauley Bridge, W.Va., by the confluence of the New and Gauley Rivers, and its other major tributaries are the Elk and Coal Rivers. The Kanawha River drains to the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, W.Va.
The Kanawha River drains parts of three physiographic provinces (fig. 2), the Blue Ridge Province (17 percent), Valley and Ridge Province (23 percent), and the Appalachian Plateaus Province (60 percent) (Fenneman, 1938). In the Appalachian Plateaus part of the basin, hilltop altitude ranges from about 1,000 ft to about 4,000 ft, generally from northwest to east and southeast, and relief and stream gradient generally are greater in the area with greater altitude. The differences in altitude and relief within the Appalachian Plateaus have caused differences in environmental conditions including precipitation, streamflow, stream gradient, terrestrial vegetation, and land use (Messinger and Hughes, 2000).
The climate of the Kanawha River Basin is classified as continental, with four distinct seasons and marked temperature contrast between summer and winter (Messinger and Hughes, 2000). The maximum precipitation in the basin is greater than 60 in/yr both in the northeastern Appalachian Plateaus and in the southern Blue Ridge Province. The minimum precipitation in the basin, about 36 in/yr, is in the Valley and Ridge Province and in the Greenbrier Valley, in a regional rain shadow; however, the westernmost part of the Appalachian Plateaus receives only slightly more precipitation, about 40–45 in/yr.
Streams are regulated by four major flood-control dams, three navigation dams, and several smaller dams. All these dams obstruct fish movement. No fish that migrate to or from the ocean have ever been common in the basin, although some native fish, notably suckers, are strongly migratory within and near the basin. Ninety miles of the Kanawha River main stem are regulated for barge navigation by large locks and dams at London, Marmet, and Winfield. This entire reach of the river is dredged periodically.
Streams in the Blue Ridge Province follow a dendritic drainage pattern. Many mountain streams are cold and support (or formerly supported) brook trout populations, but the larger streams are warm. Stream water is typically dilute (less than 200 mg/L dissolved solids) and neutral to slightly acidic. Streams of the Valley and Ridge Province follow a trellised drainage pattern. Bedrock in the valleys is typically shale and limestone, and waters in Valley and Ridge streams are generally slightly alkaline
(7.0–8.0 pH units) and contain more dissolved solids (200–350 mg/L) than do streams in the Blue Ridge Province.
Streams throughout the Appalachian Plateaus follow a dendritic drainage pattern. Many high-altitude streams are cold, and some streams draining areas larger than 100 mi2 support trout populations. Bedrock in the northeastern part of the Appalachian Plateaus generally is inert, insoluble sandstone and shale. Stream water in this area typically is very dilute (30–100 mg/L dissolved solids) and poorly buffered, and some streams have been degraded by acid precipitation (Messinger, 1997). Streams in the rest of the Appalachian Plateaus typically have lower gradients than streams in the areas of highest altitude. The Greenbrier River and its eastern tributaries are underlain by limestone, and their waters are mildly alkaline (7.0–8.0 pH units), well buffered, and moderate in dissolved solids (150–200 mg/L). Bedrock in the western part of the Appalachian Plateaus Province is predominantly sandstone, shale, and coal, with interbedded limestone. The shale typically yields more solutes than the sandstone does, and relative amounts of shale increase in a gradient from south to north. Stream water in the western part of the Appalachian Plateaus contains more dissolved solids than any other part of the basin, with typical concentrations of 500 mg/L in the Coal River and its tributaries, the downstream tributaries of the Elk River, and many minor tributaries of the Kanawha River. Most stream water in this part of the basin is mildly alkaline and well buffered. The basin is mostly forest (81 percent) with a substantial amount of agricultural land (16 percent) (Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Interagency Consortium, 1997). Major industries in the basin include coal mining and chemical manufacturing in West Virginia, timbering throughout most of the basin, and pasture agriculture in Virginia, North Carolina, and parts of West Virginia (Messinger and Hughes, 2000). The Kanawha River Basin produces about 7 percent of the coal mined in the United States, mostly from a band of Pennsylvanian-age rocks in West Virginia (fig. 3). Where coal is minable, it has usually been mined repeatedly, using different methods (Paybins and others, 2001). Numbers of active surface and underground mines and abandoned mines are all generally greatest in the areas with the most total coal production, complicating attempts to separate the effects of these factors. Major hydrologic effects of coal mining include addition of sulfate, aluminum, iron, and manganese to water, and increase in stream sedimentation. Base flow is increased downstream from valley fills (Wiley and others, 2001), but subsidence from underground mining beneath valley floors can dewater aquifers and streams (Hobba, 1981) The New River may be among the oldest rivers in the world, although the claim that it is the second oldest river in the world is no longer considered to be well-founded (Swift, 2001; Lessing, 1997). Until about 2 million years ago, the New River was the headwater of the Teays River, the master stream flowing from the central Appalachian Mountains toward the Gulf of Mexico (Fridley, 1950). The native fish fauna of the New River is probably affected by both the New River’s ancient position as head of the Teays River, and by combinations of geomorphic barriers and climate changes during times of glaciation (Jenkins and Burkhead, 1994).
          Live Earthquake Data        
Live Earthquake DataThis application downloads live earthquake data from the USGS website, and plots the location and magnitude on a world map. You can experiment with various map styles and projections.

If you move the mouse over the points in the visualization, an annotation gives the location and the magnitude of an earthquake

The world map for this visualization is generated by Maple's map tools.
          National Geographic enables free 8×11 printing of USGS topos        
Here are some useful USGS map tips from Emily Wild, Hydrologist/Librarian at the USGS: This may be of interest if you and(or) your library users are looking for an easy-to-use tool to search, download, and easily print (by using 8×11 … Continue reading
          Peringatan dari Allah - Gempa bumi di Padang        
Perhatikan peringatan Allah dalam surah Al-Israa' (memperjalankan di malam hari)

16. Dan jika Kami hendak membinasakan suatu negeri, maka Kami perintahkan kepada orang-orang yang hidup mewah di negeri itu (suatu mentaati Allah) tetapi mereka melakukan kedurhakaan dalam negeri itu, maka sudah sepantasnya berlaku terhadapnya perkataan (ketentuan Kami), kemudian Kami hancurkan negeri itu sehancur-hancurnya. (QS. 17:16)

Perhatikan pula masa berlaku gempa bumi di Padang pada 30 September 2009 dan laporan daripada:


Earthquake Details




  • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:16:09 UTC
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 05:16:09 PM at epicenter


0.725°S, 99.856°E


81 km (50.3 miles) set by location program




60 km (35 miles) WNW of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia
225 km (140 miles) SW of Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia
475 km (295 miles) SSW of KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
975 km (600 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Location Uncertainty

horizontal +/- 4.2 km (2.6 miles); depth fixed by location program


NST=405, Nph=405, Dmin=534.3 km, Rmss=0.92 sec, Gp= 18°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=A



Masanya ialah 05:16 atau 17:16!!!

Renungkanlah dan ambillah peringatan..
Sesungguhnya Al-Quran diturunkan kepada kita semua adalah sebagai satu panduan dan peringatan. Mari sama-sama kita mengambil iktibar di atas perkara yang telah berlaku dan menyakini kebesaran dan kekuasaan Allah s.w.t.

Ihsan: Fareastnajmi, PG, Johor.

          Science on the SPOT: National Wildlife Health Center Investigates         
The USGS National Wildlife Health Center investigates animal die-offs and threats to endangered species through on-site investigation and necropsies--animal autopsy--at its headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin.
          Garmin presenta los primeros dispositivos de comunicación satelital        
Garmin International Inc., una unidad de Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), anunció los nuevos dispositivos inReach SE+, y inReach Explorer+, los primeros dispositivos Garmin con la tecnología de comunicación satelital inReach, adquirida con la compra de la empresa DeLorme a principios de 2016. El nuevo InReach SE+ y InReach Explorer+ tienen cobertura satelital mundial Iridium® de Polo a Polo, para enviar y recibir mensajes bidireccionales y alerta SOS que funcionan en cualquier parte del mundo. Ambos modelos incluyen un GPS incorporado para seguimiento y localización, además de navegación básica. 

Además el InReach Explorer+ añade mapas TOPO preinstalados, brújula, altímetro barométrico y acelerómetro.

Desde largas caminatas, hasta aventuras internacionales, estos nuevos dispositivos inReach proporcionan comunicación, ubicación compartida, navegación y funciones SOS críticas para cualquier persona amante de alejarse de todo. No importa si está en tierra, agua o en el cielo, con InReach podrá dar tranquilidad tanto amigos como familiares. El inReach SE+ y el inReach Explorer+ fueron presentados en enero el Consumer Electronics Show en Las Vegas.

La comunicación por satélite es algo que nuestros clientes han estado pidiendo, y nos complace presentar los primeros dispositivos Garmin inReach después de nuestra adquisición de DeLorme el año pasado", dijo Dan Bartel, vicepresidente de ventas internacionales de Garmin. "Beneficioso tanto para los clientes en el campo, como para las familias en casa, el inReach SE+ y Explorer+ proporcionan tranquilidad, además de una gran funcionalidad para las personas que quieren explorar en cualquier lugar y comunicarse en todas partes".

Utilizando la cobertura mundial de la red satelital Iridium, InReach SE+, y el InReach Explorer+ pueden enviar y recibir mensajes de texto con cualquier número de teléfono celular, dirección de correo electrónico u otro dispositivo inReach, así los usuarios puedan estar fuera de la cobertura del celular sin comprometer la tranquilidad de sus seres queridos. Ambos dispositivos tienen un SOS interactivo, que envía una alerta de emergencia a GEOS®, el centro de supervisión 24/7 de búsqueda y rescate. Después de recibir la alerta SOS, los usuarios inReach pueden comunicarse con GEOS para confirmar el tipo de emergencia y recibir la confirmación cuando la ayuda está en camino. Los usuarios también pueden configurar contactos de emergencia en sus dispositivos quienes también serán notificados en caso de que los usuarios activen una alerta SOS.

Tanto el inReach SE+ como InReach Explorer+ tienen un GPS incorporado de alta sensibilidad que proporciona datos básicos de navegación, localización y seguimiento, de modo que los usuarios pueden seguir rutas, marcar waypoints y encontrar su camino de regreso usando los puntos marcados durante el camino. El InReach Explorer+ añade opciones de navegación más robustas como mapas topográficos DeLorme precargados, brújula digital incorporada, altímetro barométrico y acelerómetro. De forma similar a los dispositivos anteriores de DeLorme, InReach SE+ e InReach Explorer+ son compatibles con el sitio web MapShare. Con MapShare, el dispositivo InReach envía a los usuarios datos de su viaje, como rutas, actualizaciones de waypoints, e intervalos preseleccionados, para que tanto amigos como familiares puedan seguir al usuario, solicitar una actualización de ubicación e intercambiar mensajes.

Con un smartphone compatible, el inReach SE+ y Exporer+ pueden sincronizarse con la aplicación Earthmate gratuita para tener aún más compatibilidad y conveniencia. Con la app Earthmate®, los usuarios pueden acceder a mapas ilimitados, imágenes aéreas, cartas estadounidenses NOAA y USGS Quad Sheets. Los usuarios también pueden obtener actualizaciones del clima y paquetes Premium del cima, directamente en los dispositivo de mano y a la aplicación Earthmate. Además, todos los dispositivos inReach tienen acceso gratuito a un portal en la nube para que los usuarios puedan planificar viajes y waypoints, sincronizar y administrar su dispositivo, almacenar todos sus datos de seguimiento y más.

Con una sola carga, el inReach SE+ y Explorer+ pueden obtener hasta 100 horas de duración de la batería en modo de seguimiento y hasta 30 días en modo de ahorro de energía. Robusto y diseñado para soportar todo tipo de climas, estos dispositivos son resistentes a impactos y tienen una clasificación de agua IPX7.

Para acceder a la red Iridium y comunicarse con un inReach SE+ o Explorer+, se requiere una suscripción satelital activa. Dependiendo del nivel de uso, los usuarios pueden optar por un paquete de contrato anual o un plan de tiempo de uso mensual flexible, lo que les permite pagar por el servicio sólo cuando lo necesitan.

El inReach SE+ tendrá un precio aproximado de $10,999.99 y el inReach Explorer+ con mapas Open Streets para México tendrá un precio sugerido de $11,999.99

          More critical than ever        
The USGS promotes awareness about essential resources and their supply chains
The USGS promotes awareness about essential resources and their supply chains by Greg Klein

Let’s call it Critical Minerals Awareness Month. The U.S. Geological Survey hasn’t actually labelled April that way, but the agency does have a “big push” underway to inform American decision-makers and the general public about the country’s often tenuous hold on commodities vital to the economy and security of that country. Of course those concerns apply to its allies as well.

          Mines in Colorado.        

These are mine locations from the USGS Mineral Resources Data System. The graphic here is a Print Screen created from the live, zoomable image of the entire state of Colorado.

The map is produced in a Geographic Information System (GIS) application. Linked to each point there are data, including names and information for 1014 mines in Boulder County.

This resource comes to us from a long-time resident of the mountains, compliments of Facebook. Mike Shaw has lived in the Nederland area for most of his life, knows the area, knows the people.

These data will be useful in documenting the activities of the industrial revolution that seized the area in the late 19th and early 20 centuries.
          It helps if you're looking in the right cemetery...        

About a year ago, in an attempt to locate new on-line information, I subscribed to NewspaperARCHIVE.com, which has thousands of images of newspapers from all over the United States and internationally, too. I was able to locate a lot of articles, such as marriage notices and obituaries, which provided me with tons of new information. In particular, I was looking for information about one of my great-great-grandfather's brothers, Bedros Paloutzian. Bedros was one of the four Paloutzian brothers who came to California. The others were Kachadoor, Hovhannes (John) and my g-g-grandfather Manoug. Sometime between his arrival in New York on 25 May 1891, and 10 July 1900 when the census-taker took down the information, Bedros started going by the name Peter Thompson. (Bedros is the Armenian form of Peter.)
The name change made it very difficult to track his 8 children and unknown grandchildren, because while Paloutzian stands out among records as an obvious relation, the name Thompson just blends right in and could be anyone. I had the family located in each of the US Census records for 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930. After that, I didn't have much. I looked in the California death records available on-line, but couldn't find a Peter Thompson that matched what I knew. It was likely then that he died between the 1930 census and 1940, when the death records available on-line begin. (Earlier death records are available on microfilm, but that involved a trip to the library on Wednesdays or Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00. I am now a member of the Merced County Genealogical Society and have more convenient access.)
But thanks to my subscription at NewspaperARCHIVE, I was able to find Peter Thompson's obituary.

This gave me the married names of his daughters, and that he was buried in West Selma Cemetery. So, I wanted to find his headstone. On my way to Kingsburg, I stopped in Selma at the old section of the cemetery at Floral and Thompson. I didn't have the grave location, I just figured it was a small enough area that I could find it. Well, I wore myself out pacing up and down the rows of headstones .As you can probably guess by the title of this entry, and to make a long story shorter, I was at the wrong cemetery. I even went back there, with my sister Joy, a second time after calling the cemetery office and getting the location of Peter Thompson's grave, still thinking it was the West Selma Cemetery. The cemetery at Thompson just south of Floral is North Selma Cemetery. I was looking at a USGS map in my office one day when I noticed the other cemetery, also on Thompson Ave., which is actually the West Selma Cemetery. It is south of Highway 99 on Thompson near Park St. This is where Peter Thompson and his wife Mabel are buried. Their son Haig is there as well. He was a flying instructor who died in a plane crash at the age of 33.
          Specimen Imaging Demonstration – Live!        

Have you seen the beautiful photos taken by Sam Droege for the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab? Ever wondered how he got those beautiful shots?

Tomorrow, September 26th at 1pm eastern time, Sam will be doing a LIVE tutorial on YouTube on how to take these photos and how to do it on . . . → Read More: Specimen Imaging Demonstration – Live!

          USGS to host webinars on BAA for 3DEP        
The USGS has announced it will hold webinars this week and next for potential partners wishing to submit proposals for competitive awards in response to a Board Agency Announcement (BAA) for the 3DEP program. NSPS has been a long time supporting organization for 3DEP.
          USGS Maps in Google Maps Gallery        
USGS Topo Maps in Google Maps Gallery Over 193,000 Topo  Maps georeferenced in a seamless USGS Layer with a transparency control on the left. See the...

Map and GIS News finding blog. With so many Maps and GIS sites online now it is hard to find the good from the not so good. This blog tries to cut the cream and provide you with the newest, fastest, cleanest and most user friendly maps that are available online. News has location and it is mapped.

          A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 511        
A VerySpatial Podcast Shownotes – Episode 511 3 May 2015 Main Topic: Our discussion with Jennifer Krstolic of the USGS at the AAG 2015 Conference Click to directly download MP3 Click to directly download AAC Click for the detailed shownotes Music River Meditation by Jason Shaw News US Board on Geographic Names will be celebrating […]
          A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 509        
A VerySpatial Podcast Shownotes – Episode 509 19 April 2015 Main Topic: More interviews from the NCGIS 2015 Conference Click to directly download MP3 Click to directly download AAC Click for the detailed shownotes News Esri and AAG looking for ConnectEd GeoMentors Genographic Project celebrates 10 years USGS and NASA start work on Landsat 9 […]
          USGS & USFS Release New Rangeland Fire Science Plan        

Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior released a new science plan that will serve as an action-oriented blueprint for acquiring information needed to make science-based decisions to restore and conserve the imperiled ‘sagebrush sea,’ a roughly 500,000-square-mile-area of sagebrush steppe habitat across western North America.

By Patricia McBroom
       There is no fresh water flowing out of the Delta on this early July day in summer and hasn't been since May, new data is showing. The only water surging in and out are the salty tides, which continually threaten fish and fresh water pumps serving people throughout the state.
USGS acoustic Doppler devices near Rio Vista bridge
keep track of fresh water outflow from Delta channels

      This is the apparent condition of the Delta, according to state-of-the-art flow monitors operated by the USGS in four locations near Rio Vista and Brannon State Park (among others), where fresh water meets salty and becomes brackish. 
       Official estimates of outflow, however, calculate that about  4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of fresh water is flowing into the Bay – admittedly low, but not zero, which would have important implications for managing water in this drought. State-generated outflow estimates are not based on the above USGS monitors, though it has been obvious for at least a year that there is a significant difference in dry years between the two methods of calculating flow.

Small Differences Matter During Drought

      In wetter years, a small disparity such as 3,000-4,000 cfs would not amount to much. This year is different. Drought is taking a huge toll in both northern and southern parts of the state. In the usually wet north, streams and rivers are near dry. The meager snowpack in the northern Sierras hit its runoff peak in April, not July, as usual. Ground water tables are sinking, not just in the San Joaquin Valley, but in some northern counties as well. Farmers throughout the state with junior rights have been ordered to stop diverting water for their thirsty crops.
      Under these conditions, sales of water from north to south – normal at this time of year –become problematic, even when the sellers are willing. And the condition of the Delta, through which the transfer waters must flow, is critical.

Suits Aims to Stop Transfers

Biostatistician Thomas Cannon challenges State outflow
estimates in environmental suit. Credit: Patricia McBroom
      Hoping to stop water transfers of 175,000 acre feet, approved by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation this spring, two environmental organizations have filed suit in federal court. They requested an expedited hearing to halt the transfers that are scheduled to begin this month. Plaintiffs charge that the Bureau did not do a proper environmental analysis before approving the transfers, and the flow monitors maintained by the USGS in the Delta are poised to play a staring role in the case.
      “Their totals (measuring delta outflow) have been near zero since May,” said Thomas Cannon, a biostatistician whose work is cited in the lawsuit by the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and AquAlliance. I've never seen it this salty up here,” said Cannon on a recent day in the Delta, waving his arm toward the docks at Brannon State Park.  Based on his analysis, the suit charges that the dayflow method used by State and Federal water officials “grossly overestimates actual Delta outflow” during dry years.
 USGS technician repairs an outflow monitor
at Three-Mile Slough in June.
Credit: Patricia McBroom
      If the outflow is truly as low as the USGS monitors indicate, it means that salt water is constantly threatening to move up the estuary and that a number of fish species, including the iconic longfin and delta smelt, are at risk of being carried into the export pumps which carry water to the south of the State.

Accuracy of USGS Monitors Challenged

      Difference, however, does not establish worth. The man in charge of water operations for the State Water Project in California's Department of Water Resources, John Lehigh, challenges the idea that USGS monitors are more accurate than state estimates.  â€œI have seen no evidence that would lead me to conclude that this estimate of outflow (using USGS monitors) is more accurate than the one used now.” said Lehigh. He added that if someone thinks he has a better way to measure outflow, that person should bring the issue to the attention of the State Water Board. So far, no one has done that, he said.
      Lehigh also questioned whether the monitors located in the lower Delta, closer to the Bay, can truly detect outflow in the presence of tidal flux. Outflow in drought conditions (3,000 cfs, for example) is miniscule compared to the huge tides (150,000 cfs or more) that daily wash in and out of the lower delta.

Science panel Validates New Outflow Estimates

      Apparently, USGS scientists have been able to account for the tides, because a report to the Delta Science Program in February demonstrated that last year's salinity levels in the Delta matched the USGS outflow meters. Not so the estimates used by the state (called NDOI for Net Delta Outflow Index), which judged outflow to be more than twice as high as the USGS monitors in the fall of 2013.
 â€œThe NDOI estimates appeared to be clearly incorrect,” said the science program's final report (page 15) released in May. The report went on to say that Delta outflow did not meet minimum standards last year and questioned why the better outflow measures are not being used now.
     For this blog, a member of the expert outflow science panel, retired USGS engineer Pete Smith, calculated the difference between the two measurements for May and June this year (see graph). 

By official estimates, fresh water outflow from the Delta is about 4,000 cfs; USGS monitors show that outflow to the
Bay vacillated between minus 6,000 cfs and plus 6,000 but the average for May and June was close to zero.
Graph by Pete Smith

                        The same disparity that was evident in 2013 showed up again this year. NDOI estimates were way higher than outflow as measured by USGS monitors. Whereas California officials believe outflow in the Delta is around 4,000 cfs this summer, the actual figure measured where the Delta meets the Bay is about zero.  In light of these findings, the State Water Board will be looking at "possible changes in determining outflow," said SWRCB engineer Rick Satkowski.

Delta Smelt Not in Normal Habitat

      So what does this complicated science all mean?
      One possibility is that famous Delta fish species – the delta smelt and longfin smelt– could go extinct this year. Smelt follow a salt line called the X2 because they prefer brackish water. Normally the smelt are in Suisun Bay by the end of June, but this year they seem to be still swimming around in the central Delta, near Brannon. In addition to using possibly inaccurate measures of outflow (thus not releasing sufficient water from the reservoirs), the State has also relaxed its salinity standards this summer, bringing the X2 boundary further upstream. This means the precious few smelt that are left after years of decline are now directly in line of the pumps that take water south.
      “This year, the only delta smelt anyone's been able to find are in the Delta,” said Michael Jackson, an environmental lawyer who has filed public trust suits against the State in past years, but is not involved in this one.
Four USGS stations monitor outflow where Delta water enters the Bay;
official outflow monitors are located further upstream toward Sacramento
and where rivers enter the Delta.
      “Because there is no outflow, the only flow will be toward the pumps. Since transport goes right through the area where the last smelt are, it seems like we have put a tremendous amount of money and pain into preserving the fish, only to end up exterminating the species this year.”  Jackson said there is nothing in the Bureau of Reclamation's environmental report on water transfers that recognizes the threat to delta smelt.

Northern Communities also at Risk

      Nor is there anything that recognizes the danger to communities, farms or ecology in California's north, said Barbara Vlamis of AquAlliance, one of the plaintiffs. She said that the Bureau has simply asserted that no environmental harm will be done to northern areas selling the water, calling the assessment a “cheap and shoddy version of NEPA” (National Environmental Policy Act).
“Why are we selling water out of the north when the area will be rationing this summer? By percentage of normal precipitation, the north has been hit harder this year than the south,” said Vlamis.
      (Bureau officials have been making “temporary” one-time transfer decisions for years, thereby obviating the need for a full-scale environmental analysis on any one of them. The environmental suit is challenging this practice.)

Salt Levels Due to Affect Pumps

      Another thing zero flow means is that salt contamination of pumps that bring water to people in Contra Costa County, as well as southern parts of the State, will climb throughout the dry summer months. When salt rises too high, however, the Contra Costa Water District can dilute it with fresh water from Los Vaqueros Reservoir, so there is no imminent threat to urban areas. Too much salty water in the southern Delta could, however, stop the water transfers regardless of the outcome of the pending legal case.
      Who gets the water – if it goes through – is unknown. Buyers and sellers are anonymous until contracts are written. But if history and rumor are any guides, most of the water is destined to reach Westlands, the wealthy corporate farmers in Kern County, known far and wide for their political muscle in bending state and Federal policies to their private needs. And that's a shame. It is bad enough that these toxic lands, which release selenium into the waterways, get watered in wet years. It's a travesty when they get to use water during a drought like this – water that is critically needed to save the ecosystem and hold the salt at bay for the rest of us.  

By Patricia McBroom

When California water officials predicted four years ago that many delta levees would breach in a bad earthquake, flooding the region and threatening the State’s main water supply, they didn’t have any specific site information to prove their point (see Delta Seismic Risk Report, 2005).  Now they do.  And the situation looks worse than ever.
            Soft delta soils amplify seismic waves by up to a factor of 15, compared to recordings in rock at Black Diamond Mines in Pittsburgh, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park has found.  They monitored the action of ten small earthquakes (up to 4.2 magnitude) that have occurred in the East Bay since 2007 and were picked up by monitors at eight places in the delta, including four sites on levees.
Levees on Sherman Island, across the bridge from
Antioch, are among the most vulnerable.
            There had been some hope that the peat soils characteristic of the  Sacramento-San Joaquin delta would dampen seismic waves.  But the USGS recordings found no evidence of such an effect. On the contrary, the wave configuration had an unusual shape with a strong, consistent peak at a single frequency, as well as a strong amplitude.  As a result, vibrations were stronger at the top of the levee than at the bottom.
            “This means these levees are going to shake a lot harder than we thought and will probably lead to multiple failures, said Jon Fletcher, chief of the Earthquake Effects Project at USGS Menlo Park. Prior reports from the Department of Water Resources had projected that as many as 50 levee breaks could occur at once from Bay Area earthquakes, such as one on the Hayward Fault that runs from Oakland to Berkeley.
            Fletcher said soil conditions in the delta resemble those in the San Francisco Marina District where buildings collapsed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake; in both cases, the soils are very soft and seismic waves move through with large amplitudes.
            The USGS findings, due for release later this year, were not included in California’s controversial “Delta Risk Management Study” (DRMS) which predicted that as many as 20 islands in the delta could flood simultaneously in a major earthquake, potentially causing salt water from the bay to contaminate the source of California’s largest water supply for urban and agricultural users.
            “I think the risk is worse than what DRMS has reported,” said Fletcher.
            But, fortunately for California water users, the consequences of such a catastrophe might not be as bad as the scenario offered up to the public for the past three years, according to new studies of an earthquake aftermath prepared for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
            “It’s not true that a major earthquake would mean the end of the delta and we’d never be able to use it again,” said Greg Gartrell, a hydrologist with the Contra Costa County Water District, who is familiar with the new modeling.
            “Yes, you get a lot of salt water coming in, but as soon as it rains, that water can get washed out.”  Pumps that supply California’s urban and agricultural water would have to stop for about three to four months, under the conditions studied, said Gartrell, and then could become operational again.  Most urban water districts have local water supplies to cover such a period.
            Agricultural communities would suffer the most (depending on the season) because they don’t all have backup, but for urban users, the challenge would be “difficult but not severe.” The Contra Costa district, which is normally supplied by delta pumps, has up to a year’s supply in accessible reservoirs.
            Loss of fresh water to the delta’s pumps in an earthquake has been a major justification water contractors have used for planning to build an “isolated conveyance” (aka, peripheral canal/tunnel) from further north on the Sacramento River. If urban water users can withstand such a catastrophe, there is less reason to build a huge tunnel that delta residents strongly oppose.
            The new modeling shows that after the salt water is pushed out by winter rains, the delta actually freshens, rather than staying salty – contrary to many scary scenarios. Flooded islands then act as a buffer to reduce salt water flowing in, said Gartrell, adding that there is time then to go in and fix some of the levees. 
            The new study is based on a major 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault, using severe conditions for salt water intrusion, including a multi-year drought and simultaneous levee failures.  It found that salts can flush out fairly quickly, depending on how soon rains or releases from the reservoirs can get water flows going again – a period of 3 to 4 months, in this case.
            “A lot of hysteria is leading people to believe it (massive levee failure due to earthquake) will shut down the delta for a long period of time and maybe forever.  That’s not correct, so long as we plan properly,” said Gartrell.
“The world doesn’t come to an end,” even with massive levee failures in the delta, but the State “needs to do emergency planning now. We need a sense of urgency about this.”
State agencies have lagged behind on creating an emergency response plan and are now stockpiling rock on some delta islands – a bare beginning.  Local districts, however, have been working on emergency plans for years, as many engineers and local officials told the Delta Stewardship Council this summer.
But they have no money to implement their plans or bring them together into a regional emergency response.
“The agencies that have the money (Department of Water Resources, for one) don’t respond.  And the locals, who want to respond, don’t have the money,” said Ronald E. Baldwin, director of emergency operations for San Joaquin County.
“Empower people at the local level,” Baldwin urged council staff at the meeting last July. “If we can do that, and let the lowest (governance) level deal with the problem, we can take the burden off the State and Federal agencies,” he said.
This problem of depriving local authorities of power and money is not new for California or the delta.  It has consistently tied the hands of local engineers and experts who know what to do from close observation and are ready to move ahead with levee repair and flood control plans.  Two weeks ago, the State finally released the money for $120 million in levee repairs we wrote about in the August 10 post.
MBK engineer Gilbert Cosio welcomed the move but was cautious about the money flow.  “We’ll see how it goes,” he said.

          New Research Predicts U.S. Entry of H5N1 Avian Influenza        
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December 05, 2006 08:00 AM Eastern Time
New Research Predicts U.S. Entry of H5N1 Avian Influenza

Scientists Uncover Disease Pathways and Causes

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Scientists at the Consortium for Conservation Medicine (CCM), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo report H5N1 avian influenza is most likely to be introduced to countries in the Western Hemisphere through infected poultry trade.

Following initial outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in Hong Kong, scientists and government officials worldwide have debated exactly how the virus was being spread and what could be done to stop it.

Dr. Marm Kilpatrick, senior research scientist with CCM, led the team in their efforts to predict the most likely method of introduction to the U.S. Dr. Kilpatrick and colleagues predict that bird flu will most likely be introduced to countries in the Western Hemisphere through infected poultry trade rather than from migrating birds from eastern Siberia, as previously thought. The subsequent movement of infected migrating birds from countries south of the U.S. would be a likely pathway for H5N1 avian influenza to reach the USA.

Avian influenza has reached more than 50 countries, and millions of chickens have been either infected and/or culled to prevent its spread to other poultry farms. Estimated financial losses are in the tens of billions of dollars. In addition, 258 people have been infected and 153 human deaths have occurred, with most cases in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and China.

This new research set out to identify the pathways for individual H5N1 introductions as the virus spread through Asia, Europe and Africa. The predictive modeling approach used offers substantial promise for understanding past introductions, the pathway for new introductions, and ways to prevent future spread of the deadly virus.

The researchers analyzed the risk of introduction by three different pathways: poultry, wild bird trade, and movement of migratory birds. “To determine the pathway of introduction we gathered global data on country-to-country trade in poultry and wild birds and mapped out the migratory routes of every species of duck, goose, or swan. We then compared our analyses based on these data to the relationships between virus isolates from the different countries,” said Kilpatrick. Dr. Robert Fleischer, a Smithsonian Institution scientist noted, “The rate of genetic change of the virus is extremely fast, which means we can use genetic analysis to trace the geographic and evolutionary pathways the virus has taken.”

The findings showed that migratory bird movements were likely responsible for three introductions in Asia, 20 in Europe, and three in Africa. Dr. David Gibbons, Head of Conservation Science with UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said, “Much of the spread of H5N1 around Europe followed an unusually cold period of weather in central and eastern Europe in January and February 2006, with wild birds moving west through Europe in search of more clement conditions, some carrying H5N1 with them. As part of the UK Government's AI surveillance strategy, RSPB staff will be looking for sick or dead ducks, geese and swans this winter.”

Peter Marra, an avian ecologist with the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo commented, “In almost all cases in which we have detected H5N1 in wild birds, it has been found in dead birds. It’s critical that dead bird surveillance mechanisms be developed for early detection of H5N1 and other diseases.” In comparison, poultry trade was responsible for two introductions to countries in Africa and nine important introductions in Asia where the disease is still infecting humans and poultry. “The synergistic combination of poultry trade and migratory bird movements spread H5N1 much further than it would have gone by either of these pathways alone,” said Dr. Kilpatrick.

Dr. Peter Daszak, Executive Director of CCM stated, “This study shows how trade between continents opens the door for pathogens to move effortlessly along those routes.” Daszak added, “The study of Conservation Medicine strives to understand how human activities drive disease spread and proposes critical action steps on preventing future pandemics.” Donald Burke, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and an advisor to the group said, “This report shows how we can move beyond the conventional surveillance and response mode to one of prediction and prevention.” Dr. Mary Pearl, President of Wildlife Trust and co-founder of CCM noted, “Fully three-quarters of new diseases have an animal origin. By researching the links among wildlife, livestock, and humans, we can preempt the movement of many new disease-causing agents to people.” Dr. Leslie A. Dierauf, Director of USGS National Wildlife Health Center, a Federal laboratory that conducts influenza surveillance, commented, “This research is integral to our preparedness for the anticipated arrival of HPAI in North America.”

About The Consortium for Conservation Medicine

The Consortium for Conservation Medicine is a coalition of six scientific organizations that enables scientists from multiple disciplines to collaborate on key issues of human, animal, and environmental health and conservation. The CCM is a think-tank for the origin, prediction, and prevention of emerging diseases. www.conservationmedicine.org

For The Consortium for Conservation Medicine
Anthony Ramos, 212-380-4469
          Water Level Data from DWR        

Our adventures in groundwater data reconnaissance has brought us to the gates of CASGEM. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has provided a mapping and data portal for groundwater elevation data. CASGEM or "California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring" was launched in December of 2010 to help local agencies comply with Water Code Section 10927.

Generally, CASGEM has three different users in mind: entities attempting to meet compliance standards with the state Water Code, DWR managers, and the public. The later, which is the role I assume for the sake of this blog post is the least developed use-case. I will highlight the barriers, and suggest opportunities for improvement. That said, the fact that this service exists, and that this data is even available in the first place is remarkable. However, the classic open data conundrum applies "just because the data is made available, doesn't mean the data is reasonably accessible or "open". To aid in this disparity, the Sunlight Foundation has published "Guidelines for Open Data Policies", which provides a vision for open data policies, and serves as living document to chronicle evolving priorities for data shared by government agencies.

During our Summer of Groundwater initiative, we here at the New California Water Atlas will be conflating discrete water elevation data from both DWR and the USGS. While the USGS has far less groundwater monitoring wells, it is the only source of instantaneous data (more on this later). Using the bulk data download option (see image and notes below to navigate the two tracks), I have retrieved (as a test) 1 years worth of elevation data for the county of Fresno. 1612 rows of time-series data are returned. Unfortunately with this method, no latitude or longitude columns are returned. If it were easy, I wouldn't be writing this :)

CASGEM Walkthrough

Steps 1-6 is a series of login and required registration fields. Apart from DWR staff and partner organizations, these registration steps pose a considerable barrier to the public user. Users who simply visit the site to download data should not have to preregister. With proper analytics in place, tracking relevant user information and behaviors should be sufficient feedback for later improvements. Nevertheless, once logged-in, there are two routes to downloading data (denoted here as track "a" and "b" respectively).

Track "a" is a mapping interface, where after various filter criteria are entered and point data is displayed on the map. Steps 7a through 12a illustrate this workflow. Track "a" for my geospatial purposes is insufficient. The mapping portal limits downloads exceeding 1000 rows. As mentioned above, Fresno over the course of one year returns 1612 rows. As a user, I am interested in obtaining data for five years let alone one. This track does not work for a serious study of groundwater elevation, which requires a few years of remote sensor data to properly evaluate trends.

Track "b" is a series of dialogues that will allow the user to export a csv file with no size limits. One catch though, the mapping interface in track "a" exports a csv with latitude and longitude columns. The bulk download in track "b" contains no latitude or longitude columns :) We will revisit this issue in my forthcoming blog post "Data Reconnaissance: Groundwater 2", where I will split the CASGEM_ID into lat. long. columns using Google Refine.

CASGEM could improve how it serves its public users by eliminating a login step, or providing a lighter login. A less obtrusive login scenario could ask users to confirm by email, or utilize OAuth. Either way, any extra steps beyond a single login step, or asking public users to fill out multiple fields in addition to email is asking too much and amounts to an accessibility hurdle.

          An idea for our first Groundwater visualization        

Today we chatted again with Carolyn Remick, who directs the Berkeley Water Center, a consortium of UC Berkeley researchers who study water. She knows a lot about the many facets of water data in California.

We told her about how we are now doing this "Summer of Groundwater," and focusing on getting something concrete done, which might help facilitate broader dialogues about groundwater in California. We had learned from Carolyn a few months back about the need for work on groundwater, and that was what inspired us to jump in and do something helpful.

Apparently, we have good timing, because there is a lot of new legislation in California that is coming up that will effect groundwater. We will find out more about what this legislation is and what it means for California.

We also asked her the same questions we asked David Zetland about groundwater:

Groundwater has many facets such as aquifer location, aquifer type, land subsidence, water levels, water quality, sensor location, sensor distribution, drinking quality standards. What is the clearest and most useful narrative tell the general public.

What do we need to know first that will be the most impactful?

Is there water in the aquifers?

Both Carolyn and David suggested that we look into the issue of water quantity in the aquifers. Water quality, if it was drinkable or not, is also important, but you need to know where the water is first, and what it is useful for!

After our call, we broke down the basic questions about groundwater into this 'tree.' We are trying to eliminate complexity so that we can make sure to release something that is useable by the end of the summer. If we do a good job with our first groundwater visualization we, or anyone, can add to it.

Essential Questions about Groundwater

Laci has been researching groundwater & groundwater data for the last few weeks, and blogging about where he found it, so we now have a good idea of where information is.

What is Groundwater?

Groundwater is water that exists in the ground in aquifers. In California this is often a gravelly area in the Earth, that sort of acts as a sponge to hold water. This water can be pumped out, or pumped into, to act as water storage. Since we are in a drought, the surface water is scarce in places, and so farmers have to "turn their pumps on," and pump water from the ground to water the food we eat (40% of which, sidenote, we wind up throwing away, which includes food from restaurants, convention centers, expired food etc that we wind up throwing away for legal reasons.)

What is an aquifer?

An aquifer is the container, a geologic structure, in the ground that has the capacity to hold water. Not all aquifers have water in them. If an aquifer goes dry, it's not always possible to fill it back up again. When an aquifer empties, it can collapse. Such an effect produces large regions that sink or "subside" and thus become newly created flood plains. Aquifers that compact can forever be broken, and therefore never bear water in their newly consolidated state.

Do we have data for where the aquifers are?
Yes. We have data for aquifers. The data we are working with lives on Github, and will be improved throughout the summer.

Community Feedback/User Research opportunity

We can interview people who don't know about groundwater to learn what they want to know, and get these answers to be well written.

Proposed logic map for groundwater interactive

Community Feedback/User Research opportunity

We have this basic outline of questions based on research and interviewing researchers. We can build a paper prototype of this, and put it in front of a few people to see what kinds of questions come up. This should help with framing the map to be more understandable for the average person as well as the average researcher.

1. Where are aquifers?

We can map the aquifers. Here is a a still image of where they are. The point of what we are doing this summer to to make it easier for everyone to map the aquifers, via tutorials in Tilemill, etc.

2. Is there water in the aquifer?

Short answer: Sometimes. This changes. Not all water is drinkable.

  • Yes. If YES:
    • How much water is there? (...and this is the level)
    • Is this level a steady level? (usgs has historic levels) - what is the level?
    • Was it always this way? (time series data)
    • Is this ground water depleting? and if so how fast?
    • Is this ground water being recharged? and if so how?
    • Is this groundwater being recharged in a sustainable / healthy way?
    • If yes - how?
    • How certain are we? (Grades: DWR's Bulletin 118, BUDGET_TYP, uses withdrawal vs. deposit model)
    • A - Groundwater budget understood
    • B - Estimated
    • C - Little known about groundwater budget
    • For later: If yes, Is this water OK? Yes / No / I don’t know / It’s complicated
      We are not going to talk about the water quality yet. That will be added in after we answer basic questions about where the groundwater is.
    • What is the level over time?
  • Kind of: On a Gradient in between YES / NO
    • Sometimes, borderline, Yellow, something’s going wrong here, threatened aquifer
    • Yes but the level wavers. (& Why?)
    • Threatened and almost extinct - can it be saved?
    • This is going extinct and that was always the plan.
    • Are you serious, really? (Yes... link to historical Alaska plans)
    • Does it have to be this way?
    • How could we fix this? - suggestion, share information, help us
  • No. If NO:
    • How? How to fix it?
    • If data & no water (DRY)
    • What is the likelihood of land subsidence?
    • Can be recharged?
    • Already a subsided?
    • How could we fix this? - suggestion, share information, help us
  • We don’t know.
    • Why?
    • No data, no local regulations, no state regulation.
    • Start open data collection to fill in uncertain information
    • How could we fix this? - suggestion, share information, help us

More general questions

  • Why does this matter?
  • Why do we need this information?
  • How do we depend on the groundwater, and how much?
  • Who pumps water out, and why?
  • people that need well water if not connected to municipal supply
  • Where is groundwater running out?
  • Is the groundwater part of a sustainability program?
  • Will groundwater running out effect the price of water?
  • How do changes in groundwater relate to drought?
  • How does groundwater extraction effect surface water?
  • Where is the land going to cave in? (subsidence/sink holes)
  • Is it economical to pump a given aquifer? Paying for pumping vs. value of the water itself. For example, for an agricultural operation with surface rights & access to groundwater basin, there is a threshold to start using their water right again, it might be more economical to use surface water. Some farmers sell water rights and pumping aquifers with no regulations. The economics of this work in their benefit. Sort of a “peak water” situation.
  • Where are aquifers being recharged? For example, injection wells. Paying money to push water back into aquifers, injecting surface water into groundwater basins to store it in a "water in/water out" model. Natural vs. artificial recharge.
  • How fast is the groundwater being depleted?

