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Using US Energy as a Political Lever?
April 6, 2014 | Houston Chronicle

“The Ukraine-Russia crisis has Congress and the Obama administration rushing to consider monumental changes to accelerate exports of natural gas that will permanently and negatively affect the energy landscape for natural gas domestically.” Quoted from the Houston Chronicle. (Many people will disagree with this article both from a political and economic perspective. An different view can be found here and a dual perspective here.)

Related: What is LNG?

Weaning Europe from Russian Gas
April 3, 2014 | The Hill

The Hill has a short video that explains the changing natural gas situation between Russia and Europe.

Randa Rockslide Video
March 24, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

“The 1991 rockslides at Randa consisted of two separate collapse events on April 18 and May 9, which released in total a cumulative volume of approximately 30 million cubic meters of rock.” Quote from Wikipedia.

The Fight Over LNG Exports?
March 23, 2014 | Bloomberg

Some environmentalists and some politicians do not favor quick approvals of export terminals on the U.S. eastern coast with the intent of supplying natural gas to Russia’s current customers.

16% of European Gas Consumption Flows Through Ukraine
March 16, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

According to the Energy Information Administration, about 16% of the natural gas consumed in Europe flows through Ukraine.

Preposterous Flood Clauses?
March 13, 2014 | The Telegraph

Property owners in the UK are displeased because they are not paid by their insurance company if their property suffers damage from a rising water table.

Related: What your homeowners insurance does not cover in the United States.

Exxon Withdraws from Black Sea Drilling
March 13, 2014 | Dallas News

Exxon Mobil has withdrawn from its efforts to conduct exploratory drilling in the Ukranian portion of the Black Sea.

Ice-Free Shipping Through the Arctic
March 6, 2014 |

A post on the Nature News Blog reports that by 2030 the Norther Sea Route through the Arctic Ocean above Eurasia is expected to be navigable for nine weeks per year. The Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is expected to be navigable for five weeks per year.

Oldest Human Footprints Outside of Africa
February 20, 2014 | BBC

Footprints more than 800,000 years old have been found along the coast of England. They are evidence of the earliest humans in Europe.

Big Oil and Polish Shale Gas
February 6, 2014 | Bloomberg

Poland could have some of the best shale gas resources in Europe but major energy companies lost interest in the country for regulatory, tax and political reasons. Now new leadership in Poland is trying to entice them to return.

Bat Recovery in Europe?
February 6, 2014 | National Geographic

Over the past several years, white-nose syndrome has been killing tremendous numbers of bats in the United States. However, a new study in Europe shows several species experiencing a rise in population.

4000 Cubic Meter Rockfall Video
January 30, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

The Landslide Blog has photos and a video of a spectacular rockfall that occurred last week in Italy. Fortunately, miraculously, no one was killed.

Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of the page.

Another article with higher resolution images can be found here.

Eyjafjallajokull Contingency Plan for the UK
January 5, 2014 |

Scientists in the UK are working on a contingency plan that they hope will be useful when an Icelandic volcano such as Laki or Eyjafjallajökull erupts. The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull caused flight cancellations and volcanic air pollution across Europe.

Reading the Scrolls of Herculaneum
December 29, 2013 | BBC

A small library of scrolls scorched by the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius, could be the greatest treasure unearthed at Herculaneum – but “reading” them is incredibly difficult.

Related: Vesuvius: Eruptions and Plate Tectonics

Exploring Pwll Y Gwynt
December 15, 2013 | Caving News

Caving News has an interesting video that shows some recent explorations at Pwll Y Gwynt cave in South Wales.

Shell Backs Out of Gas to Liquids Plant
December 15, 2013 | Bloomberg

Royal Dutch Shell was planning to spend $20 billion on a natural gas-to-liquids plant on the Gulf coast but cancelled the project. They are not new to this business as they own the largest gas-to-liquids plant in the world in Qatar and another one of the largest in Malaysia. They are also building the world’s largest floating LNG plant for a field off the coast of Australia.

