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Mad About Mud: Debate Heats up Over Waste From Oil & Gas Wells

KQED Science | December 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

Mad About Mud: Debate Heats up Over Waste From Oil & Gas Wells

Drilling mud is the slick concoction used to cool and lubricate a drill bit, and it’s used for all kinds of wells, including oil and gas. Environmental groups are turning their attention to drilling mud, which is currently exempted from water monitoring.

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California Slow to Map Dangerous Earthquake Faults

KQED Science | November 22, 2013 | 1 Comment

California Slow to Map Dangerous Earthquake Faults

After the massive destruction of the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, state lawmakers passed a law to prevent new buildings from being developed on top of active earthquake faults. But that requires knowing where they are. Mapping earthquake faults is both time-consuming and costly, and the state has a long way to go.

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Arctic Algae Offer New Insights on Prehistoric Climate Data

KQED Science | November 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Arctic Algae Offer New Insights on Prehistoric Climate Data

The short list of climate proxy species gains a new member in the critical Arctic Ocean region, a crusty red alga named Clathromorphum compactum.

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The Physics and Sounds of Seismicity, or Earthquake “Music”

KQED Science | November 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Physics and Sounds of Seismicity, or Earthquake “Music”

Listening to the sped-up vibrations of earthquakes offers a tantalizing glimpse of the deep physics behind seismicity as well as everyday sounds.

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Where Should We Look for the World’s Oldest Ice?

KQED Science | November 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

Where Should We Look for the World’s Oldest Ice?

Ancient ice is an important source of information about global climates of the past. Although the ice itself is a valuable record, the real prize is the air bubbles preserved in it, some that could be as much as 1.5 million years old.

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A New “Golden Spike” Monument in Colorado Marks Geologic Time

KQED Science | October 31, 2013 | 0 Comments

A New “Golden Spike” Monument in Colorado Marks Geologic Time

Slowly and painstakingly, geologists are turning the imaginary time scale of Earth's deep history into exact boundaries marked on the ground with metal disks.

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Forecasting the Risk of Earthquake-Related Landslides

KQED Science | October 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Forecasting the Risk of Earthquake-Related Landslides

A newly published study from the University of Washington demonstrates how we can forecast landslides that will follow a major earthquake in the Bay Area.

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24 Years Later, The Legacy of Loma Prieta Lives On

KQED Science | October 17, 2013 | 1 Comment

24 Years Later, The Legacy of Loma Prieta Lives On

Nature shows almost no signs of the Loma Prieta earthquake 24 years later. But the human landscape still carries scars that should remind us to practice continual preparedness.

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New Rules for Lake Tahoe Development Give Locals More Leverage

KQED Science | October 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

New Rules for Lake Tahoe Development Give Locals More Leverage

California governor Jerry Brown signed legislation over the weekend that reaffirms the state’s commitment to working with Nevada to preserve Lake Tahoe.

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The Science of California’s Seismic Pests, or Earthquake “Swarms”

KQED Science | October 10, 2013 | 3 Comments

The Science of California’s Seismic Pests, or Earthquake “Swarms”

Scientists are creeping their way toward better understanding of earthquake swarms, those annoying and sometimes damaging seismic pests we get in California.

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Remembering Professor Terry Wright, A Creative Juggler of Scientific Ideas

KQED Science | October 3, 2013 | 2 Comments

Remembering Professor Terry Wright, A Creative Juggler of Scientific Ideas

The practice of science is like the practice of juggling: it all depends on the skill and trust of partners. The late Terry Wright, professor emeritus at Sonoma State University, was an exemplar of the type.

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Pakistan’s New Earthquake Island: Can It Happen Here?

KQED Science | September 26, 2013 | 1 Comment

Pakistan’s New Earthquake Island: Can It Happen Here?

The rise of a small, fuming island after a large distant quake may not be such an exotic event. Look for one when the next Big One strikes California.

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New Research Sheds Light on Earthquakes That Occur Far Below Earth’s Surface

KQED Science | September 19, 2013 | 6 Comments

New Research Sheds Light on Earthquakes That Occur Far Below Earth’s Surface

Two new papers shed light on the deepest earthquakes: one by documenting the largest deep event yet recorded, the other by reproducing these events at the nanoscale in the high-pressure lab.

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Blue Oaks Shine New Light on California’s Past Climate

KQED Science | September 12, 2013 | 0 Comments

Blue Oaks Shine New Light on California’s Past Climate

A new climate chronology for California has come from one of our quintessential trees, the blue oak.

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How California’s Warping Microplate Makes Its Faults Creep

KQED Science | September 5, 2013 | 1 Comment

How California’s Warping Microplate Makes Its Faults Creep

A tectonic "Big Drip" beneath the southern Sierra Nevada is connected to the creeping faults of Northern California in a new paper published in Geology.

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A Lifetime Later, a New Plan to Drill Down to the Earth’s Mantle

KQED Science | August 22, 2013 | 6 Comments

A Lifetime Later, a New Plan to Drill Down to the Earth’s Mantle

After a wait of more than 50 years, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program is ready to return to the site of Project Mohole to try and pierce the Earth's crust again.

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Rare Meteorite Lands Permanently at UC Davis

KQED Science | August 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rare Meteorite Lands Permanently at UC Davis

UC Davis is acquiring a chunk of meteorite that landed in Northern California last year. The meteorite's age makes it rare and valuable. It contains dust from ancient stars that exploded, the same stuff that eventually formed our solar system.

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Take a Hike at Watershed Lands in the Bay Area

KQED Science | August 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

Take a Hike at Watershed Lands in the Bay Area

Watershed lands aren’t destinations, like state or national parks. Their natural features aren’t unusual, and to me that’s a key part of their charm.

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Lost and Found: The 1906 Earthquake Rupture in Portola Valley

KQED Science | August 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

Lost and Found: The 1906 Earthquake Rupture in Portola Valley

New tools and old-fashioned sleuthing have cleared away a century's worth of errors from our detailed picture of what the San Andreas fault did to Portola Valley in 1906.

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The Temptation to Treat Hunches As Science in Earthquake Prediction Research

KQED Science | August 1, 2013 | 8 Comments

The Temptation to Treat Hunches As Science in Earthquake Prediction Research

The science of earthquake prediction is fraught with the human tendency to seek conclusions beyond the reach of the data. In this setting, even the fruitless hypothesis of sunspots is seductive.

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