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First Published: September 24: 2015
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Teachers Learning About Lunar Geology














Kristy Mar, a middle school teacher at J.H. Hull Middle School in Torrance, California, peers through microscope to examine moon rocks encapsulated in clear Lucite. Image: NASA Photo:Ken Ulbrich. Posted: December 09, 2015

A Colossal Erosion Event Transformed the Ancient Earth’s Surface That Enabled Animal Life to Develop




|| January 14: 2019: University of Southampton News || ά. The Earth’s surface experienced the largest crustal erosion event in Earth’s history some 700 million years ago, paving the way for animal life to develop, according to a major new study involving the University of Southampton. A team of scientists present compelling new evidence for scouring of three to five kilometres across all the continents during the Neoproterozoic Era, one billion to 550 million years ago, which would have seen the Earth’s crust washed into the oceans in unprecedented volumes.

The discovery provides the strongest explanation yet for the origin and extent of the ‘Great Unconformity’, a profound gap in the Earth’s rock record, exposed most dramatically in the Grand Canyon in the United States. Here, sedimentary rocks from the Cambrian era, which began 550 million years ago, were deposited directly on top of rocks from the Mesoproterozoic era, which ended one billion years ago. The erosion happened when most of the Earth’s surface was covered in ice during a severe glaciation, dubbed ‘snowball Earth’, that lasted over 50 million years.

Dr Thomas Gernon, Associate Professor in Earth Science at the University of Southampton, who is the Co-author of the study, said, “The findings help explain a fundamental enigma of Earth's history, whilst, also, having profound implications for mineral exploration in ancient terrains worldwide. A massive proportion of ancient rocks were simply scraped off the surface of the Earth in an abrupt event like no other in Earth’s history.”

Whilst preserved rocks from this era are sparse, the scientists were able to study a database of 30 thousand zircon crystals formed in magmas, essentially, ‘time capsules’, that preserve vital information on the chemical conditions, that prevailed on Earth when they crystallised. These tiny inclusions were critical to unlocking the evidence for massive recycling of sediment into the interior of the Earth in a process, known as, subduction.

The researchers, also, made the remarkable observation that Earth’s largest asteroid impact craters were largely missing in rocks older than 700 million years, supporting the idea of deep global erosion. This process re-configured the Earth’s surface and paved the way for the origin of animal life during the Cambrian era, known as, the ‘Cambrian Explosion’, by changing the shape and chemical composition of the oceans, giving animals the environments and nutrients, they needed to evolve.

Dr. Brenhin Keller, a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Berkeley Geo-chronology Centre, who led the study, said, “Our study unifies a diverse set of geological observations and, may, prompt a fundamental re-assessment of the relationship between erosion, sedimentation and sea level, on billion-year timescales.”.:::ω.

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New £01.8 Million Research Project to Map Out the Urban Soils




|| December 14: 2018: University of Essex News || ά. Urban soil and its importance to the health of both the environment and society will be comprehensively analysed as never before in a major £01.8m research project, led by the University of Essex. Despite urban soils being present in most parts of the UK, less is known about its bio-diversity and its role in supporting ecosystem services than some of the most remote areas in the world. This project is one of 14 announced yesterday as part of the Natural Environment Research Council’s:NERC £24 million new tranche of highlight topics, all focus on the most pressing research and societal issues in the environmental sciences.

Leading the Project is Dr Alex Dumbrell, a Molecular Soil Ecologist from the University’s School of Biological Sciences, who will be working alongside colleagues at Essex, as well as, scientists at Cranfield and Abertay universities. The Project will focus on large-scale and major urbanised areas, that exists across the East of England between London and Colchester, which can offer a window into the future of other urban areas within the UK. Soil samples will be taken from a wide range of urban contexts, including, current industrial areas, areas built upon an industrial legacy, residential areas, green spaces and all possible permutations of mixtures of these areas.

Dr Dumbrell said, ‘’Soil provides critical ecosystem services, that underpin human society and wellbeing, from nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration, to waste detoxification and supporting the productivity of terrestrial eco-systems. Delivery of these ecosystem services depends on the bio-diversity contained within the soil. Yet, we know relatively little about urban soil bio-diversity and how the physical and chemical structure of these environments supports it and, in turn, how urban soil bio-diversity sustains the flow of these key eco-system services."

In this unique study, scientists will use the world-leading facilities in DNA sequencing technologies at Essex to profile the bio-diversity of urban soils, examining everything from microbes to earth worms. This will be combined with quantifying how nitrogen and carbon are cycled through urban soils, how harmful pollutants and toxicants are remediated in urban soils and how these soils contribute to supporting life above ground.

