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Current Geological Survey News and Events, Geological Survey News Articles.
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Clues to ancient giant asteroid found in Australia
Scientists have found evidence of a huge asteroid that struck the Earth early in its life with an impact larger than anything humans have experienced. Tiny glass beads called spherules, found in north-western Australia were formed from vaporized material from the asteroid impact, 3.46 billion years ago. (2016-05-16)

Retreat of the ice followed by millennia of methane release
Methane was seeping from the seafloor for thousands of years following the retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet, shows a groundbreaking new study in Nature Communications. (2016-05-13)

Nation's beekeepers lost 44 percent of bees in 2015-16
United States beekeepers lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies from April 2015 to April 2016, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. This is a higher overall loss rate than last year and marks the second consecutive survey year that summer loss rates rivaled winter loss rates. The survey is conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the USDA. (2016-05-10)

Springtime in the Rockies: The Geological Society of America's Rocky Mountain Section Meeting
Geoscientists from the across the Rocky Mountain region and beyond will convene in Moscow, Idaho, on May 18-19 to discuss hot-topic science, expand on current findings, and explore the region's unique geologic features. The meeting's hosts are the University of Idaho's Department of Geological Sciences and the Idaho Geological Survey. (2016-05-10)

Antarctic whales and the krill they eat
The Western Antarctic sector of the Southern Ocean is the regular feeding ground of a large number of fin and humpback whales of the Southern Hemisphere. Around 5,000 fin whales likely migrate to its ice-free waters during summer, along with at least 3,000 humpback whales. This is according to a study that was led by Helena Herr of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover in Germany, and is published in Springer's journal Polar Biology. (2016-05-09)

Saharan dust makes big impact on Caribbean waters
Dust from the Saharan desert is bringing needed iron and other nutrients to underwater plants in the Caribbean, but bacteria may be the first thing to prosper from that dust. (2016-05-09)

More than half of streamflow in the upper Colorado River basin originates as groundwater
More than half of the streamflow in the Upper Colorado River Basin originates as groundwater, according to a new US Geological Survey study published today in the journal Water Resources Research. (2016-05-09)

'Hammerhead' creature was world's first plant-eating marine reptile
Newly-discovered fossils of the Triassic marine reptile Atopodentatus unicus have revealed that the animal had a bizarre hammerhead-shaped jaw apparatus. It used its strange jaw to feed on plants, making it the first herbivorous marine reptile. (2016-05-06)

Comparative analysis reveals use patterns of deeper Caribbean coral reefs by shark species
Three species of shark, tiger, lemon and Caribbean reef, all use deeper coral reefs in the Virgin Islands, but only lemon shark presence was associated with seasonal grouper spawning aggregations, according to a study published May 4, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Alexandria Pickard from Nova Southeastern University, Florida, and colleagues. (2016-05-04)

Hydropeaking of river water levels is disrupting insect survival, river ecosystems
A group of researchers concluded today in a study in the journal BioScience that 'hydropeaking' of water flows on many rivers in the West has a devastating impact on aquatic insect abundance. (2016-05-02)

Tracks, trails, and thieves
Ride the trails and rails across the Wild West with Ferdinand Hayden through this detailed recounting of the first government-sponsored geological survey of the Wyoming and adjacent territories in 1868. The discovery of new archival material has helped bring the day-to-day adventures of this unique survey to life. (2016-05-02)

'Geothermal Energy: A Natural, Renewable Resource'
Geothermal energy is an important natural and renewable resource. This Special Paper from the Geological Society of America is a compilation of current and timely investigations of the complementary tracks of geothermal energy -- low-temperature ground-source geothermal and high-temperature hydrothermal systems. This volume will be of distinct interest to the geologic community, civil engineers, urban planners, and those interested in environmental sustainability. (2016-04-28)

Beach buoys deployed to detect beach contamination
Beachgoers may soon be able to know in a timely manner if the water is clean enough for swimming, thanks to some new technology developed by researchers from Michigan State University and the US Geological Survey. (2016-04-27)

Citizen seismologists multiply the impacts of earthquake studies
From matchbook-sized sensors plugged into a desktop computer to location-tagged tweets, the earthquake data provided by 'citizen seismologists' have grown in size and quality since 2000, according to the field's researchers. (2016-04-22)

Water color and phytoplankton growth in the Gulf of Maine are changing
Researchers from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the US Geological Survey found that the amount of dissolved organic carbon from rivers emptying into the Gulf of Maine has increased over the last 80 years, a trend they predict will continue through 2100 if annual precipitation continues to increase. Runoff is changing the color of the seawater, reducing the light available to phytoplankton for photosynthesis, causing a decline in overall productivity. (2016-04-21)

Preparations for a US west coast tsunami look to the past and future
Plans for managing tsunami risk on the West Coast are evolving, said scientists speaking at the Seismological Society of America's 2016 Annual Meeting, held April 20-22 in Reno, Nevada. These plans include everything from tsunami hazard maps that guide the development of personal and community evacuation routes to detailed (2016-04-21)

Seismologists ask: How close are we to an eruption?
Scientists analyzing the data from seismic networks are becoming better at detecting volcanic activity and at depicting the source and structure of the 'plumbing' beneath the world's volcanoes. But a critical question remains: Can these data help predict when a volcano is close to erupting? (2016-04-20)

Induced earthquakes come under closer scrutiny at SSA Annual Meeting
On March 28, the US Geological Survey issued a one-year seismic forecast for the United States that for the first time includes ground-shaking hazards from both natural and human-induced earthquakes. In the wake of the forecast's release, researchers are gathering at the Seismological Society of America's (SSA) 2016 Annual Meeting April 20-22 in Reno, Nevada, to discuss some of the science behind the report. (2016-04-20)

