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Posts Tagged "Stratigraphy"

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

The Man who made Mountains

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U.S.G.S. engineer Bailey Willis († February 19, 1949) was known for his unorthodox approach to geological questions. Puzzled by the geological structures he discovered in mountain ranges, long before computer-models were available, he constructed a machine to simulate the mountain-forming process. In a box with a moveable piston he folded and crushed layers of beeswax [...]

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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

Postcard_Dwarves_Garnet

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

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble… Newton’s Philosopher’s Stone

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“the magisterium, our great work, the stone” “The Alchemist” Act 1. Scene 4 4. – The Philosopher’s Stone Today we remember Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) for his contributions to optics, mechanics and astronomy, but as a typical scholar of his time he was also interested in more obscure knowledge, like provided by alchemy. Dedicating himself [...]

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History of Geology

Granite Wars – Episode I: Fire & Water

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In 1820 the Italian engineer Count Giuseppe Marzari-Pencati (1779-1836) published a short article about the stratigraphic succession found near the small village of Predazzo. At the “Canzoccoli” -outcrop Pencati observed a grayish granitic rock overlying white marbles. What today is described in any geological textbook as an “unconformity” was at the time a geological impossibility. [...]

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History of Geology

July 18, 1635: Robert Hooke – The Last Virtuoso of Silly Science

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“So, naturalists observe, a flea Hath smaller that on him prey; And these have smaller still to bite ‘em; And so proceed ad infinitum. Thus every poet, in his kind, Is bit by him that comes behind.” Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) June 2, 1676 the Duke’s Company performed the spectacle “The Virtuoso” in the Dorset Garden [...]

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History of Geology

A Geologist´s Dream: The Lost Continent of Lemuria

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“Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream.” “A Dream Within A Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) There is lot fuzz about the discovery [...]

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