Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Blog Viewing Formats

Blogger (i.e. Google) has created some new ways of viewing Blogger blogs, this first one being the Mosaic view of LFD, which shows posts roughly in time order from left to right, and then down the page apparently forever or as long as your browser can stand adding pictures and information. If you put your cursor over one of the blocks, like I've done over the Where it All Began II block, that enlarges; clicking takes you to a white-background version of the post. This is the Flipcard view: moving your cursor around will cause the smaller postblocks to flip (see fourth block from the left, top row); clicking gets you to a similar white-background version of the chosen post. These first two viewing options are the best, IMO. The Snapshot view isn't too bad: it shows all the pictures I've uploaded to the blog, but doesn't show posts without photos. Not so good, or best for true photo blogs, although it appears to make copying photos a little too easy, and my copyright statement isn't shown anywhere in any of these new views. Nor can my own personal blog sidebar be reached via any of these views. The Timeslide view isn't too bad, but is a little confusing as to actual timeline, presenting more of a general timeline. Some of the views, including Flipcard, Snapshot, and Timeline, move sideways to show you the white-background view of my blog. I find the sideways motion annoying and potentially migraine triggering. This Sidebar view is nearly useless in my opinion. Stick to my artistically formatted blog instead of this. It is, however, fairly fast in showing a blog post, which comes up just to the right of the post list.

These views can [no longer] be reached by adding "/view" without the quotes to the end of my blog URL. [Though you can try views on other Blogger blogs that haven't turned the option off like I just did.] You won't be able to reach them in IE unless you switch to Windows 7 and download IE 9. I didn't find them at all viable in Firefox, mostly way too slow. They are designed — surprise! — to work in Chrome: designed by Google to work in Google's browser. [And as noted by Chris Rowan in the comments, they work in Safari.]

For now [no longer - see update info below], these new views will be available here at LFD. I can turn off the new views in my formatting settings, but haven't decided whether or not to do that. I might like to choose one or two or three views to be available, but as of now, it's all or none. I think the views are interesting, but they take away from my own personal formatting and make everything look a little like a Picasa photo album (surprise, again). Only the first one, Mosaic, looks at all artistic to me.


UPDATE 1April2011: These views are now turned off and are no longer available. I can't pick and choose, it's all or nothing, so therefore nada.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Recent Morning Views

Sunrise from the road to work, March 19th.
A dusting of snow in the parking lot, March 20th, the vernal equinox.
A messy road going into the canyon, March 21st.
Early morning moon over two limestone formations, March 22nd. Snow blows and drifts deep later in the day.
Getting gas amidst the falling snow, March 24th.

And some call this spring. Maybe next month.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Light at the End of the Culvert

Looking through a culvert on a recent hike.

I'm in the midst of starting a new consulting job (after an enjoyable to cabin-feverish three month hiatus), so I have - at least for the moment - ceased updating the earthquake and tsunami links post I started last week when I had more time and before I knew how many, many posts the geoblogosphere could write about essentially one subject in six days. As noted in an update to my links post, continuing information (along with a lot of other geology and geoscience) can be found at Chris Rowan's AllGeo Feed, Ron Schott's GeoPicks, and GeoBulletin: News from the Geoblogosphere.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where it All Began, Part II

Continued from Where It All Began, which ended:
That, anyway, is one way to make a geologist, although I’m sure there are also other ways. One thing that geologists are sure of is the existence and viability of other ways — this idea is technically referred to as “multiple working hypotheses,” and it’s sometimes stated as, “if ten geologists mapped the same area, you’d end up with at least ten different maps."

Half Dome

The western U.S. — from the subduction-bounded and transform-faulted Pacific coast to the uplifted and locally hog-backed eastern border of the Rocky Mountains — is a tectonically active region. This activity is revealed in the Mesozoic intrusion, cooling, and crystallization of the great Sierra Nevada batholith (65 to 210 million years ago), in the Holocene to Miocene faulting of the San Andreas fault system (0 to 35 million years ago), and in the Pleistocene to Pliocene uplift of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as a block (1 to 3 million years ago especially, with some uplift still continuing). The west coast has been an active continental margin for a long time — back, way back into the early Paleozoic and perhaps beyond into the Precambrian. I was born and grew up in this active geologic area.

