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USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database and Map Viewer

The USGS has updated the National Produced Waters Geochemical Database and Map Viewer "to include trace elements, isotopes, and time-series data, as well as nearly 100,000 new samples with greater spatial coverage and from both conventional and unconventional well types, including geothermal. Show More Summary

Monitoring Land Subsidence in Arizona Due to Excessive Groundwater Withdrawal Using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) Data

Arizona's land subsidence program was described in a technical presentation at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco, by Brian Conway, from AZ Dept. of Water Resources. The conference drew a record attendance of nearly 25,000. Show More Summary

Boy Scouts offer mining merit badge

The Boy Scouts of America is now offering a merit badge for Mining in Society. The Scouts had an informational table at the SME Arizona Conference here in Tucson earlier this month that was drawing a lot of attention. Details on the requirements to earn the badge are posted at

Cliffs of the Ruby Mountains: More Views from the Hanging Valley Pullout

While I'm gradually working my way toward posting a bit about the nappe in Lamoille Canyon, let's take a quick look at more views of the cliffs from the hanging valley pullout. A shadowed view of the cliffs to the northwest. Stunning! A view of the cliffs to the southeast. Show More Summary

Holiday Wishes: The Nation's Christmas Tree and Holiday Images of the Ah-wah-nee

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! As is my tradition, I offer up once again a very big Christmas tree, the General Grant Tree in Kings Canyon National Park. The tree is so large (268 feet high, 40 feet across at the base) that it took three pictures for me to capture it. Show More Summary

Two small quakes on Arizona - Utah border

There were two small quakes in northern Arizona in the past few days. A magnitude 2.4 event hit 8 miles south of Colorado City on Dec. 22 at about 4:27 p.m. local time [yellow dot marks epicenter. Credit, USGS]A magnitude 1.3 quake occurred on Dec. 23, at 11:57 a.m. local time, about 6 miles ESE of Colorado City [epicenter marked by orange dot].

Massive study provides first detailed look at how Greenland's ice is vanishing

Led by geophysicist Beata Csatho at the University at Buffalo, the research provides what the authors believe is the first comprehensive picture of how Greenland's ice is vanishing.It suggests that current ice sheet modeling studiesShow More Summary

Our local fill

There’s a little corner of Lake Merritt that the improvers haven’t gotten around to, on the north shore by the pergola. Here the concrete walkway gives way to a stretch of old fill. The original wetland that became Lake Merritt was known as San Antonio Slough. From Oakland’s earliest days, the locals kept trying to […]

Resolution Copper land swap bill signed into law

President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Ac, which includes a provision for the land swap (Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act) needed for the underground Resolution Copper mine to move forward.Resolution...Show More Summary

A California Geologist Observes a Flood in Oregon: Hilarity Ensues?

OMG, a gigantic river! The Umpqua River below Roseburg, Oregon I'm really more of a desert rat. I hail from a dry valley in California, I take my students on extended field trips to places like Death Valley and the Colorado Plateau. The rivers that I know would be considered something like large creeks in a place like Oregon or Washington. Show More Summary

Rain? In a Rain Forest? Exploring California and Oregon on the 50th Anniversary of the Biggest Flood Ever

It starts with little cascades like this... That grow into brooks like this, repeated thousands of times over... Which leads to this... Our Christmas travels took us into the northwest of California and into Oregon, and as luck would have it, we drove right into a continuation of the storms that have been pounding the west coast this month. Show More Summary

Scientists identify mechanism that accelerated the 2011 Japan earthquake

Stanford scientists identify a mechanism that accelerated the 2011 Japan earthquake.

Baja quake in 2010 generated hundreds of landslides

The 2010 Cucapah earthquake in Baja California, triggered hundreds of landslides that sent up dust clouds all along the mountain range. David Petley, who writes the Landslide Blog, and his colleagues used remote sensing data and quantified...Show More Summary

If These Cliffs Could Talk: The Cliffs of the Ah-wah-nee that Never Got Legends

Do you know these places? Would a place that has cliffs like these merit being declared a national park?Thankfully, these rocky precipices are in a national park already. But these are not the iconic features that end up in the photo collections of the millions of tourists that visit this place every year. Show More Summary

Grizzly Peak

Grizzly Peak is the highest point in Oakland, at 1754 feet elevation (sources differ). As you approach it on Grizzly Peak Boulevard, it seems to loom quite high. That’s an illusion caused by the eucalyptus forest. As you get closer, you start to see through the trees. And from the bay side, the peak has […]

Oak Creek - Mormon Lake graben described in new book on Oak Creek Watershed

There is a new book out from the Oak Creek Watershed Council (OCWC) describing the hydrology, hydrogeology, geology, ecology, and history of the Oak Creek Canyon watershed. Well-known geologist Paul Lindberg contributed to hydrology and wrote the geology section, which includes a description of the newly-discovered Oak Creek - Mormon Lake graben. Show More Summary

Big Slushy Wet Snow Hits Northern Sierra; Some Folks Lose Internet

It's slushy at 4600 feet, anyway.Our phone service--hence internet--is down, so I'm using a 1X Verizon connection. It's just a little slow!I imagine there's a lot of snow at higher elevations, but the details of this storm are difficult to check out at 1X.

Greenpeace Really Screws Up...Twice

Source: Greenpeace via Reuters It's hard to imagine a more moronic act by a supposedly respectable environmental organization. I have appreciated the activism of Greenpeace in the past, especially the efforts of the Rainbow Warrior (all three of them) to stop whaling and nuclear testing. Show More Summary

Local global science

I don’t spend all my time out among Oakland’s rocks. I also take advantage of the Bay area’s opportunities to learn about Earth science. Every year, for instance, I attend the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held without fail in San Francisco since 1968. I started in the mid-1980s, and it’s where I’m […]

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