Snowmobiling could be hard hit by climate change, new study says
A warming climate resulting in reduced snow cover at normal elevations could seriously impact Vermont's $600 million snowmobiling industry, according to a comprehensive survey snowmobilers in and out of the state. (2016-04-19)

More natural history training needed, survey shows
A survey of early-career scientists and environmental-science professionals found that only 11 percent felt their academic training alone provided the needed exposure to natural history, which can be defined as the observation of organisms in their natural environment. (2016-04-19)

Copper gives an answer to the rise of oxygen
A new study presents evidence that the rise of atmospheric oxygenation did indeed occur 2.4-2.1 billion years ago. It also shows that biological usage of copper became prominent after the so called 'Great Oxidation Event.' An international team of researchers has recently published the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2016-04-18)

After 18 million years, a new species of extinct rodent discovered in Israel
A handful of tiny teeth found in Israel's Negev desert led Israeli and Spanish researchers to describe a new species of rodent which has been extinct for nearly 18 million years. (2016-04-13)

Twentieth century warming allowed moose to colonize the Alaskan tundra
The establishment of moose in tundra regions of Alaska was the result of warmer and longer summers that increased their shrub habitat, according to a study published April 13, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ken Tape from the University of Alaska, USA, and colleagues. (2016-04-13)

Earthquake may have been manmade, but more data needed to assess hazards in Texas
The most comprehensive analysis to date of a series of earthquakes that included a 4.8 magnitude event in East Texas in 2012 has found it plausible that the earthquakes were caused by wastewater injection. The findings also underscore the difficulty of conclusively tying specific earthquakes to human activity using currently available subsurface data. (2016-04-13)

Virginia continues to lead in clam and oyster aquaculture
Virginia shellfish farmers sold $48.3 million in clams and oysters in 2015, with hard clam sales of $32.3 million once again leading the nation and $16 million in oyster sales tops among US East Coast states. (2016-04-11)

Hi-tech opens up Earth's secrets
A JCU scientist has developed a hi-tech animation of millions of years of tectonic plate movements that could lead to new mineral discoveries and help predict volcanic eruptions. (2016-04-10)

New models predicting where to find fossils
An international team of scientists have developed a way to help locate fossils of long-extinct animals. (2016-04-07)

Half of Syrians living in Germany favor ceiling
Current Emnid survey shows positive attitude of people of Syrian origin towards newly arriving refugees -- at the same time fears of arriving terrorists. (2016-04-07)

Oil and gas wastewater disposal may harm West Virginia waterways
Unconventional oil and gas operations combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' to release natural gas and oil from underground rock. Studies have centered on potential water pollution from this process that may increase endocrine disrupting chemicals in surface and ground water. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri report high levels of EDC activity in the surface water near a hydraulic fracturing wastewater disposal facility in West Virginia. (2016-04-07)

CU study: Ancient Mars bombardment likely enhanced life-supporting habitat
The bombardment of Mars some 4 billion years ago by comets and asteroids as large as West Virginia likely enhanced climate conditions enough to make the planet more conducive to life, at least for a time, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. (2016-04-05)

Cold mountain streams offer climate refuge: Future holds hope for biodiversity
A new study offers hope for cold-water species in the face of climate change. The study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, addresses a longstanding paradox between predictions of widespread extinctions of cold-water species and a general lack of evidence for those extinctions despite decades of recent climate change. (2016-04-05)

Summer melt-driven streams on Greenland's ice sheet brought into focus
Erosion by melt-driven streams during summers on Greenland's ice sheet during shapes landscapes similarly to, but much faster than, rivers do on land, says a University of Oregon geologist. The methods used to study the ice sheet should help scientists better understand melt rates and improve projections about glacial response to climate change. (2016-04-05)

Shifting sands on Mars
University of Iowa researchers have a $501,000 NASA grant to travel to Iceland to better understand sand dunes found all over the planet Mars. They hope the Iceland site will show how Martian sands have changed, which could yield more clues about Mars's geological history and the possibility of discovering microbial life entombed there. (2016-04-04)

Number of science and engineering graduate students up in 2014
The number of science and engineering graduate students at US academic institutions rose by 3 percent between 2013 and 2014, owing largely to a 13.1 percent increase in foreign graduate enrollment. According to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, (NCSES) in 2014 a total of 587,161 students were enrolled in masters' or doctorate programs in science and engineering (S&E), up from a comparable number of 570,300 the previous year. (2016-04-01)

Strong effects of climate change on common bird populations in both Europe and the USA
Scientists have shown for the first time that common bird populations are responding to climate change in a similar pronounced way in both Europe and the USA. (2016-03-31)

Atmospheric nitrogen leads to loss of plant diversity in sites across US
Rising levels of atmospheric nitrogen pollution threaten plant diversity at nearly one-quarter of sites across a widespread portion of the US, according a new study led by University of Colorado Boulder researchers. (2016-03-28)

Australopithecus fossils found east of the Great Rift Valley
New fossils from the outskirts of Nairobi reveal that Australopithecus afarensis lived far eastward beyond the Great Rift Valley, demonstrating how adaptable the early hominid species were to new environments. (2016-03-24)

A new view of the X-ray sky
The 2RXS catalogue is the second publicly released ROSAT catalogue of point-like sources obtained from the ROSAT all-sky survey observations performed between June 1990 and August 1991, and is an extended and revised version of the 1RXS catalogue. (2016-03-24)

Two decades have brought little change for women in cardiology
Female cardiologists are less likely than their male counterparts to get married and have children and more likely to face challenges related to child care, family leave policies and professional discrimination, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session. (2016-03-23)

Human impact forms 'striking new pattern' in Earth's global energy flow
University of Leicester researchers lead Anthropocene study into planet's biological production and consumption. (2016-03-23)

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