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June 29, 2017

We Probably Should Have Waterproofed That: Terrestrial Volcanism

Yesterday we were investigating marine volcanism via underwater fumaroles, and today we’re exploring the terrestrial side of Dominica! Scott Brame, a professor at Clemson University, took us to some of the most interesting geological features this volcanic island has to offer.



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June 28, 2017

Valleys and Ridges: Understanding the Geologic Structures in Central Virginia Pt.1

In this first part of a four part series, Dr. Phil Prince explains why we get the valleys and ridges that are the namesake of the Valley and Ridge province of Virginia.



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June 27, 2017

We Probably Should Have Waterproofed That: Swimming in Bubbles

One of the more unique environments in Dominica are the marine fumeroles (underwater gas seeps) that occur mere steps from the beach. There are a few locations on the island that display this phenomenon; one of which is the appropriately-named Champagne Beach.



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June 26, 2017

We Probably Should Have Waterproofed That: Welcome to Dominica!

Welcome to Dominica, the Nature Island! Located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean Sea, Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a tropical island with nine active volcanic centers and is a great place to study geology.



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June 23, 2017

A restock and recharge along the pipeline’s path

I’ve been in Alaska’s second-largest city for a few days now, resupplying for the trip north as I hike with my dog on the path of the Trans-Alaska pipeline. Three hundred fifty miles down, 450 to go.



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June 19, 2017

Dispatches from field camp: Wrapping up

We spent the last week on a large-scale mapping project covering several miles in distance. Just before that started, I took 35 students on a 1-day trip through Yellowstone National Park, and I’m told that people in the park were asking if I was an official tour guide since I was walking the students through the geology at various stops.



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June 15, 2017

A wilderness feel along an industrial path

This clear waterway running through boreal swampland marks the farthest Cora and I will be from a highway during our summer hike along the route of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. If we chose to bust overland southwest toward Banner Creek, we would have to cover at least nine boggy miles before we reached the Richardson Highway. Backtracking to the nearest pipeline access road would require a hike of 20 miles.



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June 14, 2017

Roadhouse provides a rest along the trail

Sitting in the shade of a poplar, I watch the Tanana River flow by. It’s flat and tan, dimpled by eddies and darted over by swallows that sound like they are chewing rubber bands. I slept last night with my wife, daughter and dog in the upstairs of a handsome, two-story log structure that has stood since before World War I. Tonight, Cora and I will sleep there again.



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June 13, 2017

Dispatches from field camp: Our mini shiprock

Shiprock in New Mexico is a classic example of a volcanic neck. It is a vertical column of volcanic rock that sticks up around the surrounding landscape, with dikes that radiate from the central core. Although ours isn’t as high, we have a literal version of Shiprock in our field area.



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June 12, 2017

Dispatches from field camp: The Big Sky rocks

In my last post, I showed off some of the metamorphic rocks we can see that formed about 1.8 billion years ago during a mountain building event known as the Big Sky Orogeny. The textures in these rocks are fascinating. They contained a variety of protolith lithologies, making them immediately complicated. They are highly deformed; so one lithology bends into another very rapidly.



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