          World’s Oldest Wild Bird Stumps Scientists By Giving Birth at Age 62        
The oldest-known wild bird in the world is a new mother again, proving once and for all that age is just a number. The aptly-named Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, has given birth to a chick at the age of 62. On February 3, on the Midway Islands between North America and Asia, in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Ocean, Wisdom birthed a healthy chick in spite of her age. (PHOTOS: Ruffled Feathers: Recording Birds Caught in Nets) It’s not just the age at which she’s given birth that’s confounding scientists. Laysan albatross usually don’t even live half as long as Wisdom. Scientists estimate that she’s hatched up to approximately 35 birds during her life — and one a year for the past six years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – during an age when most humans would be cashing in their senior citizen discounts. The common assumption amongst scientists is that the albatross often becomes infertile late in life, though it’s not clear when exactly that happens. Due to the difficulty of studying the species, Wisdom is helping to impart new fowl insight to scientists — but mostly, she’s simply continuing to stun them. Bruce Peterjohn, the chief of the Bird Banding Laboratory at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md. explained his team’s stunned reactions in a news release: If she were human, she would be eligible for Medicare in a couple years yet she is still regularly raising young and annually circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean. Simply incredible. Indeed, Wisdom shows no signs of slowing. The Midway Atoll is located far from the mainland, roughly equidistant between Tokyo and San Francisco. This means Wisdom logs some serious skymiles each year in order to lay her egg. Scientists estimate she flies up to 50,000 miles a year. Not bad for being at a ripe old age. MORE: The Oldest Wild U.S. Bird: Still Alive and Kicking, and a New Mom, at 60
          Re: Richland Parish Historic Maps of Propery Ownership ca 1900s        
There are a couple of sites where you can find maps on your ancestors land... one is the USGS Land records where you can buy topo maps and locate your families land and "shade" them in and label who lived where. http://topomaps.usgs.gov/drg/

Then there is another Federal site for the Bureau of Land Management where you can locate the deeds of land granted to ancestors and such. You can find plat maps and the actual documents where your ancestor was given the land! www.glorecords.blm.gov/

Have fun!
          Khoáng chất đất hiếm rất cần thiết trong việc tạo ra vÅ© khí        

Cũng giống như chúng ta đã thấy với sự phụ thuộc vào dầu mỏ nước ngoài, tổng số phụ thuộc của Mỹ vào nguồn ngoại của đất hiếm đặt chúng ta trong một tình huống nguy hiểm," Thượng nghị sĩ đảng Cộng hòa Lisa Murkowski của Alaska cho biết, trong một tuyên bố kèm theo pháp môi trường tốt nhất sgluật chuẩn bị cô giới thiệu để tạo ra một kho dự trữ chiến lược của Mỹ khoáng sản đất hiếm và cung cấp bảo lãnh vốn vay liên bang để hỗ trợ ngành côngmôi trườngnghiệp khamôi trường tốt nhất sgi thác khoáng sản trong nước. "Một số người đã so sánh Trmômôi trường xanh sạch đẹpi trường tốt nhất sgung Quốc với một quốc gia OPEC cho đất hiếm và hành động gần đây của Trung Quốc báo hiệu rằng họ cũng nhận thức được sức mạnh to lớn của họ trong việc cung cấp hàng hóa sau khi tìm kiếm này."

môi trường

(Liên quan: " Tương lai của điền ký ")môi trường tốt nhất sg

Mặc dù nhu cầu đối với khoáng sản đất hiếm có lẽ sẽ tăng lên như xe điện và năng lượng và hiệu quả ứng dụng thay thế nhiều hơn đến thị trường, tiêu thụ các sản phẩm đã thực sự giảm đáng môi trường tốt nhất sgkể trong thmôi trường tốt nhất sgời suy thoái kinh tế, theo một báo cáo của USGS . Trong năm 2009, giá trị ước tính của các sản phẩ  môi trường  m nhập khẩu của Hoa Kỳ là 84 triệu USD, giảm 55 phần trăm từ $ 186,000,000 nmôi trường xanh sạch đẹphập khẩu trong năm 2008.Môi trường tốt nhất sg

Một số học giả không phải là quá quan tâm rằng Hoa Kmôi trường xanh sạch đẹpỳ môi trường tốt nhất sgsẽ được tổ chức bởi Trung Quốc về khoáng sản đất hiếm.

"Thực tế là càng có nhiều nền kinh tế Trung Quốc và Mỹ được nhau, cuộcmôi trường tốt nhất sg xung đột ít có khả năng có thể," Jerry Taylor, thành viên cao cấp tại Viện Cato, một cố vấn chính sách công chủ nghĩa tự do ở Washington,  môi trường xanh  người đã viết nhiều về các vấn đề năng lượng nói . "Điều gì sẽ nó [Trung Quốc] tăng vào cuối ngày? Họ sẽ có nguy cơ một cuộc chiến tranh thương mại với một đất nước mà một khối lượng tài sản khổng lồ vốn khả dụng của nó được đầu tư. "

báo cáo giám sát định kỳ

Tại Thứ năm, một trong những nhân chứng nghe, Roderick Eggert, một giáo sư và giám đốc bộ phận kinh tế và kinh doanh tại Trường Mỏ Colorado, xác nhận rằng tài nguyên khoángbáo cáo giám sát định kỳsản vẫn còn phong phú, và cung cấp của Trung Quốc và giá thấp hiện nay là đủ để đáp ứng nhu cầu của thế giới.

"Thị trường khuyến khích đầu tư mà phục hồi năng lực cung ứng và giảm thiểu rủi ro cung cấp, Eggert nói. "Các mỏ khoáng sản Trung Quốc là khá lớn và phong phú. . . Và sẽ đáp ứng [nhu cầu thế giới] và đã được đáp ứng nhu cầu trong vài năm qua. "

Quan trọng đối với quốc phòng?

Nhưng có một cốt truyện quan trọng: bảo vệ Tổ quốc.

Bên cạnh năng lượng xanh,  báo cáo giám sát định kỳ  khoáng chất đất hiếm là rất cần thiết trong việc tạo ra vũ khí. "Bom thông minh" sử dụng nam châm neodymium-sắt-bo để điều khiển hướng khi thả từ máy bay, laser có sử dụng neodymium, yttrium-aluminum-garnet được sử dụng để xác định phạm vi các mục tiêu của đối phương ở khoảng cách hơn 22 dặm, và neodymium-sắt -bo nam châmmôi trường xanh sạch đẹp vĩnh cửu được sử dụng cho các thành phầnbáo cáo giám sát định kỳ uy tín hệ thống âm thanh được sử dụng trong chiến tranh tâm lý là một trong số nhiều, theo một USGS giấy năm 2004.

Bộ Quốc phòng Mỹ hiện đang ở giai đoạn đbáo cáo giám sát định kỳ uy tínầu của việcmôi trường xanhđánh giá sự phụ thuộc vào các khoáng sản, cũng như những rủi ro an ninh qmôi trường xanh sạch đẹpuốc gia tiềm năng, theo một nghiên cứu của Văn phòng Trách nhiệm Chính phủ Hoa Kỳ.Báo cáo giám sát định kỳ uy tín

môi trường xanh

Ban giám kmôi trường xanh sạch đẹpảo vẫn ra về năng lượng thay thế. Với sự tiến bộ của công nghệ mới, sản phẩm nhất định, chẳng hạn như các tế bào năng lượng mặt trời hiệu quả cao, thậm báo cáo giám sát định kỳ uy tínchí không cần kim lbáo cáo giám sát định kỳ uy tínoại đấbáo cáo giám sát định kỳ uy tínt hiếm. Các sản phẩm năng lượng tái tạo khác, chẳng hạn như tua bin gió, có thể được tạo ra mà không có các khoáng chất đất hiếm, nhưng việc sử dụng chúng là rất thuận lợi và làm cho một quá trình hiệu quả hơn.

Với CenSeam, các nhà nghiên cứu Seamount cuối cùng đã có một cách để bơi kết quả của họ, phối hợp các dự án của họ, lưu ý , một nhà khoa học CenSeam tại Đại học California, San Diego. "Trong lịch sử, nghiên cứu Seamount chưa được phối hợp ở tất cả," cô nói . "Sẽ có một cuộc thám hiểm, họ sẽ đi đến một Seamount cá nhân hoặc chuỗi Seamount, và công bố kết quả của họ."

Animal Care Intern
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

The USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center is seeking qualified applicants for 1-2 part-time animal care interns with the Sea Bird Research Program in Laurel, MD.
They are looking to fill these positions ASAP. This internship involves assisting with animal care and research at a captive colony of seaducks. There will also be ample opportunities for interns to get involved with the training of ducklings for ongoing behavioral studies. The colony consists of 9 different species including diving and dabbling ducks.

Primary responsibilities include:
  • Assisting with daily care of ducklings and adult birds
  • Assisting in behavioral training techniques
  • Performing maintenance/cleaning tasks as assigned
  • Conducting behavioral observations

The ideal applicant will have experience working with animals, be interested in biological research, and be willing to work hard outside in all weather conditions. The internship is part time and requires a minimum of 30 hours a week. For students returning to college, there can be an option to lower the amount of hours, once classes start. Course credit through your University may be possible with approval from your academic department. Applicants must provide their own transportation to and from the center.

These positions offer an excellent opportunity for qualified and motivated individuals to obtain animal care and research experience under the mentorship of U.S. Geological Survey researchers. Students and recent graduates are encouraged to apply. If you are interested, please send a resume, a schedule of available work hours and a brief letter of interest to Alexander Vidal (UMD Alum!) at avidal@usgs.gov.
          Geo 902: Jefferson Looms on the Horizon        
A last shot from Ochoco State Park: I turned around to face west, and there was a nice view of Mt Jefferson. I promise, it's right there, kinda behind the middle of the three electric poles in the middle of  the photo. It's not the darker, more visible one in the right middle.

I had forgotten Jefferson is the second tallest mountain in Oregon (after Hood). More basic information on the mountain can be found on its USGS page. It's also the Cascade Volcano that's most reliably visible from Marys Peak, and thus the one I've seen most often. I have climbed most of the icefield visible in this photo, but it got steep enough that, without crampons, I decided to stop and turn around.

Photo unmodified. September 7, 2016. ZoomEarth location.
          WikiLeaks Emails: Cronyism And Pay-To-Play In Hillary's Inner Circle        

Henry I. Miller and Julie Kelly

The recent WikiLeaks release of hacked emails among Hillary Clinton’s advisers revealed not just a peek into the daily machinations of a presidential campaign but the pay-to-play expectations of special interests.

One of those special interests exposed was Gary Hirshberg, the wealthy founder of Stonyfield Farm, maker of organic yogurt, who has been monomaniacal in his opposition to modern genetic engineering applied to agriculture. Like many fellow travelers, he is trying to use mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, or so-called “GMOs” (genetically modified organisms), as a Trojan horse–a first step toward eliminating such products entirely, which would make over-priced organic food products more competitive in the marketplace.

[tweet_quote display=”The released #WikiLeaks emails expose #Hirshberg’s hypocrisy and his relentless, self-serving trashing of #GMOs.”]The released emails not only expose Hirshberg’s hypocrisy but also demonstrate that he will stop at nothing[/tweet_quote] , even exploiting mothers who want to provide the most healthful foods for their kids. Hirshberg targets and uses them to push his agenda. He invited actress Gwyneth Paltrow to a press conference on Capitol Hill in August 2015 where she spoke “as a mom who honestly believes I have the right to know what’s in the food I feed my family.” He produced a video featuring several B-list celebrity mothers who supporting labels on genetically engineered foods.

But while Hirshberg was using moms as useful props, a January 2016 email to John Podesta, the chairman of Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, reveals what he really thinks about them: “…this is in fact one of those topics that is on many women’s minds, not because they know anything about GMOs, but because GMOs are symbolic of the bigger narrative of our foods being produced by people who care only about profits and not really about what is best for our families.”

In other words, he tells Podesta, attacks on GMOs are just a rallying cry, a stalking horse for “Big Ag,” which cares “only about profits and not really about what is best for our families,” but which has managed to produce the most diverse, cheapest and safest food supply in human history.

That’s not the only time Hirshberg’s private comments betray his public narrative. He portrays himself as a champion of consumers’ rights, claiming GMO labels are all about transparency, mocking any lawmaker or company that objects to labels as wanting to “keep consumers in the dark.” But Hirshberg’s real reason for pushing GMO labels is to use them to disparage the modern genetic engineering techniques that are unavailable to the organic industry. In a June 2015 email to Podesta, Hirshberg lays out a number of falsehoods to convince Podesta why Clinton should support his cause:

…there is very clear and compelling USDA and USGS [U.S. Geological Survey] data demonstrating a strong likelihood of serious health and environmental threats due to the skyrocketing increases in herbicides associated with GMO usage. Leading agronomists and public health scientists are extremely concerned that these trends are rapidly increasing. To me, this is the key reason why citizens need the right to know and therefore [to] choose…

Reality is very different from the propaganda on Planet Hirshberg. The herbicide that been used in greater amounts in conjunction with genetically engineered plants is glyphosate, a non-selective, broad-spectrum herbicide that targets an enzyme in plants not found in humans. It binds to soils, which prevents it from leaching into ground water, and when it unbinds, it is degraded by soil microbes. Because of its extremely benign safety profile and value to farmers, it has become the most popular herbicide worldwide.

Hirshberg’s claims that government agencies have found “a strong likelihood of serious health and environmental threats” is a complete fabrication. These were the findings of the USGS study, which collected water samples from 51 streams in the Midwest and measured levels of various herbicides: “Glyphosate was detected in 36 percent of the samples,” and “the highest measured concentration of glyphosate was 8.7 micrograms per liter, well below the MCL [Maximum Contaminant Level] (700 micrograms per liter).” In other words, the highest concentration found was about one percent of the level that could conceivably be harmful.

Back to labeling… President Obama signed a mandatory GMO labeling bill in July, and the USDA has two years to figure out the details. Although the law allows for information to be provided via QR codes and websites, that doesn’t satisfy Hirshberg and his pro-labeling allies. They will continue to work behind the scenes in a Clinton Administration to get mandatory, on-package GMO labels that incorporate a skull-and-crossbones.

An article published by the Genetic Literacy Project collected some revealing quotes from some of the other heavyweights in the anti-genetic engineering, pro-labeling movement:

We are going to force them to label this food. If we force them to label it, then we can organize people not to buy it. –Andrew Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety

Personally, I believe [genetically modified] foods must be banned entirely, but labeling is the most efficient way to achieve this. Since 85 percent of the public will refuse to buy foods they know to be genetically modified, this will effectively eliminate them from the market just the way it was done in Europe. –Joseph Mercola, activist and hawker of various kinds of snake oil 

The burning question for us all then becomes how–and how quickly–can we move healthy, organic products from a 4.2% market niche, to the dominant force in American food and farming? The first step is to change our labeling laws. –Ronnie Cummins, Director, Organic Consumers Association

Those intentions make sense only in the context of anti-social self-interest, not unlike the relentless lobbying of the tobacco industry. A broad scientific consensus holds that the modern techniques of genetic engineering are essentially an extension, or refinement, of the methods of genetic modification that have long been used to enhance the foods we eat. Except for wild berries and wild mushrooms, virtually all the fruits, vegetables and grains in our diet have been genetically improved by one technique or another–often as a result of seeds being irradiated, or by “wide crosses,” which involve the movement of genes from one species or genus to another in ways that do not occur in nature. But because molecular genetic engineering is more precise and predictable, the technology is at least as safe as–and often safer than–the modification of food products in cruder, “conventional” ways.

The safety record of genetically engineered plants and foods derived from them is extraordinary. Even after the cultivation worldwide of more than 5 billion acres of genetically engineered crops (by more than 18 million farmers in about three dozen countries) and the consumption of more than 4 trillion servings of food by inhabitants of North America alone, there has not been a single ecosystem disrupted or a single confirmed tummy ache.

The economic, health and environmental benefits are also remarkable. Every year, farmers planting genetically engineered varieties spray millions fewer gallons of chemical insecticides and substantially reduce topsoil erosion and CO2 released into the atmosphere.

Those unequivocal benefits, which have been demonstrated repeatedly, are the real motivation for the relentless opposition to modern agricultural practices—the fear by Hirshberg and others in the organic industry that the current gap between organic and conventional agriculture will become a chasm, as technologies and products that are unavailable to organic farmers become ever more efficient and productive.

Moreover, for a large segment of the population, negative attitudes towards foods produced with molecular genetic engineering techniques them are not strongly held, and “willingness to pay” studies by economists suggest that a majority of consumers would buy genetically engineered foods if they were cheaper than alternative choices (organic, for example). Therefore, it serves the self-interest of the organic lobby to keep such products out of the marketplace.

[tweet_quote display=”Hirshberg’s is a honcho in the #organic industry’s black marketing, incl. the pseudo-controversy over #GMO labeling.”]Hirshberg’s fingerprints are all over the organic industry’s black marketing, including the pseudo-controversy over “GMO” labeling.[/tweet_quote] He knows how to manipulate both public sentiment and the levers of political power. He has enlisted naive celebrities to make videos and attend Capitol Hill press conferences to push his cynical agenda. As a major Democratic Party donor, Hirshberg and his wife have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawmakers. They were bundlers for President Obama and were invited to a 2012 State Dinner at the White House to show the president’s gratitude. Several weeks before a key Senate vote on labeling legislation, Hirshberg hosted a fundraiser for Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow (D), who then became his water-carrier on mandatory labels. And the hacked emails show that he enjoys entrée into Hillary Clinton’s inner circle and exhibits a sense of entitlement there.

Over the last several years, Hirshberg has set up pro-labeling front groups to promote his agenda (Just Label It, Only Organic, Conceal or Reveal) and his company partners with other radical non-profits (Environmental Working Group, Center for Food Safety) that oppose genetically engineered crops. The media has unwittingly–or otherwise–referred to these as “consumer advocacy” groups, providing cover to the real agendas.

Modern genetic engineering has brought tremendous benefits to farmers, food producers and consumers. If those contributions are to continue and expand, the defenders of science and evidence-based public policy will need to organize and make their presence felt.  The war against manipulation, mendacity, cynical self-interest and faux-consumer advocacy is far from over. 

Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology. Follow him on Twitter at @henryimiler. Julie Kelly is a food writer and National Review Online contributor. Follow her on Twitter at @julie_kelly2. 

          PUBLIC NOTICE Blair Forestry Consulting is in the process of developing a Timber Harvest Plan in a portion of Sections 11 and 1        
PUBLIC NOTICE Blair Forestry Consulting is in the process of developing a Timber Harvest Plan in a portion of Sections 11 and 14, T17N-R1W, HBandM, Del Norte County. The plan submitter is requesting additional information on any springs or domestic (surface, not wells) water supply intakes located in/or downstream of the proposed timber harvest area in the Tyron Creek watershed. The area of inquiry can be located on the Smith River 7.5? USGS Quadrangle map. If you have any information about domestic water supplies from these watercourses, please contact Thomas Blair within 10 days of the publication of this notice at: BLAIR FORESTRY CONSULTING PO Box 2517 McKinleyville, CA 95519 Please include your name, address and telephone number in your response. Publish: August 10, 2017 Ad # 71164189
          6.2-magnitude earthquake rattles southern Philippine island        
A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Saturday near the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, the state-run Philippines News Agency (PNA) reported. The temblor hit at 12:37 p.m. local time, 149 kilometers (93 miles) south of Davao, the USGS said. It struck at […]
          Comment on M=6.9 earthquake in Chile follows intense seismic swarm by Ross Stein        
Good point, Paul. Its magnitude, location and depth have all been moving targets. But now the association between the swarm and the M=7 is much stronger. (Paul Earle is a leading USGS seismologist in Golden, Colorado.)
          Comment on M=6.9 earthquake in Chile follows intense seismic swarm by Paul Earle        
Nice write-up. The updated USGS location has the mainshock within the foreshock swarm.
          Comment on Twin earthquakes shake western Turkey by Az-Zalzalah        
I get the point that the two earthquakes were unusually close to each other in time and space. However, the true distance between the events is ~123 km (+/- 5 km), not "some 200 km" [1]. On another topic: the GEAR model is based on events with magnitudes larger than M5.8. It is important to know what part of the hazard (in a life-time) comes from the large events used in the GEAR model and what part comes from the smaller but more frequent events that it ignores. [1] Distances and locations according to different agencies KOERI (128 km) 38.67, 27.58 38.79, 29.05 Early-Est (119 km) 38.56, 27.74 38.67, 29.10 USGS (122 km) 38.67, 27.67 38.76, 29.07
          Comment on M=4.5 earthquake highlights Hawaii’s tectonic past, present, and future by Dal Stanley        
I worked on the structures around Kilauea including the lava tubes carrying molten basalt and the big controlling features like those where the quakes are being concentrated on the south side, including the 1975 Kalapana event. Using mainly VLF electromagnetic mapping and quake plotting, I worked with Dallas Jackson USGS who lives now in Waa Waa south of Hilo. What is dangerous is the whole block of basalt below the Hilina Slump which has 1/10th the volume of the island and could slide off into the Pacific. This would cause a several hundred feet high massive wave that would kill lots of people all the way to Australia. Here is a short description of the slump The 1975 M7.2 caused a 45' high tsunami. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilina_Slump
          Comment on “Very real” threat of earthquakes prompts Los Angeles County to sue oil and gas regulators by Matthew d'Alessio        
The original LA Daily News article gives me too much credit -- I'm simply relying on the hazard data produced by the USGS -- probably the same underlying results that feed into Temblor. But despite the fact that we can now go online to check the risk to our homes using the Temblor App, people don't yet know how a lot of oil and gas infrastructure will respond when it's built directly on top of a fault. I think the point of this lawsuit is to make sure that the gas company does those calculations before trying to reopen such a critical facility.
          Tallying fewer crossings, UN agency reports rise in migrant deaths at US-Mexico border        

Migrant deaths along the U.S./Mexico border, 2014-2017. Some 232 migrant fatalities have been recorded in the first seven months of 2017, an increase of 17 per cent compared with the 204 deaths recorded between January and July 2016. Graphic: Eari / HERE / Garmin / FAO / NOAA / USGS / EPA / NPS

4 August 2017 (United Nations) – Even as the flow appears to have thinned, migrants crossing the United States-Mexico border are dying at a faster rate in 2017 than in past years, according to a new United Nations agency study.

“Some 232 migrant fatalities have been recorded in the first seven months of 2017, an increase of 17 per cent compared with the 204 deaths recorded between January and July 2016,” said Julia Black, coordinator of the Berlin-based Missing Migrants Project (MMP) at the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.

“These numbers are especially concerning considering that, according to US Border Patrol figures, fewer migrants seem to be crossing into the US in 2017. The US Border Patrol has apprehended 140,024 migrants between January and June 2017, about half the number recorded in the first six months of 2016,” she added.

“Fifty bodies were recorded as discovered in July, the most recorded in any month so far this year,” Ms. Black said, explaining that their remains were found across the border region.

“Nine were recorded in various locations along the Río Grande; ten in a truck in San Antonio, Texas; and 16 in other locations in Texas,” she elaborated.

Fifteen others were recovered in Arizona's Pima County, a notoriously dangerous crossing, where seasonal temperatures regularly soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius between the months of May and September. So far this year, 96 bodies have been recovered in Pima County.

According to the briefing, its Missing Migrants Project has recorded more than 1,250 migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border since 2014.

MMP staff reflecting on the deaths see each as an individual tragedy that serve as reminders of the many migrants who continue to risk their lives pursuing their “Sueño Americano”, or “American Dream”.

Although the story of 10 migrants who died trapped in the back of a tractor-trailer in Texas last Sunday was covered in the media, most recorded deaths in the border region – which occur in single digits on a nearly daily basis throughout the summer – rarely make headlines.

Many of those pursuing el Sueño Americano travel from Mexico to Texas, compelled to cross the swift-flowing Río Grande to the US.

A woman fleeing from El Salvador walks along the train tracks in Chiapas, Mexico. This stretch of her walk began on Arriaga, Chiapas. She is on her way to the United States. Mexico. Central American Refugees. Photo: Markel Redondo / UNHCR

For example, on Wednesday, a five-year-old child migrant drowned in the Río Grande near Tamaulipas, Mexico, as the father went missing during the river crossing.

According to the IOM, 57 people drowned in the border river in 2017 – a 54 per cent hike over the 37 deaths recorded in the Río Grande between January and July 2016.

IOM's office in Mexico cites heavy rainfall in recent months, which has made the river faster and deeper, as a possible cause for the increase. However, the upsurge in migrant deaths in other border areas, such as the Arizona desert, remains unexplained.

Though migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border represent 65 per cent of the total number recorded in the Americas, it is likely that many migrant deaths occur in Central and Southern America that go unrecorded. Notably, several bodies, presumed to be migrants, were seen floating off the coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday; another migrant was killed near Oaxaca, Mexico on Sunday after being struck by a train; and another, from El Salvador, was the victim of a stabbing.

Noting that the true number of migrant fatalities in 2017 is likely to be higher than the MMP indicates, Ms. Black concluded by pointing out that “it's something that is true for all regions of the world, unfortunately.”

Tallying fewer crossings, UN agency reports rise in migrant deaths at US-Mexico border

          Earthquake Rattles Oklahoma North Texas, Kansas Saturday Night        
UPDATE: Possible aftershocks already occurring.  USGS has upgraded quake to a 5.6 magnitude   The United States Geological Survey has reported that a 5.6 magnitude quake rattled Oklahoma and parts of Texas, Kansas and Arkansas Saturday night. At... Continue reading…
          Prelude to a Catastrophe: Silver Lake        
Let's have a road trip, shall we? Yes, I do know we were in the middle of Oregon, getting ready to shove our noses against some particularly delicious road cuts, but this is a virtual car - we can skip states in the blink of an eye.

So hop in. We're on our way to Mount St. Helens today. The skies are very nearly clear - by Washington state standards, anyway. Warm sun mingles with a cool breeze that snickers about autumn's imminent arrival. You've got your nose plastered to the car window as we drive up Spirit Lake Memorial Highway from Castle Rock. All you're seeing at this point are low hills and a flat bit of valley, plastered with green stuff. Biology is a perennial problem for geologists round here. You can barely see the hills for the trees. And you can't even tell we're driving along the shore of a lake. But here it is: visible in satellite views, anyway.

View Larger Map

We turn off at the Mount St. Helens Visitor's Center. Lovely building, quite a lot of nice displays, and a nice nature trail along Silver Lake.

And you're just burning for your first glimpse of Mount St. Helens her own self, but the clouds aren't cooperating. That's quite all right, because I want you to focus on the lake for a bit. Maybe it'll help if I tell you Mount St. Helens created it.

Silver Lake, looking east.

This isn't the best place to be if you don't like (geologically) frequent lahars. The Toutle River, which has its origins on the north and west flanks of St. Helens, passes by just a bit north of here. It has a distressing habit of frequently channeling lahars. Some of them happen when Mt. St. Helens has a bit of an eruptive episode. Others happen when debris dams holding back bodies of water like Spirit Lake fail. Next thing you know, there's quite a lot of rock-filled mud sloshing round the place. Happens all the time.

Now you're looking for deposits from the 1980 eruption, aren't you? Don't bother. Even if the riotous vegetation wasn't hiding all the lovely geology, you wouldn't see much. 1980, for all it left a mark on us, didn't really touch Silver Lake. Those lahars kept themselves to the river channel, and only left deposits about two meters thick. A mere six feet. Nothing a river can't clear out in thirty years.

Not that it didn't get interesting. Here's a nice USGS photo of a house on the riverbank near Tower Road, not far from here, that shows how much damage was caused even thirty miles from the volcano:

USGS Photograph taken on July 16, 1980, by Lyn Topinka.
See how the paint got stripped and the windows busted out on the first floor? And the poor tree trunks are a bit scoured. Roads didn't fare well, either - State Route 504 wasn't exactly drivable two miles upstream of the Coal Bank Bridge.

USGS Photograph taken July 5, 1980, by Robert Schuster.
Certainly no shoulder now, is there?

I'm showing you these images to impress upon you the power of a lahar, and as a prelude to telling you this: the one that created Silver Lake was a hell of a lot bigger.

The lake's only 2,500 years old. One day, around the same time Greece was starting to really come into its own and the Buddha was holding up flowers and waiting for one man to smile, Mount St. Helens had an episode. It's called the Pine Creek eruptive period. Oh, baby, she blew. Pyroclastic flows everywhere, and four lahars. We're especially interested in PC1, the lahar that created the placid little lake we're viewing.

Silver Lake, looking west.
Mount St. Helens has a habit of unleashing debris flows that dam up lakes. She'd dammed Spirit Lake (or possibly an ancestor thereof), but hadn't done a thorough job of it. The debris dam failed repeatedly. The first massive outburst scooped up all the lovely loose alluvial and volcanic deposits it encountered and mixed them up in a nice, thick lahar that went thundering down the Toutle River. PC1, as it's known, was historic, the largest ever to travel down the river. Above Coalbank Rapids, it discharged at 200,000-300,000 meters per second. To put that in some perspective, imagine the middle bit of the Amazon racing down the Toutle River valley at flood stage. Now imagine it isn't merely water, but a slurry of rocky mud. That's huge. Far larger than those paltry little lahars we witnessed during the May 1980 eruption.

And when it reached Coalbank Rapids, it found itself facing the same problem as a stadium crowd stampeding out the exit at a sold-out concert: a constricted egress. All that mud had nowhere to go but up-valley. It spread out, burying the landscape under thick sediment and rock, and a little tributary creek named Outlet Creek discovered it suddenly didn't have an outlet anymore.

It wasn't strong enough to cut through that enormous quantity of debris, so it ponded behind the lahar. Silver Lake is, in fact, a lahar-margin lake, and a rather large example of the breed. It's over fifteen square kilometers. But before you get too impressed, keep in mind it's only about 5 meters (16ft) deep at its deepest. Some measurements have it shallower. If you stand there waiting for a catastrophic flood as the lahar dam fails here, you're going to be desperately bored. They actually had to install a weir and a drainage channel in 1971 because it got backed up in stormy weather.

Silver Lake shore, looking east
So, as you look east hoping for a glimpse of St. Helens, keep in mind you're looking toward the spot where a ginormous lahar wreaked havoc a geologic moment ago. Go diving - okay, probably more like wading - in the east bit of the lake, and you can find that old lahar under all the detritus. Down here at the western end, where the lahar didn't reach, it's mostly clay, silt and sand, with a bit of peat. I swear this lake's aspiring to become a coal field someday.

The little basin it fills is surrounded by mid-to-late Eocene volcanics, lots of basalts and basaltic andesite. This area's seen a lot of volcanism as continents collided. Kick around this quadrangle (pdf), and you'll even find our old friends the Columbia River Basalts, along with the birth of the Cascades and plenty of deposits from Mount St. Helens her own self.

And there she is, the grand old girl, just barely peeking out from the clouds at last:

Mount St. Helens from Silver Lake
We'll kick round here a bit longer, among the birds and dragonflies and peaceful marshy lake life, before we get back in the car and head up the road to see firsthand just what a lahar does to your nice new house.


Evarts, Russel C., Geologic Map of the Silver Lake Quadrangle, Cowlitz County, Washington

Scott, K.M., 1989, Magnitude and frequency of lahars and lahar-runnout flows in the Toutle-Cowlitz River system: U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1447-B (pdf).

          My Volcano Phobia is Officially Pining for the Fjords        
We would have ended the summer adventuring season with a bang if Mount St. Helens had been so kind as to erupt.

I used to have a bit of a volcano phobia. I'd have nightmares of majestic mountains suddenly exploding, threatening me with pyroclastic flows and hot red lava. I remember those dreams: tense, terrified sequences that sometimes began with the first jets of steam and ash from an unexpected eruption, sometimes picking up in mid-drama as I tried to gather cat and loved ones and flee. There was a dream where I lived in my childhood home again: the Peaks were putting on a spectacular show outside the sliding glass doors, lava bombs and ash falling all round, hot bits of volcanic ejecta setting off massive forest fires. Lava flows once chased me all the way from Flagstaff to Phoenix, melting the car's tires and cutting off escape routes. I'd wake up exhausted, heart pounding, eyeballing the nearest mountain for the slightest sign of unrest. I'd run through evacuation plans in my mind and check the news (at the time, rumor had it the ground around Flagstaff was rising by an inch a year, and I believed there was a magma chamber filling up below the mountains). I'd watch teevee shows about eruptions and consider that the oldest volcanics nearby were less than 1,000 years old. The volcanoes were sleeping, not dead, and I was ready: if they so much as twitched, I'd be outta there like a shot.

I never ever in my entire life wanted to see a volcano erupt live. Not even the tame little Hawaiian ones. Nossir. I'd take my eruptions on teevee from a safe distance of several hundred miles, thanks ever so much.

So what did I do? Moved to a subduction zone, where things regularly go boom. My stepmother laughed at me. But as I told her, they monitor these things intensively, and the moment one of them woke, I'd be on her doorstep with cat and suitcase in hand.

I never would have gone to Mount Saint Helens the first time if I'd known she was, actually, erupting. And I would have fled if I'd realized the pretty wisps of steam emerging from the dome weren't merely residual heat, but active dome-building. The parking lot was filled with scorch marks from hot rocks falling from the sky. And I was damned glad we'd brought the fast car - if it looked to be an eruption, we'd be so outta there.

And we got home after a hell of an experience, and I looked some things up, and realized I'd stared into the heart of an erupting volcano, one that had violent tendencies, and nothing bad had happened.

Still, I'd run, wouldn't I? If I saw her start to blow, I'd surely scream and run away.

Then I started studying geology.

And then I went back.

And found myself disappointed St. Helens is sleeping.

The scorch marks in the parking lot are faded now. The dome isn't steaming. The seismometers on her slopes are quiet. And I wished she'd wake up. I wished she was busy dome-building again. I wished I could stand on the viewing platform at Johnston Ridge and watch her put on a show. Not a big one, mind, but just a little something for the kids. Cujo and Steamforged had never seen her in person before. I had the new camera. C'mon, girl, just a little plume for your old buddy Dana. I wrote you a get-well card when you blew apart in '80, remember?

No such luck. But it doesn't matter if she's erupting or not - she's still spectacular. The blast zone is still a virtual moonscape, despite all the wildflowers and alders. You just don't get to see bald slopes and deep, wild erosion in western Washington. There's nothing like a VEI-5 eruption to clear away all that pesky biology.

We took the long climb from the parking lot to Johnston Ridge Observatory. At first, the ridge hides the mountain. She peeks at you, gradually comes into view, and you almost don't notice because you're goggling at the downed trees and nearly-naked slopes of the blast zone.

Note the biology starting to get all uppity. I think we need another VEI-5 to teach it a lesson. Yes, it's pretty; yes, that's how western Washington's supposed to be, but damn it, it's beginning to block the geology views.

And yes, that's a bit of the crater rim rising above the bushes. Stick with me. A few more feet of climbing, and you'll see views.

Reach the top, stand on the shoulder of the ridge, and gaze into the amphitheater left by the 1980 eruption. After you've managed to unstick your awestruck feet, walk toward the Observatory. There's another rise, and nestled at the base of that rise, facing the mountain, a monument.

The names of the dead are chiseled in black against the gray stone. Mount St. Helens killed, because we didn't understand her. We didn't know quite what to expect of her, or where the safe places were, or took risks for science, or adventure. Harry Truman stayed in his cabin with his cats, too old and too stubborn to flee his beloved mountain.

David A. Johnston died on this ridge. He had time for one last radio transmission: "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!" I don't know how much time he had to realize he wasn't getting out. Two miles to the north, also directly in the path of the blast, ham radio operator Jerry Martin knew what was coming: he'd just seen David Johnston die. "Gentlemen, the uh, camper and the car sitting over to the south of me is covered," he said in his last transmission. "It’s gonna get me, too. I can’t get out of here."

You can hear David's last words, in a film at the Observatory named for him. And after the movie, the screen goes up, the curtain rises, and there she is.

 Stand there for a moment of silence, then go on.

Inside the Observatory, they have some pretty outstanding displays. They've got a huge scale model that lights up, illustrating various phases of the eruption as a narrator speaks.

This one, I think, was showing the pyroclastic flows.

And some of the lahars:

I have a terrible feeling lots of folks have walked away thinking St. Helens spewed rivers of molten lava, but oh well. I wasn't paying that much attention to it, aside from ooing at the sparkles. No, there was another thing there that demanded attention: a display that you could put your hands on to "feel" earthquakes and other seismic events, with a screen showing you what the seismometers had picked up (running elk, helicopter landing, rock breaking, landslide, various earthquakes) and the thing would shake and shake. This, I have to tell you, could keep a person occupied for hours. Wish I had thought to take a picture, but I was too busy playing with it.

Outside in the Plaza, there's one of those USGS markers I love so much:

We stayed for the ranger talk, which I'll be writing up, and then headed out. One last look back:

And then on down to a viewpoint overlooking Castle Lake, where the late evening light and several enthralled people compliment the mountain perfectly.

And with that, the summer adventuring season is well and truly at an end. Good thing, too. I've got so much geology to write up I'll probably still haven't have gotten it all by the time next summer rolls round.

Ending it here, with the mountain that introduced me to the splendid power of volcanic eruptions at the tender age of 5, seems fitting. Mount St. Helens has been part of my consciousness for nearly the entire span of my memory. She was the most spectacular event of my childhood. She's become a part of me, she and the people who were caught up in that day of catastrophic destruction.

She'll likely put on another eruptive display before I die, and unlike me, she won't grow old. She'll constantly be tearing herself down and building herself back up, long after we are gone. There's something very nearly timeless in that, although she's not eternal. She's a moment in geological time. But what a moment she is!
          Swelling clays and X-ray diffraction        

Recently, I have been asked by a friend to guide him through a crash course in X-ray diffraction and the identification of swelling clay minerals. Swelling clay minerals are a major issue in formation damage for petroleum/natural gas production but also for natural buildings stones and construction. Since I am ever so often asked how to identify swelling clays by friends or colleagues, I figured that it would make a great blog!

Warning: I keep this very simple. No exceptions, no cutting edge tricks, no rare minerals. Every lab will do things a tiny bit different. So this might not be the exact way you saw it elsewhere. If you are unexperienced and want to do it yourself, you should consult the sources listed at the end of the blog post before proceeding.

Clay minerals

Geoscientists use the term clay in two different contexts that may cause confusion. First, clay sensu lato is any material with a particle diameter < 2.0 µm. So, anything with a grain size smaller 2.0 µm is clay in a physical sense. Second, and more important for the clay scientists, clay sensu strictu is a group of phyllosilicates (Fig. 1) composed of tetrahedral and octahedral sheets. The sheets are the building blocks of layers. There are 1:1 layers and 2:1 layers: meaning a tetrahedral sheet + an octahedral sheet, and an octahedral sheet sandwiched in between two tetrahedral sheets.
Fig. 1: An overview of the classification of clay minerals. Source: Bergaya and Lagaly (2006) General introduction: Clays, clay minerals, and clay science. In: Handbook of Clay Science, Edited by F. Bergaya, B.K.G. Theng and G. Lagaly, Developments in Clay Science, Vol. 1
Based on the site occupancy of the octahedral sheet clay minerals can also be subdivided into di- and trioctahedral. While the first have 2 out of 3 octahedral positions occupied with a cation, the later have all 3 positions occupied with a cation, e.g. Al, Mg, Fe, Li or others. Natural swelling clay minerals are hydrated 2:1 clays with an expandable interlayer such as smectite, interstratified smectite in "another mineral", and vermiculite.

Certain clay minerals have an electrical charge due to substitutions in the octahedral sheet. The charge is neutralised by additional cations (e.g. Na, Ca, Mg) located in the interlayer space between each 2:1 layer stack (Fig. 2). Water (and other useful substances) can enter into the interlayer. The clay swells.
Fig. 2: Basic structure of Montmorillonite, a dioctahedral smectite and hydrous 2:1 swelling clay mineral. Source: USGS Laboratory for X-ray powder diffraction
Determining swelling clay minerals

The clay minerals have to be separated from the rest of the rock. This is usually done by gentle crushing, followed by sedimentation in Atterberg cylinders or by centrifugation. When there is no need to determine the trace element contents or exchangeable cation composition of the clay interlayer the dispersion can be enhanced by adding ammonium (pH control) or sodium pyrophosphate. It is important to keep the suspension in a neutral pH range to prevent flocculation. The < 2.0 µm or any other size fraction can be separated based upon the Stokes Law. So, we are actually working with an equivalent diameter. Doing this we obtain a clay suspension.

A few drops of the suspension are pipetted onto a glass slide and allowed to dry. This is the orientated, air-dried sample. It is measured using X-ray diffraction from 2° to 25° or to 35°2theta. Afterwards, the glass slide is placed into a small container to saturate the interlayer with ethylene glycol vapour - or other substances. The intercalation of EG in the interlayer space (Fig. 2) expands the clay lattice. This can be detected by repeating the XRD measurement. This step must be done fast (~ half an hour to one hour) because the EG will easily escape. The third step is calcination above 500°C but several other temperature steps may be used to gain more detailed information. This will cause the interlayer space to collapse. We repeat the XRD measurement a final time.

How does it looks like in the end?

The best method to immediately see and compare the results is by putting all three measurements into one image. Most XRD devices will have their own internal computer program for data comparison. Alternatively, this can be done using commercial or non-commercial software packages. For illustration purposes I drew three XRD traces (Fig. 3) of one of my own samples (a smectite) treated according to the above explanations and measured as air-dried, EG-solvated and calcined sample. The measurement is shown from 4 to 24° 2theta. There is a clear expansion of the d001 peak from roughly 14.3 to 17.3 Å due to the intercalation of the ethylene-glycol. The calcined sample shows the characteristic collapse of the interlayer. A careful review of the peak positions will confirm that there are no other minerals.
Fig. 3: XRD traces of an orientated, air-dried, EG-solvated, and calcined sample of a smectite. Own sample and data.

Bergaya and Lagaly (2006) General introduction: Clays, clay minerals, and clay science. In: Handbook of Clay Science, Edited by F. Bergaya, B.K.G. Theng and G. Lagaly, Developments in Clay Science, Vol. 1.
Hillier (2003) Quantitative Analysis of Clay and other Minerals in Sandstones by X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD)
Moore and Reynolds (1997) X-Ray Diffraction and the Identification and Analysis of Clay Minerals, 2nd edition.