When I was almost eleven, my family and I left the west coast semi-permanently and moved to the mostly inactive, even passive, continental margin of the east coast. The east coast — as geologists learned when the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics came together in the 60s and 70s — has been, for the most part, tectonically inactive since the Paleozoic era, with a smattering of activity in the Mesozoic, and even less activity since then (though not entirely zero). It took geologists years to figure out how plate tectonic theory could apply to such a long dead area (geologic history here and here). It’s now known to be a passive margin.

I never felt truly at home there: the mountains were not mountains, the coastlines were not coastlines — unless we drove all the way to Maine — and no huge masses of granite stuck out anywhere to provide a feeling of solidity or to remind me of home. Eventually, I found pieces of home in the granite quarry of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, and in unakite outcrops hidden somewhere amongst the creeping, overgrown underbrush of the Blue Ridge Mountains (unakite = altered granite). I was also rather partial to the kyanite of Willis Mountain, and enjoyed looking for twinned staurolite crystals. These, and other rocks and minerals, are reminders of the the Appalachians' earlier, more tectonically active heydey, but I was not introduced to them until relatively late in my east coast stage of life. I was a geologic orphan.

When I returned to the west in 1975, I bypassed all known modes of geologic transportation — continental drift, wind and river transport, landslide, fault creep, thrust faulting, and valley rifting — and, instead, traveled across the continent in my ‘72 Opel, with everything I owned fitting inside except my full length mirror. I deposited myself like a graded bed on the east side of the Sierra Nevada and once again drew renewed strength from its high prominences and great length.

I was now in the province of the intermountain west, an area of complex and still unfolding geology, an area of tension and extension that formed, and still form, the quite obvious elevation extremes of basins and ranges that reach from the Sierra Nevada to the Wasatch Range. (Reno, Nevada, and Salt Lake City, Utah, are moving away from each other at a rate of about ½ inch per year.) The topography is simple and seemingly endless: up and down, up and down, up and down: corrugated or not corrugated, depending on how you like to characterize things. Dutton (1886) described our western ranges as looking like "an army of caterpillars crawling northward" — ranges of the Basin and Range province crawl northwestward across Arizona toward Nevada, and crawl northeastward across Nevada toward the Snake River plain.

I was also in a region shaped by tectonic processes more subtle than those that created the definitive horst-graben topography of the Basin and Range, processes that were active long before the land now known as California even existed — before magma arose from the melting zone deep beneath the west coast’s subducting plate to form a batholith that is intermittently present from at least Mexico to the northern reaches of Canada, and even into Alaska. First, sedimentary layers and volcanic flows had accumulated in former oceans and basins; then, as part of repeated accretionary events beginning in the Paleozoic, western siliceous cherts, siltstones, and pillows had been pushed over eastern carbonates along a thrust fault hundreds of miles long: the Roberts Mountains Thrust.
Carlin Unconformity

I was in a land of slammed-together accreted terranes, of compression and obduction, of province-wide, low-angle reverse faults. I was also in a land of thin and hot crust, a land whose huge-caldera volcanism and volcanic pyrotechnics in the Tertiary could easily make the eruptions of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Mazama, Mt. Pelé, and Krakatoa look puny. In short, I was in the Great Basin — a region that overlaps with the Basin and Range province but is by no means identical to it — where all rivers, creeks, and dry washes flow inward into inland lakes or dry playas, and not outward to the sea.

I was, at long last, in Nevada.

Nevada, the silver state, has long been known for its bonanza gold and silver, and has more recently been known for its no-seeum, low-grade, disseminated gold (not so low-grade anymore, but that's another story). After moving here, I expanded my horizons: Carlin-type gold deposits in 1976, eastern Nevada in 1980, and the Mojave desert in 1981. Because of my own expansion, I gradually came to know that I was in the land of detachment faulting: a land where extreme extension and tectonic denudation have exposed the tortoise-shell–shaped cores of metamorphic core complexes that cut through the North American Cordillera in a band running from north-central Mexico into British Columbia. Detachment faults — large, low-angle normal faults of regional extent — separate the ductilely deformed cores from the broken and faulted rock formations lying tilted and detached above.

I moved here in 1975 and have been extended, disseminated, and detached ever since.

Some References:
Cathro, R.J., 2010, Nevada-type gold deposits (Part 4): CIM Magazine, v. 5, no. 7, p. 88-90.

Dutton, C.E., 1886, Mount Taylor and the Zuni Plateau, p. 105-198 in Volume III of Report of the Secretary of the Interior; being part of the Message and Documents Communicated to the Two Houses of Congress at the Beginning of the First Session of the Forty Ninth Congress in Five Volumes: Washington, Government Printing Office.

