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Early Earth less hellish than previously thought
Vanderbilt Unversity via Science Codex
Conditions on Earth for the first 500 million years after it formed may have been surprisingly similar to the present day, complete with oceans, continents and active crustal plates. This alternate view of Earth's first geologic eon, called the Hadean, has gained substantial new support from the first detailed comparison of zircon crystals that formed more than 4 billion years ago with those formed contemporaneously in Iceland, which has been proposed as a possible geological analog for early Earth.
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Wrinkles in ancient rock may be signs of early life
ZME Science
Take a walk along any shore line — the odds are you'll see at least a few rocks with a wrinkled pattern. What are these wrinkles? The answer is surprisingly complex, and has had geologists scratching their heads for decades. But now that riddle may have finally been answered.
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Team develops new, inexpensive method for understanding earthquake topography
Space News From SpaceDaily
Using high-resolution topography models not available in the past, geologists can greatly enrich their research. In light of this, Kendra Johnson and colleagues have developed a new system that takes advantage of affordable, user-friendly equipment and software to produce topography data over small, sparsely vegetated sites at comparable (or better) resolution and accuracy to standard methods.
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AIPG 2014 National Awards to be presented Sept. 15
The AIPG 2014 National Awards will be presented on Sept. 15 at the AIPG Awards Dinner in Prescott, Arizona. The 2014 award recipients are:
  • William J. Siok, CPG-4773 — Ben H. Parker Memorial Medal
  • Lawrence C. Weber, CPG-7120 — Martin Van Couvering Memorial Award
  • Richard L. Nielsen, CPG-11459 — Honorary Membership
  • Simon Winchester — Outstanding Achievement Award.
Additional information will be available in the next issue of The Professional Geologist.

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The Science Behind Fracking, presented by Robert Single from Anadrako Petroleum — Oct. 7 in Denver
Please join us at 6 p.m., Oct. 7, for an educational evening about the procedures, equipment used and geology behind fracking. It be held at the Tivoli Turnhall Auditorium, 900 Auraria Parkway, in Denver. This event is by RSVP only. To reserve your spot, please send an email to along with any questions about fracking you would like answered during the Q&A session. RSVP by Oct. 2.
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Double J Drilling of W.Va., a woman-owned,small business with over 35 years performing drilling and well installation services for Government,Industry,and Consultants throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Phone: 304-375-4629             E-Mail:

AIPG Section Newsletters are now available online

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AIPG Quarterly Journal
The Professional Geologist July/August/September issue is now available online. All past issues are also available online.
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  No Travel Required Online Geotechnics
ME | PhD | Certificate

Designed for geologists and engineers working in the geotechnical industry.  Live Stream Video, Collaborative Software, Archived Classes

Recipients of the 2014 AIPG Section Leadership Award
Awards will be presented at the AIPG Business Luncheon on Sept. 13, in Prescott, Arizona, to: Dave A. Sadoff, CPG-9933, California Section; Douglas C. Peters, CPG-8274, Colorado Section; Glen L. Faulkner, CPG-635, Georgia Section; Martin J. Hamper, CPG-10250, Illinois/Indiana Section; Adam W. Heft, CPG-10265, Michigan Section; Gary H. Haag, CPG-7667, South Dakota Section; and Andrew B. Graham, CPG-9035, Wisconsin Section.
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Recipient of the 2014 AIPG Student Chapter Award
Awarded August 2014 — Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia, Founded 2011, Chapter Sponsor: Ronald J. Wallace, CPG-8153; Faculty Sponsor: Bill Frazier; Student Chapter Officers: Salvador Espinosa, SA-3138; Ridge Smenner, SA-5592; Jeannie Patrick, SA-3772; and Rylleigh Harstad, SA-5593.
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AIPG Conference on Social Licensing: Achieving Public Support — Nov. 10 in Denver
The term "Social License to Operate" (SLO) was originally adopted for use by the Canadian mining industry in the late 1990s, and referred to the concept that social permission was needed for a mining company to conduct its operations, for example from local communities or indigenous people. Since then, the premise of the SLO has been extended to other geological challenges faced by society, such as fracking for oil and gas development, radioactive waste disposal, carbon capture and storage, geologic hazards, and deep-well injection of wastewater.

