Blast from the Past: It’s all about scales

It has often been said that geology is the study of scales. Time scales, large scales, small scales and many others. Indeed, one of the most crucial parts of any photo or map is the scale. Furthermore, geologic concepts can be applied from the planet scale to the atomic scale and every size in between. What confuses most people though is not only do we work in terms of huge size/magnitude variations but we also…

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Geology Photo of the Week #52 – Looking from the past to the future

This weeks photo is a beautiful yet sad reminder that Arctic research and work is still a dangerous undertaking just as it was for the early Arctic explorers. Looking with hope from the past into the future by Vladislav Petrusevich The following text is by Vladislav Petrusvich: Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen by Beechey Island in 2013 after tragic event when a researcher (Klaus Hocheim), captain and a helicopter pilot were killed in a tragic helicopter…

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Photo of the Week #51

I’m getting back in the bog saddle. After a brief hiatus as I was adjusting to the life of a real, productive member of the PGS (post grad school) world I am good to go for blogging again. Enjoy the photo of the week! Sphalerite’s “Transformer” by Dmitry Tonkacheev, IGEM RAS, Moscow, Russian Federation The text that follows is a technical description of the photo by the photographer, Dmitry Tonkacheev. Presented intergrowths of the infinite…

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GeoPoll: Who do you think most deserves the title “Father of Geology?”

It’s been a while since the last geopoll/post. Too long. Life has been busy for me though. I am just concluding an extremely short post-doc at Health Canada’s Canadian Radiological Monitoring Network and am starting a new job at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission next week. Suffice to say blogging has sadly slipped a bit lower on my list than I’d like. Plus it’s hockey and nordic season here in Ottawa. At any rate, I…

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Tracking the Fallout and Fate of Fukushima Iodine-129 in Rain and Groundwater

A recently published paper (by myself and colleagues from uOttawa and Environment Canada) investigates the environmental fate of the long lived radioisotope of iodine, 129I, which was released by the Fukushima-Daichii Nuclear Accident (FDNA). Within 6 days of the FDNA 129I concentrations in Vancouver precipitation increased 5-15 times above pre-Fukushima concentrations and then rapidly returned to background. The concentrations of 129I reached were never remotely close to being dangerous, however they were sufficient to distinguish the impact of the FDNA on the…

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Bubbling Merrily: Artesian Springs

I recorded the video above on a recent field camp near Deep River, Ontario. This video shows a great example of a flowing artesian spring which is bubbling up at the headwaters of a creek. The water is freezing, crystal clear and totally delicious! The classic textbook on groundwater, Freeze and Cherry, puts the attraction of groundwater springs nicely when they say “Flowing wells (along with springs and geysers) symbolize the presence and mystery of…

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My DEFENCE! Follow live tweets with #129I @ 2:30pm ET

My PhD defence is this week (Wednesday) at 2:30pm ET. I am feeling pretty good about the whole thing but at the same time nervous. I just don’t know exactly what to expect. I have a sort of idea of what the questions might cover and where my assumptions or conclusions might be challenged. However, the uncertainty of all this is what is making me nervous. Credit: XKCD I have gotten lots of good advice…

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Photo of the Week #50

This week’s photo is brought to you from outer space! Indeed, this a beautiful cut section of a meteorite that fell in northwest Australia and was found in 1892 (ignore the label behind it). It is an iron-nickel meteorite and is composed entirely of metal. This crazy cross-hatching, which is most commonly found in such iron-nickel meteorites, is called a Widmanstätten pattern. Widmanstätten patterns, also known as Thomson patterns, are revealed only when the meteorite is cut,…

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From the GeoSphere Archives: The Wooden Wall

It is once again time to write about geology and classics and the incredibly important impact the geosciences had on the ancients and their way of life. My previous post on this topic can be found at my old blog location as the post: The Odyssey and Geology. I’ll begin by relating a story: Themistocles (Wikimedia Commons) The two fleets, the Persians the the Greeks, which was composed of the navies of all the city states, but…

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Photo of the Week #49

This week’s photo is from my personal research and shows a precipitate that I generated in the lab one day of AgI (silver iodide) for analysis of 129I by accelerator mass spectrometry. I felt though that I wanted to verify the purity of the AgI so I quickly threw in on our scanning electron microscope to a) check the chemistry and b) take a picture. The image below shows an amalgam of AgI crystals with…

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