The Escalante Sandstone Sea

Towering cliffs, plateaus, arches, and narrow canyons are iconic symbols of southern Utah’s Red Rock Country. Another type of landform captured my attention during recent explorations: mile after mile of gently rolling rock-covered terrain, giving the impression of being surrounded by an ocean of sandstone. An arid sand sea of shifting dunes created these rocks many millions of years ago.

By |2021-06-09T06:06:53-07:00June 9th, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|6 Comments

Volcanoes and East African Rift Roulette

The volcano recently erupting in Africa–Mount Nyiragongo–is one of the most active on our planet. Eruptions in 1977, 2002 and now beginning in May 2021, have resulted in a significant number of fatalities and extensive damage in the nearby and densely populated city of Goma. If scientists were calling the shots, they would relocate Goma and designate the region beneath this active volcano as a national park.

By |2021-06-03T06:15:22-07:00June 3rd, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|2 Comments

A Few Facts: Volcanic Explosions

Volcano-watchers have had lots of excitement lately with the ongoing eruptions on the Reykjavik Peninsula in Iceland and Soufriere, on the West Indies island of Saint Vincent. So far both eruptions are fairly small. Colorful graphic representations of the relative sizes of volcanic eruptions are intriguing, although variability in natural events confounds human attempts to assign neat boxes or bubbles to these phenomena.

By |2021-04-22T06:30:04-07:00April 22nd, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|4 Comments

Viewing Volcanic Eruptions

Watching a volcano erupt is exciting–and people all around the world now have opportunities to see these dramatic performances! The new volcano on the Reykjavik Peninsula in Iceland is getting lots of attention, as is Mount Etna in Sicily. Also, the eruption that began at Kilauea on December 20, 2020 is continuing and the lava lake is deepening.

By |2021-03-24T09:38:18-07:00March 24th, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|0 Comments

A Lighter Side of Lithium – Part 2

Meeting increased demand for lithium has a dark side of potentially damaging the environment and public health – but fortunately there is also a lighter side. Recycling can reclaim valuable metals including lithium from the battery packs that might otherwise end up in landfills. Together, recovery from other industrial operations and recycling could eventually reduce the need to wrestle new metal supplies out of the ground.

By |2021-03-04T07:36:47-07:00March 4th, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|6 Comments

A Lighter Side of Lithium – Part 1

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the wave of the future. Improvements in lithium-ion battery packs are occurring rapidly and prices are falling. Obtaining sufficient lithium to meet the growth ahead for EV has a dark side, involving open-pit mining and brine evaporation pools that can be devastating for the environment. Fortunately, there is also a lighter side that is gaining momentum.

By |2021-02-25T16:59:27-07:00February 25th, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|4 Comments
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