USGS Evening Public Lecture Series
2015 Video Archive
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Undamming Washington's Elwha River
by Amy East USGS Research Geologist
- Hear about river response to the largest dam removal in history.
- Causing disturbance as a means of restoration: how well does it work?
- Will legendary salmon runs return?
Flyer: Feb15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
The Environmental Legacy of California's Gold Rush: Arsenic and Mercury Contamination from Historic Mining
by Andrea Foster, USGS Research Geologist & Christopher Kim, Associate Professor, Chapman University
- Why are arsenic and mercury associated with California's gold mines?
- What types of arsenic and mercury contamination can be directly related to historic mining?
- How are geochemists studying the distribution and transformations of these contaminants in the environment?
- How does arsenic and mercury contamination from mining affect human and animal populations in California?
Flyer: Mar15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
A Sight "Fearfully Grand" Eruptions of Lassen Peak, California, 1914 to 1917
by Michael Clynne, USGS Geologist
- A summary of the eruptions and their effects
- Illustrated with historical photographs
Flyer: Apr15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
Breaking Badly:Forecasting California Earthquakes
by Morgan Page, USGS Research Geophysicist
- Scientists cannot currently predict the precise time, location, and size of future damaging earthquakes.
- Historical records of earthquakes in California date back over 150 years.
- Geologists have dug trenches to extend the known history on some faults back to around 1,000 years before today!
- We are learning more about the behavior of large earthquakes, such as the possibility for earthquakes to "link up" multiple geologic faults and the ability of one earthquake to trigger others.
- This information is being used to develop new, sophisticated earthquake forecasting models and to better determine the likely effects of future earthquake in California.
Flyer: May15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
The Giant Cascadia Earthquake of January 26, 1700
Detective Stories from North America and Japan
by Brian Atwater, USGS Seattle
- A tsunami from western North America entered Japanese written history in Jan 1700
- Decades of basic research on both sides of the Pacific led to this discovery
- The endings underpin public-safety measures in the United States and Canada
Flyer: July15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
Yes, Humans Really Are Causing Earthquakes
by Justin Rubinstein, USGS Research Geophysicist
- The earthquake rate has dramatically increased in the central US in the last 6 years.
- Oklahoma had more M≥3 earthquakes in 2014 than California.
- This increase is due to earthquake activity induced by oil and gas operations.
- Most earthquakes are not caused by hydraulic fracturing.
- We may be able to control these earthquakes.
Flyer: Aug15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
Coral Reefs, Climate Change, and Atoll Sustainability
Will Micronesians become the U.S.'s first climate change refugees?
by Curt Storlazzi, USGS Research Geologist and Oceanographer
- Sea level is rising, threatening low-lying atoll islands throughout the western Pacific Ocean
- Climate change is degrading the coral reefs that atoll islands have developed upon, decreasing the reefs' ability to reduce wave energy and thus wave-driven island flooding
- Wave-driven island overwash events threaten the limited freshwater and agricultural resources on these low-lying islands
- We are trying to assess the impact of climate change and sea-level rise on the infrastructure, freshwater availability, and natural and historic resources of atoll islands under a variety of scenarios to determine "tipping points" - when islands are no longer habitable
Flyer: Sep15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
Fire-climate Relationships in the Sierra Nevada:
Surprises relevant to future fire regime forecasts
by Jon E. Keeley, USGS Research Scientist
- Historical variation in annual fire activity is tied to climate only in the montane forests.
- Fires are largely insensitive to winter temperatures but significantly affected by spring and summer temperatures.
- Future impacts of global warming on fire activity are largely dependent on the seasonal patterns of warming.
- Lower elevation foothill shrublands and savannahs are not strongly affected by high temperatures in any season.
Flyer: Oct15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
"Living With Fire" Video
Waterbirds in a Changing Landscape:
Evaluating Avian Response to the West Coast's Largest Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
by Susan De La Cruz, USGS Research Wildlife Biologist
- The urbanized San Francisco Bay is a critical wintering and stop-over area for more than a million migratory annually that rely on a mosaic of Bay habitats, including former salt ponds.
- The 15,100 acre South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) Restoration Project is in the process of restoring 50 to 90% of former salt production ponds to tidal marsh while maintaining the rest as foraging and roosting areas for migratory birds.
- How are birds responding to the preliminary phases of this project? How can research help optimize future restoration actions to benefit migratory birds?
Flyer: Nov15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
The April 25, 2015, Gorkha, Nepal, Earthquake:
An Expected Event that Defied Expectations
by Susan Hough, USGS Research Geophysicist
- Scientists have long known that large earthquakes will inevitably occur along the Himalaya front
- Experts had long feared that large earthquakes would take a devastating toll on Nepal
- The 2015 Gorkha earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people, but the toll was not as catastrophic as had been feared
- Analysis of available data is helping scientists understand why damage was not worse, and what lessons can be drawn about hazard from future earthquakes
Flyer: Dec15flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
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