Lots of people enjoy going to fee mining sites where you can prospect inactive surface mines, mine tailings, soil, sediments or outcrops and keep any rocks, gems, minerals or fossils that you find. Examples include: Herkimer Diamond Mines where you can search for doubly-terminated quartz crystals, and Crater of Diamonds where you might be lucky enough to find a real diamond.
National Geographic has an interesting article about how many small communities on the seaward edge of the Mississippi River delta are being lost to subsidence and sea level rise.
The community of Leeville (shown in Google map below) is featured in the article. If you toggle between “Map” and “Sat” you will see how the map greatly overstates the amount of dry land – at least on the day that the satellite image was acquired.
“Last July, something unprecedented in the 34-year satellite record happened: 98 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet’s surface melted, compared to roughly 50 percent during an average summer.” Quoted from the CIRES press release.
“The first-ever estimate of how fast frogs, toads and salamanders in the United States are disappearing from their habitats reveals they are vanishing at an alarming and rapid rate.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
The Center for Disease Control has a collection of tornado resources. One is the instructions for “how to survive a tornado”. Persons who know what to do when an emergency arises have the greatest chance of survival.
Earth’s May 31 “close call” with a 1.7 mile-wide asteroid has radio astronomers excited. Fortunately it is going to miss Earth by over 3 million miles.
“Whenever an asteroid approaches this closely, it provides an important scientific opportunity to study it in detail to understand its size, shape, rotation, surface features, and what they can tell us about its origin. We will also use new radar measurements of the asteroid’s distance and velocity to improve our calculation of its orbit and compute its motion farther into the future than we could otherwise.”
When natural gas prices rise heating a home with gas becomes more expensive. Many other activities become more expensive. One concern about exporting natural gas is that lots of people (and industries) will see their expenses go up. An article on the Christian Science Monitor website explores who will see higher prices.
“Invasive “crazy ants” are displacing fire ants in areas across the southeastern United States. [...] It’s the latest in a history of ant invasions from the southern hemisphere and may prove to have dramatic effects on the ecosystem of the region.” Quoted from The University of Texas at Austin press release.
An article on NationalGeographic.com explains how the popularity of “climbing Everest” has resulted in inexperienced climbers creating traffic jams on the mountain and littering the landscape. Ways to reverse this are explored.
Five copper coins about 1000 years old found on a beach by an Australian soldier during WWII may be strong evidence that ships from distant lands reached Australia hundreds of years earlier than what is written in history books.
“For the past 8 years, NASA astronomers have been monitoring the Moon for signs of explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. [...] They’ve just seen the biggest explosion in the history of the program.”
“A new study by scientists at Duke University and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) finds no evidence of groundwater contamination from shale gas production in Arkansas.” Quoted from the Duke University press release.
“While 99 percent of Earth’s land ice is locked up in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the remaining ice in the world’s glaciers contributed just as much to sea rise as the two ice sheets combined from 2003 to 2009.” Quoted from the University of Colorado Boulder press release.
Since 1972 the “Roadside Geology” series has provided introductory information on the geology of states and small regions of the United States.
The books provide a combination of maps, travel logs, photos and commentary for the geology that can be seen along highways or visited at parks and public viewing areas. They are popular with geologists, teachers, students and others who are interested in the Earth.