Tuesday, September 29, 2009

8.0 Earthquake near Samoa

A heads up to GeoTripper for pointing this out earlier today. A magnitude 8.0 earthquake rocked the region around American Samoa today, with an epicenter just 135 miles from mainland Samoa.

Originally, tsunami warnings were issued as far away as Hawaii. NOAA has since canceled these warnings, as Pago Pago, located in Samoa, only experienced waves with a maximum amplitude of 1.57m and a period (frequency) of 4 minutes. (Source, NOAA)

The Tonga Trench, located just west of the earthquake center, has been a very active tectonic region - with the Pacific Plate moving underneath the Australian Plate at a rate of 86 mm/year. Currently, the USGS believes that a normal fault occurred here, near the outer rise of the Pacific Plate. (Source, USGS)

If you want to check out the location of the quake, drop the coordinates "15.558°S, 172.073°W" into Google Earth and check out the proximity to Pago Pago and Samoa, as well as the beautiful images of the trench just to the west of the epicenter. No wonder there was a seismic event here.

Update: Tsunamis were reported in Pago Pago, contrary to the data I received from NOAA. According to CNN, a 3m tsunami hit just after the earthquake.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Marcellus Shale and you

As most "geology knowledged" people know, the Northeast United States is sitting on top of billions of gallons of oil in the Marcellus Shale formation. Being from and living in upstate New York, I am not immune to all the hulabaloo surrounding it. I see signs for rallies and meetings everywhere.

It is nice to see that several people have taken the initiative to form these groups and organizations to inform the public of the details of oil drilling. I was even asked by an acquaintance to set up a meeting with the professor of all geology professors, Dr. James Ebert, in an attempt to better understand the geologic side of the issue (although his group would be run better if he knew how to turn on a computer).

You stay classy, internetz.

Another Strike Against Global Climate Change

I like severe weather. Studying radar maps and seeing bigger storms year after year. I like when the summer gets hotter than normal, and winter days drop into the negatives. That kind of global climate change, I must say, excited me.

However, I don't like bitter beer.

Researches in the Czeck Hydrometeorological Institute have concluded the quality of Saaz hops, a mild variety used in pilsner such as Pilsner Urquell, has decreased over the last fifty years. This decrease in quality (attributed to lower Alpha Acid percentage and lower yields) has led to a bitter brew, and decreasing yields.

The articles can be viewed here:
Czech Meteorological Institute: Climate Change Depresses Beer Drinkers
Edible Geography: The Taste of Climate Change

In case you were wondering: The image above, courtesy of Wikipedia, is a map of the Czech Republic. In beer caps.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Random Geology Photo #001

The first installment of Random Geology Photo comes to us from The Garden of the Gods outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. This beautiful, almost 90 degree rotated bedrock plane was titled "on end" during the Rocky Mountain Orogenies, though I cannot guess as to which one as of right now.
This wonderful red-orange rock, and pink in certain light, is mostly Triassic sandstone, with various sedimentary structures such as ripple marks. There is also pebble-pavements present, (as well as a little aliteration) which may not be attributed as a common sedimentary structure, but I for one believe it should considered.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ice Core Delight

I was surfing geology.com about a month ago when I came across this article published by the National Geographic and subsequently posted on geology.com.

For those of you who are unfamiliar or inexperienced in glaciology, I posted a video interview with Penn State glaciologist Richard Alley to help you learn a little bit more about the science and history behind glaciers plus some impacts of glacial melting.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back to Reality

First off, let's welcome Tony to Water and Rocks... The wait was long overdue, I've been waiting for someone to post with for a while now.

A little update: Today was my last day of work at Historic Sylvan Beach Amusement Park, so posting should become more common now. This winter I plan on some pseudo-research, as it becomes rather difficult to study geology under six feet of snow on the Tug Hill Plateau. I plan on heading back up to Salmon River Falls a few more times, as well as a little bit of deer-trail observations, but that will probably be over at Into The Woods.

Check back soon.


Hello all. Roy-z was kind enough to invite me to post on his blog and I decided to start off with telling ya'll a little about me. I was born and raise in Otego New York and attended Unatego Jr/Sr high. I recently graduated with Roy from Oneonta State with a degree in Geology. My area of interest focuses on fluvial geomorphology as well as sedimentology and stratigraphy. Prior to graduating, I was involved in researching the movement of sediment particles in stream settings. Unfortunalty, I left the project uncompleted when I graduated and I would like to continue sometime in the future.

I also have a great respect for nature and all its "happenings." I often sit and wonder how many of Earth's processes work. I hope that in the future that I will obtain a better understanding of the workings of our planet.

Until next time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Laptop Plug

So it seems Water and Rocks...At The Same Time might be back up and running respectably again. It's only been about 2 months (is that too long) of computer failures, work, GRE studying and other non-geology, mostly canine-related time consumption. However, thanks to my new, fancy, computin' machine, it looks like the future can be restored (did that blow your mind?!).

Anyways, time to plug the new laptop. Thanks to a sick deal at Best Buy, I got myself a new Gateway NV-52 for a cool $560. Most comparable notebooks, such as the Dell Inspiron 15 and various HP abominations, would run roughly $630.

Specs: Vista 64-Bit and Windows 7 upgrade, 4GB of sheep, and a cool 320GB (advertised) hard drive. I think it's a sick deal.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Let's Get Back Into It

So, computer problems aside, and no real replacement laptop available yet, I've decided to maintain writing about our wonderful environment and the ground we walk on, without the use of question marks, sound, and the final letter of the alphabet.

During my browsing yesterday, just an hour before work, but interesting enough to cause me to be slightly later than normal, I ran across a link on EPOD (which, by the way, has a pretty new layout) for geography-based maps. Now the subject would cause most to be bored to tears by the simple concept of maps of demographics, income, computer usage, this website, World Mapper, has all kinds of maps, including geologic disasters, natural resources, fuel usage, and many other earth-science, meteorological and hydro-based goodies. I encourage everyone to go check it out.

Western Update: I'll be posting again soon, as the Amusement Park will only be opened Friday-Saturday-Sunday after Labor Day. So no fear! Pictures of sunsets, cliffs, deadly trails, rockfalls and occasional (tamed) Grand Canyon wildlife are on their way.