Internet resources for more detailed instructions: 
USGS - A Laboratory Manual for X-Ray Powder Diffraction
The Cutting Edge - Teaching Clay Science 
          Mapa geológico de Venezuela USGS 2006        

          Eighty Islands have Disappeared in Florida: The States Shifting Landmass...Oil?        
Eighty islands have disappeared, caused by factors which the USGS continues to study.Yes, storms and hurricanes have been a factor...and sea-level rise. Artificial canals have caused numerous changes, including the conversion of the intertidal area.
          U.S. Earthquake Hazard Maps Updated by USGS        

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently updated its National Seismic Hazard Maps for the lower 48. Last published in 2008, the 2014 maps were developed using new ground motion models and show 42 out of 48 states at risk for damage from ground shaking in the next 50 years. Areas at risk for significant damage remain primarily the West Coast and New Madrid Seismic Zone. However, when the new models and recent activity in those two areas were considered together, there is potential for greater damage than previously anticipated.  More below:

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program Website
(Click on: "Lower 48 Maps and Data")

Documentation for the 2014 Update of the United States National Seismic Hazard Maps
(Report download page)  

Comment: I knew there was a reason I'm living in Minnesota besides the great winters...no appreciable chance of an earthquake! All kidding aside, even those states without significant direct threat from an earthquake should be planning for one. That's because in this day and age of interconnected infrastructure a significant event in one part of the country is going to have serious indirect impact on other parts. And, there will be a need for significant response and recovery assets from outside the quake zone. Of great concern in that regard is the New Madrid Seismic Zone through which a substantial amount of the nation's liquid energy (in pipelines) and a majority of nation's inland waterway commerce passes. Unfortunately, to date, much of the response planning for that area has only involved states which would be directly impacted.   

          From Battle To Birds: Drones Get Second Life Counting Critters        
The U.S. military and law enforcement agencies have seen increased public scrutiny on the domestic use of the robotically piloted planes known as drones. Working on the sidelines of this debate, the U.S. Geological Survey has been trying to find a second life for retired military drones in the areas of environmental and wildlife management. Instead of watching the battlefield, these drones are watching birds.Earlier this month, scientists spent three days flying a small 4-pound Raven A drone above the breeding grounds of the greater sage grouse, about 120 miles northwest of Denver. USGS hydrologist Chris Holmquist-Johnson says researchers are trying to figure out if they can use the drone to capture photo and thermal images of the birds without disturbing them."So far what we've seen is that they really don't seem to be bothered by it," Homquist-Johnson says. "We're able to get that imagery and they don't flush or move on to a new location."The experiment is part of a larger project.
          Terrain Slopes        
Entropy makes its mark everywhere. Take the case of modeling topography. How can we model and thus characterize disorder in the earth's terrain? Can we actually understand the extreme variability we see?

If we consider that immense forces cause upheaval in the crust then we can reason that the energy can also vary all over the map, so to speak. The process that transfers potential energy into kinetic energy to first order has to contain elements of randomness. To the huge internal forces within the earth, generating relief textures equates to a kind of brownian motion in relative terms -- over geological time, the terrain amounts to nothing more than inconsequential particles to the earth's powerful internal engine.

In a related sense the process also resembles the pressure distribution in the earth's atmosphere, a classic application of maximum entropy that we can re-apply in the case of modeling terrain slope distributions.

Premise. We take the terrain slope S as our random variable (defined as rise/run). The higher the slope, the more energetic the terrain. Applying Maximum Entropy to a section of terrain, we can approximate the local variations as a MaxEnt conditional probability density function:
p(S|E) = (1/cE) * exp(-S/cE)
where E is the local mean energy and c is a constant of proportionality. But we also assume that the mean E varies over a larger area that we are interested in, as in the superstatistical sense of applying a prior distribution.
p(E) = k*exp(-k*E)
where k is another MaxEnt measure of our uncertainty in the energy spread over a larger area.

The final probability is an integral over the marginal distribution consisting of the conditional multiplied by the prior:
p(S) = integral p(S|E) *p(E) dE from E=0 to infinity
This integrates as a BesselK function of the zero order, K0, available on any spreadsheet program (see here for a similar derivation in an unrelated field).
p(S) = 2/S0 * K0(2*sqrt(S/S0))
The average value of the terrain slope for this distribution is simply the value S0.

Now we can try it on a large set of data. I downloaded all the DEM data for the 1 degree quadrangles (aka blocks/tiles) in the USA from the USGS web site. http://dds.cr.usgs.gov/pub/data/DEM/250/

This consists of post data at approximately 92 meter intervals (i.e. a fixed value of run) at 1:250,000 scale for the entire USA. I concentrated on the lower 48 and some spillover into Canada. I used curl to iteratively download each of the nearly 1000 quadrangle files on the server.

I then wrote a program to read the data from individual DEM files and calculate the slopes between adjacent posts and came up with an average slope (rise/run) of 0.039, approximately a 4% grade or 2.2 degrees pitch. I take the absolute values of all slopes so that the average is not zero.

The cumulative plot of terrain slopes for all 5 billion calculated slope points appears on the following chart (Figure 1). I also added the cumulative probability distribution of the BesselK model with the calculated average slope as the single adjustable parameter.

Figure 1: CDF of USA DEM data and the BesselK model with a small variation in S0 (+/-4% about the average 0.037 rise/run) demonstrating sensitivity to the fit.

This kind of agreement does not just happen because of coincidence. It occurs because random forces contribute to maximizing the entropy of the topography. Enough variability exists for the terrain to reach an ergodic limit in filling the energy-constrained state space.

As supporting evidence, it turns out that we can generate a distribution that maps well to the prior by estimating the average slope from the conditional PDF of each of the 922 quadrangle blocks and then plotting this aggregate data set as another histogram (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Generation of the prior distribution by taking the average slope of each of the nearly 1000 quadrangles . The best fit generates a value of S0 (1/27=0.037) close to that used in Figure 1.

Practically speaking, we see the variability in slopes expressed at the two different levels. The entire USA at the integrated (BesselK model) level and the aggregated regions at the localized (exponential prior) level. These remain consistent as they agree on the single adjustable parameter S0 .

The modeled distribution has many practical uses for analysis, including transportation studies and planning. Obviously, vehicles traveling up slopes use a significant amount of energy and you might like to have a model to base an analysis on without having to rely on the data by itself. (As a caveat, I did not include any of the spatial correlations that must also exist and might prove useful as well)

Perusing the recent research, I couldn't find anyone that had previously discovered this simple model. Not that they haven't tried, coming up with a good slope distribution model seems to amount to a mini Holy Grail among geophysicists. I went as far as dropping $10 to downloading the first paper, which turned out to be a bust.
  1. Probabilistic description of topographic slope and aspect.
    G. Vico and A. Porporato, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 114, F01011, doi:10.1029/2008JF001038, 2009
  2. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics Multifractal earth topography.
    J.-S. Gagnon, S. Lovejoy, and D. Schertzer, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 13, 541–570, 2006
    G Gonçalves, XXII International Cartographic Conference, 2005
  4. SAR interferometry and statistical topography.
    Guarnieri, A.M. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Dec 2002
If someone wants to generate Monte Carlo statistics for the BesselK model without having to do the probability inversion, the algorithm turns out surprisingly simple. Draw two independent random samples from a uniform [0.0 .. 1.0] interval, apply the natural log to each, multiply them together, and then multiply by the S0 scaling constant. That will give the following cumulative if done 5 billion times, which is the same size as my USA DEM data sample.

Figure 3: Generation of the BesselK model via Monte Carlo.

The only statistical noise is at the 1e-9 level, same as in the DEM data.

Examples of some random-walk realizations drawing from a two-level model follow. The flatter regions occur more often reflecting the regional data.

          Bird Surveys        
This post either points out something pretty obvious or else it reveals something of practical benefit. You can judge for now.

I briefly made a reference to bird survey statistics when I wrote this post on econophysics and income modeling. I took a typical rank histogram of bird species abundance and fit it the best I could to a dispersive growth model, further described here. The generally observed trend follows that many species exist in the middle of abundance and relatively small numbers of species exist at each end of the spectrum -- few species exceedingly common (i.e. starling) and few species exceedingly rare (i.e. whooping crane). Since the bird data comes from a large area in North America, the best fit followed a meta-community growth model. The meta-community adjustment impacts the knee of the histogram curve and broadens the Preston plot, effectively smearing over geological ages that different species have had to adapt.

Figure 1: Preston plot (top) and
rank histogram (bottom) of relative bird species abundance

If we assume that the relative species abundance has a underlying model related to steady-state growth according to p(rate), where rate is the relative advantage for species reproduction and survival, then this should transitively might apply to disturbances to growth as well. Recently, I ran into a paper that actually tried to discern some universality in diverse growth papers, and it coincidentally used the bird survey data along with two economic measures of firm size and mutual fund size.
I did the best I could with the figures in the paper but eventually went to the source, ftp://ftpext.usgs.gov/pub/er/md/laurel/BBS/DataFiles/, and used data from 1997 to 2009.

I applied the same abundance distribution as before and came up with the fit below (see blue and red curves below, data and model respectively). That provided a sanity check, but Schwarzkopf and Farmer indicated that the year-to-year relative growth fluctuations should also obey some fundamental behavior through the distribution of this metric:
RelativeGrowth(Year) = n(Year+1) / n(Year)
Sure enough, and for whatever reason, the "growth" in the surveyed data does show as much richness as the steady state averaged abundance distribution. The relative growth in terms of a fractional yearly change sits alongside the relative abundance curve below (in green). Notice right off the bat that the distribution of fractional changes drops off much more rapidly.

Figure 2 : The red meta-model curve smears the median from 200 to 60000

I believe that this has a simple explanation having to do with Poisson counting statistics. When estimating fractional yearly growth, we consider that the rarer bird species having the lowest abundance will contribute most strongly to fluctuation noise on year-to-year survey data. Values flipping from 1 to 2 will lead to 100% growth rates for example. (We have to ignore movements from 1 to 0 and 0 to 1 as these growths become infinite.

I devised a simple algorithm that takes two extreme values (R greater than 1 and R less than 1 ) and the steady state abundance N for each species. The lower bound of:
R1 = R * (1-sqrt(2/N))/(1+sqrt(2/N))
and the upper bound becomes:
R2 = R * (1+sqrt(2/N))/(1-sqrt(2/N))
The term 1.4/sqrt(N) derives from Poisson counting statistics in that the relative changes become inversely related to the size of the sample. We double count in this case because we don't know whether the direction will go up or down, relative to R, a number close to unity.

(This has much similarity to the model I just used in understanding language adoption. Small numbers of adopters experience suppressing fluctuations as 1/sqrt(N))

Expanding on the scale, the results of this algorithm are shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 : Model of yearly growth fluctuation in terms of a cumulative distribution function

Placing it in terms of a binned probability density function, the results look like the following plot. Note the high counts match closely the data simply because the 1/sqrt(N) is relatively small. Away from these points, you can see the general trend develop even though the data is (understandably) obscured by the same counting noise.

Figure 4 : The probability density function of yearly growth fluctuations.

As an essential argument to take home, consider that a counting statistics argument probably accounts for the yearly growth fluctuations observed. Before you make any other assertions, you likely have to remove this source of noise. Looking at Figure 3 & 4, you can potentially see a slight bias toward positive growth for certain lower abundance species. This comes at the expense of lower decline elsewhere, except for some strong declines in several other low abundance species. This may indicate the natural ebb and flow of attrition and recovery in species populations, with some of these undergoing strong declines. I haven't done this but it makes sense to identify the species or sets of species associated with these fluctuations.

Two puzzling points also stick out. For one, I don't understand why Schwarzkopf and Farmer didn't immediately discern this effect. Their underlying rationale may have some of the same elements but it gets obscured by their complicated explanation. They do use a resampling technique (on 40+ years worth of data) but I didn't see much of a reference to conventional counting statistics, only the usual hand-wavy Levy flight arguments. They did find a power law of around-0.3 instead of the -0.5 we used for Poisson, so they may generate something equivalent to Poisson by drawing from a similar Levy distribution. Overall I find this violates Occam's razor, at least for this set of bird data .

Secondly, it seems that these differential growth curves have real significance in financial applications. More of the automated transactions look for short duration movements and I would think that ignoring counting statistics could lead the computers astray.


As an aside, when I first pulled the data off the USGS server, I didn't look closely at the data sets. It turns out that the years 1994,1995,1996 were included in the data but appeared to have much poorer sampling statistics. From 1994 to 1996, the samples got progressively larger but I didn't realize this when I first collected and processed the data.

Figure 6 : CDF of larger data sample.
Note the strange hitch in the data growth fluctuation curve.

At the time, I figured that the slope had a simple explanation related to uncertainties in the surveying practice. I also saw some similarities to the uncertainties in stock market returns that I blogged about recently in an econophysics posting.

Say the survey delta time has a probability distribution with average time -- the T most likely related to the time between surveys:
pt(time) = (1/T)*exp(-time/T)
then we also assume that a surveyor tries to collect a certain amount of data, x, during the duration of the survey. We could characterize this as a mean, X, or some uniform interval. We don't have any knowledge of higher order moments to we just apply the Maximum Entropy Principle
px(x) = (1/X)*exp(-x/X)
The ratio between these two establishes the relative rate of growth, rate = X/T. We can derive the following cumulative quite easily:
P(rate) = T*rate/(T*rate +X)
The yearly growth rate fluctuations of course turn out as the second derivative of this function. We take one derivative to convert :
dp(rate)/drate = 2*T/X/(1+rate*T/X)^3
On a cumulative plot as in Figure 6, this shows a power-law of order 2 (see the orange curve). Near the knee of the curve, it looks a bit sharper. If we use a uniform distribution of px(x) up to some maximum sample interval, then it matches the knee better (see the dashed curve).

So the simple theory says that much of the observed yearly fluctuation may arise simply due to sampling variations during the surveying interval. Plotting as a binned probability density function, the contrast shows up more clearly in Figure 7. In both cases is fit to X/T = 60. This number is bigger than unity because it looks like every year, the number of samples increases (I also did not divide by 15, the number of years in the survey).

But of course, the reason this maximum entropy model works as well as it does came about from real variation in the sampling techniques. Those years from 1994 to 1996 placed enough uncertainty and thus variance in the growth rates to completely smear the yearly growth fluctuation distribution.

Figure 7 : PDF of larger sample which had sampling variations.
Note that this has a much higher width than Figure 4.

Only in retrospect when I was trying to rationalize why a sampling variation this large would occur in a seemingly standardized yearly survey, did I find the real source of this variation. Clearly, the use of the Maximum Entropy Principle explains a lot, but you still may have to dig out the sources of the uncertainty.

Can we understand the statistics of something as straightforward as a bird survey? Probably, but as you can see, we have to go at it from a different angle than that typically recommended. I will keep an eye out if it has more widespread applicability; for now it obviously requires countable discrete entities.
          Worst Book on Oil Crisis Written Yet        
Former USGS staffer Steven Gorelick has written a book called "Oil Panic and the Global Crisis: Predictions and Myths". It has to rank as the worst of the neo-cornucopian books out there simply because it actually spreads myths instead of deeming to correct them, as the title implies.

The author acts the role of a somewhat neutral bystander and balanced pseudo-journalist, never giving the appearance of a rabid oil cornucopian, yet slipping in so many groaners that he basically gives away his not-so-hidden agenda. From a scientific context, providing both sides of the story makes no sense when the objective is truth rather than balanced reporting. Excerpts of the book would fit right into a Fox news piece.

To give a taste of how little original research that Gorelick has actually performed and how much he relies on other cornucopians, consider the passage wherein he references geology professor Larry Cathless. On page 128, Gorelick quotes Cathles as saying that we may find as much as "1 trillion barrels of oil and gas in just a portion of the gulf oil sediments".

I found the original statement by Cathles here:
Cathles and his team estimate that in a study area of about 9,600 square miles off the coast of Louisiana, source rocks a dozen kilometers down have generated as much as 184 billion tons of oil and gas — about 1,000 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent. "That's 30 percent more than we humans have consumed over the entire petroleum era," Cathles says. "And that's just this one little postage stamp area; if this is going on worldwide, then there's a lot of hydrocarbons venting out."
Although not directly implicated as an abiotic oil advocate (unlike his late Cornell University colleague Thomas Gold), former Chevron employee Cathles has close ties to the largely mythical Eugene Island story. Several years ago new discoveries from the previously tapped-out Eugene area had people's hopes up that somehow oil reservoirs could go through a near real-time "replenishment".
"We're dealing with this giant flow-through system where the hydrocarbons are generating now, moving through the overlying strata now, building the reservoirs now and spilling out into the ocean now," Cathles says.
Well, as it turned out, the Eugene Island secondary production turned out just a blip on the radar screen, yet Cathles still gets a mention as a credible source?
(Think about it, if this turned out true, then the recent Gulf Oil spill could allow a never-ending release of hydrocarbons from beneath the waters, as this urban legend gets repeated still. How embarrassingly timely for Gorelick.).

Elsewhere, the book becomes safe pablum for a narrowly defined audience. Note the limited depth of Gorelick's analysis and the intentional dumbing down in his writing:

Hubbert used a straightforward formula that yields the curve as illustrated in Figure 1.2. The logistic-curve formula is a simple expression with three adjustable parameters (mathematical knobs) that control the slope, peak, height and time of peak

Now you see what happens when an author keeps it too simple. He ends up never explaining anything about the logistic, apart from providing the functional form in a footnote, and makes it worse by calling the parameters "mathematical knobs". That essentially gives a flavor of the depth of the mathematics.

Gorelick has an entire chapter called "Counter-Arguments to Imminent Oil Depletion". Notwithstanding that oil depletion is imminent by definition (it certainly does not regenerate contrary to the implications), this chapter contains some of the most unscientific assertions that I have come across. Consider this bullet point coming from Gorelick:
- The world has never run out of any significant globally traded, non-renewable Earth resource.
This false equivalency comes somewhere from the list of logical fallacies. I find it bizarre that a reputable scientist would appeal to this kind of argument. Further he bullet points:
- The trends in production of global oil and natural gas have not declined as predicted.
I call a strawman fallacy as no one has really come up with a formal theory for depletion. Instead every oil prediction that I have seen has relied on some sort of ad hoc analysis via heuristics. So to imply that something has not followed as predicted does not prove anything. As I have said before, heuristics do not substitute for theory and Gorelick unfortunately has not contributed any research of his own.

I listed only 2 of the 21 bullet pointed counter-arguments that Gorelick concludes the chapter with. I can understand the need for these bullet points if he wanted to act like an objective journalist wanting to tell both sides of the story. Yet we have all learned from Krugman that real science does not scream headlines that say "
Shape of Earth--Views Differ". A scientist should dig deep and try to come up with a model or theory that would confirm or rebut the empirical evidence. You just don't rely on tired worn-out assertions (the world has never run out of a resource, predictions have not come true, etc) from the cornucopian right, put them in a book and consider this an advancement of knowledge.

The book industry likely published Oil Panic because it does not even remotely challenge business as usual and actually condones the cornucopian viewpoint.

End of book review.


Since Gorelick has propagated half-truths and not resolved any myths at all in the oil depletion realm, I figured I would return the favor in his own research area.
From his CV, the "honored and awarded" Gorelick moved on from the USGS and became a professor of hydrogeology and part of the Environmental Earth System Science department at Stanford University. If he can write a book on peak oil and turn back progress on understanding oil depletion, I can opine on hydrogeology.

From his research papers, Gorelick claims to understand how to model principles of hydrogeology and presumably knows about breakthrough curves. It turns out that most of the dispersive transport involved in hydrology applications hinges on some very simple overriding principles. These principles are so obvious to me that I don't understand why the brilliant scientific minds in geology have not figured this out. Consider that Gorelick has expertise in "multiple-rate mass transfer" which I associate this with the simple idea of dispersion applied to material transport. I actually ran across Gorelick's work prior to reviewing his book because of my studies of generalized dispersive transport.

As Gorelick should know, all processes do not proceed at the same rate, and this includes variations in oil discovery rates around the world. This leads directly to the fat-tail effects that I see in oil reserves and to the fat-tails that Gorelick observes in solute transport in his groundwater contamination studies. Not all solute diffuses and drifts at the same rate, so that scientists see these long tails. How Gorelick can publish research on groundwater rates, but see no analogy to the larger issue of oil extraction seems such a waste of intellectual potential.

Should Gorelick ever read this review, I challenge him to read my work on dispersion and the math behind depletion of oil. These models come from solid math and probability underpinnings and simple physical first principles, and lead to the kind of insight that we all need to make sense of our fossil fuel energy situation.

          Answers for a Shaking Nation        
This post is written by Diwash Thapa. He is an undergraduate Physics and Chemistry Major at UNC Chapel Hill, aspiring to become a radiologist.
I gaze at the setting sun and the hills that embrace it on the horizon of the North Carolina landscape: how vast, how serene, how naturally peaceful. But as I pull out my phone and check my recently downloaded app QuakeFeed, my heart skips a beat in fear that another jolt might have hit an equally vast, serene, and naturally peaceful territory some 13000 kilometers away from here: Nepal. That territory is where my heart still calls home some 3 years after moving to the US.

It is heart wrenching to see images of the places you knew growing up turned into rubbles, and your family and friends having to endure a life of fear and uncertainty. But this pain is belittled by the sufferings of the people who actually experienced the 7+ magnitude earthquakes in Nepal; such is the scale of the calamity. The world has come together and chipped in to relieve and reconstruct Nepal and here I am making petty donations, otherwise helpless to this cause.

Helpless I may have felt but I quickly realized that I could help my countrymen in a way only someone in my position can, in one of the major universities in the world, amongst the best and brightest minds in the field of seismology. I am by no means an expert in the field, but I have dug deep into relevant journals and articles and spoken to experts in the field just to answer some of the prominent questions people back home are raising concerning the earthquake. In the aftermath of the earthquake there has been a flow of information on the web as large as the actual catastrophe, sparing physical damage but creating an intellectual tumult among Nepalese.

Here are the answers to three basic questions about the recent seismic activities based on my meeting with Dr. Jonathan Lees, chair of the department of geological sciences in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Why are these earthquakes happening?
My conversation with Dr. Lees began with him playing a time-lapse video of the continental drift, now subsumed into the plate tectonics theory; perhaps he wanted to be sure that I first understood the root cause of seismicity before we progressed further. As I watched in awe how a chunk of land fragmented into continents and moved in random directions over time, scale millions of years, in the last one-sixth of the video one particular fragment rose up from the southern hemisphere and collided head on with another fragment located in the northern hemisphere. That was the Indian subcontinent playing tag with Eurasia, politely put.

With the two continental plates being of similar physical properties there is very little room for either to move. Hence, neither gives up, producing mountain ranges like the Himalayas and terrains like the Tibetan plateau. Dr. Lees stressed that the earthquakes are part of the readjustment of the continental crashing. These will continue until the readjustment is complete, which in geological timescales could be millions of years. The most recent earthquakes are because of the release of the pent-up strain in one of the faults created by this continental tussle. This fault is about 700 km long, about the length of Nepal.

Why are Earthquake Magnitudes reported with such inconsistency?
Earthquakes are measured in several different scales. The popular ones are the Richter scale, the moment magnitude scale, and the Mercalli scale. The Richter scale is the most widely know metric because it has been around for a longer time. Developed by Charles Richter in the 1930’s, the Richter scale is best applied to earthquakes in southern California. Although there have been corrections to this scale and methodology, its prime disadvantage that it fails to accurately reflect larger earthquakes near magnitude 8 is significant. The Richter scale measurement is expressed in units of M­L, also known as the local magnitude.

The more widely accepted modern scale is the moment magnitude scale. “The moment magnitude is based on the size of the event, how much slip occurred [in the fault] and the properties of the rock,” said Dr. Lees in trying to explain the difference between the various scales. He also pointed out that researchers abroad don’t quite know the properties of the rocks in Nepal although this is not merely why there are discrepancies in the values reported; “I have a different computer algorithm while the guy down at Duke University may have a different algorithm which results in different estimates, then we also make assumptions like in any scientific calculation that results in experimental error.” The moment magnitude is reported in units of M­W.

The third—by contrast a discrete metric—is the Mercalli scale, which reports earthquake events based on human experiences. “Did the coffee cup shake, or did the lights swing, did the cabinets fall over?” These are some of the subjective question witnesses are asked for categorizing an earthquake in Mercalli scale, according to Dr. Lees. The 7.8 MW earthquake was reported as very strong (VII) to severe (VIII) in the Mercalli index by IRIS, a network of seismology research universities in the US.

Hence, to answer the question of why earthquake reports have appeared inconsistent, it may either be due to differences in scale of measurement or the way of calculation, despite using a common scale.

Are there possibilities of larger earthquakes in Nepal?
This is the one question I believe every single Nepali is asking at the moment, including me. A more naively unrestrictive way of putting this question would be, “Is there a larger earthquake to come?” I will attempt to answer these questions in a way I believe everyone would like to hear —with a cautious tone but positive outlook.

It is needless to mention that Nepal lies in a very seismically active zone and the nature of the plate tectonics underneath makes it vulnerable to larger earthquakes. The pent-up strain in the particular fault may indeed require large magnitude earthquakes to dissipate all the energy. Couple this with the fact that Nepal hasn’t had a major earthquake, of magnitude 9 or so to release this strain, in its documented history and you have an argument to send the whole nation into panic!

I inferred through my talk with Dr. Lees that the aforementioned argument, while not entirely wrong, could be counter argued. For instance, the 8.0 MW Nepal-Bihar earthquake of 1934 occurred around the time when Richter scale was just invented while the moment magnitude scale was another 40 years away from development. Is it, then totally out of the question that the 1934 earthquake may have been a 9 MW earthquake? “ They are just guessing these historic events [in justifiable ways],” answered Dr. Lees. Likewise the western region of the fault hasn’t had a major seismic event since 1555 and seismologist have already speculated that the next big quake will be in the western region of Nepal. “[500 years] in geological timescales is nothing,” laughed off Dr. Lees. So, it is totally within the realm of reality that the fault goes on for another 500 years without any major seismic activity.

But Nepal hasn’t had a major earthquake in its documented history you may repeat. And to you I point out the operative word is “documented.” We are talking about a country that used to be so far removed from technology and literacy that even events of recent history are inferred from foreign records. Who then is to say that a 9.0 MW earthquake didn’t occur before 1555? The event, that such an earthquake had occurred is as likely as it will happen as you are reading this.

On the matter of probability, different research groups and organizations like the USGS make statistical forecasts of seismic events based on empirical data collected over time. But forecasts are not predictions and should be interpreted rather carefully. For instance, the statistical probability of getting heads on a coin toss is 50 percent, but that does not mean, if you tossed a coin ten times you would see 5 heads and 5 tails. You could see 10 heads, or 10 tails, or any other theoretically possible combination.

The 50 percent likelihood of heads or tails only tells us that for a sufficiently large number of trials, say a 1000 tosses, one might get 499 heads and 501 tails, pretty close to 50 percent apiece. Forecasts of earthquakes are very similar. If the USGS forecasts a 40 percent chance of 6-7 MW earthquakes in the next week, all that can be said is if there were about 1000 earthquakes next week there is a very good chance that 40 percent of those will fall in the advertised range. However, a thousand earthquakes a week is not very likely in the first place and any single earthquake can turn out to be of any magnitude.

What is a hundred percent likely event is that there is chaos in nature. One has to consider that science is only a human model to interpret nature and models fail at one point or another. In seismology most models fail to successfully predict events due to chaos. In order to explain this I will borrow an analogy from Dr. Lees. If you take a twig and bring its ends together, it comes under high extension in the middle and eventually the twig will snap. You may know the physical properties of the twig down to a molecule, but you will never be able to tell how these molecules interact to break at a certain point. Earthquakes are just like that. It is just how nature rolls!

          Observation - WVLI4 - Cedar River at Waverly (Iowa)        

Flood Categories

Primary (ft)

  • Action : 10 ft
  • Minor : 12 ft
  • Moderate : 17 ft
  • Major : 19 ft

Flow (secondary) data is not currently enabled for this gauge.

Gauge Data

Latest Observation Category: Normal
Latest Observation: 5.02 ft
Observation Time: Aug 10, 2017 03:15 PM -0500

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data and Site Info for Waverly: USGS ID: 05458300

          10 curiosidades del planeta tierra        
Vivimos en una esfera de extremos y rarezas. De hecho, ni siquiera es realmente una esfera, sino un planeta salvaje, jaspeado de volcanes activos, sacudido por terremotos mortales e inundado por diluvios desastrosos. Pero ¿sabes cuales de estas catástrofes fueron las más devastadoras?
Algunos valles de la Tierra se sumergen a niveles inferiores que el del mar. Hay montañas que se elevan majestuosas a través del fino aire. ¿Sabes localizar el punto más bajo? ¿El pico más alto? ¿Sabes a qué distancia se encuentra el centro del planeta o qué es lo que hay allí?
¿Dónde se encuentra el lugar más cálido del planeta, el más frío, el más seco, el más ventoso?
La siguiente lista de extremos terrestres y otros hechos asombrosos se presenta en forma de Pregunta-Respuesta, de modo que usted pueda comprobar sus conocimientos sobre nuestra Tierra comparando las soluciones. Entre las fuentes consultadas se incluyen instituciones como la USGS (Inspección Geológica de los Estados Unidos = U.S. Geological Survey) y la NOAA (Administración Nacional Oceánica y Atmosférica = National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), así como otros reportajes publicados en SPACE.com.
1. ¿Cuál es el lugar más caliente de la Tierra?
Apúntese un fallo si ha pensado en el Valle de la Muerte en California. Muchos días es realmente así, pero el 13 de Septiembre de 1922 se registraron en El Azizia (Libia) temperaturas de 136º Fahrenheit (57,8º Celsius) – cuando la temperatura más alta jamás medida en el Valle de la Muerte fue de 134º F (56,6º C), registrada el 10 de Julio de 1913.
2. ¿Y cuál es el lugar más frío del planeta?
Con mucho, la temperatura más fría jamás medida en la Tierra fue de –129º F (-89º C) en Vostok, en el Antártico, el 21 de Julio de 1983.
3. ¿Qué genera un trueno?
Si ha pensado, “¡Relámpagos!” entonces me quito el sombrero. Pero yo tenía una respuesta más “iluminada” en mente. El aire alrededor de un relámpago se calienta muchísimo, hasta casi cinco veces la temperatura del Sol. Este súbito calentamiento causa una expansión del aire más rápida que la velocidad del sonido, la cual comprime el aire y forma una onda de choque que escuchamos en forma de trueno.
4. ¿Pueden flotar las rocas?
En una erupción volcánica, la violenta separación del gas a partir de la lava produce una roca “espumosa” llamada pómez, cargada de burbujas de gas. Según los geólogos algunas de estas pueden flotar. Nunca he visto este fenómeno, y estoy agradecido de que sea así.
Nota del Traductor: Parece ser que las piedras pómez en USA no son tan comunes como en España.
5. ¿Pueden crecer las rocas?
Si, pero observar este proceso es más aburrido que ver como se seca la pintura. Ciertas rocas llamadas cortezas de ferro-manganeso crecen en montañas bajo el mar. Las cortezas se forman por la lenta precipitación de material en suspensión en el agua marina.
6. ¿Qué cantidad de polvo espacial cae a la Tierra anualmente?
Las estimaciones varían, pero la USGS dice que al menos 1.000 millones de gramos, es decir aproximadamente 1.000 toneladas de material entran en la atmósfera cada año y consiguen alcanzar la superficie de la Tierra. Ciertos científicos dicen así mismo que los microbios llovieron del espacio, y que los organismos extraterrestres son los responsables de las epidemias de gripe. Esto último no ha sido probado, y no estoy conteniendo la respiración.
7. ¿A qué distancias puede arrastrar el viento al polvo común?
En 1999 un estudio mostró que el polvo Africano consigue alcanzar las costas de Florida y puede contribuir a que el aire en dicho estado sobrepase el nivel de calidad mínima exigida por la Agencia de Protección del Medioambiente de los Estados Unidos. El polvo es impulsado por los potentes vientos del norte de África y transportado a una altitud de 20.000 pies (6.100 metros), donde es capturado por los vientos transoceánicos. De igual forma el polvo de China encuentra también su camino a Norte América.
8. ¿Dónde están las cataratas más altas del mundo?
El Salto del Ángel en Venezuela cae desde 3.212 pies (979 metros).
9. ¿Qué dos grandes ciudades en Norte América están destinadas a fusionarse?
La falla de San Andrés, que corre de norte a sur, se está deslizando a una velocidad de 2 pulgadas (cinco centímetros) por año, causando el movimiento de Los Ángeles hacia San Francisco.
10. ¿Es esférica la Tierra?
Debido a la rotación de la Tierra y a que nuestro planeta es mucho más flexible de lo que cabría imaginar, éste se abomba en la sección media, creando una especie de formación en calabaza. Hace siglos que el achatamiento se iba reduciendo, pero ahora, de repente, está creciendo, tal y como ha mostrado un reciente estudio. La culpa de este aumento en la circunferencia ecuatorial se achaca al deshielo acelerado de los glaciares terrestres.

          Earthquake detected just outside Scottsboro, 1.8 magnitude event        
SCOTTSBORO, Ala. – An earthquake was detected near Scottsboro at 7:50pm Tuesday night by the US Geological Survey. It was only a 1.8 magnitude event, which the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (EMA) says is “not associated with structural damage.” The Alabama EMA also noted, “This region has faults, and a history of small earthquakes.” The USGS has no reports of people actually feeling the earthquake. The depth of the quake, as determined by the USGS, was about five-and-a-half miles underground. […]
          Photo Science Assists USGS with Colorado Disaster Recovery        

Photo Science, Inc., a Quantum Spatial Company (Photo Science), has recently been awarded a major contract task order to provide the US Geological Survey (USGS) with high-resolution remote sensing data (airborne topographic LiDAR) for areas devastated by record flooding within the South Platte watershed in Colorado.

(PRWeb November 19, 2013)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11345952.htm

          Peace River Flow Drops; Paddlers Use Caution        

The dry weather in October has dropped flow in the Peace River, probably the most rainfall-dependent stream in Polk County, to the point where flow is minimal for paddling in the stretch around Bartow. There is a prediction that rainfall this winter will be above average, which may restore flow. In the meantime, check the USGS site that provides realtime streamflow information. I advise caution when the flow at the Bartow gauge drops to around 50 cubic feet per second.

The post Peace River Flow Drops; Paddlers Use Caution appeared first on Endangered and Drained in Polk.

          Upper Peace River Water Conditions Worsen Seasonally        

Although there is expected to be some rain today, it looks as though the seasonal effects of the dry season has hit the Upper Peace River in Polk County. The surest indication is when you look at the USGS Realtime Streamflow website and notice flow at Bartow is slightly higher than flow downstream at Fort Meade. On any other river flow would normally increase as  you travel downstream because of the contribution of tributaries. The Upper Peace River has what… Read More »

The post Upper Peace River Water Conditions Worsen Seasonally appeared first on Endangered and Drained in Polk.

          Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) Web Mapping Application        

The USGS is providing expertise, capacity and support for the implementation of Lakewide Management Plans and the associated goals, objectives and targets for each of the Great Lakes. This work will include participation in LaMP and lakewide processes, programs and projects, including the development of LaMP documents. More information about LaMP and other GLRI programs […]

The post Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) Web Mapping Application appeared first on maps.glin.net.

          Joan Gomberg, USGS Seattle / University of Washington        
Cascadia onshore-offshore site-response, submarine sediment slope-failures and flows, and earthquake recurrence
          Brian Atwater, USGS Seattle / University of Washington        
The 1945 Makran tsunami in Karachi Harbour
          Ezer Patlan, USGS Menlo Park        
Seismic Zone at East Africa Rift and South Kansas using Ambient Seismic Noise
          So much to do, so little time...        
At the beginning of the year David expressed his intent to blog more frequently. I've often echoed that intent, but neither of us are really succeeding. My Five Wells blog is mostly for fun - and for practice writing. I've managed to post there about twice a week lately, though I used to post daily.

This blog has loftier goals to keep people informed and engaged in local issues that affect our lives. Yet I'm barely managing twice monthly posts. Here are some of the reasons that I run out of time or energy before I get to this blog.

From yesterday's schedule:
  • Meeting with TC3 and other property owners around the area behind the town hall to discuss development of a trail from the TC3 dorms to the village.
  • Meeting with Ed Bugliosi from USGS to plan development of a new well for the Village of Dryden. This is more urgent that it sounds. The health department mandates that the water supply be able to provide water even in the event that one well has to be shut down for maintenance for up to five days. Even if the health department didn't mandate this, it would be a good idea.
  • Meeting with representatives of municipalities throughout Tompkins County to hear from the lawyer now consulting on the formation of a consortium to help control health insurance costs for municipal employees, Cooperative Extension regarding training for elected and appointed officials, Tompkins County Emergency Services about - well, emergency services, Tompkins County Planning reporting on the Cornell initiative supporting housing and transportation improvements. And after rushing through those topics we got to the highlight: discussion of dog control and the SPCA contract. This may sound less urgent that, for example, the Dryden Village well. But part of the question is, "Will the Town of Dryden really be paying $45,000 for dog control next year."
  • Scanning my mail and email to see if there's anything I have to respond to immediately.

Other hot topics this month:

  • Meeting with Village of Dryden officials regarding sewer use rates and plans for a new waste water treatment facility
  • Legislation requiring operating permits for places where hazardous materials are stored or hazardous processes are used and assembly areas accommodating more than 100 people.
  • Proposed improvements to the Ithaca Area Waste Water Treatment Facility
  • Planning for development of parks and recreation town wide
  • Transportation planning and the Rt 13/366 corridor
  • Hiring an assistant for the town bookkeeper

Routine monthly meeting commitments:

  • Bolton Point Water Commission
  • Dryden Recreation Commission
  • Dryden Youth Commission
  • Town of Dryden Planning Board
  • (The Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Board, Emergency Services Committee and Personnel Committee are doing fine with their appointed Town Board liaisons so I don't go to their meetings, tho' I'd like to sometimes.)
  • Ithaca Area Wast Water Treatment Facility
  • Tompkins County Council of Governments
  • Town Board meetings

Things that are pretty far down on my task list that I wish were higher up

  • Updating the town's hazard mitigation plan
  • Implementing the Comprehensive Plan
  • Publishing the 2007 Annual Report
  • Analysis of town energy use
  • Development of orientation material for new town board members
  • Housing and economic planning
  • Development of Personnel Department performance review program
  • Internal Audit
  • Search for new accounting software to improve financial reporting

Things I wish never had to be on my task list:

  • Returning calls to people who don't like the way highway right-of-ways are maintained.
  • Hmm.... there must be others...

Okay. I think I get it. If I write here more often, I can focus on specifics and maybe get some feed back. Now I'm going to go work in the garden for a while to think.

I had some time between an appointment on the west side of town and a meeting on the east side. Happily, I had my camera with me so I took the opportunity to pursue one of my favorite projects: capturing views that define the Town of Dryden. The tidiness of this Cornell research property east of Freeville is inspiring. I think it looks like it could be a model railroad layout.

Adjacent to the Cornell test plots is the Marquis farm. I think the Belgian horses you saw in the Dairy Day parade live here. And the Draft Horse Association meeting was here a month or so ago.

Pulling back from the view of the farm, this is a very different view. You can just make out the farm's silos at the upper right.

I've spent twenty-four hours beating down the knee-jerk feeling that this is a cruel wound on the surface of my beloved mother earth. Clearly, I need to know more about mining.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Mineral Resources (which needs a catchier name) says: "Remember, if it can't be grown, it has to be mined."


[I]n 2004 crushed stone remained New York’s leading non-fuel mineral, and salt move up to second place, followed by cement (portland and masonry), construction sand and gravel, and wollastonite. [Wollastonite?] These five commodities typically account for 98% of the State’s nonfuel mineral value which USGS ranked at $1.11 billion in 2004.

I recently finished a new garage with a concrete floor and bought several truckloads of gravel to extend the driveway to the new garage. So, this year I'm well above the average mineral consumption of 50 pounds per year. I have to ask myself, "Where the hell did I think it was coming from?"
          Predicting Earthquakes. Not.        

By Alan Caruba

The president of the Space and Science Research Corporation, John Casey, is also the author of “Cold Sun: A Dangerous ‘Hibernation’ of the Sun Has Begun!” and has called attention to a meteorological cycle that until the global warming hoax occurred, was largely unknown to many people and, to a large degree still is.

Nature has not cooperated with the charlatans who made claims about a dramatic warming of the Earth. Since 1998 the planet along with the Sun has been in a solar cycle distinguished by very few, if any, sun spots—evidence of solar storms—and a cooling of the Earth that has some predicting a forthcoming new Little Ice Age.

As Wikipedia reports: “Solar Cycle 24 is the 24th solar cycle since 1755, when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began. It is the current solar cycle, and began on January 4, 2008, but there was minimal activity until early 2010. It is on track to be the Solar Cycle with the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750.” These cycles occur every eleven years.

I was surprised to receive a news release from the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) on Monday with the headline “Earthquake and Volcano Threat Increases” because, frankly, I could have put out the same release and, if such activity did increase, I could claim credit for predicting it and, if not, few if any would recall I had made such a claim. While earthquake activity has been studied for decades, even the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) makes no claim to being able to predicting when or where one will occur.

What the USGS can tell you is that their scientists (and others) “estimate earthquake probabilities in two ways: by studying the history of large earthquakes in a specific area and the rate at which strain accumulates in the rock.”  A translation of this is that they have only the most minimal clues when and where one will occur. A recent International Business Times article reported that this may change as the introduction of “big data analytics” kicks in to provide “a leap of accuracy of quake predictions.”

The SSRC news release was about a letter that Casey had sent Craig Fugate, the Administrator of the Federal Management Agency which “disclosed that we are about to enter a potentially catastrophic period of record earthquakes and volcanic eruptions throughout the United States.”

Casey’s letter outlined “how the ongoing dramatic reduction in the Sun’s energy output will not only plunge the world into a decades-long cold epoch, but at the same time bring record geographic devastation in monster earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”

Other scientists have come to similar conclusions, but after years of sorting through all the claims about global warming and “climate change”, one might want to tread lightly before embracing them.

I asked my colleague at The Heartland Institute, Science Director Jay Lehr, for his reaction and he was quite candid. “I have read it and am extremely skeptical. It sounds like the agency is looking for some press and, of course, when they turn out to be wrong no one will be upset. No harm. No foul. Being ready for earthquakes in known quake zones makes sense; creating unwarranted fear does not.”

Dr. Lehr summed up my own reaction. I would recommend his skepticism to everyone.

