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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

Geology and Generals: How Geology influenced the Gettysburg Campaign (Part I.)

BRESSAN_War_Geology_Gettysburg

“Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.” The Art of War, by Sun Tzù In 1863, after more than two years of Civil War, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia launches [...]

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History of Geology

The mythical Fire-Mountains of the Cascades

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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

The Expanding Earth

CAREY_1988_Expanding_Earth

The prevailing geological model of the early 19th century was characterized by an almost static earth, maybe slowly cooling and shrinking, until the molten interior would eventually be completely frozen and solidified. However at the beginning of the 20th century collected evidence suggested that earth´s crust was quite more mobile – both in horizontal and [...]

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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

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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