Author Archives: earth science society

About earth science society

I am an earth scientist. Understanding earth is essential for the well-being of our global society. Earth is fascinating, science is fascinating and a better understanding of both can help society forward. This blog attempts to make a contribution to raising awareness of these issues.

Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal. A tiny exploration.

I recently spent a few days in the Sine-Saloum delta in Senegal.  You have likely never heard of this delta and that’s not surprising. It’s small and not very well researched. As a delta sedimentologist, I was mesmerized by the … Continue reading

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Our First Full Year under Solar Power

The quiet revolution on our roof started a year ago and we’re loving it. So here’s everything you have always wanted to know about installing solar power (in Nova Scotia). Location location We live at 45N on the right side … Continue reading

Posted in climate change, Energy | 1 Comment

My Brilliant Career: a woman geoscientist looks back (posted on #IWD2017)

Last November, I gave a talk to the brand new Dalhousie University Chapter of the Association of Women Geoscientists. When I asked the women what they were looking for in a talk, they weren’t very specific other than that they … Continue reading

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New Banner picture! Cobequid-Chedabucto Fault at Cape Chignecto, Nova Scotia

Figure 1. The western extremity of the Cobequid Chedabucto Fault complex in Nova Scotia. The Cape in the distance is called Cape Chignecto It is a glorious view from the beach at Advocate Harbour. We look West towards Cape Chignecto. The … Continue reading

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Exxon, climate change and sequence stratigraphy

My favourite periodical is the New York Review of Books. It is a high-brow magazine that contains in-depth articles by outstanding writers and thinkers on a range of topics from fundamental physics to poetry and everything in between. And excellent … Continue reading

Posted in climate change, Energy, General geoscience | Leave a comment

#Katrina10. #Louisiana is still disappearing

Originally posted on EARTH SCIENCE SOCIETY:
I wrote this blog post in November of 2014. I am reblogging it today, on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Land loss map of South Louisiana. Image source here. Click on image to…

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Why I haven’t blogged for a long time: medical science and society in #Canada

Four months since my last post and only one person has wondered why I haven’t blogged in such a long time. Apparently I am not much missed, something that shouldn’t surprise anyone in this digital world of fleeting contacts. But … Continue reading

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Wrong Question: can fracking be done safely?

Originally posted on EARTH SCIENCE SOCIETY:
I published this post in February 2013. I have continued to add material to it, so the most recent bits of info are at the top of the page: scroll down for the original, which hasn’t…

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper 11 – Dino Hunt!

The preamble to this review series is here Posted today, February 12, the 206th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and just in time for tomorrow, another #FossilFriday and another day to watch Dino Hunt! —– Bramble, K., M.E. Burns and … Continue reading

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Extreme tides and Winter ice

Figure 1. Winter ice on the salt marshes of Minas Basin photographed from Wolfville, Nova Scotia, March 1, 2007. View to the North.  What is an estuary? An estuary is a bay with an open connection to the sea. Rivers … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper 10 – a question of Iron

The preamble to this review series is here —– Halverson, G.P., F. Poitrasson, P.E. Hoffman, A. Nédélec, J.-M. Montel and J. Kirby, 2011, Fe-isotope and trace element geochemistry of the Neoproterozoic syn-glacial Rapitan iron formation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. … Continue reading

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Nova Scotia’s own Great Unconformity: my new banner photo for 2015

The Angular Unconformity (U) at Nova Scotia’s Rainy Cove, separating intensely folded and faulted early Carboniferous shales and sandstones of the Horton Group (labeled 1 below the unconformity) and gently inclined, undeformed sandstones and conglomerates of the Wolfville Formation (2) at … Continue reading

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2014 in review: my world according to WordPress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway … Continue reading

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A #tsunami is really a tidal wave, except it isn’t

Katsushika Hokusai, Great Wave off Kanagawa. Image from Wikimedia. Original in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the Great Sumatra earthquake which triggered the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami that killed a quarter million people. … Continue reading

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Four Billion Years and Counting: Canada is as old as the Earth and this book tells all

    Just published! 400-pages on Canada’s geologic heritage in both official languages for only $39.95! Order your English language copy here and your French copy here.  The book’s website has tons of freely downloadable illustrations and other materials for … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper 9 – measuring the thickness of polar sea ice through time

The preamble to this reviews series, categorized as “Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper”, is here. — de Vernal, A., R. Gersonde, H. Goosse, M.-S. Seidenkrantz, and E.W. Wolff, 2013, Sea ice in the paleoclimate system: the challenge of reconstructing sea … Continue reading

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#Katrina10. #Louisiana is still disappearing

I wrote this blog post in November of 2014. I am reblogging it today, on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Land loss map of South Louisiana. Image source here. Click on image to enlarge.  Is it the weather? No … Continue reading

Posted in climate change, General geoscience, Natural hazards | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper 8 – Earth in the firing range