Gilbert, G.K., 1890, Lake Bonneville: U.S. Geological Survey Monograph 1, 438 pp.

McPhee, John, 1981, Basin and Range: Farrar; Straus & Giroux, New York.

Troxel, B.W., and Wright, L.A., 1987, Tertiary extensional features, Death Valley region, eastern California: Geological Society of America Centennial Field Guide-Cordilleran Section, 1987, p. 123-132.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Post Postponed because of Earthquake

I had planned on posting something else today, but will postpone in favor of listing geoblogospheric links on the M8.9 earthquake in Japan (which has apparently been upgraded to an M9.0 or M9.1 according to the USGS).

UPDATE: 12Mar11 6:26 pm: I haven't made it clear through this simple list that there are many organizations helping those affected by the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. Some are mentioned at the beginnings or ends of posts by Evelyn at Georneys, The Geochristian, Matthew at Hydro-Logic, Jessica at Magma Cum Laude, and Erik at Eruptions. Please consider giving what you can.

UPDATE: 14Mar11 8:01 pm: The Sendai or Tohoku earthquake has now been officially updated to a Magnitude 9.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey: Magnitude 9.0 - NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN (links to the main USGS page about the earthquake).

UPDATE: 19Mar11 5:20 am: Because of work and other time considerations, earthquake and tsunami links here go through March 16th, the first six days. For continuing news and other geology see Chris Rowan's AllGeo Feed, Ron Schott's GeoPicks, and GeoBulletin: News from the Geoblogosphere.

Please note that most recent posts are at the bottom.

March 11, 2011:
Japan M8.9 earthquake March 11, 2011 (Arrowsmith blog)

8.9 Earthquake in Japan (Geotripper)

First reports of the M = 8.9 earthquake in Japan (The Landslide Blog)

Japan Earthquake 11/03/2011 Recorded at Keele (Hypo-theses)

Mw8.9 earthquake hits Japan, causes Tsunami (updated) (Paleoseismicity)

Super Quake Spawns Massive Tsunami in Japan (Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal)

Classic Subduction Quake Hits Japan (Ontario Geofish)

Shakemap for Japan (Ontario Geofish)

Honshu earthquake and tsunami in Japan, 8.9 Mw (Structural Geology)

Japan M8.9 quake + tsunami (Mountain Beltway)

Massive 8.9 mag earthquake... (The Bu Element)

Magnitude 8.9 earthquake hits off coast of Tokyo, Sendai, Japan; tsunami warnings out (Geology in Motion)

News of the Day - 8.9 Earthquake!!! (The Geology P.A.G.E.)

Japan Rocked by Earthquake, Tsunami (The Rocks Know)

Great quake rocks Japan, generating dangerous Pacific tsunami (Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog)

Earthquakes (Research at a snail's pace)

Japanese earthquake (Hudson Valley Geologist)

Special report: A Magnitude Mw8.9 earthquake struck Japan (Iceland Volcano and Earthquake Blog)

Why are there Earthquakes and Volcanoes in Japan? In Response to: Magnitude 8.9 Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan (Georneys)

On earthquakes, eruptions and the Moon (Eruptions)

Erdbeben in Japan lässt KIT-Messgeräte ausschlagen (Amphibol)

Links about today’s Japan earthquake I’m using for class today (Life in Plane Light)

Nuclear Emergency with Japan Earthquake (Ontario Geofish)

No, the “supermoon” didn’t cause the Japanese earthquake (Bad Astronomy)

Lunatic behavior (Research at a snail's pace)

Tsunami in Japan- Lots to Ponder for Washington State (Reading the Washington Landscape)

Hawaii offshore quakes continue (Research at a snail's pace)

Historic earthquakes in Japan (History of Geology)

Visualization of Groundmotion of the 11 Mar 2011 Japan Earthquake with USArray (Anisotropic Reflections)

Tsunami/Quake Videos (Greg Laden's Blog)

Earthquake and Tsunamis in Japan (Outside the Interzone)

Notas acerca del Terremoto del Japon y Tsunamis (nota corta) (Geocosas)

Japan Earthquake Fun Facts (Ontario Geofish)

Japan Hit by M 8.9 Quake (Andrew Alden's Geology)

Japan Earthquake “felt” by AISN seismometers (Groundswell)

Japan Earthquake - Reactor to vent radioactive steam (Ontario Geofish)

