Archive for the ‘Nature’ 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.

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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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Perspectives on Nature and Greed   Leave a comment


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Posted March 3, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Nature Creates Magical Art in the North Arizona Desert   Leave a comment


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Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon (vary narrow canyon) in the American Southwest. It is located on Navajo land east of Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew.

The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí (advertised as “Hasdestwazi” by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department), or “spiral rock arches.” Both are located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.

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Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes. Rainwater, especially during monsoon season, runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways. Over time the passageways eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form characteristic ‘flowing’ shapes in the rock.

Flooding in the canyon still occurs. A flood occurred on October 30, 2006, that lasted 36 hours, and caused the Tribal Park Authorities to close Lower Antelope Canyon for five months.

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Antelope Canyon is visited exclusively through guided tours, in part because rains during monsoon season can quickly flood the canyon. Rain does not have to fall on or near the Antelope Canyon slots for flash floods to whip through, as rain falling dozens of miles away ‘upstream’ of the canyons can funnel into them with little prior notice. On August 12, 1997, eleven tourists, including seven from France, one from the United Kingdom, one from Sweden and two from the United States, were killed in Lower Antelope Canyon by a flash flood. Very little rain fell at the site that day, but an earlier thunderstorm had dumped a large amount of water into the canyon basin, 7 miles (11 km) upstream. The lone survivor of the flood was tour guide Francisco “Poncho” Quintana, who had prior swift-water training. At the time, the ladder system consisted of amateur-built wood ladders that were swept away by the flash flood. Today, ladder systems have been bolted in place, and deployable cargo nets are installed at the top of the canyon. At the fee booth, a NOAA Weather Radio from the National Weather Service and an alarm horn are stationed.

Despite improved warning and safety systems, the risks of injuries from flash floods still exist. On July 30, 2010, several tourists were stranded on a ledge when two flash floods occurred at the Upper Antelope Canyon. Some of them were rescued and some had to wait for the flood waters to recede. There were reports that a woman and her 9-year-old son were injured as they were washed away downstream, but no fatalities were reported.

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Posted February 7, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Morning Has Broken Over Winterpeg   Leave a comment


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Posted January 31, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Great Tides of the UK   Leave a comment



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Posted December 27, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Skating on Crystal Clear Ice at Clear Lake, Manitoba   Leave a comment


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A very clear, Clear Lake makes for magical skating rink

 

Brandon Sun 07122015 Ice skaters take advantage of the smooth-as-glass ice covering Clear Lake as the sun sets in Riding Mountain National Park on a sunny and warm Monday afternoon. The lack of snow so far this year has created a rare opportunity for winter enthusiasts to enjoy the clear ice. In some areas you can see straight through to the bottom of the lake. (Tim Smith/Brandon Sun)

Brandon Sun 07122015 Ice skaters take advantage of the smooth-as-glass ice covering Clear Lake as the sun sets in Riding Mountain National Park on a sunny and warm Monday afternoon. The lack of snow so far this year has created a rare opportunity for winter enthusiasts to enjoy the clear ice. In some areas you can see straight through to the bottom of the lake. (Tim Smith/Brandon Sun)

Thanks to a combination of cool, calm nights and an absence of snow, Clear Lake has frozen over into an almost-perfect giant sheet of ice. The best part is you can see the sand, rocks and even fish below.

Winter weather, with temperatures around the freezing mark and little-to-no-wind, has resulted in the rare glass-like ice.

Wasagaming (also known as Clear Lake) is the main town-site in Riding Mountain National Park. It is located at the south gate of Riding Mountain National Park along Highway 10. The town-site lies on the south shores of Clear Lake, the largest lake in Riding Mountain National Park. It is a popular tourist destination. The park is located roughly 250 miles northwest of Winnipeg.

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The lake is over 3 miles long by 2 miles wide.

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Posted December 10, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Cyclones, Typhoons and Hurricanes   Leave a comment


Mexico dodged a bullet this week when the extremely powerful hurricane Patricia dissipated faster than at first thought.  The rugged mountain terrain that the storm ran into weakened it quickly.

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Some of the most powerful storms in recent years

  • October 1979: Typhoon Tip – largest and most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded with wind speeds of 305km/h (190mph), killed 99 people in its path across the Pacific, mostly in Japan
  • August 1980: Hurricane Allen – strongest Atlantic hurricane by wind speed, with sustained winds of 305km/h, caused nearly 300 deaths in Haiti and severe damage in the US state of Texas
  • April 1991: Bangladesh cyclone known as 02B – at least 138,000 died and up to 10 million made homeless after a 6m storm surge
  • October 1991: Odisha or Paradip cyclone – the strongest ever recorded in the northern Indian Ocean, killed about 10,000 people, mostly in India
  • August 2005: Hurricane Katrina – killed at least 1,836 people after striking US states of Louisiana and Mississippi and was the costliest storm in history, causing $81.2bn in damage (with wind speeds of 280km/h)
  • October 2005: Hurricane Wilma – most intense tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin with wind speeds of 295km/h, killing 87 people on its path through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico

    November 2013: Typhoon Haiyan – the strongest storm recorded at landfall, with one-minute sustained wind speeds of 315km/h, it devastated parts of the Philippines, killing at least 6,300 people

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Posted October 25, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Trees and Trains in the City   Leave a comment


Somebody has an obsession with this tree in downtown Winnipeg.

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Extremely low river levels in Winnipeg.

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Posted October 25, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Tornado! Get Running!   Leave a comment


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I knew we should have taken a left at Albuquerque!

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Crazy storm chasers

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Storm Chaser Tornado Tank. It has hydraulic operated spikes that secure it to the ground.

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Posted October 8, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Autumn Leaves in Winnipeg   Leave a comment


In Winnipeg the changing colours of the leaves happens very quickly. So we have to enjoy the sights when we can.

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Posted October 4, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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