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GeologyLink
Earth Happenings Archive
October,1998
New Study Shakes Up Interest In Earthquakes (Science Daily 10/31)
"A new look at the information on a 1971 California earthquake shows that several nearby faults were activated during the temblor, supporting evidence from more recent earthquakes that nearby faults may contribute to earthquake damage."
Triggering Of Volcanic Eruptions (Science Daily 10/31)
"Could tiny deformations deep within the interiors of volcanoes hold clues to volcanic eruption prediction? What role do earthquakes, with epicenters far away from these volcanoes, play in disturbing the volcanoes?"
A Key To Investigating Ancient Climate On Land (Science Daily 10/31)
"By combining aspects of geology, biology, and chemistry, scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory are developing new ways of analyzing dinosaur tooth enamel in order to infer temperature and reconstruct equator-to-pole temperature gradients on land during the Mesozoic era, over 65 million years ago."
Earth's Inner Core Has Distinct Layers (Science Daily 10/30)
"The Earth's inner core consists of upper and lower regions with different material properties, and isnot a uniform crystal of iron, as scientists had thought, according to seismologists at ColumbiaUniversity's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the California Institute of Technology."
Tenfold Increase In Non-Fossil Energy Needed By 2050 To Limit Earth's CO2 (Science Daily 10/30)
"NYU physicist Matin I. Hoffert and a team of researchers have concluded that Earthıs atmospheric CO2 content cannot be stabilized without a tenfold increase in carbon-emission-free power generation over the next 50 years."
Geologic X-Rays Pinpoint Weak Spots On Volcano Surface (Science Daily 10/30)
"By analyzing data collected by satellites circling the globe, volcanologists at the University at Buffalo have produced geologic "X-rays" that can pinpoint potentially dangerous weak spots on the surface of a volcano."
More Evidence About Dinosaurs' End (Washngton Post/AP 10/29)
"Scientists have uncovered more evidence that death from the sky ended the reign of the dinosaurs on earth. According to a report in Friday's edition of the journal Science, a meteorite or comet producedan element, chromium, found in the layer of the Earth's crust that dates to the dinosaurs' end."
Study Links Earthquakes, Volcanoes (Washington Post/AP 10/29)
"Historical records appear to confirm that large earthquakes can trigger volcanic eruptions, according to research published today in the journal Nature."
Oldest reptile nests discovered in Arizona (CNN 10/29)
"The world's oldest known reptile nests have been identified in Arizona, establishing that protective parenting habits developed much earlier in the history of life than previously believed. The 62 bowl-like depressions in a sandstone layer in Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park were dated at 220 million years old, twice as old as any previously known reptile nests."
A young solar system (Nature Science Updates 10/29)
"At just over 10 light years away, e (epsilon) Eridani is one of the closest stars to the Sun. As such, it has long been seen as a tempting target for extrasolar-planet spotters. Such searches have so far proved fruitless, but a report in Astrophysical Journal Letters provides suggestive evidence that this star just might have a family of planets."
Nitrates from bedrock (Nature Science Updates 10/29)
"A mystery source of nitrate that was causing water enrichment and killing fish in Californian reservoirs has been traced to a quite unsuspected source­the bedrock underlying the streams that feed the reservoirs."
New Mars Images Show Lava Flow Plates And Active Dunes (Science Daily 10/29)
"The latest images from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft show giant plates of solidified volcanic lava, and evidence for active dunes near the planet's north pole with sands that have hopped or rolled across the surface in recent months." (NASA Press Release)
Satellites Show L.A. Moving (Washington Post/AP 10/29)
Metropolitan Los Angeles Under A Slow Squeeze (Science Daily 10/29)
"New satellite surveys of the Los Angeles Basin suggest downtown Los Angeles and West Los Angeles are moving toward the San Gabriel Mountains."
El Nino Influenced Melting Glaciers (Science Daily 10/28)
"University of Michigan scientists have discovered evidence, recorded in 12,000-year-old Lake Huron glacial sediments, for brief, sudden episodes of rapid warming at the end of the last Ice Age which melted glaciers and sent water surging through the Great Lakes to the North Atlantic."
University Of Cincinnati Geologist Finds North American Glacial Advances Coincide With Iceberg Calving Events (Science Daily 10/28)
"Between 30,000 and 10,000 years ago, the Laurentide Ice Sheet surged over the North American continent numerous times. During that same time period, there were repeated episodes of massive iceberg calving over the North Atlantic, and ice cores from Greenland demonstrate repeated cycles of global warming and cooling. University of Cincinnati geologist Thomas Lowell provides one piece of the puzzle by reporting that the ice sheet advances over land marched in step with the iceberg calving events over the ocean."
