Geo-archaeologist: Tsunami Could Hit Israel

2 11 2009

Ancient medieval port at Caesarea ©State of IsraelOy.

“There is a likely chance of tsunami waves reaching the shores of Israel,” says Dr. Beverly Goodman of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa following an encompassing geo-archaeological study at the port of Caesarea. “Tsunami events in the Mediterranean do occur less frequently than in the Pacific Ocean, but our findings reveal a moderate rate of recurrence,” she says.

Dr. Goodman, an expert geo-archaeologist, exposed geological evidence of this by chance. Her original intentions in Caesarea were to assist in research at the ancient port and at offshore shipwrecks.

“We expected to find the remains of ships, but were surprised to reveal unusual geological layers the likes of which we had never seen in the region before. We began underwater drilling assuming that these are simply local layers related to the construction of the port. However, we discovered that they are spread along the entire area and realized that we had found something major,” she explains.

Read the full article at Science Daily.


Caesarea: The Roman aqueduct ©State of Israel

Journal reference: Beverly N. Goodman-Tchernov, Hendrik W. Dey, Eduard G. Reinhardt, Floyd McCoy, and Yossi Mart. Tsunami waves generated by the Santorini eruption reached Eastern Mediterranean shores. Geology, 2009; 37 (10): 943 DOI: 10.1130/G25704A.1

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Get Your Kids Rockin’ with Mineral Kits

13 10 2009

Mount Pleasant, SC, United States, 10/13/2009- Mini Me Geology has launched a line of six affordable rock kits for children.

Mineral Mission is one of several Rock Detectives kits available from MiniMe Geology

Mineral Mission is one of several 'Rock Detectives' kits available from MiniMe Geology.

Several kits are available: Mineral Mission, Igneous Investigation, Sedimentary Sleuthing, Metamorphic Mystery, Crystal Geometry, and Crystal Experiment.

Each kit contains six or seven large mineral or rock samples, a hand-held magnifier and a CD loaded with 30 pages of information about the samples, as well as printable puzzles, games, coloring pages, activities and experiments. Children will become true detectives as they use the information on the included CD to determine the identity of each rock or mineral by performing the activities from the CD. The CD will also teach the children how to make their own rock collection box and field notebook from household items. The Rock Detectives kits retail for $19.99 and are available at the company website.

Mini Me Geology also offers a deluxe line of kits called “My Rockin’ Collections” rock and mineral kits, rock kit storage bags, “School Edition” rock and mineral kits for classrooms, individual rock and mineral samples, and identification accessories.

Source: NewswireToday

Red Dust from Desert Blankets Sydney

22 09 2009

The dust blanketing eastern parts of New South Wales has been carried by powerful winds that snatched up tons of topsoil from the drought-ravaged west of the state.

Dust storms swept over Sydney Wednesday morning, turning the city sky so red, some residents thought they’d left the blue planet.


Residents of eastern Australia have had to battle these bizarre conditions, because strong winds from the dry interior swept up dust and brought it gusting into the city.

In other areas of southern Australia like Broken Hill — well inland in western New South Wales — the storms have been even more intense. Dust storms have occasionally blacked out the sky.

Stunning photos have been posted to this Flickr gallery.

Major Earthquake Hits Java

2 09 2009

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake caused dozens of buildings to  collapse in the city of Tasikmalaya, in Java, Indonesia,  and injuring a number of people, according to one report.

The quake, which occured at at 2:55 p.m, also damaged buildings in the university city of Bandung near the epicentre, but there were no reports of any deaths.

In the capital Jakarta hundreds of people streamed from offices into the streets, according to agency reports.

The US Geological Survey lowered its magnitude reading from 7.4 to 7.0 and local tsunami warnings were withdrawn.

Source: BBC and

Geo-Pict of the Day

16 08 2009

Another spectacular example from the Earth as Art series.


The Lena River, some 2,800 miles(4,500km) long, is one of the largest rivers in the world. The Lena Delta Reserve is the most extensive protected wilderness area in Russia. It is an important refuge and breeding grounds for many species of Siberian wildlife.

To download the image in high resolution, register at the USGS here.

Powerful quakes in Japan and Indian Ocean

11 08 2009

Earthquakes struck both Japan and India on August 10, 2009. Although tsunami warnings were initially announced they were later recscinded.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Posted with vodpod

Really on the Rocks

10 08 2009

If you are really serious about enjoying your drinks on the rocks, you might want to try out these soapstone “ice” cubes.

“Whiskey Stones” won’t dilute your drink because they do not melt. I haven”t tried them so I cannot tell you how well they work, but it’s certainly a novel idea. Remember to always drink responsibly — you don’t want to get stoned.  Available at Think Geek in packs of 8 with a drawstring bag.

FREE Days at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

8 08 2009

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (Colorado)––home to one of the richest and most diverse fossil deposits in the world––is waiving entrance fees on August 15-16, 2009. The name Florissant comes from a French word meaning “blooming” or “flowering.” Both modern and fossil flowers are found in Florissant, Colorado today.

Admission to the park will also be free on Saturday, August 22 in celebration of the park’s 40th anniversary. Ranger-led programs will be offered throughout the day, including a free seminar from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., The History of the Founding of Florissant Fossil Beds NM (teachers can receive credit, fees apply).

More information available on the park’s website.

Earth as Art: The Andes

24 07 2009

Vivid colors belie the arid landscape of northern Chile where the Atacama Desert, one of the world’s driest, meets the foothills of the Andes. Here salt pans and gorges choked with mineral-streaked sediments give way to white-capped volcanoes.

Click to download a hi-res version.

Source: NASA

Obama’s Nominates First Woman to Head USGS

13 07 2009

President Barack Obama on Thursday announced he will nominate Marcia McNutt, president and CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, as director of the U.S. Geological Survey. If confirmed, McNutt would become the first female director since USGS was established in 1879 to lead research into earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, coastal erosion and the effects of global warming on water resources and land forms.

The president has also nominated Jonathan Jarvis, currently the Pacific West regional director for National Park Service, with authority over parks in California and eight other Western states and territories.

Californians note that McNutt and Jarvis are among several scientists with state ties tapped by the President for key positions at major federal research agencies. Steven Chu, the Nobel prizewinning physicist who headed the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is now Secretary of Energy. John Holdren, former director of UC Berkeley’s energy and resources group, is the president’s chief science adviser. Jane Lubchenco, a renowned ecologist from Oregon State University and a board member of McNutt’s institute, is the new director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

McNutt is a certified SCUBA diver who once completed underwater explosives training with Navy SEALS for her geologic research, and has published more than 90 scientific articles, ranging from studies of ocean island volcanism in French Polynesia to continental breakup in the western United States to uplift of the Tibet Plateau.

She will succeed USGS director Mark Meyers, a former oil company geologist in Alaska appointed by George W. Bush and known for limiting public release of information by Survey scientists who work in controversial fields like climate change.

Jarvis, if confirmed, will oversee an agency that manages 84.6 million acres of U.S. land, including 58 national parks, 54 wilderness areas, 10 national seashores, and a long list of lakes, battlefields, trails and campgrounds.

Sources: SFGate (David Perlman, Peter Fimrite & Staff Writers) and Mercury News (Paul Rogers)