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Hydrogeology/Glaciology News Archive


The nation’s food supply may be vulnerable to rapid groundwater depletion from irrigated agriculture, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere. The study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, paints the highest resolution picture yet of how groundwater depletion varies across…

Using ice-penetrating radar instruments flown on aircraft, a team of scientists from the U.S. and U.K. have uncovered a previously unknown sub-glacial basin nearly the size of New Jersey beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) near the Weddell Sea. The location, shape and texture of the mile-deep basin suggest that this region of the…

How many live viruses can your cup of water have in it before you decide not to drink it? In the Netherlands, the law requires that municipal drinking water must be so clean that the theoretical risk of viral infection is less than one in 10,000 people per year. That translates to no more than…

A new study examining nearly 40 years of satellite imagery has revealed that the floating ice shelves of a critical portion of West Antarctica are steadily losing their grip on adjacent bay walls, potentially amplifying an already accelerating loss of ice to the sea. The most extensive record yet of the evolution of the floating…

Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas has no direct connection to reports of groundwater contamination, based on evidence reviewed in a study released Thursday by the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

Scientists have discovered a new type of hot spring along the banks of a volcanic lake in the Philippines. These “terrestrial smokers” are cousins to submarine black smokers, hydrothermal vents on the seafloor that spew plumes of hot, nutrient-rich water and often support rich communities of life. Terrestrial smokers might represent a missing piece of…

Lecture Recap: The Latest on Martian Ice

by Thomas Minor Jack Holt, research scientist at the Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), is currently researching Amazonian ice deposits on Mars, both at the polar caps and at the middle latitudes. Holt offered an update on his research in the Nov. 22, 2011 UTIG weekly seminar, “A New View of Ice on Mars: Viscous Fluid,…

Watch animation of how lakes form inside Europa’s icy shell. In a significant finding in the search for life beyond Earth, scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere have discovered what appears to be a body of liquid water the volume of the North American Great Lakes locked inside the icy shell…

Do you ever dream of taking a few days off and getting away from it all? Burying your toes in some warm sand and just staring out at the ocean? Rarotonga, one of the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, is about as far as you can get. “With its jagged peaks and deep valleys,…

Scientists from the U.S., U.K. and Australia have used ice-penetrating radar to create the first high- resolution topographic map of one of the last uncharted regions of Earth, the Aurora Subglacial Basin, an immense ice-buried lowland in East Antarctica larger than Texas. The map reveals some of the largest fjords or ice cut channels on…

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