125 news posts related to Geophysical Sciences

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Signals from the ionosphere could improve tsunami forecasts

NASA satellite image of the Hunga Ha'apai eruption.

Research from the University of Washington shows that signals from the upper atmosphere could improve tsunami forecasting and, someday, help track ash plumes and other impacts after a volcanic eruption. A new study analyzed the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption in the South Pacific earlier this year. The Jan. 15, 2022, volcanic eruption was the largest to be recorded by modern equipment. 

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UW brings field geology to students with ‘Virtual Field Geology’

Whaleback anticline

University of Washington geologists had set out to create computer-based field experiences long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Juliet Crider, a UW associate professor of Earth and space sciences, first got a grant from the National Science Foundation to send a former graduate student and a drone to photograph an iconic Pennsylvania geological site and pilot a new approach to field geology. 

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Deepest scientific ocean drilling effort sheds light on Japan’s next ‘big one’

Harold Tobin of the University Washington inspects drilling pipes.

Scientists who drilled deeper into an undersea earthquake fault than ever before have found that the tectonic stress in Japan’s Nankai subduction zone is less than expected. The results of the study led by the University of Washington and the University of Texas at Austin, published Sept. 5 in Geology, are a puzzle, since the fault produces a great earthquake almost every century and was thought to be building for another big one. 

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New UW Photonic Sensing Facility will use fiber-optic cables for seismic sensing, glaciology and more

The fiber-optic cables that travel underground, along the seafloor and into our homes have potential besides transmitting videos, emails and tweets. These signals can also record ground vibrations as small as a nanometer anywhere the cable touches the ground. This unintended use for fiber-optic cables was discovered decades ago and has had limited use in military and commercial applications. A University of Washington pilot project is exploring the use of fiber-optic sensing for seismology, glaciology, and even urban monitoring. 

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New study calculates retreat of glacier edges in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park

Holgate Glacier, shown here in June 2009, terminates on the coast and is a popular kayaking destination, especially in summer when the ice is calving. Local residents had recently observed land exposed at its terminus, but the new analysis finds that the glacier has been advancing over the past 5 years.

As glaciers worldwide retreat due to climate change, managers of national parks need to know what’s on the horizon to prepare for the future. A new study from the University of Washington and the National Park Service measures 38 years of change for glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park, a stunning jewel about two hours south of Anchorage. The study, published Aug. 

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