Howdy. I just wanted to give a plug to the American Institute of Professional Geologists. They are holding a conference in Lexington, Kentucky on August 7, 2010 titled:
Overview of Contaminated Site Investigation and Remediation
Obviously, this conference is geared toward an audience of your more hardcore geologists as well as those involved with soil and groundwater remediation and remediation technologies.
Yes. Yes. The conference certainly falls on a Saturday; however, it’s really inexpensive. Additionally, being on a Saturday really takes any business [or billable] conflicts out of the equation. Judging by the schedule it looks like this is going to be a pretty cool conference. Personally, I like this kind of situation as it’s very tactical… get in – get a big download of information – and bug out. No fuss. No muss.
I’m thinking about scooting right at the 5 p.m. closing. I spoke with someone today who told me that around the city of Lexington it’s all very beautiful horse farms. That means great photography material right there! Plus, the World Equestrian Games 2010 is being held at Kentucky Horse Park from late-September to early-October. The World Equestrian Games are, how should I put this? GINORMOUS!?!?! So . . . → Read More: AIPG – Kentucky Conference
FYI – I have some fires to put out for another geology conference. I’m trying to bang it all out before COB Wednesday. I’m starting to get a a good back log so once I can get a few hours—probably toward the end of the week—I’ll sit down and post up some new photographs and answer a couple reader questions.
I touched base with my friend Scott [aka crystaldigger] in Upstate New York last night. Since I’ve know him, Scott has been into collecting minerals, semi-precious stones, gems, and jewelry. Some of his stuff is way cool. Too bad between North Carolina and the Adirondack High Peaks Region, he just can’t escape garnet when it comes to mineral collecting. At any rate, I thought I’d let y’all know about his online shop, Scott’s Gem and Gift. He’s part of a larger group called Search4Gems. I’ve never worked with them, per se; however, I’ve picked up a few gifts from Scott personally when he operated in North Carolina. Here’s what he told me last night:
Search4Gems is an independent, ethically run gem and jewelry sales/auction site. It was designed as a safe haven for gem and jewelry lovers/buyers/collectors to make purchases with full disclosure of the items involved, i.e. natural, synthetic, treatments, size, quality, etc. It’s mostly natural items and ranges from low end to high end items. I know the site administrator personally.
The stuff is pretty amazing. I still have a malachite turtle figurine that Scott obtained for me:
Malachite Turtle Figurine – Scott's Gem and Gift
I . . . → Read More: Scott’s Gem and Gift
Two weeks ago in Italy, the L’Aquila Prosecutor’s office indicted scientists, some of them members of the “Commissione Grandi Rischi” (Commission for High Risks), and civil protection officials for manslaughter. The basis for the indictment is that these people did not provide a short-term alarm to the population after a meeting of the Commission held in L’Aquila six days before the Mw 6.3 earthquake that struck that city and the surrounding area.
The allegations against the scientists are completely unfounded. Years of research worldwide have shown that there is currently no scientifically accepted method for short-term earthquake prediction that can reliably be used by Civil Protection authorities for rapid and effective emergency actions.
The international seismological community has long recognized that the best approach to defending populations from catastrophic earthquakes is not through earthquake prediction, but through risk mitigation and the application of appropriate safety measures to prevent buildings from collapsing. In this regard, the development of seismic hazard maps, which provide estimates of the probability of occurrence of predefined values of peak ground motion in a given time period, provide the specifications required by building codes to avoid collapse of buildings and the resulting fatalities
Italy is an earthquake-prone . . . → Read More: Open letter to the President of the Republic of Italy
I’ve been scrambling to fix up some graphics being used in a groundwater remediation poster I’m presenting this Fall. The deadline is right around the corner for submitting the final. That being said, I’ve been a little sidetracked between last week and this week.
