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A Mysterious Patch Of Light

A Mysterious Patch Of Light | Geography Education | Scoop.it
If you are up in space looking down on America west of the Mississippi, one of the brightest patches of light at night is on the Great Plains in North Dakota. It's not a city, not a town, not a military installation.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This patch of light is baffled me since clusters of light on this image almost always are connected to high levels of urbanization and North Dakota has no major population center of that magnitude.  This is the Bakken formation, a new oil and gas field that is producing over 600,000 barrels a day.  The lights are oil rigs that are lit up at night, but even more because many gas flares are burning leading locals to call the area "Kuwait on the Prairie."  Oil men from far and wide are flocking to the rural, lightly populated area raising rents sky-high.  This has caused a huge localized gender imbalance, changing the demographic and cultural character of the region because of the drastic the economic and environmental shifts in the area (see the national gender balance here).  This is a great reminder that the physical and human geographies of a region are fully intermeshed one with another. 


Tags: resources, gender, environment, economic, migration.

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Heidi Zumbrun Bjerke's comment, February 12, 2013 9:52 PM
Use google earth and you can compare the two images.
Mary Patrick Schoettinger's comment, February 12, 2013 11:55 PM
that's an excellent idea, especially to have students suggest what the light might be in the photo. The question is , is the bright light a one time occurrence or does it continue?J
Mary Rack's comment, February 13, 2013 6:08 AM
I'm having trouble installing GoogleEarth on my iMac. Looking forward to the comparison. Big adjustment after years in the PC world.
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