Archive for the ‘Environment’ Tag

All-Star Sinkholes   1 comment

In the last few years, news of unexpected sinkholes swallowing cars, houses and people have made headlines with disturbingly high frequency. These reports are mainly coming from Florida, the U.S., where almost the entire state is karst terrain (made of limestone), which means it has the potential for sinkholes. Mexico, Belize and parts of Italy and China are also karst area, but the phenomenon of sinkholes suddenly appearing in apparently stable grounds is mostly American. Experts estimate thousands of sinkholes form every year in Florida alone.

Sinkholes form when water flowing underground has dissolved rock, mostly limestone and sometimes clay, below the surface, leading to the formation of underground voids. When the surface layer can no longer take the weight of whatever that’s above, it collapses into the void forming sinkholes. These sinkholes can be dramatic, because the surface land usually stays intact until there is not enough support. Then, a sudden collapse of the land surface can occur.


A giant sinkhole caused by the rains of Tropical Storm Agatha is seen in Guatemala City on May 31, 2010. More than 94,000 people were evacuated as the storm buried homes under mud, swept away a highway bridge near Guatemala City and opened up sinkholes in the capital. (Casa Presidencial / Handout / Reuters)


An aerial view of the damaged Gran Marical de Ayacucho highway in the state of Miranda outside Caracas December 1, 2010. Thousands of Venezuelans fled their homes after landslides and swollen rivers killed at least 21 people and threatened to cause more damage. (Photo by Miranda Government/Reuters)


A construction vehicle lies where it was swallowed by a sinkhole on Saint-Catherine Street in downtown Montreal, August 5, 2013. (Photo by Christinne Muschi/Reuters)


Pamela Knox waits for rescue after a massive sinkhole opened up underneath her car in Toledo, Ohio in this July 3, 2013 handout photo provided by Toledo Fire and Rescue. Toledo firefighters later rescued Knox without major injuries. Fire officials told a local TV station that a water main break caused the large hole. Picture taken July 3, 2013. (Photo by Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld/Toledo Fire and Rescue/Handout via Reuters)


A stranded car is hoisted from a collapsed road surface in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, September 7, 2008. The road collapsed on Sunday afternoon and trapped the car in a hole, which measured 5 meters (16.4 feet) in depth and 15 meters (49.2 feet) in diameter, local media reported. Further investigation is underway. Picture taken September 7, 2008. (Photo by Reuters/China Daily)


An aerial view shows the debris of a residential building and a destroyed road in the village of Nachterstedt, July 18, 2009. Three residents were missing in the eastern German village of Nachterstedt after their lakeside home and another building suddenly collapsed early Saturday into the water. A 350-metre stretch of shoreline gave way next to an old open-cast coalmine converted to a lake, about 170 kilometres south-west of Berlin. (Photo by Reuters/Gemeindeverwaltung Nachterstedt)


Rescue workers remove a bus with a crane from a Lisbon street hole November 25, 2003. The bus was parked on a Lisbon street when the ground began to open up and gobble it. No casualties were reported. (Photo by Jose Manuel/Reuters)


A truck is seen in a hole after part of the structure of a bridge collapsed into a river in Changchun, Jilin province May 29, 2011. Two truck passengers were injured, while the cause of the accident is still under investigation, local media reported. (Photo by Reuters/China Daily)


Cars lie in a sinkhole, caused when a road collapsed into an underground cave system, in the southern Italian town of Gallipoli March 30, 2007. There were no injuries in the overnight incident, according to local police. (Photo by Fabio Serino/Reuters)


A giant sinkhole that swallowed several homes is seen in Guatemala City February 23, 2007. At least three people have been confirmed missing, officials said. (Photo by Reuters/Stringer)


A large sinkhole opened on East Monument Street in Baltimore in summer 2012. The sinkhole appeared above a 120-year-old drainage culvert after heavy rains, causing evacuations and closing the road. (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun Photo)

Posted October 29, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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That mysterious lake in the Clint Eastwood movie High Plains Drifter   7 comments



High Plains Drifter is a classic Eastwood movie from the early seventies.  I think I have seen the movie 7 or 8 times.  And every time I watch it I am mesmerized by that beautiful lake.


High Plains Drifter is a 1973 American Western film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood and produced by Robert Daley for The Malpaso Company and Universal Pictures. Eastwood plays a mysterious gunfighter hired by the residents of a corrupt frontier mining town to defend them against a group of criminals.




The film was shot on location on the shores of Mono Lake, California.

Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in a basin that has no outlet to the ocean. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline.

This desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters, and provides critical nesting habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp.





Mono Lake

Max. length 15 km (9.3 mi)
Max. width 21 km (13 mi)
Surface area 45,133 acres (182.65 km2)
Average depth 17 m (56 ft)
Max. depth 48 m (157 ft)
Water volume 2,970,000 acre·ft (3.66 km3)
Surface elevation 6,383 ft (1,946 m) above sea level
Islands Two major: Negit Island and Paoha Island; numerous minor outcroppings (including tufa rock formations). The lake’s water level is notably variable.


Clint riding into the town of Lago, on the shore of Mono Lake.











In the movie they paint the town red to try and disorient the killers who are on their way.





The movie set (town of Lago) in the first picture, and the same location with the town gone in the second.










