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Geology

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Waves of orange, glowing lava and ash blasted and billowed from the world’s largest active volcano in its first eruption in 38 years, and officials told people living on Hawaii’s Big Island to be ready in the event of a worst-case scenario.

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The glistening white salt of the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats is shrinking near the Utah-Nevada line. The prehistoric lakebed has long been a mecca for daredevil speed racers, as well as a backdrop for famous movie scenes and destination for selfie-seeking tourists. Concerns are mounting about the future of the treeless expanse of salt crystals and yet another study has been launched as researchers try to pinpoint the cause and solution. They know a century of mining a potassium-based salt called potash has played a role and are also trying to assess how racing, tourism and climate change factor in.

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