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Geosciences, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2015) – 6 articles , Pages 1-94

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Open AccessArticle
Potential Health Risks from Uranium in Home Well Water: An Investigation by the Apsaalooke (Crow) Tribal Research Group
Geosciences 2015, 5(1), 67-94; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences5010067 - 20 Mar 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5025
Abstract
Exposure to uranium can damage kidneys, increase long term risks of various cancers, and cause developmental and reproductive effects. Historically, home well water in Montana has not been tested for uranium. Data for the Crow Reservation from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) [...] Read more.
Exposure to uranium can damage kidneys, increase long term risks of various cancers, and cause developmental and reproductive effects. Historically, home well water in Montana has not been tested for uranium. Data for the Crow Reservation from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) database showed that water from 34 of 189 wells tested had uranium over the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 30 μg/L for drinking water. Therefore the Crow Water Quality Project included uranium in its tests of home well water. Volunteers had their well water tested and completed a survey about their well water use. More than 2/3 of the 97 wells sampled had detectable uranium; 6.3% exceeded the MCL of 30 μg/L. Wells downgradient from the uranium-bearing formations in the mountains were at highest risk. About half of all Crow families rely on home wells; 80% of these families consume their well water. An explanation of test results; associated health risks and water treatment options were provided to participating homeowners. The project is a community-based participatory research initiative of Little Big Horn College; the Crow Tribe; the Apsaalooke Water and Wastewater Authority; the local Indian Health Service Hospital and other local stakeholders; with support from academic partners at Montana State University (MSU) Bozeman. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology: Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Exposure to Selected Geogenic Trace Elements (I, Li, and Sr) from Drinking Water in Denmark
Geosciences 2015, 5(1), 45-66; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences5010045 - 27 Feb 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 6559
Abstract
The naturally occurring geogenic elements iodine (I), lithium (Li), and strontium (Sr) have a beneficial effect on human health. Iodine has an essential role in human metabolism while Li and Sr are used, respectively, as a treatment for various mental disorders and for [...] Read more.
The naturally occurring geogenic elements iodine (I), lithium (Li), and strontium (Sr) have a beneficial effect on human health. Iodine has an essential role in human metabolism while Li and Sr are used, respectively, as a treatment for various mental disorders and for post-menopausal osteoporosis. The aim here is to evaluate the potential for future epidemiological investigations in Denmark of lifelong and chronic exposure to low doses of these compounds. The drinking water data represents approximately 45% of the annual Danish groundwater abstraction for drinking water purposes, which supplies approximately 2.5 million persons. The spatial patterns were studied using inverse distance weighted interpolation and cluster analysis. The exposed population was estimated based on two datasets: (1) population density in the smallest census unit, the parishes, and (2) geocoded addresses where at least one person is residing. We found significant spatial variation in the exposure for all three elements, related mainly to geochemical processes. This suggests a prospective opportunity for future epidemiological investigation of long-term effects of I, Li, and Sr, either alone or in combinations with other geogenic elements such as Ca, Mg or F. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology: Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health)
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Open AccessCommunication
Probing the Hidden Geology of Isidis Planitia (Mars) with Impact Craters
Geosciences 2015, 5(1), 30-44; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences5010030 - 13 Feb 2015
Viewed by 3684
Abstract
In this study we investigated Isidis Planitia, a 1325 km diameter multi-ring impact basin intersecting the Martian hemispheric dichotomy, located in the eastern hemisphere, between Syrtis Major and Utopia Planitia. From Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter gridded data we observed that in the center [...] Read more.
In this study we investigated Isidis Planitia, a 1325 km diameter multi-ring impact basin intersecting the Martian hemispheric dichotomy, located in the eastern hemisphere, between Syrtis Major and Utopia Planitia. From Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter gridded data we observed that in the center of Isidis the −3700 m and −3800 m isolines strike NW-SE, being quasi-parallel to the diameter of the basin. We interpreted this as evidence that the basement of Isidis Planitia was faulted prior to being completely covered by layers of sediments and volcanic rocks. Plotting the morphometric data of impact craters located on the floor of the basin in a measured depths vs. predicted depths diagram (MPD), we concluded that the fault planes should dip SW, which is consistent with the location of the most topographically depressed sector of Isidis Planitia. We also estimated a minimum vertical displacement of ~1–2 km. Considering that the crust under Isidis Planitia is only a few km thick, our estimate implies brittle behavior of the lithosphere under the basin, suggesting that a low geothermal gradient and rheologically strong material characterize this Martian location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planetary Geosciences and Space Exploration)
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Open AccessReview
The Legacy of Uranium Development on or Near Indian Reservations and Health Implications Rekindling Public Awareness
Geosciences 2015, 5(1), 15-29; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences5010015 - 03 Feb 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5829
Abstract
Uranium occurrence and development has left a legacy of long-lived health effects for many Native Americans and Alaska Natives in the United States. Some Native American communities have been impacted by processing and development while others are living with naturally occurring sources of [...] Read more.
Uranium occurrence and development has left a legacy of long-lived health effects for many Native Americans and Alaska Natives in the United States. Some Native American communities have been impacted by processing and development while others are living with naturally occurring sources of uranium. The uranium production peak spanned from approximately 1948 to the 1980s. Thousands of mines, mainly on the Colorado Plateau, were developed in the western U.S. during the uranium boom. Many of these mines were abandoned and have not been reclaimed. Native Americans in the Colorado Plateau area including the Navajo, Southern Ute, Ute Mountain, Hopi, Zuni, Laguna, Acoma, and several other Pueblo nations, with their intimate knowledge of the land, often led miners to uranium resources during this exploration boom. As a result of the mining activity many Indian Nations residing near areas of mining or milling have had and continue to have their health compromised. This short review aims to rekindle the public awareness of the plight of Native American communities living with the legacy of uranium procurement, including mining, milling, down winders, nuclear weapon development and long term nuclear waste storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology: Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing Key Skills as a Science Communicator: Case Studies of Two Scientist-Led Outreach Programmes
Geosciences 2015, 5(1), 2-14; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences5010002 - 16 Jan 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4222
Abstract
Outreach by scientific researchers in school classrooms often results in widespread benefit for learners, classroom teachers and researchers. This paper presents a consideration of these benefits using two case studies in the Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES). In each case, different school [...] Read more.
Outreach by scientific researchers in school classrooms often results in widespread benefit for learners, classroom teachers and researchers. This paper presents a consideration of these benefits using two case studies in the Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES). In each case, different school classroom-based activities were designed by scientists, but were improved by input from educational professionals, which helped to maximize the mutual learning experiences and to ensure the quality of the content and its delivery. Each case study suggests an improvement in scientist’s working knowledge of best practices for classroom-based outreach activities, which can translate to improved practices for University-level teaching, among other tangible career-relevant benefits. Despite these benefits, these projects highlight the well-established need for improved training for researchers in effective outreach practices, increased value on programme evaluation, and the growing need for meaningful professional recognition for researchers involved in these important, and ever-growing, outreach activities. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Geosciences in 2014
Geosciences 2015, 5(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences5010001 - 09 Jan 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2025
Abstract
The editors of Geosciences would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2014:[...] Full article
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