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You are browsing the archive for 2011 October.

31 October 2011

My Halloween costume

Here’s what I did for my Halloween costume this year. I decided to be a frog egg mass, with spawning frogs spewing gametes all over in a big orgiastic mess. Start with one ‘normal’ Callan: Switch to frog-egg colored clothing: Don a pair of foam packing bubble wrap “trousers: Add a “tunic” of bubble wrap, hot-glued into a blobby mass: Add a spawning frog in back, and another in front: …

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7 billion people

The root of every issue that we collectively term “environmental problems” is human overpopulation. It wouldn’t matter if everyone on Earth drove a Hummer and used incandescent light bulbs and dumped raw sewage in their local watershed — if there were only fifteen people on the Earth. But the reverse is also true: if everyone lives a low-impact lifestyle, it still has an enormous aggregate effect on the planet – …

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29 October 2011

Questions and answers

One of the 300 or so blogs that I read is by Dr. William Hooke, a senior policy fellow at the American Meteorological Society. I met Bill half a year ago, when I came to a joint AGU/AMS social media training session at the request of my keepers at the American Geophysical Union. I shared the stage that day with Jason Samenow of Capital Weather Gang, and Bill Hooke was …

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28 October 2011

Friday fold: cleaved slate in Kootenay National Park

This summer, a week or two after our wedding, my wife and I found ourselves in the Canadian Rockies for a pre-honeymoon. Part of our time was spent on a backpacking trip to Floe Lake in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia. On our hike in, we passed this outcrop of Chancellor Slate, a Cambrian aged deposit of mud which got deformed during the compressional mountain building event that thrust up …

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27 October 2011

Pavement outcrops of strained Seine conglomerate

Picking up from the astonishing first couple of outcrops we saw of strained Seine Group metaconglomerate from the boundary between the Wabigoon and Quetico sub-provinces of the Superior Craton, our group moved on down the road. It was lovely clear fall weather near Fort Frances, and shockingly warm. Our third stop of the morning was a lunch stop atop a great “pavement” outcrop of the same strained metaconglomerate, showing different …

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26 October 2011

Strained Timiskaming-type metaconglomerates from Ontario

Why are these geologists all over these rocks? Because, gentle readers, these are some seriously cool rocks. The geologists are all participants on a pre-GSA-annual-meeting field trip to the Superior Craton, a chunk of ancient crust at the “nucleus” of the North American continent. The rocks are syn-tectonic volcaniclastic conglomerates of the Seine Group. They are Archean sediments very similar to modern day conglomerates – full of cobbles and pebbles …

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25 October 2011

Meanders of the south fork of the Shenandoah River

Some fall photographs from 2007, taken of the south fork of the Shenandoah River, southeast of Massanutten Mountain, in Virginia’s Valley & Ridge province. Photos are by my NOVA colleague, the biologist (and pilot) Mike Peglar: Our leaves are changing color now, and I’d imagine if we were soaring over the Shenandoah Valley this morning, we would see something very similar to these images.

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21 October 2011

Friday fold: Van Hise Rock

Wednesday, Alton Dooley put up a post about his visit to Van Hise Rock in Wisconsin. He included this photo of the famous rock with its upright (pretty much vertical) layers: Go read his description of the lithology for more detail, but essentially what you see here is an Oreo-like sandwich: pink quartzite (meta-sandstone) on each side of a central layer of gray phyllite (meta-mudstone). The phyllite displays a strong …

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20 October 2011

Some links

Here are the bookmarks in my web browser’s “geology” folder. You may find some useful stuff here. Enjoy. Geological Society of Washington Earth Revealed videos EARTH Magazine Geotimes UMD Geology Seminar Series GSA Journals Evolution of the Earth Appalachian Structure Primer USGS Water Data for LITTLE FALLS GAUGE Difficult Run gaging station data NOAA Potomac River flood gauge Shaded relief map viewer William Smith Strata Doc Rock The National Map …

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19 October 2011

Bookshelfed mullions from Norway

Elizabeth Eide of the National Academies shared this image with me a year or two ago, when she gave a talk on Norwegian geology for the Geological Society of Washington. Those are some bookshelfed gneiss layers sandwiched between upper-left and lower-right carbonates. The “bookshelfing” refers to the numerous parallel brittle fractures along which the gneiss slabs have slid down the face of their neighbors, like a set of encyclopedias tilted …

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