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How Earth got its tectonic plates
Los Angeles Times
While scientists have linked the movements Earth's ever-roaming tectonic plates to our planet's most violent events — quakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions — they have struggled to explain exactly how they came to exist in the first place. Now, in the journal Nature, two geophysicists have proposed that Earth's lithosphere was microscopically weakened and brittled by movement in viscous layers below it billions of years ago.
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Scientists at work: Revealing strange fossils from the 1st carnival of animals on Earth
The Conversation
In a recent paper in Nature, we described a strange marine animal, called Tamisiocaris. They were giants that swam in the oceans over 500 million years ago. They had strange looking appendages on their faces, which filtered food from the ocean, according to new fossil evidence found in Greenland. Such discoveries are being made at three sites around the world. And they are all from a key event in the history of our planet called the Cambrian Explosion.
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Heating things up: What drives elevation along mid-ocean ridges?
redOrbit
The contours of the Earth's crust are influenced by the high temperatures deep within the planet's mantle, according to a new study published in Science. A team of researchers, led by Brown University, demonstrated that those temperature differences control the elevation and volcanic activity along mid-ocean ridges, the colossal mountain ranges that line the ocean floor.
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AIPG NEWS


Still time to register for the Marcellus, Utica and Point Pleasant Shale: Energy Development and Enhancement — April 16-17
AIPG
Join AIPG and the Ohio Section of AIPG for this conference. It is structured to allow consideration and ample discussion of the most crucial aspects of the hydrofracturing process as it pertains to gas production in shale and other tight formations. Registration is available online or via printable form. Exhibitors and Sponsors are welcome!
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Call for abstracts: 2014 AIPG/AHS National Conference
AIPG
Join the American Institute of Professional Geologists and the Arizona Hydrological Society for the 2014 Water and Rocks, the Foundations of Life National Conference in Prescott, Ariz. Click here to submit an abstract online to be considered for a presentation or poster. Click here for conference details.
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AIPG section newsletters now available online
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AIPG
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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Date Event More Information
April 9-11 GSA Meeting, Blacksburg, Va. For more information, call 303-412-6205 or email aipg@aipg.org
April 15-17 116th National Western Mining Conference and Exhibition, Denver www.coloradomining.org
April 16-17 AIPG 5th Annual Symposium Marcellus, Utica, and Point Pleasant Shale: Energy Development and Enhancement, Columbus, Ohio Register here; Additional information for exhibitor and sponsor opportunities available at AIPG
April 23-24 5th Conference: Innovative Environmental Assessment and Remediation Technology, Kennesaw, Ga. Register here; Additional information for exhibitor and sponsor opportunities available at AIPG
April 24-25 GSA Meeting, Lincoln, Neb. For more information, call 303-412-6205 or email aipg@aipg.org
May 18-21 GSA Meeting, Bozeman, Mont. For more information, call 303-412-6205 or email aipg@aipg.org
May 29 Aquifer Characterization — Groundwater Behavior in the Subsurface Environment, Lexington, Ky. Hosted by the AIPG Kentucky Section
June 1-4 48th U.S. Rock Mechanics Geomechanics Symposium: Rock Mechanics across Length and Time Scales, Minneapolis . ARMA
June 17-18 4th Annual Workshop on: The Groundwater/Surface Water Interface — Characterization, Evaluation and Compliance, Roscommon, Mich. Hosted by the AIPG Michigan Section
June 25-26 15th Annual Energy Exposition and Symposium, Billings, Mont. The Energy Exposition
Aug. 25-27 2014 Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver URTeC
Aug. 28-Sept. 7 AWG 2014 Canadian Rockies Geology Field Trip, out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada Register here; contact Debbie Hanneman for more information
Sept. 13-16 2014 AIPG/AHS National Conference Water & Rocks — the Foundations of Life, Prescott, Ariz. Conference Website
Sept. 19-22, 2015 AIPG 2015 National Conference, Anchorage, Alaska Hosted by AIPG National and co-hosted by AIPG Alaska Section



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Skydiver narrowly missed by meteorite: 'World's 1st occurrence' claim geologists
International Business Times
A skydiver from Norway was narrowly missed by a meteorite midair in summer 2012. Anders Helstrup, along with other members of the Oslo Parachute Club, jumped from a plane and while releasing his parachute for a slowed descent above Hedmark, he noticed something that looked like a stone falling a few feet away from him. A video posted on YouTube shows how close Hesltrup came to being hit by the meteorite.