Will there be earthquakes here in the U.S.? Yes. The New Madrid earthquakes were the biggest in the nation’s history, occurring in the central Mississippi Valley and so large they were felt as far away as New York and Boston, Montreal and Washington, D.C.  President James Madison and his wife Dolly felt them in the White House. They lasted from December 16, 1811 through March of 1812 and there were more than 2,000 quakes in the central Midwest, and between 6,000-10,000 in the boot-heel of Missouri where New Madrid is located near the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

When will new earthquakes or volcanic eruptions occur? I doubt anyone knows the answer to that.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

          Cabinet secretaries briefed on UNL-USGS partnership        
Two U.S. Cabinet members and other dignitaries learned about an innovative climate change research partnership between UNL and the U.S. Geological Survey during a recent briefing in Scottsbluff.
more ...
          Mesir Bergegar Kesan Gempa Bumi Siang Tadi        

Jam 3.35 pm tadi, Kota Kaherah bergegar sedikit, kesan gempa bumi 5.9 Scala Ritcher yang berlaku di Greece. Ketika itu saya sedang menulis buku di Rumah Sewa rakan saya yang terletak di Hayyu Asyir.

Berita dari akhbar Masr El Youm (klik)

Berita dari web USGS (klik)

          USGS Projects Large Loss of Alaska Permafrost by 2100 (and it won't stop there!)        

Using statistically modeled maps drawn from satellite data and other sources, U.S. Geological Survey scientists have projected that the near-surface permafrost that presently underlies 38% of boreal and arctic Alaska would be reduced by 16-24% by the end of the 21st Century under widely accepted climate scenarios.
from the USGS, November 30, 2015
Using statistically modeled maps drawn from satellite data and other sources, U.S. Geological Survey scientists have projected that the near-surface permafrost that presently underlies 38% of boreal and arctic Alaska would be reduced by 16-24% by the end of the 21st century under widely accepted climate scenarios. Permafrost declines are more likely in central Alaska than northern Alaska. 
Northern latitude tundra and boreal forests are experiencing an accelerated warming trend that is greater than in other parts of the world. This warming trend degrades permafrost, defined as ground that stays below freezing for at least two consecutive years. Some of the adverse impacts of melting permafrost are changing pathways of ground and surface water, interruptions of regional transportation, and the release to the atmosphere of previously stored carbon. 
“A warming climate is affecting the Arctic in the most complex ways,” said Virginia Burkett, USGS Associate Director for Climate and Land Use Change. “Understanding the current distribution of permafrost and estimating where it is likely to disappear are key factors in predicting the future responses of northern ecosystems to climate change.” 
In addition to developing maps of near-surface permafrost distributions, the researchers developed maps of maximum thaw depth, or active-layer depth, and provided uncertainty estimates. Future permafrost distribution probabilities, based on future climate scenarios produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), were also estimated by the USGS scientists. Widely used IPCC climate scenarios anticipate varied levels of climate mitigation action by the global community. 
These future projections of permafrost distribution, however, did not include other possible future disturbances in the future, such as wildland fires. In general, the results support concerns about permafrost carbon becoming available to decomposition and greenhouse gas emission. 
[Below, be sure to check out the size of the blue area in the north.]
The research has been published in Remote Sensing of Environment. The current near-surface permafrost map is available via ScienceBase.
Current probability of near-surface permafrost in Alaska. Future scenarios.

          rjsigmund: environmental and climate science news, week of June 19, 2017        
from rjsigmund, June 25, 2017

Elon Musk wants to link computers to our brains to prevent an existential threat to humanity -- Given Musk's ambitiousness, it's not totally surprising that he is also launching a company that will look into ways to link human brains to computers. Musk reportedly plans to spend 3-5% of his work time on Neuralink, which will develop technology to integrate brains and computers as a way to fix medical problems and eventually supercharge human cognition.  Existing brain-computer interfaces, which are relatively simple compared to Musk's goals, can connect to a few hundred brain cells at a time. Those are already helping the deaf hear, the blind see, and the paralyzed move robotic arms. Once researchers are able to understanding and connect interfaces to the 100 billion neurons in the brain, these linkages could essentially give people superpowers. That potential has clearly captured Musk's interest, but this new project also seems to stem from his concerns about super-intelligent artificial intelligence (AI).

Neurologists Discover Fully Intact 15th Century Brain in Ohio Congressman â€” Marveling at how well preserved the archaic opinions were, a team of archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution and neurologists from Johns Hopkins announced Thursday the discovery of a fully intact 15th-century belief system in Ohio congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH). “It’s just extraordinary to come across a perspective that dates back to the early to mid-1500s and shows absolutely no signs of decay,” said Dr. Claire Goedde, explaining that while it’s not uncommon to encounter partial remains of convictions from that era, it’s exceedingly rare to recover a specimen this pristine. “All the 600-year-old viewpoints remain almost completely untouched, from religion’s place in society to the rights of women to some basic scientific concepts, particularly concerning the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. Things the rest of the species have known for centuries.” The researcher noted -“I can only imagine the insights this single sample will provide as to how people who lived centuries ago saw the world around them.” Goedde added, however, that the congressman’s belief system was fragile even in near-perfect condition and could deteriorate rapidly if examined too much.

‘There Was No Escaping It’: Iraq Vets Are Becoming Terminally Ill and Burn Pits May Be To Blame - The Iraq War killed former Minnesota Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Amie Muller. It just took a decade to do it. That, at least, is how Muller’s family and friends see it. The 36-year-old’s pancreatic cancer, they believe, was caused by exposure to the massive burn pit used to dispose of waste at Joint Base Balad, 40 miles north of Baghdad. Her doctors said there was a strong possibility the burn pit was to blame, but no way to definitively prove a link with the available evidence. Regardless, a young mother of three died in February from a disease that typically is diagnosed at age 71. “It makes me really mad,” Muller told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in June 2016, a month after learning she had Stage III pancreatic cancer. “I inhaled that stuff all day, all night. Everything that they burned there is illegal to burn in America. That tells you something.”  Even as her life came to an end, Muller sought to prevent others from suffering a similar fate. Despite being in physical pain from the cancer, and agonizing over the thought of leaving her children without a mom, she became a voice for veterans who believe that the modern battlefield, with its burn pits, fine dust, and metal-laden soil, is an environmental killer. “Amie Muller served this country with distinction, and we owe her our gratitude,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, said in a statement following Muller’s death on Feb. 18.  Klobuchar had gotten to know Muller during her illness, and just 10 days before Muller died, the senator teamed up with Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina to sponsor legislation that would require the VA to establish a center of excellence to study and improve the diagnosis and treatment of burn pit-related illnesses. To date, 34 members of the House and Senate have added their names to the Senate bill, S. 319, Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits, and its companion House bill, H.R. 1279, in support. Veterans have long reported health issues thought to be related to combat deployments, and Congress has discussed the associated health risks at 30 hearings since 2009. In 2013, the legislators even ordered the VA to establish a registry to track veterans who believe they are sick as a result of exposure to burn pits or other environmental factors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Teflon Toxin Found in North Carolina Drinking Water - A persistent and toxic industrial chemical known as GenX has been detected in the drinking water in Wilmington, North Carolina, and in surface waters in Ohio and West Virginia. DuPont introduced GenX in 2009 to replace PFOA, a compound it used to manufacture Teflon and coatings for stain-resistant carpeting, waterproof clothing, and many other consumer products. PFOA, also known as C8, was phased out after DuPont was hit with a class-action suit over health and environmental concerns. Yet as The Intercept reported last year, GenX is associated with some of the same health problems as PFOA, including cancer and reproductive issues. Levels of GenX in the drinking water of one North Carolina water utility, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, averaged 631 ppt (parts per trillion), according to a study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters in 2016. Although researchers didn’t test the water of two other drinking water providers that also draw water from that area of the Cape Fear River, the entire watershed downstream of the Chemours discharge, which is a source of drinking water for some 250,000 people, is likely to be contaminated, according to Detlef Knappe, one of the authors of the study. Research presented at a conference this week at Northeastern University detailed the presence of GenX in water in North Carolina and Ohio. In both cases, the chemical was found in water near plants that were owned by DuPont and since 2015 have been operated by DuPont’s spinoff company, Chemours. Both GenX and PFOA belong to a larger group of chemicals known as PFAS, which are structurally similar and believed to persist indefinitely in nature.

New Claims Against Monsanto in Consumer Lawsuit Over Roundup Herbicide - Another day, another lawsuit against global seed and chemical giant Monsanto Co. In a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Wisconsin, six consumers alleged that the company's top-selling Roundup herbicide has been falsely promoted as uniquely safe when it actually can have profound harmful impacts on human gut bacteria critical to good health. The lawsuit, which also names Roundup distributor Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. as a defendant, specifically alleges that consumers are being deceived by inaccurate and misleading statements made by Monsanto regarding glyphosate, the active weed-killing ingredient in Roundup. Plaintiffs include residents of Wisconsin, Illinois, California, New York, New Jersey, and Florida. Glyphosate, which Monsanto introduced as an herbicide in 1974 and is widely used in growing food crops, has been promoted for years as a chemical that kills plants by targeting an enzyme that is not found in people or pets. The lawsuit claims that assertion is false, however, and argues that research shows glyphosate can target an enzyme found in gut bacteria in people and animals, disrupting the immune system, digestion and "even brain function."  "Defendants repeat these false and misleading representations throughout their marketing, including in video advertisements produced for their websites and YouTube Channel," states the lawsuit, which is filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.  Monsanto is currently defending itself against nationwide claims that Roundup has caused hundreds of people to suffer from a type of blood cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. More than 1,100 plaintiffs have lawsuits pending in state and federal courts with many of the lawsuits combined in multi-district litigation in federal court in San Francisco.

California Scientists: Safe Level of Roundup Is 100x Lower Than EPA Allowance -- In a landmark rule with global repercussions, California state scientists are preparing to issue the world's first health guideline for Monsanto's glyphosate herbicide based on its cancer risk. The state's proposed safe level is more than 100 times lower than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ( EPA ) legal allowance for the average-sized American.  Glyphosate is the key ingredient in Roundup , the most heavily applied weed killer in the history of chemical agriculture. Use of glyphosate has exploded in the last 15 years, as Monsanto has promoted genetically modified Roundup Ready seeds to grow crops that aren't harmed by the herbicide. In the U.S. alone, more than 200 million pounds of Roundup are sprayed each year, mostly on soybeans and corn.  In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer—part of the World Health Organization, with no regulatory authority— reviewed human cancer studies and determined that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic" to people. Based on that finding, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced its intention to add glyphosate to the state's Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer. By itself, that listing would be a big blow to Monsanto, because it would require cancer warning labels on containers of Roundup and on foods that have high residues of glyphosate. Monsanto is appealing the decision in state court, but in the meantime the OEHHA has moved forward in setting a so-called No Significant Risk Level of the amount of glyphosate people could safely consume each day.

The WHO's cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence: A large study of pesticides in the United States produced new information about glyphosate, a common weedkiller. But the data was not considered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 when it assessed whether glyphosate causes cancer. Previously unreported court documents reviewed by Reuters from an ongoing U.S. legal case against Monsanto show that Blair knew the unpublished research found no evidence of a link between glyphosate and cancer. In a sworn deposition given in March this year in connection with the case, Blair also said the data would have altered IARC’s analysis. He said it would have made it less likely that glyphosate would meet the agency’s criteria for being classed as “probably carcinogenic.” But IARC, a semi-autonomous part of the World Health Organization, never got to consider the data. The agency’s rules on assessing substances for carcinogenicity say it can consider only published research – and this new data, which came from a large American study on which Blair was a senior researcher, had not been published. The lack of publication has sparked debate and contention. A leading U.S. epidemiologist and a leading UK statistician – both independent of Monsanto – told Reuters the data was strong and relevant and they could see no reason why it had not surfaced. Monsanto told Reuters that the fresh data on glyphosate could and should have been published in time to be considered by IARC, and that the failure to publish it undermined IARC’s classification of glyphosate. The legal case against Monsanto, taking place in California, involves 184 individual plaintiffs who cite the IARC assessment and claim exposure to RoundUp gave them cancer. They allege Monsanto failed to warn consumers of the risks. Monsanto denies the allegations. The absence of the data from IARC’s assessment was important. IARC ended its meeting in 2015 by concluding that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” It based its finding on “limited evidence” of carcinogenicity in humans and “sufficient evidence” in experimental animals. It said, among other things, that there was a “positive association” between glyphosate and blood cancers called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. IARC told Reuters that, despite the existence of fresh data about glyphosate, it was sticking with its findings. 

Monsanto's Dicamba Problems Are Far From Over. Farmers File Another Lawsuit Over Drift Damage - Arkansas farmers filed a class-action lawsuit last week against Monsanto and German chemical company BASF , alleging that the companies' dicamba -based herbicides caused damage to their properties. The plaintiffs claim that Monsanto and BASF implemented and controlled the dicamba crop system, releasing seed technology without a corresponding, safe and approved herbicide. According to Hoosier Ag : "The farmers allege that Monsanto and BASF sold the dicamba crop system while knowing it could wipe out crops, fruits, and trees that are not dicamba tolerant. The farmers claim that those who do not plant dicamba tolerant crops are left with no protection from the herbicide." To date , Arkansas' agriculture department has received 135 dicamba misuse complaints across 17 counties. The lawsuit comes as the Arkansas State Plant Board considers an in-crop dicamba ban that was proposed by the state's pesticide committee. The controversy behind the pesticide started last year when Monsanto decided to sell its new dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean seeds several growing seasons before getting federal approval for the corresponding herbicide. Without having the proper herbicide, cotton and soybean growers were suspected of illegally spraying older versions of the highly toxic and drift-prone chemical onto the seeds and inadvertently damaged nearby non-target crops due to drift.  The spraying triggered widespread reports of crop damage across thousands of acres in 10 states and several lawsuits against pesticide makers. In October, a drift dispute between Arkansas farmers resulted in one farmer being shot to death.

African Farmers Facing Heavy Prison Sentences if They Continue Their Traditional Seed Exchange | Earth First! Newswire: In order to get developmental assistance, Tanzania amended its legislation, which should give commercial investors faster and better access to agricultural land as well as a very strong protection of intellectual property rights. ‘If you buy seeds from Syngenta or Monsanto under the new legislation, they will retain the intellectual property rights. If you save seeds from your first harvest, you can use them only on your own piece of land for non-commercial purposes. You’re not allowed to share them with your neighbors or with your sister-in-law in a different village, and you cannot sell them for sure. But that’s the entire foundation of the seed system in Africa,’ says Michael Farrelly. Under the new law, Tanzanian farmers risk a prison sentence of at least 12 years or a fine of over €205,300, or both, if they sell seeds that are not certified. ‘That’s an amount that a Tanzanian farmer cannot even start to imagine. The average wage is still less than 2 US dollars a day’, says Janet Maro, head of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT). Tanzania applied the legislation concerning intellectual property rights on seeds as a condition for receiving development assistance through the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN). The NAFSN was launched in 2012 by the G8 with the goal to help 50 million people out of poverty and hunger in the ten African partner countries through a public-private partnership. The initiative receives the support of the EU, the US, the UK, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Southeast Is Ground Zero for Genetically Engineered Trees (see infographics) ArborGen Corporation , a multinational conglomerate and leading supplier of seedlings for commercial forestry applications, has submitted an approval request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to deregulate and widely distribute a eucalyptus tree genetically engineered (GE) to be freeze tolerant. This modification will allow this GE variety to be grown in the U.S. Southeast. The reason this non-native and highly invasive tree has been artificially created to grow outside of its tropical environment is to greatly expand production capacity for the highly controversial woody biomass industry. For almost two decades, and under the radar from widespread awareness and public scrutiny, government, academia, biotech and the commercial forestry industries have invested millions of dollars into research and development (R&D) of GE trees. The few reports published about the R&D cite a major goal of many of these projects as providing a sustainable alternative for fossil fuels in the manufacture of consumer products and energy production.   Eucalyptus trees grow faster, are highly combustible, and require more water than other species. Although some assurances have been given that this GE variety won't spread unintentionally, there are no guarantees this won't happen. Some of the non-GE eucalyptus trees, planted in California years ago have proven a huge problem for native species. Efforts to eradicate them have been largely ineffective and are recently the leading cause of wildfires burning hotter and causing more damage in areas where they have grown unchecked.  If the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) is accepted and this GE tree is deregulated , it will make it possible for these trees to be grown in industrial-sized "tree farms" from South Carolina to Texas.  More than 1 million acres of pine plantations, grasslands, pastures and once forested land could be forever altered by row after row of GE eucalyptus trees. Few other living things can survive on these plantations because all vegetation has been stripped from the land, soaked with herbicides and chemical fertilizers, and planted with row after row with thousands of unnaturally altered seedlings. Every five to seven years the trees are cut like hay and loaded on to giant tractor trailers headed to energy or feedstock processing facilities and the process from start to finish is repeated.

Norway warns Brazil that funds to safeguard rainforests at risk | Reuters: Norway has warned Brazil that funds to help protect the Amazon rainforest under a billion-dollar program are in jeopardy because more forests are being destroyed, a Norwegian government letter showed on Wednesday. Brazil's President Michel Temer will meet Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg in Oslo on Friday to discuss cooperation including Norway's program to help Brazil's efforts to restrict logging and the clearance of forests by farmers. Wealthy from producing oil and gas, Norway is the biggest foreign donor to protect tropical forests from Brazil to Indonesia, partly because they are big natural stores of greenhouse gases and help to slow climate change. The Amazon is suffering a "worrying upward trend" in deforestation since 2015 after "impressive achievements" over the previous decade, Norway's Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen wrote to his Brazilian counterpart Jose Sarney Filho this month. Norway's annual contributions to an Amazon Fund, to which it has paid $1.1 billion since 2008 based on Brazil's progress in slowing deforestation, were now set to fall, he wrote in the letter seen by Reuters.

British forest pumped full of CO2 to test tree absorption | Reuters: Researchers at a British University have embarked on a decade-long experiment that will pump a forest full of carbon dioxide to measure how it copes with rising levels of the gas - a key driver of climate change. The Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiment at the University of Birmingham's Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) will expose a fenced-off section of mature woodland - in Norbury Park in Staffordshire, West Midlands - to levels of CO2 that experts predict will be prevalent in 2050. Scientists aim to measure the forest's capacity to capture carbon released by fossil fuel burning, and answer questions about their capacity to absorb carbon pollution long-term. "(Forests) happily take a bit more CO2 because that's their main nutrient. But we don't know how much more and whether they can do that indefinitely", BIFoR co-director Michael Tausz told Reuters. The apparatus for the experiment consists a series of masts built into six 30-metre wide sections of woodland, reaching up about 25 meters into the forest canopy. Concentrated CO2 is fed through pipes to the top of the masts where it is pumped into the foliage. Last year the U.N World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that the global average of carbon dioxide, the main man-made greenhouse gas, reached 400 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere for the first time on record. "The forest here sees nearly 40 percent more CO2 than it sees normally, because that's what it will be globally in about 2050; a value of 550 parts per million, compared to 400 parts per million now," Tausz said.

The botanists’ last stand: The daring work of saving the last samples of dying species -- Steve Perlman doesn’t take Prozac, like some of the other rare-plant botanists he knows. Instead, he writes poetry. Either way, you have to do something when a plant you’ve long known goes extinct. Let’s say for 20 years you’ve been observing a tree on a fern-covered crag thousands of feet above sea level on an island in the Pacific. Then one day you hike up to check on the plant and find it dying. You know it’s the last one of its species, and that you’re the only witness to the end of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, the snuffing out of a line of completely unique genetic material. You might have to sit down and write a poem. Or at least bring a bit of the dead plant to a bar and raise a beer to its life. (Perlman has done both.) You might even need an antidepressant.  “I’ve already witnessed about 20 species go extinct in the wild,” Perlman says. “It can be like you’re dealing with your friends or your family, and then they die.”  Perlman gestures towards a Wilkesia gymnoxiphium in bloom. Better known as iliau, it’s a rare species of flowering plant in the sunflower family found only on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Perlman tells me this as we drive up a winding road on the northwestern edge of Kauai, the geologically oldest Hawaiian island.  The stakes are always high: As the top botanist at Hawaii’s Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP), Perlman deals exclusively in plants with 50 or fewer individuals left—in many cases, much fewer, maybe two or three. Of the 238 species currently on that list, 82 are on Kauai; Perlman literally hangs off cliffs and jumps from helicopters to reach them. Without him, rare Hawaiian plants die out forever. With him, they at least have a shot. Though now, due to forces beyond Perlman’s control, even that slim hope of survival is in jeopardy. Looming budget cuts threaten to make this the final chapter not only in the history of many native Hawaiian species, but in the program designed to keep them alive.

Invasive Asian carp (the kind that jump) found beyond barrier to Great Lakes -- Cleveland.com -- The discovery of an invasive silver carp beyond a waterway barrier in Chicago that is designed to keep the fish from entering Lake Michigan is causing alarm among advocates for the Great Lakes. The carp was caught nine miles from Lake Michigan by a fisherman below the T.J. O'Brien Lock and Dam, according to an Associated Press article in the Chicago Tribune. The silver carp is perhaps the most notorious of four Asian carp that officials are trying to keep from entering the Great Lakes. It's the one that jumps out of the water and has been frequently photographed above the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, said Jeff Reutter, former director of Ohio State University's Sea Grant office at Stone Lab on Put-in-Bay in Lake Erie. "Anytime you find one beyond the barrier it's not a good sign," Reutter said, but one fish does not mean there's a spawning population. A bighead carp was found beyond the barrier in Lake Calumet in 2010, according to the Associated Press. The good thing that came from the silver carp's discovery is that it automatically calls for an intense two-week sampling of the waterway to see if more of this fish can be found, Reutter said. The discovery of the silver carp has increased the concerns of several members of Congress from the Great Lakes region. "The fishing industry in the Great Lakes is a $7-billion-a-year economic engine and it would be severely threatened if Asian Carp are allowed into the Great Lakes," stated Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio in a written release. "The Administration should release its proposed plan they have drafted so there is no delay in protecting the Great Lakes from Asian Carp."

Oh, Lovely: The Tick That Gives People Meat Allergies Is Spreading -- First comes the unscratchable itching, and the angry blossoming of hives. Then stomach cramping, and—for the unluckiest few—difficulty breathing, passing out, and even death. In the last decade and a half, thousands of previously protein-loving Americans have developed a dangerous allergy to meat. And they all have one thing in common: the lone star tick.  Red meat, you might be surprised to know, isn’t totally sugar-free. It contains a few protein-linked saccharides, including one called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or alpha-gal, for short. More and more people are learning this the hard way, when they suddenly develop a life-threatening allergy to that pesky sugar molecule after a tick bite. Yep, one bite from the lone star tick—which gets its name from the Texas-shaped splash of white on its back—is enough to reprogram your immune system to forever reject even the smallest nibble of perfectly crisped bacon. For years, physicians and researchers only reported the allergy in places the lone star tick calls home, namely the southeastern United States. But recently it’s started to spread. The newest hot spots? Duluth, Minnesota; Hanover, New Hampshire; and the eastern tip of Long Island, where at least 100 cases have been reported in the last year. Scientists are racing to trace its spread, to understand if the lone star tick is expanding into new territories, or if other species of ticks are now causing the allergy.

American Chipmakers Had a Toxic Problem. Then They Outsourced It --Making computer chips involved hundreds of chemicals. The women on the production line worked in so-called cleanrooms and wore protective suits, but that was for the chips’ protection, not theirs. The women were exposed to, and in some cases directly touched, chemicals that included reproductive toxins, mutagens, and carcinogens. Reproductive dangers are among the most serious concerns in occupational health, because workers’ unborn children can suffer birth defects or childhood diseases, and also because reproductive issues can be sentinels for disorders, especially cancer, that don’t show up in the workers themselves until long after exposure.  Digital Equipment agreed to pay for a study, and Pastides, an expert in disease clusters, designed and conducted it. Data collection was finished in late 1986, and the results were shocking: Women at the plant had miscarriages at twice the expected rate. In November, the company disclosed the findings to employees and the Semiconductor Industry Association, a trade group, and then went public. Pastides and his colleagues were heralded as heroes by some and vilified by others, especially in the industry.  By December 1992, three follow-up studies—all paid for by the industry—showed similar results: roughly a doubling of the rate of miscarriages for thousands of potentially exposed women. This time the industry reacted quickly. SIA pointed to a family of toxic chemicals widely used in chipmaking as the likely cause and declared that its companies would accelerate efforts to phase them out. IBM went further: It pledged to rid its global chip production of them by 1995.  Two decades later, the ending to the story looks like a different kind of tale. As semiconductor production shifted to less expensive countries, the industry’s promised fixes do not appear to have made the same journey, at least not in full. Confidential data reviewed by Bloomberg show that thousands of women and their unborn children continued to face potential exposure to the same toxins until at least 2015. The risks are exacerbated by secrecy—the industry may be using toxins that still haven’t been disclosed. This is the price paid by generations of women making the devices at the heart of the global economy.

WATCH: Uncontacted Tribes Face Disaster Unless Land is Protected (video) - Tribal peoples are the best guardians of the natural world, and evidence proves that tribal territories are the best barrier to deforestation. This photograph shows the land of an uncontacted tribe as an island of green forest in a sea of deforestation (the orange line is the territory’s border). It is home to the “Last of his Tribe”, a lone man and the last survivor of his people, who were probably massacred by cattle ranchers occupying their land. The best way to prevent the destruction of the Amazon rainforest is to campaign for the land rights of uncontacted tribes.

Trump removes protections for Yellowstone grizzly bear | TheHill: The Trump administration is removing protections for the Yellowstone grizzly bear under the Endangered Species Act after more than four decades on the threatened list. The Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service announced the delisting decision Thursday, which immediately drew rebukes from conservationists and Democrats. Officials said the conservation efforts for the bear that lives in and around Yellowstone National Park in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho show the delisting is warranted, along with the more than fourfold increase in its population and state policies designed to protect it in the future. “This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of state, tribal, federal and private partners,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who represented Montana in Congress until earlier this year, said in a statement. “As a Montanan, I am proud of what we’ve achieved together.” Other segments of the grizzly bear population are not affected by Thursday’s regulation, and will continue to be protected as before. The bear’s population is now around 700, compared with 150 when it was listed. Its range is 22,500 square miles, more than double the range of the mid-1970s. Republicans applauded the Trump administration’s decision, saying the bear has long warranted an end to protections. 

Yellowstone Supervolcano Hit by a Swarm of Earthquakes: Yellowstone supervolcano has been hit by a series of earthquakes, with more 30 recorded since June 12. The latest was recorded on Monday, June 19, with a magnitude 3 earthquake striking 8.6 miles north north-east of West Yellowstone, Montana. The swarm began last week, and on June 15 saw a magnitude 4.5 earthquake take place in Yellowstone National Park. “The epicenter of the shock was located in Yellowstone National Park, eight miles north-northeast of the town of West Yellowstone, Montana,” scientists from the University of Utah, which monitors Yellowstone Volcano, said in a statement. “The earthquake was [reportedly] felt in the towns of West Yellowstone and Gardiner, Montana, in Yellowstone National Park, and elsewhere in the surrounding region.” This earthquake was the largest to have hit Yellowstone since March 30, 2014, when a magnitude 4.8 earthquake was recorded 18 miles to the east, near the Norris Geyser Basin. “[The 4.5] earthquake is part of an energetic sequence of earthquakes in the same area that began on June 12,” the statement continued. “This sequence has included approximately thirty earthquakes of magnitude 2 and larger and four earthquakes of magnitude 3 and larger, including today's magnitude 4.5 event.” As of June 16, 235 events had been recorded. Most of these ranged in the magnitude of 0 to 1, with five less than zero. The University of Utah is part of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO), which monitors volcanic and earthquake activity in Yellowstone National Park. Seismic activity at volcanoes can signal an eruption is due to take place, although predicting exactly when a volcano will erupt is, at present, impossible.

Robot Journalist Accidentally Reports on Earthquake from 1925 - Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported on a 6.8 earthquake that struck Santa Barbara at 4:51 p.m. Which might be surprising to the people of Santa Barbara who didn’t feel anything. The big problem with the story? The earthquake happened in 1925.How could reporters get something so wrong? Well, the “reporter” who wrote yesterday’s news article about the 6.8 quake was actually a robot. The L.A. Times deleted its automated tweet as well as the automatically published article and explained what happened in a subsequent tweet. The newspaper’s algorithm, called Quakebot, scrapes data from the US Geological Survey’s website. A USGS staffer at Caltech mistakenly sent out the alert when updating historical earthquake data to make it more precise.  Seismologists have reportedly complained about some of the historical data being off by as much as 6 miles, and this staffer was simply updating the location of the old quake from 1925. But it shows how quickly misinformation can spread with just a few clicks. An earthquake registering 6.8 is a big deal, so people were pretty relieved to see that it was a false alarm. The 1925 earthquake killed 13 people and caused over $8 million in damage. With so many more people living in the area today it would no doubt be much more deadly.  The Los Angeles Timeshas employed Quakebot since 2014 and has reported on hundreds of earthquakes, big and small, over the years. But this is the first known major screw up since it was first put online. And it certainly won’t be the last as journalism on everything from homicides to baseball scores becomes more automated.

Starbucks cups are not recyclable, which means 4 billion go to landfill each year --Even the best paper mills in the world cannot recycle coffee cups because the plastic lining clogs machinery. Starbucks should stop ignoring this problem. Starbucks has a very big problem with disposable cups. Every year, the coffee giant distributes more than 4 billion single-use cups to customers needing a caffeine fix, which means that 1 million trees are cut down to provide the paper. Most people think that these cups are recyclable – they’re paper, after all – but that’s not true. According to Stand.earth, whose latest report examines Starbucks’ empty commitments to developing a better cup, the vast majority of coffee cups ends up in landfills. Why is this? “In order to be able to hold liquids safely, Starbucks paper cups are lined with a thin layer of 100% oil-based polyethylene plastic made by companies like Dow and Chevron. This plastic lining makes the cups impossible to recycle because it clogs most recycled paper mills’ machinery…Because of the polyethylene plastic coating, much of this material ends up as a byproduct of the paper-making process and is ultimately sent to the landfill anyway. This is particularly wasteful since paper cups are made from a very high quality paper and, if recycled, could be reused multiple times.” The report outlines how rare it is to find cup recycling facilities. Only 18 of the largest 100 cities in the United States provide residential pickup of coffee cups for recycling, and only three paper recycling mills in the U.S. (out of 450 in total) can process plastic-coated paper such as cartons and coffee cups. In the United Kingdom, there are only two facilities that can do it, which again means everything else goes to landfill. Even where facilities exist, the process is still fraught. The Seattle Times explains that many of Starbucks’ old cups are shipped to China for recycling as “mixed paper,” only to end up as residue from the recycling process and head to a Chinese landfill instead.

Plastic Pollution in Antarctica 5 Times Worse Than Expected - Not only have microplastic particles infiltrated the pristine Antarctic , the problem is much worse than anyone thought. Scientists from the University of Hull and the British Antarctic Survey have determined that the levels of microplastics are five times higher than previous estimates. The results were published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. These tiny beads of plastic come from cosmetics or shred off of larger plastic items such as clothing or bottles. Research shows that microplastics can turn up in ice cores , across the seafloor, throughout the ocean and on every beach worldwide. According to UN News , "as many as 51 trillion microplastic particles—500 times more than stars in our galaxy—litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife." Microplastics enter the oceans via wastewater. However, as the researchers report, more than half of the research stations in the Antarctic have no wastewater treatment systems. The scientists suggest that the plastic may be getting across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which was thought to be nearly impenetrable. "Antarctica is thought to be a highly isolated, pristine wilderness. The ecosystem is very fragile with whales, seals and penguins consuming krill and other zooplankton as a major component of their diet," said the study's lead author, Dr. Catherine Waller, an expert in ecology and marine biology at University of Hull. "Our research highlights the urgent need for a co-ordinated effort to monitor and assess the levels of microplastics around the Antarctic continent and Southern Ocean." A press release notes that the Southern Ocean, which covers approximately 8.5 million square miles and represents 5.4 percent of the world's oceans, is under increasing threat from fishing, pollution and the introduction of non-native species. Climate change which leads to rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification, is also a threat.  The effects of microplastics on marine life in this region are currently unclear.

Peatlands, already dwindling, could face further losses - MIT News -- Tropical peat swamp forests, which once occupied large swaths of Southeast Asia and other areas, provided a significant “sink” that helped remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But such forests have been disappearing fast due to clear-cutting and drainage projects making way for plantations. Now, research shows peatlands face another threat, as climate change alters rainfall patterns, potentially destroying even forested peatlands that remain undrained. The net result is that these former carbon sinks, which have taken greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, are now net carbon sources, instead accelerating the planet’s warming. The findings are described this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in a paper by MIT Professor Charles Harvey, research scientist Alexander Cobb, and seven others at MIT and other institutions. “There is a tremendous amount of peatland in Southeast Asia, but almost all of it has been deforested,” says Harvey, who is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and has been doing research on that region for several years. Once deforested and drained, the peatland dries out, and the organic (carbon-containing) soil oxidizes and returns to the atmosphere. Sometimes the exposed peat can actually catch fire and burn for extended periods, causing massive clouds of air pollution. Tropical peatlands may contain as much carbon as the amount consumed in nearly a decade of global fossil fuel use, and raging peat fires in Indonesia alone have been estimated in some years to contribute 10 to 40 percent as much greenhouse gas to the atmosphere as all the world’s fossil fuel burning. Tropical peatlands, unlike those in temperate zones that are dominated by sphagnum moss, are forested with trees that can tower to 150 feet, and peat fires can sometimes ignite forest fires that consume these as well. (Peat that gets buried and compressed underground is the material that ultimately turns to coal.)

Wildfires used to be rare in the Great Plains. They’ve more than tripled in 30 years  -The grasslands of U.S. Great Plains have seen one of the sharpest increases in large and dangerous wildfires in the past three decades, with their numbers more than tripling between 1985 and 2014, according to new research. The new study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that the average number of large Great Plains wildfires each year grew from about 33 to 117 over that time period, even as the area of land burned in these wildfires increased by 400 percent. “This is undocumented and unexpected for this region,” said Victoria Donovan, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. “Most studies do document these shifts in large wildfires in forested are
          Re: Name of Cemetery        
If you are still looking for the name of a cemetery on Hwy MM just east of Hwy 67, it may be Citizens' Cemetery. I noticed this on a USGS topographic map. It appears on the Hustisford Quadrangle.
          My Chumby is here        
I've activated my black leather Chumby named Robusto, and as I write this, it's downloading a software update through wifi.

A picture named chumby.jpgFirst impression: This is a breakthough device, kind of like the Cobalt Qube was in the mid-late 90s.

1. They use BitTorrent to distribute updates. There was 1 seed and 1 peer when it downloaded my updates. Very good use of BitTorrent, and it's smart to build it in there from the beginning.

2. Whoever did the animation was doing acid in the 60s, disco in the 70s, coke in the 80s and a dotcom startup in the 90s. It's really outrageous, really good and cool and funny. It makes you laugh out loud. Can't say the iPhone made me do that. The Qube, while it wasn't trippy, did too. (Update: Susan Kare did the design. No wonder it's so great!)

3. They have a built-in RSS reader, not sure how it works, but I configured it to display Scripting News.

A picture named sushi3.gif4. I changed the clock to a cuckoo clock (from a plain blue analog clock). The device checks back with the website periodically to find out if it's been reconfigured, and now without me doing anything else, the clock has changed. If I tap on the door the bird comes out! smile

5. They have a Flickr widget that is very webservice-ish, and clever and complicated. I tried to configure it to show my friends' pictures, but the authentication window never appears in Firefox. Great idea and I can't wait to try it when it works! (It's similiar to something I'm doing with a Mac Mini as a settop box.) Update: I needed to tell Firefox that it was OK for the Chumby website to pop up a window, and when I did, the authentication worked. smile

6. It would be nice to have a USGS earthquake widget. It could be two-way since the Chumby has motion detectors.

7. JY Stervinou sends a pointer to a page that shows you how to turn the Chumby into a web server. That's what I'm talkin about!!

8. What's playing on my Chumby right now.

9. A comment from Steve Tomlin, CEO of Chumby.

10. Phil Torrone, via email: "One thing that i have been trying to tell folks about this device is that it is a great example of open source hardware, Chumby has released the schematics and files needed to improve. I think many people will use the Chumby as a low cost Linux computer for all sorts of amazing projects."

Summary: I got it set up and running my widgets within an hour and it was fun! I love this device, it just reeks of potential. And they did a beautiful production job. It's easily as innovative as the iPhone, but it isn't getting as much attention. Take a look you won't be disappointed.

Video thumbnail. Click to play

          A Baldpates Gathering        
If you've read my previous post you know the story of what happened to this year's Seek the Peak event.  The "weather delay" was unfortunate, but it was the right call.  It sadly meant that a number of people that were heading home on Saturday night or Sunday wouldn't be able to do their Mt Washington hike.  In our case we were staying until Tuesday, but had made plans months earlier to do a Sunday hike on the Baldpates if the weather was good.  As bad as the Saturday forecast had been, Sunday was equally good.  The warm front that had been hanging around and making things generally miserable had moved out overnight and was replaced by cool, crisp air and blue skies!  It was reminiscent of the day we hiked Mt Isolation after STP last year.  We'd hiked Mt Washington many times before, and although it would have been the perfect day for it, we couldn't pass up a day like this for the Baldpates.  Kevin and Judy had already decided to join us.  They'd done it for the first time last year and Judy had declared it to be her new favorite hike - high praise indeed.  Erich and Gloria were also going to be around for another day before their long drive home and decided to join us as well.  Although we've know Erich since our first Seek the Peak and have seen him every year since, including a chance meeting in Yosemite a few years ago, we still hadn't hiked together.  It was shaping up to be the perfect gathering.

I had made the drive from Gorham to Grafton Notch multiple times in the last two weeks for the car spots and pickup for our Mahoosucs backpack.  I was looking forward to returning and having a hike that I could remember a bit more fondly.  I wasn't going to be disappointed.  We got a leisurely 10:30 start, but we had no place to be and a beautiful day ahead.  We scoped out the many pies at the "pie lady" stand as we went by and promised to return to get desert for the evening meal on the way back.  With another day of white blazes ahead we were off...

Typical trail (at least when there weren't steps)

Never saw one of these before.  Very cool!

We took our time on the ascent of Baldpate West Peak. The trail was pretty nice with no real features of note in this part except the MANY stone steps up the final steep sections to the summit (and the AT benchmark along the way).  It's a nice enough trail and another testament to the experience we've had on all the trails in Maine so far.  When we got to West Peak things got a bit more interesting.

Reaching the summit of West Baldpate - East Peak ahead

Love these Maine views!

Mountain Cranberry

Trail down to the West Baldpate ledges

Sheep Laurel

The path awaits

We took a long lunch break on West Peak, enjoying the amazing views and anticipating the fun ahead.  The path up East Peak follows the line of ledges at the far left.  What a great path!

Lunch break

Kevin heading into the col

The walk across the col between the peaks is just gorgeous.  I could walk in places like this forever!

First ladder

Looking back to West Peak from the col

Bog bridges through the col.  What a beautiful section!

East Peak ahead

After crossing the col we were treated to a wonderful walk (and occasional scramble) up the East Peak ledges.  They're quite steep, but very manageable and the views along the way make you forget where you are.  These are the kinds of places in the mountains that I love the most.

Old Speck on the other side of Grafton Notch over West Baldpate

Going up!

Yes, the West Peak ledges are pretty steep

Another cool AT marker

Kevin coming up

The Mahoosucs over West Baldpate

Ledge views

Cairns leading into the sky

Mountain Sandwort

The summit plateau is no less spectacular than the ledges.  The actual summit of East Peak is on the opposite side and the walk across is simply gorgeous.  More of the 360 views open up the further across you get.

Approaching the summit plateau

Kevin and Old Speck

Summit plateau

Nat and Judy on the summit

On Baldpate East Peak summit with Old Speck in the distance


Wind farm with Mt Blue beyond

We hung out on the summit for a long time.  Kevin, however, declared that it had not been long enough.  He decided that it would be easier to die up there and have the helicopter remove his body sometime later.  If you had to pick a place to die, this wouldn't be the worst choice...

Kevin, Erich and Gloria

Kevin waiting for the evac chopper

Nat and I on Baldpate East Peak.  Another NEHH...

Despite the prior caption, we have no aspiration toward the NEHH.  Repeat three times - "I will not start another list, I will not start...".  Oh, who knows - the lists haven't lead us any bad places so far.

All good things must come to an end and we finally headed back.  While I generally prefer loop hikes to out-and-backs, I didn't mind this one at all.  Lots of great spots to revisit the second time of the day (and the promise of a visit to Table Rock as well).

Heading back

West Peak, Old Speck and the Mahoosucs


Warning - kilts and ladders ahead!

Nat on the ladder

Back on West Peak

The walk back to West Peak was really nice.  The walk down the rest of the way was long.  Somehow those many stone steps from the way up had managed to double or triple on the way down.  Not sure how this happens.  About half way down the steps I almost made a serious mistake, slipping and taking a head first plunge that I somehow managed to catch with my arm, shin, hip and toe wedged under multiple downhill rocks without more than a couple of minor scrapes.  This serious lack of grace on my part is why I always take my time going downhill.  We made our way back to the Table Rock junction without further incident.  We now had a decision - 0.9 down to the car or an additional 0.7 out and back to Table Rock.  The views were rumored to be excellent.  The MATC sign at the junction sealed the deal.  During our prior Maine hikes we've been learning the MATC "view rating system".  Any view that is described with an expletive beginning with "E" (Excellent, Exceptional, Extraordinary) is NOT to be missed.

MANY stone steps

Another day of white blazes

We've learned to trust the MATC view rating system

Final climb onto Table Rock

The walk out to Table Rock involved regaining a bit of the elevation that we'd just lost and then a climb up a set of iron rungs on the final section to the ledge.  We emerged from the trees to find the view which was, well, Extraordinary!

View from Table Rock.  The MATC was right again!

Judy and I on Table Rock looking across Grafton Notch

Close to the edge?  Yes.

Me on Table Rock - too close to the edge!

Erich on Table Rock - WAY too close to the edge!!

Nat - dancing on the edge!  :-O

After enjoying the views and taking our turns hanging on the brink, we headed down and demonstrated our respective approaches to down-climbing a ledge with iron rungs.

Kevin's approach to the rungs

Judy's method (mine too)

Nat's method.  Show off!

Erich too.  Must be something about people in skirts - uh, kilts

The last mile to the car seemed longer than it was.  It had been an amazing day, but we were ready to get back for a much needed shower our swim and get together for dinner (and the soon-to-be-purchased pie).

The huge AT crossing symbol in Grafton Notch

Hike on...

