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Dana Hunter
15,799 followers
15,799 followers
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The disasters keep on coming. This summer has seen massive mudslides, catastrophic monsoon flooding, and hurricane rain intense enough to depress an entire landmass, to note just a few. Now it's Mexico's turn, with a one-two punch from two of the largest earthquakes of the 21st century, plus a wallop from yet another hurricane and a volcanic eruption.

Geology plays a part in where and how all of these disasters happen. Mexico is particularly seismically active: it sits on the intersections of five jostling plates (The North American, Pacific, Cocos, Caribbean, and Rivera). The tectonic stresses caused by so much subduction and transform faulting lead to some world-class earthquakes and violent volcanoes. This has been spectacularly demonstrated this month, with the restless earth shaking central and southern Mexico hard. Let's zoom in and take a look at the back-to-back disasters.

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Worldwide, it's been a terrible month for natural disasters. The mind boggles at the scale of them.

Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, pummeled by intense monsoon rains, have experienced landslides and massive flooding that has left at least 1,200 people dead and tens of millions left homeless. Bangladesh has seen a staggering one-third of the country submerged. India's financial heart, Mumbai, has seen floodwaters claim its low-lying districts. Both India and Nepal have been hit with catastrophic landslides that killed dozens and left many more homeless.

Sierra Leone's bustling capital, suffering from unusually heavy seasonal rains, was hit hard by an enormous mudslide that ravaged several neighborhoods, leaving at least 500 dead and almost a thousand more missing.

And if you're American, you haven't been able to miss the news from south Texas, where ferocious Hurricane Harvey has stalled, dumping trillions of gallons of water on Houston and other cities. Thirty people are dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, and the rains continue. Louisiana is now in the hurricane's path.

This is our new reality in an age of anthropogenic global warming.

You may be feeling helpless in the face of relentless nature. But we humans are good at surviving. We take care of each other. We lift each other out of harm's way. We help each other rebuild. It's what we do, and I have a list of organizations here that are ready to put your donations to work helping victims of meteorological and geological catastrophe survive and reclaim their lives.

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How are our national parks faring under the Trump administration and its Republican Congress? Let's take a look at the latest actions, and you can decide for yourselves.

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Yes, we usually talk about rocks in these parts, not astronomy. But as you might have noticed if you were anywhere near the US on August 21st, a rather large rocky body got between our planet and our sun, and some pretty neat things happened as a result.

There is some geology involved in an eclipse. We'll talk about it soon! But today, I wanted to show you some fun eclipse photos and explore a few of the unusual happenings when the moon comes between us and our star.

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On August 28th, the price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass is increasing drastically. If you'll be 62 or older before then, you'll definitely want to grab your pass the instant you're eligible! I've got all the facts right here for you:

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In which I show you what's inside those very wonderful bags of earth science goodness I picked up for my honorary nieces and nephews, and show you how to score some for yourselves! I mean, for science-loving kids you know.

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There's no better place for a geology buff in summer than a shingle beach. Seriously. Everyone else can keep their sweeps of pristine sand covered in sunbathing humans. If you've got a rock lover in the family, or if you yourself are enamored with everything from pebbles to batholiths, you've really got to get yourself to a shingle beach this summer.

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So. You want to go. And you want to be as prepared as possible. Or you can't go just yet, but you want to dream of that perfect trip up her flanks. I've got everything you need right here. I've gone back through our entire archives here at Rosetta Stones and collected absolutely every post I've ever written. Here they are: the guides, the Catastrophe series, the eruption photos series, my review of Richard Waitt's marvelous book, and all the extras, put together in one place so you don't have to go searching.

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Kids and rocks are made for each other. I think most of us were at least temporarily fascinated by some little pebble we picked up. I've never yet met a kid I couldn't get thoroughly smitten with rocks within about thirty seconds after saying hello. Kids like rocks. It's just that too often, grownups forget to nurture that passion, and we lose budding geologists to other sciences instead.

So I'm always on the lookout for kids' books that will help me ignite a lifelong adoration for the good science of rock-breaking. I've already found the absolute most perfect book for getting kids started: Everybody Needs a Rock. But that one's not about the science of rocks, per se, so I'm on the hunt for a companion volume.

A strong contender is Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough by Natalie M. Rosinsky.

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