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The Hawai'i That Was: Rising Out of Depression on Kaua'i, and Sleeping Giants

There's a different part of Kaua'i, one that doesn't quite fit the image of dramatic high cliffs plunging into the sea. It's a lowland, a region of lesser hills and ridges that only rise a thousand feet or so, covered largely by rainforest. Show More Summary

Relish our local water

Next month, East Bay MUD will finish shutting down its 80-year-old Orinda water treatment plant for six months of rehabilitation. For the last few weeks, Oakland residents have been drinking water from our own local San Pablo and Upper San Leandro reservoirs. Consider this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to savor artisanal water from local watersheds. True, […]

The coming trauma

When the giant Tohoku earthquake struck Japan on 11 March 2011, followed by a colossal tsunami and the crippling of two nuclear power plants, the effects rippled out in many directions. In my chosen community of Earth scientists, there were many phenomena to investigate; in the engineering community, many case studies to enter in the […]

Earthquake series cause uplift variations at continental margins

A new mechanism may explain how great earthquakes with magnitudes larger than M7 are linked to coastal uplift in many regions worldwide.

From the Road: Fall Color along the West Walker River, CA

We're looking southwest at mountainous terrain along the West Walker River, with what looks like granitic rock—the light-colored rocks in the foreground and on the tree-covered high slopes in the background—and some dark-colored, mafic-looking rocks exposed in the middle-distance ridge that slopes down toward the river from right to left. Show More Summary

A New Road Trip in the Making!

Well, I'll be on the road for the next 10 to 14 days, so I'll try to have a couple posts by way of phone photos, provided that I can edit them to get the phone-photo size to match my blog size. It will be an experiment. Photo from Whitney Portal Road looking east toward the White-Into Mountains (taken in early March, 2016). Sierran granite in shadows on the right.

A Delicious Selection of Mount Rainier Photos

Enjoy the fruits of our fall trip to one of the country's best volcanoes! -- Read more on

UA-Based AZGS Is Making Noise About Earthquakes

Collapsed cathedral in Sonora, MX. (Courtesy of Arizona Historical Society Earthquakes happen in Arizona. Robin Tricoles of UA Communications provides a rundown on the efforts of AZGS to monitor and interpret earthquake activity in Arizona."The...Show More Summary

Destruction of the Wyoming craton: Seismic evidence and geodynamic processes

Cratons are old and strong continental cores where the lithosphere is thick and remains largely undeformed for 2–3 b.y. Unlike typical cratons, the Wyoming craton underwent pervasive deformation ca. 80–55 Ma during the Laramide orogeny...Show More Summary

The Neogene de-greening of Central Asia

There remains substantial debate concerning the relative roles of tectonics and global climate in driving the evolution of climate in Central Asia. Today, interior Asia—including the Taklamakan, Gobi, and Ordos Deserts—is exceptionally...Show More Summary

Sub-ice shelf ironstone deposition during the Neoproterozoic Sturtian glaciation

The Neoproterozoic Sturtian glaciation is considered to be among the most severe glaciations in Earth history, possibly encompassing the entire planet and lasting for more than 50 m.y. Iron formations are globally associated with Sturtian...Show More Summary

Evidence for Eocene-Oligocene glaciation in the landscape of the East Greenland margin

Assessing the onset and extent of Northern Hemisphere glaciation is required to understand Cenozoic climate change and its impact on topography. While the onset of accelerated Cenozoic erosion is generally associated with the Quaternary...Show More Summary

Boron isotopic discrimination for subduction-related serpentinites

The Guatemala Suture Zone (GSZ), Guatemala, is a region that contains two distinct suture-related serpentinite mélanges straddling the Motagua fault and an ophiolitic complex paired with the northern mélange. The serpentinite matrix of the mélanges formed by subduction-fluid hydration of peridotite from the deep mantle wedge. Show More Summary

Temperature and salinity of the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway

The Western Interior Seaway (WIS) was a shallow and expansive body of water that covered the central United States during the Late Cretaceous. Attempts to reconstruct temperatures in the seaway using the oxygen isotopic composition of...Show More Summary

The milling factory: Componentry-dependent fragmentation and fines production in pyroclastic flows

In order to decipher the mobility of hazardous small-volume pyroclastic flows (PFs), we investigate here the role of clast fragmentation and production of fine particles (

The end of the Ediacaran: Two new exceptionally preserved body fossil assemblages from Mount Dunfee, Nevada, USA

Evaluation of hypotheses that relate environmental to evolutionary change across the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition has been hampered by a dearth of sections that preserve both the last appearance of Ediacaran body fossils and the first appearance of Treptichnus pedum within carbonate-rich strata suitable for chemostratigraphic studies. Show More Summary

A continental arc tempo discovered in the Pacific-Gondwana margin mudpile?

The integration of detrital zircon age and trace element analyses provides a powerful tool with which to reconstruct continental arc evolution. Detrital zircons from the Ross-Delamerian orogen along the Pacific-Gondwana margin in north...Show More Summary

Tectonic and climate controls on Neogene environmental change in the Zhada Basin, southwestern Tibetan Plateau

Evidence for a long-lived, high-elevation plateau contradicts the hypothesis that uplift of the southern Tibetan Plateau was a driver of late Miocene–Pliocene changes in ecology and monsoon strength. We illuminate the mechanisms underlying...Show More Summary

Peak intervals of equatorial Pacific export production during the middle Miocene climate transition

The middle Miocene climate transition (MMCT) is characterized by an abrupt 1 increase in benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotopes at ca. 13.8 Ma, marking expansion of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and transition of Earth’s climate to a cooler, relatively stable glacial state. Show More Summary

Impact of tidal currents on delta-channel deepening, stratigraphic architecture, and sediment bypass beyond the shoreline

Deltas are sensitive indicators of coastal processes (e.g., waves and tides) and show dynamic changes in shoreline morphology, distributary channel network, and stratigraphic architecture in response to coastal forcing. Numerical modeling...Show More Summary

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