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Where are the Ten Most Incredible Places You've Ever Stood? My Number 10: The Alaka'i Swamp on the Island of Kaua'i

It is Earth Day 2014, which seems as good a day as any to start a new series about ten of the most extraordinary places on Planet Earth, as based on my own personal experiences. Everyone has such places in their memories, and I encourage you to add your most profound experiences in the comments or on your own blog if you have one. Show More Summary

Where are the Ten Most Incredible Places You've Ever Stood? A New Blog Series...

What is the most incredible place you have ever stood? That thought occurred to me this last weekend when I got up to Glacier and Washburn Points in Yosemite National Park. For those who are less familiar with the park, Glacier and Washburn Points are on the rim of Yosemite Valley, not on the valley floor. Show More Summary

Across the West and Back Day 2: Beyond the Wasatch

It was a cloudy and soon to be stormy day, and we were just about over the Wasatch, just about to U.S. 189, which runs in a northeasterly direction through Provo Canyon toward Heber City, where we planned to meet up with U.S. 40. On our way to 189, still on S.R. Show More Summary

This Week's Geo-Quiz: Plate Tectonics

Over 200 years ago, we began to glimpse the outlines of the great engine that sculpts and maintains the Earth as we know and love it. It took a century and a half to come up with a paradigm—a body of theory and worldview—that we could sink our teeth into: plate tectonics. Show More Summary

The Dogwoods are Blooming in Yosemite Valley! And North Dome, the Stuff of Legend

The Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttalli) is a diminutive tree that forms some of the understory of Yosemite Valley's conifer forests. It seems practically invisible to park visitors (like me, anyway) most of the year except for two times:...Show More Summary

Tucson-based Mintec acquired by Hexagon

Mintec, Inc., announced that Hexagon AB, a leading provider of design, measurement and visualization technologies, has of today entered into an agreement to acquire the company, a resource modeling, optimization, mine planning and scheduling software developer for the mining industry. Show More Summary

Vernal Fall in Yosemite and a Sense of Scale (or, How to Feel Very Small)

It's a sense of scale that helps us keep perspective. I was at Washburn Point in Yosemite National Park today, and I took a few shots with the zoom of the same spot across the way. We have a bunch of people apparently enjoying themselves on a flat slab of rock next to a fair sized river. Show More Summary

Kinder Morgan permits 5 wells in St Johns CO2 field

The Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission approved permits (#1189-1193) to Kinder Morgan CO2 Co. for 5 wells to develop the St. John's carbon dioxide field in eastern Arizona.Kinder Morgan plans on investing $1 billion in the CO2...Show More Summary

Do We Need Hadean Eras?

In geology, the rocks have a way of messing with our pretty schemes. One instance I'm thinking of involves the base of the geologic time scale. The Earth itself is about 4.5 billion years old--but the time scale starts at the base of the Archean Eon with a time unit called the Eoarchean Era, running from 4.0 billion years ago (4 Ga) to 3.6 Ga. Show More Summary

Out of the Valley of Death and into an Upside Down Mountain

The Grapevine Mountains form the eastern margin of the Death Valley north of Stovepipe Wells, reaching elevations of nearly 9,000 feet in places. It's an imposing range, stark, barren, and rugged. All of the mountains of Death Valley are rugged pretty much by default, but erosion has not pierced deeply into many of them. Show More Summary

It's Frisco Quake Day

It was 18 April 1906, 5:12 local time when the rumbling began. (Today that hour would be 6:12, a quarter-hour before sunup.) More than a full minute later, the shaking was still going on, and hundreds, maybe thousands of San Francisco's buildings had fallen, broken or caught fire. Show More Summary

The Code of Hammering

As field season returns in my part of the world, I'm gearing up for some nice outings. So it's time again to present my code of hammering. There are guidebooks that touch on matters of professional practice, and every rockhound group teaches its members hammer safety. Show More Summary

One of the World's Most Precious Places, Under the Volcano

Yosemite Valley, hands down, is one of the most extraordinary places on our amazing planet. I have been going to Yosemite National Park three or four times a year for the last quarter century, and I never get tired of spending time there. Show More Summary

Study provides crucial new information about how the ice ages came about

An international team of scientists has discovered new relationships between deep-sea temperature and ice-volume changes to provide crucial new information about how the ice ages came about.

Directory of Geoscience Organizations of the World

The Geological Survey of Japan has published the 2014 version of the “Directory of Geoscience Organizations of the World.” It includes major government and quas-government organizations of the world, relating to geological surveys and geologic research. The online version is updated as needed at

Earthquake simulation tops 1 quadrillion flops

A team of computer scientists, mathematicians and geophysicists at Technische Universitaet Muenchen and Ludwig-Maximillians Universitaet Muenchen have -- with the support of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center of the Bavarian Academy of...Show More Summary

Meanwhile, in the Skies Tonight...

Lunar eclipses are always interesting, and they can be shared by most of a planet, unlike solar eclipses that follow a narrow strip of land across the globe. I was a little frustrated tonight because high cloudiness affected the view of the unfolding eclipse, but I did what I could. Show More Summary

The Geological Gems of Georgia

Every state I study, investigating its geological highlights, I fall in love with. Georgia is definitely on my mind after compiling this gallery of geological attractions and destinations. As always,... Read Full Post

The Yosemite No One Sees in Summer...the Merced River Canyon

The drought in California is horrific. It is quite probably the worst drought in centuries, but we received a slight respite in the form of showers and snow during the last part of March and early April. It was a drop in the bucket towards...Show More Summary

Arroyo Viejo emerges

Quietly, at the edge of the Coliseum station parking lot, Arroyo Viejo comes out of hiding from beneath Hegenberger Expressway. It runs under the walkway to the Coliseum and joins Lion Creek just short of the bay. Even in its coffinlike culvert, the stream wants to curve, laying a gravelly point bar on its left […]

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