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Bottled Water: A Geological Product?
April 13, 2014 | Geology.com

Although much of the bottled water sold in stores is nothing more than expensive tap water, some of it is actually a geological product such as: mineral water, ground water, artesian water, spring water, sparkling water…

California Snow Pack is Low and Why That’s a Problem
April 13, 2014 | Slate.com

California already has drought problems, but mountain snowpacks in the state are really low this spring and that will prevent reservoirs from filling. Since melting snowpack is a major contributor to California’s water there will likely be more water shortages this summer unless more rail falls.

Large Dams Cost Too Much!
April 8, 2014 | International Rivers

An Oxford University study reports that large dams typically require about 8 years for construction and have average cost overruns of nearly 100%. By the time they are finished the needs of their region have often changed and the unanticipated expenses might make the total cost too high.

Photo Gallery: Ruby Falls Cave
April 6, 2014 | Weather Channel

The Weather Channel has a photo gallery that offers 21 views of Ruby Falls Cave in Tennessee. Several of the photos feature Ruby Falls, the largest and deepest waterfall open to the public in the United States.

Harvesting Water from Fog
March 25, 2014 | MIT News

“Fog harvesting, as the technique is known, is not a new idea: Systems to make use of this airborne potable water already exist in at least 17 nations. But the new research shows that their efficiency in a mild fog condition can be improved by at least five-fold, making them far more feasible and practical than existing versions.” Quoted from the MIT press release.

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.

Making Drinking Water From a Billboard?
March 18, 2014 | YouTube.com

This video features a demonstration project that produces drinking water from an outdoor advertising sign. Although the volume produced is not impressive, the production occurs in a desert that receives under one inch of rain per year.

Pennsylvania Water Well Handbook
March 16, 2014 | Shale Alliance for Energy Research

Over one million households in Pennsylvania rely on a water well for their household water supply. The Shale Alliance for Energy Research has published the Pennsylvania Water Well Handbook. Much of the information in the book can be applied to household water supply wells in other areas.

Monitoring Basin Water Storage by Satellite
March 13, 2014 | University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling

In response to drought conditions in California the University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling has published: Water Storage Changes in California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins From GRACE. It provides a summary of water conditions based upon data acquired from NASA’s GRACE satellite.

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.

Flows of Water on Mars?
March 6, 2014 | NASA

“NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars have returned clues for understanding seasonal features that are the strongest indication of possible liquid water that may exist today on the Red Planet.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Related: Rocks on Mars

NASA Responds to California Drought
March 4, 2014 | NASA

“The severity of California’s current drought is illustrated in these images of Folsom Lake, a reservoir in Northern California located 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Sacramento.” Quoted from the NASA image release.


Image Credit: California Department of Water Resources

NASA Image
Data for the California Drought from the Grace Satellite
February 11, 2014 | National Geographic

A national geographic article explains how data from NASA’s Grace satellite has been useful for understanding the California drought.

Peecycling??
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.

California Communities Cut off from their Primary Water Source?
February 4, 2014 | San Jose Mercury News

An article on the San Jose Mercury News website explains how the California State Water Project does not expect to deliver any water this year because of the severe drought. This leaves numerous communities and agricultural areas, some of which normally receive most of their water from the project, left only with local supplies.

Volume of Wastewater Per MCF
February 2, 2014 | Platts.com

Wells producing natural gas from the Marcellus Shale are producing only about 1/3 the amount of wastewater per unit of natural gas produced as conventional natural gas wells.

Popular for January 2013
February 2, 2014 | Geology.com

The Polar Vortex

Hot Rock Under the Atlas Mountains

Big Rare Earth Find in North Korea?

Horizontal Well Density in the Utica Shale of Ohio

Big Blue Diamond Found in South Africa

Ice Quake in Wisconsin?

Wow! The Best Snowflake Photos

Why Was It So Cold Last Week?

Estimating Stream Discharge in Winter
January 30, 2014 | USA.gov

“USGS hydrologic technician Bob Reaves collects streamflow measurements from the cableway at the USGS streamgage on the Snake River near Moran, WY.” Quoted from the USA.gov blog.

Evapotranspiration Measured from Space
January 28, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has an interesting image that demonstrates how they are able to measure geographic variations in evapotranspiration using satellite data. (Image of irrigated land from Idaho’s Snake River floodplain.

