February 15, 2019

A LiDAR perspective on a 1965 geologic map

…how much existing geologic maps, particularly those produced without any digital topography or remote sensing, could be enhanced by checking them against LiDAR hillshade. The answer varies, and to continue the Powell Valley Anticline discussion, I draped a 1965, hand-drafted geologic map over the new LiDAR hillshade background.


Jabbing sensors into the Denali Fault

“For some reason, when I come to this terrain, I know something’s been pulverized.” Cole Richards says this while watching three companions kick their steps Chilkoot-Pass style into an abrupt hill. The slope rises from the pancake floodplain of the Nenana River just behind him. The landscape here seems a bit confused.


February 12, 2019

Southwest Virginia’s Powell Valley Anticline has never looked so good…

The Mississippian-aged sedimentary section in the northeastern portion of Virginia’s Powell Valley Anticline (PVA) offers up stunning hillshade imagery on the flanks of the aptly-named Cliff Mountain.


February 6, 2019

Fuzzy memories of great Alaska cold snap

This week marks 30 years since I turned my pickup left onto a North Pole road and noticed the clutch pedal did not return to my foot. In a panic, I reached down with my mittened hand and pulled. The frozen plunger oozed back into position.
Driving at minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit is not a smart thing to do.


February 4, 2019

An Appalachian karst landscape seen in LiDAR hillshade

By Philip S. Prince, Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources Karst landscapes are really cool to look at with good hillshade imagery. In the sedimentary Appalachian Valley and Ridge, karst systems aren’t terribly hard to find. Carbonate rock units susceptible to karst development are distributed throughout nearly all of the Appalachian sedimentary section, from Cambrian- to Mississippian-aged units. Stratigraphy does vary somewhat along strike; Mississippian carbonates that are prolific …


January 30, 2019

Costa Rican Deep Sea Connections Videos — Week 3 Update, Species Discoveries & Methodologies

“Isla Del Coco is really a special place. Now that we have gotten a look at some of the deeper parts and discovered some of the really spectacular communities of the deep sea… we know we’ve found new species: new species of coral, new species of shrimp, new species of worms – a LOT of new species.”


Invasion of redpolls sends seeds flying

Why, a friend asked, are there so many birch seeds on top of the snowpack in Fairbanks? A day later, the answer hit me in the head.


January 28, 2019

LiDAR hillshade imagery highlights topographic evolution of the southern Appalachian Valley and Ridge

Hillshade imagery brilliantly highlights the alluvial fans developed along the southeast slope of Brumley Mountain in the southwest Virginia Valley and Ridge. The fans represent an interesting stage in the topographic evolution of Brumley Mountain and the Valley and Ridge in general, whose namesake results from different rock types producing different types of topography.


January 27, 2019

Costa Rican Deep Sea Connections: Slurp and Discover

The Remotely Operated Vehicle SuBastian is equipped with what we call a “slurp system.” It is a long flexible hose with a nozzle that can be used to suck up things from the seafloor into canisters on the ROV.


January 26, 2019

Costa Rican Deep Sea Connections: Deep-Sea Geobiology

As we hiked up the steep cliffs of Isla del Coco, through the dense forest of ironwood trees covered with bromeliads, I was struck by the similarities in the structure of these mountains, most of which are entirely underwater.