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27 April 2017

Identifying logical fallacies and scientific misdirection in a CO2 video

A quick exercise in deconstructing the argument of a “elevated CO2 is good” video on YouTube by identifying its logical fallacies. Pull up a chair, grab a bowl of popcorn, and join us in the critique!

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21 April 2017

Friday (coal)d

Often I feature a fold photo here on Friday, but today I give you a folded coal, so therefore a “coald” – this is from the Pennsylvanian Conemaugh Formation on the Alleghany Plateau in West Virginia, near Bismarck. Photo by Sebastian Andres Kaempfe Droguett.

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7 November 2016

Coastal colluvium + coal contest in context

Here’s the answer to the contest: This is an outcrop on the beach at Funzie Bay, Fetlar, Shetland, U.K. The modern beach sediment is the lightest-colored, rounded cobbles at both the top and bottom of the photo. Poking out in between is a layer of light-gray colluvium (angular fragments) overlain by dark peat, now perhaps approaching lignite. Because peat in Shetland cloaks the hillsides but is unlikely to grow a …

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10 September 2016

Peat slide!

Not only does it turn out that peat grows on hill tops, not just valley bottoms, but it can slough off and create “peat slides” too!

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2 May 2016

3D models to spin and twist

More 3D models: digital facsimiles of real rock samples. Check them out and explore! Clinker from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming: Ripple marks from the Rose Hill Formation, West Virginia: Meta-komatiite from the Red Lake Greenstone Belt, northern Ontario, Canada:

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18 May 2015

Spheroidal weathering in sandstone

Here’s a nice example of spheroidal weathering in a sandstone, developed using orthogonal jointing and bedding: This is one of many sites I visited Saturday near Bolt, West Virginia, on a field trip with NAGT’s Eastern Section.

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6 December 2013

Friday fold: Turtle Mountain and the Frank Slide

The Friday fold can be found this week at Turtle Mountain, Alberta, where it triggered a massive landslide.

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5 November 2013

Coal: A Human History, by Barbara Freese

Last week on the flight to and from Denver, I consumed (via audio book, freely downloaded from my public library system) the 2004 microhistory Coal: A Human History, by Barbara Freese. It’s light on the geology, and heavy on the historical implications of coal. As with many of these sorts of books, it’s basically a compilation of related nonfictional explications of topics of diverse scope, all of which have a …

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20 August 2012

Morning with the local expert

Royal Tyrrell Museum geologist Dave Eberth donates time and expertise to help Callan’s students understand the Cretaceous-aged Horseshoe Canyon Formation in central Alberta.

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4 July 2012

Plane views: Powder River Basin and Black Hills

Happy fourth of July! Here’s two scenes that are emblematic of America, as seen from my airplane window last March flying from Reno to Minneapolis. Here’s the scene in the central Powder River Basin of eastern Wyoming: If you zoom in, you’ll see what caught my eye – regular rectangular excavations into the surface. These are strip mining operations for coal laid down in the Paleogene period of geologic time. …

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