Steve's blog

Steve's picture

Lituya Bay Tsunami- A tall tale (pretty much) true

In any field of endeavor be it sports, law, medicine, or science, there are legendary places, episodes, and people that you just can’t miss reading about. In geophysics, Lituya Bay stands in this category, one almost verging on tall tale.

Steve's picture

Roman Holiday

If you have ever holidayed in Rome, probably you took a side trip to the Alban Hills, 15 miles south of the City.  The Alban Volcano Complex has been a get away spot for Romans for 1000s of years. Emperor Caligula took his mammoth ‘pleasure ship’ out for summer night spins around Nemi Lake in one of the Alban craters.  To escape city heat, Popes have retreated to their summer home at Castel Gandolfo above Albano Lake since 1700.

Steve's picture

Newfoundland Spring

One February several years ago I was invited to give a presentation at the “Spring Meeting” of a Geological Club in Saint John’s Newfoundland. I arrived to face freezing rain and three inches of ice coating every possible exterior surface. I learn later that the “Spring Meeting” handle was an example of Newfoundland humor. I guess that same humor explains why Newfoundland Standard Time is GMT less  three  --- AND ONE HALF --- hours.

Steve's picture

French Omelet

The French Riviera enjoys a wonderful climate. No surprise that all those movie stars, sports heroes, and super models hang out in places like Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Fréjus.   OK --  maybe not so many rich and famous spend time in Fréjus, but it is the setting for today’s blog, so bear with me.

Steve's picture

Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami: 50 years on

March 27, 2014 marks the 50-th anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami.  Although perhaps not an occasion for cake and ice cream, it certainly is an occasion for thought regarding both historical and future earthquake disasters. Who can say, 50 years from now we might be reminiscing about the Great Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami of 2015.    

Steve's picture

Yangtze Tsunami

Have you ever heard of China’s Three Gorges Dam? That’s that mega project intended to control the Yangtze River.  At 1.3 miles long, 610 feet high, and possessing the hydroelectric capacity of eleven Hoover Dams, the thing is sometimes called “China’s Other Great Wall”.

Steve's picture

Haiyan Surge: Wrong Place, Wrong Time

2013 was a quiet season for hurricanes in the Atlantic.  In the Pacific however, one hurricane (called typhoons there) drew lots of attention --  Typhoon Haiyan.

I’ve blogged about hurricanes several times here…

Steve's picture

Splish Splash

No secret that I’m fascinated by waves.  Call me Doctor Doom, but the bigger the better.  One source of big ones is asteroid impact. 

I’ve blogged here before about these things

 but the subject merits revisit, especially because today’s tale is fact.  After all, if it is in Wikipedia, it must be…

Steve's picture

China Syndrome

Last time I asked that you stay tuned for the ‘Worst Dam Disaster in History’.  From the title of this blog you might guess where that happened.  Yep, China.  The year, 1975 – not that long ago really.

From the late 1950’s to mid 1970’s, China went on a dam building binge. Lacking local talent, Russians largely supervised the design, engineering, and construction of 100s of dams. Impoundment and distribution of irrigation water to grow food for the masses drove the frenzy.

Steve's picture

Teton Trouble

In the 1960s, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation drew plans for Teton River Dam in eastern Idaho. Like most of their type, Teton River intended to be of multi-value to nearby inhabitants in the forms of irrigation, flood control, hydro-power and recreation. The earth-fill barrier, 93 meters high and 520 meters across fitted out in May, 1976.


Subscribe to RSS - Steve's blog
Risk Alert