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Posts Tagged "Volcanology"

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

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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

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

When Rock Classification is not hard anymore, thank Mohs Scale of Hardness

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Talc – Gypsum – Calcite – Fluorite – Apatite – Feldspar – Quartz – Topaz – Corundum – Diamond -  “Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness ” should be familiar to rock-hounds and earth-science students alike, as it lists common minerals in the order of relative hardness (talc as the softest and diamond as the hardest [...]

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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

Granite Wars – Episode II: A New Phase (-Diagram)

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“Inside the globe [there] exist mysterious forces, whose effects become apparent on the surface. Eruptions of vapors, glowing lava and new volcanic rocks…[]” Alexander von Humboldt At the end of the 19th century and after the victory of “Plutonism” in the great Granite War, geologists accepted the idea that igneous rocks originate from deep inside [...]

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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

In Search of the Lost Land of Gold (and mummified baboons too)

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“Suddenly I heard a noise as of thunder, which I thought to be that of a wave of the sea. The trees shook, and the earth was moved. I uncovered my face, and I saw that a serpent drew near…[]…his body was as overlaid with gold, and his colour as that of true lazuli….[]… it [...]

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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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