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Posts Tagged "Geological Catastrophes"

History of Geology

The Season of the Witch: Climate-Change and Witch-Hunt Through the Ages

MOLITOR_1489_Witch_Weather

August 3, 1562 a devastating thunderstorm hit central Europe, damaging buildings, killing animals and destroying crops and vineyards. The havoc caused by this natural disaster was so great, so unprecedented, that soon an unnatural origin for the storm was proposed. More alarming was the impression that it was not the only climatic anomaly at the [...]

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History of Geology

Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast

September 8, 1762 the young son of the Yolle‘s, herding the flock of sheep, disappeared near the village of Laval in the province of Dauphiné (France). Only the poor remains of the boy, partially eaten by a mysterious creature, were recovered. The pastor of Laval, named Raphaël, later described an encounter with this creature: “the [...]

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History of Geology

The Strange Medical Case of the Radioactive Landslide

BRESSAN_Koefels_landslide_1

The landslide of Köfels (named after a small village in Tyrol) is one of the largest recognized landslides in the Alps – large enough to dam up a 92 meters (300 feet) deep prehistoric lake and divide in two the valley of Ötz. Wood fragments discovered during the construction of a gallery in the landslide [...]

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History of Geology

Book Review: Island on Fire

WITZE_2014_Laki_Cover

Island on Fire: The extraordinary story of Laki, the volcano that turned eighteenth-century Europe dark By Witze, A. & Kanipe, J. PROFILE-BOOKS 224 pages | Hardcover 1st edition | April 2014 ISBN 978-178125-0044   Volcanoes are no unusual sight on Iceland and yet the eruption that started June 8, 1783 in the southern district of [...]

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History of Geology

Geology and Generals: How Geology influenced the Battle of Gettysburg (Part II.)

Field_Of_Gettysburg_1863

“With regard to precipitous heights, if you are beforehand with your adversary, you should occupy the raised and sunny spots, and there wait for him to come up.” The Art of War, by Sun Tzù The battleground of Gettysburg was shaped by ancient tectonic movements, sediments transported by rivers and deposited in lakes and finally [...]

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History of Geology

Battlefield Earth – the Geological Legacy of War

It was during the first World War that the impact of human warfare on the landscape exponentially  increased. Large armies equipped with the most advanced military technology- especially the high energy explosives evolved rapidly – devastated entire landscapes along the Western Front, stretching from the English Channel to the Swiss mountains. One of the most [...]

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History of Geology

June 6, 1944: The Geology of D-Day

Into the Jaws of Death, by Robert F. Sargent (1944)

June 6, 1944 – in planning for D-Day – also geology was considered, as aerial photographs of the shores of Normandy were studied to find suitable landing sites for the invasion. The confluence of larger rivers with the English Channel between the harbors of Le Havre and Cherbourg created sandy shorelines were a landing with [...]

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History of Geology

The mythical Fire-Mountains of the Cascades

USGS_2000_Cascade_Eruptions

The west coast of the U.S. is not only characterized by earthquakes and related myths, but also by volcanoes and also these natural phenomena became incorporated in supernatural stories. Many mountains of the Cascade Range were feared by local tribes. The Canadian artist Paul Kane (1810-1871), who visited Mount St. Helens, wanted to climb the [...]

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History of Geology

Baron Cuvier and the Question How Mummies Could Evolve

Toth_Hunefer_Papyrus

“Every one has heard of the Ibis, the bird to which the ancient Egyptians paid religious worship; which they brought up in the interior of their temples, which they allowed to stray unharmed trough their cities, and whose murderer, even though involuntary, was pnished by death; which they embalmed with as much care as their [...]

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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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