GEOS 111: Jiangxi Copper Mining Polluting Le’an River

[Photo: Xinhua]

As we saw in class, copper can be fairly easily extracted from malachite. The process involves crushing the malachite in order to increase its surface area and then mixing it with sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid and malachite create a solution composed of water, copper sulfate and carbonic acid. Steel is then added to the solution and the copper sulfate turns into native copper which collects on the steel.

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Geos 111: Clash of the Elements – Volcano Eruptions in the Deep Ocean

We are all familiar with volcanic eruptions, from the fiery lava belched from the underbelly of Hawaii, to the large and terrifying explosive, ash eruptions like the Mount Saint Helens eruption of 1980. However, did you know that submarine eruptions account for about three-quarters of all of Earth’s volcanism ? The ocean floor is full of the cracks, or plate boundaries, that help the Earth to release some of its’ pent-up heat, hence underwater volcanoes.

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GEOS 111: Underwater Volcano in the Canaries

On October 9, an underwater volcano off the coast of El Hierro erupted; the first eruption this area has seen in 40 years. Even more significantly, it is the deepest submarine volcano scientists have ever been able to study visually. “This is probably the first time that such a young underwater volcano has been mapped in such high resolution,” explains Juan Acosta, head of the IEO campaign.

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GEOS 111: Earthquake Mitigation

Earthquake mitigation is the measures taken to help reduce the severity of damage caused by earthquakes to life, property, and the environment. Typically, “earthquake disaster mitigation” refers to interventions to strengthen the built environment while “earthquake protection” refers to human, social and administrative aspects of reducing earthquake effects.

At home there are five precautions families can take to prevent the risk of earthquakes.

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Geos 111: The 2C Challenge

When I think of climate change, my mind usually jumps straight to global warming, the ice caps melting, and everything we could lose because of these changes.  But I had never thought of climate change in terms of the economy and society as a whole.  Apparently I’m not the only one!  Most country leaders say they want to help fix the climate change, but, one, they are not working fast enough to really make a difference, and two they think it will not really have an impact on their country as a whole.

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GEOS 111: House Passes Controversial Copper-Mining Land Swap in Arizona

In the United States, copper mining has always been a profitable industry. This is especially true for Arizona which accounts for two thirds of the nation’s copper production (Dom). Copper mines supply Arizona with approximately 20% of its GDP and with the rising value of copper; this percentage is steadily increasing (OPUS).  Currently, half of Arizona’s copper is mined at the Morenci mine.

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GEOS 111: Raising the Groundwater Cap in the Murray Darling Basin

In the south Eastern part of Australia lays the Murray Darling Basin. This 1,061,469 sq. kilometer region that covers most of New South Wales, Victoria and part of Queensland makes up roughly 14 percent of Australia’s total area and is home to almost half of Australia’s farms. Its agricultural gross counts for a third of Australia’s production and a third of its food supply.

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GEOS 111: Global Debt and Economical Lag take toll on Silver Market

While sliver and other precious metals such as gold, platinum and palladium are all monetary “safe-havens”, investors around the world don’t find them necessary in this time of economic drought. Within the past month, the silver market has had its biggest drop since 1980 (BusinessWeek). Edward Meir of MF Global’s observes that “until there’s some real fix to stem debt contagion, metals traders just aren’t going to be inclined at this point to make much of a bet on [precious metals]” (Barron’s).

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GEOS 111: Quantum CEO Urges U.S. to Counter China’s Rare Earth Strategy; Nebraska Site Helps Secures America’s Rare Earth Metals Need

The joke that China will soon be ruling the world is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. In a recent press release by Market Watch Inc., CEO Peter Dickie of Quantum Rare Earth Development Corporation spoke out on how China controls 97% of the world’s rare earth elements. To him this is a huge problem for the development of U.S.

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GEOS 111: Our Underwater Origins?

Where did life come from? That question has been plaguing humanity for years and now scientists at Stanford University have found evidence supporting a theory about the origin of us all. At the bottom of the ocean.  Between the formation of the Earth and the appearance of the first single-celled organism there is a blank place in scientific history when the first life was actually formed.  

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