Our stop at the pie lady stand was disappointing - everything was gone for day!  We stopped at the other stand back near Sunday River and found two remaining pies and a few whoopie pies left.  An apple pie and a whoopie were secured and we headed back to camp.  That night we got together for a great community meal and looked back on a most excellent day.  It wasn't Mt Washington, and we never even made it above 4000 feet, but it couldn't have been a much better gathering of friends in a more beautiful place.  Thanks Kevin, Judy, Erich and Gloria (and Nat of course) for making this a day to remember.

Here's the interactive GPS track:  http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=eruthttzxvcsluzm

And the map of the route.  Interesting that the GPS track seems to differ significantly from the map of the AT.  This is the third time in the last month or so where we've done an AT section hike with this result.  I really don't think the GPS is off.  In this particular case the path that we were on was definitely flatter and along the contour lines as the GPS track would indicate and not up and down over the "bump" shown on the map along the trail.  Is it possible that the AT map is out of date?  This is consistent on both the Open Cycle Map version shown here and and the USGS topo maps as well.

          Observation - ESVI4 - West Fork Des Moines River at Estherville (Iowa)        

Flood Categories

Primary (ft)

  • Action : 6 ft
  • Minor : 8 ft
  • Moderate : 13 ft
  • Major : 14.5 ft

Secondary (kcfs)

  • Action : Not Set
  • Minor : Not Set
  • Moderate : Not Set
  • Major : Not Set

Gauge Data

Latest Observation Category: Normal
Latest Observation: 2.64 ft
Latest Observation (Secondary): 0.259 kcfs
Observation Time: Aug 10, 2017 04:00 PM -0500

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data and Site Info for Estherville: USGS ID: 05476500

          This is why we monitor volcanoes Gov. Jindal!        
Alaska's Mt. Redoubt in April 1990,
photograph by R. Clucas, USGS

I posted a few weeks ago discussing my annoyance with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and his concern about the price of "volcano monitoring". Wouldn't you know it, Alaska's Mt. Redoubt has rumbled recently and geologists have upped the alert level to "orange". It spewed out some ash and steam on Sunday.

Alaska's Mt. Redoubt on March, 15, 2009,
photograph by Bill Burton, courtesy Alaska Volcano Observatory/USGS

Mt. Redoubt is located about 100 miles from Anchorage. Residents of Anchorage could have problems with their car and plane engines if the ash got in them. Engine problems is of course minor compared to respiratory problems that volcanic ash might cause. Unless you happen to be flying commercial in the vicinity of an eruption, that is. Alaska volcanoes can shoot ash plumes tens of thousands of feet into the atmosphere.

Redoubt caused some damage (requiring four new engines) to a KLM aircraft in 1989, as well as some real fright in the passengers:
As the crew of KLM Flight 867 struggled to restart the plane's engines, "smoke" and a strong odor of sulfur filled the cockpit and cabin. For five long minutes the powerless 747 jetliner, bound for Anchorage, Alaska, with 231 terrified passengers aboard, fell in silence toward the rugged, snow-covered Talkeetna Mountains (7,000 to 11,000 feet high). All four engines had flamed out when the aircraft inadvertently entered a cloud of ash blown from erupting Redoubt Volcano, 150 miles away. The volcano had begun erupting 10 hours earlier on that morning of December 15, 1989. Only after the crippled jet had dropped from an altitude of 27,900 feet to 13,300 feet (a fall of more than 2 miles) was the crew able to restart all engines and land the plane safely at Anchorage.

Did I mention all the great information the USGS provides on its website?! Sorry Louisiana readers but your governor is even more annoying than mine!
          USGS JSON web address change        
The QVSData program may be using the older version of the web address for the USGS JSON data file for Magnitude 1 earthquakes. Go to the Data Centre and click on QVS Services and then Data Jon Maintenance. The screen … Continue reading
          Weekly Geophysical: 26 September 2014        
Summary of report week: USGS is listing 35 events, EMSC is listing 34 events and GFZ Potsdam is listing 36 events. You can view each of these listings below. There were 2 active category force storms during the week of … Continue reading
          Weekly Geophysical: 19 September 2014        
Summary of report week: USGS is listing 26 events, EMSC is listing 28 events and GFZ Potsdam is listing 28 events. You can view each of these listings below. There were 4 active category force storms during the week of … Continue reading
          Weekly Geophysical: 12 September 2014        
Brief summary of report week: USGS is listing 38 events, EMSC is listing 43 events and GFZ Potsdam is listing 37 events. You can view each of these listings below. There were 4 active category force storms during the week … Continue reading
          Weekly Geophysical: 05 September 2014        
Brief summary of report week: USGS is listing 35 events, EMSC is listing 32 events and GFZ Potsdam is listing 35 events. You can view each of these listings below. There was 1 active category force storm during the week … Continue reading
          Weekly Geophysical: 29 August 2014        
Summary of report week: USGS is listing 27 events, EMSC is listing 35 events and GFZ Potsdam is listing 29 events. You can view each of these listings below. There were 4 active category force storms during the week of … Continue reading
          Weekly Geophysical: 22 August 2014        
Text only report this week. Summary of report week: USGS is listing 29 events, EMSC is listing 23 events and GFZ Potsdam is listing 27 events. You can view each of these listings below. There were 3 active category force … Continue reading
          Comment on Magnitude-4.0 earthquake rattles Bay Area by EARTHQUAKE VIDEO: KRON studio rocks, Bay Area reacts to temblor | KRON4.com        
[…] The USGS said the quake occurred at 6:49 a.m. Watch the report (above) to see how it shook the KRON studio. (Click here for more information about this quake.) […]
          ASU, USGS Project Yields Sharpest Map of Mars Surface Properties        

Read article: ASU, USGS Project Yields Sharpest Map of Mars Surface Properties

The most detailed global map yet made of Martian surface properties is the result of a joint project between ASU and the U.S. Geological Survey.

          Observation - EMPM5 - Vermillion River near Empire (Minnesota)        

Flood Categories

Primary (ft)

No flood categories have been defined for this gauge.

Secondary (kcfs)

No flood categories have been defined for this gauge.

Gauge Data

Latest Observation Category: Not defined
Latest Observation: 3.15 ft
Latest Observation (Secondary): 0.0774 kcfs
Observation Time: Aug 10, 2017 04:15 PM -0500

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data and Site Info for Empire: USGS ID: 05345000

          Guest post: Hello, herpetofauna!        
James and I met several years ago as FLCC students, on a Wildlife Society club trip to the Adirondacks for a weekend. All I knew of James was that he was quiet, but really smart. Over the next year or so, we got to know each other better (while struggling through chemistry classes), and since we’ve graduated and split to different SUNY campuses, have remained in touch. James asked me about blogging, and put out a feeler on Facebook to see if his friends and family would be interested in a reptile and amphibian themed blog. I offered up my blog for a guest entry, and so here we are. Please welcome my friend James Beach!

Meet James, a Finger Lakes Community College 
alumni, and friend of mine.
Every year around this time I anticipate the emergence of the local herpetofauna that surrounded my urban apartment. The many wetlands within a 15 minute drive from my apartment are home to an abundance of species, from frogs and toads, turtles and snakes, and last but not least, the salamanders and newts. To me, the emergence of these animals a reason to celebrate! Hearing the symphony of wood frogs and spring peepers signifies the end of winter and the start of longer days, but beyond that, it also rejuvenates my spirit.

My love for reptiles and amphibians began when I was a small child in the late 80s and early 90s. I would spend my free time in a stream behind my parents’ house in rural upstate New York. Although my identification skills were not yet developed, I would try as hard as I could to learn as much as possible about these marvelous creatures. It was that small stream, the memories it helped create, and all the beautiful animals I found, that stayed with me into adulthood and shaped my career and personal goals of getting as many people as possible interested in herpetofauna. I am currently perusing a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Brockport where I am majoring in Environmental Science with a focus in wetland ecology.

Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
Photo credit: Melissa Fadden, SUNY ESF
March 20th typically marks the start of the “herping” season. For those new to this term, herping is the nickname for the activity of searching for reptiles and amphibians. It’s fun, easy to get involved in, and can be done almost anywhere. Many children growing up find many species in their backyard, as well as ponds, streams, swamps, marshes, and ditches. I cannot begin to explain how many different species I used to bring home to my mother, asking, “Can we keep it?” Usually she would say NO, but on occasion she would oblige my interest as long as it stayed outside. This is probably a typical scenario for many kids growing up, but what are the consequences? Is it okay for children and adults to take animals from the wild and bring them home, thinking that they can somehow provide a much better environment than its natural residence? It is this question that I seek to answer with this blog post.

Midland painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata
Photo credit: Melissa Fadden, SUNY ESF
How we interact with nature is in essence a reflection of our values: if we value nature, which I think we all should and mostly do, then it should be in our interests to leave whatever creatures and natural objects where we find them. We can instead pay homage to nature by storing beautiful sights in our memories, drawing pictures, or taking photos. Herping is a great activity in which to get family or friends involved, and it’s rewarding for both the young and the old. But to be ethical about it, there are a few questions one should ask.

First, how do you do it, and where and when do you go? Herping is a fairly inexpensive hobby requiring only a field guide, headlamp, snake hook (this item is optional and can be found at most pet stores), a first aide kit, rain gear and warm clothing.

Eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis
Photo credit: Melissa Fadden, SUNY ESF
The easiest thing to do is find a wetland around you and go a half hour after sunset, when it’s raining lightly and not terribly windy. You’ll find that the first spring rains are the best time to get out there because this is when many salamanders are on the move and begin breeding. Salamanders will leave the forest floor where they are hardly ever seen, and migrate to wetlands to begin mating. The sounds of wood frogs and spring peepers will also begin to be heard around this time. There’s a short window of opportunity, but by mid April the chances of finding some of the less common species begins to decrease. I have been in wetlands where hundreds of spotted salamanders are abundant and are moving into wetlands, and no one would ever know if they weren’t out there on those chilly rainy nights. If any of these animals are present you will see them.

The next question one should ask before herping is, how should these delicate animals be handled, if they are to be handled at all? Amphibians breathe through their skin, and because of this, are susceptible to toxins from pollution. It is okay to handle them very gently. I recommend that the best way to do so is to wash your hands in the wetland first to make sure you don’t transfer any toxins to them. If you smoke or put on any hand sanitizer, you should refrain from handling them, because the toxins on your hands could potentially kill them.

Wood frog (Rana sylvatica) Photo credit: Melissa Fadden, SUNY ESF

 How do you find specific snakes, lizards, and turtles? This is a tough question to answer, because it largely depends on luck along with knowing the habitat of the target species. The best time to search for turtles or snakes is early in the morning around 7am until 1 or 2 in the afternoon throughout the breeding season, although some, like painted turtles, will stay active beyond that. Many of the more secretive species will be hard to find after that point. Mornings that reach temps in the early to mid 60s with lots of sunlight are great for getting outside and seeking out the turtles in your area. Many species will begin to bask once they emerge from hibernacula, and can easily be spotted as they purge their system of the lactic acid that has built up over the winter. If targeting snakes, one can try to manipulate the habitat a bit by putting large objects around the area for the snakes to hide under. Checking these locations every couple of days should yield great results, and you’ll begin to be more conscious of the species located around you that perhaps you had no idea existed.

If a child asks to take any of these animals home as a pet, what should the response be? It should always be NO! In New York State, all of our native species are protected, and it is illegal to take any of them from the wild. If the child is interested in having a pet, please do some research and consult a pet shop. Beyond that, these animals are also important members of their local ecosystem, and it’s extremely important that they remain there for others to enjoy. Currently, herpetofauna are experiencing a huge decline due to habitat loss, fragmentation, invasive species, chemicals, climate change, and poachers. These species are very important to scientists as they are viewed as environmental indicators, meaning their presence in a wetland will show what kind of condition their environment is in. If the area is severely degraded, these species will be absent.

A common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) Photo credit: James Beach

Please keep all of these things in mind when herping. It’s important to have fun, and also to recognize the importance and aesthetics these animals have. If looking to become more familiar with frog and toad calls in your area, I have posted a link that will get you started: USGS Frog Quiz. I have also included links to books and audio CDs that aide in identification: The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State and The Frogs and Toads of North America.

Thanks for reading, and of course happy herping!

*All comments and questions will be relayed to James!

          Data Cleanup Project: Groundwater Basin Details        

The California Department of Water Resources has 515 PDFs that give valuable descriptions and 'metadata' about the various groundwater basins across the state.

We converted these PDFs to text files, and want to get them into tabular data format (well, CSV, comma-separated, data).

The files are all in this git repository on Github.

Yesterday, Laci called the DWR to ask them if they had this information in tabular format, and they don't - but people keep calling to ask. We would like to help them help the citizens of California.

If you feel inclined to help clean up this data, please have at it!

We are adding a README that lists the fields.

The project

  1. Write a scraper in the language of your choosing (we prefer nodejs and python, but php and ruby are fine.)
  2. Parse the 515 text files:
  3. Create a CSV data table structure with machine-friendly column names.
  4. Populate the CSV with the data.


  1. Convert also to a JSON document with an ID based on the basin unit ID.

Sign up

Just tweet at us or email us to let us know you want to volunteer to tackle this. You can fork the repo and send us a pull request.

A preview of the data

This is the text of one file. You can see how there is lots of useful information in it. If it were in tabular format, it could more easily be used in interactives that help us visualize and understand groundwater.

Central Coast Hydrologic Region Soquel Valley Groundwater Basin
Soquel Valley Groundwater Basin
• Groundwater Basin Number: 3-1
• County: Santa Cruz
• Surface Area: 2,500 acres (4 square miles)
Basin Boundaries and Hydrology
The Soquel Valley Groundwater Basin is bounded to the south by Monterey Bay, and to the north by a series of hills that define the contact of Quaternary and Pliocene deposits (Purisima Formation) at or near the Zayante Fault.
The western boundary coincides with the western boundary of the Soquel Creek Water District. The eastern boundary is generally the coastward projection of the drainage divide between the Soquel and Aptos Creek watersheds. In addition to the areas of Quaternary deposits, the eastern limit of the Soquel Creek and Central Water District’s service area may be considered the basin boundary for the purposes of managing and monitoring groundwater resources in the area. Soquel Creek is the major drainage in the Basin. Average annual precipitation is 25 inches along the coast to 29 inches inland.
The adjoining basins include West Santa Cruz Terrace to the west and the Pajaro Valley to the southeast.
Hydrogeologic Information
Water-bearing sediments consist of the Pliocene Purisima Formation, which is overlain by Quaternary terrace deposits, and the Pleistocene Aromas Red Sands Formation. The Purisima and Quaternary terrace deposits have been locally incised by streams filled with Quaternary alluvium (Muir 1980). The Purisima Formation is exposed along Monterey Bay where it is a cliff- forming unit. The Aromas Red Sands Formation extends into the Pajaro Valley Basin.
Water Bearing Formations
The Purisima Formation, of Pliocene geologic age, is a sequence of gray, sometimes described as blue, moderately consolidated, silty to clean, fine to medium sandstone containing siltstone and claystone interbeds (Greene 1977). It has not been explored to basement north of the Soquel Creek Water District’s (SCWD) boundaries but is thought to terminate at or near the Zayante Fault. The granite basement surface, which is uniformly sloping to the southeast, is approximately 450 feet beneath sea level at the western SCWD boundary, and approximately 1,300 feet beneath sea level at approximately Valencia Creek. Farther to the southeast, the Purisima continues to dip at the same rate, but is overlain by predominantly unconfined Aromas Red Sands (SCWD 2003).
Based on the lithologic and geophysical logs developed during the installation of SCWD’s network of production wells and monitoring wells, combined with other water well logs and a few geophysical logs of oil and gas borings in the vicinity, seven distinct subunits of the Purisima Formation have been identified and designated AA, A, B, C, D, E, and F, from deepest to shallowest (LSCE 1984). Groundwater occurs in all the subunits of the Purisima beneath the Soquel-Aptos area. Except in the vicinity of its outcrop
California’s Groundwater Bulletin 118
Central Coast Hydrologic Region Soquel Valley Groundwater Basin
at the surface, the Purisima subunits are confined by claystone or siltstone interbeds. In general, fresh water is introduced into the various Purisima subunits through the recharge areas, or outcrop locations, of the subunits and then flows through the respective subunits generally toward Monterey Bay (SCWD 2003).
The Aromas Red Sands Formation is brown to red, poorly consolidated, fine to coarse-grained sandstone containing lenses of silt and clay (LSCE 1996). The formation consists of upper eolian and lower fluvial sand units that are separated by confining layers of interbedded clays and silty clay (RMC 2001). Based on limited lithologic and geophysical logs and other geologic data, the Aromas is underlain by the Purisima Formation throughout the eastern third of the Soquel-Aptos area, although the exact depth of the contact has not been identified. Essentially unconfined throughout the Soquel-Aptos area, the Aromas Red Sands contain fresh water above a wedge-shaped intrusion of seawater which is about 200 feet below sea level at the coastline and slopes away form the coast to nearly 500 feet below sea level in the vicinity of the SCWD Seascape and Altivo supply wells (SCWD 2003).
Restrictive Structures
There are no known restrictive structures in the Soquel Valley Basin. Groundwater flow in the Soquel Valley portion of the confined Purisima Formation is southward, toward and beneath Monterey Bay.
Recharge Areas
Recharge is from deep percolation of rainfall, especially near the upper watersheds of Soquel, Branciforte, and Arana-Rodeo Creeks. Recharge also occurs along the streambeds of Soquel and Aptos Creeks, and other minor creeks.
Groundwater Level Trends
Purisima Formation Coastal water levels have declined in the central portion of the Soquel Creek Water District between about New Brighton Beach and Aptos Creek, notably in the Purisima A subunit where water levels have been near historic low and continuously below sea level during the drought periods of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Groundwater levels have since partially recovered such that they fluctuate seasonally above and below sea level (SCWD 2003).
Aromas Red Sands Groundwater levels throughout SCWD’s Aromas well field area remain above sea level. At one monitoring location at the southern end, coastal water levels were essentially at sea level until recently; presently, levels are about five feet above sea level (SCWD 2003).
Groundwater Storage
Groundwater Storage Capacity. The total storage capacity of the basin has not been determined.
California’s Groundwater Bulletin 118
Central Coast Hydrologic Region Soquel Valley Groundwater Basin
Groundwater Budget (Type C)
There are not enough data to estimate a budget for this basin. Within the Soquel-Aptos area, pumpage in the Pursima Formation was estimated by the Santa Cruz County Environmental Health Department in October 1999 to be about 6,890 acre-feet, including 2,200 acre-feet for private pumping, about 910 acre-feet for the Central Water District and the City of Santa Cruz, and 3,780 acre-feet for the Soquel Creek Water District (SCWD 2001a). Pumpage from the Aromas Red Sands was estimated by SCWD in December 1998 to be about 6,240 acre-feet, including 3,650 acre-feet for private pumping, 490 acre-feet by Central Water District, and 2,100 acre-feet by SCWD (SCWD 2003).
Groundwater Quality
Characterization. Groundwater in the Purisima formation can generally be classified into two water quality types. In the Purisima A subunit, groundwater is a calcium-bicarbonate water; in the upper Purisima subunits, groundwater is generally a calcium-magnesium bicarbonate water (LSCE 1996). Based on data for the SCWD water supply wells, TDS values in the Purisima formation range from 310 to 850 mg/L, with an average value of 492 mg/L (based on 11 wells; SCWD 2001b). EC values range from 440 to 1,000 μmhos/cm, with an average value of 721 (SCWD 2001b). TDS values in the Aromas Red Sands Formation range from 160 to 290 mg/L, with an average value of 237 mg/L (based on 6 wells; (SCWD 2001b). EC values range from 240 to 425 μmhos/cm, with an average value of 348 μmhos/cm (SCWD 2001b).
Impairments. Declining coastal groundwater levels in the area between New Brighton Beach and Aptos Creek are of concern. The Purisima Formation aquifer produces water with elevated levels of iron and manganese. Most municipal wells are treated for manganese and iron at the wellhead (SCWD 1999a and 2000b).
Water Quality in Public Supply Wells
California’s Groundwater Bulletin 118
Constituent Group1
Inorganics – Primary Radiological
VOCs and SVOCs Inorganics – Secondary
Number of wells sampled2 14
10 10 8 8 14
Number of wells with a concentration above an MCL3 0
0 0 0 0 8
1 A description of each member in the constituent groups and a generalized discussion of the relevance of these groups are included in California’s Groundwater – Bulletin 118 by DWR (2003).
2 Represents distinct number of wells sampled as required under DHS Title 22 program from 1994 through 2000.
3 Each well reported with a concentration above an MCL was confirmed with a second detection above an MCL. This information is intended as an indicator of the types of activities that cause contamination in a given basin. It represents the water quality at the sample location. It does not indicate the water quality delivered to the
Central Coast Hydrologic Region Soquel Valley Groundwater Basin
consumer. More detailed drinking water quality information can be obtained from the local water purveyor and its annual Consumer Confidence Report.
California’s Groundwater Bulletin 118
Well Characteristics
Well yields (gal/min)
Total depths (ft) Domestic Municipal/Irrigation
Range: 276 – 1,373
Range: 316 – 930
Active Monitoring Data
Average: 662
(16 SCWD wells)
Average: 607
( 16 SCWD wells)
Number of wells /measurement frequency
10 Monthly
34 Varies
10 Annually 34 Varies
16 Varies
Department of Health Services and cooperators
Parameter Groundwater levels
Mineral, nutrient, & minor element.
Title 22 water quality
Basin Management
Groundwater management: Water agencies
Public Private
References Cited
SCWD Adopted AB 3030 Plan, April 1996
SCWD and Central Water District None
California Department of Health Services (DHS), 2000. California Water Quality Monitoring Database; Division of Drinking Water and Environmental Management, Sacramento [on CD-ROM].
California Department of Water Resources, San Joaquin District. Well completion report files.
Green, Gary H. 1977. Geology of the Monterey Bay Region. USGS Open File Report 77-718.
Luhdorff and Scalmanini, Consulting Engineers. 1981. Review and Analysis of Reports Relating to Ground-Water Resources in the Soquel-Aptos Area, Santa Cruz County, California. Soquel Creek Water District.
________ .1984. Groundwater Resources and Management Report, 1983, Soquel Creek Water District.
________. 1985. Groundwater Resources and Management Report, 1984, Soquel Creek Water District.
________. 1996. Soquel Creek Water District and Central Water District, AB3030 Ground- Water Management Plan Soquel-Aptos Area.
Muir, K.S., 1980. Seawater Intrusion and Potential Yield of Aquifers in the Soquel-Aptos Area, Santa Cruz County, California; U.S.G.S. Water-Resources Investigation 80-84, 29 p.
Central Coast Hydrologic Region Soquel Valley Groundwater Basin
Rains, Melton, Carella (RMC). 2001. Pajaro Valley water Management Agency-Revised Basin Management Plan (Draft).
Soquel Creek Water District (SCWD), 1999a. SCWD February 16, 1999 news release.
________. 1999b. SCWD September 2, 1999 news release.
________. 2000a. 1999 Water Quality Report [prepared in compliance of annual public notification requirements].
________. 2000b. Unpublished data provided by District engineers.
Thorup, R.R., 1981. Groundwater Review of the Soquel-Aptos Area, Santa Cruz County,
California; consultant report prepared for the Santa Cruz Builders Exchange, 125p.
________. 2001a. Urban Water Management Plan Update 2000
________. 2001b. Title 22 Water Quality Data.
________. 2003. Comments and Corrections to B-118, Soquel Valley Groundwater Basin write-up.
Additional References
Akers, J.P. and Hickey, J.J. 1966. Geohydrologic Reconnaissance of the Soquel-Aptos area, Santa Cruz County, California: U.S. Geological Survey open-file report, 58 p.
Bader, J.S. 1969. Groundwater Data as of 1967, Central Coastal Subregion, California. USGS Open file report. 16 p.
Bloyd, R.M. 1981. Approximate ground-Water-Level Contours, April 1991, for the Soquel- Aptos Area, Santa Cruz County, California; U.S.G.S. 81-680.
California Department of Water Resources (DWR). 1975. Bulletin No. 63-5. Sea-Water Intrusion in California, Inventory of Coastal Groundwater Basins. 394 p.
California State Water Resources Board (SWRCB). 1953. Bulletin No. 5, Santa Cruz- Monterey Counties Investigation, 230 p.
Hickey, J.J. 1968. Hydrogeologic Study of the Soquel-Aptos area, Santa Cruz County, California; U.S. Geological Survey open file report , 48 p.
Jennings, C.W. and Strand, R.G. (compilers). 1958. Santa Cruz Sheet of Geologic Map of California. California Division of Mines and Geology (CDMG). Scale 1:250,000.
Luhdorff and Scalmanini, Consulting Engineers. 1987. Groundwater Monitoring and Management, Aromas Red Sands, 1987. Soquel Creek Water District.
________. 1990. Groundwater Monitoring and Management 1990 Update, Aromas Red Sands. Soquel Creek Water District.
Muir, K.S. and Johnson, J.J., 1979. Classification of Ground-Water Recharge Potential in Three Parts of Santa Cruz County, California; U.S.G.S. Water-Resources Investigation Open file report 79-1065
Thorup, R.R., 1987. Groundwater Review of the Soquel-Aptos Area, Santa Cruz County, California; consultant report for the Santa Cruz Builders Exchange, 125 p.
Changes made to the basin description will be noted here.
California’s Groundwater Bulletin 118

          USGS Finds New Saudi Arabia! Oh, wait...        
The BBC over the weekend had the headline: Venezuela oil 'may double Saudi Arabia'.  The headline was based on the just released assessment of Venezuela’s hydrocarbon deposits by the US Geological Survey (USGS).  Venezuelan oil is described as: "the largest accumulation ever assessed by the USGS".  The USGS mean estimate of recoverable Venezuelan oil is 513 billion barrels.

The USGS number is over five times 'Oil and Gas Journal's' estimate of 99 billion barrels for Venezuelan proven oil reserves.

To put all these billion barrel numbers in perspective, global consumption is currently around 30 billion barrels per year.  Saudi Arabia's oddly static (see Oil 101, Chpt.14) stated proven reserves are around 260 billion barrels. One could almost drive two Saudi Arabias between the 513 billion and 99 billion barrel estimates for Venezuela.  Which number is closer to the truth?

It comes down to the types of reserves being defined.  The USGS number refers to hydrocarbons technically recoverable if one completely ignores costs.  The 'Oil and Gas Journal' number factors in technical feasibility just like the USGS but additionally the economic cost of extracting heavy Venezuelan oil using similar processes to Canadian oil sands production.

The USGS has no mention of the fact that the costs to extract much of the hydrocarbons from the Venezuelan accumulation could be over US$200, US$300 or even US$1000 per barrel and would thus be unlikely to ever be produced.

Only in the very last paragraph (pdf) of the USGS report is there any attempt to put some perspective on their headline grabbing number: "No attempt was made in this study to estimate either economically recoverable resources or reserves within the Orinoco Oil Belt AU. Most important, these results do not imply anything about rates of heavy oil production or about the likelihood of heavy oil recovery. Also, no time frame is implied other than the use of reasonably foreseeable recovery technology." 

This sort of key disclaimer would be more appropriate in an opening paragraph.
The USGS say that their report is "critical to our understanding of the global petroleum potential and informing policy and decision makers."  How many policy and decision makers will read past the headline and opening paragraphs to understand that economics played no part in the analysis?

(HT/Terry G. for sending related link)
          Observation - HRPN2 - Humboldt River below Rye Patch (Nevada)        

Flood Categories

Primary (ft)

  • Action : 10.5 ft
  • Minor : 12 ft
  • Moderate : 12.5 ft
  • Major : 13 ft

Secondary (kcfs)

  • Action : 1.99 kcfs
  • Minor : 2.82 kcfs
  • Moderate : 3.12 kcfs
  • Major : 3.43 kcfs

Gauge Data

Latest Observation Category: Normal
Latest Observation: 6.93 ft
Latest Observation (Secondary): 0.479 kcfs
Observation Time: Aug 10, 2017 01:45 PM -0700

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data and Site Info for Rye Patch: USGS ID: 10335000

          Pizzly Bears        

Scientists confirmed last week that a bear shot by an Inuvialuit hunter in the Northwest Territories is a second-generation grizzly-polar bear hybrid—a "pizzly" or "grolar" bear. Why can some interbreeding species produce fertile offspring, while others—like horses and donkeys—cannot?

Because they have more recent common ancestry. When geographical barriers—such as rising sea levels or retracting ice floes—separate populations, they may develop genetic, physiological, or behavioral differences; changes in chromosome structure or number; differently shaped genitalia; or incompatible mating times and rituals—any of which can prevent successful reproduction. Take horses and donkeys, which probably diverged about 2.4 million years ago. Horses have 64 chromosomes, while donkeys have 62, and when they mate, their chromosomes don't pair up properly, inhibiting meiosis in their offspring. As a result, mules are sterile. Brown bears and polar bears, by contrast, evolved from the same ancestor only about 150,000 years ago—a relatively brief period—and have not developed significant genetic differences.

The prevailing theory holds that polar bears diverged from brown bears at the end of the last ice age (the Pleistocene), when a population followed retreating ice northward. As they adapted to their new arctic home, the separated population lost the brown bear's hump and developed the polar bear's characteristic hair (which is actually clear), narrower shoulders, longer neck, smaller head, and partially webbed toes. Despite appearances, polar bears and grizzlies are still genetically quite similar. In fact, there are multiple instances of the two species successfully interbreeding in zoos.

The reason grizzlies and polar bears rarely interbreed in the wild is that, generally speaking, they don't cross paths during mating season. Barren-ground grizzlies live primarily on land, where they feast on caribou and berries, and mate from May to July; meanwhile, polar bears mate from April to June while hunting for seals along the sea ice. But four years ago, a sports hunter shot a male grizzly-polar bear hybrid near Banks Island (just west of Victoria Island), proving that at least a couple of wild bears bridged their differences. The hybrid shot last month was the offspring of a female hybrid and male grizzly, bringing the total known wild hybrid count to three (counting the two dead bears and hybrid mother). It's possible there could be more out there. Some scientists are re-evaluating past sightings of bears that they assumed, at the time, were blonde grizzlies.

Some scientists believe that global warming could cause the hybridization of many arctic animals, particularly marine mammals. The thinking goes that as Arctic sea ice melts, closely related species in the North Pacific and North Atlantic will come into contact and interbreed. In the case of polar bears, loss of habitat could drive them to land, where they may come into contact with grizzlies. Other scientists, however, aren't convinced that climate change is the trigger for the hybrid bears. Changes in sea ice have been less drastic in the Beaufort Sea than in other parts of the arctic, and it seems quite possible that the pizzlies resulted from breeding pairs that met on ice, rather than on land.

Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.

Explainer thanks Brendan P. Kelly of the International Arctic Research Center, Karyn D. Rode of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lily Peacock of the USGS Alaska Science Center, Sandra Talbot of the USGS Alaska Science Center, and Marsha Branigan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Northwest Territories.

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1. MAGNITUDE : 9.5 
Chile; 12 May 1960

Casualties : Approx. 1,655
Injuries : 3,000
Homeless : 2 Million
Cost of Damage : US$550M

Affected Countries due to Tsunami: 
Japan - 138 deaths and US$50M damage
Philippines - 32 dead and missing
USA West Coast - 61 deaths (Hawaii) and US$500,000 damage

Severe damage from shaking occurred in the Valdivia-Puerto Montt area. Most of the casualties and much of the damage was because of large tsunamis which caused damage along the coast of Chile from Lebu to Puerto Aisen and in many areas of the Pacific Ocean. Puerto Saavedra was completely destroyed by waves which reached heights of 11.5 m (38 ft) and carried remains of houses inland as much as 3 km (2 mi). Wave heights of 8 m (26 ft) caused much damage at Corral.

Tsunamis caused 61 deaths and severe damage in Hawaii, mostly at Hilo, where the runup height reached 10.6 m (35 ft). Waves as high as 5.5 m (18 ft) struck northern Honshu about 1 day after the quake, where it destroyed more than 1600 homes and left 185 people dead or missing. Another 32 people were dead or missing in the Philippines after the tsunami hit those islands. Damage also occurred on Easter Island, in the Samoa Islands and in California. One to 1.5 m (3-5 ft) of subsidence occurred along the Chilean coast from the south end of the Arauco Peninsula to Quellon on Chiloe Island. As much of 3 m (10 ft) of uplift occurred on Isla Guafo. Many landslides occurred in the Chilean Lake District from Lago Villarica to Lago Todos los Santos.
The calculated travel times (in hours) are
shown for the tsunami produced
by the 1960 Chile, earthquake.
source : http://1.usa.gov/fTYSXe

On May 24, Volcan Puyehue erupted, sending ash and steam as high as 6,000 m. The eruption continued for several weeks.

This quake was preceded by 4 foreshocks bigger than magnitude 7.0, including a magnitude 7.9 on May 21 that caused severe damage in the Concepcion area. Many aftershocks occurred, with 5 of magnitude 7.0 or greater through Nov 1.
This is the largest earthquake of the 20th Century. The rupture zone is estimated to be about 1000 km long, from Lebu to Puerto Aisen.
Note that the tsunami deaths from outside Chile are included in the 1,655 total. This is still considerably fewer than some estimates which were as high as 5,700. However, Rothe and others state that the initial reports were greatly overestimated. The death toll for this huge earthquake was less than it might have been because it it occurred in the middle of the afternoon, many of the structures had been built to be earthquake-resistant and the series of strong foreshocks had made the population wary.
2. MAGNITUDE : 9.2 
Prince William Sound, Alaska; 12 May 1960

Prince William Sound, Alaska

Casualties : 128 deaths (earthquake 15, tsunami 113)
Cost of Damage : US$311M
Affected Countries due to Tsunami: USA West Coast - 15 deaths

This great earthquake and ensuing tsunami took 128 lives (tsunami 113, earthquake 15), and caused about $311 million in property loss. Earthquake effects were heavy in many towns, including Anchorage, Chitina, Glennallen, Homer, Hope, Kasilof, Kenai, Kodiak, Moose Pass, Portage, Seldovia, Seward, Sterling, Valdez, Wasilla, and Whittier.

Anchorage, about 120 kilometers northwest of the epicenter, sustained the most severe damage to property. About 30 blocks of dwellings and commercial buildings were damaged or destroyed in the downtown area. The J.C. Penny Company building was damaged beyond repair; the Four Seasons apartment building, a new six-story structure, collapsed; and many other multistory buildings were damaged heavily. The schools in Anchorage were almost devastated. The Government Hill Grade School, sitting astride a huge landslide, was almost a total loss. Anchorage High School and Denali Grade School were damaged severely. Duration of the shock was estimated at 3 minutes.
Isoseismal Map
Abridged from Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), by Carl W. Stover and Jerry L. Coffman, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1993.
source : http://1.usa.gov/f1PsJP
Landslides in Anchorage caused heavy damage. Huge slides occurred in the downtown business section, at Government Hill, and at Turnagain Heights. The largest and most devastating landslide occurred at Turnagain Heights. An area of about 130 acres was devasted by displacements that broke the ground into many deranged blocks that were collapsed and tilted at all angles. This slide destroyed about 75 private houses. Water mains and gas, sewer, telephone, and electrical systems were disrupted throughout the area.
The earthquake was accompanied by vertical displacement over an area of about 520,000 square kilometers. The major area of uplift trended northeast from southern Kodiak Island to Price William Sound and trended east-west to the east of the sound. Vertical displacements ranged from about 11.5 meters of uplift to 2.3 meters of subsidence relative to sea level. Off the southwest end of Montague Island, there was absolute vertical displacement of about 13 - 15 meters. Uplift also occurred along the extreme southeast coast of Kodiak Island, Sitkalidak Island, and over part or all of Sitkinak Island. This zone of subsidence covered about 285,000 square kilometers, including the north and west parts of Prince William Sound, the west part of the Chugach Mountains, most of Kenai Peninsula, and almost all the Kodiak Island group.
This great earthquake was felt over a large area of Alaska and in parts of western Yukon Territory and British Columbia, Canada.
3. MAGNITUDE : 9.1
Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra; 26 December 2004
Casualties : 235,800 deaths (Indonesia)
Affected Countries :
Sri Lanka - 30,900 deaths
India - 10,700 deaths
Thailand - 5,300 deaths
Somalia - 150 deaths
Myanmar - 90 deaths
Maldives - 82 deaths

Malaysia - 68 deaths
Tanzania - 10 deaths
Seychelles - 3 deaths
Bangladesh - 2 deaths
Kenya - 1 death

The devastating earthquake of 26 December 2004 occurred as thrust-faulting on the interface of the India plate and the Burma plate. In a period of minutes, the faulting released elastic strains that had accumulated for centuries from ongoing subduction of the India plate beneath the overriding Burma plate.

In a broad sense, the India and Australian plates move toward the north- northeast with respect to the interior of the Eurasia plate with velocities of about 60 mm/y in the region of the earthquake. In the region of northern Sumatra and the Nicobar Islands, most of the relative motion of India/Australia and the Eurasia plate is accommodated at the Sunda trench and within several hundred kilometers to the east of the Sunda trench, on the boundaries of the Burma plate. The direction in which India/Australia converges toward Eurasia is oblique to the trend of the Sunda trench. The oblique motion is partitioned into thrust-faulting and strike-slip faulting. The thrust faulting occurs on the interface between the India plate and the western margin of the Burma plate and involves slip directed at a large angle to the orientation of the trench. The strike-slip faulting occurs on the eastern boundary of the Burma plate and involves slip directed approximately parallel to the trench. The 26 December main shock occurred as the result of thrust faulting on the western Burma-plate boundary, but many strike-slip faulting aftershocks occurred on the eastern plate boundary.

Deaths from earthquake and tsunami
source : http://1.usa.gov/h5LIcW

Currently available models of the 26 December main-shock fault displacement differ in many interesting details, but are consistent in implying that fault- rupture propagated to the northwest from the epicenter and that substantial fault-rupture occurred hundreds of kilometers northwest of the epicenter. The data upon which the modeling is based do not permit confident resolution of the extent of rupture beyond about 500 km northwest of the main-shock epicenter. The width of the earthquake rupture, measured perpendicular to the Sunda trench, is estimated to have been about 150 kilometers and the maximum displacement on the fault plane about 20 meters. The sea floor overlying the thrust fault would have been uplifted by several meters as a result of the earthquake.

The zone of aftershocks to the 26 December earthquake is over 1300 km long. Because aftershocks occur on and very near the fault-planes of main shocks, the length of the aftershock zone suggests that main-shock fault-rupture may have extended north of the epicenter by an amount significantly larger than 500 km. However, a great earthquake may also trigger earthquake activity on faults that are distinct from the main-shock fault plane and separated from it by tens or even hundreds of kilometers. We will not know until further analysis how much of the 26 December aftershock zone may correspond to activity in the immediate vicinity of the main-shock rupture, and how much may correspond to activity remote from the main-shock rupture.

4. MAGNITUDE : 9.0
Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan; 11 March 2011

Casualties : estimated 10,000+

0.3 sec Period Image
The magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, which occurred near the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan, resulted from thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates. At the latitude of this earthquake, the Pacific plate moves approximately westwards with respect to the North America plate at a rate of 83 mm/yr, and begins its westward descent beneath Japan at the Japan Trench. Note that some authors divide this region into several microplates that together define the relative motions between the larger Pacific, North America and Eurasia plates; these include the Okhotsk and Amur microplates that are respectively part of North America and Eurasia.

The location, depth, and focal mechanism of the March 11 earthquake are consistent with the event having occurred on the subduction zone plate boundary. Modeling of the rupture of this earthquake indicate that the fault moved upwards of 30-40 m, and slipped over an area approximately 300 km long (along-strike) by 150 km wide (in the down-dip direction). The rupture zone is roughly centered on the earthquake epicenter along-strike, while peak slips were up-dip of the hypocenter, towards the Japan Trench axis. The March 11 earthquake was preceded by a series of large foreshocks over the previous two days, beginning on March 9th with a M 7.2 event approximately 40 km from the epicenter of the March 11 earthquake, and continuing with another three earthquakes greater than M 6 on the same day.
The Japan Trench subduction zone has hosted nine events of magnitude 7 or greater since 1973. The largest of these, a M 7.8 earthquake approximately 260 km to the north of the March 11 epicenter, caused 3 fatalities and almost 700 injuries in December 1994. In June of 1978, a M 7.7 earthquake 35 km to the southwest of the March 11 epicenter caused 22 fatalities and over 400 injuries. Large offshore earthquakes have occurred in the same subduction zone in 1611, 1896 and 1933 that each produced devastating tsunami waves on the Sanriku coast of Pacific NE Japan. That coastline is particularly vulnerable to tsunami waves because it has many deep coastal embayments that amplify tsunami waves and cause great wave inundations. The M 7.6 subduction earthquake of 1896 created tsunami waves as high 38 m and a reported death toll of 27,000. The M 8.6 earthquake of March 2, 1933 produced tsunami waves as high as 29 m on the Sanriku coast and caused more than 3000 fatalities. Unlike the recent magnitude 9.0 earthquake, the 1933 earthquake did not occur as the result of thrust faulting on the subduction-zone plate interface, but rather within the Pacific plate just seaward of the Japan Trench.
Tsunami Wave Height
source : http://bit.ly/fWqENd
The March 11, 2011 earthquake far surpassed other post-1900 plate-boundary thrust-fault earthquakes in the southern Japan Trench, none of which attained M8. A predecessor may have occurred on July 13, 869, when the Sendai area was swept by a large tsunami that Japanese scientists have identified from written records and a sand sheet.
Continuing readjustments of stress and associated aftershocks are expected in the region of this earthquake. The exact location and timing of future aftershocks cannot be specified. Numbers of aftershocks will continue to be highest on and near to fault-segments on which rupture occurred at the time of the main-shock. The frequency of aftershocks will tend to decrease with elapsed time from the time of the main shock, but the general decrease of activity may be punctuated by episodes of higher aftershock activity. Beyond the ongoing aftershock sequence, the USGS does not believe that the earthquakes in Japan have significantly raised the probability of future major earthquakes. While the probability of future large earthquakes far from northern Honshu has not increased, neither has it decreased and large earthquakes will continue to occur just as we have observed in the past.
5. MAGNITUDE : 9.0
Kamchatka; 04 November 1952

Casualties : 0 death
Damage : US$800,000 - US$1M

Location of Kamchatka Earthquake, 1952 Nov 04, closer detail
source : http://1.usa.gov/eb8UQQ

On November 4, 1952, at 16:52 GMT, an earthquake occurred off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. A Pacific-wide tsunami was triggered by the earthquake, which had a surface-wave magnitude of 8.2, an epicenter of 52.8° N, 159.5° E, and a focal depth of 30 km. Six cows died and no human lives were lost in Hawaii where damage estimates ranged from $800,000- $1,000,000 (1952 dollars).
The tsunami had caused severe damage to Kamchatka Peninsula and then proceeded throughout the pacific. Midway Island was innundated with 1 m of water, flooding streets and buildings. On the Hawaiian Islands the waves destroyed boats, knocked down telephone lines, destroyed piers, scoured beaches, and flooded lawns. In Honolulu Harbor a cement barge was thrown into a freighter. In Hilo Bay a small bridge connecting Cocoanut Island to the shore was destroyed by a wave when it lifted off its foundation and then smashed down.
Aerial view of Kaika Bay near Haleiwa on the north shore of Oahu shows the fourth wave climbing up beach toward the beach houses and shows the extent of inundation from previous waves. Photograph Credit: George Curtis.
source : http://bit.ly/i0ccvB
At Cocoanut Island the water swept in with a run-up of 12 feet. It was observed in Hilo that the run-up could have been as high as 11 1/2 feet. Also in Hilo, at Reed's Bay, the water level rose as high as 11 feet. Hilo Bay recorded the highest levels of run-up. At most of the other coastal cities in Hawaii, the water rise was barely noticeable. During this event, the interesting observation was made that the highest or most destructive wave would vary from location to location. Without knowing which wave will be the largest at a particular location the local authorities must properly warn residents that could be affected and keep them away from the shore until it is safe to return.
via USGS

          3nd Annual Spatial Ontology Community of Practice Workshop: Development, Implementation and Use of GeoSpatial Ontologies and Semantics        
Friday, 2010-12-03
Friday, 2010-12-03

Dec 3, 2010 at USGS Reston, VA


The Spatial Ontology Community of Practice (SOCoP) is hosting a workshop on spatial semantics and ontologies at the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192
on Friday December 3, 2010 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. This workshop is organized by SOCoP with support from the USGS, Ontolog, and others.


