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Posts Tagged "Sedimentology"

History of Geology

Vitruvian Geology – Leonardo da Vinci and the Realistic Depiction of the Earth’s Surface

DA_VINCI_1490_Vitruvian_Man

In the Renaissance (1450-1600) architecture and pictorial arts, but also scientific disciplines like astronomy, physics and medicine, experienced a rebirth and important improvements – but what about geology? There were some lone geniuses in the earth sciences – Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci (born April 15, 1452-1519) recognized fossils as petrified remains of former living [...]

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History of Geology

A Concise History of Geological Maps: The Harmony of Colors

CHARPENTIER_1778_Mineralogische_Geographie

The first maps used symbols to characterize single outcrops; later maps introduced shaded areas to display the distribution of specific rock-types, but due the high printing-costs these maps were printed only in black & white, making them hard to read. Maybe the first colored map was hand drawn by the German mineworker and later mine [...]

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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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History of Geology

A Concise History of Geological Maps: From Outcrop to the first Map

March 23, 1769 marks the birthday of pioneering stratigrapher William Smith, who is also credited with creating the first useful geological map, however like many other great accomplishments also Smith’s idea of depicting the distribution of rocks on a topographic map didn’t materialize out of nowhere. The German mining engineer Georgius Agricola (1494-1555) dedicated in [...]

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History of Geology

Landslides in a Changing Climate

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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

Of Mountain Building and Dwarven Treasures

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Alpine-Type Fissures, fissures filled often with large and beautiful crystals of Quartz, Plagioclase, Rutile , Amphibole and even Gold, are – according to Alpine folklore the treasure chambers of dwarves – but how these treasures formed is even more fascinating than legends could figure out… Soon after the basic principles of the succession of rocks [...]

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History of Geology

You ever dance with the Devil’s Fossils…

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“Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” (“Batman” 1989) The night before December 6, belongs to the Krampus, a beast-like demon in the Alpine folklore – and strange marks can be found on some rocks in the Dolomites – resembling the imprints of an exceptional large cloven [...]

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History of Geology

Geologizing with Doctor Who

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November 23, 1963 the first episode of the British science-fiction television programme “Doctor Who*” was broadcast. The series follows the adventures of the “Doctor“, last survivor of the Time Lords, an incredible advanced alien race once native to the planet Gallifrey. In his 50 years long history the abilities of the Doctor to manipulate space [...]

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History of Geology

A.R. Wallace on Geology, Great Glaciers and the Speed of Evolution

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“Very scanty acquaintance with practical geology, I’m exceedingly interested in all wider problems with which it deals” Alfred Russel Wallace (1896) When Charles Darwin published “The Origin of Species” in November 1859 geologists were still discussing the age of the earth. Deep time was an essential prerequisite to explain the recent biodiversity by gradual and [...]

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History of Geology

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble… The Thunderstone

GESNER_1565_Thunderstone

“When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?” “Macbeth“  Act 1, Scene 1 2. – The Thunderstone Already the Roman scholar Pliny describes them as “Idaei dactyli” (the fingers from the mountain Ida). In Germany until the early 20th century people believed in the magic properties of the devil´s fingers, known [...]

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