Slow-moving landslides, while not as dramatic as their faster-moving counterparts, can damage infrastructure and cause headaches for the communities they affect. Slow-moving slides are generally associated with rainfall or snowmelt, but a new study in Japan has shown that some of these slides may occur when a certain kind of clay is exposed to cold temperatures. In the January issue of EARTH Magazine, the link between ground temperature and slow slides is explored, including implications for the science of predicting similar landslides around the world.
In an effort to reduce water use in California, communities are turning to wastewater purification. This wastewater is being made so pure that it's actually causing problems: EARTH Magazine reports on a new study that showed that ultra-purified water allowed minute amounts of arsenic to leach from the surrounding bedrock into the water.
Doctors and public health officials are concerned about the growing number of antibiotic-resistant superbugs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA, and Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, as well as more common, yet still dangerous, bacteria like E. coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Now, doctors and public health officials may have a surprising ally in the fight against these bacteria: natural clays. According to a new study, clays with antibacterial properties found near Crater Lake in Oregon could eventually lead to new agents in the fight against these bacteria.