“Supporting all of this will be a comprehensive analysis of the physical and chemical structure of the soil and experimental manipulations, that examine how resilient urban soils are to change.” said Dr Dumbrell. “Resulting data will be combined into predictive models, that allow us to forecast how changes to the urban environment will influence soil bio-diversity and eco-system service delivery, providing city planners and urban developers with the tools they require for future projects.

Our project will comprehensively examine the links between the biological, physical and chemical structure of urban soil, the eco-system processes and functions this supports and the delivery of four key eco-system services:nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, waste detoxification, and primary productivity: across a major urbanisation gradient reflective of the future of the UK landscape.”

NERC Associate Director of Research Mr Ned Garnett said, “The highlight topics programme allows us to receive ideas from both the research community and users of environmental science to ensure that we are providing funding where it is most needed. The provision of top quality environmental research has never been more essential as we continue to tackle some of the greatest environmental challenges of our time.”:::ω. 

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The Exeter Camborne School of Mines is Truly on Its Way to the Future of Learning




|| July 30: 2018: University of Exeter News || ά. More than £01 million has been donated to the Camborne School of Mines:CSM this year, through the University of Exeter’s ‘Making the Exceptional Happen’ fundraising Campaign, which has raised £15 million this year so far towards its target of £60 million by 2020 in addition to raising 60,000 volunteering hours. This milestone has been reached due to donations from alumni and supporters all over the world. 

The total includes a 20-year scholarship programme established in memory of alumnus Richard Osman, MSc Mining Geology, 1999 and a series of scholarships supported by the CSM Trust. The Richard Osman Memorial Fund will support 40 scholars over the next two decades, to follow in Richard’s footsteps and complete the prestigious MSc Mining Geology course. This initiative has been funded by his friends and former colleagues.

The latest donation from the CSM Trust is supporting a ground-breaking Women in Mining scholarship, the first of its kind in the UK, as well as, widening participation schemes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Funding has, also, helped with placements and support for the Mining Games. 

Dr Tony Batchelor, the Chair of the CSM Trust, said, “We are excited about supporting the future personnel needs of the natural resources industries and encouraging more young people into mining and minerals engineering. We want to ensure that the best students have the opportunity to realise their full potential regardless of their background and these scholarships are helping to achieve that goal.”

Dr Shaun Curtis, the Director of Global Advancement at the University of Exeter, said, “The level of support we have seen for CSM this year demonstrates the affection and respect, that alumni have for their alma mater.  I would like to thank everyone, who has donated in the last year and, in particular, to recognise the continued support of the CSM Trust, which has given so generously over many years.”

‘Making the Exceptional Happen’ is the University of Exeter’s most ambitious philanthropy Campaign, aiming to raise £60 million and 60,000 volunteering hours by 2020. The Campaign has raised over £15 million in the last 12 months.

The Camborne School of Mines has a 130-year heritage of delivering mining education and is ranked 16th in the world for Mining Engineering.  

About the University of Exeter: The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university, that combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. Exeter has over 21,000 students and is in the top one per cent of universities worldwide. Exeter is, also, ranked 14th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 14th in the Guardian University Guide 2019. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the University ranked 16th nationally, with 98% of its research rated as being of international quality, while in 2017, Exeter was awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework assessment. Exeter was named The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2015-16, in recognition of excellence in performance, education and research.  Exeter was The Sunday Times University of the Year 2012-13.

The University launched its flagship Living Systems Institute in 2016, a world-class, inter-disciplinary research community, that will revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This follows recent investments of more than £350 million worth of new facilities across its campuses in recent years, including, landmark new student services centres, the Forum in Exeter and The Exchange on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, together with world-class new facilities for Biosciences, the Business School and the Environment and Sustainability Institute. :::ω.

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Summanen: I Am 191st on Earth



|| July 01: 2018: University of Helsinki News: Minna Meriläinen-Tenhu Writing || ά. A Finnish-Estonian scientific co-operation by Geological Survey of Finland, University of Tartu and University of Helsinki has led to a discovery of ancient meteorite impact crater in Central Finland. The crater has a diameter of 02.6 km and it is covered by the Lake Summasjärvi in Summanen and about nine kilometre south-east of the nearest city, Saarijärvi and 275 km north of Helsinki.

The age of the impact event and the type of the meteorite causing the crater, are still unknown. The discovery is based on earlier geo-physical studies of the area by Geological Survey of Finland. As a consequence of the field trip conducted by the Finnish-Estonian research team in 2017, proofs of an ancient asteroidal shock were obtained. The Summanen geo-physical feature was first identified in the early 2000’s by Mr Jouko Vanne, a Ggeologist at the Geological Survey of Finland.

