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A Threat to Egypt’s Water and Agricultural Security

http://e360.yale.edu/features/vanishing-nile-a-great-river-faces-a-multitude-of-threats-egypt-dam This article from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies discusses a new proposed dam in Ethiopia, along the border between Sudan and Ethiopia.  It would be placed along the Blue Nile River, having significant effects on the region.  Not only will the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam cut off one of the Nile River’s […]

Protection against long shore drift

This picture is a screenshot of the coast in Spring Lake New Jersey. Along the shore you can see multiple jetties along the beach. These jetties are used to limit the effects of long shore transport of beach sediment. Jetties are extremely common throughout New Jersey beaches to limit coastal erosion and are very effective.

Turbidity currents

This article discuses a recent turbidity current that scientists were able to record. The scientists used boulder shaped sensors to monitor the turbidity current by rolling with the flow. The smart sensors clocked the flow at 18 miles per hour. The article also talks about a previous turbidity current in 1929 that traveled at about […]

Sediment swirl in Lake Michigan

This article discusses a recent swirl of sediment in lake Michigan that is the result of recent storms and high winds. Wind gusts reached up to 61 mph which stirs up the sediment and recent rainstorms have filled rivers with above average amounts of sediment being carried to the lake.     http://woodtv.com/blog/2017/04/08/sediment-swirl-in-lake-michigan/

Border issues along the Red River

This picture shows the border of Texas and Oklahoma. Since the border was established the Red River has meandered this leads to a strange looking border. The border does not match the River; at some points the border even covers oxbow lakes that were once part of the border. The meandering of the river leads […]

DNA discovered in sediment

This article discusses how ancient DNA of extinct human relatives has been found in a cave in Croatia. Tiny DNA fragments were found in sediments in the cave. These sediments date back from 14000 to 550000 years ago. The discovery of DNA in sediments can be seen as a new way to learn about the […]

The Belo Monte Dam controversy

This article discusses the controversial Belo Monte Dam located in Brazil on the Xingu River. The Dam is supposed to bring a large amount of hydroelectric energy to the country, as Brazil has a growing economy and is in desperate need for more power. What makes this dam so controversial is that with its construction […]

Cape Cod Timelapse

This is a time lapse from Google earth engine that shows long shore drift of sediment at the bottom of cape cod. Due to the long shore current and lack of support structures the sediment is carried down the beach. This leads to erosion of the coast and creation and growth of spits.   https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/#v=41.62334,-70.03734,10.167,latLng&t=3.23

Wax Lake Delta

This Google earth engine time lapse shows the growth of the wax lake delta. The time lapse begins in 1984, the delta begins to grow slowly until the 1990s when the delta begins to grow at a faster rate, this growth continues in the early 2000’s and the deltas modern shape and size can be […]

Sediment in the San Francisco Bay

This article discusses how with recent rains in California, which has been in a drought for years, has had rivers carrying lots of sediment. This sediment helps build up the marshes, this is important for the local wildlife that use the marsh as a home, or stopping ground for migratory birds.   http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/San-Francisco-Bay-turns-brown-after-nonstop-storms-10932444.php

Internship at Alpine Ocean

This Summer, I will likely have a crew position on an oceanographic research vessel of Alpine Ocean, a division of Gardline group, a company which specializes in Geophysical surveys, vibracore and geotechnical services, Hydrographic survey services, as well as oceanographic survey services and enviornmental, biological and marine wildlife survey services. Sediment transport studies are involved […]

Paleosols at Badlands National Park

Last summer, my parents visited a lot of national parks, including Badlands National Park in South Dakota. They showed me all the fossils they saw, which were really cool, but they also showed me photos of the iconic red banding in some of the rock formations there. These bands are part of the Brule Formation, […]

Sediment Budget and Coastal Hazards

While in the field this past Saturday, we had the opportunity to observe how sediment is dispersed along the Connecticut coast and talk about the origin of the sediment. From glacial lake Hitchcock, several subaqueous fans (deltas) were created. As the glacier retreated, the delta morphosequences were deposited further and further north. These deposits are […]

Old Roman Aqueduct Found

A 2,300 year old aqueduct was just uncovered in Rome while working on a new Metro line.  The aqueduct was found 17 to 18 meters below the Earth’s surface.  The use of concrete bulkheads allowed them to be working that far below the ground.  At this depth in the Earth, archaeologists have uncovered a sequence of […]

Mud and… Elephants, Apparently

  The other day I came across an article about a herd of elephants stuck in a mud hole in Cambodia. They were all rescued, thankfully. I didn’t save the article, though, and when I went to search for it again, I discovered something: there are a lot of news stories about elephants getting stuck in the mud. There’s […]

