A schematic model that links the slab hole with other physiographic features. The view is from the east, and theJuan de Fuca slab is shown in blue. The propagator wake (bold gray line underneath Oregon) causes a weakness in the slabalong which a tear is propagating. The High Lava Plains (contours in Oregon) lie above the southern edge of theslab hole. The Gorda slab rotates clockwise, causing intraplate seismicity in the Gorda region.

Untangling Oregon Volcanism


Most of Oregon is igneous rock. Pretty recent igneous rock, as geologists measure time. It’s almost embarrassing. While some of it is pretty well understood, parts of all that volcanism are unexplained. The stratovolcanoes of the High Cascades? Subduction of the Juan de Fuca Plate and Pacific Plate. The lava that flowed into the Pacific…

Watching the North Magnetic Pole Wander (Credit:National Center for Environmental Information, NOAAA)

Magnetic North Is Sprinting Away


This nifty animated GIF shows movement of the magnetic north pole, the bigger green dot, from 1965 to present. You’ll notice two things immediately: (1) it has moved a long ways over that interval, and (2) the rate of movement has accelerated in the most recent time. A recent survey by a Canadian–French international collaboration…

Nymph and Adult Asian Long-horned Tick, Two Haemaphysalis longicornis on a US dime.

Let’s Not Get Hysterical. Yet.


The reporting on the spread of the invasive Asian Long-horned Tick, verges on the hysterical. “Vicious species of tick.” “Bloodthirsty hordes.” “Ravenous swarms.” Sounds like a lousy (sorry) Grade-B horror flick. But there are some scary aspects to this recently invasive species. First, unlike native North American ticks, this species can reproduce parthenogenetically; it can…

Source: NOAA Publication 2009

Okay, Do You “Believe” in Gravity?


The U.S. State Department includes something called the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. The Bureau’s primary mission is “to harness intelligence to serve U.S. diplomacy.” Dr. Rod Schoonover is a Senior Analyst in that Bureau, whose work is primarily focused on the implications of environmental and ecological change on national security and foreign policy. Dr. Schoonover…