The observation was based on low altitude aero-electromagnetic data, that showed circular electro-magnetic apparent resistivity anomaly associated with Lake Summanen. The meteorite impact theory got a further support in summer of 2017, when the Finnish-Estonian team found inevitable evidences of traces of a meteorite hit.

In particular, shatter cones, fractured and brecciated rocks were discovered in Summanen area. The microscope studies of thin sections of shocked rocks prove the meteorite impact interpretation and show huge shock pressures suffered by the local basement rocks. In time of the crater formation, the diameter has been larger compared to the present 02.6 km since the erosion by geological processes, augmented by glaciations, have diminished the original crater size.

Summanen is 191st confirmed meteorite impact structure on the surface of planet Earth. The great majority is found on continental areas with only a few oceanic impacts. Although, in global perspective the Summanen belongs to the group of small craters, it, together with the eleven previously proven impact structures in Finland, places Finland into one of the leading countries to find impact structures.

The largest impact structure in Finland, the Keurusselkä structure locating, also, in Central Finland, has a diameter of >30 km with an age of about 1,100 million years. The Summanen explosion has been much smaller but, nevertheless, produced a big damage in the environment.


The Paper: ‘Summanen, a new meteorite impact structure in Central Finland: Jüri Plado, Satu Hietala, Timmu Kreitsmann, Jouni Lerssi, Jari Nenonen and Lauri J. Pesonen: Published in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science by

Contact: Lauri J. Pesonen, University of Helsinki: Professor Emeritus: Tele: +358 50 383 5574: email: lauri.pesonen at

Satu Hietala: Geological Survey of Finland: Geologist: Tele: +358 50 348 6194: email: satu.hietala at

Jüri Plado: University of Tartu: Senior Researcher: Tele: +372 5554 4535: email: juri.plado at

Minna Meriläinen-Tenhu: Tele: +358 50 415 0316: email: minna.merilainen at

Caption: Summasjärvi, Summanen: Image: Satu Hietala:::ω.

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Don't Kick-Em Jenny: This is Their Lucky Break



|| March 15: 2018: University of Liverpool News || An international team of researchers got a rare opportunity to study an underwater volcano in the Caribbean, when it erupted while they were surveying the area. The research, published in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, provides new insight into the little-studied world of underwater volcanoes. It investigated a volcano named Kick-‘em-Jenny, which is thought to be named after the turbulent waters nearby.

The research team from the University of Liverpool, Imperial College London and University of Southampton, in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, were collecting ocean-bottom seismometers aboard the NERC research ship R.R.S. James Cook as part of a larger experiment, when they were alerted to the volcano erupting. Direct observation of submarine eruptions are very rare but having the ship nearby allowed them to get to the volcano in time to record the immediate aftermath of the eruption.

Using ship-based imaging technology, the researchers were was able to survey the volcano, observing gas coming from the central cone. The data was, then, combined with previous surveys going back more than 30 years to show the long-term pattern of activity. Kick-‘em-Jenny is one of the Caribbean’s most active volcanoes. It sits eight kilometres off the northern coast of the island of Grenada and was first discovered in 1939, when a 300-metre column of ash and dust was spotted rising from the ocean.

However, volcanic activity at
Kick-‘em-Jenny is, usually, detected by accompanying seismic activity picked up on land-based seismometers. These recordings show that the volcano is active on a decadal timescale.

Lead Author PhD student Mr Robert Allen, from Imperial College, said, “There are surveys of the Kick-‘em-Jenny area going back 30 years but our survey in April 2017 is unique in that it immediately followed an eruption. This gave us unprecedented data on what this volcanic activity, actually, looks like, rather than relying on interpreting seismic signals.”

The team, which included Liverpool’s Professor Andreas Rietbrock, found that the volcano has frequent cycles of lava ‘dome’ growth followed by collapse through landslides. Similar cycles have been recently witnessed on the nearby volcanic island of Montserrat.

SRC Director Professor Richard Robertson said, “This study has confirmed very useful recent insights on the activity and evolution of Kick-‘em-Jenny volcano. For us, the agency with responsibility for monitoring this volcano, the results of this collaborative research project enable us to better quantify our existing model of this volcano and help in developing strategies for managing future eruptions.”

Any volcano on land, which was as lively
Kick-‘em-Jenny would be constantly monitored by satellites and an array of local instruments looking for the slightest change in behaviour, that could precede a major volcanic eruption. Under the ocean this job is much more difficult, as the electromagnetic energy emitted by satellites can not penetrate the sea surface and instruments are much more difficult to set up on the volcano itself. Scientists, therefore, know comparatively little about the growth and long-term behaviour of a fully submerged volcanic cone like Kick-‘em-Jenny.

