Friday, June 21, 2013

Seeing Geology in Patterns

"This month’s Accretionary Wedge topic is “Seeing Geology Everywhere.” Like many geologists, I often see geology in places where there are no rocks. ...

"Do you see geology in unexpected places? Do you often find yourself viewing the world through geology-tinted glasses? Do you have any adorable cat pictures that could be used to illustrate geology?"

     – Evelyn Mervine, Accretionary Wedge #57 call for posts.
Stucco plaster wall texture by Sherrie Thai, some rights reserved.
It began a long time ago: maybe I was about 8 or 10 years old, and I'd stare at the wall next to my bed when trying to sleep. I'd see land masses or continents in the wall texturing, something that perhaps came from my early love of maps and globes, which naturally showed countries and continents. In fact, my brother and I had played a game in the back yard on lazy summer days: while looking up at the afternoon cumulus clouds passing by, we'd name them as though they were foreign or alien land masses of the sky. And then we would play a form of the floor-is-lava game, wherein we'd have to jump from the shadows of the cloud continents in order to not fall out of the sky (because we'd be imagining ourselves on the clouds, not on the ground).

What happens now most commonly, is that I'll be working on some geological problem or project, and I'll start seeing textures or patterns related to certain rocks or maps in floor tiles, walls, trees, clouds, or anything else that happens to resemble some geologic texture or map pattern.
Recently, having spent a lot of time looking at certain hydrothermally altered rocks, I noticed this floor texture that appeared nearly identical to a patchy quartz-sericite alteration style with irregular to wavy chloritic seams.
Enlargement of floor pattern.
Then, while taking photos of clouds the other morning, I noticed this pattern that reminded me of a vein with horsetail structure.
Cloud picture with added lines.
And finally, I often notice a color in the clouds that reminds me of the anomalous Berlin blue birefringence color typical of certain chlorite minerals.


Hollis said...

Great story about seeing continents in walls and clouds! It brought back long-lost memories of finding landscapes and animals as kids in the boards of the walls of our cabin ... thanks :)

Silver Fox said...

Ha! I thought I was the only one that did that. :)