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As 2014 comes to a close, AIPG would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the AIPG eNews a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Jan. 6, 2015.



Scientists: Siberian exploding holes 'are the key to Bermuda Triangle'
The Siberian Times
From Oct. 14: Massive craters — two in Yamal and one on the Taymyr peninsula — were revealed during the summer, leading to urgent analysis by scientists as well as a wave of speculation suggesting the cause was aliens from outer space, meteorites or stray missiles. Now scientists have come up with a coherent explanation for the craters and links it to the notorious Bermuda Triangle phenomenon, where ships and aircraft have disappeared under strange circumstances.
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Geologists find the cause of earthquake lights
Examiner.com
From Jan. 7: Geologists have determined the cause of earthquake lights and may be able to use the rare phenomenon to predict earthquakes before they happen according to their research published in the Jan. 2, 2014, issue of the journal Seismological Research Letters.
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Our planet's most abundant mineral now has a name
Phys.org
From June 24: Deep below the earth's surface lies a thick, rocky layer called the mantle, which makes up the majority of our planet's volume. For decades, scientists have known that most of the lower mantle is a silicate mineral with a perovskite structure that is stable under the high-pressure and high-temperature conditions found in this region. Although synthetic examples of this composition have been well studied, no naturally occurring samples had ever been found in a rock on the earth's surface.
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Clay: A new way to fight germs?
Society for Science and the Public
From Aug. 5: Increasingly, doctors are finding that antibiotic drugs are not killing the infections they were meant to target. But a team of American geologists think a solution may be right under our feet: clay.
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Geologists identify trigger for apocalyptic 'super eruptions'
The Guardian
From Jan. 7: Super eruptions make those from normal volcanoes look like sputters of dust. They blast enough material into the air to bury large cities beneath kilometers of ash, and the particles they send into the sky can cool the planet for years. But the most alarming aspect of these rare and violent events, which have left deep scars on the planet's surface, is that the forces that drive them have never been understood. Until now.
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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Date Event More Information
Jan. 1, 2015 Deadline for AIPG membership dues Pay Online
Jan. 16, 2015 Call for Abstracts due for the 5th Annual AIPG Michigan Section Technical Workshop: Site Characterization AIPG Michigan Section
Feb. 13, 2015 AIPG National Executive Committee Meeting Tucson, Arizona
March 2015 AIPG/AGWT Shale-Gas Development and Water Issues Conference Houston
April 2015 AIPG Hydraulic Fracturing Conference TBD
June 24-25, 2015 2015 Energy Exposition with Technical Sessions Presented by AIPG Billings, Montana
Sept. 19-22, 2015 AIPG 2015 National Conference, Anchorage, Alaska Hosted by AIPG National and co-hosted by AIPG Alaska Section


There may be a 2nd massive ocean deep beneath the Earth's surface
Smithsonian
From March 18: Deep within the Earth, staggering pressures mix with high temperatures to compact regular materials into exotic minerals. Under these extreme conditions, one familiar mineral — a blend of magnesium, iron and sand that geologists call olivine — is transformed into a material called ringwoodite. This material is produced in Earth's so-called "transition zone," from around 255 to 416 miles depth, where the outer mantle turns to the inner mantle. While ringwoodite has been found before, researchers in Brazil found a sample that had an even greater surprise locked inside.
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Watch this terrifying recreation of the deadly Oso mudslide
io9
From April 15: In late March, a major landslide occurred a few miles east of Oso, Washington, killing at least 35 people and engulfing an area approximately one square mile. Geologists are now studying the event and they're baffled by its ferocity and speed. Using a new computer model, Richard Iverson of the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the mass of mud, rocks and trees was traveling about 60 mph when it reached the river below.
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Yellowstone supervolcano 'turned the asphalt into soup,' shut down roads
RT
From July 15: Extreme heat from a massive supervolcano underneath Yellowstone National Park is melting a major roadway at the popular summertime tourist attraction. Park officials have closed the area to visitors. "It basically turned the asphalt into soup. It turned the gravel road into oatmeal," Yellowstone spokesman Dan Hottle said. While thermal activity under the park often gives way to temperature fluctuations that can soften asphalt throughout Yellowstone, Hottle said the latest wave seems worse than usual.
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Earth's magnetic field could flip within a lifetime
LiveScience via Discovery News
From Oct. 22: A magnetic field shift is old news. Around 800,000 years ago, magnetic north hovered over Antarctica and reindeer lived in magnetic south. The poles have flipped several times throughout Earth's history. Scientists have estimated that a flip cycle starts with the magnetic field weakening over the span of a few thousand years, then the poles flip and the field springs back up to full strength again. However, a new study shows that the last time the Earth's poles flipped, it only took 100 years for the reversal to happen. And the Earth's magnetic field is in a weakening stage right now.
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Solving the Midwest's biggest geologic mystery
Northwestern University via Phys.org
From March 18: Geologists have a new explanation for the Midwest's biggest geologic mystery: What caused the giant 2,000-mile-long rift that starts in Lake Superior and runs south to Oklahoma and Alabama? Using new data from the North American Midcontinent Rift and observations of rifting occurring today between Africa and Arabia, the scientists propose that the Midcontinent Rift formed when rocks now in South America rifted away from North America, forming a new ocean.
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