Geology.com News – 11 Topics

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Geology.com News – 11 Topics

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Geology.com News – 11 Topics

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Monitoring Sacramento River Levees with Radar?

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 05:25 AM PDT

“In the Sacramento River delta north of San Francisco Bay, islands, agricultural lands and communities below sea level are protected from surrounding water channels by more than 1,100 miles of dirt levees, many of which date back to the California Gold Rush.” NASA now has a method to monitor them using radar. Quote from the NASA press release.

Rare Earths in Seafloor Nodules Off Bermuda?

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 05:17 AM PDT

Some mineral experts say that Bermuda’s Exclusive Economic Zone has a rich resource of polymetallic nodules that are rich in rare earth elements.

Related: What are Rare Earth Elements?

Military Armor Inspired by Twinning in Mollusk Shells?

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 05:17 AM PDT

“The shells of a sea creature, the mollusk Placuna placenta, are not only exceptionally tough, but also clear enough to read through. Now, researchers at MIT have analyzed these shells to determine exactly why they are so resistant to penetration and damage — even though they are 99 percent calcite, a weak, brittle mineral.”

Burning Marcellus Gas in Ontario

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 05:17 AM PDT

About 30 percent of the natural gas used in the Province of Ontario, Canada is produced from the Marcellus Shale.

New USGS Topo Maps of Utah

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 05:13 AM PDT

USGS announced that they have published new topographic maps and orthophoto images for the state of Utah in pdf format. A small sample of the Moab quad is shown below. If you want to see it full size in a pdf document click here (28 megabytes).

The Contraction of Mercury

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 05:03 AM PDT

“Unlike Earth, with its numerous tectonic plates, Mercury has a single rigid, top rocky layer. […] New global imaging and topographic data from MESSENGER show that the innermost planet has contracted far more than previous estimates.” Quoted from the Carnegie Institution for Science press release.

Will Yellowstone Erupt in Our Lifetime?

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 04:59 AM PDT

“Yellowstone is like a conveyer belt of caldera clusters,” he says. “By investigating the patterns of behavior in two previously completed caldera cycles, we can suggest that the current activity of Yellowstone is on the dying cycle.”

Related: The Volcano Beneath Yellowstone

What is Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 04:54 AM PDT

During 2013 the state of Oklahoma experienced 109 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3 or higher. Already this year the state has equaled that number. Some people blame wastewater injection.

The Wichita Eagle reports that Kansas is also experiencing a number of earthquakes.

South Dakota Sand and Fracking Specs

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 04:52 AM PDT

The South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources conducted a study on 256 sand samples collected from the western part of the state to determine if they could be developed as frac sand sources for use in wells that use hydraulic fracturing in North Dakota’s Bakken formation.

Related: What is Frac Sand?

Satellite Data and Corn Belt Productivity

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 04:35 AM PDT

“Data from satellite sensors show that during the Northern Hemisphere’s growing season, the Midwest region of the United States boasts more photosynthetic activity than any other spot on Earth, according to NASA and university scientists.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Mineral Hardness Picks

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 04:25 AM PDT

Mineral hardness picks are pencil-like tools that have points made from materials that match the hardness of minerals in the Mohs Hardness Scale. With them you can easily test the hardness of mineral grains in a rock and test the hardness of small-size specimens. In our opinion they are easier to use than pieces of minerals and allow you to obtain more accurate results. They also do not contaminate your specimen with particles of the hardness mineral.

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