Geology

Category archives for Geology

I’m reading Disaster!: A History of Earthquakes, Floods, Plagues, and Other Catastrophes by John Withington, who also wrote about other disastrous things such as disasters specific to London. It is a couple of years old (and thus does not include the recent Japan earthquake and tsunami). This is more of a reference book than a…

How old is the Earth?

I can’t believe we still have to cover this. We know how old the Earth is. The science on this is pretty darn good. It is 4.54 billion years old plus or minus about 1%. Florida Senator Marco Rubio does not know how old the earth is. Here is what he says about it: I’m…

The 7.6 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck 120 miles east of Acapulco. There are no details yet. UPDATE: With a bit of time passing, it is starting to look like a lot of stuff got shook-up, but there was not a lot of significant damage anywhere.

A new island is about to be borned!

There are thirteen canary islands. But there are about to be fourteen. Well, actually, there’s probably more than 13 as these island chains usually have a few extra rocks sticking up that people aren’t sure about including in the final count. The point is, there is a volcano erupting under the sea in the Canary…

Look at this map, of a small part of the state of Minnesota: See the wide channel that runs from left to right with the windy river in it? You are looking at one of the most amazing stories in geological history ever. I’d like to tell you about it.

Thrust Fault

The law of superimposition says that stuff found on top is younger than stuff found lower down, in a geological or archaeological column. This is generally true, but there are exceptions, mostly trivial and easily understood. If a cave forms in a rock formation, the stuff that later ends up in that cave is younger…

Is the yellowstone caldera safe?

Not long after Yellowstone Park was officially created, a small group of campers were killed by Nez Perce Indians on the run from US troops1. More recently, the last time I was in the area, a ranger was killed by a Grizzly Bear (so was his horse) on the edge of the park. A quick…

Ice Volcanoes of Titan

NASA may have spotted evidence of ice volcanoes on Saturn’s moon.

Even at the most extreme edges of the flow of stuff out of the volcano Pompeii, at the far edge of the mud and ash that came from the volcano’s explosion, the heat was sufficient to instantly kill everyone, even those inside their homes. And that is how the people at Pompeii, who’s remains were…

Whitney Houston took a car ferry from Britain to Ireland to attend her concert, rather than flying. Barack Obama has canceled his trip to a state funeral in Poland. A very large magical snake protects a canyon in south Africa. These things are connected a lot more closely than you might think.