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Geophysics Current Events

Using Unmanned Aircraft to Survey Polar Ice
April 8, 2014 | National Science Foundation

“Scientists studying the behavior of the world’s ice sheets–and the future implications of ice sheet behavior for global sea-level rise–may soon have a new airborne tool that will allow radar measurements that previously would have been prohibitively expensive or difficult to carry out with manned aircraft.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.

Marcellus Shale in Wireline Logs
April 7, 2014 | USGS

USGS has published: “Characterization of the Marcellus Shale Based on Computer-Assisted Correlation of Wireline Logs in Virginia and West Virginia“.

Eruption At Hekla?
March 23, 2014 | Eruptions Blog

Hekla is a volcano in southern Iceland that has erupted many times, most recently in 2000, 1991, 1981, 1980 and 1970. GPS and strain measurements there have gotten the attention of volcano watchers.

Grave Hunting for Wild Bill?
March 18, 2014 | Earth Magazine

An article on the Earth Magazine website tells a few stories about how magnetism can be used to find things and answer a number of questions.

Galileo at 450 Years Old
February 23, 2014 | National Geographic

Galileo turned 450 years old last week. An article on explores some of his discoveries and accomplishments.

Salmon Sense Magnetic Field When Migrating?
February 18, 2014 | Oregon State University

“A team of scientists last year presented evidence of a correlation between the migration patterns of ocean salmon and the Earth’s magnetic field, suggesting it may help explain how the fish can navigate across thousands of miles of water to find their river of origin.” Quoted from the Oregon State University press release.

Arizona Gravity and Aeromag Maps
January 21, 2014 | Arizona Geology

The Arizona Geological Survey document repository now has gravity and aeromagnetic maps available for free viewing.

Successfully Forecasting the Size and Location of an Earthquake?
January 1, 2014 | Georgia Tech

“Scientists using GPS to study changes in the Earth’s shape accurately forecasted the size and location of the magnitude 7.6 Nicoya earthquake that occurred in 2012 in Costa Rica.” Quoted from the Georgia Tech press release.

Dissipation of Energy by Deep Earthquakes
December 29, 2013 | NBC News

“An investigation of the most powerful earthquake ever recorded deep within the Earth suggests deep quakes may be better at dissipating pent-up energy than similar quakes near the surface.” Quoted from the NBC News story.

NASA Hazard Warning Systems
December 12, 2013 | NASA

“Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have enhanced existing GPS technologies to develop new systems for California and elsewhere to warn of hazards from earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Crustal Thickness Map of the Moon
November 12, 2013 | NASA

“Global map of crustal thickness of the moon derived from gravity data obtained by NASA’s GRAIL spacecraft. The lunar near side is represented on the left hemisphere. The far side is represented in the right hemisphere.”

Provenance of Obsidian Artifacts
November 12, 2013 | Columbus Dispatch

Ancient people carried and traded obsidian objects over wide geographic areas. Researchers have found success at attributing these artifacts with the geographic locality of an eruption by measuring their magnetic characteristics.

Related: What is Obsidian?

Inexpensive Landslide Sensors
October 29, 2013 | University of Alabama in Huntsville

“Using technology found in cell phones, inexpensive sensors being tested at Monte Sano State Park might one day soon save lives by giving advance warning of deadly landslides in at-risk areas around the world.” Quoted from the University of Alabama in Huntsville press release.

The Largest Deep Earthquake Ever Recorded
September 22, 2013 | University of California Santa Cruz

“A magnitude 8.3 earthquake that struck deep beneath the Sea of Okhotsk on May 24, 2013, has left seismologists struggling to explain how it happened. At a depth of about 609 kilometers (378 miles), the intense pressure on the fault should inhibit the kind of rupture that took place.” Quoted from the University of California Santa Cruz press release.

Monitoring Slow Earthquakes to Predict Large Earthquakes?
September 16, 2013 | Penn State University

“We currently don’t have any way to remotely monitor when land faults are about to move” [...] “This has the potential to change the game for earthquake monitoring and prediction, because if it is right and you can make the right predictions, it could be big.”

Exploring for Geothermal with Self-Flying Planes
September 9, 2013 | USGS

USGS has an article that explains how they have been using self-flying planes to evaluate the geothermal potential of the Basin and Range area.

