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Historic logging site shows first human-caused bedrock erosion along an entire river

Exposed bedrock in the Teanaway River forms flutes and grooves — depressions where gravel gets trapped in a pothole and erodes it further. The oblong depressions are popular summer bathing spots.

Geologic time is supposed to be slow, and the most solid object should be bedrock. But new University of Washington research upends both concepts: Effects of logging show that human activity can significantly erode bedrock, causing geology to fast forward. The study, published April 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focuses on the Teanaway River, a picturesque river in central Washington state. 

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North Dakota site shows wreckage from same object that killed the dinosaurs

In a paper published April 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences an international team of authors, including University of Washington Provost Mark Richards, share the discovery of a site that tells another piece of the story from the day a meteor strike is thought to have led to the end of the dinosaurs. “It’s like a museum of the end of the Cretaceous in a layer a meter and a half thick,” said Richards, who is also a professor in the UW Department of Earth & Space Sciences. 

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Bubble streams off Washington’s coast provide clues to what will happen during a major earthquake

Bubble Plumes off Washington Coast

Off the coast of Washington, columns of methane bubbles are being squeezed out of sediment and rising up through the water. A study by the University of Washington and Oregon State University suggests that the locations of these bubble plumes provide important clues to what will happen during a major offshore earthquake. Analysis of the underlying geology suggests that the bubbles emerge here because of the gas and fluid rising through faults which are generated by the motion of geologic plates—the same plates that produce major offshore earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest. 

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One year into the mission, autonomous ocean robots set a record in survey of Antarctic ice shelf

A Seaglider, with the Getz Ice Shelf in the background, being prepared for deployment in January 2018 under the neighboring Dotson Ice Shelf.

A team of ocean robots deployed in January 2018 have, over the past year, been the first self-guided ocean robots to successfully travel under an ice sheet and return to report long-term observations. Beyond mere survival, the robotic mission — a partnership between the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, the UW Applied Physics Laboratory, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, the Korean Polar Research Institute and Paul G. 

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