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Researchers say dormant Yellowstone supervolcano may never erupt again
The Daily Mail
It is believed to be the world's biggest volcano, and if it erupted, much of the U.S. would be covered in ash. However, researchers believe the massive supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. — which researchers recently found was 2.5 times bigger than they thought — could actually soon be dead.

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Geologist: Undersea volcanoes could complicate MH370 wreckage retrieval
MSN News
The recovery of MH370 and its black box is going to be an extremely difficult task as geologists believe the debris from the Malaysian Airlines aircraft could be lying above a giant undersea chain of volcanoes whose complex terrain has barely been charted. To make matters worse, the only Australian vessel capable of charting depths of 3,000 meters, the RV Southern Surveyor, had been decommissioned in December.

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INDUSTRY NEWS


Geology spans the minute and gigantic, from skeletonized leaves in China to water on Mars
Geological Society of America via Phys.org
New Geology studies include a mid-Cretaceous greenhouse world; the Vredefort meteoric impact event and the Vredefort dome, South Africa; shallow creeping faults in Italy; a global sink for immense amounts of water on Mars; the Funeral Mountains, U.S.; insect-mediated skeletonization of fern leaves in China; first-ever tectonic geomorphology study in Bhutan; the Ethiopian Large Igneous Province; the Central Andean Plateau; the Scandinavian Ice Sheet; the India-Asia collision zone; the Snake River Plain; and northeast Brazil.
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Weird magnetic anomaly reveals ancient tectonic crash
LiveScience
The east coast of North America was once as wild as the West, with massive mountains rising between colliding tectonic plates, volcanoes belching lava and giant faults slicing the crust. That's because millions of years ago, eastern North America was part of Gondwana and Pangaea, the supercontinents that formed as Earth's tectonic plates collided, split apart, and then crashed together again before rifting and drifting toward the spots where they're located today. Though North America's east coast is relatively quiet now, clues to these ancient tectonic mash-ups remain buried deep underground.
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Study reveals new suspect in the 'Great Dying' mass extinction murder mystery
KQED
The "Great Dying" is a monstrously deadly event that occurred about 250 million years ago. Whatever it was drove some 90 percent of the world’s species to extinction. It is geology's leading murder mystery, and just like some dinner-theater production, a new theory about the killer has the diners around the table murmuring. The new suspect was proposed on March 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The culprit was an outburst of evolution in sea microbes.
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Rover Curiosity discovers 'Australia' on Mars
Discovery News
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has begun science operations in a new area of study nicknamed "the Kimberly" after the Western Australian region. But in a new image uploaded to the Mars Science Laboratory raw image archive, it seems the Kimberly is a little more Australian than mission managers originally thought. The rock, which appears to have been formed through some erosion process, will likely fascinate geologists for some time.
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Geologists say South Dakota sand isn't right for fracking
KFYR-TV
VideoBriefThe process of fracking for oil takes a lot of water, sand and chemicals to break up shale rock formations. Most of that sand comes from out of state. One of the closest states, South Dakota, has sand, but it turns out it's not the right kind. Geologists there studied sand formations and found South Dakota sand is the wrong texture for use in North Dakota's oil and gas industry.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Chesapeake Bay impact crater affecting sea level rise (MyEasterShoreMD)
Grain of sand takes record for Earth's oldest rock (Independent Record)
Researchers say dormant Yellowstone supervolcano may never erupt again (Daily Mail)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


San Joaquin Valley sinking as groundwater stores are depleted
The Bellingham Herald
Flat as a tabletop, the furrowed, brown farm fields east of this San Joaquin Valley town are some of the most productive on Earth. Every spring, they are planted with a smorgasbord of crops that in one form or another are trucked to grocery stores across America, from fresh juicy tomatoes to freeze-dried onion flakes, honeydew melons to tortilla chips. Now that bounty is threatened by a crisis of geological proportions: The land is sinking.
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Stunning video shows Ecuador's massive Tungurahua volcano about to erupt
Science Recorder
VideoBriefA volcano in central Ecuador has reportedly begun erupting, spewing ash into the air and prompting alarm from officials within the region. Ecuador officials say the volcano had yet to pose a health risk, and that ash fallout from the spewing mountain remains mild. The volcano is just one of eight within the region, according to geologists. Tungurahua, which translates to "throat of fire," is among the most active of the volcanoes in the region.
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