Drought in California
January 21, 2014 | San Jose Mercury News

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a drought emergency for his state. Reservoir levels are at extremely low levels and mountain snowpack is only 17% of normal.

Wow! The Best Snowflake Photos
January 19, 2014 | Today.com

Today.com has a gallery of photographs of individual snowflakes. The are great photographs of a variety of excellent and interesting flakes. Check them out.

Related: How Do Snowflakes Form?

The Greenland Ice Sheet Holds an Unusual Aquifer
January 1, 2014 | The University of Utah

“Researchers have discovered a new aquifer in the Greenland Ice Sheet that holds liquid water all year long in the otherwise perpetually frozen winter landscape. [...] The reservoir is known as a “perennial firn aquifer” because water persists within the firn – layers of snow and ice that don’t melt for at least one season.” Quoted from The University of Utah press release.

Watershed Decisions Activity Board and Components
Penn State Image
Watershed Decisions
December 30, 2013 | Penn State

Watershed Decisions” is a hands-on, inquiry based activity from Penn State that helps older youth and adults learn about water quality issues surrounding small watersheds. Designed for use in classrooms, educational programs, youth groups, municipalities, watershed associations and other groups.

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.

Snow Mapping for Water Managers
December 10, 2013 | NASA

“Unprecedented snowpack maps from NASA’s prototype Airborne Snow Observatory mission helped water managers for 2.6 million residents of the San Francisco Bay Area achieve near-perfect water operations this summer, despite the driest year in California’s recorded history.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Ancient Lake in the Gale Crater on Mars?
December 10, 2013 | NASA

“This illustration depicts a concept for the possible extent of an ancient lake inside Gale Crater. The existence of a lake there billions of years ago was confirmed from examination of mudstone in the crater’s Yellowknife Bay area.”

Water Resources of Lafourche Parish Louisiana
December 8, 2013 | United States Geological Survey

“This fact sheet presents a brief overview of groundwater and surface-water resources in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. Information on the availability, past and current use trends, and water quality from groundwater and surface-water sources in the parish is discussed.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

The Importance of Streams to Drinking Water
December 5, 2013 | EPA

Did you know that approximately 117 million people – over one-third of the total U.S. population – get some or all of their drinking water from public systems that rely in part on headwater, seasonal or rain-dependent streams?

Courthouse to Stream in an Open Loop Geothermal System
November 21, 2013 | The Martinsburg Journal News

The court house at Berkeley Springs, Morgan County, West Virginia has an unusual geothermal system. It removes water from a local stream, pumps that water through a heat-exchange system and returns the water to the stream. Open-loop systems connected to a stream are rare.

Ancient Seawater Under Chesapeake Bay?
November 14, 2013 | USGS

“USGS scientists have determined that high-salinity groundwater found more than 1,000 meters (0.6 mi.) deep under the Chesapeake Bay is actually remnant water from the Early Cretaceous North Atlantic Sea and is probably 100-145 million years old. This is the oldest sizeable body of seawater to be identified worldwide.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Recycling Hydraulic Fracturing Water
November 13, 2013 | FuelFix.com

The Texas drought caused many drillers to reevaluate their sources of water. Many of them are now processing their water to remove dissolved and suspended materials and reusing it to fracture their next well.

Slow Moving Groundwater Delays Water Quality Actions
November 13, 2013 | USGS

New research by the USGS indicates it may take several decades for many water-quality management practices aimed at reducing nitrogen input to Chesapeake Bay to achieve their full benefit due to the influence of groundwater.

How Trees Defy Gravity
November 12, 2013 | Veritasium on YouTube

How can water be transported from the ground to the leaves at the top of a 100-meter-tall-tree?

Glen Canyon Dam High Flow Next Week
November 6, 2013 | Arizona Daily Sun

On Monday, the Glen Canyon Dam is scheduled to start releasing up to 37,200 cubic feet of water per second – that is an Olympic-sized swimming pool worth of water into the Colorado River every two minutes. The goal is to imitate a natural flood that will deliver sand to beaches and refresh river habitats.

Pennsylvania Groundwater
November 5, 2013 | iConservePA

A quick video review of ground water in Pennsylvania.