If you watch the news about natural gas you have seen a huge rush to permit LNG plants that will export natural gas out of the United States, other companies getting into the LNG and gas-to-liquids businesses, multiple natural gas developments off the coastlines of every continent but Antarctica, countries all over the world realizing that they have a huge amount of natural gas in shale, enormous amounts of gas being flared instead of captured and all of that is before we count gas in the polar regions and methane hydrates.

European Cave Expedition Videos
December 12, 2013 | Caving News

“Two new potential cave systems were found and partially explored during a joint Georgian-Lithuanian reconnaissance expedition to central Georgia in September 2013.” Quoted from the announcement.

Landslides in Italy
December 8, 2013 | The Telegraph

The Telegraph has a video that shows some of the damage caused by a massive landslide in Italy that occurred during heavy rains and flooding.

The Alum Shale of Denmark
December 4, 2013 | USGS

“The Alum Shale in Denmark contains an estimated mean of 6.9 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate comes from the first-ever USGS assessment of shale gas resources in Denmark.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Shale Production Outside of the USA
November 21, 2013 | Bloomberg

Bloomberg has an article that summarizes some of the efforts to produce oil and natural gas from shale outside of the United States. Some of these countries lack the equipment and expertise to develop the wells and are forming agreements with experienced companies.

Cave Exploration in Montenegro
November 10, 2013 | Caving News

Students and graduates from York University have been exploring caves the mountains of Durmitor, Montenegro.

Poland is Building an LNG Import Terminal?
November 5, 2013 |

Poland is making what some might consider the “risky” move of building an LNG import facility in anticipation of receiving low priced gas from other countries.

Natural Gas Flaring from Space
October 30, 2013 |

We have posted views of Earth from NASA’s Suomi satellite that show night illumination and natural gas flaring for oil industry sites in the Bakken Formation, Eagle Ford Shale, Alaska North Slope, United States Gulf, Mexican Gulf, Venezuela Orinoco Field, Brazil offshore basins, North Sea, North Africa onshore, west Africa offshore, and Persian Gulf.

Vajont Dam Disaster 50th Anniversary
October 1, 2013 | The Landslide Blog

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the Vajont Dam disaster. The Landslide Blog links to web resources about the event.

Costa Concordia Free from Rocks
September 17, 2013 | BBC

Engineers have rotated the Costa Concordia about 20 degrees, freeing it from the rocks. A few more degrees and it will begin to right itself in response to gravity.

Raising the Costa Concordia
September 16, 2013 | CNN

Salvage engineers plan to move the Costa Concordia to an upright position today. CNN has several interesting pages for this project.

This video summarizes what is said to be the largest salvage operation in history.

This interactive shows the steps that will be taken to move the ship.

This photo gallery documents some of the work done so far.

Reflected Light from a Building Melts a Jaguar XJ
September 5, 2013 | National Geographic

A new building in London is covered with mirrors and the south-facing side has a slightly curved shape. That, combine with intense autumn sun, has caused it to melt plastic parts on a Jaguar XJ parked nearby and cause other damage to unfortunate objects in its “hot spot”.

Brickworks Dig: South Wales
September 4, 2013 | CavingNews

CavingNews has a video of the work being done to manually dig-out a sediment-filled cave at Penwyllt, South Wales. They have removed thousands of tons of sediment to clear 160 feet of passages to a depth of about 50 feet.

Flash Flood Traps 26 Cavers
September 3, 2013 | Caving News

A group of people on a cave tour in Austria were trapped for a few hours when flood waters blocked their exit route.

2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Seiches in Norwegian Fjords
August 26, 2013 | LiveScience

The March 11, 2011 Magnitude 9.0 earthquake that shook northeastern Japan also produced seiches in Norweigian fjords.

Lost in a Cave for Four Days
August 25, 2013 | Caving News

Four cavers made some wrong turns while exploring a large cave system in Spain. They were rescued by searchers four days after entering the cave.

