• Photobucket Songs of Earth's Creations. In an endless cycle of eons she creates and destroys masterpieces, reusing her building materials to create anew. From death comes life.Photobucket
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    Friday, November 28, 2008


    Heraculum Video







    Antarctica Countries

    Antarctica Information and History

    This highest, driest, and coldest continent was referred to in the 17th century as Terra Australis Incognita—unknown southern land. Although the continent is still largely a mystery, what is known is that Antarctica's delicate ecosystem is in danger.

    Scientists are studying environmental changes that have resulted in a vast decline in numbers of krill—tiny, shrimplike creatures that are the backbone of the food chain in the surrounding seas. As Antarctica becomes less isolated, the challenge will be to protect these ecosystems and the seals, penguins, and whales that rely on them.

    Antarctica Features
    Photo: Troll Castle
    Join an expedition of six daring mountaineers on the bottom of the world as they summit never-before-scaled peaks and explore the otherworldly terrain of Queen Maud Land.
    Photo: Byrd Expedition
    Join Admiral Richard E. Byrd in 1928 as he leads a team of explorers to the coldest continent on Earth.
    Photo: Weddell Seal, Antarctica
    Find all the animals, from the crabeater seal to the killer whale, and learn about their habitat in our virtual world.



    Volcanic Eruptions - Slide Show and Videos

    Earth's Volcanoes


    Volcanic Eruption - video'

    Hawaii's Volcanoes

    Volcanoes Blow Their Tops

    World's Volcanoes Erupt

    Tonga's Undersea Volcano Erupts

    For days, an undersea volcano about 6 miles off the coast of Tonga has been shooting smoke, steam and ash thousands of feet into the sky above the Pacific Ocean. Coastal residents said the steam and ash first appeared Monday. The eruption does not currently pose any threat to islanders, according to The Associated Press. So far, there have been no reports of fish or other animals being affected. About 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered in the area, geologists said. In this photo, smoke is seen after an underwater volcano erupted in Hunga Ha'apai, Tonga, March 18, 2009.
    (Matangi Tonga Online, via Reuters)

    Slide Show of Volcanoes erupting. Click on arrows to advance and view pics:
    1 of 36



    Wednesday, November 26, 2008




    Atmospheric Decoration

    Clouds form when humid air cools enough for water vapor to condense into droplets or ice crystals. The altitude at which this happens depends on the humidity and the rate at which temperature drops with elevation

    Normally, water vapor can only condense onto condensation nuclei—tiny particles that serve as kernels around which drops can form.

    Condensation nuclei are often nothing but natural dust. But soot particles from automobile exhaust or other types of pollution can also serve the purpose. One study has found that changing levels of air pollution cause different rates of cloud formation (and rain) on weekends and weekdays, at least in humid climates with lots of cities.

    Cloud Types

    Photo Gallery: Clouds


    lightning in chilean volcano eruption -other Ntl. Geo. Pics

    visions-of-earth 2008 photo #4

    Slide Show. Amazing lightning in Chilean Volcano!
    multiple photos of Chaiten volcanic eruption


    Tuesday, November 25, 2008


    Deepest Places on Earth

    Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench - Pacific Ocean

    The Greatest Ocean Depth:

    Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is the deepest point in Earth's oceans. The bottom there is 10,924 meters (35,840 feet) below sea level. If Mount Everest, the highest moutain on Earth, were placed at this location it would be covered by over one mile of water. The Challenger Deep is named after the British survey ship Challenger II, which discovered this deepest location in 1951.

    Map of the Mariana Trench - Deepest Point in Earth's Oceans - Image by CIA

    Why is the ocean so deep here?

    The Mariana Trench is located at a convergent plate boundary. Here two converging lithospheric plates collide with one another. At this collision point, one of the plates descends into the mantle. At the line of contact between the two plates the downward flexure forms a trough known as an ocean trench. An example of an ocean trench is shown in the diagram below.

    USGS Image.


    Atlantic Ocean

    Bathymetry of the northeast corner of the Caribbean plate

    Figure 1. Bathymetry of the northeast corner of the Caribbean plate. Click image for larger view and image credit.

    The Puerto Rico Trench: Implications for Plate Tectonics and Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards

    Uri ten Brink, Chief Scientist
    U.S. Geological Survey

    The Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, with water depths exceeding 8,400 meters (figure 1). Its depth is comparable to the deep trenches in the Pacific Ocean. Trenches in the Pacific are located in places where one tectonic plate subducts or slides under another one. The Puerto Rico Trench, in contrast, is located at a boundary between two plates that slide past each other with only a small component of subduction. The trench is less deep where the component of subduction is larger. The unusually deep sea floor is not limited to the trench, but also extends farther south toward Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Trench is also associated with the most negative gravity anomaly on earth, -380 milliGal, which indicates the presence of an active downward force. Finally, a thick limestone platform, which was originally deposited in flat layers near sea level, is now tilted northward at a uniform angle. Its northward edge is at a depth of 4,200 m, and its southern edge can be found on land in Puerto Rico at an elevation of a few hundred meters. Many tectonic models have been proposed to explain this geologically fascinating, tectonically active region; however, none have gained acceptance, and the region remains poorly understood, largely because its underwater location makes it difficult to study.

    click here for remainder of article


    Mars/Earth comparison:

    Deepest Canyon

    The Grand Canyon of Mars, Valles Marineris, is 2,485 miles long, carving about one-fifth of the Martian circumference. The canyon is up to 370 miles wide and more than four miles deep. Compared to the Grand Canyon, the Mars canyon is almost 10 times longer, about 20 times wider and about four times deeper. But the Grand Canyon is not the Earth's deepest. The Mars canyon is two miles deeper than what is typically identified as the deepest canyon on Earth, Peru's Colca Canyon.


    Deepest Canyon

    Deepest Canyon in the World
    Deepest Canyon in the United States

    Cotahuasi Canyon of Peru - the world's deepest

    Most people would probably bet that the "Grand Canyon" of Arizona is the deepest valley in the world. It is extremely well known and of enormous proportion. It is about 1737 meters deep - a little over one mile. Although the Grand Canyon is a very deep canyon, it is not Earth's deepest. That distinction belongs to Cotahuasi Canyon in southewestern Peru. Cotahuasi Canyon was cut by the Rio Cotahuasi, a tribuatary of the Rio Ocona, to a depth of approximately 3354 meters - over twice the depth of the Grand Canyon!

    Satellite image of southwestern Peru. The Pacific ocean is in the southwest corner of the mage but covered by a layer of white stratus clouds. Two deep canyons can be seen in the image. The eastern canyon was cut by the Rio Camana river and the western canyon was cut by the Rio Ocona. The large white area between these canyons is the snow-capped peak of Nudo Coropuna, a stratovolcano. At an elevation of 6617 meters it is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Occidental. The snowcap to the west is on Nevado Solimana, another stratovolcano at an elevation of 6117 meters. The main tributary of the Rio Ocona is the Rio Cotahuasi. The bottom of the Cotahuasi Canyon is 3354 meters below the top of the adjacent plateau. NASA Image.

    Hells Canyon: Deepest Canyon in the United States

    Hells Canyon is the deepest river-cut canyon in the United States. The highest point on the edge of the canyon is 7993 feet (2436 meters) above the canyon floor below. It is ten miles wide and was cut by the waters of the Snake River.

    Hells Canyon is a remote area. In the distance between the Hell's Canyon Dam on the southern end of the canyon and the Washington-Oregon border on the northern end of the canyon no roads cross it and only three roads make it down to the Snake River.

    The canyon is a unique natural area and in 1975 the United States Congress established the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. It is now a park that anyone can visit. The park features scenic vistas, hiking, camping, mountain biking and other activities.

    Satellite image of Hells Canyon. In the southern part of this image the canyon, occupied by the Snake River, can be seen trending northeast-southwest. The canyon turns northwest and meanders in that direction in the northern part of the image. A Landsat Geocover image from NASA.

    Photograph showing the Snake River flowing through Hells Canyon. Image © iStockphoto and Norman Eder.

    Greatest Rift



    Mars - Greatest Canyon in Solar System

    Mars Atlas
    (the grandest canyon!)

    Valles Marineris size comparison Valles Marineris, or Mariner Valley, is a vast canyon system that runs along the Martian equator just east of the Tharsis region. Valles Marineris is 4000 km (2500 mi) long and reaches depths of up to 7 km (4 mi)! For comparison, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is about 800 km (500 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) deep. In fact, the extent of Valles Marineris is as long as the United States and it spans about 20 percent (1/5) of the entire distance around Mars! The canyon extends from the Noctis Labyrinthus region in the west to the chaotic terrain in the east. Most researchers agree that Valles Marineris is a large tectonic "crack" in the Martian crust, forming as the planet cooled, affected by the rising crust in the Tharsis region to the west, and subsequently widened by erosional forces. However, near the eastern flanks of the rift there appear to be some channels that may have been formed by water.

    Click for larger view
    MOC image of layering in Valles Marineris
    Click for larger view
    Mosaic of the Valles Marineris hemisphere of Mars
    Click for larger view
    MOC image of sand dunes within the Hebes Chasma region of Valles Marineris
    Valles Marineris
    A color image of Valles Marineris, the great canyon of Mars; north toward top. View larger image and details

    For more on Valles Marineris:
    University of Michigan
    Malin Space Science Systems

    The Grand Canyon of Mars

    Anyone who has peeked over the rim of the Grand Canyon comes away awed, because there is nothing like it on Earth. Martians, however, would merely chuckle.

    Mars has Valles Marineris, a system of canyons that stretch for 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers -- almost the entire width of the United States.

    Side canyons are often up to 60 miles (100 kilometers) wide. The central gorge is 370 miles (600 kilometers) across in places. At some spots along the rim, you'd have to look 6 miles (10 kilometers) down to find the bottom. That's six or seven times deeper than the supposedly Grand Canyon.

    This image was created by the U.S. Geological Survey by merging Viking mission images with topographic data. It shows just a portion of Valles Marineris. The location, Candor Chasma, is one some scientists suspect has been sculpted at least in part by flowing water.

    -- Robert Roy Britt

    The upper-most layers of rock in many areas of Valles marineris on Mars have been stripped away by erosion, providing a glimpse of the subsurface that was once buried deep underground. Some fractures in the rock show evidence of fluid alteration, yielding clues into the ancient fluid chemistry and habitability of the subsurface. Credit: Science



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