Friday Headlines: 5-16-14

Friday Headlines, May 16, 2014

THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES

 

Today’s round-up:

Earth Science can get exciting.

Groundwater goes down; mountains go up.

Penn Yan gets flooded.

 

2 hurt, science lab damaged in Stony Brook blast

Sometimes, people complain that geology is boring. It’s nothing but rocks and dirt, they say.

That is until someone blows up the lab.

Honestly, I think it was the ‘Space Science’ folks that caused this explosion. And what the heck is a “routine scientific experiment”?

 

California Central Valley groundwater depletion slowly raises Sierra Nevada mountains

California’s mountain ranges essentially ‘bob’ up and down each year with the addition and depletion of water in aquifers, due to seasonal recharge and drawdown due to pumping.

This week, scientists determined that the pumping of the Central Valley aquifer has resulted in about 15 cm (about 6 inches) of uplift of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Mountain Ranges.

While this might not seem like much, it is possible that these tiny shifts could change the stress regime across some of the major faults in California, including the San Andreas Fault. It’s unclear whether this could trigger earthquakes, but it’s something to think about.

What else is worth thinking about is the fact that recent droughts in California and subsequent pumping of the aquifer have resulted in a 10 cm uplift of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Eep!

 

Penn Yan police: Storm ‘caught everyone by surprise’

We’ve had some substantial rains recently in this part of the world. After a long, cold, and miserable winter, now it seems to just want to rain and rain.

On Tuesday evening and into Wednesday morning, western New York State was hit by some powerful thunderstorms. The town of Penn Yan was particularly hard-hit. As much as 5 inches of rain fell.

Schools were closed on Wednesday, and again on Thursday, as cleanup efforts continued. The earth science moral here is that water and floods can be very powerful geologic agents. Check out some of these pics:

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