Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2011

The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded three earthquakes in Arkansas near the small town of Greenbrier, north of Little Rock.
A preliminary 4.7 magnitude quake was recorded at 11 p.m. Sunday night, and according to the AP, was felt in four other states. A 3.8 quake followed just 18 minutes later, with a third 3.6 magnitude earthquake recorded at 2:46 a.m. Monday morning. No damage or serious injuries have been reported.
Although the 4.7 quake is stronger than anything felt in the region recently, the latest quakes only compound on a series of mysterious tremors that have been plaguing Central Arkansas since 2009 with unusual frequency. The AP reports that more than 700 quakes have occurred in the area over the past 6 months. The Arkansas Geological Survey has classified the prior phenomena as part of what is now called the Guy earthquake swarm.
Scott Ausbrooks, geohazards supervisor for the Arkansas Geological Survey, told the AP that geologists believe the seismic activity is either a naturally occurring swarm, or could be related to natural gas exploration in the region. According to Ausbrooks, geologists don’t believe production wells are the problem, but haven’t ruled out injection wells that dispose of “fracking” wastewater as a culprit. The earthquakes have been occurring near several injection wells.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Over the past six months, hundreds of Western North Carolina citizens have been plagued by landslides caused by heavy rains. According to Rick Wooton, a senior geologist with the North Carolina Geological Survey, many of N.C.’s mountain soils are composed of ground bedrock. This soil shares the plane of weakness originally found in the consolidated bedrock, but without the properties which hold the grains together. This creates serious problems during a rain event, and is similar to the problem Virginia has with landslides.

I will investigate this new outbreak of landslides in North Carolina to discover whether any of size intersect our desired route during spring break.

Read Full Post »

Compton Peak

This field trip over spring break will be my first large Geology field trip. I have never been to any of the places we are visiting and am very anxious for this. I have high hopes for the trail I want to take the class on, but I have fears too. One being, that it might be closed, if we can not get to my trail I will be in quite the pickle. A large part of my grade depends on this trail being open, so I guess it is risk and reward. I would like to ask for anyone who is reading this, please comment and tell me your opinion on the Compton Peak Trail and give me any information that you think will be neat and helpful to me. I appreciate it. I hope I am not the only one in the class anxious, I worry it won’t work out, but I am extremely excited about how amazing this trip could be. Again, if anyone has ever been on the Compton Peak Trail, help me out, leave me a comment. Thank you!

Read Full Post »

A recent study conducted by the USGS has shown an average net loss of 1.6 feet per year from eastern U.S. beaches. Using aerial photography and maps, researchers measured the coastline changes along the Atlantic over the past 150 years. The highest rates of erosion were found along the sandier mid-Atlantic coasts as opposed to the rockier cliffs of New England. Because coastlines are naturally dynamic environments, the extent of human impact was not determined. They hope to repeat this study to measure any changes and to provide information for those involved in coastal management. To read more of the USGS news bulletin click on this link: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2707. For the full report: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1118/

Read Full Post »

This spring break, I am going on a week long trip with my geology class. We are going through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina to geologic locations that each student individually chose and planned. A good portion of the class is devoted to this trip, so we have had a lot of time to work on it. In the beginning, I had no idea where I would take the class for my day trip. After a lot of browsing on the internet, I came across a place called Looking Glass Rock that really grabbed my attention. It is located in the Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. This site is a large rock dome that was formed from ancient volcanic activity of the southern Appalachians. Also, it got its name from the shiny, glass-like appearance it has when the side of the mountain is covered in water or ice.  For my portion of the field trip, I am going to lead the class on a hike up this granite dome to beautiful views of the Appalachians.

Read Full Post »

Spring Break

This spring break is going to be unlike any of my other spring breaks since becoming a student at UPJ.  Instead of hanging out at my house watching reruns and seeing if I can beat Mario Bros (freaking skelo-turtles get me everytime!) Myself, along with 12 other geology students and 2 professors are going on a week long adventure into West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.  Along the way we are going to see many new things and some old favorites, and I’m sure we are going to have fun the entire time.  Each of the students picked a place to take the class, so I thought that I would share a little about where I am taking the class.  Luray Cavens and Luray, Virginia is the biggest cave unit on the east coast of the U.S. It was discovered in 1878 by the towns tin-smith, and was first lit by candles and had wooden boards on the bottom of the cave.  The caves have since been transformed with modern lighting and flooring systems to allow for all visitors to see the caves safely.  The formations within the caves are hundreds of thousands of years old and are formed of crystalline dolomite.  Coloring of the structures range from white to a rusty orange, depending on the amount of iron in the formations.  The caves are just outside of Shenandoah National Forest where more wonders of Virginia can be found!  I am so excited to go on this trip and to spend time with people who enjoy geology as much as I do!

Read Full Post »

Cave divers in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula area may have discovered the earliest evidence of humans in the Americas.  Exploration of these flooded caves is in it’s early stages since the openings are hidden deep within the dense jungle.  The geology of this area is primarily limestone that is easily dissolved with rainwater.  Approximately 12,000 years ago, at the end of the Pleistocene epoch the melting of the ice caps caused a dramatic rise in global sea levels, which flooded low lying coastal landscapes and cave systems. At the Aktun-Hu cave system in the state of Quintana Roo, divers reached the furthest extent of that… the pit.  The pit is approximately 200 feet deep and 120 feet in diameter and the bottom of it holds the mystery.  They first came across several megafauna remains and what was clearly a mastodon bone, and a human skull resting upside down with other nearby remains at about 140 feet.  The skull looks pre-Maya, which could make it one of the oldest set of human remains in the area.  Gaining an understanding of how this human and these animals entered the site will reveal an immense amount of knowledge from that time.  Dating of the skull is still being processed but it has potential to change history in the Americas.

http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2011/02/skull-in-mexico-cave-may-be-oldest-american-found.html

Human skull discovery

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »