Hey everyone! It took me a while to decide on a geography related website to post in the blog. Ironically, the site I finally chose, sciencedaily.com, has been a favorite repository of random scientific facts and knowledge for a while now for both myself and my father (it is my dad’s homepage, so every time I use dad’s computer I am greeted with the latest interesting scientific news. My dad does not qualify as a scientist (he sells beer for a living), but every time he finds something cool on Science Daily he emails it to me. Like literally every time haha). Anyway, when you log on to Science Daily you immediately see the days top headlines in the scientific world. For example, today’s top stories include titles such as Ancient Stars Shed Light On the Milky Way, Whiskers: Milestone in Evolution of Mammals, The Strange Rubbing Boulders of the Atacama, and Bats Can Rapidly Change Ear Shapes. Everytime that I log on I tend to unconsciously dedicate 15 to 20 minutes of my time sifting through novel discoveries.
Today’s most interesting topic was about the unique boulders of the Atacama Desert, which ties in nicely with out recent study of the lithosphere and weathering processes. The large , smooth boulders found in the driest desert on earth were dislodged from hills surrounding the various basins located in the desert. Due to frequent seismic activity and earthquakes, the boulders, which have been in the basin for nearly 2 million years, rub against each other many times over the course of geologic time which creates their characteristic smooth sides. This process of weathering is extremely rare, and can only be found in areas of extremely low rainfall and high seismic activity, two conditions characteristic of the Atacama Desert. A picture of the boulders taken from the article is shown below.
The website contains a lot of other cool features that allow you to find articles regarding specific topics. These topics vary temendously and include a myriad of topics associated with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. For instance, one of today’s articles, titled Evidence of Ancient Lake in California’s Eel River Emerges, credits a past catastrophic landslide with the creation of a lake that affected, and still today affects, the gene’s of the region’s steelhead trout. It is a fascinating study that connects changes in the lithosphere and hydrosphere dictating changes in the biosphere. This article could be found under 3 different tabs (Plants & Animals, Earth & Climate, Fossils & Ruins), further proving the interconnectedness of the science of physical geography. Geography itself is a topic tagged in many of the posts, including an article about the spatial distribution of long-term carbon storage in the Ganges Basin. This website is really interesting, and like I said, if you spend a couple of minutes searching through the varying articles you are bound to learn something really interesting!