I’ve spent 15 hours in the classroom teaching in the past three days, and several more meeting with students to sort out schedules and brainstorm ideas for senior thesis projects. My brain is fried, but I’m going to try to share some interesting stuff I’ve run into:
– Early this afternoon, I posted a frantic plea for good Google Earth locations to use to demonstrate tilted rock layers in my first Structural Geology lab. I should have just checked SERC first. They now have a collection of images and latitude/longitude coordinates that are both beautiful and beautifully deformed. I started my lab by showing the class the Raplee Anticline. Google Earth is amazing for learning to visualize features on geologic maps. (I’m going to have to go into this more deeply in the future – I went from way cool visualization directly into solving spatial problems with trig, and it was rough.)
– Callan Bentley at NOVA Geoblog has been discussing the differences between structural and sedimentary basins (here and here). (Callan’s field photos are often good for a dose of structural geology, too. His blog makes me wish I’d spent the summer in the field.)
– The M 7.0 earthquake that caused injuries and deaths in Jakarta, Indonesia today looks pretty weird, tectonically. It occurred at 50 km depth in a subduction zone, but the focal mechanism implies that it occurred during northwest-southeast shortening. The plate movement is about perpendicular to the slip direction – the Australian plate slips to the northeast under Java there. I don’t think the plate convergence is as oblique under Java as it is beneath Sumatra (where there are some interesting structures that result from plates that collide at an angle to the plate boundary). Anyway, I have no idea what happened.
– And I need to read a paper from the August issue of Geology about an active low-angle normal fault in Italy. I saw a press release about this paper tweeted today, and the abstract is interesting enough that it deserves a full blog post.
But I’ve promised a student that I’ll read articles about the Navajo Mountain laccolith and talk to her about them on Friday, and I’ve got 31 labs from my sophomores to grade already.