New Tool Aids Geologists’ Research Capabilities

28 04 2009

BySam Alcorn, Bucknell Univeristy

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Quiz: What’s 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 3 feet high?

Answer: Bucknell University’s newest research tool, a re-circulating, tilting sediment flume.

It’s so big it takes up an entire room in the O’Leary Psychology and Geology Center, a room appropriately called the Flume Room.

In fact, when the center was under construction for opening in 2002, the building’s power, ventilation and floor drainage systems were designed to accommodate the flume, which arrived in two trailer-truck deliveries this past month and is currently being assembled much like a giant Lego set by a three-man crew from Engineering Laboratory Design Inc. in Lake City, Minn.

Custom-designed for Bucknell, the sediment transport flume will help Department of Geology faculty and students “better understand sedimentary and geo-morphological processes and allow the modeling and study of large natural river systems,” said Craig Kochel, a professor of geology and co-director of the Bucknell University Environmental Center.

“Many flumes are narrow, designed primarily for the study of flow hydraulics. Our wide flume allows for the study of the geomorphic form of river channels – giving it the space for channels to form and evolve,” Kochel said.

To read the entire article please visit the source at Bucknell University.


Geo-Gift to Fathom

23 04 2009

A little more geography than geology but still cool. This tie is printed with distressed remnants of 1900’s sea-depth estimates taken in Scandinavian and Arctic waters. These levels are rapidly changing now due to climactic shift. Available from cyberoptix in navy, white and khaki.

Might go well with:

UnEarthedTees’ Newest Design

17 04 2009

Quirky 1950s style assuring us “That’s Some Good Schist” is the latest fun geology t-shirt design at UnEarthedTees.

Louisiana Could Benefit from “Wasteful” USGS Monitoring

14 04 2009

Gotta love irony.

According to the Bayou Buzz:

United States Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., today announced that Louisiana will receive an investment of approximately $500,000 Recovery Act dollars from the Department of Interior to fund U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) projects. The Interior Department will spend $140 million nationwide on this first group of USGS projects to monitor volcanoes and earthquakes, upgrade flood monitoring technology and perform critical maintenance projects. Louisiana’s investment will be used for upgrades to streamgages used in flood monitoring, water program maintenance and facility maintenance.

Does this sound familiar? It should, because it’s the same part of the Stimulus Package that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal derided as being wasteful. Since Jindal’s very televised commentary, Mt Redoubt in Alaska has been erupting and a major earthquake in Italy has taken a disastrous toll on human life and property. The point of USGS monitoring is to reduce the impact of natural disasters. That includes flooding in Louisiana,

At of this posting, the BayouBuzz reports that, “the Governor has not stated whether he would not accept the monitoring system.”

Part of the system that would benefit Louisiana includes upgrades to solar-powered streamgages for real-time flood monitoring that are critical in advanced warning and search-and-rescue operations. Existing streamgages were invaluable during the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to locate survivors in the worst flooded areas.

Huffington Post

Related t-shirt of the day:

CSI (Continental Shelf Investigation) t-shirt

CSI (Continental Shelf Investigation) t-shirt

Do You Know Your Rocks?

14 04 2009

Today I’m just sharing this fun quiz for kids, which tests mineral and rock knowledge. I missed a few *blush.* How well did you do?

How the Italy Quake Happened

7 04 2009

The Italian quake was in a region that sits on a major fault system. David Shukman looks at the geology behind the event in this video from BBC Science.