Author Archives: Mika

GSA 2014 Vancouver TweetUp

Are you coming to GSA 2014 in Vancouver? We’re holding a meet-up at Steamworks Brew Pub on Sunday night (October 19th) at 8pm. The venue is less than a 5-minute walk from the conference and across the parking lot from … Continue reading

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Geoscientists Are Descending on Vancouver

Vancouver is drawing geoscientists into its grasp this October with the arrival of the Geological Society of America meeting. If you’re coming to the science-party, here’s a few ideas on how to spend your time outside the conference: Geo Tweet-up! … Continue reading

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Things I Wrote This Week

For the past two months, I’ve been writing for the Space subsite on io9. If you haven’t checked it out before, here’s some stories stories from this week that you might find interesting: I get concerned about too many landslide … Continue reading

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Tips for Students: fieldwork

The summer field season is rappidly approaching. If you missed it last year, check out the EGU’s¬†Geology for Global Development¬†mapping projects guidelines.

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Detecting Radioactive Anomalies

The low penetrating power of alpha and beta particles make them unlikely to be detected during field surveys. Instead, most radiometric surveys concentrate on detecting gamma rays. The low attenuation rate of gamma rays passing through air make both ground … Continue reading

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Characterizing Radioactivity

Detection of radioactivity depends on the type of radiation being targeted. Geiger Counters Gieger counters are short tubes filled with a low-pressure mixture of gas with electrodes maintained at a large potential difference. When radiation entered through the window, the … Continue reading

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Radioactivity of Geological Materials

Primeval elements with long half-lives such as potassium (40K), thorium (232Th), and uranium (235U, 238U produce elements with shorter half-lives as part of the decay process. Other primeval elements such as calcium (48Ca), vanadium (50V), and nickel (58Ni) are either … Continue reading

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Some elements are naturally radioactive, releasing alpha particles, beta particles, or gamma radiation as they decay to more stable elements. The decay in a fixed period of time is proportional to the number of unstable atoms, with exponential decay dictating … Continue reading

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LA Earthquake: Don’t panic.

I wrote an anti-hysterical guide to the earthquakes in Los Angeles for io9. Head over for the geology, seismology of recent earthquakes, interpreting risk forecasting, and preparing for the Big One without freaking out.

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Detecting Density Anomalies

Gravity field surveying is a passive technique to detect gravity anomalies. Gravity is a global field that always points vertically down, with anomalies caused by very small variations in density of the underlying materials. A gravity base station measures the … Continue reading

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