Sediment in Venice

Inspired by my upcoming trip to Italy, my discussion this week looks at sediment in a lagoon in Venice. Venice is a city in Northern Italy that is made of many different islands that are connected by canals and bridges. The Venetian Lagoon is the overall term for the area encompassing Venice. Humans have had […]

Beach Restoration: An Effort to Counter Storm Surge

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/news/article/Galveston-puts-last-of-1-million-cubic-yards-of-11031401.php#photo-12200804 In this article from the Houston Chronicle, the restoration of beaches on Galveston Island, a barrier island in Texas, is discussed.  This project, coming after a failed proposal to use tax money to raise the sea walls, attempts to help counter storm surge while also maintaining economic benefit due to tourism by widening the […]

A Lesson to Learn from the British

http://www.iwcp.co.uk/news/news/investigation-into-coastal-erosion-around-the-isle-of-wight-98121.aspx Politicians in the community of the Isle of Wight in Britain have organized a pair of studies to determine the risk of and put in place preventative measures to deal with sea level rise.  This risk assessment, while viewed as a precaution at this point due to a lack of imminent danger, will allow […]

Knickpoints and Canoe Racing

While canoeing down the Hockanum River, my dad and I got to navigate the Beacon Falls rapids. These rapids are formed due to lithologic knickpoints. Most likely these knickpoints are migrating due a combination of glacial rebound and erosion.  Below is a picture of my Dad and I during the Hockanum River Race.

Footage of Turbidity Current

This video shows a turbidity current 400 meters deep in the Mendocino canyon off the coast of California.  An underwater ROV captured the event.  In the video you can see the different stages/layers of the turbidity current pass by the ROV (dilute flow, dense basal layer) .

Filtering Croton Water

Yesterday I visited the Old Croton Aqueduct with my club (Soil and Water Conservation Society).  We were able to walk into the 41 mile aqueduct built in the 1800’s, and see how it worked, and learn some of the history behind it. It was New York Cities first clean source of water (after they polluted […]

Assateague Island

Assateague Island and Ocean City have been losing land from sea level rise, extreme weather events, and subsidence. Since 1960 the sea level has risen 5 inches and storms have been becoming more intense in recent years. On Google timelapse you can see how the coastline has receded on Assateague Island, while long shore drift has […]

Barrier Island Evolution

https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/ Google Earth Engine Time Lapse: Gargathy Bay, Wallops Island, VA, United States Zoom to this location and look at the changes of the northern barrier island as it progrades to the southwest. The barrier island has grown by a substantial amount. This is due to wave defraction eroding sediment from the barrier island and displacing it […]


(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_6CGtXcavSuo/S-wH-dT28nI/AAAAAAAAAS0/WiTeWCZFDOQ/s1600/gleyed+soil.JPG) The image above is an example of gleying in soil. What is gleying? It is when low oxygen soil conditions (such as a high water table) cause iron and manganese to reduce, and make the soil gray. There are some cases where plants grow in soils that have low oxygen, and the roots that go […]

Mother Nature Reclaims the Land

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/10/battered-by-winter-storms-big-sur-is-cut-off-from-california/ California received some much needed precipitation over this past winter, lifting it out of a severe drought.  This was not without its problems however, as the sharp increase in precipitations have led to landslides in parts of the state.  One notable example of this was the small town of Big Sur, which has essentially […]

Colorado River Delta Restoration Efforts

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/special-features/2014/12/141216-colorado-river-delta-restoration-water-drought-environment/ This article described restoration efforts of the Colorado River Delta, a joint US-Mexico attempt to restore biodiversity to the region.  The delta had dried up as hydroelectric dams had been installed along the river, leading to desertification of the region.  This is a region incredibly rich in nutrients due to the amount of sediment […]

Mississippi Delta Restoration

Engineered levees are preventing deposition of sediment on the Mississippi Delta marshes and floodplain. This is leading to subsidence and land loss as sediment is no longer escaping the Mississippi River. Here is a link that looks at projects which will aid in preventing land loss: http://mississippiriverdelta.org/restoration-solutions/

Yukon River Delta

This is the Yukon River Delta. It is a river dominated delta where the Yukon and the Kuskokwim rivers meet and empty into the Bering Sea in Alaska. It is one of the largest deltas in the world (129,500 sq km) and 25,000 people live on the delta. A lot of the delta is a wildlife refuge of […]

Yellow River Delta

I learned ( In my Natural Resources of China class) that much of the lowlands of China are a delta formed by the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers in China. This is where they do much of their agriculture, because most everywhere else in  the country is too mountainous. The Yellow River Delta is a river […]