The preamble to this review series is here. All reviews in this series are categorized as “Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper” (see right hand column). — Spray, J.G. and L.M. Thompson, 2008, Constraints on central uplift structure from the Manicouagan … Continue reading

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#Women in (Earth)Science: Dr. Lui-Heung Chan (@FindingAda)

It’s 30 years ago this Fall that I registered for ‘Chemical Oceanography’, a graduate level class at Louisiana State University as part of my PhD program in Marine Sciences. The class was taught by Dr. Lui-Heung Chan, a quiet woman whom … Continue reading

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And then there were two: Global #Geoparks in Canada

UPDATE: 19 NOVEMBER 2015. Great News!! Global Geoparks are now official UNESCO sites. “A what? ” “A Global Geopark” “Okay, I give up” Most of you have no idea what a Global Geopark is. That’s not surprising, because – according to my … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper – 7: very old warm seas in what is now Nunavut (and why there is a Lead-Zinc ore body there)

The preamble to this review series is here. All reviews in this series are categorized as “Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper” (see right hand column). ===== Turner, E.C., 2009, Mesoproterozoic carbonate systems in the Borden Basin, Nunavut. Canadian Journal of … Continue reading

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Granites, Glaciers and the Ocean: a hike

We hiked, the other day – a well-known coastal trail, but new to me. So much still to discover here and it’s not like we haven’t been trying. The trail is in Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park and takes the … Continue reading

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The graphic artist M.C. Escher and his connections with geology

     Left: Mobula Rays off Baja California by Eduardo Lopez Negrete / National Geographic. Right: “Two Fish” by M.C. Escher, 1941 from Escher official website The left-hand photograph circulated on Twitter a few weeks ago and someone commented that … Continue reading

Posted in Geoscience and Art | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

#Mywritingprocess blog tour: clicking “publish” is exhilarating

This post is not about Earth science, it’s about me. This is part of a relay race: an exploration into how and why people blog about science. Search for #mywritingprocess on Twitter and you find hundreds of bloggers who have … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper 6 – Would CO2 storage in deep saline aquifers carry an environmental risk for shallow aquifers?

The preamble to this series is here. All reviews are stored in the category “Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper” (see right hand column). ===== Lemieux, J.-M., 2011, (Review:) The potential impact of underground geological storage of carbon dioxide in deep saline … Continue reading

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Canada’s Geoheritage Surge: Geoscience Heritage, Geoparks, Geosites, Geotourism

UPDATE – OCTOBER 20 2014. It’s here! “Four Billion Years and Counting: Canada’s Geologic Heritage”. Offered to you by the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences for CAD$39.95 only – order your copy from Nimbus   —   Left: A fossil tree at … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper – 5: refining seismic risk assessment in Canada

The preamble to this series of reviews is here. All reviews can be found under the category “Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper” Atkinson, G.M. and K. Goda, 2011, Effects of Seismicity Models and New Ground-Motion Prediction Equations on Seismic Hazard … Continue reading

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A Tidal power lagoon in Nova Scotia’s Scott’s Bay?

Nova Scotia is where I live – a 700-odd km long NE-SW peninsula that more or less parallels the edge of the continent. What (almost) separates us from that continent is the Bay of Fundy, the Canadian extent of the Gulf … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper 4 – Ice ages and Klondike gold

The pre-amble to this series of reviews is here Froese, E.G., Zazula, G.D., Westgate, J.A., Preece, S.J., Sanborn, P.T., Reyes, A.V., Pearce, N.J.G., 2009, The Klondike goldfields and Pleistocene environments of Beringia. GSA Today, v. 19, no. 8, p. 4-10. … Continue reading

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A no-brainer for every earth scientist: time travel!

Because this is a WordPress blog, I receive the weekly WordPress writing challenges, which are all about encouraging and helping aspiring fiction writers, which I am not. However, this week’s challenge is irresistible – Time Travel! This is the challenge … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper 3 – the importance of finding layered oceanic crust

The preamble to this review series is here.  Gillis, K.M., J.E. Snow, A. Klaus, N. Abe, A.B. Adriao, N. Akizawa, G. Ceuleneer, M.J. Cheadle, K. Faak, T.J. Falloon, S.A. Friedman, M. Godard, G. Guerin, Y. Harigane, A.J. Horst, T. Hoshide, … Continue reading

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Blue Beach is not for sale

(Originally posted in March 2014. Updated a few times, last in May 2017)   Left: Google Earth image showing location of Blue Beach – Avonport Station coastline. Right: aerial photo of the cliff (in the shade) and beach at low … Continue reading

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The Eemian and the #Anthropocene

Figure 1. River Eem at town of Eemdijk (to the right), Netherlands. The view is to the North. Eem floodplain (ca. 1 m below MSL) to the left. Location of photo: 52o15’17.65″N, 5019’38.42″E The Eemian interglacial warm period is known … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper – 2: The Canadian contribution to the International Polar Year

