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.



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.

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.

Announcing the Winner of Our Give-Away

18 11 2008

My apologies for not getting back to you sooner, but finally, yes, finally, we have a winner of our geology t-shirt give-away.  Just so you know, it was a random drawing and not related to the awesome and fun suggestions you submitted

Anyway, the winner of the Rockhound Cafe t-shirt is Jason from the 1rockhound blog. Congrats to Jason!  I’ll be in touch with you to find out where I can send your shirt.

Thank you to all who participated!

Video From Japan: Jishin!

14 06 2008

Even if you do not understand Japanese, this video shows the effects of the earthquake in Japan  on June 14 (Iwate, Miyagi, Sendai, Tohoku) such as landslides and road damage, and reports on the over-turned bus, the buried hot springs building, various rescue missions as well as interviews.

“Dormant” Volcano Erupts in Chile

5 05 2008

The Chaiten volcano in the Patagonian area of southern Chile caused earthquakes and sent up fire, plumes of smoke and ash which tainted the local water supply on May 2. Most of the 4,500 people living in the Chaiten area, some of whom live on small islands, had to evacuate. As of today the ash continues to pour of the volcano and has covered the town.

The 3,550-foot high snow-covered volcano is not known to have erupted in recorded history.

A short aerial view captured on video:

News broadcast from Chile, in Spanish:

GeoBlogBytes has a nice list of news links on the topic.

Today’s Earthquake

29 04 2008

It wasn’t huge,but it was felt as far as Oregon. Today’s earthquake measured 5.2. and was centered in Willow Creek, southeast of the Redwood National Forest.


Earthquake Tee

Shakey lettering asks if you feel the earthquake: “Do You Feel That?” A great gift for a geologist, seismologist or anyone living in earthquake country. Available at UnearthedTees.