The Potential Effects of Climate Change on Sediment Transport

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/drained-bone-dry-battling-15-years-of-drought-colorado-river-could-decline-by-35-by-end-of-century In the article above, the work of several researchers and the predictions from multiple climate models was discussed.  The research done focused on the effects of climate change on the flow of the Colorado River, particularly the decrease in flow.  Due to drought and rising temperatures, the flow of the Colorado River has been […]

Aral Sea

On google earth timelapse you can see how the Aral Sea shrivels up to almost nothing. The Aral Sea is fed by the Amu Darya River in the south and the Syr Darya in the east/north. The Aral Sea began drying up after the Soviets began diverting the rivers for irrigation. By 2007 it was […]

Fluvial Responses to Landslides

Google Earth timelapse shows amazing imagery of what happened before and after several landslides in Oso, WA. The river experiences a large build up of sediment upstream while downstream the river does not get as sediment choked. The landslide dams the river causing an increase in slope upstream, increasing basal shear stress, causing more sediment […]

Rakaia River Timelapse

https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/#v=-43.53499,171.73082,10.818,latLng&t=0.00 After being inspired be a class discussion on rivers, and Google Earth Engine, I decided to look at rivers in New Zealand, and make a timelapse of its changes over time. I looked at the Rakaia River, which seems to be both meandering, and braided in parts. I think this helps exemplify that identify […]

The Breathtaking Scenery of Zion National Park

Zion National Park is the home of many spectacular landscapes, perhaps most notably, Angels Landing.  This, like many of the other features within the park, were formed by rivers carving through the sandstone, forming massive slot canyons and carving the landscape around the plateaus.  While treacherous due to the height of some of these cliffs, […]

Rainstorms in California

California is having a rough couple of weeks.  Over the weekend a huge rainstorm hit Southern California.  They received between 2-6 inches of rain, with almost 10 inches of rain in some areas.  Because the ground was already oversaturated from what has been a very wet winter, there were major flash floods and a few sinkholes.  There […]

Legacy Sediment

Have you ever wondered what happens to sediment once dams are removed? Scientists from Boston College and Franklin and Marshall are studying the effects. They’ve discovered that sediment once ponded by a dam in Lancaster County, PA traveled all the way to the Chesapeake Bay! This sediment transport effects nutrient availability and river morphology. Links […]

Snowflake Analysis

Shoveling has been a reoccurring theme for the previous week with two winter storm systems coming through. Snow/ice is classified as a mineral meaning that we have the ability to classify it! Take out your hand lens and grain size chart and determine what size particles you are shoveling, skiing, or sledding in! Bonus-the snowflakes […]


I learned about this mixture in my soils class last week, called plinthite. I am not sure whether or not it is considered a rock, or soil. It is a mixture of clay, quartz and other minerals that hardens when it gets wet, supposedly irreversibly hard. I find this rather interesting, because I would think […]

Skiing and Sediment Transport

Downhill skiing can be an analogy for sediment transport in fluvial systems. Skiers that stay on their feet can be thought of as suspended particles. Skiers that end up summersaulting can be thought of as incipiently suspended load. Skiers that fall flat on their face can be thought of as bedload where the critical shear […]

Pollution in the Mariana Trench

Wanna hear some bad news? Scientists have recently discovered that the Mariana Trench, a huge void caused at the intersection between two tectonic plates, is absolutely loaded with harmful pollutants that are damaging all sorts of ecosystems. We used to be confident that the Mariana Trench, a setting even more hostile than the top of […]

Sediments Entering Feather River

The Feather River is is the outlet for the Oroville Dam. Floodplain deposits besides this river would tell us the shear velocity during certain floods and what particle sizes would comprise the suspended, incipiently suspended, and bedload. If the sediments behind the dam were cored, we could figure out what shear velocity is necessary for […]

The Need for Environmental Protection Policies

http://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-tolland-crash-evacuations-0213-20170212-story.html As many of you have probably already heard, a tractor trailer slid off of I-84 in Tolland Sunday night.  This vehicle was carrying roughly 900 barrels of chemicals that were being transported to a facility in Massachusetts.  When it slid off the road, on a section state police Sgt. Kenneth Albert described as a […]

Erosion on the Oroville Dam Spillway

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/12/us/california-oroville-dam-failure/index.html The area around the Oroville Dam in California is currently being evacuated as the primary spillway of the dam has been damaged from erosion. This article shows the huge holes in the concrete spillway that were caused by overflow of the dam from recent large amounts of rainfall. California was facing a huge draught […]