Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jökulhlaup - Geological Word of the Day

So I was looking over the Icelandic volcano information the other day (btw the Eruptions blog has been doing a phenomenal job of following this) and I decided, what the hell, I'll try to pronounce it. Well that didn't get too far, but what did catch my attention was the ending of the volcano's name, Eyjafjallajökull. I recognized the end of the name as something I learned a while ago and I have had a previous geological term floating in my head for days now, Jökulhlaup (it is pronounced like Jackelope but the first syllable is Jacques, like the name. So Jacques-elope). I knew it was an Icelandic term and it had something to do with glaciers and flooding.

Well I finally was able to look it up after a while of searching (the spelling is a bit ruff). And I was right. The word refers to a glacial outburst flood, usually due to the sudden melting of glacial water. It is actually a term that is used by American (at least) geologist to describe this phenomina, not just Icelandic geologists. And the reason the volcano reminded me of it is the last part, jökull, is an Icelandic word meaning glacier. So to top that off I have attached a video of the jökulhlaup that was due to the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull. Check out the full Wikipedia definition here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

SEM Update

So in following with the update theme today I figured I would update you on the SEM thing I had done a little while back (find the original post HERE and the follow up HERE) Well the original message I got said:

"It should take about 2 weeks for the results to post to the ASPEX website"

Uh huh. Right 2 weeks. Well I sent it in on February 17th, which was about 2 months ago and I STILL have not heard anything about my sample. So we will see.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gold Update

This is my fastest update yet. Awesome.
Well I heard back from Rick from the gold maps website almost immediately (a couple of hours after the fact) and although I did not get what I was expecting (The wording made it seem like I would get a real paper map) I did get the kmz files (Google earth files) for Utah without a problem. So although not what I was expecting, still pretty cool. I can look at all of the current and past gold claims in Utah and see who they are/were owned by. Although, when I questioned his term "real map" he seemed to disagree with me, stating that what he gave me was a "real map". Personally that's not a real map to me, but I make maps for a living (on my off hours from school), so whatever.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I was notified of this rather interesting website that might be of some interest to people. It is a place where you can get the location of gold in the US. That's right GOLD!!!!.

It was sent to my department at school and I figured I would spread the word. Here is what the creator says:

We basically make it possible to view the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's active and abandoned gold mining claims database in Google Earth as a gold map. The result is a very accurate near real-time view of America's gold deposits.

There is a free sample map available on the site but your students may also have a free copy of any statewide map we have for their personal use. They would need to contact us through the site to obtain the free map. No questions asked:).

There you go, a free statewide GOLD map. Who can pass this up? I can't. I'll let you know how this turns out.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Geology Through the Radio - Horse With No Name

Alright, so I have created another segment to my Geological Education website. This time Geology Through the Radio. The first exercise up for this one is America's Horse With No Name.

There are instances when you can listen to the radio and the words that come back to you can mean other things than what the artist initially intended them to. Whenever I listen to America’s Horse With No Name, I hear geological concepts being mentioned. So, that is what you are going to do here. You are going to take what is being said in the song, and use it to understand some geological concepts.

1. What are the environments mentioned in the song?

2. What types of conditions does the song use to define these environments?

3. Does this match what is geologically used to define the environments?

4. What did he find on the 3rd day? And do you think you could see this feature in the desert? Find a picture of one if you think one exists.

5. What is the geological term for the change in environment described in the song (“desert had turned to the sea”)

6. What are the two (tectonic) possibilities to explain how this could happen?

7. The song states that “after 9 days…the desert had turned to the sea”. Assuming a really fast time period for this to happen is 100,000 yrs. How much faster is this event that America described?

8. “The ocean is a desert with its life underground”. Now assuming he meant underwater, do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

9. Bonus Question: Why does the horse have no name?

You can see the rest of the Geology Through the Radio postings on my website.