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24 September 2018

For great Italian geology, go to church

There’s so much to see in Naples – so much gelato to eat – but one thing I learned was that if you want to sample the local geology, you could do worse than visit a church.


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25 April 2012

Hot s(tuff)

Volcanic tuff isn’t a particularly strong rock, but it easy to carve and shape, which is why it’s a very popular building material. Naples, Italy is especially known for this; the Neapolitan Yellow Tuff, Campanian Ignimbrite and Piperno Tuff, all formed by eruptions of the Campi Flegrei caldera, are three of the units quarried the most often for dimension stone. In “How tough is tuff in the event of fire?”, M. J. Heap et al. take a look at a potential threat to structures built from tuff.


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22 February 2012

“Magnificent column of smoke” (Accretionary Wedge #43 Entry)

My choice of favorite geologic illustration, for Accretionary Wedge # 43, comes from a book that geobloggers (and others) have written about in the past: Sir William Hamilton’s Campi Phlegraei, Observations on the Volcanoes of the Two Sicilies. I won’t repeat all the background about Hamilton, who was a British natural historian who observed eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in the 1760s and 1770s. Campi Phlegraei, a three-part work, contained wonderful descriptions of the volcanoes and eruptions of Naples and Sicily, including the 1779 eruption of Mount Vesuvius (discussed and illustrated in a supplement to the first two volumes).


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21 December 2011

Accretionary Wedge #41: Geology in progress

Ron Schott is hosting Accretionary Wedge #41, and he’s asking us to do a little reminiscing:

Right, then. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to relate the story of the most memorable or significant geological event that you’ve directly experienced.

What we seek for AccretionaryWedge #41 is an account of a geologic event that you experienced firsthand. It could be an earthquake, a landslide, a flood, a volcanic eruption, etc. (but don’t feel compelled to stick to the biggies – weathering, anyone?) – some geologic process that you were able to directly observe and experience.


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9 August 2009

Degassing structures in pyroclastic deposits

One of my favorite features of the pyroclastic deposits that I saw in Italy were degassing structures. A good field description of these features would be “fines-depleted pipes”, since it doesn’t make any assumptions about their origins (something to be avoided in the description section of your field notes!) Branching degassing structures in a pyroclastic deposit in the Colli Albani (Alban Hills) volcanic district. (The ruler is divided into ten-cm …


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1 August 2009

Italy (Part II)

…and the rest of my favorite Italian photos. The Valle del Bove on Mount Etna, with the current lava flows steaming at the summit (upper left of the photo; click to see it larger!) Dikes in the Valle del Bove on Mount Etna. A cinder cone (maybe two?) on Etna’s south flank that was active during the 2001 eruption, with a channelized a’a lava flow at its base. A Norman …


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30 July 2009

Italy (Part I)

I’m finally in one place for a couple of weeks this summer, and that means it’s time to start posting photos while I delay writing real blog entries. (There’s some cool stuff I saw on both my Italy and Utah trips that I definitely want to discuss, but my brain is still adjusting to the DC-area sauna, so they’ll have to wait until I”m feeling more creative.) Anyway, here are …


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