Geologists Use 'Nature's Grease' (Science Daily 10/28)
"University of Michigan scientists have found a way to use gouge---soft, chalky material created in the contact zone between moving fault blocks---to date near-surface fault activity and learn more about the fault's current strength."
Long Lava Flows May Have Taken Years, Causing Global Cooling And Extinctions (Science Daily 10/28)
"A multidisciplinary group of scientists is challenging the century old theory that long lava flows must be formed by massive, but short lived, volcanic eruptions. Their research, reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research, suggests that some ancient flows of up to 100 miles in length built up gradually over years, rather than quickly in just days. This finding could have broad implications for the study of Earth and nearby planets."
University Of Cincinnati Geologist Proposes New Model To Explain Eruptions Of Montserrat Volcano (Science Daily 10/26)
"When University of Cincinnati geologist Attila Kilinc calls his summertime Caribbean visit the "trip of a lifetime," he isn't recalling sandy white beaches and ice blue seas. He's recalling the moment he stepped out of a helicopter just 150 meters from the crater of the Soufriere Hills volanco that wiped out nearly two-thirds of the island of Montserrat."
Deforestation blamed in part for Mexico flooding (CNN/AP 9/21)
"A government minister says that deforestation and the spread of illegal housing worsened the devastation wrought by recent flooding in Mexico's Chiapas state."
NASA launches 'Star Trek' spacecraft of the future (10/24)
"NASA launched a spacecraft Saturday that can think for itself and is driven by ion propulsion -- the stuff of 'Star Trek.' Deep Space 1 blasted off through clouds aboard an unmanned Boeing Delta II rocket, bound for an asteroid 120 million miles (193 million kilometers) away." (NASA's Deep Space 1 Page)
University Of Arizona Scientists Are First To Discover Debris Disk Around Star Orbited By Planet (Science Daily 10/23)
"Planetary scientists have discovered the first circumstellar disk ever seen around a star like our sun, a star known to be orbited by a planet. The disk of material is around 55 Cancri, a sun-like star, barely visible to the human eye, about 40 light years away in the constellation Cancer. The disk of material around the star looks similar in many ways to our solar system's Kuiper belt, a ring of comets and dusty debris left over from the formation of the planets, the scientists say."
El Nino And Climate More Predictable Than Previously Thought (Science Daily 10/23)
"Fluctuations in the earth's climate from year to year, such as those that are associated with El Nino, are considerably more predictable than had been previously believed, according to a paper appearing in this week's issue of Science."
Jupiter'S Moon Callisto May Hide Salty Ocean (JPL/NASA 10/21)
Jupiter's moon Callisto may hide underground sea (CNN 10/22)
Jupiter's Moon Callisto May Hide Salty Ocean (Science Daily 10/22)
"Jupiter's second largest moon, Callisto, may have a liquid ocean tucked under its icy, cratered crust, according to scientists studying data gathered by NASA's Galileo spacecraft."
Bedrock May Be Culprit In High Stream-Water Nitrate (Science Daily 10/22)
Nitrate Pollution, Bedrock Linked (Washington Post/AP 10/22)
"Local geology, not disruptive human activities, may be to blame for elevated nitrate levels in some streams and lakes, report researchers at the University of California, Davis."
SHEBA Breaks Free Of Arctic's Icy Embrace (Science Daily 10/21)
Floating in the arms of an icy Mother Nature (10/23)
"The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Des Groseilliers has left the ice floe it has called home for more than a year and is expected in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, concluding the field season of the largest and most complex project ever supported in the Arctic by the National Science Foundation (NSF)."
Deep Space 1 -- Futuristic Space Probe Powered By A Solar-Electric Propulsion System (Science Daily 10/21)
"A University of Colorado at Boulder professor is part of a science team working with a miniaturized, futuristic space probe capable of navigating its own way through space and powered by a solar-electric propulsion system."
North America Absorbing Carbon Dioxide At Surprisingly High Rate, Team Reports (Science Daily 10/20)
Quick on the uptake (New Scientist Magazine 10/24)
"Ecosystems in North America are absorbing carbon dioxide at a rate that is greater than expected, according to findings by a team of scientists from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."
UF Biotech Breakthrough Drives World's First Biomass-To-Ethanol Plant (Science Daily 10/20)
"A breakthrough biotech "bug" developed by a University of Florida scientist will help produce 20 million gallons of ethanol fuel annually at the world's first commercial biomass-to-ethanol plant."