The most unusual feature of Mono Lake are its dramatic tufa towers emerging from the surface. These rock towers form when underwater springs rich in calcium mix with the waters of the lake, which are rich in carbonates. The resulting reaction forms limestone. Over time the buildup of limestone formed towers, and when the water level of the lake dropped the towers became exposed.










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Posted June 28, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Oh How the Environment Changes so Fast in these Northern Climes.   Leave a comment

Library Park in Downtown Winnipeg


nov 24

Just a few months ago



nov 24 2015


Posted November 24, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Wake up The Walking Dead   Leave a comment

Woke up to this today!

Posted October 5, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Library Park Pond used to dump unwanted fish   Leave a comment

pool8 (3)

Millennium Library Park in downtown Winnipeg is a great semi-natural oasis in the heart of the concrete jungle. The park has a zigzag shaped pond where water plants thrive during the summers. 


Last year, people who for some reason, wanted to get rid of their aquarium fish started dumping them in the pond. The pond doesn’t appear to be a compatible environment for goldfish and other little fishbowl types.

This year signs appeared that try to deter the fish dumping.



Oh Oh!



Posted July 22, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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This Hellish Underground Fire Has Burned for 100 Years   Leave a comment


Fires rage unimpeded just below the earth’s surface in  Jharia, India, slowly consuming a vast store of coal and occasionally opening immense chasms that swallow everything above them. Johnny Haglund documents what it’s like living with such an inferno for The Earth is on Fire, which recently took second place at Pictures of the Year International for Science and Natural History Picture Story.

The best explanation is the fires, which started in 1916, are the result of coal mines that were improperly shut down. Twenty years ago, the earth opened and destroyed 250 houses in just two hours. Over time the flames have chewed through 41 million tons of the coal, worth billions of dollars. Today, some 70 fires are currently burning. People live amongst smoke and toxic fumes that constantly seep out of the earth, causing respiratory and skin problems. Haglund experienced the danger and discomfort while visiting Jharia and the surrounding region last year.

“At the end of every day I had a layer of coal on my clothes and my skin and sometimes and I often felt like my face was burning,” he says. “I had pretty heavy boots, but sometimes just walking around the soles almost melted off.”


Warming up by the fires on a cold day

To eke out a living, some people steal coal from the 20-plus mines, selling it in local markets or using it for cooking and heating. Though they might go unnoticed by authorities, these individuals often are injured or killed falling into fissures. Many of them are children, struggling up the mine’s embankments with heavy loads.

“I have been [working as a photojournalist] for many years, and I never get used to kids suffering,” Haglund says. “I saw young kids—six or seven years old—carrying coal with no shoes on, breathing that air. It was terrible.”

Underground fires are notoriously difficult to put out. A similar fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania has burned for decades, eventually forcing most residents to relocate. Some experts say Jharia has enough coal to burn for another 3,800 years. Fires can be extinguished by sand, water, or cutting off the oxygen supply.

Efforts to relocate residents have been hampered by bureaucratic holdups and local resistance. Haglund says he spoke to many families who would gladly move, but said the government hadn’t offered them enough money and they can’t afford to leave on their own. “They feel stuck,” he says.


Children playing mere feet away from the cauldron


Villages located right beside the fires


Mining coal among the unending fires. Dirty and very dangerous.


 I thought I had a hard job. Hauling heavy loads of coal out of the mines. Poor sombitches.




Warming up beside the fiery abyss 



Posted March 19, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Is the 2014-15 Ice Freeze finally going to retreat?   Leave a comment



Cold and bitter winter in central North America. Same thing in the eastern part, plus the east coast received unrelenting snow blizzards. Another blizzard today in the Appalachian mountains.

Please warm up for crying out loud!!!!!

Posted March 5, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The Great Lakes rapid freeze-up 2015   Leave a comment

The recent arctic blasts have caused the ice cover on the Great Lakes to increase rapidly. As of Tuesday, Feb. 17, the amount of ice on the Great Lakes is more than the same date last year.

The total ice cover on the Great Lakes is now rated at 82.3 percent as of Tuesday. On the same date last year, the Great Lakes had 81.6 percent total ice cover.

The Great Lakes ice cover has grown over 5 percent in the past 24 hours. That’s about 4,750 square miles of ice overnight. At that pace of ice growth, the Great Lakes would be almost totally iced over in the next four days.


The blast of arctic cold tonight through Friday will certainly help ice continue to grow. The cold will come with a 10 mph to 20 mph wind, which could temporarily break up and reduce some ice. But the light wind days in the next 10 days also look very cold. So it’s going to be very interesting to watch the ice expand in the next few weeks.


Toronto harbour


Chicago waterfront


Niagara Falls icicles




Posted February 20, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Is there a pollution problem in Hong Kong?   Leave a comment




hong kong


Posted February 6, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The River Walks in Winnipeg are Gasping for Air   Leave a comment


The rivers in Winnipeg refuse to recede to normal levels. The massive amount of rain in western Manitoba in June still has the Assiniboine river level high. The River Walk along the Assiniboine is 2 weeks away from being usable. Unless of course we get a deluge from Mother Nature.

Crews are starting to clean up the River Walk.






Posted August 19, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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