Tsumani Footage & How You Can Help Japan (Georneys)

Seismic waves from Japan roll across Arizona (Arizona Geology)

Special report: Pre-earthquakes to the Mw8.9 earthquake in Japan (Iceland Volcano and Earthquake blog)

Art imitates art (Mountain Beltway)

Japan’s 8.9 quake and the Pacific tsunami (The Trembling Earth)

¿Por qué si hubo un tsunami en Japón, se ordenaron evacuaciones en lugares como Ecuador y Chile? (Locos por la Geologia)

Earthquake turns TV networks into print (Doc Searls Weblog)

An Introduction to Tsunami (GeoMika)

Tsunami Wave Height Map from NOAA (Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal)

First Thoughts On Honshu Tsunami (Deep Sea News)

Von Karman vortices in tsunami flows at Sendai airport. (Riparian Rap)

La Mariposa del Tsunami (Geological Musings in the Taconic Mountains)

Media alert... (The Bu Element)

Are there more earthquakes in our days? Is the end of the world here? (Structural Geology)

Magnitude 8.9 (or 9.0, or 9.1!) Earthquake off the coast of Japan (Chris Rowan at Highly Allochthonous)

The View of Japan's 8.9 Earthquake from Modesto, California (Geotripper)

Putting magnitude in perspective (Arizona Geology)

From the edge of not knowing (FOPNews, Friends of the

Flea powder may be saving lives in Japan (I, Cringley)

Earthquakes, Tsunami, and Freshwater Supplies (Hydro-Logic)

March 12, 2011:
SuperMoon (Hudson Valley Geologist)

Massive Explosion Rocks Japan Nuclear Plant- Radiation Facts (Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal)

Japan tsunami propagation video and graphic (The GeoChristian)

The morning after (Mountain Beltway)

A Conversation with My Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Japan (Georneys)

More videos of the tsunami and situation in Japan (Geology in Motion)

Japan earthquake / tsunami – one day later (Life in Plane Light)

Look at what liquefaction can do (Geographile)

How much power in the Japanese tsunami of 2011? How much energy? Equivalent to how many nuclear bombs? (Geology in Motion)

Earthquake and Tsunamis in Japan, Part II (Outside the Interzone)

Preliminary Rupture Modelling of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku-Chiho Taiheiyo-Oki Earthquake using the USArray Transportable Array (Harvard Seismology)

Japan quake felt over >2500km radius (The Trembling Earth)

From the Edge of Not Knowing: Day 2 (FOPNews, Friends of the

Japan quake wiki online [wiki by ESIP, not Wikipedia] (Arizona Geology)

How to Do Post-Earthquake Press (Andrew Alden's Geology)

Animation of Japan quake traversing the U.S. (The Trembling Earth)

Secondary effects (Mountain Beltway)

Why earthquakes and eruptions are rarely linked (Magma Cum Laude)

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Update - Stunning videos and images (Eruptions)

More unique perspectives of the 8.9 quake (The Trembling Earth)

The Tsunami’s Ripple Effect (Clastic Detritus)

Full Transcript Now Available for Interview with my Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Japan Nuclear Disaster (Georneys)

March 13, 2011:
Wooster Geologist safe in Japan (Wooster Geologists)

Japan (En Tequila Es Verdad)

NASA Terra Satellite Shows Tsunami Flooding in Japan (Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal)

Low-lying Areas of Japan (Ontario Geofish)

Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear safety: ‘NDR’ revisited (Geodoctor)

Follow-Up Interview with my Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Japan (Georneys)

The first modern principles of anti-seismic building (History of Geology)

No Meltdown - Japan Earthquake (Ontario Geofish)

Japan EQ & Tsunami: Environmental Effects (Paleoseismicity)

Tsunami on the West Coast (GeoMika)

8.9 Earthquake and tsunami (Mountain Cat Geology)

Maps relevant to the Japanese earthquake of 2011 (Geology in Motion)

Why Geology is Important; Why Education is Important...The Sendai Earthquake in perspective (Geotripper)

Yes, Another Explosion at Fukushima, but read this before you get too concerned. (Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal)

March 14, 2011:
Tsunami and earthquake devastate Japan (Underfoot)

Japan disaster (Lounge of the Lab Lemming)

The most recorded tsunami... (The Bu Element)

Radiation from Japan not likely to harm North America (Jeff Masters' WunderBlog)

Summary of the problems at three reactors at Fukushima Dalichi (Geology in Motion)

a few more EQ / tsunami links for Monday (Life in Plane Light)