KU Researchers Develop Clean-Burning Synthetic Diesel Fuel (Science Daily 10/20)
"An improvement on a World War II-vintage synthetic fuel by University of Kansas researchers has led to the development of a cost effective synthetic diesel fuel with exceptional performance."
Deep Secrets (New Scientist 10/17)
"Thousands of kilometres inside the Earth there was supposed to be nothing but solid rock. So where did the huge liquid reservoirs come from and what effect are they having at the surface?"
Did Fur Trappers Trigger Landscape Changes? (Science Daily 10/16)
"The 18th century trappers who collected beaver pelts in the forest that is now Baltimore may also have made dramatic changes to the area's landscape, vegetation and waterways. A Johns Hopkins research team documenting the changes is part of a revolutionary project to investigate the history of urban ecosystems."
The Northeast's Warmest Year On Record? 1998 Is Running Ahead Of 1953 (Science Daily 10/16)
"To date, 1998 is running ahead of 1953, the Northeast's warmest year on record, according to the climatologists at the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. If warm temperatures continue in the current pattern through the rest of the year, 1998 may surpass 1953 as the warmest year, says Keith Eggleston, senior climatologist at the center."
New Theory Explains 1994 L.A. Quake (Washington Post/AP 10/15)
"Despite its distance from the epicenter of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, Santa Monica suffered heavy damage because of certain soils that worsen the quake's waves, according to a new theory."
Raise the Titanosaur! (Nature Science Updates 10/15)
"In view of their prominence, the evolutionary history of sauropods is poorly known, something that Paul Upchurch of the University of Bristol, UK, aims to put right in a report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society."
Life Flourished When Earth Was Warmer (Science Daily 10/15)
"The threat of a global warming doesn't scare Judith Parrish, a geologist at The University of Arizona in Tucson and an expert on ancient climates. She's seen the ghost of the distant past in fossil leaves from the mid-Cretaceous, about 100 million years ago. These long-dead leaves tell tales of a warmer climate, when forests grew in the now-barren polar regions."
New Photos Depict Jupiter's Moon Io (Washington Post/AP 10/14)
"Io may be only a moon of Jupiter, but it puts on a planet-size energy show, with more than 30 volcanos spewing lava, fountains that spray streams of blue and a dynamo that generates more electricity than all U.S. power plants combined."
Antarctic Drilling Project Restarts (Washington Post/AP 10/12)
"Scientists studying global warming have been able to restart a drilling project off the Antarctic coast early this year after being plagued for two years by bad weather."
Greenland's Ice Yields Further Clues About Climate Change (Science Daily 10/12)
"Using instruments developed at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), scientists have for the first time accurately determined how much temperatures have changed at a Northern Hemisphere site in central Greenland during the last 50,000 years, through the end of the last ice age."
Like a bolt from the blue (New Scientist Magazine 10/10)
"Can we ever know when an earthquake will strike? There are no easy answers, but plenty of seismologists want to keep looking"
Give the fault its due (New Scientist Magazine 10/10)
"The San Andreas may threaten California with death and destruction, but it is still one of the state's greatest assets"
1998-99 Antarctic Research Season Highlights -- From Sea Floor Sediments To The Origins Of The Universe (Science Daily 10/8)
"Research ranging from sea floor sediments to the origins of the universe will be conducted during the 1998-99 austral summer research season in Antarctica. Approximately 130 research projects will be supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the federal agency that funds and manages the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP)."
Antarctic Ozone Depletion Sets New Size Record (Science Daily 10/7)
"NASA and NOAA satellites show that the Antarctic ozone thinning covers the largest expanse of territory since the depletion developed in the early 1980s. The measurements were obtained this year between mid-August and early October using the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instrument aboard NASA's Earth Probe (TOMS-EP) satellite and the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Instrument (SBUV) aboard the NOAA-14 satellite."
Geologists Suggest Meteorite Caused Unusual Rock Formation (Science Daily 10/6)
"Bands of "crinkly-looking" rock in and around Arches National Park in Southeastern Utah may be the result of a meteor impact during the Jurassic Period."
Antarctic Ice Core Hints Abrupt Warming Some 12,500 Years Ago May Have Been Global (Science Daily 10/2)
"An analysis of an ancient Antarctic ice core indicates an abrupt climate warming occurred there about 12,500 years ago, an event previously thought to have primarily influenced climate in the Northern Hemisphere."
Fossil Evidence Of Worms Over One Billion Years Old Reported In Science (Science Daily 10/1)
"Researchers have discovered what appears to be evidence of worm-like animals in rocks that are over 1 billion years old--about twice as old as any other evidence for multicellular life yet discovered."


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