Most Viewed News in October
November 1, 2013 | Geology.com

Egypt Fears a Dam on the Nile in Ethiopia

235 Carat Diamond Found in Siberia

Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates

Nice Yellow Diamond Found in Arkansas

What Caused the Sudden Explosion of Animal Life 520MYA?

Walking Away from One of the World’s Largest Gold Discoveries?

Shell Walks Away from Oil Shale

Granitizers vs Magmatists

When the Ground Splits Open
October 28, 2013 | Arizona Geology

Scientists from the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Arizona Geological Survey explain some of the land subsidence and earth fissure problems associated with ground water production in Arizona. The video, When the Ground Splits Open, is by Arizona Public Media.

When Lava and Water Meet Without an Explosion
October 22, 2013 | University at Buffalo

When hot lava contacts cold water an explosion is often produced. This article explores some lava pillars in Iceland that appear to have formed when lava met water without an explosion.

Cave Biology Webinar
October 3, 2013 | Caving News

The National Speleological Society has announced a webinar on the biology of submerged caves. It will be held on Thursday, October 17th at 7:00 to 8:00 PM eastern time.

Related: Troglobites: Animals that Live in a Cave

Egypt Fears a Dam on the Nile in Ethiopia
October 1, 2013 | National Geographic

Ethiopia is building a hydroelectric dam on the Nile River. Downstream Egypt is concerned about a loss of water through evaporation, infiltration, irrigation and other diversions that could damage their economy and cause a loss of generating capacity at their Aswan hydroelectric project.

NASA image.
Mars Soil Analysis Reports Several Percent Water
September 29, 2013 | NASA

“The first scoop of soil analyzed by the analytical suite in the belly of NASA’s Curiosity rover reveals that fine materials on the surface of the planet contain several percent water by weight.”

Quoted from the NASA press release.

Drought in the United States
September 26, 2013 | USGS

Drought is one of the most costly natural disasters. USGS has a two part article that considers the current drought problems in the United States.

Take a Look at Groundwater
September 17, 2013 | Pennsylvania Bureau of Topographic & Geologic Survey

Take a look at groundwater with DCNR’s Bureau of Topographic & Geologic Survey’s Stuart Reese as he looks at how much groundwater Pennsylvania has, where it comes from, and why it’s so important to the water cycle.” Quoted from the iConservePA press release.

Aquifers in Northern Kenya
September 11, 2013 | UNESCO

“Two aquifers – the Lotikipi Basin Aquifer and the Lodwar Basin Aquifer – were identified using advanced satellite exploration technology. Their existence was then confirmed by drilling conducted recently by UNESCO, but there is need for further studies to adequately quantify the reserves and to assess the quality of the water.” Quoted from the UNESCO press release.

Niagara Falls Without Water
September 5, 2013 | NBC News

NBC News has a collection of photo of Niagara Falls from 1969 when the flow of water to the American Falls was diverted over the Horseshoe Falls or to the Robert Moses power plant.

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.

Plumbing Under the Greenland Ice Sheet
August 27, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“Scientists’ understanding of how Greenland Ice Sheet melt water travels in passages along the bedrock below fails to account for some key processes. This, in turn may be affecting their assessment of how ice sheets respond to climate change.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.

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.

Rare Eruption of Steamboat Geyser
August 4, 2013 | NBC News

Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park rarely erupts. On Wednesday it erupted for the first time in eight years.

It can produce eruptions that reach heights of 400 feet and is known as the “World’s Tallest Geyser”.

Related: What is a Geyser?

Flash Flooding Near Page, Arizona
August 3, 2013 | RankinStudio

David Rankin has another flash flood video. This one showing flooding that exceeds local drainage capacity and swamps Highway 89 with mud near Page, Arizona.

Video by Rankinstudio.com

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.





Homeowners InsuranceHomeowners Insurance usually does not cover damage caused by floods, landslides, earthquakes and other geohazards.
frac sandFrac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamond formationDiamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
fluorescent mineralsFluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Uses of heliumHelium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Canada diamond minesCanada Diamond Mines: Canada is the third largest producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world.
Utica shaleUtica Shale: New wells in eastern Ohio prove that the Utica Shale will be a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
OpalOpals: Gem quality opal is one of the most spectacular gemstones. A single stone can flash with every color of the spectrum.
NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.


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