The lay public is frequently uninformed or misinformed about the complex scientific and technical challenges that accompany these issues. This problem is typically coupled with a general lack of knowledge about subsurface geology. The SLO seeks to alleviate this problem through a variety of public participation strategies to engage with citizens, communities, and stakeholder groups. Through this process, geoscientists can develop an understanding of public knowledge and concerns.

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Date Event More Information
Nov. 10 AIPG Conference on Social Licensing: Achieving Public Support — Nov. 10 in Denver Register Online
Dec. 15-19 2014 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco AGU
Sept. 19-22, 2015 AIPG 2015 National Conference, Anchorage, Alaska Hosted by AIPG National and co-hosted by AIPG Alaska Section

Scientists: Popular theory about volcanoes is all wrong
The Huffington Post
A popular theory has it that, at least in certain types of volcanoes, eruptions occur when molten rock known as magma gushes up from deep inside the earth via narrow jets known as mantle plumes. But a new study of seismic data has identified one very big hole in the theory: "Mantle plumes have never had a sound physical or logical basis," study co-author Dr. Don L. Anderson, professor emeritus of geophysics at Caltech in Pasadena, California, said in a written statement released by the university.

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Unitization: The oil and gas industry's solution to one of geology's many conundrums
The National Law Review
Geology, and nature in general, are never perfect. Given the migratory nature of oil and gas, a hydrocarbon reservoir will often straddle two or more license or contract areas. One of the primary objectives of host governments and international oil companies is to maximize the economic recovery of petroleum from the "common" hydrocarbon reservoir. Unitisation is an approach, which the oil and gas industry has developed to ensure that this is achieved.

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Jupiter's moon Europa just got even cooler
The more they look at other worlds in the Solar System, the more scientists discover that Earth isn’t as special as we earthlings like to think. Our planet has active volcanoes — but so does Jupiter’s moon Io. We have geysers — and so does Saturn’s moon Enceladus. We have lakes, rivers and rain, and so does Titan, another moon of Saturn’s.

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Mauna Loa poised to erupt?
As Kilauea continues to threaten lower Puna, Hawaii, geologists are also keeping their eyes on the volcano's much larger cousin — Mauna Loa. An eruption isn't imminent, and no warnings are being issued. But the towering 13,678-foot mountain is going through the same motions that it did before its 1984 and 1975 eruptions, said Wes Thelen, HVO seismologist.
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New data resource to help in the search for oil and gas
Fuseworks via Yahoo News
Geologists will produce a series of freely available digital maps and a comprehensive database over the next four years to help exploration companies pinpoint prospective areas to explore for oil and gas in New Zealand’s offshore territory. The result will be an extensive body of information showing the current geological understanding of New Zealand’s 18 mostly offshore petroleum basins.
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Testing the fossil record
Researcher Bjarte Hannisdal is a co-author of an article in the journal Nature Communications, in which he and two colleagues ask a long-standing question: How good is the fossil record. Palaeontologists have developed methods to try to identify and correct for bias and incompleteness in the fossil record. The new study suggests that some of these correction methods may actually be misleading.
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    Meteorite makes big crater in Nicaragua (CNN)
AIPG new applicants and members (April-August 2014) (AIPG)
Revisiting the moon (The New York Times)

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Mantle plumes crack continents
The Archaeology News Network
In some parts of the Earth, material rises upwards like a column from the boundary layer of Earth's core and the lower mantle to just below the crust hundreds of kilometers above. Specialists call these magma columns "mantle plumes" or simply "plumes." Geologists believe that plumes are not just responsible for creating volcanoes outside of tectonically active areas — they can also break up continents.
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Research confirms oil-replacement theory
Science Network via
Some years ago, the bitumen inclusions in rocks that often accompany petroleum gas deposits intrigued a CSIRO geologist. Dr. Peter Eadington speculated that gas could replace columns of oil by dissolving some or all of its more volatile components. He retired before he was able to confirm the hypothesis. But an international research team has now proven it under laboratory conditions.
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Geological wonders: Natural methane seeps off US Atlantic Coast
Researchers have discovered 570 plumes of methane percolating up from the sea floor off the eastern coast of the United States, a surprisingly high number of seeps in a relatively quiescent part of the ocean. The seeps suggest that methane’s contribution to climate change has been underestimated in some models. And because most of the seeps lie at depths where small changes in temperature could be releasing the methane, it is possible that climate change itself could be playing a role in turning some of them on.
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