The Influence of Neandertals on Early European Manufacturing
August 23, 2013 | Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

“Modern humans replaced Neandertals in Europe about 40 thousand years ago, but the Neandertals’ capabilities are still greatly debated. Some argue that before they were replaced, Neandertals had cultural capabilities similar to modern humans, while others argue that these similarities only appear once modern humans came into contact with Neandertals.” Quoted from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

White-Nose in the UK
August 18, 2013 |

The fungus responsible for the white-nose syndrome has been discovered on live bats at five sites in the UK.

New Portuguese Troglobite
August 15, 2013 | Caving News

A new cave-dwelling millipede has been discovered in a cave in southern Portugal.

Related: What is a Troglobite?

Sinkhole Photos – Wow!
July 30, 2013 | The Atlantic

This has to be the most impressive collection of sinkhole photos ever assembled.

$735M on Black Sea Exploration?
July 16, 2013 | Bloomberg

Exxon Mobil plans to spend $735 million on exploration and test wells in the Black Sea. This will be some of the first exploration in the Black Sea.

Photos of Flooding and Erosion in Southern France
June 25, 2013 | Le Nouvel Observateur

A photo gallery on the French website Le Nouvel Observateur show flooding and erosion in southern France. You don’t need to know how to read French to understand these photos.

Lourdes Flooding
June 20, 2013 | New York Times

Spring snow melt in the Pyrenees and heavy rain have caused flooding in southwestern France, damaging famous religious sites in the town of Lourdes.

The Laki Eruptions of 1783
June 12, 2013 | Scientific American

Scientific American has a new article titled “June 8, 1783: How the “Laki-eruptions” changed History”. The volcano may have been responsible for short term climate variations that caused years of crop failure in Europe.

Shale Oil and Shale Gas in 41 Countries
June 12, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration has published: “Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States“.

The Deepest Cave in the UK
June 11, 2013 | has a video about Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, the deepest cave in the UK. The video takes you through some interesting stream and through some high gymnastic passages. Includes a few unique speleothems.

Stay Away from Unstable Slopes
May 30, 2013 |

The DorsetECHO has a photo and story about people scrambling on a recent landslide on the Dorset Coast. (Video about the recent slide.)

UK Oil and Natural Gas Report
May 17, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

The UK is the largest producer of oil and the second largest producer of natural gas in the European Union; however, they still are a net importer of both of these fuels.

Visit to a Dorset Coast Landslide
May 7, 2013 | BBC

Heavy rains are blamed for triggering many landslides in the southern part of the UK this spring. This BBC video visits a landslide on the Dorset Coast where tons of chalk have fallen to the beach.

Video of an Enormous Avalanche in France
April 30, 2013 |

This video clearly shows the speed and power of an avalanche. It appears to have been filmed by a climber who calmly filmed the event and panned up and down the chute to show final streams of snow and water. An instant rainbow formed when the snow hit the river.

Who Can Frack in France?
April 9, 2013 | Bloomberg Business News

The oil and gas industry in France is disappointed that the government banned hydraulic fracturing while the geothermal industry is allowed to use acid fracking to develop their wells.

Spectacular Eruption Photos
March 20, 2013 |

A collection of some of the most interesting photos of volcanic eruptions that we have seen from USGS, NASA and NOAA.

Eruption at Etna
February 24, 2013 | Earth Observatory

After maintaining a low simmer for ten months, Italy’s Etna volcano boiled over on February 19–20, 2013, with three outbursts in 36 hours. According to the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, each outburst (paroxysm) featured “emission of lava flows, pyroclastic flows, lahars, and an ash cloud.” Quoted from NASA Earth Observatory.

Converting Geothermal CO2 into Methanol??
February 20, 2013 | SmartPlanet

They call it “renewable methanol”. As carbon dioxide is emitted at a geothermal plant in Iceland it is being converted into methanol that will be blended with gasoline by a Dutch oil company.

Turkey: Oil and Natural Gas Report
February 3, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

Turkey consumes much more oil and natural gas than it produces – and consumption rates are growing rapidly.

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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