My friend and geolojay reader Kathy just asked me this question:
Question for Jay…. I’m watching “How the Earth was Made”. Why are the Himalayas not volcanic? India is subducting under Asia like what is happening under Mt St Helens and “friends” [meaning Cascade Range], right? What’s the difference?
That is a great question. The Himalayas are representative of a modern and active mountain-building event, called an orogeny in geologic parlance. Both the Himalayas and the Cascade Range are the result of plate-to-plate collision in the Theory of Plate Tectonics.
The difference between the Himalayas and the Cascade Range volcanoes is based on density of the lithospheric plates. Yes. The Cascade Range is caused by subduction of more dense ocean crust into and underneath lighter, lower density continental crust. As the oceanic plate dives deeper and deeper, the ocean crust warms, melts, and rises upward through the overriding continental crust “inland” from the plate collision boundary. As that molten rock punches through the continental crust, a curvilinear series of volcanoes, generally parallel to the plate collision boundary, begins to form.
Cascade Range Subduction from J. Wiley & Sons – 2010
In the case of the Cascade . . . → Read More: Himalayas Question
Last week I visited the Raleigh Museum of Natural Sciences [RMNS]. My intention was to obtain a lot of photographs of North Carolinian rocks and minerals. I had known that the first Gold Rush after Colonization occurred in the Great Smoky Mountains and highlands in the western portion of the state between the Virginia and South Carolina borders. That post will come at a later date.
I’ve never been a huge dinosaur geologist. Frankly, I find broken brachiopods, crinoids, and other shell material far more interesting in the fossil department. However, RMNS has some pretty darn cool dinosaur exhibits that I grabbed some photographs of. One of the showcase exhibits is the Acrocanthosaurus atokensis. In Greek, that means “high-spined lizard from Atoka County” [Atoka County is approximately 150 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, OK]. Acrocanthosaurus was a smaller, less-muscular version of Tyrannosaurus rex [RMNS, 2010]. Acrocanthosaurus lived about 110 million years ago, making it early-Cretaceous in age.
Acrocanthosaurus is a Theropod. For scale in the photo below, it’s about 8-9 feet tall at the hip, making it a pretty big dude that I wouldn’t want to see while I was hanging out in the early-Cretaceous forest munching on some berries. . . . → Read More: Dinosaurs!
One of my pet peeves, and something that is becoming more prevalent in the media, is the grammatical misuse of the word “data” in phrases and sentences. I hear ‘This data…‘ and ‘That data…‘ more and more. In fact, I’m hearing trained meteorologists on the news erroneously combine words in this manner. It grates on my nerves.
Look it. The word “data” is the plural form of the word “datum”. This is identical, for example, to the word “dogs” being the plural of “dog”. Say it aloud, replacing “data” with “dogs” and you’ll hear how silly it sounds:
This dogs further indicate a life assemblage of Middle Silurian age.
See what I mean? There are other words incorrectly linked in sentences. It would behoove you to identify them because like it or not, there are other scientists out there that will use a stupid mistake to discredit you and shatter the integrity of your conclusions.
So let it begin. Let me tell you something about central North Carolina. Outcrops are as scarce as hens teeth. But you can find them. You can find them if you look hard enough, and sometimes, when not looking at all. They certainly like to hide in plain sight.
Figure 1. Facing west along Crabtree Creek toward Old Lassiter Mill Dam – photo by J. Sents
Not to worry though. I am a trained geologist, so I’ll lead you through it all painlessly. Let’s start with Lassiter Mill Dam. Now, I’m probably going to make this a series of posts that start from the “Big Picture”, and then we can zoom into the all gory details. I figure since this forum is all about having some fun while learning something, it would just be easier on the eyes and brain. Let’s get it going.
The site of the Old Lassiter Mill is located about 3.5 miles north of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina as a crow flies. All that remains of the old grist and saw mill complex is a dam and mill race—a structure used to redirect and concentrate water flow toward a water wheel. The dam is built . . . → Read More: Nutbush Creek Fault near Lassiter Mill Dam