Rain-induced landslides have hit a death toll of nearly 20,000 since 2007. For an overview of the landslides' locations NASA has updated the open source Global Landslide Catalog. The video released by NASA reveals very useful information on the statistics of landslides.
As water scarcity becomes an ever larger problem, Felipe de Barros, assistant professor at the University of Southern California, is working to find new methods of predicting pollution in groundwater. He aims in providing reliable predictions of how chemical pollutants in subsurface water has staggering implications for human health and sustainability. His research aims to create a model of subsurface flow and determine how chemicals move in subterranean conditions.
Engineers at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom have been using the seemingly unconventional method of tracking glowing tampons in a water body to identify areas of pollution from wastewater. Often, tampons soak up the optical brighteners, chemicals added to detergents and other cleaners to enhance whites and bright colors - the same stuff that makes your white t-shirt glow in the black light of a bowling alley. The tampons then glow under ultraviolet light. Because the natural, untreated cotton in tampons readily absorbs the chemicals, they have the potential to be a convenient and inexpensive indicator of pollution in rivers and streams.
As a flooding event is still in progress, real-time information on its extent and the population affected is difficult to obtain, putting rescue crews and associated agencies in a difficult position in terms of planning and decision making. A joint study carried out by two Dutch organizations - Deltares and Floodtags - aims in developing twitter-based real-time flood maps. The project is considered a proof of concept and was presented at the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union taking place in Vienna these days.
Coast of British Columbia and south eastern Alaska are frequently hit by strong earthquakes originating from a complex system of faults that give high magnitude shakes. The close examination of the two most recent major events - the Mw 7.8 Haida Gwaii and Mw 7.5 Craig events - revealed valuable information with regards to the interaction between the Pacific and North America plates and the fault complexity of the region. All research findings are included in 19 technical articles of a special issue published by the Seismological Society of America.
Although earthquakes along the North Anatolian Fault (NAF) have been very frequent and devastating to the city of Istanbul, recurrence rate has been difficult to evaluate as faults are located offshore. A new study published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA) brings new evidence on the earthquake history of NAF's main segment based on seabed soil samples.
Heavy rains in 2013 lead to devastating floods of rock, soil, and water through many cities and towns that line the Colorado Rockies. Scientists are now considering the importance of large, rare, independent storm events in determining an area’s landscape. Scott Anderson, a geomorphologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Tacoma, Washington and lead author of a new study stated that "while it strikes us as very random, our research suggests this is one of the formative processes in this landscape."