First Earthquake Early Warning Method in 1909 Iran
September 5, 2013 | Seismological Society of America

The Seismological Society of America has published: Early Earthquake Detection and Warning Alarm System in Iran by a Telegraph Operator: A 116-Year-Old Disaster Prevention Attempt.

Popular for August 2013
September 3, 2013 |

40 Maps that Explain the World

A Spanish Fort in the Appalachians in 1567?

12-Year-Old Finds a 5-Carat Diamond in Arkansas

Sinkhole in Western Kansas

Rare Eruption of Steamboat Geyser

Origin of the Antarctica Ice Sheet?

Frozen Landslides in Alaska

Solar Magnetic Field is about to Flip?

Flash Flooding Near Page, Arizona


Prospecting for Graves with Geophysical Tools
August 22, 2013 | EarthMagazine

An article on the website reports on the use of geophysical tools (ground penetrating radar, electrical resistivity, bulk ground conductivity, gradient magnetometry) for finding graves in Colombia.

Most Popular June 1 to June 30
July 2, 2013 |

An Asteroid With a Moon?

Lunar Gravity Mystery Solved?

5000 Cave Paintings Discovered in Mexico

Geology and the Civil War

World’s Largest Landslides

The Most Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century

The Shale Gas Cycle

Topography Below Antarctic Ice

Earthquake Acoustics and Tsunami Warnings
June 11, 2013 | Stanford University

“Stanford scientists have identified key acoustic characteristics of the 2011 Japan earthquake that indicated it would cause a large tsunami. The technique could be applied worldwide to create an early warning system for massive tsunamis.” Quoted from the Stanford University press release.

Lunar Gravity Mystery Solved?
June 2, 2013 | NASA

NASA’s GRAIL mission has solved one of the mysteries of the Moon. “Why is the Moon’s gravity is uneven?… It appears that asteroid impacts have created patches of very high density rock in the subsurface.

Finding Clandestine Graves with Geophysics
May 14, 2013 | Keele University

Researchers at Keele University are developing new methods of finding clandestine graves using geophysical methods. Some of their methods are being adopted for use in forensic cases.

Superstorm Sandy Detected by Seismometers
April 19, 2013 | The University of Utah

“We detected seismic waves created by the oceans waves both hitting the East Coast and smashing into each other,” with the most intense seismic activity recorded when Sandy turned toward Long Island, New York and New Jersey.

Monitoring the Fire Below Yellowstone
April 15, 2013 | American Museum of Natural History

Three of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in geologic history occurred at a place now visited by nearly four million people a year: Yellowstone National Park.

The Lubricant for Tectonic Plates?
March 20, 2013 | Scripps News

“Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have found a layer of liquefied molten rock in Earth’s mantle that may be acting as a lubricant for the sliding motions of the planet’s massive tectonic plates.” Quoted from the Scripps press release.

Decorah Impact Structure
March 18, 2013 | University of Iowa

“Recent airborne geophysical surveys near Decorah, Iowa are providing an unprecedented look at a 470- million-year-old meteorite crater concealed beneath bedrock and sediments. [...] The extent of the shale, which was deposited after the impact by an ancient seaway, defines a “nice circular basin” of 5.5 km width.” Quoted from the University of Iowa press release.

Hot Rocks on Tolbachik Volcano
February 21, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

“Nearly three months after Tolbachik began erupting, lava continues to flow from the Kamchatkan volcano. Over time, the lava flows change location and shift across the landscape. In this image, infrared data is superimposed on a natural-color image to highlight active flows.” Quoted from the Earth Observatory image release.

NASA’s Ocean Wind Monitor
February 7, 2013 | NASA

“In a clever reuse of hardware originally built to test parts of NASA’s QuikScat satellite, the agency will launch the ISS-RapidScat instrument to the International Space Station in 2014 to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

January 2013: Most Popular
February 3, 2013 | News

Giant Squid in the North Pacific

Every Field Geologist Should Know This…

Why Lava Has a Red Glow

Falling Water Levels in the Great Lakes

Eruption at Copahue

How Deep Does Magma Form?

M6.1 Earthquake on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

2012: Hottest and Second Most Extreme

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