Thursday, November 23, 1995

Volcanic hazards video

A new video, "Understanding Volcanic Hazards," is now available from the Northwest Interpretive Association, 3029 Spirit Lake Highway, Castle Rock, WA98611 U.S.A. Price $19.95 plus postage. Add $5.00 for postage in Canada, United States, and Mexico. For other destinations, add $13.05 for airmail postage to $5.55 for surface mail. Cheques to be payable to the Northwest Interpretive Association. The video comes in English and Spanish versions in NTSC or PAL format - please specify in your order.

The video was produced by the late Maurice Krafft, who was killed, along with his wife Katia and Washington geologist Harry Glicken, by a hot ash flow while filming at Unzen Volcano, Japan, in 1991. Sponsored by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior and UNESCO, this program is intended to help prevent future deaths from volcanic eruptions by showing compelling images of destructive volcanic activity. The video features stunning images of seven types of volcanic hazards, ash falls, hot ash flows, mudflows, landslides, volcanic tsunamis, lava flows and volcanic gases.

Of rocks, mountains and jasper

A Visitor's Guide to the Geology of Jasper National Park by Chris Yorath and Ben Gadd 150 pages, 125 black and white illustrations, 25 colour illustrations, 1 map. In Guidebook Format. $20.00 plus $3.50 shipping and handling in Canada, other countries $26.00, plus $4.55. Send orders to: Geological Survey of Canada Bookstore, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0E8

Cooler water is making geyser more unfaithful

Yellowstone Park, WY. - A mixing of hot and cold groundwater might explain why eruptions of the "Old Faithful" geyser in Yellowstone National Park have become increasingly sporadic in recent years, said a researcher who recently conducted the first video probe of the geyser.

Susan Keiffer, head of geological sciences at the University of British Columbia, helped design a vacuum-insulated, ice-cooled probe containing a two-inch videocamera that was lowered into the mouth of Old Faithful. Temperature sensors on the camera indicated a relatively cool flow of water about 24 feet below the surface. Keiffer has theorized that this cooler water may be coming from higher-level groundwater that is changing the thermal dynamics of the geyser.

"We speculate that it may be changes in this recharge water that control the eruptive intervals of Old Faithful. At present, the intervals are lengthening, which might suggest more cold water at the present time than the past," wrote Keiffer in a recent edition of "Yellowstone Science," a publication of scientists conducting research in Yellowstone Park. In addition, she wrote, mixing of hot and cold waters serves as a catalyst for mineralization of the geyser. "Perhaps we are viewing the mixing of hot and cold waters that eventually will precipitate enough silica to cause Old Faithful to stop erupting," Keiffer said.

Via U.S. Water News, September 1995.

1996 Spring Meeting of the Eastern Section of the National Association of Geology Teachers will be combined with the Spring Meeting of the Delaware Teachers of Science at the Stanton Campus of Delaware Technical and Community College, May 24-26. Plans include workshops on Friday and a visit to Dupont Mineral Collection and the Delaware Geological Survey. Saturday will include field trips, possibilities include: the Geology of the Gettysburg Battlefield, Tectonics of the Port Deposit (MD), Carbonate Deposits of the York (PA) area and Calvert Cliffs (MD) Cretaceous Fossils. For more information contact Keith A. McKain.

Earth Science web sites

Pointers to Earth Sciences Organisations

University of Calgary

United States Geological Survey


The Royal Tyrrell Museum, Alberta

The Ontario Science Centre

The Smithsonian: America's Treasure House of Learning

Ocean Planet (Smithsonian)

Other interesting Web Sites

The Electronic Volcano

Climate Prediction Center: National Centers for Climate Prediction

Comet Shoemaker-Levy Collision with Jupiter

Hawaiian Volcano Watch

First North American testing of 3-D technology to take place in Sudbury.

Recent studies conducted under the Industrial Partners Program of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) have demonstrated that three dimensional (3-D) seismic imaging, a technique similar to medical ultrasound imaging and originally developed for hydrocarbon exploration in sedimentary basins, can be adapted to the hard rock environment of the Canadian Shield. A research consortium consisting of the GSC (a sector of Natural Resources Canada), Inco Exploration and Technical Services Inc., and Falconbridge Ltd., will evaluate the use of this innovative technology for deep mineral exploration in the Sudbury Basin, one of Canada's most important mining regions.

Under the Canadian Lithoprobe program, researchers from industry and government surveys have conducted a series of high resolution seismic surveys across the Sudbury Basin since 1990. In the process, an extensive database of geological mapping information, existing drill holes to great depths, and core samples for physical rock property studies was assembled. The surveys were followed by detailed 3-D modelling studies that address the technological challenges of detecting and delineating ore in a complex geological setting at depths of 1 to 3 km.

Using this comprehensive information base, the concept of deep-probing, high resolution 3-D seismic exploration technology will leave the drawing board and will be applied to an area of 15-20 square kilometres in the Sudbury Basin. It will be the first 3-D seismic experiment for mineral exploration in North America. If successful, this project could lead to improved exploration methods in existing base metal camps in Canada, resulting in prolonged life for mines in these areas.

For information contact Bernd Milkereit (613) 995-5490

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