The preamble to this review series is here.   — Melling, H., R. Francois, P.G. Myers, W. Perri, A. Rochon, R.L. Taylor, 2012, The Arctic Ocean – a Canadian perspective from IPY. Climate Change, DOI 10.1007/s10584-012-0576-4. Published online at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-012-0576-4/fulltext.html The … Continue reading

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Tantalum, your smart phone and the world economy

I listen to BBC World Service a lot. Today I caught the program “More or Less” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qshd), presented by Tim Harford. “More or Less” is about “the numbers and statistics used in political debate, the news and everyday life”.  Today’s … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper – 1: The end of the last Ice Age off Newfoundland

The preamble to this review series is here. Roger, J., Saint-Ange, F., Lajeunesse, P., Duchesne, M.J., and St-Onge, G., 2013, Late Quaternary glacial history and meltwater discharges along the Northeastern Newfoundland shelf. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 50, p. … Continue reading

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Canadian Earth Science for @PMHarper – Preamble

In 2007, Canadian writer Yann Martel became puzzled about what made then relatively new Canadian PM Stephen Harper tick.  This as a result of a visit to Ottawa on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Council for … Continue reading

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The King of Sand: Paul Edwin Potter

I only ever truly loved two textbooks. I only ever loved these books because they were capable of captivating my attention, enhancing my understanding, and making me realize the depth of the subject. Most textbooks are poorly written encyclopedias that … Continue reading

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SWITCH – The Future of Energy – @SwitchEProject

Earlier this week I watched the SwitchEnergyProject film (www.switchenergyproject.com) for the second time. I first saw it last February when the Atlantic Geoscience Society showed it at its annual conference. This time I saw it at Wolfville’s Al Whittle Cinema/Theatre, … Continue reading

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A year later: women in (geo)science

It’s almost exactly year since I started this blog. My first post was dedicated to ‘Women in Geoscience’ Day 2012, followed by a dozen or so others, but I haven’t been very productive lately: my last post was 5 months … Continue reading

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What Research does Society need / want? A reflection on cutting public science institutions

From 1997 to 2002 I was president of the Royal Geological and Mining Society of the Netherlands (KNGMG, http://www.kngmg.nl). One of my tasks was to present the Society’s highest scientific award, the “Van Waterschoot van der Gracht Medal”[1] to a … Continue reading

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Dreikanter: The biography of my favourite ventifact

(photo E. Kosters) This is my favourite ventifact, a real Dreikanter, a German word meaning ‘three sider’. This vernacular term became the formal label for a ventifact with three sides. My Dreikanter is a well-sorted pure quartz sandstone of a … Continue reading

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Women in (science) careers; it remains difficult

The Council of Canadian Academies released its report ‘Strengthening Canada’s Research Capacity; the gender dimension’ in November 2012 and organized a panel discussion on the topic on April 23, 2013. Read all about it here. This report came about after the … Continue reading

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The 2nd Sichuan earthquake in 5 years / why we need more art in science communication

Yesterday, on April 20, 2013, an earthquake struck in China’s Sichuan province. Because this is the blog of an earth scientist, I’ll give you the link to the USGS’s report: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usb000gcdd#summary . This write-up is excellent and that’s how we … Continue reading

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Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent

When the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, proclaimed this week in an official press conference that our concern for climate change was ‘exaggerated’, the press rightly fell over him. There is a good summary of that controversial event … Continue reading

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Dear Dr. Johnston, Your Excellency

Your appointment as Governor General of Canada was an excellent choice. You are a person of stellar reputation. As a scientist, I was thrilled that a scientist of your stature was appointed to this office. During your relatively short term … Continue reading

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Rise to the challenge: #$5millionforscience

Two weeks ago the Canadian government announced the creation of a Federal office for Religious Freedom. It will cost Canadian tax payers $5 million per year. Many Canadians, including myself, do not believe this is a good money destination. Many … Continue reading

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Barrier Island Erosion / Sea Level Rise / Transgressive Anthropogenic Sequences /

Thanks to Twitter, I was made aware of a recent US report, entitled “Coastal impact, Adaptation and Vulnerabilities”. A summary of the report is here: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3496#.USVxRFc-6OJ. What caught my attention on that page was the ‘before and after Hurricane Sandy’ … Continue reading

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Wrong Question: can fracking be done safely?

I published this post in February 2013. I have continued to add material to it, so the most recent bits of info are at the top of the page: scroll down for the original, which hasn’t been changed. February 12, 2015 Dr. … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Nova Scotia | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What is a natural disaster?

I recently watched a very informative webinar by Munich Re. It was their annual webinar on the world’s natural disasters, for 2012 that is. All Munich Re’s webinars are here. I highly recommend dedicating an hour of your time to watch some … Continue reading

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