Second explosion at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Greg Laden's Blog)

Japan's Kirishima erupts after the Sendai Earthquake (Eruptions)

Japan earthquake: The explainer (Chris Rowan on the Scientific American Guest Blog)

Waves as Fast as a Jet Plane (Seismo Blog)

Second Follow-Up Interview with my Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Japan (Georneys)

Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan - Early Thoughts (Reading the Washington Landscape)

The curse of living on a geologically active planet (The Planetary Society Blog)

Japan Earthquake Things (Ontario Geofish)

Crisis in Japan: Earth Institute Reactions (State of the Planet)

Gods, stars, the moon and other dangerous pseudoscience (History of Geology)

Japan 8.9 quake - the source (Shaking Earth)

Special report: Part of Japan moved 4 meters due to the Mw9.0 earthquake (Iceland Volcano and Earthquake blog)

Sendai earthquake and tsunami disaster (Institute of Hazard, Risk, and Resilience Blog)

Especial sismo M8.9 en Japón (GeoCastAway)

Liquefaction Clip from Chia City, Japan (Reading the Washington Landscape)

Erdbeben sind nicht vorhersagbar (Amphibol)

Tsunami in Bays (GeoMika)

Japan’s nuclear reactor overreaction (Bad Astronomy)

Japan earthquake - seismograms (Shaking Earth)

Footage of the March 11 tsunami around the Pacific (The Trembling Earth)

Does Sendai Stress Tokai? (Andrew Alden's Geology)

To my Readers in Japan (Ursula K. Le Guin at Book View Cafe Blog, not a geoblog)

Survivors... (The Bu Element)

Aftershocks of the Sendai earthquake (Highly Allochthonous)

The Sendai Earthquake (4.5 Billion Years of Wonder)

March 15, 2011:
False Radiation Rumors Run Rampant (Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal)

Japan Earthquake - Space-Time Plot (Ontario Geofish)

Earthquake / tsunami links for Tuesday (Life in Plane Light)

Third Follow-Up Interview with my Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Japan (Georneys)

From a geological perspective, what is surprising about the Sendai Earthquake? (The Landslide Blog)

Announcement: Daily Updates from My Dad, a Nuclear Engineer (Georneys)

Largest earthquakes in history (Shaking Earth)

I Didn't Feel Like Teaching Today... (Geotripper)

New GPS vectors (Mountain Beltway)

Japan has moved (Structural Geology) - with correction.

A vueltas con el terremoto de Japón (GeoCastAway)

Nuclear Reactors in Japan - Periodic Table of Videos (Amphibol)

The View of Japan's 9.0 Earthquake from Modesto, California, Part 2 (Geotripper)

March 16, 2011:

Earthquake & Tsunami links for Wednesday (Life in Plane Light)

March 11 Japan tsunami in Onagawa (Riparian Rap)

Japan Earthquake - Detailed Strong Ground Motion (Ontario Geofish)

5th Interview with my Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Japan (Georneys)

Japan quake was magnitude 8.9, is now 9.0 (Shaking Earth)

Updated Radiation Trajectory for Fukushima (Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal)

Animation of Japan foreshocks-main shock-aftershocks (Shaking Earth)

Policy Considerations for Washington State Post Japan Quake and Tsunami (Reading the Washington Landscape)

Video de apertura de grietas y licuación de suelos durante el terremoto de Japón (En Morrenas)

Orders of magnitude... (The Bu Element)

Nick Schneider: Notes on an earthquake (The Planetary Society Blog)

A Quick Note: Please Take My Dad's Interview Transcripts & Audio (Georneys)

Note: Interviews with my Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, continue daily (at least through March 18th) at Georneys.

Daily earthquake and tsunami links continue at Life in Plane Light, at least through March 18th.

Note: although there is a certain overlap in content amongst many of the posts, these various geoblog reports vary in their various angles and aspects. Posts have been listed roughly very crudely in chronological order; additional links will be added, though perhaps not indefinitely.

Last updated 19Mar2011 at 5:48 a.m. PDT

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Serpentine Post Updated

I just updated my Serpentine: A Group of Minerals post from last summer with some new geoblogosphere links relating to fibrous and asbestiform minerals, including erionite, a zeolite group of minerals that can occur in acicular to fibrous mineral habits. The reason for the update is that the Mineralogical Society of America recently released their Proposed Position Statement on Asbestos, as reported on more thoroughly by Chuck Magee at Lounge of the Lab Lemming and Steven Schimmrich at Hudson Valley Geologist (links below).
I'm particularly amazed that any regulatory agency would use a length:width ratio of 3:1 to describe a mineral as fibrous. Plagioclase would therefore be fibrous much of the time (though certainly not asbestiform), as would these huge cave crystals of selenite.

