Monday, August 31, 2015

CBS Sunday Morning - Geology in the movies

Here is a recent story from CBS Sunday morning talking about the new film San Andreas. The Sunday Morning team interview USGS seismologist Lucy Jones about what is and what isn't real. Very similar to my Geological Movie Reviews I had worked on.



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures - Rocky Mountain NP

My next post about the Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures is...



You can find more Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures as well as my Geological State Symbols Across America series at my website Dinojim.com.
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For our travels through Rocky Mountain NP, I have a lot of scenery photos, but not much in the way of strictly geological photos. It was mostly a scenic drive through the park. Also it has been a while since I was actually there so my remembrance of the features may be a bit hazy.

Obligatory entrance sign

Panorama of some mountains. 

Ok, I really don't remember what this was for. But it's rocks.

 View from the visitors center.

 Mountains

 More mountains

 I believe this is the same valley you can see from the visitors center.

 Yay, some geology. This is a cirque, a valley carved out by a glacier.

 Another cirque

 Some cirques, glaciers, tarns (a lake inside a cirque), and probably one or more arĂȘtes (knife-like ridges between glacial valleys).

 An edge of a cirque

 A paternoster lake, perhaps (a series of connected lakes in a glacial valley)


 Gotta love the continental divide.

 And of course, more mountains.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures - Zion National Park: Take 2

My next post about the Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures is a fairly local park and a revisited park. You can see part one HERE.





You can find more Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures as well as my Geological State Symbols Across America series at my website Dinojim.com.

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Obligatory entrance sign

 View down the Lower Fork Virgin River from the bridge that leads to the Emerald Pools Trail. Most of the visible cliff rocks within the canyon are the Navajo Formation. The Navajo Formation is a rock unit that used to be a vast desert that crossed the middle of North America.

 Nice view up the cliff along the Emerald Pools Trail.

 The tired hiker on the trail.

 Under one of the many waterfalls along the trail.

The Navajo Formation is actually prehistoric dunes. As the wind blows in a desert, the sand gets blown into piles called dunes. Eventually the sand gets blown over the top of the dunes. As more and more sand gets blown over the top, eventually the dune actually moves. The layers seen above, called cross-beds, are produced by this movement of the sand over the top and down the side of the dune. The side the sand slides down is called the slipface.

 View out of the Emerald Pools Trail into the main valley. When sandstone gets lithified (turned into rock) it produces a really hard rock that is difficult to erode. So when a river does erode a sandstone, the rocks not directly next to the river can form steep cliff faces, as seen within the Zion Canyon.

 Another view into the main valley.

 View of the Three Kings

Towards the eastern edge of the park is some of the best cross-bedding in the park. 

Some more cross bedding.