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Liveblogging the Deluge: What Changes are Coming to the Tuolumne River?

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Knowing that another storm is headed in this week, I took advantage of the nice day and took a stroll along the swollen Tuolumne River. It was an amazing sight, and has been for a month now as the operators of Don Pedro Reservoir have been keeping flows at near flood level (today it the river was flowing at about 9,000 cubic feet per second). Show More Summary

February Fights For Flooding Fame: New Atmospheric River Storm Approaching

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

From I'm getting a funny sense of deja vu, like we've been here before. It's the fourth day of the month, and we are looking down the maw of a massive storm, a huge atmospheric river storm that threatens to cause flooding up and down the state of California. Show More Summary

Online release of our guide to geology of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Pinacate Biological Preserve

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in SW Arizona and the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve in NW Sonora protect two magnificent yet geologically distinct parts of the Sonoran Desert. Rocks of the Organ Pipe-Pinacate region have been faulted and eroded into mountains and basins typical of the Basin and Range Province of SW North America. Show More Summary

USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2017 – How did Arizona fare?

The US Geological Survey just released their Mineral Commodity Summaries 2017, detailing mineral production in the U.S. in 2016. How did Arizona fare? “In 2016, 11 States each produced more than $2 billion worth of nonfuel mineral commodities. Show More Summary

Magnificent Mount Saint Helens Photos, Part 5

Enjoy these treasures from the USGS database eruption and aftermath images. -- Read more on

Museum-quality rocks from Oakland

I keep saying that Oakland has geological features worthy of being put in textbooks. Today I’m here to show you that Oakland has rocks worthy of being in museums, and I’ve put them there. In 2012, I was asked to put together a set of teaching rocks for the Chabot Space and Science Center. After […]

Call Your Senators TODAY: Science Education is in Peril

Every child in America deserves a good education. Betsy DeVos will not ensure they have it. -- Read more on

What's the Most Incredible Thing You've Experienced? Memories of Baja in 1991 (and looking forward to August 2017)

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Totality of the solar eclipse of 1991 from San Jose del Cabo. The corona, an aura of plasma and gases, is only visible during totality. Photo by Dr. William Luebke. What's the most incredible thing you experienced? There are lots of answers to such a question, and many different contexts and meanings. Show More Summary

Is Trumpism/Pencism the New Lysenkoism? The Need to Defend Science From "Alternative Facts"

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Drought-killed trees in Yosemite Valley, California Imagine what it must have been like living under communist rule in the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin's regime. I can't even begin to imagine the unspeakable horrors that led toShow More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: The Post Mortem...Storms That Made a Difference

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Don Pedro Reservoir on January 5 before the storms, elevation about 786 feet (76% of capacity). The atmospheric river storms of January have finally subsided, and we are looking at kind of a new landscape across California. We had aShow More Summary

Uranium concentration north of Grand Canyon likely related to natural sources

The U.S. Geological Survey just released a report indicating that elevated uranium concentration in spring water north of Grand Canyon is NOT the result of nearby uranium mining activity. Elevated concentrations are instead likely due to natural sources and not to past mining at the nearby Pigeon Mine. Show More Summary

The National Park Service Won't Be Silenced

NPS employees have a message for the Trump Administration. -- Read more on

Storage filters upland suspended sediment signals delivered from watersheds

Climate change, tectonics, and humans create long- and short-term temporal variations in the supply of suspended sediment to rivers. These signals, generated in upland erosional areas, are filtered by alluvial storage before reaching the basin outlet. Show More Summary

Mantle earthquakes, crustal structure, and gravitational instability beneath western North Island, New Zealand

A cluster of 30–52-km-deep earthquakes, and a 7–10 km step in the Moho beneath western North Island, New Zealand, are both interpreted as manifestations of active delamination of the continental lower crust and mantle lithosphere. These...Show More Summary

Large subglacial meltwater features in the central Barents Sea

During the last glacial period large parts of the Arctic, including the Barents Sea, north of Norway and Russia, were covered by ice sheets. Despite several studies indicating that melting occurred beneath much of the Barents Sea ice sheet, very few meltwater-related landforms have been identified. Show More Summary

New two-mile-long earth fissure discovered in southern Pinal County

Figure 1. Appearance of Tator Hill fissures in December 2014 Google Earth imagery. Red arrows point to the new fissure; blue to an older, previously mapped fissure. Note sharp, unvegetated appearance of new earth fissure compared to old fissure. Show More Summary

A Little Report on Our January Storms

Intellicast radar image from 23Jan2017, approx 6:10 am, PST. Our latest atmospheric river is passing through the area and will probably be gone by tomorrow (for more detail about the atmospheric rivers we've been subject to so far this...Show More Summary

The Pinehurst Shale

Much of Oakland’s high hills consists of our local piece of the Great Valley Group, the colossal set of sedimentary rocks that runs the length of the Central Valley along its western wall. (How our piece got over here is, as they say, poorly constrained.) The group is well exposed in Shepherd Canyon and points […]

Tidal rhythmites in the southern Bouse Formation as evidence for post-Miocene uplift of the lower Colorado River corridor

Uncertainty over depositional paleoenvironments of the upper Miocene to lower Pliocene Bouse Formation obscures our understanding of the timing and magnitude of regional uplift as well as the conditions and processes that were active during integration and early evolution of the Colorado River (western United States). Show More Summary

Tracing crustal evolution by U-Th-Pb, Sm-Nd, and Lu-Hf isotopes in detrital monazite and zircon from modern rivers

Detrital zircon U-Pb age and Hf isotope studies are useful for identifying the chemical evolution of the continental crust. Zircon, however, is typically a magmatic mineral and thus often fails to document the timing of low-grade metamorphism,...Show More Summary

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