Where in the West: Half Dome from Olmsted Point

Yes, it's Half Dome, as Cole Kingsbury of Chaotically Flow-Banded so astutely (and quickly) noted. I figured this month's WITW would be easy, but thought perhaps Half Dome would be overlooked for a while longer, off there in the distance down the upper reaches of the Merced River drainage basin, beyond a hanging valley above Tenaya Canyon. Half Dome is a classic exfoliation dome, one that has been partly cut away along a regional joint system by the glaciations that formed Yosemite Valley. See this excellent picture of the exfoliation of Half Dome at EPOD.

It's a good thing that Ron Schott came up with the location from which the photo was taken — that location being Olmsted Point or, more likely, somewhere near the Olmsted Point pullout on Highway 120, the Tioga Pass Road. I'm sure I would have eventually found the point using Google Earth, but Google Street View just shows fog. Unhelpful.
I don't see a name for the particular side canyon or creek below Olmsted Point, but both the side canyon and main canyon are U-shaped drainages carved by glaciers. The topo map is from MSRMaps, courtesy of the USGS. It's a little messed up as far as the splicing goes, but the north-south dividing line between Sections 31 and 32 is about a mile.

Besides the glacial pavement, glacial polish, glacial striations, and glacial erratics (lower left of the WITW photo) already noted in the comments of WITW: March 2011, there is a nice criss-crossing of joint sets, sets that are roughly orthogonal. One joint set, as seen in my photo, is parallel or sub-parallel to the direction of glacier movement indicated by the striations. Larger, more regional fracture patterns can be seen in the Google Map view above. The regional fracture pattern at N30E is parallel to the hanging valley below Olmsted Point.

Too bad I didn't have my Brunton with me while on this summer, 2000, roadtrip. It mostly wasn't that kind of a trip, more of a family thing with roadtripping and geology added. The particular family involved (mine) has difficulty dissociating roadtripping from geology, and indeed, why should we?!

Roadside Geology of Yosemite Valley by Garry Hayes of Geotripper.
Roadside Geology of Yosemite Valley at Geotripper Images.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Two Years Ago Today: Circle Around the Sun at the Iditarod

Two years ago today, on a Saturday, I was in downtown Anchorage for the ceremonial start of the Iditarod, and this sun halo (22° halo) and associated sun dog (parhelion) was visible to the east over the Chugach Mountains.
As for this year, the ceremonial start was March 5th, and the official re-start in Willow was yesterday, March 6th. The race is now underway; current standings can be accessed here.

I love Alaska in the winter, at least in short doses, though I didn't make it up there this year.

A more recent (and more colorful) sun dog at EXPLICITLY UNEXPLICIT.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Light and Color on a Cozy Indoor Day

It's cloudy and threatening snow outside, and I'm staying indoors, pretending we have a warm stove radiating heat, drinking coffee mixed with cocoa. This one corner of our little house usually looks fairly uncluttered, and sometimes the plants even get a bit of light. Not today. The upper shelves are stacked with various books, mostly geology or travel related, though not entirely. Titles I can read from here include A Garden of Bristlecones, Blue HighwaysAlaska: Saga of a Bold LandTopo! for Nevada, and Nevada Off the Beaten Path. I recommend all these books, though I can't comment about the Topo! program, as I haven't used it.

I'd say that it's probably cabin fever that's keeping me indoors, but that's not right: surely cabin fever would send me outside despite the dreary weather. It must be something else.
Over near the front door, a door used only to retrieve mail, the plants look bright and cheery, even as if the sun were shining through the clouds, but their color has as much to do with the camera setting as anything else.
Um, maybe it's time for more coffee.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Where in the West: March 2011

The Where in the West series has become an erratic, semi-quarterly to semi-annual feature on this blog, with March being a favored month. The March, 2011, edition of WITW should be fairly easy, so I'm expecting the name of the obvious geologic and geographic feature, and would also like the approximate location from which I took the picture along with the identification of some geologic features. I can see or infer at least four; but then, I know where it is. :)

Photo was digitized from a 2000 print
© 2011 Looking for Detachment
All Rights Reserved