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Geology News
Contamination Current Events

Green Fracking?
March 23, 2014 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article titled: “Green Fracking? 5 Technologies for Cleaner Shale Energy”. It explains five methods that are being employed to reduce the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing.

February 11, 2014 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article reporting that urine is just 1 percent of domestic waste water, but it contains 80 percent of the nitrogen and 55 percent of the phosphorus. Methods of separating it from the waste stream and utilizing as a resource rather than a waste might be possible.

Tanker Truck Spill Goes into a Cave?
February 6, 2014 | Caving News

A tanker truck accident in Kentucky spilled about 8,200 gallons of gasoline, some of which flowed over frozen ground and into a swallow hole that is thought to connect to the Sloan’s Valley Cave system.

Plastic MicroBeads in the Great Lakes?
December 19, 2013 | New York Times

Tiny plastic beads are added to facial scrubs, toothpaste and other products to improve their abrasive properties. Now those beads are being found in large numbers in the waters of the Great Lakes.

Climate Change and the Behavior of Mercury in the Environment
November 6, 2013 | USGS

“Rising global temperatures and changing human actions will significantly affect the behavior and distribution of mercury worldwide, according to a recent article by the U.S. Geological Survey and Harvard University.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Nitrate in the Illinois River
November 3, 2013 | USGS

“Nitrate levels in the Illinois River decreased by 21 percent between 2000 and 2010, marking the first time substantial, multi-year decreases in nitrate have been observed in the Mississippi River Basin since 1980.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Fukushima and the Ocean
September 16, 2013 |

The Spring 2013 issue of Oceanus Magazine, published by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is titled Fukushima and the Ocean. It looks at the triple disaster that hit Japan with an earthquake, a tsunami and a power plant failure.

Vulnerability of Public-Supply Wells to Contamination
September 4, 2013 | USGS

“Key factors have been identified that help determine the vulnerability of public-supply wells to contamination. A new USGS report describes these factors, providing insight into which contaminants in an aquifer might reach a well and when, how and at what concentration they might arrive.” Quoted from the USGS Newsroom.

Naturally Occurring Methane in Household Water Wells
August 30, 2013 | United States Geological Survey

USGS tested twenty household water wells in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania for methane. Seven of the wells contained detectable amounts of dissolved methane and two wells were considered to have an “elevated” methane content. None of the wells tested were located near currently producing natural gas wells.

Monitoring the Nitrate Pulse of the Mississippi River
August 29, 2013 | USGS

Cutting edge optical sensor technology is being used in the Mississippi River basin to more accurately track the nitrate pulse from small streams, large tributaries and ultimately to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Many Uses of Marble
August 21, 2013 |

From monuments to crushed stone to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, very few rocks have as many uses as marble.

Related: Limestone, the Marble Protolith.

USGS Water Contamination Report
August 6, 2013 | USGS

USGS has published a study on the vulnerability of public water supply wells to contamination in ten aquifers across the United States.

Old Nitrate and Stream Water Quality
June 16, 2013 | USGS

“USGS hydrologic researchers have found that the movement of nitrate through groundwater to streams can take decades to occur. This long lag time means that changes in the use of nitrogen-based fertilizer — whether the change is initiation, adjustment, or cessation — may take decades to be fully observed in streams.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Arkansas Shale Gas and Water Quality
May 19, 2013 | Duke University

“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.

Mystery Methane from Los Angeles?
May 16, 2013 | CIRES - University of Colorado at Boulder

Exactly where the extra methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is coming from in Los Angeles has finally been identified. [...] The research explains why the estimates of methane given off by various sources are 35 percent lower than the levels that have actually been measured in the atmosphere.

Testing Water Wells Near Natural Gas Wells
May 1, 2013 | National Ground Water Association

The National Ground Water Association has published an information guide for people who have private water supply wells located near oil and natural gas drilling. They explain the types of water quality concerns that might be present and explain the options of water well testing.

Arsenic in Pennsylvania Groundwater
April 25, 2013 | USGS

“Eight percent of more than 5,000 wells tested across Pennsylvania contain groundwater with levels of arsenic at or above federal standards set for public drinking water, while an additional 12 percent – though not exceeding standards – show elevated levels of arsenic.” Quoted from the USGS Newsroom.

Mercury in Groundwater
March 29, 2013 | United States Geological Survey

USGS authors have authored a book chapter titled: “Occurrence and mobility of mercury in groundwater”.

Wastewater Injection and Earthquakes
March 27, 2013 | Columbia University

“Scientists have linked a rising number of quakes in normally calm parts of Arkansas, Texas, Ohio and Colorado to below-ground injection. In the last four years, the number of quakes in the middle of the United States jumped 11-fold from the three decades prior.” Quoted from the Columbia University press release.

Arsenic in Groundwater
March 25, 2013 | USGS

USGS authors have authored a book chapter titled: “Arsenic in groundwater: a summary of sources and the biogeochemical and hydrogeologic factors affecting arsenic occurrence and mobility”.

Marcellus Shale Impact on Pennsylvania Waterways
March 17, 2013 |

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences reports that chemical spills associated with Marcellus Shale drilling have not significantly impacted Pennsylvania waterways.

Haze Over Bangladesh
January 20, 2013 | NASA's Earth Observatory

“On January 10, NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of haze hugging the Himalayas and spilling out into the Ganges delta and Bengal Sea.The haze likely resulted from a combination of urban and industrial pollution, agricultural fires, and a regional meteorological phenomenon known as a temperature inversion.” Quoted from the NASA image release.

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.

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NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.

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