The purpose of the workshop is to continue the discussion from the previous SOCoP workshops in advancing spatial ontologies and semantic tools in the geospatial data domain. The main theme of this 3rd iteration of the workshop is the current and future state of development, implementation, and use of geospatial semantics and ontologies in meeting organizational mission and program needs.


In addressing this theme, as at last year’s workshop, we anticipate having a morning of talks and an afternoon of small group roundtable discussions. Expected this year will be presentations on GeoSPARQL, a geo SameAs Demonstration, Open Geospatial Consortium GeoSemantics, USGS Ontology for The National Map, and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency activities. In addition there will be a discussion about a National Science Foundation INTEROP Project which was recently awarded to several Spatial Ontology Community of Practice members. This Project: “an Interdisciplinary Network to Support Geospatial Data Sharing, Integration, and Interoperability” promises to be an exciting opportunity in developing and using ontologies, software tools, and collaboration methods to support geospatial data sharing, integration, and interoperation.


There is no charge for the workshop and more information about SOCoP and the workshop will available at www.socop.org as it is developed. Even though there will be no charge for the Workshop, we will ask attendees to register with SOCoP to facilitate logistics and entry into the USGS Building. Any questions regarding the 3rd Annual SOCoP Workshop can be addressed to Dr. Gary Berg-Cross via email: gbergcross [at] gmail.com.      

A final program, meeting location directions and registration information should be available soon.


Proceedings from last year’s Workshop complete with presentation slides and audio are available at http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SOCoP/Workshop_2009_11_12, thanks to the support of Ontolog.


          Meat industry runoff has created a massive dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico        

More than 8,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico were turned into a dead zone thanks to manure and chemical runoff from massive meat industry suppliers spilling into the Mississippi River delta.

The report by nonprofit Mighty Earth links the record-breaking dead zone to clearance of prairie grassland to make room for factory farms:

Consolidated Control of Industrial Meat
Despite common media depictions of small picturesque farms, the reality is that just five companies produce most meat in the United States, under a highly industrialized and centralized factory-farm system. While most animals were produced on small farms decades ago, large, industrial factory farms now control the market: anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of meat markets are now controlled by just four companies each, with Tyson controlling over 20 percent of the chicken, beef and pork markets.5 Industrialized farming confines thousands of hogs, chickens, and cattle in tight factory-like spaces,ii and concentrates corporate control over production standards, especially for hogs and chickens.

Once they overlaid locations of processing facilities on maps of grassland losses, they pinpointed the key culprit:

America’s largest meat company, Tyson Foods, stood out for its expansive footprint in all the regions suffering the worst pollution impacts from industrial meat and feed production. Tyson produces one out of every five pounds of meat produced in the United States, and owns brands like Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, and Sara Lee, in addition to selling to fast food retailers like McDonalds. The company is consistently ranked among the top polluters in America, although Tyson’s new CEO has declared that a focus on sustainability will be at the center of the company’s future plans. The report found:

• Tyson is the only meat company with major processing facilities in each of the states listed by the USGS as contributing the highest levels of pollution to the Gulf;

• Tyson and Smithfield have the heaviest concentration of meat facilities in those regions of the country with the highest levels of nitrate contamination;

Read the full report.

• New Investigation Identifies Companies Responsible for Massive Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico (mighty via The Guardian)

Correction: This post has been revised to reflect that Mighty Earth identified meat industry suppliers, specifically factory farming, not meat processing factories, as a key polluter. We regret the error. Tyson Foods responded in part, "We share this group’s concern about the environment but disagree with its misleading characterization of our company. Tyson Foods is not in the business of raising the crops and we own very few livestock farms." They also pointed to a meat industry trade group response .

          Dr. Xu recognized for USGS Project        
Dr. Pei Xu (Associate Professor, Environmental Engineering) was recognized for her USGS 104b project on treating produced water while generating electricity.  This project was selected by the National Institute for Water Resources (NIWR) to be included in their Annual Report and also reported to Congress. Dr. Xu’s project was one of only two projects selected...
Continue Reading »
          USGS River Input Monitoring Results        

seminar thumbnail

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as a partner of the Chesapeake Bay Program, is responsible for determining the extent to which nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment loads delivered to bay from the monitored-nontidal portions of the bay watershed. This is accomplished by analyzing water-quality observations from the nine River-Input Monitoring (RIM) stations to estimate nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment annual loads and trends using Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS). The resulting trends in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads are flow normalized to account for the year-to-year variation in river discharge; thus, the remaining trend is a result of changing sources, delays associated with storage or transport of historical inputs, and/or implemented reduction strategies.Long-term (1985-2014) trends in nitrogen loads indicate improving conditions at the 7 of 9 RIM stations, including the five largest rivers. The Choptank River is the only station whose data indicate degrading conditions. Short-term (2005-2014) trends in total nitrogen loads indicate improving conditions at only 3 stations and degrading conditions at 4 stations. Results from the Susquehanna and James stations indicate no discernable short-term trends. Long-term trends in total phosphorus loads indicate improving conditions at 4 stations and degrading conditions at another 4 stations. Short-term trends in total phosphorus loads indicate improving conditions at only the Potomac and Patuxent stations, degrading conditions at 4 stations, and no discernable change in conditions at the 3 remaining stations.
          USGS Watershed Monitoring Results         

seminar thumbnail

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as a partner of the Chesapeake Bay Program, is responsible for determining the extent to which nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment loads delivered to bay from the monitored-nontidal portions of the bay watershed. This is accomplished by analyzing water-quality observations from the nine River-Input Monitoring (RIM) stations to estimate nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment annual loads and trends using Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS). The resulting trends in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads are flow normalized to account for the year-to-year variation in river discharge; thus, the remaining trend is a result of changing sources, delays associated with storage or transport of historical inputs, and/or implemented reduction strategies.Nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment loads are showing measurable improvement at many locations across the bay watershed from 2005 to 2014. Trends in nitrogen loads are improving at 44 of 81 (54 percent) NTN stations analyzed. The median reduction in nitrogen load, for these 44 NTN stations, is 0.68 pounds per acre or 10 percent. Trends in phosphorus loads are improving at 41 of 60 (68 percent) NTN stations analyzed. The median reduction in phosphorus load, for these 41 NTN stations, is 0.11 pounds per acre or 24.7 percent. Trends in suspended-sediment loads are improving at 29 of 59 (49 percent) NTN stations analyzed. The medina reduction in suspended-sediment load, for these 29 NTN stations, is 221 pounds per acre or 29.4 percent.
          Strong earthquake strikes southwest China, killing at least 9        
BEIJING – A strong earthquake shook a mountainous region in southwestern China near a famous national park, killing nine people, injuring 164 others and knocking out power and phone networks.

At least five of the dead were tourists, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said. The information office of the Sichuan province government also said 21 people were seriously injured.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for rapid efforts to respond to the quake and rescue the injured. Authorities sent medical teams, rescuers and other resources. The magnitude-6.5 quake struck a region bordered by the provinces of Sichuan and Gansu at a depth of only 5.5 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage than deeper ones.

The China Earthquake Networks Center measured the earthquake at magnitude-7.0 and said it struck at a depth of 12 miles. The quake occurred around 9:20 p.m. near Jiuzhaigou, or Jiuzhai Valley, a national park known for spectacular waterfalls and karst formations, the Chinese agency said.

The area is located on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau in northern Sichuan province, home to many Tibetan and other ethnic minority villages.

A man surnamed Song who answered the phone at a local emergency office in Aba prefecture, where the Jiuzhaigou national park is located, said the nearby town of Zhangzha reported the deaths and injuries. Song did not say where the five tourists who died were from.

About seven hours after the earthquake, another strong quake struck in far northwestern China, about 1,360 miles away. That Wednesday morning earthquake, measured at magnitude 6.3 by the USGS and 6.6 by China’s agency, was centered in a sparsely populated area of the Xinjiang region near the Kazakhstan border. It was quickly followed by aftershocks but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Earthquakes are common in China’s west, although the low population density there often means casualties are low. China’s deadliest earthquake this century, a magnitude-7.9 temblor with a depth of 12 miles, struck Sichuan province in May 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people.

The epicenter in Tuesday’s quake was about 24 miles from the county of Jiuzhaigou, which has a population of around 80,000, in an area that’s 6,562 feet above sea level. It was 177 miles from Chengdu, the densely populated capital of Sichuan province, according to the Chinese center.

The Xinhua News Agency said strong tremors could be felt in Chengdu. The Sichuan provincial government’s news website said that after the quake struck, a number of train services to Chengdu and other cities were suspended.

Jiuzhaigou county had a massive power outage following the quake, Song said. Local officials were being sent to the town of Zhangzha, which was closest to the quake’s epicenter.

“The tremors were very strong,” said a woman in Jiuzhaigou town who gave only her surname, Wang, and said she worked for a travel company. She said the damage in the town center seemed minimal other than the suspension of electricity.

“People from other regions are a pretty frightened,” Wang said.

Xinhua said more than 30,000 tourists at Jiuzhaigou were relocated to safety with help from tourist buses and private vehicles.

Yu Qian, a local taxation bureau official, told Xinhua that she felt strong shaking that sent her and her two children rushing from their home on the fifth floor. Yu said the quake cut off power in her neighborhood and disrupted telephone service.

“I was getting into a car at the time of the quake, and it felt like a heavy-duty truck roaring past,” said Liu Yanrong, a local township official, told Xinhua.

Xinhua cited a worker at the Jiuzhaigou park named Sangey as saying that some houses in the tourist site collapsed or cracked following the quake and that authorities were organizing evacuations of residents.

Images on Chinese social media sites showed rocks scattered on roads and people running out of bars and cafes in Jiuzhaigou town onto the street.

A report on the news site’s official microblog also cited Zhao Wei, the party secretary of the Communist Youth League’s Jiuzhaigou division, as saying some telephone communications networks were down, making it difficult to determine the scale of the damage.

The China Earthquake Networks Center said the quake was followed about 20 minutes later by a temblor measuring 3.3 in magnitude at a depth of 5.5 miles.

          Comment on How do you know if a volcano is about to erupt? by PuterMan        
Looking at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/seismic/volcweb/earthquakes/ there does not seem to be anything that I would call out of the ordinary for the area. I guess it depends on what magnitudes you were/and are now looking at. If you leave out sub Mag 2 there has been one today, one yesterday etc - basically a couple a day. As far as websites where stuff is posted goes USGS had been changing many of their websites so I would not read a change of websites as overly significant.
          USGS The Future of Rare Earth Elements        

Will these high-tech industry elements continue in short supply? presented by Keith R. Long, Mineral Resource Analyst, USGS. August 23, 2011
          The soil as non-renewable resource: acid soils in Slovakia tell somber tale        
Increasing levels of nitrogen deposition associated with industry and agriculture can drive soils toward a toxic level of acidification, reducing soil fertility, plant growth and polluting surface waters, according to a new study published online in Nature Geoscience.

The study, conducted in the Tatra Mountains of Slovakia by the University of Colorado, University of Montana, Slovak Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Geological Survey, shows what can happen when nitrogen deposition in any part of the world increases to certain levels – levels similar to those projected to occur in parts of Europe by 2050, according to some global change models.

On the basis of these results, the authors warn that the high levels of nitrogen deposited in Europe and North America over the past half century already may have left many soils susceptible to this new stage of acidification. The results of this further acidification, wrote the authors, are highly reduced soil fertility and leaching of acids and toxic metals into surface waters.

A long history of human-influenced nitrogen deposition has left soils in the Western Tatra Mountains of Slovakia highly acidic. The study reveals that the increased nitrogen load in the region triggers the release of soluble iron into alpine grassland soils. This iron release is indicative of extreme soil acidification, comparable to conditions seen in soils exposed to acid mine drainage.

Recovery from such extreme chemical change could only occur in geologic time, which is why soil is considered a non-renewable resource, said USGS scientist Jill Baron, who helped analyze and interpret the study results.

In addition to this research, Dr. Baron has investigated the impacts of nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park for 26 years. The Rocky Mountains and the Tatra Mountains represent the two ends of the atmospheric deposition effects trajectory, Dr. Baron said. The effects of nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park are just beginning to be observed, allowing resource managers the opportunity to help the region recover if deposition is reduced. In the Tatra Mountains National Park, however, soils are far beyond natural recovery in human time frames:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Much of the eastern U.S. and Northern Europe fall in the middle of the effects spectrum, she added.

Rocky Mountain and Tatra National Parks are sister parks, with scientists and managers beginning to cooperate in studies to understand both. Dr. Baron's work in Rocky Mountain National Park led to the establishment of a nitrogen threshold for the park in 2006, the first time the nation has established a critical load of a pollutant for any park environment.

An agreement in 2007 between the Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, and Colorado Department of Health and Environment enabled the agencies to set target loads for reducing nitrogen emissions by 2012 to improve ecological conditions.

Image: Western Tatra Mountains Slovakia. Credit: photo by Zdeno Kostka; courtesy of William D. Bowman, University of Colorado.

William D. Bowman, Cory C. Cleveland, Halada, Juraj Hres and Jill S. Baron, "Negative impact of nitrogen deposition on soil buffering capacity", Nature Geoscience 1, 767 - 770, Published online: 2 November 2008 | doi:10.1038/ngeo339

          Woolpert Conducts USGS Lidar Projects in 49 Tennessee Counties        

The firm’s three contracts support the 3D Elevation Program and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(PRWeb August 15, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/08/prweb13613274.htm

          Tilt based compass using an accelorometer and a magnotemeter        

Jeg har fundet en interessant application note fra Freescale Semiconductors
Implementing a Tilt-Compensated eCompass using Accelerometer and Magnetometer Sensors http://leeseshia.org/lab/releases/1.70/documents/Ozyagcilar_11_ImplementingCompass.pdf - den indeholder noget hardcore matematik der har grafiske visualiseringer af eksperimentelle data. Den mest interessante for mig er at den PDF fil indeholder noget C# kode, som nemt kan oversættes til et andet programmeringssprog.

Et elektronisk kompas der er tilt kompenseres gør det helt lige meget om kompas og acelelerometeret er vinkelret i forhold til jorden eller ej.

Det skal også bemærkes at et tilt kompenseret kompas er nødvendigt på et skib idet at det jo bevæger sig (accelerationer gør at et magnetometer giver en vinkel med betydeligt dårligere præcision)

En anden ting jeg har opdaget er at 2 eller flere GPS modtagere sammen med en IMU (Inertial measurement unit) kan bestemme en sand nord kurs med en præcision på 0,02 grader - det kræver selvfølgelig at GPS modtagerne har et 3D fix https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compass#GPS_receivers_used_as_compasses

Jeg har installeret en App der hedder Open Compass - den kan mange ting - blandet andet true north og magnetic north: forskellen på de 2 kan bruges til at beregne magnetic declination: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_declination hvor declination er forskellen i grader imellem True North og Magnetic North.

Declination, International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF-12) http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/igrf/
Declination, USGS Geomagnetism Program http://geomag.usgs.gov/

Vores magnetometer og accelerometer Raspberry Pi HAT modul er en XLoBorg : https://thepihut.com/products/xloborg

Magnetometeret på HAT modulet kan over scanne på målte værdier, og man kan sætte et offset i grader (et 2. komplement 16-bit tal) - bruges til at kompensere for fej (ikke declination)
Støj er indenfor 1 LSB, præcision er 4 grader (Total), horisontal præcision er 1 grad, og magnetometeret har også et termometer, 1 C/LSB.

Den er også fabrikskalibreret (hurraz! ... fordi kalibrering er alt andet end triviel).

MAG3110 is factory calibrated for sensitivity and temperature coefficient of sensitivity. All factory calibration coefficients are automatically applied by the ASIC before a measurement is taken and the result written to registers 0x01 to 0x06

Ud over overnævnte PDF der indeholder algoritmer og kode til at lave tilt kompensation for et elektronisk kompas, så har jeg også kig på Drone software, som jo har brug for navigation i rummet (X,Y,Z).

Andre links:

          Weird 'artificial' quake was 'clearly' North Korea's fifth nuclear test        

If the “man-made seismic event” reported along the North Korea/China border tonight by the USGS is confirmed to be a new nuclear test, America's next Commander-in-Chief will have complex new Pyongyang problems on their plate.


          MT Topo + Forest Cover & Fires 2017 Map        
The MT Topo + Forest Cover 2017 basemap contains our topo, road, and point of interest data combined with areas of forest cover. We've broken forest cover into two types, 15-50% canopy cover (shows as light green) and 50-99% canopy cover (shows as a darker green). But we didn't stop there! We've added special coloration for forest areas within USGS Geomac fire polygons. Drop a map pin within a fire polygon and you'll see the year it burned! Great info for determining habitat and succession stage in your hunting areas! This mapset can be purchased separately or can be bundled with other maps in our Hunting & Fishing Combo map package.
          MT Topo + Forest Cover & Fires 2017 Map        
The MT Topo + Forest Cover 2016 basemap contains our topo, road, and point of interest data combined with areas of forest cover. We've broken forest cover into two types, 15-50% canopy cover (shows as light green) and 50-99% canopy cover (shows as a darker green). But we didn't stop there! We've added special coloration for forest areas within USGS Geomac fire polygons. Drop a map pin within a fire polygon and you'll see the year it burned! Great info for determining habitat and succession stage in your hunting areas! This mapset can be purchased separately or can be bundled with other maps in our Hunting & Fishing Combo map package.
          USGS Issues New Assessment for Oil and Gas in Texas’ Sprayberry Formation        

The U S Geological Survey (USGS) just published a revised assessment of oil and gas reserves in the Sprayberry formation in the Permian Basin in Texas. In the revision, USGS estimates the formation holds 4.2 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 3.1 trillion cubic feet of gas. This represents a 700% increase over its prior […]

The post USGS Issues New Assessment for Oil and Gas in Texas’ Sprayberry Formation appeared first on Texas Attorney Blog.

          Torta de Pascua         
Ya lo sé, ya lo sé, llego tarde. La receta de hoy tendría que haber estado colgada por lo menos ayer para poder hacerla en Pascua, pero más vale tarde que nunca. Si no le ponéis huevo, tenéis una rica torta que viene bien para cualquier día.

De nuevo traigo al blog una torta, nona o toña de Pascua, Hace unos años hice una torta que decoré con  huevos de chocolate, pero la de hoy es más ortodoxa. El chocolate, que por cierto le va de perlas, habrá que ponerlo aparte. También está muy rica remojada en leche. Como hice dos torta, una de ellas la he utilizado para las preceptivas torrijas de Semana Santa.

¿Sabéis qué tiene que ver la Pascua con los huevos y con los conejos? En la actual festividad de Pascua confluyen ritos y leyendas de muy diversos orígenes: egipcios, hebreos, paganos y cristianos. En los últimos tiempos también el interés comercial ha contribuido a que se celebre esta festividad con huevos de chocolate.

La palabra que se emplea en inglés para denominar la Pascua es Easter, que tiene su origen en la diosa germánica Eostre, divinidad de la fertilidad. Los huevos  y los conejos son símbolos de la fertilidad y la renovación, del renacer de la naturaleza tras el invierno. Luego se le atribuirán leyendas relacionadas con el cristianismo ya que la Pascua cristiana celebra la esperanza de vida después de la muerte.

Esta receta es típica de Murcia y Alicante, la he sacado de un vídeo de youtube de Cocina en familia


  • 500 g de harina de fuerza.
  • 125 g de azúcar.
  • 3 huevos.
  • 75 ml de leche entera.
  • 75 ml de aceite de oliva suave.
  • 25 g de levadura fresca de panadero.
  • Ralladura de limón y una cáscara entera.
  • Una cucharada de agua de azahar.
Para decorar:
  • Huevos duros.
  • Azúcar.
  • Huevo batido.

  1. La cáscara de limón la pondremos en el aceite y lo calentaremos sin dejar que hierba para que tome el sabor cítrico.
  2. Templaremos un poco la leche en el microondas y disolveremos la levadura en ella.
  3. En un cuenco batiremos los huevos con el azúcar, le añadiremos la ralladura de limón y el agua de azahar.
  4. Agregaremos como un tercio de la harina, luego la leche con la levadura, siempre removiendo e incorporando bien los ingredientes. Pondremos otra parte de la harina, el aceite y terminaremos añadiendo toda la harina que nos queda.
  5. Removeremos bien todos los ingredientes hasta que todo se integre. La masa será pegajosa.
  6. Taparemos el cuenco con papel film y dejaremos que fermente en un lugar cálido durante tres horas o hasta que dupliquen su tamaño (el tiempo dependerá del calor que haga en vuestra casa).
  7. Pasado el tiempo amasaremos un poco la masa para desgasificarla. 
  8. Dividiremos en dos la masa y le daremos una forma redonda, la aplastaremos un poco, colocaremos el huevo duro en el centro y lo fijaremos con unas tiras de masa. 
  9. Dejaremos fermentar sin tapar pero en un lugar cálido y sin corriente durante otra hora. (Yo lo hago en el horno que he calentado a 50ºC y he dejado enfriar durante un rato).
  10. Pintaremos la superficie con huevo batido, le pondremos azúcar por encima y lo introduciremos en el horno que habremos precalentado a 200ºC.
  11. Colocaremos la bandeja a media altura con el horno solo encendido por abajo. Coceremos durante 10 minutos.
  12. Encenderemos el horno arriba y abajo y dejaremos que cuezan otros 10 minutos. 
  13. Sacaremos las tortas y las dejaremos enfriar sobre una rejilla.

Si no os coméis las dos tortas podéis utilizar una de ellas para hacer torrijas.

Un libro:
Ya que los conejos están relacionados con la Pascua os propongo un libro que estuvo descatalogado en nuestro país durante bastantes años. Volvió a editarse porque, el la serie "Lost" el guapísimo Sawyer lo estuvo leyendo. Unos cuantos años antes de que se reeditara yo intenté leerlo porque me había hablado de él un amigo, pero en la única biblioteca de Zaragoza en donde lo tenían no me dijeron que lo tenía que leer en la sala. Por lo visto solo tenían un ejemplar y temían perderlo.Como mi curiosidad iba en aumento decidí buscarlo en tiendas de libro viejo y tuve la suerte de dar con él. También encontré un ejemplar de la misma edición del "Círculo de lectores" en el rastro, así que podré dejárselos en herencia a mis dos hijos. Como digo, gracias a la serie Lost este libro se reeditó. Y a estas alturas de la explicación los seguidores de Lost que sean lectores ya sabrán que estoy hablando de "La colina de Whatership", que el escritor inglés Richard Adams publicó en 1972. Aunque podéis encontrarlo como un libro para niños, nada más lejos de la realidad. Se trata de una historia sobre las relaciones de poder y es un alegato en defensa de la naturaleza. Es una lectura adulta más que interesante.

Esta historia sobre conejos tan humana empieza así:
"Ya no quedaban primaveras. En la linde del bosque, donde el terreno se abría y descendía hasta una vieja valla y una zanja llena de zarzas, sólo unos pocos pálidos reta­zos amarillentos asomaban aquí y allá entre el mercurial perenne y las raíces de los robles. Al otro lado de la valla, la parte alta del campo estaba plagada de madrigueras de conejo. En algunos lugares el suelo aparecía desnudo y por todas partes se veían montoncitos de excrementos secos a través de los cuales sólo crecería la hierba de Santiago. A unos cien metros de distancia, al fondo de la cuesta, fluía el arroyo, de apenas un metro de anchura, medio ahogado por ranúnculos, berros y vincas azuladas. El camino de ca­rros pasaba junto a una alcantarilla de ladrillos y subía la cuesta de enfrente hasta un portón de cinco barrotes en el seto de espinos. La puerta conducía al sendero. 
Las nubes enrojecían el atardecer de mayo y aún falta­ba media hora para el crepúsculo. La pendiente seca esta­ba salpicada de conejos. Algunos mordisqueaban la hierba menuda que crecía junto a sus madrigueras, otros se aven­turaban a ir más lejos en busca de dientes de león o tal vez una prímula que los demás no hubieran visto. Aquí y allá podía verse a alguno erguido sobre los cuartos traseros so­bre un hormiguero, mirando alrededor con las orejas tiesas y el hocico al viento. Pero la presencia de un mirlo que cantaba tranquilo en la linde del bosque demostraba que no había nada que temer allí, y en la otra dirección se extendían las riberas del arroyo, vacías y silenciosas. La madriguera estaba segura."
Una canción:
Es muy tarde y si me retraso más no voy a colgar esta entrada ni hoy ni en varios días, así que ahí va la única canción que se me ocurre...y la asociación de ideas es mala, malísima, pero oye, la canción es chula. 

A ver, sobre huevos no se me ocurre nada, sobre conejos... conejo...Busgs Bunny... Bunny... Bunny, me suena más o menos a boni o Bonnie, qué más da. Y la única cantante Bonnie que yo conozco es la Tyler, que no es que yo haya sido fan, lo que se dice fan de ella, pero sí que me gusta mucho Mike Oldfield, así que voy a poner la de "Islands", una canción que aparece en el décimo primer álbum de estudio de Oldfield y que lleva el mismo nombre. Se editó en 1987. La canción la cantaba la famosa galesa de la voz "desgarrada" Bonnie Tyler. 

Y ahí tenéis una muestra de cómo me funciona a veces la cabeza y el nivelico de inglés que tengo. ¡Hala, que ustedes la disfruten!:

          USGS Haynesville/Bossier Resource Estimate Decimates The Notion Of "Peak Gas"        
The revised USGS resource estimates of natural gas in place for the Haynesville and Bossier formations demonstrate how such estimates invariably increase over time. The agency's project to produce more such updated estimates will support policy decisions based on hard numbers rather than politics.
          Hanging up the red suspenders: Retiring Hawaiian Lava Daily        

Leigh makes a January 2017 quick visit to the molten lava!

But still a retired blog ...

Heading back out of the fumes - May 2013
 - Photo by Ron Boyle
              I started this blog in 2009 to share our local molten lava eruption while it was flowing down the south slopes of Hawaii Island. It had, of course, already been flowing down to the coast for many years, but around that time the surface lava became more accessible for those living on the Puna side of Hawaii Island. Plus, I went digital in 2007, allowing me to more easily share my passion for photography.
Serious ocean entry - July 2008
June 2013 inland near ocean

Since last fall, the lava slowly ceased entering the ocean,  so this ‘Daily’ has become rather quiet .  Even before that, I was offering fewer updates as the months slid by.  

I'm perched on the sea wall in 2013

It was never my intention to create anything remarkable with this blog.  I simply wanted to share what I was already doing – hiking to the lava flow and documenting it with video and still photography.

For the first time ever I just looked at the “page views” for this blog.  It’s at 690,696 as of today.  Wow – I had no idea!

Waikupanaha ocean entry 2009

Erupting lava that you can walk right up to and see moving with your own eyes; watching raw earth being formed before you so close that the heat from it is searing, the fumes are stinging, the newly cooling lava is hissing, snapping and popping - where molten rock entering the ocean explodes into fireworks of glowing fragments while simultaneously, and instantly, creating a black sand beach ... well THAT is a world wonder!
                           I just had to share it all somehow!

And so ...  I began this blog to allow others to witness, through my camera lenses and words, this amazing excretion of the earth’s magma core.
Inside a lava cave - Kalapana 2011

The coastal lava phase of the eruptions has ceased for now.  Although molten lava continues to erupt from the earth as surface flows here on the Big Island, as I will detail a bit further down, it was hard to hike to, not all that exciting, smoky & hot; I no longer was documenting it, other than the occasional posting I have made in recent months.
Feeling the heat taking this one-- Beautiful forms lava can make~
 This lack of accessible molten lava, combined with my desire to be back on the mainland with my family – 5 grown children and 5 granddaughters –  has lead to this:  Tomorrow I am leaving the big Island, after 16 exciting years of documenting its coastal lava flows. 

Pulama Pali eruption February 2012
It was with a lot of heartfelt desire and work that I produced this blog. Especially during those super active years I covered here: 2009 to 2012, and a bit of 2013. (I was going to try to put together a link-list of highlights from those years but found the task daunting :)

Ocean entry and back fill flow 2008
When documenting all of this activity, I almost always left home well before daylight and hiked into the surface flow action in time to record the spectacular scenes in the pre-dawn, and dawn, light; daylight detail with red-orange lava glow.
June 2013 - 4 miles southwest of Kalapana
Sometimes the hikes were short,  others were many miles and uphill and lasted a couple of days. (I carry a lot of weight on my back for those; like extra water, and food, along with my heavy camera gear. (Two and a half of those years I did this with a compound sprained right ankle). I napped beside glowing lava to keep warm on overnighters - I had no room for extra clothing.

When activity was really exciting, I would return to the lava flow front after only a few hours sleep – sometimes for days on end - and somehow still made the time to upload & process my latest photos and write the day's blog before heading back out the door to the lava; exhausting but also a pleasure.

Lava pouring out of the jungle April 29th, 2009

So I want to give out a really big Thank-You! to all of you who have come along for the Hawaiian Lava Daily ride! 
I appreciated those who emailed me, or posted here, with such kind and supportive comments about my stories, photos and videos. Each one meant a lot to me.
Cold lava with amazing color banding; very large roping

It was also a treat to meet many of you while you visited the island, or you locals and friends that came by my lava photo display booth to talk story.
My photo booth back in the good days

And a super-special mahalo to those of you who so generously contributed to my lava film; the 34-minute documentary chronicling the powerful 2010 lava flow that brought the demise of Gary Sleik’s home here in Kalapana Gardens, and two others. -- (By the way, if there is anyone who sent me a donation and somehow did not receive last year’s draft of the film, please email me and I will send you the latest draft.)
You have to see this one in the large view window! - Spot Gary's home in this scene
Speaking of that documentary, NBC Universal is currently developing a special presentation based on my movie. I do not know yet when it will be aired on their cable network. They were just here a few weeks ago interviewing both Gary and me. I shot some of the footage of Gary looking over his burned out homestead for them. AND, Gary has just bulldozed a new road into his otherwise lava-severed property!
He’s going to build out there again! 

The NBC producer, Lauren, took these two photos of us.
Leigh Hilbert & Gary Sleik January 27th, 2014
Gary's infamous 'lava viewing chair' remains forever embedded
(Featured a few times in my movie; before, during and after the lava claimed it)

So while Gary reclaims his Kalapana land, I reclaim the lands I was born and raised on - the Pacific Northwest coastlines.

Another reason to end Hawaiian Lava Daily is that all eruption activity is being well covered others: touring outfits, photographers and as always, by Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) via the US Geological Survey (USGS). In recent years they have improved every aspect of their methods, equipment; coalescing it all within their well laid out website: Kilauea Volcano Updates
At the ocean entry Feb 2013 -
 Getting one last look before hiking out - Photo by Ken Carl

My last lava update:

The ocean entry lava a year ago
Photo by Vika Ostrovsky
March 2nd, 2014: As you likely already know, lava is currently erupting inside the contained crater floor vent of Halema`uma`u Kilauea caldera within the appropriately named Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  The other active eruption is within the Pu`u O`o crater at the park’s most easterly boundary, seven miles northwest of Kalapana, where lava broils within the swollen crater.
 Meanwhile, eruptive fissures along the east flanks of Pu`u O`o also host a surface flow of lava, named the ‘Kahauake’e 2 flow’, which is presently 4.8 miles east-northeast of the crater (see USGS updates link above). This flow is randomly, and slowly, advancing into remote forests only a couple of miles southeast from the community of Glenwood - slightly uphill to the north, about five miles west of the town of Pahoa, and a few miles south of Hawaiian Acres subdivision. 

Its advancement is very much affected by magma chamber inflation and deflation beneath Kilauea Volcano, and is flowing across relatively flat & unoccupied lands… But, the terrain there does lean down slope and is blocked on the south by the higher Kilauea’s east rift zone pu`u  cinder cone alignment.
As I have written many times before, it is nearly fruitless to predict what the volcano Fire Goddess Pele will do next. That said, I will offer this projection of where the flow might proceed to: (click on an image to see it larger)
Surface lava flow field: the brighter red on map below.
Pu`u O`o five miles away in the middle distance 

I could not locate a proper topography map online, which would have narrowed down my loose projections a lot better, so I have used the February 20th
 2014 USGS/HVO surface lava flow map and have added some sloppy green lines indicating the general area I think the lava could possibly flow in to if it somehow continues advancing; might take years to get there, if ever, … But if it did, it sure would make for some interesting times in the lower Puna district!

The other two eruption outcomes I could see as likely scenarios are a new, possibly dramatic, fissure eruption either below Pu`u O`o (it is plugged full of hot lava right now), or, a fissure eruption just down the Chain of Craters road a short ways below the massive 530-foot wide caldron of molten undulating rock, the Halema`uma`u crater, in an area where I have been seeing periodic earthquake clusters the past few years … But I really have no idea at all… Better to let the super geologists we are gifted to have on this island give us the heads-up:) ... Then there is always the eerily quiet Mauna Loa volcano ..... Hilo could look like this : )
My world of molten lava at moonset

Aloha Nui to you all,
At the lava flow front February 10th, 2013
The wind damn-near gave me a mohawk !
Photo by Ken Carl
Happy trails too!

          Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u crater lava lake all time high level        
It was back on March 19, 2008 when the Halema`uma`u crater floor had a small explosion creating an open hole down to the raw lava that connects to the massive magma chambers below Kilauea volcano; a crater within the crater. As I remember, the original vent hole was about 162 feet across and the molten lava was something like 800 feet below the floor of the crater. In the four and a half years since then, rises and falls of the broiling lake of lava inside the vent have steadily eroded the walls of the vent; widening it to 520 feet/160 m, in diameter. As well, lava levels have slowly risen and tending to maintain higher levels; currently around 165 feet below the main crater floor rim.
Above: USGS/HVO aerial image showing high molten lava lake level. Saturday, October 20, the USGS reported a brief rise of lava to 125 feet/38 meters below Halema`uma`u crater’s floor, as shown in a recent image they posted on this webpage. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory expressed in a media release that if the lava lake reaches 65 feet below the crater floor rim, then it would be visible to the public from the parks observatory. Yesterday, in a local radio report, Dr. Jim Kauahikaua, HVO’s Scientist-in-Charge, voiced the possibility of this lava lake either breaching onto the main crater floor or creating an eruption in the Kilauea region between Halema`uma`u and Pu`u O`o craters; based on historical patters such as earthquake increases and magma conduit obstructions along with the high lava levels within the summit crater. That prospect is exciting! Big Island Video News posted a great report on these changing lava lake levels using USGS/HVO video: ~~~~~ Meanwhile: lava continues with small breakouts and inflation across a wide area of the coastal plains below the Pulama Pali; as well as tube breakouts above the pali.
Click on any image to open all these photos in a large view window.
After dark some of these molten breakouts can be seen from the lava viewing area next to Kalapana Gardens (2:00PM to 10:00PM.
          One-year anniversary of ‘Peace-Day’ eruption and flow field        
Above is a September 25th, 2012 flow field map from the USGS image page. (Click for larger view of all images.)
September 21st, 2011 was the day Pu`u O’o crater was filled to the brim with molten lava and then spectacularly ruptured from its upper east flank, beginning a long-lived downhill progression of surface flows towards the sea.
By early December 2011 well-established and self-created tube delivery systems were spreading surface lava far and wide across the upper slopes of the Pulama Pali and (the mostly lava-covered) Royal Gardens subdivision. Days later lava was entering the ocean, which turned out to be a short lived event, ending the last day of 2011; and has not returned since.
Though the ocean entry ceased New Years Eve 2011, in the months afterwards, breakouts of lava continued fairly consistently along the entire ‘Peace-Day’ flow field; especially down the face of the pali and sprawling out on the coastal flats at the base of Royal Gardens.
The most poignant event of this flow to date being the destruction of Jack Thompson’s beautiful home and gardens on March 2nd, 2012.
The ensuing lava activity from last March onward were principally cycles of surface and lava tube breakouts on the Pulama Pali and coastal flats; again, never reaching the ocean. The most pronounced change was the cessation of breakouts at the beginning of this month but soon becoming active again high above the pali and, in recent days, once again flowing slowly down into the steeper sections of Royal Gardens; looking simular to this image I took of that skyline Dec. 31st, 2011:
I have been surprised at how my last posting (April 7th) was basically applicable to the flow field acivity for every month since then up to this recent short pause in activity. The Pu`u O`o is really filled up with lava again, not to the brim but full. Are we going to see another dramatic fissure flank eruption, or continued slow draining from the present Peace-Day flow field? Only Pele knows the answer I guess :)

As for my long absence from posting; I finished the lava movie except for minor edits. I am now working on the expensive and tedious mission to license the music for it. When that process is complete I will be publishing it far & wide. Meanwhile, I am also pursuing my other endeavors of Life… and …. Well I am still here and I will jump in with another lava update again soon …

          The lava continues flowing down south slopes of Hawaii Island - Your blogger takes a break        
Above: A daytime aerial and a thermal imagery creates this composite photo of the current lava flow on the south slopes of the Pulama Pali courtesy of USGS/HVO images page.
Below, USGS/HVO daytime photo with notes I have added: (Click any image to open them all as larger size in a new window)

As these USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) images clearly show, sprawling surface lava expands across the Coastal plains below Royal Gardens and remains about a mile from the ocean (To our backs in these images.) Lava also remains active in various places along the eruptive tube system between Pu`u O`o, the source, down the Pulama Pali and out onto the coastal plains.

I have not made the effort to hike out to the lava flow to investigate or document it. I have chosen to focus on my any other projects, including my lava movie. At this point in time I am considering taking a break from the Hawaiian Lava Daily for an unknown period of time.

Besides my other obligations and interests, I don't think I have much to offer you readers, my special lava followers, that is not now covered very well by our knowledgable and comprehensive (and paid) volcano experts - the United States Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory team.

The USGS/HVO has really improved their documenting of Kilauea's eruptions in recent years: numerous public cams with improved image quality, surface and aerial footage including those amazing thermal image composites with informative captions, detailed and updated mapping, an interactive earthquake page, an extensive data base of historic events, public awareness links, sites, updates and much more.

There were many times that if I did not hike out to locate and record the lava, or lack of, there would be few who would have any idea what was really taking place out there. Now I can sit on my computer here and with a couple of clicks, look in real time at much of the lava conditions day or night. And so can you.

Along the left side, or across the top, of many of the USGS/HVO web site pages there are clearly labelled navigation links that offer all these things I have mentioned - like these below: Kilauea Update | Mauna Loa Status | Seismic | Deformation (magma pressure tilt graph) | Current SO2 Conditions (Toxic fume direction/levels from both active craters) | Multiple Webcams | Flow Maps | Photos & Videos and many more great informational links.

So, my dear Lava Blog readers, I have truly enjoyed sharing my adventures with this ongoing world wonder, the Kilauea Volcano, with you. I have deeply appreciated the many emails, comments here and in-person encounters with so many of you; both locally and from the entire planet. I also must do a call-out to all of you who have jumped onboard my very special lava movie with your generous support. I am continuing to work on this feature film and will be meeting with my pro-editor in a few days to begin the fine-tuning. One hurdle remains to be music license costs, but we will solve that eventually.

I am not declaring that I am retiring Hawaiian Lava Daily. I am saying that for a few important reasons, including the reasons previously mentioned, I need to withdraw from it for awhile. That said… I have been known to change my mind with the weather… or be swayed by other irresistible elements ...

Aloha nui loa, A hui hou,
P.S. If you have some time or the interest, Kim McMillon, a host on 'Arts In The Valley' (website linked here) out of California is also an AM radio station there that recently did an interview with me. We cover her questions about my lava videography & photography, Kilauea history and of my involvement with Jack Thompson and the story of his home lost to lava. The segment is about twenty minutes long: The Interview on mp3

I'll leave you with some random lava images below~~~

          Quake swarms and Pulama Pali active with lava flows        
I took a break from my lave film editing (See lava movie update below) to trek out onto the flow. Taken yesterday, looking south-southeast from high on the Pulama Pali, about the 1600-ft elevation: these two photos show a very fast moving gusher of lava erupting from the tube system and snaking away as a 25-feet wide river down the pali. In the distance we see some of the coastal plain far below and a cloud-covered ocean beyond. This area is in the top section of the old Royal Gardens subdivision, (as more clearly located in the aerial further down the page)My video of this HERE

These creatively shaped pahoehoe formation (above & below) were taken at about the 800-foot elevation within Royal Gardens on the Pulama Pali. This lava was nearly red-hot and was just recently flowing; the downed trees along the top & edges are still burning. Later, just an hour after I left this area and was hiking the three miles out, I looked back to see a fresh breakout of pahoehoe pouring out over this spot- soon to be followed by a much broader area of breakouts as darkness set in. People at the Hawaii County viewing area could clearly see this show. Click on any image to open them all on a viewer page.