The most famous submarine volcanoes are those, that lead to the formation of new islands, such as, the eruption of Surtsey in Iceland in the 1960s. However, rather than a growing cone, the surveys show significant mass loss from
Kick-‘em-Jenny due to frequent landslides in recent decades. Comparison with recent studies elsewhere has shown that similar, frequent, small volume landslides, may be, a fundamental mechanism in the long-term evolution of active submarine volcanoes.

The research was by funded by the Natural Environment Research Council:NERC as part of the VoiLA research project. This project, a multidisciplinary collaboration between UK universities and the University of the West Indies, aims to discover the role, that volatile recycling plays in the growth of the Lesser Antilles island arc.

The Paper: The research paper, 30 Years in the Life of an Active Submarine Volcano: A Time-Lapse Bathymetry Study of the Kick-‘em-Jenny Volcano, Lesser Antilles: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. DOI: 10.1002/2017GC007270

Caption: Centre Image is of Kick-Em Jenny: Underwater Volcano in the Caribbean: Centre Image: University of Liverpool

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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New Forecast Model Provides Earliest Ever Awareness of Floods and Droughts Across the World


|| November 12: 2017: University of Reading News || ά. Predicting when rivers across the world are likely to flood months before they do could soon be possible because of the development of a unique new forecasting system. Researchers at the University of Reading have worked with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts:ECMWF to create the first ever global, long-range river flow forecasting model. It indicates where and when rivers are likely to have unusually high or low flow, up to four months in advance. This could mean much earlier awareness of floods and droughts than has previously been possible.

The forecasts became publicly available from November 10 as an addition to the Global Flood Awareness System:GloFAS, which is co-developed by ECMWF and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission as part of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. GloFAS currently offers flood forecasts up to 30 days in advance and is used by governments around the world and aid organisations like the Red Cross.
The new model is currently undergoing a rigorous evaluation, but tests indicate it has the potential to save lives by allowing authorities and aid agencies around the world to plan and prepare flood relief efforts earlier than ever before. Other potential uses include water resource management, agriculture and disaster risk reduction.

Ms Rebecca Emerton, a flood forecasting PhD researcher in the University of Reading’s Water at Reading team and Project Lead, said, “This new model could be a game-changer in that it provides hydrologically relevant forecasts out to several months for the whole globe, something, that has never been possible before. It has the potential to provide earlier indications of both floods and droughts, which could be invaluable for disaster risk reduction efforts around the world, helping vulnerable communities become more resilient to the threat of flooding.”

Communities around the world are vulnerable during and after flooding events, which put lives at risk, impact livelihoods and affect food production. The new forecasting model takes long-range forecasts from the latest version of ECMWF’s seasonal prediction system:SEAS5 and runs a hydrological model to simulate how this will impact river flow.

Professor Christel Prudhomme, Environmental Forecast Team Leader at ECMWF, said, “This is a turning point for the world’s environmental services as, for the first time, state-of-the-art long-range hydro-meteorological forecasts are freely available to communities across the globe. This would not have been possible without the strong support of the EU Copernicus programme to make the data open.”

Mr Tim Stockdale, ECMWF’s Project Lead for SEAS5, said, “The newly launched SEAS5 represents six years of model development. Extensive tests have confirmed that SEAS5 brings consistent improvements in the tropics, in particular for El Niño and La Niña events. Predictions of near-surface temperature in the northern hemisphere are also improved, notably as a result of including an interactive sea-ice model.”

Until now, the necessary computational power has not been available to run models, such as, this for the whole globe. However, the computing facilities at ECMWF allowed the research teams from the University of Reading and ECMWF to develop the new model, which is now running operationally at ECMWF.

The results of the model evaluation will be published in 2018, and will show whether the forecasts are more accurate at certain times of the year or in different parts of the world and how they are affected by other climate events like El Niño. The system will continue to undergo development, with the aim to make forecasts even further in advance in the future.

The global seasonal river flow forecasting model follows research carried out by the team which analysed El Niño and La Niña global flood hazard. The research team produced sophisticated maps illustrating the likelihood of flooding around the world during El Niño, taking into account river flow for the first time.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Life's Laurel Is You In One-Line-Poetry A Heaven-Bound Propagated Ray Of Light Off The Eye Of The Book Of Life: Love For You Are Only Once



Life: You Are The Law The Flow The Glow: In Joys In Hurts You Are The Vine-Songs On The Light-Trellis


























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