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Posts Tagged "Geological Catastrophes"

History of Geology

A Concise History of Geological Maps: Mapping Noah’s Flood

BRETZ_1919_Spokane_Flood

Sometimes a geological map supports an intriguing idea not by showing the rocks that are there, but by showing the rocks that aren’t there anymore, eroded by a flood of biblical proportions. “No one with an eye for land forms can cross eastern Washington in daylight without encountering and being impressed by the “scabland.” Like [...]

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History of Geology

Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review : The Last Day of Pompeii

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It’s probably one of the most famous volcanic eruptions of all times – the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius – so may it surprises  that the exact day of this historic event is unknown. The date of August 24 given in all textbooks is based on two letters from the Roman author Pliny the [...]

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History of Geology

Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review : Introducing the Main Character

Anonimo_0079_Vesuvio

The new movie “Pompeii” reconstructs one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history with unprecedented “3D” special effects – but even the best visuals can’t help if the science is wrong – so how geological accurate is the movie? 1.Dramatis Persona Fig.1. Mount Vesuvius as reconstructed in the new film “Pompeii” (from the movie [...]

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History of Geology

Coming Next: Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review

A new disaster movie, retelling the fate of the ancient town of Pompeii, will be released soon. The filmmakers spent six years researching the volcanic disaster that destroyed the town to make it as historically accurate as possible – but what about the geology? I will investigate some movie-mistakes in a series of upcoming posts [...]

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History of Geology

Landslides in a Changing Climate

BRESSAN_Beware_of_the_Rockfall

A video showing the aftermath of a rockfall in South-Tyrol remembers us that even small mass movements can have disastrous – or even deadly – effects.   Very large rockslides are rare but very dangerous events that can have catastrophic effects on entire human settlements. One of the greatest disaster of this kind happened in [...]

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History of Geology

September 26, 1997: The quake of Assisi

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In the early afternoon of September 26, 1997 a sequence of earthquakes hit the Italian province of Umbria. The two main quakes, with a magnitude of 5.6-5.8, were followed by a series of aftershocks -  one aftershock was so strong that it caused the partial collapse of the damaged roof of the basilica of St. [...]

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History of Geology

September 11, 1881: The landslide of Elm

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For centuries the quarries in the slope of the “Tschingelberg” had provided valuable schist-plates and with the introduction of public school (and chalk boards) in the Swiss canton of Glarus the demand increased exponentially. Between the years 1861 to 1878 the mining was done by few people, but to satisfy the demand the local administration [...]

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History of Geology

August 21, 1986: The Lake Nyos Catastrophe

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August 21, 1986 was a busy market day in the village of Lower Nyos (Cameroon) and most people that evening went to bed early. At 9:30 p.m. a strange sound, like a distant explosion, was heard and suddenly people and animals tumbled onto the ground. When the few survivors awoke the next morning, they discovered [...]

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History of Geology

June 24, 1982: “The Jakarta Incident”

June 24, 1982 a Boing 747 flying from Singapore to Perth encountered a strange phenomenon in an altitude of 11.300m – a cloud of light surrounded the airplane, then suddenly all four engines lost power without apparent reason. The pilots managed to descend slowly by gliding and were preparing for the worst – an emergency [...]

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History of Geology

June 8, 1783: How the “Laki-eruptions” changed History

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“The sun fades away, the land sinks into the sea, the bright stars  disappear from the sky, as smoke and  fire  destroy  the world, and the flames reach the sky.” The End of the World according to the “Völuspa“, a collection of Icelandic myths compiled in the 13th century. Fig.1. Hand coloured copper engraving of [...]

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