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History of Geology

History of Geology

What rocks tell and how we came to understand it

May 18, 1980: The eruption of Mount St. Helens

October 1792 the crew of the " H.M.S. Discovery ", surveying the western coasts of the American continent, spotted a mountain and named it after the British diplomat Alleyne FitzHerbert, 1st Baron St...

May 18, 2012 — David Bressan

The Ghosts of Catastrophes Past

The fossil forests of Specimen Ridge and Amethyst Mountain , both situated in the area of the Yellowstone National Park , are peculiar because of many preserved trees still standing upright.The geologist, anthropologist and artist Dr...

May 14, 2012 — David Bressan

May 8, 1902: La Pel e

" My Dear Sister: This morning the whole population of the city is on the alert and every eye is directed toward Mont Pelee, an extinct volcano. Everybody is afraid that the volcano has taken into its heart to burst forth and destroy the whole island...

May 8, 2012 — David Bressan

Geology Scene Investigation: Death by Volcanic Fire

The first U.S. scientists and journalists arrived May 21, 1902 and soon researchers from the United Kingdom and France followed.Just 13 days earlier the city of Saint-Pierre , on the Caribbean island of Martinique , had been annihilated by an unknown volcanic phenomenon...

May 3, 2012 — David Bressan

Rocks from Outer Space!

Already hundred of years before a fireball scared Nevada, another strange rock made the news of the day. It was almost midday of November 7, 1492 when a " gruesome thunderbolt and long lasting roar " was heard coming from the sky and a rock impacted on a field, producing a crater " half a man length " deep.Soon curious onlookers gathered around the hole and with the help of some strong men the rock from the sky was lifted on a cart and transported to the nearby Austrian city of Ensisheim .The Austrian emperor Maximilian I...

April 25, 2012 — David Bressan

April 18, 1906: San Francisco s O, Wicked Ground

" O, promised land O, wicked ground Build a dream Tear it down O, promised land What a wicked ground Build a dream Watch it all fall down "" San Andreas Fault " Maybe the first persons to note something unusual in early morning of April 18, 1906 were the sailors of the ship " Wellington ", just entering the bay of San Francisco...

April 18, 2012 — David Bressan

The Science behind the Iceberg that sank the Titanic

The tragedy of the "unsinkable" Titanic - lost in the cold water of the Atlantic - became part of history and pop culture, but the story of the main culprit that caused the disaster is mostly forgotten and only vague descriptions and some photos exists of the supposed iceberg(s)...

April 14, 2012 — David Bressan

April 10, 1815: The Eruption that Shook the World

" I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came and went - and came, and brought no day "" Darkness " (1816) by Lord Bryon (1788-1824)In the year 1816 Europe was slowly recovering from the Napoleonic wars, ended just one year earlier...

April 10, 2012 — David Bressan

April 6, 2009: The L Aquila Earthquake

In the early morning of April 6, 2009 a 20 seconds lasting earthquake with magnitude 6,9 (followed later by weaker aftershocks) occurred near the city of L´Aquila (Abruzzo, Italy).More than 45 towns were affected, 308 people killed, 1.600 injured and more then 65.000 inhabitants were forced to leave their homes.Italy has a long and tragic history of earthquakes...

April 6, 2012 — David Bressan

Strange Skull rewrites History of Man

In the early 20th century the search for our ancestors - the supposed " missing links " between man and the animal kingdom - was a crucial task in the new emerging field of human palaeontology...

April 1, 2012 — David Bressan

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