From yesterday: a very cool (&hot) USGS/HVO aerial composite overlay of a thermal and daytime photograph of the Royal Gardens Subdivision area presently being overtaken by branching and widespread surface lava flows. (USGS text in white-- my added notes are in green, yellow & black) -- click on it to read the text better) Active breakouts are shown in yellow, though the thermal imagery exaggerates what is actually flowing openly on the surface, I was there yesterday hiking all over it, as shown in my photos. Read the full thermal caption on their images page.

Below: advancing a`a lava moving across an older lava flow: And closer view:

Below: A ten-foot wide river of lava moving down the Pulama Pali yesterday at the 1400-ft elevation:
Swarms of small earthquakes have been recorded in the past few days. Most of these being concentrated only a few miles west-northwest of Halema’uma’u crater and Hawaii Volcanoes Park headquarters. About five of these were over 3.0 and two were over 4.0 (4.3 early yesterday morning). Keep track of these on the interactive HVO earthquake page here

EDIT TO FLATLINE report: I reported yesterday that the magma pressure graphs had flatlined. I was mistaken because I had not noticed that the radical tilt deformation graph scale had drastically changed to compensate for that long spike down anomaly, therefore giving the impression of being flatlined; I had not noticed the scale change. Thanks to Sagebrusher for alerting me to that oversight. magma pressure deformation tilt monitors

Lava Movie Update:
On the advice of those in the know, I am making two version of the lava movie: one short, around 30 minutes and the other longer at around 45 minutes, which will allow for a broader avenue of distributing it later.

I just completed a nice draft of the shorter one; the longer version raw draft is basically complete. My co-editor I am hiring is unavailable for a while due to another project he is on so I am using my time to continue tweaking the two drafts.

Meanwhile I have written to the music composer’s producer/agent listing the compositions and lengths of the music I want to use for the movie; I am awaiting their reply. Buying the licenses to use these compositions will likely be quite costly, far higher than the editor will be, thus donations to the project are still very much appreciated!! (See Sidebar). Thanks so much to those of you who have so generously joined with me to help get this movie to the next level and out there to the world!!!
          Tilt based compass using an accelorometer and a magnotemeter        

@lath wrote:

Jeg har fundet en interessant application note fra Freescale Semiconductors
Implementing a Tilt-Compensated eCompass using Accelerometer and Magnetometer Sensors http://leeseshia.org/lab/releases/1.70/documents/Ozyagcilar_11_ImplementingCompass.pdf - den indeholder noget hardcore matematik der har grafiske visualiseringer af eksperimentelle data. Den mest interessante for mig er at den PDF fil indeholder noget C# kode, som nemt kan oversættes til et andet programmeringssprog.

Et elektronisk kompas der er tilt kompenseres gør det helt lige meget om kompas og acelelerometeret er vinkelret i forhold til jorden eller ej.

Det skal også bemærkes at et tilt kompenseret kompas er nødvendigt på et skib idet at det jo bevæger sig (accelerationer gør at et magnetometer giver en vinkel med betydeligt dårligere præcision)

En anden ting jeg har opdaget er at 2 eller flere GPS modtagere sammen med en IMU (Inertial measurement unit) kan bestemme en sand nord kurs med en præcision på 0,02 grader - det kræver selvfølgelig at GPS modtagerne har et 3D fix https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compass#GPS_receivers_used_as_compasses

Jeg har installeret en App der hedder Open Compass - den kan mange ting - blandet andet true north og magnetic north: forskellen på de 2 kan bruges til at beregne magnetic declination: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_declination hvor declination er forskellen i grader imellem True North og Magnetic North.

Declination, International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF-12) http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/igrf/
Declination, USGS Geomagnetism Program http://geomag.usgs.gov/

Vores magnetometer og accelerometer Raspberry Pi HAT modul er en XLoBorg : https://thepihut.com/products/xloborg

Magnetometeret på HAT modulet kan over scanne på målte værdier, og man kan sætte et offset i grader (et 2. komplement 16-bit tal) - bruges til at kompensere for fej (ikke declination)
Støj er indenfor 1 LSB, præcision er 4 grader (Total), horisontal præcision er 1 grad, og magnetometeret har også et termometer, 1 C/LSB.

Den er også fabrikskalibreret (hurraz! ... fordi kalibrering er alt andet end triviel).

MAG3110 is factory calibrated for sensitivity and temperature coefficient of sensitivity. All factory calibration coefficients are automatically applied by the ASIC before a measurement is taken and the result written to registers 0x01 to 0x06

Ud over overnævnte PDF der indeholder algoritmer og kode til at lave tilt kompensation for et elektronisk kompas, så har jeg også kig på Drone software, som jo har brug for navigation i rummet (X,Y,Z).

Andre links:

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Sejarah Tsunami di Indonesia

Tsunami adalah istilah dalam bahasa Jepang yang pada dasarnya menyatakan suatu gelombang laut yang terjadi akibat gempa bumi tektonik di dasar laut. Magnitudo Tsunami yang terjadi di Indonesia berkisar antara 1,5-4,5 skala Imamura, dengan tinggi gelombang Tsunami maksimum yang mencapai pantai berkisar antara 4 - 24 meter dan jangkauan gelombang ke daratan berkisar antara 50 sampai 200 meter dari garis pantai.

Berdasarkan Katalog gempa (1629 - 2002) di Indonesia pernah terjadi Tsunami sebanyak 109 kali , yakni 1 kali akibat longsoran (landslide), 9 kali akibat gunung berapi dan 98 kali akibat gempabumi tektonik.

Yang paling mungkin dapat menimbulkan tsunami adalah : gempa yang terjadi di dasarkan laut, kedalaman pusat gempa kurang dari 60 km, magnitudo gempa lebih besar dari 6,0 skala Richter, serta jenis pensesaran gempa tergolong sesar naik atau sesar turun. Hal diatas yang memicu terjadinya tsunami di daerah Kepulauan Seram, Ambon, Kepulauan Banda dan Kepulauan Kai.

Gempa yang menimbulkan tsunami sebagian besar berupa gempa yang mempunyai mekanisme fokus dengan komponen dip-slip, yang terbanyak adalah tipe thrust (Flores 1992) dan sebagian kecil tipe normal (Sumba 1977).Gempa dengan mekanisme fokus strike slip kecil sekali kemungkinan untuk menimbulkan tsunami.



1. Telah terjadi gempa bumi besar yang diikuti tsunami hebat hari Minggu, 26 Desember 2004.

2. Badan Meteorologi dan Geofisiska menentukan pusat gempa di 2.9 LU – 95.6 BT, kedalaman 20 km, kekuatan 6.8 Skala Richter (body wave), sedangkan lokasi yang ditentukan oleh USGS 3.4 LU – 94.7 BT dengan kekuatan 8.1 SR (magnitude momen).

3. Tsunami ditimbulkan oleh gempa utama melanda P Nias, Banda Aceh, P Weh, Biruen, Lhok Seumawe, serta sebagian Pantai Timur Aceh. Tsunami juga melanda daerah pantai Negara-negara lain diantaranya: Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Srilangka, India, Somalia, Maldives, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Maladewa, Cocos Island, Mauritius, dan Reunion (data USGS).

4. Gempa bumi ini diikuti gempa-gempa susulan dengan kekuatan bervariasi dengan magnitude 4 sampai dengan 6.2 SR, yang dapat ditentukan oleh BMG. Tsunami hanya ditimbulkan oleh gempa-gempa dangkal di bawah laut dengan magnitude diatas 6 SR. Untuk itu dapat disampaikan bahwa tsunami susulan di daerah Aceh sangat kecil kemungkinannya untuk terjadi. Meskipun demikian masyarakat diminta tetap waspada.

5. BMG tidak pernah mengeluarkan statement akan terjadinya gempa bumi dan tsunami di daerah Jawa Barat dalam 2 minggu. Meskipun diketahui bahwa daerah Jawa Barat khususnya pantai selatan termasuk daerah rawan gempa dan tsunami namun belum ada ilmu dan teknologi yang dapat memprediksi akan terjadinya gempa bumi. Sehubungan dengan isu yang beredar tentang akan terjadinya gempa bumi dan tsunami di Jawa Barat dalam 2 minggu ini, dapat kami sampaikan hal tersebut TIDAK BENAR. Masyarakat diharapkan tetap tenang dan bisa menjalankan aktifitasnya tanpa rasa takut dan was-was, kendati kewaspadaan tetap harus dijaga.

6. Hari senin, 27 Desember 2004 telah dilakukan reanalislis terhadap gempa utama dengan memasukan data-data tambahan dari stasiun-stasiun BMG yang dilengkapi dengan seismograph broadband dan menghasilkan lokasi dan kekuatan sumber gempa sebagai berikut:


Waktu Gempa : 07.58.50,26 WIB

Espisenter : 3.05 LU-94.85 BT

Kedalaman : 20 km

Magnitudo Momen : 8.9 SR

Magnitudo Body : 6.8 SR


Waktu Gempa : WIB

Espisenter : 3.26 LU-95.82 BT

Kedalaman : 30 km

Magnitudo Momen : 9.0 SR

Magnitudo Body : 6.4 SR

by :
          GMC Adds Geologic Formation-top Picks to Online Inventory        
The Alaska Geologic Materials Center has incorporated geologic formation-top picks into its online Google Earth inventory. In-kind data contributions by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Steve Davies, pers. comm.) and USGS (David Houseknecht, pers. comm.) were compiled by GMC staff and entered into the database. Users can now view all of the oil and gas well material that is associated with a particular geologic formation and therefore more easily identify the available materials that contain potential oil and gas-bearing rock layers. Formation information is also available in PDF and Microsoft Excel spreadsheet formats on the GMC inventory web page.

          Online Alaska Geologic Materials Center inventory Now Available        
An online version of the Alaska Geologic Materials Center inventory is now available in Google Earth format! This inventory dataset includes oil and gas well locations and mineral prospect locations related to the materials inventory at the GMC. The oil and gas well locations are provided by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission well header. Mineral prospect locations are derived from the USGS Alaska Resource Data File (ARDF), drilling logs, and the Dictionary of Alaska Place Names. The dataset also contains previously published data layers from Map of Alaska's Coal Resources, the USGS ARDF, and Historical Mining Regions and Districts of Alaska. A link to the full, formal metadata is provided should you have further questions about the dataset. Feedback is most welcome.

          DEP, USGS Introduce First in Series of Interactive Flood Warning Maps for Passaic River Basin        
New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) officials today visited an oyster production area in the Delaware Bay, made possible by a joint effort by the Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Protection.
          Observation - RLFM5 - Red Lake River near Red Lake Falls (Minnesota)        

Flood Categories

Primary (ft)

No flood categories have been defined for this gauge.

Secondary (kcfs)

No flood categories have been defined for this gauge.

Gauge Data

Latest Observation Category: Not defined
Latest Observation: 10.22 ft
Latest Observation (Secondary): 0.19 kcfs
Observation Time: Aug 10, 2017 04:30 PM -0500

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data and Site Info for Red Lake Falls: USGS ID: 63025001

          "The USGS presence and efforts in Alaska, while significant, are clearly not adequate to meet the growing needs of a frontier area that will see major growth as our need for resources increases and tourism continues to surge. There are many competing priorities in the lower 48 states." - Charles Groat        
"The USGS presence and efforts in Alaska, while significant, are clearly not adequate to meet the growing needs of a frontier area that will see major growth as our need for resources increases and tourism continues to surge. There are many competing priorities in the lower 48 states." - Charles Groat

Abrindo a Terra

Físicos detalham as estruturas e as transformações de minerais em regiões profundas do interior do planeta

Chegar à Lua, a quase 400 mil quilômetros de distância, ou mandar satélites para conhecer outros planetas pode parecer mais fácil do que conhecer a composição e o funcionamento do interior da Terra, uma esfera quase perfeita com 12 mil quilômetros (km) de diâmetro. Os furos de sondagem chegaram a apenas 12 km de profundidade, mal vencendo a crosta, a camada mais superficial. Como não podem examinar diretamente o interior do planeta, os cientistas estão se valendo de simulações em computador para entender como se forma e se transforma a massa sólida de minerais das camadas mais profundas do interior do planeta quando submetida a pressões e temperaturas centenas de vezes mais altas que as da superfície. Como resultado, estão identificando minerais que se formam a milhares de quilômetros da superfície e reconhecendo a possibilidade de existir um volume de água superior a um oceano disperso na espessa massa de rochas sob nossos pés.

A física brasileira RenataWentzcovitch, pesquisadora da Universidade de Minnesota, Estados Unidos, é responsável por descobertas fundamentais sobre o interior do planeta empregando, justamente, técnicas matemáticas e computacionais que desenvolve desde 1990. Em 1993, ela elucidou a estrutura atômica da perovskita a altas pressões; a perovskita é o mineral mais abundante no manto inferior, a camada mais ampla do interior do planeta, com uma espessura de 2.200 km, bem menos conhecida que as camadas mais externas (ver infográfico a seguir sobre as camadas do interior da Terra).

Em 2004 Renata, com sua equipe, identificou a pós-perovskita, mineral que resulta da transformação da perovskita submetida a pressões e temperaturas centenas de vezes mais altas que as da superfície, como nas regiões mais profundas do manto. Os resultados ajudaram a explicar as velocidades das ondas sísmicas, geradas pelos terremotos, que variam de acordo com as propriedades dos materiais que atravessam e representam um dos meios mais utilizados para entender a composição do interior da Terra. Agora novos estudos de Renata indicaram que a pós-perovskita tende a se dissociar em óxidos elementares, como óxido de magnésio e óxido de silício, à medida que a pressão e a temperatura aumentam ainda mais, como no interior dos planetas gigantes, Júpiter, Saturno, Urano e Netuno.

“Estamos com a faca e o queijo na mão para descobrir a constituição e as diferenças de composição do interior de planetas”, diz. Segundo ela, as técnicas que desenvolveu podem prever o comportamento de estruturas cristalinas complexas, formadas por mais de 150 átomos. “Ao longo do manto terrestre, as estruturas cristalinas dos minerais são diferentes, mas a composição química das camadas do interior da Terra parece ser uniforme.”
Por meio de trabalhos como os de seu grupo agora se começa a ver melhor como os minerais do interior da Terra tendem a perder elasticidade e se tornarem mais densos quando submetidos a alta pressão e temperatura, que aumentam com a profundidade. Em razão do aumento da pressão é que se acredita que a densidade do centro da Terra – formado por uma massa sólida de ferro a temperatura próxima a 6.000 graus Celsius (ºC) – seja de quase 13 gramas por centímetro cúbico, quatro vezes maior que a da superfície, indicando que em um mesmo volume cabem quatro vezes mais átomos. Sem direito à ficção e apegados a métodos rigorosos como a análise dos resultados de cálculos teóricos, de experimentos em laboratório, de levantamentos geológicos e da velocidade das ondas sísmicas, físicos, geofísicos, geólogos e geoquímicos estão abrindo o planeta e ampliando o conhecimento sobre as regiões de massa rochosa compacta abaixo do limite de 600 km, que marca uma região mais densa do manto, a chamada zona de transição, a partir da qual se conhecia muito pouco. Os especialistas acreditam que poderão entender melhor – e talvez um dia prever – os terremotos e os tsunamis, além de identificar jazidas minerais mais facilmente do que hoje, se conseguirem detalhar a composição e os fenômenos das regiões inacessíveis do interior do planeta.

Oceanos submersos
Mesmo das camadas mais externas estão emergindo novidades, que desfazem a antiga imagem do interior do planeta como uma sequência de camadas regulares como as de uma cebola. Em 2003, por meio de levantamentos mundiais detalhados, pesquisadores dos Estados Unidos começaram a ver irregularidades da crosta, cuja espessura varia de 20 a 68 km, deixando as regiões mais finas mais sujeitas a terremotos e as mais espessas, a colapsos.
“Começamos a ver a interação da crosta e a região mais superficial do manto”, comentou o geofísico Walter Mooney, do Serviço Geológico dos Estados Unidos, no Frontiers in Earth Science, encontro realizado no início de julho na Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Os geofísicos dos Estados Unidos estão reexaminando as possíveis consequências de dois fenômenos que ocorrem com a crosta.

O primeiro é o mergulho das placas tectônicas – pedaços móveis e rígidos da litosfera, a camada superficial que inclui a região mais externa do manto – em regiões mais profundas do manto, ampliando o risco de tremores de terra nas regiões onde ocorrem. Os dados reiteram as conclusões de um estudo recente coordenado por Marcelo Assumpção, professor do Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG) da USP. Físico de formação, Assumpção, em colaboração com pesquisadores da Universidade de Brasília, verificou que os tremores de terra no Brasil ocorrem com maior frequência em regiões onde a crosta e a litosfera são mais finas, portanto mais frágeis.
A entrada de água na litosfera, abaixo da crosta, é outro fenômeno que está sendo delineado.

É intrigante porque a água não poderia ser armazenada na crosta inferior por causa da pressão exercida pelas camadas de rochas e da temperatura de cerca de 205ºC; portanto, evaporaria rapidamente. Na verdade, o que existe no interior da Terra não é exatamente água, mas os componentes da molécula de água, hidrogênio e oxigênio, ligados à estrutura cristalina dos minerais na forma de H2O ou OH.
Mooney e sua equipe detectaram uma intensa intromissão aquática em regiões dos Andes onde a crosta atinge 65 km de espessura, mas não souberam explicar a razão desse fenômeno. “Onde essa água está armazenada? Qual o volume?”, questionou-se, diante dos colegas de vários países que compareceram à reunião científica na USP. Talvez, ele comentou, a água venha das placas tectônicas que afundam ou se afastam. Os especialistas viram que a litosfera sem água é geologicamente mais antiga, enquanto a hidratada é mais recente, indicando que a hidratação poderia contribuir para a formação ou transformação das camadas mais externas ou mesmo do manto mais profundo, próximo ao núcleo.

Moléculas de água são importantes porque, “mesmo em proporções ínfimas, de 0,1%, podem mudar a viscosidade dos materiais, e portanto a visão sobre a circulação de matéria e energia no interior da Terra”, comenta o físico João Francisco Justo Filho, professor da Escola Politécnica da USP que trabalha com Renata Wentzcovitch desde 2007. “Uma grande quantidade de água pode estar escondida no manto inferior em minerais”, afirma o geoquímico Francis Albarède, da Escola Normal Superior de Lyon, França. “Talvez o equivalente a um oceano inteiro.” Ou mais, “talvez vários oceanos”, cogita Renata. Por meio de cálculos computacionais, ela começou a examinar as possibilidades de dois átomos de hidrogênio substituírem o magnésio ligado ao oxigênio e formarem unidades de H2O. “Quanto mais procuramos, mais encontramos defeitos nas estruturas cristalinas, onde o hidrogênio poderia entrar”, diz ela. O problema é que não se sabe quanto hidrogênio pode estar armazenado no manto.

Mais abaixo, as incertezas aumentam, diante da impossibilidade de medir com precisão o que se passa a 6.000 km de profundidade. Ainda se conhece pouco sobre a composição do núcleo terrestre, tão denso a ponto de concentrar 30% da massa do planeta em duas regiões, uma externa, líquida, e outra interna, sólida, onde a temperatura pode ir além de 6.000 oC. Uma equipe da University College London usou a mesma abordagem conceitual que o grupo de Minnesota, a teoria funcional de densidade, para estimar a intensidade do fluxo de calor que vem da região limítrofe entre o núcleo e o manto, a partir da quantidade de ferro, oxigênio e enxofre e silício sugerida pelas velocidades de ondas sísmicas que atravessam o núcleo e pelo fluxo de calor do manto inferior. Os resultados, publicados em maio na Nature, indicaram que o fluxo de calor que emana do núcleo deve ser duas a três vezes maior que o previamente estimado. Para onde foi ou vai essa energia, nem imaginam.
Minerais em decomposição
Muitos estudos em andamento se concentram no manto, uma espessa camada sólida, levemente flexível, que se deforma muito lentamente, como o piche. A não ser nas raras ocasiões em que o magma emerge por meio dos vulcões, trazendo material do manto, os estudos são feitos de modo indireto, por meio do monitoramento da velocidade das ondas sísmicas, e é difícil saber diretamente o que se passa no manto. Os japoneses querem ir além do recorde de 12 km já perfurados e chegar ao manto usando um navio com uma sonda semelhante à de um petroleiro. A missão, anunciada em julho na revista New Scientist, não será simples: os materiais das brocas a serem usadas para perfurar a crosta e chegar ao manto devem resistir a pressões 2 mil vezes maior que a da superfície e temperaturas próximas a 900ºC, uma tarefa similar ao plano de extrair petróleo da camada de pré-sal do litoral paulista.
“Eu cozinho rochas, para entender como se formaram”, diz o geólogo Guilherme Mallmann, pesquisador do Instituto de Geociências da USP, que adotou outro método para conhecer melhor o interior do planeta. Em laboratório, ele submete os componentes químicos que constituem os minerais a altas pressões e temperaturas. Fornos e prensas como os que ele usa, porém, só permitem reproduzir fenômenos que se passam a até 150 km de profundidade, a região do manto superior em que se formam o magma, que às vezes emerge por meio dos vulcões. As condições de pressão mais profundas do interior da Terra também podem ser alcançadas experimentalmente, segundo ele, mas é muito mais difícil. Como pressão é o resultado da força sobre uma área, o volume de material analisado teria de ser reduzido bastante para se alcançar essas pressões altíssimas. “Construir prensas maiores é muitas vezes inviável.” A perovskita, assim chamada em homenagem ao mineralogista russo Lev Perovski, forma-se em ambientes sob pressões e temperaturas elevadas, que no manto inferior podem variar de 23 a 135 gigapascal (1 gigapascal é cerca de 10 mil vezes maior que a pressão na superfície terrestre) e 2.000ºC a 4.000ºC. Renata apresentou a estrutura cristalina desse mineral – um silicato de magnésio e ferro – em 1993 na revista Physical Review Letters por meio de losangos verdes e amarelos, lembrando a bandeira brasileira. A razão era simples: “Saudade”, diz a pesquisadora, que mora nas cidades gêmeas Mineápolis-Saint Paul, com 2,5 milhões de habitantes, próximo à fronteira com o Canadá, onde a temperatura no inverno pode se manter em 20ºC negativos durante semanas.

Em colaboração com físicos da Itália e do Brasil, Renata verificou que os átomos de ferro de um mineral chamado ferropericlásio, o segundo mais abundante no manto inferior, perdem uma de suas propriedades mais marcantes, o magnetismo, desse modo explicando um fenômeno que havia sido observado em laboratório. Em 2007 João Justo trabalhou em Minnesota com Renata e desenvolveram uma série de equações que estabelecem a mudança de propriedades elásticas e velocidades sísmicas durante a surpreendente perda de magnetismo do ferro resultante do aumento da pressão no mineral ferropericlásio.

“O tamanho do átomo de ferro diminui quando perde o momento magnético e desse modo torna o ferropericlásio mais denso. Além disso, minerais com ferro amolecem durante o processo lento de densificação, como já havia sido observado em laboratório, mas ainda não havia sido explicado”, diz Justo. É um fenômeno surpreendente porque o normal é o material endurecer quando se torna mais denso.

Os resultados a que ele e Renata chegaram foram publicados em 2009 na revista PNAS e explicaram a perda de magnetismo sob pressão e temperatura equivalentes às do manto inferior, que James Badro, das universidades de Paris 6 e 7, havia detectado em laboratório e relatado na Science em 2003 e 2004. A verificação experimental desse fenômeno, uma das grandes descobertas da geofísica dos últimos anos, indicou que a proporção de ferro não magnético pode aumentar com a profundidade e, além disso, que as camadas mais profundas do manto inferior podem ser ainda mais densas que as menos profundas.

A jornada
Quando era pré-adolescente, Renata gostava de fazer os testes de matemática que seu avô Adolfo Foffano lhe passava todos os dias em que estavam juntos, nas férias de final de ano em Sumaré, interior paulista. Ela estudou física na Universidade da São Paulo e chegou à Berkeley, nos Estados Unidos, em 1983, por recomendação de José Roberto Leite e Cylon Gonçalves da Silva.

A jornada de Renata incluiu uma temporada em Cambridge e em Londres, de 1990 a 1992, depois de ela ter ampliado as possibilidades de uso de suas técnicas de simulações de materiais. Suas novas técnicas eram tão gerais que serviam para estudar o movimento atômico e as transformações de estrutura cristalina a altas pressões e temperaturas. Para isso, ela usou o chamado cálculo de primeiros princípios, baseado na teoria funcional de densidade, cuja essência é simples: a energia total de um conjunto de elétrons em seu estado de equilíbrio depende da densidade total de elétrons.
Depois de muito trabalho, deu certo. “Em menos de um mês, com minhas técnicas, resolvi a estrutura do silicato de magnésio a alta pressão, em que os pesquisadores de Cambridge trabalhavam havia dois anos”, diz ela. Resolver uma estrutura, ela explica, “significa identificar a posição de equilíbrio e os graus de liberdade de uma estrutura cristalina com certa simetria que minimizam a energia interna”. Até então podiam-se determinar facilmente apenas estruturas como a do diamante, formada por dois átomos na base e um grau de liberdade, que se reflete na distância entre os átomos de carbono. A estrutura da perovskita tem 20 átomos de silício, magnésio e oxigênio e 10 graus de liberdade, “é muito mais complexa que a estrutura dos semicondutores e por isso o seu comportamento a altas pressões era até então desconhecido”, diz ela.

No início, um de seus problemas era que não podia conferir experimentalmente suas previsões teóricas. Mas, em 2003, trabalhando com pesquisadores do Instituto de Tecnologia de Tóquio, Renata e sua equipe de Minnesota analisaram o espectro de raios X que diferiam muito dos esperados a pressões muito altas.  Eles concluí-ram que havia ocorrido uma transformação de fase – ou mudança de estrutura cristalina – para uma estrutura desconhecida. “No início não acreditei”, diz ela, “porque a perovskita parecia tão estável!” No ano seguinte, um artigo na Science apresentou a nova estrutura cristalina e lançou a pós-perovskita, hoje reconhecida como o material mais abundante na região do manto conhecida como D’’, em contato com a camada mais externa do núcleo da Terra. “A pós-perovskita explica muitas características geofísicas dessa região da Terra”, observou Mallmann, da USP.
A pós-perovskita tem uma estrutura em camadas, através das quais viajam as ondas sísmicas, em velocidades que dependem da direção inicial. Esse trabalho reforçou a conclusão de outros estudos, que haviam indicado que esse mineral poderia se formar em diferentes profundidades do manto inferior.

No relato publicado na Science em 24 de março de 2004, o físico Surendra Saxena, da Universidade Internacional da Flórida, Estados Unidos, contestou as conclusões, disse que ainda acreditava que a perovskita se decompõe apenas nas regiões do manto mais próximas do núcleo e lembrou que a teoria ainda não era perfeita, mas estudos subsequentes sobre a propagação de ondas sísmicas parecem confirmar a presença da pós-perovskita na região D’’. “Temos tido muita sorte”, comentou Renata. “Os resultados de cálculos computacionais de velocidades na pós-perovskita são surpreendentes, pois reproduzem muitas observações sismológicas da região D”, até então inexplicáveis. Não dever ser simples coincidência.”

Foi também em 2004, quando esse trabalho começou a circular, que Renata recebeu um financiamento de US$ 3 milhões da National Science Foundation, dos Estados Unidos, para montar o Laboratório Virtual de Materiais Planetários e Terrestres (VLab) no Instituto de Supercomputação da Universidade de Minnesota. O VLab reuniu químicos, físicos, cientistas da computação, geofísicos e matemáticos que, motivados pela possível existência da pós-perovskita em outros planetas, começaram a ver as prováveis transformações que os minerais poderiam sofrer no interior dos planetas gigantes do sistema solar – Júpiter, Saturno, Urano e Netuno, com massa pelo menos 10 vezes maior que a da Terra, sob pressões e temperaturas ainda mais altas.
Os resultados de seu grupo, como os detalhados na Science em 2006, apresentando as prováveis transformações do silicato de magnésio nos planetas gigantes mais próximos da Terra, indicaram que essas técnicas de cálculo podem ser úteis para estudar a evolução de planetas. “Os padrões de comportamento dos minerais em planetas diversos não podem ser só coincidência”, ela comentou, diante da plateia que a ouvia atentamente durante o seminário na USP.

As simulações do comportamento de materiais em altas profundidades e os estudos experimentais, principalmente quando se casam, ajudam a elucidar os fenômenos do interior da Terra. Em julho, pesquisadores franceses anunciaram que conseguiram recriar em laboratório as condições ambientais do limite do núcleo externo com o manto inferior. Eles mostraram, por meio de análises de raios X, que as rochas parcialmente derretidas quando submetidas a alta temperatura e pressão podem se mover em direção à superfície da Terra, originando ilhas vulcânicas como as do Havaí.

Uma Terra mais real
As novas informações sobre o interior do planeta alimentam o trabalho de grupos brasileiros de pesquisa em geofísica básica, focados no exame da Terra em grande escala, em São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte e Distrito Federal. De modo mais amplo, beneficiam as equipes de geofísica aplicada, que trabalham com petróleo, mineração e água subterrânea, da Bahia, Pará, Rio, São Paulo, Rio Grande do Norte, Distrito Federal e Rio Grande do Sul.

Vistos em conjunto, os resultados ajudam a construir uma imagem mais sólida da Terra, já representada de muitos modos nos últimos séculos. O conhecimento sobre a estrutura e o interior da Terra avançou bastante desde 1912, quando o geofísico alemão Alfred Wegener concluiu que a Terra deveria ser formada por placas rígidas que se movem, e se distancia cada vez mais das imagens poéticas da Viagem ao centro da Terra, a magnífica obra do escritor francês Júlio Verne, publicada em 1864. “Hoje sabemos que o interior da Terra, diferentemente do que Júlio Verne escreveu”, assegura Justo, “é absolutamente misterioso e certamente inabitável”. Nem por isso, diz Assumpção, nosso planeta deixa de ser fascinante.

O Projeto
Simulação e modelagem de minerais a altas pressões (09/14082-3); Modalidade Projeto Temático; Coordenador João Francisco Justo Filho – USP; Investimento R$ 184.378,73

Artigos científicos
WENTZCOVITCH, R.M. et al. Ab initio molecular dynamics with variable cell shape: Application to MgSiO3. Physical Review Letters. v. 70, p. 3.947-50. 1993.

TSUCHIYA, T. et al. Phase transition in MgSiO3 perovskite in the earth’s lower mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. v. 224, n. 3-4, p. 241. 2004.

WENTZCOVITCH, R.M. et al. Anomalous compressibility of ferropericlase throughout the iron spin crossover. PNAS. v. 106, p. 8.447-52. 2009.
          Baja Earthquake 7.2 | Earthquake hits Pacific Coast and Baja California        
Baja Earthquake 7.2 | Earthquake hits Pacific Coast and Baja California
Baja Earthquake

An earthquake hit today in Baja, near Los Angeles. Folks in Phoenix Arizona seem to have felt it the most. I wonder if this is the precursor to a larger quake? The other fault lines must get disturbed from the pressure of these quakes. I think I mentioned some of this information recently.
Reports have been issued of an earthquake that rattled Baja California. The USGS said the earthquake has been upgraded from a magnitude 6.9 to a magnitude 7.2 quake.
Further north, the Baja California earthquake was followed by a 4.1 quake in Santa Rosa, just north of San Francisco, California. People on the social network site, Twitter, have reported feeling the Baja California quake in Phoenix, Arizona.
The 7.2 magnitude Baja California quake has local San Francisco residents concerned.
What do San Francisco residents think? Francis Witham, a longtime San Francisco resident says, "I'm glad that no major damage was done, but living in earthquake country makes every San Franciscan ask, 'Are we next and are we prepared enough?'"

What do YOU think? Feel free to leave a comment below.

earthquake, earthquakes today, california earthquake, baja earthquake 2010, san diego earthquake
          Watch San Diego Earthquake News Update        
What really happened during the San Diego Earthquake? What's the news say about it? Have you heard the explosion or the sonic boom?
A San Diego earthquake was felt by many San Diegans today. Was the loud noise many heard and felt really a San Diego earthquake? It seems according to the U.S. Geological survey, the noise at 4 this afternoon was really a sonic boom and not a San Diego earthquake.
San Diego 10News.com reports USGS seismologist Robert Dollar told them sonic booms are caused by high speed aircraft. It is possible the alleged San Diego earthquake was noise bouncing off the atmosphere. The sonic boom noise traveled around the county, making everyone think there was a San Diego earthquake.
SignOn SanDiego also reports on the San Diego earthquake. Maurice Luque, spokesperson for the San Diego Fire Department, indicated there was no San Diego earthquake and no massive explosion. Military official say there were no exercises in the area at the time.

Check out this YouTube footage of San Diego Earthquake test at the University of San Diego:

          New emphasis on protecting old forests in Copenhagen        

David MoultonHere at the Copenhagen Summit the building is a maze of forest of data, side events, booths and actual negotiations over...forests. Forests are part of solving the climate crisis — through both storing carbon and helping ecosystems and communities adapt in a changing world.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has spent nearly a week here extolling the virtues of a strong climate bill for the rural economy. Secretary Salazar announced from here last week that new USGS estimates place the potential of our land — both forested and non-forested — to store carbon at 30% of the US' annual carbon emissions. Forests in the US already store roughly 14% annually. (I discussed this topic more in depth in a previous blog post, found here.)

On the international stage, a new REDD policy, "REDD+", is taking shape that would better recognize broader efforts to minimize climate's impacts, such as sustainable forest management, biodiversity and the rights of indigenous peoples. At a side event sponsored by the United States, Greg Asner of the Carnegie Institute extolled the power of carbon mapping to assist countries in tracking land use change, carbon stocks and degradation. His team uses ground plot measurements, aircraft 3-d mapping, and satellites to get details down to a tenth of a hectare over any area the size of Denmark.

At the same event, Rick Ridgeway, VP of Patagonia's Environmental Initiatives, laid out the opportunity for the United States to reconnect our land through a web of preserved and acquired land to allow "freedom to roam" for some our most iconic species. Such large landscapes restore not just species resilience, but water, fire resistance and natural carbon storage.

In the next few days, the fate of the world's wildlands will be affected by whatever agreements are made at this conference. Our land is already under great stress from a warming climate, and when lands are degraded whole communities are degraded as well.

The United States is taking its knocks in Denmark. The lack of a Senate bill has made our negotiators very cautious. Today, the US received the "Fossil of the Day" award at a raucous ceremony hosted by the activist community for failing to push for the emissions targets and long-term financing of REDD, adaptation and technology that the world needs. Simultaneously, on a panel in the main hall, author Tom Friedman noted that the greatest obstacle to long-term sustainability for our planet is the United States, which has yet to pass legislation that would increase the value of carbon saved and the price of carbon emitted. If the U.S. leads, says Friedman, China and India will follow.

The opening ceremonies concluded tonight with a speech by Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize-winning founder of the Green Belt movement. Although she spoke to a packed hall, the entire multi-cavernous Bella Center seemed to stop in its tracks, transfixed to TV monitors, to receive the words of this powerful messenger as she exhorted the world to make forests a crucial part of the climate solution.

We will know soon whether this process is moving forward towards a binding international agreement, and whether that agreement is strong enough to give hope to the world that we can head off the worst effects of global warming by 2050. But there is no question that in the two years since the UN Bali conference, the role of forests has grown in climate negotiations and could emerge as a key element in a global strategy to curb emissions and build resistance to warming. The world is beginning to recognize that when we protect the health of our natural ecosystems, we protect all human health.

This article also appears on the National Journal's Copenhagen Insider blog.

          VR Vetandets Värld 20101013        
Det är snart trettio år sedan isbjörnsforskaren Steven Amstrup kom till Alaska. Under de år han forskat för amerikanska USGS har han sett sommarisen dra sig allt längre ut från de näringsrika områdena närmare land. Isbjörnarna har två val, antingen följer de isen långt ut till havs, eller så stannar de på land och väntar på att den återvänder - och svälter. Redaktör: Lena Näslund. Programmet är en repris från 2010-04-27.
          VR Vetandets Värld 20100427        
Det är snart trettio år sedan isbjörnsforskaren Steven Amstrup kom till Alaska. Under de år han forskat för amerikanska USGS har han sett sommarisen dra sig allt längre ut från de näringsrika områdena närmare land. Isbjörnarna har två val, antingen följer de isen långt ut till havs, eller så stannar de på land och väntar på att den återvänder - och svälter.
          Hayward Fault Scavenger Hunt: Curbside Geology at its Best        
Team Temblor took a trip to the Hayward Fault with USGS paleoseismologist David Schwartz.
          Increasing Earthquake Hazard In Colorado??? Surprising USGS Update!        
In the July 2014 update of the National Seismic Hazard Maps by the USGS, parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming were moved into the top two earthquake hazard zones.  Surprised? According to Earthquake Track, Colorado actually experienced 27 earthquakes in the last year! In the map above from National Geographic, you can see that most of region […]
          By: AFanoftheUSGS        
Hmmm. It might be fill, but that's not what the USGS or two soil engineers had to say about most of the blocks on either side of it. Rather, it's considered to be compacted clay for about a 14 foot depth, then a 1-3 foot deep "sand lens" (this is a term of art among soil engineers meaning a "layer"; sort of like the filling in a cake)--then another 10-14 feet of compacted clay, then bedrock. Of course, your mileage may vary---but I would baffled if it did.
          Panamericana, missing maps and desaster relief        

A friend of mine plans a big thing: Driving the whole Panamericana from Alaska all the way to Tierra del Fuego. While talking to him and his family it turned out that maps are a big issue and while casually checking out the route I realized there's much improvement needed.

I don't have a real plan yet, but while checking against several USGS and NASA WMS-services I also realized that the Panamericana crosses several zones prone to natural hazards, e.g.: * Landslides * Volcanic hazards * Earthquakes

Bringing all the data together in QGIS I was shocked that so many people are living there, villages are completely uncharted, no interconnecting roads available, it's truly terrifying.

Just look at these examples; I checked an area in Guatemala north of the volcano Tajumulco; the status of this volcano is unclear, but nevertheless, there's a clear landslide hazard: Bing Aerial Bing Aerial (click for fullscreen)

Bing Aerial with OSM Layer Bing Aerial with OSM Layer (click for fullscreen)

Same as above, but with Landslide Hazard Assesment Same as above, but with Landslide Hazard Assesment (click for fullscreen)

Something needs to be done and I just gave it a go.

Sidenote: Since the satellite imagery is just in a very sorry state for some regions, I'm currently messing around with Sentinel imagery.

(Edit: Just figured out that Google doesn't allow deep embedding of images anymore. So I had to fix my SELinux permissions on my webserver first... problems, problems - everywhere!)

          Higher Flows and Turbidity in the Caldera        

As recent posts have noted, the past several days have brought higher water, some rain and decreased water clarity to the section of the Henry's Fork downstream of Island Park Dam. Water clarity and sediment content started to change in the afternoon last Thursday, 8/7, which coincided with greater discharge from the dam. Since the beginning of the month flows have come up from an average of 960 cfs - the maximum that can be used for hydropower generation - to a maximum of almost 1500 cfs yesterday.

With the increased flows the fishing quality has declined recently, as has the amount of use the river is getting. This has been due in part to the sediment that appears to be entering the river through Island Park Dam. Water managers are in the process of lowering the flows back down to address this issue.

The picture was taken yesterday afternoon from the top of the dam looking downstream - notice the difference in water clarity on river left and river right. Also, you can check current flows by flowing the link to the USGS gaging station site in the sidebar.
          El Máximo Premio de Máxima, una Lección para la Humanidad: El Mundo Tiembla en el Justo Medio        
El sábado 16 de Abril (2016) en el noreste de Ecuador se registró un importante terremoto categorizado como de 7.8 grados. El suceso se dió al promediar las 7PM y según a reportado la Fiscalía General de la República del Ecuador a la publicación de éste post deja un saldo de 413 personas fallecidas y más de 2,000 heridos (clic para ver).
La peor tragedia en casi 70 años como declaró el presidente Correa
Un hecho que desde éste lado del mundo se vé distante, lejano cuando a la otra orilla del Pacífico un terremoto de 7.3 grados sacudía Kumamoto en Japón dejando más de 200 muertos y miles de heridos y desaparecidos debido a los deslizamientos de tierras (clic para ver). 
Hoy algunos ya se preguntan si ambos terremotos guardan algún tipo de relación más allá de ser parte del temido cinturón de fuego del Pacífico (clic para ver), la USGS se adelanta y responde con una notable infografía que explica que al año se presentan por lo menos 20,000 terremotos, 16 de ellos con una magnitud superior a 7.0.
Otros en cambio se resisten a purgar en el retrete la porquería que tienen atorada en la cabeza al proponer que los EEUU. estarían tras una "Guerra Climática contra Sudamérica" culpando al H.A.A.R.P., y toda la parafernalia conspiranoica (?)(clic para ver).
Lo cierto es estimado lector que desde un inicio ésta ventana a intentado exponer la relación entre el clima espacial, la actividad volcánica y en consecuencia la actividad telúrica, en nuestro post de mediados de Marzo (2016) sobre el calentamiento del mar expusimos un punto del que No se habla, las erupciones de volcanes marinos, los mismo que cada día están más y más activos (clic para ver). 

Podríamos en éste punto invitarlo a Ud. a una profunda reflexión sobre el papel de los gobiernos y los célebres acuerdos como el que está por suscribirse en Paris éste 22 de Abril (2016) donde 155 países buscan mitigar con políticas ambientales el impacto del Cambio Climático (clic para ver), y cómo los medios siguen obsesionados en culpar al hombre por el caos climático actual ...... (!).

Podríamos también informarle como es que la comunidad científica No se cansa de anunciar cada día nuevos planetas similares a la Tierra (clic para ver), algunos de ellos muy lejanos e incluso con vida probable dentro (clic para ver), como tentando un "PLAN B" a una alicaída Tierra y desesperanzada humanidad

Sin embargo estimado lector en cambio aquí sólo cumpliremos por ahora con poner éstas cartas sobre la mesa para que sea Ud. mismo quien evalúe por donde están hoy los más adecuados caminos hacia la recuperación de la vida y el "buen vivir".
Para ésto déjenos contarle la historia de una mujer campesina de poco más de 70 años, una mujer conocida en el Perú como la "Dama de la Laguna", una mujer que se enfrentó física y legalmente contra el consorcio minero más importante en el altiplano peruano, ganándoles una titánica y desproporcionada batalla en una lucha por el agua, por una laguna, por la vida.
Observa el Video:

Máxima Acuña representa hoy a esa ínfima cuota de seres humanos verdaderamente comprometidos con el medio ambiente, un lucha que hizo suya pero cuya bandera blande el color del planeta Tierra.
Su sabiduría ancestral le indica que sólo el agua asegura aquel "buen vivir" que se tuvo en los tiempos dorados milenarios de la región, e invita a cuestionarse ¿Acaso vale más el oro de todo un país que la tierra y el agua de una familia?
Máxima Acuña ganó éste Lunes 18 de Abril (2016) el premio Goldman, el galardón ambiental más importante del mundo logrando ser reconocida como uno de los seis héroes del medioambiente en el planeta de este año, junto con activistas y luchadores de Tanzania, Camboya, Eslovaquia, Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos.
Máxima Acuña recibió el premio entre aplausos y ovaciones en el Teatro Opera de San Francisco, en medio de temblores y réplicas mundiales, en medio de un planeta que tembló de emoción por la lucha de una causa justa para todos y que nos recordó la fragilidad y efímera existencia de la vida cuando No se oye los quejidos de la madre tierra.
Observa el Video:

Realmente emoción es quizá lo que mejor describa el momento.

La Tierra seguirá temblando aún más en los próximos días, los volcanes emitirán más y más cenizas por diferentes partes, los señores de saco y corbata intentan convencerse que no pasar 1.5 grados es la solución al problema, la Tierra se sacudirá de encima el problema ...
Personas como Máxima Acuña poseen hoy las respuestas y las claves muy precisas para que a pesar de la raza humana la vida continúe, adaptándose y equilibrando en el justo medio los espacios, como el Ecuador, que llama la atención al mundo al revelar que peligra aquel equilibrio.

Ya volvemos!

Lo comentamos en:
Facebook NPE Oficial: www.facebook.com/nuestropasadoextraterrestreNPE
Twitter NPE: @marquillo727
          Científicos Emiten Advertencia Catastrófica: Importante Incremento de Terremotos y Volcanes - NASA Confirma        
"Creemos que los EE.UU. y el mundo, han entrado ahora en el período más peligroso para los terremotos catastróficos y erupciones volcánicas en más de doscientos años ...  sería temerario ignorar ésto en particular ya que la historia de los grandes terremotos en la zona sísmica de Nuevo Madrid, pues durante cada mínimo (hibernación) solar en los últimos 600 años esa zona ha sido testigo de devastadores terremotos que van desde M6.8 a M8.0" 
Space and Science Research Corporation

Los últimos y más recientes estudios sobre el comportamiento del Sol dados a conocer por la comunidad científica, incluyendo a NASA porsupuesto, nos hablaron en su momento del Solar Flip o intercambio de polos magnéticos solares, algo que tratamos en extenso en desde ésta misma ventana (clic para ver), del mismo modo antes de finalizar el mítico 2012 ya NASA vislumbraba su próxima patinada al avisar el siguiente ciclo 24 en lo que hubiese sido el máximo solar (clic para ver), máximo que nunca llegaría y que por el contrario y contra todo pronóstico se convertiría en una inexplicable hibernación del astro rey, algo que se advirtió desde el 2009 cuando se dijo entonces que para el año 2015 las sunspots o regiones solares desaparecerían completamente (!!)(clic para ver), éste mínimo o hibernación solar ya se nos confirma abiertamente y con olor a certeza de que se trataría de un nuevo mínimo solar (?)(clic para ver) y (clic para ver). 
Lo cierto es que hace solo días un reciente estudio científico publicado en la revista Nature expone como el débil comportamiento del Sol hoy podría "compensar" el calentamiento global en el norte de Europa y los Estados Unidos (!)(clic para ver), de ésta manera y comparaciones a parte, éste tipo de informaciones vendrían confirmando exactamente aquello que venimos postulando desde finales del 2008 desde el holding de Blogs de NPE: la estrecha relación entre el comportamiento solar y el clima.

Para John L. Casey, ex asesor científico de la Casa Blanca, consultor asesor del cuartel central de NASA y uno de los científicos más exitosos en sus modelos de predicción climática en los Estados Unidos, "la correlación resulta ser muy fuerte entre estos mínimos solares y la incidencia de terremotos catastróficos en todo el mundo convirtiéndose en una impresionante muestra de cómo todos estamos interconectados a nuestro mundo natural y los ciclos del Sol" (clic para ver), algo que siempre hemos sostenido desde ésta ventana y de ahí nuestro marcado interés antes que nadie en difundir e informar sobre todo lo que tenga que ver con el clima espacial y el Sol.
Casey es actualmente director del Space and Science Research Corporation, organización de investigación científica independiente con base en Orlando, Florida, EE.UU. que se ha convertido en la organización de investigación líder en los Estados Unidos sobre el tema de la ciencia y la planificación para el próximo cambio climático, especialmente con respecto a alertar al gobierno, los medios de comunicación, y la gente de la necesidad de prepararse para esta nueva era climática (clic para ver).
De ésta manera, y de ahí el porqué le dedicamos un Post exclusivo a ésta noticia, el SSRC emitió una nota de prensa el pasado 3 de Junio (2015) donde daba cuenta sobre un extraño comunicado entregado en Washington éste 8 de Junio (2015) a William Craig Fugate, actual director del Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA, donde se dá cuenta del más reciente estudio del SSRC sobre el cambio climático y el ciclo de hibernación solar que describe cómo la reducción dramática en curso en la producción de energía del Sol No sólo sumirá al mundo en una época fría durante décadas, sino que al mismo tiempo traerá devastación geofísica récord en terremotos monstruosos y las erupciones volcánicas (!!!) (clic para ver).
La advertencia se centra también hoy en la falla de Nuevo Madrid en el estado de Misouri, considerada hoy la región sísmica más activa de los EEUU. desde el siglo XIX (clic para ver), y es que el estudio presentado demuestra como durante cuatro veces seguidas desde el año 1450, un gran terremoto golpea la falla de Nuevo Madrid cuando el Sol ha entrado en una fase de hibernación similar a la que estamos entrando hoy siendo durante los últimos 600 años esa zona  testigo de devastadores terremotos que van desde M6.8 a M8.0.(!!!), el estudio establece que un importante sismo, con implicancias devastadoras, TENDRÍA que ocurrir entre los años 2017 y 2038 (!!)(clic para ver).
No nos queda la menor duda que ésta seria advertencia del SSRC debe ser tomada muy en serio tanto en los EEUU. como en el resto del mundo.
Y es que hablar de una "relación" per se, entre terremotos y por ejemplo tormentas solares o Solar Flares ha sido uno de nuestros puntos en los últimos 6 años, algo que porsupuesto escandalizó a muchos al llamarlo incluso pseudociencia (algo que hizo la propia USGS (clic para ver)), sin embargo sepa Ud. que en la Universidad de Harvard existe un estudio completo de 682 sismos en todo el mundo superiores a grado 4 entre los años 1991 y 2007 donde se halló que cada movimiento telúrico estaba precedido por un Flare solar del tipo B a X (!)(clic para ver) así también en la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Cornwell se encuentra pues un estudio que habla ya de una "Universalidad" entre las Solar Flares y las ocurrencias sísmicas (!!)(clic para ver).

Lo realmente interesante aquí es notar como a pesar de la notoria ausencia de actividad solar y de Solar Flares los sismos y erupciones volcánicas continúan en evidente ascenso, a lo que nosotros hemos postulados que aquí se hablaría ya de Radiación Cósmica o si lo quiere mejor de Rayos Cósmicos No necesariamente procedentes del Sol (ojo), así vemos como éste reciente estudio realizado por científicos japoneses liderados por el astrofísico Toshikazu Ebisuzaki sorpredentemente concluye en determinar que las continuas erupciones volcánicas se deberían pues a éstos Rayos Cósmicos (!!!)(clic para ver).
Tal como explica éste Site especializado durante un mínimo solar cuando la radiación de alta energía cósmica puede penetrar a una muy profunda distancia por debajo de la superficie de la Tierra, en algunos casos unos pocos cientos de kilómetros. Esta es la razón por la cual la mayoría si no todos los terremotos durante los mínimo solar son los terremotos profundos (!!).
La tensión en la magnetósfera durante el mínimo solar es mayor debido a que la heliósfera es más débil y más partículas de alta energía cargada pueden penetrar en el sistema solar. En promedio, el flujo de los rayos cósmicos es 20% más alto durante el mínimo solar.
Pero, si el Sol, se encuentra en su posición más alta en la galaxia, que es también el momento en que la Tierra estaría en su fase final de reversión del campo magnético, entonces el impacto de la radiación cósmica tanto en la heliósfera y la magnetósfera es mayor incluso durante máximo solar.
En esa posición la heliosfera se encuentra en su estado más débil debido a un muy intenso bombardeo de las radiaciones de alta energía (clic para ver).
Léalo bien, analícelo e intégrelo.

No crea Ud. que cuando el Sol esta hibernando (como ahora mismo) la actividad telúrica disminuye y las temperaturas bajan, sino más bien resulta ser TODO lo CONTRARIO y aquí lo aluscinante de ésto, cuando se nos apaga la luz cósmica la fiesta empieza dentro de la Tierra (!).
A todo ésto .... la más reciente encíclica dada a conocer éste 18 de Junio (2015) al mundo por el Papa Francisco y el Vaticano, aquella que se le conoce como la Encíclica Verde, "Laudato Si´"(clic para ver) nos habla del daño del hombre al planeta (!), habla del clima, del caos climático y las responsabilidades morales ante éste escenario y las próximas generaciones de humanos ..... (clic para ver).
Profundo.... pero,
¿Se ha reguntado Ud. si los asesores científicos de Francisco han considerado el hecho de que los Rayos Cósmicos "divinos" son los principales gestores del cambio del clima en la Tierra y en el sistema?, ¿No sería ésto acaso también.... voluntad divina?

En nuestro próximo post tal como le prometimos el más completo análisis de ésta Encíclica Verde y TODO lo que hay detrás y que NADIE le cuenta .....
Ya volvemos!
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          Je Suis NEPAL, además ... ¿Nació realmente la Bebé Real en Mayo? y también ... la Encíclica Verde de Francisco        
Bien estimado lector, han ocurrido bastantes cosas en los últimos días y resulta imperativo iniciar por el que quizá resulta ser el asunto más trascendental de los últimos tiempos, nos referimos a devastador Terremoto ocurrido el pasado 25 de Abril (2015) de magnitud 7,81 o 8,12 MW que se registró a las 6:11 GMT (11:57 hora local) a una profundidad de 15km con un epicentro que se localizó a 81 km al noroeste de Katmandú, concretamente en el distrito de Lamjung, Nepal(clic para ver).
Un movimiento telúrico tan intenso que una semana luego ya confirma cifras superiores a los 7,000 muertos y 14,000 heridos (!!)(clic para ver) incluídos los 100 andinistas que fueron hallados enterrados hace sólo unas horas (!!)(clic para ver).
El desplazamiento de las placas tectónica asiática e india ha sido tan intenso que hoy se confirma que la ciudad de Katmandú, capital de Nepal se habría desplazado hasta 3 metros al Sur debido a éste movimiento (!)(clic para ver) ésto ocurre al mismo tiempo que científicos de la USGS confirman que el mismo monte Everest habría crecido su tamaño algunos centímetros precisamente debido a éste terremoto (!!)(clic para ver) y a la vez que se concluye desde NASA que éste terremoto habría alterado la atmósfera de la propia Tierra (!)(clic para ver).
Basta con observar ésta recientes imágenes obtenidas desde un Drone para ser testigos del grado de destrucción de éste evento.
Observa el Video:

Realmente devastador.

Sobre el tema podríamos intentar estimado lector demostrarle a Ud. como determinadas alineaciones o conjunciones planetarias, ante el bajo e inalterable comportamiento solar de los últimos días, bien podrían influir en éstos intensos movimientos sísmicos, por lo menos revelar la extraña coincidencia en como éstas se han presentado en los últimos terremotos como los ocurridos en Haití, Chile o Japón y ahora más recientemente en Nepal (!!)(clic para ver).
Así también podríamos referirla a Ud. sobre los recientes experimentos llevados a cabo desde el LHC en el CERN por aquellas fechas cuando se anunciaban primeros records de aceleración de energía de partículas (clic para ver), preparando el terreno para las colisiones posteriores (!)(clic para ver), podríamos hablar del HAARP, podríamos hablar de un ataque EMP y muchas otras cosas más (clic para ver)...... lo cierto es que NEPAL hoy se encuentra destruído, la revista Time en 5 puntos determina el porque éste terremoto en éste lugar resulta ser tan devastador (clic para ver), así que, tal como hemos hecho anteriormente, por respeto a las víctimas y a su damnificados dejaremos el tema ahí para ver otros asuntos No sin antes solidarizarnos con los afectados.
Bien a otra cosa entonces.
Es una niña!
Al fin la espera terminó para conocer el sexo del nuevo retoño del príncipe William y la princesa Kate, se trata de una saludable bebé que habría nacido "oficialmente" éste 2 de Mayo (2015) a las 8:34am pesando 8 lbs (clic para ver) en el hospital St. Mary en Londres.
Observa la Imagen:
Hasta aquí todo muy lindo. Horas más tarde se supo que el nombre de la nueva heredera sería Charlotte Elizabeth Diana de Cambridge (clic para ver), incorporando los nombres de los abuelos (Charles y Diana) así como el de la Reina madre Elizabeth (!).
Resulta curioso que la fecha de nacimiento "coincida" pues con el denominado May Day, antigua (clic para ver) fiesta pagana celta hoy celebrada por cultos paganos como la Wicca (!) mismo grupo que utiliza como símbolo fundamental el Pentáculo(!).
May Day término que juega con la llamada de socorro (clic para ver) es una fiesta de inicios de la primavera en dicha parte del mundo que se refiere también al día de Beltane o Belenus, antiguo dios celta que después los romanos adoptarían dándole el nombre de Apolo (clic para ver), May Day o el día del Palo de Mayo es una fiesta a la fertilidad fálica (clic para ver), también referida como el Fuego de Bel, una fiesta a la sexualidad humana (?!)(clic para ver).

Una fecha bastante interesante en muchas culturas sin duda alguna.
Curioso resulta pues que la nueva hija de la dinastía Cambridge "haya sido dada a conocer precisamente en éste tiempo", conocedores ya de la obsesión de ésta familia por los asuntos astronómicos, las fechas y los números No podíamos esperar menos ... sin embargo algo aquí No quedaría del todo claro....
Dentro del contexto de los "dolores previos al parto" y asumiendo algún tipo de "mega ritual" en ofrecimiento al nacimiento de Charlotte éste debió haberse dado el pasado 25 de Abril (2015) precisamente el día del terremoto de Nepal con sus más de 7,000 muertos (!), pero ésto No ocurrió así .... al menos NO Oficialmente (!).
Días antes al terremoto la prensa británica presumía por voz de la misma Kate que daría a luz éste 25 de Abril (2015) pasado (!!!)(clic para ver), ésto en medio del escándalo mediático iniciado por la revista Globe sobre una presunta hija de la princesa Diana que sería la hoy legítima heredera al trono (!)(clic para ver), hoy el diario ruso Komsomolskaya Pravda pone en duda la fecha exacta del nacimiento de Charlotte (clic para ver), la explicación muy simple: resulta IMPOSIBLE que un bebé recién nacido y una madre que recién a parido se vean como lucieron para las cámaras el mismo día del parto (!!).
La prensa británica recoge la noticia y la especulación viene en aumento presumiendo que la criatura tendría como mínimo 3 días y lo más probable es que llegue a tener una semana de nacido (clic para ver), algo que SÍ es lógico ante las imágenes del bebé .... una semana semana antes nos sitúan entonces en el 25 de Abril (2015) .... el día devastador de Nepal ... (?!?!?).
Observa la Imagen:
Clic sobre la Imagen para Agrandar
Bueno, como sea ante tanto secretismo en ésta familia y ésta corona la verdad es que pocas cosas pueden resultar normales y simples.

Hoy el mundo, por extraño que suene luego del 21 de Diciembre del 2012, pareciera estar aproximándose más y más rápidamente a su propio Apocalipsis, a pesar que pocos son los que analizan toda la información climática de manera conjunta e integral la Tierra viene mostrando notorias señales que ya algunos medios han advertido.
Desde Rusia la prensa lanza "Algo anómalo pasa con la Tierra" (clic para ver) ésto ocurre al mismo tiempo que el genio británico Stephen Hawking declara públicamente que "La humanidad no sobrevivirá si no huye al espacio" (clic para ver), más aún cuando aquella inmensa y extraña masa anómala de agua caliente se viene expandiendo por el Océano Pacífico alterando absolutamente todo el clima de América, Asia y Australia (clic para ver) al punto que la revista Newsweek publica un artículo advirtiendo concluyentemente que resulta INEVITABLE que el CAOS climático se incremente en los próximos meses (!!)(clic para ver).
A éste paso señores No tendrán mucho que heredar las nuevas generaciones (!).

Sin embargo hay algo aquí que vá a resultar fundamental y que veremos en las próximas semanas.
Resulta que el Papa Francisco viene trabajando muy seriamente en una nueva encíclica, la misma que ya se viene denominando la encíclica VERDE, se trata se trata de un documento más que importante. ¿Por qué? Porque, tal como indica mayoritariamente la ciencia, para Francisco el cambio climático, que afecta sobre todo a los más pobres, ha sido causado principalmente por el hombre. Y existe el deber moral de contrarrestarlo a través de una acción global conjunta (clic para ver).
Ésto resulta en extremo interesante ya que dejaría de lado el hecho de las "causas naturales" o mejor aún de la "voluntad de Dios" para con el clima(!), para dar pie sentenciosamente responsabilidad absoluta al HOMBRE ..... mmmm .... ésto No le agrada a muchos que creen que el Caos Climático tiene un origen NATURAL (cíclico), ya que antropomorfizar un problema y un contexto busca en realidad hallar culpables y aquí la Iglesia tiene 2 mil años de dar cátedra al respecto, éste asunto lo ampliaremos con mayor detalle en otra oportunidad mientras tanto se abrió el debate ya sobre el tema en los EEUU. (clic para ver) a meses antes de la visita de Francisco al Congreso gringo (clic para ver).
Antes de irnos .... ¿Ya sabía Ud. que NASA y el Jet Propulson Lab  han lanzado un WebSite sobre las extrañas luces que se han observado en CERES, el mayor asteroide ubicado entre Júpiter y Marte?, en el sitio web se busca que la gente opine sobre el origen de la fuente lumínica, volcanes, hileo, geysers ...... éste asunto que ya hemos compartido desde Febrero pasado desde nuestra Red Social (clic para ver) hoy queda claro que No es ningún chiste para NASA (!). ¿Se anima Ud. a decir de qué se trata? (clic para ver).
Nepal, Charlotte, Francisco y el Clima.

Ya volvemos!

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          Bee and Wasp Season has arrived!        
Photo credit listed at the bottom of the article
As the days have become longer and warmer, bees and wasps have been increasing in activity and numbers. Knowing the differences between bees and wasps will help you to understand how to deal with them, how to remain safe, and when to contact a professional licensed pest control professional.
Bees are generally less aggressive than wasps, and are larger in width, and hairy. Wasps are more aggressive, narrow and hairs are less visible. Each species is beneficial in nature, providing valuable pollination services and the control of countless other insect species through predation or parasitation.  Control may be necessary when nests are constructed in or on structures or in recreational areas. 

What follows is a description of commonly found wasps and bees in the London, St Thomas, Grand Bend and South-Western Ontario areas.

1. Yellow Jackets and Bald-faced Hornets

 Yellow Jackets- are Yellow are Black colour and are 10-16mm in length, 1000-4000 individuals per colony.
 Bald Faced Hornets are white black in colour and are 15-20 mm in length, with 100-400 individuals per colony.

Nests can be located in the ground, within wall voids of structures, in shrubs, on trees, under decks or attached to homes etc. Nests may or may not be visible, are constructed of paper-like material, and are usually grey in colour. When visible, they may be football shape like in appearance.

These social insects will readily defend their nests when disturbed. Each individual is capable of stinging multiple times. Reactions to stings will vary depending on the number of stings and the individual’s body’s response. In some instances, medical attention may be required.  If prescribed an Epi-pen it should be with you at all times, it cannot help you if it’s in your home or car.

Early identification of nests within high risk areas should be completed by visual inspection. Control when warranted should be completed by an appropriately labelled dust, liquid or aerosol product.

2. Paper wasps

These wasps are brownish in colour with yellow markings. Size varies depending on the species. These wasps have long legs.

Nests range in size from that of a toonie to an open hand. Nests cells are visible and typically contain 150-250 cells. Nests may be constructed in voids of homes, in attics, at roof points, within exterior lights, and on the underside of branches. 

These insects are less aggressive than other wasps but will still defend their nests when threatened. Paper wasps are capable of stinging multiple times.

Early identification of nests within high risk areas should be completed by visual inspection. Control when warranted should be completed by an appropriately labelled dust, liquid or aerosol product.

3. Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are 12-25mm in length and are black and yellow in colour. These bees are similar in colour to Bumble bees but have a bare, shiny abdomen.
As their name suggests these insects bore into wood making a round hole 12mm in width and approximately 10-15 cm in length.

These bees are not social; they do not live in nests, or colonies. However many individual can often be found in the same area. Male Carpenter bees are territorial, often becoming aggressive towards other insects, birds and people. Male bees do not possess a stinger so they cannot sting. Females do posses a potent stinger but rarely use it.

Nest galleries are constructed in logs and stumps, unpainted boards and weathered wood. To reduce risk of activity, old logs and stumps should be removed and unpainted or weathered boards should be repainted. If galleries and bees are present treatment will be required to provide control.

3. Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are large and fuzzy sometimes containing orange markings.  They are 6-25mm in length. 

Theses bees are social; nests typically contain 50-400 individuals. Nests are usually constructed underground, often in an old mouse burrow. When constructed in a structure, it’s usually low to the ground in a void or cavity. Bumble bees are not aggressive but will defend the nest when threatened. These bees have unbarbed stingers and are capable of stinging multiple times.

4. Honey bees

These highly beneficial insects are 11-15mm in length and are orange and black in colour. 
These bees are social in nature; colonies typically contain 20000-80000 individual bees. A single queen is present in each colony, laying 1500-2000 eggs per day during the warm weather months. These bees are not aggressive but will defend their colony if threatened. Each bee can sting once prior to dying. If stung, remove the stinger quickly with a nail, knife or credit card to minimize the amount of poison absorbed. Do not grasp the stinger with your fingers or additional poison will be released.
Honey bees construct colonies of wax in tree cavities, in wall voids, attic spaces, and hollow floor spaces and on structures or bushes.
Bee swarms are produced in some colonies during the months of May, June and July. These swarms may be seen on trees, cars, homes etc. These insects are not aggressive when swarming and should never be sprayed or killed. Please contact Sawyer Pest Management or a local bee keeper for pick up and hiving.
Nests already present within walls or voids require removal of not only the bees but also the , wax and honey stores. to gain access to the nest floor boards and or drywall may require removal. It is not recommended to kill Honey bees within walls and to leave the colony in the void area as this will increase the risk of new bee activity in future years, mouse activity,  and additional bee activity as well as honey seepage into the home. Hive removal may take 3hrs to 2 days.

If you are having problems with bees or wasps please contact Sawyer Pest Management Inc. for additional information and control options.
Sawyer Pest Management Inc. is your local pest control professional and is licensed by the Ontario ministry of the Environment and is insured to provide pest management services. Each service representative is a licensed structural exterminator, and is trained and competent in the services we provide.

Sawyer Pest Management is proud to provided service programs in the communities of London, Melbourne, Ingersoll, Aylmer, Port Stanley, Strathroy, St. Thomas, Parkhill, Grand Bend, Bayfield, Exeter, Lucan and St. Marys and in the surrounding communities.


Photo credit: "Xylocopa virginica male face" by USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab from Beltsville, Maryland, USA - Xylocopa virginica, m, face, talbot, md_2015-05-17-16.49.24 ZS PMax. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Xylocopa_virginica_male_face.jpg#/media/File:Xylocopa_virginica_male_face.jpg

          Volcan Yellowstone : nous cache-t-on la vérité ?        

6 avr 2011









Le super volcan d’Yellowstone aurait connu pas moins de 32 tremblements de terre d’une magnitude de 1 à 4,9. Le site USGS les avait publiés dans la matinée du 12 février dernier. Quelques heures après, à la surprise générale, ces données ont été retirées sans que des explications n'aient été données.

Les analystes s’inquiètent de ce qui semble être une censure des données et certains croient que ce méga-volcan pourrait montrer des signes d’une explosion imminente, dont les conséquences seraient incroyablement désastreuses, phénomène que les autorités ne souhaitent pas rendre public…

Il semblerait que des censures sont exercées sur toutes les données afférentes aux tremblements de terre qui secouent le super volcan du parc Yellowstone. L’inquiétude est à son comble dans le monde des analystes, car si ce gigantesque volcan entre en éruption, les conséquences auraient un effet au-delà de tout ce que l’on pourrait imaginer. La puissance de ce volcan est incommensurable. Son explosion détruirait complètement toute la région.

Selon certaines personnes, la censure de ces données aurait pour objectif de ne pas céder à la panique qui se propagerait sur toute la population comme une traînée de poudre. Cela ajoute à l’angoisse que ressentent ceux qui ont pu voir les activités sismiques du volcan avant qu’elles ne soient retirées du site. Si ces séismes ont été retirés du site USGS, la question est de savoir pour quelle raison les responsables l’ont fait. Au lieu de calmer les esprits cette attitude ne fait qu’enflammer l’imagination.

Pour bien nous rendre compte de l’ampleur de la catastrophe en cas de réveil du-dit volcan, rien ne vaut les faits:

#1 Une éruption à grande échelle de Yellowstone pourrait être jusqu’à 1000 fois plus puissante que l’éruption du mont St. Helens en 1980.

#2 Une éruption à grande échelle de Yellowstone pourrait cracher des cendres volcaniques à une hauteur de 40 kilomètres.

#3 La prochaine éruption de Yellowstone semble se rapprocher au fil des ans. Depuis 2004, certaines zones du parc national de Yellowstone ont augmenté de près de 25 centimètres.

#4 Il ya environ 3.000 tremblements de terre dans la région de Yellowstone chaque année.

#5 Dans le cas d’une éruption à grande échelle de Yellowstone, la quasi-totalité du nord-ouest des États-Unis sera complètement détruite.

#6 Une éruption massive de Yellowstone voudrait dire qu’à peu près tout ce qui existe dans un rayon de 160 kilomètres serait immédiatement mis à mort.

#7 Une éruption à grande échelle de Yellowstone pourrait éventuellement jeter une couche de cendres volcaniques d’au moins 3 mètre de profondeur jusqu’à 1600 km de distance (1000 miles).

#8 Une éruption à grande échelle de Yellowstone couvrirait la quasi-totalité du Midwest des États-Unis avec de la cendre volcanique. La production alimentaire en Amérique serait presque totalement anéantie.

#9 L’«hiver volcanique» d’une éruption massive de Yellowstone pourrait radicalement refroidir la planète. Certains scientifiques pensent que les températures mondiales pourraient diminuer de 20 degrés.

#10 L’Amérique ne serait plus la même après une importante éruption de Yellowstone. Certains scientifiques pensent qu’une éruption complète par Yellowstone rendrait les deux tiers des Etats-Unis totalement inhabitable.

#11 Les scientifiques nous disent que ce n’est pas une question de «si» Yellowstone va éclater, mais plutôt « quand » la prochaine éruption inévitable aura lieu.

Source de ces données: endoftheamericandream.com


URGENT Earthquakes at Yellowstone being CENSORED!


Alert! Yellowstone earthquake swarm CENSORED by USGS today!



          Yellowstone : Un tremblement de terre aujourd'hui de magnétude 4.6 ! USGS censure les données !        
Voyez-vous le tremblement de terre qui a eu lieu au Yellowstone, aujourd'hui, de magnétude 4,6 dans la liste des récents tremblements de terre éditée par USGS ?

USGS censure les données sur le Yellowstone et les régions des caldiera depuis plus d'1 an !

Mieux, si vous allez consulter la liste des tremblements de terre ayant eu lieu au Yellowstone ces derniers jours, ils s'arrêtent au 9 février 2011 !!!!


Et voici la preuve du tremblement de terre qui a eu lieu au Yellowstone aujourd'hui et qui a été censuré par USGS








Si vous allez voir sur le site USGS, aucun séisme de 4.6 venant de cette région n’y apparait. Pourtant il y était bel et bien il y a quelques heures quand il est survenu.

Que se passe-t-il avec Yellowstone??? USGS a répondu que c’était un problème de logiciel??? Y croyez-vous ? Un internaute parle de la chute possible d’un arbre mouarf! 

Sans compter une 15zaine d’autres petits séismes aujourd’hui qui n’apparaissent pas…Ceux en bas de 2.5 je comprends, mais les autres? C’est quoi le but?

En passant un 6.1 aux îles Tonga tout à l’heure…ça brasse beaucoup depuis hier vous ne trouvez pas?

          Oil and gas wastewater injection well maps show their earthquake threats to communities, infrastruct        

Today FracTracker Alliance released interactive maps of Oklahoma and Kansas showing the location and volume of all active oil and gas Class II Salt Water Disposal (SWD) wastewater injection wells in the states, and their proximity to geologic faults and earthquakes. Publicly available interactive regional maps of these wells/volumes in proximity to faults and quakes are unprecedented.

Together with a Lafayette College researcher, FracTracker compiled injection volumes for 10,297 and 4,555 Class II wells in Oklahoma and Kansas, respectively. Just those wells account for 11.72 billion barrels of waste disposed since 2011 -- the equivalent of between 12.5 and 15.0 million Americans’ annual wastewater production.

“The link between earthquakes induced by wastewater disposal can be traced back to 1962, and the link between oil and gas related quakes in Great Plains states has been known to geologists since 2013,” said map author Ted Auch of the FracTracker Alliance. He continued, “So we were dismayed to find that key information connected to these quakes was unavailable to those most at risk. Maps like ours should be available as a matter of course to the public given that oil and gas companies, who require government authorization for these wells, have all the underlying data.”

The maps also inventory earthquakes throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas back to 2011 using the USGS ANSS Comprehensive Earthquake Catalog. FracTracker found that the average earthquake in this region is getting steadily deeper at a rate of 330-332 feet per quarter. More importantly, the average number of quakes has increased 12.5 fold from 44 per quarter in 2011/2012 to 551 in the last two years, while the average price of oil has declined by 35%.

Oil and gas induced earthquakes in Oklahoma were rapidly increasing in 2010 as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-nominee Scott Pruitt was taking office as Oklahoma Attorney General. These quakes continued without adequate state action until they threatened oil and gas infrastructure including the Cushing Oil Hub the largest commercial crude oil storage center in North America on November 6, 2016. One of Pruitt’s first acts as state AG was to disband his office’s Environmental Protection Unit.

“It’s unconscionable that years of oil and gas induced earthquakes in Oklahoma weren’t sufficient cause for the state to step in to protect Oklahomans,” said Earl Hatley, Oklahoma Grand Riverkeeper and local resident. He continued, “Perhaps if Scott Pruitt hadn’t eliminated the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Unit just as these quakes were spiking many would not have occurred. Oklahoma regulators shouldn’t wait for buildings to collapse before acting to protect the public.”

Texas state regulators are refusing to protect the public. In November 2013, a series ofearthquakes shook Azle, TX. When regulators met with the community but refused to take questions, the community traveled to the state capital to demand action. No meaningful action has been taken, even as more frequent and severe quakes have shaken some of the most densely populated areas of the state.

“It’s been almost 3 years since Azle residents made a pilgrimage to Austin to demand the Railroad Commission do something about oil and gas related earthquakes,” said Earthworks Gulf Region Organizer Sharon Wilson. She continued, “The Commission did what it always does. It denied science and protected the oil and gas industry from responsibility for the earthquakes’ damage to Texans’ property and health. Texans need public maps like these to finally force the state to stop denying earthquake science accepted everywhere else in the world, and instead put the public interest first for a change.”

          USGS Announces the Ground at Yellowstone is Rising, But We're Probably All Not Gonna Die        
If you've been paying attention, you know there has been a ton of earthquake activity in Yellowstone National Park this year. The USGS thinks they know why. The ground at Yellowstone is rising, but we're all probably not gonna die because of it. Continue reading…
          Answer to a Hawaiian Mystery, and a Cautionary Tale        
If you've had a geology or earth science course, do you remember what you learned about basalt? Basalt, the low-silica volcanic rock, the one that flows instead of exploding. The one that isn't all that dangerous. Even if you haven't had such a class, you've heard that visiting volcanoes on the Hawaiian Islands is one of the things tourists can do. Helicopters fly over the lava flows, and people watch lava pouring into the sea from a few hundred yards (or feet) away. Basalt is the black volcanic rock with holes in it.
Pele's Hair collected near the edge of Kilauea Caldera
In my last post, I provided a bit of a mystery, a series of circles found in the barren plains near the summit of the Kilauea caldera on the Big Island. I'm going to provide the answer (and yes, someone accurately solved it), but first I'd like to show you some unusual things you'll see if you get access to some parts of the Kilauea volcano complex.

First off, the stuff in the first two pictures. These fibers are found around the summit area of Kilauea, and in protected hollows they can accumulate in large masses. It's called Pele's Hair, and it's made of natural volcanic glass, otherwise known as obsidian. Glass is not usually associated with basalt in the minds of most people, but glass can form around any lava that cools so quickly that crystals can't readily form. This odd feature develops around spattering edges of lava lakes like that which currently resides in the crater of Halemaumau. As globs of liquid are thrown into the air, some of the liquid trails behind as a thin fiber, which then breaks off and floats away in the turbulent hot air currents. If you visit the Big Island, you can usually find some near the Jagger Museum on the crater rim.
Reticulite from Kilauea Caldera
Then there is this weird material that can also be found around the summit region of Kilauea. It made me think of old weathered sponge rubber, but it is no such thing. It is a rock. It's composed of volcanic glass, and could be described as a sort of golden pumice, but it is distinctly different from any pumice I've ever seen. It's lighter, for one thing, and that is hard to believe, even while holding it in your hand. Most pumice is between 64-94% air bubbles, but this material exceeds 95% air. The walls of the bubbles are so thin that many are open, and this rock will not float the way that pumice can because it fills with water too quickly. It is called reticulite. It's so light that it can be blown a long ways from a crater by high winds. It is so delicate it can be crushed between one's fingers, and it can't be expected to last long in most geological environments.
Close up of reticulite from Kilauea
And finally there is this rock outcrop on the rim of Kilauea Caldera. It looks, well, almost like sedimentary layers! That is most decidedly not the kind of thing one expects to find on the edge of a basaltic shield volcano, the edifice that is supposedly constructed by multitudes of basaltic lava flows. What the heck is going on here, and what does it have to do with the strange circles of our little mystery?
A closer look reveals that these are layers of volcanic ash and scoria, the smaller particles that are associated with explosive eruptions, the kind we expect to find on the slopes of a Mt. St. Helens or a Mt. Shasta, the stratovolcanoes found on continental landmasses near subduction zones. What was going on here? The layers are more than 30 feet thick, and have been named the Keanakāko‘i Tephra.
Keanakāko‘i Tephra partially covered by a 1983 basalt flow.

It's clear that what we get taught about basaltic lava is not the entire story. Sometimes basalt erupts violently, and as such it can be exceedingly dangerous. An eruption in 1790 killed several hundred Hawaiian warriors on the eve of a major battle, and the event changed Hawaiian history, as the tragedy was seen as the judgment of the gods. These deposits were once thought to be the results of the 1790 eruption, but it turns out that they include dozens of explosive eruptions that took place between about 1500 and the early 1800s.
Exposures of the Keanakāko‘i Tephra on the margin of the Kilauea Caldera. A 1983 basalt flow can be seen below on the right.

What caused this explosive activity? In a word: water. When rising magma encounters groundwater, the water can flash to steam, causing intense explosions. Apparently the caldera collapsed to a depth great enough to reach the regional water table, and huge explosions ensued. Something like this happened at Kilauea in 1924 (see the picture below), but the massive explosions totaled only about 1% the volume of the 1790 and earlier eruptions. There have been some seriously dangerous eruptions throughout time on this volcano.
1924 eruption of Kilauea Caldera, courtesy of the USGS and Bishop Museum

And that brings us to the strange circles of the mystery. In 1924 some huge blocks were thrown out of Halemaumau crater and were thrown a thousand or more meters. When they landed, they produced bowl-shaped craters. One of the biggest from 1924 weighed 8 tons, and can be seen in the picture below.

Subsequent eruptions produced Pele's Hair, reticulite, and small cinders or coarse ash. All of these particles blew across the landscape, and accumulated in the shallow craters. The blocks remain visible in the centers of some of the craters, while others are buried. The filled craters in some cases trap water more efficiently than other surfaces, so plants are able to gain a foothold (roothold?) in the craters.

The evidence of 300+ years of explosive eruptive activity around Kilauea is sobering. Such eruptions have the potential to do serious damage to surrounding communities around the caldera and in the Puna District to the east. Current research is seeking to better understand the cycle of activity surrounding these periods of violence.
It was a real privilege to explore the flanks of Kilauea Caldera with Don Swanson, Tina Neal, and Frank Trusdell of the Hawai'i Volcano Observatory during my visit to the islands last week. It was a fascinating learning adventure. More stories to come!

          Good Friday 2013        
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          USGS releases first ever global topographical map of Mercury        
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released the first-ever global topographical map of Mercury, something that was made in conjunction with Arizona State University, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, NASA, and the Applied Physics Laboratory. The topographical map, as one would expect, includes details on things like tectonic landforms, craters, and volcanoes, and is high-res enough for those … Continue reading
          University of Minnesota 2012 Hydrogeology Summer Field Course (16 July-5 Aug)        
An intensive 4 undergrad credit (ESci 4971W) or 2 graduate credit (ESci 5971), three week, hands-on field course is scheduled for 16 July – 5 August 2012. The first week is held on the U of M –Minneapolis campus. The second two weeks are conducted at our Hydrogeology Field Site near Akeley, Minnesota. Our heavily-instrumented field site is part of the larger USGS SHAEP interdisciplinary research project on Williams and Shingobee lakes (http://wwwbrr.cr.usgs.gov/projects/SHAEP/). Lodging for the latter portion of the course will be at the Deep Portage Conservation Reserve (www.deep-portage.org).

The course is designed to teach students to solve practical hydrogeologic problems by collecting and analyzing hydrogeologic, physical, and chemical field data. Students gain proficiency using state-of-the-art equipment as they study the surface and subsurface flow within an instrumented watershed. Specific field laboratories include:

• Hydrogeologic mapping and surveying using GPS and conventional surveying tools.
• GIS environmental applications and introduction to numerical modelling.
• Water quality sampling, field tests, chemical analyses, interpretation and reporting.
• Drill rig observation: split-spoon sampling, description and textural analyses, and well construction.
• Borehole geophysical techniques and tools.
• Single- and multi-well aquifer testing techniques and data analysis.
• Stream gauging, surface water monitoring and ground water/surface water interactions in lakes and wetlands.
• Technical/scientific report writing.

Credit & Prerequisites:
• The course is offered as a 4-credit undergrad course, ESci 4971W or as a 2-credit grad course, ESci 5971.
• Can be taken as a first hydrogeology/environmental science course, or as a practical hands-on follow-up course to more theoretical courses. Either way works.
• The high instructor-to-student ratio and an informal setting allows for personalized education, peer-to-peer learning with top students from around the world, and lots of instructor interaction.
• Enrollment is limited to 28 students. External applications accepted starting on 1 Jan 2012.
• U of MN students have priority on 14 slots through 1 Mar 2012.
• Additional students admitted on a space available basis after 1 March 2012.
• Instructor permission (based on college coursework in geology and environmental sciences).
• Student is available for the full class period from 16 July – 5 August 2012.

Preliminary Cost Estimates: $3,600 for local and $3,900 for out of town students.

For student testimonies, photos, FAQs, sign-up forms, and much more, please visit our website at:
www.geo.umn.edu/orgs/camp/hydrocamp or contact Calvin Alexander at alexa001@umn.edu or (612) 624-3517.
          USGS Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program        
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began the Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program (now called Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program) in 2001 in honor of Walter C. Mendenhall, the fifth Director of the USGS.  The Mendenhall Program provides an opportunity for recent PhD graduates (within five years since completion of the doctoral degree) to conduct concentrated research in association with selected members of the USGS professional staff.  The Program is intended to provide research fellows with experiences that enhance their personal scientific skills and accomplishments.  Through the Mendenhall Program the USGS acquires current expertise to assist in the advancement of its scientific goals.

Mendenhall Fellowships are 2-year appointments with competitive salary and benefits.  Mendenhall Fellows are typically granted project expense funds appropriate to the scope of research to be conducted.  Postdoctoral research projects under this program have spanned a wide range of scientific topics of interest and relevance to the mission of the USGS.  For additional information, please consult the Project Profiles section of the Mendenhall Program web site at the following URL: http://geology.usgs.gov/postdoc.

What is it like to be a USGS Mendenhall Fellow?  Check out the FAQ section of the program web site for some informative quotes from previous Mendenhall Fellows.  Also, another way, of course, is to find out directly from a Fellow -- Project Profiles contain their contact information.

FY-13 Mendenhall postdoctoral research opportunities are currently being advertised through the Program web site.  The application deadline is February 21, 2012.  The earliest start date for the FY-13 Fellowships is October 2012.

Program contacts:  

Overall Program and Science - Dr. Rama K. Kotra, 703-648-6271, rkotra@usgs.gov,

Human Resources - Ms. Susan Fong-Young, 916-278-9402, sfyoung@usgs.gov

          This week's JavaScript news, issue 345        
This week's JavaScript news — Read this e-mail on the Web
JavaScript Weekly
Issue 345 — July 28, 2017
As well as Fiber, a key change is in how component errors are handled.

How the performance characteristics of V8’s Turbofan will affect the way we optimize in Chrome 59+ and Node 8.3+ situations.
Matteo Collina and David Mark Clements

The latest in Eric’s functional programming and compositional software techniques series looks at classes in detail.
Eric Elliott

Get real-time crash alerts and collect detailed diagnostics so you can fix errors for your users. See deminified stacktraces with support for sourcemaps. Cut through front-end noise so you can efficiently assess the impact of errors. Learn more.
Bugsnag   Sponsor

An in-progress/beta stage book that aims to teach JavaScript from a hands-on, modern 2017 standpoint, organized around building a Hacker News-style site.
Baptiste Pesquet

Learn to quickly create different kinds of charts and visualizations for Vue.js apps, using three wrappers for the Chart.js library.
Yomi Eluwande

One developer’s take on a question asked on Reddit 2 weeks ago that attracted a lot of debate over what priorities JS developers should have.
Ben McCormick